“Chemical Weapons in Syria: Fact, Fiction, and Fib,” by Aron Lund

Chemical Weapons in Syria: Fact, Fiction, and Fib
by Aron Lund*
Syria Comment, December 8, 2012

On the WMD discussion in your last post, which I think was spot on: My guess is that what’s happening is that some intelligence agencies are really picking up signals of WMD motion on the ground, but that the dramatic “mixing sarin and putting it into bombs” info is pure propaganda. It seems designed to spook the public, make a case for intervention, and, to some extent, force the hand of the Obama administration.

In the unlikely event that Assad has really started activating his WMD capacity, it could be for a military purpose or as a political signal. There are basically three things he would be interested in: 1) to threaten any would-be intervention force, e.g. Turkey, 2) to remind everyone that he could carry out a lethal last strike on Israel if the regime falls, 3) possibly, to shift chemical material over to allies in Lebanon, to create a kind of second-strike capability if the regime is attacked and unable to respond.

None of these things involve gassing populated areas in Syria with air-dropped bombs. It could perhaps be done, but it would be hugely counter-productive, not least in terms of an international response, and it’s obviously dangerous on a complex close-quarters battlefield such as Syria’s. It is certainly possible that the regime could have an internal meltdown and start making irrational choices, but so far its decision-makers seem to be acting rationally and in their own best interest. Given that, they’re not going to be poison-gassing Aleppo anytime soon.

On the other hand, some opposition groups and their sympathizers try to plant these stories all the time. As you’ll remember, there was a similar WMD scare in Syria in the summer. That time, US officials eventually came forth and said that they were reassured that Syria had their WMD under control – reassured by Syria itself, I imagine. There’s an odd confluence of interests here. Neither Obama nor Assad want the media to report that a publicly declared US red line has been breached, since that would compel the US to either do something or lose face.

All that said, I think it’s very likely that Assad is currently shifting around his WMD infrastructure to retain control over it, which would mean there is some actual motion on the ground. For example, one of the main chemical warfare installations is allegedly in al-Safira (S/E of Aleppo). That means it would be liable to fall into rebel hands as of right now, if Assad didn’t do something about it. SCUD launch pads and other relevant material would also have to be brought out of rebel reach, or away from areas that have been deprived of effective SAM cover through the loss of air defense installations – rebels are taking these in large numbers. So it’s not surprising at all that the regime is moving stuff around.

As a backgrounder on Syria’s WMD situation, this 74-page report from Sweden’s FOI is very good: www2.foi.se/rapp/foir1290.pdf. It’s in English.

*Aron Lund is author of a report on Syrian jihadism for the Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs, a shorter version is at Foreign Policy: “Holy Warriors: A field guide to Syria’s jihadi groups,” He also is author of  Drömmen om Damaskus (“The Dream of Damascus”) and a regular contributor to Syria Comment.

Comments (173)

Chemical weapons in Syria: fact, fiction, and fib — War in Context said:

[…] News Sources on December 8, 2012 In a guest post at Joshua Landis’ Syria Comment, Aron Lund writes: On the WMD discussion in your last post, which I think was spot on: My guess is that what’s […]

December 8th, 2012, 12:02 pm


ann said:

Look at those bearded monsters

December 8th, 2012, 12:19 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Well, we all know he has a lot of it, the world’s largest stock pile. He may not have to use it in Syria, he can claim terrorists attacked and got hold of it, the terrorists can use it, he can resurrect Zarqawi again by video manipulation like Rumsfeld did, sending truck after another of Chlorine into Baghdad heavily guarded Green Zone exploding daily, he can create another front like Islamic Nusra for Qatari People” like Alciada/Mossad did in Syria now, how hard to find a black cloaked brave young men that can speak in Qatari accent to claim responsibility to the world. I mean that is what they are doing in Syria anyway. He can just send them back to Qatar, Istanbul and Benghazi with anthrax filled pockets. So yeah the real threat is there, and it is real, if the Talmudic-Islamic Satanist terrorists pushed Assad to the wall, one can see that WMD use threat turns to action. Cities like Benghazi and Qatar got, what, couple million head, they can be expended fast, say a kilo at most. Why anyone would possesses this weapon not use it in self defense, well, maybe Assad is the real Jesus and he knew all along that he will end up on the cross, die for the sin of man. If this turned out the case, then, we descent Christian human beings should demand that the image on the cross the Pope and Christians wear on the chest must be that of Assad face.

December 8th, 2012, 12:25 pm


ann said:

Syria: Rebels may resort to using chemical weapons – 12.08.12

Syrian Foreign Ministry says Damascus would never use WMDs against civilians, adds rebels gained control of toxic chlorine factory


Syria warned on Saturday that rebels could use chemical weapons in their fight against President Bashar Assad’s forces, and insisted that the regime will never unleash such arms on its own people.

“Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people… after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory” east of Aleppo, the foreign ministry said, using the government term for rebel groups.

It added that Damascus would never use such weapons against its own people.

The ministry was believed to be referring to the Syrian-Saudi Chemicals Company (SYSACCO) factory near Safira, which was taken over earlier this week by militants from the jihadist Al-Nusra Front.

Syria “is defending its people against terrorism, which is supported by known countries, with the United States at the forefront,” the ministry said.



December 8th, 2012, 12:31 pm


ann said:

The Morsi regime is dead and the bearded monster left the contry

December 8th, 2012, 12:36 pm


Aldendeshe said:

One of the comment that struck note from the Algerian older man presented in ANN video; saying “ I decided to do something to the children of Syria, rather than crying on T.V.” So he chose to join a foreign mercenaries sponsored terrorist group to demolish Syria, kill its children (45,000), wipe out it’s children future, schools (1000’s), hospitals (200+), factories, Archeological sites, National army etc. What is worse for this ignorant Talmudic-Moslem filth, he is doing it all so that he can bring to power the old establishment of Baathists who were responsible for Syria demise, corruption, and degradation in the first place. What a subhuman Moslem Terrorists, feed that older man to hungry animals not serve him Chocolate. I am officially going to worship Bashar Assad as the “Risen Messiah Jesus” if he succeeds with his pacifist war tactics against the most diabolically evil, Satanic Talmudo-Islamic bloody terrorists.

December 8th, 2012, 12:49 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The risk of Chemical weapons are
1 Undisciplined troops may use them
2 Rebels get hold of them
3 Bashar get severly depressed

The best treatment is protection,US must do something NOW

Meanwhile the regime is getting very weak on the ground

December 8th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Citizen said:

Aron Lund is author of a report on Syrian jihadism for the Swedish Institute of Foreign Affairs, a shorter version is at Foreign Policy: “Holy Warriors: A field guide to Syria’s jihadi groups,” He also is author of Drömmen om Damaskus (“The Dream of Damascus”) and a regular contributor to Syria Comment.

Do not care about Mr. Haroon ! Will increase the demand for buying your book (The dream from Damascus) after this glossy propaganda. Excellent Business!
A good hold in the next book of the dream of Oklahoma!!!

December 8th, 2012, 1:11 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

That Algerian old man could have been honest and spoke the truth, he may help the children of Syria just by doing so. He could have said I work for Alciada/Mossad since I was 14, fought for them in Gaza, Algeria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and few more places they needed gas and oil wells or install a pipeline. I was parked by French Intelligence in mercenaries reserves for future assignment, then 3 months ago, my handler called me and said, old man ABUALSHARMOOT, you helped us so much in the past 4 decades for so little pay, now it is the payoff time, the Qatari paying up, it is time for you now to put your fighting skill to do something for the children of Syria. Brainless and drugged all his life, he just hang up the phone and shouted ALLAH WA AKBAR, then met his handler at some Paris airport who facilitated his exit to Beirut, afterward, a Palestinian Mossad Agents ( 3 million operating in Lebanon-Syria) secured his entry into Syria Palestinian Whores Camp before joining the fighting against the children of Syria in one of the foreign mercenaries units. That would have been the true story, a very accurate and honest one. Bashar could not be that ignorant to buy his and treat him well, serve him chocolate, he did not dangle the old man so he can meet his Sharmoutallah and get his real punishment in the afterlife for his life of genocide and murder, rape and heft of so many nations, working for cheap pay for foreign Intelligence services destroying Moslem people and their livelihood for future generation.

December 8th, 2012, 1:12 pm


Citizen said:

Hillary fails with Lavrov Joint Statement on NON-Use of Force
Joint Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries

December 8th, 2012, 1:34 pm


AIG said:

The basic assumption that the regime is acting in its best interests is suspect. The situation would not have become so dismal if the regime had not made mistake after mistake. Why torture the kids in Der’a? What is rational about that? Why alienate Turkey? Why not agree to reforms before this whole mess happened? Why would a person that said that the Arab Spring would never reach Syria, one month before it did, be considered rational?

Lund is too detached from the visceral emotions that are part and parcel of any middle east conflict. He is analyzing the situation as if this is a dispute over wildlife preservation between Finland and Sweden. Revenge and humiliation are very strong motivating factors in the middle east and it is quite likely that Assad will use chemical weapons against his own population if not properly deterred.

December 8th, 2012, 1:40 pm


kyrah said:

Thanks for your insights, much appreciated as always. That’s not why I’m writing though – just wanted to point out that the links in the post are broken. They all point to some private Microsoft Outlook Exchange page rather than the actual articles. Thought you might wanna know.

December 8th, 2012, 1:46 pm


Citizen said:

Turkey rehearsing invasion of Syria

According to official statements of the authorities and the military command of Turkey, Ankara postponed the main field anti-Kurdish “anti-terrorist operations” with the Turkish-Iraqi border in the Turkish-Syrian. So, the TV channel CNN-Turk on December 6 reported that from December 5, is a large-scale operation of the security forces in Turkey, with the support of the army and the gendarmerie in Amanos mountains on the border of three provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep and Osmaniye.

Turkish media reported that in the anti-Kurdish operation involved about a thousand employees of special forces, the gendarmerie, the police and the army, supported by armored vehicles and helicopters. In two days, according to the Turkish security forces, they were able to destroy 13 Kurdish guerrillas. Their losses Turkish side says. It is noteworthy that this military operation does not comment and Kurdish sources, which is not typical for the whole of the Turkish-Kurdish koflikta.

Reported in Turkish media provinces and cities where there is anti-Kurdish massacre, are, on the one hand, part of the historical Cilicia (Osmaniye generally far from well known Adana and Ceyhan and Gaziantep – it Aintab) on the other – part of Syria occupied in the 30 years of XX century, Turkey with the connivance of France. These are regions in which the last decade, most people began to make the Kurds, and in religious terms – the Alawites. According to experts, it is possible that the transfer of anti-Kurdish Turks main theater of military operations to the borders with Syria could be a disguise for outright military intervention by Turkey in the internal affairs of a neighboring country.

December 8th, 2012, 1:47 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“He wanted to do something for Syria Children, instead of crying on TV” so he goes to kill Syrians, and send’s perhaps as much as 2 millions of them to live as refugees living in tent cities, in not so hospitable countries, where the children starve, die of cold and are sold for his employers in Arabia for whoring slaves, and in Israel for body parts companies. I say take this Islam and shove it up the Donkey as*s. I am taking few Quran to the bindery next week to have the pages trimmed out, will use these pages for worthy use, to pick my dog poop, the plastic bags are bad for the environment, this way will save the planet by getting rid of trash and poop.

Now I don’t feel so bad for kicking my mother out of the house 15 years ago when she refused to leave the Quran out of my home during her visit to me after 25 years for the first time. The Lebanese Shia Khansa family took care of her until she departed. I really feel vindicated.

Why Millions are leaving Islam ?:

Australian Moslems are leaving Islam:

Islam is really now nothing more than a terrorist false flag mercenaries used by foreign intelligence agencies after oil, gas and pipelines throughout the deceived Islamic World

December 8th, 2012, 1:51 pm


Citizen said:

10. AIG said:
Assad will use chemical weapons against his own population

Do not lie!!! Already raised your country the subject of chemical weapons as a need for your security and not for anything else!

December 8th, 2012, 1:55 pm


Michal said:

Are these scaremongering comments generated by bots or why are these people talking complete conspiratorial nonsense?

December 8th, 2012, 2:08 pm


Citizen said:

‘Ground being prepared for Syria intervention’ – ex-US Chief of Staff

December 8th, 2012, 2:12 pm


Citizen said:

المسلحون سيعملون على نشر الدعاة في البلاد على الطريقة “الطالبانية” و رديفا لـ”المجاهدين” و”الهيئة الشرعية” وجهاز “الأمن الثوري” الذي أسسه الأخوان المسلمون
في تطور غير مسبوق ينذر بعمليات إبادة طائفية سافرة ، أعلن مئات المسلحين في” مهرجان” هستيري ، عقد في إحدى المدارس المحتلة في حلب يوم أمس، عن تأسيس “هيئة الأمر بالمعروف ونصرة المظلوم” كشكل من أشكال “هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر” الوهابية . ورغم أن المؤسسين أعلنوا أن هيئتهم” إسلامية مستقلة”، إلا أنهم ، وكما صرحوا في بيانين أظهرهما شريط حصلت عليه “الحقيقة”(منشور أعلاه)، أكدوا أنهم سيعملون رديفا لجميع الألوية والكتائب المسلحة، ولـ”الهيئة الشرعية” و”الأمن الثوري الإسلامي” ، وكقوة ضاربة وعون لجميع المجاهدين من أجل” تطهير سوريا من دنس العصابات النصيرية المجرمة”!

والجدير بالذكر هنا هو أن “الأمن الثوري الإسلامي” جهاز إجرامي أسسه الأخوان المسلمون كجهاز استخبارات خاص تابع شكليا لـ”ائتلاف الوطني للثورة والمعارضة” مهمته القيام بعمليات اختطاف وقتل من يعارضهم ، وجمع المعلومات لصالح أجهزة الاستخبارات الأجنبية، لاسيما الأميركية والتركية.

وقال مؤسسو “الهيئة” إنهم سينشرون “الدعاة من طلاب العلم” في أنحاء البلاد لمحاربة الفساد الذي ينشره النظام في المناطق المحررة”، فضلا عن جملة أهداف أخرى توحي بأنها “شرطة أخلاقية إسلامية”. وهو ما يذكر بحركة”طالبان” الأفغانية التي وقفت وراء تأسيسها المخابرات السعودية التي كانت تمدها بمليوني دولار لتمويل أنشطتها المختلفة. ويتضح من الأهداف التي أعلنها هؤلاء ، أنهم يجرون مقاربة غير معلنة لظروف حلب وريفها مع أفغانستان بعد انهيار الحكم الوطني في أفغانستان العام 1992برئاسة الشهيد نجيب الله الذي اختطف من مقر الأمم المتحدة وأعدم شنقا في الساحات العامة من قبل عصابة”طالبان”. وقد أدى انهيار نظام نجيب الله إلى شيوع الفوضى وشريعة الغاب وانتشار “الإمارات الإسلامية” على امتداد أفغانستان، ما جعل الملا محمد عمر يؤسس حركة”طالبان” من طلبة المدارس الدينية في قندهار وينصب نفسه “حارسا للأخلاق والفضيلة”!!

إنه التاريخ يكرر نفسه، ولكنه في المرة الثانية يكون على شكل مهزلة، كما قال المعلم الخالد!
تكفير : الله أكبر

December 8th, 2012, 2:48 pm


Citizen said:

NATO is not really opposed to a forcible regime change in Syria – like the one it did in Libya. It’s just waiting for the opportune moment.

Under such circumstances, the deployment of Patriot missiles along Turkey’s border could be seen as the first step in NATO’s preparations for military intervention in Syria.

Given NATO’s record, its pledges that the missile deployment is defensive in nature sound hollow. In March 2011, NATO usurped a UN resolution that mandated the implementation of a no-fly zone in Libya to launch airstrikes on the North African country, which led to the fall of Muammar Gadhafi.

NATO should stop assuming the vanguard’s role in the internal affairs of other countries, because trampling on the UN Charter will only aggravate the Syrian crisis and plunge the region deeper into instability

December 8th, 2012, 2:55 pm


jna said:

European converts to Islam, Egyptians, Algerians, Uzbekistanis, Libyans, Saudis, east Africans, and Palestinians to specify a few of the Syrian Revolutionaries. But this must be a big lie as the Western correspondents have been telling us all along that they could never discover foreign fighters in Syria.

Patchwork of foreign fighters in rebel-held Syria

December 8th, 2012, 4:15 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

Wow! All this new data all of a sudden! Aldendeshe, Ann, Syrian Nationalist Party, VATTIE and Zoo’s brains are going to explode under the weight…

December 8th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Visitor said:

Assad is already a war criminal and he already used chemical weapons against civilians in Syria. Lund doesn’t know what he is talking about and I question Dr. landis’ motives behind publishing lund’s inaccurate reporting or wishful thinking. Pictures of victims near Aleppo show chemical weapons were used. FSA also confiscated gas masks from Assad thugs who were on a their way to execute special mission. This information is perhaps behind the recent military moves of certain countries both on land and at sea,


December 8th, 2012, 4:32 pm


zoo said:

Turkey is trying again to reshape the FSA to respond somehow to the worries of Western countries, disgusted with the military mess. All this ahead of the 12/12/12 meeting in Morocco. It is also saying goodbye and thank you to Ryad al Assaad and Moustafa al Sheikh.

Syrian rebels get new leadership in bid to unite


It remains unclear how the new military command will relate to the National Alliance and whether foreign powers will back it.

But two of Syria’s most extreme rebel groups were not included: Jabhat al-Nusra, which has claimed deadly suicide bombings and is believed to be linked to al-Qaida, and Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamic fundamentalist brigade home to many foreign jihadis.

U.S. officials have said the Obama administration is preparing to designate Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization.

Many of the participating groups have strong Islamist agendas, and some have fought in ways that could scare away Western backers. They include the Tawheed Brigade, whose ideology is similar to that of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Falcons of Damascus, an ultraconservative Islamist group. Its leader, Ahmed Eissa al-Sheik, told The Associated Press earlier this year that his men had executed five captured government soldiers.

The new structure diminishes the role of previous leaders in the Free Syrian Army. Brig. Gen. Mustafa al-Sheikh, who headed the FSA’s Military Council, will play no rule in the new structure, the commander said. Riad al-Asaad, the head of the Free Syrian Army, will retain a symbolic post.

December 8th, 2012, 4:44 pm



Watch and laugh!
Sky News presses Faisal Al-Mikdad, the second man in Syria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, about Chemical weapons. Faisal does not disappoint.

December 8th, 2012, 4:50 pm


zoo said:

The war is declared against Morsi and the MB. Will they survive and at what cost?

UN Rights Official Slams Credibility of Egypt’s New Constitution

Lisa Schlein

December 08, 2012
GENEVA — The U.N.’s top human rights official is expressing alarm at the violence and deaths of people opposed to Egypt’s new draft constitution. Navi Pillay says she has numerous concerns about the text, which she believes weakens and undermines many of the human rights and freedoms of the Egyptian people.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay questions the haste with which Egypt’s largely-Islamist constituent assembly adopted the final text of the draft constitution for presidential action. She says this and many of the surrounding circumstances have put the credibility of the process into doubt and contributed to the chaos in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, and other cities.

December 8th, 2012, 4:51 pm


zoo said:

Has Hamas become “moderate” with Qatar’s money? A good reply from Meshal to Obama and the GCC: “Israel will be wiped out by force, not by negotiation” .

GAZA CITY — Khaled Meshal, the political leader of Hamas, gave a defiant speech on Saturday, vowing to build an Islamic Palestinian state on all the land of Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Speaking before tens of thousands of supporters on the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, Mr. Meshal said the Jewish state would be wiped away through “resistance,” or military action. “The state will come from resistance, not negotiation,” he said. “Liberation first, then statehood.”…
“We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take,” he said. “We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.”

December 8th, 2012, 5:27 pm



Lesley Hazleton[an agnostic Jew]: On reading the Koran (TED TALKS VIDEO with English subtitles:

December 8th, 2012, 5:43 pm



“Has the [Syrian] regime used chemical weapons in Daraiya? The incident of my brother’s martyrdum as an example”

هل استخدم النظام السلاح الكيميائي في داريا ؟!! حادثة استشهاد شقيقي مثالاً

In this article, Eyad Sharbaji seeks answers regarding the death of his brother and uncle, and his brother’s friend in a bombing of his house. Eyad cannot explain the strange symptoms of the three victims of this bombing and seeks help determining what caused the severe burning around the eyes, noses, and mouths of the victims, but did not affect their facial hair. There were sever burns observed on other parts of their bodies, but similarly, the hair in those areas was not burned.

December 8th, 2012, 5:57 pm


Syrian said:

You did not put the link
Here it is

December 8th, 2012, 6:20 pm


Visitor said:


Here’s what I said in that comment of mine that I asked you to read,


If the coalition continues on this path, it may eventually succeed.

December 8th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Visitor said:


That is an excellent video you posted.

But, if you are doing so in order to answer Dendeshe/SSNP (A.K.A. Donkey par excellence) trash, then you are giving him credit that he hardly deserves. We all know he is less diminutive than a pathetic insect? He is not yet past the single cell organism species in terms of his pathetic existence.

But, keep up the good work, man.

December 8th, 2012, 6:29 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

“Now I don’t feel so bad for kicking my mother out of the house 15 years ago when she refused to leave the Quran out of my home during her visit to me after 25 years for the first time”

As if we needed any additional proof on your unstable mental condition. That’s not something normal,sane people brag about, especially on the Internet.

December 8th, 2012, 6:32 pm


MarigoldRan said:

The risk of Chemical weapons are
1 …
2 …
3 Bashar get severly depressed

That’s hilarious MajedKhaldoun. Your comment is very funny. And also very sad.

December 8th, 2012, 7:15 pm


Ghufran said:

Egypt: Mohamed Morsi cancels decree that gave him sweeping powers
Annulment of measure that sparked days of protests comes after military says constitution crisis could drag Egypt into ‘dark tunnel’
Abdel-Rahman Hussein in Cairo

December 8th, 2012, 7:31 pm


Syrialover said:


Sorry I was looking for a coment by you.

And I agree.

I will be giving full cheers and whatever service I can offer to Moaz Khatib and the Coalition if they can do what he says they hope to do.

December 8th, 2012, 8:03 pm


Ghufran said:

في خطوة أثارت إعجاب الكثيرين من معارضي نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، رفع رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس خالد مشعل علم “الثورة السورية”، خلال احتفال الحركة في ذكري انطلاقتها الخامسة والعشرين في غزة السبت.
وأغلقت السلطات السورية، مؤخراً، مكاتب قيادات حماس في دمشق بالشمع الأحمر، وأبرزها مكتب خالد مشعل الواقع في حي المزة الغربية، ومكتب نائبه موسى أبو مرزوق، والقيادي في الحركة محمد نزال في حي مشروع دمر، بالإضافة إلى مكاتب قيادات أخرى في مخيم اليرموك.
وفي وقت سابق نهاية الشهر الماضي، قال نائب رئيس المكتب السياسي لحركة حماس موسى أبو مرزوق: “إن على إيران أن تعيد النظر في دعمها للنظام السوري، إذا كانت لا تريد أن تؤلب عليها الرأي العام العربي”.
وأوضح أبو مرزوق أن “إيران طلبت من حماس اتخاذ موقف أقرب إلى سوريا. وحماس رفضت، وقد أثر ذلك على العلاقة مع إيران”.
Only time will tell how Hamas will change after replacing its Syrian Uncle with a Qatari step dad who gets his orders from Washington, efforts to create a Palestinian equivilant of Morsi or Erdogan ignore that fact that Palestinians do not have a state or a real government, it seems like Hamas is trying to put the carriage ahead of the horse.

December 8th, 2012, 8:04 pm


Syrialover said:

MAJEDKHALDOUN, who I have long liked and respected, asked me in a previous thread:


“Do you believe that the people must decide whether they want to live under secularism or religious backed system?

“If you do, then what would you do if the people decide they want religion backed system? do you revolt violently or just peacefully?

“And if you don’t, then you don’t believe in democracy.”

MY RESPONSE – with apologies for the length, but I can’t go lightly on this matter:

Plenty of more articulate, more actively and closely involved and more gifted Syrians than I am have expressed what I want to say on the potential dangers of political Islam in Syria. And they are saying it much better than I can.

But at the moment I am travelling and can’t access those articles, blog discussions, interviews and speeches. So I offer my own humble words as a starter.

I hope MAJEDKHALDOUN you are also aware of what’s being said and debated on this by so many others.

– Basically I see the question of religious Vs secular government as over-simplistic, not really addressing the main issues and actually unfair to Syrians.

– I desperately want Syrians to be offered clearly presented, properly supported, authentic, realistic and sustainable CHOICES at the ballot box.

– Choices that can lead them to a government that has a few basic non-negotiable features [see my list in the post which follows]

– Because if they end up with a government that lacks any single one of these things [listed in post below] Syrians will have NOTHING.

– They will continue to be deprived by others of what they deserve. The chance to live with full freedoms and options, sound support, adequate systems and opportunities enjoyed by others in the 21st century.

– Syrians do NOT have any time, resources, energies and opportunities to waste. They are already down a hole with the ladders broken.

– Before I offer my list of must-haves, I want to repeat the alert I’ve earlier given here about what happened in some African countries when they finally had long-fought-for, universally-yearned-for democratic elections to replace their dumb, corrupt, incompetent thug military dictatorships.

– Quite simply, the dumb thug corrupt military dictators and their cronies instantly returned to power via the ballot box.

– Those African dictators had the systems, contacts, resources and organization to ace those elections. They won because the opposition groups were caught up in the necessary processes of developing and learning, creating policies & platforms, and importantly, uniting against the old dark forces.

– This is very similar to what happened in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood bulldozing in ahead of those (i) who had done the heavy lifting and thinking for change and the revolution, and were (ii) genuinely focused on the interests of the young who are crying out for the chance of a job, hope and a future like they see others in the world have.

– And it’s EXACTLY what the MB and various other political Islamists are arrogantly assuming they will be able to do in post-Assad Syria. With some of them – beat this – actually planning to get there waving a gun and holding self-styled amateur kangaroo courts to sideline or threaten “unbelievers”.

– And if you comfortably assume that holding a free and fair election will sort out such quick-and-dirty power grabbers and automatically give a majority of Syrians what they have been fighting and yearning for, see above and think again.

– A democratic system in its infancy is open to – and in some ways geared for – manipulation, cheating and unfair advantage by those who understand and care NOTHING about democracy.

– The answer is for Syrians to wake up now, call their game and force them back to the starting line.

– It’s a huge topic, and well beyond the scope of this discussion.

– But it probably calls for a period of transitional government which gives sufficient time for political parties and platforms to develop, groups to unite and alliances to emerge, clear and consistently enforced rules about election funding and party organization, a focus on organized policy debates on national TV and so on.

– And so on, and so on – all hard work, demanding lots of trust, goodwill, faith and stoic patience. But better than the alternative.

I will post my list of must-haves for a post-Assad Syrian government below.

December 8th, 2012, 8:09 pm


Syrialover said:


Here’s my starter list of must-haves for any legitimate government in Syria.

This is ANY government, religious, ethnic, secular, MB, communist or whatever. For Syria to do or die any post-Assad government must be:

– competent, with the skills and capability to operate a successful, economic, political and legal system

– run by leaders that are hard working and output-oriented (REAL work, hard thinking and heavy lifting, not blah, blah, preach or spin)

– operated via modern, fully functional systems and institutions

– consultative not command-and-control

– transparent, open & fully accountable

– realistic & focused on what matters

– trusted, respected and seen as able to do business by everyone who can contribute to rebuilding the country

– trusting, respecting and willing to do business with everyone who can contribute to rebuilding the country

– focused on creating jobs, hope and a concrete vision of the future to the young

– working with priorities and an agenda that serves the country, not oriented towards them keeping their grip on power

– a system where no citizen lives in fear of injustice, cruelty or corruption by any branch of government

– committed to free speech and debate and responsive to public opinion

– committed to the rule of law

– run by office bearers, decision makers and public servants appointed on real-world merit with relevant qualifications and experience

– inclusive, tolerant and non-discriminatory

And lots more.

Unfortunately and tragically for many millions of lives, history has yet to show us a theocracy or MB government that is able to tick any of those boxes. Or even pretending to be aware of or interested in these things.

December 8th, 2012, 8:33 pm


zoo said:

Ghufran #31

The question is now: Will this big concession be perceived as a tactic or a sign of weakness and therefore disregarded by the opposition that will continue until he is toppled or would they trust him?

December 8th, 2012, 8:45 pm


Tara said:

How come Mnhebaks ask from Morsi what they would never ask of Batta?


December 8th, 2012, 8:57 pm


zoo said:

In Turkey, the FSA is supposedly uniting the various rebels group under one command that they chose.

In Cairo the new coalition will announce a military council to manage funds and weapons distribution. The military council would take overall command and exclusivity of the various rebel groups on the ground.

Are we going to witness a wedding or funerals in Morocco between these two groups? Are we on for another slap to Qatar?

While the Syrian rebels talk about weapons and war, the purpose of the Morocco meeting is not for a military solution.

“The meeting is aimed at finding “ways of ensuring a political transition, and of mobilising vital humanitarian aid,” the foreign ministry in Morocco has said.

The group, which includes Western and Arab countries, last met in Paris in July.”

Syria rebel’s military council by next week

(AFP) / 8 December 2012

MANAMA — Syria’s new opposition coalition will announce the creation of a military council before a Friends of Syria meeting next week, to unify the ranks of insurgents, a top official told AFP on Saturday.

National Coalition Secretary General Mustafa Sabbagh said the group “will announce the creation of a supreme military council before the Friends of Syria meeting in Marrakesh” due to take place on December 12.

“The council will be exclusively responsible for receiving military aid which we obtain,” from outside Syria, Sabbagh told AFP.

December 8th, 2012, 9:16 pm


Observer said:

Time and again, and even as an atheist I do recognize that any political system has to be anchored in the culture of the country. One example is the preservation of the emperor in Japan after the defeat of WWII a concept that is important for the people and likewise the Chinese Communist Party that is surely much more Confucian than Communist these days. Therefore I do recognize that Islam may be a cultural background for the political system, BUT there has been no innovation of the philosophical or judicial or ethical concepts of Sharia since the 12th century or so. Moreover, the idealized Muslim state of Medina and the rule of the first four Caliphs also considered a golden age are not adequate for modern times. Finally, the concepts of the enlightenment have progressed man and the political system towards more freedom and better rule of law than the Muslim states of wonder. Therefore, having a constitution a la Iranian is a disaster and I have studied the constitution at a time when many including myself were enthusiastic about a new age in the ME. It is thoroughly disappointing and to have a so called rule of the Jurisprudent in this day and age is obscurantism of the first order.

Today democratic principles and these are universal in my opinion are more advanced than Sharia law. Therefore you cannot have a populist voting on the constitution. It is a very serious document that requires a serious and very long debate and give and take and the participation of the highest members of the society from judges to philosopher to scientists to politicians to retired members of the military and so on. The debate should be open and broadcast like we have on C Span for example, something the Iranian Majlis has for example.

There has got to be protection of any minority from a dictatorship of any majority that is the sine qua non of any meaningful social contract between the various parts of a society.

Therefore as an atheist I do recognize that a cultural background of Islam can be a part of the constitutional frame but cannot be exclusive. Islam in my opinion has to be protected from politics and I do not wish to have another 1400 years of religions being used for the political debate of this or that faction as we have witnessed when Ali lost to Muayya and to this day we have both factions using God and religion to justify politics.

Well I scouted the news from the pro regime sites: there is a commission to insure that bread is available, the pound is losing its value, and the news also say there is no gasoline for taxis, and the airport is closed.

Makdisi is nowhere to be found, and Mikdad says that the regime will never use chemical weapons. Can anyone give us more inside news of what is happening on the ground? In Aleppo AJ English had a demonstration of people against the lawlessness of the areas under FSA control so at least the reports are not all one sided against the regime.

ZOO, even though I think Morsi is a Mubarak with a beard and even though I think the MB are trying to hijack the revolution and even though I think that their concept of so called majority rule is to ignore or crush the opposition, yet I do see REAL DIALOGUE that Morsi conducted in contrast to the buffoon that supposedly is the Prethident of Somaria Alathad.

What a disgrace

Justice for Hamza

December 8th, 2012, 9:18 pm


Ghufran said:

I am not sure what to make of Morsi’s change of position,not of heart, especially that he still wants Egyptians to vote on a constitution ,most may have not read yet, after 1 week, keep in mind that most liberal ,secular and leftist Egyptians had little impact on the draft.
Having said that, I would in a heart beat vote for a Morsi over a Bashar even though I dislike both, Bashar should have refused the gift of becoming Syria’s second king and at least act like the king of all Syrians, he failed and he is at the top of my blame list when it comes to this suicidal war in Syria. If a country like Egypt, 90% Sunni,with a strong MB presence and a large conservative population can stand to Islamists,Syria should at least match that.
(zoo, Morsi lost the trust of many,if not most, Egyptians, notice the thousands of covered women who protested against him, Egyptians never ceased to amaze me)

December 8th, 2012, 9:34 pm


zoo said:

163. Tara

Except for the Geneva meeting where Russia and China were present,nothing constructive ever came out from these FOS meetings in 5 stars hotels.
The media keep build expectations and at the end it is hot air. Each one goes there with a different agenda.

Look at the different expectations and check the outcome at the end of the meeting:

Morocco: Path to a political transition and humanitarian aid

“The meeting is aimed at finding “ways of ensuring a political transition, and of mobilising vital humanitarian aid,” the foreign ministry in Morocco has said.

The USA: Support of opposition and end to bloodshed ( with more weapons?)

“This latest meeting provides an opportunity to consult with like-minded governments in the region and around the world on how best to continue support for the Syrian opposition and on efforts to end the bloodshed,” the State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.”

The Opposition ( and France and Qatar): International and fuller recognition of the coalition and funds for the United armed rebels for more weapons to cause more bloodshed

“The Syrian coalition of the forces of the revolution and the opposition could garner more recognition at the next meeting, Mr El Otmani said, adding that the formation of the new coalition, last November in Doha, has “given hope” towards finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Syria’s new opposition coalition will announce the creation of a military council before a Friends of Syria meeting next week, to unify the ranks of insurgents, a top official told AFP on Saturday.”

December 8th, 2012, 9:45 pm


Ghufran said:

جبهة الانقاذ الوطني المصرية المعارضة: الاعلان الدستوري الجديد جاء لتلميع صورة النظام
جبهة الانقاذ الوطني المعارضة ستجتمع الاحد لبحث الاعلان الجديد الذي صدر عن لجنة الحوار والرئاسة المصرية
حركة 6 ابريل المصرية: نحتاج لاعادة صياغة مشروع الدستور ليمثل جميع المصريين
بيان الرئاسة المصرية: اذا لم يوافق الناخبون على مشروع الدستور يدعو الرئيس لانتخاب جمعية تأسيسية من 100 عضو
الاعلان الدستوري المصري الجديد يتضمن آلية اجراء الاستفتاء وعملية الفرز واعلان النتائج
الاعلان الدستوري المصري الجديد لا يحصن قرارات الرئيس ولكن ينص على ان الاعلانات الدستورية لا يطعن عليها
At this rate Morsi may have to change his mind again and delay the vote on the islamist-made constitution.

December 8th, 2012, 10:01 pm


Ghufran said:

Muhammad Fadel- Le Monde:
في فيلم “لورنس العرب”، وبعد دخول الجيش العربي إلى دمشق، يواسي الملك فيصل الأوّل الضابط الشاب لورنس بعد أن قرر الجنرال اللنبي إعفاؤه من الخدمة: “الحرب للشباب لذا فهي تحمل كلّ فضائل الشباب، أمّا السلام فيصنعه الكبار لذا فهو يحمل كل رذائل كبار السنّ”. يبدو ما جرى في مصر بعد الإطاحة بالرئيس السابق حسني مبارك ترجمةً حرفية لكلام الملك المحنّك الغائر في الذاكرة. فالثورة حملت فضائل الشبان الذين أشعلوها وقدّموا قرابينها، لكن التوافقات اللاحقة حملت رذائل كلّ كبار السن الميّالين للتسويات، ومن الواضح أنّ التسويات شابها كثير من الرذائل.

December 8th, 2012, 10:15 pm


Aldendeshe said:

There were many Kabba:

December 8th, 2012, 10:30 pm


Ghufran said:

اتهمت أوساط \”المجلس الوطني السوري\” المعارض برئاسة جورج صبرا حكومة \”الاخوان المسلمين\” في القاهرة بـ¯\”دعم نظام الأسد سرا في الوقت الذي تجاهر فيه علنا بوقوفها ضده, بدليل إقدامها على إعادة رحلات طائرات شركتها الجوية الرسمية الى دمشق وحلب في ظروف الحرب الطاحنة التي قد تتسبب في كوارث بشرية\”.
Does this make sense to anybody?
This was posted on an opposition site.

December 8th, 2012, 10:30 pm


Ghufran said:

قال المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان إن حصيلة القتلى منذ بدء الاحتجاجات في سوريا منتصف مارس/آذار 2011، تجاوزت 42 ألف قتيل.
وأحصى المرصد أكثر من 29 ألف قتيل في صفوف المدنيين، بينما بلغ عدد القتلى من العسكريين النظاميين 10500، والمنشقين 1400. كما أحصى 652 قتيلا لم يتم بعد التعرف على هوياتهم.
ولا تشمل الحصيلة قتلى المليشيات الموالية للنظام (الشبيحة) والأشخاص الذين باتوا في عداد المفقودين.
The report does not mention the number of armed rebels and foreign fighters who were killed. Local sources from coastal areas insist that the number of troops killed from that region alone exceed 15,000.
The numbers are disputable but the popular belief that this war is about armed alawi fighters killing unarmed Sunni civilians is too simplistic and does not tell the whole story of this war.

December 8th, 2012, 10:57 pm


ann said:

Egypt Terror Leader Possibly Linked to Benghazi Attack Arrested – Dec. 12, 2012


The leader of an Egyptian terrorist cell that planned attacks in Egypt and may be linked with the storming of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11 has been arrested by Egyptian intelligence officers, according to an official close to Egypt’s intelligence agency and a senior U.S. official.

Mohammad Jamal Abdo Ahmed had become one of Egypt’s most dangerous terrorists and led a small cell of Egyptians that collected suicide vests, bombs and grenades before their Cairo safe house was raided by intelligence officials in late October, according to the U.S. official.

Most of the cell’s targets were Egyptian, but both the U.S. and Egyptian officials said Ahmed admitted to traveling to Libya and assisting Ansar al Sharia, which U.S. officials suspect organized the attack on the consulate that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens.

Until now, neither the United States nor Egypt has determined exactly what role Ahmed played in the attack in eastern Libya, according to both officials.

Ahmed may have also been planning attacks on U.S. targets in Egypt and neighboring countries, the U.S. official said, and had aspirations to join al Qaeda.

Ahmed, who is Egyptian, was arrested two weeks ago in eastern Egypt in the Sharqiyah province, the Egyptian official said.

Egyptian officials continue to question him and he will remain in custody for another 15 days, according to the Egyptian official.



December 9th, 2012, 12:09 am


Visitor said:

Amjad @29 said

““Now I don’t feel so bad for kicking my mother out of the house 15 years ago when she refused to leave the Quran out of my home during her visit to me after 25 years for the first time”

As if we needed any additional proof on your unstable mental condition. That’s not something normal,sane people brag about, especially on the Internet.”


What the foolish idiot just told us is that he’s forever cursed. There is no salvation for him whatsover. He and Satan will abide in a special level below hell for eternity.

December 9th, 2012, 12:57 am


Warren said:

Syrians losing confidence in rebel forces

Many Syrians are worn down by war and appear to be turning against the main opposition rebel force.

Unhappy about the soaring cost of basic items, they worry that the Free Syrian Army is profiting from the violence. And such anger is only helping to strengthen other rebel groups.

In an exclusive Al Jazeera report, Zeina Khodr reports from Aleppo.



Looks like the Fundamentalist Sunni Army is losing its “romantic allure”: as I expected and predicted these salafi cretins would inevitably alienate their gullible supporters! lol

December 9th, 2012, 1:10 am


Warren said:

Look at these soonite idiots playing chemist and killing rabbits; honestly haven’t these allah ahu akbar screaming cretins got better things to do? lol

December 9th, 2012, 1:19 am


Altair said:

Maybe this was explained before and I missed it, but can someone explain why some posts get highlighted in red (often the most ridiculous ones) and get this “hot debate what do you think” line tagged to it? Is this some kind of virus?

Also, to the moderator, the like and dislike buttons seem to do a disservice to the site, are probably manipulated, and often make no sense at all. If people like or dislike a comment, maybe it’s better to explain why. It’s often not clear.

December 9th, 2012, 1:20 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


December 9th, 2012, 1:22 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


December 9th, 2012, 1:24 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


December 9th, 2012, 1:26 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


December 9th, 2012, 1:29 am


ghufran said:

أجرت محطة “سكاي نيوز” التلفزيونية تقريراً مصوراً حول ماهية المسلحين الذين يقاتلون في سوريا، وأجرت لقاءً مع أحد قياديي المسلحين المقبوض عليهم، كي تستوضح منه حقيقة آيديولوجيتهم وما هي أهدافهم.
وقد أجرى إحدى اللقاءات الصحفي تيم مارشال
مارشال: ما هو مستقبل الأقليات إن نجحتم فيما تقومون به في البلاد؟
فأجاب أحدهم: أن يعتنقوا الإسلام أو يدفعوا الجزية.. أو القتال.
المراسل: هل أنا كافر؟؟
رد عليه أحدهم “ندعوك إلى الله، وأن تنطق الشهادة وتقول “أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله واشهد أن محمدا رسول الله” وإذا امتنعت نطلب الجزية، وإلا الحرب بيننا وبينك”.
المراسل: هل تؤمن بذلك؟
فقال عضو جبهة النصرة: نعم.
المراسل: ولماذا لا يوجد مجال للأقليات للعيش سويا؟
فأجاب أحدهم “يمكنهم ذلك إذا دفعوا الجزية”.
full report is available at sky news

December 9th, 2012, 1:30 am


Visitor said:


The like and dislike buttons were probably introduced because many contributors here talk past each other and not to each other. When thy seldom talk to each other a shouting match, often, takes place. So, it was meant as a blowing steam tool in case someone wants to tell a contributor to buzz off instead of actually saying it.

The comment which exceeds a total of 50 votes or more gets highlighted red and the note at the bottom appears automatically. In theory, this is meant to say that the contributor said something worth debating.

We know who is manipulating this tool and he is the most ridiculous contributor as you pointed out. Getting his ridiculous comments highlighted in red gives his depraved ego a much needed boost that he is unable to get anywhere else.

December 9th, 2012, 1:30 am


Majedkhaldoun said:

Syrialover and Observer
The point I was leading to im my question to Syrialover is, Freedom is much more important than democracy, Democracy has a major disadvantage in a country that has many sects, especially in Syria where 80% are Sunni.
We have to have a system where minorities rights of freedom , justice and equality are provided, so Secularism and religious system are both wrong, we need civil system.
A committee of wise people must be established to whatch over minoties rights protection.

December 9th, 2012, 1:32 am


Warren said:

Syria: Rebel Prisoners On Their Religious War

Interviewing people who, under different circumstances, might kill you is a strange experience.

To the soundtrack of multiple rocket launchers and small arms fire, I met six men who the Syrian authorities told us were jihadist rebel fighters captured by the army.

We were in a Ministry of Interior prison near Damascus in an area now close to the front lines.

The men, four Syrian, an Iraqi, and a Turk, said they had indeed been in the jihadist movement fighting President Assad’s forces, but now renounced the armed struggle even though they continued to espouse Salafist ideology. All are awaiting court appearances.

Jamil Us Turk, Ahmed al Rabido, Hamid Hassan al Attar, Bahar al Bashah, Ali Hussein and Mahmoud al Ahab said they were happy to be interviewed and had not been badly treated.

At one point I asked the guards to leave, spoke with the men alone and checked them for obvious signs of mistreatment, which were not apparent. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International both accuse the Syrian regime of routinely torturing prisoners.

As far as I could ascertain, the men were who they said they were. The Turkish man spoke Turkish, the Iraqi had an Iraqi accent, they displayed religious knowledge of the sort taught to those with a Salafist mindset.

Most of the rebel militias are not radical jihadists, but in the last few months there appears to have been a sharp increase in the number of foreign fighters coming to Syria.

The Syrian authorities are keen to promote the view that they are fighting an al Qaeda type force which partially explains why, after much pushing, we were allowed rare access into the jail.

Mahmoud al Ahab, who described himself as a Palestinian Syrian, told me he was in the al Nusra Front which he said was an al Qaeda group. He had sworn an oath of allegiance to al Nursa but now felt this was a mistake.

Ahmed al Rabido, a 48-year-old Syrian, said he was a religious leader, a Mufti, in the Free Syrian Army.

“I joined because I wanted to demolish the secular state… I don’t believe in this anymore because the country is being ruined,” he said.

Bahar al Basah, 35, another Palestinian Syrian, told me he was influenced by the writings of Abu Qatada, the radical cleric currently under house arrest in the UK.

The men only became animated when I showed a little knowledge of Salafist ideology and brought up the works of Islamists such as the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb.

This led to a question about the future of Syria’s minorities such as the Christians. Ahmed, Basah, and Hamid Hassan all agreed – Christians could only live there if they either converted, or paid the ‘Jizyah’ – a special tax levied on non-Muslims in previous centuries in the Middle East. If not said Bahar, they could be killed.

When asked why, the answer was, to them, quite simple – because the Prophet Mohammed said so. I was then invited to become a Muslim.

The conversation verged on the surreal. There we were talking in a quite friendly manner, with the occasional joke, about killing people because they wouldn’t pay the Jizyah, which critics regard as effectively obtaining money through menaces.

The interview ended with Ahmed volunteering that eventually Muslims must reclaim Andalucia in Spain for the Islamic Caliphate.

His logic, that it was justified because Spain used to be under Islam, was somewhat undermined when he went on to say that Islam should move on to bring the UK under its control and indeed, eventually, the whole world.

This was a rare first-hand glimpse into the jihadi mindset.

The men are not representative of the FSA, indeed many militia units are deeply suspicious of the jihadists’ aims.

However, it appears that a lot of the best weapons are reaching the jihadist groups, and they are using these to gain influence and territory.

Even if the rebels overthrow the government, they won’t just have a problem dealing with militia from the minority groups, they will have problems with each other.

As the men left to go back to their cells, we shook hands.

Two of them were still trying to convert me, asking me, with a smile, to say the Shahada ‘La ilaha il Allah’ – there is no God but Allah.

Men like this scare Syria’s Christians, Allawites, Shia, Druze, and Kurds, indeed they frighten many of the countries Sunnis, but the war here is now so steeped in blood that compromise seems almost impossible to achieve, and there are now people on both sides who reject compromise out of hand.



The tone and context of the coverage of the insurgency is changing, the narrative of innocent peaceful soonites wanting democracy versus evil dictator Bashar is now being challenged. The fact the US state department has listed the main soonite insurgent group Al Nusra an al aqaeda franchise a designated/proscribed terror organization. Along with the BBC, Sky News, France 24 just to name a few western pro-soonite insurgency media organs acknowledging the terrorist jihadi presence is a positive development. And non-too subtle example of western impatience and disillusionment, with the soonite insurgency.

December 9th, 2012, 1:35 am


ghufran said:

Latest from Moaz and Doha block:
قال رئيس “الائتلاف الوطني” المعارض معاذ الخطيب، يوم السبت، إن هناك مشاورات مع أطياف المعارضة بهدف تشكيل حكومة انتقالية لإدارة المرحلة القادمة، مشيرا إلى أن الشعب السوري سيتصدى لأي محاولة لتقسيم البلاد.
وأشار الخطيب في خطاب مصور، نشرته وسائل الإعلام، إلى أن “أطيافا من المعارضة تجري مشاورات لتشكيل حكومة انتقالية من أجل إدارة المرحلة المقبلة”، لافتا إلى أن “الائتلاف لا يسعى إلى مناصب أو توزيع حصص، وسيحل تلقائياً بعد إجراء أول انتخابات حرة في سوريا”.
وكان المتحدث باسم “لائتلاف الوطني” المعارض، وليد البني افاد ،في وقت سابق السبت، أن الائتلاف سيختار رئيس الحكومة السورية المؤقتة غدا الأحد, وذلك في اجتماع طارئ يعقده الائتلاف بالقاهرة, نافيا أن يكون رئيس الوزراء السوري السابق المنشق رياض حجاب هو أقوى المرشحين للمنصب.
وأضاف الخطيب أن “هناك مساع حثيثة من أجل بناء هيئة قضائية لكي لا يعم الفراغ في سوريا بعد سقوط النظام الحالي”، مشيرا إلى أن “هناك العديد من الهيئات القضائية والشرعية في العديد من المناطق المحررة من أجل منع انتشار الفوضى”.
ودعا رئيس “الائتلاف الوطني” المعارض “جميع أطياف الشعب السوري إلى التوحد”، مشيرا إلى أن “النظام فرض حالات معقدة على الجميع، وجر الشعب السوري إلى محرقة، ودمر البلاد والجيش”.
ولفت الخطيب إلى أن “الثورة مستمرة وهي سلمية، إلا أن النظام وحده هو من دفع الناس إلى حمل السلاح”، مشيرا إلى أن “الائتلاف يسعى إلى الحصول على اعتراف أكبر عدد من الدول”.

December 9th, 2012, 1:38 am


Altair said:

@AIG #9
AIG said:
“The basic assumption that the regime is acting in its best interests is suspect. The situation would not have become so dismal if the regime had not made mistake after mistake. Why torture the kids in Der’a? What is rational about that? Why alienate Turkey? Why not agree to reforms before this whole mess happened? Why would a person that said that the Arab Spring would never reach Syria, one month before it did, be considered rational?”

Lund should have said “perceived” self interest. The regime miscalculated time and again. I think the miscalculations have to with basically a conservative choice: follow the path that was proven to work in the 80s. The radical choice would have been to reform, and the regime just wasn’t prepared to do it.

-Torturing the kids was probably not a policy decision from the top but a local decision of stupid local officials.
-Alienating Turkey was a major miscalculation, but the regime probably didn’t intend it. It was just a result of the same problem of using the solution that worked in the 80s: shoot first, ask questions later. The Turkish government (to its credit) switched positions fairly quickly, and it’s likely that the Syrian regime was just too slow to see it coming. But it wasn’t irrational.
-Reforms: one could see in the early stages that they considered it. They made a rational choice later that they would be too risky. They likely thought the regime would be weakened and fall.
-As to the last question, it wasn’t irrational for Bashar to believe the Arab Spring wouldn’t reach Syria. It was his belief that it had more to do with dignity vis-a-vis Israel and other hostile forces than the dignity of the people vis-a-vis their governments. Mubarak was the biggest sycophant in the region and never lost an opportunity to serve Israel or Israel’s “friends”.

Indeed, the stance against Israel has only strengthened the Syrian government, making many of its followers believe that opponents are traitors. Conversely some Syrian opposition figures, especially outside ones, did their best to discredit themselves saying things that were considered pro-Israel, or not sufficiently resistant to Israel. It only goes to show that there is stupidity on both sides.

Finally, there isn’t really any benefit to using chemical weapons at close quarter, as Lund says. They have massively greater firepower anyway, and are using it with the air force. Why risk it? Aside from being a massive, massive miscalculation, it could result in blowback-LITERALLY!

December 9th, 2012, 1:39 am


Warren said:

US Syria envoy: Extremists gaining in opposition

Ambassador Robert Ford says extremists in Syrian opposition an obstacle to political solution; points to Iraqi al-Qaida affiliate.

WASHINGTON – The top US envoy to Syria warned on Thursday that extremists were gaining influence in the Syrian opposition and that this influence would only increase the longer fighting dragged on in the Levant country.

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, speaking to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described extremist groups that had “little by little been gaining influence among the armed opposition.” He pointed particularly to an al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq that is now operating in Syria.


December 9th, 2012, 1:57 am


MarigoldRan said:

The regime continues to lose ground and has plans to use chemical weapons.

If they do so, the US and the West will be honor-bound to destroy the regime.

To use chemical weapons is suicidal. To not use chemical weapons is to die a slow death. What will the regime choose?

December 9th, 2012, 2:38 am



Thank you for providing the link!

Thank you for your comment!

December 9th, 2012, 3:22 am


annie said:

From the article : “decision-makers seem to be acting rationally and in their own best interest” Destroying the country is rational? Bombing civilians is in their interest ?

Lesley Hazleton :what a wonderful woman and I love her presentations. Thank you 24. SYR.EXPAT

December 9th, 2012, 3:30 am


Syrialover said:

How to Build an Army in Your Basement

From homemade rockets to car bombs, take a look at the weapons that Syria’s rebels are using to defeat Bashar al-Assad.


Comment: I wish to hell no young Syrian had ever had to see or touch or hear or carry a weapon.

Bashar Assad and his rotten criminal gang have damaged so many normal innocent lives.

December 9th, 2012, 5:43 am



You are most welcome!

December 9th, 2012, 6:08 am


Syrialover said:


I am not sure if we are on the same page. You have confused me a bit.

You said: “We have to have a system where minorities rights of freedom,justice and equality are provided”

To me, a properly run democracy means a system where everyone has equal rights and these rights are protected both by law and social norms.

Denmark, for example might have 4% of its population Muslim but because it’s a secular democracy they have full and identical rights to everyone else.

You said: “Secularism and religious system are both wrong, we need civil system”

To me, secular (ie separation of the state and religion) and civil (civilian-run) amount to the same.

Once you start having quotas and special deals for minorities you run the risk of developing protected species and that’s not good for democracy.

Look, my concept of democracy goes way beyond the ballot box. It is better expressed by other things. For example, a system where everyone pays taxes because they know, trust and agree that the money will be used for common benefit.

If you read my previous comments addressed to you, is there anything included or missing from my “must have” list for Syria that would result in neglecting or threatening freedoms?

December 9th, 2012, 6:14 am


Syrialover said:


Ignore the “votes” system. It’s daily corrupted, hacked and manipulated by some people here and has lost all meaning.

They are very crude and not at all clever

ALDENDESHE/SRP is one of the prime pranksters but there are also others who have been very busy doing it for a long time.

God knows why. It’s creepy that they choose this site to haunt.

December 9th, 2012, 6:31 am


Citizen said:

Already, Al-Jazeera have to recognize that simple Syrians do not support the Islamists of the “Free Syrian Army”

December 9th, 2012, 7:59 am


Citizen said:

Report: Israeli ( AIG ) secretly operating in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 9 (UPI) — Israel has embarked on a covert war to monitor Syria’s chemical and biological weapons, The Sunday Times of London reported.

“For years we’ve known the exact location of Syria’s chemical and biological munitions,” an Israeli source told the newspaper, adding, ” … in the past week we’ve got signs that munitions have been moved to new locations.”

The “cross-border operation is part of a secret war to trail Syria’s non-conventional armaments and sabotage their development,” the newspaper said, adding special Israeli forces are operating as spotters to track the chemical stockpiles.

The decision to conduct such a mission came after Israel rejected the idea of conducting an aerial or ground assault to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons, mainly purchased from Russia, the newspaper said.

If it becomes apparent that chemical weapons are being used by Assad, then Israel and the United States may coordinate to carry out a ground invasion, the paper said.

There has been no Israeli government response to the report.

U.S. officials said the White House and its allies are weighing military operations to secure Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, Haaretz said.

Israel has also been in contact with Jordan to coordinate the issue. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said his country is preparing “for different scenarios” and said the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be considered a “game changer.”

Syrian rebels Saturday captured a chloride factory at Al Safira east of Aleppo considered to be the country’s biggest chemical weapons store and base, which also houses Syrian Scud D missiles armed with chemical warheads adjusted to fire at Israel, Debka.com reported.

“The fall of Al Safira into rebel hands crosses a red line and places the Assad regime in direct peril. Possession of the chemical-tipped Scuds gives the rebels their strongest weapon for forcing the Syrian army to capitulate,” Debka said.


December 9th, 2012, 8:05 am


Citizen said:

Apocalyptic Hysteria: Obama’s Creative Imagination Trumps Facts In His Narrative About Syria

When speaking on Syria, President Obaaama sounds more like a crazy Mayan priest than a rational, 21st century, post-Enlightenment American statesman.

Numerous experts have poured cold water on the Obama administration’s wild claim that the Syrian government is getting ready to use chemical weapons on its own people. McClatchy reports:
With concern over the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stockpile reaching a fever pitch this week, international experts are cautioning against alarmism, saying there’s no confirmation that the Syrians are mixing weapons components or loading them into delivery systems, as some U.S. news organizations have reported.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/12/07/176799/experts-skeptical-syria-is-preparing.html?storylink=addthis#.UMN0FZ9TW-U.blogger#storylink=cpy
On Monday, December 3rd, President Barack Obaaama warned Assad against using chemical weapons on Syrians, saying, “if you make mistake of using — there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.” Big words. But, so far, there has been little action from the White House.

Should we take Mr. Obaaama seriously and be concerned that Assad is going to gas his own people any day now? No. I put more stock in the claims that the world is going to end on December 21st.

When speaking on Syria, President Obaaama sounds more like a crazy Mayan priest than a rational, 21st century, post-Enlightenment American statesman.

It is well known that Obaaama has a creative imagination and likes to play loose with the facts. This character trait is why he is so popular in Hollywood. He is one of them, a storyteller.

Read, “Obama’s Failed Narrative,” by Peter Suderman. Suderman wrote, “One of Obama’s key modes for grappling with the world, as it happens, is to rewrite it—preferably with a melancholy, literary bent.”

December 9th, 2012, 8:15 am


Citizen said:

Israeli ( AIG )Ya’alon: No sign Syria may use WMDs against Israel
There is no sign the Syrian regime might use chemical weapons against Israel, Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Sunday in an interview with Israel Radio.

“Over the past decades Syria has armed itself with missiles and chemical weapons,” Ya’alon said, adding that due to the state’s effective deterrence, the Syrians have thus far not used their weapons against Israel.

‘Israel sought Jordan’s permission to bomb Syria’
‘Syria mixing chemicals to make deadly gas’
Ya’alon declined to comment on a Sunday Times report that special IDF units are operating in Syria to locate chemical weapons stockpiles.

Prime Minster Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday addressed concerns that Syrian President Bashar Assad could be preparing to use chemical weapons in his fight to survive, stating that Israel was monitoring the situation closely.

Israel has said on several occasions in the past that it would take military action if necessary to prevent Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or other terror groups.

December 9th, 2012, 8:56 am


Hanzala said:

NGO: Syria Rebels Seize Chunk of Aleppo Base

Syrian rebels on Sunday seized control of a large sector of Sheikh Suleiman base west of Aleppo, bringing them closer to holding a large swathe of territory extending to the Turkish border in the north.

The rebels took control of Regiment 111 and three other company posts located inside the base after fierce fighting overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Two rebels and one soldier were killed, while five soldiers were captured. The prisoners said that 140 of their men had fled to the scientific research center on the base,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Sheikh Suleiman sprawls over nearly 200 hectares (500 acres) of rocky hills about 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Aleppo city, an area now almost completely under rebel control.


December 9th, 2012, 10:02 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You are describing a system based on law,that applies equally to all individuals, that is a civil system, yet you say you are secularist, Secularism will ban religious group,and religion system will ban secular group, they are enemies, civil system based on law of equality is friendly to both.
For example, what is happening in Egypt is exactly what I say, Mursi was elected democratically by 52% of people, the other group have little say in writing the constitution,if people vote to approve the new constitution by 55% there will be 45% will feel abandoned,and trouble will ensue.
What we need a democratic system that is modified,to protect minorities.where law of equality is above democratic decisions

December 9th, 2012, 10:06 am


Visitor said:

Any suggestions of going beyond what ballot boxes produce is political bastardization and another recipe for the rise of potential dictators. Other than crafting a constitution that may require the participation of experts from various fields and the requirement of a two third public vote of approval everything else must be decided through an ordinary majority vote, Period.

Secularism must not be accepted as a basis for new Syria unless a vote produces over 99% approval. I chose 99% on purpose because this is what dictators always get in their so-called secular system. They have been getting away with it for 100 years. Now it is time to deliver on their hypocrisy.

December 9th, 2012, 10:45 am


Ghufran said:

” إن المعترضين على اختيار الاخ الاستاذ رياض سيف في منصب نائب رئيس الائتلاف نسوا ان الرجل دفع ثمنا باهظا من حياته حين دخل السجون ودفع حياة ولده ثمنا لمعارضة النظام الذي قام باغتيال ابنه الذي سقط شهيدا
I read that Ryad’s son died a long time ago while he was swimming in Latakia, his funeral at that time was attended by many regime figures, Ryad himself was known to be Abduhalim Khaddam man,the statement above was made by Moaz.
News about the defection of Numair Wahib Ghanem to France have surfaced in the media, this has not been confirmed yet, the man is Syria’s ambassador to Algeria since 2007, his dad , a family doctor, was a prominent alawi Baathist from Liwaa Iskandaron who was widely respected in Latakia where he lived after his family was forced to leave Iskandaron.

December 9th, 2012, 11:00 am


Warren said:

Al-Masry Al-Youm Reports
On Brotherhood Torture Chambers

Al-Masry Al-Youm spent three hours in total in the torture chambers established by the Muslim Brotherhood at the gates of the Ittihadiya Palace in the suburb of Heliopolis. The central torture chamber, which is located in front of the gate facing the Omar Ibn Abdel Aziz Mosque on al-Merghany Street, is secured with a cordon and iron barriers, where the Central Security Forces (CSF) prevent the access of any persons without the authorization of the Brotherhood.

We entered the chamber with a great difficulty, after a fellow journalist from the Misr 25 TV channel facilitated. The channel is owned by the Brotherhood. There are brigades and police officers in military uniforms, as well as others in civilian clothes from al-Nozha police station, who oversee the beatings, whippings and torture. Fifteen others from the group, distinguished by their strong bodies, are supervised by three bearded and well-dressed men who decide who will be in the chamber and who may leave, even if the person is a member of the Brotherhood.

The torture process starts once a demonstrator who opposes President Mohammed Morsi is arrested in the clashes or is suspected after the clashes end, and the CSF separate Morsi’s supporters from his opponents. Then, the group members trade off punching, kicking and beating him with a stick on the face and all over his body. They tear off his clothes and take him to the nearest secondary torture chamber, from which CSF personnel, members of the Interior Ministry and the State Security Investigations Services (SSIS) are absent.

It is hard to determine how many locations there are, given that the torture chambers are established as near as possible to where a person is arrested. Before the interrogation process starts, they search him, seize his funds, cellphones or ID, all the while punching and slapping his face in order to get him to confess to being a thug and working for money.

They ask him why he took to the street, whether he got paid to take part in the protest and whether he supports Mohamed ElBaradei, founder of the Constitution Party, or Hamdeen Sabahi, founder of the Egyptian Popular Current or the dissolved Egyptian Nationalist movement. As long as this person denies the allegations, they beat him and insult his parents. After that, a person will videotape the interrogation and contact the Misr 25 TV channel to tell them about the interrogation and arrest.

After a while, the detainee is transported from the secondary torture chamber to the central one. On his way, the beatings and insults continue. Every time the prisoner encounters a member of the Brotherhood, that person gets in his share of the insults and beatings. They also may collectively insult him before he enters the central room, while a Brotherhood lawyer hands over his national ID card, his funds and his belongings to the SSIS chief. Some members of the group claim to have seized weapons from the detainee and handed them over to the officers at al-Nozha police station. However, we were unable to verify that.

A young detainee shouted in the faces of the men in the chamber: “I am a bearded sheikh, and Sheikh Safwat Hijazi will avenge me. I am a friend of all sheikhs. God is all I need and he is the best guardian; I am a Muslim just like you.” Another bleeding man said, “I am educated; I am not a thug, leave me alone.” A third person, born in the region of Sayyida Zaynab, was accused of following Fathi Srour, former speaker of the People’s Assembly, and got a significant share of the beatings.

The health conditions of some of the prisoners was very bad and they were unable to answer questions. Some of them were bleeding all over their bodies, severely exhausted and not receiving any medical aid. However, some got a bottle of water to drink or something to use to stop their bleeding.

Once 10 people had been arrested, police officers and state security chiefs in the chamber demanded that the three Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the room secure passage for the prisoners to the nearby al-Nozha police station and prevented the Brotherhood members from attacking them again.

This all really happened.

Once the arrested group left, another arrived. Outside the central torture chamber, three people were detained and brought into the security room within the palace at the main gate on Al-Ahram Street.

The Brotherhood youth don’t have control over this location. Their role ends once they hand over the arrestees to the guards. We successfully took a picture of one of the detained men, but the other two were already in the palace. The Brotherhood youth accused one of them of possessing a weapon and shooting a member of the group. Some detainees remained in the secondary torture chambers and were not handed over to the state security officers.

We left the place and found blood flowing on the sidewalk of the palace. Someone had tried to cover the blood with soil to remove it. However, no one will be able to clean the image of this blood from the memory of Egyptians for hundreds of years.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/12/muslim-brotherhood-egypt-torture-chambers.html#ixzz2EZjf3wRn


The Ikhwani mask drops! Taqqiyya soonites once again revealing their true nature! This is what is in store for Syria if the salafi-ikhwani insurrgency succeeds!

Syria must defeat these soonite terrorists!

December 9th, 2012, 12:11 pm


Warren said:

Lieberman: Golan Heights not negotiable

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman visited the Golan Heights on his campaign tour, where he said there will be no negotiations over the Golan Heights as long as he is a government member.

“The Israeli Law which applies to the Golan Heights has been in place since the days of former Prime Minister Menahem Begin, which means the Golan Heights are like Tel Aviv or Holon. The recent events in Syria proved the danger retreating from it. The heart of extreme Islam is present in Syria, and it is linked with World Jihad and al-Qaeda.” Lieberman said. (Ahiya Raved)


December 9th, 2012, 12:27 pm


Badr said:

In my conviction, democracy entails secularism, but the opposite is not necessarily true.

December 9th, 2012, 12:27 pm


Warren said:

PM: Hamas has shown its true colors – again

Netanyahu comments on Hamas chief’s militant speech in Gaza, says Israel wants ‘true peace with its neighbors but we’re not oblivious to reality’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Sunday on the speech given by Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal in Gaza Saturday, saying that “Over the last 24 hours we have been exposed, again, to Hamas’ true colors.”

Mashaal spoke at Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations in Gaza City, and declared that the Islamist movement would never recognize Israel and will “fight to free Palestine from the Zionist occupier.”

Hamas, Netanyahu told the Cabinet, “Has no intention of ever reaching a compromise with us. They want to destroy Israel. The State of Israel will overcome this enemy, but it was interesting to see how Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) didn’t condemn the statements calling for Israel’s destruction – just like he never condemns rocket fire.

“Unfortunately he is striving for unity with Hamas, which as we know is backed by Iran.”

The Israeli government, he added, “Has no illusions. We want true peace with our neighbors but we are not oblivious to reality. We won’t make another mistake like a unilateral withdrawal – the kind that has landed Hamas in power in Gaza.

“I’m always astounded by other people’s illusions that say that they are willing to continue this process and call it ‘peace.’ Giving these people any control of Judea and Samaria will have only one result – Gaza on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Hadera and Kfar Saba.

“This is why we have to stand up to international pressure, and that’s what the Israeli leadership should be – devoid of illusions and protective of Israel’s interests.”

Know thy enemy

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz added: “Mashaal’s visit to Gaza reminds us exactly who we’re dealing with. Some people are trying to foster a public illusion – that if we compromise just a little bit more than peace is right around the corner.

“Israel has a responsible leadership and we know what and who is in front of us. Mashaal declares he wants to destroy Israel and Abbas can’t even utter the words ‘Jewish state,'” he said. “The fact that Mashaal spoke of victory in Gaza doesn’t change the fact that Hamas was dealt a serious blow.”

Speaking further of Operation Pillar of Defense, Steinitz said that “The government did what needed to be done and deterrence has been restored. And if in the future it falters again, then we’ll have to strike with greater force.

“Looking at the situation right now – not one single rocket has been fired from Gaza since (the ceasefire) that means that we achieved our operational goals.”

President Shimon Peres also commented on the Hamas chief’s visit to Gaza, but unlike Netanyahu, who criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ lack of censure over Mashaal’s aggressive words, he chose to stress that the PA was still Israel’s peace partner.

“Khaled Mashaal exposed Hamas for what it is – a terror group that advocates bloodshed, that fosters poverty, hunger and misery among the Palestinian people.

“On the other side of Hamas there is Abu Mazen, who is a peace partner. He opposes terror and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.

“This is not just a time of elections it is also a time of choices. We have to choose between Gaza and the West Bank, between Abbas and Mashaal. It’s a choice and it has to be made,” he said.


December 9th, 2012, 12:32 pm


Visitor said:

“In my conviction, democracy entails secularism, but the opposite is not necessarily true.”

Democracy originated in paganistic culture and evolved into a system of governance LONG before secularism became known.

Unless the author of the above quoted statement cedes that paganism and secularism are synonyms, which in my opinion are not, then his/her statement becomes tautological.

December 9th, 2012, 1:13 pm


Citizen said:

Joshua try to find a way to translate!
Global redistribution.

December 9th, 2012, 1:18 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

“A Syrian official insisted last week that it would “never, under any circumstances” use such weapons”
The Syrian Regime lied all the time, so no one should trust this regime, and US is to blame for doing nothing before Assad use chemical weapons,to wait for Assad to use chemical weapons is criminal mistake, if there is 1% chance Assad may use chemical weapons it is worth it to pre-empt Assad by removing him and the possibilty of such massive crime.It is wrong to wait and then say sorry it is too late

December 9th, 2012, 2:14 pm


zoo said:

Russia’s hardening its tone: Forget about removing Bashar Al Assad.

New talks on Syria involving Russia, US

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian and U.S. diplomats are meeting Sunday with U.N. peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi for more talks on the civil war in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that the Americans were wrong to see Moscow as softening its position.

Russia agreed to take part in the talks in Geneva, he said, on the condition there would be no demand for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov said Sunday. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”

December 9th, 2012, 2:15 pm


Visitor said:

Regiment 111 is no more. It is now FSA property.

December 9th, 2012, 2:26 pm


zoo said:

Nine Idlib judges defect..
One can wonder if they did that freely in a region controlled by armed rebels and islamic jihadists?


“Nine Syrian judges and prosecutors also defected to the opposition.

The Observatory said the latest defectors came from the northern city of Idlib.”

December 9th, 2012, 2:27 pm


zoo said:

More on Russia’s ‘softening its position”..


Russia’s foreign minister said that after he agreed to a U.S. proposal to have his and Clinton’s deputies “brainstorm” on Syria, the Americans began to suggest that Russia was softening its position.

“No such thing,” Lavrov said. “We have not changed our position.”

He urged the international community to come together and “with one voice” to demand a cease-fire, return U.N. observers in bigger numbers and begin a political dialogue. Lavrov repeated that Russia was not wedded to Assad but believed that only the Syrians have the right to choose their leaders.

December 9th, 2012, 2:29 pm


zoo said:

A sobering reality check from a media that seems to operate a U-turn.

Syria crisis: a beseiged Damascus remains loyal to Assad

Much of the Syrian capital remains firmly behind President Bashar al-Assad’s regime – if only for fear of what might replace it.

One of the reasons that President Bashar al-Assad has not been toppled like the Arab Spring dictators of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is that he has a strong base of support. Rebels have found to their cost that some of the suburbs are doggedly loyal to Mr Assad, and refuse to allow the anti-government forces to pass through.

“The regime seems very strong and held together, but it is a paper tiger,” said a spokesman for the Revolution Leadership Council.

But analysts and ordinary residents of Damascus tell a different story: one in which, in many areas, the regime remains very much in control, and indeed cannot be deposed by purely rebel military offensives.

“In Damascus, there is no sign that the city is about to fall,” said Samir.

“Too many people support Bashar al-Assad. Everything is fine in my neighbourhood. There are all the supplies we need, and life is almost normal. If the men that you call the Free Syrian Army are there, then they are hiding from the army.

“In the regular army there are Sunnis, Christians and Alawites. The FSA are Muslims that want to liberate us, but then why don’t the Muslims in Assad’s army want to fight for the FSA?”

Ahmed, a Sunni coach driver from the northern city of Raqqa, said: “We are scared of both sides. If this were a true popular revolution I would support it. I did support it.

“But then I saw that the Muslim Brotherhood leads the FSA, and no one wants that. I don’t want to live in an Islamic state.

“The FSA are also thieves. They stopped my friend’s coach on the road outside Raqqa. They ordered the passengers off the bus and then drove it away.”

December 9th, 2012, 2:42 pm


Aldendeshe said:

The diabolically evil Islamists are joining voice with Jews in fever for foreigners to come in and bomb Syria’s National WMD stockpile of deadly Biological and Chemical Weapons, the largest in the world, it can kill all humans on earth 3 times over. What these Diablo are not paying attention to in their hate fever to the people of Syria, as they demonstrated in the past 2 years, is that nearly 3-4 million Sunni Moslems and Kurds will be subjected to assured death after such bombings by westerly and easterly wind patterns and desert winds that blow toward Iraqi Kurdistan. The cities that most likely its inhabitant will be wiped out totally are Hama, Aleppo, Idlib, Antioch, some Turkish towns and environs as well as areas and town in Iraqi Kurdistan. In that event, you can account for any Syrian retaliation against other countries in the event that wind will blew these biological and Chemicals around and caused such death. What will the United Nations responsibiliy be in those events, is not such undertaking should be approved by the Security Council? What if winds in the events of bombing spread biological weapons in large area of Turkey, killing millions, who will be held responsible for this dastardly deed by the NATO attackers, what kind of laws suits could this bring against culprits, what kind of retaliation is fair then? Why would Syrians have no right to self defense when 3 millions of Syria Sunni Moslems perish of Bio carrier wind blowing across the wide region? What if Assad removes his stockpile and stores it near Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon borders. I don’t think a Lebanese will look Chic in glowing orange blistered skins and faces. How are you going to stop wind of blowing in various directions?

This already happened in the Middle East and destroyed most of the land and people, here is proof f it:

And why anyone should be afraid of WMD when in this day of age country like Iran and North Korea can simply launch into space a robotic or manned system that can grab any rock from space and tow it back to hit any country on earth, upon impact, it will explode in more powerful blast than a 100 nuke. Directed at England or Europe, it is a one or 2 blast hit.

December 9th, 2012, 2:50 pm


zoo said:

The irreversible pollution of the FSA by foreign ‘tourists’


n the heavily bombed town of Maaret al-Numan, a Libyan with African features welcomed the AFP journalist at the front line. “Do you speak Italian?” he asked in the European language he knows best, before rushing back into the fray.

In the Jebel Akrad mountains, four Saudi men run the online websites of Islamist groups such as the Al-Nusra Front. They live in an abandoned apartment in the town of Salma, with a rocket-propelled grenade sitting in the living room near a copy of the Koran.

Asked what they are doing in Syria, they replied: “Tourism.”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Dec-08/197746-patchwork-of-foreign-fighters-in-rebel-held-syria.ashx#ixzz2EaOfYHAr
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

December 9th, 2012, 2:59 pm


Visitor said:

The donkey has brayed once more @92

نهق الحمار

December 9th, 2012, 3:01 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I tink a lot more demeaning of your Allah, his genocide tool Mohammed, and his filth the Quran, so you can imagine what I think of 1.3 billion people like you. I say lets do it, about time, past due in fact, man is never going to be free, independent and advance evolutionary before that final one that destroy the children of darkness off the earth.

Mohammed ok (HALAL) sex with donkey and animals:

How to have sex with Humar:

December 9th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Visitor said:

The donkey @95 AlDendeshe is not just a straight donkey. it has just evolved from its leechy fungi state of existence. it is now a new species – a gay-donkey.

December 9th, 2012, 3:17 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I am happy that Allah is such a F***ng idiot, he got people like you to fight for him and his Moslems. If he is any good, he would have found someone else than an illiterate child molester named Mohammad and you to help him spread his filth on earth.

December 9th, 2012, 3:21 pm


zoo said:

Expectedly Saudi Arabia mouthpiece bashes the Moslem Brotherhood that they never trusted.

The Brotherhood, the constitution and tyranny

By Osman Mirghani, Asharq Al-Awsat’s Senior Editor-at-Large.

The problem with the Muslim Brotherhood is that they lost their credibility in the eyes of a considerable portion of the Egyptian people within just a few months as a result of their manoeuvres, their lack of commitment to their pledges, their tendency towards despotism and their attempts to impose their vision by means of fraud and intimidation.
The recent constitutional decree crisis is nothing more than one chapter in a book of such crises written by the Brotherhood with their own hand since the January 2011 revolution. This has exposed their tendency towards despotism, and the Brotherhood has suffered heavy losses as a result of their failure to fulfil their promises.
This was clear ever since their most famous failed pledge, namely that they would not put forward a candidate for the presidency and that they would not seek to dominate the parliament or Constituent Assembly, not to mention their assurances that the draft constitution would be based on consensus and compromise between different components and categories of Egyptian society.

December 9th, 2012, 3:34 pm


Visitor said:

The ex-fungi, now donkey, @97 AlDendeshe, thinks he is involved in a fight!!!

Donkeys are only good as beasts of burden. They are not suitable for fights. You ain’t even a mule yet!!!

Long way to go fungi-donkey!!!

December 9th, 2012, 3:34 pm


Citizen said:

The New York Times -Syrian Rebels Tied to Al Qaeda Play Key Role in War
BAGHDAD — The lone Syrian rebel group with an explicit stamp of approval from Al Qaeda has become one of the uprising’s most effective fighting forces, posing a stark challenge to the United States and other countries that want to support the rebels but not Islamic extremists.


December 9th, 2012, 4:04 pm


Observer said:

Is Aldendeshe for real? Mark I fully support his freedom of expression but his/her posts are totally irrelevant.
Between Warren ANN and Al there is noise and humdrum and nothing else.

At least zoo has something to say and I do miss ALI and Majbali

So I am now going to check SANA and Addounia and if anyone can tell me where to find Alikhbaria that would be great as well.


December 9th, 2012, 4:20 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Not sure why Assad needs to load missiles with WMD, just have it mixed and ready stocked in open air in strategic location, then invite the morons of the world to come and bomb it. Wind will take care of the rest of the plan and the United Nations will need to deal with the aftermath. After all, this is a matter for the Security Council and nations involved in world security not something can be determined by unreliable and warmongers. Bombing Syria’s National WMD stockpile of deadly Biological and Chemical Weapons, the largest in the world, enough to kill all humans on earth 3 times over is not the sole decision of one power or State. Someone will have to go and get it intact, invade Syria and risk the consequence of Syria’s self-defense retaliation. Just attacking it from the air will risk the life of 5-6 million Sunni Moslems, Turkmen and Kurds in Syria and Iraq, Winds and streams will subject them all to assured death by westerly and easterly normal regional patterns of the mountain, plain and desert blowing toward Iraqi Kurdistan and Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, depend on where the stockpile is located The cities that most likely its inhabitant will be wiped out totally are Hama, Aleppo, Idlib, Antioch, some Turkish towns and environs as well as areas and town in Iraqi Kurdistan could be annihilated In that event. You can account on Syrian retaliation against other countries in the event that wind will blow these lethal biological and Chemicals agents around and caused such death in Syrian Cities. What will be the United Nations responsibility is in such an attack that is clearly carried out in violation of International Laws and treaties, as well as United Nation vey system it was established upon to prevent World Wars from starting by unilateral action by rouge Sate. Those events are not an undertaking should be approved by the Security Council first? What if winds in the events of bombing spread biological weapons in large area of Turkey, killing millions, who will be held responsible for this dastardly deed by the NATO attackers, killing citizens of a NATO country? What kind of lawsuits, or political outcome this unintended consequence will bring about in countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, would a military coup in Ankara take place in retaliation and break with NATO, joining a Russian-Iranian led alliance. The Bible clearly mention by names that such is exactly the countries alignment’s in the final war in the Middle East that will lead to an all-out world WWIII. What kind of retaliation is fair then? Why would Syrians have no right to self-defense when 3 millions+ of Syria’s Sunni Moslems perish by wind carrying Bio-germ-chemical agents, blowing across the wide region? What if Assad removes his stockpile and stores it near Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon borders. I don’t think a Lebanese Hariri will look good in glowing corpse orange blistered skins and faces. How are you going to stop wind of blowing in various directions?

This already happened in the Middle East and destroyed most of the land and people, here is proof f it:


And why anyone should be afraid of WMD when in this day of age country like Iran and North Korea can simply launch into space a robotic or manned system that can grab any rock from space and tow it back to hit any country on earth, upon impact, it will explode in more powerful blast than a 100 nuke. Directed at England or Europe, it is a one or 2 blast hit.

December 9th, 2012, 4:32 pm


aron said:

Altair # 61 – You’re correct, I should have said “perceived” self interest. They’ve made a lot of bad choices even from their own perspective, but most of that I put down to the narrow vision and dysfunctionality of the regime. Mening, even if they spot a problem and manage to come up with a proper solution (from their own point of view), they won’t necessarily be able to implement it in an effective fashion.

I agree with your comment more or less in full. I would just add that I think there was a strict limit to how much reform/liberalization the regime could carry out without imploding (and Bashar knew this), it wasn’t just about whether they liked or disliked the idea. For example, holding free elections would have killed the regime. There just never was a real “reform” option on the table for Assad and his cronies. Gary Gambill has made this point very well in some articles from last year.

Also, on Assad’s statements about how the revolutions would not come to Syria, I think that was mostly propaganda. He said they wouldn’t, to play down popular expectation that they would and keep the wall of fear intact – it was definitely a rational course of action at the time.

December 9th, 2012, 4:43 pm


Darryl said:

99. VISITOR said:

“Donkeys are only good as beasts of burden. They are not suitable for fights. You ain’t even a mule yet!!!”

Dear Visitor, why are you bad mouthing donkeys? The middle east will come to a screeching halt if it was not for the noble and patient donkey. Imagine all those vendors who still use it as a cheap and green transport method and the donkeys have to put up with pedestrians who jump in front of them all the time, something drivers of other vehicles will create an Armageddon scene for.

Lastly, no other animal will tolerate the lack of respect that middle easterners show 24/7 except the humble and useful donkey. Please have some respect for donkeys!

December 9th, 2012, 5:04 pm


Tara said:


Hi Darryl.

Do the posts of SNP satisfy an unfulfilled desire you could’ve never been able to indulge in, May I ask?

I am hoping for an honest answer .

You know Darryl, I have never thought of myself as a Sunni woman. I was once very close to marry a Coptic man. I never have imagined the amount of hatred people harbor in their heart. Something is really pathological in people’s upbringing in the ME.

December 9th, 2012, 5:21 pm



FSA in the Damascus area liberates another air defense base and captures a mobile anti-aircraft missile launcher pod complete with missile (I hope) and a radar. If the FSA is able to operate it, up to six planes could be shut down with this unit. Not bad.

In Aleppo, the FSA liberates yet another air defense base (Shaikh Sulaiman) and gets hold of at least one anti-aircraft gun. I hope it is a the 23mm version. This gun, according to the article linked to yesterday by SYRIALOVER is “responsible for 90 percent of the aircraft brought down in Syria.”

A big and strange bomb dropped over Darayya does not explode. It is safe to assume that the FSA will try to send it back to the source.

Another general falls in the hands of the FSA:
الجيش الحر يلقي القبض على العميد المجرم “سمير ابراهيم الطالب”

December 9th, 2012, 5:22 pm


Syrialover said:


Thanks for your reponse.

Maybe you and I have different experiences and understanding of what a democracy is meant to be. I have lived both in democracies and under alternative systems.

But I am interested in your perspective and respect it, because it will possibly be shared by people in Syria who are distrustful and uncertain of how their country should be organized and run post-Assad.

Maybe you are fully aware of all I say below, but still feel that way. I am interested to know.

To answer your points:

The banning of religious groups by a “secular system” is what happens under non-democratic systems such as communism or dictatorships.

Religious groups can NEVER be banned or forbidden their right to gather to worship or run a religious institution in a democracy. They are also free to form parties and compete in elections like anyone else.

But back to the basics. I understand a secular system to be one where there is a strong separation of religion and the state. This is to ensure that power does not lie with one group based on their particular belief system and cultural institutions. In other words = democracy.

However, as I said, there is nothing to stop a religion-oriented political party running in a democratic election and even winning it fairly. But there will be a lot of checks and balances in the system to stop them bringing in new rules or following processes tailored to suit their religion and its followers or give them special treatment or privileges different from everyone else.

Democracies ALWAYS result in a (sometimes very substantial) percentage of the population feeling annoyed and thwarted because “their side” did not win the election. It’s true in the USA, in France, India, anywhere a democratic system is operating.

But the huge difference between that and what is happening post-election in Egypt is that the “losers” can be consoled and confident in knowing that they will have their turn to try again under the same rules in a couple of years.

That’s why Morsi and Co are a double-faced rats, fools and rule-breakers because they were elected on one basis, but then tried to change the rules and significantly re-write Morsi’s own job description, discarding the one that people elected him under.

The other difference in a proper democracy is that they always have what is known as a “loyal opposition”. This is defined as a minority party in a parliament whose opposition to the party in power is “constructive, responsible, and bounded by loyalty to fundamental interests and principles”. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loyal%20opposition)

In other words, everyone who is elected to that parliament, regardless of what party they are in, is at some level united in trying to act in the best interests of the country, not put this below their party or personal individual interests.

This “loyal opposition” concept also means that the job of a party in opposition is not just to make trouble for the party in power and be obstructive and disruptive, but to provide open debate, counterbalancing views, constructive criticism and alternative potential policies as part of the democratic system.

Look at how the US Republicans and Democrats thrashed and insulted each other during the election, but are now back to business as before – cooperating in committees, formally voting for or against bills, and consulting, collaborating and making joint decisions in many other ways. All the elected politicians on both sides are being paid out of Americans’ taxes to do their job professionally, follow the rules and contribute to a healthy democratic system.

That’s what Syrians deserve as well.

PS In theory, a military government, dictatorship, communist system or theocracy should be more efficient and effective than a democracy because it doesn’t have all those complicated and sometimes messy decision making processes and inclusion of different views.

But it ALWAYS turns out to be the exact opposite because those non-democratic systems are always run by incompetent and corrupt thugs and idiots who got there by wielding a gun, not by being able to win trust and respect from the population and run things properly, work hard and make complex decisions.

December 9th, 2012, 5:29 pm


Syrialover said:


Quite right, bravo for donkeys. These animals have been a great friend and uncomplaining workmate to the people of the Middle East for many thousands of years.

I like to see the affection and respect which donkeys receive from the community in many Syrian villages. They are only disrespected and ill treated by ignorant people who have never had to directly rely on them.

December 9th, 2012, 5:39 pm


Aldendeshe said:

So many wannabe here with less intellect than a bug think I am here to talk and impress them. In need for a positive feed back, ARROGANCE like that of Amen.

There is also the possibility of retaliation by the Annunaki against any country causing this kind of upheaval in Syria. Amen/Marduk is the idiot of creation, his Stella’s, an icon of domination and possession is clearly erected in the known places. Should any country under his rule attack Syria and cause such genocide, those countries will be the target of retaliation by the Annunaki Assembly. The end result is clearly stated in the Christian Bible. It said that the beast, the one eyed dajjal, who claimed superiority against all other gods and attempted to rule the earth and heaven supreme, will ends up being locked up in the bottomless pit with the devil for 1000 years. So basically both Amen/Marduk and the R*ep*ti*le*s Dra^cos and grey helping him will all be thru huge geophysically induced changes (cataclysmic earth crust displacement by ELF vibration) get all locked up in the bottom of a pit in the earth belly for a millennium, until their surviving serving helpers established though secret societies helps them be free again after the 1000 years. Incredibly, the Bible called the place “bottomless pit” because , it is bottomless, it is open at the Antarctic, where earlier German Nationalist forces were operating and recently U.S. lead forces were practically at war with some sort of aliens. It hard to tell, which alien are allied with Amen/Marduk forces and which are at war with him and his earthling stooges.

Earth will live in peace, prosperity and great spiritual, cultural and technological evolution during his incarceration with the lizards locked up in the bottomless pit of earth. `

Assad needs to understand that he needs to submit his prayer and seek help from the Annunaki Assembly, in particular Shamash and Adad, El and Enlil and descendants who are against Marduk supremacy. Also be ready like Iran to provide safe heaven, bases or operation to the Annunaki allies.

No links provided, the material stated above is common knowledge to Christians and people who have need to know bases clearance. For laymen, just type on Google and YouTube any term and you will find plenty of videos and articles about it.

December 9th, 2012, 5:41 pm


Darryl said:

104. TARA said:

“Hi Darryl.

Do the posts of SNP satisfiy an infulfiled desire you could’ve never been able to indulge in, May I ask?”

Dear Tara,

I do not read SNP or aldendeshe posts as I find them hard to follow and all over the place. Tara, I do not disrespect you as a Muslim or all Muslims, and if you have ever read my posts, I always refer to the Messenger of Islam as the “Messenger” except once.

My posts about religion are not meant to be derogatory and I always quote Islamic sources. My Christian upbringing ( I am not a regular church goer, as I believe religion is individual belief) does not interfere with my strong belief in earthly laws and constitutions that apply to every one before religious laws are taken into account.

This is where I have a problem with Islam as it disagrees with my belief system above.

December 9th, 2012, 5:42 pm


jna said:

SNC supporting Al Qaida affiliated Jabhat Al Nusra and condemning the American statement labeling them “A terrorist group”

Al Nusra terrorists then took an operation in Sere Kaniye, a town that include no Assad bases. Achievements: 96% of locals displaced.

The terrorist group has also targeted civilians in Aleppo several times, now aiming 2establish an Islamic Emirates in Aleppo as a beginning

Jabhat Al Khara has been involved in targeting civilians and is responsible for Eshrefiye massacre against Kurds.

So what? Al Qaida doesn’t give a fuck to any revolution or falling Assad regime, they have their own game.

December 9th, 2012, 5:45 pm



The unexploded big black bomb found in Darayya is actually a naval mine! Check it out. The Batta regime is getting very creative.


December 9th, 2012, 5:49 pm


ann said:

SKY News – More of those savage bearded monsters AKA Friends Of Hillary …

December 9th, 2012, 5:52 pm


Tara said:

Thanks Darryl.

I believe you.

December 9th, 2012, 5:53 pm


Visitor said:

Dear Darryl @ 103,

Where did you sense that I am showing disrespect for donkeys? On the contrary, I made a simple statement that everyone including yourself would agree with: donkeys are only good as beasts of burden,and your comment seems to agree with this statement.

I do not recall they have ever been used in fights! Have you?

I am dealing here with a special kind of donkey who just evolved from being a leechy fungi!

In the process the leechy fungi carried over its properties of leechiness when it attempted to fulfill the beast of burden role of a fungi-donkey!

But, this case by no means reflects on the general species of the mostly ‘noble’ creatures that you have in mind. It is a lowly kind of beast due to its lowly origin, not to mention that it is in a state of nonsalvageable eternal curse by its own admission.

December 9th, 2012, 5:56 pm


Majed97 said:

أفادت وكالة “الشرق الأوسط” المصرية للأنباء أن “الائتلاف الوطني” المعارض أرجأ مناقشة تشكيل حكومة مؤقتة إلى ما بعد مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا المقرر عقده بالمغرب في الـ 12 من الجاري.

Does this mean the US/Russian negotiations are actually making enough progress that may result in the formation of a broader transitional government to include all oppositions (internal and external), as well as government representatives??

December 9th, 2012, 6:25 pm


Tara said:

What is the US going to do if chemical weapons are used and blamed on “terrorists”.

Syria reaffirmed that it will not use Chemical Weapons

(Dp-news – Sana)
DAMASCUS- Syria on Saturday reaffirmed that it will not use chemical weapons, if it possesses any, whatever the circumstances as it is defending its people against terrorism supported by known countries, citing the USA on top.

“What raises concerns regarding this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government which did use the weapons,” said the Ministry in its letters.

Syria’s reaffirmation came in two identical letters addressed by the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry to the Chairman of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General.

Syria`s Foreign Ministry also referred in this context to information revealed by the Turkish Yurt newspaper which said that members from al-Qaeda are manufacturing chemical weapons at a laboratory near the Turkish city of Gaziantep, and that they have threatened to use them against the Syrian civilians.

December 9th, 2012, 6:27 pm


Daniel said:

you know, I could use some nice Mediterranean coast line to call my own. Why dont we go and take that whole coast, Israeli style, and make a new state?

December 9th, 2012, 6:42 pm


ann said:

Military voyeurism or invasion of Syria? – (Sunday, December 9, 2012)

“The ‘chemical weapons’ scenario seems to be the best cue for Washington and their western allies in order to gorge the international community on a tacit consent to another military adventurism in the Middle East”


As part of the sinister plan for Syria at work, French military agents have recently held face-to-face meetings with the foreign-backed militants inside the country in a bid to “assess the situation on the ground.”

A report carried by French paper Le Figaro on Friday indicates that “Their main task was to know who controls the battlegrounds around Damascus.”

It seems that a West-orchestrated plan to invade the country is under way and that they are teaming up and gearing up for united military action against the country.

The report adds that the meetings were held last month with the full knowledge of the French government and that the French government wants to know the “operational capacity of each group” and their “political colors.”

To make matters worse, NATO has agreed to deploy Patriot missiles on the Syria-Turkey border under the pretense of defending Turkey as Britain has warned Syria of ‘serious consequences’ if the regime used chemical weapons. All the pieces of the puzzle are being meticulously put together by the ‘foes of Syria’ to lend a cloak of legitimacy to an imminent invasion of the country: that Syria mulls using chemical weapons against its own people and the militants, that the war may spill over into Turkey and that Turkey should be able to defend herself against any potential attacks.

While in Brussels for a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting, William Hague, British foreign secretary, said that Britain had delivered a stark message to President Bashar al-Assad, echoing the words of the Obama administration on Monday.

“We are worried about chemical weapons,” said Mr. Hague. “We have become more concerned about them in recent days for the same reasons the US has. We have already sent our own, clear, private message directly to the Syrians about the serious consequences that would follow from the use of those weapons.”

Syria has blasted NATO’S decision to deploy Patriot missiles as “psychological warfare,” saying the new deployment would not deter it from seeking victory over the militants it views as terrorists.

Despite some western countries claiming that NATO’s decision to deploy the missiles shows a low appetite on their part for military intervention, it is to be seen as a strong naked message that the West is indeed gearing up for military intervention.

Syria said the NATO deployment shall not make Assad change course, calling the talk of chemical weapons part of a conspiracy to justify future intervention.

“The Turkish step and NATO’s support for it are provocative moves that constitute psychological warfare,” Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said in an interview with Lebanon’s Al-Manar TV. “But if they think this will affect our determination and work for a decisive victory in this fight against terrorism, they are very wrong.”

He added, “In the event that [foreign powers] actually considered an aggression, they should consider the consequences. I believe the cost will be high…. They need to understand that they are putting the entire region and its environs to danger, if they tried to commit such a folly.”

That Assad will use chemical weapons against his own population or even the militants is a threadbare claim and a feeble excuse concocted by the West to embark on their initial militaristic voyeurism and eventual military expedition. In fact, it is very much reminiscent of Washington’s claim that Iraq was in possession of Weapons of Mass destruction before it launched a military invasion of the country and brought about a human loss of inconceivable degree. Sadly some realities are soon forgotten. An opinion conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) on August 12–19, 2007, indicated a human loss of 1,033,000 in Iraq War. Although the range varies between 946,000 to 1,120,000 deaths, the sheer idea of such colossally disastrous human loss is beyond imagination. According to ORB, “48% died from a gunshot wound, 20% from the impact of a car bomb, 9% from aerial bombardment, 6% as a result of an accident and 6% from another blast/ordnance.”

Russia’s new ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, has de plano perceived some pernicious amount of threat in the move and said, “This is not a threat to us, but this is an indication that NATO is moving towards engagement and that’s it. We see a danger of further involvement of NATO into the situation in Syria as a result of provocation or some border incidents.”

It is cruel but highly likely that West may provide the militants with chemical weapons so they may use them against the Syrians and shift the blame on the Syria government so that they can carry on with their long-though-out plan of invading the country. This idea is further consolidated when we focus on the attention recently accorded to this issue by the US and some western countries. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have for their parts vowed to take action if Syria uses chemical weapons in the country. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons by Syria against gunmen would prompt an immediate military response.

The sad truth is that they have already formed their coalition against Syria with even Israel being part of this coalition. According to Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper, Tel Aviv is preparing for such a scenario amid increasing speculation that the US military will intervene in Syria “within days” if chemical weapons are used.



December 9th, 2012, 7:22 pm


ann said:

Russia not in talks over Assad’s future: FM – 2012-12-09


MOSCOW, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Moscow was not holding talks with anyone on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s future, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

The priority to solve the crisis should be forcing all parties involved to lay down their weapons instead of talking endlessly about Assad’s fate, Lavrov said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin’s election agents.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s stance on Syria, calling for a Geneva meeting of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and the Arab League countries.

He also called for the full implementation of the Geneva communique as a basis for the political settlement of the crisis and complained that some of Russia’s Western partners have departed from former agreements.

Meanwhile, foreign players should exert their influences on the conflicting sides in Syria and urge them to stop violence immediately and go back to the negotiating table, said Lavrov.



December 9th, 2012, 7:35 pm


ann said:

Sources: Defense “contractors” training Syrian rebels in chemical weapons – Dec 9, 2012 8)


The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.

The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American.

One of the aims, the sources said, is to try to get real time surveillance of the sites because the international community would not have time to prevent the use of the weapons otherwise. The program could explain how U.S. intelligence was able to learn what U.S. officials said was evidence the Assad government is mixing precursors for chemical weapons and loading those compounds into bombs. The intelligence, one U.S. official told CNN last week, came not just from satellite surveillance, but also from information provided by people. The official would not say whether the human intelligence came from telephone intercepts, defectors or people inside Syria.

The U.S. military is also working with neighboring Jordan’s military to train for the potential need to secure chemical weapons sites. But U.S. troops cannot train rebel forces because the United States has only authorized nonlethal aid for the opposition.



December 9th, 2012, 7:46 pm


jna said:


Rebels training on “how to secure chemical weapons” = rebels training on how to use chemical weapons?

December 9th, 2012, 7:52 pm


ann said:

Headache for US as al-Qaeda rebel battalion rises in Syria – Monday 10 December 2012


THE LONE Syrian rebel group with an explicit stamp of approval from al-Qaeda has become one of the uprising’s most effective fighting forces, posing a stark challenge to the United States and European countries that want to support the rebels but not Islamic extremists.

Money flows to the group, the Jabhat al-Nusra, from like-minded donors abroad. Its fighters, a small minority of the rebels, have the boldness and skill to storm fortified positions and lead other battalions to capture military bases and oil fields. As their successes against the forces of president Bashar al-Assad mount, they gather more weapons and attract more fighters.

The group is a direct offshoot of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Iraqi officials and former Iraqi insurgents say, which has contributed veteran fighters and weapons.

“This is just a simple way of returning the favour to our Syrian brothers that fought with us on the lands of Iraq,” said a veteran of al-Qaeda in Iraq, who said he helped lead the Nusra Front’s efforts in Syria.

Tellingly, rebel commanders meeting in Turkey this weekend to form a unified military command deliberately excluded Jabhat al-Nusra and two other extremist groups from their discussions, pointing to possible conflict if and when Assad falls.

The US says it plans to blacklist Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation soon, making it illegal for Americans to have financial dealings with the group and most likely prompting similar sanctions from Europe.

Jabhat al-Nusra’s ally, al-Qaeda in Iraq, is the Sunni insurgent group that sowed widespread sectarian strife with suicide bombings against Shi’ites and other religious and ideological opponents. The Iraqi group played an active role in founding Jabhat al-Nusra and provides it with money, expertise and fighters, said Major Faisal al-Issawi, an Iraqi security official who tracks jihadi activities in Iraq’s Anbar Province.

Yet Jabhat al-Nusra’s appeals to Syrian fighters seem to be working.

At a recent meeting in Damascus, Abu Hussein al-Afghani, a veteran of insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, addressed frustrated young rebels. They lacked money, weapons and training, so they listened attentively.

He told them he was a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, now working with al Qaeda branch in Syria, and by joining him, they could make their mark. One fighter recalled his resonant question: “Who is hearing your voice today?”

Ansar al-Jebhat is far from the only fighting group that embraces a strict interpretation of Islam. Many battalions have adopted religious slogans, dress and practices, in what some activists call a pragmatic shift to curry favour with Islamist donors in Persian Gulf countries.

In Iraq’s Diyala Province, a former member of al-Qaeda in Iraq said that a leader and many members of the group were fighting in Syria under the Nusra Front’s banner. An Iraqi security official there said they travel through Turkey to Syria.



December 9th, 2012, 8:00 pm


ann said:

120. jna said:


Rebels training on “how to secure chemical weapons” = rebels training on how to use chemical weapons?

By “contractors” 🙂

December 9th, 2012, 8:02 pm


ann said:

12/09: The battle for Syria filled with uncertainty


December 9th, 2012, 8:09 pm


ann said:

Illness forces Clinton to briefly delay trip to meeting on Syria – Dec 10, 2012


WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been taken ill with a stomach virus and will delay by one day her trip to Morocco for a meeting on the future of Syria’s opposition, the State Department said on Sunday.

Mrs Clinton, who had been due to depart for the meeting in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh on Monday, will now leave on Tuesday, spokesman Philippe Reines said in an emailed statement.

“Because she has a stomach virus, our departure for Morocco has been moved from Monday to Tuesday. She will not have any schedule tomorrow in Washington,” Reines said.


December 9th, 2012, 8:18 pm


ann said:

True danger from Syrian chemical weapons is if militants acquire them – Russian FM – 09 December, 2012


The biggest threat surrounding Syria’s chemical weapons is their “probable acquisition by militants,” Lavrov said.

“According to our information, and this information we pass to our US colleagues, and European colleagues, [the Syrian] government does not have such intentions and cannot have, because this is all very serious,” the minister said on Sunday.

“It is not the first time when reports, that can be called rumors or leak, suggesting Syrian government moves reserves of chemical weapon from places where it is being storage to different locations and prepares to use it, emerge,” he said.

‘We are not talking Assad’s fate’

“All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor,” Lavrov said.



December 9th, 2012, 8:29 pm


Visitor said:

Illness forces Clinton to briefly delay trip to meeting on Syria – Dec 10, 2012

I am thinking of thanking ANN for this information.

If true, I will!!!

December 9th, 2012, 8:35 pm


ann said:

Israeli special forces tracking Syria’s WMD stocks: report – 2012-12-10


JERUSALEM, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — Israeli special forces are operating in Syria as spotters to monitor the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, local media reported Sunday.

The cross-border operation is “part of a secret war” to trail Damascus’ non-conventional armaments and “sabotage their development,” Ynet News website quoted the Sunday Times as saying.

The report came amidst growing anxieties in the West that a ” desperate” Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president, is gearing to use chemical weapons against opposition forces closing in on Damascus.

“For years we’ve known the exact location of Syria’s chemical and biological munitions,” an Israeli source told the Times, referring to the Jewish state’s spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. “But in the past week we’ve got signs that munitions have been moved to new locations.”

A military official who spoke with Xinhua on Sunday neither confirmed nor denied that Israeli special forces are deployed in or near Syria, except for saying “that isn’t an unlikely possibility.”

Apart from the Israelis, U.S. special forces and commandos from other Western militaries are reportedly stationed in Turkey, Israel and Jordan, awaiting orders to raid Syria’s chemical weapons stocks and missile sites.



December 9th, 2012, 8:38 pm


ann said:

Video: What’s REALLY Going On In Syria? – December 8, 2012

Lieutenant Colonel – Who Wrote Speech Which Launched the Iraq War – Explains In Video Interview


December 9th, 2012, 8:49 pm


ann said:

Syria Propaganda Looking a Lot Like Iraq Propaganda – Dec 8, 2012


How can you tell when a country is about to get invaded? Listen to the sellout traitor talking heads on television tell you the country has “weapons of mass destruction” or “chemical weapons” and is “about to use them on their own people”.. The Gullible American public fell for it once, the media and government assume it will work again, only will it?

Fool me once, shame on you… It’s amazing the American people are not up in arms over this obvious scam taking place in order to coax the masses into supporting yet another war.

The only thing stopping them (the cabal running our country) from invading another sovereign nation, plundering our treasury, and ending our soldiers lives is an uneducated, gullible public they are counting on it.



December 9th, 2012, 8:59 pm


ann said:

Russia Rules Out Libyan Scenario in Syria – 09/12/2012


MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will not allow a repetition of the Libyan scenario in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.

“We’ll not allow the Libyan experience to be reproduced in Syria. Unfortunately our Western partners have departed from the Geneva accords and are seeking the departure of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” Lavrov said, adding Russia was not clinging to any individual leaders in Syria.

Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN resolution on Syria on July 19 over fears that it would lead to foreign military intervention in the Middle East country.

The resolution was tied to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which would have provided for the use of force to put an end to the rapidly escalating conflict.

Russia says it has no special interest in seeing Assad remain in power, but that the “Syrian people” should decide his fate.

A number of Western countries have been trying to persuade Moscow to support a resolution effectively authorizing a military operation, but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.”


December 9th, 2012, 9:10 pm


ann said:

FSA Terrorists Attack Aleppo’s Armenian Quarter and Destroy a Building Killing its Residents – Dec-9-2012


The “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) terrorists have attacked Aleppo’s Armenian quarter by firing multiple shells into the neighborhood, causing an entire building to collapse on its residents, leading to dead and injured. Initial numbers indicate that the dead exceed five people, including women and children. The shells also caused significant material damage to three other neighboring buildings.

The sectarian nature of the FSA has been proven in hundreds of terrorist attacks in Syria since 2011 that targeted peaceful minorities that did not welcome their Islamist revolution. Whatever remains of Armenian-Syrians inside Aleppo are being forced to flee their home country, thanks to the Saudi-Wahhabi terror of the FSA and their al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) helpers.



December 9th, 2012, 9:24 pm


zoo said:

The days of the FSA as we knew it are counted. The European embargo on weapons to the rebels is back in force. The West has stopped providing any weapons even the non lethal as there is a ever mounting worry that the money and the weapons are falling in the hands of Al Qaeeda terrorists. Jordan has sealed its borders to traffic, Lebanon is on its way to do the same.
Now that the FSA claims they took a chemical research center, the panic in the Western camps is growing.
The FOS meeting on 121212 may deliver a huge blow to FSA, threatening to cut the funds and condemning any country that would supply any funds that is not for humanitarian aid.
KSA and Qatar may be scrunitized for the ‘help’ they are providing to terrorist.
Desperately trying to rescue the “military” wing of the revolution from total neutralization, the political coalition declared they will take control over the armed groups. It sounds ludicrous that they expect the armed rebels to accept to be controlled by people who meet in 5 stars hotels, many of them have not been in Syria for years and worse of all who are claiming to be secular.
So it seems that the FOS is heading for a another fiasco for the opposition.
Therefore the recently claimed military minni-gains of the FSA are meaningless in front of the doomed fate expecting them when they will be amputated from Al Nusra and starved of amunitions…

December 9th, 2012, 9:32 pm


Tara said:


I have a silly but honest question.

I have always heard pro regime mocking the opposition for meeting in 5 stars hotels. Would meeting in 2 stars hotels have made them look more accomplished? Plus, 2 stars hotels do not have meeting rooms and more importantly, you do not want to be walking to a political meeting where a fate of a country is being decided near a truck driver carrying a case of beer wanting to spent the night in the way to his final destination.

Also the notion of 12-12-12 is depressing. My niece lied to me about 11-11-11 at hour 11:11. The wish did not come true.

December 9th, 2012, 9:46 pm


Majedkhaldoun said:

I am not against democracy,it is a good system, but I am pointing to deficiencies in it,and I want modifications.
You said if the opposition lose today they always have a chance in two more years.I am sorry but in a country where there is different ethnic groups,the majority will always win,
Secularism in the middle east always come with dictatorship, ,why is it right for a religious group not to be able to form a party? this decision under secular regime is similar to curb freedom of speach, I say freedom is more important.
again in a democracy it is a dictatorship of the majority,unless you modify it, civil system where equality under LAW would be much better system.
As for seperation of religion and state,I think you meant church and state, religion is never seperated from politics,
Where they stopped teaching religion in school,that is when the morality in USA became much worse

December 9th, 2012, 10:06 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

125. annsaid:
True danger from Syrian chemical weapons is if militants acquire them – Russian FM – 09 December, 2012

Well ANN,
I am sorry, this is really bad, but there are already unconfirmed reports surfacing in Syria among Syrian Oppositions circuit that 3 evil Islamic extremist groups closely linked to Al-Qaida: (1) Al Nusra Front, (2) Al Ansar Alssunna (Lebanese) and (3) Jabhat Omar Al Khattab Al Sunniye, all are now having VX stockpile and possibly other deadly gas weapon they somehow managed to cease or acquire, some saying it was given to them by French Intelligence operatives inside Syria last week. The good news, and what a relief that is, they don’t have means of delivery yet. But who knows, they may just get large Birthday balloons filled with VX nerve weapon and place a small motor with 2 AA battery for $1.50 and that will give it 2 hours flight time, then they may just deflate the fu**ng balloons slowly spraying all that VX on anyone. I mean this is a disaster in the making. These Islamic terrorists of Al Qaida are crazy, surely they will use it soon on god know who they view as enemy to their Islamic cause.

December 9th, 2012, 10:43 pm


ann said:

New invasion plan of Syria – 4 hours ago


France, the United Kingdom, Israel and Qatar have prepared yet another plan intervention in Syria. 6000 new jihadists, including 4000 from Lebanon, should attack shortly Mazzeh residential area, south of Damascus, home to many embassies and where several top military and civilian officials. An incident involving chemical weapons across the country should increase the tension. A traitorous general would then claim to have seized power and Westerners call for help, thus providing a pretext for military intervention outside the UN mandate.

Several attempts at military coup was orchestrated by the West during this year. All have failed and there is nothing to suggest that this would be different again.

Time is running out for states opposed to the Geneva peace plan reached between the U.S. and Russia, as it should be presented to the Security Council in February, which is just after the confirmation by the U.S. Senate of the new Obama administration. During the next two months, all possible moves will be tempted.

It is unclear what would be the reaction of Russia and Iran for such an operation. Vladimir Putin said to be ready to defend Syria “to the streets of Moscow,” that is to say, be ready to go to war. For its part, Iran has always affirmed that Syria was his defense and, therefore, she would not let go. All these statements may be a bluff, but triggering a military intervention, Paris, London, Tel Aviv and Doha take the risk of causing a general conflagration



December 9th, 2012, 10:47 pm


Observer said:

ZOO writes
“The days of the FSA as we knew it are counted. The European embargo on weapons to the rebels is back in force. The West has stopped providing any weapons even the non lethal as there is a ever mounting worry that the money and the weapons are falling in the hands of Al Qaeeda terrorists. Jordan has sealed its borders to traffic, Lebanon is on its way to do the same.
Now that the FSA claims they took a chemical research center, the panic in the Western camps is growing.
The FOS meeting on 121212 may deliver a huge blow to FSA, threatening to cut the funds and condemning any country that would supply any funds that is not for humanitarian aid.
KSA and Qatar may be scrunitized for the ‘help’ they are providing to terrorist.
Desperately trying to rescue the “military” wing of the revolution from total neutralization, the political coalition declared they will take control over the armed groups. It sounds ludicrous that they expect the armed rebels to accept to be controlled by people who meet in 5 stars hotels, many of them have not been in Syria for years and worse of all who are claiming to be secular.
So it seems that the FOS is heading for a another fiasco for the opposition.
Therefore the recently claimed military minni-gains of the FSA are meaningless in front of the doomed fate expecting them when they will be amputated from Al Nusra and starved of amunitions…”

On what facts do you base the above assertions?

A physician friend of mine just returned from Idlib establishing several field hospitals and he saw first hand the rebels and the absence of regime troops except for the air force.

He was told repeatedly that 99% of the weapons are from the regime after overtaking their bases or by defecting soldiers.

Bases around Aleppo and Damascus are falling and you claim that the West is going to abandon the FSA. SInce when did the West really support the FSA?

Have you been drinking the Kool Aid?

Justice for Hamza


December 9th, 2012, 10:49 pm


zoo said:

In Egypt the expected collusion between the Moslem Brotherhood and the army does not bode well for the opposition.

‘The constitution offers a number of concessions to the military, shielding it from oversight and keeping its vast financial interests intact. In the eyes of many in the opposition, any troop deployment would be colored by the idea that Morsi and the military are aligned against them in pushing the new document into law. “They are on the same side now,” says the Cairo activist who blogs under the name Big Pharaoh. “The Brotherhood gave the military what they wanted. They don’t want to risk this.” ‘


December 9th, 2012, 10:53 pm


Visitor said:

After محمد سعيد الصحاف found out that the Americans were committing suicide around Baghdad by the thousands he decided to become an Ewe and went to live in a Zoo. Every once in a while since then he appears on Syriacomment crying ما

December 9th, 2012, 11:02 pm


zoo said:


Thanks for copying my whole post! It obviously hit a sensitive cord.
As I mentioned it, the territory gains the rebels made are exposed daily to bombings. The proof is that no refugees are coming back to these ‘liberated’ areas as they know it is a matter of time that the rebels loose them.
The most important issue is the money and the weapons. If the rebels got some spoils in attacking Syrian army posts, these supplies are not illimited and in addition these rebels need to eat and get paid.
Squeezed by the international community and struggling for credibility and legitimacy, the coalition has announced that they will get the FSA funding and arms supply under their exclusive control. If the FSA refuses, which is highly probable, the countries presently ‘sustaining’ the armed rebels will be pressed to stop.
That would be a blow to the FSA added to the amputation of their strongest ally, Al Nusra, that will be soon declared a terrorist organization.
It is clear that the Western community wants exclusively a political solution, therefore they will not hesitate to pressure the military wing to submit to the coalition.
121212 will tell us if they will succeed.
In the meantime the FSA can claim gains, claim the nth unification of their ranks, it has become very vulnerable especially after the second failure in “taking” Damascus and the accusation of its collusion with terrorist organizations.

December 9th, 2012, 11:07 pm


ann said:

Russia stands by Syria President Bashar Assad – December 9, 2012

Moscow says it will not seek the ouster of Assad, as international negotiators again fail to reach a breakthrough on the crisis in Syria.


BEIRUT — Russia said Sunday that it has no intention of pushing for the ouster of President Bashar Assad, as international negotiators seeking a way out of the escalating Syrian crisis again failed to reach a breakthrough.

Meantime, Syria’s turmoil continued to spill over its borders, as four more people were killed in the latest spasm of Syria-related violence in the tense northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

And in Syria, another day of fierce clashes and government bombardment was reported in the suburbs of Damascus as government troops battled rebels intent on cutting off the capital and its international airport.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made it clear Sunday that Moscow had not soured on the Syrian president.

“We are not conducting any negotiations on the fate of Assad,” Lavrov told reporters in Moscow. “All attempts to portray things differently are unscrupulous, even for diplomats of those countries which are known to try to distort the facts in their favor.”

The latter comment seemed aimed at Western officials who had hinted that Moscow was ready to help expedite Assad’s departure after almost 21 months of civil conflict, tens of thousands of deaths and vast infrastructure damage.

U.S. and Russian officials met Sunday in Geneva with Brahimi, the U.N. and Arab League special envoy on Syria. In a joint statement, they said the situation in Syria was “bad and getting worse,” but expressed hope that a political solution was “still necessary and still possible.”

Also on Sunday, Russia downplayed White House fears that a desperate Assad could deploy chemical weapons and said the greatest danger was that part of Syria’s chemical arsenal could fall into the hands of rebels. Both U.S. and Israeli officials have also voiced concern that chemical armaments could end up in the hands of insurgents, who have overrun a number of military bases. Syria’s fragmented rebel legions includes hard-core Islamist brigades hostile to the West and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.



December 9th, 2012, 11:08 pm


Syrialover said:


I read what you say with interest.

I feel you are expressing unnecessary concern when you talk about a “dictatorship of the majority” in a functioning democracy. Democracy is ALL ABOUT law and equal rights and protection of minorities and freedom more than it is about anything else.

I think you have in mind an alternative to democracy that does not exist anywhere in human history. And for a good reason, democracy does not have the “deficiencies” you talk of. There seems to be no better systen around, and it works very well if people follow the systems and processes that underpin it. Nobody can seize power or take away the rights of others except by corruption and cheating (or a coup that overthrows an entire system).

And there we have it – corruption and cheating. In a democracy that will bring you down and get you kicked out. And massively exposed and humiliated in the media and excluded from jobs in any major institutions. But in other systems it leads to rewards.

You ask: “why is it right for a religious group not to be able to form a party?”. But they CAN in a democracy. They have to run their party along certain legal criteria and structures otherwise they won’t qualify to get involved in the political system, but otherwise a post-Assad democratic Syria could have a Druze party and an Alawi party and nobody could legitimately object. They would just be part of the political environment.

What you are wrestling with is no different from the huge issue of tribalism in Africa, where a number of poorer, bigger and messier countries than Syria countries have taken on democratic systems and pushed on and worked with them.

Why? Because there is no known alternative.

Here’s the thing. Political parties in Africa which confined themselves to certain tribal or ethnic groups, soon figured out that under a democratic system they needed to attract and include members from other groups, or make alliances with smaller parties, if they wanted to improve their chances of getting elected and being able to operate effectively in a democratic state.

In the 21st century I believe you’ll see the next generation of citizens in the ME are going to be far less hung up about which religious group they belong to than were their grandfathers generation. The generation who in the chaos of postwar 20th century suffered dictatorships set in stone and sealed with tribal and sectarian cement.

You said: “religion is never seperated from politics”. Sure in some people’s heads in a democracy that’s probably the case. Neither is gender or whether you come from Boston or Tennessee or served in the military or are black or white and so on and so on. But they can’t make those thoughts part of the democratic system.

December 9th, 2012, 11:08 pm


Aldendeshe said:


Elaborating on SNP post above, there are reports came from Tripoly, Lebanon last week that some containers with VX agents may have reached Bab Al Tebbaneh and were transported by a Qatari national working with Sunni Islamic terrorists in Northern Lebanon to Beirut using AL AHDAB, I am not sure what that is, but it may refer to some bus line company, thought they gone out of business decades ago. I thought it was far-fetched and unreliable, but now that I read above, there may be some truth to it then. Oh man, things are getting out of control for sure, these Islamic Terrorists must be put to a stop and soon, I mean now, not tomorrow.

Oh by the way, that Jabhat Omar Al Khattab Al Sunniye as far what I have read on internet are Amman, Jordan based.

December 9th, 2012, 11:14 pm


Sami said:

Mr. Lund,

What do you mean when you say the regime is acting rationally and in its own best interests?

How can you draw the line of rationality at bombing and flattening every Syrian Metropolis and town, and be responsible for the displacement of over 2 millions Syrians, and the death of over 40000 Syrian? Is the gap between doing all that we have witnessed in the last 21 months and deploying chemical weapons that wide in your opinion?

Lastly do you think Bashar is less or more rational than Saddam Hussein?

December 9th, 2012, 11:18 pm


ghufran said:

نفت قناة “الاخبارية السورية” خبر انشقاق السفير السوري في الجزائر نمير وهيب الغانم الذي تناقلته وسائل الاعلام، وأشار السفير الغانم الى أنه ما زال على رأس عمله سفيراً لسوريا في الجزائر.
Librahimi and Clinton are talking about Geneve conference principles as the basis for any future agreement on Syria, if that position is final why there is no movement to start a tarnsitional period and stop the violence?
Reef Dimashq and Dimashq are still tense but the rebels in that area are not in a better position today compared to last week, and that can not be good for rebels if their goal is to change the balance of power in and around the capital.
Aleppo was punished by the rebels who helped destroy and loot over 200 factories and transformed Syria’s richest city into a war zone where people stand in line for 3 hours to get bread, most Aleppines in return will never support the rebels, this lack of support,not the air raids, is what stopped the rebels from completely controlling the city.

December 9th, 2012, 11:18 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Regime supporters like Zoo are getting very creative in trying to explain why the regime is not losing.

Once again, bravo! I always knew there were crazy, deluded people out there. Now I have confirmation of my theory. I’ve always wanted to know what sort of idiocy they’ll spew, and now I know.

December 9th, 2012, 11:20 pm


zoo said:

While Qatar and KSA are paying the salaries and offering expensive and sophisticated deadly wepons to armed rebels fighting against an Arab leader and its Arab supporters, they turn away from the desperate calls from Palestinians civilians squeezed by the Israelis.

Palestinian president appeals for urgent Arab aid

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The Palestinian president is urging Arab nations to provide major financial assistance to cover a new monthly $100 million budgetary shortfall after U.N. recognition of Palestinian claims to statehood — the result of a punitive Israeli measure.

The appeal by Mahmoud Abbas reflects the severe financial fallout from last month’s landmark vote in the U.N. and a fresh push by Palestinians to take advantage of the international momentum to rally Arab backing for peace talks and possible concessions by Israel.

December 9th, 2012, 11:22 pm


MarigoldRan said:


The rebels don’t need to win in Damascus. If they can keep the regime occupied there, the FSA will make gains elsewhere.

The regime is collapsing in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.

The FSA will probably not be able to take Damascus this time. But as long as they did better than last time, they would have shown improvement, and the regime would have gotten weaker.

Let’s say Assad holds on for 6 months. That’s a big “if” by the way. But even if he holds on for 6 months, so what? The rebels are going to keep on fighting, and the regime will continue to weaken.

The regime can hold on to Damascus for the next six months, probably. But can they do it for a year? 2 years? 10 years? How many Alawites are willing to give up their lives for Damascus?

The war continues. No one will negotiate with Assad.

December 9th, 2012, 11:23 pm


Aldendeshe said:

We trying to help them the revolutionary in Syria, and here, they gave us negatives thumb down now, what a crak these dim wits are. Maybe they are in fact here just Israeli and French intel operatives, we blew their cover. They are not happy.

December 9th, 2012, 11:23 pm


Visitor said:

It looks like Ms. Clinton will be late only one day for the meeting of the ‘imbeciles’.

What she has in mind can best be described as anticlimactic. She will offer Moaz and co. recognition urging them to form a government. However, this government, being aptly named government in exile, will only have jurisdiction over humanitarian functions dealing with taking care of refugees.

Nothing will be offered as far as actual Syria liberation and perceived support for FSA. It appears that Washington has made up its mind as to it’s limited options as far as the actual battle is concerned. So it will simply watch until something goes wrong with the Chems. In order to ensure Israeli security. Fullstop for USA superpower role.

In the meantime, the FSA is accumulating enough armament to storm the hideouts of the jackal and his stooges in due time.

Make maximum benefits of your donations by directly sending it to the FSA. Say no to Red Cross, say no to Red Crescent, say no to HCI, say no to agents of ‘charity=defeat’. Say yes to Action Direct = FSA Victories.

December 9th, 2012, 11:31 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

France, the United Kingdom, Israel and Qatar have prepared yet another plan intervention in Syria. 6000 new jihadists, including 4000 from Lebanon, should attack shortly Mazzeh residential area, south of Damascus

Looks like the Syrian army have 3 more days of full time work,they hate that. Don’t believe it, too far fetched, insane, the VX story may hold some truth.

December 9th, 2012, 11:33 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

This is for that subhuman Korean stooge BAN that heads the United Nations Rockefeller Crime organization:



Bashar serves them Chocolate too. How about a VX Power drink with that Dark Chocolate Bashar!!!

December 10th, 2012, 12:03 am


ann said:

155. Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Bashar serves them Chocolate too. How about a VX Power drink with that Dark Chocolate Bashar!!!

You’re too much SNP 😀

December 10th, 2012, 12:06 am


ghufran said:

Liwaa Al-Tawheed will be added to Jabhat Al-Nusra as a terrorist organization according to US sources, that will bring more questions than answers including how syrian expats who openly support the two groups(and some have asked for a tax expemption, to donate money to islamist rebels) will be treated by the FBI and law enforcement agencies, another question is how far the US government is willing to go to put its money where its mouth is, this designation of the the two groups will allow the CIA to perform undercover operations in Syria and even send drones in the name of fighting terrorism,and the US is likely to ask the FSA to distance itself from the two groups or fight them before weapons and money ,sent by US and its friends,are allowed to reach the FSA.
whoever was behind sending those Jihadists to Syria was either an enemy of the Syrian state or a total idiot, those Jihadists will make Bashar look good after he is gone while Syrians have to live with car bombs, suicide attacks and assassinations for years to come compliment of Al-Qaida et Al.

December 10th, 2012, 12:09 am


ann said:

161. ghufran said:

Liwaa Al-Tawheed will be added to Jabhat Al-Nusra as a terrorist organization according to US sources, that will bring more questions than answers including how syrian expats who openly support the two groups(and some have asked for a tax expemption, to donate money to islamist rebels) will be treated by the FBI and law enforcement agencies?

They should start by rounding up those Islamist terrorist sympathizers posting on this blog

December 10th, 2012, 12:19 am


Aron Lund said:

Sami # 150 – “What do you mean when you say the regime is acting rationally and in its own best interests?”

I mean that the people who control the regime are not just killing civilians for fun. They’re doing what they’re doing to stay in power, or at least preserve as much influence as possible in the future Syria, whether it gets a new government or turns into endless civil war. Their goal is to protect themselves and the people and the interests they represent. That doesn’t mean they always get it right and succeed in furthering their own cause, but they’re trying their best, through violence, diplomacy, and propaganda. See also my answer to Altair above at 106.

Look at it this way: if Bashar had accepted real reform and free elections, he would have been out of power already.

Chemical weapons: I don’t say it’s morally beyond the regime to use chemical weapons, I’m saying that it would be politically catastrophic and militarily counter-productive, and they probably realize this themselves.

In the future, their calculations may change, as Joshua Landis pointed out in his post on the matter a couple of days ago. For example if they lose both Damascus or Aleppo, or if there’s a foreign intervention, or a pitched final battle, there’s a much larger chance that the WMD arsenal will come into play. But at this stage, I think it’s very unlikely.

The opposition should be wary of crying wolf – I remember some opposition activists making claims of chemical warfare all the way back in spring/summer 2011. There’s really no need to exaggerate the crimes of the regime at this point.

As for Saddam Hussein, that was a very different conflict, but my assumption is he was more detached from reality than Bashar. It was also more of a one-man rule. Qaddafi is an even more extreme example.

December 10th, 2012, 7:42 am


Observer said:

Yes ZOO your post hit a sensitive cord; the cord of laughter at the sheer delusion of your post.

Justice for Hamza


December 10th, 2012, 7:54 am


Visitor said:

Aron Lund @163,

Your response is as laughable as your reporting.

December 10th, 2012, 8:29 am


zoo said:

It seem that the promoters of the chaos in Syria have no other attitude than laughing in unisson… I can’t hear them ( thank God) but I guess they are hysterical laughs as these people are slowly realizing that their arguments and predictions are hot air and fail to be based on the reality. Not the Idlib or Kafranbel ‘realities’ but on the overall geopolitical game on which Syria’s fate depends.
Keep laughing if it relieves your anxiety. There will be plenty time to cry.

December 10th, 2012, 9:24 am


zoo said:

Jabhat al Nusra and its terrorist allies take parts of Sheikh Suleiman army base where allegedly there are chemical laboratories…


Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads to Observatory, said the rebels who stormed Sheik Suleiman belong to hardline Islamic militant groups.

Abdul-Rahman told The Associated Press that fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, Mujahedeen Shura Council and the Muhajireen group took part in the battle for the Sheik Suleiman base.

U.S. officials have said the Obama administration is preparing to designate the Jabhat al-Nusra group, which has alleged ties to al-Qaida, a terrorist organization.

The Observatory said the rebels seized key sectors of the base, home of 111th Regiment, including its command center.

A resident in Damascus, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, told The AP that he was hearing cracks of gunfire and explosions inside and outside the capital early Monday.
( A real ‘decisive’ war going on in Damascus..).

December 10th, 2012, 9:29 am


zoo said:


Will you laugh or cry at the ‘brilliant’ achievements of the opposition after two years that you predict will happen in Marakesh?

– A political wing confirmed to be a just an humanitarian wing
– A military wing with a significant part of it confirmed to be outlawed ‘terrorists’

“However, this government, being aptly named government in exile, will only have jurisdiction over humanitarian functions dealing with taking care of refugees.”

December 10th, 2012, 9:39 am


zoo said:

Morsi continues his amateurish ruling by cancelling taxes he announced recently in a bid to win the hearts of the Egyptian. Now that he is sure the army that he pampered, is on his side, he can continue his ad-hoc gouvernance… If not a political disaster, an economical disaster is looming in the short term.


It was not immediately clear why Morsi changed his mind about the tax hikes in a matter of hours, but the about-face appeared to have more to do with inexperience rather than a bid by the president to appear sympathetic with the majority of Egyptians who struggle daily to make end meet as the economy’s woes deepen. A popular backlash against tax hikes could hurt the chances of the Morsi-backed draft constitution being ratified in the referendum.

December 10th, 2012, 9:50 am


Visitor said:

Zoo @168,

Your comment is incoherent and makes no sense. Actually, it is not clear what you are trying to say.

I can only figure that you are interested in knowing when I will laugh or cry. So, I will try to satisfy your curiosity.

I always laugh when you make a comment.

I will only cry when you leave Syriacomment after your idol gets demolished.

December 10th, 2012, 9:57 am


zoo said:


More to laugh..

The Al Nusra that just occupied a Syrian army base will soon be nominated for the ‘Best Terrorists achievement” award in the festival of Marakesh.

December 10th, 2012, 10:10 am


Visitor said:


It is the most laughable. But Piggy will be spared the ridicule because she will be long gone. It is her predecessor (Rice?) who will have to struggle to find means to sort out Piggy’s mess when he/she realizes that al-Nusra is indispensible and will be the main player in Syria.

But I do not think Piggy is so stupid, and she’s probably feigning sickness in order not to get emabarassed. No one will listen to her in Marakesh. So, she found an easy way out: Go to the meeting one day late, the agenda has already been set, then catch the photo-ops and go back home.

December 10th, 2012, 10:36 am


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