Five Reasons Why There Will Not Be an Alawite State

Will the Alawites try to establish an Alawite State centered in the Coastal Mountains?

Many opposition figures and journalists insist that the Alawites are planning to fall back to the Alawite Mountains in an attempt to establish a separate state. This is unconvincing. Here are the top five reasons why there will not be an Alawite State.

1. The Alawites have tried to get out of the mountains and into the cities. After the French conquered Syria in 1920, the earliest censuses showed a profound demographic segregation between Sunnis and Alawis. In no town of over 200 people did Alawis and Sunnis live together. The coastal cities of Latakia, Jeble, Tartus and Banyas were Sunni cities with Christian neighborhoods, but no Alawi neighborhoods. Only in Antioch did Alawis live in the city and that city was the capital of a separate autonomous region of Iskandarun, which was ceded to the Turks in 1938. In 1945 only 400 Alawis were registered as inhabitants of Damascus. Ever since the end of the Ottoman era, the Alawis have been streaming out of the mountain region along the coast to live in the cities. The French establishment of an autonomous Alawite state on the coast and their over-recruitment of Alawis into the military sped up this process of urbanization and confessional mixing in the cities of Syria. Assad’s Syria further accelerated the urbanization of the Alawites as they were admitted into universities in large numbers and found jobs in all the ministries and national institutions for the first time.

2. The Assads planned to solve the sectarian problem in Syria by integrating the Alawites into Syria as “Muslims.” They promoted a secular state and tried to suppress any traditions that smacked of a separate “Alawite” identity. No formal Alawi institutions have been established to define Alawi culture, religion or particularism. They did not plan for an Alawi state. On the contrary, the Assads bent over backwards to define Alawis as main-stream Muslims, Bashar married a Sunni Muslim in an attempt at nation-building and to stand as an example of integration.  He claimed to promote a “secular” vision of Syria.

3. Assad has done nothing to lay the groundwork for an Alawite state. There is no national infrastructure in the coastal region to sustain a state: no international airport, no electric power plans, no industry of importance, and nothing on which to build a national economy.

4. No country would recognize the Alawite state.

5. Most importantly, an Alawite state is indefensible. Alawite shabbiha and brigades of special forces may fall back to the Alawite Mountains when Damascus is lost. But how long could they last? As soon as Syria’s Sunni militias unite, as presumably they will, they would make hasty work of any remaining Alawite resistance. Who ever owns Damascus and the central state will own the rest of Syria in short order. They will have the money, they will have legitimacy, and they will have international support. Syria could not survive without the coast. More importantly, it would not accept to do without the coast and the port cities of Tartus and Latakia. All the coastal cities remain majority Sunni to this day.

Aleppo, Abadiin Square: A friend who is taking part in the large demonstrations centered in Abadiin writes:

Today (Sat 21-Jul.) is the second day that the FSA has controlled Salah Al-Deen (Saladin), yesterday there were a few clashes between Assad’s army and teh FSA. Today is more quit with fewer clashes, but there are helicopters hovering in the sky. I have heard that tanks surround the neighborhood. It is the calm the precedes the storm.

Assad forces push into rebel-held Aleppo after fierce clashes in Syria capital – Reuters

….Activists in Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city and a northern commercial hub, said hundreds of families were fleeing residential districts after the military swept into the Saladin district, which had been in rebel hands for two days.

Fighting was also reported in the densely-populated, poor neighborhood of al-Sakhour. “The sound of bombardment has been non-stop since last night. For the first time we feel Aleppo has turned into a battle zone,” a housewife said by phone from the city.

Asef Shawkat: Video of his funeral in Tartus

“Syrians Fleeing Capital Leave Bodies and Bombs Behind”
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR, July 20, 2012, New York Times

“You feel the government is losing control, slowly but surely, every day a little more,” said one 30-year-old construction engineer, declining to give his name because he might go back. “After the assassinations, the people who were saying the system will survive started talking about its collapse.”

If the government manages to reassert control in Damascus in the coming days, then maybe the country will not disintegrate, he said, but he was not optimistic, especially as the hatred deepened between Alawites and Sunnis.

“I think a civil war is coming; you can see it and feel it,” he said, with Alawites talking about their fears of surviving while Sunnis burn with the desire for revenge.

“Eighty percent of the problem is sectarian and maybe 20 percent is about corruption,” said Mohamed al-Jazaeri, a young engineer, explaining his wish for a slow, measured political reform process that is nowhere in sight. “They are going to destroy the country, and they won’t be able to bring it back for another 20 years.”

Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-Style Breakup?
Even if the regime loses its grip on growing swaths of territory, the civil war’s sectarian dimension could see it opt to retreat into enclaves controlled by its base of Alawite, Christian and non-Sunni support
By Tony Karon | @tonykaron | July 19, 2012

Kurds

Zaid Benjamin ‏tweets: “A committee to manage Syrian Kurdistan will be announced tomorrow – The Syrian Kurdish National Council.

A Kurdish Journalist writes from Kurdistan:

The liberation of Kurdistan in Syria has started and a few Kurdish cities have been liberated, but unfortunately Arab and western media hasn’t given a lot of coverage to it and I want to do a report about this and I have a few questions if you could answer me I’ll appreciate it…..

1- Why has Arab and Foreign media has ignored the events of Kurdish parts of Syria?
2- Do you think the events of last week in Kurdish parts of Syria has a impact on Syrian Crisis?

Hawar Abdul-Razaq Ali
Journalist and Translater
Rudaw Weekly Paper
Irbil- Iraq

Obeida Nahas tweets “Activists focusing on this issue [Kurdish] have been in constant meetings with Kurdish activists over the past few days working on this.”

Iyad El-Baghdadi ‏@iyad_elbaghdadi tweets: “Kurdish activists assert the Kurdish flag is being raised in north-east #Syria side by side the revolution flag.”

Syria opposition has power struggles of its own
As rebels risk their lives for a new government, some feel overshadowed by exiled dissidents, who the fighters say are out of touch with the real revolution.
By Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, July 20, 2012

As Syrian opposition leaders threw punches at one another early this month in a five-star Cairo hotel, rebel fighters in Idlib province spent hours trying to fight off tanks, armored vehicles and attack helicopters with little more than Kalashnikov rifles.

By nightfall, as the rebels fled shelling that reportedly killed dozens, conference members continued to fight over post-revolution plans.

The conference scuffle laid bare power struggles among Syrians seeking the overthrow of President Bashar Assad, despite a conflict that has moved ever closer to the Syrian leader. On Wednesday, three of his senior military officials were killed in a bombing that struck at the center of the regime’s power. But even as some rebel fighters say they are pushing for a “final battle” others say victory is far off, especially with the opposition still struggling to agree on exactly how to oust Assad and who should lead the way….. “Everyone who says he represents us is a liar, and the proof of this is that they are not adopting the demands of the revolution,” Moaz Shami, an activist in Damascus, the Syrian capital, said via Skype. “They are all politicians trying to climb on our shoulders and on our goals.”

How “Damascus Volcano” erupted in Assad’s stronghold
By Andrew Osborn, LONDON | Fri Jul 20, 2012

(Reuters) – As darkness descended over Damascus last Saturday, few of its 1.7 million residents could have had any inkling that a decisive battle to wrest the city from the grasp of President Bashar al-Assad was about to begin.

Damascus chaos strikes fear in Assad’s Alawite bastion – Reuters

Tartous, like many Alawite areas, is more liberal than Syria’s majority Sunni provinces. Women wear skimpy bathing suits on sandy beaches. Restaurants are stocked with alcohol.

Russia, one of Assad’s last remaining allies, retains its last warm water port in Tartous. These days, few ships go in and out of the walled base since Western states imposed punitive economic sanctions to pressure Assad to leave.

Long-time residents estimate that nearly half of Syria’s entire Alawite population has relocated to Tartous province since the uprising started. Finding an apartment in the city that swelled from 900,000 to 1.2 million inhabitants is now a matter of luck, real estate agents say.

Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria
By Josh Rogin Friday, July 20, 2012 – Foreign Policy

For the last six months, 40 senior representatives of various Syrian opposition groups have been meeting quietly in Germany under the tutelage of the U.S. Institute for Peace (USIP) to plan for how to set up a post-Assad Syrian government.

The project, which has not directly involved U.S. government officials but was partially funded by the State Department, is gaining increased relevance this month as the violence in Syria spirals out of control and hopes for a peaceful transition of power fade away. The leader of the project, USIP’s Steven Heydemann, an academic expert on Syria, has briefed administration officials on the plan, as well as foreign officials, including on the sidelines of the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul last month…

USIP intends to release a report on the project in the coming weeks that will serve as a transition strategy document to be used by the next government. The next phase is to stand up a transition support network “to begin to implement these recommendations about stuff that needs to happen now,” Heydemann said.

In addition to security-sector reform, the group has come up with plans to reform the justice sector and a framework for the role of the armed opposition in a post-Assad Syria. The idea is to preserve those parts of the Syrian state that can be carried over while preparing to reform the parts that can’t. For example, large parts of the Syrian legal system could be preserved.

The group has come up with a few innovative proposals to make the post-Assad transition less chaotic. One example Heydemann cited was the idea of mobile judicial review squads, which could be deployed to do rapid review and release of detainees held by the regime after it falls.

The project has also tried to identify regime personnel who might be able to play an effective role in the immediate phase after Assad falls.

“There’s a very clear understanding of the Syrians in this project that a transition is not sweeping away of the entire political and judicial framework of Syria,” Heydemann said. “We have learned an enormous amount about the participants so that we can actually begin a very crude vetting process.”

The USIP-led project has been careful to avoid working to push the Assad regime from power.

“We have very purposely stayed away from contributing to the direct overthrow of the Assad regime,” Heydemann said. “Our project is called ‘the day after.’ There are other groups working on the day before.”

The project has been funded by the State Department, but also has received funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Dutch and Norwegian NGOs. USIP partnered with the German Institute of International Affairs, which is why all of the meetings have been held in Berlin.

“This is a situation where too visible a U.S. role would have been deeply counterproductive. It would have given the Assad regime and elements of the opposition an excuse to delegitimize the process,” Heydemann said. …

BAB AL-HAWA, Syria – Agence France-Presse

The rebel fighters had already sacked the buildings making up the Syrian border post, which were bloodstained and riddled with bullets from Thursday’s battle…. They had also helped themselves to the contents of the Turkish lorries that were caught up in the battle as they waited to cross the border.

Villagers loot Syria border post seized by rebels
By Suleiman Al-Khalidi,  BAB AL-HAWA, Syria | Sat Jul 21, 2012

(Reuters) – Rebel fighter Ismail watches approvingly as local villagers loot beer and whisky from the burnt-out duty free shop at Bab al-Hawa, the border post between Syria and Turkey seized from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on Thursday.

“This is the people’s money; they are taking it back,” he said. “Whoever wants to should take it. There is no shame or wrongdoing.”

Youths on scooters arrived from nearby villages to empty the charred duty free shop and warehouse, whose walls were already daubed with anti-Assad graffiti. “Down with the Iranian agent”, “Leave child killer” and “Free Army forever” the slogans read.

Some rebels had smashed bottles of alcohol to stress their Islamic opposition to drinking – leaving a powerful smell of liquor in the charred duty-free complex.

But others turned a blind eye as local villagers carried off Heineken beer and Chivas whisky along with cartons of tobacco for hubble bubble pipes.

“This is yours. Take it away,” said 23-year-old fighter Sameh, offering up a case of 12 Black Label whisky bottles before being politely turned down.

Syria: Assad regime starts to unravel
Damascus sees fierce fighting as Free Syrian Army fighters take control of key suburbs and crossings into Turkey and Iraq
Luke Harding in Beirut and Ian Black, guardian. Friday 20 July 2012

With the situation changing by the hour, the government’s control over large parts of the country continued to unravel. The FSA said it had captured two border crossings between Syria and Turkey as well as one in Iraq. The regime still holds key cities, at least during the day, but it appears increasingly vulnerable to guerilla raids.

Diplomats revealed that Assad had phoned the head of the UN monitoring mission, General Robert Mood, pledging to implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan shortly after Wednesday’s devastating bomb attack in Damascus, which killed four senior members of his military-security command. The UN says Assad and the rebels have failed to observe a ceasefire….

 

Comments (66)


jna said:

We can hope the FSA reinforces their fighters holding the border posts. When the Syrian army counterattacks there will not be masses of civilians standing in the way.

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July 21st, 2012, 3:32 pm

 

yqxo said:

What the FSA needs is training, by robbing Turkish lorries (which caused the Turkey to close the borders) is just embarrassing.

Though it is understandable as the FSA on the ground level seem to consist of mostly young untrained and undisciplined men – I hope they’ve gotten a lesson now that Turkey closed the border.

Something else all together: How many generals does Syria have? Media toys around with the figure “24 defected generals!”, yet fails to point out the total number. Those can’t be very significant defections as they always seem to defect without soldiers.

I think FSA’s best bet is to start training refugees, one would thought from tens of thousands fleeing each week they’d gotten themselves a good army already, but it doesn’t seem like so – yet.

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July 21st, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Question to Prof. Landis:

Why do you think Bashar hasn’t shown up at the funerals of his three top aides, one of whom is his brother-in-law.

Why do you think Bashar hasn’t appeared on TV after the killing of Asif and co.?

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July 21st, 2012, 4:02 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN

What bombing!! What conciliation!!! Is that some new conspiracy theory? I must be missing a lot while on vacation in Tel-Zor, on Southern Syria aqua shores. I tell ya, it is a paradise here in this “One Sect mini-State” , nice vacation place, a lot of nice foreigners and blonds, blonds WHOOOA. As long as you don’t leave the hotel and shore strip and meet the native aborigine’s terrorists on that back street, you are into a treat. Stay away from the back alley man, if you venture back a hotel block, you are going to ends up either raw meat for Sausage makers, sacrificial offering, or body parts for sale.

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July 21st, 2012, 4:44 pm

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

Rumors about Maher Al Assad having lost both legs.

If it is true this is an incredible punishment for all the crimes he comitted.

Being tracked by al FSA members and having no legs to run…. oh my God, what a nightmare.

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July 21st, 2012, 4:48 pm

 

mike said:

YQXO don’t believe the media about defections etc. It isn’t happening like they say. The FSA can never beat the Syrian Arab Army without direct NATO intervention (Russia and China won’t allow NATO to do that).

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July 21st, 2012, 4:49 pm

 

Expatriate said:

ridiculously !

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July 21st, 2012, 5:16 pm

 

Expatriate said:

VLADIMIR PUTIN: RUSSIA AND THE CHANGING WORLD
We are ready for mutually beneficial cooperation and open dialogue with all our foreign partners. We aim to understand and take into account the interests of our partners, and we ask that our own interests be respected.
http://mycatbirdseat.com/2012/07/vladimir-putin-russia-and-the-changing-world/

Foreign interference in support of one side of a domestic conflict and the use of power in this interference gave developments a negative aura. A number of countries did away with the Libyan regime by using air power in the name of humanitarian support. The revolting slaughter of Muammar Gaddafi – not just medieval but primeval – was the manifestation of these actions.

No one should be allowed to employ the Libyan scenario in Syria. The international community must work to achieve an internal Syrian reconciliation. It is important to achieve an early end to the violence no matter what the source, and to initiate a national dialogue – without preconditions or foreign interference and with due respect for the country’s sovereignty. This would create the conditions necessary to introduce the measures for democratization announced by the Syrian leadership. The key objective is to prevent an all-out civil war. Russian diplomacy has worked and will continue to work toward this end.

Sadder but wiser, we oppose the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions that may be interpreted as a signal to armed interference in Syria’s domestic development. Guided by this consistent approach in early February, Russia and China prevented the adoption of an ambiguous resolution that would have encouraged one side of this domestic conflict to resort to violence.

In this context and considering the extremely negative, almost hysterical reaction to the Russian-Chinese veto, I would like to warn our Western colleagues against the temptation to resort to this simple, previously used tactic: if the UN Security Council approves of a given action, fine; if not, we will establish a coalition of the states concerned and strike anyway.

The logic of such conduct is counterproductive and very dangerous. No good can come of it. In any case, it will not help reach a settlement in a country that is going through a domestic conflict. Even worse, it further undermines the entire system of international security as well as the authority and key role of the UN. Let me recall that the right to veto is not some whim but an inalienable part of the world’s agreement that is registered in the UN Charter – incidentally, on U.S. insistence. The implication of this right is that decisions that raise the objection of even one permanent member of the UN Security Council cannot be well-grounded or effective.

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July 21st, 2012, 5:25 pm

 

Observer said:

Something is being cooked I am not sure but RT in Arabic says that Makhlouf the uncle of Fredo is now in Moscow, the following clip news would add to this post right now

ttp://arabic.rt.com/news_all_news/news/590228/

http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/07/21/227614.html

http://www.aljazeera.net/news/pages/b679dd0a-30fa-48dd-8142-bed561bc31ff?GoogleStatID=1

Any other news from contacts in Syria?

Russia’s ambassador in Paris may have known and had an inkling of regime change.

I think the West and the outside opposition are scrambling to fill the void but the local FSA are going to be the first to fill it. Putin has the garbage bag he has been holding as a bargaining chip explode in his face.

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July 21st, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

zoo said:

Le Figaro in French:
Syria: Islamists on the border
AFP Published le 21/07/2012 à 20:57

http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/07/21/97001-20120721FILWWW00334-syrie-des-islamistes-a-la-frontiere.php

A group of about 150 fighters from various Muslim countries and claiming to be armed Islamists held this evening the post-Syrian border with Turkey to Bab al-Hawa, yesterday at the hands of the Syrian rebellion, declared a AFP photographer.

Some of these activists have said to come from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, France, Chechnya and Tunisia. The group also includes several Africans.

Fighters reported belonging to a “shura” Taliban, and others have claimed a membership of Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). They were equipped with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket launchers and heavy artisanal mines. This group was not present the day after taking the checkpoint by insurgents from Syria, said the photographer

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July 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm

 

gk said:

Can not wait to see the arrest of Bashar and the first question I would like to ask him is why did you kill Rafic Hariri! Who was the team who planned and executed the assassination? I really like to know more about the role of the Syrian Asad Mafia regime in all the assassinations in Lebanon! I really want him alive!

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July 21st, 2012, 6:01 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Alawites may not want or may not be able to have an independent state,but signs of a failed and fractured state are starting to emerge already,one new development is the take over of security in at least two Kurdish towns by the Kurds,another sign is that northers and eastern Syria are slipping away from control of Syrian government.
Syrians who care about their country,regardless of who is president,must be very worried today,there will be a time,soon,when the reality will start to sink in,I am afraid that by the time Syrians start to look at the whole picture ,it may be too late to take any decisive actions.

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July 21st, 2012, 6:20 pm

 

zoo said:

Gufran

The Turks are going to be very worried by the borders taken over by Kurds. They will react very soon.
The situation of the borders is very fluid. Taking the post is much easier than hold on it.
Already Ablu Kamal is back in the hands of the Syrian army.
Bab Al Hawa occupied by Islamists will not last long as the Turks are not enthusiastic to see their lories looted and burned and would prefer the return of the Syrians officers on the border.
Time is playing against the rebels on the borders as they can’t sustain a long time in any place they are.

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July 21st, 2012, 6:28 pm

 

zoo said:

Syrians: Beggars in Algeria

25 000 Syrian refugees invade Algeria and several seep into the Tunisian territory
Sdiri Wafa | July 21, 2012 at 13:23

http://www.tunisienumerique.com/25-000-refugies-syriens-envahissent-lalgerie-et-plusieurs-sinfiltrent-dans-le-territoire-tunisien/135765

25,000 Syrian refugees arrived in Algeria since the outbreak of the revolution in Syria in March 2011. Many of them are begging in this country.

According to the Algerian newspaper “Midi Libre”, the Syrians squat doors of mosques begging for money to the faithful. This is also the case in the rest of the great public squares of the capital or on the beaches, where the Syrian beggars, usually dressed in black in mourning, do not hesitate to call passersby. Imploring their generosity, they often manage to evade their tens of dinars.

The choice of destination Algeria is not accidental. In fact, the Syrians are allowed access to Algerian territory without a visa.

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July 21st, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@13

I find this difficult to believe. No Syrian will do this. It is a made-up story.

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July 21st, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

zoo said:

Tara

Why would an Algerian or Tunisia respectable newspaper invent such a story?
Syrians have very few places they can get in without visa: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Algeria, Tunisia ( I think).
Another article on the same subject: Many Syrian refugees settle in KEF, Tunisia. Many are seen begging on terraces.

http://www.businessnews.com.tn/Tunisie—Plusieurs-r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s-syriens-s%E2%80%99installent-au-Kef,520,32120,3
e

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July 21st, 2012, 7:19 pm

 

Bruno said:

From the reports.

Syrian troops have regained control of most parts of the Damascus neighborhood of Sayyida Zainab after government forces launched an all-out offensive against the armed rebels in the capital, Press TV reports.

Syrian security forces dealt heavy blows to anti-government rebels who rushed to areas close to the Sayyida Zainab neighborhood after coming under attack in various parts of the capital.

Troops are fighting with the militants now to completely clear the mainly Shia Muslim neighborhood of the rebels.

About 5,000 Shia Muslims, including those who have fled violence in other part of the capital, are living in the neighborhood.

The youths in the region, armed with sticks and knives, have formed committees to protect the holy shrine of Sayyida Zainab, the daughter of Imam Ali (PBUH), and the neighboring areas.
Several members of the committees have been martyred or injured in different clashes with armed rebels.

The rebels have killed a number of Shia residents of the area or expelled them from their homes several times.

Reports say the armed groups have also denied food and water supplies to the region on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.

Syrian troops also succeeded to retake the control of the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Damascus which was for a while under armed rebels’ control.

Fierce clashes between government forces and the rebels are being reported in other areas including Jubar, Mazzeh and Kfar Sousa.

Troops on Friday recaptured the key southern neighborhood of al-Midan during an operation aimed at clearing the city of the rebels.

(Many opposition figures and journalists insist that the Alawites are planning to fall back to the Alawite Mountains in an attempt to establish a separate state. This is unconvincing. Here are the top five reasons why there will not be an Alawite State.)

Thank you joshualandis for showing that just like the mainstream news outlets they already provlaiming the end for Assad.

I am not surprised by this article at all.

In fact joshualandis has no problems of Sryia been Sunni state while been controlled by Saudi Arabia,Qatar and Bahrain.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:26 pm

 

Bruno said:

Once again the Mod didn’t allow my comment to go through not surprised.

So here what i wanted to post.

Syrian troops have regained control of most parts of the Damascus neighborhood of Sayyida Zainab after government forces launched an all-out offensive against the armed rebels in the capital, Press TV reports.

Syrian security forces dealt heavy blows to anti-government rebels who rushed to areas close to the Sayyida Zainab neighborhood after coming under attack in various parts of the capital.

Troops are fighting with the militants now to completely clear the mainly Shia Muslim neighborhood of the rebels.

About 5,000 Shia Muslims, including those who have fled violence in other part of the capital, are living in the neighborhood.

The youths in the region, armed with sticks and knives, have formed committees to protect the holy shrine of Sayyida Zainab, the daughter of Imam Ali (PBUH), and the neighboring areas.
Several members of the committees have been martyred or injured in different clashes with armed rebels.

The rebels have killed a number of Shia residents of the area or expelled them from their homes several times.

Reports say the armed groups have also denied food and water supplies to the region on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan.

Syrian troops also succeeded to retake the control of the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Damascus which was for a while under armed rebels’ control.

Fierce clashes between government forces and the rebels are being reported in other areas including Jubar, Mazzeh and Kfar Sousa.

Troops on Friday recaptured the key southern neighborhood of al-Midan during an operation aimed at clearing the city of the rebels.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:27 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

Two brothers are murdered by the Security thugs while having their iftar meal.
From day one, the Assad regime used deadly force to intimidate and terrorize the population into submission. When that didn’t work, they increased the dose. They kept doing so and all it did was make more people join the revolution. I am amazed by the composure of the lady shooting the video, who appears to be a very close relative, maybe a sister, of the martyred brothers.

Upon seeing this video and others, more people will join and will want to exact revenge. The Assad supporters should not complain when the tables are turned. It’s going to be very hard to control the oppressed population.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAAPcHKQDow&feature=player_embedded

We’re already seeing such acts of revenge and things, I am afraid, might get worse.

One of the worst mistakes of this regime is that they stifled the voices of reason and drove them out, be it the Ulema of Syria or political activists who were demanding a civil society where the rule of law is respected. They prevented them from having a platform and now who can reign in the angry masses?

It’s amazing that people don’t learn the lessons of history. Somehow, oppressors and tyrants, whatever their sect, fall in the same trap. Their arrogance and stupidity takes over and you cannot make them change their minds.

In the case of Syria, Assad had so many opportunities to reform slowly and surely since he took over and gain the love and respect of his people in the process. He wasted all of these opportunities. So please spare us the talk about an inter-galactic conspiracy. Assad and his supporters should blame no one but themselves.

Assad and his supporters used terror, inhumanity, barbarism, injustice, corruption, and tyranny to rule the people. Very soon, the victims will have the upper hand and then you reap what you sow.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:28 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo

“Why would an Algerian or Tunisia respectable newspaper invent such a story?”

I don’t know why and I don’t care to know.  People make up stories all the time.  How did 25,000 Syrians get to Tunisia and Algeria? By foot? Why are the Tunisians and the Algerians are not calling for help from the UN institutions if the is true? Syrians can be refugees (perhaps for the first time in their ancient history) but they are not beggars.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

zoo said:

I have no idea how they got there

Syrian refugees arrive in Tunisia
2012-07-05 00:59:29

http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/05/c_131695667.htm

TUNIS, July 4 (Xinhua) — A number of Syrian refugees have arrived in the Tunisian town of le Kef, some 200 km from the capital, fleeing the violence in their home country, the official TAP press agency reported on Tuesday.

The presence of Syrian refugees in local mosques and cafes where they have been seen asking for financial assistance, has been notably increased over the past few days.

Most of the Syrian refugees crossed the border from Algeria preferring to settle in Tunisia where life is cheaper and where the security situation is more stable, TAP said.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

Syrialover said:

He’s now doing it. Damascus and Aleppo.

Bashar Assad is burning the country.

The only time since he took office that he’s doing what he said he would.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:41 pm

 

Tara said:

Great.

We are killed, tortured, raped, jailed, subjugated, humiliated and turned into beggars. What else left to be done to us in Assad’s Syria?

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July 21st, 2012, 7:48 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Syrialover

(He’s now doing it. Damascus and Aleppo.

Bashar Assad is burning the country.

The only time since he took office that he’s doing what he said he would.)

And the Free Sryian Army who are really just mujahideen arent burning anything no thats not true they are just liberating the poor activists who want to be free right?

Think again.

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July 21st, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

omen said:

14. ZOO said: Syrians: Beggars in Algeria

that’s because bashar stole all their money. see last thread.

22. tara said: Great.

We are killed, tortured, raped, jailed, subjugated, humiliated and turned into beggars. What else left to be done to us in Assad’s Syria?

also burnt alive.

and after killing families, regime propaganda slanders opposition and survivors as liars, blaming them for crimes bashar committed.

are loyalists proud the regime has brutalized fellow syrians so?

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July 21st, 2012, 8:06 pm

 

jna said:

the Yemen example…

“It’s thought that millions of Yemenis right now are without adequate food, and more than 200,000 children face life-threatening levels of malnutrition. We were able – this is based – basically a result of the political unrest that hit Yemen last year. You know, the country was swept up with Arab Spring-like uprisings. Eventually, the president stepped down. But there was a lot of unrest that, you know, that had to happened before that all came to pass. And so oil price – you know, fuel prices shot up and people are – who are already living on the edge are really on the edge now. We visited a family where nearly all of the children were malnourished, and these are people who don’t even make the list, you know, for donor help.”

http://www.npr.org/2012/07/09/156500788/reporting-from-yemen-amid-ongoing-drone-attacks

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July 21st, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

zoo said:

Western media undecided about the course of the events

Still options for under-pressure Assad: experts
By Deborah Pasmantier | AFP – 6 hrs ago

http://news.yahoo.com/still-options-under-pressure-assad-experts-172530051.html

A fight to the death to keep Damascus, a fall back to his Alawite strongholds or even exile abroad — experts say Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must be considering a range of choices in the face of an armed rebellion.

And each, they say, is fraught with risks.

For now the embattled leader’s focus is on retaining control of the capital, where Syrian forces launched an all-out assault on opposition strongholds on Friday two days after a bomb attack killed four senior members of the regime.

“As long as Assad controls the capital, he controls the government and has legitimate power,” said Fabrice Balanche, an analyst with the Mediterranean and Middle East Studies and Research Group in Paris.

“The redeployment of troops from the Golan and the Iraqi border to the capital, at the risk of stripping other fronts, shows that he is going to stay,” Balanche said.
….
If Damascus was lost, experts believe there are plans for Assad to seek refuge among his minority Alawite ethnic group in the northeastern mountains of the country.

Regime opponents have for months contended that Assad and his allies have been stockpiling arms, including heavy weapons, in the area.

“It is very likely that he will embark on a desperate battle from this redoubt,” said Joseph Bahout, a Middle East analyst at the Paris-based Institute for Political Studies.

“The defence could last for months,” he said, adding that the conflict could then take on an ethnic dimension, as a battle between Alawites and the country’s Sunni majority.

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July 21st, 2012, 8:55 pm

 

Tara said:

Good discussion until…the conclusion.

Syria endgame: who and what will emerge from the ruins?
Bashar al-Assad is finished – that is a given. But 40 years under a corrupt regime that ruled by fear has left a dangerous vacuum
 
Martin Chulov in Beirut
Saturday 21 July 2012 13.04 EDT
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/21/syria-bashar-al-assad-free-syrian-army

The key ingredient in the regime’s longevity – fear – is no longer the glue that will hold it together. As loyalist troops battled rebel forces in Damascus this weekend in an attempt to seize control of ground they had lost in the capital, more senior generals than ever had announced they had switched sides. Defections, or desertions of more junior officers and the rank and file, are widely reported across the country.

There is now a real sense among diplomats in Beirut and the exiled Free Syrian Army leadership in Turkey that a catalyst has been reached, perhaps well before anyone was ready for it.
“In many ways, they got to this point before they or anyone else has prepared for the next phase,” said a western official in Beirut. “There are no credible systems in place among the Syrian National Council, or anyone in the opposition groupings, which could act as a buffer to chaos.”
….
Wissam Tarif, a senior official from the global campaigning organisation, Avaaz, said an urgent appeal to Syrians living in exile was needed to help prevent a highly dangerous power vacuum that will likely follow the crumbling of regime authority.  “It will require highly skilled people with advanced material skills to prevent sectarian war,” he said. “There is a huge task in trying to get people home. We haven’t heard of any initiative or planning. There is a transition plan, but no planning for who is going to fund the transition period.”

Forty years of police state has crippled any meaningful development of a civil society in Syria. The key institutions of state remain interwoven into the Baath party, which has acted as the eyes and ears of the regime, and the pillars of justice, such as the rule of law and court system, are far from independent.  When the corroded institutions of state fall along with the regime, there will be next to no checks and balances. The looting and bedlam that followed the fall of Baghdad is very likely to be repeated in Damascus, unless order can somehow be quickly secured.

One way to avoid the abyss is the anointing of a hardman to take over. Defected general Manaf Tlass, a former friend of the Assad family, is a potential candidate. The lessons of Iraq dictate that former regime figures cannot afford to be sidelined when a new state is built. Tlass has yet to reveal his hand, but he – and others like him, who waited many months before defecting – are increasingly being treated with suspicion.

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July 21st, 2012, 9:01 pm

 

Information said:

I find it funny that the regime supporters keep talking about mujahideen while the regime hosts and funds a group called Islamic Jihad (up until they fled to Iran a week ago or so). The sun is setting on the regime, and history will not be kind to it. They had a chance to lead us towards democracy. They had a chance to spare us all of this bloodshed by allowing peaceful protests to take place. They had a chance to learn from the Cedar Revolution, and see that the Arab world was changing. They failed. Even if we were to believe that all of those fighting were terrorists or foreigners, which the vast majority of whom most certainly are not, what kind of government allows so many terrorists to infiltrate the country? A terribly inept one that doesn’t deserve to hold onto power.

Gamal Abdel Nasser, perhaps the greatest Arab leader of the last century, while no true democrat, resigned when he felt he had failed his country after al naksa. He believed he was unworthy to hold office until the masses rushed into the streets and begged him to come back. Bashar Al Assad and his family have led Syria into a nightmare that will haunt us for the next 20 years, but still feel entitled to the sulta handed to them by their father.

By the way, I know for a fact that many decent and honorable Alawis have risked everything to bring down this criminal enterprise. They are not terrorists, and neither are a vast majority of the Sunni, Christian, Ismaili and Druze mu3aradeen. Syria will recover, and a nation we can all live in will be built, but that day will come sooner when the Assads leave.

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July 21st, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian capital’s governor tours troublesome district, clashes slightly decline – 2012-07-22

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/22/c_123450359.htm

DAMASCUS, July 21 (Xinhua) — The governor of Syria’s capital Damascus toured Saturday the neighborhood of Midan after being cleansed of armed insurgency at a time the intensity of clashes slightly declined inside the capital.

After touring the neighborhood Saturday, Bisher al-Sabban said the normal life will be completely restored in Midan within five days after the ending of the restoration process.

Midan has emerged as a main battleground between armed rebels and government troops over the past week of clashes in the capital.

Large amount of ammunition has been confiscated as many of the armed rebels were rounded up on Friday.

Meanwhile, al-Sabban stressed that all food stuffs and other services will be made available in a short time.

In the capital Saturday, the intensity of clashes has to some extent declined after soaring up over the past week as the most of food shops in some areas have opened and shoppers filled the markets.

Still, clashes have been reported in the Razi orchards in the Mazzeh district and the southern district of Qaboun.

Severe clashes have erupted in Damascus last Sunday, in what the armed rebels name as the “big battle of Damascus” aiming at bringing down the regime’s stronghold.

However, after getting slammed with the blast, the Syrian administration promised it will hit back hard, unleashing great firepower in a number of districts in the capital crippling the armed opposition fighters, particularly in Midan, which was announced rebel-free on Friday.

The opposition fighters, over the past couple of days, have tried to take over a number of border points with Turkey, Iraq, and recently Jordan.

They have managed to take over points on the borders with Iraq, but the Syrian army recaptured the posts. Also media reports said that clashes have erupted on border crossing with Turkey.

The rebels have also tried to capture border point with Jordan, but the attempt was rendered flat when the regular troops responded to them.

The opposition fighters have been apparently trying to make a foothold on the border so it can repeat the Libyan scenario when the Libyan rebels used Benghazi as a launching pad to their assaults.

[…]

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July 21st, 2012, 9:15 pm

 

Tara said:

Assad’s forces continue to control key cities, at least during the day, but have lost much of the rural hinterland. The FSA has been able to capture a series of border posts with Turkey and Iraq, further puncturing the regime’s authority, and is now controlling large areas of the northern and eastern periphery.
….
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/21/syrians-flee-fierce-fighting-aleppo

Syrians flee fierce fighting in Aleppo
Thousands of residents flee northern city amid bloody clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and government troops
Saturday 21 July 2012 11.30 EDT

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July 21st, 2012, 9:50 pm

 

Tara said:

The Saudi King is launching a massive contribution campaign for Syria across the KSA starting Monday.

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July 21st, 2012, 10:05 pm

 

Norman said:

The new Sunni defence minster is from Hama and he gave orders to the army to fight back with all means necessary to get rid of the militants without the need to take permission,

It it possible that if things get worse, there will be a move not to have an Alwai and Christian state on the coast but a full blown migration of Sunni from the coast of Lebanon and Syria toward the inner Syria and a migration of Christians and Alawat to the coast to establish a Christian, Alawat and Shea state, to duplicate Israel.

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July 21st, 2012, 10:15 pm

 

ann said:

Alan George: Power vacuum in Syria favours Assad – 22 July 2012

Rebel forces have finally brought the battle to Damascus. But there’s little appetite, internationally or regionally, to topple the regime

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/alan-george-power-vacuum-in-syria-favours-assad-7964091.html

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July 21st, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

ann said:

US Writing New Syrian Constitution – “Tutoring” the SNC For Syria Take Over – July 21, 2012

by Tony Cartalucci

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32003

The US State Department, via the “US Institute of Peace” is working directly with Syrian “opposition” groups to formulate a “government” to put into place, if and when NATO covert military operations succeed in collapsing the Syrian state.

The report written by Foreign Policy magazine titled, “Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria,” indicates that the US State Department-funded USIP plans on releasing a report soon, detailing the US-crafted government being planned. The USIP, which already publishes details of how it has crafted, created, and is continuing to manage and facilitate the NATO-installed client regime now running Libya, constitutes nothing less than implementation of modern-day imperialism.

The USIP claims that it is involved in not only “advising” the Western-backed Libyan government, but that it is also involved in, “constitution making, transitional justice, women rights” and “education.” The USIP, US government-funded, will also be writing Syria’s “constitution” as well – which they are now calling a “transition strategy document.”

Foreign Policy magazine, in an attempt to water down the implications of the US government literally crafting the client regime they plan on placing into the vacuum their US-Israeli-Saudi-Qatari mercenaries (FSA) are attempting to create, by claiming:

The absence of Obama administration officials at these meetings, even as observers, was deliberate.

“This is a situation where too visible a U.S. role would have been deeply counterproductive. It would have given the Assad regime and elements of the opposition an excuse to delegitimize the process,” [Steven] Heydemann said.Steven Heydemann is heading the USIP Syrian project.

Unfortunately for this line of thinking, the USIP is in fact a direct functionary of the US government, and more specifically the US State Department, with acting members of the US State Department, including Michael Posner and members of the US Department of Defense, including James Miller, serving on the USIP board of directors. Other compromising BoD members include Amnesty International chairmen and policy makers drawn from Fortune 500-funded think tanks like the Hoover Institution and big-oil’s Belfer Center.

To complicate matters further for the so-called “Syrian opposition,” prominent members of the movement, including Radwan Ziadeh, is actually a “senior fellow” of the US-funded institution – meaning the opposition leaders were drawn from US institutions, not Syria. The Guardian’s article, “The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?” has covered this in depth, illustrating that Ziadeh’s background is the rule, not the exception.

Readers should recall that US State Department’s Michael Posner, also serving on the USIP BoD, conceded in an AFP report in 2011 that the US had been funding, equipping, and training “activists” from across the Arab World 2 years in advance for the allegedly “spontaneous” “Arab Spring.” These included activists from Syria who created the rhetorical predication for the violence now unfolding across Syria.

[…]

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July 21st, 2012, 10:47 pm

 

ann said:

Syrian scientist survives assassination attempt – 22 July 2012

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/2049163.html

Syrian missile scientist Major General Nabil Zogheib has survived an assassination attempt by armed rebels, Press TV reported.

Zogheib was driving with his family in the Bab Touma neighborhood of Damascus when his car came under attack, Arabic language websites reported on Saturday.

He escaped the assassination attempt unharmed but sources said that one of his children was seriously injured.

Medical sources say the child is in critical condition.

[…]

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July 21st, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

Norman said:

Ann,

I think he died with his wife and two children.

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July 21st, 2012, 11:09 pm

 

ann said:

Attack on Syria would sound death knell for Israel: Iranian MP – Jul 22, 2012

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/07/22/252127/attack-on-syria-would-sound-death-knell-for-israel/

“The US, NATO, and the Zionist regime are trying to start a bloody war in Syria. If that happens, the ashes of war will also cover the occupied territories,” Nasser Soudani, who is the deputy chairman of the Majlis (Parliament) Energy Committee, said in Tehran on Saturday.

In the event of an attack on Syria, the Israeli regime will receive a crushing response from regional nations, he added.

“If a war breaks out in Syria, it will definitely lead to the end of the Zionist regime, as the regime will not only have to face the Syrian people but… the people of Gaza and southern Lebanon, supported by Hezbollah, will also stand up to the Zionist regime and will turn the Syria battlefield into the place of the Zionist regime’s destruction,” Soudani stated.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that US and Israeli defense officials have held talks to discuss contingency plans for the collapse of the Syrian government, paying particular attention to the chemical weapons that “Syria is thought to possess.”

[…]

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July 21st, 2012, 11:17 pm

 

ann said:

36. Norman said:

Ann, I think he died with his wife and two children.

How does killing this scientist and his family benefits those mercenary killers

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July 21st, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

welcome back, aldendeshe.
what do you make of the bombing?
do you know ali haidar, the man bashar picked to head the reconciliation effort?
__________________________________________________________________
@OMEN

Don’t you think it is too late for reconciling with Baathist Mafia now? I mean, there were times, say Two years before March 15 revolt, when I was pleading with Iran for help with Assad, or when Bashar inherited the thrown, he could have started such reconciliation and spreading some jobs, opportunities and dimes on poor Syrians, rather than giving it all away to his family, clan and filthy rich Jews in Europe.

Now, after he shunned everyone advise, killed thousands, destroyed the cities, basically, played the same role expected of him just like Saddam did. I think Mr. Ali Haidar should not be entrusted with the impossible task of reconciliation job, but of a possible, even urgent task of transition of all state powers and means to a new interim leadership, to be led by SNP/SSNP of which I am willing to work in setting up a modern foundation of Syrian State. A fair, sophisticated and loved one by all Syrians.

But I will not bet on that, because Bashar, even Shia Alawis, are used for a purpose from the foundation of time for a task, appointed to bring in Syria’s demise by evil and sinister entity who lives for many thousands of year and can plot a day of his life time when it equal a 100 years of human life.

Syrians, as people and nation, are today not only a failed State, but failed nation. Syrians blames the foreigners for their misery, since Ottoman times, it is never them to blame. When Antoine Saadeh came and preached a righteous National agenda to make them United, Modern and Strong, they persecute him and his movements members, killed him. Syrians opted for the deceiving devil, Alien Amen-Marduk scam of Arab Nationalism, promogated by Zionism, supported and lead to this exact moment of time by its evil plan. Syrians, even today, just as they did for hundred of years, begged foreigners and Zionists for help and got cheated like little toddlers. They rejected own Syrian Saadeh and chose Zionist Turk Aflak. Now again, they rejected SNP and chose Wahabi / Mossad Jewish terrorists to help them. They are repeating the same historic errors all over again and in the end, they will have to again beg foreigners to get them out of the mess they chose themselves and begged for it.

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July 21st, 2012, 11:20 pm

 

annie said:

المجلس العسكري في حلب يعلن النفير العام في المحافظة

http://youtu.be/bjg2tsC6XGY

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July 21st, 2012, 11:58 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#32. Tara said: The Saudi King is launching a massive contribution campaign for Syria across the KSA starting Monday.

Good. People-to-people aid.

And when Assad has finished burning the country, let’s ask those who approve of what he’s done, what assistance with reconstruction and recovery can we expect from Iran and Russia?

Silence.

Come on, two countries with governments that care so deeply about the people of Syria.

Countries that are themselves such powerhouses of economic, political and social development. And of course famously generous, advanced international aid givers.

Still quiet.

How irritating for you when it’s left to that evil, lying, selfish west to help with post-disaster caring and heavy lifting in Syria. And those wicked fellow Arabs in the Gulf to put in some investment dollars.

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July 22nd, 2012, 12:23 am

 

ann said:

Suicide Bombers of the World, Unite – July 21, 2012

By Pepe Escobar

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Suicide-Bombers-of-the-Wor-by-Pepe-Escobar-120721-662.html

So who was it? The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)? The MI6? Saudi intel? Turkish intel? Or that oh so pliable ghost — al-Qaeda?

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, five months ago, came up with a non-denial denial by in fact admitting that Washington was working side-by-side with al-Qaeda in Syria supporting the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA). [1]

And then there was Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton only 10 days ago warning there was still “a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault.”[2] Just like her prophetic warning only a few days before Muammar Gaddafi was captured, sodomized and executed, how could she be certain of this “catastrophic assault”?

The FSA — out of its Turkey digs – – wasted no time in claiming responsibility; it was an improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside the room. There were no suicide bombers. Yet the FSA have been lying through their teeth for months. Anyway, FSA spokesman Qassim Saadedine insists this is “the volcano” they promised to awaken a few days ago.

Much juicier, in parallel, is the Liwa al-Islam (“The Brigade of Islam”) saying in its Facebook page that it “targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus.” That would be the al-Qaeda-style connection. In this case, where are they getting their intel from? Their good pals, the CIA?

And that may be a clue to what comes next. Many at Assad’s inner circle were extremely antagonistic towards Shawkat. Now that he’s gone, this might eventually point to a white coup in Damascus — with some of the inner circle finally deciding to “decapitate” Assad as a means of keeping their grip on the system. Sort of a Syrian version of the Hosni Mubarak/SCAF (Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces) scenario.

[…]

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July 22nd, 2012, 1:05 am

 

AN said:

http://maktoob.news.yahoo.com/%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%86%D8%A9-%D9%83%D9%88%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%86%D9%8A-%D9%88%D8%AA%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D9%83%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%84-231233680.html

The eastern Kurdish area seems to have been in a defacto autominous rule for a while, and apparently there’s an agreement between Kurds on both sides of Syrian Iraqi borders to declare the Syrian Kurdish area a part of Kurdistan and extend Kurdistan autominous rule to it. The agreement took effect a couple days ago, which I’m guessing was kick started by Damascus explosion. I speculate that the Syrian government approved this temporarily or at the very least is looking the other way. Local kurdish groups are taking responsibility for the area security and they’re keeping the free syrian army out, so all in all, this will free up the Syrian army resources,which gets deployed in other hot zones.No fighting is being reported and government building and locations are being peacefully surrendered to Kurdish militias.

I agree with all the points you have listed of why an alawite state is impossible. Nonetheless, the idea that the Syrian coast is a haven for alawites is very widespread, espically among alawites living outside of that area, who’s backup plan n case the regime falls is to head there and Sunnies living in that area who try to warn others of the alawite invasion, even though the Sunnies are the majority.

Alawite state in the east, sunni state in the center and Kurds to the west, that’s how the theory goes.

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July 22nd, 2012, 2:11 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

Alawite state in the east, sunni state in the center and Kurds to the west, that’s how the theory goes.
_________________________________________________________________

!!!!!!!!!!!!!
How about an Alawite State on the Golan, I am hands and feet up for that. Not sure in a decade who will be the pimp class and sex maids one. But for sure it is a mutually compatible and profitable for both Israeli and Alawis.

By the way, you need some geography crash course training before you are put on the job to promote someone ideas about Syria.

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July 22nd, 2012, 2:30 am

 

Ghufran said:

أعلن المجلس العسكري التابع للجيش السوري الحر في مدينة حلب حالة النفير العام، ودعا كافة عناصره إلى الالتحاق فوراً بالتزامن مع بدء ما أطلق عليها اسم عملية “حلب الشهباء” لتحرير حاضرة الشهباء.
وأعلن المجلس العسكري ايضاً أن معظم المناطق الموجودة في ريف حلب تم تحريرها وسيتم التحرك باتجاه حلب المدينة.
وقالت مصادر في الجيش الحر إن كتائب تابعة له تمكنت من السيطرةِ على منطقتي طريق الباب والصاخور في حلب.
If the people of Damascus and Aleppo refuse to join the party,bring the party to their doors,
If previous adventures are the judge,this “ghazwah” will only lead to more destruction,more refugees and more hatred,but may be that was the idea in the first place.

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July 22nd, 2012, 2:43 am

 

Ghufran said:

تمركزت مجموعة من نحو 150 مسلحا من دول عربية واسلامية وافريقية عدة اليوم في نقطة معبر باب الهوى على الحدود السورية التركية “والمغلق من قبل الجانب السوري منذ حزيران الماضي” تحت أنظار السلطات التركية.
وأفاد مصور وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية إن نحو 150 مسلحا من دول عدة تمركزوا اليوم في المعبر المذكور.
وأضاف مصور وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية إن المسلحين المتواجدين في المعبر هم من الجزائر والمملكة العربية السعودية والامارات العربية المتحدة ومصر وفرنسا والشيشان وتونس وبعض الدول الافريقية.
ونقلت الوكالة عن مصورها قوله إن عددا من المسلحين أعلنوا أنهم ينتمون إلى شورى طالبان في حين قال غيرهم: إنهم ينتمون إلى القاعدة في بلاد المغرب الاسلامي

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July 22nd, 2012, 2:48 am

 

Ghufran said:

I have to somewhat disagree with Tara about her assessment regarding the transitional period,I do not necessarily want Manaf to lead that period but Syria needs a man who is seen as moderate,impartial (to a degree) and firm. It is essential that the state institutions and services do not collapse and that alawites are reassured,I know that most alawites are more concerned about their survival than keeping Assad in power,but the revolution failed in giving them an acceptable alternative,instead,they only hear about violence, assassinations and calls to wipe out everybody who chose to wait and see what comes next,nobody at the SNC and the FSA will be able to serve the role of a national leader and the healer in chief.

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July 22nd, 2012, 3:21 am

 

Damascius said:

This map is not accurate at all,it shows a large christian region in idleb where they are few.
The map also shows shiites region in Syria in rif damascus towards Lebanon ,in which there are very few of them.
The coast is shown as the alawites are a majority on all the coastal marge ,which is not accurate.

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July 22nd, 2012, 4:13 am

 

Mina said:

From the NYT cartoon in the last post, to Rumsfeld’s help tweet quoted by Pepe Escobar, we now know that applauding suicide bombers is politically correct (“Donald Rumsfeld’s former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon, Keith Urbahn, tweeted, “for once we should call a suicide bomber – the one that took out a major fraction of Assad’s cabinet – a martyr.” http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NG20Ak02.html)
As they are engaged in this Taliban path, I wonder if they will hail throwning acid against opponents or minorities (women, in the case of Afghanistan)? I doubt it: for these people, someone’s face is more important than his life.

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July 22nd, 2012, 5:27 am

 

ann said:

Syrian army retake border post with Iraq – 2012-07-22

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/22/c_131731159.htm

BAGHDAD, July 22 (Xinhua) — The Syrian army retook control of a border crossing point with Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh after being seized by opposition forces the day before, an Iraqi official told Xinhua.

“The Syrian government troops re-controlled al-Yarubiyah border post after early morning clashes with the Syrian opposition forces, ” said Mohammed Eiyada, a member of the municipality of the town of Rabiea, an Iraqi town close to Yarubiyah border post.

“We can see now the Syrian government flag raised again on the main building of the border post,” Eiyada said, adding that the crossing point is now closed.

On Saturday afternoon, Syrian opposition militants took over the crossing point and occupied its buildings after more than 30 minutes of fierce clash with the Syrian government troops.

[…]

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July 22nd, 2012, 7:25 am

 

Tara said:

An activist group claims that more than 2,750 people have been killed in Syria so far this month, bringing the death toll since the conflict began to more than 19,000.
….
Opposition sources said fighters from rural areas around Aleppo had been converging on the city of 3 million people near the border with Turkey. The rebel Tawhid Battalion said in a video statement that a battle to “liberate Aleppo” had begun.

In the capital Damascus, Assad’s forces appeared to be retaking territory taken by insurgents earlier in the week, driving them out of the Mezze district, according to residents and opposition activists.

Elite Fourth Division troops were besieging the northern neighbourhood of Barzeh and the sound of tank fire was heard in the district, they said. Helicopter gunships fired machine-guns at the nearby district of Rukn al-Din and Qaboun.

…more
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/22/syria-death-toll-tops-19000

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July 22nd, 2012, 7:28 am

 

ann said:

Meet the other paper tiger `natanyahu 8)

Israel to defend against Syrian chaos: PM – 2012-07-22

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/22/c_131731248.htm

JERUSALEM, July 22 (Xinhua) — israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and defense minister ehud barak on Sunday stressed that israel was monitoring the spiraling civil war in Syria and was prepared to react if chemical or biological weapons reached either rebel forces’ or Lebanese Hezbollah hands.

“We’re closely following what is transpiring there, and are ready for any possible development,” netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet session, according to a statement sent to Xinhua.

[…]

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July 22nd, 2012, 7:32 am

 

Juergen said:

From an SPIEGEL article:

“Damascus stands in the line direction between three cars of the UN observers, a minibus full of Syrians. “We’re going to Damascus. In Syria all is very well,” said the six men. They are Druze, a religious minority that is largely still behind President Bashar al-Assad. The men come from the city of Sweida in the south, where there was previously no demonstrations, and from the Damascus suburb of Dscharamana. Even there it remained quiet until now.

In their view, the world is in order. If you ask them if there were difficulties in Syria, they say, “Only a few, we support the Syrian army, we hope that she will have it all cleaned up soon…”

From the opposite lane the six Druze watch the exodus. Overcrowded vehicles – up to twelve people in a car,bags and suitcases tied to the car roof. But the sight does not shake their view of the world:”These people come to Lebanon for a holiday,” says one of them. The other five remain silent.”

cartoon of a arab artist living in Germany

Arabia: your killers, your executioners, dictators and your cartoons!
( Assad is the 2nd from left)

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=501504709863698&set=a.365230983491072.105740.100000125196235&type=1&theater

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July 22nd, 2012, 7:37 am

 

annie said:

Assad Biographer: After Initial Hopes of Reform, Syrian Ruler Has Succumbed to Delusions of Power
http://www.democracynow.org/2012/7/19/assad_biographer_after_initial_hopes_of

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July 22nd, 2012, 8:13 am

 

Juergen said:

Der Spiegel managed to get inside Houla and has interviewed witnesses and survivors in Houla for two days.

I will translate the article later and an other one about Rastan.

here are video interviews of Al Houla survivors in Arabic and with german subtitles:

1st interview

Marjiam Al Sayiid

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210344_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

Hana Harmout

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210360_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

Mohammed Faur Abd Al Rassak

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210341_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

Djihad Raslan

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210337_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

Malik Bakkur

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210348_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

Mohammed Ahmed Bakkur

http://video.spiegel.de/flash/1210349_996_560_H264_1400.mp4

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July 22nd, 2012, 8:24 am

 

Juergen said:

I’m Coming Home-Syria-The Return

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July 22nd, 2012, 8:52 am

 

ann said:

Syria’s Assad meets his chief of staff, ICRC warns of worsening situation in the capital – 2012-07-22

• Assad met with the army chief of staff as the ICRC says the conditions worsen in the capital.
• Clashes between armed rebels and Syrian troops continued Sunday in Damascus.
• Clashes have also been reported in the northern city of Aleppo.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/22/c_131731340.htm

DAMASCUS, July 22 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Sunday with the army chief of staff, as the International Committee of the Red Cross says the conditions worsen for civilians in the capital Damascus.

The country’s news agency SANA said that Assad met with Gen. Ali Abdullah Dayyoub in Damascus and gave him directives.

SANA, however, spelled no further details about the meeting, but issued the meeting’s photos, which marks the second appearance of Assad after the blast last Wednesday that killed four senior officials of the president’s inner circle.

Meanwhile, the clashes between armed rebels and Syrian troops continued Sunday in a number of neighborhoods in Damascus, namely Razi orchards in al-Mazzeh neighborhood and northwestern district of Barza.

The capital’s battles have been raging on since last Sunday, with Syrian troops flushing out rebels from districts, in which they have been routed in order to wobble the regime grip in the capital.

Clashes have also been reported in the northern city of Aleppo, where rebels announced the commencement of the operation to “free the city from government troops.”

Meantime, Syria’s state media said the government troops in Aleppo confronted the armed groups, adding that many of the armed men were killed, others rounded up and the rest fled into Turkey.

The state TV denied what some Arab TVs are broadcasting about the security situation in Aleppo.

[…]

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July 22nd, 2012, 10:05 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

“…..US Writing New Syrian Constitution – “Tutoring” the SNC For Syria Take Over – …..”

SNC Takeover means bloody Civil War in Syria. Syrians will not accept foreign/ Zionist paid and appointed mercenaries to lead them now. They need fairly elected, legitimate leaders, not foreign appointed puppets. They will not accept the Egyptian model either that foreigners are attempting a ploy at to cheat Syrians from fair rule as they did in Egypt.

“….US Writing New Syrian Constitution…”

Any Constitution for new Syria will require prior discussions and public debates by all Syrians and 2-3 interim and final referendum to be legal in Syria. Afterward, a general election under International monitors can be conducted to appoint legal representatives and leaders of a new State.

If there is no unanimity on the above and in the event of deviation from these proscribed rules, it will mean a Civil War: Western/ Zionist backed traitors and foreign mercenaries-vs. -Russia/China/Iran/Syrians backed ones. It will assuredly drag the entire Middle East and its oil resources under fire and the global banking cartel under water. Add the Seven years long draught we are into now and…you get the picture.

Syria is not a silly Air-heads Zionist game plot, it is a destiny humanity will have to take.

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July 22nd, 2012, 12:02 pm

 

omen said:


Landis argues
there that an independent Allawite state is an unlikely outcome. Well, he’s the expert. But I can’t help noticing that the Russian naval basis would fall within a rump Allawite State. Why wouldn’t Russia support an Allawite State to keep their toe-hold in the Middle East? The Allawites are well-armed, including chemical weapons, why couldn’t they defend an enclave, especially with Russia’s enthusiastic backing? Such an outcome might explain Russia’s puzzlingly willingness to alienate the future powers of Syria proper.

if regimists allowed to retreat back to the coast would put a stop to the fighting and produced a mutually agreed upon cold peace…well, then, why not?

p.s. probably too naive a scenario. i forgot bashar is incapable of being reasonable.

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July 22nd, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

jake said:

@DAMASCIUS

‘The map also shows shiites region in Syria in rif damascus towards Lebanon ,in which there are very few of them.’

it should be mentioned that there aren’t many kurds and alawites in aleppo either (some kurds in ayn-al arab and some alawites in aleppo city but thats probably it). However with regards to lebanon the shia are concentrated and in majority around eastern bekaa.

‘The coast is shown as the alawites are a majority on all the coastal marge ,which is not accurate.’

Most of the coastal cities are mixed (that is, no group is in absolute majority). some historians and experts on syria (like joshua landis) have been saying that sunnis are majority in the cities of latakia, jableh, and baniyas – however they are at best a slight majority (little over half) and many others say that the cities have recently been less than half sunni after the alawites have moved in since the 70s from the countryside. That is ignoring the fact and impacts this revolution is having on the coastal cities – where many sunnis are moving out after the repression and many alawis are moving in from the cities in inner syria (damascus, homs, aleppo).

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July 22nd, 2012, 11:27 pm

 

habib said:

The arguments against an Alawite state works as long as there is no imminent danger of mass slaughter of Alawites. Since this is not the case, anything is possible. Of course the Alawites would rather have a separate state than be slowly beheaded by foreign jihadis.

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July 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am

 

DE Teodoru said:

Syria is NOT Egypt, Tunisia nor is it Libya, where factions impede national order but are so far apart that in the end it is who brings in oil cash flow that he gets to match civil order with economic order. In Syria there has been a lot of time of intermixing of interests and assets as well as a common security burden in Israel, that Syrians held together well enough to even defy Nasser.

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July 23rd, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

a. hanna said:

I think there are some missing links to the Syrian debate. One, is Israel. Recently, (and you can read this at all major Israeli papers), an IDF commander said that the next attack on Lebanon will be far worse than the last time and will include heavy damage to densely populated areas. This is connected to the Syria carnage going on. One thing is for sure, Israel is trying hard to remain quiet as possible. You cannot believe much in the Mainstream media because it is all Corporate owned and highly controlled by the US government.

You have to ask “who benefits” most by creating a “sectarian” tensions and increasing the animosities between groups. I don’t entirely agree with this article. (and please forgive my bouncing around the subject…never been known for my great writing!). I think an Alawite Coastal enclave would be beneficial to some factions in this Middle East Mediterranean area. It is always possible, btw, to make sure this new Allawite area has all the administrative, military, etc it needs…and quickly. Assad is likely a Western Asset and always has been; U.S. was outsourcing torture to the Assad Regime (2003). And he fled Damascus a few days ago for Latakia.

Landis worries “Syria could not survive without the coast”. But this may be one of the main intentions behind this Western induced fight. They are instigating a Balkan-like separation of Syria, which will benefit the Western States: Israel will bite out another swath of land (probably that in the southern tip of Syria and eastward); The Alawite State will be coastal which will also serve as removing the Russians (Assad is really a Western Asset); and Israel will attack Lebanon (taking another chunk of land) because Syria will be in no condition to aid them; and the US-Western Empire benefits because Israel is basically a Western sattelite station.

The rest of the area will be consistently destabilized, which will give the West and Israel the false sense of security in attacking Iran.

The Western ideologists believe that loss of life is Ok, they call it collateral damage, as long as it is done in the name of their cause…which is full spectrum dominance.

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July 23rd, 2012, 8:36 pm

 

DE Teodoru said:

Ironically, the Arab Spring motivated the Saudis to continue their Iraq War with Iran in Syria. The ophthalmologist inherited his position with a clear sight that his father’s solution to factional crisis can no longer work. Saudi playing in Syrian Sunni waters as part of its anti-Shia Iraq War has clouded the fact that ultimately Syria can only survive through accomodation between the minorities that make it a nation. All Syrians saw the dangers from Iran and America (whom they consider duped by Israel and the Saudis into a self-exsanguinating war in Iraq). Motivated by Turkish cooperativeness and Russian advise by both word and example, the Assad Jr. regime tried to be a helpful neighbor to all sides while at the same time trying to seem dangerous enough to Israel so that Israel doesn’t attack it. Alas, its attempt at nuclear power exposed its nakedness and the ophthalmologist’s lack of absolute power in Syria. This played a role in the Saudi games in Syria’s Sunni waters. The men around the ophthalmologist blurred his vision and got him to take personal responsibility for the return to his father’s strategy for dealing with Sunnis. But this should not take away from the ultimate realization floating around in the back of the cortex (the primary visual area) of all factions in Syria that, to paraphrase Ben Franklin, they all hang together or they’ll hang separately. In this thought Russia has been the consistently wise council. That’s why it wants no UN intervention; such intervention would only deepen the schisms that need to be re-glued if Syria is to survive. Only if all factions come to some accord can the irresponsible fragmentation caused in Syria by Iran and Saudi Arabia be repaired to form a yet more perfect Syrian union. That Obama saw the logic in the Russian argument and is willing– so far– to risk his re-election in hope of much Russo-American cooperation in the future by not aggravating the Syrian situation eith intervention as the Saudis and Israelis hope to make him do, is a tribute to his foresight and self-discipline. But he is a politician and Israel’s influence in US politics and media reaches deep. Yet, every day that he holds out is another chance for Syrian factions to again put Syria first. Conservatism on intervention now can put Humpty Dumpty together again. If that succeeds, it will be Obama’s greatest diplomatic coup and the Neocons’ greatest defeat.

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July 23rd, 2012, 8:40 pm

 

Marty's Mind » A Syrian Solution said:

[…] be willing to pull out of Syria, if the regime would agree to a plan to separate Syria into an Alawite State in the east and Sunni state in the west.  Where the predominantly Alawite areas would remain under […]

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September 13th, 2013, 2:58 pm