Will Sanctions Bring Down the Syrian Regime?

Will Sanctions Bring Down the Syrian Regime?

It is doubtful that sanctions alone will cause regime-change in Syria. Economic deprivation and reduced government spending does not usually lead to regime-change. It is hard to think of a Middle Eastern government that has been brought down by sanctions. Some of the countries that have faced sanctions for decades are Iran, Iraq, Libya, and Sudan. Of course Gaza has faced severe sanctions in an effort to bring down the Hamas government with very little success. What sanctions do very effectively is make people poor and hungry. Governments are good at passing along the pain.  In Gaza there is 80% unemployment and widespread malnutrition but no regime change. The UN estimates that sanctions on Iraq killed over 300,000 Iraqis in the 1990s. Starving Syrians is not the intention of US and European policy makers who imposed the sanctions. They continue to insist that Assad will step down due to sanctions. But what Arab leader has ever stepped down as a result of having his country sanctioned? As Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”

The good policy makers in Western capitals are not insane, so what are they up to?

  1. Are they simply imposing sanctions because it is a politically inexpensive way to do something? After all, military intervention, which is the tested method to bring about regime change, is unthinkable today.
  2. Could some policy makers be hoping to ratchet up the humanitarian disaster in Syria in order to create an “intervention friendly environment” down the road? This seems far fetched but the humanitarian argument was one of the more persuasive rationals for intervening in Iraq. The more extreme the disaster, the more extreme solutions people are willing to entertain.

The problem with sanctions is that they destroy national institutions, decimate the middle class, and degrade society. We saw this in Iraq. The results are not pretty. They make building democracy all the more difficult when the offending regime is finally overturned. The only thing we know about democracy promotion with any certainty is that its chances of success rise exponentially with greater per capita GDP.  A long sanctions regime can only hurt democracy promotion. We all know about the magic of the middle class. It is hard to do anything constructive in a country without one.

Religion. The Arab League vote split the Arab countries along Shiite-Sunni lines. Countries with large Shiite populations — Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen — voted with Syria or abstained. Another troubling aspect of the Syrian conflict is that the region’s minorities are remaining faithful to Assad and Syria’s Alawi-led regime even as it grows increasingly isolated. The Christian minority in the region has come out fairly solidly behind Assad. Egyptian Copts prayed for Assad in a large stadium the other day (Egyption Christians pray for Syrians And Syrian President 11-12-2011). Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Yohana Ibrahim, said President Bashar al-Assad was “the best man” to lead reform in Syria. (Syrian archbishop says ‘everyone loves’ Assad). The Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon upset many when he backed Assad and warned against regime-change in Syria. The growing religious divide in the Middle East is not new, but it is troubling. It suggests that Assad will not relinquish power, as King Abdullah of Jordan and other regional leaders are urging him to do. It also suggests that Assad’s base support among minorities will not crumble easily. Religion has a way of making martyrs.

A friend writes that his parents cannot find cooking gas in Aleppo. The replacement bottles for the stove are unavailable in the market. Mazoot, or fuel-oil, which is used to heat homes, power taxis and farm equipment is also absent, or available at high prices. Aleppo authorities also warn that extended electric cuts are coming due to lack of power. Syria is facing a cold winter. Older people are standing in lines to get small containers of mazoot filled.  The Syrian pound has fallen to 54.25 to a dollar.

News Round Up

Pro-Syrian regime protesters, carry a giant Syrian flag during a demonstration against the Arab League decision to suspend Syria, in Damascus, Syria, November 13, 2011. Similar pro-government demonstrations were held in Aleppo and Latakia.

DJ Arab League To Send 500 Observers To Syria, 2011-11-14

 CAIRO (AFP)–The Arab League is preparing to send observers to Syria but needs guarantees from Damascus on their mission and the rights of each side, the organization’s chief, Nabil al-Arabi, said Monday.

Foreign Policy

An estimated 70people have been killed mostly in clashes between Syrian security forces and defectors in the southern city of Dera’a, in what has been the bloodiest day since the start of the uprisings. Meanwhile, crowds angered by comments byJordanian King Abdullah urging President Bashar al-Assad to step down stormed the Jordanian embassy in Damascus, bringing down the country’s flag.

The suspension and imposition of sanctions by the Arab League on Syria that is due to take effect on Wednesday is being met with uproar from the Syrian regime and its supporters. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem denounced the move as an “illegal” and “dangerous step” saying that “Syria will not budge and will emerge stronger…and plots against Syria will fail.” Regime supporters attacked the Turkish, Saudi Arabian, and Qatari embassies in protest of the suspension.Foreign governments have had varied responses. Russia condemned the suspension accusing Western nations of inciting the opposition. Angered by the attack on its embassy, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davultoglu asserted, “We will take the most resolute stance against these attacks and we will stand by the Syrian people’s rightful struggle.”The European Union reached an agreement to extend sanctions. King Abdullah of Jordan called for Bashar al-Assad to resign stating, “If Bashar has the interest of his country, he would step down, but he would also create an ability to reach out and start a new phase of Syrian political life. Syria has requested an emergency meeting with the Arab League prior to the suspension and said it will meet with representatives from the opposition on Tuesday.

EU Places New Sanctions on Syria – Wall Street Journal

European Union foreign ministers announced new sanctions on Syria even as they insisted that the situation in the country didn’t merit the same military response they mounted in Libya earlier this year.

Turkey May Review Energy Supplies to Syria, Minister Says, 2011-11-15, By Emre Peker

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said the government is currently providing power supplies to Syria and may reconsider “all decisions” on the matter if its southern neighbor’s policies don’t change, according to state-run Anatolia news agency…..

Iranian Officials Meet With Syrian Opposition – 2011-11-14, by Richard Spencer in the Telegraph

Iranian officials have held talks with Syrian opposition leaders, in a dramatic sign of the growing isolation of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Several separate opposition sources have told The Daily Telegraph that Iran opened a channel to a “moderate” opposition group about a month ago. Officials met Haytham Manna and other members of a group known as the National Coordinating Body for Democratic Change, or the National Coordi

nating Committee. The group is strongly opposed to foreign intervention in Syria, and is likely to be seen as more acceptable to Iran than the largest group, the Syrian National Council, which has argued for “international protection” for civilians…..

هيئة التنسيق ستزور قطر .. والمناع يوضح موقفه ويؤكد : الحل يجب أن يكون عربياً Haytham Manna

هيئة التنسيق ستزور قطر .. والمناع يوضح موقفه ويؤكد : الحل يجب أن يكون عربياً | عكس السير دوت كوم

Syria’s fragmented opposition
As anti-government forces try to develop a united voice, Al Jazeera looks at the disparate groups within.
Roxanne Horesh Last Modified: 10 Nov 2011 13:42

Syria’s economy is key to Assad’s future
By Liz Sly, Monday, November 14

BEIRUT — The dramatic decision by Arab states to turn against President Bashar al-Assad could further damage Syria’s economy at a time when it is already unraveling, posing perhaps a graver challenge to Assad’s survival than the country’s nearly-eight-month-old popular uprising, analysts say.

The broader loss of regional support represents an important psychological blow to a regime that has long prided itself as a champion of Arab nationalist causes. In one indicator of how far Assad’s fortunes have fallen, Jordan’s King Abdullah II suggested Monday that the Syrian president step down, though he hedged that call, telling the BBC that Assad needed to ensure an orderly transition.

It was, nonetheless, the most explicit rejection yet by an Arab leader of Assad’s rule ahead of an Arab League meeting Wednesday to discuss further measures against Syria, including economic sanctions.

They could have a more profound and immediate effect than the withdrawal of political support, given that Western powers are ruling out military intervention and anti-government demonstrations have seen neither the protest movement nor the Syrian security forces gain a decisive advantage. On Monday, the European Union announced that it would expand its sanctions, to include 18 more individuals associated with the Assad regime and denial of access to the European Investment Bank.

“The economy is a trigger of a lot of other issues on a broader level,” said Ayham Kamel, Middle East analyst with the Eurasia Group. The business community has supported Assad so far, he said, “but over a longer period of time, they’re going to reevaluate.”

The extent of the damage is difficult to measure, and Syrian government officials say they don’t have indicators. But they do not play down the gravity of the situation.

Syrian Economy Minister Mohammad Nidal al-Shaar said at a conference last month that the economy is in a “state of emergency,” according to comments quoted by the Damascus-based Syria Report. In a recent interview in Damascus, Adib Mayalah, governor of the Central Bank of Syria, described the situation as “very serious” and ticked off the problems the economy is facing.

“Unemployment is rising, imports are falling, and government income is reduced,” he said. “In areas where there are protests, there is no economic activity — so people aren’t paying tax. Because they aren’t working, they are not repaying their loans — so the banks are in difficulty. And all this is weakening the economy.”

Merchants interviewed recently on the streets of Damascus report a 40 to 50 percent fall in business as consumers hoard cash and cease spending on all but the most essential items. Tourism has skidded to a halt, representing a loss of $2 billion a month to an economy worth $59 billion last year, Mayalah said.

“The whole system has been shrinking — and very fast,” said Rateb Shallah, a prominent Damascus businessman. “The sanctions are squeezing us, and it is definitely affecting us quite a bit.

To what extent the downturn is due to the sanctions isn’t clear, however.

Until now, only the United States, the European Union, Canada and Japan have imposed sanctions on Syria, with relatively limited measures mostly targeting individuals and financial services. The most serious measure, a European embargo on oil purchases imposed in August, goes into effect only on Tuesday because Italy sought to ensure that its existing contracts were honored.

But the experience of the oil embargo illustrates the broader crisis of confidence confronting Syria. European nations, which account for a vast majority of Syrian oil exports, immediately halted their purchases, even though they were not required to do so for three more months. And oil pumped since then has gone unsold, despite Syria’s boasts that it would easily find other customers. Syria has curtailed its oil production by more than 25 percent, Mayalah said.

In a similar fashion, the restrictions on financial services and individuals have had a detrimental effect even on aspects of the economy that aren’t directly connected, by dissuading investors and companies from doing business with Syria. The Central Bank of Syria has not been sanctioned, but many businesses are refusing to engage with it because they fear falling foul of the U.S. prohibition on trade in services with Syria and jeopardizing their interests elsewhere, Mayalah said.

Foreign investment has slowed to a trickle for the same reasons, he said, even though there are no restrictions.

But investors may be equally deterred by Syria’s shaky political future and the escalating violence. The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group, reported the deaths of 50 people in violence Monday, 28 of them in the southern province of Daraa, where there were unconfirmed reports of major clashes between the Syrian army and defected soldiers. The official Syrian Arab News Agency said two members of the security forces were killed in Daraa.

A trade embargo would be difficult to enforce. Syria can still count on two key neighbors with which it shares long and porous borders: Lebanon, one of only two countries that voted against the Arab League’s resolutions censuring Syria, and Iraq, which abstained.

Yet even trade with Iraq, which has been seeking to boost business ties with Syria as the region tilts against it, has fallen because of the indirect effect of sanctions, said Syria’s deputy economy minister, Khaled Mahmoud Saloutah. The two trading companies that handle most cross-border trade are based in Europe and have been forced to curtail their transactions, reducing the value of Syria’s exports to Iraq by 10 percent, he said.

“The economy is not going to collapse overnight,” Kamel said. “But it is definitely taking Syria down a risky path.”

The newly sanctioned Syrians — other than military and intelligence people — include 3 young members of the Syrian Electronic Army, Rami makhlouf’s lawyer – actually one of his good friends called me today to explain that he had not taken a case for Makhlouf in four years. Another is the head of Berri clan shabbiha in Aleppo. #13 on the list is the most interesting. He is simply named Maj General Nazih. No last name is given. So any one with the name Nazih will have to think twice about a trip to Athens.

Qatar Presses Decisive Shift in Arab Politics – by Anthony Shadid in NYTimes

The tiny emirate’s intentions remain murky to its neighbors and even allies — some see a Napoleon complex, others an Islamist agenda….

“Do they fill a void? Yes,” said Bassma Koudmani, a Syrian opposition leader who credited the Qataris with a key role in the Arab League’s startling decision Saturday to suspend Syria and isolate a government at the pivot of the region’s relations. “They are filling a space and a role that is not being taken up by other countries.” … American diplomatic cables in 2009, released by WikiLeaks, claim that Qatar has occasionally offered Al Jazeera’s coverage as a bargaining tool. A senior journalist there said while no order was given, the network’s reporting on Syria changed sharply in April.

“We could feel the change in atmosphere,” the journalist said.

Syria: It’s the Economy Stupid
by Armand Hurault, Arab Insurrection Analyst, Transnational Crisis Project

The Syrian economic policies over the past 25 years have underpinned the current uprising. I argue that the economy may well be the Achilles’ heel of Assad’s grip on power…..

Dr Emad Mustafa NBN 11 11 11 02

Syria’s neighbors helping shape its fate LA Times

Syria’s embattled government must face the changing dynamics of the region as old alliances fade and new brokers emerge, most notably Qatar….

عشاء المعارضة السورية مع اللجنة العربية حسم الموقف من نظام الأسد
Ash-Sharq al-Awsat
بسمة قضماني لـ «الشرق الأوسط»: الجامعة استجابت لمطالب المجلس الوطني

How Syrian Authorities can Hurt Ex-pats – (in French)

Maidhc Ó Cathail The ‘Humanitarian’ Road to Damascus: Pro-Israel Groups Outline U.S. Options to Assist Syrian Opposition -mForeign Policy Journal

عاجل : اقالة الأمين القطري المساعد لحزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي محمد سعيد بخيتان
وتنصيب وزير الدفاع السابق حسن تركماني

Arab leaders shouldn’t kill their people?
Posted By Marc Lynch

I am an Alawi from Antioch. I have many relatives in the alawite communities of Turkey including those in Mersin, Tarsus, Iskenderun (Alexandretta), Arsuz and Samandag, many of whom I do not know personally. I also visited Syria and am told I have relatives in Latakia, Homs, Damascus, and Aleppo. I am responding to Ms. Kahf and Mr. Landis’ claims regarding Alawite tribes. The truth is as far as I know, there is no such a thing as an Alawite tribe. This is just simply a reflection of modernization, educational attainment, and the prevalence of an urban lifestyle which weakened the traditional intra-communal links. I am about 50 yrs of age and never heard of “tribes”. Even close family relationships are non-existent. I have many relatives that I do not know and could not recognize even if I saw them on the street. I live in the USA and some of my relatives are scattered in Europe including Norway, France, Holland, Germany, Sweden, and the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. So much for the “tribes”!

Human Rights Watch accuses Syrian government of “crimes against humanity”- The human-rights group, Human Rights Watch, released a 63-page report accusing the Syriangovernment of “crimesagainst humanity.” The report reflects the accounts of 110 victims andwitnesses who claim Syrian forces killed at least 587 civilians since the startof the uprisings in March. It also references the tortureof political prisoners and unarmed civilians, including the elderly and children.

Turkey deputy: weapons being smuggled to Syria
The National
Thomas Seibert Nov 11, 2011

ISTANBUL // Many firearms from Turkey have entered Syria, and the Turkish government has stopped alleged arms-smuggling activities at a border post between the two countries, a Turkish opposition deputy said yesterday.

“You see many Turkish-made firearms in Syria,” Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a deputy from the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, said in a telephone interview. “I don’t know how they got into the country.”

A friend Writes: Friday, November 11, 2011

This is the most inept group of people to govern. The article talks about inability of anyone to pinpoint what the population figure is. One group thinks Syria’s population increases by 670,000 a year. Another thinks its 500,000 and a third believes its 440,000. As for unemployment, the government continues to think its 8% (joke?) while some think its 30%. How can you run a country with such variations? Bashar should have stopped everything in 2000 and did one thing. call the international organizations with expertise in this field and get help in finding out population levels and growth rates in every city and district and make sure each household has an income/asset bracket that qualifies it as poor/middle/wealthy. Only then, subsidies can go to who deserves it and policies can be implemented given actual population trends and where. Instead………………………enough to make want to cry http://www.syriasteps.com/?d=127&id=77652&in_main_page=1

Syria stopped paying oil companies
2011-11-11 15:28:06.43 GMT

LONDON, Nov. 11 (UPI) — Though oil production in Syria is ongoing, sources close to the government said Damascus stopped paying supermajors Royal Dutch Shell and Total. Sources familiar with the Syrian energy sector told the Financial Times that major energy companies working in Syria were getting paid by the government until a few weeks ago. Payments slowed and eventually stopped as European governments put more pressure on Damascus for its crackdown on opposition protesters. “Payments have been delayed and some are outstanding,” said one industry insider who spoke to the Financial Times on condition of anonymity. “My sense is the government has no cash.”

Syria Regime’s Likely Collapse Requires U.S. Planning: Analyst
2011-11-10, By Peter S. Green

Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) — U.S. needs to plan for all contingencies, bring about demise of Assad regime, as long-lasting conflict will become bloodier, more sectarian, spread to neighboring countries, Andrew Tabler, fellow at Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says in testimony to Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Six-point plan needed:
* Form Syria contact group for coordinated pressure on Assad
* Peel away Assad supporters, especially Christians, Sunnis
* Aid opposition to develop peaceful strategy of strikes, boycotts
* Push for international human rights monitors to enter Syria
* Prepare for militarization of conflict – no-fly zone, buffer zones to keep protesters safe from Assad military
* Push for UN Security Council action on sanctions,
potential use of force

Comments (527)

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201. jad said:

تيار بناء الدولة السورية يرفض أي شكل للتدويل.. و يطالب العرب بعدم الاعتراف بأي جهة معارضة

دعا تيار بناء الدولة السورية إلى رفض أي شكل من أشكال التدويل لأنه قد يتسبب بتحويل سورية إلى ساحة صراع دولي لن يكون في مصلحة الشعب السوري إطلاقاً.

وتمنى التيار في بيان له اليوم على وزراء الخارجية العرب، في اجتماعهم الذي يعقد اليوم الأربعاء في مدينة الرباط في المغرب العربي ” أن يتخذوا القرارات الكفيلة بالضغط على السلطة السورية لتنفذ بكل وضوح وشفافية ما التزمت به في اتفاقها مع الجامعة العربية دون أن يتسبب ذلك بتدويل الأزمة السورية”.

وأكد التيار في بيانه أن ” الكثير من السوريين داخل البلاد، ترفض أي إجراء قد يؤدي إلى التدخل العسكري الخارجي أو إلى تدويل الأزمة السورية. خاصة ما تتداوله وتروجه وسائل الإعلام عن مواضيع يمكن أن تبحث في الاجتماع الوزاري مثل إقامة منطقة عازلة على الحدود مع تركيا”.

وأضاف “مثل هذا الإجراء نرفضه لأنه تدخل خارجي بالقوة، ولأنه لا يفيد بحماية المدنيين، خاصة الموجودين في المناطق الداخلية. بل إننا نجزم بأنه سيكون استفزازاً صارخاً للسلطة السورية التي، على الأرجح، ستواجهه بالقوة. وهذا سيتسبب بنشوب حرب سترتد بالضرر على قضايانا التي نناضل من أجلها”.

وتمنى التيار من الاجتماع الوزاري “ألا يعتمد الاعتراف بجهة معارضة أو بجميع الجهات كممثل شرعي للشعب السوري. فهذا سيتسبب بانقسام مجتمعي حاد من شأنه أن يهدم البنية المجتمعية السورية”.

وأكد البيان على ان “أكثرية السوريين داخل البلاد، ترفض بكل شدة أي شكل من أشكال التدخل العسكري الخارجي لأنه سيتسبب حتما بحرب أهلية متعددة الوجوه والأطراف، وسيزيد عدد الضحايا من السوريين المدنيين والعسكريين. كما أن مثل هذا التدخل لن يساعدنا في بناء دولة ديمقراطية مدنية”.

ومن جانب آخر قال البيان” نتمنى على اللجنة الوزارية الضغط على السلطة السورية للسماح لمجموعات المساعدات الطبية والإنسانية التي شكلتها المجموعات الشبابية في البلدات والمدن بأن تعمل بشكل علني ومشرعن”.

لكن البيان اضاف “إننا نأخذ على المبادرة العربية عدم قيامها بخطوات عملية لإنجاح المبادرة، خاصة من ناحية عدم إرسال لجان مراقبة، رغم مطالبتنا المستمرة بإرسالها واستعدادنا الدائم للتعاون معها.

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November 16th, 2011, 6:53 pm


202. majedkhaldoun said:

I think it is too early to be proud, one week and we will find out.
However do you remember about Dialogue you talkede about, do’nt you think that your statement is wrong then?

The one who lagh last,is the one who laugh more.

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November 16th, 2011, 6:54 pm


203. jad said:

One hour before the AL statement this one line came from Washington:

اعلنت واشنطن أن “التحركات “العنيفة” للمعارضة السورية تصب في مصلحة النظام السوري”.

Kuwait trouble is by the most radical gangs of Kuwait.

Jordan is having trouble tonight too, poor Abdo, it’s his turn now to use tanks:

إقتحام الدبابات الاردنية للرمثا

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November 16th, 2011, 6:58 pm


204. ann said:

MacKay says no plans for Syria intervention – Nov 16, 2011

Defence co-operation agreements with Israel in the works


Canada is watching violence in Syria but stepping in would require more thought and possibly a UN resolution, Defence Minister Peter MacKay says.

MacKay spoke about Syria hours before meeting with Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak to talk about regional security and a series of agreements on defence cooperation between Canada and Israel.

As France pulls its ambassador from Damascus, Syria’s capital, and the country’s suspension from the Arab League takes effect, MacKay says any possible military action needs “further contemplation” and possibly a UN Security Council resolution “to mirror the path that we followed with respect to Libya.”

“There’s a number of things that would have to happen. It is a much more complex situation in many ways, given the circumstances on the ground in Syria,” MacKay said Wednesday morning.

“But I can assure you in our capital and in capitals around the world, NATO countries are discussing what is happening in Syria.”

The mission in Libya was a UN-sanctioned NATO mission intended to protect civilians from attacks. That mission started in March and culminated with deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi being captured and killed in October. It has raised questions about why, with Syrian civilians facing similar danger, western countries haven’t intervened.

In the House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Canada has imposed sanctions on the regime’s key players and called on President Bashar al-Assad to resign.

“The campaign of violence and terror against the Syrian people must end,” he said.

“Canada stands with the Syrian people at their time of need.”

Baird also repeated a recommendation that any Canadians still in Syria leave the country while there are still commercial flights.
Defence agreements with Israel coming

The memoranda of understanding Canada and Israel are working on should be signed in the next 30 days, Barak said. The agreements encompass defence co-operation, including information and technology sharing, as well as exchange programs for Canadian and Israeli military training.

MacKay said the agreements will “further build on a strong foundation of co-operation that will bring tangible results not just to our two militaries, but to Canada and Israel more broadly.”

Barak said Israel appreciates Canada’s support on the world stage.

“We highly appreciate the relationship and friendship with Canada and we always envy you having for your neighbours being the Americans, the big ocean and the Arctic,” he said.

While the two defence ministers were there to answer questions from reporters, a civil servant from the Department of National Defence made it to the microphone to ask his own question.

Identifying himself as Christopher Aikenhead, the man said the world appreciates Israel’s efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and asked what more Israel could do to promote a nuclear-free Middle East.

A spokesman for MacKay called it an unfortunate and regrettable mistake.

“The ministers graciously addressed his question and the individual was informed of his error following the media availability. Defence department officials are looking into the matter further,” Jay Paxton said in a statement.

Barak said Iran is a challenge for the world, not just Israel, referring to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency that found Iran had looked into how to put a nuclear warhead on a missile that could reach Israel. He said it was time, even in the minds of the board of the IAEA, to “call a spade a spade.”

“We said all along the way that we recommend to all friends around the world not to remove any option off the table and I’m glad to notice that many leaders in the world recently are just repeating this very phrase,” Barak said.

MacKay said Syria’s bloody uprising is likely to be discussed at an international security forum in Halifax Nov. 18-20.

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November 16th, 2011, 7:21 pm


205. ss said:

201. Jad “Jordan is having trouble tonight too, poor Abdo, it’s his turn now to use tanks:

إقتحام الدبابات الاردنية للرمثا”

Best news for the night.


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November 16th, 2011, 7:25 pm


206. jad said:

Something fishy with all this charade of the AL today, they are obviously buying times for the next move, the fake goat princes* ‘grace’ is very suspicious.

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November 16th, 2011, 7:36 pm


207. Majed97 said:

So, after all that barking, why did the AL blink today?? I bet it was a stormy session in Rabat today with many countries “defecting” against the GCC agenda; so they agreed on a half ass face saving measure by making a demand that Syria already agreed to a week ago!!Looks like Syria has a lot more power and friends than they would have you believe. As I’ve been saying, the AL was, is and will always be useless; just ask the Israelis.

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November 16th, 2011, 7:44 pm


208. Tara said:

Syrians must outsmart the regime.  The AL confirmed the suspension today and gave Bashar 3 days to stop the violence and to sign the agreement.  If Bashar does not stop the violence completely in 3days, he loses the AL cover and sets himself up to a UNSC resolution.  Having seen what the AL is capable of doing, I believe Bashar is going to take it seriously this time.  It is hard to imagine that he is so much retarded to miss his last life line.  He may indeed pull the military to hide his real face.  After all the blue suits we heard about are probably ready for the shabeeha and the loyal 4’th brigade to disguise as anti- riot police.   

Syrian revolution 2011 should call for massive demonstration.  Horan, Homs, Hama, Damascus suburbs, and Midan should demonstrate in their entirety.  This will be limited by the fact that 50,000 potentials demonstrators and local leaders are imprisoned.  Women should take an active role and get out and demonstrate.  The coward silent majority in Damscus and Aleppo would probably remained coward.  I doubt they can be mobilized if they haven’t so far.

Is the FSA going to hold its operation during the next 3 days?  If FSA attack an army’ or a security forces’ building, are they going to respond?  If the security forces fire back on the FSA, how is that going to be perceived by the AL? Would that violate complete “cessation” of violence?  

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November 16th, 2011, 7:49 pm


209. louai said:

جدال يؤخّر القرارات التصعيدية: المراقبون فرصة أمام سوريا

المقعد السوري فارغاً خلال اجتماع الرباط أمس (عبد الحق سنّا ــ أ ف ب)بدا مستوى التوتّر منخفضاً أمس في الاجتماع الوزاري العربي في الرباط بشأن الوضع السوري، الذي انتهى إلى فرصة جديدة متمثّلة في الطلب من دمشق التوقيع على بروتوكول لإرسال بعثة من المراقبين العرب، مع التلويح بعقوبات اقتصادية، فيما أكدت مصادر أن العاصمة السورية تتّجه إلى الموافقة على الطلب العربي
أسهمت المساعي التي قام بها عدد من الدول العربية في إعادة إحياء المبادرة العربية لحل الأزمة في سوريا، وتأجيل مزيد من القرارات التصعيدية ضد دمشق بعد دخول تعليق مشاركتها في اجتماعات الجامعة حيّز التنفيذ، والتأكيد على قانونيّة قرار التعليق الذي اتخذ في اجتماع السبت الماضي في القاهرة.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:00 pm


210. son of damascus said:

@ Tara

Post 206

I do believe the regime will attempt to conform to the AL initiative, but the fact remains the regime only has one play in their playbook. Any attempt they may have will crumble the second they feel threatened, wether by the FSA or the demonstrators.
As for the shabeeha dressed as riot police, a hyaena will remain a hyaena even if you painted spots on it.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:01 pm


211. ann said:

‘Syrian army planting mines along Jordanian border’ – 11/16/2011

Assad government trying to prevent civilians in Deraa, city of Ramtha, from escaping deteriorating security situation, ‘Al Ghad’ reports.


The Syrian army planted landmines at the border with Jordan in order to “restrict Syrians access to humanitarian asylum in Jordan,” a week after reports that Syria was laying explosives on the border with Lebanon as well, Jordanian daily Al Ghad reported Wednesday.

Syria was laying mines on its border with the Hashemite Kingdom in order to prevent Syrian evacuees from the Deraa governate and the city of Ramtha from entering Jordan, according to an informed source speaking on condition of anonymity to Al Ghad.

“[Syrians] are fleeing the deteriorating security situation in their country,” the source said according to Al Ghad.

Tensions between Jordan and Syria have hit a low since King Abdullah II called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down, and Syrian activists loyal to their president stormed the Jordanian mission in Damascus.

Abdullah’s comments came after at least 40 Syrians were killed in fighting on Monday between forces loyal to Assad and insurgents in a town near the border with Jordan, local activists said, in the first case of major armed resistance to Assad in the region.

The Syrian army has also laid mines on its border with Lebanon, according to local Lebanese officials and witnesses.

One man, Emad Khaled al-Awsheh, was heading back from Syria into Lebanon when he stepped on an explosive, blowing off part of his leg, according to Reuters. The incident took place at Huwaishat on the Syrian side of the border, neighboring northern Lebanon.

Syria may be trying to control the mass exodus of its citizens while Assad and forces loyal to him continue a crackdown on separatist elements and anti-regime protesters that has claimed the lives of more than 3,500 Syrians, according to Human Rights Watch.

Activists claim that Syria has been randomly placing the dangerous explosives, without regard to the villages nearby.

“To place an indiscriminate weapon near villages and places where children were previously known to frequent is absolutely unacceptable,” the mayor of the northern Lebanese village of Kneissah told Lebanon’s Daily Star.

According to local officials speaking to the Star, Syria has planted mines along the length of the norther border, through disputed territory, and along Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria.

More than 19,000 Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring Turkey since violence began eight months ago between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and anti-regime activists, according to the New York Times. About 7,600 still reside in refugee camps there.

An estimated 6,000 evacuees are also living in Lebanon, according to Dubai-based Al Arabiya.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:10 pm


212. majedkhaldoun said:

I do not understand the purpose of attacking the airforce intelligence center,other than to test the regime,the plan is completely different,we are not looking for foreign intervention,we are not looking for Turkish invasion, TSMC is formed, but the plan is different, AL is wise in sending a team to monitor the compliance of the very soon to go regime.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:24 pm


213. Tara said:


This is what Washington really said today.

Syrian opposition resorting to violence “not surprising”: 

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday that it is “not surprising” that Syrian opposition is resorting to violence to attack the government.

Toner’s comment came after reports said some defectors from the Syrian military forces attacked a Syrian military base on Wednesday and inflicted heavy casualties.

He said the U.S. does not “condone it in anyway,” blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for taking the country from a non- violence movement to a “very dangerous path.”

“We don’t condone violence, not on the part of the Syrian military, the Syrian regime, nor on the part of the opposition,” said Toner, asserting that it “plays into Assad’s and his regime’s hands when this becomes violent.” But he fell short of condemning the violence by the Syrian opposition.

“This was a peaceful movement in its inception and it’s only because of the regime’s repeated and brutal campaign of violence against innocent protesters that we’re seeing the country move down this very dangerous path,” he said.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:25 pm


214. bronco said:

Jad #204

I think the US is very worried by the FSA that sounds more and more like uncontrollable extremists islamists who could create chaos under the pretext of protecting the civilians protesters. The USA has always rejected a military intervention in Syria because it could affect directly Israel.
The USA is realizing now that the uprising has ceased to be peaceful and has opened the door to sunni islamic militias that could be very easily infiltrated by jihadists and Al Qaeda. If they grow and arm themselves better, they could present a serious danger for Israel. It will be the first time that Al Qaeda would be so close to Israel.
On the other hand Israel has been expressing more worries that another Islamic, MB style, coming to Syria will be more militarily aggressive than Bashar al Assad has been.

Therefore I think the USA priority is changing. It wants first to stop the flow of weapons and extremist militias infiltrated by Al Qaeda that could become a direct threat to the security of Israel.
They are facing a real dilemma.
The only power that can eradicate these extremists is the Syrian Army under Bashar Al Assad. If a Sunni power takes over it won’t be able to crush the Sunni islamists militias ( we have seen that in Pakistan and Afghanistan). Thus Bashar al Assad has to stay in power to execute that mission. This is why the US has stopped asking Bashar al Assad to step down or to go aside.
They want him to proceed with the reforms and they trust he is under enough pressure to implement them while fighting these militias. After all that is over, he may step down

The AL is now sending a team to observe the situation on the ground and confirm the presence of the islamist militias. They may impose symbolic sanctions to satisfy the opposition and the internatonal community, while allowing Bashar al Assad to stay in power and sufficiently powerful to eradicate the sunni islamists militias.

Syria is now in war against Sunni extremists and Al Qaeda, thus on the US side. A new situation.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:26 pm


215. Norman said:


I hope that the US administration as smart as you are, I am not holding my breath.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:39 pm


216. Dale Andersen said:

From the EU/JEWjewJEW/Salafi/al Qaeda/Saudi/CIA Press:

This is for you, Bronco Billy. This is for you, Jaddie. This is for you, Spammie Annie…

“…Even without going so far as saying that outside forces are fomenting revolution with arms, the reality is that the West, along with Turkey and now the Arab League, is openly supporting an alternative government in the form of the Syrian National Council.

It’s not the outside world which has brought this about. Once President Assad and his relatives decided on a campaign of violent oppression, and then failed to succeed immediately, the situation was bound to deteriorate into mutual violence. What else were the protesters supposed to do? Go on being shot down at will? Of course they’ve resorted to arms and of course they’ve sought outside help…”


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November 16th, 2011, 8:40 pm


217. bronco said:

198. Tara

Tara, Israel is very worried about the growth of extreme islamic countries in their borders ( temporary disguised in ‘moderate’)

While the MB in Egypt attempts to be reassuring by changing the name of the party and making soft statements, its aim has always been to eradicate Israel.
Once in power it’s not sure they’ll change their mind, and they will use Israel as the scapegoat for their inability to fulfill the ‘revolution’ economical promises. So Israel will find itself with a neighbor whose majority want its destruction.
Because of that development in the region, I guess Israel does not want to see Syria unstable with roaming islamic militias or dominated by a government sympathetic to the MB.

I think a change is going on in the USA about Syria.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:42 pm


218. majedkhaldoun said:

You are far far away from reality.,you do not know what is going on.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:45 pm


219. bronco said:


“I hope that the US administration as smart as you are, I am not holding my breath.”

If you accept that the USA has three highest priorities in the regions: 1) Prevent Al Qaeda to regroup in any arab country, 2) protect Israel 3) ensure the flow of oil ( not in that order)
then call for democracy and human rights come after.

The USA does not want Syria to become a safe haven for Al Qaeda chased out of Iraq. It is far too dangerous for Israel bordering Syria.
After 8 months they realized that the opposition failed to unite, failed to bring significant defections in Bashar government and failed to convince the arabs. The Opposition succeeded in pushing for reforms but failed in their aim of toppling Bashar.
Now not only the opposition groups are bickering with each other but they have allowed armed islamic militias to move into Syria.

This why the USA must adjust its strategy, I think it is very obvious for them.
I think they are going to allow Bashar al Assad to stay in power, provided he crackdown in these militias while expressing outrages at any death.

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November 16th, 2011, 8:56 pm


220. Tara said:

I must admit that say a year ago, I never cared for Canada or anything Canadian.  It was for me yet another country out there, somewhat boring compared to the US.  I find myself more and more drawn to Canada recently…

Time to get out of dodge — er, Damascus
November 16, 2011. 7:34 pm 

Foreign Minister John Baird reiterated that message in Question Period on Wednesday. Just in case there’s anyone out there who didn’t get it the first time:

 John Baird (CPC) The campaign of violence and terror against the Syrian people must end. This government has called for Assad to step down. We’ve imposed tough sanctions on the regime and the key actors who are causing the violence. Canada stands with the Syrian people at their time of need. While I have this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, I would like to strongly advise any Canadians currently in Syria to leave through commercial options while they’re still available.

Consider yourself warned…

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November 16th, 2011, 9:06 pm


222. Ghufran said:

محمد البرادعي

عبر محمد البرادعي، المرشح المحتمل لرئاسة مصر والرئيس السابق لوكالة الطاقة الذرية عن خيبة أمله من موقف الجامعة العربية تجاه الأزمة السورية. وقال أن الجامعة بقرار تعليق عضوية دمشق إنما تفتح الباب مرة أخرى للتدخل في دولة عربية بعد أن قامت بذلك مع ليبيا. وقال البرادعي في حديث نشرته صحيفة “الشروق” التونسية في عددها الصادر أمس الثلاثاء “إن الجامعة العربية فقدت مصداقيتها أمام الشعوب العربية، وإنها إذا لم تستعد دورها مجدداً، فإن ذلك يفتح الباب أمام التدخل الخارجي”. واردف بالقول:”كنت وما زلت أود أن يتم منح سوريا مزيدا من الديموقراطية، وفي كل الدول العربية، ولكن بطريقة سلمية، فأنا لا أود أن أرى النموذج الليبي، والجامعة العربية باتت لا تفكر بمخاطر التدخل الأجنبي بشؤون هذه الدولة المهمة”.
The mood in Egypt is becoming increasingly hostile to Qatar and the way the AL is being prostitutionized by the Goat Princes,and the US was made aware of it. Three more days is better than nothing,and a slight delay in the Qatar’s destructive campaign is a welcome change but it is not enough.
Majed,violence when not done in self defense is only helpful for enemies of the state. The attack on the AFI is not inline with the SNC and the CC objectives or methods but I have not heard yet any comments from the opposition leaders on that dangerous escalation.
Kidnapping of ordinary citizens following by the dumping of their bodies is the trademark of terrorists not true revolutionists,it makes no difference who does it.
Tara,people like you are not welcome in the big boys club headed by the likes of khaled and revlon,not to mention somebody like me who wants Bashar to leave and the regime changed but refuse to slaughter Syrians based on their names and where they came from.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:10 pm


223. Majed97 said:

As much as I would like to believe it, I’m not convinced of any changes in the US position on Syria, unless Syria has quietly agreed to distant itself from Iran. Let’s not forget why this whole thing started: the US and GCC’s fear of Iran and the Shiaa crescent, remember?

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November 16th, 2011, 9:12 pm


224. Norman said:


I still hope that you are right,
The US after 9/11/01 where 17/19 hijackers ere from Saudi Arabia, instead of attacking the country that was responsible to indoctrinate these hijackers, they attacked a poor country of Afghanistan and another secular state that has nothing to do with that attack, you still think that the Us administration is as smart as you think,

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November 16th, 2011, 9:12 pm


225. bronco said:

219 MajedAlkhaldoon

“It is clear that the Assad regime is continuing to be isolated, that the political pressure on them is building,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.”

This White Houses sentence DOES not say he lost his legitimacy and must step down. It is the journalist who is saying it.

Always get the original sentence not the journalist’s personal interpretation, especially the Telegraph.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:27 pm


226. Ghufran said:

Libya,the remaking
ليبيا ـ ‘القدس العربي’: قال رئيس الوزراء الليبي المنتهية ولايته الدكتور محمود جبريل لا يخفى على أحد أن هناك شرعيتين تحكمان ليبيا، أسماهما ‘شرعية المجلس وشرعية السلاح’.
وأكد أن ‘مشكلة الفراغ السياسي طيلة الأشهر الثمانية القادمة قد يترتب عليها ظهور نفس الشخصيات القيادية سواء التي كانت مع النظام السابق أو من القيادات الحالية’.
ورجح جبريل في حديثه خلال ندوة أقامتها اللجنة التسييرية لجامعة طرابلس حول مستقبل ليبيا ونقل ملخصها موقع ‘ليبيا فقط’ على شبكة الإنترنت، أن ذلك قد يؤدي إلى ‘فرض الشخصيات على الدولة من قبل تدخل خارجي غير مباشر’.
ونفى أن يكون قد استشير في كتابة الإعلان الدستوري المؤقت، لكنه استدرك قائلا ‘أنا مسؤول عن خارطة الطريق’، التي نبه إلى أنها سدت ‘الفراغ السياسي بعد سقوط النظام السابق’.
وذهب جبريل إلى إلى القول إن ‘العالم اعترف بالمجلس الانتقالي بخلفية خارطة الطريق وليس الإعلان الدستوري’ بحسب اعتقاده.
وانتقد جبريل الشباب الليبي الذي وصفه بأنه ‘غائب تماما عن الساحة، وأنه مكتف بالشتم والسخرية على الفيسبوك، وهو يجهل أنه مغيب تماما عن العالم السياسي الحقيقي’ حسب تعبيره.
وحذر جبريل في حديثه أن ليبيا تعاني من ‘شبح أربع انقراضات’، قال إنها تتمثل في ‘انقراض بشري وانقراض مائي وانقراض نفطي وانقراض مفهوم الدولة بعد زوال النظام السابق’.
وردا على سؤال حول البديل عن وجود مصادر أخرى في ليبيا تعوض الانقراض النفطي وماقد يجره من سلبيات على المجتمع الليبي قال ‘من نعم الله أن أعطى ليبيا الكثير من النعم، فالحمد لله ليبيا الدولة الثانية الأفريقية بعد مصر في الطاقة الشمسية البديلة والأولى كمصدر للرياح’.
وتلافيا لما قال إنه ‘الفراغ السياسي’، كشف جبريل في هذه الندوة إنه اقترح على الحكومة المرتقبة في ليبيا الزج بعشرين شخصا من أعلام ليبيا داخل الحكومة وعشرين امراة وخمسة عشر شابا لتجنب سياسة الإقصاء.
وقال إن الكثيرين يتساءلون عن كيفية بناء الدولة وهل تبنى عقب صناعة الديمقراطية أو أن الديمقراطية تصنع لبناء الدولة’، مضيفا أن ‘مرحلة بناء الوطن تتطلب مـواصفات خاصة تعتمد على الكفـاءات ليس على الشخصيات’.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:28 pm


227. Ghufran said:

I think the syrian-Iranian relationship will take a new shape regardless of who is in charge of the Syrian government. I tend to dislike allowing any foreign nation to dictate the FP of Syria and this includes Iran and Turkey and certainly the Goat Emirates.
Btw,I do not believe the story that Syrians who burnt the Turkish flags and attacked foreign embassies were hired and paid by the regime.
The regime allowed those angry youth to express their anger,as wrong as their actions were,but the buttom line is that a large section of Syrians are tired of being fearful and cornered and they are upset at everything around them from the regime,the armed gangs and the foreign powers.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:34 pm


228. bronco said:

221. Majed97

One thing is clear, Syria seems to have distanced itself from Hamas and from the Palestinian in general as they got zero support from them. Even its relation with Hezbollah is not what it used to be.
Syria cannot support Hezbollah the same way because it is weakened.

I think it is more urgent now for the USA to stop Syria becoming haven for islamists.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:37 pm


229. Tara said:


Free Syrian Army takes shape on Lebanese border
A disaffected soldier who has fled the Syrian military explains why he is fighting to bring down Assad’s regime

Syrian army defectors say they will protect civilians. Source: Reuters Link to this video
The man from the Free Syrian Army pointed to a spot on a distant hill marked by a lone white tent and a cluster of trees. “That’s how we get in,” he said of his furtive and increasingly frequent trips back to Syria. “We wait for them to look the other way and we move.”

In early May, Ahmed al-Arabi left his job as a captain in the Syrian army and took to life as a rebel in exile in the foothills of northern Lebanon. Ever since, his role as a revolutionary seems to have grown by the month.

But the events of the past week, which have seen Syria suspended from the Arab League and a spike in an already bloody crackdown, appear to have propelled Arabi and his cause to a point he thought it would take much longer to reach. “There is a real chance now,” he said of the Free Syria Army’s intensifying guerrilla campaign against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. “Just in the past few days in Homs alone, we have seen 70 defections from the regular troops and 13 from the special forces.”

Now, the loose alliance of disaffected soldiers who have left the Syrian military since its violent crackdown against rights demonstrators began in March, appears to have announced its arrival as a national resistance movement.

Three attacks on Wednesday morning targeted key sites in Syria. All were launched by men who, like Arabi, were reluctant loyalists at the start of the year. And all were soon shown on regional television, which has become a veritable operations room for rebels, who rarely get to communicate directly.

“That was us,” said Arabi as al-Jazeera showed footage of a man firing a machine gun, followed by a huge roadside bomb targeting what looked like a convoy. “There will be many more of them,” he added. “Most defectors who have come to Wadi Khaled have now gone back to organise and launch attacks. The regime is in trouble now.”

This tiny, drab border town in Lebanon’s impoverished north has become one of two main hubs for an armed resistance campaign that is increasingly taking shape inside Syria; the other is in southern Turkey. With rugged hills and plunging valleys on both sides, the town has always been an ideal smuggling route for Lebanese and Syrians, supplying a vibrant black market. These same well-plied routes are now used to move men and women – many of them former soldiers who have regrouped in Wadi Khaled and travelled back home, in some cases with extra weapons sourced in Lebanon.

Arabi was reluctant to discuss weapons supply lines into Syria, although he said no states were involved. He was more comfortable talking about Syrian military infiltrations and the planting by the Assad regime of land mines in the past month, which have sharply raised the stakes on the mountain trails.

Under a light rain, Arabi stepped over a small wall and pulled a vegetable sack from the foliage. He dropped it on the cement with a little too much abandon given what was inside, before pulling out a large anti-tank mine. “I pulled it out of the ground last week,” he said. Fresh mud was still caked to the weapon, about the size of a dinner plate. “Don’t step on it if you’re heavy.

“There are hundreds along the border. But there are soldiers who have told us where the mines were planted and where it is still safe to travel.”

The veteran of 29 years in the Syrian military paints a picture of soldiers increasingly reluctant to stick to the official narrative of the uprising, which tells of an out-manoeuvred national army fighting armed extremists backed by Europe, the US and the Sunni Arab world. “In the officer corps, they know what is going on, but are too scared to do anything. There are many people inside the military who are better off for us there.”

Arabi, a native of Homs, where an armed fightback has been gathering steam since August, suggests the Free Syria Army’s strength is about 15,000 nationwide. “Many of those who have joined us have come with their weapons, or pointed us to places where weapons are being stored,” he said. If his estimate is correct, the force, though loosely organised and lacking a cohesive command and control structure, poses a potent and growing problem for the military.

Military leaders are likely to focus on the relative ease with which rebels such as Arabi and former colonel Riad al-Assad, who commands a separate force from southern Turkey, are able to slip across the border and help with decision making.

Arabi said he shuttled to Homs most weeks. And the former colonel’s men are known to use routes to Idlib in the north, where they claim to have established a haven.

For the Free Syria Army, however, a large obstacle stands in front of their ultimate goal – the fall of the Assad regime. The senior military leadership and the Syrian establishment remain entwined by members of the Alawite sect, to which the Assad clan belongs. There have been no known defections from any senior establishment position.

In a sign of the enduring strength of key military units, the Fourth Division, controlled by Bashar al-Assad’s brother, Maher, moved into the National hospital in Homs on Wednesday, setting up what appeared to be a large command post.

However, Arabi believes momentum will soon swing fully in the guerrillas’ favour. “If we can get a UN resolution on a no-fly zone, this will all be over in 24 hours,” he said. “There are thousands who are too scared to move before they know it’s safe to do so.”

Before leaving Wadi Khaled, Arabi joined us on a drive along rain-soaked ridge lines and valleys. A black-and-white scarf bound tight around his head to ward off the cold, he pointed across a muddy field, where he said a friend was killed in a recent battle as he tried to return to Homs. Under grey foreboding skies, it looked like the Yorkshire moors.

At a point down the valley he showed us a Syrian position tucked into a tree line. “I know all of their places,” he said. “We have to.”

With that, Arabi said he had a meeting to attend and bade us farewell. He said he never slept in Wadi Khaled, moving between nearby villages at night to evade Syrian spies or their Lebanese proxies. “When this is all over, we will meet for lunch in Homs.”

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November 16th, 2011, 9:39 pm


230. Haytham Khoury said:

Dear Tara:

I do not agee with you disappointment. One of the major tactics in psychological warfare is teasing, in other word playing the “mouse and cat” game. This is exactly what they are doing with him.
For long, he looked at the gulf states in contempt. For long, he looked at them as bedouins and at himself as civilized. For long, he considered them stupid and unpatriotic. You remember when he called them half-men. It is the time now that they show him what they can do.

In the same way the menhibik people treated our revolution. They treated it with contempt and arrogance. They called it with all names, including ثورة أبو شحاطة. All that because they looked at those poor people as unworthy of freedom and dignity. This people is showing them what it can do.

In the same way, the one who thought by calling me yesterday Mohamed Haytham Khoury that she is insulting me. I would like to tell her that I am proud of that name.

The decision to push the Assad away has been taken at the highest level in the world. The question is not anymore if, the question is when.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:40 pm


231. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Rumors are circulating throughout the world recently with the supposed discovery of one of the legendary Hall of Records in Egypt. The Egyptian government along with recently retired Zahi Hawass who ran the Egyptian Antiquities Department have adamantly denied these claims saying that no such building or chamber has been found. However, many researchers and even some archaeologists are saying that the chamber was indeed found but has been covered up due to the contents inside and what it would mean to both our understanding of history and Ancient Egypt’s history.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:43 pm


232. bronco said:

Tara #218

The usual double talk:

Suncor announces record third quarter; operations continue in Syria despite troubles
Michael Allan McCrae | November 3, 2011

Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU), Canada’s largest energy company, announced third quarter record earnings of $1.287 billion or 82 cents per share.

Operating earnings almost tripled to a record $1.789 billion or $1.14 per common share.

On the news, which was announced on Thursday, the company’s shares were up 1.8% to $31.88.

Production from oil sands was a bright spot for the company with an increase from 306,600 to 326,600 barrels a day; however cash costs increased $3.30 a barrel.

“The increase is a reflection of higher total cash operating costs primarily due to maintenance on a hydrogen plant, workovers on in situ wells, and growing mining and in situ operations, partially offset by the impact of higher production volumes during the quarter,” said the company in a statement.

In April last year Suncor started production at a $1.2 billion commercial gas plant. The operation has gas wells and an electricity plant for the Syrian local market.

In the previous quarter, Suncor took a $0.5 billion write down on its Libyan assets due to the civil war in the country. Suncor says that the troubles in Syria have not yet affected its business.

Syria has experienced waves of civil unrest, which the government has severely repressed. Countries in the region are starting to

“In response to recent events in Syria, new sanctions were announced during the quarter prohibiting, among other things, the purchase of Syrian oil production and new investment in the Syrian oil industry. Current sanctions do not impact the production and sale of natural gas from the Ebla project, which is not exported, but which helps meet the domestic energy supply. Suncor continues to comply with the terms of all applicable sanctions and recognizes the concerns that exist about ongoing events in Syria. Suncor continues to carefully monitor the unrest and is taking all necessary precautions for the safety of our people. Suncor believes that, by employing local Syrian staff, developing Syrian capability and producing natural gas to generate electricity for domestic consumption, the company can be a positive contributor in Syria, provided the work can be done responsibly. To that end, Suncor is also focused on the social responsibility we have in operating in an area affected by conflict.”

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November 16th, 2011, 9:48 pm


233. Darryl said:

222. NORMAN said:


I still hope that you are right,
The US after 9/11/01 where 17/19 hijackers ere from Saudi Arabia, instead of attacking the country that was responsible to indoctrinate these hijackers, they attacked a poor country of Afghanistan and another secular state that has nothing to do with that attack, you still think that the Us administration is as smart as you think,”

Norman, the US strategist get it right often enough to be good enough for government work. Attacking Afghanistan was the whole point for 9/11 as they can spy and deploy assets against Iran, Pakistan, India, China and most of CIS countries. Iraq was another good decision as now most of the oil is in rich isolated Kurdistan. And finally they got it right with KSA, did you not see the video of GW Bush raising a toast to Khadem Al-Harameine Alshareefeine?

All other Muslims have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy the rivers of wine, that is provided they got the beard length just right.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:50 pm


234. irritated said:

Haytham #228

“The question is not anymore if, the question is when.”

What’s you bet, one year, two years? more? Toppled, resigned or end of term?

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November 16th, 2011, 9:51 pm


236. sheila said:

To SS,
You said:” 201. Jad “Jordan is having trouble tonight too, poor Abdo, it’s his turn now to use tanks:
إقتحام الدبابات الاردنية للرمثا”
Best news for the night.

Seriously? You are gloating because Jordan is having trouble? Other than your feeling of vindication, did the trouble in Jordan save one Syrian from being killed? Did it change anything on the ground in Syria? The answers are no and no. Gloating about other peoples problems is the definition of a SICK MIND.

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November 16th, 2011, 9:59 pm


237. Mango said:

اذا استمرت هذه المسرحيات المهزلية من الجامعة أو غيرها فسيكون من المناسب طلب موقفا عملانيا بناءا يصل الى درجة طلب الحمايةالروسية و الصينية من مغامرة شن أي عدوان على سورية

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November 16th, 2011, 10:02 pm


238. zoo said:

Turkey’s anxieties and Syria
Wednesday, November 16, 2011

…The Turkish government, anticipating what might unfold after the regime is overthrown, is very well aware of the fact that it will face a serious dilemma. On the one hand, Kurdish and Nusayri (Alawite) problems in Syria are a source of anxiety for Turkey; on the other hand, the fact that the new rulers of the country are Sunni Islamist groups is deemed good news. For example, Turkey has not forgotten Syria’s past support to the Kurdistan People’s Party (PKK) and Marxist organizations as a sectarian network. A resurgence of this form of relationship in the new era, through local dynamics and new sponsors, won’t be a surprise.

In theory, Turkey can deal with this dilemma. On the one hand, it may use its democratic experience and economic capacity; on the other hand, it may increase its cooperation with some Arab countries, the United States and the European Union. However, these options may not suffice to remove all of Turkey’s anxieties, because Turkey’s “success story” in the realm of democracy and economy may not even be sufficient for managing its own internal fault lines. Outside its political borders, it can never prevent the ever-increasing and deepening religious, ethnic and sectarian disintegration and clash. Moreover, the characteristics of the insurgency in Syria, the political culture of the country and a likely lack of political stability during the implementation of democracy indicate that the formation of a stable new political order may take at least half a century.

Recently, Turkish government officials warned Assad to not even think about using the PKK card in his relationship with Turkey, but certain developments previously in Iraq and now Syria show that the Kurdish card will be on the table for a long time regardless of what Assad does. Meanwhile, Turkey, with its new stance, is trying to diminish the negative impacts of an unrestrained Kurdish wave that is similar to the ones which have arisen in Iraq.

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November 16th, 2011, 10:06 pm


239. Ghufran said:

الازهر الشريف و سقوط غرناطه
الشيخ أسامة السيد محمود الأزهري يفجر بركان غضب في الشارع المصري ضد من يدعون للفتنة بين المسلمين في إشارة ليوسف القرضاوي
الاربعاء, 16 تشرين ثاني 2011 الناشر – بانوراما
 أحد كبار شيوخ الأزهر الشيخ أسامة السيد محمود الأزهري يفجر بركان غضب في الشارع المصري ضد من يدعون للفتنة بين المسلمين في إشارة ليوسف القرضاوي و يقول أن قناة الجزيرة سلاح الغرب لضرب المسلمين
و يصرح : موعدنا يوم 22 نوفمبر في ساحة التحرير و سوف أرفع صورة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد و العلمين المصري و السوري.
  صرح الشيخ أسامة السيد محمود الأزهري عالم وخطيب ومحاضر وأكاديمي مسلم مصري من أهم علماء الأزهر الشريف ومؤلف العديد من الكتب الإسلامية أبرزها خريطة العلوم الشرعية، وعلاقتها بدوائر العلوم المختلفة وكتاب إنشاء هيرمينوطيقا إسلاميةالنظر (الهرمنيوطيقا) وكتاب إحياء سنة التلقي بالقبول وكتاب إحياء فكرة الإسناد بشكل شمولي وكتاب نظرية الاستيعاب القرآني للحضارات المختلفة وكتاب
إحياء معالم المنهج الأزهري .لصحيفة الأخبار المصرية بأن العالم الإسلامي يمر بأصعب فتراته التاريخية يذكرنا بأخر فترة حكم المسلمين للأندلس حيث تتالت أنذاك سقوط الإمارات المسلمة في الأندلس واحدة تلو الأخري إلي أن كان السقوط المدوي لأخر قلاعهم غرناطة و ها التاريخ يعيد نفسه القدس بغداد مقديشو طرابلس الغرب و نبه سماحة الشيخ أسامة السيد محمود الأزهري من سقوط دمشق لأنه يشبه سقوط غرناطة وندد سماحته بواقف و فتاوي القرضاوي الداعية لسفك دماء المسلمين و قال محمود الأزهري
أن القرضاوي لا يمثل الإسلام فكيف له أن يحلل ما يشاء و يمنع ما يشاء و توجه إليه مباشرة بالقول إن كانت الشعوب العربية مضلة بصورتك فإن الشعب المصري يعرف حقيقتك فقل لي لماذا رفض الشعب المصري أن تصلي بهم في ساحة التحرير لماذا تم سحب جنسيتك المصرية في عهد جمال عبد الناصر أنصحك بالإبتعاد عن السياسة لأنك مورط و مسؤول أمام الله عز وجل في إستشهاد عشرات الألاف من الأطفال و الشيوخ و النساء في ليبيا و تريد الأن إسقاط دمشق !لما كنت أنت في لندن و الدوحة كانت سوريا الوحيدة التي تدعم المقاومة اللبنانية والفلسطينية !!فعار عليك أن تكون مصري و مسلم أما في موضوع الحركات الإسلامية و الثورات فشدد سماحته تلك الحركات علي الوفاء لمبائها عكس حركة النهضة التونسية التي ما إن وعدها الغرب بالحكم حتي إرتمت في أحضانه فأصبحت مواقفها من سوريا متطابقة مع الموقف الإسرائيلي و الصهيوني رغم الماضي المشرف في النضالو طلب محمود الأزهري
لشيخ حركة النهضة الونسية راشد الغنوشي الهداية و تكفير الذنوب و الوقوف مع سوريا ضد الهجمة الغربية الخليجية و في ما هناك تحضيرات عن مسيرات مؤيدة سوريا بشار الأسد قال العالم والخطيب والمحاضر والأكاديمي المسلم المصري قال موعدنا يوم 22 نوفمبر في ساحة التحرير و سوف أرفع صورة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد و العلمين المصري و السوري.

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November 16th, 2011, 10:07 pm


240. zoo said:

An American in Homs
November 15, 2011

An audio report from Syria


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November 16th, 2011, 10:15 pm


241. Mango said:

Moscow already prepares «cheap, but effective» the answer to placing of the American ABM in Europe — the newspaper “Businessman”
Washington has officially refused to give Moscow legal guarantees (not orientations) of the system of antimissile defense towards the Russian Federation, and Russia starts to develop the military-technical answer to the American ABM in Europe, the newspaper “Businessman” on Friday writes.
«The general understanding of that it is necessary to do, already is. Our answer will manage cheaply, but will be extremely effective», — has informed the edition the high-ranking source in the Kremlin.
According to the interlocutor of the newspaper, Moscow has already started to think over measures of military-technical character.
«Intentions of Americans become more and more obvious: they are going to build the ABM and our opinion in calculation are not going to accept», — he underlines.
The newspaper source has noticed that even if the USA nevertheless will decide to give Russia any legal guarantees, «it already will not suit us — after all these guarantees will operate years five, and the US president following after Obama quite can refuse them».

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November 16th, 2011, 10:20 pm


242. Revlon said:

153. Ya Mara Ghalba,

Notwithstanding your alleged and selective display of ratio of Alawis in Syrian governmental institutions, it remains a fact that tribalism/sectariansim plus corruption have invariably lead to beinng of all decision makers in the Syrian regime, regardless of their rank purely 100% Alawis.

Here they are again for your record:
1. Virtrually deposed, President and Chief of the armed forces : Jr Asad
2. Chiefs of Intelligence agencies (Not the branches): All Alawis
3. Directors of branches of intelligence agencies: When the director is not Alawis, the next rank Alawis is universally the decision maker
4. High Commanders of the army, air force, and Navy: When the higher rank is not-alawi, the next alawi rank is universally the decision maker.
5. Decision makers in all public institutions: Never mind who the director is; any lower rank Alawi employee can kick ass and impose their will on the whole institution.

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November 16th, 2011, 10:28 pm


243. Hans said:

The Saudi new invention and contribution to the world and civilization.
I wonder if China is the one who gave them the machines and the software to do it.
retards, Pigs, people who should never existed as human beings but oil made them appear on Google map.


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November 16th, 2011, 10:36 pm


244. Omar said:

Too many angry people here, why not sit and talk peace instead?

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November 16th, 2011, 10:47 pm


245. Mango said:

CIA operations in Iran underway to take out Tehran bigs in mission to dismantle weapons program
Explosions and assasinations at Iran nuke base pinned to Israel may have been CIA
In public Sunday, President Obama was at a summit unsuccessfully leaning on Russia and China to back diplomatic efforts to curb Iran’s nuke program.
In private Sunday, there was more evidence of an efficient and brutal covert operation that continues to degrade Iran’s military capabilities.
Iranian officials revealed that one of the 17 men killed in a huge explosion at a munitions depot was a key Revolutionary Guard commander who headed Iran’s missile program. And the IRNA state news agency reported that scientists had discovered a new computer virus in their systems, a more sophisticated version of the Stuxnet worm deployed last year to foul up Iran’s centrifuges.
Iran said the army base explosion was an accident and the new Duqu virus was contained. But Israeli newspapers and some U.S. experts said it appeared to be more from an ongoing secret operation by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat.
The covert campaign encompasses a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists since 2007 and a similar explosion at another Iranian missile base two years ago both widely attributed to the Mossad.
“May there be more like it,” was all Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said when Army Radio asked about the new blast.
There was a third mysterious event: The son of a top Iranian hard-liner was found dead — a seeming suicide — in a Dubai hotel on Sunday. His father called it “suspicious” and linked to the base explosion, without elaborating.
Israel was accused of deploying the 11 agents who killed a top Hamas terrorist in a Dubai hotel last year.
Tension has risen in recent weeks between Iran and the United States as a key United Nations report said Iran was close to being able to build a nuclear weapon.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in Hawaii, Obama tried to get Russia and China to back a bid to tighten sanctions on Iran, meeting individually with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Afterward, Hu didn’t even mention Iran, and Medvedev said only that he had spoken with Obama about Iran.
Obama came under withering fire from the GOP presidential candidates at a debate Saturday, when the front-runners agreed he had been too weak on Iran and vowed to go to war to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions if needed.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) slammed Obama for not being “smart” on Iran.
Gingrich said he would launch “maximum covert operations” against Iran, “including taking out their scientists. . . . All of it covertly, all of it deniable.”
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters that pressure on Iran had put its leadership in disarray, and “the Iranian economy has ground to a halt.”

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November 16th, 2011, 10:48 pm


246. Omar said:

“retards, Pigs, people”


Bad mouthing others does not bring solution, talk peace instead

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November 16th, 2011, 10:51 pm


247. Tara said:

Dear Revlon

Thank you very much for writing post 240 explaining the obvious. It amazes me the amount of self-deception present on SC. I wanted to write similar post long time ago but never had the mental energy to explain these very well known facts to our audience.

Dear Haytham

Thank you for your response. Sound assessment. Whatever the future will bring, I must say I enjoyed the humiliation the AL imposed on the regime since Saturday. The regime was literally begging for the observers to come agreeing to everything the AL may see fit. While I do get drawn to solid genuine people, I do not appreciate half-men figures and Bashar proved himself nothing but a half-man who tremble when you scare him… I am sure there is more to come

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November 16th, 2011, 10:53 pm


248. Hans said:

The play was written the theater was chosen, Syria is the place, people ripped well in advance, dreams filled young people heads, with something better coming.
it was same way Obama was elected, too much promises, lies, fabrication of previous administration mistakes, change is coming to the USA with Obama riding on a horse to the white house, Obama is going to fix America, bring back its pride, fix economy and make people happy.
well, it was All BS… the people found out Obama done nothing better than GW, at least the latter stood up for his words even if they were naive and not very political and not thing better or fixed.
it is all written on books and GW and Obama have to do what is written to them by the Zionists hawks who run the USA.

it is same pattern for Syria, it is all written and the robots are doing the role they are assigned too, some are paid by foreigners others are naive enough to believe anything will change with this so called revolution, it is all the same, it is a matter of time to have someone else who will act worse than the current regime, it is matter of time and given the mentality we have it is going to be an opportunity for the new herd to fill up their pockets and put it out in Swiss banks.
the naive common think equality, freedom, happiness is heading their way.
the only losers in this equations are the people who are dying to make the above happening….
but if they are martyrs then no loss, there is many virgins and rivers of wines waiting for them, unless they are females martyrs then they get nothing for dying.
What a shame that’s all.

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November 16th, 2011, 10:59 pm


249. jad said:

“I have not heard yet any comments from the opposition leaders on that dangerous escalation.”

They will never condemn such thing, it’s their own creation:
This is from a friend:
“عمار القربي على شاشة العربية
يدعو الى منطقة عازلة وحماية المدنيين المسالمين
(قاطعته المذيعة : وردنا خبر عاجل بأن واشنطن تقول ان التحركات العنيفة للمعارضة السورية تخدم النظام )
فكان جوابه أن ما حصل اليوم ليس من عمل المعارضة ، وهو من “المنشقين” الذين
يقومون بحماية “سلمية الثورة” عبر تأمين جو آمن ؟ وأن المبنى المستهدف ليس قاعدة جوية إنما هو مسلخ لسلخ المواطنين ورميهم في الشوارع’
هل أن الخبر العاجل قد “صعقه” فسبب التناقضات بكلامه ؟؟
أما من إعلام يستطيع توصيل مقاطع السلخ المتوفرة الحقيقية المتوفرة والتي “تتحفنا” فيها قناة الدنيا ، الى شاشتي العربية والجزيرة ؟؟

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November 16th, 2011, 11:23 pm




I think it is more urgent now for the USA to stop Syria becoming haven for islamists

ABU MUSAAB ALZARQAWI: Leader of a non-violent SHINTU Party in Iraq, with Syria turning its eyes back when smuggling flowers to Iraq. useful to spread eastern philosophy regarding ambivalence about death.

HIZBUALLA: A peaceful Communist secular organization in Lebanon adamant on ending sectarianism in Lebanon.

HAMAS: A Buddhist group operating in the little strip of Gaza and headquartered in Damascus.

IRAN: Is ruled by a group of enlightened libertarians.


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November 16th, 2011, 11:34 pm


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