Military Casualties Rise; President Spreech; Houla

Syrian military casualties rose in May while death toll overall dropped

The United Nations observer team based in Hama, Syria, met with rebel leaders Thursday in Latamneh. The team’s commander, Danish Lt. Col. Peter Dahl, expressed frustration with the lack of a cease-fire.
By David Enders | McClatchy Newspapers

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Despite the international outcry over recent massacres allegedly committed by backers of President Bashar Assad, statistics compiled by human rights activists show that violence in Syria has dropped since a United Nations peace plan went into effect in April and is down sharply from its peak in March.

One measure of violence, however, seems to have increased appreciably: More Syrian soldiers were killed in clashes with rebels in May than in any month since the 14-month-old uprising began.

There were also reports that arrests by Syrian security forces have increased, a violation of the U.N. plan that appears to be a major factor in the violence.

“Every day the Free Syrian Army is becoming stronger,” said Alaa Kaikooni, a fighter who referred to the rebels by the name for most of the loosely organized groups that have taken up arms against Assad….. violence is off 36 percent from its peak and has dropped in each of the months that the plan has been in place.

Those numbers are still incredibly high – the Syrian Network for Human Rights recorded 1,344 deaths in May, including 55 noted after the report was posted on the network’s website Tuesday. Still, that’s far fewer than the 2,101 deaths the network tracked in March or the 1,610 it recorded in April. It’s lower than any month so far this year – with the exception of January, when the network reported that 1,179 people were killed – and below the monthly average of 1,616 deaths from January to May……

Syria President Bashar Assad denies role in massacres
By Rima Marrouch and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

… “We are facing a real war from outside,” Assad told the Syrian people. “Everyone is responsible for defending the homeland.”

Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than 40 years, mocked opposition calls for democracy, declaring: “This democracy that they talked about is soaked with our blood.”

The president, formerly a practicing ophthalmologist, invoked the metaphor of a surgeon in the operating theater as an apparent justification for harsh counterinsurgency tactics in a brutal conflict that has cost more than 10,000 lives.

“Who is the wise man who loves blood?” Assad asked. “When a surgeon enters the operating room and opens a wound, it bleeds. He cuts and extracts. Do we tell him: ‘Your hands are cursed as they are contaminated with blood?’ Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

…. The Syrian leader assails what he calls a ‘foreign war with internal tools’ and offers no new initiatives to revive the U.N. peace plan.

a majority of 58% in France want to see UN military intervention in Syria. 50% want France to take part. Both figures are significantly higher compared to results of a poll published last February.

I saw massacre of children, says defecting Syrian air force officer

Houla Massacre of 108 Marks New Low in Syria
By: Liz Sly and Joby Warrick | The Washington Post

In a speech Sunday, Assad denied that his government was responsible and blamed the massacre on his opponents, saying it was unimaginable that security forces could do such a thing.

“Whoever did this in Houla could not be a human being but a monster. And even a monster could not carry out such an act,” he told a session of the nation’s newly chosen parliament….

“The people want to execute Bashar,” they chanted, according to a video of one demonstration. Held above the crowd was a big black banner, emblazoned in white with words that are chilling in light of what unfolded later in the day. “Let the world know we die with a smile on our faces,” it said.

And, as was typical on a Friday here and in many other parts of the country, shortly before 1 o’clock in the afternoon, as the protests began, Syrian troops positioned around the area began firing artillery and heavy machine guns to break up the demonstrations.

What happened next is murky, but according to at least two activists in Houla, rebel fighters attacked a Syrian army position overlooking the area. Nine soldiers were killed, including three officers, according to Ahmad Qassem, one of the activists, who said he was given the number by the local hospital. The government, in its account of the killings that day, has said that “several” of its troops were killed in an attack on a checkpoint. The rebel force also suffered casualties, Qassem said….

Houla residents give a very different account. They blame the Syrian army and the loyalist militias known as the shabiha, which they say came from surrounding villages inhabited by members of Assad’s Shiite-affiliated Alawite sect. It is also clear that many questions remain unanswered.

The day began, as is typical on a Friday, with the men of the town gathering after prayers in at least two locations to hold demonstrations against the government. They left Away from the shelling, on the southwestern edge of Houla, a more sinister development began to unfold. A 25-year-old woman who gave her name as Fatima said she saw men in uniforms arriving in the late afternoon in a nearby street where members of the extended Abdel-Razzaq family lived.

Fatima said she assumed that the soldiers were conducting a routine raid, but then she began to hear shooting, which continued for at least an hour.

According to the videotaped testimony of the few survivors, the soldiers were accompanied by irregular shabiha militiamen from surrounding villages and moved through the homes shooting everyone they found…..

A suicide car bomber targeted government offices in the Iraqi capitol of Baghdad at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, killing up to 23 people, and injuring more than 100. The explosion blew up the facade of Iraq’s main religious affairs office for Shiite Muslims,…

Calls for Jihad Split Salafist Movement
By Mona Alami, IPS, AMMAN, Jun 3, 2012

The Arab Spring brought a host of new actors to the political stage. In Jordan, it pushed the Salafists to the fore, where some of the group’s more radical elements are now calling for holy war in neighbouring Syria.

… Jihadist-Salafists, a loosely structured faction who only number around 1,500 in Jordan, have recently begun to stage several demonstrations, the largest of which was held on Apr. 15 this year in the city of Zarqa and drew around 350 protesters. The protest resulted in a violent clash with the police, leaving dozens of wounded policemen and numerous civilian causalities.

In response, the Jordanian regime unleashed a harsh crackdown on the community, raiding several Jihadists’ homes in Zarqa and nearby towns and charging 146 with terrorist activities.

…”Reformers are coming to understand that the community has a greater role to play, whether politically, economically or socially,” said Ibrahim Hamad, himself a Salafist reformist.

The Salafist reformists have also begun coordinating aid to Syrian refugees who have fled the ongoing violence in their country to Jordan.

“They (reformists) are growing in areas where Syrian refugees are present. Up until now they have distributed about five million dollars in aid, 60 percent of which is provided through countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait,” Smadi explained.

Alain Gresh sums up the debate on Syria on his blog at Le Monde Diplo. Andrew Tabler outlined five steps the US should take against the Assad regime. Henry Kissinger raised his concerns for military intervention in Syria. ”In Syria, calls for humanitarian and strategic intervention merge …On the other hand, not every strategic interest rises to a cause for war; were it otherwise, no room would be left for diplomacy.” Randa Slim argued that military aid would prolong the fight, while Zbigniew Brzezinski said the crisis “is not as horrible or as dramatic as it is portrayed.”  [from Pomed]

Patrick Cockburn: Why war is marching on the road to Damascus
Sunday 03 June 2012, Telegraph

Damascus feels like a city expecting the worst to happen and seeing no way to avoid it. War is spreading across the country and is unlikely to spare the capital. Rebels speak of stepping up attacks in the city and could easily do so in the next few weeks.

I spent the last week in Damascus and the atmosphere reminds me of Beirut in 1975 at the start of the 15-year civil war. Again and again in conversations, people realistically laid out for me the nasty things that are all too likely to happen, but few were able to produce plausible ideas on how disaster might be averted.

“I wish people abroad would stop talking about a civil war starting here because it is still the people against the government,” said one committed member of the opposition as we sat in a café in Damascus (everybody I spoke to has to be nameless, for obvious reasons). She believed that it was only the heavy presence of the security forces that were suppressing mass popular protest in the days after the Houla massacre.

She may have been right, but in practice not a lot was happening. There was less traffic on the streets and foreign TV stations made much play of YouTube postings showing merchants shutting their shops in protest at the Houla slaughter. But, driving around Damascus, the strike’s success was difficult to judge since so many shops and restaurants are shut anyway because of the lack of tourists and the impact of sanctions.

Ibrahim Saif wrote about the economic agenda of the Islamist parties across the region.

They do not call for the nationalization of industries or the renationalization of privatized state-owned enterprises and demonstrate respect for private property rights. All of the parties welcome partnerships with the private sector to implement their proposed projects, particularly when it comes to public utilities and infrastructure. They consistently agree on the need to combat corruption, strengthen the foundations of good governance, eliminate financial and economic waste, and enact socially just policies. And all demonstrate a commitment to international economic agreements, with Morocco and Tunisia in particular focusing on relations with Europe….. Some gray policy zones still exist, in three areas in particular: the role of the state in the economy, which proposals will be prioritized given limited time and resources, and the timetable according to which the parties will deliver promised economic results to the public. And overall, Ennahda, the Freedom and Justice Party, the Justice and Development Party, and the Islamic Action Front all fall short of presenting comprehensive and integrated programs that can realistically transform these states’ economies. Lacking experience, clear priorities, and ways to build and finance ambitious growth plans, all four will face serious challenges in translating their generally reasonable and well-intentioned economic agendas into results….

Rebels kill 80 Syrian soldiers at weekend: watchdog
BEIRUT | Mon Jun 4, 2012

(Reuters) – Syrian rebels killed at least 80 army soldiers at the weekend, an opposition watchdog said on Monday, in a surge of attacks that followed their threat to resume fighting if President Bashar al-Assad failed to observe a U.N.-backed ceasefire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said local doctors had confirmed the names of 80 dead government soldiers.

Insurgents told the group they had killed more than 100 soldiers and destroyed some tanks in clashes across Syria, including Damascus and Idlib province i rebel Free Syrian Army had announced they would be “free of any commitment” to international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan if Assad did not end violence by Friday.

of at least 108 people, nearly half of them children, in the Houla area of Homs province dealt a possibly fatal blow to Annan’s proposed ceasefire, which was supposed to take effect on April 12, but never did.

Rami Abdelrahman, the head of the Observatory, told Reuters that many army checkpoints were destroy in heavy clashes overnight in Idlib province, where many rebels operate.

“A minimum of 4 to 6 checkpoints in the village of Ariha were attacked and destroyed in the last 24 hours,” he said.

The 15-month-old uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule began with peaceful protests, but Syria is now slipping into civil war as rebels fight back against a violent government crackdown.

As UN envoy warns of all-out war, a major has provided crucial evidence on the Houla killings
Martin Chulov, Guardian, Saturday 2 June 2012

Les Français favorables à une intervention militaire en Syrie – Le Monde

Une majorité de 58 % de Français se déclarent favorables à une intervention militaire des Nations unies en Syrie, soit 7 points de plus que lors d’une précédente enquête réalisée en février dernier (51 %), selon un sondage Ifop pour l’hebdomadaire régional Dimanche Ouest France.

Cette hausse a “sans doute un rapport avec la multiplication des crimes de guerre attribués au régime de Bachar Al-Assad, et leur médiatisation ces derniers jours”, analyse l’institut.

Les hommes (65 %) se déclarent davantage favorables à l’intervention que les femmes (52 %). 70% des partisans de la droite l’approuvent, devant les sympatisants de gauche (65 %). Les sympatisants du Front national, le parti d’extrême droite, se disent majoritairement (55 %) contre une intervention des Nations unies en Syrie.

A la question de savoir si la France doit s’engager dans cette intervention militaire, les Français semblent également partagés : 50 % pour et 50 % contre, note l’Ifop. “Ces résultats assez mitigés témoignent néanmoins d’une hausse de 12 points en faveur de l’engagement de l’armée française en Syrie sous l’égide des Nations unies, comparé à février dernier (seulement 38 % des Français se disaient alors favorables à cette proposition”, selon l’Ifop).

Le président français, François Hollande, a déclaré mardi ne pas exclure une intervention armée en Syrie à condition qu’elle soit décidée dans le cadre de l’ONU.

Comments (261)

majedkhaldoun said:

When someone call you traitor the least to answer is to say nonesense, He called me twice as a traitor, ,this is strong word, while I sacrificed a lot of money and time to protect the beloved Syrian, his accusation is silly and nonsense.
He or others must refrain from calling any opponent here on SC as a traitor.

Mr. Landis
Bashar hardly spent any time in training, he was never practicing ophtalmologist

June 4th, 2012, 12:39 pm


Alan said:

Syrian rebels abandon ceasefire, call on UN for no-fly zone
A Syrian rebel spokesman says they are no longer committed to Annan’s ceasefire. He has called for a UN-backed “peace enforcement mission” or a no-fly zone to replace the monitoring mission, demands the UN chief has rejected.
On Friday, the rebel military council had given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad an ultimatum to end violence in the country or face armed reprisals.
“We have decided to end our commitment to this [plan] and starting from that date [Friday] we began defending our people,” rebel spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi told Reuters news agency.
Kurdi was hopeful the current UN-led observer mission to be transformed into “a peace enforcing mission,” with a no-fly zone and a buffer zone being implemented with a mind to toppling the current government.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has rejected the rebels’ call for armed international intervention, saying Annan’s six-point peace plan remains “central” to resolving the crisis, he told the agency on the sidelines of an Islamic Development Bank meeting in Jeddah../../..

June 4th, 2012, 12:47 pm


Dawoud said:

These below are Syrian Arabic cynical humor ideas regarding Bashar (War Criminal) al-Assad’s absurd claim yesterday that the Revolution and its violence (although all terror and most of the violence today are caused by the regime)are motivated by 2000 Syrian Liras paid to unemployed protesters Please laugh at the dictator and his fraudulent parliament! Why did he instruct MPs NOT to applaud him so much and recite poems pertinent to his cult of personality?:-)
Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

المصدر: سكاي نيوز عربية

أثار حديث الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد عن وجود جهات تدفع 2000 ليرة سورية (الدولار يعادل حوالي 70 ليرة) العديد من التعليقات الطريفة على صفحات المواقع الاجتماعية، لاسيما من قبل الجهات المعارضة لنظام الحكم في دمشق.

وجاء في إحدى الصفحات المعارضة على موقع فيسبوك: “امبراطور الممانعة! لو أعطيتنا 3000 ليرة عوضاً عن 2000 كنا ذهبنا لقتال الجيش الإسرائيلي وامتنعنا عن ذبح أهلنا السوريين”.

وكان الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد ذكر في خطابه أمام مجلس الشعب الأحد أن هناك من يدفع للعاطلين عن العمل لكي يخرجوا في مظاهرات، وأن بعضهم يقتل من أجل 2000 ليرة سورية.

ونشر في تعليق ساخر آخر: “هناك من يسرقنا، فعلى حد علمنا أن التسعيرة هي 500 ليرة سورية و(سندويتش فلافل) للخروج في مظاهرة وقتل الناس”.

June 4th, 2012, 1:04 pm


Amjad said:

I think we can now put to rest the notion of a “strong Syrian army”, and which people have repeatedly used as an excuse for NATO not to intervene militarily in Syria. On one hand, we have been told time and again that the Syrian army is stronger than Qadafi’s. And yet Qadafi was just 12 hours away from crushing the Libyan revolution, were it not for the grace and mercy of NATO.

Despite 15 months of having an army that we are told hasn’t seen massive defections, and with massive aid from Iraq, Iran and Russia, Bashar hasn’t even come close to subduing this revolution, and even when faced with poorly armed opponents who have to make do with what they have. It’s obvious that far from being a strong, potent force, the Syrian Army’s fighting spirit and motivation is abysmal. It doesn’t take much professionalism to shell civilian homes from five kilometers away.

June 4th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Atassi said:

I must say, I want the Syrian Army intact and cohesive and be kept as a viable national institution for teh future, Syrians must plan and with a great effort to rehabilitee its basic structure, bring the blood soaked hands to justice and remove the rogue elements from the current leadership. I should say too it’s time for our fellow Syrians to stop handing the “Chancklish” during the funerals of the dead soldiers and urge peace before it’s way too late …..

June 4th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Atassi said:

Syria needs outside parties with strong leadership to help mediate and force a resolution to bring the nation into a normal line, we should not allow the Russian and Iranian to keep us stewing in our own juice until a national death is declared , at the same time syrians should avoid other parties with particular un-syrian agendas to dictated a solution.

June 4th, 2012, 2:00 pm


Amjad said:

Well said Atassi. The Russians and Iranians are laughing all the way to the bank. Just what is it about the Arab league and Annan plans that Bashar finds so difficult to implement? Similar plans have worked wonders in other parts of the world. But the fact is, the regime *has* to keep up the killing. We have seen what Dar’a, Duma, Homs, Hama, Latakia, Zabadani, Idlib, Deir el Zour, Baniyas, and countless and numerous other places have looked like when the regime’s security forces even temporarily lost hold.

June 4th, 2012, 2:05 pm


Observer said:

My relative is a poor conscript that did not have any ability to serve in a cushioned position and was in the field and away from his home. If he was not allowed to use the Shilka mounted anti aircraft gun why have him go to the military service in the first place and if he is to be recalled as reservist for fighting an invading army he would be used as cannon fodder and would not be able to use the equipement.

My point is that the profressional army has many defectors and others that cannot be trusted to be fielded without the risk of defection.

The remaining force are thugs and internal security service members and loyal troops therefore the inability to crush the uprising for more than 16 months.

Using brute force can destroy a lot crushing a revolution is a very different business.

In this post I am just making my observations and not really putting any judgement on this or that aspect of the conflict.

Likewise the Russians think that they can use Syria as a bargaining chip with the EU and the US and it is not working. Likewise the AL and the Gulf countries cannot affect major influence in the Arab world as they are part of the old decaying order. Likewise Turkey went out on a limb and is aiming to use soft power when its hard power is not yet fully mature.

More observations
The Russians have commented that Fredo seemed detached from reality
The Russians are afraid of a collapse of the price of gas and of the price of oil.
KSA will increase its production to 12 million barrels and Iraq is set to increase to about 5-7 million barrels a day by 2017 this means doom for the recovery of Russia. It leaves it with arms exports and a few other things.

The Iranians in the latest attempt to set a post Fredo course are courting all Lebanese with promises of projects as was revealed lately. The sale of oil to China and Japan and India is being decreased and they cannot find insurance for their shipments and tankers. I think that pressuring Iran is not acceptable for me personally but the reality is that they blundered when they chose to support the Bahrain uprising and not the Syrian one. They blundered when they continue to paint a picture of world conspiracy and Zionist hegemony. The people around the world want responsive instutitions and rule of law and freedom from arbitrary rule and accountability and progress.

The US population and political establishment wants to disengage from direct involvement in the ME. They are also slowly disengaging from Israel as well if you have not noticed already.

The strategic interests of the US have shifted to the far east if you have not noticed lately and the Iranian and the Americans will eventually reconcile and move to a new partnership that guarantees stability in the region. The Arab Spring will bring an emphasis of economic development and the political fires that have plagued the region and were used to prevent progress are dying down in favor of economical betterment. Whether this is possible is not known. If there is failure radicalization is the name of the game but in this instance hopefull no one will accuse the US of interfering directly.

Finally the colonial borders that created inherently unstable entities will be re drawn with either break ups or federated states and autonomous regions. The Sudan is not a conspiracy hatched lately it was hatched in the 19th century just as Jordan Syria Iraq and Lebanon were hatched in the 20’s These are artificial entities that are not sustainable any longer.


June 4th, 2012, 2:23 pm


Katamon said:

The strength of a regular army has little to do with its ability to suppress insurgency. Given the Soviet and American examples this should be obvious. In general, it is almost impossible to use military force to crush an insurgency unless you can find ways to cut off its external support. This is something that Assad is unlikely to be able to do because much of the external support for the insurgency derives from anti-Iranian players, while Assad has doubled down on Iranian support.

June 4th, 2012, 2:54 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Stones vs. firearms.

Who is the armed terrorist gang? I see no foreign conspirators here. Just angry young Syrians.!

June 4th, 2012, 3:25 pm


Antoine said:

The strategy of the Free Syrian Army is to erode their opponents from within, and bleed them by a thousand cuts.

Its a classic pyschological and sociological approach.

FSA is well-entrenched in large swathes of the Syrian hinterland, especially in small towns and cities and in the countryside.

It enjoys significant support from a large cross-section of the population. This is what is called the “host population” in an insurgency, who are prepared to feed, clothe, and hide, the insurgents, and prepared to go through many hardships in order to support their cause.

Obviously the FSA and LCC plan a long haul and know that victory cannot be achieved in a fortnight. They are planned for the next 10 yaers at least.

Basically they plan to fight a long and total war against Assad. This is their vision.

It was the same vision Mao Zedong had in 1932.

It took him 17 years.

And if Assad thinks he can crush the insurgency Chechnya style, he is mistaken. The population of Chechnya was only 2 million concentrated in only 100 square kilometres, with only 1 major urban centre ( Grozny).

The Syrian armed opposition is well entrenched in 7 Governorates of Syria spanning more than 2000 square kilometres and a population of almost 12 million. It has wide support in the rugged and inaccessible countryside like Idleb as well as heavily built-up densly-populated urban centres like Douma.

So yeah FSA throws a challenge to Bashar al Assad and the Syrian Arab Army and is showuing them the middle finger, bunch of suckers.

June 4th, 2012, 3:39 pm


Tara said:

What is in the horizon?  Why the meeting?

Kofi Annan, the United Nations envoy to Syria, is to hold talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Friday, said a spokesperson for Annan.

No other details were released but the announcement comes in the wake of weekend remarks by Syrian President Bashar Assad defending his government’s crackdown on opponents.

Meanwhile, a Washington-based refugee advocacy group called on the world Monday to help Syrians who have fled their country’s turmoil, saying they are stretching the meagre resources of Jordan and Lebanon.

Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, Jordan has taken in more than 110,000 refugees, and Lebanon 26,000, according to official figures. In Jordan, many refugees are being hosted in private homes, with Jordanian families providing them food and shelter.


June 4th, 2012, 3:40 pm


Jasmine said:

Just wondering for how long Syria is going to be the stadium host for this political Olympia ;shouldn’t these appointed referres call the games over by now or the Syrian blood is getting cheaper by the hour.

June 4th, 2012, 3:41 pm



10. Amir in Tel Aviv

It is really too similar to Palestine anger against Israeli ocuppying forces. Assad would have not imagined even in his worse dreams that he would become worse than israeli repression.

June 4th, 2012, 3:43 pm


Antoine said:

. Atassi said:

I must say, I want the Syrian Army intact and cohesive and be kept as a viable national institution for teh future, Syrians must plan and with a great effort to rehabilitee its basic structure,

That is the main concern, how to keep the Army intact and yet defeat Assad. Hence encouraging defections.

The FSA and LCC don’t think in terms of heavy equipment and tanks and artillery, they think in terms of people. All of the above equipment is worthless without the people who man them. Take the people out of the equation and Assad is defeated.

That said, Free Syria will immedialtely be under all sorts of threats from Israel, Iraq, Iran, Russia and maybe even Jordan and Turkey, who knows.

June 4th, 2012, 3:43 pm


Uzair8 said:

This evening Channel 4 News showed their team visit the pro-Assad areas surrounding Houla to hear their version.

In Search of Houla’s killers
Sunday 3 June 2012

[Selected quote]

‘So Channel 4 News were today the first outsiders to reach and investigate in these villages. Not even the UN observers came here during their investigation.’

June 4th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Antoine said:


If you don’t mind, I would like to bring up a comment you made some time ago.

It is your contention that this Uprising has affected the “base of the regime”.

By that of course you mean the rural areas of the Governorates.

One comment of yours I found very interesting is that, you mentioned that the Baath Party was very popular in the villages around Hama.

The more interesting part was, you sad that “these villages around Hama did nothing to help when Hama City was being destroyed in ’82”.

Please explain in detail what you meant by that.

Did you mean to say Reef Hama was supportive of the regime actions in 1982 ?

If that was indeed the case, why did they do so ?

June 4th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Uzair8 said:

I caught Inside Story today on Al Jazeera. A few minutes into it.
A couple of Lebanese guests were having an exchange about the Syria-related clashes in Lebanon in recent days. The presenter turned to the third guest which happened to be Robert Fisk.

He stated how he was reminded of someone telling him that when Assad begins to despair, trouble will reach here (Tripoli/Lebanon etc). Robert Fisk also noted how the recent events in Lebanon were close (in timing) to Assad’s speech.

The video isn’t up on AJE yet. Probably in a day or so.

June 4th, 2012, 4:20 pm


Amnesia said:

Since it hasn’t been announced on this forum yet, I will pass on the news.

Today in Istanbul, “Syrian activists form ‘military coalition’ against Assad’s regime”. They claim to represent 12,000 fighters on the ground, and definitely do have support and allegiance from fighters. “Prominent Syrian Human rights activist Haitham al-Maleh voiced his support for the new military front in a video message to the conference, part of which was broadcast by Al Arabiya.”

Does anyone know anything else about this group?

June 4th, 2012, 4:58 pm


Uzair8 said:

Fawaz Gerges expresses the difficulty in maintaining neutrality in the light of recent massacres and feels morally complicit having to warn against the dangers of foreign intervention.

Syria: Nightmare scenario on horizon?
June 4th, 2012

[Selected quote]

GERGES: It’s absolutely correct. In fact, I would argue that the Tehran-Baghdad road has become the lifeline of the al-Assad regime. Syria is receiving tremendous support, material support, political support, and even military support, and Iraq sees itself as basically part of the alliance against the so-called the Turkish, Saudi, Sunni-dominated alliance, but my fear is that what the Houla massacre has done, it has poured gasoline on a raging fire, and my fear is that the essentially political conflict in Syria could easily expand into a sectarian strife, destroying not only Syria, but also neighboring countries like Lebanon and Jordan and spilling over into Iraq as well.

June 4th, 2012, 5:26 pm


Tara said:

Another military faction?

I don’t know if I should feel happy or sad about it?

June 4th, 2012, 5:27 pm


zoo said:

Bashar puts the words of his “downplayed’ speech into action,

Government forces attacked rebel strongholds in Idlib province in the northwest and Deir Ezzor in the northeast as violence nationwide claimed nine lives on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based watchdog said that the fighting in Idlib’s Jabal al-Zawiya hill district, in which two rebel fighters were killed, was the most intense since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime erupted in March last year.

In Deir Ezzor, the government deployed helicopters to strafe suspected rebel hideouts in farmland in the Sbeikhan district and one was hit by rebel fire, the Observatory said.

The fighting came a day after Assad vowed to crush the the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), which announced on Friday that it was resuming “defensive operations” because of the failure of a UN-backed ceasefire that was supposed to go into effect from April 12.

The Syrian Observatory said 19 soldiers, eight rebels and 19 civilians were killed in violence across the country on Sunday.

On Saturday, 57 soldiers were killed nationwide, the biggest single day losses for the military of the uprising, the watchdog said.


June 4th, 2012, 5:36 pm


Tara said:

More on the rebel front:

ISTANBUL (AP) — Syrian activists on yesterday announced a new rebel coalition that aims to overcome deep divisions within the opposition in its fight against the forces of President Bashar Assad.

The group, the Syrian Rebels Front, declared its formation in a news conference in Turkey that had the hallmarks of a public relations event, including a banner, video presentations and a simultaneous translation service. But it was uncertain how the new organization would coordinate with other sectors of the Syrian opposition, whose failure to unite has hobbled its campaign to topple Assad despite a nationwide uprising that has lasted more than one year.

Khaled al-Okla, one of the organizers, said the fledgling group will coordinate with the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of rebel units whose nominal leaders are based on the Turkish side of the border with Syria. Members of the Free Syrian Army acknowledge its commanders have limited or no operational control over rebel units inside Syria, but they say the label has given a public face to the lightly armed factions, who are under heavy pressure from government forces with tanks and artillery.

“We might have some treaties or agreements to coordinate our work in Syria,” said al-Okla, who claimed his umbrella group has 12,000 fighters. He also read a statement that said the Syrian Rebels Front had been formed in light of Assad’s “scorched earth policy” as well as “the failure of all Arab and international initiatives to rein in Assad from his crimes,” suggesting the rebels were giving up on a peace plan proposed by UN envoy Kofi Annan. The 15-month-old revolt against Assad’s rule has killed up to 13,000 people, according to activist groups.

The Syrian rebel statement said the launching of the new front could serve “as the melting pot that brings together all armed rebel factions across Syrian territory as they seek to topple …

However, some in the audience, which included journalists, were skeptical. One person took a microphone and asked: “Why do we need a new front? There are already a lot of fronts.”

The rebel statement cited the killings of more than 100 people, many of them small children, in Houla last week as the height of the Syrian regime’s cruelty. The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the Houla killings, each blaming the other for the house-to-house killings. UN investigators have said there are strong suspicions that pro-regime gunmen are responsible for at least some of the killings….

 The announcement of the new rebel front was accompanied by a video presentation claiming the front has 100 “battalions or fighting formations,” and it featured clips of masked fighters declaring their allegiance to the new entity. While some Gulf countries support the idea of arming rebels, Western and Arab allies have been reluctant to supply anti-regime fighters, partly because of their lack of cohesion, and also for fear of igniting a broader and more intense conflict.

Turkey has said it is not providing military aid to Syrian rebels, but it allows opposition groups to organize on its soil and also gives medical and other humanitarian aid to thousands of Syrian refugees, as well as hundreds of army defectors, who have fled their country. Turkey has said it would consider establishing a buffer zone inside Syria if border security deteriorates, though such an outcome does not appear imminent.

Also yesterday, a Washington-based refugee advocacy group called on the world to help Syrians who have fled their country’s turmoil,…


June 4th, 2012, 5:51 pm


zoo said:

Amnesia #19

It’s one more “unified front” made of Islamists and tribes under a Turkish large umbrella who consider Turkey as their “home”.
A French saying: The more we are, the more fun we have.

Syrian opposition in Turkey forms unified front

ISTANBUL, June 4 (Xinhua) — Syrian opposition in Turkey declared on Monday that it established “Syrian Revolutionists Front” made up of members of the Islamic factions and tribes.

Mustafa Falih et-Tai, an opposition activist said at a press conference that they established a new entity to bring together the Islamic factions and tribes.

“We announce the formation of the front here,” et-Tai said, adding that “We are in Turkey as this is our home. We can topple the Assad regime if we get united. We are thankful to Turkey for its support.”

June 4th, 2012, 5:53 pm


bronco said:

#12 Tara

“Meanwhile, a Washington-based refugee advocacy group called on the world Monday to help Syrians who have fled their country’s turmoil, saying they are stretching the meagre resources of Jordan and Lebanon.”

Will Qatar and Saudi Arabia should show their traditional generosity and hospitality towards refugees and send their planes to Jordan and Lebanon to bring these poor people to safety in their peaceful country?
I have no doubt they won’t. It shows what kind of people they are.
I may be critical of Turkey’s support for armed men, but at least Erdogan has accepted fleeing refugees, why KSA and Qatar do not?

June 4th, 2012, 6:04 pm


Tara said:


I hear you, but is their a precedent for a non- neighboring country to accept refugees?

June 4th, 2012, 6:11 pm


habib said:

“10. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Stones vs. firearms.”

I hope the hypocrisy here isn’t lost on anyone.

June 4th, 2012, 6:15 pm


bronco said:

Tara #26

“I hear you, but is their a precedent for a non- neighboring country to accept refugees?”

There is no precedent in non-neighboring Arab countries sending weapons and money to fight another Arab country by proxy. The ones who have created that precedent are KSA and Qatar.
They are rich, they have large airlines and could make an aerial “humanitarian corridor” between Amman, Beirut and Ryadh and Doha.

Too much to ask to help a few thousands refugees.

Let’s remember that Syria under Assad’ regime accepted millions of Iraqi refugees that created a heavy burden on its economy and no one cared about it.

June 4th, 2012, 6:27 pm


zoo said:

Zbigniew Brzezinski: Let’s Not Be “Emotional” About Syria
Nick Ottens, June 1, 2012

Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski appears on MSNBC’ Morning Joe, May 30

Although international pressure on the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad is mounting after the massacre of Houla, former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski cautions against acting on outrage. Foreign intervention, he warns, could have deadly repercussion

June 4th, 2012, 6:38 pm


Tara said:


Not too much to ask, and indeed KSA and Qatar should take few thousands refugees each.

However, in regard to the Assad’s regime accepting millions of Iraqi refugee.. Did the regime have a choice of not to accept them. No!. Bashar al Assad was not philanthropic letting them in. He just could not possibly say no. Syris was always hailed as the “pulsing heart of Arabism”. Can the pulsing heart not take them in?

June 4th, 2012, 6:41 pm


zoo said:

Soon in post Assad Syria:

تدريس اللغة التركية إبتداءا من السنة القادمة

June 4th, 2012, 6:43 pm


bronco said:

#30 Tara

“Did the regime have a choice of not to accept them.”

Saudi Arabia simply closed its borders to Iraq refugees…

If Syria had done the same, there would have been more millions of Iraqis women and children killed.
Not only Iraqis were allowed in Syria but they were offered free schooling and free medical support. You can imagine the burden on Syria’s economy. That’s what I call Arab solidarity and this is something no Iraqi will forget. But many Syrians, especially the expats, keep ignoring it and instead keep repeat why Bashar did not do the economical and political reforms, he had plenty of time.

Also Syrians forget that during the 8 devastating years of the Iran-Iraq war, Syria was the only Arab country to stand against Saddam Hossein, all the other arab countries. especially Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were rushing in sending money, weapons and food to their friend the dictator: Arab solidarity at its best.

June 4th, 2012, 6:52 pm


Tara said:


What is the problem of teaching a foreign language in schools? It is a good thing to be multilingual…

June 4th, 2012, 6:57 pm


zoo said:

#33 Tara

I guess Turkish will replace english or french as I doubt Tunisians or any child is able to learn 4 languages at the same time.

June 4th, 2012, 7:10 pm


Tara said:


Do you really believe that Bashar could have possibly said no to the Iraqi refugees? I don’t … You just simply can’t have your cake and eat it too. He can’t claim Syria to be the pulsing heart of Arabism and at the same time closes the borders. I think he had no choice. Just like Erdogan has no choice now..

While I do not condone KSA closing it’s borders to Iraqi refugees, KSA never made an Arabism claim.

And was Syria supporting Iran against Saddam an example of Arab solidarity? Or an example of the Syrian regime stand against the Tyranny? It was interest-driven..nothing more, nothing less.

June 4th, 2012, 7:15 pm


Tara said:


And all these months, I thought you have an “oriental taste”… Have you not?

June 4th, 2012, 7:21 pm


zoo said:

Despite the media hinting that the EU will try to soften Russia’s stance on Syria, ahead of the 29th Russia-EU meeting, Putin said he has no intention to change his position on Syria.,-Russia-to-back-Annans-plan,-w.aspx

Van Rompuy calls EU, Russia to back Annan’s plan, work together on Syria
Ahram Online , Monday 4 Jun 2012

Russia and the European Union must work together to end the crisis in Syria, EU President Herman Van Rompuy told AFP on Monday, adding that they agreed the Kofi Annan peace plan was the best way to avoid civil war.

“We fully agree that the Annan plan as a whole provides the best opportunity to break the cycle of violence in Syria… avoiding a civil war,” Van Rompuy said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “We need to combine our efforts in order for this to happen.”

Van Rompuy and EU Commission chief Manuel Barroso met Putin at the start of a two-day summit overshadowed by clashing visions on Syria and Iran.

Both European leaders will be keen to sound out Putin for any hints of a softening on either crisis after his return to the Kremlin for a third term.

But the ex-KGB agent said on Sunday that he is sticking firmly to his refusal to back further action against Soviet-era ally Syria during a swing through Berlin and Paris on Friday, and there were few hints of compromise emerging from Moscow.

“We intend to once again underscore our principled approach to settling international conflicts,” Putin’s foreign policy adviser Yury Ushakov told reporters ahead of the 29th Russia-EU talks.

June 4th, 2012, 7:38 pm


Tara said:


Salamet qalbek wa nshallah ma tshoufi waja3 qalb.

وأنت كمان. وجع القلب صعب

June 4th, 2012, 7:40 pm


Tara said:

A kurd to lead the SNC? Who is Abdel basset Sayda? 

The Syrian National Council (SNC) will meet during the weekend to replace Burhan Ghalioun who resigned as the leader of the opposition bloc late last month, SNC officials said on Monday.

The meeting will take place Saturday and Sunday in Istanbul, where a vote might be abandoned if there is a “consensus” candidate as it appears to be, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

“So far the consensus candidate is Abdel Basset Sayda,” a Kurdish member of the SNC’s executive office, one source said, while the other confirmed that Sayda could be appointed as the new SNC leader.

Sayda, who lives in exile in Sweden, joined the SNC as an “independent activist,” according to his friend Massud Akko, who is also Kurdish.

He is member of the SNC’s executive bureau and heads the bloc’s human rights department.

He was born in 1956 in Amuda, a mostly Kurdish city in the northeastern Syrian province of Hassakeh.

“He is honest, level-headed and cultured,” Akko said.


June 4th, 2012, 7:56 pm


bronco said:


Do you really believe that Bashar could have possibly said no to the Iraqi refugees?“

Of course, he could .. at least make it complicated, visas, limit the number etc…, create camps on the border like Turkey did watched by military. Iraqis were free to move around, rent apartments and live a normal life and they are all eternally grateful to Bashar.

In your eyes Bashar who helped millions of Iraqis, should not be thanked but blamed, while Saudi Arabia who always closes its border to refugees should be excused for not been ‘Arab nationalistic’ and for sending money to kill Syrians so they can achieve ‘democracy’.

June 4th, 2012, 7:57 pm


omen said:

20. UZAIR8 said:
Fawaz Gerges expresses the difficulty in maintaining neutrality in the light of recent massacres and feels morally complicit having to warn against the dangers of foreign intervention.


how is remaining neutral in the face of genocide a virtue?

so, gerges argues allowing syrians to be slaughtered en masse is the best prescriptive to regional stability.


the longer this regime is allowed to remain in power, the more things will spiral out of control, the harder it will be to keep things bottled up.

June 4th, 2012, 8:05 pm


Tara said:


An interesting choice indeed. I am a bit disappointed. I would vote George.

I think the SNC wants to “ingratiate” itself with the Kurds. But will it work?

June 4th, 2012, 8:10 pm


Observer said:

Antoine in 82 the rural areas of Syria which were in the Baath party did not have a bone with Hafez rule and Baath party rule because as the ICG report showed the party allowed for their sons and daughters to have a way forward from education to employment to promotion and access to government help with land and agriculture.

The MB at that time immediately used a sectarian discourse and the regime used violence on them and blamed other violence on them and did violence in their name discrediting them then went about and put in jail the entire population of urban pious people whether they were MB or not. Being a small urban revolt with sectarian grievances it consolidated the minorities around the regime and the rural population did not find the message appealing for the rural people are maybe religious but fanatical about the religion and maybe individually pious in private.

Now we have large sections of disenfranchised people having become poor and without hope. The people are also bent on revenge and on taking the fight to the end. This is neither Chechnya nor Algeria and we are no longer in 82.

I hope this helps; I am sure there are other elements that I am not aware of but it is known for a fact that after the insurrection Hafez did accomodate the Islamic groups and brought many urban people into the government to blunt the effect of his repression. The father had brains and guts still he was evil in many ways and ignorant in many others but none of the sons is the father.

June 4th, 2012, 8:11 pm


Dawoud said:

It is now well-known here that I am NOT an apologist for Bashar (War Criminal) al-Assad’s regime, but I find find it hypocritical and funny that an Israeli commentator above is saying: “Stones vs. Firearms.”

Palestinians invented “stones’ resistance” with their first intifadah, which started in 1987, agianst the Zionist occupiers! Palestinians’ resistance has been overwhelmingly “stones vs. firearms!”

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

June 4th, 2012, 11:04 pm


Dawoud said:

Where are the well-known pro-regime commentators here? As “Syria Comment” seems to be joining the revolutionary tide and abandoning its pro-regime slant, it seems that the “pro-regimers” are seeking a new refuge in the Wilayat al-faqih media and blogosphere!

I Don’t miss them!

June 4th, 2012, 11:13 pm


omen said:

posted just to note the oddity:

Israel Should Bomb Assad’s Palace

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should order the IDF ( Israeli Defense Force ) to launch a massive air strike against Assad’s palace ( situated atop Mount Qassioun northeast of Damascus) that would at one fell swoop wipe him, his family and top leadership circle out,

Assad has concentrated his family, top military command and intelligence chiefs at a single nerve center behind the fortified walls of the Qassioun Palace, the snake’s head can feasibly be cut off at one stroke.

By doing this Israel would be signalling to the Arab and Muslim that Israel is the true Defender and Benefactor of Arab & Muslim Rights in the Middle East. Secondly it would remove the one remaining obstacle to dealing with Iran immediately.

not that i find this scenario likely but how embarrassing would it be for israel to ride to the rescue while arab leaders have turned a blind eye to the slaying of fellow muslims for months now.

that detail about the palace is from debka. i wonder how accurate it is.

June 4th, 2012, 11:24 pm


omen said:

45. dawoud, can’t one be israeli and support the revolution? am i misreading him or isn’t he calling basher the terrorist?

June 4th, 2012, 11:40 pm


Ghufran said:
One has to wonder what Arab nations are able to provide to the modern world beside violence. Let us blame a foreign power or some mysterious bombing agency for this disgusting crime. Mirror,mirror on the wall ,who is the most violent race of all ?

June 4th, 2012, 11:48 pm


Ghufran said:

On why we should be careful when forming an opinion:
Regime media also took a post by Alex Thompson-UK and played with it to make it look like he doubts that the opposition is telling the truth,read the actual post on Alex blog.
My point,for the sixty times I might add,is that this vicious cycle of violence is not helping Syria as a whole,the country will be in ruins before the armed rebels declar “victory”.

June 5th, 2012, 12:02 am


zoo said:

Will Egypt have only one candidate for its first free election, just like Yemen?

More Protests Loom in Egypt, Targeting Candidacy of Mubarak’s Prime Minister
Published: June 4, 2012

CAIRO — The presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood and two popular rivals eliminated before the runoff called on Monday for further street protests until Egypt’s current military rulers enforce legislation disqualifying the other remaining candidate, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik.


June 5th, 2012, 12:11 am


Juergen said:

Interview in Germany with Samar Yazbek
“You are an Alawi Muslim. This group makes up the governing elite in Syria, doesn’t it?

Samar Yazbek: No! The Alawites are not the governing elite – that’s a historic error. It’s one family, the Assad family, which has taken this ethnic group hostage. The Alawites suffered repression for many years – and they became a part of the regime in order to re-establish their identity. But the regime only exploited the Alawites – and now the Alawites support the government, because they are frightened they’ll be massacred by the Sunni when Assad falls.”

“Has the revolution lost its innocence?

Samar Yazbek: No, it’s lost its peaceful methods. And that means that the level of violence and repression against ordinary people is increasing – after all, it’s a people’s revolution; it’s not just the elite. They’re using the Shabihah – Alawite mafia types in black Mercedes with shaded windows – to kill Sunnis.”

June 5th, 2012, 12:32 am


Juergen said:

Assad’s 5th speech since the start of the revolution: The following words he used quite frequently:

Terrorism, 38 times
Dialogue, 31 times
Crisis, 26 times
Political solution, 11 times

In the first speech he was applauded 44 times
In the second, 20 times
In the third, 17 times
And in the fifth,7 times

I think if he would read the Damascus telephone book he would still get standing ovations, calls for world presidency and 2 songs would be performed for his honor.

Just found out, due to sudden self modesty the time for clapping was limited, so the statistic with the rounds of clapping isnt really an expression how much the members of parliament love their supreme and eternal leader.

June 5th, 2012, 12:51 am


Juergen said:

Posted by Jon Lee Anderson

“In Syria, the Houla massacre took place under the noses of everyone. Despite the regime’s denials, it seemed obvious to most, including the U.N.’s observers—all of whom came from nations that were pre-approved by the Assad regime—that the killings were likely carried out by the Alawite paramilitary thugs known as the Shabiha, possibly acting in concert with regular army forces. On Sunday, in an appearance before Syria’s parliament, President Assad condemned Houla in the kind of terms we might expect from a president. He called its perpetrators “monsters” and rejected the notion that they might be Syrian army soldiers. He appeared to be sincere.
Is it possible, after all, that Assad really doesn’t know who is doing the killing? Or is it a performance? In his speech yesterday, Assad also said, “When a surgeon in an operating room cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him ‘Your hands are stained with blood’? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

Read more

June 5th, 2012, 1:00 am


omen said:

50. GHUFRAN said:
My point,for the sixty times I might add,is that this vicious cycle of violence is not helping Syria as a whole,the country will be in ruins before the armed rebels declar “victory”.
12:02 am

do you honestly want the regime to go? how do you propose for this to happen when you keep arguing for the fsa to be dissolved? ask basher nicely to leave?

June 5th, 2012, 1:41 am


Alan said:

‘Clandestine intervention fuels Syrian conflict’
Syrian rebels are committed to taking up arms once again after moving to pull out of Kofi Annan’s UN-backed truce. But anti-war activist Don Debar told RT that without a peaceful solution, the bloodshed in Syria will make Libya “look like a picnic.”
The announcement made by a Free Syrian Army spokesman Monday that they were no longer bound to observe the ceasefire follows a spate of weekend attacks which reportedly left at least 80 government troops dead.
Following the May 25 Houla massacre which left 108 dead, almost half of them children, UN-Arab league envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan appears to be in tatters../../..

June 5th, 2012, 2:27 am


Alan said:
West’s Syrian Narrative Based on ‘Guy in British Apartment’

Opposition propagandist in England apartment is, and has been, the sole source cited by the Western press.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

The “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” has been cited by the Western media for over a year in nearly every report, regardless of which news agency, be it AFP, AP, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, BBC, or any of the largest Western newspapers. One would believe this to be a giant sprawling organization with hundreds of members working hard on the ground, documenting evidence in Syria with photographs and video, while coordinating with foreign press to transparently and objectively “observe” the “human rights” conditions in Syria, as well as demonstrate their methodologies. Surely that is the impression the Western media attempts to relay to its readers…

June 5th, 2012, 3:06 am


Amjad said:


“but at least Erdogan has accepted fleeing refugees, why KSA and Qatar do not?”

Um, excuse me? There are more Syrians who fled to the Gulf than there are refugees in Jordan and Lebanon combined. Before the revolution, you’d have needed a stack of paperwork to join a relative in Saudi Arabia. But since then, while the embassy was open, they would just take your word for it that you had a relative in Saudi and give you a visa.

Saudi has stopped the deportation of Syrians under any and all circumstances. It used to be that when a work permit expired, or someone committed a crime, they would be deported from the country. But now there are numerous Syrians who have overstayed, with the blessing of the Saudi government. Syrian students are now allowed to study at government schools, which previously was exclusively for Saudis. Overstayed your umra visa? No problem. Overstayed your visit visa? No problem. Lost your job? No problem, stay and find another one.

There isn’t a single Syrian man in Syria, who wouldn’t prefer that his wife, daughter or sister was in Saudi right now instead of Syria. Except maybe Bashar.

June 5th, 2012, 3:36 am


Amjad said:

“When a surgeon in an operating room cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him ‘Your hands are stained with blood’? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

When the patient could have been treated with medicine, but the incompetent surgeon went ahead and performed clumsy major surgery instead and hired his inept relatives as the surgery support team, then what do we do? Revoke the surgeon’s medical license and sue him for malpractice.

June 5th, 2012, 3:40 am


Amnesia said:

Bronco, Amjad is right about Saudi. These are not neighboring countries mind you, but there are refugees present in both places.

Also, don’t for second think that Iraqis were allowed in Syria without reason.

Bashar knew he could play both sides of the conflict. His father had a habit of doing that.

The Iraqis were not allowed to work. Those that needed to work often went back to Iraq for better pay. Those that could emigrate elsewhere always jumped to do so. Those who had the money spent it, boosting the Syrian economy. Assad welcomed the tourist money the Iraqis brought with them.

Iraqis eternally grateful to Syrians? Yes. To Assad? Not at all.

June 5th, 2012, 5:12 am


Karabennemsi said:

The “Friends of Syria” now have an office in Berlin, which is equally funded by UAE and Germany.

In the comment section of the Spiegel, somebody postet this great analysis of the German intentions in Syria, wich can only be recommended:

“Market Economy for Syria2012/05/30
DAMASCUS/BERLIN(Own report) – Berlin is preparing for Syria’s transformation to a liberal market economy. Under German leadership, a multinational “Working Group” began its work late last week. Immediately following the overthrow of the Assad regime, this “Working Group” is planning to launch urgent economic measures, including the coordination of aid projects and the implementation of economic reforms. Together with the United Arab Emirates, the German government is establishing a “secretariat,” under the leadership of a German with Afghanistan experience. In cooperation with the Assad regime, Berlin had already promoted the Syrian economy’s privatization. However, the nascent liberalization drove sectors of the population into bankruptcy, thereby contributing to insurgence against the regime. Berlin has already received first drafts for Syria’s new economic order. They were written by an activist of the Syrian National Council (SNC), which is under strong criticism by a large part of the opposition because of the pre-eminence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Washington-based Syrian exile politicians hold leading positions in the SNC. They are demanding a Kosovo-style western intervention and consider Kosovo’s KLA to be a model for the Syrian opposition.
Late last week, a multinational “Working Group,” co-chaired by Germany, met for the first time in Abu Dhabi, with the aim of launching urgent economic measures for immediately following the overthrow of the Assad regime. The “Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Friends of the Syrian People” was established April 1 in Istanbul by the “Group of Friends of the Syrian People,” an alliance of western and pro-western countries, which support the Syrian opposition in the civil war and are cooperating mainly with the exiled Syrian National Council (SNC). The UN Security Council has neither legitimized the “Group of Friends of the Syrian People” nor this “Working Group on Economic Recovery and Development of the Friends of the Syrian People,” which has empowered itself to serve as a “central forum” for launching necessary economic measures.[1]
Germany in Charge
According to German diplomat, Clemens von Goetze, who, along with a colleague from the United Arab Emirates, had co-chaired the meeting last week, the “Working Group” not only has plans for emergency aid for the immediate aftermath of the regime change, but he finds “it is a good time already to start now for a long-term perspective of the country once change comes in Syria.”[2] The Marshall Plan, implemented by the United States after World War II, to provide the material foundation for the establishment of the Western alliance, serves as a model. The “Working Group” set up several sub-committees along the lines of special issues. The member countries have officially agreed on an international division of labor, with Germany in charge of “economic policy and reform.” According to reports, the explicit goal is a “long term strategy” [3] for the transition “from a centralized economy to a market economy.” The “Working Group” will set up a secretariat, with Germany and the United Arab Emirates each providing 600,000 Euros. It will be headed by Gunnar Wälzholz, of Germany, who had been the director of the Afghanistan branch of the German Development Bank (KFW).”

The analysis continues furtheron, i’m not sure about copyright and stuff, so i just posted the first half or so to give you an impression.

June 5th, 2012, 5:18 am


ann said:

Ann I have never deleted any of your posts just cropped them when you copied and pasted entire news article.

SC Moderator

Do NOT delete my post please. Thank you

No talks between Moscow, US on Al-Assad ouster – Russian Foreign Ministry

Russia is not in negotiation with the US on the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Tuesday. “No, we are not conducting such negotiations”

Bogdanov also said that the issue of turning the UN observer mission in Syria into a peacekeeping mission is not on the agenda.

June 5th, 2012, 6:40 am


ann said:

Beijing, Moscow ‘on same page’ regarding Syria – China

Both China and Russia are against foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Tuesday. “Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role in the Syrian issue.”

June 5th, 2012, 6:43 am


ann said:

‘China, Russia united against Syria intervention’ – 06/05/2012

Both Beijing and Moscow oppose foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman says, adding that parties in Syria must solve the problem.

BEIJING – China said on Tuesday that both Beijing and Moscow oppose foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived for a security summit.

“Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force,” Liu said.

“We believe ultimately the Syrian issue should be properly addressed through consultation among different parties in Syria. This is in the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role on the Syrian issue.”


June 5th, 2012, 6:59 am


ann said:

Syria: The Dangers of One-Sided Reporting – May 28, 2012 – By Russ Baker

The news out of Syria gets more and more appalling. But so does the quality of the journalism. Here’s an example, from the BBC dated May 26:

At least 90 people, including many children, have been killed in Syria’s restive Homs province,
[ opposition activists say ], calling it a “MASSACRE”.

They said scores were wounded in the violence in Houla, as government forces shelled and attacked the town.

Shocking footage has emerged of the bodies of children killed as part of one the bloodiest attacks in one area since a nominal truce began in April.

The UN said international monitors were heading to the area.

BBC then quotes the wire service AP:

[ An activist] in Houla told the Associated Press news agency that troops began the assault on Houla after an anti-regime demonstration following Muslim prayers on Friday.

The assault began with artillery shelling which killed 12, he said – but scores more were [ butchered when pro-regime thugs ] known as “shabiha” then stormed the area.

And here’s UPI:

DAMASCUS, Syria, May 26 (UPI) — At least 88 people, many of them children, were killed in a town in the restive province of Homs in Syria in an attack by government forces, [ activists said ].

All these reports were based almost entirely on the word from activists on one side in the conflict, not from journalists or neutral observers. That is not journalism. Why are there not more journalists actually in these places reporting? In the past, reporters always managed to get into conflict zones. And, notwithstanding Syrian government controls on access to these areas and the obvious physical dangers attendant to work in such places, news organizations should be able to hire Syrians who will be diligent, careful and precise.

This fast-moving story has already led to a follow-up from BBC here that raises questions about the earlier assertion of culpability:

The village of Taldou, near the town of Houla in Syria’s Homs province was the scene of one of the worst massacres in the country’s 14-month-long uprising on Friday.

United Nations observers on the ground have confirmed that at least 108 people were killed, including 49 children and 34 women. Some were killed by shell fire, others appear to have been shot or stabbed at close range.

But at whose hands they died remains a matter of contention. Anti-government activists and eyewitnesses interviewed by a limited number of journalists and human rights groups at the scene point the finger at the Syrian army and the shabiha, a sectarian civilian militia that supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The government however denies all responsibility, saying its soldiers were attacked and armed terrorists went on to shoot and stab civilians.


The picture being pieced together by activists, survivors and the limited number of international journalists and human rights organisations in Syria is of an attack that began with the army shelling the town and ended with militiamen killing people house-by-house late into the night.

Reports suggest that at about 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Friday, just after midday prayers, soldiers fired on a protest in Taldou in the Houla area to disperse the crowds.

Some accounts say that opposition fighters then attacked the Syrian army position where the firing was coming from.

According to Syria’s foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi, “hundreds of gunmen” armed with machine guns, mortars and anti-tank missiles attacked soldiers, killing three.


Alexei Pushkov, chair of the international affairs committee of the Russian parliament, the Duma, was more explicit: “We have very strong doubts that those people who were shot at point blank [range] and were stabbed, that this was the action of forces loyal to President Assad,” he told the BBC.

“The shelling was probably the responsibility of the troops of Mr Assad, but the stabbing and point blank firing was definitely from the other side.”

Notice how BBC is backing off somewhat from its earlier report that seemed sure who was responsible for the civilian killings—only the one side. This is commendable as far as it goes.

But BBC jumped the gun, so to speak, in other ways. For example, it published a horrifying photo of scores of bodies lined up, purportedly victims of government violence in Houla. It later had to apologize and explain that it was really a 2003 photo from Iraq. Read more about that here, and be sure and scroll down to see the photo.


June 5th, 2012, 7:23 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Kofi Annan plan is failing, there is no chance of success, after the three months pass,there has to be another plan
1) Arm and support the FSA
2) convert the UN mission to armed mission.
3)Intervene militarily by Nato and US.

Do nothing and admit failure,and delare the end of effort, this choice is impossible.
Depend on Russia and China to change their mind,NO CHANCE>
The first three choices mean war, I think every one agrees that the regime was given enough time,he did not do the demanded reform,he gave no compromise, he continued the brutal criminal sectarian fight.
I blame the long time, the revolution is taking to win,I blame it on those who call for Silmiyeh,Peacefully,and I call on them to appologize to the Syrian people,they and the criminal regime are on the same side, they failed miserably, It is TIME for arming the Syrian people and strongly support the FSA,many will die,but the regime is to blame and the cowards who call for Silmiyeh is to blame too.

June 5th, 2012, 7:27 am


ann said:

SYRIA: Killing Innocent Civilians as part of a US Covert Op. Mobilizing Public Support for a R2P War against Syria

US military doctrine envisages the central role of “massive casualty producing events” in which innocent civilians are killed.

The killings are deliberately carried out as part of a covert operation. The enemy is blamed for the resulting atrocities.

The objective is to justify a military agenda on humanitarian grounds. The doctrine dates back to 1962: Operation Northwoods.


June 5th, 2012, 7:42 am


Alan said:
Secretary’s Special Advisor on Syria, Fred Hoff
US delegation to discuss Syria in Moscow
A delegation of the US Department of State headed by the Secretary’s Special Advisor on Syria, Fred Hoff, is coming to Russia this week to hold Syria talks, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has said.

He also mentioned a phone talk that American and Russia foreign ministry officials had had recently, adding that negotiations are underway on other levels.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has stressed Moscow wasn’t discussing ways to promote Bashar al-Assad’s ouster with Washington.

“We aren’t holding any such talks,” Bogdanov said, answering a journalist’s question at a briefing today.

Previously, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the Syria issue.

The delegation is to arrive in Moscow in three days.
here is witchcraft and magic!
By George Friedman
The End of Counterinsurgency and the Scalable Force
Fighting continues in Syria
Syrian troops are waging fierce battles against rebels around Damascus, Aleppo and Hama.
According to a Lebanese news agency, over 80 servicemen have been killed or injured over the last two days.

The rebels are using new kinds of weapons, such as grenade launchers. In this connection, the independent Syrian newspaper The Al-Watan has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of stirring up a military conflict in Syria.

The newspaper has information that those two countries are sponsors of the irreconcilable Syrian opposition which provide its armed groups with weapons. They also send mercenaries to Syria across the border in the north of Lebanon where they ‘are establishing a springboard for an armed intervention’.
Syria declares Western envoys personae non gratae
Syria declared on Tuesday that the ambassadors of several Western countries were personae non gratae, in an official statement from the foreign ministry.

“Some states recently informed heads of our diplomatic missions and embassy staff that they are unwelcome,” the statement said, adding Syria was now designating the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Turkey, among others, as personae non gratae.

June 5th, 2012, 7:45 am


Karabennemsi said:

@67 Majedkhaldoun:

You seriously advocate Nato-boots in Syria?

That is very unrealistic, and even if it would happen, please consider what the consequences are.
The only countries capable of conducting such a mission in the Nato would currently be the US, Turkey, Britain, France, Germany and Poland. Germany wouldn’t be able to actually take action simply because the parliament wouldn’t allow that; Poland has made very bad experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq and therefore might refuse.
I can not believe that the Syrian people would willingly accept a coalition between the US, the former Ottomans, and the -legally and emotionally speaking- heirs of Sykes and Picot.

Such a mission has to fail not even considering the role of the militias or the regular army.

June 5th, 2012, 7:47 am


Alan said:

The spiral is in the back of planners Kosovo Scenario
In Syria, the planed Houla massacre took place under the noses of everyone !
Comment ID: 312517
Comment ID: 309189
Comment ID: 309103.
Comment ID: 302861
Comment ID: 302765
Comment ID: 299450
Comment ID: 295637

June 5th, 2012, 8:09 am


DAWOUD said:

صورة بثها ناشطون عن تشييع جنازة قتيل سقط أمس برصاص الأمن في حي القابون بدمشق (الفرنسية)

قتل 13 شخصا اليوم بنيران القوات النظامية في مناطق متفرقة من سوريا، في وقت شنت فيه القوات النظامية هجوما على إحدى البلدات في اللاذقية، كما اقتحمت هذه القوات النظامية بلدة في ريف حماة وسط البلاد بعد ثلاثة أيام من القصف العنيف.

ووفق الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية فإن معظم قتلى اليوم سقطوا في محافظة إدلب، بينما أفاد مراسل الجزيرة أن ثلاثة قتلى سقطوا اليوم في هجوم للجيش النظامي على بلدة الحفة بريف اللاذقية على الساحل السوري.

وكانت لجان التنسيق المحلية ذكرت قبل ذلك أن قتيلا وعدة جرحى سقطوا في قصف على هذه البلدة.

من جهته قال العقيد مالك الكردي نائب قائد الجيش الحر، في تصريحات للجزيرة، إن مجموعات من الشبيحة هاجمت بلدة الحفة باستخدام قذائف الهاون انطلاقاً من القرى المحيطة بالبلدة.

وأضاف الكردي أن مروحية للنظام قصفت قرى طعومة ودويركة والسرمانية والكبانة القريبة من اللاذقية.

من جهته أفاد المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان، في بيان إنه بعد ثلاثة أيام من القصف والاشتباكات، اقتحام قوات نظامية سورية تضم دبابات وناقلات جند مدرعة بلدة كفر زيتا في ريف حماة، وبدأت حملة مداهمات وإطلاق رصاص كثيف. وأشار المرصد إلى انسحاب الثوار من البلدة.

وفي تطور آخر، قالت شبكة شام الإخبارية إن الجيش النظامي بدأ حملة عسكرية على سقبا في ريف دمشق بعد اقتحامها، مشيرة إلى أن هناك مداهمات للمنازل والمحلات في البلدة.

وفي إدلب تحدثت الشبكة عن مقتل المواطن ثائر معروف من بلدة دير سنبل متأثرا بجراحه التي أصيب بها جراء نيران الجيش السوري، كما تحدثت عن مقتل مواطن برصاصه قناص في رأسه أثناء استهداف قوات الأمن حي القصور في حمص.

وفي اللاذقية تحدثت شبكة شام عن إطلاق نار من الرشاشات الثقيلة من قبل قوات الجيش السوري النظامي على المنازل في منطقة سلمى والقرى المجاورة.

استمرار المظاهرات

Salute to Palestinians who invented “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

June 5th, 2012, 8:13 am


Dawoud said:

We need Palestinian infiltrators from occupied Palestine, who are “armed” only with STONES, to enter Syria and help their Syrian brothers/sisters!

These Palestinain “armed groups” are ONLY armed with STONES!

Salute to Palestinians who invented “stones vs. firearms” resistance!

June 5th, 2012, 8:21 am


DAWOUD said:

Although Bashar (War Criminal)al-Assad has perfected the “art” of oppression and murder, there are still a few tactics that he could learn from the Israeli occupiers. For example, please see the following news story:

Israel Airport Email Searches Inspect Suspected Pro-Palestinian Activity

JERUSALEM — When Sandra Tamari arrived at Israel’s international airport, she received an unusual request: A security agent pushed a computer screen in front of her, connected to Gmail and told her to “log in.”

The agent, suspecting Tamari was involved in pro-Palestinian activism, wanted to inspect her private email account for incriminating evidence. The 42-year-old American of Palestinian descent refused and was swiftly expelled from the country.

Tamari’s experience is not unique. In a cyber-age twist on Israel’s vaunted history of airport security, the country has begun to force incoming travelers deemed suspicious to open personal email accounts for inspection, visitors say.

Targeting mainly Muslims or Arabs, the practice appears to be aimed at rooting out visitors who have histories of pro-Palestinian activism, and in recent weeks, has led to the expulsion of at least three American women.

It remains unclear how widespread the practice is.

However, asked about Tamari’s claims, the Shin Bet security agency confirmed she had been interrogated and said its agents acted in accordance with the law.

Israel has a long history of using ethnic profiling, calling it a necessary evil resulting from its bitter experience with terrorist attacks. Arab travelers and anyone else seen as a risk are often subjected to intense questioning and invasive inspections, including strip searches.

The security procedures appear to be getting stricter: Recent searches of journalists at official events have been invasive enough to create a series of mini-uproars and walkouts – a situation that has dovetailed with increasing concerns that the government is trying to stifle dissent.

Diana Butto, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian Authority and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, said the policy of email checks, once used sporadically, appears to have become more widespread over the past year.

Butto said she has led three tour groups to the region over the past year, and in each case, at least one member of the group was asked to open their email. She said Muslims, Arabs and Indians were typically targeted, and in most cases, were denied entry.

Butto said agents typically want to see people’s itineraries, articles they have written or Facebook status updates.

June 5th, 2012, 8:37 am


majedkhaldoun said:

I never advocate foreign troops ,from Nato or USA in Syria, I am strogly against it,
What I called for is for Arming the Syrian people and the FSA,with enough power to create Balance so the regime accepts to negotiate exit

June 5th, 2012, 9:01 am


Tara said:

Syria declares Western ambassadors unwelcome
Syria has declared as unwelcome the ambassadors of several Western states, a week after governments around the world expelled its top diplomats.

The US, UK, French and Turkish envoys were among those designated “personae non gratae”. Many have already left.


June 5th, 2012, 10:24 am


Mina said:

Syria’s neighbours: pick up the model you wish to follow.–to-email-ac.aspx
“Israeli airport security force travellers to log in to their Gmail and facebook accounts to determine whether a “suspect” is involved in pro-Palestine activity with deportations as punishment…”
Presidential contender Ahmed Shafiq continued his fierce attacks on the Muslim Brotherhood Monday, accusing the group of killing protesters during the 25 January 2011 uprising.

“A military official told me during the [18-day uprising] that he had asked Brotherhood member Mohamed al-Beltagy and pro-Brotherhood preacher Safwat Hegazy to order the ‘bearded’ snipers killing protesters from the roofs of buildings to get down, to which Hegazy agreed,” Shafiq told television host Khairy Ramadan on CBC satellite channel.
Al-Masry Al-Youm has obtained details of the investigations conducted by the Illicit Gains Authority (IGA) into the wealth of Mubarak, his wife Suzanne, his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, and their wives Heidi Rasekh and Khadiga al-Gammal, which confirmed that they have 40 villas, more than US$147 million in an account that Mubarak can deposit into or withdraw from, LE140 million in an account belonging to Alaa, and LE100 million in an account for Gamal. (…)
They also have US$352.5 million in Switzerland, which is more than LE2 billion, and shares in companies in Cyprus, London and the United States, and have syphoned money abroad through off-shore companies, which IGA representatives are trying to repatriate. (…)

June 5th, 2012, 10:39 am


Antoine said:

Today there were violent 12 hour long clashes between FSA and the Army in al-Hiffeh in Latakia Countryside. 4 BMPs and 1 T-62 Tank was destroyed. FSA is still occupying 3 Police Stations in the region.

June 5th, 2012, 12:17 pm


zoo said:

China & Russia firm: No foreign intervention. No regime change by force

China and Russia: Keep faith in Annan peace plan
Daniel Bardsley
Jun 6, 2012

Despite the escalating violence, Liu Weimin, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told journalists yesterday that both China and Russia “oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force”.

“We believe ultimately the Syrian issue should be properly addressed through consultation among different parties in Syria,” he added.

“This is in the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. China and Russia have been playing, in their own way, a positive role on the Syrian issue.”

June 5th, 2012, 12:28 pm


zoo said:

Israel worries now about the security of the region or its own?
Containing Syria
06/04/2012 21:51

There is real danger that loose weaponry and WMDs might fall into the wrong hands, endangering not just Israel’s security, but the security and stability of the entire region.

In times of insurgency when regimes are in varying stages of collapse, there is a real risk that unsecured weaponry – including weapons of mass destruction – will fall into the wrong hands. Militias and insurgents who are more likely to be ruthless power-seekers than enlightened proponents of human rights exploit these situation to grab caches of weaponry by the tons.

June 5th, 2012, 12:33 pm


Antoine said:

224. SALAH ADDIN said :

“That is why the revolution is bogged down. The Syrian communities would have rallied, in a heart beat, around a truly representative and semi competent opposition.”


Okay , Salahaddin ( a.k.a Aldendeshe ), please tell us what the Local Coordination Committes did in those first days of 15 March 2011 in Daraa, that made them “not truly representative”.

Please tell us what the LCC did in the last 14 months which makes it “not truly representative”.

Please enlighten us, and if you do not, then you are simply acting Pricey.

Also please tell us how the LCCs has to offer is worse than what the regime has to offer.

June 5th, 2012, 12:38 pm


bronco said:

Amjad #59

You say:”There are more Syrians who fled to the Gulf than there are refugees in Jordan and Lebanon combined.”

I say:
You mean that these poor peasants in Daraa and Houla Edlib must have a relative to go to Saudi Arabia and must get a visa?
Who are you fooling? That’s what you call accepting refugees? with a visa? It’s only the well off and probably connected to the regime that went there, not the poor people who are under physical threat.

As Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey published the number of Syrians “refugees” in their country, please provide the same for the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. Exclude the businessmen who are not what I call ‘refugees’.
Otherwise your affirmation is unfounded.

June 5th, 2012, 12:45 pm


Antoine said:

The famous school teacher from Al Qouriyah, Deirezzor, who defected openly last December, is seen meeting wuth UN Obsrevers today in the town :

Again, I cannot hide my amazement at this funny person for joining the FSA. Then again, he had no other choice, he had openly insulted Bashar inside the school in full view of the Camera and in presence of all students and staff. If he stayed inside his home he would have been hunted down like a dog.

But what amazes me more is that the regime has still not managed to arrest him or kill him in the last 7 months. I mean he is not even a trained fighter, he is just a educationist with no military training, and he is STILL in al-Qouriyah, yet the regime has not managed to scratch him.

Till today, the regime has not managed to arrest or kill even 1 prominent commander of the FSA anywhere in Syria.

The regime is so incompetent.

June 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm


bronco said:

76. Tara said:

“Syria declares Western ambassadors unwelcome”

It was high time…

June 5th, 2012, 12:48 pm


Karabennemsi said:

@81. Antoine:

“Also please tell us how the LCCs has to offer is worse than what the regime has to offer.”

Are you familiar with the situation in al Quasyr?

What have the LCCs done to prevent this situation? What are they doing to ensure it doesn’t worsen?

Sharmine Narwani, a Senior Associate at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University, describes in the following piece en detail why the farouq guys are at least as bad as the regime itself:

Once again, what have the LCCs done to prevent this situation? What are they doing to ensure it doesn’t worsen?

Since the LLCs are not able to control or rather suppress such groups, they can not be an alternative to the regime.

It’s that easy.

June 5th, 2012, 12:54 pm


irritated said:


One is calling Palestinians, the other NATO, the other one God, to rescue the crumbling FSA.

What the FSA is getting instead are Al Qaeeda jihadists, criminals, and everyday a ‘new unified front’ popping up in Turkey.
It is now claiming 20,000 “soldiers”, paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Soon it will reach 100,000 they say
If it was not very sad to see the civilians Syrians hijacked and killed by these ‘unified fronts’, the FSA, like the defunct SNC, would appear like a very bad joke.

June 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm


Karabennemsi said:

@83 Antoine:

“But what amazes me more is that the regime has still not managed to arrest him or kill him in the last 7 months.”

Unlike some rebel forces, who are really efficent with the whole assassination thing, right?

I bet Dr. Adnan Wahbi could say a lot about this topic – oh wait, he was shot, although curing rebels, “activists” shot him inside his clinic in Duma the day after he called for an immediate ceasefire.

June 5th, 2012, 1:01 pm


zoo said:

The media is desperate to pick any sign that Russia will dump Bashar al Assad

“We have never said or insisted that Assad necessarily had to remain in power at the end of the political process,” said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov.

Translated by the media into a blunt:

“Russia says Assad may go as part of Syria settlement”

The “end of the political process”? in 2014, at the end of Bashar’s term?

June 5th, 2012, 1:06 pm


Antoine said:

Antoine, Do Not use Racist, sexist, obscene, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language; This is your final warning.

SC Moderator


Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Can you show us interviews of Syrian citizens living in the town of al-Qusayr, and hwat is their feedback about the LCC ?


FSA is more than able to throw its hold, even the forces from the 14th Airborne Division Special Forces were not able to defeat the FSA in Rstan, Qusayr, and Binnish.

I say bring up 2 or 3 SF regiments from the al-Qutayfeh Garrison and tell them to fight the FSA like men, and see who wins.

June 5th, 2012, 1:09 pm


zoo said:

That’s good news, the armed rebels will soon be left on their own to fight, as it should be, and not hide behind the civilians.

Turkey says over 2,000 Syrians flee in 3 days

ISTANBUL – Agence France-Presse

June 5th, 2012, 1:15 pm


irritated said:


“Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Your vulgarity reflect the level of your brain.

June 5th, 2012, 1:17 pm


Amjad said:

“Sharmine Narwani is not a credible source,she is a slut.

Add to that an attentionw***e, a shallow excuse for an “intellectual”, and someone who shamelessly lifts passages from Professor Landis’ posts without crediting him. It’s a reflection of the how bankrupt and hallow the intellectual base of the regime is that its supporters are made up of such personalities.

Narwani once said that no army could survive if it executed its own officers. The imbecile obviously had never heard of how the Soviet Army maintained discipline during the darkest days of WW 2. Tens of thousands of Soviet soldiers were executed during Stalingrad. Hitler threatened to shoot any officer who so much as moved a sentry from the door to the window. During the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraqi republican guards were deliberately placed in the rear lines to “discourage” any retreats.

Shooting your own soldiers en mass to keep others in line is a time honored practice of despicable dictatorships.

June 5th, 2012, 1:31 pm


Alan said:

French Bishop: Syrian Soldiers Face Foreign Fighters, Mercenaries, and Militants

‘US intervention in Syria underway since uprising began’

The opposition’s Free Syrian Army says it’s no longer commited to the UN-backed peace plan. Instead, it wants foreign states to impose a no-fly zone to help oust President Assad. The rebels’ decision to quit the UN-backed truce was largely motivated by the behaviour of the U.S. and its allies. That’s the view of anti-war activist Don Debar, who’s extensively covered civil conflicts in Arab countries.

June 5th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Karabennemsi said:

@89 Antoine:

Although, just as “Irritated”, I am disgusted by your comment about the journalist i cited, I will hereby present to you the interview you asked for:

However I am not aware of any interviews with inhabitants of al Qusayr particularly regarding the LCC, but since the place is basically divided into two parts, which are both controlled by military forces, one being controlled by the army, the second controlled by rebels, being divided once again between FSA and Farooks, and considering the significant blowback civilian life had in Qusayr, I am confident in saying that the LCC does probably not play an important role in the urban warfare, and that most likely a huge majority of current and former inhabitants are rather unhappy with the way the situation played out.

Maybe you could present some positive voices on the work of the LCCs of Duma, Rastan, Arbeen, Khaldiyieh, Qusayr, etc?

You also might want to elaborate on your problem with the professional work of Ms Narwani.

June 5th, 2012, 1:40 pm


Amjad said:

Narwani had also once said that the sight of UN peace keepers buying DVDs meant that things had returned to normal in Homs. Would even the regimists describe Homs as “normal”?

Describing her as a “senior fellow” very generously grants her more intellectual credibility than she has so far displayed.

June 5th, 2012, 1:42 pm


Alan said:

spiral planers ! for spiral intervention !
Arab Yugoslavia: Massacre fallout fuels Syria intervention

June 5th, 2012, 1:44 pm


Tara said:


Tit-for-tat does not impress me. Only original contributions…

Can the regime get any more isolated? It really is a pariah regime and is well deserved. Looking forward when Putin dumps Bashar…when the right price comes along of course…

June 5th, 2012, 1:52 pm


Amjad said:

85. Karabennemsi

Narwani’s entire article is based on an email from an account that the regimists claimed to have hacked. You and I both know how much the regime loves to copycat others. Look at how Al-Dunya displays alternative satellite frequencies in case their broadcast is interfered with, even though not a single instance of anyone interfering with Al-Dunya’s broadcast was ever recorded, unlike the feeble and pathetic lengths the regime went to to block Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

Witness also the regime’s infantile play acting at “observers”, as it dressed its mukhabarat in yellow jackets to take “testimony” from fellow mukhabarat-posing-as-ordinary-towns people, in order to mimic the Arab League observers mission.

And finally, you have the infamous hacking of the eye doctor’s emails, which blew the lid on the whole can of worms and put a stake in the heart of the lie that was Asma “rose of the desert”. Sanctions against her highness swiftly followed, to be followed also by claims that Burhan Ghalion’s emails had been hacked. The veracity of those emails has not be established.

And now, we have the juvenile “expelling” of ambassadors who haven’t set foot in Syria for months. Does the regime have a single adult running things?

And you wonder why Narwani is regarded with such scorn? Was she ever published anywhere outside of Hizbollah’s Al-Akhbaria?

June 5th, 2012, 1:57 pm


Mina said:

Or maybe some admire the Danish “model”? In the name of freedom of speech, praise the massacre of 70 teenagers who have nothing to do with Islam!

“Defence witnesses from the far right in Norway have backed Anders Behring Breivik’s views on Islam in court on Day 31 of his murder trial.

They said Norway was threatened by Muslim immigration, an argument used by Breivik in an attempt to justify massacring 77 people and injuring 242.

Breivik’s defence said the extremists’ testimony proved he was not insane because others shared his views.”

Insanity rules everywhere these days.

However, the speakers did not condone Breivik’s attacks.

June 5th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Amjad said:

Alan #100

The Russians are the world’s biggest sellers of snake oil. NATO has time and again said that military action is not even being contemplated. When America went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it loudly announced months before hand what its intentions were. When NATO attacked Qadafi’s forces, everyone including the Russians knew what UN Resolution 1973 meant. If military action was on the table, then NATO has no need to hide that fact.

But of course, the Russians need Bashar feeble and reliant on them. He’s the last person around who is willing to buy their outdated crap they call weapons. 36 Yak-130? Seriously? Who the hell needs 36 Yak-130? Algeria bought 3, Vietnam only eight, and even the Russian Airforce only has 11. But apparently the Russians overproduced this particular model. Good thing they have Bashar to pick up the tab. Russian veto support doesn’t come cheap you know.

June 5th, 2012, 2:25 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Reading this blog and the comment section is like reading Althawra Baathist rag and Mossad whish list. This is just a copy and paste of both really.

June 5th, 2012, 2:45 pm


Tara said:

Waleed al Moualem morbid obesity and probable sleep apnea is clouding his judgment. His tit for tat foreign policy is pitiful. His announcement of expelling Western diplomats that have long left Syria is an indication of bankruptcy. His refusal to allow the Arab assistant of Annan, Mr. Nasser kadwa into Syria as a tit for tat in reaction to the AL shunning the regime is another bankrupted maneuver. Have they gotten any original thoughts?

June 5th, 2012, 2:54 pm


DAWOUD said:

RE: # 63.

Dear Moderator:

Thank you for standing up to the copy-and-paste pro-regimers/commentators. Yes, you have to end space-eating spam on this blog.

ENOUGH IS enough!

June 5th, 2012, 2:55 pm


Alan said:

The Real Reason to Intervene in Syria

101. AMJAD
Russian Crap maybe for fuck !

June 5th, 2012, 3:02 pm


DAWOUD said:

103. Tara

Is the fat *** Walid al-Moualim Sunni?

June 5th, 2012, 3:21 pm


Amjad said:

105 Alan

“Russian Crap maybe for f-word”

Um….what? My English is good, but I’m afraid someone is going to have to help me out on this one. Could someone smarter than me help me understand what “maybe for f-word” means? Is the writer agreeing or disagreeing? Is he stating that Russian weaponry is good only for sex acts? Or is it his position that Russian Weaponry is the most pew-pew-pew weaponry in the history of weaponry? Regime-speak can be so confusing 🙂

June 5th, 2012, 3:24 pm


Alan said:

that Russian Weaponry is the most pew-pew-pew weaponry in the history of weaponry?
so confusing 🙂

June 5th, 2012, 3:39 pm


Karabennemsi said:

@98 Amjad

I can see why you would object to a citing of Ms Narwani in a serious discussion.

She is not dear to me and there are a lot of other articles basically getting to the same point – the cruelty of the farook brigade and the rivalties between rebel groups especially in Homs – so, granted, lets take that article out the discussion.
I regret posting it now because it gives possibility to flee the real question at hand: the llcs.

Also I gotta be honest with you: I don’t believe in the Assad mails, i have personally met Mrs Assad and have seen her work in surprising and provenly effective ways with the poor, and i do still regard her as the rose of dimasq. I know that a lot of people might object to that, but even if it would turn out that she personally was involved in some murderous planning, i would never regret my believing in her, because she was a well of hope and inspiration to me as well as to a lot of other people, and back then before the demonstrations and so on there were not a lot of female rolemodels one could have in the Arab world.
Especially as a man i was astonished when i first heard her speak, since it was of such extraordinary perspective on an highly abstract topic. For me she has been the single most remarkable arab women in the 21st century so far, and i will never be able to accept this personal well of inspiration being poisened by the lies of war.
In war almost every “news” is somehow fabricated or overinterpretated of course, but that doesn’t mean that a man can’t stand at his principles.

June 5th, 2012, 3:41 pm


Juergen said:

“A single principle will give you courage, namely, that no evil lasts forever.”

Epikur of Samos

June 5th, 2012, 3:42 pm


Tara said:


Waleed al Moualem is Sunni.

June 5th, 2012, 4:13 pm


ann said:

On Syria, Arab League No Longer to Meet UN SC, ICP Learns, Why?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 — In a telling split, Arab League chief Araby is now NOT asking to meet with the UN Security Council. Inner City Press first reported this change, via Twitter, at 9:32 am.

At the end of his June 4 press briefing on the Council’s program of work for June, Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong came back to the podium to say that a request had been received from Mr. Araby of the League of Arab States for an informal interactive dialogue with the Security Council, of the time for example done with the head of the African Union High Level Panel on the Sudans, Thabo Mbeki.

But at 9:15 am on June 5, Inner City Press reliably learned that Araby has no intention anymore to address the Council or have an interactive with its members. After confirming and tweeting it, Inner City Press ran to the Security Council itself where it was multiply confirmed.

But why did Araby change his mind? Most diplomats consulted by Inner City Press link it, rather obviously, with the Syrian opposition either saying there is no ceasefire, or no more Annan plan.

Meanwhile another “Syria Superbowl” is slated for Thursday.


June 5th, 2012, 4:14 pm


Uzair8 said:

AJE has put up the Inside Story episode mentioned in #18


Is Syria’s conflict being fought in Lebanon?

After gun battles left 15 dead in the Lebanese city of Tripoli, we ask if Syria’s conflict has seeped across the border.

05 Jun 2012

June 5th, 2012, 4:29 pm


DAWOUD said:

113. Tara

Thanks Tara, now I think that he is still publicly with the regime either because he is an opportunist/unprincipled fat *** (*** can be the A word or “cow,” which ever you lilke), or because he knows that if he shows any sign of disloyalty his days (and family’s days) would be numbered! Sorry to say it, sectarianism is the reason why most Syrians are still outside the revolt!

P.S., I like you so much Tara because not only you can post sort article, but also you have the intellect/knowledge of Syria to write your own words/paragraphs/comments/facts/etc.


June 5th, 2012, 4:40 pm


DAWOUD said:


I did NOT mean most Syrians are outside the rebellion, they are with it. I meant to say that the minority of those who are still silent or with the dictator are so mostly because of sectarianism (Sunniphobia).

June 5th, 2012, 4:46 pm


Uzair8 said:

Barbara Walters apologises over links to Syrian aide of Bashar al-Assad

Barbara Walters, the grande dame of American television news, has been forced to apologise after it emerged that she had tried to use her influence to further the career of a former leading aide of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

05 Jun 2012

Emails seen by The Daily Telegraph show that Walters tried to help Sheherazad Jaafari, the daughter of Syria’s UN ambassador, secure a place at an Ivy League university and an internship with Piers Morgan’s CNN programme.

Read more:

June 5th, 2012, 5:06 pm


omen said:

re regime military casualties,

i can’t find it now but ran across a piece that noted how the regime was not giving full disclosure or trying to keep a lid on the numbers. plausible when you consider how debilitating for morale this kind of news can be.

it’s possible the number killed could be higher than what they are disclosing.

another factor is we don’t know what percentage of the soldiers were killed by the regime itself upon suspicion that they were considering defecting.

June 5th, 2012, 5:08 pm


Uzair8 said:

‘The Dude’!


June 5th, 2012, 5:08 pm


omen said:

117. DAWOUD said:
I meant to say that the minority of those who are still silent or with the dictator are so mostly because of sectarianism (Sunniphobia).


is it true regime tv is fearmongering its supporters by saying the sunnis will slaughter them all?

you hear that day after day, that’s going to mess up people’s psyche.

June 5th, 2012, 5:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

Robert Fisk: Hosni Mubarak has fallen. Assad clings on. Yet the fate of their nations is anyone’s guess

Monday 04 June 2012

[Selected quote]

Ahmed Shafik, the Mubarak loyalist, has the support of the Christian Copts, and Assad has the support of the Syrian Christians. The Christians support the dictators. Not much of a line, is it?

June 5th, 2012, 5:40 pm


Anwar said:

“Ahmed Shafik, the Mubarak loyalist, has the support of the Christian Copts, and Assad has the support of the Syrian Christians.”

Bunch of lies. He has the support of some bought off priests. The rest are afraid to say anything. Christians outside of Syria are all against him. Go walk in a kasa’a and you will see plenty of unemployed youth mouthing him off.

June 5th, 2012, 5:43 pm


habib said:

121. omen

The regime doesn’t mention sectarianism ever.

June 5th, 2012, 6:06 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Bashar said ,every demonstrator receive 2000 lira to demonstrate,
The truth is, that what he is paying his Shabiha.

June 5th, 2012, 6:09 pm



Best Tv arabic fightings. Laugh or cry.
Very interesting to observe the body language that clearly show who is with dictatorships, with use of force or absolutist ideas.

June 5th, 2012, 6:20 pm



¨Ahmed Shafik, the Mubarak loyalist, has the support of the Christian Copts, and Assad has the support of the Syrian Christians. The Christians support the dictators. Not much of a line, is it?¨

Who is the ignorant who said this? Most christians as most syrians prefer democracy to the Assad nightmare.

All corrupt priests and corrupt muslim sheikhs should go to hell right now. Those who were not corrupt or false with their true beliefs could have not reached any position in the religious status quo. There are many of them but out of power.

No, don´t say I am a ¨kafir¨ for saying this. The more I believe in the true message of religions the louder I would cry ¨Religious politicians go to hell¨.

June 5th, 2012, 6:29 pm


omen said:

125. habib

regime tv doesn’t bring inordinate focus on alqaeda or blame the influence of gulf state media for sowing unrest?

code words, as another poster pointed out, for sunni fundamentalism.

isn’t ginning up fear of outsiders or foreign influence another form of sectarianism?

regime tv didn’t run tape of the salafist cleric promising to turn alawites into dog food?

June 5th, 2012, 6:35 pm



What we are seeing in Syria today is how the country is victim of foreign intervention. Foreign intervention of Hezballah chiia from Lebanon, and chia political powers in Irak and Iran. Syria, a country where Chiia Twelvers represent no more than 0.5 % of the population, has been abducted by foreign chiaa entities from outside. Some alawites as ismailis or druzes could eventually agree with this strategy for the minority question but have nothing to do with Twelver Chiaa. What is happening in Syria today is one of the more flagrant foreign interventions in recent history.

June 5th, 2012, 6:49 pm


omen said:

fisk, once again, as he did in iran, fails to give credence to election fraud.

how many pundits are there providing cover for assad by reinforcing the hackneyed dictator line of “me or deluge.” it is this regime who is responsible for sowing chaos.

and i really have to wonder about people who insist on calling this illegitimate monster “president.”

Now, President Assad said yesterday that his country’s “security” is a “red line” and implied – only implied, mind you – that the war in Syria (and he called it a war) could topple over into a neighbouring state (for which, read Lebanon). And so I am worried about Lebanon and the Alawites in Lebanon who support Assad, who deserve better.

the proud warrior king fighting terrorism:


June 5th, 2012, 6:50 pm


Dawoud said:

131. OMEN

Thanks for sharing the anti-dictator cartoon. It accurately depicts Bashar as children/women-murderer!

Thanks to Palestinians’ and Syrians’ “stones vs. firearms” resistance to occupation and tyranny!

June 5th, 2012, 7:08 pm


Gregory Carlin said:

The Syrian revolution, if such a thing there be, is not for the benefit of any Christians, it is difficult to see how Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia could ever have a benign policy towards Christians.

June 5th, 2012, 7:41 pm


bronco said:


Only original contributions? The Syrian does not try to be original, it follows the same goal from the beginning.

I can’t say the same about the opposition:
The humanitarian corridors, NATO, EU sanctions, Kofi Annan peace plan, SNC/no SNC, FSA/NO FSA, FOS/no FOS, AL/No AL, Civil war, no civil war etc…
A clear path indeed…

June 5th, 2012, 7:47 pm



131. Gregory Carlin

Your sectarian thinking reveals you do not know the syrian people at all. Syrians are not sectarian in normal circumstances, only when confronting a war criminal. Christians will be a minority with or without Assads but at least there will be some kind of freedom and dignity, we the christians, will enjoy too. Because before christians or muslims we are humans. And those who deny this fact are just trying to deal with humans like unrational animals for dark purposes or due to ignorance.

June 5th, 2012, 8:01 pm


Tara said:

I know I do not have a man’s eyes, but I think beauty has universal appeal.  I simply do not find her beautiful.  I do not know how “proud” Bashar al Jaafari feels about his girl…what a pity!    

Sheherazad Jaafari: profile of the ‘brilliant and beautiful’ Assad aide

She was his confidante and his gatekeeper, speaking to him several times a day and sometimes referring to him as “the Dude” 
By Raf Sanchez, Washington8:00PM BST 05 Jun 2012

Aged only 22, Miss Jaafari returned to the heart of Bashar al-Assad’s court in Damascus last year to advise him on how to present his wave of repression to a horrified world.
She was his confidante and his gatekeeper, speaking to him several times a day and sometimes referring to him as “the Dude”. The in-box of her Hotmail account shows dozens of emails from the world’s major media groups, courting her and pleading for access to Mr Assad.
Despite her youth she appears to have handled the reporters with a breezy efficiency, often flirting and describing several of them as “my favourite journalist”.
On at least one occasion she picked a reporter up from his Damascus hotel in her own car and drove him straight to Mr Assad’s office. She was the only Syrian official present for the interview. She sent dozens of message expressing near fanatical loyalty but also deep personal affection for her president.

But hidden in her emails is another side of the smiling young woman nicknamed “Syria’s Kim Kardashian”. There are flashes of desperation and exhaustion at defending a regime that seemed close to collapse.

“—- the dude,” she wrote in February as the Syrian Army pounded Homs and as the West ramped up the diplomatic pressure. “He is not the country.. the country is distroyed now.. and nobody can fix it.. Syria is way bigger than the dude and way prouder than an American plane bombing it…”

Miss Jaafari helped secure the Barbara Walters interview but also seems to have taken much of the blame when the ABC broadcaster proved unexpectedly tough on the Syrian dictator.
A day after the interview aired in December, she emailed ABC in a panic asking for the unedited tapes of the interview. “I am in so much trouble here and I have to have the the links for other two tapes please today,” she wrote.

Soon afterwards, the hacking group Anonymous gained access to a memo she wrote before the interview. In it she expressed contempt for the American public, who she said could be easily “manipulated” and urged Mr Assad to blame the killings in Syria on terrorist groups.
The embarrassing leak seems to have ended her career in Damascus and she soon returned to New York where her father is the Syrian ambassador to the UN.
She quickly resumed a schedule of networking, lunches and trips to the beauty salon, leaving the brutality of Syria far behind.
In an email to a friend she described her time in Damascus as “a challenging experience but its good for my cv and thats all i care about now”.

June 5th, 2012, 8:23 pm


Tara said:

Dawoud @115

“P.S., I like you so much Tara because..”

Dawoud, thank you very much. Kindness is not in many people vocabulary..

June 5th, 2012, 8:27 pm


Tara said:

Syrian-Americans must write to their representatives, State Department, and Ambassador Ford to declare Shehrazad Jaafari (and perhaps her dad) persona non grata.

June 5th, 2012, 8:35 pm


omen said:

a chinese academic was on bbc news last night defending china’s opposition against intervention.

that made me wonder how much oil china is going to get from the region. syria is going to be an important hub in its transportation.

and russia – i don’t think their stupid naval port is the extent of their interest. the opposition promised russia they could hold onto the port even after the regime falls. so that isn’t the reason for russia’s continued support for assad. russia also has ties to iraqi oil.

anybody have a map of the proposed pipeline the regime had planned to put in?

June 5th, 2012, 8:41 pm


omen said:

The Syrian revolution, if such a thing there be, is not for the benefit of any Christians, it is difficult to see how Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia could ever have a benign policy towards Christians.

if such a thing there be? that’s like saying there is no such thing as a palestinian.

do you even recognize how bigoted you’re being?

June 5th, 2012, 8:51 pm


jna said:

136. Tarasaid: Syrian-Americans must write to their representatives, State Department, and Ambassador Ford to declare Shehrazad Jaafari (and perhaps her dad) persona non grata.

(Sorry, folks, for the cut and paste.) Tara, as far as I know
Shehrazad Jaafari is not a Syrian diplomat nor is she a Syrian official so I don’t see the relevance of declaring her “persona non grata”. And there is a rule of law in USA.

June 5th, 2012, 9:17 pm


Tara said:


Assuming she is not an American citizen, and if the title persona non grata is only applicable to diplomats, then we should write to our representatives to deport her. She can live near her beloved leader.

June 5th, 2012, 9:29 pm


jna said:

Tara, USA should deport her because Tara does not agree with her politics?

June 5th, 2012, 9:33 pm


DAWOUD said:

135. Tara

You deserve all kindness Tara because you have been here a one-lady TRUTH institution! Nothing wins my love and admiration more than a person’s advocacy against tyranny and on behalf of justice. As I mentioned before, I had a couple of American friends who accepted Bashar’s/Nasrillat’s “mokawamah” claim. I don’t want to communicate with them FOREVER. Supporting a murderous dictatorship! What a turn off!

June 5th, 2012, 9:44 pm


Tara said:


That would not be a good reason.

Because she has given material support to a tyrant who is killing women and children. A good reason in Tara’s opinion.

And will be doing her a favor. What better than living near or with someone for whom you hold intense personal affection..that what the article said. I would if I was her.. Wouldn’t you?

June 5th, 2012, 9:44 pm


irritated said:


Don’t be surprised.I have heard that before.
Some zealous commenters ( I think it was the fabulous Antoine) were requesting that after the ‘fall’ of Bashar Al Assad, the new regime should deport all the Syrians who were supportive of Bashar al Assad.
Maybe Saudi Arabia could spare a part of their desert for them and others ‘loyalists’ like Mrs Jaafari.

Reading the recent posts of some anti-regime commenters, I think they are approaching dangerously hysteria.

June 5th, 2012, 9:46 pm


DAWOUD said:

136. Tara

What is Sherazad’s legal status here in the United States? Is she a legal resident or naturalized citizen? She had to have a legal status for her to work in any job here, not only the high profile CNN assignment that Baraba Walter’s “wasata’ won her. If she is a citizen, she should be a registered “foreign agent” because she is clearly advising Bashar in her email. The U.S. law would require here to register. Now, if she isn’t a citizen/legal resident the US gov’t may revoke her visa and expel her. As to her father, he is a diplomat the UN and has diplomatic immunity. The United States has limited options pertinent to his presence in NYC, although they can restrict his movement beyond a certain geographic area.

June 5th, 2012, 9:53 pm



TARA #136

Do I sense a little jealousy there, or is it a blanket Jaafary dislike?

On a serious note though. Don’t waste your time writing to anyone.
When the USA asked that New York be the home of the UN, as opposed to Geneva where the League of Nations used to be, the US government had to guarantee unhindered access to UN diplomats and country representatives, while granting the UN a special sovereign status, with immunity to its members and diplomats.
That is why Che Guevara himself stood at the podium of the General Assembly and gave his famous address, and so did many who otherwise, would not be welcome in the USA.
Bashar Al-Jaafary can stand and say “j’accuse”, and all that Ambassador Suzan Rice can do, is walk off.

June 5th, 2012, 9:55 pm


Tara said:

No. Let us be clear about this. I do not wish for all regime supporters to be exiled to a desert. Only those who gave material support like Shahrazad. I liked why-discuss and would not wish for him to live in a Saudi desert.

June 5th, 2012, 9:56 pm


Ghufran said:

We spoke about this before,the regime is ready for a new campaign against armed rebels after realizing that the “cease fire” was an opportunity for rebels to get more weapons,recruit more fighters and kill scores of soldiers.
Expelling the western diplomats while allowing aid to come in is a signal for what is coming to areas like Idleb,Homs (especially Rastan) and Reef Halab. The attacks in Haffeh and Kinsabba convinced the less hawkish figures in the regime that the plan,as is,was a trap.
Hawks want to crush the rebels,then open the door to measured compromises,this plan was spelled out by Bashar few days ago,the big question is: will the regime succeed and is Russia playing along?
The problem now is that neither the regime,nor the armed rebels can be trusted,the regime is losing grounds every day and making its own supporters furious for giving away some of the gains they made in the spring. Russia holds the door but others have the key,without a real cease fire,nothing will be achieved except more blood shed

June 5th, 2012, 9:58 pm


MICHEL said:

Irritated, it was me.

Yes, it is absolutely unfair that the thuwwar are paying with their blood to liberate the country from tyranny while the assadists do everything they can to discredit them, and when the regime will fall they will reap the benefits of the new free Syria.

We should definetely keep track of the weloveyous and relegate them to second-class citizens for at least 25 years. Strip them from their rights to vote and other services provided by free syria for 25 years. Or maybe impose a higher tax on them. This is only fair.

To let them profit of the new free syria is an insult to the sacrifices the thuwwar are doing.

EDIT: to support the regime is one thing, but to go as far as denying that the regime is killing innocent people, shooting on protesters, to say the opposition are terrorists, is a step beyond only supporting the regime. this is an insult to the intelligence of free syrians. they are denying what we have known from this regime for the past decades. the people who do these things are the one who should be punished in free syria.

June 5th, 2012, 9:58 pm


jna said:

“We have decided to end our commitment to this (ceasefire),” said Free Syrian Army spokesman Major Sami al-Kurdi. “We have resumed our attacks but we are doing defensive attacks which means we are only attacking checkpoints in the cities.”” They haven’t wanted or respected the ceasefire since day one.


AP) GENEVA – Syria has agreed to allow humanitarian workers and supplies into four of its provinces hit hardest by violence, a promise of some relief in a nation where 1 million people need aid urgently due to the fighting, officials said Tuesday.

June 5th, 2012, 10:02 pm


Tara said:


Jealousy? From size 12 and up? Not me. I am much prettier. It is a genuine dislike to the father and the daughter. Actually the father more than the daughter.

On a serious note, thank you for the clarification. but is that applicable too to diplomat’s family?

June 5th, 2012, 10:02 pm


Ghufran said:

The news from alhaffeh reflect the absence of accurate reporting,one source stated that the regime forces started the attack,another said the opposite.
The initial count of the dead was 29, six may not be Syrian, one public building, malliat alhaffeh,,was totally destroyed with at least 2 police stations. This escalation will definitely increase the army activities in that area especially that it is very close to Turkey and can easily serve as a corridor to Idleb and privides quick access to other parts in Latakia,another risk is its unique demographic mix which makes it a candidate to be a mini Homs. I doubt that regime supporters will allow the area to become another tender spot .

June 5th, 2012, 10:30 pm


Tara said:


Great ideas. Register Shehrazad as a foreign agent or deport her. Restrict Bashsr Jaafari movement from home to office back and forth plus occasional trips to the supermarket, the gym, and to the mall.


It was interesting reading your reply… I like that Damascene women have such a reputation..let’s see if your statement will provoke any objection and let my stop at that.

June 5th, 2012, 10:41 pm


Ghufran said:

I thought this is a political blog not a smell contest. Syrian women do not need a certificate to prove that they are pretty,dedicated and smart. Iranian women in general are more educated and liberated than most Arab women,especially the ones in the GCC,this talk about how Iranian women smell “stinks” ,no offense to the BO expert on SC.

June 5th, 2012, 10:59 pm


ann said:

Russia says Syrian opposition’s withdrawal from ceasefire “dangerous” – 2012-06-06

MOSCOW, June 5 (Xinhua) — The withdrawal of a Syrian armed opposition group from the ceasefire was “impermissible” and ” dangerous”, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Tuesday.

He told reporters at a press conference that Moscow was concerned over this situation.

“We view this as the wish to thwart international efforts in the promotion of a shift from confrontation to the political process,” Lukashevich said.

“That is a very bad and dangerous trend,” he added.

Taking note of a new armed opposition group established in Syria on June 4, Lukashevich said “such a scenario is possible only if the illegal armed units receive moral support from abroad and are supplied with arms, munitions and money.”

“We continue to call on the Syrian sides and the external forces to stick to the logic of the Annan plan,” Lukashevich said.

He also urged leading world powers to restrain from actions that may lead to bigger bloodshed or a civil war in the country, which may affect the whole Middle East region.


June 5th, 2012, 11:06 pm


Ghufran said:

4 Syrians got arrested illegally
السجناء الأربعه اعتقلوا خلال مظاهرة في منطقة الطلياني بدمشق في 27 ايار وتم الإفراج عن كل من كان معهم والمعتقلون هم الشابة نوران الغميان ووالدتها لينا مهايني وأسامة مرشد ووالدته نجاة
Estimates of number of political prisoners who did not committ any violent crimes range between 10-15 thousands,opposition sources bring the number to 30,000
The fact is that the regime is unable and unwilling to change.

June 5th, 2012, 11:59 pm


Juergen said:

I think those of you with an US citizenship should contact his/hers congressman/senatemember to question the legal status of Mrs Jaafari. I am quite sure that no one in the US government loves to see her mingling around any longer, sorry Asma, your Jimmy Choo distributor may soon can buy you the latest abayah style from Tehran…

Sorry I dont buy it,Taquiya is seen today as the formula of treacherous behaviour all Muslims seem to enjoy. I think that this term is just theological, and never gained much ground in the muslim community. In the eyes of islamophobics and right wing nationalists taquiyah is seen like Manna coming from the sky,a good way of focussing rascism on a religious group.

June 6th, 2012, 12:23 am


mjabali said:

Majedkhaldoun said:

“most of Iranian women they disgust me with their bad smell”

Dude where do you live and what year do you live in?

June 6th, 2012, 12:25 am


Dawoud said:

162. Juergen

I have already sent an email to my 2 NY Senators and to my Congresswoman informing them that Ms. Ja’afari should be registered as an “agent for a foreign power” (if she has US residency/citizenship), or deported if she was her on a student/visitation/temporary visa.

June 6th, 2012, 12:26 am


omen said:

why are you insulting iranians?
just because the government is vicious and corrupt doesn’t mean the people should be disparaged this way.

June 6th, 2012, 12:32 am


ann said:

Moderator are you enjoying this filth about women?!

June 6th, 2012, 12:39 am


ann said:

Humanitarian forum has “welcomed” agreement between UN, Syria: spokesman – 2012-06-06

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 (Xinhua) — The third Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva welcomed a new agreement between Syria and the UN that allows an expanded humanitarian presence in the Middle Eastern country, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said here Tuesday.

“The forum welcomed the agreement secured by the United Nations with the government of Syria regarding the scale and scope of the humanitarian response,”said Nesirky at a daily news briefing here.

The agreement, announced on Tuesday, will include a scaling up the presence of nine UN humanitarian agencies in key areas of Syria, and speeding up and simplifying the administrative structure of the aid effort, including the issuance of visas.

“John Ging, the director of operations for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that this is very significant progress, but whether it constitutes a breakthrough or not will only become clear in the coming days and weeks through action on the ground,” Nesirky said.

The spokesman explained that the focus of the humanitarian community will now be “the implementation of a rapid and robust response to expand the delivery of food, medicine and other vital supplies to one million people in need in Syria.”

OCHA has noted that additional donors support will be critical for the scale-up, according to Nesirky, as the Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria is only 20 percent funded and the Regional Refugee Response Plan is only 36 percent funded.


June 6th, 2012, 12:46 am


omen said:

the necktie might have iranian origins.

The tie may even have Iranian origins. Although there are many theories, the Netherlands-based Radiozamaneh cited the British historian Noel Malcolm who said the knotted neckerchief was first imported to Europe, and the Croatian mercenaries, from Iran during the Sassanid Empire.

June 6th, 2012, 12:51 am


mjabali said:

So: al-Taqqiyyah was the result of the Sunni oppression to Shia ideas or not?

Why run away as usual from the real topic to attack me personally? Anyone can come up with an answer?

Again: al-Taqqiyyah appeared because of the oppression of the Shia at the hands of the Sunnis. Anyone can give us real argument like adults about this topic?

June 6th, 2012, 1:00 am


omen said:

163. mjabali, you can’t call khaldoun “dude.”
that moniker has already been reserved for bashar.

June 6th, 2012, 1:35 am


Wim Roffel said:

Why is the version of the Syrian regime of what happened in Houla not included in the literature overview? There are several inconsistencies in the opposition stories that should give reason to doubt them: why did they first claim that all victims were due to shelling and why do they claim that the targets of the killings were chosen random when two families constitute the overwhelming majority of the victims? (according to the regime one contained a police officer and the other a parliamentarian).

June 6th, 2012, 1:58 am


Juergen said:

DER SPIEGEL on loyal businessmen to the regime and their profit of the war and the EU sanctions

“When Yousef Katt talks on the war in Syria , he calls it “al-Wada ‘, the situation. For the businessman, it’s not bad.

These days there is for him to constantly shops. Even on weekends, he always wears shirt and trousers, if someone calls and wants to offer him his house up for sale. If it is one of the best areas of Damascus, goes by Katt. He checked the building, says he wants to think about it and go again. He can choose.
There are many who have to sell, and few who could buy.”

June 6th, 2012, 2:04 am


Juergen said:

I dont know if you remember, i posted this picture about a week ago. I think its one of those images which leaves one breathless for a moment.I know now more about the brave man who got hanged by the iranian regime.

Madjid Kawussifar * 1979 + 2007 in Tehran

Madjid Kawussifar is reported that he allegedly shot and killed along with his nephew, Hossein Hassan Moghadass the judge who is one of the most feared judges of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who sentenced numerous opponents to death. On a motorcycle, they waited outside the court in the Irschad Ahmad-Qasir Street, the old road of Tehran-Bucharest. One of the two young men fired two bullets to the head of the judge, of which the first is reported to have been fatal, according to the BBC report of 2 August 2005, citing the police chief of Tehran. Exactly two years after the attack the two were publicly excecuted at the scene of the murder. Only Madjid has grinned, while Hassan seemed intimidated, lost, and there was no smile, no indifference, and it was a laugh a real laugh, in this as in the other images, sometimes a gentle smile as on the way through a lot by masked police to the gallows, sometimes a cheerful hello. The audience: two, maybe three hundred. From a window looking down two in white coats, doctors. Some smile, most just stare, including the police, which block the site. No one intervenes, no one is outraged. The mother is said to have shouted, “God, give me back my son,” the mother of Hassan and Majid. Even children are in the audience, a girl anyway, not five years old. What barbarism, I think, not only the execution itself, the whole situation, a modern city, a wide road, asphalt, trees, skyscrapers, two trucks with lift arm as the fire department, but the hook is almost as big as a head made out of a blue rope, plastic as I recognize. Mostly available in the hardware stores. The Iranian photographers look so westernized with their wests and basecaps, you could find them in front of the german Chancellery ,how barbaric is this country. Prior to the execution the Quran is recited, with an amplifier, perhaps even on a tape, the beautiful recitation in fact, Iranian style, elegiac, yet i want to puke. When the stool is pushed away under Madjid’s feet one could hear Allaho Akbar calls, at least not many. True, most viewers will have Madjid and Hassan Kawussifar held for ordinary murderers. The angry judge enumerated before the execution, the murders, kidnappings, burglaries and bank robberies, which they were accused. The internet newspaper Rooz counted later on the absurd contradictions, in which the Iranian judiciary involved itself in the effort to maintain a conspiracy of American intelligence and the two nevertheless were dismissed as ordinary criminals. But Madjid Kawussifar – how could he only manage to spit in the face of his excecutioner with his laughter?

No, I can not swear that he was a hero. I repeat: I know almost nothing about him. Maybe he killed the judge, because he wanted to have a plausible reason in the West to seek asylum. I can not imagine that after what I learned about his story. And whatever his real motive was – at least under the gallows, he was a hero, after which in the future streets will be named in Tehran, just like the Scholl siblings in Germany or films will be made like in Berlin,the one about Graf Stauffenberg played by Tom Cruise. “I have no regrets,” he insisted, as a fat bearded man and a masked policeman put the rope around his neck: “I would kill that judge again.” That sounds like a passion and it is. Madjid Kawussifar has made his final walk in the footsteps of the martyrs, which runs through the Shiite Iranian history. The cult of the heroes who dare to fight against overwhelming odds, they certainly loose, and that has such deep roots in Iran, that it no longer needs religion. The History of Madjid is not completed if I dont write that he had actually been in safety. After the attack he made his way to Dubai and sought refuge at the American Embassy. The Americans handed him over to the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, or more precisely, the Americans have given the hint that so he might got arrested outside the embassy and was delivered to Iran. The Ambassador, which is said to have previously received Madjid Kawussifar personally was Michele J. Sison, just for the records. May God also punish her with nightmares. May Madjid Kawussifar remain in her,in our memory.

Navid Kermani, author Munich 2011

Note Michele J. Sison was ambassador to Lebanon after her work in the Emirates. Currently she awaits approval to be ambassador to Sri Lanka.

the photo again:

a video of his trial and his hanging ( they dont show actually the hanging, just before)

June 6th, 2012, 2:53 am


Juergen said:

video of father Paolo of Mar Mousa eating with revolutionary people of Homs.

this is syria as we know it and want it.

June 6th, 2012, 3:21 am


Syrialover said:

Sorry, Miss Jaafari does not look classy. Her extreme theatrical makeup and painted-on eyebrows (at age 22!) and her dress is not fashionable. She looks very strange for her age. She is trying to look “sexy” and she instead looks cheap, artificial and tasteless. Compare her with the young educated, elegant, stylish professional women who she wants to be like.

If she was at a social event in America or anywhere else in the west looking like that hoping to impress and get a professional job she would fail.

I think she is dressing to attract an old sugar daddy as desirable younger men would think she is tacky.

June 6th, 2012, 3:27 am


Juergen said:

“The best way to predict the future is to shape it.”
Willy Brandt

June 6th, 2012, 3:37 am


Syrialover said:

Yeah, I see Sheherazad Jaafari being “employed” by some pot-bellied Sheikh from the Gulf and competing with his other mistresses until she catches someone older, fatter and richer.

June 6th, 2012, 3:40 am


Amjad said:

So, how long has it been since the massacre at Al-Houlla? Since the regime claims it was carried out by 800 “terrorists”, how is it that the Syrian Army and its 15 security services haven’t been able to capture or kill a single one of the perpetrators?

We all know the answer to that. The regime has no interest in arresting or killing its own shabiha mercenaries.

June 6th, 2012, 4:37 am


Alan said:

Russia urges to have special int’l meeting on Syria
“This meeting in contrast to the meetings of the so-called Group of Syrian Friends, which were devoted to the support for only the Syrian National Council, was that at the first stage without Syrians all foreign players will agree to fulfil Kofi Annan’s peace plan fairly and without double standards ,” Lavrov noted. He added that Moscow and Beijing find the appeals to foreign interference as the way to a catastrophe.

June 6th, 2012, 6:44 am


Antoine said:

These are the real Syrians and real representatives of the LCCs.

Salah Addin and Karabennmesi, tell me what problems do you have with the people in the above video, that makes them worse than the regime ?

June 6th, 2012, 6:48 am


Alan said:

101. AMJAD said:

Alan #100
Russian veto support doesn’t come cheap you know.
Exactly so ! not cheap !Russia will fight! I was warned many times on this blog that Syria (Country) is geoplitical interest of particular importance to Russia! and played with thimbles not help to change the situation!

Russia prepares for war in Syria, army units
Russian Defense Ministry launched an intensive training units for operations abroad, including in Syria. Preparation for combat operations in this country, may lead Pskov 76th air assault division of Airborne, the 15th Brigade combined arms in Samara, as well as special units staffed by the Chechens, who had previously served in the GRU spetsbatalonah “West” and “East” writes, “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”, citing anonymous sources in the military.

Pskov Airborne Division – one of the most combat-ready connections in the Russian army, the newspaper notes. Its officers, NCOs and men participated in the peacekeeping operation in Kosovo in 1999-2001, in both Chechen wars in 1994-1996 and 1999-2007, and in the war with Georgia in August 2008.

June 6th, 2012, 7:46 am


Alan said:

PRESSURES ON RUSSIA: US Attempts to Mass-Murder Its Way to Victory in Syria.
US to Russia: “Give Up” or Swim in Sea of Syrian Blood
عل مكشـــــــــــــــــــــــــوف

As revelations emerge that the violence in Syria has been premeditated by Western planners years before the Arab Spring unfolded, and as the facade of “democratic aspirations” collapse in the face of a sectarian-driven bloodbath, US officials and Western think-tank policy makers speaking with Bloomberg have stated that their final message to Russia in order to begin regime change is essentially this: the violence will continue to be purposefully escalated until regime change is accomplished – Russia can capitulate now and have a say in how a transition occurs, or capitulate later and suffer exclusion as was the case in Libya…/../..

June 6th, 2012, 8:15 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Alan #186
Are you hoping that Russia will defend Bashar by going to war?

June 6th, 2012, 8:19 am


Alan said:

Do you have information about the Nuclear pollution of Afghanistan? Iraq? Libya? If you have a view on the scale of the disaster stop hide behind the fairy tale (Bashar)!

June 6th, 2012, 8:37 am


Uzair8 said:

What Are Iranian Special Forces Doing In Syria?

June 4, 2012

[Selected quotes]

Knowing that Zabadani is strategically important for both Syria and Iran because of its proximity to Lebanon, less than 10 miles from the border, Assad’s generals called in the Quds, as well as another Iranian ally, the Lebanon-based Shiite movement Hezbollah, for help.


“The roots go very deep, and Iran is very invested,” said Achilov. “We cannot expect Iran to let Syria go without a fight.”

June 6th, 2012, 8:45 am


DAWOUD said:

192. Uzair8

Their presence in Syria shows their sectarian desire to persecute Sunnis. Isn’t it enough for the Iranian government to prohibit Sunnis from building mosques in Iran!

June 6th, 2012, 8:52 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Dawood
The difference between Sunni and Shiite started political , later it became religious, and that where they became wrong

BTW I am not against women I have a mother and a daughter. I am strongly for equality between women and men.

I do not understand exatly what you meant, please clarify what you said, and I am not hiding behind anything.

when you address me as Dude, you seem to show your inferiority complex, do I have to remind you?

June 6th, 2012, 9:12 am


irritated said:

#187 Majed

Please can stop your Sunni against Shia propaganda. It’s shameful.
All religious sects and all religions should be respected.
Feel free to criticize own own not the others.

June 6th, 2012, 9:17 am


irritated said:

#183 Amjad

“We all know the answer to that.”

Please speak for yourself. There is no ‘we’

June 6th, 2012, 9:20 am


Uzair8 said:

#194 Dawoud

We have to ask. As an upholder of a brutal dictatorship is Iran any better than America?

June 6th, 2012, 9:21 am


irritated said:

#179 Syria lover

“Yeah, I see Sheherazad Jaafari being “employed” by some pot-bellied Sheikh from the Gulf and competing with his other mistresses until she catches someone older, fatter and richer.”

Are you 15 years old?

June 6th, 2012, 9:21 am


DAWOUD said:


I know that you are decent and NOT against women. The dictator-lovers here on SC just want any opportunity to twist your words in order to rhetorically assault you.

P.S., just like the intellectually-talented TARA, I am NOT a cut-and-paste commentator. I have a great knowledge of the Arab World and politics/IR in general. Accordingly, I will make a prediction regarding Egypt’s run-off elections between Shafik, the “foloul’s” candidate, and Mohammad Mursi. According to Aljazeera (, Egypt’s constitutional court (which is staffed by Mubarak’s foloul) will make a decision regarding the law-which passed in the democratically elected parliament-to ban Mubarak’s high officials from running for political office. Given the the huge backlash if Shafik would win (he only would win through fraud), I think that the constitutional court (which be severely delegitimized if it sides with the Mubarak foloul) would uphold the law, which would disqualify Shafik and lead to one of two scenarios:

1) The third place finisher in the first round, Sabahi, would be eligible to challenge Mursi in the run-off. This would be a could contest for the revolution. Both Mursi and Sabahi opposed Mubarak’s dictatorship and oppose Israeli policies.

2) The first round results would be disqualified, and the entire elections would have to be repeated. This is less favorable to the revolution than option 1, but it is not a negative possibility-mainly because the folouls would be excluded!

June 6th, 2012, 9:33 am


zoo said:

“These demonstrations did not start over a question of democracy. They started over the questions of bread and unemployment, poverty. This is not just about roses – this is about bread,” he said.

Egypt: A hijacked revolution

Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians flooded Cairo’s Tahrir Square ahead of the upcoming presidential runoff as voters voice frustration with the choice of candidates. Many fear the military plans to use the disorder in the country to stay in power.

June 6th, 2012, 9:35 am


Uzair8 said:

Syrian reporter attacked by shoe-wielding youth during live broadcast.

A longer version (biting my tongue sharing MEMRI).

June 6th, 2012, 9:38 am


zoo said:

Despite the high hopes and rumors carried by the media about the demise of Kofi Annan’s peace plan and the withdrawal of support to Bashar Al Assad from China and Russia. These countries stay firm:

NO forced regime change and NO foreign intervention in Syria.
Its’ Kofi Annan’s plan only.

Russia, China ‘decisively against’ Syria intervention
BEIJING – Agence France-Presse
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing, on June 6, 2012. AFP photo

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao shakes hands during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing, on June 6, 2012. AFP photo
Russia and China strongly opposed intervention and regime change in Syria, said a joint statement released on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese leaders.

“Russia and China are decisively against attempts to regulate the Syrian crisis with outside military intervention, as well as imposing a policy of regime change, including within the Security Council,” the statement said.

Developments in Syria “are significant for peace and stability in the Middle East and the entire world” and should be regulated through political dialogue among all participants of the conflict, it added.

The two countries also urged support for the peace plan put forward by UN special envoy Kofi Annan.

June 6th, 2012, 9:43 am


zoo said:

A discreet, unofficial, high level, and exclusive FOS meeting?

Western, Arab foreign ministers to convene in Istanbul to discuss Syria

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency
Foreign ministers from several Western and Arab countries will hold an unofficial meeting in Istanbul today to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Diplomatic sources have confirmed that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will participate in today’s meeting, as well as officials from France, Germany, Italy and several Arab countries.

June 6th, 2012, 9:55 am


SC Moderation Team said:

A reminder of the rules at Syria Comment:

Messages containing any of the following elements will not be tolerated:

Personal attacks against other contributors;
Racist, sexist, obscene, or otherwise discriminatory or hateful language;
Provocations designed to derail discussions away from substantive debate into dead-end arguments;
Links to commercial sites or posting of commercial messages;
Threats of death or violence;
Persistent violations of Syria Comment’s fair-use policy.

Comments that violate these rules and guidelines may be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderating team. Furthermore, commentators who repeatedly violate the site regulations may be warned, temporarily suspended from posting, limited to a set quantity of daily posts, or permanently banned.

June 6th, 2012, 9:56 am


Mina said:

Shafiq doesn’t need a fraud to win: Tahrir was almost empty yesterday. (Compare with just after the verdict last week)

June 6th, 2012, 10:10 am


bronco said:

#195 Mina

Saudi Arabia and all western countries, including China and Russia prefer Shafiq in power as Abdel Foutouh, a candidate favored by the liberals, has been eliminated.
Among other things, Shafiq will not be such a threat to Israel and he will be as secular as Mobarak.

Only Qatar and Turkey are trying to force their MB candidate.

Money must be pouring from both sides.

If Shafiq is elected, there is too much danger that Egypt falls in the 1990 Algeria pattern and turns into a civil war with the frustrated MB and Salafists resorting to violence.

I think the SCAF may opt to postpone the second round of the elections.

June 6th, 2012, 10:30 am


Alan said:
‘Bring Iran and Turkey on board Syrian summit’ – Russia
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on Iran and Turkey to be included in an upcoming international meeting dedicated to ending the crisis in Syria.
“We believe it is necessary to assemble a meeting of states with real influence on different opposition groups. There are not that many,”
Lavrov said in Beijing, where he is accompanying President Vladimir Putin at a security meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
“It is all permanent members of the UN Security Council, leading countries in the region, it is Turkey; one should not forget Iran, the Arab League, Organization of the Islamic Conference; the EU could contribute, I think,”
he added.
The United Nations has been working to get both loyalists to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the political opposition to accept the so-called Annan Plan, which calls for both sides to immediately recognize a ceasefire followed by diplomatic dialogue.

June 6th, 2012, 11:02 am


zoo said:

Annan coming up with a new plan.

A Road Map for Syria
By David Ignatius

ISTANBUL — Kofi Annan is tinkering with a radical idea for reviving his moribund peace plan for Syria — a road map for political transition there that would be negotiated through a “contact group” that could include, among other nations, Russia and Iran.

The former secretary-general’s new plan was outlined Tuesday by a diplomat who is familiar with the U.N. mission. The proposal, which is expected to be presented to the Security Council later this week, comes as Annan’s peace mediation with President Bashar al-Assad appears to have hit a dead end in Damascus, leading to growing concerns that the Syria crisis will spiral into all-out civil war.

What’s intriguing about Annan’s new approach is that it could give Russia and Iran, the two key supporters of Assad’s survival, some motivation to remove him from power, and also some leverage to protect their interests in a post-Assad Syria. This would also make the plan controversial, with Israel and Saudi Arabia asking why the U.N. would give the mullahs in Tehran a share of the diplomatic action.

The reason Annan is said to be considering this unconventional approach is that nothing else has worked. The United States and its key Western allies don’t want to intervene militarily, fearing that this could produce a highly unpredictable and unstable outcome. The West wants Russia to broker a deal but so far President Vladimir Putin hasn’t seen enough pragmatic benefit to embrace this course.

To break the deadlock, Annan would create his contact group, composed of the permanent members of the Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States), plus Saudi Arabia and perhaps Qatar to represent the Arab League, plus Turkey and Iran. The idea is to bring together the countries with most influence on the situation.

This unwieldy group would then draft the transition plan and take it to Assad and the Syrian opposition. This road map would call for a presidential election to choose Assad’s successor, plus a parliamentary ballot and a new constitution — with a timeline for achieving these milestones.

Assad would presumably depart for Russia, which is said to have offered him exile; the Syrian dictator is rumored to have transferred $6 billion in Syrian reserves to Moscow already. Under this scenario, Assad presumably could avoid international prosecution for war crimes. Iran is also said to have offered exile to Assad and his family.

June 6th, 2012, 11:11 am


karabennemsi said:

@175 Antoine:

In post 81 you asked:
“Please tell us what the LCC did in the last 14 months which makes it ‘not truly representative’. … Also please tell us how the LCCs has to offer is worse than what the regime has to offer.”
And in post 85 i answered you:
“What have the LCCs done to prevent this situation (in Qusayr and Homs)? What are they doing to ensure it doesn’t worsen?
Since the LLCs are not able to control or rather suppress such groups, they can not be an alternative to the regime.”
Then in post 89 you asked me for an interview with someone from Qusayr, and in post 94 i presented such an interview to you.
And now you present a video from last June, and ask the same question again as you asked in post 81.

I have no problem with the people in the video, and till last ramadan i thought that the uprising was extremly well managed by the LLCs, amongst others.
But then some rebel forces started using the same methods as the regime to promote a new political system in Syria, and it is not democracy they are fighting for.
Obviously the LLCs were not able to control such groups, and they were not able to form a new system in which peaceful life would be guaranteed. It is a shame that the world thinks nowadays that only a brutal system can keep Syria calm, and it is a shame that the LLCs, among others, were not able to stop this development.
That is why the LLCs are not better than the regime.

The regime guarantees one thing: security. It comes at the cost of poverty and political suppression.
The LLCs can evict the regime from some areas, but they can not provide a government. So once the regime is evicted, there still is no chance of democratic political participation, security is
gone and poverty continues.
And that is why the LLCs appear worse than the regime to me. It is sad though.

June 6th, 2012, 11:16 am


irritated said:

#146 Saalh A eddine

“Do I sense a little jealousy there, or is it a blanket Jaafary dislike?”

You hit the right nerve, I would add frustration to that.
It’s not a question of a beauty competition but one of intelligence and fame.

June 6th, 2012, 11:41 am


Amjad said:

The idea of a “combat ready” Russia is laughable. Half its weaponry is obsolete junk from the 50s which are no match whatsoever for NATO. The best weapons the Russians have are still a decade behind the West’s. Where is the Russian equivalent of the Challenger, Leopard 2 or M-1A2? The T-90 doesn’t even come close.

Also, the United States has vast experience in fighting wars in the Middle East, and has bases and allies it can call upon. What experience or capability do the Russians have in fighting a Middle East war? That bathtub rubber ducky base they have in Tartous?

That’s assuming the Russians are even willing to go to war for Bashar, something they have never done for a client state before. We all know that the Russians are in this only to squeeze Bashar for every penny he has. Once Bashar’s piggy bank is empty, the Russians will cut a deal with the GCC, who so far have not suffered in any shape, way or form from events in Syria despite all of the eye doctor’s impotent threats. That’s real political genius, when you let your enemy destroy himself.

What is it that Napoleon once said? Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

June 6th, 2012, 11:43 am


Amjad said:

“The regime guarantees one thing: security”

How quickly the regimists would love the world to forget Hulla. Oh right, that was committed by 800 “terrorists” with the super human ability to slip in and out of a siege. Did the regime’s “investigation” manage to convincingly put the blame on these “terrorists”? Not even close.

June 6th, 2012, 11:45 am


zoo said:

After the ‘humanitarian’ trojan horse, now the convenient WMD

FSA fears al-Assad may use WMDs

By Caroline Akoum
Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Three days following the end of the deadline granted by the Free Syrian Army’s [FSA] to the al-Assad regime to put an end to the violence, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced that Syrian gunmen had killed at least 80 al-Assad regime soldiers. The FSA had granted the al-Assad regime a deadline to implement all points of the Annan initiative and cease all military operations, threatening that otherwise it would not be bound by any “obligations” towards UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan. Following the end of this deadline, FSA forces have escalated their operations against al-Assad regime forces, reportedly killing 80 government troops since the beginning of the week.

June 6th, 2012, 11:59 am


Amjad said:

Here’s your “combat ready” Russia

“In February 2009, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that 200 of the 291 MiG-29s currently in service across all Russian air arms were unsafe and would have to be permanently grounded.[19] This action would remove from service about a third of Russia’s total fighter force, some 650 aircraft.

On 5 June 2009, the Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov said of the Russian Air Force that “They can run bombing missions only in daytime with the sun shining, but they miss their targets anyway”.[20]”

“Russia worries about military readiness”

“The Russian military is in serious trouble – its ranks are shrinking rapidly”, said Paul Felgenhauer of the Washington-based think tank Jamestown Foundation. “Russia’s birthrate is low, the population is shrinking and with it the number of available conscripts, while hundreds of thousands dodge the draft and make the situation worse”

June 6th, 2012, 12:10 pm


karabennemsi said:

@201 Amjad

Since you quote me, i assume you’re referring to me when talking about “regimists would love the world to forget Hulla.”

I was not aware that such impudent behaviour was the tone of discussion in this forum, i have been trying to write politely, and i assumed that you would do the same since you seemed like a competent person.
It is disappointing to see that i will not be able to have future discussions with you.
And btw I am not a regime loyalist. Hell no.

June 6th, 2012, 12:26 pm


Alan said:

203. AMJAD
To us favourably your level of knowledge about the Russian military potential.

June 6th, 2012, 12:57 pm


Amjad said:

The last time the regime thought that the Russians would go to war for them was during the 1973 war. The Russians had told the Americans in no uncertain terms that they would act “unilaterally” and intervene to save the Egyptian Third Army if Israel didn’t stop its counter offensive in Sinai. Kissinger called the Russians’ bluff, and American forces were placed on heightened alert. The Russians were not about to start World War 3 for the sake of Sadat, and quickly backed down from their threats.

After the clobbering the Syrian Air Force took in Lebanon in ’82, papa Assad went looking for more sophisticated weapons from the Russians. Instead, they just supplied him with more of the same crap that proved to be woefully outmatched against Israel’s American weaponry.

Moral to the story? Russian support is limited to raising a veto-hand at UN meetings and some blah blah statements about “unbalanced” resolutions. Anything beyond that will cost money.

June 6th, 2012, 12:58 pm


Alan said:

Attack on Iran will damage Israel, ‘other countries’ – Russian security chief
A possible Israeli strike against Iran could have “absolutely negative” consequences primarily for Israel itself and for many neighboring countries as well, says Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev.
The Russian security chief urged foreign partners to be more optimistic concerning the possibility of solving the Iranian nuclear problem through negotiation.
“It is also wrong to conclude that all opportunities and all the existing potential have been exhausted. It should be used as long as it may be productive. Talks should continue,” Patrushev told the Rossiya-24 news channel.
The latest round of talks on the Iranian nuclear standoff was held between Tehran and P5+1 group in Baghdad on May 23-24. The meeting brought no breakthrough with Iran declaring its “absolute right” to enrich uranium and Western powers snubbing the republic’s demands to remove sanctions…../../..

June 6th, 2012, 1:09 pm


Alan said:
Putin, Hu oppose attempts of foreign forced interference in Syria
BEIJING, June 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and China oppose a foreign forced interference in Syria and imposing the policy for change of power in that country, the presidents of the countries Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao said in a joint statement, which they signed at the end of the state visit of the Russian president to China…/../..

June 6th, 2012, 1:21 pm



Complete building collapsing today in Homs.

June 6th, 2012, 2:26 pm


Ghufran said:

It looks like the Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped by the FSA and they are being used as a bargain chip to force the regime to release captured FSA officers. This move is a mistake and it can only be described as an act of thuggery that will help the regime in its PR war and damage the reputation of the FSA,another likely outcome is increasing the hostility between Hizbullah and the FSA,and the immediate result of this will be retaliatory measures against opposition forces in Lebanon, the Lebanese side,not just Hizbullah ,is convinced that the FSA is behind the kidnapping,a report by LBCi added more ammunition to the charges against the FSA which is now in the business of kidnapping civilians,Syrian and non Syrian,to further their cause,this spells confusion and lack of leadership on the part of the FSA,losing the higher moral ground makes it easier for outsiders to label fighting parties as ” the thugs,and the other thugs”.

June 6th, 2012, 2:36 pm


Uzair8 said:

From AJE Live Syria blog. About an hour ago:

At a press conference in Qatar’s capital Doha on Wednesday, a group of leading Syrian businessmen pledged to provide $300m in aid to help fund the Syrian opposition.

The move could mark a turning point as the elite businessmen step up their support for the uprising.

June 6th, 2012, 3:01 pm


Uzair8 said:

Btw it seems AJE has unfortunately removed it’s blog comment sections. Read elsewhere one user tweet that they should have a new home soon.

Moving on. It seems the unrest is only growing and spreading.

June 6th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Uzair8 said:

Immediately after Bashar al-Assad cut off water supply, heavy rain fell in Rastan (4 June 2012):

June 6th, 2012, 3:29 pm


Alan said:
Misunderstanding Russia On Syria

The unofficial U.S. government spokesperson David Ignatius writes about some new plan Kofi Annan is supposed to have developed:

To break the deadlock, Annan would create his contact group, composed of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States), plus Saudi Arabia and perhaps Qatar to represent the Arab League, and Turkey and Iran. The idea is to bring together the countries with most influence on the situation.
This unwieldy group would then draft a transition plan and take it to Assad and the Syrian opposition. This road map would call for a presidential election to choose Assad’s successor, plus a parliamentary ballot and a new constitution — with a timeline for achieving these milestones.

There is no way the Syrian government and the Russians would agree to this plan.

Why should they? It would give the U.S. and the Gulf tyrannies all they want. It also would not work.

How does this plan stop the terrorists that roam in Syria? How would it stop the money flowing to them? How would it address “the opposition” when there is no united opposition?

That plan was likely whispered into Ignatius ears by some U.S. diplomat rather than Annan.

The major mistake “western” writers make in their rather stupid comments is their misunderstanding of the Russian and Chinese position.This is not about a Russian harbor in the Mediterranean and not about cultural ties though there are intensive ones.

To those countries the fight over Syria is a principle one. In their eyes the U.S. is trying to establish a dogma that inner strife in any country, even when fueled by outer interference, justifies the removal of a regime by force or other means.

The U.S. is instigating protests by some rather lunatic “democratic forces” in Russia. It is pushing Tibetan exiles to stoke unrest in the Tibetan parts of China. It interferes in other local Chinese affairs…/../..

June 6th, 2012, 3:42 pm


Amjad said:

“But she would probably be OK for a certain type of gentleman for a certain type of purpose.”


The regimists might not like it, but sometimes you *can* judge a book by its cover. Tackiness has a way of revealing itself.

June 6th, 2012, 4:08 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Another massacre by the Asad Shibiha in Qubair ,Hama.78 corps has been identified and the world is watching.
Russia call for a meeting include Iran, Iran is helping the Asad to kill Syrian, Iran must not be part of any meeting.
We are now in a very critical period,things are deteriorating fast,Damascus was involved,in Abbasiyeen square.Annan plan must not be extended,

June 6th, 2012, 4:21 pm


bronco said:

#211. Ghufran said:

“It looks like the Lebanese pilgrims were kidnapped by the FSA ”

Turkey is starting to distance itself from the FSA’s thuggery after the tough warning from Khamenei.
In disarray, Erdogan is moving rapidly toward Russia to find a solution as the actions of its guest, the FSA, are becoming increasingly embarrassing and poisonous for Turkey’s reputation.

The FSA had their chance to become a serious partner but like the SNC they missed it. Their fate is the same as the divided and polluted SNC. They will soon become irrelevant.
In my view they should only blame themselves for their failures.
Some die hard anti-regime may blame the regime for the failure of these groups to unite but that would a compliment to the Syrian regime that has efficiently outsmarted the sponsors of these two organization, Turkey, Qatar, KSA and France.

June 6th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

A criminal calling himself revolutionist killing a soldier in a cold blood…

June 6th, 2012, 4:57 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Multitasking revolutionists:killing Syrians,killing Iraqis ,kidnapping libanese….you pay we do it:

June 6th, 2012, 5:01 pm


irritated said:

215. Uzair8 said

“Immediately after Bashar al-Assad cut off water supply, heavy rain fell in Rastan (4 June 2012):”

A miracle!

June 6th, 2012, 5:02 pm


zoo said:

Der Spiegel : When Sanctions Backfire
Syrian War Profiteers Cash In on Insurgency

By Nadia Bitar in Damascus

EU sanctions were designed to undermine rich businesspeople propping up the Assad regime in Syria. But they are actually helping entrepreneurs with close ties to the government. Syrian profiteers are cashing in by buying up real estate at bargain prices and selling natural gas and diesel.

When Yousef Katt (not his real name) discusses the war in Syria, he merely refers to it as al-wada, or “the situation.” And for this businessman, it’s not a bad situation at all.

In fact, these days, Katt is constantly busy. Even on weekends, you’ll find him wearing slacks and a pressed shirt just in case someone calls and asks him to help sell their house. If the house lies in one of Damascus’ better neighborhoods, Katt will drive over to look at it. He gives the building a once-over, tells the owner he will think about whether he’s interested, and leaves. He can afford to be picky.

These days, there are many who have to sell their houses — but few who can buy them. Katt is one of these few.

“A top location is and will continue to be a top location,” Katt says. He recently took a look at a restaurant in the old city of Damascus near the famous Umayyad mosque. In the record year of 2010, 8.5 million tourists visited this location, and the numbers looked set to increase. And most of these have been cultural tourists with full wallets unlike the beach vacationers on package deals in Tunisia and Egypt. Of course, the ongoing troubles in Syria have kept most tourists away. But, Katt says: “Things will get going like that again in a couple of years.”

Katt belongs to Syria’s upper class, the top 1 percent of the population. Syria’s super-rich entrepreneurs enjoy a symbiotic relationship with the regime of President Bashar Assad — after all, good relations means good business. People in Damascus say that no big export or import deals can happen without the regime’s approval.

Katt has also made millions through trade, hotels and restaurants. Most of his assets are in foreign currencies. A lot of it is invested in Dubai — something which is now paying off for him.

Precious Commodities

“Syria is a good place to shop right now,” Katt says. Before the crisis, €1 ($1.25) fetched 60 Syrian pounds, but now it gets you 85 Syrian pounds on the black market. In March, Syria’s currency reached its lowest value to date, trading at 125 pounds to the euro.

There is a new term in Syria for men like Katt: the tijar al-azma, the traders of the crisis. They do business in three things: real estate, heating gas and diesel. And EU sanctions are actually helping these war profiteers.


June 6th, 2012, 5:06 pm


zoo said:

Will Russia agree to move Al Assad aside?

A U.S. delegation headed by Fred Hof, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special adviser on Syria, is scheduled to meet with Russian counterparts June 8 in Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia and China are seeking to press the Syrian opposition to support peace efforts by UN envoy Kofi Annan and proposed a meeting of countries that have influence over the rebels.

Annan’s Plan
“The goal of such a meeting, bringing together all foreign players at the first stage without the Syrians, is to agree honestly and without double standards to implement Kofi Annan’s plan, because we all supported it,” Lavrov told reporters in Beijing today after a meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Putin.

Russia, which accuses Syrian armed opposition groups of sabotaging Annan’s almost two-month-old peace plan, yesterday condemned “amoral” foreign support for the rebels, who are receiving weapons and financing, according to a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry’s website.

Syria says Saudi Arabia and Qatar are torpedoing the UN plan to end the conflict by continuing to arm rebels in violation of a cease-fire agreement reached in April.

Read more:

June 6th, 2012, 5:11 pm


Amjad said:

Syria activists: 78 killed in village

“A Local Coordination Committees activist near Qubeir said the Syrian army began shelling the village using tanks at 7 p.m. The shelling lasted for an hour, after which militias loyal to the regime raided the village and began executing people using knives and AK-47s, the activist said.

About 200 people live in Qubeir, which is near villages that support the regime, the activist said.”


Syrian activists report wave of violence in Hama

“BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian activists reported a surge of bloodshed in the central Hama province late Wednesday, with at least 23 people killed — and possibly many more.

The reported mass killings are likely to ignite more anger nearly two weeks after the massacre of more than 100 people elsewhere in Syria as an international peace plan unravels and the country spirals toward civil war.

The exact circumstances of the violence in Hama were impossible to independently confirm.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said he had gathered the names of 23 people killed in shelling and other attacks. But the Local Coordination Committees, an activist group, said at least 86 were dead.

Abdul-Rahman called on U.N. observers to visit the area immediately.

“Do not wait until tomorrow in order to investigate this latest massacre,” he said.”

June 6th, 2012, 5:57 pm


Amjad said:

Syrian Activists: At Least 78 Killed Near Hama

“Syrian activists say pro-government militia and security forces have killed at least 78 people, including women and children, in the central province of Hama. They said some of those killed in the village of al-Kubeir Wednesday were stabbed to death.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ‘shabiha’ militiamen armed with guns and knives carried out the attack after regular troops had shelled the area.

The new killings come less than two weeks after a massacre in the central area of Houla, in which 108 people were murdered, nearly half of them children. The May 25 incident has provoked sharp international outrage.”

June 6th, 2012, 6:04 pm


Amjad said:

Nazi sympathizers spent the rest of their lives trying to excuse and explain their support for Hitler’s barbaric Third Reich. Likewise, the supporters of this filthy junta will bear the shame for the rest of their miserable lives. Disgraceful.

June 6th, 2012, 6:09 pm



209. SANDRO LOEWEsaid:

Complete building collapsing today in Homs.

This comment deserves 9 negative thumbs at #209. I wonder who maybe so ill minded as to vote negative to a fact as the collapse of a building. This not an opinion or an argument nor an article. This is as voting negative to a video of meteorite falling on earth. This is really amazing.

June 6th, 2012, 6:10 pm


Juergen said:

funny articles are rare these days, this one at least brought some fun to home tonight. Obviously Madame Bitar wasnt long in Syria, I think unmarried christian women arent so rare in Syria nowadays.

Nadia Bitar from Damascus on the normal life in a country at war

“On these warm summer evenings, Mary feels as happy as never before. The beautiful red-brown hair with Syrian is over 40, unmarried – and conservative in the country is a rarity. Her siblings have pity on her. But since in December 2011 two bombs exploded unexpectedly in Damascus, their lifestyle is no longer sees Mary as a flaw.

“For the first time, it feels good to be unmarried and not to have children,” she laughs. “My friends are sitting at home and get depressed. They are afraid of what will become of their children. This concern I have not.”

“What should people make? But you have to live somehow,” says Mary. Suddenly she turns up her nose. It shows will be issued on one of the showcase, with long dresses, “Neon Yellow Neon Orange and the colors of this summer, who will wear that?”

Mary also had a girlfriend for a month from Homs were held with their family at his guest, to the refugees an affordable rent. “The first thing she asked me was whether we have a particular fashion brand in Damascus,” says Mary.”

June 6th, 2012, 6:16 pm



Let´s supose that 15.000 to 25.000 people have been killed in Syria from 15.03.2011.

Making some easy calculations anyone can conclude that some 700.000 to 800.000 new syrians have been born in the last 15 months.

Let´s hope these new born people will live in a global world and will opose the old decaying Assad dictatorship. So the demographic war is already won. Assad has nothing to do. People are people and the end of Assad is nearer day after day.

June 6th, 2012, 6:18 pm


Amjad said:

“I wonder who maybe so ill minded as to vote negative to a fact as the collapse of a building”

Very sick mentalities indeed. One wonders why they don’t all move to the Iranian theocracy that they adore so much. Wasn’t it their head mullah who said “Economics is for donkeys?” Disgraceful.

June 6th, 2012, 6:19 pm


Syrialover said:

#222 Irritated

Only dirty old men fantasise about a 22-year-old who sucks up and makes sexy noises at someone as ugly as Bashar Assad.

And would you be proud of a young daughter or sister acting and dressing like Miss Jaafari?

If you have like tendencies and tastes like the Bashars (Jaafari and Assad) maybe you would.

June 6th, 2012, 6:22 pm


Amjad said:

Did anyone notice the timetable of events lately? Before the massacres, there used to be a bombing every week somewhere. Now the regime has put the bombings on a pause while it commits a savage massacre everyweek. Can you people be more obvious? Bashar Al-Wahsh is as ingenious and subtle as Fred Flintstone. Only Fred was more evolved than Mr “I have to cut off all the limbs to perform surgery”

June 6th, 2012, 6:28 pm


Amjad said:

I wonder if Professor Landis is still against the idea of NATO military intervention, while the shabiha go on and ethnically cleanse a different area every week? Just say the word NATO, and I’ll put up a radar post for you on my roof top, and gladly markthe tanks and checkpoints of eklab el assad.

June 6th, 2012, 6:36 pm


Amjad said:

Half a village murdered. I’m sure the apologists for this savage junta will claim that half the village killed the other half because they “converted to Shia-ism”, their usual pathetic and feeble explanation. An explanation so weak you could beat it up with wet spaghetti.

June 6th, 2012, 6:46 pm


Syrialover said:

I hope Syrian Hamster will post again soon. His comments always lift my day.

But I understand, they keep him busy.

June 6th, 2012, 7:11 pm


omen said:

aje report:

for the third day in a row, the syrian army fought armed rebels in the countryside around the city of latakia. the rebels now have new weapons, allowing them to carry out deadlier attacks against government forces. the government is using more force against them as well. activists say the government is using helicopters to target rebel areas. dozens of men were killed on both sides.

the armed opposition seems to be gaining ground in many parts of syria. even some of syria’s business community who traditionally supported the assad family are starting to abandon the regime. at a meeting in doha, syrian business leaders announced a new forum to support the revolution. they promised to give the syrian opposition 300 million dollars in the hopes of getting rid of assad.

[translated speech before the forum]
mustafa sabagh, syrian businessman: the businessmen support the revolution and we will provide financial help to the opposition because this is a critical time. the main motive for establishing this forum of syrian business leaders is to throw our unlimited support behind the revolution until it achieves its goals.

but money isn’t the only weapon people are talking about. u.s. treasury secretary said military action is still on the table. yet, u.s. officials have been toning their rhetoric down in the past few days away from a military solution.

timothy geithner: we, the united states, hope that all responsible nations will soon join in taking appropriate economic actions against the syrian regime. including, if necessary, chapter seven action in the un security council as called for by the arab league last weekend.

the ceasefire brokered by the un and the arab league’s envoy kofi annan is nowhere to be seen. and there are now louder warnings of an eminent civil war. annan is expected to deliver a message to the un on thursday. it’s time for the international community to decide its next step. but the security council is still searching for a move all its members, and most importantly, russia and china, can agree on. so far, russia has refused to agree on any forceful measures against the government in damascus. that’s why annan is expected to proposed another venue for negotiations. some kind of a contact group of countries exploring plans for a political transition in syria. all the while president bashar al assad remains defiant. on wednesday, he asked a baathist and a former agricultural minister to form a new government. his way of suggesting reform as he seems to be losing support at home.

rula amin, aljazeera, beirut.

June 6th, 2012, 7:35 pm


Tara said:

Mixed massages from Russia?  Does that mean that Bashar is on auction already and Russia waiting for the largest bid, or is it just rhetoric? 

Syria/Russia: Russia is prepared to see President Assad leave power as part of a political settlement to end 15 months of bloodshed, but is not in talks with other nations on the fate of the Syrian leader, a senior Russian diplomat said yesterday.

Deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov also said a Yemen-style power transition was unlikely to work in Syria because many of Assad’s foes are unwilling to negotiate with the government, Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported.

Gatilov reiterated Russian statements – also repeated on Friday by President Vladimir Putin – that Moscow is open to Assad’s exit from power if it results from a Syrian political dialogue without foreign interference.

“We have never said or posed the condition that Assad must necessarily stay in power as the result of this political process,” state-run Itar-Tass quoted Gatilov as saying in Geneva, a day after a meeting Annan. “This issue must be resolved by the Syrians themselves.”

He said Russia “is not holding any contacts or discussions with anyone about whether Assad should stay in power or go.”

President Obama told G8 countries including Russia last month that Assad must leave power and pointed to Yemen, where foreign states helped engineer a handover from longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to an administration led by his vice-president, as a model for a potential transition.

June 6th, 2012, 8:39 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Houla not a game changer

By: Amal Hanano

Confession: the images of the carnage in Houla did not move me like they seem to have moved the rest of the world. Yes, they were tragic, horrific acts of violence against the most innocent of victims. But they didn’t break anything inside of me that was not already broken, nor did they raise the level of outrage or sorrow I feel everyday over what is happening in Syria.

Maybe it was because in the twenty-fours hours before hearing about the Houla massacre, I had heard that a friend’s relative had been killed, I had heard that another friend’s elderly relative had been kidnapped by gangs for ransom, I had received desperate Skype messages from an activist in Homs, crying, “my precious ones are gone, my precious ones are gone,” referring to three Shaam News Network media activists who had been shot dead by Assad forces, and I had spoken with the brother of a martyr in Aleppo, who told me that since his older brother was killed one week ago, he was trying to act normally but the truth was, his “heart was burning.” By late afternoon, when I watched the first video of the children of Houla, with their tiny throats slit open below their ashen, angelic faces, all I could feel was yet another heavy thud of dread. One we had felt many times before.

The days after Houla brought the news of the death of Basel Shehade, the brilliant young filmmaker who was killed by the shells falling over Homs. (Will the shells ever stop falling over Homs?) The days after Houla brought news of continued shelling, the burning of Aleppo’s and Idleb’s countryside, and the deaths of another dozen men — their eyes blindfolded and hands bound — executed in Deir al-Zor. The days after Houla brought news of thousands of Syrian refugees in Egypt who found themselves stranded with empty homes, empty pockets, and a bleak, uncertain future.


June 6th, 2012, 8:59 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Details are slowly emerging from Syria, and non of it good. Yet again Syrian villages are bombarded then shabeeha sent in to “finish” the job, these massacres keep repeating themselves and the parrots keep defending the indefensible while the thugs keep butchering and burning the Syrian people.

Al-Qubeir Reef Hama, among the casualties is a woman from the Qastal family, who was killed with all her children 35 people from al-Yateem family were killed as well:


Kafr Zeita, Reef Hama burnt out corpses of Syrian civilians:


Please note the at the 1:03 minute mark the spray paint on the wall (Al Assad or Nobody else) and the hospital that was targeted by tanks. (Graphic)

Allah yerham alshuhadaa

June 6th, 2012, 9:21 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Evidence of shelling that Kafr Zeita endured:

June 6th, 2012, 9:27 pm


Observer said:

It seems that the pattern of massacres is aimed at ethnic cleansing in a plan to have the Alawi community in a contiguous geographic area. I am not privy to the distribution of villages around Hama and Homs and Rastan and Latakia and Tartous.
It is possible that a mini state which will preserve Russia and Iran interests may see the day; again I do not know and I am speculating.

The game is afoot. The meeting in Istanbul is more low key and with more important people planning a post Annan plan and with less fanfare.

Lavrov is asking for a meeting of players including the 5 SC members, the AL ( ie KSA and Qatar ); the EU, and Iran and Turkey.
France and the US have announced that Iran inclusion is a non starter.

My reading of this is that the garbage can that Putin is holding called Somaria Alassad is starting to stink really bad and this hot potato needs to be tossed aside.

Putin went to the EU to ask for open borders no visas investment in Russia, technological know how from Germany, thinking that the EU and the US will give all of that in exchange for Syria. The guy is either stupid or delusional. He did not get anything. He was told solve Syria and then we can talk.

Russia’s prize is Iran not Syria and this is where it wants to have its influence to protect its southern border and to insure that the 300 mile gap between Kazhakstan and Ukraine remains in Russian hands and to insure that the oil and gaz pipelines go through Russia and not south through Iran and Turkey. It also does not want any more oil and gaz dumped on the world markets with decreased revenues.

The following from Alquds is telling\201266-066z499.htm

It seems that Fredo transfered 6 billion to Russia already for him and his family. I think if he did that he can kiss the money good bye and if the word goes out that he did that, others in the close circle might kill him or panic and leave him behind to face the music.

Cham Press seems in a panic today.

Anyone else has more information about these latest changes before Annan talks tomorrow please post them

June 6th, 2012, 9:55 pm


Observer said:

This is from RT and if they are reporting this the game is up

June 6th, 2012, 10:08 pm


omen said:

234. SYRIALOVER said:
hope Syrian Hamster will post again soon. His comments always lift my day.

did he post somewhere? what did he say? i don’t see him on the thread.

June 6th, 2012, 10:22 pm


omen said:

237. SON OF DAMASCUS said:
By: Amal Hanano

he’s so talented.
i was going to post his aleppo piece.

June 6th, 2012, 10:29 pm


Son of Damascus said:


While I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly about Amal, I feel like I must correct you; Amal is a proud woman not that changes anything, just felt you should know…

June 6th, 2012, 10:49 pm


omen said:

more on the hama slayings,

an opposition activist gives his account of what happened in qubair and maarzaf to the bbc:


June 6th, 2012, 10:50 pm


omen said:

oh, well, that makes more sense, sod. my mistake. her avatar gives another impression.

June 6th, 2012, 10:53 pm


omen said:

240. OBSERVER said:
It seems that the pattern of massacres is aimed at ethnic cleansing in a plan to have the Alawi community in a contiguous geographic area. I am not privy to the distribution of villages around Hama and Homs and Rastan and Latakia and Tartous.

a homs activist reported weeks ago that abandoned houses in homs were being resettled with alawites.

i earlier speculated if the ground was being prepped for installation of proposed oil pipelines. there is an existing gas pipeline running through homs now.

June 6th, 2012, 11:07 pm


omen said:


putin wants the nato missile defense shield, arrayed around russia’s borders, removed.

russia also holds interest in iraqi oil. wonder if a pipeline will be laid towards the port in tartus.

June 6th, 2012, 11:15 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Yes ,It is ethnic cleansing, and soon the goverment and its supporters will defend the criminal Assad, we will not forget, we will not forgive,The Shabbiha , all of them will be killed, and their land and houses will be burned, their money will not help them, they started, they must suffer.

June 6th, 2012, 11:44 pm


Syrialover said:

OMEN # 242

No, we haven’t had a squeak out of the Hamster for a while.

I thought I’d just say hello to him.

I hope he’ll reappear soon.

Did you catch the update on OTW a week or two ago: ?

June 6th, 2012, 11:57 pm


Darryl said:

134. TARA said:

“I know I do not have a man’s eyes, but I think beauty has universal appeal. I simply do not find her beautiful. I do not know how “proud” Bashar al Jaafari feels about his girl…what a pity!”

Well Tara, Miss Jaafari’s gaze in that picture delivers more spark than my 100 Ampere stick welder. Where was that picture when I was building a cattle yard to weld the steel parts!

How is your orange tree going Tara? Orange trees need lots of feed and water and make sure you put some rusted iron as they need lots of Iron so that it can reward you with than heavenly scented blossom.

I find it an irony that the Qur’an does not mention the sweet and heavenly scent of citrus trees and their delicious fruit in heaven, don’t you? as citrus is my favorite plant variety after lychee.

June 7th, 2012, 12:07 am


Son of Damascus said:


The man in her avatar is the great Syrian hero Ibrahim Hanano the true Syrian Lion (Or Lion of the North as Jamil Mardam Bey called him), Amal is her nom de plume.

She explains her namesake in one of her earlier pieces.

For your info Amal translates to hope in English, and for me at least her articles keep that alive. She is indeed very talented

June 7th, 2012, 12:17 am


zoo said:

Putin, Hu Seek to Push Syria Rebels to Back Annan Peace Plan
By Ilya Arkhipov – Jun 6, 2012 8:01 AM ET

Russia and China are seeking to press the Syrian opposition to support peace efforts by United Nations envoy Kofi Annan and proposed a meeting of countries that have influence over the rebels and the government.

“Russia and China have a clear understanding that this is of crucial importance at this stage, when there is no shortage of those who want, through their words and subversive actions, to scuttle the Kofi Annan plan,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Beijing today after two days of meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leaders including his counterpart Hu Jintao.

While Western leaders have called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster, Russia has vowed to veto any attempt at imposing sanctions on his government through the UN Security Council, where it holds veto-empowered permanent membership along with the U.S., the U.K., France and China. Russia has called for negotiations between Assad and his opponents to reach a political settlement.

The five permanent members, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Conference and Arab League states, Turkey and Iran should take part in the meeting, Lavrov said, adding that Syrian representatives shouldn’t be invited to initial talks.
‘It’s Essential’

“It’s essential to call a meeting of states that have real influence over the various opposition groups,” Lavrov said. “We must all pile pressure on the Syrian side with which each of us has the most sway and convince them to stop any violence.”

Russia, which accuses Syrian armed opposition groups of sabotaging Annan’s almost two-month-old peace plan, will hold talks with the U.S. in Moscow on June 8 on seeking an orderly transfer of power by Assad, according to two U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday condemned “amoral” foreign support for the rebels, who are receiving weapons and financing, according to a statement posted on its website.

“The goal of such a meeting, bringing together all foreign players at the first stage without the Syrians, is to agree honestly and without double standards to implement Kofi Annan’s plan, because we all supported it,” Lavrov said.

June 7th, 2012, 12:31 am


Son of Damascus said:

More videos are coming out of Hama, and they are keep getting worse.

Video uploaded goes into details of what happened and the tragic end that these innocent children and women endured under the Assadi army.

(Graphic with English subtitles)

June 7th, 2012, 1:28 am


bronco said:

Comment was blocked as spam mistakenly, time stamp updated.

SC Moderator

The irony is that the US and the EU are not focusing on the regime to go, but on Bashar to go. He is the scapegoat.

It’s so naive. The regime will stay with and without Bashar and will keep its institutions and its army and the revolution would have just succeeded in removing a man who is symbolically the regime but who is not the regime. Is this a successful revolution?

June 7th, 2012, 1:35 am


Amjad said:

“It’s so naive. The regime will stay with and without Bashar and will keep its institutions and its army”

Incorrect, and wildly so. There are no “institutions” in Syria in the sense of the word that the rest of the world understands it. The regime are a bunch of crooks, held together only by the fact that they know the rest of the country want their heads. Once the head crook goes, they will find it impossible to rally around another figure, and will turn on each other.

It isn’t Bashar the person these crooks they following. Someone from the Assad family was needed to play the role of keystone to the whole rotten architecture. Put a donkey from the Assad family in the presidential palace and the pro-regimists will also wave its picture and serve as its murderous, savage shabihas. Remember that before his demise, it was Basil that was supposed to be the “ela el abad” figure of worship.

Even with all the repeated brutalities, it is shocking and disgraceful that there are some who still squirm to find any excuse to keep this war criminal in power. Just like the Nazi sympathizers of old, these people will spend the rest of their miserable lives trying to explain and excuse their disgraceful behavior.

June 7th, 2012, 2:02 am


Alan said:

100% !!!!

June 7th, 2012, 2:56 am


omen said:

240. OBSERVER said:
It seems that the pattern of massacres is aimed at ethnic cleansing in a plan to have the Alawi community in a contiguous geographic area. I am not privy to the distribution of villages around Hama and Homs and Rastan and Latakia and Tartous.
It is possible that a mini state which will preserve Russia and Iran interests may see the day; again I do not know and I am speculating.


here is a conflict map:

Blue – protest videos
Yellow – places on strike.
Red – places where martyrs fell today or which are under attack.

June 7th, 2012, 4:31 am


jeff said:

without diminishing the abhorrent murder of civilians in Syria and other arab countries. i am appalled at the hypocritical non Jewish world that jumps up and down hysterically when Israel is accused of all kinds of falsehoods. i am especially appalled and disappointed at the hypocrisy shown when Israel was blamed for not stopping the Christian phalanges slaughtering civilians in Lebanon. but with the syrian uprising, it has taken over a year and you hardly hear a peep of condemnation from anyone. no marches no nothing. what immoral hypocrisy.

June 7th, 2012, 12:03 pm


Post a comment

Neoprofit AI