News Round Up (19 Sept 2012)

Ghaith Abdul Ahad is superb. This is a must see.

Watch The Battle for Syria on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Syria Orders Schools to Open, but Classes Give Way to War

DAMASCUS, Syria — At one Syrian school, in the Damascus suburbs, students were so scarce this week that teachers spent most of the last few days sitting around and drinking tea.

On the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, the teachers just stayed home. The schools had been transformed into shelters for residents displaced by fighting, and in any case, one teacher said, there were more “more pressing concerns” than school.

Other schools had been taken over by rebel fighters, and throughout Syria, more than 2,000 school buildings had been destroyed or damaged in the war.

In an attempt to project calm in the midst of relentless violence, Syria’s Education Ministry ordered schools to open this week. Instead of calm, however, the schools reflected what had happened in the rest of the country during the summer: the fighting had grown worse, the routines of daily life more dangerous and education had become one more casualty of the unrest.

On Sunday, the education minister said that more than five million Syrian students had returned so far. But certainly tens of thousands, if not more, stayed away. Teachers and parents said that educators and students were too scared to return, or unable to, since the schools themselves were occupied, destroyed or inaccessible.

“The Syrian government promised that everything would be O.K., that they will finish the ‘criminal gangs’ before the beginning of the educational year,” said a teacher at a school in a Damascus refugee camp, using a term the government uses to describe its opponents.

“What happened is the opposite,” she said. The fighting grew worse and rolled through the neighborhood and surrounding areas, sending more and more families to shelter in the schools.

Last week, Unicef, citing government estimates, said that of the country’s 22,000 schools, at least 10 percent were damaged, destroyed or occupied by displaced families. In Homs, parents said that classes had started in only a few schools; in one private school, the families living there simply moved to an upper floor. In the Damascus suburb of Barza, one or two schools took students in shifts, to make up for all the schools that were closed.

Different challenges faced Syrians who had fled the country, including to Lebanon, where officials are struggling with a vexing issue: how to teach Syrian students, accustomed to classes in Arabic, in Lebanese schools where science and math classes are taught in English or French.

“When you ask young people about school, they say they’re afraid of the language,” said Soha Boustani, a spokeswoman for Unicef. Last year, she said, the dropout rate for seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade Syrian students in Lebanese schools was 70 percent, with the language barriers being a major cause.

Syrian students also face discrimination, from Lebanese teachers and students, and resentment from local residents in impoverished parts of the country where the school system is already overburdened.

Syrian rebels reportedly defeated government troops in a battle at a post on the Turkish border. Opposition activists reported the Syrian military attacked several southwestern, northwestern, and southern suburbs of Damascus, forcing opposition forces to pull out of three southern districts. The Syrian army additionally bombarded many central areas around the Old City of Aleppo.

Journalist Examines Chaotic Fighting In Syria

A Syrian rebel fires toward a position held by regime forces during clashes in the northern city of Aleppo on Sept. 14.

Marco Longari/AFP/GettyImagesA Syrian rebel fires toward a position held by regime forces during clashes in the northern city of Aleppo on Sept. 14.
September 18, 2012

The battle in Syria is being fought by rebel fighters who lack many of the basics typically associated with warfare: helmets, a large supply of ammo, and military planning.

“I was with one fighter who had 11 bullets, and he was, like, roaming as a freelance fighter along the front line trying to pick up a fight somewhere,” journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

Abdul-Ahad describes the situation in Syria as fluid and complicated. A correspondent for the British newspaper The Guardian, Abdul-Ahad reported for the PBS Frontline documentary The Battle for Syria, which airs Tuesday.

“There is chaos, there is no military planning, there is no organization,” he says. “Most of the skirmishes happen like a game of cat and mouse: The tank is the cat. When the tank moves down street, the rebels disperse, run away, try to ambush the tank, they go from a corner to a corner. Meantime, there is shelling [and] mortars raining on them.”

Abdul-Ahad has covered conflicts in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq for the past nine years — and he says he hasn’t seen such disorder and violence since reporting on Fallujah during the Iraq War in 2004.

“In other conflicts, you meet people and then you hear they died after a few weeks, months, years,” he says. “In Syria, you meet someone in the morning and they die at the end of the day. As one of the officers was saying: ‘The only thing we have plenty of to spend is men.’ ”

The Battle for Syria is an up-close look at insurgents fighting government forces in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city.

Abdul-Ahad says most of the fighters he has met — some of whom are jihadis, secularists or Salafists — are “just driven by the spirit of the Arab Spring, the spirit of the revolution … fighting to topple [Bashar] Assad because they wanted a form of dignity. They were tired of being ruled like sheep, enslaved by one family, one ruling party.”

Analysis: Donors not walking the talk on humanitarian aid to Syria
by Heba Aly [] and /cb

….Why has the funding for the UN and others lagged?  Few humanitarian crises receive the attention and engagement of the world that Syria has….

“Nobody wants to strengthen the Assad regime by sending aid,” says Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and curator of a widely-read blog on Syrian affairs. “The Western strategy is to starve the regime and feed the opposition. That, of course, is impossible to do without starving all of Syria. Sanctions are a very blunt tool, and they are meant to weaken the regime to get Syrians to revolt against it.

“The trouble is if you help people inside Syria, you have to be in coordination with the Syrian government and that legitimizes the Syrian government. It is a matter of priorities. Do you want regime-change or to feed people?”…

“The problem is access,” one Western donor said. “[The UN’s] definition of access is different than the definition of the donors. We need more reporting: Not just, `We distributed aid here or there’, but: Are we sure the aid is really reaching the most vulnerable? Are we financing the government or the Free Syrian Army? … Where is the accountability? Where is the impartiality of aid?… Don’t give me lists of beneficiaries. Just give me details.”

Others have raised questions about the “local partners” that are cited but not identified by many aid agencies.

But for one Western aid worker, this is a front: “In my view, there is a total lack of political will on funding. They are just waiting for Assad to fall… Donors are using access as an excuse.”….

But for Peter Harling, analyst with the International Crisis Group, none of these explanations hold true.

“There is basically no explanation other than hypocrisy. The needs are huge in Syria and there is no doubt that a humanitarian crisis will provoke further radicalization and collapse of this fragile society. An expansive indigenous civil society has developed and matured, which there is every reason to support; and the outpouring of ostentatious sympathy for the Syrian people’s plight should prompt equally pressing action on the ground. But the fact is that our governments satisfy themselves with empty statements and insincere pledges.”

The United Nations World Food Programme has organizing a Google hangout with one of our senior spokespeople who’s just come back to Damascus after visiting Homs.They Write:
A panel of four or five journalists and experts will join Abeer in discussing the terrible humanitarian consequences of the conflict and complex relief operation underway to each them with assistance. The Google Hangout will take place Thursday at 12pm NY time and last approximately 45 minutes. We’ll be broadcasting the event live on our Google Plus page ( as well as our Youtube Channel (

Conflict in Syria: Regional Players’ Motives and Limits
September 19, 2012 | Stratfor

An Egyptian initiative to manage Syria’s post-al Assad transition launched Sept. 17 with a high-level meeting in Cairo. Foreign ministers from Egypt, Turkey and Iran held talks on a possible exit for Syrian President Bashar al Assad and, more important, what will come after him. Saudi Arabia, also part of the contact group, did not send an envoy and did not provide any explanation for its absence.

The four powers probably will not be able to reach a substantive deal on the Syrian transition. But the contact group provides a convenient prism through which to view the various motives and constraints of the four regional powers: Shiite Iran and Sunni actors Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


Iran is facing a geopolitical setback in Syria with the loss of its close ally, the al Assad regime. It could be a while before the Alawite regime collapses; indeed, recent statements out of Tehran confirm suspicions that Iran has been sending Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to bolster Syrian forces. But critical pillars of the regime are weakening, and Damascus is essentially fighting a war of attrition against a fractured and disorganized but determined rebel force.

Tehran wants to salvage as much of the Alawite power as it can. It has tools at its disposal, including the threat of a post-transition Alawite-led insurgency similar to the post-Saddam Hussein insurgency in neighboring Iraq. None of Syria’s neighbors, the regional players or the foreign powers with an interest in Syria — including the United States — wants to see an insurgency develop. They would like to see some continuity of the state apparatus and security forces, which would require a power-sharing agreement and thus an opportunity for Iran.

At the same time, Syria is only one piece — albeit critical — in a larger chess game between Iran and the United States. Washington, along with local powers Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, wants to see Iranian influence in the Levant reduced, but it also wants to contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions and any threat to the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Egypt’s contact group provides access to something that Iran has so far been denied: a seat at the table. Egypt’s re-entry into regional geopolitics and its overtures to Iran are an opportunity for the Iranians, since Cairo is showing that the historic leader of the Arab world is willing to work with them and mediate with the rest of the Sunni states. The Egyptian contact group puts Syria’s closest ally, Iran, at the table with the Syrian rebels’ key backers, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Iran is not yet ready to commit to any substantive discussions. The first request Tehran made, even before the talks started, was for Iraq and Venezuela to be added to the group. The request, a nonstarter, likely contributed to Riyadh’s decision not to send an envoy to the contact group meeting, although Riyadh sent its deputy foreign minister to Cairo last week for the preparatory meeting. Tehran wants to demonstrate that it is not desperate and does not need the group, but it sent Iranian Foreign Minister Ali

Akbar Salehi to the meeting. Tehran needs some access to transition talks and so far, Egypt’s group is the only discussion to which Iran is invited.

Turkey’s Role

Turkey also sent an envoy to Cairo, though Ankara’s position will be reduced, rather than strengthened, by the Egyptian intervention.

Turkey has taken the most risk in supporting the rebels. Turkey’s position is similar to Iraq’s or Lebanon’s. Ankara faces real consequences that threaten its own domestic security and stability — in Turkey’s case, the threat comes from the Kurdish separatist movements in Turkey, Iraq and northern Syria.

While Saudi Arabia and Qatar have supplied weapons and financial support and the United States has deployed a few CIA operatives and offered intelligence and guidance, Turkey has housed tens of thousands of Syrian refugees and provided sanctuary, arms, logistical support and likely training for Syrian rebels. Ankara has risked upsetting its delicate relations with Iran, a rival power but also a key supplier of energy.

Turkey has been the main contact point, along with Saudi Arabia, for the United States and has worked to bolster the cohesiveness and capabilities of the Syrian opposition and the Syrian National Council. Ankara also has built strong ties with the Free Syrian Army leadership.

If Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had not chosen to attend the Sept. 17 meeting in Cairo, the contact group would have effectively collapsed, becoming nothing more than a bilateral talk between Egypt and Iran. That Turkey showed up is an important indicator of the pressure it is under. It needs to maintain, at the very least, a working relationship with Iran, especially as domestic political pressure over Turkey’s role in Syria and the surge in Kurdistan Workers’ Party attacks grows and Ankara blames

Tehran for supporting the Kurdish militants. Turkey also does not want to alienate Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi or the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, especially with Syria and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood — the country’s largest and most organized Sunni group — still in play.

Egypt Reasserts its Power

The reasons for Egypt’s sudden interest in supporting the transition in Syria are many. First, the contact group is a small but important step in Egypt’s efforts to resume its regional role. Cairo hopes to position itself as a mediator between the mostly Sunni Arab world and Shiite Iran. This will help Egypt counterbalance the constraints placed on it by the overwhelming influence of Saudi Arabia.

Inserting itself in the Syrian transition talks also creates an opportunity for Egypt to build some influence in post-al Assad Syria. Cairo has already hosted meetings of opposition leaders, though various rebel factions walked out and the talks have nearly collapsed. Not since the creation of the United Arab Republic in 1958 has Egypt had an opportunity to directly shape the government in Damascus. But now, Morsi likely wants to work with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which has retained much of its legitimacy in the eyes of Syria’s majority Sunni population.

Syria has long been a battleground between Iran and Saudi Arabia and will remain so for some time. But in the longer term, Tehran and Riyadh’s roles will be reduced although they will maintain stakes in Damascus.

The competition in Syria will shift to one between Egypt and Turkey as they both vie to support their particular faction of the Sunni leadership. However, any Egyptian influence will be limited in the short term as Cairo focuses much of its energy on domestic issues.

The Saudi-Iranian Divide

Saudi Arabia’s objectives in Syria are focused on Iran. Riyadh sees the Syrian uprising as a historic opportunity to reverse Iranian gains in the region. Fearful of an Iranian crescent stretching from the Zagros Mountains to the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean along its northern border, Saudi has long encouraged — either directly or indirectly — Sunni insurgents in northern Iraq. It has also backed the rebels in Syria, reportedly providing weapons and funding and likely encouraging jihadists to fight alongside rebel forces.

Foreign Salafist fighters are still only a small, though growing, percentage of rebel forces. Even if they convert large segments of the Syrian Sunni population, it would take years before they would be able to challenge the entrenched Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.

Riyadh understands that a Salafist-led government is not likely to emerge in Damascus in the medium term and has cooperated with Ankara, largely bolstering Turkey’s bid to manage the transition.

Saudi Arabia can manage relations with Egypt, which is financially constrained, and with Turkey, which is not yet ready to assert itself aggressively in the region. What Riyadh wants are ways to curb Iranian influence in the longer term, and for Riyadh that means limiting Iranian influence in Syria and Iraq.

Any Saudi engagement with Iran over Syria will be limited, since Riyadh and Tehran’s geopolitical positions are at odds. Riyadh did participate in the working group a week prior to the foreign ministerial meeting and, according to Davutoglu, will be attending future talks. Saudi Arabia and Iran have already both signed a willingness to negotiate, with Riyadh inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the emergency Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Mecca in mid-August and Iran hosting Saudi Deputy

Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, the king’s son and likely successor to ailing Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.

But like Iran, Saudi Arabia is far from committed and will be waiting to see some serious signs of commitment from Iran. If any regional effort to resolve the Syrian conflict and manage a transition is to take place, the key will be what happens between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Full attendance from all four players at the next meeting, scheduled to be held in New York City during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly meeting, or any bilateral talks between Riyadh and Tehran will be important indicators of progress in the negotiations. A lack of attendance will mean not only the death of Egypt’s initiative but also the failure of Saudi Arabia and Iran to reach any accommodation.

Turks Weary of Leaders’ Support for Syria Uprising

Human Rights Watch

…A pattern has emerged in recent weeks in areas where government forces, pushed into retreat by opposition forces, are now indiscriminately bombing and shelling lost territory – with disastrous consequences for the civilian population….what the residents of Idlib, Jabal al-Zawiya and north Hama endure every day is just as harrowing. Such indiscriminate attacks constitute war crimes.”….

Syrian rebel leader wants Libyan-style Arab initiative
Wed Sep 19, 2012

* Sieda calls for an Arab move to stop bloodshed in Syria
* Opposes Iran involvement in efforts to resolve crisis

(Reuters) – Syria’s main opposition bloc wants Arab states to work together to effect an international intervention in Syria similar to the joint initiative in Libya, Syrian National Council (SNC) head Abdulbaset Sieda said in an interview published on Wednesday.

Business Insider: Syrian Regime ‘Will Deploy Chemical Weapons As Last Resort’

The Syrian regime plans to deploy chemical weapons against its own people “as a last resort”, the former head of Syria’s chemical arsenal has said in an interview with a British newspaper. Major-General Adnan Sillu said he defected from the Syrian …

VOA is publishing “Syrian Stories,” mostly of activists.  Here’s the latest:  The collection of about 40 stories written by Syrians is on Tumblr:

Comments (148)

ghufran said:

الموساد الإسرائيلي هو من يقف خلف استهدافنا والمنفذون إن كانوا تكفيريين وهابيين أو تنسيقيات ثورة هم مجرد أدوات رخيصة جاهلة ” عبارة جزم بها مهندس في البحوث العلمية السورية التي تعتبر أرفع هيئة علمية تضم نخب العقول السورية
The attack on Syria’s top research compound in Aleppo brings back memories about the murder of one of Syria’s top scientists:
Dr Samir Ruqayyah,the most prominent victim of scientists assassination squads, the man (an alawi)was killed in cold blood while 3 others who were kidnapped with him were later released in a prison exchange. Roqayyah was killed in October of 2011, reports from his students and people who knew him leave little doubt that his murder was a crime against Syria not the regime. the guy’s only crime was his employment by the MOD as a scientist, his alawi background was used to hide the real motive behind his murder.
His killers provided a free, or paid, service to the Mossad who has been busy since 2003 in hunting scientists in Iraq, and now Syria.

September 19th, 2012, 2:18 pm


Juergen said:

first picture of Nakoula Bassely Nakoula ( does any one know why copts love double naming?

September 19th, 2012, 2:41 pm


Uzair8 said:

The video in the main post was blank after the advert. Tried watching it on the PBS site:

‘The requested video is not available. We apologize for the incovenience’.

Moving on. I’ve spent the last hour unsuccessfully searching for a recent article in which it was mentioned that out of over 20,000 rebels 1500 are foreign fighters. Out of these 1500 fighters 500 are Islamists.

If anyone recognises the article please share. Thanks.

September 19th, 2012, 2:43 pm


Juergen said:

Newsweek tried to hit the nerves and failed terribly. Not even Hirsi Ali could save them from satire…

The titled their new issue with “Muslim rage”

From the comment section:

“The waiter didnt tell me that there is pork inside the meal,I got so upset my wineglass fell out of my hand.Thats what i call a muslim rage!

I get my usual muslim rage when I loose my nephew at the airport and I can not call after him because his name is “Djihad”…

Gawker did a great photo story on how dreadful arabs really are…

September 19th, 2012, 2:49 pm


Juergen said:

I just read that Saudi Arabia prohibits Syrians from travelling to Hajj this year.

The syrian comittee for preparing the Hajj for Syrians issued a statement in which the comitte regrets the decision by the Saudi Hajj ministry even though all necessary documents have been issued in time.

September 19th, 2012, 3:00 pm


Tara said:


Wise decision. KSA wants probably to avoid a Syrian Samaha propped by the regime to perform terrorist acts in revenge.

September 19th, 2012, 3:12 pm


Juergen said:

For all who find Iran an appealing nation:

Wasnt Aisha 9 when she married the prophet?

UN report:

20th September – World Children’s Day: Iran plans to lowering the age of marriage for girls from 13 to 9 years – Strong increase of child brides

change your proxy settings, check, PBS programmes are only allowed streaming within the US, not outside, so you need to fool the server, change to an US proxy server, then you can watch it.

September 19th, 2012, 3:12 pm


syrian said:

One more time for the regime supporters.
Assad’s sister defects amid ‘disputes’ between ruling Alawites:
and in the Arabic site

MY question to Albo and Ann, who hate the GCC so much, is, why of all the countries did she go there and be under the wings of the Hamad and the rest of GCC shaikhs?
why not Iran or Russia?!!

September 19th, 2012, 3:39 pm


zoo said:

It is yet too early to declare that Egypt has any real power in the region and any influence on the Syrian crisis.
Until now, on the Syrian crisis, like Turkey, it is only theatre and empty declarations.

The dilemma for Morsi is to either calm or fight the salafists with the probability of loosing his seat in the next election. It is very similar to Erdogan’s dilemma about the Kurds.
In my view, more radicalization of the militants is expected whatever these leaders are offering: There are too many weapons and funding available around to accept dialog and miss an opportunity to fight.

September 19th, 2012, 3:53 pm


Dawoud said:

Dear Joshua:

I disagree with some of the points that you mentioned in your earlier comment regarding an Alawi enclave, which I call Alawistan. A few points:

1) Sunni ARABS in Syria are over 70% and, if you add to them the Syrian Sunni Kurds, Sunnis are over 85% of Syria’s population. Nuri al-Maliki, the sectarian “democratic” tyrant, is dominating Iraqi politics while Shi’a in Iraq are less than 60% of Iraq’s population. Also, given all the Shi’a emphasis on Bahrain (which is their cause celebre), Bahraini shi’a are less than 55% of the few hundred thousands who make up the island’s population. In fact, non-citizens OUTNUMBER citizens in Bahrain. When those, many of whom were born in Bahrain, are granted citizenship (over the objection of the sectarian Iran puppet al-Wifaq) I will support an inclusive parliamentary and non-monarchical Bahraini democracy!!!

2) You seem to doubt that Sunni Syrian would ALL unite to destroy Bahar’s/Nasrillat’s/Iran’s Alawistan! Noway! After the murder of tens of thousands of Sunnis, Sunnis would never rest until ALL of Syria would be united and Alawistan is crushed! Wait and see!

3)I agree with you that an Alawistan would not survive unless Iran would support it in the same way it is now supporting Hasan Nasrillat’s Hizbistan. But, an Alawistan would be surrounded by Sunnis from all directions (including Lebanon’s Sunni north), except the sea-which would be mostly useless since Morsi would never allow Iranian supply ships to cross the Suez Canal. I doubt that an Alawistan would ever be able to completely control Latakia and Tartus ports. In addition, in a previous email to me you mentioned that al-Assad dictatorship never built an airport in the Alawi heartland.

4)An Iranian puppet enclave along the Syrian coast would only motivate Arabs, Westerners, and Turks to supply the central Sunni government with the military means to destroy Alawistan.

5) I agree with you that no country, perhaps with the exception of Ayatollah’s Iran, would recognize such a state. The Syrian government would never stop war until all of Syria is liberated! Take my words on it! If such a government would need any motivator, bringing justice to those who would be hiding in Alawistan for their crimes (murder, torture, rape, dispossession, destruction of property, etc.) would be a natural and never-ending motivator!


Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

September 19th, 2012, 3:54 pm


zoo said:

Bahrain Aflame

The Arab Spring uprising you’re not supposed to know about.
By Jen Marlowe • September 18, 2012

Jihan Kazerooni and I drove past scores of armed riot police on Budaiya highway as her iPhone buzzed non-stop: phone calls, Skype calls and, incessantly, Twitter. I had wondered what the phrase “Twitter revolution” really meant when I heard it used in connection with Iran in 2009 and Egypt in 2011. Here, in the small Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain, I was beginning to grasp the concept.

I was in that country for three weeks as a part of the Witness Bahrain initiative, a group of internationals seeking to document and expose human rights abuses perpetrated by the regime against protesters and activists. Aside from brief spurts of coverage, the crisis in Bahrain had largely been ignored by the U.S. media.

Perhaps the lack of coverage of the predominantly Shi’a uprising against an increasingly repressive Sunni monarchy can be explained, in part, by this: Washington considers that monarchy its close ally; Bahrain is the home of the Navy’s 5th Fleet, and the beneficiary of U.S. arms sales. Perhaps it has to do with the U.S.-Saudi friendship, and the increasing tension between the U.S. and Iran. Bahrain has been portrayed as a battleground for influence between neighboring Saudi Arabia (a supporter of the monarchy) and nearby majority Shi’a Iran.

Jihan’s fellow Bahraini activists are not giving up either. They continue to head out onto the streets night after night, despite the fierce repression they face from the regime and the silent complicity of most of the world.

Juxtaposed with despair, however, is the resilience–or sumud (steadfastness)–that could be seen everywhere I looked. It was in the drawings of the children, who defiantly portrayed hands raised in a “V” for victory sign among images of bloodshed. It was in the graffiti depicting the Pearl Monument on walls all over Bahrain, with the stenciled message “We Will Return.” It was in the youth we secretly filmed in their villages after midnight spray-painting bus stops and light poles with the colors of the Bahraini flag.

September 19th, 2012, 4:01 pm


Dawoud said:

P.S., if an Alawistan would use chemical weapons, its destruction would surely lead to external intervention. Chemical weapons would not deter the Sunni central government from actively seeking to unite the country. Alawistan’s chemical weapons would be as useless as Bashar’s current talk of “reform!”

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

September 19th, 2012, 4:18 pm


Michal said:

My intuition tells me that Assad will fall this year. We will see…I really hope a democratic and stable Syria will emerge, despite huge obstacles.

September 19th, 2012, 4:29 pm


habib said:

8. syrian

Farouq Sharaa defected too a while back, right? Oh, wait..

September 19th, 2012, 5:00 pm


habib said:

Here’s a little gem for Antoine from Tripoli, Lebanon:

September 19th, 2012, 5:02 pm


Mina said:

A “google hangout” in the rubbles? Welcome to virtual reality…

September 19th, 2012, 5:26 pm


Uzair8 said:


Aljazeera reporter in #Aleppo: #FSA fighters shoot down a MiG warplane while taking off from a military airport #Syria

September 19th, 2012, 5:27 pm


Uzair8 said:

7. Juergen

Thanks. I’ll check it out later.

September 19th, 2012, 5:29 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

11. Zoo

“The resilience that could be seen everywhere I looked in Bahrain. It was in the drawings of the children, who defiantly portrayed hands raised in a “V” for victory. It was in the graffiti depicting the Pearl Monument on walls all over Bahrain. It was in the youth we secretly filmed in their villages after midnight spray-painting bus stops and light poles.”

Childrens’ drawings. Spraypainting. Graffiti on walls. Hoo, boy! Hell of a revolution they have going in Bahrain.

September 19th, 2012, 5:39 pm


Juergen said:


The saudis have a reputation of being overall attentive that radical spirits wont take over.Apparently that led too some moral blindness on their parts. I hope the muslim ummah does not have to wait too long until the ugly Saud palace overlooking the Haram will fall and i dont mind if the most ugly Big Ben Halal tower ( Abraj al Bait)would fall too in that process.

September 19th, 2012, 5:52 pm


Ghufran said:

قتل الأردني احمد ابا اويس القيادي في تنظيم جبهة النصرة في مدينة درعا إثر إشتباكات وقعت بين الجيش السوري، ومسلحين حاولوا مهاجمة نقطة تفتيش عسكرية في المدينة.
The guy fought with Zarqawi in Iraq

September 19th, 2012, 6:19 pm


Ghufran said:

 قال الشيخ حمد بن جاسم رئيس وزارء قطر ووزير خارجيتها في تصريحات نشرت يوم الأربعاء إنه لم يبق أمام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد من خيار سوى التسليم المنظم لسلطة منظمة.
وقال بن جاسم في مقابلة أجرتها معه جريدة الراي الكويتية في قطر ونشرت يوم الاربعاء “أنا أعتقد أنه بعد سيلان الدم فلم يتبق للرئيس بشار إلا أن يتخذ قرارا شجاعا وهو التسليم المنظم لسلطة منظمة شريطة ألا يكون هناك انتقام من طرف ضد طرف.”
وشكك بن جاسم في إمكانية نجاح مهمة المبعوث الدولي والعربي لسوريا الأخضر الإبراهيمي.

September 19th, 2012, 6:32 pm


ann said:

Syria works to lure investments via incentives, tax-free regulations – 2012-09-20

DAMASCUS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Investments are usually the worst affected by crises. In Syria, investment has been hard hit by the prolonged crisis and the government is feverishly working to reinvigorate this vital sector through modernizing its investment laws and offering new incentives.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi has recently said that the size of foreign and internal investments has been enormously affected by the events, disclosing that investors have been directly receiving death threats to keep them off.

Director General of the Syrian Investment Authority Abdul-Karim Khalil told local media that great efforts are being made to create a suitable climate for investment so as to lure investors via a series of facilitation in all domains once safety and security return.

Khalil revealed that the body is drafting a new legislation based on the previous investment law No. 10, which was introduced in 1990, adding that the amendment will be more flexible so that investments in areas that urgently need improvement will be exempted from taxes.

Khalil is among those upbeat about investments in Syria despite the fact that the bloody events are continuing unabatedly. He stressed that crises often generate new chances, especially in terms of securing basic needs.

Despite the recent revelations about the size of losses in Syria, Halqi has insisted that the Syrian economy is “solid and will remain so.”

In a recent interview with Tishrin daily, Halqi said that terrorist acts in his country have caused damages worth billions of Syrian pounds but the national economy was still solid-rock after 18 months of intranquility.

He said that the Syrian pound is still stable “and there are no fear of any depreciation,” noting that the decline in growth pace over the past months is still “within its rational limits.”

But the reality on street is that, on Wednesday, one U.S. dollar was exchanged for 73.5 Syrian pounds at the free market. Last week, it was around 70.50 pounds, while before the unrest, about 47 pounds.

Halqi said that in light of the economic sanctions imposed on the country a year ago, Damascus has opted to look to the East and boost its economic ties with its friendly countries like Iran, Russia, China and Malaysia that have opposed those sanctions. He meanwhile indicated that the country has relied on the system of tradeoff and payments (trading one commodity for the other) to ward off monetary inflation.

He also said that all food items are available to meet the people’s requirements via the public and private sectors, in addition to the presence of a strategic storage of basic commodities.

Despite the backlash of “unjust” sanctions on oil derivatives, Halqi said “those oil derivatives are sufficient to meet all demands,” adding that Syria has a reserve of cooking gas for another five months though confessing of the difficulty in transporting it to some provinces.

He indicated that the government subsidy of diesel is estimated at more than 300 billion pounds (over 4.4 billion U.S. dollars) annually, adding that the government has recently decided to raise up the diesel price by 2 pounds to alleviate pressure on the treasury.

The governor of Homs has lately disclosed that losses in the central Syrian province have been estimated at up to 600 billion pounds (about 8.8 billion dollars).


September 19th, 2012, 6:58 pm


Tara said:

The SNC is behaving stupidly.  If Iran drops Batta then why not?  The goal is well defined.  It doesn’t matter through whom it is achieved. The West proved its impotence. So let’s see what the Mullahs have to offer. In my opinion, the SNC should welcome the initiative, re-iterate that there is no negotiation until Batta is toppled or stepped down, and warn that initiatives that aim to buy time for the regime will not be accepted. The Syrian crisis can’t be handled emotionally. Yesterday enemy can be today friend. Why not?


• Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has held talks with President Assad in Damascus. Salehi is said to be seeking “a unified conclusion on a solution to the Syrian crisis”, but no details of the talks have emerged so far. The opposition Syrian National Council has rejected the diplomatic effort, saying Iran is part of the problem.

September 19th, 2012, 7:15 pm


Ghufran said:

The refusal to allow Iran a role in solving the crisis is due to Western and Saudi pressure.
Today,French FM finally spilled the bean when he said that Iran has to come clean on its nuclear program and improve its human rights records BEFORE it can participate in any political initiative about Syria, we have been saying for months that this is not a national crisis only,it is a regional and international problem,this is a major reason why all attempts to end the stalemate have failed.

September 19th, 2012, 7:41 pm


Tara said:

The axis of evil, Iran -Iraq-HA: Killing Syrians in the name of Ali.  Ali must be tossing and turning in his grave.

Exclusive – Western report: Iran ships arms, personnel to Syria via Iraq

(Reuters) – Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar al-Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a Western intelligence report seen by Reuters.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials said they were questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying arms to Assad, a staunch Iranian ally. On Wednesday, U.S. Senator John Kerry threatened to review U.S. aid to Baghdad if it does not halt such overflights.

“It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials,” it said. “Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tons of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels.”

It added that Iran was also “continuing to assist the regime in Damascus by sending trucks overland via Iraq” to Syria.

Although the specific charges about Iraq allowing Iran to transfer arms to Damascus are not new, the intelligence report alleges that the extent of such shipments is far greater than has been publicly acknowledged, and much more systematic, thanks to an agreement between senior Iraqi and Iranian officials.

Ali al-Moussawi, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s media adviser, dismissed the intelligence report.

Kerry said he was alarmed that U.S. efforts thus far had not persuaded Baghdad to halt the overflights, and suggested that the United States could in future make some of the hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance it gives to Iraq contingent on their cooperation on Syria.

“Maybe we should make some of our assistance or some of our support contingent on some kind of appropriate response,” he said. “It just seems completely inappropriate that we’re trying to help build democracy, support them, put American lives on the line, money into the country, and they’re working against our interest so overtly.”

September 19th, 2012, 7:48 pm


Ghufran said:

اشار مناع إلى أن «شعبية الهيئة في المجتمع السوري الواسع تزداد بشكل كبير، وهي دون شك موضوع رفض في
الوسط المؤمن بالحل العسكري، للأسف على أنقاض مدننا ستكون العودة إلى ثلاثية هيئة التنسيق من أجل إنقاذ ما تبقى من البلاد والعباد» في إشارة إلى لاءات الهيئة الثلاث التي تأسست على أساسها وهي «لا للعنف لا للطائفية لا للتدخل الخارجي» في سورية.
That may be true but only clean elections can determine how popular a particular party is. It is not surprising that militants in the regime and the armed rebels are opposed to such elections.

September 19th, 2012, 7:57 pm


Tara said:

Syrian rebels deny report of al-Assad bounty
From the CNN Wire Staff
September 19, 2012

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army denied a news report earlier in the day that the bounty was issued.
“The FSA has no affiliation with a Syrian opposition group in Egypt calling itself ‘the Free Syrian Army to protect the Revolution’ and their $25 million bounty on Bashar Assad’s head,” Louai Miqdad, spokesman of the Higher Revolutionary Council of the Free Syrian Army, said from Turkey.

September 19th, 2012, 8:02 pm


Ghufran said:

Do not wait for ignorant and hateful people to shed any tears over the assassination of Syrian scientists, to them,every employee of the state is a Shabeeh . I know one brilliant man who refused his family advice to go to medicine instead of joining Syria’s elite research institute, that man fled to France years ago, another man bowed to pressure and switched to medicine after his mom told him ” you will either be a hostage in your own country or get killed, that guy is a prominent physician in Germany,his mom’s advice was prophetic.
ضعوا السياسه جانبا
قتلة الأطفال و العلماء في الدرك الأسفل في النار بغض النظر عن هوية القاتل و المقتول

September 19th, 2012, 8:07 pm


Tara said:

Syrian Christians form rebel brigade

Video has emerged purporting to show the formation of Christian brigade of the Free Syrian Army.

Our colleague Mona Mahmood translates the masked commander saying:

We the Christian young men of the revolution declare the formation of Anssarullah brigade in the Damascus countryside. We are honest soldiers who will defend the land with our Muslim brothers.

September 19th, 2012, 8:18 pm


Ghufran said:

Turkish population is getting increasingly uncomfortable with their government policy on Syria:

September 19th, 2012, 8:33 pm


Ghufran said:

Al-Quds alarabi on foreign fighters:
4 rebel leaders,among others, were killed when they attacked Aleppo’s scientific research institute, none of them were Syrian.

September 19th, 2012, 9:42 pm


ann said:


Extremists showing up on front lines in Syria – September 19, 2012

“There is no jihadi precedent in the Islamic world that hasn’t ended in one way or another in total failure, which makes it difficult to understand how it carries so much appeal”

TEL RIFAAT, Syria (AP) — The bearded gunmen who surrounded the car full of foreign journalists in a northern Syrian village were clearly not Syrians. A heavyset man in a brown gown stepped forward, announced he was Iraqi and fingered through the American passport he had confiscated.

“We know all American journalists are spies. Now tell us what you are doing here and who you are spying for,” he said in English before going on to accuse the U.S. of the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I really want to cut your head off right now,” he added, telling his men, many of whom appeared to have North African accents, that this American kills Muslims.

With the intervention of nearby villagers, the confrontation eventually was defused. But it underscored the unpredictable element that foreign fighters bring to the Syrian conflict.

increasingly, “foreign fighters” and those adhering to an extremist Islamist ideology are turning up on the front lines. The rebels are trying to play down their influence for fear of alienating Western support, but as the 18-month-old fight grinds on, the influence of these extremists is set to grow.

On Monday, a U.N. panel reported a rise in the number of “foreign fighters” in the conflict and warned that it could radicalize the rebellion.

The Syrian government has always blamed the uprising on “foreign terrorists”.

Talk about the role of “foreign jihadists” in the Syrian civil war began in earnest, however, with the rise in suicide bombings. U.S. National Director of Intelligence James Clapper said in February that those attacks “bore the earmarks” of the “jihadists” in neighboring Iraq.

Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group warns that the religious extremists will have an influence on the rebellion.

“I think numbers are irrelevant,” he said, adding that the extremists are a “very important phenomenon in many ways. Their presence is very divisive, whether there are many or not.”

“They are certainly visible, and this increasingly shapes the complexion of the opposition in ways that are not negligible,” Harling said.

Reflecting their extreme sensitivity to the topic, the media center on the Syrian-Turkish border investigated and questioned any journalists they discovered who had written about “foreign fighters” in Syria.

“My brother died in this revolution. This revolution means everything to me, and if the world thinks that al-Qaida is involved, it is finished,” said Nader, a young rebel with the media center who declined to give his last name.

The media center investigated and questioned any journalists they discovered who had written about “foreign fighters” being involved in the rebellion.

In the numerous online statements celebrating their nearly daily operations in Syria, Jebhat al-Nusra, or Victory Front, the largest “jihadist” group, often states that the attacks are to “avenge the Sunnis killed by the apostate regime.”

The “jihadis” bring experience in fighting guerrilla wars as well as their own supply lines for much needed weapons and ammunition, making them attractive to local Syrians to join.

“The infiltration of weapons and funding to these groups, as well as the ethno-religious component of the Syrian uprising, is likely to continue to serve as a source of attraction for many fighters, some of whom are ex-Free Syrian Army soldiers and many of whom are from foreign countries,” noted the September report by the Quilliam Foundation about the role of “jihadis” in the rebellion.

A French physician with Doctors Without Borders working near the front lines in Aleppo said in an interview last week that based on style of dress and what their companions said, half of the rebels he treated were jihadis, both foreign and Syrian.

In the end, the 12 bearded men who threatened the car full of journalists may have backed down because of wanting to maintain a good relationship with the civilians from the nearby village.

The more a rebel group is entrenched in the population, the more self-discipline it will exercise and the less likely it will engage in atrocities, Harling said. The problem with the “jihadis” and “foreign fighters” is that they often have few links with civilians.


September 19th, 2012, 10:55 pm


Ghufran said:

اتهمت تركيا رسمياً سوريا، أمس، بإسقاط الطائرة الحربية بصاروخ فوق المياه الدولية.
ونقلت وكالة “الأناضول” عن النيابة العسكرية العامة التابعة لرئاسة أركان الجيش التركي قولها إن “الطائرة الحربية التركية أسقطت عندما كانت تطير فوق المياه الدولية، نتيجة إصابتها بصاروخ، من قبل الجانب السوري”.
وأوضحت النيابة العسكرية، في بيان، أن “الطائرة الحربية، التي أسقطت في 22 حزيران الماضي، كانت تطير لحظة إسقاطها بسرعة 300 عقدة وبارتفاع 7 آلاف قدم، وسجلت الرادارات التركية، توجه صاروخ صادر من الأراضي السورية نحوها”.

September 19th, 2012, 10:56 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Thank you Ghufran for highliting the Israeli crimes in commnet #1. Which brings in the next best comment today:

ويبدو أن القيادة الغبية للجيش لم تدرك حتى الآن أن معركتها يجب أن تكون مع أجهزة المخابرات والقصر الرئاسي قبل أن تكون مع المسلحين، وأن الجيش لا يمكنه تحقيق أي نصر حقيقي يضمن وحدة الأراضي السورية دون القضاء على هاتين الجهتين : “عصابة مؤسسة الرئاسة” و”عصابة أجهزة المخابرات” المافيوزيتين.

Came from here:الأخبار/أخباروتقاريرأخرى/tabid/94/Article/8308/Default.aspx

September 19th, 2012, 11:05 pm


Ghufran said:

قال الشقفة «ان النظام أقام تحالفا مع ايران وحزب الله اللبناني. وشارك الأسد حتى في التحالف الشيعي الذي ظهر في العراق بعد سقوط صدام. وشكلوا الهلال الشيعي. عندما ينهار نظام الأسد سينهار هذا المخطط. وسنكسر العمود الفقري للهلال الشيعي.
وقال «ان الأسد هو الذي يخلق الاضطرابات في هاتاي (الاسكندرون) داخل تركيا عبر عملائه بين السنة والعلويين. والهدف حرف الأنظار عما يجري في سوريا وهم يريدون الشيء نفسه في لبنان والعراق».
This is taken from an interview Shiqfeh gave in Turkey

September 19th, 2012, 11:12 pm


Observer said:


How much are going to invest in Syria, I will double what you invest especially if you tell me how to do it.

There is a good explanation now of the events on the ground as Iran has replaced the inner circle that was blown to pieces.

It is also clear that the regime does not have enough troops to quell the rebellion.

After watching the whole frontline episode, I am bewildered on how such a rag tag divided militia are brow beating this miserable army of repression.

September 19th, 2012, 11:17 pm


ann said:

This so called Hatay is occupied Syrian Iskandarun territory 8)

Turkey decides to relocate Syrian refugees in Hatay to share burden – 2012-09-20

ISTANBUL, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Turkey is going to relocate the Syrian refugees in the country from its eastern province of Hatay to other areas in a bid to relieve pressure on local communities and better handle security in its tense border area, a Turkish diplomat said here on Wednesday.

The foreign ministry official told Xinhua that there are several reasons behind the move, which has triggered anxiety and worries of Syrian refugees in the area, which is about 50 km away from the border between the two countries.

First, the official said, the huge number of refugees in Hatay produces tension and conflict between the local people and the displaced Syrians. Turkey has to distribute the refugee burden to other cities.

Second, as Hatay is the major entrance of refugees fleeing from Syrian conflicts, Turkey can leave some camps empty in Hatay for the influx of future refugees.

He also said the sectarian situation in Hatay is complicated, as tensions are running high between Sunni and Alawites and some local people began to stage protests recently against Syrian refugees.

The security concerns and potential discord were another main reason behind the plan to relocate refugees, the official added.

However, many Syrian refugees in Hatay opposed the relocation policy proposed by the Turkish government.

A Syrian refugee told Xinhua that he rented an apartment for his six-member family in Hatay for almost a year. He has already paid rent for the next half year.


September 19th, 2012, 11:23 pm


ann said:

UN Chief Says No Military Solution to Syrian Crisis – 20/09/2012

The solution to the Syrian crisis should not be military, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

“Government and opposition forces seem to be determined to see the end by military means,” Ban said as quoted by the BBC as he was addressing a press conference to mark the UN General Assembly’s new session.

“I think military means will not bring an answer. That should be resolved through political dialogue,” he said as fighting continued in the Syrian capital Damascus and the country’s northern city of Aleppo.


September 19th, 2012, 11:30 pm


Syria said:

An official in Saudi Arabia is denying allegations that the kingdom has barred citizens of war-torn Syria from taking part in next month’s Hajj, with the Hajj Ministry today saying it just needs to “finalize” some coordination with Syrian officials.

However, the state-run Syrian news SANA.……..,

September 19th, 2012, 11:30 pm


ann said:

US-Backed Syrian “Opposition” Burn American Flag in Aleppo and Chant Anti-American Slogans – Sep 18, 2012

Free Syrian Army burn American flag after the Muhammad movie short
version came out on YouTube.

September 19th, 2012, 11:42 pm


Halabi said:

Alawite FSA supporter whose father backs Assad tells of a Syrian family ripped apart

ISTANBUL // Loubna Mrie is one of the few who belong to the minority Alawite sect of Syria’s president, Bashar Al Assad, and oppose his rule.

The 21-year-old activist, from a village near Latakia, said the country’s conflict has torn her family apart. She fled to Turkey in August after hearing security forces knew about her role in smuggling bullets to the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA). En route, she was recorded talking to an FSA rebel in a video that was uploaded to YouTube. Within days, her mother was kidnapped from her home and has not been heard from since.

Ms Mrie blames her father, Jaodat Kamel Mrie, for the abduction.

“He is ready to do anything to show his loyalty to the government and Bashar Assad,” she said in an interview last week.

September 19th, 2012, 11:47 pm


ann said:

Alahu Akbar killer Brigades Exercising Their Right To Freedom and Democracy!

September 19th, 2012, 11:49 pm


Halabi said:

Another border crossing falls.

Of course this is GCC media, so the video is obviously fabricated in Doha.

September 20th, 2012, 12:01 am


ann said:

The Mossad Fabrication Brigades!

No Alahu Akbar, Alahu Akbar – 😀 😀 😀

Syria – Mossad Fabrication of All-Christian FSA video Brigade in “Damascus”. Yeea! 8)

The brigade is called Helpers of God brigade and is pleased to fight for Al Qaeda Alahu Akbar Killer Brigades!!!

September 20th, 2012, 12:06 am


ghufran said:

The prospects for a two-state solution to the bitter conflict in the Middle East are being undermined by “facts on the ground” created by Israel, Palestinian divisions and the continuing “convulsions” of the Arab spring, the former British foreign secretary David Miliband is warning.
Miliband, speaking on Thursday, is the latest high-profile international figure to express alarm at the rapidly fading prospects for the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel – for decades the only solution that has seemed either possible or practicable.
“The danger is that, unwittingly, by omission not commission, by cruel irony not deliberate plot, the Palestinian cause is a victim of the Arab revolts,” Miliband will argue at a charity dinner for Medical Aid for Palestinians.

September 20th, 2012, 12:12 am


ann said:

Khalid Tlass “FSA” Tigers! 😀 😀 😀

September 20th, 2012, 12:20 am


zoo said:

29. Tara

“The FSA has no affiliation with a Syrian opposition group in Egypt calling itself ‘the Free Syrian Army to protect the Revolution’”

So there are “Free Syrian Armies” in each Arab countries?

September 20th, 2012, 12:40 am


zoo said:

Obama at a Syrian crossroads
By Victor Kotsev

United States policy in Syria is at a crossroads. The current situation is untenable: the bloodshed continues unabated, while spillover threatens all the neighboring countries, and by extension, US interests. Powerful ethno-nationalist movements are stirring, most importantly among the Kurds, and are threatening to confront the international community with a new reality on the ground. Rival powers Russia and China (each in its own way), sensing American weakness following the embassy attacks and riots throughout the Muslim world in the last week, are positioning to cash in.
On the other hand, there are simply no easy solutions in the country where a civil war is becoming more violent and intractable by the day. Such wars, as former CIA analyst Kenneth Pollack put it, end “in one of two ways: One side wins, typically in murderous fashion, or a third party intervenes with enough force to snuff out the fighting.” [1]

Obama’s choice is not an enviable one. He has sided with the rebels so far, but not only have they committed plenty of atrocities of their own – their ranks infiltrated by foreign jihadists – but they have time and again failed to unite in a coherent political and military body.

The Syrian army, despite numerous signs of strain, seems to be gaining momentum. On Monday, it allegedly recaptured Midan, a key district of the commercial northern hub Aleppo, where fighting has been raging almost two months.

September 20th, 2012, 12:45 am


ann said:

France to Close Embassies in Fear of Cartoon Backlash – September 19, 2012

France announced Wednesday it will close 20 embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after French weekly Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed naked, amid growing unrest over an anti-Islamic film that has left dozens dead.

The French foreign ministry announced Wednesday that France will close 20 of its embassies in Muslim countries this Friday following the publication of controversial Prophet Mohammed cartoons by satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Major protests in the Muslim world generally take place after Friday prayers.

The illustrations, which show the Prophet Mohammed naked and refer to the incendiary US-made film which has been fueling deadly unrest among Muslim communities for over a week, hit newsstands across France on Wednesday.


September 20th, 2012, 12:49 am


ann said:

PKK Advisor: PKK Wants to Liberate Parts of Turkey and Launch the Movement from There – 20/09/2012

Muhammad Amin Penjweni is a founding member of the Kurdish National Congress in Belgium and a member of the Presidency Council of the Kurdistan Parliament in Exile, an organization founded by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). A few years ago, Penjweni returned to Kurdistan Region, though he is still an influential member of the PKK. Based on the recommendation of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, he is often consulted by the group on issues pertaining to Iraqi Kurdistan.


September 20th, 2012, 1:02 am


Juergen said:

Thomas L Friedman ( not my usual read) has written a comment on the Prophets movie.

He basically is stating that Muslims should look in their mirror and start to acknowledge that hate and rascism is part of their at least televised reality.

A comment by a guy called Egypt observer has the right answers:

Let’s look in the mirror, but also be precise and introspective. The clerics you cite, with the exception of the Iranian cleric, do not speak in an official capacity. Do we restrict their “free speech” while defending our own? Words have consequences. So, let’s also acknowledge the harm that “our” Pat Robertsons, Pamela Gellers, Newt Gingriches, David Yerushalmis, Fox Newses, Michelle Bachmanns, Allen Wests, and others on “our side” do by making anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic statements regularly and with impunity. Those who made and peddled the vile “anti-Islam” video appear to be private citizens. But they have been encouraged by an environment in which anti-Muslim and anti-Islam vitriol is either encouraged or not condemned, except when needed to quell uproar or protect high-profile Muslims of unquestionably honorable service records (e.g., Huma Abedin and others recently targeted by Bachmann & Co.’s anti-Muslim witch hunt). Yes, “our“ hate-mongers and publicity trollers are part of our complex society. And so are the hate-mongers and agitators on the “other side”. Please acknowledge that the issues are not as clear, isolated, and one-sided as you suggest. Let’s not encourage the rabble-rousers and holy war/clash of civilizations agitators with simplistic propositions. People of good will have paid a price for the vile video and the response. Those responsible for the video have, conveniently, gone into hiding.

September 20th, 2012, 1:15 am


Badr said:

Just wondering what kind of a school year those children are going to have?

School in a time of war
By Lyse Doucet
BBC Chief International Correspondent, Damascus

But from every point in this city, you can hear the shells landing. You can see plumes of smoke drifting across the sky.

But inside the walls of Nahla Zaidan school, there is still a more familiar ring.

Children shout the ruling Baath Party slogans that generations of Syrians have grown up with. There is no sense here change will come anytime soon.

September 20th, 2012, 4:39 am


Citizen said:

Let your Freidmans relatives should look in their mirror :

September 20th, 2012, 5:36 am


Albo said:


Exactly. Getting mocked once in a while after you spouted one billion offences, no-friggin’-fair!

September 20th, 2012, 5:37 am


habib said:

46. ann

Lol, probably just some crosses they looted from Christian homes or churches. Wasn’t there a fake Alawite brigade too at one point?

43. Halabi

Many Alawites are opposed to Assad. They’re just more opposed to dirty foreign jihadis!

September 20th, 2012, 5:57 am


Citizen said:

On the evening of Sept. 15, Adel Daoud parked a Jeep Cherokee loaded with a large explosive device outside a bar in downtown Chicago. As he walked down the street away from the vehicle, he activated a trigger to detonate the bomb. The bomb, however, was inert, and FBI agents positioned nearby immediately took Daoud, an 18-year-old from the Chicago suburbs, into custody.

Daoud had been the subject of a four-month FBI investigation and sting operation, during which undercover agents had been communicating with Daoud and recording his statements. Sting operations have become the tactic of choice for the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement organizations when investigating would-be jihadists. As U.S. law enforcement agencies perfect their sting operations to identify aspiring jihadists and prevent attacks, jihadists, too, can be expected to innovate and evolve alternate means of communication and vetting of those with whom they collaborate.

September 20th, 2012, 7:04 am


zoo said:

Among the Alawites
Nir Rosen reports from Syria
Alawite identity turns on a minority complex and fear of Sunni domination. Alawites like to rehearse the story of their oppression. ‘The lot of the Alawis was never enviable,’ the Palestinian historian Hanna Batatu wrote. ‘Under the Ottomans they were abused, reviled and ground down by exactions and, on occasion, their women and children led into captivity and disposed of by sale.’ They were practically serfs to the Sunni feudal lords put in place by the Ottomans. It was only when the French mandate began in 1920 that the traditional Sunni elite was eroded and minorities, Alawites among them, began to enjoy a measure of social mobility. The Alawites pleaded in vain with the French to grant them a separate state that would protect them from a Sunni ascendancy.

A new generation of Syria pundits in the West is already discussing the possibility of a separate Alawite state, but one hears of no such thing from the Alawites themselves. Syria has long been their central project, and their mode of involvement has been to leave their villages and move towards a version of modernity. It is conceivable that they will end up in some form of autonomous enclave as a result of a civil war in which the opposition gains the upper hand, but it is not their wish. They believe they are fighting for the old Ba’athist ideals of Syrian and Arab nationalism. An Alawite state would not be viable in any case: the old Alawite heartlands have never had much in the way of utilities or employment opportunities and the community would be dependent on outside backers such as Russia or Iran. A Lebanese solution for Syria, in which different areas have different outside backers, may be the end result, but it is nobody’s goal.

September 20th, 2012, 11:05 am


zoo said:

Al Qaeda in Libya—a Growing Threat

August report from a Pentagon counterterrorism project and Library of Congress warned about terrorists in Libya.

12:00 AM, Sep 20, 2012 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN

FOX News reported Wednesday night that a former Guantanamo detainee named Sufyan ben Qumu has been tied to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans. While the details of Qumu’s alleged involvement remain to be confirmed, it isn’t surprising that his name has surfaced in intelligence circles.

The report details al Qaeda’s plans for Libya, including the growth of a clandestine terrorist network that has attempted to hide its presence. The U.S military has concluded that al Qaeda is in the final phase of a three-step process for developing a full-blown al Qaeda affiliate.

September 20th, 2012, 11:07 am


ghufran said:

وصف كاتب معارض سوري مقتل ابن عمه على يد الميليشيات الإسلامية المسلحة بأنه ” كان جندياً في قوات احتلال ”
وكتب ياسين الحاج صالح الذي تحوم الشكوك حول تواريه في منزل السفير الأمريكي بدمشق في صفحته على فايسبوك ” ابن عمي فهد الحاج صالح، قتل اليوم في دير الزور. كان جنديا في قوات الاحتلال الأسدية ” . .
وكان فهد حامد الحاج صالح وهو رقيب مجند، قد قتل قبل يومين في محافظة دير الزور القريبة من محافظة الرقة التي تنحدر منها عائلة الحاج صالح برصاص مسلحي المعارضة

September 20th, 2012, 11:07 am


zoo said:

After having lost hope of an imminent After-Bashar Syria, Turkey, in an increasing critical situation over Syria, is desperately waiting for the After-Elections USA to solve the mess it has put itself in by its naive foreign policy.

Ankara believes the United States will take a “more clear and bold” stance following the presidential elections on Nov. 6. “What Turkey wants is not direct military intervention” the source said. “But we want this chaos to come to an end and the sooner the better. It is not possible to have negotiations between al-Assad and the opposition after this stage, it is not practical. Shortening this process is in Turkey’s best interests and actually in the whole region’s interests. If that means helping the opposition, then yes, Turkey is in.”

September 20th, 2012, 11:27 am


zoo said:

Bashar Al Assad’s sister Bushra ‘wants to move to Abu Dhabi’

Bloomberg News
Sep 20, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s sister has decided to move to Abu Dhabi because of the dangerous situation in her country, Lebanon’s pro-Syria al-Diyar newspaper said today.
Bushra Al Assad, whose husband Assef Shawkat was killed in a July explosion, wants her children to pursue their education in Abu Dhabi in a “secure atmosphere,” the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

Mr Shawkat, who was Syria’s deputy defense minister, was one of four top security officials who died in the explosion.

September 20th, 2012, 11:33 am


Erin said:

Many don’t like Thomas friedman for one reason or another but the bottom line what he wrote in the NY times. That all the Wahabi teaching and hatered is breast fed to babies in KSA and other GCC is tailored against other religions.
it is a cry wolf when the Muslims protest against other people exposing their religion with all the filth it carries.
Muslims need to clean their religion first prior to attacking and killing others from Hindus, Jews, christians, Chineese, African religions.
If muslims don’t understand that liberation start by cleaning your house first then it is not going to be any true democracy to be born in any muslim coutnry.
Civil laws are the future of human mankind, it is not the religious laws which is based on retard teaching and backstone theology.
Muslims can protest, kill, burn commit all the terrorist acts.
That if anything it makes the Islam as more of a hated religion in the world, the “soft Jihad” was working against the west in the past where wahabi were paying for islamaziation of the naive westerners in addition to islamazation of the jail inmates in the USA and Europe but that has slowed down due to the acts of the terrorist muslims all over the world.
Islam used the same western laws to gain more freedome in the west this laws are being attacked now by Islam to destroy the west and establish the retard Sharia law.
it is only the naive west will continue to accept Islam as it is now.

September 20th, 2012, 11:41 am


zoo said:

Is the Syrian army purposely allowing the borders with Turkey to remain temporarily in the hand of the rebels to oblige Turkey to take the full responsibility of the flow of refugees, jihadists and weapons?
Is it double edged, as it may allow the creation of a de facto buffer zone later protected by a no-fly zone.
Is the Syrian army waiting for the rebels to regroup in the ‘buffer zone’ to bomb them and then destroy them?

All 13 border crossings between Turkey and Syria have been under the control of the rebels on the Syrian side for some time, a Turkish official said. “It looks like regime forces were trying to get the border post back, but the attempt was unsuccessful,” he said.

Rebels have been trying to take control of border crossings to provide safe passage and havens near Turkey, which is sympathetic to the fighters trying to overthrow the regime of Bashar Al Assad.

Only Syria’s border crossings with Lebanon remain under the control of the Damascus government, the Turkish official said.
But a Turkish analyst said Mr Erdogan was unlikely to find many allies willing to take part in the establishment of a no-fly zone.

Veysel Ayhan, chairman of the International Peace Research Centre, a think tank in Ankara, said Turkey did not want act alone in Syria, and plans for any kind of international intervention probably would have to wait several months.

“No one is expecting anything before the US elections” in November, Mr Ayhan said

September 20th, 2012, 11:42 am


habib said:

63. zoo

“Moving” apparently means “defection” for the desperate Salafis cheerleaders.

September 20th, 2012, 11:46 am


ann said:

US warns against travel to Pakistan – 2 hrs 53 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is warning Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Pakistan as protests over an anti-Islam video grow and turn violent.

The department issued an alert Thursday. It’s stepping up existing advice for Americans to be aware of the risks of travel to Pakistan and said they should defer all non-essential travel to the country. It says protests and demonstrations, some targeting U.S. interests, are likely to continue.


September 20th, 2012, 11:46 am


zoo said:

64. Erin

The real ‘Arab revolution’ will come in the Middle East when it will get out of the Middle Age and put Islam aside as the West did with the Christian religion.
As long as there is a authoritarian religion with confusing messages on top of their head, Arabs will never be free and their so-called “revolutions” will lead to other “revolutions”. There will be no stability until the religion is left as a personal choice and not obligations and laws.

September 20th, 2012, 11:49 am


zoo said:

If Turkey, KSA, Qatar and France feel free to do it, why not Iran?

Iran is shipping arms, personnel to Syria via Iraq: western intelligence report

Sep 20, 2012

UNITED NATIONS // Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to Syria to aid President Bashar Al Assad in his attempt to crush an 18-month uprising against his government, according to a western intelligence report seen by Reuters.

September 20th, 2012, 12:09 pm


zoo said:

Are Homs and Hama free from freedom fighters and back to normal?

They are not in the news anymore

September 20th, 2012, 12:25 pm


ann said:

Syria TV: Helicopter clipped tail of passenger jet – September 20, 2012

(AP) BEIRUT – A Syrian military helicopter clipped the tail of a Syrian passenger jet with 200 people aboard in mid-air Thursday, but the larger aircraft landed safely and no one aboard was hurt, Syria’s state TV said.

The helicopter crashed near the capital of Damascus, though it was not clear if there were any casualties in that crash or what had led the two aircraft to touch in mid-air.

In Thursday’s incident, the helicopters rotor clipped the tail of a Syrian Arab Airlines jet, the state TV said. The passenger plane “landed safely at the airport and none of the 200 passengers were harmed,” the report said.

The helicopter crashed southeast of Douma.


September 20th, 2012, 1:08 pm


ann said:

Syrian troops kill 100 “Afghani fighters” in Aleppo: SANA – 2012-09-20

DAMASCUS, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — More than 100 Afghani fighters had been killed in a “qualitative” operation carried out by Syrian army in northern Aleppo province, the state-run SANA news agency said Thursday.

September 20th, 2012, 1:16 pm


Antoine said:

“70. ZOO said:

Are Homs and Hama free from freedom fighters and back to normal?

They are not in the news anymore”


No, they are free from Assadist incompetents and shabbihas, who are too busy in Aleppo to be able to give their tender attention to Homs or Hama. Which is a good thing.

Latakia will be the next frontline, not only the Jabal Turkman, but the City itself.

September 20th, 2012, 1:19 pm


ann said:

Street fighting ongoing in Syria, rebels retreat from restive district of capital – 2012-09-19

DAMASCUS, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — The clashes between the Syrian troops and the opposition fighters continued Wednesday in several hotspots in the unrest-stricken country, reports said, as activists claimed the armed rebels have pulled out from districts of the capital Damascus.

Syria’s state news agency SANA said the Syrian army carried out two qualitative operations at the Maisalon and al-Fardous areas in the northern city of Aleppo, killing many armed “terrorists” and destroying three buses occupied by “terrorists.”

Meanwhile, two explosive devices ripped through Damascus’ suburb of Qudsia near a high-school but leaving no human losses, said SANA.

Also in Damascus’ suburb, the Syrian troops have dealt “harsh blows” to the armed opposition fighters at al-Hajar al-Aswad area, killing and injuring a number of them, and the troops managed to ” purge” some parts of the restive district from insurgents, according to SANA.

Quoting a military source, SANA said the armed groups used all kind of weapons in their fighting against the government troops. The source also stressed that the forces will continue their operations to cleanse all Damascus’ suburbs from the armed insurgents.


September 20th, 2012, 1:20 pm


Antoine said:

“Syria TV: Helicopter clipped tail of passenger jet – September 20, 2012”

LOL Reem Haddad, what is the name of the Airlines and the flight number ? Where was the flight coming from ?

Hasn’t SANA or Addounia conducted any interview with the passengers or the pilot, to talk about that horrific experience ?

September 20th, 2012, 1:21 pm


ghufran said:

Damascus, Syria (CNN) — The growing presence of Islamic fundamentalist fighters is among the “most alarming” trends in Syria’s civil war, a United Nations investigator said Monday.
“Some of them can be classified as jihadis,” said Paulo Pinheiro, who chairs an independent international committee charged with investigating the situation in Syria. “Sometimes they fight together with some armed groups of the opposition. Other times they go by themselves. They have their own agenda.”
Hours after presenting a new report to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Pinheiro told CNN that the fundamentalist fighters were “one of the most alarming elements in the present stage of the civil war in Syria.”
The commission also believes both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes, according to the report Pinheiro presented Monday.
“The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that government forces and the (Shabiha) had committed the crimes against humanity of murder and of torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack, pillaging and destruction of property,” a summary of the report states. Shabiha are pro-government militia.
In addition, “The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes, including murder, extrajudicial execution and torture, had been perpetrated by organized anti-government armed groups.”

comment: even the UN admits that this is not a revolution anymore,it is a civil war, that is important because it changes how other nations deal with the crisis, most nations that went through a similar scenario were left alone until fighting parties got tired of killing each other and were ready to talk, the only exception here is foreign fighters,as long as those thugs keep coming no political solution will ever see the daylight.

September 20th, 2012, 1:25 pm


Antoine said:

Assad lost Tel Abyad border crossing in al-Raqqah yesterday.

Today he bombed a petrol pump in a nearby village in revenge.

Assad is losing, he should surrender. FSA will castrate him before killing him.

September 20th, 2012, 1:25 pm


Antoine said:

Castrate Assadists, they don’t have balls anyway.

HABIB, you have not yet given an explanation as to why it took 22 years for 50,000 Hezbollah fighters to get back the southern security zone from the 8,000 SLA fighters.

As for the people of Jnoub Libnan, their docile and timid attitude is no secret. From 1969 till 1982 Jnoub Libnan was effectively FATAH-LAND, totally controlled by the Palestinian factions just like Hezbollah controls it today. Infact South Lebanon was known as the “Second Palestinian State”, lol. Shia groups had no voice over there.

Ironically they came to prominence only after the 1982 Israeli invasion drove back the PLO from South Lebanon.

So PLO controlled South Lebanon from 13 years and SLA controlled part of it for 22 years, what does that tell you about the local people ?

September 20th, 2012, 1:33 pm


Citizen said:

He basically is stating that Muslims should look in their mirror and start to acknowledge that hate and rascism is part of their at least televised reality.

Settler attack in Aqraba leaves 3 injured, 1 hospitalized

Qusra man left for dead after settler attack

Take Action: Verdict in Corrie Case Requires U.S. Investigation

September 20th, 2012, 1:33 pm


ann said:

Syrian Christians taking up arms in self-defense – September 20, 2012

Some Syrian Christians in Homs, Aleppo, and other cities have begun to take up arms and patrol neighborhoods in self-defense.

“The situation is complicating,” said Archbishop Mario Zenari, the apostolic nuncio. “As hopes of a rapid end to this crisis dissipate, anger and desperation grow.”

Syria’s bishops have asked Christians not to take up arms, according to the Missionary International Service News Agency. Nonetheless, following the arson attack on the office of the Syrian Catholic Archdiocese of Homs, some Christian defense groups have formed.

“A few weeks ago the government distributed weapons in the areas most at risk,” an anonymous source told the news agency.


September 20th, 2012, 1:39 pm


Antoine said:

Airstrike kills 54, say activists
At least 54 people have been killed by an airstrike that hit a petrol station in al-Raqqa province of Syria, Reuters reports citing activists.

Update: The video below, posted n YouTube, is said to show the aftermath of the attack.

September 20th, 2012, 1:39 pm


Antoine said:

Background to the petrol station airstrike

“Abu Abdullah al-Riqqawi, commander of the FSA’s Ma’awiya Ben Abi Sufyan brigade, has been talking to our colleague Mona Mahmood via Skype about the airstrike on the petrol station earlier today. He said the current death toll is 70.

Today at 11.30 in the morning, the Syrian army started to bring reinforcements from Al-Riqa province to Tal Abyad town [close to the Turkish border]. Tal Abyad town was liberated two days ago by the FSA and its border crossing is under the control of the FSA.

Fighters of Ma’awiya Ben Abi Sufyan brigade were able to block the road in front of the reinforcements heading to Tal Abyad. Heavy clashes erupted with the Syrian army and five of them were killed. The convey of the reinforcements could not keep going and they pulled out.

Soon afterwards, a MiG-23 began to strike Ain Issa (which is partly liberated) and Tal Abyad town. A petrol station in Ain Issa was hit and a massive fire broke out. The petrol station had more than 40,000 litres [of fuel].

We went to the station after two hours to remove the bodies. We found more than 70 burned bodies. Some of them can hardly be identified but there was a child and a woman among the victims, in addition to more than 80 wounded.

Most of the martyrs are civilians, but some of the wounded are members of the FSA, including me – I was shot in my leg. People who live nearby were suffocated by the dense smoke coming from the petrol station which is 35km from Tal Abyad. There are more than 45,000 people living in Ain Issa.

We do not have any field hospital in Ain Issa. We do not have any medication. Any person who brings medication to the village will be stopped at the the Syrian army checkpoints – medications will be confiscated and he will be questioned endlessly. We need hospitals here and our ammunition is very Little and old if you compare it to the tanks and weapons of the Syrian army.

The Syrian tanks started to storm the farms in Ain Issa and level the houses of the farmers because of their support of the FSA and the liberation of Tal Abayd town”

From the Guardian.

September 20th, 2012, 1:41 pm


Citizen said:

Turkish offensive against Syria will bring a Turkish Civil War.

September 20th, 2012, 1:54 pm


ann said:

Syrian forces shelling city of Homs with barrels of explosives, activist source says – 7 Hours Ago

September 20th, 2012, 2:03 pm


ann said:

Proposed UNSC Praise of Arab League Has Syria, Not Palestine, Spin War

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 — Amid the UN General Assembly speeches next week, the Security Council will meet on September 26 and try to adopt a presidential statement. The text is being negotiated but has run into at least two blockages. But only one of them is in the draft distributed earlier this week.

The draft lavishes praise on the Arab League, and cites to the General Assembly’s February 16, 2012 resolution appointing a joint Arab League – UN envoy on Syria (Kofi Annan, since failed).

Security Council members which voted against that GA resolution are opposed to this reference; relatedly, even more members want a reference to the Israel and Palestine issue, perhaps a citation to the Arab Peace Initiative. One Council members asked Inner City Press, “how can you not, if you want to use the Arab League on Syria?”

Language has been proposed but, the source continued, the United States is opposed to any reference to Palestine. “It’s the election,” the source diagnosed.


September 20th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Syrian said:

66. habib said:

(“Moving” apparently means “defection” for the desperate Salafis cheerleaders.)
It’s called “Moving” when she goes to the regime’s friendly countries like Iran or Russia, but when the move is to the hostel GCC which is the center of “salafis and Wahhabi’s” then it is called defection,if you prefer call it running for her life, so she can be under the shaikhs protection.But she better beg the shaikhs for lots of protection there, tens of thousands of Syrians who lost family because of her late husbend and brother lives there

September 20th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Syrian said:

66. habib

You know. let’s say she moved not defected, should not that make all of you supporters pause for few minuets and think,

that the sister of the head of the regime who would have the greatest protection in Syria had decided to”move”

knowing how her family works , she has the ability to see all the intelligent reports and had she thought that they are winning would not you think she would have to stay just for moral support and appearances sake.

But she must have saw the writing on the wall and decided to “move” for it . and leave all of you suckers behind

September 20th, 2012, 2:57 pm


Citizen said:

Syria and the Siren’s Song
This is the bigger picture. Back to the smaller one. What the western media has not told anyone is that the position of the Syrian government, right from the beginning of the unrest (true, there was a home-grown focal point based on economic difficulties, exacerbated by the recent food crises – again, created by whom?), has been constant. Namely, that all sectors of Syrian society are welcome to participate in dialogue to implement the reform programme.

The result is that most of the population has closed ranks around their President, His Excellency Dr. Bashar al-Assad, and this includes some former Opposition groups which have joined the Government.

Those who wished to hear the siren’s song of the West and their mail-order terrorists have found a wonderful terrorist master in Erdogan (Turkey), a country which has allowed its territory to be host to terrorist groups and from where terrorist operations are launched. They have found wonderful terrorist financiers in the Gulf Cooperation Axis and of course wonderful terrorist colleagues-in-arms in the countries “liberated” by the FUKUS Axis, endemically terrorist lovers.

But slogans of freedom and democracy mean nothing when they represent false values, crocodile tears and hypocrisy. The Syrian government will not negotiate the Golan Heights or Palestine, the Syrian government has from the very beginning stressed the need for an all-inclusive process of national dialogue over foreign interference. Those against, are traitors to Syria and to the Arab cause.

With the past history of the FUKUS Axis clear for all to see, their policy is discredited. They are the sirens and their song spells intrusion and destruction of sovereignty. Those who wish to be ridden like donkeys listen to the Siren and her songs, drugged and enchanted, being pulled closer and closer to the rocks upon which they will be shipwrecked.

Countless peoples have been, for several centuries. Why should anything change now?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

September 20th, 2012, 3:38 pm


Citizen said:

Syria in the focus

September 20th, 2012, 3:49 pm


ann said:

Syria – Syrian security forces kill 100 foreign insurgents in Aleppo – 3 Hours Ago

Syrian security forces have killed up to 100 Afghan insurgents in the northwestern city of Aleppo over the past two days, Press TV reports.

On Thursday, the Syrian forces also arrested about 100 armed men near the capital, Damascus.

Many insurgents were killed during clashes with the Syrian troops in Aleppo’s Maysaloon district on Wednesday. The Syrian army also seized large amounts of weapons and ammunition, including Israel-made bombs.

The army has launched a mop-up operation against the insurgents in Aleppo since August 8. Scores of terrorists have been killed in the operation so far.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011.


September 20th, 2012, 4:40 pm


Tara said:

Iran at war: killing and praying.  Daily shipment of “pilgrims” and ammunition.    

• Almost every day Iran has been using civilian aircraft to fly military personnel and large quantities of weapons across Iraqi airspace to help Syria crush the uprising, according to a western intelligence report seen by Reuters. It quotes the document as saying: 

Planes are flying from Iran to Syria via Iraq on an almost daily basis, carrying IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) personnel and tens of tonnes of weapons to arm the Syrian security forces and militias fighting against the rebels … 

This is part of a revised Iranian modus operandi that US officials have only recently addressed publicly, following previous statements to the contrary … It also flies in the face of declarations by Iraqi officials. 

[Iran was also] continuing to assist the regime in Damascus by sending trucks overland via Iraq.

September 20th, 2012, 6:06 pm


Halabi said:

Halabi taxi drivers, courting death to eke out a living.

Syrians living in caves to escape shelling and bombing of Assad’s military.

September 20th, 2012, 6:30 pm


Uzair8 said:

If Iran wants to send men and weapons to syria, let it. When the Syrian regime receives the mother or all Divine punishments then Iranians will also suffer. Its own choice.

September 20th, 2012, 6:36 pm


syrian said:

النظام السوري وطبول ‘حرب أهلية’ تأتي.. ولا تأتي!
صبحي حديدي
“هل ستنخرط الأديان أو الطوائف في احتراب داخلي، ضمن صفّين لا ثالث لهما: واحد يناهض النظام، وثانٍ يدافع عنه؟ ألا يقوم معمار النظام القاعدي على تحالف مصالح وفئات وشرائح، عابرة للأديان والطوائف، شاملة لكلّ الأديان والطوائف، غير ممثِّلة في الآن ذاته لأي دين أو طائفة؟ أم أنّ الأديان والطوائف سوف تتقاتل على هذَين الخطّين السالفين، أوّلاً؛ ثم تنخرط، بعدئذ، في صراع على الافتراقات الأخرى ما فوق الدنيوية، الفقهية واللاهوتية والمذهبية، بين دين ودين، وطائفة وطائفة؟ وإذا جاز هذا التوسيع لمضامين الاحتراب، فهل يجوز زجّ الناس هكذا في صفّين، أو بالأحرى قالبَيْن، لم يعد فيهما مكان لمطالب الشعب الواحد، في الحرية والديمقراطية والتعددية والعدالة والكرامة ودولة القانون؟ وحتى إذا تمتع النظام بدرجات ولاء أعلى لدى طائفة دون أخرى، فإنّ الحافز وراء هذه الحال هو الخوف على مصير الطائفة، وليس الحرص على بقاء النظام؛ وثمة فارق جوهري هائل، من الغبن أن يُطمس في عماء تصنيف الولاءات على أساس الجموع (الطوائف أو الأديان)، وليس المصالح الفعلية.

” ليس للنظام طائفة واحدة منفردة، حتى إذا كانت رؤوسه قد انخرطت في تجييش محموم لطائفة بعينها، وتقصدت الإيحاء بتمثيل تلك الطائفة، وتعهّد مصيرها؛ وليس له دين أيضاً، مهما أتقن ألعاب التمسّح بالأديان أو التزلف للمتدينين. ولهذا لن يدافع كبار أنصار النظام عن بقائه لأسباب دينية أو طائفية، بصرف النظر عن توفّر هذا المقدار أو ذاك من الولاء العصبوي، بل ستحرّكهم أسباب أخرى أدنى إلى الأرض منها إلى السماء، على رأسها مصالح النهب والفساد، واتقاء الحساب العسير ساعة تنقلب سورية من مزرعة إلى دولة حقّ وقانون”\20qpt995.htm&arc=data\201299-20\20qpt995.htm

September 20th, 2012, 6:51 pm


Halabi said:

“even the UN admits that this is not a revolution anymore”

When did the U.N. ever call it a revolution? My guess is never, just as Assad supporters and sectarian opponents never have and never will see this movement as anything other than a conspiracy to slaughter Alawis and Christians in order to fulfill some ancient Sunni blood lust.

وكتب ياسين الحاج صالح الذي تحوم الشكوك حول تواريه في منزل السفير الأمريكي بدمشق


September 20th, 2012, 6:52 pm


Observer said:

ZOO writes

” 64. Erin

The real ‘Arab revolution’ will come in the Middle East when it will get out of the Middle Age and put Islam aside as the West did with the Christian religion.
As long as there is a authoritarian religion with confusing messages on top of their head, Arabs will never be free and their so-called “revolutions” will lead to other “revolutions”. There will be no stability until the religion is left as a personal choice and not obligations and laws.”

So how come in the next post you go on praising the great Iranian regime?

Iran is a theocracy and is in a sense a mirror image of the Zionist theocracy whereby until forced by demographics to open citizenship to non jews.

Don’t you think that you should start by preaching that to the Iranians.

September 20th, 2012, 7:11 pm


Observer said:

This is what SANA said about the downed helicopter:

قالت وزارة الإعلام السورية إن الطائرة الهليكوبتر العسكرية التي تحطمت قرب العاصمة دمشق يوم الخميس اصطدمت بذيل طائرة ركاب على متنها 200 شخص لكن لم يتضرر اي من الركاب.

وقال بيان نشرته قناة “سورية” الاخبارية الرسمية إن برج المراقبة أكد هبوط طائرة الركاب بسلام في مطار دمشق وإن كل ركابها المئتين بصحة جيدة.

وقالت القناة التلفزيونية في وقت سابق إن طائرة هليكوبتر تحطمت في بلدة دوما شرقي العاصمة السورية.

I do not know who is running the news agency but he should be fired.

How is it possible that the pilot cannot see the big aircraft, how is it possible that his radar cannot tell him of the presence of an aircraft and how is it possible that the helicopter can remain stable behind a jet aircraft that produces huge turbulence.

Finally what kind of jet and what nationality and how come the jet was not photographed. How about the interviews with the people on board.

Is this the same news agency that ANN quotes?


you quoted new incentives to invest in Syria, please tell me how and where and if you are investing and if so I will double and we can have a joint venture for I think that Syria today is extremely low risk and a secure investment opportunity.

Haidar who is tasked with the ministry of reconciliation is telling us that the military campaign is moving forward and that in a month we will have a new set of facts on the ground to start a dialogue.

Is he responsible for the same news about the helicopter clipping the jet?

I am serious about this, is there anyone that would please explain to me the latest media offensive by the stooges in Damascus?

September 20th, 2012, 7:22 pm


Ghufran said:

قالت هيئة التنسيق الوطنية المعارضة بان ثلاث من وفد الهيئة إلى الصين وهم عبدالعزيز الخير ، إياس عياش و ماهر الطحانق اختفوا في طريق عودتهم من مطار دمشق الدولي الى منازلهم في دمشق.
This may not be significant to some but it indeed is if those people are kidnapped or harmed.

September 20th, 2012, 8:06 pm


Tara said:

To the First lady from Hell:  Aren’t you afraid of divine justice?  Do you really think you are immune from God?

UN investigating reports of attacks targeted at children in Syria
AFPPublished: 13:31 September 20, 2012

Children in Syria now face a “dire” crisis, Leila Zerrougui, the new UN special representative on children in conflict, told a UN Security Council meeting.
She said UN agencies had “documented government attacks on schools, children denied access to hospitals, girls and boys suffering and dying in bombardments of their neighbourhoods and also being subject to torture, including sexual violence.”

September 20th, 2012, 8:32 pm


Ghufran said:

قال لواء الفتح، احدى اكبر التشكيلات المقاتلة في حلب، في بيان نشر مساء اليوم الخميس، إنه سيقوم بقصف مبنى فرع الأمن السياسي الواقع في حي التلفون الهوائي بحلب بالصواريخ خلال الساعات القادمة ، مطالباً الأهالي الذين يقطنون بجوار الفرع مغادرة منازلهم .

September 20th, 2012, 8:32 pm


Tara said:

Syria attacks ‘aimed solely at punishing civilians’, says Amnesty International
The Syrian government has carried out indiscriminate air bombardments and artillery strikes on residential areas that do not target opposition fighters or military objectives, and instead appear aimed solely at punishing civilians seen as sympathetic to rebel forces, Amnesty International has said.

The conclusions were published in an Amnesty report that followed a visit to Syria by senior crisis researcher Donatella Rovera, who traveled to 26 towns and villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya area and other parts of the northern Idlib and north Hama regions between Aug. 31 and Sept. 11.

Read more..

September 20th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Ghufran said:

اكد مصدر دبلوماسي في اتصال هاتفي :انه قريباً جداً ستبدأ بعض ألوية الجيش الحر بتصفية المقاتلين الاجانب و القضاء على ألويتها ضمن صفقة بين قيادة الجيش السوري و الجيش الحر للتعاون فيما بينها للقتال ضد الالوية السلفية الوهابية و ضد عناصر منظمة القاعدة كمبادرة حسن نية تمهيدا لوضعهم السلاح و تسوية اوضاعهم
This seems like a regime psych warfare but it makes perfect sense if the goal is to preserve the Syrian army and end the bloodshed especially that the FSA continues to deny reports that its members took part in war crimes and attacks on civilians. I will believe it when I see it,for now I have to consider it as another piece of propaganda.

September 20th, 2012, 8:46 pm


Ghufran said:

قال سنان اولجن الدبلوماسي التركي السابق ورئيس مركز الدراسات الاقتصادية والسياسة الخارجية “أعتقد ان
الشعب التركي عرف الان الصلة -سواء كان ذلك صوابا ام خطأ – بين سياسة الحكومة الطموحة الجازمة بشأن سوريا وتصاعد ارهاب حزب العمال الكردستاني”.
واستطرد “من الواضح جدا ان عدم الشعبية هذه ستتزايد اذا استمرت الحكومة في تصعيد خطابها ‘بشأن سوريا’ في الوقت الذي تعجز فيه هي وبشكل فاضح عن التعامل مع المشاكل الامنية الخاصة بتركيا”.

September 20th, 2012, 8:59 pm


ann said:

Anti-jihad ‘SAVAGES’ ads going up in NYC subway – Thursday, Sep 20, 2012,h=425,pd=1,w=620.jpg!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.jpg

NEW YORK—A provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is set to go up in the city’s subway system as violent protests over an anti-Islamic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad sweep over much of the Muslim world.


September 20th, 2012, 9:20 pm


ann said:

Assad says rebels can’t topple his government – 21 Sep 2012

Syrian president tells Egyptian weekly, al-Ahram, that opposition groups ‘exercise terrorism’ and will ultimately fail.

Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, has said opposition fighters will not be victorious in their fight against his government, but that the “door to dialogue” remains open.

Assad’s comments to Egyptian weekly magazine al-Ahram al-Araby will be published on Friday.

“The armed groups exercise terrorism against the state. They are not popular within society … they will not be victorious in the end”, Assad is quoted as saying.

Speaking from his office in the heart of the Syrian capital, Assad said “change cannot be achieved through foreign intervention”.

“Both sides of the equation are equal and political dialogue is the only solution. Violence, however, is not allowed … and
the state will not stand with its hands tied in the face of those who bear arms against it,” Assad told the magazine.


September 20th, 2012, 9:38 pm


chris said:

I hope the Army keep mopping up till there is not 1 foreign fighter in Syria!
This is not revolution it is Terrorism and everyone on this site knows it.

September 20th, 2012, 9:49 pm


ann said:

Libyan [mercenary terrorists] fighting in Syria – 20 September 2012

Feras races across a dusty crossroads, firing his AK-47 wildly at regime forces somewhere down the road ahead of him. This is Aleppo, and he is one of many rebel fighters there, slogging it out street by street, often not seeing their enemy or much progress for weeks.

But Feras is different in a way that has sparked great fears and controversy. Feras is Libyan. He is one of Syria’s “foreign fighters.”

The presence of foreigners among the ranks of Syria’s rebels has been seized on by nearly all sides to suit their purposes.

The Syrian government says they are proof the rebels are extremists and terrorists.


September 20th, 2012, 9:51 pm


ann said:

Assad says ‘Libyan Model’ not to repeat in Syria – 2012-09-21

CAIRO – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the “Libyan model” would not repeat in Syria, referring to foreign military intervention that helped topple former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last year, Egyptian state media reported Thursday.

During an interview with Egyptian state-run Ahram al-Arabi magazine which will be published on Friday, President Assad said the Syrian government would not fall and the militant opposition would not succeed, official MENA news agency reported.

“The change wouldn’t happen… through foreign intervention,” Assad said.

“We are heading towards change through reforms,” the Syrian president said, “Dialogue with the opposition is the only way to handle the crisis.”

The “triangle” for strategic balance in the Middle East is Egypt, Syria and Iraq, according to Assad.

The Syrian president accused the militants of carrying out terrorist acts against all elements of society and of targeting infrastructure facilities against people’s interests.


September 20th, 2012, 9:56 pm


ann said:

Russian news team following the Republican Guard in Damascus

September 20th, 2012, 10:09 pm


Ghufran said:

The bombing of abi alfidaa school in alkallaseh in Aleppo that killed 53 rebels from a jihadi group,not FSA, was an inside job according to halabi sources. The story circulated is that a teenage boy was raped by two Khaliji terrorists. The Dad who gave his house to the rebels surrendered to the army and pointed to the school which was bombed in an attack that was described by Aks alsair as a “massacre” against civilians.
I am carrying the story as is, I welcome any rebuttal. The names of few terrorists from the same brigade are available on the net.
مغتصبي الاطفال يسمون الجريمه نكاح الغلمان و يفرقون بينها و بين الزنا
اغتصاب القاصرات تحت اسم الزواج الشرعي لا يزال موجودا بين المجرمين و يستعمل هؤلاء نصوصا شرعيه ضعيفه لتبرير الجريمه التي نالت الانتباه بعد التقارير عن استغلال اللاجئات السوريات في الاردن

September 20th, 2012, 10:24 pm


Ghufran said:

أبوظبي – كشفت مصادر إماراتية مطلعة أن الموقوفين الستين المنتمين إلى جماعة “الإخوان المسلمين” المحظورة قانونياً في الإمارات، أدلوا باعترافات تفيد بانتمائهم إلى تنظيم سرّي، أسّس جناحاً عسكرياً، هدفه الاستيلاء على السلطة، وإقامة حكومة دينية في البلاد، بوسائل غير مشروعة.
ونقلت صحيفة “الإمارات اليوم” في عددها الصادر الخميس عن المصادر التي لم تكشف عن هويتها قولها “أن قضية أولئك الموقوفين جنائية بحتة، ولا صلة لها بكونهم دعاةً دينيين، ولا أشخاصاً يدافعون عن قضايا سياسية أو يطالبون بإصلاحات، في ظل “اعترافاتهم الموثقة بإنشاء إطار تنظيمي سرّي تابع للتنظيم العالمي لـ(الإخوان المسلمين) يمتلك أموالاً ويدير استثمارات، ويجمع تبرعات لصالحه”.
وذكرت ان التنظيم الإخواني في نسخته الإماراتية استخدم تكتيكات عدة، كان أبرزها، الطعن في شرعية الدولة ونظامها السياسي، وإيهام المواطنين بأنهم يعيشون حالة واهمة من الرخاء الاقتصادي.
وكشفت أن التنظيم تلقّى قبل أسابيع، بعد إلقاء القبض على موقوفيه، مبلغ 10 ملايين درهم من دولة خليجية، في سياق متكامل من التعاون والتنسيق مع سائر تنظيمات “الإخوان المسلمين” في الدول العربية، بقيادة شخصية دينية، ذات نشاط إعلامي ملحوظ في دولة خليجية.
The rift between the UAE and Qatar is evident now, the Sheikh in the report is Al-Qardawi.

September 20th, 2012, 10:32 pm


ann said:

West Attempts to Trigger Clash of Civilizations – September 20, 2012

In France where people are sent to jail for “Holocaust denial,” considered by law a religious hate crime, it seems strange then that well timed, raunchy cartoons designed solely to insult and inflame hate against and amongst Muslims worldwide would be defended vigorously by French politicians who claim, according to the Christian Science Monitor, that “freedom of the press should not be infringed.”

With Neo-Conservative warmongers behind a recent inflammatory film titled, “The Innocence of Muslims,” and their counterparts amongst radical sectarian extremists leading violent protests across the Middle East and North Africa, it would almost seem as if the publication of insulting cartoons by a French paper, “Charlie Hebdo,” was part of a grander strategy to create a manufactured conflict between Islam and the West, setting the stage for more overt military operations to take over faltering covert operations in Syria and beyond.

France (and the West) Are Playing Both Sides

It is a fact that France itself has provided state sponsorship of terrorism from Libya to Syria, arming, funding, and politically backing the very groups taking to the streets, burning Western consulates, and killing bystanders, diplomats, and security forces alike. France had armed, trained, funded, and provided air support for the UN-listed terrorist outfit, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) last year in Libya, in their bid to overthrow the government of Muammar Qaddafi.

LIFG had merged officially with Al Qaeda, according to a US Army West Point Combating Terrorism Center report in 2007, long before the French knowingly aided and abetted these terrorists in their bid to overthrow and overrun Libya. Currently, the government of France is funding and arming these very same terrorists, who promptly transferred weapons, cash, and fighters to Syria to begin terror operations there.

The report titled, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” stated specifically:

The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al‐Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al‐Qa’ida on November 3, 2007. (page 9, .pdf)

France had recently announced its intentions to overtly arm these terror groups operating in Syria, now exposed by Human Rights Watch as carrying out systematic and widespread atrocities against the Syrian population.

The Hindu, in their article, “France to fund opposition in Syria,” reported:

“Reuters quoted a “diplomatic source” as saying France had started supporting parts of Syria that are apparently being controlled by the armed opposition. More alarmingly, the report pointed out that Paris was considering supplying heavy artillery to anti-government fighters — a move that would harden the possibility of a full-blown civil war in the country.”

Now France, through its media, and the complicity of its politicians’ tacit support, is providing their new terrorist allies with something else – a causus belli for confrontation with the West to reinsert in the public’s mind the adversarial plot device needed to introduce more direct military intervention where the covert support of listed-terrorist groups has now seemingly failed.

The Lie We Are Expected to Believe

What we are now expected to believe is that France, the US, UK, and other nations were benevolently, and unwittingly helping these groups into power, only to be betrayed by extremists.

In reality, the nature of these militant groups was known years in advance, these groups specifically chosen to lead the violent subversion of Western targets across the Arab World – with the possibility of sectarian genocide and significant blowback acknowledged as an acceptable risk.

In 2007, an article by Seymour Hersh published in the New Yorker titled, “The Redirection” admitted that:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Hersh’s report would also include:

“the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

Clearly the West, including the complicit regimes of Nicolas Sarkozy and now François Hollande, knowingly funded terrorists. Hersh’s report admits that all parties involved even in 2007 knew full well the potential dangers involved in funding terrorist groups but believed these forces could be controlled:

“…[Saudi Arabia’s] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)

For the West to feign that evidence Al Qaeda is now overrunning the Middle East is somehow an unintended consequence, when officials in 2007 were on record already implementing such a policy is indeed a bold lie. To help sell that lie, the West is calling on its Neo-Conservative factions, and in particular, dusting off their Islamophobia brigades led by the likes of Daniel Pipes, a member of the Bush administration, a Project for a New American Century (PNAC) signatory, and a chief proponent for war with Syria and Iran, as well as lesser demagogues such as Robert Spencer, Pamella Geller, and David Horowitz.

The creation of a sectarian extremist front to undermine and destroy the governments of Syria and Iran began under Bush in 2007 – Syria and Iran being the specific targets Neo-Cons like Pipes have ceaselessly advocated war with. That Pipes and his compatriots are now claiming the rise of this terrorist front they themselves helped create is somehow the result of a “pro-Islam Obama” is immense propaganda designed for the most impressionable minds.

The Plan: Flip the Script (Again)

In reality, Obama provided left-cover for a singular corporate-financier driven agenda, decided upon decades ago, and part of the reoccurring patterns and themes that define all empires past and present.

It appears that the public is becoming increasingly aware that the US has just handed the nation of Libya over to sectarian extremists and is backing brigades of these same terrorists, now operating in Syria. The operation in Syria seems to have reached a stalemate, with the further arming and backing of increasingly visible terrorist forces a politically untenable option.

It appears that the alternative plan is to flip the script once more, turning Al Qaeda – who began as celebrated freedom fighters battling Soviets in the mountains of Afghanistan, to reviled terrorists waging a decade of war on America in Iraq and Afghanistan, to freedom fighters seeking to oust Qaddafi and President Bashar al-Assad, to once again back to reviled, embassy attacking, ambassador-killing thugs.

Seemingly fully committed to tipping off a “clash of civilizations,” the ground is being prepared for false flag attacks and preparing public opinion for more direct military intervention in places like Syria and Iran. The failures of the last four years of corporate-financier driven policy is being compartmentalized around Obama and will be flushed with his presidency either in 2012, or 2016 with the hopes that the agenda itself will survive and carry on.


September 20th, 2012, 10:56 pm


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

After the arrest of members of the organizing group of the Confer. for the Salvation (Rescue) of Syria, now this ominous development; no doubt the regime will be blaming others for this:

Urgent Statement by the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria on the disappearance of Abdelaziz al-Khayer, Iyas Ayash and Maher Tahan

Today, Thursday the 20th, 5 members of the NCB’s delegation to the People’s Republic of China returned to Damascus. They left Damascus International Airport at 5 pm and boarded of two cars, only one of which arrived to its intended destination. We have since lost communications with the other car. Inside of it were Dr. Abdelaziz al-Khayer -Head of the NCB Foreign Affairs Office-, Iyas A’yash -Member of the NCB Executive Committee and a leading figure of the Arab Socialists Movement-, and the dear friend Maher Tahan -NCB member- who kindly went to welcome them from the airport. The NCB and the families of the three men have lost all forms of contact with them.
The NCB immediately started calling all relevant bodies to check upon the whereabouts and wellbeing of the passengers in the car, however no information has been obtained, nor does the NCB know anything that can assure us of their fate or whereabouts of our dear members.
We at the NCB have postponed the release of this news, in hopes of finding out what happened. We have contacted several embassies and numerous national and Arabic personalities – Inside and outside the country-.
Any infringement on the freedom and safety of Iyas A’yash, Abdelaziz al-Khayer and Maher Tahan is an infringement on the concept of citizenship, and of the moral and political commitment to the Syrian citizen and their natural right to security, freedom and dignity.
We demand that whoever can put an end to the disappearance of these three civilians should act immediately in accordance with their national responsibility to respect other citizens and ensuring their freedom and safety. Any harm inflicted upon our partners, regardless of the party responsible, would be a wrongdoing inflicted upon Syria, its reputation, and its unity. In this terrible time of crisis, Syria needs these leading figures more than ever. They are a source of pride for every Syrian, regardless of political, geographical, or sectarian affiliations.
The National Coordination Body’s exile branch holds the kidnappers, whoever they be, complete responsiblity -ethically, legally, and politically- for any physical or mental harm done. We demand an explanation for the lack of communication, independently of the motives and reasons. We demand they be immediately released and returned safely to their families.
Eternity for our martyrs
Victory to our revolution for freedom and dignity

National Coordination Body’s Media Office / Exile Branch

If you don’t know who Al-Khayyer is and what his views are:

September 20th, 2012, 11:22 pm


ann said:

Rebels won’t win, door to dialogue still open: Assad – September 21, 2012

CAIRO President Bashar Al Assad said Syrian rebels “will not be victorious” in their fight against his government, adding that the “door to dialogue remains open”.

In comments to the Egyptian weekly magazine Al Ahram Al Araby, published in the Friday edition, Assad said “the armed groups exercise terrorism against the state. They are not popular within society … they will not be victorious in the end”.

Speaking from his office in Al Rawda District in the heart of Damascus, Assad added that “change cannot be achieved through foreign intervention”.

Assad said in the interview he was “neither optimistic nor pessimistic” about International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission.

Also on Thursday, security forces surrounded and raided a rebellious southern district in Damascus, arresting more than 100 people, state television said as Belarus denied trying to sell weapons to Syria violating a UN Security Council resolution after the United States imposed sanctions on a Belarussian state-owned firm.

In the United Nations, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said that Assad and the Syrian opposition are determined to fight to “the end” but the United Nations may soon put forth a new peace strategy.


September 20th, 2012, 11:33 pm


sf94123 said:

الدجّال‎ said: Syrian revolution is all about freedom and dignity, Yes. I can see it now. It is all about freedom of نكاح الغلمان and dignity for اغتصاب القاصرات تحت اسم الزواج الشرعي.

September 20th, 2012, 11:38 pm


Son of Damascus said:


RE: refuge in caves

This is not the first documented case of refugees seeking shelter in caves, back in early August families in Qusair had to do the same to get away from the Assadi shells.

Seeing the video you posted and the pictures I can’t help but be reminded with the “1000 Afghanistans” that Bashar promised. He has turned our cities and towns to rubble, and now our people are living in caves….

Yel3an ro7o

September 20th, 2012, 11:40 pm


chris said:

SOD they have always lived in caves! it is the FSA who started and continue ruining this land. while you had thousand in the streets we had millions and if there are enough people in syria wanting sharia democracy why are we getting foreign fighters? arent there enbough highly trained murders in their shahatas willing to fight for their country? clearly not! and if this was a revolution why lets talk.

September 20th, 2012, 11:48 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Rebels won’t win, door to dialogue still open: Assad – September..

Rebels way too stupid, corrupt and brainless terrorists to win, just like their backers and supporters. But what is telling is that once they are defeated, the dialogue door is closed. All along I thought that is how it is going to end. Anyhow, Assad still on a long road to his hopeful victory, not, couple more years before he finally is ousted and “no one will come to his help”. That is what the Bible say.

September 21st, 2012, 12:10 am


Halabi said:

Hopefully this will be a respite from the garbage. An expert analysis at the new weapons industry in Syria from one of my heroes C.J. Chivers.

“When tradesmen and businessmen organize to the degree that Syrian antigovernment fighters have organized, they indicate the depth of popular anger and the extent of a population’s commitment to the fighters’ cause.”

September 21st, 2012, 12:16 am


ghufran said:

أعلنت الداخلية التونسية منع التظاهر يوم غد الجمعة على كامل التراب التونسي.
I guess the rules change when you are in power

September 21st, 2012, 12:20 am


chris said:

Halabi who would read lies from NYT anyway? and I just love how the is an invest in israel add that pops up!

September 21st, 2012, 12:31 am


Mina said:

You would be amazed at the khutbas in Egypt, the new popular thing to say (especially after there were threats to launch a new revolution last August 24th) is “demonstrations and unrest are haram and marfud (…) long live to our brothers in Chechenya, Afghanistan, Palestine and Syria…”

September 21st, 2012, 2:21 am


annie said:

Sorry about the above link to the France2 broadcast. I thought they would post a rerun.

This is an interesting article by Nir Rosen about the Alawites

“A leading insurgent in Duma, the largest suburb of Damascus, told me he worried about fighting between Sunni and Alawite villages like Aziziya and Tamana. ‘We can’t say that we have the right to live here and they do not,’ he said, but ‘after the revolution Alawites will return to their natural place. They won’t have the authority.’

September 21st, 2012, 2:39 am


habib said:

113. Aldendeshe

Is there anything more pathetic and shameless than accusing Shias of Zionism?

The only Muslim groups that have successfully battled Israeli soldiers are Shia.

Practically all Sunni countries are on the US payroll. Shia countries are sanctioned.

These are mere facts.

September 21st, 2012, 5:11 am


Albo said:

I have a post in the spam queue.

September 21st, 2012, 5:21 am


Citizen said:

126. HABIB
لماذا لا تبتعدون عن التحدث بالطائفية ؟ هل تريدون تأكيد صحة تخطيط برنارد لويس ليفي ؟

September 21st, 2012, 5:43 am


Albo said:

“that the sister of the head of the regime who would have the greatest protection in Syria had decided to”move”

knowing how her family works , she has the ability to see all the intelligent reports and had she thought that they are winning would not you think she would have to stay just for moral support and appearances sake.

But she must have saw the writing on the wall and decided to “move” for it . and leave all of you suckers behind”
Who cares? So even if they confirm she left for the UAE, I should conclude, what exactly, about those principalties? Just another confirmation that the UAE is on more friendly terms with the regime than the others (which was already noted), just like the KSA is on friendly terms with the Ben Alis.
In case you didn’t notice, most people here are worried solely about Syria, even those you call “pro-regime” and couldn’t care less about her whereabouts, her going wouldn’t change the political situation one inch.

September 21st, 2012, 5:57 am


Tara said:

Sissy has defected to Dubai…well smart girl! She should give up the billions stolen from the Syrian people when the revolution prevails.

Are we going to hear that Anisa is going to defect to a friendly nursing home to live in peace?

Isn’t time for the hijacked Alawi sect to get some sense too or is it stupidity all the way until death do them apart?

September 21st, 2012, 7:21 am


zoo said:

Syria’s Assad says rebels will be defeated

By BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press – 2 mins 52 secs ago
In this Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012 …

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian president said in remarks published Friday that he is adamant his regime will not fall and he also lashed out at Gulf countries, which he accused of using their enormous oil wealth to try to drive him from power.

September 21st, 2012, 8:05 am


zoo said:


A big fuss is made because a grieving widow, still under the shock of the violent death of her husband wants to protect her children from kidnapping, revengeful hatred and further terrorist attacks.
Whatever their fathers did, these children are as innocent as the children living in Turkey or Jordan’s refugee camps and its the duty of their parents to protect them.

Is this the ‘major defection’ that will undermine the government stability, as promised by Hollande and Sayda who suddenly lost their voices?

September 21st, 2012, 8:18 am


Tara said:

Good morning Zoo. I like early start with the morning coffee. I hope Syria will have a good day today..

September 21st, 2012, 8:20 am


zoo said:


“Alawites will return to their natural place.”

That’s an arrogant sectarian statement. Nothing to be proud of.

September 21st, 2012, 8:21 am


zoo said:

#133 Tara

Thanks, I hope so too, everyday.

September 21st, 2012, 8:22 am


zoo said:

Turkey’s neo-ottoman Middle east ambitions in action. Morsi funding campaign seems to work better in the Middle east than with the West.

Turkey’s outreach (in this case, deep pockets) was on show Monday in Cairo. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his government would give $2 billion in aid to Egypt to “increase trust” in its economy, beset by a drop in productivity, a tourism slump, strikes and protests since the fall of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak in an uprising last year.

“The Egyptian territory is a fertile land where great civilizations were formed. We will witness Egypt’s rise in the future,” Davutoglu said. “With Egypt and the participation of other states, we will build a new Middle East.”

The two nations both want President Bashar Assad of Syria to quit and Iran, his ally, to stay out of the civil war there.

September 21st, 2012, 8:32 am


zoo said:

122. ghufran

After the ‘revolution’ all demonstrations are forbidden. Emergency laws are necessary to prevent freedom of speech from undermining the ‘democratic revolution’.
The new leaders are learning the ropes of an authoritarian regime with democracy limited to “ballot boxes” every few years.

September 21st, 2012, 8:44 am


zoo said:

Status of the new Constitutions in the Moslem Brotherhood lead Arab countries

Tunisia new Constitution planned for October 23,2012 is now postponed to April 2013
Egypt new constitution planned “End September 2012″….
Both are struggling with the role of Islam and the status of women.

TUNIS: Tunisia’s new constitution will not be adopted until April 2013, six months later than planned, the head of the drafting committee said on Monday, threatening to compound political uncertainties.

The news of further setbacks comes amid heightened criticism of Ennahda by opposition and civil society groups, which accuse the ruling party of increasingly authoritarian and Islamist tendencies.

Another factor behind rising social discontent is the persistence of poor living conditions in certain parts of Tunisia, and high youth unemployment in particular, a key factor behind the revolution.

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt will have a new constitution drafted by the end of September and ready to be submitted to a nationwide referendum, the country’s prime minister said Saturday.

Hisham Kandil did not specify a date for the referendum, though, according to Egypt’s MENA state news agency.

September 21st, 2012, 8:53 am


Tara said:

Any news about the NCB members that disappeared after arrival to Damascus airport? I suspect the regime is the culprit as the NCB emerging to be more influential after the cardiac arrest sustained by the SNC.

September 21st, 2012, 9:11 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Hi Tara, here is the latest:

Second statement: Freedom for Tahan, al-Khayer and Ayash

In follow up with our former statement regarding the disappearance of the NCB’s members Dr. Abdelaziz al-Khayer -Head of the NCB Foreign Affairs Office-, Iyas A’yash -Member of the NCB Executive Committee and a leading figure of the Arab Socialists Movement-, and Maher Tahan -NCB member-. We lost communication with them less than 30 minutes after the passport control point in the Damascus Airport.
It has become clear to us, based on further information, that the car they were in was stopped by the Airforce Intelligence checkpoint, which detained them and escorted them to one of its branches. We have notified all the relevant international and regional bodies, the United Nations, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Arab League and the UN Secretary-General’s representative on the matter.
The National Coordination Body holds the Syrian authorities in complete responsibility for the mental and physical wellbeing, and freedom of our 3 fellow comrades. We demand that they be immediately released.
Eternity for our martyrs
Freedom for all political prisoners.
Victory to our revolution for freedom and dignity
National Coordination Body’s Media Office / Exile Branch

September 21st, 2012, 10:01 am


Tara said:


One more proof that this regime knows no limit and was never interested in dialogue except with itself. The BCB is the softest of all opposition movement. Batta knows no shame.

September 21st, 2012, 10:13 am


Dawoud said:

Sister Tara (whom I hope one day I can meet in free Damascus for lunch an discuss with her the idiocy and immoral comments of the pro-Bashar commentators):

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now put to shame by Iran’s anti-Sunni Shi’a theocracy, which is sending 747 civilian planes full of arms/sectarian fighters through al-Maliki’s anti-Sunni airspace. Hopefully, this will motivate Arabs to resist this non-Arab Persian intervention in Arab Syria. The Jordanian army can easily and secretly smuggle to the FSA Saudi/Qatari weapons. I hoping to see anti-MIG/T72 missiles smuggled to FSA. I think that sooner or later President Morsi (who a few days ago told Ayatollah’s foreign minister that Egypt couldn’t have good relations with Tehran as long as the latter continues to support Bashar) would send arms and maybe covet fighters to Syria.

Isn’t it funny that al-Maliki is trying to appease the United States by claiming to deny air passage of a North Korean plane to Syria? He should show his “manhood” and independence by standing up to his sectarian masters in Tehran and stopping their daily flights to Syria.

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

September 21st, 2012, 10:58 am


Dawoud said:

Sister Tara (whom I hope one day I can meet in free Damascus for lunch and discuss with her the idiocy and immoral comments of the pro-Bashar commentators):

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now put to shame by Iran’s anti-Sunni Shi’a theocracy, which is sending 747 civilian planes full of arms/sectarian fighters through al-Maliki’s anti-Sunni airspace. Hopefully, this will motivate Arabs to resist this non-Arab Persian intervention in Arab Syria. The Jordanian army can easily and secretly smuggle to the FSA Saudi/Qatari weapons. I am hoping to see anti-MIG/T72 missiles smuggled to FSA. I think that sooner or later President Morsi (who a few days ago told Ayatollah’s foreign minister that Egypt couldn’t have good relations with Tehran as long as the latter continues to support Bashar) would send arms and maybe covert fighters to Syria.

Isn’t it funny that al-Maliki is trying to appease the United States by claiming to deny air passage of a North Korean plane to Syria? He should show his “manhood” and independence by standing up to his sectarian masters in Tehran and stopping their daily flights to Syria.

Free Syria and Palestine!

September 21st, 2012, 10:59 am


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

Free Syria and Palestine, free Iran and Arabia! from Dawoud.

September 21st, 2012, 11:12 am


Tara said:

Dear Dawoud

Only of you pay for Manaeesh Zaatar and tea. And don’t worry, I’d only eat one. 😉

September 21st, 2012, 11:12 am


zoo said:


I doubt they were kidnapped by the Syrian police as the police could have stopped them at passport control and not after they left the airport by car. They could have been prevented to fly also as, I guess, they used the national airline to get in.

In my view, they may have been kidnapped by SNC’s allies hardliners who do not want any dialog with the regime and reject the meeting organized by moderate local opposition, an official meeting that was allowed by the Syrian government.

As of the rantings about Egypt sending its army to help the fall of Bashar al Assad, it shows that the person who wrote that has abused of hallucinative drugs, probably out of despair. I think he needs urgently your magic medical advices

September 21st, 2012, 11:16 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

@Zoo 146

Here it is, from the horse’s mouth (I presume you can understand Arabic):

(BTW, I have long wandered if you are the same person known as zozo elsewhere…I sure hope not! because it would be a huge shock -m-a-s-a-k-a- if you and that zozo turned out to be one and the same).


As supporters of Syrians’ right to democracy and the rule of law, we should also (and I personally do) support the right of Bahrainis (and Palestinians, and Jordanians…all Arabs and all peoples) to have the same in their country too. The Shiaa Bahrainis are Arabs, and a democracy there will not change this fact.

September 21st, 2012, 1:16 pm


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