Wikileaks, Assad and Syria Comment – The Dispute about Tlas – Assad Interview

Repercussions from the Tlass defection are still echoing. Sharmine Narwani claims his departure was not that important. Michel Kilo has recommended him as the transition leader of Syria. Others say it signifies the beginning of the end. Many opposition activists detest everything he stands for. I have tried to collect a cross-section of views on him.

The Wikileak articles are beginning to come out in greater numbers. At least one of the president’s emails discussed articles published on Syria Comment. – this one, for example, is a comment by Elie Elhadj, who wrote about Syria’s very serious water crisis on the pages of SC – here and here.This is a small bit of the original article:

“Investment in irrigation agriculture, which uses huge volumes of Syria’s finite water resources should be shifted to investing in low water using manufacturing industries based on rate of return criterion instead of political convenience or personal interest. Foreign currencies generated from exporting manufactured products, or from reducing the importation of manufactured goods, would be used to import foodstuffs. Agriculture in arid/semi arid Syria should be left to rain fed lands, with investment in modern technology to improve the yield and quality of rain fed produce. It should be remembered that irrigation schemes have left the water balance in five of Syria’s seven basins negative. In addition to the billions of dollars wasted on white elephant irrigation schemes, what a terrible loss of water that is!

This is his comment that Bashar picked up on – It came from an email that Elie sent to me and a few friends, including Camille Otrakji, who forwarded it to a friend who sent it to President Assad. The email was sent Feb 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM. President Assad was not upset by the insults to his father, as some journalists have suggested. He picked up on it because Syria was in the midst of its five year drought. He knew what a disastrous water crisis Syria faced and was trying to figure out how to reverse course – but of course – like so many of Syria’s problems, he failed to deal with it because it would have meant breaking too many eggs and potentially unraveling his regime and control.

Water resources and cotton plantation SCARY NUMBERS (from a discussion)

Email-ID 2105484
Date 2011-02-12 04:19:25

Check زراعة و ري

All of Syria’s cotton production is done on irrigated lands, not rain fed. Of Syria’s estimated 13 billion m3 of irrigation water more than 4 billion m3 is used to grow cotton. A cotton t-shirt requires about 2.7 tons of water to produce. Cotton requires four times as much water to grow as wheat.

Syria’s emphasis on irrigation has been wrong. Syria should invest in improving the yield of rain fed lands. There was a threefold increase in the productivity of water in rain fed wheat production in north-west Europe between 1800 and 1950. And a further trebling by 1990.

The Tabqa Dam is an economic disaster. The yes-men around Hafiz Asad lacked the balls to stop an ignorant military officer from wasting billions of dollars on a white elephant, made by his propagandist to be one genius of a project.

The World Bank concluded that Syria’s government will need to recognize that achieving food security with respect to wheat and other cereals in the short-term as well as the encouragement of water-intensive cotton appear to be undermining Syria’s security over the long-term by depleting available groundwater resources.

Another discusses, which was a major effort led by Camille Otrakji to get Israelis and Syrians discussing the Golan and avenues to peace. I participated in the project and pushed it on SC. Unfortunately it was seen in Damascus as a breach of security and law. He asked Syria’s head of the National Security Council to look into it. According to an article in al-Akhbar English:

A story published by The Guardian in 2010 about Syrian and Israeli bloggers interacting with each other on the website, perked his interest, and he requested that it be translated and sent to an individual named “bekhtiar.” (doc-id 2095860)

Manaf Tlass as taciturn rebel?

EXTRA: Opposition proposes top Syrian defector for president

Moscow (DPA) — Representatives of the Syrian opposition on Monday put forward Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, who defected earlier this month, to succeed President Bashar al-Assad. At a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, the opposition continued to insist that al-Assad must step down before a political dialogue can take place, according to the news agency Interfax.

Russia to suspend new arms to Syria: agencies
By Thomas Grove, MOSCOW | Mon Jul 9, 2012

(Reuters) – Russia will not deliver fighter planes or other new weapons to Syria while the situation there remains unresolved, the deputy director of a body that supervises Moscow’s arms trade was quoted as saying on Monday.

Davutoğlu says Turkey got Syria wrong in Hurriyet

” … Unfortunately, Turkey made a very serious mistake in Syria. It thought that, as in Libya the regime would collapse quickly and would be replaced with the AKP’s “brothers” the Muslim Brotherhood.

In search of peace: Annan arrives in Iran from Damascus

UN peace envoy Kofi Annan is in Iran after finishing a round of talks with Syrian authorities in Damascus. The trip reinforces Annan’s belief that Tehran is one of the key players in finding a solution to the conflict in Syria.

Annan described his talks in Damascus as constructive, saying the sides agreed to move ahead with implementing a peace plan proposed by the envoy.

“We agreed to an approach which I will share with the opposition,” he told reporters.

During his visit, Annan met with both Syrian President Bashar Assad as well as the country’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

Damascus reiterated their commitment to Annan`s peace plan.

“In both meetings we reassured Annan of Syria’s commitment to implement the six-point plan and hope the other side is mutually committed,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the UN and Arab League special envoy has arrived in Iran, Syria’s main ally in the region.

On Saturday Annan said that Iran should be involved in the resolution of the crisis, because it is an “actor” in the situation whose participation is necessary.

Speaking to Le Monde, the envoy stressed the role of Moscow and Teheran in dealing with the conflict in Syria, saying that there is “no alternative” to Russia’s participation in a diplomatic solution and that Iran also “cannot be ignored.”

While Annan was holding talks with Syrian authorities in Damascus, Moscow has conducted a round of negotiations with the Syrian opposition. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with a Syrian delegation led by Michel Kilo on Monday.

The opposition delegation stated that the question of removing President Bashar Assad from power is secondary, while their primary goal is the transition from violence to democracy.

Following the talks, Lavrov pointed out to the importance of the Syrian opposition having a unified platform. The foundation of this platform should be an inclusive dialogue between the authorities and the opposition, the Minister said.

Moscow has also invited another prominent opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), to come to Russia for talks. The delegation is expected to visit after July 10, the Foreign Ministry said, though no exact dates were announced.

The SNC has repeatedly said that it sees a solution for Syrian crisis only in the ouster of President Assad. The majority of Western countries consider the group to be the only “official” opposition. In April, Friends of Syria recognized the SNC as the “legitimate representative” of all Syrians.

Annan and Assad agree political approach for Syria – Reuters

 Putin: West exports ‘airstrike democracy’ to cling to Arab influence

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the West for clinging to its influence in the Arab world under the guise of “humanitarian operations.” He dubbed western involvement in Arab affairs as nothing more than a “rocket and bomb democracy.” At a meeting with top Russian diplomats Putin said that certain countries will do anything to retain the influence they have become accustomed to in the Arab world. He stressed that western nations often adopt a one-sided policy in Arab affairs that violates international law. RT’s Sean Thomas followed the address.

Interview with Assad, just recently conducted by the German publicist Jürgen Todenhöfer. The original English version.

Brig. Tlas Could be consensus solution
by Mohamed H.Hamdan in Damscus
Contributed to Syria Comment

The young Brigadier Tlas stopped wearing his military uniform and opted for civilian clothing months ago. He set up residence in Damascus, where he let his beard and hair grow long. Nobody expected that the aristocratic general with his boyish face and western life style could withstand Assad’s fall.

Gen. Manaf Tlas has let down his childhood friend President Bashar al-Assad. Tlas has forgotten memories which they shared, jokes they laughed at and Syria’s future they have drawn.

Michel kilo, a prominent figure in the Syrian opposition, told Russians in Moscow, ”Manaf Tlas is a good candidate to head a transitional government”. Kilo explained to the Russians that General Manaf Tlas was against “the Military- security solution of the regime.”

Syrian Activists feel worried now, some of them say Tlas’ defection is Plan B designed to protect Assad’s regime.

”Substituting Mr. Assad by Gen. Tlas with his military background and his deep relations can be Assad’s successor for the same Syria which protects the Russian and Iranian interests in the region.” Ahmed al-Khalaf, defected Lieutenant, based in Beirut, said.

Tlas relations with Mr. Assad became irreconcilable after the fierce assault on the Homs district of Bab Amr in February this year according to AFP. He was sidelined more than a year ago, after he was deemed unreliable.

Tlas’ close friends said that he did not like what he saw, and tried to do something to ease the crackdown, friends and opposition sources say. They credit him with intervening to negotiate local ceasefires.

Eyad Issa, close friend to Tlas family said “Manaf has been growing increasingly frustrated for months,” Tlas felt increasing dishonor as his hometown ‘al-Rastan’ /160 kilometers north of Damascus/ was being leveled and hundreds of his relatives fell dead or injured.

“He started to tell people he trusted that he wanted out, and that he has respect among the Free Syrian Army,” Issa said, referring to the rebel force that has attracted many officers and soldiers from Rastan.

Colonel. Adnan Ahmed, who joined Free Syrian Army (FSA), based in Turkey, has defended Brig.Tlass defection on ALJAZEERA TV. He said that al-Rastan with its 1146 officers is supporting Brig. Tlas. ”We know his intention to defect and now he did it.”

Peaceful demonstrations were silenced by the gun, prompting Rastan’s residents, many of whom served in the army and had the patronage of the Tlas family, to take up arms

Abdul-Razzak Tlas, Brig. Manaf’s cousin and a popular commander of the FSA in Homs and a former First Lieutenant in the Syrian army, is commanding the most powerful Brigades of FSA called al-Farouq Brigades which stand for 4 months in face of Syrian army artillery and bombardment in Homs district of Bab Amr.

Two weeks ago, Opposition sources have spoken of senior figures that are under suspicion of being potential defectors being held under virtual house arrest. Assad’s opponents have been trying to encourage as many of his entourage as possible to abandon him.

Munther Khaddam, well-known Assad’s opponent said ”when a cornerstone like Brig. Tlas defects the temple of Assad definitely will crack down’. ”Then a lot of secrets can be revealed”, added.

Syria’s government has lessened the impact of Tlas defection. A Syrian news website ”Syria steps” quoted a Syrian official on Thursday as saying: “His desertion means nothing, If Syrian intelligence had wanted to arrest him it would have.” But “It’s hard blow for the regime,” Abdul basset seida, the president of SNC said during Conference on Syria’s friends last week in Paris.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the same and confirmed Tlas defection which meant that Assad’s inner circle “is beginning to understand that the regime is unsustainable”. Fabius added.

US secretary of State Mrs. Hilary Clinton said Tlas defection suggests Assad’s insiders, Army are voting with their feet.”

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, Syria’s NATO-member neighbor, agreed: “Every day, generals, colonels, officers are coming, and we have, I think, around 20 generals and maybe 100 high-ranking officers, colonels,” he told France 24 television.

Brigade 105 now according to well-informed source said Brigade 105 has been mixed with Maher al-Assad’s Brigade (Brigade 4) and Brigade 14 for special missions) after defecting 1200 soldier whom run away after their brig has defected between them about 43 high ranked officers – general and colonels

Syrian opposition with its armed wing FSA still looks to hear from the young general. What Kilo has recommended to Russian seems to be the waiting speech they are looking for.

”Brig. Tlas is consensus solution where all parties should agree on,” al-Khalaf said.

A Word on the Tlass Departure – by Maysaloon

Firstly I don’t think the Tlass family are members of any “aristocracy”. ….So why is he now being pushed as a potential successor to Assad?….

This is a particularly devastating and humiliating option for many Syrians… Tlass might be the least worst option, but this still isn’t good enough for a country that has given over fifteen thousand lives for its freedom, and tens of thousands of refugees and prisoners. I doubt that all these people died to replace an Alawite dictator with a Sunni one, but I’m confident about one thing, and that is that Syria’s freshly grown grass roots will now, and should remain, the final line of defence for the Syrian people’s liberties and fight against oppression. It is now more vital than ever that these grass roots groups and coordination committees dig in and consolidate. The hard work really begins once Assad goes.

Manaf Tlass: “Nobody stopped him from leaving and nobody worked on him to stay.”
Syrian General Manaf Tlass: Neither Here Nor There
By Sharmine Narwani – Sun, 2012-07-08 23:47- The Sandbox

Since the news of his departure broke a few days ago, Tlass has stayed quiet. It is unlikely that he has “defected” – that would suggest he is joining the opposition, and it is doubtful that any but the most opportunistic of them would embrace a figure so closely associated with the Assad history in Syria.

But here’s a tidbit that hasn’t made the rounds yet in this well-hyped story: until very recently, Tlass was telling members of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle that he wanted the post of Minister of Defense.
“He believed he could help push forth a reform agenda, as he had envisioned with his old friend Bassel (al-Assad),” says an acquaintance of Tlass’.

A well-informed source close to the Syrian government tells me that Tlass had tested those waters last Spring before Assad announced a new cabinet in April 2011, from which he was excluded. In the early months of unrest in Syria, he had attempted to stem the crisis by mediating between the government and its opponents in various towns and cities, but had by most accounts not succeeded. Part of the problem appears to be that the Assad establishment did not put its weight behind his efforts after they faltered, choosing to pursue another strategy altogether. By August, as armed clashes and crackdowns escalated, Tlass was effectively sidelined by a regime that refused to entrust in his vision and was mistrustful of his family’s opposition credentials. He then simply stopped working, cut-off many of his ties with close friends and reigned in his legendary social life.

How does one just not go to work one day? A source explains that “Tlass’ military uniform was only 10% of his life anyway. The rest of his time was spent on running around, his social life, some business dealings. He was a privileged son of an important regime figure – that was his life and he had a sense of entitlement as did many others like him.”

But still Tlass apparently did not count himself out – he tried again for the top defense post in the lead-up to the last cabinet reshuffle, and was passed over a second time when Assad announced the new line-up on June 23.

The headlines this week that claim the “defection” of a major Syrian Army commander and a member of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle lack a great deal of the nuance unique to Manaf Tlass’ case….

Tlass apparently felt snubbed by the president for not being promoted to Major General from his current status as Brigadier General, but importantly, is viewed within the army as a token regime appointment rather than a commander capable of leading his forces.

Is Tlass’ departure significant? Certainly, it has been useful for some perception-creating headlines. But he was neither a pivotal figure within the Syrian Army nor the political establishment. His importance was rather in relation to his father’s standing within the elder Assad’s coterie, and as a member of a leading Sunni family long associated with the regime.

The fact is, after almost a year of inactivity and relative isolation, Manaf was in political no-man’s land in Syria. Scorned by people in Rastan for his continued allegiance to Assad, and marginalized by the regime in both the political and military spheres, Tlass had nothing to gain or lose by sitting tight.

“I don’t blame him. He had to make a choice,” says a Syrian who knows Tlass. “Nobody stopped him from leaving and nobody worked on him to stay,” says another, who knows the elder Tlass well.

So he went to France. End of story. But that won’t stop the spin.

The final chapter in Syria is being written today – al-Arabiya
By Jihad el-Khazen, Monday, 09 July 2012

What is left for the Syrian regime after Brigadier General Manaf Tlas, commander of Brigade 105 of the Republican Guard, has defected?

There was a time when Manaf was being groomed to become the defence minister, like his father Lt. General Mustafa Tlas before him. Manaf had become eligible owing to his rank in the Republican Guard and the ruling party, and I believe the delay was only because of his young age.

Mustafa Tlas was one of the main pillars of the regime, perhaps even its backbone…..

Today in Syria, the final chapter of a popular uprising is being written, and I insist that the regime could have avoided it, had it not chosen the military-based solution and its stubborn insistence upon it, even when it failed month after month, making the problem worse.

Yet the solution will not come from a meeting in Cairo, Geneva or Paris, but from the heart of Syria itself.

The heart of the Arab needs an urgent heart surgery, but this will only succeed if it is to be performed by Syrians themselves.

From the Comment Section: “Shabih” writes:

What really pisses me off is that way you write about this “Sunni” [Tlas] being in favor of negotiation and dialogue while the “Alawite leadership” was in favor of killing and heavy-handedness. You write this while ignoring that many in your audience know that the “Alawite leadership” you speak of has been following the strategy of “negotiation, flexibility, and compromise” all over Syria. How many times have we heard of the rebels and army agreeing to pull back in cities? How many times have we heard about Bashar al-Asad holding personal dialogue with various delegations from cities and villages from all parts of Syria and beyond?…

The whole point is to paint a picture of Sunni vs Alawite. This whole crisis started because Sunnis wanted freedom and Alawites would prefer to kill them. That is the narrative you want to peddle while carrying the title of Syria expert…. I really can’t stand reading your material anymore. I might as well be reading WINEP’s propaganda.

Deputy PM Says Gas Shortages Structural – Syria Report

There is no structural solution to the domestic gas shortages facing the country as long as sanctions are in place, Qadri Jamil, the new deputy Prime Minister in charge of domestic trade and consumer production said, blaming “sons of b…” for the hike in prices.

Power Cuts Rise as Temperatures Increase – Syria Report

The Ministry of Electricity is raising the daily number of hours of power cuts across Syria as rising temperatures lead to an increase in demand for electricity.

Starting July 2, the Public Establishment for the Distribution and Exploitation of Electrical Energy has increased power outages in Damascus to 3 hours per day from 2 hours previously.

In Aleppo, the country’s second largest city, power cuts are being increased from 3 to 4 hours a day, while in the rest of the country, power cuts are increasing to 5 hours a day. In each case the cuts are broken into two periods, one in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening…..

“No sect’s please; we’re Syrian” – Open Democracy – Syrian opposition activist, Rita, who must remain anonymous for her own safety, tells of a particularly harrowing encounter she had with the Syrian shabiha and how she managed to survive.

Nikolaos van Dam on Aljazeera “Inside Syria” with former General Akil Hashimi and Yasser Tabbara (SNC).

Nikolaos van Dam, How to Solve or Not to Solve the Syrian Crisis?, Orient, III-2012, pp. 31-37

Fear of Iran and Syrian Bloodletting, July 09, 2012
By Meir Javedanfar

Meir Javendanfar looks at how Western sanctions on Iran are enabling violence in Syria to continue.

Egypt: Morsi Moves to Restore Islamist Parliament – By: Steve Hendrix and Ernesto Loñdono | The Washington Post

Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave – By: David D. Kirkpatrick | The New York Times
The post-Arab Spring rise of Islamist leaders appeared to bypass Libya, where a coalition led by a Western-educated political scientist led the early vote count.
By: Susan Crabtree | The Washington Times
A dramatic uptick in violence and political instability in Iraq have raised fears that Baghdad once again is tilting toward civil war. A half-year after the U.S. military left Iraq, the war-weary country is beset by violence as insurgents take advantage of the power struggles between the country’s ethnic and sectarian factions.

Comments (187)

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1. Ghufran said:

Ghassan Alimam is an exception to the rule in alsharq alawsat,he is rarely inappropriate and is usually personal and honest,here is his last article;

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July 9th, 2012, 7:54 pm


2. Syrialover said:

“The Tabqa Dam is an economic disaster. The yes-men around Hafiz Asad lacked the balls to stop an ignorant military officer from wasting billions of dollars on a white elephant, made by his propagandist to be one genius of a project.” (from post by Joshua above).

This is where the evil, stupid destruction of Syria by the Assad regime hits home.

It would be fascinating to know what the Syrian authorities did with information from ICARDA, the leading global research institute for dryland agriculture based in Aleppo.

It would have been way over the heads of those lazy, stupid apparatchiks in charge of the agriculture and related ministries who got their jobs from their fathers and uncles.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:02 pm


3. Syrialover said:

Dr Josh,

Please don’t give space to Sharmine Narwani.

She is a pseudo-everything and says nothing. She shamelessly grabs stuff from elsewhere, makes up the rest and makes smart-ass ill-informed comments.

Her shallow interest in the Syrian issue is recent and transient – she uses it to get attention for herself.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:10 pm


4. Tara said:

I think it would be a disaster if Manaf Tlass became the new president of Syria. From Alawi dictator to a Sunni dictator …this is not why 15,000 souls died and the opposition should never accept such a deal.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:13 pm


5. Ghufran said:

I like the collection of articles and links JL brought this time,my favorite was the one about Turkey’s failed Syrian policy.
Manaf Tlas in a new Syria should not have an edge over anybody else,he indeed may have to explain his affiliation with the regime that he is now leaving.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:24 pm


6. bronco said:

# Tara

Bravo Munaf Tlass!

I think it would be a disaster if Manaf Tlass became the new president of Syria

Changed your mind?

Anyway that is what J.L hinted in his previous post when there was a sense of relief and excitment about the ‘significant’ defection as a sign of ‘game is up’.
It seems it very quickly deflated. As I predicted, Manaf Tlass, if he has any political aim, will create even more divisions among the opposition that is already a mess.

Instead of weakening the Syrian government, Manaf Tlass’s defection may turn out to be a gift to the Syrian government and a source of discord for the opposition.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:53 pm


7. Aldendeshe said:

AAAHHH….. I feel vindicated…… You have to make my blood boil for 3 days Tara and Landis, you made me lose 5 pounds and raise my blood sugar to 380 with your inaccurate and inappropriate comments about that Baathist Stooge Playboy for President, couldn’t you TARA make this comment before, and Landis couldn’t you read Sharmine and add here post earlier. You can not do that to me, you have to be responsible and professional please. I almost was ready to issue call to arm D Amid. What a relief. I still think it is silly Washingtonian-Jewish play that gone bad. Losers, ill informed.

Sharmine I appreciate people like you, you wrote all what was racing in my mind, except I get too angry and violent to be able to put words so smoothly and eloquently as you did in this article.

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July 9th, 2012, 8:54 pm


8. habib said:

As expected the “Syrialeaks” contain nothing but trivialities.

Lol! Why doesn’t he mention all the babies he has personally raped and eaten?

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July 9th, 2012, 8:58 pm


9. Tara said:


Change my mind about what? I do not understand what you mean?

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July 9th, 2012, 8:58 pm


10. Tara said:

Bronco and Aldendeshe

I welcomed Manaf’s defection as much as I would welcome any other defection that would help imploding the regime.  Manaf is a close friend of Bashar and the facade of the pseudo Sunni-Alawi alliance and his defection is important.  Welcoming his defection does not mean that I have any respect for him or his family.  Their legacy is jut like other crime family legacy.  His father committed crimes against humanity being the defense minister during Hama massacre, and the family’s collective wealth is stolen from the Syrian people.

You know very well I am not in this revolution to replace Alawi thug with a Sunni thug.  I am in it for freedom and dignity.  I welcomed his defection to encourage more defections and to inch us closely towards victory.  That does not mean I will accept him as president.  

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July 9th, 2012, 9:18 pm


11. Syrialover said:


Manaf Tlass was bred to know and do nothing. He was a pretty boy in a gilded cage. He had never competed, he has never earnt his salary, he has never produced anything or learnt any serious lessons. He’s moved in a closed circuit and had very artificial and protected life experiences.

His father was a dictator’s sidekick and obedient servant. All Manaf has in life came through his father and being charming and cool. His corrupt connections, nepotised job and unearned wealth were awe-inspiring and intimidating to everyone he met.

Things faded for his father then for him. It got all too hard, chomping cigars and playing the cool dude while Syria was getting into such a mess.

But his defection has humiliated the hurt the Assads in public, and lost them some reputation points out there for the world to enjoy. Who cares about anything else

Manaf Tlass meanwhile just loves the attention and myths about himself.

But he would be way, way out of his depth if faced with real leadership and political and intellectual tasks and challenges.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:25 pm


12. bronco said:

Syria Lover and Tara

“Michel Kilo has recommended him as the transition leader of Syria”
Is he less informed than you?
I can see the unanimity that Manaf’s is bringing in the opposition.

Maybe the defection of a dubious rich play boy is not humiliating the regime but in the contrary it is showing that the regime takes pride in getting rid of deadwood and throwing it to the opposition to deal with it.

Tara, did you mean: Bravo Manaf, here is a ticket to La Hague, just get lost?

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July 9th, 2012, 9:42 pm


13. Syrialover said:

And Michel Kilo spoke to Sharmine Narwani. The guy is not young and sharp-edged, though he has been a lot of other good things.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:45 pm


14. omen said:

during the last election cycle, there was a running joke amongst election watchers that poked fun at hillary supporters. every time there was bad news that came out like polls that showed a drop in support or when the candidate would slip and come out with a bad soundbite, someone would yell “this is good news for hillary!” mocking her supporters for being in denial and their tendency of twisting bad news into somehow being good for mrs. clinton.

some of the regimists are likewise turning themselves into caricature.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:46 pm


15. bronco said:

#13 SL

So in summary you’re saying that Manaf is a useless playboy, Sharmin Narwani is a fake journalist and Michel Kilo is a “has been”…

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July 9th, 2012, 9:52 pm


16. Tara said:


He is dubious and rich Because of his association with the regime. Why can’t you admit that?

No, I stand my position. Bravo that he has defected. He should not be handed a ticket to La Hague. We need to encourage more defections. Our goal is not a small fish. Our goal is to bring down the arch-evil, the regime that is responsible for cultivating evilness all-around to maintain itself.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:54 pm


17. Observer said:

Well as usual I went to Press tv and almanar an Addounia and Cham press and sana and RT and got the news from one side. I look at the importance of the order of the news and at the headlines and at the content. Cham Press talks about a dialogue with the armed opposition to bring stability back. Already I sense a preparation for a climb down in which Fredo and his clique will not lose face and hence the apparence of weakness which could demoralize the supporters and the base.

I also do see from Cham Press the Iranians saying that no regime is eternal and that a political solution is in the offing.

I also see Putin giving a lecture to his ambassadors about being more pro active that is do everything to restore Russian prestige around the world while at the same time he says the protagonists have to be “forced” to the negotiating table.

At the same time arms shipments are halted especially the YAK 130 close support aircraft that was used so effectively in Afghanistan until stinger missiles arrived.

Turkey is also preparing for some elements of the regime to stay in place and as a matter of fact will continue to support the rebellion and its interests in northern Syria at least. They realize that the agony will be long and messy and that they will have to help out.

NYT reports today that the Russians are now clearly impatient with Fredo and are putting the screws on him. This explains the position of Annan as he is off to the clerics to get their OK to put pressure on Fredo further.

The problem as I see it is that the security house of cards is made up of propping up pieces the removal of one of them would lead to the collapse of all. I guess if I were an Alawi I would be asking myself what would happen to me now that Fredo is preparing a nice exit for his family and friends. Or worse still, stay in place while sacrificing the base and switching sides. I know this last possibility is a far fetched one but it could really happen.

Now the post by Shabih noted above is really telling as this participant clearly is now wanting to portray the Alawi officers and members of the regime as willing to compromise and work things through. In my opinion any negotiations or discussions or bargaining or compromises the regime did or attempted to do was just playing for time, giving a little bone here and there while clinging ever so strongly to all the reigns of power and never willing to budge one bit. For the clique the country belongs to them and not the other way around.

Now all of the talk Fredo is giving about support and this and that he is talking about his Alawite base and its cronies not about the Syrian people.

All of the news tell me that there is a significant shift and there is a lot behind the scenes. The delegation to Moscow is made up of Kilo a real opposition member and someone with influence. The rest that were there I did not recognize except for Aita who in my opinion has brilliant ideas but whose credentials with the interior are zero and who seems to be too close to the French.

Any ideas on this delegation and what weight it has?

On the ground the regime is running out of options. However they may very well want to stay in power over an utterly devastated country.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:56 pm


18. Aldendeshe said:

But his defection has humiliated the hurt the Assads in public, and lost them some reputation points out there for the world to enjoy. Who cares about anything else


Disagree. They never cared about him, they never stopped him, the concern is, if he did have any clandestine setup established before he left. That was also what everybody said about Khayyam, I said he is hot air and could not get 3 soldiers or civilians behind them, dig it up here on this blog if you like, but Landis, Washington, Paris made a hoopla about him. In the end, all he did is waste the opposition time in to NSF, distracted them, the naive MB desperate for some recognition partnered with him. He was out to live the good live in Paris mansion, same with the Tlasses and Chahabi’s, they are all con-men rag-to-riches. They made it and now living free, but previous Sunni stooge for another Alawite racket run by Salah Jadid Nour Al Dine Attassi died in prison for life.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:56 pm


19. bronco said:

#16 Tara

With a guy like Manaf Tlass in the ranks of the opposition, I have no doubt you will reach a goal. It may not be the one you aimed at.

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July 9th, 2012, 9:57 pm


20. Tara said:


Remember Manaf Tlass was part of the regime that you fell eternally in love with. Isn\’t love unconditional? For better or worse? How can you be so disloyal and disown him. What I am trying to understand is the nature of this relationship between the regime and its supporters, and it is rather a sincere question begging for answer. You always like Bashar Jaafari? What if he defected? Are you going to suddenly vilify him?

I guess my question is if you are willing to vilify any pilar of the inner circle if he or she to defect, what is it that you support by supporting the regime?

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July 9th, 2012, 10:21 pm


21. Ghufran said:

أصبحت حياة الشيخ محمود الحوت إمام جامع الكلتاوية ومدير دار نهضة العلوم الشرعية بحلب، في خطر، وذلك بعد أن صنفته ما تسمي نفسها هيئة العلماء المسلمين في سوريا على أنه شبيح.

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July 9th, 2012, 10:42 pm


22. Ghufran said:

May be the king of KSA is still alive after all:
عقد الملك السعودي عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز بعد ظهر اليوم جلسة مباحثات مع مدير وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية ديفيد بترايوس بحضور عدد كبير من أركان الدولة السعودية المختصين بالشان الأمني، دون الكشف عن فحوى المباحثات.

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July 9th, 2012, 10:49 pm


23. Shami said:

From the same opportunistic class like hassoun ,habash…,al zindiq Mahmoud al Hout was known in Aleppo for his heavy attack on the shiites(calling them rafida with loudspeakers spread in all the eastern part of old aleppo) since 2003 ,he sent many young aleppine to death to Iraq ,we understood in that time that he was working for the mukhabarat (in the same team than Ghul Aghassi Abul Qa3qa3).Btw ,the keltawiyeh modern school was founded by Sheikh al Nabhan,an sufi traditionalist ,who had some influence over the countryside and even Iraq.
The assad regime gave to al Hout the ok to destroy large parts of the traditional Bayada urban fabric in the eastern part of Aleppo Aleppo(intra muros) where was located the medieval Keltawiyeh school.
He is among the shouyoukh of the regime who collect a large number of berline expensive cars ,and they are integrated in the regime protected corruption apparatuses.

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July 9th, 2012, 10:53 pm


24. Aldendeshe said:

I Don’t think Bashar will budge an inch. He is planning and preparing for more fighting, longer and tougher ones. Looking for him stepping in People Majlis in 6-8 weeks and giving a speech that is an exact copy of his first one. All the talk about regime break up is non sense. Alawites and Christians are far more scared of their throats cut by dull knives than what is going to happened to them later, specially having at their disposal a huge arsenal of conventional and non-conventional weapon.

There is no military solution to Syria Political problem, SNP understood this long ago and developed a far more effective plan that can paralyze Syria without shedding blood and scaring minorities, not even make them a target in any way. Rather, allies to join in the non-bloody campaign for brighter, more prosperous future life, with more freedoms and less cartel mafia control for them.

I do not believe that is possible now, after all that is done by foreigners and their Syrian hired mercenaries, the minorities are even harder to persuade, the Christian will never forgive and the Alawites will never waver from Assad collective security. Any steps to tamper with the inner political, security or military apparatus or structure will be rejected by the all the city Sunni’s, minorities and Baathists. There will be no compromise on security at all now, no matter how much Iran and Russia, the world pressure, that is their security blanket now and no one will dare removing it. They will fight till end and they think they can win, or have the other give in before the Middle East is trashed.

The other factor are the “Conspirators”, they have real interests in what they initially, diabolically planned for Syria, disguised as freedom and democracy campaign. All the past 18 months events points to a mischievous plot designed in fact to destroy Syria and Syrians. They too still think they can win, they dream of defections and massive offensive. They have not reached yet a sobering defeat that will make them re-consider. First these conspirators needs to be finally and permanently be defeated, then Assad needs to decide if he wants to be a President of a pot holed country, living behind manicured garden, or he can agree to make changes from position of strength and leadership so all of Syria can have gardens, he can be proud of being a President of this country.

A compromise is in Assad court, he can give what he choose and the opposition can accept, or the fight will go on until one finish the other, will be very little standing in Syria then, in fact the whole Middle East will be in flame, great business opportunity coming for Boots & Coots.

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July 9th, 2012, 11:01 pm


25. Shami said:

you have to fix yourself in an intelligible place ,is this dualistic personality or schizophrenic divide not very difficult to live ?

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July 9th, 2012, 11:02 pm


26. omen said:

is there is a hiccup with comments? mine keeps disappearing. should i read it as a hint?

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July 9th, 2012, 11:43 pm


27. Ghufran said:

The first time I heard about Mahmoud Alhout was when the threat on his life became news,I have no idea if what shami said about him is true or not,but I think the opposition is shooting itself in the foot by using violence against the people they disagree with or suspect of being regime sympathizers.

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July 9th, 2012, 11:53 pm


28. Shami said:

What is your proof that non shabiha or militiamen supporters of the regime are killed ?
Do not lose your time on the khomainist arabi press!
Your objective in a very dubious way is trying that the uprising look as evil than the assadist civilian mass killers.
Attacking the villages that produce the shabiha and assadist torturers can be easily done but we are all surprised by the discipline of the FSA despite the lack of integrated direction on the ground.

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July 10th, 2012, 12:49 am


29. Patriot said:


A few takeaways from your post:

-You seem to fully discount the massive peaceful protests that are taking place. You seem to fully discount the power of the people in the equation. It is folly for you to refer to the protesters as “conspirators” while trying to make a legitimate argument about what is unfolding in my country.

-What is the SNP plan that you are very enthusiastic about? You did not elaborate on it at all during your post

-You mention that Assad needs to make a choice: either compromise and reform, or hold down the fort and fight until there is a victor. You fail to consider a very important element: Assad cannot instill any true reform in the country. True reform in Syria means the end of the regime and Baathist rule. Assad truly trying to reform is the same thing as Assad executing the regime and putting a gun in his mouth.

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July 10th, 2012, 1:05 am


30. Shami said:

For these mukhabarati shouyoukh the end of the gastronomic parties ,the lose of their luxuous cars(often americans) ,their sumptuous houses ,farms and villas …of their epicurean life (they came from very poor Background)will mean the end of the world.

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July 10th, 2012, 1:13 am


31. Aldendeshe said:

29. Patriot said:
A few takeaways from your post:

“…You seem to fully discount the massive peaceful protests that are taking place…”

I lived there, I know how some (few) people disliked the regime. But millions of them supported it for decades, now they are out protesting after payola in hand. The majority of people protesting now, were in fact the main beneficiary and back bone of Baathism. I seen how they gone cheering in the street, I lived through the time and heard what they called me and how they exalted the regime. I have no feeling of sorrow for them lower classes. They got what the begged and cheered for.

“…You seem to fully discount the power of the people in the equation…..”

They have no power, the protesters are not the majority, they are a very small minority, you must watch CNN and other Zionist-Jewish media like Aljazzera.

“…It is folly for you to refer to the protesters as “conspirators” while trying to make a legitimate argument about what is unfolding in my country…..”

Conspirators I am referring to the Semite / Islamo-Khazzar Shepard, not the poor Syrian sheep’s.

“…What is the SNP plan that you are very enthusiastic about? You did not elaborate on it at all during your post…”

Not of your business, keep on doing yours. Fulfill my dream and millions of Syrians not Israeli-Bedouins Jews dream. When can I expect victory, I was promised Mando Soda 18 months ago. I knew it was a farce then, but played along and still playing along knowing what you all doing is a big farce.

“…You mention that Assad needs to make a choice: either compromise and reform, or hold down the fort and fight until there is a victor. You fail to consider a very important element: Assad cannot instill any true reform in the country. True reform in Syria means the end of the regime and Baathist rule. Assad truly trying to reform is the same thing as Assad executing the regime and putting a gun in his mouth….”

He has to choose between the regime or the people, since you really f***d up on your end and turned people against him, the dull knife strategy, using minerates to expel Christians from home, You ain’t got chance in hell that Assad is going to choose reforming to please your people. He will stick to the regime now for sure, in fact millions begging him to do so, you ain’t got 10,000 in streets. You will not even get 1000 out without Payola.

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July 10th, 2012, 1:56 am


32. Syrialover said:


Michel Kilo is one of the giants on whose shoulders this revolution has been built. He has contributed enormously with his thinking, courage, integrity, persistence and many sacrifices. I am really pleased to see him up there adding substance to the opposition.

BUT he appears to be oblivious to how the world works today when he can be caught apparently making wildfire statements like that about the highly controversial Manaf Tlas.

I do not think it is fair to expect someone at his age and stage of life to suddenly become smart and strategic with the international media and a skilled fast-moving team player.

We can assume he was advised, briefed and coached, but by “doing his own thing” and not being careful in such a highly politicized and sensitive public situation he is unwittingly creating confusion, dissent and distraction.

But never mind. Things will move on, bigger issues will take over and Manaf Tlas will fade out of the picture. Watch.

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July 10th, 2012, 2:48 am


33. Amjad said:

“At the same time arms shipments are halted especially the YAK 130 close support aircraft that was used so effectively in Afghanistan until stinger missiles arrived. ”

No, the aircraft in question was developed in the early 90s, too late to see service in the Afghan war. This was a case of the regime gratefully buying crap that the Russians couldn’t offload to anyone else. What airforce in the world needs 36 of these? Even the Russians only operate 11.

The SNP representative here is starting to sound more and more unhinged. I’m dismayed that the moderators let him get away with his threats to outdo Hitler and Stalin in the previous thread.

“you ain’t got 10,000 in streets. You will not even get 1000 out without Payola.”

If people were after “payola”, they would have signed up with the shabihas. Alot less risk and it pays well, and you get to loot homes and steal cars. The Syrian security forces are basically a bunch of mercenaries, and the thing about mercenaries is that a) they are poorly motivated to fight as opposed to someone defending their home and community b) they kinda stop fighting for you when the money runs out.

After seeing the SNP’s representative here, I am left feeling distinctly unimpressed with the party. They seem to have a glorious plan that will fix everything. What good is a plan if you’re too incompetent to know how to implement it? I may have a plan to make me a billionaire, but if I don’t get off my butt and actually make it a reality, it never becomes a plan, just a day dream.

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July 10th, 2012, 3:48 am


34. Amjad said:

“Not of your business, keep on doing yours”

Seriously? I mean, really? That’s the best the SNP can come up with? It’s none of your business?

Behold, Moses with the Ten Commandments! Tell us oh great one, what does God wish us to do?

Moses: None of your business. Unwashed masses. Who do they think they are, wanting to know the plan for their salvation. Probably on payola from Pharaoh anyway, as if being slaves and being forced to build pyramids for years wasn’t reason enough to want to stick it to the Egyptians.

“the Christian will never forgive”

Forgive what exactly? Have their villages been shelled and invaded by tanks? Have they been rounded up by the thousands? Have their places of worship been shelled and burned? Have their men of religion been butchered in cold blood? Have their women been raped and their children murdered in cold blood? Is anyone building a wall around Christian communities? Forgiveness my ample Syrian butt.

The Christians have made themselves irrelevant in Syrian politics by their unconscionable fence sitting. Even Bashar holds them in such low regard that his tailor-made constitution bans any Christians from ever holding the highest office in the land, he gladly made the trade off to appeal to the Jihadists. That’s what happens when you just strive to live another day, no matter what the cost; you become irrelevant to both parties. The damage the Christians have done to themselves far exceeds anything that even Ben Laden could have hoped to achieve.

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July 10th, 2012, 4:07 am


35. Mina said:

Sam is not exactly the blood-thirsty paranoid some would like to deal with…

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July 10th, 2012, 6:18 am


36. Mina said:

Syria: just another case of TINA.

How are we supposed to interpret the […] in this sentence?
“As long as the […] regime funds it,” Assad replied. But Annan was not surprised by the answer. “Do you think they are behind all the funding?” he inquired.”

Is Al Akhbar English too afraid to write which regime we are talking about?

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July 10th, 2012, 6:23 am


37. majedkhaldoun said:

What is the difference between Bashar thinking and AlDendeshi thinking, no difference, no respect for freedom seeker , he call them conspirators,and he does not believe in democracy, people to him, as he said, are sheep and worthless.
SNP is not a party , it is a gang made with very few people,no more than twenty, probably much less, sadistic,it makes me feel sick.

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July 10th, 2012, 8:37 am


38. Tara said:


It is a one-man party… Sorry Aldendeshe, but it is quite obvious.

Aldendeshe at times expressed some ideas brilliantly and bluntly.

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July 10th, 2012, 8:59 am


39. bronco said:

20. Tara

The question is not who I like and who I don’t like, but rather who is coherent, logical and grasps the situation in Syria with all its long term geopolitics ramifications instead of limiting oneself to the ‘cliches’ such as the ‘evil vs good’ , “I like vs I don’t like”, “alawites vs Sunnis”.
The Syrian government as most of the world’s governments is a complex entity consisting of people who are honest, other corrupted, other neutral etc.. Some have a vision for their countries, some for their pocket, some no vision at all.
A government is also an organic entity and its cohesion depends on many components, internal and to some degrees external. Syria, like most closed countries, have a ‘opaque’ government whose functioning is not well understood in the West. Thus, the West applies the cliches of the ‘dictator’ giving orders and the others obey or die. Then they are confused to see that it does not work like that.
Any government is more that the sum of its members and as long as the cohesion exists among the majority, some deadwood won’t matter.
If Manaf had not defected, I would have never known much about him except he was the son of a Minister who was involved in the Hama repression. I am sure there are more Manafs in Arab governments than in western countries as often Arab governments relies on family or tribes members for their perpetuation. Many politicians in Arab countries are the sons and daughters of politicians or previous rulers.
Most people in the Middle east (and I think in the world) trust a leader for his personality more than his deeds. A face and a voice get more response than a brilliant silent mind.
While I trust many of the people that are around Bashar for their lucidity, determination and intelligence, I am sure there are many around him who are negative forces.
Bashar al Jaafari has appeared to be a coherent and logical man in his interventions. That’s all I know about him. I trust what he said and how he said it.
Yet, there is no eternal love in politics. Things change, opinions evolve, events happen that may unveil sides of a personality no one expected and any government, as an organic entity, may be attacked by a deadly virus that may precipitate its fall.
Then the rest of the judgment is instinctive and personal.
I can’t stand Ghaliun, you like him, etc….

The most important is to look at the overall situation, where it can go and how it can go for the best of the Syrians.
Until now, after 15 months, the opposition has not proposed any alternative or any personality that has triggered trust and confidence among the Syrians. Until that happens, the Syrian government will stay and with what it learned during these tragic events may evolve gradually and should work to correct the grave mistakes it did before the rebellion and during the rebellion.

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July 10th, 2012, 9:23 am


40. bronco said:

#32 SL

But never mind. Things will move on, bigger issues will take over and Manaf Tlas will fade out of the picture. Watch.

I am glad you finally agree with what Sharmine Narwani: Manaf Tlass is a Syrian Pistachio in Paris, not more.

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July 10th, 2012, 9:31 am


41. zoo said:

In repeating the same song, is the SNC not aware it will get another louder NIET?

Syrian opposition urges Moscow to support sanctions resolution

The Syrian National Council (SNC) expects Russia to back the UN Security Council resolution on Syria allowing the use of force and sanctions. “Now Russia must join other UNSC members in supporting the demands put forward by the other Security Council states,” member of the SNC General Secretariat Najib Ghadbian said in Moscow on Tuesday. Bassma Kodmani, a member of the SMC Executive Board, stressed that the Syrian opposition is united in its desire to topple the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Opposiiton leaders also said that the cretaion of the transitional government is not on the agenda now. They noted the regime change in Syria will not undermine Moscow’s position in the country.

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July 10th, 2012, 9:43 am


42. zoo said:

Russia sends naval flotilla to Syrian port: report

MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse

Russia has sent a naval flotilla of six warships led by an anti-submarine destroyer to its naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus, the Interfax news agency reported today.

The Admiral Chabanenko and three landing craft have left their home port of Severomorsk in the Arctic Circle on their way to the Mediterranean where they will be joined by the Russian patrol ship Yaroslav Mudry as well as an assistance vessel, a military source told the agency.

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July 10th, 2012, 10:39 am


43. zoo said:

Death threats from who? He was on house arrest.
Tlass unlikely to join FSA or the SNC– Source

By Mohamed Nassar

Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat – The family of Syrian army defector, Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, is extremely angry regarding Bashar al-Assad’s targeting of their home town of Rastan. This is reportedly one of the reasons that led to his defection from the al-Assad regime, but not the only one. A well-informed source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Tlass had been subject to several death threats leading up to his defection, and it was this that ultimately led him to flee Syria. Tlass had also been marginalized in the months leading up to his defection, being placed under house arrest by the al-Assad regime.

A source close to the Tlass family informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Tlass’s defection from the Syrian regime army was expected, adding “I do not believe that he left to lead or fight a war against Bashar al-Assad.” The source claimed that Tlass had left the country to protect his own life, after he had received numerous death threats. The source stressed “it is not likely that he will join the FSA or Syrian National Council [SNC].”

As for how a senior officer like Brigadier General Manaf Tlass was able to leave the country, the source told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Manaf, as a soldier, cannot leave Syria except with the permission of his direct commanding officer, and I personally do not know how he was able to leave.”

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July 10th, 2012, 10:44 am


44. Tara said:

Tlass family would not jeopardize their lives for a cause…I agree that he would not join the FSA. His defection is only important in encouraging more defections and in the humiliation it caused the regime (as SL already stated).

After the revolution succeeds, and if Tlass family offered no material or intelligence support to the revolution, their wealth and crimes against humanity should be investigated. They should work very hard on cleaning up their reputation from now on, otherwise justice needs to be served in their case too.

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July 10th, 2012, 10:56 am


45. aldendeshe said:

“……….What is the difference between Bashar thinking and AlDendeshi thinking, no difference, no respect for freedom seeker ……”

Freedom seekers!!!! Holly KAKA, Have you seen some of the 10,000 genocide videos collected from Syria. Yeah Syrians believed the freedom seeking mission, that is why the handful they march and clap like zombies in the streets do it for living. I wonder if the cash stopped how many hours your freedom seeking mission will stay on. But judgment is coming from heaven, not the undersea base in Bab Almandab.

“………….., he call them conspirators,and he does not believe in democracy, people to him, as he said, are sheep and worthless.SNP is not a party , it is a gang made with very few people,no more than twenty, probably much less, sadistic,it makes me feel sick……….”

No, neither Syrians believe in deception and lies, false promises, mankind is intelligent nowadays and will not fall for scam artists, fraudulent genocidal criminals, paid by foreigners and Syria’s enemies to destroy Syria and Syrian enemies. They already trusted Baathist and failed. They can see that all that is offered is blood sacrifices and rituals for a demonic entity, not genuine drive to freedom and democracy. Nothing ever, presented to Syrians that show that this mission is legitimate. That is why majority of Syrians chosen an Alawi, Bashar Assad than your gang of 20 Syrian front man/ face for an international gang of genocidal Islamic terrorists and murderer.

38. Tara said:
It is a one-man party… Sorry Aldendeshe, but it is quite obvious.
Aldendeshe at times expressed some ideas brilliantly and bluntly.

2 3

I am proud that despite espionage and spying by Israelis and others since 1988 they managed to get that much of info only. It must be really frustrating. The one man show, only wish I can be as good as Amen (the hidden one), convincing you not only SNP do not exist, but that I don’t even exist. Calling you conspiracy theorist for just even thinking that I am real..From now on my name is AMENDASHI a legend found on internet inscriptions, a myth.


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July 10th, 2012, 11:04 am


46. omen said:

disappeared again! what’s happened to our moderator?
let’s try this one more time:

Brig. Tlas Could be consensus solution
by Mohamed H.Hamdan in Damscus

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, Syria’s NATO-member neighbor, agreed: “Every day, generals, colonels, officers are coming, and we have, I think, around 20 generals and maybe 100 high-ranking officers, colonels,” he told France 24 television.

Brigade 105 now according to well-informed source said Brigade 105 has been mixed with Maher al-Assad’s Brigade (Brigade 4) and Brigade 14 for special missions) after defecting 1200 soldier whom run away after their brig has defected between them about 43 high ranked officers – general and colonels.

does this mean the rumor uzair earlier pointed to turns out to be correct?

1,200 regime soldiers defected…

this is good news for bashar!

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July 10th, 2012, 11:07 am


47. bronco said:

Tara #44

You are right, I think that Manaf Tlass did not defect. I think he asked Bashar to be allowed to leave to save his life threatened from all sides, including the armed opposition. In Paris, he and his family could be better protected and forgotten like Abdel Halim Khaddam.

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July 10th, 2012, 11:22 am


48. omen said:

would we have a free palestine today if it weren’t for hafez and regime?

In 1976, the Syrian regime intervened militarily in Lebanon on the side of the Phalanges and Israel. The record is available (from Henry Kissinger’s memoirs to the memoirs of Israel leaders): Syria and Israel reached an understanding in Lebanon.

The understanding was that Syrian troops would enter Lebanon to defeat Israel’s enemies provided that the Syrian troops stay north of the Litani river.

The Syrian troops strictly adhered to the agreement all the way until their humiliating withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005. Never once did Syrian troops dare cross south of the Litani river no matter how brutal and savage Israeli attacks on South Lebanon were. The Syrian regime intervened to smash a promising revolutionary movement that would have changed the map of the Arab East.

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July 10th, 2012, 11:23 am


49. omen said:

heard on cnn early this morning that russia agreed not to stand in the way IF the west decided on military intervention.


sc moderator, i really want to post that article. it’s being held as spam, could you clear it? I’m sorry but when it doesn’t post the first time, i make the mistake of trying again.

come to think of it, i haven’t seen him comment in a while. has he gone on vacation?

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July 10th, 2012, 11:26 am


50. omen said:

bronco (11:22) is that your vision of assad?

bashar, the magnanimous. gracious and forgiving?

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July 10th, 2012, 11:33 am


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