The Weapons Supply – Who is Deciding Who Gets What?

Several high-ranking Syrian military officers have reportedly defected to Turkey. China is urging calm after Syria’s downing  downs Turkish jet, and China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, says he hopes parties will “adhere to diplomacy” as Turkey takes the issue to NATO, insisting that the jet was in international airspace, while Syria claims that the aircraft entered its airspace. During the first days after the Friday downing, Turkey seemed to be soft peddling the downing, but has ratcheted up the pressure. The European Union, which has announced new sanctions against Syria, is unlikely to do more, although the US may have urged Turkey to make a greater issue of the Jet downing.

More journalists are trying to get the story about who is feeding arms to the Syrian opposition, who is paying for them, what conditions are being set for their dispersal, and which militia leaders are being chosen as the “winners” of the opposition beauty contest.

Both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have run stories suggesting that the CIA is getting to decide who the winners are. But this is not supported by Rania Abouzeid in today’s Time story. She tries to get a clearer picture from some of the main arms suppliers. The Saudis seem to be contracting through a Lebanese middle man: does that mean they are trying to link their Syria interests to their Lebanon interests? Are weapons slow to get through to Syria because the US, Turkey and Saudi are arguing over which militias should be the winners? Or are they still busy trying to determine who is who? All questions that are yet un-answered.

Syria formed a new government on June 23 with the appointment of twenty new ministers and the establishment of five new ministries, including one for national reconciliation. No one is really paying attention sa the key posts are unchanged. Riad Farid Hijab, a former agriculture minister and a loyalist member of the ruling Baath Party, has been returned as Prime Minister. He is considered honest by many. But the inclusion of a few leftist opposition members to what is normally a rubber stamp institution will not bring change most insist.

Syria’s Gross Domestic Product will fall by 6.4 percent this year according to the World Bank after having declined by 3.1 percent in 2011.

Jordan seems to have closed the border with Syria – a friend writes: “Someone in Syria just told me that Jordan has closed its border with Syria to avoid taking more refugees. This means Syrians can’t travel to Jordan at all.”

Unemployment in the governorate of Hassakeh, in the northeast of the country, is at 40 percent of the labor force, while more than 42 percent of households have a member of the family outside the country, according to a recent government survey. (Read Syria Report by Jihad Yazigi for more)


General among 33 Syrian soldiers defecting to Turkey
2012-06-25- AFP

TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK: Bashar al-Assad is Not about to Fall
by John Vedat Kaya (aka Vedat The Turk)
For Syria Comment by a long-time commentator on SC

It is astonishing how so many people on this site and the broader media are predicting a quick end to the Baathist regime in Damascus. It’s as if every news report about the present Syrian conflict strongly hints that days of Bashar al-Assad are coming to an end shortly. What rubbish!

As long time readers of this blog are aware, I have been a vocal critic of the Assad regime and have predicted its inevitably downfall one day. However this does not mean that it will occur anytime soon. Indeed the present Syrian conflict is eerily similar to two previous Middle East wars and both of these past events can tell us a great deal of what Syrians should expect in the future and the time lines involved.

The first is the rule of Saddam Hussein after his defeat in the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Like the present Syrian situation, everyone at the time predicted that Saddam would be quickly deposed of by his people. It was also reported that moral among his officer corp was poor so a coup was inevitable. Worse yet, the pundits proclaimed, how long could he last while his own Sunni tribes suffered under crushing international sanctions? The answer was 13 more years! And even then, he was only defeated after an international coalition of 100,000 troops was sent him to topple him! Something that is highly unlikely in today’s Syrian war.

The second conflict that gives an indication of where the present Syrian war is headed is the Algerian Civil War that began in 1990. In that war a corrupt military regime found itself matched against a highly popular Islamic uprising. Like the present day Syrian uprising, the Algerian Islamists insurgents were initially poorly trained but had outside support and quickly became a militarized force.

Unlike the present day Syrian conflict however, the Algerian Islamist opposition was well organized. Again in this conflict the Islamists were considered to be the inevitable victors because of their broad based support. The military junta was repeatedly pressured by the international community to make concessions and allow the Islamist to take power in one way or another. They never did. Instead they created death squads and horrible atrocities were committed (by both sides). The insurgency was eventually defeated (though they are still active to this day but in a limited capacity).

The point I wish to convey with the above examples is that when it comes to over-throwing a militarized regime whose sole purpose is to insure its survival, the odds are in the favor of the rulers and not the revolutionaries. More importantly the timelines involved are in the multiple years if not decades!

Yes, Assad is a ruthless leader who deserves to be held to account for his actions at the World Court in The Hague. However to somehow assume that his downfall will come quickly or without years of bloodshed is being naive. A better solution would be for those on both sides would be to begin to try and look for some kind of possible negotiated settlement. I realize this is not easy for some Syrians to accept with the current carnage underway. However this conflict, like all other civil wars before it, will only come to an end with a negotiated settlement. It’s time that people on this blog accept this and begin to formulate ideas on how we can achieve this end.

John Vedat Kaya (Aka Vedat The Turk on Syria Comment)

Kofi Annan Can Save Syria, But he needs our help.
By Christopher Hill|Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 – Slate

Opening the Weapons Tap: Syria’s Rebels Await Fresh and Free Ammo
By: Rania Abouzeid | Time

Allegations of large weapons consignments abound, and TIME tracks down two men believed to be main distributors to gauge the extent of the infusions — and the plight of the ragtag rebel bands desperate for help…

The first large consignment was handed over more than two months ago and was distributed to select groups operating in and around Idlib, Hama, Homs and the outskirts of Damascus. Each area received several hundred rocket-propelled grenade launchers (with 10 grenades per launcher), Kalashnikov rifles, BKC machine guns and ammunition, according to several sources. There have also been two smaller deliveries since the initial consignment. “We weren’t asked what we needed,” says one rebel commander responsible for an area of northern Syria who had been promised supplies, “but we will take whatever we can get.”

In recent weeks, there have been reports, mainly citing Western diplomatic sources, that rebels were receiving weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Almost as many stories — largely based on the testimony of some rebels — have denied this. Meanwhile, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have reported that CIA officers are on the ground in southern Turkey, helping decide which Syrian opposition fighters receive the arms.

Many of the new weapons are being funneled through a Lebanese intermediary, rebel groups say. The Lebanese politician, who opposes the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and has set up an office in Istanbul, declined to be interviewed. He is the main tap, so to speak, while a handful of Syrians are the distributors. TIME tracked down a man believed to be the main distributor, a 31-year-old who says he commands some 1,500 rebels along the Syrian coast but is not part of the Free Syrian Army — the loosely organized network of military defectors and armed civilians — or any other group like the Muslim Brotherhood. He spoke on condition of complete anonymity and insisted that even his geographical area of operation be withheld from publication.

He was extremely reluctant to speak. He denied that the support was sponsored by foreign governments but admitted that “the weapons that entered recently all went through me.” He said he “distributed weapons to almost all of the provinces” but that “everything that went in was not more than 5,000 rifles, although there were a lot of bullets, 700,000 bullets.” He brushed off questions about new RPGs and denied receiving antitank missiles. “When the sun rises, everybody will see it,” he said.

TIME also found another alleged distributor, one of the four purported representatives of the rebellion in the capital, Damascus, and its outskirts. This man too said the distributors are neither FSA or Muslim Brotherhood. He did say the weapons are from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. “It’s not what you think,” he said from Istanbul, where he has recently based himself after leaving Syria. “It was just small amounts. Bullets, rifles, RPGs, and not in huge numbers. We were promised weapons that could take on a tank, but we haven’t got them yet.”…

the 31-year-old Syrian arms distributor said Turkey’s “red light” on the border had recently turned green, a view shared by his Damascene counterpart. “The Turkish government is closing its eyes,” he said. The goods are ferried across the border on donkeys, as well as physically carried in by the rebels, he and others said. The recent large consignments of weapons are not only new, they are free…

But the new consignment hasn’t yet arrived. … That may be because, says the Damascene distributor, the main batches from the Gulf came with preconditions. “They are saying that there are weapons in depots here (in Turkey) but they won’t release them to us because we are not pledging allegiance to them. They want us to follow Saudi Arabia or a big organization like the Brotherhood. We are refusing this. That’s why the next batch of weapons has been delayed. Either we follow them, and get lots of weapons, or we don’t and die.”…

As’aad still appears to be Turkey’s go-to guy in the FSA, and physical access to the colonel comes only with Turkish permission. It is a political conundrum: the rebels claim that the recent weapons shipments crossed the border with Turkey’s blessing even as Ankara denies it while denouncing the Damascus regime. To admit otherwise may be casus belli..

While As’aad may be cut out of the new weapons transfers, that doesn’t mean other senior FSA defectors aren’t in on the deals. As’aad has often come under friendly fire from members of the opposition who have questioned his effectiveness and his contributions to the struggle against Assad. He has been publicly sidelined by the FSA’s military council in the embattled city of Homs. “Nobody has the right to issue press releases, take decisions or speak about operations in the Free Syrian Army’s name, except for the FSA command inside Syria,” the group’s spokesman, Colonel Qassem Saadeddine, said in a videotaped statement uploaded to YouTube last month. “From now on, all decisions will be taken from inside Syria … Anyone wishing to represent the Syrian people, the free army, or speak in its name, is invited to make their way to the battlefield, to Syria, and wait for the Syrian people to confer legitimacy upon them.”

Syria: Nearly 170 Killed on June 20 in Bloodiest Day Since UN Ceasefire Announced

June 21 (Telegraph) — Clashes in Syria on Thursday killed nearly 170 people, mainly civilians, on the deadliest day since a ceasefire came into force, according to a human rights group.

Ron Paul introduces legislation to prevent the president from supporting the Syrian opposition without congressional approval:

Saudi Arabia plans to fund Syria rebel army
Guardian, Martin Chulov in Beirut, Ewen MacAskill in Washington, John Densky in Idlib province, Friday 22 June

Saudi officials are preparing to pay the salaries of the Free Syria Army as a means of encouraging mass defections from the military and increasing pressure on the Assad regime, the Guardian has learned.

The move, which has been discussed between Riyadh and senior officials in the US and Arab world, is believed to be gaining momentum as a recent flush of weapons sent to rebel forces by Saudi Arabia and Qatar starts to make an impact on battlefields in Syria.

Officials in the Saudi capital embraced the idea when it was put to them by Arab officials in May, according to sources in three Arab states, around the same time that weapons started to flow across the southern Turkish border into the hands of Free Syria Army leaders.

Turkey has also allowed the establishment of a command centre in Istanbul which is co-ordinating supply lines in consultation with FSA leaders inside Syria. The centre is believed to be staffed by up to 22 people, most of them Syrian nationals.

The Guardian witnessed the transfer of weapons in early June near the Turkish frontier. Five men dressed in the style of Gulf Arabs arrived in a police station in the border village of Altima in Syria and finalised a transfer from the Turkish town of Reyhanli of around 50 boxes of rifles and ammunition, as well as a large shipment of medicines.

The men were treated with deference by local FSA leaders and were carrying large bundles of cash. They also received two prisoners held by rebels, who were allegedly members of the pro-regime militia, the Shabiha.

The influx of weapons has reinvigorated the insurrection in northern Syria, which less than six weeks ago was on the verge of being crushed.

The move to pay the guerrilla forces’ salaries is seen as a chance to capitalise on the sense of renewed confidence, as well as provide a strong incentive for soldiers and officers to defect. The value of the Syrian pound has fallen sharply in value since the anti-regime revolt started 16 months ago, leading to a dramatic fall in purchasing power.

The plan centres on paying the FSA in either US dollars or euros, meaning their salaries would be restored to their pre-revolution levels, or possibly increased.

The US senator Joe Lieberman, who is actively supporting the Syrian opposition, discussed the issue of FSA salaries during a recent trip to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia

His spokesman, Whitney Phillips, said: “Senator Lieberman has called for the US to provide robust and comprehensive support to the armed Syrian opposition, in co-ordination with our partners in the Middle East and Europe. He has specifically called for the US to work with our partners to provide the armed Syrian opposition with weapons, training, tactical intelligence, secure communications and other forms of support to change the military balance of power inside Syria.

“Senator Lieberman also supports the idea of ensuring that the armed opposition fighters receive regular and sufficient pay, although he does not believe it is necessary for the United States to provide this funding itself directly.”

US defence secretary Leon Panetta said this week Washington was not playing a direct role in gun-running into northern Syria. “We made a decision not to provide lethal assistance at this point. I know others have made their own decisions.”

Earlier this week the New York Times reported the CIA was operating in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which opposition fighters would get weapons.

Diplomatic sources have told the Guardian two US intelligence officers were in Syria’s third city of Homs between December and early February, trying to establish command and control within rebel ranks.

Interviews with officials in three states reveal the influx of weapons – which includes kalashnikovs, rocket propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles – started in mid-May, when Saudi Arabia and Qatar finally moved on pledges they had made in February and March to arm rebel forces…..

Why the CIA Won’t Relish Its Syria Mission
The agency is being forced to play catch-up in a complex situation of which it has limited knowledge. Turkey’s cooperation may be vital
By Robert B. Baer | June 22, 2012 – Time Magazine

According to the New York Times, the CIA now has people deployed in Turkey trying to sort out which Syrian rebels should be armed, and which shouldn’t. That comes as no real surprise, in light of Syria spinning into worse chaos and violence, and the Obama Administration running out of good options. Isn’t the CIA always called in when nothing else works?

I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that, right now, the last situation the CIA wants to get into is Syria. Like the rest of the world, it knows next to nothing about the Syrian opposition, which is a mare’s nest of secular and religious groups. There is no one predominant figure, which leaves the CIA to sort out competing claims to political leadership and support. And, as these things usually go, it will take a lot of time to sort out the swindlers and the frauds from the real thing. A large number of Syrian exiles are in it for the money, rather than supporting, much less representing the fighters dying on Syria’s battlefields.

It should also be remembered that the CIA has had a long, unhappy history playing Syrian politics. In the 1960s, one of its operatives was accused of trying to foment a coup, and was hanged in Damascus’s central square. After Syria put down the Hama rebellion in February 1982, it found U.S.-made radio equipment in the rubble, and wrongly accused the CIA of having supported the uprising. Both State Department and the CIA came to an informal understanding that the CIA would keep away from the Syrian opposition — and it, in fact, did just that for the following three decades. So right now, the CIA is playing catch-up.

Turning the CIA on Syria is a sign that the Administration has been put in a corner not of its own making. That’s because there are no easy or obvious solutions to the Syrian conflict. When the Arab Spring first reached Syria in March 2011, the Washington’s hope was that Syrian President Bashar Assad would open up Syria to some sort of democracy and defuse dissent. Then, when the power struggle turned violent, the Administration latched on to the hope that a Syrian general would overthrow Bashar.

But what Washington missed was that the minority-led Alawite regime from the beginning was blinded by a siege mentality that didn’t allow for any dissent. Either you’re with us or you’re against us was the mentality. Sacrificing Bashar — no matter how badly he’d botched it — would be tantamount to surrender.

As the military confrontation escalated, the regime decided to hand out weapons to the so-called shabihah — irregular militas made up of Alawites and Christians, set loose on Sunni communities supporting the uprising. The regime never had any illusions it could control such groups, or restrain them from waging pogroms against civilians. But the arithmetic was compelling: There simply weren’t enough loyal units in the army to hold all the territory being contested by the rebels….

Syria rebels divided, at times violent
By BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press

SARJEH, Syria (AP) — Rebel commander Ahmed Eissa al-Sheikh keeps a paper on his desk bearing the names of the dead from his brigade. The first 16 are neatly typed below a Quranic verse extolling martyrdom. The next 14 are handwritten and crammed into the margin, because the paper is full.

Al-Sheikh, an Islamist with a long black beard and gray fatigues, runs the Falcons of Damascus group from the mayor’s office in his village, which his fighters have taken over. The list is a constant reminder of al-Sheikh’s personal score with the Syrian regime: 20 of the dead are his relatives, including three brothers and his 16-year-old son, all killed fighting Syrian forces in the last year.

One of northern Syria’s most powerful and best-armed commanders, Al-Sheikh boasts more than 1,000 fighters, and they don’t shy away from rougher tactics themselves. They have released prisoners in bomb-laden cars and then detonated them at army checkpoints — turning the drivers into unwitting suicide bombers.

His fighters say the cash comes from Syrian expatriates and other Arabs. He was heard on the phone thanking a group in Bahrain.

“God willing, Syria will not bow to anyone but Allah after the regime falls,” he said.

Jerusalem Post: Downing of Turkish jet reveals Syria’s lethality

When Syria shot down an Israeli-upgraded Turkish fighter jet it was delivering a message that the air force, despite the defection of a senior pilot a day earlier, was still in control and a force to be reckoned with. The incident has also made air …

Syrians Now Willing To Talk, But No Names, Please
by Deborah Amos

In Damascus, Syrians now openly speak their minds, but often won’t offer a name for the record.

The “wall of fear” is crumbling even in the capital, where the security police have the heaviest presence. Syrians have lived under surveillance and emergency law for years, but after 15 months of anti-government protest and a brutal response by the regime, the killings have changed people.

“Now, I believe that most of the Syrians feel in their bones that the regime is over and it’s only a matter of time,” said one veteran activist, “There are wide areas that aren’t under the control of the regime, and Syrians are learning to speak for themselves.”

The capital is still under heavy control, however, with military checkpoints on the highway into the city and patrols in the heart of Damascus after dark. The sound of shooting and explosions in the suburbs, the poor neighborhoods of Douma and Qudsaya, now reach the wealthy neighborhoods of the city.

“Now, things are too graphic. You can hear the bombs here in Damascus,” says a musician turned activist. “I had a friend who said, ‘It’s not happening,’ but they can go to their balconies and look east. It’s not a secret any more.”

A Desire To Talk

The impulse to speak out is getting stronger, especially among the young.

Shortly after I interviewed two 18-year-old high school seniors on the street, they called the number on the business card I gave them.

“Meet us at the Hamedeyah market tomorrow at 11 a.m.,” one says quickly, referring to a Damascus landmark. He says he’s on a pay phone that can’t be traced.

The two could be arrested for talking to an American reporter, but they are excited to share the details of the fighting in their neighborhood. They say the Free Syrian Army, the rebels opposing the government, is getting stronger. It tastes like, but we want it,” says one of the teens, who says he learned about democracy from American television shows on YouTube…..

A Syrian soldier looks on as shooting takes place in the Damascus suburb of Douma last month. Sporadic fighting has been breaking out in and around the capital Damascus in recent weeks.

A Syrian soldier looks on as shooting takes place in the Damascus suburb of Douma last month. Sporadic fighting has been breaking out in and around the capital Damascus in recent weeks.

….Lately, he says, some of them are speaking out against the regime, too.

“It is enough, they should go.” It is a sentiment he says he hears more often now. “They say, ‘If you can’t control it, so you should go.'”

Annan and major powers launch last bid for Syria peace on 30 june

International envoy Kofi Annan and the major powers have launched a final drive to find a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis while preparing sanctions and emergency plans for UN observers in the conflict-stricken state.

Annan wants to get Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s last major ally, and the United States, which has called for the Syrian leader to step down, and other key nations behind an effort to bring Assad into talks, diplomats and officials said.

The UN-Arab League envoy hopes to unveil his new plan at a meeting in Geneva on June 30, according to UN diplomats.

Annan held talks with Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague in London on Thursday and Hague said it was “urgent” to hold a Syria meeting soon.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon discussed Syria on the sidelines of a UN summit in Brazil with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country also has influence on Assad, and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, a UN spokesman said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke with Annan on Wednesday, said the envoy is working on a “political transition roadmap” for Syria, where activists say 15 months of conflict have left more than 15,000 people dead.

Annan would be making a proposal to Russia, Turkey and other interested groups “to try to get them to agree on this roadmap” and to put pressure on Assad and the Syrian opposition, Clinton told reporters.

Syria shot Turkish plane without warning, Ankara says
by News Sources 06.23.2012 – thanks to War in Context

Hürriyet Daily News reports: The Turkish government has refuted a statement from the Syrian Foreign Ministry that said Damascus acted in self-defense in shooting down a Turkish warplane on June 22, Turkish sources told the Hürriyet Daily News today. “We have necessary information showing that the Turkish plane was shot at without any warning,” an […]

Most Turks Oppose Taking Sides in Syrian Conflict – June 21, 2012

…An opinion poll by the Ankara Social Research Center published this month has found that more than two-thirds of those polled opposed any intervention by Turkey in Syria. The poll also revealed that a majority, even those who support the Turkish prime minister’s party, believed Ankara should not take sides in the conflict. In a shopping plaza in central Istanbul, those poll numbers are echoed:…

Lavrov Says Assad’s Fate Must Be Decided in Vote, Interfax Says
2012-06-22, By Paul Abelsky

June 22 (Bloomberg) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the fate of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad should be determined in “absolutely free and fair” elections, Interfax reported.

Lavrov, who held two-hour talks today with his Syrian counterpart, Walid al-Muallem, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, urged the country’s leadership to comply with the terms of a peace plan brokered by envoy Kofi Annan, the news service said, citing an interview broadcast on state-run Rossiya 24 television. Russia won’t make excuses to the U.S. for selling weapons to Syria, Lavrov was cited as saying.

Some rebels wonder if Syrian troops’ poor use of tanks, helicopters is intentional
By Austin Tice | McClatchy Newspapers, Friday, June 22, 2012

NEAR HOMS, Syria — The Syrian military, whose advantage in heavy equipment has been emphasized repeatedly by critics of the government of President Bashar Assad, rarely uses its tanks and helicopters effectively in combat against rebel forces, a shortcoming so consistent that it raises the question of whether some pilots and troops may be intentionally missing when they target rebel positions.

Weeks of observation of Syrian military operations while traveling with rebel forces leave the impression that the Syrian army is unfamiliar with modern military tactics. It rarely engages rebel forces directly and appears instead to rely on poorly aimed and random fire to intimidate its opponents. Helicopters observed in northern and central portions of the country fly at an altitude that prevents their effective tactical employment.

Newly Revealed Emir Of ‘Abdallah ‘Azzam Brigades Expresses Opposition To Bombings In Syria’s Cities – MEMRI
Majid bin Muhammad Al-Majid

On June 20, 2012, the Al-Qaeda media company Al-Fajr released a new audio message by the ‘Abdallah ‘Azzam Brigades (AAB), an Al-Qaeda affiliate in the Syria-Lebanon region that was recently designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. In the message, the group reveals for the first time that its emir is Majid bin Muhammad Al-Majid, a Saudi national who is on the Saudi Interior Ministry’s list of the 85 most wanted terrorists. It is important to note two things about this message: First, it was posted on the Al-Fida’ jihadi forum, which is run by Al-Fajr, but was not posted on the Shumoukh Al-Islam jihadi forum, which has posted previous AAB communiqués. Second, in it, Al-Majid expresses his opposition to the bombings in Syrian cities. This stance is interesting since it is at odds with the operations by the other jihadi group, Jabhat Al-Nusra, which has taken responsibility for a series of highly visible and highly publicized bombings in major Syrian cities, and which has demonstrated rather unusual advances in its military and propaganda-related capabilities since it first emerged on the Syrian jihadi scene in January 2012. By the same token, it is also interesting that Jabhat Al-Nusra’s communiqués have been posted only on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum, not on Al-Fida’.

Room For Debate: Would Russia Help Oust Assad?
By: Several Writers | International Herald Tribune

Putin’s Mission in Israel
By: Andrei Kozhinov | The Moscow Times

Daily Mail (GB): ‘Syria’s stonehenge’: Mysterious ruins in desert could be as much as 10,000 years old – but scientists don’t

A mysterious ancient building in Syria, described as a ‘landscape for the dead’ could be as old as 10,000 years ago – far older than the Great Pyramid. But scientists have been unable to explore the ruins, unearthed in 2009, because of the conflict …

 Syria: The International Travesty, by Alon Ben-Meir

It is time to stop engaging in illusions and shameful hypocrisy and adopt a realistic framework to end the Syrian killing machine. The Alawaite-dominated regime has, for decades, subjugated its people to subhuman conditions, denying them basic human rights while letting them be consumed by poverty. The international community must rise up to its moral obligations to halt the bloodshed. The failure to do so will precipitate the loss of credibility of Western powers in the region while submitting to the whims of Russia and Iran and plunge Syria into a full-fledged civil war.

Comments (241)

Amjad said:

And yet despite the total lack of organized arms shipments, with the revolutionaries a thousand splintered groups, Bashar STILL can’t come anywhere near to subduing the country. Even Baba Amr has recently been scenes of renewed battles. Once again we must ask ourselves, can Bashar even get on his tricycle without Putin propping him up?

June 25th, 2012, 12:10 pm


Alan said:

5 Facts That Prove Radical Islam Is A Child of American-British-Israeli Intelligence

June 25th, 2012, 12:23 pm


Alan said:

Build up to WW3 – RUSSIA is willing to defend SYRIA with its military

June 25th, 2012, 12:40 pm


Amjad said:

Anyone else notice how the regime has expended more effort and air time on this one single Turkish plane than they did on the cold blooded murder of over a hundred Syrian citizens in Houlla?

June 25th, 2012, 12:44 pm


Alan said:

Putin-no outside interference to settle MidEast, NAfrica conflcts

Cyprus is against military interference in Syria

NATO cautioned not to overreact to F-4 downing

June 25th, 2012, 12:48 pm


aron said:

I think John Vedat Kaya’s argument is basically sound: this regime is a very tough nut to crack, and I have a feeling Syria is breaking apart faster than the regime itself. Even so, his comparisons with Iraq and Algeria do not make that case very effectively.

For one thing, both are oil states, in Algeria’s case oil and gas. Even when oil was trading at very low prices in the 1990s and Iraq was under sanctions, both regimes were able to sustain the factional patronage and security force financing which helped keep them in control.

Also, Saddam didn’t face an insurgency, and the Algerian insurgency did not — as is wrongly stated above — enjoy foreign support. There was some hesitant meddling by Morocco, a little trickle of guns and money from Islamists in Sudan, but nothing even remotely resembling the Turkish-US-Saudi-Qatari-French coalition lined up against Bashar today.

So, in sum, I think the Syrian regime is in a much more difficult situation than either of these two regimes were at the time. On the other hand, it has other things working in its favor, e.g. the sectarian issue and low international tolerance for major unrest in the Levant.

June 25th, 2012, 1:20 pm


Juergen said:

Can anyone explain to me why Sheikh Hassoun was granted a visa to enter the US? ( he travels on a normal tourist visa, so no UN visa) Cat Stevens aka Yusuf islam is not allowed to enter the US, a weird Sheikh promising suicide bombers for the rest of the world( so far his promise was sadly enough just meant for Syria) gets free access and furthermore will get an audience for the regime propaganda..

Here is a facebookgroup which lists the inviters name and the foundation who organized the event.

I think the least an US citizen can do is to call his/her senator to raise concern, I am sure the department of Homeland security and the local FBI offices in Washington will appreciate the concern.

June 25th, 2012, 1:50 pm


Alan said:

((( think the least an US citizen can do is to call his/her senator to raise concern, I am sure the department of Homeland security and the local FBI offices in Washington will appreciate the concern.)))
Spiral ideas you have! such as true and real democrat!!!

June 25th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Afram said:

by Congressman Allen West

The Muslim B’Hood takeover in Egypt shows Arab Spring is radical Islamic rock Lt. Col West

A year ago there were those of us who warned the Obama Administration of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt. We were castigated as alarmists and loose cannons. Today our predictions have come to reality and the ominous specter reminding us of the Iranian revolution is evident. The Muslim Brotherhood claimed they would not run a presidential candidate. Clearly the Arab Spring is nothing more than a radical Islamic nightmare. Now we need to unequivocally reiterate our support to the Coptic Christians and Israel. What an incredible foreign policy faux pas by the second coming of President Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration. I call upon President Barack Obama to cut off American foreign aid to Egypt, denounce the results of this election, repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood, and all radical Islamist political entities.

June 25th, 2012, 2:21 pm


Alan said:

yes! wanted with start to cut and then to reconcile and if won’t approach, then we will think of something, all thing doing professionally!!

June 25th, 2012, 2:33 pm


Alan said:

US and Israel to hold largest ever joint military exerciseFocusing on stopping ballistic missiles and featuring thousands of soldiers, the October drill will simulate simultaneous rocket fire from Syria and Iran
Israel and the US are set to hold their largest ever joint military exercise in October, featuring thousands of soldiers and advanced anti-missile defense systems, and simulating simultaneous fire from Iran and Syria.

News of the drill comes amid ongoing violence in Syria, and with Israel and the US closely discussing the means to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive. The commander of the 3rd Air Force, Lt.-Gen.Craig A. Franklin, on a recent visit to Israel, established a planning committee with representatives of the IDF to coordinate the details of the exercise, the Maariv Hebrew daily reported Monday. Some 3,000 US soldiers are to participate, alongside thousands of Israeli troops…/../..

June 25th, 2012, 2:44 pm


Alan said:

US deploys 4 minesweepers to Iranian Hormuz oil shipping lane

June 25th, 2012, 2:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

Syrian army is ‘destroyed physically and mentally’, says defected Syrian General

Former Syrian Brigadier General Ahmad Berro, who defected earlier this month, says the Syrian army is tired of fighting the uprising and calls on his colleagues to defy the orders of the Syrian government.

25 Jun 2012

Earlier this month, Syrian Brigadier General Ahmad Berro, head of a tank unit in Aleppo province, fled to Turkey with his family.

The Brigadier General said that he estimated that the Syrian army had lost control of about 60 per cent of the country. He added the Free Syria Army was growing in strength.

Read more:

June 25th, 2012, 2:57 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Friends of KSA,Qater,Turkey….stealing crosses and funeral car in Homs.Never in history
Have (revolutionists ) being any dirtier:

تداولت صفحات عديدة على شبكة “الفيسبوك” صورة مسلح معارض وقد ظهرت معه بالصورة “سيارة الدفن” التابعة لكنيسة مطرانية السريان في حمص، التي يبدو أن مجموعته وضعت يدها عليها لاستخدامها في أعمال قتالية لأنه تم إخراجها من بناء الكنيسة، كما حمل صليب الكنيسة في يده. وريما يشير بعض مشاهدي الصورة بأنه حمل الصليب بيده كنوع من “الوحدة الوطنية واحترام المسيحية”، إلا مراقبين يشيرون إلى أن الصليب كبير ومن النوع الذي يعلق على الجدران فيما يبدو أنه نزع من مكانه، فضلا عن أنه قام بارتداء زي يلبسه رجال دين مسيحيون كنوع من السخرية والاستهزاء به.

يشار إلى أن السوريين كانوا حتى الأمس القريب يتداولون قصص الحرب الأهلية اللبنانية، ومنها إقدام بعض الفصائل اللبنانية على سرقة محتويات كنائس المسيحيين ومنها أجراس الكنائس التي تم فكها ونقلها إلى مقرات هذه الفصائل، فيما يبدو أن الصورة تتكرر مجددا في المشهد السوري.

وكان رجال دين مسيحيون سوريون، فضلا عن وسائل إعلام تابعة للفاتيكان، تحدثت عن الدمار الذي لحق بالكنائس في سوريا وتهجير المسيحيين، إلا أن أن القسم الأكبر من المعارضة السورية يستنكر هذا الكلام ويصف من يقوله بأنه “شبيح يدافع عن النظام السوري”، إلا أن أي جهة في المعارضة لم تقدم على فتح تحقيق في هذه الإدعاءات.

“سيريا بوليتيك”، لا يتبنى وجهة نظر هذا الطرف أو ذاك، ويترك الصورة للقراء للحكم عليها:

To see the teeth of smiling revolutionarists while he is stealing:

June 25th, 2012, 3:09 pm


Uzair8 said:

Maybe one day Asma Assad may admit to mistakes in her memoirs:

Former Tunisian first lady admits to ‘fatal mistakes’ in memoirs

24 June 2012

In the French memoirs entitled Ma Vérité (My Truth) and published by Editions du Moment, the wife of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, admitted to “fatal mistakes” committed by her family, which was much hated in Tunisia, and said that some of her relatives abused the privileges given to them by virtue of being the first lady’s family.

Read more:

June 25th, 2012, 3:12 pm




When I see your posts repeating one after another I feel I am driving through a main road in Damascus watching Hafez Al Assad, Basel Al Assad and Bashar Al Assad pictures and images all the way. There is no contents, it is simply an obsesive repetitive image or simple minded idea.

I think you should test the electrical shocks usually employed in syrian prisons for the last 40 years so you can wake up and realize what a terrible disgrace you are supporting.

Remember. Revolution Day 1. People took the streets unarmed. Asking Freedom, Dignity and Regime Change. They were bulleted. This is what you defend.

June 25th, 2012, 3:25 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

According to SL all this terrorism,jihad,cutting heads,removing eyes ..etc,it was never
In the genes of MB fighters,god created all MB fighters as little beautiful angels,it was
The regime practices which turned the MB doll angels into wahabi devils:

June 25th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Amjad said:

“When I see your posts repeating one after another I feel I am driving through a main road in Damascus watching Hafez Al Assad, Basel Al Assad and Bashar Al Assad pictures and images all the way”

Best phrase anyone wrote on SC this month 🙂

When everyone thinks the same way, then no one is thinking much at all. It’s a problem all too obvious in the pro-regimists. 15 months just isn’t enough time for them to break out of a way of thinking that was 40 years in the making. Hafez ila el abad. Oh no, he’s dead? No problem. Bashar ila el abad. The world’s first hereditary republic, that’s the only “innovation” the Assads have given Syria.

June 25th, 2012, 4:02 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sandro #16,

Thumb’s up!

June 25th, 2012, 4:41 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Syrian officials said the Turkish plane was shot by anti aircraft guns, no Radar was used, to do that while the plane was low and located 13 mile west of the coast is difficult to believe.
Turkry said the plane was hit by a missle.
The two pilots has not been found yet, some report that the plane was located, and the boots of the pilots were found!!!
Turkish report that Syria fired at another Turkish plane,no Damage.

June 25th, 2012, 4:46 pm


Uzair8 said:

The FMEP event featuring Mufti Hassoun has been cancelled!!

Well done all the campaigners!

June 25th, 2012, 4:48 pm


Tara said:

updated 2:27 PM EDT 06.25.12
Syria rejects Turkey claims on downed jet
By the CNN Wire Staff

Syria raised the stakes Monday in a war of words with Turkey over the shooting down of a Turkish fighter jet by Syria, an incident that threatens to draw in NATO.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the plane was shot down Friday in Syrian airspace, disputing Turkey’s claim that it was downed over international waters after briefly straying into Syrian airspace by mistake.

“What happened was a violation of Syrian airspace. Even Turkey says Syrian sovereignty was violated. Regardless of whether it was a training mission, a reconnaissance mission, it was a violation,” Makdissi said.

He insisted that Syria was the wronged party, not Turkey, and accused Turkey of trying to demonize its Arab neighbor.

“There is a campaign to make a devil out of Syria,” he said. “Whenever they fail they resort to other evil measures.”

“You have to first send a caution, a warning,” he said in the first detailed Turkish statement on the international incident. “If the warning doesn’t work, you scramble your planes, you send a stronger signal, you force the plane to land. There wasn’t enough time to do any of that in the time that our plane was in Syrian airspace.”

“We have to question how it is that an unarmed, solo flight got this response from the Syrians,” he said.

Turkey will respond “decisively,” but within international law, the foreign minister vowed, saying: “It’s a fine line.”


June 25th, 2012, 4:53 pm


irritated said:

Turkey said first that the pilots were alive. How now they are still looking for them and found their boots. Can’t they trace them anymore?
Suppose they did find them but prefer to say they are dead simply because they were Syrian FSA pilots training on Turkish planes.

June 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm


Tara said:


I am so disappointed with the cancellation of the event. I was hoping to spot Mufti Hassoun shopping in fifth Avenue for shoes for Asma. The summer collection is to die for…. May be Bashar Jaafari can do that now?

June 25th, 2012, 4:57 pm



According to a previous post demanding that we learn from good North Korea..

The image I get when reading Alan is the Assad trio (Hafez, Basel, and Bashar) dancing with Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and the chubby Kim Jong-un. According to Alan, we should have a competition… Dancing with the Tyrant.

Note: and they should all wear bikini, mainly to spite Mursi of Egypt according to yet another regime propagandist.

I am shocked, since when a shoe buys a shoe for a shoe?….

June 25th, 2012, 4:58 pm


Syrialover said:

An intriguing discussion started at the end of the last thread. Something interesting I’ve noticed before.

Tara’s dialogue with Bronco appeared to have suddenly switched on his other parallel brain.

His concern about dictatorships, corruption and greed, bolshevism, awareness of the doctrine of separation of church and state, the history of the Catholic church – all in a tone of calm discourse – was a strange and dramatic abandonment of his usual set script.

The script where he determinedly cheers on Assad, sneers accusingly at regime opponents, rails against sinister western conspiracies and pays homage to Putin.

I’m guessing there is the wild bronco and the domesticated bronco – ( and the Assad regime’s behavior stirs excitement in the wild one.

June 25th, 2012, 5:01 pm


Uzair8 said:

#24 Tara


This news is so pleasing. I’m over the moon.

The regime and it’s supporters are being cornered and pressured from every side. Their world is shrinking.

June 25th, 2012, 5:05 pm


zoo said:

Among the Gulf countries, only Qatar is jubilant about Morsi’s election

In contrast to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, which has a maverick foreign policy and long-time ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was exultant over Mr Morsi’s triumph. Since the beginning of the Egyptian uprising last year, Qatar has promised US$500 million (Dh1.83m) in aid to Cairo, while Qatari investors have promised more than $10bn in investment in Egyptian infrastructure.

Gerald Butt, the author of several books on the Middle East, said: “The Gulf states are generally unhappy with democratic change in a big country like Egypt because it increases the pressures from their own societies to introduce changes.” But he added in an interview, “they won’t be too worried in the short term because they know the Egyptian military is there as a stabilising force”.

June 25th, 2012, 5:05 pm


Alan said:

If you have a sense of self-sufficiency, then you would not have to me a claim.
I do not agree with you about playing the role of revolutionaries in a strange spectacle! and this phenomenon is healthy thing as you are Democrats, is not it?
If you want to understand, is engaged in self-criticism and think of what you were wrong!
Gandhi liberated India from the British colonialists without any shots
Vedat The Turk said : (However this conflict, like all other civil wars before it, will only come to an end with a negotiated settlement.)
said that the people
said that all the prophets and heavenly books
said that the mind
Sorry Australia, I want to sleep!

June 25th, 2012, 5:08 pm


Syrialover said:

Alan #29

Hey, what’s this suddenly playing the sleep card!

Have another cup of coffee and keep going in true revolutionary spirit.

Though maybe a good sleep might bring some clarity and calmer fresh perspectives.

June 25th, 2012, 5:19 pm


zoo said:

The Morsimeter website

June 25th, 2012, 5:22 pm



Utter Equus caballus x asinus manure. You are no third way advocate. Far from it, so don’t pretend rationale that contradicts the series of posts you have been pushing here. Posts defending the murderer of a nation and defending someone whose worshipers are willing to burn the country for his sake do not qualify as simply being adverse to playing revolutionary.

You are defending a criminal, giving him excuses, propagating his propaganda and belitteling the great people who have lost doctors, engineers, peasants, workers, and many many children at the hand of those whose only difference from you is that they are defending the same criminal with weapons their victims have dished the price for hoping that such weapons will defend them and not be targetted against them and their children.

If you can sleep knowing that you defended the man on whose orders three medical students, as bright as the sunlight, and as selfless as saints were murdered simply because they were saving lives he wanted taken to return things to North Korea style, then have no claim that you are simply averse to playing…. No sir, you are playing…. big time and in front of an international audience of a well read site. You know what you are doing…. and you know why you are doing it… Same as I know what I am doing and I know why I am doing it.

June 25th, 2012, 5:22 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Congragulations to all MBers :no Hassoun in the US,Aroor and karadawi are coming
Instead.Karadawi will be shopping shoes for his 17 years old wife and for Moza,Arour
Will be check the most updated meat cutting machines for none-revolutionists disposal.

June 25th, 2012, 5:25 pm


Syrialover said:

# 24. Tara said: “shopping in fifth Avenue for shoes for Asma. The summer collection is to die for…. May be Bashar Jaafari can do that now”

I think we can be confident that is a major part of his job role. Rationally and professionally representing the Syrian people at the UN is not.

(His family strutting around in a $5 million town house owned by the people of Syria is part of his gangster spoils).

June 25th, 2012, 5:29 pm



SO let him swallow his tongue, same as a friend of Putin, kim-jong-un, and the rest of dictators and of mafioso rulers wanted Erdoghan to do.

June 25th, 2012, 5:30 pm


Alan said:

6. said:
this regime is a very tough nut to crack.
he is more knowledgeable than Amir !
I put a coffee maker on еру fire !

June 25th, 2012, 5:30 pm


Syrialover said:


That commentator is not playing, he’s working. Paid work. Probably rubles.

June 25th, 2012, 5:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

Continuing from #21.

There was also the earlier report talking about the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) possibly withdrawing Syrian membership of the body.

June 25th, 2012, 5:36 pm


zoo said:

U.N. rights investigator in Syria for first talks: sources
By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA | Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:29pm EDT
(Reuters) – A top U.N. human rights investigator has been holding talks in Damascus with senior Syrian officials to pave the way for an investigation into atrocities in the country, U.N. and diplomatic sources said on Monday.

It is the first time Brazilian expert Paulo Pinheiro has been granted permission to enter Syria since his team was set up in September by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“He is trying to pave the way for us to be able to go into the country,” a U.N. source told Reuters in Geneva. “We need to go before September when our final report is to be submitted.”

In reports based on hundreds of interviews with witnesses, survivors and refugees, the team has accused Syrian forces of committing crimes against humanity, including executions and torture. It has also accused rebels of carrying out atrocities.

Pinheiro, a veteran U.N. rights investigator acting in an independent capacity, arrived on the unannounced trip to Damascus late on Saturday after securing a visa from the Syrian diplomatic mission in Geneva, diplomatic sources said.

He has met deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad and is due to return to Geneva on Tuesday, a day before presenting the team’s latest report to the 47-member rights forum, they said. It was not immediately clear what other appointments he had.


The Council, at an emergency session held on June 1, condemned Syria for a massacre of at least 108 people in the Houla region and called for the U.N. investigators to identify the perpetrators and gather evidence for possible prosecution.

Syria appears to have agreed to allow Pinheiro access after his team’s report last month contained more allegations of gross human rights violations by the rebel side, U.N. sources said.

“It is a positive signal that they finally accepted to allow them in. But between now and Wednesday what can he (Pinheiro) achieve?” one Arab diplomat said.

June 25th, 2012, 5:36 pm



Congratulations are due to you for your support of an advocate of suicide bombing.

Next on the list is Jaafari, as the MBs would say, Inshallah….

June 25th, 2012, 5:40 pm


Alan said:

How many Australians we have online ? tow ?

June 25th, 2012, 5:40 pm


Syrialover said:

Zoo old buddy, you’ve accidently cut and pasted the wrong story in #38. Your specialization is negative, pessimistic, anti-western information.

June 25th, 2012, 5:41 pm


zoo said:

Syria puts double whammy on Turkey
By M K Bhadrakumar

The shooting down of a Turkish fighter aircraft by Syria on Friday has become a classic case of coercive diplomacy. …
The incident took place on a day that Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem was on a visit to Russia.

It also happened within a week of Britain staging a high-profile publicity event to humiliate Russia by canceling the insurance of a ship when it was off the coast of Scotland en route to Syria from Russia’s Baltic port in Kaliningrad. British Foreign Secretary William Hague scrambled to take credit for that in the House of Commons.

The shooting down of the Turkish jet also coincides with a hardening of the Russian position on Syria. Moscow refused to comment on the incident when Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu telephoned his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Sunday seeking understanding.

Itar-Tass quoted the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying the two diplomats “discussed the situation around Syria, including within the context of the incident with a Turkish fighter jet”. Plainly put, Moscow was unwilling to treat Friday’s incident in total isolation. Nor was it prepared to censure Damascus.

It is against the totality of this background that the Syrian action against the Turkish aircraft needs to be weighed. Damascus has a reputation for “poker diplomacy”. It may have conveyed a host of signals to Turkey (and its Western allies):
Syria’s air-defense system is effective and lethal;
There will be a price to pay if Turkey keeps escalating its interference in Syria;
Turkey’s military superiority has its limits;
The Syrian crisis can easily flare up into a regional crisis.
In reality, Damascus has put a double whammy on Turkey. It not only lost a Phantom and its two pilots but is now under compulsion to take the loss calmly, exercising self-restraint.

June 25th, 2012, 5:47 pm


Alan said:

Putin shall solve the problem for all of you ! do not worry!

June 25th, 2012, 5:48 pm


Syrialover said:

Zoo #42. That’s better, that’s more the old bad-view Zoo we know.

Alan #43 What’s your career plan B when Putin quits office? I’m guessing it lies in North Korea, which is why you are wooing them here.

June 25th, 2012, 5:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

Lets hope that next the World Chess Federation kicks out Syria from it’s organisation.

Moving on.

The FSA are beginning to make inroads. The pawns may advance further and be promoted to more powerful pieces. Having possibly taken a Knight (Asef Shawkat) and forced the Bishop (Mufti Hassoun) out of position, the opposition has taken the initiative.

A good thing the opposition castled early on (SNC/FSA leadership in Turkey).

Assad on the backfoot may still hope to force a Stalemate.

June 25th, 2012, 6:00 pm


Alan said:

I am afraid that American friends do not agree with your assessment about Putin! You can follow any responses to ask from Mrs. Clinton !

June 25th, 2012, 6:06 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Suicide bombers have to have KSA blessings.How many suicide bombers have Hassoun
Sent any where? Who represents a more civilized form of Islam :Hassoun or Aroor?Do
You really see Hassoun as suicide bombers minded Moslem?Do you know why the (freedom fighters) killed his son in a mafia way?
Nothing good came out of Arabs spring,nothing good is coming.Moslems are killing each other,Sunni and shie are killing Sunni and shie,they both think they are going to heaven.
Middle east is going to the black ages.Alqaeda is sucked into Moslems world and finished
Up by Moslems.Isreal and Kurds are the only winners.Arabs(Sunni and shie) are losers
And fuel for the fire.Christians in the middle east will end up in Europe or tombs.
SH think you are winning it you don’t want to zoom out of the mud:

June 25th, 2012, 6:07 pm


Syrialover said:

#15 “Former Tunisian first lady admits to ‘fatal mistakes’ in memoirs”

Yes, we can bet Asma Assad is noting the publisher of this trashy fiction where the witch-like Mrs Ben Ali denounces her relatives for being too greedy.

I think we can guess what’s coming – Innocent young Asma was pressured into marriage by her family, kept a prisoner in a gilded cage and had no information at all about what was going on outside her playpen.

I wonder if like Mrs Ben Ali she will furiously biff her husband over the ear at the end for being weak and a loser.

June 25th, 2012, 6:16 pm


Uzair8 said:

Syrian unrest bombing-out economy

“I’m very ashamed to say how much, but we have 3 or 4 percent occupancy only. We have two hotels. The other one on the other way, I close it, because of this crisis,” said hotelier Fayez al-Midani.

June 25th, 2012, 6:16 pm


Syrialover said:

#47 SNK

Don’t overlook Iran’s suicide bombing policies and programs – give credit where it’s due.

June 25th, 2012, 6:26 pm



@47 Neither. Both are the same Equus quagga dung.

Hassoun’s own word call on you to do exactly what another regime fan has asked Erdoghan to do…. swallow his tongue.

What, no meat grinder for civilized hassoun?

And there is nothing civilized in being an apologist for a murdering buffoon. Not even if the apologist is a buffoon himself.

Also… there is nothing civilized in being sectarian hiding behind secularism.

June 25th, 2012, 6:26 pm


Alan said:

Why do you write the phrase in Bold ?

June 25th, 2012, 6:40 pm



Culture is Organic never Strategic

June 25th, 2012, 6:41 pm


Alan said:

We have in Syria the most cultural revolution in the history of mankind!

June 25th, 2012, 6:45 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Your words describe you.stay in the mud.
This is too low for me.we don’t mix and we don’t have to agree.
I don’t care for Iran.Turkey,KSA and Iran are not looking for Syria’s best itersests.
Opposition is 100% controlled by Turkey.The regime opened up the country to Turkey
More than it did to Iran .The Turks are historically known to be back stabbers more than
The Iranians.

June 25th, 2012, 6:46 pm


Uzair8 said:

Posted elsewhere about 20 minutes ago:

“Another kind of defection, this time from Syrian Electronic Army. The 1st one! #Syria

June 25th, 2012, 6:53 pm



Grades of Stabbing
So now we are promoted to grading back-stabbing by ethnicity.. Keep exposing character traits. chauvinism + racism + sectarianism. Shiny medals for an uplifted superior and civilized intellect.

June 25th, 2012, 6:56 pm


Alan said:

no hearing ? i will going to use a big bold letters !!!

June 25th, 2012, 7:03 pm



All rats have poor vision…. good hearing though. Need bold, but not upper case. Upper case is shouting… Bold is emphasis.

June 25th, 2012, 7:06 pm


Uzair8 said:

The other day on SC I mentioned how a family member told me Shaykh Yaqoubi was on Sky News earlier on that day. I couldn’t find any video online. A few minutes ago I accidentally stumbled upon it.

Syrian Revolution: Sky News interviews Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi 19-06-12

Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi talks about the Annan Peace plan, pressure on international powers to intervene in Syria, and the future of the country.

June 25th, 2012, 7:15 pm


Alan said:

Moderator !
disgrace !

June 25th, 2012, 7:18 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Please note SH repeated insults despite
All attempts to keep civilized level.

June 25th, 2012, 7:27 pm


Uzair8 said:

#65 Alan

Yes. Where is the moderator…lol?

My Telegraph article comment has been in moderation for about 4 hrs. 🙂

June 25th, 2012, 7:27 pm


irritated said:

39. Uzair8
There was also the earlier report talking about the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC)

OMG.. what a big loss.
Syrians will suffer greatly for not being part of this generous and efficient organization.

June 25th, 2012, 7:40 pm



Disgrace!… Agree, calling both Turks and Iranians back-stabbers (although to different degrees) is disgrace..

Calling oneself a rat.. is dry humor… if you have a clue what a Syrian Hamster is…

Can someone please explain self deprecation..
Also, expert on ethnic characteristics… can you tell ones ethnicity based on degree of getting dry humor?

June 25th, 2012, 7:41 pm


Syrialover said:

Why aren’t we seeing Assef Shawkat-Assad and Maher Assad on regime posters in Syria? They are the real heroes protecting Syrians against swarming hordes of al qaeda troops and well-organized invasions by 5-6 different countries.

And even if the whispers of Shawkat’s death are true (which unfortunately I don’t think are), we know that being dead doesn’t stop Basil and his dad being grandly postered everywhere.

Many regime supporters in Syria must be getting close to burnout – they need something concrete, someone reassuringly tough they can admire and be grateful to.

Time for the real face of the “leadership” to be openly celebrated.

June 25th, 2012, 7:46 pm


zoo said:

Jordanians examining the MIG-21 and passing information to Turkey and who else?

For his part, a Jordanian source informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Jordanian Air Force technicians and experts have examined the MiG-21, which is one of the older generations of the fighter jet. He revealed that Jordanian technicians have examined the amendments made to this jet, particularly regarding its radar system, electronic countermeasure system, expanded fuel tanks, as well as its munitions.

The source stressed that all this information will benefit the Jordanian armed forces, particularly as the military relations between Jordan and Syria have been severed since the 1980s.

June 25th, 2012, 7:49 pm


Observer said:

So any ideas why Putin is in Israel? Then on to the PA and to Jordan?
Does he think that he can play big power games and promote peace in the ME? Does he think he holds Iran’s card to negotiate or influence this or that?

In reality he is desperate to play the old big Soviet Union. No one takes him seriously except ALAN on this post.

Delusional on this post believe that Russia will fight NATO over Syria. Russia will fight into its near abroad meaning all of the countries in the near vicinity that may pose a threat such as Georgia.

The restructuring of the Russian forces falls into thee main areas: West, East, and South. In contrast to the old Soviet structure where the divisions where 15% manned in time of peace and recruits were to fill to 100% in time of war now they have a smaller force made up of fully prepared brigade strength units.
They also have combined local control of the air force and navy where needed. In essence they have modernized their forces to reflect the new reality of defense of the realm in near border areas.

Projection of force needs a navy which is not in great shape and actually is neglected at this stage in comparison to the army. They have special units for deployment abroad.

Now I say all of this to explain that Putin needs Israeli technology as the war in Georgia demonstrated the need for modern electronic warfare and surveillance. He needs that as he is not getting it from either Germany or France or the UK or the US. To get it he needs to deliver and to deliver on the Iran issue that is the reason for the visit.

Now if you watched the body language meeting with Obama it is clear that the differences were on display. Now if you watched how Bibi welcomed Putin in his office WITHOUT standing to greet him and shook his hand while he was still sitting tells you volumes about where Bibi holds Putin in his scale of importance.

Watch the video you can tell that Putin is taken aback and seems at a loss of what to do in the face of such humiliation. I also did see the joint statement where Bibi demanded for all practical purposes the surrender of Iran’s nuclear program in its entirety and its roll back to before square zero.

Now to Turkey the two pilots are dead and the Turks announced the defection of high ranking officers and Jordan is admitting to at least three pilots defecting. This will send a chill down the spine of the regime not that Turkey will bomb or invade, an action that might actually help the regime claim the national defense propaganda but it is clear that it cannot trust its high ranking officer corps any longer and it does not have enough thugs and troops to subdue the country.

Slowly and surely the grinding down of the regime is happening daily. In the very suburbs of Damascus there are no go areas after dark.

I wonder what the last lady sings to her children to help them sleep at night when they can hear rocket fire so close.

The regime is finished and the people are fed up with criminality originating principally and massively from the regime for more than 40 years, being delivered in small doses over time and now in big desperate attempts to control the “infection” Mr. Doctor Marshal Commander in Chief President Fredo the stupid Corleone.

The Clostridium Difficile strain NP7 has developed quinolone resistance and is characterized by a very high rate of recurrence. The latest attempt to clear it is now in requirement of a fecal transplant. This is where the regime is with its stupid buffoon claiming that this revolution is an infection of germs.

Syrian Hamster for President.

June 25th, 2012, 7:51 pm


irritated said:

#70 Syrialover

they need something concrete, someone reassuringly tough they can admire and be grateful to.

The wreck of the US made Turkish plane is concrete enough.

June 25th, 2012, 7:51 pm



Is it my turn to ask questions ?

June 25th, 2012, 7:55 pm


zoo said:

Will Egypt become the new Iran?
By Con Coughlin World Last updated: June 25th, 2012

Having argued consistently for the past year that the so-called Arab Spring would bring nothing but misery and disappointment, I take no great comfort from the outcome of Egypt’s presidential elections. Far from providing the country with the type of Western-style, secular and democratic system of government the protesters in Tahrir Square demanded, all that has been achieved is the election of an Islamic government that is committed to introducing a judicial system based on Sharia law.

It was obvious to anyone with any knowledge of Egypt that, once President Mubarak was removed from power, the contest to choose his replacement would fall between the military and the Islamists, the only groups with the organisational infrastructure to sustain a convincing electoral campaign.

And the fact that the election has resulted in the appointment of Mohammed Morsi, the head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, as the country’s new leader does not bode well for the country’s future. Many political commentators have suggested we need not worry, because Mr Morsi represents the acceptable face of political Islam, and wants to form a government that represents all the Egyptian people, rather than just those who are regular mosque attenders. Furthermore, they say, the military still controls the country, so that the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood to dictate policy will be extremely limited.

But as happened during the 1979 Iranian revolution, I fear the Mr Morsi’s election is the thin end of the wedge.

June 25th, 2012, 7:57 pm


Observer said:

Here is the video

June 25th, 2012, 7:59 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrian Hamster,

Maybe this will distract Alan and SNK into thinking they are distracting you.

June 25th, 2012, 8:06 pm


Syrialover said:

# 75. Zoo

Con Coughlin – yes, there’s one who earns his living by specializing in being gloomy, negative, cynical and dismissive about the Middle East.

Right on target for you.

June 25th, 2012, 8:10 pm


anwar said:

“The wreck of the US made Turkish plane is concrete enough.”

lol go parade your small “victories”
thats all you are good at

June 25th, 2012, 8:12 pm


zoo said:


Your video is a joke!!! It does not work with me…

There is no sound and obviously Netanyahu is showing his foot as if he is having problem with it and could not stand. Putin looks compassionate.
It also explains why Netanyhahu did not receive Putin at the door. Obviously the blond lady ( who was she?) was explaining that to Putin after kissing him.
The absence of sound is a deliberate and cheap attempt to make it look like Netanyahu was snubbing Putin.
That was Putin’s warm and withh all honors reception by Peres.. with sound

June 25th, 2012, 8:16 pm


irritated said:

#80 Anwar

And what are good at?

June 25th, 2012, 8:23 pm


Tara said:

The defection story

The general was “exhausted,” said Mr Sheikh, adding that “Free Syrian Army groups in Damascus helped him to escape the capital”.
He travelled secretly, moving along back lanes to pass through a string of villages that are loosely under the control of the opposition. In each town, he was passed on to a new FSA unit, until he eventually reached the Turkish border.
The operation to bring in the defectors had been planned for weeks, according to opposition activists. Louay al-Mokdad, a logistical coordinator with the FSA in Turkey, put the total at 22; other reports suggested that more might have arrived.
“They are not from the same city or from the same division,” said Mr Mokdad. “We brought them across all together because it was safe for them to move this way.”

The general’s arrival was a “wake up call for all the officers in the Syrian army. It will encourage more people to realise that they can leave,” he added.
Buoyed by their recent successes, opposition activists and FSA fighters estimate that up to 60 per cent of Syria has become a form of “no-man’s land”, outside of any group’s control.
This was not the first incident of mass defection from the higher ranks of the army. In March, 50 officers – including six brigadier-generals – deserted in the space of a week. In all, 13 generals have decamped across the border since the uprising began, although there are three different tiers of general in the Syrian army and the latest arrival is believed to be the most senior.


June 25th, 2012, 8:23 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

A terrorist burned AlJadid news paper Bldg, The rumors that they belong to Amal ,Nabieh Berry denied it.

June 25th, 2012, 8:26 pm


bronco said:

#83 Tara

“opposition activists and FSA fighters estimate that up to 60 per cent of Syria has become a form of “no-man’s land”, outside of any group’s control.”

I wish they don’t give that type of stupid exaggeration.
This tarnishes the credibility on all their stories.

June 25th, 2012, 8:28 pm


Tara said:


Yes, it is difficult to believe.

June 25th, 2012, 8:30 pm


zoo said:

#78. Syrialover

Is the UK Telegraph regularly posted here by pro-chaos commenters that cheerful?

June 25th, 2012, 8:31 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrian Hamster,

What? It’s your cousin? Shhhh. We want SNK and Alan to think it’s you.


June 25th, 2012, 8:31 pm


zoo said:


Now if you watched how Bibi welcomed Putin in his office WITHOUT standing to greet him and shook his hand while he was still sitting tells you volumes about where Bibi holds Putin in his scale of importance.

The blond woman who greets Putin visiting Netanyahu is ….. his wife! It seems that it was at his home and not his office.

For an observer, you need to recycle yourself. Your whole theory of ‘snubbing’ is thrown back to your face.

June 25th, 2012, 8:40 pm



Sorry… didn’t mean to spoil the conspiracy. But judging by the regime’s attitude which includes burning the family houses of opposition members and killing their families, I don’t think it matters to them. Torturing my virtual cousin will be same as torturing me for regime fans. It just the idea of exacting pain. May be we should put a fire nearby, so that they can burn me like their heroes burned the three young doctors yesterday. This may distract them.

I have so many cousins .. you know rats.. Qaddafi didn’t and that did him.

Imagine germs, man they have so many cousins, and they spread so fast. Ask Observer.

Now my previous post was thrown into spam after too fast of an edit. So here is the gist,,

When the US and Israel are friendly, regime fans go berserk. The US becomes threatened with extinction because if that friendship. They, however, become teary eyed when Putin is treated with honor in Israel.

Are we seeing Putin fans or the buffon’s fans here?
Russia only thought that it inherited form the soviets the veto right. It seems that it inherited a bunch of outdated communists who project their ideological attachment and subservience to the Soviet Union onto mafia Russia.
Never thought such ideological blindness is possible. But the Syrian revolution exposed this bankrupt group right on.

June 25th, 2012, 8:42 pm


zoo said:

The Turkish plane was on a spying mission. Turkish will cut off electricity?

A military expert told local media that the Turkish step had sinister intentions, raising speculations that the plane was on an espionage mission and that it had probably got information from the Syrian opposition that President Bashar al-Assad was spending the weekend at the presidential palace in the area.

“It (the jet) wanted access to the area of the palace likely to deliver a specific message to the government,” he said.

A Syrian analyst, Hamdi Abdullah, concurred that the jet was on an espionage mission.

“Sending the plan was due to espionage reasons,” he said, stressing that the move also came to practice pressure on Syria.

He quoted Turkish sources as claiming that the warplane was sent to spy on the Syrian Radar system in the Mediterranean area of Latakia.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday that his government could cut off electricity supplies to Syria and the decision could be made public on Tuesday by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting with the Turkish parliament.

Turkish companies provide Syria with around 10 percent of its electricity needs.

June 25th, 2012, 8:46 pm


Syrialover said:

Zoo #86

Con Coughlin has been singing sour songs about the Middle East for many years. It’s his signature tune. I often wonder how he can bear to write about the subject – he clearly regards it as such a waste of space and disaster zone.

I think his years in Israel and near-miss being kidnapped in Beirut by Hezbollah formed his picture of the region.

June 25th, 2012, 8:47 pm


zoo said:

92. Syrialover

I guess the songs of the UK Telegraph are more harmonious to your ears. It is matter of personal taste.

June 25th, 2012, 8:51 pm


Syrialover said:

So I am hearing you confirm your taste for the Coughlin view of the Middle East and its people.

Did you have similar experiences there to him?

June 25th, 2012, 8:58 pm


Tara said:

Did the regime down the warplane in error thinking it was a defecting airplane?

The Aviationist website has an article discussing what the Turkish warplane might have been doing before it was shot down by the Syrian military (thanks to Brown Moses for pointing it out).  Aircraft violating a foreign airspace should not be fired upon but warned, intercepted and eventually escorted outside the violated airspace.

Anyway, what is still far from being explained is the reason why an (R)F-4 was flying at low level and high speed just 1km off the Syrian coast.
There are at least three possibilities: navigation error, weather, or intentional violation to probe the enemy air defence readiness.

The article seems to lean towards the view that the warplane was testing Syrian defences. However, it also wonders if the incident might be connected with the defection of a Syrian warplane to Jordan the day before:
Although they most probably knew that the aircraft was a Turkish Air Force plane, the Syriansmay have mistaken it for a defecting Syrian Arab Air Force plane. Hence they shot it down before it could reach Turkey, to prevent another embarrassing episode like the one of the Mig-21 that defected to Jordan.


June 25th, 2012, 9:00 pm


Norman said:

With the CIA choosing which party to arm, I wonder if the Syrian government can turn the table at them and do what the US did in Iraq, establish a Syrian AL Sahwa group by arming the group that the CIA is shunning and turn them of the Fav of the CIA and Qatar and Saudi Arabia,now that would be smart.

June 25th, 2012, 10:39 pm


Observer said:

I knew that Bibi was receiving Putin at his home and this is his wife greeting him.
Bibi with or without an ailing leg could have been at the entrance, in a wheelchair or in a seat or whatever or on cruches standing.

He was not at the door and he did not even try to stand for Putin.

There may be many other explanations all of which are plausible. My reading and this my reading only of the body language is that it is a slap in the face. I am not objective about this for I have nothing but contempt for both.

What amazes me though is the outpouring of support for Putin. Who the heck is he? Another despot tin pot dictator with pretentions to world leadership. He turned out to be nothing more than a lame spoiler with a huge inferiority complex towards the West. Without a trace of shame he talks about the need for democracy in the ME.

How about the farce of elections and constitution and reforms that Fredo the Doctor has conducted in his attempt to eradicate the ‘germs” infecting his security house of cards protecting his garbage dump of a sorry regime; let alone his massive use of atrocities and horror on the majority of the people.

Acute Liver Failure due to Bacillus Cereus is nearly 100% fatal if a transplant is not conducted soon. Also, acute myocarditis due to parvovirus b19 require often a balloon pump or a left ventricular assist device as a bridge to transplant of the heart.

Do you get it? Transplant.

Again Syrian Hamster for President.

June 25th, 2012, 11:07 pm


Halabi said:

What happened today to Hassoun and the Assad supporters is just a small taste of what it will be like for the we-love-you crowd in the future.

It can’t be easy supporting Assad, especially for those living outside of the 8 countries that back this regime. And it will only get harder. Many will switch sides, but others who are more stubborn will turn into the equivalent of neo-Nazis (neo-Shabiha?), sick people who glorify murder and racism, shunned by society as a necessary but undesirable byproduct of freedom of thought and speech.

“A Washington-based foundation has canceled a meeting with Syria’s top Islamic cleric, a close ally of embattled President Bashar Assad who has vowed to unleash suicide bombers against the U.S. and Europe if the West attacks his country.

The Foundation for Middle East Peace had invited Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun to speak at its conference on “Coexistence and Dialogue” in Washington on Thursday.

Philip Wilcox, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, told The Washington Times on Monday afternoon that the decision to cancel the event was taken “just now.”

“We were not aware of his speech, which was at odds with the theme of the event,” said Mr. Wilcox, whose group is described on its website as being devoted to fostering peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

June 25th, 2012, 11:09 pm


jna said:

98. Halabi said: What happened today to Hassoun and the Assad supporters is just a small taste of what it will be like for the we-love-you crowd in the future. {…}

Don’t fret, Halabi, there’s already more than a small taste of the righteous smiting the unbelivers:

June 25th, 2012, 11:42 pm


zoo said:

After 18 months of gesticulation,the Egyptian revolution delivers

An Egypt’s Powerless New Head of State

An Analysis by Ulrike Putz

Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi has won presidential elections in Egypt, but the country’s military stripped the office of its powers before his victory was even announced. Facing a deeply divided populace and a crippled economy, the new head of state faces an uphill battle.
As such, the fact that an Islamist has now taken up residence in the presidential palace in Cairo appears rather unimportant. Nor is it clear how long he will be allowed to stay. Even prior to the official announcement of Morsi’s victory, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces issued a statement that he may have to hand over his office again soon.

Morsi, in short, is two things in one: A democratically elected head of state, and a president serving at the mercy of the military. He will only be around for as long as the true holders of Egyptian power believe him to be necessary.

June 25th, 2012, 11:56 pm


zoo said:

There is a Moslem Brotherhood president? Lets’ have amnesia about their long lasting declaration on the USA and Israel.

The Brotherhood seeking the help of the Americans
By Tariq Alhomayed

Some might say, this is the definition of political pragmatism, or that nobody can rule Egypt without excellent relations with Washington, and this is true. However what about the Brotherhood’s literature, over the past 80 years, claiming that the West is weaving a “Zionist-American” conspiracy in order to break up the Arab and Islamic world? What about its literature, over the past 30 years, depicting the ruling regime in Egypt as being treasonous for its acceptance of the Egyptian – Israeli peace agreement, whilst today the Brotherhood are resorting to Washington to help them take power? What about the Muslim Brotherhood intellect which is contaminated with false slogans? What about other countless examples? Unfortunately, nobody cares!

June 26th, 2012, 12:24 am


Osama said:

Juergen – #365 from the last thread.

Thanks for the quick reply. Appreciate it.

Also, thanks for the reporter feedback. Question is where do Die Welt and Bild lay on the left/right spectrum (in the western sense).

I keep expecting Germany to be the first to break ranks, but with a serious economic issues in Europe, they may want to stay close to the Americans as long as possible?

June 26th, 2012, 12:26 am


zoo said:

#98 Observer
Now if you watched how Bibi welcomed Putin in his OFFICE

You say now you knew he was received at Natanyahu’s HOME by Netanyahu’s wife (who kissed Putin), so why did you not say so in your previous post? To make your ridiculous point more credible?

Sorry, your method are childish and pathetic.

June 26th, 2012, 12:31 am


ann said:

Interview With Charlie Rose of “Conversations on Diplomacy”
Monday, 25 June 2012, 2:42 pm – Press Release: US State Department


MR. ROSE: Are you hopeful that you’ll be able to get them [Russia and China] on board with respect to Iran and with respect to Syria?


On Syria, so far they’ve taken Russia’s lead on Syria. But we’re working on that every single day as well.

MR. ROSE: Why did they do that? Why do they take Russia’s lead?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think both Russia and China have a very strong aversion to interference in internal affairs.

MR. ROSE: Sovereignty issue.



SECRETARY CLINTON: And so for the Russians, we – I was with President Obama in Mexico two days ago. We had a two-hour meeting with President Putin. They’re just – they don’t want anything to do with it. They find it quite threatening, and basically they reject it out of hand. So anything that smacks of interference for the Russians and for the Chinese, they presume against. There are other reasons, but that’s the principal objection that they make.

MR. ROSE: Would coming – both different countries and different points, but they somehow come together on these issues – Syria and with respect to Russia and the role they are playing.


MR. ROSE: And the role that the United States is playing and the role that the region can play. What should we be doing and what is the risk of not doing?

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I’ll answer that in just a minute. But first let me say if we’re going to have differences with Russia – and we do have some differences with Russia – it seems to me the most important difference we might have is with respect to Iran. And we don’t have that now, and that’s really important. And I don’t think we ought to create a problem with Russia vis-a-vis what we want to do in Iran about their nuclear ambitions as a result of something we might do in Syria. I just think the Iranian issue there is far more important really than how we resolve the Syrian issue.

How should we resolve the Syrian issue? I think we should continue to support a political transition in the government in Syria. But I don’t – but I think we ought to support it diplomatically, politically, and economically in every way that we can, but we should be very leery, extremely leery, about being drawn in to any kind of a military confrontation or exercise.

MR. ROSE: Does that include supplying them with arms?

SECRETARY BAKER: That – well, that’s a slippery slope. The fact of the matter is a lot of our allies are already supplying them with arms. Okay? It’s not something –

MR. ROSE: And our friends in the region.

SECRETARY BAKER: Well, I say our allies in the region. Yeah, they’re doing it. And it’s not something we have to do. I look at Syria and I think why are we not calling for something that we – this is – it may not be the right comparison, but in 1989, when we came into office, the wars in Central America were the holy grail of the left, political left in this country, and the holy grail of the political right in this country. We said if we can take these wars out of domestic politics, we can cure the foreign policy problem, and we did.

How did we do it? We put it to both parties – Daniel Ortega, the hardline, authoritarian dictator, if you will, in Nicaragua, and to Violeta Chamorro, the opposition candidate. We said if you’ll hold an election and both agree to abide by the results, that’s the way we’ll get out of this conundrum. That’s what happened. And both of them did agree, finally, to abide by the results. Ortega lost. President Carter was very instrumental in getting him to leave office. Why don’t we try something like that in Syria, I mean, and say look, political transition is what we’re looking for. Everybody – even the Russians, I think – would have difficulty saying no, we’re not going to go for an election, particularly if you let Bashar run. Let him run. Make sure you have a lot of observers in there. Make sure they can’t fix the election. Why not try that?

MR. ROSE: Why not try that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, actually, that is the path that we are trying. And I spoke with Kofi Annan again today. He is working on a political transition roadmap. We are somewhat disadvantaged by the fact that I think Assad still believes he can crush what he considers to be an illegitimate rebellion against his authority and characterizes everyone who opposes him as a terrorist who is supported by foreign interests.

The other problem we have is that the opposition has not yet congealed around a figure or even a group that can command the respect and attention internally within Syria as well as internationally. So what we’re doing is, number one, putting more economic pressure, because that is important, and the sanctions and trying to cut off the Syrian regime, and send a message to the Syrian business class, which so far has stuck with Assad.

We’re also working very hard to try to prop up and better organize the opposition. We’ve spent a lot of time on that. It still is a work in progress. We are also pushing hard on having Kofi Annan lay down a political transition roadmap and then getting a group of nations, that would include Russia, in a working group to try to sell that to both the Assad regime and to the opposition.

So, I mean, the path forward is exactly as Jim has described it. Getting the people and the interests on that path has been what we’ve been working on now for several months.


June 26th, 2012, 12:35 am


zoo said:

Is the plan to reinforce the FSA for a military coup to take the power in Syria on its way?

Syrian Opposition get supplies but unity is elusive

ANTAKYA, Turkey — The onetime ragtag militias of the Syrian opposition are developing into a more effective fighting force with the help of an increasingly sophisticated network of activists here in southern Turkey that is smuggling crucial supplies across the border, including weapons, communications gear, field hospitals and even salaries for soldiers who defect.

The network reflects an effort to forge an opposition movement linking military, governmental and humanitarian organizations, that together can not only defeat the vastly superior military of President Bashar al-Assad, but also replace his government.

While it is far too early to speak of a state within a state, the rising sophistication of the effort underscores the evolving nature of the conflict and how control over the north and northwestern areas of the country is slowly slipping away from the government.

The network is emerging at a time of heightened tensions with Turkey and amid reports of multiple defections of high-ranking officers from the Syrian Army, many of whom are now helping the opposition. Turkey will sit down on Tuesday with its NATO allies to discuss a response to the downing of one of its warplanes by Syrian gunners, while on Monday Turkey reported that a general and two colonels had defected from Syria on Sunday, bringing the total to more than a dozen.

The undertaking by the opposition here constitutes more than just ferrying much-needed supplies. The larger, more elusive goal is to create cohesion and cooperation between the scattered militias that constitute the Free Syrian Army, as well as whatever local civilian rule has emerged.
The Syrian government’s unwavering line is that the insurgency is a foreign operation intended to fragment Syria. American officials and Arab intelligence officers said a small unit of the Central Intelligence Agency was operating here, vetting who gets better arms. But it has not gone inside, the sources said.

At least two activists admitted to knowing about contacts with American advisers over military tactics, but said nothing further. General Mood told the Security Council that his interpreters were able to identify a few foreigners from their accents, but no significant presence, the Council diplomat said.

June 26th, 2012, 12:40 am


Juergen said:


No they arent on the left side, more on the right side.
The founder Axel Springer wanted to establish an new tabloid newspaper after the 2nd world war. He became very successful but most intellectuals and serious journalists spared him and his media. Bild is an powerful newspaper in the country, hardly any decisionmaker can survive without their approval. Through the success of Bild he was able to purchase DIE WELT and other newspapers. Usually people dont believe all what is written in BILD, but more dangerously they believe what is written in DIE WELT, even though the same journalists are writing for both outlets. He set some ethic rules in his company, always he was for the reunification of Germany( he was almost the last one still propagating this every week) and the overall support for Israel( you will hardly find any bad word against any israeli actions in their newspapers) the overall support of the unique german market economy.

You are right, the economic problems we face nowadays in Europe dictate at the moment a more and more united agenda in Europe. You see the Union was always a economic union, everyone knows that we need to establish something like an united states of europe in order to play a role in this century. I think the events now will push and force politicians into setting the grounds for that. The biggest challenge for me is the difference in mentality. The greek government had no problem to blunty lie to the european commission about their economy. There are big differences in attitiude, alone if you compare north Italy with south Italy. To overcome that its the biggest challenge.


I really wonder what those guys were thinking when they invited the Sheikh. 2 minutes googeling will be sufficient to read those statements he made. Its hard to believe that the social media campaign brought that to their attention.

I hope we will be spared from a long time asyldom of the Sheikh like Grandsheikh Husseini.

June 26th, 2012, 12:57 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Angry Arab: “”Israel jittery after Brotherhood victory in Egypt”. Jittery? More like alarmed? Scared? Horrified?”.

There’s nothing more horrifying than juntas and monarchs. Democratic entities do not horrify me.

Take for example the 1973 war. It was the show of two men. Saadat and Assad Senior. They gave the order of war, the rest had to follow the order. Going to war was never easier.

Going to war in democracies (Egypt is becoming a democracy) is much more complicated, and involves a long and detailed decision making process. So, which is more scary? Dictatorial juntas, or democracies?

June 26th, 2012, 1:19 am


Mina said:

The MB are very good at that; some declaration/interviews are for “local consumption” while other are for the international community. Enjoy the mess…
Are the military also going to deny that they reopened a diplomatic relation at the highest level with Iran right after the revolution?

I hope I am wrong but it sounds like drums of war.

And in Sudan, far from the spotlights

June 26th, 2012, 1:31 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

This person will one day convert to Islam. His self hate is burning.!

June 26th, 2012, 1:32 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


For this we have MEMRI and PMW (Palestinian media watch), to let people compare the local consumption (Arabic) with the international (in English). Don’t we?

And I don’t get your point. Where do you hear drums of war?

June 26th, 2012, 1:37 am


Juergen said:

leila Trabelsi writes her memoirs, well I would have the perfect subtitle: From the hairdresser to the First Lady… she really thinks this will pay off for her, this self pity? Remember that her family stole a yacht while they were on vacation in France? The problem was, the guy whon owned it was a friend of Sarkozy. The relations with France went almost dead on this issue, truly Tunesia is happy without this cleptocratic clan.

Asma, please dont sign the contract yet with Random House, we dont want to read that the bad guys were Maher and Anisa, people would not believe you!

June 26th, 2012, 1:37 am


Mina said:

When you finally get your green card, don’t forget to write to your congressman (as you advise the US expats here in your comment above), about this dangerous guy, Jonathan Evans.
And who are you trying to fool? Are we suppose to ignore that al Jazeera, Hamas and the Egyptian MBs have always boasted the action of suicide bombers? Not to mention the main bailer of the Syrian revolution, KSA.

If I can hear the drums you will probably hear them very quickly, isn’t it?

June 26th, 2012, 1:44 am



With the CIA choosing which party to arm,

So they should arm everyone?

Looks like Albashir has new name of protesters.. Gays and Prostitute….

These buffoons have a single play-book….Must have been admirers of daddy Hafez, the most accomplished loser in modern Arab history.

June 26th, 2012, 1:45 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Also note this:

Islamists have less legitimacy to go to war.

Same as – Netanyahu (right wing) has less legitimacy to go to war than Olmert (centrist) has.

Paradoxically, right wing war mongers are less likely to begin wars.

June 26th, 2012, 1:45 am



With Sudan starting to kick out their own buffoon, the number of sanctuaries for the Assads is dwindling. May be it will eventually be North Korea, where the Assad children get to worship Kim Jung-un.

With the exception of North Korea, this world is no longer a safe place for dictators, thugs, and bullies…and Putin is the last line of defense for them now.

Who thought that Dictators will become an endangered species..Way to go Arab Spring.

Can anyone toll me if Bashir has recently given an interview saying Sudan is not Syria, not Libya, not Yemen, not Tunisia, and not Egypt? It looks like this is the prerequisite spark.

June 26th, 2012, 1:57 am


Juergen said:


I need no green card to the US. I usully visit the States on a 2 year round.

See Hamas is still banned in the US, AJ does not get coverage in all of the US, certain cable providers dont accept them, so i think the US is punishing them. I just dont see a reason to ban a nice men like Yusuf Islam ( who has no reputation whatsoever for terrorism) from entering the US to perform and let a “crazy” Sheikh who behaves like the Grandsheikh Al Husseini in support for his “Hitler”. Compared to Islam, he is a real threat to security, some of the Assadist followers in the US might follow his suggestions. Thats why i think his visa should be withdrawn.

June 26th, 2012, 2:00 am



Give it up, Abdul-Nasser is long dead, and his deceitful legacy is crumbling one buffoon after another.

Yes hassoun is a threat to all regime fans living in the US, he may knock on their doors calling them to duty as he promised he’d do.

June 26th, 2012, 2:02 am


Amjad said:

Amir, Angry Arab lives in his own Angry Alternative Reality, where the end of Israel is just around the corner and Russian TV is more popular in the Arab World than Al-Jazeera. Two months ago he had been predicting that the Syrian Revolution was finished.

He has spent so many posts whining about Thoms Friedman, I really think that As’ad must have been a spurned lover of Friedman.

Now, why are the pro-regimists so terrified of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? What do they think will happen? Do they think that the MB will invade Christian villages with tanks? Shell their churches and murder their men of religion? Round up Christians in their tens of thousands and torture them? Build a wall around Christian neighborhoods and cut off water and mobile communications to them? Fire all Christians from the semi-state run mobile company? Send their shabihas into Christian villages and massacre them, and then claim that the killed each other because half of them had converted to the Muslim Brotherhood? Jail and murder Christian human rights activists because they spoke to the BBC or Al-Jazeera?

Obviously, no government in Egypt will treat its people nearly half as badly as this murderous junta has been treating the Syrian people.

June 26th, 2012, 4:39 am


ann said:

The HUMILIATION of the OTTOMANS is complete 😀

Turkey wants more pressure on Syria, but NO CONFRONTATION, over plane downing – June 26, 2012

June 26th, 2012, 4:53 am


Amjad said:

Posts like #120 is all the proof one needs that one just cannot come to an understanding with this regime on any level. Obviously, the pro-regimists do not believe their own junta’s claims that the shooting was a tragic mistake. They see it as an opportunity to mock and humiliate a powerful neighbor. Their self esteem is so low that they will desperately grab any opportunity to gloat, even if it runs the risk of a regional war. With mentalities such as this, is it any wonder that the regime’s only achievement has been to reach an unprecedented pariah state?

But, Erdogan has only himself to blame, for failing time and again to back up his words with tangible action. He huffs and he puffs, but slinks away every single time. While the irresponsible and immature gloating of the pro-junta camp is disgusting to behold, Erdogan has reaped what he has sowed; humble pie by the bucket full.

June 26th, 2012, 5:06 am


omen said:

sky news
stuart ramsay

30 soldiers and police taken and held by fsa in al haffa we the first to interview them or see them

video report

The Syrian army and police were given direct orders from the “highest levels” to attack villages, kill the local population or force them to flee, Sky News has been told.

Sky’s chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay has been inside Syria to speak to some of the large number of military and police prisoners being held by the Free Syrian Army opposition force in the north of the country.

They told him the security forces were being lied to about who they were being sent to kill.

One prisoner told Ramsay, who has now crossed the border back to Turkey, that troops were carrying out random shelling.

“Old people are dying, young people are dying,” he said. “It’s not a war – it’s just random shelling and many people are suffering.”

Another inmate said: “We had the idea that (opposition forces) were there to terrorise people, to kill children, to kill females and to kill everybody around, but… we noticed that the opposite was what was actually happening.”

June 26th, 2012, 6:01 am


omen said:

rana kabbani:
Today is International Day For Victims of Torture.
Think of those 220,000 undergoing it in ‪Assad‬ prisons

June 26th, 2012, 6:28 am


Juergen said:

Erdogan said in an meeting with AKP members of parliament that the downing of the jet on Friday is a “conscious” and “hostile act”. “As valuable as the friendship of Turkey is , its as strong as their anger,” said Erdogan.

Turkey would use after the downing of the aircraft over international waters all the possibilities of international law, Erdogan said. Any further action of this kind Syrian would be perceived as a threat and responded accordingly. Turkey will not go into the trap of those who wanted a war, the Prime Minister said. But Turkey was not a country to watch “with hands tied” to an attack like the one on her plane.

Erdogan also pointed out that his country will increase its support for Syrian opposition. The regime of Bashar al-Assad had lost all legitimacy and is now no longer just a threat to the Syrian people, but also for Turkey.

June 26th, 2012, 6:32 am


Alan said:

Let Erdogan drinks the sea with all his CO

June 26th, 2012, 7:46 am


Juergen said:

Erdogan made also the following statement in Ankara today :

Turkey supports the Syrian people by any means necessary, until it is freed from oppression and massacres from this bloodthirsty dictator and his clique. “

June 26th, 2012, 8:05 am


majedkhaldoun said:

1- Erdogan sent warning to Syria
Every military element approaching Turkey from the Syrian border and representing a security risk and danger will be assessed as a military threat and will be treated as a military target,” he said.

This means safe area, major change

2- There were clashes in Qadsaya and al-Hameh, around 8km (5 miles) from the centre of the city, it is where the families of republican guards officers live.

June 26th, 2012, 8:08 am


Observer said:

Syrian Hamster
Have you noticed how any comment diminishing the “aura” of the “dear leader” be it Fredo or Putin brings out the most defensive vehement response from the worshipers?

Zoo cannot swallow the fact that Bibi stayed sitting while having Putin at his home.

He seems to have lost sleep over the fact that Putin like Fredo are being treated to the bully treatment they deserve. This is how Bibi treats the bully Putin: show him that you are not afraid and you know where to put him in his place.

To the dustbin of history.

June 26th, 2012, 8:12 am


Uzair8 said:

Another first?

First defection from the Palestine Liberation Army.
In response to the shelling on Palestinian camp in #Daraa #Syria

June 26th, 2012, 8:16 am


Tara said:

I do think that shooting down the Turkish plane was a good thing to the revolution.  Humiliated emotional Erdogan will do everything in his power to support the FSA to bring down the regime.  I think Batta’s decision to shoot down the plane was stupid.  Is he missing on a vengeful humiliated enemies? 

Turkey PM Erdogan issues Syria border threat
26 June 2012 Last updated at 06:27 ET

Turkey says its military rules of engagement have changed after Syria shot down a Turkish plane that strayed into its territory.

PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament that if Syrian troops approached Turkey’s borders, they would be seen as a military threat.

Mr Erdogan spoke of Turkey’s “rage” at Syria’s decision to shoot down the F-4 Phantom on 22 June. “A short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack,” he said. The Turkish jet was on a training flight, testing Turkey’s radars in the eastern Mediterranean, he said.

He made it clear that Turkey was adopting a “common sense” attitude, although that “shouldn’t be perceived as a weakness”.

After the Nato meeting, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave a statement in which the alliance’s 28 members said the shooting down of the plane was “unacceptable” and they “stand together with Turkey in the spirit of strong solidarity”.

He said their thoughts were with the missing pilots and their families.

“It is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms. Nato allies will remain seized of developments,” he said.

This is believed to be only the second time in Nato’s history that a member state has invoked Article 4. In 2003, Turkey asked for Nato assistance to ensure its security in the run-up to the Iraq war.

June 26th, 2012, 8:30 am


Uzair8 said:

The daily regime forces casualties may be worse than Russian* levels in Chechnya.(?) One day it was 55. A few days ago it was about 27 regime and 9 rebels. If lets say we have an average of 25 a day then in a hundred days that is 2500 men.

Then there are the injured. We also have daily defections.

How long can the regime absorb such losses and setbacks?

*One independant estimate of losses in the second Chechen war is 11,000 between 1999-2003.

The same independant source estimated 14,000 losses in the first Chechen war.

June 26th, 2012, 8:34 am


Uzair8 said:

Continuing replying to Vedat’s comment (the previous post #131 can also be included).

Saddam didn’t face the determined uprising we see now. At that time the internal opponents didn’t have the precendents we have now. The Syrians have seen their brethren in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt and the level of determination is sky high. The Arab people are one people with one conscience. We don’t even have to go that far back. The Iranian Green movement didn’t have the success of Tunisia, Egypt etc to draw inspiration, encouragement and determination from.

This is a different world.

June 26th, 2012, 8:42 am


omen said:

aje blog

Syrian activists in the outskirts of Aleppo say that 280 soldiers defected in Idlib near the main highway leading to Aleppo, on Tuesday.

They said there were clashes between the defectors and the Syrian army and that one helicopter had been shot down and six tanks destroyed.


not related but video showing rebels with anti aircraft weapons.

June 26th, 2012, 9:12 am


Halabi said:

JNA – I didn’t say anything about inflicting harm on Alawites. I never have and I never will. If you think that lobbying to get Hassoun, the Sunni Mufti from Aleppo, an individual known to us all, away from a reputable public forum where he can spread more hate is the same as shooting people and fire-bombing mosques, well that’s your opinion.

I’m not going to question the reporter’s work in the Australian. It’s a one-sided story and doesn’t have any comments from officials investigating these alleged crimes, but it gives us a view of what some Alawites and Christians think. They obviously feel threatened by everyone on the other side, not just the so-called terrorists.

“He [Joseph Wakim, a Maronite Catholic from Lebanon] said radical Islamists were seizing an opportunity to strike out at Alawites under cover of a “dominant, romantic and simplistic narrative” that the Alawite Syrian President was a mass murderer and that cast the Alawites as the villains of the Arab Spring, whose democratic beginnings, he claimed, had been hijacked by Islamists peddling theocracy.

“Clearly, the push to replace a secular Syrian state with a sectarian Sunni state has spilled over to our own backyards,” he said.”

That’s a simplistic narrative mixed with a dollop of racism.

There’s more from Alawi sheikh Ahmad Jundi: “radical Salafis and Wahhabis “brainwash their own into believing that hurting Alawite or even killing them is halal (permissible)” and Alawi people in Australia feared that the violence against them would escalate.”

Syrians who support the revolution try to include everyone – I’ve made friends at protests with Alawites, Christians, Druze, conservative Sunnis, liberal ones, atheists (not many, but there are some other than me) and secular Iranians who oppose their oppressive theocracy. We all want freedom and an end to the Assad regime. Our chants reflect that.

When Assad supporters meet, there are also people from all sects, but they are bonded by devotion to one man, who is undeniably a murderer, and they chant his name, say they will be his shabbiha, then chant his name some more. They will then talk about how there’s a conspiracy and everyone on the other side is a 3ar3our, how Burhan Ghalioun destroyed Homs using his tanks and artillery, etc. Then say goodbye to the dozen or so who showed up and return to their hypocritical lives, enjoying freedom in the West while denying it for their compatriots.

I don’t think anyone should hurt these people, and if Islamic terrorists emerge from the Syrian community to attack minorities in the West, I am sure the authorities in Australia, the U.S. and Europe will act to prevent these networks from forming and will investigate and prosecute the offenders. Whoever thinks that any Western country is going to allow domestic extremist Sunnis to exterminate a rival community of 20,000 people is delusional.

On the other hand, there are real murders happening every day in Syria by all sides but nobody is investigating them.

June 26th, 2012, 9:30 am


omen said:

you know iran is starting to panic about the gains rebels have been making when it suddenly wants to broker a political solution:

According to the Iranian ambassador to Damascus, their contacts have been extensive and have included opposition leaders in and outside Syria. They have carried messages back and forth between opposition leaders and Damascus and at one point Iranian diplomats, who met Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Turkey, even offered a roadmap for reconciliation between the Islamist group and Assad.

The deal, disclosed by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, included a power-sharing arrangement that handed the premiership to the Islamist group in return for Assad retaining the presidency. But such efforts have been fruitless in the light of the ongoing violence and the Syrian government’s recourse to a security crackdown.


A few days ago, in a private conversation, a top general who is in charge of Iran’s key regional files, expressed his frustration with the Syrian president’s failure to heed calls for reform, saying: “Assad takes the pills in front of us. But once we turn our heads, he spits them out.”

June 26th, 2012, 9:31 am


irritated said:

#127 Makedalkhadoon

Every military element approaching Turkey from the Syrian border and representing a security risk and danger will be assessed as a military threat and will be treated as a military target,” he said.

The Syrian army will now feel free to do exactly the same. Any suspicious element near the border with Turkey will be shot without warning, Turkish or not.
I think Erdogan fell into the trap of “war declaration’ to Syria.
He may have to stop his support of weapons smuggling and hosting the armed rebels near the border.

June 26th, 2012, 10:15 am


zoo said:


Zoo cannot swallow the fact that Bibi stayed sitting while having Putin at his home.

I think you can’t swallow your distortion of the reality not to say a harsher word.

After the “Phone Book” and “Netanyahu’s gout” episode, your series of argumentation is to say the least close to a cartoon.

June 26th, 2012, 10:21 am


bronco said:

#135 Omen

“iran is starting to panic ”

I think The Guardian is going wild after Egypt elections. They see the Moslem Brotherhood everywhere.
Now they are reporting a ‘Syrian Moslem Brotherhood’ who is expressing his wishful thinking of taking power in Syria as the reality on the ground. The MB are Qatar’s spokesmen, what do we expect?
Contrary to Qatar and the ‘friends of Syria’ Iran has been from the start calling for a political solution and will stick to its position together with Russia and China and the Brics.

June 26th, 2012, 10:28 am


irritated said:

125. Alan

Let Erdogan drinks the sea with all his CO

Erdogan is fulminating, enraged, shocked, furious, frustrated etc…

He should calm down and relax a bit, these negative emotions could trigger a fatal relapse to his colon’s cancer.

June 26th, 2012, 10:33 am


Tara said:

From Omen link above

“The deal, disclosed by a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, included a power-sharing arrangement that handed the premiership to the Islamist group in return for Assad retaining the presidency. But such efforts have been fruitless…”

This would have been a disastrous solution to the Syrian crisis. The Syrian people do not want both. Can Iran leave us alone?

June 26th, 2012, 10:35 am


Juergen said:


Turkey-Syria conflict Erdogan’s playing with fire

“”We take the incident as unacceptable and condemn him most strictly. It is another example of how the Syrian authorities neither respect international standards nor peace and security and human lifes,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“At the meeting in Brussels that Turkey had described the incident again forcefully. While the unarmed own jet had entered briefly into Syrian airspace, this is by no means exceptional. Even Syrian helicopters would regularly fly over Turkish territory – without consequences.”

“Probably the Turkish wanted to test the Syrian radar, the ailing regime in Damascus, in turn apparently took the opportunity to demonstrate their own commitment. For the military in Brussels, the reaction also shows that the air defense of the Syrian is on high alarm status at any time prepared for a possible attack.”

June 26th, 2012, 10:42 am


zoo said:

A Civil War, yes, but within the opposition

The Civil War in the Syrian Opposition: How Long Can the Free Syrian Army Hold Off Its Islamist Rivals?
Tyler Golson
June 25, 2012 | 8:05 pm

If you want to know where the fourteen month-old Syrian revolution against President Bashar al-Assad is headed, the case of Walid al-Boustani provides a useful rubric. Al-Boustani led an ill-fated “Islamic Emirate of Homs” that lasted only a few weeks. Apparently the locals did not appreciate having an “Emir” who kidnapped and murdered their people while claiming to wage jihad against the regime of Bashar al-Assad. And so in March 2012 a local brigade of the Free Syrian Army executed the Lebanese-born al-Boustani, amidst accusations that the jihadist was not only a traitor to the Syrian revolution but also, in fact, an agent of the Syrian regime.

The incident is part of a larger clash that has mostly gone overlooked in the Western media—namely, the struggle between Syria’s two main armed opposition groups, groups that represent two radically different visions for Syria’s future. In that way, it’s not enough to simply know—as a recent article in the New York Times pointed out—that Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with assistance from the CIA, are funneling arms and cash to certain Syrian rebel groups via intermediaries in Turkey. It’s also important to know that the other rebel groups—those with an Islamist political agenda—that the United States and its allies have decided not to support are distrusted by the Syrian people themselves. Indeed, Washington’s largely hands-off approach to the Syria crisis has so far been greatly assisted by the Syrian public’s broad rejection of the hardcore Islamist rebels. But there’s no telling how much longer America’s strategic interests and the Syrian people’s sympathies will remain in sync.

June 26th, 2012, 10:47 am


zoo said:

Israeli media ridiculing Erdogan’s empty talk

How will the insulted sultan respond?
06/25/2012 22:58

Syrian air defenses downed a Turkish F-4 which was completely unarmed and flying solo on a test mission for Turkish national radar system.

Therefore, by shooting down the Turkish fighter jet, it is argued, Damascus aimed to take advantage of the current situation in which Syrian tyranny in enjoying a stalemate between regional and global powers, to send a message to political and armed opposition by questioning Turkey’s capability. The move is a demonstration of defiance toward Turkish involvement in the Syrian turmoil, and in the larger context, Turkey’s regional leadership ambitions

Put simply, if Assad now does not feel as worried as he would if his air defenses had downed a British or an Israeli warplane, or an American one, Turkey’s regional leadership ambitions are tantamount to empty talk.

June 26th, 2012, 10:53 am


omen said:

i wasn’t going to post this because it wasn’t yet sourced but then i saw this on the blog above:

Jordan seems to have closed the border with Syria – a friend writes: “Someone in Syria just told me that Jordan has closed its border with Syria to avoid taking more refugees. This means Syrians can’t travel to Jordan at all.”

so this seems in keeping:

ranna kabbani:
Jordan hands Assad 20 defected soldiers.

what is going on with jordan?


separate question: if you were fsa, would you trust the cia?

June 26th, 2012, 10:54 am


zoo said:

Turkey’s show off for fear of … the PKK

Turkey sends military convoy to Syrian border

Turkey has deployed a large number of military vehicles to the Syrian border, daily Milliyet reported.

The shipment included 15 armored tanks, in addition to long-distance guns and other military vehicles. The convoy was heavily guarded as it moved toward the border in the event of an attack by outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members.

Military units reportedly increased security measures on the border following recent events that have strained bilateral relations.

June 26th, 2012, 10:59 am


Uzair8 said:

A couple of Al-Arabiya opinion pieces. The second one in particular is a good read.

No to Arab fighters in Syria
By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Those who support the participation of Arab militants in the fight to overthrow Bashar al-Assad in Syria are convinced by the reported presence of Iranians and Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese in battles against the Free Syrian Army (FSA). However, this is only one side of the equation. In terms of the FSA and the Syrian opposition, the participation of Arab and Muslim fighters in their battles would do more harm than good. The Syrian regime’s media already rejoices, along with the Iranian regime, whenever it obtains evidence of Arab fighters’ involvement in clashes with Bashar al-Assad’s regime.


Syria faced with the mixed regime ‘balloon solution’
By Abdul Rahman al-Rashed

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Even though the regime is fighting ferociously and with vindictive brutality, it incurs losses every day. There is no doubt that the regime is staggering and is gravely injured beyond repair. The regime was finished on the hands of those who were its loyal citizens one day. The regime is finished in the eyes of its citizens, because it has been sending its militias to kill their children and women.

June 26th, 2012, 11:01 am


Alan said:

how are the regime-changers doing? Let’s see:

Iraq – check!

Libya – check!

Egypt – check!

Syria – three-quarters of a check!

That leaves only Iran, and parts of Lebanon, as yet unconquered. But don’t worry – they’re working on it. Operation Chaos is right on schedule.

June 26th, 2012, 11:02 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Irritated said
“He may have to stop his support of weapons smuggling and hosting the armed rebels near the border.”

You live in new york State, but still eating foul mudammas,(fava beans),your analysis and conclusions are realy strange, on the contrary,Erdogan will supply the rebel with more weapons and effective weapons to down Assad planes, infact today they downed a helicopter and video it burning,and watching the pilot burn in hell.
Assad stand to lose when he made the mistake of shooting Turkish plane, yes there will be ban on Syrian military vehicle near the Turkish borders, and this will free the FSA to work freely there, ,Your God Assade is stupid, keep eating Foul Mudammas.

June 26th, 2012, 11:06 am


Alan said:

Erdogan !
Russia won’t permit foreign intervention in Syria
Moscow — The Kremlin never raised its voice against the US occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and chose to silently watch the Arab Spring that was sweeping through North Africa and the Middle East.
When their interests in the Middle East started to be affected, the Kremlin harshly reacted to the development, and it is not eager to allow any foreign intervention into Syria and the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad../../..

June 26th, 2012, 11:32 am


Alan said:

Regime-Changers’ Report Card
The regime-change machine is humming – and picking up speed
by Justin Raimondo, June 25, 2012

Divide et impera – a strategy employed by empires since ancient times, and perfected by the British – has been the leitmotif of American foreign policy in the Middle East since the Bush administration’s “Arab Awakening” in Iraq and the supposed success of the “surge.”

June 26th, 2012, 11:38 am


Alan said:

Erdogan underdeveloped freak! it has yet to meet with the Kurdish question! ! and then we will look at his aircrafts! moron!

June 26th, 2012, 11:49 am


Syrialover said:

#148. Alan

What about Tunisia?

You’re right – the regime changers all deserve a big tick and congratulations.

And I like your assessment that they are 75% there in Syria.

June 26th, 2012, 12:46 pm


omen said:

bob baer: he’s written a book and a made documentary where he pointed the finger of blame at syria for the beirut bombing of the marine base. but now he’s got amnesia about it.


June 26th, 2012, 12:47 pm


Alan said:

Invite you for a coffee Arabica with cardamom!

June 26th, 2012, 12:54 pm


Alan said:

SL ! all regime want changing too !!!! and i with you too !!someone wants on western Hepocracy Horse to do it! but i like by thoroughbred Syrian horses !

June 26th, 2012, 1:06 pm


Syrialover said:


Bashar Assad shot himself in one foot when he fired on peaceful demonstators, and he’s now shot himself in the other foot with the attack on the Turkish aircraft.

It means he will go from limping to crawling towards his ending.

The Assad regime is conducting their “defence of Syria” campaign with the same disastrous incompetence that ground the country down for 42 years. What a surprise.

June 26th, 2012, 1:06 pm


jna said:

134. Halabisaid: […]

My reply Re: Hassoun, Grand Mufti

Hassoun really blew it with his speech about “martyrdom-seekers” in Western countries after his son was murdered by the opposition.
He threw away a sympathetic position for an image of a terrorism enabler.

FMEP, a good organization for ME peace, really blew it by not researching Hassoun before inviting him to a conference in America.

Hassoun really blew it again by accepting the invitation to USA, not realizing what an inviting target he had made himself.

The Assad regime was really stupid to allow Hassoun to accept the invitation to the FMEP conference after Hassoun’s stupid remarks would obviously make him an easy target.

Easy victory for the opposition activists.

June 26th, 2012, 1:14 pm


Syrialover said:

Fierce fighting in Damascus

…Witnesses say it is some of the most intense violence in the area since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began more than a year ago.

…The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that clashes happened overnight and into Tuesday near Republican Guard positions in Qadsaya and al-Hama, around 8km (5 miles) from the centre of Damascus.

Correspondents say it is rare for fighting to take place near Republican Guard bases and suggests a growing confidence among the rebels.

The elite Republican Guard, commanded by President Bashar al-Assad’s younger brother Maher, is tasked with protecting the capital.

June 26th, 2012, 1:18 pm


Tara said:

Would stopping electricity export to Aleppo wake the comatose Aleppine up?  It sure will further discontent the elite…if witnessing the murder of their own brethren did not do it for them, then they deserve no imported electricity.  Turkey should go ahead.  Homsis has no electricity either..

3.24pm: Syria/Turkey:The shooting down of the Turkish jet was “stupid move” by Syria that could internationalise the crisis, according to Middle East analyst Juan Cole. Writing on his blog, Informed Comment, he says:

Syrians may have deliberately been sending Turkey a message, to back off.

It was a stupid move. As long a Syria did not engage in hostilities with other states in the region, it was teflon, since Russia and China were protecting it at the UN. But now that it has fired on a Nato plane, it has offered Turkey and its colleagues a legal way to use force.

I don’t think either Turkey or other Nato members will be at all happy to be drawn into military action in Syria. (Nor do I think that would be a good idea). But they might be drawn into creating a humanitarian corridor at Hatay in Turkey, and guarding it from Syrian attack.

By its unwise aggression against Turkey, Syria may have internationalised its civil war, something it and its allies had desperately been trying to avoid.

Moreover, if Turkey really does stop helping with electricity exports to Aleppo, that step could contribute to further discontent in one of the few major cities where protests have been muted and somewhat infrequent.

June 26th, 2012, 1:20 pm


omen said:

oops, should have said this plague of a regime instead of syria. sorry, hamster.

June 26th, 2012, 1:24 pm


omen said:

re the terrorist mufti, the event got canceled.

( – A Washington-based think tank late Monday cancelled an event scheduled for Thursday after sparking protests for inviting Syria’s grand mufti, a state-appointed ally of President Bashar Assad, who has been quoted as supporting suicide bombing.


In a brief notice sent to subscribers Monday FMEP said the forum had been cancelled “[d]ue to unforeseen circumstances.”


CAIR said it had written to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier Monday urging her to deny Hassoun a visa.

At a press briefing on Monday afternoon, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment on visa matters, citing “confidentiality under U.S. law.”

She said the department was aware that Hassoun and several other clerical figures had been invited to an event in D.C.

Asked whether any administration officials planned to meet with the mufti, Nuland replied, “Again, what we have at this point is an invitation. I don’t have anything for you on anything further.”


was the u.s. hoping to speak to the mufti as an intermediary? to discuss what? how to plot to keep members of regime in power?

this regime mouthpiece threatened the u.s. obama would have been within his rights to launch a unilateral preemptive strike in retaliation. instead, the administration did the regime a favor and kept a lid on the threat and downplayed it.

June 26th, 2012, 1:33 pm


Ghufran said:

لم يدعُ  اردوغان حلف شمال الاطلسي الى الانعقاد عندما انقض الكومندوس الاسرائيلي على السفينة التركية «مرمرة» في المياه الدولية و قتل 9 مدنيين أتراك لم يكونوا يحملون سوى الطحين والكراسي الخاصة بالمعوقين. لم يفعل هذا ايضا عندما خرقت القاذفات الاسرائيلية الاجواء التركية في الذهاب والاياب، لا بل انها تخلت عن بعض خزانات الوقود فوق الارض التركية
(this is from a pro regime source)
Turkey and Muslim countries are more likely to retaliate against other Muslim nations where they typically choose “caution and self restrint” when the alleged aggressor is a western nation or Israel,it is a form of cannibalism and a reflection of the degradation that has infected those nations for the last 700 years.
Erdogan,who is now at the front end of the West war with Iran, does not want to talk about why the Turkish jet was inside Syrian air space but he wants NATO’s help to repair his damaged pride,after his help with the missile shield,and now is checking whether a free zone is allowed ,thus solidifying Turkey’s position as a regional pimp for Israel and NATO.

June 26th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Syrialover said:

Asma should be urgently stuffing her 200 suitcases full of Louboutin shoes and other treasures ready to leave town.

“Fighters for the insurgent Free Syrian Army launched what they described as an exploratory attack on a military base housing Syria’s elite Republican Guard in Damascus late Monday, and the ferocious reaction on Tuesday convinced them their foray had been something of a success.

….In an apparently unrelated development, a Syrian Air Force Lieutenant General was kidnapped by armed men from his home in Damascus, according to Syrian State Television, who identified him as Lt. Gen. Farage Shihada al Maqat. He was taken from his home in the Al Adawi neighborhood of Damascus, an exclusive area where dignitaries and Russian advisers live. If the report is true, General Maqat would be the highest ranking officer to be kidnapped or killed since the Syrian uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 16 months ago.”

June 26th, 2012, 1:37 pm


Alan said:

Sledgehammer: Turkey’s false flag attack kicks off NATO’s Syrian invasion
June 25, 2012
Source: Richard Cottrell

June 26th, 2012, 1:40 pm


Alan said:

Erdogan has the question with own Kurds!Is it not a priority to decide for him?
Turkey can explode from within! today it is technologically and modern ! 🙂
vehicle of regime change is picking up speed!

June 26th, 2012, 1:48 pm


Syrialover said:

Alan #155

Can I bring my own coffee and cup? I am warned to be nervous of ricin in Russia.

June 26th, 2012, 1:49 pm


Alan said:

do not need! cold and beauties can calm any potential hot! 🙂

June 26th, 2012, 1:57 pm


Juergen said:

Hitting the Butcher of Damascus where it hurts
So where can you hit the butcher of Damascus where it hurts? Does he have a soft spot?

June 26th, 2012, 2:27 pm


Alan said:

‘If West stops military aid to opposition, Syria will be at negotiation table the very next day’

June 26th, 2012, 2:31 pm


Mina said:

From the Angry Arab, on al-Jazzara’s sectarian games and the role of Twitter

Bahrain and Syria
From Angry Arab’s chief Bahrain correspondent: “I have no idea why you keep saying that the Syrian uprising is the least supported uprising in the arab world. The least supported uprising is Bahrain’s because of the sectarian coverage of the saudi and qatari media (and yemen is the most ignored). Lack of support is especially prevalent amongst religious arabs. Tell me of one mosque in the US or the arab world which has a prayer for those killed in the Bahraini uprising. Also I’m sick and tired of syria being the litmus test for everything. A couple of days ago Faisal of aljazeera (forgot his last name) criticized bahraini protesters on twitter for supposedly not supporting the syrian uprising. He blocked anyone responding to him telling him that isn’t true. WTF is he talking about???? I want to know how he gathered the data to make such an incorrect generalization. Since you know him please send him this message: Did he forget that Bashar alasad supported the Saudi invasion of bahrain. And I guess he forgot to read the tweets of Zainab alkhawaja, mariam alkhawaja, nabeel rajab and other prominent protest leaders concerning syria. Or perhaps he should search for Syria in the websites of alwefaq and waad and see the numerous statements in support of the syrian people/uprising. The only political opposition society that supports alasad is alwahdawi which is a small arab nationalist opposition society.


June 26th, 2012, 2:43 pm


Uzair8 said:

I was gonna say earlier that I expected Assad to do another speech soon.

Just came across this tweet but can’t find anything else on this:

Boycott #Assad’s speech and let’s concentrate on our protests, #FSA operations, Ghalioun’s visist. Takbeer! #Syria”

Assad is losing control. I sense oncoming panic. It’s game over. Hopefully before Ramadan (or Eid).

June 26th, 2012, 3:09 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

As things deteriorate more defections and quick end becomes possible more

June 26th, 2012, 3:18 pm


Uzair8 said:

175 Majed

Yes. It isn’t even necessary to defeat the regime to the last man.
Even reducing the regime’s ability to punish the families of defectors will open the way for the defection of military/political/business figures on a much greater scale.

Imagine a soldier defects. Is the regime gonna send a team of Mukhabarat (etc) to his village to punish his family if they have to travel through possible rebel areas? They may get knocked out on route.

It will get harder and harder for Assad to punish people and deter them if more areas have rebels operating in them and as Assad’s resources (manpower) become stretched.

June 26th, 2012, 3:30 pm


omen said:

from juergen’s piece at 2:27:

a red herring thrown in attempt to preserve the bastard regime:

So where can you hit the butcher of Damascus where it hurts? Does he have a soft spot?

Yes, he does. But it is not Syria, nor is it Lebanon, Syria’s next-door neighbor. It is Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that has a very sizable military organization – an army, in fact. An army that is far stronger than that of Lebanon, on whose territory it operates. It has an armory of weapons that would shame many legitimate armies in the world today; among its weapons are tens of thousands of ballistic rockets and missiles.

This army, both armed and trained by the Iranians, is a close ally of the Syrian dictator. Its fighters participate in the slaughter that has taken place in Syria these past few months and oppose those in Lebanon who demonstrate against what is happening in Syria.

Hezbollah’s army is an illegitimate one, formed contrary to international law, violating on a daily basis the sovereignty of Lebanon, refusing to submit to the authority of the Lebanese army. And its plans for attacking Israel with rockets could turn the Middle East into a powder keg.

Hezbollah is a legitimate target for those seeking to return some degree of normalcy to the Middle East. It is Assad’s weak spot. If Hezbollah’s army were to be disarmed, it would weaken Syria significantly.

It is hard to believe that this terrorist organization, allied with Iran and Syria, threatening Israel, endangering Lebanon, has been essentially ignored by the international community in recent years. UN Security Council Resolution 1701, passed unanimously in August 2006, called for the disarming of armed groups in Lebanon. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, on his recent visit to Beirut, said in reference to Hezbollah that “all these arms outside of the state authority [are] not acceptable.” Hezbollah has with impunity disregarded these calls. In fact, aided by Iran and Syria, it has greatly increased its armory of weapons in the intervening years. Now it is assisting Assad in the mass killings in Syria.

It is high time to initiate diplomatic moves aimed at disarming Hezbollah. Such moves would be fully justified by international law. The UN Security Council should put Hezbollah’s violations of Resolution 1701 on its agenda. Russia and China, so concerned about the inviolability of sovereign states, regardless of their character or actions, might be prepared to support such a move in support of the sovereignty of Lebanon. Complaints should be lodged with the Lebanese government. Like the strategy for dealing with the Iranian nuclear weapons program, here too it should be made clear that, should diplomacy fail, other options are “on the table.” Such a move may finally get things moving in Syria and put an end to the bloodletting. It will most certainly get Assad’s attention.

cut off the head of the snake, the body will wither.

June 26th, 2012, 3:40 pm


Uzair8 said:

We saw the Syrian pilot defect. In Libya, when the 2 pilots defected to Malta with their planes we knew then that the game may be up for Gaddafi. This was followed by diplomatic defections (Ambassadors) on the same day (21 Feb 2011). Are we finally going to see the diplomatic defections in Syria?

June 26th, 2012, 3:41 pm


Osama said:

unfortunately the oppositionists are the ones who are desperate for any indication of a fall. the truth is that these attacks are not designed to convince you

– they are designed to trick/deceive the people who are not with the government…. and not with you either.

the attacks are meant to demonstrate that the government is weak and out of control as are the millions being used to convince weak willed officer’s that they can defect for a few bucks and probably some other promises – most of which will go unfulfilled.

I posted a couple of days ago that we should expect to see some spectacular attacks nearing the time of the June 30th meeting in Geneva. and here we are with spectacular, but still ineffectual, attacks.

Seriously guys, you want to get somewhere other than the dead-end your heading for now – take the negotiations seriously – because the road your on now will only lead to Syria’s destruction – because your either going to be forced to have a new government aligned with the US and its stooges or they would rather see Syria destroyed.

When I say aligned with the US, I don’t mean like Saudi, I mean like Congo…

I have no love for the president, but I do believe he is better than the alternatives on hand currently. Everything depends on how far Russia primarily (and Iran/China) are willing to go to keep the government running – China has the money, but not the political will and Russia has the will but not the money and Iran cannot afford either.

June 26th, 2012, 3:49 pm


omen said:

osama, what negotiations? the regime refuses to even abide by the kofi plan.

June 26th, 2012, 4:07 pm


omen said:

do you have to go there, anwar?

June 26th, 2012, 4:14 pm


Osama said:


The negotiations that Kofi Annan invited everyone to in Geneva on Saturday – June 30th. The Russian plan that the West and Nato are trying desperately to sabotage.

You are convinced he is evil, fine, then you have nothing to lose… but we all know that the SNC/FSA/Opposition have no say, so we have to depend on other Syrian opposition (like the LCC and the internal opposition) that is not an artificial construct of a foreign government. They must go and make their voices heard… even it is just to repeat the same demands.

and show the rest of us that they have a voice of their own and not something written/produced out of USA.

June 26th, 2012, 4:19 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Ghalioun was inside Syria for four hours.

Three helicopters were downed and four tanks were destroyed, FSA capabilities are getting stronger

June 26th, 2012, 4:31 pm


Uzair8 said:

174. Uzair8

Regarding Assad’s ‘speech’, it may have been referring to this (?) :

Syria’s Assad says country in a ‘real state of war’
26 June 2012

“We live in a real state of war from all angles,” Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday. “When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.”

June 26th, 2012, 4:44 pm


anwar said:

just how oblivious are people here to be asking for negotiation at this point. There’s too much blood on hand for those bs political games.

besides, give it a month and Assad will be begging to be heard. I can see him negotiating his retirement in Switzerland while the rest of his supporters end up paying the price for his and their crimes

June 26th, 2012, 4:55 pm


irritated said:

#185 Anwarr

give it a month and Assad will be begging to be heard

We heard that 15 months ago on a regular basis… keep parotting

June 26th, 2012, 5:06 pm


Juergen said:

thank you, for reposting!

June 26th, 2012, 5:11 pm


Alan said:

Israel and KSA want an adventure to do with Iran by the west arms and Erdugan goes togather with them to coveted adventure with Syria by hands of NATO!
I characterize NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as “the adult in the room” on geopolitical issues , but I am hoping that he is able to diffuse the situation here, even though Turkey appears to be hell-bent on creating an even worse conflict with Syria.

June 26th, 2012, 5:12 pm


irritated said:

Baba Nato is telling Baby Erdogan to calm down, it’s bad for his colon and the Big Bad Boys of Syria do not deserve such hysteria.

Erdogan: “No one should be deceived by our cool-headed stance,” he added. “Our acting with common sense should not be perceived as a weakness.”

It is, everybody is talking about that: Turks are perceived as loud voiced and impotent.

June 26th, 2012, 5:15 pm


Alan said:

NATO slams Syria over jet attack, Turkey rattles sabres
NATO has held an emergency closed door meeting at Turkey’s request, after one its fighter jets was shot down by Syria. The alliance has condemned Damascus’ actions… but fell short of calling it an attack on the whole bloc. RT’s Tesa Arcilla reports.
Turkey claims its downed jet was unarmed, and was on a training flight, testing the country’s radars. But the head of an independent Syrian media outlet, says Ankara could have been spying on Damascus

June 26th, 2012, 5:20 pm


Osama said:


I am not talking about imaginary negotiations, they will happen, whether you like them or not.

Now whether they produce anything more than hot air is still an open question. The point is, again, the US and its allies need to decide how far they are willing to go… the same goes for the Russians and their allies (or Syria’s allies).

Indications are that the Turks were told in no uncertain terms to back-off and what your seeing today is just Erdogan & AKP making a strong effort so they don’t look stupid and inept (which they are).

The US is in an election year and the risks too high for Obama to risk any accusations from the republicans, especially when the reality is that Syria (on its own) has no vital US interest.

Europe also has no appetite, their Euro is on the verge of destroying the whole EU. (I exclude the Brits, because they don’t know any better, they still think they are a world power).

The Russians have to decide what they want to get out of this as payment to step aside and the US has to decide if they really want to buy this mess – say for example by removing the missile shield radars and missile from Europe.

Currently the US and Europe are happy to have the Saudi’s send their money and bearded crazies to die in Syria and the Russia’s are happy to block any Security Council action.

Too much to lose and not clear what would be gained – and don’t kid yourself about the West being concerned about the poor Syrian civilians, they don’t care.

June 26th, 2012, 5:20 pm



I am preparing my lugage to go to the Near East so I can be near
to Assad when his end comes. Stop. I will do my best to cooperate with the cause. Stop. I will report from there. Stop.

June 26th, 2012, 5:25 pm


irritated said:

Very strange that Erdogan does not mention the dead pilots. Usually Erdogan makes a big fuss about turkish soldiers killed by a foreign country. In this case, they are hardly mentioned and we have not heard about funerals or army official declarations

I am under the impression that they did find them but they want to give the impression that they are dead. Why?
Because they were Syrian pilots on training on a Turkish plane who got lost…

June 26th, 2012, 5:28 pm


Alan said:

around the world ^ more and more CIA terror training camps !!!!
‘Islam rising, West diminishing, Libya big terror training camp’

The UK’s top spy has warned that a new terror threat is brewing. The head of MI5 said the uprisings in the Middle East have created new militant training camps. Up to 200 extremists from the UK are thought to have joined forces with heavily armed terror groups in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan. RT talks to Dr. Franklin Lamb, who is a Middle East Peace activist.

June 26th, 2012, 5:29 pm


ann said:

Syria in state of war, says president Bashar al-Assad – 26 June 2012

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said his country is in “a state of war”, more than a year after the uprising against his rule began.

Addressing his new cabinet, Mr Assad said that all efforts had to be directed towards winning the war.

Earlier, activists said fierce fighting in the suburbs of the capital Damascus had been the worst there so far.

The fresh clashes came amid heightened tensions with neighbouring Turkey over the downing of a military jet.

“We live in a real state of war from all angles,” President Assad told members of the cabinet who were sworn in on Tuesday.

“When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.”

He criticised countries that have been calling for him to stand down, saying that the West “takes and never gives and this has been proven at every stage”.

He added: “We want good relations with all countries but we must know where our interests lie.”


June 26th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Uzair8 said:

Fawaz Gerges seems to have been quiet on Syria for a couple of weeks.

He’s written an article for CNN.

Syria’s attack on Turkish plane could ignite conflict
June 26, 2012

Erdogan’s announcement signals a subtle and important shift in Ankara’s response to the Syrian crisis, in terms not only of political, economic and psychological pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, but also in creating this de facto safe zone that could in theory be enlarged into a base to provide strategic depth for rebels and allow more defectors to enter.

Syria is flexing its muscles, and even though Turkey is not retaliating militarily, its actions could be a game-changer within Syria, and between the two countries that were once close allies.

June 26th, 2012, 5:40 pm


AIG said:

When Erdogan does not go to war over the downed plane he is viewed by regime supporters as “impotent”. But when Assad does nothing when Israel bombs his nuclear reactor or buzzes his palace he is a genius.

How else to describe the Assads but as weak and impotent if for decades they do nothing about the Golan and keep the border there quiet and also do nothing when attacked by Israel? Erdogan has improved the economic conditions of his country and is truly popular. Assad is fighting his own people in Damascus and is turning Syria into a hell hole. But let’s not confuse the regime supporters with facts.

June 26th, 2012, 5:40 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan had made a clear declaration of war to Syria.
After denying it helped the rebels, now that is clear. Every hit is now allowed. The ring is open..

There were a few points in the prime minister’s speech that I took very seriously:
– Turkey, from now on, will assist the Syrian opposition more intensely. Up to now, the assistance was very carefully done and especially arms aid was rejected. From now on, Ankara has a free hand.

– If Syrian planes or any military plane violate Turkish territorial waters, contrary to previous attitudes, there will be a response.

– Turkey will do whatever it can until the al-Assad regime falls.

Some of us may consider these steps “empty.” They may be expecting much tougher and much more concrete measures.

Al-Assad has made Turkey, with which its relations were already tense, a full enemy now. Let’s be prepared for the period ahead. From now on, we can encounter a new incident any moment, and this time we might be dragged into a much hotter clash.

June 26th, 2012, 5:42 pm


ann said:

Clashes at Republican Guards HQ near Damascus, reports of British forces in Syria – 26 June, 2012


The intensified clashes may indicate that a coordinated offensive may be taking place in Syria, reports Israel’s Debkafile website. The attacks are apparently targeting the presidential palace and the compound of the presidential guard, the site reports.

The site says there are unconfirmed reports that British commando forces crossed from Turkey into Syria on Tuesday, according to Gulf military sources. The force may be involved in securing a safe heaven for rebel forces along the border.


June 26th, 2012, 5:44 pm


zoo said:

Turkish Opposition about Syria: “Erdogan has become an object of derision”. His Kurdish policy is a mess…
Kılıçdaroğlu was referring to the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in 2010, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed by Israeli commandos in international waters, after which Israel did not apologize.
“Foreign policy cannot depend on bluff. Let’s compare the two speeches of [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan that he delivered after Israel’s killing of our nine citizens and Syria’s downing of our jet. They are nearly the same speeches, full of epic rhetoric. Erdoğan has become an object of derision in Middle Eastern newspapers. This is unacceptable for us,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP leader once again said they would lend their support to the government to use diplomatic routes to resolve the crisis.

“You put Kurds behind bars in your country, and then you declare yourself protector of Kurds in Syria. Kurds are not so naive as to believe in these words,” Kışanak said.

June 26th, 2012, 5:51 pm


AIG said:

What a foreign policy genius Assad is! He really showed the Turks! Now he has to fight both the FSA and the Turks. What a great move! What’s next, attack Israel? He is such a genius that this is quite possible.

June 26th, 2012, 5:52 pm


ann said:

Syrian troops kill dozens of armed rebels near Damascus – 2012-06-26

DAMASCUS, June 26 (Xinhua) — Syrian troops clashed Tuesday with armed rebels in the restive Damascus’ neighborhood of Hameh, killing dozens of “terrorists” and apprehended many others, state- run SANA news agency quoted an official source as saying.

The armed groups have used the Hammeh area as a launching pad for their aggression on the civilians and law-enforcement forces, said SANA, adding that many of the arrested gunmen turned out to be from other Arab nationalities.

Large quantities of assorted weaponries have been seized after the clashes, according to the official report.


The Syrian army is clashing with the armed opposition in Hameh and Qudsaiah in a bid to cleanse those areas from the presence of rebels.

Witnesses said that more than 300 members of the rebel Free Syrian Army are currently stationed in Hameh and Qudsaiah, located near each other on the western slope of Qasioun mountain west of Damascus.

A resident of Hameh told Xinhua by phone Tuesday that he couldn ‘t get to his work Tuesday “because it’s a real battlefield, something like I’ve never ever imagined.”

The witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said that last night was the worse, adding that the government troops have given the armed elements a deadline to give up themselves and their weaponries, adding that “the clashes have just happened.”

Most of those who have relatives inside Damascus have seen this coming and left their houses in Hameh and Qudsaiah, the witness said, adding that the confrontation was inevitable “and we all knew that at some point this will happen, due to the large numbers of armed rebels in the area.”


The recent clashes are the latest in a series of other confrontations, signifying that the government’s patience with the armed elements in the country is wearing thinner.


June 26th, 2012, 5:54 pm



195. ANN said:

¨Syria in state of war, says president Bashar al-Assad – 26 June 2012¨

It seems Mr. Dictator is the last one in receiving inputs from reality. Or even worse he is the last borderline to process information and facts around him.

Congratulations Mr. Dictator for taking Syria to The State of War. The State of Repression has become The State of War. Can you see now Mr. Dictator what happens when you bullet unarmed demonstrations? Silly and ignorant, that is what God Assad is.

June 26th, 2012, 5:54 pm



203. ANN

It is nice to check all press reports and different views and interpretations from reality. I appreciate reading democratic countries news and even some private views from undemocratic countries. But when it comes to the state-owned press system garbage of China, Iran and Russia then I say that is enough.

Don´t you really have something better to throw in this forum?

I it really amazing how you can feed yourself with this info-garbage excrements from dictatorship owned press groups and hope that we can swallow it.

Stop Xinhuanet please. I beg you.

June 26th, 2012, 6:00 pm



Very interesting and deep article at XINHUANET

Assad is not a dictator. Assad is a democrat. Assad fights terrorists. Assad is our friend. Assad is not killing inocent people. Assad never attacks demonstrators. Assad never tortures.
Assad is not a dictator. Assad is a democrat. Assad fights terrorists. Assad is our friend. Assad is not killing inocent people. Assad never attacks demonstrators. Assad never tortures.
Assad is not a dictator. Assad is a democrat. Assad fights terrorists. Assad is our friend. Assad is not killing inocent people. Assad never attacks demonstrators. Assad never tortures.
Assad is not a dictator. Assad is a democrat. Assad fights terrorists. Assad is our friend. Assad is not killing inocent people. Assad never attacks demonstrators. Assad never tortures.
Assad is not a dictator. Assad is a democrat. Assad fights terrorists. Assad is our friend. Assad is not killing inocent people. Assad never attacks demonstrators. Assad never tortures.

June 26th, 2012, 6:09 pm


ann said:

Syrian army stable despite defections – Jun 26, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Syria’s military remains loyal despite recent high-profile defections, while the opposition remains fragmented and unable to attack as a unified force, indicating a long, protracted conflict ahead.

The Syrian regime is maintaining troop loyalty by keeping paychecks coming even as food and fuel run out for the rest of the country, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters on the Syrian conflict. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide the sensitive information.

Some higher ranked military officers have defected in recent days, including at least one general – among the thousands of troops who have deserted. But none of them is considered a key member of the military or key to the regime’s survival, the officials said.

There are more people angry with the regime, but also a core group fighting harder for its survival, leaving rebels and the Syrian regime locked in a “seesaw battle,” unable to knock each other out, setting the stage for a long fight that could slide slowly into civil war, the officials said.


The opposition remains determined, even attacking the outskirts of the capital Damascus on Monday. But it is fragmented geographically, “just a lot of groups operating in their own areas,” and still unable or as yet unwilling to work together to attack the army as a unified force, the officials said.

When the rebels gained territory during a cease-fire last year, the Syrian army picked up the pace and drove them out of their strongholds in the northwest, combining helicopter strafing runs and with ground assaults, the better to hit the lightly armed, mostly urban guerrilla force.

In turn, opposition fighters have learned to stage hit-and-run attacks on targets like checkpoints, harassing the regime’s troops at the edges, instead of taking on the Syrian army’s full might.


June 26th, 2012, 6:13 pm


ss said:

The opposition here makes me vomit.

Did the NATO attack Syria? Answer No

We told you the NATO will never ever attack Syria, did not we?. Answer Yes

The flight was downed and Erdogan image was downed.

I am so impressed by the level of professionalism that the exterior ministry of Syria has. These guys are freakin smart. They are consistent, calm, and they always deliver. On the contraray, Turkish bullies were stupid, inconsistent, and they have a different story every day?? Erdogan had 5 stories for the incidence, Gul has his own, Oglou has another. Its like watching cartoons.

June 26th, 2012, 6:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

207 Ann

You’ve donned them cool and expensive looking sunglasses frequently in recent days. How did you get around the sanctions?
This is a blatant breach!

I’m a clairvoyant.

June 26th, 2012, 6:27 pm


ann said:

Our OTTOMAN PAPER TIGER erdogan lost all his leadership power and needs to step down now 🙂

June 26th, 2012, 6:29 pm


ss said:

Erdogan commited a political assassination by siding with FSA radical elements. He brought Turkey down to mess. Do you believe that Turkish people are happy with the camps spreading at their southern borders? Is he going to give them Assylum?? just wondering.

June 26th, 2012, 6:29 pm


habib said:

199. AIG

Lol, the Turks are afraid. That’s why they go and cry to NATO. It was fully deserved, they’re actively fighting Syria by helping the insurgents.

And really disgusting how this incident will apparently have consequences, unlike the Flotilla massacre. Erdogan is still cuddling the Zionists.

June 26th, 2012, 6:32 pm


Uzair8 said:

Any truth to the report of battles between Syrian and Jordanian troops near the border?

June 26th, 2012, 6:34 pm


AIG said:

“The flight was downed and Erdogan image was downed.”
“Erdogan commited a political assassination by siding with FSA radical elements. He brought Turkey down to mess.”

Assad has made Syria into a hell hole. There is fighting in Damascus. Homs looks like a post apocalypse landscape. There is no Syrian economy. But all those things that make Erdogan’s image “go down”, makes Assad’s image go up! The more he wrecks Syria, the more the regime supporters like him! Perhaps the Turks are the same? The worse Erdogan does, the more they like him? Or is this just a special property of Assad?

June 26th, 2012, 6:37 pm


Syrialover said:

#202 Sandro Loewe

We know the poster “Ann” does not read the stuff she dumps here.

June 26th, 2012, 6:38 pm


AIG said:


If anyone is afraid it is Assad. He is afraid of letting the people protest peacefully. Cry to Nato? Assad is crying to Iran and Syria.

Erdogan is smart. Why does he have to waste Turkish lives on fighting Assad? Assad is dumb enough to end his own rule.

How stupid can Assad be? Syria needs the Turks after this awful mess is over. Assad is making sure even if a miracle happens and he stays in power, he will be economically isolated in the region. Real smart.

June 26th, 2012, 6:42 pm


ann said:

Turkey debt costs jump, lira drops after downing of aircraft – Wednesday 27/6/2012

Turkish bonds broke their longest stretch of gains since February, the lira sank and the cost of insuring the nation’s debt rose after Syria’s downing of a Turkish military aircraft heightened concerns over Turkey’s ties in the Middle East.
“We are all aware of where Turkey lies geographically and we all know that getting a larger role means bigger involvement in all the regional conflicts,” Viktor Szabo, who helps oversee $8bn in emerging-market debt at Aberdeen Asset Management in London, said in an e-mail on Monday.

The yield on benchmark two-year lira bonds jumped 10 basis points, or 0.10 percentage point, on Monday to 8.92%, the most in seven weeks, widening the spread over Russia to 139 basis points, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The lira weakened to its lowest against the dollar in almost two weeks, while Turkey’s credit-default swaps jumped the most in a month.


While Turkey’s trade with the Middle East and North Africa increased 34% this year, compared with a 6.3% decline from the European Union, the biggest source of revenue in April came from Iran, where international sanctions threaten to curtail transactions.

The lira weakened 0.5% to 1.8233 per dollar at 5.45pm in Istanbul, the lowest since June 12 on a closing basis.

Credit-default swaps on Turkey, rated Ba1, one level below investment grade by Moody’s, rose nine basis points to 250 on Monday, paring their decline this year to 28 basis points. The cost was 247 for Russia, 227 for Poland and 175 for South Africa. The contracts would pay the buyer face value in exchange for the underlying securities or the cash equivalent should a government or company fail to adhere to its debt agreements.

The extra yield investors demand to hold Turkey’s dollar- denominated sovereign bonds rather than US Treasuries rose eight basis points to 315, higher than the 306 for Russia and 224 for Poland, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBI Global index shows. The average for emerging markets globally is 387 basis points and for European emerging markets 365.


June 26th, 2012, 6:50 pm


Syrialover said:

SS #205 wrote:” I am so impressed by the level of professionalism that the exterior ministry of Syria has. These guys are freakin smart. They are consistent, calm, and they always deliver.”

Deliver, yes, yes, for sure that’s what they do. All day long and through the night. Deliver.

But you don’t tell us what, though.

SS, you wouldn’t by any chance be related to them would you?

June 26th, 2012, 6:52 pm


ann said:

When accusations that imply commentators are under the employment of foreign or even local lobbies/Moukhabarat/… I trash them as soon as I see them. There is nothing in the rules regarding the use of the term excrement, however levying unfounded accusation do go against the rules.

SC Moderator

My-my, our venerable tolerant moderator is enjoying personal attack posts with SC acceptable terms like “excrements”! But God forbid you use the term “israel lobby” will get your post deleted immediately!

June 26th, 2012, 7:25 pm


Uzair8 said:

Assad’s comments to his cabinet?

The Cabinet and Parliament are going to be useless and a rubber stamp. Assad is just getting in the excuses first.

June 26th, 2012, 7:26 pm


Uzair8 said:

204. Ann

Yes. Syria is in a:

– critical but stable condition.
– serious but stable condition.

June 26th, 2012, 7:30 pm


jna said:

216. majedkhaldoun…dogs will eat his body and the bodies of his supporters, Qurdaha will be flat…


June 26th, 2012, 8:02 pm


Uzair8 said:

It’s time for a new poll on the SC frontpage.(?)
[I predict PM Erdogan]

Who will be the first foreign leader to visit Free Syria?

– Erdogan

– Emir of Qatar

Sarkozy Hollande

– Cameron

June 26th, 2012, 8:17 pm


Observer said:

The only cartoon that I follow are Steve Bell and Ali Farzat.

The dictatorial criminal corrupt regime with Fredo the Buffoon Corleone at the helm and surrounded by adoring drunken fans especially on this blog is a cartoon in very bad taste.

Fredo declares that Syria is living a real war in every sense of the word.

Well well, my dear Commander In Chief Marshal Doctor Fredo why don’t you
1. Re instate the state of emergency ( as if it was ever suspended )

2. Call for mass mobilization of the reserves ( and risk losing whole battalions to defection )

3. Activate the mutual defense treaty with Russia and Iran and bring in their troops to help.

I challenge the regime to follow through on this and declare a state of war on its enemies starting with invading Turkey where rebels are being protected and armed. Then on to North Lebanon to secure the flow of arms and then to Western Anbar province to stop the tribes from helping each other. The best defense is a good offense after all Marshal Fredo.

Just as some delusional people on this blog claim that now the regime’s army is going to be “free” to respond to Turkey in kind. Well well, I am holding my breath waiting to see Republican Guards duke it out with the Turkish army.

Germs are invading the body, there is a state of septic shock with vasodilation and decrease in central pressure and third spacing into the tissues. Vasopressin to the rescue as the antibiotics do not work any longer. The germs are resistant to the antibiotic of fear and repression and brutality and humiliation.

Do you get it.

Syrian Hamster for President of Syria

June 26th, 2012, 8:17 pm


ann said:

It’s time for a BOLD new poll on the SC frontpage

The question should be:

Is the so called “free syrian army” a terrorist organization or not?

June 26th, 2012, 8:22 pm


ann said:

We want JOBS here at HOME NOT Syria Madam Secretary!

Syria high on agenda as US Secretary of State Clinton opens European tour in Finland

June 26th, 2012, 8:35 pm


jna said:

“Syrian Hamster for President of Syria”

Alice in wonderland comes to Syria, off with their heads.

June 26th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Observer said:

Well some on this blog do have JOBS, [Edited by Moderator]

In the meantime, here is a sampling of the important news.

Russia cancels the contract to deliver s 300 anti aircraft missiles

Erdogan is threatening

The fighting is near the center of the regime

The most important news however is the fact that Syria bought two Antonov airplanes, just two and they are medium sized.

I guess they bought the planes for the flight of the key figures of the regime to
let me guess Tehran? Moscow? No way to Pyong Yang, I am certain.

June 26th, 2012, 8:42 pm


ann said:

At UN on Syria, Will Pillay Brief on Zintan, of Assad’s Big 6 & Kosovo

By Matthew Russell Lee, Partial exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 26 — When the Syria consultations of the UN Security Council ended midday Tuesday, Ambassadors Gerard Araud of France and Vitaly Churkin of Russia jousted about whether High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay should brief only about Syria, or about Libya as well as Russia is requesting.

Inner City Press asked Churkin about Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari’s statement late Monday, reported by Inner City Press, that there are training camps in Zintan, Libya which are funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Churkin replied:

“you may recall that I raised that even in the official meeting of the Security Council while the Prime Minister of Libya was here. We believe that if this is true, this is wrong. We have heard also of training camps in Kosovo, in other places.

“This is something that is directly contrary to Kofi Annan’s plan. From the outset of his activity, he said to us that further militarization of the Syrian conflict would be a mistake, and would not be in line with his actions. So that of course is very deplorable if this is the case. And of course, Libya has so many domestic issues that for them to return to the old Qaddafi pattern of exporting revolution would be a tragic irony, if you will, of history.”


Afterward, the Syrian side exclusively told Inner City Press they are counting on at least six votes in the Council, those who are committed to a June 30 meeting without preconditions: Russia and China, India and Pakistan, Azerbaijan and South Africa.


June 26th, 2012, 8:44 pm


ann said:

ANN emphasis on “as soon as I see them”. If you have an issue with a post be kind enough and email me, and keep the comment section for comments.

SC Moderator

216. Moderator said:

When accusations that imply commentators are under the employment of foreign or even local lobbies/Moukhabarat/… I trash them as soon as I see them.

225. Observer said:

Well some on this blog do have JOBS, that of defending the regime.

June 26th, 2012, 8:51 pm


Uzair8 said:

Bearing in mind the suspected fuel shortage to fuel it’s tanks and military machine, for how long would the regime be able to maintain a war against Turkey?

Halfway through a massive tank battle it’s tanks would probably come to a halt.

Of course Venezuela, Iran etc may resupply fuel but it may take time to reach Syria.

June 26th, 2012, 9:09 pm


bronco said:

214. ann

Erdogan’s success has been built on the economy. If the econony starts to shake, Erdogan will too.
Turkey going to war with Syria will wipe out many of their economical gains. Already border cities are going bankrupt and in case of war, the tourists will prefer to go to safer places.

Bashar, who does not have much to loose economically or touristically, knows that.
I think Erdogan will end up getting a cancer relapse, he is under extreme stress.

June 26th, 2012, 9:58 pm


zoo said:

Moslems and Jewish male babies: Welcome to Germany

Circumcision for religious reasons banned in Germany
QMI Agency
First posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 06:34 PM EDT

Doctors in Germany will no longer be able to legally perform circumcisions for religious purposes.

In a decision Tuesday, the District Court of Cologne ruled doctors can be charged with assault for performing a circumcision if it’s not medically necessary.

Until now, doctors had performed circumcisions for religious purposes because it was considered a grey area, and there was no law against it.


June 26th, 2012, 10:16 pm


zoo said:

The backlash of sending weapons and training suspicious ‘fighters’

Arab Spring has produced new generation of British terrorists, warns MI5 chief
June 27, 2012

The head of Britain’s MI5 intelligence Agency, Jonathan Evans.

LONDON: The Arab Spring has spawned a new generation of British-born terrorists after al-Qaeda moved into unstable countries and began training potential bombers for possible attacks on Britain, the head of MI5 has warned.

Jonathan Evans said the terrorist network had taken advantage of the revolutions that began last year to spread its influence and create new bases for planning attacks.

British jihadis were known to be receiving training in countries such as Libya and Egypt, mirroring what has happened in the Yemen and Somalia, he claimed.

They could return to attack Britain in what was a ”new and worrying development”, he said.

Read more:

June 26th, 2012, 10:21 pm


zoo said:

US intelligence: Syrian government still strong and cohesive

U.S. intelligence sees few cracks in Assad’s inner circle
By Tabassum Zakaria | Reuters – 3 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite some military defections, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle remains cohesive and the 16-month conflict with rebels is likely to be a drawn-out struggle, senior U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

That assessment appears to dash any U.S. hopes that Assad, whose ouster Washington has called for, will fall soon of his own accord. The Obama administration has declined to intervene militarily in Syria, citing the lack of international backing and the country’s sectarian divisions.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday that Assad “has been slowly, too slowly, losing his grip over his country. The process, because of his refusal to step aside, has been horrific and has exacted a terrible toll on the Syrian people.”

But U.S. intelligence agencies, watching closely for cracks in Assad’s inner circle, do not see them so far.

“The regime inner circle and those at the next level still seem to be holding fairly firm in support of the regime and Assad,” one intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.

June 26th, 2012, 10:28 pm


Observer said:

One day after Putin pays his tribute to Bibi my dear Zoo the Russians cancel the sale of S 300 anti aircraft missile system.

Well well, your idol Putin has gotten his orders from Bibi

June 26th, 2012, 11:01 pm


jna said:

The usual obstruction of a path to stop Syrian civil war.

Kofi Annan, international mediator, aims to arrange a meeting to discuss the Syrian conflict. U.S. officials say, “there are still hurdles to be overcome.”

Diplomats said it was not entirely clear that the meeting of the five permanent Security Council members and key regional players scheduled for Saturday will take place. Annan has said that Iran should attend, but diplomats say the United States, Saudi Arabia and others dislike that idea.

Several Western diplomats said there was no agreement on what the value of the meeting would be. But Churkin made clear that Moscow expected the Saturday meeting to go ahead.

“I hope other planned participants are going to be there as well,” Churkin said. “We hope it can provide powerful impetus for political efforts to put an end to the conflict.” …

June 26th, 2012, 11:23 pm



Erdogan emerged the clear winner out of the stupid blunder of downing an outdated Turkish plane by the bandit regime occupying Syria.

Erdogan in effect used the incident, and without firing a single bullet, to establish the long sought after safe haven by declaring the Northern Syrian border region off limit to the military of the junta bandit at the risk of military confrontation with the Turkish military.

The Free Syrians can now establish their bases in the northern region of Syria in order to launch the war of liberation knowing full well that the Turkish military is watching the enemy of the people of Syria.

No matter how the propaganda machine of this bandit regime spins the events, the clear winners and losers are obvious to the naked eye. Add to that the obvious shift of power in favor of the Free Syrians as displayed by their recent successes and lethality of their operations, and you can rest assured that the rising tide will soon sweep the regime to its unmistakeable end.

June 26th, 2012, 11:39 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

It is new to me that stress will cause the cancer to return,do you have a reference ?

Russia agreed to attend the meeting about Syria on june 30, Iran is not invited so far. probably will not get invited.

FSA took over Assad military base, which has anti aircraft capabilities,Assad finally realized he is in a state of war with the Syrian people, he is losing ground,and his control is shrinking, less that 40% of Syria.

June 27th, 2012, 12:20 am


Juergen said:


You would be surprised how much is not allowed, but there are exceptions for religious purposes. F.e. Hitler banned Jews from killing animals in the kosher way, it was part of the Nurnberg legislation. Soon after the war the new german government allowed Jews to kill in the kosher way, even though since the 70s its not allowed to kill an animal with full conci,, The muslims btw do not enjoy this legal right, the government does not persecute them, in some rare cases only. Thats why the Muslims are in the process to get full acklowledgement like the jewish community and the christians. If you would ask the US supreme court tomorrow about circumsicion, you may find the same arguments against it. To be frank, its an cruel tradition, no question about that. The court decision is mainly important to those parents who do this without any medical reason behind it. And this is not the highest court, i know that some people in the Muslim community want to bring that issue to the highest court.

June 27th, 2012, 1:02 am


Roland said:

Vedat badly mischaracterizes the Algerian civil war.

Most of the FIS was not ready for a civil war. The moderate elements in the FIS lacked the infrastructure for clandestine action, and were soon suppressed. The militants never received any significant outside support. Most of their arms were obtained from mutineers. The FIS never had safe havens. Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco, irrespective of their often chilly relations with the Algerian regime, were nevertheless openly hostile to the Islamists, since the rulers of those countries all feared the success of any democratic experiment in Algeria.

The Algerian regime was never subjected to any trade or financial sanctions. In fact, the FLN gov’t received considerable foreign aid from the West, in the form of expedited arms sales, guaranteed loans, and advisors (in a sickening irony, some of the counter-insurgency experts came from France.)

June 27th, 2012, 2:07 am


Roland said:

But I must add that Vedat’s point about Saddam is well taken.

June 27th, 2012, 2:09 am


omen said:

bbc radio…something about a state media broadcast office stormed.

June 27th, 2012, 3:03 am


Luke said:

Assad is the wrong man in the wrong position at the wrong time. I don’t think he’s a bad leader nor a dictator. The guy is an optician who was forced to be in a leading position. Now he is trying to chew more than what he can swallow.

July 5th, 2012, 9:12 pm


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