Syria’s Top Five Insurgent Leaders

Who are Syria’s BIG FIVE Insurgent leaders?
by Joshua Landis (with help from the SC experts)
October 1, 2013

If we confine our choices to leaders with broad appeal in the Arab and Islamist mainstream — excluding both al-Qaida and Kurdish leaders — we get the following five, listed in order.

Hassan Abboud

1. Hassan Abboud, the general head of the Islamic movement of Ahrar Al-Sham, spearheaded the joint position of what some are calling the Islamic Alliance, but which is looser than an alliance of mainly northern-based militias. They have rejected the SNC and US backed exile groups. Al-Nusra was one of the groups that signed the alliance, along with #3 and #4 below.

2. Zahran Alloush, the general Commander of Jaysh al-Islam or Islam Army, a group of more than 50 brigades. He is the son of a Saudi-based religious scholar named sheikh Abdullah Mohammed Alloush. Syrian authorities released him from prison in mid-2011. He was incarcerated for his Salafist opposition activities in Sidnaya prison along with #1 and #3. He states that the external opposition does not represent him or his group and that there is no chance at negotiations with the regime. His Islam Army flies the black flag and not the Syrian flag.

3. Ahmad `Aisa al-Shaykh, or Abu Aissa, commander of Suqour al-Sham Brigade, Falcons of Syria Brigade, based in Idlib.

4. Abdul Qader Al-Salih, the high Commander of Liwa al-Tawhid, Unity Brigade, in Aleppo. (the formal top leader is Abdelaziz Salame)

5: Bashar Al-Zoubi, the Commander of Liwa al-Yarmouk in the south of Syria around Deraa. The Supreme Military Command (the US backed leadership of the Free Syrian Army) has named him the commander of the Southern Front. He is the only member of this top-five who has not expressed a wish to see an Islamist Syria.

Ahmed Abu Issa, Abdel Qader Saleh, Zahran Alloush

Taken together, these leaders represent not even half of the insurgency. The top five are not enough to run the rebellion, but they are either major actors in their core areas or very big nationally, or both. A small group on the national level can be a superpower in its own hometown. There are many more powerful leaders in Syria. We look forward to adding and correcting.

These are people who have significant influence over the insurgency. They are swing voters.

Over the last several months, the insurgency has undergone a “Darwinian” shakedown. Powerful leaders are emerging and smaller militias are lining up with the larger sharks. All the same, we are only at the beginning of this process. The opposition remains extremely fragmented and volatile.

Any discussion of Geneva II talks to end the Syrian conflict will be sterile without these commanders at the table. The top four say they are unwilling to sit at the negotiation table with the regime. In fact, their main issue with the National Coalition is that the NC is considering negotiating with the regime.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS, according to US gov.

It is hard to imagine any of them backtracking on this position in the near future.

Other Powerful Commanders

If one is considering military might alone, one must add the head of ISIS – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In military terms, he is stronger than Bashar al-Zoubi, our #5. But he doesn’t have appeal outside the Islamist hardline segment. So here we go:

  • Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) – al-Qaida.
  • Abu Mohammad al-Golani of al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra – al-Qaida
  • Sipan Hemo of YPG – Kurdish militia

    Salih Muslim Muhammad/Sipan Hemo, Hemo is commander of the Kurdish Peoples Defence Units (YPG) in Syria – See an interview with Hemo. The YPG is the military arm of the PYD (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat) the leader of which is Salih Muslim Muhammad. This is the Syrian branch of the PKK, which is kept under civilian control so Salih Muslim PYD and not Hemo is perhaps the correct listing. It has been battling Nusra and ISIS over the last several months for control of the North-east.
  • Abu Sayeh Juneidi of Farouq Brigades, one of the largest and well-known units of the FSA (Homs). It placed itself under Suquor al-Sham commander Ahmed Abu Issa in Sept 2012. (Farouq seems weakened of late).
  • Jamal Maarouf

    Jamal Maarouf (Abu Khalid) of Shuhada Souria, Syrian Martyrs’ Brigade, Idlib governate, FSA. Jamal claims to have 18 ,000 fighters between Idlib and Aleppo, but like all troop estimates, this should be taken with a grain of salt. He’s a non-Islamist leader. He is both religious and conservative, but not Ikhwan and not salafi, just not ideological.

  • Mohammed al-Khatib of Furqan Brigades, active west of Damascus down toward the Golan. also not irrelevant.
  • Ziad Haj Obaid commands Ahfad Rasoul with two others. The name meaning Grandsons of the Prophet. He is on the Arms Committee for the Supreme Military Command. Much of Ahfad’s funding came from Qatar, which may explain its recent weakness.
  • There are more who we lack info on.

Further Notes on Commanders:

Addendum (Oct 2, 2013): Hassan Hassan published an important article “The Army of Islam Is Winning in Syria” arguing that the Islamic Army led by Zahran Alloush is probably now stronger than Hassan Abboud’s Ahrar al-Sham. This is hard to tell, but it is worth quoting him at length.

But today, Salafi-leaning insurgents are the single most dominant force in liberated areas. Liwa al-Islam, which is the central player in the Army of Islam, now dwarfs both the FSA and radical militias such as Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra, which long played a prominent role in the region. These groups had coordinated with each other through a Damascus military council, but Ahrar al-Sham pulled out of the council shortly after the merger, issuing an angry statement that criticized “the hegemony of certain factions and the exclusion of [other] effective ones.”

Saudi Arabia appears to be central to the merger of rebel groups around Damascus. Liwa al-Islam chief Zahran Alloush is backed by Riyadh, while both Ahrar al-Sham, which is supported by Qatar, and Jabhat al-Nusra have been excluded from the new grouping. Although Liwa al-Islam had been part of the Saudi-backed FSA, the spokesman of the new grouping told an Arabic television channel that the Army of Islam is not part of the FSA. This is likely because the FSA has lost the trust of many rebel groups, and adopting a religious language will be more effective in countering the appeal of radical groups — which is what happened after the announcement of the merger, as various Islamists and moderate groups welcomed the move.

Zahran Alloush, Liwa al-Islam, who founded the Islam Army a week ago. He peaks of the resurrection of the Omayyad Empire and cleansing of the Majous or crypto-Iranians: Rafida (Shiites) and Nusayri (Alawites) from Damascus (minute 5). He does not have much faith in democracy, claiming that a committee of Islamic scholars will decide on the form of government and the role that minorities will play in a future state. He calls for Muslims from the world over to come do their duty in Syria and fight Jihad. He claims that every insurgent commander is an Islamist and argues that the reason the Assad regime surrounded Damascus and suppressed its people is because the people’s natural inclination is to build an Islamic state following the spirit of the Ommayad state. For this reason, the Majousi regime was frightened of the people. In his interview with Aljazeera, he is asked about his relationship with Idriss, Commander in Chief of the FSA and SMC member; Alloush said

Idriss should be more serious and active in helping the mujahidiin and not listen to orders he gets from here and there to favor certain groups with aid in order to advance foreign agendas that are being promoted for our umma

Abdul Qadir al-Salih

Abdul Qader Saleh is powerful as things stand today, but should Aleppo fall entirely into rebel hands and should Liwa al-Tawhid remain dominant there, Abdul Qader will become powerful indeed. Aleppo is the capital of the North and it and its suburbs include about half the population under rebel control.

Abdul Qader Saleh’s relationship with the Turks. One story about the fall of Aleppo centers around the defection of Mohammad Miflih, who at the time was head of air-force intelligence in Aleppo. Miflih was infamous for massacring protestors in Hama early in the revolution, so when he decided to defect, he knew that he wouldn’t be received very well by the opposition.  The story has it that Miflih coordinated his defection with the Turks, who offered to provide him protection but in return Miflih had to allow the rebels into the city. In the meantime, the Turks had the rebels assemble their forces and entered the city, starting with the Salahaldin neighborhood. They named the battle for Aleppo – Furqan. Here is the video of that announcement from August 2012. It shows a group of rebel commanders including Abdul Qader Saleh and a Nusra commander.

Bashar al-Zoubi

Bashar Zoubi, Liwa Yarmouk: This militia is not huge, Zoubi says around 5,000, but if you want a southern faction, it’s probably the biggest. He seems much less Islamist & more SMC/Western linked than the brigades that have linked up with Zahran Alloush’s Islam Army around Damascus. The Deraa front in general seems less Islamist, with weapons coming in from Jordan and Saudi. The US, Jordan and Saudi are working together to avoid building up Islamists. Although a Daraa source suggests that many of the Daraa militias are placing themselves under Zahran Alloush since his dramatic announcement of the formation of the Army of Islam, Liwa Yarmouk and several other power hitters around Deraa have not. See this list for those that have joined Islam Army – I think a few more have joined since.

Hassan Abboud of حركة أحرار الشام الإسلامية ‎  Ahrār ash-Shām, meaning “Islamic Movement of the Freemen of Syria.” It is the principal organization operating under the umbrella of the Syrian Islamic Front.[1]  or SIF. On Sept. 24, 2013, Aboud spearheaded the formation of what was called the Islamic Alliance. Liwa al-Tawhid, Liwa al-Islam and Suqour al-Sham were included in this loose “alliance,” as well as Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaida linked group.

Here is the video of the formation of the Islam Army. Alloush was not at the conference. His deputy took the pledges of allegiance of the 49 other commanders on his behalf. He was not in the group photo. No point in having your top commander killed or captured.

Comments (1,843)

William Scott Scherk said:

A pessimistic analysis of the present chances for any Geneva II process to be born.

Why Syria Peace Talks Can’t Even Start For The Foreseeable Future

This week President Barack Obama told the UN General Assembly that military action cannot end the Syrian war and advocated the need for a political settlement.

But a deal needs two sides.


“At this stage, the political opposition does not have the credibility with or the leverage over the armed groups on the ground to enforce an agreement that the armed groups reject,” Noah Bonsey, who studies the Syrian opposition for the International Crisis Group told The New York Times.

“You need two parties for an agreement, and there is no viable political alternative to the coalition,” he said, defining a disconnect between the diplomatic efforts taking shaping in New York and the reality across Syria.

The most powerful forces on the ground (including Syria’s government) don’t recognize the opposition government-in-exile. America and its allies say any peace process must involve that government.

As it stands, the process can’t even start (much less decide the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad).

Basically, a political settlement is a pipe dream at this point — much like the unprecedented task of securing and destroying a massive chemical weapons stockpile in an active warzone within a year.

I must thank Joshua for this article capturing a moment in an ongoing Darwinian ‘consolidation’ of rebel forces, for making clear just how far Syria is from any ceasefire or compromise. These paragraphs strike home:

Over the last several weeks, the insurgency has undergone a “Darwinian” shakedown. Powerful leaders are emerging and smaller militias are lining up with the larger sharks. All the same, we are only at the beginning of this process. The opposition remains extremely fragmented and volatile.

Any discussion of Geneva II talks to end the Syrian conflict will be sterile without these commanders at the table. None of them is willing to sit at the negotiation table with the regime. In fact, their main issue with the National Coalition is that the NC is considering negotiating with the regime. It is hard to imagine any of them backtracking on this position in the near future.

October 1st, 2013, 4:13 pm


Syrialover said:

This list of “top 5 insurgent leaders” will be as stale and useless as yesterday’s bread in no time.

Why is SyriaComment giving the star-struck celebrity treatment to these self-appointed “leaders” of Islamist extremist groups?

They are just fresh transient hell for Syrians, but your coverage here appears like a push to normalize them and inflate their significance to the world.

Message from a poster held by civilians in a rebel-held area demonstrating against the Islamist extremists:

“You don’t belong to us and we don’t belong to you”

October 1st, 2013, 4:57 pm


Uzair8 said:

An AJE opinion piece.

Everytime I try opening the link (from AJE) my window closes. I instead read sections of the piece on my Xbox 360.

Perhaps others won’t have the same problem. Here is the piece:

Q and A: Behind the accusations of rebel chemical weapons use in Syria

Mark Levine

October 1st, 2013, 5:18 pm


Syrialover said:

Meanwhile, lets give some praise and attention to this effort:

“Opposition prints 3 million copy of new school curriculum without Assad’s ideology”


The revised books will be distributed to displaced Syrian students in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Qatar as well as students in liberated areas in Syria.

[It is the work of the] Syrian Commission for Education, an independent civil organization [which] does not have any religious or political orientations. It is interested in re-reforming the educational process. It was established about 8 months ago by businessmen and experts in psychology, sociology, teachers and academics, aims at compensate for the shortage in education after the Syrian Revolution.

“We revised the curriculum already taught in schools of the Ministry of Education in Syria, and we read and searched it word by word to omit all ideas related to the Syrian
the Syrian regime ideology which shifts students from the basic curriculum” [said Na’eem al-Mofti Secretary General of the group]

“A committee composed of 30 specialists in educational mission revised the curricula to clean it from all thought degrading the humanity and glorifying the “person” (ie the Assads) in the same time they kept the basic educational material.”

– See the full story for more details of how the curriculum content has been de-Assadised, who has contributed to funding the project and how and where the textbooks are being distributed.

(translated from the Arabic)

October 1st, 2013, 5:20 pm


zoo said:

Looking at the faces of these ‘leaders’, none seems to be a ‘moderate’.
I just can’t see them around a table negotiating peace.

p.s Thanks for the 4 immediate thumbs down, Mr Headsup.

October 1st, 2013, 5:35 pm


zoo said:

ISIS feel “victimized” by the Western media propaganda and the FSA declarations. Their need to defend and justify themselves is suprising as it may indicate that they are increasingly at odds with the Syrians in the areas they occupy.

ISIS fights back against claims on many fronts
October 02, 2013 12:40 AM
By Marlin Dick

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

October 1st, 2013, 6:15 pm


zoo said:

I strongly encourage the pro-rebels to spend some vacations in ‘liberated’ Raqqa. They could have a taste of the “post-Assad Syria” they long for

In Raqqa, the only regional capital to fall under full rebel control, ISIS has set up bases in government buildings, publicly executed members of Mr. Assad’s Alawite minority and detained activists who have protested against it.

“They control through fear, by holding public executions, walking around in masks, showing their weapons, and killing and kidnapping anyone who stands against them or their acts,” said an activist in Raqqa who declined to give his name for fear that extremists would hunt him down.

Although they sometimes cooperate in battle, ISIS is separate from the first Qaeda group to emerge in Syria, the Nusra Front, whose leader rejected a proposed merger earlier this year.

Since then, foreign fighters have flocked to ISIS, while the Nusra Front has been more clearly accepted by mainline rebels for keeping its focus on the fight against Mr. Assad.

Read more:

October 1st, 2013, 6:20 pm


mjabali said:

Thanks Syria Comment for this important article.

October 1st, 2013, 7:01 pm


Ken Barnett said:

Why do people vote thumbs down on post about deleting Assad regime propaganda from Syrian schoolbooks?

October 1st, 2013, 7:38 pm


zoo said:

For the Kafranbel fans: A prehistorical reconstitution of the Syrian ‘revolution’
Kafranbel: the Syrian revolution in 3 minutes

October 1st, 2013, 8:02 pm


Observer said:

The regime insider quotes

“They control through fear, by holding public executions, walking around in masks, showing their weapons, and killing and kidnapping anyone who stands against them or their acts,” said an activist in Raqqa who declined to give his name for fear that extremists would hunt him down.

I wonder on which planed these people live. This has been the daily life of 99% of Syrians and Libyans and Egyptians and Iraqis and others in the ME for eons.

The security house of cards is crumbling by the day.

HA is withdrawing its troops and not sure if it was because of losses and loss of security back home with a backlash or because Tehran wants to go to Geneva 2.

There is less and less talk of Geneva 2. Russia was aiming to capitalize on the CW agreement and the UNSC resolution but it seems that the burning tire of Syria is being tied to the neck of Putin nicely.

Now there is a certain Mahjoub that says that Syria needs a Marshal plan and that Qatar and KSA and Turkey should be made to pay.

Ha hahahahahahahahahahahaha
I love it. Marshal plan for the iPad Freddo Corleone

Now we need some consistency please

The US is irrelevant in the ME on the one hand and the US talking to Iran is very important. The US is the evil behind the rebellion and the US is the enemy of GCC for talking to Iran. The US is evil for threatening a strike and the US is a great democracy for listening to its people. The US left Iraq and the US is still responsible for Iraq’s mess.

Now the good news the pound is now at 170 to the dollar and the Bourse of Damascus is making money again ( oops only 23 million pounds were made that day )

The rebels are so hard pressed by the glorious SAA that they have time and energy to fight each other. The FSA is going to join the SAA. The pro regime troll here is celebrating the “revolt” of the people in Raqqa and at the same time celebrating their brutal repression in Athad controlled Thouria.

A mortar round fell on the Chinese embassy; that is 300 yards south of the offices of “you know who”.

Haytham Manaa is being pushed by Russia. Giving RT interviews indeed. Nice.

Marshall Plan should be a new post: let us see how much destruction the retard did.

HRW has a report of mass graves that the regime is digging around Damascus so that when the time comes to release prisoners he will have none left whitewashing himself

October 1st, 2013, 8:04 pm


zoo said:

Foreign extremists dominate Syria fight

By Liz Sly, Tuesday, October 1, 8:38 PM E-mail the writer

BEIRUT — Foreign fighters from across the Arab world and beyond are playing an increasingly dominant role in the battle for control of Syria, which has emerged as an even more powerful magnet for jihadi volunteers than Iraq and Afghanistan were in the last decade.

The number of Syrians battling to overthrow the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad outstrips by a large margin the thousands of Arabs and other non-Syrian Muslims who have streamed into Syria over the past two years to join in the fight.

But the flow of jihadi volunteers has accelerated, and non-Syrians have begun taking the lead in a variety of roles as the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attempts to assert control over large areas of the rebel-held north.

October 1st, 2013, 8:53 pm


ziad said:

تقرير لمراسل قناة الاتجاه
أول قناة تدخل حي الوعر المشبع بالمسلحين في حمص
الوعر رئة حمص الجديدة

حي الوعر بين الزناد والتسوية قصص معاناة و أمل – وسام الجردي

October 1st, 2013, 8:57 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Why is SyriaComment giving the star-struck celebrity treatment to these self-appointed “leaders” of Islamist extremist groups?

Beats me.

October 1st, 2013, 9:00 pm


omen said:

here is the map of the mass graves observer mentioned.

chilling satellite view depiction.

source says USG.

remember when skeptics were running around last spring, fanning worries US might turn newly defected makdissi’s cw secrets as a “pretext” for a US invasion? turns out obama sat on intel of regime deploying chemical weapons for the last year. yet did nothing about it. after other countries noted the regime’s usage, obama was then pressured to publicly object to the regime moving chems around.

what else does the US know about the regime it’s not telling us?

October 1st, 2013, 11:06 pm


Matthew Barber said:

To those asking that Majedkhaldoun return, I talked to him about it and gave him the option, but he never emailed me back.

And Omen, please don’t call for people to attempt to defy bans; they need to go through me.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:10 am


Uzair8 said:

A couple of consecutive updates on AJE blog:

Posted 11:42 PM yesterday:

Syria’s foreign reserves crashed by more than a third in the year to the end of 2011, figures published by the central bank showed, giving a rare glimpse into the war-stricken country’s finances.

An undated report on Syria’s central bank website showed foreign reserves fell to about 158 billion Syrian pounds at the end of 2011 from around 242 billion a year earlier – the most up-to-date figures published since the crisis started.

The figures were converted to pounds at an old official rate the report listed as 11.2 pounds to the dollar, vastly different from the current unofficial rate of around 167 to the dollar.

While the numbers are too old to indicate Syria’s current reserve levels, they suggest reserves were dropping at a rapid pace even during the conflict’s early days when fighting was relatively limited.



Posted 11:39 PM yesterday:

Traders said the pound, which traded at 47 to the dollar before protests against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011, was trading at 167 to the dollar on Tuesday, its strongest level since June – partly due to the return of some refugees with dollars to change.

That has helped make the pound worth nearly twice as much as in July when it briefly hit record lows of around 300 per dollar.

“There is less psychological pressure because the scare about a strike has gone,” said a Damascus based banker, adding that the central bank’s readiness to inject more dollars was also supporting the pound.


October 2nd, 2013, 6:32 am


apple_mini said:

Today Johnathan Steele from Guardian reported in Lattakia about the massacre in Alawite villages by the rebels on August 4th.

For graphic details, you can go to:

“They include 62 people listed as killed, 60 kidnapped and 139 people who are missing. The dead range in age from a toddler of two to a man of 90. The vast majority are women, children and the elderly”

One more case: a women at a hospital in Lattakia was from one of the villages. The rebels took out her unborn child!

The opposition mouthpieces always use the so-called “massacre” in Al Baida to fend off any expose of the atrocities committed by the death squads. They did not want to admit that elements of the death squad were hiding in Baida even after their attack and killing of SAA soldiers who were manning check points. What happened at Baida was an open conflict between those rebel fighters and SAA plus pro-regime militias. Civilians got caught in the conflict because some of them provided shelter and base for the rebels.

The massacre purely targeted against defenseless civilians in Alawite villages is a true crime against humanity.

I thank Mr. Steele for the very first western reporter who did an honest reporting on a major western media on the massacre which he accurately identified.

October 2nd, 2013, 8:15 am


zoo said:

@187 Matthew

If Majedalkhaldoon who has recurrently expressed threats of death to other commenters and has shown regularly his total hatred toward Shias and Christians is allowed back, you should allow REVENIRE back.

MajedalKhaldoon is clearly a dark Salafist sympathizer.
REVENIRE is fun..

October 2nd, 2013, 9:06 am


zoo said:

The resolution calls for a political agreement

UN Security Council resolution 2118, 27 September 2013 –
See more at:
11. Rapid steps to come to a credible political agreement. It is for the people of the Syrian Arab Republic to come to a political agreement, but time is running out. It is clear that:

(a) The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic must be respected;

(b) The conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiation alone. Conditions conducive to a political settlement must now be put in place;

(c) There must be an end to the bloodshed. All parties must recommit themselves credibly to the six-point plan. This must include a cessation of armed violence in all its forms and immediate, credible and visible actions to implement points 2 to 6 of the six-point plan;

(d) All parties must now engage genuinely with the Joint Special Envoy. The parties must be prepared to put forward effective interlocutors to work expeditiously towards a Syrian-led settlement that meets the legitimate aspirations of the people. The process must be fully inclusive in order to ensure that the views of all segments of Syrian society are heard in shaping the political settlement for the transition;

(e) The organized international community, including the members of the Action Group, stands ready to offer significant support for the implementation of an agreement reached by the parties. This may include an international assistance presence under a United Nations mandate if requested. Significant funds will be available to support reconstruction and rehabilitation

– See more at:

October 2nd, 2013, 9:19 am


Syria: The Executive Summary, 10.02 | Syria News said:

[…] Syria Comment/Joshua Landis: Syria’s Top 5 Insurgent Leaders […]

October 2nd, 2013, 10:50 am


Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya about 5 hours ago:


Few thoughts in next tweets about my article here that I think need further discussion & hard to explain these days

1. As one wise man said, post-9/11 most people in the West & here see Salafism as purely ultra extremist ideology. They don’t see gradations

2. Extremely hard to explain to outsiders, most Syria Salafi insurgents are Syrian in the sense they historically existed & been key players

3. These groups aligned to business community & led Syrian society thru its darkest time from Ottoman time to French to post-independence.

4. Syria has so-called Al Islam Al Shami but also the Syrian Salafism which is nothing like Wahhabi Islam. It recognises Syria’s diversity.

5. Tho they played a big role in post independence, Syria was shaped by religious minorities. Father of JaI leader comes from that tradition

I should that these groups will be the most effective as a counterweight to extremism. And indeed they’re already tensions between the two. No one inside Syria want rebel infighting whether or not they agree with them. A chapter to be written later. If we want it now, misguided.

October 2nd, 2013, 10:56 am


Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya about 5 hours ago:

More foreign shia fighters in #Syria than sunnis ?

The practice of jihadists from the Sunni wing of Islam taking up arms in foreign conflicts is well known. But more unusual is the development in Syria, where Shia fighters from foreign lands are flooding in to join the civil war. Phillip Smyth, a researcher with the University of Maryland and an expert on militias in Lebanon and Syria, discusses this development with Jess Hill.

—> [Embedded Audio] <—

October 2nd, 2013, 10:59 am


William Scott Scherk said:

Your choices being death by torture and privation. Regime justice.

Mass graves of Syrian detainees.

In the report, the VDC cited testimony from former detainees and prison officers, who said they witnessed the deaths of large numbers of detainees and heard of their transfer to the sites near existing cemeteries in Najha and Bahdaliya, to the southeast of Damascus.

Those testimonies appeared to correlate with eyewitness reports of the movement of refrigerated vans and digging activity, along with satellite imagery provided by Human Rights Watch showing movement and expansion of the sites.

The VDC believes the vast majority of those buried at the sites were long-term detainees who died from severe torture, disease and malnutrition after lengthy incarceration. In particular, the VDC believes hundreds of those detained at the notorious Branch 215 of Military Intelligence may have been transported to the site.

Speaking to The Daily Star from outside Syria following his release from Branch 215 after 38 days in custody during which he said he was beaten and tortured, university student Malek al-Khobbi, 28, from Deraa, said he witnessed the deaths of an average of two people a day in his cell alone.

“Every day they put the dead bodies in one place and then the jailers take them out,” he said.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:23 pm


zoo said:

ISIS soon in Hatay?

Al Qaeda-linked group advances on Syrian rebels near Turkey

The al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of the northern border town of Azaz last month, kicking out rival rebels and prompting Turkey to shut the crossing about 5 km (3 miles) away.

ISIL, which wants to merge Syria into a larger state ruled by Islamic law, has maintained control of the town since then and clashes have periodically erupted between it and fighters of the Northern Storm brigade that they had expelled to its outskirts.

Activists said the latest fighting broke out on Tuesday night after a deadline ISIL had set for Northern Storm fighters to surrender their weapons came to an end.

“There are very fierce clashes on the outskirts of Azaz. ISIL cut all roads leading to Turkey and the situation is very tense,” said one rebel source, speaking from Turkey.

Another activist from Azaz said ISIL had seized two checkpoints and a base from Northern Storm and had advanced toward the border. He said some ISIL fighters had been killed, but he did not know how many.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:45 pm


Observer said:

So one of the regime trolls discovers ” massacres” and this is coming from “hardly a massacre” commentator.

Well well, it is most unfortunate that the so called mosaic of peaceful and loving people together, we now have massacres and counter massacres and we are talking about the sanctity of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic.

Sorry, it is a hereditary mafia regime, the word REPUBLIC is not worthy of the barbarism of this regime.

But the dollar is in retreat and the pound is ascendant. Great may be the “hardly a massacre” can go shopping with the shoppers in town.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:47 pm


zoo said:

Syria: 12 killed in clashes between Army, al-Qaeda fighters at Damascus

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the 12 died the day before in the city’s Barzeh district.

Clashes in Barzeh flared up on Monday when the army launched a push to dislodge the rebels, including al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra fighters, from the district.

October 2nd, 2013, 1:48 pm


ALAN said:

Madd Cold – Long Live Syria

October 2nd, 2013, 1:50 pm


zoo said:

Despite Selim Idriss and others repeating that the Al Qaeda fighters represent a negligible portion of the nationalist freedom fighters, the press increasingly refers to the ‘rebels’ as Al Qaeda fighters.

When will the “good” rebels finally reintegrate the SAA to fight against the cancer of Al Qaeeda?

October 2nd, 2013, 1:54 pm


ALAN said:

30. ZOO
عفاك !
about the situation in Syria

October 2nd, 2013, 2:00 pm



The most atonishing here is stating how Assad Dictatorship´s supporters criticize the different islamic and non-islamic opposition fronts´ state of chaos IGNORING that all what Syria suffers and lacks today is ASSAD main achievement in 13 years in power or let´s say in charge (because Assad is many things – chaos, repression, crime, contradiction, mafia- but not power properly speaking).

US-Russian hopes of Assad crushing the rebels and making them disappear under earth while creating a refugees problem of 3.000.000 people living in permanent camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, that covers Israel and Palestine problem in comparative terms is a very grey strategy with Little possibilities of success.

Long Live Syria ! Death to Assads !

October 2nd, 2013, 2:25 pm



Since US is not going to use missiles against Assad Garbage Gang, Obama will give Stockpiles of Tomahawks to Assad to convince him to stop using Chemical Weapons.

Long Live Syria ! Death to Assads !

October 2nd, 2013, 2:28 pm



After REVENIRE has been abducted and killed by Al Qaeda this Syria Comment Fórum has become a better place to live. Very charming and peacefull.

October 2nd, 2013, 2:31 pm


ALAN said:

Syria chemical weapons: used by terrorists, smuggled to Iraq – Russian FM
Russia has evidence that chemical weapons components are used by terrorists in Syria and smuggled into Iraq for possible provocations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, reports VoR’s Polina Chernitsa.

October 2nd, 2013, 2:47 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

The BBC features intrepid regimist frontman Agnes-Miriam and her conjectures regarding August 21 nerve gas attack footage.

Mother Agnes: Syria’s detective nun who denies gas attack

“There’s just no basis for the claims advanced by Mother Agnes,” says Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, which has produced many detailed reports on Syria.

“She is not a professional video forensic analyst… we have found no evidence to indicate any of the videos were fabricated.”

One by one, Mr Bouckaert rejected the claims, saying:

— There were tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the Ghouta area of Damascus, according to very regular reports received by Human Rights Watch

— Children were often sleeping in the basements of buildings in significant concentrations because of the intense shelling and that is why so many died (Sarin gas accumulates at low levels)

— The dead and those injured in the chemical attack were moved from place to place and room to room both at the clinics and ultimately for burial

— There were many men and women who were victims of the attacks. But there were separate rooms for the bodies of children, men and women so they could be washed for burial

— Almost all of the victims have been buried

— Human rights researchers have spoken to the relatives of Alawite women and children abducted by rebels. None of them said they had recognised their loved ones in the gas attack videos

While Russia’s motives for promoting Mother Agnes’s research, regardless of its accuracy, are obvious, what motivates her?

She is accused of being an apologist for the Assad regime – something she denies.

But she has accused the rebels of committing atrocities before.

It seems her motivation may be fear – that the Syrian government will eventually be overthrown by militant Islamist groups, jeopardising the future of the minority Christian community in the country.

She told me how she had travelled to areas under rebel control.

“I found a situation like Afghanistan,” she said, “with Islamic tribunals… which decided if people would be beheaded, cut to pieces or raped.”

October 2nd, 2013, 3:01 pm


Akbar Palace said:

The text of Nut & Yahoos speech.

I don’t have a problem with it. Do you?

October 2nd, 2013, 3:03 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Lengthy investigative piece that examines the MintPress “rebels-did-it” confection, with the first quotes yet from Yahya (Yan) Barakat Ababneh. A must-read for those who have followed this story closely (See also Brian Whitaker’s latest, “Ababneh trail leads to Iran: New twist in Syria ‘rebel chemicals’ story“).

The Inside Story Of One Website’s Defense Of Assad

The final mystery comes with Yahya Ababneh, the Jordanian man who shares a byline for the Ghouta story. Ababneh told BuzzFeed he reported the piece himself and merely asked Gavlak, a longtime and well-respected Middle East correspondent whom he has known for three years after meeting through a friend at a party, to help him translate and pitch the story. It was she who chose Mint Press, he said.

“I just needed her to correct my English,” Ababneh said. “Nobody wants to buy it in Arabic.”

Gavlak has denied having any part in reporting the story, though she told Brown Moses that she had helped Ababneh “write up” the piece. Gavlak did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Ababneh is a mysterious figure who also uses the name “Yan Barakat” and who claims on his now-deleted LinkedIn to have done assignments “in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Libya for clients such as Al-Jazeera, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Amman Net, and other publications.”

He uses the name to maintain a presence on the Russian social networking site Vkontakte. “I don’t publish my true name all times,” Ababneh said. Asked about his time in Russia, he said that he had only been there for a week to visit a friend. His VKontakte account says he is from St. Petersburg.

“He works f**king hard to be honest,” said a friend of Ababneh’s who wished to remain anonymous. “He’s a 20-hour-a-day kind of guy.”

The friend provided a copy of an essay Ababneh had written to the United States embassy in Amman urging the U.S. to curb Saudi influence in the region.

“I don’t want to say my opinions,” Ababneh said when asked for his stance on Syria. “I’m just a simple journalist.”

In subsequent emails, Ababneh revealed that he was currently in Iran: “I am really busy with my master study because that I am in Tehran ( just Try to write my paper in master to see their media and their opinion about Arab spring), also since 3 months try to get this visa for vacation.”

He refused to elaborate further on what exactly he was doing there.

“All what can I say for you : I wrote to many media organisations who they will write about me soon,” Ababneh wrote. “I did not writ [sic] my name before because I had a good connect between the regimes and rebels in libya and syria. Now after my name were every where I think I must find another job.”

As for Gavlak, her status at AP is up in the air. An AP spokesperson declined to comment on whether the agency would continue to accept Gavlak’s copy, except to say: “Dale has not been an AP staffer but has contributed stories to AP from her base in Jordan. AP did not assign, edit, or distribute the website post in question that bears her co-byline.”

Meanwhile, Mint Press is preparing for its next round of battle. Mnar Muhawesh refused to answer an extensive list of questions from BuzzFeed and rebuffed several interview attempts, citing “legal events.”

“Mint Press continues to stand by the courageous reporting of Dale Gavlak, Yahya Ababneh, and all of our journalists and is certainly disappointed in the direction some are choosing to take this important international story,” Muhawesh said. “In the meantime, I hope BuzzFeed readers will judge the integrity and credibility of Mint Press from the independent, nonpartisan journalism found on our site.”

Yet many of its journalists are clearly uneasy, prompting an exodus from Mint Press, already a small publication. Steve Horn, an investigative journalist based in Wisconsin who was a regular freelancer for the site, decided to end his relationship with Mint Press after the Ghouta story. Patrick Strickland, a reporter for the site who covers Israel and the Palestinian territories, told BuzzFeed he has also decided to leave this week.

“I stopped writing for Mint Press because I felt deeply uncomfortable that its financiers are hidden from both writers and the public,” Horn said. “Whether this dark money influenced the mess that happened with the Syria chemical weapons piece remains to be seen. But given the gravity of the ongoing Syrian humanitarian quagmire, the public deserves to know who’s funding not only Mint Press, but everyone else who’s weighed in on Syria, as well.”

#34 comment regarding REVENIRE is disgusting.

October 2nd, 2013, 3:08 pm


ALAN said:

When monkeys rushed up the tree they were driven by stupidity, some became stupider!

October 2nd, 2013, 3:28 pm


ALAN said:

The Saudi entity, like the caduceus staff of Hermes, has, from its very inception in the mid-18th century (1744), consisted of two serpents: the House of Saud and the House of the Shaykh (aal as-Saud & aal ash-Shaykh). The former belongs to its eponymous founder, Mohammad ebn as-Saud, and the latter to the founder of the Wahhabi cult, Mohammad enb Abdol-Wahhab. The former was a military leader who rose to power in the Ottoman backwater of Najd by killing his fellow Moslems, and the latter provided the “religious” justification for such killing in exchange for protection and for a share of the loot to spread the new (cultic) faith. This nasty combination was fostered if not engendered by the British, as a way to get at Ottoman Turkey through its soft under-belly.

The Wahhabi cultists have been blackmailing the political serpent’s head ever since for more and more petro-dollars, with the understanding that they would export their filth (to places like the madrases in Pakistan, all over the African continent, and in American and European mosques), and will use terror any aother means they deem fit, but that they would leave the Kingdom to the House of Saud, for them to drink and gamble and sodomize little boys and rape little girls to their heart’s content. A particularly puritanical strain of the aal-ash-Shaykh House who was not content with the modus vivendi took over the sacred mosque for a few days in 1979, only to be electrocuted out when the French special forces flooded the place and set high-voltage wires to the accumulated body of water.

The only thing that has changed, it seems, is that the debauched philanderers now realize that they can unleash their cultist vermin on the rest of the Realm of Islam with impunity, having been given this green light by Uncle Weasel.

October 2nd, 2013, 3:47 pm


ghufran said:

Just yesterday, rebel media sources were talking about significant progress around Khanaser, now this:
مراسل عكس السير : قوات النظام تسيطر على بلدة خناصر بريف حلب الجنوبي وتفتح خطوط الامداد
also, rebel media reported that the regime is on the retreat around Damascus but if you read Douma facebook page you will see that more than 400 rebels (with names) were killed in Reef Dimashq in September alone.
Look at those who want this war to continue and refuse to entertain a political solution, these are the people and the countries that are the enemies of Syria.

October 2nd, 2013, 3:57 pm


Syrialover said:


Thank you for your update on MAJEDKHALDOUN about your gesture of reconciliation after dumping him from the forum. I appreciate it, and am disappointed he hasn’t responded.

He must feel hurt and alienated after years as an authentic and serious contributor to this forum to be swept out in the same dump truck as nasty recent cyber inventions who had arrived to disrupt it.

In a too-late effort to rescue this forum by suddenly pulling out choking weeds such as cyber provocateur REVENIRE who had taken over 30% of it (amounting to 84% with his fellow Team Assad players) you also uprooted and threw out a natural botanical specimen.

From my 7 years of following SC, I was highly surprised that site founder and owner Joshua Landis would have endorsed the excision of a long term contributor like MAJEDKHALDOUN. Surely Dr Josh must be concerned at the disastrous attrition rate of solid long-established contributors here.

I am hoping M. will reappear in the comments forum on one of the sites some other former SC contributors have fled to. For example, Off the Walls at

October 2nd, 2013, 4:13 pm


ALAN said:

Obama and the Syrian Mystery Bouffe
In its struggle against “Syria’s chemical weapons”, the White House, with its false rhetoric about “guaranteeing security and human rights in Syria,” is actively trying to disguise its direct involvement in the bloodshed that the country has been experiencing for more than a year, and how it incited and sponsored fighters, many of whom have close ties to terrorist groups. According to experts from Jane’s, a leading British publisher, the so-called Syrian opposition currently has almost 100,000 members united in 1,000 groups. A significant number of these “opposition fighters”, who receive weapons from Washington and money from the Wahhabi monarchies of the Persian Gulf, are jihadists and mercenaries from abroad and active in terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaeda, Jabhat Nusra, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

These fighters are already well known for their devastating acts of terror, regular kidnappings, committing public outrages against civilians, and decapitating citizens that are loyal to Damascus. It is impossible to forget the terrifyingly cynical act of the “commander” of the Syrian rebels, the cannibal Abu Sakkar, who in May of this year in front of BBC correspondents Paul Wood and Fred Scott defiantly cut the heart out of a government army soldier and defiantly ate it.

The serious violations of human rights by the armed opposition have been stated repeatedly by various politicians, journalists, and even Human Rights Watch in an open letter from March 2012. But perhaps all of this remains unknown to representatives of the U.S. Republican Party, who stubbornly continue through Obama to sponsor the Syrian rebels, and to send CIA instructors to train them to commit new crimes in Syria../../..

October 2nd, 2013, 4:38 pm


Syrialover said:

ZOO #21

We know you are howling at the moon at the loss of REVENIRE and a couple of other nasty Team Assad cyber hoaxers who were churning out junk to choke up over 80% of this forum.

You are grasping at the small consolation of MAJEDKHALDOUN’s departure, as it means one less person to weigh the scales against the over-the-top Team Assad campaign here.

REVENIRE was not “fun”, he was vile. You miss the heavy lifting he was doing here to disrupt this forum. The loss of a dirty wild cyber guerrilla campaign that boosted your side.

October 2nd, 2013, 4:44 pm


Syrialover said:


Monkeys? Uncle Weasel?

What ARE you talking about?

Bring back the mouses and cheese please.

October 2nd, 2013, 4:53 pm


zoo said:

Jihadists alter the Syrian equation

Let’s face it, the war in Syria is no longer about fighting against a brutal dictator for the sake of democracy. It hasn’t been for some time. The war is now over whether Syria will be run according to the Sunni Shariah or remain a secular country even if it not a democratic one.

Some even argue that it is the existence of the jihadist groups in Syria that provided one of the incentives for Washington and Tehran to start searching for common ground. True or not, it is clear is that Iran is just as concerned about al-Qaida-affiliated groups in Syria as the United States is. In other words, Washington and Tehran have a common enemy in Syria that they would not want to see gaining ground, and whether the do so jointly or separately, they are obviously working to ensure this does not happen.

In many ways, President Bashar al-Assad has already won his war by managing to stay in power against serious odds. He has also managed to utilize the use of chemical weapons – most likely by forces attached to him even if he himself did not order this – to his advantage. It was after these weapons were used in Ghouta near Damascus that the strike by a U.S.-led coalition against his forces, which appeared imminent, was averted and replaced by the Russian-inspired diplomatic effort we see today.
Put another way, we are at the point where jihadists are proving to be a serious handicap for Islamists. How this effects policy has yet to be seen. What is certain, however, is that Ankara never expected things to come to this point in Syria.


October 2nd, 2013, 5:07 pm


ALAN said:

War Criminal John McCain Tells Syrian Christian Woman Al Nusra must kill More Chrstians

October 2nd, 2013, 5:12 pm


zoo said:

You deserve more than disgust.. Matthew Barber should read that.

35. SANDRO LOEWE said:

After REVENIRE has been abducted and killed by Al Qaeda this Syria Comment Fórum has become a better place to live. Very charming and peacefull.

October 2nd, 2013, 5:15 pm


ALAN said:

48. ZOO said:
/The war is now over whether Syria will be run according to the Sunni Shariah or remain a secular country even if it not a democratic one./
For any Sharia you are talking? Did you know more barbaric than those eaters hearts and heads cutters
The barbaric practices can not be attributed to any to religious or moral reference!

October 2nd, 2013, 5:28 pm


Syrialover said:


Here’s the answer to your good question.

The thumbs up/thumbs down voting system here has been spammed and corrupted and now means nothing.

A couple of individuals have found ways to place instant mass votes. A lot of others no longer bother to vote because of this.

October 2nd, 2013, 5:29 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Our well informed patrons once again reviewed the material presented in this latest post of falsifications and fabrications, an ongoing process on this site fueled by the site’s owner and associates. Our benefactors once again came to the same unavoidable conclusion as they did when reviewing the previous six posts. As a result of their assessments, they decided to keep the site on the blacklist. And they would strongly urge readers to exercise extreme caution, sound judgement and critical analysis when reading anything written by the owner or associates of the this clearly suspicious and much-below standards site.

October 2nd, 2013, 5:35 pm


Uzair8 said:

‘Syria’s detective nun…’


October 2nd, 2013, 5:38 pm


ALAN said:

Where the FSB? 😉
The Wahhabis are in Moscow – the call for jihad against Russia!

October 2nd, 2013, 5:45 pm


Syrialover said:


I have a lot of problems with Netanyahu – but this isn’t the forum for that.

But I admit I certainly have no problem with his realistic warning on Iran’s Rouhani when he says:

“Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Rouhani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community.”


“President Rouhani, like the presidents who came before him, is a loyal servant of the regime. He was one of only six candidates the regime permitted to run for office [while] nearly 700 other candidates were rejected.

“So what made him acceptable? Well, Rouhani headed Iran’s Supreme National Security Council from 1989 through 2003. During that time Iran’s henchmen gunned down opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant. They murdered 85 people at the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires. They killed 19 American soldiers by blowing up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

“Rouhani was also Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005. He masterminded the — the strategy which enabled Iran to advance its nuclear weapons program behind a smoke screen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric.”

“Rouhani spoke of, quote, “the human tragedy in Syria.” Yet, Iran directly participates in Assad’s murder and massacre of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Syria. And that regime is propping up a Syrian regime that just used chemical weapons against its own people.

“Rouhani condemned the, quote, “violent scourge of terrorism.” Yet, in the last three years alone, Iran has ordered, planned or perpetrated terrorist attacks in 25 cities in five continents.

“Rouhani denounces, quote, “attempts to change the regional balance through proxies.” Yet, Iran is actively destabilizing Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain and many other Middle Eastern countries.

“Rouhani promises, quote, “constructive engagement with other countries.” Yet, two years ago, Iranian agents tried to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington, D.C. And just three weeks ago, an Iranian agent was arrested trying to collect information for possible attacks against the American embassy in Tel Aviv. Some constructive engagement.”

(From speech to the UN General Assembly October 1 2013 –

Lazy, ignorant and amnesia sufferers in the media writing lightweight mush about Rouhani please note.

October 2nd, 2013, 5:46 pm


ALAN said:

China and Russia eyes on the events

Twenty-three ships from six nations are taking part in the exercise as well as over 5,000 military and naval personnel from 14 Allied nations. The exercise, which started on 25 September, runs until 6 October.

Senior NATO officials, commanders observe major naval exercise off Italian coast
Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow together with ambassadors, commanders and other representatives from the North Atlantic Council and NATO’s Military Committee observed Allied naval forces in action in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday (30 September 2013). A large fleet of warships from NATO’s Response Force (NRF) are currently conducting manoeuvres as part of the ”Brilliant Mariner” exercise off Italy’s Sicilian and Sardinian coasts. ”This exercise tests, and sharpens, the ability of units from different NATO countries to work together seamlessly,”the Deputy Secretary General said.

October 2nd, 2013, 6:02 pm


Syrialover said:

The Iranians are clearly staging a diplomatic charade in desperation to get relief from the sanctions and provide further smokescreens to get themselves to the finishing line with nuclear weapons.

(Good analysis:

Though Iran’s game may not score any goals because the west’s sanctions against it would prove very difficult to unwind, and certainly nothing can happen quickly.


Meanwhile the Mullahs are committed to spending at least $700 million a month in military support to Assad, plus its normal $700 million a year to Hezbollah and who knows how much keeping Iraq in turmoil.


October 2nd, 2013, 6:19 pm


ALAN said:

ISIS, Jabhet al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham agreed to have Abu Omar al-Shishani the military commander to the PKK fronts

October 2nd, 2013, 6:20 pm


Syrialover said:

#55 ALAN,

Those Islamists in Moscow are quite mild-looking mice.

Definitely not likely to be behind the monkey tricks of the Moscow bombings the Russian regime has blamed them for in the past after staging the bombings itself.

Russians can unfortunately expect more regime-organized bombings in places like apartment blocks and the underground in Moscow when Putin needs it domestically.

(See ALAN, I am referring to mouses and monkeys in the right way, aren’t I?)

October 2nd, 2013, 6:30 pm


Akbar Palace said:

I have a lot of problems with Netanyahu – but this isn’t the forum for that.But I admit I certainly have no problem with his realistic warning on Iran’s Rouhani when he says…


If you say you have problems with BB, I believe you. You wouldn’t be the first to admit it. I try my best to keep Israel out of the discussion, but it seems to sneak in either by me or by others who suffer from Israelophobia. At least I try to tie it to the crisis in Syria.

As you know, I think this crisis could help to mend relations between Israel and the Arab world as we both suffer from the same set of thugs and religious fanatics. I don’t think we are where we need to be. You want Israel’s gas finds to be shared wi th the arab people, and I say fine! But don’t you have to talk to do business?

I thought BB’s address wss spot on and we agree that Iran is NOT to be trusted



October 2nd, 2013, 8:58 pm


Observer said:

No one should be banned and Rev of all people included. He did spam a lot but he and ALI and Syrian Commando and some others gave us a nice glimpse of the mentality of the regime.

On the other hand I find that Putin is now concerned that he may be left owning the mess in Thouria and there is some distancing going on.

I also find it natural that the US will eventually distance itself from both KSA and Israel although more difficult for the later to do. Both can be regarded as taking extremist positions and have actually bogged down the US in the ME with the former championing an extremist ideology and the later pushing the US to pursue wars that are not in its strategic interest and with significant consequences.

As for a thaw with Iran, it will not happen fully but that country is far more solid than the clowns in the ME especially when the Iranian people move away from the revolutionary rhetoric and into a more pragmatic outlook.

While KSA is trying to leap frog and fund the Science University with a lot of money and grants and outside help, the very backward dictatorial regime that stifles man will forever remain a hindrance just as Stalinism did the same on the long run.

As for the situation in Syria there are no news from Alam or Manar or Mayadden or Cham Press of any significant military advances.

The end is near repent. There is one element that all the pundits have forgotten in this equation: the end of fear, the beginning of a total refusal of the people to return to the status ante and the ongoing dismantling of the regime brick by brick.

No one counted on the resilience, persistence, and sacrifice of the people of Syria to rise in the first place against one the most brutal and oppressive and police states on the face of the earth.

Bring back ALI please

October 2nd, 2013, 10:29 pm


Ghufran said:

Israel and KSA do not want Rouhani to succeed. KSA is afraid of what comes next if Iran is not bombed and USA ends its 34 year old policy of sanction and hostility against Iran.
Israel is running forward from its obligations and is unable to solve the inevitable question about its settlement activities and occupation of Palestinian land ( and the Golan),0.
The so called Arab spring gave Israel a breathing space and delayed the upcoming pressure on the Jewish state to end its occupation and oppression of Palestinians.
What BB and his likes want is peace on Israel’s terms, such a peace is only possible if Israel ends up surrounded with weak states that can not say no. KSA royal family and the Wahhabi establishment is obsessed with the ” Shia threat” and the potential loss of its influence in the Arab and Islamic world, this is why KSA supported the coup in Egypt but refuses to give Shia citizens in KSA and Bahrain their basic political rights.
KSA ruling elite (and their wahhabi pimps) and militant Zionism ,not Iran, are the real axis of evil today, both use religion and exclusionary ideology to justify theft and oppression and both are ready to ally with forces of darkness to stay alive.
A potential deal between Iran and the USA is good for Syria and the region, mistrust is natural between foes and resistance to such a deal exists in iran and the usa but that is why we need an agreement in the first place, the alternative is another decade of war and blood shed.

October 2nd, 2013, 10:59 pm


Syrialover said:


Thanks for being upfront with your glowing endorsement of Iran and all it’s doing in Syria.

You couldn’t have made yourself clearer.

Anyone wondering what reality Ghufran is trying to distract us from, look at #56 and #58.

October 2nd, 2013, 11:52 pm


Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #62 I suggest you go back in the files and actually make yourself digest several days of cyber entity REVENIRE, which from your comments I suspect you have only skimmed. You’ll see the sinister systematic disruption and degradation of this forum – and it was escalating in frequency and ferocity.

I suspect there were a couple of ALIs. There was the earlier authentic-sounding and sincere younger ALI, then the later thug ALI which got itself banned.

REVENIRE and the second ALI told us nothing of interest about the mentality of the Assad regime, just what crude and lowgrade tactics they resort to online.

SYRIAN COMMANDO is different. He comes across out there as quite a few notches above R. and A. in genuine involvement and mental horsepower. Much more interesting.

However, I agree with you about not banning legitimate contributors, but this didn’t apply with nasty cyber hoax REVENIRE.

October 3rd, 2013, 12:38 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Our patrons have pondered deeply about the problem of the Serpent-Head (Ass-Had) and its proxies particularly the mullah snakes to the east of Syria. The Serpent-Head is a sworn enemy of humankind since time immemorial. It will continue to scheme, deceive and commit murders against mankind. There is no cure whasoever for this plague except through the complete destruction of the head of the serpent. Half solutions and measures will not suffice. And that is the reason why the great people of Syria have revolted.

Our highly esteemed and very respected brothers in the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia understand better than anyone how to deal with the Serpent. The Kingdom is the home of the Guided who can never be deceived by the Serpent and the mullah snakes who control mostly low life terrorists. No one on this earth came to the help of the Syrian people in their great Revolution except those of the Guided Kingdom. The Syrian people admire very deeply their Guided Saudi brothers and are grateful and thankful to the Royal Highnesses of the Guided Kingdom.

The Great Syrian Revolution will ensure with the valuable help from the Guided Kingdom that Syria will free itself from the Serpent and become truly Guided in the exact same Guidance as the Guided Kingdom.

October 3rd, 2013, 12:48 am


Thursday links: Shutdown (again), Syria's rebel leaders, instability in the Maldives and more said:

[…] Still on Syria, Joshua Landis profiles some of the key rebel leaders. […]

October 3rd, 2013, 1:03 am


Badr said:

CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels

By Greg Miller
The Washington Post

“The CIA’s mission, officials said, has been defined by the White House’s desire to seek a political settlement, a scenario that relies on an eventual stalemate among the warring factions rather than a clear victor. As a result, officials said, limits on the agency’s authorities enable it to provide enough support to help ensure that politically moderate, U.S.-supported militias don’t lose but not enough for them to win.”

October 3rd, 2013, 4:29 am


Uzair8 said:

A couple of consecutive updates on Yalla Souriya.

It’s the new slogan (see second update below) I’m interested in bringing to everyones attention. The rest is context.

Posted about 15 minutes ago:



03 October 2013 12:00pm

The terrorist chemical thug Bashar al Assad’s logic is simple and clear as hell: If they did not die by Sarin they will die of starvation.

Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed



Posted about 15 minutes ago:



03 October 2013 11:00am

The UN’s security council unanimously agreed a new statement calling for unfettered humanitarian access to Syria.

News coming out from Damascus tells of Assad thugs are now displaying new sign on the walls:

“You starve or you kneel to Assad”.


October 3rd, 2013, 7:42 am


zoo said:

#66 Headsup

The best ‘guided’ joke of the week…

“The Syrian people admire very deeply their Guided Saudi brothers and are grateful and thankful to the Royal Highnesses of the Guided Kingdom”.

October 3rd, 2013, 7:52 am


zoo said:

@63 Ghufran

I fully agree with you. Without any valid military power and totally dependent on the USA for its protection, KSA is terrified by Iran’s growing power.
Just the idea that the ‘heretics’ Shias are gaining a power that could threaten them is giving them the creep.
They know that Moslems are now watching two growing powers that may replace KSA as leaders of Islam in the region: Sunni moderates represented by Turkey and Shia represented by Iran.
By kicking out Morsi and the MB, supported by Turkey, from Egypt and now from Tunisia, they have weakened tremendously Turkey’s influence in the Arab world. Turkey is neutralized for a long time.
Taming the Shias is a huge and much tougher task. They have to deal with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Maliki in Iraq and the Shia protests in Bahrain, in addition to their own Shia minorities.
Spread in several countries, it is much more difficult to trap them.
Like the West, KSA was hoping for the fall of Syria as this would have weakened Iran and the Hezbollah. It failed.
They have tried to weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon by launching sectarian provocations. It failed.
In Iraq they don’t have much political manoeuvers except encouraging terrorists acts so as to provoke a sectarian war.
That’s what we see in Iraq lately.

KSA is without any doubt part of the new axis of evil. While Israel is known to be working against the Arabs to establish itself securely in the region, KSA is hypocritically claiming it is working for the Arabs. It is only working on its survival. Yet it is a matter of time until the mask falls and their ugly face appears.

October 3rd, 2013, 8:14 am


zoo said:


In your last post, I think you are coming back to your senses.

Of course Syria has changed. People express more openly their feelings. That’s healthy. That could lead to a much better society if the threats of islamism and extremism are neutralized.
That’s what the SAA and the Syrian governement are attempting to do.

Iran has proven to be a stable and reliable partner. Contrary to KSA that is paralyzed by its obsolete governance, Iran offer a much more progressive path to democracy. A secular Syria can only benefit of that alliance.

October 3rd, 2013, 8:22 am


zoo said:

@51 Alan

That’s what the article says.

In my understanding, the Shia sect allows interpretation and adaptation of the Sharia. The Shia clergy is structured and organized around elected spiritual leaders who have the last word on such interpretations. That’s why in Iran, while the country is ‘ruled’ by the Sharia as part of the Constitution, many Sharia ‘rules, such as cutting hands, chopping heads are have been gradually eliminated.
Sharia divorce rules have also been modified as it they allow women to ask for divorces etc…
In the contrary, the Sunni sect forbids any interpretation and they are no organized and structured clergy. There are no elected spiritual leaders. Therefore in countries where the Sharia is strictly applied, it carries what we consider as “barbarian” punishments and women are deprived of many rights..
That’s the main problem Egypt is facing recently, as the Salafists want the Sharia “rules” to apply to the justice system , while the moderates Sunnis insist on referring to the Sharia ‘principles’.
In Turkey the Sharia is only applied in family issues, not in the justice system. In Saudi Arabia the Sharia IS the justice system.
That’s why this is a big debate new Arab ‘democracies’ are facing when dealing with the role of Islam in their society.

October 3rd, 2013, 8:43 am


zoo said:

ISIS on a cultural rampage

Cultural destruction
Activists accused the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of tearing down a statue of Haroon Al Rashid in Raqa city.

Rashid was an Abbasid ruler who lived in the eighth century, and whose era was marked by cultural progress.

ISIL fighters in Raqqa, Syria’s only rebel-held provincial capital, had recently set fire to statues and crosses inside churches.

Islamists had previously torn down a statue of a well-known Arabic poet, Abu al-Alaa al-Maari.

October 3rd, 2013, 8:53 am


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia is hiding under the “GCC States” denomination to plot with its circumstancial “ally” Israel against Iran. Who are they fooling?

Israel, Gulf states said discussing new alliance to stop Iran
Israeli TV: Intensive talks with leading figures taking place over recent weeks, amid concern that Tehran will dupe Washington

Israel has held a series of meetings with prominent figures from a number of Gulf and other Arab states in recent weeks in an attempt to muster a new alliance capable of blocking Iran’s drive toward nuclear weapons, Israel’s Channel 2 reported Wednesday.

According to the report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been supervising a series of “intensive meetings” with representatives of these other countries. One “high ranking official” even came on a secret visit to Israel, the report said.

October 3rd, 2013, 9:05 am


zoo said:

Syria army retakes northern town of Khanasser that was lost the rebels in August.

(AFP) / 3 October 2013

Syria’s army took back control of a strategic town in the northern province of Aleppo on Thursday after a weeks-long battle pitting troops against rebels, a monitoring group said.

Opposition factions had cut off the army’s supply route to Aleppo in August, when they had seized Khanasser and some nearby villages.

The Observatory said dozens of fighters on both sides were killed in the battle for Khanasser, a town located on a key supply route linking central Syria to second city Aleppo.

October 3rd, 2013, 9:22 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Our knowledgeable patrons pondered deeply over the events of the last 2 to 3 years that took place in the Arab World in order to determine who was the most active and influential in those events.

The Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of their Royal Highnesses headed by the most beloved King, His Royal Highness, Abdullah Ibn Abdu-AlAzeez Al-Saud, may he be protected and given long life, have rid the neighboring Kingdom of Bahrain of low life Shia terrorists DESPITE American objections and the wailings, howling and barking of the terrorist mullocrats who stood by helpless and powerless in front of the Might of the Guided Kingdom for all the world to see.

Likewise, the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently rid Egypt DESPITE American objections and Iranian mullocrat impotence of the scourge which was threatening to turn it into another terrorist mullocracy in the image of the hated Iranian one. As a result low life terrorists of the mullocracy of Iran now have no hope of entering Egypt after the new government banned their entry once and for all riding the Egyptians of their evil.

Likewise, the Guided Kingdom will help Syria to rid itself of the worst kind of evil terrorism headed by the Evil Serpent-Head (Ass-Had) and its surrogates of Hezboola and the most backward mullocracy in history currently headed by snake head mullocrats and multi-face, powerless and toothless Rouhani ostensibly elected by the people, but in reality appointed by the stooges of terrorism, the so-called revolutionary guard and the serpent-head Khamenei.

Syrians are looking forward to emulate the Guided Kingdom and create a Serpent-free Syria in the exact image of the Guided Kingdom of KSA.

October 3rd, 2013, 10:51 am


Hopeful said:


You have always maintained that the Syrian army is strong and unified behind the government defending Syria against the terrorists.

But, at the same time, you always say that if Assad leaves, the Army will disintegrate.

Help me understand… Why exactly would the army disintegrate if Assad, say, hands over his powers to someone like Farouk Sharaa?

October 3rd, 2013, 11:48 am


Observer said:

ZOO you are delusional again if you think that there is any room whatsoever for the current regime henchmen to be part of any solution because they are like you the problem. They and you the regime insider are mirror images of exclusionist thinkers be they ISIS or regime members.

The regime is being dimantled daily in the meantime the so called efforts at reconciliation are nothing but stalling tactics on the part of a regime that is dying by the day.

I challenge Dr. Landis to post this WSJ article on his next blog as it depicts the sectarian based starving of Modamyieh

Unfortunately it is available on line but I read it today in the print version.

ZOO read it carefully word for word till the end for I do not post partially with biased interpretration

October 3rd, 2013, 12:58 pm


Uzair8 said:

Thought I’d pop into Iran Defence Forum after some days.

Then I thought I’d visit Iran Military Forum (.net) which is the more hardline (ultra-biased) of the two. Probably the one Command used to hang out in. As it happens it’s been hacked into with a front page message from the hacker:


I Will be Your Curse on Cyber World

Brutal Esad ! No matter what the reason is one day your cooperation with ones drawing blood of Muslims and the seeds of discord you sowed will be certainly the end of you.



Cyber-Warrior TIM

October 3rd, 2013, 1:12 pm


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia and Qatar continue their Sunni dirty war on Shias in Iraq

Alewi: Qatar, Saudi Arabia set big project to topple Iraqi political process

Read more:
Follow us: @IraqiNews_com on Twitter | IraqNews on Facebook

Baghdad ( MP, Karim Alewi, of the Iraqi national Alliance stated that there is a big project by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to undermine the political process in Iraq.

Speaking to Iraqi News (, he called “The government to protect the Shiite areas that are being continuously targeted due to being close to the Sunni areas where the protection can be either by forming security forces from these areas or by the security ministries to avoid the sectarian sedition.”

“Al Qaeda wants to involve Iraq in the sectarian war by being in touch with KSA and Qatar,” he added.

“There is a big project by the KSA and Qatar to topple the political process in Iraq where the political blocs have to accept the initiative to save the citizens,” he concluded.

October 3rd, 2013, 1:14 pm


zoo said:

@79 Observer

By refusing to participate to the Geneva conference more than year ago, the opposition has rejected the peace path and has declared war to the Syria Government.

Therefore they bear all the responsibilities of the death, destruction, killing, sieges etc,, that are the consequences of that decision.

There is nothing called a clean war and civilians used as human shields always end up by paying the heaviest price.

The rebels have sold their soul to Al Qaeda, there is no redemption possible.

October 3rd, 2013, 1:23 pm


zoo said:

@78 Hopeful

If Obama resign as a chief commander of the Army, will Nancy Pelosi be accepted by the Army as the new chief?

October 3rd, 2013, 1:26 pm


zoo said:

#77 Headsup

An “encore” for the ‘guided’ silliest joke of the week

“Syrians are looking forward to emulate the Guided Kingdom and create a Serpent-free Syria in the exact image of the Guided Kingdom of KSA.”

October 3rd, 2013, 1:28 pm


zoo said:

To all anti-Bashar afficionados

I really appreciate your lack of comments to the pompous and demented declaration of Headsup speaking in the name of “All Syrians”

I guess it is a sign of tacit approval.

Congrats to you you, now get ready to bow before you new master, the ‘God guided’ King of Saudi Arabia

October 3rd, 2013, 1:42 pm


zoo said:

Training Al-Qaeda To Be More Efficient Killers Is Now An Essential Function Of The US Government

Don’t worry though: the US is not providing Al-Qaeda with high-powered weapons such as rockets and anti-tank munitions. They have Qatar for that:

Officials said the main CIA training effort does not involve instruction on using high-powered weapons such as rockets and antitank munitions, which are being supplied by countries such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, although the agency is involved in tracking those arms flows and vetting recipients.

October 3rd, 2013, 1:44 pm


Sami said:

“If Obama resign as a chief commander of the Army, will Nancy Pelosi be accepted by the Army as the new chief?”

No, that job would go to Biden as the Vice President… You see unlike in Syria the Vice President in the US has actual power!

Btw Boehner is the correct name you are looking for, Pelosi lost that title in 2011.

“I guess it is a sign of tacit approval.”

Grasping at straws in a sad attempt of takhween, Observer is correct in calling you delusional.

October 3rd, 2013, 1:53 pm


Hopeful said:

#83 Zoo

My question was a genuine one. I am really interested in why you believe the Syrian army is so dependent on Assad, because I do not believe it is.

As for your question, I believe yes, if BOTH Obama and Biden quit, Boehner will be the new chief, and yes the US army will not be affected a bit.

October 3rd, 2013, 2:06 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Our knowledgeable patrons studied the behaviour of few regular visitors to this site in order to determine the effects of their pronouncements in the comment section on the status of the site in general. This study is meant to be used in the regular assessments that our patrons conduct in order to determine the proper listing where the site belongs.

Our benefactors came to the conclusion that a sudden increase in the number of comments made by certain contributors signifies lack of coherence, delusion and alarming deficiency in reasoning and clear thinking. This is particularly the case when the said comments are posted sequentially, are of very short length and address other contributors who for the most part deliberately ignore the pathetic commenter in question.

There is no doubt whatsoever that such behaviour implies a sense of haphazardness in grasping reality, lack of concentration and a sense of loss of mental capabilities. In general, such commenters are contributing very strongly towards the low quality characteristic of this site and to its very sub-standard status.

October 3rd, 2013, 2:22 pm




The concept of elected officials and clear delineation of responsibility, chain of command, and peaceful and democratic succession will naturally and always escape tyranny propagandists.

October 3rd, 2013, 2:51 pm


ALAN said:

73 – ZOO
My understanding: freemasons exploits Islam Sunni and Shia in igniting wars to kill each others. After that they will move them in the European continent for the wars with Christianity to reach only 2 billion people on the planet! Muslims are the best tool for the present war on the ground as you see!
I do not see pearl luster as a result of the division of Muslims into Sunni or Shi’a when they use in systematic Wars!
Ten Top Aims:
1. A One World Government-New World Order with a unified church and monetary system under their direction. Not many people are aware that the One World Government began setting up its “church” in the 1920’s/ 1930’s, for they realized the need for a religious belief inherent in mankind to have an outlet and, therefore, set up a “church” body to channel that belief in the direction they desired.
2. The utter destruction of all national identity and national pride.
3. The destruction of religion and more especially the Christian religion, with the one exception, their own creation mentioned above.
4. Control of each and every person through means of mind control and what Brzezinski call “technotronics” which would create human-like robots and a system of terror beside which Felix Dzerzinski’s Red Terror will look like children at play.
– See more at:

October 3rd, 2013, 3:05 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

To other, real-world information out of Syria, more on the state Torture Regime. This is the backdrop against which we should measure all regime claims of ‘stability’ and ‘security’ and ‘fighting terror’ … this is the bedrock of repression. It seems to me that the multiplying evils in Syria are all born of the state’s systemic brutality.

I might guess that if all regime-supporters fail to react to this information, they all agree with it. All well and good.

Syria: Political Detainees Tortured, Killed

Military and Counter-Terrorism Courts Used to Punish Peaceful Dissent

The Syrian government is unlawfully holding tens of thousands of political detainees solely on the basis of their peaceful activity, Human Rights Watch said today in opening a campaign to cast light on their fate. Many have been held for long periods and tortured.

The Human Rights Watch campaign, Inside the Black Hole, tells the individual stories of 21 Syrians who have been detained by the government since the start of the Syrian uprising in 2011. All have been detained solely for exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly or for providing medical care to people injured at protests and shelter to people displaced by the conflict. The government should drop charges against political detainees who are before the military field courts and the Counter-terrorism Court set up in July 2012.


The systematic use of torture by the government is strong evidence of state policy which would constitute crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said. Concerned governments need to make clear that the Syrian government and those responsible for the abuse will ultimately face justice for their actions.

Government forces have arbitrarily arrested and tortured hospital staff who received wounded protesters, local businessmen who raised money to buy blankets for displaced people, and software developers who advocated free speech on the Internet. Most of the detainees have been men, but women and children have not been spared.

The authorities jail political detainees for months without charge, and torture, mistreat, and prevent them from communicating with their lawyers or families, leaving their families desperate to know what has happened to them.

In one case, agents believed to be from Air Force Intelligence arrested Yehia Shorbaji, 34, a construction worker, known in his hometown of Daraya as “the man with the roses” because he gave flowers to security forces during the early days of the uprising. Government officials have refused to give Shorbaji’s family any information about him or his brother Mohamed since they and three other activists in a group called Daraya Youth were arrested in September 2011. One of the five, Ghiyath Mattar, died in custody within days of his arrest.

In July 2012, Syria adopted an overly broad Counterterrorism Law that criminalizes almost all peaceful opposition activity. The government has used the new Counterterrorism Court and the longstanding military field courts to target activists and punish peaceful dissent. Both of these systems deny defendants basic fair trial rights. The charges in these courts are brought under the guise of security or countering armed opposition, but the allegations actually involve distributing humanitarian aid, participating in peaceful protests, and documenting human rights abuses.

On October 2, a trial of Mazen Darwish and four colleagues from the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression resumed before the Counterterrorism Court on charges of “publicizing terrorist acts.” The indictment against them, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, states that the charges are based on activities such as monitoring online news and publishing the names of the dead and disappeared. During the proceeding on October 2, the judge presiding over the case postponed the trial for the fourth consecutive time citing the security forces’ delay in responding to the court’s request for information.

Darwish and two colleagues, Hussein Gharir and Hani Zaitani, have been jailed since February 2012. Former detainees who had been held with the men said that authorities subjected them to torture and other ill-treatment. Two other colleagues have also been charged but released, pending trial.

Another featured case is of Bassel Khartabil, a Syrian of Palestinian parents who was arrested on March 15, 2012, in Damascus. A computer engineer, Khartabil founded Creative Commons Syria, a nonprofit organization that helped people legally share artistic and other work with free tools. “My life did not just change after Bassel’s arrest,” a relative told Human Rights Watch. “It literally froze in time.”

Officials provided his family with no information about where or why Khartabil was in custody until December 24, 2012, when they moved him from Sednaya Military Prison, where he had been tortured, to Adra Central Prison in Damascus. Khartabil is being tried before a military field court.

Former detainees told Human Rights Watch that security officials tortured them by forcing them into stress positions, abusing them sexually, including by rape and electric shock to the genitals, and beating them with batons, cables, metal rods, and wires. They described particular methods and devices like shabah, basat el-reeh, and dulab, whichSyrian guards and interrogators are known to use in detention facilities across the country.According to the Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian monitoring group, nearly 1,200 people are known to have died in detention.


Some armed opposition groups have also arbitrarily detained people, including journalists, humanitarian workers, and activists. In some cases opposition groups have executed detainees. Opposition groups should release all arbitrarily detained people in their custody and treat all detainees in conformity with international human rights standards.

“All governments and especially Security Council member countries should put the plight of these thousands of political detainees high on their agenda for diplomatic discussions,” Stork said. “Those with leverage with the government as well as with opposition forces should press for them to free everyone they are holding unlawfully.”

October 3rd, 2013, 3:29 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Here’s the Arabic story from All4Syria that details the third “Terrorism” charge against long-time dissident Michel Kilo. One other name that stands out is Muhammad Habash …

Consider: these relatively benign opposition figures have been sorted into the enemy of the state category. If anyone has any hope left that the regime might accept any but stooges as Geneva interlocutors, I think they should explain. Who is left from the ‘opposition’ for the regime to talk to?

إدعاء ثالث بحق ميشيل كيلو أمام محكمة الإرهاب

مراسل المحليات- كلنا شركاء

في سابقة هي الأولى من نوعها في سوريا يتم تحريك دعوى الحق العام بجرم القيام بأعمال إرهابية بحق معارض سوري.

فقد علمت “كلنا شركاء” بأن وزير العدل وجه النيابة العامة في محكمة الإرهاب بتحريك إدعاء ثالث بحق المعارض ميشيل كيلو بتهمة القيام بأعمال إرهابية وهذه المرة مع وزير الزراعة الأسبق أسعد مصطفى. وذلك بناء على طلب من مكتب الأمن الوطني الذي يرأسه اللواء علي مملوك. وهذه هي المرة الثالثة التي تدعي فيها محكمة الإرهاب على المعارض ميشيل كيلو، ففي المرة الأولى ادعت النيابة العام بحق ميشيل كيلو وسهير اتاسي، وفي المرة الثانية بحقه وحق الدكتور محمد حبش والدكتور رياض نعسان أغا .. ومن المتوقع أن تحرك النيابة العامة الادعاء بحق كيلو ومصطفى بجرم القيام بأعمال إرهابية وتحيلها إلى قاضي التحقيق المختص الذي يصدر قراره كالعادة باتهامهما وإحالتهما إلى محكمة جنايات الإرهاب لمحاكمتهما بالتهم المنسوبة إليهما والتي ستصدر حكماً غيابياً بحقهما، كما سبق وأصدرت حكماً بالإعدام بحق عبد الحليم خدام وفراس طلاس.

Of fellow commentators who have no reaction to HEADSUP, “I guess it is a sign of tacit approval.”

Guess wrong. I think HEADSUP comments can safely be skipped, as they have devolved to boilerplate Saudi gloria or denunciations of Matthew and Joshua — long on insinuation, short on information. Not much more to react to besides repetitive sectarian nonsense.

That said, what good is done if we sort people into strict categories of allegiance? To conclude that a quiet majority approves is unsound. As is the conclusion that a single named commentator must somehow be responsible for gaming up/down ‘votes.’ There is zero evidence for that.

October 3rd, 2013, 3:38 pm


ALAN said:

../…/… It is very disappointing to see that the well-known organization Human Rights Watch has started to partake in activities so unlike itself. As an investigation, their report, overall, simply repeats the information that was presented within the UN inspector’s chemical weapons report. Any further information is either questionable or very incomplete.

October 3rd, 2013, 4:36 pm


ALAN said:

the use of information technologies as consciental weapon against those countries whose population is to be brought under the external forces interested in the capture of their geopolitical resources. The purpose of using this kind of weapon is to destroy the traditional structures of a person’s consciousness by changing the functioning of these structures in the following aspects:

– reducing the overall intellectual level of the population by influencing the people’s health through the deterioration of the environment and the quality of food products;

– destroying the mechanisms of traditional self-identification of the population and replacing them with new identity surrogates by involving the people in various “groups of participation” in social networks and the Internet;

– introducing into the public consciousness a new, specially designed matrix of values and norms of social and personal behaviour as the only possible patterns of behaviour. This leads to the destruction of the tribal, cultural and historical memory of the people, as well as to the psychotisation and neurotisation of society, which turns into a crowd highly susceptible to external control on the part of political technologists of the “controllable chaos” and “coloured revolutions”;

– destroying the people’s ability to understand the place and role of their country and its national strategy in order to gradually develop total indifference to the fate of their country and people, the withdrawal to the consumerist lifestyle and hedonism;

– squeezing out of the information environment space, in which a person’s consciousness exists, the issues that require a long and proper contemplating of events in order to form sustainable personal knowledge. Thanks to the application of the advanced destructive information technologies, today a person is gradually losing the ability of problematisation and personal sense of purpose. This is explained by the “information overheating” of a person’s consciousness, against the backdrop of which there appears a need for rapid obtaining of information on issues of interest, and that is provided by a demonstration of superficial demo-versions of events.
The ultimate goal of the use of the information weapon is the exclusion of the people from their traditional confessional and cultural commonality and their transformation into isolated atomic social individuals alienated from their ethnicity, religion and culture to which they belonged by right of birth!

October 3rd, 2013, 4:42 pm


zoo said:


You say”:
“In general, such commenters are contributing very strongly towards the low quality characteristic of this site and to its very sub-standard status.”

As your ‘benefactors’ have blacklisted this site, you should thank me for contributing to making it ‘low quality’.

Your Thumbs hacking are having a great effect:
It appears that hundreds of people are reading this ‘blacklisted’ website.

October 3rd, 2013, 5:08 pm


zoo said:


You have already your answer. Stick to it. Why should I bother explaining something else to you? I took my lesson,

October 3rd, 2013, 5:16 pm


ALAN said:

US Capitol shooting: Dozen gunshots trigger lockdown in heart of Washington DC

October 3rd, 2013, 5:27 pm


zoo said:

More on the horrors of the Latakia massacres perpetrated by the rebels on Alawites civilians.

Syrian rebels accused of village massacre

04 Oct 2013 00:00 Jonathan Steele

Syrian soldiers say gruesome footage of Alawite victims is too distressing to air.

Shadi, a 32-year-old officer in a local defence unit that is separate from the Syrian army, was lightly wounded during the government’s counter-attack. “When we got into the village of Balouta, I saw a baby’s head hanging from a tree. There was a woman’s body that had been sliced in half from head to toe and each half was hanging from separate apple trees.”

Ali, a member of the army, said he also saw the baby’s head. “We found two mass graves with 140 bodies. They were not shot. They had their throats slit. About 105 people of different ages were kidnapped,” he said.

The officers’ accounts cannot be independently verified, but the Guardian has obtained lists, compiled by local activists, with the names of victims from Hambushiya, Balouta, and five other villages. They include 62 people listed as killed, 60 kidnapped and 139 who are missing. The dead range in age from a toddler of two to a man of 90. The vast majority are women, children and the elderly, as most men in the villages were away on duty as part of volunteer defence forces elsewhere. They did not expect their own villages to come under attack.

October 3rd, 2013, 6:35 pm


Observer said:

This is not a war; this is pure repression and oppression and brutality.

Peaceful demonstrations met by bullets; local organizers that could build a civil society are tortured to death; and areas that escaped control are gassed and starved.

I challenge Dr. Landis to post the WSJ article.

Russia evacuated its embassy in Libya today.

Now to other serious matters: I watched how the pro Iran regime outlets spin the news about the US running towards Iran. It appears that the US asked for a meeting and Rouhani refused then asked that a call be made and that is what happened.

Here is one report worth watching fully

and this one

GCC will find it liberating that the US is having overtures with Iran. This will mean that they can act without a “permission” to do so from the US.

GCC will ally themselves with whomever to stay in power and they have many allies and many willing allies and they have the money to do it.

The facts are not going to be changed: the so called infighting is because the regime is totally absent in the north. The rebels have enough time and manpower and weapons to settle scores because the regime has been ousted.

Deraa is in bad shape for the regime; it is in reactive mode and has no strategy except to bomb back. It has one area of concern and that is Damascus and to keep it attached to the rump state along the coast.

The regime has mobilized the maximum that it can at this time. There are no more men and no more units and no more aircraft and no more tanks coming its way. It relies entirely on being propped up by Iran and HA. Iran tried to have the Syria card and it was no go. They would like to go to Geneva 2 but they were told not while you have troops and weapons coming in. The Russians are no longer talking about Syria. They made their point of blocking the UNSC. OK now what. Are they going to rebuild Syria if the regime “wins”? Of course not. Are they going to send troops? Of course not. Are they going to be hostage to the whims of the criminals running the the regime? of course not. They have actually distanced themselves.

Now one more piece of news: the US this year is the number one energy producer in the world. The combined output of gas and oil is bigger than that of the Russian Federation.

This was from the WSJ today. It is earth shaking news. This means that geopolitical consideration that were in operation before are going to shift.

The US will make sure that the production and flow of oil is free and under no one else’s control. It has every incentive to make sure that China continues to have access to oil and energy. As I expect the nuclear talks to bear fruit, Iran will resume producing an additional 1 million barrels a day and this will bring the price of crude below 100. This spells doom for Nigeria as it needs a 110 price to operate in the black and doom to Venezuela that needs it at also around 110.

It also means now that Russia which has slowed down to 2009 economic forecast that its revenues from oil and gas will diminish. Commodities are 50% of its sources of revenue.

Not only the production has surpassed Russia but is bound to increase dramatically as well over the decade.

In the meantime, Iraq is a mess and will remain weak as Iran will never allow an Arab country to be strong on its borders. Syria will become its Vietnam if it continues to side with the regime at all costs. If it reaches an accommodation with the West, it will then abide by whatever the Palestinians decide with the Israelis. It will for all practical purposes abandon its revolutionary mission in favor of a civil society modern Iran.

The mullahs will have to have another “resistance” story to use to keep the people subjugated.

Just remember that Tehran lies on a major tectonic fault line and it is estimated that if a 7.5 magnitude quake were to hit more than a million will die because building codes are obsolete.

Now this is not man made but if God forbid it were to hit, the regime will have an additional major challenge as well.

Now go have a cookie.

October 3rd, 2013, 7:46 pm


Ghufran said:

This may be a test balloon but I do not think the USA and Russia are stuck on june 2014 as the date when Syria has a new president :
قالت مصادر سورية إن الانتخابات الرئاسية في سوريا ستؤجل بسبب الأوضاع الراهنة.
ورجحت المصادر “تأجيل الانتخابات السورية” المستحقة دستوريا في النصف الأول من العام المقبل.
وقال ديبلوماسيون معنيون بالملف السوري، إن احتمال تأجيل الانتخابات الرئاسية هو “المرجح في ظل الظروف الحالية المرشحة للاستمرار، وأبرزها، وجود ملايين المهجرين والنازحين السوريين، وانعدام وجود سفارات في معظم أرجاء العالم، والوضع الأمني المتردي، إضافة لانعدام سيطرة الدولة على مناطق كثيرة في سوريا”.
ونوهت المصادر السفير إلى البند الثاني من المادة 87 في الدستور السوري والتي تتيح لرئيس الجمهورية “الاستمرار في ممارسة مهامه في حال تعذر إجراء انتخابات”.
It may take years before clean and credible elections can be held in Syria, however, this announcement, not official yet, will certainly create a lot of noise.

October 3rd, 2013, 9:04 pm


Syrialover said:


You are so right about Russia, and its economic stagnation is linked to why Putin’s team has been bluffing, posturing and making out Russia is running the world through the Syrian issue.

The article linked below reports that the World Bank in Russia is alarmed by the slowdown in the Russian economy.

“With Europe finding new sources of natural gas, and Asian economies looking at Canadian markets, the Russian economy is starting to retreat behind the former Iron Curtain….”The recent economic tendencies in Russia are quite alarming,” Mikhail Rutkovsky, head of the World Bank in Russia, said.”

(from “Is Russia’s economy running out of gas?” –

COMMENT: Putin needs things to boast of back home to distract from the fact Russia’s economy along with its external relevance and status is shrinking daily. His regime has nothing real to offer the people of Russia in the way or economic, social or political development.

You can tell how desperate his regime is if you look at the bizarre almost hysterical overdrive the Russian media went into about Russia’s huge global triumph on the Syrian issue.

Meanwhile the primitive totalitarian nature of the Putin regime is being exposed externally with the move to put Greenpeace protestors in prison for 15 years for piracy.

As one said in shock,”we can’t believe this is happening in a modern, democratic nation”.

Sorry guys, that’s the opposite of Russia.

And watch for the next domestic “terrorist attack” by the Russian secret services to shore up Putin’s “strong man” image back home.

October 3rd, 2013, 9:12 pm


Syrialover said:


Here’s a calm, well-informed and clearer perspective on the Islamic nature of Syrian opposition forces.

It pours cold water on the sensationalism, better explains what is happening on the ground and puts it in a Syrian context.

Worth reading.

Article: “The Army of Islam Is Winning in Syria – And that’s not necessarily a bad thing”

Also, some follow-up discussion from the author:

(PS With deference to UZAIR8 in #24 who for some reason featured the postscript but not the main article)

October 3rd, 2013, 9:35 pm


Ghufran said:

Idris may get sacked soon:
قالت مصادر إعلامية معارضة إن اجتماعاً مهماً للمجلس الأعلى لهيئة أركان الجيش الحر يعقد اليوم في اسطنبول لعزل رئيس الأركان سليم ادريس أو اختيار وزير دفاع للحكومة المؤقتة التي يرأسها أحمد طعمة.
و أكدت المصادر أن رئيس الائتلاف الوطني المعارض أحمد الجربا وصل إلى الاجتماع قبل قليل، بحسب ما أوردت إذاعة ” وطن اف ام “.

October 3rd, 2013, 9:38 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL stated a tough home truth a few days ago, which is worth repeating:

“[Outsiders have done many wrong things] But it was Syrians who abused Syrians for 50 years under a rotten corrupt brutal regime. It was Syrians who started shooting at and torturing Syrians who marched on the streets demanding freedom. It was Syrians who decided to carry arms and fight back. It was Syrians who invited foreign fighters to come in and fight in Syria. It was Syrians who destroyed the towns and cities of other Syrians and killed civilians. It was Syrians who invaded villages and committed massacres. It was Syrians who exploded car bombs and fired shells. It was Syrians who used chemical weapons on fellow Syrians. On and on and on.”

“Do not get me wrong. To me, the blame falls first and foremost on the regime and the man on the top. But as I said there is plenty of blame to go around, and most of the blame goes to the Syrians themselves.” (Hopeful, September 29 thread, #265).

CONMENT: No Syrian can afford the luxury of denying this.

And we have to internally process that along with another tough reality: authoritarianism is a deep and crippling disorder that takes a lot of time and hard work to get rid of and recover from.

To quote political scientist Sheri Berman:

“The fundamental mistake most commentators on the Arab Spring make is underestimating the scale, scope, and perniciousness of authoritarianism. Tyranny is more than a type of political order; it is an economic and social system as well, one that permeates most aspects of a country’s life and has deep roots in a vast array of formal and informal institutions.

“Achieving liberal democracy is thus not simply a matter of changing some lines on a political wiring diagram but, rather, of eliminating authoritarian legacies in the society, economy, and culture as well. This is almost always an incredibly difficult, exhausting, and protracted process.

“It didn’t happen in many parts of Western Europe until the second half of the twentieth century, in fact, which is why so many earlier democratic experiments there were flawed or outright failures. And it still hasn’t happened in all of Eastern Europe and Russia.

“…But it does mean that the problems of the Middle East today are more the norm than the exception, and that they have less to do with case-specific factors such as ethnicity, religion, or ideology than they do with the inherent difficulty and complexity of building truly liberal democratic regimes. Getting rid of authoritarianism is a long and nasty process; in the Middle East, at least that process has finally begun.”

From “The continuing promise of the Arab Spring” –

(With thanks to a commentator on for highlighting Berman’s remarks)

October 3rd, 2013, 11:28 pm


Hopeful said:

#98 Zoo


“Why should I bother explaining something else to you?”

Here you are on the one hand constantly calling for the opposition to come to “talk” in Geneva II, and on the other hand refusing to explain/support a statement you make.

Like the regime you support, your idea of a “talk” is a one way stream where you “lecture” and the rest of us listen politely and applaud. Not only can we not criticize the content, but also we should not dare to ask difficult questions.

Welcome to Assad’s style of dialogue.

October 4th, 2013, 1:19 am


Hopeful said:

#197 SL

The truth is, for the first time in my life, I feel awkward telling people I am from Syria when they ask me where I was from. The reaction I get is a mix of pity, confusion, and blame.

They pity Syrians for what has happened to them.
They are confused as to what exactly is happening.
They blame Syrians for their inability to stop the bleeding

And they are right!

October 4th, 2013, 1:51 am


Hopeful said:

A Visual story of the Syrian revolution


October 4th, 2013, 2:42 am




Thanks, interesting articles.

October 4th, 2013, 3:01 am


ALAN said:

McCain: Hello. Hello. General?

McCain: I’m calling just to tell you that I approve of your plan to attack Al-Qusayr from

Lebanon again. It sounds like a real winner,

idris: But, we need more weapons and money…..especially money, (Tee hee hee)

McCain: Well, I will never be called yellow when it comes to helping democracy-loving

freedom fighters, I’ll send you my personal check for $50.00 tomorrow. Keep up the

good work.

Idris: Could you put a few zeros after the $50, Senator? The freedom fighters and

democracy-loving activists would really appreciate it more.

McCain: Well, I dunno. I can’t be seen financing your revolution, it would be very

burdensome for me and my wife. How about that stocky guy in Arabia ?

idris: Oh, his son is not interested any more. We need to buy more weapons for the

attack on Al-Qusayr so we can bring freedom and justice once again to Syria. (Tee hee


McCain: Got it. Gee. I’ve got to figure something out for you. Let me think about this

for a while, in the meantime, who do I make the check out to?

idris: S-A-L-E-E-M I-D-R-E-E-S. That’ll work just fine, Senator.

McCain: I don’t think it’s a good idea to attack those Al-Qaeda folks, you know, it’s so

confusing. I just heard they chopped off some of your people’s heads. Got to talk to

them. You know.

Idris: Yes. it appears you have excellent relations with Al-Qaeda, Senator. Why don’t

you call them and tell them what you think?

McCain: Yes. Yes. Geeze. I’ll call Dr. Zawaheri and set it straight. You want some

more chemical weapons?

Idris: Sure. Why not. We’ll fire them at the U.N. inspectors. Then you can blame


McCain: Boy. That sounds like a winner too. Let’s do it. I’ll call Bandar to coordinate it.


And here’s another phone transcript of a conversation between some American “supporter” (since no Arabs would talk English in-between themselves) and the rebel Abou Abdo also known as “Haj”.

There are three mortal shells that are being requested from you.

The /82/ mortars are being requested.


Yes original Russian in their boxes.

Is there a price?

The price is 310 USD? Meaning 10 for me and they cost 300.

Ok, original Russian?

Original in their boxes.

How many units?

Now there are 30 units.

Are they guaranteed? A while ago the men proposed some shells

containing gas.

The same but containing gas?


By God I don’t know.

There 40 that had proposed to us and they are gone.

I do not know if these ones contain gas? But I know they are Russian


The gas in those is “well according to your likings” you know what I mean.

Yes I know, Abou Jassem took 10 from those ones.

Are these the same or without gas?

They are the same, but I do not know if they contain gas or not. I’ll ask to

see if they have gas or not.

No, they do not contain gas. They had been proposed to us in Arsal and

they are gone. The “Shias” bought them “from up there”.

I will check now because those ones are also “from up there”.

Go ahead, rely on God. Now these are 310 per price?

Yes. May God protect you. Do not forget the matter for me

October 4th, 2013, 3:47 am


ALAN said:

‘No sarin detected in West Ghouta environment, only in human samples’ – UN’s Angela Kane

صرح وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف اليوم الثلاثاء 1 تشرين الأول/أكتوبر بأن موسكو ستتوصل إلى تحديد المذنبين في استخدام الأسلحة الكيماوية بالقرب من حلب في آذار/مارس من العام الجاري.

وقال لافروف: “نحن ننطلق من أن المشهد في 21 آب/أغسطس لم يكن الوحيد الذي يجب أن تحقق بعثة أوكي سيلستريوم فيه”، وأضاف: “لدينا معلومات عن أنه خلال الحادث الأليم الذي وقع في 21 آب/أغسطس عندما استخدم السلاح الكيماوي، وهذه أصبحت حقيقة واقعة، استخدم غاز السارين من نفس منشأ المادة الكيماوية المستخدمة في 19 آذار/مارس ولكن بتركيز أكبر”.

ولا يستبعد وزير الخارجية الروسي بأن يشارك ممثلو المعارضة السورية المسلحة في مؤتمر “جينيف -2” وقال اليوم الثلاثاء خلال مؤتمر صحفي في ختام محادثاته مع الأمين العام لمنظمة التعاون الإسلامية إكمال الدين إحسان إوغلو “إذا لم تتقدم برؤية متطرفة فمن الممكن أن تمثل في المحادثات”.

October 4th, 2013, 4:29 am


ALAN said:

US, Israel underestimated Syria power

October 4th, 2013, 6:50 am


Uzair8 said:

105. Syrialover

Yes. I actually didn’t visit the link in the Yalla Souriya update. Just shared the update itself. Don’t always have the time and also my comp is slow and some sites take forever to open (or defreeze) so I don’t bother unless necessary.

Anyway thanks for bringing the article to our attention. I’ll check it out later.

October 4th, 2013, 7:06 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

113 @ ALAN.

Now it seems its Israel and the democratic state of Saudi Arabia testing Syria.

October 4th, 2013, 7:49 am


zoo said:

Assad says Turkey will pay for backing Syrian rebels
Source: Reuters – Fri, 4 Oct 2013 12:26 PM

* Assad warns Turkey “terrorists” will turn against it

* Growing al Qaeda influence near Turkish border a concern

* Assad says too early to say if he will run again

* Sees Geneva process about cutting support for “terrorists” (Adds Erdogan comment, Assad on elections, quotes)

By Ece Toksabay

ISTANBUL, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told Turkey it will pay a heavy price for backing rebels fighting to oust him, accusing it of harbouring “terrorists” along its border who would soon turn against their hosts.

In an interview with Turkey’s Halk TV due to be broadcast later on Friday, Assad called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan “bigoted” and said Ankara was allowing terrorists to cross into Syria to attack the army and Syrian civilians.

“It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card because it is like a scorpion which won’t hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity,” Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV, which is close to Turkey’s opposition.

“In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact on Turkey and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it.”

Turkey, which shares a 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria and has NATO’s second largest deployable armed forces, is one of Assad’s fiercest critics and a staunch supporter of the opposition, although it denies arming the rebels.

It shelters about a quarter of the 2 million people who have fled Syria and has often seen the conflict spill across its frontier, responding in kind when mortars and shells fired from Syria have hit its soil.

It has also allowed rebel fighters to cross in and out of Syria but has grown alarmed, along with Western allies opposed to Assad, by divisions among their ranks and the deepening influence of radical Islamists in Syria.

Last month, the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized Azaz, about 5 km (3 miles) from the border with Turkey, and has repeatedly clashed with the local Northern Storm brigade since then.

“Right now, Syria is headed for a sectarian war,” Erdogan said in an interview on Turkish television late on Thursday.

“This is the danger we are facing.”

Turkey has bolstered its defences and sent additional troops to the border with Syria in recent weeks and its parliament voted on Thursday to extend by a year a mandate authorising a military deployment to Syria if needed.


Assad accused Erdogan, whose AK Party has its roots in conservative Islamist politics, of a sectarian agenda.

“Before the crisis, Erdogan had never mentioned reforms or democracy, he was never interested in these issues… Erdogan only wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to return to Syria, that was his main and core aim,” he said.

Erdogan’s government strongly denies any such agenda.

His aides point to his cultivation of good relations with Assad for years before the conflict and say Turkey does not see Syria’s Sunni Muslims and its Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ism to which Assad belongs, as fixed blocs.

Assad said he had not yet decided whether to run in presidential elections next year because the situation on the ground was changing rapidly, adding that he would only put himself forward if Syrians wanted him to. The picture will become clearer in the next 4-5 months, Assad said.

The United Nations estimates that more than 100,000 people have died since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011 and has been notified of at least 14 chemical attacks.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution last week that demands the eradication of Syria’s chemical weapons and endorses a plan for a political transition in Syria agreed on at an international conference in Geneva last year.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the vote that major powers hoped to hold a second peace conference on Syria in mid-November in Geneva.

In his interview, Assad again denied his forces had used chemical weapons and blamed such attacks on the rebels. Asked whether he expected the Geneva process to accelerate if Syria handed over its chemical weapons, Assad said he saw no link.

“Practically these issues are not related. Geneva II is about Syria’s own domestic political process and cutting neighbouring countries’ weapons and financial support to terrorists,” he said. (Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Orhan Coskun in Ankara; Writing by Nick Tattersall, Editing by Gareth Jones)

October 4th, 2013, 8:44 am


zoo said:


As you keep asking silly questions whose answer you know, it seems that is your concept of a dialog.

October 4th, 2013, 8:49 am


zoo said:

106. Ghufran said:

“Idris may get sacked soon:”

It was predictable. Another clown joining the others…
Is Tohmeh working on a ‘transition’ government or desperately trying to create a ‘unified’ delegation for Geneva, as requested by Ban Ki Moon.

The SNC is pathetic.

October 4th, 2013, 8:55 am


zoo said:

Will ISIS withdraw? What would they get in exchange?

Syria: FSA demand ISIS withdrawal from Azaz and Homs
ISIS, North Storm Brigade to take quarrel over Azaz to Islamic court

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Several Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions demanded that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) withdraw from the streets of the strategic town of Azaz along the Turkish borders following fierce clashes between the group and the North Storm Brigade in the city, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

October 4th, 2013, 8:59 am


zoo said:

Syrian Pound Soars, Iran’s Single Digit Inflation…

By Steve H. Hanke

Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, has stated that his government will abide by last week’s U.N. resolution calling for the country’s chemical weapons to be destroyed.

It appears as though this news was well received by the people of Syria. Indeed, the black-market exchange rate for the Syrian pound (SYP) has dropped from 206 SYP/USD on September 25th to 168 on September 30th. That’s a whopping 22.6% appreciation in the pound against the greenback. Currently, the implied annual inflation rate in Syria sits at 133 percent, down from a rate of 185 percent on September 25th.

Iran: Since President Rouhani took office, Iranian expectations about the economy have turned positive. Over the past month we have seen a significant decrease in the volatility of the Iranian rial (IRR) on the black market.
This trend of increased exchange rate stability has continued into this week, as President Rouhani’s trip to the UN has raised hopes of constructive cooperation between the West and Iran. In consequence, the Iranian rial (IRR) has remained virtually unchanged on the black market, moving from 30,500 IRR/USD on September 25th to 30,200 on September 30th. The implied inflation rate in Iran as of September 30th stands at 8% down from a rate of 23% on September 25th.

October 4th, 2013, 9:05 am


SimoHurtta said:

Now one more piece of news: the US this year is the number one energy producer in the world. The combined output of gas and oil is bigger than that of the Russian Federation.

This was from the WSJ today. It is earth shaking news. This means that geopolitical consideration that were in operation before are going to shift.

Well, well here we go again.

Figures from Wikipedia and mbbl = million barrels daily

Oil Production USA 8.5 mil bbl Russia 10.9 mbbl
Oil Export USA 2 mbbl Russia 5 mbbl
Oil Import USA 10.2 mbbl Russia 0.05 mbbl
Import need if there is no export USA 8-9 mbbl Russia 0 mbbl
Oil consumption USA 19.1 mbbl Russia 2.2 mbbl

USA needs to import the amount Russia (or Saudi Arabia) are producing daily. The figures in the table are from different years from 2009 – 2013, but “dreaming” that USA suddenly could increase its oil production with millions of barrels daily is pure speculation and propaganda. Even if the story appears in WSJ.

The world gas markets are still mostly aerial. For exporting larger amounts still pipelines are needed. Importing gas in LNG form existing regasification terminals are needed. Only Japan has plenty of them, relative few are ready in Europe. Besides these regasification terminals also existing liquefaction terminals and rather expensive LNG carriers are needed. USA has one existing LNG liquefaction terminal, one in Alaska. So the trip to a significant gas exporter is rather long, for Israel and for USA.

The chances, that USA could compete with Russia and Arab countries as a gas exporter to Europe or China is very, very far away. Surely LNG has a bright future as a clean fuel, but believing it would replace liquid fuels in relative short time frame is politely said “amateurish”. It will take decades before the majority of cars and other oil driven “motors” will using electricity or gas.

Have you “boys” any idea how long and how much it costs to create a new oil or gas producing field? It is not done in weeks or months. It takes many years often a decade and costs many billions. So the notion, that USA could “fart from nowhere” in next months a new oil production capacity equal to the whole production of Russia or Saudi Arabia, which would be demanded USA to become even self sufficient and a real net exporter is simply hilarious and certainly not based on any facts and real knowledge. The geopolitical reality is and will be for many years to come, that USA needs imported oil and a plenty of that, if the US economy will be functioning on present level.

Already since the cold war we have frequently been “served” with news in western media how Soviet, now Russian, economies will collapse because their oil and gas production shrinks. That has been a news in the same series of predictions as the Israeli “Iran will have a nuclear bomb next year”. Already for 20 years we have read those “next year ready bomb” stories. These Soviet/Russian oil ends stories are even older, than the Iranian next year bomb stories.

Surely the oil and gas production is important for Russian economy and state, but believing that there is “nothing else” is absurd. Russia is a huge country with astonishing amounts of natural resources. Companies from all over the world invest in Russia. Surely Russia has problems in corruption and legislation, but portraying Russia as a Stalinist dictatorship is a bit far fetched propaganda.

The US will make sure that the production and flow of oil is free and under no one else’s control. It has every incentive to make sure that China continues to have access to oil and energy. As I expect the nuclear talks to bear fruit, Iran will resume producing an additional 1 million barrels a day and this will bring the price of crude below 100. This spells doom for Nigeria as it needs a 110 price to operate in the black and doom to Venezuela that needs it at also around 110.

USA makes sure, that production and flow is free???? Come-on only (some) Americans believe in that propaganda, we Europeans and surely the Chinese or Japanese not. For example when the Baltic gas line Nord Stream from Russia to Germany was planed USA worked very actively and aggressively in pressuring the countries like Finland, Sweden, Estonia etc, which had a say in the permit allowing process, not to allow the building. Well in that contest Germany had biggest muscles (it needed the Russian gas and got it). Now they (Russia and Germany) are planing to double the undersea lines’ capacity by building lines 3 and 4. 🙂

Some facts to study before cookies
Map of Russian oil and gas lines (European side)
Map of Russian Asian side

Now go have a cookie.

Well to many eaten cookies have obviously caused a bad sugar high for our American Russia “expert” in his predictions. Again.

October 4th, 2013, 9:05 am


zoo said:

The FSA is a “fiction”, Al Qaeda is the reality

Assad now has the enemy he wants
A new Islamist alliance among Syria’s rebels leaves the West’s friends in the country weaker than ever

Paul Wood 5 October 2013
Most importantly, Communiqué No. 1 says the rebels are fighting not for democracy, but for Sharia, ‘the sole source of legislation’. It was signed by what is probably the FSA’s biggest brigade, with thousands of men, Tawheed, or ‘one God’.

The FSA that London and Washington speak to has been revealed as a reassuring fiction, irrelevant to the real alliances on the ground, where most fighters believe they are waging a religious war.
Everyone in rebel-held areas will tell you that the Islamists, of whichever stripe, are making gains because of the ‘secular’ FSA’s corruption and opportunism. That and the fact that most of the money and guns are going to the Islamists, sent by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. ‘Ali’ had been a flight attendant with Emirates before the war, living in Dubai and going to bars to pick up girls. Now he was in a Nusra Front brigade, he told me, but only because he thought they were really taking the battle to the regime. The emir of his group had banned smoking in line with Islamist doctrine. Ali would sneak outside for a crafty cigarette. He wasn’t an Islamist, he said, he just wanted Assad gone.

October 4th, 2013, 9:13 am


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia mouthpiece: “The opposition is removed from the political reality”

Unrealistic demands of Syrian opposition

The list of demands by Syrian opposition leaders for their participation in the second Geneva conference gives one a sense of how removed they really are from the difficult political reality, noted the columnist Abdel Rahman Al Rashed in the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat.

The list presented to the organisers of the conference included compelling the Assad regime to confess to its crimes and mistakes and a pledge by the international community to hold the regime accountable.

“If the regime agreed to confess and the world wanted to fight him, there wouldn’t be a need for a conference in the first place,” the writer observed.

“Geneva II is a meeting of international and regional powers along with the Syrian regime and representatives from the opposition to look into a formula to end the war and not to surrender and transfer power.”

It is too early for the opposition to make such demands, especially when no significant gains have been made on the battlefield.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

October 4th, 2013, 9:22 am


zoo said:

The UN and Western countries working to secure the November Geneva conference.
This comes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed the participation of moderate Syrian opposition rebels in the conference during a press conference on Tuesday.

“I do not rule out that the armed opposition, if it does not stand for extremism or terrorism views, could very well be represented,” Lavrov told reporters, adding, “By the way, this is something that President Assad has said as well.”

Western sources had earlier informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Tehran may participate in the peace conference on the Syrian civil war after Iran had “returned to the international political arena” thanks to new president Hassan Rouhani’s moderate discourse.

For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran should be invited to the Geneva II conference on Syria, and is “prepared to participate” in the conference, but only if asked.

“We are not begging to be invited,” he told Al-Monitor earlier this week, adding, “If they ask us to go, we will go, without any conditions, and we do not accept any conditions.”

As for the Arab states participating, Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi had earlier confirmed that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, will be invited. In an interview with Al-Arabiya TV, Brahimi added that other Arab states will also be invited, and that it would be beneficial if Tehran also attend.

However he added that with all the uncertainty regarding who should attend, the conference target date of mid-November was “not 100 percent”, particularly citing disunity among the Syrian rebel forces.

October 4th, 2013, 9:31 am


zoo said:

Freedom of speech in Turkey?

Writer to be tried on charges of insulting Turkish prime minister

Emrah Serbes had made a pun in a TV show by changing the prime minister’s middle name “Tayyip” to “Tazyik”, a word meaning pressurized water in reference to the police’s excessive use of water cannons and tear gas on the most recent May Day against peaceful protesters.

An Istanbul prosecutor has demanded the imprisonment of writer Emrah Serbes for from 10 months to 12 years, on accusations of insulting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and Interior Minister Muammer Güler, daily Milliyet has reported.

October 4th, 2013, 9:56 am


Hopeful said:

#117 Zoo

I am not sure why you consider the question silly. Let me repeat it again in clearer terms in case I was misunderstood:

One hypothesis that Assad, his regime, and supporters keep repeating (including you Zoo) is that the Syrian army is still strong and unified because it strongly believes that it is defending Syria against a global conspiracy. It is a theory that is worth considering and exploring by the opposition.

However, Zoo, you seem convinced that if Assad leaves tomorrow, the Syrian army will disintegrate. Why would the Syrian army disintegrate, Zoo, if it has the belief that it is defending the country, not a single individual?

October 4th, 2013, 9:58 am


zoo said:


I am giving you the obvious answer that you seem blind to.

Bashar al Assad is the glue of the Army and the Syrian institutions. Despite the enormous external pressure, he has proven beyond any doubt that he was able to keep the army and the institutions united and cohesive. He has become indispensable to maintain this cohesion. He is perceived as a powerful and coherent leader not only internally but externally too.

If he leaves abruptly the whole system will collapse, and that’s what the opposition was aiming at. They know that his presence in power is essential to the cohesion of the country institutions that they want to destroy.
Bashar al Assad will not leave voluntarily unless he is convinced that someone strong, charismatic and trustworthy will take over.
That’s why he has left his candidacy in 2014 still open.

That’s the end of this subject.

October 4th, 2013, 10:14 am


Hopeful said:

“It is not possible to put terrorism in your pocket and use it as a card because it is like a scorpion which won’t hesitate to sting you at the first opportunity,” Assad said, according to a transcript from Halk TV, which is close to Turkey’s opposition.

He knows that all too well after a decade of experience using terrorism as a card in Iraq and Lebanon. Now it is stinging him, and all the Syrians with him – loyalists and opposition.

October 4th, 2013, 10:15 am


omen said:

31. zoo said: When will the “good” rebels finally reintegrate the SAA to fight against the cancer of Al Qaeeda?

when assad’s severed head is on a pike and the rest of the inner circle are excised and uprooted like the cancer that they are.

October 4th, 2013, 10:23 am


Hopeful said:

#127 Zoo

I disagree on both fronts.

I now believe that the Syrian army (whatever is left of it) and the Syrian institutions remained unified DESPITE of Assad not because of him. The reason is because many among their leadership do believe they are fighting for Syria, not for Assad. This will prove to be good news for Syria in the months ahead, and the opposition should take advantage of that.

The opposition never wanted the “whole system” to collapse. They just wanted those on top who are (ab)using it to their advantage and privilege to go. Today, the Egyptian army is stronger and better than it was under Mubarak, precisely because the political elite that was controlling it for decades to their advantage was gone.

Once Assad is gone, and his security apparatus is dismantled, the Syrian army and institutions will emerge stronger.

October 4th, 2013, 10:26 am


Uzair8 said:

‘Bashar al Assad is the glue of the Army and the Syrian institutions.’

Traditionally horses were used in the production of glue. Perhaps in some cases donkeys/Asses.

Despite the enormous external pressure, he has proven beyond any doubt that he was able to keep the army and the institutions united and cohesive. He has become indispensable to maintain this cohesion. He is perceived as a powerful leader not only internally but externally too.

I guess the ASSad family has successfully knitted itself (or spread the glue) into every nook and cranny of the Syrian state to the point they are indispensable.

If he leaves abruptly the whole system will collapse…

I suspect if he was to be.. lets say assassinated you’d probably, dictated by expediency, change your tune and insist the state/regime/military set-up is strong and cohesive under the new leader (eg Maher Assad or whoever).

This comment should be saved and presented as a reminder if ever such a time arrived.

October 4th, 2013, 10:35 am


Hopeful said:

“Assad said he had not yet decided whether to run in presidential elections next year because the situation on the ground was changing rapidly, adding that he would only put himself forward if Syrians wanted him to. The picture will become clearer in the next 4-5 months, Assad said.”

This is the clearest indication yet that a deal is in the making. This is the only card left for Assad to use to negotiate his safe exit from Syria and immunity from persecution.

Saying that he completed his term and that he “decided” not to run again gives him a face saving exit, and gives his supporters a reason to say that they did not lose. Having a true free elections in 2014 gives the opposition a reason to say that they won.

This would not have been a bad outcome, if not for the 100+ thousands of families who have lost loved ones and are yearning for justice and revenge, and for the millions who have lost their homes and their futures. Who would compensate them?

October 4th, 2013, 10:38 am


zoo said:

Dawn of a new reality for Syria

Post-settlement regime loyalists and the mainstream opposition may need to form a common front to confront those who want to destroy the nation

If the Syrian government looks bad after the latest diplomatic twist, the same can be said about the opposition. Divided and lacking credibility at the best of times, it pinned its hopes on an American military strike, hoping it would inflict a fatal blow on the regime. When no such attack materialised, it was left humiliated: For being “betrayed” by an ally who again promised, but did not deliver; and for being seen in the Arab street as inviting a western imperial armed assault on its own country. The episode revealed again Syria’s official opposition’s lack of a coherent strategy.
Even so, many pitfalls could eventually bring this process grinding to a halt, not least the growing strength of Al Qaida and its acolytes, particularly in northern Syria. These forces have no interest in a stable and democratic country. Indeed, part of Geneva II’s agenda must be establishing a plan of action to deal with the threat of an Islamic emirate spreading its roots throughout the country. Post-settlement regime loyalists and the mainstream forces of the opposition could find themselves needing to form a common front — despite their current enmity — to confront those who want to destroy whatever remains of Syria’s rich diversity and tolerance.

This remains an unlikely scenario, but the more the jihadists — especially the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria — provoke outrage with acts of barbarism — such as the recent sacking of Christian churches in Al Raqqa — the more Syrians of all shades of opinion will realise the mortal danger they face and resolve to end the suicidal internecine conflict they are currently locked in.

The real battle for Syria’s soul lies in wait. The earlier Geneva II can deliver a settlement, the better prepared Syrians will be to wage that battle.

Instead of showing leadership and rallying the Syrian people — of all sects and ethnic backgrounds, behind a programme of democratic transformation — it allowed itself to be led by Islamist hardliners into a narrowly-defined agenda that alienated many secular-minded Syrians. Too late it sees its Islamism usurped by the rising tide of Al Qaida jihadism, which it naively believed could be easily drafted into an alliance against the common enemy. Now that the ally is showing as much ferocity in striking at the “moderates” of the Free Syrian Army as against the regime.

October 4th, 2013, 12:54 pm


zoo said:

Industry Minister Kamal Eddin Touma said large parts of the country’s industrial sector were wiped out because of the conflict. He put the overall value of the losses at more than $726 million for the industrial sector and $1.6 billion in the private sector, SANA reports.

Read more:

October 4th, 2013, 12:56 pm


zoo said:

@127 hopeful

Again, as usual, you had the answer to your question. Stick to it. It is beyond a fairy tale.
After all I am the silly one.

October 4th, 2013, 12:59 pm


Sami said:

What a load of crap to call Assad the “glue holding the country together”.

The most powerful person on earth is up for election every 4 years and has a maximum of two terms to serve yet their country does not fall apart when they are replaced.

If Assad is truly the “glue” then he has failed Syria since no leader is immortal no matter how loud his supporters scream otherwise.

It is high time Syria gets out of the shadows of the Assads and be allowed to grow free of that shadow that has eclipsed our great country from the freedoms and dignity it deserves!

October 4th, 2013, 2:14 pm



dog-poop glued to to the country. This is what athad is.

October 4th, 2013, 2:24 pm


omen said:

1. William Scott Scherk said:

bill, did you see this?

Hannah Allam State Dept: Geneva 2 plans are separate from any election that Assad may or may not run in.

US currently refuses to recognize NC as legal representative of syria.

even if by some miracle, geneva sets up a new transition government, will the US recognize the new entity?

we could end up with a new geneva led government AND assad winning* relection at the same time.

my hunch is obama will continue to defer to assad!

October 4th, 2013, 2:33 pm


omen said:

only for nazis is this accepted as the norm.


(you know who you are)

October 4th, 2013, 3:11 pm


ALAN said:

Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney: The Syrian crisis was created in 2001 9/11!

October 4th, 2013, 3:55 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks for reminding the audience that Cynthia is a nut job. FYI, I already knew that.

October 4th, 2013, 4:06 pm


Syrialover said:

HOPEFUL you hit home when you described people’s reactions when they hear you are Syrian as “a mix of pity, confusion, and blame”. You explain:

“They pity Syrians for what has happened to them.
They are confused as to what exactly is happening.
They blame Syrians for their inability to stop the bleeding” (#109)

That’s exactly what outsiders think. Even people who have spent time in Syria are dazed about what’s happening and why.

We’ve all probably developed various elevator pitches trying to explain it to them.

I’d be interested to know if you’ve found any points that are good for helping cut through the confusion. I’ll think about mine and maybe share them here.

(Elevator pitch for those wondering is a business jargon for explaining something to an audience in the space of time it takes to ride an elevator – from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The idea is that you only have a brief time to hold people’s attention, so you have to make sure what you say really works.)

October 4th, 2013, 4:47 pm


Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya about 10 minutes ago:

#Syria #Aleppo –


Rebels killed #Assad-forces & destroyed vehicles in mountains near #Khanaser

[The regime was reported as having retaken Khanasser yesterday, and there have been reports of regime attempts to push northwards towards Safira and Aleppo having been repulsed today]




PS: Another related (Khanasser) update from about 2 hrs ago. Includes 2 videos. One showing rebel tank firing on presumably regime target. Another of presumably regime men running.

October 4th, 2013, 4:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

Al Arabiya English.

The second picture from the left (top) of the tyrants wife looks very odd. Are they using a mannequin now?


After Instagram smiles, Asma al-Assad becomes ‘lady in black’

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

After flashing her pearly whites for Facebook, and posting images to reveal her fashionista tendencies on Instagram, Syria’s First Lady Asma al-Assad is now looking much more solemn.


“Look at the devil in disguise” wrote an anti-Assad user on Twitter. Another tweeted saying “nothing Bashar or Asma can do will wash the bloods covering their hands”


October 4th, 2013, 5:10 pm


Uzair8 said:

Iran must be desperate for Geneva 2.

I mean they can’t continue to fund Asma’s splurges forever. It could become cause for their own uprising…

October 4th, 2013, 5:13 pm


zoo said:

Saudi Arabia is arming Al Nusra

Special arms for Syria rebels fall into Nusra hands
October 04, 2013 12:09 AM

Read more:

BEIRUT: Some Saudi Arabian-supplied anti-tank missiles intended for mainstream Syrian rebels have inadvertently landed in the hands of the Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front, throwing plans to arm moderates via neighbor Jordan into question.

The failure of the pilot plan has forced Western and Arab opposition backers to reconfigure efforts to arm and vet moderate opposition types, and shift these efforts to the northern, Turkish border, The Daily Star has learned.

Senior Free Syrian Army and Jordanian sources, along with video evidence, have confirmed that European-made anti-tank missiles were obtained, and in some cases sold, to the hard-line Nusra Front after being supplied to vetted Free Syrian Army battalions across the Jordanian border.

The debacle prompted Jordan to back away from arrangements to arm moderate rebels, and close its borders in May.

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

October 4th, 2013, 5:28 pm


zoo said:

An example of the Sharia law in Saudi Arabia. Soon to be applied in Al Raqqah

10 years’ jail, 2000 lashes for dancing part-naked on jeep

Four young men in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to jail and up to 2000 lashes each for dancing partially naked on top of a car, local media have reported.

Under the most serious sentence, the offender will spend 10 years in prison and receive 2000 lashes as well as pay SR50,000 ($13,300) fine, Arabic daily Okaz reported.

Another man was sentenced to seven years’ jail and 1200 lashes, while the other two will spend three years behind bars and receive 500 lashes each.

The group were charged with performing an indecent act by dancing with their shirts off on top of a jeep during a weekend youth camp last winter.

October 4th, 2013, 5:37 pm


ALAN said:

A Chechan is now leading three rebel groups (two of them foreign-dominated) to fight Syria’s Kurds.

October 4th, 2013, 5:53 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Today, the discerning Michael Weiss eloquently dissects the Obama fallacy reigning over the US turning it into the deluded impotent power of this planet and the joke of the year, leaving the door wide open for serpent and snake heads to wreck havoc in the world, and licensing proven killers to go on rampages killing innocents, particularly Syrians, with impunity. The US has never descended to such low level as it has during the Obama fallacy. Not even during the Carter years, when US diplomats in Tehran were paraded blindfolded in front of the whole world to see did the US descend so low in the eyes of the world. The US pants are down and its behind is fully exposed to be probed by snake-heads and their proxies as Michael Weiss clearly describes.

When the so-called Obama red line was crossed, the Israelis predicted the end of the American empire. The prediction may come sooner than even the Israelis may have expected. After Carter there was a Reagan who resolutely restored the US honor. It is doubtful that a ‘Reagan’ will emerge considering the amount of damage brought by the incompetence of Obama. Was Obama really fit to rule the US?

When Obama says bye bye to the White House, and retires as the first ever black US President, the world would have said bye bye US long long before that. Your sun has set and welcome to the long US night.

The Real Deal, Part I

By Michael Weiss

It took one Scotsman, in defense of the promiscuous virtues of another, to remark of his countrymen that there was “no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.” American morality has taken a rather harsh beating of late, but there’s still nothing so ridiculous as watching an entire media class in one of its periodical fits of blind optimism. No matter that mass murder continues unabated in the Middle East at the behest or prompting of dictatorial regimes whose histories for stalling, deceiving, and otherwise embarrassing the West are notorious. The new narrative this autumn is that America’s old enemies are just new friends waiting to be made.

President Obama’s brief phone call with Iran’s clerical president and his inking of a disarmament deal with Vladimir Putin, both of which happened at the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting last week, elicited hearty self-congratulations for unprecedented “diplomatic breakthroughs.” Yet unnoticed by those now competing to decide when exactly the gates of Imam Khomeini International Airport will open to American tourists is the unmistakable fact if any meaningful behind-the-scenes deal-making is currently underway, then it is between and among Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus. All three have only exploited the August 21 sarin attack on Ghouta by solidifying their pre-existing alliances with one another and coordinating a clever new propaganda campaign aimed directly at an antiwar American electorate, the importance of which they only accidentally discovered after the White House insisted on asking Congress to authorize airstrikes on Syria.

This strategic realignment, borne of a mass atrocity either carried out or excused by these same state actors, would be bad enough to witness if the Obama administration hadn’t mistaken it as a genuine opportunity for good-faith engagement and in the process alienated two of its most important allies, France and Saudi Arabia.

So let’s evaluate what’s actually happened in that timeframe apart from the warm smiles, bilateral Twitter flirtations, and cable news charm offensives by tyrants by which pundits seem more fascinated.

Assad’s banker

On September 2, Reuters reported that the number of Russian ships traveling to Syria from a Ukrainian port used by Rosoboronexport, Moscow’s state arms dealer, had “increased sharply since April.” Fourteen vessels in total journeyed from Oktyabrsk to Syria’s Tartous in the past year and a half, a time period which has also seen an uptick in Bashar al-Assad’s willingness to pay off his defense debts to Russia, including for S-300 anti-aircraft batteries, which so exercise the Israelis, and 36 Yak-130 trainer fighter jets, which so exercise Syrian civilians who’ll be bombed by them. Reuters further helpfully determined that major state-owned Russian banks – principally VTB, VEB, and Gazprombank – have been taking the regime’s deposits, while Assad’s uncle Mohammed Makhlouf, who lives in a Soviet-era hotel in Moscow, personally oversees the family’s finances in Russia. One Russian arms industry source said to the news agency: “About a year ago they put [some small arms deliveries] on hold. But after Putin got angry in the lead up to talks about Geneva II, the green light was given for limited small arms deliveries.”

High off their diplomatic “victory” in averting US war and yet still leery of long-term American designs, Moscow will proceed apace with this arming even if all the sarin and VX warheads in Syria are banjaxed – itself a far from certain prospect. But what is the likelihood that Assad’s non-compliance with the chemical disarmament agreement (about which more later) will ever even include international sanctions so long as Putin is acting as his personal banker and weapons vendor and has veto power at the Security Council? I think I know the answer.

9/11 as bully pulpit

September 11 was a day once known for commemorating an unprecedented terrorist attack on American soil. Now it’s seen as a fit occasion for our KGB partners in peace to humiliate the United States and not-so-obliquely threaten it with further terrorist attacks. First Putin published his notorious New York Times op-ed, in which, sniffing the isolationist sentiment on the shores, he reminded Americans of their recent messy entanglements in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and closed by asking if they had the right to really feel all that “exceptional.” The same day, Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, told his rubber-stamp parliament that if the US attacked the Assad regime, then Russia would not only increase arms sales to Iran but rethink its cooperation with the Pentagon’s grinding war effort in Afghanistan. To show that Pushkov meant business, Russia also leaked the news – again on September 11 – that its once high-profile plan to sell Iran S-300 missile batteries was back on. Originally brokered in 2007, then scuppered in 2010 in deference to strenuous US objections and the now obituarized “reset,” the cancelled deal caused the mullahs to file a $4 billion lawsuit against Russia for breach of contract. Well, apparently that’s all been settled out of court now to both parties’ mutual satisfaction and then some. Moscow will also help Iran construct another “civilian” nuclear reactor for an estimated $800 million.

So Putin’s way of remembering the 12th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s terrorist atrocity is to offer to sell more weapons to one of the world’s leading state sponsors of global terrorism and to suggest that he might further destabilize a country once overrun by Bin Ladenists and which he believes to be already unstable enough. Truly has he earned his Nobel Peace Prize.

On September 14, it was Hassan Rouhani’s turn to perform his role as public spokesman to America, this time in the pages of the Washington Post. For a “reformist” who denies the Holocaust so charmingly it’s missed by CNN’s Farsi translators, the goal was to reaffirm of one of the cornerstones of Barack Obama’s progressivism, that international politics had become “a multi-dimensional arena where cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously.” Improving slightly on Putin’s intervention in the Times, Rouhani did not assign blame for the Syrian chemical attack, “which we strongly condemn,” but he nonetheless reprehended the “zero-sum, Cold War mentality” which he implied motivates US internationalism. This is the mentality, it need hardly be said, that the Kremlin loves to trot out whenever it wants to pretend that it’s the victim of American bullying rather than the party that has just pulled America’s pants down on the playground. For Rouhani, common problems now bind all nations and they’re exactly the ones that Putin and his United Russia proxies always emphasize: “terrorism, extremism, foreign military interference, drug trafficking, cybercrime, and cultural encroachment.”

One would never know, according to this impressive litany, that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps is today constructing and training sectarian militias to fight for Assad or running weapons and elite military personnel into Syria. Or that it was responsible for murdering US soldiers in Iraq, about which IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani allegedly boasted to the US military in Baghdad. Or that it has planned and carried out terrorist attacks in Thailand, India, and Kenya, and plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington. Or that, as the ink was barely dry on Rouhani’s editorial, its agents were busy hacking into US naval computers (so much for cybercrime cooperation, then). Hezbollah, a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Tehran, is also thus rendered a child daycare franchise in Lebanon.

Some might find it galling or abasing to have even a cuddly and soft-spoken functionary of a regime guilty of killing Americans condescend to Americans in a major American newspaper. But not the commander-in-chief of the United States who, in what can only have been intended as a direct response to Rouhani’s accusation, used the platform of his United Nations General Assembly address to reassure the mullahs and the world that America’s interests in Syria, a country which Iran considers its “35th province,” do not amount to “a zero-sum endeavor. We are no longer in a Cold War. There’s no Great Game to be won.”

Why is Barack Obama the only head of state who continues to persist in this illusion when even America’s socialist allies do not?”

October 4th, 2013, 6:40 pm


Ghufran said:

When the media whore house alarabiya publishes this you know that it is being talked about even if an agreement is not reached. As long as there is no cease fire there will be no elections in Syria whether one likes Assad or not:
أشارت تسريبات غير مؤكدة من داخل وخارج دمشق إلى احتمال تأجيل الانتخابات الرئاسية في سوريا وفق اتفاق أميركي – روسي، ما يسمح للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد بالبقاء في السلطة لمدة عامين بعد انتهاء ولايته في يوليو 2014، حسب نص الدستور.
وقال الأسد في مقابلة مع قناة تلفزيونية تركية، الجمعة، إنه لن يتردد في الترشح للانتخابات الرئاسية القادمة إذا كانت هذه رغبة الشعب السوري، الأمر الذي زاد من التكهنات حول جدية التسريبات المذكورة.
وذكرت التسريبات أن الاتفاق الروسي – الأميركي الأخير يحبذ بقاء الأسد لاستكمال مسألتي تفكيك ترسانة سوريا الكيمياوية، والقضاء على الجماعات المسلحة المتشددة.
أما الأسباب التي استندت إليها التسريبات بشأن التأجيل، فتنوعت بين وجود ملايين المهجرين والنازحين السوريين، وانعدام وجود سفارات للنظام في معظم أرجاء العالم، إضافة إلى الوضع الأمني المتردي وانعدام سيطرة الدولة على مناطق في سوريا.
وهي أوضاع يتعذر معها إجراء الانتخابات وتسمح للأسد بالبقاء في السلطة والاستمرار في ممارسة مهامه الرئاسية، استناداً إلى نص الفقرة الثانية من المادة 87 في الدستور السوري.
ويعد بقاء الأسد في السلطة بعد انتهاء ولايته في 16 يوليو 2014، أسوأ سيناريو كانت تخشاه المعارضة السورية. وقد سقطت هذه الأنباء كالصاعقة على المعارضة التي كانت ترفض في أحسن الأحوال استكمال الأسد لولايته الرئاسية، لكنها قد تضطر إلى قبول واقع بقائه لأكثر من ذلك.
تبقى هذه أنباء غير مؤكدة، لكنها مع واقع الأزمة السورية قد تصبح جائزة في ظل ما مرت به هذه المشكلة من تسويات أفرزها العجز الدولي .
Assad may stay at the helm beyond 2014 because his external enemies are more worried about jihadists and chemical weapons than who is president in Syria.

October 4th, 2013, 8:04 pm


Observer said:

The prime incubator of any fanatic is the torture chamber, the state of emergency, the dungeons of rape, the graft and corruption, the repression and oppression.

GWB understood this very clearly in his state of the union address despite his many faults and his criminal behavior.

The longer he stays the more fanatics are going to be spawned.

In the meantime, there will be the revolution of the people that is ongoing

October 4th, 2013, 10:31 pm


zoo said:

A wishy-washy facade of unity.
The SNC has not yet accepted Geneva and the FSA is still against it. They have resolved nothing

Syria: SNC, FSA resolve disagreement over Geneva II

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, SNC spokesman Luay Al-Safi denied any disagreement with the FSA over the issue of participation in Geneva II, adding this was a “misunderstanding” on the part of the armed rebels.

Safi said that the FSA had “no intention to withdraw recognition from the SNC as the representative of the Syrian opposition forces.”

He also said there is a prevailing sense of “despair” among the rebels on the ground due to “a lack of sophisticated military equipment,” adding that the FSA members who met with Jarba “called on him to raise the level of coordination,” between the two sides.

Safi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the objective of the meeting was “to listen to field commanders and clarify the stance of the SNC towards the Syrian revolution, particularly the issue of participation in Geneva II.”

The meeting came following the FSA’s rejection negotiating with the Assad regime at the Geneva talks.

When asked whether the SNC had decided on the issue of participation, Safi said: “No final decision has yet been made, and the issue will be put to the vote in the General Council of the SNC.”

“The SNC welcomes a political solution that leads to a transfer of power and forms a transitional government with full military and security powers, precluding Bashar Al-Assad and his security and political team,” Safi added.

October 4th, 2013, 11:14 pm


zoo said:


“The discerning Michael Weiss eloquently…”

Thanks for this new joke.

October 4th, 2013, 11:17 pm


zoo said:

Even Syrian refugees hate France where they are treated like ‘animals’

But the protesting refugees, most of whom arrived a month ago in Calais, have voiced disappointment at the way they were treated in France.

“We thought that France was the country where human rights are respected,” said Tarik, 19, who is from the southern city of Deraa.

“But we live outside like dogs, hunted down by the police. We see we are not welcome – how can we seek asylum here?”

The former engineering student said he was convinced he would find “more humanity” in Britain.

Ali, 38, said although the French president, Francois Hollande, had taken a strong stand against the regime of Bashar Al Assad for using chemical weapons, the French were not welcoming at all.

“Why does the president say one thing and the police another?” Ali said, adding that he had spent €9,500 (Dh47,400) to come to a country where the “president said: ‘we must help Syrians’”.

“Here even animals are better treated than us.”

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

October 4th, 2013, 11:28 pm


ziad said:

Charity millions ‘going to Syrian terror groups’

People giving money to help millions of refugees from the civil war in Syria are inadvertently supporting terrorism, the charity watchdog has warned.

Some of their cash was “undoubtedly” going to extremist groups, said William Shawcross, the chairman of the Charity Commission.

Conditions on the ground in the midst of conflict made it difficult or impossible for charities to know where aid ended up, he said.

The Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents 14 of Britain’s biggest charities, has raised £20 million since the launch of its Syria Crisis Appeal in March. Its members include the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children.

But it said it was unable to guarantee that no cash was falling into the hands of terrorists.

The Charity Commission is so concerned that it has issued guidance to fund-raising bodies.

October 4th, 2013, 11:35 pm


Hopeful said:

#144 SL

I never tried to do an elevator pitch for the situation in Syria! and I suspect it is extremely hard, but I do tell people a quick “story”:

It all started when young people in Syria – those who were born after 1982 and therefore too young to understand how brutal the regime can be – started demonstrating demanding a change to the corrupt and totalitarian regime ruling their everyday lives.

The regime struck back with extreme brutality and utter disregard to human lives and dignity, killing, arresting and torturing anyone holding a sign, a camera, or a pen.

The demonstrations became more dense, frequent and persistent, and the regime became more brutal, wicked, and callous. The outside world watched, and condemned.

After six months, it flipped. People started carrying arms to defend themselves and attack regime forces and interests. The regime responded violently, calling the army and sending in tanks and jets. Neighboring countries got involved. Chaos started to become the norm.

Now, two years later, the Syrian revolution has morphed into 6 wars, fought concurrently on Syrian soil:

A freedom war, where freedom fighters are fighting a fascist regime
A religious war, where Islamists are fighting to establish an Islamic emirate
A sectarian war, where Syria’s various sects are killing each other
A class war, where the poor and hopeless are fighting the rich and the elite
A regional war, where Iran and Hizbullah are fighting GCC countries supported by Turkey
A global war, where the West and Russia are fighting for dominance in the region

I say sadly, the slogan of “Assad or we burn the country” has now become “Assad AND we burn the country”

October 5th, 2013, 1:01 am


Juergen said:

So Tzar Putin is on the list for Nobel Peace price nominees. Finally he has made it to this illustrious list. He is among Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

October 5th, 2013, 1:13 am


Ghufran said:

Ksa is waiting for a us- Iran agreement before they join the party, fow now we will hear conilliatory statements like this one:

رحب وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل، بما وصفه بالتصريحات «الانفتاحية» لإيران على دول الخليج.
وجاء هذا الترحيب خلال مشاركة الفيصل في حفل نظم في روما، لمناسبة مرور 80 عاماً على إقامة العلاقات السعودية – الإيطالية.
ونقلت صحيفة «الرياض» السعودية عن وزير الخارجية قوله «لقد سمعنا النغمة الإيرانية الجديدة في الحديث، وإبداء الرغبة في تحسين العلاقات الإيرانية مع دول الجوار وفي الإطار العالمي، ونرحب بهذا التوجه كل الترحيب، ولكن العبرة في الإجراء، والأثر العملي لهذا التوجه. فإذا ترجم القول إلى عمل فستتطور الأمور إلى الأفضل، أما إذا لم يترجم إلى عمل فسيبقى حديثاً على الهواء ويذهب تأثيره».
واعتبر الفيصل أن «إيران وجميع الدول لها الحق في تطوير التكنولوجيا النووية، ولكن انتشار الأسلحة النووية محرم على الدول التي وقعت على الاتفاقية، وبالتالي هو محرم على إيران، نحن لسنا في إطار سباق تسلح نووي بيننا وبين إيران».
وأضاف إن «سياستنا أن تكون منطقة الشرق الأوسط خالية من أسلحة الدمار الشامل. ما نصرّ عليه هو أن تلتزم إيران بمعاهدة عدم انتشار الأسلحة النووية، وأن يتخذ مجلس الأمن القرار الذي يكفل التزامها بنصوص هذه الاتفاقية».

(عن «الرياض» السعودية)
It is too late to try to analyse how Syria got into this dark hole, but it is clear that taking up arms was a strategic mistake, many of us knew from day one that doing that will help the regime and open the doors to hell. 30 months later we still have the regime but with a destroyed country and a strong alqa’eda presence and 6 million refugees, the regime is morally and legally bankrupt but rebels and their supporters have a lot of explaining to do, they will be remembered as partners, not necessarily equal or willing, in this evil war.

October 5th, 2013, 1:15 am


Ghufran said:

#161 Ghufran

I do not disagree with you. However, I have come to realize that one cannot stop the tide of history. I wished that the Syrians have waited till Libya was resolved before they started their revolt – the world was too busy. I wished that they did not take up arms and continued their brave and admirable peaceful challenge to guns and tanks. I wished they did not tolerate the Islamists. I wished they did not get dragged into secretariat conflict….

But this was all wishful thinking, what happened in Syria was a natural reaction to totalitarianism, fed by the norms and values of the Syrian society. These norms and values in 2011 were remarkably different from the norms and values of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our parents paint a very different picture of what Syria was when they grew up, than the Syria we know.

Bottom line is that the revolution was inevitable, and the reaction to the brutality of the regime was inevitable. Had the regime acted differently on day one, I believe many of the horrors we saw in the past 2.5 years would have been avoided. On the other hand, I do not believe that if anyone, or any group, within the opposition had acted differently, it would have made a difference. The only thing that would have made a difference was the way the regime handled the crisis, both inside and outside Syria.

October 5th, 2013, 2:21 am


Hopeful said:


I do not disagree with you. However, I have come to realize that one cannot stop the tide of history. I wished that the Syrians have waited till Libya was resolved before they started their revolt – the world was too busy. I wished that they did not take up arms and continued their brave and admirable peaceful challenge to guns and tanks. I wished they did not tolerate the Islamists. I wished they did not get dragged into secretariat conflict….

But this was all wishful thinking, what happened in Syria was a natural reaction to totalitarianism, fed by the norms and values of the Syrian society. These norms and values in 2011 were remarkably different from the norms and values of the 1950′s and 1960′s. Our parents paint a very different picture of what Syria was when they grew up, than the Syria we know.

Bottom line is that the revolution was inevitable, and the reaction to the brutality of the regime was inevitable. Had the regime acted differently on day one, I believe many of the horrors we saw in the past 2.5 years would have been avoided. On the other hand, I do not believe that if anyone, or any group, within the opposition had acted differently, it would have made a difference. The only thing that would have made a difference was the way the regime handled the crisis, both inside and outside Syria.

October 5th, 2013, 2:23 am


Juergen said:

The hakawati keeps on telling lies. I think its time to call the doctors for him.

Journalist: Mr. President, what is the number of detainees in Syrian prisons, including parliamentarians, academics, politicians, students and journalists ? How many death sentences have you signed? Are you a dictator?

Assad: Because you live in Turkey, I can not let you compare me with Erdogan. Turkey is the largest prison in the world for journalists. In Syria this is not the case, neither before. No journalist was murdered. No man was arrested because of his political opinion. In Syria there are only prisoners who have violated the law. Each Syrians must express his political opinion, without being arrested for it.

October 5th, 2013, 3:07 am


omen said:

how should i blame syrians, hopeful?

265. Hopeful said: Allow me to make three points:

First, there is plenty of blame to go around and no one is immune. The international community stood by, watched the horrors and did nothing. The Arabs and Turkey escalated the war with rhetorics and divided the rebels into groups with various allegiances. Russia and Iran flooded the regime with arms and support, Etc.,

But It was “Syrians” who have enslaved and abused Syrians for 50 years under a rotten corrupt brutal regime. It was Syrians who started shooting at and torturing Syrians who marched on the streets demanding freedom.

this probably an unorthodox view but to me assad invalidated his citizenship when he accepted weapons from russia (such as multi-story tall scuds & attack helicopter gunships) and iranian militias & iranian consultation to reduce syria to rubble. that demoted assad from syrian citizen to foreign agent. what true syrian would agree to destroy his own country for his own selfish aims??

assad revoked any claim to hide behind the protection of sovereignty when regime mowed down little kids in darraa. (not my argument but one that expats make that i endorse.)

when anybody says “syrian,” to me that means 22 million citizens. not assad nor the regime. as hamster had to repeatedly remind people last year, assad is NOT syria.

It was Syrians who decided to carry arms and fight back. It was Syrians who invited foreign fighters to come in and fight in Syria. It was Syrians who destroyed the towns and cities of other Syrians and killed civilians. It was Syrians who invaded villages and committed massacres. It was Syrians who exploded car bombs and fired shells. It was Syrians who used chemical weapons on fellow Syrians. On and on and on.

Do not get me wrong. To me, the blame falls first and foremost on the regime and the man on the top. But as I said there is plenty of blame to go around, and most of the blame goes to the Syrians themselves.

some corrections:

It was ASSAD who have enslaved and abused Syrians for 50 years under a rotten corrupt brutal regime. It was ASSAD who started shooting at and torturing Syrians who marched on the streets demanding freedom…It was ASSAD who destroyed the towns and cities of other Syrians and killed civilians. It was ASSAD who invaded villages and committed massacres. It was ASSAD who exploded car bombs and fired shells. It was ASSAD who used chemical weapons on fellow Syrians.

i find it curious, hopeful, that you seek to dilute blame that should land concentrated solely on assad’s head like a ton of bricks.

you can’t blame the syrian people for the actions of one man and his filthy family. your “plenty of blame to go around” dismissal is an exercise in victim blaming. an attempt to mitigate & soften regime responsibility. assad raped syria. don’t blame syria because she fell victim. makes no damn sense. opposition did what they had to do as a reaction to regime onslaught. don’t confuse reaction with an offensive move.

if you go to punch me in the face, do you blame me if i knock your hand away to deflect it?

people being assaulted have a right to pick up arms in self defense. more than a 100,000 dead already. how many more people have to be slain before they have your permission to fight back? 500,000? a million? are they supposed allow themselves to be slaughtered graciously en masse without uttering a squeak of protest?

they’ve been hit with everything else. they don’t need to your denunciation and to be saddled with your application of collective guilt when it is assad who is solely responsible!

October 5th, 2013, 4:21 am


Hopeful said:

#164 Owen

I am not diluting blame against Assad and his regime. I will, however, admit the charge that I am diluting the blame against the French, the Americans, the Russians, the Qataris, etc. etc.

The points I made above were in response to you and others blaming non-Syrians for Syrians-inflicted problems.

Assad does not drive tanks, carry rifles, and pilot fighter jets. Syrians who support him do. Out of the 22M Syrians you refer to, there are more than a few who support him and ready to fight for him. They come from villages such as this one, and they celebrate their fallen sons as martyrs:شهـداء-بحنيـن-فخـر-الـوطـن/204487116389025

You can take the view that their citizenships must be invalidated if you want. I do not have a problem with that.

October 5th, 2013, 5:16 am


omen said:

bashar must take a medicine cabinet full of pills every night. he can’t sleep because he hears this pounding in his head. the marching footsteps of fate coming closer every night. death is calling, bashar. every day, justice marches forward. he can’t stop it.

they’re coming to get you, assad. they’re coming to get you.

October 5th, 2013, 5:26 am


Uzair8 said:

Where is Annie?

I hope she’s well and resumes her activity very soon.

October 5th, 2013, 5:56 am


omen said:

99. mjabali said: When talking about syndromes take it easy on us we all show the effects of living under the ills of the middle east. We all need therapy. We come to this blog seeking therapy, maybe, but thanks to many we see drama and more drama, and of course oppression and exclusions.

i meant to applaud your brave admission. only a still healthy psyche could acknowledge as much. maybe you’re not quite the egoist i first took you to be.

We all need therapy.

is zoo willing to admit the same?

October 5th, 2013, 6:50 am


omen said:

130. Hopeful said: #127 Zoo

I disagree on both fronts.

I now believe that the Syrian army (whatever is left of it) and the Syrian institutions remained unified DESPITE of Assad not because of him. The reason is because many among their leadership do believe they are fighting for Syria, not for Assad. This will prove to be good news for Syria in the months ahead, and the opposition should take advantage of that.

are you sure about that?

We have so many soldiers and officers that are in the Syrian army and who want to defect really badly, but we cannot secure their defection because there are no supplies and resources to ensure their families safe passage. We can easily get them to Turkey, but how do we take care of them there?

We have seen many defections since the announcement of U.S. strikes. But we don’t have much to give them. We don’t have weapons or money to feed their families. We have soldiers who’ve been in the army ranks, giving us information for two years. They want to defect but they can’t, because we don’t have the means to take care of them.

so sad to read. soldiers not in jail but still just as trapped.

do potus defenders need any more proof than this? that contrary to the rhetoric, obama does not support the opposition. if he did, he would offer these regime men support & sanctuary in turkey. it would be so easy for him to do so. but he refuses to lift a finger. what more proof do you want that exposes reality that obama prefers assad remain?

zoo earlier asked when will rebels unite with saa to fight alqaeda?:

Nobody likes these people. We will have to fight them to get them out. After the regime falls there will have to be a new military formation to confront these radical movements.


Once the first enemy goes, which is Assad, the people will immediately unite against them, just like they united against the regime. And do not forget this very important thing: a lot of the people fighting with Assad now will be fighting with us, because they will want al-Qaida out.

October 5th, 2013, 7:23 am


omen said:

would there even be an army left if obama had sponsored everybody in the regime army who wanted to leave?

he had two years to do this but refused.

the war would have ended by now if he had.

how many lives would have been saved if he had done so? how many babies would have been spared?

how can any syrian keep making excuses for this spineless irresponsible coward? syrians should be more enraged than i over this betrayal. there is no excuse good enough to justify obama’s stubborn refusal to ACT.

October 5th, 2013, 7:49 am


Observer said:

I still maintain the article by the WSJ that the combined out put of gas and oil in the states has surpassed that of Russia. It was on the front page on Thursday.

Now we are moving into a grinding slow motion conflict.

HA is withdrawing its fighters, Khamenei is scolding Rouhani. The hard liners are still in charge there.

No news really these days.

October 5th, 2013, 10:27 am


zoo said:


The FSA is heavily polluted by Al Qaeda. Everybody knows that. Only a tiny portion of them will fight against the terrorists.
The collapse of the SAA will offer Syria to Al Qaeda on a golden plate. That’s why the West is not calling for Assad to go anymore. They took some time but finally understood that he is the only warrant of a secular army and a secular Syria.
Egypt and Tunisia had to pass through an Islamist rule to discover how authoritarian and incompetent they are. In Syria everybody is aware that the SNC and the Islamists are exactly that. They have no chance to take power. They are and will stay a minority.

The only power that can destroy Al Qaeda is Bashar al Assad and his cohesive government as well as the loyal and heroic secular Syrian Army.
All the rest is fairy tale.

October 5th, 2013, 10:29 am


Hopeful said:

#170 OMEN

I do understand your frustration, but you have to remember that Obama is the president of a democracy, which means he does not have the power to act independently without the public and congress support. At the time when the US is under $17 trillion national debt, and close to 9% unemployment, no one is in the mood to commit the US’s resources to any new venture, especially in the Middle East.

If the rebels were counting on the US’s financial or human support to win their battle, then they grossly miscalculated and their timing was just terrible. They also did nothing to help their cause when they first said they did not need US’s help, and then rebuffed the US for adding Al-nusrah to the terrorist list. They lost a lot of the US’s public support with these moves.

Obama is still under fire today for getting involved in Libya and losing his ambassador there. His government just shut down because they could not agree on a new budget. How can he advocate “supporting” defected Syrian soldiers under these circumstances?

October 5th, 2013, 10:53 am


Akbar Palace said:

Still the Same Blame Game NewZ

there is no excuse good enough to justify obama’s stubborn refusal to ACT.


Again, I think the US should do more to help the opposition WIN this fight. EVEN with the sunni jihadis potentially ready to take over. Because I think that’s Step 2: working against militant Islam.

But in terms of the “Blame Game”, why is it the “usual suspect” is always the first to get implicated?

There are 20-some arab nations. Most with heavily armed militaries and well-staffed. Where is your blame in relation to your arab brethren? Where is arab pressure with respect to Russia and China? In ’73, OPEC pressured countries that were backing Israel with an oil embargo. Why doesn’t the arab world do the same against Russia and China, which were the only 2 permanent members of the UNSC to veto sanctions against Syria???

October 5th, 2013, 1:04 pm


ALAN said:

152. ALAN
Thumb down 24
must have someone, a high temperature alarm!

Oksana in Chemistry of war!

October 5th, 2013, 1:16 pm


ALAN said:

War Self-Delusion

The shock of the October War left deep scars on the national psyche that affect Israelis even today. Foremost among them, according to the Jaffee Center, is a gnawing anxiety that the national leadership is so locked into a “conceptzia” — a shared strategic concept that determines the leaders’ worldview — that they may be misreading reality and ignoring opportunities for peace.

October 5th, 2013, 1:19 pm


ghufran said:

the FSA continues to lose support among rebels, the latest, and probably most dangerous, development is an agreement between rebels and Isis/Nusra in Rastan and northern Homs Reef which effectively means ending the FSA role in that area if the agreement stands. At this rate, rebels will be seen by all as a group of islamist gangs associated with Nusra and Isis, both seen as terrorist groups by the West.

October 5th, 2013, 1:45 pm


zoo said:

Abuses of workers in Qatar in the spotlight. It’s no surprise coming from this rich and hypocritical country

Will Qatar’s World Cup be built on a graveyard?

Unless Qatar allows foreign workers to form unions, Sepp Blatter must prevent it from hosting the World Cup

But in Qatar 2022, the connection between oppression and sport will be glaring. The world’s finest footballers will be running over the bones of the faceless men who died that they might play. Their fans will travel on trains and stay in luxury hotels built by migrant workers who, in their desperation to escape poverty, trapped themselves in a racist serf system, which left them defenceless before avaricious employers.

Since I wrote about the rising piles of corpses in Qatar two weeks ago, Robert Booth of the Guardian published a fine investigation, which claimed that the World Cup could cost 4,000 lives if nothing is done. David Cameron, not noted as a champion of workers’ rights, was so moved he said Qatar must do better and, as if in response, last Friday Fifa’s president, Sepp Blatter, who looks more like a well-fed toad with each passing year, promised that he would try harder.

He would visit the Emir and tell him he wanted Qatar to change. The ruling al-Thani clan had already told him that it was ready to meet his requests.

Fifa and Qatar have much in common. They are both unaccountable. They both cut deals in secret and know the value of PR. The Qatari royal family controls al-Jazeera, the world’s most subtle and effective propaganda channel. It appears like a home for respectable journalists, while never challenging its masters’ interests. Fifa also understands how many people you can fool in the modern world if you look concerned and mouth compassionate platitudes.

October 5th, 2013, 2:14 pm


zoo said:

@177 Gufran

“rebels ARE ALREADY seen by all as a group of islamist gangs associated with Nusra and Isis, both seen as terrorist groups by the West.”

Just in time for the SNC to announce that the FSA still ( when did they ever?) recognize the SNC as the sole representative of the Syrian people. Who are they fooling?

October 5th, 2013, 2:20 pm


mjabali said:


Qatar is not a country. Qatar is an event, it is like a party. When the gas will be over this party gathering will go away each one to the country they came from. Look at the athletes who represent Qatar and see an example, or the police, or…etc

Qatar was an event planned by Britain..

October 5th, 2013, 2:22 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Today, the discerning Michael Weiss, in his part II of The Real Deal, eloquently dissects the Obama fallacy reigning over the US turning it into the deluded impotent power of this planet and the joke of the year, leaving the door wide open for serpent and snake heads to wreck havoc in the world, and licensing proven killers to go on rampages killing innocents, particularly Syrians, with impunity. The US has never descended to such low level as it has during the Obama fallacy. Not even during the Carter years, when US diplomats in Tehran were paraded blindfolded in front of the whole world to see did the US descend so low in the eyes of the world. The US pants are down and its behind is fully exposed to be probed by snake-heads and their proxies as Michael Weiss clearly describes.

When the so-called Obama red line was crossed, the Israelis predicted the end of the American empire. The prediction may come sooner than even the Israelis may have expected. After Carter there was a Reagan who resolutely restored the US honor. It is doubtful that a ‘Reagan’ will emerge considering the amount of damage brought by the incompetence of Obama. Was Obama really fit to rule the US?

Obama succeded in less than a month in wiping out the US Empire.

The Real Deal, Part II

By Michael Weiss

This is the second of a two-part series. Read Part I above @152.

Angering the French

When Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the UN, met with a Russian diplomat last spring to discuss France’s imminent disclosure of intelligence suggesting that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons, “[t]he Russian diplomat laughed, according to a source familiar with the meeting,” Reuters reported on September 17. “‘Gerard,’ [the Russian] told his counterpart, ‘don’t embarrass the Americans.’”

A charitable reading of this anecdote is that Russia knew all too well that Obama was reluctant to acknowledge that his own “red line” had been crossed long before the Ghouta massacre and was purposefully covering up evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria to avoid dealing with the consequences – this when WMDs are all the president seems fetishistically concerned with in the Middle East. A less charitable reading would be that the Russians knew that Obama was so wedded to avoiding direct military confrontation with Assad that he’d gladly act as the Kremlin’s helpmeet in seeing that commitment through, zero-sum, Cold War mentality notwithstanding. This is how the chemical bargain, shamelessly spun by the Oval Office as the whoopsy-daisy yield of a John Kerry “gaffe,” actually came to be introduced – by Russia, reading America’s clear signals.

The French government has for years been equally courted and subverted by the Kremlin and it took no small amount of geopolitical risk in advocating a principled posture against the Assad regime and expecting the US to follow suit. Eric Chevalier, the former French ambassador to Syria, was the first Western envoy to meet with Gen. Salim Idris, the now nearly-irrelevant head of the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army. The French also pushed for greater military support for the rebels in the summer and early fall of 2012, when Obama was still pushing for a “political solution.”

Not seeing eye-to-eye with an ally is different from sticking your finger in that ally’s eye. But Obama has form here, too. On May 27, Kerry and Lavrov were readying to meet in Paris to talk about their latest brainchild in Syria diplomacy, the Geneva II conference. It didn’t matter, however, that this event was taking place in France’s capital city; “the French were not initially invited to the talks, diplomatic sources said.” One such source, a European diplomat, said that America’s oldest ally had been treated like a “useful idiot” by Washington. It’s not hard to see why.

According to a report last Sunday in Le Nouvel Observateur, on August 31, Francois Hollande was forced to cancel an airstrike he’d been told was imminent and for which French warplanes were ready on the tarmac after receiving an 11th-hour phone call from Obama saying the strikes were off, at least for now, because Congress had to be consulted first. The French President was “shocked”; his cabinet had already prepared a press release announcing the strike at Kerry’s earlier instruction to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. “Everything led us to believe that the big day had arrived.” If only Russia, Iran, and Syria were this ad hoc and cavalier in coordinating their collective strategy, Washington’s blunders might not matter.

Yet even in diplomatic anticlimax, the US still managed to alienate and anger the French. When Kerry and Lavrov met in Geneva on September 10 to hammer out the nitty-gritty of their chemical deal, the French, who again had not been invited to an important conference, decided to ensure their skepticism was registered by advancing a draft UN resolution that authorized the use of force in the likely event of Syrian noncompliance. This infuriated US officials, while their French counterparts worried that Washington was so desperate for a resolution, any resolution, with the Security Council’s imprimatur that it would forfeit real enforcement mechanisms to hold Assad to account. The French were right.

The UN deal

It should have augured ill that it was Putin’s portrait which overhung the negotiating table at the UN where the resolution was ultimately finalized. As Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch deftly observed, the yield of the first resolution the Security Council has passed in almost three years of Syrian bloodshed represents a triumph of cynical bureaucratic expertise over international justice. The expertise belongs to Lavrov and Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, who used to be an employee there. Collectively, their talent has been to mire the United States in the pettifoggery of UN “procedure,” as one UN specialist at New York University told Lynch.

The resolution is a monument to procedure. Not only does it not guarantee penalties in the face of Syrian funny business, but even the definition of non-compliance is open to broad interpretation. Russia insists that violations be “indisputable and proved” and also of sufficient “gravity” to warrant another resolution that would impose penalties on the regime. Given that Russia has not backed down from blaming the August 21 sarin attack on rebels – a claim for which it has relied on an Iranian- and Russian-linked “news” outlet in Minnesota, a pro-Milosevic and 9/11 denial website in Canada, and the testimony of a pro-Assad Carmelite nun who was not present in Ghouta when the attacks took place – why should any thinking person expect the Kremlin to accede to any amount of “proven and indisputable” Western evidence proving “grave” regime shenanigans? Moreover, Washington caved to demanding in the text of the resolution that the International Criminal Court investigate the poison gas use in Damascus and prosecute the perpetrators – in effect, granting Assad legal immunity for gassing 1,400 people whether or not he now makes good on the international legitimacy the Security Council has just conferred on him by making him a guarantor of the disarmament protocol. As Lynch notes, Assad can theoretically wage another chemical attack in Syria and still not be legally held to account under the terms of this resolution and, as I argued above, even the threat of sanctions are unlikely to materialize with a veto-wielding Russia.

Alienating the Saudis

It’s no secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia are both exasperated by Obama’s revivified engagement strategy with Iran because neither wants the mullahs to build a nuclear bomb and both are now looking right through Bashar al-Assad and seeing only the IRGC and Hezbollah as the advance guard of Iranian hegemony in the Levant. While Israel’s realization of the wobbliness of its superpower patron to enforce limits on tolerate behavior may yet manifest in bomber planes flying over Qom and Netanz, the Saudi pivot away from the US has been more immediately discernible.

On September 29, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal told the Friends of Syria coalition in New York, on the margins of the General Assembly, that Riyadh wants “intensification of political, economic, and military support to the Syrian opposition… to change the balance of powers on the ground.” According to one Saudi security analyst, Mustafa Alani, the goal now was to ignore the United States completely on Syria: “They are going to be upset – we can live with that. We are learning from our enemies now how to treat the United States.” The front-page of Asharq Al-Awsat, a leading Saudi-owned daily, greeted news of Obama and Rouhani’s phone call with a cartoon showing the latter bent double in laughter.

Riyadh registered a symbolic protest at Obama’s climb-down on attacking the regime by refusing to address the United Nations, but it’s also taken substantive measures to circumvent Washington altogether on Syria by activating a cadre of new clients in the form of hardline Salafist rebels who are now united the umbrella of Jaysh al-Islam (“the Army of Islam”), a Damascus-based military organization. Unamused by transformation of Aleppo and Raqqa into Kandahar, or the anti-Assad rebellion’s hijacking by transnational jihadists who want to export their ideology beyond Syria, and impatient with Obama’s diplomacy, the Saudis have lately enlisted “50 brigades” and some thousands of fighters under a new structure headed by Zahran Alloush, the head of Liwa al-Islam, the new group’s most powerful salafist brigade. Not only is Alloush’s father a cleric based in Saudi Arabia, but Zahran also studied Islamic theology there. In a video statement announcing the new Army, Alloush took a soft but dismissive attitude toward the Supreme Military Command, America’s only client on the ground, by saying that it had to be “serious and active” in aiding fighters in the field rather than relying on Western promises and heeding Western caveats for support. Saudi tribal figures, no doubt those who have long financed Islamist rebel groups in Syria, were seconded by Prince Bandar’s intelligence directorate to help isolate the extremists in the form of the Islamic State of Syria and al-Sham (ISIS), the hardline Zarqawist branch of al-Qaeda in Syria. “Their strategy is to offer financial backing in return for loyalty and staying away from al-Qaeda,” the commander of one such group told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia is trying to do two things at once. The first is to salvage what remains of the Syrian opposition, which, through the now Saudi-dominated National Council, has lost all credibility inside the country among the rebels fighting the regime for its perceived failure to sufficiently turn Western governments (read: the United States) against Assad. In reality, the Council is still hostage to the Geneva II track forced on it by Washington, which means further parlays with Damascus, Moscow, and possibly now Tehran. Not only has this been cited as a pretext for humiliating rebel defections, such as last week’s announced “Islamic Alliance” among a dozen rebel groups including Jabhat al-Nusra, the lesser al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, but it’s a pill that neither the Saudi hirelings nor the Qatari-backed Muslim Brothers on the National Council wish to swallow. The Saudi government’s insurance policy, then, is to effectively buy control of disaffected rebel groups before it loses total control of them, focusing on the most sensitive areas of Syria: the capital region and the less jihadist-riddled south.

The second Saudi objective is to foment sahwa, or a Sunni Awakening using salafists against al-Qaeda. As Hassan Hassan has argued, this may be the second-best alternative to absence of substantive US support for the Free Syrian Army, which has now been almost completely marginalized and will only be further marginalized in weeks and months to come.

Well-connected sources inform me that the State Department has plainly told the Supreme Military Command that it can expect no forthcoming alteration in the aid its been receiving thus far and that the US will make no further moves on Syria unless something “dramatic” happens. (What that means, post-Ghouta, is anyone’s guess.) Syrian rebels are now viewed by the White House as unattractive replicas of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, a rather stark reassessment from John Kerry’s more sanguine portrayal of them before Congress only three weeks ago.

American “breakthroughs”

The difficulty in judging foreign policy blunders is that, unlike a wrangle over the national budget which can result in an automatic government shutdown, the deleterious effects of those blunders can take months or years to be felt. Assad has been given a year to demonstrate a willingness to part with a weapon he never had to depend on for defeating the opposition to his grim rule, and even then, there is no guarantee anything bad will happen to him if he doesn’t accommodate. Iran is now being cultivated at the expense of those who think the US has been turned into a mug or mark overnight. And a country whose leader who openly regrets the collapse of the Soviet Union, murders, jails, and tortures dissidents he doesn’t like, and otherwise lives to make things unpleasant for the United States in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia is now reinvented as a great-power statesman capable of beating back an arrogant empire in decline.

This is an impressive array of accomplishments for the United States to have earned in a little over a month. “

October 5th, 2013, 2:22 pm


zoo said:

Bashar al Assad ready to address the future of ethnic Kurds in Syria and the ideas of federations after the elimination of the terrorists

Mr. Assad also addressed the future status of ethnic Kurds in Syria, who took up arms against Free Syrian Army fighters in areas close to the Turkish border. The Kurds have refrained from joining the Syrian National Council, an umbrella organization for the Syrian opposition that is made up of diverse ethnic and religious groups in Syria, and demanding that first their independent status in a future structure be recognized.

The Kurds’ loyalty, Mr. Assad said, would not be forgotten once the crisis was over and time came for the people of Syria to determine the future of the country. “No matter which administration would be in place in future, everyone will remember this period,” he said.

Mr. Assad also said, “Things said about federation or confederation, presidency system, parliamentary system or whichever other regime should comply with the constitution voted by the people.” But first the insurgent groups should be eliminated, he said. “If we cannot win over terrorists, these promises would have no value,” Mr. Assad said.

“I believe that once Syria overcomes this crisis, the national unity would be even stronger than in the past.”

October 5th, 2013, 2:29 pm


mjabali said:


What is going on in Syria is going to drag for a while, all indications said so. So, do not be surprised. These days are no different. al-Nusra, al-Assad, FSA, Da’sh, Difa’ Watani, PYG, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Russia………etc are all engaged in a long bloody fight with no clear winner. There is a clear loser: Syria and the Syrians.

October 5th, 2013, 2:29 pm


zoo said:


Another extremely long and boring zionist Michael Weiss ‘dissection of Obama’?

Highly skippable unless you have an insomnia
zzzz zzzz zzzz..

October 5th, 2013, 2:32 pm


ALAN said:

182- Congratulations
You won the longest comment 196 lines written!
I wish that the Barber should honor you a suitable prize !

October 5th, 2013, 2:34 pm


ALAN said:

Given the choice, few people would leave their families and friends and migrate from their homeland. The tens of thousands that pay unscrupulous “agents” and criminal gangs to transport them hundreds or thousands of miles are compelled to do so to find work and to earn money to support themselves and their loved ones at home.

The Middle East and North African (MENA) countries are some of the destinations of choice for men and women seeking work. Women look for domestic and child-care work, while employment in the construction industry is the goal of the tens thousands of men from Southeast Asia living in stifling poverty.

Migrant workers have become the majority workforce in many Arab Gulf states – wealthy countries with weak or non-existent domestic-worker rights, destructive gender attitudes that suppress and control women, and endemic racism. This poisonous cocktail, rooted in prejudice and ignorance, fuels and justifies exploitation, including forced labour, physical and sexual abuse, and extreme mistreatment by employers.

It is the migrant workers who are building the shining, modernist cities across the region, and the 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar. And it is they who are the main providers of domestic care for middle and upper class households in the region………././…

October 5th, 2013, 2:58 pm



Chechens fighting in Syria were brought through a Russian cov-up operation to destroy the Syrian Revolution from inside and associating it to Al Qaeda creating inside fights beetwen rebels. This is a real false flag operation.

It is working very well for Assad and Russia. Assad is the King of chaos as was shown in Lebanon, always with russian cowards behind him hiding their hands.

October 5th, 2013, 3:43 pm



Can anyone in this SC inform if ALLAOU is a sunni or alawi name?

October 5th, 2013, 3:44 pm



Pro Assad criminal regime supoorters are losing ground in this SC forum. Finally it is clear to all that US-Israel, Russia and Assad are the same shixxxt so nobody remains happy. Massive thumbs down against pro-regime mafia supporters.

October 5th, 2013, 3:48 pm


zoo said:

Yet another ‘decision’ to call for ‘unity’ that won’t have any effect. Another rejection of the Geneva conference.
Mismanaged and corrupted the house of cards of the opposition is collapsing, nothing and nobody can save it

Syria rebels call for unity after rejection of Coalition

Free Syrian Army called for unity after several prominent rebel brigades rejected the oppositional National Coalition umbrella group
AFP , Saturday 5 Oct 2013

The command council of the rebel Free Syrian Army called for unity on Saturday after several prominent rebel brigades rejected the opposition National Coalition umbrella group.

The Supreme Military Council said it had decided to “issue a call for closing ranks, renouncing division, and… rejecting all kinds of dissension caused by trying to separate the political wing from the military one.”

The statement came after 13 rebel brigades, including prominent groups that work with the Military Council, rejected the authority of the National Coalition — the opposition’s most prominent political institution.

Powerful brigades including Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Islam joined the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra front in rejecting the Coalition, saying it “does not represent us, nor do we recognise it.”

The international community has pushed for a peace conference in Geneva, but the opposition has said it will not negotiate unless President Bashar al-Assad leaves office.

The Military Council said it continued to reject “dialogue with the terrorist regime in Syria.”

It said the “minimum acceptable” would be negotiations with Arab and Muslim states that adhered to Coalition conditions: “The need for Assad to step down, a transfer of power, and bringing to justice those who have committed war crimes against the Syrian people.”

October 5th, 2013, 4:44 pm


Juergen said:

FSA entered Hassouns apartment. Looks like the sheikh is a humble fella, got his own monkey face printed on souvenir plates. What a hero. Soon we will see Asmas shoe collection.

BTW the Assad show continues, Assad gave an interview to DER SPIEGEL, in which he for the first time leaves it open that he will run again for “presidency” in the upcoming “elections” in 2014. Once its published, I will translate the interview and post it here.

October 5th, 2013, 4:46 pm


zoo said:

No more shelling in the Sunni village of Al Mitras, the fighters agree to leave the village they were supposedly ‘protecting’

Surrender ends shelling of Sunni village in Syria

Syrian government forces have reached an agreement with local officials of a vulnerable Sunni village in a region dominated by President Bashar Assad’s Alawite sect to end hours of deadly shelling in exchange for the surrender of dozens of opposition fighters, an activist group said today.

The shelling of al-Mitras began at dawn, killing eight civilians while fierce fighting between rebels and government forces on the outskirts of the village left 20 soldiers dead or wounded, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The violence ended when local officials and dignitaries from the village persuaded dozens of defectors and rebels to surrender to authorities with the promise that they would be freed after repenting.

Such deals have been used in the past to end bouts of heavy fighting as the two sides find themselves stalemated. One ended days of heavy fighting in the central town of Talkalakh, near the border with Lebanon earlier this year.

October 5th, 2013, 4:50 pm


zoo said:

In Tunisia, a “smooth” end for the Islamist-MB government

Tunisian rivals agree to form govt of independents

Islamist Ennahda party and opposition groups agree on a road-map to form a government of independents within three weeks

By signing the roadmap, the Ennahda-led coalition, which has been rocked by the murder of two political opponents, economic woes and prolonged political disputes, has agreed to step down two years after winning a general election.

October 5th, 2013, 4:55 pm


Juergen said:

So much has been published yet:

Question: Does Germany play a special role for you?

Assad : ” When I look at Europe, I wonder: Who is based on the reality of what is happening in our region ? And many European countries are far from that . Germany and Austria still have the most objective view , seem most likely to capture what is reality. Germany comes closest to that . ”

Question: ” Could Germany play a mediating role?

Assad : “I would be delighted if envoys came from Germany to Damascus to talk to us about the true state of affairs . When they talk to us , that does not mean that they support our government . But can they convince people here then . However, if you think you would have to isolate us , then I say, That you isolated yourself – and from reality. It is also about your interests : What do you gain if Al Qaida is assembling in your backyard , if you support here the instability ? After two and a half years you should rethink your policy. “

October 5th, 2013, 4:58 pm


zoo said:

President Assad says he will not negotiate rebels unless they lay down their arms
Updated: 21:01, Saturday, 05 October 2013

Syrian President Assad said: “In my view, a political opposition does not carry weapons”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has told a German magazine that he would not negotiate with rebels until they laid down their arms.

He said that he was still considering whether to run for office again next year.

In an extensive interview with Der Spiegel, Mr Assad said he did not believe it was possible to solve the conflict in Syria through negotiations with the rebels.

His comments may dampen hopes among Western powers for a political solution.

Mr Assad said: “In my view, a political opposition does not carry weapons.”

He said: “If someone drops his weapons and wants to return to daily life,then we can discuss it.”
Mr Assad said he was not worried about his own fate, which was why he and his family had stayed in Damascus through two and a half years of conflict.

He said he felt the Syrian people were rallying behind him as they saw the devastation wrought by the rebels.

Mr Assad said Syria would hold presidential elections two months before his current term ends next August and he could not yet say whether he would run.

“If I do not have the will of the people behind me anymore, I will not run,” he added.

President Assad said his government may have made errors in the severity of its initial crackdown, but he still stood by its decision to “fight terrorism, to defend our country”.

“Each of us makes personal errors. We all make errors.

A president, too, makes errors,” he said. “But even if there were errors in the implementation, our fundamental decision was right.”

Mr Assad said the Syrian crisis had been prompted by forces outside the country, in particular al-Qaeda fighters.

Financial aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as logistical aid from Turkey, was sustaining the conflict, he said.

“We have here al-Qaeda with fighters from 80 countries,” he said. “There are tens of thousands of fighters that we are dealing with.”

October 5th, 2013, 5:02 pm


zoo said:

Turkey has made the mistake of supporting Al Nusra and has shown its complicity in allowing Islamist terrorists and criminals enter Syria from Turkish territory.
Now that it is openly opposing Al Qaeda and its affiliates, Turkey is becoming exposed to terrorist retaliations. It is now the enemy of Al Qaeda and it may pay a heavy price for its mistakes

Turkish government distances itself from radical groups in Syria

He added that Turkey’s Syrian policy, which saw nearly all the rebel groups in Syria as legitimate opposition forces, caused this misperception.

“Before, Turkey was saying that it doesn’t cooperate with any terrorist organizations, but it was calling a substantial number of these organizations ‘opposition structures.’ Now, Turkey has been making distinctions among the opposition, [between] the ones who resort to terrorism and legitimate opposition organizations. This is a line that Turkey drew between itself and radical organizations,” he said.

Regarding allegations that Turkey has engaged with terrorist groups in Syria, Erol said: “It doesn’t matter how often Turkey says, ‘I don’t support radical groups.’ These groups are settled along Turkish borders and use Turkey for logistic support without the consent of the government. And these groups’ carrying out their actions from Turkish territory greatly strengthened a negative perception of Turkey.

The criticisms against Turkey and the pressure on it, the US and Russia’s choosing a political solution to quell unrest in Syria and these groups starting to pose a threat to Turkey’s interests, existence and policies prompted Turkey to take a firm stance and policy against these groups.”

October 5th, 2013, 5:18 pm


Uzair8 said:

Iran-Great Satan relationship

Talks with the Great Satan sounds like a terrifying prospect and probably not a good idea (very scary and dangerous). Iranians must be very nervous if not petrified. The Supreme Leader may be struggling to select officials to send to these talks. You can imagine officials saying ‘Im not going’, ‘I’m not going either’. Others silently praying not to be asked or selected, ‘Please don’t be me, please don’t be me, please, please please..’. The Supreme leader will reassure the lucky officials and write out a special amulet to wear on their person for protection against satanic influence.

Anyway. Given the rapproachment between Tehran and the Great Satan what now for the resistance? How will it be affected? Perhaps warmer relations may see the Great Satan join the resistance camp?

Btw will Tehran agree to stop the chants of death against the Great Satan?

October 5th, 2013, 5:28 pm


Mjabali said:


Why don’t you tell us what is wrong with your country Pakistan instead of pontificating about Syria 24/7. Last thing I heard is that they stoned a woman to death because she had a cell phone. Care to share some of your thoughts about your country Pakistan instead of bombing this site day and night with your “input” about Syria?

October 5th, 2013, 5:34 pm



Many politicians from the happy days of Assad Regime (1996-2005) are still leaving Syria desperately, some of them without even a Passport, losing all their properties in Syria which are expropiated as a punishment by the regime.

October 5th, 2013, 5:42 pm


Uzair8 said:

In fact the Assad regime may be very uncomfortable at the prospect of 2 degrees of seperation vis a vis the Great Satan…

October 5th, 2013, 5:51 pm



Only people who know Syria, who has been living there for a whole life or for many years can imagine how cruel is the regime acting these days.

All the rest, absolutely all, have not any idea, about what is going on inside Syria. And it is of course 100 times worse that US, Russia and German propaganda agences are spreading.

Death to Assads ! Long life to Syria !

There is a nice song sounding in the streets of Aleppo these days:

¨Ilkhas tisi ya kalb ya assad ya wahash al saahili al himaaaaaaar al abadi.¨

October 5th, 2013, 5:58 pm


ghufran said:

Jarba and Idris met with FSA figureheads and published a statement effectively saying that they will not negotiate.
Here is the response from a reader on an opposition site-aksalser:
يعني نفس خطاب البعث و نفس الحكي يلي درسناه بالقومية !!!

بقص ايدي إذا ماصرلون يومين مجتمعين بس عم بيصيغو العبارات

إتفقنا على أن نتفق من أجل الإتفاق الإتفاقي و المتفق عليه من قبل المتفيق كافة !!!!

(( التأكيد على تفعيل التواصل والتنسيق بشكل أكبر بين الائتلاف والمجلس العسكري ))

تفعيل التواصل

ليش كان مقطوع يعني قبل !!!!

إجتماع بلا طعمة
من معارضة بلا طعمة

صرلنا تلت سنين لك عأساس تلت اسابيع و بيطير الأسد !!!!

لعمى بسماكن طار نص الشعب السوري و إنتو هلق بدكن تفعلو التنسيق !!!

October 5th, 2013, 6:43 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

From the Wall Street Journal article noted earlier upthread:

Syrian Regime Chokes Off Food to Town That Was Gassed

Government forces are tightening the noose around one of the suburbs gassed by chemical weapons in August, raising concerns of a fresh humanitarian crisis as residents forage for olives, grapevine leaves and other basic foods.

Pro-regime fighters have encircled about 12,000 people, mostly civilians but also including some rebel fighters, in the town of Moadhamiya, according to local and international aid workers, opposition activists and people interviewed on Monday in a government-controlled section of the town.


In an interview with WSJ, Khaled Erksoussi, head of the Syrian Red Crescent’s disaster response unit, said aid groups have not been able to reach the town of Mouadhamiya, which is near Damascus and is surrounded by government forces.

“We won’t allow them to be nourished in order to kill us,” said a 24-year-old pro-regime paramilitary in the government-controlled section of Moadhamiya, referring to rebels and their supporters just a few hundred yards away on the other side of town. “Let them starve for a bit, surrender and then be put on trial.”

The town has been under siege by government forces since April.

October 5th, 2013, 7:16 pm


Ghufran said:

“The Christian community in Syria is stuck between two fires,” said Nadim Nassar, a Syrian from Latakia who is director of the Awareness Foundation, an interfaith charity based in Britain. “One fire is a corrupt regime, and everybody agrees there needs to be a change. And on the other hand, there’s a fragmented and diverse opposition on the ground who can’t control jihadist forces coming from outside the country.”
( in few months the so called ” Arab spring” will enter its third year, but we yet have to see a single successful government that came out of that spring, instead what people experienced is chaos, bloodshed and division )
Read the full article about Christians in Syria on the Washington post site.

October 5th, 2013, 7:48 pm


omen said:

173. Hopeful said: #170 OMEN I do understand your frustration, but you have to remember that Obama is the president of a democracy, which means he does not have the power to act independently without the public and congress support.

cnn just announced we have two major military actions going in africa. something about targeting an al shabaab leader and an al qaeda operative suspected of being responsible for US embassy bombings.

american special forces are on the ground.

bam. just like that.

no two years of pretending to play hamlet. no two years of faux anguish of not knowing what to do. no two years of pretending to be too traumatized to send boots on the ground. no two years of measuring unintended consequences.

obama snapped his fingers and the mission was authorized.

authorized even when the government is allegedly shut down.

whatever al shabaab & the al qaeda operative did – i know their combines crimes did not produce more than 100,000 dead, 7 million displaced and reduce half a country to rubble.

missions approved for africa but not syria.

are you angry now?

October 5th, 2013, 9:33 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Were you planning to respond to my post or is blaming Obama easier for you?

October 5th, 2013, 10:08 pm


omen said:

yes, akbar, i need to find a couple of articles first i want to cite for support.

i should quote finkelstein again to see if you put me be back on ignore. /g

October 5th, 2013, 10:20 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Ok, don’t forget. It’s a fairly simple question.:-)

October 5th, 2013, 11:00 pm


Hopeful said:

#205 Omen

The war on Al-Qaeda has the full support of the US public and congress since 2001. The war on the Syrian regime has less than 20% support among the public and no congressional support.

I am not saying this is right. I am saying that the Syrian opposition needs to work on changing that dynamics if it hopes for financial or military involvement.

It took the Iraqis 13 years to get the US to move in on Saddam. 9/11 did help, but they also had their people and voices everywhere within the government, congress and US media. They learned good lessons from the Israelis. Had they not done that, Iraq today would have been still ruled by Saddam or one of his crazy sons.

October 6th, 2013, 12:09 am


Ghufran said:

So ,hopeful,
Do you think Iraq under Maliki, a Shia , is better off than Iraq under Saddam, a Sunni?
Not a single attempt for regime change by force has worked in the middle east.
I never liked Saddam and I certainly do not like Assad- Makhlouf ruling family but I say that finding a better alternative to bad regimes has been an experiment that has failed in every case so far, Tunisians are now trying but it is too early to say if they succeeded or not, hope in Tunisia is now revived after Islamists agreed to negotiate, if that works we may say that there is a precedent, but regime change in Tunisia was bloodless for the most part.

October 6th, 2013, 12:34 am


Hopeful said:

#210 Ghufran

I do not care if Maliki is a Shia, a Sunni, a Christian, a Jew or whatever…. Despite his shortcomings, he is a light year better than Saddam.

Iraq under Saddam was hopeless, as was Libya under Qaddafi and as is a Syria under the Assads. Yes the way dictators are toppled will affect the way their countries will progress, some better than others. But countries under dictators do NOT progress.

Transitions take a long time, but one mile journeys start with a single step. The first step is removing the dictator, otherwise the journey will never happen.

October 6th, 2013, 12:45 am


Juergen said:

Bravo Assadis, the Syrian Passport is among the worst passports to have. 39 countries allow visa free travel for Syrians, the worst passport to have is from Afphanistan, 28 countries will allow visa free travel. Given the amounts one has to pay to get a passports theses days, its quite an useless piece of paper.

english translation:

October 6th, 2013, 2:05 am


Juergen said:

Haaretz article on Sister Mariam de la Croix- visit to Israel, I choose to post it all, since you have to register to read the article. I wonder seriously how can she return to Syria without any conditions, if a normal citizen and not an outspoken cheerleader of this regime would travel to Israel, he would win himself a free long vacation to Palmyra or Seydnaya prison.

The slinging nun || On visit to Israel, Syrian-based nun backs beleaguered President Assad
Why a Carmelite nun believes the chemical attack in Damascus was faked.

ister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix feared that the United States would attack Syria on Saturday night. She expected the attack to be massive and would bring disaster to Syria and the entire region. According to Sister Agnes-Mariam, there are today 150,000 well-trained jihadist fighters from 80 countries in Syria, with arms they have received from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, and even from the United States. She says some of them are in a drugged state, induced by Captagon pills.

Tzipi Livni or Waze Founders? Who will be Haaretz Person of the Year?

The nun lives in Syria and is the abbess, or mother superior, of the Monastery of St. James the Mutilated. She argues that these jihadi fighters control 60 percent of the populated areas of Syria. She claims that Islamic-Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra, which the United States has designated a terrorist group, is responsible for the acts of mass murder, rape and looting that have been committed in Syria. She also claims the Chechen fighters are exceptionally cruel and that, among the foreign fighters, there are a fairly large number of released prisoners and citizens of western countries. In her opinion, most of Syria’s citizens support the regime of President Bashar Assad because they fear a takeover of the country by Islamic extremists.
She calls on the world not to attack Syria, and to stop the flow of foreign fighters into its territory and the supply of arms they are receiving. When she journeys through Syria today, she feels as if she is in Afghanistan or Somalia. An American attack on Syria will hurt its army and open the door to a complete seizure of the country by the global jihad movement, she firmly believes. “If this regime is toppled,” she says, “it will be worse than Iraq. It will have consequences for Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, and it’s not a situation that will promote security.”

She also believes the pictures of the victims of last month’s alleged chemical attack in east Damascus are fabrications.

I met Sister Agnes-Mariam this week in a convent in Jerusalem’s hills, not far from Abu Ghosh. She is visiting Israel for a few days and next week will return to Syria, where she has been living for the past 19 years. Her life story is as surprising as her statements about the situation there.

She was born Fadia al-Laham, 61 years ago in Jounieh, Lebanon (her parents had fled Nazareth in 1948). When she was 15 her father died, and, as she herself admits, over the next few years she became a hippy and flower child who used drugs and drifted between Nepal and India. On her palm, concealed by her nun’s habit, she still has a few tattoos from India – a memento of that time in her life. She says she loves to listen to The Doors, The Rolling Stones and Santana. Her Indian experiences led her to embrace a cloistered life and, for 22 years, she lived in utter solitude in a Carmelite monastery in Lebanon’s highland region.

Sister Agnes-Mariam moved to Syria 19 years ago and, together with two other nuns, rebuilt the ruins of a monastery on the main road between Damascus and Homs, not far from the village of Qara. She became mother superior of the Monastery of St. James the Mutilated. In addition to the nuns of the convent, there are 20 Sunni refuges who have sought asylum from the horrors of the war.

She was forced to leave the monastery in June 2012, after the threats on her life increased because she was suspected of being an agent of the Assad regime. Her monastery is situated between the area controlled by the Free Syrian Army and the area controlled by the “foreign legions.”

Currently she lives in Damascus and is an international peace activist trying to warn the world of the dangers of a jihadist takeover of her adopted country. She is fighting what she considers a pack of lies, trying to counter the propaganda and disinformation in the Arab and international media, and documenting the atrocities of the war for the organization she has established. She arrived this week to visit relatives in Nazareth and to participate in an interfaith conference in Israel.
Lover of Israel

I first met her at an international peace conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she delivered a stunning speech and presented shocking video clips on what, in her view, is being committed by the jihadists. When I was introduced to her, she told me she loved Israel and that the Jews should serve as a light unto the nations. I was surprised to learn that she had come to Israel for a brief visit.

As a Lebanese, she argues, she cannot be suspected of being an agent of the Assad regime because Lebanon is, as she sees it, actually under Syrian occupation. She presents these arguments to deny the allegations that have been made against her, including the accusation that she is personally responsible – in January 2012 – for the death of French journalist Gilles Jacquier, 43, a TV reporter who was on assignment for the French channel France 2. She completely denies any responsibility for his death, arguing that she only helped him enter Syria.

She believes the Assad regime is the only thing that can save Syria from a takeover by Al-Qaida, and that most Syrians support the present regime. This, she explains, is why Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled so quickly and why Assad is still holding his own.

In late 2011, she says, she began to understand two things: First, that there was no truth in the reports about a Syrian opposition that was committed to democratic principles; and, second, that the rebellion was being launched primarily by foreigners. At first, she recalls, they were referred to as unidentified forces; however, she points out, their real identity emerged a few months later.

When the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television channel reported in the early stages of the fighting that a massacre had taken place in one of Damascus’ neighborhoods encircled by the Syrian army, she set out to see for herself what had happened, and was amazed to discover that the report was completely false. According to Sister Agnes-Mariam, when she expressed her condolences to the local priest of the neighborhood, he could not understand what she was talking about.

In December 2011 she traveled to Qusayr, after it was reported that civilians there had been massacred by the Syrian army. In the local hospital she was shown 100 bodies of civilians who had been murdered the night before; however, according to the testimony she gathered, she claims, the massacre was really carried out by gangs of foreigners.

Sister Agnes-Mariam believes the casualties are primarily caused by the fighting between the rebel forces themselves. And, in some cases, the Syrian army collaborates with the Free Syrian Army against the foreigners. In her opinion, the foreigners want the Islamic Sharia law to apply to all spheres of life in Syria, are establishing popular courts, and are executing people. For instance, she claims, the judge who was appointed in the northern town of Saraqib is actually someone who repairs tires.

In the past few months she has visited Homs, Aleppo, Qusayr, and other places where fighting has taken place. In addition, she has visited hospitals and private homes in her efforts to collect evidence for the Mussalaha (Reconciliation) in Syria organization; she is the founder of the organization’s international branch.

During the alleged chemical attack on August 21, she was in Damascus. The week before the attack, she relates, a shocking massacre was carried out in Latakia, where at least 500 civilians were killed by organizations belonging to Al-Qaida, yet the world media barely reported this event.

As she sees it, Syria has returned to the most barbaric era in its history, and the media is staying silent. She believes Jabhat al-Nusra is committing massacres of both military personnel and civilians and is a threat to the entire civilized world, especially Lebanon and Israel – if Assad’s regime is toppled, a jihadist dictatorship will emerge in Syria. Thus, she claims, the United States is actually helping to strengthen Al-Qaida.

Sister Agnes-Mariam believes the pictures of last month’s alleged chemical attack were fabricated. Most of the civilians in that area had already fled, she claims, so how could there suddenly be dozens of children there? This part of Damascus now has 20,000 fighters from Jordan, she argues. If chemical weapons were used, she wonders, why do the photos show physicians and dozens of people standing in the immediate vicinity of the scene of the attack without gas masks or any other form of protection? After all, she says, the chemical weapons would be dangerous for them as well.

In the first alleged chemical attack, in Aleppo – where chemical weapons brought in from Turkey were employed – the physicians did not even dare to get close to the bodies of the victims. In the video clips that have been disseminated around the world and which allegedly document the most recent chemical attack, one can see dozens of people standing around the bodies. She points out that she was in Damascus that night, and that 50 bodies of soldiers who had suffocated, having been killed by gas in the army’s tunnels, were evacuated to a hospital. She claims an Islamic battalion was responsible for that attack, and that this was the only chemical attack to have taken place so far in the Syrian civil war.

The only thing that can stop the jihadists, she argues, is the Syrian army. In her opinion, if the present regime falls the situation in Syria will be worse than what it is today in Iraq. She implores U.S. President Barack Obama not to participate in what she sees as another war crime, as another atrocity committed against the civilian population. She cannot understand why the world is determined to go to war now because, she believes, the result will be that Syria will be controlled by chaotic, extremist groups.

The United States is not concerned with what is best for the Syrian people, she argues, but is operating in accordance with its own interests. Furthermore, she cannot understand why America wants to ignite yet another regional war, which will only lead to the emergence of one more cruel Islamic regime. “Why do you [the West] fuel a regional war to support radical Islam?” she asks. “Why?

“The United States says it has proof, but that’s not enough. They are a part of the conflict, so they can’t be a judge. It’s very dangerous when one nation tries to be the judge and the police of the world. This is not the first time they made a mistake.” She adds, “We don’t need another false war.”

“What can the West do?” she was asked. She replied that it should stop fueling the rebels with arms. “It’s a scandal what the West is doing.”

October 6th, 2013, 2:20 am


omen said:

18. Matthew Barber said: To those asking that Majedkhaldoun return, I talked to him about it and gave him the option, but he never emailed me back. And Omen, please don’t call for people to attempt to defy bans


majedkhaldoun, please come back. mjabali misses you.

October 6th, 2013, 3:42 am


omen said:

167. Uzair8 said: Where is Annie?

I hope she’s well and resumes her activity very soon.

which one do you mean? annie as in

or ann the spammer ppl suspect to be don?

i didn’t mind ann/don so much. she would occasionally bring a non wacko esoteric piece i would have never stumbled upon.

though she was a blatant islamophobe. that can wear thin after a while. and an antisemite too, come to think of it. she had fair warning to knock it off.

do you really miss her, uzair? or is this your way of celebrating her departure?

October 6th, 2013, 3:54 am


omen said:

213. Juergen said: Haaretz article on Sister Mariam de la Croix- visit to Israel, I choose to post it all, since you have to register to read the article. I wonder seriously how can she return to Syria without any conditions, if a normal citizen and not an outspoken cheerleader of this regime would travel to Israel, he would win himself a free long vacation to Palmyra or Seydnaya prison.

thank you for posting the piece. it raises some questions.

why did the nun go to israel in the first place? why go there? she could have escaped to lebanon.

expats raise allegations she is actually working for regime intelligence. any evidence to that besides circumstantial? did she go to israel to convey messages from the regime?

why does the vatican allow her to spew what they must know to be slander?

why does israel accept her with open arms and afford her red carpet treatment? is it customary for israel to embrace and give sanctuary to members of genocidal regimes?

October 6th, 2013, 4:24 am


omen said:

209. Hopeful said: #205 Omen The war on Al-Qaeda has the full support of the US public and congress since 2001. The war on the Syrian regime has less than 20% support among the public and no congressional support.

are there not alqaeda affiliated groups operating in syria? this is what zoo keeps telling everyone.

syria is unique in that obama & the establishment class cite alqaeda to fearmonger against western involvement while it’s used to justify intervention elsewhere.

western excuses lack logic and don’t hold up upon closer inspection.

October 6th, 2013, 5:33 am


Uzair8 said:


No. Annie from

October 6th, 2013, 6:07 am


Uzair8 said:

Btw how does the Party of God view the developments regarding the rapproachment with the Great Satan? Do they approve? Could they join the process at a later stage?

That’ll have to be seen to be believed. Not to be missed. If that happens we can say we’ve seen it all.

The Party of God and Shaytân-e Bozorg* rapproachment?

Did I read that right? I must rub my eyes.

* Persian epithet meaning ‘The Great Satan’.

October 6th, 2013, 6:41 am


Hopeful said:

#217 Omen

“are there not alqaeda affiliated groups operating in syria? this is what zoo keeps telling everyone”

Believe it or not Omen, Obama will find it easier domestically to hit the rebels affiliated with Alqaeda in Syria than to hit the regime.

I feel that you are in a state of “attacking the messenger”. Western excuses do defy “logic” sometimes because they are a reflection of Western public opinion.

October 6th, 2013, 7:03 am


Observer said:

It is essential to read ” Why Nations Fail”. This book has demonstrated that extractive oppressive regimes despite their ability to rule for a very long time end up destroying the nation.
As for violent removal of these regimes one has to remember that many a revolution needed violence when confronted with the brutality of dictators and that goes for the French revolution, for the English Great Revolution, for the German riots that brought the rule of law in 1888; for the Algerian revolution that liberated the country from France; for the Vietnamese liberation from France and the US and then the revolution in Korea that deposed the dictatorship there as well. This is just a very short list of the dictatorships bringing their own end. Just this week Putin celebrated the revolution that prevented the communist party from staying in power and this was possible because the armed forces refused to keep the dictators in place.

No news from Syria on RT or ALAM or MANAR or SANA this morning. This is because the news are not rosy these days.

The US just surpassed Russia as the largest producer of energy.

October 6th, 2013, 8:10 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Its now official according to an Asian website that Syria along with Iran have become the target of a coalition between Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries and
Israel .

The inference is also that this grouping is not pro US policies in Syria and Iran.

Should not such re-aligments prompt all Syrians to talk peace?

October 6th, 2013, 9:06 am


zoo said:

Saudis fear tide of Syria war turning against their interests

”For us in Saudi Arabia, the worst scenario is to let Bashar [al-Assad] survive this: he has to go,’’ said Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi analyst close to decision-making circles. “The world can ignore what is happening in Syria but this is at our doorstep and it is on fire with sectarian flames that will reach all neighbouring countries.’’

Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, has been the chief supporter of the Syrian rebels since the armed rebellion began, giving them weapons, training, finance and diplomatic support.

October 6th, 2013, 9:25 am


Tara said:

The Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran is now due. The sworn enemy of the Arab is now Iran, not Israel! Iran is actively trying to be the neo-imperial force in the ME and is developing a nuclear capability to that effect. Israel occupied Palestine and I doubt it wants to occupy the ME. Arabs should unite with whoever against the Iranian hegemony as Iran had proven beyond reasonable doubt it’s intention towards the Arab ME.

The great Satan in my opinion is Iran. The Saudis should struck any possible alliance to defeat them.

And please do not bother with ridiculous takhween comments.

October 6th, 2013, 9:33 am


Observer said:

I think our greatest enemy is oppression dictatorship repression corruption graft and arbitrary rule from Islamabad to Morocco.

85% of phosphage in the world is produced in Morocco for example and all of it belongs to the king. This in a country where he kept the population fully illitetrate. Likewise, the mafia family that has made the country into its little farm and now its garbage dump.

As for Rafsanjani, he is now a billionaire from the graft that he instituted when he was in power. As for for the IRGC they have now many businesses that they use to have monopolies on sectors of the economy.
The GCC are no better and today in Kuwait the ruling family controls the country with its control of the money spigot. As a matter of fact they do not want to educate their people or have them have jobs they would rather import workers without rights to do the work while the Kuwaitis sit in offices, spend money on cars, and go frolicking in Thailand and Dubai.

It it tyranny. It is tyranny. It is tyranny.

” Defeat is victory and security is stability and acquiesence is freedom and oppression is resistance and corruption is reform”. This is the essence of the discourse of all these regimes and they are exemplified by the regime insider on this blog, the sectarian one mind track, and the constant apologist.

For God’s sake where is ALI?

October 6th, 2013, 10:10 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up reviewed the rumors about a Saudi-Israeli alliance and would like to confirm that this is nothing but rumour as of this writing.

Heads up believes that such an alliance make a lot of sense. However, unless the Israelis show real commitment towards conducting lethal and sustained strikes against the mullocracy and its tails in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, such alliance will not see the day of light. It is possible that the Israelis are no different than the Americans. In other words they could just be full of talk and very short on action.

On the other hand, the Saudis must also show real commitment to be full participants in any action against the mullocracy and its tails in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, as Iraq is no different under Maliki than Saddam ( in fact Saddam was better than Iranian stooge Maliki). The Saudis cannot be just the well wishers in such an alliance. They have to provide fly overs, refueling and rearming stops of Israeli bombers and fighter jets. Royal Saudi air force must also fly side by side with the Israeli jets and conduct field missions against the mullocracy. The Israelis must also grant Sauidi air force fly overs and refueling stops on missions to bomb Serpent head facilities.

Short of the above, we maintain that talk is just talk and there is no actual alliance as of this moment. However, we urge their Royal Highnesses to explore the seriousness of the Israelis for real action and not just empty talk when it comes to taking firm action. There can be no hesitation or indecisivenes as is the case with the Obamofallacy.

October 6th, 2013, 10:25 am


SimoHurtta said:

171. OBSERVER said:

I still maintain the article by the WSJ that the combined out put of gas and oil in the states has surpassed that of Russia. It was on the front page on Thursday.

Well first rule of “understanding” is that everything printed in WSJ or other media is not the absolute truth or even near it. An article is always the writers view of “the state of affairs” and the sources he/she uses can be deliberately misleading and have their own agenda. And the writes of the media are paid workers and their employers have their own agendas.

Surely USA can pass Russia with the combined oil + gas production, but so what. It hardly changes the geopolitical equation. USA still needs to import millions of barrels of oil daily. USA stays as the biggest oil importer. USA gas markets are still purely domestic markets. USA has still for years no significant export capacity for its present gas overproduction. Now the only way is to burn away that overproduction of shale gas. As explained before the US import need for oil is so vast, that USA to becoming net exporter of oil is pure daydreaming. Well it could happen if USA economical activity collapses totally, but if economic long wished recovery happens the need of oil import only raises. The reality is that Russia has significant overcapacity in its oil and gas production compared to the domestic need and plenty of customers on its borders. USA has no energy hungry neighbours.

Wiki article about liquefied natural gas would be worth reading.

The article of David Kashi linked in comment 171 is very blurry about timetable. No wonder.

USA exporting gas to India???? When in 2015, 2020 or 2025?

As said before in exporting gases in liquid form infrastructure is needed both in USA and India. USA has one liquefaction terminal. And India doesn’t have yet many regasification terminals. From where come the tens of large LNG-carriers (one costs over 200 million dollars) needed in that long range export to the other side of the world? In any case it takes years before some significant LNG export from USA to India is possible. As the article says USA has in permit applying stage 22 liquefaction (export) terminals. From there is a “giant step” to build the obligatory infra for the LNG export. It will take many years and cost billions.

I suppose this export to India part of the article is linked to the Iranian Indian plans to build a gas line. And USA being fiercely against it. The problem for Iran and India is, that the pipe line would go through Pakistan. And India’s industry doesn’t want to be blackmailed and their energy supply to be cut by Pakistan every time there are tensions between India and Pakistan. Also transit countries have had a tendency of trying to squeeze high compensations and use the power which comes with the pipeline on their soil. That is the reason why Russia and others “like” to build now pipelines in the sea.

As told before USA has a aggressive attitude when other build “energy connections”. USA warns Sweden against Nord Stream project. Germany was very angry and “punished” USA. USA also made some blurry promises to help with energy needs. It was clear to Europe, that USA it self had no means to help in those needs with US oil and gas. Promising other countries oil and gas is easy.

The problem for USA is, that USA has no real means to help India in its acute energy needs. Of course the Indian diplomats speak “positively” and smile politely, when US regime promises them (India) LNG in (distant undefined) future. Both sides know it is a promise with little or no means to be filled. The export route from US east coast to India on the other side of globe is long and so very expensive. Much more expensive than exporting that needed LNG from the Gulf region, which is in the neighbourhood. It is difficult to understand how the production costs of LNG in USA could be so much lower than for example in the Gulf region, that it would compensate the high cost of the transport.

David Kashi has written other interesting articles like
Turkey Wants Israel’s Natural Gas And Is Offering To Construct An Undersea Pipeline To Get It

October 6th, 2013, 10:38 am


zoo said:


It sounds you don’t trust the intelligence of the “Guided” king.

No wonder, with the weakest army in the Middle East, despite its billions dollars of US military equipment rusting in warehouses, Saudi Arabia has no choice than to obey to what their protectors tell them to do.
For now they are telling them to become friends with Israel.

The alliance KSA-Israel is excellent for both. Israel badly needs a strategic Sunni Moslem ally against Iran after having lost Turkey and KSA needs a regional protector againt Shia “imperialism.”
I wish KSA and Isreal lots of happiness in this mariage

October 6th, 2013, 10:56 am


zoo said:

Syria envoy calls for late-Nov talks
The opposition has said it will not negotiate unless President Bashar al-Assad leaves office, but Brahimi said the condition would have to be set aside.

“We are going to Geneva without preconditions. Mr. Bashar al-Assad cannot say that he does not want to negotiate with ‘X’ or ‘Y’ and it’s the same thing for the opposition,” Brahimi said.

The proposed peace conference — dubbed Geneva 2 — would be to decide how to implement a declaration agreed by the major powers in the Swiss city in June 2012 that there has to be a transitional government in Syria.

At least all five permanent members of the UN Security Council — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — are expected to be involved in the talks and Brahimi said other key countries could take part.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia should be present at Geneva 2,” Brahimi said.

He said he had discussed the issue with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and that while Tehran wanted to be at the talks it was “not the end of the world” if Iran did not attend.

October 6th, 2013, 11:03 am


Sami said:

“Surely USA can pass Russia with the combined oil + gas production, but so what. It hardly changes the geopolitical equation. USA still needs to import millions of barrels of oil daily.”

The fact the US can become the largest energy producer while still importing a vast number of energy is very telling at how large the US economy is and its strategic need for energy.

Other nations such as India and China are striving to emulate that, how many expanding economies are emulating Russia I wonder…

Oh yeah refuting a well researched article published by one of the most read newspapers in the world by quoting Wiki is rather telling of the authors own blinding bias.

October 6th, 2013, 11:19 am


ziad said:

29 dead, incl 12 children in string of suicide bombings in Iraq

Two Suicide bombers detonated explosives-rigged vehicles at an elementary school and a police station in northern Iraq, killing at least 15 people, 12 of whom were children. 14 more were killed in a suicide attack on Shi’ite pilgrims in Baghdad.

Tal Afar mayor Abdel-Aal al-Obeidi says the twin blasts hit the nearby Shi’ite village of Qabak on Sunday morning, the start of the local work week. Tal Afar is 420 kilometers northwest of Baghdad, not far from the Syrian border.

A suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into the playground of the elementary school, blowing himself up. Just minutes earlier, a separate suicide bomber targeted a police station.

October 6th, 2013, 11:23 am


omen said:

just as i’m catching up on the news of netanyahu considering meeting with rouhani, i run across this interesting book.

the secret dealings of israel, iran, and the united states

available for download.

October 6th, 2013, 11:35 am


ziad said:

Israel can claim the title of the most racist state in the developed world

Sami Michael, who also heads the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, speaks at Haifa University.

Israeli culture is no less toxic than fanatic Islam, and the country’s discriminatory attitude toward Mizrahi Jews and Arabs qualifies it for the title of “most racist state,” prominent Israeli author Sami Michael said on Monday.

“Israel can claim the title of most racist state in the developed world,” Michael, who heads the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, said at the opening of an international conference of the Association for Israel Studies at Haifa University.

“More than 60 years after the establishment of the Israeli state, the rift between European and Mizrahi Jewry has not mended. It is reflected in racism and social gaps,” the author said.

“To this day people from Arab states are underrepresented in the state’s central institutions, especially academic and cultural ones,” he said.

The racism is encouraged by cabinet members and MKs, and fueled by increasing religious extremism in the country, he said.

October 6th, 2013, 11:41 am


Tara said:

I have no doubt that Iran would ally itself with Israel and the US if it is to be given a cart blanch to dominate the Arab world. The Arabs need to be alerted to the visceral hatred the mullahs harbor towards them and position themselves based on that. There appears to be a visceral hatred from 1400 years ago as the Persians can’t get over the fact that they were conquered by the Arabs.

October 6th, 2013, 11:52 am


Uzair8 said:

Pardon me as a non-syrian saying what I’m about to say. It matters little what I think or say however I believe it’s important.

Any alliance with Isreal is a no-goer. Not realistic. Millions of Syrians if not all will reject it and want nothing of it. Most if not all Syrian scholars will reject any such move. Millions of supporters of the uprising across the muslim world will have nothing to do with it and will be forced to distance themselves. Detractors of the uprising in the muslim world will have a field day and leaving us supporters unable to defend or justify maintaining our position. I don’t believe anyone associated with the revolution would be able to digest the thought of such an alliance. It isn’t even necessary anyhow. What a life saving gift that would be for Iran, Hezbo, Mufti Hassoun etc.

We can just about justify an alliance with the US given the context (geopolitical, vis a vis Russia, end time prophecy) but Isreal is a no no.

If there’s one sign that we are in the wrong then an alliance with Isreal would be that sign.

If Isreal did something on it’s own then that has nothing to do with the revolution. In fact the revolution will probably even reject and oppose any such move. If Saudi wishes to form an alliance with Isreal then that is their business and nothing to do with the revolution and the revolution should have nothing of it.

That’s my view.

October 6th, 2013, 11:57 am


ghufran said:

Random shelling of residential areas is terrorism regardless of who does it, this is one reason why rebels lost support in much of Damascus and beyond. The latest “achievement” of rebel heroes is shelling a known Christian area in Damascus, Qassaa’, killing 7 people and damaging a church:
استشهد 7 مدنيين وأصيب 30 آخرين إثر استهداف ميليشيا “الجيش الحر” بعدة قذائف هاون منطقة القصاع في دمشق.
وقال مراسلنا أن قذيفة هاون سقطت على كنيسة الصليب في القصاع ما أدى لتضرر عدد من الأيقونات.
إلى ذلك أعلنت كتيبة “السيف الدمشقي” التابعة لميليشيا “الجيش الحر” تبنيها في مقطع فيديو لها اليوم بث على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي استهداف حي القصاع بدمشق بقذاف الهاون
it looks like the so called “Damascene Sword” can only hit Christians !!

I have to disagree with you not because Qaddafi and Saddam were good leaders but because what came next was not a solution, it was a new form of trouble, Libya is far worse today than when Qaddafi was in charge, and Iraq today is a violent place with a divided population and corrupt and dysfunctional government. I mentioned Maliki’s shia identity because that was used to put him as a PM (since shia in Iraq are the majority, look at hat he did.
Syria will be like Iraq if Syrians accept a deal similar to what the US gave to Iraq, I would rather see Syria gets partitioned than accepting a “solution: where your sect and ethnic origin determines your political chances.
if you ask me why Libya and Iraq got into this mess, I would have to say:
1. foreign interference
2. lack of democratic traditions (you can not expect people who rarely voted freely to suddenly act like western democrats)
3. negative effect of religion, namely Islam (both sunni and shia)where exclusion is justified in the name of right and wrong: we are right, they are kuffar.
we have a long way to go, my friends, this is why I always had lower expectations from this spring from day one.

October 6th, 2013, 11:57 am


zoo said:

Syrians should thank the Sunni opposition and their supporters, Qatar and Turkey for having brought Al Qaeda in Syria to bring them ‘freedom and dignity”

Syria: Al-Qaeda wants to control Iraq and Turkey border zones

05 Oct 2013 08:33 Serene Assir

Al-Qaeda is fighting to drive rivals out of areas bordering Turkey and Iraq in a bid to control territory stretching from Iraq into northern Syria.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has set up checkpoints on roads to border crossings, and opened fronts to crush other rebel groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. (AFP)

Across the north and east, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has set up checkpoints on roads to border crossings, and opened fronts to crush other rebel groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Residents have told AFP of a strategy that involves ISIL taking over resources and routes using brutal methods aimed at forcing the population into submission.

Analysts and activists on the ground have also noted the tactic.

“ISIL has been acting in such a way as to aggressively assert itself within the complex multi-dimensional insurgent theatres in northern and eastern Syria,” said Charles Lister of IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre.

Jihadists have even sought to justify the strategy on Internet forums by accusing Western-backed groups, including Ahfad al-Rasul and the Northern Storm brigade, of acting like the US-funded “Sahwa” who fought Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

‘Easy access to new recruits’
But Lister said ISIL had adopted a “perceivable strategy of acquiring and consolidating control of areas on Syria’s borders with both Iraq and Turkey”, ever since it came on the scene in the late spring.

“This allows the group easy access to new recruits, sources of funding and supplies,” he told AFP.

“It’s by no means impossible that it intends to put a stranglehold on the ability of moderates (rebels) to secure sustainable levels of supplies from across the borders,” Lister added.

Havidar, a Kurdish-Syrian activist and citizen journalist who has covered fighting between ISIL and Kurds, said ISIL’s endgame was to establish an Islamic state.

“ISIL doesn’t have an ideological problem with the Kurds or with anyone else. It just wants no other group to have any arms or self-sufficiency, to create a state that extends from northern Syria into Iraq,” he told AFP.

Another activist in Raqa, near the Turkish border, said it was now virtually impossible to leave Syria without crossing through one of their checkpoints.

ISIL has a grip on Raqa, the only provincial capital in Syria that is completely out of Assad’s control.

October 6th, 2013, 12:02 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Only foolish followers of the pathetic Serpent-head may doubt the power and might of the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the benevolent rule of the Guided Royal Highnesses headed by His Most Royal Highness, The Universal Prince of the Faithful on this earth, King Abdullah Ibn Abdu-Al-Azeez Al-Saud, may he be protected and given very long life.

The Guided Kingdom single handedly saved the neighboring Kingdom of Bahrain from the pathetic low life of Shia terrorism not long ago, while the pathetic mullahs stood by impotently wailing, howling and barking. Thanks to the efforts of the Guided Saudis the Bahrainis can now live in peace free of low life Shia terrorism. The world watched with admiration and awe as the Guided Army of the Kingdom destroyed the scourge of Shia terrorism in the beloved Kingdom of Bahrain. Neither the US nor the pathetic mullocrats were of any use in the great achievement of the KSA.

The Guided Kingdom also single handedly saved Egypt from falling into becoming a replica of the pathetic mullocracy not long ago while the US, Europe and the mullocracts stood by impotently watching with shock and awe the masterfulness of the Guided Kingdom at work.

Next on the agenda is Syria where the Serpent-head will meet its fate of destruction at the hands of the Guided Kingdom and its Universal Prince of the Faithful. Syria will be save from the pathetic Serpent, arch-enemy of mankind, and become an exact replica of the Guidance of the KSA.

Fools may doubt the might and power of the Guided Kingdom at the expense of their own peril.

October 6th, 2013, 12:07 pm


zoo said:

According to the Tunisian governement officials, Tunisian women practising sex-jihad is very low, yet it exists, it is not a hoax

Few Tunisian women waging Syria ‘sex jihad’: Official
At most about 15 Tunisian women went to Syria, mostly to care for fighters or to do social work, according to Tunisian official

The number of Tunisian women travelling to Syria to wage “sex jihad” by comforting Islamists fighting the regime is very low, a senior interior ministry official told AFP on Sunday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, seemed to play down previous government statements that suggested “sex jihad” was more widespread.

“At most about 15 Tunisian women went to Syria, most to care for fighters or to do social work,” the official said.

But some of them were forced to have sexual relations with Islamist fighters once they were in the country, the official said.

“Four of them came back from Syria, and one is pregnant,” he added.

“The pregnant woman said that she was caring for fighters and had to have sexual relations with them.”

The official said, however, that women from Chechnya, Egypt, Iraq, France and Germany had travelled to Syria for “sex jihad”.

“They were targeted for indoctrination over the internet and by foreign sheikhs,” he added, referring to information obtained from Tunisian women returning from Syria.

Interior Minister Lotfi ben Jeddou told the National Constituent Assembly in September that Tunisian women had gone to Syria where “they have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100” militants.

“After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ — (sexual holy war, in Arabic) — they come home pregnant,” Ben Jeddou said at the time.

Ben Jeddou did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.

Jihad al-nikah, permitting extramarital sexual relations with multiple partners, is considered by some hardline Sunni Muslim Salafists as a legitimate form of holy war.

Meanwhile the head of the relief association for Tunisians abroad, Badis Koubakji, said “dozens of Tunisian women have come back” from Syria after carrying out the jihad al-nikah there and that “hundreds” were still there.

Koubakji said there was a camp for the women in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib.

“It’s a complete network and the interior ministry is not being transparent on this issue,” he said on Sunday.

He said that these young women aged between 17 and 30 would not talk about their experiences because their families wanted to “preserve their honour”.

NGOs in Tunisia have urged the government to do more to tackle networks recruiting young girls to travel to Syria.

The interior ministry said earlier this year that it had beefed up checks at airports to stop young Tunisians trying to reach Syria.

Ben Jeddou had said that since he assumed office in March “six thousand of our young people have been prevented from going there” to Syria.

Local media outlets in Tunisia have published several anonymous witness accounts from young women saying they had come back from Syria, but AFP has been unable to verify them.

Media reports say thousands of Tunisians have, over the past 15 years, joined jihadists across the world in Afghanistan Iraq and Syria, mainly travelling via Turkey or Libya.

October 6th, 2013, 12:12 pm


Tara said:


I agree. The Saudi should forge the alliance for the sole purpose of defeating the neo – imperialism of Iran and the Syrian revolution should stay as is: the Syrian revolution. There are no permanent enemies or permanent friends. There are permanent interests. Alliance between Saudis and Israelis should not mean selling out the Palestinians. Files should remain separates.

It is time for the Arabs to become pragmatic. Being emotional does not cut it for them any more. Nor did it cut it for them in the past. Define your enemy of the day and forge your alliance based on that. The enemy is now Iran. We need to liberate our mind from the decades of brainwashing where any mention of Israel or the Jews is inherently linked to “Takhween”. We should redefine Takhween as the revolution defines it: killing your own people. We should not define Takhween as we were brainwashed to believe. This was the tyrannies tool to keep us oppressed.

October 6th, 2013, 12:14 pm


ALAN said:

There is no money or time to waste anymore on the Syrian altercations!
Syrian affairs became a fully under Russian-care!
United States preoccupied with the subject of Asia!
US-Japan Talks Escalate War Preparations against China
The American deployments announced in the joint statement are all directed at strengthening US-Japanese military against China.

October 6th, 2013, 12:22 pm


ALAN said:

Question of the Syrian Chemical Weapons Heralds a New Era in Diplomacy
Of course, the issue is not yet settled, negotiations continue, the balance in the Middle East is always very difficult. But most importantly, it was possible to avoid war. And Moscow’s contribution in this was really great, says Fyodor Lukyanov, chief editor of the magazine “Russia in Global Affairs”:
“In my opinion, this is not just a success. This is the harbinger of a new chapter in the history of diplomacy in the big world politics. It is no coincidence that Russian diplomacy has been reiterating since the early days that the problem of configuration and arrangement of the world system for resolution of local conflicts is being solved in Syria. What is happening in Syria will continue in future.”

October 6th, 2013, 12:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

Reminds me of Yvonne Ridley’s words. She is a well known supporter of the Palestinian cause and opponent of Isreal. She also supports the Syrian struggle. She’s from George Galloways gang. Difference is previously (Iraq War) we were all on the same page and opposed it. This time around George’s gang is getting smaller and smaller. Many of his friends and associates, by his own admission, differ with him on Syria. These include Yvonne Ridley, Anas Tikriti (Muslim Association of Britain – played an important role in the anti-war marches), Azzam Tamimi and more.

She said Isreal needs to keep well out of this.

October 6th, 2013, 1:09 pm


Mjabali said:


hahhhaaaaaaaa…your comment is a gem

The “scholars” would reject this or that…what “scholars?” reading your comment about what the Syrians want or feel is nothing but a laughing matter to me….keep on the good work …..

Still waiting for your take on why they stoned that woman in Pakistan for owning the cellphone?

Is that true that in Pakistan they use stonning as a method to control women?

October 6th, 2013, 1:10 pm


mjabali said:


Israel will never trust the snake that is called Saudi Arabia. Iran and Israel are going to be friends again in the next few years. The Iranians are working hard on this after what they saw from the “Arabs.” Israel understand that the minorities of the Middle East are its best allies, look: Druz, Lebanese Christians, Kurds, and who knows the Alawis may be next. Do not be surprised if the Alawis start bridging their relations with the Israelis. The Palestinians, as usual, calculated things wrongly, and most likely would end up losing again.

AS for the biggest danger in the area: I would consider Saudi Arabia, Qatar the most dangerous because their danger is not limited to the Middle East but to the world as a whole. The type of Militant Islam that came into being because of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the ptro kooks, is a danger to world stability.

October 6th, 2013, 1:18 pm


Observer said:

The projected output of oil and gas by the US in 2030 will make it a larger exporter of energy than KSA.

At present the US is the largest exporter of “refined” petroleum products in the world.

The US has just inaugurated the largest solar installation in the world in the Mohave desert.

The US has mandated a 35 mpg on the new cars beginning in 2016.

There is a lot of waste and a lot of bickering and a lot of garbage in the political system and the economic and education system as well but it is self correcting in the US.

Now there is some more interesting news and reading that need to be done especially on the apologist’s side

The first is by Amaryta Sen titled

La democratie des autres: Pourquoi la liberté n’est pas une invention de l’Occident.

The book argues that saying that a people have no democratic tradition is not only historically false but morally reprehensible and racist.

After all I invite the regime apologist to read the acceptance speech of Abu Bakr as he was “elected” to the Khilafa to show that traditions of freedom are as old as man.

The other book is by Frank Dikotter The Tragedy of Liberation of which I just finished reading a synopsis about the incredible brutality of the Communist Regime in China between 1949 and 1957. I quote from the book: ” The PLA’s siege of Changchun in Manchuria in 1948. Turn Changchun into a city of death, the communist commander Lin Biao ordered and 160 000 civilians perished. A PLA lieutenant reflected later that 160 000 is Hiroshima in 9 seconds and Changchun in 5 months”.

The third installment of the trilogy will be coming soon regarding the horrors of the “cultural revolution”. In these books, the rosy picture of the communist dictatorship is laid bare. It again speaks volumes about any time and any era and any leader left without a system of checks and balances and without popular oversight and absence of the rule of law. After all, the US got with many illegal acts simply because it had no one to stop it and in this I think Israel is the champion on the world arena.

It is tyranny stupid.

October 6th, 2013, 1:23 pm


Uzair8 said:

Dear Mjabali

Let me tell you, when Isreal bombed the building in Damascus (research centre?) Shaykh Yaqoubi condemned it and if I remember correct also commented on the servicemen who may have been caught up in the attack.

[This may upset some people but it’s the reality (I mean many people express such a belief)]

Even an Isreali-Saudi alliance would only reinforce in peoples mind their view of Saudis as pretenders and of the prophecy about certain people from the Ummah being on the side of the antichrist in the end times.

Any such alliance, whether endorsed by the revolution or not, would probably fatally damage the uprising. It’ll pull the rug from under us and it will probably be game over. I cannot envisage Shaykh Yaqoubi, Shaykh Kharsa and the countless other Syrian scholars accepting such a situation. Isreal is a red line.

Those (autorites) who embark on such an alliance will be responsible for letting down the truthful and just struggle, letting down the Syrian people and letting down those who made enormous sacrifices.

It would really unnecessarily complicate matters and as you can see I’ve had to express my concerns (very reluctantly). I really don’t wish to be appearing to disagree with revolutionaries on here. Perhaps my views will encourage people to consider the negatives of such a move.


I shouldn’t respond to off-topic comments on Pakistan.

I’m not aware of the story you claim. I don’t follow the news from there much.

About the ‘stunning’ claims, did you get that from the same source as the sex jihad claims?

Stay on topic Mr Mjabali.

October 6th, 2013, 1:34 pm


mjabali said:


Your response is entertaining for sure…..

Staying on topic: The Scholars you brought are nobodies and when they are elected to a public place I would listen to what they say, from now till then all they say is nothing but a sideshow to me. Sideshow Uzair: when you use the words “Anti christ” and “Ummah” I know that you and I have real differences. What are you talking about? What year do you live in? Where do you live? Wazeeristan? Where is this Ummah you are talking about? Should we convene the UN and change the borders so you could have your Ummah? We have a problem here Uzair: You can not think like this outside reality. You live in an imaginary place called Ummah, we live in a real place, with real borders and id cards. When you speak in the name of the Syrians and what they want there is a problem.

This is the course mr Uzair: When you speak about the “Revolution” what would “fatally damage the uprising.” Let me tell you about what is the fatal mistake: is letting the foreigners into the Syrian mess. Syrians are able to solve their problem the foreigners did nothing but adding gas to the fire. From Russia To Saudia Arabia, from Sunnis to Shia all added up to the fight. Foreigners are the conspirators they speak about. So when a foreigner speaks in the name of the Syrians we have a problem.

As for not hearing about the stoning of the woman in Pakistan for owning a cell phone you should have googled it so far, care to let us know what is your thoughts about that, also if you did not hear about that did you hear about the Church that was bombed in Pakistan last week? Your country of origin needs your “knowledge” so why not follow up closely what goes on there? There are enough of us Syrians able to think of what is best for our country Syria.

October 6th, 2013, 2:02 pm


ALAN said:

My, my…what a difference one phone call can make. Obviously no one was expecting it in Israel where the Likuds have been scrambling around in a panic since Friday night. They had deployed all of their Intelligence assets to convert the loss of US intervention against Syria into putting wind back into the sails of the Iran nuclear program bogeyman. AIPAC crashed and burned again.

Netanyahu made a fool of himself in front of the UN once again, something we all know does not embarrass him at all, and neither the Israelis it seems. Bibi was on a sinking ship with his Iran threat gamble because a growing list of Western countries had been very publicly announcing, one by one, that they were open to better relations with Iran.

There were two key events that helped clear the pathway for the phone call breakthrough. The EU threw their prestige in with the individual country list for improving relations with Iran. Next was the side meeting at the UN with the P5+1 group that generated very hopeful press comments regarding “resolving all outstanding issues” at their next meeting in October.

October 6th, 2013, 2:22 pm


omen said:

244. Mjabali said: Uzair: hahhhaaaaaaaa…your comment is a gem The “scholars” would reject this or that…what “scholars?” reading your comment about what the Syrians want or feel is nothing but a laughing matter to me….keep on the good work …..

speaking of scholars, mjabali, i dont know if this has been gone over already (forgive me if this is redundant) but i need to lay this down as groundwork:

(Reuters) – The civil war in Syria is widening a rift between top Shi’ite Muslim clergy in Iraq and Iran who have taken opposing stands on whether or not to send followers into combat on President Bashar al-Assad’s side.

shia clerics abroad have voiced objection.

what about syrian clerics? how many alawite clerics or scholars have stood up to denounce assad’s grotesque & horrific crimes as running counter to alawite religious values?

of course it would be difficult to defy assad while inside of syria. how about alawite clerics abroad?

October 6th, 2013, 2:32 pm


Ziad said:

اعترافات أصغر قناص في عصابة “أحفاد الرسول”: قتلت عشرة عسكريين و13 مدنيا

روى الطفل شعبان عبد الله حميدة من مدينة حلب تفاصيل تجنيده في عصابة ما يسمى “أحفاد الرسول” من قبل خاله يحيى عزيز عزيز لارتكاب جرائم إرهابية.

وقال الطفل حميدة في اعترافات بثها التلفزيون العربي السوري أمس: أنا من مواليد عام 2000 وأسكن في منطقة كرم ميسر في مدينة حلب وكنت أعمل في معمل بلاستيك لدى شخص يدعى يوسف حمودة ووالدتي متوفية منذ كان عمري سبعة أعوام ووالدي متزوج من امرأة ثانية له منها ولدان وهوعاجز.

وأضاف الطفل حميدة إن خالي عزيز طلب مني الانضمام إلى مجموعة ينتمي إليها تسمى “سامحني يا بابا” التابعة لـ “أحفاد الرسول” وعرض علي مبلغا من المال أفضل من الذي أتقاضاه في عملي وقال..إنه سيشتري لي مسدسا أتباهى به أمام أصدقائي.

وقال الطفل حميدة.. انضممت إلى المجموعة وبقيت نحو ثلاثة أشهر واشترى خالي لي مسدسا صغير الحجم عيار “خمسة ونص” ودربني على استخدام القناصة لمدة شهر تقريبا حيث كان يثبتها بين أغصان الشجر في الكروم لعدم قدرتي على حملها وعند الانتهاء من التدريب ثبت القناصة على سطح بناء مقابل جسر الشعار بحلب وطلب مني إطلاق النار على المدنيين والعسكريين وأي سيارة مدنية أو عسكرية.

وأضاف الطفل حميدة.. لقد كانت نوبتي على القناصة من الساعة السابعة صباحا وحتى الرابعة عصرا حيث يأتي بعدي شخص يدعى شيرو من الساعة الرابعة عصرا وحتى السابعة مساء إلى حين قدوم خالي الذي يستمر إلى السابعة صباحا موعد استلامي.

وقال الطفل حميدة: كنت أقنص العسكريين الذين يصعدون من الطرف الغربي للجسر والمدنيين الذين يخرجون من الفرن والسيارات التي كنت أقنص سائقيها كانت تبقى حتى يأتي خالي عزيز ومجموعته ويأخذوها مشيرا إلى أن خاله كان يخبره بالمجموعات التابعة لأحفاد الرسول التي ستصعد إلى الجسر لعدم قنصها.

وأشار الطفل حميدة إلى أن أول شخص قنصه كان رجلا وعندما وصل إلى الجسر طلب خاله إطلاق النار عليه لكنه توقف لأنه كان يرتجف فأمسك خاله بيده وقام بقتله مبينا أنه لم ينم لمدة ثلاثة أيام وبعدها تعود على ذلك.

وأضاف الطفل حميدة.. كنت أقتل كل يوم منذ استلامي للقناصة شخصا أو ثلاثة أشخاص وأغلبهم من المدنيين وكان خالي عزيز يشعر بالسعادة عندما كان يأتي ويسألني عن عدد الذين قتلتهم وإذا كان منزعجا من أحد الأشخاص كان يطلب مني قتله بعد أن يعطيني مواصفاته.

وأوضح الطفل حميدة أن خاله كان يعطيه مواصفات المسلحين الذين كان على خلاف معهم لقنصهم ويعطيه خمسمئة ليرة أو ألف ليرة مكافأة على كل شخص يقنصه.

وقال الطفل حميدة: أطلقت النار على جنود الجيش على الجسر عدة مرات وكنت كل مرة أقتل واحدا أو اثنين وعندما ينتبهون لوجود قناص كنت أخاف وأتوقف عن القنص واتصل بخالي الذي كان يأتي مع ثلاثة مسلحين ويقف عند مدخل البناء كي يستطيعوا إخراجي إذا تعرض المبنى لهجوم.

October 6th, 2013, 2:38 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Qadri Jamil has been busy colouring inside the lines established by the dictatorship.

Here he takes off his deputy PM hat, and puts on his ‘inside opposition hat,’ speaking at the conference of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation. From All4Syria:

قدري جميل: دعوة لتحالف السوريين في وجه كل من الشبيحة والدبيحة مع ضرورة “محاسبة الأجهزة الأمنية”

قال قدري جميل في افتتاح فعاليات المؤتمر الثاني للجبهة الشعبية للتغيير والتحرير إن في الجبهة تعقد مؤتمرها الثاني بوصفها قوة أساسية في المعارضة السورية.

واتهم جميل أثرياء الأزمة بإطالتها قائلاً: إن أثرياء الأزمة الموجودين في طرفي الصراع لا مصلحة لهم في إيجاد هذا الحل.

وكعادته برر جميل دفاعه عن النظام بالدفاع عن سورية قائلاً: إن منع التدخل الخارجي هو ليس لإنقاذ النظام وإنما لإنقاذ سورية.

بعض ماجاء في كلمة قدري جميل:

إنه اليوم وغدا وعند دراسة الأزمة السورية سيجري الحديث عن عاملين اساسيين جعلاها تختلف في مسارها عن مسار مثيلاتها في البلدان الأخرى في التاريخ القريب أولهما الصحوة الروسية الصينية وثانيهما وجود معارضة وطنية ترفض التدخل الخارجي دون تخليها عن مطالب التغيير الجذري والشامل والعميق والسلمي سياسيا واقتصاديا اجتماعيا وديمقراطيا في البلاد، مشيراً إلى أن هذه المعارضة أخرجت شروط المعادلة التي كانت قائمة قبلها وهو أن مقياس المعارضة يجري على أساس مقدار استدعائها للتدخل الخارجي. وأكد جميل إننا نعيش لحظة هامة في وغير مسبوقة في التاريخ العالمي قد تشهد انهيارا بالمكان للمنظومة الامبريالية، متقدما بالشكر لكل الدول الصديقة على مواقفها، وقائلا إننا نعيش عصر الانتصارات في وقت لايزال البعض فيه يعيش بذهنية الهزائم.

إن منع التدخل الخارجي هو ليس لإنقاذ النظام وإنما لإنقاذ سورية لكي يكون هناك موضوع للتغيير مشيرا إلى أنه لا خيار أمام السوريين إلا المصالحة والحوار والحل السياسي وإلا فإننا سننفذ مخطط كيسنجر لإحراق سورية من الداخل وهذا يستدعي تحالف جميع السوريين، مولاة ومعارضة، مسلحين وغير مسلحين في وجه كل من الشبيحة والدبيحة على السواء مع ضرورة “محاسبة الأجهزة الأمنية” وهذا رأي يعبر عن مصالح وأحاسيس 90% من السوريين.

إن مهمة مؤتمر جنيف أيا كان مكان انعقاده هو سلسلة يفتح أحد بنودها الطريق للآخر وهي وقف التدخل الخارجي بكل أشكاله وتخفيض مستوى العنف وبدء العملية السياسية

أن لا حل سوى الحل السياسي للأزمة الاقتصادية في البلاد مشيراً أن أثرياء الأزمة الموجودين في طرفي الصراع لا مصلحة لهم في إيجاد هذا الحل، مستشهداً بواقع التلاعب بأسعار صرف العملة السورية مقابل الدولار.

أهداف الجبهة يختصرها أيضاً شعارها الكرامة للوطن والسلطة للشعب والثروة للجميع.

October 6th, 2013, 2:38 pm


ALAN said:

أشارت تسريبات غير مؤكدة من داخل وخارج دمشق إلى احتمال تأجيل الانتخابات الرئاسية في سوريا وفق اتفاق أميركي – روسي وبقاء الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في السلطة لمدة عامين بعد انتهاء ولايته في تموز 2014.

أما الأسباب التي استندت إليها التسريبات بشأن التأجيل فتنوعت بين وجود ملايين المهجرين والنازحين السوريين، وانعدام وجود سفارات سورية في معظم أرجاء العالم، إضافة إلى الوضع الأمني المتردي.

October 6th, 2013, 2:41 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

President Assad takes time to celebrate the Glorious Victory of the October War, in a long interview with Tishreen (another arm of the state media, one which does not feature the stilted gibberish of SANA and derivatives).

الرئيس الأسد: الشعب السوري هو الذي صنع حرب تشرين بصموده وباحتضانه للقوات المسلحة صانعة تاريخ سورية منذ الاستقلال

خصّ السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد صحيفة تشرين أمس بمقابلة في الذكرى الأربعين لحرب تشرين التحريرية التي كان من أهم انتصاراتها المتعددة انتصار الإرادة والعقل العربي، والانتصار على الخوف والأوهام في مرحلة ما قبل هذه الحرب المجيدة التي أعقبها بعد عامين صدور أول عدد من صحيفة «تشرين» التي كانت ثمرة من ثمار انتصار حرب تشرين التحريرية.
وأكد الرئيس الأسد، في المقابلة التي أجرتها مع سيادته رئيسة تحرير صحيفة تشرين الدكتورة رغداء مارديني، أن الشعب السوري هو الذي صنع حرب تشرين بصموده وباحتضانه للقوات المسلحة التي تعد صانعة تاريخ سورية منذ الاستقلال بكل التفاصيل العسكرية منها والسياسية.

وقال الرئيس الأسد: اليوم ينظر الشعب السوري إلى هذه القوات المسلحة أيضاً النظرة نفسها التي نظر إليها عبر تاريخه بعد الاستقلال، هي نظرة الأمل في أن تتمكن من دحر الإرهابيين وإعادة الأمن والأمان إلى سورية، كلنا ثقة بتاريخنا.. كلنا إيمان باللـه وبالوطن وبهذا التاريخ.. وكلنا إيمان بأننا سننتصر بصمود ووعي الشعب، وببسالة وشجاعة قواتنا المسلحة.
وإذ أشار الرئيس الأسد إلى أن أشياء كثيرة تغيرت خلال الأربعين عاماً الماضية، فإنه أوضح أنه من أربعين عاماً كانت ممارسة الخيانة والعمالة مستترة، أما اليوم فأصبحت ظاهرة ومعلنة لا تناقش من منطلق المحرمات لأنها لم تعد من المحرمات، مؤكداً في الوقت ذاته أن أول انتصار وأكبر انتصار اليوم هو أن نقضي على الإرهابيين والإرهاب والفكر التكفيري وبالتالي أن نقضي على المخطط الذي وضعته بعض دول الخارج وساهمت فيه دول أخرى من منطقتنا من أجل تدمير سورية.

وأكد الرئيس الأسد أن موافقة سورية على المبادرة الروسية بشأن السلاح الكيميائي لا علاقة لها بالتهديدات الأمريكية ولم تكن تنازلاً لمطلب أمريكي وهذا المطلب لم يكن موجوداً أساساً، مشدداً على أن سلاح التدمير الشامل الحقيقي المستخدم ضد سورية الآن والذي يجب ردعه هو سلاح التطرف والإرهاب.

وفي ما يتعلق بمؤتمر «جنيف 2» أوضح الرئيس الأسد أن هناك عدة أسباب لمماطلة الأمريكيين في انعقاد المؤتمر، أما سورية فهي جاهزة دائماً منذ أن طرح موضوع المؤتمر، وليس لها شروط سوى عدم التفاوض مع الإرهابيين، وأن يكون الحل سورياً والحوار سياسياً.
وفي مايلي نص المقابلة:


السؤال الأول:

سيدي الرئيس، منذ أربعين عاماً خاضت سورية حرب تشرين التحريرية. كيف تبدو برأيكم سورية اليوم، وما الذي تغيّر في المشهد العام داخلياً وخارجياً؟

الرئيس الأسد:

أشياء كثيرة تغيّرت خلال الأربعين عاماً الماضية، مع تغيّر الأجيال وتغيّر الظروف طبعاً. لكن لو أردنا أن نُجري مقارنة سريعة ومختصرة بين تلك المرحلة وهذه المرحلة، بين أجيال ذلك الزمن وما يعيشه أجيال الوقت الراهن نستطيع القول إنه منذ أربعين عاماً كانت الدول العربية موحّدة بكل قطاعاتها وبكل جوانبها، إعلامياً، ثقافياً، عقائدياً، معنوياً، سياسياً، وعسكرياً في وجه عدوّ واحد هو العدو الصهيوني. اليوم نرى أن الدول العربية موحّدة لكن ضد سورية. أي نحن نتحدث عن شيئين متناقضين تماماً. في ذلك الوقت كان الجيشان السوري والمصري يخوضان معركة واحدة ضد عدوّ واحد هو العدو الإسرائيلي. اليوم للمصادفة في هذه الأسابيع الأخيرة، الجيشان يخوضان أيضاً معركة ضد عدوّ واحد ولكن لم يعد العدو هذه المرة هو العدو الإسرائيلي، بل أصبح العدوّ الذي يقاتل الجيش السوري والجيش المصري هو عربي ومسلم.

منذ أربعين عاماً كانت ممارسة الخيانة والعمالة مستترة. اليوم أصبحت ظاهرة ومعلنة وأصبحت خياراً، خياراً للأشخاص، خياراً للحكومات، خياراً للمسؤولين العرب، يختار أن يكون عميلاً أو لا يكون. لا تُناقَش من منطلق المحرمات.. فهي لم تعد من المحرمات. أعتقد أن أهم جانب هو جانب الهوية، الهوية العربية كانت أكثر وضوحاً، اليوم بعد أربعين عاماً هناك تمزّق في الهوية العربية بين التوجّه إلى الغرب والانبطاح أمام الغرب، والانبهار بالغرب بلا منطق وبلا عقل، وبين التطرّف والانغلاق والتكفير. فالهوية العربية اليوم ممزقة بين هذين الطرفين، طبعاً هذا لا يلغي جوانب أخرى إيجابية.. ففي الأشهر الأخيرة نرى حالة وعي وطني على الساحة العربية نتيجة لما مرّ به العالم العربي خلال العقود الماضية ونتيجة تحولات مرتبطة طبعاً بالأزمة الحالية..

السؤال الثاني:

سيدي الرئيس، الجيش العربي السوري استطاع تحقيق انتصار حرب تشرين في عام 1973، واليوم يخوض حرباً من نوع مختلف. هل يمكن لنا أن نشهد تكرار انتصار حرب تشرين؟

الرئيس الأسد:

غالباً ما نتحدث، وغالباً ما يتحدث معظم الناس حول الانتصارات في المعارك العسكرية فقط.. أي بالجانب العسكري أو بالمعنى العسكري فقط، وغالباً ما يبدؤون بقياس الانتصارات من خلال الأمتار التي كسبتها الجيوش أو التي خسرتها.. وكثيراً ما قُيّمت حرب تشرين انطلاقاً من هذا الموضوع، ولكن الحقيقة أن مفهوم الانتصار أشمل من ذلك، أهمّ شيء في حرب تشرين هو انتصار الإرادة، أهمّ شيء في حرب تشرين هو انتصار العقل العربي، عندما تمكّن هذا العقل من معرفة أين تكمن مصلحته الحقيقية، هذا العقل الجماعي لكل المجتمع العربي أو للدول العربية تمكّن من تحويل هذه الرؤية إلى تنفيذ أو تطبيق عملي أدى إلى انتصارات حرب تشرين وأهمها الانتصار على الخوف والانتصار على الأوهام التي وُضعت في عقول المواطنين العرب في المرحلة التي تلت حرب 1967والتي سبقت حرب 1973، تمكّن العقل العربي حينها من هزيمة هذا الوهم. اليوم إذا أردنا أن نتحدث عن انتصار وخاصة أننا نعيش حرباً ولو بشكل مختلف ومع عدو آخر، فنستطيع أن ننظر للانتصار بالطريقة نفسها.. لأن الانتصار، إذا أردنا أن نبدأ بالحديث عنه أو العمل من أجله، فيجب أن تكون لدينا رؤية أشمل تتجاوز قضية الأعمال العسكرية اليومية التي تتم والتي تحقّق فيها القوات المسلحة تقدماً جيداً، ولكن هل نحن نمتلك هذا العقل لكي نحقّق هذا الانتصار؟ الخطوة الأولى في ذلك هو أن نعرف مصلحتنا كمواطنين سوريين، أن نتوحّد، أن نفرّق بين الخلافات السياسية والاختلاف على الوطن. فنحن ننتصر أولاً عندما نتوحد تجاه القضية الرئيسية وهي الإرهاب الذي يأتي جزء منه من داخل سورية والجزء الأكبر الآن هو مورَّد إلى سورية من الخارج، عندها يبدأ الانتصار الحقيقي من خلال توحيد المجتمع، لأن وحدة هذا المجتمع هي التي ستعطي القوات المسلحة العامل الأكبر لتحقيق الانتصار بأسرع وقت ممكن. فبالعودة إلى السؤال.. نعم نستطيع أن نحقق هذا الانتصار.. وأوّل انتصار وأكبر انتصار اليوم هو أن نقضي على الإرهابيين والإرهاب والفكر الإرهابي، وبالتالي أن نقضي بالمحصلة على المخطّط الذي وضعته بعض دول الخارج وساهمت فيه دول أخرى في منطقتنا من أجل تدمير سورية. الأهم من ذلك هو أن نؤمن بهذا الانتصار، عندما يوجد الإيمان داخل كل إنسان فينا بأننا قادرون على الانتصار، فبكلّ تأكيد سنحقّق النصر.

October 6th, 2013, 2:48 pm


ghufran said:

Rebels at work, they hide in residential areas and fire mortars at random, they get bombed, civilians get killed and then they scream “massacre” !!

October 6th, 2013, 3:27 pm


Hopeful said:

#236 Ghufran

You are spot on with the reasons why Iraq and Libya are a mess today, but you forgot one other reason: interference from regional powers who are worried about the potential success of democratic experiments next door.

But I will have to strongly disagree that Iraq and Libya were better under Saddam and Qaddafi. These two thugs have destroyed the wealth of their nations, the dignity of their countrymen, and left them with no souls and no hope. You must have very short memory to forget what these guys have done to their countries over the past decades.

October 6th, 2013, 4:23 pm


Hopeful said:

#255 Ghufran

Exactly as Hamas and Hizbullah did vis-a-vis Israel?

One thing for sure, it looks like these guys ain’t getting any good weapons from nobody!

October 6th, 2013, 4:30 pm


ghufran said:

The alliance and cozy relations between the GCC and Israel is not new but today it is not a public taboo any more, read what a Bahraini official wrote on twitter:
اعتبر مسؤول بحريني أن “اسرائيل” يمكن أن تكون صديق جديد في ظل التحالفات الجديدة المتوقعة بين مجلس التعاون الخليجي و “اسرائيل”.
وكتب وكيل وزارة الخارجية للشؤون الإقليمية ومجلس التعاون السفير حمد العامر، على صفحته بموقع التواصل الاجتماعي “تويتر”، يوم أمس، “عندما تضيق بك الدنيا ابحث عن صديق جديد، هي الدنيا صديق اليوم يختلف عن صديق الأمس، مصالح وأهواء وأهداف، لم تعد الصداقات التاريخية تنفع ولم يعد حليف الأمس ينفع،ابحث عن صديق جديد”، وذلك بعد نشره مقالاً وصفه بـ”المهم” للكاتب “الصهيوني” آرون كولمان تناول فيه التحالفات المتوقعة بين دول مجلس التعاون وإسرائيل حول تفكيك البرنامج النووي الإيراني
For those of you who want to sell the Palestinians and buy a new friend, Israel in this case, I say : enjoy !!

October 6th, 2013, 5:00 pm


Tara said:


” Iran and Israel are going to be friends again in the next few years. ….Israel understand that the minorities of the Middle East are its best allies, look: Druz, Lebanese Christians, Kurds, and who knows the Alawis may be next. Do not be surprised if the Alawis start bridging their relations”. 


The Islamic Republic of Iran can not in my opinion ally itself with Israel in its current mullacracy shape.  The concept of the US being the great Satan, of Israel should be wiped from the face of geography, and the supremacy of Shiism is the glue that makes the mullacracy united and its people oppressed.  Iran can only ally itself with Israel if it gets rid of its mullahs and one hopes that a democratic Iran would not be at liberty in getting itself transformed into neo-imperial.

Minorities allying themselves with Israel ain’t getting them or Israel a better status than what both already have:  for minorities: dictatorial regimes that maintain the minorities’ privileges at the expense of killing and brutalizing their fellow citizens, and for Israel:  dictatorial regimes that are out of touch with their people and therefore can never forge a real peace.   Please explain what benefits minorities or Israel get from such alliance?

I hope you do not mind calling you Jaboul.           

October 6th, 2013, 5:20 pm


ALAN said:

Uzair! Have you the smell of barbecue?
British extremists use Syria as training ground before returning home – UK Home Secretary

October 6th, 2013, 5:26 pm


ALAN said:

مسؤول بحريني……
They left the faith!Caught up by petrodollars! the great Palestinian child will spit them !

October 6th, 2013, 5:33 pm


ALAN said:

China! go ahead!
China Pledges 200 Million Yuan in Grant to South Sudan
China ExIm-Bank will give Sudan $700m to build a new airport in Khartoum- including a 300 room hotel. Built by China Harbour Engineering.
No time to waste in the Syrian altercations.

October 6th, 2013, 5:51 pm


omen said:

250. omen said: how many alawite clerics have stood up to denounce assad’s grotesque crimes as running counter to alawite religious values?


not even ONE alawite cleric can be found to have denounced assad?

not even one can be found in the whole wide world??

what does this about alawism if this is the case?

sectarian alawites on the board go on and on excoriating radical wahhabism as medieval and violent yet are unable to offer one alawite cleric brave enough to have denounced assad’s carnage.

is there something in the religion that tolerates savagery?

October 6th, 2013, 6:20 pm


ALAN said:

This video shows how Turkish students confronted the lies perpetrated by the Syrian National Council (SNC) ex-presidents Abdul Basit Sieda and George Sabra in a forum that supposedly discusses Syria through the eyes of the opposition.

The protesting students denounced the SNC narrative as nothing but lies and highlighted some of the crimes that the armed wing of the SNC, namely the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), has committed in Syria from massacres and ethnic cleansing.

October 6th, 2013, 6:32 pm


mjabali said:


They should ban you from this blog for your repeated insults to me. Do you want me to answer in the same manner? Speaking of manners, why don’t you know first what I am talking about, and what is the context and of course, most important of all: what is the topic. Uzair said that the “Scholars” would reject any deal with Israel. Your attack at my response shows clearly you have no clue what the topic of the conversation is.

If you are trying to pick on my texts repeatedly at least Sage Omen come up with something with value and not this cry baby conspiracy calls for violence imbalanced texts.

For example: you are barking at the Alawite sheikhs: can you name one without searching google? I doubt it.

You are talking about things you have no knowledge about Sage Omen…

October 6th, 2013, 8:08 pm


mjabali said:


my name is mjabali and jaboul is not my name. If you want to call me that name I won’t answer next time because that is a different person.

As for what Israel and the minorities get from working together:

let me tell you for now just three simple points that would make this alliance between all the minorities of the Middle East very rational:

1- They all have a mutual enemy.

2- They all want to survive.

3- If they work together they are a force to reckon with.

What do you think about this simple answer without لت وعجن

October 6th, 2013, 8:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

A few observations:


Still no answer why you blame Obama for doing nothing to help Syria but no blame for the many arab states.

Tara’s last post was SPOT ON. I also agree with her response to Mjabali about Iran and Israel: they will not be friends while Iran is a Islamic theocracy led by a “Supreme Leader” who hand-picks 8 presidential candidates from a list of more than 600. It is more a statement on the style of the Iranian government: religious, intolerant, violent, non-democratic, and not free.

Takhween means “evil” or “taboo”?

October 6th, 2013, 8:21 pm


mjabali said:


Your insistence on insulting the Alawite religion over and over should be checked by the moderator. al-Assads do not represent the Alawites and has no Alawite agenda. Their army includes members from other sects other than the Alawites. Your insistence on insulting the Alawite religion is not acceptable.

What Omen says about the Alawite religion over and over is nothing but bigotry. Simple bigotry….

Sage Omen you should be banned.

October 6th, 2013, 8:29 pm


mjabali said:

Akbar Palace:

I am really glad that you do not agree with me, or agree more with those who argue against me.

I do not think that you speak for the Israeli government or analysts. You may be surprised if warmer relations starts showing up between Israel and Iran. Iran is changing and many are noticing this.

Iran is an old civilization and learns from its mistakes. In my estimate, Iran would have normal relations with Israel in ten years, or even earlier. This mullah system is going to go away because the Iranians are watching how this had estranged them from many in this world. The Iranians are seeing what the Sunni Arabs are doing to them and therefore they may change their whole outlook and stop this anti Israel agenda that started in 1979.

October 6th, 2013, 8:40 pm


zoo said:

Who believes the USA weathercok’s promises and denials anymore?

US denies agreement to extend Assad’s term
Leaks say US and Russia considering allow Assad to remain president until 2016

Hopes within the Syrian opposition that Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad will transfer executive powers to an interim government as part of a diplomatic solution to the Syrian civil war are fading.

The removal of Assad from power is one of the key conditions for the Syrian opposition’s participation in the Geneva II peace talks, set to begin in mid-November.

The frustration and disappointment of the Syrian opposition have been further exacerbated by recent remarks made by Assad to the media on his determination to run for a new term, “based on the desire of the Syrian people.”

These fears have been exacerbated by accounts of leaks from diplomatic sources that there is a US-Russian proposal to extend Assad’s presidency until 2016.

According to the leaks, the proposal includes the postponement of presidential elections in Syria, scheduled for mid-2014.

Article 87, paragraph 2 of the Syrian Constitution, altered last year, stipulates: “If the term of the President of the Republic is complete but a new president is not yet elected, the existing President of the Republic continues to assume his duties until the new president is elected.”

International news outlets have reported that a British diplomatic source has made unverified claims that “Moscow and Washington have privately agreed to postpone Syrian presidential elections.” The source added that there might be “international political cover” that will allow the extension of Al-Assad’s mandate, in accordance with the revised Syrian constitution.

The US State Department has denied the claims, and stated that Al-Assad “should not even consider” staying in power.

October 6th, 2013, 8:55 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I HOPE you’re right. Not just for Israel, but also for the rest of the violence-ridden neighborhood.

I jut don’t see a powerful theocracy like the one in Iran going away or even changing it’s philosophy w/o a fight. And I don’t speak for anyone except for myself.

October 6th, 2013, 9:07 pm


Ghufran said:

A good article in the telegraph on Yabroud:

Inside Syria’s model town: Peace, until al-Qaeda arrived
The residents of Yabroud have established an independent government that manages everything from schools, the court and emergency services to humanitarian aid and defence. It is remarkably efficient – as long as they can keep al-Qaeda out.

(Yabroud is not the only town where Islamists spoiled and even killed the hope of a regime change, as soon as the army leaves the Islamist rebels come in trying to control people’s lives)
If thawrajiyyeh can talk about the Islamists they would say:
جبنا الأقرع ليونسنا كشف عن صلعته فزعنا
Iran, my friends, is changing, a war with Iran is unlikely and unproductive. Syrians today emerge , as other Arabs, as the biggest losers since 2001, I and others have talked about this from 2011. Israel is a winner for the short term, but without a fair deal for the Palestinians Israel’s problems will come back. Within less than 50 years, Jews will be a minority and it is best if Israel takes a peaceful path now.

October 6th, 2013, 9:08 pm


zoo said:


I agree with you.

I would not be suprised as a first step that Syria under Bashar Al Assad engages in a peace deal with Israel. That would cut short any attempts by Saudi Arabia to seduce the Israelis with their money.

Israeli are no fools, they know that the Saudis are rich but weak and corrupted. They will use them but will never respect them.
By the way, who does?

October 6th, 2013, 9:20 pm


Tara said:


I say as long as minorities in the ME think they should forge alliances to keep the majority brutalized and oppressed so they maintain their privileges, the ME will remain the hellish and the backward place we have all lived.

When the minorities realize that the only alliance needs to be formed is an alliance with their fellow citizens against all sort of extremism, then that would be the only hope for a meaningful survival

Same applicable to Israel. Having read and discussed with some of our previous and current Israelis-in- residence, I think Israelis understand that lasting peace is going to be forged with the people of the ME not their dictators and not their minorities.

I find “Jaboul” a nice name but yes I will only call you MJabali.

October 6th, 2013, 9:28 pm


Tara said:


Takhween means to treat someone as a traitor.

In the ME, uttering 2 forbidden things makes one automatically subject to Takhween: criticizing dear leader and criticizing the so called resistance.

Obviously Takhween can lead to capital punishment.

October 6th, 2013, 9:37 pm


Akbar Palace said:

criticizing dear leader and criticizing the so called resistance.Obviously Takhween can lead to capital punishment.

Thanks Tara.

Obviously, living in society where criticizing a leader can cost you your life is foreign to me. What a way to live 🙁

Free speech is actually a measure of how strong a government is.

October 6th, 2013, 9:50 pm


Ghufran said:

سقط العرب و حكام العرب

عندما سقطت بغداد
عندما دخل حكام العراق الجدد بغداد فوق ظهر دبابات الناتو
عندما اغرق الجيش المصري أنفاق الحياة في غزه
عندما عالجت اسرائيل جراح المتمردين السوريين
عندما طلب السنيورة من الاخرين انهاء حزب الله في الضاحيه في 2006
عندما صارت بنات سوريا سلعه لكلاب الخليج
عندما صار ربع سكان سوريا لاجئين
عندما صارت اسرائيل قطرا شقيقا
عندما يتعلم أطفال الاخرين علوم الكيمياء و يموت أطفال سوريا بالكيمياوي
عندما خلع حكام البحرين الجنسيه من ابناء البحرين و اعطوها للأجانب
عندما يموت أطفال المعضميه من الجوع و يموت أطفال الاخرين من التخمه
عندما تنفق موزة قطر الملايين في الرشوه و الهدايا و لا يجد السوريون خبزا يأكلونه
عندما يقتل الثوار السوريين و الإسلاميين من الجنود السوريين ثلاثة أضعاف ما قتلت اسرائيل في حرب 1973
كل تشرين و انتم بخير
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

October 6th, 2013, 10:18 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Omen writes:

what about syrian clerics? how many alawite clerics or scholars have stood up to denounce assad’s grotesque & horrific crimes as running counter to alawite religious values?

of course it would be difficult to defy assad while inside of syria. how about alawite clerics abroad?

Syria Comment has from time to time had some very good in-depth articles on the Alawite communities and their modern history. One author in particular that you may wish to read is SC contributor Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi.

As I understand from background provided by Joshua and others (Tamimi and Khudr primarily), since the ascendancy of the Assad family, the Alawite faith has been systematically repressed as an independent sect separate from The Family. Remember that Alawi doctrine and scripture are somewhat like the Druze in being cryptic, reserved for adults, esoteric, closed.

Indeed, your question above contains its own answer; I think you know just how difficult life can be for an Alawi who speaks out against the dictatorship. We should hear almost zero dissidence from Alawi elders/sheikhs, as even community leaders abroad feel the same fear of home consequences (in other words, retaliation against family).

It seems that since the state of emergency all internal/Alawi dissent was systematically strangled in its cradle or imprisoned. Several of the civil society Anti-Assad Alawite activists have stressed that punishment is more severe for dissidents from within the community and that Syrian dungeons have their share of non-Assadist Alawites.

I think it is fair to state that Mjabali is not here to educate any of us on Alawites, on the existential threat they may feel, or to be held accountable in his person for acts committed by others, nor to produce an anti-Assad cleric.

Here is a small portion of a remarkable article by Tamimi, first published in the Levantine Review. I have removed the footnotes for easier reading:

The status of the traditional Alawite religion in Syria has been increasingly moribund since the formation of the modern state in 1946, particularly following the rise of the Ba’ath Party in 1963 and the ascent of the Assad dynasty in 1970. For example, a report by the Los Angeles Times quoted a Syrian Alawite blogger living in Japan called Yazan Badran as follows: “Many Alawites nowadays consider themselves outright atheists but are still within the cultural sphere of Alawis and are accepted into the sect and treated like any other (myself, included).”

Thus, for Alawites like Badran, the identity is no more than one of bloodline and culture, as is the case with many secularist Jews, even if they regard actual belief in the religion as something ridiculous. John Myhill, a professor of linguistics at Haifa University, reports the existence of the same phenomenon among the small community of Alawites in Israel and in exile in Europe and North America.

Going further back in time, there is one particularly salient case to note. On April 25, 1967, an article appeared in the Syrian Army’s newspaper, written by a young Alawite officer called Ibrahim Khalas, who called for liberation from “God, religion, feudalism, capitalism, colonialism, and all the values that prevailed under the old society”: values that were derided by Khalas as “mummies in the museums of history.”[55] The article provoked outrage from Muslim clergy and some Christian religious leaders in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Hama,[56] but there is no evidence of anger emanating from the Alawite community.

In addition, as Joshua Landis points out, when Hafez al-Assad became president in 1970, he pursued a policy of de facto “Sunnification” for the Alawite community. Hence, while he declared Alawites to be Twelver Shi’a Muslims, he “forbade Alawite Shaykhs to venerate Ali excessively, and set the example for his people by adhering to Sunni practice. He built mosques in Alawite towns, prayed publicly and fasted and encouraged his people to do the same.” His son and successor Bashar has set the same ostensible example of orthodox Muslim piety.

As Joshua and other Syrian experts here have told us many times, the Assad dynasty long pursued a strategy to fuse the Alawi identity to the State, and did its best to close any open doors to intercommunal discussion of ‘sect’; a distinct Alawi religious practice is the unseen and unheard taboo in official Baathist Syria organs. Today still, in the official media, scant reference is made to Alawites or distinct Alawi religious traditions or personalities. The absence is remarkable. The Druze have their own distinctive nomenclature in the SANA press, but no religious figure from the Alawite community is ever so named.

The first victims of the dictatorship were the Alawites, I believe — to so thoroughly deculture a people, to align them so closely with a totalitarian cult of personality, this was the ultimate bad deal imposed upon them.

In the same way Ghufran blames ‘rebels’ for attracting the hellfire of the regime upon their territory, blame could be assigned to Alawites for attracting the hellfire of anti-assad militias, for acquiescing to Assad/Alawi dictature.

I think both blame versions are hideously wrong, for blaming others than the regime for its crimes against humanity.

October 6th, 2013, 10:26 pm


zoo said:

A turning point ?

Syrian Officials Sound a Conciliatory Note Toward the Opposition

DAMASCUS, Syria — Coming from a Syrian deputy prime minister, it was an unusual statement. The country’s crisis, he said, began in part with a “popular movement” of peaceful protesters angry over economic disparities, and descended into war in part because officials were slow to make changes and failed to realize that the “repression of the popular movement” would lead to disaster.
Now, days after the official, Qadri Jamil, spoke in an interview, President Bashar al-Assad himself has declared that he and his government have made mistakes and that they share some blame for the crisis with rebels. Mr. Assad told the German magazine Der Spiegel, in an interview to be published on Monday, that he could not claim that the insurgents “did everything and we did nothing.” Reality, he said, has “shades of gray.”

After years of describing the country’s civil war in black and white, as an international terrorist conspiracy, Syrian officials in recent days appear to be trying to sound more conciliatory, as global powers try to arrange peace talks in Geneva to end the bloody stalemate, and as international weapons inspectors began on Sunday to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal.

Mr. Assad did not specify his mistakes, at least not in early excerpts released by the magazine, and he toughened his position in some ways, appearing to rule out negotiations with the armed opposition. But Mr. Jamil, one of two ministers from officially tolerated opposition parties appointed during the crisis, spent much of a 90-minute interview last week offering a detailed critique of the government, including the security forces.

“The Syrian regime is the hero of lost opportunities,” he said.

Mr. Jamil spoke in his office, beneath a portrait of Mr. Assad. Yet he said he spoke not for the government but as a member of Syria’s nonviolent opposition, which he said aimed, in the next elections, to “make the current majority into a minority.”

Mr. Jamil described an internal power struggle between “clean forces” pushing for substantive changes and “forces of corruption,” which he said included security hard-liners opposed to a political solution, as well as people on both sides benefiting financially from the chaos.

“There are certain segments inside the regime, similar to other segments inside the opposition, who don’t want to have this political solution,” he said. “This is either because of narrow-minded mentalities or because they have turned into merchants of the crisis.”

He added that “extremists on both sides” would “fight each other by day and sit to divide the spoils at night.”

Though he did not name Mr. Assad as one of the reformers, one of his advisers did, and Mr. Jamil’s comments resonated with a view popular among the president’s supporters that he has always aimed for reform but has been stymied by hard-liners.

He insisted that he faced no risks in making the comments. “The West has to get used to the new Syria,” he said.

October 6th, 2013, 11:46 pm


Juergen said:

Agnes Mariam de la Croix, our true expert on islamism, chemical warfare and the love towards the Al Wahash clan has been pardoned for her unlawful visit by Al Wahash himself. What a surprise…

October 7th, 2013, 1:26 am


Hopeful said:

Finally, someone from within the Syrian government (Kadri Jamil) is telling the truth. This is a good sign. The coming days will tell – will this set a trend or is he going to end up in jail?

“He said the government tried to put down the movement by force, mistakenly relying on its experience repressing a violent Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the 1980s — a time, he said, when fewer Syrians were politically aware.

“Had the Syrian secret services read history, they would have understood the fact that such a popular movement shouldn’t be treated with repression.”

Zoo, maybe it is time for you to start telling the truth as well.

October 7th, 2013, 4:51 am



US is falling very low and deep in the Middle East. Morally, strategically and politically reaching its lowest levels of success and legitimacy.

After 20 years everybody will talk about syrian holocaust, occidental and russian hipocrisy but now the whole world is accepting the syrian massacre while Vip UN inspectors play with CW.

I just need to know if the detonator used for destroying 1000 tons of CW in one week is an Acme one.

Never Al Qaeda fiction script was so helpfull to maintain the status quo.

October 7th, 2013, 4:59 am


mjabali said:

W S Scherk:

If you, or the Sage, want to know about Alawites against al-Assad: search online: key word: Alawites in the Syrian Revolution. Lazy people throw insults before doing a simple homework.

As for Alawites and religion: the current generation, and the one before it has no connection to religion whatsoever. They lived outside the influence of clergy and any type or religious teachings. Alawism for them is an identity more than a religion. Most of them had forgot about it and want to forget about it, but events made them more aware of it.

October 7th, 2013, 7:03 am


AKbar Palace said:

Falling Very Low & Deep NewZ

Sandro Loewe,

Do you find fault with any of the arab governments or, like Omen, are you just committed to criticizing the usual suspect: the US?

I’m willing to go out on a limb and bet you criticized the US for conducting regime change in Iraq, where MORE Iraqis were killed by the other Baathist dictator, Saddam Hussein.

October 7th, 2013, 7:09 am


Hopeful said:

#286 Akbar

If all the negative energy that is spent over the years by Arabs criticizing the US government, is instead spent on lobbying the US government and influencing US public opinion, the Arabs would have been far better off by now.

All my life I hear friends and family members say: “you know, Americans are wonderful people, but the American government does bad things which the American people do not approve of”. This cannot be further from the truth. They need to understand that the only way to get the American government to change actions/policies is by influencing public opinion and lobbying the “broad” government – not just the “president”. But I do not blame them – they all lived under dictatorships where the “government” represented by the “dictator” is the sole decision maker, with no concern for its own public opinion.

You are absolutely correct with your question Akbar. Within my own family, the same people criticizing the US for its “inaction” in Syria today, were extremely critical of its “action” in Iraq in 2003, as well as of the Iraqi opposition “traitors” who invited the US to topple Saddam then. It is amazing to me that they see no problem with their argument and logic. Bush was wrong then for acting, and Obama is wrong today for inaction. Period.

Actually one does not even have to look at the “public”. In Iraq today, the same people in power who lobbied the US government for ten years to invade Iraq and topple Saddam, are now condemning the Syrian rebels/opposition for calling on the US to strike Assad in Syria. Go figure!

October 7th, 2013, 7:40 am


Akbar Palace said:

If all the negative energy that is spent over the years by Arabs criticizing the US government, is instead spent on lobbying the US government and influencing US public opinion, the Arabs would have been far better off by now.


Of course. There has been so much hostility over the years, mainly due to the arab-Israeli conflict. Now, after decades of all this hostility, arabs are waking up to the possibility that Israel isn’t quite the biggest problem they are facing.

Now what do we do?? Yes, let’s repair the relationship. As an American-Jew, I would like to see better relations with the arab world. Ignoring the arabs is BAD idea, unless of course, they still see “resistance” as the over-riding national interest.

Thank you for your words and acknowledging that I might be right. And, BTW, tell your friends and family that arabs, Jews and Americans CAN be friends and CAN work together. Why not?

October 7th, 2013, 8:07 am


Uzair8 said:

The first 10 days of the blessed month of Hajj have begun. Some of the, if not the, holiest days in the Islamic Calendar.

Mubarak to all (to whom it may concern). An opportunity to make the most of the immense blessings on offer and to also keep Syria and each other in our prayers.

October 7th, 2013, 8:26 am


zoo said:

Activist: Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’oglio ‘alive and well’ in hands of Al-Qaeda-linked captors

Beirut, 7 Oct. (AKI) – An Italian Jesuit priest who vanished in northern Syria last month is alive and is being well treated by the Al-Qaeda linked jihadist group holding him prisoner, an opposition activist told Adnkronos International (AKI).

“Paolo Dall’Oglio was seen on Saturday in an area of northern Syria where the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is active, Khalaf Ali Khalaf told AKI.

He declined to name the sources of his information to protect them from reprisals.

Khalaf was referring to a jihadist group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), which continues to be active in Iraq as well as in Syria.

Conflicting reports have emerged on Dall’Oglio fate since he vanished in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa on 28 July.

The Vatican and the Italian government said in August they could not confirm a report by a pro-Syrian-government website that the priest had been executed by his captors.

Syrian authorities deported the priest last year after he helped victims of authoritarian president Bashar al-Assad’s military crackdown from a monastery in mountains north of Damascus.

October 7th, 2013, 10:38 am


zoo said:

‘Youngest’ Saudi Militant Enters War in Syria

According to Arabic-language Asia News, citing sources within Syria opposition groups, a 16-year old Saudi boy, named Abdullah al-Shimri, entered Syria a few days ago and picked a nickname for himself as “Abu al-Motaz al-Jezeri”.

The sources said he was the youngest Saudi entering the war in Syria.

October 7th, 2013, 10:42 am


Uzair8 said:

Is Assad winning?

October 7, 2013

Bashar al-Assad and his proponents make their defeats look like victories.


Perhaps it is time for Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah to rethink his Syria plan. It has been four months since the joint Assad-Hezbollah force conquered Qusayr. But for all the talk about a reversal in fortunes, Assad and Hezbollah have yet to show other significant gains.


For its part, Iran wants something different than Geneva. In return for abandoning uranium enrichment up to 20 percent, Tehran wants a free hand in Syria, meaning sponsors cut off the anti-Assad opposition, and Assad or Hezbollah be given a freehand to win the civil war. While Washington might stomach such a deal, it is unlikely that Assad can stay if the US and Iran become buddies. Syria will be ceded to Iran, but Assad will have to be disposed of. Washington and Tehran can always find another Maliki for Syria.

For Assad, the days of balancing Russia against America and Arab countries against Iran are long gone. Bruised and unable to get himself out of trouble, Assad will have to settle for whatever others decide for him. His fate is not in his hands anymore, which means he can’t be winning.

October 7th, 2013, 10:45 am


zoo said:

If Turkey’s Constitution is not changed to make it a ‘presidential’ republic, will Erdogan find himself out of politics and owner of a network of Ayran and Hejab factories in 2015?

“Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for a decade, cannot run again as prime minister in 2015 according to AKP rules, and had been long expected to stand for a newly-created executive presidency, although his plans to establish such an enhanced role have stalled.”

Latest scenario: One more term with President Gül

The likeliness of the scenario of “one more term with Gül” rises when taking into consideration probabilities such as: Erdoğan, as such a dominant character, may not like to be at Çankaya with the current presidential authorities, especially when taking probable conflicts with Gül into account.

Or if there is a decrease in the ruling party’s votes in the local elections, he may prefer to offer an opportunity to Gül for a second term at Çankaya while taking the chances of not being able to get elected as president into account.

October 7th, 2013, 11:00 am


zoo said:

Another thanks to the opposition who brought this extremist Sunni scourge to Syria
Leaving home: Christians who remain in Syria face a grim future

A couple of days after she fled Syria for Turkey, a colleague sent me a message.

“Dear Nuri, this is a court that the extremists established in my city, Lattakia, in the [Syrian] village of Kansabba. This Islamic court issues the law according to the extremists’ religion. It started today. They are forcing everyone to adopt their fundamentalist Islamic laws.”

Now she is waiting for smugglers to take her to Sweden.
She says that in places where the fundamentalists have established Islamic courts, there is no future for Christians – or any others who don’t want to live their lives according to Sharia law. She says I will even find Swedish jihadists on YouTube, preaching Sharia in Syria, in Swedish even. It took me only two minutes to find several.

With the help of a Palestinian living in Sweden, whose asylum case I followed 10 years ago, I get in touch with one of the Swedish jihadists.

“Everybody who wants to live in Syria, and who obeys to live according to the Sharia laws and the holy Koran, are welcome to stay in the country,” he tells me. “All the others have to go to sinful places. It’s our duty to preach the word of the prophet Muhammad. If we don’t do that and don’t force people to follow his words, we will be punished ourselves.”

I ask the jihadist if he can give me his name. “I cannot,” he says. He doesn’t want to hurt his family in Sweden by revealing his identity.

Next day, scrolling through Facebook, I spot that my Syrian journalist friend also is online. I send her a message about the interview I made with the Jihadist.

“I met hundreds of bearded young men like him, from all over the world, on the streets of my native city,” she writes back. “That’s why I left.”

October 7th, 2013, 11:06 am



If all the negative energy that is spent over the years by Arabs criticizing the US government, is instead spent on lobbying the US government and influencing US public opinion, the Arabs would have been far better off by now.

Hopeful and Akbar
All of this will be useless unless it reflects genuine conviction of friendship. There is a limit to the power of lobby, and that limit can only be extended if the voters believe that their elected representative is dealing with true friends.

October 7th, 2013, 12:30 pm


Sami said:

These children are “terrorists” that need “rehabilitation” in Assad’s dungeons…

Children in Military Intelligence Branches

The Testimony of the Child Mo’az AbdulRahman on the Intelligence and Military Police Jails


The Syrian regime and its various security bodies have not lingered in arresting children and put them in jails and expose them to all sorts of harsh ill-treatments.

VDC has documented 997 cases of boys arrest and 38 others of girls. Cases of children’s executions and torture to death inside the regime’s jails and detentions have also been documented (73 boys and two girls).

Some cases are: the boy martyrs Hamza Ali Alkhateeb and Thamer M.Shar’ee, the girl martyr Afaf Mahmoud Saraqbi

Here we present an interview with one of the children whom, despite his little age and innocence, had been brutally tortured, abused and stood before the Terrorist Court, which had been established on 26/7/2012 in accordance with decree no.22.

October 7th, 2013, 12:54 pm


Uzair8 said:

Iran and Hezbo have their very own Vietnam on their hands.

Observer has mentioned it previously.

Russia Today (RT):

‘Hezbo has reportedly been withdrawing it’s fighters from the Syrian conflict…’

That’s the only mention of withdrawal (unless I wasn’t paying attention). At the beginning.

October 7th, 2013, 1:39 pm


Uzair8 said:

Assad’s just bought himself loads of time with the chemical deal. Now he can continue, as I’m reading on AJE updates, to shell civilian areas in Damascus.

Of course the US/West are over the moon about the chemical concessions. Kerry even praising Assad to high Heaven today I understand.

October 7th, 2013, 1:57 pm


Sami said:

Another deadly weapon used by Assad to punish Syrians is the bombing of hospitals and the targeting of Doctors helping Syrians in most need.

In Syria, Doctors Beware

LONDON — There is something deeply unpalatable about doctors being attacked, detained or killed for doing their job. Yet, as an open letter published in The Lancet by 55 prominent international doctors highlights, the “deliberate and systematic” targeting of medical personnel and hospitals is a fact of life in Syria today.

Dr. Rola Hallam and I have returned from northern Syria after working with the charity Hand in Hand for Syria in one of the most challenging medical environments we have ever seen.

More than half of Syria’s hospitals have been destroyed or badly damaged in the conflict. According to the Violations Documentation Center, 469 health workers are imprisoned, and the Council on Foreign Relations estimates that 15,000 doctors have been forced to flee abroad. Of the 5,000 physicians in Aleppo Province before the conflict started, only 36 remain.

Doctors have been targeted without respect for their professional neutrality. Dr. Omar Arnous, 33, was arrested in Damascus on Oct. 6 last year with his wife and two-year-old son after he ignored warnings from government forces to stop treating the war-wounded. His family was released after 11 days, but he is still in detention. His exact whereabouts are unknown.

Taiba camp, with 1,000 tents, has no formal medical facility. A lone nurse is trying to provide some semblance of health care. She was desperate to show us examples of confirmed cases of typhoid and brucellosis, a highly contagious disease caught from consuming unsterilized milk or meat.

The nearest antibiotics were an hour away. Medicines are in pitifully short supply throughout the country since several of Syria’s pharmaceutical manufacturing plants were hit by shells.

Resupply and support from international nongovernmental organizataions is difficult. Aid cannot be delivered in the simplest way — over the border. All pledged aid has to go through Damascus and be distributed from there by the Syrian government.

A repeated tactic, breathtaking in its cruelty, is the targeting of health care workers as they enter an area after an airstrike. A number of health workers have been killed or wounded in this way.

Removing chemical weapons from Syria is now central to international policy debate, but thoughts must turn to other types of lethal weapons used by the Syrian regime in civilian urban areas. This month, Dr. Hallam and I found ourselves in a school that had been hit by a napalm-like bomb. Thirty students were severely burned and three of them died later from their wounds.

Dr. Hallam, who is British of Syrian descent, said: “The whole world has failed our nation, and it is innocent civilians who are paying the price.”

Medical workers are stretched to the limit. Four staff members collapsed and needed attention themselves. Overworked, exhausted and with little outside support, how much longer can they continue? Health care workers and the wounded are protected under international humanitarian law, but in Syria they are deemed high-value targets. Hospital locations have to remain secret and field hospitals move from place to place to avoid being compromised.

The danger is so well understood that a family living next door to a hospital, to which I had transferred a gunshot patient, could be seen digging a shelter. Last month the hospital was hit by an airstrike, killing six people, one of them a doctor. I do not know if the family completed their shelter in time.

A U.N. team of investigators, led by Paulo Pinheiro, a Brazilian legal expert, describes intentional attacks against hospitals as a war crime. At the moment, that makes little difference to those who are in the direct line of fire.

The international community must condemn attacks against hospitals and health workers in the strongest terms. Beyond that, it must immediately offer support and protection to those providing health care to innocent civilians.;

October 7th, 2013, 2:09 pm


ALAN said:

Mr. Putin!
Why are you waiting for?
Are you waiting to flood Syria one million foreign fighters?
I have already mentioned that the time goes contrary to your wishes!
The time comes to help in the war on dirty international terrorism, funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and supported by the West!
Enough stand like wooden !
If these practice work, they will use it against your country!
Is it a puzzle?
Will Russia Take the Blame for New Influx of US-NATO Mercenaries in Syria?

The wind will carry the smell of barbecue to the borders of Russia!

October 7th, 2013, 3:19 pm


ALAN said:

CIA Activities in Syria: US Never Stops to Step on Same Rake
The US-led Western myope policy in Syria has resulted in radical Islam gaining the upper hand inside the Syria opposition to endanger Europe and the entire Mideast. A new safe haven for al-Qaeda-linked jihadists and local radicals is being established in the north and east of Syria threatening neighboring Iraq. The goal is a Sunni emirate on the Mediterranean shore and Turkish border. The seasoned fighters will one day go or return to the countries of Western Europe or former Soviet space. Within Iraq, they are trying to revive the Sunni-Shiite civil war with a wave of suicide bombs, something that has become a routine daily news on TV. They are also stirring up tensions inside neighboring countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. This is a universal problem, a threat posed for the USA, NATO, the EU, Russia and a lot of other states. And this is the time the CIA is involved in activities aimed at making Syria an al-Qaeda safe haven and base camp. Like it or not, but there is a reality – the government of President Assad now is the only force capable of standing up to the radicals offensive in Syria. Russia and the US will discuss the issue at the level of foreign chiefs on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit next week in Bali.

October 7th, 2013, 3:35 pm


ALAN said:

The use of the terms “humanitarian intervention” is like a cosmetic which numbs the consciences of the thinking-challenged who cannot fathom the real reasons why the US and NATO have gone into various countries to overthrow their governments; it is to prevent countries from moving away from the US dollar standard, and simultaneously enriching the coffers of the private central banks, which loan money at interest, to all countries involved in the fight, and will take decades to pay back.

October 7th, 2013, 3:39 pm


ALAN said:

Obama Admin disarms his own people, while Arming Mexican Cartels & Al Qaeda Terrorists.
* * *
Saudi Arabia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf as well as Turkey, which support the Syrian opposition and supply them with weapons, are also required to comply with resolution 2118. And so it turns out we have a game with only one set of goal posts. And if these countries continue to foment war in Syria, interfering with the disposal of chemical weapons, they should be held accountable for this, according to the text of the UN document. And the United States is also required to use its influence on its allies in the anti-Syrian coalition. But the problem is that many of these groups are simply out of the control of their external sponsors. As the influence of the ideas of radical jihad has increased dramatically in the north of Syria, Western countries’ influence is falling. Moreover, from the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar, inhabited by Sunni, have poured into the east and north of Syria hundreds of Al-Qaeda fighters and regular bandits that have fought against U.S. troops, and then the army of Shiite Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. It is obvious that they consider the United States no less an enemy than Assad. And then last week, 11 armed opposition groups formed a new coalition, which allegedly ended their pro-Western orientation and proclaimed that their main cause was the establishment of a Syrian state based on the norms of Sharia.

October 7th, 2013, 3:59 pm


ALAN said:

Al- Qaeda , the defeated in Syria, trying to take revenge in Iraq.

The troops of the international terrorist network al-Qaeda , which aims to create a jihadist state in the Middle East, are increasingly active in Iraq.
Defeated the Syrian army , they fall back into Iraq .
The newspaper The Guardian, in the towns and villages of Iraq near the Syrian border mercenary jihadists “quite successfully increase their influence. Cruelty and violence have become a reality in this part of the country. Almost every day from this region there are reports of new attacks . ”
One of the residents of the Iraqi province of Al Anbar , which in 2007 was a member of the local movement against the militants , ” Al- Qaeda “, said British reporters that “they want everyone to adhere to the harsh Islamic law , and Syria – it’s just a phase distribution of jihad around the world . They must be stopped. ”
In recent weeks, Iraq has a new wave of violence , whose victims in August were about 800 people. In September at the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists who continue to receive arms from the secret services of NATO, the country killed 400 people. Since the beginning of the year in armed conflicts and in terrorist attacks , according to the UN , killing five thousand Iraqi civilians .

October 7th, 2013, 4:07 pm


annie said:

I have missed the overdue banning of REVENIRE. Means I can come back. Not that you will have missed my pasting of good pieces but not having access at al jazeera, I am hungry for some Syrian news. What was the problem with Majel ?

October 7th, 2013, 4:11 pm


ALAN said:

Russia and China can together solve complex issues, including Syrian crisis- Putin

/can together solve complex issues, including Syrian crisis?/ Mr. Putin! Mr Xi Jinping! Where is the solution for the Syrian and the region security?

October 7th, 2013, 4:20 pm


Juergen said:

Interview with Assad by DER SPIEGEL

Interview with Bashar Assad: ‘In the End, a Lie Is a Lie’

SPIEGEL: Was the massacre at Houla only the result of the failure of individuals?

Assad: It was the gangs and militants who attacked the village residents, never the government or its supporters. That’s exactly what happened. And if you talk about proof, no one has proof against this. Actually, what happened was that our supporters are the ones who were killed, and we can give you the names of the victims’ families because they supported our course against terror.

SPIEGEL: We have plenty of evidence. Our reporters were in Houla, where they conducted in-depth research and spoke to survivors and relatives of the victims. UN experts have also come to the conclusion that the 108 village residents who were killed, including 49 children and 34 women, were the victims of your regime. So how can you deny any responsibility and blame the so-called terrorists?

Assad: With all due respect to your reports, we are the Syrians. We live here and we know the reality better than your reporters. We know what is true and we can document it.

SPIEGEL: The perpetrators are part of Shabiha, a militia that is close to your regime.

Assad: Let me be frank with you. Your question is full of misstatements. However you put it, in the end a lie is a lie. So, what you say is not correct.

SPIEGEL: So you deny that the Shabiha militia was involved?

Assad: What do you mean by “Shabiha?”

SPIEGEL: This militia, the “ghosts,” who are close to your regime.

Assad: This is a Turkish name. There is nothing called “Shabiha” in Syria. In many remote areas where there is no possibility for the army and police to go and rescue the people and defend them, people have bought arms and set up their own small forces to defend themselves against attacks by militants. Some of them have fought with the army, that’s true. But they are not militias that have been created to support the president. At issue is their country, which they want to defend from al-Qaida.

October 7th, 2013, 4:21 pm


annie said:

Tant de mauvaise foi, Juergen, c’est pas possible.
In the French they say “to lie like a tooth puller”

October 7th, 2013, 4:27 pm


SimoHurtta said:

230. Sami said:

“Surely USA can pass Russia with the combined oil + gas production, but so what. It hardly changes the geopolitical equation. USA still needs to import millions of barrels of oil daily.”

The fact the US can become the largest energy producer while still importing a vast number of energy is very telling at how large the US economy is and its strategic need for energy.

Other nations such as India and China are striving to emulate that, how many expanding economies are emulating Russia I wonder…

Oh yeah refuting a well researched article published by one of the most read newspapers in the world by quoting Wiki is rather telling of the authors own blinding bias.

Well Sami the figures of Wiki in oil production, import, export and domestic need come in many cases from CIA World Factbook, International Energy Agency (IEA), EIA etc “official” sources. From where do think WSJ gets its numbers in that article? Anyway the WSJ article can be read. They use exactly same sources like IEA and EIA. But they tell the story from their own angle.

WSJ’s article tells for example:
U.S. imports of natural gas and crude oil have fallen 32% and 15%, respectively, in the past five years, narrowing the U.S. trade deficit.

Sami, what happened 5 years ago? WSJ “analysis” doesn’t tell it. The present economical difficulties in USA and Europe begun in 2008. And USA’s economical activity fell then. Import fell because of domestic demand fell, mainly. With gas because of increased domestic production.

The core point which WSJ avoids in its article is, that Russia has a massive overproduction of both oil and gas and customers connected with pipe lines and who are willing buy that. USA has to import still massive amounts of oil and has limited means to import its gas overproduction. The low present gas price in USA is explained by overproduction and present very limited means of exporting that.

Comparing US and Russian oil and gas production levels would be less “interesting” if WSJ would tell the truth. US production increase of oil is only reducing a bit of the need of the wast oil import need and with gas the production increase now warms mainly the air where birds fly. USA has now not to much export of gas in LNG form.

WSJ article says:
The shift has raised concerns in Moscow that U.S. crude supplies will crowd out Russia’s oil exports.

That far-fetched conclusion has no explanations. Even in order to become a net oil exporter USA would have to double its oil production. Is that possible? To crowd out Russian oil export USA would have at least triple its present oil production. Well, well …
US Energy Information Administration: U.S. Natural Gas Imports & Exports 2012 Even Sami notices the situation in 2012. In mathematical form = Import > Export.
US Energy Information Administration: U.S. Crude Oil Supply & Disposition 2012 Import > Production in 2012. 🙂

It would be interesting to know how much USA now exports LNG. Maybe you Sami believe in this following source and their study.Congressional Research Service

The United States has exported natural gas for close to 100 years, but has generally exported less than it has imported (mostly from Canada). Within the next five years, the United States may become a much larger exporter of natural gas, particularly liquefied natural gas (LNG), for the first time.

Total U.S. natural gas exports are relatively small but have grown since 1999, increasing more than nine-fold through 2012. The United States has been exporting natural gas since at least the
1930s, primarily to Canada and Mexico.

In 2012, 98% of exports were by pipeline to Canada and Mexico. Starting in 1969, a small amount of natural gas was also exported as LNG via the Kenai LNG terminal in Nikiski, Alaska. Kenai LNG operated continuously from its opening until its idling in 2012, and remains the only LNG export facility in North America. Production of natural gas in the Cook Inlet of Alaska that supplies natural gas to Kenai LNG has declined too much to keep the facility operating.

That is the reality Sami. From there is a long, long way to export massive amount of LNG to India or even to Europe. But the does the WSJ article tell that? No, it creates the illusion (= propagandist illusion), that USA is competing with Russia as an exporter and will “crowd out” Russian oil export. Naturally you Sami can ask yourself why WSJ writes such overoptimistic “journalism” like this article. Well it is owned by Rupert Murdoch and he …

October 7th, 2013, 4:33 pm


Juergen said:

The more I hear his lies, the more I think he will surely end like Ceaucescu, but without the trial…

October 7th, 2013, 4:51 pm


ALAN said:

Syrian Crisis Exposes Israeli Lobby (AIPAC); Israel Allied with Al Qaeda in Syria

October 7th, 2013, 4:52 pm


Uzair8 said:


Welcome back. We were only talking about your good self just yesterday. Perhaps a premonition of sorts. Anyway hope your well.


Talking about premonitions, it was a certain Syrian scholar who gave the glad tidings* of Assad and his aides awaiting horrible deaths, in weeks not months. It’s been many months now however the time aspect may have been a personal estimate.

So the Ceaucescu thing may well be relevant.

* Based on inspiration (dream). Mention of intervention by planes of friendly power.

October 7th, 2013, 5:22 pm



And Russia remains largely an extractive economy…extracting wealth to feed the wealth making machines of of others.

in the US, on the other hand, a dollar saved is always a dollar earned. Meaning that the US by not importing becomes an exporter. I am really surprised that huge anti-imperialists haven’t figured that simple rule of American imperialism. LOL

October 7th, 2013, 5:33 pm


Uzair8 said:


Talking about absentees, whatever happened to your compatriot Citizen? Was he sacked for failing to influence the blog?

I remember his love of all thing Soviet weaponry*. He couldn’t big them up enough.

If he was still here I’d encourage him to take the advice of his fellow compatriot Alexander Gradsky. Here with John Denver:

* Bearing in mind the message of the song I’m sure Denver/Gradsky will agree the necessity of weaponry should be a rare exception (ie people forced to defend against tyranny).

October 7th, 2013, 5:38 pm


Sami said:

Syrian Hamster,

“in the US, on the other hand, a dollar saved is always a dollar earned. Meaning that the US by not importing becomes an exporter.”

Well said. However this concept is beyond the comprehension of those that willingly choose to use emoticons after they graduated from junior high…

October 7th, 2013, 6:05 pm


ALAN said:

It’s ridiculous when some people talk about cloning the facts: once from Yugoslavia and once again Ceausescu, and a third of Iraq and a fourth from Libya! Do you have lost the ability to invent something new? Three years of ridicule!There is no ability to provide anything new!Failure par excellence!Nonsense!The words useless and without value!a dictation for page thread!!

October 7th, 2013, 6:18 pm



Der Speigel is a very interesting media house. Does an interview with wet-pants athad, gets hims upset and frothing telling the journalist “a lie is a lie” and then catches wet-pants chemical athad and documents it wet-pants down in “‘Sex Jihad’ and Other Lies: Assad’s Elaborate Disinformation Campaign”. good article and timely. So much for the PR outfit advising wet-pants to do an interview of the Der Speigel and making the connection. zoozoo and zeezee must be on the staff.

October 7th, 2013, 6:34 pm


Uzair8 said:

That’s a hell of a song by John Denver. I remember sharing it on Shiachat a few weeks ago and a female Christian user saying it brought a tear to her eye.

Powerful lyrics.

If I can borrow from Mr Denver:

There are four generations of blood in this top soil,
Four generations of love on this farm,
And the fliggin’ Shabeeha think they can come and burn it all,
Before I give up I’d gladly give up my right arm,

Viva revolution! Onwards to victory!



I almost forgot it’s getting late. Time for sleep. Thanks for the reminder (and the introduction to Brahms who I’m not too familiar with).

October 7th, 2013, 6:36 pm


Tara said:

I said it before. Sex jihad is an invention of the regime to win the media war. And it sells very well. It sold well in the Arab media to the masses with suppressed sexual fantasies and to the western media as an exotic topic and a guilt-free exit of why we should not intervene.

Al-Qaeda may be a sexy topic, but sex jihad is even more so.

Sex, media, and jihad
With news reports about sex jihad, truth is secondary

It’s always exciting to talk about sex. Combined with Islamism, sex could become the most discussed and read about topic in the media. That’s why Jihad Al Nikah (sex jihad) has become the obsession of everyone writing or working on Syria. It is an exotic topic for Western media outlets and audiences alike. Meanwhile, Arab media uses it to indulge the viewers in suppressed fantasies.

But the Syrian regime knows how to play this game quite well, much better than the opposition at least. From extremism to minorities, Assad knows how to play his cards. He has presented his regime to the international community as the sole protector of the Christians in Syria, highlighting al-Qaeda burning churches and its attacks on Christian villages. Of course, ISIS’s sectarian rhetoric makes Assad’s task an easy one, but that does not mean that the rebels seek to eliminate the Christian presence in Syria.
It seems everybody is in denial. Many say that the Syrian revolution is ugly, so we shouldn’t get involved. Many also say that the Syrian rebels are all extremists and barbarians, and that’s why Assad is a better option. They even say that the Syrian opposition is all Sunni, which is why the regime is more secular. And, in the midst of all this misleading information come reports about sex jihad, which gives everyone an excuse to accept Assad’s story. Not because of information and proof, but because it is an easier and guilt-free process.
Of course, the Syrian rebellion is not ideal, and there is an ugly layer to it, but that does not mean that the Syrian regime is more secular or preferable than the rebels. Raping women in prison and torturing children is not more civilized than the heart-eating man. Forcing a girl to go on TV and say that she has practiced sex jihad is not more humane than beheading opponents on the battlefield. And, brutally killing children in Sunni villages and towns does not make Assad less sectarian than his opponents. Indeed, sectarianism was created by the regime’s favoritism from the very beginning: esteeming Alawites and Christians over Sunnis, and more recently massacring Sunnis while protecting Christians and other minority groups.
Assad is clearly neither secular nor civilized, nor is he the protector of minorities. And sex jihad is just another game he uses to feed into the stereotypes of the West and the stigma that summarized the revolution as a ragtag group of extremists. 

Read more.

October 7th, 2013, 6:55 pm


Tara said:

Lies exposed at Dar Spiegel.  Thank you Hamster.  

No other leader in the region — not Saddam Hussein in Iraq, nor Moammar Gadhafi in Libya — has relied as heavily on propaganda as Assad. His PR teams and state media are churning out a steady stream of partially or completely fabricated new stories about acts of terror against Christians, al-Qaeda’s rise to power and the imminent destabilization of the entire region. These stories are circulated by Russian and Iranian broadcasters, as well as Christian networks, and are eventually picked up by Western media.

One prime example is the legend of orgies with terrorists: The 16-year-old presented on state TV comes from a prominent oppositional family in Daraa. When the regime failed to capture her father, she was abducted by security forces on her way home from school in November 2012. During the same TV program, a second woman confessed that she had submitted to group sex with the fanatical Al-Nusra Front. According to her family, though, she was arrested at the University of Damascus while protesting against Assad. Both young women are still missing. Their families say that they were forced to make the televised statements — and that the allegation of sex jihad is a lie.

An alleged Tunisian sex jihadist also dismissed the stories when she was contacted by Arab media: “All lies!”, she said. She admitted that she had been to Syria, but as a nurse. She says she is married and has since fled to Jordan.

Two human rights organizations have been trying to substantiate the sex jihad stories, but have so far come up empty-handed. It appears that the Tunisian interior minister had other motives for jumping on this rumor: Hundreds of Islamists have left his country and traveled to Syria, and he is apparently trying to stem the tide by discrediting these fighters. Furthermore, Sheikh Mohammad al-Arifi, the man who is allegedly behind the sex jihad fatwa, denies everything. “No person in their right mind would approve of such a thing,” he says.

October 7th, 2013, 7:14 pm


Tara said:

Please read.   The best part is the last paragraph in regard to Buti.   My God!! A factory of lies and propaganda.  The filth is all exposed.

From Dar Spiegel article:

It is difficult — and, at times, even impossible — to verify all the horror stories emerging from the civil war in Syria. This holds especially true when they are disseminated in a roundabout way, as is the case with most of the reports of persecuted Christians.

For example, on Sept. 26, the German Catholic news agency KNA issued a report — citing the Vatican news agency Fides — stating that Muslim legal scholars in the opposition stronghold Douma, near Damascus, had called for “the property of non-Muslims to be confiscated.” Fides said that it had a copy of a document that was signed by 36 Muslim religious figures. Yet although this appeared to be a serious story, it turned out to be based on a forgery: a fictitious text with real signatures. It actually came from a 2011 statement calling for civilians to be spared during the fighting. On a number of occasions, Fides has accepted as true propaganda fabrications released by regime-affiliated portals, such as Syria Truth.

This also includes the myth of the beheading of a bishop — a story also spread by Assad in an interview with SPIEGEL. The fact of the matter is that a jihadist from Dagestan killed three men in this way, but they weren’t Christians. After getting the stamp of approval from the official news agency of the Vatican, such rumors generated by Assad’s propaganda machine are circulated around the world as bona-fide new stories.

The facts were twisted in a similar manner when an image of a woman tied to a pillar in Aleppo appeared on the LiveLeak video portal in mid-September. The website claimed that the woman was a Christian from Aleppo who had been abducted by al-Qaida rebels. In reality, although the photo was taken in Aleppo, it dates back to a period when Assad’s troops still controlled the entire city. A video of the scene, posted on YouTube on June 12, 2012, shows regime-loyal militias berating the woman.

The regime also concocted the legend of the destruction of the Christian village of Maaloula. In early September, rebels belonging to three groups, including al-Nusra, attacked two military posts on the outskirts of town held by members of the local Assad-loyal Shabiha militias. Then the rebels withdrew. But the regime’s version, which even managed to become an Associated Press story, was as follows: Foreign terrorists looted and burned down churches — and even threatened to behead Christians who refused to convert to Islam.

This didn’t match with reports from the nuns of the Thekla convent in Maaloula and the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch. They said that nothing had been damaged and no one had been threatened on account of their beliefs. A reporter from the satellite news network Russia Today unwittingly cleared up the confusion. While accompanying the Syrian army, he filmed the tank attack on Maaloula — in which the local monastery was shelled.

This ongoing reinterpretation of events reflects a conscious policy — and bending the truth is much easier now that Syria has become such a confusing and chaotic theater of war. Most news publications shy away from the risks and efforts of verifying stories on the ground. Actual events, such as when jihadists burned down a church in the northern Syrian town of Rakka, are mixed together with trumped-up atrocities staged to sway global opinion.

Even blatant inconsistencies are often accepted without question. After all, tangible evidence to the contrary rarely exists. When state-run media reported that the prominent imam Mohammed al-Buti, a supporter of Assad, was killed by a suicide bomber at his mosque in the heart of Damascus on March 21, all rebel groups denied having anything to do with the attack. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean much. But even an untrained eye would have to notice that the photos showed no signs of an explosion: Chandeliers, fans and carpets were all intact. Instead, there were bullet holes clear across a marble wall, and pools of blood apparently showed where the bodies had lain. Many of the victims were wearing shoes, which is highly unusual for Muslims in a mosque. There were also no witnesses. All of this feeds the suspicion that the victims were forced into the building and murdered — as a backdrop for an attack that never occurred.

October 7th, 2013, 7:26 pm


Tara said:

ISIS leadership is a regime tool. It is made by the regime to make it easy to sell the regime propaganda and lies and to taint the revolution.

Has anyone wondered why the regime never shelled or bombarded ISIS? Their locations, buildings and headquarter are all known places in Raqqa. Why hasn’t the regime fighter jets threw a sinle bomb against them?!

October 7th, 2013, 7:48 pm


Tara said:

Mint press, the lies, and Iran.

After the poison gas attack in August, though, the propaganda cover-up failed. Inundated by a global wave of indignation, the regime floundered in its attempts to explain the situation. First, Assad said that nothing had happened. Then state television showed images of an alleged rebel hideout containing a barrel with the blatantly obvious label: “Made in Saudia.” The TV report maintained that this was sarin gas from Saudi Arabia for “terrorists” who had inadvertently gassed themselves to death.

The source of the story was a little known news website called Mint Press, based in the northern US state of Minnesota. One of the authors later denied having anything to do with the research. The other, a young Jordanian who writes under a number of pseudonyms, merely responded to queries by saying that he was currently studying in Iran. In an online comment on an article in Britain’s Daily Mail, though, he gave the following detail that was missing on Mint Press: “Some old men arrived in Damascus from Russia and one of them became friends with me. He told me that they have evidence that it was the rebels who used the (chemical) weapons.” A few days later, the Russian foreign minister quoted the report from Mint Press as proof of Assad’s innocence.

An entirely different explanation for the alleged gas attack by the rebels was presented to British broadcaster Sky News by Assad’s top media adviser, Buthaina Shaaban: She said that terrorists had abducted 300 Alawite children from Latakia, taken them to Damascus and murdered them so they could be presented to the world as victims.
And now comes a new line of defense that neither relies on chemicals nor argues that the rebels killed themselves: In a SPIEGEL interview, Assad states that sarin is a “kitchen gas” because “it can be made anywhere.” But this flies in the face of a United Nations report, which states that rockets carrying sarin gas could only have come from a military base run by government forces.

Although Assad likes to cover up his crimes with a crisis-driven media blitz, he actually prefers to meet with the press and directly tell his side of the story. This includes presenting his regime as a final bulwark against global terror, even though he has his agents carry out the very kinds of attacks he is warning the world about and attributing to his rivals. For example, police in Turkey and Lebanon have charged the Syrian intelligence agency with responsibility for the most devastating attacks in years. After two bombs in Tripoli killed 47 people on Aug. 23, a Lebanese court issued an arrest warrant against two Syrians — for planning acts of terrorism.

October 7th, 2013, 8:27 pm


Ghufran said:

It took the USA 2.5 years to discover that Syria needs a strong army , NATO and the GCC tried the FSA and ended up with Nusra and ISIS:
صحيفة السفير اللبنانية نقلت عن مصدر سوري معارض مطلع على سير العملية التفاوضية بين  الروس والأميركان أن ” الأميركيين لم يعودوا يريدون المساس بالجيش السوري، ولا بالأجهزة الأمنية السورية، وإنما باتوا يطالبون بتغييرات في بعض القيادات لا أكثر، للإبقاء على المؤسسات العسكرية قادرة على مواجهة «القاعدة»  والجماعات الإرهابية، بعد هزيمة «الجيش الحر» في معارك الشمال وتضعضع ألويته المستمر بين تنظيم «الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام» (داعش) و«جبهة النصرة».
It is sad that uncle Sam is going back to the argument many people made in 2011.
Jarba wants guarantees from the GCC and Turkey ignoring the fact that those puppets need s green light from Washington to scratch their butt !!

October 7th, 2013, 8:41 pm


omen said:

hi, mjabali 💋

October 7th, 2013, 9:16 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

The three-part Spiegel interview with President Assad is a must-read. This interviewer was unafraid to challenge feeble and dissembling responses.

One set of questions was not asked: the President’s siege strategy, which in suburban Damascus has led to the edge of starvation for thousands.

From Time:

Forget Chemical Weapons. Assad Regime Uses Starvation as Tactic Against Rebels

But in the wake of the Aug. 21 chemical-weapon attack on the area, which rebels and the West blame on the regime, the government tightened the blockade even further, increasing fears that mass starvation might lead to even more deaths than the estimated 400 to 1,400 victims of the chemical attacks. Already six have died from malnutrition, according to activists, and as winter approaches, conditions are likely to worsen. One rebel brigade has dedicated its forces to breaking the siege in Moadhamiya, a town about 10 km from Damascus that has been under siege for more than six months.

“The situation is bad in Moadhamiya; it’s a real disaster,” Oraba Idriss, commander of the 1,200-strong Maghaweer Brigade tells TIME via Skype. “People lack for everything. They didn’t even have bread to eat until we were able to bring them some wheat and flour.” According to the Moadhamiya Media Center, an activist group that works with Idriss, six people have died of starvation in the past month, including four children. Another dozen children are in medical clinics, suffering from acute malnutrition. One video, released by the media center and posted on YouTube and Twitter, shows the emaciated body of an 18-month-old girl they claim succumbed to starvation on Sept. 23. Whatever power there is comes from generators running off limited supplies of fuel that are smuggled in. Transporting something as simple as flour or fuel across enemy lines requires days of strategic planning and a large degree of luck. “Every mission to Moadhamiya is like a suicide mission for us,” says Idriss. “We have to go around tens of checkpoints, and if they discover us, death is inevitable.” In the past month he has lost four men. Still, he says, the sacrifice is worthwhile. “Hundreds, if not thousands, of civilians are starving in Damascus, and if we don’t risk our lives for them, they will simply die.”

October 7th, 2013, 9:38 pm


Ghufran said:

Sadeq jalal alazem:

الأفق المسدود هو أفق نظام الاستبداد والعنف وليس أفق الثورة، وهناك اجماع على ان لا مكان لهذا النظام في سورية بعد اليوم مهما حدث ومهما كانت النتائج. حتى أصدقاء النظام أصبحوا يعرفون ذلك. لا أرى تسوية مقبلة في ظل الشروط الراهنة في المستقبل المنظور. فالابراهيمي خارج السمع وخارج النظر عملياً لمدة طويلة وكثيراً ما يُقارن مشروع “جنيف 2” باتفاق الطائف الذي انهى الحرب الأهلية في لبنان على أساس لا غالب ولا مغلوب. في الواقع، نجح اتفاق الطائف لانه انهى المارونية السياسية في لبنان وانهى سيطرتها على مفاصل الدولة ومرافق المجتمع كله. وحتى ينجح “جنيف 2” فلابد من ان ينهي هو أيضاً العلوية السياسية في سورية وينهي سيطرتها على الدولة وعلى أوجه حياة المجتمع السوري كلها، كما انهى مؤتمر دايتون السيطرة الصربية السياسية على حياة اسلام البلقان.
Read the full interview at

Sadeq did not say whether Taef saved Lebanon or not, one might argue that Taef stopped the civil war in Lebanon but that idea is up for discussion, another issue is the lack of jihadists at the time of Taef and the fact that Syria and KSA backed by foreign powers supported Taef, we yet have to see a similar consensus in Syria.
The interview is worth reading despite the holes in sadeq’s arguments.

October 7th, 2013, 11:13 pm


ghufran said:

Kerry flirting with Assad:

“The process has begun in record time and we are appreciative for the Russian co-operation and obviously for the Syrian compliance,” Mr Kerry said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Bali, Indonesia.
“I think it’s extremely significant that yesterday, Sunday, within a week of the (UN) resolution being passed, some chemical weapons were being destroyed.
“I think it’s a credit to the Assad regime, frankly. It’s a good beginning and we welcome a good beginning

October 7th, 2013, 11:56 pm



This tims Sadeq points to the moon, and ghufran stares at Sadeq’s finger.

First of all, Alazm did not single out Taef as the only example of a political accord that ended the supremacy of a “political sect”. But Taef is what Ghufran chose to focus on Taef.

Second, what holes? , where?

No one was able to explain the world’s apathy towards the Syrian tragedy as well as alazm in this interview. Blunt, free thinking, and above all, brave thinker, who dared to defy the “accepted” pro-resistance thinking cliches.

Finally, why read the interview from a suspect site, who most likely had no permission to reproduce it and not from the original source, Doesn’t that encourage piracy?

October 8th, 2013, 3:04 am



In addition, and from many lengthy facebook discussions of Alazm interview, it became clear to me that in most times those who automatically accepted the phrase “العلوية السياسية” without question, were the same ones who fiercely attacked, and with the same automatic response, the Taef accord, because as “Seculars” they found it to cement sectarianism. The second part is of course correct, but it was used in their argument as a mere cliche. The automatic acceptance of the first part, on the other hand, exposed the “Secular” for who they are. I believe that Alazm has inadvertently set a fantastic logical trap.

October 8th, 2013, 3:22 am


omen said:

mic check

October 8th, 2013, 3:23 am


omen said:

why is it such a fight to post a response?

site refuses to post then tells me:

You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.

none of the earlier attempts registered!

October 8th, 2013, 3:35 am



Somehow I have a feeling that Joshua Landis and his sidekicks will jump at the “العلويه السياسيه” phrase. While fully ignoring the following analysis of the reason for western apathy:

“أريد الاشارة الى سبب آخر لا يظهر بسهولة. ففي اللاوعي السياسي الغربي، رسمياً وشعبياً، سورية غير محبوبة على الاطلاق، بل هي مكروهة ومنبوذة ولا توجد أيّ لهفة عليها. نعرف من تجاربنا الشخصية ان المشاعر الأعمق للسوريين كانت دائماً ضد الغرب وتكرهه بقوة، ويصح هذا على الاتجاهات السياسية القومية واليسارية والاسلامية التي كان المجتمع السوري يعج بها. يضاف الى ذلك نبرة العجرفة الفارغة والادعاء المضحك والتكبر والاستعلاء الأجوفين والجعجعة النضالية بلا فعل والتي طبعت كلها تعامل سورية وتَكلّمها مع الآخرين(..)، أعتقد ان الغرب ما زال في العمق على موقفه المتفرج، أي ما يجري في سورية هو في نظرهم استنزاف كامل ومستمر للقوى المعادية بشراسة للغرب عموماً ولاسرائيل تحديداً. يعني استنزاف سورية نفسها واستنزاف ايران واستنزاف الاسلام الجهادي الشيعي الممثل بـ«حزب الله» واستنزاف للاسلام السني الجهادي، واحراج كبير لروسيا على أقلّ تقدير، فما الداعي للتحرك والتدخل اذاً.

وفي لاوعي الغرب السياسي، العتب مرفوع لانه اذا كانت دولة عربية مثل العراق ذاق شعبها طعم الكيماوي وتعرض لمعاناة كبيرة بسبب المجازر والمقابر الجماعية، وما كان لحكامها الحاليين المعارضين السابقين ان يكونوا في مناصبهم لولا الغزو الأميركي للعراق واحتلاله، فلماذا العتب اذا كانت هذه الدولة تتعمد التصرف بحياد مفتعل وموضوعية كاذبة وحسابات باردة مع ثورة الشعب السوري ومع مآسيها. كذلك أقول لماذا العتب على الغرب اذا كانت حركة التحرر الوطني الفلسطيني وجبهات تحرير فلسطين الثورية تتقصد التعامل مع ثورة الشعب السوري بكلبية وانتهازية وسلبية لا تختلف عن اللامبالاة الباردة ذاتها التي يبديها الغرب والتي رصدناها لدى الحكومة العراقية الحالية. أرجو الا يذهب قادة الفصائل الفلسطينية الثورية الى عناق بشار الأسد كما عانق ياسر عرفات صدام حسين في لحظة اجرامه قبل الأخيرة.”

October 8th, 2013, 3:43 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up has determined that Syrians talk a lot and do very little. You want the world to help you, help yourself by doing more fighting and less talking. You need to fight the Serpent and not talk and ask the world to fight on your behalf.

Over the last 50 years of Serpent rule, Syrians have become mere fighters by slogans and less fighters for issues that matter most: dignity, honor and protection of loved ones.

The world cannot and will not do this fight on your behalf.

Go and fight and talk less.

October 8th, 2013, 8:27 am


ALAN said:

Where is the Middle East heading?
It is clear that the Saudi leaders may for some time ignore these powerful signals of their close ally, but they cannot be unaware that in the United States there is a deep rethinking of its own experience in the Middle East in the past 20 years. And its results are unconsoling. In Washington, there is clearly no desire to go down the same path for a third time with the same results. There is a desire to find a political solution to Middle East problems including Iran, and the need for this has been repeated over the years by diplomacy of Russia, China and other BRICS countries. This does not yet mean that there has been a review of U.S. policy objectives, but there is clearly a re-evaluation of the tools that can be used. And it calls for less Tomahawks, more talks.
../../.. /Balkanization!/
in Washington, as well as among advocates of an Islamic Sunni caliphate, there is support for the rejection of borders drawn after WWI on the basis of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and also belief that the deep ethnic and religious contradictions in the predominantly Sunni Arab area will lead to its Balkanization. That is, the Gulf states’ policies (including in Syria and Iraq), aimed at supporting the Sunnis and their shock troops in the form of the Wahhabis, as well as overthrowing Bashar al-Assad and R. Al-Maliki, could achieve a completely different result. Namely, the collapse of these states, and after that, not the creation of a single caliphate, but their own collapse. And the responsibility for all this will be borne by the oil monarchies. So Washington’s advice is clear: if you do not want such a result – change your general line.

October 8th, 2013, 9:14 am


zoo said:

Among the 110,7372 there are 45,000 government forces who were killed

Syria’s Martyrs’ Wall reveals ‘unknown truth’ of bloody civil war

Hundreds of pro-Assad fighters’ faces adorn a wall in Tartous that shows just how many pro-government fighters are dying

It recently reported that between the start of the crisis in March 2011 and 31 August this year 110,371 people had died. Around 40,146 civilians were killed, including nearly 4,000 women and more than 5,800 children. The toll of government forces totals more than 45,000, made up of 27,654 army soldiers, 17,824 pro-regime militia and 171 members of the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, which has sent fighters into battle alongside Syrian forces. The observatory counted a further 2,726 unidentified people killed in the conflict. It says the rebels have lost less than half the government toll, a total of 21,850 fighters.

The high government death toll may come as a surprise since the Syrian army makes few infantry attacks on rebel positions, preferring to concentrate on artillery strikes and bombing. But the government troops man hundreds of isolated checkpoints. They are a relatively easy target for night-time ambushes, as in the recent battle which prompted a major clash in the largely Christian village of Maaloula. Others die on their way to work.

October 8th, 2013, 9:55 am



Hey little dudes, American US nationals hear this:

You think your nation is the best and you are the best people in the world. Well I think it is totally on the contrary. You are useless in the international scene and your government has been a total disaster for the last 50 years. Your discontrol of the world is based on oil-dollar-weapons mafia.

I write from Europe, you colonized Europe just and only when Russians had done the dirty job of ending Hitler criminal forces. You are cowards and do not dare to fight not Russia nor a dirty thug like Assad in Syria today.

French and British did it 100 times better than United States when dealing with Middle East countries.

US had to créate Pearl Harbour and 11-S to keep momentum but now with sad Obama all is going to flush to the toilette.

October 8th, 2013, 9:56 am



Fine, if it makes you happy.

October 8th, 2013, 11:25 am


omen said:

337. you get no argument from me, sandro. i wish france would intervene.

damn sarkozy. if he hadn’t been smeared with false charges that cost him reelection, he might have done it.

speaking of eu was listening to a discussion when a pundit referenced europe during the 50s as the economic golden years. this after the continent was ravaged by war in the late 40s. see, things can turn around. gave me hope for syria.

October 8th, 2013, 12:22 pm


zoo said:

Noam Chomsky on Syria

Noam Chomsky | On Shutdown, Waning US Influence, Syrian Showdown
HS: Turning now to foreign policy, it seems as though news about Syria has effectively vanished from the mainstream media since the agreement was reached to confiscate Assad’s chemical weapons arsenal. Can you comment on this silence? Does it reflect Western apathy vis-à-vis foreign conflicts, which are mostly viewed through sanitized television news programs?

NC: …..

Syria is bad enough, it’s a pretty terrible atrocity. But there are much worse ones in the world. So for example, the worst atrocities in the past decade have been in the Congo, the Eastern Congo, where maybe 5 million people have been killed. Horrible atrocities, and we’re [the United States] involved, not directly but indirectly. The main mineral in your cellphone, coltan [a black metallic ore], comes from the Eastern Congo. Multinational corporations are there exploiting the very rich mineral resources of the region. A lot of them are backing militias which are fighting one other to gain control of the resources or a piece of the resources. The government of Rwanda, which is a US client, is intervening massively, and Uganda to an extent. It’s almost an international war in Africa. Well, how many people know about this? It is the worst atrocity underway. But it’s barely in the media, and people just don’t know about it. And that’s quite generally true.

What happened in Syria was, President Obama had made a statement announcing what he called his “red line”: You can’t use chemical weapons, you can do anything else but [use] chemical weapons. Credible reports came through that Syria had used chemical weapons. Whether it’s true actually is still open to question, but it’s very probably true. At that point, what was at stake was what is called credibility. So if you read the political actors, political leadership, foreign policy commentary, they constantly point out accurately that US credibility was at stake, and we have to maintain US credibility. So therefore something had to be done to show you can’t violate our orders. So a bombing was planned, which would probably make the situation worse, but would at least establish US credibility.

And so what is “credibility”? It’s a very familiar notion. It’s basically the notion that is central to the Mafia. So suppose say the Godfather produces some kind of edict and says you’re going to have to pay protection money. Well, he has to back up that statement. It doesn’t matter whether he needs the money or not. If some small storekeeper somewhere decides he’s not going to pay the money, the Godfather doesn’t let him get away with it. The money doesn’t mean anything to him, but he sends in his goons to beat him to a pulp. You have to establish credibility, otherwise conformity to your orders will tend to erode. International affairs runs in much the same way. The United States is the Godfather when it establishes edicts. Others had better live up to them, or else. We have to demonstrate that. So that’s what the bombing of Syria was to have demonstrated.

Obama was reaching a point where he might not have been able to carry it off. There was very little international support, even England wouldn’t support it, which is amazing. He was losing support internally, and was compelled to send the vote to Congress, and it looked as if he was going to be defeated, which would have been a very serious blow to his presidency, to his authority. Luckily for Obama, the Russians came along and rescued him with this proposal [to confiscate Assad’s chemical weapons] which he quickly accepted – it was a way out of the embarrassment of facing likely defeat. They still have the option of bombing if they want to. And incidentally, to add one comment about this, you’ll notice that this would be a very good moment to institute a call for imposing the Chemical Weapons Convention on the Middle East. The actual Chemical Weapons Convention. Not the version that Obama presented in his address to the nation and that media commentators repeat. What he said is that the convention bars the use of chemical weapons. He knows better. And so do the commentators. The Chemical Weapons Convention calls for banning the production, storage and use of chemical weapons, not just the use. So why omit production and storage? Reason: Israel produces and stores chemical weapons. So therefore the US will prevent the Chemical Weapons Convention from being imposed on the Middle East. But it’s necessary to evade this by misrepresenting the convention, and I think maybe 100 percent of the media, or close to it, go along. But that’s a critical issue. Actually, Syria’s chemical weapons were developed largely as a deterrent to Israeli nuclear weapons. Also, not mentioned.

October 8th, 2013, 1:09 pm


zoo said:

Radicalisation of Syrian rebels a threat

The rise of hardline jihadists in Syria has made the situation much worse for the opposition groups, much worse for the West and much better for the Al Assad regime

By James Traub
President Al Assad has received two enormous gifts in recent months. The first is the Russian-brokered deal to remove Syria’s chemical weapons, which distracted attention from his relentless campaign to kill and terrorise his enemies and compelled western governments to work with him as the country’s legitimate ruler. The second is ISIS, which has also deflected attention away from the war between the regime and the rebels and has vindicated as nothing else could Al Assad’s persistent claim that he is confronting, not political opponents, but “terrorists,” as his Foreign Minister, Walid Al Mua’alem, recently claimed at the United Nations.

For this reason, it has become a fixed conviction in Antakya that ISIS functions as a secret arm of the regime. This sounds like an all-too-understandable conspiracy theory, yet even western diplomats I have spoken to consider it plausible, if scarcely proved. In the summer of 2012, Al Assad released from prison a number of jihadists who had fought with Al Qaida in Iraq and who are thought to have helped form ISIS. Reporters, activists and fighters also note that while regime artillery has flattened the FSA’s headquarters in Aleppo, the ISIS camp next door was left untouched until the jihadist group left. The same is true in the fiercely contested eastern city of Raqqa. ISIS, for its part, has done very little to liberate regime-held areas, but has seized control of both Raqqa and the border town of Azaz from FSA forces.

Maybe it is just a conspiracy theory. Aaron Zelin, a Syria analyst who closely follows the dynamic among rebel groups, dismisses the idea as “partly wish-fulfilment and partly delusion”.

October 8th, 2013, 1:15 pm


omen said:

341. zoo said: Noam Chomsky on Syria

the regime gasses babies (something zoo doesn’t have a problem with) but it’s the world that lacks credibility.

thank you mr. chomsky. you just gave the regime a permission slip to ratchet up the killing. and it’s free to do so because the world suffers from the sin of not being perfect.

do these people listen to themselves? the world’s gone insane.

October 8th, 2013, 1:51 pm


omen said:

220. Hopeful said: I feel that you are in a state of “attacking the messenger”.

i put up an argument about obama being culpable, you responded, i countered. this is how this works. i wasn’t hostile to you in those exchanges. so i don’t see why you think i’m “attacking the messenger.”

perhaps you feel defensive because i faulted you in #164 on the question of regime blame. i concede i may of been unduly irritated. had i read your earlier note at #162 which i had regrettably initially overlooked, my tone would have been less accusatory.

I do not believe that if anyone, or any group, within the opposition had acted differently, it would have made a difference. The only thing that would have made a difference was the way the regime handled the crisis, both inside and outside Syria.

nicely stated.

October 8th, 2013, 1:57 pm


Hopeful said:

#345 Omen

You misunderstood me. The messenger in this case is Obama, delivering a message to Syrians that the US public does not want the administration to intervene in Syria.

Americans are tired of wars, tired of being hated everywhere, tired of being blamed for everything, tired of sending their kids to die in foreign lands, and tired of having their tax dollars wasted. Obama was elected to deliver this message to the world.

American foreign policy is actually much more predictable than you think. You want to know why all US presidents support Israel? No, it is not the almighty Jewish lobby influencing US policy. It is this: US policy follows public opinion. The people swaying public opinion hold all the cards.

October 8th, 2013, 2:20 pm


omen said:

220. Hopeful said: Western excuses do defy “logic” sometimes because they are a reflection of Western public opinion.

you are simply wrong here. the president is much more empowered than you give him credit for.

ivo daalder, former ambassador to nato and early obama advisor on foreign policy, admitted earlier on npr it is within obama’s discretion to unilaterally intervene in syria, absent congressional approval, even absent unsc resolution. it would be legal to do so.

173. Obama is the president of a democracy, which means he does not have the power to act independently without the public and congress support

this is just not so. US policy acts outside of public sanction all the time. while polls have shifted towards acceptance, use of drones initially did not have support. public does not support cia kidnapping suspects off the street, shipping them off to foreign shores to be tortured. the public does not support covert support for dictators and death squads. the public doesn’t support unrestricted nsa spying. yet despite lack of public support, the US engages in all sorts of illicit & illegal activities.

you’ve romanticized the mythology of america as a democracy, i fear. we live in a system where billionaire campaign dollars buys policy. where corporate interests own government. senator durbin candidly admitted about congress “banks own the place.” they own the white house too. the non wealthy majority simply don’t matter. the public are continually short-changed.

October 8th, 2013, 2:35 pm


ALAN said:

The International Peace Research Institute (IPRI) in Oslo, Norway, compiled a dataset for assessing armed conflict in the world between 1946 and 2001. For this time period, IPRI’s research identified 225 conflicts, 163 of which were internal conflicts, though with “external participants” in 32 of those internal conflicts. The number of conflicts in the world rose through the Cold War, and accelerated afterward.[21] The majority of conflicts have been fought in three expansive regions: from Central America and the Caribbean into South America, from East Central Europe through the Balkans, Middle East and India to Indonesia, and the entire continent of Africa.[22]
Another data set was published in 2009 that revealed much larger numbers accounting for “military interventions.” During the Cold War era of 1946 to 1989 – a period of 44 years – there were a recorded 690 interventions, while the 16-year period from 1990 and 2005 had recorded 425 military interventions. Intervention rates thus “increased in the post-Cold War era.” As the researchers noted, roughly 16 foreign military interventions took place every year during the Cold War, compared to an average of 26 military interventions per year in the post-Cold War period.[23]
Interventions by “major powers” (the US, UK, France, Soviet Union/Russia, and China) increased from an average of 4.3 per year during the Cold War to 5.6 per year in the post-Cold War period. Most of these interventions were accounted for by the United States and France, with France’s numbers coming almost exclusively from its interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. During the Cold War period, the five major powers accounted for almost 28% of all military interventions, with the United States in the lead at 74, followed by the U.K. with 38, France with 35, the Soviet Union with 25, and China with 21.[24]
In the post-Cold War period (1990-2005), the major powers accounted for 21.2% of total military interventions, with the United States in the lead at 35, followed by France with 31, the U.K. with 13, Russia with 10, and China with 1. Interventions by Western European states increased markedly in the post-Cold War period, “as former colonial powers increased their involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa,” not only by France, but also Belgium and Britain.[25]
Meanwhile, America’s actual share of global wealth has been in almost continuous decline since the end of World War II. By 2012, the United States controlled roughly 25% of the world’s wealth, compared with roughly 50% in 1948.[26] The rich countries of the world – largely represented by the G7 nations of the U.S., Japan, Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Canada – had for roughly 200 years controlled the majority of the world’s wealth.[27] In 2013, the 34 “advanced economies” of the world (including the G7, the euro area nations, and Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea) were surpassed for the first time by the other 150 nations of the world referred to as “emerging” or “developing” economies.[28]
Thus, while the American-Western Empire may be more globally expansive – or technologically advanced – than ever before, the world has itself become much more complicated to rule, with the ‘rise’ of the East (namely, China and India), and increased unrest across the globe. As Zbigniew Brzezinski noted in 2009, the world’s most powerful states “face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.”[29]

Empire Under Obama, Part 1: Political Language and the “Mafia Principles” of International Relations

October 8th, 2013, 2:37 pm


ALAN said:

syria is egypt 2.0, with a more zio-western algorithm….

The Muslim Brotherhood – like the Syrian “rebels” still wreaking havoc upon that nation – are quite the opposite of the “democracy-loving peaceful protesters” the Western corporate media is portraying them to be. The Muslim Brotherhood, also active in Syria alongside other horrific death squads, has been caught in clear video evidence of violence in the form of shooting at security forces, coordinated attacks on Christian churches, and throwing political opponents off of rooftops.

The violent Muslim Brotherhood attempt to overthrow the military government of Egypt and replace it with an Islamist Muslim Brotherhood creation is, in reality, nothing more than an attempt by the West to destabilize Egypt as a result of the new government’s nationalistic tendencies.

Thus, it appears that a refusal to join in a war with Syria and Ethiopia, impose austerity, and capitulate to the IMF has caused the Egyptian government and military to create for itself some very powerful enemies. Only time will tell if the Egyptian military will be able to outlast the Islamist element supported by the West as well as Assad has been able to do in Syria. One can only hope that it can.

October 8th, 2013, 2:42 pm


Hopeful said:

#348 Omen

“you are simply wrong here. the president is much more empowered than you give him credit for.”

Yes of course he is, I am not saying he is not legally empowered. I am saying that, unlike the Arab dictators, US presidents find it very difficult to act against the public will, especially when it comes to wars. Even Bush had to campaign for months to sway public opinion before going into Iraq, even though he had congressional support to do so.

We will have to agree to disagree on how we view American democracy. Having lived in the US for over 20 years, I believe the public has significantly more power than people give them credit for.

October 8th, 2013, 2:53 pm


ALAN said:

Russia, Syria and the Decline of American Hegemony
The US is built on the theology of exceptionalism, of being Chosen. It is the country of Old Testament. This is the deeper reason for the US and Israel’s special relationship. Europe is going through a stage of apostasy and rejection of Christ, while Russia remains deeply Christian. Its churches are full, they bless one other with Christmas and Easter blessings, instead of neutral “seasons”. Russia is a New Testament country. And rejection of exceptionalism, of chosenness is the underlying tenet of Christianity.

For this reason, while organised US Jewry supported the war, condemned Assad and called for US intervention, the Jewish community of Russia, quite numerous, wealthy and influential one, did not support the Syrian rebels but rather stood by Putin’s effort to preserve peace in Syria. Ditto Iran, where the wealthy Jewish community supported the legitimate government in Syria. It appears that countries guided by a strong established church are immune from disruptive influence of lobbies; while countries without such a church – the US and/or France – give in to such influences and adopt illegal interventionism as a norm.

As US hegemony declines, we look to an uncertain future. The behemoth might of the US military can still wreck havoc; a wounded beast is the most dangerous one. Americans may listen to Senator Ron Paul who called to give up overseas bases and cut military expenditure. Norms of international law and sovereignty of all states should be observed. People of the world will like America again when it will cease snooping and bullying. It isn’t easy, but we’ve already negotiated the Cape and gained Good Hope.
Counter Punch

October 8th, 2013, 3:02 pm


zoo said:

324. Ghufran said:

“It took the USA 2.5 years to discover that Syria needs a strong” …leadership.
The opposition puppets showed to the USA what they are.. just straw beggars with no hope of competing with Bashar al Assad for the leadership of the Syrians.
After 100,000 death in Syria, the murder of the Libyan leader, the destitution of their allye Mobarak, a coup to destitute their second choice, Morsi, the collapse of the “promising’ political Islam and the resilience of Bashar al Assad’s secular army and government, the USA is finally starting to grasp a bit of the forces in presence and the real aspirations of the Arabs.

October 8th, 2013, 3:19 pm


ALAN said:

Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).
After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA) he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day, Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can’t find a good paying job in…..AMERICA….. 🙂

October 8th, 2013, 3:22 pm


ALAN said:

‘Syria trending toward radical jihadists, not moderate rebels’ – Lavrov (EXCLUSIVE)

October 8th, 2013, 3:45 pm


zoo said:

Losing one’s career to say the truth: “Saudi intelligence was behind the attacks and unfortunately nobody will dare say that.”

The Ghouta Chemical Attacks: US-Backed False Flag? Killing Syrian Children to Justify a “Humanitarian” Military Intervention

The MintPress article, published on 29th August, through interviews with rebels, family members, and villagers in Eastern Ghouta, alleges that elements within the opposition were responsible for the alleged chemical weapons attack on 21st August, and that those chemical munitions had been supplied through Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan…

Dale is under mounting pressure for writing this article by third parties. She notified MintPress editors and myself on August 30th and 31st via email and phone call, that third parties were placing immense amounts of pressure on her over the article and were threatening to end her career over it. She went on to tell us that she believes this third party was under pressure from the head of the Saudi Intelligence Prince Bandar himself, who is alleged in the article of supplying the rebels with chemical weapons.

On August 30th, Dale asked MintPress to remove her name completely from the byline because she stated that her career and reputation was at risk. She continued to say that these third parties were demanding her to disassociate herself from the article or these parties would end her career. On August 31st, I notified Dale through email that I would add a clarification that she was the writer and researcher for the article and that Yahya [Ababneh] was the reporter on the ground, but did let Gavlak know that we would not remove her name as this would violate the ethics of journalism. (Phil Greaves, Syria: Controversy surrounding MintPress Chemical Weapons Ghouta Report)

The information according to which Saudi intelligence was allegedly implicated in the Ghouta chemical attacks was mentioned by a UN official who wished to remain anonymous:

A senior United Nations official who deals directly with Syrian affairs has told Al-Akhbar that the Syrian government had no involvement in the alleged Ghouta chemical weapons attack: “Of course not, he (President Bashar al-Assad) would be committing suicide.”

When asked who he believed was responsible for the use of chemical munitions in Ghouta, the UN official, who would not permit disclosure of his identity, said:“Saudi intelligence was behind the attacks and unfortunately nobody will dare say that.” The official claims that this information was provided by rebels in Ghouta…

October 8th, 2013, 4:18 pm


ALAN said:

. The most dangerous …
… are the ignorant, selfish cowards for hell&death …
… those that try to believe themselves to be good
… while just being supporters of war and deception

October 8th, 2013, 4:56 pm



This is how nus-lira sectarian murderers treat those who opened their homes to them during their cowardly adventure in 2006. The men are wounded. What can one expect from those who idolize a man who smashed the head of a child.

October 8th, 2013, 4:59 pm




I am waiting for the day when you will swallow your words, too many words. Criminals use to get the reward sooner or later.

October 8th, 2013, 5:56 pm


zoo said:

After turning against Syria to join the MB mafia and its collapse in all Arab Spring countries, is Hamas’s presence in Qatar hampering GCC-Israel rapprochement. Syria said they would host Hamas again but not Meshaal

Turkish PM Erdoğan meets Hamas leader Mashaal in Ankara

It came at a time when rumors suggest that Mashaal, currently in exile in Qatar, is searching for another place to live.

October 8th, 2013, 7:11 pm


zoo said:

Egypt Revokes Permit for Brotherhood’s NGO
By Associated Press Oct. 08, 2013Add a Comment

(CAIRO) — Egypt’s interim government has revoked the permit for a non-governmental organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tuesday’s move by the Cabinet is the latest in its push to dismantle the Brotherhood, from which ousted President Mohammed Morsi hails.

It follows a Sept. 23 court ruling that banned the Brotherhood and its affiliates, and ordered its assets confiscated.

The Brotherhood’s NGO was registered in March, while Morsi was still in power. It was set up as one of the two main legal faces of the Islamist group, which was outlawed for most of its 85-year existence.

Read more:

October 8th, 2013, 7:16 pm


zoo said:

Thanks again to the opposition who brought that Sunni scourge to Syria .

U.S. fears radical Islamists could take root in Syria

Officials say Syria is now the global focal point for militants who want to wage holy war, eclipsing Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups could carve out a haven in Syria that will offer the kind of sanctuary they once enjoyed in northwestern Pakistan, current and former U.S. officials say.

Officials say a clandestine CIA program that provides rudimentary training and weapons to U.S.-backed politically moderate insurgents is unlikely to curb the growing strength of extremists among the opposition militias seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Though the fighting remains limited to Syria, U.S. intelligence officials already are looking at worst-case scenarios if the country breaks into distinct government- and rebel-controlled enclaves. The alarm grew recently when militants from Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate considered the most capable and best-armed rebel force, and its allies seized a border crossing between Syria and Jordan near the Syrian city of Dara.

“I think Syria is heading toward becoming the next FATA,” said a U.S. official regularly briefed on intelligence, referring to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan, where Al Qaeda and its allies plotted attacks against the West until U.S. drone strikes and other counter-terrorism efforts decimated their forces.

October 8th, 2013, 7:18 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads-up has determined that every Syrian must eliminate a low life Hezboola terrorist, or a low life mullocrat terrorist or a low life serpent-head (Ass-Had) supporter in order for the Syrians to become once again defenders of freedom, dignity, honor and those they love.

The alternative is for the Syrians to become pathetic fighters by slogans, or be killed by the terrorist supporters of Assad.

October 8th, 2013, 7:36 pm


zoo said:

After the humiliation inflicted on him by USA who refused to attack Syria, despite the well planned chemical attack scenario, furious Bandar ben Sultan is preparing to kill more, by replacing the ailing FSA with new well paid blood
“For us in Saudi Arabia, the worst scenario is to let Bashar survive this: he has to go,”

Saudis bankroll new rebel force to fight own war on Assad

Saudi Arabia is forging a new alliance of Islamist rebels in Syria under a pro-Saudi warlord to supersede the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army. UPI/Ahmad Deeb

Published: Oct. 8, 2013 at 2:18 PM

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 8 (UPI) — Saudi Arabia, exasperated with U.S. vacillation related to Syria’s chemical arsenal and now its effort to reconcile with Iran, Riyadh’s foremost adversary, is forging a new alliance of Islamist rebels in Syria under a pro-Saudi warlord to supersede the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.

Riyadh also wants to foment an Iraq-style “Sunni Awakening” to unite Syria’s majority sect to topple the minority Damascus regime of President Bashar Assad.

Middle East analyst Michael Weiss, writing in the Beirut Web portal Now Lebanon, observed Riyadh has “taken substantive measures to circumvent Washington altogether on Syria by activating a cadre of new clients in the form of a hard-line Salafist rebels who are now united under the umbrella of the army of Islam. …

“The Saudis have enlisted ’50 brigades’ and some thousands of fighters under a new structure headed by Zahren Alloush, head of Liwa al-Islam, the new group’s most powerful Salafist brigade.”

Alloush studied Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia where his father Abdallah is a Salafist cleric.

The Saudi move is also a response to last week’s formation of a hard-line Islamist alliance of 13 groups, including the powerful Jabhat al-Nusra, allied with al-Qaida, and to isolate the jihadists who’re proving to be the most effective anti-regime force in Syria.

The plan seems to be to buy control of disaffected rebel bands, many of them without strong leadership, and to forge them into a well-armed force capable of battering Assad’s regime.

“For us in Saudi Arabia, the worst scenario is to let Bashar survive this: he has to go,” said Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi analyst close to Riyadh’s power elite.

“The world can ignore what’s happening in Syria, but this is on our doorstep and it’s on fire with sectarian flames that will reach all neighboring countries.”

The Saudi strategy has been engineered in large part by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of the General Intelligence Directorate, and his brother Prince Salman, named deputy defense minister by Abdullah in August.

Bandar, Abdullah’s nephew, was ambassador to the United States for 22 years (1983-2005).

He’s a master of Middle Eastern intrigue and played a key role in several covert operations with the Americans, including arming Islamist mujahedin against the invading Soviets in Afghanistan throughout the 1980s.

Read more:

October 8th, 2013, 8:03 pm


Ghufran said:

The uncompromising tone from Assad regarding Geneva 2 is due to putin’s success in avoiding a strike on Syria ( some never believed the strike will come and they were right) and to the continuous losses of rebels on the battle field. The picture as of now does not look promising at all for the rebels, at least in the short term, and without a quick reversal of the army’s gains in central Syria, Ghoutah and southern Aleppo province rebels will have a much harder task to take especially when Isis and Nusra seem determined to defeat whatever is left of other rebel groups. Taking up arms and allowing Islamists in will be remembered as huge strategic mistakes which ,combined with the regime’s determination not to try to contain the uprising peacefully , will make it very hard to achieve the goal of establishing a decent government that rules all over Syria, instead we are left with a destroyed and fractured country that may be unfixable before a decade or two assuming that the war will actually stop today. Watch qalamon and southern Aleppo in the next few weeks.

October 8th, 2013, 8:16 pm


Tara said:

Sound very familiar.  Doesn’t it?  

عناصر الأمن السوري يقومون بمداهمات مستمرة في حماة (الجزيرة)
المثنى الحارثي-حماة

مع بزوغ الفجر ونية الناس للذهاب إلى أعمالها، تسمع صوت إطلاق نار كثيف من الحواجز المحيطة بالحي.. أصبح الناس يفهمون أنها مداهمة للحي، أي أن أعداداً كبيرة من قوات الأمن تحيط بالحي الآن، وأن مداخله ومخارجه مغلقة كليا، أي أن التحرك ممنوع.

تبدأ بعدها حملة الاتصالات.. الناس توقظ بعضها وتقول “عندنا ضيوف”، أو “قوموا البسوا”، أو “ما في دوام مدرسة اليوم”.. كلها عبارات واحدة معناها أن قوات الأسد تداهم.. يستيقظ أهل الحي والكل فزع مما سيأتي.

يتحضر أهل كل بيت للمداهمة.. يخفي الرجال كل ثمين يملكونه من مال أو ذهب أو حتى هواتف نقالة، وتلبس النساء اللباس الذي تخرج به عادة.. يوقظون الأطفال ويوصونهم بألا يتكلموا إذا ما سألتهم قوات الأمن.. الإجراءات الاحترازية تشمل أيضا حذف القنوات الإعلامية التي تعتبر “ممنوعة” كالجزيرة و”الجيش الحر”، ووضع مؤشر التلفزيون على القناة السورية أو قنوات الأطفال.

أما الأصعب وضعاً في هذه الحملة فهو كل إنسان يعرف أن له نشاطاً في الثورة أو أن له اسما عند النظام، أي أنه “مطلوب”.. فيبدأ الناس بإخفاء كل شيء يتعلق بنشاطهم: الحواسيب, والفلاشات, والهواتف.

يقول الناشط أبو معتصم “أنا وكثير من أصدقائي نفضل ألا ننام حتى طلوع النهار ونطمئن أنه لا توجد مداهمة، ووقتها قد نستطيع إغماض أعيننا”.

أما الناشط أبو محمود فيشير إلى أنه في كل ليلة قبل أن ينام يخفي كل ما يمت إلى الثورة بصلة حتى يستطيع النوم بطمأنينة. ولكن الأهم الذي لا يستطيعون إخفاءه هو أنفسهم، و”هذه هي المعضلة الكبرى.. لا نملك سوى الدعاء والانتظار”.

تبدأ الحملة.. الكل جالس في بيته على الحال التي ذكرنا, ينتظر دوره بالتفتيش أو بالأحرى بالحكم عليه.. هدوء كبير في الشارع يشوبه صوت تحطيم أبواب، قعقعة سلاح وصراخ عناصر الأمن.. لا أحد يدري ماذا يحصل في الخارج.. ولا يجرؤ أحد أن يعرف.

تبدأ النساء بتلاوة القرآن.. الرجال يدورون في المنزل لا يستطيعون الجلوس.. أما الأولاد فتصفرّ وجوههم وهم ينظرون إلى آبائهم وأمهاتهم بحيرة بالغة.. الكل ينتظر دوره ولا تعرف دورك إلا من صوت خلع الأبواب القريبة منك.. تسمع صوت شخص في الخارج يضرب ونساء تصرخ، لكنك لا تعرف من هذا، أهو أخوك أو ابن عمك أو جارك.

تسمع دقات عنيفة على الباب وقرعا متواصلا للجرس وأصواتا تقول “افتح ولاك”.. إنه دورك في التفتيش.. تفتح الباب بسرعة وتحرص على أن يكون الاستقبال لائقا.. يزجرك الضابط وعناصره  وتُعامل على أنك متهم، لأن القاعدة عند قوات النظام معكوسة: البريء متهم حتى تثبت براءته.

يدخل الجنود المنزل ويقلبون الأفرشة والخزائن.. جميع محتويات البيت تقلب رأسا على عقب.. قد يقع في أيديهم شيء ثمين، غير مهم، فالسلامة أهم.

يأتي العناصر ويقولون للضابط بعد التفتيش “مافي شي سيدي”.. يطلب الضابط الهوية، وهنا التفتيش الأهم.. ينقر الضابط الاسم على اللاسلكي.. تقف وتنتظر مصيرك، فإما أن تسمع على اللاسلكي كلمة “يوجد”، أي أنك مطلوب وستعتقل، أو “لا يوجد” أي أنك غير مطلوب.. إن نجوت، ينظر إليك الضابط كأنه ملك الموت، يقول لك “لقد نجوت مني هذه المرة، ولكن لي فيكم عودات”.

قد تدوم الحملة قرابة ست ساعات، وهي أوقات يملؤها التوتر والقلق والخوف الممزوج بالعصبية.. تسمع صوت حافلات تدخل الحي, وصوت أناس يُضربون ويستغيثون.. إنه الإيذان بانتهاء الحملة، ثم يسود هدوء تام في الحي.. تنتظر الناس نحو ربع ساعة للتأكد من أن جنود الأسد قد ذهبوا.

يبدأ الناس بالتلصص من أبواب بيوتهم حتى يطمئنوا إلى عدم وجود أحد، ثم يخرجون كمن خرج من قبر.. ينظرون إلى بعضهم البعض مهنئين بالسلامة، ثم يتساءلون “عرفتوا مين أخدوا؟”. ومع الوقت تتضح أسماء المعتقلين، ويبدأ كل واحد برواية ما حصل معه أثناء التفتيش. أما من اعتقل، فذاك “سبب كل جرم حصل في الحي” حسب رواية النظام.

يقول موفق الذي اعتقل في إحدى الحملات “وضعوا قميصي على رأسي وجروني وهم يضربونني بكعوب بنادقهم إلى أن وصلت إلى ساحة الحي، فقالوا: جاثياً ولاك.. وبدأتُ أختلس النظر فإذا فلان وفلان وفلان موجودون معي، وكلما مر عنصر بقربنا يضربنا ويرفسنا حتى تنتهي المداهمة، وتأتي الحافلات لتأخذ عناصر الأمن وتأخذنا، ولكن نحن نصعد أولاً، ليس إكراما لنا ولكن كي ننبطح في أرضية الحافلة ويدوس علينا كل عنصر”.


October 8th, 2013, 8:37 pm


Tara said:

Let us all remember:
“Assad is clearly neither secular nor civilized, nor is he the protector of minorities.  Indeed, sectarianism was created by the regime’s favoritism from the very beginning: esteeming Alawites and Christians over Sunnis, and more recently massacring Sunnis while protecting Christians and other minority groups.

The Syrian rebellion is not ideal, but that does not mean that the Syrian regime is more secular or preferable than the rebels. Raping women in prison and torturing children is not more civilized than the heart-eating man. Forcing a girl to go on TV and say that she has practiced sex jihad is not more humane than beheading opponents on the battlefield. And, brutally killing children in Sunni villages and towns does not make Assad less sectarian than his opponents. ”
“The Syrian regime knows how to play this game quite well, much better than the opposition at least. From extremism to minorities, Assad knows how to play his cards….  This includes presenting his regime as a final bulwark against global terror, even though he has his agents carry out the very kinds of attacks he is warning the world about and attributing to his rivals”

October 8th, 2013, 9:10 pm


ghufran said:

UK to resume its diplomatic relations with Iran:
أعلن وزير الخارجية البريطاني، وليام هيغ، يوم الثلاثاء، أن حكومة بلاده ستستأنف العلاقات الدبلوماسية مع إيران من خلال تعيين قائم بالأعمال هناك، بعد مرور نحو عامين على قطعها

October 8th, 2013, 10:21 pm


Sami said:

There are those that claim the revolution was never peaceful, or those that keep pointing at the “Sunni Scrooge” while cheering the slaughter of those Syrians that in spite of the heinous brutality they are faced with they continue to strive to build a دوله مدنيه.

تكتيكات في الحراك الثوري السوري

هذا الكتيب هو محاولة لتقديم بعض الأساليب والتكتيكات التي استخدمها وما زال يستخدمها نشطاء سوريا في كفاحهم السلمي.
حاولنا قدر الامكان أرشفة هذه التحركات لتقديمها للسوريين وغيرهم على شكل دليل للحراك الثوري في سوريا.
لربما يلهم هذا الكتيب البعض على إنتاج المزيد من تجارب الأرشفة للحراك السلمي في سوريا ويزود الناشطات والناشطين بأساليب خلاقة في كفاحهم ضد الطغيان.

October 8th, 2013, 11:59 pm


Hopeful said:

#353 Zoo

“..,,the USA is finally starting to grasp a bit of the forces in presence and the real aspirations of the Arabs.”

Whatever happened to the theory that the US was behind all of this?

October 9th, 2013, 12:17 am


hopeful said:

“Libya’s top political authority, the General National Congress, has demanded that the United States hand back the alleged al-Qaeda operative its forces seized from the capital, Tripoli, in a weekend raid.”

You support them against their dictator, you help them militarily and politically, you rally the world to help them…. they kill your ambassador, they host the terrorist who blew up American Embassies and killed Americans, and they get mad at you if you capture him….

This is what the American public thinks.. This is why they are in no mood to support rebels in any Arab country.

October 9th, 2013, 1:20 am


ALAN said:

stop the attack! I did not blame you in your opinion!

October 9th, 2013, 1:59 am


omen said:

371. hopeful said:

Libya’s top political authority, the General National Congress, has demanded that the United States hand back the alleged al-Qaeda operative its forces seized from the capital, Tripoli, in a weekend raid.

just half the story: via nytimes

American officials said the Libyan authorities, in a shift, were willing to tacitly support the raid as long as they could protest in public.

so if this is correct, libyan officials gave their blessing.

371. hopeful said: You support them against their dictator, you help them militarily and politically, you rally the world to help them…. they kill your ambassador, they host the terrorist who blew up American Embassies and killed Americans, and they get mad at you if you capture him….

who is “they”? the same “they” who killed the ambassador isn’t the same “they” who helped capture the suspects. i know your mocking americans who typically lack patience to sort thru and identify nuance but i want clarity.

it took libyans to help identify these terrorists. it was libyan officials who approved US mission to capture them.

libyans i follow on twitter are glad US apprehended suspects. the furur over the mission seems to break down along the lines of the usual, political divide.

libyans who supported intervention, support the capture. critics who opposed intervention – howl in protest.

i liked this comment from a libyan underlining the hypocrisy of critics:

When AQ kidnaps/kills Libyans daily its fine, but when someone kidnaps/kills AQ its NOT fine. #STFU

October 9th, 2013, 2:29 am


omen said:

This is what the American public thinks.. This is why they are in no mood to support rebels in any Arab country.

what the public thinks is immaterial. US foreign policy isn’t tied down to public sentiment.

i’ll give you another example. a few months back, washington post published a poll indicating while americans opposed boots on the ground in syria, they liked the idea of following the libya model of intervention. a majority supported the idea of putting up no-fly zones. up in the 60% range, if i recall correctly.

were nfz put up as a result because it held majority support? no.

October 9th, 2013, 2:48 am


omen said:

353. zoo said: 324. Ghufran said: “It took the USA 2.5 years to discover that Syria needs a strong” …leadership. The opposition puppets showed to the USA what they are.. just straw beggars with no hope of competing with Bashar al Assad for the leadership of the Syrians.

as yabroud demonstrates (and it being but one example out of many,) syrians are capable of self organizing. syrians can collectively lead themselves. they don’t need some strongarm degenerate dictator telling them what to do. the era of cult of personality is over.

by the way, what does alawism (or shia) have to say when a mere mortal presents himself as being as divine as god?

zoo, when are you going to get over this love you have for hitler? if assad were sunni, would you still be this loyal?

October 9th, 2013, 3:39 am


Hopeful said:

#373 Omen

I remember a movie that came out in the 80’s called “Not without my daughter” which depicted the story of a mother whose daughter was taken by her Iranian father back to Iran. The woman traveled to Iran and smuggled her daughter back out of Iran and back to “safety” in the US.

Every American I asked at the time had the same reaction/conclusion: “Beware of Iranian men – they are bad!”. In the same movie, there was this Iranian man who risked his life to help the mother find and smuggle her daughter.

So here you have an Iranian man, endangering his own life to help a complete stranger in need of help, but not a single audience paid attention to him. They all focused on the “bad kidnapping father”, and generalized based on him.

I do not think Americans are better or worst than other people. It is human nature to “register” the “bad” much strongly than the “good”. The media exasperates this phenomenon by sensationalizing the bad news.

The point I am making is that if one is to hope to affect policy in the United States, one has to pay attention to public opinion, and learn how to sway it. Assad is waging a very focused and fairly successful campaign to cast ALL the rebels in Syria as al-qaeda terrorists, and it is working! I have not seen/heard anything from the opposition side that is even remotely on par with this campaign. I think ignoring the US’s public opinion either because we believe they are “dumb” or because we believe that they do not matter is a HUGE mistake.

October 9th, 2013, 6:42 am


Akbar Palace said:

The point I am making is that if one is to hope to affect policy in the United States, one has to pay attention to public opinion, and learn how to sway it.


Enjoying your discussion with Omen. What Omen and others have to understand is that for the past generation, the arab and muslim strategy for affecting policy in the United States has been FEAR (aka terrorism).

It is a cheap and long-term, ineffective policy. You do get elements in Western societies who will buy into this fear, but most will not. It will prevent arab and muslim nations from joining organizations like NATO and prevent the West from helping (like Syria). Public opinion will continue to be negative as long as terrorism and despotism is still the main fare in the Middle East. I think most anti-Zionism comes from the fear generated with some concluding (mistakenly) that if Israel wasn’t around, there would be peace. This has always been a small minority POV. And Assad has given added credence to this myth.

October 9th, 2013, 7:52 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

The destruction of Syria has been Nethanyahu’s plan since the 1990’s.

The reason to invade Iraq was part of a report of a Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, for Bibi Nethanyahu. Former United States Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle was the “Study Group Leader”, but the final report included ideas from James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.

The plan proposed new policies:
Rather than pursuing a “comprehensive peace” with the entire Arab world, Israel should work to “contain, destabilize, and roll-back” those entities that are threats.

“SYRIA challenges Israel on Lebanese soil. An effective approach, and one with which American can sympathize, would be if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon,

That Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan comprehensive peace and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction programs, and rejecting land for peace deals on the Golan Heights.

That Israel can shape its strategic environment, by focusing on removing Saddam Hussein from power in IRAQ.— an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.

So far the goal of the plan has now been taken over directly jointly by Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The Clean Break Plan in its entirety can be read on Wikipedia.

October 9th, 2013, 8:52 am


zoo said:


Yabroud? One third of the population is Christians and they have never allowed any Jihadist in. That’s why they are safe to develop themselves, unless Al Nusra gets there. Being at 1,500 m elevation, the chance the Islamists get there is low. It also benefit economically from the proximity of Lebanon. Their revolution has been pacific as it should have been all over Syria. A small town independence is not an “alternative to a central government” , it is just has a decentralized authority.

What about Al Raqqa? any comment on how they are developing and their “alternative governement”?

” This moderate Sunni and Christian town, with its neat rows of houses and tidy tree-lined streets, has remained exemplary of the ideals of the peace activists who began the civil uprising against a dictatorship in 2011. It is a place where civilians, not armed fighters, have taken control of the town’s future, and brought a working alternative to Assad’s government. Yabroud is the model town of what the Syrian revolution could be.

The town had even escaped the attentions of the Assad regime, most likely because one third of its population are Christian – one of the minorities in Syria, which the government says it wants to defend. ”

October 9th, 2013, 8:54 am


omen said:

376. Hopeful said: #373 Omen
The point I am making is that if one is to hope to affect policy in the United States, one has to pay attention to public opinion, and learn how to sway it. Assad is waging a very focused and fairly successful campaign to cast ALL the rebels in Syria as al-qaeda terrorists, and it is working! I have not seen/heard anything from the opposition side that is even remotely on par with this campaign. I think ignoring the US’s public opinion either because we believe they are “dumb” or because we believe that they do not matter is a HUGE mistake.

you are right. PR is very important. saudis were able to shield themselves from being held accountable for 9/11 because they paid big bucks to PR shops.

true, opposition has failed to dismantle assad propaganda and replace it with convincing counter narrative for a free syria. but PR doesn’t come cheap.

activism and lobbying government – also very important. but we also have to understand, for every public interest lobbyist assigned to a congressperson, there are a gazillion corporate lobbyist stealing his/her attention.

chalabi did not win support for US invasion because he was charming nor particularly persuasive.

we invaded iraq because it benefited corporate interests.

assad is waging a campaign against rebels, slandering them all as terrorists. but US officials, such as hillary clinton, early on insinuated rebels were alqaeda. this was two years ago when fsa was barely formed and there were zero foreign fighters on the scene.

corporate media from the start jihadist mongered.

so we have assad, obama administration and corporate media all on the same page regarding the opposition. interesting convergence.

corporate media would not reinforce assad’s narrative like this if it didn’t suit corporate agenda. you look at who sits in the board of directors for major media orgs – they’re all corporate execs!

i predicted two years ago that obama would throw syrians under the bus in order to achieve rapprochement with iran. not only for egotistical reason to cap his legacy with the achievement but also to bring iran in from the cold and return her back again into the western sphere.

with saudi reserves in decline, europe & china are going to need iranian fuel. since american corporate interests are now tied to chinese prosperity, chinese interests are also US interests.

the best PR campaign in the world isn’t to waylay what global ruling elites have already deemed necessary.

October 9th, 2013, 9:21 am


Akbar Palace said:

You Couldn’t “Plan” it any Better

The destruction of Syria has been Nethanyahu’s plan since the 1990′s.

Ghat Al Bird,

It looks to me Bashar Assad has taken BB’s “plan” and executed it to a tee. How can I contact him?

If Assad can safely get out of Syria and appear in the Knesset, Assad would get more awards and medals than Ariel Sharon.

October 9th, 2013, 9:29 am


zoo said:


More than one group or countries with different, sometimes complementary sometimes opposing agendas are behind the uprising in Syria. The USA is one of them. After Iraq, it did not want to intervene. It just relied on its proxies, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to destroy the arrogant and anti-Israel government in Syria and after these clowns made it a mess and Russia intervened directly, Obama had no choice that to openly entered in the game.

The USA has learn some from the disastrous and bellicose interference of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia that has only lead zto have the country partly controlled by Al Qaeda.
The USA now fully support a political deal with the Syrian government and is looking for a way to stop Al Qaeda settling in Syria. They have not yet found out how, as they prefer not to intervene directly like they did in Afghanistan for 10 years with no result.
They can only count on the ‘good rebels’, the Hezbollah and the Syrian army to do the job.
Which one do you think they will need to reinforce so they get results?

October 9th, 2013, 9:38 am


omen said:

174. Akbar Palace said: Still the Same Blame Game NewZ

there is no excuse good enough to justify obama’s stubborn refusal to ACT.


Again, I think the US should do more to help the opposition WIN this fight. EVEN with the sunni jihadis potentially ready to take over. Because I think that’s Step 2: working against militant Islam.

But in terms of the “Blame Game”, why is it the “usual suspect” is always the first to get implicated?

There are 20-some arab nations. Most with heavily armed militaries and well-staffed. Where is your blame in relation to your arab brethren? Where is arab pressure with respect to Russia and China? In ’73, OPEC pressured countries that were backing Israel with an oil embargo. Why doesn’t the arab world do the same against Russia and China, which were the only 2 permanent members of the UNSC to veto sanctions against Syria???

i too earlier once suggested if arabs gave a damn, they’d threaten an oil embargo.

as for your “why blame obama” question:

i don’t know what the big mystery is. you should know this answer yourself. multiple msm reports have repeatedly confirmed that US is pressuring arab countries against intervening.

contrary to the punditry (and zoo) braying how weak obama is, this is a testament to the kind of power US wields when collective arab countries, as well as turkey, have complied.

this earlier report from last year by tony badran gives us a glimpse into obama’s “nyet” campaign:

In a previously
unreported turn of events, it has now come to light that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu last month, emphatically dismissed a number of forward leaning options on Syria that the Turkish top diplomat proposed to the Obama administration.

What this means is that Washington, which at one point subcontracted its Syria policy to Ankara, has now called the Turks off the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

According to well-informed Turkish and US sources, during his meeting with Secretary Clinton, Davutoğlu put forward a set of measures, including, among others, creating a buffer zone and/or a humanitarian corridor, as well as organizing and equipping the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The secretary of state responded in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration had no interest in pursuing any of these options. In fact, according to one account, Clinton told her Turkish counterpart no less than three times, “We are not there.”

This conversation fits well with the administration’s message to other regional allies, namely Saudi Arabia, against arming the FSA and pushing Washington’s preferred policy of going through the Russians, in an attempt to reach a “political solution” to the Syrian crisis.

October 9th, 2013, 10:24 am


Akbar Palace said:


Thanks for the reply.

i don’t know what the big mystery is. you should know this answer yourself. multiple msm reports have repeatedly confirmed that US is pressuring arab countries against intervening


Oooooh! Since when did the arabs care about american “pressure”? Especially “Obama pressure”? Assad isn’t afraid. Iran isn’t afraid. So, this is a sorry excuse for arabs not taking the initiative to save the lives of their own people.

Israel has been flying around the world bombing targets that threaten them as well as saving fellow jews from critical situations (Entebbe, Ethiopians, etc).

Why not send in an elite force to do what Obama should have done and wipe out or disrupt the Syrian government. I’m thinking specifically of the KSA, who were involved (marginally) against Saddam or the Egyptians who are now trying to regain control of the Sinai. What a boost this would be to arab morale, to take matters in their own hand! At this point, the arabs seem like little babies that need mommy’s permission!

October 9th, 2013, 10:39 am


zoo said:

It’s not about Islam it’s about you pay the most

Institute for the Study of War Analyst Says Syria’s Rebels Are Following the Money

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The resources and effectiveness on the battlefield of radical Islamic groups in Syria are drawing more moderate rebels into their camp – at least for now, according to Valerie Szybala, a Syria analyst at the Institute for the Study of War.

According to Szybala, private donors in the Gulf (notably Saudi Arabia and Qatar) are driving the ascendance of rebel brigades in Syria that espouse religious identities. These fighting groups are generally better armed and equipped as well as more organized and disciplined than groups that do not have access to this backing. At the same time, a lack of Western support to the FSA has meant that rebel groups cannot rely on it, and many have lost trust. Many of the rebels who join groups that espouse an Islamic ideology do so simply because they are much more effective on the battlefield. And as the Syrian conflict grinds on well into its third year, the appeal of winning battles against increasingly brutal regime forces cannot be underestimated.

This means that the presence of “radical” groups in Syria is not actually a good indicator that the opposition is being “radicalized.” Instead we should be looking at how effective these incentives (massive influxes of money and supplies from radical clerics in the Gulf) have been at influencing the rhetoric of the armed opposition, particularly in recent months. This fact suggests that ideological lines have not been hardened and that anyone willing to commit resources can make themselves heard on the ground.

October 9th, 2013, 10:48 am


omen said:

384. Akbar Palace said: Since when did the arabs care about american “pressure”?

oh, i don’t know…since shock & awe? since abu ghraib? since cia renditions? since nsa spying on everyone. since drones killing anybody they please?

what? you thought this kind of mistreatment reserved only for poor people?

Assad isn’t afraid. Iran isn’t afraid.

assad is protected because obama has been appeasing iran.

October 9th, 2013, 10:58 am


zoo said:

Despite the huge propaganda to shield the real culprit of the chemical attack only a minority of people worldwide believe in the Western scenario that Bashar al Assad was responsible

Poll finds Westerners opposed to mpoplilitary intervention in Syria,0,2867617.story

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Over half of the people surveyed in an international Reuters/Ipsos poll are opposed to foreign military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and more are against their own countries intervening in the conflict.

The poll, conducted in 15, mostly European countries, also found that only about a third of respondents held Syria’s government accountable for using chemical weapons despite Western efforts to blame Assad for an August 21 sarin gas attack.

October 9th, 2013, 11:06 am


zoo said:

Turkey: more lies to hide its worries about Al Qaeda possible incursion from Syria

Turkey denies building wall on Syrian border despite locals’ claim

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has denied that Turkey is building a wall at its border with Syria, even though the mayor of a border town and witnesses on the ground say digging has started for the construction of one.

Atalay, speaking on Tuesday in a meeting on Syrian refugees in Ankara, briefly said that the reports of the wall being built did not reflect reality, but he added that measures are being taken to enhance border security.

October 9th, 2013, 11:10 am


Hopeful said:

Reading through the past few posts, clearly Obama (and the US in general) is stuck between a “Zoo” and a “Omen” – a rock and a had place.

October 9th, 2013, 11:10 am


zoo said:

The repeated empty calls of the discredited Arab league

Al-Arabi urges int”l moves to stop infighting in Syria
09/10/2013 | 05:42 PM | Arab News

CAIRO, Oct 9 (KUNA) — Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Arabi said here on Wednesday it is necessary for the international community to take swift moves to stop infighting and bloodshed in Syria.
Addressing a session of the Arab League at the level of delegates, held upon request from Palestine, Al-Arabi called on the UN Security Council to live up to responsibility to put an end to the Syrian crisis.
He unveiled that the league was coordinating with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in order to issue a joint call for warring parties in Syria to stop infighting during Eid al-Adha in order to allow for humanitarian aid to reach millions of Syrians who have been suffering from humanitarian problems for a couple of years.
He elaborated on Arab diplomatic moves in New York to resolve the current worsening situation in Syria, including a call on the UN Security Council to move to put an end to bloodshed in Syria.

October 9th, 2013, 11:13 am


omen said:

Israel has been flying around the world bombing targets that threaten them as well as saving fellow jews from critical situations (Entebbe, Ethiopians, etc)

US isn’t israel. oligarchs who run the US don’t really care what happens to americans.

khobar towers, marine base bombing in beirut, US soldiers killed in iraq — all killed by iranian lead shia militias or assad.

yet the US refuses to hold iran accountable for this – because of conflict of interest. securing energy future is the higher priority. no name, non rich americans are expendable.

October 9th, 2013, 11:13 am


omen said:

Reading through the past few posts, clearly Obama (and the US in general) is stuck between a “Zoo” and a “Omen” – a rock and a had place.

i still have hopes rebels will kill assad – despite obama.

October 9th, 2013, 11:17 am


Akbar Palace said:

Phone Calls your Mother would like to see NewZ

Reading through the past few posts, clearly Obama (and the US in general) is stuck between a “Zoo” and a “Omen” – a rock and a had place.


cc: Omen

And the arabs are stuck between “shock and awe”!


Have the Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish military chiefs contact the GOI and we’ll all put an end to Assad in a New York minute.

Obama can watch on TV.

October 9th, 2013, 11:20 am


omen said:

re-edit that, akbar, because that doesnt make sense.

October 9th, 2013, 11:22 am


omen said:

384. Akbar Palace said: Oooooh! Since when did the arabs care about american “pressure”? Especially “Obama pressure”?

you have to ask the gcc states and turkey why. all i know is that they’ve complied. proof is in the pudding. saudis haven’t sent their fighter jets to bomb assad & turkey hasn’t put up a nfz.

October 9th, 2013, 11:28 am


omen said:

Have the Egyptian, Syrian and Turkish military chiefs contact the GOI and we’ll all put an end to Assad in a New York minute.

are you drunk? i dont drink this early in the day.

October 9th, 2013, 11:36 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up found that it is extremely important for Syrians to re-read the following heads up:

Heads up has determined that Syrians talk a lot and do very little. You want the world to help you? Then, help yourself by doing more fighting of Assad (pronounced Asshead) and less talking. Syrians need to fight the Serpent and crush its poisonous head and not talk and ask the world to fight on their behalf.

Over the last 50 years of Serpent rule, Syrians have become fighters by slogans and less fighters for issues that matter most: dignity, honor and protection of loved ones.

The world cannot and will not do this fight on your behalf.

Go and fight and talk less.

October 9th, 2013, 11:40 am


omen said:

378. Ghat Al Bird said: That Israel can shape its strategic environment, by focusing on removing Saddam Hussein from power in IRAQ.— an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.

problem with this argument is that saddam was a check on iran.

US removing saddam benefited assad & iran because it put into power a shia regime.

AIPAC lobbied to remove saddam. why did israel act to benefit iran?

October 9th, 2013, 11:47 am


zoo said:


“The world cannot and will not do this fight on your behalf.”

You seem to realize that your “guided” protector’s money is having a negative effect on the fighters. They fight for money and not anymore for revolutionary ideals.

It’s a Syrian crisis and only the Syrians can solve it through renouncing to war.

October 9th, 2013, 12:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

Press Tv

Islamic Awakening continues: Leader

Wed Oct 9, 2013

Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the West should not think the Islamic Awakening in the region has come to an end.

Dear Zoo et al, is that good news..or bad news..from your perspective? I don’t know whether to congratulate you or commiserate…

October 9th, 2013, 1:19 pm


Akbar Palace said:

AIPAC lobbied to remove saddam. why did israel act to benefit iran?


Iran, Iraq, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas; what do they all have in common?

As you recall, Saddam originally invaded Kuwait in 1990. So the US had to save another arab state: Kuwait. This has nothing to do with Israel, and it brought to the attention of the US that Saddam was a wild ass thug and not to be trusted.

Then 10 years went by where Saddam became the arab world’s leading muqawamista. He violated the terms of his cease fire, and he started sending checks to the families of (suicide) Palestinian bombers. Like Iran, Saddam refused to comply with several UNSC resolutions.

“The international community, especially the U.S., continued to view Saddam as a bellicose tyrant who was a threat to the stability of the region.”

Israel understands that all these nations are enemies and pose a threat, and the threats change monthly and yearly. Saddam’s threat was realized in Scuds that fell throughout Israel AND Saudi Arabia. Israel, if you recall in the first Gulf War, wanted to invade Iraq to destroy Scud launchers. The US lobbied Israel from doing that.

History repeats itself.

October 9th, 2013, 1:34 pm


zoo said:

MI5 Chief: Syrian Jihadist Groups Aspire to Attack the West

The head of the United Kingdom’s Security Service, colloquially known as MI5 and essentially the British equivalent of the CIA, gave one of his occasional public speeches yesterday and laid out the terrorist threats Britain faces. He noted that Islamic terrorism remains a consistent threat around the world, but issued a surprisingly direct warning about the risk from jihadist groups fighting Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria right now, some of which are linked to al-Qaeda. They don’t match the theat of core al-Qaeda yet, he said, but it’s a growing problem:

Al Qaida and its affiliates in South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula present the most direct and immediate threats to the UK. For the future, there is good reason to be concerned about Syria. A growing proportion of our casework now has some link to Syria, mostly concerning individuals from the UK who have travelled to fight there or who aspire to do so. Al Nusrah and other extremist Sunni groups there aligned with Al Qaida aspire to attack Western countries.

October 9th, 2013, 1:53 pm


zoo said:

Rejected by most Arab countries, Hamas is looking for a less coward host than Qatar

Will Hamas Relocate to Turkey?

Michael Rubin

Hamas is a terrorist group in search of a home. Uprooted by the Syrian civil war, and shaken by the Egyptian coup, the Hamas leadership has taken temporary shelter in Qatar, but that tiny emirate is showing every sign that they want the Islamist radicals to move on. So where would a radical Islamist terrorist group dedicated to the eradication of the State of Israel and whose charter endorses the crudest anti-Semitism turn? Perhaps to Turkey, America’s NATO ally and a country whose leader President Obama identified as one of his top personal foreign friends

October 9th, 2013, 2:06 pm


Tara said:

“Ayatollah Khamenei said these important incidents are the results of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution which from the very beginning came with the promise of the emergence of a lasting, national and developing power. 

“After more than three decades, Western and American nightmares have become a reality and a major national and regional power has emerged which has not been brought to its knees despite various political, economic, security and propaganda pressures,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei also said that this major power has influenced regional nations.” 

Isn’t that an explicit admittance that political Islam in its current shape is owed to the Islamic revolution and that the Islamic Republic of Iran aspires to become a national and regional power?  

And the gullible Obama believes that Iran will let off its dream?  Iran represents the neo-imperialism in the ME and is the major threat to the world peace.  It is evolving around the concept of shiaa supremacy and using deceit to get to its goal.  Iran should never be allowed to develop nuclear weapon.

October 9th, 2013, 2:20 pm


omen said:

401. Akbar Palace:

Like Iran, Saddam refused to comply with several UNSC resolutions.

guess who else refuses to comply to UN resolutions? first letter starts with an I.

re kuwait: didn’t ambassador april glaspie give saddam a green light?

re israel: what’s a couple of scuds from iraq when iran is brewing nukes?

saddam was a bulwark against iran.

October 9th, 2013, 2:30 pm


omen said:

this demonstrates the ridiculous extent to which obama is appeasing iran.
100k dead, syria laying in ruins but we refuse to call assad a terrorist!

Hannah Allam

Q. Do you consider Assad a terrorist? State Dept: Won’t use that term, but I can use lots of others to describe what a bad person he is.

October 9th, 2013, 2:41 pm


Tara said:

Iran in its current shape is an evil country. It revolves around a religious ideology. One can not dialogue or negotiate with religious ideology. It is stiff, illogic and is not amenable to negotiation. Those ayatollahs perceive themselves as God representative and his word. Is God amenable to dialogue and negotiation They also uses deception and pretense. Hasn’t the west learned any lesson?

The only way to stop Iran from possessing a chemical weapon is to neutralize it by force. Its nuclear facility should be droned. Any attempt of negotiation is self-deception. Few more years and the whole world will become under the mercy of a bearded mulla with black towel on his head and resolution to bend the world to the will of his perceived “God”.

October 9th, 2013, 2:49 pm


Akbar Palace said:

guess who else refuses to comply to UN resolutions? first letter starts with an I.


UNGA and UNSC resolutions carry much different weight. UNGA resolutions are meaningless. Even UNSC resolutions are non-binding unless special wording is used or Chapter 7 cited.

re kuwait: didn’t ambassador april glaspie give saddam a green light?

Maybe. It is debatable. But remember, it took several weeks to ramp up forces and material do knock Saddam out of Kuwait. Saddam could have seen the writing on the wall and retreat back to Iraq. He chose to stay in Kuwait.

what’s a couple of scuds from iraq when iran is brewing nukes?


Where do you live? If someone were to launch 39 scuds in your direction, what would you want your government to do? Don’t play down Scud missile attacks. The Iraqi scud that that fell in Saudi Arabia killed 27 Americans.

Scuds are highly powerful and lethal. Depending on the Scud, they can be accurate or not so accurate.

So as I said before, every year the GOI has challenges to her security whether it is Scuds, nuclear reactors, nuclear missiles, CW, GRAD missiles or a terrorist with a knife.

saddam was a bulwark against iran.

Saddam was murderer, thug and muqawamista. The Iranian government is no different. The Syrian “government” is no different. The Hamas and Hezbos are no different.

Different flavors of the same thing.


My humble suggestion is to wash your hands from these “freedom fighters” and seek out leaders who respect basic human rights. If you want a government that goes to war with the Zionist Entity, or Kuwait, or Iran or Iraq or the Syrian people then vote for one and keep your fingers crossed.

October 9th, 2013, 3:18 pm


Hopeful said:

#392 Omen

I have hopes that Assad and his gangsters will be overthrown, and Syria will recover and move along the path of democracy.

But I do not wish to see any more deaths, not even Assad’s and his murderous thugs. Enough of deaths. Revenge is not the answer.

October 9th, 2013, 3:58 pm


omen said:

akbar, iraqi scuds didn’t kill israelis.

iran has killed more americans than anybody. iran proxy has killed over 100k syrians. but instead of dishing out to the mullahs the saddam treatment, iran is being prepped by the west to be soon handed a “get out of jail free” card.

He chose to stay in Kuwait.

the infamous highway of death? coalition forces attacked an iraqi army who were retreating.

wash your hands from these “freedom fighters”

in other words, ignore the 21st century’s new holocaust.

“never again,” eh, akbar? or does that term only apply in protecting your own sect? you should be ashamed of yourself.

people used to wonder how the world could have allowed the genocide of jews during ww2. now we have american israelis, such as alan grayson, lobbying against holding assad accountable by arguing “it’s none of our business.” what a betrayal. people who know better than anyone the ramifications of what it means to have been abandoned by the world – now lobby to abandon syrians.

this after assad gassed babies. imagine arguing we should wash our hands of the matter whilst hiter gassed the jews. never again, akbar.

October 9th, 2013, 4:23 pm


ALAN said:

Every time when writes here about Iran should write about Saudi Arabia!And your understanding is enough!

Saudis bankroll new rebel force to fight own war on Assad
Saudi Arabia, exasperated with U.S. vacillation related to Syria’s chemical arsenal and now its effort to reconcile with Iran, Riyadh’s foremost adversary, is forging a new alliance of Islamist rebels in Syria under a pro-Saudi warlord to supersede the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army.

Riyadh also wants to foment an Iraq-style “Sunni Awakening” to unite Syria’s majority sect to topple the minority Damascus regime of President Bashar Assad……

This introduction of hired mercs to replace the SFA simply means more misery and suffering for the Syrian people, and Saudi Arabia has absolutely no guarantee that this tactic is going to be successful in the ouster of Al-Assad.

This approach hasn’t worked for over the last two years, so why the Saudi leadership believes it will work now?

October 9th, 2013, 4:41 pm


zoo said:

Poor Jarba, he is totally detached from reality. His conference in Istanbul on the 7th Oct was so pathetic that media hardly reported it even in the Turkish press.

#Syria – SyrCoalition – NC – press conference

Jarba: There will be no dialogue with the Assad regime, a national dialogue takes place btwn nationalists who want the best for the country.

Jarba:Our goal is to prepare conditions for a conducive transfer of power and bringing to justice those who committed crimes against Syrians

Jarba: We have requested that prior to any negotiation process there must be guarantees from Islamic and Arab states.

Jarba: In particular KSA, Qatar, UAE, Turkey, and Jordan, and all that must be under the supervision of the Arab League.

Jarba: We have rejected the participation of Iran as a broker in any negotiation process.

Jarba: Iran is occupying Syrian land and it has mercenaries that are killing the Syrian people including Hezbollah’s militias.

Jarba: If Iran is to take part of any negotiation process it should be standing with the regime but not as a mediator.

Jarba: If Iran wants to broker, it should withdraw its Rev. Guards Corps and mercenaries, who have come from Lebanon and Iraq, from Syria.

Jarba: We have reiterated to everyone we have met the importance of those parameters in any feasible negotiation process.

Jarba: If the int’l community must agree to discuss with the Supreme Military Council and revolutionary forces.

Jarba: it will then be brought before the General Assembly of the Syrian Coalition for a vote.

October 9th, 2013, 4:54 pm


Tara said:


KSA doesn’t own nuclear capability, Iran does. KSA does not evolve around a religious ideology, Iran does. KSA has no dream of becoming a neo-imperialist, Iran does.

October 9th, 2013, 4:59 pm


zoo said:

Iran refuses to accept predefined Western goals as conditions to attend the Geneva conference.

The US State Department said on Monday Washington would be more open to Iran taking part in a “Geneva 2” conference seeking an end to the war if Iran publicly supported a 2012 statement calling for a transitional authority to rule Syria.

But Iran rejected any conditions being placed on it to participate in diplomatic efforts on Syria, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said on Tuesday evening.

“If our participation is in the interest of achieving a solution, it will be unacceptable to set conditions for inviting the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we accept no conditions,” Afkham said, according to the state-run Press TV.

A June 2012 “Geneva Communique” sought to chart a path to a diplomatic resolution of the conflict, and was agreed to by major powers such as the United States and Russia, Gulf states, and Syria’s neighbours Iraq and Turkey — but not Iran, which was not invited to those talks.

The agreement called for a transitional governing authority but left open the question of whether Assad must leave power.

October 9th, 2013, 5:06 pm


omen said:

did you know this? interview with an energy reporter discussing the benefits of lifting sanctions:

a lot of
gulf countries need gas & iran can supply them with gas.

October 9th, 2013, 5:16 pm


omen said:

this is the kind of lobbying obama pays attention to.

corporations cant wait to cash in.

Billions at stake for economic winners and losers of Iran thaw

With its population of 75 million, Iran would be the largest economy to rejoin the global system since post-Communist eastern Europe in the early 1990s.

“A young, educated population, a credit-based society with huge unsatisfied demand for everything from refineries and chemical plants to housing and basic infrastructure – the business opportunities are huge,” said Emad Mostaque, a strategist who follows Iran at London-based NOAH Capital.

The size of the economic opportunities means political pressure to lift the sanctions could grow rapidly in Western capitals if nuclear talks seem to be going well.

dont forget, obama is not to blame for refusing to intervene!

October 9th, 2013, 5:23 pm


ALAN said:

memo to AP debate!
Elie Wiesel’s statements about Israel’s 2008-09 attack on Gaza don’t add up.

On September 29, Wiesel appeared alongside Sheldon Adelson, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Shmuley Boteach to talk genocide and about how the “strong” can protect the “weak” in the context of the chemical weapons attack in Syria in August. “Israel is part of our lives. It is truly part of mine,” Wiesel said on stage.

At the conclusion of the bizarre event, Max Blumenthal and I asked the world’s most famous Holocaust survivor an obvious, though unasked, question: who would protect the people of Gaza from Israel?

His first answer (minute 6:20 in the video above) was that “all human beings should be protected everywhere.” When I pressed him about the 300 children killed in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead and whether he supported the assault, his response was: “I don’t know anything about it.” Blumenthal and I each tried one more time, and Wiesel again said he didn’t know anything about Cast Lead.

But Wiesel knows about Israel’s 2008-09 attack on Gaza. In September 2009, Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz, Elliott Abrams and others signed an NGO Monitor letter that criticized Human Rights Watch’s reporting on the “recent Gaza conflict.” In February 2010, Wiesel told Haaretz that the Goldstone report, which documented human rights violations committed by the Israeli army during its assault on Gaza, was “a crime against the Jewish people.”

Richard Goldstone and his team personally confirmed the deaths of 47 children in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead.

But Wiesel says he doesn’t know anything about the killing of children in Gaza. How seriously can we take his pronouncements on Israeli policy or international affairs if he’s not aware of these basic facts?

October 9th, 2013, 5:27 pm


ALAN said:
New conspiracy theory from the far-right proclaims that Obama is secretly arming al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in Syria.

October 9th, 2013, 5:52 pm


ghufran said:

Some remarkable developments on the battle field in Damascus, southern Aleppo, Yarmouk refugee camps plus the intensifying fight between islamists and Kurds. None of that is good for rebels, this means that you will hear new calls for a cease fire, which I support. Let Syrians figure this out and choose their government and their leaders, if Assad allowed that we may not have to fight Islamists and Jihadists in the first place:

أفادت تقارير اعلامية عن استسلام العقيد المنشق خالد الحسن و عناصره في الحسينية في ريف دمشق بعد أن قام الجيش العربي السوري باقتحامها, ومن جهة أخرى أفادت قناة الميادين عن مقتل قائد لواء الجولان ( أبو المعتصب ) في الذبيانية في الريف الدمشقي حيث سيطر الجيش السوري على المنطقتين خلال معارك ضارية شهدتها المنطقة أمس و اليوم.


ورود أنباء بإنسحاب عناصر “جبهة النصرة” من مخيم اليرموك في دمشق بعد الخسائر الفادحة التي تعرضت لها خلال المعارك التي دارت في الفترة الماضية.
وأشارت المصادر إلى أن “النصرة” إنسحبت إلى مناطق القدم والحجر الأسود بريف دمشق، وسط ورود معلومات عن قيام المسلحين التابعين لميليشيا “الجيش الحر” في مخيم اليرموك بتسليم أنفسهم.

this is the rebels response: bombing a refinery in Homs:
اندلع حريق في مصفاة حمص النفطية بعد تعرضها للقصف من قبل الجيش الحر، اليوم الأربعاء.
وأعلن المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان أن “قذائف سقطت على مصفاة حمص النفطية أطلقتها الكتائب المقاتلة، ما تسبب باندلاع حريق لم يوقع خسائر بشرية”.
وذكرت “الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية”، من جهتها، ان “الجيش الحر استهدف المصفاة في اطار عملية اطلق عليها اسم معركة “صب النيران”، مشيرة الى تصاعد “دخان أسود كثيف جداً من المصفاة يغطي سماء مدينة حمص”.

October 9th, 2013, 5:56 pm


omen said:

zoo, your evil rebels gave warning to workers before shelling (arabic)

in Homs warned workers in Petrol refinery one hour before they shelled it.

imagine saa being so courteous.

remember, regime siege of old homs is starving 10,000 people. hopefully, this will impact that and allow food aid to get thru.

another calamity akbar wants us to ignore.

October 9th, 2013, 6:19 pm


Sami said:

Picture of Damascus from Jobar at night.

Can’t wait on how the “rebels” are to blame for cutting the electricity off on themselves and their families and other idiotic blame the victims garbage…

October 9th, 2013, 9:26 pm


Tara said:

الجيش الحر يسيطر على آخر المعابر مع الأردن

تمكنت المعارضة السورية المسلحة من السيطرة على كتيبة الهجانة على الحدود السورية الأردنية، مما أنهى بالكامل سيطرة القوات النظامية على هذه المنطقة، وفتح الطريق إلى مدينة درعا. في هذه الأثناء قال المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان إن 63 شخصا قتلوا اليوم في سوريا.

وقال مراسل الجزيرة في سوريا ناصر شديد -الذي دخل إلى مقر كتيبة الهجانة بعد السيطرة عليه- إن الثوار غنموا بعض الذخيرة والعتاد ودبابة وثلاثة مدافع “ب م ب”، مشيرا إلى أن سقوط هذه الكتيبة يعد إنهاء لوجود النظام على المعابر مع الأردن.

وقال المراسل إن النظام ظل يحاول حتى آخر لحظة التمسك بهذه الكتيبة وإنه ألقى لها من الجو أسلحة وأطعمة، ولكن ذلك لم يسقط في أيدي من كانوا داخلها.

وتعد الهجانة أول كتيبة مشاة يتمكن الجيش السوري الحر من السيطرة عليها في عموم الأراضي السورية، وقد أشار المراسل إلى أن ثلاثين من مقاتلي المعارضة ماتوا في فترة الحصار الطويل لهذه الكتيبة، الذي استمر شهرين.

Congrats to the FSA and inshallah the day when Damascus is free comes soon.

October 9th, 2013, 10:13 pm


Hopeful said:


Take a look at this chart:

Notice how support for republicans has dropped ten points since the beginning of the government shutdown.

Now notice how the republicans in the next few days will back down on their effort to defund Obamacare, and make a deal with the White House.

This is how the US work. Anyone who says the US is a sham democracy is just repeating talks of intellectual conspiracy theories and elitists who like to think the public is too dumb to understand what is going on.

October 10th, 2013, 1:00 am


Badr said:

I’m not willing to bet the farm on the following scenario eventually happening!

Syria, realigning the war

By Paul Rogers

If this analysis is correct, pressure will be put on the non-Islamist rebels to negotiate a post-Assad Syria in which the Alawi elements in the regime survive and some kind of power-sharing begins, possibly at a local and then a regional level. The Islamist rebels will reject any such negotiations and will then be sidelined by all except hardline Saudi benefactors. A new composite regime will be messily formed and given all the resources it needs to crush the Islamists.

The process will be costly, ugly and protracted. It will also be welcomed by the Americans and accepted by the Russians. The civil war will enter a new phase; many more people will be killed and injured; and Syria may become an even greater focus for jihadist struggle than it is now.

October 10th, 2013, 4:26 am


omen said:

hopeful, i started following politics more closely after gore was robbed. i watched one corporate giveaway after another fly thru congress with ease. even ones with harmful ramifications for the public health. it did not matter if it was dem or gop held.

i used to do activism to counter policies. didn’t matter how big the grassroots opposition was, sickening legislation would get passed anyways. once in a blue moon, there is a rare victory. keystone pipeline halted, for example, but that really is a can kicked down road. obama will still probably pass it in the end. hard to change anything when living in a corrupt system where money buys votes. where corporate lobbyists are even allowed to write legislation. obamacare was drafted by an insurance executive.

Notice how support for republicans has dropped ten points since the beginning of the government shutdown.

these fools wont lose their jobs because of it. because of gerrymandering of districts, most gop seats are assured. the only threat they face is being primaried by lunatic teabaggers. most races have already been calculated. they already know who will win.

unless you’re caught in bed with a dead girl or live boy, incumbents have a ridiculous 90-98% chance of being reelected. takes money to win elections and incumbents have the advantage of having already banked a war chest.

October 10th, 2013, 5:50 am


Akbar Palace said:

Hopeful, deal with Omen for me Please NewZ

akbar, iraqi scuds didn’t kill israelis.


What are you trying to say? That Israel should have absorbed 39 Scud missile firings without responding or defending herself? BTW – Israel was lucky. A few were killed and may were seriously wounded. The thousands of missiles coming in from Gaza and Lebanon are no different. NO NATION can live with random missiles flying into population centers.

Now, tell us, what would the US do if ONE scud were to fall within the United States?

iran has killed more americans than anybody. iran proxy has killed over 100k syrians. but instead of dishing out to the mullahs the saddam treatment, iran is being prepped by the west to be soon handed a “get out of jail free” card.

I agree with you. I think most people realize Iran is the terrorist “power broker”. Rouhani has always been close to the important players within the theocracy.

the infamous highway of death? coalition forces attacked an iraqi army who were retreating.

What is your point? That Saddam Hussein army should not have been attacked? Give us a short summary of what the Iraqi army did in Kuwait. I mean, tell us the WHOLE story instead of bits and pieces.

in other words, ignore the 21st century’s new holocaust.


Let me tell you a little secret: people are getting slaughtered all over the world. From a few hundred here and there to several thousand. Saddam Hussein was responsible more deaths, believe it or not, than Assad. I, for one, am not sorry the US conducted “regime change” in Iraq, and I think the US should conduct “regime change” in Syria. But look how the US was soooo aggressively criticized in the arab world for our operation in Iraq.

And as far a holocausts are concerned, we’ve learned that you can not trust ANYONE except your own. On this point you’ve only offered the excuse of “US pressure”. To prevent a holocaust you have to trust your own family to save you. Are the arabs going to watch as their own brethren are killed in Syria or are they going to do what Obama wants them to do?

The Egyptian military doesn’t care about Obama:

Why don’t they crush the Assad family?

“never again,” eh, akbar? or does that term only apply in protecting your own sect? you should be ashamed of yourself.

Why the sarcastic tone Omen? Jews have learned that when push comes to shove, you can only rely on yourself. I think most people understand this.

people used to wonder how the world could have allowed the genocide of jews during ww2. now we have american israelis, such as alan grayson, lobbying against holding assad accountable by arguing “it’s none of our business.” what a betrayal. people who know better than anyone the ramifications of what it means to have been abandoned by the world – now lobby to abandon syrians.


People and nations will not change. Not for jews or anyone else. Anyone who puts their trust in another nation for their self defense and safety are fools. Jews learned it the hard way. Now we have our own nation to protect ourselves. What is YOUR excuse for arabs in Syria?? Why are you blaming non-arabs, when arabs have several militaries armed to the teeth?

this after assad gassed babies. imagine arguing we should wash our hands of the matter whilst hiter gassed the jews. never again, akbar.

And your point? That genocides post-WW2 were supposed to be a thing of thee past? I guess not. And what are you suggesting? That Israel and jews are supposed to save Syrians that 3 years ago were chanting “Death to the Jews!”? Get real Omen.

October 10th, 2013, 7:19 am


Akbar Palace said:

Obama’s approval rating hits a low of 37%

PS – Government shutdown is great. Our government has needed to contract for a long time now and has grown way too large. This is one fast way to cut it. Kudos Republicans!

Enjoy the “free” healthcare!

October 10th, 2013, 7:24 am


ALAN said:

again and again Saudi Arabia!
Unholy Israel – Saudi Arabia Alliance
Israel and Saudi Arabia are rogue states writ large. They’re two of the world’s worst. They deplore democratic values. They spurn rule of law principles. They commit horrendous human and civil rights abuses. They’re responsible for daily crimes against humanity.

October 10th, 2013, 7:35 am


omen said:


Idris and some leaders of SMC meeting Ford in Istanbul.

October 10th, 2013, 7:39 am


omen said:

Syria: activists, 13 women’s bodies in mass grave near Hama

(ANSAmed) – BEIRUT, OCTOBER 10 – Activists in central Syria on Thursday morning said the bodies of 13 women with gunshot wounds to the head and back were found in a mass grave in an area north-east of the city of Hama, city residents told ANSA, speaking by Skype. The sources are unable to provide video footage of the bodies discovered just a few hours ago but said the mass grave is in the village of Buraydj, some 60 km north-east of Hama.

The sources quoted residents of Buraydj as saying that about a dozen women from the village which supports anti-regime rebels were arrested the day before yesterday by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad. The mass grave was reportedly discovered close to a loyalist checkpoint outside the village.

Activists have a harder time providing video footage, according to the sources, because areas backing the uprising have been besieged over the past three months by loyalist militia who cut electricity, water and phone lines.

October 10th, 2013, 7:41 am


zoo said:

Syria’s largest city comes back online
Aleppo is back on the Internet through a connection to Turkey, according to Renesys
By Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service – Internet service has been restored to Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, with a renewed connection to Turkey’s largest telecommunications provider, according to Internet monitoring company Renesys.

Aleppo’s connectivity wobbled in August as users reported outages amid Syria’s continuing 30-month-old civil war. Renesys, which monitors global connections between ISPs, noticed disruptions between Turk Telecom and the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment (STE), which primarily affected Aleppo.

It hasn’t been clear if the outages in Aleppo were the result of government action through STE, or as one press report indicated, caused by the rebels.

But on Tuesday, there were signs that STE was cooperating with the Syrian Computer Society (SCS) to allow that organization to connect to Turk Telecom, which provided the majority of connectivity to Aleppo. SCS has run networks in Syria in the past.

October 10th, 2013, 8:34 am


zoo said:

“Discreet” Turkish Hakan Fidan and “flamboyant” Saudi Bandar Ben Sultan are the chief spymasters plotting for the destruction of Syria

“There is no doubt in Turkey where the spymaster stands. Mr. Fidan is “the No. 2 man in Turkey,” says Emre Uslu, a Turkish intelligence analyst who writes for a conservative daily. “He’s much more powerful than any minister and much more powerful than President Abdullah Gul.”

On a rainy May day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan led two of his closest advisers into the Oval Office for what both sides knew would be a difficult meeting.

It was the first face-to-face between Mr. Erdogan and President Barack Obama in almost a year. Mr. Obama delivered what U.S. officials describe as an unusually blunt message: The U.S. believed Turkey was letting arms and fighters flow into Syria indiscriminately and sometimes to the wrong rebels, including anti-Western jihadists.

Seated at Mr. Erdogan’s side was the man at the center of what caused the U.S.’s unease, Hakan Fidan, Turkey’s powerful spymaster and a driving force behind its efforts to supply the rebels and topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, Mr. Fidan, little known outside of the Middle East, has emerged as a key architect of a Turkish regional-security strategy that has tilted the interests of the longtime U.S. ally in ways sometimes counter to those of the U.S.

“Hakan Fidan is the face of the new Middle East,” says James Jeffrey, who recently served as U.S. ambassador in Turkey and Iraq. “We need to work with him because he can get the job done,” he says. “But we shouldn’t assume he is a knee-jerk friend of the United States, because he is not.”

Mr. Fidan is one of three spy chiefs jostling to help their countries fill a leadership vacuum created by the upheaval and by America’s tentative approach to much of the region.

One of his counterparts is Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, who has joined forces with the Central Intelligence Agency in Syria but who has complicated U.S. policy in Egypt by supporting a military takeover there. The other is Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander-in-chief of the Quds Forces, the branch of the elite Revolutionary Guard Corps that operates outside of Iran and whose direct military support for Mr. Assad has helped keep him in power.

October 10th, 2013, 8:41 am


zoo said:

Best option for Syria: stalemate
While Assad’s compatriots cut each other’s throats, we can enjoy relative peace

Of all the articles I have read on this matter recently, the nearest to the mark of the raw reality is, I think, that of Edward N. Luttwak, which appeared in The New York Times and then in Le Monde. With a cold pragmatism that disregards humanitarian and legal considerations, he sets forth in clear terms what his country’s interests are, after the sour experiences of Afghanistan and Iraq. A victory for Assad, he says, would strengthen the Shiite axis of Hezbollah and Iran: a serious setback for Washington and her ally Israel. A victory for the extremist rebels would spread jihadism throughout the Middle East and the Arabian peninsula. Thus, only one solution can do the United States any good: a prolonged stalemate. To this end, he says, “we have to arm the rebels when the forces of Al-Assad seem likely to prevail, and suspend these supplies when the rebels seem to be gaining the advantage.”

In short: let them go on fighting until they wear each other out, though it may take years. While they cut each other’s throats, we can enjoy relative peace. Machiavelli could not have put it better, without a glimmer of concern for the fate of millions of victims, in a land in ruins. But as the old maxim says, abusus non tollit usum.

October 10th, 2013, 8:54 am


Islamism As Internationalism? | Democratic Revolution in Syria said:

[…] of tensions and internal contradictions within Syria’s traditionally conservative society and the increasingly religious, Islamist rebellion to the surface. When Assad’s security services detained and […]

October 10th, 2013, 10:37 am


zoo said:

The SNC is recruiting islamist fighters in Lebanon. Is it also behind the bombs and assassinations attempts?

Lebanon charges 12 over bomb, assassination plots

A colonel who defected from the Syrian army has been arrested for recruiting Lebanese to fight

“Meanwhile, a judicial source said police had arrested former Syrian army colonel Ahmed Amer in Tripoli as he sought to recruit potential rebels.

He was seized at an unspecified date “when he arrived from Istanbul, where he had met leaders of the Syrian opposition”, the source said.

“A CD and a USB memory stick in his possession… contained maps of military installations” in Syria, the source added.”

October 10th, 2013, 11:08 am


zoo said:

Very promising.Will Hamas move away from Iran toward Saudi Arabia ?
Hamas-Salafist Rapprochement in the Gaza Strip
8-point plan could end deadly conflict raging between Hamas and Salafist factions

Sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat that clerics from Kuwait and Qatar visited the Gaza Strip last May, accompanied by well-known Egyptian cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, chairman of International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS). The Gulf clerics have been involved in seeking an amicable end to the ongoing disputes between Hamas and the Salafists.

Qaradawi and the other clerics met with both sides in lengthy talks to resolve the escalating conflict which has led to a number of Salafists being arrested and killed in the Gaza Strip by the ruling Hamas movement.

Maqdisi said: “All parties initially agreed to show good faith until the signing of the final agreement, and this has now taken place.”

October 10th, 2013, 11:24 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

As a Syrian, I don’t care how America operates. Neither should any Syrian care whether Obama and his Democrats win or the Republicans for that matter. This is all a side show when it comes to the pressing Syrian issue of fighting the Serpent-head (Ass-head supreme). America is totally irrelevant, and if you listen to it you will suffer more setbacks and end up with fake and empty promises. This is how America has been since it was created. It always lies to the world.

For that reason Syrians must learn how to become better fighters than empty talkers. And the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is already guiding the Syrians out of the 50 years of Serpent rule in which they were trained as sloganeering puppets of treacherous serpents and their stooges of hated Hezboola terrorists and their mullocrat low lives.

It is incumbent upon all Syrians to follow the Guidance of the Guided Kingdom in order to achieve success in the fight against the rattle snakes and the reptilian terrorists. After the Syrians succeed in this fight, they will then move to the next stage of building a successful Syria in the image of the respected and successful Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

So again, go and fight and do less talking. Consult with the Guided KSA representatives on how to accomplish your objectives. Otherwise, meet your fate as a pathetic sloganeer.

October 10th, 2013, 11:27 am



AP, you said

But look how the US was soooo aggressively criticized in the arab world for our operation in Iraq.

Criticism is useless blabber, especially when it comes from the two groups trying to drag the region into the fringes on the left or the right.

However, active terrorism against both Iraqi civilians and our forces in Iraq had two sources, with whom our successive administrations have miserably failed to deal with with are the dirty alliance between Iran mullas regime and Syria’s dog-poop regime, and the lunatic rich merchants in KSA and Kuwait who dream of ruling the world through Alqaida useless dark ages states.

The New Yorker has a great article on the biggest fish skunk in the world of terrorism today and the man who has been moving and leading much of the terrorist organizations in the region and is now leading dog-poop campaign of murder, terror, and destruction of Syria. Of course, he is Iranian and very close to the evil man in Qum. Here is a quote from the article

This kind of starkly sectarian atmosphere may be Suleimani’s most lasting impact on the Middle East. To save his Iranian empire in Syria and Lebanon, he has helped fuel a Sunni-Shiite conflict that threatens to engulf the region for years to come—a war that he appears happy to wage. “He has every reason to believe that Iran is the rising power in the region,” Mattis told me. “We’ve never dealt him a body blow.”

An Arabic version of the article is being published in a sequence and made available so that Syrians can know their real enemies and about the Iranians who must be arrested and sent to the Hague along with dog-poop.

Shouldn’t we deal these skunks a body blow now! As for the skunks who support their terrorism, they will fade away into oblivion once the smelly parasites like dog-poop athad and this Qasim Suleimani are dealt with.

October 10th, 2013, 11:38 am


zoo said:


You sound increasingly desperate. You are repeating the same message over and over.
Is it because your “guided benefactors’ are loosing steam as Iran is getting the upper hand and the fear of a Arab Shia power terrifies you more everyday?

October 10th, 2013, 11:52 am


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up has determined that this site attracts few psychopaths that are best dealt with by ignoring them. Heads up advises non-psychopath visitors to do the same.

October 10th, 2013, 12:20 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Syrian Hamster said:

Shouldn’t we deal these skunks a body blow now! As for the skunks who support their terrorism, they will fade away into oblivion once the smelly parasites like dog-poop athad and this Qasim Suleimani are dealt with.

No one is more for dealing “body blows” to terrorists than me.

However, I am at a loss as to why it is not getting done. I think Obama and the US are war weary. We’ve been in and out of the ME too many times and we have little to show except for thousands of dead soldiers. So this goes back to my question as to why the arab states don’t do something to repair their own neighborhood. I guess if I have to answer this question myself, it would be giving a fox the keys to the hen house.

So basically, we have all the actors pointing fingers instead of fixing problems. Sounds like the US Congress.

October 10th, 2013, 12:25 pm


Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya about an hour ago:

‘Christians are active participants in the Syrian revolution’ – Ayman Abdulnour

October 10, 2013

With his staunch refusal to play the political game, Ayman Abdulnour is one of the more credible voices in the Syrian opposition.

A close university friend of Bashar al-Assad, Ayman Abdulnour served as an adviser to al-Assad during the years he was being groomed for the Syrian presidency following the unexpected death of his brother in 1994. Al-Assad “really wanted to make reforms. We believed in that,” Abdulnour told Al Monitor last year.


Today, Abdulnour promotes his vision of a non-sectarian, democratic Syria from exile. Last year, Abdulnour founded Syrian Christians for Peace, a pro-opposition humanitarian organization that distributes aid inside Syria. The group’s work also counters the regime-led narrative that Christians support the regime. He denounces the regime’s manipulation of Syrian Christians’ fears of strict Muslim rule in Syria, and in this interview, candidly answers Abdulrahman al-Masri’s questions about whether Syrian Christians really support the regime and why the growing presence of extremist Islamist groups is pushing them to leave Syria for good.

[Q & A]


October 10th, 2013, 1:08 pm


Uzair8 said:

Posted on Yalla Souriya about an hour ago:

‘Christians are active participants in the Syrian revolution’ – Ayman Abdulnour

October 10, 2013

With his staunch refusal to play the political game, Ayman Abdulnour is one of the more credible voices in the Syrian opposition.

A close university friend of Bashar al-Assad, Ayman Abdulnour served as an adviser to al-Assad during the years he was being groomed for the Syrian presidency following the unexpected death of his brother in 1994. Al-Assad “really wanted to make reforms. We believed in that,” Abdulnour told Al Monitor last year.


Today, Abdulnour promotes his vision of a non-sectarian, democratic Syria from exile. Last year, Abdulnour founded Syrian Christians for Peace, a pro-opposition humanitarian organization that distributes aid inside Syria. The group’s work also counters the regime-led narrative that Christians support the regime. He denounces the regime’s manipulation of Syrian Christians’ fears of strict Muslim rule in Syria, and in this interview, candidly answers Abdulrahman al-Masri’s questions about whether Syrian Christians really support the regime and why the growing presence of extremist Islamist groups is pushing them to leave Syria for good.

[Q & A]


October 10th, 2013, 1:11 pm


zoo said:

More thanks to the opposition that brought this Sunni Islamic scourge in Syria

“Some of the leaflets that ISIS circulates include: “The Prohibition of Democracy,” “The Virtue of Jihad Over Remaining Silent,” and “Excommunicating the Alawites”

Al Qaeda’s Syrian Strategy

Can Islamic jihadists win hearts and minds in the war against Assad?b


Al Qaeda is storming across northern Syria. Last month, the al Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) captured the city of al-Bab in the northern province of Aleppo from a rival rebel militia. The capture of the city, one of the largest in the region, gives ISIS control over a key transit point linking Aleppo to its strongholds to the east. And that’s just the latest in a long string of ISIS’s military successes: After brief clashes with outgunned rebel opponents, ISIS took the towns of Azaz and Jarablus, which straddle Syria’s border with Turkey.

To commemorate its victories, the first thing ISIS did in these places was hang its black flag from the top of the highest building. After that, it began to gradually impose its strict interpretation of Islamic law.

ISIS has embarked on al Qaeda’s most comprehensive campaign yet to win Arab hearts and minds by providing social services to a war-ravaged society. But though the organization’s star is ascendant, its abuses, coupled with an international strategy to limit its influence, could still torpedo its plan to transform northern Syria into an Islamic emirate under its command.

ISIS is thought to count 5,000 to 6,000 fighters within its ranks. That means it’s a lot smaller than other rebel groups, such as the hard-line Salafi Syrian Islamic Front, which boasts 15,000 to 20,000 fighters. But ISIS has one important advantage: Many of its members have previously fought in other jihads, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya.

Nowhere is ISIS stronger than in the northern province of Raqqa. It controls the governorate’s capital, Raqqa city, whose prewar population of approximately 277,300 residents has mushroomed due to an influx of displaced persons from other regions. Meanwhile, the brigades affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are focused on squabbling among themselves. As a result, no FSA unit is strong enough to challenge the group in Raqqa, making it the largest city al Qaeda has ever controlled in the Islamic world.

ISIS has exploited its grip on the region to supply the provincial capital with the commodities essential to function. It provides most of the wheat for the city’s bread factories, trucking the grain in from its silos in the northern parts of the province on the border with Turkey. It also delivers the majority of the city’s oil needs, drawing on rebel-controlled wells in eastern Syria.

ISIS is doing far more than keeping the lights on. It runs a court with a mix of judges and religious scholars that draws on a strict interpretation of Islamic law. It adjudicates cases ranging from theft to financial malfeasance. According to Raqqan politicians and residents, in one ruling this summer the court ordered that a house confiscated by a rebel brigade be returned to its owner. It also provides abandoned houses to those whose living quarters were destroyed by regime bombings.

ISIS’s Raqqa Outreach Bureau, meanwhile, is trying to educate residents in what it considers the proper teachings of Islam. Raqqan politicians and residents say that the organization distributes pocket Qurans and flash drives with jihadi chants and videos showing the group’s military operations. Some of the leaflets that ISIS circulates include: “The Prohibition of Democracy,” “The Virtue of Jihad Over Remaining Silent,” and “Excommunicating the Alawites”

October 10th, 2013, 1:20 pm


Uzair8 said:

It’s the Q&A I want people to have a look at. Please do check it out.

“The regime played the sectarian card from the first day [of the revolution]. Even before there were Islamic movements or Islamic slogans, Bashar al-Assad and Buthaina Shabaan toyed with Syrians’ emotions on Syrian television. That succeeded in scaring Christians inside and outside Syria through their relatives.”


“There are a lot of Christians living outside Syria without any relationship to political or economic issues inside. They just come to Syria for 15 days in the summer to visit their relatives and introduce their kids to their hometown.

They do not want problems, the issue means nothing to them. Truthfully, we are trying to communicate to make them understand that this is not correct.”


“We have a problem, I recognize, that a number of priests are connected and have interests with the regime. We are asking the Christian community still in Syria to withstand this,..”

October 10th, 2013, 1:24 pm


ALAN said:

Syria’s Chemical Weapons: Western Military Alliance and Israel continue to Support Al Qaeda Affiliated Rebels
Amply documented the Al Nusrah rebels are in possession of chemical weapons.
In an unusual twist, An August 9, 2013 UPI report intimates that the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Nusrah rebels rather than the Syrian government constitute a threat to the security of Israel, an absurd proposition. And that Israel, so to speak, fears that chemical weapons might “fall in the wrong hands”.
Troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have broken through rebel forces encircling the northern city of Aleppo to secure a major chemical weapons base that, if they can hold it, will be a big help to U.N. experts sent in to destroy Assad’s chemical arsenal.
The sprawling facility at al-Safira is one of the most important chemical warfare centers in Syria, and has been one of the most threatened by the rebels, including hard-line jihadist groups like the al-Nusra Front.
The nightmare scenario for Israeli and Western leaders is that the jihadists get their hands on Assad’s vast armory of chemical weapons and deadly nerve agents like sarin and VX. (UPI, August 9, 2013)
Confirmed by CNN, the rebels were trained in the use of chemical weapons by Western special forces. Moreover, Israel has been supporting Al Nusrah out of the Golan heights, so how on earth could the Al Nusrah rebels constitute a threat to the security of the State of Israel.
The report points to the fact that UN inspectors on the ground have acknowledged that the threat comes from the Al Nusrah rebels:
“The capture of al-Safira [by the government from the rebels], which includes a heavily guarded facility where nerve agents are produced and weaponized, could allow the U.N. specialists to eliminate a significant portion of Assad’s weapons of mass destruction.”
Assad’s forces, supported by mobile artillery and airstrikes, Monday broke through rebel lines to secure the chemical weapons facility at al-Safira, where important defense plants are located, outside the strategic city of Aleppo.
…On Oct. 3, the regime retook the key town of Khanasser near Aleppo which controls the main highway to al-Safira, allowing Assad’s forces to break through to Al-Safira four days later.
“This development will be welcomed even by the United States,whose opposition to the Assad regime is currently outweighed by its concerns for securing the chemical weapons in Syria,” the U.S. intelligence consulting firm Stratfor said. Read complete UPI report……………

October 10th, 2013, 2:21 pm


ALAN said:

Oksana Boyko
Crossing Syria (ft. International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer)

October 10th, 2013, 2:25 pm


zoo said:

Iran and US to reconcile their differences so Bashar al Assad looses his “luck” and become “dispensable”? In a decade… maybe

President Assad has always been lucky.

Securing regional standing and a compromise on nuclear rights might be prize enough for Iran also to consider the Assads dispensable.

October 10th, 2013, 2:28 pm


zoo said:

The opposition accused of premeditated sectarian massacres

“These abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these Alawite villages.”

Syrian opposition extremists involved in systematic slaughter, says rights group

Thursday 10 October 2013

Extremist groups within the Syrian opposition are responsible for the mass killing of civilians, executions and hostage-taking in the countryside of north-western Syria, Human Rights Watch claims in a report released on Friday.

The rights group says an investigation into a military offensive by the rebels found strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

During the offensive, which began in rural Latakia on 4 August and lasted for two weeks, at least 190 civilians were killed and over 200 hostages taken, according to HRW. The rights group said at least 67 of the victims were executed or unlawfully killed in the attack on pro-government villages.

“These abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these Alawite villages.”

October 10th, 2013, 2:37 pm


omen said:

“Israel’s security
and not ‘democracy in Syria’ is the top priority of the American policy in the Middle East,” said Rintawi pointing out that the lives of innocent Syrian civilians was not deemed important enough to intervene.

not a new argument but i liked how this was phrased.

this is why akbar gets soo irate when i blame obama. he knows when i criticize US foreign policy, is tantamount to criticizing israeli policy.

October 10th, 2013, 2:45 pm


zoo said:

Shias fighters from Iraq and Lebanon defend holy Shia sites in Syria from Sunnis rebels

“The two towns are located near the Shiite pilgrimage site of Sayyida Zeinab in the southern outkirts of Damascus.”

Syria: Scores Killed as Army Attacks Rebels South of Damascus
Scores of Syrian rebels and army forces were killed in fierce fighting south of Damascus.

By Elad Benari
First Publish: 10/10/2013, 4:12 AM

Scores of Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad were killed in fierce fighting south of Damascus on Wednesday, as the army pressed a major offensive, an NGO told AFP.

The fighting, between rebel brigades and regular troops, supported by militia and elements of Hezbollah, took place in the areas of Husseiniyah, Al-Thiyabiyeh and Bouaydah as government warplanes pounded the area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“At least 22 people, the majority of them rebels, including a commander,” were killed, the Britain-based group said, without elaborating.

At the same time, the group said “dozens” of regime forces were killed.

Earlier, the Observatory had said regular troops had reinforced their control of two villages separating Thiyabiyeh and Bouaydah.

For its part, the Local Coordination Committees, a group of militants on the ground, said the Abu Fadel Abbas Brigade composed mostly of Iraqi Shiites, along with Hezbollah fighters and elite troops were carrying out a major offensive.

State news agency SANA said government forces had “tightened their control over the town of Husseiniyah and the outskirts of Al-Thiyabiyeh.”

The two towns are located near the Shiite pilgrimage site of Sayyida Zeinab in the southern outkirts of Damascus.

October 10th, 2013, 3:05 pm


zoo said:

The call from the powerless and manipulated OIC and Arab League will be ignored as were all their previous calls

AL, OIC call for Eid ceasefire in Syria
Reuters, Cairo

The Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) yesterday urged Syrian government forces and fighters battling President Bashar al-Assad to stage a ceasefire during the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday, which falls next week.

October 10th, 2013, 3:07 pm


zoo said:

While Erdogan accuses Bashar al Assad of being a ‘terrorist’ no one in the whole world buys Davutoglu’s lies that Turkey did not help the Al Qaeda terrorists to slip into Syria

The new threat to Turkey’s security
Meanwhile Davutoğlu, who has lost much of his luster in the eyes of the world, is trying to convince everyone that Turkey did not support al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria.

Few in the diplomatic community in Ankara, however, believe that Ankara did not help groups like al-Nusra in the hope that they would be instrumental in toppling the al-Assad regime. Even President Abdullah Gül warned last month that the possibility of members of groups like al-Nusra slipping into Turkey was a threat to the country.

The problem is that these groups have not been slipping into Turkey, but have been slipping into Syria from Turkey without any intervention by the Turkish security forces. They have also been using Turkish hospitals and other facilities without any problems.

Given the point we have arrived at, few can look back and argue objectively that the government’s foreign policy has served Turkey’s interests well, whatever it may have done for the interests of quarters that have nothing to do with Turkey. What is worrying, however, is that the government appears to still be reluctant to face up to the gravity of the situation.

This reluctance, however, cannot shroud the fact that the AKP’s misguided policies have landed Turkey in a situation that could drag Turkish security forces, which are now mandated to cross into Syria if necessary, into Afghanistan like quagmires.

October 10th, 2013, 3:23 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

All the vague and foggy conspiracy tales blaming Rebels/Bandar/Joos/UFOs for the August 21 Sarin attacks rest on one simple ‘let’s suppose.’ The supposition is that manufacture of Sarin is a tottle, a breeze, a walk in the park. As the President of Syria suggested in at least two occasions in recent interviews, making the nerve agent is almost as easy as rolling out pita:

SPIEGEL: But your opponents are not capable of firing weapons containing Sarin. That requires military equipment, training and precision.

Assad: Who said that they are not capable? In the 1990s, terrorists used Sarin gas in an attack in Tokyo. They call it “kitchen gas” because it can be made anywhere.

The same ridiculous assertion with Fox News:

FOXNews: According to this [UN] report, and this is the report you said you were waiting for. You said you didn’t want to hear the US, you didn’t want to hear the UK, you didn’t want to hear France, you want the UN to speak, and they have spoken, and they have said and I quote “there’s clear and convincing evidence that the nerve gas Sarin has been used”, and they base this on environmental, chemical, medical samples, they say the killing happened on a relatively large scale, that killing included children. Do you agree with this assessment?

President Assad: First of all, the Sarin gas is called kitchen gas, do you know why? Because anyone can make Sarin in his house

So, the President is apparently convinced that making hummous/Sarin in a kitchen is something ‘anyone can do.’

Here’s an article published today by Dan Kaszeta at Bloomberg:

No, You Can’t Make Sarin in Your Kitchen

President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly deflected accusations that the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical-weapons attack Aug. 21 that killed hundreds of civilians. Instead, Assad and his allies such as the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, allege that the Ghouta attacks were carried out by rebels who deployed homemade sarin gas in an effort to discredit the government and spark an international intervention in the civil war.

As Assad put it in an interview with former Representative Dennis Kucinich broadcast Sept. 18 on Fox News: “First of all, the sarin gas is called kitchen gas. Do you know why? Because anyone can make sarin in his house.”

That statement should be met with disbelief.


First, there’s the issue of ingredients. Some, such as sodium fluoride, are easier to get than, say, methylphosphonyl difluoride, which has little or no legitimate application other than the production of chemical weapons. (Nevertheless, in 2001, a writer for Scientific American managed to order the ingredients on the Internet.)

Even if the precursors are obtainable, anyone trying to make sarin in an at-home lab would face a challenge because, in many ways, the ingredients are more dangerous than the final product. An intermediate step in the production, for example, requires the use of hydrogen fluoride gas at a high temperature. Hydrogen fluoride is nasty stuff, and a lot of it is needed to make sarin. Even in its more stable liquid form, the smallest leak would destroy all the chemistry equipment and almost everything else in a modern kitchen. Anyone trying to combine these ingredients may kill or seriously harm himself and anyone nearby.

Most of the ingredients for sarin are extremely sensitive to water, and some are highly flammable. There is great potential for explosive reactions. Another difficult step is refining the excess hydrogen fluoride out of the mix, which makes the gas storable. A short shelf life may not matter to a terrorist, but it certainly matters if the gas is being produced a little at a time to prepare a major attack.

Another impediment to artisanal production is that the process will produce substantial waste, some almost as noxious as the gas itself.

The “kitchen sarin” hypothesis also presents a problem of scale. Based on the most generous assumptions, the Ghouta attacks would have required large amounts of sarin. Using old U.S. offensive chemical target analysis charts, I calculated that one phase of the attack — in Zamalka — required at least 1 ton of sarin. It is unlikely that a small production facility could produce that much.

To get a sense of the challenges, consider the only large-scale example of non-state sarin manufacturing. Aum Shinrikyo, the Japanese cult, used sarin twice: in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway that killed 13 people and in an earlier attack in Matsumoto.

What is most striking about the documents related to Aum’s production facility was the scale of the undertaking. The plant was a free-standing three-story building, staffed by workers with chemistry and chemical-engineering expertise who designed and built proper process controls. It was a complex, expensive operation, and its production capacity was approximately 2 gallons of sarin per batch. This tells me that a kitchen-size micro-sarin production line, even if it were safely run, could never produce the quantity of sarin used in the Syria attacks.

Even if the Syrian regime’s claims of homemade sarin are almost certainly false, they do provide a valuable lesson: Don’t try this at home.

Nobody calls Sarin ‘kitchen gas’ except Assad, Lavrov and a flutter of nutters. If the central supposition of the fallacy-bloated conspiracies is found to be wrong, how do the conspiracists adjust their cover story?

They don’t. They just repeat it. For a full dip into the pool of nutterzone chemical weapon tales, do read the article that Zoo posted earlier in the thread, from the jolly folks at Global Research … in which all the disparate parts are thrown into the mix and churned.

How the Syrian Chemical Weapons Videos Were Staged by James Corbett, Mother Agnes Mariam, and Prof Michel Chossudovsky.

I close with a succinct allusion to Ockham’s Razor, by Brown Moses, who was trying to explain to a “Let’s suppose” reader just what a convincing ‘RebelsDidIt’ tale must account for:

Where did the rebels acquire the Sarin and how did they deploy it? At this point, not only does a competing theory have to clearly indict the rebels, it also has to explain away existing evidence pointing the finger at the regime. Until a case can be made that does both, there really isn’t much to talk about.

In simple terms, the Rebels Did It tales do not match — neither between them (Joos/Saudi/Hoax/False Flag) — nor more importantly, with what is already known.

I hope that the UN teams publishes details (or photographs) of the types of delivery systems in place to deliver chemical agents. I think even the most implacable regimist would be unsettled if such photos show the exact same weapons IDed at chemical attack sites.

If the UMLACAs (unidentified munitions linked to alleged chemical attacks) are discovered in situ under regime command and control, how will the regime explain it away — or would it even try? They would have to prove that the UMLACAs had been looted, and establish an evidentiary chain. Considering the Kitchen Gas claims put forward by Assad had zero basis in reality, we should expect another round of far-fetched nonsense …

October 10th, 2013, 3:35 pm


omen said:

451. zoo said: The opposition accused of premeditated sectarian massacres

who has been a bigger sectarian murderer than bashar asshat?

why no photos released? because the dead are obvious shabiha killed in the ordinary course of battle.

October 10th, 2013, 3:36 pm


omen said:

304. annie said: I have missed the overdue banning of REVENIRE. Means I can come back. Not that you will have missed my pasting of good pieces but not having access at al jazeera, I am hungry for some Syrian news. What was the problem with Majel ?

welcome back, annie, of course you’ve been missed. did you hear addounia tv got hacked? remember you called for that last summer? what took the opposition so long?

re al jazeera, supposedly, i’m told tunnel bear can help get around geographic restrictions.

by the way, who is majel?

October 10th, 2013, 3:50 pm


ALAN said:

All through the two years of the Syrian conflict the number of Syrians fighting to topple Assad have considerably surpassed the number of Arabs and other non-Syrian Muslims, which were sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. But this summer the flow of mercenaries in Syria has doubled, therefore the “newborn freedom fighters” started to gain influence in Syria through the branches of “Al-Qaeda” like Jabhat al-Nusra or ISIS. They used that influence to get a hold over the northern regions of the country.

The Islamist field commanders have tested themselves in the new capacity of the mayors and governors of the northern cities and regions which gave them a tremendous amount of influence over the locally deployed rebels. Their ranks are composed of the former Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates citizens along with the former militants from Chechnya, Daghestan and the Pakistani Taliban. For instance the Syrian regular forces have recently discovered that one of the militants neutralized by them was a renowned Moroccain field commander that had done time in Guantanamo prison. ………

October 10th, 2013, 4:16 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Still Not Getting Thru to Omen NewZ

this is why akbar gets soo irate when i blame obama. he knows when i criticize US foreign policy, is tantamount to criticizing israeli policy.


You can blame Obama all you want and he deserves it. Just remember, there are another 300+ million Americans here and they all want me to explain why the US should go into Syria.

What do I tell them?

I’m certainly not stupid enough to tell them, “Yeah we should send troops into Syria to help protect Israel.”. Pul-leeeeze!

Blame Obama all you want because the 20+ Arab countries are busy doing what? Oh that’s right, they too busy being “pressured” by our all-powerful liberal nutcase president (LOL).

We certainly can’t criticize the arabs…

(apologies for generalizing, but this is how I feel…they aren’t DOING anything to help their own)

October 10th, 2013, 4:24 pm


ALAN said:

Al Qaeda islamists shoot down dumbo

October 10th, 2013, 4:27 pm


omen said:

this also explains blinkered assadism:

For years my go-to source for downer studies of how our hard-wiring makes democracy hopeless has been Brendan Nyhan, an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth.

Nyan and his collaborators have been running experiments trying to answer this terrifying question about American voters: Do facts matter?

The answer, basically, is no. When people are misinformed, giving them facts to correct those errors only makes them cling to their beliefs more tenaciously.
Here’s some of what Nyhan found:

∙ People who thought WMDs were found in Iraq believed that misinformation even more strongly when they were shown a news story correcting it.

I’m not completely ready to give up on the idea that disputes over facts can be resolved by evidence, but you have to admit that things aren’t looking so good for a reason.[…] But what these studies of how our minds work suggest is that the political judgments we’ve already made are impervious to facts that contradict us.

Maybe climate change denial isn’t the right term; it implies a psychological disorder. Denial is business-as-usual for our brains. More and better facts don’t turn low-information voters into well-equipped citizens. It just makes them more committed to their misperceptions. In the entire history of the universe, no Fox News viewers ever changed their minds because some new data upended their thinking. When there’s a conflict between partisan beliefs and plain evidence, it’s the beliefs that win. The power of emotion over reason isn’t a bug in our human operating systems, it’s a feature.

October 10th, 2013, 5:04 pm


Tara said:

The last straw in HA coffin.  It is a party of religious filth.  A party that smashes the skull of toddlers and kills the wounded in cold blood.

فيديو تصفية جرحى بسوريا يثير ضجة

صورة من الفيديو الذي بثه نشطاء على موقع يوتيوب لإعدام مسلحين قالوا إنهم من حزب الله لجرحى أثار شريط فيديو نشره ناشطون سوريون ضجة على مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي على الإنترنت، إذ يظهر، بحسب قولهم، عناصر من حزب الله وهم يطلقون النار على جرحى لم تعرف هوياتهم بقصد تصفيتهم.
ولا يمكن التحقق من صحة الفيديو ولا من هوية المسلحين الذين يظهرون فيه وهم يرتدون ملابس القتال المرقطة، ويظهر على بعضها الشارة الصفراء التي يضعها عادة مقاتلو حزب الله، ويتكلمون بلهجة لبنانية.

ويظهر في الشريط المسلحون وهم يسحبون جريحا، وقد غطى الدم عنقه وقسما كبيرا من قميصه الأبيض، من مؤخرة سيارة ويجرونه أرضا. ثم يسحبون آخر، بينما بدا على الأرض قربهما شخصان ميتان على الأرجح ومغطيان بدمائهما أيضا. وأطلق المسلحون من رشاشاتهم النار على الجرحى بطلقات أوتوماتيكية متتالية.

وتسمع أصوات متداخلة في الشريط، وفي آخر الشريط، يتدخل أحد المسلحين ويقول للآخرين “لحظة، لحظة، نحن نؤدي تكليفنا، ولا ننتقم لأنفسنا”، فيصرخ الآخرون “في سبيل الله، في سبيل الله”.

وضجت صفحات “فيسبوك” وحسابات “تويتر” بالتعليقات على المقطع الذي شاهده الآلاف. وفي هذا كتب مصطفى فحص على فيسبوك “بين السلفية الجهادية السنية والأصولية الجهادية الشيعية، علينا أن نتحسس رقابنا كثيرا”.

عمليات متشابهة
كذلك شبه هيثم شمص والصحفي اللبناني عمر حرقوص على صفحتيهما ما فعله العناصر المفترضون من حزب الله بممارسات “الجهاديين” في سوريا.

إذ كتب الأول “قلناها من زمان.. حزب الله وداعش (دولة الإسلام في العراق والشام) وجهان لعملة واحدة”. وقال الثاني إن الفيديو “هو بكل سيئاته كما فيديو آكل القلوب”، في إشارة إلى الشريط الذي نشر عن مقاتل سوري معارض يهم بأكل أحشاء سوري علوي موال للنظام في القصير بحمص والذي أثار تنديدا عالميا.

وعلى موقع تويتر، كتبت إنجي نصار أن الشريط “مروع ومثير للاشمئزاز”.

وانتقدت الناشطة الحقوقية فرح قبيسي الشريط، معتبرة أن “هذه ليست بأخلاقيات من حمل سلاحا ضد إسرائيل يوما. هذا انحطاط مليشيات ومرتزقة”.

وندد المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان بالحادثة التي تظهر في الشريط، واصفا إياها بأنها “جريمة حرب تستوجب المحاسبة”، مشيرا في الوقت ذاته إلى أنه لم يتمكن بعد “من التحقق من تاريخ الشريط المصور ولا هوية المسلحين أو الجرحى الذين أطلق النار عليهم، أو مكان تنفيذ الجريمة”.


October 10th, 2013, 6:39 pm


Tara said:

طائرات بدون طيار
وفي تطور لافت، أكدت المعارضة السورية أنها حصلت على طائرات استطلاع بدون طيار من دول عربية وغربية.

وقال مسؤولون في الجيش السوري الحر إن المملكة العربية السعودية أمدتهم بعشر طائرات بدون طيار عبر الحدود الأردنية والتركية في سبتمبر/أيلول الماضي من أجل السماح لقوات المعارضة بالقيام بمراقبة حقيقية لتحركات القوات الحكومية.

ونقلت وكالة الأنباء الألمانية عن دبلوماسيين غربيين تأكيدهم ما رددته قوات المعارضة، وأضافوا أن الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا هما اللتان قامتا بتزويد المعارضة بتلك الطائرات بتمويل من المملكة العربية السعودية.

Thank you the guided king of KSA….

October 10th, 2013, 6:55 pm



I think our problem is that we are acting as if we are proxy. Proxy wars are to be fought by proxies. If we want to get it done, once and for all, we should do it our selves, we should go after Iranian interests, or at least the interests that feed drug money and launders billions to the nus-lira thugs and we should do it aggressively. These are not heads of state and they could and should be snuffed out.

Likewise, we know the money schemes that have been allowing the mullas to bypass much of the sanctions as we know those that do the same of dog-poop athad in London, Paris, Odessa, Moscow, Bucharest, and elsewhere. The Iran financial fronts are heavily vested in the bunch of “stan” countries ruled by dictator thugs left over from the soviet era. These fronts should also be snuffed out with their Basij Business-men and agents.

October 10th, 2013, 7:32 pm


zoo said:

Ban Ki Moon:

“Military victory is an illusion; the only answer is a negotiated transition to the new Syria that the country’s people need and deserve. We are determined to bring the parties to the table in mid-November.”

October 10th, 2013, 9:47 pm


zoo said:

NATO chief: ‘No military solution’ to Syria conflict
Agence France-Presse
Posted at 10/11/2013 9:13 AM

ATHENS – NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that he does not anticipate “any further role” for the military alliance in Syria.

“There is no military solution to the conflict in Syria,” Rasmussen told a press conference in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, emphasising that a political solution is required to end the Syrian conflict, now well into its third year.

The NATO chief voiced support for a long-mooted international conference hosted by the United States and Russia that would seek to negotiate a deal between the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups.

“I urge the government and opposition in Syria to participate in this conference that hopefully will pave the way for a sustainable solution,” he said.

The proposed peace conference — dubbed Geneva 2 — would decide how to implement a declaration agreed by the major powers in the Swiss city in June 2012 for a transitional government in Syria.

UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi last week urged Syria’s warring parties to hold talks “without preconditions” and said he hoped negotiations could take place in late Novemb

October 10th, 2013, 9:53 pm


zoo said:

The ironical fate of the first religious Sunni elected president in an Arab country

Mohammad Mursi murder trial on November 4

He will stand trial with 14 other defendants over killings of protesters outside his presidential palace in December 2012

October 10th, 2013, 9:57 pm


zoo said:

The Al Qaeda priority targets are the USA, Israel, and their regional allies

Al-Qaeda’s New Orders: Avoid Killing Christians and Shia

By: Radwan Mortada
Published Thursday, October 10, 2013

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a new statement, considered to be orders for the coming phase. The emir of the international organization changed his old tone, and called to avoid killing Shia, Christians, Hindus, and Sufis in the context of “warding off sin,” in order to “focus on striking the American spearhead.”

Emirs are usually accorded with allegiance and obedience, however, the jihadi emirs in Syria are different. ISIS did not like the mediation by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri to solve the dispute with al-Nusra Front, preferring to “keep things as they were.” Emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, abandoned his own emir, insisting that “the State [ISIS] will remain.”

Military action is “aimed primarily against the spearhead of international infidels, the US, and its ally, Israel. Second, it is against their local allies who rule our countries,” the statement said.

“Targeting the US is meant to wear it down and deplete its resources, so it will end up like the Soviet Union and retreat back to its base, due to military, human, and economic losses. This will weaken its grip on our countries and its allies will fall one by one,” he announced.

October 10th, 2013, 10:02 pm


Tara said:


Thanks very much for the link. Brilliant! Showing them more evidence makes them more committed to their misconceptions. It is a futile. Evidence does not matter. It is the beliefs that win.

October 10th, 2013, 10:17 pm


zoo said:

“Washington must find a Syrian military leader known for his pan-Arab bona fides to take charge of the FSA and mold it into a cohesive fighting force with a strong chain of command. ”

The Narrative Plot Against Syria
The onset of civil war in 2011 opened a new chapter in the struggle. Syria’s neighbors are again pouring money and weapons into the country to topple the regime, enabling Assad to invoke the foreign genie plotting to destroy the last revolutionary Arab regime. As Assad’s narrative gains traction, fence-sitters will gradually embrace it, thus strengthening his societal support. For this reason, Western military intervention would not precipitate Assad’s immediate downfall.

Turning the Syrian population away from the regime will require much more than destroying the country’s chemical weapons and dangling the threat of a Western bombing campaign. Washington must find a Syrian military leader known for his pan-Arab bona fides to take charge of the FSA and mold it into a cohesive fighting force with a strong chain of command. Without a homegrown George Washington, the government will continue to depict its opponents as conspiring against Syria for its devotion to the Arab cause. No amount of threats will change that.


October 10th, 2013, 10:39 pm


Juergen said:

sometimes good preparation is essential

October 11th, 2013, 1:25 am


ghufran said:

The widely used HRW published a report on rebels crimes against humanity in Latakia, see the report at, here is a summary:

(New York) – Armed opposition groups in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and seized over 200 as hostages during a military offensive that began in rural Latakia governorate on August 4, 2013, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. At least 67 of the victims were executed or unlawfully killed in the operation around pro-government Alawite villages.
The 105-page report, “‘You Can Still See Their Blood’: Executions, Indiscriminate Shootings, and Hostage Taking by Opposition Forces in Latakia Countryside,” presents evidence that the civilians were killed on August 4, the first day of the operation. Two opposition groups that took part in the offensive, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, are still holding the hostages, the vast majority women and children. The findings strongly suggest that the killings, hostage taking, and other abuses rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said.
“These abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters,” said Joe Stork, acting Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “This operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these Alawite villages.”

October 11th, 2013, 1:34 am


omen said:

470. Tara, while it’s nice to have verification, i’m sure you are not surprised, having seen loyalists deny reality over and over again, impervious to reason and immune to appeals to conscience or morality.

thank you for pointing to the drones. provides support for my counter to akbar.

October 11th, 2013, 4:34 am


omen said:

just how many deaths can loyalists stomache? just how far does their commitment to assad carry them? is even a million deaths not a bridge too far?

mjab is right, we all need therapy. some more than others.

October 11th, 2013, 4:47 am



The revolution is over. The mafia system that rules Syria has agreed with US and Russia to destroy the syrian people to the roots. Congratulations to Assad dirty criminals.

Syria will become in some years a chiite country with some minorites protected as christians and sunnis. Iran, Irak, Lebanon and Syria under chiism. This may be the dream of Russia, US and Israel to keep arabs divided and in a permanent state of war.

But history will finally show the way. Persia will never rule in the Mediterranean shores. By nuclear nukes, by economic laws or by popular will the New Persian Empire will colapse from one day to another. And with them will collapse all the dirty mafia criminals like Nasrallah, Assad and Maliki.

October 11th, 2013, 6:06 am


Uzair8 said:

Is SC fast becoming another conspiratorial site (put to one side the spamming). Just another Info Wars.



October 11th, 2013, 7:43 am


annie said:

A Slaughter of Alawi Innocents

October 11, 2013 § Leave a Comment

For the first time there is proof of a large-scale massacre of Alawis – the heterodox Shia offshoot sect to which Bashaar al-Assad belongs – by Islamist extremists among Syrian opposition forces. In its context, this disaster is hardly surprising. It follows a string of sectarian massacres of Sunni civilians (in Houla, Tremseh, Bayda and Banyas, and elsewhere), the sectarian ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from areas of Homs province, and an assault on Sunni sacred sites such as the Khaled ibn al-Waleed mosque in Homs, the Umawi mosque in Aleppo, and the Omari mosque in Dera’a. It follows two and a half years of rape, torture and murder carried out on an enormous scale by a ‘Syrian’ army commanded by Alawi officers and backed by sectarian Shia militias from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon, and by Alawi irregular militias. Assad and his backers have deliberately instrumentalised sectarian hatred more effectively than the Americans did in Iraq, and they must bear the lion’s share of responsibility for the dissolution of Syria’s social mosaic. Next, the counter-revolutionary forces in the West (chief among them the United States) must be blamed for obstructing the flow of arms to the Free Syrian Army, a policy which has inevitably strengthened the most extreme and sectarian jihadist groups (some of whom, such as the foreign-commanded Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are actively fighting the Free Army). Human Rights Watch’s important report on the massacre of Alawi villagers is summed up in the video below. Sadly, HRW fails to adequately distinguish between Syrian and foreign, and moderate and extremist anti-Assad militias. The excellent EAWorldview critiques the report here. Its conclusion:

The HRW report illustrates the dangers of conflating the various factions of the insurgency under the heading “armed opposition groups”.

Coincidentally, that conflation is a tactic of the regime who seeks to portray the insurgency as extremist-led, largely foreign fighters rather than an extension of the indigenous protest movement that took up arms after Assad’s forces used violence to quash it from March 2011.

By this conflation, HRW (a fine organisation which has done great work in uncovering the truth of the Syrian conflict) veers dangerously close to the orientalist/racist stereotyping of the Syrian people’s struggle now dominant in both the rightist and liberal/leftist Western media.

It goes without saying that the crimes committed against Alawi civilians in northern Lattakia province are grotesque and idiotic, and constitute another strategic blow against the revolution and the survival of the Syrian state.

October 11th, 2013, 7:52 am


zoo said:

If the opposition continues to refuse negotiations, they will be left with nothing to negotiate about

Syrian army retakes two Damascus suburbs from rebels, say activists

Syrian army troops and Shi’ite militia fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad captured two southern suburbs of Damascus on Friday, killing at least 70 people, opposition activists said.

The fighters, including some from the Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ites backed by Syrian army tanks, searched al-Thiabiya and Husseiniya, a Palestinian refugee camp, for pockets of resistance after overrunning them, the sources said.

The capture of the two districts, located between the two main highways leading to Jordan, strengthens Assad’s hold on major supply lines and puts pressure on rebel brigades under siege for months in areas adjacent to the centre of Damascus.

October 11th, 2013, 8:14 am



The revolution is over. The mafia system that rules Syria has agreed with US and Russia to destroy the syrian people to the roots. Congratulations to Assad dirty criminals.

Syria will become in some years a chiite country with some minorites protected as christians and sunnis. Iran, Irak, Lebanon and Syria under chiism. This may be the dream of Russia, US and Israel to keep arabs divided and in a permanent state of war.

But history will finally show the way. Persia will never rule in the Mediterranean shores. By nuclear nukes, by economic laws or by popular will the New Persian Empire will colapse from one day to another. And with them will collapse all the dirty mafia criminals like Nasrallah, Assad and Maliki.

October 11th, 2013, 8:30 am


zoo said:

New report says Syrian rebels committed war crimes
By The Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — Jihadi-led rebel fighters in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and abducted more than 200 during an offensive against pro-regime villages, committing a war crime, an international human rights group said Friday.

The Aug. 4 attacks on unarmed civilians in more than a dozen villages in the coastal province of Latakia were systematic and could even amount to a crime against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in a 105-page report based on a visit to the area a month later.

Lama Fakih of Human Rights Watch said the rebel abuses in Latakia “certainly amount to war crimes,” and may even rise to the level of crimes against humanity.

The group said more than 20 rebel groups participated in the Latakia offensive.

Five groups, including two linked to al-Qaida and others with jihadi leanings, led the campaign, which appeared to have been funded in part by private donations raised in the Persian Gulf, the report said.

Human Rights Watch appealed to the Gulf states to crack down on such money transfers. It also urged Turkey, a rear base for many rebel groups, to prosecute those linked to war crimes and restrict the flow of weapons and fighters. The Western-backed Syrian opposition must cut ties with the groups that led the Latakia offensive, the report said.

Most of the alleged attacks on civilians occurred on Aug. 4, said the group. The campaign began with rebel fighters seizing three regime posts and then the villages. After the regime positions fell, no pro-government troops were left in the Alawite villages. It took government forces two weeks to recapture all the villages.

Human Rights Watch said at least 67 of the 190 civilians slain by the rebels were killed at close range or while trying to flee. There are signs that most of the others were also killed intentionally or indiscriminately, but more investigation is needed, the group said.

The rebels seized more than 200 civilians from the Alawite villages, most of them women and children, and demanded to trade the hostages for prisoners held by the regime.

The HRW report said the rebel groups that led the offensive included Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, both linked to al-Qaida; Ahrar al-Sham; Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar; and Suqqor al-Izz.

October 11th, 2013, 9:01 am


zoo said:


“the crimes committed against Alawi civilians in northern Lattakia province are grotesque and idiotic”

There is is nothing ‘grotesque or idiotic’ about the massacres perpetrated by the opposition rebels. It is the opposition sitting in Turkey that have invited Sunni Islamist terrorists to kill innocents and destroy the country. Not only that but they still refuse to negotiate.
This is not “idiotic”, it is criminal and pure evil.

October 11th, 2013, 9:10 am


zoo said:

France must be delighted: At least one french terrorist won’t come back to France

French citizen in suicide attack on Syrian troops

Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri

A French Muslim has carried out a suicide attack on a Syrian army position near Aleppo, according to an opposition monitoring group. The man killed 10 soldiers in a bombing that was part of an attack by Al-Qaeda-linked groups.

The attack took place in the village of Al-Hamam, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, who runs the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and ws carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Al-Nusra Front.

It was not clear whether the bomber, who was in his 20s and nicknamed “Abu al-Qaaqaa” after one of the Prophet Mohammed’s companions, was a French convert to Islam or from a Muslim family.

October 11th, 2013, 9:15 am


Sami said:

Yeah so now that the rebels are accused of a massacre HRW is believable. Every other report they came out with was just Zionist/Bandarist false flag propaganda operation against the heroism cowardice of the SAA Assadists Militia.

Your hypocrisy is what I would consider “Idiotic and grotesque”, for it is idiotic to believe your outrage of this massacre while you have denied so many in the past, and it is grotesque that the wholesale slaughter of a certain sect of people constitute as “cleanup and disinfection” while other sects is a massacre in your book.

October 11th, 2013, 9:27 am


Tara said:


You are quick to report Alawi massacre and to express opinion while you never ever ever reported or acknowledged a single Sunni massacre despite heavy documentations by the same MSM.

Don’t you think there is something terribly wrong with this pattern?

October 11th, 2013, 9:29 am


Uzair8 said:

A few Yalla Souriya updates. Latest ones first:

zaidbenjamin 2:07 pm
#BREAKING: Those brigades in the HRW report are out of our control – The Syrian National Coalition Spokseman Louai Safi #Syria #Assad

zaidbenjamin 2:06 pm
#BREAKING: We condemn any human rights transegion – The Syrian National Coalition Spokseman on HRW Report #Syria #Damascus #Assad

zaidbenjamin 2:05 pm
#BREAKING: The numbers in the HRW on Lattakia are exagerated – Sham Spoke

October 11th, 2013, 10:19 am


zoo said:

Some idealists were proud that the Syrian revolution was a ‘leaderless’, “programless” revolution. Naively, the only leader was supposed to be the ‘people’ and the only program was to topple Bashar al Assad as if by miracle all Syria problems will be solved.
There has never been any successful revolution without a leader and a program. Improvised leaderless revolutions always lead to disasters.

After 3 years, the opposition and the West are still looking for a viable opposition leader. None has emerged. They seem to be all quickly polluted by money and greed for power.
In the meantime dozens of unwanted rebel self-appointed leaders have destroyed the country and created rifts among communities who lived in peace for centuries.

This revolution is no more about ‘revolutionary’ deals, it is about egos, revenge, Sunni extremism and greed.

October 11th, 2013, 10:35 am


Massenmord: “Islamisten” massakrieren in Syrien 190 Zivilisten | kopten ohne grenzen said:

[…] Der amerikanische Syrien-Experte Joshua Landis veröffentlichte jüngst eine “Top Fünf”-Liste der Rebellenchefs in Syrien. Auffällig dabei: Drei der Top Fünf waren ehemalige Insassen von […]

October 11th, 2013, 10:41 am


omen said:

wsj & ft had a couple of pieces voicing saudi dissatisfaction with US handling of syria. looks like turkey too has been bridling under the constraint:

Turkey’s Spymaster Plots Own Course

“Hakan Fidan [Turkey’s powerful spymaster] is the face of the new Middle East,” says James Jeffrey, who recently served as U.S. ambassador in Turkey and Iraq. “We need to work with him because he can get the job done,” he says. “But we shouldn’t assume he is a knee-jerk friend of the United States, because he is not. . . .”

Mr. Fidan’s rise to prominence has accompanied a notable erosion in U.S. influence over Turkey. Washington long had cozy relations with Turkey’s military, the second-largest army in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But Turkey’s generals are now subservient to Mr. [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and his closest advisers, Mr. Fidan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who are using the Arab Spring to shift Turkey’s focus toward expanding its regional leadership, say current and former U.S. officials. . . .

Mr. Fidan’s ascension is remarkable in part because he is a former noncommissioned officer in the Turkish military, a class that usually doesn’t advance to prominent roles in the armed forces, business or government.

Mr. Fidan earned a bachelor of science degree in government and politics from the European division of the University of Maryland University College and a doctorate in political science from Ankara’s elite Bilkent University. In 2003, he was appointed to head Turkey’s international-development agency.

He joined Mr. Erdogan’s office as a foreign-policy adviser in 2007. Three years later, he was head of intelligence.

“He is my secret keeper. He is the state’s secret keeper,” Mr. Erdogan said of his intelligence chief in 2012 in comments to reporters. . . .

U.S. officials believe the MIT under Mr. Fidan passed several pieces of intelligence to Iran, including classified U.S. assessments about the Iranian government, say current and former senior U.S. and Middle Eastern officials. U.S. officials say they don’t know why Mr. Fidan allegedly shared the intelligence, but suspect his goal was relationship-building. After the Arab Spring heightened tensions, Mr. Erdogan pulled back from his embrace of Tehran, at which point U.S. officials believe Mr. Fidan did so, too. . . .

In 2012, Mr. Fidan began expanding the MIT’s power by taking control of Turkey’s once-dominant military-intelligence service. Many top generals with close ties to the U.S. were jailed as part of a mass trial and convicted this year of plotting to topple Mr. Erdogan’s government. At the Pentagon, the jail sentences were seen as the coup de grace for the military’s status within the Turkish system.

Mr. Fidan’s anti-Assad campaign harks to August 2011, when Mr. Erdogan called for Mr. Assad to step down. Mr. Fidan later started directing a secret effort to bolster rebel capabilities by allowing arms, money and logistical support to funnel into northern Syria—including arms from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf allies—current and former U.S. officials say.

Mr. Erdogan wanted to remove Mr. Assad not only to replace a hostile regime on Turkey’s borders but also to scuttle the prospect of a Kurdish state emerging from Syria’s oil-rich northeast, political analysts say.

Providing aid through the MIT, a decision that came in early 2012, ensured Mr. Erdogan’s office had control over the effort and that it would be relatively invisible, say current and former U.S. officials.

Syrian opposition leaders, American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats who worked with Mr. Fidan say the MIT acted like a “traffic cop” that arranged weapons drops and let convoys through checkpoints along Turkey’s 565-mile border with Syria.

Some moderate Syrian opposition leaders say they immediately saw that arms shipments bypassed them and went to groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party has supported Muslim Brotherhood movements across the region.

October 11th, 2013, 12:28 pm


zoo said:

It is high time that Turkey be accused of complicity in war crimes in Syria. Erdogan has a lot to respond to, as it turns out that he has been helping terrorists kill civilians while claiming that Bashar al Assad and Syria legitimate army are the terrorists. Repeated denials are no more believable. With his hands full of blood, Erdogan can never be elected president.

Turkey lashes out at HRW claims of support for Syrian terrorist

11 October 2013 /TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA

The Foreign Ministry responded on Friday to claims from Human Rights Watch (HRW) that Turkey is supporting terrorist opposition groups in war-torn Syria, describing the claims as “unacceptable.”

According to the HRW report published on Friday, radical groups enter Syria from Turkey with weapons and other supplies and then return to Turkey for medical treatment. “We totally deny the claims that those groups enter Syria from Turkey and that Turkey provides them with weapons. It is wholly unacceptable to paint Turkey with such accusations. Turkey is doing its utmost to maintain security along the border and is carrying out operations to prevent smuggling,” a senior Turkish diplomat from the Foreign Ministry told Today’s Zaman on the condition of anonymity.

October 11th, 2013, 12:31 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well-informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up determined that if it is true that so-called Alawites were killed in the Latakia area, then they must have been killed in a battle with the heroic fighters of the Syrian revolution who are defending Syria against Alawite terrorism and tashbeeh. There is no such thing as Alawite civilians after Asshead created the so-called popular committees. All so-called popular committees members can now be targets due to Asshead’s stupidity and the silence and in most cases cheering of Asshead by the Alawites at large. The Alawites at large are responsible for any killing due to their silence about and, as Heads up determined, approval of the creation of these terrorist committees of tashbeeh, theft, vandalism and other criminal activities.

Heads up urges everyone to treat the killing of these so-called Alawite members of these committees with the same level of callousness as they treated the killing of other Syrians who deserve more support than these terrorist Alawite/Shiite committees.

We urge the heroic fighters of the revolution to continue to target these criminal popular committees made up largely of Alawite and Shia terrorists.

October 11th, 2013, 12:38 pm


omen said:

quick summary tracking turkey, ksa & iran’s spy chiefs’ activities.



October 11th, 2013, 12:40 pm


omen said:

assad awarded the nobel, rebels accused of massacre & turkey getting attention.

while iran’s bloody legacy continues to fly under the radar.

October 11th, 2013, 12:52 pm


Ghufran said:

Jimblat reflecting on the Syrian war and trying to reinvent himself:
قال الزعيم الدرزي وليد جنبلاط إن البعض اعتقد منذ بداية التحرك في سوريا، إنه يمكن المال صنع ثورة، كما أنه كان هناك مبالغة في الرهان على سقوط بشار الأسد بعد 3 أشهر، ثم توالت المواعيد وبقي الأسد، ولم يسقط، وبالتالي حتى لو ترشح اليوم للرئاسة فسيفوز.
وأضاف جنبلاط أن أزمة سوريا «تذكر بأزمة لبنان الوطنية وكم احتجنا إلى محطات قبل الوصول إلى الطائف»، ومن هنا لن يكون مستبعداً أن يكون «جنيف 2» فرصة لرسم خريطة خروج سوريا من أزمتها، ويقينه أنه قد يليه «جنيف 3» و«جنيف 4» وربما أكثر.
If I was a rebel or an expat politician I would be very upset at the GCC and Turkey for using Syrian blood to achieve evil goals then running away when things got tough, freedom and democracy can not be found in dictionary of عرب معيزه

October 11th, 2013, 1:24 pm


Sami said:

Walid Jumblat is the definition of a political prostitute. Depending on whom he is lying with his tune changes.

Anything that comes out of his mouth is an indication of how much he has been paid in order to safeguard his position as “leader” of the Druze when in reality he is nothing but another thug holding his community hostage.

October 11th, 2013, 1:39 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well-informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events

Heads up determined that the only way for the Syrian people to succeed is to crush the head of the Serpent head (Assad) and emulate the successful model of the Guided Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and hopefully become a junior member of the GCC. Of course, Syria cannot be a senior member of the GCC because of the size and wealth of the Guided Kingdom. But, even a junior member in the GCC is way way better than being a province in the failed and hated mullocracy of terrorists.

In addition, Syrians have been misguided by the empty and false notions of Arabism for the last 50 years while the true, honorable and respected Arabs are those of the GCC. Syrians would be lucky to join such a successful GCC, if the GCC would actually allow it.

Remember to always consult with the Guided and very resoected KSA in order to achieve success in life, revolution and while fighting Shiite terrorists. The Bahrain example is an excellent guide on how to defeat shiite terrorism.

October 11th, 2013, 1:45 pm


ALAN said:

Syrian rebels trained to use chemical weapons in Afghanistan – Lavrov

Syria Rebels Parade Child Hostages On YouTube

October 11th, 2013, 2:03 pm


zoo said:


Jumblatt is preparing his U-Turn about Syria.
It seems that he is aware that the Saudis are loosing the battle against Bashar al Assad and will soon sing another song.

He is usually an indication of the direction of where the wind is turning.

October 11th, 2013, 2:21 pm


ALAN said:

worthy to watch
Russia in 2013. The struggle for Syria

October 11th, 2013, 2:25 pm


zoo said:

Poor Headsup

You are becoming more emphatic and pathetic about the “guided benefactors” of the Disneyland Kingdom. Sign of growing despair?

Ask any Syrian women or anyone if the would like to live in your “Paradise” under the rule of senile leaders of a weak and corrupted family that relies on the West for their protection and don’t even have a decent army.

October 11th, 2013, 2:27 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up would like to remind the general readership, the non-psychopathic one, that we determined that this site attracts few psychopaths that are best dealt with by ignoring them. Heads up advises non-psychopath visitors to do the same.

October 11th, 2013, 2:33 pm


zoo said:

Syrian rebels receive chemical weapons training in Afghanistan: Lavrov

Fri Oct 11, 8:41 pm

Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov on Friday claimed that militants are being trained in Afghanistan to participate in Syrian war against president Bashar Al Assad.

Sergei Lavrov said the training of the militants to be deployed to Syria has recently started in areas of Afghanistan which are not under the control of the Afghan government.

Mr. Lavrov further added that the militants are also trained on how to carry out chemical attacks. “Based on our information, the Al-Nusra front is looking to illegally transport chemical and poisonous materials to Iraq,” Lavrov told reporters.

October 11th, 2013, 2:34 pm


zoo said:

HRW indirectly implicates Idriss and Turkey in the Latakia massacre. Hasn’t Idriss gloriously gone there to congratulate the fighters after the massacre? No comments from Idriss

Human Rights Watch didn’t directly implicate the U.S.-backed Supreme Military Command or its Free Syrian Army in the atrocities. But it noted that defected Syrian army Gen. Salim Idriss, who heads the Supreme Military Command, had issued statements that indicated his fighters were taking part in the offensive. The group said those statements should be examined to determine what role his fighters might have played in the killings and kidnappings of civilians.

Human Rights Watch also called on Idriss and the Syrian Opposition Coalition, a U.S.-backed civilian anti-Assad umbrella group, to “cease cooperation and coordination with and support to armed groups credibly found to perpetrate systematic abuses against the civilian population; and in particular Ahrar al Sham, the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, Jabhat al Nusra, Jaish al Muhajireen wal-Ansar and Suquor al Izz.”

Those five groups were “the key fundraisers, organizers, planners and executors” of the Latakia campaign, the report says. The Islamic State, Nusra and Jaish are al Qaida affiliates; Ahrar al Sham and Suquor al Izz are conservative Islamist groups.

The report also singles out Turkey, calling on it to do more to stop foreign Islamist fighters from crossing into Syria.

“Given that most foreign fighters in these groups reportedly gain access to Syria via Turkey,” it says, “Turkey should increase border patrols (and) restrict entry of fighters and arm flows to groups credibly found to be implicated in systematic human rights violations.”

It says Turkey should “investigate and prosecute those in Turkey suspected of committing, being complicit in or having command responsibility for international crimes” and that the United Nations Security Council should take steps to make sure that Turkey does.

There was no immediate comment from Idriss or the Syrian Opposition Coalition. The Turkish Embassy in Washington didn’t respond to emailed questions.

Read more here:

October 11th, 2013, 2:40 pm


ALAN said:

prosperity of the Syrian Russian friendship! long live to the Syrian and Russian cooperation !!!

October 11th, 2013, 2:43 pm


zoo said:

@500 Headsup

Thanks for the humor. We need a comic relief on this site!

October 11th, 2013, 2:45 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads-up usually avoids making comments where they may be positioned at the 50th or zero position after every hundred. Therefore, as courtesy to the readers we reproduce this very very important comment which happened at position 500.

Heads up would like to remind the general readership, the non-psychopathic one, that we determined that this site attracts few psychopaths that are best dealt with by ignoring them. Heads up advises non-psychopath visitors to do the same.

October 11th, 2013, 2:51 pm


zoo said:

Video Report Bolsters Claims of Summary Executions of Civilians by Syrian Rebels

Lama Fakih, the rights group’s deputy director in Beirut, visited the area last month after it was recaptured by government forces to gather evidence and speak with survivors. A video report, which combines footage recorded during Ms. Fakih’s visit with images of the raid and its distressing aftermath posted online by the rebels and the government, makes a compelling case that the rebels executed civilians, including women and the disabled.

October 11th, 2013, 2:52 pm


zoo said:

@505 Headup

A parrot repeats less than you. No one is reading your gibberish. Don’t waste your time here, give the example, go and fight!.

October 11th, 2013, 2:55 pm


zoo said:

An example of a proud Saudi Army army sergeant behavior when he leaves the “Guided Kingdom” : Booze and pedophilia

Openings set in Vegas trial of Saudi air force sergeant accused of New Year’s Eve child rape

KEN RITTER , Associated Press
Updated: October 11, 2013 – 12:55 PM

LAS VEGAS — Trial is set to begin in Nevada for a Saudi Arabian air force sergeant accused of raping a 13-year-old boy last New Year’s Eve at a Las Vegas Strip hotel.

Chairez says the 24-year-old Alotaibi was too drunk after a night drinking cognac at a strip club to understand what was happening, and should’ve been given a lawyer before police questioning.

October 11th, 2013, 3:02 pm


ALAN said:

506. ZOO
what is this impostor?

October 11th, 2013, 3:06 pm


zoo said:

@509 Alan

I have no idea

October 11th, 2013, 3:09 pm


omen said:

what is this?? can someone explain? from june 2013.

Germany restores security cooperation with Assad regime

Diplomatic sources have revealed that the head of Germany’s BND intelligence agency went to Damascus last month for an unscheduled visit during which he met with Syrian officials led by Major General Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syrian military intelligence. Gerhard Schindler made the trip to Damascus just days after Israel’s bombing raid on the Syrian capital on May 5 accompanied by the Director of the German intelligence unit dedicated to fighting “international terrorism”.

The security chief was passed information about the jihadist organisations which are fighting against the Assad regime in Syria. This information was obtained by Syrian intelligence after the capture of a number of jihadist leaders. The data includes the names of some foreign fighters, especially Europeans, who are fighting alongside those groups. Representatives from the intelligence agencies in Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have arrived in Damascus for the same purpose.

The sources also claim that one of the objectives of Schindler’s visit was to reach an agreement by which Israel will allow Hezbollah to enter Syria to defend the regime, as long as “that does not affect the interests of Israel”.

Although the German government has supported the sanctions imposed on the Assad regime and has stressed repeatedly the necessity for him to step down, it now looks as if there is a noticeable shift in Berlin’s assessment of the conflict. News magazine Der Spiegel’s May 22 edition quoted Schindler as saying, “The Syrian army has now become very organised with the best combat experience after two years of armed conflict, in addition to its capacity to counter armed rebels and defeat them.”

October 11th, 2013, 3:12 pm


zoo said:

@511 Omen

That’s an excellent and predictable piece of information. It’s no surprise to me. The West has repeatedly said that want to fight Al Qaeda in Syria. Who is the most reliable, secular and united than the SAA?

October 11th, 2013, 3:16 pm


ALAN said:

Military Industrial Complex + fictional budget for the wars + military bases around the world + massive consumption and non-guided energy + aggression on sovereign states + excessive financial assistance to a large number of puppet-states = symptoms of chronic economic destructive!
* * *
The U.S. government is preparing to withdraw some of the employees of its diplomatic missions around the world

According to the newspaper “Kommersant “, if the budget crisis in the United States continue , the State Department will be forced to leave the service of only the key personnel of embassies and consular department , funded by the visa fees .

The U.S. State Department is currently the only institution of the country , whose members were not sent on unpaid indefinite leave . Budget allocations department for two years , in contrast to other state institutions , so its funding is not stopped after the suspension of the government.

The newspaper said the austerity measures already touched on the U.S. embassy in Moscow. The staff of the diplomatic mission work in accordance with the “Guidelines for the absence of budget financing ,” which provides guidance for the period until the money is still there , and at the time when the funding will stop completely .

A source in the State Department reported that “the money will only last for a couple of weeks ,” so most of the embassy staff are prohibited from working overtime to buy new equipment and pay for services that are not related to the protection of life or property.

Recall that in Washington for more than a week can not agree on a budget and paying the bills . On October 1, the U.S. federal agencies had to partially stop working because of a missed solutions for their financing. Country faces a default, which could happen on October 17 , if Congress does not increase the potential level of national debt .
* * *
US media analysts in Syria debate tied to defense contractors
Hadley earns an annual salary of $128,500 from Raytheon and owns 11,477 shares of the company’s stock. His holdings were worth $891,189 as of August 23.

The report found that, out of 37 appearances these pro-war commentators made on CNN, the network disclosed their defense industry ties only seven times. NBC and its umbrella networks disclosed the pundits’ connections five times in 16 appearances. In 23 appearances on Fox News there was not a single attempt to disclose industry ties.

October 11th, 2013, 4:06 pm


Tara said:

Syrian women would definitely choose to live in KSA than in current Syria under the sectarian rule of the monsterous dictator and his company. Yes, I am willing to give up driving and cover my hair but not watch a human being being degraded like animal, a practice well known of this hyena regime and supporters. And of course, if I to choose between any current Arab country and the US, it is the US I ‘ll choose.

Please if you are not a Syrian woman, do not speak for us.

October 11th, 2013, 4:32 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads up determined that Lama Fakih is a Shiite, and therefore a terrorist, supporter of Hezboola from south Lebanon. The video she showed is made of clips of videos made by the heroic fighters of the Syrian revolution who succeeded in vanquishing and eliminating the shabbiha members of the terrorist so-called popular committess. The video clearly identifies the bodies of those killed as shabiha desrving the punishment that was brought upon them. All th Syrian people are indebted to these heroic fighters and thankful for riding Syria of the filth that would have otherwise been perpetrated by these Shabiha criminals. The terrost fakih simply put her fabricated words on top of tye recorded clips in order to give false and fabricated impression, which are characteristics of all Shiite terrorists. Never believe what a Shiite terrorist says.

The Syrian people hail thse heroic fighters who fought evil in the heartland of its bunker hole, and are looking forward for additional victories against evil throughout Syria.

October 11th, 2013, 4:58 pm


zoo said:


You said:

“Heads up determined that Lama Fakih is a Shiite, and therefore a terrorist, supporter of Hezboola from south Lebanon. ”

I hope MATTHEW BARBER reads what you wrote.

You can’t hide yourself anymore under pompous phrases. You are probably VISITOR, you were banned. You are a racist, a sectarian and a dangerous sunni salafist.
You are polluting this Blog as you have been for months.

October 11th, 2013, 5:55 pm


ALAN said:

Security Council approves joint OPCW-UN mission to oversee destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons

October 11th, 2013, 6:03 pm


zoo said:

@520 Jo6pac

A special thanks to the Syrian opposition for that gift to all Syrians

“From Jail to Jihad: Former Prisoners Fight in Syrian Insurgency”

October 11th, 2013, 6:22 pm


zoo said:

It’s too little, too late

Syrian opposition coalition distances itself from armed militias

ISTANBUL, Oct 11 (KUNA) — Syria’s National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces announced on Friday disowning of acts of some armed militias fighting in Syria such as the Islamic State of Iraq, the Mujahideen Army, and Ansar Al-Sharia.
These militias were accused by Human Rights Watch of committing war crimes in Alawite villages at the outskirts of Latakia, west of Syria, the coalition said.
The incident occurred at the outskirts of Latakia is a shameful attack that was carried out by some fundamentalist militias, the coalition commented in a message it sent to Human Rights Watch, affirming at the same time its full commitment to the international law of human rights and disownment of perpetrators of the Latakia crime.

October 11th, 2013, 6:24 pm


zoo said:

Idriss is finished. He will resign soon. They need a scapegoat. On a video, he glorified his troops that lead the attack on the Alawites village in Latakia

“We have up to now not documented anything approaching this scale of abuse” by opposition fighters, Ms. Fakih said, adding that the number and methodical nature of the killings constituted a “crime against humanity.”
And in a video filmed nearby during the operation, Gen. Salim Idris, who leads the military council, is seen insisting that his forces played a leading role, in statements responding to criticism from Islamist groups that his fighters were hanging back. The report said it was unclear whether forces linked to General Idris took part in the initial Aug. 4 attack, when forensic evidence suggests most of the civilians were killed. But it also said that anyone continuing to coordinate with such groups could be complicit in war crimes.

Read more:

October 11th, 2013, 6:31 pm


omen said:

this sounds like not an uncommon occurrence. has HRW noted the phenomenon of alawite civilians turned into volunteer lynch mob? or is this part of the sect’s esotericism outsiders can’t possibly understand? besides the run-of-the-mill accepted butchery, starving babies must also be divinely sanctioned.

The Syrian air force deserter driven to escape the war

“But I had no choice. No-one has a choice in Syria but to follow orders.”

Lukman took part in many security raids detaining protesters in different parts of Damascus.

He recalls one day in particular, when more than 100 men were arrested in a raid on the town of Muadhamiya, west of Damascus.

“The beating and torture starts from the minute we find our target. It won’t stop,” he says. “But on that day, we stopped on the Muadhamiya bridge, just off the neighbourhood that’s inhabited by Alawites loyal to Assad.

“The men were brought to where our cars and buses were parked. One protester was taken from one car to the other and that’s when the civilians of Alawite community arrived and started beating the protester.

“They used everything – sticks, stones, their fists and feet . While beating him they were chanting “Long live Assad”. A few minutes later, the protester was a dead body on the ground. We took him in the car and put him in a refrigerator,” Lukman recalled with bitterness.

October 11th, 2013, 6:54 pm


Heads-up said:

Just so you may know, our well informed and highly reliable sources who work very hard, around the clock and behind the scenes authorized the release of the following very important heads up, in order to keep you up to date with current events.

Heads-up has determined the reason why this site attracts few psychopaths. We have found that the psychopaths are engaged in a concerted campaign of spreading falsifications, fabrications and propaganda on behalf of Ass-head (Assad). Heads-up also determined that Ass-Had could only find psychopaths to do its bidding on these pages and similar other pages. Normal sane people would refuse such tasks under any circumstances. Like birds always flock together.

Heads up would like to emphasize once again to general readership, the non-psychopathic ones, the importance of what Heads up found with regards to the best way to deal with these irritants. We found that the best way is to ignore them and also to never believe a word they say. We urge the readers to do the same.

October 11th, 2013, 7:11 pm


mjabali said:

The attack on the Alawite villages on August 4th was planned. Many culprits, some were not mentioned in the HRW report, bragged about it. Many brigades, that participated also were not mentioned in the report, are not listed.

The kidnapped women and children, around 200, are still missing, what happened to them?

October 11th, 2013, 7:26 pm


mjabali said:

Sage Omen:

Just read your comment insulting the Alawite creed again.

You should be banned from this blog for sure.

It is obvious from your obsession with Alawiism and Shiism that you are most likely a paid blogger by some anti Assad/anti Shia/ anti Alawite group…( A very high possibility) ….Now I can smell it …like I smelled the cheap wine the other day between your words….

I hope they pay you more…or let them pay more and get someone with real knowledge to come into this battle….low wages get low educated elements….tsk tsk tsk……..

PS: thank you thumbs up king…my dog says hello to you

October 11th, 2013, 7:42 pm


Tara said:

Omen is highly educated, well read, smart, sensitive, knowledgeable, humane, and very polite.

This is my honest opinion and has nothing to do with him being against the dictators.

Mjabali, when the vast majority of Alawis support Batta in his unspeakable atrocities, it becomes very very difficult not to generalize.

October 11th, 2013, 7:52 pm


Observer said:

It is terrible news indeed. Nearly a hundred were killed in cold blood. Some were kidnapped. Children disappeared. What a tragedy indeed.

Each should carry a mirror for after looking into the tragedies, it is time to turn the mirror and look in it only to find the other looking at you.

It is truly tragic that innocents are dying. But it is most likely that in such brutal conflicts more harshness is usually the norm.

The Phalanges entered the psychiatric ward one day during the civil war and executed all the muslim mad patients in it. Only to have the other side then bomb the hospital in retaliation killing the remaining patients.

I am afraid as time goes by we are going to see more of the same. With time, it will be next to impossible for the besieged to hold on forever. Therefore they will be massacred. A siege here and a siege there.

In the meantime the stock exchange in Damascus had a value of 35 million pounds in exchanges today: that is what 180 000 dollars in total. This is less than a millisecond on the NY stock exchange.

But of course we are going to prevail.

One last thing: some that quote HRW know only the word Watch for Human and Right is not in their basic understandings.

As for Watch as in watching security services; they know all about it the regime insider indeed.

He he he he he he

October 11th, 2013, 8:08 pm


mjabali said:


al-Assad is responsible for his actions. Many Alawites are against him. Also, many Alawites are in the middle. One of them told me the other day that “most of us are in the middle.”

The problem that the Alawites do not see anyone from the other side the understands this and knows how to bridge the gap in a realistic manner. The Sunnis distanced themselves from all types of Alawites (Pro and against) from the start.

The Alawaites are for Syria to this day, most of them are. They want to live with others, but for sure they do not want to live with those who do see them as fit for nothing but getting killed if you are a man, and become a loot if you are a woman or a child.

October 11th, 2013, 8:46 pm


zoo said:

More Syria rebel groups leave U.S.-backed command amid worry ‘moderates’ will be shut out

McClatchy Washington Bureau

BEIRUT — The moderate rebel command at the center of U.S. policy in Syria is becoming increasingly marginalized as dozens of militias peel away to form rival, Islamist alliances in a move that could leave the Obama administration with no battlefield partner in the fight to topple President Bashar Assad.
Aymenn al Tamimi, a fellow with the Middle East Forum, a conservative research center in Philadelphia, and a monitor of jihadist activity in Syria and Iraq, said that Idriss and his command were good at making pledges but couldn’t back up their words because of a lack of resources.

“I think Idriss had some sway over certain rebel groups in the Damascus area and points south, but a lot of his gestures of being in touch with forces on the ground were only superficially impressive,” Tamimi said.

For example, Tamimi said, Idriss paid a visit to the coastal area of Latakia in a time of fighting, prompting some rebels to rejoice in what they perceived as the Free Syrian Army’s advance.

“On the contrary, as my own research on both sides shows, the Latakia offensive was primarily led by battalions of foreign fighters, and the sole purpose of it was to score a symbolic victory through ethnic cleansing of Alawites,” Tamimi said.

Read more here:

October 11th, 2013, 8:50 pm


mjabali said:

Omen calls for the usage of violence in my country and I do no like this. Violence is not going to solve this problem in Syria. Violence also threatens my family while this person who is calling for it is living in California.

October 11th, 2013, 8:52 pm


Observer said:

Those who are for Syria cannot be for the regime in my humble opinion. Syria is bigger than the regime. The idea and ideal of Syria is above family and clan and sect. All families and all clans and all sects. Otherwise there is no such thing as Syria when the particular groups take precedence over their allegiance to the nation.

As for the excuse of being on the fence, it is a cop out. Commit to Syria by fighting the regime. It has no legitimacy, it has no basis, it has no future, it has no redemption, it has no forgiveness.

That is what happened to the Maronites. They thought that they can fight their way to eternal supremacy and they ended up exactly where they fit: in proportion to their size. As for their monopoly on education it is of course being eroded. Today the hospital in the Dahyie is the one that performs heart transplants not the AUB or the Universite St Joseph.

I also stand corrected: the 35 million pounds of stock market exchange in Damascus happened not over one day but over one WEEK.

Good news indeed on the great economic leap forward that the regime is having at this time.

One more thing: I still maintain that the losers on the long run from the Arab spring are Israel and Iran. Iran if it is to survive will have to give up its revolutionary outlook and Israel is going to have to give in to the Palestinian demands.

No one is going to come to the rescue of Israel in its ongoing occupation. The US and the EU are finished defending the indefensible.

Syria may split, a Shia Sunni war may happen, in the long run, the Israelis are going to have to face the music of a ME filled to the brim with young people that can be easily radicalized and that for whom death is no deterrent.

Last but not least, Russia has shot its one bullet at playing a superpower and came way short. It cannot stop the tide of depopulation, reduced economic prospects, corruption, dictatorship, and the rise of the Islamic populations to its south.

The days of killing entire populations with impunity are over.

So, please no crocodile tears. All of us suffered from this regime from imprisonment to exile to killing to torture to detention to confiscation and for those that live in California or EU or Ukraine or Timbuktu they do so because the regime exiled the population generation after generation.

No redemption, no forgiveness, no reconciliation, no accommodation. It is again precisely because of a second 8 years of misguided and stupid policy of the administration here that the region is going bonkers.

October 12th, 2013, 12:51 am


ALAN said:

512. ZOO
impostor everytime changing its face?

October 12th, 2013, 7:22 am


Uzair8 said:

Dear Sandrow Lowe

There is always hope. We don’t do despair. The revolution was built on hope and driven by hope.

We don’t do Sylvia Plath:

“I talk to God but the sky is empty.”

Assad has to answer for the children. What did they ever do to the wretch? Heaven will take him to account even if the world won’t.

If we allowed such treatment of the children in silence we would be no less wretched.

October 12th, 2013, 8:11 am


Uzair8 said:

The attack on Latakia.

There needs to be an investigation if possible. The fact that HRW is making those claims is a sign to take them (claims) seriously. We need to know who the victims were (civilians or NDF), who the attackers were, are they connected to the regime in any way.

I need to know so I can take a firm stand against the perpetrators. Enough would be enough. We can’t tolerate the slaughter of innocents.

October 12th, 2013, 8:19 am


zoo said:

The SNC “PM” Tohmeh anounces that the new ‘interim’ government to be announced after Eid Al Adha will be based in Turkey and not in Syria ( Azaz is now in the hands of ISIS. It needs money to win back the fighters and it presses the West to find a ‘political’ solution.

Syria: Interim PM Tomeh “disappointed” with international community
The Syrian interim government will need USD 300 million per month in aid, Tomah told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Istanbul, Asharq Al-Awsat—In an exclusive interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, the newly elected Prime Minister of the opposition-backed Syrian interim government Ahmad Tomeh criticized the international community, saying that the Syrian opposition is frustrated with the world’s inability to take steps to end the bloodshed in Syria.

He said, “The international community has disappointed us,” adding, “Any delay in finding a political solution will open the door to major problems in the future, including extremism and radicalism.”
He also revealed that he is putting the finishing touches to his interim government, saying that the members of the cabinet will be announced following the Eid Al-Adha celebrations, scheduled to take place sometime later this week.

Tomeh added the names of the members of the government will be submitted to the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) for a vote of confidence during its meeting on October 25.

Tomeh also discussed receiving certain promises of support from Arab and international countries for his government which, he says, will need at least USD 300 million per month in aid to operate effectively.

Responding to a question about where this government will operate out of, Tomeh told Asharq Al-Awsat that the new interim government will be based in Turkey close to the Syrian borders but refused to give any other information, citing security concerns

October 12th, 2013, 8:21 am


zoo said:

Another innocent child killed by ‘freedom fighters’ in central Damascus.

Shells hit Damascus near hotel housing chemical inspectors

Published Saturday, October 12, 2013

Two mortar shells hit Syria’s capital Saturday near a hotel where international chemical inspectors and United Nations staff are staying, state media and a hotel guest said.

An 8-year-old was killed and 11 people were hurt in the blasts in the upscale Abu Roumaneh area of Damascus, the SANA news agency said. One shell fell near a school and the other on a roof, damaging several shops and cars.

The blasts struck some 300 meters (1,000 feet) away from the Four Seasons Hotel where the chemical inspectors and U.N. staff are staying.

October 12th, 2013, 8:31 am


zoo said:


You don’t call for Syria to be split anymore? A sudden burst of nationalism?

The losers are without any doubt the USA, KSA and Qatar as well as Turkey. They are hated and despised by both sides. One side because they helped destroying the country, the other side because they did not help enough to topple Bashar Al Assad.

The winner is first Russia because it prevented a disastrous military attack and remove the WMD. Also because it called for a political solution from day one.
The second winner is Iran because it constantly called for a diplomatic solution and helped to fight the hated al Qaeda terrorists infiltrated from Turkey into Syria. It is also winning on longer term because the USA, suddenly aware of its growing power and its political stability compared to the instability of the countries in the region, is keener than ever to solve the issue of the Nuclear as well as Palestine

So your “observations” show a total lack of understanding of the forces in power and the way the Syrians think.

October 12th, 2013, 8:45 am


Ghat Al Bird said:

Lest you all forget as anonymous once said…..

Quote by Alon Pinkas, Israel’s former general consul in New York, giving Israel’s view of the Syrian bloodletting: “Let them both bleed, hemorrhage to death. That’s the strategic thinking here.”

According to two polls reported this weekend by the Jerusalem Post, Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria.

October 12th, 2013, 8:59 am


Observer said:

My post zoozoo was a precise response to Mjabali. But then again, delusion has been your prerogative from day one.

October 12th, 2013, 9:06 am


ALAN said:

543. GHAT AL BIRD said:

/Israelis by 7-1 do not want Israel to go to war with Syria. But two-thirds of Israelis favor the United States going to war with Syria/.

Dear Americans!Just go and fight everywhere to satisfy the Israelis! dying for Israel! This is, of course, a pathetic!

October 12th, 2013, 10:15 am


ALAN said:

Liwa al-Tawhid puts on Internet picture of Russian citizen’s passport
Russian citizen missing in Syria may be captured by militants – security service
Syria unconditionally approved the sending of Russian peacekeepers in the Golan: The head of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
Russia, Syria, and the decline of U.S. dominance
With the reduction of the hegemony of the United States, we are facing an uncertain future. The monstrous power of the U.S. military can still make mischief, a wounded animal is the most dangerous. Americans would be worth listening to Senator Ron Paul, calls for the reduction of foreign military bases and cut costs. The rules of international law and the sovereignty of all states must be respected. People the world over love America, when she no longer engaged in surveillance and intimidation. It’s not easy, but we have already agreed on a course at the Cape of Good Hope and achieved.

October 12th, 2013, 10:28 am


ghufran said:

The black comedy and mud throwing among rebels and their spoke persons continue, my favorite part is the section about accusing Idris of being groomed by regional intelligence agencies (this usually means Jordan and ksa),this piece should be added to SNL:
نفى المتحدث الاعلامي في الجيش الحر، فهد المصري، مسؤولية الحر عن مجازر الساحل السوري وقال ان مجموعات ارهابية دفعها النظام قامت بذلك
كما حمل المصري رئيس اركان “الجيش الحر” اللواء المنشق سليم ادريس مسؤولية الدخول الى الساحل، مؤكدا انه(ادريس) من صنع مخابرات اقليمية واُلحق زورا بالجيش الحر.
واعلن المصري خلال حديث مع “RT ARBIC” مساء الجمعة : “لقد صرحنا امس بأن من قام بعمليات الساحل السوري لا علاقة للجيش الحر به ولا للقيادة المشتركة للحر ولقوى الحراك الثوري، بل هي مجموعات ارهابية صغيرة دفعها النظام للدخول الى الساحل.. بهدف اخافة العلويين والصاق هذه المجازر بالجيش الحر والثورة السورية”.
واكد: “نحن ندين بشدة التعرض لأي مدني كان، مهما كان انتمائه الديني او المذهبي او الطائفي او القومي، او حتى موقفه من الثورة”.
كما انتقد المصري ” العقيد سليم ادريس رئيس ما يسمى بهيئة اركان (الجيش الحر) التي الحقت زورا وبهتانا بالجيش السوري الحر”، مؤكدا انه “يتحمل ومن معه مسؤولية الدخول الى الساحل السوري، اذ قال ان هناك معركة تحرير الساحل، واتضح ان لا علاقة بسليم ادريس بذلك وانما وقع في الفخ بحثا منه عن انتصارات وهمية واعلامية ويتحمل المسؤولية عن المجازر التي تحدث في كل سورية”.
وشدد على ان “الجيش الحر يلتزم بمبادئ واخلاق واهداف الثورة المجيدة، ثورة الحرية والعدالة والكرامة الاجتماعية، اما العقيد سليم ادريس، الذي رفع نفسه الى رتبة لواء، فهو صنع اجهزة امنية استخباراتية اقليمية بهدف الركوب على الثورة السورية والجيش الحر
notice how many opposition leaders, and some posters here, first praised the “battle of the liberation of latakia” then started to modify their language only to end up accusing “others” of doing the dirty work after HRW came up with its report about crimes against humanity committed by rebels in Latakia.

This guy on aksalser speaks for most Syrians:
جميع تصرفاتكم توحي بالاتجاه لاطالة امد الثورة
هل تريدون اسقاط الثورة والبلد
وعم تعلونا بزيادة بخلافاتكم
وما عاد فينا نتحمل ..
روحوا لجنيف 2 واقبلوا باللي يرجعلنا البلد …. ويخلينا نعرف نعيش ونخلص من النزوح واللجوء …..
حرام عليكم اللي عم يعاني السوريين من الذل والمهانة والتشرد بالعالم … حسوا بالشعب السوري شوي ياإئتلاف … يا نظام …. يا معارضة على اختلاف اطيافها ….
تعبنا … وتشردنا ….. وضاع مستقبل ولادنا
حاج …. بيكفي ….. خلصونا …..
الله عالظالم ….
I, and others, have reported the crimes committed in Latakia 2 months ago and posted a video of the hostages, some of you waited for a foreign agency to say the same before they accept the fact that many of their heroes are a bunch of terrorists who use Islam as a cover !!

October 12th, 2013, 10:47 am


Sami said:

The Story of Aleppo University:

Funny how the supposed “secular” army is treating those that peacefully defied Assad in the manner which they did in this video.

October 12th, 2013, 12:11 pm


zoo said:

Syria maintains spending in 2014 budget despite war losses

BEIRUT | Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:37am EDT

Oct 12 (Reuters) – Syria’s government has agreed a 2014 budget of 1.39 trillion pounds ($8.18 billion), state news agency SANA said on Saturday, a marginal increase on this year’s spending despite the economic devastation wrought by more than two years of civil war.

The agency gave no breakdown of spending, which it said was 7 billion pounds higher than the 2013 budget, but it quoted Prime Minister Wael al-Halki as saying it would focus spending on education, health and agriculture sectors.

October 12th, 2013, 12:59 pm


zoo said:

UNICEF: Syrian Child Refugees Face Exploitation

Some 200,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan are school-age, but only 80,000 are enrolled in education, often in classrooms with double shifts. Adolescents aged 14 to 17, many of whom had dropped out of school, were especially at risk, he said.

An estimated 30,000 Syrian child refugees are working in Jordan, Servadei said. A UNICEF assessment in the Jordan Valley in April identified 3,500 child laborers, mainly seasonal.

“They were working mainly on the farms, in many cases also hard labor, let’s say 10 hours a day using pesticides,” he said. Other children work in family bakeries or as mechanics.

UNICEF is providing cash assistance — 30 Jordanian dinars or about $45 per month — for families to remove a Syrian child from work and return him to school, according to Servadei.

October 12th, 2013, 1:04 pm


zoo said:

The SNC, the opposition and the rebels supporters continue what they are best at: Whining and blaming the West

Peace prize an Assad ‘victory’

October 13, 2013
Read more:

Supporters of the Syrian rebel cause believe the honour represents tacit support for the deal under which OPCW was allowed into Syria. That was negotiated by Russia as a way of warding off American intervention, and the Syrian opposition said it allowed Mr Assad to consolidate his grip on power.

”Giving the award to OPCW means that a third goes to it, a third to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and a third to Bashar,” said Dr Qasem al-Zain, who became one of the best-known faces of the uprising, treating injured rebels and civilians in the siege of Qusayr this year.

”I think it’s part of the international game being played against Syria, to turn attention away from what the regime is doing.”

Louay al-Mokdad, a spokesman of the Free Syrian Army, said: ”They forgot about our blood. Our problem is not just chemical weapons.”

October 12th, 2013, 1:09 pm


William Scott Scherk said:

Brian Whitaker writes of the chemical weapons process of destruction, and notes that the Syrian government may draw a veil of secrecy over the actual armaments in their stocks. The UMLACAs, if declared, will be rendered useless by the UN/OPCW teams — but we may never know if the