Ajami’s Syria Rebellion; Homs Bombed

Fouad Ajami’s new book, The Syrian Rebellion, is reviewed by Dexter Filkins in the New York Times. I have a copy of the book that Prof. Ajami kindly sent to me and have gone through it. It is classic Ajami, an excellent read filled with wonderful details. Ajami knows the region with all its prejudices and over the top characters better than just about anyone. His sense of history and choice of words is unsurpassed. One of the first books I read on the Middle East was The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and Practice since 1967 . What a brilliant book. It has shaped the way I understand the ideologies of the Arabs and it introduced me to many of the region’s greatest thinkers, dreamers, and con-men. I am also a great admirer of his, The Vanished Imam: Musa al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon, Ajami exasperated many with his full on support of the Iraq invasion. He is also a supporter of US and Western intervention in Syria following the Libyan and Yugoslav model, which I have argued against. Anyone who wants to understand the Syrian Rebellion must read Fouad Ajami.

“Coming Apart” By Dexter Filkins
Review of
240 pp. Hoover Institution Press. $19.95.

Fourteen months ago, as ordinary Syrians were just beginning to gather in large numbers to call for their leaders to quit power, a cherub-faced 13-year-old named Hamza Ali al-Khateeb was taken into custody after he’d been caught scrawling an antigovernment slogan on a wall at a protest in the town of Jiza. A month later, when Hamza’s body was returned to his parents, it bore signs of the most hideous torture. His face had been beaten purple, his jaw and kneecaps pulverized, his body stabbed and torched. His penis had been chopped off.

There was a time, and not so long ago, when a Syrian dictator could plausibly assume that such a demonstration of official sadism would silence any popular murmurings for a more democratic form of governance. Brutality always worked before. But by April 2011, the Middle East had changed — Syrians had changed, even if the regime of Bashar al-Assad had not. The mutilation of young Hamza did not crush the Syrians; it enraged and catalyzed them. The result, little more than a year later, is an epic struggle that horrifies and inspires. It’s hard to imagine that the dictator and his confederates can hang on, but still they do.

In “The Syrian Rebellion,” the Middle East scholar Fouad Ajami weaves the threads of Syria’s past with the events of the previous year to give us a portrait of the country as it hurtles toward its moment of decisive transformation. This is no small feat: Syria is a country of enormous ethnic and religious complexity, and the story is moving very fast. “The Syrian Rebellion” is an elegant and edifying book, written on the fly, by an observer who retains an almost loving intimacy with his subject. But it is underlain by a sobering subtext: Ajami suggests that the dynamics of Syria’s politics and history are leading inexorably toward a catastrophe, or at least no quick and happy end. If he’s right, we have probably not yet seen the worst.

Syria is another of the improbable constructions that arose from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The new country was a grab bag of ethnicities and religions, conjured up by colonial mapmakers with little regard for either. In Syria, the dominant group is not the Sunni Arabs, who make up the overwhelming majority; nor even the Christians, a significant minority; but the Alawites, a heterodox Shiite sect that constitutes 12 percent of the population. A largely rural people at the time of Syria’s birth, the Alawites came to dominate first the military and then the country itself. Their ascent was aided by the French, who ruled until the 1940s, and who, in the way of the colonial master, maintained a policy of favoring minorities at the expense of the Sunnis. Hafez al-Assad, a steely-eyed air force officer, secured his hold on power in the 1970s, using the secular-minded Baath Party as his vehicle (its sister party, eventually led by Saddam Hussein, lay across the border in Iraq). When Hafez died, in 2000, he bequeathed power to his son, the London-educated Bashar, age 34.

The old man, as Ajami shows, pursued his designs with a brutal logic, setting up a ruling class of Alawites, some Christians and a select number of Sunni businessmen, stifling dissent, stifling the Sunni majority’s yearnings for a freer expression of their faith, offering instead the slogans of Pan-Arabism and permanent war with the Jews. “Let them eat anti-Zionism,” is how Ajami describes it. There was little flexibility in the regime, little color, no air. The defining moment came in 1982, when an uprising broke out in the predominantly Sunni city of Hama, led by the Muslim Brotherhood. Assad crushed the revolt with savage finality, leveling entire blocks and killing as many as 30,000 of his countrymen. For 29 years, Hama stayed quiet.

Then, in 2000, came Bashar, the heir with the British-Sunni wife, the not-quite-favored son (the chosen, Basel, died in a car accident), the ophthalmologist with no chin. Ajami makes it clear that Bashar was not his father’s equal — neither in competence nor in temperament — and that an already despotic regime transformed into a decadent enterprise without the self-discipline that had once checked its worst abuses. “Pity the Syrians,” Ajami writes. “They had been raised on the legend that their country was the ‘beating heart of Arabism.’ They woke up amidst the debris, and this squalid kleptocracy was what they had gotten in the bargain.” I can personally attest to the decadence: In the summer of 2003, I spent many sleepless nights at the Sheraton Hotel in Damascus, then the city’s main social spot, kept awake by the boisterous up-till-dawn partying of the Syrian elite. Creepy indeed, in a police state. There were widespread doubts about Bashar, whether he had the necessary character to rule Syria, whether he had the guts.

Well, now we know. Bashar al-Assad seems every bit as willing as his father to destroy the country in order to save himself. In December, after Bashar’s military had killed its 5,000th fellow Syrian, the United Nations announced that it was no longer able to count the victims. (How many are there now?) Not long after, Bashar gave a speech ruthless enough to put a pit in your stomach. “Those states that counsel us to reform have no knowledge of democracy whatsoever,” he said. On the walls of the Sunni mosques, the ones he hasn’t ordered to be shelled, the government’s thugs scrawl: “Your God is Bashar.” In Hama, which came alive again after so many years, crowds carry placards: “Like Father, Like Son.”

Where does it end? Ajami leaves no doubt that the Assad family project, especially Bashar’s, was an essentially sectarian one. In this respect, Syria resembles its neighbors, Lebanon and Iraq, the former once ruled by a Christian minority, the latter by the minority Sunni Arabs. Remember what happened in those places? In Syria, the Alawites stand as a sort of palace guard, with everything to lose. (So far, very few have defected to the rebels.) It is not hard to imagine a fight to the death.

That dark prospect surely explains the reluctance of the Obama administration to try to stop Bashar’s killing machine, even as the Syrian rebels beg for our help. It’s too easy to envision an Iraqi-style blood bath after Bashar’s demise. Ajami is frustrated by Obama’s passivity, and indeed, as the killing goes on, it is getting harder for all of us to avert our eyes. Why is Syria different from Libya, where Obama and NATO, at very low cost, stopped an almost certain humanitarian disaster? Why is it different from Yugoslavia?

We may find out soon, whether we like it or not. As Ajami says, Bashar’s regime is in a race against itself. It must crush the rebellion before it ruins the economy. Even the Russians and the Chinese, faithful fellow oppressors, are embarrassed by the butchery. At some point, it seems likely, the regime will crack. It is then, and only then, that we will discover the true Syria, whether it was just an improbable creation set on the banks of the Euphrates, or a real nation after all.

Dexter Filkins is a staff writer at The New Yorker. He is the author of “The Forever War.”

The Syrian government increased attacks across the country, particularly in Homs, which sustained a massive shelling.

See this video made byاحمد حمادة who is shot while filming it…..

The United Nations’ human rights head recently said that government shelling of civilian areas amounts to war crimes. Opposition groups claim more than 14,000 civilians and 3,400 soldiers and militiamen loyal to Assad have been killed since the revolt began in March 2011.

Where is the Truth in the Battle for Syria’s Narrative,” by Sakhr al-Makhadhi

Obama fails to secure support from Putin on solution to Syria crisis
US president sought pledge against Bashar al-Assad at G20 summit, leaving Syria facing the prospect of increasing violence
Patrick Wintour in Los Cabos and Ewen MacAskill in Washington, guardian, Monday 18 June 2012

Barack Obama and Russia’s president Vladimir Putin completed a bilateral meeting on the margins of the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, on Monday with an agreement that there should be a cessation of hostilities in Syria.

But, crucially, Obama failed to secure the support of Putin for regime change in Syria. The US president had been seeking Putin’s help in trying to persuade Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power and leave the country.

The author of the blog “China Matters” writes:

In case you haven’t caught it, Xinhua News Agency Damascus bureau is filing detailed reports (go to end of post) on a daily basis now after months of just regurgitating agency reports.  I think this represents a conscious decision by Assad and the Chinese to get the regime story out since nobody pays attention to SANA and the Western media coverage is heavily weighted toward opposition sources.  Similar thing going on with Russia’s RT Novosti.  As you may know, Xinhua has historically served as the party’s white intelligence and policy arm, especially in situations and jurisdictions where Chinese diplomats couldn’t operate freely.  So there’s more going on than just propaganda.

Russia Sending Missile Systems to Shield Syria
By ANDREW E. KRAMER, June 15, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia’s chief arms exporter said Friday that his company was shipping advanced defensive missile systems to Syria that could be used to shoot down airplanes or sink ships if the United States or other nations try to intervene to halt the country’s spiral of violence.

“I would like to say these mechanisms are really a good means of defense, a reliable defense against attacks from the air or sea,” Anatoly P. Isaykin, the general director of the company, Rosoboronexport, said Friday in an interview. “This is not a threat, but whoever is planning an attack should think about this.”

As the weapons systems are not considered cutting edge, Mr. Isaykin’s disclosures carried greater symbolic import than military significance. They contributed to a cold war chill that has been settling over relations between Washington and Moscow ahead a meeting between President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin, their first, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit meeting in the Mexican resort of Los Cabos next week.

Russia and China Mull Syria … and Saudi Arabia, By Peter Lee

Robert Fisk, Nikolaos van Dam, and Russian specialist Anatol Lieven discuss the ongoing troubles in Syria – can world powers stop the killing? Colm Ó Mongáin on RTÉ Radio 1, 17 June 2012.


 NYTImes Blog photos of Syrian Uprising

Jerusalem Post: Kurds could hold key in Syria, 2012-06-18

In an effort to broaden its appeal among Syria’s diverse ethnic groups, the largest Syrian opposition group has selected a Kurd as its new leader. But it is not yet clear whether it will be enough to convince Kurdish political parties to be more …

Comments (158)

zoo said:

Even though their candidate, Morsi, may win, it is disappointing victory for Turkey and Qata as they realize he is toothless.

Military sole winner of Egyptian elections


As Egypt wrangles over the victor of weekend polls, the army emerges as the true winner by granting itself sweeping powers restricting the new president’s power
hrir square.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi celebrate the victory at Tahrir square. However, the jubilation was overshadowed by a looming showdown between the Brotherhood and the ruling military.

The results of Egypt’s first free presidential vote is still an unknown as both sides claimed victory yesterday even as the country’s ruling military issued a constitutional document that accorded itself sweeping powers.

June 18th, 2012, 11:58 pm


Juergen said:

Really funny video on the football terrorists of Real Madrid in Arabic

June 19th, 2012, 12:05 am


Altair said:

There is nothing more threatening to Syria’s fabric than sectarianism. I’m not really sure whether the Syrian government is deliberately fanning the flames of sectarianism, or is just reflexively relying on sect loyalists as it has done in years past because it can’t trust anyone else. This is a key question for Syria’s future in my view.

But it seems clear that outside intervention from the Gulf IS precisely promoting a sectarian line. Again, it’s difficult to say, as there is so much disinformation and misinformation going on. But any appeal to any form of sectarianism should be welcomed by no Syrian, whatever religious persuasion.

The key to maintaining Syria as a unitary country dedicated to recovering from this mess is a national identity and adherence to rule of law, one that punishes individuals or at most groups of perpetrators for their crimes and not whole communities. If rule of law is not established in Syria soon, it will be an inglorious outcome, no matter who ultimately comes out on top.

It is a very big challenge, but ultimately one that will determine what Syria will look like in the future.

June 19th, 2012, 1:11 am


Alan said:

Putin-Obama meeting: Leaders pave way for further dialog
Presidents Putin and Obama seem to have found some common ground on Syria and have pledged to continue dialog on the controversial European missile shield, but despite the optimistic rhetoric many issues between the two states remain unresolved.
After spending two hours behind closed doors on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, the presidents stated that they had “agreed” that they need to see a “cessation of the violence,” in Syria and that a “political process has to be created to prevent civil war.” There was no mention of any tougher sanctions on Syria or a reiteration of demands that Bashar al-Assad should step down.
“We have found many common poi

June 19th, 2012, 1:17 am


Alan said:

Shades of Blood: One-sided Syria war media biggest barrier to peace
The UN has demanded women, children, the elderly and injured to be evacuated from Syrian combat zones following the suspension of its observer mission. Heavy fighting continues in towns across Syria with scores of people being killed in clashes between the opposition and government troops.

On Sunday, activists say regime forces tried to root out rebels from urban areas by heavy shelling in the central city of Homs. They also say that, in the town of Douma, just outside the capital Damascus, rebels opened fire on a bus of soldiers killing eight.

The U.S. is now consulting its allies on what to do about the escalation of violence, but has acknowledged a Libya-style intervention to topple the Assad government would be difficult.

June 19th, 2012, 1:29 am


Juergen said:

This text was published in the printed version of DER SPIEGEL, there is a seperation between the online published texts and the printed version, I have translated this important article concerning the Houla massacre. I am sorry its a longer article.

Men with clubs,

Who is behind the massacre of Hula? Troops of the Assad regime or members of the opposition?

It was the afternoon of the 25th May, the day on which a place called Hula near Homs became famous as a synonym for the atrocities of the Syrian regime, as the scene of a massacre that killed 108 people, mostly women and children.

In recent days, the German media suggested that insurgents had committed the massacre and then made Assad’s troops responsible for it.

Eyewitness reports which have talked with DER SPIEGEL now, show a different picture : Ayman Abdel Rasak, farmer and survivor of the massacre, saw that day, shortly before 5 pm on the hill of the village Fula (which is half a kilometer south) buses of the Syrian military arrive.60-70 men in uniform were marching towards his village, accompanied by about 200 men in civilian clothes.

Since he had already been arrested twice in the months before, he hided in the bushes and fields. And so he had to listen minutes later how his own family was murdered, his wife and five children.

Two other eyewitnesses Samira Umm Schalan AbdelRazak and Samira Suwai witnessed also how the two groups of military men in civilian clothes and gathered on the hill and ran into the district of Taldu.

Immediately before the shelling of the army had ceased in Hula.

Another witness of his only wants to give his first name Saria indicated that two large white buses and at least three more cars he saw at the scene. He also saw soldiers in uniforms, with weapons and muhabarat men in tracksuits and day clothes, machetes and sticks carried with them.

In the houses only these men went in. Whether it’s actually that the Shabiha militamen of Fula and the Alawite neighboring villages committed this can not be proved. It is very likely because those men described had come on foot to the village on the hill.
Other statements speak against recent accounts, published among others in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” which states that members of the opposition committed the massacre.

Contrary of what has been published, in Houla live only Sunnites and not converted shiite regime loyalists.

But why should the rebels massacre their own followers which were buried under the participation of Sunnis in hula?

screenshoot in german


June 19th, 2012, 1:40 am


Juergen said:

The video I have posted in post 2, see the remarks of some folks under the video, its amazing that hard time regime supporters cant figure that this is not a regime piece of propaganda. They believe Messi would be bought by AJ, OMG.

I guess if Assad would read the telephonebook to them they would still call it a revelation.

June 19th, 2012, 2:01 am


Jad said:

Pity that you don’t know Arabic as you claim, otherwise you would’ve known that the clip you linked was made by the ‘revos’ themselves more than three months ago, it’s fake and was already refuted on SC atleast twice.

June 19th, 2012, 2:39 am


Tara said:


Your video is “bronto” . Even Jesus if he comes against Batta, he will be discredited and refuted.

June 19th, 2012, 3:16 am


Alan said:


Dialogue of the Deaf

Planned Talks Between Russian and American Presidents Will Not Change the Current Stalemate in Bilateral Relations

June 19th, 2012, 4:59 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Mn7ebaks lack sense of humor. Typical.

June 19th, 2012, 5:33 am


Juergen said:

I never claimed that my arabic is fluent nor sophisticated enough to reach your suggested levels. I do have friends who suggest such videos or articles to me. I will pass your disapproval of copying the famous Al Dunia style to them.
Was there ever an question who made this video? I was referring that some regime folks take it though for genuine Al Dunia work.

June 19th, 2012, 5:37 am


Juergen said:

Brtain stops vessel heading to Syria carying weapons

Britons take action against Russian arms freighter

London – The freighter is now facing the islands of the Hebrides off Scotland and is likely to have difficulty in continuing with its planned course. Because the vessel under the Russian flag “MV Alaed” the insurance was canceled. The British ship insurer Standard Club looked at this step led, after receiving a tip from security experts.


June 19th, 2012, 8:04 am


Alan said:

Brtain stops vessel heading to Syria carying weapons
Britons take action against Russian arms freighter
the insurance was canceled Ha ha ha !
(chuckle) (wait) :^) L O L !
Let these British naval fighters will show what they can do!

June 19th, 2012, 8:52 am


Halabi said:

Reuters – Alawite fortress and Sunni wasteland in Syria’s Homs

After months of fierce military assaults and rebel ambushes in Homs, the centre of Syria’s 15-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad has effectively become two cities.

Along the scorched and crumbling skyline is a well-preserved archipelago of districts, home to Syria’s minority Alawite sect, the offshoot of Shi’ite Islam to which Assad belongs.

The rebellious districts that once belonged to Sunni Muslims are ghost towns. Only about three of the 16 Sunni districts have not been pummeled by military assaults.

Many Alawites say they feel they have no choice but to back Assad, fearing retaliatory slaughter for religious affiliation with the president as the revolt becomes increasingly sectarian.

“The Sunnis have been oppressed,” said one Alawite man. “But Alawites will be the victims.”

In addition to troops, hundreds of pro-Assad militia men have been cultivated in Alawite areas, proudly accepting the tag “shabbiha”, from the Arabic word “ghost.” They strut down the streets in army camouflage. They speak disdainfully of soldiers they view as treading too cautiously in confronting the enemy.

One shabbiha youth points to the tower overlooking an opposition area, where soldiers used to snipe at rebels.

“Now the shabbiha use it. You can’t see people over there, there’s no point sniping. We just take a machine gun and spray.”

Nearby, women browse shops that have become a “Sunni market”, where shabbiha bring in stolen furniture and clothes from Sunni areas after the army has raided them.

“These are the spoils of war,” one woman shrugs. “It’s our right to take them.”

But the mood is always tense, and like many other days, the calm shatters along with the glass of a shopfront as an RPG launched by rebels smashes into the street. A bloodied passerby is quickly given first aid and whisked away by ambulance.


June 19th, 2012, 8:56 am


Alan said:

Syria UN mission headed by spy? (Op-Ed)
Son of a bitch in a blue helmet?
A Jordanian UN observer in Syria says the head of the United Nations Surveillance Mission (UNSMIS) in the country is a spy. The monitor claims General Robert Mood is gathering critical coordinates and visiting military bases for his own purposes.
The claims have appeared in Syrian state media, indicating that security circles have signaled their consent to publication in Damascus.
Sources say Norwegian General Mood took his convoy to the city of Tartus last Friday, where no violence was reported. The group visited no less than four military installations of the Syrian Army there without any sanction through the General’s UNSMIS mandate.
Moreover, the same Friday the convoy went to the Rastan area, where it did not drive close to the fighting zone, but went straight to the Syrian Army’s military installation, again without any apparent connection to Mood’s mandate.
Syrians suspect that geographical data is being collected for purposes not related to UNSMIS – perhaps collateral data to already existing files. Syrian officials suspect furthermore that Mood might be looking for locations where Syrian authorities are keeping prisoners of war../../..

June 19th, 2012, 8:58 am


Tara said:

• Adnan Sello, a leader of Syria’s Chemical Warfare Division, has defected and is now in Turkey, according to an unconfirmed report by al-Jazeera. The report comes amid growing concern about Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons 

From the Guardian.  Sorry can’t provide a link now.

June 19th, 2012, 9:15 am


Alan said:

Kurdish Rebels Kill Turkish Troops
At least eight Turkish soldiers were killed and 16 others injured in an ambush by Kurdish rebels on Tuesday, local officials said.
Ten rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were also killed in the fighting, which took place in Hakkari province, which borders northern Iraq, the governor’s office in Hakkari said in a statement../../..

June 19th, 2012, 9:39 am


irritated said:


You rely too blindly on your numerous revolutionary ‘friends’. Try to rely sometimes on enemy voices, sometime they say the truth.

Some of your “friends” could be simply manipulating you to pass messages under your name because you are a western foreigner, not fluent in arabic, and in the arab world, the general perception is that foreigner never lie.

June 19th, 2012, 9:50 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Ajami is smart man ,but he is close to be zionist,He is true Persian anti Sunni Shiite.His book is deceiving and I would not waste my time reading his book, Persians are enemy of the Arab.

June 19th, 2012, 10:03 am


Jad said:

Could you please help me understand the word “bronto”?
Do you think that it was meant to be “pronto” 😉

I guess that you forget what you write before, because you told me that I’ll be surprised with your Arabic skilles when I asked you about an Arabic context of another clip which I personally didn’t understand the conversation while you appearantly understood it completely, this is why I was surprised that your Arabic wasn’t as good as you suggested to me before when you linked that clip for the third time on SC, that’s all.

June 19th, 2012, 10:19 am


Tara said:


Ah..I stumbled into my mental image of Ann many times today….

I thought you are a bit smarter than that. Have you not gotten it? I wrote it exactly how you would say it.

June 19th, 2012, 10:28 am


Tara said:

Is the next Sabeeha massacre going to be in Rastan? 


The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), a network of activists in Syria, said Rastan had come under “fierce and continuous bombing” on Tuesday morning.

The LCC also reported “intense mortar shelling” on the Damascus suburb of Qudsiya.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two people had died in shelling in the suburb of Douma.

Districts of the opposition stronghold of Homs were also reportedly coming under attack on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government said it was willing to facilitate the evacuation of hundreds of civilians reportedly trapped by fighting in Homs.


June 19th, 2012, 10:36 am


jad said:

I wasn’t following what you and Ann are writing to each other.
I see, so you wrote it the same way some of us pronounce the ‘P’ as ‘B’, funny!

June 19th, 2012, 10:49 am


Son of Damascus said:

Far be it for me to judge anyone on their grammar and spelling proficiency, I find it rather ironic that someone here takes it upon themselves to make fun of other peoples spelling errors, when they themselves have plentiful errors in both grammar and spelling in pretty much every post.

Also even more dumbfounding (at least to me) is the apparent lack in proper reading skills for they seem intent on a certain “story line” while completely missing the obvious:

The video I have posted in post 2, see the remarks of some folks under the video, its amazing that hard time regime supporters cant figure that this is not a regime piece of propaganda.

Dear Tara and Juergen,

I am sure most people are well aware with what exactly you meant in the posts you wrote before, and a special thank you to Juergen for taking the time in translating the German article.

June 19th, 2012, 10:53 am


jad said:

Poker-faced meeting: Putin, Obama avoid pushing sore points

Presidents Putin and Obama seem to have found some common ground on Syria and have pledged to continue dialog on the controversial European missile shield, but despite the optimistic rhetoric many issues between the two states remain unresolved.
After spending two hours behind closed doors on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, the presidents stated that they had “agreed” that they need to see a “cessation of the violence,” in Syria and that a “political process has to be created to prevent civil war.” There was no mention of any tougher sanctions on Syria or a reiteration of demands that Bashar al-Assad should step down.
“We have found many common points on this issue,” Putin said, adding that the two countries would continue their discussions. Both leaders are united in their belief that “the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future.”
But despite the optimistic rhetoric at the meeting, the Obama administration is unlikely to change its stand on many issues, including Syria, a former member of the Reagan administration, Paul Craig Roberts, told RT.
“I am convinced that Putin does not want a conflict with Washington. He wants to resolve the issue of the missile bases that are surrounding Russia, he does not want conflict. And Obama, he does not want any conflict either. But he is just a member of the government that wants regime change in Syria. And Obama is not exactly in position to be able to stop that.”
“Obama will do what he can to get along with Putin, but still has to represent the agenda of regime change,” Roberts added. “And the situation I think is unresolved.”

June 19th, 2012, 10:57 am


omen said:

22. MAJEDKHALDOUN said: Ajami is smart man ,but he is close to be zionist,He is true Persian anti Sunni Shiite.His book is deceiving and I would not waste my time reading his book, Persians are enemy of the Arab.

some examples of ajami’s anti sunni rhetoric?

June 19th, 2012, 11:02 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

صغارنا المغدورون و امهاتنا هناك اعرف بان لا شيء سيواسيكم بعد اليوم، بعد تلك اللحظات المرعبة القاتلة الخائنة لانسانيتكم تلك اللحظات التي عشتم فيها، و انتم تنتظرون دوركم في الذبح وتلك اللحظات الخائنة لسوريا ولكم ولنا .
كيف تجاهلوا استغاثاتكم و دموع اطفالكم وهلعهم و هم يرون سكاكينكم تقطع اعناقهم الصغيرة ماذا عساني اقول لهم ؟
عيب علينا نحن السوريون ام نمرر افعال تلك الوحوش بدون عقاب !
من الصعب ان اتخيل بانهم سوريون ايضا مثلي وانهم يتكلمون اللغة ذاتها وعاشو او ما زالوا يعيشون على ارضنا هناك و بيننا.
لا استطيع تخيل سوريا الغد مع وحوش كهذه.
اي زمن ردىء هذا اي زمن اسود هذا الذي عايشناه ونعيشه !
لو صار تسونامي او زلزال على ارضنا الطيبة هناك لكان ارحم من سكاكين هؤلاء الوحوش التي تجرأت على تلك الاعناق الغضة .
باتت المجازر حديث الجميع الكل يتحدث عنها و يتساءل من المجرم لكن لا احد وقف عند قتل هؤلاء البائيسين الخائفين بتلك الطريقة البشعة المهينة للانسان.كل طرف يرمي بالجريمة على الطرف الاخر معارضة و حكومة وما اتعسهما وما أتعس سوريا الغد بهكذا معارضة فاقت جرائمها و روائحها الطائفية والمذهبية البشعة المنبعثة منها فساد النظام وجرائمه.
سوريا امنا الكبيرة اعذرينا لا نعرف متى ينتهي هذا الكابوس ، ولا نعرف كم سيحصد من ارواحنا قبل ان ينتهي .
سوريا ساميحينا علىى ما سببناه لك ولا نسطيع فعل شي سوى البكاء والحسرة عليك و علينا ونحن نراك تذبحين كل يوم.
أعدكم باننا لن نسى موتكم بهذه الطريقة و اعدكم باننا لن نسامح و لن نصالح كل من فكر وخطط واعطى الامر لتصل تلك اليد الكريهة الى اعناقكم الطيبة .


June 19th, 2012, 11:06 am


jad said:

It’s funny yet very sad to see how some people bear so much grudge and are letting their hate feeling to take over their reason.
I just wish them to get well soon and not to be blind by hatred.

June 19th, 2012, 11:06 am


Tara said:

An article that tries to shed a relatively good light on HA.  Too little too late.  We shall not forget…

Syria Conflict Puts Hezbollah Ally in Delicate Position

”The Syrian government is important for them for logistical and political reasons. And therefore they don’t want to be opposing the Syrian government. What Syria is doing is awkward for them so they’ve found this middle ground where they talk about the need to reform and solve the political issues in Syria peacefully but it’s not very convincing,” Khouri stated. “People are very clear [understand] that Hezbollah would like the regime to stay.”

Nevertheless, the Syrian government has been angered by Hezbollah’s position and relations have cooled.

An editor for the Al Akhbar newspaper that is close to Hezbollah, Omar Nashabe, says Hezbollah’s relations with the Syrian government have fluctuated over time. “The nature of the relationship is pragmatic,” he said….

“Neither Hezbollah nor Amal are interested in creating an atmosphere of tension and putting at risk the achievements that accrued to the Shi’ite community over the past 20 years. Therefore they have a vested interest in maintaining a semblance of quiet in the country,” Khashem stated.


June 19th, 2012, 11:06 am


omen said:

would there have even been an arab spring if iranians hadn’t paved the way two years earlier? during the green movement uprising, the question that keep being raised in media was why was the arab street so complacent?

arabs owe iranians some measure of credit.

June 19th, 2012, 11:08 am


Tara said:


No credit owed. I just think their attempt of Iranian spring is irrelevant and unrelated to the Arab spring.

On another note, people are people…people’s emotions are often based on their exposure. When you are a part of a crisis where pain and suffering are inflicted upon you…it really is very hard to avoid resentment and generalization. I do profoundly resent the terror regime in Iran and I wish they do not succeed in their nuclear aspiration as their nuc capability can threaten any Arab country..,I always though try to remind myself that average Iranian is different than his government otherwise it is natural to generalize.

June 19th, 2012, 11:19 am


Juergen said:

Does the regime own chemical poisons?

Experts suggest a massive arsenal of chemical weapons in Syria – of sarin nerve agent VX to. Dictator Assad could use the weapons against insurgents. Another risk: crashes his regime are willing terrorists in order to plunder the camp poison.


June 19th, 2012, 11:21 am


zoo said:

#28 Jad

The USA badly needs Russia’s help in Afghanistan. Russia has many cards in its hands to get what it wants in Syria.

Washington Hails Russia’s Contribution to Afghan Mission
Topic: Situation in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON, June 19 (RIA Novosti)


The United States recognizes Russia’s contribution to building a better future for the Afghan people and hopes for further cooperation in providing security in the war-torn Centarl Asian state, the U.S. State Department said.

“We take note of the significant contribution to international security that has resulted from the arrangements between the United States and Russia – bilaterally and through NATO – to support ground and air transit into and out of Afghanistan,” said a fact sheet released on Monday after a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama in Los Cabos.

“In accordance with these arrangements, over 2,200 flights, over 379,000 military personnel, and over 45,000 containers of cargo have been transported through Russia in support of operations in Afghanistan,” the fact sheet said.

Moscow also signed a $367.5 million deal in 2011 with the U.S. Department of Defense for 21 Mi-17V5 transport/attack helicopters to expand the fleet of helicopters in service with the Afghan army.

In addition, Russia will train 30 Afghan helicopter technicians in 2012 to “enhance the capacity of the Afghan security forces to keep their fleet of helicopters mission-ready as they assume greater responsibility for Afghanistan’s security.”

June 19th, 2012, 11:38 am


Uzair8 said:


Following on from the comment on 17th June (secretly not paying the soldiers weekly wage into their accounts). I should have added:

If Assad succeeds in crushing the revolution and restoring full control then he can make up any non-payment to soldiers and they needn’t know they were not paid earlier.

Alternatively if Assad regime was to fall it wouldn’t matter.

June 19th, 2012, 11:40 am


bronco said:


“I do profoundly resent the terror regime in Iran ”

Have you ever been to Iran to qualify it as a ‘terror’? I think Saudi Arabia is much more of a ‘terror’ regime that Iran, especially for women.
Try both…

June 19th, 2012, 11:43 am


irritated said:

#37 Uzair8

“If Assad succeeds in crushing the revolution and restoring full control”

Assad need not crush the ‘revolution’, it is crushing itself with the failed leadership and strategies they have been able to produce.

Who is foolish enough to want such people to govern and protect Syria?

June 19th, 2012, 11:47 am


Uzair8 said:

Something worrying crossed my mind earlier and Jeurgen at #35 persuaded me to share it.

If a massive inside job, 9/11 type (Syria’s 9/11) incident occured in Syria right now then the initiative would massively shift the regimes way allowing it to use the anger and outrage to go on a massive rampage. The revolution, their supporters and international community would become defensive as the regime plays the victim and stirs up the subsequent rage. The regimes supporters would demand blood giving the tyrant the perfect excuse to massively escalate the crackdown. The thugs worked up into a rage wouldn’t need a second invitation. Even the most determined revolutionaries would stay low for a while fearing the onslaught.

I wouldn’t put it past this regime. Perhaps comments like this can pre-empt and ward off any sinister plans.

June 19th, 2012, 11:52 am


zoo said:

Morsi’s Win in Egypt Sparks Fear in Israel ( and anxiety in the USA)
by Dan Ephron Jun 19, 2012 4:45 AM EDT


Israeli analysts are concerned that Mohamed Morsi, the newly elected president of Egypt, will eventually resort to a time-tested sop in the Arab world: blaming Israel.

He won’t attack Israel and he’s unlikely to tear up the peace treaty, at least initially. But Israelis are worried that Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader and newly elected president of Egypt, will lead an isolation campaign against the Jewish state, shore up Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and bring relations between the two countries to their lowest point in more than 30 years.

June 19th, 2012, 11:55 am


irritated said:

40. Uzair8

The regime does not need to go to such extent. It has the upper hand now. Notice the limited Western outcries when the opposition is reporting ‘massive shelling’ ‘massacres’ etc…
The Western countries seem to tacitly condone the Syrian army reestablish the legal authority on the areas that armed rebels took by force. The integrity of the country is not to bargain with.
You’s rather try with the help of Juergen and his creative friends to find a scenario to save the ‘armed revolution’ from its spiralling down.

June 19th, 2012, 12:01 pm


Uzair8 said:

39. irritated

Assad cannot crush this revolution. It’s too late. Like his uncle said some months back, the protests and violence are too wide spread.

What I meant was that from the regimes point of view it would be worth while not paying the regular army because it could get away with it whatever way the crisis folded.

It is Assad who has displayed failed leadership. He has made blunder after blunder and only enraged the opposition making them stronger and more determined. A few brave steps early on and he may have had a chance. His blunders have trapped him on this course and his fate is sealed.

June 19th, 2012, 12:01 pm


zoo said:

Didn’t we read that about 10 times or more in the last year?

Syrian opposition uniting to topple al-Assad
By the CNN Wire Staff
June 19, 2012 — Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)


(CNN) — Several Syrian opposition groups announced a new joint action committee Tuesday to consolidate efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In an effort to “expedite the toppling of the criminal Assad regime,” the groups agreed to form the committee to represent “the forces of the revolutionary movements.”

“While this joint committee is striving to overthrow the tyrannical regime in Syria, it calls upon all revolutionary forces to join them and work together to expedite the toppling of the regime, and to protect our people in Syria from its brutality,” said a statement from one of the groups, the Syrian Expatriates Organization.

The groups include the General Commission for the Syrian Revolution and the Supreme Council for the Syrian Revolution.
Obama, Putin in Syria standoff

The statement said another group is the “Independent Revolution Movement in the Syrian National Council,” but it is not clear if it is linked in any way to the Syrian National Council, the most internationally recognized opposition group and regarded as the strongest and most viable such movement by many observers. The SNC could not immediately be reached for comment.

June 19th, 2012, 12:11 pm


Uzair8 said:

42. irritated

The regime doesn’t have the upper hand.

From what I’m seeing and reading, the opposition is having greater successes on the battlefield. The regime forces are vulnerable. The regime use of helicopters reflects this and this is an issue the opposition has to find a solution to. Anti-helicopter weapons are a necessity in order to neutralise the regime aerial dominance.

I haven’t even mentioned the economy yet.

June 19th, 2012, 12:11 pm


jad said:

Russia’s denial of military drill story: was it all psych-ops?

So Russia appears to have denied reports which appeared in Fars News today, about a joint military exercise with China, Iran and Syria. Voice of Russia, the Russian government’s international radio broadcasting service, reported today:
“Russia has denied reports in media that it allegedly planned joint military exercises with China and Iran on Syrian territory.
‘This is absurd’, Mr. Igor Dygalo, aide to Russia’s Navy commander said.
Earlier this week the Dubai-based Al Arabiya TV channel reported that Russia, China and Iran were planning joint exercises, the largest in the Middle East, comprising some 90,000 ground, naval and air forces, as well as 400 aircrafts, 1,000 tanks and Russian submarines, destroyers and an aircraft carrier.
The report said that Egypt had allowed 12 Chinese navy ships to go through the Suez Canal to arrive in Syria.
This false report also claimed that Syria was going to test its anti-ship missiles and air defense system.”
Syria has also denied the reports: “This information is out of synch with reality,” said Buseina Shaaban, political advisor to the Syrian president”.
But it’s no coincidence that this denial comes on the heels of another denial about yet another report which first appeared last week in the non-governmental Russian news agency , Interfax. As reported by the Guardian:
”The Interfax news agency quoted an unidentified Russian navy official as saying two amphibious landing vessels, Nikolai Filchenkov and Caesar Kunikov, would be heading shortly to the Syrian port of Tartus, but gave no precise date.
The official said the ships would carry an unspecified number of marines to protect Russians in Syria and evacuate some equipment from Tartus if necessary.
Interfax said each of the ships was capable of carrying 150 marines and a dozen tanks. It quoted a deputy Russian air force chief as saying Russia would give the necessary protection to its citizens in Syria.
“We must protect our citizens,” Major-General Vladimir Gradusov told Interfax. “We won’t abandon the Russians and [we will] evacuate them from the conflict zone if necessary.”

June 19th, 2012, 12:13 pm


irritated said:

#43 Uzair8

I think you did not read my post.
Bashar al Assad need not crush the “armed revolution”, it has torpedoed itself.
He has outsmarted the Turks, the Saudi, Qatar supported by massive propaganda and the support of Israel, the USA and the EU.
For a bad leader, that’s quite an achievement.
I like to know what achievement you put at the credit of the SNC or the FSA leadership? Protecting the Syrians? Uniting?
If it is not clear for you that the opposition’s leadership has gone from failure to failure and betrayed the trust of the genuine reform-seekers Syrians , I wonder what is.

“Anti-helicopter weapons are a necessity in order to neutralise the regime aerial dominance.”

Maybe Pakistan can send some, as the Western countries don’t seem to want to.

June 19th, 2012, 12:18 pm


Uzair8 said:

People may ask why we haven’t had any significant defections. Why have parts of the regime not broken away? People will have hoped that gradually the dominoes would fall and institutions would break off one after another.

Syria in effect doesn’t have much in the way of institutions. As SC commentators have said in the past, the regime has gutted the institutions.

What we have is one big institution. One big domino. Rather than a series of dominoes waiting to fall we have one big one which means that it may take longer to topple, but topple it will.

June 19th, 2012, 12:21 pm


irritated said:

#48 Uzair8

Don’t you see you are desperatly trying to find excuses to explain the cohesion of the army and the government as well as the absence of civilian strikes, defections of officials etc… ?

The reason is simple: it’s a strong, smart, resilient and nationalistic government. Face the reality.

June 19th, 2012, 12:35 pm


Uzair8 said:

47. irritated

Sorry I had a lot on my mind and streams of thought to share.

The revolution didn’t need the permission or support of the named countries to start in march last year and it doesn’t need their help to continue. In fact those countries have been trying to keep up with the revolution. All talk and no action.

The SNC could have done more but the real bread and butter of the revolution are the LCC and the FSA.

What Assad has done is to make it a moral obligation to resist and fight the regime.

What have the LCC and FSA achieved?

They have made sacrifices for a just cause and just demands.
The sacrifices have made them stronger.

Anyway. I’m not an expert and I think I’ve said too much.

Finally. A thought I had earlier:

The revolution has grown by inspiring others.
The regime has tried to contain it through intimidation.

June 19th, 2012, 12:36 pm


zoo said:

Yes, Obama’s Election Campaign is Affecting His Syria Policy. No, That’s Not a Bad Thing.
Robert Dallek
June 15, 2012 | 6:10 pm
It’s clear that the conflict in Syria is now an issue in the American presidential campaign, largely at the insistence of Mitt Romney’s Republican supporters. Most notable among the interjections was an emotional speech recently delivered on the Senate floor by Senator John McCain, in which he demanded to know why the White House was abetting Bashar al Assad’s murdering of innocents. There is, of course, much to quibble with in this characterization: Far from doing nothing to oppose Bashar, the Obama administration has supported the U.N. ceasefire proposal sponsored by Kofi Annan and put pressure on Moscow and Beijing to assert their influence.

But in another way, it is only fitting that the White House’s response has become a campaign issue. After all, it’s very likely that electoral considerations have been among the things on President Obama’s mind as he has crafted his Syria policy.

June 19th, 2012, 12:41 pm


Uzair8 said:

Last post for now.

First time I’ve heard from Bouthaina Shabaan for many months. Had to post.

Aje Live Syria blog:

Syria about 2 hours ago

An adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied an Iranian media report that Syria would host Russian, Chinese and Iranian military forces for joint exercises, the Russian news agency Interfax reported on Tuesday.


“There will be nothing like that. This is one of those (pieces of) false information that are distributed about (Syria),” Interfax quoted Bouthaina Shabaan, an adviser to Assad who was in Moscow on Tuesday, as saying. [Reuters]


June 19th, 2012, 12:50 pm


zoo said:

It was Morsi, now it’s Shafiq?

Mubarak’s ex-PM claims to win Egypt president vote
By HAMZA HENDAWI | Associated Press – 36 mins ago


CAIRO (AP) — A campaign spokesman for Hosni Mubarak’s ex-prime minister said Tuesday that Ahmed Shafiq has won Egypt’s presidential election, countering the Muslim Brotherhood’s claims that its candidate was the winner and setting the stage for a divisive fight for the leadership

June 19th, 2012, 1:03 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Ajami always critice Sunni

Ajami wrote
“His core argument is that the trouble we are seeing in Iraq results from the profound unwillingness of Sunni Arabs in Iraq and elsewhere to accept the rise to power of Shiites in what is, after all, their own country.”
He claimed that Iraq is country for Shiite.

In the foreigner gift,he wrote
Ajami suggests, Shiite leaders have begun fitfully to come to terms with what it means to exercise secular political power in the name of a group that is, after all, a religious denomination. He describes a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani — one of the first such accounts to appear in English — and is impressed by the leader’s light touch when it comes to politics.

June 19th, 2012, 1:05 pm


ann said:

Ron Paul blasts ‘bogus’ case for war in Syria – June 19, 2012


With his presidential campaign all but over, Rep. Ron Paul took to the floor of the House today to criticize the “bogus” case to interfere with the conflict in Syria.

“Plans, rumors and war propaganda for attacking Syria and disposing Assad has been around for many months,” Paul began, citing reports that the Pentagon was planning some sort of intervention.

“In my opinion, all the evidence to justify this attack is bogus”


June 19th, 2012, 1:09 pm


Juergen said:

Secret mission in Syria
Eyewitness to the repression

She traveled illegally to Syria and was investigating crimes by government forces. The under-cover agent Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International reports on its work method.

From mid-April to late May Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International was in the provinces of Idlib and Aleppo road. She crossed the border without permission from the authorities after visa applications had been unsuccessful for months. (Otherwise, there are at Amnesty According to his own principle, no undercover operations.) you visited towns and villages, to collect information about human rights violations. How could a foreigner be traveling at this time in Syria, especially in hot areas without being noticed and stopped by the authorities to be? On the phone from London Rovera says: “For a woman it’s easy. I wear a headscarf. And I speak Arabic. ”


photos , 2 days in Idleb


June 19th, 2012, 1:44 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Revolution inspiration :

June 19th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

The definition of free Syrian woman:

June 19th, 2012, 2:19 pm


Halabi said:

It’s nice to know that the we-love-you crowd is consistent when it comes to corruption and the theft of Syria’s public and private wealth.

Reuters – In Syria’s Homs, sectarian spoils of war at bargain prices

They call it the “Sunni market” – a comic term with a dark undertone.

As rockets and gunfire crackle in the central city of Homs, hardline loyalists from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect steal goods from the shattered neighborhoods of Sunni Muslims, the majority population that led the revolt against him.

Grocery stores and thrift shops become loot markets.

“Maybe I’ll nab a bargain,” says a 50-year-old woman wandering through a supermarket that now trades in looted furniture. “I found a really nice kitchen table set made of gorgeous old wood. But he wants $200 dollars for it!”

Furniture usually goes for around $50 or less. Clothes and shoes are $5 to $20. Everything is open to negotiation.


June 19th, 2012, 2:24 pm


jad said:

Here is the latest work of the mighty ‘revos’, burning a gas station in Aleppo I guess they are done with hospitals, roads, trains, buses, heritage site, it’s time for something new..Gas Stations, how ‘free’ and ‘dignify’ of them:


حريق كازية بستان باشا بحلب 19 6 2012

June 19th, 2012, 2:32 pm


Halabi said:

The Addunya report from Aleppo says a cigarette started the fire.

Alikhbaria Syria (الاخبارية السورية)
مراسل الإخبارية في حلب: حريق في كازية حلب ناتج عن احتكاك أثناء تفريغ المازوت من الناقلة إلى خزانات الكازية والأضرار مادية

No confirmation if it was a 3ar3ouri cigarette. Or who started this fire in Homs.

June 19th, 2012, 2:52 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The Gas explosion near Aleppo was done by the regime thugs, so gas leak and poison people ,who are revolting against the criminal Bashar

June 19th, 2012, 2:55 pm


Tara said:


Free Syrian Army calls on Kurdish brothers to join fight as clashes erupt
Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Free Syrian Army Tuesday called on their “Kurdish brothers” to join rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while promising an end to injustices against Kurds in a future democratic Syria as fighting erupted between Syrian forces and the armed opposition.

“The Joint Command of the Free Syrian Army … appeals to our Kurdish brothers, soldiers and civilians, and invites them to join the ranks of the FSA inside the country,” the group’s spokesman Colonel Kassem Saadeddine said in an online video.

“Let us work together to transform the FSA into an alternative national military institution to the army of the ruling gang,” Saadeddine added.


June 19th, 2012, 3:05 pm


bronco said:

64. Tara

Is Alarabya recycling its news?
The FSA seems at the end of its rope not knowing who to call else to rescue them. Sadly its has missed it chance to be relevant.
Now time is for diplomacy.

June 19th, 2012, 3:13 pm


Observer said:

This for those that continue to think of sectarian terms and only sectarian terms
فارس الخوري، يوم أبلغه الجنرال غورو أن فرنسا جاءت إلى سورية لحماية مسيحيي الشرق، فما كان من فارس الخوري إلا أن قصد الجامع الأموي في يوم جمعة وصعد إلى منبره وقال: إذا كانت فرنسا تدعي أنها احتلت سورية لحمايتنا نحن المسيحيين من المسلمين، فأنا كمسيحي من هذا المنبر أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله …

فأقبل عليه مصلو الجامع الأموي وحملوه على الأكتاف وخرجوا به إلى أحياء دمشق القديمة في مشهد وطني تذكرته دمشق طويلا وخرج أهالي دمشق المسيحيين يومها في مظاهرات حاشدة ملأت دمشق وهم يهتفون لا إله إلا الله ….

لم يكونوا مسلمين ولا مسيحيين ولكن كل أبناء الوطن
حينها كانوا …… سوريين

June 19th, 2012, 3:18 pm


Tara said:

If this is not a slap on the face of Russia, what is?


Syrian arms ship ‘heads home to Russia’

The Foreign Secretary told MPs that the fate of the Alead should act as a warning to others considering supplying arms to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

“I am pleased that the ship that was reported to be carrying arms to Syria has now turned back apparently towards Russia,” Mr Hague said.

June 19th, 2012, 3:26 pm


Uzair8 said:

A family member told me Sheikh Yaqoubi was on Sky News earlier.

I can’t find any video online. I hope someone puts it up soon.

June 19th, 2012, 3:41 pm


annie said:

Mukhabarat et al. are not only murderers, they are also stupid.
Here is the narration of a former Bashar fan who had a rude awakening on his road from Damascus


June 19th, 2012, 3:47 pm


bronco said:

#67 Tara

I am not sure the UK blatant provocation to Russia will remain unchallenged. Putin is not the kind to accept to be bullied by the UK or any other EU members.
I expect Russia’s stand on Syria to become even stronger and less flexible.

June 19th, 2012, 3:50 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

والتاريخ يعيد نفسه الان عندما طرد أصدقاءك مسيحي القصير خلال ٢٤ ساعه

June 19th, 2012, 3:52 pm


zoo said:

As in 9/11 Saudi and Egyptian terrorists behind Israel attack

Al Qaeeda operating in Israel?


The short video said the attack was carried out by the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem, a murky group that was formed in April.

It identifies two men, one Egyptian and one Saudi, as the perpetrators of Monday’s attack. “Soon we will carry out a double suicide mission against the enemy troops on the Egyptian border with occupy Palestine today, Monday, June 18,” said the Saudi man.

Later Tuesday, the group issued a statement on an al-Qaida-linked website saying the men targeted an Israeli patrol with a bomb, anti-tank rockets and gunfire. It said the attack was dedicated to “Sheik Mujhahid Osama bin Laden,” the al-Qaida founder who was assassinated by U.S. troops last year.

The Israeli military declined comment on the latest claims. Military officials have been warning for more than a year that al-Qaida is operating in the area.

June 19th, 2012, 3:54 pm


zoo said:

The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, Major General Robert Mood, (UNSMIS) was to brief the Security Council in a closed meeting at 2000 GMT.

Mood will give “an explanation of the situation, what does he believe is possible in coming days and coming weeks,” France’s UN envoy Gerard Araud told reporters.


June 19th, 2012, 3:58 pm


Tara said:

Syrian activists announce new leadership

By Ruth Sherlock, WashingtonLast 19/06/2012

Syrian activists announced on Tuesday the creation of a ‘new leadership’ inside Syria, further eroding the sway of the embattled opposition coalition the Syrian National Council inside the country.

“According to how it is operating now, we do not believe that the Syrian National Council is able to be the leadership of the opposition,” said Hussein Sayed, a founder of the newly formed ‘Joint Action Committee’.

… Elizabeth O’Bagy from the US think-tank the Institute of War writes that ‘there is a mature and sophisticated leadership [in Syria] driving the uprising’.

The Joint Action Committee is designed to “unify the political work and the field work in Syria across all the revolutionary levels to ensure a smooth future transition,” Mr Sayed told The Daily Telegraph. Its Executive is formed of three representatives from each of the four main opposition groups in Syria. These include the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC), the largest grassroots coalition that, according to a study by O’Bagy, controls 70 per cent of the regional Revolutionary Councils across the country as well as the majority of the Local Coordination Committees.

Leaders hope that the new civilian Committee will have authority over the armed Syrian opposition movement the Free Syrian Army, activists said.

Military councils are also being formed across Syria in an effort to bring a command and control structure to disparate militia groups.

Last week the Daily Telegraph revealed that members of the US state department and the President’s National Security Council is holding meetings with representatives of the armed opposition. They form part of a ‘getting to know you phase’ as the administration considers whether to back Saudi and Qatari efforts to provide heavy weaponry, including anti-tank and anti-air missiles to the armed opposition.


June 19th, 2012, 4:00 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The ships head from Russia to Syria has two ways
1 Through Gibralta strait owned by England.
2 Through Dardaniel(turkish)strait, Turkey can prevent them

Putin was slapped in the face
Pro regime are blustering.

June 19th, 2012, 4:01 pm


Alan said:

Media ship-storm over Russian vessels ‘bound for Syria’
A Russian cargo ship stopped near Scotland has been forced to turn back to home shores as the UK-based insurer withdrew the vessel’s cover. Western media are mired in speculation over alleged Russian supplies to Syria.
The MV Alaed, a multipurpose twin-deck cargo vessel was proceeding through the North Sea when it was stopped by the UK marine insurer the Standard Club some 50 miles (80.4km) off Scotland.
The ship was halted after the US told the insurer Washington suspected the vessel was heading to Syria, carrying MI25 helicopters known as “flying tanks” and other choppers.
“We are aware of a ship carrying a consignment of refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters heading to Syria,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said in the statement.
The Standard Club Company withdrew the vessel’s insurance, making it difficult for the ship to dock legally in ports.
On Tuesday the MV Alaed had to head back to Russia, noted UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.
The insurer also canceled all licenses belonging to Russia’s FEMCO Group, under which the cargo vessel operated.
Standard Club explained its decision saying that FEMCO Group had “broken internal rules” of the company – a mutual insurance association.
“We are working closely with international partners to ensure that we are doing all we can to stop the Syrian regime’s ability to slaughter civilians being reinforced through assistance from other countries,” the Foreign Office added. ./../..

June 19th, 2012, 4:13 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Erdogan&jerry(Davutoglu)are not going to compromise 10 million Russian tourist yearly to make FSA loser terrorists happy.

June 19th, 2012, 4:21 pm


JMU said:

Listen guys Ajami is a well respected scholar but unfortunatly I can’t stand this man’s babling on news stations. He reminds me of Fareed Zakaria too many ideas none of them applicable to the situation in the middle east. Also Ajami is an unusual breed, pro-zionist and shiite.

June 19th, 2012, 4:23 pm


zoo said:

Al-Rastan: A City Struggling Against Division
By: Radwan Mortada

Published Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In Al-Rastan, regime loyalists and opponents live side by side. They are governed by an undeclared truce – a truce that has recently begun to reel as a result of concerns among opposition fighters that the regime is pushing its opponents to group in the city as a prelude to annihilating them.

The city of Al-Rastan does not much resemble other Syrian regions. The city has witnessed two military battles, which it endured for several days before falling, with dozens of casualties on both sides. Both times, the Syrian army stormed the city before subsequently withdrawing, and after each battle, opposition forces would recuperate and then regroup.

The most prominent factions in the city are the Men of God Brigade and the Ali bin Abi Talib Battalion, led by First Lieutenant Fayez Abdullah. Add to these the group led by the defected officer Abdul Razak Talas, which has recently entered the city with around only one hundred fighters – albeit well-armed. There are also various other groups operating independently of these factions.

What is unique about Al-Rastan is the make-up of the city’s residents. Here, the regime loyalists and opponents live side by side. This state of affairs is reinforced by bonds of kinship and affinity among most of the residents. In this city, currently controlled by the opposition, both regime loyalists and opponents are free to enter and leave without either side being hassled by the other. Beyond this, the city boasts the largest number of defected officers: From the city itself, which has a population of approximately 65,000, there are about 1,560 officers serving in the regime’s army, including the head of the Military Security Branch. These are met on the opposing side by about 90 defected officers, most notably the commander of the central region in the Men of God Brigade, Colonel Qassim Saad Eddin, in addition to the president of the Military Academy, who has the rank of staff brigadier. Yet despite this mix, they live together in great harmony and peace.

June 19th, 2012, 4:26 pm


Halabi said:

Multiple funerals and protests in Halab today. Marina Shehwaro, the wife of a late priest in Aleppo and mother of the activist Marcell Shehwaro, was killed by Assad’s criminals on Monday. Her funeral was attended by people of all faiths, and the revolutionaries who were there carried roses and didn’t turn it into a protest, mostly due to the large number of shabiha and security forces surrounding the church. (Marina could have lived if these security forces actually controlled the murderers roaming our streets rather than killing citizens).

In other parts of Aleppo, the funerals were more boisterous.

And protests were sparked again at night.

Someday soon the we-love-you crowd will claim that Aleppo has too many Islamic, 3ar3ouri terrorists like Marina and needs to be cleansed. Who knows, maybe my possessions will wind up in the “Sunni markets.”

June 19th, 2012, 4:47 pm


Tara said:

Once a peasant always a peasant.  Read and feel disgusted.  This is rather nauseating.  These are furnitures and items looted from houses where massacres took place.  Did they clean the furnitures well from trace of blood?   Did they wash the cloths of the slaughtered infants well before they were reused?  hope the souls of the slaughtered mothers and children haunt these thrives and murderer peasants forever.
—-congratulation to the Assad clan for the hatred they are cultivating.  I do not think anyone can get any stupider.

In Syria’s Homs, sectarian spoils of war at bargain prices
Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:08am BST

BEIRUT (Reuters) – They call it the “Sunni market” – a comic term with a dark undertone.

As rockets and gunfire crackle in the central city of Homs, hardline loyalists from President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect steal goods from the shattered neighbourhoods of Sunni Muslims, the majority population that led the revolt against him.

Grocery stores and thrift shops become loot markets.

“Maybe I’ll nab a bargain,” says a 50-year-old woman wandering through a supermarket that now trades in looted furniture. “I found a really nice kitchen table set made of gorgeous old wood. But he wants $200 dollars for it!”

Furniture usually goes for around $50 or less. Clothes and shoes are $5 to $20. Everything is open to negotiation.

The woman haggles with the shopkeeper. “These are the spoils of war. It’s our right to take them,” she says.


June 19th, 2012, 5:00 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

Shehwaro died in Tragic accident because driver not stopping going in one way street,your comment is مشحوره and biased.
On another news KSA and Hamma massacr defenders have no problem welcoming Hama butcher:

June 19th, 2012, 5:01 pm


ann said:

Joint Statement by the President of the United States of America Barack Obama and the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin



We agree to cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally to solve regional conflicts. In order to stop the bloodshed in Syria, we call for an immediate cessation of all violence and express full support for the efforts of UN/League of Arab States Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan, including moving forward on political transition to a democratic, pluralistic political system that would be implemented by the Syrians themselves in the framework of Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity. We are united in the belief that the Syrian people should have the opportunity to independently and democratically choose their own future.

The need for a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East has never been more apparent, and we will continue working with our Quartet partners to advance peace efforts on the basis of the Quartet statements of September 23, 2011, and April 11, 2012, and to strengthen the Palestinian Authority’s ability to meet the full range of civil and security needs of the Palestinian people, both now and in a future state.

The United States and Russia continue to face a common threat from al Qaeda and other terrorist groups operating in and around Afghanistan. We recognize that this is a pivotal time for international efforts to strengthen security and promote economic development in Afghanistan, as well as to counter the narcotics threat. With the successful implementation of bilateral and multilateral transit arrangements, Russia has made a significant contribution to international efforts to promote stability in Afghanistan.


June 19th, 2012, 5:12 pm


ann said:

Israel holds maneuvers inside Shebaa Farms – 2012-06-19


MARJEYOUN, Lebanon, June 19 (Xinhua) — The Israeli army carried out maneuvers on Tuesday with live fire in southern Shebaa Farms, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.

Lebanese security sources told Xinhua that during the maneuvers all kinds of machine guns and artillery shells were used, with an intensified flyover by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Sounds of explosions were heard in the area.


June 19th, 2012, 5:24 pm


ann said:

‘US helicopter stunt puts Russia-brokered Syria solution on ice’ – 20 June, 2012

If previously “Russia agreed that everything is negotiable,” now it is “unlikely that the Russian government would show weakness.”


Washington manipulated information about a Russian cargo vessel stopped near Scotland, misleading the media in order to pressure Russia, “probably to establish some kind of no-fly zone” over Syria, analyst Vasily Kashin told RT.

­The move threatens to stall negotiations between Russia and Western powers over a solution to the Syrian conflict.


“They started to use this information to pressure Russia on the Syrian issue. They are deliberately misleading the media; they were manipulating this information,” says Vasily Kashin from the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

“This really open pressure is combined with a propaganda campaign and data manipulations,” he says.

“But in fact these were just old helicopters repaired in Russia. And is far as we know, it was a very limited and cheap repair. The price was really low; Syria could not even afford to replace engines. So, you can’t even say that Russia upgraded these old Soviet helicopters or expanded their capabilities,” Kashin said.

“What we see now is a huge exaggeration and huge manipulation with data, and the Americans are probably doing this in order to make some point for, probably, establishing some kind of no-fly zone and just making an impression that there are … some terrible aircraft killing civilians which need to be stopped,” Kashin suggests.


June 19th, 2012, 5:37 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Snapshot from a sectarian civil war

June 19th, 2012, 5:43 pm


ann said:

France WANTS the UN Mission in Syria to STOP

At UN, Syria Tells ICP “Mood Is Good,” Was Made to Read Out Ladsous’ Edict

By Matthew Russell Lee


UNITED NATIONS, June 19, updated — With General Robert Mood already in New York, still Tuesday morning in front of the Security Council there were widely differing summaries of what Mood has done and his Mission is doing.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud kicked off the morning by declaring that Mood “has decided to stop” the “regular function” of the mission. Araud emphasized that the mission “lost several vehicles.”

But less than an hour later Inner City Press asked Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, has the UN Mission in Syria stopped? No, he told Inner City Press exclusively. They can still work with the two parties.

In fact even after on Friday the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations led by its fourth Frenchman in a row Herve Ladsous on Friday notified the Security Council UNSMIS was limiting mobile activities — Inner City Press obtained and at 10 pm Friday exclusive reported and published the DPKO memo — on Sunday Mood said the mission could go and witness the release of civilians.

UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told Inner City Press “they can still react,” but said there’s talk of reducing the number of outlying outpost. We’ll hear from General Mood this afternoon, he said.

The Syrian side Monday morning told Inner City Press that “Mood is good,” that’s why their response to Mood “having to read out” on Saturday Ladsous’ Friday edict was that they understood. “It’s Ladsous,” they said.

Another source in the region, no fan of Bashar al Assad, told Inner City Press that France WANTS the Mission to stop, but they haven’t been able to bring it out. It is suggested that Mood’s briefing later today will again be nuanced and balance, “not enough” to justify stopping the Mission. “Ladsous will be more negative.”


June 19th, 2012, 5:48 pm



“They started to use this information to pressure Russia on the Syrian issue. They are deliberately misleading the media; they were manipulating this information,” says Vasily Kashin from the Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies.

“This really open pressure is combined with a propaganda campaign and data manipulations,” he says
“What we see now is a huge exaggeration and huge manipulation with data, .


June 19th, 2012, 5:55 pm


ann said:

Hosni Mubarak \’clinically dead\’ – reports – 20 June, 2012


Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is \”clinically dead,\” hospital officials say. Mubarak\’s heart has stopped beating and is not responding to defibrillation, local media reports.

­Earlier, Mubarak, 84, had been moved to a military hospital in Cairo after suffering a heart attack and stroke, after which he went into a coma. Mubarak suffered from high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.


June 19th, 2012, 5:57 pm



Today’s remote observation

Remotely observing regime propagandists shows that

Funnels are oblivious to the sewage passing through them, they still internalize it and concentrate it

June 19th, 2012, 6:04 pm


ann said:

Syria’s Central Bank Denies Printing Banknotes in Russia – June 19, 2012



Meanwhile, Mayyaleh denied recent rumors suggesting that Syria would print the new bills in Russia, saying it was “absolutely baseless and aimed to confuse the citizens by linking the printing of money with the events taking place in the county.”

“Spreading such news aims to distort the image of the Syria’s national economy which is standing firm in the face of this conspiracy and the attempts to influence the value of the Syrian Pound and weaken it,” Mayyaleh said, adding that Syrians have become accustomed to such rumors which have been proven to be false, and that Syrians are aware of the intentions of those who spread them.


June 19th, 2012, 6:05 pm



Syria’s national economy which is standing firm


naaa …. Delusion.

June 19th, 2012, 6:10 pm


ann said:

Armenians Leaving Syria – 6-19-2012


Several hundred people have already arrived in Armenia to escape rising violence in Syria, and they say thousands more could be on their way.

“We never thought we’d be able to move from one country to another in just a few months,” said Harutyun Ashakertyan, 58, who has moved to Armenia with his wife and three children. “The situation changed so sharply that it was the best decision. Our prime duty was to ensure the family’s safety.”

His wife Lisa Ashakertyan, 50, said most of the people she knew back in Syria were planning to move to Armenia, as well.

Syria is home to around 80,000 Armenians, most descendants of the survivors of mass killings in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 onwards. Although they are well integrated in Syria, the violence of the last year has forced many to consider leaving.

The influx is likely to increase as President Bashar al-Assad’s forces continue attacking towns around the country, and as his armed opponents put up more resistance. Concentrated in in Aleppo, the Armenian minority is seen as supportive of the Assad government.

Emigrating is difficult when there are few buyers for homes and businesses.

Madlen Sepetjyan, 59, is keen to leave Syria, but is unable to sell her house.

“A few months ago my house was robbed. Every last coin was taken, and it’s just lucky I wasn’t at home or they would have killed me,” she said. “They took all my savings and my gold, and I can’t go to Armenia until I sell my house. We wait for buyers all the time, but no one is coming forward at this tense time.”

Sepetjyan worries how she will support herself in Armenia, since her son has lived there for three years but has yet to find a long-term job that pays decent money.

It is not clear how many of the arriving Syrian Armenians have found work.

According to member of parliament Artsvik Minasyan, they will need help integrating, not least because they speak a different dialect of Armenian.

“The problem is that there is no single strategy for arriving Armenians who need help from the state — from assistance with economic, social and financial issues, to organisational and citizenship questions,” he said.


June 19th, 2012, 6:15 pm



Objecting to Fares Khoury and Cheering Bashar Assad

low standards?!

naa…..cultists of the buffoon

June 19th, 2012, 6:23 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Don’t you see a family members first hand account of what actually happened in the tragic death of Marina Shehwaro must be a biased account, while a regime news garbage site that specializes in propaganda is not. Irony can be such a cruel mistress sometimes…

I have not as of yet heard an explanation on the tragic end of Bassel Shehade by the we-love-you-crowd, but I am sure they will come up with a rather callous explanation such as he was driving up the street going the wrong way when a shell landed and killed him from behind.

June 19th, 2012, 6:34 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Where is Adnan Bakour?
Was he given this revolutionary justice:

June 19th, 2012, 6:41 pm


Ghiufran said:

Mubarak is on the vent , his family may pull the plug very soon, his heart has already stopped at least once.

June 19th, 2012, 7:35 pm


Shami said:

Amir ,there is nothing sectarian in the video that you posted.On the contrary ,the officier told his soldier that the bodies of assad killers to be moved away so they avoid complete burning.
And then they thanked God for their victory over the assadist killers who surrounded the town of Anadan (15 Km from Aleppo’s center)

June 19th, 2012, 7:43 pm


ann said:

Kuwait to host a significant amount of U.S. troops – June 19th, 2012



The Pentagon would not confirm the numbers cited in the report and would say only that there are roughly 40,000 American troops in the area, a sign that Kuwait may not want the numbers publicized.

“The Kuwaitis are extremely sensitive to the U.S. presence in their country,” said national security analyst and retired Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton, who claims that there are usually 4,000 to 7,000 troops stationed in the country. “The Pentagon doesn’t want to confirm any specific numbers for the concern that the Kuwaitis might get cold feet and wouldn’t allow the U.S. to maintain a presence in Kuwait.”


June 19th, 2012, 8:24 pm


ann said:

Head of UN observer mission says his forces are committed to staying in Syria – June 19, 2012



Maj. Gen. Robert Mood said Tuesday that questions about canceling the mission were premature and noted, “We are not going anywhere.”


Reviving the mission would require a commitment from both the Syrian government and the opposition to “freedom of movement” for the U.N. observers, Mood said.

While the Syrian government had given him such assurances in the last few days, he said we “have not seen that yet from the opposition.”


June 19th, 2012, 8:31 pm


omen said:

Ajami always critice Sunni
Ajami wrote
“His core argument is that the trouble we are seeing in Iraq results from the profound unwillingness of Sunni Arabs in Iraq and elsewhere to accept the rise to power of Shiites in what is, after all, their own country.”
He claimed that Iraq is country for Shiite.

this is not an ajami quote. this is someone\’s interpretation of what they think ajami is saying.

In the foreigner gift,he wrote
Ajami suggests, Shiite leaders have begun fitfully to come to terms with what it means to exercise secular political power in the name of a group that is, after all, a religious denomination. He describes a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani — one of the first such accounts to appear in English — and is impressed by the leader’s light touch when it comes to politics.

also, not an ajami quote.

i hate to correct you. your knowledge of the middle east and its culture is far superior to mine. but this is not true when you say ajami always criticize sunni.

you are taking iraq as one example and extrapolating that as being representative of ajami\’s entire world view of his supposed “anti sunni” bias. but this isn\’t the case. i didn\’t agree with the iraq invasion but even here, when taking an overview of his treatment of other countries, ajami has consistently opposed dictators.

ajami took mubarak to task. he took gaddafi to task. was this ajami being critical of sunnis? no. this was him standing up against tyranny and standing up for the right to human dignity. why persist to view him in a sectarian light when ajami has even taken iran\’s regime to task when he himself is shia. just the very fact that ajami opposes bashar assad should tell you he isn\’t ruled by sectarian bias.

khaldoun, do only sunni voices count in opposition to assad? all other voices should be considered null and void? during the libyan revolution, i didn\’t see a lot of sunni solidarity. i saw arabs turn their backs on the plight of libyans. ajami spoke up in defense of libyans when they were under attack while neighboring sunnis merely shrugged their shoulders in apathy. arabs were more offended by nato than they were by gaddafi\’s reign of terror. how should i interpret this arab indifference? should i read this as sunnis themselves having an anti sunni bias?

June 19th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Ghufran said:

Ajami is a political prostitute whose writings are only useful as toilet tissues if sanctions or circumstances make soft toilet papers unavailable (excuse my French).
The man’s history and political positions,especially prior to the invasion of Iraq, is a proof that this nations has no shortage of spies and traitors.

June 19th, 2012, 8:47 pm


omen said:

in contrast to khaldoun who attacks ajami for being anti sunni, i remember a critique the angry arab has leveled who argues ajami has never taken saudi arabia or the rest of the oil rich gulf states to task. an argument that has nagged at me and made me worry. i haven’t studied the matter to check. i wonder if reality would show something more nuanced.

June 19th, 2012, 8:56 pm


Ghufran said:

“It’s a very hard balancing game, and there is this tension between them that is not easily reconciled,” Indyk said. “So, ultimately, I think we’re going to have to decide which one is more important to us. And I suspect that, at the end of the day, it will be the Iranian issue and the nuclear weapons programs we run that trumps concern about what’s happening in Syria.”
Translation: if the US and Russia agree on Iran,Syria will be left for the wolves.

June 19th, 2012, 9:01 pm


Ghufran said:

نفت مستشارة الرئيس للشؤون السياسية والإعلامية بثينة شعبان، يوم الثلاثاء، وجود أية خطط لمناورات عسكرية ستجري قريبا في سوريا بمشاركة روسيا والصين وإيران، كما نفت خبرا تداولته وسائل الإعلام عن سفينة تقل شحنة أسلحة ومروحيات انطلقت من ميناء كالينينغراد، مبحرة باتجاه سورية، واصفة إياها بأنها “معلومات استفزازية، وبعيدة عن الواقع”.

June 19th, 2012, 9:09 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

اسود الشيشان
This is one reason Russia will not let Syria become wahabist: next on line are Islamic USSR

June 19th, 2012, 10:03 pm


adonis said:

I do not realy understand how you advertize for a book which is from its very beggning based on faulse perceptions and lies .
as for Hamza al khateeb , i am an eye witness of what happned . yes he was killed by the syrian army for a very justified reason. but he has not been touchered . i saw his body in the hospital when he arrived , there was no signs of tourchter . yes i do not have a concret proof of what i am claiming . but i can not read such very dangerous mind managing and remain scielnt .

June 19th, 2012, 10:36 pm


Irfan said:

There is no reason to doubt that both government authorities as well as the eclectic collection of armed actors on the Syrian landscape are guilty of reciprocally wicked acts of violence. However, before you run out to buy the first copy of his latest neocon-inspired tome, anyone interested in knowing what makes Fouad Ajami tick should first review this very insightful and excellent article by Adam Shatz entitled “The Native Informant” http://www.thenation.com/article/native-informant

June 19th, 2012, 10:37 pm


Observer said:

Here is another post that I would have added to this post today

This one talks about the breaking up of the country.

Putin is talking non sense as he touts sovereignty being paramount and it is up to the Syrian people to decide their future and their leaders.

So why is he not asking Fredo to stop shelling Homs relentlessly with his third rate army that is not capable of taking Baba Amr?

Russia is going to be a huge loser in this: prestige, influence, bargaining power, and its last so called base outside of Russia.

There is no doubt that the rebellion is getting stronger and the regime is getting weaker. The regular people are taking up arms. I do want Syrian Hamster for President he is the greatest commentator ever and he can spot DELUSION from several miles away.

Now I really deplore anyone insulting Christians of Syria for without them Syria is diminished a 1000 times and likewise for the great mosaic of people in this country. It is too bad that the Corleone family has taken the country hostage.

Stenotrophomonas is yeast that is resistant to all known antibiotics and it is usually a commensal living in harmony in our bodies until inflammation creates a breach in the defenses and then it invades the body and is very hard to eradicate.

Dr. Fredo are you reading? There are also Methicillin resistant Staph and Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus if you have not looked carefully at your medical books lately. How about HSV6 resistant to Foscarnet. Or the new strain of C Difficile that is resistant to quinolones.

Well Syrians are now resistant to Military Intelligence, State Security Court, Air Force Security, Palestine Security, Refugee Security, Informant Brigades, Fourth Division, Defense Brigades, Special Forces, Republican Guards.

The bravery and resilience of the Syrian people are simply going to change the face of the ME.

June 19th, 2012, 10:48 pm


Norman said:

The militants are holding Christians hostages in Homs, preventing them from leaving fearing that the Syrian army will attack them and get rid of them, they took over the houses and the Churches in Homs and caused the destruction of old Homs, they will never be forgiven.

June 19th, 2012, 11:15 pm


Norman said:

If the MB are robbed of the presidency in Egypt, i expect Egypt to fall in a civil war.and they are right to fight for their rights.

June 19th, 2012, 11:20 pm


Ghufran said:

What justifies killing a child ?

June 19th, 2012, 11:27 pm


zoo said:

No change in UNSMIS mission


The head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, meanwhile, told the UN Security Council of the intensifying violence in the country but said the nearly 300 unarmed monitors were “morally obliged” to stay.

“We are going nowhere,” Major General Robert Mood told reporters after the closed meeting.

UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous reaffirmed the message. “We have decided, for the time being, not to touch, not to modify, but rather to maintain the integrity of the mission,” he told reporters.

The future of UNSMIS is being discussed as various diplomatic initiatives have been launched on Syria and the mission’s current mandate ends on July 20, Ladsous added.

Highlighting the dangers faced by the nearly 300 unarmed monitors in Syria, Mood, the head of the UN mission, told the meeting that UN vehicles had been hit 10 times by “direct fire” and hundreds of times by “indirect fire.” He said nine UN vehicles had been hit in the past eight days alone.

The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and snipers has increased, causing many of the mounting casualties, Mood told the envoys as his team struggles to shore up a ceasefire supposed to take effect from April 12.

But he insisted the suspension of operations did not mean an “abandonment” of Syria. UNMIS was “morally obliged not to turn away” and “must redouble efforts,” Mood was quoted as saying.

The UN monitors are seeking to implement a six-point peace plan put together by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan

June 19th, 2012, 11:34 pm


bronco said:

#111 Norman

Without the civilian human shields, the armed rebels are exposed to be totally destroyed.. They know that and this is why they are holding on to the innocents civilians and will not let them leave.

They are probably working out a deal with the Red Cross and the UN mission to allow the rebels to make another ‘tactical’ move in exchange of freeing the civilians. I hope that this final tactical move is to Turkey.

June 19th, 2012, 11:39 pm


zoo said:

Army misrule is turning Egypt into Pakistan
The US should tell the generals that aid will be conditional on a swift handover of power

By Shashank Joshi
7:37PM BST 19 Jun 2012

The revolution has been cancelled. Everyone go home. It was all a big misunderstanding.

That is the message of Egypt’s military junta who, having hijacked their country’s political future, are turning it into a new Pakistan: a self-destructive and stagnating military dictatorship, limping along in sporadic democratic spurts. It is a squalid and tragic outcome for a country that should have been leading a political renaissance of the Arab world.

June 19th, 2012, 11:41 pm


omen said:

via globe & mail:

Bid to hide bloodbath changes game in Syria

“It’s hard to say whether the Syrian regime is preparing a fallback plan of an Alawite mini-state,” said Tony Badran, a Lebanese fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington. But what is clear, he said, is that “Assad is pursuing a policy of Alawite inner consolidation.”

“By arming Alawite villages and using them as launching pads for attacks against Sunnis, as he did in Houla and al-Qubair … Assad is hardening the sectarian boundaries and implicating the entire Alawite community in the murder of Sunnis, further bonding its fate to his,” he explained.

Indeed, a Bosnia-like conflict is beginning to unfold. And, as in Bosnia, one side has been getting more weapons than the other. Despite an international arms embargo, Russia and Iran continue to supply the Assad regime. More recently, Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Turkey are aiding Islamist elements in the opposition, while fighters from Salafist jihadi communities around the Sunni world have joined the opposition ranks in Syria, as many like them did during the conflicts in Bosnia and in Afghanistan.


the writer doesn’t offer proof for the last part, but let’s take this at face value. foreign fighters did appear in bosnia. has bosnia been reduced into another afghanistan? last i heard, it was applying for eu and nato membership. presence of foreign fighters doesn’t mean the country will automatically absorb and adopt the philosophy of such fighters.

June 19th, 2012, 11:41 pm


zoo said:

Syria Tests Russia’s Global Role
Paul J. Saunders
June 19, 2012
Here, however, Russia is hardly alone—it’s hard to find much leadership in Washington either. President Obama says little about Syria, while State Department officials appear to equate leading with belligerent public pronouncements by Secretary Clinton, spokesperson Victoria Nuland and UN ambassador Susan Rice. Their public denunciations of Bashar al-Assad and of Russian leaders make for good headlines but aren’t really good policy. More generally, through its combination of ad hoc incrementalism and tough talk with limited follow-through, the administration has exacerbated many of its own problems, including by simultaneously increasing Russia’s importance and undermining the chances that Moscow will play a constructive role. Is the administration trying to bring Russia on board—or to use it as an excuse for inaction?

If the former, U.S. officials should starkly—but privately—expose Russia’s limited ability to affect the outcome in Syria by making clear that if Russia blocks a negotiated path forward in the United Nations Security Council, the United States will find its own way outside the UN, together with like-minded governments. America’s record in establishing Middle Eastern democracies may be somewhat mixed, but few question its ability to remove leaders and destroy unfriendly regimes. If Russian officials are willing to talk, the administration should put an end to its political posturing and see what can be accomplished—a negotiated solution in Syria likely is the least costly outcome for the country and for outsiders. If that is impossible due to conditions in Syria, UN-backed action will have greater international legitimacy than steps taken outside the body—but it will be far more likely to happen if the Obama administration credibly demonstrates that it is prepared to ignore the UN if needed.

Of course, this requires that the administration be prepared to follow through if Moscow does not come on board. If there is no agreement in the Security Council, however, this may be more possible than many think; notwithstanding Americans’ declining enthusiasm for conflicts in the Middle East, full-scale civil war in Syria could create unexpected new political pressures, particularly in the months before a presidential election. Russian leaders may not even object too much, as they would be relieved of mounting international expectations and in a good position to complain from the sidelines. The real question is whether the Obama administration will find a way to lead—or be content to stand on the opposite side of the field, shouting angrily at Moscow and the players on the field.

June 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm


Ghufran said:

17:17 ، الثلاثاء ، 19 يونيو 2012 حملة المرشح أحمد شفيق تقول إنه متقدم بنحو نصف مليون صوت بدون احتساب الطعون وإن شفيق هو الرئيس القادم لمصر
Does it really matter who won?
The military junta’s “constitutional declaration” makes the new Egyptian president a figure head with no real power.

June 20th, 2012, 12:02 am


zoo said:

Jordan ends open border policy for Syrians: Vocal Syrian dissidents are no more welcome.

Country toughens screening procedures for refugees, refusing entry to asylum seekers
AP Published: 00:00 June 20, 2012


Amman: Jordan has toughened its screening procedures for Syrian refugees, refusing entry to dozens as the number of individuals submitting false asylum claims is on the rise, government and UN officials said on Tuesday.

He said Jordan was also banning who could be considered as a vocal critic of Al Assad’s regime in order to protect its business ties with Syria. He also spoke on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity.

Syria is one of Jordan’s largest Arab trade partners, with bilateral trade estimated at $470 million (Dh1.72 billion) last year. Also, 60 per cent of Jordanian exports of mainly fruits and vegetables are routed through Syria for onward shipping to Turkey overland or to Europe via Syria’s Mediterranean coast.
The government official denied there were political reasons for the new procedures. “This is totally baseless,” he said.

He added that Jordan is concerned over a larger influx of individuals seeking to take advantage of its open border policy and assistance programme.

June 20th, 2012, 12:03 am


zoo said:

Only constitutional regime change possible in Syria – Putin

­A regime change in Syria, if it happens, should result in stabilizing the situation in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a news conference in the wake of the G20 summit in Mexico’s Los Cabos. Putin reiterated that Russia’s principal position is that “no one has the right to decide for other peoples who should come to power and who should be ousted.” While a part of the Syrian people indeed would like President Assad to go, “this is not the whole Syrian people,” Putin said. All conflicting parties in Syria should start negotiations and agree “in advance on how they will live together in a single country,” Putin added.


June 20th, 2012, 12:09 am


Juergen said:


The wheel of misfortune has prooven to be of syrian origin, so many tragic accidents happend lately in Syria. Honi soit qui mal y pense.


So much i cheerish the bravery of those confessing what they know, i just dont get it how a 14 year old pose a threat to armed forces, or how it can be justified to kill an boy like that. It seems that boys like Hamza test the regime more than anything else.


Its heartbreaking to read that folks took their chances and took advantage of raids and killings. Same was happening in Hitler Germany, as I wrote before many Germans have furniture, and other parts of former jewish households in their posessions, not to mention the amount of former jewish businesses and companies which are now major players in the German economy. I remember in the last months of the east german regime many people left their homes to flee to West Germany. The government did not persecute people who took over the houses and apartments.

There is a very good book to read, which deals with this matter, its called “Everyone dies alone” or “Alone in Berlin” of Hans Fallada. ( same book, different selling aspects) http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Berlin-Hans-Fallada/dp/014118938X/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1340165549&sr=8-4&keywords=hans+fallada

June 20th, 2012, 12:15 am


ann said:

CIA, Mossad responsible for Syria massacres: Turkish party – 2012/06/20


A Turkish political party says the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israel’s spy agency Mossad are responsible for massacres in Syria.

A Turkish paper quoted the Deputy Chief of Turkey’s Felicity Party, Temel Karamollaoglu as saying, “Not only the Syrian crisis will not be solved, but also it will lead to civil war.”

On the one hand, western countries claim that they do not support armed conflicts in Syria, but, on the other, the US is obviously making attempts to arm the Syrian rebels, who are fighting the Middle Eastern country’s government, he said.

“Due to having common interests in Syria, the US, Israel, and the EU make no attempt to stop bloodshed in the country.”

However — Russia and China have rejected military intervention in Syria because they witnessed the outcome of the West’s war in Libya, Karamollaoglu added. Following the foreign intervention in Libya, which led to the death of the country’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, thousands of innocent people were killed by the Western military alliance of NATO’s aerial bombardments, he said.


June 20th, 2012, 12:42 am


Juergen said:

Moderator, thanks, you can erase my comment 123 then…

I wonder when the egyptian military will declare Mubarak officially dead, this salami roll tactic to give information on his health goes like that: the former head of state is hospitalized, the former head of state has suffered an heart attack, no state of his conditions were made, the former head of state is suffering from an severe stroke, the former head of state is unconcious… Its like in the Kremlin when their heads of state died, often days before they finally proclaimed it. Good news for the Egyptians, their old pharao wont get an state funeral nor an mausoleum.

DER SPIEGEL has revealed the identity of his journalist in Syria. Christoph Reuter was since April in Syria, especially in the northern part between Idleb and Aleppo. He has written many articles and his identity was not revealed so far in order not to endanger him and his sources. By now most of the opponents who helped him are killed by the Syrian Army and their henchmen. He speaks in this interview of how he was able to live among people who were free for the first time ever. He witnessed panel meetings in which the towns and villages for the first time discussed how they want to live in the future. At least they had this chance. I will translate later an article which he published this week again only in the magazine itself.


June 20th, 2012, 12:53 am


Juergen said:

quite an good approach to what is fundamentalism


“Fundamentalism is modern. It is not conceivable without the modernity and modernity without it. He dwells in us individualists, because he is a very individual matter. We carry it within us, indelibly, is abysmal as part of their own history of freedom, the other precipice, the resolution of all the principles in the final provisional.

He is strangely familiar to us, even more so the more we create our own gods. Because that fundamentalism does. And sometimes he is smarter than the average of all narrow-minded-care-liberalism. That makes him so dangerous. This will make it – across the religions and ideologies! – To be currently the most successful and fastest-growing faiths in the world.”


June 20th, 2012, 1:40 am


ann said:

British PM Falsely Claims Putin Dropped Support of Syria’s Assad – June 19, 2012

PM David Cameron claimed Moscow was ready to talk about a transition of power in Syria, which was later denied by Putin



British Prime Minister David Cameron said Putin had essentially abandoned the longstanding support for Assad after talks with President Barack Obama and other world leaders at the Group of 20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, and that discussions were now focused on a transition of power in Syria.

“There remain differences over sequencing and the shape of how the transition takes place but it is welcome that President Putin has been explicit that he does not want Assad remaining in charge in Syria,” Cameron told reporters.

“What we need next is an agreement on a transitional leadership which can move Syria to a democratic future that protects the rights of all its communities,” Cameron added.

But Putin denied these claims, saying at his own news conference that, “I feel like I have to repeat our position. We believe that nobody has the right to decide for other nations who should be brought to power, who should be removed from power.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Labrov as well said Cameron’s statement that Putin does not want Assad to remain in power “does not correspond to reality.”


June 20th, 2012, 1:41 am


omen said:

maybe syria needs a george washington after all.
is this him?


(CNN) – Syrian defenses under a western attack would “collapse right away,” a former Syrian general told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour Tuesday.

Akil Hashem dismissed as “just excuses” the idea, promoted by Western intervention skeptics, that Syrian air defenses are very sophisticated.


Hashem believes that the idea of a political solution in Syria is nonsense. He served under Bashar Assad’s father, Hafez Assad, who violently put down an uprising in the Syrian city of Hama twenty years ago.

There is “no way, ever” that Bashar Assad would step down, Hashem said.

“It concerns a huge establishment of so many thousands of people benefitting from this regime,” he said. ‘There is no way for a peaceful solution, in any way.”

Either the international community intervenes, or Assad will continue to slaughter his people, Hashem said. Either way, Syrian opposition forces will not surrender.

“The Syrians will continue fighting this regime forever and ever,” Hashem said. “If he kills eighteen million people, yes, he will put an end to this revolution. Other than that, there is no way.”

June 20th, 2012, 1:44 am


omen said:

ann 12:42

amnesty international report from march this year reported 55 people died from nato bombing in libya, not thousands. it was gaddafi who killed thousands.

June 20th, 2012, 2:10 am


Alan said:

Putin on Syria: No state can decide another’s government
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s G20 statements about Syria’s future seem to have made some world leaders rush to false conclusions. David Cameron claimed that Putin explicitly “does not want Assad remaining in charge in Syria.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that during the G20 summit, President Putin shifted his position and now wants President Bashar al-Assad out of power in Syria.
“There remain differences over sequencing and the shape of how the transition takes place, but it is welcome that President Putin has been explicit that he does not want Assad remaining in charge in Syria,” Cameron told reporters at a news conference in the wake of the G20 summit in Mexico’s Los Cabos.
“What we need next is an agreement on a transitional leadership which can move Syria to a democratic future that protects the rights of all its communities,” Cameron added.
Cameron’s statement was refuted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as “not corresponding to reality.”
During his speech, Putin clearly stated that no nation has a right to decide for another on “who should be brought to power and who should be ousted.”
Reiterating Russia’s firm position on Syria, Putin said that “it is important that after a regime change, if it happens, and it must happen only by constitutional means, peace comes to the country and bloodshed stops.”
While many of the Syrian people indeed would like President Assad to go, “this is not the whole Syrian people,” Putin said. All conflicting parties in Syria should cease violence and start negotiations “to agree in advance on how they will live together in a single country,” Putin added…/../..

June 20th, 2012, 2:12 am


Tara said:


I read your convincing argument in regard to Ajami’s not being anti-Sunni but rather anti-tyranny…I also read what other commenters told us of him being a political prostitute and pro zionism.  

Can anyone who knows give us examples of his pro-Israel stance so we can judge for ourselves? He may be very well be pro-Israel but we Arabs, use this accusation right and left whenever anyone disagrees with us.  He strikes me as being intelligent and articulate.   I hated his guts when he supported the invasion of Iraq.  But now in retrospect, he may have been motivated then by a conviction that Saddam could not possibly be disposed otherwise and if so, I may find him an excuse.  I can only judge motives.

I am not trying to defend the man.  I just want to hear why he is classified pro-Israel?

June 20th, 2012, 2:26 am


Alan said:

US and Russia start visa war?
The United States and Russia have achieved many milestones when it comes to relieving tensions between the two super powers after the Cold War, but it seems that lately those strains have been on the rise. Russia has been more than vocal over its opposition of the US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, and now Russia plans on implementing a visa ban on American officials to counter the US banning Russian officials for alleged human rights violations. David Swanson, campaigner for Roots Action, joins us with more on the matter.

June 20th, 2012, 2:53 am


Tara said:

Ya Ghufran

I read your simple question to Adonis and can’t hold myself from expressing respect.

What makes you different?

I think I am very interested in knowing what is it that makes someone thinks independently and not follow the herd. I do not give us ( the Sunnis) extra credit for being anti regime. I do give an extra credit for an Alawis to be anti. Those Anti regim Alawis have overcome primitive unrefined and selfish inherent emotions to be different and that draw my admiration.

June 20th, 2012, 2:54 am


Mina said:

Jürgen 124
“he was able to live among people who were free for the first time ever” how touchy, and what about the other half of the population, i.e. the women? any hope for them?

June 20th, 2012, 2:54 am


ann said:

On Syria, Houla Probe Not Done, Third Force Barely Seen, Ladsous on Run

By Matthew Russell Lee


UNITED NATIONS, June 19 — The UN Security Council was briefed on Syria Tuesday by mission chief General Robert Mood and then UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations boss Herve Ladsous. Then the two came out and took media questions, chosen by DPKO spokesman Kieran Dwyer.

One would have thought they’d address, or take a question, about the belated investigation of who killed who in Houla, a task assigned to the UNSMIS mission. But the question was not taken, Dwyer saying “we have meetings to go to.” Then he stood to the side of the stakeout, spinning.

When Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong, June’s President of the Security Council, came out he called on Inner City Press which asked the question Ladsous and Mood should have taken: what ever happened to the investigation in Houla?

And why do both men repeatedly refer to “the two sides” when even Ban Ki-moon (mis?) spoke about a Third Force?

Li Baodong replied that more information is still needed on Houla. He said the Third Force is a serious threat; previously he has said it must be investigated.

Syria’s Bashar Ja’afari said the Third Force is, in essence, Al Qaeda and is supported by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. This is ironic, given that Saudi Arabia recently paid to sponsora counter-terrorism conference and center, despite its nationals’ role for example in the 9/11/01 attacks.

Ja’afari praised Mood and Li Baodong. Inner City Press asked him why he didn’t mention Ladsous, does he agree with those who say in essence that Ladsous works for his native France?

Ja’afari began hyper diplomatic, praising Mood as fair, Mood as balanced. But then he chided a “UN heavyweight” — literally — who said there is a civil war in Syria “as if it is a joke.”

That would be Ladsous, in his side walk with hand picked journalists. As we’ve reported, Ladsous thinks it’s legitimate to openly say he won’t answer any questions from the Press until it provides positive coverage.

Ladsous’ unique approach has become something of a matter of mockery for many even Westerners in the Security Council and beyond. Now it is resulting in the lack of basic information. Mood, for example, is badly served by it.

The Western Ambassadors, for example Gerard Araud who on the way in spoke of moving to a Chapter 7 mandate, never came to the stakeout. Inner City Press was able to ask UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant, “what’s the general mood in the consultations?”


June 20th, 2012, 4:15 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


And if Ajami supports Israel (what does “supporting Israel” mean, any way), or even not bashing Israel right and left, as many Arabs do, does this allow Arabs to question his Arabness?

Around 75% of Israeli Arabs, according to recent opinion poll that I read, would like to continue and live in the *STATE* of Israel with no conditions. Does this make them contemptible? Or not enough Arabs?

June 20th, 2012, 5:41 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Douma. Within the range of 10-15 km from the palace overlooking the capital? The junta starts to feel the heat.
No, I didn’t begin to cheer massacres. This is the reality on the ground there.

June 20th, 2012, 5:49 am


Alan said:

Syria – in the center of information warfare
Western and Arab media “suggest a shadow on the fence”
06.20.2012 / Victor Litovkin

June 20th, 2012, 6:52 am


Alan said:

U.S. Implementing Afghanistan And Kosovo Models For Syria

Syrian Crisis Should Be Resolved Constitutionally – Putin

June 20th, 2012, 7:05 am


Uzair8 said:

The regime doesn’t have the upperhand.

The FSA are become battle-hardened and more experienced. Learning from their mistakes.

In one place I read someone hope that rebels would be aware of some tactics and he mentioned:

– Faced with regime snipers the FSA should use burning tyres to obscure the sniper’s vision and then fire machine gun in the snipers direction.

– For tracked vehicles they should place a carpet soaked in petrol in their path so it gets caught up in the tracks.

Previous videos showed rebels making errors showing their inexperience. One video (pro-regime with captions ‘sent to hell’ or similar) showed a rebel firing around a corner with a heavy machine gun. He repeated this several times and on the last attempt he was hit by returning fire and martyred. People pointed out that it was basic training that fighters should always change positions.

June 20th, 2012, 7:59 am


Uzair8 said:

Shaykh Yaqoubi at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Syria: The Road to Democracy

Lecture by
Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi

19 June 2012

[From Youtube info]

Syrian scholar and theologian Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi discusses the situation in Syria and the prospects for democracy there. Shaykh al-Yaqoubi is a member of the Syrian National Council.

June 20th, 2012, 8:22 am


Halabi said:

Son of Damascus,

Driving on the wrong side of the road is a capital offense in Assad’s Syria. So is thinking, talking, being a baby in a small village, etc. Cursing Hafez’s rotten soul could force the government to wipe out your entire town, but killing Syrians is not a crime.

On another note, a writer for Al Akhbar who recently resigned explains his decision, the hypocrisy of the pro-Assad left and picks apart the arguments of his former colleagues, including the rants of the beloved propagandist and genocide enthusiast Sharmine Narwani.


June 20th, 2012, 9:03 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Your respect for Ajami is clear, as you see both anti Assad and Pro Assad consider Ajami an evil man
I met Ajami and his son in Baltimore,While my son was studying there,(BTW his son who is a lawyer speaks the same language as his father), Ajami is clearly pro zionism, and he is adimrer of Sistani, and never he suggested invasion of Iran, while he advocated invasion of all Sunni states, may be you like him because he is pro zionism, but I have no respect for this truly what Ghufran said ,he is political prostitute

June 20th, 2012, 9:25 am


zoo said:

Is the opposition ready for peace? The killing of army soldiers continues.


Twenty-eight soldiers were among 39 people killed in violence in Syria on Wednesday, a rights group said, as UN observers said they were “morally obliged” to stay in the country despite the risks

“In a statement issued after the meeting, Mood said the first condition for a resumption of operations was a “significant” reduction in violence.

In addition, there needed to be a commitment by both the government and the opposition to the observers’ safety and security, as well as their freedom of movement.

“The government has expressed that very clearly in the last couple of days. I’ve not seen the same clear statements (from) the opposition yet,” he said

June 20th, 2012, 9:25 am


irritated said:

I guess among academicians, it is the norm to throw flowers at each other’s new book and advertise them. The favor is expected to be returned soon when Joshua Landis will publish his book.

June 20th, 2012, 9:28 am


Tara said:

Too hard slap on the face for Russia to admit?

Russian denial that cargo ship was transporting weapons to Syria

Last Updated: 12:00PM BST 20/06/2012
The owners of a Russian cargo ship, which was turned back from British waters after its insurance coverage was revoked, have denied that it was involved in the illegal transportation of weapons and attack helicopters to Syria.


June 20th, 2012, 9:41 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

FSA is becoming expert in ….lying:

June 20th, 2012, 9:44 am


bronco said:

145. Tara

Too hard for the UK media to admit they lied?
They should know we got used to that anyway.

June 20th, 2012, 9:58 am


zoo said:

Facebook becoming more Israeli: Time to boycott it?

Facebook acquires Israeli Face.com in 100-mln-USD deal

“By working with Facebook directly, and joining their team, we’ ll have more opportunities to build amazing products that will be employed by consumers — that’s all we’ve ever wanted to do,” Face. com said on its blog.

June 20th, 2012, 10:00 am


Ghufran said:

Now he is dead,now he is not. Lying is a national sport in Middle East nations:
“1.48pm: Egypt: A hospital source has told the Times that Mubarak is “conscious and stable” and not in a coma.
Another source said:
“I think this was just something to get him out of prison and into a better place. He’s conscious and stable. He is not mechanically ventilated”
The man refuses to die and relieve those who want his inconvenient presence to end.

June 20th, 2012, 10:41 am


Ghufran said:

Call me pro Russia if you want but it is hard to believe the British version of the story. I think GBR did what it did for fame and recognition. Russia does not need a British insurance company to transfer weapons to Syria,I am surprised some of you believed the story.

June 20th, 2012, 10:45 am


Tara said:

I  am not clear to what was the brief suspension of the observers mission all about?  What has changed that made General Mood change his mind and stay?  

UN observers ‘committed to completing Syria mission despite coming under fire’
Maj Gen Mood did not attribute the suspension of the mission to any single incident, but said that among the issues was the inability of the observers to get through an angry crowd that mobbed their motorcade in the town of Haffa on June 12, when their motorcade was attacked by mobs with stones and metal rods and blocked by gunfire. The source of the gunfire was not clear.

The diplomat added that Mood told the council there has been little or no effort to ensure civilian protection by the Syrian government, and there has been no increase in the pace and scale of release of people who are arbitrarily detained.

Mood told the council, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity, that twice Syria announced the release of 500 detained persons, but the observers saw two groups of 230 and 100-plus released and few key leaders.

Mood said that on a smaller scale the opposition is depriving liberty to individuals too, the diplomat said.


June 20th, 2012, 10:48 am


Alan said:

Three Injured In Fresh Attacks Targeting Gaza
The Israeli Air Force carried out several airstrikes during the overnight and early dawn hours Wednesday targeting different parts of the Gaza Strip, leading to at least three injuries among the civilian population.
Local sources reported that at least one missile was fired at a car driving near Ali Ben Abi Taleb Mosque, in the az-Zeitoun neighborhood. No injuries were reported as the driver of the vehicle jumped out before impact.

The army also bombarded a blacksmith workshop in the neighborhood damaging the building and injuring one Palestinian.

A resistance training camp in the as-Sudaniyya area, near Gaza City, was also targeted by several missiles, while a similar attack targeted a training camp in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Eyewitnesses reported that the army also fired missiles at a group of resistance fighters east of Gaza City leading to two injuries.

On Wednesday morning, the army bombarded Wadi as-Salqa, south of Dir Aa-Balah, in central Gaza; a 17-year-old youth identified as Yahia Hattab was injuried.

On Tuesday evening, a Palestinian toddler, identified as Hadeel Ahmad al-Haddad, 2, was killed, while her brother suffered moderate injuries, and was moved to a local hospital for treatment.

Israeli missiles and shells targeting the Gaza Strip led to the death of 7 Palestinians, including two children, in the last 24 hours, dozens of injuries were reported; some were described as serious.

June 20th, 2012, 10:54 am


Ghufran said:

Both the regime and the opposition are lying about armed gangs activities and acts of thuggery that are terrorizing Syrians in most of Syria today. It is clear now that many of those crimes are not political,they are simply motivated by greed. The reason why Syria did not have this problem before is simple also: the army and security forces did not have to deal with armed rebels prior to march of 2011. In that sense,the uprising is directly linked to increased crimes in Syria,that does not equal blaming the opposition for everything that went wrong in Syria,that is what regime supporters want you to believe,one must ask what caused the uprising in the first place.

June 20th, 2012, 11:18 am


omen said:

the whole un observer concept is bigoted as hell if you ask me. what? syrians can’t be trusted to tell the truth? gee, there’s a pile of corpses, homs is decimated and regime put a ban on foreign reporters. complete mystery as to how this all happened.

give me a break.

June 20th, 2012, 11:28 am


zoo said:

Here we go, the genuine revolutionaries lured by the Brotherhood who will dump them when the MB gets back the power …

Egypt Brotherhood seeks to reunite with revolutionaries as new battle looms
The Muslim Brotherhood needs the support of revolutionaries as it braces for a fresh confrontation with Egypt’s ruling military
Hatem Maher, Wednesday 20 Jun 2012


June 20th, 2012, 1:40 pm


zoo said:

Regime and rebel forces to cease fire in Homs to allow evacuation – Red Cross

­Wounded and trapped civilians are preparing to be evacuated from Homs as the government and opposition forces agree to halt their fight, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Wednesday. “The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are ready to enter the old city of Homs and the neighborhoods of Al-Qarabees, Al-Qusour, Jurat al-Shayyah and Al-Khalidiya as soon as possible,” the committee’s spokesperson told Reuters. The NGO will also deliver aid and medical supplies to Homs hospitals.

June 20th, 2012, 1:41 pm


anwar said:

Can the assad peons please stop whining about the revolution? boohoo they are lying and killing ? the opposition is divided ?? who would have thought things wouldn’t be perfect after 40 years of tyranny ?
man even if Jesus, Mohammed and budha were leading the revolution u would still be here nitpicking while assad murder them the same.

June 20th, 2012, 6:38 pm


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