Will Turkey Invade Syria? Can the West Find a New Calculus for Intervention?

Will Turkey Invade Syria? Can the West find a new calculus for the Syria dilemma?
By Joshua Landis

Syrian Refugees in Turkey

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru’s remarked yesterday that tomorrow “a new period will begin” in Turkey’s Syria policy. Is this rhetorical bluster? Turkish officials say that they are seriously contemplating imposing a humanitarian corridor inside Syria, but will not “invade” Syria. The difference between imposing a corridor and invasion my only be academic, however.

Turkish statesmen, no doubt, feel great pressure to take action in Syria. Who would not be outraged by the Syrian attack on refugees and Turkish workers inside Turkey? The humanitarian crisis is appalling. The refugee problem is going from bad to worse. Syria is a mess. Syrian soldiers are neither restrained by Damascus nor discouraged from using the most inhuman methods to regain control of rebel towns. The central state seems to be in decline as the army lashes out without restraint and the economy withers.

All the same, I find it hard to imagine that Turkey will invade.  Perhaps Turkey will up the ante in some way to hurt Syria in an effort to dissuade it from allowing its soldiers to act so disrespectfully. Something must be done. But Syria is a swamp. Its Kurdish region could secede to join Iraq. And the US does not want to get in the middle of a civil war. The Turkish government seems loath to take decisive action against Syria without firm US and European guarantees of partnership and commitment. The costs of stabilizing and rebuilding Syria will be immense.

I cannot see Turkish officials allowing their fit of peek to overtake their national interest. Turkey can only lose if it invades alone. In all probability, should Ankara invade, it would not be able to extract itself from Syria until the Syria regime was toppled, Alawite power destroyed, and a substitute government put in place. That is a very tall order. The US has attempted it twice in Iraq and Afghanistan and failed. Libya, where western governments brought down the government but refused the task of nation-building is becoming a failed state beset by too many militias.

The problem with Syria is that if one regards it with nothing but cold calculation, Assad remains the lesser of possible evils, which could be chaos, lawlessness, or militia infighting. The opposition has shown no capacity for united leadership. It cannot impose order on itself let alone on fractious Syria.

The US, equally, can count few substantial benefits from intervention in Syria. Pundits claim that the present situation presents a once in a life time opportunity to hurt Iran, help Israel, and change the balance of power in the region. But Iran is already hurt by Assad’s weakness. The Iranian economy is weak and the government throw good money after bad at Syria. Syria cannot harm its neighbors. It is a moral and military liability for Hizbullah. Hamas has decamped from Damascus already. The Assad regime as it stands today is a threat to no one save Syrians.

Syria is a moral and humanitarian disaster. It begs for a humanitarian solution. But it is not a grave security threat. It will only become a security threat if the regime falls and there is no authority to take its place. I suspect regional statesmen are imagining all sorts of worst case scenarios should the regime fall: the spread of jihadism and al-Qaida, civil war, the possible break up of Syria, a rising death toll, and increased refugee outflows. Who can assure them that these nightmares would not become real? Assad has always insisted that without him Syria would fall apart and the region would face chaos or worse. He once threatened that should foreign powers intervene, Syria would be worse than a hundred Afghanistans. He is still making that calculation and few want to call his bluff. It is possible that world leaders are adding up the numbers in the same way that Assad is; although they struggling to find a new calculus for the Syria dilemma.

[End of Landis article]

The article is in today’s Zaman. Here are the relevant excerpts:

“What will happen if the UN cannot get its act together, and Russia and China end up using their veto powers for the third time? Ankara will probably invoke the 1998 Adana agreement with Syria to justify the military interference while calling on NATO members for the application of the Article 5 of the NATO Charter…

On Oct. 20, 1998, both Turkey and Syria signed the Adana Agreement, which set out very explicit terms for preventing PKK activities in Syria. It squarely puts all the responsibility on the Syrian government in this matter. For example, Article 1 of the Adana Agreement states that Syria will not permit any activity on its territory aimed at jeopardizing the “security and stability of Turkey.” Be it PKK terrorism or a crackdown on the opposition, both would be considered threats that seriously jeopardize the “security and stability of Turkey” — in which case Turkey reserves the right to take necessary measures for self-defense, including armed interference into Syrian territory to contain the threat…

Syria has bowed to Turkish pressure before. In the late 1990s, Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad caved under the pressure mounted by Turkey, and finally stopped harboring the fugitive PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and expelled him from Damascus

But the most comprehensive deal came in 2010 when the two sides inked a significant agreement on cooperation against terror. It was signed on Dec. 21, 2010 by Davutoğlu and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem and ratified by the Turkish Parliament on April 6, 2011. This agreement has 23 articles, which have important implications for Turkey. For example, Article 7 of the agreement gives both parties the right to conduct joint operations in each other’s territory. If Turkey officially recognizes the Syrian National Council (SNC) as the only legitimate government of Syria, which is likely to happen in the upcoming Paris meeting of the Friends of Syria if Assad fails to follow through on the Annan plan, it can very well secure the consent of the SNC to launch joint operations with the Free Syrian Army against Assad’s forces.

All in all, the urgency to act against the Assad regime’s aggression on its own citizens, in order to stabilize the country as soon as possible, is a sensitive issue for the national security of Turkey. For that Ankara is willing, even determined, according to some officials, to invoke unilateral or multilateral legal remedies at its disposal. It clearly prefers the multilateral approach for the time being. But when push comes to shove, Turkey will not hesitate to act alone, as it did in 1998 in Syria or in 1975 in Cyprus. Watch out for the signal that will indicate that Turkey is ready to act: When the government decides to seek a mandate from the Turkish Parliament for troop deployment in a foreign country, as it must according to the Constitution, it will mean the real warning shot for military incursion into Syria has already been fired.”

Annan’s Letter to UNSC – last two paragraphs

…..But recent events are deeply concerning. The prevailing security and human rights situation is unacceptable. This crisis has lasted for more than one year, has produced an intolerably heavy death toll and is now triggering increased flows of refugees throughout the region. Earlier this morning, I saw. with my own eyes the devastating impact of the crisis in a refugee camp in Turkey, close to the border with Syria. The scale of the suffering of the Syrian people is clear. A cessation of violence is urgent.

The Syrian leadership should now seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course. It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and indisputable change in the military posture of the Government forces throughout the country, as called upon by the six point plan, and that items (a), (b) and (e) of paragraph 2 of the six point plan are fully implemented, to enable a cessation of armed violence on 12 April. We urge the opposition also to fulfill their commitments to the six-point plan and give no excuse for the government to renege on its commitments. The clear declarations coming from the opposition are encouraging in this respect.

Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) 4/9/12: “After all this time & bloodshed–after all the commitments made & promises broken–we are facing a moment of truth. #Syria”…. If #Syria refuses to implement Annan’s plan despite its commitments, then Russia/China have to be prepared to follow their words w/actions.”

Saudi Defense Minister Salman also in DC tomorrow, coinciding w mtg of Quartet principles – Clinton, Lavrov, Ban Ki-moon & Ashton #syria

Syrian military vengeance on Anadaan: the following video shows footage of the poor town that makes up part of Aleppo’s norther suburbs. It was opposition turf for some months before recent military operations in the area – part of the regime’s “clear and hold” counter-insurgency strategy.

Syria: Bashar al-Assad ‘will pay’ for breaking peace pledge
By Richard Spencer, 10 Apr 2012

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria fell under renewed threat of international action today after peace negotiator Kofi Annan said his regime had broken its promises to embrace a ceasefire.

Mr Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general who has tried to broker an accord, told the Security Council that the regime had not pulled its troops and heavy equipment out of towns and cities by today, as demanded.

“It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and indisputable change in the military posture of the government forces throughout the country, as called upon by the six-point plan,” a letter read to the council said. He added that Syria was demanding a guarantee that the rebels lay down their arms and disband, and a commitment by regional nations not to arm them….

Syria threatens pullout from ceasefire deal unless given ‘written guarantees’ – 08 April, 2012

….Syria has learnt a “very hard lesson from the Arab League observer saga” and does not want the same thing to happen again, a former Syrian ambassador to Turkey, Dr. Nidal Kabalan, told RT.

“[Rebels] fostered in Syrian cities and towns, and it has cost extra hundreds of innocent lives of civilians and army soldiers to get rid of some of those armed gangs,” Kabalan said.

At least two large militant bases have been found and secured on Saturday, Syrian authorities reported. One was located in the city of Douma, just 12 kilometers north of Damascus, and the other in Yabrud, 80 kilometers north of the capital. Government news agency Sana said loyalist troops discovered large caches of weapons and arrested a number of people suspected of kidnappings and murders. Smaller scale operations are taking place in other parts of the country….

Britain and other Western powers called for Mr Assad to be censured by the UN. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said he wanted the Security Council to refer Mr Assad to the International Criminal Court.

“President Assad and his closest cronies should be under no doubt that they will be held to account for their actions,” he said. The Security Council called for the Syrian government to make a “fundamental change of course” to end hostilities by 6am Damascus time Thursday.

But with Russia and China still likely to veto any Western action, the more significant response came from Turkey and Saudi Arabia, which have emerged as Mr Assad’s leading Middle Eastern critics.

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced he was to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday to discuss the crisis and though neither side gave details of any new proposals, reports from Ankara said Mr Erdogan would call for concerted action.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations are likely to begin the promised release of hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the rebels, while Turkey’s threatened buffer zone came much closer to reality after Syrian troops fired over the border on Monday.

Extrajudicial Executions: The 25-page report,

“In Cold Blood: Summary Executions by Syrian Security Forces and Pro-Government Militias,” documents more than a dozen incidents involving at least 101 victims since late 2011, many of them in March 2012. Human Rights Watch documented the involvement of Syrian forces and pro-government shabeeha militias in summary and extrajudicial executions in the governorates of Idlib and Homs. Government and pro-government forces not only executed opposition fighters they had captured, or who had otherwise stopped fighting and posed no threat, but also civilians who likewise posed no threat to the security forces.

Turkish Defense Minister adopts provocative stance on Syria Press TV, Iran

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz has adopted a provocative position regarding Syria, saying that Ankara is prepared for any development on the Syrian situation, including war.

Yilmaz, however, noted that Ankara is “not calling for war,” but that it will be prepared just in case.

Russia-China victory in Syria a sign of declining US power – 9 April 2012

It sets an important precedent in international relations, and is perhaps the clearest sign of declining US power in the Middle East.

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, Russia and China have effectively thwarted the United States and its allies from pursuing its interests in a fiery Middle Eastern flashpoint, Syria.

The Russian-Chinese double veto at the UN Security Council – the last in February – signalled to the West that the two powers were drawing a red line on Syria. Notably, China’s second veto on Syria was only its eighth in history, highlighting the importance of the matter to Beijing. The message was clear: UN-sponsored regime change, military intervention, or arming of Syrian rebels – as seen in Libya – would never pass…..

Turkey also hedged its bets on a quick Assad downfall, a strategic blunder that is now under sharp criticism from leading Turkish commentators and opposition leaders as the Syrian dictator appears to have held sway. Although it still hosts Syrian opposition groups and armed rebels, Turkey has notably toned down its harsh rhetoric of Assad in recent weeks. …

Turkey Crisis Planning Includes Soldiers in Syria, Milliyet Says – Apr 9, 2012 Bloomberg

Turkish soldiers may establish buffer zones in Syria by the end of the month to protect civilians, Milliyet newspaper reported, citing interviews with unidentified officials.

U.S. senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman are expected to meet President Abdullah Gul today in Istanbul, and may also travel to refugee camps near Turkey’s border with Syria, Milliyet said.

The decision to arm the rebels has not yet been implemented – Guardian.co.uk, 5 Apr 2012 :

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been saying they want to supply the Syrian rebels with weapons. “The decision to arm the rebels has been taken in principle, but it has not yet been implemented”, said Mustafa Alani of the Saudi-funded Gulf Institute of Strategic Studies in Dubai. British officials have informed the Guardian they see no evidence that large-scale government weapons transfers to Syrian rebels have taken place. Arab sources say a bigger effort may be imminent. Last week the Gulf states agreed to fund the SNC to pay wages to FSA rebels. This is seen as providing cover for arms purchases…. The situation is complicated by the fact that neither Jordan nor Turkey, which have land borders with Syria, are likely to allow transfers of significant armaments. The logistical difficulties in smuggling any supplies into Syria….

US Returning to Security Council To Protect Syrians, Says Burns
By Barbara Slavin

….Al-Monitor: What do you see as the Russian diplomatic role regarding Syria? If their base at Tartous is preserved, can they be convinced to drop Assad?

Burns: Russia’s diplomatic role is important, both as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a country with a longstanding close relationship with Damascus. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov are in frequent contact to discuss Syria, and Presidents Obama and Medvedev also addressed this key issue during their meeting in Seoul. Obviously we were very disappointed with Russia’s vetoes in the Security Council. Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Rice have been unambiguous on that point. The Secretary has also been absolutely clear in her comments about deliveries of Russian arms to Syria. Russian officials have more recently claimed that they are “no friend” to Assad and have criticized the regime for “making mistakes” and for “reacting incorrectly” to the demonstrations…..

We believe that Russian pressure contributed to Assad’s acceptance of the Annan mission. We would like to see Russia use its influence with Assad to bring an end to the regime’s violence….

Crisisweb: Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation
2012-04-10 – Crisis Group

…Syrians from all walks of life appear dumbfounded by the horrific levels of violence and hatred generated by the crisis…..Full and timely implementation of Annan’s plan almost surely was never in the cards. But that is not a reason to give up on diplomacy in general or the Annan mission in particular. The priority at this stage must be to prevent the conflict’s further, dangerous and irreversible deterioration….

the outside word is caught between four costly postures. The regime’s allies, Iran and Hizbollah, have supported it unconditionally and have every incentive to continue doing so. Russia and China put the onus on regime foes at home and abroad to defuse the situation, expecting the former to lay down their arms and join an ill-defined “dialogue”, and the latter to cease all forms of pressure. The West remains confused and ambivalent, having exhausted all sources of diplomatic and economic leverage, fearful of the future and tiptoeing around the question of military options. Saudi Arabia and Qatar have spoken loudly of their intention to arm the rebellion but, even assuming they demonstrate the commitment and follow-through necessary to establish meaningful supply lines, it is hard to see how such efforts would bring a well-armed regime to its knees. Hamstrung between these conflicting stances, Annan’s mission has yet to achieve much traction other than rhetorical endorsements by all concerned….

As Crisis Group previously argued, the regime will genuinely shift its approach if and only if it faces a different balance of power – politically, through a change in Moscow’s attitude; or militarily, through a change on the ground….

Why Did Anyone Believe Bashar al-Assad’s Promises of a Ceasefire to Begin With?
By Radwan Ziadeh in The New Republic Daily Report, 04/10/12

Comments (150)

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1. jad said:

From the previous post:

Here is the plan to invade and occupy Syria as they did to Iraq, that will make the terrorist and their supporters happy of destroying Syria and killing more Syrians:

The Coming U.S. and NATO Occupation of Northern Syria: Iraq Redux

There is one thing certain about U.S. Pentagon strategy: it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. And using an old trick from Operation Desert Storm, establishing a humanitarian, NATO-protected no-fly salient in northern Iraq’s Kurdish area, appears to be the same strategy envisioned for northern Syria. There is much in common between the U.S.-led NATO planning for a northern Syria occupation zone and the no-fly zone established in 1992 for Iraq.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decided that it was better for Turkey to flip its previous support for Assad to the Syrian rebels and take the same side as that of NATO, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. For Erdogan, that decision may not only prove fateful for continued Turkish control over Turkey’s own eastern Kurdish territories but the entire map of the Middle East.


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April 10th, 2012, 6:34 pm


2. Afram said:

Will Turkey Invade Syria?
Bahar to Erdogan
Go Ahead Punk… Make My Day

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April 10th, 2012, 6:35 pm


3. omen said:

my contacts in Ankara are telling me that the government is truly furious over the refugees, the shootings, and the current peace plan fiasco. Nobody is of course calling for war outright, but the talk of the town does seem to have swung yet closer towards the intervention side of things.

does this mean that FINALLY the borders will loosen to allow the rebels to be properly armed?

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April 10th, 2012, 6:54 pm


4. Tara said:

In the name of orthodox Christian God, Serbians were murdered.  In the name of Bashar, Syrian are murdered…

Bosnians watching Syria with a sense of having been there
McClatchy Newspapers


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — When snipers fired into a crowd of peaceful demonstrators in the capital of the newly declared state of Bosnia-Herzegovina in April 1992, few Bosnians imagined it would be the start of a 3 1/2 year war in which 11,541 men, women and children would die in the siege of Sarajevo alone.

Twenty years later, as they watch events in Syria unfold, some Bosnians wonder if they’ve seen this film before. Once again, they say, the international community is failing to act in the face of massive war crimes.

“The world swallowed the pill in Bosnia, where it became normal to hit apartments people live in and to burn cities randomly,” said Ejup Ganic, a member of Bosnia’s wartime collective presidency. “The international community allowed a crime against humanity in Bosnia. The same is happening in Syria.”
The war in Bosnia should have taught the lesson that “when faced with murderous dictatorships, appeasement does not work,”..

Noting the Syrian military’s 26-day bombardment of the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, they said the pattern of killings is straight from the Bosnia narrative: encirclement of a population center, cutoff of its food and basic services, a campaign of indiscriminate violence, then a roundup, followed by selection and execution “in total isolation.”
Both wars have religious aspects. In Bosnia, the conflict pitted Orthodox Christian Serbs against Roman Catholic Croats and Muslim Bosnians.

In Syria, the uprising has been concentrated among Sunni Muslims, who comprise at least 60 percent of the population, and many of the country’s Kurds, who comprise about 10 percent of the population. Both groups have chafed under four decades of dictatorial rule by the late Hafez Assad and his son Bashar, who have used primarily Alawite — a Shiite Muslim sect — to staff the security ministries.

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April 10th, 2012, 7:03 pm


5. omen said:

The Russian-Chinese double veto at the UN Security Council – the last in February – signaled to the West that the two powers were drawing a red line on Syria. Notably, China’s second veto on Syria was only its eighth in history, highlighting the importance of the matter to Beijing. The message was clear: UN-sponsored regime change, military intervention, or arming of Syrian rebels – as seen in Libya – would never pass…..

we all know that the US is compliant to israel’s interest. this arab spring wave of democracy and to the right of self determination is eventually going to focus on palestine. despite israel’s public pronouncements, it’s not in israel’s interest to see syria go. however, if there is one country that the US is more compliant to than israel, it’s china.

rebels cannot count on the US to help. kofi annan is acting under US direction. he cannot be counted upon either.

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April 10th, 2012, 7:10 pm


6. Hopeful said:

Please take a look at the following chart and explain why a regime which presided over such performance deserves to stay in power?

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April 10th, 2012, 7:11 pm


7. ann said:

‘West uses Syria to hit China, Russia and Iran’ – 11 April, 2012


Syria is nothing but a pawn in a global geopolitical game, set to be sacrificed in order to curb the expansion of China, Russia and Iran, political analyst Jamal Wakim tells RT.

­As the international community warily waits to see whether Kofi Annan’s ceasefire plan is going to work in Syria, Lebanese International University professor Jamal Wakim believes the West has still not given up its intention to topple President Bashar Al-Assad.

Reports on clashes between Syrian government troops and rebels on the Turkish border may signal that the Syrian opposition wants to discredit Annan’s initiative. This would allow Washington more freedom from the compromise on Syria it has struck with Moscow, Wakim points out.

Furthermore, a conflict with Turkey would help bypass the UN Security Council, where Russia can block any attempt to intervene into Syria, he notes. NATO principles say that attacking one NATO member means attacking the whole bloc, and retaliation would be proportional to this rule.

But, according to Wakim, the Syrian conflict has more to it than just toppling another “dictator,” who has been running the country for twelve years.

“This is an attempt to take over all of the Middle East and block Russia, China and Iran inside the continent, denying them access to the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean,” Wakim told RT.

“There is an alliance between so-called maritime powers: the US, the Western Europe and Turkey. They are trying to hold back Russia, China and Iran off international trade routes and thus get better bargaining positions. This would also hamper the economic growth of the three countries and affect their role in global politics,” adds the professor.

With the Arab Spring advance, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran have lost their access to Mediterranean waters through Libya and Yemen and other places, says Wakim. “Syria is all that is left for them. That is how the ferocity of the US attack on the country can be explained.”


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April 10th, 2012, 8:21 pm


8. Mo said:

This is the kind of manipulation America and the entire world are being subjected to.

Look at the picture. Most of the people in it are men in their twenties or thirties!! They want to create a “Humanitarian crisis” in Syria anyway they can because their goal from day one is INTERNATIONAL INTERVENTION. The next logical conclusion is that bringing in B1 bombers on behalf of the “rebels” requires killing women and children, the Wahabi way (with knives).

To answer your question, no, Turkey will not dare invade Syria. Because it will have to go through Iran first. There are defense agreements between Iran and Syria for the last 30 years. In fact, Iran’s supreme leader just said two days ago that Iran WILL defend Syria. The Turkish prime minister received some strong messages from Russia and Iran the first time he announced that his country might establish buffer zones in Syria. That’s why he didn’t follow through with his threat.

This so called revolution may fool the whole world, but it’s not going to fool me.

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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm


9. ann said:

Russia calls on Annan to work more with Syrian opposition – 2012-04-11


MOSCOW, April 10 (Xinhua) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to devote more efforts to make the Syrian opposition adhere to the cease- fire plan.

During a telephone conversation with Annan, Lavrov said “the Syrian opposition and countries supporting it must take urgent measures to ensure a sustainable cease-fire” and called on Annan to step up efforts with them in that direction, according to a statement published on the foreign ministry’s website.

Lavrov also informed Annan on the phone about the talks with his visiting Syrian counterpart Walid al-Moallem.

“It was noted with satisfaction that the Syrian leaders are ready to continue the implementation of the peace plan and to cooperate actively with Annan’s mission,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the minister reaffirmed that Moscow backed Annan’s efforts to settle the year-long crisis in Syria and stressed that it was necessary that all parties concerned should unconditionally fulfill the plans.

Russia also saw the importance of the possible deployment of a UN monitoring mechanism in Syria.

Earlier Tuesday, Lavrov met Moallem on implementing Annan plan, calling on the Syrian government to fulfill the plan more actively.

For his part, Moallem said that the Syrian government had withdrawn its troops from some rural provinces, while the cease- fire must start simultaneously with the deployment of the international observer mission.


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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm


10. mjabali said:


What happened to Ghandi that you quoted yesterday or today? It seems that you are all for the military solution in Syria.

Where is Ghandi today? We need him to teach the people how to achieve change through peaceful methods. No one is listening and all think they are tougher than the other party: this policy is harvesting the lives of ordinary Syrians in droves.

Before you quoted Ghandi you did quote Ibn Taymiyah’s famous sentence that is the base for all the Sunni Militant literature. Today you are back to Ibn Taymiyah.

Arming the Syrian rebels is not going to solve the Syrian stalemate.

It will prolong the life of the Assad government and it will prolong this chaos we see with no end in sight. The right political pressure could achieve more than anti tank weapons.

No one could tell what the end result would be if you arm the rebels. It will also increase the number of Syria killed.

The only solution in Syria is POLITICAL, that if you want to save people’s lives. But, if you do not care about the Syrian populace and believe in the collective punishment you always talk about, then let it be war for the days to come.

The question here: why don’t you go and fight like how your theoretical mentor Ibn Taymiyah advised?

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April 10th, 2012, 8:24 pm


11. ann said:

Iraq has entered “new stage”: Iraq’s UN Envoy – 2012-04-11


Al-Bayati emphasized that with regards to the situation in Syria, his country favors an end to the violence that is based on a national framework, and “strongly supports” the work of Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League for Syria.

“Historical and moral responsibility urges us all to work to contain the violence and to surround the fire raging in Syria and to exert pressure on both sides of the conflict to start a national dialogue,” he said. “A dialogue that we believe is the best option to resolve the crisis in Syria.”

Al-Bayati also warned other Arab nations about “hijacking of the wave of Arab revolutions by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”


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April 10th, 2012, 8:29 pm


13. Tara said:

In cold blood, Batta executed women and children in Idleb and Homs.  


Syria: Security forces have summarily executed scores, and possibly hundreds, of civilians and opposition fighters during their intensified offensive on cities and towns since December 2011, Human Rights Watch says today, in a new report entitled In Cold Blood.

In cases documented by HRW, at least 85 victims were described by witnesses as residents who did not take part in the fighting, including women and children. The report describes in detail several cases of mass executions of local residents, including the killing of at least 13 men at the Bilal mosque in Idlib on March 11, 2012; the execution of at least 25 men during a search and arrest operation in the Sultaniya neighborhood of Homs on March 3, 2012; and the killings of at least 47 people, mainly women and children, in the ‘Adwiyya, Karm al-Zaytoun and Refa’i neighborhoods of Homs on 11-12 March 2012.

HRW also documented the execution of at least 16 opposition fighters whom the Syrian security forces shot at point blank range after they had been captured or wounded,

One witness told HRW about the incident at Bilal mosque:

They kept 18 people, including the 13-year-old brother of a man they could not find, and three women. They brought them inside the mosque. Then they brought 13 of them back out again. They were blindfolded. They put them against the wall of the mosque. Then 13 army soldiers were placed in front of them and opened fire with their Kalashnikovs. The commander then shot them with his arm at point-blank range in the head.

HRW says the report “is based on more than 30 interviews with witnesses to executions whom HRW interviewed in person or over the phone …For some of the incidents, HRW interviewed separately several witnesses who provided similar, detailed accounts of the executions. In three of the cases there is also video or photo evidence that support the eyewitness accounts. We have also included in this report cases that are based on interviews with one witness when we found the witness to be credible and when other aspects of their accounts were independently verified. These cases should be investigated further.”

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April 10th, 2012, 8:35 pm


14. jad said:

In case some of you missed the devils’ visit to the Syrian refugee camp:

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April 10th, 2012, 8:38 pm


15. ann said:

14. jad said:

In case some of you missed the devils’ visit to the Syrian refugee camp:
I don’t see bibi natanyahu, do you?
Liberman is the kiss of death!

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April 10th, 2012, 8:44 pm


16. jad said:


He is behind the curtains, his prestige doesn’t allow it to visit refugees.

I’m not sure why he didn’t make a clip to support the revo. on youtube, every international thug did it already, why not him..

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April 10th, 2012, 9:02 pm


17. omen said:

i didn’t call for collective punishment, mjabali, i faulted the regime’s use collective punishment of innocent civilians. the regime are guilty actors and deserve to be punished.

not arming the resistance will give bashar a free hand to commit genocide. not arming the resistance, to quote the snc, will prolong catastrophe.

where is gandhi? the opposition tried civil resistance for over a year. gandhi was tortured, raped, shelled and burned for his effort. gandhi is dead. the regime killed him.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:04 pm


18. Ghufran said:

19 police men in Markadeh-Hassakeh were slaughtered, 15 were from Dair Azzour !!

Salamiyyeh has been under the mercy of armed thugs for months, this town provided shelter and food to hundreds of displaced families from Hama and Homs.

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot, I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:21 pm


19. bronco said:

Is Joshua flipping?

It seems that Joshua Landis is finally realizing that the chance of toppling Bashar al Assad is almost null. Any further effort in this path is a waste of time, lives and energy.

So, the only choice left to the opposition is to accept officially the Annan peace plan and for Turkey to find a save facing exit to the mess it got into.

The hardliners may continue sporadic violence but it will be met with equal iron fist as before.

Instead of wasting lives and energy, it is time for the opposition who has failed to attract a majority of Syrians to play the “democratic game” offered by the multi party law and the coming elections.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:22 pm


20. ann said:

SYRIA’S “ROGUE ISLAMIST OPPOSITION”: US-NATO’s New Lie in its Bid for Regime Change – April 10, 2012

Western twisted logic will run, the Syrian government is “not interested in peace”, is “guilty of brutality”, and NATO is, alas once again, morally mandated to intervene, this time to save the people of Syria out of the noble principle of “responsibility to protect”.


The Western propaganda offensive against Syria looks like tripping over itself in the rush to cover up the increasingly threadbare lies and deception that the mainstream media have been shamelessly churning out over the past year.

In the latest innovation, the Western corporate media are trying to tell us that a “rising tide” of rogue Islamic extremists is “sullying” the honourable armed opposition groups who are fighting the good fight for democracy in Syria.

The London Financial Times reports: “Both secular and Islamist groups are distancing themselves from a rising tide of propaganda by extremists intent on exploiting the uprising.”[Financial Times]

The FT adds: “For now, however, observers say the jihadi element in the revolution remains small [sic] and the extent to which it will be able to make headway is uncertain, given that the extremists are being denounced by both the secular and Islamist opposition.”

What this signals, more accurately, is an ideological move by the Western powers to create a false dichotomy between a “good opposition” and a “bad opposition” in Syria.

Then, all the violence and atrocities attributed to armed anti-government factions can henceforth be conveniently blamed on the “rogue” Islamic extremists, who are not “really part of the good opposition”.

The diversion of public understanding of what is going on in Syria is given greater urgency because of the overwhelming evidence emerging that the so-called Syrian Free Army opposition is steeped in heinous acts of violence, ranging from no-warning car bombs in crowded cities to gun attacks on buses carrying pilgrims.

This is the same “opposition” that is being armed and funded to the tune of $100 million by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Gulf Arab reactionary monarchies, as openly declared at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Istanbul on 1 April. This is the same “opposition” that has been afforded training camps by Turkey; the same “opposition” that is given an extra $800,000 in “aid” by the British government (at a time of swingeing public austerity in Britain); the same “opposition” that is supplied with communications and other “non-lethal” equipment by Washington, not to mention the clandestine caches of weapons – assault rifles, anti-tank mines, rocket-propelled grenades – from the US, Israel, Britain, France and Turkey, nor the teams of professional killers, known euphemistically as Special Forces, from these same countries.

As Michel Chossudovsky has carefully documented since March 2011 on Global Research, the armed so-called opposition groups have been waging a concerted campaign of violence and sabotage against the Syrian state from the outset. That is not the spontaneous operation of amateur would-be revolutionaries, who one day put down pens and the next day take up guns. This is not some peaceful civilian uprising that characterised the social upheavals in other Arab countries over the past year.


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April 10th, 2012, 9:25 pm


21. Ghufran said:

19 police men in Markadeh-Hassakeh were slaughtered,15 were from Dair Azzour.

Salamiyyeh has been under the mercy of armed thugs for months,this town provided shelter and food to hundreds of displaced families from Hama and Homs.

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot,I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:28 pm


22. Sunny said:

The US unemployment news today is not good :0( due to the rats’ visits to the Turkish camp LOL. The 1,200,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria have been waiting for the visit too … for 10 years, and they are armed with 4000,000 shoes :0)

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April 10th, 2012, 9:30 pm


23. Tara said:

Deep sorrow?  Doesn’t HA’s Hassan Nasrallah know yet that no one believes him any more?      

Hezbollah: Punish Shaaban’s killers
April 11, 2012 01:50 AM
By Hussein Dakroub, Mohammed Zaatari
The Daily Star

Al-Jadeed blamed the Syrian Army for Shaaban’s killing. The TV station’s owner Tahseen Khayyat said the Syrian attack on Al-Jadeed crew had been intentional. For its part, Syria blamed a clash between Syrian border guards and “armed terrorist groups” for the cameraman’s killing, saying Al-Jadeed crew happened to be in the area where the clash occurred.
The Future bloc condemned Shaaban’s killing. “The firing from the Syrian side was only aimed at intentional killing and terrorism. This happened as a result of leniency by the Lebanese government and official authorities vis-a-vis similar practices recently which killed a number of innocent citizens and also caused heavy losses to them,” the bloc said in a statement after its weekly meeting chaired by former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

“While condemning these repeated attacks, the bloc calls on the Lebanese government to summon the Syrian ambassador and send a strongly worded protest to his government against all these practices,” the statement said. “The bloc also calls [on the Lebanese government] to take all necessary steps to protect the Lebanese and protect Lebanon and its independence from those repeated violations of Lebanese sovereignty.”

“Did he ask you to say ‘hi’ to me before he died?” Shaaban’s twin sister, Fatima, asked Khreiss, who was with her brother on the same assignment.

She then collapsed.

Hezbollah expressed its deep sorrow over Shaaban’s killing. “We condemn this attack on journalists who pay the price for their courage in covering events,” Hezbollah said in a statement. It also condemned the targeting of the media “which tries to convey the picture of events for the people.”

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai expressed his deep sorrow over Shaaban’s killing “by sniper’s fire from Syrian territory in Wadi Khaled in Akkar.”

“The patriarch joins his voice with that of the president and officials in Lebanon in denouncing the incident and in investigating it, taking the necessary legal measures and working to put an end to such attacks,” said a statement issued by the patriarch’s media office in Bkirki.


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April 10th, 2012, 9:31 pm


24. Son of Damascus said:

Everywhere the Assadi Army goes massacres happen, below is yet another example of how this supposed Resistance Army treat their fellow countrymen, desecrating the corpses of the fallen.

Inkhel, Dera’a

(WARNING: Graphic Assad Crimes)

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April 10th, 2012, 9:32 pm


25. ann said:

21. Ghufran said:

If that is not shooting the “revolution” in the foot,I do not know what is it the armed rebels are doing.
How about holding hands and singing Kumbaya with joseph lieberman 8)

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April 10th, 2012, 9:36 pm


26. mick said:

I can’t believe people would doubt Annan as an honest broker. I mean he dealt sternly with Bush when he side-stepped the UN and declared an illegal war on Iraq.


You can see what power both the UN and the head of the UN have! Yeah, Bush violated international law. But I’m Kofi Annan and I want keep my job as a ‘big wig’ in the world. So since there is no job and money pushing the subject…Bush and America…you get a pass.

Now you powerless third world country…I have to show the world I am a ‘person to be listened to!’

I’m sure Tony Blair will resurface soon to tell us how important Syria is.

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April 10th, 2012, 9:45 pm


27. omen said:

from the link above:

Human Rights Watch documented the involvement of Syrian forces and pro-government shabeeha militias in summary and extrajudicial executions in the governorates of Idlib and Homs. Government and pro-government forces not only executed opposition fighters they had captured, or who had otherwise stopped fighting and posed no threat, but also civilians who likewise posed no threat to the security forces.

“In a desperate attempt to crush the uprising, Syrian forces have executed people in cold blood, civilians and opposition fighters alike,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “They are doing it in broad daylight and in front of witnesses, evidently not concerned about any accountability for their crimes.”

In the cases documented by Human Rights Watch, at least 85 victims were Syrian residents who did not take part in the fighting, including women and children. The report describes in detail several cases of mass executions of civilians, including the killing of at least 13 men in the Bilal mosque in Idlib on March 11, the execution of at least 25 men during a search-and-arrest operation in the Sultaniya neighborhood of Homs on March 3, and the killing of at least 47 people, mainly women and children, in the `Adwiyya, Karm al-Zaytoun, and Refa`i neighborhoods of Homs on March 11 and 12.

it’s delusion to think this overwhelming onslaught from the regime can be dealt with “politically.”

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April 10th, 2012, 9:45 pm


28. Son of Damascus said:

The Day Hafez Al Assad Died

The day Hafez al Assad died, I was having lunch with a friend. We were eating pasta at a family owned Italian restaurant in Ras Beirut when the news was announced. With everyone else, we stared at the small television. The owner kept changing the channel, and each time the news was confirmed.

I don’t remember if we finished lunch. But I do remember that when we went outside the streets seemed deserted. Beirut is not a quiet city, but that day it seemed as if sound had retreated from picture. My father called and demanded that I come home. Less than five minutes later my friend received the same call from her mother. No one knew what would happen next. The questions, I suppose, were obvious: Would a power struggle erupt in Syria? Would it erupt in Lebanon? Would “the war” return? What would Israel do?

Three days of public mourning unfolded. Three days of having these conversations and asking these questions. I placed bets with friends about the longevity of Bashar al-Assad’s rule. In person, of course. Never on the phone. I argued with family members about what Hafez al-Assad’s legacy would be. I spoke to people who did not live or grow up in West Beirut, and was again struck by the multiple and sometimes diverging histories that saturate this small country.



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April 10th, 2012, 9:50 pm


29. FreeSoldier said:

Like Israel at the onset of the civil war in Lebanon, Turkey will create a buffer zone to safe guard their border. It is the most logical behavior and in today’s tech world we call it a firewall or a DMZ.
So my prediction is that such an area will be create within the next 2 months


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April 10th, 2012, 9:52 pm


30. ann said:

The forgotten Titanic story of Ottawa’s Syrians – April 10, 2012


When she stepped from the Grand Trunk Railway train at Ottawa’s brand new central station on April 23, 1912, Mariana Assaf cried out, then promptly fainted into the arms of her nephew’s wife.

Small wonder. Eight days earlier, the 45-year-old Ottawa woman had been rescued from a lifeboat she’d been shoved into barely an hour before the world’s largest and most famous passenger ship, the Titanic, disappeared into the depths of the North Atlantic.

Assaf had first come to the city in 1907 or 1908 from present-day Lebanon, then part of Syria. She was a greengrocer who’d made a good living selling produce to Ottawa’s wealthy. By 1912, she’d earned enough to return to Kafr Mishki, a small Roman Orthodox village in the lower Bekaa Valley, to visit her husband and two sons.

When the Titanic went down, Assaf was on her way back to Ottawa, accompanied by more than a dozen others – mostly cousins – from the tiny, impoverished village. They’d boarded the ship in Cherbourg, France, and all were bound for the far-off Canadian capital. She alone survived.

The Kafr Mishki villagers were part of a contingent of 125 Syrians who’d booked passage on the Titanic hoping for a better life in North America. Of those, an astonishing 102 died in the disaster.

The tale of the Ottawabound Syrians is one of the Titanic’s forgotten stories. Among them were a newlywed couple, the son of an Ottawa merchant, a father and his two teenage sons and at least two journalists.

Speaking through an interpreter, voice hoarse with sobs, Assaf told her harrowing story to a reporter from the Ottawa Evening Citizen.

She and her relatives, all travelling in steerage, were mostly in bed when the ship struck the iceberg.

“Although it did not seem to be much at first and we did not feel much except a jar, some of us wanted to go up on deck and see what had happened,” she told the newspaper.

They were told that all was well, but began to have doubts when the ship remained dead in the water.


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April 10th, 2012, 9:53 pm


31. Tara said:

Batta needs to pay specials attention to his diet. He lost lots of weight lately. Asma is not taking good care of her man. Do Homsi girls not cook well? Time to take some cooking lessons. With all the weight loss he sustained, Batta is not really a good name for him? We need to find him a better name. What could it be?

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April 10th, 2012, 9:57 pm


32. Halabi said:

Al Jadeed on the lies of Addunya’s report on Ali Shaaban. And there are people out there who believe Addunya yet call others naive or brainwashed… http://youtu.be/6I5c8iRI9TM

What you see on Addunya, Syrian TV, Syrian Truth and other mukhabarat run media organization (or blind men7ebak outfits) is straight propaganda. There is no effort to tell the truth and never an admission of error. The people running this operation and producing the content are responsible for much of the suffering in Syria and should be tried someday.

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April 10th, 2012, 10:00 pm


33. Norman said:

If we can say that there is no chance for the Syrian regime to fall, because it is strong and because the world is worry about what will happen, is the opposition naive not to reach an agreement, The question is will Turkey get involved, in the last few years Syria and Turkey became close and the relation between Turkey and Israel went sour.

The Syrian crisis changed the status of turkey and pushed it back into NATO, the question is what will happen to Turkey if it invades Syria, i think that Turkey will get weaker militarily and economically and become dependent on the west and NATO which will make it ineffective in any Arab /Israeli conflict or Israeli/Iranian one, weak Turkey is for the benefit of Israel and involving Turkey in Syria will do that, the question is will hate blind sides Erdogan so he will jump with his heart instead of his brain,,,, Will see.

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April 10th, 2012, 10:17 pm


34. Son of Damascus said:

The Syrian Uprising Through Palestinian Eyes

“Have you ever protested against the massacres in Syria?”, asked Israeli police officer Yossi Peretz as he was detaining me along with other activists on our way to an anti-occupation demonstration in Bil’in. “Bashar al-Assad murders tens of Syrians every day and you are silent.”

It was an atrocious day: The security apparatus of the “only democracy in the Middle East” showcased its full force and flexed its muscles to prevent a bus carrying non-violent protesters from reaching an unarmed demonstration; we were detained for three hours in the Givaat Ze’ev police station on a dreary, freezing morning; we couldn’t march alongside the courageous villagers in Bil’in as they commemorated the seventh anniversary of popular resistance against the apartheid wall. What exasperated me the most was the cynical attempt of a man charged with enforcing brutal occupation and military despotism to exploit the blood of Syrian martyrs and feign concern for the victims of Assad’s deplorable atrocities. Ironically, a few days earlier during an anti-Assad protest in occupied Jerusalem, a Palestinian man scolded us for “not participating in a single demonstration against the massacres in Gaza.”


Many, on the other hand, complain about the “excessive” focus of mainstream Arab and Western media on Syria and ignoring atrocities in Palestine and Bahrain. Granted, mainstream media has an agenda and a set of politically and financially-motivated priorities, and shedding light on the repression in Bahrain or Palestine doesn’t meet their agenda… or the corporate goals of mass-media conglomerates. Similarly, pro-Assad media outlets in Syria, Lebanon, Iran, etc., blather for hours about the crimes of Israel while turning a blind eye to the massacres carried out by Assad next door. Hypocrisy and double-standards in the media happen both ways. Spending all of one’s time blasting the media and Western governments for their despicable and shameful hypocrisy, selective indignation, and warped “humanitarianism”, while barely uttering a syllable of solidarity with the Syrian people is the epitome of the very hypocrisy and skewed “humanitarianism” one is trying to protest in the first place. As painful as the analogy is, reading circular debates about media coverage of Syria vis-à-vis Palestine reminds me of a football match where the supporters of both teams slam a terribly inept referee for his bias and explain his awful decisions by trotting out worn and tired conspiracy theories.



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April 10th, 2012, 10:34 pm


35. omen said:

10. mjabali 8:24 pm

The right political pressure could achieve more than anti tank weapons…

what is the right political pressure?

No one could tell what the end result would be if you arm the rebels.

the right of the people to defend themselves and their right to survival trumps your fear and discomfort of the unknown.

the rebels have demonstrated discipline before. they destroyed a captured regime tank when it could have been easily used to destroy a regime stronghold instead. i’m sure there are more examples like this.

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April 10th, 2012, 11:00 pm


36. jad said:

Erdo and the Turkish newspapers are trying hard to escalate, I wonder if Erdo dies tomorrow who will take the lead on this mission, Oglu or Gul:

ديميرطاش: حدود تركيا الجنوبية ستكون مع كردستان

أردوغان في الرياض الجمعة… تحريض واسع على سوريا

محمد نور الدين

أكد رئيس وزراء تركيا رجب طيب اردوغان أن سوريا انتهكت بصورة قاطعة الحدود التركية، وان أنقرة ستقوم بكل ما يكفله القانون الدولي في هذه الحالة، وذلك قبل ان يزور الرياض الجمعة.

في هذا الوقت قطع وزير الخارجية التركية احمد داود اوغلو زيارته للصين تاركا فيها اردوغان وعاد إلى تركيا لمتابعة التطورات على الحدود التركية ـ السورية. وقال «إذا تكرر انتهاك سوريا للحدود التركية فسنقوم بما يلزم».

وهدد اردوغان، خلال زيارة لبكين، بالتحرك ضد سوريا بعد ارتفاع حدة التوتر عند الحدود أمس الأول ما ادى الى اصابة اربعة سوريين وتركيين في الاراضي التركية بإطلاق نار من سوريا. وقال ان اطلاق النار «انتهاك واضح جدا للحدود. سنقوم بإجراء تقييم نهائي. نحن نواصل العمل الدبلوماسي مع الدول الاقليمية، وبعد ذلك بالتأكيد سنتخذ الاجراءات المناسبة».

واعتبر اردوغان ان الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد نكث بوعده لمبعوث الامم المتحدة والجامعة العربية الى سوريا كوفي انان، بعدم سحب القوات من المدن. وقال «انهم يطلقون النار على الفارين من الخلف».

وأعلن اردوغان انه سيتوجه الجمعة الى السعودية للبحث في الملف السوري. وأعرب عن الامل في ان تأتي اتصالاته بالقادة السعوديين في الرياض بنتائج إيجابية حول المسألة السورية. ونقلت صحيفة «حرييت» التركية عن مسؤولين في انقرة ان اردوغان سيبلغ الملك السعودي عبد الله بأن الدول العربية يجب ان تتصدر تنفيذ اجراءات دولية منسقة ضد الحكومة السورية. واشارت الى ان اردوغان قد يسافر بعد ذلك الى موسكو للاجتماع مع رئيس الوزراء فلاديمير بوتين.

وقد رفعت وسائل الإعلام التركية من وتيرة التحريض على سوريا، حيث عنونت صحيفة «شفق» الإسلامية، المقربة من السلطة السياسية، «الدماء الأولى على الحدود»، فيما ورد في مقالات أحد كتّابها ان «مهمة (كوفي) انان ماتت ولم يبق سوى صوت الرصاص».

وقد حظيت تصريحات وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم واتهامه تركيا بتسليح المعارضة السورية صدى بارزا في نشرات الأخبار التلفزيونية ووسائل الإعلام المكتوبة، وأجمعت على وصف الاتهام بأنه «ثقيل».

وفي تعليقات متصلة بالوضع السوري كتب غونيري جيفا اوغلو في صحيفة «ميللييت» ان تركيا غادرت موقعها كقوة ناعمة وأخذت مكانا لها كقوة تتجه إلى استخدام السلاح في الأزمة السورية. وقال ان دعوة تركيا لإقامة ممر مساعدات انسانية داخل سوريا يعني دخول القوات التركية بضعة كيلومترات داخل الأراضي السورية. وتساءل «حينها هل ستبقى سوريا متفرجة؟ هذا هو السؤال الذي يدعو للقلق»، مضيفا انه اذا التزم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد بتعهداته يكون ممكنا تبريد الحدود.

وقال إن «سؤالا آخر مقلقا، وهو هل من فائدة تركيا بقاء الأسد مع المحافظة على وحدة سوريا أم الاطاحة بالأسد وتقسيم سوريا؟». واضاف ان «سوريا باتت تدعم حزب العمال الكردستاني الذي سيجد في حال انهيار الأسد مقرا له في سوريا في منطقة كردية ذات حكم ذاتي».

في هذا الوقت نشرت صحيفة «طرف» حوارا مع رئيس حزب السلام والديموقراطية صلاح الدين ديميرطاش حذّر فيه تركيا من أنه اذا حصل تقسيم في العراق فسيحصل حكم ذاتي في سوريا، وفي الأساس توجد محافظة باسم كردستان في إيران وبالتالي ستكون حدود تركيا الرسمية الجنوبية مع كردستان من إيغدير الى إنطاكية.

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April 10th, 2012, 11:11 pm


37. omen said:

here is another example of the rebels providing civil order and acting as mediators:

A Chrisian friend from Homs writes of how refugee families are occupying empty apartments.

My cousin who went to her Daughter in AL Raga, went back to Homs and found people in her house, it is 2 bedroom house so she told them that she needs the house as it is too small for more than her and her family, so they left, another relative of mine in Hameedia, they left first then when they came back they found people in their home so they asked them to leave, they refused and asked the owners my relative to talk to the office in one of the Hameedia restaurant that is occupied , so they went there and asked for their house back, they complied and the office of the armed militia ( i think) asked the people who were staying in the house to leave and give the house back,

returning property to the rightful owner isn’t sowing chaos.

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April 10th, 2012, 11:17 pm


38. Ghufran said:

Talal Salman is fed up with the regime’s endless games, he is right in blaming the regime but who will restrain Turkey and the GCC?

Russia today has the key, but the door is still guarded by a regime that wants to control who gets in and who does not.

Annan’s plan full implementation means the end of Assad et al domination on Syria’s affairs, the cat and mouse game now is about how much control each side is going to retain, that explains the posturing and the increased violence.

The gains made by the regime lately emboldened the regime but it also increased pressure on its adversaries to push back, neither sides paid attention to the cease fire,the regime wants “few more victories” and the rebels want to show regime supporters that it is too early to declare victory.


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April 10th, 2012, 11:57 pm


39. Mo said:

Most of the comments on this post are missing the big picture, I think. To think that there is not a regional and an international dimensions to what’s going on in Syria is naive. The whole thing I believe, evolves around Iran. I’m not saying there is no uprising in Syria, yes there is. One million Syrians out of 23 million, are willing to do anything to get rid of the current regime for a lot of reasons. Many of those reasons has nothing to do with democracy. The other 22 million Syrians, may or may not want change but if they do, they want it the right way and for the right reasons.

The whole thing evolves around Iran, think about it. Many NATO officials, including Americans, said over the years that a bombing campaign will not end Iran’s nuclear program. Does America wants to get involved in another invasion and another occupation? I don’t think.

So, how we are going to end the Iranian nuclear program?
I always believed that major things will happen to history and humanity if Israel’s future becomes unclear. Not because of the holiness of Israel–no, but because of its influence around the world. A nuclear Iran equals unclear future for Israel. At least in the mind of Israelis and that is unacceptable to most of them.

It seems to me that Iran and Turkey are walking steadily toward war. Turkey is being pumped up by Persian Gulf states, NATO, and its own ambition. Iran, on the other hand is determined to defend its long time ally, which she thinks that she’s being attacked through him. A turkish-Iranian war that lasts a decade with Turkey getting weapons, technology, and political support from the west while getting flooded with oil money from Arab states. That war will put the Iranian dream on breaks for the next quarter of a century. That’s plenty of time to come up with a defense against a nuclear threat.

Besides, it’s the mother of all sectarian wars. The one and only Shiaa muslim country against one of the most dominant Sunni muslim countries in a time when sectarian tension around the world and specially in the middle east is at its peak.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:02 am


40. zoo said:

Here we are again with the old song and in Deraa the “sophisticated opposition movement” is preparing the city for the post-Bashar era.

Topple Assad is now the only way’
Phil Sands
Apr 11, 2012


DAMASCUS // As the deadline on a UN peace plan passed yesterday with no halt to the violence, in Deraa, where Syria’s uprising began, an increasingly sophisticated and disciplined opposition movement was planning for a post-regime future.

More than a year after the rebellion began in the south-western Syrian city, veteran civilian activists and rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are coordinating efforts to topple President Bashar Al Assad and to prevent chaos spreading if his regime collapses, activists say.

“There can be no negotiation with this regime, there is no peace plan, we knew from the very beginning, when we first demanded our freedom, that the only way we would get it is to topple the regime, nothing less,” said an activist involved in organising the initial demonstrations in Deraa last March

“The regime will be finished so we have to build ourselves now for what happens when it falls, so there is not a dangerous vacuum,” said a leading opposition figure from Deraa. He has played a major role in organising the rebellion in the city

“We have seen what has happened in Libya with all of the different militia groups and we will not allow that to be repeated here, when the regime finally falls there must be order and control,” he said.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:03 am


41. Dale Andersen said:


RE: “…three days of public mourning for Hafez?…

It should have been three minutes, tops. That man wasted everyone’s time for forty years. And he was a vast liar, telling everyone he was on the “front line” in the resistance against the Jews. The fact is, the Jews had no better friend than Hafez. After Bashar and Asma are dead, Hafez’ body should be dug up and dragged through the streets and fed to the vultures…

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April 11th, 2012, 12:06 am


42. zoo said:

Turkey pressing the UN for the greenlight to invade Syria

Turkey presses UN over border violation
Syrian forces fired shots across the Turkish border into a refugee camp April 9, wounding six people in the first case of Syrian bullets crossing into Turkish territory since the crisis began.

Davutoğlu also said the issue with Syria was becoming “a problem of border security” when speaking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and others. U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague told Davutoğlu over the phone that the U.K. was ready to provide Turkey with assistance for Syrian refugees. Lavrov said yesterday Turkey assured them it would not take a unilateral step on Syria.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:08 am


43. zoo said:

A humoristic Turkish look at Erdogan and Davutoglu waking up to the realities of the region

The Dance of the Trojan Horse

Turkey, in fact, wanted to be the respectable referee in the Iran vs. West football game. Instead, it has become the ball in the game. But there is more.

After having cultivated an exemplary friendship, luring business deals and even the al-Gadhafi International Prize for Human Rights, the two most important Turks at the helm of foreign policy suddenly discovered that the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi was a ruthless dictator.

Similarly, it took Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu nine years to understand that their man in Damascus was in fact a dictator. “Is it not amazing, Ahmet, I learned just this morning that there is no democracy in Syria?” “This cannot be true, Prime Minister, I always thought our Syrian brothers ruled their country like the Swedish rule theirs. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if these unpleasant rumors are true.”

Our brotherly and strategic relations with Iraq are in no better shape. Baghdad has expressed more than a few times – and in not-so-diplomatic language – its wariness of excessive Turkish meddling in Iraqi politics. “Listen, Ahmet, I suspect that the Iraqis may be starting to distance themselves from the idea of Sunni Turkish dominion.” “Prime Minister, the Iraqis have promised us to be on our side at all times. Muslims always keep their promises. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if the Iraqis are good Sunni Muslims like us.”

And most recently, Messrs Erdoğan and Davutoğlu have discovered, after a lengthy honeymoon that lasted a decade, that “our Iranian brothers” are dishonest. “I am totally shocked, Ahmet, that our Persian brothers are behaving like the enemies of the Syrian people. I am even more shocked that these Muslims are dishonest.” “That’s impossible, Prime Minister. But, just in case, I’ll check myself to see if the Iranians are Muslims.”

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April 11th, 2012, 12:15 am


44. Ghufran said:

القاهرة – قضت محكمة القضاء الاداري الثلاثاء ببطلان تشكيل الجمعية التأسيسية التي يهيمن عليها الاسلاميون في ما يعد انتكاسة سياسية لجماعة الاخوان المسلمين واول انتصار لليبراليين واليسار منذ اطاحة الرئيس السابق حسني مبارك في 11 شباط/فبراير 2011

[ blue diamond http://www.al-madina.com/node/370351 ]

That and the decision by Omar Sulaiman to enter the presidential race will rebalance political life in Egypt.

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April 11th, 2012, 12:20 am


45. zoo said:

In Hatay, Kofi Annan meets cutely dressed refugee girls and sit under the omnipresent portrait of the Turks idol: Ataturk


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April 11th, 2012, 12:22 am


46. omen said:

mo 12:02. i hope you are not arguing that the majority of syrians must be sacrificed in the interest of maintaining geopolitical balance.

A nuclear Iran equals unclear future for Israel. At least in the mind of Israelis and that is unacceptable to most of them.

your support?

according to this poll:

Despite all the anti-Iran rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government, the Israeli public remains strongly opposed to Israel launching an attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

…Tel Aviv University reveal the findings of their most recent Peace Index that show 62 per cent of Israelis are opposed to Israel launching an attack on Iran without U.S. cooperation.

i saw another poll that pointed out most israelis don’t believe iran would strike even if iran had nuclear weapons.

why is pakistan “allowed” to have nuclear weapons but not iran? does it come down to oil?

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April 11th, 2012, 1:26 am


47. omen said:

norman 10:17: i think that Turkey will get weaker militarily and economically and become dependent on the west and NATO which will make it ineffective in any Arab /Israeli conflict or Israeli/Iranian one, weak Turkey is for the benefit of Israel and involving Turkey in Syria will do that

palestine will win its liberation via the tunis/egypt model.

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April 11th, 2012, 1:47 am


48. omen said:

wow, the regime is in a pickle. via juan cole:

The Lebanese prime minister, Najib Miqati, said “We condemn the act of opening fire from the Syrian side on the Lebanese media team, mainly as this team was operating within Lebanese territory.”

Miqati is allied with Hizbullah, a strong supporter of the Syrian regime, but when Syrian gunfire is killing Lebanese on Lebanese soil, even he is forced to speak out. Lebanon is welcoming increasing numbers of Syrian refugees, which could also drag Lebanon into the conflict.

tara, no wonder basher is losing weight.

We need to find him a better name. What could it be?

how about sitting duck?

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April 11th, 2012, 2:03 am


49. Anne said:

Annan urges Syrian leadership to make “fundamental change of course”

UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) — Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Tuesday urged the Syrian authorities to “seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course” by immediately implementing a peace plan proposed by Annan and accepted by Damascus.

Annan made the statement in his letter to the UN Security Council Tuesday, the deadline for the Syrian military to withdraw from urban areas. A copy of the letter was obtained by Xinhua here.

The Syrian government must send a political signal by achieving a cessation of its military operations in the coming days, Annan said. He also called for a quick action by the UN Security Council to deploy “an effective international monitoring mechanisms” in Syria, which has been plunged into crisis since March 2011.

“The Syrian leadership should now seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course,” Annan said in the letter, adding “It is essential that the next 48 hours bring visible signs of immediate and indisputable change in the military posture of the government forces throughout the country.”

Annan was appointed to mediate an early end to the year-long crisis in Syria on behalf of the United Nations and the Arab League.

Annan’s six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

If the Syrian government meets the April 10 deadline, the Syrian opposition should halt fighting 48 hours after the withdrawal of government forces, so all fighting in the country must stop by 6 a.m. Damascus time on April 12, Annan said last week while briefing the UN General Assembly.

“We urge the opposition also to fulfill their commitment to the six-point plan and give no excuse for the government to renege on its commitment,” Annan said in the letter, noting “The clear declaration coming from the opposition are encouraging in this respect.”

“Despite these assurances from the Syrian government, credible reports indicate that during that same period, the Syrian armed forces have conducted rolling military operations in populated centers, characterized by troop movements into towns supported by artillery fire,” the letter said.

[ + … ]


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April 11th, 2012, 2:58 am


50. Anne said:

Russia ‘Keeping Assad in Power’ – Clinton


MOSCOW, April 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s inaction over the crisis in Syria is keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

Russia’s “refusal to join us in some kind of constructive action is keeping Assad in power, well-armed, able to ignore the demands of his own people, the region and the world,” Clinton said at the U.S. Naval Academy on Tuesday.

She said the U.S. would again try to persuade Russia to support UN action that would at least allow humanitarian aid when G8 foreign ministers meet in Washington on Wednesday.

Clinton also said the “likelihood of regional conflict and civil war is increasing” in Syria.

Russia is the largest supplier of arms to Syria and has a naval base there.

Syrian opposition activists say more than 800 people have been killed since Assad accepted UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan late last month.

Clinton’s comments came as Syrian security forces continued military operations despite an agreement to withdraw troops by Tuesday.

However, Annan said earlier on Tuesday his efforts to end the unrest were still “very much alive.”

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Tuesday in Moscow that army units had begun withdrawing from some towns and cities, a claim denounced by a French foreign ministry spokesman as an “unacceptable lie.”

“Every effort must be made to achieve a cessation of violence in all its forms on 12 April at 06:00 [03:00 GMT],” Annan said in a letter to the UN Security Council.

“There is no more time to lose,” Annan said. “We must all push for an end to the bloodshed before Syria plunges into the abyss.”

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April 11th, 2012, 3:12 am


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