120 Dead as Tanks Sweep into Hama and Deir - Syria Comment

120 Dead as Tanks Sweep into Hama and Deir

120 dead as tanks sweep into Hama in Syrian uprising’s worst day of violence
by Phil Sands, Aug 1, 2011, the National

DAMASCUS // Syrian security forces killed more than 120 people yesterday in what human rights activists called the bloodiest single day since the current uprising began almost five months ago.

Army operations hit multiple parts of the country simultaneously. Tank-backed infantry units firing shells and heavy machine guns swept into Hama at dawn, heralding the start of a long-anticipated crackdown on a city that had become a model for large-scale peaceful dissent.

Abdul Karim Rehawi, head of the Syrian Human Rights League, an independent civil-liberties group based in Damascus, said: “It’s a day of disaster, there are many dead, many have been seriously wounded and will die, and hundreds have been arrested.

“It seems the authorities have decided to try to finish everything at the start of Ramadan. They have seen cities out of their control and they are moving to crush it.”

For weeks, non-violent demonstrations calling for the toppling of the president, Bashar Al Assad, and the autocratic system of government he heads had routinely involved more than half a million people, prompting some to declare Hama “liberated”.

The prospect of such a major urban centre slipping beyond the authorities’ control appears to have prompted yesterday’s significant military escalation.

More than 90 civilians were killed by security services in Hama, activists said. Residents and medical staff described rooftop security-force snipers shooting at people in the streets with the wounded and dying overwhelming hospital facilities. Electricity, water and communications were cut.

Syrian security forces also conducted deadly offensives yesterday in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, another rebellious city with growing mass protests, and in parts of southern Syria and working-class districts surrounding the capital, Damascus.

The repression in Hama has a huge symbolic resonance. During the 1980s, President Hafez Al Assad, the current leader’s father, despatched elite armoured units against the city in response to a militant Islamist uprising. Entire districts were razed and tens of thousands of people killed, leaving a permanent scar on the psyche of the nation.

In Deir Ezzor city, in the heart of Syria’s Arab tribal region, at least 19 people were killed by security forces yesterday, activists said, with further deaths in Abu Kamal on the Syria-Iraq border and in Harak, a village in the Houran plain, close to the city of Deraa, the original centre of the uprising.

Moadamiya, on the outskirts of Damascus, was placed under a renewed military siege, while residents in Harasta, also on the edge of the capital, said more than 40 protesters were wounded when pro-government forces threw fragmentation bombs into a crowd.

State-run media accused “terrorist groups” of shooting at civilians and attacking security forces in Hama and Deir Ezzor, killing at least two police officers, overrunning security buildings and stealing weapons.

State-run media accused “terrorist groups” of shooting at civilians and attacking security forces in Hama and Deir Ezzor, killing at least two police officers, overrunning security buildings and stealing weapons.

“Scores of gunmen were stationed on the rooftops of the main buildings in the streets of Hama, carrying the latest machine guns and RPGs and shooting intensively to terrorise citizens,” the official news agency, Sana, claimed.

It said security units had exchanged fire with the armed groups and would deal with the situation in suitable ways.

Syrian authorities insist they are fighting an insurrection by Islamist militants, as they were in the 1980s. That claim is rejected by activists, dissident intellectuals, human rights monitors and international organisations, including United Nations agencies, who say the pro-democracy uprising is a largely peaceful call for increased rights.

Jim Muir, BBC News, Beirut

“In over four months of protests, no-one can predict with any confidence what the outcome will be. The uprising won’t go away but has yet to engulf the two biggest cities of Damascus and Aleppo. The protesters face a government that is talking about comprehensive reforms, but hitting back with ferocity. The Americans have not explicitly called for President Assad to go. The international community is not united on this in the way it was on Libya. So there is not going to be any outside intervention.  It is up to the Syrians themselves, and at this stage, nobody can say how it will go.”

Syrian protests pile pressure on the value of the pound
Hussain Abdul-Hussain
Aug 1, 2011

The Syrian economy has been in ruins since mid-March. Tourism has come to a halt and foreign investments have stopped. The situation puts the Syrian currency, the pound, in a precarious position…. As of yesterday reports from Syria had it that the US dollar is worth 67 Syrian pounds on the black market, while the official rate is around 47.5.

Reuters: Germany has requested that the U.N. Security Council meet on Monday to discuss the worsening violence in Syria, a spokesman for the German mission at the United Nations said.

Syria will undermine “new chapter of conspiracy”: president,
2011-08-01

DAMASCUS, July 31 (Xinhua) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday that he is ultimately confident that Syria will undermine “this new chapter of conspiracy” which he said aims at ” dividing the country as a prelude for dividing the entire region to conflicting states.”

In an interview with Ash-Shaeb magazine to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Syrian army’s foundation, Assad said “Syria has its own characteristics that are immune to all conspiracies and conspirators.”

“We are now more determined to go on with the process of dignity with confident steps … We will let war-makers and blood traders suffer the bitterness of defeat, disappointment and frustration,” he said.

Assad reasserted that his country is subject to sectarian sedition, but indicated that the Syrian people were aware to what is being intrigued against them and were able to “bury sedition.”

He pledged to go on with the process of an overall reform, noting that Syria will export an example of democracy, freedom and political pluralism.

Assad reiterated that the Syrians would remain “free in our national decision and masters in our international relations.”

Syria has been in unrest since mid March when anti-government protests broke out in the southern province of Daraa and spread to other cities. The Syrian authorities blamed the unrest on “armed groups and foreign conspiracy” and stressed that it would track down gunmen who have intimidated people and damaged public and private properties.

Op-Ed Contributor: To Topple Assad, It Takes a Minority
By BASSMA KODMANI, 2011-08-01

(New York Times) — Paris
AFTER four months of popular demonstrations and ferocious repression, including a bloody crackdown on the central city of Hama on Sunday, the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, still refuses to step down, insisting that he can reform his regime.

What is keeping Mr. Assad in power is the extensive security apparatus that was engineered by his father, Hafez al-Assad, and is dominated by their fellow Alawites, a minority Shiite sect. …But he hasn’t altered the total domination of Syria’s security forces by his Alawite clan. In the last decade, Bashar left his brother Maher al-Assad to organize the security sector with the support of his uncle and cousins, who control the ubiquitous secret police.

Since mid-March, as suppression of the protests became increasingly violent, the army has purged officers and soldiers — including many hitherto loyal Sunni troops — to reduce the chance of a revolt…

The onus falls on the Sunni majority to reassure Alawites and other minorities like Christians, Druse and Shiites — who believe they need the regime’s protection — that they will not be subjected to acts of vengeance. These Sunni religious and political leaders can save Syria from its sectarian demons.

Only Syrians can initiate this delicate process; foreign governments, whether Arab or Western, have limited roles to play. The Syrian psyche is shaped by memories of foreign interference, something the Assad regime did not invent, but has exploited.

In Syria, anyone who calls for outside intervention is likely to be branded a traitor; any Western threat of military action would therefore hurt the opposition more than the regime. Outside powers can play a useful role by declaring they will not use military force. Such a statement would weaken Mr. Assad’s argument that the uprising is the result of foreign meddling and remove a major source of anxiety among Syria’s hesitant majority.

Syrians of all stripes are beginning to understand that everyone is a victim of this regime and that the real conspiracy is that of the Assads themselves. Sunni leaders must act now to prevent the revolt from descending into civil war by assuring minorities that they will not face reprisals in a new Syria. This could bring Alawites into the opposition’s ranks and seal the regime’s demise.

Bassma Kodmani is the executive director of the Arab Reform Initiative.

Comments (54)


Dale Andersen said:

Paraphrasing Jim Morrison:

Blood in the streets in the town of Banyas
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Hama
Blood in my love in the terrible summer
Bloody red sun of fantastic Dara’a

August 1st, 2011, 1:20 am

 

Abughassan said:

The violent acts committed by armed opposition groups will only strengthen the regime and scare minorities. Denying that those acts took place will not make their memories go way the same as denying that security forces never fired on civilians. This lack of honesty on both sides is unnerving and will make it harder for any dialogue to succeed.
You will be served well to remember that this is a third world country that has many social,economic and political ills much of which was caused or made worse by a dictatorship that used the minority card to stay in power and collect ungodly wealth,I just hope that this card does not become a curse used against people whose only crime is belonging to a minority group.respect for women and minority rights is what makes a country civilized not the abundance of oil money or men with long beards…
Call me when you start to get it,until then I will spend much of Ramadan praying for peace in Syria and thanking the country that some of you love to hate. A nation that kills its kids and celebrate or justify murder is not worthy of respect or even a blog, I am out of here,enjoy the garbage you throw at each other….

August 1st, 2011, 1:42 am

 

Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

US-sponsored terrorism:

August 1st, 2011, 5:52 am

 

hsyrian said:

I am afraid that those MBs who are claiming to pray most of the time in luxurious Saudi built mosque are the actual source of these violent uprisings.

It looks that an immature external opposition infected by the germs of absolute religious craziness ( Backward Mentality ) has already burned all its bridges by declaring :
“NO to dialog” ” We want to topple the regime” , etc

The video support of Al Qaeda to this opposition has been its kiss of death .

I would hope to hear a realist opposition reversing its bloody stand before the turmoil has been ceased by adequate means.

Disclaimers:
Discussing anonymous fabricated Youtube videos ( and “activists” claims ) is like building on quicksand.
A Tweeter with one brain cannot beat a crowd of Retweeters with one neuron.
Words may kill , Videos can massacre .

August 1st, 2011, 6:08 am

 

Aboud said:

Bab Esba3 in Homs, yesterday evening.

You menhebaks remember Bab Esba3? I’ve lost count of the number of times its been surrounded and invaded by the Besho Brigades and shabiha scum. Do these guys look in any shape, way or form subdued?

@1 Here’s a poem I just made up for you, you’re that “special”

Crap out of the mouth.
Crap out of the ass.
Crap oozing from the eyes and nostrils.
No space to crap, the big stick fills up the passage.

I think you could use some professional help. Here, use this doll and tell us where the big bad Syrian touched you.

SANA Spambot @4

I’m afraid those shabiha scum who live off the state’s dime are the actual source of these violent events

It looks like an immature and inept regime just doesn’t know what to do about the infection of free speech and self determination in the country and has already burned its bridges, just like it burned Dar’a, Hama, Homs, dayr el Zour, Abukamal, Telkelakh and any other place that doesn’t like it.

The thousands of revolution videos has been, to the regime, a death by a thousand cuts.

I would hope that the regime wake up and get a clue, and reverse 40 disastrous years of Baathist rule, the culmination of which is the empty shell of a figurehead.

Disclaimer: we don’t like Youtube videos because they are not approved by SANA. Except the Jisr Al Shoghour one, we like to post that and use it as an excuse for everything.

A one meter flag over the Golan is better than a 2.3 kilometer flag in Damascus.

Menhebak words can cause nausea, have a bucket handy.

August 1st, 2011, 6:29 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

The vidio of throwing the soldiers in Alassi is probably the ugliest act of terrorism in the history of humanity.MB is not any different than Alqaeda or PKK or any terrorist organization.Any free nation which support such an act or such an organization,has nothing to do with democracy or humanity.we all understand that ther is a major political game being played on the Syrian land between major powers,but to use MB tactics in this game,such as this horrible act,is a major mistake .MB should have learned from the past that these kind of acts will get them nothing.it is a shame that those criminals are being protected by Turkey,and were visited by Angelina Julie.i remember reading about what Turks were doing in the Armenian genocide,they will kill a wife then tie her with her husband while he is alive,then they will throw them in the river tied to make the dead wife drown the husband.these criminals now are doing what ther Turk protectors were doing 96 years ago.Syria is in a state of war now,the enemy is MB.MB started the war,Any one standing by MB is standing by those criminals throwing dead bodies of the bridge,and he is an enemy to the Syrian people and to humanity.this is (to be or not to be )stage of Syrian history.MB is not interested in any process which will lead into any form of secular Syria,all they want is to serve the agenda of their sponsors and build an Islamic state ,it is very clear practice in Egypt now,they will do the same in Syria.However Syria is different game,they have been trying to get to power since the sixties and have been failing and they will never be able to get it for simple reason,they are not wanted.

August 1st, 2011, 6:48 am

 

louai said:

Abughassan,

Ramadan Mubarak , hope to hearing from you soon ,take care.

August 1st, 2011, 6:54 am

 

syau said:

Interior Ministry: 8 Policemen Martyred during Confrontation with Armed Terrorist Groups in Hama

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/07/31/361568.htm

DAMASCUS, (SANA) – In a statement on Sunday, the Ministry of Interior said that armed terrorist groups attacked at dawn official and security facilities and police stations in the city of Hama in an attempt to murder and kidnap policemen and vandalize and burn their contents, opening fire randomly around town to terrorize citizens and prevent them to going to work.

The statement said that law-enforcement forces engaged these groups to protect innocent civilians and preserve public and private properties and facilities, deploying in several areas in the city.

During these confrontations, 8 policemen were martyred and a number of police stations in Hama and its countryside were burned along with a number of police motorbikes. A number of gunmen were also killed.

The statement urged citizens to cooperate with security and police forces and provide information about the gunmen, warning against dealing with the armed terrorist groups and harboring them.

The statement stressed that the authorities will work hard to track down the terrorist wherever they are and arrest them and bring them to justice, and that they will continue work to restore security and stability in Hama.

August 1st, 2011, 7:10 am

 

beaware said:

Syrian Forces Renew Strike on Restive City of Hama
By NADA BAKRI and ANTHONY SHADID
Published: August 1, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/02/world/middleeast/02syria.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

BEIRUT — Syrian security forces bombed the Syrian city of Hama for a second day on Monday in as the government pressed its campaign to crush a four-month old popular uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. On Sunday, at least 70 people were killed when the military and security forces assaulted Hama and other restive cities before dawn, in the broadest and fiercest crackdown yet.
The shelling resumed on Monday in the early hours of the morning as people were returning home from mosques where they performed dawn prayers, according to residents and protesters. At least three people were killed, according to activists.

Obada Arwany, an activist reached by telephone, said that tanks had entered two neighborhoods, Al-Qousour and Al-Hamidiya, and bombed residential buildings there. One man died as his was sleeping in his house from a bomb and another as he was getting in his car from a sniper’s bullet.

“The city is like a ghost town,” Mr. Arwany said. “We were not expecting this at all. Hama is getting massacred.”

…..more

August 1st, 2011, 9:20 am

 

beaware said:

Syria’s security forces
(AFP)
1 August 2011, 5:09 PM

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August14.xml&section=middleeast
DAMASCUS — Here is a breakdown of Syria’s armed forces, after President Bashar al-Assad praised troops for “foiling the enemies”, a day after security forces reportedly killed nearly 140 in a crackdown on protests.

According to the latest edition of the Military Balance, published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, the country’s defence budget in 2009 was at $1.87 billion/1.29 billion euros for a gross domestic product of $53.3 billion.

· Troops: The Syrian army consists of 325,000 troops, of which 220,000 are in the army, 5,000 in the navy, 40,000 in the air force and 60,000 in air defences.

Paramilitary forces are estimated at 108,000, of which 8,000 are in the gendarmerie, under the authority of the interior ministry, and 100,000 in the popular militia of the Baath party, which has been in power since 1963.

As regards reservists Syria’s army has 314,000 troops, while there are 4,000 in the navy, 10,000 in the air force and 20,000 in the air defences.

· Structure: The ground army has seven armoured divisions, three mechanised infantry divisions, a special forces division and a Republican Guard, created in 1976 and charged with state security.

The efficiency of the special forces and the Republican Guard is considered to be superior to that of the army in general.

· Equipment: the army is equipped with mainly Russian-made material, and includes 4,950 tanks. It has a large arsenal of missiles, whose command is based in the northern city of Aleppo.

The navy has two frigates. The air force has 555, mainly Soviet-built, fighter planes.

Even if its material is globally considered obsolete since the disappearance of the Soviet Union, its main ally and supplier, Syria’s military is one of the biggest in the Arab world.

August 1st, 2011, 9:35 am

 

Abu Umar said:

Why are the menhebek lunatics afraid to admit that the Syrian regime has intentionally killed hundreds of unarmed protestors?

” 2. Abughassan said:

The violent acts committed by armed opposition groups will only strengthen the regime and scare minorities. Denying that those acts took place will not make their memories go way the same as denying that security forces never fired on civilians.”

How many anti-regime protestors have been killed in proportion to the army, mukhabarat and shabiha killed? Should those being oppressed smile while they are being killed? Would you ban Hezbollah from Syria?

” 4. hsyrian said:

“NO to dialog” ” We want to topple the regime” , etc”

What dialogue? Will those responsible for the killing, jailing and torture be tried? Absolutely not. Why do you expect to kill tens of thousands of Syrians and expect to smile at you while you are doing this?

“6. Syria no kandahar said:”

SyrianKKK, you compare the death of 3 soldiers to the tens of thousands killed by your regime? What is your message to those who will not forget this? Go back to your homes and forget anything happened?

August 1st, 2011, 9:41 am

 

syau said:

Dear Alex & Louai

The video of the corpses being thrown into the river could very well have been taken in Hama. The same video has been uploaded on various youtube channels, all of which claim it was indeed taken in Hama and the bodies thrown in the Assi river that also runs through the Hama province.

I’m trying to confirm if it was in actual fact taken in Hama or if it’s linked to the Jisr Alshughour massacre. I’ll post any further information I obtain.

August 1st, 2011, 9:51 am

 

beaware said:

UN Security Council Will Discuss Syria Today, Britain Says
Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) —
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/08/01/bloomberg1376-LP8OX56K50ZG01-3P90DRNEBTQUE69U8IIAFAIBBJ.DTL

The United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss Syria today, Britain said, after at least 150 people were reported killed yesterday as troops sought to reassert control over anti-government protesters.

The council will meet in New York, a spokeswoman for the U.K. Foreign Office in London said by telephone, declining to be identified in line with government practice. Foreign Secretary William Hague said today securing a resolution condemning the violence will be “difficult work.” China and Russia have been blocking a U.S. and European-backed draft in the 15-member body since late May.

“I would like to see a United Nations Security Council resolution to condemn this violence, to call for the release of political prisoners and to call for legitimate grievances to be responded to,” Hague told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program. “We want to see stronger international pressure all round.”

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad shelled the city of Hama in one of the deadliest bouts of violence since an uprising against the regime began more than four months ago. At least 113 people were killed, Al Jazeera television said, citing the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria.

UN-sanctioned military action against Syria is unlikely and the international community will need to work with the limited tools it has available to influence the regime’s actions, Hague said.

‘Very Frustrating’

“There is no prospect of a legal, morally sanctioned military intervention; therefore we have to concentrate on other ways of influencing the Assad regime and trying to help the situation in Syria,” Hague told the BBC. “It is a very frustrating situation. The levers that we have in this situation are relatively limited but we should be frank in admitting that and then working with the ones that we have.”

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said last month that western nations must aim to persuade the Chinese and Russian governments to drop their opposition to a resolution against Syria.

“We must convince China and Russia that blocking it is indecent,” Longuet said July 13. “It is indecent because Al- Assad has mobilized enormous resources to neutralize his opposition, and countries that are moving forward like Russia or like China, which claim to belong to the community of nations, must accept common rules: A government does not respond to the opposition using cannon fire.”

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/08/01/bloomberg1376-LP8OX56K50ZG01-3P90DRNEBTQUE69U8IIAFAIBBJ.DTL#ixzz1TmkBqL4c

August 1st, 2011, 9:54 am

 

syau said:

Armed Terrorist Groups Continue their Criminal Acts, Steal Military Uniforms and Burglarize Food Supplies

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/08/01/361679.htm

HAMA, IDLEB (SANA) – The armed groups continued their criminal acts and attacked Conscription and Mobilization Centers in Hama City and stole military ID cards and uniforms, which might be negatively used later to commit aggressive practices which contradict the Military Establishment ethics and accuse the army of doing them.

It is likely that these armed groups might set up roadblocks to stop citizens and assault them or to carry out raids, film them and broadcast them on the instigative channels as being committed by the Syrian army.

An armed group blocked the way of four cars loaded with food supplies while heading to distribute them to the consumption centers in Hazareen town, Maarat al-Nu’man.

The groups also burglarized another truck carrying 13 tons of sugar with guns and forced its driver to unload the cargo in unknown area.

The car driver Monzer Bakkour told SANA that he was ambushed in Hazareen town within a convoy of four trucks tasked with transporting sugar supplies from Tal Sahlab factory, indicating that the other trucks could escape the ambush.

The group was equipped with different arms, grenades and guns, he added.

The terrorist attacks of the armed groups on citizens and public and private properties increased over the past few days. Last week, these groups attacked a train transporting 500 passengers from Aleppo to Damascus and blew up an oil pipeline near Tal Hosh Dam in Tal Kalakh.

Another armed terrorist group targeted a bus carrying passengers from Damascus to Misyaf which resulted in the martyrdom of a woman and the injury of 15 citizens.

August 1st, 2011, 9:57 am

 

Aboud said:

“Last week, these groups attacked a train transporting 500 passengers from Aleppo to Damascus and blew up an oil pipeline near Tal Hosh Dam in Tal Kalakh. ”

And yet we do not see an increase in security operations in Telkelakh. No security sweeps, no beefed up security presence. Nothing. Zip. Just a murderous rampage in Hama, Dayr el Zour and Abukamal. Inept, or incompetent?

August 1st, 2011, 10:00 am

 

louai said:

Dear SYAU , syriatruth says ; place most likely in Hama ,time two days ago

http://www.syriatruth.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2630:2011-08-01-06-39-37&catid=1:2011-06-16-16-35-09&Itemid=104

but where ever it was and whoever did it ,he lost his humanity , i can’t believe they are walking free on the streets .

i only felt similar feeling when Nidal janoud was murdered ,i prayed to see his killers behind bars ,i am doing the same now .

August 1st, 2011, 10:07 am

 

beaware said:

New Syrian TV channel Nur al-Sham launches “to carry Islam’s tolerant message”
https://research.zecco.com/research/quotes/stock-news/story.asp?key=100-212n6188-1

Within its 1730 gmt newscast, Syrian Satellite Channel reports on the launch of Nur al-Sham Satellite Channel’s test transmission, a new Islamic Syrian channel.

Syrian Television says that the channel will be “a great window into our Arabic culture, which Islam was the light in”. The channel notes that Nur al-Sham “will present Islam’s comprehensive and moderate message.”

The channel then carries a video report in which it says that Nur al-Sham has launched its satellite transmission “to carry Islam’s tolerant message.”

The channel then shows Minister of Information Adnan Mahmud saying: “Nur al-Sham will be concerned with the message of the heavens in its purest image, principals, and highest goals in a framework that brings all Muslims together.”

Syrian Television adds that Nur al-Sham, which chose to launch with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, will present a series of religious programmes.

The channel then shows Awqaf Minister Muhammad Abd-al-Sattar saying: “The channel is a pulpit for all scholars and a door for all knowledge,” noting that the channel is “for all Muslims all over the world and for all Arabs.”

Syrian Television notes that the channel will air special programmes on Ramadan and will carry the Friday prayer and Tarawih prayers [a prayer performed after the evening prayer only in Ramadan] live, while announcing the local prayer times, adding that it will conduct interview with scientist, intellects, and religious scholars.”

Source: Syrian TV satellite service, Damascus, in Arabic 1730 gmt 30 Jul 11

August 1st, 2011, 10:07 am

 

beaware said:

New Syrian TV channel Nur al-Sham launches “to carry Islam’s tolerant message”

https://research.zecco.com/research/quotes/stock-news/story.asp?key=100-212n6188-1
Within its 1730 gmt newscast, Syrian Satellite Channel reports on the launch of Nur al-Sham Satellite Channel’s test transmission, a new Islamic Syrian channel.

Syrian Television says that the channel will be “a great window into our Arabic culture, which Islam was the light in”. The channel notes that Nur al-Sham “will present Islam’s comprehensive and moderate message.”

The channel then carries a video report in which it says that Nur al-Sham has launched its satellite transmission “to carry Islam’s tolerant message.”

The channel then shows Minister of Information Adnan Mahmud saying: “Nur al-Sham will be concerned with the message of the heavens in its purest image, principals, and highest goals in a framework that brings all Muslims together.”

Syrian Television adds that Nur al-Sham, which chose to launch with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, will present a series of religious programmes.

The channel then shows Awqaf Minister Muhammad Abd-al-Sattar saying: “The channel is a pulpit for all scholars and a door for all knowledge,” noting that the channel is “for all Muslims all over the world and for all Arabs.”

Syrian Television notes that the channel will air special programmes on Ramadan and will carry the Friday prayer and Tarawih prayers [a prayer performed after the evening prayer only in Ramadan] live, while announcing the local prayer times, adding that it will conduct interview with scientist, intellects, and religious scholars.”

August 1st, 2011, 10:11 am

 

abughassan said:

Ramadan Kareem to all,Muslims and Christians. My post had a typo,I meant to say “ever” instead of “never” (not that it matters anymore but my daughter get irritated when I make those mistakes)..
peace..

August 1st, 2011, 10:37 am

 

Amir in Tel Aviv said:

The gruesome video of the bodies being thrown from a bridge could be from Iraq. What makes you so sure it was shot in Syria?
.

August 1st, 2011, 10:39 am

 

louai said:

thank you abughassan , by the way our(Christians) fast this year starting with yours ,today is my first day fasting as well ,I am not sure we will have a happy Easter/3eed ,but let’s hope it will be at least peaceful .

August 1st, 2011, 10:47 am

 

Aboud said:

Amir @18 “What makes you so sure it was shot in Syria?”

They don’t. The bloodiest day in 29 years that Syria has ever seen, and the sum of the Besho Bum Kissers’ contributions has been to twiddle their thumbs, and feebly offer up a video whose location and time even they are not sure about. Pathetic.

August 1st, 2011, 10:51 am

 

aboali said:

Hamedieh Mosque in Hama, shelled by security forces

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKW9QvJVwtU

Sheikh Bisher mosque in Hama, shelled by security forces

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL_yKrFO3ws

Sirjawi Mosque in Hama, shelled by security forces

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPjC2NgeIt0

is anyone else beginning to see a pattern emerging? why the hell would you want to shell mosques unless you intend on starting a sectarian war?

August 1st, 2011, 10:53 am

 

syau said:

Thanks Louai,

Hopefully the terrorists behind this act and all other acts of terror we have witnessed in this terrorist movement they call a revolution, will be captured and jailed as soon as possible as were the killers of Nidal Jannoud.

August 1st, 2011, 10:57 am

 

louai said:

‘date 6 June 2011 , time Jisr al-Shughour ,this is The bloodiest day in 29 years that Syria has ever seen .’

according to you ,it was the army who killed the defectors ,so why you dont count them? they risked their life to join the protestors ,don’t they deserve to enter your book of martyrs?

or the sum of the Aroor’s bum Kissers dont include the army unites ,even when they claim they were defectors?

“What makes you so sure it was shot in Syria?”

the accent . the river ….the group who uploaded it on youtube.

August 1st, 2011, 11:00 am

 

Majed97 said:

I’m trying to understand why the mighty Syrian army and security forces are having such a hard time taking over a small city like Hama, which “activists” claim it to be defended by only peaceful protestors with no weapons?! Are angles helping the protestors out?!

August 1st, 2011, 11:06 am

 

"Es ist Sache der Syrer selbst" « Heptanews * Entertainment * Politics * Opinions * U.S. * Technology * Health * Leisure * World * Sports said:

[…] die in Nachrichten kursieren, bestärken die Beobachtung. So wird gemeldet, dass sich über eine halbe Million den Protesten angeschlossen haben. Selbst wenn diese Zahlen […]

August 1st, 2011, 11:12 am

 

louai said:

Dear Majed97

According to the army ,it never intended to enter Hama ,they wanted to open the roads which conncet Hama with other cities ,the faced armed resistance

‘OVERNORATES, (SANA) – An official military source stated that after armed terrorist groups cut off main and side roads in the city of Hama and attempted to isolate and suffocate it after cutting of highways connecting it to other provinces, a number of army units attempted to open the external roads connecting the city to the surrounding areas in order to restore normal life in it.
The source pointed out that while army units were carrying out this task, they were attacked by medium firearms while armed terrorist groups burned a number of police, army and security forces stations and vandalized public facilities.
The source said that these armed terrorist groups will be dealt with according to the developments, noting that all that was said about tanks entering the city of Hama is completely false.’

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/08/01/361523.htm

August 1st, 2011, 11:14 am

 

Syria no kandahar said:

Ubo bomber
I told hundred times that pigs like you should stay in gaza’s garbages.

August 1st, 2011, 11:15 am

 

Aboud said:

@24Defectors. You know, the kind that you think don’t exist? From this point on, stop bitching if someone starts to fire back.

@23 No, your inflated numbers of shabiha scum do not count. The army killed the scum who fired on the funeral procession.

Over 140 Syrians died yesterday, ya War Criminal Supporter, and the best you can do is link a video whose location and time and context is highly…questionable.

“army unites”

Units. How is possible that you can always be relied on to choose the wrong spelling for similar sounding words? I mean, by the laws of chance, you should get *some* of them right.

“hile armed terrorist groups burned a number of police, army and security forces stations and vandalized public facilities.”

Trumpet, I’ll say this for the third time; how is it possible that Al-Jazeera can stream live feeds from Hama, but Al-Dunya and SANA are incapable of showing us pictures or videos of these burnt out facilities? The security forces were out of Hama for a month, and only *now* do “armed groups” choose to burn down police facilities? No wonder the US embassy described your tales as imaginary.

The consensus worldwide has been unanimous; the protestors are seen as incredibly brave and courageous people who stand up to tanks and militias, while the Besho Brigades are cowardly, ill disciplined scum who are the tool of a man who in four months has gone from “the dude whose wife is on Vogue” to “this cell should be tall enough for him to stretch his neck while he waits his turn in the Hague”

Not even the Russians can stomach junior;

“Russian FM Says Violence in Syria is Unacceptable”

http://www.yalibnan.com/2011/08/01/russian-fm-says-violence-in-syria-is-unacceptable-and-must-stop/

August 1st, 2011, 11:17 am

 

louai said:

‘your inflated numbers of shabiha scum do not count. The army killed the scum who fired on the funeral procession.’

stick to one story ,dont waste my time .

August 1st, 2011, 11:26 am

 

Abu Umar said:

” 27. Syria no kandahar said:

Ubo bomber
I told hundred times that pigs like you should stay in gaza’s garbages. ”

This is the intellectual prowess that MJabali was talking about?!

So what the hell was your army and mukhabarat doing in Lebanon massacring and disappering thousands? Why don’t you apply the same standard to yourself?

It’s clear that you support the killing of tens of thousands of Syrians, so don’t be surprised when they fight back.

August 1st, 2011, 11:31 am

 
 

Observer said:

Well the first thing is that the credibility of the regime propaganda and the supporters of such discourse is now completely gone. The reports of armed groups terrorizing the populations are simply fantasies in the minds of the inner circle of the regime and its supporters on this and other forums. This morning we had an example of the shrieking non sense of one regime supporter on the air. “This is a conspiracy hatched in Paris Washington Tel Aviv Ryiad as he declared”. Let him go tell this to the parents of the child martyr Al Khatib in Deraa that his son is the instrument of such a conspiracy.

The pattern that I see is that the use of armed thugs like the Basij in Iran has not worked as it is now near five and a half months of ongoing protests and demonstrations.

The use of armed forces relies more on a core group of loyal troops and there is strong evidence that those refusing to shoot on the people are being killed themselves.

Is this a real attempt to crush the revolt before or even worse during Ramadan? Is it a demonstration to internal doubters as Junior may be losing members of his community? Is it a psychological paralyzing fear of losing the grip of the inner circle on power that would lead to the demise of the entire structure?

I conclude that the regime’s response is in disarray. The attempts to throw sand in the eyes of the opposition and the rest of the world with cosmetic reforms while keeping the repression state in place in reality has not worked. The regime supporters have not even had the ability to project a vision or a slogan that would counter the opposition’s demands and vision for Syria. Despite its wide diversity the slogan of Freedom is more powerful than the slogan Bashar. After all he is a myopic eye doctor who failed to deliver repeatedly in the last 10 years and more importantly failed to deliver when the situation demanded real leadership.

As for many pundits and so called experts, I doubt that they have clue of the degree of anger and despair that the average Arab feels and lives daily. These were the same pundits that could not predict or even believe that there will be such earth shaking events in the Arab world.

Finally, there is the scare tactics of MB and Salafists taking over. This is unfounded. However, if the repression continues to be as severe and prolonged this would be the best fertile ground of fanatisicm. After all the fanatics of the Alawi community and the fanatics of the Phalange Christians was fueled by Ottoman Sunni repression. What goes around comes around.

August 1st, 2011, 11:35 am

 

norman said:

SNK

Abu Umar is not a Palestinian and is probably not an Arab, his goal is to stir hatred toward Islam, Muslims and Palestinians .

August 1st, 2011, 11:40 am

 

Majed97 said:

If “defectors” are defending Hama, then they must have weapons which mean they are not peaceful, making them legitimate targets. If that’s the case, then “activists” need to stick to one script and stop their “peaceful protestors” cries because obviously someone is shooting at the army. Call them whatever you want: defectors, gangs, and thugs; the bottom line is they are ARMED.

The next question is: How does any country deal with defectors? Do they let them establish their own little armies and leave them alone, or do they hunt them down and court marshal them?!

August 1st, 2011, 11:49 am

 

Abu Umar said:

” 33. norman said:

SNK

Abu Umar is not a Palestinian and is probably not an Arab, his goal is to stir hatred toward Islam, Muslims and Palestinians . ”

و هذا الكلام السخيف جاء من شخص يكنى “نرمن”! نعم أنا فلسطيني و عربي رغم أنفك يا حقير و أنتم جراثيم بشار تتوقعون أن تقتلوا، و تسجنوا و تعذبوا عشرات الآلاف و أن هؤلاء يضحكوا في وجوهكم. تقتلون القتيل و تمشون بجنازته كما فعل الهالك حافظ مع كمال جنبلاط فنحن لن نسكت بعد اليوم نحن لكم بالمرصاد. و نعم قلبي مليئ بالكراهية، لكن ليس الى من ذكرتهم، لكن الى بشار و كلابه أمثالك!

By the way “Norman”, you’re better off questioning the “Arabness” of your blue-eyed devil, Bashar, probaly Crusader blood.

“34. Majed97 said:”

So why is your regime backing Hezbollah and why did it back many militias in Lebanon? Another menhebek who will be packing his bags real soon!

August 1st, 2011, 12:17 pm

 

vlad-the-syrian said:

ABBOUD (lalhariri)

انت ليش عبتنكرز و بتهستر و بتسب هيك ؟
طول بالك عموّ دورك جايء
رح تستريح نهاإياً صبور شوي

August 1st, 2011, 1:51 pm

 

vlad-the-syrian said:

Media sources reveal details of a conspiracy by Bandar Bin Sultan and Feltman to “destroy” Syria
(FROM PROF. ADIB KAWAR; NAZARETH/ BEIRUT)

Several media sources have revealed the details of a “well-organized” plan to destroy Syria and create chaos in the country. The plan is said to be drawn up by Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States, in collaboration with the former U.S. Ambassador in Lebanon, “Jeffrey Feltman” to overthrow the regime in Syria and to bring Syria back to the “stone age”, according to the sources.

The lengthy and detailed plan, developed by Bandar bin Sultan and his friend Feltman in 2008 with a funding reached $2 billion, consists of many items and precise details which significantly intersect with the incidents of disturbances the city of Daraa has recently witnessed.

According to sources, the plan “strategically” depended on the exploitation of peoples’ legitimate desire in freedom, dignity and getting rid of corruption and on the turning of these wishes into a revolt against the regime through convincing the people that the road to reform from within the regime is closed and the solution is an all-out revolution.

However, the plan tactically divided Syria into three areas (big cities, small cities and villages), and the established five types of networks:
1. The “Fuel”: This network comprises educated and unemployed youths who are to be linked in a decentralized way.
2. The “Thugs” network, which includes outlaws and criminals from remote areas, preferably non-Syrians.
3. The “Ethnic-Sectarian” network which consists of young people with limited education representing ethnic communities that support or oppose the president. They must be under the age of 22.
4. The “Media” network that comprises some leaders of civil society institutions which have European funding not American one.
5. The “Capital” network which comprises traders, companies owners, banks and commercial centers in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs only.

On how to use these networks and link between each others, the plan provides for:
The utilization of ambitious young people from the first network (Network of fuel) through attractive phrases such as:
s You must have a voice
s Change can’t be achieved except by force
s Your future is yours to determine
s Your silence is the cause, and so on ….

The plan also provides for exploiting the skills of members of the second network (Network of thugs) through:
s Training the thugs on professional killing including sniping and murdering in cold blood.
s Training them on burning public buildings quickly by using flammable substance.
s Training thugs on penetrating prisons police centers and security buildings.

According to the plan, members of the third network (sectarian ethnic netwrok) will be exploited by
s Feeding their strong feeling of support for or opposition against the President.
s Making them feel that their communities are threatened in all cases.
s Creating the concept of using excessive force against others.
s Convincing them of the idea that all who oppose them in anything are traitors.
s Leading them to a “state of color blindness”, so see only black and white.
s -Exploitation their age and lack of knowledge of history and geography and leading them to the brink of being ready to do anything.

The fourth network (media network) will also be exploited to serve the plan. Members of this network will be recruited and their skills will be enhanced to lead the (public opinion) through:
s Enabling them to communicate with the media by satellite phone that can’t be monitored or cut off.
s Promoting them as nationalists and as individuals who don’t oppose to the regime, but call for civil society.
s Qualifying cadres and training them on techniques of modern media such as blogging and using the Internet which help them communicate with the public.
s Holding regular meetings with them and coordinating their efforts so that no one will contradict the other.

The fifth network (capital network) will be exploited by using their fear of their money being wasted, so the following must be achieved:
s Linking traders with trade officials in the European embassies under the cover of trade relations.
s Holding luxurious parties to be attended by businessmen and during which exclusively Arab Gulf deals and investments are to be made.
s Threatening them with certain sexual relations that are filmed for later blackmailing them.
s Urging them against the regime and creating ideas such as: “The country is yours and outsiders control you. The regime makes wealthy people on your expense. You are the ones who build the country and others rule it. Bashar al-Assad steals you via taxes and his supporters enjoy it. All your businesses projects are a loss due to bribery and corruption. Your wealth is threatened and must be transferred outside Syria because the regime will collapse. We will make you rule the country after the collapse of the regime.”

The plan also contained in its “executive” chapter several scenarios, and precise details of how to start and move, how networks will be exploited and how to move forward.
According to executive chapter, the plan adopts the following stages:
1- If a targeted person from the Fuel Network responded, another stage will immediately begin based on exploiting his/her need for money, so the plan starts to:
s Provide him/her with small amounts of money.
s Ensure him/her a rented car, a cellular phone and Internet connection.
s Ask him/her to look for and bring other young people and use the same method with them.
s When the number of young people reach 5000 in major cities and 1500 in small cities and 500 in the villages, these people are asked to start to express their desire in change and reform. At this very stage any talk against any side of the people must be avoided. Not a word on sectarian, partisan, rightist or leftist basis is allowed at this stage.

As this stage proceeds, objections by non-enthusiasts are to be faced by a set of appropriate responses such as:
s If someone says there is a change, the response must be: “There is no change at all. This is all a lie”
s If he says change is coming, then the response must be: “We have heard this for more than 40 years”
s If anyone says that time is not suitable, the response must be: “So when must we move. Are we going to move after 100 years?”
s If one says that of our dignity lies in resisting America, the response must be: “We have nothing to do with resistance, we want to live” and so on…
s A Moving group has to be pushed into streets inside already existing gatherings such as in crowded markets, in mosques after prayers and in narrow alleys. This group is divided into three rings: The shouters, the photographers, and the hidden people. The shouters gather at the center of the circle and begin chanting within the gathering. This ring is surrounded by the ring of the hidden people, while the photographers’ ring surrounds all. If anyone tried to disperse the shouters the hidden people defend them under the pretext: ” let them speak”, and if no one try to disperse them, the same ring of the hidden people assaults the shouters and disperse them. In both cases,” We get an excellent picture for the media.”
s In general, the authorities have to be provoked to be drawn into the use of torture and cruelty. Here the authorities have to choose one of two solutions; either to intervene or not to intervene.
s If the authorities don’t interfere, the number of enthusiasts will begin to increase, because young people’s demands will attract a bigger number of new enthusiasts who all, according to the plan, must not know anything about the network link.
s If the authorities intervene and arrest one of the network members, he/she must make himself/herself appear “innocent and pathetic”, immediately change his/her stance and illusively promise the authorities not to do that again. According to the plan he/she is to be completely frozen to the final stage, but funding continues.
s If the authorities intervene and arrest one from outside the network, the incident must fully be exploited by raising the level of demands. If the security forces torture him/her, this will be better as it will help in fueling the people’s feelings and here phrases linking torture to the whole regime not only to the security forces are to be promoted and the following statements and ideas are to be disseminated: “Have you seen what happened to the poor man, this is what the president wants. It isn’t fair, the man wants only to live. Do those traders only have the right to have money? Is it a government or a group of thieves? The reason behind this is the top leadership”, and so on …

2- When moves start in the streets, people must be instigated as fast as possible to change their just demands into calls for the downfall of the regime. Here the following must be implemented:
s The second network, “network of the thugs”, is introduced to the scene immediately to attack all of the demonstrators and security personnel.
s Videos and photos for dramatic events which hurt religious and social feelings, such as attacking women, preferably veiled ones, must be taken. As a result alleged demonstrators shout general slogans and if they are attacked by security forces it will be very excellent. But if they are attacked by civilians, the group says “security forces dressed in civilian clothes,” attacked the demonstrators. However, if no one attacks them, a member of the same group will attack the demonstrators, even if this leads to minor injuries. Video shots must not last more than 20 seconds and they must be taken from a very close position not from a far one.
s The rapid use of bloodshed, because of its significant impact on the people. This includes the killing of a protester from outside the network, preferably a youth from big and famous families, or a youth who has major social ties or a highly educated person, especially a doctor, an engineer or an intellectual. The killing must be committed rapidly by snipers and with bullets of the same type used by police or security forces. This stage also includes the killing of security personnel or guarding police.
s Burning properties of the traders who have been involved in the plan and dragging them into a state of fear together with other economic figures with the purpose of having influence on the lives of as many people as possible.
s Provoking Bashar al-Assad loyalists and engaging them in polemics with others, especially the Islamists. Here the loyalists are to be accused of being from the intelligence and that they are horns of the regime and beneficiaries from the authority.
s Creating mistrust and tension between the loyalists and the people, telling about the near end of Bashar al-Assad and calling for random supportive demonstrations and calls advocating slaughter, murder and terrorism are planned to be launched. In turn, opponents keep calm and delay any move till after the creation of sectarian and ethnic killing. They have to be well-organized in their calls for political reform, freedom, democracy and civil life.
s Foiling any attempt to attain political solutions by the regime through burning symbols of power such as the Baath Party headquarters, police stations, prisons and security forces centers in addition to distorting Bashar al-Assad pictures.

3- The fourth network (The media) is introduced. The aim here is to link Bashar al-Assad to all previous era and to devalue all his actions by opening all the old files and holding the current regime responsible for them.
s Bandar bin Sultan recognizes in his plan that Bashar Assad enjoys a real popularity inside and outside Syria that should not be underestimated. He believes that this popularity must be exploited and transformed from a point of strength into a point of weakness through the use of the enthusiasm of supporters against demonstrations.
s To undermine the military, the government and the security system, Bandar believes that they must be torn into sects, and here comes the role of the third network the ( “ethnic-sectarian” network) taking into account the neutralization of major doctrines like the Shafi’I and the Hanafi. This will be done as follows:
s Urging each sect to commit horrible bloody massacres against violators. These crimes must be filmed and posted to the media as soon as possible. The start should be in places far from Damascus and there should not be a lot of blood for fear that people may retreat.

For instance, in Lattakia and Tartous, people from the Alawite sect from the network slaughter youths from the Sunni sect, cut parts of their bodies chant long live Bashar.

In Aleppo, Salafis from the network attack Alawites’ villages, burn their homes and terrorizing the people to leave their villages and chant “Death to the “Nasirien” death to the enemies of the Sahaba”.

In Hasakah, Arabs from the network slaughter and hang some young people and make fun of the Kurds in a visual way without language and clear enough to be understood by the Kurds without translation. Some Christians, particularly Armenians are planned to be killed.

In Daraa, “snipers” from outside the city of Daraa kill young people from the Jawabra and the Mahamid families without approaching anyone from the Abazeed and the Masalmeh families.

In the city of Al-Boukamal, the Shi’ites kill Sunnis and scream, “Oh Karbala, Oh Hussein”.
In Homs, Arabs kill Turkmen and loot their shops, particularly gold shops and also kill Catholic Christians and Murshdis.

In Sewidaa, Druze members of the network kill a number of Christians in surrounding villages and burning several churches

In Qamishli, Kurd members of the network avenge the killing of Kurds in Hasaka. Some Armenians also kill Arab Muslims.

In Deir Ez-Zour, “snipers” from outside the city kill young people from the Agidat and Bani Naeem tribes without approaching smaller tribes like the “Rolla”, the “Jabour” or the “Shummar” and scream during the filming in the name of the “Bokhabour and the “Mohassan”.

Bandar thinks that the regime as a whole will be busy trying to settle the disputes between communities and ethnic groups. Bashar al-Assad will send delegates from his government to resolve sectarian and ethnic differences while Damascus will be empty of government pillars and here comes the turn of Damascus where each minority group avenge and the city flares up from all sides. This will be done as follows:
s The Christians in the east of Damascus kill Muslims who live among them in areas like Qassaa and Bab Touma. They also kill the Druze in the village of Jaramana.
s The Sunnis in the south of the city kill Shiites living among them in the “Shaghour” and the “Muhajereen” areas.
s Salafis in the areas of “Duma” and “Darayya” burn the headquarters of the municipality, courts and police stations.
s Alawites in the west of the city in “Mezze Jabal” area kill Sunnis who live among them.
s Kurds in the north of the city in “Rukn Eddin” area attack Arabs from all sects.

Meanwhile, Bandar believes that the army will be divided, the security systems and the government will collapse and Bashar will only have the Republican Guard, which he will not be able to move because the army will stand against him. This will make Bashar al-Assad’s presence in power the cause of all problems, and here comes the role of the fifth network the (network of the capital). The following has to be implemented:
s Holding a meeting between capital owners (businessmen) and leaders of the army and security bodies as well as ministers from Damascus and Aleppo. The plan is to convince them to abandon Bashar al-Assad promising them survival after the end of the President’s rule.
s In case some businessmen refuse to cooperate, they are threatened of canceling authorizations, of withdrawing investments and of sex scandals if they are among those penetrated by sexual relations.
s In case some army leaders refuse, they are threatened of imprisonment or assassination. If it is possible under a state of chaos, officers of high ranks, not from Damascus or Aleppo, could be assassinated to terrorize them.
s A national council of businessmen, ministers and security chiefs must be formed and recognized by the United States, France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Bandar believes that at this stage, the following must be achieved
s The Council must demand Bashar al-Assad’s resignation.
s The Council must cut Syria’s ties with Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad.
s The Council must secretly undertake the responsibility of completing the peace process with Israel.
s The Council must form an interim government to dissolve parties and call for early elections and for the amendment of the constitution.
s The Council must set up an inquiry commission to investigate all the symbols of the former regime. It must blame the events on the Muslim Brotherhood exclusively.
s The Council must exclusively open the Syrian economy to the U.S., European, Saudi and Egyptian companies.

In the same context, al-Alam satellite news Channel revealed that what is being posted on “Facebook” is run by about 200 people who work for a company called “Dot and Com” and who have been trained to create sedition.

According to the channel, the company and its employees work in silence and secretly under the protection of Jordan, but the company’s funding and the strategy which control the company’s works are set up by the Saudi intelligence – Bandar bin Sultan’s Branch -.

The channel’s report said the company “Dot and Com”, is apparently a private company owned by someone called Mohammed al-Qaisi. The company’s major center is based in the Jordanian capital Amman. It has branches in major Saudi cities. The company works with the Saudi Ministry of Defence and provides services to the Saudi intelligence system and the Ministry of Interior.

The Channel also confirmed that the company has established a crisis cell that works directly under the orders of Bandar. Two hundred internet specialists led by Saudi officers who are supported by U.S. advisers and psychological war experts, work in the company to hit Syria through Bandar bin Sultan’s crisis cells particularly in southern Syria. Meanwhile, the Lebanese Marwan Hamadeh, Basem al-Sabe’ and Hani Hammoud in cooperation with US Psychological war experts and a specialists in rumors called Elie Khoury manage similar crisis cells supported by officers from the Information Branch of Saad Hariri.

Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador in America, currently serves as Secretary General of the Saudi National Security Council. He was the only ambassador in Washington who enjoyed permanent guardianship by the US Presidential Guard. He is known for his link to issues related to supporting anti-resistance and pro-Israeli forces.

August 1st, 2011, 1:56 pm

 

Aboud said:

@31 “stick to one story ,dont waste my time . ”

My mouth is watering at the fun I’m going to have with this one line. Right after the Ramadan feast, the menhebak serves up dessert.

1) Stick to one story? That’s rich coming from a guy who can’t decide who it is the regime is supposed to be fighting. Salafis? Bandarites? Harriris? Jordanians? Turkish Terror Brigades? Blackwater mercenaries in Baba Amr? Iraqi Jihadists? Or do you just spin a wheel when you decide who the enemy of the week is supposed to be.

Gesh, the only ones who have so many enemies change on a weekly basis are Saturday morning cartoon superheroes.

2) My “story” was quite clear from the start. A reading comprehension class might be in order. Or shall I draw it in crayons for you? A funeral in Jisr al Shoghour was shot up, the army and some security personnel defected and turned on the scum shooting the civilians.

@36 “If “defectors” are defending Hama, then they must have weapons which mean they are not peaceful,”

Typical Baathists, caught up in semantics while the country burns. Did you ever for a moment ask yourself, why would a soldier defect and instantly leave himself open to execution, unless he had a powerful motive to do so? Or are you claiming that there are Salafi sleeper cells in the army?

August 1st, 2011, 1:57 pm

 

atassi said:

International

When Dictators Shoot Back; Gaddafi and Assad are unyielding and murderous. Has the Arab Spring turned into an Arab Hell?

By Tahar Ben Jelloun

8 August 2011

Newsweek

Newsweek – Print and Online

Aug. 1 & Aug 8, 2011; ; U.S. Edition

English

Copyright (C) 2011 Newsweek Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad agree on at least one point: Spring must be eliminated; the year should have just three seasons. The demand for dignity and freedom by those willing to die for those values—that is what they cannot bear, and strive to curb ruthlessly. Gaddafi and Assad are the same kind of people as Saddam Hussein. Like him, they can’t tolerate opposition, and answer it with weapons. Like him, they cling to their positions, which they occupy without legitimacy. Like him, they count on tribalism to fortify their power. Like him, they are afraid of justice. Like him, they are convinced they are right.

Because of these two men, what has been called the Arab Spring is in the process of clouding over and becoming more like an Arab hell.

The Tunisian and Egyptian revolts succeeded because the armies abandoned the heads of state. Without the courage and daring of a few superior officers, both those countries would still be burying their dead.

What happened? Why and how did a dream become reality, even if as I write this reality is riddled with disappointment and impatience? The genius of a people is unpredictable. No one knows why, one day, people took to the streets and courageously confronted the bullets of the police or the army. That remains a mystery. The Arab people are known for their extroverted natures, for their love of peace. The funerals of Nasser and Sadat were spectacular. So were those of Umm Kulthum and Farid al-Atrash, two singers adored by the public. When you see a mass of people mourning the death of a president, you don’t imagine them someday coming out and demanding the departure of another president, Mubarak—one who had been in power for 30 years.

Humiliation is a common technique with dictators. Scorning, crushing the citizen is a way to govern and to guarantee the consolidation of power. The raïs—head of state—becomes the father of the nation. He is incontestable, free to do what he likes and to have anything he desires; Arab tradition and mentality teach absolute respect for the father. You never criticize your father, never raise your voice in front of him; you obey him and thank him for being there. That is why not only Mubarak but also Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Gaddafi, and Bashar al-Assad blithely confuse their countries and resources with their own property, and present themselves as the fathers of their nations. When they are reproached for this, they appear not to understand what is being demanded of them. This confusion between the money of the state and that of the leader is one consequence of dictatorship. The Mubarak family is said to possess $70 billion, and Ben Ali’s $17 billion.

In the West this notion of the omnipotent father does not exist. Why is it so strong in the Arab and Muslim world? In these countries there is one constant: the individual as a unique, singular entity is not recognized; it is the family, the clan, and the tribe that matter. The individual is drowned in this magma, and everything is done to prevent him from emerging from it. The early demonstrations in Tunisia, then Egypt, however, were marked by a new phenomenon: the emergence of the individual. The people in the streets were not calling for an increase in wages, but demanding universal values like freedom, dignity, and respect for human rights. They were asserting themselves as individuals having rights and duties, refusing to be regarded as subjects of the chief of state. This notion of the individual was born with the French Revolution of 1789.

People have often wondered why the novel as a literary genre came to life so late in the Arab world (Zaynab, the first novel, by Muhammad Haykal, appeared in serialized form in 1913 in an Egyptian magazine). The novel is the portrayal of one or several characters who are individuals. The writer bears witness to his time. The delayed birth of the Arabic novel was a direct consequence of the Arab disdain for the individual.

When the young Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire last Dec. 17, he could not imagine that his fatal, tragic gesture would have historic consequences. How did he come to that point, knowing that Islam forbids suicide and that immolation by fire is alien to Arab and Muslim culture? All the great rebellions in history begin with a symbolic deed that sets off irreversible consequences. Bouazizi’s sacrifice was experienced by the entire Arab world as a call for uprising. Everyone said to himself, if he gave his life, the least we can do is take to the streets in protest.

Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb was 13 years old. He was arrested in Daraa, in Syria, on April 29 for chanting “Down with the Syrian regime.” He was tortured and given electric shocks; his feet, elbows, and knees were burned; then they slashed his face and cut off his penis. They finished him off with three bullets, one in mid-lung. On May 25, he was returned to his parents; the body was in a state of decomposition. The father was arrested and forced to accuse the Salafi extremists of committing the crime. Like the Tunisian Bouazizi, the Syrian boy Hamza has become the symbol for a revolt in which the blood keeps flowing.

These revolts are not revolutions. They have been spontaneous, without leaders, without ideology, without any political party. They have been driven by a yearning to stop living in submission, to stop being denied human dignity. These obstinate rebellions will stop only with the departure of those who practice—and symbolize—repression, theft, corruption, and the exercise of absolute power.

At present we are in a period of transition. It is a difficult time, marked by the impatience and disappointment of the people in rebellion. How to explain to them that it takes time to rebuild a country and put the state back on its feet when a dictator has pillaged, spoiled, and dishonored it? Despite the present disorder, though, and the more or less fortunate improvisations in Tunisia and Egypt, the wind of this spring continues to blow over all of the Arab world. It so happens that both countries where the battles against dictatorship result daily in the deaths of dozens of unarmed civilians are in the grips of a system whose roots are ancient and organized. Syria has always been a police state with a solid Army capitalizing on the proximity of Israel and Lebanon, a country from which it was chased out in 2005, but which the Syrian regime has sought to keep as a vassal.

As for Libya, Gaddafi has no future. The day his mercenaries grow weary, he will fall. All negotiations for surrender have failed (South African President Jacob Zuma felt that the mediation of the African Union was “undermined” by NATO raids). There have been 10,000 deaths since the beginning of the uprising.

What does that matter, Gaddafi says to himself. He will leave Libya only by divine will, he has reportedly said. But divine will did not tell him to massacre his own people. That is why the U.N. Security Council voted on its “no-fly zone” resolution and why NATO intervenes daily. You don’t know Gaddafi if you think he’ll give in to international pressure and take the path of a negotiated exile. His pathology didn’t just appear today. He is a hunted man who does not understand that his people are clamoring mightily for his departure. He is convinced he is in the right, that he is a victim of the West and of elements of Al Qaeda. When you have been in power for 42 years, you forget what’s real; you think normality is whatever you decide it is. At no time has Gaddafi thought he is a dictator, even if he blithely confuses the immense resources of his country with his own wealth. He is not crazy; he is sick, and has been for a long time. As Philippe Gros, a researcher at the Foundation for Strategic Research, stated recently in Le Monde: “Unlike Milosevic, Gaddafi has nothing to negotiate other than his departure, which makes his abdication more uncertain.”

The Arab Spring continues even now in midsummer. One of its major victories is the failure of Islamism, the alibi that had allowed Ben Ali and Mubarak to remain in charge and to do business with the West. Now we see that it was an illusion. Islamism was completely eclipsed by these revolts in which it played no part. The Islamists did not merely miss the boat: they didn’t even see it arrive. Their software is out of date. Bin Laden is dead, and along with him a whole phantasmagoria that does not correspond to reality. In Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood has formed a political party. It will accept the laws of a democracy that could make it politically redundant. Islamism is one movement among many others. It has the right to exist, but within the rules and laws of democratic respect.

The death of bin Laden is not the end of terrorism. There will always somewhere be a lunatic, a madman, a group of sick people to plant bombs and kill innocent people, as in Marrakech on April 27. Terrorism will experience difficulties simply because the people have become vigilant and the police have made security their priority—unless certain governments decide to manipulate splinter groups in order to thwart democracy in the countries where the revolts took place.

Anything is possible. The Arab world is an entity like no other; there is no unity, no common philosophy. There are Arab states that do not like each other despite their shared conferences, meetings, and protests. Hypocrisy is evident. Morocco and Algeria do not agree with each other. Their borders are closed. Tunisia is afraid of neighboring Libya. Syria is hedging all its bets while consolidating its repressive police regime, and hopes to put Lebanon, a country living under permanent tension about its security, back on its feet. Iraq is bandaging its wounds, and terrorism continues to kill people there. Jordan is calm for now; it has gone through some difficult days. Sudan is in the grip of unrest. Yemen risks getting lost in a civil war. And Israel is watching this upheaval and hardening its colonial policies, refusing integration with the Palestinians and shelving Barack Obama’s propositions. Israel mistrusts these revolts; it wants to preserve its monopoly on democracy in the region. But the Tunisian and Egyptian demonstrators did not attack Israel, which turns its back on peace and neurotically refuses any solution. Fortunately, Israelis and Palestinians have demonstrated together to demand peace negotiations. But the present leaders maintain and continue the colonization of Palestinian lands.

This is my survey of a tumultuous landscape, done with all the uncertainty of a cartographer who does not know exactly where the boundaries of revolt begin and end. To be sure, the awakening of the Arab people is not over. But fear has changed sides. The dictators in power, men without legitimacy, are now the fearful ones. They will be tossed out. Sooner or later, the Arab world will rid itself of these furious madmen, who cling to power even if it means multiple massacres. There comes a point where even massacres must die out.

Tahar Ben Jelloun is today’s most significant Francophone Moroccan novelist and poet. His work straddles Arab cultures throughout the world, chronicling hopes and impasses, whether through the eyes of desperate immigrants (in his book Leaving Tangiers) or political prisoners (This Blinding Absence of Light).

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August 1st, 2011, 2:02 pm

 

Abughassan said:

Louai,تقبل الرب صيامك,brother
I am the least religious in my family but a lot of people call me sheikh… for unknown reason,may be because I always sided with poor people (i am not poor,i have to admit).These people are the ones who made me cry a number of times since march.
ما شبع غني الا و جاع فقير
لعن الله الظالمين
Peace..
(something is brewing in Damascus,and it is not coffee)

August 1st, 2011, 6:34 pm

 

Alex said:

This is Hama this week

August 1st, 2011, 6:36 pm

 

Tara said:

While I would like the revolution to remain peaceful, It would be too naive to assume that people at some point will not eventually take up arms to defend their lives and their loved ones. Obviously, this marks a turning point.

Also, the noise continues, I thought from the previous post that there is no such bridge in Hama, and that horrific act occurred in yet an unidentified place but not in Hama.

August 1st, 2011, 7:01 pm

 

Dale Andersen said:

From the EU/Jew/CIA/Saudi/Salafist/al-Qaeda press:

“…what seems clear is that Assad is in deep trouble. A report last month by the International Crisis Group, reviewing the Syrian president’s erratic strategy for containing the protests — crackdowns followed by half-baked reforms and vague promises, followed by more crackdowns — concluded that “in its attempts to survive at all costs, the Syrian regime appears to be digging its own grave.” Violence has proved to be a losing strategy, as each death enrages other Syrians, sparking new demonstrations and convincing more and more fence sitters that dialogue is a fool’s errand…”

Absolute last chance for SC commentors to pick the day during Ramadan that the Assad Mafia goes down. I pick August 10. No fair making multiple votes. The winner gets a box of Cuban cigars given by Hafez Assad to the Shah of Iran in 1974. Most of the cigars are still in their original wrappers…

August 1st, 2011, 7:24 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex’s Shock Bridge Video isn’t so Shocking

Alex,

Thank you for the SANA clip. I was especially impressed by the disgust on the face of the government-paid reporter.

Gee, I wonder if this reporter showed the same disgust when reporting on the lynching of the Israelis in Ramallah? I doubt it.

We already know muslims and arabs kill each other; just look at Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine or Afghanistan. And now Syria repeats history. Surprise.

We all know this is the culture despots like Saddam and Junior cultivate.

It is sickening. No education + no opportunity + no economy + large doses of anti-semitism equals what? It equals the Arab despots strongest weapon. That is, until it bites back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1kglhluz1U

The ONLY thing that will save the ME is democracy.

August 1st, 2011, 7:49 pm

 
 

Ann Syla said:

Isn’t it a shame we now tune to the Chinese media to learn the truth about Syria!

Signs of the times!

Russia against UN sanctions, outside pressure on Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/02/c_131025539.htm

August 2nd, 2011, 9:42 am

 
 

ann syla said:

AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE BLEEDING HEARTS FOR SYRIA!!!

Now the circus is complete!

http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/01/3809709/ajc-calls-on-un-security-council.html

August 2nd, 2011, 10:10 am

 
 

amal tlass said:

SO!

How’s the INDEPENDENT ISLAMIST state of HAMA doing now?

August 2nd, 2011, 3:23 pm

 

beaware said:

UN holds 2nd session for Syria

Tuesday, August 2, 2011
DAMASCUS / UN – From wire dispatches
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=un-holds-2nd-session-for-syria-2011-08-02

The UN Security Council was to hold a second day of talks on Syria Tuesday after President Bashar al-Assad’s tanks shelled the protest hub of Hama on the opening day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

After killing nearly 100 people in two days, Syrian troops tightened their siege on the city of Hama Tuesday by taking up positions near homes and sending residents fleeing for their lives. Activists said around 24 people were killed Monday and 74 on Sunday, most of them in Hama.

The fresh violence came as the Security Council held a first session of emergency talks on the deadly crackdown, with Western powers again demanding a condemnation of the violence, but the closed session ended with no agreement. A top UN official told the meeting 140 people were reported killed in an army assault on Sunday, mostly in Hama, while 3,000 people have gone missing and 12,000 taken prisoner since anti-regime protests erupted in mid-March.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal hope to revive a formal resolution condemning Assad’s crackdown, a move which will be discussed on Tuesday. Diplomats said, however, that it was more likely the Security Council would agree a statement, with no warning of UN action. The UN meeting came after Assad showered praise on his troops to mark Army Day, saying in a speech that the military had “proved its loyalty to its people, country and creed.” Russia and China, two of the five permanent Security Council members with veto powers, had threatened to block past attempts to pass a resolution on Syria. Brazil, India and South Africa had also spoken out against a resolution or statement. Diplomats in New York, meanwhile, said all countries expressed concern about the intensifying crackdown and there was now wider acceptance that the Security Council must act. US ambassador Susan Rice said an “alarming” briefing on events in Syria had been given by UN assistant secretary general Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

Hama-based activist Omar Hamawi told The Associated Press that troops advanced about 700 yards (meters) from the western entrance of the city overnight, taking up positions near homes and buildings in an area known as Kazo Square.

He said the force consisted of eight tanks and several armored personnel carriers. Hamawi, who spoke to the AP over the telephone, added that troops were also reinforced on the eastern side of the city around the Hama Central Prison, an overcrowded jail. The activist also said that parts of Hama were hit Tuesday morning with heavy machine gun fire after sporadic shelling overnight. He said a shell hit a compound known as the Palace of Justice in the city center, causing a huge fire that burned much of the building, which is home to several courts.

August 2nd, 2011, 5:04 pm

 

beaware said:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=us-israel-propos-new-talks-for-un-bid-2011-08-02

Israel is willing to begin new Middle East peace talks using the 1967 lines as a basis for negotiations if the Palestinians drop their United Nations membership bid, an Israeli government official confirmed Tuesday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israel has been working with Washington and members of the international peace-making Quartet to draw up a new framework that could relaunch stalled talks. The package of principles aims to draw Palestinians back to the negotiating table and head off their plan to seek U.N. membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War.
But the Palestinians were unimpressed, with negotiator Saeb Erakat urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead to “announce his position in front of the world and the international media.” “Netanyahu should announce that the 1967 borders are the basis for negotiations and a halt to all building of settlements on Palestinian land, including east Jerusalem,” he said.

August 2nd, 2011, 5:07 pm

 

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