News Round UP (23 March 2012)

Islamists seek influence in Syria uprising, By LEE KEATH and ZEINA KARAM | AP

BEIRUT (AP) — The gunmen in eastern Syria, wielding grenade launchers and assault rifles, announced on the Internet they were forming the “God is Great” Brigade and joining the country’s rebellion. They swore allegiance to the Free Syrian Army and vowed to topple President Bashar Assad.

But unlike many other rebel bands, they wrapped their proclamation in hard-line Islamic language, declaring their fight to be a “jihad,” or holy war, and urging others to do the same.

“To our fellow revolutionaries, don’t be afraid to declare jihad in the path of God. Seek victory from the One God. God is the greatest champion,” the brigade’s spokesman said in the January video. “Instead of fighting for a faction, fight for your nation, and instead of fighting for your nation, fight for God.”

As Syria’s uprising evolves into an armed insurgency, parts of the movement are taking on overt religious overtones. Islamic movements in and out of the country are vying to gain influence over the revolt in hopes of gathering power if Assad falls.

The Islamists’ role complicates choices for the United States and other nations who say they want to help the opposition without empowering radicals; a string of anti-regime suicide bombings have raised fears of al-Qaida involvement.

The groups diverge from violent jihadi movements to political moderates like the Muslim Brotherhood, which has already used the Arab Spring revolutions to vault to power in Tunisia and Egypt elections.

Their growing influence is seeding divisions within an already fractured opposition. A week ago, several prominent figures quit the Syrian National Council, the body of exiles that has tried to emerge as the opposition’s political leadership. They complained the fundamentalist Brotherhood dominates the group.

The council is “a liberal front for the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Kamal Labwani, a veteran secular dissident, who broke away. He said the Brotherhood was trying to build allegiances on the ground in Syria.

“One day we will wake up to find an armed militia … controlling the country through their weapons,” Labwani said.

The U.S. has rejected sending arms to rebels, fearing a sectarian civil war. U.S. officials also warn that al-Qaida’s militants in Iraq are infiltrating Syria — worries heightened by attacks in Damascus and Aleppo using al-Qaida’s signature tactic, suicide bombings.

An Islamic militant group, the Al-Nusra Front, on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a double suicide bombing that killed 27 people in Damascus over the weekend. The group appears to be a front for al-Qaida’s Iraq branch, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence…

Some brigade videos feature no Islamic rhetoric, while others are rich with the rhetoric of ultraconservative movements — suggesting they back hard-line agendas.

The Free Syrian Army’s leadership in Turkey is secular-leaning, and there have been reports of frictions with the Brotherhood that have made the army reluctant to work closely with the council.

Ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis are gaining ground among some factions. Salafis preach a strict doctrine similar to that in Saudi Arabia and contend that no law but Islamic Shariah law is permissible.

Sheikh Adnan al-Arour, a Syrian Salafi cleric based in the Gulf, regularly appears in fiery monologues on Saudi TV channels calling for jihad against the “infidel” Assad regime.

His influence is shown by the open allegiance declared by several rebel brigades. One, called the “Supporters of God Brigade” in Hama, praised him as “the leader of the revolution” in February.

— Finally, there is the Syrian National Council, the 270-member group made up mainly of exiles headed by secular dissident Burhan Ghalioun. It has tried with little success to gather the opposition under its umbrella.

A video posted on YouTube last week showed a former Syrian Brotherhood leader, Ali Sadr el-Din Bayanouni, admitting the Brotherhood nominated Ghalioun as council leader merely as a “front” more easily accepted by the West.

“We did not want the Syrian regime to take advantage of the fact that Islamists are leading the SNC,” Bayanouni says in the video.

A London-based Brotherhood spokesman, Zuhair Salem, denied the group was trying to dominate.

“We joined the revolution to bolster it, not to control it,” he said.

The Brotherhood has had no organization on the ground since the 1980s, when it waged a violent campaign, assassinating regime figures. Assad’s father Hafez Assad retaliated by almost destroying their main stronghold, the city of Hama, killing thousands and sending members fleeing abroad. Since then, mere Brotherhood membership has been punishable by death.

Ex-council member Labwani and others in the opposition say the Brotherhood is using the council to rebuild by distributing money and weapons, key levers for influence. The Brotherhood has a powerful donor network among members in exile and supporters in oil-rich Gulf countries…

Syrian rebels running out of ammunition as government presses offensive,
By Liz Sly, March 22 in Wash Post

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Syrian rebels battling the regime led by President Bashar al-Assad are running out of ammunition as black market supplies dry up, neighboring countries tighten their borders and international promises of help fail to materialize, according to rebel commanders and defected soldiers who have crossed into this Turkish border town in recent days in a quest for money to buy arms.

They describe what appear to be desperate conditions for the already lightly armed and loosely organized rebel force, made up of defected soldiers and civilians who in recent months have banded together in the name of the Free Syrian Army, transforming what had been an overwhelmingly peaceful uprising into an armed revolt.

Protesters opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad face violent responses from security forces, and the United States has closed its embassy in the country as the violence grows.

The rebels have long been appealing to the outside world for military intervention and weapons to help their struggle. But they are acknowledging for the first time that the rebellion, at least the armed portion of it, might be faltering in the face of a concerted government offensive aimed at definitively crushing the year-old revolt.

“Day after day, the Free Syrian Army keeps fighting and fighting, but day after day, we are running out of ammunition, and, eventually, we just have to leave our area,” said Abu Yazen, 26, a defected soldier who joined the rebels in the summer but fled to Turkey this month with five comrades after they ran out of bullets in the northern province of Idlib.

He is living at one of the civilian refugee camps set up by the Turkish government, among scores of dejected fighters who have been showing up on a daily basis in and around the frontier town of Antakya as their ammunition runs out and hope fades that the international community will come to their rescue.

Since the highly publicized rout of Free Syrian Army fighters from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs three weeks ago, rebels also have been on the run within the country, staging retreats across a swath of territory in Idlib and from the eastern city of Deir al-Zour.

The withdrawals were prompted in part by a realization that the effort to hold ground in Baba Amr had been a strategic mistake for the heavily outgunned rebel force, said Capt. Ayham al-Kurdi, a Free Syrian Army spokesman and coordinator living in Antakya.

“In Baba Amr, the fighters put up a good fight,” he said. “But it caused major destruction, and many civilians died. Now we are strategizing to make sure we don’t make the same mistake again.”

Fighters now are withdrawing at the first sign that the government is preparing an offensive, he said, to spare civilians and conserve resources. They plan to focus instead on guerrilla tactics, such as roadside bombings and ambushes.

Kamal Al-Labwani: Syria’s Revolution at Year One: A Plan for Reorganizing the Opposition Fikra Forum, March 22, 2012

One year has passed since the onset of the Syrian Revolution, caused by the accumulation of continued corruption and authoritarian rule for half a century and from additional instigation by the wave of revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. However, the revolution would not have erupted without two factors: the media and online social networking. This technology gave rise to a new form of alliance, assembly, and information sharing, which the security apparatus failed to prevent…..

Due to the oppressive security apparatus and the military, protesters were forced to adopt a different set of values to defy death and enable themselves to combat the violence and the use of ammunition against them. Some of the values were derived from religious customs, a trend that has now created an inconsistent mixture of beliefs and value systems among the opposition. Therefore, Syrian protestors are now at a crossroads between upholding the values of modernity, freedom, individual rights, democracy and liberalism on one hand and dealing with values of martyrdom, sacrifice, and religious principles on the other. This combination of beliefs is without a philosophical foundation and remains unresolved within mainstream culture.

Consequently, religious movements benefited from this environment and seized on the opportunity to name the protests as their own, while the minorities distanced themselves further from the movement they gradually felt alienated from. The well-organized religious movements, financed primarily from abroad, have been able to represent the revolution to the international community as well as within Syria. They paralyzed the liberal face of the Syrian National Council, taking them out of the equation. The religious movements also controlled the financing of relief efforts, the supply of weapons, and some of the armed battalions. They began buying loyalties from the armed groups in exchange for their support, while gradually ruling out other active actors from the scene.

Furthermore, the religious forces have continued to prepare themselves to assume exclusive power after the collapse of the state, monopolizing the revolution in which they had no original role, though they maintain the appearance of a civilian force. Thus, the revolution has been stolen and is no longer a catalyst towards a state of democracy and modernity. Instead, the future state of Syria will head towards a renewed form of despotism with a religious embodiment rather than secularism. This could lead to chaos and civil war should the new regime attempt to stay using forceful means of destruction and organized extermination as they perpetuate societal divides.

Hence, the urgent need has arisen to depart from this volatile scene. Immediate reforms are called upon to properly represent the revolution, its leadership, its slogans, and methods of support. These reforms are coupled with the insistence on the continuation of the revolution in line with its inherent cultural values, mandating the reproduction of religious values to reconcile them with the values ​​of modernity, freedoms, and democracy.

We, a group of non-partisan activists writing from within Syria, seek to properly reproduce the political representation in a balanced way that is in line with internal concerns through the establishment of a Transitional National Assembly (TNA). This assembly will adopt a constitutional declaration that will define the powers and functions of the opposition to organize them and determine the new identity of the state and its future system. We also seek to elect a General Secretariat of the Assembly to oversee the formation of a Government in Exile to represent the executive authority, which is responsible for organizing all local and external events abroad and is accountable and monitored by the Transitional National Assembly (TNA).

We submit this request to the Friends of Syria as a clear plan to bring down the current system by adopting an organized armed struggle that is national and non-partisan, with financial, logistical and political support of friends. We are also presenting a general plan for the interim period, including preparation to face the immediate concerns that will impose themselves on the morning of the fall of the regime in terms of constitutional, political, security, economic, and humanitarian issues…..

Syrian Cleric Sheikh Muhammad Badi’ Moussa: We Ruled It Is Permissible to Kill ‘Alawite Women and Children, but Advised the Free Syrian Army to Warn ‘Alawites before Raiding Their Villages – MEMRI

Following are excerpts from an interview with Syrian cleric Sheikh Muhammad Badi’ Moussa, which aired on Al-Hekma TV on March 14, 2012.

Arab Clerics Call to Kill Assad, Fight His ‘Illegitimate’ Regime

Senior clerics across the Arab world have issued fatwas stating that jihad against the Syrian regime is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, and even permitting to kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the clerics also called to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is fighting Assad’s regime.

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi: Assad Must be Opposed and Killed

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera that clerics across the Muslim world agree that Assad must be fought against and even killed, because he is using his weapons against the peaceful Syrian people. Therefore, he said, the Muslims must wage jihad against him in their hearts, with their tongues (i.e., with words), or with weapons, as the FSA is doing. He added that it is a duty to fight this arrogant and tyrannical regime that is behaving as though it is God, and that the task of fighting it belongs first of all to the Syrians themselves, though the rest of the Muslims must assist them. It should be noted that in August 2011, Al-Qaradhawi signed his name to a fatwa that was published in the Gulf, which called to sever all official ties with the “heretical” Assad regime.

The Vatican condemns the “ethnic Cleansing in Homs by the Farouq Brigade. This Story in Arabic copied below

إعلام الفاتيكان: تطهير عرقي للمسيحيين في حمص من قبل “كتيبة الفاروق”

22 مارس 2012 – 9:21 PM : وكالة الأنباء الفاتيكانية ” فيدس”

“دير مارجرجس” في حمص (منتديات صافيتا)

قالت وكالة الأنباء الفاتيكانية ” فيدس” في تقرير نشرته “يتواصل تطهيرٌ عرقي للمسيحيين من قبل أعضاء كتيبة الفاروق ذات العلاقة بالقاعدة”، على حد تعبيرها.

وأضافت الوكالة أن هذا ما أكّده بيان “أرسلته الكنيسة الارثوذكسية السورية التي تضمّ 60% من المؤمنين المسيحيين في سوريا لوكالة فيدس. وقام متشددون إسلاميون مسلحون – يقول النصّ – بطرد 90% من مسيحيي حمص واحتجزوا بيوتهم بالقوّة”.

وبحسب مصادر المترابوليتية الأرثوذكسية، “ذهب المتشددون من منزل إلى منزل في أحياء الحميدية وبستان الديوان، وأجبروا المسيحيين على المغادرة دون إعطائهم الفرصة لأخذ أي شيء من ممتلكاتهم”.

وبحسب تقرير الوكالة المسيحية “كتيبة الفاروق عناصرُ مسلحة من القاعدة ومرتزقة أتوا من ليبيا والعراق”.

CFR: The Great Syrian Divide, 2012-03-22

Joshua Landis and Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman discuss the Syrian National Council, led by westernized Syrians, which succeeded in getting sanctions imposed on the Assad regime, failed to get Western military intervention. But it does not trust the more militant Islamists who are actually in combat within Syria, and are refusing to provide them with money and weapons. The chances for the just-passed UN Security Council …

Why Washington Didn’t Intervene In Syria Last Time,by Richard W. Murphy – Foreign Affairs

In 1982, the United States said very little about Hafez al-Assad’s shelling of Hama and no one suggested that the United States intervene. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Washington is willing to speak out against Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown in Homs, but is not yet willing to send in troops.

Wickedness of the human mind cloaked in pop lyrics,  Theodore Dalrymple March 24, 2012, Telegraph

SOME men are born evil, some achieve evil, and some have evil thrust upon them. Bashar al-Assad of Syria falls into the third category; but from the point of view of his victims, it hardly matters. For them, evil is evil and death is death. The psychological origins of a man’s crimes don’t make them less real or horrible to those who suffer from them.

The now-public emails exchanged between the Syrian dictator, his wife and their immediate circle are those of a band of people physically insulated from the hardships and horrors of their own country and who are given alternately to self-pitying sentimentality and callous flippancy. In other words, the emails are entirely plausible as a picture of the life in the court of Bashar al-Assad.

When you look at pictures of Assad you see a weak man, whom you would expect to be a pettifogger rather than a brute. But push a pettifogger to the wall and he is capable of the greatest obduracy, which is the strength of the weak. A cornered rat, that normally resides incognito, is a ferocious and dangerous beast, even if he remains in essence weak and highly vulnerable.

Bashar al-Assad was never intended for the dictatorship. That role was reserved for his far more extrovert, flashy and outwardly vicious brother who was killed in a car accident caused by his typically intemperate driving. A man who knows from an early age that he will inherit supreme power is inclined to believe that even the laws of physics will bend to his will, and that he can therefore drive like a lunatic with impunity. Bashar was not like this; on the contrary, he was shy, retiring and anxious to succeed in his own profession, that of ophthalmology.

When he was in London learning his profession, therefore, he made no waves; he lived modestly, if comfortably; by all accounts he was a quiet, polite and careful doctor who was nice to his patients and respectful of his seniors. It is even probable that when he returned to Syria as heir-apparent he harboured genuinely reformist ideas and intentions. But once he returned home, the logic of the situation was all against him. His father was a brutal, vicious mass murderer, the leader of a brutal, vicious, mass-murdering political movement. If Bashar had been a strong, brave man, he would have refused the poisoned chalice; but, having accepted it, he had to drain it to the dregs. Latin American gangsters give people a choice: plata o plomo, silver or lead, money or the bullet; for Bashar al-Assad, it was power or total extinction, not only for himself, but for his entire group.

His wife, the beautiful, educated, Anglicised daughter of a successful Syrian physician exiled in London, was no more destined by nature for the role of dictator’s wife than he for that of dictator. Her metamorphosis from Mrs Assad to Eva Peron and then to Elena Ceausescu was by a process not altogether of her choosing. Furthermore, power not only corrupts but insulates from reality, both physical and moral. Bad actions come to be rationalised as necessary and then even as good.

Syria: Asma al-Assad cannot be barred entry to Britain, William Hague admits, Daily Telegraph by Bruno Waterfield,  23 Mar 2012

Asma al-Assad, the British-born wife of Syrian President Bashar, cannot be barred entry to Britain, despite an EU Travel ban, but is not expected to head there given the current circumstances, William Hague has admitted.

Mrs Assad, as well as her husband’s mother, sister and sister-in-law, have been banned from travelling to European Union countries and freezing any assets she may have there. The foreign ministers also imposed a ban on eight government ministers, while the assets of two Syrian companies were frozen.

“British passport holders do obviously have a right of entry to the United Kingdom,” Mr Hague said. “But given that we are imposing an asset freeze on all of these individuals and a travel ban on other members of the same family and the regime, we are not expecting Mrs Assad to try to travel to the United Kingdom at the moment.”

Under Home Office guidelines however, Mrs Assad would be allowed back intro Britain if she so wished.

“If you are a UK citizen then you can’t be refused entry to the UK”, the Home Office says.

The Home Office added: “It is important to note that sanctions are imposed on individuals to encourage them to change their behaviour. While this is based on evidence, sanctions are not the results of a criminal conviction and therefore the imposition of sanctions would not lead to automatic arrest or action to deprive someone of their nationality.”

Her status is somewhat unclear however. Nigel Kusher, a British lawyer who is an expert on sanctions, said he believed Mrs Assad is now effectively banned from traveling to the UK.

“No EU national and no EU company can make any funds or any economic resources available to Asma al-Assad, nor can anyone receive funds or economic resources from her,” Mr Kushner said. “And that means that, essentially, she won’t be able to go on any shopping trips in the EU or via third parties.”….

Assad Family Values, by Patrick Seale – Foreign Affairs

In February 1982, Hafez al-Assad put down a rebellion in the city of Hama by his Islamist opponents. Three decades later his son faced down a similar rebellion in Homs. These two events were remarkably similar — both Hafez and Bashar believed they were wrestling not only with internal dissent but with a large-scale American and Israeli conspiracy.

Preparing for Failure in Syria by Daniel Byman – Foreign Affairs

Washington wants to see Assad go, but it will be hard to unclench his hold without breaking Syria.The United States must prepare for state collapse now, so that it can try to prevent it later.

Al Arabiya: EU slaps travel ban, assets freeze on Assad’s wife and his entourage, 2012-03-23

The European Union on Friday banned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s wife Asma, and his mother, sister and sister-in-law, from travelling in the EU, aiming to pressure him into ending a crackdown on popular unrest and restrict his family’s …

One year of Syrian uprising: where is the Arab Spring? by Anthony A. Zeitouni

The Syrian uprising has just entered its second year with two big NO’s: NO political solution and NO military solution. The Military/Security option adopted by Assad’s regime a year ago failed to cool down the uprising, and failed to save the lives of civilians. But, why Assad’s regime look more unified than its opposition? Why The Syrian National Council, SNC has not yet launched a political discussion with the Syrians people, neither with ethnic, religious nor political groups? Assad and SNC are at loggerheads. Also, Assad’s regime and SNC have reached a fork in the road. But, there is still a road not yet travelled…..

From the great new service at Syria Reportkj: the blog Written by: Evelyn Aissa

Five Syrian Opposition Groups Form New Coalition” – Naharnet – Excerpt: “Five Syrian opposition groups on Saturday [March 17] announced the formation of a new coalition, a sign of how difficult opponents of the Damascus regime find it to cooperate, a year after the start of the protest movement. The five groups, meeting here, said their yet unnamed coalition would act independently from the Syrian National Council (SNC), the main opposition coalition which was set up in August to fight President Bashar Assad’s regime.”
On the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria
Self Defense” – Majalla – “In an extensive interview with The Majalla the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, Mohammed Riad Al- Shaqfa, insists that compromise with Assad regime is impossible and advocates the arming of opposition fighters.”
On international intervention, diplomacy & disengagement 
Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change”  – The Brookings Institution – By Daniel L. Byman, Michael Doran, Kenneth M. Pollack, and Salman Shaikh. Excerpt: “This memo lays out six options for the United States to consider to achieve Asad’s overthrow, should it choose to do so: removing the regime via diplomacy; coercing the regime via sanctions and diplomatic isolation; arming the Syrian opposition to overthrow the regime; engaging in a Libya-like air campaign to help an opposition army gain victory; invading Syria with US-led forces and toppling the regime directly; and participating in a multilateral, NATO-led effort to oust Asad and rebuild Syria…For each course of action, this memo describes the strategy inherent to the option and what it would entail in practice. It also assesses the option’s advantages and disadvantages.”
What Assad Wants in Syria: Unsanctioned International Military Action” – Brookings Institution – By Salman Shaikh. Excerpt: “The Middle East region has seen too much international military intervention that does not advance the principles of legality, justice, and the promotion of human rights. Now is the time for the international community to act collectively according to such principles. In Syria, it has the ultimate responsibility to protect civilians and to save lives by preventing the most egregious mass violations of human rights in Homs and other towns and cities. Indeed, it is precisely by following these principles that the international community distinguishes itself from the Assad regime.”
Advantages of a Syrian War” – The National Interest – By Morton Abramowitz. Abramowitx advocates for waging war in Syria for the purpose of strategic gains over Iran. Excerpt: “Iran likely believes this kind of an American-led attack on Syria will not happen. An attack on Syria, however, could constitute a truly defining moment for the much bigger Iranian nuclear issue. Tehran would find it highly difficult to intervene directly in Syria and would face a humiliating loss and greater isolation in the region. It would be a huge political shock with possibly vast internal repercussions.”
Syria’s Crisis and the Future of R2P” – Foreign Policy – By Zack Beauchamp. Excerpt: “As the brutal crackdown in Syria turns one year old with little sign of a solution on the horizon, skeptics and defenders of invoking the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine can agree: Syria has put the doctrine, which obligates states to be concerned about the welfare of those outside its borders, in crisis.”

Tony Karon writes: The Kofi Annan peace plan unanimously endorsed Wednesday by the U.N. Security Council may pose an even greater dilemma for the Syrian opposition than it does for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. That’s because while it demands a halt to the regime’s military operations against opposition strongholds, it also retreats from the previous insistence by Western and Arab countries — and the Syrian opposition — that Assad immediately step down and hand power to a unity government as the starting point of a political solution to the year-long uprising. Instead, the Security Council statement calls for

  • both the regime’s forces and armed opposition groups to accept a U.N.-supervised cease-fire;
  • daily pauses for humanitarian assistance;
  • the regime to release prisoners;
  • freedom of access for journalists;
  • freedom of assembly for peaceful protest; and for
  • “the Syrian government and opposition to work in good faith with the Envoy [Annan] towards a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis” by engaging “in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people”.

It remains to be seen whether the regime will honor its stated willingness to engage in a political dialogue if the opposition puts down its weapons. It would certainly face massive peaceful protests if it honored Annan’s terms, and it has no intention of ceding power even if it talks of constitutional reform while shelling opposition strongholds. But the Council statement carries considerable weigh by the fact that it was endorsed by Russia and China, which had vetoed previous resolutions precisely because they demanded that Assad step down. The new resolution, and Assad’s mission, appears to reflect an acceptance that he’ll be at the table in any political dialogue to resolve the conflict.

But the demand that the opposition negotiate with the regime on the terms laid down by Annan poses a dilemma for the fractured Syrian rebellion, some of whose leaders are set to convene in Turkey on Thursday and Friday: What is won at the negotiating table typically reflects the balance of power on the ground. And the reality, there, is that the Assad regime has proven far more resilient than its domestic and foreign opponents had assumed it would be.

The lost stars: Why civil wars happen in Syria and Lebanon, March 22, 2012

Malik Al-Abdeh writes: How do we explain the de facto civil war unfolding in Syria today? How do we predict what course it will take? How do we come up with a viable and long-term solution?

A good starting point is to compare Syria with a country that bears a striking resemblance: Lebanon. This may seem surprising because the two countries (and two peoples) appear to be somewhat different.

Women, and particularly minority women, are surprisingly loyal to the Assad regime. The Assad emails leaked to the Guardian and al-Arabiyya demonstrate just how Westernized and “women friendly” the culture at the top has been. The emails showed how much the president preferred to email in English, prefered Western pop music, and liked his assistants young and sexy.   It may be a perverse culture that suffers from the “Rose in the Desert” syndrome, but it has its attractions to the young Westernized upper class women of Syria. The president has surrounded himself with women who are well educated, sexy, professional and competent. Doubtlessly, minority women fear that the next president may cultivate a “Black Robe in the Desert” syndrome…..

Allawi cites ‘dictatorship,’ Iranian control in Iraq, By Ben Birnbaum, The Washington Times, Thursday, March 22, 2012

Iraq’s former prime minister says the United States is ignoring an “emerging dictatorship” in his country, telling The Washington Times that Iran is “swallowing” Iraq and dictating its strategic policies. “To be honest, people speak about Arab Spring,” Mr. Allawi said. “What spring is this?

Comments (472)

Mawal95 said:

After having glanced through Joshua’s news roundup for today I have the following comment.

A new Arab satellite TV channel goes on air every few months. This month, the latest startup is named “Asia TV”. It is headquartered in Beirut with offices in Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran. Its director of programming is an Iraqi national who used to be involved in Iraqi politics. The main news-reading anchor has nine years experience at Al-Arabiya. The station’s news focus will be on the pan-Arab world. Its leading story on its first day of broadcast was about developments in protests in Bahrain. Asked who put up the money for the venture, the station’s manager said only that it came from businessmen who supported the channel’s stated principles and strategy about news delivering balance and multiple angles of view. “The market is super-oversaturated, but we have a niche,” he said. ,

Question: Why don’t we have a truly Syrian anti-Assad satellite TV channel with significant market share in Syria? Something operated commercially by real Syrians, having an editorial line opposed to the Establishment, and getting significant market share? My answer: the Syrians of Syria do honestly like and trust the pro-Establishment channels that they are watching, namely Syrian State TV, Addounia TV, Al-Ikhbaria TV, and the recently launched Nour al-Sham TV. (For news they also sometimes watch Al-Alam TV and occasionally a Beirut station, and the infamous Khaleeji stations).

Around the world in very nearly every country, you’re not in touch with the mainstream political community if you’re not regularly consuming news from mainstream broadcasters including especially the State-owned broadcaster. The same is true in Syria. To repeat, if you’re not regularly consuming the news outputs of Syrian State TV, Addounia TV and Al-Ikhbaria TV, you’re not in touch with the mainstream political community. And if you think I’m mistaken about that, you’re even more out of touch.

You can watch the Syrian channels at Youtube and elsewhere on the internet if you know Arabic. If you don’t know Arabic, is a pretty good proxy: On any given day, most of the news at is also the news on Syrian State TV.

March 23rd, 2012, 12:40 pm


zoo said:

Austrian bishops slam Saudi cleric call to destroy churches
AFP – 1 hr 27 mins ago

Austria’s bishops on Friday condemned comments by Saudi Arabia’s top cleric calling for the destruction of all churches in the Arab peninsula, and urged Muslim leaders to denounce his words.

In recent comments to Kuwaiti parliamentarians, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh said it was not only forbidden to build new churches on the Arab Peninsula but that all existing ones in the region should also be razed to the ground “as there are too many,” the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress reported.

Such comments were “entirely unacceptable and incomprehensible,” the Austrian Roman Catholic bishops said Friday.

“We demand an official explanation and an unambiguous affirmation of the right of churches and Christians to exist in this region,” they said, calling for religious freedom to be respected there as it was elsewhere.

Words like those of the Grand Mufti endangered Christians around the world, not just in Arab states, they said.

March 23rd, 2012, 12:43 pm


Dawoud said:

Wow, I posting here on a new thread before Xinhuanet/RT. My lunch break will be over soon!

Free Syria, free Palestine!

March 23rd, 2012, 12:51 pm


Dawoud said:

P.S., I heard that internet connection in Lebanon is very slow. However, Hizb$$$ should provide fast broadband for its propagandists, including the brainwashed pro-Hasan/Bashar American scholars/fellows!

Down with Bashar, the dictator!

March 23rd, 2012, 12:54 pm


zoo said:

Information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies since 1927
آسيا / سوريا – اعتداءات قوّات المعارضة و”تطهير عرقي” لمسيحيي حمص، اليسوعيون باقون

دمشق (وكالة فيدس) – بينما ترتكب قوّات المعارضة السورية العنف، الاعتداءات، أعمال التعذيب – كما يؤكد تقرير نشرته يوم أمس منظمة “هيومان رايتس ووتش” غير الحكومية -، في حمص “يتواصل تطهيرٌ عرقي للمسيحيين” من قبل أعضاء “كتيبة الفاروق” ذات العلاقة بالقاعدة.
هذا ما أكّده بيان أرسلته الكنيسة الارثوذكسية السورية التي تضمّ 60% من المؤمنين المسيحيين في سوريا لوكالة فيدس. وقام متشددون إسلاميون مسلحون – يقول النصّ – بطرد 90% من مسيحيي حمص واحتجزوا بيوتهم بالقوّة. وبحسب مصادر المترابوليتية الأرثوذكسية، ذهب المتشددون من منزل إلى منزل في أحياء الحميدية وبستان الديوان، وأجبروا المسيحيين على المغادرة دون إعطائهم الفرصة لأخذ أي شيء من ممتلكاتهم. وتدير “كتيبة الفاروق” عناصرُ مسلحة من القاعدة ومن مختلف المجاميع الوهابية، كما تضمّ مرتزقة آتين من ليبيا والعراق.

وعلّق المدبر الرسولي في حلب المونسنيور جوزيبي ناتزارو لوكالة فيدس قائلاً: “ليست لنا مصادر لإثبات هذه الأخبار بصورةٍ مباشرة، ولكن يمكننا القول إنّ هذه التقارير بدأت بإسقاط جدار الصمت الذي بنته حتّى اليوم صحفُ العالم. في هذا الوضع، تتقدمُ الحركات الإسلامية والإرهابية”. وذكر المدبر بقلق بعض الأحداث الأخيرة: “يوم الأحد الماضي انفجرت في حلب سيارة مفخخة بالقرب من مدرسة الآباء الفرنسيسكان. وبمعجزة لم تحصل مجزرة أطفال في مركز التعليم المسيحي لكنيسة القديس بونافنتورا، فقط لأنّ الفرنسيسكاني المسؤول، الذي شعر مسبقًا بوجود خطر، أخرج الأطفال قبل 15 دقيقة من الوقت المعتاد. وانفجرت قنابل أخرى في دمشق، وهي علامات لا تبشّر بالخير للأقليّات الدينية”. وحول توقعات الوضع الحالي، قال ناتزارو: “لي ثقة بعودة السلام، ومن أجل هذا نصلّي نحنُ المسيحيون بدون انقطاع”.

March 23rd, 2012, 1:04 pm


omen said:

in the new york times:

syrian activists defend nir rosen.

March 23rd, 2012, 1:04 pm


omen said:

somebody wrote to nir rosen and inquired about spy charges. he wrote:

@nirrosen said stint in IDF is assumed because of the name ‘Nir Rosen’ on refusenik document dated as early as November 2002.

March 23rd, 2012, 1:11 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Where did I Cursed Alawis?
The fact that you always insult Sunni.

And Jad your comments are misleading.

March 23rd, 2012, 1:28 pm


jad said:

Samir Aita explain why he won’t attend ‘enemies of Syria’ meeting in Istanbul:

حول الدعوة إلى مؤتمر في استنبول في 26 آذار

هذا هو نصّ الدعوة التي وصلت من الخارجيّة القطريّة والتركيّة، وهي مفتوحة للجميع فلا حرج من نشرها…
ما يلفت الانتباه هو الآتي:

– أنّ هذه الدعوة لم تأت مدعومة من الجامعة العربيّة ومهمّة كوفي أنان، اللذان يشكّلان المرجعيّة الشرعيّة للتحوّل السياسي السلمي المشار إليه… واللذان يبذلان جهوداً أخرى لتوحيد كلمة المعارضة السوريّة…

– أنّ الدعوة موجّهة لكلّ الأطياف الرئيسية للمعارضة التي تؤمن بالحلّ السياسي السلمي، في حين تطلب توحيد الرؤية حول المجلس الوطني… وهناك مفارقتين في هذا الكلام، بين احترام تكوينات المعارضة كما هي والطلب منها الانضمام إلى رؤية المجلس الوطني، وبين من يطالب جهارة بالحلّ العسكري ومن يصرّ على الحلّ السلميّ السياسيّ…

– هناك في الدعوة نوع من التخجيل وتحميل من لا يحضر مسؤوليّة شقّ صفّ المعارضة، إلاّ أنّ توحيد المعارضة لا يأتي من خلال اجتماع “بيت مفتوح”، يحضّر إليه مسبقاً وليست له مرجعيّة، خاصّة في ظلّ عدم التوافق بين القوى الإقليميّة والدوليّة وصراعها على سوريا… فماذا الذي تعنيه هذه الدعوة حقّاً، أن تذهب إلى هذا الفندق، بإمكانيّاتك الماديّة القليلة التي تفضّل أن ترسل منها ما أمكن إلى من يحتاجه أكثر منك، وتدخل في نقاش غير محضّر لا تعرف لا أين بدايته ولا أين ينتهي؟ مشروع لا منطق له، تستدعى إليه قبل يومين استدعاءً، لن يأتي إلاّ بمزيد من الانقسامات والشخصنة…

على كلّ حال أشكر الجهات الداعية على الدعوة، وأتمنّى لمن سيحضر، وهذا حقّه، كلّ التوفيق في جهوده لما يراه خيراً لسوريا

نصّ الدعوة
الدوحة ـ أنقرة 22 آذار 2012

الأخوة الأعزاء،
نتشرف بدعوتكم لحضورالمؤتمر الذي سيضم الأطراف الرئيسية في المعارضة والشخصيات الوطنية التي تعمل من أجل الانتقال السلمي للسلطة في سورية.
كما هو معلوم لديكم، فإن قرارات اللجنة الوزارية لجامعة الدول العربية المتعلقة بسورية، وخاصة قرار رقم 7438 المؤرخ ب12 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر، وكذلك الخلاصات الرئاسية للمؤتمر الدولي لمجموعة أصدقاء الشعب السوري ،الذي انعقد في تونس بتاريخ 24 شباط /فبراير، طالبت بعقد هذا المؤتمر دون تأخير.
سيعقد المؤتمر في 26 مارس/ آذار 2012 في استنبول ـ فندق جرين بارك Green Park وسيقوم المشاركون فيه بتحديد مضمونه ونتائجه.
إن سورية تحتاج في هذه المرحلة الحرجة الى مساهمتكم، ودعمكم ، وإلى مشاركتكم الفاعلة أكثر من أي وقت مضى.
مؤتمرنا فرصة للجميع، أفرادأً ومجموعات للتعبير عن آرائهم، وعرض وجهات نظرهم حول سورية حرة ديمقراطية، وذلك بهدف الوصول الى رؤية موحدة، تتوافق مع ما يذهب اليه المجلس الوطني السوري، وتنطلق من جملة مبادئ مشتركة من أجل الانتقال السلمي للسلطة في سورية، والتي تشكل ًمقدمة ضرورية لدعم وتعزيز موقف المعارضة السورية.
إن مشاركتكم في هذا المؤتمر ستعطي دعماً وزخماً للشعب السوري، وتساهم في انتصار ثورته
نأمل أن نلتقي بكم في استنبول

وتفضلوا بقبول فائق الاحترام

March 23rd, 2012, 1:39 pm


jad said:

Is this the culture Syria needs? killing our own family members.
سوري يقتل شقيقته وابنها لتعاونهما مع السلطات الرسمية

March 23rd, 2012, 1:48 pm


omen said:

note from british foreign secretary william hague :

UN humanrights Council: evidence of Syria crimes to be gathered & stored. A wake-up call to Assad’s henchmen – net closing on them

March 23rd, 2012, 2:03 pm


Afram said:

Sad state of affairs…bullets and beans!!.

the needy&poor folks are searching on their empty shelves for dry beans inorder to feed their hungry kids,on the other-hand evil doers are shopping in turkey for bullets so they could murder the kids in the name of bloody allah,Eureka.

Lunatics belong in straight jackets and locked in mad houses and not to be free terrorizing the puplic.

March 23rd, 2012, 2:14 pm


Hans said:

Arabs are Arabs and will never be respected anywhere or anytime!

I keep hearing about banning, sizing, restricting, holding, confiscating the regime family, members, money, properties values, outside Syria.

It is a clear double standards treatment plain BS, I never heard of such actions against any Israeli, in spite of the latter killing children Arabs for decades using the most sophisticated weapons they have.

I guess the Spring hit only Syria didn’t hit Israel or the other GCC towels head pigs.

March 23rd, 2012, 2:39 pm


Mina said:

A black kid who only had on him a pack of candies was killed on… February 26th. Today, the media and even Mr President woke up.

March 23rd, 2012, 2:48 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“or the other GCC towels head pigs.”

I guess you as well lack respect for Arabs, for only a disrespectful racist would write such a comment.

March 23rd, 2012, 2:52 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“Today, the media and even Mr President woke up”

Unlike the Syrian media and Syrian President that called Hamza Alkhatib’s death a fabrication, and to this day claim no responsibility for his death.

March 23rd, 2012, 2:54 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Hans said in comment #13
“or the other GCC towels head pigs”

Let us see your response

March 23rd, 2012, 2:59 pm


jad said:

Did you see this one?
Police Brutality: Lincoln officer avoids prison for kicking woman!

March 23rd, 2012, 3:01 pm


jad said:

Why are you complaining Majed?
Isn’t exactly that what the moderator was trying to tell you about couple comments ago but you didn’t listen.

Lesson of today:
حط اصبعك بعينك متل ما بتجعك بتجع غيرك.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:05 pm


Mawal95 said:

Today is Friday. I just visited which in case you don’t know is an anti-regime site which compiles protest videos from around Syria and is updated on a daily basis over the past year and organized by Syrian province and date. I visited the section of that site that covers anti-regime protest videos from Aleppo province today. Their leading or headline video from Aleppo today comes from the heavily Kurdish town of Aayn Al-Arab situated right on the border with Turkey: . The rest of what they can offer from Aleppo today is paltry. They have this tiny and fleeting demonstration in Salah Al-Din neighborhood in the big city: . More interestingly they have a small but not tiny demonstration in Al-Bab City, , which I take as more interesting because Al-Bab was essentially demonstration-free for most of last year.

The following video was already linked to by MINA at #893 prev thread. It is a small anti-regime protest today in a town in Daraa province. As MINA observes, “half the people here are KIDS, I mean, very young teenagers”:

The record from other towns implies that if the protesters can stay peaceful in that town in Deraa that MINA linked to, and in Al-Bab city, then the turnout size will be maintained week after week after week, but if they turn violent it will decimate the turnout. Thus Syria is fine.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:09 pm


Hans said:

#17 your well known racist, sectarian comments will not plead for you here.
#15 SOD
“I guess you as well lack respect for Arabs, for only a disrespectful racist would write such a comment.” That’s a racist comment, watch what you are writing.
I am free to write what I want to write within the SC rules.
If you don’t like the Red alert Towel heads, I will use the tissue heads to please you.

It is unfortunate that there are many kids or adults who behave like kids who comment here! we should have a disclaimer that it is a mature site and childish behavior are not accepted or tolerated on this site.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:09 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Hans insist to place his insults, Jad and hans bot eggs in the same sac.

Moderator hans and jad keep on insulting, is this what you want?

March 23rd, 2012, 3:17 pm


Son of Damascus said:


How am I a racist for calling you out on a racist term?

Very confusing, I must say.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:17 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Ambushed, outgunned, Syrian rebels plead for arms

23 Mar 2012 12:30
Source: Reuters // Reuters

* Syrian army, rebels play cat-and-mouse on Turkey border

* Free Syrian Army short of weapons, ammunition

* Rebel fighters remain determined to topple Assad

By Jonathon Burch

YAYLADAGI, Turkey, March 23 (Reuters) – Puffing hard on a cigarette, the Syrian rebel relived the moment earlier this week when his band of fighters was caught in Syrian army crossfire as they tried to smuggle a wounded comrade over the hilly border to Turkey.

“They fired from all directions, from above and from below. Then more soldiers appeared right in front of us,” said Musa, a scrawny 28-year-old, told Reuters back in the safety of Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay, which once belonged to Syria.

“We were caught off-guard and didn’t know what to do. So we fled,” he said, retelling the battle and often flitting between events in a way that reflected the confusion of war.

One fighter was killed on the spot, some were wounded, he said. Three rebels surrendered, three were caught as they tried to flee. Musa and the rest of his comrades managed to escape.


March 23rd, 2012, 3:23 pm


jad said:

It’s the Syrian Druz turn now, fsa to launch its brand new ‘business’in Sweeda. Are they going to call it ‘Jumblat’?
مصدر بالجيش الحر لـ”الشرق الأوسط”: إطلاق كتيبة خاصة من السويداء قريبا

March 23rd, 2012, 3:29 pm


Alan said:

Является ли война стоит жизней своих сыновей и дочерей? Является ли война стоит жизней своих друзей? Это война, которую стоит мучения и страдания, которые принесла любить семью? Является ли война стоит бойня? Это война, которую стоит жизни пытали умов? Это война, которую стоит все дети-сироты остались ни с чем? Является ли война стоит массовые захоронения невинных неизвестные души? Является ли война стоит ничего? Нет, что это хорошо? Абсолютно ничего!

March 23rd, 2012, 3:33 pm


Tara said:


On self reflection, I am sorry I said you see nobility in a mass murderer when you have not explicitly said so.  It does however sadden me much that I never heard you condemning the regime.

In any case, when we play Salwa ya Salwa, you will NOT be the بشعة.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:33 pm


Mina said:


I simply reposted a video for which Zoo provided the link, after I saw the amazing number of kids.

And in the second video posted by Zoo on the same thread, it says it is near Edleb. But what is interesting is that some guys seem to imitate some Shii gesture (to pretend they are??) during the general music and invocations. (They shouldn’t try that in Egypt, they would be arrested on the spot for Shiism PLUS they would be outcasted by the Nur party which has decided that music should be banned).

March 23rd, 2012, 3:33 pm


zoo said:

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood and al-Azhar Follow Salafi Lead

By: Bisan Kassab, Mohammad Khawly
Published Friday, March 23, 2012

Self-styled moderates and the official religious establishment defer to conservatives over bills aimed at Islamizing taxation and the state’s criminal code.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:42 pm


areal said:

Alain Juppé accused by his own Administration of having falsified reports on Syria

Voltaire Network | 22 March 2012

On 19 March 2012, a high French official invited Arab journalists based in Paris to inform them of the internal battle being waged within the French government and, in particular, the Quai d’Orsay [the French Foreign Ministry] regarding Syria. According to this person, the French Ambassador in Damascus, Eric Chevallier, whose embassy had just been shut down and who had returned to Paris, challenged Minister Juppé in front of his colleagues. He accused Alain Juppé of having ignored his embassy reports and of having falsified summaries of them to provoke a war against Syria.

In March 2011, at the beginning of the events currently besetting Syria, the Foreign Ministry hurriedly dispatched fact finders to Deraa to appraise what was happening. Their report, submitted to Paris, indicated that tensions had dissipated following several demonstrations, information that contradicted Al-Jazeera and France 24 reports that the city of Deraa was being violently torn apart. The ambassador requested the mission be extended in order to follow developing events. The Foreign Minister, furious about the first report, telephoned him and demanded that he alter it to state that a bloody repression of the city was occurring. The Ambassador then arranged a teleconference between the Chief of Mission in Deraa and the Minister and had him repeat that no such repression had occurred. The minister then threatened the ambassador and the conversation ended icily.

Immediately afterwards, Alain Juppé’s cabinet pressured Agence France Press to publish cables aligned with the view of the Minister. During the months that followed, altercations between Ambassador Eric Chevallier and Alain Juppé continued to multiply, until the moment of the Iranian hostage crisis in January 2012 and the death of “journalist” Gilles Jacquier. At this moment, the Ambassador was ordered to pull the covert DGSE agents working under press cover out of Syria, at which point he realized the importance of the secret operation being carried out by Alain Juppé. [1]

As former Minister of Defense, Alain Juppé appears to have maintained tight friendships within the armed services and to be able to rely on agents loyal to him.

The same source affirms that the ambassadorial reports were either ignored or falsified which led the ambassador himself to shore up his position by having forwarded to the Foreign Ministry equivalent European diplomatic reports attesting that Syria was not in the throes of a cycle of protest and crackdown but was rather being destabilized by armed groups coming from outside the country. On his arrival back in Paris, Ambassador Chevallier allegedly requested an internal administrative inquiry to confound his own Minister.

These revelations led to still others. Another high official revealed that Alain Juppé was not only in conflict with his administration but also with his colleagues at both the Defense and Interior Ministries. Their respective ministers, Claude Guéant and Gérard Longuet had not only negotiated the exfiltration of the French intelligence agents present in the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr with General Assef Chawkrit, as previously reported by Voltaire Network [2], but had also arranged the release of three French commandos detained by Syria. [3]

On Sunday, 18 March, the pro-Syrian daily Ad-Diyar, edited in Beirut, confirmed that three French prisoners had been released to Admiral Edouard Guillaud, Chief of Staff of the Military of France (CEMA), during a trip to Lebanon supposedly undertaken as the French contingent of the U.N. Interim Force for Lebanon was being reorganized. According to a high-ranking Syrian source, the Admiral had in exchange personally overseen the complete dismantling of the French military’s rear operating base in Lebanon.

The conflict between Ambassador Chevallier and Minister Juppé had been simmering for a long time. On 4 April 2011, the online journal Rue 89 published an article attributed to an anonymous Franco-Syrian author. [4] It reported that the Ambassador “had become a mouthpiece of the regime, asserting that the revolts of Daraa and Lattaquie were fomented by foreign forces and that the media were lying about reality.” Ten days later, George Balbrunot on his blog at Le Figaro followed suit, claiming that the Ambassador had been “completely Bashirized”. [5] Finally, on 5 May, France 24, a station owned by the French Government and under Alain Juppé’s supervision, accused the Ambassador of “minimizing the revolt.” [6]

The conflict between Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Admiral Edouard Guillaud and Alain Juppé has also been in the public eye for a long time. The Admiral did not appreciate that Alain Juppé, while Minister of Defense, had planned in advance the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. With veiled support of his new Defense Minister Gérard Longuet, he publicly manifested his disagreement when commanded to mobilize French troops against Libya.

In addition, relations between Guéant and Juppé are notoriously bad. In one of his usual displays of arrogance, Alain Juppé stipulated as a condition of his entering the Fillon government that Claude Guéant leave the General Secretariat of the Élysée because he didn’t want to speak to him. After the agreement reached by Washington, London and Moscow to calm the situation in Syria, Alain Juppé can still count on the support of Ankara, Riyad and Doha along with that of the mainstream media. He now finds himself isolated in France and deprived of the means to enact his policies, unless of course President Sarkozy starts pushing for war to boost the poll numbers for Sarkozy the candidate.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:43 pm


Afram said:


would I be offending the gods&alien species if I say:”Beam me up, Scotty!”
some people like to fish in murky waters,inorder to get attention.
hold your horses dude,no need to cry Moderator-Moderator-Moderator……

the man criticized the behavior of the GCC like their lousy ethics&politics and not their fasion wardrobe

You need not blow your top about minor things

even the old man while back called them hypricts
الأعراب أشد كفرا ونفاقا

March 23rd, 2012, 3:45 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ MINA: Okay. Thanks ZOO.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:53 pm


areal said:

About emails from Guardian

Any minimum knowledgeable geek knows that in an email there is two parts :
_ the visible message which can easily be forged with a “word processor”
_ the hidden header which reveals the IP of the sender and other data which are more difficult to forge.

Whenever the Guardian makes public the message and refuses to release the full headers , one can easily deduce that something is fishy in their story.

March 23rd, 2012, 3:58 pm


Mawal95 said:

Joshua linked to an interview with the head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, who advocates violent insurgency against the Syrian government, dated 21 Mar 2012: . I have a related comment. The historian|journalist Patrick Seale said on 20 Mar 2012: “The long campaign of terror against Hafez al-Assad from 1976 to 1982 was political insanity. By defeating it, Hafez won himself nearly two more decades of rule. Similarly, the arming of the Opposition against Bashar al-Assad seems not to have advanced the Opposition’s cause.” It’s looking to me very likely that low-grade violent rebellion and random acts of terrorism will continue for another year at a minimum. This will be politically self-destructive or political insanity for the Syrian Opposition as a whole. Over the past year the Assad regime has made serious, politically popular, and good and liberal changes to fundamental political institutions including a new Constitution, a new Political Parties Law, a new Elections Law, a new Information Media Law, a new law liberally regulating organized public protests, and repeal of the would-be or so-called “Emergency Law”. The reforms are done, and have been accepted by the people of Syria. But the regime has made no concessions at all to true Islamists: Under the new Constitution, Islamic political parties remain illegal. So true Islamists can see themselves as having no political alternative to violence. Here’s Bashar Assad on 13 Dec 2011 ( ): “No movement that acts under religious slogans and aims to split the Syrian society can hope for legalization. This goes for the Muslim Brotherhood too. This organization can not be legalized judging upon their ideology. It does not mean, though, that we cut those people from the opportunity to participate in the peaceful life of the country. We offer them to establish their own political party which would be based on secular principles so that the party could compete for seats in parliament.” Happily for Syria, most Syrians agree with that. But there’s some minority of righteous Islamists who will not agree, and it is not necessarily insane for them to use violence to keep their cause from being forgotten.

March 23rd, 2012, 4:08 pm


Mawal95 said:

I have noted several times before on this board that the Sunni clerical leadership and the generality of the Sunni clerics in Syria, and the generality of the whole population, endorse the clause in the new Constitution that bans religious political parties — e.g. #348 at So the Muslim Brotherhood is in a small minority, and cannot claim to represent the Popular Will of the People of Syria, when they advocate insurrection against the regime followed by legalization of Islamic parties. But the Muslim Brotherhood has God on its side, you know. When your side are the agents of God, you can do things in good conscience that ordinary civilized human beings can’t do, such as terrorism.

March 23rd, 2012, 4:28 pm


omen said:

Afram @ 2:14 pm

Sad state of affairs…bullets and beans!! the needy&poor folks are searching on their empty shelves for dry beans inorder to feed their hungry kids,on the other-hand evil doers are shopping in turkey for bullets so they could murder the kids in the name of bloody allah,Eureka. Lunatics belong in straight jackets and locked in mad houses and not to be free terrorizing the puplic.

this region in syria looks prosperous and not wanting for food.

the evil doer is the regime who is causing hunger by blocking food (in certain areas) from getting to the people!

March 23rd, 2012, 4:44 pm


Halabi said:

Life is simple with Sana and Addunia.
خلصت سوريا بخير. بالروح بالدم نفديك بطوطة

March 23rd, 2012, 5:00 pm


zoo said:

To rein the PKK growth and threat in Syria, Turkey must empower the SNC through political and military support.

Turkey eyes Syrian crisis through lens of Kurdish stability
Maria Fantappie
Mar 23, 2012
Turkey appears to be keeping all options open for intervening in Syria – even arming the opposition. But Ankara’s failure to monitor the development of the Kurdish issue in Syria, and Bashar Al Assad’s struggle for power, have left room for others to instil their agendas there.

In Syria’s Kurdish-populated areas, the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, is expanding its military front against Turkey. Leaders in Iraqi Kurdistan are stretching their political influence and campaigning for the establishment of a Kurdish region in Syria.

Turkey saw the fall of the Assad regime as an opportunity to influence Syria’s Kurds.
But Turkey’s strategy backfired. Mr Al Assad has not fallen as Turkey wished. The Iraqi Kurds are pushing for their own agenda and Mr Al Assad is fighting back by allowing the PKK free rein in Syria.

The Syrian National Council failed to attract and retain Kurdish members. In January, Kurdish parties withdrew their membership from the Syrian opposition, and 11 of them eventually gathered in the Kurdish National Council under the Iraqi Kurdish umbrella.

As the Syrian crisis drags on, the Iraqi Kurds are empowering the Kurdish National Council as the sole representative of Kurdish demands. The Iraqi Kurds are aware that any political entity aspiring to govern Syria in the near future would need the Kurds in order to establish itself as a legitimate power. The council may raise the stakes and deal only with a counterpart that will accept its demands for a large degree of autonomy.

The PKK is also furthering its agenda and has found in Mr Al Assad a willing ally to consolidate and expand its military front across the Syrian frontier. In the past few months, the party has had carte blanche to conduct its activities in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, in Aleppo.

March 23rd, 2012, 5:00 pm


omen said:

Mawal95 @ 4:08 pm

it’s hard to take pious lectures about the sanctity of the rule of law from a war criminal!

March 23rd, 2012, 5:06 pm


Juergen said:


Peter Scholl Latour is still alive, i saw him shopping the other day. Why are you write on such a low level and in his style? Is that your outburst after years travelling and meeting with Arabs? I dont forget what you wrote earlier, something like arabs need an boot to kick them, if thats not rascism than i dont know under which standards you define rascism, i think to 98% of the people thats just what it is, plain rascism.

March 23rd, 2012, 5:07 pm


irritated said:

Omen #37

“the evil doer is the regime who is causing hunger by blocking food (in certain areas) from getting to the people!”

Why would the regime starve the people?
The rebels gloriously claim to have bombed bridges, many roads and pipelines, I guess the transportation of gaz and of food is greatly disrupted. This is why the UN is sending humanitarian help. There is 12 hours cut daily in most cities, do you think that is also intentionally “evil”?

March 23rd, 2012, 5:10 pm


Antoine said:

The so-called ethnic cleansing in Homs is a blatant lie. The exidus of people is a feature of all neighborhhods of Homs, many ppl have left in all neighborhoods not just the Christian neighborhoods. The way it is being presented is pure misleading, The vacant houses in Hamidyeh were used to house the refugees from Baba Amr and Karm el Zeitoun. They had been vacated long before the FSA “capture” of Hamdiyeh. The residents had left during the first days of the artillery shelling of Homs. Christians generally move out at the first signs of Civil War.

( I think it is pure malicious by the Professor to deliberately search for sectarian news and incidents and post them. I guess Islamism dominates a significant portion of his thoughts most of the day).

March 23rd, 2012, 5:12 pm


Norman said:


In the US we have the Christian majority which is not a political party but an association that support conservative minded candidates that they like, do you think that an association of Muslim majority can be seen in Syria to absorb the anger of the religious right,and suport conservative Syrian candidates.

March 23rd, 2012, 5:13 pm


Tara said:


It is not acceptable to call Arabs names on a site that discuss Syrian Arabs. Not that we need validation from anyone but If you have so much disrespect for us, why are you staying very too close. Is this some kind of a complex? you hate us but can’t get enough of us? What is the name of that complex? It is rather counter-intuitive. I suggest you indulge yourself with a nation that you admire. You may want then to post right and left, days and nights. I promise will drop by and visit..

March 23rd, 2012, 5:16 pm


zoo said:

Can’t they make up their minds once for all?

Special Report: Intel shows Iran nuclear threat not imminent
By Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball
WASHINGTON | Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:00pm EDT

(Reuters) – The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

March 23rd, 2012, 5:18 pm


Afram said:

@37. omen:
I say this:
syria right now in a very precarious position and in imminent danger of a civil war…

it,s expected under the circumstances for the syrians to have One Foot on a Banana Peel the Other Foot in the Grave.

may be the crazy gods can help,I don,t get manipulated easy,I consider myself clever enough not to let metaphysical fairy tales control my destiny and the course of my life

have a cold one and be happy!

March 23rd, 2012, 5:27 pm


Tara said:

I am expecting that Bashar al Assad had a nightmarish evening now that his wife was a direct cause for Anisa’s and Bushra’s sanctions.  Both never liked Asma….Bashar will get the usual headache torn between his mother and sissy on one side and Asma on the other…    

Syria’s first lady faces sanctions, contempt
By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago
Bashar explains why he studied opthamology as his chosen field of medicine. The reason, he says, is “there is very little blood.” 

March 23rd, 2012, 6:00 pm


Tara said:


From previous thread. My pleasure..any time.

Did you think about a gift to Bashar on his birthday 9/11?

Let me know if you need help.

March 23rd, 2012, 6:11 pm


son of Damascus said:

Why Putin Has Begun Abandoning Assad
22 March 2012
By Alexander Shumilin

Here’s an interesting bit of news: According to information attributed to WikiLeaks and published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Syrian President Bashar Assad wrote to his wife that he is not serious about his promised democratic reforms, has consulted with Iran about ways to put down the protests and prefers the shedding of blood to other options.

Of course, much of this was already known through previous leaks. But what is important is that, had the news been reported back in, say, mid-February, the Russian state-controlled media would have branded it as a bunch of lies.

Now, after Vladimir Putin’s “triumph” in the March 4 presidential election, the Foreign Ministry and media have done an about-face. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is saying Assad “has been slow with reforms.” His ministry says it is “not defending Assad at all” and is actually trying to give all Syrians equal opportunities to reform the political situation in the country.

I take some pride in saying this is exactly what I had predicted would happen. I believed that after March 4, the Foreign Ministry would suddenly “discover” so many problems with Assad that a change in Moscow’s policy on Syria would inevitably follow.


March 23rd, 2012, 6:12 pm


Son of Damascus said:

All in a days work for Assad’s Shabiha

March 23rd, 2012, 6:17 pm


Son of Damascus said:

CNN rejects as ‘ridiculous’ Syrian claims it collaborated with rebels
By the CNN Wire Staff
March 23, 2012

(CNN) — Syria, which has long accused Arab and Western satellite news networks for fabricating and falsifying events, now has CNN in its sights.

State-run Syrian media asserted Thursday that CNN journalists were involved in blowing up an oil pipeline in Homs province, collaborating with “saboteurs.”

The allegations surfaced when Syrian state TV aired portions of the CNN documentary “72 Hours Under Fire,” about the challenges faced by a CNN team while on assignment in Homs.

Rafiq Lutf, described as a member of the Arab Journalists Union in America, asked on the program: “Who is behind the attack? It is one particular group. Who is this group? Let (CNN) answer this question. It’s one of two things. It is either that they are the perpetrators. … But I guarantee to you that they are the accomplices.”
The anchor talking with Lutf spoke of “conclusive evidence of the involvement of CNN and the American journalists who were present there in the detonation of the oil pipelines in Homs.”

Syria’s state news agency SANA picked up the theme Friday, writing that the footage “revealed that the camera operators were CNN correspondents who entered Syria illegally through the Lebanese borders and seemed to have coordinated with the saboteurs to film a video of the attack and send it to their channel.”


March 23rd, 2012, 6:18 pm


Tara said:

Why don’t the mullahs dye their hair?  Just like their Arab murderers counterpart? 

Iran helping Assad to put down protests –

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON March 23 (Reuters) – Iran is providing a broad array of assistance to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to help him suppress anti-government protests, from high-tech surveillance technology to guns and ammunition, U.S. and European security officials say.

Tehran’s technical assistance to Assad’s security forces includes electronic surveillance systems, technology designed to disrupt efforts by protesters to communicate via social media, and Iranian-made drone aircraft for overhead surveillance, the officials said. They discussed intelligence matters on condition of anonymity.

Iran has also provided lethal materiel that can be used for riot control, they said.
… .
“At current levels Iranian aid is important but not really a game changer in the overall conflict,” a U.S. official noted.

… .

U.S. officials said Iranian efforts to bolster Syria’s surveillance capabilities have been supplemented by deliveries to Syria of Iranian-made unarmed surveillance drone aircraft.

Earlier this month a specialized website, The Aviationist, reported that a drone flying over the city of Homs, the site of recent violent clashes between government and opposition forces, had been identified as a “Pahpad” drone, which the website said meant “remotely piloted aircraft” in Farsi.

In February another specialized website, Open Source GEOINT, published freeze-frame images from what purported to be an amateur cameraman’s video of a suspected drone flying over a Damascus suburb.

The website noted that some news reports had suggested that the United States was flying intelligence drones over Syria but that the drone in the pictures did not appear to be a U.S. model.

The website cited speculation that the drone might be of Iranian origin. Ynet News, an Israeli website, reported this month that Syria’s defense industry produces drones that are technologically identical to Iranian-produced models and speculated that these domestically produced models were what Syrian security forces had deployed.

However, a U.S. official said that some of Syria’s drones had come directly from Iran.

Last weekend the Iranian news agency Fars announced that Iranian experts had produced what it called a “new type of drone” known as the Shaparak, or “Butterfly,” which it said was “capable of carrying out military and border patrol missions.”  
…  .

March 23rd, 2012, 6:24 pm


Son of Damascus said:

More evidence of the same Assidist Shabiha screaming at a prisoner “Bidak huriyeeh” (you want freedom) while beating him senseless.

March 23rd, 2012, 6:29 pm


irritated said:

#54 SOD

Sorry, but the video you posted looks badly staged and theatrical, the guy on the floor is well dressed and not even tied, and the hitting seem to hit everything except the feet.

The actors are overplaying, sound effect are unnatural and the direction is lousy.

A third rate amateur video… A long way to Abu Ghraib.

March 23rd, 2012, 6:49 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Despite heavy security presence Latakia is starting to rumble… Allah ye7ayie ahl el sahil.

LNN: Friday Protests in Latakia in Support of Damascus

This Friday of “Damascus; here we come!” started with security and their gangs getting prepared as the noon prayers were about to start in the whole city; security patrolled most areas and snipers were seen on one of the buildings in Tabiyat.

That was backed up by surrounding most mosques which normally see protests coming out of it as usual.
Despite that the province saw 15 demonstration points at BeirQdar, Dhuha, Omar Bin Al-Khattab, Houriah Square in Haffeh, Hussein Mosque, Qnainas, Rahman Mosque, Al-Beigh Souq in Jableh, Faidh Mosque in Jableh, Muhajireen, Joud, Al-Raml, Skantoori, and Houriah Mosque.

The revolution flag was raised today at the Shuhada cemetery in Al-Raml.

Some protests saw gunfire as in oweineh and in Graf of Al-Raml. Also, gunfire was heard sparingly in Mashrou’ Al-Awal, and in Al-Hirsh road as well as explosives.

Near Joud Mosque and as security arrived a protest took place and was met by shooting in the air to halt it, and when that didn’t work a sound bomb was thrown by security and a 12 year-old was arrested.

In Slaybeh and as people were leaving Fatahi Mosque which was already surrounded gunfire was heard, and people in Iskan street started demonstrating to take some pressure off of other areas; a person’s mobile was searched earlier in the area as security suspected he was filming the protest. We mention that many Iranians dressed in black were escorting security near Fatahi and Houriah mosques.


(Link includes numerous videos of protests all over Latakia)

March 23rd, 2012, 6:54 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“Sorry, but the video you posted looks badly staged and theatrical…”

Look at the first video, was that staged as well. Both videos are a continuation of the same horrific acts of barbarians.

If the pleads of a man tied up being mercilessly beaten look fabricated to you, that is your moral judgment not mine.

I will make sure to tell Doha to make sure that only poor people should be beaten next time “fabricating” their videos, and I will send them a note not to use an empty room next time as well so that the audio is “clear” enough for you…

March 23rd, 2012, 7:02 pm


Tara said:


OMG. Not even gray. Dark black! Imagine they go crazy and experiment with gold streaks..

A self esteem problem?

The only correction I may add: just like their Arab murderers and non-murderers counterparts, so we are accurate

I just hope the general population do not follow the leaders…

March 23rd, 2012, 7:05 pm


irritated said:

#57 SOD

When I read the LNN report you refer to, I have the impression that hundred of thousands of people are demonstrating all over Syria.

The videos we see show a few dozens of kids and excited teenagers singing and dancing, and we hear occasionnal Allah Wa Akbar.

I guess that what Al Jazira calls ‘massive demonstrations across Syria”
Anyway as long as the spirit is up, that’s what counts.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:25 pm


bronco said:

#59 Tara

“I just hope the general population do not follow the leaders…”

They do, there are few gray hair and beard in the Arab kingdom and Emirates. Gray is reserved for the religious men.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:33 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“When I read the LNN report you refer to, I have the impression that hundred of thousands of people are demonstrating all over Syria.”

What your impressions were, and what the article I posted said are two completely different things.

They stated that only 15 demonstrations occurred DESPITE the heavy presence of security, and that when the protest did occur the security responded in the same manner they always had, indiscriminate firing at civilians.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:36 pm


ann said:

Any information on the stolen Syrian antiquities from the national museum of Homs?

Thank you

March 23rd, 2012, 7:39 pm


zoo said:

” the downfall of the Assad regime would be “the biggest strategic setback for Iran in 25 years.””
U.S. struggles with Iran for influence in Iraq
Posted By Josh Rogin Friday, March 23, 2012 – 11:10 AM Share

The first major test of U.S. post-war influence in Iraq is now raging over efforts to stop Iran from funneling arms to Syria through Iraqi airspace, but the Iraqis are either unwilling or unable to assure the United States the shipments will cease.

Last week, the Washington Times reported that the Iraqi government was refusing to halt Iranian cargo flights to Syria that fly over Iraqi airspace, despite the fact that U.S. officials believe the flights carry massive and illegal shipments of arms to aid President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which is murdering civilians by the thousands in its struggle to keep power. Publicly, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has stated the shipments contain “humanitarian goods, not weapons.” However, U.S. officials aren’t buying that excuse, and have been repeatedly pressing Maliki behind the scenes to make Iran halt the arms shipments, with limited if any success.

One U.S. official told The Cable that there have been 10 to 20 flights from Iran to Syria with suspected illicit weapons stores on board. Another U.S. official said the resupplies take place via the use of Syrian Air Ilyushin 76 strategic airlifters, similar in size to the Boeing C-17, and that U.S. intelligence reports suspect that the planes are carrying mortar rounds, small arms, ammunition, rockets, and light anti-aircraft guns, which can also be used to fire on people.

Iran’s interest in bolstering the Assad regime — its most important ally in the Arab world — is clear. CENTCOM commander Gen. James Mattis told Congress earlier this month that the downfall of the Assad regime would be “the biggest strategic setback for Iran in 25 years.”

The main U.S. officials involved in the effort to press Iraq on the flights
“Maliki is not a lover of Iran. He’s actually quite suspicious of them and in his way quite an Arab and Iraqi nationalist,” said Pollack. “That said, it was the Iranians who ultimately brokered his reelection to the prime ministership, and Maliki understands that Iran wields a lot of influence in Iraq.”

Pollak said Maliki probably will continue to make strong statements about the over flights in public and to the Americans, but privately tell Iran they can continue. As long as U.S policy on Syria remains unclear, Pollack argued, the United States can expect nervous partners like Iraq to equivocate.

“The Obama administration hasn’t figured out what it wants to do about Syria,” he said. “It’s hard to make a judgment that we need to invest a whole lot of political capital in getting the Iraqis to turn this off if we don’t know what we are doing ourselves.”

“To one degree or another, the Iraqis will always support Iran. They are not Israel,” one U.S. official said. “What Maliki really believes… nobody knows.”

March 23rd, 2012, 7:39 pm


Mawal95 said:

Remember in the last thread Joshua Landis pontificated: “The opposition will have to rebuild itself to be more Islamic, militant and sectarian in order to take on the Assad regime…. The SNC must be prepared to embrace a much more stridently Sunni insurgency.” The following words are spoken by the head of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and it is very clear from these words that the Opposition would not even consider taking Joshua’s pontification seriously:

Mohammed Riad Al-Shaqfa, 21 Mar 2012: “The regime is trying to drag the country into the swamp of sectarianism and civil war, but the awareness and the consistency of the Syrian people prevents this…. I believe that the Syrian society, even with all its sects, is capable of understanding and coexisting despite the attempts of the Syrian regime to make them frightened of each other…. The Brotherhood has issued a paper about the social structure in Syria and our stance on sectarianism, which the regime tries to provoke in order to promote conflict between different sects of Syrian society. We asserted in the paper the principle of equality and partnership among all citizens…. The Brotherhood also took part in a workshop on the criminalization of sectarianism in Cairo…. Syrian regime attempts to ignite civil and sectarian war, to provoke citizens, and to turn sects against each other. But those attempts failed to a large extent due to the awareness of our people of all sects…. The Syrian people with all their races, religions and ideologies have coexisted since the oldest ages. But the Syrian regime tried to stir disputes among those sects; it deluded them that it is the protector of the minorities and frightened them of each other…. [Our hypothetical replacement for the current regime] will be pluralistic…. Domination will not be seized by one party or one sect…. We will take part in establishing a new Syria side by side with people of all sects and trends.”

Notice in the above extract that the head of the Muslim Brotherhood says FIVE (5) different times in one interview that it is the Assad regime that “tries to drag the country into the swamp of sectarianism”. The regime “tries to make the sects frightened of each other”, the regime “tries to provoke conflict among the different sects”, the regime “attempts to ignite sectarian war and to turn the sects against each other”, the regime “tried to stir disputes among the sects” — and despite all that trying by the regime, the regime has failed at it, due to the awareness of the people and their longstanding respectful coexistence as sects.

Joshua is barking up the wrong tree.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:43 pm


irritated said:

#62 SOD

“..indiscriminate firing at civilians”, and killing no one?

Maybe they were firing in the air just to frighten them?

March 23rd, 2012, 7:45 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Assads soldiers rolled through Sarmeen in Idlib, this is how they left it.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:46 pm


Juergen said:


have you not seen respected muslim men in their good age with shockingly red hair? When i saw one for the first time i thought to myself, that God must have some humor giving some folks such hair, then a more knowledged guy explained to me that this is henna and he said to me one hadith in which the prophet himself declared that custom as ok for older men. Since then i know the prophet had some good humor.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:51 pm


Son of Damascus said:


” and killing no one?

Maybe they were firing in the air just to frighten them?”

I guess you missed the part that said:

“Muhammad Abdulla Bakkura died of his wounds today after yesterday raid at his village; he was 24. Ahmad Mahmood Qasmieh [Abu Anas] also died of his wounds; he was a Palestinian-Syrian…”

Note the article was published on Ayyam as of SATURDAY, MARCH 24,2012. Hence why they said after yesterday…

March 23rd, 2012, 7:53 pm


zoo said:

Iran benefiting from US oil sanctions

Mohammad-Reza Mir-Tajeddini told reporters that “in a clear retreat, the US exempted 11 countries from oil sanctions against Iran. The hostile US policy of imposing sanctions on the Iranian oil sector is, undoubtedly, a failure.”

Middle East expert Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, however, believes that for now Iran is only benefitting from the penalties. While the US and its allies are trying to pressure Tehran, they are hurting themselves more.

“The price of oil has increased dramatically. Iran is making much more money than it was before. The sanctions have had no effect so far on Iranian oil exports. And numerous countries, especially countries independent of the Western bloc, are actually seeking greater amounts of Iranian oil,” he explained to RT.

“The Iranians are not going to have a problem with exporting oil because there is a huge shortage in the market. And many of the countries, dictatorships and regimes allied to the US, are inherently unstable. There is trouble in Central Asia, there is trouble in Nigeria, in Sudan, Saudi Arabia has a very old and dying king – the market really needs Iran.”

He added that by imposing sanctions the Western countries are only limiting their own abilities to import and export oil,with their rivals coming to replace them.

March 23rd, 2012, 7:56 pm


Mawal95 said:

I hope the moderator is not going to censor anyone for saying the n____ p________ is barking up the wrong tree.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:00 pm


irritated said:

69. Son of Damascus

I see, then you are confirming that , despite your claim that the army “fired” at peaceful demonstration, there was no death but there was one death during a raid of the Syrian army on an possibly armed terrorist den.
Let’s not mix the circumstances…

March 23rd, 2012, 8:06 pm


ann said:

Terrorists and Al-qada WELCOME. Syrian Christians may not apply.

Syrians in U.S. allowed to stay temporarily – 2012-03-24

WASHINGTON, March 23 (Xinhua) — The United States on Friday allowed Syrians on its soil to stay temporarily in spite of their expired visas or illegal status, citing the threats posed to them by the deteriorating conditions in their home country.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said she was offering a Temporary Protected Status for Syrians currently in the United States “in light of the deteriorating conditions in Syria.”

“Conditions in Syria have worsened to the point where Syrian nationals already in the United States would face serious threats to their personal safety if they were to return to their home country,” she said in a statement.

She said a notice on details will be published in the Federal Register early next week, including eligibility requirements and registration procedures, and all applicants must undergo “full background checks.”


March 23rd, 2012, 8:06 pm


Tara said:


have seen a picture of one old man with red hair that appeared an Indian religious figure.

I have not heard it in Hadeeth. I think he was joking with you.

I would grudgingly take dying hair dark black but never red. I just can’t imagine. It hurts my eyes.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:08 pm


Tara said:


No comment on the picture of the Syrian refugees I posted earlier

I founded it extremely expressive.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:16 pm


Son of Damascus said:


No where in the article did it mention any terrorist activity, if anyone is reaching his/her own unfounded conclusions it’s not me.

By the way I consider an attack on peaceful protestors by the security service as a raid, as well as an onslaught, blitz and other numerous synonyms that go along with it.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:19 pm


Juergen said:

I just typed into google henna, hadith islam and three sources came out of it, so i assume its a genuine tradition, but again its a funny one, just like those guys who uses koohl under their eyes, an other funny view of otherwise respected and pious muslims.

This source even said that the Prophet himself did it, but we shoud ask a scholar if thats a sane tradition:

a picture gallery for old men with henna in their beards and hair, and by the way a nice blog by an american women who married an Saudi men. I once spotted two american girls in Jeddah in the old town, they did not wear hijab just an galabiya. They stopped at an rosary vendor( i think its called tasbih) they tried to get those tasbih over their head to put it on as an necklace, but it did not work. The vendor was laughing alot.

here an scholars view on it

But i never saw any Syrian who followed this tradition.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:21 pm


Son of Damascus said:

The Myth of Middle East Reporting
by Salah Al-Nasrawi

The tragic death of Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin, two celebrated American reporters in chaotic Syria last month, has generated due tributes from colleagues and readers who admired their Middle East coverage over more than two decades.

Shadid, a New York Times reporter, who died of an apparent asthma attack, and Colvin of the Sunday Times, who was killed in shelling in Homs, were also praised for their sense of duty to go on secret assignments, braving Bashar Al-Assad’s dictatorship and defying restrictions his regime imposed on covering the Syrian uprising.

Few other Western journalists also risked their lives by sneaking into the war-torn nation to get the news out, but luckily survived the bloodletting, thanks to Syrian volunteers, who protected them and smuggled them out to neighboring countries.


March 23rd, 2012, 8:26 pm


Hans said:

Tara et Al.

To Khaldoun

@ Jergen.
I think respect starts at home and if you never was respected as a child, it becomes difficult to respect others opinion as an adult.

I don’t think I insulted any of you personally, I don’t think it is fair to attack me in your posts.
Red alert if you are from GCC then get out of this blog and go to your tent and leave Syria alone.
If you are Syrians and you care about Syria and the Syrians then stop acting in defense of the Red alert towel head GCC, and if you are arabs and care about arabs then you should show anger at the treatment arabs are getting from the Isreal and all the kids and people who died because of the biased western policy toward Arabs in support of Israel.

If you really believe that the USA is in support of the Syrians then you don’t understand politics and as I said this blog is not for childish comments as many posts.

Sorry Jad! Dr. Khaldoun, insult is out of place toward you.

Red alert I never thought you need any antipsychotic Seroquel or others. Though, I believe many need to take Li, or maybe a trial of paranoid schizophrenia medications. The more so called revolutionists/terrorists/oppositions get dealt a blow the more bipolar effective /schizophrenia symptoms become evident on their posting and the more of an urgent typical/atypical antipsychotic needed for them.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:37 pm


jad said:

LOLOL, EU reasons for sanctions against Anise, 78 years old are for ‘participating’ in the ‘repression’ using her cane:

عصفورية الاتحاد الأوربي : قرار بمعاقبة أنيسة مخلوف بسبب مطاردتها المتظاهرين وكتائب الجيش السوري الحر … بعكازها

بروكسل ، الحقيقة ( خاص + وكالات): قرر الاتحاد الأوربي يوم أمس فرض عقوبات على أسماء الاسد زوجة الرئيس بشار الاسد وعلى ثلاثة آخرين من أفراد أسرته بينهم والدته. وقال قرار الاتحاد إن هؤلاء النساء الاربع جزء من مجموعة جديدة من 12 شخصا قرر وزراء الخارجية لدول الاتحاد الـ27 المجتمعين في بروكسيل، منعهن من السفر الى أوروبا وتجميد أرصدتهن . أما السبب في ذلك ، فهو ـ كما جاء في حرفية القرار ـ بسبب “اشتراكهن في القمع” و “دعمهن للنظام”!

عندما وصلنا الخبر عبر وكالات الأنباء لم نصدق ، فقد توقعنا أن يكون هناك خطأ مطبعي أو خطأ ما في الأسماء ، طالما أن للاتحاد الأوربي سوابق مخزية ومخجلة في هذا المجال ، فقد سبق له أن أصدر قرارا بمعاقبة “الجنرال تالا طلاس نائب رئيس الأركان”، لنتبين لاحقا أن تالا هي مديرة مدرسة وزوجة أحد الضباط ، ولا تعرف التمييز بين رتبة عريف ورتبة عميد!

.. لكن بعد أن عدنا إلى نص القرار تأكدنا من الأمر . والآن بإمكان المرء أن يتخيل سيدة عمرها 78 عاما (مواليد العام 1934) وهي تحمل عكازها وتطارد المتظاهرين في زواريب “كفر نبل” أو كتائب الجيش السوري الحر في جبل الزاوية!


March 23rd, 2012, 8:38 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Ann said
Any information on the stolen Syrian antiquities from the national museum of Homs? Ann they were sold and the shabbiha got the money, ask Hans he knows where the money is

March 23rd, 2012, 8:38 pm


Juergen said:


“I think respect starts at home and if you never was respected as a child, it becomes difficult to respect others opinion as an adult.”

Any clue how this is related to our claim that: Arabs are Arabs and will never be respected anywhere and anytime?

Apparently you dont get it, how much hate is in such statements, i usually hear such statements of grumpy old men.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:45 pm


jad said:

Dr. Abukhalil writing about the ‘holy’ MB Syrian opposition, SNC (RAA):

معارضة المعارضة السوريّة: المجلس الوطني
أسعد أبو خليل
ليس مبكّراً إخضاع حركة معارضة للنقد والتفكيك، قبل وصولها إلى الحكم. هناك من يرى تسرّعاً في تعريض حركة معارضة للنقد والمعارضة، قبل أن تصل إلى السلطة، وخصوصاً إذا كانت تحظى _ كما في حالة المجلس الوطني السوري الإخوانجي _ بهالة من التقديس والتبجيل الغربي والعربي (النفطي). لكن هل ننتظر أن تصل المعارضة _ أيّة معارضة _ إلى السلطة كي نمارس مهمّة النقد والمعارضة _ ضد المعارضة _ التي تحوّلت إلى سلطة؟

هل ننتظر الشروع في الإعدامات والمحاكمات الميدانيّة للخونة و«الشبّيحة» (هل أصبح اسم «الشبّيحة» مرادفاً لكلّ علوي في خطاب بعض المعارضة السوريّة، كما أنّ اسم «إرهابي» مرادف للعربي في دولة الكيان الغاصب)؟ وهل ننتظر تراكم الجثث المحروقة والمشوّهة، قبل أن نصدر أحكاماً على القتلة الذين باشروا القتل قبل تشكيل السلطة؟ كان الشيوعيّون الثوريّون في ألمانيا يصرّون على ضرورة معارضة النازيّين قبل وصولهم إلى السلطة؛ لأنّ وصولهم سيقضي على إمكان المعارضة في المطلق. وكانوا على حق. وفي إيران، دفع حزب «توده» ثمن تصديقه لوعود الخميني، وكان حزب «توده» على خطأ. وينسى البعض أنّ حزب البعث ــ الذي أسّس في العراق وفي سوريا نموذجيْن من أبشع أشكال القمع المُؤسّس _ كان في مرحلة ما غابرة حزب معارضة يتشدّق بالإصلاح والديموقراطيّة والحريّة والوحدة (يستطيع ما بقي من حزب البعث أن يجعل من الشرذمة، لا من الوحدة، عنواناً في برنامجه لما له من منجزات قيّمة في هذا الصدد).

March 23rd, 2012, 8:46 pm


jad said:

Another gem of fsa:
دير الزور – القورية كذبة تشكيل لواء القعقاع 23.3.2012.mp4

March 23rd, 2012, 8:48 pm


Juergen said:

Just an other gruesome mosaique to the evil nature of this regime.

UN reports suggest that doctors in Syria were ordered to sedate patients to loose conciousness prior to the visit of AL monitors.

For the report of the UN 400 refugees were interviewed.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:55 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Regarding your rant…

In the country known as Syria there are a lot of people that wear keffiyehs, as well as bedouins that live in tents. You have many 3ashaier (tribes) in Dera’a, Deir El Zour, and else where that partake in their proud bedouin heritage. So your racist comment whether aimed at the GCC or not is still racist.

Are you Syrian, if not why are you “allowed” to post if someone from the GCC is not? And last I checked the author and owner of this blog is American, should he leave too?

I would actually welcome a voice here on SC from the GCC, we would get their perspective, just as we are getting your Western perspective and how you Hans see things in regards to MENA politics.

I am happy you are shedding tears for dead Arabs that died under Israeli aggressions, may I ask where are your tears for the dead Syrians that have been slaughtered by the hands of their own countrymen all for the sake of Assad?

I don’t believe in any country in support of my country’s freedom and dignity but my own countrymen and women and my beloved Syria.

March 23rd, 2012, 8:56 pm


ann said:

81. majedkhaldoun said:

Ann said
Any information on the stolen Syrian antiquities from the national museum of Homs? Ann they were sold and the shabbiha got the money, ask Hans he knows where the money is
A crude attempt at humor I presume!!

March 23rd, 2012, 9:08 pm


jad said:

No worries! Khaldoun words doesn’t mean a thing to me.

Not sure what to call those fsa ‘heroes’ that many are so in fond of and defending every crime they commit against Syrians, any suggestions?
قتل السوريين اضحى عملية جهادية ومادة دسمة اعلامية !!

March 23rd, 2012, 9:08 pm


Hans said:

at SOD

I don’t have the data to prove that but probably with time the terrorists or the so called FSA in Syria will be killing more Syrians then what the Assad regime has done.

If you believe that the invasion of Iraq and the 100k killed is in support of democracy then you should continue to support the killing of innocent syrians by this terrorists. Also just remember the real people who started the revolution in Egypt are sided and the radicals and salafi are the one who are advancing in Egypt.

Syria doesn’t need similar path like Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Somali, Afghanistan thank you.

March 23rd, 2012, 9:14 pm


Tara said:

Jeurgen @77

You are right. It looks like there is “evidence” to what you said.

The Hadeeth cited in the link said extension of women’s hair get them to hell, whereas it is “good” for men or women to dye their hair. It makes no sense. I just don’t believe the authenticity of Hadeeth like this even though it is in Bukhari.

March 23rd, 2012, 9:16 pm


Tara said:

He also revealed back then that the commission had assembled a confidential list of “particular individuals” who may be the subject of war-crime investigations in the future. The commission has declined to make that list public.

Entire Clans and Villages Fleeing Syria, Inquiry Finds
Published: March 23, 2012

A United Nations inquiry commission on rights abuses in the Syria conflict offered grim new details on Friday of the government repression in that country, including the uprooting of extended clans and villages forced to flee into neighboring countries by armed forces bent on crushing armed resistance.
Members said refugees had told them that in some cases, entire villages had been warned by advancing military columns that suspected insurgents hiding in their midst must surrender or the villages would be shelled. They did not identify any villages by name.
Sergio Pinheiro, the chairman of the commission, said the pattern of killings in the Syria conflict also had shifted — while most of the deaths in the early months were from clashes between security forces and unarmed protesters at antigovernment demonstrations, many more are now from shelling and shootings by military units deployed to rout insurgents hiding among civilians. “This is a new trend,” he said, calling it a reflection of the government’s apparent determination to exact “collective punishment.”
Yakin Erturk, a commission member, said some refugees had told investigators of far-reaching efforts by security forces to cover up misdeeds when Arab League monitors were visiting Syria earlier this year. In one example, she said, doctors at hospitals in the city of Aleppo had been ordered to tranquilize patients who had been tortured so they could not speak to the visiting monitors. She said investigators were trying to learn more about this.
Asked if it were possible that the commission had been misled, Mr. Pinheiro, who is a veteran investigator of rights abuses for the United Nations, said he and his colleagues had extensive experience compiling reports without direct access from host governments that do not want the outside world to know what is happening. “We are not particularly dumb,” he said.
Read more…

March 23rd, 2012, 9:18 pm


jad said:

Couple days ago someone linked a clip showing openings in the walls of buildings in Homs on the street level, claiming that the Syrian army did those hole to destroy people’s houses.

Now, this clip tell us a different story, it says that those holes were made by the ‘angels’ to move freely in the city.

I actually believe this version of the story because this technique is done by the israelis in janin and later in gaza as a way of fighting in an urban dense area.

Since the Syrian soldiers didn’t really went on ground in Baba Amr or Homs and still not really fully inside those neighbourhoods therefore there is no way for the Syrian Army to do it, unless both fsa and the Syrian authorities are lying in saying that no soldiers are in those neighbourhoods, which is impossible.

طريقة عبور ثوّار ثورة

March 23rd, 2012, 9:22 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The difference between psychosis and neurosis, is psychotic people do not know what they are doing wrong, you said you did not insult us after all those insults, I think if you dont like seroquel, you can use zyprexia

March 23rd, 2012, 9:23 pm


Hans said:

94 said

“I think if you dont like seroquel, you can use zyprexia”

you sounding like a psychiatrist, who himself needs to see a shrink, i have a friend who is a very good one, I will ask him if he is willing to see you.

Jad you are right not worth the argument.

March 23rd, 2012, 9:33 pm


mjabali said:

The grand mufti of Saudi Arabia calls for the destruction of all Churches in the Arabian Peninsula today. From al-Quds

The battle between Dubai’s chief of police vs. the Muslim Brotherhood is interesting and heating up, from al-Arabiyah

March 23rd, 2012, 9:44 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

He can be of good use for you

March 23rd, 2012, 9:57 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Key U.N. investigator resigns over Syrian stonewalling
Posted By Colum Lynch Friday, March 23, 2012

A key member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry into alleged crimes in Syria resigned today, citing Syria’s ongoing refusal to permit the team into the country to carry out its investigations.

Yakin Ertuk, a Turkish national who serves as one of the commission’s three members, made the announcement in a meeting in New York with non-government organizations, according to a source who attended the meeting.

“I resigned today from the Commission of Inquiry because of Syria’s refusal to grant the Commission access. This is one of the main obstacles that hampered the work of the Commission. Without access to Syria the work of the commission is very difficult.”

The move comes as the U.N. Human Rights Council decided today to extend the commission’s inquiry, allowing it to continue its investigation at least through September. The commission has largely relied on human rights groups, opposition elements, and the testimony of Syrian refugees who fled the violence, primarily into Jordan and Turkey.


March 23rd, 2012, 10:22 pm


ann said:

Yakin Ertuk is al-qaeda sympathizer

March 23rd, 2012, 10:30 pm


Son of Damascus said:

“Yakin Ertuk is al-qaeda sympathizer”

Would you care to provide us with a link, or should we just take your word for it?

Personally I did not know the UN was in business with Al Qaeda, nor do I believe that they are.

March 23rd, 2012, 10:35 pm


ann said:

Worrisome Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria – March 23, 2012

After months of internal wrangling, Security Council members unanimously endorsed efforts to end Syrian violence. Or did they? More on that below.

Presidential statements are non-binding. However, with vague language, they risk potential slippery slope trouble. More on that below as well.

Media reports called unanimity a setback for Assad. The statement’s also characterized as “Western.”

Hillary Clinton called it “a positive step. The council has now spoken with one voice.” She also said Washington is working with Syria’s opposition “to strengthen its preparation to participate in the Syrian-led transition process that the Council has endorsed.” By any other name, she means regime change.

That alone suggests softened Russian support for Syria, or perhaps something else went on privately to cut an imperfect deal unlikely to end conflict. A greater one may follow, but only the fullness of time will tell.

Russia’s UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin said: “We are very pleased. The Security Council has finally chosen to take a pragmatic look at the situation in Syria.”

Russia and China won concessions, but not enough. Interviewed on Kommersant FM radio, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s comments left unanswered questions. He said:

“It is true that some people have taken up arms to defend their homes and families, but that’s not the whole story.”

He also described a plot to replace Assad with a Western/Saudi/Qatar-backed Sunni regime. In addition, he criticized Assad, saying: “We absolutely do not justify the Syrian leadership. We consider that (it) reacted incorrectly to the rise of nonviolent protest, that despite the promises that were made in response to our numerous appeals, they are making many mistakes, and those steps being made in the proper direction are happening late.”


March 23rd, 2012, 10:38 pm


Mawal95 said:

The following is a nice pro-regime channel at Youtube that I haven’t come across before and you won’t have either because Youtube is giving very very little distribution to its videos about Syria. This channel has uploaded 2,630 videos to Youtube over the past three months. Most of those thousands of videos have gotten only 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 views each at Youtube. But it’s a tasty channel if you’re a pro-regimer and deserves more circulation.

Here’s one of its videos: A convoy of the Syrian army moves through rural Idlib on 16 Mar 2012 and all the soldiers we see are in a cheerful spirit:

@ NORMAN #45: I see no sign of that happening at the present time. I’ll believe it when I see it happening and until then I’ll stay away from abstract speculation about the potential for it. But, thinking inside the box of the US point-of-reference you mentioned, last year the Syrian government financed the launching of a new religious TV channel called Nour Al-Sham, and I suggest you’d need to see a Syrian competitor to Nour Al-Sham emerge and win lots of market share in the general TV audience before you could have the potential for what you’re talking about.

March 23rd, 2012, 10:40 pm


jad said:

Turkey is preparing to intervene militarily in Syria as soon as ‘enemies of Syria’ meeting ends:

وثائق مؤتمر إسطنبول: المنطقة العازلة التركية قريبة!

ممنوع فشل مؤتمر «أصدقاء سوريا» في إسطنبول في 1 نيسان المقبل. هكذا توحي التقارير الصادرة عن المعنيين بالمؤتمر وبإطاحة النظام السوري. لذلك، يجري الإعداد له بما لا يكرّر فشل مؤتمر تونس. صياغة البيان الختامي شارفت على الانتهاء، وتركيا أقرب ما تكون إلى إنشاء منطقة عازلة داخل سوريا بعد المؤتمر، أما تسليح المعارضة فمتروك لكل دولة على حدة

ناصر شرارة
تراقب تركيا، بحذر كبير، تطورات الوضع العسكري في منطقة إدلب. والتقارير التي وردت إلى مكتب رئيس الوزراء رجب طيب أردوغان، بحسب مصدر دبلوماسي عربي يشارك في الإعداد لـ«مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا» بنسخته الثانية في إسطنبول، مطلع نيسان المقبل، تشير إلى مستجدات مقلقة بالنسبة إلى حكومة أردوغان. وفي مقدمة هذه المعطيات، تزايُد أعداد النازحين السوريين عبر الحدود مع سوريا إلى تركيا؛ فبحسب الإحصاءات التركية، ارتفعت أعدادهم بين 15 من الشهر الجاري واليوم، إلى نحو 30 ألفاً.

إضافة إلى ذلك، تفيد تقارير الاستخبارات التركية بأنها تلحظ عمليات تسرب متعاظمة لمقاتلي حزب العمال الكردستاني إلى الأراضي التركية، عبر معابر مختلفة. وبحسب المصدر العربي نفسه، فإنّ هذين المستجدَّين، بالإضافة إلى وقائع أخرى، قادت أردوغان إلى عقد لقاء عاجل بعيداً عن الأضواء، في 18 من الشهر الجاري مع مدير جهاز الاستخبارات التركية حقان فيدان وأحد النواب الأربعة لرئيس الحكومة بكير بوزداغ، ووزير العدل سعد الله إرغين، لدراسة المستجدات المقلقة للأزمة السورية وانعكاساتها الخطرة على حالة دوام الاستقرار على الحدود السورية _ التركية.
ولم ترشح عن هذا الاجتماع الكثير من المعلومات، لكن رُصدت بعده تحركات ميدانية في تركيا، تعبّر عن التوجهات التي سادت خلال الاجتماعات. وتمثّلت هذه التحركات بما نقله دبلوماسيون عرب وغربيون من أنقرة، عن مشاهداتهم لوحدات تابعة لـ«قوات الدرك الخاصة» المتمركزة في العاصمة التركية، «تتّجه تدريجاً إلى الحدود التركية _ السورية للبدء بإنجاز مهمتها في إنشاء المنطقة العازلة المحتملة»، بحسب هؤلاء الدبلوماسيين، وهي المنطقة التي «يجب أن تُعلنها الحكومة التركية بعد مؤتمر إسطنبول». ويشير المصدر الدبلوماسي نفسه إلى أن خطوة تحريك «قوات الدرك الخاصة لاستكشاف المنطقة العازلة على الحدود مع سوريا، قُوبلت بتحفظات من قوى سياسية تركية مختلفة»، بما أن المعارضة التركية عدّتها «مجازفة غير مسبوقة تصل إلى حدّ إعلان حالة الحرب». لكن أردوغان، بحسب المصدر عينه، أبلغ هذه الجهات التركية المعترضة، أن موقف حكومته لا يزال حتى الساعة، ملتزماً ما طرحه في كواليس اللقاءات الخاصة مع وزراء كل من السعودية وقطر، خلال اجتماع مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا في تونس، لجهة استمرار التريث باتخاذ خطوات عملية لإقامة منطقة عازلة، وأيضاً لجهة عدم الحماسة لإصدار إعلان صريح بتأييد تسليح المعارضة السورية، غير أنه استدرك بأن أنقرة «يهمها أن تظهر لدمشق أن هذه الخيارات لا تزال مطروحة على طاولة القرار التركي».
وتجمع المصادر الدبلوماسية على أنه في مقابل الاهتمام الذي تكتسبه تحركات المبعوث الأممي _ العربي المشترك، كوفي أنان، بشأن الأزمة السورية، تستحوذ أنقرة هذه الأيام، بعيداً عن الضوء، على كل اهتمام الدبلوماسية المتابعة لمسار الأزمة، وذلك بهدف «فحص جدية مؤشرات تفيد بأن حكومة أردوغان باتت مقتنعة بإنشاء منطقة عازلة، أو إحداث تغيير جوهري تصعيدي وعملي في موقفها». وتلحظ تقارير دبلوماسيين عرب عاملين في تركيا، وجود متغيرات لافتة يجري إنضاجها في أروقة القرار التركي، وهي تشي، جميعها، بأن أنقرة تقف على أبواب «مرحلة جديدة»، وتصعيدية خطرة، بخصوص مقاربتها للأزمة السورية. ويروي مصدر دبلوماسي لـ«الأخبار»، تفاصيل عن قصة «الأسبوعين الماضيين اللذين شهدا طفرة التغيير التصعيدي في الموقف التركي»، ويدرج عدة وقائع تبين واقع ما جرى خلالهما على هذا الصعيد:

March 23rd, 2012, 10:44 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“because Youtube is giving very very little distribution to its videos about Syria”

Umm… Youtube is user generated content, meaning uploaded by Youtube users therefore Youtube has nothing to do on what is uploaded or not.

As long as you follow the Terms of Service you or anyone else won’t have any problems positing on their site.

And there are plenty of video’s about Syria being uploaded daily, but I think you choose to ignore many of them for they don’t fit your versions of events.

March 23rd, 2012, 10:47 pm


irritated said:

#78 Juergen

“But i never saw any Syrian who followed this tradition.”

After the fall of Bashar al Assad, Syrian men will dye their hair and beard with henna and Syrian women will look up to Saudi Arabia for the lastest Hejab and Burka fashion

March 23rd, 2012, 10:52 pm


Son of Damascus said:

“As one protester from that day put it: “the moment I chanted freedom was the moment I’d found my dignity””

Alexander Page (AKA Rami Jarrah) writes about his experience 1 year ago.

Syria: Not Until We’re Free

It was one year ago that Syrians rose in a joint nationwide call for freedom and democracy, anti government demonstrations surged across the country only for Assad, the countries president to answer those calls with what he termed as “Crushing them with an iron fist”. Anyone who was suspected of taking part was subject to arrest, interrogation, torture or even just being shot in the street. Men, Women, Children even the disabled, all were given a fair percentage in the endless list of victims. Syria: once described, as the “Kingdom of Silence” due to its inability to join the Arab Spring early on had now become one of the bloodiest uprisings of our time. The fear barrier was finally broken.

I remember the first day very clearly it was named “The Syrian Day of Rage”. Just as I left the house headed to Omayyad mosque where a call for a mass demonstration had been announced on facebook I remember a quick shiver racing down my spine, I had seen what the Syrian regime was capable of, and knew but ignored the fact that with my taking part, I could lose everything or anyone I ever loved, I was terrified. I managed to park a few hundred meters away from the mosque. Just before getting out of the car I took out my phone and watched a video of my wife and newly born daughter, I was now hesitating but it was time to go.


March 23rd, 2012, 10:57 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ JAD #104: You can’t believe everything you read at Al-Akhbar. I had thought Bronco and me and plentiful news had talked you out of your prior belief in the potential for Turkish aggression, JAD. Since you’re back believing in it again, or didn’t cease, here again is evidence why you shouldn’t believe it.

All of this evidence consists of statements by the Turkish Opposition parties. It shows that ALL the opposition parties in Turkey are firmly opposed to the Turkish government’s pushy policy against Syria. They want to leave Syria’s affairs to be decided wholly by the Syrians. What this means in turn is that the Turkish government doesn’t have the political power within Turkey to do any foreign interference in Syria. It couldn’t act abroad without more consensus at home to do it, or else at the least it couldn’t do it without the political cover of being a part of a large coalition of foreign countries (and no such coalition is imminent, which is a separate question).

Note: The governing party in Turkey is the AKP. The largest opposition party is the CHP, the Republican People’s Party. The next largest opposition party is the MPH, the National Movement Party.

18 Mar 2012. The chairman of the Turkish Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, strongly criticized the stances of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan against Syria, announcing the Turkish opposition’s determination to oppose these serious policies. He stressed the Turks’ rejection of interfering in Syria’s affairs, adding that the West avoids interfering in Syria and pushes Turkey into this dangerous adventure. He said the Syrian and Turkish people are brothers, stressing that “We want to live side by side in peace”. He called upon all sides to reconsider the whole developments in the situation in Syria and counter the policies which don’t serve the interests of the Turkish people.

21 Mar 2012. The CHP will host a meeting of the Socialist International’s Special Committee on the Arab World on March 23-24 in Istanbul, to discuss social-democratic approaches to the transformation process in the region, especially Syria. Representatives of social-democratic parties from many countries will participate. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the planned meeting had annoyed prime minister Erdoğan because in it “the truth” about the situation in Syria would be discussed. Erdogan had said: “They will be holding a meeting to defend the brutality in Syria and a regime that has so far killed nearly 10,000 of our brothers. In this way, they claim, they will be looking for a solution for Syria.”

23 Feb 2012. The head of the CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, agreed with the need for democratic reform in Syria, but cast doubt on whether the toppling of dictators brings democracy to Arab nations. “We see the outcome is almost the opposite of what was expected [in Arab nations]. They spoke about democracy, but more oppressive administrations are coming to power. People are worried whether the global playmakers are really on the side of human rights,” he said. “The Arab League, made up of countries with no democracy, wants democracy in a certain country. That’s not credible,” he said, stressing that the international community had no clear strategy for post-Assad Syria.

10 dec 2011. The Turkish National Movement Party (aka MPH) is the third largest political party in Turkey. In the Turkish parliament on 10 dec 2011 its leader Devlet Bahceli described the current Turkish government’s policy towards Syria as “representative of the imperialist plots which target Syria and the region” and “dangerous”.

24 jan 2012. The Turkish Democratic Party, “Demokrat Parti”, is a small party, politically centre-right, socially conservative and economically liberal. It is an historical remnant of earlier larger Kamalist parties. The current party leader Namık Kemal Zeybek has repeatedly said Turkey has no right to interfere in Syria’s affairs. He has called on the AKP government to change its policies toward Syria, which he says have damaged Turkey’s economic interests.

15 jan 2012. A leader of Turkey’s Workers’ Party, a small political party in Turkey, condemned Erdogan’s policy towards Syria. He did so in an appearance on Syrian State TV.

7 dec 2011. The Saadet Party (aka Felicity Party) is a small Turkish political party founded in 2001. It is mainly supported by conservative Muslims in Turkey. The Deputy Chairman of the Party condemned the Turkish government’s policy towards Syria. He emphasized that it is wrong for the Turkish government to tolerate a harbor in Turkey for armed men operating against the Syrian government. He also condemned the double standards embodied in the policies of Western countries. . UPDATE 5 jan 2012: A delegation of the Felicity Party headed by its leader Mustafa Kamalak visited Syria and had individual personal meetings with Syrian Vice President Najah al-Attar, Foreign Minster Walid Al-Moallem, Minister of Information Adnan Mahmoud, and Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun. . On 7 jan 2012 they met with Bashar. After the meetings, Mustafa Kamalak stressed that the Syrian leadership is serious about the comprehensive reform program. . Addendum 9 dec 2011: The People’s Voice Party in Turkey is a splinter from the Saadet Party (aka Felicity Party). The leader of the People’s Voice Party, Numan Kurtulmuş, described the policies of the government of Erdogan towards Syria as “unbalanced” and “serve foreign interests”. He accused his government of being involved in an international conspiracy against Syria. He said the economic sanctions imposed by Ankara against Syria are unjust and have damaged the economy in Turkey as well as in Syria. He added that any foreign interference in the Syrian affairs will “open the gates of hell”. He insisted on a strictly internal national solution in Syria. . Update 30 dec 2011: Numan Kurtulmus reiterated that the Syrians are the ones responsible for resolving the crisis in their country through dialogue. He stressed the necessity to reject all the western plots targeting the region and its people.

10 dec 2011. The chairperson of the national Turkish Businessmen Union, Umit Poyner, said the stance of Erdogan’s government towards Syria is a result of provocations from London, Paris and other capital cities, and she called on the government to be cautious, and she pointed out that Turkey is facing economic problems in some sectors because of the Turkish government’s action. An honorary chairperson of the Turkish Businessmen Union, Rahmi Koc, called on the Turkish Government to not be interfering in Syria’s internal political affairs. Hamdi Akin, the chairperson of Akvan Company, a leading company in Turkey, expressed worries over Erdogan’s policies towards Syria.

1 dec 2011. Kemal Kilicdaroglu the leader of the CHP strongly condemned the Turkish government’s economic sanctions on Syria, saying “these acts don’t benefit Turkey”. , . 12 dec 2011. A group of parliamentarians of the CHP, Turkey’s largest opposition party, asked the Turkish parliament to form a special committee to investigate the latest developments in Syrian-Turkish economic relations. Spokesman of the group, MP Mehmet Seker, pointed to the precipitous recent drop in trade volume between the two countries and said that the Turkish economy is suffering huge losses. He stressed that the current Turkish government is responsible for the deteriorated Syrian-Turkish relations. . Addendum 14 dec 2011: Refik Eryilmaz, a Turkish member of parliament with the CHP said that the Erdogan government’s support to the Syrian opposition poses a threat to Turkey’s interests and national security.

23 jan 2012. Some members of the Turkish Parliament who are members of the CHP and who are representing parliamentary districts in Antakya (on the Syrian border) have gone on record against Erdogan’s Syria policy.

2 nov 2011. A deputy leader of the CHP, Birgul Ayman Guler, who is also a professor of political sciences, visited Syria for a few days around 1 Nov 2011 and said the visit has helped to educate her and expose the false claims promoted by international media regarding the criminal acts perpetrated by terrorist groups which those media allege they were committed by the Syrian authorities against their own people. Guler said that what the delegation members have seen during their visit to various places in Syria confirmed the fakeness of such claims which come in the framework of a big instigation campaign launched against Syria by its enemies. She visited Damascus, Aleppo and Latakia as part of a Turkish delegation comprised of 38 women. . On 30 nov 2011 Birgul Ayman Guler reiterated that Western media outlets are not reporting the reality in Syria.

March 23rd, 2012, 10:59 pm


zoo said:

Yakin Ertuk is the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

Maybe she is there to inquire about the reported rapes in Syria.

March 23rd, 2012, 11:02 pm


Norman said:

Mawal 95,

I did not see the religious Chanel and i do not watch religious channels, i do not think that they can teach me anything, i do not think that the government should be involved in religious TV.or media,

March 23rd, 2012, 11:07 pm


ann said:

109. zoo said:

Yakin Ertuk is the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women.

Maybe she is there to inquire about the reported rapes in Syria.
She’s there to fabricate reports on Syria

March 23rd, 2012, 11:08 pm


jad said:

For those who missed it, about the fabrications we see in the media:
رفيق لطف على الدنيا في الساعة الحرة 23 3 2012

March 23rd, 2012, 11:12 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ SOD #105: You misunderstood what I said. When somebody uploads a video to Youtube, nobody else will ever see it unless (a) Youtube suggests the video as a related video on the Youtube page of another video and/or (b) somebody at a website outside Youtube links to the video. Route (a) is entirely at Youtube’s discretion. Youtube has automated and multifaceted selection methods for suggesting related videos on the page of each video. I said “Youtube is giving very little distribution to these particular videos.” Meaning that Youtube’s selection methods are rejecting these particular videos and choosing others.

March 23rd, 2012, 11:17 pm


ann said:

One soldier killed in renewed wave of violence across Syria – 2012-03-24

DAMASCUS, March 23 (Xinhua) — A member of Syria’s military engineering units was killed Friday and four others injured when an explosive device, planted by an armed terrorist group went off in northern Aleppo province, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

The explosive were remotely detonated at al-Sfeireh bridge in Aleppo, said SANA.

Also in Aleppo, the authorities seized a pickup truck carrying three bath cylinder-shaped water tank heaters loaded with a huge amount of explosives in al-Sakhour neighborhood near al-Qaqa’ Mosque, said SANA, adding that the explosives were dismantled with no problems reported.

A day earlier, an army captain and a law enforcement member were killed by gunfire of an armed group on Aleppo-Khan al-Asal road.

Meanwhile, an explosive device went off outside a mosque in southern Daraa as worshipers were coming out, injuring four of them, said SANA.

In Douma, a suburb of the capital Damascus, military engineering units Friday dismantled two explosive devices planted by an armed terrorist group in the city, while a third one exploded and injured four members, said SANA, adding that another explosive device was dismantled in al-Midan neighborhood in the heart of Damascus.

In northern Idlib province, government troops on Friday clashed with an armed group that had committed acts of vandalism, killing and kidnapping in Sarmin town, killing a number of terrorists and most wanted men and injuring others.

A source from the province told SANA reporter that the authorities found a factory for making improvised explosive devices in Sarmin town, where hundreds of explosive devices of different weights are prepared for detonations.

The source added that vaults and tunnels were discovered in the town that were used by the terrorists in carrying out criminal acts against citizens and law enforcement members.

March 23rd, 2012, 11:18 pm


jad said:

Dear Mawal

Thank you so much for putting the enormous effort collecting all these news to show us the political stands and views of the oppositions in Turkey.

I agree with you that we shouldn’t believe every news we read, however, we both know that Turkey has lots of interests in Syria, even after we kick them out of Syria, they still have the same old Ottomans mentality that we should be ruled by them, and I happened to believe that this bloody crises in Syria is their best opportunity to take over the political decision over Syrians.

You are right that the political ground and support is not there, but even with that, when a decision of aggression is taken, politicians in power usually tend to ignore and go ahead with the decision taken regardless of any opposition.

I`m not taking the article as fact and that it will happen tomorrow but it`s warning sign that something is prepared behind doors and it`s in our best interest to be aware of.

Again, thank you very much for your excellent analyses of the internal political situation of Turkey, I wasn’t following that closely to know all these details.

March 23rd, 2012, 11:30 pm


bronco said:

#104 Jad

Before the Tunis meeting there were all kinds of article affirming that the SNC will be recognized, that there will unanimous threats to Bashar to step down etc.. And nothing of that materialized.

Turkey is making a lot of noise but I have strong doubts the AKP will risk an internal political crisis by executing any military threats on Syria, especially that the UN, the EU and the USA don’t see convince about this approach.

The AKP is now trying to shift their public opinion by bringing in the media the news that the PKK is being helped by Syria, in order to demonize Syria and justify a possible unilateral attack in the future.

They will surely accuse the PKK in Syria for the killing of the soldiers in North East of Turkey and they area also waiting for any terrorist attack in Turkey to pin it on the PKK helped by Syria.

Yet there is much more that the AKP must do to achieve a level of demonization of Syria so that the Turks will be united in calling for military retaliation.

In addition the Turkish army has been seriously humiliated by the the jailing of some of the eminent members of the army.

The opposition, who is mostly Alevi, are not as adamant as the sunni AKP to crush Syria and prefer negotiations.

In summary Turkey will talk a a lot but can’t do much militarily without risking internal unrests.

In my view Turkey is now throwing ideas in the air just to see what are the reactions, especially from the hardliners, Qatar and KSA who have proposed boots, weapons and money to overthrow their Nemesis and also from the members of the Arab League meeting on the 29th.

They must do something about the rehabilitation of the SNC or its demise. This is why they have delayed the meeting in Istanbul to have the time to study the result of the Arab league meeting in Baghdad.
So nothing is clear for them about the outcome of the Friends of Syria, as it is not clear to us.

So there will be a lot of predictions for the meeting, as usual.

March 23rd, 2012, 11:35 pm


ann said:

Syria Commission of Inquiry Extended, Terrorism Amendment Rejected, Kofi Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 23 — Before the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of its Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Russia proposed amendment, including on the “terrorist acts in Damascus and Aleppo.”

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Belgium spoke against the amendments, and they failed with only four votes in favor, nine abstaining and 33 against.

At least one wag remembering 9/11 noted the irony of Saudi Arabia voting against language condemning terrorist attacks. But the place of terrorism in Syria has become a political football, including when the UK Presidency of the Security Council for March is said to have delayed the Russian drafted press statement until the March 21 Presidential Statement also passed.

In Geneva, the resolution extending the Commission of Inquiry on Syria based with 41 in favor, three against and two abstaining, including Ecuador which spoke citing the Universal Periodic Review as the appropriate mechanism for these issues.

An argument raised against the Russia amendments was that terrorism is a subject for the Security Council in New York, whose members got a closed door briefing Thursday from the members of the Commission of Inquiry. As Inner City Press reported, Security Council members were told that Kofi Annan should push to get the Commission access to Syria.

Inner City Press has asked the spokesman for Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan:

yesterday outside the Security Council’s Arria formula meeting with the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, a number of Permanent Representatives told me of calls that the JSE should both insist that any monitoring mechanism include human rights monitoring and reporting AND that the JSE should be pushing the Assad government to allow entry into Syria by the International Commission of Inquiry. Please respond.

Also, is there any answer yet to the question of whether the Kofi Annan Foundation has solicited (and if so, if it has received) funds in the past three years from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the UAE or government aligned business interests or businesspeople in these three countries?

Can you disclose any more of the individuals in the JSE’s box of consultants, even if not yet deployed or paid, but certainly if deployed or paid? What is Mr. Nicolas Michel’s status?


March 23rd, 2012, 11:55 pm


Observer said:

Well here are some more news round up\23z999.htm&arc=data\201233-23\23z999.htm….html

Form my readings of these and other web sites including RT and Sana and Cham Press, it seems that there is an increasing boldness on the part of the people inside Syria.

The policy of scorched earth is not working, the troops are not numerous enough and the people are too many.

There is also a determination on the part of the people never to go back and the brutality of the regime is actually convincing the people never to go back.

I would say that the people have nothing to lose and the regime has everything to lose in continuing the repression.

Now Russia was given the Syrian dossier to solve it or to be burdened by it. So let us sit and think what Putin wants:

1. Bargaining chip with the West regarding the Missile defense shield

2. Iran is the prize so that the gas and oil pipelines remain in Russian hands and so that the souther republics do not get too independent

3. International recognition as a responsible superpower.

What does Putin need to do to get that

1. If Syria and Iran remain together, Iran may continue an independent streak and continue to build its ability to sustain itself and become independent of the hegemony of the West.

2. If Syria is out of the orbit of Iran, it will feel more isolated and therefore may want to ally itself with Russia further or Russia may be its only protector or go between person. China is not ready to play that role and it has some serious internal issues now.

3. If Syria is out of the Iranian orbit, then what kind of Syria does Putin want. In essence what is more important to him a small insignificant and poorer by the day Syrian arms deals or international recognition and the invitation for Western investment and a table with the big boys at the IMF and World Bank as well as the UNSC? How good is the Syrian bargaining chip in his hands? It is not terribly valuable as i noted above it is Iran and the Silk Road that is the real prize.

4. So what solution does Russia have for Syria: the best is a transition to a group of people that can preserve some of Russia’s interests and remove the leadership in place. Hence, the stupid Fredo is being framed with the leaked e mails from an internal secure server that had no outside links to paint him as the worst of the worst so that the less visible behind the scenes others can guide the transition. The opposition will think it achieved a face saving solution, the regime will continue to have some elements of a security state to prevent a slaughtering of the Alawi community.

5. What wild cards do we have now? The first is the regime itself that seems to be refusing to listen to no one. The second is the Syrian people who are determined more than ever to dismantle the regime. Perhaps arming the rebellion is in a hold mode but in reality the people are fed up and they with the regime’s stubborn behavior is going to cause an implosion. This is more so since the big players have insured that this does not spill outside of Syria.

6. Hence the regime’s attempt to fire up the PKK not realizing that Turkey would not hesitate to invade Syria if needed if its national security is truly threatened.

Instead of some posting distracting non consequential and mind numbing tit for tat garbage and throwing accusation dehumanizing the rebellion I would suggest that they after they call for their ever so wonderful dialogue to tell us

What should we talk about?

If it is democracy the absence of which was recognized by Fredo himself to Barbara Walters, then this constitution, this regime, this parliament, this supreme court, this interior ministry, this central bank, this foreign affairs ministry, this economy ministry, should be dismantled brick by brick and justice needs to be rendered.

Does anyone on this blog think that Fredo is capable of any any any reforms?


March 24th, 2012, 12:04 am


Ghufran said:

The unrest in Syia may actually help the Bahrini opposition assuming that KSA leadership is not infected by the same bug that led Bashar to believe that Al-Shaab and the government in Syria are on the same page.

March 24th, 2012, 12:13 am


bronco said:

What will happen is Bashar suddenly announces that he is passing his authority to his VP and stepping down?

Do you think that suddenly all the demonstrations will stop, that the armed rebels with surrender their weapons, that the criminal gangs will stop stealing and killing?

I have strong doubts about that. The army held by men close to Bashar will certainly collapse. There will be no more law and order. Syrians will not accept the FSA as their army and the country will fall into a chaos as borders will not be controlled anymore and anyone can enter the country. There will be a panic of people withdrawing their money from the banks and a lot of murders, as well as massive displacement of refugees in neighboring country, not in the thousands but in the hundred of thousands as there will be violence and uncontrollable ethnic cleansing.

Just this projection in time should convince the anti-regime that the sudden withdrawal of Bashar al Assad is a recipe for the end of Syria as a country. It will become a failed state like Somalia.

I wish the anti-regime could show me their version of what will happen if Bashar al Assad one morning announces his withdrawal.

March 24th, 2012, 12:16 am


zoo said:

The SNC trying to influence the Turkish Opposition but objects that a Socialist International delegation goes to Syria.

‘Arab Fall’ warning at Socialist International
Saturday,March 24 2012,

Syrian National Council calls for full support from CHP

Members of the Syrian opposition group, the Syrian National Council, also attended the meeting, with council member Mohammed Sarmini calling on Kılıçdaroğlu’s party to give its full support to the Syrian people.

“We call on the leader of the CHP for support, and ask that he exercise his power with the government. We urge you to give your full support to the people of Syria. We need to get humanitarian aid and help the wounded travel to other countries for treatment. We expect some practical concrete resolutions regarding Syria from the international community,” Sarmini said.

Sarmini said there were some economic sanctions in place against the Syrian regime but noted that the sanctions had yet to bear fruit. “Russia doesn’t care that people are dying in Syria. We need to create a way for humanitarian aid to reach the Syrians. We have to use informal ways to move goods into Syria. There is still no official aid reaching the Syrian people.”

SI may send special delegation to Syria

Speaking during the meeting, Papandreou offered to send a SI delegation to Syria for the sake of the Syrian people.

“We need to increase the pressure on the Syrian regime to resolve this crisis in a peaceful way. We fully support the efforts of the United Nations and the Arab League. Full access should be provided for humanitarian aid. Would it be useful for the Syrian people if we were to send a delegation to Syria?” Papandreou said.

Former ambassador and CHP Deputy Chairman Faruk Loğoğlu said he supported the idea of sending a special delegation to Syria. “SI should send a delegation to Syria. Such a delegation won’t legitimize the regime, but it would probably put more pressure on the regime,” he said.

Members of the opposition Syrian council, however, dismissed the idea of a special SI delegation to Syria, saying it would be manipulated by Damascus.

“If such a delegation is sent to Syria, they will have to be in touch with Syrian officials, and they won’t be able to talk to the revolutionaries. They will have no freedom of movement,” one member said.

“[The SI] should try to make greater contact with opposition leaders in Syria.”

March 24th, 2012, 12:31 am


Son of Damascus said:


“Meaning that Youtube’s selection methods are rejecting these particular videos and choosing others.”

Are you suggesting that Youtube is somehow involved in this “conspiracy” against Bashar and only recommending pro-revolution videos?

Youtube recommends based on the hashtags in the description of the video, so if you watch a lot of videos that have Syria, Bashar, rally,Damascus… it will recommend other videos with similar hashtags, Youtube neither cares nor has the man power to go through every video posted to know which is pro basher and which is not, so it can recommend the latter.

Mawal take into mind that according to their own published statistics over 60 hrs of content is uploaded every minute of the day, I highly doubt they are in conspiracy to promote anyone but their advertisers so that they can make more money.

March 24th, 2012, 12:31 am


jad said:

“I wish the anti-regime could show me their version of what will happen if Bashar al Assad one morning announces his withdrawal.”
They had one year to come with one plan or suggestion or solution or idea for what to do or how to do it and they come back with nothing but empty slogans, threats and killing, just read the many examples of those who write on SC to realize that they have no clue of what to do if the regime suddenly collapsed.
They depend on bunch of thugs, radicals, terrorists and few low rank soldiers to do the job of killing as much Syrians as they could and they glorify every outlaw for every crime committed in their name as ‘freedom’, I guess freedom to kill, freedom to hate and the freedom to become a terrorist again your own people and your own family.
They become like fsa’s ‘angels of death’, outlaws and wild in their ideas and they are willing to burn the whole country just to prove that they are who they become: radicals.
For god sake, they’ve been calling for occupation and division of Syria from the first week, what do you expect to hear from them other than calls for more violence and hatred, that is their limit, they can’t go beyond that and they will never have the ability to move forward, they have nothing to give to the Syrians and they have no popularity inside the country therefore you see them depending on Syrians’ enemies and selling themselves to the devil for 30 of silvers.
Traitors and radicals can’t build a healthy homeland regardless of how many glossy movies they produce and all the fake bright dreams they are talking about.

March 24th, 2012, 12:47 am


Son of Damascus said:

Jad and Branco,

“I wish the anti-regime could show me their version of what will happen if Bashar al Assad one morning announces his withdrawal.”

For what its worth, have a look at this.

March 24th, 2012, 12:51 am


Son of Damascus said:


Don’t you find it odd that Al Dunnia experts always have hours of footage that show the “truth” of what happened but never actually show it?

personally I found it disturbing how Rafik Letuf was claiming the massacre in Karam El Zeitoun was fabricated, my two cents.

Thanks for sharing

March 24th, 2012, 1:00 am


Ghufran said:

While Asma may lose her British passport,the EU continues to act like a confused teenager.From a moral perspective,the EU does not want to stay idle while people are getting killed every day in Syria,but from a political perspective,it is becoming increasingly clear that Syria needs two legs to stand again and one of those legs is owned by the regime headed by the guy who is married to a British citizen, Asma.

Another dilemma is the dangerous turn in the events in Syria after militant Islamist groups are slowly but steadily transforming what started as a peaceful uprising into an afghani style armed rebellion, thanks to the actions, and the inactions, of the corrupt and brutal regime that ruled Syria for more than 40 years, and the dirty oil money coming from the GCC.

The EU was hit by two little but politically significant pieces of news: the killing of French citizens, including a number of Jews, by an angry Algerian French terrorist and an outrageous Fatwa from a major religious figure in KSA that calls for the destruction of churches in GCC countries. Whether the regime conspired to militarize the Syrian uprising or not is irrelevant now becuse the regime narrative is widely accepted by those who were just few months ago calling for Bashar to go,but now seem to be less enthusiastic about a total regime change.

I doubt that Turkey or the GCC can launch a military campaign against Syria without a cover from the US and NATO, and that cover will not be provided as long as the army stays loyal to the regime and as long as there is a belief that the uprising is being infiltrated by violent Islamists, this will leave Syrians alone in a battle of wills and bullets, they will either create another Iraq or manage to mold a unique Syrian political system that keeps civil peace while giving Syrians more political and economical freedom. Unfortunately,the fighting parties are more likely to lead Syria towards the Iraqi path.

March 24th, 2012, 1:07 am


Jad said:

Son of Damascus

Thank you for the link, I already read it.

Are you really convinced with that to be a plan for a country like Syria with 23 millions and tens of different sects and ethnic groups, a country located in the heart of a tough neighbourhood like the middle east? I don’t think so.

Seriously, who would trust anonymous unknown vague figurers or an MB council that they can’t do a thing without taking the permission from Turkey, US, EU, ksa and qatar on the Future of Syria?

The only plan they produced so far was how to destroy Syria, I linked to you earlier, that satanic plan was designed and run by zibaleh&co (licensed traitors) funded by wahabis and depending on criminal military gangs to do the job for them,

When the majority of the Syrians don’t trust those thugs I will stand by the majority choice and won’t gamble on the future and lives of Syria and Syrians, it’s not worth it.

March 24th, 2012, 1:25 am


jad said:

موسكو والملف السوري: من المواجهة إلى البيانات البلاغية
سلام مسافر

تحرص موسكو على تأكيد ثوابت موقفها من الأزمة السورية، التي تمكن الروس من طي أشرعة القرارات الحاسمة بشأنها في مجلس الأمن الدولي لفترة قد تطول، والانعطاف بالملف نحو شاطئ البيانات والتعبير عن النيات.

ويعترف الروس بصعوبة إدخال المعارضة المسلحة في «خرم إبرة» الحوار الذي لا يتسع لقوى تصفهم دمشق بأنهم «عصابات إرهابية». وكانت موسكو حذرت من تغلغل تنظيم القاعدة في النزاع، قبل أن تعلن واشنطن دخول ورثة زعيم تنظيم القاعدة الراحل أسامة بن لادن المتعددي الجنسيات على خط الأزمة.
مصادر برلمانية في موسكو تؤكد أن وزير الخارجية سيرغي لافروف لا يخفي قلق موسكو من أن يتحول النزاع إلى حرب أهلية، ويؤكد، في لقاءات مع أعضاء لجنة الشؤون الدولية في مجلس الدوما (النواب)، أن سوريا تعيش «اقتتالا أهليا» بفعل أخطاء نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد والتأخر في إجراء الإصلاحات المطلوبة.

عسكرة «ناعمة»

ولا يستبعد الخبراء الروس كل الاحتمالات، بما في ذلك التدخل العسكري «الناعم» عن طريق ما تسعى أنقرة لإقامته تحت شعار «الممرات الإنسانية». ويقول خبير عسكري، طلب عدم الإشارة إلى اسمه، إن روسيا تراقب عن كثب عمليات تهريب السلاح إلى الداخل السوري، وستحاول في مجلس الأمن التركيز على هذه القضية باعتبارها العائق الرئيس أمام التسوية السياسية للأزمة.

ويعزو الخبير التناقض في التصريحات بشأن وصول سفن حربية روسية إلى الساحل السوري بأنها تأتي في سياق اختبار رد الفعل الأميركي وحلف شمال الأطلسي على تلويح موسكو باحتمال نشر «عيون وآذان ومجسات» روسية في البحر الأسود قريبا من سواحل تركيا، التي يعتقد الإستراتيجيون في وزارة الدفاع الروسية أن «الأطلسي» أناط بها دور اللاعب الرئيس في أي تحرك عسكري، إذا تقرر، برغم أن موسكو تستبعد حصول ذلك في المدى المنظور.
ويلفت الخبير إلى أن وقع تصريح «المصدر» في هيئة أركان أسطول البحر الأسود عن توجه الناقلة الروسية «إيمان» وعلى متنها مجموعة مكافحة الإرهاب «لتنفذ المهمات المناطة بها بالقرب من السواحل السورية»، كان أشبه بالرعد. إذ سارعت المتحدثة باسم وزارة الخارجية الأميركية فيكتوريا نولاند إلى «طلب توضيحات» من الجانب الروسي. فسارعت وزارتا الدفاع والخارجية الروسيتان بالنفي القاطع.

ويقول الخبير «لا ينطلي على أحد أن واشنطن تغمض العين عن كل ما يهب ويدب في البحرين الأسود والأبيض، لكن موسكو أرادت إجهاض شائعات محتملة بالتدخل العسكري الروسي في سوريا لتبرير تدخل أطراف إقليمية في بلاد الشام مستقبلا».

ويشير إلى أن الدبلوماسية الروسية ترفض تصوير موافقتها على بيان مجلس الأمن، بصيغته الفرنسية، على انه تقارب مع الغرب في الملف السوري. فقد أصر مندوب روسيا لدى الأمم المتحدة فيتالي تشوركين على إصدار بيان مواز بصيغة روسية أدان تفجيرات دمشق وحلب. أعقبته تصريحات روسية متواترة تحمل المعارضة السورية مسؤولية القيام بانتهاكات في ضوء الرسالة المفتوحة التي وجهتها منظمة «هيومن رايتس ووتش» إلى قيادات المعارضة.

واعتبرت موسكو البيان «تأكيدا لصحة الموقف المبدئي الذي اتخذته روسيا» كما صرح قسطنطين دولغوف، مفوض وزارة الخارجية الروسية لشؤون حقوق الإنسان والديموقراطية وسيادة القانون، وهي تسمية طويلة لقسم تأسس منذ سنوات في أروقة الخارجية الروسية، ويبرز إلى الواجهة كلما ردت موسكو على اتهامات الغرب بشأن انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان في روسيا، وخاصة في جمهورية الشيشان التي تعيش منذ عقدين حربا منسية، لكنها تظهر بين الحين والآخر في عناوين الأخبار العالمية، كلما أراد الغربيون مناكفة الروس.

March 24th, 2012, 1:41 am


Jerusalem said:

62. ann said:
Any information on the stolen Syrian antiquities from the national museum of Homs?

Probably the peaceful protestors have sold them to those punch-drunk Qataris for some of their ill-gotten gas empire zillions. You never know?? Since the brain-dead Al Thani family coughed up a quarter of a billion for Paul CÉZANNE, the Card Players. The Vatican refrained from buying it despite its large collection of CÉZANNE; first due to its ludicrous price and second, in order not to encourage gambling. May be according to Qurdawi gambling now days is Hallal.

The best for last, according to this link, the painting that Al-Thani bought could be a hoax…

March 24th, 2012, 1:57 am



AN officer’s Wife
@ DSPR 79

لنتبين لاحقا أن تالا هي مديرة مدرسة وزوجة أحد الضباط ، ولا تعرف التمييز بين رتبة عريف ورتبة عميد

Only for us to find out that Tala is a school principal, a wife of an officer, and she can not distinguish between the ranks of corporal and a Brigadier General.

I believe this was touched on before. A refresher, Tala Tlass is the wife of no other than Munaf Tlass, and she can command a charter plane and provide unlimited supply of fancy food to her “french guests” and speaks beautiful french and manages one of the most exclusive schools in Damascus frequented by the grand children of very high ranking officers, but still unable to distinguish between the ranks of Corporal from a Brigadier General. Very very logical, isn’t it?

Note to Mrs. Tala Talss
Just in case, a brigadier general is someone like your hubby. A cigar loving chump, who drinks fancy scotch and may have a couple of mistresses and rides fancy cars purchased using his and his fathers’ acquired wealth (who cares how). A corporal is the poor sap you abuse in your kitchen, on the farm, around the backyard, and in the car as he brings the kids from school or does your chores for you and who pays your family a handsome sum of money to serve in your house where he can still help his family, or to go on his legally entitled leave to see them if he is not from your town.

They Failed
Now @ DSPR 115. we read

Syria Commission of Inquiry Extended, Terrorism Amendment Rejected, Kofi Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee (inner city press)

UNITED NATIONS, March 23 — Before the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of its Commission of Inquiry on Syria, Russia proposed amendment, including on the “terrorist acts in Damascus and Aleppo.”

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Belgium spoke against the amendments, and they failed with only four votes in favor, nine abstaining and 33 against.

They spoke against the amendments, the amendments were rejected, and yet they failed.

Do the DSPR experts read what they cuts and paste?

* DSPR: Duckling Susu Propaganda Relay (until the next scandal, where a new title may be bestowed)

Thumb down is the red button on the Left

March 24th, 2012, 1:59 am


Jerusalem said:

تحرك شعبي وبرلماني اردني لطرد الارهابيين السوريين من الاراضي الاردنية … ومنع الحكومة الاردنية من التورط في المؤامرة على سوريا

March 23 2012 20:00

عرب تايمز – خاص

كرر برلمانوين بارزون في الاردن على راسهم سيدتان هما الروسان والربضي ومعهم 23 نائبا اخر طلبهم بطرد ارهابيين ومسلحين سوريين يعيثون فسادا على الحدود الاردنية السورية في منطقة الرمثا … وأكد النواب الاردنيون في مذكرة نيابية كان قد سلمها رئيس مجلس النواب الى رئيس الحكومة الاردنية قبل فترة رفضهم لاي شكل من أشكال التدخل الخارجي في شؤون سورية الداخلية وثقتهم بقدرتها على الخروج من الازمة الحالية عن طريق الحوار.‏‏ودعا النواب الحكومة الاردنية الى عدم غض النظر عن ممارسات بعض الجهات التي تعمل على تأجيج الاوضاع على الحدود الاردنية – السورية من خلال ما يسمى المساعدات الانسانية.

March 24th, 2012, 2:08 am


Jerusalem said:

Hans said:
if you are arabs and care about arabs then you should show anger at the treatment arabs are getting from the Isreal and all the kids and people who died because of the biased western policy toward Arabs in support of Israel.

Thank you I don’t know if you read Arabic, this article corroborates with what you’ve mentioned above.

داهمت قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي فجر أمس مخيم جنين، واقتحمت منزل الأسير بسام السعدي، كما اقتحمت جمعية خيرية وصورت منازل ومساجد في بلدة عانين بمحافظة جنين.وذكرت مصادر أمنية فلسطينية أن «قوات الاحتلال داهمت منزل الأسير وفتشته وعبثت بمحتوياته، واستجوبت أسرته، وسيّرت آلياتها في أزقة وشوارع المخيم بقوة عسكرية مكونة من 12 آلية، وسط إطلاق القنابل الصوتية، في خطوات استفزازية».كما اقتحمت القوة العسكرية جمعية «البراءة المسلمة» و«دار اليتيم» في جنين بعد خلع أبوابها وتفتيشها والعبث بمحتوياتها، واندلعت مواجهات بين الشبان الفلسطينيين وقوات الاحتلال، ورد جنود الاحتلال بإطلاق القنابل الصوتية والمسيلة للدموع

كذلك، اقتحمت قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي قرية عانين غرب جنين المحاذية لجدار الضم والتوسع العنصري، وصورت مسجد القرية وأماكن إضافية فيها. وذكرت مصادر أمنية أن «قوات الاحتلال اقتحمت القرية، وقامت بتصوير مسجد القرية من كافة الجوانب، ومنازل قديمة».من جهة ثانية، ذكرت صحيفة «هآرتس» الإسرائيلية أنه من المتوقع أن تناقش محكمة العدل العليا الطلب الذي قُدم لها حول تأجيل موعد إخلاء النقطة الاستيطانية العشوائية «مغيرون» في أعقاب الاتفاق الذي تم التوصل إليه مع سكان النقطة، والذي
يقضي ببناء منازل لهم في موقع مجاور

March 24th, 2012, 2:19 am


Mina said:

Jad #83

Thanks a lot for this video.

The guys are preparing for hours, stagging where to put the flag, at 3′ 08″ the guy discusses with someone on the phone and tells him he wants the video to be sent to al Jazeera for the prime time.

While they repeat and organise they look very relax (looks like poor guys happy to get cheap money in these hard days, by playing the “silhouette” for two hours in the night), and when the final shoot is taken by the cameraman they look “determined” (after they have covered their faces with keffiehs, while they didn’t during the preparations.

And these are supposedly, according to the comment, some of the famous “units” (katiba).

That’s the biggest “role-playing” production we’ve ever seen I guess.

March 24th, 2012, 3:34 am


Juergen said:

Father Paolo on Syria, last week


i think noone should care too much for those hadeeth, there are many contradictions. Bukhari is the most spreaded collection, but i really recommend people to read Ibn Malikis Al Muwatta hadeeth collection. Many salafi would portray the times of Muhammad as an ongoing period of joy and harmony. It was far from that. In his collection the starving,the mistreatment by the majority of nonmuslims became evident. Also many people died of sickness, the death toll among children was terrible( all the sons of Muhammad died) and furthermore Madinah wasnt so much of a perfect spot too, random killings and crimes were happening every day and prostitution was also there. There is a hadeeth i like kind of. Everytime people died they passed in a ceremony by the house of Muhammad to the cemetary. Muhammad would come out and make a dua for the dead. One time one women died and the ones taking her to the cemetary were just a few familiy members. The prophet was in his house with Omar and others. When he heard the people he went out and make the dua for the dead. Omar was outraged and told the prophet that this women was a known prostitute. Muhammad answered that he knows that, but also knows that this women feeded once a dog who was thirsty, and saved the dog from dying of thirst. She will be in paradise for that he proclaimed. Salafis usually deny such facts, well i am a liberal, i let them in their alf laila wa laila dreamworld.

March 24th, 2012, 4:06 am


majedkhaldoun said:

What will happen if Bashar is gone?

Ofcourse that depends on how is he removed, we have Saddam who was removed by foreign power,and Gaddafi who was removed by a combination of people revolt and foreign assistance, But Syria is different,the main problem is how to clean the Shabbiha security system and clean the army, and how are the minorities who supported Bashar is going to be dealt with, this include Alawis and some christians,who will be in power thereafter?

The Shabbiha are criminal people, who are committing crimes and has blood on their hands, many will flee, those who stay will be arrested and killed.

The security forces most of them will stay those who has blood on their hands will be removed and tried ,the majority of security officers will have to go and loose their jobs.

The army officers who helped Assad to destroy Homs and other cities, will be arrested,and many will face trials, and if found guilty will be punished

FSA (God Bless them) will manage the post Assad era, many army brigades will help keep law and order, they are not involved in this fight

The money that has been stolen by these thugs that helped Bashar has to be taken back.

The brutality of the regime has to be punished and yes we expect many will loose,but it will be a short period, period of three to six months, and then peace will follow.

Humanitarian aid will come from KSA and the rest of gulf countries, this will expedite recovery.

All what the proregime are saying here in SC calling the revolutionaries Thugs and traitor is nothing but reflection of hate and fear, I call for them to modify their language, Sharif Shahadeh style is reflection of of lack of intelligence.

March 24th, 2012, 5:21 am


majedkhaldoun said:

In the post Assad era, Syria will be better than it is now, economy will florish and Syria will be free,and democratic.

The changes in Syria will effect Lebanon immidiately, and change in goverment,and I expect Hasan Nasrallah to appologize,and start criticizing Bashar and say he advised him but Bashar would not listen.

Probably Iraq will undergo major changes, Iran will be the big loser,

March 24th, 2012, 5:42 am


Juergen said:


I would say many of the shabiha would go to neighboring Lebanon, Iran and Russia are not really up to their taste i suppose.

March 24th, 2012, 5:53 am


mjabali said:

Jurgen and Khaldoun

So, do you think the next step after you get rid of al-Assad would be a call to establish al- Umma al-Islamiyah with the rest of the Sunni world? I hope I am not insulting with this question …just want an opinion.

This man in this video is one of many who are saying Syria is very important to the Muslims (he means Sunnis of course)

Listen to his words and see how the outside forces in the name of war between Sunnis vs. Shia are interfering in the Syrian affair, which really should be about liberty and not religious agendas.

As for the economic boom you mentioned: check out this famous religious figure’s solution.

In my humble opinion there will be a boom in demands for henna and its products.

March 24th, 2012, 6:29 am


Juergen said:

here is the german answer to Lizzi Phelan: Christoph Hoerstel.

He is currently in Syria, and talks bluntly how much he thanks the syrian state to invite him and how much secure Damascus is. He was there when the bombing attacks happend and his minder got him close to the buildings which got destroyed.

March 24th, 2012, 6:31 am


Juergen said:


sorry but the concept of the umma is a mere theoretical and theological and to me nonexistant in reality. Political alliances and personal matters have always interferred and how should one understand why Aisha and Ali went to war against each other? So i leave this construct of an umma to the scholars, but i have understanding that this concept has many believers and followers.

Syria is far from sliding into an failed state or an islamist country. Such beliefs have not been widely recognized nor accepted in Syria. The longer though we see such brutal violence on both sides, the more radical all will get, including those who will lose everything after the collapse of the Assad family business. As I mentioned earlier, i see the danger of Assad loyalists and thugs do flee into Lebanon, and this country is always in danger to ignite itself to an other round of civil war.

March 24th, 2012, 6:46 am


Syrialover said:

# 115. Observer wrote: “Instead of some posting distracting non consequential and mind numbing tit for tat garbage and throwing accusation dehumanizing the rebellion I would suggest that they after they call for their ever so wonderful dialogue to tell us What should we talk about?”

“Dehumanizing the rebellion” – Yes!

They work 24/7 with their cut-pastes, distractions and rants to dehumanize the entire people of Syria.

And to remind us that everybody in the west is a conspirator, fool, unaware victim or two-faced fraud.

Disappointingly, they seem driven to push the Assad clan, Putin, the mullahs and Nasrallah as a substitute for humans.

March 24th, 2012, 6:47 am


Juergen said:

Rima Marrouchs blog on Syria ( ARTE)

“Young Syrians set up their own media”

In the past 40 years, during the reign of the Baath Party had, in the Syrian media, the government has the monopoly. The government owned the newspapers. Al-Baath and al Tischrin been a consistent voice of the official portraits.

In the early years of the regime of Bashar al-Assad several private media went on the air, as Addounia TV (“Addounia” means “world” and started 2005) and Arabesque radio (starting 2006). Today, young Syrians at home and abroad, launching new media projects, including online newspapers and radios that allow them to finally make their voice heard.

“We call Addounia TV” 3aja2ib addounia “(Wonder of the world), because they distort the reality and the facts,” said Abu Khalid from the Midan district. Some Syrians find that the pro-government reporting is offensive about the recent events in the country and even inciting to violence. “Addounia morning TV has broadcast a program about healthy eating, while Baba Amr was shot,” said Abu Karam of Karm al-Zeitun in Homs.

Growing anger and frustration prompted some young Syrians to act. Hosam Badri, co-founder of the new Syrian Internet Radio New Start, which has its location out of the country, said that in the mainstream media ordinary citizens have no right to say their own opinions. So he decided to found a new radio. The core team consists of five people working out of ten clock in the morning in a completely smoke-filled small office, often until midnight. The radio reports about events in the country on the one hand and voices from within the country offers a forum. On the other hand, one focuses on the Syrian culture and brings interviews with Syrian artists and writers. The focus is on humanitarian concerns of Syrians who still live in Syria and have since gone into exile. Their goal is an FM frequency. “Our slogan is: A radio of hope, because we are a peaceful radio and we dont want to support any military side,” said Hosam Badri.

New Start is not the first Syrian Internet radio, but the first to use stream technology. “1 plus 1 was the first,” says Rania Badri, another co-founder of New Start. 1 plus 1 is operated by a group of young Syrians who say: “Our voices are different, but ultimately we have the same dream. We want a free, democratic Syria” “We want to build a country with one voice, one mind, an idea and a dream, “is on their website. The radio is calling for a nonviolent movement and a general strike in Syria.

( )

The online weekly Souriatna (Our Syria) was founded in October 2011. Their motto is from Gandhi: “. If a slave decides to no longer be a slave, his fetters fall,” The editorial staff consists of seven young people, six of them working in the country. “We need independent media to speak on our behalf, after all the years of tyranny. We want to create something that expresses our opinion, and we want to talk about revolution and about young people, “says one of the editors who want to be quoted under the symbol Gh. “The first issues we have published in print versions in Damascus and Homs, but then there were difficulties because of safety,” says Gh The weekly reports not only of Syria but throughout the Arab spring. Also, Tunisian, Egyptian and Yemeni writers have their say.

All the new media campaigning for a non-violent movement, but formulated as Gh: “Our job is to report the reality is no matter how it is.”


Rima Marrouch is a freelance journalist with a Syrian and a Polish parent. She grew up in Homs in the 90s, when the city was still a peaceful place. She reported from Lybia and Syria for the LA Times and worked for the “Committee to Protect Journalists / Middle East and North Africa Program.” She now lives in Beirut, Lebanon.

You can follow Rima on Twitter and contact them at @ RimaMarr.

March 24th, 2012, 8:11 am


bronco said:

#121 SOD , Jad

You seem to have yourself doubt about that elaborate plan that miss the most important: Leaders with credibility with the Syrians.

After one year, none has emerged, so all these plans for cancelling this and establishing this will be less accepted than whatever reforms Bashar has announced.
I doubt the pro-regime Syrians will rush to elections and their boycott will show, too late, the magnitude of Bashar’s support.
The army will split according to their allegeance as well as the security forces.

That’s probably what the Western countries are seeing coming, and while they failed the transition in Iraq, Libya and Yemen, they are concerned that, by removing the ‘glue’ of this country even if smells bad, they will have a Somalia as a direct neighbor to Israel and their allies, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey and a possible spill over to their major oil-supplier.

Leaving the chaos to invade Syria has now become a much more risky situation that bearing and containing the ‘dictatorship’ of Bashar al Assad.
We will see what they will come with at the “friends of Syria.”

March 24th, 2012, 8:16 am


irritated said:

139. Juergen said:

“Rima Marrouchs blog on Syria ( ARTE)

“Young Syrians set up their own media””

As we have seen in Egypt, young computer and media savvy Egyptian youth have been overwhelmed by the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salafist in the aftermath of the fall of Mobarak. Their voice has become so weak that it is as inexistant.

Thinking that young Syrians would have any influence if the Syrian regime fall is wishful thinking.

March 24th, 2012, 8:21 am


Juergen said:

Graffiti war in Syria-many brave men imprisoned and killed for graffiti in the name of the uprising

“On the other side of the border in Beirut is a graffiti that says “2011 the people called for their life, 2012 the destiny will grant it .” It refers to the famous lines of the Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Schabbi: “If the people demands one day for their life, then its destiny to grant it.”
Rima Marrouch

March 24th, 2012, 8:23 am


irritated said:

#133 Majedalkhaldoon

Thanks for your predictions. As we have seen with your previous ones, they work in the exact opposite direction.

For example, I doubt I would ever see Nasrallah apologizing for his support of Bashar Al Assad.

March 24th, 2012, 8:28 am


SimoHurtta said:

Majedkhaldoun if betting would be allowed for you how much would you be ready to bet for your vision of future presented in your comment number 132? Considering what happened in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or Libya most of us would be ready to bet quite much that the future will not be so rosy and simple as you describe. Would you bet with me a sum of $1000 or $1? If you are a “friend” of probabilities and understand the dangers of gambling I bet that you would bet $1.

Humanitarian aid from the Gulf states, what would it be in reality? No doubt that would be a massive number of new Mosques and nothing much else. It is rather absurd to believe that dictatorships of the Gulf states would help to build a real functioning and successful Democracy in Syria. The will to include Syria to the club of obedient Sunni states is much more likely.

March 24th, 2012, 8:45 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Irritated 141,

Basically you are right. The young media savvy Egyptian youth have brought the Mubarak regime down. And then (with democratic elections) we discovered what the Egyptian people really wish for.

Do you think that your favorite Alawi junta can prevent the Syrian people, what they want?

And If the Syrians want MB and Salafi Islam, then be it. Secularism cannot be imposed using bombardments and shooting at people.

Secular or religious, it’s up to the Syrians.

March 24th, 2012, 8:46 am


Hans said:

It is unfortunate that the dichotomy image, which is viewed by all including Josh Landis on this blog. Even to state that answer is coming from more radicalization of so called revolution.

Either pro or against the regime. Sunni or Alawite. Muslim or Christian. Religious or non religious and for that matter political of non political.

what happened to the Pro Syria or against Syria?

I can see every dichotomous unit who can be a pro Syria or against Syria from all the above.

I think the Pro Syria voice is lost as well the Pro Egypt, pro Tunisia etc.

On the above comments many are stating that post Assad is Umma Al Islamia who is going to rule Syria.

I promise you this is not the case and will never be the case for many reasons, one of them that many of the Syrian Sunni don’t want your UMMA and happily enjoying living in the 21st century and not interested in the Trash living of the middle stone ages mentality. the recent development in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and the radical take over of the countries is worrying not only Syria but Russia as well. For what ever reason is supported by the American administration, for not a clear reason yet, could be to hunt the radicals in decades to come in the middle east or to fragment the area to small provinces as planned.

If you think about the above, that’s why Damascus and Allepo have not joined your so called revolution or better name for it is the hijacked revolution by Alqaida and radicals turkey, KSA.

I know many Syrians who are not happy with the Regime in the past or current but against what is going in Syria by the foreigners and that’s why and foreign intervention could be very risky.

so far all the so mentioned ideas and prophecy about the regime have failed to materialized on the ground the only lasting effect that Russia is holding its presence in Syria against the American aggression.

Not sure what the Hawks/Neo cons Israli lobby supported Senators are up to in the congress after the military intervention barking has failed to materialized.

If the USA send troops/military operation to Syria that would be the assurance that Obama looses the next election, it is similar to Sarkozy losing his bid.

people didn’t yet forget how Blair lost his election because he put his fate in the american hands.

March 24th, 2012, 8:50 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

SimoHurtta, the Scandinavian “humanist” who loves Arab juntas and dictatorships, and who wants to preserve oppression in Syria.

Your mask of phoniness has been exposed.

March 24th, 2012, 8:57 am


zoo said:

“..changing the regime for the better over a period of months or years.”
A new world order is born in Syria
March 24, 2012 01:25 AM
By Rami G. Khouri

A key element in this approach is that President Bashar Assad and his family who run the country will remain in power for now, and are the key party with whom the opposition negotiates. This is understandably distasteful to the opposition, given the extreme cruelty and near barbarism that the regime’s military forces have used against unarmed Syrian civilians for the most part.

The Assad regime’s ability to hide behind its own sovereignty is now exhausted. This week the world has started to craft a legitimate diplomatic mechanism that shatters the shield of this abused sovereignty, and demands certain actions that improve conditions inside Syria, and perhaps provide a slow-motion means of changing the regime for the better over a period of months or years.

The diplomatic dance continues, seeking to resolve the Syria crisis, but also to craft a new international diplomatic order.

Read more:

March 24th, 2012, 9:12 am


Observer said:

Let us look at the performance of Fredo’s performance
1. How did the Syrian standard of living fare under his rule?

2. What is the ranking of Damascus University in the world?

3. Where do we stand in literacy?

4. What is the level of pollution in the cities?

5. What is the ranking of Syria in freedom?

6. What is the ranking of Syria in corruption?

7. How much desertification did we witness?

And the list goes on.

The country has already collapsed under 40 years of unbelievable inept corrupt brutal rule. The collapse accelerated with the current leadership even further as the liberalization of the economy was used to increase graft and corruption and in impoverish the population.

If Fredo were to go and the security house of cards were to collapse, criminality will diminish significantly as the thugs that have been unleashed on the population will find it hard to continue to steal and kidnap. The only armed gangs operating in Syria now are the regime thugs as the regime is incapable of paying them and therefore is giving them permission to steal from entire villages followed by burning the houses to prevent any documentation of the theft.

I have full faith in the perseverance and the resilience of the Syrian people as they have been making a living under horrible bureaucratic rules and despite every effort by the regime to degrade humiliate corrupt and steal from the people.

Syria has become Somalia under Fredo. This delusion that the country is on its way to joining the prosperous ones like Korea or Malaysia let alone Lebanon or Palestine where the average income is several fold that of Syria is a delusion.

Anyway most of the pro regime on this blog are nicely enjoying the great life in this horrible West that they pretend to abhor and where they can critique a president without being tortured to death.

I will never forget when I met a very high ranking security general that was one of the most important people under the late Vito and continues to enjoy significant power when I asked about where his son was born and his response was:


I pity those continuing to insist on the self delusion that Syria and the Syrian people and the people of the ME are incapable of rising up and ask for freedom and dignity and accountability and humane treatment and the rule of law and a chance to use their talents on an equal playing field to advance their lot and hope for a better future for their children.

This is how depraved the regime has been that it brain washed some on this blog to think that there is no salvation without Fredo.

Goebbels’s wife poisoned her 6 children for she did not want them to live in a Germany without National Socialism. There here you have it when I read on this blog people that cannot imagine a Syria without Fredo.

March 24th, 2012, 9:13 am


Hans said:

You can think, write, form an opinion as you may wish, but both Russia and the USA are admitting that Alqaida is infiltrating the Syrian revolution and that’s is the biggest risk to Syria, obviously all know that the supporter of Alqaida are KSA, GCC and Turkey.
Assad helped to curb Alqaida Attacking the USA troops in Iraq it is back firing at him at the current time.
If syria falls into the hands of the Radicals then the middle east will blow in endless civil wars which helps no one but Israel, Dah!

March 24th, 2012, 9:27 am


Tara said:

Sometimes it is important to read what not been excerpted.  This is from the link posted by Zoo 
The chance of this package being accepted or implemented by the Syrian government is virtually zero, because it knows very well that if it pulls back its military and stops attacking its own civilians in urban centers, hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations against the regime. The important point is that the key global actors have agreed on this approach, to open the door to a peaceful process of political transformation by which Syrians nonviolently and democratically change their regime and install a more democratic system of governance.
There is no doubt that the Assad era is on its last legs and will soon end after 43 years of one-party, one-family rule – joining a wave of similar regime changes across the region that are driven primarily by the will of the citizenry to end similarly degrading power structures and governance systems.

March 24th, 2012, 9:35 am


Juergen said:

Hans is testing the tolerance of some here i guess. Now Assad supported al quaida and in a faust like motion he is haunted by his evil… Good job Hans!

March 24th, 2012, 9:37 am


ann said:

Propaganda is taking a back seat to fairy tales now 😀

Syria denies defection of army pilot – 2012-03-24

DAMASCUS, March 24 (Xinhua) — An official source of Syria refuted Saturday as total fabrication media reports that an army pilot had defected and landed with his jet fighter in neighboring Turkey.

The unnamed official was quoted by the country’s state news agency SANA as saying that “the channels of bloody terrorism, including al-Arabiya TV, used to broadcast such false news which reflects the bankruptcy of its campaign of aggression against Syria.”

The Saudi-based al-Arabiya TV said earlier in the day that a ” Syrian pilot rejected orders to kill civilian protesters and instead targeted a military security building in Aleppo.”

“After depleting his ammunition, the pilot flew to Turkey,” al- Arabyia said.


March 24th, 2012, 9:57 am


zoo said:

Erdogan is killing his own people, but he conveniently calls them Kurds, while they are Turks.

Turkish forces kill 15 women Kurd rebels: ministry
(AFP) – 1 hour ago

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Fifteen rebel Kurds, all of them women, were killed in fighting with Turkish security forces in the southeast of the country on Saturday, the interior ministry said.

The clashes took place in a rural area of the province of Bitlis, a centre of the armed rebellion being waged by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a statement carried by the official Anatolia news agency.

A local security source said the Kurd separatist movement had a number of women-only units and that one of these had been wiped out.

The ministry statement also said a member of a local Kurdish force armed by Turkey was killed and three others wounded in the fighting.

March 24th, 2012, 10:04 am


Tara said:

Anisa, I was told is the most brutal of them all.  Therefore, the ban is well deserved from symbolic point if view.  I  believe it.   There is some retardation about Bashar apparent in his speeches.  The retarded giggles, the “I don’t know” with Barbar Walters, the excessive movement of his hands and bodily gesture, etc…He is ruled by 3 women.  A wife who declared herself to be the real dictator, a mother whose husband killed 30,000 in Hama yet remained on the helm and died a natural death, and a sissy with a brutal husband.  It is believed that Anisa wears the trousers in the family and perhaps makes the decisions.  She is drawing from her past experience in Hama:  you can kill tens of thousands of Syrians and remained unscathed…

Ironically for Bashar, it is because of the same attractive, sexy, chic, western educated wife who brought him out of his international isolation; the media has become non-stoppable in tarnishing him.  Would the media still be concerned about the email scandal and the Louboutin shoes had Asma been fat and ugly?        

The fact that their respective wives – Manal and Bushra, the president’s sister – are now also on the EU blacklist looks unlikely to cause them to change tack. The same is true of Assad’s mother Anisa, the widow of former president Hafez and the woman who is said to wear the trousers in Syria’s first family.

British officials admit the position of Asma al-Assad was complicated by her British birth, though there was anger in Whitehall that the UK Border Agency had departed from normal practice and confirmed that she held UK citizenship. The intention was to stop her using her assets to buy weapons – “Kalashnikovs and shells rather than Louboutin shoes”, one source quipped. Nor were the measures against her due to last week’s revelations about the Assad family. “This is not about responding to the Guardian emails or about her morally repugnant shopping habits while the Syrian people are suffering,” an official said. “This is not a shopping ban. It is bigger and more significant than that.”

March 24th, 2012, 10:07 am


irritated said:

#153 Ann

Another fake defection announced by the SNC.

That’s a sign of the SNC’s growing desperation at the approach of the Friends of Syria meeting that may be its grave.

March 24th, 2012, 10:08 am


ann said:

132. majedkhaldoun said:

What will happen if Bashar is gone?

March 24th, 2012, 10:11 am


Hans said:


you last post is the lowest I ever read of your writing, I admired SOME of your comments in the past as been an independent woman from the middle east, but the last one reminds me of an Opera show tale, or Dr. phill stories.

March 24th, 2012, 10:12 am


Tara said:

Dear Hans

No it us not. You just want to engage me in a discussion and that is ok. What do you want to talk about exactly?

March 24th, 2012, 10:17 am


ann said:

Moscow condemns new UN resolution on Syria

­Russia`s Foreign Ministry has condemned the resolution on Syria adopted by UN Human Rights council on Friday calling it “biased” and “inadequate.” “The document provides one-sided assessment of the situation in the country, accuses of violence exclusively Syrian government, and does not have any demands referring to the opposition,” the ministry said in a statement. Moscow says it has been largely involved in the work on the document proposing balancing amendments


March 24th, 2012, 10:29 am


ann said:

Annan arrives in Moscow to meet president, FM

­Kofi Annan, joint special envoy of the UN and Arab League, has arrived in Moscow where he is expected to hold talks with Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev as well as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The task of ending violence in Syria would be hard to fulfil if the arms supplies and political support of the opposition are not stopped, according to the president’s aide Sergey Prikhodko, speaking to Interfax ahead of talks. Considering that the Syrian authorities are ready for dialogue, the main thing now is to convince the opposition to sit down for talks and reach a peaceful solution, he added.


March 24th, 2012, 10:33 am


zoo said:

Against expectations, the Turkish opposition party is not taking the defense of the Assad regime.

Socialist International backs Syrian uprising, calls on UN to protect Syrians
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

The Socialist International (SI) Special Committee on the Arab World called today on the United Nations Security Council, especially Russia and China, to act in line with the international community to protect the Syrian people in Istanbul.

Speaking at the two-day meeting’s final sitting, SI President and former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said the organization stood firmly on the side of the Syrian people in their fight for democracy and human rights but opposed any intervention by Turkey against Syria.

“The [Bashar] al-Assad regime refuses to accept that change is inevitable. Consequently, we have fully backed the efforts of the United Nations and the Arab League for an end to the killing, for the protection of the lives of Syrian citizens and a humanitarian response which we see as a fundamental imperative,” Papandreou said in the meeting’s closing statement.

March 24th, 2012, 10:35 am


Afram said:

Hi peacefull people
‘Destroy All the Churches’»

Where are alert you lovely jihadist for not Condemning this Sinister Design?
you,ve been Crying ‘Islamophobia day in day out.

Actually, no,they can’t, the supervillain Doctor Death & the black widow are unable to do so in condemning the Pit Bull shiekh of arabia alert because its part of their dogma to persecute non-muslims.

When an Islamist writes the sentence “Islam means peace”, he/she wants to convey that the religion called Islam is peaceful, promotes peace, and prefers peace to violence. But when you ask for an instance of how/when Islam brought peace, they cannot bring up a single instance from the 1400-year old history of Islam to prop up their claim.

Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated the Kuwait-based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) for providing financial and material support to al Qaida and al Qaida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya. RIHS has also provided financial support for acts of terrorism

A radical islamists goes into a state of boredom without guns and bombs. Allah has made violence as part of their DNA…
true peace to you all

March 24th, 2012, 10:36 am


ann said:

‘Don’t Attack Iran!’ UK braces for nationwide anti-war protest – 24 March, 2012

UK activists from Stop the War coalition are to hold a day of action across the country against war with Iran. The demonstrations are planned in 15 major cities including Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

The coalition’s unit in Nottingham declares on its website, that the United States has always been “tempted to use its overwhelming military strength” to try to make up for its relative economic decline, exacerbated by the current crisis.

“This means that the target is shifting to Iran and Syria. There are continual calls for intervention in Syria, and the war of words with Iran continually threatens to boil over into a war of aircraft carriers and bombs in the Straits of Hormuz,” the activists say.

“We heard it back in 2002. An attack on Iraq would have incalculable consequences across the region, we were told, and therefore will not be risked. Right and wrong, as we now know,” anti-war protesters believe.

They regret they could not prevent what they call “failed wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan, but reiterate that public opinion is a major threat to those pushing another war in the Middle East. Now they are calling for everyone to come to the streets and protest the gathering threat of war.

“Just as we’re winding down the disastrous and unnecessary war in Iraq, the very same people who misled our nation into invading Iraq are now saying that now we need to attack Iran,” they say.


March 24th, 2012, 10:40 am


Tara said:

Maybe that is why the Turkish opposition party is not taking the defense of the Syrian regime:

Published 19:25 23.03.12

Turkey blames Syria for supporting Kurdish rebels, inches closer to military action

Should Turkey decide that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – seen now by Ankara as an additional arm of Assad’s forces – threatens its national security, it may decide to invade its neighbor.


March 24th, 2012, 10:44 am


Tara said:

A song playing continuously in my mind for one week.  And since Tara does not like to fight all the time, She decided to share.  The lyrics are outstanding but difficult to understand.  I had some one translate them for me.  I like the last part…

It would be a pity if we ended with an independent Alawi state.  How is Yara then going to dance the Dabke.  I only like Dabke dance of the Alawi mountains.
عمداً ماجيتِك عمداً لك انتي ْلحالك جيتيني 
دبحتيني يا ولّو لك بحُبِك كتلتيني

March 24th, 2012, 10:55 am


SimoHurtta said:

147. Amir in Tel Aviv said:

SimoHurtta, the Scandinavian “humanist” who loves Arab juntas and dictatorships, and who wants to preserve oppression in Syria.

Your mask of phoniness has been exposed.

Well Amir in Jaffa I am not a former Israeli (Jewish) soldier like you are. I have not been kicking Palestinians women and children in their homes, guarding walls and I do not live in a settlement built on a land taken using a 4000 year old claim that God gave that land to you. We both are in reality European humanists. You from Poland, I from Finland.

The only thing I pointed out in my comment was that I doubt that the future will be so simple and “straight forward” as M described. It doesn’t mean that I as a humanist would not want to see a prosperous and good future (democratic) for Syria (or Palestine). What I doubt is that why would well know religious dictatorships support building a successful democracy in a so complex country Syria is. If that democracy effort would be successful it eventually would cause a regime change also in those countries.

On the other hand creating a loyal “Sunni-Syria” but less democratic would able the Gulf monarchs to continue as before. And naturally give Israel the change to fly over Syria on the way to Iran and create its vision of nuclear free Middle East (minus Israel naturally).

Amir how seriously you take Leiberman’s offers to help Syrians? I believe even less to the honesty of the humanitarian aid from that direction than I believe to the “Gulf aid”.

March 24th, 2012, 10:56 am


Alan said:


you loaded Islam all sins on light!
you told:

Washington – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today designated the Kuwait-based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) for providing financial and material support to al Qaida and al Qaida affiliates, including Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jemaah Islamiyah, and Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya. RIHS has also provided financial support for acts of terrorism

that is there is an order for terrorism! DNA is not guilty! people similar it is possible to find in any state!

Takfeerieen never been Syrians ! they are not from our culture !

March 24th, 2012, 11:02 am


Ales said:

Zoo wrote “Against expectations, the Turkish opposition party is not taking the defense of the Assad regime.”

Maybe they do.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s party has reacted harshly to Ankara’s hints that it would participate in a UN-backed “humanitarian intervention” in Syria and recently suggested that “imperialist powers” are pressing Turkey to intervene in the conflict. “Some are avoiding entering Syria and trying to talk Turkey into doing it,” Kılıçdaroğlu said recently during a speech in the central Anatolian province of Niğde, noting that the US, Britain and France all seem determined to avoid militarily involvement in Syria. “Why should we go into Syria? Syria is our neighbor, brother. Why should Muslim nations fire guns at each other?” Kılıçdaroğlu asked.

as said in

March 24th, 2012, 11:05 am


zoo said:

Russia to boost the NCC as a replacement to the SNC?

Annan takes Syria peace plan to Russia on saturday
MOSCOW – Agence France-Presse

The UN-Arab League envoy will be carrying with him the embattled leader’s answer to a peace plan under which Syria could begin a “political transition” to a representative government, with no specifically defined role for Assad.
Margelov echoed earlier comments by Lavrov, urging Assad to “urgently correct the numerous mistakes that he — in Russia’s official opinion — has made.” But no Russian official has gone so far as to say that Assad has lost his legitimacy — a stance taken by most Western powers since last year

“Assad’s position is difficult,” one Kremlin official told Interfax on Friday. “I do not know whether he has prospects or not. But no one is predicting another 10 years in power for him.”
Russia’s immediate plans include a meeting next week with members of a moderate opposition group called the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria.

The alliance, which has previously refused to join the Syrian National Council’s calls for urgent international intervention, appears to be viewed more favourably by the Kremlin.

“We think this organisation is no less — and probably more — influential than the Syrian National Council,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

March 24th, 2012, 11:09 am


ann said:

Is there anything the brits wouldn’t do for their masters in israel?!

Assad’s wife may be stripped of UK citizenship – 24 March, 2012

Syria’s British-born first lady could lose her British citizenship, following the EU’s new raft of sanctions on the Assad family: freezing all of their assets in Europe and banning the members of the family from traveling to EU countries as well.

­Asma Assad, 36, Born Asma Akhras to a prominent Syrian family living in Britain, has dual British-Syrian citizenship, so the British Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State William Hague had to state earlier that Asma Assad still has the right to enter Great Britain – despite the EU sanctions.

British immigration legislation has the means to strip a person of their British citizenship in case the individual “constitutes a danger” to British society – which is definitely not the case with Asma Assad. That is why Britain’s Ministry of Interior is preparing a plan how to act if Mrs. Assad decides to visit her motherland, The Daily Telegraph reports.

On Friday, the EU added Syrian President Bashar Assad’s wife, mother and sister-in-law to the list of people prohibited from entering the EU member states.


March 24th, 2012, 11:22 am


Aldendeshe said:

@AFRAM 163 moderation is plain Ammonite censorship. This blog owner is now taking side with Islamists.

AFRAM did not state any fact that is not true. Islam and Moslems do evil to all non-moslems. What are you trying to cover up here? Even the Vatican agreed on that last week. Look what they did to Christians in Homs, Look at Iraqi Christians, look at Armenians in Turkey, try to say “Jesus” publicly in Mecca.

March 24th, 2012, 11:22 am


Alan said:

[ARROW Alan, Doctor Landis may not be able to read every comment here. If you wish a response, best address your suggestion directly to him.]

Doctor Landis! Good afternoon!

One American official person spoke during interview that at any president Syria will be hostile for the United States of America as any future president of Syria will demand return in full Golan to SAR

And as Israel will a little possibly want to go on this that the USA will be on a place of the opponent of Syria! I ask you to express the opinion about it! For earlier thank you . Alan

March 24th, 2012, 11:23 am


Hans said:

It is a matter between two philosophies, one would like to have Syria continues its progressive move forward in spite of all the potholes in the road and another one trying to FORCE Syria to go back few centuries backward with retards ideology and backward thinking.

Please vote for which pathway you want Syria to progress into.

Russia lost socialism and its non religious ideology and the Arabs adapting radical theology from the stone age thinking, Europe moved forward when left religion, the Arabs taking the opposite and clinging into religion which has not improved the life of people for centuries.

Islam progressed when the Arab Christians translated the roman, Greek books into Arabic, now a days the radicals want to destroy their churches, uproot them and force them into immigration to somewhere else.

it is the Arab lands before it is the Muslim lands, all are upset with Israel because it claims the Jewish land but we forget that Muslims took the christian lands all over the Arabic world.

KSA had many archbishops, North Africa, and the Levant were all Christian lands with minorities of non Christians, obviously, Christianity in the ME didn’t spread through killing and the Sword as Islam did.

Muslims always attacked christian villages during the Ottoman empire, forced millions to convert to Islam with the force of the sword.

History can’t be hid.

March 24th, 2012, 11:30 am


zoo said:

Maliki’s Dangerous Tightrope Act

Kenneth M. Pollack
March 23, 2012

The problem for Maliki is that the Sunni Arab states appear to be coming to Baghdad with squeezing Syria at the top of their agenda. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and other key Arab states are determined to forge agreement on tough new measures to loosen Assad’s grip on power and bolster the Syrian resistance. They mean to do this both because it is an increasingly critical issue for all of them, playing equally to their external strategic goals and their internal political fears, and because they want to suss out Maliki himself.

In recent weeks, Maliki has been tacking hard on Syria. He has lowered his rhetorical support for Damascus. He even supported a new Arab League proposal to deploy Arab peacekeeping forces there. In addition, Maliki has been busily striking bilateral deals, making important concessions to various Sunni Arab states in the run-up to the summit to ensure that it is not cancelled at the last minute, that Arab heads of state attend, and that Iraq is accepted warmly back into the fold. All of this, but particularly Maliki’s change of course on Syria, has made the Sunni Arab states willing to go ahead with the summit and toss him some other important bones. For instance, the Saudis finally named an ambassador to Baghdad.

Nevertheless, it seems clear that the Sunni Arab states are far from believing Maliki has actually changed his spots. Most believe he remains more committed to Iran and Syria than to the rest of the (Sunni) Arab world, and so they are likely to press the Syria issue and try to force Maliki to pick a side. They rightly see his dismissal of the charge that Iran is flying arms to Syria through Iraqi airspace as an effort to placate Iran and make up for his mildly more critical public stance on Syria. Thus, Maliki will have to walk a very narrow tightrope all through the summit to avoid being pushed by the Sunni Arab states or pulled by the Iranians to declare for one side or the other on this critical issue. In recent years, Maliki has shown himself to be a skillful political tactician, but appeasing both camps without alienating either will be quite a feat.

If he resists Arab League action on Syria too much, Maliki will convince the Sunni Arab states that he was an Iranian agent all along, and they will almost certainly begin to ramp up their support for the Iraqi Sunni communities of Anbar, Salahaddin, Ninevah and Diyala seeking autonomous regional status—de facto independence—and willing to employ force against Maliki’s central government to do it.

On the other hand, if Maliki is overly solicitous of the Sunni Arabs and goes along with new punitive measures against Syria, he could infuriate the Iranians, who can then press the Sadrists and a variety of Shiite terrorist groups to do the same in southern Iraq. The Iranians can also exert pressure on certain Kurdish factions to be less cooperative with Baghdad and can encourage Shiite separatists in Basra and other southern provinces to make more trouble for the prime minister.

In Iraq, there is never a dull moment. And watching Prime Minister Maliki walk the line at the Arab Summit might be, for a few days next week, the greatest show on earth.

March 24th, 2012, 11:31 am


Son of Damascus said:

Turkey watches as Syria’s rebellion encroaches
By Jonathan Head
BBC News, on the Turkish-Syrian border

You can hear gunfire cracking over the hills of Syria just across the border these days and, through binoculars, you can see soldiers stationed on the tops of buildings.

The Syrian civil war has moved very close to Turkey. Pro-Assad forces control all the big towns, many of the villages, and most of the roads in Idlib province, which borders Turkey.

That is what has driven thousands more refugees into Turkish territory, bringing tales of extraordinary cruelty by the soldiers and Shabiha pro-government militias, and of arduous journeys through the hills and forests, carrying children, the elderly and wounded on their backs.

Having battered rebellious districts of Homs into submission last month, the Syrian government directed its armour and helicopter gunships at Idlib, which had been largely controlled by the Free Syrian Army since the end of last year.


March 24th, 2012, 11:34 am


Alan said:

[ Alan, Doctor Landis may not be able to read every comment here. If you wish a response, best address your suggestion directly to him.]

Yes I will wait for your kind help to receive the answer

March 24th, 2012, 11:37 am


Ghufran said:

Another piece from the Economist
There is no doubt that this uprising took something very precious from Syrians,supporters say that this is the price of freedom,but what if that freedom never comes or what if this uprising produces a deformed creature that takes too much and gives too little?

March 24th, 2012, 11:37 am


irritated said:

#171 Ann


If Asma Assad ‘constitutes a danger” to British society then the British society is in need of been rescued from the stupidity of its leaders.

March 24th, 2012, 11:43 am


Alan said:

175. HANS
Bernard Luis effective thinker!:)

March 24th, 2012, 11:46 am


bronco said:

#177 SOD

It seems that the armed gangs and rebels are been cornered and driven into Turkey together with civilian refugees.

Turkey is on for an embarrassing and costly ‘Ashraf Camp’ with armed elements to control and refugees who will find out that Turkey is a much more comfortable place to live and decide to stay on. I wouldn’t blame them, their areas together with the rest of Syria will be in an economical mess for months or years to come.

In the camps in Hatay, they have TV, washing machines, children playground, schools, electricity, internet and 24/7 hours security guards and full food service.

Why would they go back?

March 24th, 2012, 11:51 am


irritated said:

Increasing expression of doubts about the imminent fall of the regime is snowballing in most medias and Blogs.

Are Al Jazeera and Al Arabya beginning to accept that Bashar al Assad may stay in power for a much longer than the few weeks they have been hammering their viewers with?

March 24th, 2012, 12:00 pm


irritated said:

186. Ghufran

This is a propaganda to give an excuse for the successive failures of the FSA. Weapons are being smuggled and stolen from the Syria Army warehouses. KSA and Qatar and expats have been sending money continuously for months.
Yet it is possible that, noticing that the FSA has been infiltrated by Islamist extremists, the transfer of money have dried up.

Then, instead of complaining about that, it is up to the FSA to clean up its ranks otherwise like the SNC, it will fall into oblivion.

March 24th, 2012, 12:06 pm


Tara said:

The peasant regime is shelling the Madique castle in Hama. Even historical artifacts are not saved.

The continuous shelling of the Syrian towns and cities is a balatant defiance of the UNSC’s latest unanimous statement. Where is Mr. Annan?

March 24th, 2012, 12:06 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Branco and Jad,

“You seem to have yourself doubt about that elaborate plan that miss the most important: Leaders with credibility with the Syrians.”

Bronco you are correct about the visible leadership, but one thing you must keep in mind is that if there has been visible leaders of the opposition in Syria, they always seem to be jailed, tortured, or killed.

The Dareya Boys, Ahmad Temmo, Raid AlTurk, and the many other important figures have been either been silenced or marginalized as enemy of the state, and are under close supervision.

Another thing I would like to point out is the importance of the various LCCs, in my eyes they are the brave souls that are risking their lives day in day out, meeting with local elders to establish a hierarchy, organizing peaceful protests, uploading images and videos, taking care of the wounded, getting much needed supplies, keeping track of deaths… For the first time in a very long time in Syria, we can say we have an actual grass root political movement, that is organic, local and yet organized nation wide. Each committee speaks to the other, they coordinate their strategies and help each other out. Syrian politics is going back to the local municipalities, and not centralized to a bunch of corrupt fat suites in the capital that claim to represent those localities, but yet never have been there.

To dismiss the unsung heroes of the LCCs because of the failures of the SNC, or your mistrust for the FSA is rather hasty is my humble opinion. These men and women are creating a future for our country under the harshest circumstances, we might not know their names now but trust me when the time comes we will all know their names, for Syria’s next leadership will most likely come from there, and not the MB, Salafi groups, or the various alphabet soup opposition groups.

That is why the passion in me for our country’s freedom has not fizzled, that is why I keep clutching to hope that dignity and freedom for all Syrians is possible no matter how hard and nasty people on BOTH sides get.

This is just the opinion of one humbled Syrian that will never lose hope, and I know I am not alone in believing that…

March 24th, 2012, 12:14 pm


Tara said:

42 matyred in Syria today including 3 women and 2 children. Al Fatiha upon their souls.

March 24th, 2012, 12:21 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“In the camps in Hatay, they have TV, washing machines, children playground, schools, electricity, internet and 24/7 hours security guards and full food service.
Why would they go back?”

I live in the West currently, I have all the luxuries I need and then some. Using that logic I would never want to go back to Syria, but that is not true at all… I was there last year, and can’t wait to return.

Hopefully when I do it will be to a free Syria…

March 24th, 2012, 12:22 pm


ann said:

SNC is dead Al Fatiha upon it’s soul.

March 24th, 2012, 12:26 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Assadism is almost dead… Good riddance!

March 24th, 2012, 12:27 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I like to bet but I like to understand what I am going to bet on.


Shabbiha will flee, inside and outside Syria, but there is no hide for them, Lebanon goverment will collapse following the collapse of Assad.

Iran since over three thousand years wanted to control Syria, and they are trying to do so now, Iran to the Arab is foreign country who has colonial ambition in Syria, Ali made major mistake when he married non arabic wife, and Harun Alrashid made the same mistake, Syria is Arabic state, contrary to what Mjabali says, Syria is better to side with their Arabic states post Assad Syria will cooperate with KSA , and Syria will help change the regime in Iraq and Lebanon, Maliki will go and and real Iraq will join Syria in a friendly relationship.

Turkey has to intervene in Syria if massive number of refugee enter Turkey,next week is important for Syrian history, as Obama meets Erdogan,

How many king and president will attend the Arab Summit meeting,there will not be many, Jordan king said he will send Hasawneh

March 24th, 2012, 12:41 pm


Mina said:

141 Irritated,

Precisely the Salafi media (everyone remembers the al Qaeda videos of Bin Laden and Zawahiri, to know the importance of media for these post modern terrorists) has eclipsed the “free medias” in the case of Syria.

Why? Because we were told for a year by the Western journalists who had never set a foot in Syria that it is a fortress like North Korea, and that there was no such things there as free medias, internet and NGOs.

And what do we hear now? That there was a free media centre in Baba Amro for the last 6 months at least, plus one close to the latest Damascus bombings (according to someone who posted here, Anwar, not sure he is a reliable source though), and more seriously, in Damascus with dozens of people working until they were arrested 2 weeks ago (see Le Monde today

March 24th, 2012, 12:41 pm


Tara said:


“In the camps in Hatay, they have TV, washing machines, children playground, schools, electricity, internet and 24/7 hours security guards and full food service.
Why would they go back?”

Bronco, how would you feel if suddenly you lost your apartment, your dearest memories, your personal belonging, and found yourself in a tent camp with TV and washing machines, dependent on a governmental programs to feed you and your children?

Being refugees reduce people to just being numbers.   From someone with your background,  I would expect some sympathy.  Your comment is disappointing to say the least.

March 24th, 2012, 12:45 pm


Juergen said:


can you share your song? your link did not work.
Did you ever see those guys before, i laughed the heck out of myself today watching their videos:

March 24th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Hans said:

I didn’t know you would read the Fatiha but I will join you on reading it on the SNC!
I will ask Tara to JOIN us as WELL at her own WILL.

March 24th, 2012, 1:08 pm


Tara said:


Are you using a laptop or iPad?
I will resend using a laptop instead of iPad. I can open the link on my phone and on iPad. Any idea why this is happening?


I will when a more charismatic, united and hawkish opposition is born. 😉

March 24th, 2012, 1:19 pm


Juergen said:


i use an pc. When i open your link a list of other vids you watched are on it.

March 24th, 2012, 1:25 pm


ann said:

Kofi Annan to visit China – 2012-03-24

BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) — The UN-Arab League’s joint envoy on Syria Kofi Annan will visit China from March 27 to 28 at the invitation of the Chinese government, according to a Saturday statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Annan will meet with Foreign Ministry officials to discuss their views on the Syrian conflict.

Hong said China values and supports Annan’s mediation efforts and hopes to thoroughly discuss political solutions for the Syrian crisis during his visit and work with him to play a constructive role in ending the conflict there in a fair, peaceful and appropriate way.


March 24th, 2012, 1:27 pm


Tara said:

Thanks Juergen

Will resend when I get home.

March 24th, 2012, 1:32 pm


ann said:

Terrorists blast gas pipeline in eastern Syria – 2012-03-24

DAMASCUS, March 24 (Xinhua) — “An armed terrorist group” blasted Saturday a gas pipeline in eastern Deir al-Zour province, the latest in a string of sabotaging acts targeting oil and gas pipeline wherever located across Syria, the country’s state news agency SANA reported.

The pipeline carries gas between Deir al-Zour and central province of Homs, said SANA, adding that it feeds an electricity generator unit in Homs.

The blast caused the leakage of about 700,000 cubic meters of gas, according to the report.

Quoting an official source from the oil ministry, SANA said that the gas pumping was halted immediately after the blast, adding that maintenance workers have started fixing the pipeline in order to resume the pumping process which is expected to re- operate within the next 72 hours.

At least nine pipelines have been targeted since the eruption of unrest in Syria in mid March last year. Syria held what it called “saboteurs” responsible for the attacks.


March 24th, 2012, 1:45 pm


ann said:

Socialist International issues declaration on Arab world – 2012-03-24

ISTANBUL, March 24 (Xinhua) — The Socialist International, headed by former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, issued a declaration here on Saturday, calling for wide efforts for democratic and fair transitions in the Arab world.

The declaration was adopted following the two-day meeting of about 50 specialists, scholars and lawyers from 15 countries, including Egypt, France, Greece, Iraq, Spain and Turkey.

With regard to Syria, the declaration said “we have fully backed the efforts of the United Nations and the Arab League for an end to the killing.” It said that they stand firmly on the side of the Syrian people in their fight for democracy and human rights.

The declaration called on UN Security Council to act in line with the overwhelming sentiment of the international community to protect the Syrian people.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey’s major opposition Republican People’s Party, said at a press conference that his party is against any involvement of military intervention by the Turkish government. “It is not correct for the government to intervene militarily against Syria without the UN binding resolution,” he said.


March 24th, 2012, 1:51 pm


omen said:

don’t dye your hair. chemicals in them are suspected carcinogens.

March 24th, 2012, 1:55 pm


omen said:

russian special forces in syria. what are they doing there?

March 24th, 2012, 1:58 pm


Alan said:

183. HANS
my father didn’t like to speak on a religious or national origin. it is tradition of the Syrian nation. any new phenomenon speaking on ethnos or religion is engineering of smashing of mister Bernard Luis

March 24th, 2012, 2:28 pm


jad said:

This is why I respect and support NCB, they are truly Syrians and they refuse to sell their souls to the devils like ‘others’
لماذا نحن في هيئة التنسيق الوطنية مع السلمية ؟
“بمناسبة عيد أم الشهيد بتاريخ 21 آذار لعام 2012 نرسل لكم هذه الرسالة التي نوضح بها في موقفنا من الحراك السلمي ولماذا نحن في هيئة التنسيق الوطنية مع السلمية”

March 24th, 2012, 2:38 pm


Alan said:

I see real which show inevitability of falling of the USA! after time of cold war of the USA appeared aren’t capable to be transformed necessarily and to time requirements! further to spend efforts to the wrong directions. the principle to do business on wars became outdated.

March 24th, 2012, 2:41 pm


jad said:

Here you go Tara
كلمات اغنية غيبي يا شمس

March 24th, 2012, 2:48 pm


Alan said:

211. JAD
زوقك رفيع !

March 24th, 2012, 2:54 pm


jad said:

When a TV channel giving news about a sport match changed to a ‘political’ yet some whiners are claiming that those channels are ‘professional’..We believe you!

تقرير العربية – مباراة القادسية والاتحاد السوري

March 24th, 2012, 3:02 pm


jad said:

أخي آلان

السيدة تارا حاولت أن تضع هذه الغنية ولكن الرابط لم يعمل لذلك وضعت الأغنية للمساعدة فقط، انها إختيار السيدة تارا.

كل المودة 🙂

March 24th, 2012, 3:06 pm


Afram said:

No Laughin’ No Smilin’ NO NUTHIN’

**Oops: Kuwait Plays Borat’s Spoof Anthem for Athlete

It runs during medal ceremony for Kazakhstan woman…very Nice

After Kazakhstan’s Maria Dmitrienko won gold at the Arab Shooting Championships, she mounted the podium to hear her national anthem played. Problem was, Kuwaiti officials used the obscene spoof version from the Borat movie, reports the Telegraph. (Sample lyric: “Kazakhstan’s prostitutes cleanest…

They swear it was an honest mistake. Dmitrienko was a good sport about it, and officials redid the ceremony with the correct anthem in place. Kazakhstan, of course, demands a full investigation .

pay more attention to text/subtitles on screen

March 24th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Mina said:

Thanks Afram, only the Kuwaitis could do this.
Actually towel heads is not far from the point.

A good reason we won’t hear about the “democratic” presidential camplaign in Egypt, is that unless you think populism is an essential part of democracy, you won’t call it democratic.

March 24th, 2012, 3:19 pm


jad said:

The amount of explosives are unbelievable and all that is in only one place:

الدنيا ترصد آثار التخريب في سرمين بادلب 24-3-2012

March 24th, 2012, 3:20 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“**Oops: Kuwait Plays Borat’s Spoof Anthem for Athlete”

Is that worse or better than Ricky Martins La VIda Loca?

Brings a whole new meaning to being rick rolled…

March 24th, 2012, 3:21 pm


jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus
You wrote that you support LCC, and appreciate their sacrifices, I respect that.
Could you please help me know more of what they are doing away from fsa bloody attacks and snc warmongers plans in their struggle to give Syrians a better future, at least to understand the LCC better in case I was wrong in my judgment about them.
What are the plans, the actions, the political views, the future strategies they promote and are different from others.
For today, I’ll try to avoid to link any news about snc provocative members or about the daily terrorist attacks done by fsa, to give you the space you need to promote the work of LCC that you are referring to.

March 24th, 2012, 3:39 pm


jad said:

وفاة الشيخ أحمد الهجري شيخ العقل الأول لطائفة المسلمين الموحدين في سورية إثر حادث سير أليم

نعت وزارة الأوقاف ومشيخة عقل طائفة الموحدين الشيخ أحمد سلمان الهجري شيخ العقل الأول لطائفة المسلمين الموحدين في سورية الذي توفي اليوم إثر حادث سير أليم نتيجة اصطدام السيارة التي كانت تقله مع سيارة أخرى على طريق عام مردك – شهبا القديم حيث أسعف إلى المشفى الوطني بالسويداء وفارق الحياة.

وقال الشيخ حسين جربوع شيخ عقل طائفة المسلمين الموحدين لوكالة سانا إن رحيل سماحة الشيخ أحمد الهجري فاجعة مؤلمة وخسارة كبيرة للوطن ولأبناء طائفة المسلمين الموحدين في سورية ولبنان إذ أن الوطن بأمس الحاجة لأمثاله في هذا الوقت العصيب الذي يمر به معتبرا أن وفاته هي مشيئة الباري عز وجل ولا مرد لقضاء الله وقدره.

وأضاف أن الفقيد أمضى حياته مؤمنا صابرا وتقيا كرسها لخدمة العمل الصالح ونشر فضائله وخير المواطنين وأدى رسالته الدينية والروحية والإنسانية بكل أمانة وإخلاص وقام بمهامه على أكمل وجه وكان هاجسه الأساسي الحفاظ على أمن الوطن واستقراره وتكريس وحدته الوطنية ونشر الفضيلة وقيم التسامح والمحبة والإخاء بين أبناء الوطن وكان بحق إنسانا بكل ما تعنيه الكلمة من معنى ولم يبخل في عطائه اجتماعيا ودينيا وانسانيا.

وختم الشيخ جربوع حديثه بالقول إن الشيخ الفقيد تفاعل مع الفقراء والمحتاجين وقام بواجباته تجاه الناس وبادلهم المحبة والتواضع فأحبوه سائلا المولى عز وجل أن يتغمده بواسع رحمته وأن يسكنه فسيح جناته وأن يلهم ذويه الصبر والسلوان.

March 24th, 2012, 3:46 pm


Mina said:

Good that Kazakhstan shows up in the youtube videos once in a while..
anyone heard of the oil riots that left ten or more shot dead by police?
or the oil riots in Oman one year before?

March 24th, 2012, 3:49 pm


bronco said:

#191 SOD cc Tara

I am surprised you compare yourself and your comfortable house and setting in Syria to the place that these people left in their village, poor, and lacking basic facilities because of the” mismanagement of the regime”

I guess if you had to return to this kind of place, you’ll be back the next day to the West.

Poor people are ready to go anywhere where they are safe, comfortable, taken care of and can feed their family.
Romantic nostalgia is the privilege of the well off bourgeoisie, not the poor.

March 24th, 2012, 3:51 pm


ann said:

Russia slams UN human rights resolution on Syria – 2012-03-25

MOSCOW, March 24 (Xinhua) — Russia on Saturday accused a newly- adopted UN Human Rights Council resolution “unilateral”, warning that it goes “against international efforts on settling the conflict” in Syria.

“The document gives a unilateral assessment to the events in the country and accuses only the Syrian government of the violence. …It also ignores international efforts aimed at settling the crisis,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The adoption of the biased and inadequate resolution runs against the efforts of the international community to stabilize the situation in Syria,” the statement added.

The Foreign Ministry again pressed for an immediate ceasefire to be carried out by all parties and a nationwide political dialogue without foreign interference.

“We will persistently comply with this policy,” the ministry said.


March 24th, 2012, 4:01 pm


zoo said:

Egyptian public opinion is moving away from the USA and getting closer to Turkey and Iran

March 23, 2012
Egyptians Sour on U.S., Eye Closer Ties to Turkey, Iran
Perceptions of peace treaty with Israel steady
by Ahmed Younis and Mohamed Younis

LOS ANGELES — The majority of Egyptians (56%) now see closer relations with the U.S. as a bad thing for their country, up sharply from 40% in December 2011. Slightly more than one-quarter (28%) say closer relations are a good thing, fewer than say the same thing about Turkey (60%) and Iran (41%).

Egyptians’ views on closer relations with Turkey, Iran, and the U.S.

The surge in Egyptian negativity documented by Gallup surveys coincides with a difficult period in U.S.-Egyptian relations. At about the same time as the Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2012, survey, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces closed a series of high-profile American and Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In a recent opinion column, former Egyptian Ambassador to the U.S. Nabil Fahmy chastised the U.S. and Egyptian governments for their actions in the crisis. Fahmy pointed the finger at the U.S. for illegally operating NGOs after a 2005 agreement that called for licenses and at the Egyptian government for doing business with these same NGOs since 2005. Despite a temporary and controversial resolution, many analysts see this flare-up as the most recent source of tension in the U.S.-Egyptian relationship.

Egyptians are now more likely to see promise in closer ties with Turkey and Iran than with the U.S. A solid majority of Egyptians (60%) say closer relations with Turkey would be a good thing for Egypt, while 19% say it would be a bad thing. Forty-one percent of Egyptians say closer ties with Iran would be a good thing and 38% say they would be a bad thing.

March 24th, 2012, 4:04 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Dear Jad,

Regarding the LCC, you will find their statements and political vision here

Most members are currently anonymous for reasons of safety, they live and work in dire circumstances, you can follow them on twitter @LCCSy or on Facebook, you can find various email there and even their Skype name if you choose to talk to them.

From their twitter account you can see various accounts and details updated on a regular basis of what they are doing.

I don’t belong to the LCC, nor am I a spokesperson for them, I believe their hard work speaks for itself, have a look at those links and choose what you would like to believe.

Don’t ever let me or anyone else stop you from what you feel is right for you, if exposing the lies of the SNC and the crimes of the FSA makes you feel that you are helping your country, then I commend you for it, for you are passionately doing something you Jad believe in.

At the same time I hope you respect the fact that I am passionate about Syria as well, and I believe by that exposing the criminality and brutality of this illegitimate regime is but a mere fraction of what I can do for my country.

I dont support terrorist, or more bloodshed to quote Bashar Al Assad (of all people): “Today they have the option to sow what they want for the future, good or bad, but afterwards they would not have the option to determine the type of harvest. They have sown blood and will reap only blood, and when the plant ripens it will be much greater than the seed that yielded it.”

Doha summit,16-1-2009.

too bad he cares more about Palestinian blood than his own peoples blood…

March 24th, 2012, 4:14 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“Romantic nostalgia is the privilege of the well off bourgeoisie, not the poor.”

Sorry I was not the one that said the plight of refugees that lost everything (even family members) can be fixed by washing machines, TVs, and 24/7 internet access.

I was just using your logic to show you the lack of truth or validity in what you said.

March 24th, 2012, 4:18 pm


Afram said:

216. Mina said:Thanks Afram,you bet Mina

I went to kuwait after Iraq/kuwait war,to help put their power plant back on line,the entire system[rule wise]is corrupt,on top of that came back home with Excedrin Headache


March 24th, 2012, 4:24 pm


Ghufran said:

Somebody mentioned قلعة المضيق

That place is now occupied by armed rebels who are using the altitude to fire on lower places,call that a regime propaganda if you like but nobody fires on stones and rocks,if that place gets destroyed,I know who was responsible.

Opposing the regime does mean giving a free pass to armed rebels.

This pointless shelling and fighting is going nowhere,neither the regime nor the armed rebels will gain anything from it,another syrialess summer for most expats and more poverty and blood shed for the rest.

March 24th, 2012, 4:26 pm


zoo said:

2012 Arab League summit
Dates 27-29 March 2012 (2012-03-29)

Confirmed Presence:
Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan, Mauritania, Djibouti, Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia
+ Ban Ki Moon

Algeria and Sudan will not attend, Syria is not invited.
No confirmation from Oman and Egypt

March 24th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Ghufran said:

This incident and many others show the real face of the regime

March 24th, 2012, 4:30 pm


SimoHurtta said:

194. majedkhaldoun said:
I like to bet but I like to understand what I am going to bet on.

The bet is simply that you put your money in favor the future you predict in your comment, number 132. Surely you have the courage to stand behind your own forecasts. And I bet that it will not happen so simply. Milk and honey will hardly fall from Gulf, USA and Israel. Destroying a country’s existing power structure is more easy than creating a new functioning system. In Somalia they have been trying re-create the state for decades.

Afghanistan and Iraq have not been success stories on human rights, democracy, stability, economic etc. Even Libya is on brink of a real civil war and division. And Libya is a small (by population) country.

I think it is a bit naive to believe that a badly fragmented and mainly unknown (to Syrians) opposition and an army consisting of rival militias and religious mobs could offer a smooth transition to a peaceful future. Even in Iraq and Afghanistan it did not happen despite the resources of the strongest and “richest” powers on earth financing, guiding and supporting the process with hundreds of thousands soldiers.

Surely Syria needs to develop, but will it happen trough a decade long civil war and a “one group” theocracy?

March 24th, 2012, 4:32 pm


Antoine said:

228. GHUFRAN said:

“Somebody mentioned قلعة المضيق
That place is now occupied by armed rebels who are using the altitude to fire on lower places,call that a regime propaganda if you like but nobody fires on stones and rocks,if that place gets destroyed,I know who was responsible”

Dear Ghufran, For facts the region of Qalaat al Mdeeq, like the rest of Reef Hama is mostly under “oppositon” control, and the reason is that the FSA is not very active in Hama so the regime does not have it as its priority.

However Qalaat al Mdeeq has been a refuge for defectors, especially those fleeing from Idleb. So the regime decides it cannot let this happen, and tries to take over the town. the rebels/FSA have the advantage of higher ground/ hilly terrain and well-placed ancient fortifications, so the regime offensive does not amount to much over the past 2 weeks.

There have been YouTube videos of Tanks trying to climb the hill near the Fortress and getting blown up.

But my question to YOU is : Why shoukd the Tanks and regime forces try to take over Qalaat al Mdeeq in the first place ? Your claim that the FSA is firing down from the fortress does not hold water and does not stand up to logic. Bcoz before the last 2 week, there wasn;t any regime forces in that town. So who were they firing at, pray ? The FSA is short of ammunition, they cannpt afford to fire and shoot at ppl just for fun. The region is supportive of the oppositon so harrassing the civilans isn;t going to bring any dividends to the FSA. Yes, the armed “rebels” are indeed firing down from the fortress positions, BUT they have started firing ONLY when regime forces arrived 2 weeks ago. They are firing on regime forces.

Btw your repeated cliams that FSA is firing on civilans, especially on areas considerd pro-regime , does not hold water either, becz the FSA has limited supply of ammunition and must use it wisely. If the FSA was so foolhardy they couldn’t have survived for so long.

Dear Ghufran, please counter this argument, with logic, and empirical evidence. if you can. Do you have any eyewitness accounts from Qalaat al-Mdeeq ?

March 24th, 2012, 4:41 pm


Norman said:


at least the press informed the public and that is new ,

March 24th, 2012, 4:46 pm


Alan said:

229. ZOO
Syria is not invited
عرس بدون العروس ! العريس بفوت بالحيطان

March 24th, 2012, 4:54 pm


bronco said:


I doubt a sunni religious regime can emerge as we have not seen any charismatic religious leader appearing.
In my view it will be a slow political transition under the same regime with the gradual incorporation of opposition figures. The whole process will be punctuated by bursts of violence for a long period of time until discontent takes more mature political shapes with the adherence to political parties.

It needs a shift in the street mentality that political parties can effectively push for changes better than sterile demonstrations.
The focusing on Bashar al Assad is counterproductive as he is not the regime and it is better to keep him in the transitory period as he is probably the most moderate of the whole regime.

March 24th, 2012, 4:57 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

This is the correct way of funeral prayers, not the perverted ones at Umayyad Mosque staged by the regime :

March 24th, 2012, 4:57 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

235. BRONCO said :

“I doubt a Sunni religious regime can emerge as we have not seen any charismatic religious leader appearing.”

Sheikh Adnan al Ar’our, is one of the most charismatic and popular religious leaders in Syria. Though he lives in exile in saudi Arabia, the Sheikh is loved and admired by millions of Syrian, Iraqi, and Lebanese Sunni Muslims. The sheikh is especially popular in these countries because of his steadfast opposition to the Shia. The sheikh is very popular in all over Syria, evident in the way ppl chant for him at demonstrations.

After the regime falls, what we will have is not a “religious regime” , but a “dictatorship of the Saleheen”, a dictatorship of the pious and oppressed souls of Syria, similar to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Lenin.

March 24th, 2012, 5:02 pm


Tara said:


No. We don’t like Arour and we do not hate Shia.

You are pro-regime aiming to use scaremongering and hate mongering tactics to discredit the revolution. I told you before you have posted under Amal before. I have a (non-failing) memory and recognize styles well. I have doubted myself times and again in the past but I am rather pretty sure. You should feel ashamed of yourself.

Please have some decency and stop.

March 24th, 2012, 5:11 pm


Afram said:

By an Israeli mad As hell journalist/Shaul Rosenfeld Published:

Western world is blind

Op-ed: Despite Muslim murderousness, West refrains from admitting Islam is the problem

Many in Israel and in the West have condemned the Toulouse murders and killer’s monstrosity in recent days, and some even expanded the scope of denunciation to include Mohammed Mareh’s jihadist sources of inspiration and the hotbeds of fundamentalist Islamic incitement. Yet still, almost everyone is staying away from pointing the finger at Islam as a whole, a religion that like an interminable production line gives rise to such phenomena, organizations and murderers.,7340,L-4207022,00.html

March 24th, 2012, 5:16 pm


Alan said:

(In my view it will be a slow political transition under the same regime with the gradual incorporation of opposition figures. The whole process will be punctuated by bursts of violence for a long period of time until discontent takes more mature political shapes with the adherence to political parties.)

Thoughts are materialized! try to exclude a set of negative statements from above written!

March 24th, 2012, 5:18 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

TARA, hoew many times have you levelled the accusation before ? Many ppl in Syria love Sheikh Adnan al-Ar’our and there is NOTHING to be ashamed about it, in the same way as there is NOTHING to be ashamed in admiring al-Batrak Mar Bechara Boutros al-Rai.

C’mon Tara, you are speaking for yourself, you may not like the Sheikh, and you have airght to your views, but come to acceot that many of us really like him. Please accept that there are Syrians who are religious and who view things from a religious angle, we have been struggling about this for the last 60 years, if liberals like you do not recognise this aspect of Syrian and Arab society, this thing will have negative social consequences. Don;t be prudish about Salafism as if it were a taboo. Syrian Sunni Muslims are proud of who they are and like to identufy with their Islamic heritage, period.

March 24th, 2012, 5:27 pm


Alan said:

Islam and democracy can happily co-exist

There is a widespread view in the West that, in its clash with radical Islamism, that Islam and democracy are fundamentally irreconcilable. The view holds that, even in the few cases where an avowedly Islamic country can hold elections, these will reflect tribal loyalties and vote-rigging rather than open and competitive politics.

There are considerable grounds for such pessimism, given the corruption of the electoral process in Afghanistan and Iran and the religious factionalism of Iraq. Even Pakistan and Bangladesh, at best, do little more than stumble between corruption and military coups.

Advocates of Islamic pluralism point to Malaysia and Turkey. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-religious state in which its “democracy” has been based on the structural dominance of three ethnic parties, only one of which has an Islamic identity. In Turkey, the military has insisted on its secularism, if occasionally at the expense of its democracy.

March 24th, 2012, 5:36 pm


Hans said:

Does any educated person with an acceptable level of an IQ above the common people can explain to me why we have have religion based life in this world. Let say killing in the name of religion or name of god.
Islam needs to denounce the killing others because in the name of Allah! It is hard to admit what’s wrong with Islam by Muslims therefore, the confrontation within the religion itself is a continuing struggle for its followers, which one day may be solved at the religion expense.
Saying Allah Akhaber when killing others belongs to barbaric stage of humanity.
Human being has evolved mentally, intellectually through centuries and even biologically ( through thousands if not millions of years we don’t know).
It is time to abandon Allah if he asks to kill others to convert them if they are different from yourself.
That’s called a free human being from the jargon of religion and the ties to primate mentality.
I am not an atheist, I believe in god who liberates me from my own inner enemies; greed, hate, etc not other people rights.

March 24th, 2012, 5:55 pm


Tara said:


No Khalid. That is very not true.

You know very well Khalid that my other side of the family are entrenched non-governmental Sunnis sheiks. Now I am not talking about the regime’s stooges such as Buti and Hassoun. Those are governmental employess. I am talking about the Damascenes Spritual Sunni “leaders” so to speak. Syrians are not salafists by design and by physiological composition. Salafism is not part of our heritage or culture. It is just not us. Salafism is what the regime is trying to paint this revolution to discredit it.

March 24th, 2012, 5:59 pm


irritated said:

#237 Khalif Tlass

“dictatorship of the Saleheen”, a dictatorship of the pious and oppressed souls of Syria, similar to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat of Lenin.

That’s fantastic! It sounds extremely exciting, I guess most Syrians are looking forward to that.
They will certainly not regret the hard and cruel dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad and his wife.

March 24th, 2012, 6:06 pm


Syrialover said:

Read the price others paid to get rid of dictators.

This is the fate the House of Assad has been hellbent on building for Syria.

And it’s what the rest of the world is struggling to avoid for Syria.

Any understanding of this is way, way over the head of Assad’s supporters here.

March 24th, 2012, 6:10 pm


Ghufran said:

The FSA said it does not target civilians and I did not say at any point that it does, but shooting at army and security officers is bad enough for me especially after the FSA decided to do it on any target they can get, so the old slogan of defending civilians is now too old to be mentioned.

Another problem is the fact that there are tens of armed rebel groups most of whom have no association with the FSA and they only take orders from local leaders many of whom are common thugs and criminals. This business of armed resistance is a form of civil war in disguise and it can only lead to the destruction of Syria. I was always suspicious of it and now many fence sitting agree even if they oppose the regime.

March 24th, 2012, 6:11 pm


Alan said:

Saudi Arabia: House of Saud, Falling House of Cards

March 24th, 2012, 6:13 pm


Hans said:

here is the plan for the middle east! it is not a spring, it is a long term plan.

March 24th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Jad said:

Dear Son of Damascus

Thank you for sharing those links.

I’m more interested in your personal views of LCC what are the things that attract you in their message.

Spreading the message of the value we like in some political parties is what matters more than how the party/ organization/politician is talking about itself.

For example, for me whenever I read the message I like by NCB I do link and promote it out of a strong believe that Syria needs the message of peaceful movement not more violence, I wholeheartedly support that message and I also believe that negotiations and dialog is the only way out for Syrians.

Killing each others for the sake of one person or one idea or one party is not going to lead us anywhere good, we can’t eliminate half of the Syrians and put Syria under occupation to prove our political point that the current regime is bad, we know that the regime has lots and lots of problems however to change it and get the best outcome means that we may need to get involved in the political process and do the changes from within.

I know that I may sound like a stupid dreamer in the middle of this bloody mess and that nobody of the family who lost beloved ones have the ability to forgive or forget whoever they believe to be the killers but building our children’s future need us to at least try and give peace the chance we all need.

I don’t believe that the khalijis care for Syrians, or western countries give a damn about our average hard working Abu Ahmad.

Nobody cares! They only want to score political gains using our beloved brothers and sisters and children’s blood and the regime gave them this chance, but I refuse to give them the chance to take away our Syrianism for Bashar.

March 24th, 2012, 6:24 pm


Alan said:

Arab Off-season: Post-revolution, pre-radical?

March 24th, 2012, 6:27 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan in a hurry to mend the SNC and the FSA to present a credible face ahead of the Friends of Syria meeting

The FSA is merging into a Military Council and the SNC is trying to mend their rifts on a crucial meeting on Monday in Istanbul: Unite or Move aside.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said it had merged with a unit led by the most senior army deserter, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, to form a united military council aimed at closing ranks in the face of the regime’s unrelenting crackdown.

At the same time the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Council, invited all factions seeking to topple the Assad regime to meet in Turkey on Monday to hammer out a “national pact” of common objectives.

Speaking from Turkey, FSA chief Riad al-Asaad told AFP in Beirut that the new military council “is a step towards guaranteeing the unity of the troops and armed forces (of the opposition) on Syrian territory.” Al-Sheikh would chair the council, an FSA statement said, while a lieutenant from his unit said that Asaad would be in charge of military operations. Asaad “will control all brigades and all (local) military councils (across Syria) must place themselves under his jurisdiction,” Lieutenant Khaled Ali told AFP in Beirut.

General Al-Sheikh and 10 other generals will be tasked with deciding the military strategy of the Free Syrian Army, and will be in charge of weapons and funds, he added.

The SNC said in a statement that the aim of the two-day meeting in Istanbul was to produce a “National Pact for a New Syria,” and eradicate “the regime’s dictatorship.”

More about the Meeting in Istanbul

Syrian opposition seek to heal rift at Turkey meeting

21 March 2012 / REUTERS, İSTANBUL

Opponents of President Bashar al-Assad will try to overcome crippling feuds and plot a more coherent strategy at a meeting sought by Turkey early next week, opposition sources said on Wednesday.

However, the groups’ failure to on agree who should attend the İstanbul meeting has increased doubts about their ability to overcome the deep divisions frustrating foreign powers seeking a reliable partner to unite the anti-Assad movement.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, an increasingly vocal critic of Assad, has said he has high hopes of the April 1 conference and has suggested that Turkey might consider setting up buffer zones inside Syria to protect an influx of refugees.

“Turkey has proposed safe areas to protect civilians, but is frustrated by the opposition and is pressuring them to hold this conference,” said an official in the Syrian National Council (SNC) – a fractious umbrella group made up mainly of exiles.

“The opposition has to show Erdoğan and the rest of the world that it is a responsible political player,” he added.

The SNC draws together personalities from across the political spectrum, but prominent liberals and independent Islamists have grown wary of the rising influence of the Muslim Brotherhood within the 270-member organisation, sources said.

Five prominent members of the SNC quit this month, saying they had given up hope of making the movement a more effective player. They have formed the rival Syrian Patriotic Group (SPG).
Walid al-Bunni, a key SPG member, said he would not attend Monday’s meeting unless SNC President Burhan Ghalioun gave other opposition leaders leeway in choosing who should be invited.

For example, Catherine al-Talli, a human rights lawyer and a member of the SPG group, said she has not been invited.

But veteran opposition figure Najati Tayyara, one of Syria’s most respected human rights campaigners, said he would attend.
“The invitations so far have been oral. Discussions are still going on about the agenda and we should know more in the next two days,” said Tayyara, who fled Syria for Jordan last month after authorities released him from jail.

March 24th, 2012, 6:28 pm


habib said:

239. Tara

Lol. I predict a rough honeymoon.

March 24th, 2012, 6:37 pm


Jad said:

I linked this befor and I’m posting it again because it’s so true and summarize this whole mess:
For those who left (died)…to others to rest (to live a better life)
The homeland is calling….to heal its wounds
Our homeland is in pain…..enough tears (It had enough sadness)
lit candles to its martyrs….and give it back its morning glory

كـرمـال اللي راحـو … لَ غيرُن يرتاحو
الـبـلـد عـم بـيـنــادي … لَ نداويلو جراحو
بـلـدنـا مـوجـــــــوع … بـيـكـفّـيـه دمـــوع
ضوّي لَ شُــهَـداه شــمــوع … و ردّلـو صـبـاحـو

March 24th, 2012, 6:38 pm


Antoine said:

@ 249. GHUFRAN

Lets see it this way, Ghufran. A number of Army defectors, along with many local anti-regime armed volunteers, decide to take shelter in a town or village. The local populace is more or less supportive of this armed presence. Local pro-regime elements, especially informers, are either driven off or killed. Now, what reason, or what logic can you give, for the regime Armed forces and security forces, to try and enter that town or village and try to re-establish control, by force if necessary ?

This is the situation in most of Idleb, Reef Halab, Hama, etc. You must understand that this anti-regime armed presence has the approval of a significant section of the local population, if not all. So what logic can you give ( using patriotic and rational arguments) for the regime to try and recapture these “liberated” territories ?

March 24th, 2012, 6:45 pm


Tara said:

Syria defectors unite as violence rages
AFP – 2 hrs 57 mins ago

Syria’s rebel fighters on Saturday set up a military council to unify their ranks and political opposition leaders called a meeting of all the dissident groups to forge common objectives as deadly violence swept the country.
Despite international envoy Kofi Annan travelling to Russia in a new peace push with one of Syria’s few remaining allies, the army resumed heavy shelling of rebel hubs and stormed a deserter stronghold, monitors and activists said.

The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said it had merged with a unit led by the most senior army deserter, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, to form a united military council aimed at closing ranks in the face of the regime’s unrelenting crackdown.

At the same time the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Council, invited all factions seeking to topple the Assad regime to meet in Turkey on Monday to hammer out a “national pact” of common objectives.
The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) said it had merged with a unit led by the most senior army deserter, General Mustafa al-Sheikh, to form a united military council aimed at closing ranks in the face of the regime’s unrelenting crackdown.

At the same time the main political opposition group, the Syrian National Council, invited all factions seeking to topple the Assad regime to meet in Turkey on Monday to hammer out a “national pact” of common objectives.
The opposition’s lack of unity and transparency has stood in the way of Western and Arab governments giving it military backing — an option favoured however by Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

March 24th, 2012, 7:18 pm


Tara said:

Jad @211

Thanks Jad. It is a nice song isn\’t it?


Jad provided the link at 211.

March 24th, 2012, 7:22 pm


jna said:

248. Syrialoversaid:

Read the price others paid to get rid of dictators.

This is the fate the House of Assad has been hellbent on building for Syria.

And it’s what the rest of the world is struggling to avoid for Syria.

Any understanding of this is way, way over the head of Assad’s supporters here.

Syrialover, I’m sorry to contradict you but the Syrian opposition has consistently chosen ultimatim, violence, and warfare over dialog, negotiations, and peaceful transition. And the opposition has plenty of international firepower from all over the world to back it if it chose the latter course. But it’s still not too late to go this route if knee jerk minds would take a new look at things. “In northern Italy, some 20,000 people were summarily murdered by their own countrymen in the last weeks of the war.” Syria hasn’t come near this far yet. Do what’s right before it happens.

March 24th, 2012, 7:27 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The Assad army is a traitor army, they betrayed the Syrian people, and are killing the syrian who financed them to protect them, the Assad army is a legitimate target and all who participated in killing syrian must be killed, The army must never betray the people, FSA God bless them, are doing the right thing.


I bet five years after the removal of Assad Syria will be better economically,and politically, where Syria will have democratic system, and florishing economy,

As you see we must have timetable, and define what will be better, and if you accept, name your bet.

March 24th, 2012, 7:43 pm


Tara said:

More embarrassing emails leak.  Read below about Azmi Mikati, the nephew of the Lebanese prime minister and Asma.

Assad emails: Asma tells friend ‘I’m a monster’ after doing online personality test

Asma al-Assad told a friend that she had concluded that she was a “monster” after completing an online personality test, according to leaked emails.

The friend was Azmi Mikati, the nephew of the Lebanese prime minister, who the emails suggest was a key link with the outside world for the increasingly besieged Assad family.

He exchanges several emails with President Bashar al-Assad, who asks him for help buying iTunes.

But he emails more regularly with the British-born Mrs Assad, 36, who asks him a variety of favours, including buying a Harry Potter DVD and finding a customised wheelchair for an unspecified person.

Mr Mikati replies to her “monster” claim by saying that he has looked up the dictionary definition of “monster”, which is “a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, intelligence and kindliness”.

It was to Mr Mikati that she said she was “the real dictator” in the Assad family.

She also seeks views on her husband’s speeches and interviews from the globe-trotting communications executive whose father and uncle made billions from one of Lebanon’s major mobile phone companies.

March 24th, 2012, 8:00 pm


Tara said:

Azmi Mikati Makhlouf:  T-one and Syriatel.

 Azmi T. Mikati, a Lebanese businessman, was born on September 21st, 1972 in Tripoli, Lebanon.

In 1994, he earned a Bachelor of Sciences from Columbia University, New York. While in college, he founded T-One, a telecom company providing long-distance services between the United States and other international destinations. It proved quite successful and was later sold in 1997 to a US publicly traded long distance company.

In 1998, he became CEO of Investcom, a leading emerging market mobile phone company. Under his leadership, the Company’s sales grew in less than seven years from US$ 30 Million to close to US $ 1 Billion.

On October 6th, 2005, Investcom listed its share on the London Stock Exchange, and on the Dubai International Financial Exchange. It raised more than US$ 778 Million, in what was the largest international listing of a Middle Eastern company.

At 33, Mikati is the youngest CEO of a Middle Eastern publicly traded company. He lives in Beirut, Lebanon with his wife Mira Zantout and their two children Nada and Taha.

March 24th, 2012, 8:07 pm


Ghufran said:

On paper, having a group of motivated soldiers that defends civilians against a brutal regime is a good thing, in reality , Syria is a killing field with little proof about who is killing who, anybody with a gun today can kill any Syrian and call himself an FSA member and call the victim a regime supporter or even video tape the victim and send it to YouTube and accuse the regime of the crime, I have no doubt that the regime can do the same.

Violence provides the perfect environment for thugs and evil doers and it is morally wrong unless it is done against a foreign occupier or in clear and unambiguous self defense.

March 24th, 2012, 8:41 pm


Mawal95 said:

Today Saturday, 18 Syrian soldiers were buried, of whom two-thirds were conscripts. I get the heebie-jeebies from seeing such a high proportion of conscripts in the list. The usual proportion is roughly 30%, which is still too high imo.

The average number of soldiers (including policemen) buried per day during the month of March so far has been 10.1 men per day. Here are the averages for previous months:

February: 12.8 men per day
January: 9.6 men per day
December: 9.9 men per day
November: 8.0 men per day

March 24th, 2012, 8:47 pm


Mawal95 said:

The following is from one of the top two newspapers in Turkey, Zaman. It is a comment full of shıt. The fact that this particular news outlet in Turkey takes it seriously, and prints it, goes to tell me that the Turks in large numbers are clueless about Syria:

“There’s so much focus on the political aspect of the opposition’s identity,” commented Syrian rights blogger and panelist Sherien Hayek to Today’s Zaman. “But what is really critical now is a deal that would help alleviate the most pressing problem, the massive humanitarian crisis.” (Thanks to #169 ALES for the link).

March 24th, 2012, 8:51 pm


Tara said:

“This is a very risky summit for al-Maliki,” 

As Iraq hosts summit, Syria crisis puts it under pressure to choose between Iran, Arab ties
By Associated Press,

BAGHDAD — A summit of Arab leaders, held here for the first time in a generation, is a prime opportunity for Iraq to reassert itself as a political player in the Arab world after years of war, isolation and American occupation.

It also puts Iraq’s Shiite leadership under pressure to pick a side in the bitter sectarian politics dividing the region. The top item on the agenda — the crisis in Syria — is seen by Iraq’s suspicious Arab brethren as a litmus test of whether Baghdad is with them or with their top rival, Shiite-led Iran.
“The Arab leaders will meet for a few hours and they will come out with nothing,” said Shiite lawmaker Jawad al-Hassnawi, a follower of the hard-line Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who is currently studying religion in Iran. “All the previous Arab summits were a mere failure and we expect this one in Baghdad to be no different.”

Arab states, particularly the Sunni monarchies of the Gulf, suspect Iraq’s Shiite government of being a proxy for their enemy, Iran. As a result, they have been cool or outright resistant to building relations with Baghdad.

Most Gulf rulers are likely to stay away from the summit and send lower-level officials instead in a show of their wariness toward Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Officials across the Persian Gulf did not respond requests for comment.
At the summit, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar are expected to use Syria as a way to push al-Maliki “and see where his real loyalties lie,” said Ken Pollack, an expert at the Brookings Institute think-tank in Washington.

Angering the Gulf states risks cutting off Iraq from the rest of the Arab world and its investment power. It could also anger Iraq’s Sunni minority, who complain about being sidelined and threaten to divide the country by creating their own autonomous states.

But Iraq cannot turn its back on Iranian interests. Iran supplies Iraq with much-needed electricity and water, which helps tamp down public anger toward the government during the searing summer months. Al-Maliki kept his post in 2010 only after Tehran encouraged hard-line Shiite leaders to support him.
Over the last few months, al-Maliki has launched a charm offensive with Arab states. Baghdad has settled a long-standing airlines lawsuit with Kuwait for $500 million; agreed to a prisoner exchange with Saudi Arabia; and paid Egypt $500 million to compensate Egyptian workers in Iraq. It has also restored full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Those olive branches were offered partly in hopes of drawing as many leaders as possible, according to a Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the issue frankly.


March 24th, 2012, 8:55 pm


omen said:


needs crosshairs painted on them.

March 24th, 2012, 9:17 pm


omen said:

libya denied reports of pilots defecting as well.

March 24th, 2012, 9:26 pm


Tara said:

Time is running out–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=16655&NewsCatID=425

A government cannot fail to take the measures the security climate in its country requires. But a state cannot act like a hammer that sees everyone as a potential nail-head needing hammering. The use of force may help to contain popular unrest, but at the end of the day, unless force is accompanied with civilian measures including a sincere political will to address the revolting public’s fundamental demands, neither the Mubaraks of Egypt, the Gadhafis of Libya, nor the al-Assads of Syria can sit on their soft couches in comfort for ever. Their falling from power under such circumstances is not a matter of “if,” but rather “when?” and “how bloody?”
Syria as part of Turkish domestic politics

The Turkish government worries that Syria might be the end of the Arab Spring story, because an oppressive regime could be allowed to survive thanks to Cold War-like balance politics; Russia and China, permanent members of the United Nations, stand firm to support the al-Assad regime as their last ally in the region. Iran’s support for al-Assad is a given fact already. So the Istanbul meeting will be key to determining the Turkish government’s Syria policy.

But the Turkish opposition is heavily involved in Syrian politics; the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been hosting a Socialist International (SI) conference in Istanbul March 23-24, on the present and future of the Arab Spring. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in his welcoming speech that he was worried that the Arab Spring could turn into an Arab Fall, because he could not see much that will benefit those striving for more freedoms and rights for the working classes in the new administrations of those Arab countries where revolts have taken place.

Kılıçdaroğlu has been criticizing the Erdoğan government of being too much involved in the domestic politics of Syria, and of going beyond defending the human rights of the Syrian opposition. In return Erdoğan has hit a bit below the belt and pointed out the similarity between the faiths of Kılıçdaroğlu and al-Assad; the former being a Turkish Alevi and the latter a Nusairy, the Syrian version of the same sect. Al-Assad’s Nusairy minority has been ruling Syria via the Baath party for decades.

A few days before the SI conference, Erdoğan said that Kılıçdaroğlu was trying to denounce the Turkish government to foreigners. The CHP leader replied saying that he will continue to tell the truth about Syria to anyone who wants to hear it.

It is a rare occasion in Turkish politics that parties openly clash with each other on a foreign policy matter. The war in Iraq in 2003 was the last major example, and now there is the civil war in Syria. It is not clear yet whether Iran (another neighbor of Turkey) will be the third example of domestic political fight.

March 24th, 2012, 9:46 pm


Norman said:

The Syria army is made of drafted Syrians from all parts of Syria there is nothing traitor about the Syrian Arab army .

March 24th, 2012, 10:08 pm


Ghufran said:

My post # 262 had an error

The sentence about violence should have read ” unless it is done against …”
[ARROW Fixed ]
Sorry for the error.

The SNC does not seem to consider Anan mission a failure, I hope that means something.

Suggestion about a Syrian Taef are starting to circulate,this means the Lebanization of Syria and the end of any real prospect for a sovereign Palestinian state. Syrians who are too tired of the blood shed may actually now be more sympathetic to that strange concept.

March 24th, 2012, 10:21 pm


omen said:

soldiers who, unprovoked, fire upon unarmed civilians are traitors and war criminals.

March 24th, 2012, 10:25 pm


jad said:

Dear Norman

You are absolutely right, the Syrian Army soldiers are our brothers and sons they are defending Syria and Syrians from those worthless coward mercenaries and the dirt on any Syrian Army solder’s boots have more honor than many.

الله محي الجيش
الله محي الجيش

March 24th, 2012, 10:26 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

general Mustafa Al Sheikh and Ryad Asaad has just declared the FSA as the army of the people and the country of Syria, and attack on the FSA is a crime and the Assad army who serve Bashar Assad will be held as enemy of the people,
Unified military council will be supplied with what they need.

God bless the FSA

SNC must declare Iran as the enemy of the Arab, anyone who support,defend, deal with Iran is the enemy of the syrian people,and the enemy of the Arabic people, Maliki must get this message.

March 24th, 2012, 10:52 pm


irritated said:

#272 Majedalkhaldoon

Who cares about what these mutineers say? Who do they think they are? Who appointed them?
They’d better learn Turkish because this is where they will stay for the rest of their lives.

March 24th, 2012, 10:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Uniting the two competing army detectors organizations will certainly please some people, I will judge this move if that marriage last and if it actually stick to its stated goal of defending civilians,I am certainly skeptical especially that the FSA does not control the numerous armed groups in Syria,actually I think islamists are way more powerful than the FSA today.

Nobody in the opposition has declared Iran as the enemy of Arabs except the Israelite Araboids because the regime in Iran is not Iran, also, the Syrian army is not the regime, giving a license to people to shoot Syrian soldiers at random is a form of terrorism that will be condemned by most governments including the western ones,v and it will free the hands of hawks in the regime who may argue that they are fighting terrorists the same way other governments do, this strategy is self destructive and will probably fail.

My own opinion about the whole thing will earn me some rude remarks but I see no value of anything that comes from Turkey or the AL, the Syrian crisis is in the hands of the US and Russia, both of whom are not interested in arming the opposition now.

Syrians in Syria will decide how much support this new body will receive, I am certainly opposed to any violent escalation at a time when there is an effort by the UN to squeeze the regime.

March 24th, 2012, 11:14 pm


omen said:

what season is it?

March 24th, 2012, 11:17 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Congratulation to Carmen Suleiman ,she won the Arab Idol, I do think also that Dunia Batma has very beautiful voice, .
My favorite singer is Saad Ramadan.

March 24th, 2012, 11:21 pm


ann said:

Gov’t troops kill three gunmen in southern Syria – 2012-03-25

DAMASCUS, March 24 (Xinhua) — Syria’s security forces clashed Saturday with an armed group in southern Daraa province, killing three gunmen and rounding up eight others, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Those gunmen had killed 10 civilians recently at Kafr Shams area in Daraa, SANA said, adding that security forces confiscated assorted weaponry after the clashes.

In northern Idlib province, two “terrorists” were killed Saturday while planting an explosive device at a main road in Saraqeb area, said SANA.


Turkey hosts alleged “Syrian army defectors”, including the cowardly traitor Riad al-Asaad, head of the anti-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad militia called the Fake Syrian Army (FSA).

March 24th, 2012, 11:32 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I suggest that one of the future fridays should be named Ryad Al Asaad friday, he is the true leader of this revolution,

God bless the FSA

Long live Ryad Al Asaad

Down with Bashar Al Assad

March 24th, 2012, 11:33 pm


irritated said:

Shami #278

I think your turn will come earlier when the God SNC and the Angels FSA would decide that Turkey is a better retirement place than Syria. The sooner the better.

March 24th, 2012, 11:36 pm


Mina said:

If people can believe a hoax such as the email described in #260, it just helps to evaluate theit IQ…
A monster, a bullet proof jacket, eperons on shoes, but no IP adresses.
Journalists have a high esteem of their readers obviously.

March 24th, 2012, 11:40 pm


Equus said:

271. omen said:

soldiers who, unprovoked, fire upon unarmed civilians are traitors and war criminals.

Are you referring to the British army or American army?

March 24th, 2012, 11:43 pm


Jerusalem said:

The Global March to Jerusalem, March 30, 2012

The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) is a groundbreaking new initiative that is organising non-violent civil resistance on 30th March 2012 in Palestine and the four neighbouring countries: Egypt, Lebanon Jordan and Syria. The GMJ is comprised of a diverse coalition of Palestinian, Arab and international activists who are united in the struggle to liberate the holy city of Jerusalem (the city of Peace) from illegal Zionist occupation.

March 24th, 2012, 11:44 pm


irritated said:

Mina #263

They know which kind of readers they are dealing with.

March 24th, 2012, 11:45 pm


Mina said:

Instead of comparing the use of videos to film a massacre by their authors as in the case of Merah who filmed the killing he did in Toulouse with other places where it is use to recruit further people (Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria), the French media is into attacking the French Muslim communities. As if they needed that.

Looks like the neocons want war all over? Sarkozy has only one month left to ruin the country a little more.

March 24th, 2012, 11:45 pm


Shami said:

Norman ,the problem is not the army population but the corrupt sectarian people who hijacked the higher hierarchy.
Those are after bribe,they are part of the security-economy mafia ,they have no moral ,their duty is to protect assad dictature and their inner privilegies.
Guess why they avoided to call up the reserve and instead they prefered the shabiha.

March 24th, 2012, 11:48 pm


Jerusalem said:

Is Wahhabi terrorism bad in France, good in Syria?
Mohamed Omar is a Swedish freelance writer. He works for Islam Times.

The French government should know that its friendship with Saudi Arabia and its backing of Wahhabis militants in Libya and Syria will embolden the Wahhabi movement globally. The so called “Arab Spring” has led to a surge of Wahhabi influence all over the everywhere and their self confidence has never been as high. They feel they are winning and that Syria is within reach. The attack on a Shiite mosque in Brussels and the massacre in Toulouse are two expressions of this new confidence.

March 24th, 2012, 11:51 pm


Shami said:

irritated ,honestly ,do you believe that the syrian muslim brotherhood will still exist in post assad syria ?i’m asking this question because i believe that they will be still there when the people will be going to qurdaha in order to urinate on your gods graves.
What make Syria is the people ,not the political entities ,so what about a tyrannical regime ?

March 24th, 2012, 11:51 pm


Mina said:

The problem is global: you can’t belong to the higher circles unless you play with these (crooked) rules of mafias and bribes.
Look at England:

March 24th, 2012, 11:54 pm


Shami said:

Mina ,you must live in North Korea,Iran or Syria if you want to relativize the exaggerated wrong with accidents in advanced democratic countries.

March 24th, 2012, 11:57 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

There will not be tomb of Assad,

March 24th, 2012, 11:59 pm


Mina said:

Well the Sunday Times tells you that for a certain amount of money, you can have a meeting with Cameron or Hague and you call it a small dysfunctionement?

Ri’ad al As’ad calls for war on the regime and is hosted in Turkey.

The Syrian Muslim Brothers who galvanized the (Islamist part of the) movement with their live aljazeera conference last year, were also talking from Turkey.

What if the Kurds or the Palestinians imitate this, mister advocate of independentists and human rights movements? What would the “international organizations” you seem to trust would say?

March 25th, 2012, 12:01 am


jad said:

“in order to urinate on your gods graves”
As we all know, it’s not 7alal of them to do such najaasah:

What is the ruling if some drops of urine get in the under
pants while urinating normally or in a hurry.

“It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) passed by two graves and said, “They are being punished, but they are not being punished for something that was difficult to avoid. One of them used to walk about spreading nameemah (malicious gossip) and the other used not to take care to avoid getting urine on himself.”

March 25th, 2012, 12:06 am


Equus said:

US WAR ON IRAN: “THE WORST MISTAKE IN AMERICAN HISTORY”: The Road to Disaster ~ by Fidel Castro Ruz

When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species.
Israel, with the aid and cooperation of the United States, has manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting for their actions to anybody. Not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighbouring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their objective of attacking and destroying the production centres for nuclear fuel in Iran

March 25th, 2012, 12:10 am


ann said:

ANGELS protecting the people of Syria!

Gas pipeline blown up in Syria – Sunday, March 25, 2012

Damascus: A gas pipeline was blasted in a Syrian province Saturday, leading to leakage of about 700,000 cubic metres, reports said.

“An armed terrorist group” blasted a gas pipeline in eastern Deir al-Zour province, Xinhua reported citing Syrian state news agency SANA.

The pipeline supplies gas between Deir al-Zour and central province of Homs, besides supporting an electricity generator unit in Homs.

It was the latest incident in a string of sabotage targeting oil and gas pipeline located across Syria, the report added.


March 25th, 2012, 12:10 am


Equus said:


Saudi rulers are struggling to contain a new wave of public protests that has erupted across the Arabian kingdom as security forces open fire on unarmed civilians.

The irony is rich indeed. For the past year, the Saudi rulers have done their utmost to crush the slightest dissent in their country, while at the same time they have backed Western interference, aggression and regime change in Libya and Syria – under the guise, wait for it, of advocating democratic freedom and human rights.

By Finian Cunningham

March 25th, 2012, 12:13 am


jad said:

An honest opinion:

كتب بسام الحكيم : الخنفشاريون والهردبشت

كان والدي “رحمه الله” يطلق صفة الخنفشاري على أي أمر أو شخص لا يعجبه وعندما سألته يوماً عما تعنيه كلمة خنفشاري أجابني بأنها تعني الهردبشت!!!
اليوم وبالرغم من كوني لم أستطع التعرف على أصل هذين المصطلحين إلا أن معناهما الواضح جداً في ذهني يدفعني لتوصيف كل جماعة المعارضة بسوريا قشة لفة بالخنفشاريين والهردبشت
الخنفشاري الشيخ العرعور يتعاطى مع روسيا كما يتعاطى كشاشي الحمام مع كشاتهم , فيرش للروس القنبذ بتذكيرهم بالمكاسب التي حصدها الغربيون جراء تدخلهم العسكري بليبيا طالباً منهم مساندة التدخل في سوريا حتى لا تضيع مكاسبهم فيها أيضاً
هردبشت باب السباع والصامدين معهم في وجه الحضارة على حد تعبير الصديق نبيل يصرّون على معاقبة النظام من خلال منع العلم عن أبنائهم رافعين شعار لا دراسة ولا تدريس فالشعب يريد التـتـيـيس
مرتادي صفحة الخنفشاريين على الفيس بوك لا يكفيهم مساندة شياطين العالم أجمع لهم فيصرحون بالفم الملآن أنهم على استعداد للتحالف مع إبليس ذات نفسه لتحقيق هدفهم باسقاط النظام
الهردبشت أردوغان خطب عام 1998 خطبته الصميدعية التي قال فيها مساجدنا ثكناتنا , قبابنا خوذاتنا , مآذننا حرابنا والمصلون جنودنا , فتلقفت رسالته هذه جماعة الإخوان الخنفشاريون وعملت على تنفيذها حرفياً في بعض المدن والحارات السورية فحولت العديد من مساجدها فعلاً إلى ثكنات للذبح على الهوية
لا أريد الإطالة بالحديث عن المعارضة لأنه بات مملاَ ومقرفاً للحد الذي بتنا فيه نكره كل ما يمت للفعل “عرض” بصلة .

March 25th, 2012, 12:18 am


jad said:

Is it a coincidence of snc to declare Iran enemy number one and ksa declaring a ‘hidden’ war against Iran through oil?
Is it Turkey or ksa the true master of snc? My guess is that if snc statement is true, it’s a ‘sectarian’ declaration rather than political and in that case it’s ksa not turkey behind it, which means that alkhalayjeh bought snc Inc and fsa&Co. in one deal!

هل تنتقم إيران عسكريا من الحماس السعودي للمشاركة في عقوبات نفطية على إيران؟

فيما تسير الولايات المتحدة الاميركية على خطى الاتحاد الاوروبي وتتدارس إمكانية فرض عقوبات على النفط الايراني، تصطدم بمعوق كبير يتمثل في تأمين احتياجاتها من الذهب الاسود لاسيما في ظل تذمر الشركات الاوروبية، معوق طرحت المملكة السعودية حلاً فوريا له وإن على حساب احتياطها النفطي، فأي هدف وراء تطوع السعودية، وهل يسهم قرارها في اصدار حزمة جديدة من العقوبات؟؟

وقد كشفت مصادر حكومية بقطاع النفط أن دبلوماسيين أوروبيين يدرسون إمكانية إعفاء بعض شركات التأمين من قرار حظر توفير تغطية لشحنات النفط الإيراني بفعل ضغوط يمارسها مستوردون آسيويون للنفط تضرروا من هذا القرار وطلبوا إعفاء من العقوبات الأوروبية على طهران لضمان إمدادات النفط.
هل تنجح السعودية في اقناع الولايات المتحدة بفرض عقوبات نفطية على ايران؟؟ الأمر يتوقف على مغامرة سعودية غير محسوبة العواقب فالحكمة تقضي اقصاء اوبك عن المشاكل والتصدعات ناهيك عن نفط سعودي قاصر عن مجاراة جودة الذهب الاسود الايراني، كله رهن بما تبقى من حكمة في كواليس القرار السعودي.

March 25th, 2012, 12:29 am


jad said:

Welcome back!

March 25th, 2012, 12:43 am


Ghufran said:

هيثم المالح في بولندا

March 25th, 2012, 12:50 am


Mina said:

[green alert Mina, the ‘Uri’ you referenced in the comment I removed was, I believed, a mistake, in that you did not perhaps understand that desktop_uri can mean desktop universal resource indicator.

There was no ‘Uri” but there was an Ipad-only mobile link. Is it our business what lies behind (a ‘playlist’ at) Youtube?

Must someone answer? We are anonymous, many of us, and keep it that way by design, and so may choose not to answer personal questions about internet IDs. If Tara must explain something, must you explain your interest?

If I have made an error in deleting your demand for the ID of ‘Uri,’ please let me know:]

Quizz of the day (Moderator, please don’t be too harsh)
Whose playlist is that?

(When people use so-called leaked emails, they may want to learn what an url reveals, no?)

March 25th, 2012, 12:52 am


jad said:

Is Hollywood hiring new faces?

March 25th, 2012, 1:03 am


omen said:

11:43 @ equus, i don’t defend troops of empire. no matter their nationality, firing upon unarmed civilians is a war crime and needs to be prosecuted as such.

March 25th, 2012, 1:06 am


jad said:

Wenak SNK?
التضليل الاعلامي 24-3-2012

March 25th, 2012, 1:16 am


omen said:

are assadists still clinging to delusions?

March 25th, 2012, 1:25 am


jad said:

According to Ashraf, As’ad and Alsheikh were paid $300.000 to get united:

Ashraf Almoukdad
مسرحية سمجة قبضوا 300.000 دولار لتمثيلها….ياحيف ياحيف
العقيد رياض الأسعد : قائد الجيش السوري الحر 24-3-2012

March 25th, 2012, 1:55 am


jad said:

Patrick Cockburn: The attempt to topple President Assad has failed

World View: The EU travel ban serves to show how impotent the outside world is in its dealings with Syria

The year-long effort to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad and his government has failed. Two or three months ago, it seemed to come close to succeeding, as insurgents took over enclaves in cities such as Homs and Deir el-Zour. There was talk of no-fly zones and foreign military intervention.

Severe economic sanctions were slapped on Syria’s already faltering economy. Every day brought news of fresh pressure on Assad and the momentum seemed to build inexorably for a change of rule in Damascus.

It has not happened. Syria will not be like Libya. The latest international action has been an EU ban on Assad’s wife, Asma, and his mother travelling to EU countries (though, as a UK citizen, Asma can still travel to Britain). As damp squibs go, this is of the dampest. The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, claims this increases the pressure on the Syrian government but, on the contrary, it relieves it. Curtailing Asma’s shopping trips to Paris or Rome, supposing she ever intended to go there, shows the extent to which the US, EU and their allies in the Middle East are running out of options when it comes to dealing with Damascus.

“Nobody is discussing military operations,” the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said last week.
What went wrong for the advocates of regime change? In general, they overplayed their hand and believed too much of their own propaganda. By this January, everything they did was predicated on international military intervention, or a convincing threat of it. But this ceased to be an option on 4 February when Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution, backed by the Arab League, calling on Assad to step down. The experience of the US, EU, Nato and the Arab Gulf states in overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi turned out to be misleading when it came to Syria.
In the second half of last year Assad appeared to be facing an all-powerful international coalition. It included Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the US, EU and Turkey. It emerged, however, that everybody was in favour of somebody doing something to bring him down – so long as that somebody was somebody else. There was talk of “safe havens” being established on the Jordanian or Turkish borders, but neither Jordan nor Turkey showed any enthusiasm for an act that would lead immediately to armed conflict with Syria.
The Syrian protesters did everything they could to give the impression that what happened in Libya could be repeated in Syria. They are now being criticised for their divisions and lack of leadership, but probably they felt they had no choice. The uprising had begun among the under-class of Syrians, but by last summer had spread to the middle class. But the use of snipers and death squads by the regime made street protests highly dangerous and they have got smaller in recent months (one of the benefits of the Arab League monitoring team was that it opened the door again to street demonstrations). Protesters now seldom wave olive branches and chant “Peaceful, Peaceful”. Militarisation of the protest movement and the increased sectarianism played to the strengths of the regime. Sectarianism not only weakens the opposition inside Syria, it helps divide the coalition facing it abroad. In a presidential election year, US voters do not care much who rules Syria, but they care a lot about al-Qa’ida.
The Syrian regime will not fall without a radical change in the balance of forces. The appointment of the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan as a UN-Arab League peace envoy is a face-saver to mask the failure so far of the regime’s opponents. This is bad news for the Syrian people, who face a prolonged and vicious civil war like Lebanon in the 1970s and 1980s.

March 25th, 2012, 2:03 am


Alan said:

Medvedev to set forth Russian approach to ending violence in Syria

MOSCOW, March 25 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will on Sunday meet Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for the Syrian settlement, to set forth Russia’s approach to ending violence in Syria.

“Russia supports the mission of Kofi Annan, maintains permanent contacts with him and wants to demonstrate its interest in searching for ways of settlement in Syria not only in words but also in deeds,” Russian president’s aide Sergei Prikhodko told Itar-Tass.

He emphasized that ending violence in Syria was a priority task for Russia.

“In this context and given the fact that the Syrian authorities are ready to begin such a dialogue, the main thing is to persuade the Syrian opposition to sit down to talks with representatives of the authorities and reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis,” the Kremlin spokesperson went on to say.

“The six-point plan proposed by Kofi Annan offers the only realistic perspective to achieve this goal. We intend to continue our all-round support for Annan’s activities to settle the Syrian crisis,” Prikhodko stressed.
On March 21, Russia voted for an official statement of the chairman of the United Nations Security Council that endorsed Kofi Annan’s six-point proposal for peace in Syria.

Prikhodko said that President Medvedev would set forth our position of principle to the question of stopping fire and violence in Syria that would be hard to implement without putting an end to the current external arms and political support for the Syrian opposition. Formats like the Friends of Syria Group are unlikely to contribute to solving the Syrian crisis. The decisions they pass are usually based on unilateral support for one of the sides in conflict. The Group’s first meeting in Tunisia demonstrated that on March 24.

Russia believes that improvement of humanitarian situation in Syria should be an important part of the Syrian settlement plan.

“We welcome the efforts of Valerie Amos, the U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, to establish a constructive dialogue with Damascus and the opposition on ways to overcome humanitarian consequences of the Syrian crisis, “ Prikhodko emphasized.

March 25th, 2012, 2:35 am


Alan said:

Battleground promised by PKK

All Kurdish areas will become a battleground if Turkey dares to invade Syria, according to a warning issued on Saturday by the head of the military wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Murat Karayalan.

He accused the conservative Islamic government in Ankara, encouraged by the United States and several European powers, of carrying out plans for intervention in Syria, which is being torn apart by an internal crisis.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has repeatedly demanded that Damascus cease violent methods of suppressing the popular protests in the country and recently warned Bashar al-Assad that it will be difficult for him to evade responsibility for the bloodshed.

In turn, the representative of the ruling Justice and Development Party Hussein Celik said that Turkey has not yet made a decision to establish a “buffer zone” along the border with Syria. However, he made it clear that after the opening of the Istanbul Conference of the Friends of Syria in early April there will be progress on this issue.


March 25th, 2012, 2:40 am


Alan said:

Keeping the Syrian Pot Boiling

The ink’s barely dry on the March 21 Security Council Presidential Statement. It called on both sides “to bring an immediate end to all violence” and engage in conflict resolution diplomacy.

Nonetheless, Western-backed killer gangs keep attacking civilians and Syrian forces. According to Reuters:
Clashes continue. At least 40 died. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR) isn’t sure who’s responsible but implies Assad. A pro-Western front group, its spurious accounts lack credibility.

Independent observers called past reports propaganda, not truth and full disclosure. Critics denounce its pro-Western anti-Assad bias. In fact, two SOHR sites each claim to be the original.

The initial one’s in Arabic with a Facebook English version. The splinter group’s in English. Each calls the other an impostor. Information they report differs. Featuring falsified claims and bogus casualty counts, both lack credibility.

Their agenda entails blaming Assad for killer gang violence and condemning his efforts to stop it. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich:

“As far as we know, this organization employs only two people (its head and secretary-translator).” The original’s “headed by Rami Abdulrahman, who has no training either in journalism or law or even a complete secondary education.”

“The fact that representatives of the ‘observatory’ have been avoiding contact with our diplomats speaks for itself. We think that these facts allow one to judge how trustworthy the information provided by this structure is.”

According to Reuters on March 23, “(d)ozens of civilians were killed in other parts of the northern province of Idlib, in Homs, Hama and Deraa in the south of the country. Five rebel gunmen and seven soldiers were killed in clashes in Homs province.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon claims Damascus ignored calls to stop violence instead of pointing fingers the right way and denouncing Syrian National Council (SNC) head Burhan Ghalioun for dismissing the SC statement, saying:

It “has the merit of representing the common position of the international community against the policies of Bashar al-Assad. But it obviously does not meet the real needs of the Syrian people.”….(…..)

March 25th, 2012, 2:50 am


Mina said:

We live in a time where Youtube, Twitter, FB and Google have no interest in anyone’s privacy (not to name other parties who don’t have interest in the privacy of our opinions). It is important for us to learn how these links function. I didn’t know what “uri” states for and I am glad I have learned, but it may still be very interesting to see this playlist, if indeed it belongs to a commentator. It is part of the internet game to try to identify “trolls” and I invite you to read SC comment of February March and April 2011 to know what I mean here (but please, don’t delete anything).

March 25th, 2012, 4:45 am


Alan said:
Turkish forces kill 15 Kurdish women: Interior Ministry

The Turkish Interior Ministry says security forces have killed 15 Kurdish women during clashes in the southeastern province of Bitlis.
The fighting broke out in a rural area of Bitlis on Saturday.

According to local security sources, the women were members of one of the women-only units of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Saturday clashes come a day after Turkish security forces carried out an operation against the PKK terrorists near the Iraqi border. Seven Turkish forces and six PKK members were killed during the operation.

On December 29, 35 people were killed in a Turkish air strike near a Kurdish village in the Uludere district of Sirnak Province close to the border with Iraq. The Turkish military said it had targeted suspected PKK members.

However, Turkish officials later acknowledged that “civilians” were killed during the attack.

The PKK launched an armed campaign against Turkey in 1984 in a quest to gain autonomy for Kurds living in the southeast of the country.

March 25th, 2012, 4:50 am


Alan said:

Moscow Cries Foul over UN Human Rights Resolution on Syria

March 25th, 2012, 4:55 am


Alan said:

UN’s Kofi Annan: An Agent of Wall Street
Peace envoy” sits on board with traitors, meddlers, and warmongers.
“U.N.-Arab League envoy” Kofi Annan has claimed over the last several weeks to be backing “peace efforts” in Syria to end the conflict which has lasted over a year now. In reality, it has been revealed that his function is to simply buy time for a collapsing militant front and the creation of NATO-occupied “safe havens” from which further destabilization and “coercive action” can be conducted against the Syrian government.

This has been confirmed by Fortune 500-funded, US foreign-policy think-tank, Brookings Institution which has blueprinted designs for regime change in Libya as well as both Syria and Iran. In their latest report, “Assessing Options for Regime Change” it is stated:

“An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.” -page 4, Assessing Options for Regime Change, Brookings Institution………..

March 25th, 2012, 5:42 am


Tara said:

Mina, dear

Tara’s playlist for the last few months:

Enigma, specifically Mea Culpa and Principle of Lust.
Um Kalthum, specifically Lailat Hub, and Inta Omri
Lady in the red.
Melhem Zein, some… and
Whatever songs my husband..(a non-Batta) send me by email…..

Please ask should your you have any other question.

March 25th, 2012, 7:38 am


Ales said:

Google this: “a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty” -asma (- asma to get rid of false hits)

There are a few results to same text on different sites, for example

angel: a person having qualities generally attributed to an angel, as beauty, purity, or kindliness.


It’s a silly SCAM and JOKE too. Would anyone send you a definition of angel if you asked about monster? Did anyone ask billionaire nephew of Lebanon prime minister if he even wrote a mail? Would a billionaire look up the dictionary and than answer Asma with a lie? Many more such questions arise.

People are gullible and believe anything. This “monster story” is a fabrication. Whole thing is most likely intelligence operation built up with AT LEAST partially faked emails now being slowly released.

Questions that comes to my mind:

– What will be next topic? Online personality test was a pretty good propaganda idea.
– Did they think millions of people are stupid not to notice it? You can’t fool all the people all the time.
– UK Newspapers Editors are most gullible of all. Are they in because of their stupidity, newspaper readers rating (beautiful woman is a great bonus to any gossip story) or paid by their government?

March 25th, 2012, 7:46 am


Alan said:

Strange Bedfellows: How the U.S. and Egypt control the destiny of the region

For the past five decades, the CIA has enjoyed near total anonymity whilst operating behind a web of international shell companies and NGOs like USAID.

In the 21st century, the agency has come to rely on a much more complex array of ‘human rights’ and ‘pro-democracy’ foundation-funded and US State Department-funded organizations around the globe like the National Endowment for Democracy, CANVAS and the Open Society Institute. But keeping its influence peddling and regime change activities hidden from the public view has become increasingly difficult in the age of digital awareness.

Perhaps the foreign intelligence services have spread themselves too thin across the globe, or overestimated the public’s ability see through an increasingly transparent agenda. Or maybe this new revolution business has become too well-funded, with too many high-flying international consultants, and has tried too hard to look trendy in staging pop political campaigns like KONY 2012 – making it harder and harder to conceal their not-so-clandestine activities………….

March 25th, 2012, 7:51 am


Syrialover said:

#274. irritated said: “Who cares about what these mutineers say? Who do they think they are? Who appointed them?”

The exact same questions apply to the House of Assad, its cronies and apparatchiks!

March 25th, 2012, 7:52 am


Alan said:

European Union Tightens Sanctions Against Syria
March 24, 2012

BRUSSELS, Belgium (BNO NEWS) — The European Union (EU) on Friday announced increased sanctions against the Syrian regime due to its continued use of violence against civilians and pro-democracy protesters.
“The repression has reached totally unacceptable levels of violence and must stop immediately,” said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. “Today’s decisions aim to weaken the regime’s resources and its ability to conduct its brutal campaign,” she added.

The EU said its Council targeted 12 people associated with the repression or supporting or benefiting from the regime with a ban on entering the EU. The assets of the same individuals, who include the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and of two additional entities will be frozen within the EU.

With Friday’s increased sanctions, the number of designated people rose to 126, while the total number of targeted entities reaching 41.

Since the Syrian regime began to violently repress the uprising in 2011, this is the thirteenth time that the EU imposes sanctions against the country. It is estimated that more than 8,000 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in March 2011.

March 25th, 2012, 8:00 am


Tara said:


“Would a billionaire look up the dictionary..?

Absolutely. Why wouldn’t he? You think Billionaires are flirt-immune?

March 25th, 2012, 8:01 am


Tara said:

Annan’ visit should tell us what Russia willing to do if Assad does not comply.

Obama pledges ‘non-lethal’ aid for Syria rebels
By Dmitry Zaks (AFP) – 4 hours ago   

MOSCOW — US President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to send “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian rebels while peace envoy Kofi Annan piled diplomatic pressure on the regime by seeking the backing of its ally Russia.
The announcement was the most overt show of US support for the rebels to date and is certain to irritate Russia following its fierce condemnation of the West’s calls on President Bashar al-Assad to step down.
Obama said at talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a nuclear security summit in Seoul that they agreed “there should be a process” of transition to a “legitimate government” in Syria.
A top US national security official said the delivery of medical aid and other urgent supplies would top the agenda of a “Friends of Syria” meeting scheduled for April 1 in Istanbul.
Assad has thus far shown few signs of complying. At least 28 civilians were reported killed on Saturday and monitors reported new fighting stretching from the outskirts of the capital Damascus to Syria’s norther border with Turkey.

Sunday witnessed “heavy shelling of Khaldiyeh, Hamidiyeh and Old Homs neighbourhoods by the regime’s army, and explosions shook the whole city,” the Local Coordination Committees of Syria said.
Yet Russian officials appear to be preparing for Assad’s eventual departure even while refusing to accept his loss of full legitimacy — a stance taken by most Western powers since last year.

“Assad’s position is difficult,” one unnamed Kremlin official told Interfax on Friday. “I do not know whether he has prospects or not. But no-one is predicting another 10 years in power for him.”

Moscow has done less in recent weeks to hide that it was starting to lose patience with Assad in spite of his commitment to massive new Russian arms purchases and delivery of key naval access to the Mediterranean Sea.

A top Kremlin-linked lawmaker said this week that Assad should treat the UN statement as “an insistent recommendation” whose implementation would determine the future course of relations between the two countries.

“Russia’s future position on the conflict will depend on how successfully (Assad) complies with the provisions spelled out in the Security Council statement,” said senior ruling party member Mikhail Margelov.

The clear shift in tone but persistent refusal to join international calls for Assad to go means that “Russia is not wedded to this regime,” said Kommersant foreign affairs correspondent Maxim Yusin.

“Russia’s main goal is to make sure that Assad’s opponents do not grab all the power — this would see Russia lose everything it has in Syria,” said Yusin.

“Annan’s visit should tell us what Russia is willing to do should Assad not listen on this occasion.”

March 25th, 2012, 8:10 am


Alan said:

321. TARA said:
“Would a billionaire look up the dictionary..?
What are you mean?
firstly article # 317. ALES not mine.
Secondly my nane is Alan not Allan
thirdly you are indirect speak personally!
stop the Bazaar

March 25th, 2012, 8:16 am


Tara said:

Erdogan said, “We cannot remain a spectator to these developments”.

Washington, Ankara strategize on Syria: Rebels will get ‘non-lethal’ aid 
Obama, Erdogan agree ‘Friends of Syria’ should seek to provide ‘non-lethal’ aid, medical supplies, as they meet on eve of nuclear security summit.

The rebels are badly outgunned by Syria’s armed forces but the White House has said that it does not favour arming the rebels, arguing that further “militarising” the conflict would worsen civilian bloodshed.

Erdogan noted that 17,000 refugees had fled to Turkey from Syria and said “we cannot be spectators” to the humanitarian crisis sparked by the crackdown on rebel groups that has killed more than 9,000 people, according to monitors.

However the Obama administration appears to fear that any weapons sent to Syria would be at risk of falling into the wrong hands, and does not appear to have confidence in rebel groups or a clear picture of their makeup.

The two leaders also on Sunday discussed Iran, with Obama reiterating a warning he made earlier this month that the “window” for diplomacy to end a showdown with the Islamic republic over its nuclear programme was closing.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said earlier this month that the United States was looking at providing non-lethal aid such as radio equipment to help opposition forces in their fight against Assad’s regime.

But he declined to go further in a public forum.

March 25th, 2012, 8:22 am


Tara said:


A grave mistake…. Deeply sorry.

March 25th, 2012, 8:26 am


Alan said:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation called the new resolution of Council on human rights of the United Nations on Syria “inadequate”
00:57 25.03.2012
The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Russian Federation considers the resolution of Council on human rights of the United Nations on a situation with human rights in Syria, accepted the day before, inadequate. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is told about it in the statement.
In the document it is specified that adoption of the prejudiced and inadequate resolution runs counter to efforts of the international community on situation stabilization in Syria.
The document, according to Russian the Ministry Foreign Affairs, states a unilateral assessment of the events in the country accuses of violence only the Syrian government, doesn’t contain any requirements concerning the armed groups of opposition. Positive results of the international efforts on the crisis settlement, undertaken are thus ignored now including from the special envoy of the United Nations and Kofi Annan’s League of Arab States
“During vote the Russian side actively worked over the text. We offered balancing amendments, in particular, with violence condemnation from the armed opposition and recent acts of terrorism in Damascus and Aleppo. However all these offers weren’t accepted by coauthors”, – is ascertained in the statement
The resolution sounds a discord in relation to recently accepted statements of the UN Security Council with expression of support of efforts of K. Annan and with condemnation of acts of terrorism in Damascus and Aleppo, adds the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation…………

Human Rights Council extends mandates of Special Rapporteur on Myanmar and the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

March 25th, 2012, 9:07 am


irritated said:

#319 Syria Lover

“306. jad said:

According to Ashraf, As’ad and Alsheikh were paid $300.000 to get united:”

Now we know who appointed them.

March 25th, 2012, 9:24 am


Alan said:
Report: Israeli soldiers scour Iran for nukes
Israel is using a permanent base in Iraqi Kurdistan to launch cross-border intelligence missions in an attempt to find “smoking gun” evidence that Iran is building a nuclear warhead, the Sunday Times reported Sunday.

According to Western intelligence sources, Israel has used sensitive equipment during its covert operations to monitor the radioactivity and magnitude of explosives tests. It was also reported that Israeli special forces used Black Hawk helicopters to carry commandos disguised as members of the Iranian military and using Iranian military vehicles.
The sources said that Israel had been conducting intelligence missions in the area for several years. In recent months efforts aimed at the Parchin military complex near Tehran to which the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been denied access, have intensified.
According to the sources, operations are also aimed at Fordow near the city of Qom where Iran is working on high-level enrichment.

March 25th, 2012, 9:28 am


zoo said:

The hypocrisy of US foreign policies

A Festival of Lies
Published: March 24, 2012
But we don’t tell Pakistan the truth because it has nukes. We don’t tell the Saudis the truth because we’re addicted to their oil. We don’t tell Bahrain the truth because we need its naval base. We don’t tell Egypt the truth because we’re afraid it will walk from Camp David. We don’t tell Israel the truth because it has votes. And we don’t tell Karzai the truth because Obama is afraid John McCain will call him a wimp.

March 25th, 2012, 9:43 am


zoo said:

Thousands rally in Tunis to demand Islamic law
AFP – 29 mins ago
At least 8,000 Islamists staged a mass demonstration in central Tunis on Sunday in the latest show of force to demand the adoption of Islamic law in the north African country.

“The people want an Islamic state”, “the people want sharia (Islamic law),” chanted the protesters, whose number was estimated by a police officer on site at between 8,000 and 10,000.

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist leaders, who took power following last year’s ouster of strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after a popular uprising, are under pressure to adopt sharia law in the new constitution. (..)

March 25th, 2012, 9:49 am


Alan said:
“الصنداي تايمز”: المعارضة السورية المسلحة تنتقل الى تكتيك حرب
العصابات داخل دمشق
بدأت المعارضة السورية المسلحة التي تتقهقر امام ضربات القوات الحكومية بارسال مقاتليها من شمال البلاد الى دمشق لتنظيم حرب العصابات. افادت بذلك صحيفة “صنداي تايمز” الاسبوعية الصادرة بلندن يوم 25 مارس/آذار.

وتقول الصحيفة “إن موظف سابق في الاجهزة الامنية السورية، انضم الى صفوف المعارضة، اعلن إن معارضي نظام بشار الاسد يدرسون حاليا خططا لتنفيذ عمليات اغتيال في دمشق ينفذها افراد المعارضة المسلحة التي اخرجت من حمص”. واضافت ” إن ما يؤكد ذلك هو الهجوم الذي قام به افراد ما يسمى بجيش سورية الحر على حي المزة بدمشق، حيث يقيم مسؤولون كبار في النظام الحاكم”.

March 25th, 2012, 9:49 am


ann said:

Turkey denies reports on Syrian helicopter crash in border province – 2012-03-25

ANKARA, March 25 (Xinhua) — Turkish officials have denied reports that a Syrian helicopter crashed in Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province in the border area, local newspaper Today’s Zaman reported Sunday.

Earlier reports said that a Syrian helicopter crashed in Sanliurfa’s Birecik district after defecting from the Syrian security forces and the Turkish security forces launched a search operation to find the wreckage.

Today’s Zaman quoted Sanliurfa Governor Celalettin Guvenc as saying that the governor’s office did not receive any “noteworthy” information regarding the crash.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selcuk Unal also said that no aircraft had entered the Turkish airspace from Syria at the weekend and denied the claims of helicopter crash in the border province, according to the report.


March 25th, 2012, 9:49 am


ann said:

Israel to block entry of UN probe – 2012-03-25

JERUSALEM, March 25 (Xinhua) — The Israeli government has decided to bar entry into Israel by a United Nation’s Human Rights Council (HRC) fact-finding probe into presumed abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank, a senior minister said Sunday.

“We have many resources but we will act with discretion and will not shoot from the hip,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Israel Radio.

The government’s “group of eight” senior ministers will convene on Sunday to consider punitive measures against the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) over the HRC’s decision to send an evidence-gathering mission to the area.

Sanctions, including withholding tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the PNA, are among the steps to be weighed at the weekly cabinet session, the Ha’aretz daily said. Israel is also warning that it may also halt joint economic projects with the PNA, as well as recall its envoy to the Geneva-based organization.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz are said to be supportive of taking fiscal punitive measures against the PNA.

On a similar note, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement after the 39:1 vote, “This is a hypocritical council with an automatic majority against Israel. This council ought to be ashamed of itself.”


March 25th, 2012, 9:53 am


Alan said:
صحيفة تركية: المخابرات الأمريكية والموساد وراء تفجيرات دمشق
قالت صحيفة “ايدنلك” التركية الثلاثاء 20 مارس/آذار، ان فرق المخابرات المركزية الأمريكية والموساد الاسرائيلي تقف وراء التفجيرات الاخيرة في دمشق وحلب، وان العمليات الإرهابية ستزداد في سورية في الأيام القادمة لترتفع أعداد القتلى الى ما بين 100 و200 شخص يوميا.

واضافت الصحيفة ان التفجيرات ازدادت بعد الزيارات المتعددة لكبار المسؤولين الأمريكيين إلى تركيا، في اشارة الى انفجاري دمشق وحلب الذين جاءا بعد زيارة مدير المخابرات الأمريكية ديفيد باتريوس إلى تركيا. وبينت الصحيفة، إن زيادة العمليات الإرهابية في سورية مؤشر على وضع الولايات المتحدة خطتها حيز التنفيذ لكسر تحدي مقاومة النظام السوري لها، وحسب المعلومات الواردة فان العمليات في سورية ستزداد في الأيام القادمة بهدف زعزعة الثقة بإدارة بشار الأسد.

وحسب المعلومات الواردة للصحيفة فإن المخابرات الأمريكية وضعت خطتها، او ما تسمى “بالعمليات السرية” حيز التنفيذ، ورفعتها إلى مستوى أعلى، حيث اختيرت دمشق وحلب، المراكز الاقتصادية السورية المهمة، لأن واشنطن تؤمن بأنه في حال التوصل لكسر الحاجز الامني في كل من دمشق وحلب ستسهل الامور آنذاك بإثارة التحريضات المذهبية والعرقية بكلا المدينتين، حسب قول المصادر.

وأكدت نفس المصادر أن الولايات المتحدة تخطط في الفترة القادمة لقيام الطائرات التجسسية بدون طيار بمهامها ووضعها حيز التنفيذ. وحسب هذه المصادر فإن التحرك الأمريكي جاء بعد تمكنت إدارة الأسد من تصفية المعارضة المسلحة في حمص وإدلب، وأن واشنطن قدمت طلبا إلى الحكومة التركية لاستخدام قاعدة “انجرليك” الجوية للسماح باقلاع طائرات التجسس.

المصدر: بوابة الاهرام

March 25th, 2012, 9:53 am


zoo said:

Where is Egyptian Tahrir youth? Back on their computers?

“A handful of Christians and women were selected and there were only a few names from the revolutionary movement”

Islamists are majority on Egypt constitution panel
Associated Press – 2 hrs 1 min ago
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s Islamists make up a sizable majority of a 100-member panel tasked with drafting a new constitution, according to a list of names published Sunday by the country’s official news agency.

The list reinforces fears by secular and liberal Egyptians that the Islamists dominating parliament will pack the panel with supporters and ignore minority concerns.

Of the 50 lawmakers selected by parliament’s two chambers to sit on the panel, 37 are Islamists. The other 50, also selected by lawmakers, are public figures who include enough Islamists to give them a comfortable overall majority in the panel.

A handful of Christians and women were selected and there were only a few names from the revolutionary movement behind last year’s ouster of longtime authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak.

March 25th, 2012, 9:54 am


Tara said:

Syria intervention talk as diplomacy withers
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA | Associated Press – 1 hr 8 mins ago

ISTANBUL (AP) — A year of sanctions, diplomacy and harsh rhetoric failed to stop Syria’s bloody crackdown and oust President Bashar Assad. With frustration running high, Turkey and other countries that have staked moral credibility on ending the violence are increasingly looking at intervention on Syrian soil, a strategy they have so far avoided for lack of international consensus and fears it could widen the conflict.

Diplomacy has not yet run its course, but more treacherous options, including aid to Syrian rebels, are likely to come up at a meeting of dozens of countries that oppose Assad, including the United States and its European and Arab partners, in Istanbul on April 1.

One prominent option floated by Turkey is a “buffer zone” on the Turkish-Syrian border, which could amount to a foreign military occupation, intent on regime change even if the aim is humanitarian in name. The risks of such an endeavor in a combustible region are evident in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon decades ago and Syria’s own military presence in Lebanon until 2005.

Yet, comparisons with international hesitation over the Balkans bloodshed in the 1990s make it ever harder to engage in seemingly endless, and fruitless, diplomacy.
“Studies are under way,” Erdogan said. “It would depend on developments. The ‘right to protection’ may be put into use, according to international rules. We are trying to find a solution by engaging Russia, China and Iran.”
Erdogan predicted that “everything could change” if those countries withdraw their support for Syria, and he accused Assad of reviving ties with and “protecting” rebels of the PKK, a Turkish Kurd group at war with the Turkish state. Turkey already hosts some 17,000 Syrian refugees, and casting the Syrian crisis in terms of Turkey’s national security strengthens the case for intervention.
Turkey and the United States, in an election year, “are reluctant to make more forceful moves because of the long-term costs of policing the sectarian violence that will surely happen following the collapse of the Assad regime,” said Arda Batu, professor of international relations at Yeditepe University in Istanbul and editor-in-chief of the Kalem Journal, a website about regional affairs.(..)

March 25th, 2012, 10:03 am


Mina said:

The low tone of the newspapers since 10 days (and the French focus on Merah) can be explained by the so-called “window of opportunity” they had given to Iran. How strange no one speaks about what is going on there now that Ahmadinejad has lost the elections.

March 25th, 2012, 10:37 am


Tara said:


The “Uri” in my link as the moderator kindly explained stands for “universal resource indicator”, not an Israeli name of my playlist as you tried to insinuate.

Insinuations are ususlly based on assumptions. Assumptions are related to intelligence level. I congratulate you that your comment in regard to Uri deserves an award as the least intelligent comment of the month, perhaps the year.

Note, I am attacking the comment, not the commenter

Let’s see how many dudes rush to comfort you

March 25th, 2012, 10:48 am


Afram said:

Mickey Mouse Must Die!

Wanted!!! by the Wahabi desert cowboys

March 25th, 2012, 10:50 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Obama said, Non lethal aid, to me this means no major weapons, this will not include no fly zone, this does not mean secure passages both are possible aid. foreign intervention is not providing the rebel with arms, since the rebel will not get any weapon.

Arming the FSA is going to be their own responsibilty, but money is not weapon that could be considered lethal,so US may help with money.also US may help with food and medicine.communication gadgets,night vision aids,radio equipments.

The US position is still vague however.


The report by Jad that Asaad and Sheikh received $300,000 is not correct, infact 99% of what jad say may not be true and need verification, you rushed too quickly to believe him,

I do not expect Russia to change their mind till Putin get to hold the presidency seat.

I have question, what would be the reaction of the world if Assad used the chemical weapon bomb against Damascus?

The Iraqee fighters and Iran fighters are in Syria fighting against the syrian people,

God bless the free syrian army
Long live General Ryad Al Asaad.down with Bashar Assad

March 25th, 2012, 10:50 am


irritated said:

#341 majedAlakhaldoon

“I have question, what would be the reaction of the world if Assad used the chemical weapon bomb against Damascus?”

You mean committing massive suicide?

Some, like you, would be happy because Bashar will not be alive anymore, whatever the civilians casualties would be.

March 25th, 2012, 10:56 am


zoo said:

Sudan’s Bashir to attend Arab summit in Baghdad
AFP – 4 hrs ago

March 25th, 2012, 11:07 am


Norman said:

I wonder how long it is going to take the opposition to understand that nobody is coming to help them and that they should accept what they can get not what they dream .

March 25th, 2012, 11:07 am


Juergen said:


i am tested which fatwa i find more ridiculous, the cucumber ban for women or the ban on Sponge Bob. I think still the fatwa on Sponge Bob is my favorite.

Desert cowboys, can i borrow that from you? I always thought Saudis can only be compared to Texans, both think its them which makes the world go around. so desert cowboys fits perfectly.

here is the fatwa on Sponge Bob

more collections on “crazy fatwas”

March 25th, 2012, 11:08 am


Mina said:

The news are very simple, Wael Ghonim is back to his job for Google in Dubai (and according to the latest Wikileaks, his work on the Khaled Said page may have been related to his contacts with a fishy guy from “Google Idea”, see al Akhbar English article: and

And Tarek Chalaby and Muhammad Ridwan are probably back to either the US or Saudi Arabia (please read

Maybe the Syrian revolution will make some move only when the US Syrians will take a little risk with their life? I mean, it seems that the Syrians from inside Syria are really desabused with the “expat opposition” which seats confortably behinds a computer and visits “Friends conferences” in nice hotels of Istanbul and Tunis.

March 25th, 2012, 11:11 am


Tara said:


In regard to the Arab Summit, whether they unanimously agree or unanimously disagree on anything, it is unlikely to change the course of events in Syria. If Qatar and KSA want to arm the revolution , they will regardless of what the other Arab countries think.

I see tha Arab Summit to only psychologically help Iraq asserting its come back to the Arab world. Nothing can possibly happen that may affect Syria.

March 25th, 2012, 11:15 am


Juergen said:

defection of Assad lookalike…

I always wondered in Syria why so many soldiers and police officers have some similarities with Assad, is it the normal physiognomy of Syrians or because his face is put on every wall that guys wanna look like him?

March 25th, 2012, 11:23 am


bronco said:

#344 Norman

The opposition is now driven by fear and despair.

Their impotence is political and military.

They can’t admit failure because they went too far in disclosing their names and their faces. They believe that the regime, if it survives will make them pay dearly the death of soldiers and the provocations that caused the deaths and displacement of so many civilians.

As they failed in all the attempts to get a military intervention from NATO, Turkey or any western military intervention, the only military resort they have left is to open the ‘revolution’ to murderers, islamists extremists, foreign fighters with the hope that these would be able to weaken the regime. A game that the international community rejects.

The other choice, a more clever one, would be to make a deal with the UN to guarantee an amnisty for all the fighters, and accept to pass on the rein to the NCC and move into dialog mode.

Yet they need someone courageous enough to do it.

In my view, the same way the Russian UNSC resolution took 3 months to become an internationally supported UN Statement, it will take a few more months for the dialog to be accepted and to happen.

March 25th, 2012, 11:28 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Are you O.K., is that what you understood from my question?

King of KSA is not attending the summit, he will send ambassador of KSA in Egypt, note not even Foreign minister, un unknown ambassador.

Jordan king is not going, Egypt will send low level person, what a summit,only Nabil Al Arabi will be there,( Rafe3 3atab)

March 25th, 2012, 11:28 am


Juergen said:

A Sad Morning, Every Morning, by Kinan Azmeh and Kevork Mourad

Prayer dedicated to all of those who have fallen in Syria.

March 25th, 2012, 11:36 am


Uzair8 said:

#307 Jad

“Patrick Cockburn: The attempt to topple President Assad has failed”

Mr Cockburn, the attempt to topple the Assad regime is ongoing.

March 25th, 2012, 11:37 am


Juergen said:

Omar Offendum

Straight street- how i miss it!

March 25th, 2012, 11:37 am


Ghufran said:

There is no doubt that the SNC and the FSA leaders outside Syria are receiving financial support, nobody knows how much and by whom, but you can not send tens of politicians to 5 stars hotels for free, he GCC dirty money was and always be a corrupting force all over the globe especially in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, the GCC leaders have money but they lack the ability to fight and have no cultural or moral authority except when it comes to some regressive sheikhs who send messages of hate and violence to their uneducated and confused followers.

Without the active participation of neighboring countries, money alone will not be enough to smuggle heavy weapons to armed rebels, that participation is in doubt in the case of Lebanon,Iraq and Jordan,but everybody in the Middle East has a price. Without a major defection in the army, has not heppened after a year, and a clear US position in support of a violent regime change, small players’ ability to drastically change the power balance in Syria will be minimal,this means a long and bloody fight if Anan and Russia fail in the next few weeks, as for Turkey and the GCC, they are not relevant any more unless the Turks decide to do something stupid in the name of fighting the PKK.

March 25th, 2012, 11:39 am


irritated said:

#350 MajedAlkhadoon

Absence of important Arab players will have several immediate effects:

– Discredit the AL and weaken even further the “Syria plan”
– Humiliate Iraq that would prefer to get closer to Iran
– Possible sneaky military actions from the GCC on Syria
– Strengthen the UN intervention through Annan

It also show that that Arabs are incapable to agree on anything, nothing new.

March 25th, 2012, 11:46 am


Afram said:

345. Juergen said:

Desert cowboys, can i borrow that from you?
NO YOU CAN’T// I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write.

HAHAHA LOL!…Without question you may boss man, feel free, Danke Schoen

March 25th, 2012, 11:47 am


irritated said:

352. Uzair8 said:

“Mr Cockburn, the attempt to topple the Assad regime is ongoing.”

In 2013, it would be no longer necessary, his term will be over

March 25th, 2012, 11:49 am


zoo said:

Opposition blames a government conspiracy.

Amid chaos of uprising, crime wave hits Syria

BEIRUT (AP) – Streets of Damascus that were crowded until late at night stand mostly empty after sunset as Syrians stay home, fearing robberies and kidnapping. Reports of thefts, armed robberies and house break-ins have swelled, an apparent sign of criminals taking advantage of the turmoil as the regime of President Bashar Assad wages a bloody, nationwide crackdown against an opposition demanding his ouster.

The government blames members of the opposition or army defectors for much of the crime. The opposition, in turn, blames the regime, saying it is allowing the lawlessness so it can tell the public that the uprising has brought chaos.


March 25th, 2012, 11:57 am


Son of Damascus said:

Dear Jad,

I don’t see the LCC as being a political party, it is a movement that represents different facets of Syrian society, a grass roots movement that is composed of local committees that organize protests, film them, treat the injured (that would be at the very least arrested if they go to public hospitals, if not tortured to death), get supplies to the make shift hospitals, bury the dead under the scope of sniper fire, document the deaths. Not to mention tremendous gumption that people like the late Syrian Pioneer do to film the crimes of the regimes, many of them die and there only crime was holding a video camera.

These LCCs are filling in what the state is denying it own people, getting the message out to the under sieged cities that we haven’t forgotten you. Ever notice how every friday every protest has the same theme, or that the songs of protest echo the same tune from one end of the country to the other, this is not by coincidence. They have filled many of the civil aspects that have been denied, and doing so under extremely harsh and deadly circumstances, to me these types of actions mean so much more than the empty rhetoric coming out of all the “political” groups (NCB, SNC, and the regime). I trust them not for their political platform, but for their humanistic and civil platform.

I am in full agreement that a political solution is what is best for Syria, and that a national dialogue is the only way for us to turn off the bloody faucet. But at the same time I can’t see Bashar and his inner circle able to deliver on that, for they are the main reason that faucet has been pouring out the blood of 10,000 Syrians. He must be forced out whether by the Syrian people, Military coup, or the Russians buying him and his family a one way ticket out Syria. Before that happens I doubt anyone will be willing to sit with the regime to hammer out a deal to better the future of Syria, for as long as Assad in the helm he has no qualms in burning Syria down for his family’s illegitimate throne.

I fully agree with you when it comes to the GCC, Western Powers and I would add to that list Russia, China, and Iran. All are playing dirty politics while Syrian blood is being spilled, for them a weakened divided Syria suits their interests just fine.

Amal Hanano wrote a wonderful piece about the some of the activists that worked and are still working hard to spread the message of Freedom and Dignity. I won’t copy & Paste an excerpt for the entire article is great and interesting read, she explains things in ways I wish I can only articulate (Guess thats why she is paid to write, while I am not).

March 25th, 2012, 12:00 pm


Mina said:

Zoo #358
And for the same situation in Egypt and Libya, they blame who?

March 25th, 2012, 12:04 pm


DAWOUD said:

كسر اصابع بشار وحسن مثل ما كسروا اصابع علي فرزات

Ali Ferzat: Revolution redefines art in Syria
By Sebastian Usher
BBC News

Ali Ferzat’s hands sweep and glide and conjure shapes as he sits in a small art gallery behind Sloane Square in London where his sly deconstructions of authoritarianism are on show.

These are the hands that pricked and provoked the mukhabarat – the security police – in Syria into trying to smash them into silence.

It was last August when he was attacked by masked men in what he describes as one of the most secure parts of Damascus.

“I was beaten here, here and here,” he gestures. “My arms were black from the beating.”

He was dumped by the side of the road. The attack made headlines across the world.

Getting personal
Wiry and angular like Ferzat himself, his hands are now almost 90% back to normal, he says.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

“The uprising has redefined art in Syria… it’s exposed the gulf between real artists and mercenaries in the pay of the state”

Ali Ferzat
The beating came as his style changed from general ridicule of the political system in Syria to specific caricatures of President Bashar al-Assad and his circle.

Ferzat says the switch had begun several months before the protest movement erupted last year.

“I started to get personal,” he explains. “Before, I made sure not to draw any official that could be recognised, even though my cartoons were based on real people. And even if someone in power felt they were being targeted, they wouldn’t say anything, because that would be like confirming it really was them.”

The change is evident from looking at one of his best-known cartoons where a brutish – but generic – apparatchik scrawls a smile on the bandaged face of a beaten prisoner.

Compare that to one of the drawings he did just before his beating.

It shows President Assad himself sweatily clutching a suitcase as he tries to hitch a ride with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, who’s furiously driving a getaway car.

Stinging wasp

p.s., some of Ali Farzat’s must-see work is shown by clicking on the BBC link above!

March 25th, 2012, 12:06 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Syria: Local Residents Used as Human Shields
Reports of Residents Forced to March in Front of Soldiers in Idlib

MARCH 25, 2012

(Antakya, Turkey) – Syrian government forces have endangered local residents by forcing them to march in front of the army during recent arrest operations, troop movements, and attacks on towns and villages in northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today.

Witnesses from the towns of al-Janoudyah, Kafr Nabl, Kafr Rouma, and Ayn Larouz in the Idlib governorate in northern Syria told Human Rights Watch that they saw the army and pro-government armed men, referred to locally as shabeeha, force people to march in front of the advancing army during the March 2012 offensive to retake control of areas that had fallen into the hands of the opposition. From the circumstances of these incidents, it was clear to the witnesses that the purpose of this was to protect the army from attack.

“By using civilians as human shields, the Syrian army is showing blatant disregard for their safety,” said Ole Solvang, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Syrian army should immediately stop this abhorrent practice.”


March 25th, 2012, 12:09 pm


Uzair8 said:

Any truth to the following story from YaLibnan?

Syria negotiated with Al Qaeda affiliate to assassinate Lebanese Druze leader Jumblatt

March 19, 2012

The Al-Qaeda affiliated Abdallah Azzam Brigades on Saturday issued a statement that Syria “offered to release some of our Jihadist leaders imprisoned in the jails of the Syrian regime in exchange for assassinating Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt.” No further details were offered.

Read more:

March 25th, 2012, 12:30 pm


Son of Damascus said:


I understand your anger and distrust of the Russian government, however that should not be an excuse to equate the Russian cultures to prostitution and weapons transactions.

When you write in such ways it taints the message you are trying to convey, masks it with a message of hate, when I believe you are writing to express your feeling about Freedom for Syria which is not a hateful message.

As for anti-virus try Sophos, extremely reliable and extremely easy to remove.

March 25th, 2012, 12:39 pm


DAWOUD said:

364. UZAIR8

Syria and Iran use al-Qa’ida terrorists whenever its advantageous for them to do so! They are both as bad as al-Qa’ida.

They now want to kill Walid Junblatt in the same way Hafez killed Kamal Junblatt. Also in the same way that Bashar and Hasan$$$ of the terrorist Hizb$$$ killed Rafiq al-Hariri! Syria, Iran, and Hizb$$# are bastions of terror against secular and Sunni Arabs!

This story is further evidence that the FBI should pay attention to Hizb$$$ supporters here in the United States!

March 25th, 2012, 12:41 pm


Alan said:
RF calls on other countries to join convention on fighting nuke terrorism
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Itar-Tass) — Russia calls on countries that have not joined the conventions on physical protection of nuclear materials and on fighting acts of nuclear terrorism to ratify these documents at the earliest, says the article “Seoul summit – view from Moscow” by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, published in The Washington Times newspaper.

The article, printed on the eve of the nuclear security summit to be held in Seoul on March 25-27, says that Russia signed and ratified the convention on physical protection of nuclear materials and an amendment to it as well as the Russian-brokered convention on fighting acts of nuclear terrorism, adopted by the international community.

The article notes that Russia calls on other states that have not done this, to speed up domestic procedures on joining these important international instruments.

The minister notes that Russia and the US are now the most advanced states in using nuclear energy.

March 25th, 2012, 1:00 pm


Alan said:

363. DAWOUD said:
Boycotting Russian productS!!!!!

The Proton-M rocket with a communication satellite started from Baikonur Cosmodrome
MOSCOW, 25 мар – RIA Novosti news agency. The carrier rocket “Proton-M” with the razgonny Briz-M block and the communication satellite Intelsat-22 started on Sunday from Baikonur Cosmodrome, the representative of Russian Federal Space Agency reported RIA Novosti news agency.
Start took place in an estimated time. The separation of the spacecraft from the razgonny Briz-M block is planned on 7.40 Moscow time Monday, – the interlocutor of agency told.

The contract on use of “Protona-M” for removal of the Intelsat 22 satellite was signed earlier by the International Launch Services Inc company. (ILS).
The Intelsat spacecraft in the 22nd mass of 6,4 tons is created by the Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems company by request of the international communications service provider Intelsat Corp. The satellite will be used for providing with communication of users of Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East with possibility of establishment of communication with Europe. In total onboard the satellite there will be 48 transponder of the S-range and 24 transponder of a Ku-range. Intelsat 22 will have also on the board special equipment of a microwave range for Armed forces of Australia.
The ILS company was registered in 1995 to the USA, its staff the apartment located in the city of Reston (Virzhiny’s staff, the USA). Since May, 2008 the controlling stake of ILS belongs to the Russian Center of a name of Khrunichev which develops and makes the carrier rocket “Proton-M” and the razgonny Briz-M block.

March 25th, 2012, 1:10 pm


Alan said:

I don’t think that Putin is incited against the West. Henry Kissinger
The former US Secretary of State, and nowadays one of the most authoritative experts in the field of the international relations Henry Kissinger considers that Vladimir Putin doesn’t adhere to the anti-western views. “I don’t think that it is incited against the West, – Kissinger in CNN interview declared. – It first of all the Russian patriot who is offended that was created in Russia in the 90th years”. According to Kissinger, the elected president of Russia “is revolted that he perceives as intervention in internal affairs of the country, and also that he perceives as aspiration of Americans to support his political opponents on purpose to push him overthrow”. Dialogue with Russia is possible also very constructive, the American diplomat considers.
In the heat of Cold war from 1973 to 1977 Kissinger held a post of the US Secretary of State and was one of initiators of a discharge in the relations of America and the Soviet Union. Henry Kissinger came to Russia repeatedly. Its last meeting with Vladimir Putin took place at the end of January of this year.

March 25th, 2012, 1:14 pm


Uzair8 said:

#365 Dawood

Thanks for the response. I wonder how YaLibnan is regarded. Would it easily be dismissed as a source by pro-regime supporters?

March 25th, 2012, 1:25 pm


Uzair8 said:

2 things.

Firstly, I came across a statement of the Farouq Battalion (FSA) responding to an alleged report by a Vatican news agency claiming ‘ethnic cleansing of Christians in Homs’. Names of pro-Assad families and alleged activites have been mentioned so I won’t post the statement but you can visit the link for yourself.

If the statement can be believed then it sheds light on some of the things that have occurred in Homs and also the relationship between the opposition and the christian community.

Secondly. I just watched a video and wonder why the soldiers would want to die for Assad?

March 25th, 2012, 1:39 pm


Uzair8 said:


If this Abdallah Azzam Brigades statement is genuine, then have they just endangered the safety of their leaders held in Syrian prison by publicly revealing the Syrian offer?

March 25th, 2012, 1:44 pm


Mawal95 said:

According to Agence France Presse today, a security official in Jordan told Agence France Presse that Jordan has arrested 10 Syrians who claimed they were army defectors. They were arrested because they had left a designated area in the city of Mafraq in northern Jordan. “They lived in a building in a Mafraq area that is designated for Syrians who flee to Jordan. They were not allowed to leave that area without permission,” the Jordanian security official said. The were arrested on the same day they left the compound, a few days ago. The Jordanian security officials do not know if they are civilian rebels from Daraa, or true army defectors, or what. Haaretz has a phoney take on this story at:

Speaking of phoney journalism. I very rarely visit because I hold the quality of its journalism in strong contempt. But recently my comrades at SANA and Addounia have turned their guns onto CNN as a part of their التضليل الاعلامي programming. In the spirit of comradeship I offer the following rubbish about Homs Bab Amr from CNN which I came across a month ago. Listen to what CNN’s reporter says from time 1:50 to time 2:10 (and forget about the rest of the video): . Then see the truth as broadcasted by the Syrian TV station Al-Ikhbaria Al-Souria, from time 10:40 to time 10:55 at:

March 25th, 2012, 1:56 pm


Mawal95 said:

Lavrov, 20 Mar 2012: “An analysis of Russia’s statements on Syria will make it patently clear that the revision of Russia’s position is out of question…. Most statements by Western and some Arab countries showed a lack of insight into the Syrian crisis.”!/MFA_Russia

PS: Lavrov, 21 Mar 2012: “Unilateral sanctions against Iran do little to ensure non-proliferation and are simply strangling its economy.”!/MFA_Russia . That right, the non-proliferation talk is a charade and the real motivator is blind bigotry against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Similarly, unilateral sanctions against Syria do little to ensure civic rights and are trying to sabotage Syria’s economy. The West is full of evil bigotry, as well as lack of insight and stupendous arrogance.

March 25th, 2012, 2:09 pm


Uzair8 said:

We tend see on SANA show of support from some socialist organisation or another so I was wondering what the Socialist Worker UK was saying about Syria. I don’t think I’ve visitid their site since the Egyptian and Libyan uprisings.

Anyway, I came across a debate on there:

Debate: Should socialists support the revolt in Syria?
Tue 20 Mar 2012

Socialist Worker has supported the revolution in Syria—but not everyone on the left agrees. Here, Sami Ramadani argues that those leading the resistance are acting in the interests of the West. Simon Assaf, who writes regularly for Socialist Worker on the Middle East, responds by explaining why we should back the revolt and oppose Western intervention

Read more:

March 25th, 2012, 2:10 pm


Uzair8 said:

I think Simon Assaf’s statement from the debate in previous post was brilliant.

I love this bit about the Syrian people’s change from previous silence :

“Up until recently many Syrians held their tongue because they understood the danger of the West and Israel.

As the only country supporting resistance to imperialism in the region, they put their interests last.

The Arab revolutions removed this burden from their shoulders.”

March 25th, 2012, 2:14 pm


syria no kandahar said:

i am back into fighting the Holakos and wahabis of 21st century.
i spoke to my family in syria,this is a true story from a christian
soldier kidnapped by the terrorists called revolutionists in Idleb.
His family was contacted to give one million dollar.He was a hostage with many others for 15 days.They were routinely given(falaka)twice a day.His family negotiated with the terrorists through a Kurdish family in Idleb which was known by a kurdish family in the city where he lives.The terrorists finally agreed on 350000 liras.He was tortured day and night by the terrorists so called revolutionists in Idlib.He is not able to walk now.
Any one who supports such people is criminal.

March 25th, 2012, 2:20 pm


Uzair8 said:

Last post for now.

I’m listening to Simon Assaf right now. If anyones interested see below. I didn’t know of him before.

Can the Syrian Revolution Succeed – Simon Assaf – 1st March 2012

March 25th, 2012, 2:35 pm


Alan said:

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja’afari claims in exclusive interview with RT
‘US & UK seek revenge on Syria for opposing Iraq war’

March 25th, 2012, 2:40 pm


omen said:


rebels quoting poet samuel taylor coleridge.


March 25th, 2012, 3:27 pm


omen said:

what is patriotism?

Contrary to conventional wisdom, no less Sunnis benefited from the regime than Alawaites. Indeed many if not most Alawaites remain marginal and poor in Assad’s Syria.

As the country slides into civil war, it’s high time to reverse the direction of loyalty. Instead of sacrificing clan, sect and country for the leader, the latter must give up his authority to save the country he claims to love and defend.

Ultimately, when the chips are down, personal sacrifice for public good is the test of patriotism.

Otherwise, clan and the Alawaite minority, and military must sacrifice the dictator for the sake of future unity, peace and justice in the country.

Indeed, they need to do it for their own sake.

March 25th, 2012, 3:46 pm


Alan said:
Lavrov asks Annan to interact with Syrian authorities, opposition
MOSCOW, March 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on UN/LAS Special Envoy for Syria Kofi Annan to interact both with the Syrian authorities and the opposition, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Sunday.
“A broad range of Syrian affairs was discussed. The minister noted that Russia supported Annan’s appointment to the position from the very start due to his experience and authority in the settlement of crises,” the ministry said.
Lavrov “stressed that all the sides must stop violence and the Syrian political process must begin,” it said.
“It was noted that the UN Security Council’s approval of the proposals of the special envoy created an opportunity of progress towards peaceful settlement of internal Syrian problems. This task has special significance for stability in Syria and the whole Middle East region,” the ministry said.
The world “should render common support to the Annan mission. This implies non-interference in Syrian internal affairs and impermissibility of support to either side to the conflict,” Lavrov said.

March 25th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Hans said:

welcome back SNK we missed your contribution, I am glad you decided to come back.
Have you seen the traitor name Danny Abdel Nayem recently, i haven’t see his last works on CNN.
May be he was promoted to a secretary of information in the Grande country of Qatar or he was given a permanent prime time spot on Al Jazeera!

March 25th, 2012, 3:51 pm


jad said:

Thank you for linking this by CNN, it proves again that Addounia and Alikhbarya and the Syrian TV have more credibility than many so called ‘professional’ tv channels and their spy journalists.
I point out this in my earlier comment
This strategy of opening holes in the walls inside a dense urban area is an israeli strategy, this is a very suspicious move by the armed militias of fsa, because it means that they are getting lots of help and training by foreigners, either NATO or even Israelis since they are the ones who plan and use this strategy not the Americans
You can check a whole paper about this in here:
Eyal Weizman: Lethal Theory
And in this news:

March 25th, 2012, 3:58 pm


Alan said:
On the Brink of Third World War
A new paradigm shift is needed, rather than beating the drums of war. Moscow under President Putin has a great role to deter the American war hawks, aided by the peace loving Chinese. The Germans and other anti war Europeans, besides the good people of USA must join hands to abort this global conflagration. Russia’s key role in global peace, security for Israel, no attack on Iran, establishment of Palestine State, US – NATO exodus from Afghanistan, no interference in Baluchistan, return of Kashmir to Pakistan, US – China amity, all have to be part of Geopolitical peacemaking and war avoidance.

The alternative global nuclear war is too apocalyptic to contemplate.

March 25th, 2012, 3:59 pm


Afram said:

The Love Connection/operation code name:how to beat up your wife,Islamiclly!

‘Pull her by the ear, beat her by hand or stick’: How the Islamic guide to a happy marriage advises husbands to treat their wives

An Islamic ‘marriage guide’ book has sparked outrage – by advising men on the best ways to beat their wives.

A Gift For Muslim Couple tells husbands that they should beat their wives with ‘hand or stick or pull her by the ears’

March 25th, 2012, 4:06 pm


omen said:

thank you, uzair8 @ 2:35. appreciate the summary of attempted campaign to strike.

wish robert fisk had pointed this out on aljazzera’s empire.

March 25th, 2012, 4:20 pm


ss said:

“There is no doubt that the SNC and the FSA leaders outside Syria are receiving financial support, nobody knows how much and by whom, but you can not send tens of politicians to 5 stars hotels for free, he GCC dirty money was and always be a corrupting force all over the globe especially in Lebanon”

True, money, support, and shelters in Turkey. This is not gona help them though. All the nasty players thought that the regime will end in few months. The political game changed now and the regime gave a slap on the face to all the big players. FSA was just a mean to reach the goal. It is a the weakest link. There is no future for FSA. The army is in full control of Syria and we are now 100% better compared to last year. No one can stop a Jihadist who wants to kill himself and take the lives of innocent Syrians.

I would like to say one more word on people who claim they do not like 3ar3oor and who claim that no one in Syria is Salafi and no one like 3ar3oor. That is not correct, 3ar3oor became the super star and the idol of the opposition. If you really dislikes 3ar3oor you should denounce the terrorist, jehadist attacks that killed people in Aleppo, qasa3, etc. If you do not feel sorry for that then you and 3ar3oor are on the same page.

March 25th, 2012, 4:32 pm


ss said:

Dear moderator:

Till when my comments will await moderation????????????????
Can you explain to me why this discremination????????

“*Your comment is awaiting moderation.*”

March 25th, 2012, 4:33 pm


jna said:

383. jadsaid:

This strategy of opening holes in the walls inside a dense urban area is an israeli strategy, this is a very suspicious move by the armed militias of fsa, because it means that they are getting lots of help and training by foreigners, either NATO or even Israelis since they are the ones who plan and use this strategy not the Americans.

I agree with most of your comments but I think your conclusion that this is evidence of NATO or Israeli training is a stretch. Israel’s use of hole punching buildings was very well publicized during the second Palestinian intifada. I’m sure many Syrians would remember the technique. There is also a difference in why Syrian opposition use it. They punch holes for fast safe exit. The Israelis punched holes to avoid boobytraps in alleyways.

March 25th, 2012, 4:38 pm


Jad said:

Dear SNK
عم قول لحالي ليش الصفحة مضوية، مليووووون أهلين:).

March 25th, 2012, 4:56 pm


Jad said:

It’s blackwater or other pro mercenaries then.
Which prove that Wikileaks and Stratford reports are actually true, no?

March 25th, 2012, 4:58 pm


jad said:

تعليق على دعوة إلى ( مؤتمر المعارضة) في اسطنبول.

وصلت رسائل ( غير إسمية ) عبر البريد الإلكتروني إلى عدد من الناشطين والشخصيات المعارضة السورية ، ومنهم بعض الناشطين والشخصيات من هيئة التنسيق الوطنية ، تدعو للمشاركة في (مؤتمر المعارضة) الذي سيعقد في استنبول في السادس والعشرين من آذار الجاري ، مذيلة باسم السيد خالد بن خلف العطية وزير الدولة للشؤون الخارجية في قطر والسيد خالد شفيق السفير في الخارجية التركية ، وتسوغ ذاتها بقرار اللجنة الوزارية العربية الصادر في 12/ 11/ 2011 وبالخلاصات الرئاسية لمؤتمر أصدقاء الشعب السوري الذي انعقد في تونس ، وتقول بأن (المؤتمر سيضم الأطراف الرئيسية في المعارضة والشخصيات الوطنية التي تعمل من أجل الانتقال السلمي للسلطة في سورية.)

تعقيبا على هذه الدعوة يهمنا أن نوضح ما يلي :

أولا ـ إن الدعوة الصادرة عن طرفين رسميين (أحدهما عربي )تخالف قرار الجامعة العربية ( في حين تقول إنها تأتي بالانسجام معه)، فالجامعة هي المسؤولة عن تنفيذ ذلك القرار وعن الدعوة لمؤتمر كهذا بالتالي ، وهي لم تكلف بلدا عربيا بمفرده ولا غير عربي بهذه المهمة ،ولم تتخل عن مسؤوليتها بهذا الشأن على حد علمنا، بل إنها أعطت إشارات متعددة على تمسكها بمهمتها هذه، مما يجعل هذه الدعوة تبدو كمحاولة للقفز فوق دور الجامعة ومصادرته لصالح شراكة متفردة وملفتة للانتباه بين قطر وتركيا، تستبق القمة العربية المزمعة في بغداد.

ثانيا ـ تقول الدعوة إن المؤتمر (سيضم الأطراف الرئيسية في المعارضة والشخصيات الوطنية التي … الخ )، الأمر الذي يشكل تجنيا كبيرا على الحقيقة والواقع، حيث لم توجه الدعوة لمعارضة الداخل وقواها المنظمة الرئيسية والشخصيات الوطنية التي تشكل مع قوى الثورة الجديدة الجسم الرئيسي والأساس في المعارضة الفعلية، واقتصرت الدعوات على عدد من الأفراد الذين اختارتهم الجهة الداعية بنفسها متجاهلة حق أحزابهم وتياراتهم ومجموعاتهم وتحالفاتهم التي ينتمون إليها في اختيار من يمثلها إذا قررت المشاركة، ومتجاهلة عددا من الأحزاب والتيارات والأطر التحالفية و شخصياتها تجاهلا تاما .

ثالثا ـ وأن تخول جهات غير سورية نفسها حق اختيار من يمثل المعارضة السورية في هذا المؤتمر أو في غيره ، وأن تدعوهم بعد هذا للمشاركة في مؤتمر تحدد هدفه السياسي مسبقا في ( الوصول إلى رؤية موحدة تتوافق مع ما يذهب إليه المجلس الوطني السوري ) لهو أمر لا يتنافى مع أبسط الأصول الواجبة المراعاة ومع أبسط مبادئ الديمقراطية فحسب ، وإنما يعبر في الوقت نفسه عن مسعى للوصاية السياسية على المعارضة السورية ، و حشرها تحت سقف خيارات معينة لن يكون مستغربا أن تنسجم مع رؤى ومصالح الجهات الداعية ، أكثر مما تنسجم مع رؤى و المصالح السورية الراهنة والمستقبلية التي تعبر عنها قوى الشعب الثائر والمعارضة الديمقراطية في الداخل السوري .

رابعا ـ إن وحدة المعارضة السورية باتت هما رئيسيا لكل أنصار ثورة الحرية والكرامة في سوريا ، وكذلك للجامعة العربية ودولها وللمجتمع الدولي كله. ولأن الواقع السوري وواقع الثورة وقواها بشكل خاص هو على درجة كبيرة من التعقيد والتنوع ، فإن توحيد المعارضة الذي تتسابق أطراف عديدة على ( رعايته ) لأسباب مختلفة، هو أمر يتطلب تحضيرا متقنا ومتأنيا تشارك فيه مختلف الأطراف المعارضة دون وصاية من أحد عليها ودون إلغاء أو إقصاء لأي منها ، بحيث يتم على أسس متينة وديمقراطية حقا ، و يعطي محصلة راسخة ومعبرة عن هذا الواقع الغني والمتنوع ،.

ومن غير المقبول أن تنطلق الدعوات ومحاولات تنظيم مؤتمرات لبعض أطراف المعارضة دون غيرها ( وبزعم أنها للمعارضة ككل ) في عجالة و تسرع دون إنضاج لعوامل التوحيد والانسجام الفعلي بين القوى الأساسية على الأقل، ودون شمول ومساهمة حقيقية منها جميعا في عملية التحضير السياسية والتنظيمية ، وبدون احترام صارم لمبادئ العمل الديمقراطي ، وبوصاية من هذا الطرف أو ذاك (مهما كانت غيرته على مصالح السوريين و حرصه عليها )، حيث يخشى أن تكون النتيجة في مثل هذه الحالات تعميق تمزق قوى المعارضة وزيادة حدة تناقضاتها ، و زيادة الشك في مصداقية اقتناع بعض الأطراف بقيم الديمقراطية، و بالتالي مصداقية التزامها بالتغيير الديمقراطي الحقيقي في البلاد.

لكل ما سبق فإننا وبكل أسف نرى أن مؤتمر (المعارضة) المزمع في اسطنبول هو مؤتمر لبعض قوى المعارضة فحسب وفيه كثير من التجاوزات التنظيمية والسياسية التي تحول دون المشاركة فيه . نتمنى لمن يرغب بالمشاركة التوفيق في خدمة الشعب السوري وثورته السلمية ،وأهدافه في نيل الحرية والكرامة وإقامة نظامه الديمقراطي المنشود، والمساهمة الإيجابية في توحيد رؤى المعارضة ومواقفها وفعالياتها على هذا الطريق.

المكتب الإعلامي
دمشق في 25 / 3 / 2012

March 25th, 2012, 5:17 pm


jad said:

One more thing about this point:
“Israel’s use of hole punching buildings was very well publicized during the second Palestinian intifada.”
You are correct that many read about idf punching and destroying buildings but for an average person those actions are not received as a warfare ‘strategy’ bu as a ‘result’ of aggression, therefore the use of this specific strategy as a way out for fighters can’t be understood as a simple ‘safe way out’ when it’s used on a bigger scale like in the report Mawal and me linked.
I may be wrong in my conclusion, however, I still find the similarity and the scale of the two actions to be suspicious especially when we connect it to wikileaks report.

March 25th, 2012, 5:30 pm


Juergen said:

older interview with Father Paolo in Mar Musa
in arabic

just found this film, earliest film document of Jerusalem 1896

Syria’s First Family
An illustrated guide to the Assad clan. How long can it cling to power?

March 25th, 2012, 5:33 pm


Mawal95 said:

The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, abreviated as NCC or NCB, is a Syrian opposition bloc consisting of about 13 mostly left-leaning political parties and independent political activists;

JAD at #209 linked to a video where it is emphasized that the NCC (aka NCB) has a peaceful opposition strategy, and opposes foreign military intervention, and JAD makes the comment: “this is why I respect and support NCB”.

It’s very possible for me to respect people who have a different political opinion from mine. I’m hardcore pro-Assad. I’d never support any other party. But I’ve very little respect for the NCB group. I will now give a few reasons why the NCB gets so little respect from me, with an emphasis on their incompetence.

Syrian dissident Haytham Manna, who is a spokesperson of the NCB group, said on 2 Jan 2012: “For the Syrian revolution to succeed we need three things. First, we need the massive popular mobilization. Secondly, we need people with historical legitimacy to be involved…. Thirdly, we need leadership on the streets. Without leadership, we face the danger of having the revolution hijacked by street thugs.”

Thus, as late as January 2012 the NCC still had the pipe dream of “massive” popular mobilization on the streets. Street protest turnout-size stopped growing on Friday 29 Apr 2011; see my comment on this board on that date at . Overall growth stopped on 29 Apr 2011 and overall growth has never resumed since, although some localities did have growth after that date. After the escalation in violence by dissidents in the later part of year 2011, a “massive” popular mobilization became even more of a pipe dream.

Haytham Al-Manna in January 2012 speaking in the present tense said: “Without leadership, we face the danger of having the revolution hijacked by street thugs.” That horse had already bolted well before January 2012.

There were a couple of significant tactics that the NCC could have done differently in year 2011 that would’ve helped them to keep the protests peaceful, and would’ve gotten them more turnout and more respectability in the eyes of the people of Syria. Under the 1973 Syrian Constitution, “Citizens have the right to meet and demonstrate peacefully within the principles of the Constitution. The law regulates the exercise of this right.” In Spring 2011 soon after the regime repealed the so-called “Emergency Law”, the regime enacted a new law regulating peaceful protesting on the streets. The new law was and is a liberal law, essentially the same as the law on the books throughout the European Union for instance. Under the law, the protest organizers have to apply to the police for a license to hold a demonstration in a particular public place on a particular day. The Syrian protest organizers made the tactical decision nationwide to not apply for any license to demonstrate. The Local Coordinating Committees issued a policy statement in early June that “peaceful protests… shall not seek permission and authorisation from the government” — . Thus all protests were illegal, by policy decision of the organizers.

Later, the NCC dissident group made the tactical decision to not apply for a license to be a political party in Syria. All political parties have to be registered or licensed, so the NCC group is legally unable to compete in the parliamentary elections on 7 May 2012. Hassan Abdel Azim, who is another spokesperson for the NCC, said the NCC group “will not participate in future elections.”

The NCC’s objective is a peaceful unconstitutional overthrow of the Assad regime. “Peaceful unconstitutional” is a contradiction in terms. As Joshua Landis has said repeatedly over the last year, it is totally unrealistic. In addition, the NCC also have no realistic ideas about what would happen after hypothetically the regime were overthrown.

March 25th, 2012, 6:19 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Islamization of this revolution means listening to what Islam says, it does not mean radicalism.slam taught us that we were born free, and no one has the right to enslave us, Omer Ibn Al Khattab said since when you enslave people and their mothers delivered them free.
I slam Taught us that tyrany is not accepted in Islam, The Pharoa of Egypt was condemned in Islam becaus he was tyrant,and the people who accepted tyrany are evil corrupt people.God said (Wa Ma Arsalnaka Alayhim Hafeeza)we never sent you to be a dictator over them.
Islam taught us that if we suffer injustice we have to do anything to turn things around and end up victorious,( Wa al lazina Iza Asabahumo Al Baghyo hom yantaseroun.
If that what Joshua meant by Islamization, we should all welcome Islamization.

March 25th, 2012, 6:55 pm


jad said:

This piece from the ‘beloved’ Syriatruth is discussing the report that linked CNN to the terrorist attack on the fuel pipelines in Homs, it points out about the role of foreigners being involved in the Syrian crisis and knowing about some of the terrorist attacks happening there:
CNN Crew Linked With Homs Bombings

عاهرة الـ “CNN” ومجرموها
هيئة التحرير

عرض التلفزيون السوري أول أمس في برنامج خاص، وأعاد الحلقة مساء أمس، أدلة وقرائن بالصوت والصورة تثبت بما لا يدع مجالا للشك تورط فريق قناة CNN الأميركية في تفجير أنابيب النفط قرب “باباعمرو” في 15 من الشهر الماضي ( مرة أخرى عشية جلسة خاصة لمجلس الأمن!؟). وكان التلفزيون نفسه عرض نهاية الشهر الماضي جانبا من القصة أظهر عملية استعداد “مجهولين” لتفجير أنبوب النفط فجر ذلك اليوم ، ولحظة تفجيره ، ثم عملية بث الخبر بشكل مباشر إلى القناة الأميركية نفسها.

القصة أثارت في حينه أسئلة عديدة أهمها ما يتعلق بهوية الجهة التي وقفت وراء تفجير الأنبوب . وقد أجمعت القنوات الخليجية في حينه ، والعديد من القنوات الأجنبية ، على اتهام السلطة بالوقوف وراء عملية التفجير، رغم أنها بأمس الحاجة لكل قطرة نفط وكل دولار تحصل عليه من وراء بيعه في هذه المرحلة. لكن المواد التي جرى عرضها يوم أمس والذي قبله تقطع الشك باليقين ، وتحول المجرمين” المجهولين” إلى معلومين … لكنهم شقر بعيون زرقاء!
تظهر التسجيلات المعروضة مراسلة CNN أروى دامون (المولودة لأب أميركي وأم دمشقية تدعى جمانة) مع زميليها نيل هولسوورث Neil Hallsworth ( المصور) و تيم كروكيت Tim Crockett (المستشار الأمني للفريق) وهم يركبون الكاميرا الثابتة قبل فترة طويلة من عملية التفجير في أحد المنازل المطلة على المنطقة التي سيحصل فيها ، ثم ذهابهم إلى المنطقة وعودتهم منها لتصويب الكاميرا جيدا من نافذة المنزل ، ثم تراكضهم إلى المكان بعد حصول التفجير ، ثم عودتهم إلى الغرفة بعد أن التقطوا صورا له عن قرب.

القناة الأميركية كانت بثت يوم الجمعة الماضي ( 16 /3) فيلما وثائقيا تافها بعنوان ” 72 ساعة تحت النار” أعده ـ على عجل كما يبدو ـ فريق القناة نفسه ليظهر “بطولاته ومجازفاته” في باباعمرو ؛ لكن الغاية الأساسية منه كانت ـ كما هو واضح ـ تبرئة ساحة الفريق من اتهامات حفلت بها تسريبات ملأت الإنترنت قبل ذلك تتحدث عن امتلاك السلطات السورية أدلة على تورط فريق القناة الأميركية في عملية التفجير. وكان هذا جليا من خلال حديث الفريق خلال الفيلم ـ بهدف تبرير نصبهم الكاميرا بشكل مسبق في مواجهة مكان الانفجار ـ عن أنهم تلقوا معلومات مسبقة بحصول “عمل كبير في المنطقة”! وقد حرص معدو الفيلم على التلاعب بحجم ” كادر” الصورة من أجل إخفاء المكان الذي جرت منه عملية التصوير، ولكي لا يظهر أنه هو نفسه الذي عرضه التلفزيون السوري نهاية الشهر الماضي ، فيكون الأمر دليلا جنائيا ضدهم! إلا أن المادة الفيلمية التي عرضها التلفزيون السوري يوم أمس والذي قبله ، وهي ما لم يكن فريق القناة الأميركية يتوقع وصولها إلى أيدي السوريين ، كشفت أسرار القصة من أولها إلى آخرها ، وأظهرت أن الفريق نفسه هو الذي قام بعملية التفجير ، إما لدوافع تخريبية بحتة ، أو لمجرد اختلاق “قصة أكشن” ، أو لكليهما معا ، وهو المرجح. وإذا علمنا أن المستشار الأمني للفريق ، تيم كروكيت ، هو ضابط سابق في “القوات الخاصة” التابعة للمخابرات العسكرية البريطانية ( المخابرات الخارجية MI6 )، يصبح الكثير من أبعاد القصة واضحا! وحين نضيف ما كشفته وسائل إعلام ومراكز أبحاث غربية خلال الأشهر الأخيرة ( مركز “ستراتفور” الاستخباري مثلا) ، عن وجود قوات خاصة أجنبية تعمل على الأرض في حمص وأمكنة أخرى وتساعد المسلحين ، لن يكون الأمر بحاجة للاستعانة بمفردات و منطق “المؤامرة” لتفسير ما جرى!

March 25th, 2012, 6:57 pm


omen said:


After the paint melted off walls in a fire caused by shelling, a message written in 1983 emerged in Homs

can somebody translate what this writing on the wall says? thank you, in advance.

March 25th, 2012, 7:05 pm


omen said:

majedkhaldoun @ 6:55 pm

reminded me of this saying:

a word of truth against an oppressive ruler is considered to be the best of Jihad.

March 25th, 2012, 7:14 pm


jad said:

الكرامه بطل الدوري 1983
Alkrameh (Homs soccer team) is the league champion of 1983

March 25th, 2012, 7:18 pm


Tara said:


It says Alkarameh ( a name of the soccer team in Homs) is the champ for 1983.

March 25th, 2012, 7:19 pm


jad said:

Terrorism in the name of ‘democracy’

Authorities Storm Den of Terrorists in Nawa in Daraa, Foil Attempt to Blow up al-Najih Bridge on Damascus-Daraa Highway

PROVINCES, (SANA)- Competent authorities in cooperation with inhabitants on Sunday stormed a den of terrorists in Nawa, Daraa Province.

SANA reporter learned that six of the most dangerous wanted terrorists, who committed crimes of killing, kidnapping and sabotaging private and public properties, including Mohammed Shukri Sharaf, nicknamed as Sbeer, were killed in the clash as their weapons were confiscated.

The reporter added the clash also resulted in the martyrdom of two of the competent authorities and the injury of another.

Authorities Foil Terrorist Group Attempt to Blow up al-Najih Bridge on Damascus-Daraa Highway

The competent authorities and the Engineering Units foiled an attempt to blow up al-Najih Bridge on Damascus-Daraa Highway which serves a number of surrounding areas and villages.

A source at Daraa Province told SANA reporter that members of the engineering units put out six barrels filled with a large amount of explosives set to be blown up by remote control.

According to the source, an armed terrorist group has put the explosive devices under the bridge connected with 1,5km long cable.

The source pointed out that the terrorists aim at halting the traffic movement and the work of the citizens through targeting the highway.

March 25th, 2012, 7:23 pm


Tara said:

Russia, another paper tiger?

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Sunday that Kofi Annan represented the last chance for avoiding a civil war in Syria and offered the UN-Arab League envoy Moscow’s full support.

Medvedev on Sunday appeared to be aiming his words at Assad directly by warning of dire consequences if Damascus ignored Annan’s peace plan.

“This may be the last chance for Syria to avoid a protracted and bloody civil war,” Medvedev told Annan at a meeting held in Moscow’s Vnukovo 2 airport before his departure for a summit in Seoul.

“We will be offering you our full support at any level at which we have a say,” said Medvedev.

“We very much hope that your efforts have a positive outcome.”

Annan replied that he expected Russia to play an “active” role in making sure that both sides follow the points of the UN Security Council-backed initiative.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on Twitter after the Annan meeting that “the (Syrian) authorities appear to be ready to carry this out.”

Moscow has in recent weeks tried to play down its sway over Assad by accusing him of “making a lot of mistakes” and noting that he often refused to listen to Russia’s suggestions on ending the crisis.

March 25th, 2012, 7:27 pm


Tara said:

Arab spring within the Muslim Brotherhood.  
What the Brotherhood did in Syria?

The “national covenant” document presented by the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, which calls for a civil state after the ouster of Bashar Assad, the rights of minorities and women, and a guarantee that democracy in Syria is not exploited by the majority over the minority, is not only a major event in Syria, but it is also evidence of a revolution inside the Brotherhood itself, where a large rock has now been thrown into stagnant Brotherhood water across the region.

Hence, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood document is important, and a message of reassurance for the Syrians in all their walks of life, religions and sects. Likewise it is reassuring for Syria’s neighbors, specifically Lebanon and Jordan. As for Iraq, it needs to reassure the Syrians, and not vice versa. When I say that the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood document is reassuring and progressive — at least on paper — this is because it serves to advance the visions of all Brotherhood organizations in the region. It is clearly a step toward the vision of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey, which the Syrian branch is moving closer to 

Read more…

March 25th, 2012, 7:40 pm


jad said:

Another fake defection and the weapons that the militias use:
من خفايا الارهاب في بابا عمرو 25-3-2012

March 25th, 2012, 7:42 pm


Tara said:

Ah…who expected the demise of the SNC?  It is alive and kicking…read on:  it mat be recognized as the SOLE legit representative of the Syrian people.  

There are “strong signals” that the Friends of Syria group could recognize the opposition Syrian National Congress as the sole “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” when it meets April 1 in Istanbul, according to a council member.

SNC could become Syria’s representative: dissident
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

There are “strong signals” that the Friends of Syria group could recognize the opposition Syrian National Congress as the sole “legitimate representative of the Syrian people” when it meets April 1 in Istanbul, according to a council member.

“There are some countries giving support to the proposal, and Turkey is among them,” the Syrian dissident told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. The Friends of Syria group recognized the council as “a legitimate representative of the Syrian people” in its previous meeting Feb. 24.

Ankara “does not rule out” the prospect that the council will be declared the sole representative next week, a Turkish diplomat told the Daily News. “[However], it’s early to speak. The Syrian opposition should expand its base and come to a point at which it can say it represents all segments of society,” the diplomat said.

Turkey was one of those that recognized the opposition council as “a representative of the Syrian people” at the previous meeting, the diplomat said. Turkey, meanwhile, believes that U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is not pressing the Syrian regime strongly enough on ending the violence. 

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu asked Annan in a phone conversation on March 23 “to apply more pressure on [President Bashar] al-Assad and cautioned that he should not allow the Syrian leader to gain time from his mission,” the diplomat said. Annan agreed to increase pressure on Damascus during the phone conversation, he said. His mission should not pave the way for more bloodshed through the manipulation of the Syrian administration, the diplomat said.

March 25th, 2012, 7:52 pm


bronco said:

@405. Tara said:

“Arab spring within the Muslim Brotherhood.”
It sounds so rosy, who can trust them?

March 25th, 2012, 7:53 pm


Tara said:


This is the crux of the problem. Many do not trust the MB as much as many do not trust Bashar.

The word “many” appears to be an underestimation.

March 25th, 2012, 7:57 pm


bronco said:

#407 Tara

The same was promised several times before the previous meeting

This time though, Erdogan is desperate to get a serious recognition of his “Frankenstein”. I guess that, if the SNC is snubbed again, that would be a very humiliating failure for him after all his tempestuous declarations and investments.

In any case, if the FOS recognizes that fragmented and power hungry alien entity as the ‘sole representative’ of the Syrians, it would be one more proof of the exhaustion of their options and a slap to the Russians who are trying to promote the NCC instead.

I think that time has ran out for the SNC as we know it, it will need to merge with NCC if it wants to survive.

March 25th, 2012, 8:16 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Messi the Barcelona FC star football player “talks” about the conspiracy against Syria in the football match that Al Dunnia broke. The Pep Guardiola (Manager) part is just too funny.

March 25th, 2012, 8:17 pm


bronco said:

#409 Tara

What is the other choice , then? Ghaliun and Basma ?

March 25th, 2012, 8:19 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Fadwa Sulieman speaks to Al Arabiya in Paris.

March 25th, 2012, 8:22 pm


Norman said:


Islam is not the problem, how people understand Islam is .

March 25th, 2012, 8:30 pm


zoo said:

Buffer zones pending Russia, Iran, China agreement. The FSA is getting angrier at Turkey and other ‘supporters’ about weapons. Erdogan may withdraw his ambassador in Syria.

Erdoğan, Obama discuss Syria in detail, agree to send aid to opposition

25 March 2012, Sunday / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama, two leading critics of the brutal Syrian regime, have agreed on a course of action in Syria, before the critical upcoming İstanbul meeting on Syria on April 1st.

The two leaders held a long discussion on Sunday before an international nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital of Seoul, focusing on Syria.

Appearing in a joint press conference in Seoul on Sunday morning with Erdoğan, Obama said that the political developments in Syria dominated the meeting’s agenda. He said they are “very much in agreement” that a transition to a legitimate government in Syria is needed.

Erdoğan noted that his visit to Iran this week will be primarily about Syria and that he discussed this with Obama, in addition to developments in Iraq.

He mentioned that Turkey may withdraw its envoy from Syria at any time. “We may take a step towards cutting our ties [with Syria] at any time. The Foreign Ministry is currently working on that. I can say that we have very little diplomatic presence remaining in Syria,” Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said that the plans to establish a buffer zone for Syrian refugees is still on the agenda, but a final decision on the issue will be determined by future developments. “We are looking for a final solution that includes Russia, China and Iran [the backers of the Assad regime],” Erdoğan said.

Saying that there is no official report on the Syrian regime’s support to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is continuing its attacks in southeastern Turkey, Erdoğan claimed that “the growing ties between the PKK and Syria are obvious.”
On Sunday the BBC reported that Turkey is blocking arms from reaching the FSA and that Turkey has barred armed attacks from being launched from Turkish soil. Turkey is tightly guarding its Syrian border, where military defectors and FSA members are being held in camps.

The BBC quoted Ammar Alwavi, a military captain and spokesman for the FSA, as saying that there is a civil war and those fighting Assad are becoming angrier. Without more help, that anger could be directed not just against China and Russia for backing President Assad, but also against others who failed to back his opponents.

March 25th, 2012, 8:31 pm


zoo said:

Egypt: a power struggle between the Moslem Brotherhood and the government backed by the army.
In an unusually strongly worded statement, the Brotherhood said the government’s performance had been the “biggest failure”, listing unrest, judicial interference, stalling reforms, fuel shortages and dwindling foreign reserves.

“When we called for the resignation of the government, its head refused, and this was unfortunately supported by the military council,” the group said.

“Keeping this government as we approach presidential elections… which raises suspicions over the fairness of these elections, as well as the general decline of affairs, are things we cannot remain silent or patient over,” it added.

March 25th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Tara said:


If I to choose b/w Bashar and Ghalioun.  I would absolutely go for Ghalioun.  He is secular       and sees what Bashar fails to see.  That the Syrians being “the only country supporting resistance to imperialism in the region, they have always put their interests last. Not anymore.
The Arab revolutions removed this burden from their shoulders.” as Uzsir 8 posted earlier.

I would also go for George Sabra as the first president so minorities’ fear is alleviated. 

March 25th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Tara said:

Norman @414

A response like 414 is why you were missed on SC in Tara’s opinion.

March 25th, 2012, 8:45 pm


Son of Damascus said:

The Dictator’s Inbox
Inside the circuitous trail that brought Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s scandalous emails into the public eye.


How do emails from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s personal inbox escape the narrow confines for which they were intended, and eventually get exposed to the light of day? It’s a story that was born in the presidential palace in Damascus, bounced southeast to Al Arabiya’s bureau in Dubai’s sleek Media City, traveled the 3,400 miles west to the Guardian’s offices in London — and even made a brief stopover in Foreign Policy’s Washington office.

From late May 2011 until Feb. 7, Syrian activists had been monitoring the personal emails of Assad, his wife Asma, and a small clique of advisors in real time. According to the activists, they quietly used that information to warn their friends of upcoming actions by the Syrian regime against them. But on Feb. 5, the hacker group Anonymous hacked into the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs and released into the public sphere the names and passwords of the accounts that the activists had been watching.


March 25th, 2012, 8:45 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @410

I would refrain from making any prediction at the present time in regard whether or not the SNC will be propped up in the FOS meeting. I will tell you though that the NCC has no legitimacy on the ground whatsoever among the revolutionists and the LCCs. It is not a valid entity. We saw that on the slogans raised by the demonstrators at many many Fridays.

The SNC is getting smarter thpugh and the prediction is that within the next few weeks, 90 percent of the opposition will be united. The recent merge of the FSA is very positive.

March 25th, 2012, 8:57 pm


omen said:

thank you, tara, jad. darn, i was hoping for something profound & prophetic!

March 25th, 2012, 8:58 pm


Tara said:

SOD @411

Aldunya TV should enter Guinness World record for self-mockery.



March 25th, 2012, 9:03 pm


Son of Damascus said:

U.S. and Turkey to Step Up ‘Nonlethal’ Aid to Rebels in Syria
Published: March 25, 2012

BEIRUT — Turkey and the United States plan to provide “nonlethal” assistance, like communications equipment and medical supplies, directly to opposition groups inside Syria, and will urge other allies to do so as well, the White House deputy national security adviser said on Sunday, after President Obama met with the prime minister of Turkey at a nuclear security conference in Seoul, South Korea.

The United States had already announced that it had been providing humanitarian aid to opposition groups. And on Sunday an administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the United States had already begun to supply some aid, including communications gear, to the rebel Free Syrian Army. The agreement with Turkey would formalize and increase that aid, though officials insist that no weaponry would be sent.


March 25th, 2012, 9:17 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

You are absolutely right, Thank you.

Yes I vote for George Sabra to be president of Syria Too,christians are part of Syria,they should have the right to get any job. any one who loves Syria and will respect democracy and freedom and help provide dignity to the syrian people deserves to be president , but the one who gets it by inheritance, and order to kill arrest torture syrian should be hanged in Marjeh and fed to the animal in the zoo, Bashar and his father killed more than 40,000 syrian and now is destroying the country, and he is heading toward civil war,just to stay as president and plan to transfer it to his son, he deserve this fate.
I think Libyans have treated Gaddafi well to burry him.

March 25th, 2012, 9:19 pm


Tara said:

SOD @420

” navigating the political and cultural sensitivities of the region” had prevented Alarabya from publishing more damning scandalous emails…I hope the truth will come out eventually.

March 25th, 2012, 9:19 pm


Shami said:

George Sabra is the christian that make the syrian muslims proud of their christian heritage.For sure the paranoid muslimophob remarks by some of the pro regime church leaders could put in danger the inter religious ties.
This abhorrent mukhabarati tool for example should not be allowed to put her foot on the syrian soil.

March 25th, 2012, 9:34 pm


ann said:

‘West looking for face-saving exit from Syria’ – 26 March, 2012

Sharmine Narwani, a Middle East expert from St. Antony’s College in Oxford University, believes that NATO does not have any particular plan with regards to Syria. Therefore, such claims like the one made by the White House about possible “non-lethal aid” to the rebels are of little significance.

“NATO countries, including the United States, the European Union and Turkey, are now looking for a face-saving exit from Syria,” she told RT. “So, I think, regardless of what Obama says… I mean, really, what does that statement mean? It could mean band-aids, for all we know. So forget what the players are saying, watch what they are doing. That’s going to tell us what’s going on in the backrooms.”

Narwani’s view was echoed by Karl Sharro, a blogger on Middle East affairs.

“The West doesn’t have any plan in Syria. It’s been very loud, but it doesn’t have any clear plan of action,” he said. “We’ve seen the sanctions [imposed on Syria] by the EU. It’s a joke. When you don’t have any other initiatives or any other pressure to apply, they slap these kinds of sanctions on the president’s wife and his mother.”

What is more important, both Narwani and Sharro continued, is that Russia is “taking the lead” in the current situation and helping “move into the next phase” of the Syrian crisis.

“Russia is clearly taking the lead in efforts to help create some time and space for the Syrian government to move with the reforms that were initiated last spring,” she said. “It’s supported heavily by a number of developing countries, particularly with the BRICS, and even some regional players, like Iran.”

Narwani also added that should the Syrian opposition groups continue to reject Annan’s plan, they may soon find themselves isolated.


March 25th, 2012, 9:44 pm


Norman said:


Call for the opposition to walk the walk and put that in the constitution or at least call to put that in the constitution, i mean let them call to cancel article 3, i think that might turn the table on the government, don’t you think?.

March 25th, 2012, 9:52 pm


Jerusalem said:

397. majedkhaldoun

I don’t intend to open a debate in Islam on this blog. But I’d like to state facts, indeed Omar Al-Khataab was a peculiar man in Islam and received the respects of many. However, Islam itself did not ban slavery. مجئ الإسلام لم يلغِ نظام الرقيق فى الإسلام جملة واحدة
However, it created few ways to liberate themselves, for instance:
أنشأ الإسلام نظاماً جديدا فى الرق يسمى بالمكاتب وهو أن يتفق العبد مع سيده على أن يدفع ثمن نفسه شيئا فشيئا فإذا أتم الثمن فقد أصبح حرا

بل إن الإسلام جعل من حق العبد أن يدفع نصف ثمنه وهو المعروف بنصف المكاتب وعليه فإنه يعامل كنصف عبد ونصف حر.

تحرير رقبة مؤمنة هو نوع من أحكام الكفارات
Last but not least Filipino men in Saudi Arabia are castrated.. so much of following the footsteps of Omar…

As for this statement by Omen: a word of truth against an oppressive ruler is considered to be the best of Jihad.

So peaceful protestors have decided to consider this statement ONLY NOW after 40 years, the cave men have been awakened all of a sudden??? It doesn’t make any sense. Israel has been oppressing Palestinians for 60 years. Only Bashar said a word of truth against that regime and called Arab rulers half men publicly (he is paying for it now), hence it’s the best of Jihad per your statement.

March 25th, 2012, 9:52 pm


omen said:

420. Son of Damascus 8:45 pm
The Dictator’s Inbox

the Guardian staff was able to compile a list of over a dozen individuals named in the emails for whom it had contact information. The staff was able to reach 12 people from that list, all of whom confirmed that their emails in the cache were authentic or that they remembered corresponding with the addresses in question.

cue the angry arab to explain how this proves the fake email conspiracy is a zionist plot!

March 25th, 2012, 10:02 pm


bronco said:

#417 Tara

I would chose none, they seem french-polished and with absolutely no charisma.
Georges Sabra is christian, he has no chance to lead a majority of reluctant Sunnis.

March 25th, 2012, 10:04 pm


ann said:

Attempting To Humanize The Monsters!

Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood wants ‘civil state that respects human rights’, leader says

­Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood group has vowed it is committed to a civil state that respects human rights, denying some fears spreading that they are planning to take over power in the country if President Bashar Assad’s regime falls. Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, the group’s leader, speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Istanbul, expressed the idea that the Brotherhood wants Syria to be “a civil and democratic republican state with a parliamentary system, in which all the people are treated equally regardless of faith or ethnicity.” Bayanouni noted that it has no intention to be the Syria’s only political party in the future.


March 25th, 2012, 10:06 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Ali Ferzat: Revolution redefines art in Syria
By Sebastian Usher
BBC News

Ali Ferzat’s hands sweep and glide and conjure shapes as he sits in a small art gallery behind Sloane Square in London where his sly deconstructions of authoritarianism are on show.

These are the hands that pricked and provoked the mukhabarat – the security police – in Syria into trying to smash them into silence.

It was last August when he was attacked by masked men in what he describes as one of the most secure parts of Damascus.

“I was beaten here, here and here,” he gestures. “My arms were black from the beating.”

He was dumped by the side of the road. The attack made headlines across the world.


March 25th, 2012, 10:12 pm


bronco said:

#421 Tara

“The SNC is getting smarter thpugh and the prediction is that within the next few weeks, 90 percent of the opposition will be united. The recent merge of the FSA is very positive.”

The SNC smarter? where do you see that? How do you see that ‘unity’ suddenly made?
For now they seem to be singing very different songs.

This rushy merge of the FSA just before a key meeting looks very suspicious. They took a big risk, if ever it collapses that would be the end of the FSA and further weakening if the opposition.

March 25th, 2012, 10:15 pm


Hans said:

Having a christian president in a transitional period who can be trusted by all is the short answer at the current time, it is a logical idea and i have suggested this idea few months ago, it is similar to the 50’s turmoil in Syria political history after the french occupation, but it should be with the understanding of abolishing paragraph #3 which Assad kept to peas the Muslims and considering all sect of Islam equals to the Sunni, except the Christians. Although they lived there prior to the Muslims.
In regards to the MB declaration it is a typical cheap rhetoric by them, same thing they did in Egypt and now they are showing their true face.

I am reading more and more of reports about supporting the “non Syrians rebels” is this a full admission by the western media of the mercenaries, terrorists, foreigners fighting in Syria.!!!!

March 25th, 2012, 10:15 pm


Son of Damascus said:

Syria unrest: Divided opposition seeks ‘national pact’

Syria’s divided opposition groups are due to meet in Turkey to try to draw up a “national pact” how to unseat President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The main opposition movement, the Syrian National Council (SNC), says all other anti-Assad groups have been invited to the gathering in Istanbul.

The opposition has been weakened by internal disputes, losing support of many Syrians fighting the government.

Russia has said it backs UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace mission in Syria.

During talks in Moscow, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said it may be the last chance to avoid a “prolonged and bloody civil war” in Syria.

He also urged Mr Annan, the United Nations and African Union envoy to Syria, to work with both Damascus and the opposition to end the violence.

Mr Annan has proposed a six-point peace plan, which calls on government forces to immediately halt the use of heavy weapons in populated areas. He also wants the armed rebels to halt their attacks.


March 25th, 2012, 10:15 pm


ann said:

Inner City Press asked asked Annan’s spokesman Fawzi:

is there any answer yet to the question of whether the Kofi Annan Foundation has solicited (and if so, if it has received) funds in the past three years from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the UAE or government aligned business interests or businesspeople in these three countries?

Can you disclose any more of the individuals in the JSE’s box of consultants, even if not yet deployed or paid, but certainly if deployed or paid? What is Mr. Nicolas Michel’s status?

Fawzi replied

“I do not have access to any information about the KA Foundation. Please contact Ms. McCoy for any questions about the KA Foundation. Let me stress that Mr. Annan has nothing to do with the KAF in his role as JSE. They are completely separate. No consultants at the moment. Nicholas Michel is not with the Mission at the moment.”

But when Inner City Press asked Ms. McCoy, she referred the question to the UN, which has in turn referred it to Fawzi. This is getting circular.


March 25th, 2012, 10:17 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“I hope the truth will come out eventually.”

I wish someone would just leak all the emails and not dribble them one by one.


Gotta love Al Dunnia eh, when Messi lifted the boot it was a moment of pure hilarity.

March 25th, 2012, 10:22 pm


bronco said:

#429 Norman

A christian president?
“Call for the opposition to walk the walk and put that in the constitution ”

Do you really think the the Sunnis who keep repeating that they have suffered under a minority will vote for a representent of another minority as a president?
The opposition is 95%% sunni moslems and they despise the Christians and some of the Druzes for not standing in their fight for a regime change. Do to seriously believe they would allow for a christian or a druze as president in the Constitution ?

March 25th, 2012, 10:23 pm


Afram said:

414. Norman said:

“Islam is not the problem, how people understand Islam is .”
DR;Norman says don,t blame the VIRUS for ending the sick man’life,

but we should blame the dead man for simply not understanding BIOLOGY,thank you doc!
BTW..have you heard of the term MALPRACTICE???

March 25th, 2012, 10:28 pm


zoo said:

Iraqi PM says Baghdad summit to discuss terrorism

En 2012-03-25 23:05:07

BAGHDAD, March 25 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki said Sunday that participants of the coming Arab League (AL) Baghdad summit will discuss terrorism that has struck the Arab world.

March 25th, 2012, 10:29 pm


ann said:

Sermin, a Syrian town left reeling in shock – 16 hours ago

SERMIN, Syria — The stench of death hangs over the northern Syrian town of Sermin two days after a fierce assault by government troops who methodically tracked down and killed rebels and those suspected of backing them.

Residents said that for two days, 2,000 regular army soldiers backed by 90 tanks went from house to house, hunting down rebel fighters and their supporters and bringing Sermin to its knees.

The FSA rebels and the government forces fought street by street and house by house.

“But the fighting didn’t last long because the FSA men were unable to withstand the assault by Assad’s forces,” said Abu Omar.


March 25th, 2012, 10:31 pm


Tara said:


The opposition is 95%% sunni moslems and they despise the Christians and some of the Druzes for not standing in their fight for a regime change. Do to seriously believe they would allow for a christian or a druze as president in the Constitution ?

Who told you we despise Christians? You just heard Majed, Tara, and Shami willingness to vote for Sabra. What is the source of you info?

For god sake, how many times one has to “confess love”?

March 25th, 2012, 10:37 pm


ann said:

Syria survive Oman scare to draw – 11 hours ago

Oman’s qualification to the playoffs came after FIFA awarded them a 3-0 victory in their fixture with Qatar. The November 27 match originally ended in a 1-1 draw but Qatar were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.

HANOI — Syria narrowly escaped defeat against Oman Sunday during the opening game of a three-team Olympic qualifying tournament, scoring an equaliser in injury time to draw 1-1.

Syria’s Ahmad Aldouni saved Syria from an embarrassing defeat with a looping header in the 95th minute after the Gulf Sultanate had taken a shock lead.

Oman’s captain Al Hadhri Hussain Ali Farah scored in the 44th minute of play, and the Sultanate kept up the pressure throughout the second half, although were unable to capitalise on a number of golden opportunities to score.

The equaliser came as a relief to Syria, coached by Rui Almeida, ahead of a crucial game with Uzbekistan Tuesday at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.

They went a man down after Hussein Aljwayed was shown a red card but Oman were unable to make the most of the opportunity presented to them.

Syria went into the match as favourites, with Oman’s presence in the Olympic playoffs described as “a miracle” by head coach Paul Le Guen at the pre-match press conference.


March 25th, 2012, 10:46 pm


Tara said:


You are out of line again. You just don’t learn. The moderator should give you a serious warning and ban you again. This time for ever.

Take you repulsive hate and go somewhere. You don’t belong here.

March 25th, 2012, 10:47 pm


Observer said:

The noose is tightening.
How do I sense this? The regime is silent about Kofi’s mission and the use of force is becoming hysterical. This is typical of the bully who takes it on the weak when someone punishes it.

The declaration by the MB is actually a huge counter argument to the so called reforms of the regime. If you put side by side the tailor made constitution of Syria with this document it clearly shows a superior document and with far reaching consequences.

The point is not whether to trust or not trust the MB. As a matter of fact the MB came late into the Arab Spring especially in Egypt and one may argue that they exploited the situation. Now in Egypt and wherever they may be they have to deliver. If they deliver like the Turks did they will be fine if they do not they will be thrown out.

As for trust it is clear also that the regime cannot be trusted as it has failed the test repeatedly. It failed so miserably that only real action on the ground is going to bring it any credibility. Once it really stops armed repression of the revolution will it have any chance of sitting on the table to talk.

1. Is there a single inner circle “kitchen” that is running the repression?
2. If so is Fredo in charge? or is he just playing on his iPad while the others are running the show?
3. With reports that the decisions on the ground are being carried out outside of the normal channels of command it seems that there is a shadow army of thugs with the ability to bypass the normal chains of command and control did anyone read anything about this?
4. If true there must have been a parallel inner sect based system of repression that seems to be different even than the security house of cards; if so did come about as the house of cards collapsed? was it created ad hoc?
5. Clearly the people of Syria will never go back the only way to force them is with massive slaughter, is this in the ability of the regime?

March 25th, 2012, 10:58 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @432

Let me see: ugly mass murderer Batta versus a secular academic who lacks charisma… 
In preparation of the birth of a full blown democracy.  
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe,…
I pick Ghalioun

The charisma is missing anyhow.   

March 25th, 2012, 11:00 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“……..denying some fears spreading that they are planning to take over power in the country if President Bashar Assad’s regime falls……”

For a group of Islamists that managed at best ever in Syria’s history to garner 5 seats in Parliament, they sure dream big arrogant dreams. Anyhow that “IF” = NEVER EVER.

March 25th, 2012, 11:00 pm


Ghufran said:

Take this post like a good sport,I mean no harm.

The quality of the comments on this blog is deteriorating and most of what I read is attacks and counter attacks. I prefer to copy and paste a good article like the one below over reading bits and pieces of how bright George Sabra’s political future is and how tolerant an MB led government will be, I am not even talking about the attention Asma’s shoes received. The truth is that Syria has no credible leadership and no effective leader is likely to emerge any time soon. The maximum Syria can achieve, which is good enough for me, is a reduction in violence and a move to include the opposition in a unity government while Assad is given an opportunity to leave us alone once and for all,

Here is one of favorite writers since March,2011

March 26th, 2012, 12:08 am


jake said:


Islamization means exactly that – radicalism; otherwise islam would have been an influence akin to catholicism in poland (when they fought against the communist government).
If followers of islam wanted to only help people (i.e. charity, humanitarian aid, relief and social programs) and NOT seek power in government (as it should do) through jihad and armed struggle, then it would’ve been acceptable.

except that the religious followers of islam (i.e. islamists) seek to either
1) impose an extremist islamic emirate akin to KSA (who backs them now) via Al-Nusra Front or Al-Farouk Brigade;
2) impose majoritarian sunni rule (like egypt) in a multi-sectarian multi-ethnic syria via turkey and supported by the west (as the MB has done through its front organization SNC)

that being said, lets not get delusional and optimistic about islam – its not a religion that is particularly well towards women and minorities (at least according to current times) and there are far more religions who are less hostile (if not more supportive) towards freedom than islam is.

islam comes from the root meaning ‘peace’ but it also means submission. and it doesnt particularly teach someone to be free when it threatens anyone from questioning the religion or leaving it on the pain of death, not to mention that the religion regulates slavery and women’s rights (though this was for muhammad’s time, it ignores its own claim of being universal and for all times).

no one has the right to enslave us? maybe it applies to muslims only, because the followers of islam (from death of muhammad to the end of caliphate) enslaved whole nations through their rule and enslaved the people akin to how europeans colonized the africas, south asia, middle east, etc. not to mention that your statement flies in the face of many regulations for slaves written in the scriptures.

‘Omer Ibn Al Khattab said since when you enslave people and their mothers delivered them free.’
I dont know what you meant by that but keep in mind that if he did say that, it was despite the fact that he maintained many persian slaves (one of whom assassinated him)

I slam Taught us that tyrany is not accepted in Islam? so why you accepted the tyranny of the ummayads in syria (who went by hereditary rule like the assads) if i go by your logic, Then the muslim world was ruled by several Pharoas since the death of the prophet (even among the 4 khilafas). if you’re saying that the pharaoh was condemned in Islam becaus he was tyrant, then you’re labelling islam a hypocritical religion since it also tolerated tyrants at times and the followers were ruled by tyrants most times.

if the people who accepted tyrany are evil corrupt people then you are labelling all muslims who lived (and continues to live) under dictatorships as evil corrupt people? you should know better than i that the muslims are normal people no differnt than christians jews of hindus, just trying to live their lives and have good job and family and life.

If God said (Wa Ma Arsalnaka Alayhim Hafeeza)we never sent you to be a dictator over them – then why did the khilafahs (who were islamically accepted) rule like tyrants and dictators? why were they never elected?

‘Islam taught us that if we suffer injustice we have to do anything to turn things around and end up victorious,( Wa al lazina Iza Asabahumo Al Baghyo hom yantaseroun.’
which is why the alawis and christians and many druze fear the sunnis being victorious, because then it will mean the end of them or their state of influence/power. the only injustice is the sectarian killings being propagated by the FSA and their affiliates.

Joshua didn’t mean by Islamization what you claimed as islamization, and we would not all welcome Islamization, but you nonetheless would seeing as how you support the establishment of an islamic emirate in syria (or parts of syria).

March 26th, 2012, 12:12 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Canadian Defense Minister – Talks About UFOs Aliens And Government Conspiracy !!
These are the words of former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer.,_Aliens_And_Govt_Conspiracy.html

March 26th, 2012, 12:19 am


jad said:

Whoever believes anything the MBs say or promise they may need their heads checked.

Son of Damascus,
That clip was linked couple times on SC already and it was proved to be a hoax and never been shown by Addounia also twice.

It seems that Alarabiya will never stop it’s lies and fabrications:

الصحفية الاميركية شارمين نرواني تفضح تزوير قناة العربية لمقالها
كتبت الصحفية الأميركية المقيمة حاليا في بيروت على صفحتها على الفايس بوك النص التالي :
لقد كان علي التحقق من أن اليوم ليس هو الأول من نيسان (كذبة نيسان) لأن القناة المملوكة للسعودية المسماة ” العربية ” نشرت مقالا كاملا يحقق في لائحة الضحايا الذين سقطوا في سورية خلال الأزمة، وقد نسبوه بمعظمه لي شخصيا، بالتأكيد هناك مشاكل جدية في التقرير الذي نشرته العربية لأنهم أضافوا واحدا من الفقرات التي كان قد نشرها زميلي الصحفي الاميركي نير روزن ولكن القناة نسبة ما نشره لي ، والقناة سقطت أيضا في مسالة أخرى حين إستشهدت بمصعب العزاوي الذي زعم أنه وعصابته المتواجدين في شارلتون – إنكلترا كانوا هم المصدر الرئيسي لمعلومات تقرير منظمة العفو الدولية حول سورية وهو الامر الذي لم تؤيده محكمة بريطانية وضعت جانبا إدعاء العزاوي ضد معارض سوري آخر هو رامي عبد الرحمن

March 26th, 2012, 12:26 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Eeny meeny miny moo..

Why don’t you pick up the wahabis who did the massacr of Karam Alzaiton?

You couldn’t stop vomitting right? Why are you not vomitting now that the fig leaf has fallen of katebat
Alfarook and it is documented that they have done it with Aljazera knowledge?

So let us put together that horrible night events when SC was meeting and orders came from Aldoha to do the massacr :

1-kidnapped people were brought alife
2-They were killed one by one
3-FSA wrapped them while the blood was actively
Coming out and staining kafans.
4-FSA criminal throughing freshly killed kidnapped
To his criminal friend telling him:take this lamb(خروف)

Any human being with one gram of consciousness Will stay up many nights after watching this.Never
In the history of Humanity have ever been any uglier,dirtier,filthier… terrorist movement ,than this plaque which has infested syria’s body:

March 26th, 2012, 12:32 am


ann said:

Jeffrey Feltman Pledges This Time He Will Defeat Hezbollah – OpEd – March 26, 2012

“The Lebanese people must join together to tell Hezbollah and its allies that the Lebanese state will no longer be hijacked for an Iranian-Syrian agenda.” He called on Lebanese voters to organize immediately for the coming election and “to once again show the world how they can transcend fear and use the 2013 parliamentary elections to defeat the remnants of the Syrian occupation, the pillar of which is Hezbollah, and reject the apologists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s butchery.”

Feltman continued: “I hope those Lebanese who are here with me today, along with millions of others back home in Lebanon, will work to defeat Hezbollah and again show the world how they can transcend fear — in order to use the 2013 legislative elections to defeat the remnants of the Syrian occupation and reject these apologists of Assad’s butchery.” Feltman also addressed the Syrian situation, saying “no one outside of Syria has more of a stake in the correct outcome than the Lebanese.”

Feltman, identified to the 7th anniversary of the “Cedar Revolution” (which his office named) gathering, two elements that he claimed were constant across the board in the Arab Spring countries: “Yearning for dignity and a triumph over fear.” He omitted any reference to the yearning to overcome rising poverty, corruption, lack of jobs and government neglect as well as the repression of religious and ethnic minorities that continue to fuel the uprisings against US-supported regimes, four of which have collapsed while four others are still teetering.

Feltman’s pep rally for the coming Lebanese Parliamentary elections that will help determine the next Lebanese government which will affect US plans for the region, has set the tone and scaffolding for his team’s soon-to-be announced electoral platform. Organizing the campaign for the pro-US-Israel Saudi team will likely once again be supported by staffers at US Embassy Beirut and also worked on by Feltman’s State Department Bureau.

According to Lebanese election specialists at Lebanon’s Lebanese International University (LIU), Notre Dame, and Lebanese American University (LAU) the coming US driven Lebanese elections will include:

–record prices for vote purchases that sometimes during the 2009 election saw the purchase price of a vote sometimes soar into the stratosphere. plus fancy mobile phones for the sellers’ teenagers and cars for some dads;

–intense demonization of Hezbollah among its Shia base plus scare tactics and silly whispering campaigns claiming that the party will ban alcohol, institute chadouri dress codes, revive the discarded idea of an Islamic republic, buy up property in other sects’ neighborhoods, corruption, and more indictments coming from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL);

During the coming months of the run up to the 2013 Parliamentary election, Lebanon will also witness more cold stare visits from US bureaucrats such as US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen who was in Lebanon this week rattling the cage of Lebanese Central Bank officials warning that the US suspects that Lebanese banks are being used to fund the Iranian nuclear program and to finance the Syrian regime so the US may have to act against Lebanese banks and for sure the Beirut based Bank Saderat Iran and the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank;


March 26th, 2012, 12:49 am


jad said:

If anybody wants to know about Istanbul meeting, Ashraf is the best reference, he tells everything the moment it happened in those meetings:

Day 1
He claims that Turkey is ‘FORCING’ all the oppositions to sign on a useless agreement that can’t be implemented and that will make them negotiate with the Syrian regime like the Yemeni model:

Ashraf Almoukdad
تقريبا انتهى اليوم وما يمكن ان اختصره هو الآتي:
لاشيء ….. وصول جهابذة المعارضة …… انشغل المجلس باجتماعات خاصة به ( مريبة براي الشخصي) والمتداول بطريقة تقرب من المؤكد ان هذا المؤتمر خدعة رخيصة من تركيا ومن المجلس لإجبار وتسجيل الجميع لتوقيع ميثاق “شرف” ولا تحكم على آليات تنفيذ هذا الميثاق.. فان لم يوقع طرف سيتهم بالخيانة وشق الصف او ان يوقع فلا خيار لأي كان بطرق تطبيق ميثاق الشرف…… مثلا: نتفق على إسقاط النظام بكامل أجزائه …. يأخذ هذا المجلس ذالك ثم يدخل بمفاوضة النظام وبوافق على الطريقة اليمنية!!!!!! اهل نوافق على ذالك؟
الحقيقة ان هذا المؤتمر هو خدعة رخيصة وحتى سخيفة ….. واعتقد ان جميع القوى الحرة تعي ذالك ولديها خطط ذكية.
غداً لا يوجد اي عمل جدي بل عشاء يستضيفه الاتراك وسم الهاري…. بالمختصر المفيد عمل المؤتمر اقل من ٦ ساعات فقط….. والكثير من السم الهاري …. المشكلة انهم كلهم يأكلون ملاذ وطاب ٣ مرات باليوم على حساب الثورة السورية وانا اقطع الطريق لاكل فلافل …… ايييييه الدنيا مراتب
نلتقي غداً كالعادة

March 26th, 2012, 12:54 am


jad said:

It seems that Patrick Cockburn was right in his last article:

“The appointment of the former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan as a UN-Arab League peace envoy is a face-saver to mask the failure so far of the regime’s opponents.”

Now the Russian along the US and EU are repeating each others opinion, is there some kind of deal happening behind doors?

‘West looking for face-saving exit from Syria’

Russia says in order to support UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace mission in Syria other nations must stop taking sides. US President Obama, however, is considering providing Syrian rebels with ‘non-lethal’ aid in their uprising against President Assad.

Sharmine Narwani, a Middle East expert from St. Antony’s College in Oxford University, believes that NATO does not have any particular plan with regards to Syria. Therefore, such claims like the one made by the White House about possible “non-lethal aid” to the rebels are of little significance.

“NATO countries, including the United States, the European Union and Turkey, are now looking for a face-saving exit from Syria,” she told RT. “So, I think, regardless of what Obama says… I mean, really, what does that statement mean? It could mean band-aids, for all we know. So forget what the players are saying, watch what they are doing. That’s going to tell us what’s going on in the backrooms.”

Narwani’s view was echoed by Karl Sharro, a blogger on Middle East affairs.

“The West doesn’t have any plan in Syria. It’s been very loud, but it doesn’t have any clear plan of action,” he said. “We’ve seen the sanctions [imposed on Syria] by the EU. It’s a joke. When you don’t have any other initiatives or any other pressure to apply, they slap these kinds of sanctions on the president’s wife and his mother.”

What is more important, both Narwani and Sharro continued, is that Russia is “taking the lead” in the current situation and helping “move into the next phase” of the Syrian crisis.

“Russia is clearly taking the lead in efforts to help create some time and space for the Syrian government to move with the reforms that were initiated last spring,” she said. “It’s supported heavily by a number of developing countries, particularly with the BRICS, and even some regional players, like Iran.”

Narwani also added that should the Syrian opposition groups continue to reject Annan’s plan, they may soon find themselves isolated.

The joint UN-Arab special envoy and the Russian president held talks in Moscow on Sunday to discuss ending the violence and to get both sides in the conflict to talk. Russia says Kofi Annan’s peace efforts could be the last chance for Syria to avoid plunging into a long-lasting and bloody civil war.

March 26th, 2012, 1:01 am


omen said:

430. Jerusalem 9:52 pm

So peaceful protestors have decided to consider this statement ONLY NOW after 40 years, the cave men have been awakened all of a sudden??? It doesn’t make any sense. Israel has been oppressing Palestinians for 60 years. Only Bashar said a word of truth against that regime and called Arab rulers half men publicly (he is paying for it now), hence it’s the best of Jihad per your statement.

i don’t understand your point.

being an advocate for palestinians doesn’t give assad a free pass to act like a butcher and slaughter his own people!

March 26th, 2012, 1:04 am


jad said:

A custom made demonstration!
الجزيرة مباشر ..مظاهرات عفوية…?

March 26th, 2012, 1:15 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You made several mistakes,and it all shows that you do not understand Islam, and accuse islam by the actions of some muslems.
Islam did not ban slavery,but the person when he is born he is free, and no one should enslave anyone after Islam, the fact that slavery continues after Islam ,Islam has nothing to do with it,those who were slaves can be freed by working for their freedom, and by someone pay to free them, Islam was against slavery,you mentioned Omar was killed by slave,it is true but the assassin was slave before Islam.
You accuse Islam being agains minorities and women rights, I slam equalise men and women as far as their right except in two cases, Shahadeh,as far as money loans between men,and inheritance where women generally take half men share sometimes,this is long discussion and I talked about it a lot in the past obviously you did not read my explanations, but suffice it to say you are wrong.
As for inheritance of the rule,such as kings system, and this includes Ummaya inheritance rule , I said it before and I repeatit is not islamic to inherit the authority over the people,the people must choose their leader by election, at that time it was caucus system , but never by inheritance, Yazeid was wrong and those who understand Islam are against it, this kind of system where someone unherits the authority is agains Islam and is bound to cause tyrany, and no Muslem should accept it.The prophet said as you are you will got some one like you to rule over you. so yes the people who accept tyrany are bad.
remember I was not living them so please do not blame me.
Islam is the most democratic system known, and Islam as a goverment is not against other religion, all religions in the islamic goverment must be respected according to Islam, the story of of the life of the great Khalifa Omar proved you wrong
Khilafa was not dictatorship during the first four khalifas, they all were chosen democratically, to call Khilafa as dictatorship is not true,and frankly is prejudice statement. I might add that Shii system support inheritanc, Sunni are against inheriting authorities
Druze and christians have nothing to fear in Islam as long as the ruler follows Islam, by the way Druze are Musslems and they are supporting the revolution,
Free syrian army is not sectarian, this is accusation by you which has no bases, many christians druze and alawis are in this army, please stop this accusation.and we welcome more christians and Alawite to join.
Islam is strong supporter of freedom and justice , in Islam it says very clearly,do not allow your enmity to other cause you to be unjust, be just and fair it is closer to Islam,where do you see such law in any other religion, .
As I came to this country, I was surprised to see the american constitution is very close to islamic law , I thought they studied Islam before they came with this constitution, or may be Muhammad was born here.
Islam support civil rule where justice is ordered,freedom is called and dignity is respected. please do not mix Islam with those who claim they are muslems and hurt Islam.

March 26th, 2012, 1:21 am


jad said:

I thought that I saw everything already, I guess I was wrong….
OMG is this ‘singer’ for real?! 🙂
Abd-Almannan END3.wmv

March 26th, 2012, 1:33 am


majedkhaldoun said:

NCB refused to go to Istanbule to attend the Istanbule meeting

March 26th, 2012, 1:49 am


Juergen said:

Montreal High School students were attacked and stabbed by Pro Assad supporters

March 26th, 2012, 2:19 am


Juergen said:


lol thats a good one, i wonder sometimes whats more cruel to put those videos on youtube or are the friends more cruel when they told him you are a good singer.

March 26th, 2012, 2:30 am


jad said:

Montreal attack was the other way around, 6 armed kids came on purpose to the rally with knives and start making the trouble, the same night the TV showed a report about it and accused the 6 kids of being provocative who start the trouble, it’s strange how the English CBC changed the story of the French CBC.
Of course the ‘boy’ Faisal Azmeh was asked for his priceless opinion as one of the most famous ‘thugs’ in Montreal who intimated every Syrians that doesn’t agree with him.
Another report, another view:
Opinion à propos de la manifestation international pour la syrie

March 26th, 2012, 3:12 am


Juergen said:

[ARROW Updated]

For those who can understand arabic, here is the new film of Nadine Labaki, Where do we go from now?

Most of the actors she choosed have never worked in a movie before, like Caramel her first movie, the characters are amazing. I will see the film today in total in a dubbed version in the cinema.
here the plot:

Where Do We Go Now? tells the story of a remote, isolated unnamed Lebanese village inhabited by both Muslims and Christians. The village is surrounded by land mines only reachable by a small bridge. As civil strife engulfed the country, the women in the village learn of this fact and try, by various means and to varying success, to keep their men in the dark, sabotaging the village radio, then destroying the village TV.

The story begins with a boy named Roukoz, whose job – along with his cousin, Nassim – is to venture outside the village and bring back much-needed merchandise such as soap, utensils, newspapers, lightbulbs. Roukoz lives with Nassim’s family, and it is made clear that Nassim has lost his father. Roukoz tries to fix the church speakers, and falls off his ladder, crashing into the cross and snapping it in half. Other characters include the village mayor and his wife Yvonne (Christians), the cafe-owner Amal (played by Nadine Labaki), Rabih (the village painter and Amal’s love interest) and his sister, Issam (Nassim’s brother) and his wife Aida, and the village priest and village sheikh. The next day, the congregation is gathered in church to celebrate the Sunday mass; The Priest preaches about the need to fix the church, and blames the broken cross on the wind, telling churchgoers to keep their cool and that their fellow Muslims have nothing to do with it. Some time later the Imam discovers that some goats have found their ways into the mosque, and urges the Muslims not to blame the Christians for what had happened. As people starts to gather, however, a Muslim man blames the Christians for what has happened and a small fight ensues.

The village is slowly drawn into greater violence; but the women get along beautifully and conspire together to keep their men from fighting, even hiring Eastern European dancers to entertain their men. But as Nassim is killed in a skirmish between Christians and Muslims while on an errand in a nearby town, the women are faced with a real test of wills. In an attempt to control the situation, they drug the men by mixing hashish inside sweet pastries and remove their weapons from the village. This ensured that fighting would not resume in the village during or after Nassim’s funeral.

March 26th, 2012, 10:04 am


DAWOUD said:

[ARROW Dawoud, the moderator watches for comments that go against Syria Comment Rules and Regulations. If there are facts in dispute, please raise the issue for discussion. Main posts are the responsibility of the author. If you have a particular concern, it is best to write directly to Dr Landis or other author.

One of your previous posts, Dawoud, was put into moderation for intolerable language about Russian prostitution. Please bear in mind the rules that help us keep this forum open to the widest possible expression.]

Dear Moderator:

You need to double check any post for accuracy. I read your Arabic post from Vatican newspapers, and it does not seem to rely on any journalistic work or sources. I did not see them relying on any news agency. I understand that religious media, regardless of whether it is Christian from the Vatican or Muslim from Saudi Arabia, do NOT conduct accuracy/credibility litmus test before posting stories favorable to their religion/sect! That’s why I don’t post anything from Islamic religious media, although some of their content-unlike this Vatican story about Homs’ Christians- are supported by named eye-witnesses and YouTube videos.

P.S., it is undeniable that the overwhelming majority of violence is committed by the regime and its suppoters/shabiha against Sunni Syrians. It’s time for balance! Show articles and videos on that!

March 26th, 2012, 10:32 am


zoo said:

Invitations to the FOS in Istanbul are signed by Qatar and Turkey.
Syria internal opposition (NCB) is not going.

National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria – NCB: Observations regarding the invitation to the Istanbul conference.
A number of activists and opposition figures including members of NCB have received unsigned emails which call for their participation in the Syrian opposition conference to be held in Istanbul on 26 March 2012. The following names were attached to the emails: Khalid Bin Mohammad al-Attiyah – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, and Halit Çevik – Ambassador, Ministry of State for Foreign Affairs of Turkey. The letter states that this is based on the call from the Arab States Ministerial Council issued on 12 November 2011, and the Chairman’s conclusions of the International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People which was held in Tunisia on 24 February 2012. The letter says this is: ‘’a conference which will bring all major opposition groups and figures committed to a peaceful political transition in Syria.”

March 26th, 2012, 11:57 am


zoo said:

Paul Pinheiro, Head of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria

“Our conclusion is that there is no solution than negotiations”

See how quickly it is dismissed by the CNN journalist.

Notice also the nervous fingers of Ryad Al Assaad.

March 26th, 2012, 12:09 pm


zoo said:

Useless pressure?
Turkey shuts embassy in Damascus: diplomat

“Activities at the Turkish embassy have been suspended from this morning,” the source said on condition of anonymity, adding that all diplomatic personnel have left the Syrian capital

March 26th, 2012, 12:14 pm


zoo said:

“If the U.S. is not involved, there is no way Turkey would get involved in it,”

“The opposition is too fragmented, there is confusion as to which group represents who, or what they represent,”

Ahead of Istanbul meeting, allies look reluctantly at intervention in Syria

…On Saturday, Turkey’s Yeni Safak newspaper, which is considered close to the government, said 500 military personnel have inspected areas close to the border for a safe zone that could stretch 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) inside Syria, and would end their “studies” before the meeting in Istanbul.

The newspaper did not provide sources, but the report contributed to a sense that the safe zone idea is slowly gaining traction despite the pitfalls.

“If the U.S. is not involved, there is no way Turkey would get involved in it,” said Osman Bahadir Dincer, a Syria expert at the International Strategic Research Organisation, a center in Ankara, the Turkish capital. However, he predicted “some kind of an intervention in the form of a buffer zone or a safe zone” within one or two months.

Dincer said a decision to arm the Free Syrian Army was unlikely at the Istanbul meeting amid questions over the composition of the ragtag militias, and divisions between fighters in Syria and the Syrian National Council, the opposition group based outside the country.

“The opposition is too fragmented, there is confusion as to which group represents who, or what they represent,” he said.

The U.S. and other key allies, however, are considering providing Syrian rebels with communications help, medical aid and other “non-lethal” assistance. Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, said in South Korea on Sunday that communications assistance could be critical to the opposition’s efforts.

March 26th, 2012, 12:22 pm


zoo said:

Syrian Air Force intelligence chief Iyad Mando was killed on Monday, opposition websites reported. There was no immediate confirmation of the report.

The intelligence branch of the Syrian air force is considered one of the strongest bodies in the state.

March 26th, 2012, 12:27 pm


zoo said:

A thorough overview of Russia’s position on Syria

Interview with Russian envoy to Lebanon on the Syrian crisis
Alexander Zasypkin
By Tha’ir Abbas

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat- Asharq al-Awsat recently met with the Russian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, to discuss his country’s position with regards to the ongoing Syrian crisis. During the interview, Zasypkin outlined the principles of Russia’s stance focusing on a political solution in Syria, and what steps are now required in order to implement this. He also dismissed reports of Russian involvement on the ground in support of the al-Assad regime, stressing that his country wholly rejects foreign military interference.

The following is the text of the interview:

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What is Russia’s genuine position towards the current events in Syria?

[Zasypkin] The constants of the Russian stance toward the internal conflict are known, and they have not changed throughout the past incidents. These constants focus on the need for all parties to cease violence, organizing comprehensive national dialogue between the authority and the opposition, and reaching an agreement on all the reforming steps in Syria to attain a democratic regime in this country. We seek to achieve these objectives and need the assistance of the international community to start the political process in Syria.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Can we speak about an “internal crisis” when the opposition is complaining of “violence from one side”, carried out by the authorities through a strong and disciplined army? Is it possible to talk about two kinds of violence?

[Zasypkin] Of course there is the regular Syrian Army, which has the military superiority over the armed groups. At the same time, when we speak about halting violence, this relates to all parties because should the authorities alone stop the violence, then this would lead to armed groups seizing their positions, and this would not calm down the situation.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] How can a peace process be reached in Syria in light of the opposition’s strong rejection of dialogue with a regime it considers to be criminal, and due to the brutality of this regime?

March 26th, 2012, 12:44 pm


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August 13th, 2012, 5:28 am


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