“Al-Qaeda’s Governance Strategy in Raqqa,” by Chris Looney

Al-Qaeda’s Governance Strategy in Raqqa
by Chris Looney (Syria analyst working in DC: clooney@colgate.edu – twitter @looney_89)
For Syria Comment
December 8,2013

Armenian Church in Raqqa converted into an Islamic Missionary Center.

  • “Every 15 minutes someone poured water on me, electrocuted me, kicked me, and then walked out,” says one activist in an interview with CNN.
  • “They beat me with a rifle and with their hands when they arrested me,” says another in a conversation with BBC. “And they threw a wheel on my back so I couldn’t move.

Such is the situation in Raqqa, a city in northeastern Syria with approximately one million inhabitants now under control of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the most powerful Al Qaeda (AQ) affiliate currently operating in Syria.

Since ISIS came to power in May, its abuse of Raqqa’s citizens has been well documented. It has begun to enforce its extreme interpretation of Islam upon the city’s residents, forcing women to “cover their beauty,” banning tobacco products, and brutally repressing dissident voices.

On the surface, this violence appears to be indiscriminate and irrational. Yet, it is also organized and tactical. For a group that has never before fully controlled a large city, the transition from insurgent to administrator has hardly been smooth. Still, ISIS has managed to develop a robust, systemic strategy of governance for Raqqa that links the city to sister strongholds in Iraq. Through the control of goods and services, ISIS has made the city’s residents dependent on it. As intricate as it is oppressive, this strategy is serving ISIS well; ISIS has consolidated its authority in Raqqa as it expands its reach over much of eastern Syria and Iraq.

ISIS Gains Control

Raqqa remained relatively calm throughout the first two years of the revolution. A city with roughly 240,000 residents before the war, the population quickly swelled to one million as refugees fled the escalating conflict. Still, strong ties between local tribal leaders and the regime ensured stability in the province, allowing Assad to retain control despite committing minimal forces to the region. Thus, as support for Damascus eroded and rebel forces began to move in towards Raqqa in late February, they were able to take the city with relative ease.

As the first provincial capital to fall fully into rebel hands, the March 4 takeover of Raqqa was a significant step forward for the opposition. The victors were a contingent of rebel battalions that included Ahfad al-Rasul, a moderate Islamist group with strong ties to the Western-backed Supreme Military Council (SMC), Jabhat al-Wahdet al-Tahrir al-Islamiyya, a small regiment of local militias, and Ahrar al-Sham, a powerful Salafist brigade.

Looming among them was another group active in the campaign to liberate Raqqa that was perhaps more formidable than the other three combined. Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), at the time the only AQ affiliate fighting in Syria, would soon exert its authority in the city.

Bolstered by deep pockets and a strong alliance with Ahrar al-Sham, JN pushed forth a strict Islamic agenda. Despite this and its subsequent record of civil and human rights abuses, the group at least managed to avoid alienating the entire community. Speaking to The Telegraph, one storeowner put it simply. “I like Jabhat,” he said. “They are better than the regime at any rate.

A big reason for this was JN’s deep local ties. Even with its links to AQ, which were not made public until April, many of the group’s fighters were still Syrian, some even from Raqqa province. Thus, they were able to forge more intimate connections among the community. “They don’t wear face masks,” said one resident while speaking with Syria Deeply. “People have friends who are in al-Nusra.”

Yet Nusra’s rule in Raqqa would be short lived. In April, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of what was then known as the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), announced that JN would be merged with ISI to form ISIS.

JN’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Golani, rejected this union, asserting his group’s independence and, for the first time publicly, swearing allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of AQ. Despite al-Zawahiri’s June order that the two remain separate, al-Baghdadi forged ahead in his attempt to integrate the groups.

In Raqqa he was particularly successful. JN had been formed with strong support from ISI, and a significant number of its fighters had fought in Iraq and remained loyal to al-Baghdadi.

By May, ISIS had lured away many of JN’s forces in Raqqa. This, combined with an influx of foreigners as ISIS made its way into Syria, cemented al-Baghdadi’s takeover. The group celebrated its victory with the execution of three Alawites in a town square on May 14.

The ar-Raqqa executions ~ Confirmation of the Islamic State in Iraq and as-Sham

As ISIS solidified its authority, the violence only increased. Protests became a nightly ritual throughout the summer, reaching a crescendo in mid-August when ISIS responded to a gathering by firing rocket-propelled grenades into the crowd. While JN had clashed with the more moderate brigades in Raqqa, ISIS turned these disputes into a verifiable war. The group used a series of four suicide car bombings to take out the leadership of Ahfad al-Rasul, a battalion that enjoyed strong support from the local population. It even squabbled with JN in an attempt to assert itself as the sole legitimate AQ affiliate in the city.

By late September, many battalions had resorted to an alliance with JN, believing it to be the only force left in the city still capable of countering ISIS. But this had little effect, as ISIS retained control and by November had received pledges from 14 local tribes, presumably out of fear. As one activist glumly put it in an interview with Syria Deeply – “We have a saying in Arabic. The hand that you cannot beat: kiss it, and pray that it breaks.”

The Governance Strategy of ISIS

ISIS shows no signs of weakening in Northern and Eastern Syria. On the contrary, because of its strategy of governing ISIS has grown stronger in the face of increased opposition to its rule.

ISIS placed greater importance on asserting full control over the city than on winning the goodwill of the populace. It solidified its rule through intimidation, rather than the more diplomatic means that Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) had employed. This strategy was evident by the public executions of May 14 that the group used to announce its presence. From that day, ISIS began to arrest dissidents. It currently holds approximately 1,500 prisoners in Raqqa, often mistreating and torturing them.

A pillar of this crackdown has been the Islamification of the city. Christians, who have a long history in Raqqa and who made up 10% of its population before the war, were not aggressively persecuted under JN. Though churches were closed and services suspended, families were able to remain and continue their lives unmolested.

Yet as ISIS gained control, violence against Christians increased. The group held public bible burnings, destroyed churches, and kidnapped priests, causing most of the city’s Christians to flee.

Despite the ensuing backlash, these actions did achieve a significant strategic objective for ISIS, an organization that makes no pretense about preserving minority rights. By expelling Christians, it has paved the way for a series of indoctrination programs that aim to promote both religious purity and the AQ principles through youth reeducation and a careful manipulation of civil society.

For ISIS, this is a long term strategy. The group seems confident in its ability to maintain power for an extended period of time, and while it is comfortable sustaining its rule through coercion in the short term, ISIS has also engineered a series of initiatives aimed at rebuilding its reputation among the community.

In addition to writing textbooks for schools, ISIS has sought to reframe itself as part of the mainstream revolution, countering the widely held belief among locals that it either collaborates with the regime or is made up primarily of foreigners who have no connection to Syria. Many of its prisoners are labeled as regime sympathizers, and the Alawite population has been driven from the city.

In addition, it has targeted media outlets in an attempt to control the flow of information. In early November, the Raqqa Information Center (RIC) shut its doors after one of its correspondents was beaten and “accused of treason and espionage.” In casting the RIC as hostile towards the revolution and implying a connection with the regime, ISIS has continued in its bid to reposition itself as liberators moving the city forward into the post-Assad era rather than as an occupying force regressing to autocracy.

The shutdown of the RIC and other media outlets has also served to somewhat isolate Raqqa from the rest of Syria. Though residents still have many other ways to access information, the media blackouts have been reinforced by other actions designed to create an environment where Raqqans are increasingly dependent on ISIS for basic goods and services. In September, ISIS closed the only remaining foreign exchange office in Raqqa, which had allowed money to be sent into the province from abroad. The group also controls the majority of wheat and oil coming into the city and provides food relief packages to families throughout the region. As this dependence increases, ISIS undoubtedly hopes it can transform it into loyalty and gain popularity among the community.

In implementing this strategy of dependence, ISIS has also expanded the connection between the territory it controls in eastern Syria and its strongholds in Iraq. For an organization that does not recognize colonial borders, fusing the two regions is of key strategic importance as it works towards the establishment of an Islamic emirate. The flow of funding from Iraq into Syria has been a source of strength for ISIS, allowing it to outpace rival opposition groups. Through extortion and other criminal techniques, ISIS is able to raise an estimated $8 million a month in Mosul alone.

By using this funding to take advantage of poorly governed territories in Raqqa, eastern Syria, and Anbar province, ISIS has carved out a safe haven from which it has the ability to conduct external operations. Although ISIS may be focused on consolidating its rule locally and expanding its sway within Syria and Iraq for the time being, attacking the West remains a long term strategic objective.


Since its takeover of Raqqa in May, ISIS has employed a governance strategy that has focused on solidifying its rule through intimidation, creating an economy of dependence, and seeking to integrate eastern Syria with its strongholds in Iraq

In this regard it has been highly successful. Yet its hostility towards minority groups, draconian legal system, and brutal repression of dissidents has generated a significant backlash, severely undermining the group’s credibility and keeping it from being seen as a legitimate part of the opposition. Because of this, ISIS’ current governance strategy is likely unsustainable.

Still, ISIS thrives on instability, and as the Syrian war reaches its 1,000th day with no end in sight, the group is likely to be able to maintain its hold in Raqqa. Whether it can learn from its mistakes remains to be seen, but absent a dramatic shift in the trajectory of the conflict, ISIS is here to stay.

Comments (426)

zoo said:

The desperate Syrians are discovering with horror the taste of “freedom and dignity” Sunni Jihadist style.
The confused West is discovering the extent of their ill-conceived strategy of ‘toppling’ a secular leader they now badly need to stay in power.

While the Syrian army is shelling regularly Al-Raqqa from air, it is very possible that the Islamic Front will soon take part of dislodging the Jihadists: A new and more cruel war in the North is looming.
I would not be surprised to see drones soon appearing in the sky of Al Raqqa. The question would be: Are they Turkish, Iranian or USA drones?

December 8th, 2013, 11:06 am


Mina said:

These are the people Le Monde and The Guardian have been supporting. They painted the self-proclaimed “rebels” aka djihadists as “freedom fighters” and are FULLY RESPONSIBLE for the waves of young Europeans who went “for djihad” to Syria in the latest years.

December 8th, 2013, 11:07 am


jo6pac said:

Well it’s good to see Amerika and house saud hired thugs are doing a bang up job. How anyone would have thought Amerika was coming to the aid of the citizens of Syria hasn’t been paying attention to how Amerika works its black magic on Main Streets around the world and the citizens pay in blood. How Sad.

I always enjoy your comments Zoo & Ziad

December 8th, 2013, 11:15 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up.

Our well-informed benefactors again reviewed the material presented in this latest production of Syriacomment, a site well known for its manufacture of cheap propaganda on behalf of the criminal regime of Alawite terrorists. They again came to the same unavoidable conclusion as they did when reviewing the previous posts presented by the site. The material and so-called evidence of photos and are in total contradiction to the gist of the post seeking in essence to tarnish the repuation of the glorious revolution of the peope of Syria, implying a clear desperate attempt to spread propaganda on behalf of the falling and desperate regime of pervert criminals. Our benefactors further noticed that the falsifications of facts and the dissemination of propaganda, fueled by the owner of the site and associates, falls squarely and evenly under the category of the criminal code of aiding and abetting of criminals of the lowest kind.

As a result of their assessment, our benefactors decided to keep the sit on the blacklist; and they further urge readers to exercise extreme caution, sound judgement and critical analysis when reading anything from the this clearly suspicious and much-below standards site.

December 8th, 2013, 11:20 am


zoo said:


Just show me one leader who got the qualifications and credibility to rule Syria and I may accept what you suggest on short or medium term.

In the meantime and to fight the Jihadists, now the recognized main threat to the country and the region, there is only one man who can.
He is needed to stay all the time needed to eradicate the scourge that the opposition invited in the country and who has destroyed it and spread terror.

If the West wants this time be short, then it should change its song, dump its ridiculous requests that Bashar Al Assad leaves and start supporting the efforts of the Syrian Army against the jihadists.

December 8th, 2013, 11:20 am


Tara said:

ISIS was made possible because of the regime brutality. That is if ISIS was not created by the regime to credit its story of fighting against global terrorism. ISIS can not be defeated unless the regime is dismantled. Only then, the Syrian people will unite to fight and dismantle ISIS. It is to the benefit of the West to support the Syrian people into a new transitional government that excludes the UN-certified war criminals ie Batta et al so we ( the Syrian people) can unite against ISIS.

December 8th, 2013, 11:27 am


Majed97 said:

It is true that many civil wars involve some outside help, but what’s happening in Syria is an invasion by tens of thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world, including Saudi and Turkish military personnel. Looking back at the American and the Russian civil wars for example, they were internal wars fought by citizens of those countries over internal issues, albeit some foreign powers did indirectly help one side or another. On the other hand, the war in Syria is now between the Syrian army and hundreds of brigades trained and funded by various foreign players over REGIONAL issues. Those brigades include a large population of fighters from over 80 counties that have nothing to do with Syrian issues, nor do they even speak the language. While an argument can be made that the protest started over internal domestic issues, it quickly turned into a violent regional war and remained so until today.

It is no secret to anyone that Syria’s alliance with Iran has been a major problem for Israel, KSA and the west in general. They have tried for years to break up that alliance using many tactics, including charm offensive by the French and British, as well as financial seduction by KSA. Once all attempts to break that alliance failed, the decision was made to take Syria out by force. The whole world knows the war on Syria is a war on Iran, and in support of Israel control of the region. Have you noticed how quickly the western countries eased their threats and pressure on Syria after the Iran deal?! How is the FOS coalition doing lately?!

Equating Syria’s legitimate historical and strategic alliance with Russia and Iran with illegal acts of foreign aggression against a sovereign country is highly naïve at best, manipulative at worst. Any sovereign country has every right to build alliances and even call for assistance from those allies or any other country at any time. The same can’t be said for gangs of outlaws, not to mention foreign ones.

“The civil war was a result of problems in the society which brewed for over 50 years under a corrupt brutal sectarian inept regime where the minority ruled over the majority and caused humiliation, anger and poverty.”

This argument is completely bogus. While the Assad regime has made many mistakes and included many corrupt elements in its rank, it kept Syria stable and gave it regional and international presence. With its limited resources and despite a lengthy and costly war with Israel, not to mention sanctions, it was able to build a decent economic infrastructure, good and free education and health care system, and subsidized many basic essentials (food, oil, housing, etc…). On top of all that, it devoted a lot of its limited resources for decades to support Arab causes (Palestinians, Lebanese, Iraqis and others). Syria before Assad was highly unstable and weak with coup data’s happening every other year, not unlike a banana republic.

By the way, let’s not pretend that corruption was invented by the Assad family…Most countries in the region are far more corrupt than Syria. The culture of the Middle East is and has always been highly corrupt, ruled by various family dynasties for centuries.

December 8th, 2013, 12:10 pm


Tara said:

” The same can’t be said for gangs of outlaws, not to mention foreign ones.”

Vert true. The Syrian people has decided that the gang of outlaws is the mafia regime. It follows that the regime being a gang of outlaws has no legitimacy and therefore no sovereignty. The Syrian people have decided the regime is illegitimate. The whole world has decided the regime is illegitimate. It follows that the alliance forged by the regime with Iran and Russia is criminal alliance that is meant to sustain an illegitimate entity in power. The alliance with Qatar and with KSA and with whoever is legit because it is asked for by the Syrian people.

The People of the country are the only one who gives legitimacy and who withdraw it.

December 8th, 2013, 1:20 pm


Syrian said:

A good start for the month of December. Not counting yesterday’s attack that killed about 50 Shia mercenaries from Iraq and Lebanon, Hizbolla has admitted so far this month to 15 dead members including a major leader Ali Hussin bizi
علي درويش
محسن الخياط
حسين علاء الدين
حسن النحاس
جواد درويش
علاء زهوة
محمد البني
أحمد البني
– القائد علي حسين بزي من حارة صيدا
– خليل ضيا من بلدة بافليه
– حسين كامل مدلج من بلدة زيتا البقاعيه
علي سامي رعد من مدينة بعلبك
علي حسين صالح ملقب بـ”الشيخ هادي” من بلدة العباس
: محمد أحمد حيدر
ومحمود بدوي

December 8th, 2013, 1:25 pm



Funny how zouzou covers the Iranian occupation of Syria by spewing anti sunni venom constantly without any one of its “secular” friends holding it to task for its use of sectarian ugliness to justify an iranian backward occupation of a wonderful country and the wanton destruction of it.

Everytime zouzou talks about sunni terrorist without mentioning the Iran agents of terror in nus-lira sectarian gangs and in iraq refuse of garbage being sent to syria in the form of sectarian thugs on both sides it is basically serving the Iranian racist and sectarian occupation.

The surprise for zouzou, if it was an arab, is that one day it will be treated by its masters not only as a second class non-citizen but as the surf it deserves to be. So if iran is victorious, zouzou will be the tent serf for the Iranian colonel. Suites it well.

However, if zouzou turns out to be an iranian working for the mullas, then no one can blame it for its racist and sectarian stance, it is the nature of iranian mullas to be such liars and such ugly and racist users of religion, not much different from western colonialist except in their abject lack of cultural finesse and well groomed capacity for lies and deceipt.

The iranian nation deserves better and breaking the back of the mullas in Syria is the first step in the regional liberation from such a backward colonialist fossils. So if you want to call it a war on iran, feel free to do so. The syrian revolted against dog-poop athad, the iranian mullas and their surfs in iraq and lebanon could not keep their nose out and they got in, guns blazing, massacring Syrians and destroying their country. So it was them who declared the war on Syrians, not the other way around like the propagandists wants to declare.

December 8th, 2013, 1:32 pm


Syrian said:

The minority Alawi regime was never legitimate to begin with, it came through a military coup and all the alliances it made was only to protect the minority regime against the Syrian majority, therefore the Alawi regime and its alliances with the Shia of the world are the illegitimate forces in Syria,

December 8th, 2013, 1:38 pm



The news of the 50 agents of Iran sent to their deserved fate is not correct. It was a propaganda ploy by daesh (isis) to attempt to show that they are fighting the occupation and not part of it. The relationship between da’esh (isis) and the Iranian state of terrorism being exposed every day and the trojan horse is being caught with pants down every where.

However, the news about the 15 mus-lira gangsters who paid the price for murdering syrians is correct.

please note that they are being fought not because they are shia but because they are agents of occupation that has installed a dog-poop retard and wants to keep it in power.

December 8th, 2013, 1:41 pm



Not to favor dog-poop senior, but there was a shred of legitimacy to its hyena pack alliance with russia and with the fossil backward iranian mullas. However, little dog-poop had no clue, and it surrendered any remnant of syrian independent decision, even by its own gangster, to the gangsters of nus-lira and of the head-wrap racists in Iran. So Majed####, please spare us any talk of legitimacy of any decision by dog-poop. It has non. Neither does it have the balls of the bull its father dog-poop was, it is more like chihuahua dog barking while being protected by a vicious bear and hyena behind it. There is no legitimacy in this picture.

If any of dog-poop loyalists and sniffers had a shred of national pride, they would have sent it into garbage dump long time a go for surrendering even the criminal and murderous sovereignty they thought they had. zouzou still calls this piece of crap a president, because it wants it to remain as the little cover for the power of its masters. Having one agent of occupation is more than enough here, we don’t need others. It is doing a marvelous job of covering the stench of its masters.

Also, if you want an alliance with two of the worst losers in the world whose victories are empty rhetoric and are incapable of any creativity that is not cheap “imitation”, then that is your choice and you are invited to go and join the losers in their own countries, but you can not force such a criminal, out of sync backward alliance oh people who now reject it for its support of racist and criminal gang and for the murderous attempts to maintain a retard buffoon dummy as the ruler of Syria. Hell no.

December 8th, 2013, 1:52 pm


Syrian said:

Syrian Hamster.
thanks for the clarification, I had my doubts about the news of the 50 killed, that is why I only wrote the names of the officially named by Hizboola.
Of course they were not killed because they were Shia, but because they are agents of Iran massacring Syrians.
At this rate December numbers will by higher than the 38 killed in November.

December 8th, 2013, 1:59 pm



as usuall, you are a gentle person.

For the others, probably now with red faces and are angry hoping that they can put their hands on me and snuff the life out of this rat:

Truth hurts, doesn’t it. Enjoy the bliss of your betraying syria to head wrap racists. After all, they also believe in “virgins” for martyrs. Those 15 nus lira thugs, will very much like their brethren in alqaida, have their own 70 virgins. Why aren’t you happy for them. Embarrassing, isn’t it, how dumb to try to show that one backward racists sectarian fanatic is more civilized than another. It doesn’t matter whether the virgins were blessed by zainab or aisha, the funny myth is the same. you just don’t want to admit it because you are the true sectarians.

December 8th, 2013, 2:02 pm


ghufran said:

Hackers Egypt revealed the names of tens of Syrian opposition leaders who are on Qatar’s payroll through QNB.
The list has well known names like:
AB Sida, Louai Safi, M.Farouq Tayfour, Salem Al-M’sallet, Mithqal Jarba, Samir Nashar, Anas Al-Abdeh and Khaled Al-Naser.

This is the Arabic text:

من خلال اختراق «الأنونيموس» لموقع الحكومة القطرية كشفت الوثائق عن المتعاملين مع الحكومة القطرية وعلى رأسهم 16 من الإخوان المسلمين المنتمين لمدينة «حماة وحمص ودير الزور وإدلب»، ومن بينهم «محمد فاروق طيفور، ومحمد بسام يوسف، ومعاذ السراج» و16 من كتلة «إعلان دمشق» ومن بينهم «سمير نشار، وأنس العبدة، وعمر العشار»، والجميع من مدينة «حلب ودمشق والسويداء وحماة وطرطوس ودير الزور»، و16 من الائتلاف الوطني لحماية المدنيين ومنهم «نذير الحكيم، وسميرأبو اللبن، ومحمد أغيد حاكمي، وسري حاكمي»، والجميع من أهالي «حلب وحمص ودمشق وريف دمشق وإدلب».
بالإضافة إلى 16 من «التيار الشعبي الحر» ومنهم «خالد الناصر، وهند خطاب، وتامر الجهماني، وطارق الخوجة»، والجميع من «درعا»، بالإضافة لـ16 من «التيار الوطني السوري» ومنهم «عبد السلام الشقيري، وأسامة الشربجي، وبدر جاموس، ورياض الحسن،» وهم من «القنيطرة ودير الزور ودمشق واللاذقية وحلب».
وهناك 8 أشخاص منتمون «لمجلس القبائل السورية» ومنهم «سالم المسلط، ومثقال الجربا، ومحمد المهيد»، وهم من «الحسكة ودير الزور وحمص وحماة».
وأيضاً 7 من «الحركة التركمانية الديمقراطية السورية» أو مايسمى “الكتلة التركمانية” ومنهم «عبد الكريم أغا، وباكير أتاجان، وسيف الدين رشيد»، و9 من «الكتلة الوطنية التركمانية» “الكتلة التركمانية” ومنهم «زياد كنعان، ومحمد حيدر، وسنان ميتش».
و8 من «المنظمة الثورية» – «الكتلة السريانية الآشورية» – ومنهم «عبد الأحد أسطينو وسمير إيليو، وعطية بارأوديش»، وهم من الحسكة، و16 من «الكتلة الوطنية الكردية» ومنهم «عبد الباسط سيدا، وبسام عبد الله، وعادل محمد»، وهم من الحسكة، و16 من «الكتلة الوطنية» المؤسسة ومنهم «هشام مروة، وعبد الرحمن الحاج، وغسان المفلح، ولؤي صافي» وهم من أهالي «دمشق وحلب ودرعا وحماة وحمص والسويداء».
وهناك 3 من «اتحاد تنسيقيات الشباب السريان الآشوريين» أو مايسمى “الحراك الثوري” ومنهم «موريس شابو، وعبد الكريم سمعول»، من الحسكة، و2 من «اتحاد تنسيقيات الشباب الكردي» – أو مايسمى “حراك ثوري أكراد” – وهم «إبراهيم اليوسف، وجمشيد حسين».
و2 من «اتحاد تنسيقيات حوران» أو مايسمى “حراك ثوري درعا”- وهم «ماهر الجاموس ومازن الخيران»، و2 من «حراك ثوري ريف دمشق» أو مايسمى “اتحاد شباب سوريا من أجل الحرية” وهم «محمد عسكر، ومروة الحلبي».
و3 من «الحراك الثوري المستقل» وهم «محمد الأبازيد، وزياد الحسني، وجمال الوادي»، وواحد من «الحراك الثوري السلمي السوري» وهو «منير الآتاسي»، و3 من «حراك ثوري الحسكة»، وهم بدون جواز سفر ويشاركون عبر سكايب ومنهم «نمر نمر، وعبد الله الحسكي»، وواحد من «الحراك الثوري ريف دمشق القلمون» وهو «عبد الله خالد».
و16 شخص من «المجلس الأعلى لقيادة الثورة» أو مايسمى “حراك ثوري” ومنهم «مطيع البطيني، وسليمان الحراكي، وبدر الزغبي»، والمجموعة من «درعا وحماة والحسكة وحمص والقنيطرة والرقة وإدلب وريف دمشق واللاذقية وحلب».
و7 من «المجلس الثوري لمدينة حلب وريف حلب» أو مايسمى “حراك ثوري” ومنهم «محمد حجي درويش، ومحمد مبيض محمد علي، ومعاذ أبو صالح»، و4 من «المرابطون – الحراك الثوري»- ومنهم «عبد الحميد(ه)، ومحمد(ن)، وعبد المعين زيني» من حمص، و3 من «آفاهي» “حراك ثوري” منهم «ماجد داوي، ومحمد أمين، وحسن حسين».
وواحد من «ائتلاف 15 آذار» أو مايسمى “حراك ثوري” وهو «عبد الرحمن شردوب»، وواحد من «ائتلاف سوا»، وواحد من «تنسيقية الحسكة» وهي «ميديا عبد الفتاح»، وواحد من «تنسيقية كوباني»، و3 من «الحراك الثوري حماة»، و3 من «حراك ثوري حمص وريف حمص».
3 من «حركة رشد» و4 من «حراك ثوري دير الزور»، و2 من «كتلة شباب سوريا المستقل»، و6 من «لجان تنسيق محلية» – حراك ثوري- و10 من «مجلس إدلب وريفهاۑ ومنهم «مازن عرجة، ومحمد نجيب عدل».
وواحد من «مجلس قيادة الثورة بريف دمشق ومجلس قيادة الثورة بالقنيطرة والجولان ومجلس قيادة الثورة في مدينة دمشق»، و21 مستقلاً من الحراك الثوري ومنهم «خليل الحاج صالح، وعمار الحمادي، وأسعد عشي».
و4 من «هيئة التغيير نحو العدل والنماء»، ومنهم «أحمد عمر بكورة، ومحمد عبادة القاضي»، و4 من «حراك ثوري كردي»، و5 من «ائتلاف العشائر السورية»، و4 من «اتحاد القوى الديمقراطية الكوردية» وواحد من «أزادي الكردي»، و2 من «تجمع الحرية والكرامة»، و7 من «تجمع أحرار سوريا» و2 من «تيار الكرامة الوطني» و4 من «تيار بناة المستقبل»، و3 من «جبهة العمل الكردي الوطني لكرد سوريا»، و3 من «حزب الاتحاد السرياني» و9 من «حزب الأحرار» وواحد من «حزب الحياة الجديدة».
و20 من «كتلة الديمقراطيين المستقليين» ومنهم «حيدر الأمين، وعبد الله التركماني»، و18 من «مجموعة العمل الوطني»، و7 من «الشخصيات الوطنية المستقلة» منهم «رهيمان الجيارة، وبسام أسحق، وجورج صبرا»، و53 «مستقلين» ومنهم «رهيدة كلو، وبسام قوتلي، ووائل ميرزا»، وواحد من «حراك ثوري حلب» هو «مثنى الناصر».

How can a group of thawrajiyyeh inspired by Islamist terrorism and funded by GCC Bedouins is supposed to lead Syrians to the promised land of freedom and democracy, and how are those people better than the regime thugs ?

December 8th, 2013, 2:59 pm


ALAN said:

Saudi prince Bandar led attacks on Syria Christians

Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Director General of the Saudi Intelligence Agency has commanded thousands of militants to prepare to attack the Christian city of Saidnaya in the war-torn Syria
* * *
Are there protests by eastern christians in front of Saudi embassies in North America and Europe? Why this silence? When Shalit was kidnapped, the world was turned upside down! What are you waiting for?
Shame and disgrace to George Sabra and Michel Kilo! We Muslims feel pain for our brothers Christians!!!

December 8th, 2013, 3:19 pm


mjabali said:

Do not fool yourselves: Syria is a patch of minorities. If you know how to balance them and make them respect each other you may have a chance to establish something.

The Sunnis are a number of minorities if you look at them ethnically. They are mostly: Kurds, Turks, and Arabs: also they have a sizable amount of Sharkas.
So if you look at them ethnically they are not one homogenous bloc. Again: the Kurds are seeking independence, the question here are they going to draw the Kurds in other parts of Syria? The Kurds started a trend: to look for your ethnic interests. This is going to affect the Turks living in Syria, especially in the areas close to Turkey.

The Sunnis also are not one group when it comes to being with or against al-Assad. There is a big group of them with al-Assad still to this day. There is also a bigger group that is on the sideline, but want democracy for Syria.

The Sunnis are not one groups religiously: You have Sufis, Salafis, few moderates, and more atheists.

So, the word “majority,” when it comes to Syria, could be easily considered a myth.

December 8th, 2013, 3:36 pm


mjabali said:

Turkey made the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) grow into a force by letting all of these lunatics from all over the world join.

Turkey also lets the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham grow by letting them benefit from the oil fields they took over.

al-Assad, is happy to see what is going on there. He let it happen.

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham fights in the Syrian coast. They did nothing there also but killing both Alawites from the villages, and Sunnis from the FSA.

They are one crazy group.

December 8th, 2013, 3:41 pm


ALAN said:

Henry Kissinger lost the terminology game with Hafiz al-Assad! the majority are we , Syrians!

December 8th, 2013, 3:48 pm


ALAN said:

/al-Assad, is happy to see what is going on there./
N E V E R !!! ٍS T O P I T !!!

December 8th, 2013, 3:53 pm


ghufran said:

If you are having difficulty keeping up with the NC’s liquid position on how to end the crisis in Syria, you are not alone. The NC is now softening its stance on Iran.
Wait few minutes before you read this post because there might be a new position from the NC on the subject:
قال المستشار الإعلامى لرئيس الائتلاف الوطني فايز سارة “إننا على استعداد للجلوس مع إيران والتفاوض معها بشكل مباشر، قبل انعقاد مؤتمر جنيف 2 شريطة توقفها عن دعم الأسد”. ولم يستبعد سارة أن يكون من بين نتائج التقارب الأميركى الإيرانى واللقاءات الثنائية بين بعض وزراء خارجية دول المنطقة ووزير خارجية إيران صياغة حل سياسى لما يجري في سوريا “وسيتم طرحه فى مؤتمر جنيف 2”. ومضى قائلا إن “جلوس مسؤولي الائتلاف مع إيران قبل المؤتمر لبحث هذا الحل يلزمه إجراءات مشجعة على هذه الخطوة من جانب إيران”. وسبق لسارة أن قال فى تصريحات لوكالة الأناضول” إن “الائتلاف لا يرغب فى حضور إيران مؤتمر “جنيف 2، لكنه فى الوقت نفسه لا يمانع فى مشاركتها إذا رأت القوى الدولية مصلحة فى ذلك

December 8th, 2013, 4:05 pm



Disappointing to see you cocooning. Really disappointing.

December 8th, 2013, 4:16 pm



Among the people you listed, as usual like the parrot you have become for regime propagandists and sniffers, are those whose honest income exceeds that of the presidents of the countries they live in as hard working professionals. I just laugh now at your pathetic regurgitation of regime propaganda. No wonder dog-poop dynasty lasted so long with opposition like you.

You know by repeating this BS you have just become liable for personal law suits. So now consider yourself a likely co-defendant with master shabee7 Ashraf Miqdad. And by the way, if you apologize, one of those you are accusing with your standard racist slurs against gulf Arabs, may consider hosting you for a real fancy wine tasting in his own villa purchased way before the revolution. He is a fellow doctor, so he may extend professional curtsy, something you have miserably failed to demonstrate overt the course of this revolution.

December 8th, 2013, 4:31 pm



In Ghufran’s list of character assassination I find the name of yet another personal friend who left Syria in fear for his life from the regime and has stayed on the streets and in shelters for several nights before friends found out and asked him to stay with them. This man remains as poor as it can get, and has refused political money time and again. In essence doctor dog-poop parrot relays character assassination of someone who has a level of dignity the parrot can never dream of approaching. Shameful, real shameful. But what is one to expect from someone who keeps showing racist attitude against people he never met.

December 8th, 2013, 4:49 pm


mjabali said:

Syrian Hamster:

Care to explain?

I speak what is on my mind as you see.

December 8th, 2013, 5:02 pm



Fresh out of nus-lira sectarian press, thugs meet their virgins (confirming some of the names provided by Syrian)

القائد الكبير علي حسين بزي
علي سامي رعد
قاسم محمد غملوش
خليل ضيا
حسين كامل مدلج
علي حسين صالح

5 X 70 + 90* = 440 virgins for nus-lira thugs tonight

* Leader Ali Hassan Bazzi gets 90 virgins.

December 8th, 2013, 5:14 pm


zoo said:

Yes? No ? Maybe? The opposition change its mind each week about going to Geneva


Opposition to make ‘final’ decision on talks

The United Nations plans to convene peace talks in Geneva next month to try to end the bloodshed, but the fractured Syrian opposition has yet to say whether it will attend.

The National Coalition, an external umbrella opposition group with increasingly tenuous ties to rebels on the ground, has said it will only attend the talks on the condition that Assad plays no role in the country’s transition away from his family’s four-decade rule.

But opposition member George Sabra told AFP Sunday that a “final decision” would be taken during a meeting of the Coalition in mid-December in Istanbul.

“I have doubts that the conference will take place,” said Sabra, who heads the Syrian National Council (SNC), the largest member of the National Coalition.

The SNC has in the past said it would not attend the Geneva 2 talks.

“No one will dare go to Geneva without consulting with the forces on the ground who retain the real power,” Sabra said.

December 8th, 2013, 5:57 pm


zoo said:

Poor Hammy

You dumped on us a real diarrhea as smelly as what usually comes out of a deseperate hamster.
It appears that I am not the only one who finds this explosion unsalubre.

December 8th, 2013, 6:09 pm


zoo said:

After all his criminal blunders, is Davutoglu finally on the way to the garage ?


Erdoğan may not touch the foreign ministry at least for now, since it may also be interpreted abroad as an admission to a need for its revision. Yet, there are alternatives scenarios going around through Ankara corridors, which would be refreshing and face-saving for Erdoğan at the same time. One of them is promoting Davutoğlu as Deputy PM, appointing Ali Babacan as Foreign Minister (who had served in that post before Davutoğlu, a name given importance in Western financial and political circles) and appointing Kurtulmuş as Deputy PM in charge of economy.

December 8th, 2013, 6:14 pm


zoo said:

Who remembers that Erdogan and Idriss were promoting Al Nusra? Turkey and the opposition are 100% responsible for the growth of the Jihadists in Syria

Turkey Reconsiders Support for Jabhat al-Nusra
August 13, 2013


Signs are increasing that Ankara is gradually, albeit somewhat reluctantly, giving up its support for the radical Islamist group known as Jabhat al-Nusra, which it once promoted as the most effective force in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey had criticized as “premature” the US designation of al-Nusra as a terrorist organization in December 2012, given the advances the group appeared to be securing for the Syrian opposition at the time.

December 8th, 2013, 6:29 pm


zoo said:

One year ago Idriss and the SNC stupidly defended Jabhat Al Nusra. Now the JN is destroying the FSA

December 2012

But rebel activists in Syria are opposing a move by the United States to designate the radical Islamist al-Nusra Front as a terrorist entity linked to al Qaeda.

“All rebels are fighting to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, and before we designate anybody or accuse anyone of being a terrorist we should tell what they have done to terrorize others,” the Free Syrian Army military command’s Brigadier General Salim Idris, told al-Jazeera television. “Not everyone wearing a beard is an extremist.”

Externally-based activists also criticized the move.

“Many groups labeled by the administration as al Qaeda are actually not,” said Radwan Ziadeh (left), the executive director of the Washington-based Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies. “What is the reason the U.S. administration is considering it [Nusra] al Qaeda? All of our focus is on getting rid of the Assad mafia. We welcome anyone in the fight against Assad.”
– See more at: http://www.demdigest.net/blog/2012/12/syrian-rebels-seek-support-reject-al-nusra-blacklisting/#sthash.w3Hrf2E4.dpuf

December 8th, 2013, 6:39 pm


zoo said:

The Syrians nuns held by the rebels appear on the video wearing no christian symbols?

Seizure of nuns stokes Christian fears

Another woman at the Mass noted that in the video, the nuns appeared in their black robes but with no signs of religious symbols on them. “They didn’t even let them wear their crosses,” she said. “This just shows they aren’t capable of respecting Christians.”

“It’s been a week. If they’re only holding them for their safety, they could have handed them over by now,” she said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation against herself or her family.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-09/240372-seizure-of-nuns-stokes-christian-fears.ashx#ixzz2mviJHLaO
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 8th, 2013, 6:43 pm


zoo said:

The opposition accused of ‘corruption and favoritism’ in delivery of aid in rebel controlled areas


The opposition’s main body for the delivery of aid, the assistance co-ordination unit, has faced accusations of mismanagement and corruption. Anger at the organisation came to a head last week, when 25 of its employees went on strike, calling for reforms in order to address “the spread of corruption within the unit and [to] put an end to favouritism”.

December 8th, 2013, 6:49 pm


zoo said:

Turkey returns to EU as foreign policy (in the Middle East) fails

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Distracting attention from the Middle East?

But for many diplomats, equally important is the government’s realization of a need to distract attention from poor foreign policy performance in Middle East and particularly in Syria and Egypt.
“Turkey has lost allies and, more importantly, credibility in the region. While on the one hand it’s trying to repair its damaged ties in the region, it’s also exerting efforts to highlight relatively better faces of its foreign policy,” another EU diplomat stressed.

December 8th, 2013, 7:02 pm


Observer said:

So we now have an explanation that there is no majority as this group or that group is made up of this ethnic or that ethnic group

So Kurds are also Christian and Shia and Sunni and Yazidi or what have you.

So for more than than 55 years since the arrival of Umma Arabia Wahida That Rissala Khalida we now no longer have an Arab identity. Even the regime insiders on this blog do not recognize Syrians as part of the Arab nation.

And for more than 55 years of one party rule of Unity Freedom and Socialism we have Disunity Oppression and Corruption.

This is exactly the logic of the mafia ruled sectarian based regime: how to divide and rule and how to create divisions and play on group think.

So when I say that at present there is no such thing as a strong Syrian identity I am proven right by none other than the “history know it all” expert on this blog.

Not only there are Circassians but also Albanians and Serbs and Bosnians and Kurds and former Crusader families and one could argue that there are tribes such as Shammar and Zirkli and Ayoubi and what have you.

While the “historian in residence” divides us why not just divide us into families. In reality if you read the “Daily Damascus chronicles” Hawadeth Dimashq Alyoumia you can tell that there are about 12 authentic Damascus families so the rest can be considered as “minority outsiders”

Once again, it is impossible for the sectarian based thinking except to pigeon hole the people in pre conceived sects ethnic groups and tribes.

This is the logic of the mafia. It has a capo in each of its districts and each is responsible for thieving to the maximum with brutal repression.

Once again it proves to me that all of these minorities would like the Sunni majority to be identified by something else to be secular while each minority wishes to maintain its own sectarian based particularity.

It is impossible to think of others as fellow human beings even when we tell them that we are not religious or ethnic or family based. The brain is wired to think in terms of exclusion of the other and of the dehumanization of the other.

I would say that there are further divisions for some are from Midan and others from Shaghour and still others from Salhieh and others from Mouhajereen

So long live Damscustan and Aleppostan.

By the way did our “historian in residence” know that the people of Idlib and Aleppo wanted to be part of Turkey in the 1920’s ?

They regret deeply that they were forced to be part of Syria today.

I am now going to sleep in my pigeon hole made in Thouria Alathad.

What a bunch of depraved brutal backward uneducated dehumanizing sectarian inferiority complexed regime.

December 8th, 2013, 7:06 pm


ghufran said:

Until “friends” of people mentioned by the leaks from QNB come up with specifics and tell us why the leaks are not credible I have to simply state the obvious:
posting a believable story from a source other than my own creation does not mean that readers have to accept it nor it means that I necessarily believe everything in it, however, the story is posted because it makes sense and it sheds light on an important subject. The main theme is clear:
Most Syrian expat opposition members who belong to the NC, SNC, etc, had received and continue to receive funding from foreign sources especially the GCC, admission of that funding goes back to June of 2012 at least.
Keep in mind that the Assad regime is also receiving aid from foreign sources especially Iran, Iraq and Russia, so nobody here should pretend that the Syrian war is a totally Syrian affair or that the regime is not guilty of crimes similar to those posted in my recent story and other posts.
For those of you who only believe news written in English I suggest that you go to sources like financial times, the guardian and new York times (among others) to read about the subject.
My posts, and articles on opposition sources like aksalser and sham life, touch a raw nerve because they expose the corruption among the expat opposition and the brutality of Islamists who were marketed as the cure to the disease called the Assad regime only to find out that the cure is worse than the disease.
A friend who is active in the GOP asked me how come Syrians can not come up with a credible and respectable alternative to the Assad regime and the violent Islamists if Syria is truly a country with a lot of educated people and a long history of tolerance and diversity, may be one of smart behinds on this forum can come up with an answer.
Like it or not, only Syrians who live in Syria(including those who carried arms) are the ones who can end this war, these are the people who suffered and continue to suffer but decided to stay, most of you, me included, are not in this category.
I find it unethical that newly discovered politicians who live in the West and 5 stars hotels can represent Syrians while Syrians inside Syria has little representation, until this irony ends,Geneva 2 will be a mere PR event to cover the fact that the West had given up on Syria and is ready to rehabilitate the Assad regime.

December 8th, 2013, 7:08 pm


zoo said:

Whose sarin?
Seymour M. Hersh


Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack
While the Syrian regime continues the process of eliminating its chemical arsenal, the irony is that, after Assad’s stockpile of precursor agents is destroyed, al-Nusra and its Islamist allies could end up as the only faction inside Syria with access to the ingredients that can create sarin, a strategic weapon that would be unlike any other in the war zone. There may be more to negotiate.

December 8th, 2013, 7:08 pm


mjabali said:


1- Yes: As you read it …Syria is composed of many minorities, some are bigger than the others. Say later you heard it first from MJABALAI, just in case you forgot my name.

2- Syria has only Sunnis Kurds mainly.

3- Syria and Arabness is a thing of the past, thank you god. Hopefully they will concentrate on the Syrian identity and teach Syriac in schools.

4- The mafia is the mafia and they rule like a mafia so everything is fair for them.

5- Contrary to your repeated slogan: yes there is a Syrian identity and it is carried on by those who feel being a part of the old Syrian history. You as a newcomer to Syria is not expected to believe in this. I do not blame you for this. Do not get it wrong.

6- Obzervacion does not recognize that I say that we are different and that is why we should find a way to accept out differences without any prejudices. It is simple.

7- I am not your “historian in residence” it is You, but the problem is you talk about the history of someone like Alexander Hamilton and do not know a very important man who lived in Damascus and is responsible for lots of important things in Syria: Ibn Taymiyah that is. If you want to make fun of me and ridicule the repeated history lessons I have been giving you for free that is your choice.

8- I did not pigeon holed you mr., it is your words. I brought your words and showed how you think. The example how you want to slander the Alawite by stating, as if you know, that they helped the Crusaders. It is you who always wanted to have Syria separated. I am not bringing anything but your words.

9- You do not get it after all of these screaming contests: The minorities want equality, your Sunni equality is funny at best. It is equality based on Islam which is no equality to the minorities. That is number one. Number two: You being a “majority” is a contested term. WE want to discuss it, why are you afraid?

10- You contradict yourself when you consider yourself a “majority” based on your religious sect, and then come in the next paragraph and tell me that you are not identified with your religion or ethnic origin. Make up your mind: either you are a majority or just a normal citizen in this land like me ?

11- Idlib and Allepo had suffered lots of sectarian cleansing since the Turks invaded Syria in their last incarnation in 1516. The most hard hit areas were Allepo and its surrounding. The Turks of course planted many of their people. Many Alawite, Druze and Christian villages and towns were changed into Sunni towns. Check the history of northern Allepo and you see this very clearly. Oberzervacion you are not telling me something I do not know.

December 8th, 2013, 8:02 pm


Norman said:

Arab Nationalism was killed first in Egypt in 1978, then in Iraq in 2003 and last in Syria in 2011, now there is no Arab nation any more the foundation of the Arab nation, Egypt, Iraq and Syria are broken, we will be lucky to keep Syria.

December 8th, 2013, 8:25 pm


Tara said:

Would the agents of occupation start worshiping someone else if the supreme head wrap finds another puppet cover of his power that is not a UN-certified war criminal?

I think they would. The worship is not Batta-specific. It is Mulla-specific.

December 8th, 2013, 8:37 pm


zoo said:

Is Afghanistan prefering a security pact with Iran instead of the USA?

Iran’s Rouhani wants foreign forces out of Afghanistan


“They should all leave and leave the security of Afghanistan to its own people,” said Rouhani.

Iran is meanwhile hoping to sign a security pact of its own with Kabul.

Rouhani and Karzai agreed to begin negotiations over a “Comprehensive Friendship and Cooperation Agreement” which would also involve political, economic and cultural affairs, according to the official IRNA news agency.

Details of the deal were not immediately available to the media.

In Kabul, the two sides signed a separate border and security agreement, an Iranian deputy interior minister said.

That agreement establishes “a joint committee on terrorism, security related organised-crimes as well as controlling the borders to fight human trafficking, (illegal) immigration and drug smuggling,” Ali Abdollahi told IRNA.

Iran shares a 936-kilometre (582-mile) border with Afghanistan and hosts some 2.4 million Afghans — refugees and illegal immigrants — who were driven across the border by war, oppression and poverty over the past three decades.

December 8th, 2013, 8:49 pm


Tara said:

The Afghani refugees in Iran are probably very oppressed. With no Sunni mosque in Tehran where do they pray?

December 8th, 2013, 9:05 pm


zoo said:

Syrian Forces Recapture Key Town (of Nabak in the Qalamoun area)
Opposition Activists Accuse Regime of Atrocities in Nabak

Dec. 8, 2013 7:25 p.m. ET

DAMASCUS, Syria—Pro-regime forces on Sunday recaptured most sections of a strategic town north of the Syrian capital, as opposition activists accused them of committing atrocities against civilians there.

Heavy clashes have raged since mid-November in Nabak, situated off a major highway about 50 miles northeast of Damascus, and in several surrounding towns and villages after fighters with al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria attacked…

December 8th, 2013, 9:10 pm


zoo said:

The new craze in Saudi Arabia: Rehabs center for young Saudis affected with the “Jihad’ addiction .

That’s part of the service offered by the rehab program, a frontline in the oil-rich nation’s fight against al-Qaeda and one that’s set to expand. Housed in an inconspicuous complex of brown buildings on the outskirts of Riyadh, it uses art and sport as well as theology and psychology to channel the kind of religious anger that has rebounded on Saudi leaders in the past.

Islamists returned to Saudi Arabia from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with skills they later turned against the Al Saud family and its control of the world’s second-largest crude reserves. As Saudi leaders contemplate the risk of a repeat in Syria, where Islamist groups are playing a growing role in the fight to oust Bashar Assad, the Interior Ministry is widening the rehab program. It opened a second center in Jeddah this year, and says it plans three more.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/feeling-too-radical-jihadi-rehab-offered-in-saudi-arabia-20131209-hv4x9.html#ixzz2mwKu6j52

December 8th, 2013, 9:15 pm


zoo said:

The rebels kidnapped the nuns not to “protect” them but rather to keep them as hostages

Syria: Fate of nuns remains unknown as international efforts continue


Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, said: “If the kidnappers wanted to protect the nuns, they should have turned them in to the International Committee of the Red Cross.”

Abdul Rahman said he would not rule out religious restrictions being placed on the nuns by the group holding them, pointing out that the nuns who appeared in the video were not wearing crucifixes.

December 8th, 2013, 9:22 pm



diarrhea it is, for what else can reading your rants illicit other than excessive primal bodily actions?

find whatever you want unethical, you are a parrot of the worst kind. And you haven’t exposed anything but a sick sectarian self righteousness and a racist attitude.

On another “primal bodily function causing” posts by non other than zouzou, one has to love the way normal news are spun by zouzou, in an obvious anti-imperialist mullastan liars style. So Afghanistan signed a border security pact with some third grade country they have nearly a thousand kilometer long border and slapped the US, with whom they have no borders, by not signing a similar border pact.GENIUS.

December 8th, 2013, 9:32 pm


zoo said:


You don’t have the monopoly of being a GENIUS.

December 8th, 2013, 9:35 pm



no one comes close to you and your head-wrap news sources. It is obvious, there is no competition with you in spinning simple news into great victories for the head-wraps and dog-poops. you are well trained. Really well trained.

December 8th, 2013, 9:43 pm


zoo said:

Is Iran meeting Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states halfway at the Manama Dialogue?


But two days of debate between strategists from Iran and Gulf Arab states at the Manama Dialogue, the Gulf’s top security conference, produced an unusually open give-and-take, short on vitriol, albeit laced with thinly veiled criticisms.

The meeting of military officers, diplomats and analysts in Bahrain was the first time public figures from Saudi Arabia and Iran had publicly debated security in the Gulf since a November 24 interim nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

That agreement has raised the possibility of a détente in three decades of U.S.-Iranian confrontation, dismaying some Gulf Arab officials who worry that this might eventually enable Iran to fashion a new regional hegemony at their expense.


While Saudi-Iranian mistrust was evident at the Bahrain event, wisps of evidence suggested a mellower atmosphere.

Former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal said it was encouraging that some Iranian leaders had dropped rhetoric denouncing Big Satan (the United States) and Little Satan (Britain), terms used since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

He said Saudi Arabia had “great hopes” of new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the architect of Tehran’s overtures to the Gulf Arabs and world powers. Saudi Arabia welcomed Iranian religious pilgrims with open arms, but “we would like that relationship to evolve and not be limited to pilgrims”.

Prince Turki and some serving Gulf Arab officials reiterated accusations that Iran interfered in Arab states “from Bahrain to Palestine”, above all in Syria.

For example, Iran could send a good signal by withdrawing forces from Syria, where, Gulf Arabs say, they are fighting for President Bashar al-Assad. Tehran denies military involvement.
Prince Turki welcomed a suggestion by former Iranian nuclear negotiator Hossain Mousavian that the United States could play a role in forging regional security cooperation between Gulf Arab states, Iran and Iraq. Mousavian advocates such an arrangement, which does not exist at present. The GCC excludes Iran and Iraq.

December 8th, 2013, 9:43 pm


Syrian said:

Today marks the 1000 day of the blessed glorious Syrian revolution that is still going stronger every day. Who would’ve thought that when we started when the regime was killing 100 protesters every Friday that we will able to defend ourselves and kill many thousands of the regime militias and hundreds Hizboola terrorists .But the most important results were finally showing the world the true beastly nature of the regime that the Syrians were suffering in silence for 40 years. Also uncovering Iran grand plan of occupying Syria slowly with the help of its puppets under the guise of resistance to the “imperial West and Israel”
The unmatched spirits of the Syrian people is what fueling this great revolution that is also now a war of Independence.
We thank Turkey Qatar and the KSA for their help and all the moral people who are helping the Syrian people. Death to tyranny and the theocratic regime in Iran.

December 8th, 2013, 9:51 pm


zoo said:


Thank you but I don’t deserve your compliment

Address it rather to Reuters, Ashark al Awsat, Turkish news, Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, Al Ahram etc…

They are the ones who write these articles, not me.
I humbly bring them to the attention of the readers.

December 8th, 2013, 9:52 pm



no zouzou, they write the news, you spin it. With italics as well. So humble aren’t you.

December 8th, 2013, 9:54 pm


zoo said:


Don’t you think it is better to spin news written by international journalists than smelly h-poops produced by a frustrated exiled hamster?

December 8th, 2013, 10:06 pm



Just wipe your face.

December 8th, 2013, 10:34 pm


Sami said:

Whether it is a single poop or a bucketful of poop, it remains spelled as poop.

And no, nothing is better than spinning the news. How else would a nus-lira agent of death make a living then…

Syrian Hamster,

Maybe you can send him a case of HP Sauce for Christmas?

December 8th, 2013, 10:47 pm


ghufran said:

One has to wonder what fighting parties are going to Geneva for, the opposition wants the regime to hand the keys to Damascus and the regime wants the opposition to repent and accept whatever the beloved leader gives them. Here is the Syrian propaganda minister:
“الدولة السورية لن تذهب إلى جنيف، لتسلم السلطة للاخوان المسلمين أو لمن يمثل قطر أو تركيا والسعودية وأمريكا واسرائيل وغيرهم”، مردفاً إن هؤلاء “لن ينالوا بالمفاوضات، ما فشلوا بالحصول عليه عبر الاغتيالات والارهاب والسيارات المفخخة وتهجير المواطنين”.
we have a long way to go !!
post 52 is an example of the black comedy that affects many of you, denial is a powerful defense mechanism but eventually the truth will sink in, and the truth is that Syria was failed by its people and its neighbors, not to mention the West, the best we can do is save those who can be saved and help as many children as we can. This is a day to mourn not to celebrate, only a psychopath will sing after the country is destroyed and burnt.

December 8th, 2013, 11:37 pm


Hopeful said:

#38 Ghufran

“A friend who is active in the GOP asked me how come Syrians can not come up with a credible and respectable alternative to the Assad regime and the violent Islamists if Syria is truly a country with a lot of educated people and a long history of tolerance and diversity,”

The answer is simple. Because Assad either kills them (Mashaal Tammo), imprisons them (Abdulaziz Khayyer), or they have to escape the country and live in exile where to survive and remain active they have to get paid by someone, and therefore they get tainted.

December 8th, 2013, 11:39 pm


ziad said:

Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis

World View: Everyone knows where al-Qa’ida gets its money, but while the violence is sectarian, the West does nothing

Donors in Saudi Arabia have notoriously played a pivotal role in creating and maintaining Sunni jihadist groups over the past 30 years. But, for all the supposed determination of the United States and its allies since 9/11 to fight “the war on terror”, they have showed astonishing restraint when it comes to pressuring Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies to turn off the financial tap that keeps the jihadists in business.

Compare two US pronouncements stressing the significance of these donations and basing their conclusions on the best intelligence available to the US government. The first is in the 9/11 Commission Report which found that Osama bin Laden did not fund al-Qa’ida because from 1994 he had little money of his own but relied on his ties to wealthy Saudi individuals established during the Afghan war in the 1980s. Quoting, among other sources, a CIA analytic report dated 14 November 2002, the commission concluded that “al-Qa’ida appears to have relied on a core group of financial facilitators who raised money from a variety of donors and other fund-raisers primarily in the Gulf countries and particularly in Saudi Arabia”.

Seven years pass after the CIA report was written during which the US invades Iraq fighting, among others, the newly established Iraq franchise of al-Qa’ida, and becomes engaged in a bloody war in Afghanistan with the resurgent Taliban. American drones are fired at supposed al-Qa’ida-linked targets located everywhere from Waziristan in north-west Pakistan to the hill villages of Yemen. But during this time Washington can manage no more than a few gentle reproofs to Saudi Arabia on its promotion of fanatical and sectarian Sunni militancy outside its own borders.

Evidence for this is a fascinating telegram on “terrorist finance” from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to US embassies, dated 30 December 2009 and released by WikiLeaks the following year. She says firmly that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide”. Eight years after 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, Mrs Clinton reiterates in the same message that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups”. Saudi Arabia was most important in sustaining these groups, but it was not quite alone since “al-Qa’ida and other groups continue to exploit Kuwait both as a source of funds and as a key transit point”.


December 9th, 2013, 12:03 am


ghufran said:

I can not disagree with you except that I am not sure that blaming the regime, a true culprit here, is enough to explain the tragic twist of events in the Syrian crisis from an advertised progressive movement for political change to a sectarian and bloody war with very little hope for seeing a leader who can unite Syrians, or most of them, under the flag and a simple national agenda. If I remember it
correctly, people here were cheering for Ghalioun, then Sida and Sabra, then Moaz, then Jarba, and only god knows who is next, and when I asked one Syrian friend about this phenomenon he said that is the nature of democracy (!!)
In a nut shell, the biggest failure of those who were behind the rebellion was using Islamists and allowing people motivated by hatred and revenge to call the shots, when Syrians and foreign governments saw terrorism instead of a genuine popular revolt they changed their position about what was supposed to be a revolution to build a free and democratic Syria, I am truly saddened to see educated Syrians who were just 2 years ago advocating a green revolution now celebrating blood shed and calling for sectarian cleansing, when people with money, education and jobs get to this level you know that it is a dirty civil war and not a clean revolution.

December 9th, 2013, 12:20 am


ziad said:

Syrian troops seize control of strategic highway

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad secured the highway Sunday that links Damascus with northern Syria, paving the way for the potential shipment of chemical weapons overland to a Mediterranean port for destruction abroad, an activist group and two pro-government TV stations said.

Government troops launched an offensive last month in the rugged Qalamoun region north of Damascus in an attempt to secure the main north-south highway that runs through the area and to cut rebel supply lines that crisscross the mountainous terrain.

Fighting in the area had left the road cut for nearly three weeks, but government forces reopened the road Sunday after seizing control of most of the contested town of Nabek that is located along the highway, said the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdurrahman.

“It is open but not secure,” Abdurrahman added, saying the route remains “dangerous” because it is still under rebel fire.

Two Lebanon-based, pro-Assad TV stations, Al-Mayadeen and Hezbollah’s Al-Manar, reported that the Damascus-Homs highway has been secured by the army. Both stations have several reporters in Syria.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is leading the U.N.-backed mission to rid Syria of its chemical weapons program, said last week it would consider using the highway to transport Syria’s arsenal to the port of Latakia before the weapons are taken out of the country for destruction.


December 9th, 2013, 12:25 am


don said:

Syrian Bishop: Christians Called to ‘Take Up Arms’


A senior Orthodox Church official has urged Christians to take up arms to defend themselves and their holy places in the wake of the seizure of a group of nuns from the ancient village of Maaloula.

Speaking to the Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman, Bishop Luca al-Khoury said “we have many young men who are asking us [to take action], and there are those demanding that we take immediate action.”

“I call on every young man who can take up arms to come forward,” Khoury said, adding that the initiative was meant to allow the community’s members to engage in self-defense and protect Christian holy places, which have come under attack recently.

“Our young people are ready; their fingers are on the trigger and they’re ready to fight for the sake of Syria and for the sake of self-defense,” said Khoury, the patriarchal assistant at the Antioch Diocese, based in Damascus.

Asked about the 13 nuns and several orphanage workers who were seized last week and spirited away from Maaloula to the nearby town of Yabroud, Khoury indicated they were unable to discuss their situation freely:

“As they said, they’re in the home of a neighbor. And when you’re in a neighbor’s home, you can only communicate when the neighbor wants you to.”

The women appeared in video footage broadcast Friday by Al-Jazeera television and said they were being treated well after being forced to leave Maaloula due to heavy shelling. Pro-opposition sources deny that the women were kidnapped.

Khoury said that some 40 churches had been damaged during the war in Syria and blamed the international community for accepting the opposition’s version of events, “which is that the regime is killing its people — they are seeing things with only eye.”

Khoury urged leading countries to instead make efforts to stop the flow of weapons into the country.

In Lebanon, caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the events in Maaloula, where the regime and rebels have been locked in a fierce campaign for the last several weeks, were having an impact on Christians in Lebanon and the rest of the world.

Bassil told a news conference that it was time to act in order to halt “the series of attacks on Christians.”

“Reactions in Lebanon, the Levant and the world haven’t been sufficient,” Bassil said, adding that a similar disappointing response followed the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in April.

December 9th, 2013, 1:01 am


Hopeful said:

# 61 Gufran

I do not disagree with you either. I, like you, am saddened to see smart educated professional Syrians reach the level of hatred and sectarian blindness that we see today. That’s why I believe that it is not just being in a “civil war” that caused what we see. It is an accumulation of 50 years of resentment, humiliation, and social problems kept under a brutal and corrupt dictatorship. Exactly as happened with the Balkans civil war.

I do not believe that anyone was “behind” the rebellion. It was an earthquake bound to happen when you live on a fault line. Of course many players got involved and helped create the mess we see today. Of course many entities tried to take control and guide the rebellion. But there is no doubt in my mind that 1) the regime takes the main responsibility, and 2) there is no solution while the regime stays in power.

December 9th, 2013, 1:03 am


don said:

Syria, Sarin, and Subterfuge: They Made It All Up
Dec 8th, 2013 @ 11:00 pm › Justin Raimondo

One of Hersh’s sources in the intelligence community throws his hands up in the air and asks: “’How can we help this guy’ – Obama – ‘when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?’”


The suspicion that the sarin gas attack supposedly launched by Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad’s forces against rebel positions in the town of Ghouta on August 21 was a false flag was always in the air. Now we have strong evidence pointing in that direction.

For months prior to the events in Ghouta the Syrian rebel propaganda machine had been revving up its motors, churning out murky YouTube videos supposedly documenting poison gas attacks by Syrian government forces. None of which were very convincing. It wasn’t until late summer that the rebel narrative took hold in the mainstream media with an account of a Syrian government attack on Ghouta that reportedly killed anywhere from 1400 to approximately 250 people.

The Obama administration latched on to these allegations and then some, assuring us that there was absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Assad forces were responsible. Indeed, the President presented the American people with a fairly precise scenario that sounded almost like an eyewitness account:

“In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad’s chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighbourhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.”

Administration officials made it seem as if we had tracked in real time the various steps Syrian government troops took in preparing the atrocity, and the War Party shouted hosannas to the NSA. There was just one problem: it was all a lie.

As Seymour Hersh reports in the London Review of Books, there was no way the administration could have monitored communications between Assad and his commanders, since the Syrians had discovered – and plugged up – holes in their security months prior to the incident. (We know this thanks to Edward Snowden.) So they were lying about that.

Secondly, the sensors the Americans (or someone) had planted near Syrian chemical arms caches detected nothing in the days prior to the attack: if Assad had launched the sarin-packed missiles, alarm bells would’ve gone off in Washington. They didn’t.

Yes, but there was an attack utilizing poison gas that took place in Ghouta on August 21 – so who did it?

Well, who had access to sarin among the combatants? The Obama administration insisted that only the Syrian government had the technical capacity to launch such an attack – even as they knew the facts to be otherwise. As Hersh reports:

“In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.”

It’s cherry-picking season in Washington again – gee, I thought those days were supposed to be over. Yet they will never be over, as all realists and libertarians understand, and Americans are now beginning to realize. Even as US government officials told Congress and the public that only government forces had access to sarin, the administration knew otherwise:

“An intelligence document issued in mid-summer dealt extensively with Ziyaad Tariq Ahmed, a chemical weapons expert formerly of the Iraqi military, who was said to have moved into Syria and to be operating in Eastern Ghouta. The consultant told me that Tariq had been identified ‘as an al-Nusra guy with a track record of making mustard gas in Iraq and someone who is implicated in making and using sarin.’ He is regarded as a high-profile target by the American military.

“On 20 June a four-page top secret cable summarising what had been learned about al-Nusra’s nerve gas capabilities was forwarded to David R. Shedd, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. ‘What Shedd was briefed on was extensive and comprehensive,’ the consultant said. ‘It was not a bunch of “we believes.”’ He told me that the cable made no assessment as to whether the rebels or the Syrian army had initiated the attacks in March and April, but it did confirm previous reports that al-Nusra had the ability to acquire and use sarin.”

As to where al-Nusra would acquire sarin gas, and the means to launch a false flag attack, maybe someone should ask this guy.

The real smoking gun in Hersh’s piece is the statement attributed to a former senior intelligence official that the “intelligence” cited by administration officials as justification for bombing Syria was simply made up in much the same way that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence-gathering in the run up to the Iraq war. Apparently those sensors had gone off last December, and the NSA had picked up transmissions that seemed to indicate a sarin attack was imminent – but it turned out to be a training exercise. According to Hersh, in making their case for war the administration tried to pass off the December intercepts as having occurred in the days prior to the August 21 incident:

“The former senior intelligence official explained that the hunt for relevant chatter went back to the exercise detected the previous December, in which, as Obama later said to the public, the Syrian army mobilised chemical weapons personnel and distributed gas masks to its troops. The White House’s government assessment and Obama’s speech were not descriptions of the specific events leading up to the 21 August attack, but an account of the sequence the Syrian military would have followed for any chemical attack. ‘They put together a back story,’ the former official said, ‘and there are lots of different pieces and parts. The template they used was the template that goes back to December.’”

Putting together a “back story” is spook-talk for outright lying. There are laws against government officials doing that in testimony before Congress, and it appears those laws were broken.

Let’s be clear about what administration officials yet to be identified did: they described NSA intercepts detailing preparations for a military drill that had occurred months earlier as communications sent in the days prior to August 21. This reminds me of another bit of “intelligence” that turned out to be a forgery: the Niger uranium papers, although the Syrian intercepts forgery wasn’t quite as crude. This administration is much better at lying than Team Bush – but apparently their much-touted anti-leak program isn’t Hersh-proof.

Government officials testifying before Congress parroted the administration line that they knew the sarin gas attack was the work of the Syrian government. Can it be that Secretary of State John Kerry had no knowledge of intelligence indicating otherwise? I’ll bet I’m not the only one who finds that hard to believe.

December 9th, 2013, 1:11 am


don said:

4 armed Syrian nationals arrested in Lebanon


BEIRUT, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — The Lebanese army said Sunday that it has arrested four Syrian nationals carrying arms, bombs, hand grenades and military gear at the Wadi Hamid checkpoint in Arsal.

It added that the three men and one woman who were arrested came from Syria in a silver Kia car with no license plates.

According to the army, the four were not carrying identification papers and the weapons found were seized during the arrest. The army added that “the detainees and the confiscated weapons were referred to the relevant authorities.”

December 9th, 2013, 1:21 am


don said:

Militants behind attack on Israeli army vehicle in Golan


JERUSALEM, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) — An initial investigation into a blast that targeted an Israeli military patrol in the northern Golan Heights concluded that militants were behind the attack, the army announced on Saturday.

The explosion, near the Druze village of Majdal Shams, was caused by a concealed explosive device planted on the Syrian side of the border, an army statement said.

There were no casualties in the incident. The device detonated as an armor-plated IDF jeep on a routine patrol drove along a fixed route on the Israeli side of the border. Shrapnel from the blast damaged its read window.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident marked the first time that an explosive device was used to target Israeli troops stationed in the Golan, where Israeli forces occasionally come under mortar attacks and gunfire, and an escalation along the already tense cease-fire line between Israel and Syria.

December 9th, 2013, 1:23 am


don said:

Smuggling of weapons rises sharply at Jordan borders


AMMAN, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Smuggling of weapons across the Jordanian-Syrian borders rose by 300 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a statement by the Jordan border guards department.

Majority of the smuggling attempts were from Syria into Jordan, according to the department. In addition, infiltration attempts by persons across the borders increased by 250 percent.

The army said it seized about 900 weapons, 6 million drug pills and 24 vehicles as some groups were trying to smuggle them from Syria into Jordan.

Majority of the cases that entail smuggling weapons come from Syria into Jordan, but the Jordanian army also arrested several persons from different nationalities seeking to infiltrate Syria.

December 9th, 2013, 1:28 am


don said:

Islamists: No to Democracy, Minority Rights

Rift between Syrian rebel movements grows as Islamist leader rejects democracy, declaring: ‘The Koran is our law.’


Rebels must fight not for democracy or rights, but for Islam, Al-Homsi declared. From the beginning, the purpose of the rebellion was to institute Islamic law, he argued.

“The Koran is our law,” he emphasized.

December 9th, 2013, 1:41 am


don said:

Syria’s chemical weapons will be dumped into the Mediterranean Sea


The OPCW recently said it is “technically feasible” to destroy these chemical weapons in the Mediterranean Sea.

No one has given details of this chemical weapon destruction, but it is likely that they are being destroyed aboard a ship by hydrolisys instead of incineration.

What this means is that the chemical weapons will be mixed with other chemicals which will neutralize and de-weaponize them.

But one of the first things a budding chemistry student learns is to balance chemical equations. Except for the miniscule fraction of matter converted to energy or transmuted in nuclear reactions, all of the chemical elements present before the reaction will be present after the reaction.

For all practical purposes, matter is neither created nor destroyed. This means these weapons won’t disappear. They will simply change chemical form to something considered less harmful than the original chemical weapons. But this does not mean they will be rendered harmless.

December 9th, 2013, 2:02 am


don said:

New York Times Finally Sees “Jihadist” Threat In Syria


The New York Times has finally come to the realization that jihadist groups fighting in Syria against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are likely to be more dangerous than the secular Assad himself.

In a front page article on December 4, 2013, with the sub-heading “Officials Say Militants in Syria Could Threaten U.S. and Europe,” the “paper of record” at long last went on record to state the obvious.

The Times quoted Ryan C. Crocker, an experienced diplomat with service in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who said flat-out that “We need to start talking to the Assad regime again” about counterterrorism. He added that “bad as Assad is, he is not as bad as the jihadists who would take over in his absence.”

Syria is not just a localized problem. It is fast becoming an incubator for jihadist violence spreading throughout the Middle East, parts of Africa and beyond.

Ironically, the Times article repeated the narrative put forth by Syria’s United Nations Ambassador H.E. Bashar Ja’afari just the day before the article was published regarding the potential terrorist blowback from European and American jihadists fighting in Syria who come back to their home countries. “They know nothing but killing,” he said. Ja’afari told me that he was pleased with the Times article.

The Obama administration still harbors the illusion of regime change in Syria without Assad in its future. However, the administration lacks the leverage to make that happen, not to mention any idea of who would have the clout to keep the jihadists out of power once Assad is gone. Moreover, in order for the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons to continue on the smooth path it has taken so far with the cooperation of the Syrian government, President Obama has little choice but to play nice with Assad, and with Russia, which brought Assad around on the chemical weapons issue and let Obama save some face over his blurry “red line.”

The current plan is to transport the chemical agents to a Syrian port city, to be placed on commercial vessels for shipping and then loaded onto a United States ship and destroyed at sea using a technical process known as hydrolysis.

“The functional destruction of critical facilities and weaponry has taken place… We’re in full swing to prepare for the removal of the most critical chemical agents out of the country,” Sigrid Kaag, the Special Coordinator of the joint mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) and the United Nations, said on December 4th. The Syrian government is cooperating so far. In response to my question regarding the extent of cooperation from rebel forces which control parts of Syria through which the chemical agents might be transported, she said she had met with some opposition representatives in Turkey who endorsed the joint mission’s work but conceded that there are others who “have a very different agenda” and view the UN as a “target.”

Last month, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced the next round of Syria peace talks set for January 22, 2014 in Geneva.

However, in reality, this conference, known as Geneva II, which is supposed to implement the broad vision for a transitional plan contained in a communique that came out of the first Geneva conference in June 2012, is little more than vain hope and a photo opportunity.

December 9th, 2013, 2:31 am


don said:

Australia Cancels Passports of 20 Suspected Jihadists [Terrorists]


Australia’s domestic spy agency the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has cancelled the passports of 20 men from across western Sydney because of fears of their ‘jihad mentality’ and that there was a possibility of the men travelling abroad to participate in politically motivated violence.

In an exclusive, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the move against the men came without warning. Some of the men found their passports had been cancelled or were deemed to have been ”invalidly obtained” when they tried to leave Australia on holiday to Thailand, Bali and Saudi Arabia.

As reported earlier, the Sydney police had arrested two men on charges of attempting to help fighters in the Syrian Civil war. A 39-year-old was charged for being “actively involved in recruiting” Australian men and facilitating their travel to Syria, along with a 23-year-old who was arrested for attempting to travel to Syria for participation in the ongoing civil war. It was reported that the police were on the lookout for five others in the case.

Abu Bakr, 19, one of the men whose passport was cancelled by the ASIO told the SMH that he first came to know that the spy agency thought he would become a foreign fighter when he received a letter saying he was a threat to national security and asked him to surrender his passport.

December 9th, 2013, 2:41 am


don said:

Two Turks linked with Al-Qaeda killed by Syrian Army


Two Turkish citizens linked with Al-Qaeda fighting against President al-Assad’s regime’s forces were killed in an operation last weekend, government-owned Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has reported.

The Turkish citizens, identified as Hüseyin Orhan and Ali İzzetoğlu, were killed by regime forces near Idlib in Syria’s northwest.

A Saudi Arabian general from Al-Qaeda was also killed in the operation.

December 9th, 2013, 3:59 am


Heads-up said:

To all the Ass-head cronies operating on this site.

The US admin has thrown ice water on all your attempts to portray the conflict in Syria as that between so-called extremists and so-called no-one-knows-what.

The US has rejected an offer made by Serpent Ass-head which will keep it in power in return for fighting and presumably destroying so-called extremists. My advice to you guys is to stop wasting your time, our time and every one else’s time since your objectives are now pre-empted and you are in effect producing propoganda for your own ears and eyes only.

Bad news for those who are getting paid, and also for the site owner and associates. Ass-head may decide it is not getting its money’s worth now no matter how ‘creative’ you can get.

December 9th, 2013, 5:38 am


don said:

The Islamic Jihad on Christian nuns

The Western mainstream claims to care about women’s rights, and to abhor crimes such as rape. So why the silence when the victims are Christian nuns and the perpetrators male, Muslim extremists?


Yet another phenomenon with a long paper trail in Islamic history has just taken place in Syria, even as the Western “mainstream” — little acquainted with true history or reality — dismisses it as an aberration. Asia News has the details:

“Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula [an ancient Christian community where Christians were earlier forced to convert to Islam or die]… “Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula this afternoon [Dec. 2]. From there, they forcibly took 12 women religious,” Mgr Zenari said …. Neither the nuncio nor the Greek Orthodox Church know [the] reason behind the kidnapping.”

The “reason behind the kidnapping”? Sexual abuse and rape certainly should not be discounted, as these have been the lot of thousands of women abducted by “freedom fighters” in Syria.

Indeed, a new report issued by the National Reconciliation Commission in Syria states that some 37,000 women have been raped since the war started. To keep the jihad in Syria alive, pro-war Islamic clerics have issued any number of fatwas, or Islamic rulings, permitting sexually-frustrated, female-deprived rebels to rape women.

Most of these are based on the simple fact that Islam permits jihadis, based on the example of their prophet, to copulate with any captured woman — or, in the words of the Koran, “what your right hands possess” (see “The Jihad on Christian Women: Abduction, Rape, and Forced Conversion,” pgs. 186-199 in Crucified Again for detailed information).

One cleric permitted the abduction and rape of any Syrian woman, provided she is not Sunni. Yet apparently because there are still not enough women for the jihadi hordes, many of whom are foreigners –one Christian child was recently raped by 15 men before being killed — Sunni Muslim women are also being targeted through sex jihad fatwas.

So would such jihadis and their clerics have any special respect for Christian nuns?

The fact is, raped nuns is a phenomenon that goes back centuries. According to Muslim historian Taqi al-Din al-Maqrizi (1364-1442) during his raids on Egypt, Caliph Marwan II (r.744–50) “made captive a number of women from among the nuns of several convents. And he tried to seduce one of them.”

The account describes how the enslaved nun tricked him into killing her, by claiming she had a magic oil that makes skin impenetrable: “She then took some oil and anointed herself with it; then stretched out her neck, which he smote with the sword, and made her head fly. He then understood that she preferred death to defilement.”

Writing in the 10th century, the Coptic chronicler Severus ibn Muqaffa records that “the Arabs in the land of Egypt had ruined the country…. They burnt the fortresses and pillaged the provinces, and killed a multitude of the saintly monks who were in them [monasteries] and they violated a multitude of the virgin nuns and killed some of them with the sword.”

After the Islamic conquest of Constantinople in 1453, according to eyewitness accounts, “Monasteries and Convents were broken in. Their tenants were killed, nuns were raped, many, to avoid dishonor, killed themselves. Killing, raping, looting, burning, enslaving, went on and on according to tradition.”

Such is history — expunged as it is in the modern West, even as it repeats itself today. Thus, in August 2013, after torching a Franciscan school in Egypt, “Islamists,” in the words of the AP, “paraded three nuns on the streets like ‘prisoners of war’” and “Two other women working at the school were sexually harassed and abused as they fought their way through a mob.”

Indeed, the rise in attacks on Christian nuns throughout the Islamic world further demonstrates that they are no more inviolable than other “infidel” women:

December 9th, 2013, 7:00 am


zoo said:

If it was proven that the Syrian Government used chemical weapons, Iran who suffered from such weapons, would have stopped its support

Iranian Parliament: No Evidence on Use of Chemical Weapons by Syrian Gov’t


TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian parliament condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but said there is no evidence to prove that the Syrian government has used such weapons.

“The issue of using chemical weapons in Syria has always been raised by the armed opposition, but no side has yet been able to prove the accusation against the Syrian government about using such weapons,” the parliament’s Research Center said in an analysis on Monday.

The analysis rebuffed the opposition’s claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, and said if the Syrian army had used such weapons, the supporters of Damascus could have no more defended the country on the international scene against those who wanted to wage a military attack on it.

It said that the armed opposition forces who are not committed to any international principles and are fervently supported by the Arab-western media have used chemical weapons whose instance can be seen in the chemical attack launched on Khan al-Asal in the outskirts of Aleppo in March.

The analysis concluded that the hues and cries of certain Arab and western states on the use of chemical weapons against the opposition in Syria are parts of the media and psychological war against the legal government of that country.
Russia in June presented evidence to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on the use of chemical weapons by “the Syrian opposition” in Aleppo.

“I have submitted to the UN chief the results of analyzing samples taken by Russian experts at the site where the shell was fallen in Khan al-Asal… I want to stress that we have got the samples directly, not through a third party,” Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin said to journalists at the time.

“The chemical weapons used in the attack on Khan al-Assal area had been prepared by former Iraqi Military Industries Brigadier General Adnan al-Dulaimi and supplied to Ba’ath-affiliated terrorists of the Nusra Front in Aleppo through Turkey’s cooperation and via the Turkish town of Antakya in Hatay Province,” an informed source, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of his life, told FNA on April 6.

The source who has been an aide to Izzat Ibrahim – the most senior member of Saddam Hussein’s inner circle who is still on the run and heads the outlawed Ba’ath party after the apprehension and execution of Iraq’s former Dictator Saddam Hussein – defected from the group a few months ago, but holds substantiating documents on Izzat Ibrahim’s plans.

Gen. Adnan al-Dulaimi was a key man in Saddam’s chemical weapons production projects. After the fall of the dictator and when the Ba’ath party was divided into the two branches of Yunes al-Ahmad and Izzat Ibrahim, he joined the latter group and was deployed in Northwestern Iraq, which is a bastion of Ba’ath terrorists, to produce chemical substances.

“The 80mm mortar shells which landed in Khan al-Assal and killed dozens of people were armed with the latest product of Dulaimi’s hidden laboratories sent to the Nusra members for testing,” the source added.

“Also at his order, several former Iraqi military industries engineers trained the Syrian terrorists on how to use these chemical weapons,” the source said, adding that all plans in this connection were prepared by Adnan al-Dulaimi and staged after the approval of Izzat Ibrahim.

December 9th, 2013, 8:17 am


zoo said:

Congratlations to the united and heroic Syrian Army

Syria army secures Damascus-Homs highway: NGO


Syrian regime troops have regained control of the key Damascus-Homs highway after seizing most of the town of Nabak in the Qalamoun region, a monitoring group said on Monday.

Syria’s Al-Watan newspaper meanwhile said authorities had taken full control of Nabak and expected to reopen the highway shortly.

December 9th, 2013, 8:22 am


zoo said:


You should wipe something else, it is still smelling from your last explosion of h-poops.

December 9th, 2013, 8:25 am


don said:

Europe urged to shelter more Syrian refugees


The Council of European Churches (CEC) has appealed to European governments to offer asylum to more refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict.

From the start of the conflict in 2011 up until August 2013, there have been approximately 53,000 applications for asylum from Syrian nations to European countries, most of these to Sweden or Germany.

Care of refugees is one of the provisions in the CEC’s ecumenical charter, which commits member organisations to doing their part “towards giving migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers a humane reception in Europe”.

Additional policy recommendations include initiating a Europe-wide moratorium on the return of refugees to Syria and greater coordination to support European countries receiving a larger volume of refugees.

December 9th, 2013, 8:46 am


zoo said:

Is the USA dumping the FSA, probing the Islamic Front and ready for a forced u-turn in favor of keeping Bashar al Assad in power?

How the USA Lost Its Syrian Allies

For many experts, the Obama administration’s stance is increasingly more aligned with the Assad regime and its allies than with the opposition.

“Rightly or wrongly, the administration’ view the jihadist opposition as the real enemy. What they would like is for the U.S.-backed centrists and moderates to work with the regime against the real extremists. The Iranians would like to see that as well,” said Jim Hooper, a former U.S. diplomat in Damascus.

The Obama administration’s push for a diplomatic agreement now, at the moment of the opposition’ greatest weakness, was not necessarily in the opposition’s best interest, and they know it.

“For the opposition it’s a trap. They cannot win,” he said. “You cannot recover at the negotiating table what you’ve lost at the battlefield.”

December 9th, 2013, 8:48 am


don said:

Obama admin ‘cherry-picked intelligence’ to justify Syria strike

The report was published in the London Review of Books after two of Hersh’s regular publishers, The New Yorker and The Washington Post, turned the article down


Washington knew Syrian rebels could produce sarin gas but “cherry-picked” intel to blame President Assad for the Aug. 21 attack on Ghouta, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has revealed, citing senior US security sources.

Hersh, whose Pulitzers were for his exposes on American military misconduct in the Iraq and Vietnam wars, got his information on Syria from whistle-blowing acting and former intelligence and military officers, who for security reasons were not identified in the report.

December 9th, 2013, 8:55 am


zoo said:

Idlib’s Saraqeb: Welcome to the new Islamist experience of “freedom and dignity” sponsored by the Syrian opposition.

Al Qaeda-linked militants execute Syrian man for ‘blasphemy’


BEIRUT // Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have executed a man in Syria’s Idlib province after accusing him of blasphemy, a monitoring group said yesterday.

“The fighters bought fuel from him and asked him why it was impure. He responded in the colloquial dialect by saying ‘How should I know? What am I, the God of fuel?’” the Observatory said.

The group said the fighters arrested Mr Qassum, executed him and on Sunday threw his body in the streets of the town.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/al-qaeda-linked-militants-execute-syrian-man-for-blasphemy#ixzz2mzAorVut
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

December 9th, 2013, 9:01 am


zoo said:


“Two of Hersh’s regular publishers, The New Yorker and The Washington Post, turned the article down”

No wonder they turned it down, it is an explosive material.

December 9th, 2013, 9:05 am


zoo said:

A model for other Arab countries new Constitution?

Egypt’s constitution 2013 vs. 2012: A comparison


Egypt’s recently finalised draft charter introduced a large number of new articles to, as well as omitted others from, the controversial 2012 constitution predominantly drafted by the Islamist groups in power during the term of ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi.

Ahram Online has prepared a comparison between the current draft and the previous constitution, highlighting the extensive modifications which have produced the new charter. Alterations encompass the role of religion in legislation, the authority of the country’s military, the system of governance, as well as the rights and freedoms of Egyptian citizens.

December 9th, 2013, 9:11 am


David Walker said:

I suppose this will get lost in the usual bickering, but I can’t help but observe that the conclusion wants to have to both ways. It says ISIS is probably unsustainable, then two lines later it says it is probably here to stay. Soooo, which is it? Those two things are directly contradictory. I know you can’t read the future and that it is nice to keep all the options open, but this is a little blatant .

December 9th, 2013, 9:20 am


don said:

Westerners [NATO death squad mercenary terrorists] fighting in Syria use social media to encourage others to join them


They describe what they miss about home and what they ate for lunch, and extol the virtues of fighting with groups that Western governments deem “terrorist” organizations.

Jihad training vs. NATO training

“I never came here with the intention of ever going back home,” he wrote in a chat that included questions in English, Dutch and Turkish.

He compared his “jihad training” to that he said he received as a NATO soldier.

“NATO: Training, training, training. Jihad: Training, fighting, fighting and more fighting.”

Lister said Islamist rebel groups were likely to have sanctioned the public Internet activity, possibly for its recruitment value.

December 9th, 2013, 9:21 am


Mina said:

When journalists report in Le Monde, The Guardian, NPR and others, that they chat everyday with the activists on Skype and that all the militias have Facebook pages, it leads to the same result. Inciting and brainwashing kids and/dangerous people. It means “you can be in the news”.
One may wonder what has the NSA been up to all this time.

December 9th, 2013, 9:32 am


don said:

Syria ex-PM after political asylum in Germany: Reports


Syria’s former prime minister, Riyad Hijab, who had been dismissed by President Bashar al-Assad in 2012, has asked for political asylum in Germany, media reports say.

According to reports, Hijab visited Germany in November and presented an application for asylum to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Sources noted that Hijab tried several times to get a visa from several European countries; however, his requests were rejected.

The former premier traveled to the German capital, Berlin, under the pretext of giving a lecture about the ongoing crisis in Syria after he managed to secure an invitation from a Jordanian civil society organization, which is funded by Germany.

December 9th, 2013, 11:10 am


don said:

NATO’s Death Squad Terrorists Under The Syrian Hammer

Video: Intense airstrikes against Raqqa, Syria


December 9th, 2013, 11:51 am


don said:

A Syrian city sweeps away the traces of war


After a week of intense fighting against rebel groups in late November, the Syrian army took back the city of Deir Atiyah, about 90 km north of Damascus. The city’s residents took advantage of this period of calm to launch a clean-up operation.

On November 28, the Syrian army took back the city of Deir Atiyah, which had fallen to rebels a week earlier. Only two days following the end of the battle for Deir Atiyah, a group of local students launched a Facebook campaign rallying the local population. The campaign’s stated goal was to live up to the city’s reputation as being one of the cleanest and prettiest in Syria.

The appeal was enthusiatically received by the local population. Armed with brooms and shovels, dozens of people took to the streets over several days last week.

December 9th, 2013, 12:02 pm


ALAN said:

41- شدوا الحيل و ارفعوا رؤوسكم! انتم فقط من سيصنع المستقبل.

December 9th, 2013, 12:08 pm


Mina said:

The answer is here: the NSA was busy playing “World of Warcraft”, so they had no time to go after pedophiles and terrorists.


December 9th, 2013, 12:23 pm


don said:

Mainstream Israeli Mafia Media 😉

Seymour Hersh: ‘Mistake’ To Think Washington Post Would Publish My Syria Story



Seymour Hersh said Monday that it was “silly” of him to think that the Washington Post would have accepted his recently published story about the Obama administration’s case for war with Syria.

Hersh’s story was supposed to appear in the Washington Post, but, as HuffPost’s Michael Calderone reported on Sunday night, the Post passed on the story, saying it did not meet its standards. Hersh’s usual outlet, the New Yorker, also passed on the story.

“Why did I think a mainstream press paper would want to go so hard against, you know, from a freelancer?” he said. “It was silly of me. I should have just gone to the London Review very quickly. My mistake.”

December 9th, 2013, 12:39 pm


don said:

Dumping Belgium’s Poor and Homeless in Syria!

Muslim preacher Jean-Louis Denis detained in Belgium


BRUSSELS: Belgian police have raided the home of a Muslim preacher called Jean-Louis Denis in Brussels and detained him, local media Monday reported.

The 39-year-old Belgian who converted to Islam is suspected of having recruited Muslims to go and fight in Syria, said the reports but he has always denied the accusations.

Denis was involved in an organization that distributed food to the poor and homeless people at Brussels North Railway Station. He reportedly approached young Muslims at the station with a view to persuading them to go and fight in Syria, claimed the reports.

December 9th, 2013, 12:47 pm


ALAN said:

It’s been called publicity war, social media propaganda and a network of advocacy. It depends who is talking which term is used to describe the social media units the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office set up. The mission is to create a network of advocacy for Israel against what many within the Israeli government have termed as social media attacks in a “prolonged and extreme campaign of de-legitimization” of Israel.

The social media units are made up of Israeli university students. In turn for their efforts posting pro-Israel on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, the students will receive scholarships. The posts will reflect positive aspects of the Israeli government and being a democratic country.

While to the outside world these posts will appear unguided and spontaneous, the truth is quite the opposite. This social media project places the government behind the curtain as the puppeteer directing what appear to be independently thinking, acting students speaking out.

December 9th, 2013, 12:50 pm


Weekly Links | Political Violence @ a Glance said:

[…] security forces recently battled fighters on the country’s border with Syria, and Chris Looney examines the abusive and repressive governing strategy of al Qaeda-affiliated rebel group ISIS in one northeastern Syrian city. Time’s Aryn Baker […]

December 9th, 2013, 1:28 pm


zoo said:

“Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. news media have learned little from the Iraq War debacle. ”

Deceiving the US Public on Syria


Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has confirmed that President Barack Obama misled the American people over the Aug. 21 Syrian chemical attack by cherry-picking evidence about the Syrian government’s presumed guilt and excluding suspicions about the rebels’ capability to produce their own sarin gas.

Hersh also reported that he discovered a deep schism within the U.S. intelligence community over how the case was sold to pin the blame on President Bashar al-Assad. Hersh wrote that he encountered “intense concern, and on occasion anger” when he interviewed American intelligence and military experts “over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence.”
According to Hersh…

“One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse.’ The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote.

“A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information — in terms of its timing and sequence — to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening.

“The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy.”

The “happy” outcome of a diplomatic solution surely is welcome. But it also has obscured a troubling reality — that Official Washington and the mainstream U.S. news media have learned little from the Iraq War debacle. Timely skepticism on matters of war or peace remains marginalized in small-circulation Web sites with very few financial resources.

The unsettling message from Hersh’s detailed expose — as it was published in December in the United Kingdom — is that the story could very well have appeared three months after the United States blundered into another war.

December 9th, 2013, 2:09 pm


Tara said:

Hehe…Batta is begging to be kept in power.

أكد رئيس الائتلاف الوطني لقوى الثورة والمعارضة السورية أحمد الجربا تلقيه دعوة لزيارة موسكو وعزمه تلبية الدعوة لإقناع الروس بأن مصلحتهم ‘ليست مع النظام’. وفي الأثناء رفضت واشنطن ‘وعدا’ سوريّاً بتخليصها من ‘تنظيم القاعدة والجهاديين بسوريا’ مقابل بقاء نظام بشار الأسد، كما كشف رئيس الحكومة المؤقتة التي شكلتها المعارضة أحمد طعمة.

وكشف طعمة أن الأميركيين أبلغوا المعارضة السورية بأن النظام عرض خدماته على الولايات المتحدة ووعدها بتخليصها من ‘القاعدة والجهاديين في سوريا’ مقابل بقاء نظامه، لكن واشنطن رفضت العرض محملة الأسد استقواء الجهاديين في البلاد.

December 9th, 2013, 2:25 pm



Given zouzou’s comment about diarrhea, it would be fair to say that both zouzou and DONANN seem to be afflicted with mental Cholera. But we already know that characters like zouzou and DONANN don’t see the poles in their eyes.

December 9th, 2013, 3:00 pm


ALAN said:

NATO’s war on #Syria just got dirtier – admissions of clandestine mercs, terrorists w/chemical weapons, false flags:

December 9th, 2013, 4:18 pm


Syrialover said:

Wow, DON or Disinformation and Nonsense, is working frantic overtime with the (payment?) meter ticking crazily here today.

Twenty-two postings in a row by DON – a frenzied blur of cut-paste and space grabbing that challenges ZOO to a match.

Thank you HOPEFUL, SAMI, TARA, SYRIAN, OBSERVER and SYRIAN HAMSTER for sane and authentic postings that shine out and light paths through the junk.

December 9th, 2013, 4:23 pm


zoo said:

Palestinian Hamas says it has ‘resumed’ ties with Iran

The Palestinian Hamas movement has “resumed” relations with Iran after a temporary falling out over the Syrian conflict, a senior member of the Islamist movement said Monday.

“Relations between Hamas and Iran have resumed,” Mahmud al-Zahar told reporters at a news conference in Gaza, the Palestinian enclave ruled by Hamas since 2007.

Ties had been “affected by the Syria situation, and Hamas has withdrawn from Syria so that it can’t be identified with this or that side,” he said.

“We’ve confirmed we are not interfering in the Syrian case, or in any other Arab country.”

December 9th, 2013, 4:46 pm


zoo said:

In a state of panic of being abandonned by Daddy USA, Saudi Arabia bullies the GCC members to create a Gulf Union.
Oman says NO.


With its decades-old US alliance strained over the Syria war and a nuclear deal with Iran, Saudi Arabia is calling on the Gulf monarchies to unite for their own self-defence. But ahead of the twoday summit, a rift over the proposal between Oman and the kingdom surfaced in public with Muscat threatening to pull out of the 32-year-old bloc.

Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi, who was among the audience, stood up and said that his country will not become a member of the proposed union and later threatened that if the union is announced, “Oman will withdraw from the GCC”. Saudi Arabia officials later riposted that the union must go ahead with or without Oman. Kuwait’s State Minister for Cabinet Affairs and Minister of Health Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Sabah tried to cool the situation. Speaking after opening the media center for the GCC summit late Sunday, Sheikh Mohammad said that differences among GCC states are natural.

December 9th, 2013, 4:53 pm


Nationalist said:

I wonder why Hezbollah doesn’t go after the snake’s head – Bandar ?

Ii believe this whole Civil War is going to strengthen the so-called Shia crescent. These battle-hardened Shia fighters will continue on facing the enemy Israel after they are done with the ISIS. Funny how in modern times everything Israel has done against Iran has somehow ended up blowing up in its own face.

December 9th, 2013, 5:17 pm


Syrian said:

Hizboola admits to another dead terrorist today
نعى حزب البول مقاتلا جديدا يدعى علي الهادي نون ملقب بـ”أبو صالح” سقط في معارك سوريا

December 9th, 2013, 5:35 pm


Syrian said:

While Assad’s militia joined by Iraqi and Lebanese terrorists militias were massacring civilians in Nabek which will bring more recruits to the revolution the great fighters of the Qalmoun destroyed 5 of their tanks in one day

December 9th, 2013, 5:51 pm


habib said:

Wow, this comment page reads as a joke. If people support any faction in Syria for moral reasons, they are wrong. No one has the moral high ground. Anyone who claims so is delusional.

December 9th, 2013, 6:10 pm


Tara said:

HA mercenaries slaughtered civilian and children in Nabk, Syria.


لأجل عيونك يا زينب


December 9th, 2013, 7:17 pm


ALAN said:

مع برنار سكاوارسيني

December 9th, 2013, 7:31 pm


Tara said:


Read this again:

“وكشف طعمة أن الأميركيين أبلغوا المعارضة السورية بأن النظام عرض خدماته على الولايات المتحدة ووعدها بتخليصها من ‘القاعدة والجهاديين في سوريا’ مقابل بقاء نظامه، لكن واشنطن رفضت العرض محملة الأسد استقواء الجهاديين في البلاد.”

I demand that all money paid as your salaries be refunded with interest. You have spent 1000 days to sway public opinion that Batta is fighting terrorism . You miserably failed . Everyone knows that Batta is to blame and that his stupid brutality is the reason for importing jihad to Syria.

Please do not rob Iran off. Return the money. You don’t deserve it.

December 9th, 2013, 7:53 pm


don said:

UN chief deeply troubled over targeting of religious people in Syria


UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Monday expressed concerns over the targeting of religious people in Syria’s conflict, after a group of nuns went missing from the Christian town of Maaloula in Syria.

Ban said in a statement he “remains deeply troubled by the targeting of places of worship and religious representatives in Syria’s conflict,” adding that these concerns are exacerbated by the recent missing of 12 nuns from Saint Tecla Orthodox Convent in Maaloula, a village 56 km to northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.

The nuns, reportedly vanishing last week after insurgents captured Maaloula.

December 9th, 2013, 8:41 pm


ghufran said:

I talked about buyers remorse among many thawrajiyyeh who advocated the use of violence few months ago, they realized that what they did only helped the regime and empowered the Islamists.
Time has published an article on the subject, here is a piece:

29-year-old Abu Samer from Tartous on the Mediterranean coast was an early supporter of the push to overthrow Assad. Now he thinks it was a mistake. Arming the rebels, he says, using a nickname to protect his safety, was akin to arming the next generation of sectarian dictators. In the early days of the revolution, he and his fellow rebels derided peaceful opposition groups as cowards for their attempt to effect change through dialogue and protest alone. “It turns out they were right. Arming the revolution brought ISIS to Syria,” he says with regret. He still believes that Assad has destroyed Syria, but fears that Assad’s overthrow may usher in something worse. The only way Assad can be defeated now, he says, is “by the armed Islamic groups, which are worse than the Assad regime.”

Read more: Syria: Why Some Revolutionaries Are Picking Assad Over Islamist Rebels

December 9th, 2013, 8:47 pm


Tara said:


The Time is publishing BS.

Anyone can pose as an activist and express implicit and/or explicit support to the regime. Syria is not short of liars and propagandists who can pose as anything.

December 9th, 2013, 8:52 pm


don said:

Two Spanish Journalists Kidnapped by Rebel Group in Syria


Spaniard Javier Espinosa, the special correspondent covering the Syrian conflict for the Spanish daily El Mundo, was abducted and is being held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, along with photojournalist Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, the publication said on Monday.

The daily reported in its Monday edition that the kidnapping took place on Sept. 16 at the Tal Abyad checkpoint in Raqqa province just a few kilometers (miles) from the border with Turkey, when the pair were trying to leave Syria.

El Mundo said that since that time no further word has come to it about Espinosa’s kidnapping due to the discretion demanded according to the indirect contacts that have been maintained with the kidnappers, who – the paper says – have not revealed what they want in exchange for the two journalists.

The two men were captured along with four combatants of Ahfad al Moustapha – one of the Free Syrian Army brigades – who were providing protection for them and who were released 12 days after being abducted.

December 9th, 2013, 9:12 pm


don said:



Rebel groups in Syria have started working with crime syndicates and racketeering thugs for kidnappings, arms-smuggling, and widespread looting.

Syria’s insurgent militias are becoming ever more enmeshed with organized crime, blurring the line between insurgents and racketeers and undermining the rebels’ efforts to maintain sagging popular support for the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

And it isn’t only militias affiliated with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army or Islamist militias profiting from the chaos and lawlessness to plunder and smuggle, extort and kidnap–the villainy is also being perpetrated by al Qaeda-affiliated jihadists, who present themselves as paragons of strict Islamic virtue and argue the spate of executions they have presided over are done to enforce morality.

Both of the al Qaeda affiliate operating in Syria–Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, or ISIS–have folded within their ranks groups widely seen as crime syndicates and insurgent leaders who at heart are racketeers, say European intelligence sources. They point to four battalions that have shifted allegiance in recent months from the FSA-aligned Ahfad al Rasoul Brigade to al-Nusra and this week realigned once again, this time siding with ISIS.

One of the battalions, Liwa Allah Akbar, is led by Saddam al-Jamal, who was, until his defection, the FSA’s top commander on the eastern front, and who earlier this week announced that he was joining ISIS on the grounds that the FSA had become a puppet of Western and Arab intelligence services.

In a 30-minute video uploaded to YouTube, al-Jamal called on all rebels to dissociate themselves from the Western and Gulf-backed Syrian National Coalition and its military arm, the FSA, because of their opposition to the jihadists and because they want “to prevent the Sharia of Allah from being established in the land.” He complained in the interview that, while working with the FSA, he had to “meet with the apostates of Qatar and Saudi Arabia and with the infidels of Western nations such as America and France in order to receive arms and ammo or cash.”

But according to a Kurdish militia commander who has fought six battles against al-Jamal this year and managed to seize his headquarters at the border town of Ras al-Ayn, the Liwa Allah Akbar leader has had a checkered criminal history as an arms and drugs trafficker and been astute in the past at nurturing and playing off ties with both Syrian and Turkish intelligence when it served his purposes.

“He isn’t himself at heart an Islamist,” says Giwan Ibrahim, a top commander with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. “He has the mentality of a Mafioso and not someone who has the mind of an ideological fighter.”

The picture Ibrahim paints of al-Jamal is of a pirate and a personality not that dissimilar from the North African jihadist leader-cum-trafficker Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the mastermind behind the bloody hostage standoff earlier this year at a natural gas complex in Algeria. Belmokhtar earned the nickname “Marlboro Man” for his extensive tobacco smuggling. And he too is suspected of having developed connections with intelligence services to help advance his criminal enterprises, including the kidnapping of foreigners for ransom.

Of al-Jamal, Ibrahim says, his men follow him because they are rewarded with loot, women and cash. Because of funding and weapons-supply challenges, al-Nusra and ISIS are increasingly open to dealing with cross-border crime groups and the likes of al-Jamal. “The jihadists are not as strong as you think and they have a lot of problems, especially with their funding and they are trying to get any means of supply. There are some severe divisions at the top and there are a lot disagreements caused by these new groups in their midst,” he says.

The jihadists aren’t the only ones who are blurring the line between insurgency and crime in an effort to generate revenue for arms and paying fighters. The increasing lawlessness and profiteering in rebel-held territory in northern and eastern Syria is undermining the battle for hearts and minds, with the racketeering adding to the disaffection of opposition activists and ordinary Syrians with a rebellion that has wrought widespread destruction and suffering and is just a few months shy of its third anniversary.

Criminality has worsened dramatically in the last year in rebel-held territory, say refugees and those still living in northern and eastern Syria, who paint a bleak picture of mounting criminality–from extortion to kidnapping and the seizing of property–as civilians scramble to overcome shortages of food, water and fuel and prepare themselves for the hardships of a looming winter.

Hussein, a 45-year-old father of four from Tal Rifat, a town north of Aleppo, complains of rampant plundering by rebel militias. “They are out for themselves,” he says. Rebels controlling checkpoints and border crossings demand higher and higher fees for transporting goods and often demand a large share of what is being carried, he says. Hussein runs a small transport business.

In August, UNESCO warned of extensive plundering of Syria’s rich cultural heritage and the looting of artifacts from archaeological sites for export. UNESCO’s assistant director-general for culture, Francesco Bandarin, told reporters that organized, armed gangs involving hundreds of hired men were exploiting the lack of security at archaeological sites.

In order to demonstrate the scale of the looting, UNESCO displayed before-and-after satellite images of Apamea, renowned for its Hellenistic ruins and founded by a general serving with Alexander the Great. The images from prior to the war show the site surrounded by flat fields while the later images reveal hundreds of bulldozed holes.

UN officials say the looters often work hand-in-hand with rebel militias. Syria has more than 10,000 archaeological sites left by Greeks, Romans and Ottomans and others, and Interpol, the European police agency, says dozens of ancient mosaics and artifacts from Syria have turned up on the international art market.

But looting isn’t restricted to ancient sites. The Syrian foreign ministry earlier this year complained that rebels had plundered a thousand factories in and around Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and its onetime commercial hub, and transported equipment, machinery and raw materials into Turkey for sale.

December 9th, 2013, 9:57 pm


Observer said:

Here is a most interesting op ed in the NYT about an alliance between Iran and the US and this will pay handsomely in the long run as the US, Israel and Iran will essentially become allies. This will leave the KSA on its own to fend for itself and the GCC even more dependent on some other power to protect them. I think it is wishful thinking for this means that the Mullahs give up power, the revolution, the resistance, and the excuse to keep the people subjugated. Remember 50% of Iranians are Persians the rest are a multitude of different people. If it is not through Islamic rhetoric there is little to glue them unless they truly create a modern state. But a modern state will spell the end of the Mullah rule.

Also, KSA and the GCC will do whatever it takes to ensure that Egypt is fully under its wing and will use whatever means to make sure that the Iranian influence is stopped.

Once again, a 50 year religious war has started.


Now another op ed in the WSJ talks about containing Iran not rolling it back. Containing it means clipping its wings in Lebanon and Syria.

Will see.

December 9th, 2013, 10:29 pm


ghufran said:

CNN has a piece on who indeed used chemical weapons in August, 2013:
Did Syrian rebel group have sarin?

journalist Seymour Hersh reports the Obama administration “cherry-picked” intelligence on Syria.

December 9th, 2013, 11:08 pm


Hopeful said:

#116 Ghufran

I, too, would pick Assad over the radical Islamists. Luckily though, I have more choices. I can have a happy life outside Syria! And millions are still working on my behalf and the behalf of other Syrians to create a third viable option: a free democratic Syria without dictatorship and without radicals.

Interestingly, the majority of regime supporters on this forum chose life outside Syria to life under Assad. Go figure.

December 9th, 2013, 11:44 pm


don said:


Former French fighter [NATO MERCENARY TERRORIST] in Syria: ‘We are all al-Qaeda’


The BBC has obtained an exclusive face-to-face interview with a 25-year-old student from France who travelled to Syria to fight as part of the biggest brigade of foreign jihadists [MERCENARY TERRORISTS].

He says he has now left the brigade because it recently pledged full allegiance to an organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria or ISIS – the most hardline group linked to al-Qaeda.

The BBC’s Richard Galpin met him in southern TURKEY and began by asking how he had managed to link up with the foreign jihadist [MERCENARY TERRORIST] brigade after crossing the TURKISH BORDER into Syria.

December 10th, 2013, 12:53 am


Syrian said:

Iran Finger Cutting Machine Reportedly Debuted (GRAPHIC IMAGES)
Meredith Bennett-SmithThe Huffington PostJan 28, 2013
A series of graphic photos reportedly depicting the public amputation of a convicted man’s fingers in Iran have been released to the public.

The pictures show the amputation of a sweatsuit-clad prisoner’s finger. The man was convicted of theft and adultery in the southwest city of Shiraz, according to state news agency ISNA.

In the images, the blindfolded man is led to the machine by a trio of masked and hooded officials. As two officials hold his arms, the third inserts his hand into the machine.


According to France24, the man had been sentenced to three years in prison and 99 lashes.

Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, a representative for Iran Human Rights, told France24 that the photos — whose authenticity could not be independently confirmed — may be a governmental scare tactic in advance of the upcoming presidential elections.

“We have noticed that the authorities have recently being making more and more publicity surrounding cases of corporal punishment,” Amiry-Moghaddam told the news outlet. “Every time we get closer to an election, the number of these incidents increases. And we’re getting quite close to the presidential election [slated for June]. I believe this is a strategy to instil fear in the population so as to avoid any protests.”

The city’s district’s public prosecutor, Ali Alghasi, warned that criminals under his jurisdiction should expect increasingly strict punishments, according to The Telegraph.

In 2008, the Iranian ambassador to Spain defended his country’s use of amputation as punishment, saying amputations were akin to stopping the spread of gangrene in Persian society, The Telegraph reports.

“Our laws allow for the amputation of the hand that steals. This is not accepted by the West, but the field of human rights should take into account the customs, traditions, religion and economic development,” Seyed Davoud Salehi said at the time.

December 10th, 2013, 2:05 am


Mina said:

For the archive, and because this guy seems indeed involved in helping Libyan djihadists go to fight in Syria, I have googled some of the names leaked in this thing that i first thought was a hoax (I mean, when you reach such an horror, it is hard to take it as credible from first reading). (I am refereing to this: http://leaks.sea.sy/vandyke-leaks/#KnewRebels)

Here is the perfect example of how the Western media have created the image of a freedom fighter and hero of local news with the little help of this sock puppet called M Van Dyke, ” a graduate of Georgetown University’s school of foreign service” (according to the article of the WashPost, usually reliable on that very topic, and not a writer or a journalist as in some articles)

Finally, the freak’s own website:

Interestingly, the Vice/CNN’s “our guys in Fort Bragg” in the conversation (here: http://leaks.sea.sy/vandyke-leaks/#KnewRebels) is among the people to alert on the strong presence of AQ

Maybe after all the explanation is here (same leaks) when the young History Hopkins University student explains (on August 15th, that’s recent) that the plan in bringing in more Libyans is “The Hamami-Massoud division will declare war on ISIS, JN and other AQ affiliates. We’re gambling: war in exchange of Western support.”

(in this one he uses an email which if google brings to all the websites frequented by Indochina’s and Algeria’s vets, i. e. trying to recruit people from their circles? http://www.cervens.net/legionbbs123/archive/index.php/t-13103.html (under “Peter Maritz”; http://militariaindoalgerie.superforum.fr/t807-bonjour-a-tous; http://www.genealogie.com/v4/forums/recherches-genealogiques-france-indochine-et-algerie-t1371413.html)
Even recruiting djihadists on Yahoo Q and A is an option: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130512180241AASTxsF

Indeed, sadly kids can learn a lot of World of Warcraft, but they play with the lives of real people. Sickening.

December 10th, 2013, 4:59 am



Like most “regime” friendly propaganda stories Ghufran gobbles happily and rather enthusiastically Hersh’s senile, and badly researched story was fully and rather easily debunked.

December 10th, 2013, 5:31 am



I would also pick dog-poop athad, with a latex glove, and throw it in the garbage can, or better yet, the incinerator.

December 10th, 2013, 5:42 am


don said:

Foodstuff and Medication 😉 😉

Russian emergency planes bring relief aid to Syria

Two Russian emergency planes, loaded with foodstuff, medication and other essentials, have touched down at Latakia Airport in Syria, an official has said

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_10/Russian-emergency-planes-bring-relief-aid-to-Syria-7312/

December 10th, 2013, 7:18 am





December 10th, 2013, 7:50 am



One needs to be really and deeply stupid to believe that Russia is doing something good for the syrians.

The russian secret services have been working hard during last 20 years for recovering the control of the Middle East. From bombs in Irak to Afganistan and now in Syria or Lebanon, they are behind much of what occured last years. They were the hidden player, al Qaeda and all that shxxxt.

Obama knows it and he is afraid of opposing Russia in what has become russian area of influence.

December 10th, 2013, 7:53 am


don said:

Syria’s housing units need $100 billion for reconstruction


DAMASCUS, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Some two million housing units in Syria have been totally or partially destroyed during the past 32 months and the cost of their reconstruction is estimated to be at least 100 billion U.S. dollars, a private study says.

The study, prepared by Ammar Youssef, a Syrian researcher of real estate economy, said Syria is in an urgent need for three million homes to address its housing crisis.

Youssef said it is a pressing task for the government to start reconstruction in accordance with a systematic road map, which should focus on the destroyed areas and slums.

Youssef explained in an earlier statement that the number of housing units completely destroyed every day reached an average of more than 1,200 in the first four months of this year.

The Jordan-based Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, an international holding company for economic consultations, said recently that the reconstruction of Syria needs no less than 200 billion dollars, raising speculation that the figure might be much higher because of the protraction of the crisis and the destruction.

Reconstruction is one of the pressing issues the Syrian government faces as displaced Syrians complain of the skyrocketing rent of apartments and inability to buy them in safe areas.

Rents in the slum have been driven up to an unimaginable level of about 30,000 Syrian pounds (about 200 dollars), while rents in the capital Damascus soared from nearly 20,000 pounds (some 140 dollars) before the crisis to 80,000 pounds (around 560 dollars) for an apartment and exceeded 100,000 pounds (about 700 dollars) in upscale areas.

Local economists said safe residential areas have witnessed a population densification in an unacceptable way as residents have entirely deserted unsafe areas.

December 10th, 2013, 8:45 am


don said:

Activists say 12 rebels killed in Syria infighting

Al-Qaeda-linked group reportedly set up Sharia court in newly “liberated” zone, leading to deadly clash with rivals


Beirut – Syrian activists said fighters belonging to rival Islamic rebel groups are battling each other in the north and at least 12 have died.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said members of the al-Qaeda Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and another Islamic group clashed in the town of Maskaneh in the northern Aleppo province. Fighting started Tuesday morning after ISIL members detained a man to try him in an Islamic court they set up.

December 10th, 2013, 9:04 am


zoo said:

Activists: Rebels kidnap Razan Zeitouneh and her husband in Douma

Prominent Syria opposition activist kidnapped


Zeitouneh heads the Violations and Documentation Center (VDC) organization and, as one of the founding members of the Local Coordination Committees, has been a leading figure of the opposition movement in Syria since the uprising in the country began in March 2011.

….Zeitouneh’s husband, Wael Hamada, who had previously spent over a year in government detention for opposition activism, and several of other VDC colleagues including at least two women, were also kidnapped, the activist said.
The activists were understood to have been kidnapped from their offices in Douma. VDC activists said they believed Islamist rebels operating in Douma were responsible.

Zeitouneh was forced into hiding in 2011 as a result of her anti-government activism. More recently, her colleagues said she had been threatened by Islamist groups for her secular values.

December 10th, 2013, 9:09 am


zoo said:

@129 SL

I am always amazed by your deep psychological understanding of world leaders personality and of the world diplomacy.
Your qualifiying Obama and Putin as ‘stupid’ is just one example of your talent.

December 10th, 2013, 9:13 am


zoo said:

Is the Islamic Font funded by Saudi Arabia and trained by the USA meeting hurdles in its goal to recruit and train 50,000 well paid fighters?

Murphy’s Law: Syria Becomes The Arab Shame


The Saudi solution to this unfortunate (in Saudi eyes) lack of American action is to try and form a well trained and equipped rebel “army” in Jordan. American and NATO trainers have been helping out, but the number of volunteers has not been great. The Saudi plan was to create a trained rebel force of 50,000 men but so far only a few thousand volunteers have been obtained. Recruiting was done mainly in Arabia, as the Saudis wanted men who were more likely to be loyal to their sponsors (the Arabs of Arabia).

One unsurmountable problem is obtaining sufficient trainers. The Saudis sought permission to recruit Pakistani soldiers to be trainers and combat support specialists for the new rebel army. Pakistan was attracted to the prospect of some high paying jobs, but ultimately forbade Pakistanis to participate because Iran made it clear that retribution would be certain and severe if Pakistan helped to support the Syrian rebels. While Pakistan has only a small border with Iran, in centuries past most of Pakistan was part of one Iranian Iranian empire or another. Staying on good terms with Iran was preferable to making the Saudis happy.

It is humiliating for the Saudis and other Arab states to see Syria as an Iranian pawn and Lebanon neutralized by a pro-Iranian Hezbollah army in southern Lebanon. But the Arabs just cannot seem to get it together militarily and Syria is making that painfully clear to all concerned.

December 10th, 2013, 9:27 am


zoo said:

After 3 years of military and political fights the choices for the future of Syria boil down to

1) Secular = The present but revised Syrian Government (Iran, Iraq, Russia, China)
2) Islamist Salafist = Al Nusra, Al Qaeda Islamic Front (Saudi Arabia)
3) Moderate Islam-MB = SNC and FSA (Qatar, Turkey, USA, EU)

Unfortunately, it seems option 3 has totally lost ground in its military wing and is trying to rebound politically through the Geneva Conference.
It is hoped that a compromise be reached between 1 and 3 against 2

December 10th, 2013, 9:39 am


Uzair8 said:

Alan kindly confirmed for us President Vladimir Putin’s sense of humour.

I can confirm His Excellency President Dr Bashar Assad has an even greater sense of humour.


December 10th, 2013, 10:08 am


don said:

Syrian conflict opens new trade routes

The conflict in Syria is opening new trade routes across the Middle East. More goods are now being transported through northern Israel to Jordan, and from there throughout the Arab world


The “Aegean Pearl” is carrying another rather special shipment. The big freighter from the Turkish port of Iskenderun docked at Haifa in northern Israel during the night. It has been unloading since the early hours of the morning – some 58 trucks full of Turkish goods destined for the Arab world. One by one, the trucks roll slowly down the massive ramps from the ship.

These vehicles used to travel by land through Syria to Jordan, but that route is impassable now. “The crisis in Syria has opened up this new route for us,” says Joseph Tarabani of Israeli private transportation firm Tiran Shipping, which organizes the Israeli stage of the journey. “Now the Turkish drivers can still bring their goods from Turkey to Jordan.”

The conflict in Syria led Israel to open its roads to the trucks. Their official destination is Jordan, but everyone here knows that the goods will be taken on to Arab countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel. That is politically awkward, since only Jordan and Egypt have signed peace treaties with Israel so far. But Israeli businessmen hope to take advantage of the new trade routes nevertheless. “Of course this is a commercial enterprise more than anything,” says David Behrisch, co-owner of Tiran Shipping. “But it is also important for Israel politically to open this corridor, and so to support the Jordanians and the Turks.” Everyone, he says, stands to profit from the arrangement.

Avoiding Syria

Thorough security checks have to be carried out on arrival on Israeli soil. The Turkish drivers take them in their stride. Customs, passport control, security – it all takes time, say the men. Only the boat journey takes some getting used to. Most of the drivers come from a region near the Syrian-Turkish border – and normally it’s just a five-day overland journey through Syria to Jordan, says driver Ibrahim Yildez. But the cargo ship only docks at Haifa once a week, and if there are delays the journey takes longer.

Israeli transport companies claim that their route is quicker and, more importantly, safer than any alternatives. Going via the Suez Canal would be costly and time-consuming, and the Egyptian Sinai peninsula is not considered safe. The Syrian conflict has affectedneighboring Jordanin particular, and though Jordan has its own port on the Red Sea at Aqaba, up till now a good portion of its import and export trade has gone by land, or via Syria’s ports on the Mediterranean.

Haifa – gateway to the Middle East

Haifa’s chief selling point is its geographical position. “If you look at it on the map, then it makes economic sense to bring goods from Turkey, or even from northern Europe, through Haifa, and then take them on to Iraq or maybe even Iran,” says Zohar Rom, press spokesman for the port. “You don’t have to go through the Suez Canal or Egypt to Aqaba.”

Rom is also hoping to capitalize on Haifa’s history: in the 1930s, the British mandate built up one part of the port as a transport hub for trade with the rest of the Middle East – installing an oil pipeline to Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

Heavy traffic on the Sheikh Hussein bridge

At the moment, still only around 100 trucks travel to and from Jordan through Israel each week. They move eastwards in a secure convoy to the Jordanian-Israeli border, about an hour’s journey from Haifa. A column of trucks with foreign plates is an unusual sight on Israeli roads.

More Turkish trucks are waiting at the Sheikh Hussein border crossing in the Jordan valley to pass back into Israel towards Haifa. “Ever since the war in Syria began we are seeing more and more goods coming through this crossing in both directions,” says Avi Gordon, who is in charge of the Israeli side of the crossing. “We hope that this route will remain even if the road through Syria is opened again one day.” Indeed, a new railway line between Haifa and the Israeli city of Beit She’an in the Jordan River Valley is already being planned.

December 10th, 2013, 10:34 am


Mina said:


Syrian refugees in Egypt (why can rich Qatar and KSA help refugees instead of just deporting them?)

December 10th, 2013, 10:40 am


zoo said:

137. Uzair8

You beat them all. Your posts are always extremely funny.

December 10th, 2013, 11:06 am


zoo said:


Hersh senile?
It seems that for desperate supporters of a F.U “revolution”, any one who proves that the West is manipulating the public opinion is either senile or paid by Syria or Iran.
You show again how smart you are for anyone who had doubts.

December 10th, 2013, 11:13 am


don said:

Al-Nusra Executes Namr Battalion Commander in Reef Aleppo


The Al-Nusra Front executed commander of the so-called Namr Battalion Abu Al-Khabar, his son called Senan, and four members of another armed rebel group, Andan Brigades, in Haritan.

December 10th, 2013, 11:18 am


Uzair8 said:

Dear Don

I’m a long time admirer of your work. I find it fascinating. The rate of flow of posts hypnotic in it’s rhythmic pattern.

I’ve always found it amazing how Don, Zoo, Alan et all are able to randomly do significant amounts of their own work simulataneously without any doubling up/repetiveness or significant overlapping.

It deceptively appears coordinated and of them working together. Perhaps it’s the locust swarm effect, in which the insects remain aligned on their path without obstructing each other. This behaviour induced by the rate of contacts within a period of time (4 hr) and also related to Serotonin levels.

The recent ‘sparring’ between Zoo and Don seems to raise their energy to another level. Feeding of each other.

A locust swarm can get through tonnes of crops in a short time. Perhaps not too dissimilar to the SC parralel in which the general forum activity is rapidly swallowed up.

Fascinating. I hope scientists will look into this phenomena as seen on SC.

December 10th, 2013, 11:24 am



he was debunked, like you always get debunked. So yes, senile for doing pretty much what you do like a maniac, peddling none sense even when all evidence are against what he was saying.

And by the way, a a gift for you glorious words in their rightful setting.

December 10th, 2013, 11:26 am



he was debunked, like you always get debunked. So yes, senile for doing pretty much what you do like a maniac, peddling none sense even when all evidence are against what he was saying.

And by the way, a gift for you glorious words in their rightful setting .

December 10th, 2013, 11:29 am


don said:

143. Uzair8 said:
Dear Don
I’m a long time admirer of your work. I find it fascinating. The rate of flow of posts hypnotic in it’s rhythmic pattern.

ריצה לאורך נתניהו קורא לך

December 10th, 2013, 11:30 am


Uzair8 said:

Talking about locust swarm behaviour, I’m reminded of ‘Exorcist 2: The Heretic’.

Perhaps someone from within the regime can bring it down. One who ‘has been evolved to resist the brushing of the wings*.’

‘The Good Locust’. Who’s ‘children will be our agents in the swarm. Breaking the chain reaction’.


* Locust/Demon

[Quotes taken from film script]

December 10th, 2013, 11:57 am


don said:

Syria army piles pressure on “rebel” held Yabrud


Syria’s army on Tuesday turned its sights to the town of Yabrud, the last “rebel” stronghold in the strategic Qalamoun region near Lebanon’s border, after a string of battlefield victories.

The town is believed to be where a group of nuns from the historic Christian hamlet of Maalula have been transferred [JAILED], reportedly in the hands of “jihadist rebels” [TERRORISTS] from Al-Nusra Front [AL-QAEDA].

December 10th, 2013, 12:01 pm



ahh, DONANN wants to tell us now that the mouthpiece of mullastan’s head-wraps in farsnews is concerned about the well being of rebel leaders. But as usual the cesspool of lies, commonly piped in by DONAAN and co, ignores a little detail, in which the NUSRA gang also claimed that the executed thug was a mullastan head-wrap agent, working with the mullas pet dog-poop and has been a proven rapist and a murderer. Just little unimportant detail when one acts as a conduit for such precious low.

May be one should recommend a modification on genius head-wrap finger chopping invention to chop off the tongues of the liars’ in farsnews.

December 10th, 2013, 12:10 pm


don said:

Syrian Army Conducts Massive Operations in Deir Ezzur


The army units conducted serial operations in four locations in Deir Ezzur, including Al-Mattar Al-Qadim and Southern Al-Mahd Al-Sanaee.

The Syrian army also targeted and destroyed the gathering centers of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in Al-Roshdiyeh and Al-Sheikh Yassin.

December 10th, 2013, 12:20 pm



A statement by the Violation Documentation Center (VDC) and the Local Development and Small Projects Support Office (LDSPS) regarding the kidnapping of activists Razan Zeitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wael Hamada and Nazim Hamadi



An unknown armed group kidnapped last night 9/10/2013, human rights lawyer and activist Razan Zeitouneh, activist and ex-political prisoner Samira Khalil, activist and Razan’s spouse Wael Hamada, and the lawyer and poet Nazim Hamadi from the office of the VDC and LDSPS in Douma, Damascus suburbs.

Besides being an icon of the Syrian revolution, Razan cofounded the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC) and the Violation Documentation Center (VDC), which documents all human rights violations in Syria. She co-founded the local development and small projects support office (LDSPS) as well which aims to help the people in Syria generally, and in Eastern Ghouta more specifically, to provide basic needs and essential services and support to medical and development centers. Her and her colleagues work is very well recognized by the inhabitants in Ghouta.

Her kidnapping and the kidnapping of her colleagues indicates yet again the endeavor of some to undermine any form of civil action to help Syrians in the liberated areas to rule and provide for themselves.

We, at the VDC and LDSPS, condemn with the strongest words this kidnapping and ask for the immediate release of Razan, Samira, Wael and Nazim without any conditions.

We also hold all armed groups operating in the area accountable for the safety and safeguard of the Ghouta inhabitants and Razan and her colleagues. We hold them accountable as well for the safe release of Razan and her colleagues and their safe return to their homes. Such armed groups should ensure that such kidnapping in never repeated again in the future in the area they control.

The Dignity and Freedom revolution is undergoing one of its most critical moments now and we hope that it will be able to avoid this trap set from its enemies to undermine its credibility and stray its path.

December 10th, 2013, 2:09 pm


Hopeful said:

#151 Syrian Hamster

This is terrible news. These were the people behind the genuine freedom revolution. Not the militants, not the Islamists, not the opposition expats. These are the true heros of this bloody civil war.

If this news proves to be true, sadly I may have to finally change my moniker.

December 10th, 2013, 2:53 pm



The news is true, and you should keep the moniker, Razan and her friends would not have it any other way, hopeful. Trust me on that.

December 10th, 2013, 3:40 pm


zoo said:

Lebanese Salafist preacher: “ISIS and al Nusra will work to extend it (the Islamic Emirate in Syria) to include not only the Levant but all Arab countries and then Africa.”


Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Salafist preacher Omar Bakri denied that Lebanon had any elements affiliated with Syria’s ISIS and the Nusra Front groups, both of which are affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
When asked about the possibility of such groups extending their activities to Lebanon, Bakri said: “Once the ISIS or Nusra Front begin to establish an Islamic emirate [in Syria], they will work to extend it to include not only the Levant but all Arab countries and then Africa.”

December 10th, 2013, 3:49 pm


zoo said:

@152 Hopeful

Are you finally waking up to what has happened to a revolution lead by greedy and egomaniac expat morons?

December 10th, 2013, 3:54 pm



Wrong… They are heading back home, to Iran.

December 10th, 2013, 3:56 pm


habib said:

Van Dyke, Brown Moses, and several other partisan western “journalists” exposed:


Seems like Salafist women don’t mind having sex with Christian westerners, as long as they support the cause?

December 10th, 2013, 3:56 pm



Hopeful will wake up, but dog-poop sniffers like you, with no soul and no integrity, will never wake up.

and now, Habib is starting yet another porno story. Don’t you loyalists every grow up beyond teen years? such filthy minds.

December 10th, 2013, 3:57 pm


Mina said:


I’ve googled all the names on this page and it is not a hoax. It is actually amazing how it is easy to get a precise understanding of what all these people have been doing and how.

December 10th, 2013, 4:05 pm


zoo said:

More about Razan Zaytuni’s kidnapping after she allegedly “received indirect threats from Islamists”


Masked gunmen abducted a leading Syrian human rights lawyer and three other prominent activists in a rebel-held Damascus suburb Tuesday in a new sign that al-Qaida linked militants who have joined the fight against President Bashar Assad are trying to silence rivals in the opposition movement.

Razan Zaytouni, one of the most outspoken critics of President Bashar Assad as well as Islamic militants who have gained increasing sway over the fight to oust the government, was seized along with her husband and two other colleagues from her office in Douma.

No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but Zaytouni herself had publicly blamed al-Qaida linked rebels for kidnapping activists and colleagues said she had received indirect threats from extremists in recent days.

December 10th, 2013, 4:08 pm


zoo said:

@158 Hammy

Hamsters are scatophilic. They have no soul, they just babble ineptias.

December 10th, 2013, 4:10 pm


zoo said:

The Saudi mouthpiece admits that the FSA is doomed. Curiously he accused the “Islamic Font” known to be funded by Saudi Arabia to sabotage the FSA

Opinion: The Plan to Eliminate the Free Syrian Army

By Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, general manager of Al-Arabiya television.

The new strategy is not to fight the Free Syrian Army—which has represented the backbone of the Syrian revolution for more than two years—but sabotage it from the inside. A competing group dubbed the “Islamic Front” suddenly emerged, distancing itself from other extremist Islamic groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front. Then three FSA leaders, along with their battalions, Ahmad Issa Al-Sheikh, Zahran Allouch and Saddam Al-Jamal, announced that they defected from the FSA. Statements that Saddam al-Gamal defected because he was dissatisfied with Gulf support were attributed to him but we could not authenticate them.

These defections, whether they are real or part of a propaganda campaign, express an attempt to nullify the only military power which represents the Syrian revolution. The FSA is also the only power which has been fighting non-stop for 30 months.

Other parties, whether groups or battalions, do not represent the revolution because they are either individual parties, which represent neighborhoods or areas in revolt, or an extension of terrorist groups like ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front which are an extension of Al-Qaeda which operates in Iraq, Yemen and Somalia and which the Assad regime previously used in Iraq and Lebanon during the past decade.

This is the new scene in Syria. There are those who defected from the FSA and there’s the Islamic Front, the establishment of which was announced at a time when the regime’s weakness was clear. The question is: Can these defectors, new factions of Islamists and Al-Qaeda terrorists beat the Assad regime together? Absolutely not. But they are capable of sabotaging the FSA—the revolution’s backbone.

Actions like targeting the city of Maaloula, abducting nuns and taking over the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey after fighting with the FSA are not part of a war with the Assad regime.

At a time when all the belligerent parties are preparing to negotiate over Syria’s future at the Geneva II conference, we see that the FSA has a target on its back with a weapon pointed in its direction.

December 10th, 2013, 4:24 pm



and zouzou is so busy talking to a Hamster. GENIUS.

December 10th, 2013, 5:19 pm


zoo said:

“Secular” rebels activists and journalists are not safe anymore in rebels controlled areas. They are the object of threats and kidnapping from the Islamists who are taking over the areas.
After Father Dell’oglio in Al Raqqa, the Greek orthodox patriarchs in Idlib and 2 spanish journalists on Al Raqqa, now Razan Zeytuni in Douma.

BEIRUT: The Al-Qaeda-linked group the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is holding two Spanish journalists captive, the men’s families have announced.

The families of El Mundo bureau chief Javier Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia-Vilanova made the announcement of the men’s abduction Tuesday morning in Beirut at the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, thus ending a three-month media blackout.

“We have reached an impasse with the captors after many weeks of attempted mediation,” said Monica G. Prieto, Espinosa’s wife, herself a journalist who covers the Middle East.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-11/240640-families-go-public-on-isis-capture-of-spanish-journalists.ashx#ixzz2n7FeGA4i
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 10th, 2013, 6:09 pm


zoo said:


I am tolerant with small animals. They are harmless when isolated

December 10th, 2013, 6:12 pm


zoo said:

Ex-ally, now Al Nusra is at war with the FSA in the Aleppo area, killing its supporters, fighters or civilians

Nusra Front executes members of FSA for raping, killing activists

December 11, 2013 12:24 AM

BEIRUT: Pro-opposition media outlets said Tuesday that Nusra Front jihadists had executed six members of the Free Syrian Army for engaging in violent crimes, including the raping and killing of a media activist in the Aleppo area.

The outlets said that the leader of a battalion affiliated with the Anadan Brigade, his son, and four fighters were summarily executed Monday.

They said Nusra had condemned them for carrying out thefts as well as a string of kidnappings, rapes and murders of activists, in coordination with the Aleppo branch of the regime’s feared Air Force Intelligence organization.

The body of Samira Kayyali, 20, one of dozens of civilian activists from the Aleppo area who have gone missing in the past few months, was discovered in early November.

December 10th, 2013, 6:21 pm


zoo said:

Poor Jarba: He now accuses the Syrian government of arming Sunni terrorists

The group’s growing influence has alarmed Western nations backing the rebellion, and on Tuesday opposition leader Ahmad al-Jarba accused the regime of supplying it arms in order to divide the rebels and tarnish their cause.


December 10th, 2013, 6:25 pm


Syrian said:

The Islamic army the main group in the Doma city where Razan have been kidnapped deny any responsibility for her disappearance and doing all it can to find her
جيش الإسلام ينفي أي علاقة له بخطف رزان زيتونة ويؤكد استنفار الجهات الأمنية لمعرفة الخاطفين
ديسمبر 10th, 2013 by admin

ليس لجيش الإسلام علاقة باختفاء الحقوقية رزان زيتونة وليس من منهجه اختطاف الناس وهناك منهج عادل لدى الجهات القضائية عندما تريد اعتقال أي شخص حيث يصدر بحقه مذكرة توقيف من القضاء ويجري تبليغه علنا وحتى هذا الجهاز لا علاقة لجيش الإسلام به فعناصر الجيش مرابطون في أكثر من 400 نقطة على مدار الساعة ولايهتمون لعمل أي إنسان من الناشطين حقوقيا كان أو إعلاميا أو غيره، فهذه مسألة خارج دائرة اهتمامهم تماماً
وبما أن عمل السيدة رزان في توثيق انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان في الغوطة وكانت تقيم في دوما ومجال عمل عناصرنا على الجبهات خارج المدينة فهي بعيدة عن نطاق عمل الأخوة
ويرون أن عمل هؤلاء يصب في مصلحة الثورة ولا مبرر البتة لاعتقالهم . أن رزان زيتونة دخلت الغوطة بمساعدة من جيش الإسلام

ونحن لا نقبل بمثل هذه التصرفات ولانؤمن بها ولا تمثلنا وندينها

ونفيد الجميع أن لدينا من بداية الثورة منظمة حقوقية مرخصة دوليا اسمها عدالة وثقنا فيها آلاف حالات الانتهاك من قبل النظام قبل أن تدخل رزان وغيرها من الحقوقيين إلى منطقة الغوطة . الاخوة في كتيبة حفظ الامن والجهاز القضائي مستنفرين لمعرفة المختطفين .

محمد علوش – جيش الإسلام

December 10th, 2013, 6:33 pm


Tara said:

Finally at last!

An official accusation of the Syrian regime arming the Islamist jihadis issued by Jabra. Native Syrian knew this all along. Almost every Syrian living in Syria I spoke to knows that ISIS is in bed with the regime.

December 10th, 2013, 6:34 pm


zoo said:

More loss for the FSA to the Saudi funded Islamic Front

Syria Islamists seize Turkey border crossing


AFP – Syria’s largest Islamist rebel force seized a crossing on the Turkish border Tuesday from other rebels, including brigades loyal to the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic Front, a new grouping of the most powerful Islamist rebel groups battling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, seized the Bab al-Hawa crossing in northwestern Syria.

December 10th, 2013, 6:41 pm


Syrian said:

All4 Syria site will purplish the name and photos of about a 10000 killed Hizboola mercenaries terrorists in 10 parts articles

حصري: كلنا شركاء توثق صور 1000 قتيل من حزب الله في سورية (الحلقة الاولى)
BY ADMIN – POSTED ON 2013/12/10
POSTED IN: مقالات وتحليلات
خاص كلنا شركاء
تمكن موقع كلنا شركاء من توثيق صور لحوالي 1000 قتيل من حزب الله قتلوا في سورية في مناطق متفرقة..

من حلب شمالا الى درعا جنوبا مرورا بالقصير والقلمون ودمشق والغوطة..

والجدير بالذكر ان بين هؤلاء الالف من القتلى هناك العشرات من القادة الميدانيين الفاعلين في الحزب!!

وسيقوم الموقع بنشر الصور على


December 10th, 2013, 6:50 pm


zoo said:

168. Syrian

The Islamic front is throwing the blame on its foe, the Al Nusra or ISIL fighters.
Both the Islamic front and the Al Nusra-ISIL fighters are trying to get rid of the FSA in patches not controlled by the Syrian army.

More violence is expected among these three groups until one wins.

December 10th, 2013, 6:53 pm


zoo said:

Just a reminder of the four main groups making up the “rebels”, two of them linked to Al Qaeda

“Last week the Islamic Front rejected the authority of the FSA, which was the first major rebel force formed after the outbreak of Syria’s civil war and was made up of army deserters and civilians.

The Islamic Front was formed last month by six rebel groups that merged with the goal of overthrowing the Assad regime and establishing an Islamic state.

It does not include Al-Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — two jihadist rebel groups linked to Al-Qaeda.”

December 10th, 2013, 6:56 pm


Tara said:

Razan could’ve very well been kidnapped by the regime stooges to frame the armed rebels.

قديمة. حافظينها.

The regime who arrested a child girl for asking Bashar to reform at age 15 ( Tal al Malouhi) can easily kidnap a leading femal lawyer for her activism.

And honestly it doesn’t get more nauseating when loyalists cry for Razan Zeitouneh.

December 10th, 2013, 6:57 pm


zoo said:

Qatar Signs Defense Accord With U.S.

Published: December 10, 2013

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with the Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, and Defense Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah on the last day of a visit to the region to reassure gulf Arab allies of continuing United States support, despite disagreements over Washington’s policy toward Syria and its diplomatic overtures to Iran.

December 10th, 2013, 9:47 pm


zoo said:

Islamist rebels suspected in abduction of key Syrian human rights leader

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/12/10/211259/islamist-rebels-suspected-in-abduction.html#storylink=cpy

Zeitouneh’s activities would have made her a target of pro-Assad forces, but the suspicion that it was an anti-Assad group that abducted her underscored growing concern that religious fundamentalists have broken with secular revolutionaries and are attempting to establish an Islamist state.

Zeitouneh recently took aim at the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has launched a fierce campaign in the past three months against the more secular Free Syrian Army and has installed harsh Islamist rule in cities and towns it’s conquered. Earlier this month, she wrote in the Lebanese magazine NOW that more than 50 activists, most of them so-called citizen journalists, had been abducted in rebel-held areas primarily in Syria’s north during the second half of this year.

“More than 90 percent of the cases of abduction are carried out by ISIS, which continues the role of the regime in assassinating activists and pushing those who remain to exile,” she said.

Zeitouneh cited the case of Ahmad Saleim al Bikaae, a young doctor who was abducted early in October in Ghouta, an area east of Damascus, and whose fate is unknown. Bikaae had founded a doctors’ outreach group called Saving Souls that now operates in towns around the capital.

“Until now, no one knows the fate of Dr. Ahmad al Bikaae nor the group that abducted him,” she wrote, decrying that few were demanding his release. Criticizing the Free Syrian Army, the newly installed rebel police force, and other institutions in the rebel-controlled area, she called for a redoubling of efforts to determine what happened to the physician and accountability for those who abducted him.

December 10th, 2013, 9:59 pm


ALAN said:

137. Uzair8
Russian President Vladimir Putin has won over a lot of people recently with his role in avoiding an escalation of the war in Syria and by refusing to hand Edward Snowden back to the US. He’s also created an image of himself as a strong, brave politician. But with these couple of successes, it’s easy to forget he’s got a fairly poor record of protecting human rights, equality in gender and sexuality, freedom of the press and many of the basic principles of democracy. Here’s seven things you shouldn’t forget about Vladimir Putin.

December 10th, 2013, 10:02 pm


ALAN said:

Protests in Syria planned, funded, directed by the US State Dept.

The rise of Al Qaeda in Syria and the predictable bloodbath that followed is the documented work of US, Israel, & Saudi Arabia.

With a recent initiative by Russia and Syria blunting the West’s pro-war drive, Western propagandists have attempted to reassert their crumbling narrative regarding the conflict, past, present, and future.

The Genesis of Syria’s Conflict

We are told by Western politicians and Western media houses that the conflict in Syria began with a spontaneous “peaceful,” “pro-democracy” uprising influenced by similar demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt. We are told that these peaceful protests were brutally crushed by the Syrian government and resulted in the militarization of the so-called “opposition.”…..

December 10th, 2013, 10:11 pm


ALAN said:

US Mainstream Media silences dissent on Syria WMD claims

December 10th, 2013, 10:13 pm


don said:

What about Muslims killing Muslims? Does That Contradicts Koran Teaching? 😎

Gemayel: Abduction of nuns contradicts Koran teachings


Former Lebanese president and phalange party leader Amin Gemayel slammed the abductors of the Lebanese and Syrian Christian nuns and said their action does not honor them , has nothing to do with Islam and contradicts with the teachings of the Holy Koran.

“The abduction of the Maalula nuns does not honor those who did it and this act has nothing to do with Islam and this is a grave historic mistake that contradicts with the teachings of the Holy Koran.” Gemayel who is on an official visit to the United States told LBCI.

Gemayel’s comments come a day after the Phalange Party demanded on Monday that the international community put a stop to the violations against religious sites and individuals in Syria.

It appealed in a statement after its weekly politburo meeting to the international community to take “immediate and urgent action to ensure the release of the nuns kidnapped from Syria’s town of Maalula.”

It also urged the international community to take similar action in ensuring the release of Bishops Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped by armed men in Syria in April.

The international community should prevent violations against Christian holy sites, it declared.

Last week, jihadists and opposition fighters entered the Syrian Christian town of Maalula and took 12 Lebanese and Syrian Greek Orthodox nuns from the Mar Takla Monastery to the Yabrud area in Qalamoun, near Damascus.

On Saturday Greek Orthodox Bishop Luqa al-Khoury declared war on the Syrian rebels by calling on the Christians to carry arms to defend Syria and its its churches and monasteries.

“Our men are ready and their fingers are on the trigger.” He warned the rebels.

“ I urge every Christian man capable of carrying weapons to defend Syria and its churches and monasteries that are being vandalized by armed groups,” Khoury said in remarks published in Az-Zaman newspaper on Saturday.

“We will not stand by idly,” the cleric stressed.

He also noted that the men are “waiting for instructions from the Patriarchate,” but stressed that “we will wait for two days, not more, until we start acting.”

Several Lebanese leaders denounced the abduction of the nuns and the Bishops.

On Tuesday Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora denounced the seizing of the nuns and called for their immediate release.

“We denounce assaults against religious sites,” Siniora, who headed a delegation of Future Movement MPs, told reporters after meeting with Beirut Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop Elias Aoudeh.

“The attacks were not only limited to religious sites but they also targeted people who exist only to serve humanity such as the kidnapping of the two dear bishops [Paul Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim] and the nuns,” Siniora said.

December 10th, 2013, 10:16 pm


ALAN said:

Assessing the situation in Iraq
As we approach April 30, 2014, the date of parliamentary elections in Iraq, the military and political situation in the country continues to deteriorate more and more. Its main feature – the growing wave of terrorist attacks, especially in Baghdad and the western Al-Anbar Province, a stronghold of the Sunni resistance, as well as the central and northern provinces of Salah ad-Din, Nineveh and the eastern province of Diyala. The terrorist attacks in these regions are a daily reality. Only in the capital city, 12–15 terrorist attacks occur every day, mostly by car bomb explosions in residential neighborhoods and on the streets during processions of armed guards. In Mosul and its suburbs, the most “popular” explosions are during funeral processions near the Shiite mosques, which lead to the deaths of several dozen people. Then there is the strafing of vehicles with machine guns and RPGs, and attacks on checkpoints of the Iraqi army and security forces.

December 10th, 2013, 10:30 pm


ghufran said:

The never ending series of “surprises” on the opposition side is a natural result of most thawrajiyyeh not being faithful to their principles and lying about their reason to revolt and for breaking their promises about protecting the people and keeping their “revolution” , not our revolution, clean and honest, instead we got a barrage of lies and evil alignment with forces like Islamist militants, the GCC, Israel, Erdugang,etc.
It is true that the opposition is held to higher standards than the regime because the stakes are very high, people did not die to replace Assad thugs with a bunch of political prostitutes and thieves.
Syria is destroyed and the party is over and the only thing many of you have to say to the millions who were affected by this brutal war is “oops” !!

December 10th, 2013, 10:47 pm


don said:

Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons at sea


Chemical weapons experts are criticizing the Defense Department’s plan to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal aboard a U.S. vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, a proposal that Pentagon officials have described as low-risk.

The plan calls for neutralizing the liquid components of sarin, mustard gas and VX nerve agent via hydrolysis, a technology that has been used for decades to destroy chemical agents in the U.S. and abroad but never at sea.

“There’s no precedence. We’re all guessing. We’re all estimating,” said Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, who worked as a U.N. biological weapons inspector in Iraq in 1994.

“For example, you don’t know if the sarin is pure. The Iraqi sarin was rather impure, and had a lot of contaminants, and we don’t know if that’s amenable to hydrolysis,” said Mr. Zilinskas, a professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College.

Under the Pentagon plan, the toxic stockpile would be transported to the Syrian port of Latakia, loaded onto a non-U.S. vessel and shipped to a third country. From there, a U.S. cargo ship would take the arsenal to sea for destruction.

Richard M. Lloyd, a warhead technology consultant at Tesla Laboratories Inc. who tracks weapons being used in Syria, said he has little confidence in the regime’s ability to transport the weapons safely.

“The probability that rebels are going to attack is very high,” Mr. Lloyd said. “They want to get their hands on them, or destroy something or do something that’s not good.”

The Pentagon has proposed sending about 60 civilian workers and contractors to the Middle East early next year to destroy the chemical stockpile. Specialists from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is tasked with overseeing the dismantling of Syria’s chemical arms program, would assist in the mission.

The organization has not given formal approval to any plan, but defense officials said its plan likely will be chosen to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for removing the “priority one” chemical weapons, which are to be destroyed by June.

Defense officials say they would use two mobile hydrolysis units to neutralize the arsenal and would carry spare parts aboard the ship in case the system fails.

Mr. Zilinskas said no risk assessments are being conducted of the plan’s impact on people and the environment, as would be done if the chemicals were to be destroyed on land.

“You don’t know if there could be an accident and how you would handle it,” he said. “In normal conditions, when we’re setting some sort of toxic elimination plan, there would have to be risk assessments done of the impact on the people and the environment. Obviously, that’s not being done here.”

December 10th, 2013, 11:00 pm


ALAN said:

Germany’s Zionist War-Criminal Angela Merkel Sells Nuke Capable Desatroyers To Israeli Mass Murderers and Rothschild Money Launderers

And now after having already endangered not only Germans but the world by gifting nuclear capable submarines to these Israeli Zionist ‘German Jewish’ heirs of the Nazis – she provides them with nuke capable destroyers !

Germany last week visited by the head of National Security Council of Israel Yossi Cohen. During his visit, an agreement was made : to deliver two destroyers from Germany to Israel. The cost of these will cost the Israeli Navy ships within one billion euros, according to the German newspaper Bild.

At this moment , armed Israeli Navy no destroyers, and the largest warships for many years remain corvettes .

December 10th, 2013, 11:05 pm


ziad said:

“جيش الإسلام” تعرض لضربة قاصمة في النبك

قالت صحيفة “الحياة” اللندينة، التي تمولها السعودية، أن سقوط معظم أحياء النبك بعد تسعة عشر يوماً بيد الجيش السوري تسبب بـ ” عاصفة من الاتهامات من ناشطين إعلاميين ومقاتلين لبعض الكتائب الإسلامية كجيش الإسلام و داعش بالانسحاب من المدينة وتركها”.

وقال الناشط الإعلامي المعارض “حبيب عمار” : ” لم يأت أحد لمؤازرة مدينة النبك. جاء جيش الإسلام للمؤازرة وانسحب على الفور قبل أربعة أيام”. وأضاف: “جاء الخبر اليقين من أحد القادة الميدانيين عن انسحاب جيش الإسلام”.

ونقلت الصحيفة عن “الناشط الإعلامي المعارض” أن دخول “جيش الإسلام” مناطق كدير عطية وقارة والنبك وانسحابه منها بعد أيام قليلة من المعارك سيؤدي إلى فقدان “جيش الإسلام” الحاضنة الشعبية، على حد تعبير الصحيفة.

وعلى صفحة “النقيب إسلام علوش الناطق العسكري باسم الجبهة الإسلامية و جيش الإسلام” على موقع التواصل الاجتماعي (فايسبوك) لم يظهر أي بيان أو مجرد خبر عن معركة النبك.

واتهم عناصر من “جيش الإسلام” عناصر “داعش” بأنهم هم من سلم جبهات القلمون في دير عطية وقارة والنبك وانسحبوا. وبحسب أحد الناشطين الإعلاميين في القلمون فإن “داعش انسحبت في كل من قارة ودير عطية وكذلك من النبك بعد أيام من دخولها في حين أن جيش الإسلام كان موجوداً لكن مع الكثير من إشارات الاسـتفهام وانـسـحاب غـير مفهوم من جبهة القتال في النبك”.

وعلقت الصحيفة، الممولة من السعودية بالقول ” بغض النظر عن القيل والقال ومن انسحب ومن قاتل فإن سقوط النبك بعد دير عطية وقارة يشكل ضربة قاسية لقوات المعارضة المسلحة بشكل عام في منطقة القلمون، ولـ الجبهة الإسلامية” الأقوى عسكرياً في قوى المعارضة المسلحة بشكل خاص، بخاصة بعد أيام من تشكلها”.

وتابعت ” يضاف إلى هذا كله فشل جيش الإسلام الركن الأقوى في الجبهة في ريف دمشق بفتح طريق إمداد للغوطة، بعد إعادة النظام السيطرة على العتيبة في الغوطة الشرقية”.

وختمت الصحيفة بالقول ” بدأت حرب اتهامات إعلامية لتستكمل حرب مقار على الأرض لن يكون آخرها ما حصل في مستودعات الأركان التابعة لـ “الجيش الحر” في حلب والتي سيطرت عليها “داعش” لتعود “الجبهة الإسلامية” فتستعيدها لمصلحة “الجيش الحر”، ما يعني أن تحالفات الأمس ربما لن تكون قابلة للاستمرار في معارك النفوذ والسيطرة بين القوى المعارضة”.


December 11th, 2013, 12:24 am


Hopeful said:

# 155 Zoo

I explained in my first post here on SC that I was hopeful about the ultimate survival of Syria and the emergence of a better stronger Syria at the end of the long dark tunnel.

The revolution is not led by anyone, certainly not by the opposition expats. This is why it cannot be defeated, as there will be no one to sign the surrender papers. The only way for this fire to be extinguished is the emergence of a new regime.

Zeitouna and her friends, and hundreds of thousands of people like them, like Giath Mattar, Mishaal Tammo, Ibrahim Kashoush, and many many others, are the true heros of Syria. They will be the ones to be remembered as the genuine symbols of the revolution of which all Syrians will be proud. Long after the foreign Jihadis are gone, long after the radical Islamists are defeated, and long after Assad and his cronies are removed.

Deep down I know you know the same truth and you hope for a similar outcome.

December 11th, 2013, 12:24 am


ghufran said:

THANK YOU, brother.

December 11th, 2013, 1:03 am



I ask posters not to post INTERNATIONAL RUSSIAN TELEVISION. This is a mafia dictatorship state TV so we cannot trust any new sourcing from it.

US tv may be toxic in general terms but Russian TV is simply deadly toxic.

December 11th, 2013, 4:04 am




Control yourself. Take Relaxing Infussion and go rest for a while. You are very agressive towards democratically elected leaders.

December 11th, 2013, 4:06 am



BS, little animals my foot, from what everyone has witnessed over three years, you are so fond of huge jack asses as clearly demonstrated by your “amour” affair with dog-poop jack ass athad and the head-wrap gang.

December 11th, 2013, 5:01 am


ALAN said:

The story with the Rabbi was the setup to destroy Thomas, but the main reason she lost her job at the White House was her question to Obama at his very first press conference as President, asking what nations in the middle east have NUCLEAR WEAPONS. “democratically elected leader” Obama dodged and danced around the topic, and never actually answered her.

December 11th, 2013, 5:22 am


don said:


US suspends non-lethal assistance to north Syria

US embassy in Ankara says all further deliveries of non-lethal assistance into northern Syria are suspended


The US has suspended all non-lethal assistance in to northern Syria after forces from the new Islamic Front seized headquarters and warehouses belonging to the opposition’s Supreme Military Council.

Fighters from the Front, a union of six major rebel groups, took control of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) bases at the Bab al-Hawa crossing on Syria’s northwestern border with Turkey late on Friday.

Turkey shut its side of the border crossing, in Hatay province, due to a reported increase in clashes on the Syrian side, customs sources told the Reuters news agency. There was no immediate confirmation from Turkish officials.

December 11th, 2013, 6:44 am


don said:

Bishop: “Christians should take up arms in Syria” against Foreign Supported Al Qaeda Militants


In Lebanon, caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said the events in Maaloula, where the Syrian army has been trying to secure against al-Qaeda-linked attacks, have been locked in a fierce campaign for the last several weeks, were having an impact on Christians in Lebanon and the rest of the world.

Bassil told a news conference that it was time to act in order to halt “the series of attacks on Christians.”

“Reactions in Lebanon, the Levant and the world haven’t been sufficient,” Bassil said, adding that a similar disappointing response followed the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in April.

December 11th, 2013, 7:45 am


zoo said:


Scatophilia is an incurable mania. Every single of your posts prove it.

December 11th, 2013, 8:28 am


zoo said:

@187 Hopeful

Unfortunately, gentle ‘heroes’ like the ones you name usually get no significant role in the post-revolution. They are often not even remembered.
Only the strong, often ruthless and determined ones make it.

The only great ‘revolutionaries’ in the 20th century are Castro, Ayatollah Khomeini and Mandela. They are the only ones who won over colonial powers and kept their country united. I have yet to see anyone of that stature in the Middle East.

You should change your name to “Idealist’.

December 11th, 2013, 8:47 am


zoo said:

The neutralization of the FSA (supported by Qatar, Turkey and the FOS) by the Islamic Front ( supported by Saudi Arabia) is well underway

Syria: FSA, Islamic Front face off


In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, a senior FSA Supreme Military Council official speaking anonymously accused the Islamic Front, a new coalition comprised of seven major Islamist rebel groups fighting in Syria, of carrying out a “complete coup” against the FSA’s Chiefs of Staff, headed by General Salim Idris.

He added that the Islamic Front, which some analysts believe now represents the strongest unified rebel force on the ground in Syria, is operating with the support of “some regional countries.”

“The FSA warehouses are now empty after they were occupied and their contents were stolen, including Salim Idris’s own office,” the FSA officer said. He claimed that Commander Abu Al-Nur of Ahrar Al-Sham led the operation.

He said that the Islamic Front raided a total of ten warehouses belonging to the Western-backed umbrella group and seized a significant arsenal of weaponry, including 2,000 AK-47 rifles, 1,000 assorted arms—including M79 Osa rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades, and 14.5mm heavy machine guns—in addition to more than 200 tons of ammunition. At least 100 FSA military vehicles were also taken in the attack.

Islamic Front military spokesman Captain Islam Alloush denied responsibility, accusing “unknown groups” of being responsible for raiding the FSA base and stealing their equipment.

The FSA officer said: “The claims made by the Islamic Front and Ahrar Al-Sham that they came to protect the warehouses at the request of the FSA Chiefs of Staff is a lie.”

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, “after combat that lasted all night, fighters from the Islamic Front captured a [FSA] general staff position near the Bab El-Hawa border crossing [with Turkey] and seized their arms depots.”

December 11th, 2013, 8:58 am


zoo said:

The Islamic Front effect
Israel prefers Assad to Syrian Islamist rebels, says Halutz

By Harinder Mishra |(PTI) – Jerusalem
Published: 11th December 2013 04:50 PM

Israel prefers Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power rather than see radical Islamist forces take over the war-torn country with which it has longstanding territorial disputes, former Chief of StaffDan Halutz has said.

Halutz, who served as IDF chief of staff during the 2006 military campaign in Lebanon, told a gathering in Moscow that the prospect of al-Qaeda-affiliated elements ruling Damascus in place of the Assad regime would be more problematic from Jerusalem’s standpoint, Ma’ariv reported.

“The regime in Syria is killing its citizens on a daily basis, but we need to admit that the opposition in Syria is comprised primarily of very extremist Muslims like al-Qaeda,” the former Israel Defence Forces (IDF) chief was quoted by Ma’ariv as saying.

“The question that needs to be asked is, ‘What is good for Israel?’, It’s an important question, because we need to ask ourselves if we want to replace this bad regime with a verybad regime which we don’t know. And this is something that we need to seriously consider,” he pondered.

December 11th, 2013, 9:07 am


zoo said:

Has the USA decided to abandon Idriss and his militias to their fate after Idriss categorically refused to participate in Geneva II and threatened to continue fighting ?


U.S. cuts aid to rebels in northern Syria after Islamic radicals beat Western-backed opposition forces

December 11th, 2013, 9:13 am


zoo said:

An endorsement to come? Turkey officials qualifies the Islamic Front as a ‘moderate’ Islamic group


A statement from the Customs and Trade Ministry said the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Syrian side was recently captured by a moderate Islamic group, referring to the Islamic Front, which was formed last month by six rebel groups that merged with the goal of overthrowing the al-Assad regime and establishing an Islamic state.

Last week the Islamic Front rejected the authority of the mainstream Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was the first major rebel force formed after the outbreak of Syria’s civil war and was made up of army deserters and civilians. The capture of the Bab al-Hawa crossing came after the Islamic Front seized arms depots near the crossing belonging to the FSA at the weekend, heightening tensions among the fractured Syrian opposition. It was unclear why the Islamic Front had seized the FSA premises and it was not known whether any stock had gone missing.

December 11th, 2013, 9:31 am


don said:

Syria regime slams Gulf interference in conflict


DAMASCUS: Syria’s government on Wednesday slammed the Gulf Cooperation Council for interfering in the country’s conflict and condemned the bloc for what it called “inflammatory rhetoric”.

December 11th, 2013, 9:37 am


don said:

NATO’s War on Syria Just Got Dirtier

West scrambles to cover up Syria false flag revelations as Pulitzer Prize-winner & Syria’s Electronic Army expose all


December 10, 2013 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, who had warned as early as 2007 of US-Israeli-Saudi plans to use Al Qaeda as proxies to overthrow the Syrian government, has published another groundbreaking report titled, “Whose Sarin?” In it, Hersh states (emphasis added):

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

The lengthy report goes on in detail, covering the manner in which Western leaders intentionally manipulated or even outright fabricated intelligence to justify military intervention in Syria – eerily similar to the lies told to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the escalation of the war in Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

As Hersh summed up his latest report, he asked a fundamental question those still insisting the Syrian government was behind the attack have failed to answer:

The administration’s distortion of the facts surrounding the sarin attack raises an unavoidable question: do we have the whole story of Obama’s willingness to walk away from his ‘red line’ threat to bomb Syria? He had claimed to have an iron-clad case but suddenly agreed to take the issue to Congress, and later to accept Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical weapons. It appears possible that at some point he was directly confronted with contradictory information: evidence strong enough to persuade him to cancel his attack plan, and take the criticism sure to come from Republicans.

Armchair “Experts” to the Rescue

But even with the West’s capitulation in Syria, and months passing without a shred of credible evidence produced, hacks among Western media continue to perpetuate the original narrative. Among these are of course corporate-financier funded think-tanks and propaganda fronts like the Brookings Institution, Foreign Policy Magazine, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), and establishment papers like the Guardian. In the middle of it all is couch-potato self-proclaimed weapons expert, Eliot Higgins, a representation of the West’s propaganda 2.0 campaign.

UK-based Higgins lost his job and now spends his days combing social media sites for “evidence” he then analyzes and reports on. The Western media, with its propagandists expelled from Syria and many of its “sources” in Syria exposed in humiliating attempts to fabricate and manipulate evidence, quickly picked Higgins up and elevated his armchair blogging to “expert analysis.” Since then, Higgins has joined the already discredited “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” another UK-based individual, as the basis upon which the West’s Syrian narrative spins.

The Guardian’s Brian Whitaker, who has maintained a particularly suspicious proximity to Higgins and his work, recently published a startling condemnation of venerated Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh. In a hit piece titled, “Investigating chemical weapons in Syria – Seymour Hersh and Brown Moses go head to head,” “Brown Moses” referring to Eliot Higgins’ alias, Whitaker claims:

In the blue corner, Seymour Hersh, one of America’s most famous and highly paid investigative reporters. In the red corner,

Eliot Higgins, who sits at home in an English provincial town trawling the internet and tweets and blogs about his findings under the screen name Brown Moses.

On Sunday, in a 5,000-word article for the London Review of Books, Hersh suggested Syrian rebels, rather than the regime, could have been responsible for the chemical weapons attacks near Damascus on August 21.

On Monday, Higgins responded on the Foreign Policy website, demolishing the core of Hersh’s argument in a mere 1,700 words.

While seeking to re-ignite the “whodunnit” debate about chemical weapons, Hersh’s article unwittingly revealed a lot about the changing nature of investigative journalism. Hersh is old-school. He operates in a world of hush-hush contacts – often-anonymous well-placed sources passing snippets of information around which he constructs an article that challenges received wisdom.

The Hersh style of journalism certainly has a place, but in the age of the internet it’s a diminishing one – as the web-based work of Higgins and others continually shows.

Whitaker is desperately attempting to keep the wheels on the establishment’s new propaganda 2.0 vehicle – manipulating social media, much the way Hersh describes intelligence being manipulated, to create any outcome necessary to bolster a predetermined narrative.

What he doesn’t address is the fact that Higgins’ work almost entirely depends on videos posted online by people he does not know, who may be misrepresenting who they are, what they are posting, and their motivations for doing so – such is the nature of anonymity on the web and why this evidence alone is useless outside of a larger geopolitical context.

Both Whitaker and Higgins, who maintain that the Syrian government was behind the attacks, fail to address another glaring reality. A false flag attack is designed to look like the work of one’s enemy. In other words, terrorists in Syria would use equipment, uniforms, weapons, and tactics that would pin the crime on the Syrian government. All Higgins has proved, thus far, is that the superficial details of the operation made for a convincing false flag attack.

Claims the Militants Can’t Produce or Properly Handle Chemical Weapons are False

Whitaker hails Higgins’ Foreign Policy piece arrogantly titled, “Sy Hersh’s Chemical Misfire,” but in reality, all Higgins does is point out specifics of the attack, some of which are confirmed, some of which are implied – all of which could either have been the work of the government or militants. The question Higgins fails to answer is what motivation would the government have had to carry out the attacks with the UN based just miles away and with government forces already decisively winning the war with conventional weapons? The only possible scenario that would lead to the Syrian government losing this conflict now would be foreign military intervention – and the best way to make that happen would be by using chemical weapons.

Toward the end of Higgin’s piece, he, like his friends at the Guardian, attempt to claim Al Nusra, contrary to Hersh’s report, are most likely not capable of producing sarin. He states (emphasis added):

I asked chemical weapons specialist Dan Kaszeta for his opinion on that. He compared the possibility of Jabhat al-Nusra using chemical weapons to another terrorist attack involving sarin: the 1996 gassing of the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo cult.

“The 1994 to 1996 Japanese experience tells us that even a very large and sophisticated effort comprising many millions of dollars, a dedicated large facility, and a lot of skilled labor results only in liters of sarin, not tons,” Kaszeta said. “Even if the Aug. 21 attack is limited to the eight Volcano rockets that we seem to be talking about, we’re looking at an industrial effort two orders of magnitude larger than the Aum Shinrikyo effort. This is a nontrivial and very costly undertaking, and I highly doubt whether any of the possible nonstate actors involved here have the factory to have produced it. Where is this factory? Where is the waste stream? Where are the dozens of skilled people — not just one al Qaeda member — needed to produce this amount of material?”

Of course, to call Al Nusra a nonstate actor is not entirely truthful. Al Nusra and other extremist networks inside of Syria have had the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel’s backing since at least as early as 2007. Since 2011, Qatar and Turkey have also played immense roles in supporting Al Nusra – with NATO-member Turkey providing them sanctuary and even logistical support. Higgins and his “expert” ask where the factories, waste streams, and skilled people are – the answer is most likely somewhere within one of the many axis nations supporting Al Nusra. They certainly have the capacity to both manufacturer the gas and transport it into Syria – or conversely – provide Al Nusra with the supplies and personal to do it inside of Syria.

Higgins and his “expert’s” attempt to make Al Nusra sound like cave dwelling simpletons running on a shoestring budget, when even the US State Department admitted by 2012 that the terrorist organization was operating at a national level, carrying out hundreds of attacks across the country. In an attempt to cover up the growing influence the Western-backing of Al Qaeda was creating within Syria, tales of vast “Twitter donations” were spun to explain how Al Nusra was expanding faster than so-called moderates who were receiving billions of dollars in equipment, training, vehicles, and weapons by the West and its regional allies. In reality, that torrent of cash and supplies was going intentionally into the hands of Al Nusra and other extremist groups.

Clearly, if anyone in Syria, beside the government, was going to produce and deploy chemical weapons, it would be Al Nusra.

Syrian Electronic Army E-Mails Exposes A Deceitful, Depraved Western Media:

December 11th, 2013, 9:38 am


Heads-up said:

A formidable military alliance has taken shape today by unifying the military command structure of the Guided GCC states under the Guidance of the Guided Kingdom. This alliance is capable of pulverizing Mullahstan at a moment’s notice as we can see in this comparison,


Needless to say, mullahstan military is very much outdated in terms of military hardware, training and logistics. The advanced weaponry and training of the new alliance means mullahstan is now at the mercy of the GCC decision makers. It is important to note that GCC’s nuclearization can happen also at a moment’s notice adding lethal capabilities to the GCC military power that can effectively obliterate mullahstan from the face of the planet and records of history if and when the need arises.

Syrians who are actively fighting Serpent Ass-head, which in effect means ALL Syrian, are looking forward to be under the new military alliance command as active members in this purely Arab organization of the powerful.

December 11th, 2013, 10:54 am


sami said:

Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Thurgood Marshal, Jane Addams, Malcolm X are not some unimportant figures for some slimy propagandist to pretend their contributions are meaningless.

Amd someone should tell the agent of death that Qashoush, Aziz, Sharbaji, Mattar and honest Syrians like them are worth a million of the Assadists scum. That is why they went to such lenght to silence them.

December 11th, 2013, 10:56 am


Majed97 said:

Hopeful and Ghufran,
In a perfect world, it’s hard to disagree with either one of you, but the reality on the ground in Syria is far from perfect. It is easy for people like me, and I suspect you, who have been living in the western world for a long time and influenced by its civilized and tolerant cultures to forget how tough, backward and unforgiving our old neighborhood is. Unfortunately, civilized heroes in Syria are ineffective and have no place in history. As I said before, I share your views of a secular and democratic Syria, but the reality on the ground is where our choices lie. Unless I’m missing something, there are two potential winners for the Syrian war: the imperfect but secular regime, or the medieval Islamists and their foreign hostel backers. Who should we chose?

“Long after the foreign Jihadis are gone, long after the radical Islamists are defeated, and long after Assad and his cronies are removed.” My guess, this vision is about 100 years into the future. Let’s not pretend Syria’s problem lies solely in its leadership. The large majority of Syrians, and Arabs in general, are backward and intolerant, reflecting the strong influence Islam plays in their lives. How do you govern people who get their instructions on how to manage their daily lives directly from God and his self appointed representative sheiks?

Good luck to whoever wins this war balancing so many contradictions in such a tiny place. Why would anyone wants such a thankless and dangerous job is beyound me.

December 11th, 2013, 11:06 am


habib said:


Lol, you give us no choice, if these Salafist fornicators keep delivering free filth about themselves, we will report it.

This Nour Kelze lady has apparently been quite “around” during the war…

December 11th, 2013, 11:20 am


ghufran said:

There is no doubt that the failure of the opposition in Syria to topple the regime and come back with a viable alternative will be talked about in history classes and analyzed by “experts” for a long time, that failure was influenced by outside factors but the main issue is that Syrians proved that they are not ready to endorse political change in a way that respects minority rights and democratic principles. Islam in particular has been a negative force in the Arab Spring especially in Syria, those islamists who are funded by the GCC and rich corrupt Muslims have no intention to support elections and accept people who are different from them.
The so-called revolution in Syria today has become a violent campaign led by Islamist thugs and common criminals who loot, terrorize and kill (their latest Ghazwah was in Adra where they invaded a bakery and a hospital, killed people, took hostages and loot the place). Even educated Syrians are mostly consumed by their urge to see the other side die and suffer, and all of the talk about democracy and freedom seems to be a lie, it was a cover for many to win political support and avoid scrutiny by Western powers who now have pulled out after realizing that you can not make chicken soup our of chicken poop.
This is why I was against taking up arms against the army and against the strategy of invading villages and towns, I realize that the regime committed atrocities but the “fix” provided in this case was worse than the disease and it indeed helped the regime not the opposition.

December 11th, 2013, 11:31 am


ghufran said:

Michel Kilo criticizing rebels attack on Maoula:
(Al-sharq Al-Alawsat)
الهجوم كان خطأ من ألفه إلى يائه: عسكريا، لأن معلولا تقع في واد عميق وقصير، ولها مدخلان، أحدهما جبلي تحاذي طريقه مجرى مائيا ضيقا وشديد الانحدار تعلوه تلال صخرية، ويحول الإمساك دون دخول البلدة ويؤدي إلى تطويق ومحاصرة من يرابط داخلها. بينما يتكون مدخلها الجنوبي من طريق تقود – عبر بلدة «عين التينة» – إلى أوتوستراد دمشق – حمص الدولي. هنا أيضا توجد مجموعة تلال مرتفعة تشرف على هذه الطريق ويمنع احتلالها الدخول إلى البلدة. بكلام آخر، تسقط البلدة باحتلال التلال شمالها وجنوبها، دون الحاجة إلى دخولها، الذي يمثل مشكلة يصعب تفاديها بسبب كثرة الأديرة والكنائس وهوية المكان التاريخية والأثرية والدينية، وردود الفعل الإعلامية التي سيثيرها نشوب معارك داخلها، ستكون لصالح
Kilo is still unable to admit that a revolution funded by the GCC can only produce religious zealots and terrorists. Syrians who want freedom and democracy know very well that they can not find it through the GCC.

December 11th, 2013, 12:59 pm


Badr said:

Another fantasy to solve the conflict?

Syrian ‘peace game’

By PJ Crowley

Long-time antagonists can help achieve a “best possible” outcome in Syria. A first step is recognising that, as horrible as conditions are today, Syria can actually get worse.

We cannot afford to wait for a perfect solution.

December 11th, 2013, 1:12 pm


Uzair8 said:

Those who were indifferent to the suffering and to the cause of those facing a brutal crackdown can not complain about the syrian peoples dependance on this or that party. Nobody was prepared to help them including the fence sitters so for them to point fingers at a desperate peoople is wrong.

December 11th, 2013, 1:16 pm


zoo said:

@208 Ghufran

Michel Kilo is one of the saddest disapointment of the uprising.
He is obviously totally cut from reality.

December 11th, 2013, 1:22 pm


Tara said:

Death to ISIS and to the regime who created it. Obama is busy building his pyrrhic legacy while state terrorism and its brain child, Islamists terrorism are taking over the Middle East. To eradicate terrorism from Syria, Batta should be eradicated.

Wife breaks silence over Spanish journalist’s kidnap in Syria

The 49-year-old had been in the Bab Amr district of Homs when it was besieged by the Syrian army in February last year, surviving an artillery barrage that killed Marie Colvin, Sunday Times veteran, and Remi Ochlik, a French photographer.

“Javier didn’t only survive the bombardment of Baba Amr, which killed two of his colleagues right before his eyes,” said Prieto. “He even chose to stay in the neighbourhood until the last civilian was evacuated.

“When I asked him to leave before the fall of Homs, he told me he had the obligation to stay and report. I reminded him that our children needed him alive, and he replied by telling me that the children of Syria needed the world’s attention.”

Eighteen months later, Espinosa and Vilanova were less than 15 minutes from the Turkish border when they were stopped at a checkpoint by Isis operatives. They were being escorted to safety by members of the Free Syria Army, who were also seized – a sign of who calls the shots around Raqaa.

The rebels were released 12 days later, while the two journalists have been held in silence. European intelligence officials and interlocutors who have reached out to the jihadists are confident that they are alive.


December 11th, 2013, 1:28 pm


zoo said:


This has been an improvised ‘revolution’ trying to copycat the other Arab spring uprising. It had no leadership, no common program, no vision and no goal except removing a leader that was perceived as corrupted and authoritarian.
When the “leaders” and the “vision” gradually emerged after 3 years, it turned out that these leaders were dumb, egomaniac and corrupted and the vision is of an Islamic emirate created by the force of weapons. Overall a future bleaker than the previous one.
That is a tragedy for the Syrian on both sides: The country is destroyed, the souls are infected with hatred and revenge and many bitterly regret now to have opened the door to a hell that was highly predictable but that they refused to think it would happen.

December 11th, 2013, 1:34 pm


zoo said:

@201 Don

The humiliation that Oman gave to Saudi Arabia by rejecting the “union” was hidden under vocal and “manly” condemnation of Bashar al Assad.
Coming from “half-men” who can’t even protect themselves without the assistance of hundred of thousands of US soldiers, it is rather comical.

December 11th, 2013, 1:47 pm


Juergen said:

the situation for syrian refugees is getting worst with the coming of the first snow

December 11th, 2013, 1:54 pm



I qalamoon, there is nary a regime soldier to be found in the fight now. It is all sectarian thugs from Iraq. Even nus-lira cockroaches are not present as much as they used to be after they have been dessimated by rag-tag, deeply divided, disorganized rebels. Now the regime’s need for sectarian cockroaches from other countries in the tens of thousands does not count for zouzou when it starts assigning testosterone levels. Blind does not describe it, but hypocrite may be a humble start.

December 11th, 2013, 1:57 pm


zoo said:

@215 Juergen

The sooner their villages in the Qalamoun area will be cleaned up from Al Nusra terrorists and allies, the sooner they will go back home.

Syrian survivors await electricity, heating following army ‘s victory

DAMASCUS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) — After living for over two weeks in underground shelters while intense battles between government troops and rebel forces raged on above them, residents of the Syrian town of al-Nabek left their sanctuaries only to discover they must endure a new battle of severe electricity and water shortages.

Al-Nabek, a town in the rugged al-Qalamoun region north of Damascus, was the latest town in the strategic mountainous region reclaimed by the Syrian army after the troops dislodged rebels from the adjacent towns of Qara and Deir Attieh.

December 11th, 2013, 1:59 pm


zoo said:


Could you please provide the sources of your affirmations?

“I qalamoon, there is nary a regime soldier to be found in the fight now. It is all sectarian thugs from Iraq”

December 11th, 2013, 2:02 pm


Juergen said:

An Interview with a Journalist Who Was Tortured for Investigating Hezbollah

By Oz Katerji

“I discovered that due to the corruption of Hezbollah and the overloading of their warehouses with weapons, they are selling them to the Syrian opposition.”


December 11th, 2013, 2:08 pm


Juergen said:

life of syrian refugees in germany, an report by the german tv, all interviews are in arabic


December 11th, 2013, 2:12 pm



In a typical example of chewing ones words without even realizing that, we find a character, who for nearly three years has made a life of denying anything secular in the great Syrian revolution. From the start, this character and a cohort of regime propagandists brandished a witch’s list of prepackaged shrieks “islamist, alqaida, arourri, salafi” leveled at everyone who dared support this revolution. All of a sudden, the hypocrite is now concerned for the safety of non-existing “secular” rebels

“Secular” rebels activists and journalists are not safe anymore in rebels controlled areas. They are the object of threats and kidnapping from the Islamists who are taking over the areas.

Never realizing that by saying so, the deceiptful character is admitting that these areas, considered liberated, were not under islamists control, otherwise, why would they “take the areas over”. They must have displaced some other force, that was not islamists, but has always been described as alqaida offshoot, islamists, salafis, and so on.

This must also be considered along with the fact that those “qualified with double quote” “secular” rebels, who were kidnapped were among the earliest to revolt, form coordination committees, and start some of the most creative peaceful and civil action campaigns against the hypocrite’s masters.

This is not a coincidence and one must be forced to conclude that this hypocrite, or better yet, conspirator, is one of those responsible for the massacres that have murdered real secular Syrians like Omar Aziz in torture dungeon.

Lack of any qualms about the torture, and active attempts to whitewash massacres has been the hallmark of the work of ugly characters one encounters here on this blog. Humanity will be baffled at their active role in supporting each and every murder and in whitewashing one of the greatest tragedies of modern ages.

Words like contempt and disgust will fall short in describing how a real human being should feel when the lies, deceptions, and active participation in the regime supporting gang here on SC in the murder of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

The tyrant will fall, but what will live in infamy, is the role of the regime gang on this blog in inciting and applauding the current wave of sectarian killing by the thugs, whether from the regime’s forces, the hezbulla drugged fanatics, or the lowest of the low of Iraqi society, as well as by those supporting them as a Trojan Horse, planted in liberated areas to return the rule of fear, and never really challenged by the regime or its sectarian friends. All so that a backward, stone-age foreign occupation can set its dark presence on the lives of Syrians and the region.

Flip flopping on their own declared principles, the masters of this group of thoughtless robotic propagandists has already given them the unethical code of conduct that provides mechanistic ways of mental gymnastics to navigate their way. The first chapter of it is all about double-speak, which brings us back to the non-existing, yet feared for “seculars” who started this revolution.

You have murdered people who are far far far better than you could ever dream of becoming. But that is the tragedy of life, a worthless germ like the fool you prop can cause an epidemic that kills millions. It goes without saying that while the germ does it thoughtlessly, you do it deliberately in in that you have deserved the curses of millions.

December 11th, 2013, 2:19 pm



This is why He is a well known writer and I am a mere hamster. Zakaria Tamer says in few words what will take me a book to say:

Zakaria Tamer

الأمر المهمل

أمر الله عباده المؤمنين بالتخلص من كل الطغاة حتى تستحق الحياة أن تعاش، ولكن ثمة خبثاء تظاهروا بالصمم، واستمروا في خدمة الطغاة، وحاربوا تحت راياتهم، بعضهم هلك، وبعضهم الآخر سيهلك، ولا نجاة له من الهلاك.

December 11th, 2013, 3:02 pm


zoo said:


Calm down…

December 11th, 2013, 3:21 pm


zoo said:

Syria: Saudi Loses Battle for Damascus


In anticipation of the Geneva II conference, which has been delayed until late-January 2014, the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition launched a series of campaigns against regime forces, but failed to make any gains on several fronts.

Over the past two months, Syrian opposition fighters backed by Saudi Arabia have been waging a number of military campaigns to the south and west of Damascus – including the strategic Qalamoun area that runs along the Lebanese border – as well as in Deraa and Aleppo, in an attempt to change the balance of power on the ground, ahead of the Geneva II conference.

Very little was achieved in the Deraa area near the Jordanian border in the country’s south, as regime forces seized the initiative and struck first, dealing a blow to opposition plans to launch an attack. At best, the armed groups could be said to have been making very slow progress on many of the Hauran Plain’s fronts.

In Aleppo, the opposition did make some gains by surrounding the city and taking some regime-controlled areas, before the Syrian army waged a successful counter-attack from the southwest, breaking the opposition’s siege and reclaiming vast stretches of territory and a number of strategic towns, like al-Sfaira.

December 11th, 2013, 3:25 pm


zoo said:

All of this does not mean that regime forces will be able to maintain control over the areas they wrested from the opposition, which in turn will continue to launch attacks in the area around the capital. But Syrian army and Hezbollah sources insist that Damascus is no longer in the danger zone, and the Saudi plan to shift the balance of forces on the ground in the opposition’s favor has ended in failure.

December 11th, 2013, 3:36 pm


zoo said:


Don’t distort what I wrote.

The FSA have no ideology of creating an Islamic State in Syria, while in majority they are believer moslems they are not considered ‘Islamists’ and as such they have been recognized and supported by the FOS.
The ‘islamists’ I refer to are Al Nusra, ISIL and the Islamic front (all supported either by the Saudi governement or private jihad-believers in the GCC and Arab countries)
The rebels areas, in particular Douma have been mostly under the control of the FSA.
They are now gradually been lost to the “islamists”.
The kidnapping of pro-FSA activists is a sign that the FSA is loosing control of the area.

December 11th, 2013, 3:46 pm


zoo said:

Is Turkey helping international jihadis head to Syria?


The US and European governments worry that Turkey is turning a blind eye to jihadis from their soil seeking to fight in Syria, and fear the consequences when these blooded fighters return home.

Western governments are expressing growing alarm at the rise of hard-line jihad groups in Syria and their recruitment of volunteers from Europe and the US, who could present a future security threat if and when the survivors return home.

This has put a spotlight on Turkey, a NATO ally that has sided against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, which shares a land border with Syria, has become a key transit route and staging area for antigovernment forces, including Al Qaeda-linked militants. Despite intensifying Western pressure, questions linger over Turkey’s willingness to crack down on these groups.

December 11th, 2013, 3:56 pm


zoo said:

Yassin Al Haj Saleh ·
7 hours ago ·

أتشكك في صحة هذا الكلام
ومن معرفتي المباشرة بالوضع في دوما أرى أن “جيش الإسلام”، ممثلا بقيادته، يتحمل كامل المسؤولية السياسية والمعنوية عن اختطاف سميرة ورزان ووائل وناظم.

“Her abduction is a setback for the civil movement,” says activist al-Achi, who is also a spokesperson for the Local Coordination Councils Zaitouneh helped found. “It signals a move toward complete radicalization and confrontation between two evil forces: the regime and the Islamic fanatics.” The only hope for her kidnapping, he says, is that widespread outrage over her abduction will push people to “marginalize, once and for all, all radicals.” In a Syria shadowed by war and ideological divisions, it’s a thin hope.


December 11th, 2013, 4:04 pm


Tara said:

For some one who never read Revolution writers, it is so damning that now out of nowhere, Saleh’s writings are I invoked.

Is there a headquarter that distribute materials to field agents?

You are too bright for this. Any hope for climbing up the ladder? Or is it that SC too important for Iran and Syria that we are already assigned higher ups and we just do not know?

December 11th, 2013, 4:48 pm


Mina said:

11 December 2013 Last updated at 20:37 GMT
US and UK suspend non-lethal aid for Syria rebels

December 11th, 2013, 4:50 pm


sami said:

It is disgusting to read Zoo’s faked care over Razan’s unfortunate circumstance. This is the same person that once called those that documented regime crimes as treason worth the moukhabarati dungeon.

Had the regime abducted her (which had happened before) this slime filled agent of death would be celebrating her capture and subsequent torture.

December 11th, 2013, 4:54 pm


ghufran said:

Joe Klein of The Time thinks Assad, who was number 4 on Time’s list, is a Michael and not a Freddo. Joe then says this:

Bashar Assad—the mild-mannered ophthalmologist turned Old Testament tyrant—has taught his neighbors an ancient lesson: that ­absolute, unrelenting brutality combined with geostrategic cleverness is the most likely way to retain power in the Middle East.

December 11th, 2013, 5:50 pm


habib said:

212. Tara

I don’t understand the logic. The ISIS and other Qaeda groups have killed more pro-regime people than the FSA ever did. The FSA invited them in, and never attacked them, even when they were attacked first. The FSA kept announcing that they were “brothers”.

Your conspiracy theory is pathetic wishful thinking, to wash your hands off the guilt.

December 11th, 2013, 5:53 pm



Can the pathetic regime propagandists liars point to a raid in Raqqa against the well known ISIS headquarters?, forget SCUD, or even clashes… the two avoid each others everywhere. ISIS does the regime’s biding and all know that. Except, it seems that farsnews and the handlers of the sectarian regime propagandists have not yet sent the talking points on that….

and look who is now criticizing conspiracy… it is not laughable any more. Simply disgusting and revolting….. ah, here is the word, revolting… may be if the regime had considered how revolting its behavior has been, and how revolting and disgusting its head is…. just may be, revolted people…. do what?… they revolt.

December 11th, 2013, 6:26 pm


habib said:


Lol, so tell me this:

Why did FSA invite al Qaeda in?

Why did FSA never attack al Qaeda first?

Why did FSA keep insisting they were brothers?

How come FSA criticised when the West labelled Nusra terrorists?

How come FSA is almost allying with the regime now to defeat al Qaeda?

Answer this, or shut up.

December 11th, 2013, 8:00 pm


don said:

Report: Top “moderate” U.S.-backed Syrian rebel general chased out of the country by “jihadis” [AL-QAEDA]

“He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters,” a senior U.S. official said. The U.S. is urging Gen. Idris, who left Syria for Turkey then Doha over the weekend, to return to Syria


So that explains that mysterious BuzzFeed report yesterday about the U.S. abruptly halting non-lethal aid to northern Syria. BF noted that jihadi rebels had overrun several Free Syrian Army installations near the Turkish border, including an HQ and some warehouses, but it wasn’t instantly clear why losing those facilitate would require suspending aid to the entire northern part of the country.

Now it’s clear. They weren’t just any buildings, they were the headquarters of the FSA’s top officer — and America’s man in Syria — Gen. Idris. The FSA has now deteriorated to the point where they can’t protect their commander on their own turf. Thus, presumably, ends the White House’s dream of building a “moderate” Sunni counterweight to the Nusra Front in Syria.

Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander supported by the West, was run out of his headquarters in northern Syria over the weekend and fled to Turkey and then Doha after Islamist fighters took over facilities run by Western-backed opposition, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

The Obama administration is still trying to determine the circumstances under which Islamist fighters in a group called the Islamic Front took over warehouses and offices belonged to the Supreme Military Council, or SMC, the moderate rebel umbrella group that coordinates U.S. aid distribution, officials said.

“He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters,” a senior U.S. official said.

The U.S. is urging Gen. Idris, who left Syria for Turkey then Doha over the weekend, to return to Syria, the officials said.

The U.S. has supplied him with only small arms so far, or so we’re told. I guess we’ll wait to see what goodies from the warehouse the jihadi rebels start parading around with on the inevitable cell-phone YouTube vids to come. If you’re unfamiliar with Gen. Idris, he’s the guy who’s name-checked in every soundbite from McCain as the man who could make Syria safe for democracy if only we’d give him the resources he needs to win. And if you’re expecting Maverick to back off from that now, think again: The beauty of his brand of super-interventionism is that setbacks can always be blamed on America’s failure to intervene more aggressively. The lesson here isn’t that IDRIS IS AN UNRELIABLE OR INCOMPETENT COMMANDER, overrun in his own HQ and then so reluctant to return that he needs the White House to beg him to come back. The lesson is that we should have armed him to the teeth ages ago, before jihadis began to dominate the rebel side. Whichever way you come out on that, though, the window for doing so now has clearly closed. Which means our choices in Syria at the moment are backing Al Qaeda or Mr. Assad.

December 11th, 2013, 9:28 pm


ziad said:

نجدت أنزور يطلق الثورة السورية لدى مثقفي العرب ضد السعودية

هكذا كتب “عبد الباري عطوان”

“الى الاشقاء في الخليج : اسمحوا لنا ان نتدخل في شؤونكم .. ولكن بالنقد البناء وليس بالمتفجرات والمدافع”

“الحكومات الخليجية لا تريد منا، او غيرنا، ان نتدخل في شؤونها، وهذا حقها، ولكنها تتدخل بالمال والسلاح في شؤون الكثير من الدول العربية، تتدخل في سوريا والعراق وتونس ومصر والسودان والجزائر، ويلعب اعلامها المهيمن دورا كبيرا في هذا المضمار، المقاتلون الخليجيون يقاتلون في سورية واليمن والعراق، والطائرات والقوات السعودية والقطرية والاماراتية حاربت في ليبيا وساعدت في اسقاط نظامها، جنبا الى جنب مع طائرات وسفن حلف الناتو والاموال الخليجية تقاتل في مصر حاليا الى جانب الاخوان تارة (قطر) وفي خندق النظام تارة اخرى (الامارات والسعودية والكويت)”

“كنا نعتقد مخطئين ان مشكلة دول الخليج الكبرى هي مع دول الجوار المتهمة باطماعها الجغرافية والسياسية، ولكننا اكتشفنا في الايام القليلة الماضية ان خلافاتها البينية لا تقل خطورة، وان محاولات الهيمنة الداخلية اكبر من نظيراتها الخارجية، مما دفع الدول الاصغر الى التمرد والعصيان”

“لا بد من “ثورات” داخلية سياسية وثقافية تزرع قيم العدالة والمساواة والتعايش والتكافل واحترام الآخر خليجيا كان ام عربيا ام اجنبيا، وثقافته ومذاهبه وعقيدته بعيدا عن الغطرسة والتعالي والفوقية البغيضة”

“المواطن الخليجي لم يعد مقتنعا بالرشوة المالية التي يمّن عليه الحاكم بها، فمفعولها يتبخر سريعا فالمواطن يدرك ان الحاكم يعطيه من ثروات البلاد وليس من ماله ويظل يطلب بالمزيد من المشاركة والشفافية، مضافا الى ذلك ان الفوارق الطبقية ما زالت ضخمة جدا في بعض البلدان، والمملكة العربية السعودية على وجه الخصوص حيث الثراء الفاحش والفقر المدقع، ويوازي كل هذا تخمة مالية لدى بعض الدول في المجلس (قطر السعودية والامارات والكويت) وعجوزات كبيرة في الميزانية في دول اخرى (البحرين وسلطنة عمان) تعاني من نسب البطالة المرتفعة، ونقص الاستثمارات، وتراجع الخدمات الاساسية، وفي ظل هذه التناقضات من الصعب وجود استقرار على المستويين القاعدة والقمة”

“نحن اذا تدخلنا فان تدخلنا في اطار النقد “غير المسلح” لتسليط الاضواء على السلبيات من اجل اصلاحها، من خلال مقالة او مقابلة تلفزيونية فتنفتح علينا وغيرنا من يشاطرنا الجرأة نفسها ابواب جهنم، بينما هم يتدخلون بالمدافع والصواريخ والاموال وكتائب قناتي “الجزيرة” و”العربية” وحواسيب خبرائها العسكريين ومفكريها السياسيين، ولا يجرؤ معظم الاعلام العربي الآخر الضعيف المتخلف على انتقادهم الا ما ندر، خوفا او استسلاما لعقدة “الكفيل””

شكراً عبد الباري عطوان

الى الصديق المبدع نجدت أنزور……

إن قتلوك يا نجدت لا سمح الله فيكفيك فخراً انك اطلقت شعلة الحرية ضد طاغوت الشيطان النفطي الوهابي السعودي…

عمار اسماعيل

December 11th, 2013, 10:27 pm


ghufran said:

Ridwan Ziadeh after pretending to be a western-type libertarian and trying to practice political Taqiyah came up with a little article that is more obnoxious than his metallic voice but very revealing. Let me treat the readers with pieces from it:

قديماً قالت العرب «الغزاة يجلبهم الطغاة «. ولا ينطبق هذا الوصف اليوم كما ينطبق على الدول العربية، خصوصاً العراق وليبيا وسورية، إذ تطرح علينا سورية اليوم السؤال ذاته الذي طرح مراراً وتكراراً مع العراق وليبيا وهو هل يمكن تغيير النظام من دون تفتيتٍ لأسس الدولة
Basically, he is justifying the invasion of Iraq and the war on Libya and saying that an invasion of Syria would have been expected too just because those countries had Tughaat (dictators), then he is hinting that it is OK to break states and destroy their institutions to change the ruling regime.
Ziadeh’s (called Zbaleh by some here) evil theory was repeated more than once on this site.

Then, if any of you had doubts about what Riddo really meant, he says this:
لم يحدث أن تمّ إسقاط أيّ من الأنظمة العربية المذكورة من دون عاملين:
أحدهما التدخّل الأجنبيّ وثانيهما تدمير مؤسسات الدّولة وبناها

Now, Ziadeh is ready to tell us why did the “revolution” start in the first place, yup, you guessed it, it is a revolution of the oppressed sunni against the alawite tyrants:
التركيبة الأمنية والعسكرية التي تحتكرها طائفة محددة ستولّد من دون أي شك طال الزمن أو قصر مقاومة تهدف إلى تصحيح هذا الخلل السياسي والاجتماعي، وهذا بالضبط ما يفسر سبب اندلاع الثورة السورية ويبررها
and now the grand finale where Riddo suggests that destroying the country and using violence was a necessary tool to fix the “imbalance” in Syria and give the majority their rightful place in the socio-military structure. notice how he infused the 5% figure in his lines:
بيد أن الأسد فشل في قراءة مغزى هذه التظاهرات بكل إصرارها وتحديها الذي لا مثيل له، ورفض أن يكون شريكاً للسوريين في تصحيح هذا الخلل الاجتماعي وهو أن 5 في المئة من السكان تتحكم بمصير شعب بأكلمه، وذلك بالوسائل السياسية والسلمية، فها هو يتصحح لكن بأسوأ الوسائل الممكنة وهو الخيار الذي استبعده السوريون ورفضوه، على رغم التضحيات الغالية التي دفعوها، لكن في النهاية أجبرهم الأسد على هذا الخيار، ومن خلاله يتم تصحيح هذا الخلل الاجتماعي، ووظيفتنا أن نقود هذا التصحيح بكل قوة ممكنة كي لا يقود إلى خلل آخر يدفع سورية إلى سنوات من الفشل والفوضى وعدم الاستقرار

Why did I bother to bring the writings of a guy I neither like nor respect? because he is widely seen by thawrajiyyeh as an author, a think tank (has a tank head for sure) and a Syrian Neocon who was accepted and helped by the likes of McCain and people who supported every war the GOP and NATO launched in the Middle East.
Mr. Ziadeh is a perfect example of a hateful and sectarian author-want-to-be hiding behind an academic degree. His piece has more holes than Swiss cheese but I do not doubt a bit that many people here will actually like it !!

December 11th, 2013, 10:39 pm


ziad said:

السعودية تخسر معركة ريف دمشـق

خلال الأسابيع الماضية، راهن الراعي السعودي للمعارضة السورية على «إنجازات» عسكرية تمكّنه من تحقيق توازن على الأرض، بعد التقدم الذي أحرزه الجيش السوري على أكثر من جبهة خلال الأشهر السابقة. في ريف دمشق، وتحديداً في الغوطة الشرقية والقلمون، نفّذ المقاتلون المعارضون عمليات كبيرة، سعت السعودية إلى قطف ثمارها السياسية في مؤتمر جنيف 2. في ما يأتي، رواية رسمية سورية ـــ تتقاطع مع أخرى عن لسان مصادر مقربة من حزب الله ـ لما جرى في الريف الدمشقي ونتائجه

حسن عليق

سياسياً، انتهت معركتا القلمون والغوطة الشرقية. على أعتاب مؤتمر جنيف 2. عجزت المعارضة عن إسقاط الجيش السوري بضربة قاضية في إحدى ساحات المعركة. كما انها لم تسجّل نقاطاً تُذكر في الدفتر السياسي المؤهِّل للمؤتمر السويسري.
خلال الشهرين الماضيين، راهنت المعارضة ومن خلفها السعودية، على ثلاث معارك رئيسية، لتحقيق «توازن ما» في المشهد الميداني السوري: معركة في درعا، لم تبدأ إذ عاجلها الجيش السوري بضربات منعتها ــ حتى الآن ــ من تحقيق أي تقدم يُذكر، ووضعها في حالة الدفاع عن النفس أو التقدم البطيء جداً على مختلف الجبهات الحورانية.


December 11th, 2013, 10:41 pm


ghufran said:

BEIRUT — The U.S. government said Wednesday that it has suspended delivery of nonlethal aid to Syria’s rebels because an Islamist group has taken control of the warehouses where the supplies were stored, a seizure that exposed the rapidly shrinking authority of the moderate opposition factions backed by the United States and its Western allies.

(UK took a similar step today. It is obvious now that the FSA only exists on paper and that almost all anti regime fighting forces in Syria are that of the Islamists including two groups on US terror list. you have the right to support or oppose the regime but supporting armed rebels today simply means supporting Islamists most of whom are certified terrorists according to the country you live in)

December 11th, 2013, 11:37 pm


don said:

Top “Rebel Commander” Flees Syria 😉 😀


As Islamist groups strengthen, the highest Western-backed rebel commander, Gen. Salim Idris of the Free Syrian Army, apparently fled to Turkey on Wednesday. His escape comes after the Islamic Front, a recent merger the largest Islamist groups excluding those with al Qaeda links, seized warehouses of military gear, offices, and a border crossing over the weekend. The move prompted the U.S. and Britain to immediately freeze nonlethal military aid to Syria. American officials are trying to coax him back to Syria and are holding direct talks with the Islamic Front before the Jan. 22 peace talks in Geneva.

December 11th, 2013, 11:48 pm



Make me shut up… tell dog-poop send a scud, want coordinates?

December 12th, 2013, 2:20 am


FlamesInTheDesert said:

203. Heads-up
Yeah right,the same arabs who cant even maintain their militaries without western help,who squander billions on weapons they dont need and cant use.I dont think any of the arabs would be so stupid as to attack iran,all they have to do is look at what happened to the last idiot who did that,you remember him dont you?,an iraqi thug by the name of saddam

December 12th, 2013, 2:28 am


Badr said:

This is a smart analysis by ShamiWitness, written a month ago.

Where Syria could be heading

“KSA policy circles are more divided …”

December 12th, 2013, 2:41 am



To English readers: Radwan Ziadeh’s words, this time without Ghufran’s forgery. Only paragraphs “explained” by the parrot are used herewith. Mainly to be fair to the now “explaining parrot”.

قديماً قالت العرب «الغزاة يجلبهم الطغاة «. ولا ينطبق هذا الوصف اليوم كما ينطبق على الدول العربية، خصوصاً العراق وليبيا وسورية، إذ تطرح علينا سورية اليوم السؤال ذاته الذي طرح مراراً وتكراراً مع العراق وليبيا وهو هل يمكن تغيير النظام من دون تفتيتٍ لأسس الدولة

Long ago, the arabs had a saying “Tyrants invite invaders”*. Today, this saying applies, quite well, to Arab states, especially Iraq, Libya and Syria. Syria today poses to us the question, which was repeatedly asked concerning Iraq and Libya: is possible to change the regime without dismantling the foundation of the state and its institutions?

لم يحدث أن تمّ إسقاط أيّ من الأنظمة العربية المذكورة من دون عاملين:
أحدهما التدخّل الأجنبيّ وثانيهما تدمير مؤسسات الدّولة وبناها

Non of the Arab regimes mentioned above fell without two factors, one is foreign intervention, and the second is the destruction of the state’s institutions

التركيبة الأمنية والعسكرية التي تحتكرها طائفة محددة ستولّد من دون أي شك طال الزمن أو قصر مقاومة تهدف إلى تصحيح هذا الخلل السياسي
والاجتماعي، وهذا بالضبط ما يفسر سبب اندلاع الثورة السورية ويبررها

The security and military apparatus, when monopolized by a single sect will undoubtedly cause resistance that aims to correct this social and political malfunction. And this clearly explains the reason for the Syrian revolution and justifies it.

يد أن الأسد فشل في قراءة مغزى هذه التظاهرات بكل إصرارها وتحديها الذي لا مثيل له، ورفض أن يكون شريكاً للسوريين في تصحيح هذا الخلل الاجتماعي وهو أن 5 في المئة من السكان تتحكم بمصير شعب بأكلمه، وذلك بالوسائل السياسية والسلمية، فها هو يتصحح لكن بأسوأ الوسائل الممكنة وهو الخيار الذي استبعده السوريون ورفضوه، على رغم التضحيات الغالية التي دفعوها، لكن في النهاية أجبرهم الأسد على هذا الخيار، ومن خلاله يتم تصحيح هذا الخلل الاجتماعي، ووظيفتنا أن نقود هذا التصحيح بكل قوة ممكنة كي لا يقود إلى خلل آخر يدفع سورية إلى سنوات من الفشل والفوضى وعدم الاستقرار

But Assad failed to read the meaning of these demonstrations with all of their unparalleled determination, and he refused to be a partner with Syrians in correcting this social and political dysfunction (5% of the population controls the destiny of an entire peoples) using peaceful political means. Now it seems that the imbalance is being corrected, but with the worst possible means, a choice initially disliked and rejected by Syrians. Despite of all the precious sacrifices they have given, Assad in the end forced them (Syrians) to that choice to correct the social imbalance. Our job is to lead this correction, forcefully so that it does not lead to yet another dysfunction that will push Syria into years of failure, chaos, and instability.

* My preferred choice would be to say (Tyranny invites invasion)

December 12th, 2013, 2:42 am


Syrialover said:

235. HABIB

Some hot questions for you:

Why did Assad facilitate al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria?

Why did Assad never do anything about al Qaeda when they were first allegedly a threat in Syria? (ie those fake Damascus bombings)

Why did Assad so obsessively promote and exaggerate – and encourage – the idea of al Quaeda’s involvement?

How come Assad labelled everyone opposing him as al Qaeda?

How come the regime is almost allying with al Qaeda to crush and terrorize and destroy Syria?

How come there are so many, many things that connect the regime with the arrival and spread of al Qaeda in the Syrian conflict?

Answer the above, or shut up.

December 12th, 2013, 2:44 am



This Syriacomment is the real image of today´s Syria:

All the old guard regime supporters, some for money and others for lack of political education, supporting the regime atrocities while two or three heroes remain defending the cause of the people of Syria.

December 12th, 2013, 2:48 am


Syrialover said:


And please answer this:

Does Assad genuinely give a **** about what ordinary Syrians, including regime supporters, suffer at the hands of al Qaeda?

Is al Qaeda’s presence a cheap price to pay for the great triumph of being able to spin the lie that all opposing the regime are supporters and members of al Qaeda?

How useful are al Qaeda as a tool to assist Assad’s glorious project of punishing Syrians and burning their country?

How helpful is al Qaeda’s presence for Iran’s agenda and as bait to lure in Shia militia on Assad’s side?

HABIB, I will take your silence as a sign you know too much about the real answers to want the subject discussed.

December 12th, 2013, 3:14 am



Once more, Zakaria Tamer shines with his brevity.

Zakaria Tamer
إلى المتسائلين عن شعبنا :

شعبنا بخير، فحاكمه مجنون، وزوجته بلهاء حمقاء، وأعوانه قتلة ولصوص، ولا ينقص شعبنا غير الخيام والأكفان والحفر العميقة.

December 12th, 2013, 3:18 am


Syrialover said:

Special one for ZIAD,

An image of Bashar Assad’s sole mark on the history of Syria. How he’ll be remembered:


Question: Has any outside invader in the past ever hated Syrians so much or wanted to destroy the country more than the Assads?

December 12th, 2013, 3:46 am


Hopeful said:

#250 SL

In his interviews, Dr. Assad compared “fighting terrorism” to performing surgeries. Clearly, Dr. Assad believes that to treat a patient with a heart problem, a doctor must remove the heart completely.

This is his solution for Syria. Kill the patient.

December 12th, 2013, 6:48 am


habib said:

247. Syrialover

Pfff, I will not answer anything until you answer mine first, that would be the logical sequence of events, since I asked first. Common courtesy, which is apparently an unknown to practicers of Saudism.

Not that I don’t have answers to all your questions, You guys are delusional.

December 12th, 2013, 7:29 am




Very good picture. This is the real Assad Regime:

¨Assad or Nothing¨

This is what happens when you are ready to destroy others and ready to die for this negation of the other.

At the end they will get ¨Nothing¨.

Frankly speaking the mixture of ARAB and ISLAM is a traumatic one. And Assad is the most stupid and dark example of this.

December 12th, 2013, 7:57 am


don said:

Quebec car plates found in Syrian bunker


Canada’s intelligence agency has a theory about how three Quebec license plates may have ended up in the underground bomb-making bunker of jihadist rebels in Syria.

The plates can be seen in a video believed to have been shot a few weeks ago in the Homs area of Syria.

December 12th, 2013, 9:04 am


zoo said:

Funny, he’ s never been in Syria except for short visits.
U.S. Suspends Aid to Syrian Rebels


The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that FSA commander Salim Idriss has fled the country, yet another sign of the group’s waning power.

December 12th, 2013, 9:17 am


zoo said:

The FSA is paying dearly for its association with Al Nusra and other criminals.
If you ask “revolutionaries”, they will tell you they did that because the foreign countries they were counting on to do what they did in Libya, couldn’t or simply did not want.

Taking arms was a fatal mistake. If you ask the ‘revolutionaries’ they will tell you that the rebels had no choice in order to ‘protect’ the civilians from the “attacks” of the Syrian security forces and the Army which, to their surprise have remained mostly loyal to the government. In addition, the large cities refused to go on strike and participate to civil desobedience. The public support for the revolution was far from assured.

The choices were then to either voluntary stop the demonstrations as it happened in Iran recently when death toll became high and try to work out with Syria’s closest allies ( Russia and Iran) to force a political dialog, or escalate the confrontation hoping that if there were more death and violence, the West, usually so “keen” on human rights, would be forced to intervene.
It is far from certain that pressure on Syria from Iran and Russia would have significantly changed the Syrian government, but nevertheless Russia was so keen to avoid a military confrontation that they would have used their influence on the Syrian government to favor a dialog, imperfect probably but still a way out of violence.
Probably following Russia’ advice the Syrian government gave a preliminary sign that it was ready for a change by changing the Constitution to abolish the single party system
It was worth trying to avoid bloodshed , but unfortunately the “decision makers” were the SNC, mostly Moslem Brotherhood sympathizers created and dominated by Turkey and Qatar. These countries have been able to convince the West that the Syrian “regime’ would be easily replaced by a Moslem Brotherhood ‘moderate’ government they could control in the future.
They were not ready for any compromise, sure that they were to “topple” Bashar Al Assad. They dismissed the Constitution change as a ‘laughable’ as a sign of weakness

The result is that there were more death and destruction and the West, obviously worried to get involved in a quagmire, did not intervene militarily.
The Moslem Brotherhood lost their credibility in Egypt and the SNC ‘decision makers’ were left to in the cold. They turned to a new bellicose supporter with a much more dubious agenda, Saudi Arabia

That was the green light to welcome more of the ‘Islamist helpers’ who became the guest of the rebels, paid by Saudis and now are trying to destroy the FSA and take the ownership of Syria.

The FSA may be living its last days.

December 12th, 2013, 10:08 am


don said:

Syria: Bishop calls for kidnapped Sisters to be released


A passionate appeal for the release of 12 religious Sisters kidnapped in Syria has been made by a bishop from a country torn apart by violence and persecution. Syria’s Bishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs and Hama said that he was “very sad” about the abduction of the Sisters from the Convent of St Tekla in Maalaoula, a largely Christian town north of Damascus.

Speaking in an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Syriac Orthodox Bishop Alnemeh said that he had not heard from the Sisters since their disappearance 10 days ago but believed they are now being held in Yabrud, 12 miles from Maaloula.

The bishop said: “I demand the immediate release of the nuns, who have done no harm to anyone. We’ve reached the point where even nuns are being abducted. What have they done wrong? It’s a crime. The abductors want to demonstrate that they know no mercy.”

The bishop stressed the injustice of the abduction, saying the Greek Orthodox Sisters were not involved in politics.

He said: “The Sisters were neither on the side of the regime nor on that of the opposition. In the convent they took in war refugees without regard for their religion, including Muslims.”

Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for the release of the Sisters who were abducted from their monastery on Monday 2 December by armed men.

In another Aid to the Church in Need interview on Wednesday 11 December, Damascus-based Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch also appealed for the release of the Sisters, saying that they should be returned without delay to the care of Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X of Antioch.

Both Patriarch Gregorios and Bishop Alnemeh said that there was still no further news of the whereabouts of Patriarch John X’s brother, Archbishop Paul Yazigi, and Archbishop John Ibrahim, both abducted in April 2013 while returning to Aleppo.

Unable to confirm or deny conflicting reports of the bishops being in Syria or Turkey, Bishop Alnemeh said: “To date it has not been possible to confirm any of the information about where they are being held.” Nor could he comment on other reports that one of the archbishops had died in captivity.

Bishop Alnemeh stressed how Christians had been particularly affected by the conflict, stating this in his episcopal city of Homs alone, 3,000 Christians had died, a further 100,000 had been forced to flee and a number of churches had been destroyed.

December 12th, 2013, 11:24 am


don said:

Exposed: Qatar trains death warriors for Syria war


It is no longer a closed book to anyone that Qatar is playing a vital role in stoking up the chaos which is tearing Syria apart.

Informed sources have recently exposed that in the heart of Doha stand centers for training assassins of different nationalities who are dispatched to Syria to fight against the government of Bashar al-Assad. These would-be assassins are subjected to heavy military training as well as Wahhabi teachings.

In point of fact, Qatari elements have ratcheted up their activities in several countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Chechnya and embarked on an intensive recruitment of ready-to-combat warriors. Recruitment is conducted covertly by front organizations working under the banner of job centers for foreign workers.

The truth is that Qatar State Security eyes impoverished countries as good markets for death warriors. To the Qataris, Wahhabi teachings are first priority. After recruitment, these people are transferred to training centers in Doha on a weekly basis and subjected to military training and ideological indoctrination under the supervision of Qatari Special Forces.

Established in June 2004 through a merger of the former General Intelligence Service (mukhabarat) and the Investigation and State Security Service (mubahith), Qatar State Security is tasked with supervision of these centers and works in close cooperation with officers who used to be part of Saddam Hussein’s Baath army. The trained warriors are then infiltrated into the Syrian soil through Libya, Turkey and Jordan.

Between January 3, 2012 and April 2013, Qatari military planes have carried out 90 flights to Libya, Turkey and Jordan and transferred the trained warriors to Syria through these countries.

It should be noted that Qatar has long been fighting a proxy war in Syria and thanks to her indefatigable efforts Syria has sunk into dereliction and shambles in terms of infrastructure.

The tiny, oil- and gas-rich emirate has been shipping arms to the Syrian rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011.

Intelligence experts claim that since the beginning of 2011, Qatar has used a shadowy arms network to move at least two shipments of shoulder-fired missiles to the militants in Syria and that they have used them against Assad’s air force.

According to western officials, the missiles were provided by Qatar, which bought them from an unknown seller and brought them to Turkey.

It is not yet quite clear what intentions the tiny emirate harbors in mind in lavishing petrodollars and the wealth of the Arab nation on a handful of brainwashed militants fighting in Syria and what benefits she shall reap in the long run. Yet, what matters greatly at this juncture in time is that a nation is being torn apart, a population displaced and a people deprived of basic rights on account of foreign intervention in the country.

In September, a large number of the militants in the province of Aleppo in Syria received a one-off payment of $150 courtesy of Qatar. Sources close to the Qatari government say Qatar has so far spent over USD 3bn.

By way of supporting this strategically ill favored move which has led to the death of thousands of people in Syria, Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, has made an unpersuasive statement in this regard, saying, “As there is no clear international opinion to end the crisis in Syria… we are supporting the opposition with whatever it needs, even if it takes up arms for self-defense.”

Qatar has serenaded herself up the global stage of politics through befriending and flirting with Washington while at the same, time, she finances terrorism in Syria and across the world and blocks all possible access to freedom of speech in the country.

These facts aside, there are some points here which deserve due attention:

Why should Qatar be so interested in the fate of a country which can by no means pose a threat to its existence? Why does she have no reservations that her money and weapons are being passed into the hands of Takfiri groups such as the al-Nusra Brigade which is known by all and sundry to be an affiliation of al-Qaeda?

December 12th, 2013, 12:08 pm


don said:

Islamists [NATO’s DEATH SQUADS] kill 15 Alawite and Druze civilians in Syria -activists


Islamist rebels killed at least 15 civilians from the minority Alawite and Druze sects in the central Syrian city of Adra on Wednesday and Thursday, the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Witnesses, activists and Syrian state media accused the Islamic Front, an alliance of several large rebel groups, and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front of carrying out the attacks.

One woman in Adra, who said she was too frightened to say what religious minority she was from, told Reuters armed men from the Islamic Front and the Nusra Front entered her family’s house around 3 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Thursday and took her son.

Adra, about 20 km (12 miles) northeast of Damascus, has a population of about 100,000 including Alawites, Druze, Christians and Sunni Muslims.

Activists on social media said some residents had fled the city while others were hiding in their basements.

Several blamed the Army of Islam, an Islamic Front member group led by Zahran Alloush, and some put the death toll as high as 40, but these reports could not be independently verified.

“Zahran Alloush has committed a massacre,” one activist based in the Damascus suburbs told Reuters.

State news agency SANA said the army was sending troops to “restore security” in the city.

“Terrorist groups belonging to the Nusra Front infiltrated the residential area of Adra in the suburbs of Damascus and attacked residents in their homes,” it said, using its term for rebels fighting against Assad.

December 12th, 2013, 1:15 pm


don said:

Saudi-back jihadists [DEATH SQUADS] attack U.S. ally

Western-supplied weapons seized, general flees country


BEIRUT, Lebanon – In a major setback to U.S. support of the Syrian rebels, the commander of the Free Syrian Army fled Syria after members of the newly created, Saudi-backed coalition of Islamic fighters attacked his compound and seized nearly all of his Western-supplied weapons.

Brig. Gen. Salim Idris, chief of the staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, reportedly is in Doha, Qatar, after fleeing his compound in the attack by the Islamic Front and escaping across the border to Turkey.

The Syrian National Coalition, the political entity that backs the Free Syria Army, is based in Doha. Idris’ compound is in Bab al-Tawa in Syria, near the border with Turkey.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan has asked the U.S. to support and train the coalition.

However, the Islamic Front’s recently published charter states that its aim is to establish an Islamic state in Syria with the implementation of Islamic law, or Shariah.

The Islamic Front is firmly against secularism or any human legislation, believing that laws come only from Allah. It would make any non-Muslims in Syria, particularly Christians and other minorities, second-class citizens.

Serious concerns

Along with the Saudis, the Islamic Front has the backing of other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.

The Sunni Gulf Arab states have put up some $6 billion in financing to bring down the government Assad, a Shiite Alawite supported by Shiite Iran.

The Gulf Arab countries want the U.S. to provide training and arms and to facilitate the movements of the fighters.

However, the attack has raised serious concerns in Washington and among other Western nations that have been providing supplies to the Free Syrian Army. The supplies now have been suspended.

The attack by the Islamic Front also suggests that even the Saudis don’t have control over the Islamic fighters who come from many parts of the Middle East, Central Asia, the Caucasus and North Africa.

Bandar has declared an all-out war with Iran using the foreign fighters to establish caliphates throughout the Middle East.

Bandar’s actions also have raised the ire of the Russians, who are concerned that many of the thousands of Sunni Chechens now gaining war experience in Syria will return to launch attacks in Russia.

Among the Islamic groups joining the Gulf Arab state-backed coalition is the Liwa al-Tawhid, the Salafist group Ahrar al-Sham, Suqour al-Sham, al Haq Brigades, Ansar al-Sham, the Islamic Army and the Kurdish Islamic Front.

The U.S. has not designated any of the groups as terrorist organizations, prompting an Israeli official to argue at a meeting in Washington last week of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, that there is nothing stopping U.S. funding and support for them, according to international lawyer and Middle East expert Franklin Lamb.

Lamb identified the Israeli official as Yossie Cohen, Israel’s new national security adviser.

Cohen reportedly assured congressional leaders that tens of thousands of rebels making up the Islamic Front will support “one policy and one military command.”

He also claimed that the new Islamic Front group is not as “insane” as other Muslim militia groups such as Daash, Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the ISIL.

“Reportedly, the objective will link the fight in the north with that in the south in a manner that will stretch loyalist forces; and the Saudi-Israel team is also asking the Obama administration to more than double the monthly ‘graduation class’ of CIA-trained rebels in Turkey, Syria and Jordan from its current level of 200 per month, up to 500 a month,” Lamb said.

The argument used by Cohen and the Saudis is that the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost some $6 trillion. The $6 billion applied to the effort to topple Assad will be worth the cost, they say, and they will worry about the rise of al-Qaida later.

“Ironically, these are some of the same voices from AIPAC’s congressional team who four years ago were claiming that al-Qaida was ‘on the ropes and will soon collapse,’” Lamb said in an article in Counterpunch magazine. “Yet, they are optimistic that if Assad goes, ‘we can deal with the terrorists, and it won’t cost $6 trillion.’”

December 12th, 2013, 1:29 pm


Syrialover said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER, that’s excellent observation and insights in #221.


There is another shocking and slimy phenomena emerging from under rocks.

They are “closet shabiha”, Shia intellectuals throughout the west who are busily milking the Syrian situation for opportunities to spread contempt and suspicion of Sunnis.

They are careful not to be strident or centre stage, but once you notice them you become aware of the game going on.

They wear a false civilized face to their non-Muslim friends, colleagues and other audiences that conceals a primitive racism and sectarian hatred.

They are smiling and nodding and looking “concerned” about Syria while hiding their hatred in their pants, waiting for safe chances to shit slyly on Sunnis.

You will spot some of them for example, in the way they give air space to pseudo journalist/academic Sharmine Narwani on their blogs and twitters. Or pick them in the distorted “opinion pieces” they contribute to mainstream media and as panellists in debates.

Because these people have a choice and access to the truth, they are more contemptible and morally filthier than the crudest thugs in Assad’s militia.

With no personal dog in the Syrian fight, they are exploiting it as an opportunity to promote their ugly private sectarian agendas.

Look and you’ll start noticing them. You’ll realise some have briefed and influenced western authors of lead items here on SC.

December 12th, 2013, 1:46 pm


Uzair8 said:

More bad news for the regimists. This time coming from the horses mouth on a hardcore regimist site Iran Military Forum:

Yesterday a user posted (presumably initially referring to Hezbo):

Ambushing Israeli tanks in your own backyard is not comparable to fighting a guerrilla war on foreign soil. I hope you realize this.

What astonishes me throughout all 550+ pages of this thread is that literally every scenario is somehow turned into a victory for Assad, Hezbollah and Iran. Two years of imminent victory, yet, here we are… still hoping the capital will be secured.

A poster responds:

Actually moral{e} is pretty important thing in times like this. Little moral{e} boost is quite welcome. Most of people here believe in final victory and thats what really counts!

Another user responds to the previous quote, a prime example of picking a ‘positive’ out of any scenario (their own Vietnam):

The real threat to the Zionists is Hezbollah’s new-found ability to project power beyond Lebanon…

The original poster responds to the previous quote (morale):

I don’t agree. If our our moral{e} requires a quick and easy victory then we’re already lost. True sign of strength is to acknowledge ones shortcomings and still carry on…

Finally there was also this, from the same page (yesterday):

Now asadists give up Adra industrial zone to nusra and there is slaughtery. I think this so called war is purposed to weaken Hezbollah. How we can prevent syrian regime to not giving up captured towns again to rats?

December 12th, 2013, 1:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

It seems Shabeeha have become proficient in propaganda:

Assad (Rocky) Vs PM Erdogan


It’s actually laughable, ridiculous.

December 12th, 2013, 2:00 pm


Syrialover said:

HABIB #254, you didn’t ask questions in #235, you stated shallow propaganda and lies.

And my questions to you in #248 and #250 are a response to that which has made you uncomfortable and run for cover.

I know the truth about the regime and al Qaeda and so do you. It will all come out in Assad’s war crimes trial and other well-documented and verifiable sources.

December 12th, 2013, 2:05 pm


Uzair8 said:

The Menhabek/Shabeeha anthem. In the tune of Sam Cooke’s classic – Wonderful World:

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much ideology
Don’t know much about the Baath Party
Don’t know much about Sunni-Alawi

Don’t know much about free-ee-dom
Don’t know much about democracy
Don’t know much about civility
Don’t know much about anything

But I do know that I Love You
And I know that if the rebels loved you too
What a wonderful world this would be

December 12th, 2013, 2:13 pm


zoo said:

Tu’mah gives very confusing ‘clarifications’ about the lenght of time Bashar al Assad will be allowed to stay in power

Tu’mah on Geneva II
Asharq Al-Awsat speaks with Syrian interim government Prime Minister Ahmed Tu’mah about recent developments on the ground in Syria and the upcoming Geneva II peace conference.


Q: Can you clarify this point? What is important to you is the process of forming this new transitional body and installing it with executive powers, whether Assad is in office or not. Is that correct?

No, we will not accept Assad’s remaining in power for even one moment after the governmental body is formed, but we are obliged to enter into negotiations before this. If we come to agreements within two to three months, what is left of Assad’s government will fall over time. His term ends by June 2014. If we reach an agreement within three months, he will be forced to relinquish the presidency after two, in the sense that we will not allow him to remain, even if only as a figurehead until the end of his term. It is an issue of when to agree the formation of the transitional government.

Q: Have you reached an understanding on this point with Western powers? We heard from European diplomats that if powers were properly transferred to the transitional government then there is nothing wrong with Assad remaining through to the end of his term, albeit without any real power.

They did not discuss that with us, and we will not allow Assad to remain in power after the new government is formed. The international community has not discussed many of the details with us, so we still have many concerns and fears. We want to hash out the minute details so that we can fully understand what is going out and put to rest the fears held by a large number of our Coalition members. This is our right.

December 12th, 2013, 2:19 pm


Uzair8 said:

Why hasn’t a Gulf Prince put a bounty on Assad’s head? It could tempt a shabeeha.

Perhaps we can start a collection. I don’t suppose it would take much to tempt a shabeeh.

December 12th, 2013, 2:22 pm


habib said:

266. Syrialover

Lol, the fact that you can’t answer the questions gives your shame away.

Anyhow, in other news, Saudia did 9/11:


Hopefully the world will soon gang up on Saudia and Zionistan and rid us of their symbiotic scourge.

December 12th, 2013, 2:26 pm


zoo said:

Brahimi sets deadline for naming Syrian delegations to peace talks
December 12, 2013 08:30 PM

GENEVA: International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has given Syria’s warring sides until Dec. 27 to name their delegations to planned peace negotiations next month, officials said on Thursday.

This is unlikely to present a problem to Assad’s government, but his opponents are deeply divided and in disarray.

“The biggest challenge is the opposition delegation. There is still no agreement,” an Arab diplomat said.

General Salim Idriss, head of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, said on Nov. 26 that his group would shun the peace conference and pursue its fight to topple Assad regardless.

The Syrian National Coalition opposition group, which also has Western support but minimal influence over fighters on the ground, has said it is ready to attend, but demands that Assad play no role in the proposed transitional government.

“With every day that passes the opposition is getting more fractured,” said a Western diplomat. “We have to make sure they turn up and they are united. That is the biggest challenge.”

Experts from the United Nations and Western allies are helping prepare opposition representatives for tough negotiations. “The Swiss are doing it, the Americans too. They are training them in negotiating skills,” said one source.

The Western diplomat said: “They need a lot of work, they have to be ready to come to the table, be ready to speak, have a communications strategy and understand the negotiating process.”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-12/240883-brahimi-sets-deadline-for-naming-syrian-delegations-to-peace-talks.ashx#ixzz2nI7WU7EU

December 12th, 2013, 2:40 pm


zoo said:

@263 Syria lover

I am always amazed at your brilliant psychological analysis of people’s commenting on SC, their profile, their motivation etc..
It seems that that’s what you enjoy doing most on this Blog.

I wonder why you don’t expand your horizon and let the SNC and and the rebels benefits from your talents. They badly need someone like you.

December 12th, 2013, 2:47 pm


zoo said:


It seems that like the USA and the West have fallen into Qatar-Turkey’s trap in supporting the “moderate” Moslem Brotherhood with the debacle we know, they will fall again into Saudi’s trap to put all their hopes in the Islamic front to fight and annihilate real jihadists ( Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIL) without the need of the Syrian Army.
Yet, if the Islamic Front (IF) makes the slightest move that shows that its goal is not only to create a Syrian Sunni Islamic State similar to Saudi Arabia minus the royal family that the West could tolerate, but also the destruction of Israel, then it will be dumped immediately.
The Saudi have been brainwashing the IF so they don’t make public statements that could antagonize the West.
Let’s see how long the IF will be able keep its agenda hidden.

In the meantime we are watching the annihilation of the only “secular” group of rebels, the FSA.

December 12th, 2013, 3:06 pm



Even master “asad is popular” propagandist Otrakji could not whitewash narwani’s rotten reputation. She is bad news, very much like the witch Agnes the crow.

December 12th, 2013, 3:26 pm


zoo said:


ENOUGH! Stop spreading these filthy LIES!

“This is the same person that once called those that documented regime crimes as treason worth the moukhabarati dungeon

Please show me when I said that. You and some others are experts in distorting what people who disagree with you would write.
You were blinded by hatred and bitterness. Now you add to it the frustration in front of events that do not fit your revengeful expectations.
You never stopped acting as a negative force that only distort, insult, accuses and contribute to nothing.

December 12th, 2013, 3:33 pm



Garbage attracts garbage about dog-poop racist supporters in the west.

Did you hear zouzou shouting, in capitals…..are you scared?

December 12th, 2013, 3:50 pm


zoo said:

An excellent and exhaustive analysis of the USA’s shifting strategy in the Middle-East with Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel in focus.

Obama’s Syria Strategy at a Crossroads
December 12, 2013

Exclusive: The Islamic Front’s capture of a U.S.-stocked supply depot in northern Syria prompted a suspension of those shipments to “moderate” Syrian rebels. The incident also drove home how Islamists are gaining ground — and why President Obama may shift U.S. strategy, writes Robert Parry.

A major turning point came last summer when Obama was nearly stampeded into a military assault on Syria over a murky chemical weapons incident outside Damascus on Aug. 21. The Israelis, the neocons and many liberal interventionists (including some of Obama’s top aides) jumped to the conclusion that Assad’s regime was to blame for the attack. Obama weighed the possibility of a limited military reprisal.

But some U.S. intelligence analysts had serious doubts about who caused the deaths from sarin gas and they refused to sign on to an intelligence estimate that rushed to the Assad-did-it judgment. At the last minute, even as many White House aides expected U.S. missiles to start flying, Obama abruptly reversed course and began looking for a diplomatic way out. He was helped by the Russians who persuaded Assad to destroy his chemical arsenal even as he continued denying blame for the Aug. 21 attack.

That turnaround on attacking Syria was followed by an interim agreement with Iran to constrain its nuclear program — and now a plan for Syrian peace talks. Suddenly, it seemed like cooler heads might prevail. But Saudi Arabia, particularly its energetic intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and Israel, at least as personified by Prime Minister Netanyahu, won’t give up on their determination to shatter the Shiite Crescent.

Yet, it is becoming harder and harder to sell the American people on why they should spend billions and billions of dollars more and send more of their young men and women off to kill and be killed because of some Islamic sectarian struggle that dates back 1,400 years – or because some Israeli leaders want to continue a violent strategy of “regime change.”

December 12th, 2013, 3:55 pm


Uzair8 said:

Just watched a video posted on AJE Syria Blog earlier today. Decided to watch it on youtube and found it was from April this year. I watched it anyway. Interesting. Tells the story of the ‘Military Committee’, Jadid, Assad and co and the latters rise to power.

Al Jazeera World – Syria: The Reckoning – Episode 1


Part 2 is also available. I’m gonna watch that another time.

December 12th, 2013, 3:58 pm


zoo said:

Obama’s Syria Strategy at a Crossroads
December 12, 2013

By Robert Parry


December 12th, 2013, 4:13 pm


habib said:

278. Uzair8

Funny, I guess the ever irrelevant al Jazeera never made a “documentary” about how their own (former) ruler came to power, by betraying his very own father?

What a hive of scum and villainy. Your bestest of friends!

December 12th, 2013, 4:15 pm


zoo said:

The FSA explanation for the events on the Turkish border: We willingly invited the Islamic Front to take over our stock of weapons and… kick us out

Syrian opposition seeks Islamists’ protection

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT: Syria’s Western-backed opposition said on Thursday its military arm had invited Islamist fighters to secure its weapons depots on the Turkish frontier after an attack by al Qaeda militants.

The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria after reports that Islamic Front forces had taken buildings belonging to the coalition’s Syrian Military Council (SMC) in Bab al-Hawa on the border with Turkey.

But the opposition Syrian National Coalition said the SMC had in fact asked the Islamic Front, a union of six major rebel groups, to defend the premises against fighters from the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“The SMC warehouses were overrun by ISIL … As a result of that, ( SMC leader) General Salim Idris sent a request to the Islamic Front to protect these warehouses,” coalition spokesman Khaled Saleh said in Istanbul.

“The Islamic Front came in and managed to push ISIL back and they are waiting for General Idris’s group to come and take control of their warehouses,” he said.

A media officer in the coalition said that after taking control of the two warehouses, the Islamic Front had given Idris an inventory of their contents. One warehouse was reportedly empty and the other contained ammunition and paramilitary equipment.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-12/240863-syrian-opposition-seeks-islamists-protection-against-al-qaeda.ashx#ixzz2nIW8ADpH
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 12th, 2013, 4:20 pm


Syrialover said:


Those “closet shabiha” intellectuals (#263) know we what we know about Sharmine Narwani, but they still smoothly present her stuff as part of their “we need to know both sides” act.

That’s how intellectually bankrupt, smelly and shallow their anti-Sunni, contempt-for-Syrians closet is.

Here’s an appalling example of their work behind the scenes. Seymour Hersh, a Pulitzer prize winning American “reporter” has been working on Assad’s behalf for years, out of stupidity or crude anti-Sunni prejudice it doesn’t matter.

Integrity-free Hersh has lazily swallowed the bait and been reeled in and manipulated by these urbane, “respectable intellectuals”, relaying their agendas and not checking facts:


December 12th, 2013, 4:21 pm


Uzair8 said:

Seems the same pattern repeats itself. Iran/Hezbo capture territory at considerable cost, hand it over to the regime, only for it to lose the area to rebels again, leaving Hezbo very p’d off over sacrificing for nothing.

In a previous comment I shared a post from Iran Military Forum complaining about the regime losing Arda industrial zone. Didn’t know where that was.

I’ve just seen this post on Yalla Souriya posted about 20min ago:

Incredible Rebels’ victory today in Northern Adra, Eastern Ghouta. Huge Area taken by rebels [Wikimap link] #Syria #Damascus #FSA

December 12th, 2013, 4:23 pm


Uzair8 said:

280. Habib

RE: Former ruler.

You mean the one who shocked the world by prematurely stepping down from power. In this day and age in some people’s eyes that could qualify him as the successor to Nelson Mandela.

PS Compared to Assad anyway

December 12th, 2013, 4:32 pm



Sy hersh was debunked easily, and the only thing habeeb could do is to link to well known cesspool to pipe a made-up sex story to debunk those who ridiculed hersh rather easily.

using narwani’s crap dumps will come back to haunt these bozos. I am watching with delight as she jacks up her shrill, and get evermore unhinged. Very much like the regimists on this blog.

Come the day where assad and gang are thrown under the bus, these characters will naturally claim huge victory, very much like the victory claimed by those who surrendered chemical weapons and later nuclear ones.

December 12th, 2013, 4:38 pm


Syrialover said:

ZOO has helpfully provided another example of an easy catch by the closet shabiha with his multiple posting of an article by Robert Parry (#277 and #279).

Parry is a tired old blame-America-first conspiracy theorist.

Read what he’s written and you’ll see the classic template of the Assad line, including suggesting that the rebels were responsible for the chemical weapons attack, that the the conflict in Syria is a Sunni-driven sectarian stoush and that all Syrians not aligned with Assad are terrorist-oriented.

And, the wettest wet dream of the lot, that America is going to be forced to give in and humbly hold hands with Assad to “fight al Qaeda” in Syria.

Hersh was easy prey because of his eager specialty of suggesting all Sunni Arabs are aligned with al-Qaeda. Parry is a willing pawn because of his “job” and niche reputation built on attacking his own country.

Both of them are examples of shameless fools who will choose to swallow and regurgitate a bucketful of dirty Assadist slop because some of it happens to serve their own extreme agendas.

They are a cheap harvest for those I described in #263. I suspect if anyone wanted to identify “closet shabiha” pushing the Shia cause they will find some listed as sources in Hersh and Parry’s writings.

December 12th, 2013, 5:07 pm


Uzair8 said:


You mean when his father wasn’t well and he had to , I’m sure reluctantly, carry out what I term a ‘Compassionate Coup’?

He was a compassionate, gentle giant of a man. His generosity and compassion for South Lebanon brings a tear to the eye.

I’m sure Al Jazeera will make a fitting documentary for the former Ameer.

December 12th, 2013, 5:08 pm


zoo said:

Gulf widens as Iran returns from cold

Ian Black writes: Saudi Arabia fails to win support for closer regional integration at GCC summit


Expectations about Gulf integration are generally low even without the recent tensions, so there was some surprise at the Kuwait summit’s somewhat vague agreement to create a new joint GCC military command. Quite how far it will develop remains to be seen. But in the current climate it looks likely to fall short of Saudi ambitions to create a more powerful regional bloc to face an uncertain future.

December 12th, 2013, 5:10 pm


zoo said:

Another of our local Dr Phil’s brilliant psychological analysis:

Syria Lover : “Hersh and Parry are shameless pawns and fools. They are also cheap harvest”

December 12th, 2013, 5:14 pm


Hopeful said:

#273 Zoo

Zoo, at least you, and other regime supporters, are no longer repeating the conspiracy myth that the revolution is primarily made by the US. You seem to be now advocating the line that the US, and the West at large, is confused about what to do and whom to back, which I agree with.

From day one, the US just wanted the Syria problem to simply go away. For those who have always wanted the US to stop meddling with the affairs of other nations, they got their wish in Syria. This is what happens when the US stops leading. Welcome to the new world order, where we have more than one pole and regional powers are allowed to exercise their influence.

December 12th, 2013, 5:15 pm



looks like someone is jealous of the competition in shamelessness. Don’t cry, no one is more shameless than you.

December 12th, 2013, 5:17 pm


zoo said:

Can the FSA rebound or the USA would lean toward the Islamic Front?

US continues support of Syrian moderates

(AP) / 12 December 2013

Hagel says the seizure is a big problem and the US, along with moderate opposition leaders, is going to have to work through it.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the US will continue to support the moderate opposition in Syria, but non-lethal aid will be suspended until the US can get a clear assessment on the status of warehouses of military equipment seized by extremist Islamic militants.

Hagel says the seizure is a big problem and the US, along with moderate opposition leaders, is going to have to work through it. He says it reflects the unpredictable situation there where it’s not “an easy choice between the good guys and the bad guys.”

Opposition fighters from conservative Islamic rebel brigades seized warehouses containing

December 12th, 2013, 5:21 pm


zoo said:


Please can you stop attributing me things I have not said?

I never said that the ‘revolution’ in Syria started as an US conspiracy.
I have repeated several times that I view it as a unprepared and spontaneous copycat of the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan regime change uprising, pushed by the Moslem Brotherhood forces and their supporters in the region, specifically Qatar and Turkey.

What I said is that the USA’s CIA jumped on the wagon almost immediately as it always viewed Syria as an arch enemy of Israel and was waiting for the opportunity to topple the too proud and arrogant Bashar Al Assad.
It joined forces with Qatar and Turkey and started the whole mess where Syria is now.
Yes, it was a conspiracy: a “Moslem Brotherhood” conspiracy initiated by Qatar and Turkey and actively supported by the USA and the EU that temporarily succeeded in Egypt only to collapse a year later, taking the USA and the EU by surprise.

Now the wind has changed. Qatar and Turkey are out of the equation, the MB has become the arch enemy of the Arabs.
The power of the rebels has shifted from the MB to the Jihadists. The USA and the EU are now scrambling to get out of the mess they have contributed to create while saving their face after the irresponsible promises they made to the world..

December 12th, 2013, 5:42 pm


Syrialover said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER #285, I hope those “closet shabiha” are stupid enough to pretend to switch sides and claim victory when Assad is thrown out with the garbage.

I’m thinking of taking a break from work when Assad’s war crime trial is in the headlines. I and some friends would like to devote time to crash tackling and unmasking some of those hypocritical Shia intellectuals and exposing how they used Syria to push ugly personal sectarian agendas.

Some of their colleagues at western universities and other places will be learning more about their true agendas and allegiances, their blogs and articles will receive comments they didn’t anticipate and various writers will be offered some handy background material.

They will learn the lesson of blowback from playing with fire to exploit western freedoms and their own security to support war criminals and ugly sectarianism.

December 12th, 2013, 5:44 pm


ghufran said:

There is hardly a day now without negative coverage of FSA officers and rebel fighters who are not part of Nusra- ISIS. Daily news about assassination of rebels and their leaders by Islamist thugs are also emerging. The latest is the report that N’aimeh (Fahd) was killed, then the alleged departure of Idris to Qatar and now this:
أفادت مصادر اعلامية عن إختفاء أمين سر الجيش السوري الحر عمار الواوي مع 3 من مرافقيه بعد دخوله الأراضي السورية من تركيا
I think that regional and international powers have openly and secretly decided to stop asking for Assad’s departure and use Syria to fight international Islamist terrorists. I won’t be surprised if we start hearing about drones from NATO and other countries flying over Northern and Eastern Syria soon.
There was an attempt to create an alternative (not affiliated with Al-Qaeda)force to fight the regime, that effort has miserably failed and that gave Assad regime a second life.

December 12th, 2013, 5:49 pm


ALAN said:

292. zoo
Looks as though the Obama Administration is experiencing an industrial-strength “oops there!” on its Syrian policy. 😉

And if the Islamic rebels do succeed in taking over the government the US may well be dealing with a far more virulently anti-American regime than that of Al-Assad!!

December 12th, 2013, 5:52 pm


zoo said:

“The FSA is essentially out of business”
Obama’s Syria policy is pretty much dead and there are few good options


The Free Syrian Army, the US hope for ‘good’ rebels to prevail in Syria, is in disarray. The chances for a negotiated settlement to Syria’s brutal civil war just got dimmer.

Fred Hof, who previously served as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special representative on Syria:

“General Salim Idris, the very capable officer through whom the United States wanted all weaponry and equipment for the armed Syrian opposition funneled, has seen forces he had hoped to command migrate to Islamist formations whose sponsors and supporters deliver arms, ammunition, and money, as opposed to rations, medical kits, radios, and pickup trucks. The Coalition-affiliated Supreme Military Council and the disparate units of the Free Syrian Army loosely associated with it are now essentially out of business”

“Now essentially out of business.” If Mr. Hof is right, and there’s very little reason to disagree with his assessment, pulling back together whatever strands of the FSA are left will be very, very hard. The temporary suspension of US aid will make it harder for what remains of its units to hang together. Moreover, a weaker FSA may ensure that whatever US aid does go to Syria ends up in the hands of rebel fighters hostile to US interests than it is already.

Furthermore, the claim today that the FSA teamed up with the Islamic Front to stand up to the Al Qaeda-affiliated ISIS won’t exactly give US officials the warm and fuzzies. The front’s units have engaged in hyper-sectarian rhetoric and are opposed to any kind of political settlement that would leave in place Syria’s current power structure – the only really hope for a negotiated end to the war at this point.

A negotiated end is what Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama have insisted is the only way out of the war, but the marginalization of men like Idris makes any grounds for meaningful talks even shakier than they’d been all along.

December 12th, 2013, 5:53 pm


zoo said:

@296 Alan

It is yet not clear how the Islamic Front is perceived by the USA and how much anti-american they would show they are.

Remember that the Moslem Brotherhood fooled everybody in thinking they could rule a country and were moderate ‘Islamists’.
It took more than a year for Egyptians and the world to discover that they had a hidden agenda of totalitarism.
Will it take a year and more Syrian lives for the hidden agenda of the Islamic Front to hit the face of the West?
I hope not.

December 12th, 2013, 5:59 pm


Hopeful said:

#293 Zoo

I thought you had the view that the whole Arab spring thing was the work of The CIA. I must have confused you with someone else. Please accept my apology.

December 12th, 2013, 6:01 pm


Syrialover said:

SAMI and HOPEFUL I’m sure you are laughing at ZOO’s denials.

ZOO actually says very little directly. He just recycles or cut-pastes what he’s provided with.

Those views you accuse him of were clearly and repeatedly expressed in material posted in his name.

December 12th, 2013, 6:06 pm


zoo said:

@29 Ghufran

In my view the moment the FSA officially rejected and opposed the Geneva Conference that the USA, Russia and the whole international community have been working very hard to setup, it became an element to eliminate from the Geneva equation.

This is what is happening now.

December 12th, 2013, 6:06 pm


ALAN said:

Don’t worry, though. McCain knows who these people are:
So, even if the hired mercenaries kick Assad out, we will have a new Syria even more virulently anti-American and anti-Israel than before.
Well done, John!

December 12th, 2013, 6:07 pm


zoo said:

@299 Hopeful

Thanks for the apologies. It’s all right. It can be confusing to remember who wrote what.
I don’t believe in conspiracy theories. I believe that intelligence agencies and governments usually make use of what there is on the ground to advance their short and long term goals. Occasionnaly they create some events on the ground to trigger reactions and then they manipulate the consequences.
It is a highly dynamical power game with many surprises and turns.

I have been receiving a lot of calomnies by people who seem to think that I am the author of the news that I post.
I make sure that my source are usually known newspapers and I always post the link to my source.
My position have always been in favor of a peaceful negotiated settlement for a secular government , with or withour Bashar Al Assad in power.

December 12th, 2013, 6:17 pm


zoo said:

Conflicting reports are popping out about the whereabouts of Selim Idriss. Where is he now? in Turkey, in Qatar?

General Idris reportedly fled first to Turkey and then to Qatar.

Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/363833#ixzz2nJ1Eavpr

December 12th, 2013, 6:22 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL #299 I am chuckling at your kind and polite response to ZOO.

But if you wanted to tackle him instead you could always go to the comments search facility on Syria Comment (now not shown for some inexplicable reason).

It’s https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/search-comments/.

ZOO has made thousands of posts here over a long time, most of them material from others. And some of which we discover from time to time he hasn’t even read himself.

So I doubt he could accurately speak about what he has posted. But we can generously assume he only posts stuff he agrees with.

December 12th, 2013, 6:26 pm


zoo said:

The terrifying rise of the Islamic Front


Aron Lund, editor of the Carnegie Endowment’s Syria in Crisis website, says the Front includes some of the strongest rebel groups in Syria – especially in the north.

“Most of these groups are concentrated in a particular area, like Aleppo or Damascus, but together they have units all across the country,” Lund told CNN.

It is difficult to know how many fighters the Islamic Front includes, but estimates vary between 40,000 and 50,000, which would probably make it the single largest rebel command. In terms of ideology, the Islamic Front groups keep their distance from the strongest al Qaeda affiliate active in northern Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).

Even so, says Aron Lund, the Front “are hardline Islamists influenced by the Salafi school of thought. They want a theocratic state, and are opposed to secularism and Western-style democracy – although they’ve said they can imagine having some sort of elections in a framework of Sharia law.”

The most effective of the groups is Ahrar al Sham, which has been involved in the insurgency since its early days. Observers say it is disciplined and well-funded from Gulf sources and has captured a good amount of heavy weaponry, including tanks and mobile artillery, from government forces. Opposition activists say it was Ahrar al Sham that led the takeover of the SMC’s headquarters at Bab al Hawa.

On the battlefield Ahrar al Sham and others in the Islamic Front groups do cooperate with another al Qaeda affiliate: Jabhat al Nusra. Some analysts say this is because al Nusra is more focused on waging the insurgency on a national level against al-Assad than is ISIS, which is devoting much of its effort to creating a mini-state – an emirate – in northern Syria, complete with Sharia law.

The leader of Ahrar al Sham, Hassan Aboud Abu Abdullah al-Hamawi, has been complimentary about al Nusra, telling al Jazeera earlier this year that “we see honesty in their work as well as toughness and courage.”

December 12th, 2013, 6:26 pm


Syrialover said:

Careful, ZOO #303.


You state:”My position have always been in favor of a peaceful negotiated settlement for a secular government , with or withour Bashar Al Assad in power.”

Maybe I’ll spend a little time with the Syria Comment search engine.

Just offhand I recall the sentiment above was similar to one offered by former opposition leader Muaz Khatib, who you diligently slammed, sneered and spat at.

December 12th, 2013, 6:32 pm


zoo said:

#305 Syria L

What don’t you bring the proofs yourself instead of dumping the dirty work on someone else.
Are you too lazy to do any other work than pseudo-psychological analysis and throwing calomnies?

December 12th, 2013, 6:33 pm


zoo said:

#307 SL

Go ahead with real posts not your biased memories.
Khatib was a good-intentioned guy but naive and useless as a leader.
The SNC dumped him, not me.

December 12th, 2013, 6:37 pm


zoo said:

A bad film about a “bad” guy. Syria lashed at Saudi Arabia

Film taking aim at Saudi monarchy opens in Syria


DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria is hitting back at Saudi Arabia for supporting rebels who want to topple President Bashar Assad by promoting an English-language movie that depicts the founder of the monarchy as a bloodthirsty womanizer.

“King of the Sands” opened to much fanfare under tight security Thursday at the Damascus Opera House despite calls from the Saudi royal family to have it banned, underlining the unprecedented downturn in relations between the two countries.

The much-touted first screening, attended by more than 1,000 officials and VIPs amid a raging civil war, demonstrated how far Syrian authorities were willing to go to lash out at the oil-rich kingdom, which they accuse of funding the uprising and sending scores of suicide bombers and extremists into Syria

December 12th, 2013, 6:42 pm


ALAN said:

حول فرار رئيس هيئة أركان “الجيش السوري الحر” سليم إدريس الى قطر عبر تركيا،
http://arabic.rt.com/news/637041/ :روسيا اليوم

December 12th, 2013, 6:45 pm


zoo said:

Strange. Will the Geneva conference last only 24 hours and have more than 30 countries participating?


According to diplomats, Iran and Saudi Arabia, which back opposite sides in Syria’s war, are among more than 30 countries slated to attend the conference, which will last only 24 hours.

“At the moment there are 32 countries invited, but that number may increase because everyone wants to come,” an Arab diplomat told AFP.

Most countries will be represented by their top diplomats and “each minister can speak for five minutes,” the Arab diplomat said.

The regime and the opposition will each send delegations to the meeting, and will hold bilateral talks hosted by Brahimi on January 24 in Geneva.

December 12th, 2013, 6:51 pm


Syrialover said:

ZOO #308, thanks but I’m busy enough using all my spare time and head space to keep up with and process what is actually happening in Syria. The reality, not your selective second hand version.

Sorry to point out you are a very minor, low stakes and easy catch. If anyone has the time delve into your thousands of posts they can catch you out lying about your stance on Khatib using https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/search-comments/.

I prefer to invest my skills and energies in projects like the one I mentioned in #294.

December 12th, 2013, 7:17 pm


zoo said:

A Jihad tea in Killis?

Radical Islamists In Northern Syria Spill Over Turkish Border

by Deborah Amos
December 12, 2013 4:29 PM


As radical Islamists take control of Syrian border towns, the spill-over is evident in southern Turkey. Small shops cater to radicals, selling black head bands with Koranic slogans. In Killis, on the Turkish border, cafes offer “jihadi tea” for a clientele with long beards and an alarming agenda.

Many analysts say Turkey turned a blind eye to international jihadists crossing the border to overthrow the Assad regime. The bill has come due as Washington expresses extreme concern, young Turks join the jihad in Syria, and international extremists flock to the Turkish border on the way to the jihad.

December 12th, 2013, 7:29 pm


ALAN said:

McDonald’s instruction to the modified genetically rebels in Ukraine and Egypt! 😉
The title says: Necessary clothes and equipment (or instruments)
The picture on the left is a pamphlet that was handed out during Tahrir Square protests in Egypt. Here is a full page doc on this picture (and higher res picture of the Egyptian pamphlet):http://publicintelligence.net/egyptian-revolution-protest-manual-how-to-protest-intelligently/

Here is another person holding same pamphlets together: http://zarodinu.org.ua/pics/ukraina.egipitskiy-scenariy.jpg

And here is the english version of this pamphlet: http://holykaw.alltop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/20729863-media_httpfarm6static_bAeAu.jpg

December 12th, 2013, 7:34 pm


Tara said:


Thank you for your post. I quote:

“They are “closet shabiha”, Shia intellectuals throughout the west who are busily milking the Syrian situation for opportunities to spread contempt and suspicion of Sunnis.

They are careful not to be strident or centre stage, but once you notice them you become aware of the game going on.

They wear a false civilized face to their non-Muslim friends, colleagues and other audiences that conceals a primitive racism and sectarian hatred.

They are smiling and nodding and looking “concerned” about Syria while hiding their hatred in their pants, waiting for safe chances to shit slyly on Sunnis.”
I did notice this too. And yes I agree they are filthiest than filth itself. They use deceit and hidden agenda. Only evil people are capable of showing you a face of civilization and modesty while hiding a real primitive visceral hatred. They are nauseating.

SL, I am fine with people like Mjabali and anyone who does not use deceit. He says what he thinks and that is fine. I don’t agree with it . Yet, he is entitled to his opinion. Syrians Sunnis can co live with Alawis like him. I think I can forgive most Alawis for their crimes. They did use crude brutality butI they did it out if fear, manipulated by Assad and still I can forgive. I however can’t forgive those slimy creatures that pretend a face of civilization while they harbor visceral hatred. They lurk in the background. Their racism is hidden. It will not appear in the central stage. They may even charm you. They wait for the proper opportunity to spew their racist poison when it is most painful. Some Syrian Christians doctors I came across belong to those slimy creatures. I have experienced that from non-Syrian Shiite too, Lebanese in particular, not Iraqis. I can’t generalize but the fact of the matter is that lots of minorities in the ME are inflicted with that nauseating disease.

December 12th, 2013, 7:35 pm


Syrialover said:

And while ZOO is whining and acting like a victim here, I’d like to repeat that my anger and distaste for him is fuelled by observing over a long time his shocking contempt and indifference to Syrian people and their country.

He plays little games here, but the above is the solid core of the agenda driving his many thousands of posts over many hundreds of days.

This isn’t a psychological analysis or opinion, as he’ll childishly claim, it is FACT easily verified via https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/search-comments/

December 12th, 2013, 7:35 pm


zoo said:

Syria L

I can only thank for accusing me again of lying without submitting any proof.

I guess it tells a lot not only about your own dishonesty but also about the vacuity of your mind.

December 12th, 2013, 7:36 pm


Syrialover said:

TARA #316,

Thank you for your support of my observations in #263 and your sharp insights.

To me “closet shabiha” are like paedophiles, with a dirty sick inner life they know normal decent people would punish and reject them for if they allow it to show. So they cherish it in secret, artfully playing a game of niceness and normality while looking for chances to slyly push their beliefs and recruit others.

Some of the slimiest and most dedicated “closet shabiha” I have noted are Lebanese living in the west in comfortable and respectable circumstances. They include academics, community leaders and successful professionals who mask their rotten real thinking, pretending to be sophisticated and “looking at both sides” while strategically dispensing sectarian poison.

I have met similar educated and westernized Iraqis living safely abroad who quietly admire and cheer Assad on, and even some Palestinians, which shocked me.

As I said earlier, they have no dog or investment in the Syrian fight except as a vehicle for their “primitive visceral hatred” of Sunnis as you so well describe it.

Amazingly, they also have a vicious indifference to the fate of their ordinary fellow Shia struggling to survive in Lebanon and Syria while they stoke sectarian hatred outside.

And let’s not forget a certain type of ME “political Christian” who plays the closet shabiha game in the west, concealing their full attitudes while looking for their chance to release puffs of toxic gas into conversations. Interestingly I have found some are doctors just like you have. Perhaps it is a secret society.


I fully agree with your perceptive comments about MJABALI and a couple of others here who are authentic and upfront about their views and beliefs. I sympathize with their feelings and fears as Alawi, and can only beg them to try to get over it and not allow it to swallow up their lives for nothing.

December 12th, 2013, 8:57 pm


ghufran said:

The reprehensible killing of civilians in Adra by rebels, who were unfortunately aided and guided by refugees, and the horror stories that were told on social media and largely ignored by the official media and left totally unchecked and were not condemned by any of the champions of “freedom, democracy and the rule of law” will probably lead to revenge killing and more blood shed, after all that is what sectarian death squads want in the first place. After Adra’s blood bath nobody can come with a straight face and claim that his preferred side was innocent or use the cliché ” rebels crimes pale in comparison of crimes committed by the regime”. The number of people killed is unknown but likely to be much higher than what was reported by SOHR and other non government sources, there are thousands of people in Adra from all sects. The regime people are embarrassed because A- they failed to protect Adra, and B- they fear igniting sectarian tensions since most of the civilians known to have been killed were alawites, Christians and druze. Scores of people were kidnapped and taken hostages in buses.
While this is happening under the command of Zaher Alloush and the blessing of KSA and prince death Bandar, one FSA senior leader runs away to Sweeden:رئيس المجلس العسكري للحر مصطفى الشيخ يحصل على اللجوء
I hope he manages to get a good Swedish massage.

December 12th, 2013, 9:03 pm


Sami said:

“ENOUGH! Stop spreading these filthy LIES!”

I leave the lying and deception to you…

Here is what “Irritated” who you confessed to be had to say about the capture and fear for the life of Citizen Journalist and Activist Ali Othman:

What is citizen journalist? Never heard that term.
You mean a protester equipped with communication equipments and video camera and video editing equipments supplied by Qatar and KSA, using Skype on internet supplied by Syriatel to send sensitive information to Al Jazeera and Haaretz.
Well, if he is doing illegal and spying activities that proved to be threat to the security of the State, like in any other countries, he will be jailed and brought to justice. It will be up to him to prove his innocence. Maybe the NYT could for an international lawyer to help him but no one can’t call a government to release a suspicious person.


Ali Othman risked his life exposing the regime and its heinous crimes. He was the head of Baba Amr Media Centre established by brave Syrians like him. He documented the unrelenting campaign of destroying the country and burning it down by Assad and his forces in Homs. Ali Othman has been held in an Aleppo prison since March of 2012 and is suffering under the hands of hyenas you cheer for. His crime was documenting Assad’s atrocities, and that is not something any sane country run by sane individuals would consider a crime and definitely not a crime that calls for an indefinite amount of time of incarceration nor the horrible condition of living through torture which is rampant and standard in all of the Assadi dungeons.

I don’t lie, I don’t deceit or spin. You and this regime you cheerlead for are an abomination to this world. There is no levelling with you for you are willing to burn Syria and kill its citizens for the sake of a monster. Just like Nazism, Assadism should be outlawed for its sadistic and hate filled rhetoric. You try to hide under the veneer of a reasonable person but the slime that fills you is the slime of Assadism which is rotten to its core and cannot be hidden away.

December 12th, 2013, 9:03 pm


ghufran said:

The reprehensible killing of civilians in Adra by rebels, who were unfortunately aided and guided by refugees, and the horror stories that were told on social media and largely ignored by the official media and left totally unchecked and were not condemned by any of the champions of “freedom, democracy and the rule of law” will probably lead to revenge killing and more blood shed, after all that is what sectarian death squads want in the first place. After Adra’s blood bath nobody can come with a straight face and claim that his preferred side was innocent or use the cliché ” rebels crimes pale in comparison of crimes committed by the regime”. The number of people killed is unknown but likely to be much higher than what was reported by SOHR and other non government sources, there are thousands of people in Adra from all sects. The regime people are embarrassed because A- they failed to protect Adra, and B- they fear igniting sectarian tensions since most of the civilians known to have been killed were alawites, Christians and druze. Scores of people were kidnapped and taken hostages in buses.
While this is happening under the command of Zaher Alloush and the blessing of KSA and prince death Bandar, one FSA senior leader runs away to Sweeden:رئيس المجلس العسكري للحر مصطفى الشيخ يحصل على اللجوء
I hope he manages to get a good Swedish massage.

December 12th, 2013, 9:06 pm


Syrialover said:

ZOO, #318 give up with that tactic. It is weak and ridiculous.

I HAVE submitted the proof. It’s sitting here and easily found: https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/search-comments/

At the moment I am busy with the closet shabiha issue. But you keep on like a puppy dog whining for attention.

I know you are acting like a decoy hoping to distract me.

But you might find that’s very risky behaviour. Careful what you have asked for.

December 12th, 2013, 9:06 pm


Syrialover said:

Well done SAMI in #320.

There are many, many similar examples sitting in the SC archives. But you have chosen a brilliant one. A classic piece of ugly thinking and disinformation from the “ZOO” camp.

One of ZOO and his colleagues prime tactics is to distract SC contributors and swamp the site with junk. And their rule book says to always attack first, lie and deny.

But their dirty scarred backsides are always exposable and vulnerable.

December 12th, 2013, 9:21 pm


zoo said:

#320 SAMI

That’s what you found, genius?

In all countries in the world spies who work against the legitimate governement are brought to justice. (Example: Snowden is being hunted by the USA worlwide to be brought to justice)

Until now and for the UN and the whole world, the Syrian governement is the only legitimate government of Syria.

Until the “transitional governement” repeatedly announced by the opposition is elected by the Syrians, anyone who works against the present government should be brought to justice.

I stand on this position and I just don’t care about your hateful and hysterical calomnies.

December 12th, 2013, 9:25 pm


Sami said:

Only in the eyes of a moukhabarati would documenting regime crimes be classified as spying.

To capture the evidence and crimes of Assad while avoiding exploding shells, bullets and suffering the wrath of a psychotic torturer for it is the definition of heroism.

“I stand on this position and I just don’t care about about your hysterical calumnies.”

Had you really not cared why the bold plead for me to stop… And keep standing there for it exposes you for the agent of death that you are!

December 12th, 2013, 9:40 pm


zoo said:

The rebels take revenge of their failure by massacring innocent civilians in their own homes in Adra

Live cross: Syria rebels storm gov’t workers’ residential area

Syrian rebels have reportedly stormed a residential area for government employees in Adra, near the capital of Damascus. More than 60 people are feared dead, and over a hundred were kidnapped. Earlier, our correspondent Alaa Ebrahim in Damascus told us that government troops had begun operations to retake the residential compound.


December 12th, 2013, 9:42 pm


zoo said:


The only agents of death are the ones who refuse to negotiate and join peace talks to avoid more death on both sides.

December 12th, 2013, 9:48 pm


zoo said:

UN inspectors in Syria find more evidence of chemical weapons use
Chemical weapons were probably used in four locations beyond the confirmed attack near Damascus in August, experts concluded in a report delivered Thursday.

The inspectors’ limited mandate barred them from identifying whether the government or opposition fighters were responsible for any of the attacks.

Thursday’s report said evidence indicated chemical weapons were probably used in Khan al Assal outside Aleppo, Jobar in Damascus’s eastern suburbs, Saraqueb near Idlib in the northwest, and Ashrafiah Sahnaya in the Damascus countryside. In two cases, it found “signatures of sarin.”

The government and opposition accused each other of using chemical weapons at Khan al Assal and the report said none of the parties in Syria denied their use in the village. The allegations of chemical weapons use at Jobar and Ashrafiah Sahnaya were made by the Syrian government, while Britain and France raised the allegations about Saraqueb.

In an initial report on Sept. 16, Sellstrom’s team concluded that evidence collected in the Ghouta area of Damascus following an Aug. 21 attack provided “clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used.” Graphic video footage showed dozens of people gasping for air and bodies lined up and the U.S. government said more than 1,400 people were killed.

December 12th, 2013, 9:53 pm


zoo said:

For once the US is saying ‘No’ to the Saudis


Saudis have always felt that the US is in their pocket, but by suspending aid to Syrian opposition Washington said ‘No’ to the Saudis, and the simple reason is a lessening of dependence on their oil, John Graham, former US diplomat told RT.
JG: The statistics are amazing. We are importing only 40 percent of our energy, that’s the lowest in decades and decades – only 14 percent comes from SA now. Less than half we get from Canada. America is becoming more energy independent. This continues to happen. The Americans tell the Saudis to take a flying leap. Americans are telling Saudis ‘No” as we are becoming less and less dependent on their oil. Of course, we are nerving Saudis for domestic reasons. The royal family of SA needs American support. And if we really get independent, we’ll start treating them like Yemen and so they are angry and annoyed with us. So both of our allies are upset at the moment.

December 12th, 2013, 10:00 pm


Sami said:

“The only agents of death are the ones who refuse to negotiate and join peace talks to avoid more death on both sides.”

No, there is no two sides. Both are Syrian and both bleed Syrian blood. Those responsible for unleashing the blood letting should be brought to justice.

December 12th, 2013, 10:06 pm


zoo said:

Despite hues and cries, Iran is invited at the Geneva conference on the 22 January

Iran and Saudi Arabia, which back opposite sides in Syria’s war, are among more than 30 countries slated to attend a peace conference next month, diplomats said.


December 12th, 2013, 10:09 pm


zoo said:

@332 SAMI

Those who wanted the bloodshed among brothers to continue are the ones who have refused to enter into peace talks for enough time to cause the death of thousands of lives more.

They never cared about the Syrians lives, they only cared about their ego. Now that they are themselves weakened and threatened of destruction, they accept to negotiate.
What do you call such “heroes”?

December 12th, 2013, 10:16 pm


zoo said:

@334 SAMI

It is far too late for justice or hatred and revenge as both sides appear equally responsible for the death of Syrians. Reports indicate that more Syrians soldiers than civilians or rebels fighters have been killed.

Only reconciliation South African style may heal the wounds and bring some peace to the country.
That’s what I am hoping to happen after the Geneva conference


The British-based Observatory, which monitors violence through a network of activists, medical and military sources around Syria, said about 47,000 soldiers and militia fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had been killed.

Rebel fighters, including army defectors, accounted for around 23,000 of the dead, the Observatory said.

More than 41,000 civilians have been killed, including 6,000 children and 4,000 women.

December 12th, 2013, 10:57 pm


zoo said:

Assad win may be Syria’s ‘best option’


The sectarian bloodbath in Syria is such a threat to regional security that a victory for Bashar al-Assad’s regime could be the best outcome to hope for, a former CIA chief said.

Washington condemned Assad’s conduct of the conflict, threatened air strikes after he was accused of targeting civilians with chemical weapons and has demanded he step down.

The United States is also supplying millions of dollars in “non-lethal” aid to some of the rebel groups fighting Assad’s rule.

But Michael Hayden, the retired US Air Force general who until 2009 was head of the Central Intelligence Agency, said a rebel win was not one of the three possible outcomes he foresees for the conflict.

“Option three is Assad wins,” Hayden told the annual Jamestown Foundation conference of terror experts.

“And I must tell you at the moment, as ugly as it sounds, I’m kind of trending toward option three as the best out of three very, very ugly possible outcomes,” he said.

December 12th, 2013, 11:14 pm


zoo said:

The good guys have lost in Syria – only the bad guys are left fighting


In truth, moderate rebels are being obliterated as a force. Their best units have peeled away and their foreign support is dwindling to nothing. Saudi Arabia, fed up with American hesitation to provide arms or drop bombs, impatient with the Free Syrian Army’s weakness, and eager to check Iranian influence at a time when Washington and Tehran are moving closer together, is throwing its weight behind members of the Islamic Front, particularly the Damascus-based Army of Islam.

Riyadh sees these groups as the only way to contain the growing influence of al-Qaeda. It is also gambling that the Front’s members won’t turn their guns outside the region or give sanctuary to jihadists once Assad falls. Washington and London do not agree; hence the suspension of aid.

December 12th, 2013, 11:23 pm


don said:

Assad win may be Syria’s best option: Ex-CIA chief

He added that a rebel win was not one of the three possible outcomes he foresees for the conflict


The sectarian bloodbath in Syria is such a threat to regional security that a victory for Bashar al-Assad’s regime could the best outcome to hope for, a former CIA chief said.

Washington condemned Assad’s conduct of the conflict, threatened air strikes after he was accused of targeting civilians with chemical weapons and has demanded he step down.

The United States is also supplying millions of dollars in “non-lethal” aid to some of the rebel groups fighting Assad’s rule.

But Michael Hayden, the retired US Air Force general who until 2009 was head of the Central Intelligence Agency, said yesterday a rebel win was not one of the three possible outcomes he foresees for the conflict.

“Option three is Assad wins,” Hayden told the annual Jamestown Foundation conference of terror experts.

“And I must tell you at the moment, as ugly as it sounds, I’m kind of trending toward option three as the best out of three very, very ugly possible outcomes,” he said.

December 13th, 2013, 12:01 am


Hopeful said:

303 Zoo

”My position has always been in favor of a peaceful negotiated settlement for a secular government , with or withour Bashar Al Assad in power.”

Mine too. However, I believe this is an impossibility if Bashar stays in power. Personally, and despite how I feel about his brutality and incompetency, and I have said that here before, I do not care of he runs again in 2014 as long as the international community can guarantee a real and fair elections, because I believe this is the best way to establish peace and legitimacy for the new elected government. But given how strong his security apparatus remains, this is out of the question. To make this happen, the entire security system has to be dismantled first, a new reformed army has to emerge, and a new government with full powers has to take hold. Then if he wants to run, let him. If he wins, which is highly doubtful in my mind, then he does because he truly had genuine support, not because of intimidation and abuse.

I am dreaming again, aren’t I?

December 13th, 2013, 12:13 am


Hopeful said:

#305 SL

Thanks for the pointer. It disappeared from the main page a long time ago. I tried to look for it one time, but could never find it.

I really think it is about time everyone who loves and cares about Syria look for a solution and a way out. While my sympathy and heart remain with the genuine heros who fought, died and suffered dearly to bring freedom and democracy to Syria, I do believe that the revolution has been hijacked, militarily by radicals on the ground, and politically by many corrupt vindictive elitists. Assad has proved that he will accept any collateral damage. He and his cronies have utter disregard for the country and many of its people. His loyal fighting machine is strong and Russia and Iran have shown that they will not allow his militant fall. There are only two ways to avoid a nuclear winter in Syria in my humble opinion: negotiate a settlement or bring the power of the United States to the picture. Short of that, Syria will continue on the path of self destruction, and there will be nothing left to fight about. Assad and his cronies are not giving up, and Syrians will not cease to fight them supported by a flow of weapons and money from GCC countries. Just remember how long the Lebanese civil war and the Iran-Iraq war have lasted.

December 13th, 2013, 12:37 am


Hopeful said:

#335 Zoo

“Only reconciliation South African style may heal the wounds and bring some peace to the country.”

I second that Zoo, who is our Mandela? Release Abdulaziz Khayyer?

December 13th, 2013, 12:45 am


annie said:

A statement by the Violation Documentation Center (VDC) and the Local Development and Small Projects Support Office (LDSPS) regarding the kidnapping of activists Razan Zeitouneh, Samira Khalil, Wael Hamada and Nazim Hamadi



An unknown armed group kidnapped last night 9/10/2013, human rights lawyer and activist Razan Zeitouneh, activist and ex-political prisoner Samira Khalil, activist and Razan’s spouse Wael Hamada, and the lawyer and poet Nazim Hamadi from the office of the VDC and LDSPS in Douma, Damascus suburbs.

Besides being an icon of the Syrian revolution, Razan cofounded the Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC) and the Violation Documentation Center (VDC), which documents all human rights violations in Syria. She co-founded the local development and small projects support office (LDSPS) as well which aims to help the people in Syria generally, and in Eastern Ghouta more specifically, to provide basic needs and essential services and support to medical and development centers. Her and her colleagues work is very well recognized by the inhabitants in Ghouta.

Her kidnapping and the kidnapping of her colleagues indicates yet again the endeavor of some to undermine any form of civil action to help Syrians in the liberated areas to rule and provide for themselves.

We, at the VDC and LDSPS, condemn with the strongest words this kidnapping and ask for the immediate release of Razan, Samira, Wael and Nazim without any conditions.

We also hold all armed groups operating in the area accountable for the safety and safeguard of the Ghouta inhabitants and Razan and her colleagues. We hold them accountable as well for the safe release of Razan and her colleagues and their safe return to their homes. Such armed groups should ensure that such kidnapping in never repeated again in the future in the area they control.

The Dignity and Freedom revolution is undergoing one of its most critical moments now and we hope that it will be able to avoid this trap set from its enemies to undermine its credibility and stray its path.

December 13th, 2013, 1:21 am


zoo said:


To fight the now very powerful Islamists, the Syrian army must stay united. If Bashar al Assad leaves without having a strong man to take over, I am sure that the Army will collapse. Then the Islamists who have already eliminated the ‘moderate’ FSA will have a free hand on the country.
There are no strong man at the horizon and I doubt one will suddenly emerge within the next few months.

Therefore the chances that Bashar Al Assad stays in power until the Islamists are totally eradicated from the region is extremely high.
This could be a very long period and anyway if the Syrian Army succeeded, the honor will go to Bashar Al Assad and he will be reelected easily.

Yes, unfortunately you are dreaming.

December 13th, 2013, 1:32 am


zoo said:


The Syrian Government has already appointed a ‘reconciliation’ Minister. The opposition should do the same. That would be a start

December 13th, 2013, 1:35 am


don said:

America Needs a New Syria Policy


Put aside for the moment whether more resolute U.S. policies could have avoided this mess. Regardless, a rethink is now required. The ends and means of U.S. policy — that Assad must go, but without significant U.S. military intervention — are no longer compatible, if they ever were. Something has to give. Hagel’s assurance that the U.S. will continue to work with Idris and the FSA isn’t enough.

The conflict has changed fundamentally since the pro-democracy uprising of 2011. Al-Qaeda fighters have become as big a threat as the Assad regime, and radical Islamists dominate the opposition. The U.S. can hardly continue helping rebels to overthrow Assad when the least objectionable among the effective fighting forces on the ground are the Islamic Front — a group distinct from Syria’s increasingly powerful al-Qaeda affiliates, but aggressive sectarians nonetheless, with whom the U.S. or Syria’s religious minorities cannot do business.

The pretense that the next round of talks is about getting the regime and opposition together to decide whether Assad leaves now or later should be dropped. The goal of the talks should be to get Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar together with Iran and Russia to de-escalate what has become a proxy war.

One achievable priority should be to crack down on al-Qaeda. Foreign jihadis have been flocking into Syria because they’ve been allowed to. They describe flying openly into Turkey and moving on to Syria using safe houses on the border. The Gulf states may not be funding radical Islamists directly, but rich Gulf donors are. Turkey may have begun to tighten its policy, but stronger action by all of the rebel sponsors should be on the table.

Syria’s civil war could drag on for years. Because they can’t or won’t end it, the U.S., the Gulf states, Iran, Russia and Turkey should concentrate on the limited achievable interests they have in common — suppressing al-Qaeda and reducing the human toll.

December 13th, 2013, 1:37 am


Matthew Barber said:

Just so you know, we authorize the release of the following very important heads-up.
Our knowledgeable, well-informed, and highly reliable sources have worked around the clock (not!), to analyze the comments and have arrived at the following decision:

Heads-up is banned for (from the rules & regulations page): 1) “Provocations designed to derail discussions away from substantive debate” (I consider the posting of a generic attack-message on each new post a form of harassment); 2) messages that bordered upon “Expressions of glee or delight at the deaths or suffering of others” (this counts for combatants as well as civilians—we are not here to celebrate anyone’s death); and 3) flagrant sectarianism. (Though not the reason for this decision, regularly insulting the people who run the site doesn’t help, either.)

Zoo, you were insulting to Hamster around #29 which opened the door for an exchange of insults. Please end the bickering—both of you—and Zoo, avoid instigating these spats with attacks.

Don and Zoo, please take it easy on the link-posting. Don, I don’t want to see one more full-length article posted. A short paragraph should be sufficient to inform a reader about the content of an article that s/he can choose to visit or not.

As a final send-off, I would like to point out (I was too busy to do so at the time) how it made me chuckle when, after I posted the “Recapitalising the Banking System” article, Heads-up attacked me for including the image of Syrian currency, which showed Hafez on one of the coins—a coin that was obviously “heads-up” (not tails) but was found so distasteful by Heads-up (that just seemed a bit ironic).
In reality, including an image of Syrian currency was not intended to convey support for the political messages that are always embedded on the face of a country’s money. Rather, including that image was intended to highlight how complicated and extensive the challenges facing a new Syria will be—building a country while erasing the face of this dynasty would involve so many details that we often don’t think about, like replacing the money (something I hadn’t thought about until Cunningham’s article). Of course, in the meantime, ISIS and everyone else is still using money with Assad family photos on it, among other currencies.

December 13th, 2013, 1:56 am


William Scott Scherk said:

Thank you, Matthew for the housecleaning and the reiteration of the rules that are intended to guide commentary.

I have little hope that the entire class of “you and your terrorist(regimist) friends …” arguments will be curbed, but every little bit helps.

Kudos to Zoo and Hopeful for dialing back on any lingering mutual disdain.

December 13th, 2013, 2:52 am



Somehow the phrase “Derail discussion” reminds me of assad’s regime “crime” of “weakening the national spirit” . Shouldn’t there be a discussion to derail or a national spirit to weaken in the first place?

Count the posts, and in the process, count the “original” posts from regime cohorts, and you will find that Syria Comment, entrusted to you, is being used as a trash-bin for articles from racist, anti-Semitic, and just plain lunatic sources. They usually come in bursts, very much like an aminoacid chain of Zs and Ds and none of them has any value more than the value offered by the weird and boring pro-forma posts by HEADS UP, who nonetheless, manages to insert his/her own thesis into each manifesto and to express displeasure with the editorial policy of this blog. Something I share, and have not voiced sufficiently as I should have.

There is at least a 101 posts by Zoo on this thread out of 345 posts (including this one as of my writing). A majority of which are merely piping in propaganda and irrelevant distracting material with little or no original or real commentary except insulting headliners and snaps at Syrians and at other posters when they expose the “conveyor’s” hypocrisy and culpability. Bearing in mind that Zoo is the fourth or fifth reincarnation of one single person.

At one point in time You or Joshua pointed out that you find such “cut and pastes” helpful in finding out about what is going on. Well, then ask people like zoo and don to send you these postings by email, it would be far healthier for the blog and for your readers.

Sometimes I wonder if this is Syria Comment or Syria nuts, racist, and anti-Semitic, archive depository. In that, it seems to me that you have been banning some real commentators for style like Majedkhaldoun for the benefit of propagandists who show no style whatsoever.

Occasionally, I do ask my self whether I am crossing the border of exposing hypocrisy to the land of harassment. Naturally, this happens when I find myself posting three or four posts concerning the same character. To my relief comes the amateurish response to my substantive comment, from someone who thinks that their adversary is a real rat. That is really funny, and it is far less of an insult to me than to the writer.

As for sectarian comments. You simply have to search the phrase “sunni terrorists” to recognize that HEADSUP is an amateur when it comes to the likes of zoo and co.

Please note that I am not questioning your right to do what you want. I still believe in your full right to do whatever you and Joshua want with this blog including banning me.

December 13th, 2013, 2:57 am


Hopeful said:

#341 Zoo

You and I both know why it is very difficult for another “strong” man to emerge from within the regime’s structure. His fate would be the same fate as Kim Jong’s uncle in the news today. This is one of the cycles which we need to break: the types of leaders who would never accept a second strong man, let alone plan for a succession, are the ones we need to rid ourselves of.

If you and I were on the negotiation teams, I would ask you to bring forward an alternative man from within the regime structure who can keep the army intact, but would be willing to fight and dismantle the security apparatus, and I would offer to bring along all the moderate opposition figures and fighters to fight along the army against Al-Qaeda. Would you accept that equation? I am hopeful that this is what they will working on in Geneva II. The fate of Syria should NOT be linked to the fate of Assad, and I am talking to both sides here! loyalists and opposition.

December 13th, 2013, 4:33 am


habib said:

282. Uzair8

Lol, yes, he sure was a “giant” (read: fat bastard) of a man, but gentle, certainly not.

He probably just stepped down because he was pressured by the Saudis to do so after failing in Syria, and because he feared his son would coup him, just like he did to his own father.

One who betrays his own family will betray anyone.

December 13th, 2013, 7:54 am


zoo said:

@147 Hopeful

In predominantly Moslem countries in the ME region, there seem to be a deep entrenched pattern of ruler who is either a religious man , a King or an army general.
I think it has to do with a need (probably cultural) of a ‘father’ figure, strong and charismatic: A man to emulate Mohammad, the Prophet who was all of that. There is something very emotional and cultural in the perception of a leader. In Turkey, supposedly democratic, until now Ataturk is worshipped, even though he was an anti-Islam.

Of course these leaders often turn into dictators, as power can be a deadly drug.
In countries where ‘democracy’ has been imposed by force and the King and the dictator killed (such as Iraq or Libya), troubles don’t seem to stop until another strong man appears and get the emotional allegeance of the people. For now, aside from the Shias who have a spiritual/political leader in Najaf, the country is divided into small warlords.
As a father figure, Iran got Ayatollah Khomeini who succeeded the daunting task of toppling the Shah and now to a lesser degree Khamenei.
South Africa got Mandela as a strong spiritual leader.
More recently, Egypt first got Morsy then its realizes that he was neither charismatic, nor a strong man. He was quickly replaced by a strong and charismatic military man Al Sisi.

I don’t think Syria is an exception. Hafez al Assad represented for many that kind of leader. Bashar al Assad meet some of these requirements but to a lesser degree as he does not represent a father figure. Yet he still carries the aura of his father’s legacy.

The person replacing Bashar al Assad must have an aura, be charismatic and strong to be accepted as a leader.
I doubt that any , even in the entourage of Bashar al Assad have any of these qualifications.

In any case let us admit that there are many unknowns on the ground now. The emergence of a new powerful rebels military entity, the Islamic Front, heavily supported by Saudi Arabia is a new parameter in the equation.
The USA and the West are now probing its intentions that are not very clearly spelled out.
The USA has recenthy even expressed its willingless to work with the Islamic Front under some conditions.


If the West ultimately decides that the Islamic Front has good chance to achieve its goal in transforming Syria into an Islamic state under Saudi Arabia’s control with garantees that it will not be a threat to Israel or to the minorities, then they may go along with that as they did with the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt. Then one of the military leaders of the Islamic Front may emerge as a potential ruler.
Syria may then become a Salafist Sunni version of Iran.

If alternatively the West believes that the Islamic Front could become a threat to the region, then the West has no other choice than to support Bashar al Assad to eliminate them.
What is happening on the ground bears much more importance than what will happen in Geneva.

This is why I think it is premature to talk about reconciliation or replacement of Bashar al Assad in the short of medium term.

I also don’t think the pattern of a strong man, a ‘father’ figure can be change easily in a Moslem society where religion is so deeply entrenched in the psyche of the people and in the political spheres. It may take centuries ….

December 13th, 2013, 9:18 am


zoo said:

@345 WSS

There is no disdain on either side between Hopeful and I. I respect Hopeful’s opinions as he seems to respect mine.

Are you still a moderator? If not please report your complaints to the moderator instead.

December 13th, 2013, 9:37 am


zoo said:


I follow your request. I will ignore the latest unjustified strings of personal attacks, accusations and demeaning remarks coming again and again from Hamster @346.

Will he stop?

December 13th, 2013, 9:44 am


annie said:

High winds downed tents in what is now a muddy swamp. Some residents lashed out at aid workers.
By Dale Gavlak, Associated Press
Posted: January 09, 2013

ZAATARI, Jordan – A winter storm is magnifying the misery for tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war, turning a refugee camp into a muddy swamp where howling winds tore down tents and exposed the displaced residents to freezing temperatures.

Conditions in the Zaatari camp were “worse than living in Syria,” said Fadi Suleiman, a 30-year-old refugee.

full article : http://articles.philly.com/2013-01-09/news/36239800_1_zaatari-camp-refugee-camp-tents

December 13th, 2013, 9:46 am


zoo said:

Syria: Ankara mediates between FSA and Islamic Front

Free Syrian Army to form new group called Jabhat Al-Ahrar, according to source

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Ankara mediated a meeting on Thursday between rival factions of the Syrian opposition in an attempt to broker an agreement between the Islamic Front and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) following recent clashes between the two. Turkey’s mediation attempts come after the Islamic Front, an Islamist coalition of Syrian rebel groups, raided an FSA base, seizing weapons and logistical supplies.

However, the two sides were ultimately unable to reach a solution after a disagreement over the exact amount of weapons in the FSA warehouses stymied Turkish efforts, Syrian rebel sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity.

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Syrian interim Defense Minister Asaad Mustafa described the recent rebel infighting as very dangerous and “a betrayal of the revolution and the Syrian people, who expect us to bring down the regime, not each other.”

December 13th, 2013, 9:54 am


zoo said:

Can the Free Syrian Army do better?

By David Ignatius
December 13 at 8:27 am

DUBAI — A year ago, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) created what it called a “Supreme Military Council” under Gen. Salim Idriss to coordinate operations by moderate rebel groups. This week, that structure was rocked as the group’s U.S.-supplied warehouse in northern Syria was overrun by rebels from a rival Islamist faction — triggering a frantic effort to coordinate the opposition’s ragged military efforts.

It’s late in the day for the Syrian opposition to be dealing with such basics. But unless they’re addressed, the group will fail in challenging both Assad and the al-Qaeda forces that have become entrenched in northeast Syria. Having been blown out of his headquarters in northern Syria, a battered Idriss has no choice but to rethink strategy or quit the fight.

December 13th, 2013, 10:01 am


Sami said:


Nizar Qabani’s “This is Damascus” poem on a wall in Saraqeb.

For those that don’t know Arabic this is the passage chosen:
Here are my roots. Here is my heart. Here is my land. How can I make myself clearer? Does love need clarification?

December 13th, 2013, 10:50 am


habib said:

One more question for the mentally under-endowed:

If ISIL, Nusra, Qaeda and whatever, are a creation of the regime, why are they then supported financially by Saudi and Turkey? Are they also supporters of the regime?

December 13th, 2013, 11:12 am



It is not a smart practice to vocalize self addressed questions!

December 13th, 2013, 11:48 am


Uzair8 said:

What is love?

The land and the people can never be seperated. Syria today is what you get when ‘love and hate collide’ (Def Leppard 95).

The imposed, forced and phoney ‘love’, the Menhabek ‘love’ is no substitute.

Annie Lennox, who happens to follow the syrian situation closely, perhaps got it right in her 1995 cover hit entitled “No more “I Love You’s””. Perhaps only now we can truely understand the words.

That phoney loves will fail to deliver and will be exposed for it’s emptiness:

I used to be lunatic from the gracious days
I used to be woebegone and so restless nights
My aching heart would bleed for you to see
Oh but now…


No more “I love you’s”
The language is leaving me
No more “I love you’s”
The language is leaving me in silence
No more “I love you’s”
Changes are shifting outside the word


PS: I wonder who are the ‘monsters’ and ‘crazy’ ones referring to?
Those imposing the phoney love?

December 13th, 2013, 12:20 pm


Uzair8 said:

I feel guilty as my wording invited the vulgar verbal insults towards the former Ameer of Qatar. I knew at the time the likelihood of such an occurrence so I apologise to His Highness the retired Ameer.

My message to the responsible poster, it was below the belt and unnecessary. I won’t name to avoid any moderation against said user.

Btw, the name Habib, was the choice of name influenced by the Syrian context, more specifically Menhabekism? Just curious, in the context of the current comment theme on love.

December 13th, 2013, 12:39 pm


Uzair8 said:

Things are not going well for the regime camp and you can now hear it in the words of hardcore regimists who usually don’t give anything away.

On the issue of the narrative of recent months, Regimists are bound to claim Assad is winning however, the problem is when western journalists repeat this claim and write about it. They play into the regime propaganda machines hands. They should at least qualify such claims by mentioning shortage of men and previous patterns of regime advances being limited for a short period.

Anyway, I have also predicted previously how the regime camp will see public blame game and finger pointing as they fall out over difficulties on the battlefield.

You can see all this reflected in my next post looking at recent comments on Iran Military Forum.

December 13th, 2013, 12:51 pm


habib said:

358. Uzair8

Just LOL at that post. You’re venerating a traitor of his own family. No wonder why you support the traitors of Syria as vehemently.


Anyone care to explain that one to me? So does that mean that FSA and the regime are brothers, since Nusra are apparently the regime?


December 13th, 2013, 1:00 pm


zoo said:

“Assad’s ability to stay on par has shown that it is not just based on Alawi support, but there are Christians, Jews, Sunnis, who also support the government.”

(At the UK House of Commons)Former Turkish FM says Turkey might have helped Syrian radical groups


Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış said the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) might have helped the Syrian radical opposition groups, an acknowledgement that will likely fuel uneasiness among Turkey’s Western allies over Ankara’s implicit backing of the radical groups in their bid to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime in two-and-half year rebellion.

Yakış’s statements came after the Turkish government’s repeated firm denials of any assistance to radical groups whose bold presence among the opposition fighters prompted the Western countries to rekindle their support to the Syrian opposition.

Speaking at a panel discussion that brought together credible names both from Turkey and the UK to discuss the geopolitical implications of the Syrian civil war on neighboring countries especially Turkey at the House of Commons on Tuesday, Yakış struck a different tone from the Turkish government and said it’s obvious that the government might have helped the radical elements.

Dr. Craig Larkin, lecturer of comparative politics of the Middle East at King’s College London drew a comparison to the Lebanese civil war that lasted 15 years and said that the Syria civil war could go on for many years. “We underestimated the Syrian government, we assumed because there is only 7 percent of an Alawi minority that this is an Alawi-led regime, I think that analysis is flawed,” he said.

“Assad’s ability to stay on par has shown that it is not just based on Alawi support, but there are Christians, Jews, Sunnis, who also support the government. This does not so easy fall down into minorities against Sunni but a splintered fragmented society.”

December 13th, 2013, 1:11 pm


Uzair8 said:

Things not going well for regime camp and more signs of finger pointing. To counter the ‘Assad is winning’ narrative I have to cite from another forum.

Over on Iran Military Forum, user Berislac, who has recently won praise, thanks and recognition for his tireless work from his fellow forum users due to keeping the forum updated on developments, victories, videos etc said this yesterday:

We are facing serious problems near Damascus. Aside from loosing town of Adra Wahhabis took today Hafir Tahta west of Adra which is close to the Missile base brigade 155. Also rats manage to take Bagdad bridge which means they cut the main highway. There are reports of massive killings in Adra. Its about two thousand of armed rats in this positions. From where did they pop up? Reinforcements have been sent from Homs province. Also take a wild guess two Hezbollah units are on the way to Adra.

In typical [Facepalm] fashion a user responds, with a SyrianPerspective piece claiming the rebel capture of Arda was an SAA plan all along to trap rebels:

‘ADRAA: We can confirm that the plan to force the Saudi-rat army to concentrate inside ‘Adraa Residences has been flawless in its execution. The army, fully prepared for 4 days, has moved into the following areas:


With SAA in full strength south of ‘Adraa in the East Ghoutaa, the closure to the north and east prevents any exfiltration of rodents. Tunnels are not an option any longer as there is no time for the rodents to dig them.


On the same page, a user today displays his frustration at Assad’s army:

I think we don’t need to waste Hezbollah units in battles where there is not significant shia population. When Hezbollah and Iraqi shiites take part of the battles there must be shia towns or shiitized by moving a settlers there. Let’s assadists and rats exterminate each other, we must only secure that rats do not take Damascus and some crucial cities.

Personally I have not a trust in Asad. He was studying and residing for many years in London, he is unclear man.

Subsequent users attack/criticise Syrian Intelligence capacity for failures incl. not seeing the loss of Arda.

Finally a user says:

Well said reza, it’s a shame that so many sellouts and traitors had managed to get into one of the strongest Arab armies in the middle east.

Syria has more trust on this intelligence officer than those of it’s own.

[IMAGE of Suleimani (Iranian)]


December 13th, 2013, 1:14 pm


ziad said:

On Music, the Political Role of Artists and His Activism for Justice Around the World, Including in Palestine.

An Interview with Roger Waters

“The situation in Israel/ Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is un acceptable. So for an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time. Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered. It’s the duty of every thinking human being to ask: “What can I do?”. Anybody who looks at the situation will see that if you choose not to take up arms to fight your oppressor, the non violent route, and the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S) movement, which started in Palestine with 100% support from Palestinian civil society in 2004-2005, a movement that has now been joined by many people around the world, the global civil society, is a legitimate form of resistance to this brutal and oppressive regime. I have nearly finished Max Blumenthal’s book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in greater Israel”. It’s a chilling read. It’s extremely well written in my view. He is a very good journalist and takes great pains to make sure that what he writes is correct. He also gives a voice to the other side. The voice, for instance, of the right wing rabbinate, which is so bizarre and hard to hear that you can hardly believe that it’s real. They believe some very weird stuff you know, they believe that everybody that is not a Jew is only on earth to serve them and they believe that the Indigenous people of the region that they kicked off the land in 1948 and have continued to kick off the land ever since are sub-human. The parallels with what went on in the 30’s in Germany are so crushingly obvious that it doesn’t surprise me that the movement that both you and I are involved in is growing every day. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was trying to shed light on this when we met, I only took part in two sessions, you took part in many more. It is an extremely obvious and fundamental problem of human rights which every thinking human being should apply himself to.”


December 13th, 2013, 1:27 pm


Uzair8 said:

Zoo’s comment (#361) about Sunni’s and others supporting the regime remind me of a thought I had the other day.

Users regularly claim how many Sunni’s still back the regime and how the army is also mainly Sunni and fighting for the regime.

You have to remember there are Air Force Intelligence agents in balaclavas standing behind them ready to execute them if they fail to carry out duties. Soldiers and Officers are under threat so many are trapped.

Perhaps it’s the same for civilian politicians and clerics? They may have Air Force Agents assigned to them ostensibly to protect them but possibly to keep an eye on them.

It reminds me of a poster a saw on Iran Military Forum with the images of Assad and a selection of Sunni figures (political, military and religious) in (or supporting) his regime.

Check the poster out:


December 13th, 2013, 1:35 pm


zoo said:

High hopes for a United Rebels delegation at Geneva?
Are we seen a repeat of what we saw in Egypt before the fall of Mobarak: a temporary alliance between the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salafists?

Syrian rebels ( FSA) say Islamists fighters (IF) are ‘welcome’ to participate in Geneva peace talks


A rough Who’s who

Al Qaeada, ISIL and JAN

– Sunnis Takfirist and other foreign Islamists
– Unofficially funded by rich Sunnis and GCC individuals and charities that are Jihadists-sympathizers
– They are on the USA-EU Terrorists lists
– Their goal is a totalitarian Islamic Emirate
– Syrians and foreigner fighters
– Anti-West

The Islamic Front

– A new grouping of rebels
– Sunnis Salafists
– Officially funded by Saudi Arabia government
– Their goal is a Sunni Islamic State ruled by the Sharia
– Syrians only fighters? Foreigners?
– Anti-West ? Pro-West?

– The original group of rebels
– Sunnis ‘moderates’ close to the Moslem Brotherhood
– Officially funded by Qatar, Turkey, the USA, UK and individuals
– Their goal is to bring down Bashar al Assad and bring in a moderate Sunni ‘democracy’ Turkish-style
– Syrians only fighters
– Pro-West

December 13th, 2013, 1:36 pm



Visitors to and observers of hard core regime loyalists facebook pages now notice the declining relevance of the “styer-at-par” accidental child dictator. Now more than ever, the joiner of the group of fanatic sectarians is increasingly reliant on historical figures such as Ali, Husein, Hasan, and other major religious figures and symbols. assad is no longer sufficient to unify the loyalists and his “staying-at-par” broohaha is a cover for his increasing irrelevance and a high anxiety level attempt to avoid being thrown under the bus by his own masters.

There are far more serious ramifications of this, but it serves to highlight the defeat-is-victory double speak attitude of hard core regime loyalists and their handlers in Iran. The real issue is that assad and his Syrian loyalists have never understood the lesson that once you surrender the decision to foreign entities, even if that is a criminal decision, and especially to an entity that is as banal and asinine as the mullas of qum, you are toast.

Enjoy the coming toaster. Especially when the victorious mullas find out that they are also left to toast by the bigger, yet much shorter figure of putin.

now, on the other side, and much unlike the regime sectarian defenders, many of the rebels are fighting the foreign entity implanted among them. Some are doing this in a rather stupid way, which relies on hyping islamist credential and exaggerated imitation of the dark-ages practices of the Trojan horse implanted within the revolution. The most, however, are fighting and I believe very soon will resort to secret work and sabotage against this entity. In all, the revolution has the upper moral ground, with the regime and its handlers having non being at the moral and ethical abyss assad and his handlers have placed them in.

December 13th, 2013, 2:17 pm



Once more, Truth is brutal.
Well, since I don’t have a monopoly on Truth, let me rephrase,

Reality is brutal, isn’t it?

December 13th, 2013, 2:27 pm


zoo said:

About reconciliation


Sheik Maamoun Rahmeh, a Sunni cleric, says the fight is no longer about demands for freedoms or reform.

In January 2012, Rahmeh was kidnapped by gunmen in his home village of Kfar Batna, in the countryside east of Damascus — because, he said, he was urging worshippers not to join the uprising.

His abductors rammed him with a car as he drove his motorcycle, piled him into their vehicle, took him to a secret location and tortured him for three hours. They cut off his ear and shot him through the jaw and in the leg. He says he heard his captors, thinking he was dead, debate whether to dump his body in a sewer or outside his own mosque. In the end, they chose the latter.
Five months ago, still recovering from his wounds, the 41-year-old cleric was named the imam at Syria’s most prominent mosque, the historic Umayyad Mosque in Damascus’ Old City. Friday sermons from the mosque are aired live on state TV, making it a crucial pulpit for the government to the Sunni community.

“Since the start … I have told people in my sermons that reform is a great and beautiful demand, but the path to it is not through killing, crime and destruction,” he told AP, lifting his cleric’s cap to show the stump where his right ear was severed.

Reconciliation, he says, will come easily once Syrians “realize the threads of conspiracy that have been woven, aiming to take us back to the Stone Age.”

“If you really call for freedom as you claim, then let’s put our hands together and say, ‘Freedom comes from respecting each other’s rights and preserving each other’s blood. Freedom means bringing even greater security than we had before,'” he said.

Mahjoub, a Syrian-American who was an old school friend of Assad’s late older brother and who has organized reconciliation initiatives, says a two-track approach can resolve the crisis: a reconciliation program to bring Syrians back together, backed by a type of “Marshall Plan” project to rebuild the country, aimed at bringing prosperity.

“We don’t give a damn who started it. People are dying. We need to have a solution that will bring a safer today and better tomorrow,” he said.

“Reconciliation is: We promise you will get a better tomorrow, and we forgive and forget.”

December 13th, 2013, 2:44 pm



When are free plural democratic elections going to take place in Democratic Republic of Syria ?

Since facts probe that Assad is the only capable leader to lead Syria the question should be:

A – If you want Assad to be the elected president of Syria cross here.

B – If you want Assad to be the eternal president of Syria cross here.

If you do not cross option A or B then you are anti-democrat so please show your identity card to the nearest Assad Services Akhu Manuiyuke available.

December 13th, 2013, 3:11 pm


Uzair8 said:

‘I Love You’ is so outdated.

New song for Kim Jong Un “We will only know You!”


North Korea sounds like such grim and dreary place. It would be suffocating living there. Feel sorry for the people there. Very sad.

I suppose the colourful mass ceremonies somewhat make up for the gloom and dreariness. (?)

December 13th, 2013, 4:29 pm


Tara said:


I do not see a difference between expressing glee or delight at the death or suffering of “Shiaa terrorists” as opposed to “Sunni terrorists”.

If no distinction is made, many of the SC “stars” should have been banned with Visitor.

Not that visitor and I have ever gotten along or agreed.

December 13th, 2013, 4:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

Scary place to live in NK. I get scared just thinking about it.

The leader’s uncle was arrested and executed over charges including half-hearted clapping over the leader’s promotion of another. Another charge was placing a granite monument carved with the Supreme Leader’s words in a shaded corner.


December 13th, 2013, 4:36 pm


ALAN said:

371. Uzair8
No one will prevail over Russia militarily’: Putin eyes $ 700bn to advance Army
Each square centimeters of the surface of the planet completely exposed to the superpower of the Russian Federation! Everyone knows that to no room for the ticker cat playing with a mouse!
The US missile defence cant shoot down Russian missiles, but Russian missiles can take out the US missile bases any time they want to.
Russian rocket technology is years ahead of US and US even buys big rocket engines from Russia! Also Russian subs are on permanent patrols on US coast and problem for US is that they rarely ever find where they are due to more advanced Russian sub technology. So the posters here from US who say so much nonsense about US being far more advanced are getting their history from Hollywood which is generally the opposite of reality !


December 13th, 2013, 4:36 pm


Observer said:

The way reconciliation works is usually with one side completely overwhelming the other and then realizing that it cannot itself survive without the other. The other way is for both sides to arrive to a complete exhaustion and no further ability to sacrifice blood and treasure.

So far in my humble opinion we are at the beginning of the civil war. There is no room for reconciliation whatsoever with 130 000 dead and 900 000 building destroyed. As a matter of fact, the opposition is now honing its skills and its sharp instruments for more of the same.

The strategy of the regime is failing. HA and Iran are looking for a way out. Bahrain is now accepted to be in the orbit of the KSA. In the meantime just as the most ruthless thug took over Syria over 40 years ago by eliminating lesser thugs we will have the most ruthless rebels take over the opposition slowly but surely.

The US and the West have no power on the ground. They have left the revolution to be orphaned from the very beginning and now it is being adopted fully by an Islamist Sunni based sectarian thinking.

Watch out what you wish for you might get it iPad retard.

As for Michael Hayden speech, he says that in his opinion the least horrible scenario is for the regime to win as the other two options are worse for the US. Well too late my friend, as the revolution was left to evolve on its own there is no say in what the US or anyone can say about it. There is a determination to pay the highest price to destroy the regime once and for all on the part of the people firstly and then by regional powers. Lest Iran wants to be sucked into a regional Shia Sunni war as it negotiates its nuclear program the writing is on the wall. There will be a limit to what the Iranians can do in Syria. Even after the Qalamoun battles the regime continues to be hammered and cannot keep and hold areas it so called controls.

Michael Haden spoke of the end of Sykes Picot, something that is clearly happening in front of our eyes. He he he he he get them out of our hair. Let them have their states and their clans and their warlords and their books and their sheikhs and their clergy and their flagellation ceremonies and their worship of the God incarnate and of their Door and Spirit and of their 1400 year old grievances.

My condolences again can we move on?

December 13th, 2013, 4:42 pm


Uzair8 said:


Sounds like you mean (Russian) full spectrum domination.

Anyway the cold war is over. We don’t want the 2 powers to endanger the rest of us.

December 13th, 2013, 4:43 pm


ALAN said:

376. Uzair8
No, I want to note that the liquidation of allies of the Soviet Union (Friends of current Russia ) so brutal, as happened in Libya has become of the imagination! At these friends begin political geography of the Russian Federation! Russia and today more and more fitness and Able to impose its weight in the world and to stop singling and Western hegemony!!! This is not a cold war! This respect for the law of the mighty!!!

December 13th, 2013, 5:02 pm


ALAN said:

“America linked Turkish Special Forces kidnap 120 Syrian Kurds” 😉

December 13th, 2013, 6:34 pm


ALAN said:

It is now more evident than ever before that Qatar is playing a vital role in stoking up the chaos which is tearing Syria apart.

Informed sources have recently exposed that in the heart of Doha stand centers for training assassins of different nationalities who are dispatched to Syria to fight against the government of Bashar al-Assad. These would-be assassins are subjected to heavy military training as well as Wahhabi teachings.

the sowing of a bad seed in the fertile soil of the world: a systematic and gradual Wahhabization of the world.


December 13th, 2013, 7:18 pm


zoo said:

Al Nusra massacre whole families belonging to the non-Sunni minorities

Syria: Army moves in after civilian deaths


A Syrian opposition figure who was in touch with people in the area said extremists were looking for people and killing them on a sectarian basis, adding that the number of dead civilians could be in the “dozens”.

He said: “Some people are being shot and others are being beheaded. They include Christians, Alawites, Druse and ­Shiites.”

The source was speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

He added that when militants tried to kill a Shiite man, he took out a grenade he had with him and blew it up killing himself, his wife, mother, brother and son and several of his attackers.

December 13th, 2013, 8:03 pm


zoo said:

Will the USA sell off Syria to the Saudis to calm their furor over the nuclear deal with Iran?

As moderate Syria rebels slip, US forced to consider aiding Islamist groups


Without any US assistance, Islamist groups in Syria have zoomed past the moderate rebel forces in organization, control of territory, and staying power – thus becoming the Assad regime’s principal opponents.

By Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer /

According to some regional experts, Saudi Arabia has decided that the Islamic Front is the best bulwark against a worrisome arc of Al Qaeda influence rising across Syria and Iraq and fueled by two Syrian rebel groups – al-Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. But some caution that the line separating the most extreme Islamists from the others is not so well defined, and they warn that the two sides have cooperated on the battlefield.

Yet even if the US is contemplating some representation from the Front at the international conference, the US remains cautious about the Islamists joining the SMC, the moderate rebel coalition, US officials say.

Among key reasons for the reluctance: letting any Islamist groups in would make keeping aid out of the hands of the extremists harder. Beyond that, the Islamists reject the ultimate goal of a democratic transition with equal rights and protection for all Syria’s communities.

December 13th, 2013, 8:14 pm


Akbar Palace said:

A few random, meaningless thoughts:

1.) Matthew – look what you’ve done! No more “heads up” news from the Guided Kingdom! I was just getting ready to set up a JCC there for the hebrews flocking to all those Saudi air bases.

The world is upside down. Soon you’ll be telling me Cairo is covered in snow.

2.) Ziad – if you really believe Jews expect everyone to serve them, could you bring me a martini? Also, I’d like you to drive me to the gym tomorrow. Make sure the car is heated first. It’s colder than a witch’s mammary gland out there!

3.) When the “Jihadists” (both sunni and shia) and the Baathists are gone, what’s left is a large group of good people. I hope I get to see this group lead Syria before I die.

December 13th, 2013, 8:15 pm


ghufran said:

For once I have to agree with Faisal Al-Qasem who is reminding Syrians that the Iraqi model of governing only brought misery and division to Iraq:
أيها السوريون – نظاماً ومعارضة وشعباً – هل تلقون نظرة سريعة على وضع جاركم العراق المزري، الذي وصل إلى ما وصل إليه من انهيار، لأن فريقاً اعتقد أنه انتصر على آخر؟
لا يظنن أحد في سوريا أنه قادر على الانتصار على الآخر، لأن وضع سوريا مشابه لوضع العراق، من حيث تركيبته المذهبية والعرقية والقبائلية.
من السذاجة أن يعتقد النظام أنه قادر على الانتصار على معارضيه، ومن السذاجة أن يعتقد المعارضون أنهم قادرون على الانتصار على أتباع النظام، لأن ذلك سيدفع الفريق المهزوم، أياً كان، تحت الأرض ليتحول إلى حركة تخريبية تدميرية إرهابية تزلزل الأرض تحت أقدام ‘المنتصرين المزعومين’.
لا أحد يطلب منكم طبعاً أن تستوعبوا القتلة والمجرمين الذين ارتكبوا جرائم فاشية بحق السوريين، فهؤلاء جديرون بأقسى أنواع المحاكمات. لكن يجب الأخذ بعين الاعتبار إشراك كل فئات الشعب السوري في بناء دولة جديدة لكل أبنائها، وليست حكراً على طائفة أو مذهب على حساب الآخر.
إن الخطاب الإقصائي الانتقامي، الذي يتشدق به النظام أو معارضوه في سوريا كفيل بأن يطيل أمد الأزمة إلى عشرات السنين. والأنكى من ذلك أن سوريا ليست غنية كالعراق، فميزانيتها السنوية أقل من عُشر الميزانية العراقية، مما يعني أن البلاد ستذهب إلى الجحيم اقتصادياً لو استمر الوضع على حاله. هل لاحظتم كيف أن العراق صاحب الميزانية الضخمة لم يستطع أن يؤمن أبسط الحاجيات لشعبه بسبب عدم الاستقرار الأمني والسياسي الناتج عن تحكم فئة بفئة؟ فكيف سيكون الوضع في سوريا إذا ما سار على النهج العراقي الانتقامي الاستئصالي يا ترى؟
قد يقول البعض إن الوضع في سوريا مختلف عن وضع العراق، ففي العراق تم إسقاط النظام بواسطة قوة خارجية، ولم تكن ثورة على النظام، كما هو الحال في سوريا. وهذا صحيح.
لكن الثورة لا يمكن أن تنجح، في ما لو اتبعت النموذج العراقي في الإقصاء والاستئصال، فباستثناء الذين تلطخت اياديهم بدماء السوريين، فإن كل فئات الشعب السوري لها كامل الحق في بناء الدولة الجديدة، بعيداً عن الإقصاء والإبعاد والانتقام. وليتنا نتعلم من تجارب أمريكا اللاتينية التي تعالت على جراحها وكوارث وجرائم العسكر، وأعادت اللحمة إلى أوطانها بسواعد كل أبنائها على مختلف مشاربهم وانتماءاتهم.
I think Faisal is not just talking to regime supporters, he is clearly addressing Syrians who think that they can rule Syria, Mailiki-type, using their superiority in number. In a country like Syria, and in most countries for that matter, peace can only come when citizens are treated as partners not as members of a sect.

December 13th, 2013, 8:33 pm


Tara said:

A hyena regime that takes revenge on the rebels by shooting the prisoner of consciounce.

وفي حلب، يتعرض المعتقلون في سجن حلب المركزي إلى معاملة سيئة من قبل قوات النظام المشرفة عليه، حيث يعاني السجناء من سوء في التغذية بسبب قلة الطعام، كما أن موجة البرد والصقيع الحالية ضاعفت من محنتهم وأصابت معظم السجناء بالأمراض، ما أدى إلى وفاة أكثر من 13 سجينا في الأيام القليلة الماضية، تم دفنهم جميعا في باحة السجن وفق نشطاء سوريين.

وأشارت وكالة مسار برس التابعة للمعارضة إلى اندلاع اشتباكات عنيفة بين كتائب الثوار وقوات النظام حول محيط السجن، حيث تمكن الثوار من قتل أربعة عناصر من قوات النظام، بالمقابل ردت شرطة السجن بإطلاق النار على مهاجع السجناء والجناح المخصص للمعتقلين السياسيين.

ووفق إحصائية لوكالة مسار برس التابعة للمعارضة، بلغ عدد الوفيات في السجن المركزي بحلب لأكثر من أربعمائة سجين منذ بداية المعارك.

December 13th, 2013, 9:05 pm


ghufran said:

This is the first time the UN confirms that chemical weapons were used against Syrian soldiers:

“The United Nations Mission collected credible information that corroborates the allegations that chemical weapons were used in Khan Al Asal on 19 March 2013 against soldiers and civilians,” according to the final report, which team leader Dr. Åke Sellström handed over to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN Headquarters in New York.

December 14th, 2013, 1:01 am


Sami said:

It should be noted that in the same report it mentions that eye witnesses say that an “overflying aircraft had dropped an aerial bomb filled with Sarin” but it does not rule out the possibility of S2S missile.

So was it a homemade rocket filled with homemade Sarin that was fired by a group of disunited and ragtag rebels or perhaps the more simpler and realistic scenario that the government that admitted to having Chemical Weapons with the most ass backwards airforce dropped the bomb on the wrong location?

Here is the full report for those that would want to read it in its entirety:

December 14th, 2013, 1:41 am


don said:


The Obama administration is willing to consider supporting an expanded Syrian rebel coalition that would include Islamist groups, provided the groups are not allied with al-Qaeda and agree to support upcoming peace talks in Geneva, a senior U.S. official said Thursday.

In addition, the official said, the Americans would like the Islamic Front groups to return U.S. vehicles, communications gear and other non-lethal equipment they seized last weekend from warehouses at the Syria-Turkey border.

… and a partridge and a pear tree … 😀


December 14th, 2013, 4:14 am



Obama is the clear example that presidents all around the world are simply puppets with no posible action capabilities.

If even a black with social tendencies is accepting the chemical holocaust of the syrian population at the hands of barbaric iranian-russian men and interests, then forget about ideals of world justice and bla bla bla.

Obama you are a fake and a mattersackar

December 14th, 2013, 5:11 am



Obama is the useless democratically elected president of the US ignorant citizens as it also was Bush Junior, who permitted the 11-S cover up attacks.

It is possible that both Syria and Russia owns information that can show how the pakistaní secret services generated the attack with cooperation with Cheney, Wolfowitz and co.

Also Syria´s Assad is behind the attack in Madrid railways that killed 200 people on march 2004. And many more operations ocurred in the past.

December 14th, 2013, 5:26 am



Well said, Frederic C. Hof

Regime survival guarantees no civilized future for Syria. The clan is not an alternative to political Islam in Syria—it is the catalyst of Syria’s sectarian breakdown and the cause of an al-Qaeda presence featuring foreign fighters. The administration’s Geneva approach to regime change defines the term long-shot. Yet it has no real choice other than to play the hand it has dealt itself.

December 14th, 2013, 5:30 am



We have been informing, according to inhabitants of Aleppo, Damascus, Edlib and Hama regions, that at last 14 chemical attacks perpetrated by Assad forces against rebels had taken place until september 2013. Now it is already 16 attacks.

Obama is meanwhile praying for the sould of Nelson Mandela (who was in the kill list of the US department in the 60´s and imprisoned for 27 years with the acceptance of all world powers).

I wonder if after 50 years world leaders will visit Syria and the museum of chemical horros in Damascus to pay tribute to the victims.

But now that they can do sometihing THEY DO NOTHING.

OBAMA should commit suicide for the good of Human Kind.

December 14th, 2013, 5:35 am


don said:

The BBC Israeli Mafia calls MERCENARIES “Foreign jihadists” 😎

Syria conflict: Foreign jihadists [MERCENARY DEATH SQUADS] use Turkey safe houses

One such fighter from France told our correspondent that “there are thousands of us, literally from every corner of the world”.

“And we are all al-Qaeda,” he added.

The jihadist, a former student in France, said he had joined a brigade which had 8,000 men.


December 14th, 2013, 6:01 am


don said:

Syria: al-Qaida rebels kidnap 120 Kurds, monitoring group says

Civilians were taken from, Ihras, close to the Turkish border, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights


Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaida have kidnapped at least 120 Kurdish civilians from a village near the Turkish border in Aleppo province, according to a monitoring group.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters entered Ihras, 12 miles south of the border town of Azaz, and took the captives, including at least six women, to an unknown location.

The SOHR said ISIL had kidnapped 51 Kurdish civilians from the towns of Manbij and Jarablus, north-east of Aleppo, since the start of December, including eight women and two children.

Isil has also evicted 15 Kurdish families linked to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) from their homes in Idlib province, according to the SOHR.

December 14th, 2013, 6:12 am


Syrialover said:


I always read your posts because you can contribute useful insights and well-informed perspectives.

But it’s not enlightening to read:

“There is a 50 year war in the offing. It has started and will not stop until it completely destroys the whole region” (# 418 in the previous thread)

You may be only philosophizing and dramatizing, but your words are precisely what people who look down on Arabs love to see.

A bunch of primitives who love to murder each other, can’t survive without dictators and don’t deserve any better.

That’s what it reads like.

If Arab people are really like you suggest, and not like the rest of human civilization, what are they doing pushing for freedom and dignity and the right to live like others?

OBSERVER, you may be trying to make some ironic points or be sarcastic or something, but your message and intentions are lost in a post like the one above.

Please try again with real people in your mind, not obscure debating goals.

December 14th, 2013, 6:19 am


Syrialover said:

On November 5, Samantha Power took to Twitter to denounce Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. “The US view of Assad is unchanged,” wrote the new US ambassador to the United Nations. “A man who gasses his people, Scuds his people & terrorises his people does not deserve to govern those people.”

The tweet revealed a great deal about Power, at 43 the youngest person to hold the post at the UN, which also comes with a seat in the US cabinet. Any remaining Twitter-sceptics would be impressed at the concise and punchy message the one-time Pulitzer Prize-winner managed to pack into 140 characters. (It helps when you have one of the world’s most imposing Twitter handles: @AmbassadorPower.)

– From Financial Times, December 12 2013 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d4224dc8-612f-11e3-916e-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz2nRjvUej0

December 14th, 2013, 6:21 am


Syrialover said:


For a textbook, template script used by closet shabiha read ZOO’s side of the discussion with HOPEFUL in this and the previous thread.

It’s all pretend concern, all hollow agreement and earnest yap, yap etc but it’s a thin, torn curtain draped over the sole game of keeping Assad undisturbed and free to get on with burning the country.

You can search and search the thousands of ZOO posts here and you will not find one line suggesting Assad has done anything wrong or sincere concern for the welfare of Syrian people or what is being done to their country.

We are witnessing an act straight out of the scruffy “closet shabiha playbook” that lies next to ZOO’s computer.

December 14th, 2013, 6:22 am


don said:

In Which David Ignatius [NEO CON PAR EXCELLENCE] Does Not Understand “Hegemony”


Writing from Dubai David Ignatius pens a small piece on the alleged loss of the global standing of the United States. It is the usual claptrap of some Saudis and Republicans blaming Obama for not killing enough of their perceived enemies.

Interestingly there are three headlines to that piece. On the Washington Post opinion page it is:

Erosion of U.S. power
Allies have harsh words for the White House.

On the article subpage it is:

U.S. allies are restless

The browser window headline and the URL to the piece contain this:


Are “restless allies” a sign of “erosion of [U.S.] power”? Does that make sense? And what the hell are weevils???

But that Ignatius and his headline writers can not decide and label what his piece is really about is not the issue here. That comes in the last paragraph which compares the demise of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev with the United States:

Returning to Gorbachev, the paradox is that, although he was right in trying to change an outmoded, overburdened system, he didn’t foresee the consequences. He thought he could pull on a few stray threads without unraveling the sweater. The analogy is unfair, in that Soviet power was malign whereas U.S. hegemony has generally been positive. But a common theme is that repositioning a superpower is a tricky business.

Mr. Ignatius obviously does not know the definition of “hegemony:

[hi-jem-uh-nee, hej-uh-moh-nee]
noun, plural he·gem·o·nies.
leadership or predominant influence exercised by one nation over others, as in a confederation.
leadership; predominance.
(especially among smaller nations) aggression or expansionism by large nations in an effort to achieve world domination.

The world is not a confederation and the U.S. is not in any agreed upon leadership of the world. But the third definition fits: Hegemony and striving for it by a large nation is aggression. And the claim that U.S. hegemonic aggression has “generally been positive” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in itself.

For whom has U.S.hegemony “generally been positive”? For all those people killed in Vietnam? For Iraqis? For the next of kin of those “mistakenly” killed 14 Yemenis and those 22 wounded by U.S. drones and missiles while on their way to a wedding?

December 14th, 2013, 7:08 am


Syrialover said:


I have just been re-reading your posts where you issue sharp reminders about Iran’s current role in destroying Syria and how the Shia mullahs have been handed control of the country by Bashar Assad.

(Thank you for posts #10, #12, #13, #214 and #367 on that)

The reality and significance of this is bizarrely absent from 90% of so-called informed opinion or analysis pieces on Syria.

And also thanks SYRIAN in #10 for pointing out the blazing truth that Syria’s close alliance and involvement with Iran was an act by an illegitimate regime, done without the agreement or even knowledge of the people of Syria.

We now see that the Assads to serve their own narrow, short-term sinister interests sold a whole wonderful country very, very cheaply to a junk buyer.

December 14th, 2013, 7:40 am


zoo said:

The USA and the UK are so obsessed by not looking like fools if Bashar al Assad stay in power than they are now showing readiness to help the Salafi-Wahhabi Islamic Front to take over Syria.

No wonder, the USA did the same in Afghanistan to win over the Soviet army. The created Al Qaeda so they could claim victory with the consequences we know.

The history shows that the USA would even join the devil only to let the world know they can’t be humiliated without making the perpetrators pay a heavy price.
After the debacle of Vietnam and Hiroshima, they showed preference to make use of local forces or mercenaries, even the evil ones instead of risking their own troops.

In Syria, the ‘moderate’ FSA they have been helping for 2 years, is falling apart. Now they seem to want to boost Salafi Islamists fighters supported by Saudi Arabia without any consideration of the USA claimed goals: ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’.

Are they are ready to let Syria be reduced to rubbles and minorities massacred rather then accepting that they failed and that Syria won?

Like in Egypt, after the fall of their Moslem Brotherhood protege Morsy, the USA may end up again to look like a fool.

December 14th, 2013, 8:07 am


zoo said:

The Guided Kingdom’s only export: Oil and Terrorists

Iraqi expert: 60% of gunmen fighting in Iraq come from KSA

Follow -up (IraqiNews.com) The expert in the Iraqi Security Affairs Saeed al-Jaiyashi assured that almost 60% of the gunmen who entered Iraq between 2005-2008 were of Saudi nationality, noting that “the statements of the secretary general of Hizbullah, Hasan Nasrallah, and the representative of Syria at the UN, Bashar al-Jaafary, confirm that this case is repeated in Lebanon and Syria.”

Read more: http://www.iraqinews.com/baghdad-politics/iraqi-expert-0-of-gunmen-fighting-in-iraq-come-from-ksa/#ixzz2nSEx6iDi
Follow us: @IraqiNews_com on Twitter | IraqNews on Facebook

December 14th, 2013, 8:13 am


Observer said:

SL thanks for the note.

In reality this is an indictment of the one party rule of more than 60 years that failed miserably in every corner and every aspect of governance in Syria:

Education: many a sixth grader in Syria cannot read or write because of the policy of automatic advancement regardless of performance, a policy meant to show good statistics.

Defense: A defeat in 73 and a complete cease fire since then without any attempt to recover the land. Inability to defend against repeated raids and inability to preserve the armed forces for external threats.

Economy: collapse of the previous regime that at least provided some modicum of support to the millions now revolting and a transformation of the economy into the personal fiefdom of a family

Infrastructure: Projects that came about for a so called economic boom that remained agricultural based and without any prospect of improvement. Even oil exploration was halted because no company could do business with so much corruption.

Health: crumbling health system and a water supply system that is to this day without purification leading to endemic cholera and parasitic infestation of the food supply.

So, what happens when you have a failed state is a return to the family clan sect ethnicity group identity to support you. A best example is the system in Lebanon whereby if you want to get an education you have to get it from the office of this or that sect leader. Likewise, I know for a fact that 90% of all higher education posts in Syria were distributed according to sectarian basis and not on merit.

So once you have an identification on sectarian basis, it is almost by definition an exclusivist one. Let us take the Iranian constitution that posits that sovereignty belongs to God not to the people; that the rule is based on that of the supreme jurisprudent and that the Shia creed is the basis of legislative laws. In this it automatically excludes Jews for example or Armenians. So what is an Iranian if he is not muslim? What is the identity of the citizen around which everyone agrees upon and on which the rule of law is based to keep the country in a cohesive state?

Let us also take Iraq. The Arab Nationalists all accuse the US correctly that it came into Iraq to bring in democracy and left with a sectarian based constitution. Well the reality is that the previous regime has so badly oppressed the minorities and the majority that both wanted in the new constitution a guarantee of their sectarian based rights. The Kurds did not want any central power that would oppress them again, the Shia never wanted a regime that killed their leaders and Iran never wanted another strong Iraq to threaten it again. So the US screwed up as usual and yet now the country is in the hands of its people it is up to them to rewrite the constitution but alas the state is so weak that only a reverting to the sect will do.

Many on this and other blogs lament that the fate of the minorities in the ME is threatened. I share fully their apprehension and I think it would be a tragedy and a catastrophe that after living together for millennia we cannot accept each other any longer. But let us be frank with each other about this as well.

First, when the Ottoman state weakened in the 19th century it actually scapegoated the minorities and the minorities fate was and continues to be used as an excuse for outside christian powers to intervene as Russia does today for example.

So, the minorities espoused fully the Arab National Movement as in it they could find a place that would supersede the Muslim identity that was the glue of the Ottoman empire ( in disguise or otherwise is not important ) and in it they can find a citizenship whereby the minority status would dissolve fully.

In this Nationalism many Sunnis and Shias agreed fully but for this idea to take hold and to grow a functioning governance of some sorts was an absolute necessity and in this the failure is complete. Statist Security Regimes were established in Egypt and Syria and Jordan and to a certain extent in Lebanon and more so in Iraq. Socialist based economically centralized states that did not even go through an industrial revolution brought a complete disaster as well impoverishing many and stifling free enterprise. The defeat became complete with the abject 67 war that resulted in all three armies not only defeated but completely destroyed and Israel expand its area several fold and in control of water resources and maritime routes.

Last but not least, I would like to remind my fellow minority conscious people that the minorities themselves failed totally and miserably in also proving to the majorities that they are full fledged honest compatriots that are fully integrated into the fabric of our societies: the Maronites in Lebanon initiated the civil war and allied themselves with the Israelis in bringing destruction on the country, the Shia which are the largest minority in Lebanon have a proportion of them fully under the control of the supreme leader; the Sunnis in Iraq in the late years of Saddam oppressed Kurds and Shias alike and the Baath with its many Shia members became the instrument of a clan and a family; the Alawi rule in Syria consolidated fully the apparatus of governance around the sect and the sect only. The Druze serve in special battalions in the Israeli Army and as border guards are notorious for being extremely harsh on the Sunnis of Palestine ( not the Christians by the way ).

So when the minorities lament the rise of sectarianism they are partly to blame. Again and again I will say it: the minorities wanted the majority to be secular while they retained their minority based identity and privileges.

So I am a pessimist and at times a cynic. I am tired of the people of the ME continue to blame others for their ills. For the Iraqis to stick with the flawed constitution that they have means to me eternal conflict, for the Syrian regime to blame the KSA for its ills means eternal abdication of responsibility, for the Christians to continue to live with fear instead of hope means eternal dissociation from the communities they live in.

As a matter of fact, the Zionist entity’s ability to have a Jewish Homeland is now the envy of the minorities. All of them without an exception lament the fact that they cannot carve out a state for themselves because of the population mixing.

One of my cousins said that the Syrian National State is the ideal solution whereby the people of the Fertile Crescent join together as Syrians and in such a state, there is only minorities no single majority. There is not enough of anyone to claim a majority. So I challenged him in writing a constitution for such a state. I do so to all on this blog as well.

December 14th, 2013, 8:36 am


alan said:

/I was just getting ready to set up a JCC there for the hebrews flocking to all those Saudi air bases/
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Salman bin-Sultan Al Saud and two other officers secretly visited Israel, according to reports by the Palestinian news portal al-Manar and Israeli radio.

Bin-Sultan, who is the brother of Saudi Arabia’s spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, “met Israeli security leaders” and one of the “Israeli military bases accompanied by a senior member of the Israeli staff board”, the al-Manar report said, quoting “confidential sources”.

On November 17, the British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that Riyadh has given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace for possible attacks on Iran over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

Riyadh denied the Saudi-Israeli cooperation in preparation for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program.

who dares?

December 14th, 2013, 8:44 am


habib said:

“So when the minorities lament the rise of sectarianism they are partly to blame. Again and again I will say it: the minorities wanted the majority to be secular while they retained their minority based identity and privileges.”

Bollocks. What privileges? And what identity? Who asked Sunnis to cease identifying as Sunnis? One thing is being religious, another thing is to be a raving fanatic.

December 14th, 2013, 9:32 am


zoo said:

The kidnapped Syrian nuns to be exchanged for emprisonned Saudis jihadists? Why are the opposition and its ‘allies’ not intervening to free the nuns?

Syrian government negotiating with rebels to free seized nuns: activists

BEIRUT — The Syrian government is negotiating with rebels to release 12 nuns seized earlier this month from a convent north of Damascus, two activists said on Saturday. The rebels are demanding that hundreds of imprisoned women activists be freed in exchange for the nuns, they said.

Reports of local cease-fires and other short-term deals have become more common as Syria’s three-year-old civil war drags on, but talks leading to prisoner exchanges still appear to be rare.

The negotiations were also confirmed by a Syrian opposition activist who requested anonymity, as he was discussing talks conducted by other parties. He said the rebels were also demanding the release of imprisoned Saudi Arabian nationals captured while fighting for the opposition.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/syrian-government-negotiating-with-rebels-to-free-seized-nuns-activists-1.1592314#ixzz2nT2yaSoC

December 14th, 2013, 11:37 am


zoo said:


Who is whining and complaining that they are powerless victims and haven’t stopped calling and begging other countries in all possible channels to intervene to help them?

In the last 3 years, I don’t recall having seen any Syrian minority leader calling a foreign country for help.

December 14th, 2013, 11:57 am


zoo said:

By welcoming the Islamists fighters to help ‘topple’ Bashar al Assad, the opposition have brought a disaster on them and on Syria

Growing strength of Syria’s Islamist groups undermines hopes of ousting Assad


The west is being forced to rethink its support for rebel alliance in civil war as forces linked to al-Qaida gain ground

What is already happening, according to some accounts, is discreet talks with some more moderate groups in the Islamic Front, which reportedly took place in Turkey, headed by US envoy Robert Ford, who travelled to London on Friday to consult with other western backers of the Syrian opposition, including the UK.

In a further development yesterday – underlining the rapidly changing dynamics of the conflict – a rebel commander with the Islamic Front told Reuters they would be talking with US officials in Turkey this week, perhaps incluidng Ford, to seek an agreement on arms supply and co-ordination in areas controlled by the front. That followed an announcement on Friday in London that the Islamic Front would be invited to join the opposition delegation to the Geneva talks.

Jane Kinninmont of the foreign policy thinktank Chatham House:
“Assad is making advances, he has presented himself as a partner with the west in getting rid of his chemical weapons, and is promising elections. With the rising concern over the Islamist factions, and no prospect of outside military intervention, the levers that could be used to remove him are disappearing.”

December 14th, 2013, 12:18 pm


zoo said:

The Islamic Front dealing with the USA is modelled on the “Prophet Mohammad temporary and tactical truces with enemy tribes “. Will the USA play the game?

Syrian Islamist rebels to meet US officials: Opposition sources
Reuters , Saturday 14 Dec 2013


Syrian rebel commanders from the Islamic Front which seized control of bases belonging to Western-backed rebels last week are due to hold talks with US officials in Turkey in coming days, rebel and opposition sources said on Saturday.

The expected contacts between Washington and the radical fighters reflect the extent to which the Islamic Front alliance has eclipsed the more moderate Free Syrian Army brigades – which Western and Arab powers tried in vain to build into a force able to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

The talks could also decide the future direction of the Islamic Front, which is engaged in a standoff with yet more radical Sunni Muslim fighters from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

A rebel fighter with the Islamic Front said he expected the talks in Turkey to discuss whether the United States would help arm the front and assign to it responsibility for maintaining order in the rebel-held areas of northern Syria.

Contacts with the United States will not be undertaken lightly by the Islamic Front, which includes Salafi groups such as Ahrar al-Sham brigades which are mainly hostile to the West and have rejected US-Russian backed U.N. peace talks for Syria, due to be held in Switzerland next month.

But their leaders have compared engaging with Washington to the Prophet Mohammad’s temporary and tactical truces with enemy tribes as he built up his power.

December 14th, 2013, 12:30 pm


Tara said:

Observer # 404

Zoo does not recall minority leaders asking for foreign help.

He does not recall Assad ( Alawi leader) surrendering the country sovereignty to Iran and to HA. He does not recall Christian leaders begging the western “Christian conscience” to keep Batta in power. He does not recall the freaky sister from Hell Fadia aka Agnus going in a state-sponsored visit to Israel to drum up help!

Is this inability to remember an an act of dementia or an act of lying ?

December 14th, 2013, 12:52 pm


alan said:

— No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles that has Saudi-watchers scratching their heads and wondering whether the deal is related to Riyadh’s support for the Syrian rebels. – See more at:

December 14th, 2013, 1:00 pm


Uzair8 said:

Sleeping with the fishes


I knew Riad Hijab reminded me of someone. After all this time it’s come to me.

Luca Brasi.

Don did you send him? You think you could fool us? Call him off please!

Revolutionaries be careful, he’s possibly armed and wearing body armour (vest).

December 14th, 2013, 1:00 pm


Uzair8 said:

Don look away now. Actually your view on this would be welcome.

Saw this story on Shiachat.

Jerusalem Post:

Israel Prefers Assad Over Islamists In Syria

Israel’s preference is for President Bashar Assad to remain in power rather than see radical Islamist forces take control in Syria, the former military chief of staff is quoted in Wednesday’s edition of the daily tabloid Ma’ariv as saying.

Dan Halutz, who served as IDF chief of staff during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, told a gathering in Moscow that the prospect of al-Qaida-affiliated elements ruling Damascus in place of the Assad regime would be more problematic from Jerusalem’s standpoint…



December 14th, 2013, 1:06 pm


ALAN said:

Syria: Unravelling the Truth. Ottawa Conference with Michel Chossudovsky and Atif Kubursi, December 15
Ottawa City Hall, Jean Pigott Hall, 110 Laurier Ave.E.
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013

December 14th, 2013, 1:15 pm


Uzair8 said:


No more arms race!

‘I hope the Russians love their children too.’

A brilliant song from Sting equally critical of Soviet Union and the US.

‘We share the same biology
regardless of ideology’

Sting – Russians

December 14th, 2013, 1:20 pm


Uzair8 said:

Yesterday I talked about North Korea being a frightening place to live in. Later on the radio I heard a discussion on the recent developments from there and heard how the young leader was following in the footsteps of his predecessors in carrying out purges, playing one (individual/faction) against another. Eventually purging all of them one by one.

Imagine being an officer in such a regime. You must know eventually your time will come, even if you may be in favour currently. If one wanted to avoid such an ‘inevitable’ fate can you get out? Are you stuck? Scary thought.

Would they let you leave? Can you just knock on your superiors door and say ‘I fancy a change in career. I hope you understand.’

December 14th, 2013, 1:32 pm


ALAN said:

There is no alternative for “Night Hunter”! It’s fantastic!

КА-50 КА-52 Beauties!


December 14th, 2013, 1:48 pm



Assad mafia in Dubai should be executed by legal or unlegal means.

December 14th, 2013, 1:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

This polar snowstorm will hamper the regime so called ‘offensive.’

The rebel capture of Adra was timely. The regime and hezbo reinforcements claimed to be heading there will now struggle to do so. Rebels will presumably have time to dig in now.

December 14th, 2013, 3:13 pm


zoo said:

Can Israel and Qatar learn to be friends again?


The world’s richest country had relations with Israel until 2009. In a shifting Middle East, alliances can always be revived

December 14th, 2013, 3:50 pm


zoo said:

A look at the Islamists groups, their ideologie and achievements: Al Nusra and ISIS

Opinion: The “Exile” and “Separation” of Syria’s Islamist Groups

If we were to study the declared beliefs of Syria’s jihadist groups, we would soon be struck by the fact that the main jihadist groups have not, in fact, revealed a clearly defined ideology. They are content with a highly professional media rhetoric, which has focused on their unrivaled military capability in their fight against the Syrian Army, while deliberately and consistently obscuring the political and social aims of their fight. Indeed, they are content to murmur vaguely about two organically linked principles: nusra and ghurba.

In this context, and contrary to how it would initially appear, Baghdadi’s “state” appears to be drowning in its ghurba, whereas the strategy of the Al-Nusra Front appears closer to achieving the aims of ISIS.

But given the severity of the social destruction in Syria, the engrossment of the leaders of the conflict in local power struggles, and their lack of concern for their supposed popular base, it has become impossible to talk about the real needs of society. Yet these war games and power struggles will render the leaders of the conflict nothing more than ineffectual warlords presiding over a devastated country.

December 14th, 2013, 9:14 pm


zoo said:

Sharia law imposed in Christian village in Syria


(AGI) Damascus, Dec 14 – Salafi and Al Qaeda terrorists of Jabhat al Nousra went to the parish priest of the Christian village of Kanaye’, on the banks of the Orontes river in the Idlib Governorate, northern Syria, and ordered him not to toll the bells. They said it was forbidden for women to go out in the streets, even to go to church, and that they must wear an Islamic veil if they leave the house. The terrorists threatened to kill them all should they fail to obey, sources of the Syrian Christian community told AGI, adding that the people of Christian villages had already experienced this over a year ago. . .

December 14th, 2013, 9:22 pm


zoo said:

It’s Putin vs Bandar Bush on the Syrian chessboard


Everyone remembers the spectacular four-and-a-half hour meeting last August in Moscow between President Putin and Bandar Bush — aka Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s Director of National Intelligence.

Well, there was a remix last week, also in Moscow. And once again in absolute secrecy, until a formidable leak from “a close and reliable source” in Russia reached Lebanese newspaper al-Manar.

Bandar Bush’s first offensive was a disaster; not only did Putin rebuff his attempt to “bribe” Moscow into abandoning Damascus, but subsequently Russia was pivotal in preventing the Obama administration from bombing Syria.

Now Bandar Bush has “offered” softer terms. After all, Saudi Arabia is on board with the Geneva-2 peace conference scheduled for January 22 — although it didn’t used to be. President Bashar Assad may remain in Damascus during this period, but real power should be transferred to an interim government headed by the “opposition” (which opposition is open to speculation; certainly the “rebels” controlled by Riyadh).

Moreover, Bandar Bush expects Russia to pressure Assad not to call for a 2014 presidential election. According to the Syrian constitution, a new constitution should be written and approved during the interim government and only then elections should be called — with Assad excluded. If Moscow abides, Saudi Arabia will be more than willing to “contribute” to the cost of rebuilding Syria (which it helped destroy via financed/weaponized mercenaries).

Leaving aside the mind-boggling spectacle of the House of Saud’s medieval paradise dictating the terms for the future of a third country, President Putin’s answer can be summarized as a model of restraint.

December 14th, 2013, 9:26 pm


zoo said:

The expat opposition funded, guided and advised by Qatar, Turkey, France, the UK and the US is now officially in “great difficulty”. Surprise?


Fabius dampened expectations on the Swiss talks
and acknowledged for the first time that Syria’s moderate opposition was in trouble.

“Bashar al-Assad says he will send representatives to Geneva. While Mr Assad has a lot of faults, he is not an idiot … we can’t see why he would hand over all his powers. As for the opposition that we support, it is in great difficulty,” Fabius said.

December 14th, 2013, 9:42 pm


Observer said:

Tara and SL

Here is the NYT today with the news that a prominent cleric has issued a call for Shia to go fight in Syria from his place in Qom. He is Iraqi and is claiming that the fight is for the defense of………. Islam.

So we now have a most prominent cleric asking his followers to go defend Islam in Syria and be allies with a supposedly secular state fighting Islamist Jihadi fighters.

Here is the article

Now this is not made in Zionist land or CIA basement or in some MI6 conspiracy. It is made in Iraq-Iran and the 50 year Sunni Shia war is off to a good start.

As for asking for help; our historian in residence has actually told us before my dear Tara that
1. He wished the collaboration with the Crusaders was deeper

2. He admits that the ancestor asked France to grant them a state

3. The Sykes Picot agreements came to the fore when the Bolsheviks wanted to payback the English and French showing that they always wanted to carve out the Ottoman empire.

4. The various communities have asked for protection each from its patron country the Orthodox from Russia and the Protestants from Britain and the Catholics from France and Italy.

Once again no one really reads carefully what I write and if they do they really do not seem to understand. I wonder whether my prose is at fault.

There is no question that the Ottomans ruled with oppression. There is no question that minorities suffered. There is no question that minority rule like the Sunni in Iraq or the Sunni in Bahrain has failed in bringing in a modern state. But the worst failures are those of Maronite minority rule in Lebanon and Alawi rule in Syria whereby the opportunity to usher in a modern state and a true Arab Secular Identity for after all they were champions of Arab Nationalism has failed totally because the previous oppressive period has rendered them immune to modernity and immune to transcendence.

They will have a resentful Sunni population for 50 generations

Now for the record I do not know if God exists and I do not think for one second that the religions of the world today offer any explanation but they do offer strife and intolerance unfortunately.

I see no end in sight. I just finished watching Al Ikhabaria from the regime side. Things are not going well at all for them these days.

For the cleric in Qom to issue an edict to go fight in Syria is telling.

Let us see what the IRGC will do.

December 15th, 2013, 10:39 am


living and working in dammam saudi arabia said:

Saudi is a fairly relaxed place in actuality and you’ll be on the entire pretty much ignored
in the malls etc by the locals as long as you are not breaking any
of their many guidelines.

May 19th, 2016, 4:15 am


naser rasouli said:

Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to
create a great article… but what can I say… I put things off a
lot and don’t manage to get anything done.

March 3rd, 2020, 10:24 am


Post a comment