Anthony Shadid Dies in Syria

Anthony Shadid died in Syria today of asthma. He brought out the humanity of the people he wrote about in a way that set him apart.

He was also from Oklahoma City where the Shadid family is well known and respected. He went to the University of Oklahoma for a year and helped establish the Anthony Shadid-St. Elijah Award which is given to our most gifted student of the Middle East each year for travel and study in the region.

Here is his New York Times obit

Comments (93)

Dale Andersen said:

RIP, Anthony. Go with God

February 17th, 2012, 12:00 am



Allah yer7amo.

He was one of the best and bravest journalists of our time.

February 17th, 2012, 12:02 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

For your Information:

February 17th, 2012, 12:43 am


Shabbi7 said:

Joshua Landis, in response to

Considering that you are the one who made the ridiculous claim, it is you who needs to show some kind of proof or support that this quota is a Baathist “deal” for article 8, which was CLEARLY going to be removed regardless. As a “Syria expert” you should know that the People’s Assembly has long had a requirement of at least 50% laborers and peasants. There were even quite a few Syria Comment readers that were complaining about this fact back in April-July.

A simple Google search further proves my claim. Here is an English translation of the current Syrian constitution, adopted March 13, 1973:

Chapter 2

Part 1 Legislative Power

Article 53 [Membership]
The law defines the electoral districts and the number of the members of the People’s Assembly, provided that at least half their number are workers and peasants. The law defines the terms: worker and peasant.

In conclusion, this article was not “added” to the proposed constitution, but rather maintained from the current constitution, and therefore, could not have been, as you hastily claimed, “added in a deal with the Baath Party leadership in order to get article 8 removed.”

What bothers me the most is that, through your claim, you implied that this is a malicious article, when in fact, laborers and peasants are the ones who built up the Syria we love with their blood, sweat, and tears.

February 17th, 2012, 12:54 am


son of Damascus said:


You should not post youtube videos from your own favourite playlist, you are revealing a lot of information about yourself (all your other favourites are showing so is your youtube account).

Just thought you would like to know.

February 17th, 2012, 12:59 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@4 Enjoy it All. Learn.

February 17th, 2012, 1:08 am


son of Damascus said:


It would seem I would learn a lot about scantly dressed Russian ladies singing and dancing, not sure that is the best Russia has to offer.
Yanni on the other hand is always a treat to listen to!

February 17th, 2012, 1:24 am


Aldendeshe said:

What is wrong with scantly dressed stuning Russian blonds dancing and singing? You can find more if you looked harder, but if that where you just stuck on, I don’t blame you, enjoy it.

February 17th, 2012, 1:58 am


Aldendeshe said:

“…..not sure that is the best Russia has to offer….”

That is the only thing I find interesting in Russia. To live good in Russia you don’t have to learn Russian language, just 5 words is all you need: BLONDS, BABA, BALUGA, BANYA AND BABUSHKA FOR THE BABY.

February 17th, 2012, 2:59 am


873 said:

Tragic about Shadid. I am in shock. Very few western reporters aspire to some semblance of ME objectivity and far fewer have the language and background w/ literary skills to make it go. This is terrible. So sorry for the family- and the readers.
But to die of ASTHMA?? In a war zone? Unbelievable and absurd. Awful in every way.

February 17th, 2012, 3:48 am


Syrialover said:

Anthony Shadid. So much lost. More shock, something else unique, of value now gone in this time of need and crisis in the Middle East.

He made a powerful contribution to the world’s understanding of what was going on inside the Middle East. He never sensationalised the turmoil and trouble, he instead offered insights, observations and explanations, beautifully written. If you saw his byline you knew you had located one of the highest quality and richest dishes on the menu, guaranteed to be both satisfying and nourishing.

We all benefited from his knowledge of the language, the culture, and the history of the region. His was a calm voice, but strong with integrity and authenticity. Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Libya – he helped make sense of it all through reporting on the people of those countries, the inside stories. I was thrilled when he started to do the same with Syria. He had so much left to do.

Now this.

February 17th, 2012, 3:51 am


Syrialover said:

#3 Shabbi7

I am trying to make sense of what you’ve written. But you’re too rude and emotional. I can’t follow it.

Please just give us the clear facts in a normal tone. I want to know them.

Be a sport, as Norman would say.

February 17th, 2012, 4:00 am


873 said:

The push on Syria could be following a global monetary timeline. Guess they will have to get the coup well underway to accomodate the collapse of the Euro.

Mar 23, 2012 Leaked planned Greek default schedule as per JP Morgan, Barclays Capital (Barcap), Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank insiders. A written document giving firm dates and detailed actions for a planned Greek default has been in the possession of two top Wall Street bank currency trading bosses since the second week in January, separate but corroborative sources affirming the existence of the document, and a conviction among senior bank staff that – at least at the time – the plan represented “a timetable, not a contingency”. The plan gives a firm date of March 23rd for default to be announced after the close of business. Senior bankers on Wall Street have been given detailed documentation setting out a timetable to Greek default, including firm dates and technical ‘orders’ about last use of the Euro as a currency there. The document asserts that Greece will officially be declared in default by all the ratings agencies after the close of business on Friday march 23rd.

Over the weekend all Greek bank accounts will be frozen, with emergency measures detailed to prevent the flight of capital. Included in the paperwork is a list of very limited exceptions to the ‘no withdrawals’ order. All major banks ‘are instructed not to deal with euro exchange as of open of business in Greece on Monday 25th march. All Greek markets will close for one day ‘at least’.

Hope this is wrong. World doesnt need more trouble.

February 17th, 2012, 4:01 am


Mina said:

Le Monde’s headline today: “En Syrie, la répression continue malgré l’adoption d’une résolution à l’ONU”. Try to replace “Syria” with “Palestine” and you’ll get an idea how surreal it sounds.

Two journalists who were accompanying the group in which the French reporter was killed 2 months ago in Homs imply there is a “fratricid fight” at the top of the Syrian state.

Jürgen was asking me yesterday about the situation in Egypt: bank attacks everyday, weapons available easily, daily riots, kidnappings (not only of foreigners and not only in Sinai), strikes, paralyzed economy and pauperisation. Recent Majli al shura elections saw only a 20 percent participation of voters for the first half of the governorates who have voted, and a total loss for the MB, with the al-Nur Salafi’s and the new Wafd getting #1 and #2. The MB may have thought that this time they didn’t need to organise paid autobuses and bring Egyptian expats for support. As an advocate of civil war for all the Arab world from Iraq to Morocco, you will probably appreciate.

February 17th, 2012, 4:03 am


Syrialover said:

Moderator please take out the SNP and Aldendeshe comments above. It’s unpleasant and cheapens SC. It will put off serious commentators.

February 17th, 2012, 4:18 am


ann said:

15. Syrialover said:

Moderator please take out the SNP and Aldendeshe comments above. It’s unpleasant and cheapens SC. It will put off serious commentators.
Syrian democracy at it’s best 😀

February 17th, 2012, 4:21 am


ann said:

Syrian Opposition Infiltrated By Al-Qaida – February 17, 2012

U.S. Intelligence Head Analyzes Situation

In describing the opposition, Clapper said it is very fractured, “not a national movement,” comprised of both those from the local population and “exiles and the like.” The director of national intelligence said the Free Syrian Army is feuding internally about who will lead it and in “another disturbing phenomenon,” has been infiltrated by al-Qaida. He said the Free Syrian Army is made up of disparate groups with no centralized “command and control.”

“The opposition groups in many cases may not be aware they (al-Qaida operatives) are there,” Clapper told the committee. He said recent bombings in Aleppo and Damascus against security and intelligence buildings “had all the earmarks of an al-Qaida-like attack.”

“We believe that al-Qaida in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria. Complicating all of this is — and this is another contrast with Libya, where we had one or two or three sites that had chemical warfare components — is a much more complex issue in Syria, which has an extensive network of such installations,” Clapper observed.

Clapper said the al-Qaida infiltration will undoubtedly affect discussion about offering aid and assistance to the opposition.

The presence of al-Qaida and lack of clarity about what will happen ultimately in Syria has raised concerns about the country’s extensive chemical weapons stockpiles.

Clapper said Thursday there is particular concern should the al Assad regime fall.

“There would be kind of a vacuum that would lend itself to extremists operating in Syria, which is particularly troublesome in light of the large network of chemical warfare, CBW (chemical-biological weapons), weapon storage facilities and other related facilities that there are in Syria,” Clapper said.

The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, said the extremists elements appear already to be in country.

In speaking of the regime, Clapper said there is little indication al-Assad will stop his crackdown on the opposition and at the moment all signs point to the regime holding together its support internally.


February 17th, 2012, 4:35 am


Juergen said:

German President Christian Wulff will within minutes declare his resignation… Bashar learn from it all power and might is given by the people…

February 17th, 2012, 4:45 am


Juergen said:


Syrian Opposition is infiltrated by syrian muhabarat.

February 17th, 2012, 4:50 am


Mina said:

As if anyone had seen “German people” demonstrations calling for his resignation!

I forgot to add about Egypt: archaeological sites are looted on a daily basis and you can read about the police catching thieves and artefacts on a daily basis (probably a drop in an ocean).

February 17th, 2012, 4:50 am


Juergen said:


I saw people demonstrating in front of his residence with their shoes in their hand( we got that from the famous Iraqi) calling him to resign. But we didnt have to fear for imprisonment and torture, at the end he had to go because no credibility was left.

February 17th, 2012, 5:05 am


Juergen said:

Debating Syria’s draft constitution

Syrians are divided over the proposed text and the timing chosen by Assad for the vote.

February 17th, 2012, 6:33 am


Syrialover said:

Meanwhile the bombing and destruction and killing of Homs intensifies. Sickening and sending shock waves around the world.

When a rogue government uses the full force of its army to attack its cities and people, who are they going to call?

There’s the definition of a failed state.

Our greatest fear unfolding.

February 17th, 2012, 7:00 am


Juergen said:

Great article of author jonathan Littell in german, its a long article.
The author was for two weeks in Homs. He left right before the fatal crackdown of the regime forces began.
I find some quotes remarkable enough to translate them:

Marni, an photographer spoke to the author:

“Unlike in Hama in 1982, today its the nation which stands up. The Muslim Brotherhood, the Communists, the Salafists and other political groups run behind it now, to install themselves at the head of the movement. But the Syrian street, denied the politicization of the movement. We accept help, no matter where it comes from, but this help should not be subject to conditions. People are not up yet to collect precise political demands, but as a reaction to oppression and humiliation. The Syrian people have been kept in a chicken house: You have had the right to eat, to sleep, to lay eggs, and that’s it. There was no place for thinking. That was North Korea in the middle of the Middle East. ”

Almost all the fighters of the FSA before their desertion, took part in oppression operations of the regime. Very few are willing to admit that they have killed people. “I? I shot into the air, “almost all say that. But her disgust at what they had to do, their guilt is palpable. A former soldier: “We were sent to the streets to fight against armed gangs. I have not seen any armed response. The officers told us: Shoot, amunition does not matter- shoot as much as you can. ”

Abdel Rassak Atlas( the author spelled the name wrong its Abdel Razak Tlass) says explicitly: “If this continues, we will become like Al-Qaeda. If the world lets us down and keep supporting Assad , we are forced to call for Jihad fighters to come from all over the Muslim world to us and to internationalize the conflict, “says Atlas, which was not his personal opinion. The Military Committee of Homs has discussed it, and all were of the same opinion as him. Other officers confirmed it to me later.

February 17th, 2012, 7:13 am


Mina said:

As you may know, Jürgen, Littell wrote it in French for Le Monde. He is a famous literature prize winner for a novel (“Les bienveillantes”) where he contendedly wrote on the Nazi crimes using the first person, as if narrating from an autobiographical point of view. The man is after any cheap way to get fame, I would say, and I question his reliability. His father, rather, is a good historian and writer.

There is today in al Akhabar an article on the Lebanese Jama’a islamiya and its relations with the Syrian MB, which have provoked an interesting comment by a reader.

#24 Syrialover
Your fears are unfolding? And what about the fears of the people who have said repeatedly on SC that Qardawi and Aroor were pushing Homsis for an agenda which was only the step 2 of the West + media escalation for war against Iran?

February 17th, 2012, 7:55 am


Syrialover said:

#26 Mina

What do you honestly get from such over-the-top conspiracy theories that require Syrians to be puppets with no thoughts, hopes and grievances?

The comforting illusion that it’s going to be all right, Syrians are meek sheep who need their shepherd Assad, and what is happening inside Syria is a temporary little family quarrel and nobody’s business?

That’s how it comes across. Lucky everyone who has an option to being trapped inside Syria where the government’s spectacular own-goal failure is now sliding towards a failed state.

February 17th, 2012, 8:54 am


ghufran said:

Anthony was well respected among his peers,he died young and was on the job until the last day of his life,his work in Iraq,in particular,set him apart from other journalists. Allah Yirhamoh.
Here is another worrisome report from Libya:
Those who are still unable to understand why Libya and other Arab countries’ experiences matter are not likely to understand why many of us want a peaceful and gradual transfer of power in Syria that is controlled by ballots not bullets.

February 17th, 2012, 9:04 am


irritated said:

#27 SL

” Syria is a failed state.”

Is it the new mantra?

When the army, the institutions, an a large portion of the population actively continue their work, it cannot be a “failed state”
One wonder if the UN is not a failing organization as many international analysts claim.

February 17th, 2012, 9:07 am


zoo said:

Details of the circumstances of the death of Anthony Shadid

“Kalın said Shadid died while he was trying to cross into Turkey on horseback and his asthma was triggered by an allergic reaction to horses.”

“(But) he was walking to the border because it was too dangerous to ride in the car,” the father said. “He was walking behind some horses, he’s more allergic to those than anything else and he had an asthma attack.” The Times reported that Shadid and Hicks recently were helped by smugglers through the border area in Turkey adjoining Syria’s Idlib Province and were met by guides on horseback.

Hicks told the newspaper that Shadid suffered one bout of asthma the first night, followed by a more severe attack a week later on the way out.

“I stood next to him and asked if he was OK, and then he collapsed,” Hicks told the Times.

Hicks said that Shadid was unconscious and that his breathing was “very faint” and “very shallow.” He said that after a few minutes he could see that Shadid “was no longer breathing.” Shadid, a 43-year-old American of Lebanese descent, had a wife, Nada Bakri, and a son and a daughter. He had worked previously for the AP, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He won Pulitzer Prizes for international reporting in 2004, when he was with the Post, and in 2010, when with the Times, for his Iraq coverage.

February 17th, 2012, 9:11 am


zoo said:

Humanitarian and sanctions only, no military support
Next Steps for U.S. in Syria Crisis
By James Phillips
February 17, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, which has made war on its own citizens, has lost whatever legitimacy it once had. The United States correctly has called for Assad to step down from power.

His regime has supported numerous Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi, and Kurdish terrorist groups in attacks on Americans and U.S. allies; has subverted Lebanon’s independence, assassinated its leaders, and blocked Arab peace efforts with Israel; and remains both a state sponsor of terrorism and Iran’s most important ally.

Tehran has dispatched members of the Quds Force, an elite element of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, to help crush dissent within the country. This raises the question of what role the United States and other nations can play to help bring freedom to Syria.

The U.S. can play a constructive role in the conflict by supporting efforts to deliver humanitarian aid. The U.S. should also be working closely with regional partners, especially Turkey, both to help speed the transition to a new, legitimate government and to continue diplomatic pressure and international sanctions against the Assad regime.

Direct U.S. military intervention, however, is not warranted. At this point, an outside “peacekeeping” force would only become embroiled in the conflict as a combatant. That might increase the suffering of the Syrian people, which is sure to continue as long as Assad remains in power.

It would be a mistake to provide arms to groups that seek to replace Assad’s secular Baathist dictatorship with a totalitarian Islamist dictatorship. If such groups were to consolidate power, they could pose an even greater threat to the United States and its allies in Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon than the weakened Assad regime does. Moreover, providing arms would feed into the Assad regime’s propaganda that its domestic opposition is made up of puppets controlled by foreign powers.

Support the Opposition

For now, Washington should provide humanitarian aid in close cooperation with Turkey, which has given sanctuary to Syrian refugees and opposition groups on its territory, to ease the suffering of Syrians. It should give diplomatic support to the broad opposition coalition through the Friends of Syria international contact group that will meet in Tunisia next week to formulate an agenda for international support for the opposition. The United States also should give economic support to inclusive opposition groups that support freedom, religious tolerance, and a pluralist democracy in post-Assad Syria.

Washington should support efforts to escalate sanctions and international pressure on the Damascus regime. If Russia modifies its policy and withdraws its veto on stronger UN action, then the United States could support greater UN pressure on the regime and help for the Syrian people. But the United States should rule out committing U.S. troops to any UN peacekeeping operation in Syria.

February 17th, 2012, 9:17 am


ghufran said:

Soon,you will hear about a PR campaign in the US by concerned Arab Americans that will lobby the US government and the Congress to adapt a more balanced approach to the Syrian crisis.The focus will be on pushing for elections and dialogue under international supervision instead of rushing to arm militias trying to topple the regime by force.
in my mind,the question is not whether Bashar and the thugs in the regime should go or not,the question is how. Any violent regime change that leads Syrian into a civil war and partition is a service to Israel and a crime against Syrians who suffered enough in the last 50 years.

February 17th, 2012, 9:20 am


Tara said:

I am very saddened by the death of Anthony Shadid. I think death has a penchant for extraordinary people while it despises dictators and savages. I have witnessed many tragic death of good people in my adult life and his is very sad. I always perceived his writings as pro- revolution. My deepest condolences to his loved ones.

February 17th, 2012, 9:21 am


Syrialover said:


Syria thank God is not yet a failed state. But it is being relentlessly transformed into one day by day, with every shell that hits Homs.

That old leftist warhorse Naom Chomsky has an interesting version of what a failed state is:

” The definition of “failed states” is hardly scientific. But they share some primary characteristics. They are unable or unwilling to protect their citizens from violence and perhaps even destruction. They regard themselves as beyond the reach of domestic or international law, hence free to carry out aggression and violence. And if they have democratic forms, they suffer from a serious “democratic deficit” that deprives their formal democratic institutions of real substance.”

February 17th, 2012, 9:26 am


Dawoud said:

الله يرحمه, وانا لله وانا اليه راجعون
Sad that he had to report as an undercover journalist in Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorial Syria!

February 17th, 2012, 9:47 am


zoo said:

Another rebuff to the SNC

The SNC is not officially invited at the “Friends of Syria’ meeting in Tunis on the 24th February.

USA, China, Russia, Brazil, India will be represented.

Conférence sur la Syrie : le CNS pas invité officiellement (Tunis)

AFP | 17/02/2012 | 14h55
Le Conseil national syrien, principale instance de l’opposition syrienne, n’aura pas de représentation officielle à la “Conférence des amis du peuple syrien” qui doit se tenir le 24 février en Tunisie, a indiqué vendredi le chef de la diplomatie tunisienne.

“Il n’y aura certainement pas de représentation officielle du CNS” à la conférence, a déclaré Rafik Abdessalem lors d’une conférence de presse, reconnaissant que le sujet “faisait débat”. “Chaque chose en son temps”, a ajouté le ministre, souhaitant la constitution d’un groupe d’opposition qui “ait une représentativité réelle”.

La Tunisie a accueilli le premier congrès de l’opposition syrienne en décembre dernier mais n’a pas officiellement reconnu le CNS.

M. Abdessalem a confirmé que la Russie et la Chine, les deux pays qui s’opposent à la condamnation du régime syrien, étaient invités à cette conférence, qui “devra adresser un message clair aux autorités pour qu’elles cessent la répression, les tueries et les assassinats”.

“Il n’y a pas lieu d’exclure ces deux pays”, a-t-il déclaré, précisant que tous les membres de la Ligue Arabe, de l’Union européenne, quelques pays de l’Organisation de la conférence islamique, et les pays ayant de l’influence dans la région: Etats-Unis, Chine, Russie, Brésil, Inde” devraient participer à la réunion.

“Il s’agit d’appliquer le maximum de pression sur le gouvernement syrien pour qu’il cesse de tuer son peuple”, a-t-il dit, répétant l’opposition de Tunis à toute intervention étrangère. “La Tunisie ne sera jamais une plateforme d’intervention militaire dans un pays arabe”, a-t-il martelé.

“Il ne s’agit pas de porter préjudice à la souveraineté syrienne ni à son unité”, a-t-il ajouté. “Nous agissons dans le cadre des positions prises par la Ligue arabe”, a-t-il dit.

Revenant sur la décision controversée début février par Tunis d’expulser l’ambassadeur –en réalité un chargé d’affaires– syrien, il a indiqué qu’elle avait été prise après plusieurs avertissements et qu’elle s’appuyait sur des fondements “éthiques”.

“Nous ne pouvions en aucun cas nous cantonner dans le mutisme et le silence”, a-t-il déclaré, rappelant que l’expulsion du représentant syrien avait été décidée au lendemain d’un bombardement de Homs qui avait fait plus de 230 morts selon des militants syriens.

“La situation en Syrie est critique et personne ne peut accepter de telles violations contre les droits de l’homme”, a-t-il répété.

“Ce qui se passe là-bas est une révolution légale pas très différente de ce qui s’est passé en Tunisie, une révolution pour la dignité et la liberté”, a-t-il dit pour justifier le choix de son pays pour accueillir la conférence du 24 févier.

Les forces syriennes continuaient vendredi de pilonner Homs, malgré un vote dans la nuit à l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU condamnant la répression.

February 17th, 2012, 9:54 am



Does anyone know why the SANA website appears to be down? DoS attack?

February 17th, 2012, 10:11 am


norman said:

You can try this for SANA,

February 17th, 2012, 10:17 am



Much appreciated!

February 17th, 2012, 10:19 am


zoo said:

What kind of ‘political’ solution is hoped for when the opposition is fragmented and leaderless and the regime is united behind its leader?

Syria opposition’s SNC seeks backers but lacks leaders
February 17, 2012 03:43 PM
By Erika Solomon, Ayman Samir

BEIRUT/CAIRO: A year into the revolt against Syria’s President Bashar Assad, the Syrian National Council has emerged as the international voice of the uprising — it just can’t seem to lead it.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

February 17th, 2012, 10:34 am


Mina said:

So according to you, Qardawi and Aroor have no agenda, and asking for revolutionaries not to be terrorists but to use their pens and their brains is to claim that the mafias controling Syria are having a private fight that should remain discrete? You have a funny way to read.

28, Zoo,
Except that you don’t get raped at the police station and that the police does not come to your family address to arrest anyone of your male relatives to torture them and put one in jail for 5-10 years instead of the actual criminal. Mubarak’s Egypt was no different than Syria and many other places, but don’t tell the Americans.

February 17th, 2012, 10:50 am


Atassi said:


February 17th, 2012, 10:57 am


Mina said:

(If you still bother to read), as Qifa Nabki also has a post on Anthony Shadid and several on sectarianism in Syria and Lebanon, this is the perfect timing to start flooding it! I say this before I get banned too, in term of precaution!

[Link added by Moderator: ]

February 17th, 2012, 11:15 am


Mina said:

The picture illustrating the demo outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo today shows a Sa’idi in a tree. I guess he stands for the “Egyptian activists” of the title?

The revolutionaries are not short of cash in Cairo…

February 17th, 2012, 11:44 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

…….What kind of ‘political’ solution is hoped for when the opposition is fragmented and leaderless and the regime is united behind its leader?…”

Will be happy to provide an (SNP) umbrella leadership to all Syrian oppositions united under one SNP roof, as long as they are not Baathists or have contributed to the Baathist rule ever. But all those that comes under cover of this umbrella must follow the SNP plan and Strategy. This is the fastest way to get to Syria without needing to pimp to Western powers and act as traitors begging for foreign armies to march in, or kiss foreigners to hitch a ride to Damascus on their tanks. In less than 2 years, you will be in Damascus. March 15, my 59th birthday is coming soon and it is the cut off deadline for this offer.

February 17th, 2012, 11:44 am


Tara said:

The opposition can say they have global legitimacy as opposed to Bashar al Assad who enjoys a legitimacy bestowed on him by Iranian mullahs, Russian arms dealers, clueless Chinese, and oh yes..some Lebanese Mnhebaks. 

“The assembly vote, unlike Security Council resolutions, has no legal force but it reflected global revulsion at the ferocity of the crackdown in which security forces have killed several thousand civilians since last March.

Beirut-based political commentator Rami Khouri told Reuters that the vote was important. “There’s overwhelming global support for the opposition. It keeps the pressure on and the opposition can say they have global legitimacy. I think his days are numbered. But we still don’t know how long he can hold on.”

An intense bombardment hit the mainly Sunni Muslim area of Baba Amro after Alawite-led troops, backed by armour, advanced from neighbouring Inshaat, opposition activists there said.

“They are mostly firing rockets that directly fall onto buildings and mortar rounds now and then. Only Karama street now separates Baba Amro from the army at Inshaat,” activist Aba Iyad said by satellite phone from Baba Amro.

In Idlib, capital of the rugged northwestern province on the border with Turkey, two residents told Reuters that tanks ringed the city at dawn. Residents anticipated an assault.

“At every entrance of Idlib several tanks deployed along with pick-up trucks used for troop transport,” said one resident, who gave his name as Fouad.

In Deraa, a city on the Jordanian border where the revolt erupted nearly a year ago, explosions and machinegun fire echoed through districts under attack by troops, residents said.

The military has also opened a new offensive in Hama, a city with a bloody history of resistance to Assad’s late father. The Assad clan are Alawites, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, in the majority Sunni country.


People defied security forces to demonstrate in the streets of towns and cities, as they have done most Fridays since the revolt against Assad’s 11-year rule broke out.

At the Zein al-Abideen mosque in central Damascus, YouTube footage provided by activists showed about 2,000 worshippers chanting and clapping “Homs we are you till death…the people want the downfall of the regime.”

In Aleppo and surrounding suburbs, they chanted: “Please God speed up your victory.” Video uploaded from Rastan, a heavily hit city in Homs province, showed hundreds crowded along a street in the rain, clapping their hands over their heads.

It was not possible to verify the video and reports and Syrian authorities tightly restrict media access to the country.


February 17th, 2012, 1:01 pm


Alan said:

18. JUERGEN said:

German President Christian Wulff will within minutes declare his resignation… Bashar learn from it all power and might is given by the people…

Listen! Climb down from a shoulders of our country and be engaged in your German business! What isn’t clear to you?

February 17th, 2012, 1:14 pm


ann said:

Stance on Syria proves China as firm supporter of U.N. Charter: experts – 2012-02-17

Wu Sike, China’s special envoy to the Middle East, said rejecting the draft resolution is in line with China’s long-term stance on the Syria issue.

As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China always upholds the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter and the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, Wu said.

The draft resolution, which would seek a “regime change” in Syria, ran against the U.N. Charter and that was why China voted against it, Wu said.

Zhang Xiaoan, director of the United Nations Association of China, said the draft resolution was similar to the one Russia and China vetoed in the U.N. Security Council on Feb. 4.

China voted against it this time as the major concerns China had were not properly addressed, she noted.

The resolution only called for the Syrian government to end violence but not the armed groups, Zhang said, adding that Russia’s proposed amendments to the draft resolution to make it more balanced were not adopted.

Demanding an end to violence by the Syrian government only is not fair and will do no good to stopping the fighting, Zhang said.

Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said China always advocates solving the crisis via peaceful means and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. China’s stance on the Syria issue is in line with this principle, Qu said.


February 17th, 2012, 1:23 pm


Mina said:

Egyptian MBs have no political ideas except to focus on women and deny them elementary rights. Recall that the Nur party salafis are just more extreme. No reason for optimism.

February 17th, 2012, 1:51 pm


ann said:

Gun shots heard in Syrian capital – 2012-02-17

DAMASCUS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) — A series of gunshots were heard Friday by Xinhua reporters in the upscale neighborhood of al- Mezzah in the southwest of the Syrian capital Damascus, as other incidents were reported in the central province of Homs.

Police and security agents cordoned off some streets of the Mezzah district, where clashes between government forces and unidentified armed men are believed to have occurred after Muslims ‘ midday prayers.

Xinhua reporters saw police cars and security forces deployed around the area. Also guards of the military hospital in al-Mezzah took up their position to fend off possible assaults.

The crackles of gunfire lasted for around two hours, however, there were neither immediate reports on casualties nor official accounts on the incident.

The Syrian capital has enjoyed relative calm since the 11-month- old unrest erupted in mid-March last year.

Also on Friday, private Sham FM said that two explosive devices went off at Damascus’ suburb of Harasta, which is close to Mezzah, leaving two women injured.

Meanwhile, state-run SANA news agency said that a fresh blast targeted an oil pipeline in central Homs province, the latest in a string of blasts that have intensified against the energy sector in Syria, adding that the pipeline was targeted twice this week.

Recent reports of the existence of al-Qaida in Syria raised fresh fears of a grave development in the months-long crisis in Syria.


February 17th, 2012, 1:54 pm


norman said:

I could not but notice that we have a secret service baby sitter, who is here to help us and protect us, I wonder if that is a full time Job,LOL,LOL

February 17th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Mina said:

The Syrian bargain chip is starting to pay with Iran:

February 17th, 2012, 2:47 pm


ann said:

NATO to stay out of Syria, even with a UN mandate – 02/17/2012

Sec.-Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen urges Middle East countries to find solution for violence.

ANKARA – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Western alliance had no intention of intervening in Syria even in the event of a UN mandate to protect civilians, and urged Middle East countries to find a way to end the spiraling violence.

Rasmussen told Reuters on Friday he also rejected the possibility of providing logistical support for proposed “humanitarian corridors” to ferry relief to towns and cities bearing the brunt of President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

“We have no intention whatsoever to intervene in Syria,” Rasmussen said in an interview, during a visit to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkey joining the alliance.

While NATO had acted under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians in Libya and had also received active support from several fellow Arab countries, neither condition had been fulfilled in Syria.

Asked if NATO’s stance would change if the United Nations provided a mandate, Rasmussen was doubtful.

“No, I don’t think so because Syria is also a different society, it is much more complicated ethnically, politically, religiously. That’s why I do believe that a regional solution should be found,” he said.


February 17th, 2012, 2:50 pm


SF94123 said:

My condolences to Shadid’s family and friends.. I always enjoyed his analysis of the hot spots in the Middle East. On a different note, it is disgraceful to include among others “Article 3” in the proposed new constitution. It shows lack of leadership skill and vision. I am disappointed.

February 17th, 2012, 2:59 pm


Tara said:


From previous thread, I agree with you. Not enough evidence to prove the IRGC’s involvement, but lack of proof does not rule it out. We just do not know for sure.

It amazed me though how Hassan Nasrallah explicitly expressed loyalty to Wali al Faqih in Iran. I find it disturbing that a citizen of a country expresses loyalty to another country. Does that mean if Iran attacks Lebanon, he will comit treason?

February 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm


zoo said:

Who will protect the civilians in Libya from the hands of the militias?

Why Libya Is Becoming More Dangerous After Gaddafi’s Fall
By Vivienne Walt
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012,8816,2107024,00.html
As Libya marks the first anniversary of its revolution on Friday, the dozens of well-armed militia groups operating across the vast country have slipped well out of the control of the nascent government in Tripoli, making the country ever more fractured as well as dangerous to ordinary Libyans attempting to adjust to the end of Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year dictatorship.

That assessment came on Thursday from Amnesty International, whose latest research on the country documents at least 12 Libyans who have died in militia custody since September, allegedly after being beaten, suspended upside down and given electric shocks. In a chilling 38-page report published on the eve of the anniversary, Amnesty describes a wave of terror and widespread abuse by militia groups, whose members in recent months have dragged hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Libyans from their homes or from roadside checkpoints into makeshift jails on suspicion of being Gaddafi sympathizers or having fought alongside the regime’s forces during the civil war.

February 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm


zoo said:

On March 2nd election, Ahmadinejad out, more sophisticated Velayati or Salehi in. Would it change anything?

Ahmadinejad Seen as Big Loser in Iran’s Election
By Parisa Hafezi

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Loyalists of Iran’s supreme leader, who is implacably hostile to the West and its drive to curb Tehran’s nuclear work, look set to triumph in Iran’s parliamentary poll at the expense of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a contest among hardliners.
A list of qualified candidates will be announced on February 21.

Leading reformists are not taking part in next month’s poll, which they say will not be free or fair. Opposition leaders defeated in the 2009 presidential vote, Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi, have been under house arrest for a year.
Ahmadinejad, an engineer and former Revolutionary Guard officer with no clerical background, has implemented populist policies to build his own power base.

Hardline supporters of Khamenei accuse Ahmadinejad’s camp of
pursuing an “Iranian” school of Islam, an ideology which some see as an inappropriate mix of religion and nationalism.
Khamenei, who survived an assassination attempt in 1981, may hope to secure the presidency for one of his own acolytes: his adviser Ali Akbar Velayati or Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Velayati was foreign minister during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s and shares Khamenei’s policy views, while Salehi has been a driving force behind Iran’s nuclear program

“In major cities, the vote is more politicized. However, I believe the turnout will not be very high as many people are still disappointed over the 2009 vote,” said Farahvashian.

February 17th, 2012, 3:42 pm


Tara said:


From previous thread. Thank you for your nice words.

As if you were reading my mind. I have been thinking about this last night. From now on, I won’t use the term “mnhebaks” anymore. It soils the concept of “love” as I have it in my conscious. “Basharophiles” is much more appropriate term. Brilliant!

February 17th, 2012, 3:49 pm


irritated said:


Bashar vs Wulff?

German president set to resign, in blow to Merkel

Madeline Chambers And Andreas Rinke
BERLIN (Reuters) – Angela Merkel’s hand-picked choice for the ceremonial post of president was expected to resign Friday in a scandal over political favors, dealing a blow to the German chancellor in the midst of the euro zone crisis.

The role of German president is largely ceremonial but they are supposed to be a moral compass for the nation and Wulff has in the last few months become little more than a laughing stock in the German media.

A possible successor is Joachim Gauck, an anti-Communist human rights activist in East Germany who ran against Wulff in 2010 and embarrassed Merkel by forcing the election into a third round.

February 17th, 2012, 3:51 pm


irritated said:

#58 Tara


Sounds like a greek toothpaste, maybe good for grinding teeth.

February 17th, 2012, 3:53 pm


zoo said:

Guns & Glory in Syria: Al Qaeda, US recipe for disaster

Edited: 17 February, 2012, 19:20
The US spy chief has told the Congress President Bashar Al-Assad is fighting against Al-Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper is the first top US official to acknowledge US might indirectly support insurgents.

­Since December there have been Bombings in Damascus and Aleppo that “had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda like attack,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He added that Syrian opposition groups, fighting against the existing regime of President al-Assad may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaida. “However likely without their knowledge”, he said.

Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called “troubling.”

February 17th, 2012, 4:01 pm


Tara said:


The term “Baharophiles” implies pathological affection towards a savage who is responsible for killing and torturing his own people, just like the term Pedophiles means pathological attraction to children.

Do not know how the term Basharophiles reminds you with a toothpaste. Sorry irritated, I might not be as sharp as you think I am, but I don’t see the connection.

February 17th, 2012, 4:11 pm


irritated said:

Tara #62

Sorry but there is nothing “pathological” in the suffix ‘phile’.

“Suffixes with the common part -phil- (-phile, -philia, -philic) are used to specify some kind of attraction or affinity to something, in particular the love or obsession with something. They are antonymic to suffixes -phob-.

Phil- (Philo-) may also be used as a prefix with a similar meaning.

Philia (φιλία) as an ancient Greek word for love refers to brotherly love, including friendship and affection. This contrast to the ancient Greek terms Eros, or sexual/romantic love, and agapē, or detached, spiritual love.”

February 17th, 2012, 4:31 pm


Tara said:

Irritated ,

Nothing pathological in Pedophilia?

What is “agape” love? I like the concept of spiritual or mental love but do not understand the “detached” part of it..

February 17th, 2012, 4:42 pm


Mawal95 said:

In earlier weeks of year 2012 Harasta neighborhood in outer Damascus had a lot of armed rebel activity: A good few security forces men were killed, some schools were closed, shops were shuttered, and residents were staying indoors or staying with friends away from the neighborhood because it was too dangerous. But now here’s footage of Harasta on 15 Feb 2012 showing normal life with supervision of the normality by small numbers army soldiers: . I got the link from

That report about Harasta incidentally mentions that the nearby neighborhood of Douma has still not been properly subdued as of 15 feb 2012.

The following uploaders have recent footage of normal street scenes in various neighborhoods in inner Damascus. With these videos you don’t need to be in Damascus yourself to feel the pedestrian feeling:

The rebels today 17 Feb 2012 blew up another oil pipeline in Homs. They blew up another one in Homs on Wednesday, and another in Homs on 6 Feb. . This is hard to defend against. But when the army regains and maintains full control of the troublesome residential neighborhoods, and the rebels are reduced to doing no more than sabotage acts against infrastructure, it’ll be a big improvement on the ground. Ongoing sabotage in that context will errode the rebels base of support and sense of purpose.

February 17th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Mawal95 said:

As of 15 Feb 2012 there are now six recently fully registered new political parties in Syria. They are: The Solidarity Party, The Syrian Democratic Party, Al-Ansar Party, The Democratic Vanguard Party, The Democratic Arab Solidarity Party, and The National Development Party. . One other party is in an advanced stage of the registration process, namely The Democratic National Solidarity Party. . Two other prospective parties whose registration applications are in an earlier stage of process are the Syria Homeland Party and the Syria Free Party.

February 17th, 2012, 4:55 pm


Jake said:


So are you going by donald rumsfeld’s old rule:
‘the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence’?

By your logic are you going to admit that qatar and saudi arabia are financing and shipping arms the the FSA (with backing from turkey) or any other armed groups (i.e. salafists/MB), despite the lack of evidence?
Even if we didnt know for sure, that doesnt give the revolutionaries the right to accuse other countries of direct involvement (assuming they really dont know for sure)

were there iranian weapons used by assad’s army? yes because there are numerous videos showing evidence of iranian markings (although it doesnt implicate the government since it could come through second-hand)

were there iranians advising assad or his military/security? yes because much of the media and even iranian state media gives reports of some irgc officers/leaders coming to damascus/lattakia to advise the army/security or assad.

were iranian mercenaries directly involved in the supression/crackdown/assault? we dont know and i dont believe it (for now). so far the evidences i’ve seen are shoddy videos showing a few bearded ‘army’ people holding guns back in april (revolutionaries claiming that army doesnt allow beard despite other explanations), or videos of people forcing some mercenaries to speak about being hired from iran (while speaking in levantine arabic). the latest video of 5 ‘captured’ revolutionary guards confessing is about as doubtful as assads attempts to show ‘armed gangs’ (both are through confessions and involve setting the stage i.e. guns on background, showing fake or useless papers/id, etc.).

‘It amazed me though how Hassan Nasrallah explicitly expressed loyalty to Wali al Faqih in Iran. I find it disturbing that a citizen of a country expresses loyalty to another country’

last time i heard about wali-al-faqih it was an ideology, not part of a nation, similar to how communism is an ideology and not part of russia. If nasrallah expresses support for wali-al faqih, whats it to you? he’s only supporting the ideology of his party (an ideology which has been in the making for nearly a millenia and still not complete). are you going to accuse secularists and liberals of supporting the west/france/turkey? are you going to accuse the brotherhood of supporting egypt?

what if lebanon attacks iran? first you have to tell me under which circumstance iran would attack lebanon. if a country doesnt threaten iran then it doesnt need to attack/invade it, a stance taken by almost every countries of the world (although america evades it by inventing the ‘pre-emptive strike’). by your logic, what if iran attacks indonesia? what if iran attacks algeria? etc. finally, if you believe nasrallah’s words to be correct, then he would defend his country against any foreign entity (as he has claimed in past speeches), and this should include iran. if he sides with iran then he would be exposed as a hypocrite (like qaradawi) and a coward (like khalifah), and would be cast aside by all the lebanese people (including shiites).

February 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Mawal95 said:

After doing a bit of surfing on the Internet, I feel the new Constitution is being greeted with a yawn in Syria. In other words I’m seeing no excitement, and not much interest in discussing the details. I can welcome this as a variant of “no news is good news”, i.e. there’s nothing in it to stir up a controversy.

February 17th, 2012, 5:01 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Congradulations to the opposition having Isreal vote in the UN.
Also congratulations to the Revolutionists the support of Ayman Alzoahri,Sorry he could not make it to the UN to cast his Vote.
What kind of ligitimacy did the palastenians get from all the UN votes against Isreal?As we say in Syria بلوا وشربو ميتا That is what Alaaroors should do with the
Oil money bought UN resolution .

I think Jad deserves apology,he was one of the best mannered posters here,His
Banning was harsh,did Hamad ask for it?

February 17th, 2012, 5:11 pm


zoo said:

Iraq accuses some Arab states of helping fund terror
AFP – 1 hr 59 mins ago
Iraqi Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi accused some Arab states he did not identify Friday of helping to fund terrorism, and expressed concern about security at the Syrian border.

“Businessmen from some countries in the region, with the help of their governments, are providing significant funds to terrorist groups in Iraq,” Assadi said in an interview with state television.

“The leaders of these countries say they know nothing about it but the facts prove otherwise.”

There are nearly 300 prisoners from other Arab countries in Iraqi jails, the majority of them Saudis, according to the justice ministry.

Assadi said the worsening security situation in neighbouring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been battling to crush an uprising for 11 months, was a cause for concern.

“What worries us is the deteriorating situation on the Syrian side, because the army is occupied with other problems,” he said.

“There is smuggling and even clashes between the smugglers and the Syrian forces.

“The Syrian army is still at the border but in reduced numbers. It’s chaos and public institutions are being pillaged from near the frontier. We have even seen some soldiers leaving their positions on the border.”

February 17th, 2012, 5:35 pm


zoo said:

Tear gas for the Salafists in Tunisia

Ultraconservative Islamists demonstrate in Tunisia
Associated Press – 5 hrs ago
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisian police have used tear gas to disperse a demonstration of ultraconservative Islamists protesting against the government in the capital.

Hundreds of Salafists took to the streets after Friday prayers condemning comments by the president that they were an insignificant minority.

The protesters carried signs calling for Islamic law and chanted God is the greatest.

February 17th, 2012, 5:37 pm


zoo said:

One of Anthony Shadid’s last articles

Islamists’ Ideas on Democracy and Faith Face Test in Tunisia
Published: February 17, 2012

This article by Anthony Shadid was written before he died on a reporting trip to Syria on Thursday. It is part of a project to assess the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

TUNIS — The epiphany of Said Ferjani came after his poor childhood in a pious town in Tunisia, after a religious renaissance a generation ago awakened his intellect, after he plotted a coup and a torturer broke his back, and after he fled to Britain to join other Islamists seeking asylum on a passport he had borrowed from a friend.

Twenty-two years later, when Mr. Ferjani returned home, he understood the task at hand: building a democracy, led by Islamists, that would be a model for the Arab world.

“This is our test,” he said.

If the revolts that swept the Middle East a year ago were the coming of age of youths determined to imagine another future for the Arab world, the aftermath that has brought elections in Egypt and Tunisia and the prospect of decisive Islamist influence in Morocco, Libya and, perhaps, Syria is the moment of another, older generation.

[Link added by Moderator ]

February 17th, 2012, 5:42 pm


Aldendeshe said:

The Democratic National Solidarity Party.
The Democratic Vanguard Party,
The Syrian Democratic Party,
The Democratic Arab Solidarity Party,

I take it these above as democratic as DPRK
The Solidarity Party, (this is for solidarity with Baathists)
———————————————— ——————
Al-Ansar Party, ( this is Shia Twelver group)
The Homeland Party
( This run by army officers)
Syria Free Party
( How could you be free under Batthism and this new rag Constitution)

February 17th, 2012, 5:45 pm


Tara said:


If an apology is warranted to Jad, it is more warranted to Aboud…

People who do not like the rules established by majority vote, should feel free to go somewhere else. SC before this moderator was an unbearable place. Your request sounds like a bad joke.

February 17th, 2012, 5:47 pm


Majed97 said:

I second SNK’s call for an apology for JAD. I never understood why he was banned to start with. He was always respectful of everyone and good contributors. Let’s not over police this blog; unless the plan is to suppress the dialog and cause more good contributors (from both sides) to leave…

February 17th, 2012, 5:55 pm


Observer said:

This is very interesting discussion and evaluation of the situation on this youtube video

February 17th, 2012, 6:26 pm


Tara said:

Anti-regime, please read:

Computer spyware is newest weapon in Syrian conflict
By Ben Brumfield, CNN
updated 4:41 PM EST, Fri February 17, 2012

(CNN) — In Syria’s cyberwar, the regime’s supporters have deployed a new weapon against opposition activists — computer viruses that spy on them, according to an IT specialist from a Syrian opposition group and a former international aid worker whose computer was infected.
A U.S.-based antivirus software maker, which analyzed one of the viruses at CNN’s request, said that it was recently written for a specific cyberespionage campaign and that it passes information it robs from computers to a server at a government-owned telecommunications company in Syria.
Supporters of dictator Bashar al-Assad first steal the identities of opposition activists, then impersonate them in online chats, said software engineer Dlshad Othman. They gain the trust of other users, pass out Trojan horse viruses and encourage people to open them.
Once on the victim’s computer, the malware sends information out to third parties.
…. .

February 17th, 2012, 6:42 pm


Tara said:

The Syrian government has blocked a premiere live stream website a day after one of its users broadcast images of a bombing believed to have been carried out by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Bambuser – a mobile live stream service based in Sweden – has been in close contact with activists on the ground in Syria for over eight months. The dissidents use the service to broadcast streaming video of conditions in their country in real time. With foreign media blocked, online citizen journalism has become a crucial medium for telling stories from within Syria’s borders. Bambuser’s executive chairman, Hans Eriksson, says approximately 90-95% of the live video coming out of Syria is streamed through Bambuser.

…. .
The blackout came after a Syrian citizen using Bambuser streamed video of the aftermath of a pipeline bombing in the besieged city of Homs. Archived footage from the scene shows a massive cloud of smoke billowing over the neighborhood of Baba Amr while gun shots and shelling can be heard in the background. Activists claimed the government was responsible for the bombing. The live stream was picked up by several international news organizations including al-Jazeera, CNN, the BBC and Sky News, who referred back to

It’s not the first time an authoritarian regime has imposed a nationwide blackout on the site. Shortly before his ouster last year, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak blocked Bambuser. Bahrain, meanwhile, has been preventing access to the site for at least seven months.

…. .

February 17th, 2012, 6:52 pm


newfolder said:

FSA executes a security officer in Daraya “AbuJafar”. This is the fate of all Assad’s dogs:

February 17th, 2012, 7:22 pm


Ghufran said:

The death of Shadid is starting to sink in,his departure at age 43 is a true loss to anybody who likes to see a decent coverage of the Middle East. Death has a way of targetting talented and brave people beside the usual trend of hitting the poor and the hungry harder than fat cats and thugs,it is a form of cynical revenge or twisted justice.

February 17th, 2012, 7:36 pm


Tara said:

It appears that Lebanese shiite are sympathizing with the Syrian revolution to the contrary of Nasrallah’s stand. HA does not actually reflect the sentiment of the Lebanese shiite. It only reflect the militia’s interest.

February 17th, 2012, 8:17 pm


ann said:

12 people killed across Syria Friday: state media – 2012-02-18

Eight members of the government forces, including a major, were killed when armed groups attacked a police van carrying inmates at the Hussainiah suburb of the central province of Homs, said SANA, adding that a number of “terrorists” were killed in the shooting.

Another law-enforcement member was killed and two others were injured by armed men who opened fire at the national hospital in the Qusair district of Homs, the provincial capital city of Homs and Syria’s third largest city, which has emerged as the hub of armed insurgency against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

In another area of Homs, two civilians were killed and another eight were wounded by the gunfire of a sniper nesting on a rooftop of a building at Iskandaroun street, said SANA.

In central Hama province, armed groups attacked a bus of workers in the Muharda area, killing one and injuring another, according to SANA.

In the Damascus suburb of Darayya, an explosive device went off, leaving a mother and her son, along with a taxi driver, injured.


February 17th, 2012, 9:14 pm


Ghufran said:

Most Lebanese Shia support Hizbullah and are still loyal to Nasrallah,that does not mean that Wilayat Alfaqeeh is accepted by the majority of Shia. Iran has cynically taken advantage of the impotence of Arabs and the idiocy of the Neocons when they invaded Iraq. As long as anti Israel groups remain friendless and as long as those sheikhs in the GCC remain in power,Iran will stay as an influential regional power with or without Bashar.

February 17th, 2012, 9:33 pm


Pirouz said:

55. ZOO said:

Zoo, that article is riddled with mistakes.

1) Iran’s nuclear program is supported by an overwhelming majority of Iranians inside Iran. Even the international community that is NAM supports Iran’s nuclear program.

2) Ahmadinejad supporters (which are a majority of Iranians inside Iran) do not consider him a “hardliner”.

3) A number of reformists are in fact seeking to run in the upcoming election.

I could go on, but it isn’t worth putting in the time.

February 17th, 2012, 9:54 pm


ann said:

*** The man of the moment Camille Otrakji ***

‘US thinks it can use Al-Qaeda temporarily in Syria’ – 18 February, 2012

The US and Al-Qaeda are using each other to topple President Assad, believes Camille Otrakji, editor of online magazine Syria Comment.

­US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said Al-Qaeda is working alongside Syria’s armed opposition, while Washington considers extending support to the rebels.

Otrakji told RT that both sides think they are using the other, hoping to control them later.

“For example, the Islamists and Al-Qaeda think, ‘We can have an alliance with the Americans or with any secular opposition forces, but later we will be in power,’ and the Americans think they can use Al-Qaeda temporarily, if they have to, to get rid of the Syrian regime, and they will somehow manage to get rid of them. So, unfortunately they are apparently working together.”

The journalist added that it is important to understand how decision-making takes place in Washington D.C.

“Some people really do not care about what will happen in Syria after. For example, there are factions that just want to punish the Syrian regime – I’ve heard this from someone in Washington – for their help in 1982, when Hezbollah attacked US troops in Lebanon.”

And others, Otrakji said, are optimistic, thinking that there will be elections and that Syria is secular enough that Al-Qaeda factions or other Islamists will not win.

“So, they just want to be hopeful for now, all they want to focus on now is to get rid of the regime – then, they think, they will manage somehow.”

And journalist and peace activist Don Debar said the US have already become some allies with Al-Qaeda in Libya.

“First of all, the US is bedfellows with Al-Qaeda in Libya already. Secondly, if you look at the history of al-Qaeda, actually they are a successive group to the allies the US had in Afghanistan when it was fighting the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and early 1980s.”

Debar also remembered a recent comment by Al-Qaeda that they were backing the Syrian rebels, which he said is “the same group the US is not only backing, but has been arming and training.”


February 17th, 2012, 10:01 pm


Ghufran said:

ياسر العظمه و قنوات الكعك

February 17th, 2012, 10:09 pm


Ghufran said:

تونس ـ موسكو ـ يو بي آي: أكد وزير الخارجية في الحكومة التونسية المؤقتة رفيق عبد السلام، الجمعة، أن مؤتمر ‘أصدقاء سورية’ المقرر عقده في 24 من الشهر الجاري في تونس، لن يحضره ‘المجلس الوطني السوري’، ولا يهدف إلى استنساخ النموذج الليبي
موسكو- (يو بي اي): وصف نائب وزير الخارجية الروسي ميخائيل بغدانوف الجمعة (مجموعةأصدقاء سوريا) بأنها مجموعة “هواة” هدفهم التدخل في سوريا بما في ذلك عسكرياً في انتهاك للقانون الدولي وشرعة الأمم المتحدة.
[ Al Quds link ]

February 17th, 2012, 10:15 pm


Ghufran said:

وقال ساركوزي بينما وقف إلى جواره رئيس الوزراء البريطاني ديفيد كاميرون إن افتقار جماعات المعارضة السورية للوحدة يشكل عقبة في سبيل حل الأزمة لا تقل عن العقبة التي تمثلها معارضة إصدار قرار في مجلس الأمن التابع للأمم المتحدة والتي تحول دون اتخاذ إجراء.
وحذر ساركوزي من أن الانتفاضة قد تفشل في غياب بديل يتمتع بالمصداقية.

February 17th, 2012, 10:26 pm


Tara said:

إذا كنت سورياً فاسمع ما يقال عنك !!! وإذا لم تكن فاسمع ما يقال عنا
– قال الملك عبد العزيز: سوريا لا تحتاج إلى رجال فرجالها أهل ثبات – قال فيديل : الفرنسيون حمقى… لأنهم احتلوا دولة شعبها لا يمل ولا يضعف … – قال صدام حسين : في كل نقطة دم سورية يولد مجاهد … – قال كيسنجر : لا يوجد …. و لم ….. ولن يوجد … أشجع وأجد و أعند من السوريون. – قال الحجاج يوماً عن أهل الشام: لايغرنك صبرهم ولا تستضعف قوتهم فهم إن قاموا لنصرة رجل ما تركوه إلا والتاج على رأسه، وإن قاموا على رجل ما تركوه إلا وقد قطعوا رأسه … فانتصروا بهم فهم من خير أجناد الارض …. . واتقوا فيهم ثلاثاً … 1- نسائهم فلا تقربوهم بسوء وإلا أكلوكم كما تأكل الأسود فرائسها … 2 – أرضهم وإلا حاربتكم صخور جبالهم … 3- دينهم وإلا أحرقوا عليكم دنياكم … – و قال المستشرق و الفيلسوف الفرنسي رينان: لكل 
إنسان وطنان: وطنه الذي ينتمي إليه، و سوريا

[ Added: Posted by NZ on Heetan ]

February 17th, 2012, 10:27 pm


ann said:

Guns & Glory in Syria: Al Qaeda, US recipe for disaster – 17 February, 2012

The US spy chief has told the Congress President Bashar Al-Assad is fighting against Al-Qaeda of Iraq. James Clapper is the first top US official to acknowledge US might indirectly support insurgents.

­Since December there have been Bombings in Damascus and Aleppo that “had all the earmarks of an Al-Qaeda like attack,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

He added that Syrian opposition groups, fighting against the existing regime of President al-Assad may have been infiltrated by Al-Qaida. “However likely without their knowledge”, he said.

Clapper said the lack of a unified opposition group could leave a power vacuum that extremists could fill if the Syrian government falls, a potential development he called “troubling.”

His comments confirmed earlier reports that US officials suspected Al-Qaeda’s hand in the bombings last week which left dozens dead.

The leader of Al-Qaeda has voiced his support for the Syrian uprising. In an eight-minute video posted on Sunday on a jihadist website, Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan to aid the Syrian rebels.

However the US and its allies continue to hold on to a one-sided stance.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly called on Syrian President Assad to step down.

The anti-Syrian government resolution addressed only one side of the conflict failing to condemn the opposition for their part of the violence as it does condemn the government. Washington and mainstream media insist the Syrian government is fighting against peaceful protesters.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has recently called for “friends of democratic Syria” to unite against the regime. And to convene on February 24th to work out ways to further squeeze the Assad regime and bring Syrian opposition groups inside and outside the country together.

While the White House calls mostly for political and humanitarian support, some of the US politicians propose the direct arming of the opposition.

Republican Senator John McCain has openly called for the supply of guns to Syrian insurgents, urging the White House to take action.

“We should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The blood-letting has got to stop,” he said following Syria’s withdrawal of its diplomatic mission to Washington.

Given the disclosed information, the US Intelligence Chief was more cautious about the possible actions in the region.

He expected Al-Qaeda’s role, rifts within rebel ranks, and the presence of chemical weapons would “affect any discussion [[about]] coming to some assistance” in support of the opposition.

“Arming the opposition in Syria – it has been happening all the time. Upgrading the armament of the rebels is going to lead to ten times the number of people killed. What these people need to realize that there is a large proportion of the people in Syria, of Syrians basically, who do not want the central government to collapse,” Ammar Waqqaf, a member of the Syrian Social Club, a pro-government group supporting reform, told RT.


February 17th, 2012, 10:55 pm


jake said:

@tara #82

so if some lebanese shia sympathize with revolution it automatically seems that all the lebanese shia do? where did you get that conclusion? is it simply a statement of your opinion, or a fact which you can back up with sources?

Furthermore, i dont think that anybody stated that hezbollah represents the lebanese shiite, since there are other parties supported by lebanese shiite (amal movement is a prominent one). However it does represent a significant (if not majority) of the lebanese shiite, which im pretty sure you cant deny.

Since you have brought the issue of hezbollah and its involvement in syria, i’d like to present a source that confirms that hezbollah isnt aiding syria or its government, but rather forcusing on lebanon:

‘According to Countryman, the Iranian weapons being funneled through the Syrian government to Hezbollah are NOT being used by Hezbollah inside Syria, but are being transferred to Hezbollah groups inside Syria’s neighbor Lebanon.’

February 18th, 2012, 9:21 pm


Roger said:

Please, no more violences in HOMS

March 1st, 2012, 12:49 pm


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