Will Syria Remain Fragmented for Years?

Will Syria Remain Fragmented for Years?
by Joshua Landis – Syria Comment – July 30, 2012

Afriend flew into Aleppo’s airport 3 days ago from Germany where he had been on business. On his drive into the city, he was shocked to run into a FSA roadblock. The militiamen who greeted him were polite. After asking him where he had been and where he was going, they sent him on his way. A kilometer down the road, he passed through a government check point run by Air-force Intelligence.

Such reports remind me of Lebanon, where I lived for a few years during the civil war. A simple trip could send one through a series of roadblocks run by competing forces. As an American in Lebanon before the Israeli invasion of 1982, I was not a person of interest to any of the warring factions and thus could pass through them unmolested. My Lebanon memories make me wonder whether the expectation of an imminent victory in Syria by one side is realistic.

Militias may well impose control in their areas but find themselves unable to dislodge or overcome competing militias. Some may simply find it more convenient to make deals with rivals than to fight them. Syria could well become a “deeply penetrated society,” as political scientists named Lebanon: a society in which competing factions are largely dependent on external support.

We are all so accustomed to thinking of Syria as DAMASCUS. The capital has been favored by successive governments since independence that it is natural for Syrians to expect the capital to be the axis about which all Syria revolves. That expectation may be misleading. Whomever owns Damascus may no longer own Syria.  I have told many journalists that once Damascus falls to rebels, the Assad regime will be effectively dead. That may be true, but the remaining body of the Syrian Army, which is rapidly turning into an Alawite militia, could live on for some time. Various regions of Syria are re-establishing a degree of autonomy and self governance now that Syria is being overrun by militias of many different stripes.

Assad and his men will work for a fragmented Syria. It may be their only path to survival. If the Free Syrian Army can conquer all of Syria, most regime principals will be executed.

I don’t expect Syria to break up as some do, but it may be a long while before one militia or a unified political organization is able to impose its control over the country. Road-blocks were a common feature of Lebanon’s political landscape for fifteen long years.

News Round Up

Free Syrian Army issues military-led transition plan  – AFP:

Syria’s rebels distributed on Monday a “national salvation draft” proposal for a political transition in the country, bringing together military and civilian figures for a post-Bashar Al-Assad phase.

The draft by the joint command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) proposes the establishment of a higher defence council charged with creating a presidential council, which in turn would bring together a total of six military and civilian figures to lead a future transition.

The proposal “meets all the revolution’s demands,” said the umbrella Military Council Joint Command, based in the central province of Homs.

When Syria’s uprising first turned into an armed insurgency, various factions of fighters generally had little or no coordination with each other as they separately battled President Assad’s forces.

This has changed with time, with the Joint Command, headed by Colonel Kassem Saadeddine, emerging as an increasingly representative coordination body for the FSA inside Syria.

Officially, the FSA is under the command of defected Colonel Riad al-Assaad, who is based in Turkey. However, FSA commanders inside Syria have frequently said they would not take orders from a leader based outside the strife-torn country.

The transition-phase higher defence council should include “all Military Council leaders in Syria’s cities and provinces, as well as all the high-profile defected officers and others who have contributed to the revolution,” the Joint Command statement said.

Among the proposed presidential council’s responsibilities would be “to put forward draft laws for referendum and (…) to restructure the security and military apparatus,” the statement said.

The FSA also envisaged “the development of solutions for civilians who took up arms during the revolution,” adding that they “could be incorporated in new security and military institutions.”

The transition would also feature the “establishment of a higher national council to protect the Syrian revolution,” whose role would be to “monitor the work of the executive.”

Alongside all major opposition forces — including activist networks the Syrian Revolution General Commission and the Local Coordination Committees — the FSA and the new national council should participate “in the creation of new institutions,” the statement said.

President in name only, Assad plays for time
By ceding large parts of Syria, the tyrant has effectively admitted that he cannot win
By David Blair – Telegraph

From street protests to insurgency to national insurrection. The remorseless escalation of Syria’s conflict since it first broke out 16 months ago is the most striking feature of the challenge to President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.

Repression has bred resistance, and vice versa, to the point where the country’s biggest cities are becoming battlefields. Aleppo is dominated by the magnificent gatehouse of its Citadel, providing visual proof that possession of this ancient city has decided the fate of kings for centuries. So it is with Mr Assad today: his actions betray a grim awareness that the struggle for Aleppo is central to his regime’s survival. He has been willing to strip neighbouring provinces of troops and tanks in order to mobilise forces for this battle, even though this effectively means turning over large areas of his country to de facto rebel control.

The outlines of Mr Assad’s new survival strategy are now emerging. He will do whatever it takes to hang on to Damascus and Aleppo and, so far as possible, the main north-south highway linking the two cities. This leaves him with little choice but to concede most of rural Syria to his enemies….

CFR and Foreign Policy

UN Says 200,000 Syrians Flee Battle in Aleppo

A massive counteroffensive by the Syrian government over the weekend has forced an estimated 200,000 people to flee Aleppo while the opposition continues what is effectively a guerilla war. Government troops pounded Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, claiming they have overtaken Salaheddine, the center of fighting in the southwestern region of the city. Opposition forces dispute the government’s statement, retorting they have retained control of the Salehedine quarter despite the bombardment of heavy artillery and helicopter gunships. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Syrian opposition has continued to appeal to the international community for arms. France said it would call for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said of the Syrian regime, “If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people in Aleppo, I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad’s own coffin.”

The United Nations’ humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said that the International Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have estimated that 200,000 people have fled the fighting in Aleppo over the past two days. She claimed others are trapped in the midst of the fighting or are taking refuge in schools or other public buildings. Iraq, concerned over domestic instability, has  resisted receiving Syrian refugees. The Iraqi border was closed until last week to those fleeing the conflict. Syrians who have crossed over are being imprisoned. According to the United Nations, Iraq has received 8,445 refugees while Turkey has registered 88,000. Jordan claims to have taken in 140,000 people.

Meanwhile, a Turkish official reported that the deputy police chief of the predominantly Alawite port city of Latakia defected overnight, along with 12 Syrian officers. Fighting between both sides continued today. At the same time, Jordan opened its first official refugee camp (VOA) for Syrians fleeing the sixteen-month-old conflict, having taken in 142,000 Syrians thus far.

Analysis

“Governments in the West and in the Middle East fear the prospect of a power vacuum if Mr. Assad were to go soon. Opponents, including the Syrian National Council, a wobbly coalition of Mr. Assad’s foes, are trying to draw up a plan for a post-Assad Syria. But Western diplomats are taking the council less seriously, since it lacks credibility in Syria, and are shifting their focus to the FSA and internal groups,” says the Economist.

“But Assad has one card left to play: The Syrian regime has been setting the stage for a retreat to Syria’s coastal mountains, the traditional homeland of the Assads’ Alawite sect, for months now. It is now clear that this is where the Syrian conflict is headed. Sooner or later, Assad will abandon Damascus,” Tony Badran writes for ForeignPolicy.com.

“Western and Arab powers that have backed the rebellion are increasingly mindful of the dangers of Syria (and its Arab neighbors) breaking up into a bloody civil war if Assad’s regime is precipitously toppled, and of a protracted war that might see the leadership of the rebellion passed to more radical elements,” writes TIME‘s Tony Karon.

Iran Warns Arab States, Turkey Over Syria

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, meeting yesterday with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem in Tehran, warned Arab states and Turkey that their support for the Syrian opposition movement (WSJ) would have destabilizing consequences for each of their countries and the larger Middle East.

Lebanon (from POMED)

Syria Conflict Continues Spread to Lebanon: Lebanon appealed to the international community for aid in the face of rapidly growing number of Syrian refugees in the country. Those fleeing to Lebanon have begun to include well-off and middle-class Syrians. Lebanese President Michel Sleimansent a letter of protest to Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim, accusing Syria of repeated violations of the Lebanese border. The protest came after a house in the Lebanese border town of Mashariaa al-Qaa was bombed, while shells were fired into several other villages along the border. There has been an increase of cross-border clashes recently as Syrian opposition groups have taken advantage of the porous border.
High-Level Defections Continue: Syria’s ambassador to the U.A.E. Abdelatif al-Dabbagh has defected to Qatar, following his wife’s earlier defection. Syrian lawmaker and Baath party member Ikhlas Badawi defected to Turkey. A U.N. spokesperson announced that Turkey is closing its border to Syria for all commercial traffic in both directions, with only three border posts remaining open. U.N. Observer Mission members said 150 observers permanently left the country after an internal decision to halve the staff.
Tom Friedman argued that the prospects for a positive outcome in Syria are low, pointing to Syria’s similarities to Iraq. Glenn Greenwald blasted Friedman’s analysis arguing that the American presence in Iraq led to the sectarian civil war and was ill equipped to “manage” the conflict.

Joe Holliday on Aleppo – he sends this in an email – (thanks to Joel Rayburn)

Even if the regime wins their Aleppo offensive, I predict a Pyrrhic victory, because the rebels in Idlib are pushing hard to cut off the regime’s lines of supply. The security forces committed virtually all of their Idlib-based available combat power to the Aleppo fight, leaving behind a skeleton crew of isolated outposts that the rebels are overrunning one by one. The current fight for Maarat al Numan is just as important as Aleppo in some ways, as the rebels are on the verge of isolating a full 20% of the regime’s remaining combat power.Ws just published a new report the Idlib opposition here:

Its a much shorter, more focused look at the leading rebel groups in Idlib’s Jebal al-Zawiya region. I think it’s an important case study, because the region has been an incubator for the insurgency’s increasing organizational scale, ability to conduct sustained offensives, and willingness to travel considerable distances to mount these attacks. It’s also an important study because it deals with that murky issue of popular and effective Islamist rebel groups that should probably not be classified as extremists. My research assistant Asher did a great job writing this report.

Stratfor Saudi Arabia Maneuvers Amid Syrian Turmoil

The Saudis want to do everything they can to limit the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and are supporting the hard-line Salafists, who compete with the Muslim Brotherhood for Sunni votes, as a containment tool. In the longer term, Turkey will become Saudi Arabia’s main competition for influence in the Sunni world. While not an Arab state, Turkey has a more diverse economy and a foreign policy approach that more closely conforms to international expectations. It can also work with Libya, which has a historically difficult relationship with Saudi Arabia….
Iran would prefer to participate in shaping any post-al Assad government in order to secure its interests. But if the Iranians see that the Saudis — and other actors like Turkey or the United States — are trying to keep Iran completely out of the Syrian transition, they may try to create a protracted insurgency. Tehran knows that if the Saudis and Sunnis get a foothold in Syria, the Iranian position in Iraq becomes vulnerable.

Doha and Riyadh have worked together to back the rebels in Syria, but that cooperation will have its limits.

Many Arab and Islamic countries also resent Saudi Arabia for its wealth and for the high-handed attitude its leadership assumes when dealing with poorer states. Riyadh has found it difficult to assert leadership even over the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council — especially Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, it is far from guaranteed that a transition in Syria will result in a government antagonistic to Iran, or that Iran will not succeed in fomenting an insurgency that creates enough chaos to prevent a Saudi-aligned Sunni government from taking power. Hezbollah may be feeling vulnerable for now, but it remains aligned with Tehran and will not want to see its patron excluded from a post-al Assad Syria…..

Captiain Firas al-Safi Assassinated on his way from Damascus Airport to his Home in Damascus

The sins of the father caught up with Firas al-Safi, a civilian pilot with SyrianAir. Ibrahim al-Safi, the military ruler of Lebanon for a number of years, paid for his position and loyalty to the Assads with the death of his son. …

Rebels control a strategic land corridor in northern Syria

The Guardian’s Luke Harding, in Syria, has details of the bounty rebel fighters claim to have seized when they took over a checkpoint north-west of Aleppo today.

Speaking to the Guardian, the commander in charge of the Aleppo battle confirmed that his troops had seized a key checkpoint north-west of the city early today. Col Abdel Naser said Free Syrian Army fighters had overwhelmed the Hryatan army base, 5km from the city and next to the Andadan checkpoint, at around 5am this morning.

“It was a successful operation. We took eight tanks and 10 armoured vehicles, as well as mortars and lots of weapons. We also took prisoners. One of our fighters was killed,” he said. He added: “Two tanks and one armoured vehicle managed to escape.”

Col Naser said the Syrian army had responded to the defeat with “light shelling”, on the town of Hryatan and neighbouring Anadan, the FSA’s previous forward position. “We expect more shelling tonight,” he said.

The capture of the Anadan checkpoint is a major boost for the rebels, who now control a strategic land corridor in northern Syria from Turkey all the way to Aleppo’s outskirts. Another FSA officer said theroute would be useful for resupplying FSA fighters inside the city – and as a haven for refugees seeking to flee. Tens of thousands have already left for safer areas.

As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role

A gunman who said he was a member of a jihadist group near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Syria. The signs read “The solution is Islam,” left, and “There is no god but God.”
By and HWAIDA SAAD,  July 29, 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — As the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government grinds on with no resolution in sight, Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.

The past few months have witnessed the emergence of larger, more organized and better armed Syrian militant organizations pushing an agenda based on jihad, the concept that they have a divine mandate to fight. Even less-zealous resistance groups are adopting a pronounced Islamic aura because it attracts more financing….

Idlib Province, the northern Syrian region where resistance fighters control the most territory, is the prime example. In one case there, after jihadists fighting under the black banner of the Prophet Muhammad staged significant attacks against Syrian government targets, the commander of one local rebel military council recently invited them to join. “They are everywhere in Idlib,” said a lean and sunburned commander with the Free Syrian Army council in Saraqib, a strategic town on the main highway southwest from Aleppo. “They are becoming stronger, so we didn’t want any hostility or tension in our area.”

Tension came anyway. The groups demanded to raise the prophet’s banner — solid black with “There is no god but God” written in flowing white Arabic calligraphy — during the weekly Friday demonstration. Saraqib prides itself in its newly democratic ways, electing a new town council roughly every two months, and residents put it to a vote — the answer was no. The jihadi fighters raised the flag anyway, until a formal compromise allowed for a 20-minute display.

In one sense, the changes on the ground have actually brought closer to reality the Syrian government’s early, and easily dismissible, claim that the opposition was being driven by foreign-financed jihadists.

A central reason cited by the Obama administration for limiting support to the resistance to things like communications equipment is that it did not want arms flowing to Islamic radicals. But the flip side is that Salafist groups, or Muslim puritans, now receive most foreign financing.

“A lot of the jihadi discourse has to do with funding,” noted Peter Harling, the Syria analyst with the International Crisis Group, adding that it was troubling all the same. “You have secular people and very moderate Islamists who join Salafi groups because they have the weapons and the money. There tends to be more Salafi guys in the way the groups portray themselves than in the groups on the ground.”

But jihad has become a distinctive rallying cry. The commander of the newly unified brigades of the Free Syrian Army fighting in Aleppo was shown in a YouTube video on Sunday exhorting men joining the rebellion there by telling them: “Those whose intentions are not for God, they had better stay home, whereas if your intention is for God, then you go for jihad and you gain an afterlife and heaven.”…

Libyans in Idlib
MARY FITZGERALD, Foreign Affairs Correspondent, in Northern Syria, Irish Times

THE END of Friday prayers brings hundreds of men spilling onto a square in this town in Idlib province, filling the humid air with chants of freedom, justice, and war.

Some 70km to the north lies Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo, now cowering ahead of what many here believe will be a decisive battle in the 16-month uprising against president Bashar al-Assad. Aleppo is on everyone’s mind in this dusty, predominantly Sunni hamlet where residents say more than 180 homes have been burned by regime forces in recent months.

A skinny young man dressed in jeans and T-shirt stands on a platform and yells “Where is our flag of independence? Where is the flag of our revolution?” The three-starred green, white and black standard adopted by Syria’s opposition flutters in the wind before him. The speaker’s voice grows hoarse as he dares the Syrian army to come to his town again. “We need to keep our strength and unity as revolutionaries,” he urges. “Ya Allah [O God] we have no one but you. Help us to stand on the head of Bashar.” The gathered men pump their fists in the air, roaring “Allahu Akbar” in response.

Maher Dugaib, an engineer and father of three, looked on. “Everyone is thinking of Aleppo now because the city is very important,” he said. “What happens in Aleppo will decide much about the future of Bashar and the future of our country.”

Another local man, who gives his name as Abu Mahmoud, is part of a brigade established about three months ago and led by a Libyan-born naturalised Irish citizen Mehdi al-Harati.

“Our town was one of the first to come out and protest against Bashar last year,” says Abu Mahmoud. “We are willing to go to help our brothers in Aleppo at any stage.”

Of the town’s 18,000 residents, 30 have died so far in the uprising – most during helicopter attacks by regime forces – and more than 1,000 men of fighting age have joined the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the loosely organised grouping of military defectors and civilian volunteers.

Mehdi al-Harati’s brigade, known as Liwa al-Umma (Banner of the Nation), is separate to the FSA and its units are scattered throughout the country.

According to Harati, who first came to Syria some 10 months ago for what he says was initially humanitarian work, the brigade emerged after Syrians approached him due to his experience as commander of the Tripoli Brigade in Libya last year. The Tripoli Brigade was one of the first rebel units into the Libyan capital last August.

Liwa al-Umma is made up of more than 6,000 men, 90 per cent of whom are Syrian. The rest are mostly Libyans and other Arabs, including several who live in Ireland. “We couldn’t stand by in the face of such horror,” said one 21-year-old from Dublin, explaining why he decided to come and fight.

During yesterday’s demonstration, another Irish citizen, Hossam al-Najjar, joined the Syrian speaker on stage. Draped in the flags of both the Syrian and Libyan revolutions, the two men chanted slogans against Assad. Najjar, who is Harati’s Irish-born brother-in-law, was also a leading member of the Tripoli Brigade.

“We’re here to facilitate and train civilian rebels in Syria – many of whom are doctors, engineers and teachers – using our experience during the Libyan revolution,” Harati told The Irish Times. “We are a group of civilians brought together for a cause. Asked why he decided to join Harati’s brigade instead of the FSA, Abdel Fatouh Dughaim, a local trader, replied: “Liwa al-Umma is fighting for truth and justice with an Islamic background.” Another younger man said he was drawn to Liwa al-Umma because it was well-organised and disciplined.

Yesterday morning, activists used loudspeakers at the town’s mosques to issue urgent requests for doctors and nurses to come treat fighters wounded during clashes between government troops and rebel forces less than 10km away. According to Harati, a recent four-hour battle involving Liwa al-Umma fighters and regime forces at the same location resulted in the deaths of 63 Syrian soldiers and three rebels.

Syria’s opposition forces remain poorly equipped compared to Assad’s formidable army but Harati said recent developments, including the rebels’ takeover of several border posts, meant that “new and improved” weapons were now more easily available.

Syria: foreign jihadists could join battle for Aleppo – Martin Chulov in Beirut, Guardian

Jihadists, many with al-Qaida sympathies, are said to be planning to join a decisive battle against regime troops

Amid the ruins in Aleppo, Syrian rebels say victory is near
By Erika Solomon, ALEPPO | Mon Jul 30, 2012

(Reuters) – The rebel banner of independence waves over the scorched streets and gutted cars that litter the urban battlegrounds of Aleppo, scars of a struggle in Syria’s second largest city that fighters believe they are destined to win within weeks.

The scruffy, rifle-wielding youths are undeterred by the fate of equally bold, but ultimately crushed campaigns by rebels in the capital Damascus or in Homs, the bloody epicenter of the 16-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

Careening through streets ripped up by army tanks on their motorbikes and flatbed trucks, young rebels with camouflage pants and Kalashnikovs patrol their newly acquired territory, which stretches from the outskirts of Aleppo in the northeast and sweeps around the city down to the southwestern corner.

“We always knew the regime’s grave would be Aleppo. Damascus is the capital, but here we have a fourth of the country’s population and the entire force of its economy. Bashar’s forces will be buried here,” said Mohammed, a young fighter, fingering the bullets in his tattered brown ammunition vest….

“We have made a semicircle around the city, and we can push in to the centre. Up in the north, the Kurdish groups are running two neighborhoods in the northern central part of the city. We don’t work together, but we don’t fight,” said a fighter called Bara.

“I really believe that within ten days or more, we have a chance to take the city.”

But across town, the smoking wreckage of the Salaheddine district in the south tells a different story. Bodies lay in the streets on Sunday as the army pounded fighters with artillery and mortars and helicopter gunships fired from above.

“We don’t know if they are going to try to finish the area off or if they are distracting us, and then come shell us again here in the east of town,” said Ahmed, a chain smoking activist, cigarettes as he debated with fighters insisting victory was near.

Salaheddine is the main artery out of the city and onto the highway that leads south to Damascus. State troops seem to have concentrated all their forces on wresting it from the rebels.

If the army, which retains overwhelming military superiority with helicopter gunships, rockets, artillery and tanks, cannot secure Salaheddine enough to get tanks on the ground, it would have to bring tanks into the city by going all the way around the province and entering from the other side, because minor roads on the city outskirts are mined by the rebels.

Both sides are trying to avoid using manpower. The army bombards from afar with its tanks or its helicopters hovering overhead. Rebels set up homemade bombs to blow up the tanks when they try to roll in.

Syria: Guests of the Warlord‘ (Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker)
“Abu Ibrahim is a big bear of a man in his early forties. He wears flip-flops and a T-shirt and tracksuit pants, and shuffles because of a sniper bullet in his left leg, fired by Syrian government forces; another bullet went through his right foot not long ago, and his face is scarred from an explosion caused when an assailant tried to kill him with a grenade. He keeps a pistol tucked into the waistband of his tracksuit pants. His men are loyal and watchful and one of them never leaves his side. He told me that he used to be a “fruit merchant.” Now, Abu Ibrahim is one of the chieftains of the war in Syria’s strategic northern Aleppo province, where a decisive military confrontation seems to be beginning.”…

Foreign ‘jihadi’ fighters reported in Syria: al-Jazeera Video footage suggests the involvement in Syria conflict of foreign fighters with sympathies or links to al-Qaeda. http://aje.me/OwOXXN

 

 FCO (GB): Syrian Chargé D’Affaires in London resigns
2012-07-30

Syrian Chargé D’Affaires in London resigns 30 July 2012 The Syrian Chargé d’Affaires, Mr Khaled al-Ayoubi, has informed the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today that he has left his post in the Syrian Embassy in London. A Foreign Office …

Lebanon

Syria Conflict Continues Spread to Lebanon: Lebanon appealed to the international community for aid in the face of rapidly growing number of Syrian refugees in the country. Those fleeing to Lebanon have begun to include well-off and middle-class Syrians. Lebanese President Michel Sleiman sent a letter of protest to Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim, accusing Syria of repeated violations of the Lebanese border. The protest came after a house in the Lebanese border town of Mashariaa al-Qaa was bombed, while shells were fired into several other villages along the border. There has been an increase of cross-border clashes recently as Syrian opposition groups have taken advantage of the porous border.

Iran Seethes With Discontent During Ramadan
By: Ramin Mostaghim and Alexandra Sandels | Los Angeles Times

Jobs and wages have been cut and prices have shot up. People are especially angry about the skyrocketing cost of chicken.

Russia’s Medvedev Plays Down Split With West on Syria, Agence France-Presse

Russia’s differences with the West on Syria are not as great as they appear, as both agree on the need to prevent civil war, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published Monday.

Spinmeister Ammar al-Wawi Peddles Upbeat Message of Syrian Rebellion
by Mike Giglio Jul 30, 2012

As the Assad regime bombards Aleppo, the rebels are desperate not only to repel the military, but to shore up morale and build outside support. Ammar al-Wawi, the Free Syrian Army’s leading spin doctor, tells Mike Giglio the government is “like the walking dead.”

 Syrian Refugees Are Stung by a Hostile Reception in Iraq – NYTimes

Alone among Syria’s Muslim neighbors, Iraq is resisting receiving refugees from the conflict, and is making those who do arrive anything but comfortable. Baghdad is worried about the fighters of a newly resurgent Al Qaedaflowing both ways across the border, and about the Sunni opponents of the two governments making common cause….

Though Syrians have been fleeing the unrest in their country for months, Iraq did not open its borders to refugees until last week, after protests from the Sunni tribes in Anbar Province. The Bukamal border crossing, near this city, is the most problematic one for Iraq, with the Syrian side now under the control of opposition forces.

The restrictions Baghdad has imposed on refugees proved so severe that on Friday, representatives of the Anbar tribes and hundreds of followers took to the streets in the 125-degree midday heat to protest the treatment of the newly arriving Syrians, many of whom have family and tribal connections with Iraqis here.

Kurd: See KurdWatch

Kurdistan conclude additional agreement
KURDWATCH, July 28, 2012—On July 1, 2012, representatives of the Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council of West Kurdistan signed an agreement in Salahuddin (Kurdistan/Iraq) intended to supplement the agreement signed on June 11, 2012 in Erbil [download document]. The first point of the document recognizes the Erbil agreement and pronounces its implementation. The second point resolves that a joint caucus will be formed with the task of establishing general political principles and leading the Kurdish movement. Members of both councils are to be equally represented in the caucus and in all committees, and decisions are to be made by consensus.
Point three provides for the establishment of various committees of experts. Point four calls for the cessation of media attacks. Point five forbids the use of force as well as any activities likely to lead to tensions in the Kurdish regions. Point six adopts the bylaws appended to the Erbil agreement, and point seven resolves that committees will be formed within two weeks of the signing of the agreement. The Kurdish National Council and the People’s Council of West Kurdistan adopted the agreement on July 9 and 10, respectively….
Al-Qamishli: Future Movement splits

KURDWATCH, July 22, 2012—The Kurdish Future Movement in Syria has split.

ʿAfrin: Father and two sons kidnapped and murdered by the PYD

KURDWATCH, July 21, 2012—On June 29, 2012, supporters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) attacked a dissident demonstration in front of the Dirsim Hospital in ʿAfrin [further information on the case]. The demonstrator ʿAbdurrahman Hasan Bakr defended himself against the attacks, and a PYD activist known as Chakdar was injured in the face in the process. The PYD retaliated in an unprecedented way: In the night from July 4 to July 5, armed PYD fighters attacked the home of Hanan Hasan Bakr in ʿAfrin. Those who were attacked defended themselves and a shootout lasting several hours ensued, in which the PYD activist Chakdar was killed and other attackers were injured. PYD members then kidnapped Hanan Hasan Bakr and at least ten of his relatives. They also set four homes and several cars belonging to the kidnapped victims on fire.

Kurdish worries drag Turkey deeper into Syria war, Reuters

The Associated Press reports: Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday

that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians,… “As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”….

Comments (345)


SANDRO LOEWE said:

“Assad and his men will work for a fragmented Syria. It may be their only path to survival. If the Free Syrian Army can conquer all of Syria, most regime principals will be executed.”

Assads, who once cheated the syrian people by declaring themselves “the leaders of the arab cause and defendors of Greater Syria” may now pretend to find the only possible escape in fragmenting Syria. This is what happens when a minority takes power. Let’s go back to the times of Salaheddin, when political unification was based on religious unity of Sunna Islam and respect to christian and jew semitic populations. We are in XXI century and no religion should be imposed on free citizens, but history shows us that in times of chaos and crisis majority, and not minority, must lead.

July 30th, 2012, 5:55 pm

 

Juergen said:

Joerg Armbrüster reports from Damascus

translated

” We have not thought we would get an permit, but at the end we received the permit to visit the most shiite suburb of all in Damascus: Saida Zainab. Best known for their mosque, worshipped especially by the shiite women.Also known is this area for the fierce fighting. Sunni terrorists they say here, insurgants they call themselves.The shiite are known for being unqestionable loyalists to the regime. The sharia scholar Fadi Burhan shows us around his area.
Almost 4 % of all Syrians are shiite.The sunnis represet the overall majority. This mosque is the work place of this sheikh.

At this place the outraged sheikh tells us that grenades fired by the sunnis have detonated. We can not verify that claim.

We can verify that the whole area is totally loyal to Assad.Every step we make, we are escorted by heavyily armed soldiers.Really showing them is not possible. Even inside this barber shop we can not get them off our backs.
Barber shops are sometimes marketplaces for political extravaganza, but not here.

barber: “Saudi Arabia is feeding the rebels with money”
client:” thats a big game which is played with Syria, responsible for that are Israel, the USA and Qatar, they guide the terrorists, every child knows that.”

So, nothing new in the barber shop of Saida Zainab.

At Sheikh Fadi we see something new.
He insisted us to see his pictures of meetings with the dignitaries of other faiths in the country. To our surprise he even hang up a cross.

Sheikh Fadi: In Syria the religions emerged, the christian, the islamic, all religions. Thats why I respect them, all have their origin here, thats why Syria has always respected all the religions.

Sheikh Fadi represents somehow the tolerant image of Syria in which many religions have their place.

The balance among those religions is the reason of state.
Especially those minorities like the shiite fear that this culture will be lost after the fall of Assad.

http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video1156466.html

July 30th, 2012, 5:58 pm

 

omen said:

there are heavy hitters on this board whom i’m fond of who are so smart and so eloquent…

but to go after some poor schmuck’s bad grammar is a cheap shot when there are bigger principles at stake and arguments worthy of attack in this war of ideas.

it’s an elitist hit that i worry might alienate readers who see this mockery of grammar and feel unwelcome to engage.

lurkers, if you have a valuable insight to share or issues you want to raise, please don’t feel intimidated if english isn’t your first language and your command of the language is shaky.

July 30th, 2012, 6:02 pm

 

Erin said:

it is weird that this blog has prophecy of what’s is going to happen to Syria.
is it all about science or more into it such a long term plan being folded week by week and year by year? since paul wolfowitz orchestrated the map for the new middle east in 1992.
as always has been predicted that the goal here is to divide syria into small pieces, weak, lawless, fragmented to even stand on its own.
carve the Kurds a country.
small land for Allowite.
kick the Christians out of the middle east as it has happened all over the Levant.
some accuses me of islamophobia but obviously, my conclusions, it founded on strong base of evidence for the last few decades.
It is a shamble that countries such the GCC can influence the internal affairs in another country like Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, etc with no consequences.
it is clear that this dogs in GCC are destroying syria with the help of the CIA and Israel.

July 30th, 2012, 6:07 pm

 

Juergen said:

Michael Schramm reports of the liberated town of Azaz

translated:

500 Euro is the fare nowadays for hiring a smuggler who would bring one through the otherwise closed turkish-syrian border to Azaz. The only condition, the client should be good in walking.And with encounters like this turkish border control, which luckily could not spot us. Now we are in Syria, in Syria of the Free Syrian Army. An area without baath party, without Assad.After a 20 km drive we reach their inofficial captial Azaz. 65000 lived here before, now only a third is left. Little bit more than a week ago the FSA were not only able to defeat the Assad forces, but also to chase them off. Before many bloody violent attacks took place. About 400 inhabitants of that town have lost their lives. Even though the joy is visible, also the sadness is visible.

interview with elderly couple in their car

” What Assad has done, no muslim would do. Only animals would do that. I have lost three family members.”

A time without Assad of which so many are dreaming in Syria, here it is already reality.

The soldier council which consists also of civilians is regulating for excample the supply of bread.

interview older men

” we have to deal with big difficulties.The people of Azaz have to wait 2 hours for their bread.much of the food can only be smuggled in through the border.”

No Alawites are living in Azaz, the town is totally sunni.Clashes within the muslim community are not to be expected.

In the former baath party headquarter of Azaz they have removed the pictures of Assad first.

Since a few days Samir Hedzamal is presiding here, by the way he is a former teacher.

“Here in Azaz we are in an pioneering role for all Syria. We hope we will fulfill this role accordingly.”

The market of Azaz today looked like any ordinary bazar.
The people we here are coming back into the town without Assad.

http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video1156468.html

July 30th, 2012, 6:20 pm

 

Ghufran said:

دعا الفنان السوري جمال سليمان الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد إلى التنحي عن السلطة، مشيراً إلى أنّ الشعب فقد الأمل في الاصلاح الموعود من النظام السوري.
وقال الفنان السوري أنّه أثناء اجتماعه ومجموعة من الأشخاص بالرئيس الأسد، طلب منه الظهور علناً وتقديم تصوّر واضح لسوريا المستقبل، مشيراً إلى أنّ الحل الأمني الذي انتهجه النظام في قمع الثورة كان خطأً كبيراً، وأثبت فشله منذ بداية الأحداث في درعا.
وتحدث جمال عن الفئة الصامتة التي لا تؤيد أي طرف، مؤكداً بأنّ هذه الفئة قد بدأت تنضم إلى الثورة بعد خيبتها من النظام، داعياً جميع السوريين إلى التكاتف.

July 30th, 2012, 6:25 pm

 

omen said:

erin, there is more evidence that the west is withholding help to overthrow the regime.

if rich gulf states were helping the rebels, why are they forced to scrounge for weapons? they still lack anti tank and anti aircraft weapons like stingers. they have a few technicals but mostly they’re running with ak-47s and rpgs. most of the stuff they are picking up has been raided from regime strongholds.

July 30th, 2012, 6:38 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

I can render an advise to all, and help in solution, but I will not. Keep them making awful mistakes and fighting for fifteen years. Assad army can keep Syria relatively in one part for a decade, so why worry. Back to the beach.

ياجامع انت مسكر وانا مرتاح

July 30th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

omen said:

340. ZOO said: New recruits in the Syrian Army

-where do iranian militants get processed?

-are these recruits? or conscripts?

-they’re awfully young.

young/inexperienced soldiers versus already battle hardened rebels.

July 30th, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

Michal said:

@ 7. OMEN

This of course assumes that there are weapons to be distributed in the first place. Heavy weapons are more difficult to obtain and deliver than kalashnikovs.

July 30th, 2012, 7:07 pm

 

Amjad said:

The fact that the regime’s supporters are openly wishing for a breakaway state, confined to a tiny slice of the coast, just proves that they have given up on ever being able to subdue Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

Amjad said:

Omen, when someone claims to be a westerner, and makes a huge hue and cry over that fact, it is absolutely legitimate to question their credibility when they can’t tell the difference between “there” and “their”, and continue to speak and write in a manner that no English native speaker would.

July 30th, 2012, 7:48 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Did someone mention cats? Kittens?

***************

Even cat feels in security wth FSA – Aleppo

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/even-cat-feels-in-security-wth-fsa-aleppo/

***************

July 30th, 2012, 8:22 pm

 

bronco said:

The farce of the military-led transition: the Syrian Tantawi

As the politically lead transition promoted by Annan is dead because the SNC turned out to be a basket of crabs, now Qatar, Turkey and its allies thought: Hey, no Libya scenario, no Yemen scenario, so let’s try the Egypt scenario. An “original” idea poped up: a military-led transition.
So they shook depressed Ryad al Assad and his generals in their Turkish bunker to push them to announce a “breakthrough” that would save their face in view of the fiasco of the Damascus Battle and the probable second fiasco of Aleppo.

Obviously, the “military-led transition plan” is a pale imitation of Egypt with the “negligible” difference that the FSA represents less than a 1/10 of the Syrian army.

The other difference is that the number of supporters of the regime versus the supporters of the opposition is unknown but certainly large enough not to make life easy for that ‘entity’ once it takes power.

So Al Assad will become the Syrian’s Tantawi and will move on quickly to parliamentary elections, presidential elections etc…. If the Syrian MB or the Salafist wins, and with the money Qatar and KSA will certainly pour in, one of them will, so be it.

That this transition ‘entity’ is supposed to rule, secure and lead the country toward a democracy promoted by undemocratic Qatar and Saudi Arabia is a total farce.

They have no legitimacy whatsoever, they are rebels and outlaws with bloody hands. None of their leaders is a recognized person with any credibility. They may have had supporters when they were fighting, they would have much less when they’ll want to command the country.
If they use Manaf Tlass to ensure some “continuity”, they’ll have even less legitimacy.

Ryad Al Assad should get ready for a bumpy reception when he will get out of his bunker in Turkey with his generals.
The loyalists now turned into opposition will reserve him a very warm welcome.

July 30th, 2012, 8:28 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

HamaEcho
Statement from Abdulrazaq Tlass about treatment of prisoners and Geneva Convention [With English subtitles] #Syria

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/hamaecho-statement-from-abdulrazaq-tlass-about-treatment-of/

July 30th, 2012, 8:29 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Brave reporting from BBC’s Ian Pannell and cameraman.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19052238

July 30th, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

irritated said:

Omen

The rich gulf states are worried that heavy weapons end up with Hezbollah as they have no trust whatsoever in the FSA, heavily infiltrated.
So they give just enough for the FSA to survive and kill as many syrian soldiers are they can. They are using the FSA as cheap mercenaries for their own goal: reduce arrogant Syria to slavery.

One day the FSA will finally wake up to that sad reality, too late for many young soldiers who paid for their live to serve the cynical and revengeful hatred of Qatar and Saudi Arabia toward Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 8:46 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

The same person appears on two Syrian channels, Al-Dunia and another one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpVFpPenCKg&feature=player_embedded#!

In one, he’s portrayed as the victim of terrorists. In another, he’s a terrorists that was killed by government troops.

This is nothing new. The Batta thugs have been doing thins all along, but now they provide the proof of who’s behind the murder.

May Allah have his mercy on him and accept him as a martyr.

One thing that the Assad thugs don’t know is that any person who dies didn’t die a moment sooner than his or her appointed time with death. What matters is whether a person died doing the wrong thing. All of the martyrs who fell during this revolution were going to die anyway. Some choose to die standing up to tyranny. Others die in their beds.

I also see that people are talking about the possibility of an Alawite state in the coast. It’s a possibility, but what is guaranteed is that the people of Hama, Dar’a, Homs, and Idlib won’t stop unti they reach Kirdaha. It’s only been 30 years, not enough time for the Hamwis to forget what Hafez and Rifaat did to them them.

Those who still support Assad fearing the alternative need to switch sides before it’s too late. They had more than a year and half. Time is running out. There might still be time for diplomatic solution. There might still be time for national reconciliation similar to what happened in SA. If they choose not to jump-ship, then they should whine later if things go against them.

July 30th, 2012, 8:51 pm

 

Mick said:

#17 Irritated

They will never learn. Just like the Sunni leaders in Lebanon request arms from the West, but never get enough to actually defend Lebanon…just enough to keep sects fighting.

If Saudi or Qatar ever demanded Lebanon have an air defense from their weapons suppliers in the West to stop Israeli overflights, my heart would explode.

July 30th, 2012, 8:59 pm

 

omen said:

bbc world news on pbs:

un observers came under attack this weekend by government forces.

also

(CBS/AP) A convoy of vehicles led by the head of the U.N. observers mission was attacked by tanks Sunday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

No one was injured, but Ban said a dozen armored vehicles used by the military observers were destroyed by blasts and shelling, and a convoy carrying the general heading the force was targeted on Sunday.

July 30th, 2012, 9:10 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Mick,the only fighting force the GCC has is the Islamist thugs and alqaida terrorists. Kuwaitis crowded cairo’s nightclubs during the gulf war while Americans with the help of non Kuwaitis,including Syrians,were liberating Kuwait from Saddam Hussein army.
In a perfect world,one would have loved to see thugs from both sides fight each other to death and leave civilians alone,but since Aleppo refused to join the revolution,geniuses on the opposition side decided to bring the revolution to Aleppo knowing very well that scores of civilians will die,the objective is to win support among the people who will naturally resent seeing tanks in their streets and helicopters flying and firing above their head.
Harirites and GCC brand politicians and sheikhs can only buy people to fight their own dirty war against Syria and Iran,none of that was possible if Syria had a decent government and a good smart leader.

July 30th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

omen said:

17. irritated, really? gulf states are worried about hezbollah? as far as i can tell, hezbollah are not hampered from getting any heavy weapons they want.

my hunch is that gulf states are reluctant to arm the rebels for fear of blowback. they don’t want to bolster rebels who might turn the revolution back on the gulf states after freeing syria.

July 30th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

VISITOR said:

Once again, we emphasize to the dreamers and to the doubters that Syria will never be broken into statelets. Winner will take all. And the winner is none but our side, make no mistakes.

This time, however, we assure you that the end of despotism and thuggery is nearer than you think. Dignity and honor will rein upon this land after having been deprived of such for time immemorial under the thuggish criminal despots who will be swept to the lowest of the lowest of the dustbins of history along with their backers, the eternal enemies of the people of Syria: the Iranian mullajis, the hizb zbala, the Russian Mafioso and the Chinese pseudo-imperialists.

This Ramadan began with great blessings on Syria as we pointed out when it came upon us. It will end with even greater blessings and victories for the Syrian people and its glorious and historic revolution, all by the grace of Our God and the heroic achievements of the heroes of the FSA.

July 30th, 2012, 9:34 pm

 

irritated said:

Omen

Hezbollah would not say no to more american made ‘qualitative’ weapons, who would?
Also these weapons are expensive, Qatar and KSA prefer to use its big money on buying people’s loyalty rather than weapons.
From the cheers we hear from the FSA toward Qatar and KSA, they succeeded.

July 30th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

irritated said:

Visitor from Hatay

This Ramadan began with great blessings on Syria

You mean the annihilation of the rebels in Damascus?

July 30th, 2012, 9:41 pm

 

omen said:

irritated: From the cheers we hear from the FSA toward Qatar and KSA, they succeeded.


People
who faced live gunfire with nothing but their courage will never accept to be stooges or agents for any foreign power.

another reason why the west gives bashar a free hand to mow down protesters. the first to rise in revolt are the ones most committed to reform.

the u.s. has a history of giving a green light to dictators to kill reformers. from latin america to bush senior in iraq who urged the shia to rise up knowing saddam would kill them off while the u.s. stood idly by, even though our forces were right there.

July 30th, 2012, 9:50 pm

 

irritated said:

Damascus back to normal:
No more electricity cuts in Damascus and the suburbs

July 30th, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

irritated said:

26. omen

It is clear that the US always prefer puppets in countries they want to manipulate for their own interests. They thrive for that.

The USA has a history of using local grievances they exacerbate and encourage through discreet manipulation in order to create internal conflicts that weaken the country as a whole.
This pattern is obvious in Syria.

July 30th, 2012, 10:06 pm

 

zoo said:

A US slap to Syrian Kurds

No US nod on Kurdish rule

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-us-nod-on-kurdish-rule.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26718&NewsCatID=359

Cansu Çamlıbel ISTANBUL / Hürriyet
A senior US official visiting Turkey says Washington does not anticipate an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria and they favor the protection of Syria’s territorial integrity.

July 30th, 2012, 10:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Free Syrian Army Update English 2012
3 hours ago.FSA# Reports indicate that 1,000 Hizbullah Shi’ite Militants are on their way to Aleppo via Damascus, They are stationed in Damascus to fight FSA alongside Assad forces..Now they are needed in Aleppo..

Question is why are the doing in Syria in the first Place? let alone to be in Damascus or Aleppo..They are not welcomed in Syria..And By Allah swt we shall make their Graveyards in Aleppo !

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/free-syrian-army-update-english-2012-3-hours-5/

?

July 30th, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

zoo said:

Erdogan is killing his own people with drones.
The PKK members are Turkish citizens, they are not just “Kurds”

Monday,July 30 2012
Major operation against PKK near Iraq, Iran border

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/major-operation-against-pkk-near-iraq-iran-border.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26717&NewsCatID=341

Two Turkish soldiers were killed and ten were wounded in a continuing military operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) July 29 in the southeastern province of Hakkari’s Şemdinli district, on Turkey’s borders with Iran and Iraq.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) began to bomb an area occupied by PKK members.

July 30th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

irritated said:

30. Uzair8

Great news… If the Turks and the Libyans are in Syria, why not Lebanese who come in to free the 11 hostages captured by the FSA
Or is that the desperate FSA are trying to find an excuse to their failure?

July 30th, 2012, 10:27 pm

 
 

zoo said:

Syria continues operations against rebels in Aleppo amid Western warnings
2012-07-31 06:06:01
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/31/c_123497239.htm

DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) — The Syria government showed unwavering resolve in the past week in its operations to overrun some rebel-held areas in northern province Aleppo while the confrontation between the two sides is getting increasingly fierce due to the support the opposition is reportedly receiving from some regional and foreign parties.

Despite some opposition activists’ claim that the rebels have fended off an all-out offensive by the government troops, Syria said it is in the throes of crushing them and on the threshold of a new era, which will see all Syrian cities free of “terrorists.”

On Saturday, Syria launched its fiercest offensive in Aleppo with warnings of a continuous onslaught until “smashing out the last terrorist.”

The government emphasizes that it has regained its control on most areas that were reportedly held by rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city and its industrial capital.

On Monday, the Syrian army overran part of the rebel-held Salaheddin district of Aleppo, the city’s most populous area and the stronghold of the rebels’ Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian government dismissed the media reports that the rebels have ever achieved gains in some restive areas in Aleppo, saying those reports are no more than a “psychological war aiming to breathe life in the rebels’ deteriorating morale.”

July 30th, 2012, 10:31 pm

 

Tara said:

Assad regime was in bed with jihadists sending them to Iraq.  Now the same jihadists are fighting against him.  Assad will eventually fall may be with the help of those jihadists…what an irony.

Some of the new arrivals have told local people they will also try to connect with a small number of homegrown Syrian groups in the country who at least partly share their ideology and who fought against US forces in Iraq.

The Syrians’ journeys to Iraq during the height of the Sunni insurgency from 2004-07 had proved instructive in the violence in Iraq’s Anbar province, which borders eastern Syria. And their border crossings had been facilitated by the Syrian regime’s security apparatus, which had also acted as a conduit for arriving foreign fighters.

One Syrian veteran of the Iraq war said: “The brothers who came to join us (in Iraq), particularly from the Maghreb, all flew into Damascus airport and were directed to the border by the intelligence services.

“They crossed the borders the same way that we did. The intelligence officers were responsible for the crossings.”

Syria: foreign jihadists could join battle for Aleppo
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/30/syria-foreign-jihadists-aleppo-al-qaida

Scores of foreign jihadists have crossed into Syria from Turkey in the past two weeks, some of them telling Syrians that they are planning to travel to Aleppo to join a decisive battle against regime troops.

Syrian residents and a Turkish smuggler interviewed by the Guardian say many of the men have come from the Caucasus, while others had arrived from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states.

According to locals who have dealt with them, the new arrivals embrace a global jihadist worldview that sets them apart from most leaders in the armed Syrian opposition and is stirring deep discontent among the rebel leadership.

More…

July 30th, 2012, 10:35 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I just market tested that picture of the handsome FSA fighter with a nice cat to some ladies I know.

Instant success! There’s a brilliant picture that will win the FSA hearts and minds of many women for sure.

I hope the FSA will use it for posters and publicity.

See: Even cat feels in security wth FSA – Aleppo

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/even-cat-feels-in-security-wth-fsa-aleppo/

PS One lady told me even Asma Assad could probably not resist it

July 30th, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

Halabi said:

Assad’s army has quickly lost control of Aleppo. This isn’t like the operation in Damascus – the FSA, or Liwa Al-Tawheed and other groups, have fanned out and have deep supply lines into the countryside to Turkey. Here’s their deputy commander in Bab Al-Hadeed in the center of the city

http://youtu.be/YTpCOrA28r0

and then later in Anadan greeting the heroes who took over a checkpoint this morning and seized a number of tanks.

http://youtu.be/lbxkQSiBRwk

Or in other words, Assad is winning and is just a week away from destroying this foreign conspiracy…

July 30th, 2012, 11:21 pm

 

Syrialover said:

When Syria has a legitimate government there will be no reason to break it up, and also the scattering of freelance foreign adventure fighters will lose excitement and go home.

As somebody said here earlier, the Syrians will be saying thanks for your help and goodbye.

People getting all worked up and excited about foreign jihadis and their designs on Syria are like kids telling each other exaggerated stories to impress and give a thrill.

And now we hear that Shi’ite Hezbollah militants want to play a role in the Syrian drama, well that’s all the better that there are some self-styled al Qaeda warrior types inside to take them on.

When Syria gets a legitimate government, they will be seen for what they are – a minor marginal sideshow to the victory of the FSA.

July 31st, 2012, 12:05 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Umm Safiyyah ‏@FreeFalasteen
The #Syrian ambassador in #Malaysia has been defected #Syria #Homs #FSA #ASSad #mar15 @h_prinz

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/umm-safiyyah-%e2%80%8ffreefalasteen-the-syrian-ambassador-in-malaysia/

#36 Syrialover

LOL

July 31st, 2012, 12:10 am

 

Juergen said:

Halabi

havent we heard that from the starting days? They will need 2 weeks to crush the revolution? That might have been the case in an other country where we did not see 40 years of mass killing, torture and a ruling mafia clan.

Uzair,

thank you for posting the Ian Pannell piece. I cant help it, but why dont we have such couragous folks in our national news outlets?

July 31st, 2012, 12:36 am

 

Ghufran said:

Few notes,
1. If the SNC wants Mulhem Aldroubi to be the head of a transitional government,this means there will not be one, the funniest position in the proposed government is giving Michel Kilo ,a respected intellectual and an ex political prisoner,the title of deputy PM for cultural affairs (a Christian secular guy in a government headed by an unknown MB dude). I have to admit I was in no mood to laugh but I could not help it. The whole list is available on pg-4 at Alquds Alarabi website.
2. There was no reference in the SNC plan to the most explosive issues which,if not properly adressed,can ruin any attempt to end this bloody mess and unite the country.
3. On the subject of Aleppo back and forth fighting,the battle is too important for both sides to be judged by a YouTube video from here and there,I hope that a bloodbath can be prevented but I do not see how the armed rebels can prevail,attacking Aleppo was irresponsible and reckless,support for rebels in northern and western Aleppo is just not there.
4. An alawi state is not viable but I do not see how the people in Latakia and Tartus can allow Islamists and armed rebels to roam free in their areas and impose their rules and life style on a mostly secular and fairly liberal population.
Will know a lot more in 2-3 weeks.

July 31st, 2012, 12:45 am

 

Halabi said:

Do menhebaks have any information on Chargé d’Affaires Khaled al-Ayoubi? I’m sure he was corrupt because he was part of the Assad regime, but were Syrian prosecutors on the verge of indicting him for decades of corruption and perhaps worse crimes? It seems that once again Assad’s government can’t bring the guilty to justice but has the full force of the state going after school boys in Daraa and harmless men like Aref Dalila, Salameh Kaileh, Najati Tayyara and Michel Kilo.

This is the government that menhebaks want to destroy the country for.

July 31st, 2012, 12:45 am

 

Uzair8 said:

#40 Jeurgen

I guess they had no choice as they were ‘trapped’ along with the rebels. (?)

July 31st, 2012, 12:53 am

 

Uzair8 said:

There is no better time to defect than in Ramadan with extra spiritual reward up for grabs.

July 31st, 2012, 12:58 am

 

Juergen said:

controversial Interview between Jürgen Todenhöfer who has just returned from Syria from an interview with Assad and Christoph Reuter, the hidden DER SPIEGEL journalist who reported for months from the country.

There is one major mistak by the tranlating document, when Todenhöfer was answered if he had to send in the questions he was going to ask Assad, the answer is No.

By the way the image of Todenhöfer has suffered, he is no longer seen as the peace advocate but rather a self proclaimed activist who suffers deeply from his vanity.

He puts down the efforrts by Reuter to risks his life by travel to Al Houla and interviews victims and family members. Todenhöfer stayed in Damascus and meets one men who tells him that his family was killed by the rebels because they converted to shiite islam.

I am not the only one who has no understanding whatsoever what makes Todenhöfer the advocate of the regime, his denial of torture, even the order that demonstrators are met with guns, what an tragedy.

“War is never fair”

Reuter: “The United Nations arrive at similar figures. We get our information in the rest of our discussions in the country, for example, deserting soldiers, who refused to obey the order to fire on their own people on.

Todenhöfer: Again, such an assertion, there is no order to fire on civilians.

Reuter: What?

Todenhöfer: There is, on the contrary, a gun ban on the civilian population.

Reuter: Who says that Assad?

Todenhöfer: He says that those who violate them will be taken to justice. He has received the family of a 13-year-old boy who became a symbol of the revolution. He was killed by security forces. Assad has mourned with the family and explained the boy a martyr. He would never have done if he could find such good shooting.”

Reuter: Is there really something you criticize Assad?

Todenhöfer: Yes, and I’ll tell you very openly that he has admitted that its security forces fired in the early phase of peaceful demonstrators.

Reuter: He has not admitted it, he has ordered it.

Todenhöfer: No! The security forces were overwhelmed at that time. I also criticize the shelling of residential areas, even if rebels use civilians as shields deliberately. And I think it is a mistake that he makes no journalists in the country.”

http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.spiegel.de%2Fspiegel%2Fstreitgespraech-zwischen-juergen-todenhoefer-und-christoph-reuter-a-847123.html

July 31st, 2012, 12:59 am

 

Juergen said:

Here is what Christoph Reuter had found out about the Al Houla massacre

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-look-back-at-the-houla-massacre-in-syria-a-845854.html

July 31st, 2012, 1:01 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Mr Rossini, can you confirm SN status?

July 31st, 2012, 1:13 am

 

omen said:

what’s the difference between alawite and sunni burial rites?

fisk makes this connection re houla:

There are equal suspicions, I should add, that the first great Syrian massacre of throat-cutting and executions in the Sunni village of Houla on 25 May might have been a reprisal for the attempted poisoning of Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law Asef Shawkat, whom the rebels at last cut down in the bombing in Damascus last Wednesday. Others say the attempted poisoning was more recent; but everything that happened – and happens – in Syria is connected.

July 31st, 2012, 1:20 am

 

Syrialover said:

That Vogue writer continues to express deep regret and shame at writing that whitewash article on Asma Assad.

Syria: Vogue writer says she was ‘duped’ by Asma al-Assad

Excerpt:

“Writing in Newsweek magazine 14 months later the author called Mrs Assad “the first lady of hell” and outlined how “the devil and his wife” had “showed off their fantasy lives for me”.

“… the author also revealed how, on a visit to a youth centre, Mrs Assad had caused children to cry by falsely telling them the place was closing. Mrs Assad told her it was “just to get them out of their comfort zone.”

“The writer also described how, during a family fondue at the Assad residence, she asked Bashar al-Assad why he had wanted to be an eye doctor and he replied: “It’s very precise, and there is very little blood.”

“The profile was remove from Vogue’s website in the Spring and editor-in-chief Anna Wintour issued a statement deploring the actions of the Assad regime.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9439083/Syria-Vogue-writer-says-she-was-duped-by-Asma-al-Assad.html

July 31st, 2012, 1:25 am

 

Uzair8 said:

2012-7-26

“The rebels claimed they were in the ‘final stages of liberating’ Syria. But don’t trust them. It was a psychological warfare,” the Syrian ambassador to China, Imad Moustapha, told the Global Times. “In fact, the Syrian army has had unprecedented success in fighting with those armed rebels.”

According to Moustapha, Syrian government forces have killed “thousands of” rebel fighters in the latest flare-up of military clashes.

He said that the Syrian government “welcomes” them to fight on the battlefield, rather than use the hit-and-run tactics that the militarily weak rebels resorted to earlier in the 16-month-old uprisings. But the Syrian government still maintains that a political solution to the current crisis could be negotiated any time the rebels are willing to put down their weapons, Moustapha added.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/723369.shtml

July 31st, 2012, 1:27 am

 

Halabi said:

North and Western Aleppo doesn’t mean anything – specific neighborhoods need to be mentioned. Almost every part of Aleppo (except Azizia, Sleimanieh and the shabiha filled Sa’adallah Jabri square) has hosted protests, including northern and western Aleppo in recent months while the pro-Assad crowd has been silent. Very few people openly support the regime in Aleppo, other than the mentally unstable, die-hard shabiha and sectarian genocide supporters.

After feeling their homes shake on nightly basis due to the shelling of the countryside, many people in Aleppo have come to understand that the regime is just lobbing up shells to destroy poor areas and kill the FSA and innocent civilians. After all that shelling for almost two months, the FSA is able to ride into town and take over neighborhoods. Even the most ardent supporter can see that Assad’s army isn’t making them safer or winning the battle.

Then when the FSA came in, they didn’t round up the Christians and start bombing churches. Because they aren’t crazy sectarian killers. But Assad’s army is bringing in its tanks and is indiscriminately shelling neighborhoods, deploying a scorched earth strategy that hasn’t worked anywhere in the country.

The destruction of my hometown isn’t something I am rooting for. But I know that my family and most of my friends have come to terms with the risks and understand the type of war the country is going through. We all wish that it ends tomorrow, as long as the regime is over. If not, the fight will continue whether we like it or not.

On another note, a belated welcome to the new Halabis on this board. I hope your families stay safe and see the dawn of a new Syria.

July 31st, 2012, 1:28 am

 

Bruno said:

From the article

(The signs read “The solution is Islam,” left, and “There is no god but God.”)

Well i can safely say that rests the case then that The FSA fighters are nothing more then western backed mujahideen fighters if the solution is Islam then its pretty clear what the gaol is.

July 31st, 2012, 1:46 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

@SN
NO. He could be lounging at the Four Seasons in disguise, LOL. But Maher has the man and is after him now. Do you know how many people in this world can take care of business for what Maher can pay. They are fools, they watch too many Happy Ending Hollywood Movies. Drunk with Arrogance, mainly relying on Mossad assessments like the Americans, that is why they consistently fail (poor assessment- under estimation). Here is a link:

July 31st, 2012, 1:48 am

 

Syrialover said:

Uzair8 #50

Imad Moustapha ambassador to China, eh. And strongly gushing Assad regime disinformation.

That’s not going to look too good for him when Syria has a legitimate government.

He should shut up and not draw attention to what he’s doing. He will surely disgust and alienate his Washington friends from his glory days as Syrian ambassador to the US.

I don’t think the company of the officials and social life in Beijing will be much substitute.

July 31st, 2012, 1:52 am

 

Juergen said:

Bruno

Given Sun Tze was right almost 2000 years back, a rebellion run as you claim in the majority by foreign insurgents is totally unlikely and will have bo backing by the locals.
You leave out the worst scenario for this regime, those who fight for the sake of their country are in a better position than anyone fighting for an foreign cause.The regime claimed months back that they captured hundreds of french soldiers, did we ever see anyone on state tv? Even though such an presentation is a total violation of the Geneva convention, since when does this regime respect this international law?

July 31st, 2012, 2:48 am

 

Bruno said:

@Juergen
(since when does this regime respect this international law?)

And since does & did America ever did respect any international law? from bombing libya using the cover of protecting civilians.

But in reality they were aiding the rebels, breaking the international law in Bosnia. I could go on.

But apparently it seems to me that users on here highly defend the actions by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and even ignore the Islamist link between them and the FSA.

(The regime claimed months back that they captured hundreds of french soldiers, did we ever see anyone on state tv?)

I believe they were french mercenaries not soldiers.

I believe you are referring to this report.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/16/syria-bashar-assad-vows-display-mercenaries

Since when mercenaries are Soldiers again?

(You leave out the worst scenario for this regime, those who fight for the sake of their country are in a better position than anyone fighting for an foreign cause.)

Well i don’t see Assad leaving yet unless there’s an intervention by the west.

The mainstream news outlets have been proclaiming days are numbered
for Assad since last year. And CNN has been pushing the narrative of the one sided propaganda as they did in previous conflicts.

CNN and Clinton in April 2011: Assad’s days are numbered
CNN and Clinton in July 2011: Assad’s days are numbered
CNN and Clinton in December 2011: Assad’s days are numbered
CNN and Clinton in February 2012: Assad’s days are numbered
CNN and Clinton in June 2012: Assad’s days are numbered
CNN and Clinton in 2013: Assad’s days are numbered…

With this high level of accurate “news” reporting, who needs opinion-based or agenda-based news?

Recall the “Damascus Volcano”? Oh that was only two weeks ago.

I guess the people on here are also cheering on for the war in Iran to.

July 31st, 2012, 5:12 am

 

VISITOR said:

Again, for the second night in a row in this blessed and holy month, our victorious forces of the revolution continue their assaults against the invading army of occupation of the criminal sadistic regime. These offensives are extending to newer districts of Aleppo that are under occupation. Fierce fighting continues as we speak with heavy losses deservedly inflicted upon the thugs of occupation.

Very soon, God willing, we will bury this abomination that marred our beloved country and shamed it in front of the world for over half a century.

July 31st, 2012, 5:40 am

 

Bruno said:

@VISITOR
(Again, for the second night in a row in this blessed and holy month, our victorious forces of the revolution continue their assaults against the invading army of occupation of the criminal sadistic regime. These offensives are extending to newer districts of Aleppo that are under occupation. Fierce fighting continues as we speak with heavy losses deservedly inflicted upon the thugs of occupation.)

Isn’t that what you and others on here have said about Damascus Volcano?

(our victorious forces of the revolution continue their assaults against the invading army of occupation of the criminal sadistic regime. These offensives are extending to newer districts of Aleppo)

Not districts outskirts of Aleppo with the help of and from jihadist Saudi Arabian, Qatari and a few other arab terrorist fighters even the Guardian is admitting this now.

(Very soon, God willing, we will bury this abomination that marred our beloved country and shamed it in front of the world for over half a century.)
Thats what you said about two weeks ago.

You remind me of those CNN commentators rebel supporters where they have been claiming for months about the victory.

Over and over again highly unlikely that your terrorist friends are going to win this one.

People aren’t fooled by the propaganda on Sryia. Its a shame that people on here are easily fooled.

Well i cant blame you seeing the age group.

July 31st, 2012, 6:15 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Will Syria Remain Fragmented for Years?

The Lebanese and the Syrian civil wars are uncomparable. In both cases, the reason was about the rivalry between the sects (Maronite vs Sunni ; Alawi vs Sunni). But unlike in Lebanon (1/3 Maronite 1/3 Sunni 1/3 Shi’i), the Syrian Sunnies make an overwhelming majority. They will undoubtedly be the next rulers of Syria. Their challenge though, will be to protect the civil rights of the remaining minorities.
.

July 31st, 2012, 7:12 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

56. BRUNO

Do you remember yourself and thousand of acomodated damascene people saying in self confidence “everything will be ended and under Assad control in 2 or 3 weeks”?

I have been hearing these words of regime confidence for 16 months:

March 2011 – Syria is different, no revolution is possible
April 2011 – President Assad is going to make reforms
May 2011 – Assad is reforming and control the situation
June 2011 – Things are calming down, in some weeks all finished
July 2011 – Ramadan will be the end of the revolution
August 2011 – By Aid things will be calmed down
Sept 2011 – Terrorists are losing ground
Oct 2011 – Bombings in Damascus will let “armed gangs” lose
Nov 2011 – Assad is near to end the contest thanks to Iran
Dec 2011 – The end is near, Assad is making smart intl moves
January 2012 – Assad is going to end the terrorism epicentre
February 2012 – Homs is the end of syrian terrorists
March 2012 – In one month things could be finished.
April 2012 – If Assad stands one month more everything won
May 2012 – As long as Assef and Maher are alive they will control
June 2012 – As long as Damascus is quiet the regime will control
July 2012 – As long as Alepo is quiet the regime will control

July 31st, 2012, 7:13 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Call me mad, but I have trust in syrians, and I believe Syria WILL NOT LIVE DIVIDED nor fragmented. Some 90 % of the population is quiet similar in social status and economical conditions. Some 75 % is Sunna. Christians, ismailis and druzes will not oppose an renewal of power centres.

In this direction I think eliminating regime principals of the Army and Secret Services would help too much to avoid future differences.

Only Rusia and Iran could remain a danger that should be avoided by US dimplomacy.

July 31st, 2012, 7:22 am

 

Juergen said:

Bruno

see there are always folks who will state all is fine when the bombs fall from the skies. Everyone should take the lesson what has happend to Saddam and to Muammar. But enjoy your dream of an Assad Syria as long as it lasts, but dont blame others that you had no idea of the nature of this regime.

July 31st, 2012, 7:23 am

 

zoo said:

The FSA about Islamists: “We shall have to deal with them in the future”

The people who live on Aleppo’s fiercest frontline have fled. Only the fighters remain
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-people-who-live-on-aleppos-fiercest-frontline-have-fled-only-the-fighters-remain-7988037.html

In Aleppo, Assad’s forces are locked in bloody battle with a splintered opposition. Kim Sengupta, the only foreign reporter in the heart of Syria’s second city, reports

It is difficult to ascertain the gains of each side in Aleppo, although some are obviously false – such as Syrian state TV’s assertion of “complete control of Salaheddine”. The opposition claims to control around 45 per cent of the area and said it will be taking over the remainder in the coming days. The Independent travelled through parts of eastern and south-eastern parts with the rebels seemingly firmly in control.

The revolutionaries were not totally united. One base flew the black flag with gold Koranic inscriptions favoured by extreme Islamists and the fighters there polite but suspicious of strangers. “We know about them, but they keep to themselves,” Abdul Fawzi Hussein said. “We shall have to deal with them in the future but for now our focus is on Salaheddine and Aleppo. If we hold Salaheddine, I am sure, Inshallah, if we lose Salaheddine then we shall have difficulty holding on to other areas we have in Aleppo. We must liberate Aleppo.”

July 31st, 2012, 7:45 am

 

zoo said:

The wild cards in Syria, the Kurds and al Qaeeda

Turkey must work with Syria’s Kurds
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/31/turkey-work-with-syria-kurds

While Turkey may be threatened by Kurdish gains in Syria, there’s little it can do to prevent an autonomous Syrian Kurdistan

Ranj Alaaldin

Turkey’s support for the uprising against Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, has been challenged during the last week or so as Kurds in the north-east of Syria have taken control of several towns and cities.

The ploy, if it succeeds, will bring a further extension of Kurdish automony in the Middle East, complementing Iraq’s booming Kurdistan region, where 5 million Kurds govern themselves as a federal entity within Iraq and with minimal interference from the central government in Baghdad.

The problem from Turkey’s perspective is two-fold: firstly, a Syrian Kurdistan alongside Iraqi Kurdistan will encourage Turkey’s own restive Kurdish population to demand greater political and human rights, as well as embolden their demands for autonomy from the rest of Turkey.

Turkey’s Kurds, numbering more than 13 million, are a far more sizeable group than their fellow Kurds in Iraq, Syria and Iran. As in Syria, Turkey’s Kurds have been targeted through oppressive measures that have suppressed their cultural, political and human rights.

July 31st, 2012, 8:01 am

 

zoo said:

“On Sunday, Panetta predicted that the crackdown in Aleppo will prove “a nail in Assad’s coffin” by turning even more people against the government.”

Despite recent rebel gains, Syrian civil war far from over
From Ivan Watson, CNN
July 31, 2012 —
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/31/world/meast/syria-unrest/

….
The rebels also have been able to establish growing enclaves in northern Syria and attempted to seize a number of key border crossings last week. They already control much of the main western highway from Aleppo to the Turkish border.

But on Tuesday, Syrian forces clashed with “armed terrorist groups” on the outskirts of Aleppo and destroyed nine armored vehicles “with all terrorists inside,” state-run TV reported.

In several neighborhoods, those who remained were left without phone, Internet or electricity service as tanks shelled the city, according to Deama, an activist in the city. CNN isn’t using her full name because disclosing it could put her in danger.

“We’re afraid they are going to do something worse. Usually, they will cut off connections and isolate these neighborhoods more when they are about to make something worse,” Deama said Monday.

And in Tunisia, his first stop on a visit to the Middle East, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CNN that al-Assad “knows he’s in trouble, and it’s just matter of time before he has to go.”

Asked what he’d say to the embattled Syrian leader, Panetta said, “I would say if you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you better get the hell out now.”

The United States is providing nonlethal aid to the rebels, including communications gear. Other countries are providing more direct military aid, Panetta said, “so there is no question that one way or another, they are getting the support they need in order to continue this fight.”

July 31st, 2012, 8:06 am

 

Mina said:

Egypt is quietly becoming like Mexico
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/49149/Egypt/Politics-/Gunshots-cause-mayhem-at-Egypts-Qasr-AlAini-Hospit.aspx
” (…) According to Al Ahram Arabic-language news site, the attack was part of a fight that had erupted in Cairo’s impoverished Boulaq district. Two injured were transported to the hospital to seek care for their gunshot wounds. One of them lost his life. Angered by his death, relatives of the deceased attacked the doctors and destroyed parts of the hospital’s seventh floor.
They also went on to search for other patients whom they believe were involved in killing their family member. Meanwhile, security officers arrested two of the assailants and called for reinforcements.
(…)
Doctors have long been complaining of police negligence in securing hospitals. Members of the doctors’ syndicate had announced earlier that they would start a new campaign on Tuesday to expose lax hospital security.

July 31st, 2012, 8:11 am

 

Tara said:

That is why I am in this revolution so people stand in line and no Alawi mukhabarat feels entitled to cut the line just because he can.

“For the first time in this city, I feel like all of us are equal.”

Aleppo residents have mixed reactions to Syria rebels
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/31/us-syria-crisis-aleppo-scene-idUSBRE86U0BR20120731

Reuters’ Erika Solomon has been speaking to residents of Aleppo who have differing views of the rebels:

“I would say 99.9 percent of the people aren’t fasting. How can you fast when you hear mortars and artillery hitting the areas nearby and wondering if you will be next?,” said Jumaa, a 45-year old construction worker with deep wrinkles etched into his leathery skin. “We have hardly any power or water, our wives and kids have left us here to watch the house and have gone somewhere safer. It’s a sad Ramadan.” Despite that, Jumaa is excited to see rebels on the streets of Syria’s second city. “My spirits are high. Seeing them from my doorstep makes me feel the regime is finally falling.”

Crouched on the next stoop, his neighbour sees it differently. “All we have now is have chaos,” Amr grumbles. Some of the men object angrily. “But they are fighting to free us from oppression,” one says. Amr shakes his head. “I’m still oppressed, stuck between two sides making me to choose. I just want to live my life.” …

Whenever rebels idle their trucks on the street, residents come up asking for help to get gasoline for their cars. Many beg the fighters to open more bakeries so the breadlines move faster, and spare people an exhausting hours-long wait in the hot sun. But some in line nod approvingly. “They don’t let anyone cut in, no one is better than anyone else now. The bakers aren’t allowed to hike prices on us,” says Umm Khaled, her face wrapped in a conservative black veil. “For the first time in this city, I feel like all of us are equal.”

Down the street, a crowd of men gather to watch rebels inspecting a burned out police station they stormed last week. Papers, stray shoes and police caps litter the charred building. One man shakes his head as he watches the scene. “We don’t even know these fighters, they don’t talk to us much. But people here just accept whoever has power,” one man whispered. “I’m not with anyone, I am with the side of truth. Right now, that is only God.”
….

July 31st, 2012, 8:28 am

 

Ghufran said:

Hayrham Almaleh was not included in the SNC government that I mentioned yesterday so he decided to make himself the pm of a new government.
بلد كله زعما ما شالله

July 31st, 2012, 8:42 am

 

Tara said:

It is difficult to ascertain the gains of each side in Aleppo, although some are obviously false – such as Syrian state TV’s assertion of “complete control of Salaheddine”. The opposition claims to control around 45 per cent of the area and said it will be taking over the remainder in the coming days. The Independent travelled through parts of eastern and south-eastern parts with the rebels seemingly firmly in control.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/the-people-who-live-on-aleppos-fiercest-frontline-have-fled-only-the-fighters-remain-7988037.html

The Independent’s Kim Sengupta has been in Salaheddin, in the midst of the government offensive to clear the main opposition stronghold in Aleppo and writes that the state’s claim to be in complete control of the area is “obviously false”.

Standing on the road where most of the fighting was taking place, Sheikh Taufik Shiabuddin, the district’s rebel commander, said he welcomed a chance to refute “Assad’s lies”. He counted off the triumphs so far on the fingers of his hand. “We have destroyed two tanks, seven armoured carriers and killed 200 of their soldiers. They had attacked us with a force of 3,000 and they cannot get in. We shall be going forward to them soon, the enemy is suffering,” he said to chants of “Takhbir” (call to God) from his followers, who gathered around him.

The regime’s forces may be suffering, but they still appeared to have a lot left in reserve, judging by the regularity with which mortar and light-artillery rounds came whizzing over. A helicopter gunship made several passes overhead, but it would have been difficult for the pilot to pick out targets in such confined quarters and it flew off to attack elsewhere.

Looking from the fourth-floor balcony of an abandoned flat, curtained like almost every other balcony in the area, one could see a row of eight green Syrian army tanks, possibly Russian made T-55s, with their barrels pointed towards the streets of Salaheddine. “They have been firing from the tanks, but all they are hitting are empty buildings” said the Sheikh’s brother, Ahmed. “We have lost some people for sure, 15 martyrs and 40 wounded. They have tried to bring their tanks in here and we’ve hit them hard. Assad’s people know we are waiting.”
,,,,,

July 31st, 2012, 8:48 am

 

habib said:

59. Amir in Tel Aviv

Lebanon was too small to split up.

It’s funny to compare the Leb and the Syrian war. In Lebanon, the West and Israel supported a Maronite minority in power, who committed massacres against other groups with Western weapons.

Now we’re to believe that the Alawites are somehow demonic butchers supported by the Russians, unlike what the Maronites were? When has this ever been a rpoblem to the West, as long as the group in question was pro-western?

July 31st, 2012, 8:52 am

 

Aleppo said:

There are two things that i really wish Syria can get rid of: 1. Assad and his henchmen, 2. the sense that America/the West/etc used to be the British and the French are manipulating this or that. Let’s not even mention israel.

On the first item i think it will happen. Can’t put the timing down but it will happen. The second is more difficult but unlike what many claim Syria is a homogeneous society, isn’t it? Or what is a country where 80% or so are Sunni? And it will increase as Christians leave. Number 2, which i qualify as a serious issue that hinders development will be addressed only once Assad is gone, and it will be helped by the fact that the country is fairly homogeneous. Hopefully then Syrians will start looking at the issues themselves instead of blaming Mickey Mouse, Scrooge or whomever. Al our wounds ar self inflicted and hence we are the only ones that can deal with them.

July 31st, 2012, 9:11 am

 

irritated said:

Amir

If minorities have no power, they are abused and persecuted. If they get the power they are accused of being the abusers and persecuters.

Jews know all about that

July 31st, 2012, 9:15 am

 

irritated said:

#71 Aleppo

Or what is a country where 80% or so are Sunni? And it will increase as Christians leave.

Sounds like you are hoping for that… It shows well what kind of person you are.

July 31st, 2012, 9:19 am

 

Ghufran said:

SNC is refusing to participate in Haytham almaleh conference,more division and fight over power. Armed rebels had a good day in Aleppo and around it while civilians paid the price,alarabiya by accident showed an armed rebel using artillery, there are also reports about the use of tanks by the rebels near saadllah aljabiri square. This will be far uglier than the fight in Damascus,the damage to syria’s economy will be enormous.
Enjoy the ruins..

July 31st, 2012, 9:21 am

 

irritated said:

#74 Gufran

The rebels are making Aleppo pay dearly for its loyalism and for their humiliation in Damascus.
Yet, without the popular support of the citizens, whatever the rebels gain is fictitious and short lived.
The purpose of the FSA now is to cripple Syria’s economy even more with the hope that will accelerate their goal of reigning on ruins, hatred and spirit of revenge.
They got the second part of it, I doubt they’ll have the chance to get the first.

July 31st, 2012, 9:31 am

 
 

zoo said:

Few months after the Yemeni solution

Clashes in Sanaa as gunmen try to storm Interior Ministry

31/07/2012
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30528

SANAA (Reuters) – Fighting broke out in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday between government forces and tribesmen loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh trying to storm the Interior Ministry to demand jobs, a ministry source said.

It was the second attempt to seize the building in three days.

Dozens of tribesmen exchanged gunfire with security forces preventing them from entering the ministry, the source said. Fighting was still going on but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

On Sunday, around 100 tribesmen occupied the Interior Ministry building, demanding to be enlisted in the police force. They agreed to vacate it on Monday after officials promised to heed their demands.

The showdown highlighted the turmoil in Yemen in the five months since Saleh stepped down in a deal that ended months of protests against his 33-year rule and replaced him with his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Tribesmen have fought alongside government troops in a U.S.-backed offensive against al Qaeda-linked militants that drove insurgents out of several towns in the south of the country last month. Many tribal fighters also sided with Saleh who was toppled by a popular uprising.

Disgruntled tribesmen often bomb oil and gas pipelines and kidnap foreigners as a way to press demands on authorities. The kidnapees usually are freed unharmed.

July 31st, 2012, 9:35 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Irritated #72,

I agree with you. There’s a lot of similarity when it comes to the issue of the Jewish and the Alawi minorities.

That is why I’m with Observer’s idea of a Federal ME. The second option would be to adopt a liberal constitution, that will give the minorities the security they ask for, and deserve.
.

July 31st, 2012, 9:40 am

 

Expatriate said:

4. ERIN
At the end! Thank God! 1,5 year waiting for such comments as your !

July 31st, 2012, 9:50 am

 

zoo said:

The USA and Turkey have decided about Syria’s future on the phone

US and Turkey to ‘accelerate’ Syria transition: White House

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-and-turkey-to-accelerate-syria-transition-white-house-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26731&NewsCatID=338

President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone yesterday “to coordinate efforts to accelerate a political transition in Syria,” the White House said.

This “would include the departure of (Syrian leader) Bashar al-Assad and be responsive to the legitimate demands of the Syrian people,” the statement said.

July 31st, 2012, 9:54 am

 

zoo said:

While Turkey is daily claiming to bomb and kill Turkish Kurds, Davutoglu dares say:

“Aleppo won’t be another Halabja, Turkey says”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/aleppo-wont-be-another-halabja-turkey-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26729&NewsCatID=338V

July 31st, 2012, 10:00 am

 

habib said:

71. Aleppo

Lol, so why do you think we have Israelis ( Amir, AIG) and Westerners (Sandro, Jürgen, etc.) here cheerleading for the FSA every day?

July 31st, 2012, 10:08 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

It happened thanks to people in Damascus who thought Syrian Assad Regime was infallible and Damascus protected by the hand of God whatever its dictator did. It happened thanks to rich and powerfull people who thought that the poor and the miserable were there just because of their ignorance and faults. It happened thanks to people in power who thought people complaining did not deserve negotiations but prison. Thanks to those kind of people, thanks to those who defended their actions like Jad, Bronco, Irritated, Mjabali, Mina, Ann, etc, the syrian structure of power has been distroyed. Do not blame US, Israel, Hariri or Saudis, you are the ones to blame for your arrogance.

July 31st, 2012, 10:14 am

 

zoo said:

Who’s who of Libyans in action in Syria

July 31st, 2012, 10:22 am

 

irritated said:

83. SANDRO LOEWE

Selling the bear’s skin already?

July 31st, 2012, 10:39 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

82. HABIB

You say I am a foreigner and sionist;

Where are you living, inside Syria? Do you have a bussiness in Damascus and you are very worried about it because probably you could not feed your sons?

LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

If I am a foreigner you are the son of a high rank corrupt official of the state, living from its money and enjoying it outside Syria. Deny it please.

July 31st, 2012, 10:48 am

 

Expatriate said:

‘West invented Al-Qaeda, monster turned on master’
Britain’s domestic and foreign policy with a controversial UK MP George Galloway

July 31st, 2012, 10:49 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

85. IRRITATED

I would rather say “the rat’s skin”.

July 31st, 2012, 10:50 am

 

zoo said:

On 25 July, when the ‘chemical issue’ was hot, Saudi Arabia and Qatar thought it was a good time to have a UN assembly (non-binding, non veto-able) resolution voted.
As the “chemical issue” has receded and there are not yet any spectacular ‘massacre’ reported, it seems it has been shelved.
They are waiting for France to call for an ’emergency’ session soon.

Arab nations announce plans to seek new UN General Assembly resolution on Syria crisis
July 25, 2012

By Aida Cerkez,Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press

Arab nations announced plans Wednesday to go to the U.N. General Assembly and seek approval of a resolution calling for a political transition and establishment of a democratic government in Syria following the Security Council’s failure to address the escalating crisis.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi and Qatari diplomat Abdulrahman Al-Hamadi announced plans to seek action by the 193-member world body, where there are no vetoes, during a Security Council debate on the Middle East.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Chief+Kimoon+urges+world+stop+slaughter+taking+place+Syria/6988020/story.html#ixzz22DBtkJjp

July 31st, 2012, 10:53 am

 

irritated said:

#88 Sandro

For the lion’s skin, I guess you’ll have to wait a long time.
In the meantime, I suggest you pay a visit to the tunnels found in Aleppo, I am sure they are many rats skins waiting for you to sell.

July 31st, 2012, 10:57 am

 

Albo said:

Indeed years of fragmentation are awaiting us, and probably the end of that polity that used to be called Syria.
What else can be expected? Arabs are so divided that they are fair game for any better organized regional power: just as Iraq has become Iran’s playground, all these so-called free Syrians and their Gulf patrons are just handing Syria to Turkey on a plate.

And like Iraq and its three de facto autonomous regions, Syria will be unstable and shattered for years if not decades.

Landis quoted people in the opposition who would gladly welcome Israeli support. And pay attention to rhetorics, when people call the regime a foreign occupation. I mean call it what you want, but a foreign occupation it is not! So how can you think Syria’s unity, and subsequently its sovereignty can ever be preserved after all what we’re witnessing.

All the more reasons to fall in the failed state category. Not a very bright idea to bequeath your destiny to countries which have always encroached on your national interests. They are not only those of Alawis or regime people, but those of whichever hands hold Syria. What do you want,
“Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master”- Sallust.

July 31st, 2012, 10:57 am

 

Expatriate said:

Syrian Struggles: Life on edge amid security nightmare
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmHMtO4ZiB8
US State Department spokesperson said Washington is planning to increase aid on top of a $15 million package already allocated for the opposition. Anti-Assad forces have also called on their foreign supporters to supply them with sophisticated weapons to use against government tanks and aircraft. That’s amid continuing clashes in the country’s northern city of Aleppo – where both the army and rebel forces claim progress. The focus of the battles have shifted to the Syrian commercial hub after regime troops flushed out rebels from Damascus over a week ago. But residents of the capital are on edge and on a very tight budget, reclaiming the basics they used to take for granted.

July 31st, 2012, 11:02 am

 

Tara said:

Irritated

People revolting to get their God-given rights are not rats. Dictators who kill and steal are. It is shame that you call rebels rats.

July 31st, 2012, 11:11 am

 

Expatriate said:

Seems that Syria will enter the Guinness Book of Records: state more damage at the hands of the Syrians. 11 billion usd lossed for now by own hands ! dammit !

July 31st, 2012, 11:16 am

 

zoo said:

US working with Syria”s tribal leaders to oust Assad
23/07/2012 | 11:05 PM | World News

http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2254363&language=en

WASHINGTON, July 23 (KUNA) — The United States on Monday confirmed it was working with tribal leaders in Syria to build opposition against the Al-Assad regime.

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that Syrian tribe in the eastern part of the country are “increasingly strong in their opposition of the Assad regime, in their interest in seeing change.” “We are working with them as we are working with other groups, as are many of Syria’s neighbors in the region,” Nuland told reporters at a press briefing.

The State department is seeking to build collaborations between the tribes and opposition groups inside and outside of Syria in order to build a common strategy for transition and prepare for interim security if Al-Assad’s regime steps down from power.
During the 2006 and 2007, Pentagon officials used a similar strategy during the height of conflict in Iraq.

As for the Syrian President’s rule Nuland emphasized the end of the Syrian president and is his regime is imminent, “Assad is going to go. His regime is going to crumble. The question is simply how long.”

July 31st, 2012, 11:16 am

 

irritated said:

#93 Tara

Someone gets what he calls for

88. SANDRO LOEWE said:

I would rather say “the rat’s skin”.

July 31st, 2012, 11:22 am

 

Tara said:

Irritated

I may have misunderstood the exchange. The only rat I see is Batta and murderer Shabeeha. Rebels and supporters are not rats. We can’t dehumanized each others. We are all people.

July 31st, 2012, 11:29 am

 

zoo said:

SNC defector Haytham al Maleh in charge?

Syria opposition figure says to lead government in exile
AFP – 1 hr 5 mins ago

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-opposition-figure-says-lead-government-exile-140244898.html

Syrian opposition figure Haytham al-Maleh told reporters on Tuesday that he has been tasked with forming a government in exile based in Cairo.

“I have been tasked with leading a transitional government,” Maleh said, adding that he will begin consultations “with the opposition inside and outside” the country.

July 31st, 2012, 11:29 am

 

irritated said:

Tara

We are all people?.

If anyone publicly addresses me and allow himself/herself to use animals name to deshumanize or demonize any human being, he’ll get from me an equivalent reply.

July 31st, 2012, 11:35 am

 

zoo said:

Haytham al Maleh in January 2012:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9050199/Syria-Bashar-al-Assad-and-family-will-be-killed-like-Gaddafi.html

“Assad and his family will be killed in Syria, their next steps will be very bloody,” he said. “Two months ago we offered him the option to leave us alone and go but instead he went for the blood of his people. The end for him will be that he is killed like Gaddafi.

July 31st, 2012, 11:39 am

 
 

zoo said:

Who is “The council of Syrian revolutionary trustees”? a new opposition group?

Haitham al-Maleh says he’s been tasked with forming a Syrian government in exile based in Cairo.
July 31, 2012 – 17:07

Haitham al-Maleh, a veteran opposition figure, has told reporters that he has been asked by the The council of Syrian revolutionary trustees with forming a government in exile based in Cairo.

“I have been tasked with leading a transitional government,” al-Maleh said, adding that he will begin consultations “with the opposition inside and outside” the country.

He said he was named by a Syrian coalition of “independents with no political affiliation”.
http://blogs.aljazeera.com/topic/syria/haitham-al-maleh-says-hes-been-tasked-forming-syrian-government-exile-based-cairo

July 31st, 2012, 11:49 am

 

habib said:

101. irritated

When the Free Salafist Army retreats it is “tactical”, but when Syrian soldiers do it is “like rats”? Loool at the disgusting double standards.

July 31st, 2012, 11:50 am

 

zoo said:

Dispatch from Damascus
by MANUEL OCHSENREITER

The reality of the Damascus Volcano
30th July 2012

http://www.quarterly-review.org/?p=948#.UBeZ7s7ppRU.blogger


A final surprise came at the Lebanese side of the border. There I saw the first time the black-white-green rebel flag waving in the wind. Immediately beyond the Lebanese border station were a dozen Western TV teams, waiting for the ‘refugees’. Some of them were paying interviewees in dollars for short interviews; and the wilder the story, the better they seemed to like it. It seems that reality doesn’t mean all that much when the Western media talk about Syria.

July 31st, 2012, 11:55 am

 

ghufran said:

The Guardian provides live updates from Aleppo.
The rebels slaughtered 40 police officers,here you can see them doing their deadly religious dance:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/31/syria-aleppo-fighting-goes-on-live

July 31st, 2012, 12:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Irritated

You taking the time to defend yourself is good enough for me. I’d also say I won’t consider the Syrian Army soldiers, fleeing or not, rats. Some of them lack free will and some are plainly misguided. In my book, Batta and Shabeehas who are paid to kill are the only rats. Those, I can’t for the life of my think they are genuine humans

July 31st, 2012, 12:04 pm

 

Amjad said:

#103

“Loool at the disgusting double standards.”

Lol at the menhebakji who yet again displays his ignorance of guerrilla warfare and how one is supposed to be fought. What long term damage did withdrawing from Baba Amr do to the FSA? Nothing, zilch. Now ask yourself what long harm done has been done to the regime by failing to prevent the FSA from withdrawing from Baba Amr. The answers are in Damascus, Aleppo and all over the Syrian countryside.

Lol indeed.

July 31st, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

Shami said:

Is the corrupt hypocrit Hassoun still in Aleppo ,i hope so ? I can not wait to see him in company of the FSA and the free aleppines.
Also ,for the first time since assad father ,Aleppo is going to be free of the shabiha of beit berri and alikes.

July 31st, 2012, 12:19 pm

 

Amjad said:

In other news, congratulations to Qatar for getting the Arab World’s first medal at the London 2012 Olympics. I’m sure everyone on this forum will, in the spirit of Arab Nationalism for which Syrians are famous for, join me in congratulating our Qatari brothers and sisters on their achievement.

(Mwahahahahahahahahahaha)

“s the corrupt hypocrit Hassoun still in Aleppo ,i hope so ? I can not wait to see he him in company of the FSA.”

Hehehe, Eid has come early it seems 🙂

July 31st, 2012, 12:20 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Tara said:

“I’d also say I won’t consider the Syrian Army soldiers, fleeing or not, rats. Some of them lack free will and some are plainly misguided. In my book, Batta and Shabeehas who are paid to kill are the only rats.” (#106)

YES!

Golden words.

Syria’s legitimate government will be built on this thinking.

For 42 years, 99% of Syrians have done what they can to make a life with the options they have, in the system they are trapped in.

Th rest held the guns and decided what these options were.

July 31st, 2012, 12:56 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Member of Parliament for Aleppo Hassan Shaaban Berri killed by FSA?

July 31st, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

ann said:

US and NATO to Blame for Syria Violence – July 30, 2012

Michael Chossudovsky

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/07/us-and-nato-blame-syria-violence

The US voices outrage at the Syrian Army’s success in clearing Syria’s largest city of Aleppo of anti-Damascus armed groups.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy by attacking the armed groups in the city.

This is while Syrian security forces are clearing more areas across the country of militants.

The United States has said it is enlarging its assistance to Syria’s fractured opposition. Also, according to Reuters, the White House will soon authorize greater covert assistance to the armed gangs.

Washington has already thrown its support behind Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for arming the Syrian opposition.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of Centre for Research on Globalization, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Heated statements by US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, how do you perceive his comments?

Chossudovsky: Well, these are very strong statements because they accuse, they imply an accusation directed against President Bashar al-Assad to the effect that the Syrian government ordered these killings when, in fact, the Free Syrian Army – I’m talking about the killing of civilians – the Free Syrian Army is involved, and we know it, in terrorist activities right from day one for more than 16 months.

There’s ample documentation to the effect that the Free Syrian Army which is supported by NATO and the United States has committed unspoken atrocities against the civilian population; and this is documented – it’s even documented by the Vatican.

When the truth finally surfaces, it is not President Bashar al-Assad who should be held responsible but precisely the Obama administration and Leon Panetta. These are threats directed against a sovereign country.

I should mention another dimension. The feat of the Free Syrian Army, well the self-proclaimed Free Syrian Army, in Damascus and Aleppo is now leading the Western military alliance to a possible deployment of naval power and air power through the dispatch of aircraft carriers, both British and French, to the eastern Mediterranean which are scheduled through late summer.

This has already been announced by the British military defense and several voices have pointed to the fact that so-called humanitarian or armed Syria is contemplated beyond the support provided to the Free Syrian Army — in other words, financing, training and military equipment which has been ongoing for several months.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 1:13 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Syrian Arab Airlines to stop all its flights to Europe forced by new embargo regulations aplied by EU.

http://www.youkal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58833%3A2012-07-31-15-26-03&catid=54%3A2011-04-29-12-25-44&Itemid=126

Even a child will wonder WHY did it take 16 months to decide an embargo against what is doing Assad Criminal Organization?

July 31st, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

ghufran said:

I do not trust anything that comes out of the opposition, with few exceptions, or the regime. both sides have lied from the beginning at the expense of average Syrians. this uprising is officially violent,sectarian and is now driven by money,hatred and revenge,noble and moderate elements in this revolution are pushed aside and will not have the ability to influence events in the near future,it will be up to Syrians to accept or reject the new thugs,I know that they will fail in the long run because Syria can only be ruled from the center,until we get to that point,Syria will only attract war lords,religious zealots and thugs,congratulations.

July 31st, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

Syrialover said:

It’s happening!

Forming now, the building blocks of a legitimate government for Syria.

Watch it evolve. The process now starts to form legs as the FSA efforts confirm the inevitability of Assad’s departure.

A number of things happening at once.

For example:

“The State department is seeking to build collaborations between the tribes and opposition groups inside and outside of Syria in order to build a common strategy for transition and prepare for interim security if Al-Assad’s regime steps down from power.” (#95 – good news from Zoo!)

AND

Syria opposition figure says to lead government in exile

Excerpts:

CAIRO — Syrian opposition figure Haytham al-Maleh told reporters on Tuesday that he has been tasked with forming a government in exile based in Cairo.

Maleh, a conservative Muslim, said he was named by a Syrian coalition of “independents with no political affiliation”.

[When Assad goes], “we don’t want to find ourselves in a political or administrative vacuum,” Maleh said.

“This phase calls for cooperation from all sides,” he said.

Maleh, 81, is a Syrian laywer and human rights activist who has spent several years in prison in his homeland.

He was jailed in October 2009 and released in March 2011 by presidential pardon, just days before the revolt against Assad erupted.

Maleh has worked for Amnesty International since 1989 and helped found the Syrian Association for Human Rights.

He was also imprisoned in 1980 for six years along with a number of trade unionists and political dissidents.

There have been other attempts by the Syrian opposition to prepare for a post-Assad future.

On Monday, Syrian rebels distributed what they called a “national salvation draft” proposal for a political transition, bringing together military and civilian figures.

Over time, the Joint Command, headed by Colonel Kassem Saadeddine, has emerged as an increasingly influential coordinating body among rebel commanders inside Syria.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hDvA7Cep1ERR_bkjdDQH7_lcgTEA?docId=CNG.c3ceaae0a027efe2900a88626b0b2a9c.971

July 31st, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

I think we should try to adapt language to new realities to come.

I propose Assad Mafia to be technically called SICO, or SYRIAN IRANIAN CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION. And its milicias could be called (P)SICO Killers.

July 31st, 2012, 1:21 pm

 

ann said:

West cooperates with Al-Qaeda in Syrian conflict – 31 July, 2012

http://rt.com/politics/syria-aggression-imperialist-communists-475/

The Russian Communist leader, Gennady Zuyganov has accused the West of double standards and hypocrisy over its position on Syria which has resulted in “gruesome bloodshed”.

In his words, “When the US unleashed the Arab Spring in Africa and the Middle East; it let the genie – of Islamic fundamentalism – out of the bottle”.

Washington “instils extremist ideology” in the countries that used to have secular regimes, the Communist leader pointed out in a statement published on the party’s website.

“By supporting radical islamists, the USA aims at impose control over the entire region and points the edge of an extremist dagger at Russia,” Zyuganov says.

While making “grandiloquent statements about democracy and human rights, the West has been waging naked aggression against Syria,” the KPRF head said. To achieve that goal, western countries apply technology that had earlier been exercised in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya: they use mercenaries who are portrayed in their media as fighters for freedom “from a tyrant – the legal Syrian leader”.

Citing reports, Zyuganov stated that “the so-called Syrian opposition” is comprised of over 65,000 mercenaries from Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Jordan. At the same time, the Syrian government’s attempts to get the situation under control “are presented as violence against civilians.”

“The West – that declares war on international terrorists, such as the CIA’s brainchild Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brothers – in fact actively cooperates with them. It is with their help that the undeclared war on Syria is waged today,” Zyuganov stated.

All that, the Russian veteran politician observed, is evidence of a double-faced policy led by Western ‘fighters’ for human rights who condemn only one side of the Syrian conflict – the President Bashar al-Assad regime.

“We are told that Western efforts to solve the Syrian problem are being wrecked by Russia and China who block [UN] draft resolutions providing for [military] interference in Syria and bringing order American-style,” Zyuganov pointed out. At the same time, some politicians in the West say they are going to seek the mandate allowing the use of force against Assad’s government with the help of the Friends of Syria group.

“The US needs a solid reason today in order to legalize hostility,” the Communist head concluded.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 1:23 pm

 

Funk_Monk said:

habib (comment 82),

Well, be fair. Most Assad supporters here seem to be westerners too.
(Apparently they prefer to live in the pro-zionist West instead of the great anti-imperialist Arab republic they always cheer )

Isn’t Denmark a part of the Western world?

July 31st, 2012, 1:28 pm

 

Tara said:

The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey now stands at 44,038, Today’s Zaman reports, quoting the Turkish prime minister’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate. The total includes 525 Syrians who entered Turkey between 30 and 31 July but 532 Syrians returned to Syria over the same period.

The directorate said that so far a total of 73,587 Syrian refugees have entered Turkey and 29,549 of them have returned to Syria of their own volition.

Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey reaches 44,038
31 July 2012 / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,

July 31st, 2012, 1:30 pm

 

Tara said:

I support Haytham al Maleh for transitional president. He is old though. 80 some is old for a president.

July 31st, 2012, 1:34 pm

 

Observer said:

Now more than ever a truth and reconciliation commission is needed to purge the country from the remnants of dictatorship that has afflicted every city and community and ethnicity and sect and even every family.

All of us are victims of oppression, and certainly the conscripts being forced into a force to protect the few.

This is the moment for the majority of the army to actually stop following madness orders from the clique.

Cheers

July 31st, 2012, 1:38 pm

 

ann said:

Economic ruin further threatens stability of war-torn Syria – 31 July, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/syria-social-discontent-war-460/

“Because of all of the ‘special circumstances’ that happened lately, people may be more nervous,” volunteer Taiif Ahmed said to RT correspondent Oksana Boyko. “Of course people have more difficulties getting their supplies. But now everything is getting better.”

Life is slowly returning to the Syrian capital, along with the thousands who fled the turmoil of the past weeks. What they find in their ruined neighborhoods is unlikely to inspire much confidence in either of the warring parties. The damage inflicted to Syria’s infrastructure by the clashes is estimated at over $11 billion, roughly 70 per cent of Syria’s annual budget.

The Assad government has promised to aid in reconstruction efforts, but the sheer scale of destruction, combined with the country’s faltering economy, leaves plenty of unanswered questions. Meanwhile, some Syrians have already lost patience upon returning home and finding their houses gutted and businesses ransacked.

“I don’t support the opposition. I want to live here like my father and grandfather. But if the government can’t provide us with peace and security, either I’ll have to move to another country or the government needs to go,” says Muhammad Adnan al-Buqa’i, a Damascus flour trader who returned home to find all three of his cars destroyed.

“All I want is to finish Bashar Assad. Enough of him,” said 15-year-old Damascus resident Ali. All government sympathizers deserve death, Ali says, pointing at the burnt down police car with the charred remains of an officer still inside.

The conflict in Syria is both political and generational; the young clamor to fight as the old struggle to find cover. “Their only goal is to drag Syria into chaos. Everything was fine, now it’s only getting worse,” said Damascus resident Mahrous Irbiniey.

As the fighting in Syria begins to subside, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that a UN observer mission in Syria came under attack by tanks. The incident allegedly happened in a rebel-controlled region near the war-torn city of Homs.

The US, meanwhile, is preparing to provide rebel fighters with additional $15 million or more in aid. The Syrian opposition has also called on its foreign backers to supply them with advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 1:42 pm

 

zoo said:

Inside Syria: Aleppo’s Christians arm against Islamists

As foreign and local radicals rise amid the chaos of Syria’s civil war, Christians are taking arms from the Assad regime.
Hugh Macleod, Annasofie Flamand and a reporter inside SyriaJuly 31, 2012 07:11

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120731/aleppo-christians-islamists-jihadis-al-qaeda-iraq-sectarian-conflict

ALEPPO, Syria and BEIRUT, Lebanon — As evidence mounts that foreign Islamists are fighting alongside Syria’s increasingly radicalized rebels, Christians in Aleppo and elsewhere are taking up arms, often supplied by the regime.

“We saw what happened to the Christians in Iraq,” Abu George, a Christian resident of Aleppo’s Aziza district told GlobalPost. “What is going on in Aleppo is not a popular revolution for democracy and freedom. The fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army are radical Sunnis who want to establish an Islamic state.”

In interviews with more than a dozen Qseir residents, a Wall Street Journal reporter recently discovered a vicious cycle of murder and kidnap between Sunni and Christian families, triggered by claims that Christians were acting as regime spies. Almost all Qseir’s Christians have now fled, with many taking shelter in makeshift tents in the northern Bekaa valley.

“I used to work as a legal consultant, but now I live like a beggar here in Lebanon,” said a woman who gave her name as Marta and who said her husband had been kidnapped. She said her home in Qseir had been taken over by rebels and destroyed.

Abu George, from Aleppo, said officials from the ruling Baath Party had offered prominent Christians in Aziza and other Christian-majority areas of Aleppo “AKs and pistols” late

July 31st, 2012, 1:43 pm

 

Aleppo said:

“73. IRRITATED said:

Or what is a country where 80% or so are Sunni? And it will increase as Christians leave.

Sounds like you are hoping for that… It shows well what kind of person you are.”

By all means, do tell! What kind of person I am?

July 31st, 2012, 1:49 pm

 

ann said:

Syria “Informals” Set for 3pm on Saudi Draft Reviving What P3+1 Dropped

By Matthew Russell Lee

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1gasaudi073112.html

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 — On Syria at the UN, there are constant echoes, reversions and delays.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative told Inner City Press his draft resolution on Syria would be in the General Assembly on Monday, July 30.

But when July 30 came, there was only a by invitation only meeting at the French Mission to the UN, described to Inner City Press by a participant. Now, more formal “informal consultations” on the Saudi (French?) draft are set for Tuesday, July 31 at 3 pm.

And, they say, the vote is slated for Thursday, August 2.

The draft itself revives a demand that France, Germany, the UK and US agreed to drop from the July 20 resolution extending the UN Mission in Syria for 30 days: that the Assad government must “withdraw its troops and heavy weapons to their barracks contrary to paragraph 2 of resolution 2042 (2012) and paragraph 2 of resolution 2043 (2012).”

The “P3 + 1” agreed to drop this from an earlier UK draft about UNSMIS. When Inner City Press questioned each ambassador except France’s — this wasn’t allowed — about the omission, US Ambassador Susan Rice said to “ask the author.”

This is now the first “operative” paragraph of the General Assembly resolution:

“1. Condemns the Syrian authorities’ increasing use of heavy weapons, including indiscriminate shelling from tanks and helicopters, in population centres and failure to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons to their barracks contrary to paragraph 2 of resolution 2042 (2012) and paragraph 2 of resolution 2043 (2012).”

The word “operative” is in quotation marks because the General Assembly does not have, even on paper, the power to bind UN member states.

So the return to barracks demand was dropped from the resolution of the body which could demand it, only to re-appear as a non-binding paragraph condemn that it hasn’t happened.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 114. Ghufran said: “I do not trust anything that comes out of the opposition, with few exceptions, or the regime.”

Here’s the big personal challenge ahead for all Syrians, Ghufran: to start trusting and form a new vision.

Those who sit around obsessing with negative thoughts, angry, cynical, doomsaying, seething with sectarian spite and all the rest are dead wood.

Worse, they are useless to all those who have sufffered and lost so much in this nightmare.

In contrast, others will be busy preserving and celebrating what’s there, nurturing green shoots and planting new crops to fill the wasteland created by Syrian-people-hater Bashar Assad.

Those soaking in their own attitude should retreat to their private room, close the door and stay there.

Leave others in Syria to get on with it.

July 31st, 2012, 2:02 pm

 

habib said:

118. Funk_Monk

When I refer to “Westerners” I obviously mean non-Arabs. What do these people have at stake in this conflict? Why can’t they go and swamp some Papuan blogs or whatever?

And Israeli flocking to cheer for these Salafists is perhaps not an indication of their sympathies? Yet we are still fed lies such as “Israel prefers Assad in power”, lol.

107. Amjad

I get it, any FSA retreat is tactical. When the jihadis arrive in hell, it is tactical too.

July 31st, 2012, 2:04 pm

 

ann said:

Decisive fighting continues in Syria with participation of extremists – 2012-08-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/01/c_123503662.htm

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) — Syrian forces are carrying on Tuesday with their operation to eradicate insurgency in the conflict-battered Aleppo province and elsewhere in the country amid reports talking about the presence of al-Qaida fighters and other “Jihadists” in the current clashes, which adds a horrifying element to the 17-month unrest.

The state-run SANA news agency said the army hunted down Tuesday armed groups in the Salahuddien district of Aleppo, costing them heavy losses. It said the army also conducted “a qualitative” operation with the help of local people in the Aleppo suburb of Handrat, inflicting hefty toll on the armed groups.

SANA also said that the Syrian forces clashed with “armed terrorist groups” on the outskirts of Aleppo and destroyed nine SUVs “with all terrorists inside.”

The Aleppo clashes have been flaring up since last week, when the leaders of the insurgent groups announced their operation to ” liberate Aleppo,” the commercial capital of the country.

The rebels have pushed towards Aleppo apparently after being dispelled from the capital by the Syrian forces.

The clashes in Aleppo are gaining momentum, in part due to the province’s location near the Turkish borders, which have recently turned into a smuggling route for weapons and foreign fighters seeking to wage ‘Jihad’ in Syria.

The British government has reportedly warned that the worsening situation in Syria could attract Jihadists.

Meanwhile, Guardian said Tuesday that “scores of foreign Jihadists have crossed into Syria from Turkey in the past two weeks, some of them telling Syrians that they are planning to travel to Aleppo to join a decisive battle against regime troops,” adding that “Syrian residents and a Turkish smuggler interviewed by Guardian said many of the men have come from Caucasus, while others from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gulf Arab states.”

The Syrian leadership has for long said that Al-Qaida and like- minded groups are involved in the fighting against the administration of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 2:22 pm

 

Amjad said:

“I get it, any FSA retreat is tactical”

Exactly, now you’re getting the hang of it. If a guerrilla force manages to retreat to fight another day, then the attacking force has failed. What do you think this is, World War 2 where the Allies marched inexorably towards Berlin? There is no center or capital for the regime to capture.

If the regime moves Division Abu Shahata from point A to point B, the FSA just moves to point C. If a brigade splits off to chase the FSA at point C, the FSA just moves to point A. Another brigade splits off to recapture point A? The FSA attacks the much reduced regime forces at point B, exactly like what happened at that base near Aleppo. Meantime, numerous other FSA brigades are springing up in points D through Z.

Seriously, how is it possible that the menhebakjis don’t know how this works by now?

July 31st, 2012, 2:27 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Juergen! back is on the soap! the time of European spring! does not inevitably! that it would be ex-ordinary!

July 31st, 2012, 2:30 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Halabi (#51) talks of the courage of people in Aleppo:

“The destruction of my hometown isn’t something I am rooting for. But I know that my family and most of my friends have come to terms with the risks and understand the type of war the country is going through. We all wish that it ends tomorrow, as long as the regime is over. If not, the fight will continue whether we like it or not.”

This is too what I find.

I am sick with anxiety, but I am proud of them, and it helps me believe they will come through.

July 31st, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Tara said: “I support Haytham al Maleh for transitional president. He is old though. 80 some is old for a president.”

I agree, but if the process is robust and people are working with a common vision, his task as a transitional figure is mainly to stay calm and positive, respect everyone involved and be respected himself.

July 31st, 2012, 2:42 pm

 

ghufran said:

The attacks on police stations in Aleppo and the murder of 40 police officers was a major mistake,it shows that the so-called FSA is now overrun by Islamist thugs and foreign fighters who have no problem burning the green and the dry to spread terror and chaos. those who are cheering the death of tens of ordinary policemen need psychiatric help,you have to remember that we are not talking about a major army unit that was fighting a war or a group of shabeehas who committed atrocities,these were as far as we know a group of poor police men, mostly Sunnis I might add, with families and kids who will never see their fathers again. It is increasingly evident that armed thugs are taking revenge on Aleppo not liberating it.

July 31st, 2012, 2:44 pm

 

Expatriate said:

The Syrian Intelligence War: A Tale of Two Security Headquarters
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

There is much more to the conflict in Syria than meets the eye. Syria is currently the scene of a cold war between the US, NATO, Israel, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on one side and Russia, China, Iran, and the Resistance Bloc on the other hand. Amidst the fighting between the Syrian government and anti-government forces, an intense intelligence war has also been taking place.

Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the Bundes Nachrichtendienst (BND, Federal Intelligence Service), has been pointing its finger at Al-Qaeda for the bombings in Syria. This, however, has the effect of hiding and detracting the role that the intelligence services of the US and its allies have played. By crediting Al-Qaeda, the Bundes Nachrichtendienst is helping get Washington and its allies off the hook. Albeit Al-Qaeda is far more than just a US intelligence asset, the organization and label of Al-Qaeda is a catch-all term that is used to camouflage the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and other affiliated intelligence services.

Syrian intellectuals and scientists have also been reportedly assassinated in Damascus. Like in Iraq and Iran, it is probably the work of Israel’s Mossad and part of Tel Aviv’s policy of crippling scientific and technological advancement in enemy states. Informed sources in Washington have already clarified that Israel is helping the Free Syrian Army and actively participating in the intelligence war against Syria. An unnamed US official has confirmed to David Ignatius that both the CIA and Mossad are involved in Syria. [1] In his own words: “Scores of Israeli intelligence officers are also operating along Syria’s border, though they are keeping a low profile.” [2] A Qatari defector in Venezuela has also been reported to have divulged that the Qataris have been outsourced intelligence work against Syria by the CIA and Mossad………..

July 31st, 2012, 2:46 pm

 

Amjad said:

Ghufran, do you know what a policeman is in Syria? He isn’t your friendly traffic cop tut-tuting as he gives you a ticket for speeding. Police stations in Syria are dungeons. Political prisoners are routinely tortured in those places. I’m sure many prisoners were set free after the FSA took over them.

And by the way, where was Bashar’s army while all those police stations were getting attacked? Left to their fate, most likely.

“Like in Iraq and Iran, it is probably the work of Israel’s Mossad and part of Tel Aviv’s policy of crippling scientific and technological advancement in enemy states.”

*facepalm* No one, not the most vicious “Zionist” spy-planted-as-president, could have done as much damage to Syria’s development as the Duck. Just ask Ali Ferzat and Malek Jandali about Bashar’s war on the art community, if they don’t fall in line with Baathist dogma.

July 31st, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

Erin said:

from what i am reading here that the pro revolution feels that the USA/Israel got the people to revolt then it let them down same with the Shia in southern Iraq! is this what many people trying to say here?
well let me say one more thing that the USA, created Alqaida then hunted them with Drones and killed the leaderso and pleaes don’t forget Hamas who was created by Israel!
I hope people take a notice, it seems not far from now the USA drones may be killing Alqaida in Syria too.
voila.

July 31st, 2012, 3:00 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian troops kill scores of armed insurgents in Aleppo: report – 2012-08-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/01/c_123503806.htm

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) — A unit of the Syrian army battered on Tuesday an armed insurgent group near a fuel station in Aleppo, killing scores of the group’s members, the state TV said.

The armed group was attacked near a fuel station between al- Sukarri and Salahuddien districts in Aleppo, said the TV.

The state-run SANA news agency said the army hunted down on Tuesday armed groups in Salahuddien, costing them heavy losses. It said the army also conducted “a qualitative” operation with the help of locals in the Aleppo suburb of Handrat, inflicting hefty toll on the armed groups.

SANA also said that the Syrian forces clashed with “armed terrorist groups” on the outskirts of Aleppo and destroyed nine SUVs outfitted with PKC machine guns.

Meanwhile, the activists’ groups reported bombardment and clashes in different parts of Aleppo, adding that the rebels have taken control over a police station in the Hanao area after killing 40 police members.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 3:10 pm

 

Shami said:

Today the aleppines are proud to have erased the shabiha emirate of al berri.

July 31st, 2012, 3:22 pm

 

zoo said:

Liberals in Egypt are waking up to the reality. They think they lost their revolution to the Moslem Brotherhood because of the USA.
But they just lost it because that’s the way it is in most revolution. The ones who start it and lead it get kicked aside by a more pernicious and organized force.

It Ain’t Just a River in Egypt

Egyptian liberals lost badly in the post-revolution scramble for power — and now they’re in deep denial as many embrace conspiracy theories about the United States.
BY SHADI HAMID | JULY 30, 2012

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/07/30/it_ain_t_just_a_river_in_egypt

July 31st, 2012, 3:23 pm

 

zoo said:

The Syrian War Gets Even Uglier
30 July 2012
Michael J. Totten
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/syrian-war-gets-even-uglier

The war in Syria continues to get even uglier. As Neal MacFarqhuar reports in the New York Times, more and more foreign jihadists are sneaking into the country each day.
….
But the most likely outcome will continue to worsen the longer this lasts. And if Al Qaeda, the Qataris, and the Saudis have the most on-the-ground influence when the dust clears, the odds that Syria will remain a terrorist-sponsoring enemy of the United States even after regime-change are substantial.

July 31st, 2012, 3:28 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

120. Tarasaid:
I support Haytham al Maleh for transitional president. He is old though. 80 some is old for a president.
_________________________________________________________________

Now all he has to do after this declaration is to win the majority vote of 37 million in/out Syrians, then the easy part get U.S./Israel/Bedouin to give him 5 Billion Dollars to build an army of mercenaries to fight Assad for presidency seat. There is always an air head or two that will back him and support him, but can he get 500 votes.

July 31st, 2012, 3:34 pm

 

ghufran said:

مدينة حلب لن تخضع للمقاتلين الغرباء وليس لديهم في مدينتنا حاضنة شعبية تقبل بهم كما في حمص ، هنا لا يستطيع الوهابيون الحديث عن علويين ومسيحيين يعتدون عتلى السنة لإثارة حرب طائفية، ليس في حلب إلا الحلبيون السنة والمسيحيون لا يملكون قوة عسكرية ولا يمكن اختراع الاكاذيب عنهم ،
مدينتنا رفضت الانضمام للحراك الشعبي فعاقبونا على الطرقات العامة قرب ادلب وريفها وفي ارياف حمص وشتمونا وشهروا بشهامة حلب وأهلها وقد حان اليوم وقت الحلبيين ليحملوا السلاح دفاعا عن بيوتهم . لقد فضل اهل حلب الاستقرار على مطالب التغيير التي توجسوا منها شرا وجلهم يقول ” أمسك بما لديك الذي تعرفه لكي لا يأتيك أسوأ منه ”
it is the people of Aleppo against foreign and domestic terrorists,first the predictable regime thugs and now the new unpredictable thugs,some of you may want to put makeup on this pig but it is still a pig,this monster will eat you after it is done with its immediate enemy.

July 31st, 2012, 3:34 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Aboud name was burned beyond recognition the same way Africans bodies are burned by FSA because of the shame they bring.

July 31st, 2012, 3:35 pm

 

zoo said:

It looks that the ‘jihadists’ pouring from Turkey to help their brothers the FSA to “topple” Bashar the Heretic will soon create the Aleppo Sunni Caliphate to the absolute delight of the anti-regime crowd on SC…

Decisive fighting continues in Syria with participation of extremists
2012-08-01

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) — Syrian forces are carrying on Tuesday with their operation to eradicate insurgency in the conflict-battered Aleppo province and elsewhere in the country amid reports talking about the presence of al-Qaida fighters and other “Jihadists” in the current clashes, which adds a horrifying element to the 17-month unrest.

July 31st, 2012, 3:37 pm

 

irritated said:

141. Aldendeshe

He got one from Tara and SL already.. 498 to go.

July 31st, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Came across this video (published 30 Jul 2012)

Journalist from Japan inside Syria converts to Islam after witnessing high morals of Mujahideen

July 31st, 2012, 3:40 pm

 

Tara said:

Irritated

I am not an air head.

July 31st, 2012, 3:51 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

While the opposition is killing لوي الزغبي the father of Syrian rocket program and سمير تقيه with patents
From Siemens (SHABEEH !!) they are excited about turning a Japanese into moslem!!

July 31st, 2012, 4:09 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

LeverrierIgnace
@dimam78 @BintAlRifai I confirm. Regime offered weapons to Christians in Damascus (bab tuma, kasaa). A lot refused. Same thing in Aleppo

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/leverrierignace-dimam78-bintalrifai-i-confirm-regime-offered-weapons/

If true, it would make sense. The regime cannot defend be everywhere so are wanting to hand over responsibilitie to kurds, christians etc.

July 31st, 2012, 4:11 pm

 

Amjad said:

So many hits on my blog, I never realized so many people despised Angry Batekh 🙂

“the father of Syrian rocket program”

The rocket program that apparently couldn’t produce a single firable rocket? Or else why did your prethident not use those rockets when Israel humiliated him time and again? And no one uses “rockets” these days, they use “missiles”.

July 31st, 2012, 4:12 pm

 

omen said:

snk! you made bail!

July 31st, 2012, 4:31 pm

 

habib said:

129. Amjad

Seems like there are hardly any Syrians left in the “Free Syrian Army”, so I guess the Syrian Army has succeeded, apart from the fact that each FSA member they’ve mopped up has been replaced by five foreign jihadis.

What to do?

July 31st, 2012, 4:33 pm

 

omen said:

28. IRRITATED said: The USA has a history of using local grievances they exacerbate and encourage through discreet manipulation in order to create internal conflicts that weaken the country as a whole. This pattern is obvious in Syria.

in other words, everybody is to blame but assad. do you hold the regime responsible for anything? if bashar were sunni, would you still defend him?

July 31st, 2012, 4:37 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

FSA leading attack on Hamdaniya Sport City, centre of Assad milicias, where some 80 tanks and most of the milicias are located. I do not think they succed, it would mean the end of 41 years of Assad repression in Aleppo. Too big to believe it.

http://www.youkal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58856%3A2012-07-31-20-38-52&catid=54%3A2011-04-29-12-25-44&Itemid=126

http://www.youkal.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58859%3A2012-07-31-20-48-29&catid=54%3A2011-04-29-12-25-44&Itemid=126

July 31st, 2012, 5:05 pm

 

Albo said:


Ghufran, do you know what a policeman is in Syria? He isn’t your friendly traffic cop tut-tuting as he gives you a ticket for speeding. Police stations in Syria are dungeons. Political prisoners are routinely tortured in those places. I’m sure many prisoners were set free after the FSA took over them.

And by the way, where was Bashar’s army while all those police stations were getting attacked? Left to their fate, most likely”

Bullsh*t. Your random Syrian cops, not the fat cats the rank and file, are more often than not so thin that they inspire pity, hardly fear.

The ones I used to encounter were always underpaid chaps performing the menial tasks of regulating traffic and preserving public order, the kind of thankless job without which any society devolves into a jungle within days. But of course you don’t mind such a state of affairs as it is exactly your purpose; thugs are everywhere in your guerilla so they better be unhindered.

But it’s nice thing to see how desperate your are to spin that killing, however you try to justify it and whatever your claims it’s not as if their guilt or innocence had been seriously weighted before they executed them expeditiously . Rebel’s justice. It makes Hammurabi’s times look incredibly advanced by comparison.

And there are people still claiming a higher moral ground for these scum.

July 31st, 2012, 5:10 pm

 

Tara said:

Where is Mina telling us about the Muslim minority in Maynamar being slaughtered, starved, and displaced. She would’ve had no problem reporting any finger cut committed against shiaa or Copt. Where is she now?

July 31st, 2012, 5:15 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Fresh news about the summarial execution of 20 members of Hassan Sha’aban Berri clan in Aleppo in what seems to be a revenge violating international laws and treaties. If Assad does not stop his killing machine soon, it is quiet probable that this kind of massacres be repeated with all political, militar and security members of Assad Mafia system.

July 31st, 2012, 5:19 pm

 

Mina said:

The Salafis in Egypt are very active on the Myanmar topic Tara, no doubt you will join their movement soon, aren’t you?

July 31st, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

Ales said:

138, Shami: “Today the aleppines are proud to have erased the shabiha emirate of al berri.”

Erased like in video below? Erased like families in Houla and about to be erased minorities and all those who don’t support them and their violence?
Is this comment a sign of times to come? It’s certainly a sign of this blog degeneration.

July 31st, 2012, 6:07 pm

 

Ales said:

156, Sandro Loewe:

Another supporter or eradication. Only a few millions more to eradicate.

July 31st, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

Tara said:

Of course Mina, Contrary to you Mina, I get inflamed when any human get slaughtered. I do not have selective passion to Copts and Shia only. Selective humanity repulses me.

July 31st, 2012, 6:20 pm

 

Expatriate said:

irritated!
what a face would have this maestro if the plan does not give regime change ?

The US voices outrage at the Syrian Army’s success in clearing Syria’s largest city of Aleppo of anti-Damascus armed groups.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Sunday that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy by attacking the armed groups in the city.

This is while Syrian security forces are clearing more areas across the country of militants.

The United States has said it is enlarging its assistance to Syria’s fractured opposition. Also, according to Reuters, the White House will soon authorize greater covert assistance to the armed gangs.

Washington has already thrown its support behind Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey for arming the Syrian opposition

should mention to conclude that the Western military alliance so far, it’s credibility is shattered; and its options even if it professes superior military strike force, it’s options are limited in relations to the Syrian government’s resolve and the Syrian people’s resolve to protect their country against foreign aggression.

July 31st, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

omen said:

in a story about foreign fighters, possibly al qaeda, infiltrating into syria, this advocacy group i never heard of before was mentioned.

aje video

1:31: the us government recently gave the syrian support group, a washington based organization lobbying for the free syrian army the rights to collect and send money and non-combat equipment to the fsa.

1:42 their representative is an ex nato advisor. [shows image of a man in military uniform with insignia]

1:46: brian sayer (syrian support group) : “we are very careful about where these funds will go. where the financing, where the logistics will go. we see the best structure for these funds is to come under the military council structure. we talk to them everyday, we vet these people, we know who they are.”

July 31st, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

omen said:

an article that tells more about this group:

US Authorizes Financial Support For the Free Syrian Army

A US group that supports the Free Syrian Army has received a waiver from the US Treasury Department authorizing it to provide logistical and financial support to the armed Syrian resistance.

The waiver was received from the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) last week, Brian Sayers, of the Syrian Support Group, told Al- Monitor in an interview Friday.
“The OFAC decision is huge,” Sayers said. “It gets us the leeway to support the Free Syrian Army in broad terms.”
The Syrian Support Group hired Sayers, who previously spent six years working in NATO operations in Brussels and Kosovo, four months ago to be the Washington agent for the group.

[…]

In the near-term, the “OFAC letter allows for providing financial, communications and logistics support to the FSA,” Sayers said. That could include paying for FSA salaries and provisions, as well as “communications equipment, satellite imagery, paying for satellite imagery, logistical support for transport, which could mean everything from buying a 4×4 to supporting someone’s travel to Turkey.”

On their more intermediate term wish-list, “our ask is intelligence support, drone support, eyes in the sky, an intelligence platform,” Sayers said. Syria’s rebels “need both intelligence and weapons,” as they seek to carve out and protect safe areas on the ground in Syria, and try to secure the defection of more members of the Syrian military.

July 31st, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

ghufran said:

armed rebels in Aleppo behaving like animals:

the revolution will pay a heavy price for copying its stated enemy’s much condemned behavior,the choice now will be between two equally disgusting types of thugs,this is a revolution that has lost its head and its soul.
قام مسلحون من الجيش الحر بحلب بإعدام أكثر من عشرة أسرى من آل بري ظهر اليوم الثلاثاء في مدرسة ابتدائية يتخذونها مركزاً لعملياتهم العسكرية في شرقي مدينة حلب .
و بث ناشطون من المعارضة شريطاً يصور عشرات من مسلحي لواء التوحيد يقتادون رجالاً من آل بري بينهم زينو بري ويمطرونهم بوابل من أسلحتهم الرشاشة .
و سادت أوساط المعارضة في حلب و الخارج فرحة عارمة مع بث فيديو الإعدام الذي تم بطريقة بدائية ومن مسافة قريبة جداً حيث اشترك عشرات المسلحين في إطلاق النار بغزارة على الأسرى ، وهم يكبرون باسم الله .
وتكومت جثث المقتولين في المدرسة الابتدائية فيما توعد الجيش الحر بإعدام اكثر من 100 أسير من الشرطة و المؤيدين و أعضاء حزب البعث الحاكم

July 31st, 2012, 6:37 pm

 

Expatriate said:

158.
Can send this video to the Vatican for the pride of our religion and Islamic Eminence ?

July 31st, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

ghufran said:

ارتكبت القوات السورية مجزرة في صفوف مسلحي لواء التوحيد الذي دخل مدينة حلب قادماً من ريفها قبل أيام .
وقال مصدر مطلع إن الجيش السوري وقوات حفظ النظام أوقعا مجموعة كبيرة من مسلحي لواء التوحيد تقدر بــ 400 عنصر في كمين محكم أثناء تنقلهم ومرورهم بالقرب من محطة خياطة للوقود في حي السكري
there is no doubt that Aleppo battle is proving to be far more bloody than expected, it is here where the future of the uprising and Syria will be drawn for years to come.

July 31st, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

Expatriate said:

‘Playboy General of Damascus’ Eyeing a Post-Assad Role
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/07/generals-road-map.html
As the fog of war lifts, Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, also known as the “Playboy General of Damascus,” will assume the most strategic post in the post-Assad transition period.
After reportedly leaving his country for Paris two weeks ago, Tlass is now in touch with the important actors of the Syria crisis armed with the support he got from the United States.
First he went to Saudi Arabia where, under the pretense of an Umra pilgrimage, he met with King Abdullah’s team. He then came to Ankara where he met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the undersecretary of National Intelligence Organization, Hakan Fidan.
Before we go into Tlass’ mission and his road map, two pertinent points have to be made:
1. He did not escape from his country but left with Assad’s permission. True, Assad could have dismissed him under pressure of his advisers and his military. But we should not ignore the possibility that Assad could have assigned Tlass to work on a soft transition of the Syrian regime.
2. Until today, Tlass did not once call on Assad to give up his post and leave. He did not go beyond soft criticisms such as, “I don’t see a Syria with Assad from now on.”
Now, about his mission: That a leader has not yet emerged to control the Syrian National Council, the incessant bickering between internal and external-based opposition factions — and the continuing fragmentation of the opposition — inevitably prompts questions, which have exhausted the Friends of Syria group, as to how these people will rule post-Assad Syria. No wonder they are now searching for other options.
Tlass is a product of this search.
The handsome general’s road map is slowly taking shape. Never mind that a part of the opposition says, “There is no place for Baath officials or generals in the new era.” Syria’s friends, definitely the US, see the Syrian army as the sole guarantor of integrity and stability of the country…………..

July 31st, 2012, 6:56 pm

 

Aleppo said:

165. GHUFRAN

Yes, this is the sad reality of war. I believe that much worse is taking place on both sides. The image of romantic guerillas in Cuba for example was just that, a Hollywood invention 1959 vintage Left creation. Che Guevara, at the UN said “we have shot and we\’ll continue shooting people: he was talking about “revolutionary justice” which is short for arbitrary execution or jailing.

If Assad had been serious about reforms none of this would have happened. If the criminal, self centered, delusional, small minded Assad had been once a public servant, Aleppo would not be fired upon by Syrian helicopters on a battle that is gong to be lost sooner or later and hence completely pointless. Forget US, KSA, Turkey, Qatar, Iran, Russia or whomever. The only one responsible, in the sense that it could have avoided this tragedy, was Bashar.

As for fragmentation of Syria, I am willing to bet that not a single square meter of Syrian territory will be lost. Certainly not to the Alawites. Kurds are an issue but can be dealt with diplomatically.

July 31st, 2012, 6:58 pm

 

Tara said:

The devil and his wife.  First lady of hell.  

 al-Assad and that Vogue piece: take two!
The journalist who wrote the hagiography has hit back at her former employer over who was responsible for its tone

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2012/jul/31/asma-alassad-vogue-blame-game

If she had looked even a little more closely Joan Juliet Buck might have noticed the thorns. In 2010 she wrote an article headlined “A Rose in the Desert” for US Vogue, praising the beauty and philanthropy of Asma al-Assad, wife of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. …. Now Buck, whose Vogue contract was not renewed, has written a riposte to the furore.

And yet, somehow, the mea culpa is almost as disastrous as the initial interview. From describing Asma as “the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies” in the original piece, Buck switches to the equally hyperbolic title “first lady of hell” and calls Bashar “the devil”. Syria is no longer the orientalist fantasy of fashion magazines – the land of silk and ruins she described in her Vogue piece–- where Christian Louboutin has a home and Sting drops by. Instead, it is – equally unrealistically – a byword for evil, “Syria. The name itself sounds sinister like syringe, or hiss,” Buck writes. (This ridiculous description at least has had the cheering effect of sparking a funny Twitter hashtag #countriesbyvoguewriters – with tweets such as: New Zealand. Because the old Zealand is so last season)

The title of the Newsweek article is “Mrs Assad duped me”, but it is never clear how. When Asma told her the Assad home was run on “wildly democractic” guidelines (her children “voted” to buy a chandelier made from comic books), did Buck think it meant her husband’s election hadn’t been rigged? Or when Asma stressed her NGO’s work in making young people engage in “active citizenship”, did Buck take it to mean Asma would cheer on protestors who sought to topple her husband?

In fact it’s hard to tell if Buck asked Asma – or Bashar whom she also met – any real questions at all. Certainly not why anyone would marry a man whose father slaughtered 20,000 people in three weeks…

To be fair to Buck she does explain that she had not wanted to meet the Assads, but Vogue told her they wanted no focus on politics at all. She also says she alerted her editors to her disquiet over the timing of the article. And that she was appalled at the regime’s subsequent brutality. It seems clear that Vogue is equally to blame for the controversy.
….

July 31st, 2012, 7:00 pm

 

habib said:

165. ghufran

http://youtu.be/5Pjk1sYEjuU

These are the “heroes”? Executing unarmed men up against what appears to be a school wall?

Hypocrite cowards. Syria will be much worse than it ever was under the Assads, wait and see. It’ll be Saudi Arabia crossed with Afghanistan. Disgusting.

July 31st, 2012, 7:04 pm

 

omen said:

164. ghufran, sorry about that.

hopefully, this new group (163.) offering money and material to the fsa will insist upon a code of conduct as a condition of support.

something andrew tabler recommended be done long ago.

July 31st, 2012, 7:05 pm

 

ghufran said:

تبنت كتائب ” الجيش الحر” عملية اختطاف الشيخ محمود حسون
Mahmoud is the Mufti’s brother

July 31st, 2012, 7:08 pm

 

Tara said:

In all honesty, any indignation from the regime supporters in regard to the FSA’s summary execution is hypocritical and meaningless. I would only value indignation from Ghufran. The rest have all along uttered no word of condemnation during the last 17 months over the regime’s many summary executions, torture, and killing the innocents. It is too late for this indignation now to be taken seriously ..

Nevertheless, I am against street justice. FSA should show not stoop to the level of the regime.

July 31st, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

omen said:

171. HABIB said: It’ll be Saudi Arabia crossed with Afghanistan. Disgusting

a “secular” version of saudi arabia/afghanistan’s totalitarianism.

that describes the assad regime.

July 31st, 2012, 7:12 pm

 
 

Expatriate said:

Panetta better get the hell out – Assad
http://www.rt.com/news/panetta-syrian-military-intact-458/

July 31st, 2012, 7:20 pm

 

Tara said:

I just watched the link @171. OMG. It is horrible. FSA’s leader should not allow this to happen again.

July 31st, 2012, 7:21 pm

 

omen said:

there have been other reports (like this one) that show rebels treating prisoners with humanity. allowing families to come visit prisoners, for example. they invite red cross and other human rights groups to come inspect them. how about giving them credit for that?

nobody matches the regime’s level of depravity. equating rebels as being as bad as the regime is a false equivalency loyalists cling to to assuage their guilty conscience for having supported such an evil regime as long as they have.

July 31st, 2012, 7:22 pm

 

habib said:

178. Tara

They’ve done worse. Slow beheadings that were quickly deleted from Youtube for being too explicit.

As for comment 174, well, you’re the ones who claim to hold the moral high ground, these events just show that no side is better than the other, at the very least.

All that matters is allegiance and sympathy, justice is irrelevant now.

179. omen

Remember how well Saddam treated his American hostages back in the 90s? Did anyone applaud him for that? Lol!

175. omen

Bollocks, Syria under Assad was never worse than say, Jordan under the Hashemites or Egypt under Mubarak. Theocracies are a whole different matter.

July 31st, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

ann said:

Armed men kidnap Syria’s grand mufti’s brother in Aleppo – 2012-08-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/01/c_123504367.htm

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) — Unidentified gunmen kidnapped overnight Tuesday Sheikh Mahmoud Hassoun, brother of Syria’s grand mufti Badruddien Hassoun.

Mahmoud Hassoun was abducted during the Tarawih prayers in Osama bin Zaed mosque in Aleppo and was taken to unknown destination, according to local media.

The Syrian mufti, who was reportedly targeted due to his supportive stance to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, has recently suffered the loss of his son who was assassinated by armed groups in Aleppo.

A couple of days ago, another Imam, Abdul-Latif al-Shami, was kidnapped from a mosque in Aleppo and later found killed.

[…]

July 31st, 2012, 7:51 pm

 

Amjad said:

And what exactly did the menhebakjis think that their prethident meant by “total war”? Their hypocrisy is disgusting.

In total war, bad things happen. It is unfortunate, and one would have wished that those three shabihas would have been interned in humane prisons, with a state appointed lawyer, and visits from family members, and due process with their day in court, and if found guilty by their peers, a punishment fitting the crime, with time off for good behavior, so that they could leave prison as fully productive and rehabilitated members of society.

But alas, they became just one more statistic in Assad’s “total war”.

July 31st, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

omen said:

180. habib, your outrage rings hollow.

earlier you laughed at incidences of rape and murder the shabiha committed that tara pointed to.

July 31st, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

Tara said:

Habib

I said before your indignation is hypocritical. You never showed any sympathy before when 20,000 killed by the regime in cold blood. Sorry to be blunt, but that is the truth.

July 31st, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

habib said:

182. Amjad

So as I said, this is not about justice or human rights, since you guys use the same tactics you accuse the Syrian government of.

So what exactly is gained from replacing them with you? What is the difference? Sunni, as opposed to Alawite, hegemony? Good luck with getting minority support for that.

In any case, it seems like the FSA will soon duke it out with the Kurds on behalf of their Ottoman masters, it’s a question of when.

183. omen

Not because I support it, but because I don’t believe such unconfirmable reports.

184. Tara

You’ve claimed the opposition held the moral high ground, and the West agrees with you, so whatever I say or believe is irrelevant, since you won’t acknowledge it anyway. The onus is on you to prove you’re right, my opinion is inherently irrelevant.

July 31st, 2012, 7:57 pm

 

VISITOR said:

Huh….

Why would any one defend a Shabbi7h on this blog?
Shabi7h’s just punishment is death, pure and simple. Those who fired at the Shabbi7hs were simply responding to the people’s ruling that you can hear in the background. The people do not want these undesirable elements to be part of the society. What’s so bewildering? Does any shabbi7h expect mercy?

Take a deep breath then ask these mothers how they feel, instead of defending a beast of a criminal:

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/31/229542.html

July 31st, 2012, 8:13 pm

 

habib said:

186. VISITOR

Replace every instance of Shabih in your post with Salafist, and see what you get. But how much reflection can one expect form a bunch who can’t tell the Palestinian flag from the Iranian one?

Also, anyone seems to be fair game, as long as someone accuses him of being a Shabih. Will we soon see children and women Shabih? Lawl.

In other, more interesting news, the Kurdish Spring:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG28Ak02.html

July 31st, 2012, 8:16 pm

 

Amjad said:

“So what exactly is gained from replacing them with you? What is the difference? ”

Yeah, there was no point in replacing Mussolini with a free and democratic Italian government, even though Mussolini was shot and strung up by a mob.

The difference is the threshold to earn such “punishment”. Spend 18 months brutalizing, beating up and killing the residents of Syria’s 2nd largest city, then don’t be too shocked if your back is to a wall when they rise up and fight back. But in Assad’s Syria, it’s enough to write graffiti on the walls of a school to earn three weeks of torture in a police dungeon. So far, I’ve nothing to suggest that anyone but the most vile and worst of the shabihas have been the “victims” of mob justice.

Your beloved Putin draws his legitimacy from a party that executed the Czar and his wife and children in cold blood.

July 31st, 2012, 8:19 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

It is not defending a shabe7 that is the issue, but turning into the monster we are trying to bring down is.

Summary executions make the FSA no better than the shabi7a. War is no excuse for barbarity. You don’t fight blood with more blood, blood never sleeps.

July 31st, 2012, 8:23 pm

 

habib said:

Yet again the damn spam filter makes communication impossible. I’ll try to break up my message.

188. Amjad

Read comment by SOD before getting too uppity.

Post Soviet Afghanistan is a better equivalent than post-WW2 Italy. I’m sure that ordinary Afghans would prefer the Taliban, lol.

July 31st, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

Once you start showing some indignation towards the thousands murdered, butchered and raped by your pathetic leader your “outrage” will be taken seriously. But since it follows the typical menhibak filth mentality were only Assad’s men are worthy and anyone else that dares to question his authority deserve an ugly death, I’ll file your “outrage” in the “it should’ve been the opposition and not shabi7” category.

July 31st, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

habib said:

Yet again the damn spam filter makes communication impossible. I’ll try to break up my message.

188. Amjad

Read the first comment by SOD before getting too uppity.

190. Son of Damascus

I take the rape claims as seriously as the months old claim that Assad already used chemical weapons.

July 31st, 2012, 8:36 pm

 

habib said:

188. Amjad

Instead of Italy, look no further than Afghanistan after the Socialist government fell to Islamist rebels. I’m willing to bet the average Afghanis miss them now.

As for the Russian Revolution, who are you kidding? Your Turskish overlords murdered millions of civilians in the exact same decace, should I blame you for that?

Ridiculous.

July 31st, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

omen said:

just heard this:

rebel sources tell nbc news that for the first time in this conflict the free syrian army has been armed with nearly two dozen shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles. that they came in from turkey. rebels hope that this is just the first batch and said their effects will be felt soon.

video of report.

shows weapon type at 0:32.

July 31st, 2012, 8:41 pm

 

VISITOR said:

Habib # 186

Please save me the fallacy of your comparison. Your scarecrow salafist has become so stale and antiquated it doesn’t scare a kid anymore.

SOD 189,

The monster you’re trying to avoid is imposed on you and your choices are limited. Have you ever heard of the term deterrence?

In any case this is something to ponder upon. An eyewitness account of an ordinary Damascene of the latest atrocities committed by the roaming monster(s)

http://www.nowlebanon.com/Arabic/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=423892

July 31st, 2012, 8:42 pm

 

habib said:

194. VISITOR

Lol, so we have one last remnant who denies that the FSA is infested with Salafists. You win the prize.

Now get with the damn programme.

July 31st, 2012, 8:49 pm

 

zoo said:

By PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – 11 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/humanitarian-problems-grow-besieged-aleppo-190200520.html
….
While there had initially been speculation that Assad’s regime might be in serious danger from the rebels, especially after a bomb killed four top security officials in Damascus on July 18, the core of the army has remained intact and the fight looks set to be prolonged.

A high-ranking Western diplomat familiar with the intelligence assessments on Syria said most expected the civil war to be a drawn-out affair.

There is also a great deal of concern in the West over the flow of foreign militants into Syria to fight a jihad, or holy war, against Assad’s regime, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss such matters.

Militants from Chechnya, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been joining the rebels in significant numbers entering by way of Iraq and Lebanon and bringing along skills gleaned from battling the Americans and Russians, the diplomat added.

Syria has long branded the opposition as being foreign-funded “terrorist mercenaries” even when the anti-government movement was overwhelmingly peaceful and Syrian. Now, however, it appears that elements involved in militant jihads are increasingly joining the fight.

July 31st, 2012, 8:51 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

“I take the rape claims as seriously as… “

Do you have evidence to the contrary? Are Amnesty, Doctors Without Boarders, Human Rights Watch, and the UN Human Rights commission all lying?

Please do share your info that actually disapproves these claims?

From someone close to me, I know rape is a horrific ordeal, in many cases the victims never really get over the crime committed on them, not to mention the ugly stigma that is prevalent in the Arab world towards rape victims.

The allegation of rape in Syrian jails are extremely serious, and should not be so easily dismissed.

I really hope you would never have to go through the pain of having someone you love and care for raped, but I can assure you if those unfortunate circumstances did happen you would never be so callous to dismiss it so quickly.

July 31st, 2012, 8:53 pm

 

bronco said:

The “massacre” Clinton was worried about seems to be the massacre of Christians, Alawites and Shia by the hordes of Sunni Islamists extremists that Erdogan has unleashed.

History will judge very severely the FSA and Turkey to have allowed and encouraged that to happen and they will have to pay someday.

July 31st, 2012, 8:56 pm

 

habib said:

197. Son of Damascus

Rape claims by “eyewitnesses”, the same people who have been lying for months now. Why should we believe this specific claim? I’ve heard that FSA rapes people too, and I consider such claims equally credible.

198. bronco

Well, Turkey hasn’t been judged now, nearly hundred years after their previous massacre of minorities.

July 31st, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

irritated said:

195. habib

Our Man in Hatay is himself a Salafist who hate Shia and Christians and adores Saudi Arabia’s regime. What can you expect?
He was supposed to be in Turkey advising the FSA but they kicked him out because he is too hysterical and harmful.

July 31st, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Visitor,

“The monster you’re trying to avoid is imposed on you and your choices are limited.”

Trust me I am well aware of the monster we are facing, maybe more so than some on this blog.

The Assadists actions should never justify our actions. The ends will never justify the means, wrong is wrong no matter how you dress it up.

“Have you ever heard of the term deterrence?”

Did the mafia flattening Homs, slaughtering 20 thousand Syrians, displacing millions deter us? It is foolish to think it will deter them…

July 31st, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

irritated said:

193. omen

Tit for Tat

The PKK will get theirs very soon… Get ready for more casualties in the Turkish army.

July 31st, 2012, 9:05 pm

 

VISITOR said:

No Habib 195,

You seem to have misunderstood, perhaps deliberately. So laugh low and not loud at your lack of comprehension. Your comparison is invalid, i.e. a salafist (imagined or real) is not comparable to a beastly monster of a shabbi7h, who is the lowest of the lowest of species in this world.
What I said was no one is scared of your scarecrow salafist any more even if he exists. That should be very obvious to a grade ‘tenner’.

July 31st, 2012, 9:06 pm

 

omen said:

199. this was first hand testimony from a shabiha member, habib. more than an eyewitness, a participant to the regime’s horrors.

only the delusional pretend this regime is flawless and without fault.

July 31st, 2012, 9:07 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

VICTIMS are more than just eyewitnesses

” I’ve heard that FSA rapes people too, and I consider such claims equally credible.”

If that indeed is happening it is equally wrong, but unlike you I don’t condone such heinous acts no MATTER WHO COMMITS them.

July 31st, 2012, 9:07 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Amjad of Arabia has made it to Yalla Souriya.

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/angry-arabs-shameful-labeling-of-western-reporting-in-syria-as-shameful/

I had a look/read at the blog yesterday. Keep up the good work.

July 31st, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Massacre of Alawites, shites, and Christians??

How many of them died in this revolution? Less than 10? Compared to 13,0000 Sunni civilians!

I am just not used to you spreading unfounded facts. Please note that the Baris were Sunnis.

July 31st, 2012, 9:13 pm

 

irritated said:

Arrogance rimes so well with stupidity and cruelty after you spend sometime in Hatay.

July 31st, 2012, 9:15 pm

 

habib said:

203. VISITOR

“Shabiha” is used as a convenient term for anyone who don’t support the FSA, and are therefore legitimate targets. It has no proper meaning now, just like “anti-Semite”.

204. omen

“Testimony”? Lool, come again and tell me that the testimonies of Salafists on Syrian state TV are credible. I dare you.

205. Son of Damascus

No, like me, you deny them. No one can believe “their” side would do such a thing, especially without proper evidence.

207. Tara

Plenty of the alleged “Shabih” murdered by your pals have been civilians who simply didn’t support the FSA.

July 31st, 2012, 9:17 pm

 

Ghufran said:

I can not take seriously any claim that the regime forces did not committ atrocities,they did,the problem will only get bigger when the anti regime forces do the same,and yes they did. One legal price to pay is complicating the work of any future independent court,you can not condemn some criminals and excuse others,the brutal and animalistic behavior by anti regime forces,caught on tape many times, is a free gift to all criminals and an insult to all brave Syrians who died honorably defending their basic rights and did not committ violent acts. Another problem with brutality and street justice is weakening support for the opposition and providing an unintentional cover for future brutality by the regime. It does not matter how you look at it,what the rebels did yesterday with police men and prisoners was savage,stupid and self destructive,
آل بري يحشدون شباب العائلة للزج بهم بجانب الجيش السوري في معركته مع الجيش الحر بحلب.
I finally got one friend from Aleppo to “fess up”, he told me that every Aleppine he knows is furious about the attack on Aleppo, anti regime people in the “better” side of Aleppo think that this attack and the death and destruction it brings will probably prolong the life of the regime and kill any chance of building a broad coalition against it.
A good friend from Damascus who ignored my messages for a month decided to break the ice and pay me a visit where he sat down with me and my wife,a Christian woman from Palestine, to discover that we have more in common than what most of us are willing to admit. My wife,who was fasting by choice,simply told him that most of us want a regime change but we want Syrians,and non Syrians,to live and let live.
The regime is the main reason why Syrians are divided but the answer is not more violence and more killing.
I thought I should share this personal note with all Syrian on this board,I do not know why.

July 31st, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Tara
Thank Tara for showing your ignorant Comments once again.

(Massacre of Alawites, shites, and Christians??

How many of them died in this revolution? Less than 10? Compared to 13,0000 Sunni civilians!)

They have died and 50,000 Christians have fled, i guess you wouldnt mind if the Alawites, shites, and Christians.

As long as the Sunnis majority are joined with Saudi Arabia an another dictatorial country.

As i have seen i guess the people on here just seems love the mujahideen.

July 31st, 2012, 9:24 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

“No, like me, you deny them”

Now menhibaks are stooping to lying and making things up. Please provide me with one link anywhere where I have denied such claims.

I’ll make it easy for you, you won’t find it. Because I am nothing like you, I will never be anything like you, I will never counter your hate with more hate, your bigotry with more bigotry, your lies with more lies.

I have something called a conscience, which you clearly lack from.

July 31st, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

irritated said:

#143 Omen

do you hold the regime responsible for anything?

Yes, I do, to have made very serious and unforgivable mistakes at the beginning of the uprising that they were never able to correct.

And to have allowed the ‘open market’ policy its started in 2006 to exacerbate the class differences by allowing many rich Syrians (Sunnis and Alawites) to become selfishly richer without caring about the poor getting poorer.

While Bahrain and Saudi Arabia ostracize and repress its minorities, in Syria they were full part of the country. Syria has been a haven for all minorities persecuted by the ‘democratic’ neighbors for centuries and the Assad have continued that tradition of tolerance and openness to people fleeing war and oppression.
Not many Arab countries or neighboring Turkey can claim the same.

July 31st, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

habib said:

211. Son of Damascus

Ok, it’s easy, quit the hyperbolic language and let’s put it to the test:

I’ve heard that FSA members rape people. Here’s an article: http://www.eurasiareview.com/26072012-murder-and-drugs-rife-in-free-syrian-army-says-syrian-defector/

If you deny this, then tell me why any other random “eyewitness” or “testimonial” claim is more credible than this one.

July 31st, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

bronco said:

207. Tara

Do you mean that there have been too little deaths among the ‘traitor’ Christians and Alawites? I congratulate you for that charitable thought.

The Sunnis are not a religious minority in danger to my knowledge.

In any case Hillary was warning about the massacre to come in Aleppo.

I am glad to learn from you that your FSA and Salafist friends there told you they were not going to kill Alawites and Christians to match the dead Sunnis.

July 31st, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

irritated said:

#213 Habib

“Angels” can’t rape…

July 31st, 2012, 9:40 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

I am not the one denying, you are. I am well aware that people in the FSA are far from angels, many of them have been put in circumstances that I can’t even begin to fathom.

However the crimes the FSA did or did not commit, should NEVER overshadow the collective punishment, and barbarity that the Assadi regime has taken from day one. Had your pathetic leader cared for his people, Syria would never have been where it is now.

If you want to blame anyone, blame your sick and demented president before you point the finger at anyone else. He and his hounds are burning the country down while you cheer him on.

July 31st, 2012, 9:45 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Hey irritated has anyone corroborated your story about Bandar being killed or are you still sticking to scrapping the bottom of the internet for “sources”.

July 31st, 2012, 9:48 pm

 

habib said:

216. Son of Damascus

Please, I don’t want empty rhetoric and tap-dancing, answer the question. Do you deny the report that says FSA rape people or not?

July 31st, 2012, 9:48 pm

 

zoo said:

Erdogan is triumphant

“God willing, the brotherly Syrian people and the Middle East will soon be freed from this dictator with blood on his hands, and his regime, which was built on blood,” Erdogan said late on Tuesday in a monthly television address.

“Assad and his bloodstained comrades know well that they have reached the end, and that their fates will not be different from those of previous dictators.”

http://news.yahoo.com/aleppo-rebels-stand-firm-regimes-grave-005526632.html

July 31st, 2012, 9:52 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

You mean you are worrying about a massacre of Alawites, shia, and Christians to come… I suppose it could happen. The facts on the ground tell us that Sunnis were and still being massacred by the regime. The longer the regime stays in power, the more chaos will happen and the more foreign infiltrators will pour in. Assad must leave now for a controlled transition. Later will be too late. He is the problem. He is sacrificing his whole sects and if Alawites get massacred, he is responsible. I am sorry that Alawis do not see this.

July 31st, 2012, 9:53 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

Either you really are hard headed or a complete imbecile.

Let me spell it out for you, perhaps this time you will get it:

I D-O N-O-T D-E-N-Y I-T.

I am not like you, nothing like you. The likes of you disgust me. But in a democratic state I must live with your disgusting and callous opinions, and will defend your right to voice such heinous garbage as you have done so many times here today.

July 31st, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

VISITOR said:

Habib 209,

Please spare your ridiculous lecturing because you’re obviously incoherent.

“Shabiha” is used as a convenient term for anyone who don’t support the FSA, and are therefore legitimate targets. It has no proper meaning now, just like “anti-Semite”.

What farcical nonsense can anyone make of such utterances?

July 31st, 2012, 9:58 pm

 

irritated said:

217. Son of Damascus

It was neither confirmed not denied. It must have been one these rumors then like Bashar fleeing to Russia with his family and others.

Rumors that Bandar Ben Sultan has been killed in a blast…

Any confirmation?

July 31st, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

habib said:

221. Son of Damascus

Finally, after several vaguely worded comments, it seems like you came clear, so well, I can applaud that.

So why do you support the Free Syrian Army, if they’re apparently as bad as the regime?

222. VISITOR

Comes from the last guy on earth who denies the Salafist presence in the FSA. Keep on truckin’!

219. zoo

Lol, I figure the regime was “built on blood” long before Erdogan betrayed it.

July 31st, 2012, 10:02 pm

 

bronco said:

Tara

The facts on the ground tell us that Sunnis were and still being massacred by the regime.

You mean the poor Sunnis soldiers in the Syrian army, or the brother of the Sheikh Hassoun, or the Berri family? Oh yes, they are, but not by the regime but by the Sunni rebels and Sunni salafist.

July 31st, 2012, 10:07 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Tony Karon- The Guardian:
University of Oklahoma Syria specialist Joshua Landis believes that some of these constituencies caught between the rebels and the regime may come to have a decisive influence over events: ”Much of Syria’s middle and upper classes have not been heard from yet,” writes Landis. And when Assad goes,  ”many of them may find someone like Manaf Tlass appealing – perhaps not someone so close to the regime, but someone who had a hand in the regime, is secular, has money, has experience with the army, etc…” he said. “When the regime falls and they do find their voice, they are likely to be suspicious of the many militia commanders now holding sway. They will look to people who had some connection to the regime and whom they will trust not to be vengeful against them or against the wealth of the monied classes

July 31st, 2012, 10:10 pm

 

Norman said:

If the Syrian army is not able to control the situation in Syria, then i expect the Syrians to carry arms and fend for themselves , then and only then there will be a civil war and fragmentation of Syria, in the other hand if the Syrian army survive the onslaught and control the situation then Syria will survive as one. political international well and compromise is needed for Syria to survive to give the Syrian army the free hand to restore peace and security with all means necessary.

July 31st, 2012, 10:12 pm

 

Ghufran said:

قالت صحيفة البناء إن بشار الأسد سيوجه خطاباً بمناسبة عيد الجيش
The time when a speech by Assad was relevant is gone,every speech he gave since March 2011 helped to cement his position as a king president who failed to lead,failed to unite and refused to negotiate. What built on a mistake in 2000 is still a mistake in 2012

July 31st, 2012, 10:16 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Habib,

In what way is the FSA as bad as the regime?

Last I checked the atrocities committed by your regime far outweighs anything the FSA is guilty of.

For the record while I will never dare to criticize anyone pushed to carry a gun to fight Assad’s barbarity, I will never condone it. My freedom will never come from the end of a gun barrel, but it sure as hell will help protect it.

I aspire for a democracy, and in a democracy the strongest weapon a citizen can have is their voice. That will always be my only weapon of choice, no matter what Assad’s dogs do.

July 31st, 2012, 10:19 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

The Assad’s army has had free hand since day one and could not subdue the revolution, and this is happening against all odds. Weired! Isn’t it? You know why? Because the victory of the revolution is destined to happen. It is the will of the oppressed against the tyrant.

July 31st, 2012, 10:20 pm

 

zoo said:

Furious to be bypassed, the SNC swiftly rejects Haytham Al Maleh nomination.

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/48439-syrian-dissidents-task-maleh-to-form-govt-in-exile-snc-slams-hasty-move
..
The opposition Syrian National Council said on Tuesday that it is too early to form a government in exile and that a leading dissident’s announcement that he had been tasked with forming one was damaging.

“The formation of a government in exile was a hasty decision, and we wish it had not happened,” SNC chief Abdel Basset Sayda told Agence France Presse. “It actually weakens the opposition.”
…..
The SNC’s Sayda said on Saturday that he would discuss with rebel groups in Syria the creation of a transitional government, led by a figure involved in the uprising from the start.

“We need to take our time to form a transitional government,” Sayda told AFP on Tuesday. Such a government, he said, “should reflect the situation on the ground and the diversity” of Syria’s population.

Sayda added that the SNC has established two committees tasked with consulting with the rebel Free Syrian Army, as well as other opposition groups both within and outside the embattled country, with the aim of forming a transitional government.

July 31st, 2012, 10:21 pm

 

irritated said:

227. Ghufran

If Bashar does not make a speech, rumors goes that he is dead or a coward. When he makes it, he is accused or arrogance.

July 31st, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

bronco said:

#225 Ghufran

There is no doubt that the person who may take over the transition ( if and when it happens) will be a man of the regime and certainly not what the SNC is looking for, a man from the FSA or the LCC.
The absurdity of ruling a country with 40,000 guerilla soldiers under different commanders with different agendas is obvious to anyone not blinded by anger and who has still some sanity.

In any case while Qatar and KSA may want to see an islamist military ruling, the Western countries will never take that chance, far too dangerous for some ‘friendly’ neighbors.

July 31st, 2012, 10:30 pm

 
 

omen said:

165. GHUFRAN said: armed rebels in Aleppo behaving like animals.

just occurred to me what might have sent these assadists to their deaths. their mobile phones had videos of themselves either committing rapes and/or killing children.

i’m not sure but i think i read this happening before. evidence surfacing that doomed men to their deaths.

July 31st, 2012, 10:50 pm

 

Ghufran said:

US Defense Sec. Leon Panetta has advice for Syria’s President Assad: “If you want to be able to protect yourself and your family, you’d better get the hell out now.” Panetta also warned that the US would not repeat the mistakes it made in Iraq.
“The United States and the international community has made very clear that this is intolerable, and have brought their diplomatic and economic pressure on Syria to stop this kind of violence, to have Assad step down and to transition to a democratic form of government,” he said in an interview with CNN during a visit to Tunisia.
The international community has yet to reach consensus on the ongoing strife in Syria. Russia and China oppose removing Assad, saying his government is supported by a majority of Syrians.
Syria’s government forces should remain intact after embattled President Assad is ousted, said Panetta. Though the Obama administration is resolved against military intervention in the country, Panetta nevertheless drew a comparison with the occupation of Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion.

“It’s very important that we don’t make the same mistakes we made in Iraq,” he said, referring to the Bush administration’s decision to disband the country’s military in the wake of the invasion. “I think it’s important when Assad leaves, and he will leave, to try to preserve stability in that country.”
The Defense Secretary said that the most effective way to preserve Syrian stability is to “maintain as much of the military and police as you can, along with security forces, and hope that they will transition to a democratic form of government.”
A temporary military regime is a strategy similar to the one employed by Egypt following the ouster of President Mubarak in January last year, where the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) formed an interim government. But prolonged military rule sparked massive protests amid claims that SCAF was stalling democratic elections in a bid to cling to power.
Government forces will be essential to securing key Syrian military sites, including alleged chemical weapons stashes: “It would be a disaster to have those chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands,” Panetta said.
Comment: the opposition and government security and army chiefs must take the US to task on this proposal,armed rebels may say no but that won’t matter if everybody else says yes,I hope I am not reading too much into Panetta’s statement.

July 31st, 2012, 11:03 pm

 

Norman said:

Tara,
The army of Syria saw what happened to the army and the Baath party of Iraq and i see no chance for the Syrian army to be defeated, the only reason it is having some resistance is the support that the FSA is getting from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, They will be subdued after trouble starts in these countries.

July 31st, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

Norman said:

Ghufran,

There is no chance that president Assad will step down, many think that he is protecting them and if he leaves they will resort to arms and fend for themselves, the only way out is for president Assad to complete his term and endorse the process for the election of the next president, in the mean time Saudi Arabia and Qatar will stop supporting the armed militants willing or not willing and a political proccess starts.

July 31st, 2012, 11:13 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

The killing of the Barri thugs is unacceptable. The Barri clan members are known for thuggery from before the revolution. All you have to do is visit the archives of Syria-News and you will see references to them here and there in news items related to Aleppo. I don’t think they’ll be missed in Aleppo, even by government supporters.

Still, it is a crime to kill them. After becoming prisoners, they cannot be killed. They have to treated like prisoners of war should be treated. The courts will decided their cases later.

Just like I condemned the way Qaddafi was treated by his captors, I condemn the execution of the Barri thugs. We don’t want to replace a dictator with another. We don’t want to replace thugs with other thugs.

The CNN piece about the prisoners is a step in the right direction. There was a video by Abd Al-Razzaq Tlass in which he invited the Red Crescent to visit the prisoners his group holds in the Homs area to ensure that they’re getting humane treatment consistent, as much as possible, with the Geneva Convention.

From this forum, I call upon the Syrian regime to treat prisoners humanely and make an agreement with the other side to adhere to rules of war that spares civilians and add a humane dimension to this conflict.

If the two sides will be fighting each other anyway, let it be done in the most humane way possible. Rather than beatings in prison, people should engage in dialog. We need to break the cycle of violence.

July 31st, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

230. Ghufransaid:

قالت صحيفة البناء إن بشار الأسد سيوجه خطاباً بمناسبة عيد الجيش

The time when a speech by Assad was relevant is gone,every speech he gave since March 2011 helped to cement his position as a king president who failed to lead,failed to unite and refused to negotiate. What built on a mistake in 2000 is still a mistake in 2012

1 11

_________________________________________________________________

And you get 11 negatives for being an honest talker/ broker Pro Syria.

July 31st, 2012, 11:35 pm

 

bronco said:

All these attempts to clear and justify the FSA of the horrors that they have done are useless.
Syrians have all realized that now in Aleppo.
While they were accusing the Shabbiha and others of horrible crimes, the FSA supposedly here to protect civilians and to give an example of ‘dignity’ have shown an uglier face that has shocked the Syrians and the western countries.
Despite all the calls, no Syrians rose in Aleppo or Damascus to support them. The FSA is isolated and polluted by the Islamist extremist they have tolerated too long in their ranks.

In the battle of Damascus and Aleppo, they have failed to gain the hearts and minds of the inhabitants who make the majority of the Syrians.
Even if they continue to fight, get ‘qualitative weapons’, and make a lot of noise, they have lost the most important, the respect and the trust from the Syrians and that can never be regained.

July 31st, 2012, 11:40 pm

 

Halabi said:

MANPADS

Syrian rebels acquire surface-to-air missiles: report

(Reuters) – Rebels fighting to depose Syrian president Bashar al Assad have for the first time acquired a small supply of surface-to-air missiles, according to a news report that a Western official did not dispute.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/31/us-usa-syria-missiles-idUSBRE86U1T920120731

On another note, I haven’t been posting the videos of civilians brutally killed by Assad’s soldiers because I assume that everyone knows what’s going on. But it seems that some continue to ignore the relentless crimes of this evil regime that has killed, tortured and robbed the Syrian people for decades.

http://youtu.be/leJRQ4XyWJU

I wish the Barri (with an A) mafia weren’t executed today. It seems that they broke a truce with the FSA and ambushed them early on Tuesday, killing 15 rebels.

http://youtu.be/MWwsIK2tlWA

It doesn’t justify the summary execution. As for the Halabis in the good part of town, I am certain that the vast majority aren’t shedding a tear for the demise of the infamous Barri criminals. Those who support the revolution have mixed feelings about it, and genocidal Assad supporters and the sectarian opponents of the revolution haven’t been jarred by the slaughter of children in Daraa and Houla. I find it hard to believe they care about the death of some thugs.

July 31st, 2012, 11:40 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

ALLAH WA AKBAR, ALLAHUAKBAR, May Allah and his Jihadis at ALMOSSAD and ALCIADA help us Kill them all, by the power of Allah,we will cut their throat with annoited halal dull knives and drag their bodies in the streets of Liberated Syria, Sharia Law will rule,Watch the Video Produced by SITE ORG in HERZALIA brothers. ALAHA YEWAFEK ALCIADA for helping us in this victory.

MASHAA ALLAH, MASHA ALLAH, He is the greatest. Join our Brotherhood of LUAT,Blood and Victory, That is all we can offer our Syrian Brothers,but what else you need.

July 31st, 2012, 11:42 pm

 

zoo said:

Syria sends two letters to the UNSC denouncing Opponents Refusal for Dialogue
(Dp-news)

http://www.dp-news.com/en/detail.aspx?articleid=127452

DAMASCUS- Syrian Government on Monday accused its opponents and their Western allies of refusing to hold a political dialogue to resolve the crisis in the country.

In two identical letters addressed to the head of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, the Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that during the past few days, armed terrorist groups carried out attacks against innocent civilians and public and private property in Syria, particularly in Damascus and Aleppo.

Syria`s Foreign Ministry blamed that the failure of a dialogue to put a political process into motion is due to the terrorists´ refusal to take part.

The insurgents, openly backed with funds and weapons from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have committed horrible crimes against innocent civilians in Damascus and Aleppo, said the Ministry.

The Ministry said “these armed terrorist group – which are backed openly with funds and weapons by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – committed horrifying crimes against innocent civilians in Damascus and Aleppo and are still doing so in Aleppo, where a large number of these terrorist mercenaries gathered as their entry into Syria was facilitated by Turkey, and they occupied several crowded neighborhoods and used locals as human shields, killing everyone that doesn’t support their crimes and forcing others to leave their homes at gunpoint.”

The Ministry said that hypocritical voices are growing louder in the capitals conspiring against Syria – particularly in Ankara, Doha, Riyadh, Washington, Paris, London and Berlin – and that they’re accusing the Syrian government of escalating the situation rather than accusing the terrorists who attacked Damascus, Aleppo and other cities in a desperate attempt to provide a political cover for the actions of these groups – which include terrorists from Arab and foreign countries – and to provide material and moral support for them and cover up their crimes.

The letters went on to elaborate that these capitals’ support for the terrorist groups includes the calls made by these countries’ officials to hold other meetings of the UNSC and General Assembly to discuss Syria, despite the fact that the Syrian government and law-enforcement forces are exercising their right to defend innocent civilians as per international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law, and the international agreement signed by the Syrian government and the UNSMIS in 19/4/2012, specifically item 16 of said agreement.

July 31st, 2012, 11:51 pm

 

zoo said:

حسين مرتضى – تقرير ميداني من حلب 31-07-2012

Hossein Morteda embeded with the Syrian army in Salaheedine

Notice the turkish passport found on a rebel

July 31st, 2012, 11:55 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Aldendeshi,
The like/ dislike system on this blog,or any blog,is a test for people’s ability to talk to each other and accept opposing opinions,here it becomes a sign of our failure as a small blog community,I know as a fact that some posters give me a thumb down even before they read my posts,that did not,and should not,stop me from speaking up against violence and for national reconciliation, all of what I want is to see syrians,all syrians,live in dignity and peace,but hatred and mistrust runs deep now inside our souls,I can tell some people here that Baklava is sweet and I may get 10 salty thumbs down 🙂

July 31st, 2012, 11:58 pm

 

zoo said:

After the political confusion in the SNC about Haytham Al Maleh’s nomination, now a military confusion and divisions within the FSA.
Hillary is needed in urgency to unite them…

FSA commander rejects national salvation project

31/07/2012

By Caroline Akoum
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30537

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Elements of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) operating on the ground in Syria have proposed “a national salvation project” for the transitional phase, calling for the establishment of “a supreme defense council”, which will in turn establish a “presidential council consisting of six military and political figures to administer the transitional phase after the fall of President Bashar al-Assad”.

However, FSA Commander Colonel Riyad al-Asaad, who is not present inside Syria, rejected this proposal saying “it distorts the image of the FSA, which is fighting to distance the military from power.”

Al-Asaad told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I do not know who issued this [proposal] but we do not accept it in the slightest. Whoever proposed this plan is operating outside the FSA.” He added that the transitional stage should not be led by military figures, and that the transitional government should be made up of politicians. He said: “The military are the protectors of the transitional government and the transitional stage.”

August 1st, 2012, 12:07 am

 

Ghufran said:

We were led to believe that the SNC and armed rebels have issued the 6 man proposal and accepted the names of opposition government members,but not so fast,the SNC did not like the idea,then the armed rebels themselves criticized their own proposal,a day later,another ‘leader” who was at one point an SNC member decided to form his own government.
Ghawwar,whom many of you do not like,was right when he suggested that we are a country of leaders without citizens,and that whoever wakes up the earliest to control the national radio will become Syia’s next president.
Can you now blame some who want to form their own country on the coastal areas?
Before the end of this year,most of us will qualify for a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

August 1st, 2012, 12:20 am

 

VISITOR said:

The Iranian thugs just had a taste of their own medicine in Damascus at the hands of the heroes of the revolution.

We are very glad to announce that an Iranian so-called diplomat has just been eliminated in Damascus.

The day is not far off when the blessed Syrian soil will be cleansed of this abomination called Iranian embassy.

August 1st, 2012, 12:39 am

 
 

Juergen said:

I just learned that a young medicine student whom i met on demonstrations against Assad here in Berlin, has died in the battle for Aleppo. May God grant him the highest heaven. The last time he was in Syria last summer, he was inprisoned and tortured, they had inprisoned also two of his sisters. Just a few days before ramadan he stopped university and left to Syria to fight.

August 1st, 2012, 12:46 am

 

ann said:

Turkey gives surface-to-air missiles to Syria armed gangs – Aug 1, 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/01/253799/turkey-gives-missiles-to-syria-rebels/

A report says Turkey has supplied the foreign-sponsored armed groups in Syria with surface-to-air missiles.

According to a July 31 report by the NBC News, nearly two dozen missiles have been delivered to rebels in Syria. The report however did not provide details on the exact type of the missiles, also known as MANPADs (man-portable air-defense systems).

Over the past weeks, some anti-Syria regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have been calling for such arms to be sent to the terrorist Free Syrian Army.

On July 22, the Turkish Anadolu Agency reported that Ankara has deployed ground-to-air missiles on its border with Syria.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told the Turkish Cumhuriyet daily in an interview in early July that Turkey “has supplied all logistic support to the terrorists who have killed our people.”

The recent NBC report comes at a time when fighting continues between Syrian security forces and rebels in several areas across the country.

On Tuesday, the Syrian army cleared most areas of the northwestern city of Aleppo of armed groups, killing tens of rebels in the southwestern neighborhood of Salahuddin and the southern district of Sokari.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 1:05 am

 

ann said:

‘US Syrian policy confused and contradictory’ – 01 August, 2012

http://www.rt.com/news/us-syria-panetta-policy-540/

RT: Is it too early to suggest that Assad’s days are numbered?

Lawrence Freeman: Absolutely. What you have in the United States is, you really have a conflict between two policies. On the one hand, you have Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, President Obama in a very aggressive, regime change mode to get rid of the President of Syria. On the other hand, if you look at General Dempsey’s comments, he continues to say that this is not the right moment for the military to intervene, that we need to have diplomacy; we need to find other ways to resolve the crisis. So Secretary of Defense Panetta is effectively being affected by this Susan Rice-led regime change faction, and his statements today are counterproductive to the future development of Syria.

RT: Do Panetta’s recent statements sound more like military threats?

LF: It certainly is a threat. If you look at what he is saying, it’s paradoxical because he is saying we have to keep the Baath military in check and in power when President Bashar al-Assad is removed. But yet, the US is supporting absolute chaos and destruction on the ground. So there’s not going to be any stability. It’s been publicized that al-Qaeda is very aggressive in the Syrian opposition. And in fact al-Qaeda wants an Iraqi-Syrian Sunni al-Qaeda force to take on the Shia. So this is going to cause massive chaos and destruction in the country, and yet Secretary Panetta says, ‘no, let’s try to keep the military in force to not repeat the stupid mistake we made in Iraq.’ But it shows you that there’s no forward policy coming from the US to help this situation.

RT: So the US is accusing the military of massacring its own people, along with the aggressions committed by al-Qaeda?

LF: Exactly. It’s a confused, contradictory policy. I don’t think Panetta himself has a policy. I think you’ve got this regime change faction, and the real concern we should all have is the bigger question, which is that Russia, in particular, has said that it will not allow a regime change. If Susan Rice and others decide to bypass the UN, it would a violation of the UN Charter itself, and therefore they will defend the notion of sovereignty beyond Syria, and this could bring us to the danger of war. President Putin has remained absolutely steadfast for several months on the danger of war if Syria and other countries’ sovereignty is violated.

RT: How realistic is it to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Iraq war in post-Assad Syria?

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 1:16 am

 

Ghufran said:

This is a link to joshua’s presentation at Wilson Center aired by C-Span
He gave that talk 2 weeks ago.
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/EastSec

August 1st, 2012, 1:17 am

 

Visitor said:

In this most latest report, a video shows Salahdin district firmly under the control of the heroic army of the Syrian revolution. Colonel al-Akidi assures us with confidence that the FSA is forecasting full control of all of Aleppo within days and refutes the many analysts projections of a protracted conflict. The thugs of the occupation army have not been able to advance one meter into Aleppo as the video clearly shows. Currently the FSA controls over 60 percent of the city of 7halab and all of its countryside including all of Idlib.

We also learned that heavy losses have been deservedly inflicted upon the criminal thugs of the Nazi-like regime in Damascus itself as well as the south of the country refuting false claims of the mouthpieces of the criminal thuggish regime as well as many of its propagandists sitting behind keyboards and disseminating falsehoods and lies as we see clearly on this site.

August 1st, 2012, 1:28 am

 

ann said:

On Syria, Saudi Draft Refers to Assad Stepping Down, “Take It Or Leave It”

By Matthew Russell Lee

http://www.innercitypress.com/syria1takeit073112.html

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 — While Saudi Arabia described the Syria meeting it convened on Tuesday as “consultations” on its draft General Assembly resolution, several meeting participants complained inside, and outside to Inner City Press, that the Saudi position was “take it or leave it.”

This was met by opposition by BRICSA — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — some Latin American countries and others.

Even one self described Western Diplomat told Inner City Press on the way out that if unchanged, “they’ll be lucky to get 70 votes” in favor. Another close Western Permanent Representative predicted 100, down from the previously 137.

The vote is now set for Thursday, August 2 at 10 am.

Most contentious, opponents said, was the switch in the last perambular paragraph to “welcoming” rather than “noting” the Arab League call for Assad to go:

“welcoming the relevant League of Arab States’ decisions, including its 22 July 2012 resolution, in particular its appeal to the Syrian President to step down from power.”

They also pointed to operative paragraphs 20 and 21. Inner City Press is putting the referenced draft resolution online again, here.

Paragraph 20, a non-BRICSA diplomat told Inner City Press, is “disrespectful” to Kofi Annan, directing him to “focus his efforts.” Paragraph 21 calls on countries to adopt sanctions like the Arab League.

One BRICSA representative after the meeting said that Saudi Arabia put these in so as to negotiate. But others say no, Saudi Arabia isn’t trying to win more votes, but a stronger message if not action. The General Assembly can’t authorize military force.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 1:30 am

 

VISITOR said:

Comment # 239 for some Norman is out of touch with reality.

Therefore we offer him in response this historical alternative to bring him back to his senses.

http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2012/08/01/229682.html

In short, the Army of thugs (so-called Syrian Army) has a choice to make: Defect en-masse to the FSA, or disband now and go home before it is too late.

‘Too late’ means becoming subject to military tribunals formed by the FSA for crimes against humanity. And the window is closing fast.

August 1st, 2012, 1:50 am

 

ann said:

KNC Leader: Syrian Kurds are Disappointed by PYD’s Actions – 01/08/2012

http://www.rudaw.net/english/interview/5030.html

Rudaw: How many cities in Western Kurdistan have been librated from the regime?

Abdulhakim Bashar: No Kurdish cities have been librated. Syrian security forces have a presence in every Kurdish city.

Rudaw: But the liberation of some cities like Kobane, Efrin, and Derik was announced by the media.

Abdulhakim Bashar: Liberation has its symbols. Liberation means clearing Kurdish cities of Syrian forces and never allowing them to come back. Currently, Syrian security forces have a presence everywhere in Western Kurdistan, including the so-called liberated cities.

It is true that a certain political party’s flag has been raised on top of government offices, but the regime can force them to leave if it wants. The Syrian government is still in control of its offices. They still move their equipment in and out without any problem. So I would say no Kurdish cities have been librated.

Rudaw: Are you saying that the party’s duty is to protect the government offices?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The government offices have not been taken. The government can use them any time it wants. This party’s actions have harmed the reputation of Kurds in Western Kurdistan. They are viewed as the regime’s partner. Having the regime surrender its offices to the Kurds without confrontation has harmed Kurdish interests in Syria and led to hostility between the Kurds and the Syrian revolutionaries.

Rudaw: Are government offices still functioning in Kurdish areas?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The offices are functioning without any problems. They have not changed except that the PYD flag has been raised on their roofs.

Rudaw: Who pays the employees?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The Syrian government still pays them.

Rudaw: It is said that the Syrian regime informs the PYD in advance before retreating from Kurdish cities. Do you have any evidence that the government has surrendered these cities to the PYD?

Abdulhakim Bashar: We don’t have any evidence, but in reality it seems that way. The PYD has not controlled any city by force. The government lets PYD take over the areas it leaves behind.

Rudaw: Why wouldn’t the KNC take over the government offices?

Abdulhakim Bashar: We are not allowed to enter the government offices. If we do so, the government will take them back from us by force.

Rudaw: It is said that around 2,000 Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas entered Western Kurdistan. Is this true?

Abdulhakim Bashar: I don’t know the exact number, but I know PKK fighters are in Western Kurdistan. Currently, the PKK has gathered its forces on the Syrian-Kurdistan Region border. But the PYD claims it will not allow one single PKK fighter to penetrate into Western Kurdistan from the Kurdistan Region.

Rudaw: Where does the PKK gather its forces?

Abdulhakim Bashar: In former Syrian military bases that have been surrendered to the PYD. They are also patrolling the border villages near the Kurdistan Region.

Rudaw: Would the PYD stop any forces from entering Western Kurdistan from the Kurdistan Region?

Abdulhakim Bashar: They say they would.

Rudaw: Is there any other Kurdish political party in Syria that carries arms besides the PYD?

Abdulhakim Bashar: No.

Rudaw: The KNC includes 15 political parties, but the PYD is just one party. How did you reach the agreement with them to run the cities 50/50?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The PYD and KNC have many goals including avoiding civil war, distancing the PYD from the Syrian regime and encouraging the PYD to serve Kurdish interests. In order to reach our goals, we had to give in to their demands with the Erbil Agreement.

Rudaw: Has the PYD implemented these things?

Abdulhakim Bashar: So far, no. They have been implemented politically, but in reality the PYD is still behaving in the same way. They say they are an independent party and won’t accept instructions from anyone.

Rudaw: Has the PYD ignored the Erbil Agreement?

Abdulhakim Bashar: The PYD says they would respect any decision made by both the PYD and the KNC, but they act differently. The PYD didn’t support the fall of the regime before the Erbil Agreement. However, we decided to hold a joint demonstration against the regime, which was a good step. On the other hand, we are concerned that the PYD creates problems since they carry arms.

Rudaw: The PYD has set up many checkpoints to protect Kurdish areas. Do you think this is a good step?

Abdulhakim Bashar: It is true that the PYD is the only armed Kurdish political party and has patrols around the cities. Syrian security wouldn’t confront PYD patrols. But if we set up checkpoints, they will take us out.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 1:53 am

 

VISITOR said:

In this most recent report, the video clearly shows the heroic Army of the revolution fully in control of the district of Salahdin. Colonel al-Akidy of the FSA tells us with confidence that the FSA is forecasting full control of the city of 7Halab within days and confidently refuting many analysts’ projections of a protracted conflict. The army of the thugs of the occupation has not been able to advance one meter after eleven days of relentless bombardment. FSA currently controls over 60% of 7Halab proper as well as all of the countryside and Idlib.

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/ef673537-869c-4728-a507-c950e8e6dd68?GoogleStatID=9

The video also shows heavy losses inflicted, in Damascus itself as well as in the south of the country, by the heroes of the FSA on the thugs of the Nazi-like regime, refuting propaganda disseminated by the mouthpieces of the regime of abominations, shame and disgust as well as by mercenaries sitting behind keyboards endlessly spewing falsehoods and lies as we clearly see happening in this site.

August 1st, 2012, 2:13 am

 

ann said:

Group Gets U.S. License to Fund Syria Rebels – July 31, 2012

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444405804577561482242140956.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

WASHINGTON—The U.S. has given a Washington-based group clearance to provide direct financial assistance to the Free Syrian Army, a new bid by the Obama administration to support Syria’s opposition.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control approved a license last week allowing the Syrian Support Group “to engage in otherwise prohibited financial activities with the Free Syrian Army,” Treasury spokesman John Sullivan said Tuesday.

The Syrian Support Group was established earlier this year to lobby for U.S. backing for the Free Syrian Army. It includes Syrian expatriates and works with retired Syrian military officers, Louay Sakka, a Syrian-Canadian co-founder of the group, said in a June interview. Mr. Sayers, its director of government relations, is a former political officer at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The Syrian Support Group hopes to directly finance FSA’s military councils. The councils could then use the money to fund things such as soldier salaries or buy weapons or medical supplies, Mr. Sayers said.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 2:18 am

 

ann said:

248. Ghufran said:

Aldendeshi,
The like/ dislike system on this blog ..

It’s just one poster sporting a mobile phone giving you most of the thumbs down. She also gives her posts an equal number of thumbs up.

August 1st, 2012, 2:30 am

 

ann said:

Syrian opposition: Iranian diplomat assassinated in Damascus – August 1, 2012

http://www.timesofisrael.com/syrian-opposition-iranian-diplomat-assassinated-in-damascus/

August 1st, 2012, 2:43 am

 

Uzair8 said:

#262 Ann

Aha..you just let slip the secret. (?)

Moving on.

Fadi Mqayed ★★★ ‏@DSyrer
Khaled al-Saleh, The Syrian Consul in Abuja, Nigeria announces his defection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAqBUvcI8NQ … #Syria

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/fadi-mqayed-%e2%98%85%e2%98%85%e2%98%85-%e2%80%8fdsyrer-khaled-al-saleh-the/

August 1st, 2012, 2:56 am

 

Juergen said:

Uzair

Thats an clear insight, she probably knows all our secrets.

August 1st, 2012, 3:20 am

 

Juergen said:

Uzair

Thats sounds like an insight. She might know all our “secrets”.

August 1st, 2012, 3:21 am

 

Uzair8 said:

Apparently today marks the 67th anniversary of the Syrian Army.

There won’t be a 68th InshaAllah.

The next anniversary will be the 1st anniversary of the honourable, the glorious, the indefatigable and the unstoppable FREE SYRIAN ARMY!!!!!!

August 1st, 2012, 3:25 am

 

Uzair8 said:

#265 Jeurgen

My first thought after reading the comment was to wonder whether she was giving us all those thumbs down via mobile during the past year.

August 1st, 2012, 3:33 am

 

ann said:

The Somalia Model: Israel’s Plan for Syria – 01 August 2012

http://www.just-international.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5709:the-somalia-model-israels-plan-for-syria&catid=45:recent-articles&Itemid=123

Israel retains its ability to control the Syrian ‘Islamist’ rebels. Netanyahu is not worried about Syria’s possible disintegration. Despite the received wisdom claiming that Israelis prefer a stable and familiar Assad to the great unknown of Islamic guerrillas, the new and sensational information we received points out to the opposite, namely: Israelis prefer the Somalisation of Syria, its break-up and the elimination of its army, as this will allow them to tackle Iran unopposed.

This is implied in a secret file recently leaked by a person(s) apparently close to the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman. It contains a record of conversations between Bibi Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s recent visit to Israel. Israelis seem to have no doubts about its authenticity. Counterpunch received the original file, and here are the highlights of this conversation (in our translation from Hebrew):

Netanyahu asked Putin to facilitate Bashar Assad’s departure. “You can appoint his successor, and we shall not object , said the Israeli Prime Minister. “There is one condition – the successor must break with Iran».

Putin responded: we have no candidate for Bashar’s successor. Do you?

No, we don’t, replied Netanyahu, but we shall tell you our preference soon.

Apparently, Israel can influence the rebels, inasmuch as it can bear on them to accept a successor acceptable to Tel Aviv. This means that the rebels’ chain of command goes beyond unruly field commanders, beyond Qatar and Saudi Arabia, beyond Paris and Washington, all the way to Israel. It is well known that the rebels seekfriendship with Israel, but nobody thought that Israel was able to control them to such an extent.

It stands to reason that Netanyahu had received a green light from Washington to make such an offer. This means that the US and Israel do not mind that Syria will remain in the Russian sphere of influence, so long as it cuts its ties with Iran. And this points to Israel as being the moving force behind the rebels, for otherwise, such an arrangement would be unacceptable for the Americans.

However, it is possible that Netanyahu’s offer was just a ploy to discover Russian intentions. Anyway Putin thought so, and answered in a similar vein:

“We are not beholden to Assad,” said Putin. “Before the rebellion, he was a frequent visitor in Paris rather than in Moscow. We have no secret agenda regarding Syria. I asked President Obama, what are the US intentions in Syria; why do Americans reject Assad. Is it because of his inability to come to terms with Israel? Or because of his ties with Iran? Because of his position on Lebanon? I received no serious answer. Our reason, said Obama, is Assad’s violent repression of the Syrian people. I replied that violence is caused by Qatar and Saudi interference.”

One understands that Putin is befogged: if he has been offered keeping Syria in the Russian sphere, why does the US goes out against Syrian government? Perhaps, the US is doing Israel’s bidding? And what are Israel’s intentions?

“Israel’s goal is the Somalisation of Syria, following the Somalisation of Iraq,” said Putin, and Netanyahu did not deny his interpretation.

These hard words of Putin answer the question of the US and Israeli intentions. This was the position of Israeli strategist Yinon and of the Neocons – Somalisation of the region. Israeli leaders still follow their high-risk short-term strategy of unleashing civil war in Syria, removing Assad and turning Syria into a mess of armed groups that would not interfere with Israeli jets reaching Iran. It is certainly risky, as it was risky to attack Lebanon in 2006, but Israel has such a powerful militarist complex that it needs to take otherwise unneeded risks.

The record of the Putin-Netanyahu conversation contains two important Russian concessions to Israel: Putin promised to break their contract about supply of S-300 anti-aircraft missile complexes to Damascus (and so he did) and to stop missile information leakage to Hezbollah.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman used the meeting to complain about the audacious RT channel:

“The Israeli office of the RT outpours anti-Israeli propaganda. They broadcast talks with Hasan Nasrallah [probably a reference to Julian Assange’s interview]. We spoke to the RT reporters privately, but they won’t budge, citing instructions from Moscow. Vladimir Vladimirovitch [Putin], please lean on the editorial policy of the RT so it will become objective towards Israel.”

This complaint fits well with Israeli practice of pressuring foreign media. Recently the Israeli ambassador to Washington attempted to interfere with CBS and censor Bob Simon’s report on Palestinian Christians, causing much resentment in the US. Israelis still can’t get used to the existence of a relatively free press.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 3:45 am

 

Amjad said:

“should I blame you for that?”

Talk about stretching it. Seriously? Do you really need this explained to you? I have no problem allying myself with Turkey, the region’s most advanced democracy and one of the few countries with a Muslim majority to make the change to a free, pluralistic society. While Putin is the direct inheritor of Stalin’s political legacy. Stalin killed more Armenians than the Ottamans ever did.

We are known by the friends we keep, and the Turkish people are sophisticated and modern, striking the perfect balance between individual religious freedom and a modern society. While Putin is still obsessed with persecuting a girl-band for singing an unflattering song about him.

August 1st, 2012, 4:18 am

 

ann said:

explosions and gunfire heard in Damascus – August 1, 2012

http://www.yalibnan.com/2012/08/01/explosions-and-gunfire-heard-in-damascus-report/

Sustained gunfire and explosions were heard early Wednesday in areas of the Syrian capital hostile to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, activists reported.

A blast and heavy gunfire came from the Baghdad Street, a main arterial route through the city, while the sound of battle was also heard in the Christian area of Bab Tuma, said the Local Coordination Committees that organize protests.

Fighting between soldiers and rebels broke out on Wednesday for the first time near two Christian districts of Damascus, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Fighting erupted at dawn on Wednesday on the outskirts of the Bab Tuma and Bab Sharqi neighborhoods. First indications are that one soldier has been killed,” the Britain-based group said in a statement.

The LCC also said that the capital’s southern suburb of Tadamun was hit by mortar fire at dawn, according to AFP.

Damascus residents heard explosions and intermittent gunfire late on Wednesday in several districts, notably in the southwestern neighborhood of Kfar Sousa.

Fighting in that district broke out again on Monday after a lull when rebels attacked a regime forces checkpoint using rocket-propelled grenades.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 4:23 am

 

Juergen said:

Uzair

I am sure there is an online tool for that, usually a proxy programm should do it. This vanity of this thumbs down up and down is getting on my nerves, even though I cant think of an better way to show support or disgust if one does not want to openly address the commentator.

Amnesty has just published an report on the crackdown in Aleppo and shows the brutal means this regime is presenting quite openly now to the world.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE24/061/2012/en/fcf50331-388d-4960-ac9b-0ecf5fbf73c5/mde240612012en.pdf

August 1st, 2012, 4:24 am

 

ann said:

First clashes hit Christian areas of Syrian capital – August 01, 2012

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Aug-01/182950-fighting-near-christian-areas-of-damascus-for-first-time-activists.ashx

DAMASCUS: Fierce fighting between Syrian rebels and the army erupted on Wednesday near two Christian areas of Damascus for the first time in the nearly 17-month uprising, as the battle for Aleppo entered its fifth day.

President Bashar al-Assad said the army was waging a “heroic” battle against the enemy and the country was engaged in a “crucial battle for its destiny.”

One witness said rebels attacked a military position outside Bab Sharqi at 4:00 am (0100 GMT) in a clash that lasted for 15 minutes. An AFP correspondent said calm later returned to the area.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 4:47 am

 

ann said:

Assad says Syria’s fate hinges on battle with rebels – Wed Aug 1, 2012

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/syria-rebels-assad-idINDEE87006T20120801

President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday the Syrian army’s battle with rebel forces would determine the fate of his country, and praised soldiers for confronting what he said were “criminal terrorist gangs”.

“The fate of our people and our nation, past, present and future, depends on this battle,” Assad, who has not spoken in public since four of his top security officials were assassinated two weeks ago, said in a written statement marking armed forces day.

Assad said the army had proved “through confronting the terrorist criminal gangs throughout the past period that you have steely resolve and conscience, and that you are the trustees of the people’s values.”

“My trust in you is great, and the trust of our people in you that you are … the defender of its just causes”.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 4:53 am

 

Expatriate said:

CLASHES IN KURDISTAN
http://www.bianet.org/english/human-rights/140048-aerial-bombing-forcing-mass-exodus-from-semdinli-mayor-warns
Aerial Bombing Forcing Mass Exodus from Şemdinli, Mayor Warns
Around 500 locals have abandoned their homes in the district of Şemdinli in the southeastern province of Hakkari due to the Turkish military’s ongoing aerial strikes in the area, according to District Mayor Sedat Töre.
As clashes between security forces and militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) enter their ninth day in the southeast, some 500 people have abandoned their homes in Hakkari’s Şemdinli district due to the Turkish military’s ongoing aerial bombardment in the region, Şemdinli District Mayor Sedat Töre told bianet.
Families from the Çem hamlet in Bağlar and the three Yiğitler hamlets in Günyazı village who were forced to evacuate their homes have taken refuge in nearby villages or with their relatives in other districts in vicinity, Töre said.
District Mayor Töre also added they had already accomodated some 30 families who arrived in the district center, while they were also bracing for more potential incomers.
“As intense fighting [in the area] enters its ninth day, it is distressing that [the media] has almost concealed the situation from the public,” he said.
Authorities deny families the funerals of their loved ones

The clashes have been underway since July 23 and are particularly focused in a 20 square kilometer area toward the south of Şemdinli, District Mayor Töre explained.
“Tanks have been transferred to the fighting zone. A bombardment took place one kilometer away from the district center; at the moment we can see the plumes of smoke. There is also smoke rising from Mt. Goman,” he said.
The Turkish Armed Forces announced they were bombing the region with helicopter gunships and that 22 PKK militants had lost their lives in the clashes. Two specialist sergeants, Enis Yücel and Yasin Bayraktar, have also lost their lives in the fight.
Authorities have also restricted access to the area, and two families were thus unable to retrieve the funerals of their loves ones in the PKK, District Mayor Töre said.
“They applied to the prosecutor’s office to retrieve the funerals, but the prosecutor’s office refused and said they would not be able to take the funerals due to reasons of security. Their second appeal has also been denied, and the funerals are still in the fighting zone… Two people from the civilian population have also been injured and received outpatient treatment,” he added.
“Hear the voice of Şemdinli!”

District Mayor Töre also reproached the media for turning a blind eye to the ongoing crisis in the area:
“We would like to draw the attention of free and democratic media establishments to the region. There is a conflict underway the like of which has [not been seen] for a long time; hundreds have been displaced. [Officials] should take steps to redress this grievance with all haste. For that reason, we want the press to turn its attention to here,” he said. (AS)

August 1st, 2012, 4:55 am

 

Antoine said:

I inform you all that the notorious Berri clan of Bab al Neyrab in Aleppo,l has been totally eliminated. All the adult male members of the Berri clan were liquidated by the FSA yesterday after they captured Bab al Neyrab in Aleppo.

There is not a single adult male Berri left in Aleppo, and all their women will be married to FSA fighters.

( The Berris were foremost Shabbiha in Halab, they were the muscle behind crushing the protests in the UNiversity)

August 1st, 2012, 4:56 am

 

Amjad said:

I have a comment in the spam que.

August 1st, 2012, 5:28 am

 

Mina said:

Antoine,
You are providing us with an idea of “how it would have been if the internet had existed during the Lebanese civil war”.
How do you support the idea that “all their women will be married to FSA fighters” ? This is against Christian and Islamic principles, although it does follow the laws that were ruling razzias and tribalism. Is that what you are supporting?

August 1st, 2012, 5:48 am

 

Antoine said:

MINA,

Who will care for the Berri women otherwise ? They have become war widows.

Anyway, good riddance

August 1st, 2012, 6:09 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Defections from the SyA increase, because now it is less dangerous for the defector and for his family. The junta of loyalists is in a total disarray, and is unable to take revenge from those who join the FSA. It’s a matter of days now.
.

August 1st, 2012, 6:33 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Did you notice how adorable and admirable Syrian kids are? They are so pretty, polite, relaxed and kind.

I wish that the bunch of little spoiled and selfish hyperactive terrorists, who are the Israeli kids, would take some example from their humble northern little fellows.
.

August 1st, 2012, 6:43 am

 

Expatriate said:

There are torsion fields (from the words of the Torah and Sion). Manifestation of torsion fields in the physical world is inertia. Manifestation of torsion fields in the subtle world is a soul – a clot of energy in the form of torsion fields. Within this swirl of space (the soul) contains information about the functioning of the human body (astral body) and the process of thinking (mental body). The process of thinking causes twisting of space: the space of good thoughts twist in one direction, evil thoughts – in the opposite direction.

There are physical and subtle worlds. The physical world consists of matter (planets, stars, etc..) And the electromagnetic and gravitational fields. Thin world includes psychophysical phenomena (psychic energy, bioenergy, etc.). Thin the world based on microwave frequencies.

Ernst Rifgatovich Muldashev! Russia

August 1st, 2012, 7:09 am

 

Juergen said:

Looks like Batas fate depends on the outcome of the battle. The usual talk of an country which will fade away in violence if the “terrorists” take over is just what it is propaganda. At least in that matter all delusional despotes are alike.

translated

REUTERS

Assad: Syria’s fate depends in the fight against rebels

Aleppo (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared the fight against the rebels on the vital question for his country.

“The fate of our people and our nation – past, present and future – depends on this battle,” said Assad on Wednesday in the army magazine. In it he praised the combat readiness of his troops against the insurgents, which he called “criminal terrorist gangs”. Where Assad is staying and when he expressed himself was unclear. For two weeks, the president has not shown in public – since in an attack in the capital, Damascus, four of his top security forces were killed. Soldiers and rebels are fighting fiercely for control of the metropolitan city Aleppo in the north. On the Internet turned up videos that are said to show the execution of Assad-fighters from insurgents.

“My confidence in you is great,” Assad told the soldiers to the address on the occasion of the anniversary of the armed forces. “Even our people’s confidence is high that you are the defender of their just cause.” The soldiers had proved by their struggle against the terrorist gangs that they were the lawyers for the values ​​of the people, the president said in an army magazine according to the state news agency Sana, .

http://de.reuters.com/article/topNews/idDEBEE87003420120801

August 1st, 2012, 7:34 am

 

Mina said:

From The Angry Arab blog

The Berri clan in Syria is unrelated to the Birris of South Lebanon. They are Sunnis although some sectarian Syrian opposition sites and Saudi sites are referring to them as Shi`ites. I asked a keen observer of the Syrian situation to explain to me the recent controversy. He wrote:

“Berri is a large clan of tens of thousands. Many of its elders are staunch regime supporters. They are also the equivalent of the Hermel families living in Dahiyeh: they include many poor who are associated with crime and drugs and thuggery. Many of them are in Syrian prisons or wanted by the law. Their elders (they include an MP) were known for attacking demonstrations in their areas and beating protesters, as well as recruiting and financing thugs. But these are, of course, a small section of a very large family.

The immediate cause of the execution is unclear, what we know is that the FSA attacked the Madafa of the Berri family where a head of the family was present, he was taken along with the rest and shot.

The FSA says that it was the result of the Berris reneging on an alleged agreement to remain neutral in exchange for not being targeted. The FSA claims that the Berris reneged and arranged attacks against them, costing them many soldiers yesterday.

Do not quote me if you post.”

August 1st, 2012, 7:54 am

 

Mina said:

It says it all: From the Mavi Marmara to Tripoli and then Syria,meet Mahdi al-Harati,
http://angryarab.net/2012/07/31/the-strange-case-of-mahdi-al-harati-and-his-struggle-in-libya-and-syria/

August 1st, 2012, 7:59 am

 

habib said:

274. Antoine

Loool, already drooling over Sunni on Sunni violence (Berris are Sunni, contrary to some lame rumours)?

Even if every minority in Syria was exterminated, I’m willing to bet that the Sunni gangs would keep fighting among themselves for eternity. Already now they’re itching to eliminate any competitors:

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-rebel-leader-denounces-new-opposition

How is Riad al-Assad in any position to criticise exiled opportunist? He’s sitting comfortably in Turkey himself, with no say in what actually happens on the ground!

237. omen

It’s easy to justify murders once your own side is doing it, huh? Lol at them being child-molesters, sure, one can accuse a dead man of anything when he’s unable to defend himself.

August 1st, 2012, 8:00 am

 

Mina said:

Some news from Maria TV, for the fans around here. So in order to film fully-veiled women, a non-veiled woman is needed, uh?
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/problem-maria
(Check the picture)

One can understand at once why La Clinton, Baroness Ashton, and Signore Panetta all had to run to Cairo in the last ten days to hail this new-born democracy!

Londonistan is quoted again for its record in spreading democracy “Perhaps because of his controversial, and sometimes baffling, views, Abdullah is confident that he could not get his new channel broadcast from inside Egypt. Instead, the channel’s programs are sent to London and broadcast from there.”

August 1st, 2012, 8:21 am

 

zoo said:

BEIRUT (AP) — In a rare public comment, Syrian President Bashar Assad said foreign enemies are using internal agents in plots to undermine the country’s stability.
….
“I have great confidence in you and the masses see you as a source of pride and honor … and a defender of just causes,” he said.

While there have been many defections from the rank and file and even a few generals, Syria’s armed forces for the most part have remained cohesive. Supported by heavy weapons, they have been slowly regaining momentum against the rag tag rebel army.
http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-president-lashes-internal-agents-091022205.html

August 1st, 2012, 8:38 am

 

habib said:

285. Mina

““The strange thing is that instead of building factories, or extending water and sewage networks to some of the slum areas or even removing garbage from the roads, some Islamists are thinking now about covering women and establishing channels for those wearing the niqab,” she said.”

We saw this in the other “liberated” countries too. What did the NATO revolutionaries of Libya want after “liberation”? Polygamy and Sharia law! Is this really all they’ve been fighting for?

Is there any doubt that Syria will be no different, if not worse, due to their larger number of Salafists?

August 1st, 2012, 8:41 am

 

Amjad said:

Must read piece by Amal Hanano.

“The Womb of Murder”

http://www.ayyam.org/english/?p=535

Bashar el-Fasad couldn’t even come born into this world without it being at the cost of the lives of other children. Disgusting.

August 1st, 2012, 8:43 am

 

irritated said:

#284 Habib

“I’m willing to bet that the Sunni gangs would keep fighting among themselves for eternity”

While the Alawites and other minorities have always fought for survival and security, the Sunnis are fighting for power.
Greed and jealousy would not spare them from fighting against each others. We already see of the signs both in the Sunni dominated FSA and SNC. It’s a basket of crabs ready to eat each others once the ‘minorities’ has been neutralized. There are very few wise men among them and they are considered “too old”.

August 1st, 2012, 8:46 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Bashar Al Assad is a LOSER.
He received the kingdom crowne from his father.

He could not make reforms. He could not keep balanced intl relations. He could not deal with protrests. He will probably bring the country to its worse crisis ever.

He received everything and he will give nothing in return …. and will leave nothing to his son.

Habib likes too much this expresion. So let\’s call Basshar a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSER.

August 1st, 2012, 8:47 am

 

irritated said:

#288 Amjad

Must read piece by Amal Hanano.

Don’t miss the visit at the “neonatologist”: A pseudo-philosophical essay.

August 1st, 2012, 8:53 am

 

irritated said:

Visitor from Hatay

mercenaries sitting behind keyboards endlessly spewing falsehoods and lies as we clearly see happening in this site.

Don’t forget also the hysteric religious extremists animated by hatred calling for blood and revenge on the minorities

August 1st, 2012, 9:01 am

 

Expatriate said:

أخيرا ظهر بالفيديو : هذا هو واضع وصفات الشعوذة الجهنمية
عرابا الهندسة العرقية و الدينية وصاحب مصطلحات الشرذمة و التقطيع معتمدا على torsion fields المجالات اللولبية التي بوقت قياسي قصير تضاعف الطاقة السالبة ملايين الأضعاف كالكراهية و حب الانتقام الخ.
Zionist Levy – ‘What We Did In Libya We Can Do In Syria’

August 1st, 2012, 9:08 am

 

zoo said:

The 14th conversation between Obama and Erdogan: The Baath is here to stay.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/obama-erdogan-mull-post-assad-action-plan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26813&NewsCatID=359

The two leaders oppose the “de-Baathification” of Syria, in an apparent reference to Iraq’s de-Baathification – which tarred every member of Iraq’s ruling Baath party as an enemy of the fragile new state, the official said.

During the conversation, the pair discussed how figures of the old regime who have not participated in violence against civilians should take part in a possible new Syrian administration, the official said, adding that the leaders agreed that “all opposition groups want Bashar al-Assad to leave Syria if and when the al-Assad regime falls, and Turkey is also in favor of this idea.”

Erdoğan and Obama agreed that security officials and diplomats should work on such elements so that the two will have more concrete matters to discuss in their next telephone conversation, he said.

“Last month, daily Hürriyet reported that Erdoğan and Obama held 13 telephone conversations in 2011. U.S. officials told Hürriyet the date of the most recent telephone conversation between Erdoğan and Obama was Jan. 13, 2012.

August 1st, 2012, 9:10 am

 

zoo said:

Will Barzani bow to Davutoglu demands to stop supporting Syrian Kurds?

Turkish minister to meet Iraqi Kurds over Syria

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-minister-to-meet-iraqi-kurds-over-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=26821&NewsCatID=338

As Turkey moved heavy weapons to its border with Syria, its foreign minister was expected to urge the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region not to support a Syrian Kurdish party that is allegedly collaborating with Iraq-based Turkish Kurdish militants, NTV television said Wednesday.

August 1st, 2012, 9:15 am

 

Juergen said:

Mina

looks like those girls found an solution in bringing in the brother who hasnt reached adolescence yet.

August 1st, 2012, 9:16 am

 

zoo said:

The summary execution, torture and lynching by the FSA continues in Aleppo…

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/syria-crisis-justice-idINL6E8IVOIC20120801

SHARIA COURTS

Further south in Aleppo, a dozen prisoners stand against a wall with their hands above their heads, hours after surrendering to rebels who overran their police station on the southern fringes of the city, not the same building as the one shown in the video.

The former police officials face an uncertain fate at the hands of fighters who said they would be put on trial in front of a Sharia (religious) court. Sharia justice, implemented in its most literal form, can involve eye-for-an-eye retribution, up to and including the death penalty.
..
Inside the school, an older man wearing a light blue robe appeared, his eyes puffy from beatings and blood dripping from his mouth. He was carried by apologetic men – interrogators who had mistaken him for a member of the pro-Assad shabbiha militia.

August 1st, 2012, 9:22 am

 

zoo said:

The Syrian Kurds wild card threatens Turkey

Turkey Military Drill on Syria Border Eyes Kurds
By IREM KARAKAYA and SELCAN HACAOGLU Associated Press
ANKARA, Turkey August 1, 2012 (AP)

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/turkish-minister-meet-iraqi-kurds-syria-16902204#.UBktnFL5Oap

Turkey launched a military drill Wednesday just across the border from a Syrian town it claims is controlled by Kurdish rebels — a show of muscle aimed at Kurdish separatists pushing for autonomy within Turkey’s borders.

The Turkish government last week said Turkish Kurdish rebels have seized control of five towns along the border in collaboration with Syria’s Democratic Union Party, or PYD— an ethnic Kurdish grouping. Turkey alleges that many of the rebels migrated to civil-war engulfed Syria from bases in northern Iraq.

August 1st, 2012, 9:24 am

 

zoo said:

Christians in Egypt fear the worst

By TRUDY RUBIN
trubin@phillynews.com

Among the biggest losers from the current Arab political upheavals are the Christian minorities of the Middle East.

Long before the Arab Spring, Iraq’s historic Christian community had shrunk dramatically, as tens of thousands fled threats and bomb attacks by Islamist militias. The flood of refugees pouring out of Syria includes many of that country’s Christian minority, who fear a radical Islamist takeover if President Bashar Assad falls.

Meantime, most of Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of the population, are deeply worried by the election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi as president. “There is a feeling that democracy has been a disaster for us,” says Samia Sidhom, managing editor of Watani, a newspaper that serves the Coptic community. (The Coptic church dates back 19 centuries and is based on the teachings of St. Mark, who took Christianity to Egypt.)

What Morsi does, or doesn’t do, to reassure Copts will reveal whether Christians can enjoy equal rights in an Islamist-led Egypt — and will hint at their likely fate in Syria as well.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/31/2923709/christians-in-egypt-fear-the-worst.html#storylink=cpy

August 1st, 2012, 9:26 am

 

zoo said:

We will pay a high price if we do not arm Syria’s rebels

By Anne-Marie Slaughter
July 31, 2012 7:39 pm

“When we control Syria, we won’t forget that you forgot about us.” That is how the sister of a dead Free Syrian Army soldier responded when a US journalist told her family that Americans were afraid of getting mired in another Iraq or Afghanistan. She and millions of her fellow Syrians cannot understand why with all the US talk of freedom and democracy, and its air cover for Libyan rebels, it will not send the arms necessary to help the opposition defend itself against Bashir al-Assad’s regime.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a03392ce-da35-11e1-b03b-00144feab49a.html#ixzz22IiNjRuV

August 1st, 2012, 9:29 am

 

zoo said:

France plans new Syria push at UN Security Council

http://www.france24.com/en/20120731-syria-france-un-security-council-meeting-lead-negotiations-assad-opposition-russia-china

France has said it will call for an emergency meeting on Syria as soon as it takes over the presidency of the UN Security Council in August, but many wonder what the gathering can accomplish.

According to the Middle East scholar, one of the best ways of accelerating Assad’s departure would be for foreign powers to recognise an exiled Syrian government, in a move reminiscent of the Libyan civil war last year.

In June 2011, France under former president Nicolas Sarkozy recognised the opposition Libyan National Council as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan people. That decision precipitated a NATO-led military intervention that helped topple Colonel Muammar Gaddafi a few months later.

However, according to Majid, the same scenario is difficult to repeat in Syria, where the main opposition group – the Syrian National Council – has limited credibility among ordinary Syrians and has repeatedly displayed internal divisions.

“The Syrian National Council has had no consistency in its message with big differences between its members, who are mostly outside the country, and local forces fighting Assad,” Majid noted, “They are unfortunately too divided to be recognised as an exiled government.”
..
Some members of the battle-weary opposition also looked ready to accept a less-than-perfect transitional arrangement that would exclude Assad but include some figures of the current regime.

So while France continues to blast Assad and draw attention to Russia at the UN, its critical role may be persuading Syria’s opposition to also move closer to a compromise position.

August 1st, 2012, 9:36 am

 

ann said:

299. zoo said:

We will pay a high price if we do not arm Syria’s rebels
By Anne-Marie Slaughter

Zoo, anne marie slaughter is a staunch supporter of israel. she’s been whining about invading [no fly zone] Syria for the last year and a half now.

August 1st, 2012, 9:59 am

 

ann said:

UN observers confirm rebels in possession of tanks in Syria ‘s largest city – 2012-08-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/01/c_131753950.htm

DAMASCUS, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) — The UN Supervision Mission in Syria said it’s deeply concerned about the situation in Aleppo city, confirming that the armed rebels, for the first time, are in possession of heavy weapons including tanks.

In briefing Wednesday, Sausan Ghosheh told reporters that the UN mission in Syria has confirmation that “the opposition is in possession of heavy weapons including tanks.”

The recent reports by the NBC about the fighting in Aleppo, which has started a week ago, indicate that the rebels have acquired surface-to-air missiles from Turkey, whose prime minister has recently said that ” Syrians… will soon be freed from the regime with blood on its hands.”

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 10:05 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Mr Assad where have you been investing the 50 to 70 % of the national budget dedicated to Army during last 30-40 years? What kind of training, tanks and planes have you been paying for as to be unable to win a war against a gang of terrorists?

August 1st, 2012, 10:19 am

 

ann said:

U.S.-Israel security ties “stronger, tighter than ever”: defense minister – 2012-08-01

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-08/01/c_131754121.htm

Tuesday evening, Netanyahu said he is still deliberating whether or not to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, and downplayed report that the military echelon is not in favor of attacking Iran.

According to a report by Israeli Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper earlier Tuesday, officials in Washington recently named Israel’s top security echelon as opponents of a military operation that would exclude the United States.

The unnamed U.S. sources said Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, military intelligence chief Aviv Kocahvi, Air Force commander Amir Eshel, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo and Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen objected to a solo Israeli military strike on Iran.

Other former senior security chiefs have come under fire for publicly criticizing the government’s statements on Iran.

Former Mossad director Meir Dagan and former Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin have both previously warned that a strike without U.S. backing would only set back Iran’s nuclear program by a few years and ignite a regional conflict with disastrous consequences for Israel.

[…]

August 1st, 2012, 10:31 am

 

bronco said:

In view of the disaster of the military approach, and the FSA failure both militarily and psychologically to win the hearts and minds of the Syrians and the West, the new buzz word is now an urgent “transitional government”
Yet the options for any ‘urgent’ action are limited.

– The ‘government in exile” option: The SNC is unanimously recognized as a failure, with no legitimacy and unable to get the status of “a government in exile”. Any attempts by other opposition group to cater for a new leader (Haytham al Maleh) are boycotted by the SNC. Dead end.

– The ‘military transitional’ government seems impossible to create.
The Syrian Army is still cohesive, there are no massive defections which reflects the hesitant mood of the common Syrians. The FSA is daily discrediting itself with its methods and association to Islamist extremists. Result: Syrians and the West don’t trust the FSA’s ability and legitimacy to take over the country. Dead end.

– The “mixed-mode transitional government” including regime figures and opposition figures. In order to reach that, a ceasefire and a dialog are necessary between the two factions. The opposition refuses to talk to the regime, unless it stops the attacks. The regime will not talk to the opposition until it lays down its arms. Even if Bashar al Assad decided to leave to allow that a dialog materializes, the opposition and the regime figures need a long time to be able to deal with each other. Dead end

The only breakthrough could emerge from the outcome of the Aleppo battle.
If the Syrian army is able to control Aleppo, the military arm of the opposition will be weakened to such a point that they will either accept a ceasefire or be totally annihilated. That would trigger the political opposition to rush to an unconditional dialog with the regime. Under Russian and Chinese pressures, the regime will work to share power with the opposition

If the rebels continue to harass the Syrian army without seriously weakening it, the guerilla war will continue and Syria will become like Iraq with different factions killing each others and the country gradually dividing . In these circumstances, the regime will not negotiate with the opposition and will keep the power.

The question of Bashar Al Assad leaving or not is irrelevant as the regime will stay in power until a suitable transition gets implemented.

What is left now is to wait for the battlefield outcome.

August 1st, 2012, 10:33 am

 

zoo said:

301. ann

I know, Ann. It just shows the state of mind on the neo-cons and how ‘humane’ they are.

August 1st, 2012, 10:41 am

 

irritated said:

251. VISITOR in Hatay

Thank God that the Syrian soil has gotten rid of other abominations who prefers to hide in Turkey’s arms.

August 1st, 2012, 10:43 am

 

irritated said:

#239 Norman

Please note that you have become ‘some Norman’ in the comment from that arrogant parasite “visiting” this site after his brainwashing session in Islamist camps in Turkey

August 1st, 2012, 10:53 am

 

Ghufran said:

هاجمت مجموعة من مسلحي عائلة بري اليوم الأربعاء تجمعات للجيش الحر في بعض أحياء حلب بينها مدرسة “عبد الكريم نجار” التي أعدم فيها زينو بري أمس.
مسلحي آل بري قاموا بمهاجمة بعض أماكن تمركز الجيش الحر في أحياء الشعار والميسر والجزماتي.المسلحين استخدموا القذائف الصاروخية في استهداف المدرسة التي تم فيها إعدام زينو بري في حلب.

August 1st, 2012, 11:01 am

 

zoo said:

Some Syrian Sunni tribes fights along the Syrian Army

The murder of the Berri tribe leader has triggered an escalation among the sunni tribes.

It is reported that the tribes affiliated to the clan Berri yesterday launched an appeal for the mobilization of military members in combat situation, following the kidnapping of “Zeno” Berri.
The tribes that signed the declaration are: Baqarah, Berri, al-Sakhanah, al-Batouchi, and al-Assasnah Bary.

August 1st, 2012, 11:03 am

 

zoo said:

The relationship between Israel and the new government in Egypt starts on the ridiculous side with “fake” official letters exchanges.

Egypt official: leader’s letter to Israel is fake
01/08/2012

http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=30539
JERUSALEM (AP) — A letter to Israel from Egypt’s new president hoping for regional peace kicked up a stir Tuesday when the Egyptian leader’s Islamist movement denied he sent it. Israel insisted the letter was genuine.

The spat underlined the touchy nature of Egyptian-Israeli relations, always frosty but now especially sensitive in the wake of Muslim Brotherhood victories in Egyptian elections.

It also appeared to show some disarray in the fractured Egyptian government.

The letter, ostensibly sent by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, was a response to a message from Israeli President Shimon Peres, conveying Israel’s good wishes for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The return letter, released by the Israeli president’s office, was on the stationery of the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv.

In it, Morsi appeared to write in English, “I am looking forward to exerting our best efforts to get the Middle east Peace Process back to its right track in order to achieve security and stability for all peoples of the region, including that Israeli people.” The Israeli president’s name was spelled “Perez.”

Then a spokesman for Morsi, Yasser Ali, said in Cairo that Morsi had not written a letter to the Israeli president at all.

August 1st, 2012, 11:38 am

 

zoo said:

251. VISITOR

We are very glad to announce that an Iranian so-called diplomat has just been eliminated in Damascus.

“Iran has strongly dismissed media reports claiming that an Iranian diplomat has been assassinated in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

“All Iranian diplomats in Syria are safe and sound, and are doing their routine tasks,” Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular and Iranians Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said on Wednesday.

He added, “Certain Arabic-language television networks like Al-Arabiya have launched psychological warfare in Syria under the pretext of establishing a bloody democracy in order to bolster the position of terrorist gangs.”

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/08/01/253882/iran-denies-diplomat-murder-in-syria/

August 1st, 2012, 11:58 am

 

ghufran said:

وصف قائد “الجيش السوري الحر” رياض الأسعد يوم الأربعاء، تشكيل الائتلاف السياسي الجديد “مجلس الأمناء الثوري السوري” خارج سوريا والتخطيط لإقامة حكومة انتقالية، بأنه سعي لتقسيم المعارضة والاستفادة من المكاسب التي حققها مقاتلوها بهدف إرضاء الخارج وضرب الداخل بعضهم ببعض وتفكيك يد الشعب الضاربة والمتمثلة في “الجيش الحر”.
وقال الأسعد في تسجيل مصور بثته قنوات فضائية، ونقلته وكالة (رويترز) للأنباء إن “السياسيين الذين شكلوا الائتلاف الجديد أصابهم حمى التسلق على الفرص واغتنام المناصب الذي دعاهم أن يعلنوا إنشاء وتأسيس حكومة انتقالية في محاولة صريحة وواضحة لركوب ثورتنا والاتجار بدماء شهدائنا”.

August 1st, 2012, 12:10 pm

 

ghufran said:

شهدت دمشق فجر الاربعاء لاول مرة اشتباكات في محيط حيي باب توما وباب شرقي المسيحيين بين مقاتلين معارضين والقوات النظامية، بحسب المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان.
ولفت المرصد في بيان الى ان “المعلومات الاولية تشير الى سقوط قتيل على الاقل في صفوف القوات النظامية” نتيجة هذه الاشتباكات.
واوضح مدير المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان رامي عبد الرحمن لوكالة فرانس برس ان هذه الاشتباكات “وقعت في مناطق كانت لا تزال بعيدة عن متناول المقاتلين المعارضين”. واضاف ان الاشتباكات بدات قرابة الساعة الثانية من فجر الاربعاء، مشيرا الى ان “اطلاق النار الكثيف خلال الاشتباكات يدل على اشتراك اعداد كبيرة من المقاتلين من الجهتين في المعارك”.
وافاد شاهد في المنطقة فرانس برس ان “مسلحين مجهولين هاجموا مركزا للجيش النظامي مقابل باب شرقي”، مشيرا الى ان “الاشتباكات استمرت زهاء ربع ساعة”.
The idea is to spread the pain and inflame as many spots as possible,if the rebels succeed in Aleppo,they will turn their attention to areas that witnessed little violence including the coastal cities.

August 1st, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

Syrialover said:

It’s quite impressive to read Bronco(#309).

He appears to have inside information.

He must have moles under the table at both the regime’s strategy meetings (where else the delusionary assertions)and scattered across the Syrian opposition, the inner sanctums of western policy makers and, not least, the Syrian people across Syria, to know what they will and won’t accept.

The concept of a legitimate government (opposition) sharing power with the illegitimate Syrian-people-hating Assad team is going to be amazing to witness.

After all that has happened and is happening now,the opposititon will finally decide to meekly lay down their arms and trust the Assadists to hold a “dialogue”.

Or as Bronco describes it, “….. would trigger the political opposition to rush to an unconditional dialog with the regime. Under Russian and Chinese pressures, the regime will work to share power with the opposition”. (What, no Iranians involved?)

The Assadists will be somehow allowed to operate proudly on their record of mass homicide, genocide and urbicide, and everyone who has been opposing the regime will concede they we were wrongheaded and stubborn to disrespect the Assadists and imagine Syria could operate without them.

Meanwhile, Bronco suggests the failure to defect by more people inside the army and in key positions represents a firm moral stance and belief in the cause, and also indicates the opinion of most Syrians.

It’s got nothing to do with fear of consequences from the regime, or anxiety about their fate by those closely involved with the regime? Or even just normal human desire to crouch down and stay somehow safe until the nightmare is over?

Tragically for Syria, the key “strategy” of the vicious idiot Assad and his Iranian puppetmasters is that any potential bridges were long ago illogically and irreparably burned.

Burned on the bonfire the regime started, then diligently stoked by them into a raging inferno that’s devouring Syria.

August 1st, 2012, 12:39 pm

 

Syrialover said:

With regard to reports of an Iranian diplomat being assassinated in Damascus: “All Iranian diplomats in Syria are safe and sound, and are doing their routine tasks,” Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular and Iranians Affairs Hassan Qashqavi said on Wednesday
(news item #316).

Doing their routine tasks? Their “diplomatic tasks”?

It would be horror-fascinating – and infuriating – to read their job descriptions!

August 1st, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

307. SANDRO LOEWEsaid:

Mr Assad where have you been investing the 50 to 70 % of the national budget dedicated to Army during last 30-40 years? What kind of training, tanks and planes have you been paying for as to be unable to win a war against a gang of terrorists?
_________________________________________________________________

Rarely I use it, and I always notify the recepient, left you a negative on that comment.

It is a valid question ,but you should direct it to the Tlasses who managed for decades Syria’s armament purchases. Now you know how poor Tlass walked in to the army on LS 300 lira job, and walked out with 100’s of millions out.

I have no respect to the Assad’s and neither the hired help. It is a Mafia that robbed Syrians and drove them to impovrishment. Bring the Khaddam, Riffat, Tlass, Shahabi to trials, cease all the illicit wealth they stole.

August 1st, 2012, 12:58 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Oh no, more comments swallowed by the SC filter. This time it’s my response to Bronco.

August 1st, 2012, 1:16 pm

 

Tara said:

When Asma married Besho, lots of people I know also wondered why anyone would marry a man whose father slaughtered 20,000 people in three weeks.

How Syria’s ‘desert rose’ became ‘the first lady of hell’
….
But Styleite writer, Hilary George-Parkin, is not impressed with Buck’s mea culpa. She writes:

“It is not hard to imagine this kind charade fooling a rookie journalist. But, of course, that is hardly what Buck was at the time. She goes on, however, to reveal further manipulation by those surrounding the Assads, including a hacked computer, carefully-monitored cell phone given to her at the start of her trip, and leaked emails between PR reps discussing the need to conceal any potentially damaging information. None of these points were mentioned in the profile… raving about Asma al-Assad’s elegant wardrobe, posh stature, and democratic parenting style.”

And Homa Khaleeli, writing in a Guardian blog, was also contemptuous of Buck’s attempt at exculpation: “The mea culpa is almost as disastrous as the initial interview”, she writes.

“It’s hard to tell if Buck asked Asma – or Bashar whom she also met – any real questions at all. Certainly not why anyone would marry a man whose father slaughtered 20,000 people in three weeks… She did not ask why her phone and computer were bugged, or even why she had spotted something that looks like a mobile prison in the souk.”
….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/aug/01/asma-al-assad-anna-wintour

August 1st, 2012, 1:58 pm

 

Tara said:

Habib,

This is the moral difference between us and Assad’s supporters.  Next time you witness a massacre of civilians, I invite you to condemn it even if you consider these civilians to be  your enemy based on their sect affiliation.   
——
It has taken several hours, but the opposition Syrian National Council has now condemned the executions by rebels in Aleppo.

Khalid Saleh, a member of the group’s executive committee, said:”The persons executed were well known to be responsible for many deaths on Aleppo. Nonetheless, we firmly believe everyone deserves a just trial even in the case of field trials.”
—–

August 1st, 2012, 2:10 pm

 

Ghufran said:

I thought you guys need to know that the expat community in the US is not sitting idle while the country is burning, some chose to send money to the rebels to buy weapons ( not good), some are sending money to help the needy ( barakallah),few volunteered to take care of the refugees (jazakum Allah khairan),etc,but my focus for this post is the behind the scenes effort by a number of cool headed Syrians who are lobbying the US government and the media to help formulate a more realistic approach to the Syrian crisis, these lobbying efforts are met with condemnation by hardcore anti regime Islamists and ridiculed by some who believe that the US can not influence the outcome of syria’s conflict. We are receiving help from Americans who have connections in the congress and a number of scholars and previous officials who are not in the Neocon camp.
The fruits of this campaign are yet to be harvested but I am encouraged by the cautious approach this administration has and pleased with Panetta’s reference to the importance of keeping a cohesive security and army structure after the fall of Assad.
If you love Syria,you should help the country to pass this difficult period by ensuring that chaos,lawlessness and total collapse of the state do not happen after the inevitable fall of Assad,those who work in the opposite direction and can only talk about death and revenge are either traitors or agents for a foreign country,start training your brain to think about the day after not at how you can kill as many opponents as possible.

August 1st, 2012, 2:13 pm

 

AIG said:

Ghufran,

What would you like to see the Americans do?

If you believe that Assad’s fall is inevitable, to best way to contain future chaos is to make sure Assad goes as quickly as possible. The longer Assad stays, the more people die and the more Syria’s infrastructure gets wrecked and the larger the chance that chaos will follow. Thinking about the day after does not make sense if the day after is 5 years from today. By then, nothing that anyone does could help.

August 1st, 2012, 2:21 pm

 

freealepian said:

Guys, yesterday 3 police stations were overrun by FSA, are the police insider who were killed from aleppo or foreigners ?

August 1st, 2012, 2:28 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Syria Spin Machine: UK mainstream lies exposed
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4YcQ_cT1C4
While Syria’s still locked in bloody confrontation on the ground, another war is also being waged – the media one. And as RT has discovered, even the world’s most respected media outlets who have huge influence in shaping public opinion, resort to distorting facts.

August 1st, 2012, 2:35 pm

 

Expatriate said:

312. IRRITATED

Turkey’s Hatay Province, Mossad, CIA spy hub: Turkish MP
http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/07/31/253605/turkish-province-mossad-cia-spy-hub/

August 1st, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

Tara said:

Batta the coward! He had SANA published a speech to the army and dared not bless us with public appearance. Is he planning to hide until the end? What about the kids? Are they going to be home schooled? Is he going to trust sending them to their Montessori school this September? My advise is to send Asma and the children to Iran from now. He should not be that selfish. His end is uncontrollable and the children should be away in a safe place. How come nobody can instill some sense in him?

August 1st, 2012, 2:43 pm

 

ghufran said:

رفضت كل من روسيا والبرازيل والهند والصين وجنوب افريقيا مشروع القرار السعودي المعروض على الجمعية العامة للمم المتحدة حول سوريا، بحسب قناة “الميادين”.
population of those countries: close to 3 billion people
Qatar population : less than 2 million,80% of which are not even Qataris
you do not need to be a political sciences expert to conclude that there is no consensus about how to approach Syria’s crisis,that is why we have not had a solution after 20,000 victims.
pride prevents super powers from admitting that their medicine made the disease worse,arrogant western politicians played God from day one thinking that sanctions and press conferences can topple a regime that was built over 40 years and has a declining but still sizable support inside and outside Syria. Instead of helping Syrians to talk it out,foreigners have mostly encouraged Syrians to fight it out,why not if the goal is to destroy Syria, after all it is Syrians ,not EU or GCC citizens,who are dying everyday.

August 1st, 2012, 2:50 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

LebWatch
#Syria n state TV says that (Terrorist militants) assassinated the #Iranian embassy military counselor in #Damascus Ali Husien Zadah #FSA

http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/lebwatch-syria-n-state-tv-says-that-terrorist/

August 1st, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

Expatriate said:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/49117/World/Region/Iran-warns-Turkey-against-military-intervention-in.aspx
Iran warns Turkey against military intervention in Syria: Al-Watan newspaper
Turkey received ‘very strong warnings’ in the past few hours from Syrian ally Iran in case Ankara launched a military strike against Damascus, a report revealed
AFP , Monday 30 Jul 2012
Syrian ally Iran has warned their common neighbour Turkey that it will meet a harsh response should Ankara carry out any strikes inside Syrian territory, a pro-Damascus daily reported on Monday.
“Any attack on Syrian territory will meet with a harsh response, and the Iranian-Syrian mutual defence agreement will be activated,” the Al-Watan newspaper said.

“Turkey has received very strong warnings in the past few hours and the following message — beware changing the rules of the game,” the paper added.

Iran is the closest regional ally of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has also striven to keep good relations with Turkey even as the standoff over its controversial nuclear programme has deepened with other NATO member states.

Tehran has enjoyed close ties with Damascus since 1980 when the Syrian government took its side in its devastating eight-year war with now executed dictator Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad, and has signed a series of defence pacts, including in 2006 and 2008.

But Ankara has been a leading champion of the more than 16-month uprising against the Assad regime and has given refuge to large numbers of army defectors, who have formed the kernel of a rebel army, as well as tens of thousands of civilian refugees.

Al-Watan cited an “Arab diplomat” as accusing Turkey of seeking to use its fears about the rebel Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which already enjoys rear-bases in the far north of Iraq, as a pretext to intervene in Syria.

“Ankara is preparing an agreement with Washington to intervene militarily in the Syrian (crisis), using the Kurdish card as an excuse,” the paper said.

“Turkey has agreed with the United States on a military intervention limited to the north of Syria, specifically the northern province of Aleppo, to pave the way for the creation of a safe haven guarded by the armed gangs.”

Turkish newspapers have reported that some Kurdish-majority regions of northern Syria have been flying the flag of Syria’s PKK ally, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in what they have said is a deal with the Assad family’s government, which was a longtime backer of the Kurdish rebel group’s insurgency in Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that it is a “given” that Turkish troops would pursue fleeing PKK militants inside Syria, warning that Ankara would not hesitate to strike “terrorists.”

Turkey has sent a convoy of tanks, ground-to-air missile batteries and other weapons to the border with Syria to further bolster its forces, the Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.

Turkey has repeatedly carried out air and ground operations against suspected PKK rear-bases in northern Iraq. Iran has also done so against suspected hideouts in the same area of PKK ally the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).

August 1st, 2012, 3:02 pm

 

Michal said:

@290

I’ve noticed regime supporters have yesterday derided westerners supporting the uprising for having no “stake” and being non-Arab. I wonder if Habib is an Arab, because obviously what he wrote about Libyan uprising is a really small piece of the uprising that’s the most visible to westerners usually. It makes me launch into a rant, because it’s so simplistic, I hope you don’t mind if I go ahead:

Sharia has been in place in Libya since 1973 when colonel Gaddafi introduced a new heavily oppressive law code. Alcohol and pork has been banned, amputations for theft introduced, bank interest has been made illegal (though still practiced through ‘administrative fees’), as late as of 2010 the Amnesty International has verified that women were being lashed for adultery and homosexuals were heavily persecuted until around 2006 when Libya made minor concessions to get friendly with George Bush.

So the fighters weren’t fighting for sharia. It’s been already in place, and in a very harsh way, although it is true specifically polygamy was made legal following the revolution by the decision of NTC. Mind you, NTC decisions can be overturned at any time by the democratically elected government.

It is also worth pointing out, all of this has roots in conservative Libyan society.

What the fighters fought for and gained was their freedom. Freedom of assembly, now widely practiced, freedom of speech documented by hundreds of newspapers, dozen satellite channels, radios, all of which comes even in Berber language that has been previously forbidden. The universities have emancipated themselves and can now teach things like history freely. The businesses are no longer plagued by demands to pay tribute to the Gaddafi family. People elected their own governmental representatives that work for the people and may be removed if they don’t. There’s thousands of non-governmental organizations that can now work freely without being subdued by the government.

There’s so much freedom that I’m not sure what else I forgot or should mention. Even the sports clubs can now play without being worried Saadi Gaddafi is going to start shooting the audience and bulldoze the club offices.

There’s also no government that would be killing hundreds of unarmed protesters. Prisoners have been released. Exiles can return.

Libya is a very free country now, and the changes it has endured are so profound, that I hope you now see they can’t be just summed up to “fighters fought for sharia and polygamy”. There’s much more to that.

August 1st, 2012, 3:04 pm

 
 

Uzair8 said:

Apparently it was about this time last year that defectors organised the Free Syrian Army. They named the first battalion after Hamza al-Khatib.

August 1st, 2012, 3:08 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Ghufran, could you please take the couple of extra seconds it may take to provide links to the material you post here?

I take the time to search the internet for your excerpted texts, to (machine) translate them and to read the entire articles at the original sources, in context.

Without each of us separately and independently tracking down your sources, we have no idea who wrote what you excerpt and no idea where it appeared or the context of the remarks. This is discourteous to readers and to our host, and unfair — thumbing a nose both to the fair-use rules of the site and to those who consistently include links in their posts. Why?

When I earlier asked that you provide links, you responded that “I will add the links anyway.” Yet in the last three days you have posted twenty-five additional excerpts without attribution.

I value your contributions highly. With very very rare exceptions, you give honest and even-handed impressions from a long-time resident of the USA with no intention of returning to Syria.

_______________

For those who have not watched Joshua Landis’s excellent speech at the Wilson Center cited by Ghufran above, the center has provided a full transcript:

http://stage-wilson.p2technology.com/event/syria-what-lies-ahead

August 1st, 2012, 3:14 pm

 

Expatriate said:

Turkey plays US dangerous game on Syria: Tarpley
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2StEqIodfI
For more than a year, the deadly unrest in Syria has brought about more questions than answers but what’s definitely clear is that civilians have been the main victims of what the armed opposition says is a government crackdown and the government says is a foreign-backed attempt to destroy the country.

August 1st, 2012, 3:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Patrick Seale the apologist
01 August 2012

British journalist Patrick Seale, an expert on Syria and the rule of the al-Assad family, wrote last Friday in London-based newspaper al-Hayat about challenges facing the warring factions in Syria. He criticizes President Bashar al-Assad for being slow to reform and for solely using security clampdowns. But the Syrian revolution went beyond this option a long time ago — those who call for reforms are no longer critics of the Syrian regime. When he calls for reform, Seale imagines he is neutral, however he is like many leftists and Arab nationalists. They are embarrassed by Assad’s brutality; yet do not want him to leave or the revolution to triumph, so take undefined stances.

Read more:

http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/08/01/229736.html

August 1st, 2012, 3:25 pm

 

ghufran said:

WSS,
which article or post you are referring to?
I read tons of news and articles every day to the point that
I can have my own blog if I choose to except that I prefer to be free and at times disorganized,sorry if I wasted your time trying to chase my sources, some of what I write is based on my private interactions with Syrians,I can not reference everything I post, readers have the right to read my comments or ignore them.
Another issue that made few a little unhappy is my refusal to have a conversation with israelis and foreigners who display hatred or disrespect for Syria as a country or any particular religious or ethnic group,this refusal is the least I can do when many Arabs are choosing to be political prostitutes.
on a personal note,I appreciate your contribution and your mild manner, I hope you can tell me a little about your background without exposing your identity,having an opinion in Syria today can be lethal,do not expect the new jihadists to be more tolerant than the baathists.

August 1st, 2012, 3:43 pm

 

Mina said:

Poor Ghufran… threatened for not putting links all the time. Does he get a salary to do the job of think tank trainees and other civil servants?
Ghufran: I enjoy reading you, even without a link!

It’s trending even in Libya:
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/49284/World/Region/Update-Libyan-military-intelligence-department-des.aspx
“Libya’s military intelligence building in eastern Benghazi destroyed by what appeared to be an improvised explosive devise”

And Atimes Pepe Escobar believes in the death of Mr Beetroot
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NH02Ak03.html

In Egypt, “democracy” has finally delivered a government headed by the MB (it took all this time for the president to nominate a prime minister and a few more days for the latter to announce his cabinet).
And the winner is……….
“Head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) Hussein Tantawi is also to keep his post of minister of defence in the new cabinet. He has served as defence minister since 1991, under seven different governments.”
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/49247/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-new-cabinet-Bureaucrats,-technocrats-and-Is.aspx

August 1st, 2012, 3:47 pm

 

habib said:

324. Tara

Quit the empty rhetoric, I condemn any massacre. The real difference lies in the fact that opposition supporters usually blame the killers for being Shabiha, or the killed for being Shabiha, all depending on what circumstances suits them.

I and others remain sceptical of accusations that the government commits massacres of civilians, which only benefit the armed opposition.

August 1st, 2012, 3:48 pm

 

omen said:

8. ALDENDESHE said: I can render an advise to all, and help in solution, but I will not. Keep them making awful mistakes and fighting for fifteen years. Assad army can keep Syria relatively in one part for a decade, so why worry. Back to the beach.

it’s okay to admit you don’t have the answers.

August 1st, 2012, 6:58 pm

 

William Scott Scherk said:

Ghufran, I am British-Columbian born and raised. I gave my personal background (my ‘what I am’ / ‘who I am`’) in several posts, including this one from early 2011: http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9621&cp=all#comment-249580

My most profound personal connection to the tragedy of Syria was making the acquaintance in Vancouver of a man sheltered in our refugee system, in 2011. He was in a wheelchair, the result of his spell in Syrian detention. It moved me deeply to see his pain and the horror of a mad paranoid system that could so easily crush the bodies of those who dissent.

I won’t harry you now for links, but I will continue to track down the context of the Arabic-language excerpts you post (you may recall that I consistently appended URLs for your sources during my time as Syria Comment moderator. To my eyes it is simple: when we quote (or excerpt) someone else’s reports, statements or opinions, it is basic to provide a reference).

_____________________

It is thoroughly understandable to me that Syrians at home and abroad will be concerned that their personal information be accessed — whatever their stripe — because of the dire consequences that are possible, especially for putative critics or foes of the regime. The regime has no scruples in bugging, hounding, threatening, jailing or extorting obeisance from individuals, family or associates in Syria, and in exile/expat communities (as the criminal trials in USA and Germany highlight). Considering the outrageous sectarian lunacy and war-vocabulary that partisans often use, with vague threats of reprisal (I am speaking of vile speech acts against Alawites as a class**), I also understand why Syrian regime supporters are careful to never reveal anything that could expose them or their families to any kind of danger or risk of harassment.

That said, I have stated before that a person can reveal ‘What’ they are without revealing ‘Who’ they are, without personally-identifying information that might possibly be used against them by maniacs from any quarter. There is no need, nor am I interested to know ‘Who’ someone is — but I am suspicious of those who cannot even declare their interests frankly while delineating the interests of others. For a number of mysterious entities who post here are quick to name and shame interlocutors, to use the most corrupt language to demonize ‘The Other.’

For example, the mysterious entity who goes by the moniker Irritated. In this thread he (or she) has labeled Visitor as Visitor from Hatay. This type of casual slur is especially contemptible from those who refuse to declare their own loyalties or citizenship(s). Irritated will not even indicate if she is tied in any way to Syria, yet takes pleasure in nominating others as agents or examplars of his flabby hypotheses. Similarly with Mina. What is she (besides an old Maoist, as declared perhaps in jest)? Similar to Bronco: What is he/she? A Westerner? A Syrian? An American? A Canadian? Never has Bronco let slip anything to allow us to know if she is an Armenian national selling pizza in Bremen or a work-release parolee in Mississipi. Nothing. No indication. This at the same time as he or she peers deeply into the souls of other folks (and nations), while he or she utters racialist imprecations against named people, and presumes to know the day-to-day psychology of all national actors.

Similarly, those who use comtemptuous expressions against Gulf dogs, benighted Egyptians, fools and clowns of present-day Libya, and so on — how can we discount these biases or give them a prominent place at the table when they so completely veil their circumstances in the world?

For all we know Bronco could simply be a concerned citizen of Australia, with no connection to Syria whatsoever. It doesn’t matter the personal details, but I think it matters when nothing is revealed at all, when all inquiries are batted away or ignored. Consider the sleaze visited upon Juergen, attempts to smear him with presumed crimes of the German nation, by anonymous mysteries …

Thanks for your questions, Ghufran. Syria is in torment, and there seems little we can do here in comments to influence events, let alone intransigent nutcases in full froth. The most mysterious entities seem inclined only to inflame discussion, indulge in petty personal asides, dirty the water, spout hateful cliches — entirely tharting understanding among peers. It is Syrians who must reconcile once the brutal violence is stilled — I hope that the mysterious hecklers and reprisal-rejoicers will shut the f**k up with their nattering and posturing when it comes to that stage.

I think the governing bodies in Syria (not the President, who does nothing) are unable to turn off the Baath machine and face reality. As with GCC autocracies and the decrepit kingdoms and personal fiefs of the Arab and Islamic world, the end of unrepresentative governance is in the cards for Syria.

We can loathe the shameful bondage of the Arabian peoples to the House of Saud. We can loathe and despise the hypocrisy and empty rhetoric of the last few American administrations, the cynical dodges about freedom and democracy. We can decry and grieve the destruction of the Bush wars in Afghanistand and Irag. We can sneer at the backpedalling and shameless maneuvering of US State in the wake of the overthrow of its client Mubarak. We can hiss at the shameful push-me/pull-you tapdance on the future of prison-camp-nationals in Palestine and assorted no-hope allotments.

We can do all this and still hope that Assadism and the torturous Baath regime comes to its rightful end. And I think we can do it without being self-deluding or demanding either total agreement or destruction.

This blessed, cursed, beautiful, historic centre of earthly civilizations, this ancient crucible of humanity, this land, these peoples — Syria deserves better than masked spectators, hecklers and hateful minions of totalitarian ideology.

** the summary executions of presumed Shabiha in Aleppo are to my eyes unjustifiable and must be condemned as war crimes. Although it is argued in some quarters that such lawless retribution is an understandable reaction to regime brutality, does it need to be stressed how far this action is from justice?

August 1st, 2012, 8:47 pm

 

omen said:

253. JUERGEN said: I just learned that a young medicine student whom i met on demonstrations against Assad here in Berlin, has died in the battle for Aleppo.

such a loss of potential.

my condolences to you, juergen. it’s a shock to the system to realize someone you knew has been killed.

August 1st, 2012, 9:01 pm

 

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