Assad’s Kurdish Strategy

Assad’s Kurdish Strategy
Joshua Landis – Aug 20, 2012

Assad’s Kurdish strategy appears to be to help the PKK to take control of the Kurdish regions of Syria in the North East. His aim is to hurt both the Free Syrian Army and Turkey, which are leading the opposition against him. In general, his strategy is to weaken the Sunni Arabs of Syria. On July 19, the Syrian Army withdrew from the town of Kobani followed by Efrin, Derik and Amuda as PYD forces swept in to take its place. Many claimed this peaceful transfer of power was orchestrated by the Assad regime and PYD leaders. There was no fighting and no casualties were incurred, according to the PYD , which said the party essentially issued an ultimatum that prompted Syrian government forces to withdraw from their positions.

The PKK, masquerading as the Democratic Union Party (PYD), is the wing of the Kurdish movement that is most anti-Turkish and therefor anti-Free Syrian Army. It is also vocally pan-Kurdish in contrast to many of the other Kurdish parties in Syria, which have positioned themselves, at least for the time-being, around the more limited goal of seeking Kurdish national rights enshrined in an autonomous region within Syria. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party is blamed by Turkish authorities for the death of 40,000 Turks and Kurds over the last several decades due to their separatist agenda and insurgent tactics. Because the PKK is better armed and more militant than other Kurdish groups, it has advantages because it is more prepared for war and the use of force.

The Kurdish National Council (KNC) represents most of the Kurdish parties that oppose the PYD strategy. It is looking for an accommodation with the Free Syrian Army and Syrian opposition forces as a means to gaining national rights and freedom for Kurds. The KNC is a fractious coalition, that is not well armed or organized.

The Kurdish parts of Syria will undoubtedly become the focus of the power struggle that is emerging in the region over Syria. Sunni Arabs and Turks will line up against it. Shiite forces will be inclined to encourage Kurdish independence if only to hurt the Sunni Arabs by playing minorities of every stripe against the against the FSA, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US.

But what should the Kurds do? All Kurds are looking to take advantage of the collapse of central authority in Syria. They see this as an historic opportunity to press for their freedom and national rights. But how hard should they press and how fast? Should they work with Turkey against Assad or should they fight Turkey and ally with Assad? Is this a moment for caution or for audacity? Should they side with the Syrian opposition and Turkey against the Assad regime based on the notion that the Syrian revolt is about freedom versus dictatorship? Or should they side with Syria’s religious minorities against Sunni Arabs, based on the understanding that this uprising is largely sectarian. If this is the case, perhaps Kurds, being an ethnic minority, should stick with minorities in general against Sunni Arabs, who will present the greatest future obstacle to Kurdish ambitions? For decades the Assad regime has stood for Arab chauvinism and the denial of Kurdish national rights. Now that Assad and the Arab Baath Party are losing power, some Kurds calculate that the Free Syrian Army will inherit the banner of Arab Nationalism.

Syria’s Kurds are understandably divided over how to pursue the struggle for Kurdish national rights and freedoms. The Syrian revolution is only in its infancy. The forces on the ground are changing with great speed to meet the challenges of the battlefield. Along with the emergence of new combatants and the transformation of the Syrian Army into an Alawite militia, ideologies are changing as rapidly as the faces of the leading fighters. Trying to keep up with the emerging forces in Syria is a full-time job. Kurds are having as much trouble picking their way through the dynamic battlefield and defining a strategy as everyone else. Their many factions are also fighting furiously among themselves for primacy in what many see as an emerging Kurdish state.

Kurd-Watch: New interview: Mustafa Jumʿa, Kurdish politician: »The PYD has weapons and we don’t. They will kill us all.«

KURDWATCH, August 16, 2012—Mustafa Jumʿa (b. 1947 in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab [Kobanî]) is Vice President of the Kurdish National Council and Secretary of the Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî). On June 24, 2012, he was kidnapped by members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD); since his release, he has been living in Iraqi-Kurdistan. This interview, in which he speaks in particularl about his party’s relationship to the PYD, was conducted a few days before his kidnapping.

In Syria, role of Kurds divides opposition

By Babak Dehghanpisheh, Wash Post

BEIRUT — Opponents of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad are showing signs of splintering along a deep regional fault line, with Arabs and Turks uneasy about a military offensive last month by Syrian Kurds, who overran four towns in the country’s north.

The attacks marked the first time since the 17-month-old uprising began that Kurdish fighters had joined in military action against Assad’s forces. But the Kurdish muscle-flexing has rattled groups such as the Arab-led Free Syrian Army, which until now has played the leading role in the upheaval, and it has unsettled neighboring Turkey, whose animosity toward Assad is surpassed only by apprehension about the Kurds’ broader ambitions in the region.

……In Syria, the Kurdish region is home to 2 million people, and many Turkish officials fear that the Kurds will begin using the area as a base from which to launch attacks on the Turkish military, as they have done for years from neighboring Iraq.Until the recent attacks, Syrian Kurds had stayed on the sidelines, mostly, it appeared, out of concern that a victory by Arab-led opposition groups over Assad’s forces might do little to alter a power balance that has left Kurds relatively weak in Syria. There has been little cooperation between the armed Kurdish groups in the north and the Free Syrian Army, and their relationship seems to be one of mutual distrust.

But in response to the Kurdish moves, Syrian opposition groups such as the Free Syrian Army were quick to reiterate a vow that they will not permit Syria to be divided along ethnic or sectarian lines. The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he stood ready to send troops into Syria to confront Kurdish forces there if it becomes a base for incursions into Turkey by Kurdish guerrillas.

The U.S. government has also expressed alarm, warning Kurdish groups in Syria that they should not seek to work with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, whose insurgency against the Turkish government has killed at least 40,000 people.

“We share Turkey’s determination that Syria must not become a haven for PKK terrorists, whether now or after the departure of the Assad regime,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on a recent visit to Turkey. The armed group that pushed to take over the territory in northern Syria is the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian affiliate of the PKK. That set off alarm bells in Ankara. PYD representatives deny having links to the PKK, perhaps a sign of their concerns about Turkish intervention….

It’s not clear how appealing this pan-Kurdish sentiment — or the idea of regional autonomy — is to the Kurdish community in Syria. But it could lead to bitter fighting between Kurds and Arabs there if Assad falls. In the view of many Kurds, the Arab-led Syrian opposition, including the Free Syrian Army, embraces the same kind of Arab nationalism that has been used to quash rights in the past.

The main Kurdish attacks took place July 19, when fighters loyal to the PYD spread out in the town of Kobani and pushed forward for three days, taking over Efrin, Derik and Amuda. There was no fighting and no casualties were incurred, according to Semo, the PYD official, who said the party essentially issued an ultimatum that prompted Syrian government forces to withdraw from their positions.

The speed and relative ease with which the PYD fighters took control of the towns have raised some eyebrows, with rivals accusing the Kurdish group of acting as a proxy for the Syrian government.

The situation has become even more complicated because of the role being played by Kurds from neighboring Iraq, where the division of power after the fall of Saddam Hussein has left Kurds with a strong base. Massoud Barzani, a prominent Iraqi Kurdish leader, said last month that he was helping to arm and train fighters from the Kurdish National Council, which is jockeying for power in Syria as a rival to the PYD.

Barzani organized a meeting this month in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Irbil that brought Kurdish and Arab Syrian opposition leaders together with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu but excluded the PYD, the Syrian Kurdish group regarded by the Turks as the most problematic.

“What Turkey needs to do is divide and rule, and that’s exactly what they’re going to do,” said Hiltermann, of the International Crisis Group. “They’re going to woo some Kurds, and they’re going to fight a lot of Kurds. And they’re going to use one Kurd against another Kurd.”

A Fawwaz al-Assad Story by A.D.

Dear Joshua

I never lived under the Assad rules as I left Syria when I was twenty years old. I have been living outside Syria since 1971. Married to an Anglo-Saxon wife and now I am a grandfather. I can be forgiven if I have little interest in the politics of Syria. However, the current terrible human situation/tragedy made me think I am after all and somehow feel Syrian.

Reading  the article “The Original Shabiha” really made me write to you as my daughter  I and had an experience with Fawwaz al-Assad similar to the “poor female” university student, described in the last post.

In 1993 I went back for a visit to  Syria with my daughter after living in a western country for twenty-two years. My daughter was eighteen years old back then. I wanted to show her where I was borne and  the civilization that existed  in Syria . She was eager to see every bit of it and certainly we did over five weeks spanning the country from North to south and East to West not to mention the Lonely Planet book that  may daughter highlighted  every page of.  My daughter became  very interested in Syria as soon as she started her first year at university. She was really very exited so was I.

Here  is the story. (A part from my wife and  now adult daughter,I never told it to anyone else till now)

Lattakia is where my story starts.

On a recommendation of an old friends, we took  a taxi to a lovely restaurant somewhere along the road to the “Summer presidential Palace” near Lattakia.

The restaurant was virtually empty as it was  a mid-day during the week( apparently not many Syrians dine out during that time). We ordered what the owner or the waiter recommended. Shortly after we started eating, two men and the waiter came to ask me and  my daughter to join a table on the other side on the restaurant(a real strange to us). I said well, we really like to be ourselves and we do not sit with people who we do not know. They left us alone for a short while, and then the waiter came and asked us to leave immediately as there is a security situation here. We did not understand what he really said and  I said we have not finished yet. The other two men came rushing to me and said in Arabic” take your F…..  and leave now or else.  My daughter immediately started crying as she noticed from their tone it is a threatening voice. We had no option but to leave.

On our way out accompanied with the waiter and  two men with him, said to me “we will crush you under the car you and your  F…. daughter “ I said why what is the reason, the answer was “ YOU upset the MOAALEM FAWWAZ” .

I never knew who  FAWWAZ  was before. My daughter was hysterical, crying as she sensed the situation. Luckily she said RING the EMBASSY . This two words have saved us as one of the men understood what she said. A taxi  just arrived ( as it is a gift from god) and we left the restaurant  immediately. What an experience it was. Sadly, We NEVER  been back to Syria since then.   A.D

Syrian Revolution News Round-up writes:

Following the conflicting reports on the defection of Syria’s Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa yesterday, Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed al-Muallim tweeted today that al-Sharaa will be replaced by the Minister of Interior Mohammad al-Sha’aar without giving more details on the reasons behind this change. Regime forces murdered 15 people in the Damascus suburb of al-Tal. The bodies were then identified as close relatives of Deputy Secretary-General of al-Baath Party Abdullah Al-Ahmar who is believed to be incarcerated by the regime.

[J.L.] This suggests that the Baath Party is dead and that most top civilian Sunnis are jumping overboard. The Assad Army is well on its way to becoming an Alawite militia.

Foreign Policy writes:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance at a mosque in Damascus on Sunday during the Eid al-Fitr holiday following Ramadan. On Monday, U.N. observers pulled out of Syria after a failed four-month mission as fighting raged in Aleppo, Daraa, and a suburb of Damascus.

WSJ [Reg]: Syria’s Leader Low on Cash—French Minister

PARIS—Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s regime is running out of cash to face the insurgency in the country and France plans to discuss with Russia ways to reduce Syrian government funding, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday. The …

In Syria, group suspected of al-Qaeda links gaining prominence in war to topple Assad
By Justin Vela and Liz Sly, Published: August 19

ALEPPO, Syria — A shadowy jihadist organization that first surfaced on the Internet to assert responsibility for suicide bombings in Aleppo and Damascus has stepped out of the shadows and onto the front lines of the war for Syria’s cities.

Here in Aleppo, the al-Nusra Front for the Protection of the People of the Levant, widely known as the Jabhat al-Nusra, is fielding scores of fighters, some of them foreigners, in the battle for control of Syria’s commercial capital, a key prize in the bitter war of attrition being waged across the country.

A look at the Syrian uprising one year later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international

A look at the Syrian uprising one year later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international community for him to step down.

The group, suspected of affiliations to al-Qaeda, says it is also fighting in other locations, including the cities of Homs and Idlib and the suburbs of the capital, Damascus. Its growing role has prompted concerns that the 17-month-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is becoming radicalized as the bloodshed soars…

Jabhat al-Nusra commander Abu Ibrahim said he has 300 men under his control. About 50 of his fighters were seen milling around the mosque, many wearing the baggy, calf-length pants and long beards associated with devout Islamists. Others were inside.

Most of those fighting for Abu Ibrahim, a 32-year-old stone mason from a nearby village, are Syrians from Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But some are Arab volunteers, among hundreds from the region and beyond who are thought to have trickled into Syria in recent months to join the fight against Assad’s regime. Abu Ibrahim said his contingent included men from Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Lebanon, as well as one Syrian who had fought in Iraq against the Americans….

….a visit to the city did not reveal any significant schism between the fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra and the more-secular units.

Abu Ibrahim said his fighters are part of Liwa al-Tawhid, or the Unity Brigade, a newly formed battalion of rebel groups fighting in and around Aleppo. “We are together,” he said. “There is good coordination.” And although many in the Free Syrian Army say they reject the ideology of Islamist extremism, the fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra are regarded “as heroes” in Aleppo, said Abu Feras, a spokesman for the Aleppo Revolutionary Council. “They fight without fear or hesitation,” he said.

Passing the Hat for the Syrian Rebels
By Philip Giraldi • August 17, 2012, American Conservative

A bizarre interview took place last week on NPR. Michael Martin spoke with Brian Sayers of the Syrian Support Group. Sayers is the group’s director of government relations and is reported to be a former NATO political advisor who was hired to lobby on behalf of the Syrian insurgency this year. The Syrian Support Group’s website claims that it “seeks to facilitate, through all legal means, the protection of Syrian civilians during their historic struggle for freedom.”

Climate Change and the Syrian Uprising
By Shahrzad Mohtadi | 16 August 2012
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Article Highlights

  • A drought unparalleled in recent Syrian history lasted from 2006 to 2010 and led to an unprecedented mass migration of 1.5 million people from farms to urban centers.
  • Because the Assad regime’s economic policies had largely ignored water issues and sustainable agriculture, the drought destroyed many farming communities and placed great strain on urban populations.
  • Although not the leading cause of the Syrian rebellion, the drought-induced migration from farm to city clearly contributed to the uprising and serves as a warning of the potential impact of climate change on political stability.

Inside the Hunt for Assad’s Billions
by Eli Lake Aug 17, 2012

The Syrian regime has as much as $25 billion stashed in offshore tax havens and investments across the Middle East. Finding that fortune could be big business for an elite group of modern-day treasure hunters.

Kidnapping, Spats on Docket of Syria Rebel Boss

QOBTAN JEBEL, Syria—One morning this week, Sheik Tawfeeq Shehab Eddin replaced his AK-47 with a Bic pen and took up his post behind a metal desk.

Mr. Shehab Eddin is one of the four rural commanders of the Tawheed Division, an Islamist-dominated umbrella force that is leading Syrian rebels’ fight around the country’s largest city, Aleppo, against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. Their division has driven pro-Assad forces from much of the Aleppan countryside and some of Aleppo. On Friday, division fighters fought regime tanks near the city’s airport.

Rebels say Syria’s government is stepping up airstrikes on the city of Aleppo as U.N. efforts to promote peace draw sighs from refugees.

The regime’s pullout from much of the countryside last month has left the Tawheed Division as the area’s army, government and police. That is why on Wednesday, Mr. Shehab Eddin and his aides spent some 14 hours hashing out questions about their next deployment to the front line in Aleppo, scrambling to defuse a flare-up with a neighboring Kurdish village and mediating petty disputes between villagers.

“We commanders have been forced to take on all the problems confronting our villages,” he said, adding that elected leaders should eventually take that over. “The role I am playing now is bigger than myself.”

Sheikh Tawfeeq Shehab Eddin breaking the Ramadan fast Wednesday. A commander of the Islamist-dominated rebel force fighting for Aleppo, he spent the day ruling on local disputes.

Similar makeshift governments are springing up in villages across Aleppo province’s countryside, providing interim courts, keeping basic services running, managing finances and distributing aid shipments.

Many of the rebel courts have taken on an Islamic bent. Tawheed Division commanders forbid the torture of detainees. But that ban doesn’t include whipping the soles of detainees’ feet, Tawheed commander Abdel Aziz Salama told several people, including a Human Rights Watch team.

Another group of Tawheed fighters executed four members of an Aleppan family accused of funding and running a hated pro-Assad militia accused of keeping iron-fisted control over restive areas. The division’s field commander, Abdel Qader Saleh, told The Wall Street Journal that the four men were given a battlefield trial before they were killed.

Here in Qobtan Jebel, a pinprick village of century-old stone walled homes in the hills west of Aleppo, Mr. Shehab Eddin’s word is law, at least for now. Before the uprising, the self-taught sheik—also known by his nom du guerre, Abu Soleiman—preached covertly to a small following in an adjacent village about the Syrian regime’s ills.

The sheik’s morning began when two of his fighters brought in a young man they had stopped at a checkpoint with seven jerry cans of gasoline in his car. The commodity is in short supply. The fighters suspected the man might be a smuggler. A couple quick questions satisfied the sheik, who ordered him freed with his fuel.

The next visitor pleaded for the release of a detainee accused of working as a regime informant in the village. The sheik was unmoved. “We have two witnesses and evidence against him,” he said, drawing X’s, O’s and spiral doodles on a blank sheet of paper as he listened.

Next came a stringy youth who said he had just defected from the Syrian army. He was brusquely questioned by the sheik’s aide, Ali al-Haji, a 28-year-old former tank commander with a degree in Islamic law.

The fidgety defector, 20-year-old Ahmed al-Latouf, said he had served as an army mortar man. “There’s no mobiles phones, no television,” he said. “No one knows anything and they believe what their officers tell them—that we are fighting criminal gangs and terrorists.”

The sheik concurred. “We know our brothers in the army have been lied to and brainwashed,” he said, admitting the youth into the ranks of rebel fighters, who elsewhere could be seen doing calisthenics and training with rocket-propelled grenades.

A fighter rushed in. A resident of Qobtan Jebel, he said, had that morning kidnapped a resident of a nearby Kurdish village and was demanding ransom. In retaliation, the Kurds kidnapped four village men.

Kurdish villages dot the local countryside, and relations have cooled since Syria’s civil war took a sectarian turn. With police gone, crime is a growing concern. Rebel commanders say a flare-up now in Kurd relations would play into regime hands. “We’ll call the Kurdish leaders, set up a meeting and solve the problem,” said Mr. Haji.

Next in line was a man from Aleppo who had raised funds for Mr. Shehab Eddin’s brigade, which fought in Aleppo’s Salaheddin neighborhood for 14 days but withdrew last week after supplies wore thin. The fundraiser demanded an explanation for the withdrawal. “We couldn’t stand it anymore. We weren’t getting enough help,” the aide, Mr. Haji, explained, eager not to alienate a supporter.

A group of villagers stormed in waving handguns and assault rifles. A fighter had commandeered their car to ferry supplies to the front, but sold it instead. They vowed revenge.

“Don’t do a thing until I have a chance to look into this,” Mr. Haji said. “Are you really going to kill someone over a car?”

“We spend a lot of time dealing with petty issues while fighting a war at the same time,” Mr. Haji said after they left. “But if you don’t listen to everyone, we’ll lose the people and then the revolution.”

As the sun set, Mr. Haji retired to his commander’s walled residence where he lives with his three wives and 15 children. They broke the Ramadan fast, silently using flatbread to scoop lentil soup, hummus and tuna fish out of metal bowls.

“We’ll set an ambush for the guy who kidnapped the Kurd, and we’ll turn him over to the Kurds, in exchange for our men back,” he said, reclining on a pillow on the cement floor, scrubbing his teeth with a twig. He dispatched a patrol to find the suspected kidnapper. “The regime wants us to fight among ourselves. We can’t allow this to happen,” he said…..

Fabrice Balanche, a Syria expert at the University of Lyon, said the incoming foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, “realised that France had invested too much political capital in the SNC”. He said the new government had instead thrown its weight behind Manaf Tlass – a former Republican Guard general and member of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle – who defected in July. France is hoping the FSA will coalesce around Tlass, providing some coherence to the disparate array of militias.

The Urgent Need to Prevent a Middle East War
by Patrick Seale Released: 14 Aug 2012

The Middle East is facing an acute danger of war, with unpredictable and potentially devastating consequences for the states and populations of the region. A ‘shadow war’ is already being waged — by Israel and the United States against Iran; by a coalition of countries against Syria; and by the great powers against each other. A mere spark could set this tinder alight.

The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first, from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and third, from the naked hostility of some Sunni Arab States towards Iran — and towards Shi‘is and Alawis in general.

These Arab states are apparently unaware that they are playing into the hands of Israeli and American hawks who dream of re-modelling the region in order to subject it to their will. This same neo-con ambition drove the United States to invade and destroy Iraq in the hope of permanently enfeebling it.

The current Israeli war fever rests on a blatant falsehood: that Iran poses an ‘existential threat’ to the Jewish people. What a joke!….

… Can war be prevented? King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia is one of the wisest leaders on the international stage. He alone has the political weight, the resources, and the influence with both the United States and the Muslim rebels in Syria to check the region’s downward rush to disaster. He seems torn between his understandable distaste for some Iranian policies and his instinctive understanding of the need for better Saudi-Iranian relations. Several Gulf officials, in turn, are torn between their fear of a powerful Iran and their understanding that members of the Gulf Cooperation Council share many commercial and strategic interests with the Islamic Republic.

Instead of siding with the United States and Israel in the destruction of Iran and Syria, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies should join with Iran in building a new security system for the region free from external meddling. If they act together, they can spare the region the devastation of war. But they must act soon because time is running out.

Comments (165)

ann said:

‘Increasing evidence West provides Syrian opposition with weapons’ – 20 August, 2012

There is growing evidence the Syrian opposition is being “massively” supplied with Western-made weapons via third countries, says a senior Russian diplomat.

“I wonder, how in these circumstances our Western partners, advocating for sanctions against Syria, want them to be honestly implemented,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on his twitter micro-blog on Monday.

It has been reported British and German spy intelligence on Syrian government troop movements was shared with rebels to help them attack government forces.

Meanwhile, Moscow has been repeatedly accused of supporting President Bashar Assad and “supplying” the government with weapons. Russia categorically rejects the accusations.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed that Russia is not signing any new arms deals with Syria. In an interview with Sky News Arabia the top diplomat was asked whether the country would “continue shipping weapons” to the Arab Republic.


August 20th, 2012, 9:59 am


ann said:

Chinese state councilor speaks on Sino-Russian ties, Syria – 2012-08-20

MOSCOW, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — Visiting Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo described Sino-Russian ties as flourishing and outlined China’s stance on Syria in a newspaper interview Monday

Dai told Russian state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta the two counties had witnessed a healthy development in bilateral ties in the 10 years since they forged their strategic cooperative partnership.

During Chinese President Hu Jintao’s state visit to Russia last June, both sides affirmed they would commit to develop the Russia- China comprehensive strategic cooperation and partnership.

Leaders of the two countries also forged a blueprint for bilateral ties development in the next decade, which would guide the way for their long-term development, he said.

Dai also noted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s successful visit to China two months ago.

Looking into the future of the bilateral relationship, Dai said the focus would be implementing the agreements that Hu and Putin reached during their visits, which had emphasized increasing mutual political support on core issues, such as safeguarding national sovereignty and security.

Dai said the two countries should strive toward raising bilateral trade volume to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015, promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation and enhancing coordination in global affairs.

Regarding the current civil war in Syria, Dai said China had denounced any kind of terrorism and violence targeted at innocent civilians.

China believed the key to fundamentally ending the Syria crisis was to stick to a political approach and urge all sides to exercise an immediate and full-scale ceasefire, he said.

Dai stressed China has no self-interest in dealing with the crisis, and had always maintained an objective and just stance.

“We respect the choice of the Syrian people and do not take sides. What we are against is interfering with internal affairs,” he said.

China was willing to strengthen communication with all sides and support the UN’s effort to end the crisis in a peaceful, just and appropriate way.


August 20th, 2012, 10:05 am


ann said:

As Brahimi Demands SNC Apologize, False Nobel Report Still Uncorrected

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 20 — After Lakhdar Brahimi was named Joint Special Representative on Syria he quickly began a flurry of interviews including with a wire service which inaccurately deemed him “a Nobel Peace Laureate,” as noted by Inner City Press, opining that “it is too early to say whether President Bashar al-Assad should step down.”

Not surprisingly, the opposition Syrian National Congress quickly said it was “shocked and dismayed” and called on Brahimi” to apologize to our people for taking this unacceptable position.”

Instead of just letting this go or ignoring it, Brahimi “went playground,” retorting that “I ask that (he) apologizes to me,” referring to SNC spokesman George Sabra.

Ah, mediation.

Brahimi wrote his sins and secrets of mediation, along with Salman Ahmed who is now adviser to US Ambassador Susan Rice. Were these moves among their secrets?

In belated spin, Brahimi insisted, “What I have said is that it’s early for me to say anything related to the content of this issue.” But, the obvious question is, then why do the flurry of interviews?

And why not correct factual errors that appeared in the write-ups?

Two days after Brahimi was deemed “a Nobel Peace Laureate,” and a day after Inner City Press twice questioned this designation, the Nobel Foundation told Inner City Press that Brahimi “has not been awarded a Nobel Prize and should therefore not be referred to as a Nobel Laureate.”

It seems clear: the initial wire story wasn’t fact checked — in fact, that Brahimi is not a Nobel laureate is clear from a simple search of the Nobel web site — and those who ran it did not check either.

The “Brahimi as Nobel Peace laureate” phrase continued to proliferate, from Reuters to SABC, Malta Today, Euronews, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Eyewitness News, Channel 4 and more since.


August 20th, 2012, 10:08 am


ann said:

Russia’s Lavrov: only U.N. should decide on force against Syria – Aug 20, 2012

The United Nations Security Council alone can authorise the use of force against Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, warning against what he called imposing “democracy by bombs”

“We find it appropriate to defend the U.N. Charter that states the use of force can be only be decided by the Security Council,” Lavrov said in a speech in Helsinki, where he was meeting Finnish government leaders.

“Syria’s situation is important and causing worry not only because of the bloodshed but also because the outcome of this drama will impact the way conflicts will be resolved; either following the U.N. Charter, or democracy by bombs, will win.”

Lavrov has said Moscow would not approve any political transition that was forced on Syria.


August 20th, 2012, 10:17 am


Andy said:

Mr. Landis,

Excellent analysis, as always. It seems to me there is little the US can accomplish at present, but the pressure to “do something” will surely mount as the situation in Syria becomes worse. What would be your recommendation to US policymakers regarding Syria? Is there anything you think the US should be doing that it isn’t at this point?

August 20th, 2012, 10:23 am


ann said:

Unilateral idea on security in Syria won’t work – Lavrov – August 20, 2012

The idea to create security zones in Syria, like other unilateral actions, will not resolve the conflict in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“I have made a lot of statements on the events taking place in Syria and around it. NO unilateral ideas will work,” Lavrov told a press conference following a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja, responding to a journalist’s question about the creation of security zones.

“Effective approaches can only be collective, and a fine example of collective actions is the document adopted at the Geneva conference on June 30, 2012,” the minister said.

Lavrov recalled that the conference participants agreed to demand that all parties to the conflict in Syria use this document as a foundation for the crisis settlement. Lavrov also reiterated that ending violence in Syria, regardless of who started it, is a priority now.

Tuomioja, for his part, said: “It’s hard to imagine such a zone to be created without military intervention”. But “no European country is ready for that”.


August 20th, 2012, 10:25 am


zoo said:

The ‘so bad’ Salafists make the Moslem Brotherhood look good.

Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis
Published: August 19, 2012

August 20th, 2012, 10:39 am


zoo said:

Rethinking the Middle East: Border changes?

By Jim Hoagland, Published: August 17

By focusing on democracy, territorial integrity and human rights as U.S. goals to be achieved one country at a time, the Obama administration has deliberately minimized the religious roots and regional nature of the broader Sunni-Shiite conflict. But for its protagonists, the war turns on the Sunni majority’s right to rule in Syria and on weakening Shiite power in Tehran and Baghdad.

The objectives sought by the United States and the gulf Arabs are thus misaligned. As long as that is the case, direct U.S. military intervention in Syria to help the rebels win will continue to be a matter of last resort.

This does not mean accepting or supporting the inhumane status quo. Turmoil on this scale can produce territorial breakups that relieve pressures instead of intensifying them. (The Soviet Union and Yugoslavia provide recent examples.) U.S. policy should be nimble enough to facilitate border changes that would provide more protection for ethnic or religious minorities in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere.

August 20th, 2012, 10:43 am


ann said:

Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis
Robin Wright needs to have her head checked!!!

The head of al qaeda ayman al zawahere is a card carrying member of the islamist brotherhood.

August 20th, 2012, 10:47 am


bronco said:

Assad Kurdish Strategy: A very smart move from Bashar al Assad.

“Along with the emergence of new combatants and the transformation of the Syrian Army into an Alawite militia” .. and the rebels into islamist extremists militias …ideologies are changing as rapidly as the faces of the leading fighters.

Let’s face it, the Kurds are repulsed by the growing ‘islamist’ take over of the FSA and its dependency on Turkey whose AKP is ruling the country islamically in addition to fighting against Kurdish rights..
The Kurds are secular and much closer to all the Syrian minorities, including the alawites than to rebels armed by heavily “islamist’ countries such as Turkey, Qatar, KSA.

On the short term it is natural that the Kurds will fight along the Syrian Army after hinting that once the rebellion is crushed, they want to discuss more autonomy in the post-revolution era.
The opposition is growing more isolated politically and militarily.

August 20th, 2012, 10:54 am


zoo said:

Will Egypt save Syria?

Egypt regains its role in region

Arabic News Digest
Aug 20, 2012

Proposal to solve Syrian crisis indicates new Egypt is regaining its leading regional role
It seems that Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi is regaining Egypt’s role in the region – inactive for the past 40 years – faster than many have expected, wrote Abdel Bari Atwan in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi.

“After he took control of the armed forces and the media, brought down the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and reclaimed the executive and legislative powers, President Morsi has started to act regionally,” the writer said.

At the Mecca emergency summit, Mr Morsi presented a new proposal to solve the Syrian crisis and stem the bloodletting. He has suggested the formation of a contact group of four Muslim countries – Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

This move “came to affirm this new Egyptian modus operandi which seeks to revive Egypt’s leadership”, the writer argued.

Only these four heavyweights, collectively, can settle the Syrian issue after all other plans have failed, he went on.

Except Egypt, all these countries are directly involved in the Syrian crisis either through supplying weapons and funding to the warring parties (Iran and Saudi Arabia) or through logistic and operational support (Turkey).

The fact that Egypt is not involved in the Syrian crisis allows it to be a neutral party accepted by both the regime and the opposition, although the Syrian regime was hasty and undiplomatic in attacking Mr Morsi following his support of the revolution’s demands.

“This proposal seems to have much better chances of success because it admits the facts on the ground and the regional players, and it does not incorporate the foreign parties behind these [regional players],” the writer noted.

The Egyptian initiative is workable because the solution to the crisis must be regional, and any role of the UN or even the Arab League should be just “auxiliary and from a distance”.

August 20th, 2012, 11:04 am


zoo said:

A more formidable pressure on the crumbling FSA in the making.

Iran’s role in Syria’s war makes a quick conclusion unlikely

Ranj Alaaldin
Aug 21, 2012

Syria’s Bashar Al Assad is still in power, although he is hardly “president” of a country in anything besides name. The opposition forces have shown signs of fracturing and in some areas are losing ground as the regime fights back to regain territory. The international community grows more wary of intervention and is losing faith in both the military capabilities of the opposition fighters and in their true intentions.

Recent developments may have given the regime reasons to be optimistic, despite continued fighting in Aleppo and the assassination of top leaders. Opposition forces have been complicit in a number of atrocities and human-rights abuses, undermining their efforts to obtain further technical, military and financial support from outside Syria.

An array of disparate groups are now fighting the government’s troops including, most worryingly, Islamist extremists who are taking control of the uprising. These extremists, who have been known to fly Al Qaeda’s flag, also are among the most effective of opposition fighters, and probably will be prominent if and when the regime falls.

Last week, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta accused Iran of helping to train and assist militia forces inside Syria, to relieve regime army units fighting the rebels. The claim followed reports that several officers of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were among the 48 hostages seized by rebel fighters in Damascus, and a recent claim by a senior Iranian commander that Iranian forces were active in Syria.

This is bad news for the opposition and its international backers, since Iranian military support will probably stiffen the regime’s resolve and, at the least, prolong the conflict.

Active Iranian military advisers help the regime in two ways.
Syria’s opposition fighters, so far, have had a tactical advantage as a loose-knit, dispersed militia force that has stretched the regime’s forces and depleted its resources over a year of conflict. However, the rebels may soon be fighting an enemy that is acquiring comparable military advantages, with the help of an experienced ally that knows this kind of warfare well. Iran has a well-organised military model and possesses sophisticated weaponry. It might substantially turn the tide in this civil war.

August 20th, 2012, 11:11 am


zoo said:

While Syria received a million Iraqi refugees without making fuss and calling for UN help, Turkey puts a limit on the number of refugees they accept on their soil.
Hint: If they get rid of the 30,000 claimed FSA fighters, that would free some more space for families
Hint: Maybe the refugees should be airlifted to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Turkey says it can take no more than 100,000 Syrian refugees

ANKARA – Agence France-Presse
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Aa Photo

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Aa Photo
Turkey cannot handle more than 100,000 Syrian refugees and instead proposes a UN buffer zone inside Syria to shelter them, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in remarks published Monday.

“If the number of refugees increases to 100,000, we will not be able to shelter them in Turkey. We have to welcome them in Syrian territory” under UN auspices, Davutoglu told the newspaper Hurriyet.

The chief Turkish diplomat urged the United Nations to set up refugee camps “within the borders of Syria” in order to contain the number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in their country.

August 20th, 2012, 11:20 am


zoo said:

Syrian helicopters drop leaflets over Aleppo; Rebels laugh.. and get bombed.

(AFP) – 1 day ago

ALEPPO, Syria — Syrian helicopters have dropped leaflets over the northern city of Aleppo urging residents not to shelter rebels and warning the Free Syrian Army it had one last chance to surrender.

Some of the leaflets dropped late Saturday, in what rebels and residents said was a first, were designed as official-looking checkpoint passes for supporters of the rebels wishing to surrender.

“The holder of this pass is allowed to cross security forces checkpoints to surrender. The holder of this pass will be well treated and reunited with his family after verifications are conducted,” the leaflet read.

Other more basic leaflets printed on pink or white paper urged the rebels to put down their weapons.

“Your last chance to stay alive is to give up your weapons because there is nothing you can do against the Syrian army. Don’t miss that opportunity, go back to your family and stop fueling hatred around you,” one said.

“Honourable citizens, don’t turn your homes into places for armed terrorist gangs and don’t assist them in killing the people of your country,” read another leaflet collected by an AFP reporter near Bab al-Hadid in central Aleppo.

The leaflets were met by the disbelief and laughter of the rebels who picked them off the streets.

“I can’t believe how disconnected from reality they are. Bashar al-Assad, what a stupid man. He probably thinks all the people in Syria are as stupid as he is,” said Abdallah, a Free Syrian Army fighter.

Two hours after the leaflets were dropped, helicopters were back in the sky and opened fire on several central neighbourhoods.

Rebels control the ground in large parts of Aleppo but continue to be harassed by tank shelling, air raids and sniper fire.

Civilians and rebels alike fear a major offensive by the Syrian army in a bid to reconquer the country’s commercial capital.

August 20th, 2012, 11:34 am


zoo said:

The Egypt factor: Morsi prefers to go to China and Iran instead of accepting Obama’s invitation

Aug 21, 2012

Egypt thumbs the nose at US
By M K Bhadrakumar

The gloom in Washington must be deepening. Egypt is careering away from the alliance with the United States – and the bitter truth cannot be hidden or obfuscated anymore.

Consider the following. President Barack Obama was one of the first statesmen to greet Mohammed Morsi on his election victory in May. Obama broke protocol and phoned to congratulate him,
However, in the weekend, the truth is out. The US may be facing across a huge setback to its robust efforts to influence Morsi’s presidency. The letter that Burns carried a month ago apparently contained an invitation from Obama to Morsi to visit Washington.

And Morsi is instead travelling to China and Iran.

This was announced on the Egyptian president’s official website on Sunday. Morsi is apparently combining the visits to China and Iran. It seems he will pay a three-day visit to China next Monday at the invitation of President Hu Jintao and from Beijing he proposes to travel to Tehran on Thursday to attend the summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Beijing is yet to announce a visit by Morsi. The government-owned China Daily, in fact, featured a commentary on Monday exclusively titled “Morsi’s visit to Iran could reshape political landscape”, which pointedly sidestepped any suggestion that the Egyptian president’s itinerary would include Beijing as well.

However, Egypt’s flagship newspaper Al-Ahram has reported that Morsi and Hu “plan to discuss crucial issues facing the Arab world, such as the Syrian situation and the Palestinian question. The two presidents will also discuss ways of enhancing commercial exchange between their respective countries, in addition to increasing Chinese investment in Egypt.”

Al-Ahram summed up: “The two visits may mark changes in Egypt’s foreign policy, given that both countries [China and Iran] have tense relations with the United States, to whom Egypt has been a loyal ally, especially under the rule of ousted president Hosni Mubarak.”

Nobody’s poodle
Indeed, the Middle East is waking up to the fact that the Americans are in the dog house in Cairo. Without doubt, this decision bears the stamp of the Muslim Brotherhood. What are the calculations?

First, Brothers know that this will go down extremely well with the public mood in Egypt, which is vehemently demanding a new foreign policy orientation that jettisons the Mubarak-era partnership with the US and Israel and a return to the country’s independent foreign policy.

Second, Morsi does not want to depend too heavily on the dole-outs by the International Monetary Fund and/or the wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which he is hard-pressed to accept while knowing that they come with political strings attached.

August 20th, 2012, 11:55 am


habib said:

So now Syriacomment is officially an opposition rumour-mill…

“My personal Fawwaz story I never told anyone before”? Pfffffff.

I have a “story” about Abdul Razzaq Tlas and Medea Dhagestani, but I think you all know it already!

August 20th, 2012, 11:57 am


Visitor said:

Is the thug of Damascus going to declare insolvency soon?

أعلن وزير الخارجية الفرنسي لوران فابيوس أنه يجب إجراء محادثات مع روسيا لتضييق الخناق مالياً على نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد، مؤكداً أن النزاع الدائر في سوريا يكلف دمشق مليار يورو شهرياً.

وقال فابيوس لإذاعة “آر تي ال”، “نحاول تضييق الخناق إذا أمكن القول عبر كل القنوات الممكنة. وخصوصاً القناة المالية”. وأضاف أن “الحرب تكلفه (الأسد) نحو مليار يورو شهرياً، الاحتياطي يخف بشكل متزايد. نعتقد أنه ليس لديه احتياطي سوى لبضعة أشهر، من دون دعم روسيا وإيران. ولهذا السبب هناك أيضاً محادثات يجب أن تجري، على الأقل مع روسيا”.

وبعدما ندد مجدداً بنظام “غير إنساني يديره مرتكب مجازر”، أكد الوزير الفرنسي مجدداً أن فرنسا لا تعتزم التحرك عسكرياً في سوريا خارج إطار دولي سواء أكان الأمم المتحدة أو حلف شمال الأطلسي.

واستبعد فابيوس مرة أخرى احتمال تسليم اسلحة للمعارضين السوريين نظراً لأن فرنسا ملتزمة بحظر على الأسلحة فرضه الاتحاد الاوروبي. وقال: “هناك دول تقدم أسلحة للنظام، هي روسيا وإيران. هناك دول تقدم أسلحة للمعارضة لا سيما دول عربية”، موضحاً أن فرنسا تكتفي من جانبها بتقديم تجهيزات غير قتالية للمعارضة.

It looks it will be few months. Will Russia or Iran step in and foot the bill? And can they afford it? Or Re they going to go down to the land of the penniless as a single ‘corporation’.


Again we read on this site the starry dreams of a miraculous Sunni-Shia rapprochement spearheaded by mr. morsi who already made it clear where his interests And loyalties belong.

Dream on for a savior to appear. Where is your ‘mighty’ So-called Mahdi? If this is not the time for him to show up what is the use?

Hint: dump your idiot prethident and repent before it is too late.

August 20th, 2012, 12:04 pm


Visitor said:

من جهته، قال مساعد المتحدث باسم الوزارة الخارجية الفرنسية فينست فلورياني، رداً على سؤال بشأن الاقتراح المصري، إن «الاقتراحات الحسنة النية التي تتيح العمل على ايجاد حل للأزمة السورية هي أولاً موضع ترحيب»، مضيفاً أن «هناك الكثير من المحافل والمنظمات التي تتولى حالياً الملف السوري: الأمم المتحدة، الجامعة العربية، أيضا مجموعة أصدقاء الشعب السوري ومجموعة العمل من أجل سوريا، ومن ثم فإن من المهم أن يكون هناك تنسيق جيد لمختلف المبادرات».
وأوضح فلورياني أنه «في ما يتعلق بإيران، فإن هذا البلد عليه، إذا كان يريد أن يكون له دور مفيد في الاستقرار الإقليمي، أن يوضح طبيعة برنامجه النووي وأن يحترم قرارات مجلس الأمن ومجلس حكام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية ويضع حداً للانتهاكات الدائمة لحقوق الانسان على أراضيه».
وكان الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي قد اقترح، الاسبوع الماضي خلال قمة غير عادية لمنظمة التعاون الإسلامي في مكة، إنشاء لجنة تضم مصر والسعودية وإيران وتركيا لمحاولة ايجاد تسوية للوضع في سوريا.

(ا ف ب، يو بي آي)

So, anyone of those four countries suggested by Mr. morsi can torpedoe the proposal. I can name at least two right now. The third will be Egypt itself.

August 20th, 2012, 12:11 pm


Visitor said:

More kidnappings of Syrians in Lebanon and Lebanese Christians are getting fed-up by government impotence, hinting of civil war,

The civil war threat perhaps rings sweetness in Damascus thug’s ears.

August 20th, 2012, 12:17 pm


habib said:

18. Visitor

More like a minority of Lebanese Christians, lead by the Israeli puppets Geagea and Gemayel, who butchered thousands of Sunni Muslim Palestinians in the 80s.

But oddly enough, they are best friends of the Salafists now, looool! What conspiracy?

August 20th, 2012, 12:21 pm


Visitor said:

More about the death of Syrian military thug in Moscow hospital and the Sharaa mystery,

August 20th, 2012, 12:23 pm


Visitor said:

The best available website with minute by minute updates about developments of the Syrian uprising,

August 20th, 2012, 12:26 pm


Visitor said:

19 Habib,

Do you mean the thugs of the Syrian army which pounded the camp of Tal al-Zaatar for two months and then went on to 7Hama to butcher more Sunnis by applying the expertise gained in butchering Sunni Palestinians in Beirut?

August 20th, 2012, 12:30 pm


habib said:

22. Visitor

Nope, I mean the thugs who killed 2000 Palestinians in Sabra-Shatila while Ariel Sharon watched! In any case, Syria protected the Lebanese Christians in 1976 on request from the Arab League itself!

Doesn’t it matter more to you that your allies have butchered innocent Sunnis than what the government, which is already your enemy, has done?

Or is this just another Salafist double standard? Everyone will be forgiven their past sins, as long as they fight alongside the glorious, stripteasing revolutionaries!

August 20th, 2012, 12:35 pm


Visitor said:

23 Habib,

You see the arsonist has simply lit too many fires. Everyone is now telling him we will burn you.

And burn him we will and to ashes he will be reduced.

The arsonist simply ran out of matches.

But for some like you, you could still live a while longer in a state of denial. Typical ‘love you to hell delinquent idiot prethident’ frame of mind.


President Hollande of France: No solution in Syria unless Assad steps down.

August 20th, 2012, 12:50 pm


ghufran said:

Kurds will be on the winning end if they just sit still and stay away from violence,no regime in Syria,now or in the future,will be able to take the Kurdish cause to the pre-March,2011 era. This new reality will add one more item on Turkey’s of things to worry about.
This is one small piece about KSA, I will not stop exposing the evil of KSA regime and its Takfiri establishment until the electronic ink on my computer dries up:

وصف الصحفي التشيكي “ميلوش بيلي” النظام الحاكم في السعودية بأنه نظام مطلق تقوم ثقافته على احتقار حقوق الإنسان وعلى الاشادة بالأسرة الحاكمة وعلى (الدين بالمفهوم التاريخي)، واعتبر الصحفي التشيكي في مقال نشره في موقع (ايه بورتال) على الانترنت أن ثقافة العنف يتم سكبها في رؤوس الأطفال في السعودية منذ المهد في العائلة وأيضا بشكل رئيسي في المدارس التي يتم فيها تعليم أكثر الأفكار رجعية، كما أشار إلى التمييز الذي يتعرض له سكان المناطق الشرقية من السعودية فقط لأنهم ينتمون إلى مذهب ديني مختلف.
ورأى أن السعودية كانت حتى 11 ايلول من عام 2001 واحدة من أسطورة الف ليلة وليلة أما بعد هذا التاريخ فأصبحت تقدم بالصلة مع الإرهاب العالمي ، مشيرا إلى أن الزعيم السابق لتنظيم القاعدة “أسامة بن لادن” كان من السعودية وكذلك 15 من أصل 19 من الذين شنوا اعتداءات أيلول في الولايات المتحدة.

August 20th, 2012, 12:56 pm


Badr said:

At least try to get your story straight!

“I have a “story” about Abdul Razzaq Tlas and Medea Dhagestani,”

Oh you mean the one from the previous post, in which you wrote:

“The woman who made Abdul Razzak Tlass…was none other than an “activist” and journalist working in Saudi Arabia, Medea Daghistaney!”


“…said Medea Daghistaney, a secular Sunni from Homs…The 29-year-old activist, now an Istanbul resident, works for a London-based group”

August 20th, 2012, 1:03 pm


habib said:

24. Visitor

Nice way to evade the questions.

So you have no problem with being allied with people who have killed thousands of innocent Palestinians? But you can still slam the Syrian government for at one point supporting those very same people you are allied with now?

The hypocrisy is strong in this one.

26. Badr

Exactomundo, that article is old, she is now working for al-Arabiya.

August 20th, 2012, 1:07 pm




Actually I have a problem with those who continue to present bankrupt arguments such as your latest assortment.

You guys are finished. Don’t you see it? The writing is on the walls everywhere!!! No one will listen to you and take you seriously anymore. You have consumed your allotted amount of good will.

August 20th, 2012, 1:27 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

You are right, Visitor. A Sunni-Shia rapprochement will never happen. Now as for the Civil War, let the Games begin!

August 20th, 2012, 1:28 pm


habib said:


Lol, there was never any “allotted goodwill” for Syria, the West and Sunni triangle turned against Syria in seconds, when they realised they could exploit the “uprising” to weaken Iran.

Now, the only ones who are “consuming their goodwill” are the opposition. The SNC is already history, and the FSA is being consumed itself, by Salafist mercenaries.

The FSA will be broken into tiny, internally warring factions before long, it’s a matter of time, and all sides agree on this! Perhaps it will be after the regime falls, but the end result will be the same: bloody power struggle for decades to come.

August 20th, 2012, 1:33 pm


Tara said:

Would any defection whatsoever embarrass the supporters and prompt them to question their acute mnhebak status? Or is it really indeed a worship relation… I am afraid nothing, absolutely nothing that Assad could potentially do, no matter how savage it is, that can break this bondage status. I am giving up hope on many lost souls and this worship is becoming painful to watch..

August 20th, 2012, 1:33 pm


habib said:

30. Tara

Knowing that all defectors receive a lifetime of payment from Qatar, no, not really.

I would not be surprised if Bashar himself defected, with the kind of money involved, lol.

And just for the record, this is not about Bashar. This is about fighting Salafism. If Donald Duck was head of this effort, I would support him.

August 20th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Nur al-Cubicle said:

If the Kurds are smart, they’ll arm to the teeth like their brethren in Iraq and, when Assad retreats to the hills, achieve de facto independence. Do they have any oil?

August 20th, 2012, 1:45 pm


Joshua said:

Nur – you are back? Good to hear from you.

January 4th, 2013, 11:59 am


Uzair8 said:



Since when did any ‘writing on the wall’ ever persuade them?
In fact any ‘writing on the wall’ only brings out the worst in them*.

* Treatment of the Daraa children for wall graffiti.

August 20th, 2012, 1:50 pm



hehehe 29 Habib,

You can scare few kids by your hollow posturing. O’ wait a minute. I would say not even kids would buy your comments anymore,

Comment 29 is easier said than done. It’s been 18 months now!!!

You better go back to your self-denial cocoon. I’m sure, you would feel right at home.

Is that why you come here? You try to gauge the real world with your imaginary existence? Is this a therapy site for you?

Well, we’ll do our best to treat your condition. But, we do not guarantee results, as the cases seem to be way too acute and could be terminally fatal. It is more like the plague.

August 20th, 2012, 1:50 pm


Tara said:


This is not about fighting Salafism. If you are a Syrian ( and I’m not saying this to cast a doubt), you know that we are moderate by gene and by culture, and if some of us are becoming radical, it is not unexpected giving the course of events, the savegry displayed by the regime, and the ruthless cheering of wholesale slaughter by loyalists, some prompted by primitive fear and some by an abnormal bondage..

I have no doubt of our victory, and I am getting used to the wholesale slaughter, but I yet to get immunized to this ugly worship that some display. I, wrongfully, thought that people are born free..

August 20th, 2012, 1:50 pm




It seems this is final news about Maher Al Assad. He could have died from injuries and at this moment his body could be flying from Moscow to Lattakia or Damascus.

August 20th, 2012, 1:56 pm


Observer said:

Why is it that the Check and the Slovak can separate peacefully and the Belgians and Luxemberg can do the same and we cannot in the ME?

What is it that makes us want to remain in artificial borders?

So what if the Kurds want to separate? Why not? Let them have autonomy as they have it in Iraq.

The justification that it is all to serve Israel does not hold water, for if they are independent and autonomous we can bring them to the Arab cause much more easily than if they are forced into it and then they can always ally with Israel covertly.

If they are independent there is so much more in common and so much more in economic cooperation then being in a forced marriage.

August 20th, 2012, 1:56 pm


habib said:

35. Tara

In the beginning of these uprisings, Mubarak killed more Egyptians in one month than the Syrian regime killed in six.

Yet you did not see the Egyptians take up arms, and they continued to protest peacefully.

In Syria, many groups had been waiting to take up arms since 1982, and were just waiting for a pretext. That’s why the Syrian uprising became armed so fast, everything else is just a bad excuse.

“Your victory” is relative. When you’re one day lashed for not wearing a scarf, or jailed for questioning hadiths, will you still consider it “your victory”?

August 20th, 2012, 1:57 pm


habib said:


Lol, 18 months? So what?

How long have the Basques been fighting? The Chechens? The IRA? The Tamils? The Kurds?

And what have they achieved so far?

18 months, what a joke! 18 months, and you already have more internal factions than the Palestinians.

August 20th, 2012, 2:02 pm



40. HABIB,

Please do not compare democracies who oppose to vilent groups like ETA in Spain or IRA in Ireland.

And specially do not try to mix the syrian insurrection against a corrupt dictatorship with other groups who reclaim independence, segregation, end of occupation, etc.

You are playing demagogy.

August 20th, 2012, 2:09 pm



In case the private flight bringing back Maher As Assad is revealed by german intelligence to the FSA, I hope they do not waiste any Stinger with it. He is, let’s say, a dead man. Should be respected, unless he tried to ressurect.

August 20th, 2012, 2:12 pm


habib said:


One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.

It’s all relative, and anyone who denies this fact, trying to obtain power among the common classes by making exceptions based on their own emotions and sympathies, is the true demagogue.

Some facts:

The FSA kills civilians.

The FSA executes unarmed prisoners without trial.

The FSA tortures detainees.

The FSA is lead by a fornicator (Aboudy Tlass).

How can you morally defend your support for them over the regime? What is the difference, in your opinion?

August 20th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Akbar Palace said:

My 2 Cents

From the anonymous article in the tread above:

On our way out accompanied with the waiter and two men with him, said to me “we will crush you under the car you and your F…. daughter “ I said why what is the reason, the answer was “ YOU upset the MOAALEM FAWWAZ”.

Obviously, the author of that little anecdote didn’t understand the REASON behind the respond he and his daughter received at that restaurant.

His restaurant experience was merely the cost of “resistance”. This never would have happened if the Zionists didn’t occupy the Golan and Palestine.

Countering Patrick Seale’s comment:

The threat of a hot war is coming from three main directions: first, from Israel’s relentless and increasingly hysterical war-mongering against Iran; second, from America’s geopolitical ambitions in the oil-rich Gulf and its complicity in Israel’s anti-Iranian campaign; and third, from the naked hostility of some Sunni Arab States towards Iran — and towards Shi‘is and Alawis in general.

Patrick Seale, #1 apologist for the Assad Lion Cub Club, lists the “usual suspects” concerning the “threat of a hot war”.

Is this man sane? Is 20000 dead in Syria considered a war? Or is that just a large fist-fight??

August 20th, 2012, 2:15 pm


Tara said:


You are sensitized by a primitive tribal fear that is uncurable. Christians continue to live in the ME since antiquity. No Muslim or Jew left in Spain. I just can not buy into this thought process that blinds one’s eyes and makes him or her approve slaughter of the entire population to maintain the status que in fear of losing privileges. The regime is simply not sustainable, like it or not. It is better to get on the wagon to influence the outcome rather than be influenced by it.

August 20th, 2012, 2:17 pm



“And what have they achieved so far?”


Your god-prethident is already in hiding seeking a sewer for a shelter.

Is this therapy working?

August 20th, 2012, 2:19 pm




“One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”

This only happens in your mind.

The reality is:

“One people fighting for their freedom is what Assad calls terrorists”

August 20th, 2012, 2:22 pm


habib said:

45. Tara

So you blame Eastern Christians for the actions of Western Christians, who have never lifted a finger for them? And what “entire population” is being slaughtered? Could you perhaps elaborate?

20.000 are said to have been killed. A large part of these are government fighters. Another large part are rebel fighters. The rest are civilians, both pro and anti-regime. The percentages are unconfirmable.


Wow, you just called your capital a sewer, lol.


Words of wisdom, I bet your statement will replace the quote I cited from now on. Tsk.

August 20th, 2012, 2:34 pm


Tara said:


“So you blame Eastern Christians for the actions of Western Christians, who have never lifted a finger for them? ”

No, I am not.  I was trying to highlight the primitive fear Christians are using as their moral base to cheer for the regime savagery.  

Would you have not laughed at me if I to say that I am not willing to live in a majority Christian country unless it is ruled by an oppressive muslim, due to my fear of annihilation prompted by what happened to the Muslims in Spain?  Would you have approved my cheering the slaughter of 20,000 Christians to support the rule of a Muslim Dictator just because I am afraid of what could’ve happened if history repeat itself?

August 20th, 2012, 2:45 pm


Aldendeshe said:

50 comments and you did not miss much.

August 20th, 2012, 2:59 pm


Aldendeshe said:

In case the private flight bringing back Maher As Assad is revealed by german intelligence to the FSA, I hope they do not waiste any Stinger with it

He is all well and very happy. But does German Intel have any info on Bandar? It is reported that he died of a serious injuries he received, and lost a leg, was brought back to Arabia onboard his own private jet back from Maryland hospital, would be nice if your sources can verify this information somehow.

August 20th, 2012, 3:00 pm


habib said:

49. Tara

Yes. But the thing is, 20.000 Sunnis have not been killed, if that’s what you’re implying.

Pro regime Sunnis, fighters as well as civilians, have been killed. This is a fact. They were not killed by the regime. There are probably more pro-regime Sunnis than there are Alawites in all of Syria.

I answered your question, now answer mine, which you ignored:

When you’re one day lashed for not wearing a scarf, or jailed for questioning hadiths, will you still consider it “your victory”?

Or this question:

The FSA kills civilians.

The FSA executes unarmed prisoners without trial.

The FSA tortures detainees.

The FSA is lead by a fornicator (Aboudy Tlass).

How can you morally defend your support for them over the regime? What is the difference, in your opinion?

August 20th, 2012, 3:02 pm




Wow, you just called your capital a sewer, lol.”

O’ where did I say that, ya clever habib?

Do you really understand what you read? Well, it looks like a pattern now. Every mnehebekji reads his/her own words to what he reads

So it would seem that your condition, and the conditions of your menhebkji comrades, have a built in anti-therapy immunity virus, which acts as an agent to blur your visions and to limit your comprehension skills.

So you said that I said my capital (which you were so shy not to name as DAMASCUS) is a sewer.

Did you mean that I just said that your god-prethident is looking for a sewer IN DAMASCUS (my capital) for a shelter?

To be honest with you, I sure do not want to have a capital that does not have sewers, especially when your god-prethident is about to be FLUSHED out from it. Where else would he have to go if we had no such things?

August 20th, 2012, 3:03 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Baath out Landis? well.. I will hold that Dom Pergnon for little more.

August 20th, 2012, 3:03 pm



The dead body coming tonight from Moscow to Damascus is not that of Maher Al Assad but the body or Jamil Hassan, Chief of the Air Security Services (Air Moukhabaraat), the top of the repression intelligentsia in Syria.

His are the famous words:

“If the President orders to kill one million people to maintain power so there is no problem”

August 20th, 2012, 3:04 pm


ann said:

Fatal car bomb attack in southeast Turkey – 20/08 20:33 CET

At least eight people are reported killed and sixty wounded by a car bomb in southeastern Turkey, about 50 kilometres from the Syrian border.

Reports are also coming in of a second explosion.

Security sources say the attack happened near a police station in Gaziantep. Police officers were among the injured.

Reports quoting the local governor say the device was remote-controlled.


August 20th, 2012, 3:20 pm


Tara said:


Of course, I would not consider it a victory, I have always maintained that I am looking for a secular Syria. Religion is a private matter to me and when it is imposed, it loses it’s spirituality and becomes another form of bondage. I however would not hold supporting the revolution based on fear of the unknown. The more this current crisis lasts, the more the unguaranteed the outcomes are. Hatred is settling in.. Even in the coolest moderate heads, and fanaticism find a good breed with hopelessness. Minorities should endorse a CONTROLLED regime CHANGE instead of destructive blind loyality. Regime change means complete change of who and how Syria is ruled ( to borrow from last Annan’s statement). There is no way out.

August 20th, 2012, 3:21 pm


Visitor said:

President Obama will use military if Chemicals get moved or used,

Good election sales pitch!!!


If as memhebkji keep boasting for the last month that Damascus is under thug’s control and that life is normal and every one in the capital is happy is true, then why do we have over hundred killed today mostly in Damascus?

August 20th, 2012, 3:32 pm



Not only fake seculars, but fake liberals. Funny, those who have been shouting foul against islam and islamists as being too anti-womem, and cried their hearts out for the potentially possible likelihood of intrusion on their exclusive bikini beaches by hijab wearing women from the “low class muslims”, are now up in arms because a muslim young woman may have possibly had an internet affair with a muslim young man. Their purity is nauseating, Oh chaste ones……

These guys take the prize for continuously failing in covering their ugly racist, sectarian, and elitist selves.

One must thank them for exemplifying the hypocrisy one should expect from the buffoon prethident worshipers.

August 20th, 2012, 3:32 pm


Juergen said:

Syria: Face to face with the spy who nearly killed me
Captured by the Free Syrian Army, the spy cut a pitiful figure. Yet a fortnight ago, he almost managed to kill Richard Spencer, who spoke to him in prison.

“Revolutionaries fear spies and informers more than anything, particularly when taking on the sort of Arab dictators who themselves thrived for decades on paranoia and conspiracy.

In the flesh, the spies that cause so much trepidation are usually more wretched than their reputation.

So it was for Malik Saidi, no James Bond but a nervous, shaven-headed young man of 27 who spoke with head bowed and an apologetic look in his eye. ”

August 20th, 2012, 3:42 pm


irritated said:


Following your rumors is becoming extremely boring.

Please switch to confirmed facts instead of Al Arabya and Al Jazeera unconfirmed claims…
This is your sequence of absurdities:

36. SANDRO LOEWE said:


42. SANDRO LOEWE said:

In case the private flight bringing back Maher As Assad is revealed by german intelligence to the FSA, I hope they do not waiste any Stinger with it. He is, let’s say, a dead man. Should be respected, unless he tried to ressurect.

55. SANDRO LOEWE said:

The dead body coming tonight from Moscow to Damascus is not that of Maher Al Assad but the body or Jamil Hass

August 20th, 2012, 3:46 pm




“These guys take the prize for continuously failing in covering their ugly racist, sectarian, and elitist selves.’

Keep them going on this way. This is exactly did not let them see what was going around them before the revolution began. This kind of people is what has been growing in upper classes in Damascus and Aleppo and now all their creeds and beliefs will evaporate and be destroyed by their own mistakes.

We need them to keep on defending their stupid ideas so revolution can go on.

August 20th, 2012, 3:46 pm




I think the coming death of Maher Al Assad and the death of Jamil Al Assad is not boring at all. I find it exciting. This is what rumors have, they can change from minute to minute, but do not forget that I inform these are rumors.

I am sorry for you. Maybe you knew Jamil Al Assad and he could help you with some procedures and permissions.

August 20th, 2012, 3:50 pm


irritated said:


President Obama will use military if Chemicals get moved or used,

Of course, the Iron Done the USA offered to Israel does not protect it from chemicals.
They are working on a Chemical Dome but it’s not ready yet.

August 20th, 2012, 3:54 pm


irritated said:


Please spare us ‘the minute by minute’.
Report them when they are confirmed. We have so many rumors coming from you and Visitor that turn out to be lies, that until they are confirmed, they are only propaganda.

August 20th, 2012, 3:57 pm


zoo said:

The “Assad Kurdish Strategy” is increasingly affecting Turkey…

PKK bombing kills 8, injures 64 in Turkey near Syrian border

A car laden with explosives was detonated by suspected members of outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) today in the eastern province of Gaziantep, near the Syrian border, killed at least eight people and 64 wounding, daily Hürriyet reported.

PKK militants remotely detonated the explosives at around 7.45 p.m. after parking the car at a bus stop near Karşıyaka Police Station in the province’s Şehitkamil district, the reports said.

August 20th, 2012, 4:01 pm


zoo said:

Fearful Israel deploys Iron Dome near Egypt. Are the troubles with Egypt just starting?

JERUSALEM – Agence France-Presse

The Israeli army has deployed an Iron Dome air defense system, designed to intercept and destroy rockets, days after two rockets were fired at the town of Eilat near the border with Egypt, a military spokeswoman said yesterday

August 20th, 2012, 4:05 pm


irritated said:

#28 Visitor

You guys are finished. Don’t you see it? The writing is on the walls everywhere!!!

Your toilet’s walls?

August 20th, 2012, 4:19 pm


zoo said:

Dictator’s daughter to run for South Korea presidency

SEOUL – Agence France-Presse

South Korea’s ruling party overwhelmingly voted for the daughter of an assassinated dictator to be its presidential candidate Monday, the first time a major party has chosen a woman to run for the post
Park is the daughter of Park Chung-Hee, who seized power in a coup in 1961 and was assassinated by his spy chief in 1979.

Her father won wide respect for transforming the poor war-ravaged nation into an economic juggernaut, but is also reviled in some quarters for his human rights abuses.

August 20th, 2012, 4:22 pm



@ 70
Exactly…, so that the buffoon prethident sees the writing one more time before being flushed….

August 20th, 2012, 4:32 pm


citizen said:

68. ZOO
shall PKK be as Hizballa The strength of resistance?

August 20th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Visitor said:

Holy cow @ #70!

These guys are really pathetic even when they think they’re making fun in order to feel good about themselves.

They end up making fun of themselves without knowing.

Yeah sure as Hamster said, before getting FLUSHED, what else?

I don’t know if I should thank the mentally-challenged for being so utterly challenged!!!

Our best weapon is surely your stupidity guys!

We don’t need weapons or favors from anyone. We’re self-sufficient.

Barrack keep doing what you’re doing and win your election. We’re fine.

Glad I took the day off.

August 20th, 2012, 4:57 pm


Assad’s Kurdish strategy — War in Context said:

[…] News Sources on August 20, 2012 Joshua Landis writes: Assad’s Kurdish strategy appears to be to help the PKK to take control of the Kurdish regions of […]

August 20th, 2012, 5:02 pm


zoo said:

9 months later… nothing

Israeli security forces: Turkey nearing military intervention in Syria
Defense officials in Israel say Turkey is likely to set up secure buffer zones in Syria, near the border, to allow armed Syrian opposition groups to battle against the regime.
By Anshel Pfeffer | NOV.23, 2011 |

August 20th, 2012, 5:03 pm



After thinking deeply on the prospects of an agreed sollution that can be acceptable for both parts in the contest, after sharing views with all think tanks from inside and outside Syria, after considering all good values that can be brought by the regime and by the opposition I have got to the conclusion that the best name for being the President of the New Republic of Syria is:


August 20th, 2012, 5:07 pm


irritated said:

Boosted by the success in Aleppo in pushing out the rebels, the Syrian army is advancing closer to the Turkish border to chase the rebels whose only retreat left will be Turkey.
The Syrian army is attempting to regain control of the borders still held by islamists.

Is M. Ryad Hijab still standing for the 70% occupied by the FSA?
It’s getting closer to 7%

August 20th, 2012, 5:08 pm


irritated said:

#73 Visitor

That’s where you live and from where you make your ridiculous predictions.

August 20th, 2012, 5:09 pm



Of course, the Iron Done the USA offered to Israel does not protect it from chemicals.
They are working on a Chemical Dome but it’s not ready yet.”

What dome IRRITATED?

You mean this?

August 20th, 2012, 5:13 pm


Son of Damascus said:

“Please switch to confirmed facts instead of …”

So our most IRRITATED one goes from telling people to switch to confirmed news only to link SyriaTruth as confirmed news?

Please tell us most IRRITATED one, when did SyriaTruth become confirmed news? Or are we still scrapping the bottom of the barrel for news source?

August 20th, 2012, 6:09 pm


Tara said:


Could you also share with us the details of the intimate exchange between Bashar and the naked women wearing skimpy white lingerie pressing herself against the wall.  Do you remember that photo?..

I am sorry you felt the need to post above links. I thought you have vehemently objected and were angered by discussing the details of Batta’s intimate life even even when they were documented facts as opposed to the cheap propaganda we are forced to read through your links. Was it a fake indignation?

Sorry Irritated, reading all this about Tlass’s sex life makes no difference to the revolution supporters what so ever.  It is his private sex life and he can live it the way he likes.     

August 20th, 2012, 6:52 pm


irritated said:

#85 Tara

You forgot your thrill and flow of posts concerning Sheherazade al Jaafari. You seem to have much less excitment to discuss Medea Daguestani’s attractiveness and her carreer.
She and Abdel Razzak have not made it to the UK guardian or UK telegraph.
The response to a cheap smearing campaign calls for another cheaper smearing campaign. At that stage who cares whether is is true or fake?

August 20th, 2012, 7:12 pm


irritated said:

As long as some posters will continue using AL Arabya and Al Jazeera tabloids as the source of information as well as fake videos, I don’t see why anyone should be prevented occasionaly to use other “reliable” sources.

Who pays for the Internet communication equipment used by the FSA?

August 20th, 2012, 7:16 pm


Tara said:


Shahrazad Jaafari and the naked woman saga with Bashar was not fabricated. The presidential email was hacked which made thr details of his affairs available. There was not even a denial. This is clearly fabricated story that is vulgarly written.

August 20th, 2012, 7:22 pm


zoo said:

Sectarian Jihad in Syria: Made in the USA?

By Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, August 20, 2012

The strategy is strengthening Islamist terrorists – perhaps deliberately. The wave of suicide bombings in Syria underscores the infiltration of al-Qaeda jihadist ideology into Syria, including an influx of fighters from neighboring Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. “To them,” reports The Globe and Mail, “the real target is Shi’ism, and Iran, and the crescent of Shia forces from Tehran to Beirut.” One former U.S. Army intelligence officer noted the “rapidly evolving prowess” of the FSA, particularly in the “manufacture and use of bombs,” which comes in part from Syrian insurgents “who learned bomb-making while fighting US troops in eastern Iraq.”

According to Israeli intelligence officials, the presence of al-Qaeda fighters in the conflict is not a mere unfortunate accident. NATO and Turkish military authorities have discussed “a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria.”

August 20th, 2012, 7:26 pm


irritated said:

#88 Tara

Believe what you want and let others believe what they want.

The hacked Skype is as valid as the hacked email.

August 20th, 2012, 7:31 pm


zoo said:

More reporters illegally smuggled by the rebels get killed.—ngo

BEIRUT — (UPDATE 3 – 7:03 a.m.) A female Japanese journalist was killed Monday while covering clashes in Syria’s Aleppo, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that three other reporters were missing.

The slain reporter, who Japanese authorities have identified as Mika Yamamoto, died in Suleiman al-Halabi, a district in the east of Syria’s second city where troops and rebels were locked in clashes.

The NGO added that one of two missing Arab reporters is a Lebanese woman and the other is a man working for a US media outlet.

The third missing reporter is Turkish.

The Japanese journalist was “seriously wounded Monday while covering the clashes at Suleiman al-Halabi which have been going on since yesterday. We took her to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries,” Rami Abdel Rahmane, the Observatory’s president, told AFP, citing medical officials from the hospital.

“She was very likely hit by a projectile,” added Rahmane, who was unable to give further details about the missing journalists.

A video posted by militants on YouTube showed a female body lying in a room. It was presented as the corpse of the Japanese journalist, and said she was killed by militia allied to President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

August 20th, 2012, 7:38 pm


habib said:

60. Tara

So the free for all rampage we have now is a “controlled regime change”?!

88. Tara

It is not merely a “written story”, there is footage of both of them stripping on cam.

Such footage cannot merely be faked. Trust me, I’m in the CGI business.

Bare text on the other hand? LOL!

August 20th, 2012, 7:40 pm


zoo said:

About the Japanese war journalist who was killed in Aleppo

Mika Yamamoto was born in 1967. Journalist(video, photo, reporter) She entered Sattelite TV Channel”Asahi Newstar”in 1990, was active as a journalist and a director.
She produce a documentary program as a video journalist from 1990 , became the pioneer of Japanese video journalist.
Recently she belongs to THE JAPAN PRESS. She continue coverage of Afghanistan under the Taliban from 1996 and report a living of suppressed women.
War in Afghanistan 2001-, he reported inside there from beginning to Kabul fall.
2003 invasion of Iraq she reported from Baghdad as special correspondent of NTV.
Yamamoto Mika has received THE VAUGHN/UEDA memory international reporter Specilal Prize 2003 and numerous award for her journalism.
[Unknown Baghdad] published 2003,[My village was a battlefield] published in 2006, others.
She has the experience of the anchorperson of the news program.

August 20th, 2012, 7:43 pm


Tara said:


What does CGI stands for? On the treadmill, can’t look it up.

August 20th, 2012, 7:44 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“As long as some posters will continue using”

So… If you cant beat them you join them? Would that mean that when finally the Assad regime crumbles you will join the opposition?

Why would you in the same day and within a little over an hour change your tune? Which one is it do you want to stick to reliable and confirmed news sources or garbage from the likes of Voltaire and SyriaTruth?

August 20th, 2012, 7:44 pm


habib said:

94. Tara

Computer-generated imagery.

You’re writing from a tread-mill? Impressive!

August 20th, 2012, 7:46 pm


Tara said:


Nothing impressive about it. I pad with wireless connection is in front of me.

August 20th, 2012, 7:50 pm


habib said:

97. Tara

Must be that multitasking thing…

96. habib

Lol, how can such a neutral comment get thumbs down? We got some really bitter characters around here…

August 20th, 2012, 8:00 pm


ann said:

Obama voices conditions for U.S. invasion of Syria – Aug 21, 2012

The U.S. military could intervene in events in Syria, should there be a threat of use of chemical or biological weapons there. This was announced Monday by U.S. President Barack Obama at a news conference in Washington.

Obama stressed that for the present he has not issued any orders to that effect.

“However, if we see that chemical weapons are being transported somewhere, or used, then we will consider it as crossing the threshold,” said the U.S. leader.

In his opinion, the use of weapons of mass destruction by Damascus could lead to the conflict spilling over to the rest of the region, including U.S. allies, such as Israel.


August 20th, 2012, 8:14 pm


Ghufran said:

صرح النائب العام الأول في دمشق القاضي محمد مروان اللوجي أن “السلطات القضائية السورية بصدد إعداد مذكرات ملاحقة بحق العديد من الشخصيات السياسية اللبنانية بينهم نواب ، بجرم دعم المجموعات المسلحة في سوريا بكافة الاشكال كتهريب المسلحين وتأمين السلاح”.
ولفت اللوجي الى ان هناك اسماء متوفرة والتحقيقات جارية بشانها لكنه رفض الدخول في الاسماء.
ولكن مصادر سورية تحدثت “عن تورط مسؤولين ونواب بحزب “المستقبل” بدءا بالنائب سعد الحريري وصولا الى النائبين خالد ضاهر وعقاب صقر ، ورئيس الحزب التقدمي الاشتراكي وليد جنبلاط ، ورئيس حزب “القوات اللبنانية” سمير جعجع”.
Only an independent court can be trusted with examining evidence about the involvement of Syrian and Lebanese officials in supporting terrorist acts and supplying weapons and money to armed groups that are engaged in violent attacks against civilians and government employees in both countries,due to political considerations,lebanese officials supported by western governments and the KSA will be protected from the rule of the law unless the balance of power tilts in favor of the Syrian regime,if that happens, the mentioned Lebanese officials will see their star status be reduced to a less shining condition. The regime may expand the list beyond Lebanon in an effort to shield their own figures from future prosecution,this strategy can only work if the regime scores political and military victories on the ground,that will be a daunting task.

August 20th, 2012, 8:28 pm


ann said:

Syrian choppers drop ‘surrender’ leaflets over Aleppo – Aug 20, 2012

Syrian helicopters are dropping leaflets over the volatile city of Aleppo urging rebels to surrender and locals not to shelter insurgents.

The leaflets pledge life and a guaranteed travel home to those rebels and mercenaries who will choose to surrender.


August 20th, 2012, 8:28 pm


ann said:

Syrian Christians under rebel siege – Aug 20, 2012

According to television reports in Lebanon, all 12,000 or so residents of the Christian-populated Syrian village of Rabla in Homs Province are under watertight siege by anti-government rebels.

After 10 days of siege, the people have run out of supplies but cannot leave for fear of being machine-gunned.


August 20th, 2012, 8:31 pm


ann said:

Syria ‘not in civil war’ – Damascus – Aug 20, 2012

The Syrian Foreign Ministry has unleashed a barrage of criticism at the new international Syria envoy lakhadar Brahimi for saying in a television interview that Syria is in a state of civil war and suggesting that President Bashar Assad should step down.


August 20th, 2012, 8:34 pm


Ghufran said:

These statements coming from the top US soldier are likely to trigger many angry responses,I was too lazy to find the English version,may be a younger bilingual poster can find them for us:
أعلن رئيس هيئة الاركان الامیركية المشتركة الجنرال مارتن ديمبسي معارضته لفرض حظر جوي في سوريا.
وأضاف ديمبسي أن من شأن هكذا حظر الإضرار بالقوات الامیركية الموجودة في الخليج العربي.
واوضح أن واشنطن ليس لديها ما يكفي من القوات في المنطقة لفرض حظر ضد دمشق.
من جهة اخرى قال ديبمسي إن الولايات المتحدة ليست ملزمة بتأييد أي هجوم عسكري للكيان الإسرائيلي ضد ايران.
واكد أن تل ابيب لن تستطيع القضاء على برنامج طهران النووي.
وأشار ديمبسي الى اختلافات بين بلاده والكيان الاسرائيلي حول ايران.
One thing that is certain,western response to the use of air power and tanks by the regime has been mute and weak at best,think about why. For now,the Syrian army is attacking targets 8 km from Turkey while mighty Erdogan is watching.

August 20th, 2012, 8:54 pm


ann said:

Eight killed, dozens wounded in Turkish car bombing (PHOTOS) – 21 August, 2012

At least seven are reported to have been killed and dozens injured, including policemen, after a car bomb detonated near police headquarters in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep.

According to different security sources at the scene, the number of injured varies between 25 and 40 people.

The bombing took place at around 8 pm local time (17:00 GMT) . According to the latest information from local media, the car was parked near a police headquarters.


August 20th, 2012, 8:55 pm


Tara said:

From the Guardian blog

FSA brigades are uniting.  The Guardian has posted many links.  Isn’t Batta afraid of the day when they will come for him.    

Twitter user The 47th has tweeted a number of videos purporting to show the unification of Free Syrian Army brigades. He/she tweeted about reorganisation of the FSA 12 days ago. We do not know who The 47th is but he/she appears to be well informed and has a proven track record in predicting high-level defections on Twitter (including those of Manaf Tlass and prime minister Riad Hijab).

 ♕ The 47th ♕@THE_47th 
Nationwide FSA brigades r unifying, taking the oath 2 respect int’l laws & treaties and to fight till last soldier to rid us of the regime.
20 Aug 12

August 20th, 2012, 8:59 pm


Tara said:

Zoo @14

Ann posted@101 what you posted @14. Please do not take personally that Ann did not read your post. Ann does not seem to be in the reading business, other posts or her own. It is just a habit. No offense intended, I believe.

August 20th, 2012, 9:04 pm


ann said:

Obama threatens to attack Syria – 21 August, 2012

US President Barack Obama has a stern warning for the country of Syria. In an address made early Monday, the commander-in-chief confirmed that he has not ruled out an offensive strike on Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Speaking from the White House, President Obama said that if Syria is able to procure chemical or biological weapons, the United States will follow through with its threat of launching an attack.

Responding to a question about America’s current attitudes towards Assad, Obama said that the United States will not tolerate any efforts to allow Syria or any other countries to come into possession of weapons of mass destruction.

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” the president said. “That would change my equation. . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.”

“We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people,” Mr. Obama added. “We have put together a range of contingency plans. We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region that that’s a red line for us.”

Obama added to reporters that his warning doesn’t imply only to Syria, either, but that the United States could consider maneuver with or against any other country that is considering chemical warfare.

“It doesn’t just include Syria. It would concern allies in the region, including Israel, and it would concern us,” President Obama said.

“At this point,” Mr. Obama said, “the likelihood of a soft landing seems pretty distant.”


August 20th, 2012, 9:14 pm


irritated said:


Isn’t Batta afraid of the day when they will come for him.

From their recurrent whining and begging for help from the USA ‘before it is too late’, I think it is the other way around.

August 20th, 2012, 9:28 pm


Tara said:


My heart is beating too strong. I feel it is coming out of my chest. We have reached a tremendous milestone. This is the first time you are able to get yourself to say Batta even in a quote…

August 20th, 2012, 9:42 pm


Ghufran said:

Actually a unified FSA,despite my opposition to the inception of the FSA,is much better for Syria than what we have now,whether that can happen or not,that is a different story.
The biggest obsticle to such unification is the Islamists and those thugs who pledged loyalty to the GCC not Syria.

August 20th, 2012, 9:46 pm


Mafer said:

The Kurds should take advantage of this historic opportunity by setting an ambitious agenda. They should mobilize all military resources and occupy as much territory as is pragmatic and possible. By strengthening themselves militarily, The Kurds will be the best possible position to negotiate with future powers as they can always return occupied territory as part of future peace deal.

August 20th, 2012, 9:53 pm


Tara said:


Yes, I agree. A unified FSA with hopefully a political leadership rather than isolated brigades is much better for Syria than isolated “brigades”.

August 20th, 2012, 9:54 pm


Ghufran said:

أفادت قناة “الميادين” نقلاً عن مصدر كنسي أن 12 ألف مسيحي محاصرون داخل بلدة ربلة السورية المحاذية للقصير دون خبز منذ 10 ايام، مشيرة الى ان كل من يغادر البلدة يتعرض للقنص من المسلحين.

August 20th, 2012, 9:54 pm


Son of Damascus said:


I was not able to find the text in english for what you posted in 104, I think Al-Alam is misquoting the general. His most recent comment regarding Syria:

Asked about military options for intervention in Syria, Dempsey said the U.S. has been in discussions with Jordan and Turkey about the possible need for a safe zone, because the two countries neighboring Syria are seeing an influx of refugees fleeing the fighting.
“And with a safe haven would probably come some form of no-fly zone, but we’re not planning anything unilaterally,” Dempsey said.

What I find funny and not surprising is Al-Alam decision to omit what the General had to say about Iran during that same news conference:

Iran is playing a growing role supporting the Syrian regime and is helping to build and train a militia to fight opposition forces, U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon reporters that the militia, which is generally made up of Syrian Shiite forces, is being used to take the pressure off the Syrian regime forces, which have been at war for almost 18 months.

“Any army would be taxed with that kind of pace,” Dempsey said. “They are having re-supply problems, they are having morale problems, they are having the kind of wear-and-tear that would come of being in a fight for as long as they have.”

Personally I wish Iranian press can be a little less blatantly bias, I would really be interested in what the general Iranian public really thinks. Recently I came across a fluff piece on Basel Al-Assad by another Farsi news outlet, I was shocked to know that Zionists killed him and him flipping his benz across the round about at the airport at high speed had nothing to do with it.شهيد-باسل-اسد-نماد-مقاومت-اسلامي-در-سوريه-تصاوير
(article is in Farsi)

August 20th, 2012, 9:55 pm


zoo said:

Kurdish issue becomes Turkey’s main fallout from Syrian crisis

The biggest fallout for Turkey from the Syrian crisis will not be the refugees streaming in across the border, but developments relating to its perennial “Kurdish problem.” Refugees will eventually go back. Turkey’s Kurdish problem, whose foreign dimension has taken on unexpected turns with developments in Syria, however, is here to stay; unless, that is, a reasonable solution can be found to it.

August 20th, 2012, 10:03 pm


zoo said:

Hollande: The president who would be normal

The question of the new president’s stance on Franco-Turkish relations notably remains unanswered. His inability to reform the obese state, curb the mounting sovereign debt and free a stagnating economy will no doubt end in hardship for the French people. Yet his legendary indecisiveness and softness may just be what bilateral relations need at this juncture. After counterproductive years with a Turcophobe “hyper” president, Hollande the “hypo” president can only lead to “normalization.”

August 20th, 2012, 10:05 pm


zoo said:

And more drops if Turkey gets involved militarily in Syria

Turkey sees 2 mln drop in tourism due to crises

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish tourism numbers are plunging on the back of myriad regional tensions, the tourism minister Ertuğrul Günay admits even while retaining optimism about a possible rebound. Turkey still have a chance, he says
Some 2 million fewer tourists visited Turkey this year due to tensions with Syria, political problems with Iran and continuing weak demand from Israel, according to Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay

Günay told Anatolia news agency yesterday that Turkey was expecting to host up to 33 million tourists in 2012, despite a fall in visitors coming from Israel and Syria as well as the economic crisis in Europe.
“We have lost a total of 400,000 [people] from Israel,” said Günay, noting the diplomatic chill between Tel Aviv and Ankara had affected the Israeli public.

August 20th, 2012, 10:09 pm


Tara said:

From the Guardian blog

My colleague, Mona Mahmood, has spoken to Abu Omer Al-Qabouni, a resident of Qaboun district, 4 km north of Damascus, about the discovery of bodies there. He told her:

Today, at 12:30 pm, we found a massacre in Qaboun district of 10 martyrs, two of them were kids. Signs of torture are clear on their bodies. These bodies were thrown by Shabiha [pro-Assad militia] on one of the roads in Qaboun district…

When we got to the site, we found ten naked bodies, some of them were handcuffed. They were tortured in a barbaric way. They were tortured by electricity, stabbed by knives and burned by cigarette butts. Some of the bodies had crushed heads. 

… I was able to identify the boy who was seven-years-old, his name is Abdul Ra’aouf Laila and his sister Balssem laila who is only five- years-old. I know the family in person. I have contacted the family and one of the relatives came to collect the bodies.

These two kids were taken two days ago, their family was trying to flee al-Qaboun district to escape the shelling, but the Syrian army started to shoot in random against the cars which were fleeing the dictrict. Soon afterwards, the Syrian army stopped these cars to arrest all the people inside. These two kids were with their family in one of the cars and were taken by the Syrian army. You can see that their bodies have received many gunshots. 

…This massacre comes in revenge against the people of Qaboun who are in support of the revolution and never stopped marching against the regime in Damascus.

We do not have any FSA men who are based in Al-Qaboun, but when the Syrian army break into the district in its tanks, the FSA brigades come to protect the people. All the FSA men are based at the outskirts of al-Qaboun …

All the bodies are buried in mosques, public parks and homes’ gardens. No one dares to get closer to the cemetery, he will be shot by the sniper. These 10 bodies will be taken to the house of the mayor of Qaboun to be identify by people and then to be buried. Funerals have become an impossible thing to do here as mourners will be targeted for sure and you end with more bodies.

August 20th, 2012, 10:11 pm


Ghufran said:

Expect more problems on the Syrian-Jordanian front. Jordan has more than 150,000 refugees,and the kingdom suspects that some of them are Mukhabrat. Jordan is asking the GCC and the west for a lot of money but what was received was far less than what is needed. Services in the largest refugee camp are so bad even by African standards,and the Syrian government is getting more inpatient and more aggressive on the borders.
Another problem is the fact that the Syrian regime still has support in Jordan,mostly from leftists and some Palestinian factions,this support is keeping Jordanian PM up at night according to press reports and the PM own admission.
Mark my words,the regime will move on offense in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey directly or indirectly especially if they manage to crush the armed rebels in Aleppo. The fighting parties, the GCC and the West refusal to seriously entertain a political solution is sickening,I do not know what those people want other than Syria’s destruction.

August 20th, 2012, 10:14 pm


Ghufran said:

عيد فطر مبارك
This is Dempsey’s remarks:,7340,L-4270523,00.html

August 20th, 2012, 10:21 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I do not know what those people want other than Syria’s destruction.

That is all that they planned for and what are they after.

The WMD’s storages already relocated to safe secret areas all over Syria. They used subterranean tunnels to move it away from prying eyes/cams and spies. Red line or not, if Bashar is cornered, or foreigners invade it is going to be used randomly. This is a mess the world is set up for it divinely to bring judgment on people no doubt.

August 20th, 2012, 10:51 pm


omen said:

cspan forum discussing iraqi oil.

long. didn’t digest it all. but denise natali seems to be suggesting that iraqi kurds have formed some sort of an alliance with turkey selling them kirkuk oil much to the chagrin of baghdad.

maybe turkey can get iraqi kurds to negotiate with syrian kurds.

August 20th, 2012, 11:31 pm


omen said:


Brahimi’s supporters point to his diplomatic efforts in Lebanon, where he was given credit for helping to broker the end of the decades-long Lebanese civil war. Brahimi boasted in September 1989 that “we clinched a cease-fire,” leading to the Taif Agreement (also known as the “National Reconciliation Accord”) that supposedly ended the 15-year conflict. “These kinds of satisfactions are the things that one works for,” Brahimi declared.

The only problem with this rosy picture of peace in Lebanon is that the Taif Agreement in actuality planted the seeds for more serious problems to come in that troubled country. Most notably, the agreement ended up ratifying Syria’s occupation of parts of Syria for a period of time and called for the disarming of all militia except Hezbollah, which was accorded a waiver on the grounds that it was a “resistance force” against Israel. Hezbollah today is a dominant force in the Lebanese government and a key supporter of the Assad regime.

August 20th, 2012, 11:40 pm


Halabi said:

Life With Syria’s Rebels in a Cold and Cunning War


TAL RIFAAT, Syria — Abdul Hakim Yasin, the commander of a Syrian antigovernment fighting group, lurched his pickup truck to a stop inside the captured residential compound he uses as his guerrilla base.

His fighters had been waiting for orders for a predawn attack on an army checkpoint at the entrance to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. The men had been issued ammunition and had said their prayers. Their truck bomb was almost prepared.

Now the commander had a surprise. Minutes earlier, his father, who had been arrested by the army at the same checkpoint in July, had called to say his jailers had released him. He needed a ride out of Aleppo, fast.

“God is great!” the men shouted. They climbed onto trucks, loaded weapons and accelerated away, barreling through darkness on nearly deserted roads toward a city under siege, to reclaim one of their own.

During five days last week, Mr. Yasin and his group, the Lions of Tawhid, allowed two journalists from The New York Times to live and travel beside them as they fought their part in the war to unseat President Bashar al-Assad.

This group falls under the command of Al Tawhid Brigade, a relatively new structure in Aleppo Province that has unified several groups and fights under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, the loose coalition of armed rebels.

While broad extrapolations are difficult to glean from one fighting group in a complex society, the activities and personal stories of these men, a mix of civilians who took up arms and dozens of army defectors who joined them, offers a fine-grained look of the uprising, and the momentum and guerrilla energy it has attained.

Mr. Yasin, 37, was a clean-shaven accountant before the war. He lived a quiet life with his wife and two young sons. Now thickly bearded and projecting a stoic calm under fire, he has been hardened by his war in ways he could not have foreseen.

He roams the Aleppo region with dozens of armed men in camouflage, plotting attacks with other commanders, evading airstrikes, meeting with smugglers and bombmakers to gather more weapons, and rotating through front-line duties in a gritty street-by-street urban campaign. He prefers to sleep by day, and fight by night.

August 20th, 2012, 11:51 pm


ann said:

The Regionalization of the Syria Conflict – 08/20/2012

If there were any doubt among foreign affairs analysts and policy makers about whether the introduction of foreign influence in the Syrian conflict would lead to its gradual regionalization, that doubt has been removed. With the alleged assassination of newly appointed Saudi intelligence head Prince Bandar (in retaliation for the killing of the Syrian Defense Chief on July 18) and the abduction of a growing number of individuals of various political persuasions in Lebanon, it has already become clear that as foreign influence in the conflict grows, the region is being sucked into an abyss of its own making.

A proxy war is being fought between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Syria, ostensibly to become the dominant force for future political change and influence in the region. The Syrian conflict is no longer about who is pro- or anti-Assad, or what would be in the Syrian people’s best long term interests. Today the conflict has become which pro-Iranian or pro-Saudi domestic and foreign forces will have the greatest influence on the outcome of the conflict — not for the benefit of the Syrian people, but for the benefit of themselves.

The Syrian conflict cannot be compared to the uprisings that occurred in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, or Yemen. None of these states had the geostrategic significance of Syria, which lays on Iraq, Israel, Jordan and Turkey’s doorstep. Nor did they have the consistent support of both China and Russia in the UN and fail to reach an international consensus for a path toward resolution. Nor did they become a battleground for regional influence between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The dynamics behind the Syrian conflict are unique, and must be recognized as such.


August 21st, 2012, 12:12 am


bronco said:

#119 Ghufran

The collapse of Syria may trigger the fall of Jordan in the hands of MB more sympathetic to the Palestinians than to the Hashemite kingdom alliance with the USA and peace treaty with Israel.

This is the main worry of the USA: A new front may open against Israel.

August 21st, 2012, 12:17 am


zoo said:

The pro-Israel french philosopher who has an answer to all questions

End the Syria Slaughter Now!

by Bernard-Henri Lévy Aug 20, 2012 1:00 AM EDT

In a personal plea, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy argues that it’s time for the world to drop its excuses, follow the Libyan example, and act to end Syria’s war.

The Syrian tragedy—the irrevocable madness that has taken hold of Bashar al-Assad, the unending agony of Syria’s civilians targeted by his guns—raises all sorts of questions that the heat of summer must not prevent us from asking. After all, dictators don’t take vacations.

August 21st, 2012, 12:26 am



Very good link Halabi at 125 as usual. It clearly debunks the menhebkji’s rosy picture about the thugs army presumed successes.

While we see in the following that fightings is spread throughout the country from north to south,

شهدت دمشق وحلب، أمس، اشتباكات بين المسلحين والقوات النظامية، في وقت أفاد المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان وناشطون عن عمليات عسكرية واسعة في محافظة درعا في جنوب البلاد.
وأعلن المرصد، في بيانات، «قتل في ثاني أيام عيد الفطر في سوريا 32 شخصا، هم 18 مدنيا وسبعة مقاتلين معارضين وسبعة عناصر من قوات النظام». وكان أعلن، أمس الأول، أن «أعمال العنف حصدت، 84 قتيلا، هم 28 مدنيا و34 عنصرا من قوات النظام و22 مسلحا. وقتل (السبت الماضي) 137 شخصا، هم 67 مدنيا و31 مقاتلا و43 جنديا».
وأضاف «بعد شهر على بدء المعارك في حلب، سجلت اشتباكات في حي سليمان الحلبي في شرق المدينة»، مشيرا إلى تعرض أحياء الشعار وسيف الدولة والإذاعة وبستان القصر وطريق الباب ومناطق في حي صلاح الدين للقصف من القوات النظامية.
وأفاد المرصد وناشطون عن «قصف على بلدة تل رفعت في ريف حلب استخدمت فيه الطائرات الحربية، وعلى بلدة تادف حيث قتل شخصان، وعلى مدينة الباب». وكانت طوافات الجيش السوري ألقت للمرة الأولى مناشير في المدينة، تحذر السكان من دعم المسلحين ومساعدتهم، وتمنح هؤلاء «فرصة أخيرة» للاستسلام وتسليم أسلحتهم.
وفي دمشق، أشار المرصد إلى «وقوع اشتباكات في حيي القدم والعسالي في جنوب العاصمة. كما دارت اشتباكات في حي التضامن اسفرت عن مقتل عنصر من القوات النظامية. ووقعت اشتباكات بين مقاتلين معارضين والقوات النظامية في حي جوبر».
وتحدثت «لجان التنسيق» و«الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية» عن «اقتحام قوات النظام بلدة معضمية الشام بعد ساعات من القصف العنيف». وذكر المرصد ان «عشرة قتلى سقطوا خلال العملية العسكرية المستمرة في بلدة معضمية الشام. كما سقط عشرات الجرحى وتهدم الكثير من المنازل جراء القصف المستمر الذي أصاب مستشفى في المدينة».
وتابع المرصد «تدور اشتباكات في مدينة درعا بين مقاتلين معارضين والقوات النظامية، وذلك بعد قصف مركز وعنف طال قرى وبلدات في ريف درعا، لا سيما بلدة الحراك التي وقعت فيها اشتباكات عنيفة بعد ساعات من القصف تسبب بسقوط العشرات من القتلى والجرحى».
(أ ف ب، ا ب، رويترز)

Yet, we have some starry-eyed menhebkji dreamers (see 119) on this blog seriously planning a silk road adventure into Turkey and another desert safari down south with a جيش ابو شحاطة

Before you head north check these travel guides,

And here’s your guide for the safari trip,

August 21st, 2012, 1:03 am


Juergen said:

great article

Life With Syria’s Rebels in a Cold and Cunning War

Abdul Hakim Yasin, the commander of a Syrian antigovernment fighting group, lurched his pickup truck to a stop inside the captured residential compound he uses as his guerrilla base.His fighters had been waiting for orders for a predawn attack on an army checkpoint at the entrance to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. The men had been issued ammunition and had said their prayers. Their truck bomb was almost prepared.

August 21st, 2012, 1:21 am


Syrialover said:

All we need to know about life under the Assads is there in that post above by A.D., The Fawwaz al-Assad Story.

Thanks A.D. for sharing it, and to Joshua Landis for posting it.

It’s very poignant. An innocent young woman, bursting with interest and enthusiasm when visiting her family’s homeland. Then everything turned ugly and dangerous when she was spotted and preyed on by a sleazy thug member of the Assad family.

The story shows how normal and commonplace this must have been.

They backed off when they realised she was a foreigner, but it would have been a horribly different outcome for Syrian women.

Sordid and evil abuse of power, just like Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi and their relatives.

A shame that HABIB did not like that first-person story and tries to dismiss it as a rumor.

He instead likes to defend the myths, secrets, lies and coverups of the Assad regime.

August 21st, 2012, 2:00 am



Another eyewitness report and embedded video clearly show fighting is widespread in every corner of Syria with جيش ابو شحاطة far from achieving a single objective except the cowardly crimes against humanity that it routinely inflicts on innocent civilians,

It is obvious that even Salahedin is far from being secured by this pathetic army of thugs of the Nazis occupying Damascus.

August 21st, 2012, 2:06 am



Hizbistan’s illicit drug trade busted by US,

Lebanese banking system may pay the price.

August 21st, 2012, 2:18 am


omen said:

1 dynamic fueling shift in Aleppo business class: feeling betrayed by Assad- they stood by him for 15 months & this how he is repaying them

August 21st, 2012, 2:30 am


Hassan said:

Al-Dendeshe is right, Syria does have WMDs and Dr. Assad WILL use them randomly.




August 21st, 2012, 7:15 am


Citizen said:

a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye
if we take it such as base, the Syrian state and block of resistance absolutely have the right to use not satisfied citizens ща U.S.A , France, England, Germany, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, to allow for the bloodshed in these countries, so the language of force will be more clear!
sorry to say this

August 21st, 2012, 7:45 am


Citizen said:

Syria motherland forever !

August 21st, 2012, 7:50 am


Son of Damascus said:


Thank you, and to you and your family as well.

I stand corrected regarding the article.

August 21st, 2012, 7:54 am


Son of Damascus said:

There is nothing to be said for those that cheer for the death of Syrians, even less for those that call for the butcher to randomly shoot WMD at Syrians.

August 21st, 2012, 7:59 am


Tara said:

Red lines and green lights
In his latest blog post, exiled Syrian activist Ammar Abdulhamid takes issue with President Obama’s “coldly articulated red line regarding the use of chemical weapons” which he says “might just translate into a green light for more frenzied killing sprees by Assad and his militias”.

In his recent White House press briefing, President Obama said that he had not “ordered military engagement” in Syria, but noted that he might change his “calculus” should “we see a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around, or being utilised,” by the Assad regime, as this development, for him, as he pointed out, would constitute a “red line.”

By framing things this way at a time when Assad’s MiGs, helicopter gunships, missiles and heavy artillery are pounding residential neighbourhoods and civilian installations, including schools and hospitals, in villages, towns and cities all across Syria claiming hundreds of lives every day, President Obama’s red line will most likely be taken by Assad as green light for sticking to his bloody tactics to the bitter end. After all, he was just told by the most powerful man in the world that he has no plans to stop him.

August 21st, 2012, 8:46 am


zoo said:

The logic of despair: The more there are dead foreigners the more chance of a foreign intervention to rescue the armed rebels.
Who killed the Japanese reporter smuggled from Turkey?

Abu Raashid, commander of the Liwa Asifat al Shamal, one of the groups that make up the opposition Free Syrian Army:
“If the international community doesn’t move to help the Syrian people, they have to react to the spilling of their citizens’ blood on Syrian territory,” he said.

“We want a sincere position from the international community, a real position, not just words.”

August 21st, 2012, 9:27 am


zoo said:

Syrian tensions cut across religious lines
Published on Monday August 20, 2012–syrian-tensions-cut-across-religious-lines

That concern is the very real possibility that, after the regime falls, elements in the opposition movement won’t limit themselves to seeking revenge on the Alawite community for the estimated 20,000 Syrians killed since the uprising began, but will turn on fellow Sunnis as well.

This possibility is real because despite the fact the Assad family and the Alawite elite have always held the key positions of power and influence, especially within the military, security and intelligence services, many Sunnis have also held important positions within the Syrian infrastructure, including most state organs, plus the Baath party itself.

August 21st, 2012, 9:33 am


zoo said:

While BHL calls for Western military intervention, US Neo-cons warns not to.

PIPES: Stay out of Syria
Intervention is a trap
By Daniel Pipes

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bashar Assad’s wretched presence in the presidential palace of Damascus may, contrary to Western assumptions, do more good than harm. His murderous, terroristic and pro-Tehran regime is nonideological and relatively secular; it staves off anarchy, Islamist rule, genocide and rogue control of Syria’s chemical weapons.

As Syria’s civil war intensifies, Western states increasingly are helping the rebels overthrow Mr. Assad and his henchmen. In doing so, the West hopes to save lives and facilitate a democratic transition. Many Western voices call for more than the nonlethal aid now being offered, wanting to arm the rebels, set up safe zones and even join their war against the government.

Nothing in the constitutions of Western states requires them to get involved in every foreign conflict. Sitting this one out will prove to be a smart move. In addition to the moral benefit of not being accountable for horrors yet to come, staying away permits the West eventually to help its only true friends in Syria, the country’s liberals.

August 21st, 2012, 9:36 am


zoo said:

Will Hollande try to perform a mouth to mouth resuscitation to the dying SNC.

France’s Hollande to meet head of Syrian opposition
AFP – 54 mins ago

French President Francois Hollande was to meet later Tuesday with the head of Syria’s main opposition group, a day after hosting the new United Nations peace envoy to Syria, his office said.

Hollande was due to meet representatives of the Syrian National Council and its leader Abdel Basset Sayda at his Elysee palace at 1500 GMT.

August 21st, 2012, 10:07 am


zoo said:

More trouble looming for Erdogan from his minorities…

ASALA threatens Turkey over Syria

The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), an Armenian terrorist organization, has threatened to attack Turkey in the event of a “direct or indirect violation of the security” of the Armenian community in Syria, according to

ASALA released a statement saying they would launch “counter-measures” against Turkey if Ankara continued with its “conspirational and hostile policy” on Syria.

August 21st, 2012, 10:12 am


Tara said:

Why did Russia commit genocide against the Circassians?  Was it because they were Muslim?

Circassians flee Syria strife for Russia homeland
By MANSUR MIROVALEV, Associated Press – 

Circassians’ historical grievances with Russia are strong.
The arrival of thousands of refugees from Syria could add fuel to a growing movement to force Russia to recognize the 19th century killing and expulsions of Circassians as genocide. Circassians are pushing the issue ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where Circassian fighters surrendered to the czarist forces in 1864. Circassians say some of the Olympic facilities are being built over mass graves of their ancestors.
“Sochi is our open wound,” said Vahit Kadioglu, head of the International Circassian Association in the Turkish capital, Ankara. “We expect recognition of the massacre from the Russian government.”
In 2011, the pro-Western government of neighboring Georgia recognized the killings and deportation of Circassians as genocide and called on the West to boycott the Olympics. Russian officials say the decision was motivated by political tensions between Russia and Georgia, which fought a brief war in 2008, and dismissed the claims.

“There was no genocide of the Circassians, it was a normal historical process,” said Valery Kuzmin, a Foreign Ministry ambassador-at-large responsible for the Sochi Games.
But the governor of the Russian province that will host the games has recently acknowledged the expulsions. “This land has not belonged to the Russian Empire, it belonged to Caucasus nations, to Circassians,” Alexander Tkachyov of Krasnodar province, which was once almost entirely Circassian, said in early August.

August 21st, 2012, 10:16 am


bronco said:


“Islam is the second most widely professed religion in the Russian Federation. According to a poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center, 6% of respondents considered themselves Muslims.[1]

According to Reuters, Muslim minorities make up a seventh (14%) of Russia’s population.”

Islam is considered as one of Russia’s traditional religions, legally a part of Russian historical heritage.[3] There are over 5,000[4] registered religious Muslim organizations (divided into Sunni, Shia and Sufi groups)

August 21st, 2012, 10:55 am


zoo said:

Hint to the rebels: Spread more rumors in the media about the use of chemical weapons against civilians, it may work: Fabricated videos, dramatic accounts of eyewitnesses…

Obama says his ’red line’ in Syria conflict is WMD

President Barack Obama has declared the threat of chemical or biological warfare in Syria a “red line”.

August 21st, 2012, 11:02 am


zoo said:

The Yemeni model for Syria ?

“Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen has exploited the decline in central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests that eventually forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power in February.

Al-Qaeda-linked militants had captured Zinjibar, Jaar, Shuqra and other towns across Abyan, but government forces in May launched an all-out offensive and recaptured the towns the following month.”

Gunmen blow up Yemen export gas pipeline


August 21st, 2012, 11:05 am


zoo said:

Syria rebels claim control of ‘two-thirds of Aleppo’

Syria’s rebels control almost two-thirds of the northern city of Aleppo, a top Free Syrian Army commander said on Tuesday. “We now control more than 60 per cent of the city of Aleppo, and each day we take control of new districts,” Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi told AFP. His claims could not immediately be verified. A security source in Damascus described the statement as “completely false.” He said that “the terrorists are not advancing, it is the army that is making slow progress.” Terrorist groups occasionally come out of districts under their control, then “they quickly return to their lairs,” the source said.

August 21st, 2012, 11:09 am


zoo said:

Robert Fisk: On the Aleppo frontline with al-Asaad Bashar’s most battle-hardened commander

Tuesday August 21 2012

MORTARS crashed into the middle-class streets around us and a T-72 tank baked in the heat under a road viaduct, but Bashar al-Assad’s most senior operational commander in Aleppo – a 53-year-old Major-General with 33 years in the military and two bullet wounds from last month’s battles in Damascus – claims he can “clean” the whole province of Aleppo from “terrorists” in 20 days. Now that is quite a boast, especially in the Saif el-Dowla suburb of the city, where sniper fire snapped down leafy streets. For the battle of Aleppo is far from over.

The soldiers were high on their story, how they had been outnumbered but fought off their enemies. Even the operational commander of all Aleppo told me that a major battle was beginning in an area containing a mosque and a Christian school where his men had surrounded a large number of “terrorists”. “The Syrian army doesn’t kill civilians – we came here to protect them, at their request,” he said. “We tried to get civilians out of the area where we have to fight, with loudspeakers we give lots of warnings.”

August 21st, 2012, 11:19 am


Tara said:


Do you know then why they were slaughtered? I know that those who survived, were forced out and of course some landed in Syria.

August 21st, 2012, 11:28 am


zoo said:

No foreign fighter in Aleppo?

Martin Chulov From the Guardian reports on twitter from Aleppo

Syria 1st-Hand: Clashes and Foreign Fighters in Aleppo (Chulov)

“Saw foreign jihadists at frontline in #Aleppo. Fighters from Senegal, Saudi, Algeria & Pakistan. Others deep inside Salahedin #Syria
21 Aug 12

Benghazi Youth @LibyaSteadfast 21 Aug 12

@martinchulov Can you qualify that with some numbers/estimates please? As per our understanding so far it’s a very small number of them?

Martin Chulov @martinchulov

@LibyaSteadfast Yes, small numbers so far. Around 30 at frontline. Scores more have def crossed from Turkey. Not sure where they are.

August 21st, 2012, 11:34 am


bronco said:

154. Tara

Sorry Tara, I have not followed that story…

Read that , it may inform you

August 21st, 2012, 11:37 am


zoo said:

Who is living in sewers?

Robert Fisk: ‘They snipe at us then run and hide in sewers’

Our writer was given exclusive access to the Assad Generals accused of war crimes as they seek to defeat the rebels in Aleppo

August 21st, 2012, 11:43 am


zoo said:

Conditions to become a ‘Friend of Syria’

-Reject any negotiations with the current government

-Do not accept a political solution without the president’s departure, even it is is illegal

– Support a military intervention, even without the consent of the Security Council

– Say that jihadists are an insignificant minority of the rebellion

– Forgive FSA’s Islamist inquisition courts of their crimes, because every revolution has its share of terror and injustice

– Bless the friends-states who advocate the application of Wahhabi Shariaa and provide the rebels with weapons, it runs our factories.

– Swear only on Aljazira for reliable source of information on the Syrian crisis

– Approve the military training of volunteers Islamists to avoid collateral damage

– Believe that the petrodollar oligarchic monarchies are an example of democracy

-Recognize the CNS as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, as the other opposition parties are refusing the illegitimate generosity of the secret services.

-Affirm that the Kebab merchants at the OSDH in London tell the truth and nothing but the truth about the deaths and crimes of the loyalist army

– Agree that helping terrorists with the means of communication, not weapons is to place oneself on the right side of history

– Approve the sanctions, of course, that help the people of Syria out of its misery

– Wishing that Syria suspend all relations with Hezbollah, Iran and all forms of Palestinian resistance

– Accelerate the signing of a peace agreement with Israel denying Palestinians the right of return

– Give the Golan to Israel against economic cooperation with the countries Friend

– Reduce the future Syrian army at least two-thirds, and again, it would be even better

– Accept that the Sunni states of the Middle East persecute their ethnic and religious Shiite, Christian and Kurdish to preserve their national unity

– Accept that Israel possesses nuclear weapons and energy, but not neighbors without `democracy`

– Recognize that the torturers Arab dictators have “the right to be on earth,” if they are our friends and support our economies.

– If you have been a consultant or advisor to a Salafist political party, this is a plus.

-If you worked in a front company for the CIA spy who pretends to be an NGO Human Rights, it is also a great asset.

August 21st, 2012, 12:13 pm


zoo said:

Haytham Al Manna accuses Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and criticizes the SNC
21 August 2012

August 21st, 2012, 12:22 pm


zoo said:

The FSA: Regime forces capture Turkish journalist

A Turkish journalist has reportedly been captured by Syrian al-Assad regime loyalists near Aleppo while covering Syria’s civil war.

“The shabiha [pro-regime militiamen] captured a journalist and a cameraman working for Al-Hurra,” the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander in Aleppo province, Col. Abdel Jabbar al-Okaidi, told Agence France-Presse.

Ünal was working for U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra television. The station said it had lost contact with two of its employees working in Syria on Aug. 20, including Ünal, and they had reportedly been traveling with Mika Yamamoto, another journalist who was killed in the ongoing clashes in the country. Yamamoto’s body has been transferred to Turkey, where Japanese consular officials were providing assistance

August 21st, 2012, 1:13 pm


zoo said:

Muslim Brotherhood undermining Syrian rebel unity

Published Monday, August 20, 2012

They share a single goal: to topple the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. But the myriad rebel groups that have sprung up are riven by infighting about funding, weapons and even how to wage their war.
Muslim Brotherhood making its move

“Islamist brigades get most of their funding from Qatar and Turkey,” rebel commander Abu Mussab told AFP. The military councils, meanwhile, receive non-lethal support from Saudi Arabia, the United States and the European Union.

“Al-Qaeda finances the jihadis, the Muslim Brotherhood fund the moderates, and the rich Saudis indiscriminately finance both,” he added.

Experts say jihadis constitute a small minority of fighters in the insurgency.

Many seemingly Salafi fighters only grow long beards and wear Islamic garb in order to benefit from funding from conservative powerhouse Saudi Arabia, a Britain-based expert on Syria told AFP on condition of anonymity.

But it is the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been exiled from Syria since the 1980s, which provides the majority of the funding, assistance and weapons, activists and rebels say.

Their goal, it seems, is to monopolize aid in a bid to carve out the lion’s share of power, when and if Assad goes.

August 21st, 2012, 1:22 pm


Tara said:

Thank you Bronco..

August 21st, 2012, 2:30 pm


The Unbelievable Proxy-War Mess in Syria (graphed for visual aid) | jmd09480 said:

[…] Part  of Assad’s strategy seemingly involved pulling out of northern towns to  allow Kurdish fighters to take over, thereby weakening his Sunni enemies.  […]

December 4th, 2013, 5:08 am


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