News Round Up (17 December 2012) - Syria Comment

News Round Up (17 December 2012)

Mazout prices have shot above 100 pounds a liter, as sanctions and violence take their toll on Syria. The pound has dropped in value rising above 90 per dollar again. Farouq al-Sharaa, Syria’s vice president called for a settlement of the uprising that would lead to the formation of a “national unity government with broad powers.” He claimed that neither side could prevail militarily. A series of bombings in Iraq targeting ethnic minorities and Shiite pilgrims, killed 17 and wounded dozens.

A reporter friend, present at the Morocco, Friends of Syria Conference, writes:

As the conference was taking place, I was in touch with a number of anti-government civilians and Free Army fighters who all expressed displeasure with the decision [to declare the Nusra Front a terrorist organization], saying while they might have ideological differences with Al-Nusra, they are happy to fight alongside them as effective fighters making a solid contribution to toppling Assad. I would add that  in follow up conversations, this sentiment has even extended to distinct lack of trust towards Americans and derision toward the coalition supposedly representing them  – as, in the words of one civilian: “another U.S. plot.”

Syrian jet fires rocket at Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus – Thousands flee and dozens feared dead after attack on Yarmouk camp as Palestinians in Syria are caught up in civil war. At least one rocket from a Syrian air force jet has killed and wounded dozens of Palestinians in the largest refugee camp in Damascus. Palestinians in Syria had enjoyed the protection of the government for much of the past 40 years. However their loyalties have been tested as the civil war has intensified. The large majority of the Palestinian population in Syria is Sunni, as is the opposition movement which is attempting to oust the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite sect is aligned to Shia Islam.

Roughly half of Syria’s Palestinian refugees are thought to remain supportive of the regime, while the other half have grown hostile to it as the 21-month crisis has escalated.
The attack is believed to have occurred after sporadic fighting inside the camp over the past fortnight between rebel units and Palestinian factions loyal to Assad, headed by Ahmed Jibril, a veteran local leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine general committees.


CrossTalk on Sunni-Shia Conflict: House Divided w. Landis, Moufid Jaber, and Alireza Nader

Patrick Cockburn writes that “The victims have not been identified” in reference to beheading posted to YouTube that went viral recently.  One of the two Alawite officers to have their heads chopped off has now been identified as Brigadier General Fouad Abdel Rahman – GRAPHIC pic.twitter.com/EqtUXn68. He is from a village named Qarfais near Jable on the coast.

Was there a massacre in the Syrian town of Aqrab?
Alex Thomson, All Channel 4 News blogs
Friday 14 Dec 2012

….We do not say what follows is the truth. But we can say it is the first independently observed story of Aqrab from the first outside journalist to reach this area.

We interviewed three key eye-witnesses in three separate locations. They could not have known either of our sudden arrival, nor did they know the identities of the other two eye-witnesses.

What is striking is that their accounts entirely corroborate each other, to the last detail. And their accounts are further backed up by at least a dozen conversations with other Alawites who had fled from Aqrab….

All three agree – as do the rebels – that rebels attacked Aqrab on Sunday 2 December. Madlyan says: “They had long beards. It was hard to understand what they said. They weren’t dressed like normal Syrians.”

I press her and she is adamant that their Arabic was not from Syria.

The youth Ali told us: “They all had big beards and came in four or five cars, from the direction of al-Houla.”

They all insist, as did everybody else we met, that the rebels from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) corralled around 500 Alawite civilians in a large red-coloured two-storey house belonging to a prominent businessman called Abu Ismail.

They then say they were held – around 500 men, women and children – in this building until the early hours of Tuesday 11 December. Nine days.

In that time they say almost no food was delivered, and women were hitting their own children to try and stop them crying. When it rained, they were holding rags out of the window to soak up and drink the moisture.

Hayat says that the rebels told everybody: “We are your brothers from al-Houla and al-Rastan, your Islamic brothers. We won’t hurt you.”…

At that point, shooting broke out, the rebels firing through the windows and shouting that they had booby-trapped the building. The eye-witnesses say that the shooting died down at about midnight, after which a deal was done. In screaming night-time chaos and intermittent shooting, three vehicles took around 70 of the prisoners to safety in the nearest village a mile away…..

To the beach: Assad prepares for last stand in home town
Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv

Video: Syrian support for Jubhat al-Nusrah and opposition to Western intervention
by Aljazeera on December 15, 2012


US Jubhat Al-Nusrah “Terrorist” Label Backfires 12-14-12 Syria Protesters “A

Danger rising that extremists could seize Syria’s chemical weapons
Craig Whitlock and Carol Morello DEC 16 – Wash Post

The Syrian military is losing control of bases, including sites where chemical arms were produced in the past.

Former US Official Urges Military Intervention in Syria
[Fred Hof, a former US State Department official who works on Syria, arrives at the headquarters of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, June 8, 2012. (photo by REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov)]
By: Barbara Slavin.

He said the US provision of so-called non-lethal assistance, including communications gear, to the rebels had been significant in preventing the “Syrian revolution from being strangled in the cradle” and that US officials had gained crucial knowledge over the past 20 months.

“I presume that the US government has done all of its due diligence and knows how to do this,” Hof said of his recommendation that weapons now be sent. “I suspect the provision of nonlethal assistance has been a good laboratory for figuring out how to get things into Syria — who’s reliable.”

Later Thursday, at an appearance at the Atlantic Council, Hof said that while he wished diplomatic efforts would end the conflict without US intervention, “guns will likely decide the outcome and those who want to influence and shape the outcome must get into the arena. This is not about messaging; this is about doing.” He also clarified that he meant providing Russian and other former East bloc weapons, not American arms.

No water, power, cash: Syria rebels run broke town
By By KARIN LAUB | Associated Press

  • In this Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, photo, Syrians wait outside a bakery shop to buy beard in Maaret Misreen, near Idlib, Syria. The town is broke, relying on a slowing trickle of local donations. The rebels, a motley crew of laborers, mechanics and shopowners, have little experience in government. President Bashar Assad's troops still control the city of Idlib a few miles away, making area roads unsafe and keeping Maaret Misreen cut off from most of Syria. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

    Associated Press/Muhammed Muheisen – In this Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, photo, Syrians wait outside a bakery shop to buy beard in Maaret Misreen, near Idlib, Syria. The town is broke, relying on a slowing trickle …more 

MAARET MISREEN, Syria (AP) — The anti-regime locals who have thrown together a ramshackle administration to run this northern Syrian town have one main struggle: Finding money to keep their community alive. Like other nearby rebel-held towns, Maaret Misreen is broke.

Many of the town’s 45,000 residents are out of work. There’s no cash to keep water or electricity running, so they come on only sporadically. Prices have skyrocketed. Long lines form at the only working bakery for miles around, creating vulnerable potential targets for airstrikes.

This week, the town’s main mosque preacher, Abdel Rahim Attoun — who now doubles as the town judge — appealed to worshippers to chip in to buy fuel for communal water pumps. He asked each family to donate 200 Syrian pounds, a little under $3, the cost of a large bunch of bananas.

But even that’s too much for many residents, so no one is being forced to donate, said 29-year-old Amer Ahmado, who is an electronics engineer but was picked by the newly formed local council for the job of managing the town’s meager finances.

The situation is repeated across the swath of rebel-controlled territory in northwestern Syria, said Zafer Amoura, a lawyer who represents Maaret Misreen in an emerging provincial council. Communities are now cut off from the national government that helped keep them running, and locals forming impromptu administrations try to meet the needs of daily life amid the civil war.

At the same time, the rebels in charge of Maaret Misreen are preoccupied with the 21-month-old battle against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Some of Assad’s troops are positioned just a few miles away, in the provincial capital of Idlib, while regime warplanes and combat helicopters continue to strike Maaret Misreen and its surroundings.

On a recent afternoon, a helicopter flew above the town’s only working bakery, where a long line had formed, sending some people running for cover. Regime aircraft have targeted breadlines before. A bomb crater outside the Maaret Misreen bakery’s bread distribution window witness bore witness to what residents say was a deadly attack several weeks ago.

Still, many were so eager to keep their place in line that they didn’t budge when they heard the whirring of the helicopter’s rotors.

“People are afraid, but they got used to it,” said Yasser Bajar, a 35-year-old laborer and father of three who last had a paid day of work four months ago. He had been in line since the morning and had just collected his bread when the helicopter appeared overhead, then veered away.

Outside the bakery, rebel fighters acting as policemen enforced an orderly line — women to the left, men to the right — as customers advanced to buy the maximum per person allotment of 24 pieces of flatbread.

Even as they complain about hardship, residents say they don’t want to go back to the old days, before the outbreak of the revolt against Assad in March 2011. Their stomachs were full then, but the regime controlled their lives, they said.

“We just need to get rid of him (Assad) and then get some rest,” said Omar al-Helo, 23, who stopped working as a carpenter months ago for lack of demand and now ekes out a living selling fruit in a small outdoor market.

Maaret Misreen, a 30-minute drive from the Turkish border, is surrounded by vast stretches of olive groves and is the main town providing services for about three dozen hamlets in the area.

The Syrian military didn’t have a presence in town and rebels took control in October 2011, as local regime representatives gradually slipped away, residents said….

In an odd twist, the regime continued for months to pay salaries of civil servants in rebel-held areas, including in Maaret Misreen, where local officials estimate at least one-third of working adults hold government jobs.

One of Maaret Misreen’s 22 garbage collectors said that while some of his colleagues have quit, he and others are still getting paid. However, the regime is starting to clamp down, said Amer Bitar, a 50-year-old former judge.

Civil servants are now required to pick up their salaries in person in Idlib, and many from Maarat Misreen won’t make the trip, fearing arrest as rebel sympathizers at regime checkpoints, Bitar said. Bitar himself quit his job as a criminal court judge in Idlib several months ago for fear of arrest.

Another resident said he still commutes daily to work in a state-run company in Idlib, passing through government checkpoints.

“If someone is not wanted, they leave him alone and don’t say anything,” he said of the regime…..Bitar said foreign aid is the only way out for rebel-run communities if the regime hangs on….

Syria: The Descent into Holy War
World View: The world decided to back the rebels last week, but this is no fight between goodies and baddies
By Patrick Cockburn, December 16, 2012 “The Independent”

I have now been in Damascus for 10 days, and every day I am struck by the fact that the situation in areas of Syria I have visited is wholly different from the picture given to the world both by foreign leaders and by the foreign media. The last time I felt like this was in Baghdad in late 2003, when every Iraqi knew the US-led occupation was proving a disaster just as George W Bush, Tony Blair and much of the foreign media were painting a picture of progress towards stability and democracy under the wise tutelage of Washington and its carefully chosen Iraqi acolytes.

The picture of Syria most common believed abroad is of the rebels closing in on the capital as the Assad government faces defeat in weeks or, at most, a few months. The Secretary General of Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said last week that the regime is “approaching collapse”. The foreign media consensus is that the rebels are making sweeping gains on all fronts and the end may be nigh. But when one reaches Damascus, it is to discover that the best informed Syrians and foreign diplomats say, on the contrary, that the most recent rebel attacks in the capital had been thrown back by a government counteroffensive. They say that the rebel territorial advances, which fuelled speculation abroad that the Syrian government might implode, are partly explained by a new Syrian army strategy to pull back from indefensible outposts and bases and concentrate troops in cities and towns.

At times, Damascus resounds with the boom of artillery fire and the occasional car bomb, but it is not besieged. I drove 160 kilometres north to Homs, Syria’s third largest city with a population of 2.3 million, without difficulty. Homs, once the heart of the uprising, is in the hands of the government, aside from the Old City, which is held by the FSA. Strongholds of the FSA in Damascus have been battered by shellfire and most of their inhabitants have fled to other parts of the capital. The director of the 1,000-bed Tishreen military hospital covering much of southern Syria told me that he received 15 to 20 soldiers wounded every day, of whom about 20 per cent died. This casualty rate indicates sniping, assassinations and small-scale ambushes, but not a fight to the finish.

This does not mean that the government is in a happy position. It has been unable to recapture southern Aleppo or the Old City in Homs. It does not have the troops to garrison permanently parts of Damascus it has retaken. Its overall diplomatic and military position is slowly eroding and the odds against it are lengthening, but it is a long way from total defeat, unless there is direct military intervention by foreign powers, as in Libya or Iraq, and this does not seem likely.

This misperception of the reality on the ground in Syria is fuelled in part by propaganda, but more especially by inaccurate and misleading reporting by the media where bias towards the rebels and against the government is unsurpassed since the height of the Cold War. Exaggerated notions are given of rebel strength and popularity. The Syrian government is partially responsible for this. By excluding all but a few foreign journalists, the regime has created a vacuum of information that is naturally filled by its enemies. In the event, a basically false and propagandistic account of events in Syria has been created by a foreign media credulous in using pro-opposition sources as if they were objective reporting.

The execution video is a case in point. I have not met a Syrian in Damascus who has not seen it. It is having great influence on how Syrians judge their future, but the mainstream media outside Syria has scarcely mentioned it. Some may be repulsed by its casual savagery, but more probably it is not shown because it contradicts so much of what foreign leaders and reporters claim is happening here

Free Syrian Army top commander killed in Syria’s Aleppo
Colonel Yusef al-Jader, Free Syrian Army’s `top commander was killed in a major battle for a military academy
AFP , Saturday 15 Dec 2012
A top rebel commander in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo was killed in a major battle for a military academy on Saturday, his brigade said. “It is with pride that Liwa al-Tawhid (brigade) announces the death in combat of the hero martyr, Colonel Yusef al-Jader (Abu Furat),” the brigade said on its Facebook page. Abu Furat was killed during battles pitting troops against rebels trying to “liberate” a major military academy at Muslimiyeh, just north of the embattled city of Aleppo.Abu Furat welcomed and provided cover to several AFP teams covering Syria’s conflict in Aleppo. On Saturday, rebels came close to scoring a significant victory as they captured large parts of the military academy, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “This is one of the most important military academies in all of Syria,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

In his first public statements since July 2011, Syrian Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa told Al-Akhbar that “with every passing day, the military and political solutions get further away.” Al-Sharaa said, “The way events are heading will lead to an uncomfortable place where things will definitely go from bad to worse.”

Al-Sharaa added, “We must be in the position of defending Syria’s existence. We are not in a battle for the survival of an individual or a regime.”

In the interview that Al-Akhbar will publish on Monday, al-Sharaa said, “The opposition with its different factions, civilian, armed, or ones with external ties, cannot claim to be the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian People, just as the current rule with its ideological army and its confrontation parties lead by the Baath, cannot achieve change without new partners.”

Al-Sharaa called for building confidence between the crisis sides and said, “The solution has to be Syrian, but through a historic settlement, which would include the main regional countries, and the member of UN Security Council. This settlement must include stopping all shapes of violence, and the creation of a national unity government with wide powers.”

About the field situation, al-Sharaa said: “The drop in the number of peaceful protesters led one way or another to the rise in militants.”

The Syrian Vice-President added, “The opposition forces combined cannot decide the battle militarily, meanwhile what the security forces and the army units are doing will not reach a conclusive end.”

Syrian Students Condemn American Led Sanctions that are Escalating Food Prices
Damascus Street Notes – by FRANKLIN LAMB

From Josh Rogin’s interview with Hagel:

“We’ve got to understand great-power limitations. There are so many uncontrollable variables at play in Syria and the Middle East,” Hagel said. “You work through the multilateral institutions that are available, the U.N., the Arab league. The last thing you want is an American-led or Western-led invasion into Syria.”

Marsha Cohen on why the hawks are aflutter about Hagel.

Syria’s Unified Armed Opposition: Internal Divisions, External Ties
By: Nasser Charara – al-Akhbar

In an effort to sideline jihadi Islamists, the US wants to centralize the armed opposition in Syria under a single military command. Will the armed opposition’s internal divisions and foreign backers permit such an endeavor?

Amidst the Syrian opposition’s meetings in Doha and Marrakesh, the finishing touches were placed on an international effort to unite many of Syria’s armed rebel groups under one leadership.

It was clear from the Doha meeting that Washington would not recognize the newly formed opposition National Coalition (NC) until it proved itself capable of forming a united military command for the armed factions operating in Syria.

Washington maintained that the jihadis – which it estimated to constitute a third of the armed groups – would be kept out, while the other two-thirds would be integrated under a central military command that is accountable to the NC.

Sure enough, a supreme military council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed, comprising many of the factions engaged in the armed uprising under the leadership of Salim Idriss. Among those excluded was the hardline Islamist al-Nasra Front, which Washington recently placed on its list of terrorist organizations.

On paper at least, it seems that the opposition succeeded in removing two key obstacles to Western military assistance: the infiltration of al-Qaeda elements, and the wayward and sometimes criminal behavior of some factions due to a lack of accountability and discipline.

Chances of Success

Will Washington’s plan succeed?….

McClatchy story about the humanitarian crisis in Syria. by Roy Gutman

 

Published Friday, December 14, 2012

The Revolt of Islam in Syria
Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, 14/12

The United States this week became the latest country to recognize the Syrian National Coalition, formed in Qatar a month ago, as the legitimate leadership of the Syrian opposition. The formation of a joint military council aligned with the coalition was also announced in Antalya, Turkey. At the same time, Washington designated Jabhat al-Nusra, the powerful Salafi armed group in Syria, as a terrorist organization.

All of these moves indicate that a coherent US and western policy toward the rebel side in the Syrian civil war is now emerging. This policy is in line with the Obama Administration’s broader regional orientation, and meets with the approval of key EU governments. It is also the preferred direction of Turkey and Qatar, the two countries who led the international response to the Syrian rebellion during the long period that the west preferred not to get directly involved.

The intention is to align with and strengthen Muslim Brotherhood-associated elements, while painting Salafi forces as the sole real Islamist danger. At the same time, secular forces are ignored or brushed aside….A Reuters report on the new joint military council calculated that the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies account for about two thirds of the 263 men who met in Antaliya and formed the new body. Salafi commanders are also there….

The focus on Jabhat al Nusra should not obscure the fact that the better-organized, non-Salafi, home grown, Muslim Brotherhood elements that the US is backing are no less anti-western and no less anti-Jewish…..the force now facing the retreating Assad regime is split between differing brands of Sunni Arab Islamism, some aligned with the west, some directly opposing it, but all holding fast to fundamentally anti-western ideologies….

Adnan Arour: anyone who refuses to have “God is Great” on the Syrian flag is a heretic

Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy
Briefing Paper – Chattam House
Christopher Phillips, December 2012

  • After a decade of cooperation and closeness with Syria, Turkey’s policy has changed radically as a result of the 2011–12 crisis in Syria. It is now openly calling for the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and actively sponsoring the opposition.
  • Since March 2011 Turkey has escalated its policy towards Syria in four stages: trying to persuade Assad to reform; cutting diplomatic ties; supporting regional and international political solutions; and, supporting and aiding Syria’s political and armed opposition. While advocating a fifth stage – direct military intervention against the Assad regime, such as a no-fly zone or humanitarian corridor – Turkey is unwilling to act unilaterally.
  • Turkey has already received over 135,000 Syrian refugees, has been bombarded by Assad’s forces and fears the use of chemical weapons. Any further disintegration of the Syrian state could provide a launch pad for Turkish Kurdish separatists and might raise questions about Turkey’s own territorial integrity. Economic concerns have also been raised should the crisis spread into the key market of northern Iraq.
  • Turkey has recently proposed talks with Russia, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to help resolve the Syria crisis. While unlikely to lead anywhere in the foreseeable future, such a multilateral process may be needed to help stabilize Syria and prevent state collapse if and when Assad eventually falls.

Comments (77)


5 dancing shlomos said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVZGIuXLHIs (found at niqnaq)

The Syrian crisis has been plagued by disinformation, especially mainstream media lies about the Syrian conflict to suit their governments’ agendas. In most cases, irresponsible reporting from what were once considered as “prestigious” news organizations has relied heavily on “Syrian activists” who happen to be almost entirely pro-FSA and anti-Syrian government. Massacres conducted by the FSA against unarmed Syrian civilians were casually attributed by those activists as crimes of the “Assad regime” against a defenseless population in order to delegitimize the Syrian government. The FSA would then display dead children that they just massacred as “victims of Assad’s Shabiha.” A recent episode took place in Aqrab (Hama countryside), where over 200 civilians were reportedly massacred by the Shabbiha. Most news organizations went with that narrative. However, a closer investigation that entails talking to the parents and relatives of these victims shows a completely different story. This video has two parts. Part 1 (starts at 0:30) shows British Channel 4 report on the story directly from Aqrab. Part 2 (starts at 6:25) shows Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV report on the story. Yet it’s the Syrian government that is continuously portrayed as the one conducting these massacres, whereas it has been shown in each case that it’s the FSA that is conducting them, be it in al-Houla, Darayya, Karm al-Zeitoun, or any other similar massacre.

December 17th, 2012, 2:05 pm

 
 

MarigoldRan said:

The more the regime talks about compromise, the more it is losing.

The regime has no credibility whatsoever. No one’s going to listen to them anymore, not until they’ve been beat.

December 17th, 2012, 2:36 pm

 

zoo said:

Thank you Patrick Cokburn. The ‘victories’ of the rebels are at most pathetic fabrication.

“This misperception of the reality on the ground in Syria is fuelled in part by propaganda, but more especially by inaccurate and misleading reporting by the media where bias towards the rebels and against the government is unsurpassed since the height of the Cold War. Exaggerated notions are given of rebel strength and popularity.”

The execution video is the most graphic illustration of deepening religious bigotry on the part of the rebels, but it is not the only one. Another recent video shows Free Syrian Army fighters burning and desecrating a Shia husseiniyah (a religious meeting house similar to a mosque) in Idlib in northern Syria. They chant prayers of victory as they set fire to the building, set fire to flags used in Shia religious processions and stamp on religious pictures.

December 17th, 2012, 2:45 pm

 

zoo said:

#3

“The regime has no credibility whatsoever.”

You neither.

December 17th, 2012, 2:46 pm

 

Johannes de Silentio said:

Note: Revenire is a Latin word meaning to return to or to come back to, as in “he returned to the scene of his crime.”

Shlomo, I’m proud of you. A coherent paragraph in perfect English. The meds are working. You are cured of your psychosis. Now go to the Imam and have him call your Mother to tell her you can come home. Be sure to bring along a check to pay her for all the windows and mirrors you smashed the last time you were home.

December 17th, 2012, 2:49 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

“syrian jets fire rocket at palestinian camp” is western lingo for terrorist thugs bomb palestinian camp.

just how the jew’s west speaks: up is down, lies are truths, victims are the perpetrators, the innocent are guilty, war is peace.

December 17th, 2012, 2:53 pm

 

zoo said:

The armed rebels in Syria to soon face international rejection as they increasingly display bigotry, cruelty and unreliability.
After the SNC collapse, watch for the FSA collapse.

December 17th, 2012, 2:57 pm

 

zoo said:

Bombing of Yarmouk palestinians refugees camps

What the media omits to say that this camp has been forcefully occupied by the armed rebels and that most of inhabitants have fled.

December 17th, 2012, 3:04 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Jewish Mind Control in Action

5 Dancing Ahmads,

Here’s another article from the Zionist-Owned media (in this case al-Jazeera):

Syria planes strike Damascus refugee district

Activists report government air attacks on area in capital inhabited by Palestinian refugees and displaced Syrians.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/2012121612329600740.html

December 17th, 2012, 3:05 pm

 

zoo said:

UN sending chemical weapons kits to Syria

December 18, 2012 6:20AM

THE United Nations is sending chemical weapons kits to UN troops in the Golan Heights because of growing fears over Syria’s deadly non-conventional arsenal, officials say.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/world/un-sending-chemical-weapons-kits-to-syria/story-e6frfkui-1226539292059#ixzz2FLHpZD00

December 17th, 2012, 3:17 pm

 

zoo said:

Yarmouk camp invaded by Al Nusra…

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-violence-20121217,0,2089090.story

The explosions came after more than 1,500 members of “armed gangs” — a government label for rebel fighters — breached the camp confines, the Popular Front said, adding that loyalist “popular councils” confronted the rebels.

According to the Popular Front statement, all of the attacking rebels were members of Al Nusra Front, an Islamist rebel group that the Obama administration blacklisted last week as an alleged affiliate of Al Qaeda.

December 17th, 2012, 3:27 pm

 

5 dancing shlomos said:

partial repost:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33286.htm

Road Map Drawn Up by Syrian Traitors to Serve Imperialists, Gulf Monarchies

By Noureddine Merdaci

In Syria, it is fighters coming from many Arab countries, elements of al-Qaeda, jihadists from Afghanistan, Somalia and Pakistan – well-armed – who kill Syrian civilians and fight against the Syrian army alongside a handful of deserters. So, in Doha, it was necessary to “unify” the opposition, whose credibility was placed in question, even by one of its main sponsors, the United States, which has applied its full weight to restore a semblance of consistency and visibility to an opposition created completely by France, Qatar, and the United States in particular, and supported by Turkey, which “persuaded” NATO to install “Patriot” missiles on its territory – more precisely on the borders with Syria. Doha has been a refocusing of a rebellion that had not been able to achieve the goals ordered by its sponsors.

In fact, we can better understand the situation when we know the terms of the “Doha Protocol,” a document we have been able to consult, which contains the following 13 points:

1. Syria should reduce the number of soldiers of the Syrian army to 50,000;

2. Syria will assert its right to sovereignty over the Golan only by political means. Both parties will sign peace agreements under the auspices of the United States and Qatar;

3. Syria must get rid of, under the supervision of the United States, all its chemical and biological weapons and all of its missiles. This operation must be carried out on the land of Jordan;

4. To cancel any claim of sovereignty over Liwa Iskenderun (Alexandretta) and to withdraw in favor of Turkey from some border villages inhabited by Turkmens in “muhafazahs” in Aleppo and Idlib;

5. To expel all members of the Workers Party of Kurdistan, and to hand over those wanted by Turkey. This party should be added to the list of terrorist organizations;

6. To cancel all agreements and contracts signed with Russia and China in the fields of subsurface drilling and armaments;

7. To allow Qatari gas pipeline passage through the Syrian territory toward Turkey and then on to Europe;

8. To allow water pipes to pass through the Syrian territory from the Atatürk Dam to Israel;

9. Qatar and United Arab Emirates pledge to rebuild what has been destroyed by the war in Syria on the condition that their companies have the exclusive access to contracts for reconstruction and for exploitation of Syrian oil and gas;

10.To terminate relations with Iran, Russia and China;

11.To break off relations with Hezbollah and with Palestinian resistance movements;

12. The Syrian regime should be Islamic and not Salafi;

13. This agreement will come into effect as soon as power is taken ((Algerian) Editor’s note: by the “Opposition”).

This is the price of foreign pressures and of resignation and treachery on the part of Arab states. A high price, an exorbitant price for Syria that persons calling themselves “Syrian” have endorsed. Indeed, this agreement, or rather “Protocol,” is thus the price that the Syrian opposition will have to pay once installed in power in Damascus, as stated in Article 13 of the “Doha Agreement.”

In this way, each of the sponsors of the “revolt of the Syrian people” has helped himself according to his own interests and appetite. The United States, by disarming Syria and distancing the nation from its friends; Turkey, by retrieving Syrian villages and modifying the common borders according to its interests; Qatar, by being granted contracts for the “reconstruction” of the country; and Saudi Arabia, by the establishment of an Islamic regime of its devotion.

This is a virtual castration of Syria, to be stripped of its sovereignty just as Egypt was by the Camp David Agreements in 1979. Actually, it is as if the “opposition” – supported at arm’s length by Qatar – were to demand the immediate recognition of Israel, with, however, as in Article 2 of the Doha protocol, a negotiated settlement.

December 17th, 2012, 3:37 pm

 

Warren said:

Syrian Man in Aleppo Describes How it is to Live in FSA-Controlled Areas

December 17th, 2012, 3:45 pm

 

Tara said:

Zoo@ 12

Was it that Al Nusra infiltrated the Yarmuk camp or was the regime bombarding Palestinian civilians to punish them for their pro-revolution sentiment?

Each story will have 2 versions. One of the versions will have al Nusra name from now on. The regime has already started cashing in on the terror designation of Mr. Obama.

December 17th, 2012, 4:01 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

(Syrian)Talibans welcome even Ariel Sharon:

December 17th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 
 

Syria no Kandahar said:

الحركة الاسلاميه السوريه الوهابيه الارهابيه المسلحة

December 17th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

Observer said:

ZOO, the FSA does not receive Western help. The West did not want to interfere in Syria. The West was happy to hide behind the double veto and let events carry the day. They thought the regime would win after a prolonged battle and that it will come out weakened and they can finish with the Arab spring and go back to dealing with the dictators of the region whih are much more maleable than any popular based government.

I am telling you that a colleague of mine just returned from Northern Syria where he is delivering supplies and medical equipment and he told me that 99% of the weapons are booty from the regime bases taken over by the rebels.

This guy Sharaa does not advance not regress anything in Syria. He is a prop to make the regime look good. He has no decision power and he is not asked his opinion and he is told exactly what to do and he follows orders. The orders to talk may not have come from his boss directly or they may have come from the military council and they may be in response to Russia throwing in the towel and finding a few people that are willing to get rid of the hardliners of the regime.

Actions are needed. If the regime is serious it can withdraw from several places and it can stop air assaults even for a brief period to prove its good intentions. The so called stillborn Geneva accords that were breached immediately by the violence of the regime can be revived if the military is withdrawn. As long as the regime is continuing to use force and is hell bent on solving the situation militarily then we have no dialogue and no negotiations.

As for sectarian hatred you ain’t seen nothing yet as the regime has played the card to the hilt holding the minorities hostage to its political and now physical survival.

This abomination of a regime will be removed for the people of Syria understood very clearly from the beginning that the regime was planning to kill and enslave the people again and again to remain in power indefinitely.

Justice for Hamza

December 17th, 2012, 4:36 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Syria revolutionist:
Sharon is my eye

December 17th, 2012, 4:39 pm

 

Citizen said:

NATO Turns Up Heat in Syria Psy-War
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/12/nato-turns-up-heat-in-syria-psy-war.html#more
Within the pages of the March 2012 Brookings Institution Middle East Memo #21 “Assessing Options for Regime Change (.pdf),” it was stated explicitly that Turkey and Israel would coordinate with one another to apply pressure along Syria’s borders, in turn putting pressure on Syria’s leadership, forcing panic and defections while reducing pressure on NATO-armed militants operating inside the country. The report states on page 6:
In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Asad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.
http://ru.scribd.com/doc/108893509/BrookingsSyria0315-Syria-Saban

December 17th, 2012, 4:45 pm

 

Observer said:

ZOO you must be in Australia as you keep quoting the news from there. Another “Western” imperial power with conspiracies to dominate the world.
You talk of bigotry, how about fourty years of bigotry by a sect that wants the current Sunnis to suffer for the sins of their forefathers? How about the bigotry of having 22000 Alawi officers in the armed forces for 2000 Sunni officers.
Once again I am an atheist and I do not subscribe to this or that sect but I hate it when people obfuscate and I like to call a spade a spade.

Do you have a phone book where you live? I have yellow and white pages in my small town here.

Justice for Hamza

December 17th, 2012, 4:56 pm

 

Citizen said:

Israeli Tanks Fire Into Syria
http://youtu.be/4DklBuA13ek?t=3s

December 17th, 2012, 5:18 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Observer
I look at Sharaa statements as much more serious, he is proAssad, he is not neutral, the statements he made is revealing,it shows very serious trouble to Bashar,It is too late for dialogue, it is too late for national goverment with broad authority,the time is for Assad major defeat,a collapse,it is very dangerous situation for Assad, the rebels mood is very high, and they smell blood.

December 17th, 2012, 5:27 pm

 

revenire said:

It is funny to watch desperate people pounce on statements and try to interpret them. Have you ever noticed they always interpret them to say what they want them to say?

The Syrian vice-president Farouk al-Shara’a is not a military man to my knowledge but his comments could also be taken to say the “opposition can’t defeat the SAA” correct? He did say that right?

The Syrian army can defeat the terrorists fighting it. There is no question of this. After nearly two years the FSA doesn’t control a single city. Homs is nearly rat free and so on.

My sources tell me the FSA/al-Nusra vermin can’t last without foreign armies invading. Perhaps they’re wrong and they will last until the last one is vaporized by artillery fire. I have no idea.

What is delightfully amusing is all the rumors al-Shara’a had defected. I would wager some of the anti-Syria people here were shouting that al-Shara’a had defected.

December 17th, 2012, 6:08 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

Oh, I don’t know. Based on the fighting so far, it’s pretty clear the rebels are winning. Regime supporters can spin it all they want, but the military trends are against them.

Aleppo and Idlib province is now 95% FSA-controlled. The next battleground is Hama province. After that? Homs.

The regime can hold cities. But what’s the point of holding the cities if the FSA can control the roads between the cities? It’s pretty hard to fight when your soldiers can’t get food or ammo.

The fact that someone this high up in the regime is asking for compromise is a bad sign for the regime.

If Zoo and other regime supporters ask for compromise, it means their side is losing.

December 17th, 2012, 6:47 pm

 

Malih said:

I think it is pretty clear what happened at Aqrab:

1- Salafists came to the village to exact revenge on Alawites.
2- 500 Alawites, including ARMED men and their families hid in the red house.
3- The Salafists could not enter the building (that is why they were shooting from the windows and sending mediators).
4- Salafists wanted to take the women and children out so they could have the men surrender and kill those they did not like.
5- Either the women refused to come out, or the Alawite men prevented them from leaving (more likely).
6- Salafists decided to starve the armed men out.
7- After the negotiations broke down for the men to surrender to the Salafists, a fight ensued and the Salafists managed to seize control of the building. In this process many women and children were killed, and probably lots of Alawite men were killed/murdered.
8- Now of course each side is blaming the other side.
9- There was a tragic miscalculation by Alawite men that if they all sheltered in the red building that either the army would come to their rescue or the Salafis would give up and leave. Neither happened.
10- The Salafis wanted to exact revenge due to Houla and were happy to kill women and children to seize the building.
11- Alex the reporter is a liar when he reports that the Salafis were always in control of the building. They were not, and that is why there was a fire fight in the first place. Why would they send in negotiators if they were in control of the building ??? If there were only unarmed people in the building what was there to negotiate?

December 17th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

Mjabali said:

The Alawi sect did not oppress anyone: it is some Alawis who represent themselves and not the Alawis in general. Hafez al-Assad, who happened to be an Alawis, used CERTAIN Alawis to further his personal agenda. Hafez al-Assad and his son did not further any Alawi historical legit grievance. When did Hafez al-Assad or his son change history books to speak about the history of the Alawis?

December 17th, 2012, 7:11 pm

 

SYR.EXPAT said:

The FSA claims to have put their hands on massive amounts of military equipment and ammo. From the Infantry School in Aleppo, the FSA claims to have catured 70 fully equipped tanks, 300 mortars and 4,000 mortar shells, 200 military vehicles, 400 RPG launchers and 3,000 RPG rockets, 200 handguns, 3,000 Kalashnikovs and 5,000,000 rounds, 120 PKC machine guns with 200,000 rounds. All of this from just one location!

From the second of 6 captured regime bases, the FSA claims to have captured 7,000 rockets (used in multiple rocket launchers) and 1,300 tank shells! Not bad at all.

الله اكبـــــــــــــــــــــر الله اكبـــــــــــــــــــــر

بشائر النصر هلت غنائم الجيش الحرخلال 72 ساعه الماضيه:

1-غنائم ثكنة هنانو وتقدر بتسليح 5000مقاتل بشكل كامل
بحيث يجهز المقاتل برشاش كلاشن كوف +6مخازن +4قنابل يدويه +500طلقه +مسدس +50 طلقه +لكل 10مقاتلين واحد اربجين +5حشوات
2- غنائم مدرسة المشاة 300هاون +4000قذيفه +70دبابه كاملة الجاهزيه مع صواريخها ومختلفة الانواع +200 اليه مختلفه النوع +اربجين عدد 400+حشوات 3000+200مسدس +3000روسيه +5000000طلقه +120 بكسه +200الف طلقه
3-غنائم مخازن حلب للاسلحه وتقدر ب7000صاروخ نوع راجمات
+1300قذيفة دبابات
4- مستودعات بختان طوم انتين فيه صواريخ راجمات تقدر ب 12000صاروخ
5-مستودعات حرستا ادارة المركبات لم نستطع احصائها لانها تمت التوزيع في دمشق في نفس وقت الشحن
6-واخيرا وليس اخرا اللواء 34 بدرعا فهو لواء مخزن (يعني مخازن سلاح ) وهو ماتم تحريره والحمد لله اليوم صباحا ويحتوي هذا اللواء على 100 دبابة وعربة ب م ب بالاضافة إلى عدد كبير من عربات الزيل وبالإضافة إلى مخازن كبيرة للسلاح والذخيرة .

December 17th, 2012, 7:24 pm

 

Tara said:

Hama is the next step on the FSA’s agenda after Aleppo. Are we going to hear the Hamwis are calling on Batta to protect them?

December 17th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

Observer said:

Revvy

The FSA can defeat the regime’s army not the true SAA that has been gutted entirely by your regime. Point out to you that the regime troops are insufficient to control the country as it is made up of loyal troops and true to its security structure the regime controls the arms depots hence it can use heavy weapons but even at that does not have enough troops to mann them all.

Today the prime minister promised the liberation of Aleppo and the north from the FSA. How did he lose it in the first place? How come the minister of defense is still at his post? How come the Majlis did not ask him for an explanation? Oh but I forgot that Somaria Alathad is a post modern society that does not believe in the rule of the people, it believes in the rule of Al Faqih and his cronies.

The Alawi sect has oppressed Alawis and others and some in the name of their sectarian thinking, some in the name of a racist Arab ideology, and some in the name of past grievances and some in pure power drunken state of superiority.

Now let us concentrate on the regime: it is losing and it is fighting with more savage means and is desperate and J’amuse Jaffaari is telling us he is worried about the FSA using chemical weapons and then accusing the regime of doing so. The regime has the responsibility of the weapons and to use chemical weapons requires a lot of expertise as these are binary weapons.

Now Revvy how can you reconcile your statement of the regime army pulverizing the opposition with your prime minister and your ambassador both admitting loss of control. Are you on this planet?

I do not think you want to have a wake up call any longer.

Justice for Hamza

December 17th, 2012, 8:43 pm

 

syria no kandahar said:

Aljesh Alkur is Alqaeda remresentitive in Syria.It is a criminal organzation with
members from all islamic (and western!) countries.The crimes committed by
These criminal gangs will be remembered in the history of humanity is the most
Barbaric ever.Never since human beings came to this earth has a 12 years old child
cut the head of a human being with hands and legs tied while shouting Allah Akbar,never ever …. How can even animals do that? The crimes committed by the
Wahabi free army are thousand times the crimes committed by any regime on the face of the earth.How can a religion generate such a product? Achild cutting a head?? How can any idiot celebrate victories of such animals? why is all the world
silent with the genocide committed by sunnis against minorities in Syria?? How
can the west help out the killers,thugs,Jabhat Alnusra,Alqaeda,Wahabists..etc.
US and the west should have known by now that supporting these kind of brains
is very very dangerous game,these are the brains which are filled with hate to
christians,jews and any thing which is not moslem.What is the percentage of none
extremist between these thugs? 5 %? 10 % ? How would the geopoliticals interests
of any one be secured when you are dealing with Afghaned Syria? Removing Assad
And changing the political system in Syria does not deserve burning the whole middle east with Alqaeda fire? How can you clean Syria from Alqaeda after removing Assad?
Every one including Assad knows that this war is survival war for minorities in Syria.Sunnis benifited from the old formula as much as Alawi did but they are
claiming virginity now.Most of the commenters here are people who were disadvantaged by the regime otherwise they would not have been all over the world.At the end of the day all Syrians should focus on one thing and that is Syria.
Syria is in a critical condition now and is not Salvageable.The theory that removing
Assad will revive Syria does not make since any more.The Alqaeda germs(called
FSA) are destrucive and will not build a new country,All they want to do is to keep
Attacking new tissues and have no other benifits.Parts of Syria are already under
full kurdish control,parts of Syria are preparing for possible separation.If FSA and
Alaaroor followers take control over Syria they will make Rawanda and Armenian
genocides mini-ones.

December 17th, 2012, 8:52 pm

 

Visitor said:

Any one who suggests that so-called Alawis suffered persecution any time in history is mistaken. No such narrative must be admitted into any discussions. In fact treason of Syria always originated among Alawites. That must be understood as the basis of any duscussions about the subject. We have proven many times that Alawites colluded with the Mongolians, tha Crusaders, the French and most recently of course with the criminal regime.

December 17th, 2012, 8:58 pm

 

ALI said:

********* APPEAL *******

For those who got family and friends in Yarmouk camp (or in the surrounding area), please advise them to run for their lives, ask them to evict as soon as possible, and go as far as they could anywhere in gardens or mosques but they must leave.

The coming battle of Yarmouk camp will be the key for many consecutive critical actions, and the official republican guard units (in addition to some support from Lebanon) were instructed clearly to cleanse this suburb even by removing it off the map.

I’m sorry to be always the the guy who brings bad news, but please get your beloved ones out of the camp.

December 17th, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

zoo said:

#15 Tara

The rebels has succeeded in dividing the Syrians who have been living with each other in peace for more than 40 years and pushed them to fight and kill each other, even within the same family. Now the rebels are seeking to divide the Palestinians and push them to kill each other.
In my view these rebels have brought a curse upon Syria.
Nothing to be proud of.

December 17th, 2012, 9:06 pm

 

revenire said:

I have a series of statements from many world leaders who predicted Syria would fall over a year ago. A few of them are no longer in power.

I don’t put anything into this Sunni-Shia talk as most know the SAA is comprised of Sunni and they are killing the FSA like flies.

Life is funny sometimes.

December 17th, 2012, 9:08 pm

 

revenire said:

Glad to hear the warning to leave Yarmouk. If the SAA has to level it then by all means do so. The al-Nusra Front infiltrated it and most of the people left already. I hope the ones remaining get out before the terrorists murder them.

December 17th, 2012, 9:09 pm

 

Visitor said:

I must say for the record that Dr. Landis betrays his own field of specialty when he bans tha word N-u-s-a-y-r-i. from being used in comments,which was and still is the true and historical name of so-called Alawites.

December 17th, 2012, 9:13 pm

 

zoo said:

#33 Ali

I heard that most Palestinians families have left Yarmouk as it is clear that a large scale operation will happen to dislodge and destroy the Al Nusra fighters who have been infiltrating the areas and using the civilians as human shields as they always do.
Of course, as usual, the media will talk about the ‘massacre’ of helpless civilians and dismiss the presence of the terrorists rebels.

December 17th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

zoo said:

Visitor

Oh yeah? Brilliant as usual…

December 17th, 2012, 9:20 pm

 

Tara said:

Ya Ali,

I am going to see someone named True in Shaalan, Damascus in the new Syria and he is paying for zaatar and tea. Yara, my little girl will be with us too. I don’t go anywhere without her. We had this planned more than a year ago. I would like to invite you in the name of True. I am sure he wouldn’t mind. It would be very interesting for me to watch you guys meet. 😉

December 17th, 2012, 9:22 pm

 

Mjabali said:

Let us concentrate on how Syria is getting divided:

The meeting in Turkey of the “Syrians” of Turkish origin is a sure step to the division of SYRIA.

The ethnic element is underplayed by many in the Syrian conflict. It plays a major role when it comes to two groups: Turks and Kurds. Each showed to want a part of Syria. The international Islamists are soon to be confronted with this. The future holds nothing but confrontation.

The minorities in this case are getting the worst of this. Christians are getting attacked near Jisr al-Shughur (al-Jadideh and al-Ya’qobiyah) and Shia are getting attacked in their few villages. Some Shia villages are under siege for the last ten months or so (Nabel and al-Zahera near Alleppo). The Alawis are fleeing the adjacent areas, which is turning into fortifications for the Alawi areas. The Alawi areas with time are going to be more fortified. This is going to be essential with the availability with time of heavy weapons to the Assad’s foes.

Turkey went and brought some “Syrians” who suddenly said that they are Turks and not Syrians. They also claimed that they are more in numbers than the Kurds in what was called Syria. This is meant to be a part of what is going to happen after the end of all of this.

The Turkish fighters suddenly appeared on the scene amongst the anti Assad multiple groups. Their ethnic identity started showing again. They are said to be responsible for the Aqrab massacre, in which not only many Alawis died, but also many Sunnis also who came to defend them and try to mediate.

The Kurds are eying and laying in wait to take a part, in which they are the de facto rulers now. The coast is a mix now with almost a million refugees from the interior of what used to be called Syria.

December 17th, 2012, 9:25 pm

 

Visitor said:

Zoo the Ewe @39,

You should never doubt the brilliance. It is a given and made to size when people (Observer, mZabali etc…) stray and utter false things.

December 17th, 2012, 9:35 pm

 

zoo said:

Again?

Syrian rebels say Aleppo may soon be theirs
17 dec 2012

ALEPPO, Syria — After months of fighting in the major city of Aleppo and surrounding countryside, opposition fighters there say they are close to forcing out the Syrian army from much of northern Syria.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/12/17/aleppo-syria/1775275/

December 17th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

zoo said:

#42 Visitor

I never had any doubt that you are gifted with a great imagination. Your twin brother is duller.

December 17th, 2012, 9:38 pm

 

zoo said:

Sole positive change in Aleppo is water supply
16:33, 10 December, 2012

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 10, ARMENPRESS. There is no electricity in Armenian populated Aleppo. Also the telephone connection does not function properly. Press Secretary of the Armenian National Prelacy of Aleppo Jirayr Reisian informed “Armenpress” about this. In addition he said that several districts of Aleppo were provided with electricity on December 9, although at night the city was again drawn in darkness. The sole positive change in Aleppo refers to water supply, which has been restored few days ago. Also Reisian informed us that bread is of a great concern in Aleppo, bakehouses are not functioning as well. Cold weather reigns in Aleppo and one can meet people, who make fire on the streets in order not to catch a cold, frequently enough.

Syrian-Armenian Nazareth Elmajian stated that there are no Armenians left in the city of Homs and no Armenian is listed among the casualties in the city. In accordance with the information published in the Syrian mass media on December 10 the rebels bombed the Armenian district of Homs, which caused death of four citizens. A number of civilians were wounded.

December 17th, 2012, 9:44 pm

 

Visitor said:

Ewe @ the Zoo #44

I always abhored dullness but had no clue I had a twin. I always felt lonely but never dull.

December 17th, 2012, 9:47 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

Gee, I wonder why the bakeries are not functioning in Aleppo. Maybe it has something to do with the regime jets that bombed it.

December 17th, 2012, 9:54 pm

 

Tara said:

Russia and now Iran are in the business of giving mixed messages.  Is Bashar not seeing the writings on the wall yet?  

Iran pondering future relationship with Syria without ally Bashar Assad

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/17/iran-pondering-future-relationship-with-syria-without-ally-bashar-assad/

Brian Murphy, Associated Press | Dec 17, 2012 2:04 PM ET
More from Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — It wasn’t exactly a break-up moment between Iran and ally Bashar Assad. But Tehran’s whiplash diplomacy over the weekend suggested its embrace of the Syrian president could be cooling.

Just a day after Iran’s foreign minister pledged unwavering support for the embattled Assad, officials in Tehran outlined on Sunday a step-by-step peace plan for Syria capped by elections that presumably could usher in a new leader in Damascus.

It was another possible sign of Assad’s fraying alliances after similar mixed messages last week from Russia, which tried to backpedal after a top diplomat said Assad is losing control of his country.
….

December 17th, 2012, 9:56 pm

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Gee they were working befor Alnusra dudes liberated it.

December 17th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

Warren said:

Salafist leader: First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv

At jihadist’s funeral, Abed Shihadeh warns that once rebels topple Assad’s regime they will set their sights on Israel; says ‘We won’t rest until Palestine is liberated’

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4320674,00.html

December 17th, 2012, 9:57 pm

 

MarigoldRan said:

The FSA liberates an area. The regime bombs it. That seems to be the pattern of the war, hasn’t it?

And yet the regime continues to lose ground. First Aleppo and Idlib. Now Hama, and later Homs. Finally, Damascus.

December 17th, 2012, 10:03 pm

 

Warren said:

Report on Sunni Child Soldiers in North Lebanon

http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/3675.htm

December 17th, 2012, 10:05 pm

 

Syrian said:

Oh no what to do, What to do!.
I’m sure now after the long and passionate plea from SNK, the western wold will stop sending cameras for the FSA to fight with

December 17th, 2012, 10:17 pm

 

Warren said:

Jihadi leader to Christians: Convert to Islam or die

Syria resident Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani’s comments seem to indicate growing anti-Christian sentiment in Muslim world

– Jihadi leader Ahmad Al Baghdadi Al Hassani referred to Christians as polytheists and “friends of the Zionists.”

In a recent Egyptian TV address, the extremist leader stressed that Christians must choose “Islam or death,” while their women and daughters may legitimately be regarded as wives of Muslims.

Related articles:

Analysis: Jihadists’ goal – Israel-Egypt war
Salafist leader: First we take Damascus, then Tel Aviv

Al Hassani resides in Syria and supports the armed opposition.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4321181,00.html

__________________________________________________________________

Soonites once again demonstrating their barbarism, when will the world say enough is enough? Soonites are savages that need to be eradictaed for peace to prevail in the world!

December 17th, 2012, 10:22 pm

 

Syrian said:

I’m sure many Palestinian in Yarmuk camp are itching to take on their tourturers from the Palestine security branch,the worst security branch in Syria. Witch was exclusively made for Palstianins, plus those who lost many relative In the Lebanese camps due to the 2 Assad’s rules
Where is Guffran when you need him to give his take about the so called coming destruction of the Camp

December 17th, 2012, 10:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The Al-Nusra issue is a tricky one. It’s not hard to appreciate both sides of it. I understand why al-Khatib has refused to reject them, especially as the fighting rages and so many young Syrian men are finding strength in their religion.

But it is worth reading the rationale for the US’s stance on Al-Nusra from US Ambassador to Syria, Richard Ford. AND to put it in a real world context.

Stone hard reality: there is no aid agency or overseas government or international body or commercial outfit in the ENTIRE WORLD that will be able to advance one cent in funding or ten minutes of assistance to post-Assad Syria if Al-Nusrah is strutting the stage.

And Syria is going to need so much, and the Syrian people who fought in this revolution deserve everything possible to help them rebuild their country and lives, reclaim their dignity and hope and make a fresh start.

It’s not “attitude”. Those countries and agencies are accountable to the populations that vote for them and the public that funds them.

And being associated with Al-Nusrah’s violent, fantasist, extremist ideology and (totally unrealistic) posturing on post-Assad Syria would get them instantly thrown out of office or shut down by public demand. Everyone with an IQ over 60 knows that, whether they think it’s “wrong” or not.

Interview with Ford:

Read Ford’s arguments: http://alpha.syriadeeply.org/2012/12/u-s-terror-ruling-jabhat-al-nusra/

December 17th, 2012, 10:42 pm

 

syria no kandahar said:

Syrian
you know that if it was not for Turkey Syria would not have been destructed.
you are acting stupid,your Alnusra and Alqaeda friends are getting all they want
including weapons,training and money.2000 Alnusra terrorists were delivered into
Ras Aleen by Turkish Mukabarat completly armed even with heavy weapons gained
from Edlib …since then most of the poor Ras Aleen residents became refugees…
Your Alnusra friendsd killed innocent civilians in Albaladia,raped many christian girls and attacked churches….
What is the national interest of US and west in all this?? go figur.

December 17th, 2012, 11:17 pm

 

Visitor said:

Any one who opens his mouth about al-Nusra and thinks he/she is with the revolution, he/she better think twice. Al-nusra is far more important and indispensible to the revolution than your duplicitous and empty talk. It is those who speak against al-Nusra who will be kicked out of the revolution. And Robert Ford can kiss my ass. As Syrian said he can shove his cameras up his ass and the US administration’s.

December 18th, 2012, 12:18 am

 

Syrian said:

SNK
You never mentioned Turkey once in you post
It was all about pleading with the US, the West, the Christain and the Jews agianset the all scary Sunnis going after the minorities including the Jews, who don’t exists in Syria so indirectly you are asking the help of Israel. Tsk tsk
The only thing the west helped the ” Sunnies” with,is drawing a red line against the use of chemical weapons. Because all those confreres and meetings as ZOO would agree with me are not worth a zilch. And that red line is why all of you supporters are really mad at the west for.

December 18th, 2012, 12:23 am

 

Dolly Buster said:

54. Warren said:
Soonites once again demonstrating their barbarism
Soonites are savages

 
Why do you spell that in such a stupid way. Sunni has a Damma, meaning a short U, not a long U.
It has a double N though, and you double the pronunciation.

December 18th, 2012, 12:44 am

 

revenire said:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Psiq_27jDsg

The residents of Aleppo apparently have had enough of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) [aka Western-backed “freedom fighters”]. They took to the streets of Aleppo in a big protest that started from al-Sabeel neighborhood. The protest included all walks of life. What united all these people was one message: “We want FSA out! We want the Syrian Army”.

This sentiment is not confined to the residents of Aleppo but is also a reflection of a large segment of Syria’s population that extends from its north to its south.

During a recent football (soccer) match in Kuwait between the Syrian national team and its Jordanian counterpart, one “Syrian” supporter in the crowd carried the tri-star French mandate flag of the FSA, and he was vociferously kicked out by the Syrians, an act that shows how most Syrians actually despise all FSA supporters.

December 18th, 2012, 1:47 am

 

Juergen said:

let the children speak…

Dina Naser made this great video in the Al Zatari refugee camp in Jordan.

“Tiny souls”

Have we swapped Ann for Schlomo?

December 18th, 2012, 2:26 am

 

MarigoldRan said:

If it was not for Assad and the regime, Syria would not have destructed.

Put the blame where it belongs. In the end, the regime is the PRIME CULPRIT for the war. Their heavy-handed actions and escalations caused this.

December 18th, 2012, 2:26 am

 

Juergen said:

this report suggested that Bouchra and Anisa have left the country with the children to go to Abu Dhabi.

Tara, may be she is living there with her new husband?

http://diyar.charlesayoub.com/index.php/aldiyar-topic-article/4806/18751

great photographs

http://lightbox.time.com/2012/12/17/from-the-front-lines-syria-by-narciso-contreras/?iid=lb-gal-viewagn#1

December 18th, 2012, 2:31 am

 
 

Syrialover said:

VISITOR,

Cool your head. The subject of al-Nusra should not be off limits to revolution supporters on this forum.

Your comment: “It is those who speak against al-Nusra who will be kicked out of the revolution. And Robert Ford can kiss my ass” is an easy throwaway line.

In real life your view is not embraced by people close to me who are invested in supporting the revolution, are living the current hell, and have no prospect of a future outside Syria.

Nor is it shared by others inside and outside who have a vision and hope for the rebuilding of Syria.

My opinions are influenced by those people.

Al-Nusra might be helping to give Assad some of his own medicine, which is good and we all pleased to see it. But… and there are many “buts”.

Significantly, in what other ways apart from fighting Assad do their agenda and goals coincide with that of the prople who really matter and have a stake in this revolution, the people of Syria?

They could end up costing Syria very dearly post-Assad. And I keep reading of the many ways they are creating issues for the LCCs and the homegrown FSA.

You don’t just have to take my word for it. For example, read any recent posts from this highly regarded source, Free Halab – A Blog about the Syrian Revolution:

http://freehalab.wordpress.com/

December 18th, 2012, 4:55 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Now that 500000 palastenians are rfugeed for the second time,first time by Israel
,second time by Israel friends(Alnusra)….Israel will welcome them back to their
Homes in Israel.

December 18th, 2012, 5:22 am

 

Syria no Kandahar said:

Stage 4 of Alaaroor revolution :

December 18th, 2012, 5:31 am

 
 

Hanzala said:

base of the syrian army’s 34th brigade taken in Daraa, tanks captured

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Z-bdkh20DA

December 18th, 2012, 6:34 am

 

Hanzala said:

NBC Correspondent Richard Engel Has Been Freed From Kidnappers In Syria

With no claim of responsibility, a coordinated kidnapping, and no ransom demands, many questions remain about the incident that came to an unexpected, but fortunate conclusion at a standard checkpoint.

Engel credits the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, a Syrian rebel group with his release.
It was al-Sham that engaged Engels captors, killing two of them, before an unknown number of others got away. It’s interesting that the Ahrar al-Sham, meaning “Free Men of Greater Syria” are considered fundamentalist in their Islamic views allies of the al-Nusra Front.

http://www.businessinsider.com/nbc-chief-foreign-correspondent-richard-engel-is-missing-in-syria-2012-12

December 18th, 2012, 6:47 am

 

Observer said:

Waren why are you worried about what the jihadi rebel leaders say that they will do to Israel? Who cares about Israel? Let Israel worry about itself but for now we are talking about Syria.

Can you please tell us why you are concerned about Israel on this Syria Comment blog?

ALI is back and we are told that the camp will be retaken soon. He must be in the command center or has someone in the command center conducting operations and directing ghost units that exist on paper only.

Delusion at work. So what if the regime retakes Yarmouk after 90% of its people have left? Will they come back to their once agains destroyed homes?

Justice for Hamza

December 18th, 2012, 7:21 am

 

zoo said:

Observer

Thats’ for you. Your hopes for the division of Syria may come true.

Could the West buy Assad’s Plan B?
Hussein Ibish

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentaryanalysis/could_the_west_buy_assads_plan_b

December 18th, 2012, 7:57 am

 

zoo said:

For the idealist dreamers who believe that if Bashar goes, Syria will become a paradise. It seems that it is more likely to become an endless hell.

Syria: after Assad falls, what then?

The alliance between foreign jihadists and some Syrians shows the fight for Syria will not end with the fall of the regime

Haytham Manna

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/18/after-assad-falls-what-then

Support for al-Nusra can be seen as both a symptom of the drunkenness of anticipated military victory, prematurely proclaimed, and an attempt to further undermine the political solution the UN still seeks. What happens as a result will not be decided by a conference in Marrakech, but on the ground. One thing is certain: the fight for Syria will last a long time, and will not end with the fall of the regime.

December 18th, 2012, 8:00 am

 

Syrialover said:

New post and thread started

December 18th, 2012, 8:02 am

 

zoo said:

Will Egypt see the first debacle of the Moslem Brotherhood in their role of rulers of an Arab country. Will it discredit them in the rest of the Arab World and the West?

Egypt’s constitution could be Brotherhood’s undoing

Faisal Al Yafai
Dec 18, 2012

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/egypts-constitution-could-be-brotherhoods-undoing#ixzz2FPO0FSDU
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | thenational.ae on Facebook

December 18th, 2012, 8:08 am

 

Post a comment