Oil Wars—Nusra’s Expanding Reach—Syrian Taliban

Matthew BarberBy Matthew Barber and the Syria Video team

This long post contains the following sections:

  • The Defectors Defect
  • Will EU Oil Purchases Finance al-Qaida?
  • Al-Musareb: Al-Nusra Punishes a Village Regime-Style
  • Syrian Taliban
  • The Opposition’s Ambivalent Response to al-Nusra’s Affiliation with al-Qaida (and the Plan to Introduce an Alternative Islamic Law in Syria)
  • Jabhat al-Nusra is Now an Iraq-to-Lebanon Phenomenon
  • Conclusion: Outsiders Reevaluate Their Positions as it Becomes Easier for the Regime to Sell Itself


The Defectors Defect

A Lebanese acquaintance of Dr. Landis wrote in an email about the recent experience of his Syrian natoor (a worker at an apartment building functioning like a cross between a guard, concierge, and janitor):

I’m now in Beirut at my mother’s. The natoor of our building, Riyadh, is from Hassaka. He’s been our natoor for 6 years.

He just got back yesterday from Haasaka after visiting his folks.

On my last trip here in December, he was 100% anti-regime and his two brothers were fighters with FSA. He told me at the time that Assad must go, he is not good for Syria and his cousin Rami ripped off the country. He came to Lebanon after his military service because Assad and his family destroyed Syria.

That was December 2012. He is now 100% pro regime. His two brothers surrendered to the Syrian army and gave up their $500 a month [FSA] salary (he makes here $250/month).

He said the FSA and Nusra are thieves and robbers – much worse than the regime. They quit after seeing how the FSA (their direct commander was an Afghani) was ripping off and selling everything to Turkey. They sold 4 years worth of huntaa [wheat] for 600 SYP a shewal (no idea what a shewal is, but ya3ni) whereas it’s worth 6,000 SYP. They dismantled whole bakeries, small factories, cables, he swore even faucets were ripped out and shipped to Turkey.

His trip from Beirut to Tadmor was relatively safe, he said. But from Tadmor to Hassaka, there is a Nusra roadblock every few kilometers. At each roadblock, heavily armed men, faces completely covered, get up to the bus and shout “Allahu Akbar.” They wait for the passengers to shout back the same while these men lock their eyes trying to figure out if someone is saying Allahu Akbar back according to their standards. He said I know “Ibn baladi” [locals of the area]. None of these thugs are Ibn baladi.

Women, if any, must be completely covered for the roadblock – head to toe like a trash bag. The driver usually tells all women that they must have black burqas with them before they get on the bus.

Anyway, he said “yashodu allah ya ustaz that Bashar is now in our hearts and minds”:

“يشهد اللهً يااستاذ انه بشار الأسد بقلبنا وبدمنا. يشهد الله يااستاذ انه كل أغلاط النظام ويشار وعيلته مغفورة قدام ها لوحوش المجرمين من الجيش الحر والنصرة الله لاينصرهن خربو سورية. يشهد الله يااستاذ انه هللق كل سوري مخلص وشريف وبيحب بلده الآن مع بشار ومع الجيش السوري ضد هل الأوباش.”

He said, we let Bashar down (نحنا انغشينا و أخطأنا ). And in doing so we let Syria down.

Riyadh is here now to pack his things and go back to Syria to fight with the Syrian army (تطوع). I said how many people are feeling like you in Hasakaa, he said many – all his ربع [a term for family commonly used by Bedouins and Arabs of tribal affiliation]. He is 36 years old. Went to hajj twice. He’s Muslim Sunni.

I asked him what about the Christians in Hasakaa, he said they all left. Only the very weak and poor are left behind, but they are ok.

The FSA ripped off the power plant, dismantled all equipments, generators, transformers, even under ground cables were ripped out and were sold to a turkey.

He said this is not a fight for Assad, this is a fight for Syria.

Such an account looks almost engineered to tickle the ears of regime supporters, but it is real. It obviously, however, cannot reflect the experience of someone whose community has undergone direct bombardment from the regime. Those who have contributed to this long fight or have lived through the airstrikes and massacres of so many towns and villages would not suddenly make a political turnabout and say “we let Bashar down.” Such a statement will appear as the height of absurdity to a great number of Syrians, and even we find it almost bewildering. But it does reflect the feelings of some communities that have become disillusioned with rebel control, or have felt that “you rebels brought the fight to our neighborhood,” a sentiment we’ve seen crop up often.

It reflects the dilemma expressed by the writer of the email: “Syrians today have clarity in the choices being offered:  the regime, version 2.0; or a Salafi Islamic Banana Republic. My relatives, friends, and many Syrians I know who were staunch anti-regime revolutionaries early on are privately rethinking their position. It’s almost impossible for Syrians to admit defeat or mistakes (it’s related to some strange DNA mutation I will tell you about later!), but it’s not hard to see where a Sufi Syria would end up given these two distinct choices. The revolution is now proving to be incompatible with the hearts and minds of the Syrian masses.”

Regardless of the degree to which that last statement can be said to be true for various segments of the Syrian population, disillusionment has prompted even some who have been engaged at the forefront of the struggle against the regime to abandon the revolution. The situation alluded to above (the selling off of Syrian assets to Turkey) is a real problem that ultimately drove the head of the Farouq Brigades in Deir Ezzor, Yussef ‘Alke, to resign as leader, leave the Brigades, and declare the revolution a corrupt sham. In a recent statement he laid out 5 reasons for his departure:

  1. That the trajectory of the revolution in Deir Ezzor has deviated from the right path and transformed [into a campaign of] acquiring wealth
  2. That some leaders of the Farouq Brigade, in partnership with other brigades undertook the sale of the tools and equipment from the warehouses of sugar mills without our knowledge or agreement
  3. The failure of the Revolutionary or Military Council or any subsidiary of the join leadership to support us, even with a single bullet, knowing that the everything that comes in the way of support from these groups goes to particular persons with a blind allegiance to the leaders of these councils
  4. The new emergence of the old phenomenon of bloc formation, partisanship, and allegiances to foreign parties which people are forced to follow or face elimination, as has recently become clear
  5. The lack of seriousness on the part of any party responsible for the Free Syrian Army or its supporters in the fight against the regime in Deir Ezzor—instead the main concern was, and still is, making financial deals with the regime

‘Alke gave just one example of destructive economic opportunism to occur in his local area (that of the sugar mill). A commodity that has been intensely fought over recently in several areas is wheat. A feud erupted in Tal Hamis (Hasakeh) over the right to distribute wheat between the FSA 313th Division and Ahrar al-Sham who attacked the FSA positions and took over the grain silos. Another scandal took place in al-Shadadi where the elected head of the Local Council was accused of appropriating wheat to sell it for his own profit. But the hottest affair of all is oil.


By Opening Oil Exports, Will the EU be Financing al-Qaida?


Where Syrian oil went before the sanctions - source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Where Syrian oil went before the sanctions – source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Though the war seems far from over, the fight over oil has begun.

AP – EU lifts Syria oil embargo to bolster rebels

The European Union on Monday lifted its oil embargo on Syria to provide more economic support to the forces fighting to oust President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The decision will allow for crude exports from rebel-held territory, the import of oil and gas production technology, and investments in the Syrian oil industry, the EU said in a statement.

… Being able to take advantage of the country’s oil resources will help the Syrian uprising ‘‘big time,’’ said Osama Kadi, a senior member of the Syrian opposition. While the security situation remains a challenge, getting the oil flowing will be a top priority for the Syrian interim government expected to be formed by the end of the month, added Kadi, who is an economic adviser to the opposition Syrian National Coalition.

‘‘We are really hoping that Turkish companies will help in terms of importing and exporting the oil, because we need some refineries to get our diesel to run all our generators, to run our hospitals, and we need diesel in large amounts,’’ he said in Istanbul.

Opening up oil to help the rebels seems a little strange, since much of the territory that produces the oil is under the control of Jabhat al-Nusra. These areas are already experiencing conflict as various parties vie for control over oil.

outdoor oil refiningDue to necessity or incentive or both, Syrians are already processing oil in outdoor, homemade refineries: Syrians take up backyard refining of crude oil – Daily Star:

Columns of black smoke rise from several points along the road in part of northern Syria. Here the smoke is not a sign of airstrikes but of crude oil being processed in makeshift refineries.

“People started doing it about one year ago but at that time we didn’t know how to,” says Ahmad, a 35-year-old farmer-turned-refiner. “We got the knowledge from someone from around here who had learned in Saudi Arabia,” he says, standing next to a big metal tank containing crude oil.

… Their tank has a capacity of 1,000 liters, though they only make it two-thirds full at a time because the refining process requires air, they say. A fire is lit underneath to heat the tank, eventually boiling the crude, and producing thick black smoke. As the crude boils, various products run off through two tubes which are cooled as they pass underwater through three ponds and then into a container that collects the resulting products. What comes out first, the brothers term “cooking gas,” which they simply allow to escape. Next comes petrol, then kerosene used in stoves, then diesel fuel. The pair call the final product “fat” and either add it back into the fire under the tank, or occasionally mix it with the diesel for use in some “heavy vehicles.” This process is a crude form of the fractional distillation process used at oil refineries around the world, and has proved profitable for the brothers.

Boiling and refining a tank takes them about four hours, and they estimate they make a 50-60 percent profit on each barrel, selling the products to locals. “Business is good,” Ahmad says smiling, his face and hands blackened by the smoke.

The brothers are unlikely to win any health and safety awards. Neither wears gloves nor protective gear, and Abdullah smokes a cigarette on the job. “It’s OK as long as you are not right next to the benzene [petrol],” he says matter-of-factly. “We haven’t had any [health] problem, nothing will happen to us,” he adds with a grin.

The brothers get their raw material from the Deir al-Zor countryside, driving two and a half hours in their truck to purchase oil barrels from middlemen or those in control of the oil fields: local tribes and the jihadist Nusra Front.

Nusra got involved in the oil business about six months ago, they say. “Nusra are operating in both lines, business and fighting,” Ahmad says.

… Ahmad says he’s not a fan of the Nusra Front, buying from them only out of necessity. Rebel brigades “Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, they are very good guys, but we don’t like Nusra,” he says.

The brothers buy crude about three times a week, picking up nine barrels a time. “Each well has a different price, depending on the quality of its oil,” Ahmad says. One 2,200-liter barrel runs from 500 to 10,000 Syrian pounds, approximately $5-$1000, but the cheapest barrels only yield about 50 liters of refined products, they say.

Local tribes first began controlling oil fields in the Deir al-Zor countryside about a year ago. … “When these tribes discovered the oil wells, the revolution in Deir al-Zor was over, they used to be poor and it went from revolution to oil industry.”

Deir al-Zor contains the largest energy reserves in Syria, which produced some 420,000 barrels of oil a day before the United States and the European Union banned the import of Syrian petroleum in 2011.

Oil and Gas Fields and Pipelines in Syria - Source: Tri-Ocean Energy

Oil and Gas Fields and Pipelines in Syria – Source: Tri-Ocean Energy

The current enterprise of oil in Syria is a dangerous business. It takes different forms in various regions, but it can involve the puncturing of pipelines to steal oil, smuggling, tremendous pollution, significant health hazards and physical danger, and the risk of armed disputes and localized political conflict over the product.

Here are several videos dealing with the process. This one features commentary lamenting the state of the oil business in the area: a bus (possibly a school bus) is used to transport oil, the roads and ground are covered in oil to the extent that people can no longer drive quickly on the road surface, even for urgent matters; this one shows oil shooting out of the ground with truck lined up to collect.

The following video from Deir Ezzor presents the enormous pollution problem. Men can be seen taking oil from pits filled with oil by breaking a pipeline. One such pit is shown burning; apparently when disputes arise as to who has claim to oil, it is sometimes set on fire so that no one has benefit from it. The gist of the commentator’s observation is: “As if the chemical attacks of the regime weren’t enough, now we have face the health threat of fumes arising from the illegal extraction of crude oil which is later refined in the north and then sold, by thieves who consider themselves part of the revolution, creating a lot of health and environmental hazards, including cancer.”

After being collected, refining the oil is another endeavor proving that necessity is the mother of invention. The following interesting videos show the refining process outdoors in: al-Safira (SE of Aleppo), Daret ‘Izza, again al-Safirah; and indoor refining in Ras al-Ain, Hasakeh.

Refining the oil is hazardous; in the above video, children can be seen working with the oil, and there have been reports of children being burnt to death while working to process oil. This video shows the aftermath of an explosion claiming the lives of those harvesting the oil. The commentary in the video says to the effect of: this is a message to opportunistic people, those who run after money, death is the end of all who covet. The bodies on the ground have been completely burnt, leaving skeletons. The tajwid playing in the background is of a sura that talks about visiting graveyards and seeing hellfire. The message seems to be that they were in the wrong for taking oil that wasn’t theirs, but who exactly does the oil belong to?

General Idriss (who has remained on the sidelines through the conflict) has placed a new request for a force of 30,000 troops, not to fight the regime but to control Syria’s oil fields. Syrian rebels seek control over oilfields – FT

… According to activists, however, many of those oilfields are now under the control of Jabhat al-Nusrah, the al-Qaeda-linked rebel group. General Selim Idriss, the western-backed head of the Supreme Military Council, told the Financial Times he wanted to assemble a 30,000-strong force of military defectors to secure oilfields, grain silos and cotton stocks, as well as crossing points on the Turkish and Iraqi borders.

Now that oil is on the table, it’s no wonder there’s a bigger push to get an interim government functioning. AP:

The Syrian opposition will not be able to sell its crude oil for at least another month due to a lack of real executive power, even though the EU has eased an embargo to help them, a prominent member of the Syrian National Council said on Monday.

… However, the opposition still does not have a provisional government to oversee possible sales as the coalition must still receive and then approve a proposal for a potential new leadership. “Without an interim government, nothing can be done now,” Osama Al-Qadi, general director of the Syrian economic task force under the umbrella of the opposition’s coalition told Reuters.

“By the end of the month, an interim government proposal will be submitted to the coalition for approval.” The Syrian National Council is a large Muslim Brotherhood-influenced bloc within the opposition group called the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces. Once an interim government is appointed, he expected governmental agreements to be pursued. “Then we will sign some agreements with neighboring countries to buy our crude, like Turkey,” he said. Meanwhile, the coalition has no control over crude oil that is already leaving the country by truck from the north east. “We consider this smuggling…”

Turkish Opposition Burn NATO Flag - AP

Turkish Opposition Burn NATO Flag – AP

Oil and other goods (much of it looted) are already being sold off in Turkey, as mentioned by this article and in anecdotal accounts like that of the Natoor at the beginning of the post. The selling of Syria to Turkey is a serious problem, and a lot of inquiry could be pursued as to who is profiting in southern Turkey. The tragic consequences of these new economic opportunities emerging in lawless, rebel-held areas are examined in the next section.


Al-Musareb: Al-Nusra Punishes a Village Regime-Style


The results of the new game for oil have played out tragically in the village of al-Musareb, a village near Deir Ezzor, which experienced terror and destruction in an attack from Jabhat al-Nusra following a dispute over rights to oil that turned violent. The incident seems to be part of a larger conflict for power in the area between al-Nusra and local tribes. Information is scant on this situation; a Saudi source reported on it as well as a Reuters Arabic article based on a report from SOHR. In addition to these, we piece the story together based on video clips originating from pro-Nusra sources and articles on facebook pages (1, 2) belonging to a fighter group called Fawj Seif al-Rasul (“the Sword of the Prophet Regiment,” apparently made up of men from the village of al-Musareb) that was in conflict with al-Nusra. There are certainly more sides to this story yet to be told.

The story begins with this video in which men are fighting over a large truck full of oil. The truck is being fought over by men from the al-Saf tribe, and men from Jabhat al-Nusra. Supposedly, the truck was first stolen by thieves who later sold it to a man from the village of al-Musareb (who may or may not have known that it was stolen). Apparently, when the original owner learned that truck had wound up in the possession of an individual from al-Musareb, he appealed to al-Nusra to come to his aid. When the Nusra fighters arrived, however, they found themselves to be outnumbered by armed tribesmen.

The man with the brown hat in that video was the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra in this area, a Saudi named Qasura al-Jazrawi. There are two versions of the story at this point: al-Nusra claims that al-Jazrawi and his forces had to retreat because the tribesmen were more powerful, a few days after which the tribe invited Jabhat al-Nusra to lunch (presumably for negotiations), which turned out to be a bitter meal for al-Jazrawi, who ended up getting killed. The Seif al-Rasul rebels maintain that when al-Jazrawi and his men from al-Nusra came to deal with the problem of the oil truck, they did so aggressively with intimidation, threatening men with their guns. Because the confrontation was hostile, the tribesmen took the al-Nusra men prisoner, after which one of them tried to detonate explosives, at which point he was killed by the men of al-Musareb. This either led to the killing of al-Jazrawi directly, now viewed as a source of threat to the village, or to his killing after he tried to escape. In either case, young men are seen kicking al-Jazrawi’s body around (we see a lot of videos from Syria of people kicking dead bodies…) in the video of the aftermath.

After this, the “Hay al-Shari’a for the Deir Ezzor Countryside” issued a statement warning people of the area against “tying their fate to that of the killers whose hands have been tainted by the shedding of the blood of martyrs.” The speaker tells them that it is urgent that they leave the village (al-Musareb) that very night, claiming that other tribes and fighting groups are declaring war on the al-Saf tribe. He also claims that the village was being supported by the regime. He warns the men, women, children, and elderly who had no part in the killing to leave that village immediately because the mujahideen are coming.

Next, the elders of the al-Saf tribe and Saif al-Rasul issued a statement condemning the “criminal act” but saying that it is against their tradition to hand members of their tribe over to those outside the village for trial. They say that they will hand over vehicles and weapons, but urge them not to harm the innocent.

Following this, Jabhat al-Nusra plays detective, concluding that those in the video issuing the statement are the guilty party, based on the hand-jewelry worn by one of the men which appears to be the same as one in the video of the desecration of al-Jazrawi’s body.

The elders issue a second statement, the gist of which is: We condemn those people who killed the man, and their blood is “majdour” [according to Islam they become a legal target for killing to exact revenge], but only outside the village. We don’t agree that you enter the village. He quotes an ayah from the Qur’an and tells them that “we are on the same side.” (It is interesting how such exchanges are being conducted via uploaded video.)

The next footage we have is of al-Nusra’s attack on the village. They actually film their convoy setting out on the offensive, camera positioned at a series of road curves, apparently to accentuate the vehicles’ performance and evoke a sense of the heroic, set to one of the stirring jihadi anthems typical for such videos. After this sequence, we see the fighters holding blind-folded prisoners inside the village. But Nusra’s revenge is exacted on more than individuals: at just before 3:00 into the video we see the beginning of their demolition campaign, in which explosives are used to destroy homes. We see a total of 12 houses blown up in the remainder of the video, followed by footage of the aftermath, eerily resembling similar scenes in villages bombed by the regime. Narration informs us that one of the houses had belonged to the son of the mukhtar (mayor).

One claim was the al-Musareb was a center for thieves after the breakdown of security. The fighters of al-Nusra obtained a fatwa from the Hay al-Sharia that they could break into the homes of those suspected of stealing or killing, and if they are not present they can destroy the home. More aftermath videos show fire (either set inside homes or the result of explosives). One video claims that al-Nusra fighters stole from the home before destroying it. Narration in another aftermath video shows the destruction of a house claimed to have been owned by the mukhtar himself.

[Thanks to Heather Jenkins for pointing out that the photo we initially inserted here was misattributed to the al-Musareb case by the source we took it from, and was actually from a separate incident.]

Another video shows the fighters herding the prisoners which the video description refers to as the “killers of Qasura.” As the Nusra fighter is marching the prisoners along he introduces those conducting the operation as “the champions of al-Nusra and the Syrian Taliban movement.” This reference to the “Syrian Taliban” generated confused responses on the part of those commenting on YouTube, upon which the uploader posted a comment in reply saying that the fighter was merely “speaking spontaneously.” We do not see the final fate of the prisoners.

Jabhat al-Nusra’s attack led to the displacement of the people of the village, as well as the refugee population that had already fled other areas and taken refuge in al-Musareb. One report said that 14 houses were destroyed, another put the number as high as 30. The death toll was placed at near 50; a number of the Nusra fighters killed were Saudi and Tunisian, according to SOHR. One video showed a man claiming he’d been shot by a Nusra sniper.

The order of events is not clear, but it may be that at some point (after al-Jazrawi was killed?) tribesmen from the area gathered together and attacked the salt mine which had been al-Nusra’s headquarters, to try and eliminate their presence once and for all. Seif al-Rasul claims that the regime bombed the mine, leading to al-Nusra’s accusations that al-Musareb was working with the regime. We hear numerous statements in the videos from al-Nusra fighters referring to the men of al-Musareb as “shabiha.” Another aftermath video narrated by a Nusra fighter states that the village was “liberated from shabiha and the opportunists of the revolution.” It seems clear that the entire episode was the culmination of a long period of tension between al-Nusra and the locals, who had resisted al-Nusra’s ambition to gain control over the greater area of the countryside. The tribe had not welcomed Nusra’s interference in their lives nor allowed them to speak during the Friday prayers.

Though al-Nusra accused the people of the village of working with the regime, the locals expressed a different sentiment. The fighter group Seif al-Rasul posted videos from their village showing the effects of attacks from both the regime and al-Nusra. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Despite the accusations of being “shabiha,” the Seif al-Rasul fighters pointed out that they had participated in the Raqqa offensive that took the city from regime control. This group also posted videos purporting to show them in the siege of Raqqa, taking over checkpoints and helping people defect.


Introducing the Syrian Taliban


Though the above al-Nusra source attempts to downplay the mentioning of a group calling themselves the “Taliban,” it is now clear that there is a group operating within Syria, claiming to be the Taliban. We have found three videos in each of which the use of this name by the rebel group is self-declared. It is also clear that this group participated with Jabhat al-Nusra in the campaign on al-Musareb.

The following video shows the Taliban and al-Nusra roughly questioning a terrified prisoner in al-Musareb, who they accuse of having weapons of the regime. (Don’t rebels regularly use weapons taken from regime ammunition depots and overrun bases?) One appears to be carrying a stun baton. One tells him “I’m going to slaughter you, you animal.” Another tells him, “say the shahada,” (something Muslims believe will bring favor from God if said just prior to dying) “and may God have mercy on you.” It looks like we’re seeing the last moments of the young man’s life, but the video doesn’t include the execution; the last we see of the prisoner, he is blindfolded and placed in a vehicle.

In all three videos, members of the group refer to it as the “Islamic Taliban Movement.”

The following video contains the group’s statement of purpose:


The Opposition’s Ambivalent Response to al-Nusra’s Affiliation with al-Qaida, and the Plan to Introduce an Alternative Islamic Law


The proliferation of such groups has been a growing problem in Syria for some time, climaxing with the recent declaration of an Islamic state on the part of Jabhat al-Nusra, putting the opposition in an uncomfortable position. The revelation of sibling-hood between Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaida in Iraq was condemned in statements issued by some rebel groups (including Islamist ones). For example, Abu Basir al-Tartusi, a Syrian Salafist ideologue for Islamism in the revolution (mentioned in Aron Lund’s reports), took issue with the decision in a statement containing the following 7 points:

  1. Jabhat al- Nusra didn’t consult with other sheikhs and scholars in the Levant (conflicting with Qur’anic sura “al-Shura” 38) before making the announcement
  2. Assad will be the primary beneficiary of this development
  3. The rebels will be spread thin by making new enemies to fight
  4. Because of the announcement, the Syrian revolution will now be associated with all of the previous and future mistakes of al-Qaida in Iraq
  5. This announcement will hurt the project of the Muslim Syrian People, which is the creation of a free and just Islamic Syrian state that has institutions, because it will give the US, China, India, and Russia more reasons to interfere in internal Syrian matters
  6. The announcement will result in a lack of assistance for refugees and people in need of humanitarian aid; plus, aid to rebels will stop
  7. “I hope that this announcement is not the beginning of the shedding of haram blood, on the basis of whoever opposes this announcement being killed” [he doesn’t want to see people who disagree with the announcement getting killed for their position. He also mentions “sahawaat” الصحوات (referring to the tribes that the US empowered in Iraq to beat al-Qaida), i.e. he doesn’t want al-Nusra to start treating groups not aligned with them like ISI treated the sahawaat] “to repeat the failed case of Iraq”

Al-Tartusi’s reasons for disapproving of the statement seem to have little to do with any moral objection to the ideology and tactics of al-Qaida, but are rather based on utilitarian considerations. Nevertheless, it is a great irony that Islamists such as al-Tartusi can be more outspoken with their criticism of Jabhat al-Nusra than can Syria’s official opposition. The National Coalition issued its own statement following the Nusra/ISI announcements, denouncing (with very unspecific language) “all positions that stand in the way of Syrian freedom and that do not align with the will of the people.” It went on: “The Syrian Coalition is deeply concerned about recent statements regarding the affiliations and ideologies of particular factions of the rebel forces.  We find it imperative to respond to these statements. The Syrian Coalition urges Jabhat al Nusra to stay within the ranks of nationalistic Syrians, to continue its efforts in fighting the Assad regime, and in supporting and protecting the freedom of all Syrian sects.”

Rather than express discomfort regarding the fact that al-Nusra’s leadership openly revealed that it was birthed by al-Qaida in Iraq (that was responsible for a high level of deliberately-sectarian violence and violence against minorities), the statement then maintains its opposition to the designation of al-Nusra as a terrorist organization, serving more as a defense of the front than a condemnation of its ideology. That the recent announcements of al-Qaida affiliation were accompanied by statements to the effect that “after so much struggle and sacrifice, we shouldn’t settle for the second-rate option of a democracy,” it is highly ironic that the National Coalition could urge Nusra to remain “within the ranks of nationalistic Syrians.”

They never were within those ranks.

The ambivalence in the opposition’s relationship with Nusra—a group they both need but whose positions they cannot accept—is illustrated in a statement issued by the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union saying “We are proud of our jabhat al nusra mujaheeden brothers, and we protect their back as well as the backs of all the fighters on the fronts of struggle and jihad against the the dictator bashar al assad, but we refuse the pledge of allegiance that the jabhat made to skeikh alzawahiri.” It seems that Jabhat al-Nusra made this pledge, and its refusal on the part of others will not mean much.

Photo: Cihan, Ali Ünal

Photo: Cihan, Ali Ünal

Following the announcement of al-Nusra’s affiliation with al-Qaida, Mu’az al-Khatib attempted to rationalize al-Nusra’s role in the revolution by claiming that al-Qaida in Iraq is more than one organization, apparently suggesting that Nusra is associated with the “real mujahids” who basically don’t exist anymore: Khatib says Syrians reject ideas of al-Qaeda, stresses moderate Islam – Today’s Zaman

Noting that al-Qaeda in Iraq can be divided into three groups, Khatib said: “The first group is composed of real mujahids [fighters] and most of those are liquidated. And the two other groups are affiliated with Syrian and Iranian intelligence. I ask my brothers [in the Nusra front] to change their name and speak about the love of God through good words.”

Also coming after al-Nusra’s declaration of an Islamic state, al-Khatib unveiled a project to introduce “a moderate form of Islamic law in all rebel-held areas of the country.” This clearly appears to be a reactionary attempt to maintain some say over the process of forming a legal system in a context where something called “Islamic law” is increasingly proving to be the most popular (or at least most successful) form of governance in areas under rebel control. Since al-Nusra and other extreme groups are the ones currently defining Islamic law for these areas, the political opposition probably feels forced into acting now to start promoting an “alternative shari’a” that will be less extreme, but still sell-able to the Islamists operating in Syria.

The main opposition to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad will begin establishing what it calls a moderate form of Islamic law in all rebel-held areas of the country, as part of an effort to prevent chaos and stop hardline interpretations of Islam from becoming entrenched.

The legal code was drawn up by Muslim scholars, judges and top anti-Assad politicians in advance of meetings this week in Istanbul convened by the Syrian National Council (SNC), where transitional justice arrangements are being discussed.The opposition hopes that an interim government, as yet unformed, will apply a version of the new legal system nationwide, after it goes into effect in areas currently controlled by the insurgents.

Different systems of Sharia now govern pockets of Syrian territory controlled by the rebels. Some are enforced by Jabhat Al Nusra, a militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, prompting fears that its interpretation of Islamic law is filling the legal vacuum.

Despite it’s apparent necessity vis-a-vis the current activities of hardliners on the ground, the project nonetheless seems to place the opposition in the camp of those advocating an “Islamic state,” and not everyone is happy about this:

… the proposed rebel Sharia system seems likely to upset some in religious minority groups and secular Syrians, both pro and anti-regime. “We’ve not gone through all the trouble of a revolution to have an Islamic state,” said a secular activist familiar with the plans. However he stressed there are different forms of Sharia, and that if moderate it would be widely accepted. “As long as they’re not talking about turning Syria into Afghanistan under the Taliban it will be probably be okay,” he said…. Exactly what type of Sharia will be chosen by the rebel government remains to be seen. Respected moderate clerics, including Osama and Saria Rifai, popular Damascus imams who spoke publicly against Mr Al Assad, have been involved in drafting early proposals. So too has the Association of Syrian Scholars, which encompasses clerics close to the Muslim Brotherhood.George Sabra, vice president of the SNC and a Christian, has backed the new legal code, saying it will ensure equal rights. Haitham Al Maleh, a former judge, has also been involved in the drafting process.

… According to the documents, people accused of crimes will not be afforded a lawyer. Instead, their case will be heard by a trained judge – the ranks of rebels include many magistrates who have defected from the regime. These judges will determine guilt or innocence and then, in conjunction with an Islamic legal expert, they will hand down a punishment.Major decisions, especially cases involving the death penalty, will be reviewed by a higher committee of Islamic judges.The judicial system is to be based on the Hanafi school of jurisprudence, a widely followed Islamic legal framework, but experts in the three principle other schools – Shafi’i, Hanbali and Maliki – also will be attached to the courts, with Muslim defendants allowed to choose judgment according to their own beliefs.

The move will likely be welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood-oriented SNC who would be advocating such an Islamic legal framework. The Muslim Brotherhood is now making their grand return after decades of exile: Exiled Muslim Brotherhood plans return to Syria – FT

The Muslim Brotherhood is set to open offices inside Syria for the first time since the organisation was crushed there decades ago, in an apparent effort to capitalise on the increasingly Islamised rebellion.

Riad al-Shaqfa, the movement’s exiled leader, said in an interview with the Financial Times that a decision was recently taken to revive organisational structures inside Syria and followers have been asked to start opening party offices in rebel-held areas.

Rebels split on Qatar’s role – AP

In a war-battered suburb of Damascus, a commander for one of the smaller nationalist brigades fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad grumbles about the lack of ammunition for his men. He blames Qatar, saying the state directs its backing to rebels with a more Islamist ideology.

Qatar has emerged as one of the strongest international backers of the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad… But its role has also caused tensions within the ranks of the highly fragmented rebellion and political opposition. Some rebel brigades complain they are left out in the cold from the flow of money and weapons, sparking rivalries between secular and Islamist groups. Fighters and opposition activists worry that Qatar is buying outsized influence in post-Assad Syria and giving a boost to Islamist-minded groups if the regime falls.

“Qatar is working to establish an Islamic state in Syria,” Abu Ziad, the commander of a brigade in the Damascus suburb, said sullenly…

Real question is what form of Sharia for Syria – The National

A 13-year-old boy from Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria was shot dead in his father’s car after a hit-and-run road accident in March. The incident would have led to a series of revenge killings between two major tribes in the region, except that this was forestalled by a newly-formed Sharia court there. As that case demonstrates, the absence of functioning state institutions means that Sharia courts are increasingly necessary as a tool to solve disputes in rebel-held areas of Syria.

That is why this week’s announcement by the Syrian opposition, that it will establish a moderate form of Sharia, is extremely important and timely. The increased incidence of rigid rulings in rebel-held areas is largely a result of the lack of such a model. Many moderate voices have been waiting for the conflict to end, leaving the more enthusiastic hard-line fighters to establish their own vision of Sharia.

… At the Istanbul meeting Moaz Al Khatib, the head of the opposition’s National Coalition, told of a Sharia court that had executed a woman after finding her guilty of adultery. Mr Al Khatib’s point was that the ruling had violated true Islamic law since hudud, the Islamic penal code, cannot be applied during wars or in the absence of a state or ruler.

Whether or not this will come to fruition is unknown, now that Khatib has resigned (for the second time) from the National Coalition. (Syria opposition names George Sabra interim chief) It may be pursued by other members of the Coalition.


Jabhat al-Nusra is Now an Iraq-to-Lebanon Phenomenon


On the same day that American attention was focused on the bombing at the Boston Marathon, Iraq experienced its deadliest day in a month. A significant number of people were killed by bombs around the country by what’s being called “a resurgent al-Qaida in Iraq” empowered by al-Nusra: Iraq attacks kill 55 less than a week before vote

Insurgents in Iraq deployed a series of car bombs as part of highly coordinated attacks that cut across a wide swath of the country Monday, killing at least 55 on the deadliest day in nearly a month. The assault bore the hallmarks of a resurgent al-Qaida in Iraq and appeared aimed at sowing fear days before the first elections since U.S. troops withdrew. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but coordinated attacks are a favorite tactic of al-Qaida’s Iraq branch.

Iraqi officials believe the insurgent group is growing stronger and increasingly coordinating with allies fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad across the border. They say rising lawlessness on the Syria-Iraq frontier and cross-border cooperation with a Syrian group, the Nusra Front, has improved the militants’ supply of weapons and foreign fighters.

The intensifying violence, some of it related to the provincial elections scheduled for Saturday, is worrying for Iraqi officials and Baghdad-based diplomats alike. At least 14 candidates have been killed in recent weeks, including one slain in an apparent ambush Sunday. … Monday’s attacks — most of them car bombings — were unusually broad in scope…

An Iraqi army military vehicle burns near a demonstration site in Ramadi, Iraq - AP Photo

An Iraqi army military vehicle burns near a demonstration site in Ramadi, Iraq – AP Photo

Iraqi Sunnis have been protesting against the government for four months now, in what many have compared to “Arab Spring” protests. The mobilization of Sunnis around the country (including the use of arms) and the Iraqi crackdown on the protests are starting to resemble a “Syria-style uprising.”

Dozens Killed in Battles Across Iraq as Sunnis Escalate Protests Against Government – NYT

Gun battles erupted in cities with Sunni majorities across Iraq on Tuesday after security forces from the Shiite-led government stormed a Sunni protest encampment in a village near the northern city of Kirkuk. The clashes left dozens dead and wounded, and raised fears that the sectarian civil war that is roiling Syria might spill into Iraq.

After some grim headlines emerged (Iraq Clashes Kill 41 in Northern City of Mosul and Iraq on Edge After Deadly Raid on Protest Camp), Joel Rayburn (US Army Intelligence, worked in Iraq with David Petraeus) sent Dr. Landis the following emails (on the 23rd and 25th respectively):

The 23rd:

… you will have been monitoring the situation in Iraq today, after a raid by government troops on a protest camp in Hawjiah resulted in about 30 killed and dozens more wounded.  The protesters were Sunnis who had been camped out for demonstrations against the Maliki government for some weeks.  The incident sparked an angry reaction in Anbar, Samarra, Mosul, and some other Sunni cities.  13 armed men were killed when they launched revenge attacks against ISF checkpoints.  A crowd attacked an ISF convoy in Anbar and burned several vehicles (no casualties).  Three Sunni mosques were attacked in Baghdad, with dozens killed and wounded.  Current death toll stands at 56 according to the AP.

Political response has been fairly vehement.  Two Sunni ministers resigned their posts, one of them from Saleh Mutlaq’s party and the other from Osama Nujaifi’s party. When asked what his community’s response would be, Ahmed Abu Risha (the Awakening leader from Ramadi) said that ultimately Maliki would be tried and hanged for ordering today’s massacre just as Saddam had been hanged for ordering the 1982 massacre in Dujail.  … Two [other Sunni leaders] have called on Sunnis to defend themselves using force if necessary.  PM Maliki has announced the opening of an investigation to find out who is to blame for the violence.  The Ministry of Defense claims many of the killed and wounded protesters were Al Qaeda members, to which Abu Risha replied by asking, “Since when did Al Qaeda engage in demonstrations?” Meanwhile, Iraqiyah sources tell me they believe the raid was ordered by PM Maliki and carried out by General Ali Ghaidan, the Iraqi Ground Forces Commander (I’ve no other corroboration for this), and they also believe PM Maliki targeted the relatively small Hawijah protest camp in order to send a message to other larger protest groups. The timing of the raid, just three days after elections, would seem to lend itself to that interpretation, but on the other hand there have been many instances of Iraqi troops getting into sticky situations and winding up in big gun battles that they did not intend to be in (e.g., Basra 2008), so there is always room for miscalculation as an explanation.

The 25th:

The body of a gunman killed during clashes with Iraqi security forces lies on the ground in Hawija - AP Photo

The body of a gunman killed during clashes with Iraqi security forces lies on the ground in Hawija – AP Photo

… in the 4+ years since 2008, I have not seen the situation in Iraq closer to a return to civil war than it is right now.  Those of you who have been in northern Iraq and remember the violent fault lines there will recognize the seriousness of a report that tells us that 40 people were killed in Mosul in fighting between gunmen and Iraqi troops.  I have not seen that kind of thing happen in Ninewa since 2007.  Equally disturbing are the reports telling us that in a carryover from the violence in Hawijah earlier this week, gunmen have taken over Suleiman Beg near Tuz Khormato, the Jebel Hamrin area between Kirkuk and Diyala–another flashpoint that for years was an insurgent safe haven.  The situation is close to spinning out of control. AQI and the Naqshbandis are certainly playing a role in this, but the most dangerous aspect is that it is not merely the Sunni extremists who are moving toward revolt:  it is the Sunni center as well.  It seems as though the long-running political dispute, coupled with the government’s recent heavy handedness, together with the fallout of the Syrian conflict, have finally led the Awakening movement and the northern tribes back into armed resistance.  That’s the way it looks from my desk, anyway.

Many factors are responsible for what’s happening in Iraq, but a number of articles have discussed al-Nusra’s role in reinvigorating Sunni Islamist activities there. Moving to Lebanon, the recent period has shown a tremendous upsurge in Sunni Islamist and Salafi activity, aggravated by the Syrian situation and the sectarian context of areas along the Lebanese-Syrian border. This has culminated in the last few days with fatwas calling for jihad on the part of Lebanese Sunni clerics (in northern Tripoli, and in southern Saida) in support of Syrian Sunnis currently embattled in al-Qusayr, a Syrian city just east of the border of northern Lebanon. There is growing evidence of Hezbollah involvement in supporting the side of regime loyalists in Qusayr (though SOHR has suggested that those who have joined the fight are not necessarily crossing borders but are merely Shiites from the local area; however, a number of funerals for fallen Hezbollah fighters have recently taken place inside Lebanon, after bodies have been sent back from Syria). Hezbollah has said they have a “moral duty to defend Lebanese residents from Syrian rebels following the Beirut government’s failure to protect border villages…” (some villages have experienced shelling from the Syrian side). In response to this, the Sunni Lebanese clerics have attacked Hezbollah and called for a jihad in Qusayr, encouraging Sunnis to go fight in Qusayr on the side of the Sunnis/Syrian opposition (and claiming that they have already sent Sunni fighters who are currently fighting there). This means that Sunni and Shi’i Lebanese are currently fighting each other, inside Syria. Fighting in al-Qusayr is ongoing as the regime and the opposition vie for control.


Update: we removed a video that was misattributed to Tripoli by the uploader, who seems to have mistaken “Jarablos” for “Tarablos.” Thanks to @Syrian_Scenes for alerting us.

Reports on Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon have begun appearing recently. This new article (in Arabic) from a Lebanese newspaper discusses a government security report detailing the foothold that al-Nusra has developed within the country so far. It discusses their structure and way of operating in Lebanon, listing among their bases: ‘Arsal (200 members), Tripoli (600 members), Akkar (300 members), Saida (250 members). The article says they are particularly thriving in poor, volatile neighborhoods and camps, and that they are targeting young people for membership. The Tripoli base is being led by Hossam al-Sabagh who the article links to bin Laden. An article in the Daily Star says more about Nusra’s development in Lebanon:

The latest statement released by Jabhat al-Nusra threatening to launch harsh strikes against Hezbollah, in Beirut in the city’s southern suburb and across Lebanon, is being taken seriously at the national security level and by Hezbollah. It can no longer be denied that Jabhat al-Nusra has found fertile ground in the Palestinian refugee camps in the country, among the nearly one million Syrian refugees there, as well as in Lebanese Sunni areas, especially in ​​northern Lebanon near the Syrian border.


As sectarian tensions erupt in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, we are seeing a high level of Sunni jihadist mobilization against governmental and Shi’i targets. Of course, this Sunni mobilization is about a number of factors and Jabhat al-Nusra is just one piece of a greater whole (though an important piece), but what is clear is that the Syrian conflict has helped ignite a broader trend of jihadism and Salafi activism, and the accompanying destabilization has given Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaida, and other groups a new level of space within which to operate and grow.

For more on what’s happening in al-Anbar and the al-Nusra connection, see this helpful report from Linda Lavender; see another report from her on the situation in the Bekka Valley.


Conclusion: Outsiders Reevaluate Their Positions as it Becomes Easier for the Regime to Sell Itself


The beginning of this post dealt with the phenomenon—perhaps widespread, probably not—of Syrians abandoning the revolution. Although the return to Assad’s ranks may be rare, disillusionment with the opposition is not. Fragmentation, factionalism, and chaos are now the law of the land, as ordinary Syrians now face a moral universe that offers up only shades of gray. The problem of the ascendance of extremist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra is chiefly responsible for the soul-searching being done by those now wondering which will be the lesser of two evil futures.

The reality of growing disillusionment with the revolution and the rebels is a very uncomfortable station on this journey, for many both inside and outside Syria. How can it be possible to suddenly decide the regime is an ally? A corrupt, selfish, and brutal regime was largely responsible for this descent into chaos in the first place. This regime has no moral capital; its massacres continue. And yet, as many of its doomsday predictions come true, the troubling question is: how many of its battles are being fought against extremist movements that would be opposed by the government of any nation?

This post explored several topics involving the role of Jabhat al-Nusra, which now enables al-Qaida-aligned jihadi groups to operate from Iraq to Lebanon. Anxious lest the US become a tacit ally of al-Qaida, the administration proscribed Jabhat al-Nusra. At the time, many policy makers thought this was premature and unwise, and the charge was leveled that Obama lacked leadership. But in retrospect, the prescience of this decision is becoming clear, and it continues to raise the question of what positive role the United States can play in this conflict.

Radicalization is not the result of Washington’s refusal to intervene or Obama’s “lack of leadership.” Rather, it is the result of Syria’s national breakdown. The U.S. could not have prevented Syria’s civil war or its profound identity crisis. In Iraq, the U.S. took out Saddam’s regime in 3 short weeks, dissolving both the army and the Ba’ath party. But despite a swiftly-implemented intervention, the U.S. was not able to prevent Iraq’s descent into sectarian civil war and radicalization. These were the result of a contest over the state’s basic identity, a question that has never had a cohesive answer since the alien framework of the nation state was imposed on the region.

Washington analysts who have been forecasting the demise of al-Qaida following the death of Bin Laden must reconsider. Al-Qaida is not dead; the one we knew in Afghanistan may be significantly degraded, but a potent new al-Qaida incarnation is emerging, one that is much closer to establishing its conception of Islamist rule in the heart of the Middle East. 

This phenomenon is one aspect of the Syrian regime’s battle. They wanted the battle to be about this, rather than a crackdown on a peaceful protest movement, in order to legitimize their claim to continued power. The rise of Nusra helps to frame the regime in the light of an indispensable defense against extremism, and it is quick to point this out to anyone listening.

Because of the regime’s many crimes and atrocities throughout this conflict (not to mention its previous decades of oppression), it has been easy to ignore its one-sided narrative since the beginning of the uprising. Nevertheless, many of its predictions have come to fruition. We are so used to outrageous propaganda in this conflict that when two archbishops were kidnapped in Aleppo, the announcement from regime sources that Chechens were involved prompted me to laugh out loud, as I assumed it was a ploy to exploit the sympathies of those currently focused on the Boston bombing. But it turned out that they were telling the truth.

The regime’s primary message to the international community from the beginning was: if you oppose us and weaken our stabilizing control here, extreme Salfisim will wash across the region. That their predictions are coming truer every day spells their own demise while simultaneously vindicating (or at least demonstrating the soundness of) their original position. Claims that al-Nusra and similar groups were engineered by the regime in order to improve its position as indispensable guardian of stability seem farfetched, but still, the more the uprising becomes characterized by extremism, the sounder the credibility of the regime appears.

The Syrian regime is now working hard to convince the international community see things its way. The new maneuvering space enjoyed by al-Qaida and Salafi militias is prompting some reporters and not a few policy analysts to begin reevaluating support for the revolution, or at least to begin considering the perspective of Damascus a little more, as the following articles demonstrate.

The dilemma is summarized thus: Our sympathies lie with the aspirations of those freedom-seeking Syrians who oppose their corrupt, cruel, and despotic regime, and simultaneously the West and that regime are fighting on the same side in the war on terror.



Syria Plays on Fears to Blunt American Support of Rebels – NYT – Anne Barnard – Important video, please view

Inside Syria: Veil of normality in Damascus – BBC

The international community’s relationship with the conflict becomes complicated as outsiders begin to see two enemies inside Syria: the Assad regime and al-Qaida:

Defeating al-Qaeda in Syria, Not Assad – Antiwar

U.S. Fears Syria Rebel Victory, for Now – Wall Street Journal

Senior Obama administration officials have caught some lawmakers and allies by surprise in recent weeks with an amended approach to Syria: They don’t want an outright rebel military victory right now because they believe, in the words of one senior official, that the “good guys” may not come out on top.

Administration officials fear that with Islamists tied to al Qaeda increasingly dominating the opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad , too swift a rebel victory would undercut hopes for finding a diplomatic solution, according to current and former officials. It would also shatter national institutions along with what remains of civil order, these people say, increasing the danger that Syrian chemical weapons will be used or transferred to terrorists.

This assessment complicates the White House’s long-standing push to see President Assad step from power. It also puts a spotlight on the U.S.’s cautious approach to helping the opposition, much to the frustration of U.S. allies including France and the U.K., which want to arm Syria’s moderate rebels.

… “We all want Assad to fall tomorrow, but a wholesale institutional turnover overnight doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” a senior U.S. official said. “The end game requires a very careful calibration that doesn’t tip the meter in an unintended way toward groups that could produce the kind of post-Assad Syria that we aren’t looking for.”

… The U.S. administration considers Syria’s conflict a war of attrition, however, and believes that the rebels are gradually gaining the upper hand, an assessment the administration doesn’t believe Mr. Assad accepts. Officials say it will require delicate maneuvering to restrain the influence of radicals while buying time to strengthen moderate rebels who Western governments hope will assume national leadership if Mr. Assad can be persuaded to leave.

… The U.S. also wants to keep technocratic elements of the state in place, seeking to avoid a repeat of what happened in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion. Then, civil authority evaporated after the U.S. disbanded the Iraqi military.

The U.S. fears that the abrupt collapse of the Assad regime will lead to Syria’s Balkanization, threatening North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally Turkey, key partner Jordan as well as neighboring Iraq, whose government looks increasingly fragile, according to a senior defense official. …

… But several current and former officials briefed on these calibrated efforts to bolster moderate rebels without strengthening the Islamists said the U.S. doesn’t have the influence to precisely control the flow of aid.

This is like Goldilocks, but I don’t think we live in a world in which we have porridge that’s just right,” said a U.S. official familiar with the new approach.

Just how complicated is the Syrian conflict, Goldilocks? Chew on this porridge:

Syria Is Complicated — Simultaneous Conflicts Always Are – The war in Syria is so enduring and vexing precisely because it is such a multi-layered conflict, comprising at least six separate battles taking place at the same time, argues Rami G. Khouri

The easiest way to describe the events in that region has been to speak of Sunni-Shiite fighting, or antagonisms between pro- and anti-Syrian government elements. The involvement of Hizbullah adds a significant new element to the mix, and also helps to clarify what the fighting in and near Syria is all about. It is much more than merely “spillover” of the Syrian war into Lebanon. I have previously described the war in Syria as the greatest proxy battle of our age, and I believe that is now clearer than ever as we see how Syria comprises a rich and expansive web of other conflicts that play themselves out on a local, regional and global scale.

The war in Syria is so enduring and vexing precisely because it is such a multi-layered conflict, comprising at least six separate battles taking place at the same time:

1. The domestic citizen revolt against the Assad family regime that has ruled Syria for 43 years is the first layer of the Syrian conflict, which reflects a widespread spirit of citizen activism for freedom, rights and dignity that continues to define much of the Arab World today. After the non-violent demonstrations that erupted across the country in spring 2011 elicited a violent military response from the regime, this political conflict quickly became a militarized war.

2. This armed battle for control of Syria reignited the second layer of conflict that has defined the region since the 1950s — the Arab cold war between assorted regional forces that keep shifting over time, but can most easily be described as conservative vs. radical, or capitalist vs. socialist, or royalist vs. republican, or Islamo-monarchist vs. Arab nationalist, or pro-Western vs. anti-Western, though none of these simplistic black-and-white dichotomies is fully accurate. At its simplest, this Arab cold war for decades has been led on one side by Saudi Arabia and its conservative allies, and on the other by governments such as those in Syria, Egypt or Iraq at various moments.

3. The third layer of conflict in Syria is the old Iranian-Arab rivalry, recently also often defined as Shiite-Sunni rivalry. This is symbolized by the Iranian government’s alliance with Syria since 1979, and recently including the close structural ties between Iran and Hizbullah (or, more accurately, the ties between Hizbullah and the institution of the Wilayet el-Faqih, or the Supreme Leader, in Iran). Iran’s strategic links with both Syria and Hizbullah have been among the few foreign policy achievements of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, so the Iranian, Syrian and Hizbullah leaderships will battle hard to maintain those mutual benefits that all of them derive from their relationships.

4. The fourth battle taking place in Syria is the renewed but more limited version of the Cold War between the United States and Russia (with other players like China and assorted European states hanging around to pick up energy contracts and other gains). At its simplest, this renewed Son of Cold War sees Russia taking a determined stand in Syria to prevent the United States from unilaterally deciding which Arab leaders go and which ones stay, while also burnishing its renewed credentials as a global power. Almost a quarter century after the end of the original Cold War, Russia is trying to recalibrate global power relations, formally closing the “post-Cold War” era in which the USA was the world’s sole superpower in a uni-polar world.

5. The fifth conflict in Syria — like the domestic citizen revolt against autocracy that reflects a regional trend — is the century-long tension between the power of the centralized modern Arab developmental and security state and the forces of disintegration and fragmentation along ethnic, religious, sectarian, national and tribal lines. These sub-national, ancient and primordial identities defined our societies long before the imposition of the modern Arab state, and are always there to reaffirm themselves when that state fails to function efficiently and meet citizen needs.

6. The sixth and most recent strain of conflict in Syria is between the forces of Al-Qaeda-inspired Salafist fanatic militants, like Jabhat el-Nusra, and mainstream opposition groups fighting to overthrow the Assad family regime, like the Muslim Brotherhood or broader, more secular groups, like the Syrian National Opposition Coalition or Council. Hysteria has typically gripped some analysts in the region and in the West today as they fret over the prospect of Nusra and others like them taking control of all or parts of post-Assad Syria — an impossible prospect, in my view.

So what we witness in and around Syria is a lot more complicated than spillover into neighboring countries or Sunni-Shiite rivalry.

The challenge of involvement in such a difficult scenario is dealt with by Helene Lavoix for Red (team) Analysis: Potential Futures for Syria in the Fog of War (1)

…  The Syrian war is a challenging problem for strategic foresight and warning because, besides the humanitarian disaster, the risks to regional and global peace and stability continuously increase, because the conflict is redrawing the strategic outlook of the region while participating into the global paradigm shift, and, finally, because the fog of war makes our anticipatory task more difficult and complex.

… We are facing three – related – sets of problems. First, we must deal with the war itself, where three, four or five types of Syrian actors and their “international backers” – or even more according to typologies, as we shall discuss below – and not two, fight for power. Second, we must prepare for the following peace while, third, evaluating and considering the still being redesigned strategic environment.

… We are faced with cognitive biases, or more specifically with the problem of enduring cognitive models in the face of new evidence, when the initial model was created early and with very few available evidence (Anderson, Lepper, and Ross, 1980). The tendency of our human brain to also overestimate “intentional centralized direction and planning” (Heuer, chapter 11, bias 2) is also probably at play. …

Despite the challenges, the opposition doesn’t give up, and may in fact soon begin speaking… with themselves: Pan-Syrian dialogue may begin in near future – internal opposition

A Pan-Syrian dialogue may begin in the near future, a representative of the Popular Front for Change and Liberation in Syria, Qadri Jamil, said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Whereas before the idea of a dialogue was purely theoretical, now there is every chance of translating it into reality,” Jamil said…

“Now we are discussing the details of the opportunity for coming to the negotiating table – what oppositional factions will be participating, the agenda, and how quickly that may be done,” he said. Asked by Itar-Tass if there was a possibility such consultations might take place before the summer, he replied that there was no chance of setting firm dates in politics. “But we can hope this may happen in the foreseeable future,” Jamil said. “Several months and, possibly, even weeks is the likely deadline.”


Round Up / Misc


Umayyad Mosque Minaret Destroyed In Aleppo – HP

Half of Americans can’t identify Syria on a map (young Republicans do slightly better) – WP

Qatar is focus as U.S. weighs concerns about arming Syrian extremists – WP

When President Obama welcomes the leader of Qatar to the White House on Tuesday, he will doubtless thank the Qataris for hosting a major U.S. air base in the Persian Gulf, and for their help on a wide range of strategic issues from Libya to Afghanistan. But he is also likely to press Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to ensure that none of the weapons Qatar is sending to Syrian rebels end up with the Jabhat al-Nusra…

Jordan opens skies for IAF drones flying to Syria

Christians Leave Deir Ezzor as Last Church Blown Up (claim priests)

The last remaining Christian church in Deir Azzor was destroyed in an explosion by armed groups as they intensify their efforts to take the city and nearby airport. In recent days increasing amounts of footage have been uploaded documenting intense fighting between armed groups and the Syrian army. The Capuchin Franciscans have been present in Deir Ezzor in the northeast and Al-Suwayda  in the southwest – in a place called “Mountain of the Druze (Jabal al-Druze)”. Two friars remained in Deir Ezzor up until the recent explosion at the church, with the help of the Lebanese and Syrian International Red Cross.

In a statement posted on the website of The Order of Friars Minor, a report of the explosion said:

“There was an explosion near our church in Deir Ezzor that destroyed it,” writes Br. Antoine Haddad, Viceprovincial Minister of Lebanon, in a message to us. The news was picked up by the media because the two Capuchin friars who lived there, with the help of the Lebanese and Syrian International Red Cross, and the nuncios of Lebanon and Syria, left with the Sisters of Mother Teresa and about ten seniors who lived in our place. They were the last remaining Christians in the area to leave. The church was completely destroyed, but until now it was not possible to know if the friary was hit or not, because there are no longer any Christians in Deir Ezzor, apart from one who returned because he lived in the ‘quieter’ area of the city….

Israel admits to attacking Syria arms convoy

Hacked by “Syrian Electronic Army,” the AP Twitter Feed Sends False Report of Explosions at White House

The group behind the attack

Chicago teen arrested by FBI for planning to join Nusra

Comments (355)

majedkhaldoun said:

I am going to ignore all what you wrote in this article.I don’t like long long long long long long long long long ,it is boring
But I have to say one thing, your previous picture shows two faces, black and white, this picture today shows light and dark, you still has two faces.

April 27th, 2013, 10:51 pm


Matthew Barber said:


If you didn’t read it, how do you know it is boring?

And if you don’t read the posts, what are you doing here?

April 27th, 2013, 11:12 pm


Dawoud said:

Hasan (Iran spy/agent) Nasra$s should leave Syrians alone! Fi..[Dawoud–no sectarian hate speech please. You are welcome to express your political views without attacking entire groups–MTB]
..from Lebanon’s Hizba$s helping Bashar’s dictatorship.

Hezbollah Now Actively Involved In Syria’s Civil War

Lebanon Dragged In As Hezbollah Joins Syria War — Reuters

(Reuters) – Along north Lebanon’s highways, the portraits of Hezbollah militants who have died in skirmishes with Israel are fading. But there are glistening photos of those killed in Hezbollah’s new fight.

These men died in Syria, battling alongside the army of Hezbollah’s close ally President Bashar al-Assad against rebel units in a conflict which has killed more than 70,000 people and risks reigniting Lebanon’s 15-year sectarian civil war.

April 27th, 2013, 11:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

If we can get 5 Dancing Racists to attend a Passover Seder, maybe he’ll start pointing fingers at Pharoah instead of Moses…

April 27th, 2013, 11:16 pm


DAWOUD said:

The true Hasan Nasra$s and his Lebanese Shia TERRORISTS:

April 27th, 2013, 11:21 pm


ann said:

Syria exposed to systematic economic war: minister – 2013-04-28


DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) — Syrian economy minister said Saturday that Syria is exposed to systematic economic war that has undermined the country’s basic industrial and productive capabilities, but stressing that the state is still able to ensure food security, health and education for its citizens.

“Syria is exposed to an armed attack with an aggressive nature, ” Mohammad Zafer Mohabbak was quoted as saying by Syrian websites.

“This attack and the hostile trend toward Syria have taken two axes; a political-military-security axis and an economic axis which is of no less importance that the first axis,” he added.

He said “Syria is exposed to an economic war in every sense of the word,” confirming that the events in Syria began with attacks on the productive enterprises and were often targeting the institutions that produce raw materials.

Mohabbak pointed out that the events started in destroying two factories in the northern city of Aleppo, which were covering Syria’s need of textile, one of the leading industries in the country.

He said the production base was the first to be attacked, followed by the industrialists who were the elite in the national economy and the lines of supply of raw materials and exports that were cut off.

Matters ended up by dismantling many factories and smuggling them into neighboring countries, primarily to Turkey, he said, adding that robberies extend to oil wells.

The minister dismissed claims that the Syrian economy is on the verge of collapse.

“Production was largely affected. Currently, investment plans, whether in the private or public sector, are almost minimal. But in the field of consumption, the state, in cooperation with the private sector, ensures all the peoples’ needs of food, medicines, education, health care and so on,” he said.

Mohabbak said that economic relations with neighboring countries are still as they used to be before the crisis, adding that Syria is still importing and exporting to all Arab countries.

“Our imports have relatively declined in the field of raw materials needed for industry,” he said, but noting that imports of food stuff have increased.

The worldwide economic sanctions on Syria have overburdened the sluggish Syrian economy, which caused losses worth around 48.4 billion U.S. dollars, equal to 81.7 percent of GDP in 2010, and impoverished additional 900,000 Syrians, according to a recent report issued by the Syrian Center for Policy Research.



April 27th, 2013, 11:29 pm


Dawoud said:

1. majedkhaldoun

What attracts Westerners like the author of this latest SC post to filthy terrorists like Bashar and Hasan bewilders me! I can’t understand it! I am more often on the left in my intellectual outlook. But, I can’t understand leftists’ obsession with murderous and genocidal dictators like Bashar. Many of those Westerns who write on Syria live in Beirut, Lebanon. As you know, Lebanon is actually Hizbistan (Hizba$s actually rules the country). They are probably too scared to anger the Hizb and its cult of personality propagandist, Hasan.
أي يضرب بشار وحسن وأيه الخميني

Free Syria, Free Palestine. Free Lebanon, Bahrain is Arab forever!

April 27th, 2013, 11:31 pm


ann said:

Syria says rebels may obtain chemical weapons from Turkey: minister – 2013-04-27


• Syrian Information Minister said the chemical weapons used by rebels were probably from Turkey.
• The missile was launched from a rebel-held place, which was not far from the Turkish borders.
• The remarks were made during Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi’s visit to Moscow.

DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) — Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said that the chemical weapons used by rebels in a northern Syrian town were probably from Turkey, the state-run SANA news agency reported Saturday.

The remarks were made during al-Zoubi’s visit to Moscow. He said the missile which targeted the northern town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province was launched from a rebel-held place, which was not far from the Turkish borders.

He added the Syrian government took the initiative to request a probe into the incident, reiterating Syria’s support for letting Russian experts investigate the use of chemical weapons in the battered town.

Commenting on the fresh western allegations about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in other areas, the minister said “the U.S.-British and western allegations in general on that issue do not have any credibility.”

He held the western sides direct responsibility for what happened in Khan al-Assal.

The White House said Thursday that the “U.S. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin.”



April 27th, 2013, 11:35 pm


Dawoud said:

SC Moderator:

Why do you allow commentators to write “Sunni Terrorists” and “Muslim Terrorists?” How is this different from “Shia or Shiite terrorists?”

P.S., Hasan’s Lebanese terrorists who are now aiding in Bashar’s war crimes are Shia or Shiite. This is factual. Surely, it does not mean that ALL Shia or Shiites are terrorists, but all of Hasan’s Hizba### terrorists are Shia or Shiite.

April 27th, 2013, 11:38 pm


ann said:

News Analysis: U.S., Syria cautious on alleged chemical weapons use to avoid worsening situation – 2013-04-28

• Both Washington and Damascus are cautious about the alleged use of chemical weapons.
• On the alleged use of chemical weapons, U.S. and Damascus are uncompromising with each other.
• Obama has said any use of chemical weapons would be tantamount to crossing a “red line.”


WASHINGTON/DAMASCUS, April 27 (Xinhua) — U.S. allegations about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army in some areas of the Mideastern country “do not have any credibility,” Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said Friday.

Al-Zoubi’s remarks came a day after the White House said the Syrian government has used chemical weapons in its conflict with the opposition forces.

“The U.S. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” the White House said in a letter sent to some members of the Congress.

Observers say Washington for the first time accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against rebel forces, but it is not very sure about the allegation.

Both Washington and Damascus are cautious about the alleged use of chemical weapons as they want to avoid a misjudgment to prevent the situation in Syria from getting worse, observers say.


On the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army, Washington and Damascus are uncompromising with each other.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who was on a visit to Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, issued a statement on Thursday, saying he believed al-Assad’s government has twice used chemical weapons on a “small scale.”

He said the conclusion was made in the past 24 hours after assessment for some time, but adding that more proof was needed and that Washington was not ready to get involved in the conflict.

In response to Washington’s accusation, al-Zoubi said during a visit to Moscow that the chemical weapons used by the rebels in a northern Syrian town were probably from Turkey.

He said the missile that targeted the northern town of Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province was launched from a rebel-held place, which was not far from the Turkish borders.

After Hagel’s statement, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the U.N. fact-finding team is “on stand-by and ready to deploy in 24-48 hours” to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in attacks in Syria.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government stressed that the technical team should conduct its work only at the targeted site in Khan al-Assal to investigate what it said was a chemical attack by the rebels, which killed more than 50 people and left scores of others at hospitals.

But the opposition groups in exile called on the world body not only to send a technical team but also to conduct a full investigation.


U.S. President Barack Obama has repeatedly said any use of chemical weapons would be tantamount to crossing a “red line” that could push the United States closer to military intervention in Syria.

Reiterating that stance on Friday at a White House joint press briefing with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II, Obama called the use of chemical weapons in Syria a “game changer,” but added that his administration would continue to assess the situation.

Maher Merhej, a political expert and head of the Syrian Youth Party, said Washington’s allegation aims to build up pressure on Damascus to agree on any political proposal.

U.S. officials’ statement also came to boost the morale of the armed rebels after they suffered heavy blows by the Syrian army, he added.

Munther Khaddam, spokesman for the oppositional National Coordination Body, also played down the U.S. claims.

“The U.S. statements about the regime’s use of chemical weapons are a political card to pressure the regime,” he told Xinhua.

The United States is trying to stir the chemical file as a “scarecrow” and a reminder of what happened in Iraq in 2003, Khaddam said, adding that that any military intervention would burn the entire region.



April 27th, 2013, 11:40 pm


revenire said:

Matthew I enjoyed this one very, very much. Thank you.

PS – The only thing you missed (I think) was the New York Times admitting that there are NO secular forces among the terrorists.

PPS – The term “secular terrorists” is funny.

April 27th, 2013, 11:46 pm


Dawoud said:

History of Syria’s dictatorship: The cult of personality of a dictator the son of a dictator!

April 27th, 2013, 11:53 pm


Matthew Barber said:

Hi Dawoud,

If you’re referring to terrorists who are Shiites, then there’s nothing wrong with it. The problem is the ambiguity of the adjectives—I read your first comment as labeling all Shiites as terrorists, rather than a reference to specific set of terrorists who are also Shiites. (Perhaps your employment of another adjective, “filthy,” reinforced this perception.)

Thanks for clarifying.


April 28th, 2013, 12:03 am


Visitor said:

Dear MajedKhaldoun,

I read the post from top to bottom. I agree with you hundred percent.

Do not waste your time. It is a piece of junk which begins with an account of a presumed Syrian working as natoor perhaps for pro-regime Lebanese. What do you expect him to say?

Only idiots pretending to be so-called pundits just after watching few videos and quoting none but likewise idiot Lund would consider such stories as relevant and build a fantasy post around them.

What happened to Dr. Landis? Is he losing interest in his website to the point of handing it over to wannabe mediocre ignoramuses.


In the meantime, our holy warriors of the Nusra Front and associates are on a roll liberating one airbase after the next,


April 28th, 2013, 12:09 am


ghufran said:

Is Moaz up to something?
كشف مصدر مطلع في أوساط المعارضة عن تواصل الشيخ معاذ الخطيب مع القائمين على مبادرة \”الضمير\” عدة مرات وصلت إلى حد تأكيد أحد أعضاء المبادرة أن \”صياغة المبادرة ووقودها يأتي من دعم الخطيب لها وهي التي تبنى على أساس بقاء بشار الأسد إلى عام 2014، والتفاوض معه بشكل مباشر\”
وأشار المصدر إلى أن الخطيب يحاول منذ فترة أن يخرج بمبادرة تروج لفكرة فحواها أن الثورة في تراجع وأن الحاضنة الشعبية لم تعد تريد الاستمرار وأن النظام يزداد قوة ويسيطر على الأرض وأن غالبية الثوار المدنيين والعسكريين لا يريدون الاستمرار. ، وهو ماأثبتت عدم دقته الأحداث المتوالية على الأرض من تحرير مطار الضبعة إلى تكبيد حزب الله خسائر فادحة بالقصير مروراً بتطورات عسكرية مهمة في حلب وديرالزور…
وعلّق المصدر أن هذه \”العقلية\” هي التي أدت إلى محاولة الخطيب العودة إلى دمشق إذ أكد أنه على استعداد لذلك لو قبل الأسد بالتفاوض، كاشفاً أنه -أي الخطيب- على تواصل مع مسؤول رفيع المستوى في القصر الجمهوري وعلى تواصل مع أصحاب مبادرة \”الضمير\” من بينهم رجل الأعمال أنس الكزبري المحسوب على عائلة الاسد بقوة وراتب الشلاح وزينة يازجي وأديب الفاضل وغيرهم، ورجل أعمال \”ثوري\” ننشر اسمه لاحقاً…
وفي خطوة أرادها دليلاً على أنها مقدمات أدت بالخطيب إلى تلك النتائج استعرض المصدر بعض الأفعال والأقوال التي كررها وما زال يكررها الشيخ معاذ الخطيب لتبرير مبادرته وبناء الشعبية له وبناء الأفكار التي تؤسس لما أسماه \”روح الانهزامية\” وبالتالي قدرته على تمرير التفاوض مع النظام على الشعب السوري.
وفي مقدمة تلك الأفعال والأقوال- والكلام للمصدر – أن الشيخ معاذ طلب موعداً خاصاً مع وزير الخارجية الأمريكي جون كيري في اسطنبول لبحث موضوع التفاوض، وأصر في رسالة أرسلها \”أن الاجتماع لا ينبغي أن يحضره أحد غيره من الائتلاف\”.
وأكد المصدر أن هناك تناغماً ملحوظاً بين تصريحات الخطيب والأخضر الإبراهيمي، ويحاول الخطيب أن يترك الائتلاف ولكن بطريقته الخاصة التي تخرجه بصورة البطل المنقذ.
ومن العبارات التي وثقت عن الخطيب قوله: \”قلنا قد تأتي أيام نترحم فيها على الأسد… مقبلون على شر من تفتت وغيره، بسبب تجاذبات إقليمية ودولية. الدولة تضمحل، وليس الثورة بأن نزج بعدد أكبر من الشباب في المعركة. فجرت لغماً وسأفجر الثاني قريباً: سألتقي مع بشار الأسد في مناظرة علنية\”، ولم يؤكد المصدر هل معنى هذا الكلام أن الأسد وافق على مناظرة الخطيب، وهوطلب سبق أن قدمه الخطيب في لقاء تلفزيون
ونُقل عن الخطيب قوله أيضاً: \”البلد تتجه مما اتجهت فيه في الثمانينات ولكن أضعاف مضاعفة المراد فيه إبقاء الصراع حتى طحن الطرفين، الموضوع أكبر من الثورة والنظام –البلد تتحمل بين 3-6 أشهر–الدولة في اضمحلال والمراد بقاء النظام\”.
oكما استذكر المصدر عبارات أخرى منها: \”أليس من واجبنا طرح مبادر سياسية، كفى مسباتٍ وتسفيهاً بالنظام، نحن نقدم مبادرات ثم نسبّ النظام، نريد إنقاذ الوطن وليس إنقاذ الثورة؟\”…
وكذلك عندما قال:\”واجبنا الأخلاقي والوطني -إخراج النظام وتطمين الشعب، الوضع عقيم- الثورة تضعف والنظام متسلط وإرهابي وفي تقدم مستمر- هناك دعم مدني شديد لمبادرتي، و قد لا أتابع في الائتلاف، لازم نطالع مبادرة، البلد لم تتحمل، نحن نبادر ونسب ونسفه النظام هذا ليس جيداً- تواصلت مع أجسام مدنية ووجدوا الأمر صواباً. أن نجد حلاً يعلن عن تنحي الرئيس في مدة ما، والحكومة الحالية يعطيها صلاحيات كاملة – ثم نتفاوض معها بعد التنظيف ووضع القوائم السوداء- البلد في خطر غير مسبوق، أرجو أن أكون مخطئاً، ولكن الدولة ستنهار خلال أشهر قليلة ويبقى النظام كميليشيا لفترة لا يعلمها إلا الله وستتوسع دائرة الحرب لتدخل فيها دولة مجاورة، يمكن إذا كنا يداً واحدة واتفقنا في الأفكار أن نخرج بحد أدنى من الخسائر.\”
that was posted on opposition media not pro regime sites

April 28th, 2013, 12:15 am


Dawoud said:


Thanks for your clarification. Yes, there are principled Shia or Shiites who oppose Bashar’s tyranny in the same manner that principled Sunnis opposed Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. As to “filthy,” I borrowed this adjective from ANN (although I never use it, unless I am referring to Hasan’s Lebanese Hizb@@ terrorists). Ann is well-known for her anti-Sunni hatred. Her hateful generalizations regarding Sunni Muslims are well-known on this blog. Please go back and read some of her comments.

April 28th, 2013, 12:17 am


Juergen said:

I think an other commentator owns the copyrights on the word “filthy” here on this blog.

Amal Hananon on the minarett of the Omayad mosque in Aleppo

Arts + Culture: Lessons from the Minaret

“I still remember how it smells, musty and old. It smelled like the air has never changed for centuries. The 1,000-year-old stone, worn rugs and stacked holy books were timeless. I remember how it was peaceful inside. No matter how hot it was outside, it was cool inside the vaulted rooms. A calm world tucked within a world filled with noise, dust and now chaos.”

April 28th, 2013, 12:20 am


ghufran said:

Alex Thomson on Syria’s chemical weapons story:

Haunted by the mistakes of Bush and Blair over Iraq and the resulting bloodshed continuing today, President Obama is even more beyond hesitant than usual regarding Syria.
And he matters in this. Cameron doesn’t.
We should be grateful for Oval Office caution, because important questions need answers and for the record here they are:

1. Why have the US/UK governments so far produced no detailed evidence to back claims of chemical weapons use? David Cameron himself said yesterday that the evidence was “limited, although growing” – but what details does he have? There is an important body of evidence that needs to be built and communicated to the public.
2. What were the samples? Measurements? Traces?
3. Why has nobody from Porton Down – where samples have reportedly been tested – been put up for interview by UK government to substantiate the claim?
4. Who can verify the provenance of sample material and prove it is bona fide to assure the British people we’re not being spun by opposition war propaganda?
5. Why were no samples obtained from the site of the video of alleged chemical weapons use reported by The Times? Why were they filmed, but no samples collected?
6. We’re asked to believe MI6 got samples of Syrian “chemical weapons attacks” before this one – yet somehow video was carefully shot but not one sample taken?
7. Why doesn’t any medic in the film wipe away the white foam on patients’ mouths – the basic paramedic fundamental to preserve an airway?
8. Why did just a few people die – surely a large number of people would have died in a chemical attack, as in Halabja and Iran/Iraq war?
9. The distressing images of seemingly sick or dead people with foam on their mouths have been widely shown. I am no expert but why is the foam at the mouth white as toothpaste and curiously uncontaminated with either blood, phlegm etc as you would expect – why is the colour and distribution so similar patient to patient?
10. Why did Washington and London suddenly start talking about all this on the very same day? Who co-ordinated the news message and why?
11. Why the co-ordinated “chemical weapons” message before the UN has even entered Syria to collect samples in a forensic fashion from alleged sites of attack?
12. President Obama said that a “whole bunch” of chemical weapons would have to be deployed and used in Syria to meet his “red line” test – so why was it widely reported on Sky and BBC yesterday that Obama’s red line had been stretched and crossed?

April 28th, 2013, 12:29 am


ann said:

1. DR. majedkhaldoun & Vatty

Fear leads to Anger

Anger leads to Stress

Stress leads to Morphine

Morphine leads to Heroine

Heroine leads to Fairy Tales

Fairy Tales never come true 😀

April 28th, 2013, 12:35 am


apple_mini said:

Another big dillusion from the opposition: if the rebels manage to overturn Syria, the opposition won’t get hunted down like those pro-regime people. But according to the rebels’ human rights record (I admit it is a rather funny term being used on them), the opposition members won’t be able to get away from being prosecuted or even being abused if they do criticize the rebels or their future governing body.

As far as the much fanfared turing Syria into a democratic and modern state, those people need to be sent inside Syria because no one in Syria with touch of reality believes it.

The growing determination and support from Syrians are detrimental to the opposition and the rebels.

Syria has been wasted. First by the brutal and impotent regime, then by deadly virus infection during rushed and somehow well-intended operation. The suffer will be prolonged by senseless and wicked minds combined.

April 28th, 2013, 1:33 am


Citizen said:

the photographs of natural destructive effect of thoughts and plans of Bernard Lewis and Sio-Co.!
details of their implementation in the photographs have no comment!


April 28th, 2013, 4:34 am


MarigoldRan said:

The rebels are not perfect, but the Assadists are worse.

The war continues.

April 28th, 2013, 4:41 am


Citizen said:

War mentality and desire in its continuation is in the head of military maniacs not satisfied thugs and vampires! God will judge you!

April 28th, 2013, 4:46 am


MarigoldRan said:

Pffft. The regime and its supporters started this war. The poor protested economic inequality and the lack of political freedom, and your idiotic regime chose to shoot them.

You’re only getting what you deserve. If you didn’t want a war, then why did you shoot in the first place?

And now that your idiotic regime has blown up half the country, whose going to talk to you now?

What comes around goes around.

April 28th, 2013, 4:52 am




Please go back and read some of her comments.

He will not, for obvious reasons, and you will not because the advanced search has been disabled!

April 28th, 2013, 5:01 am



A headliner like:

Outsiders Reevaluate Their Positions as it Becomes Easier for the Regime to Sell Itself

can only be written by an outsider who either is ready and willing to buy, or has already bought and is trying to sell the filthy athad regime and its filthy supporters.

April 28th, 2013, 5:24 am


Citizen said:

Jordan: Protesters against US troops burn stars and stripes
A protest rally in Amman gathered about 300 Jordanians out on the streets, on Friday, to demonstrate against the proposed deployment of 200 US troops on the border between Syria and Jordan.

Demonstrators shouted “no to US troops in Jordan”, while others claimed that the US deployment will be the first step towards a US-led policy of intervention against Bashar al-Assad’s government in Syria.

Some protesters burned American flags to demonstrate hostility towards any further US military presence in the country. The kingdom already plays host to an unknown number of US troops, stationed there since late 2012 to deal with Syrian refugees escaping across the border.

The proposed deployment will be stationed 10 kilometres from the Syrian border and will include intelligence and logistics specialists. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also noted that the troops will also have with them commanding officers who could co-ordinate any potential larger deployment in the future.

April 28th, 2013, 7:13 am


Citizen said:

Time is running out! BRICS logistic forces can be in action on the ground of North and south!

April 28th, 2013, 8:14 am


Tara said:

Mathew Barber

Do you think Syrians have the right to revolt against Bashar al Assad?

And if so could you give me one reason why you did not find the video of the last massacre committed by the regime and the other link where 2 Syrian youth were bludgeoned to death by the “heroic” Syrian army newsworthy where you find any atrocity committed by the rebels as such.

April 28th, 2013, 8:19 am


Juergen said:

just call for defection…

April 28th, 2013, 8:43 am


Citizen said:

US, allies setting stage for Iraq-like invasion of Syria
Similar claims have been also made by Israeli and British officials, who say there is evidence that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons.
Tel Aviv has urged its Western and Arab allies to intervene in Syria quickly. The calls have been echoed by the members of the so-called Syrian National Coalition. They have called on the US to establish no-fly zones in northern and southern Syria and to launch strategic strike against Syrian military.
“I think it is only natural for us to achieve some of the demands that we’ve made. Some of these demands are the no-fly zone on the north and southern parts of Syria; we have also asked for strategic strikes,” said Khaled Saleh, a member of the foreign-backed Syrian National Coalition.
But Syria has rejected the allegations as false and fabricated. Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said it is the foreign-backed terrorists that have used chemical weapons against innocent civilians near Aleppo.
Al-Zohbi added that Damascus wants an investigation into the use of chemical weapons to be carried out by Russian experts.
Other international players also reacted to the allegations with the EU saying that definitive evidence is required to prove that Damascus has used such weapons.
China said it is against the use of the chemical weapons by any country, adding it is also against any military intervention in any country.
Analysts believe that the West and Arab support for the militants in Syria contradict their claims that they are seeking democracy in the region. It is widely believed the military campaign in Syria is part of a foreign-backed project to bring about major geopolitical changes in the Middle East in favor of the West and allies especially Israel.

April 28th, 2013, 8:51 am


Citizen said:

Hun !
The video shows that the Syrian Arab Army – is our native Syrian children. Glory to the Syrian Arab Army!
down with Wahhabism and takfirism! down with Petrodollars funding drops in Syrian blood and Syrian conflict!
Damn each of blows in the fire of the Syrian crisis!You are showing hostility to the people!Enough lies from America, Germany and Europe!You want to change the system, even at the cost of destruction overwhelming fully all Syrian ingredients!Shame on you!

April 28th, 2013, 9:23 am


Citizen said:

Hun !
The video shows that the Syrian Arab Army – is our native Syrian children. Glory to the Syrian Arab Army!
down with Wahhabism and takfirism! down with Petrodollars funding drops in Syrian blood and Syrian conflict!
Damn each of blows in the fire of the Syrian crisis!You are showing hostility to the people!Enough lies from America, Germany and Europe!You want to change the system, even at the cost of destruction overwhelming fully all Syrian ingredients!Shame on you!

April 28th, 2013, 9:27 am


Jim Reilly said:

I for one appreciate the work of compilation and sifting that Mr. Barber and Dr. Landis are doing here. The Syrian conflict is not going to be won or lost by either side through the readers’ comments section of Syria Comment.

April 28th, 2013, 9:50 am


zoo said:

Matthew Barber,

That’s an excellent and exhaustive analysis of the situation. A piece of reference for the thousands of readers of SC. Thanks fo the great effort in gathering all the significant news.

I would also not ignore the Syrian businessmen who are also defecting the anti-regime crowd as they realize that the alternative is much worse, much more divisive and much more crippling than a repented regime 2.0


April 28th, 2013, 10:11 am


zoo said:

“Syrian interim government expected to be formed by the end of the month, added Kadi, who is an economic adviser to the opposition Syrian National Coalition.”

2 more days to go, I can’t wait!

April 28th, 2013, 10:23 am


Sami said:

Syrian Hamster,

“because the advanced search has been disabled!”

Still works for me, but I do find it rather odd that the direct link has been taken off.


April 28th, 2013, 10:43 am


Sami said:

“a repented regime 2.0”


Definition of repenting to a typical Regime supporter…

Syria: New Air, Missile Strikes Kill Civilians
At Least 84 Dead in Unlawful Aleppo Attacks

APRIL 26, 2013

(New York) – New Syrian government air and missile strikes are causing high civilian casualties in opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo in violation of the laws of war, Human Rights Watch said today. A Human Rights Watch team in northern Aleppo province has investigated recent attacks that killed scores of civilians and destroyed dozens of civilian homes without damaging any apparent opposition military targets.

The information collected by Human Rights Watch shows that the Syrian government continues to use banned cluster bombs and indiscriminate methods of attack in populated areas, making the airstrikes unlawful. These attacks are serious violations of international humanitarian law and the laws of war. Those who order or carry out such violations with criminal intent – that is, deliberately or recklessly – are responsible for war crimes.

“In attack after attack in Aleppo it is only civilians and civilian homes that are hit by government airstrikes,” said Anna Neistat, associate program and emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. “The Syrian Air Force knows very well that using cluster bombs and raining down missiles and bombs indiscriminately on urban areas violates the laws of war.”

During a recent seven-day mission to Aleppo, Human Rights Watch researchers documented five attacks that took place between March 18 and April 7, 2013:

On April 7, an airstrike in the Ansari neighborhood of Aleppo killed at least 22 civilians, including 6 children.

On April 3, a cluster bomb attack in the Sheik Sa’eed neighborhood of Aleppo killed 11 civilians, including 7 children.

On March 29, a cluster bomb and ballistic missile attack in the town of Hreitan in northern Aleppo killed at least 8 civilians, including 2 children, and injured dozens more.

On March 24, an airstrike in the town of Akhtarin in northern Aleppo killed 10 civilians, including at least 4 children.

On March 18, an airstrike on Marjeh neighborhood in the city of Aleppo killed at least 33 civilians, including at least 17 children.

Human Rights Watch visited the site of each attack, interviewed witnesses, and, where possible, examined the remnants of the munitions used in the attack.



April 28th, 2013, 10:46 am


Citizen said:

US controlled NATO dangerously and relentlessly continues its global expansion, “something unparalleled in history and something fraught with, not only danger, but with catastrophe.” In order to further hide the fact that the United States is taking over the world militarily through NATO, cleverly designed and marketed “programs” such as the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, the Partners Across the Globe and the newly created Aspirant Nation category, are being used to hasten their, for the most part quiet, yet massive expansion.

April 28th, 2013, 10:48 am


AIG said:

It is clear that the secular and liberal forces in Syria need to be strengthened. How to do that is a good question that the Syrians themselves need to answer.

What is happening is of course not surprising. Assad has consistently oppressed and quashed any secular or liberal movement in Syria and left room only for the Islamists. In addition, foreign Islamists are happy to join the fight in Syria, while no secular or liberal person would even consider it. In that sense, Islamism is much more vital than liberalism, especially in the Arab world.

April 28th, 2013, 10:48 am


revenire said:

Uh huh. And the Muslim Brotherhood rats have not been an issue for decades in Syria. Right. Sure.

April 28th, 2013, 10:53 am


revenire said:

Sami music to my ears, music to my ears.

Check Idlib reports for me. My friends in the SAA tell me there are so many dead rat carcasses strewn about they are starting to stink.

April 28th, 2013, 10:55 am


revenire said:

The Head of Hizbullah’s Political Bureau, His Eminence Sayyed Ibrahim Amin as-Sayyed slammed the US and ‘Israel’ for standing behind the project of destroying Syria.

During a memorial in the Bekaa Village of al-Ain, as-Sayyed highlighted that “those standing behind the project of destroying Syria are the US and ‘Israel’. The ongoing bloodshed in Syria serves this project.”

He further called to insight what is going on the scene, wondering: “Who has the interest in destroying Syria? Here are the leaders of the ‘Israeli’ enemy saying that the fall of the Syrian president and regime serves the absolute interest of the Zionist entity and any alternative for it is better for ‘Israel’.”

In parallel, His Eminence stated that there regional tools that are looking for a place in the future map of the region.

“Inside Syria, there are groups that agreed to be tools for the project of destroying Syria. Some agreed to be more like interfaces to be than tools as was the case of Lebanese interfaces at the US Embassy in Lebanon during the July 2006 war,” he added.

The Hizbullah top official also mentioned: “As for us, we consider Syria , the state and people, to be the strategic depth of the nation.”

“Because the people of Syria are distinguished in terms of their support for the resistance, there are plans to attack and destroy this strategic depth,” he said.

As-Sayyed appealed to the Syrians to unite to protect their country and stop the bleeding of blood for the sake of Syria, not the US.


April 28th, 2013, 11:22 am


Matthew Barber said:


Beyond merely “having the right,” I likely would have participated in the protest movement myself, had I been Syrian, because I don’t do well with oppressive authoritarianism. Syrian hatred for the regime is completely rational, and though a foreigner, I found myself resenting the regime vicariously through the experiences of my associates.
The worries about the future are also quite rational; in my experience the worst kind of oppression is religious authoritarianism, in which the oppressor not only dictates your temporal reality, but pronounces judgment upon the soul, as well. This is particularly damaging to the human being who develops in an environment where the fear of hell is constantly utilized to control people and keep them compliant.

In terms of what is “newsworthy,” I do have other commitments and cannot write about every Syria-related topic. I tend to take the violence of the regime as a given (is there any dispute as to its record of brutality?) and I like to explore broader trends that I find interesting and which add new dimensions to or complicate the standard narratives of the conflict.

I had wanted to include a section in this post on the recent massacre in Jdeidet Artuuz (as we did with Ghabagheb/Sanamayn in the last one), but after the first report claimed that 566 had died in “one of the most violent days of the conflict,” I then noticed a subsequent report placing the number at 350, then a following report mentioning 100, and finally other reports mentioning 80 people killed. I became frustrated with the constant need to sort out reality from exaggeration, wasn’t able to reach my friends in Jdeide (I hope they’re still among the living), and the post was getting too long anyway.


April 28th, 2013, 11:38 am


MarigoldRan said:

The war continues.

April 28th, 2013, 11:41 am


Matthew Barber said:


We may or may not see a “regime 2.0,” but I wouldn’t anticipate it being repentant.

Even if they were, they wouldn’t be able to “Hail Mary” their way out of this one.

April 28th, 2013, 11:49 am


Akbar Palace said:

Bring His Eminence a large box of Tissues NewZ

The Head of Hizbullah’s Political Bureau, His Eminence Sayyed Ibrahim Amin as-Sayyed slammed the US and ‘Israel’ for standing behind the project of destroying Syria.


Please tell His Eminence that his political party’s MAIN FOCUS is still the destruction of ‘Israel’ so remind me why should we care about the destruction of Hezbollah’s ally Syria?

As the great Pharaoh of Egypt uttered the 10th plague upon himself and his people (death of the first born), I guess the great “resistance professionals” are getting the same medicine.

Meanwhile the US and Israel have almost no dog in this fight and are standing on the sidelines watching. They don’t even know for sure if chemical weapons have been used.

PS – Thanks for using the quotation marks around ‘Israel’, I was beginning to worry…

April 28th, 2013, 11:59 am



Thanks for the link. For the public, taking the direct link means intentional denial of access to the service. Thanks to you, I can now use the backdoor to document the racist dumb one liners. I mean words like (Tunisian Animals, Smelly north Africans, inter-alia), which seem to be used, repeatedly without objection from the new aspiring regime salesman.

Looks like someone didn’t like their racism being exposed.

You’r being cheated. A lot is being hidden from you and from other western intellectuals by the lazy, yet exhaustive pseudo analysis herein.

his Box of Tissues Eminence in only eminent in being a sectarian thug.

April 28th, 2013, 12:00 pm


ann said:

Symptoms of chemical gas occur in some Syrian soldiers: report – 2013-04-28

• Many soldiers were sent to hospital in Damascus, showing symptoms of inhaling chemical gas.
• This was after the rebels fired a bombshell at the troops in the Brzeh neighborhood of the capital.
• The paper said that the competent authorities started an investigation into the type of the gas.


DAMASCUS, April 28 (Xinhua) — A Syrian pro-government newspaper reported Sunday that many soldiers battling rebels in a restive neighborhood of the capital Damascus have shown symptoms of exposure to chemical gas.

Citing a “well-informed” medical source, al-Watan said that many soldiers were sent earlier this week to the Hamish military hospital in Damascus, showing symptoms of inhaling chemical gas after the rebels fired a bombshell at the troops in the Brzeh neighborhood of the capital.

It said the symptoms include suffocation and nausea, as well as the trickling of a kind of white liquid from the victims’ noses and mouths.

Stressing no official comments have been made about the incident, the paper said that the competent authorities started an investigation into the type of the gas.

Talks about Syria’s chemical weapons have flared up recently as the White House stated that the Syrian troops may have used chemical weapons, mostly agent sarin, in its fight against the rebels.

The Syrian government has dismissed such claims and accused Washington and its western allies of stirring accusations against Syria in order to set the stage of a possible repetition of the Iraqi scenario.

Watan commented that the United States was attempting to pressure the Syrian administration after sweeping victories and advancement of the Syrian army against the rebels on several fronts, most importantly in the outskirts of Damascus.



April 28th, 2013, 12:03 pm



A propagandist cutting and pasting a piece of propaganda from a propaganda site citing yet another propaganda paper. This is Propaganda on steroid. And it is sickening and obnoxious regime style modus-operandi.

April 28th, 2013, 12:17 pm


revenire said:

SYRIAN HAMSTER maybe we should start quoting the BCC, CNN, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya? Or better yet let’s just make you the news source for SC.

April 28th, 2013, 12:20 pm


zoo said:

#49 Matthew

When you get a big beating, you economy is destroyed and you are abandoned by your most faithful allies, there is a high probability of “repentance”.
Not of having crushed ruthlessly the opposition but of not having heard the calls for reforms and fight on corruption earlier and act upon them before the storm that came from Tunisia.
As for the ruthless killings, I don’t expect there will be any repentance neither from Baath version 2.0 nor from MB version 1.0 nor from Salafist version 1 beta if any one them prevail in Syria.
All are convinced they had enough justification.

April 28th, 2013, 12:21 pm


revenire said:

Matt should the Syrian government have surrendered to Al-Qaeda at the start? When the terrorists started killing police officers and soldiers in Daraa? That is what the US would do right?

April 28th, 2013, 12:22 pm


Citizen said:

The president of the United States does not have a moral responsibility to the citizens of Syria or Rwanda or any other country.
But he does have a moral responsibility to the American volunteers making up the military of which he is commander in chief. They have volunteered to risk their lives defending their country. To order them into harm’s way without a truly important objective for the United States is disrespectful of their sacrifices.

April 28th, 2013, 12:29 pm


Tara said:


Well thank you very much.  I am sorry I rushed judging you.

I agree with your first paragraph especially the very last sentence though I think all kinds of oppression are equal and there is no one oppression that is better than other whether religious or secular.  I have always argued that religion does not have to be about ancient texts, gods, or figures and that the supporters of this “secular” regime have proved worse than religious fundamentalists forcing people to declare Bashar as god otherwise facing being burnt or buried alive.  

And yes, while I forgive that you tend to take the violence of the regime as given, I feel obliged asking from you not to do so when a new crime against the Syrian people has been committed so the “thousands of readers of SC” get the big picture.  My point is to make clear that while Islamic fundamentalism touted by al Nusra is against our nature as Syrians, we, are at the point now of welcoming with open arms any help, and that if we have to choose between them and the regime, given all the savagery we have experienced while the world is watching our slaughter silently, the choice is very clear.

On a lighter note, I like the new picture.

April 28th, 2013, 12:40 pm



I think the next main post will probably tell us the colors of the underwear of various “west-be-very-very-scared-and-uncertain” Islamist factions in Raqqa and nearby towns, in exhaustive details, and perhaps with charts, organagrams, and videos while the real story of murdering Syrian people, by the now minted sell-able regime, with mass destruction weapons including missiles and chemical warfare is ignored.

Oil twist is nice, one can now look for a nice research grant from Shell.

April 28th, 2013, 12:40 pm



It is not a surprise when cesspools are connected to sewer-pipes for these sewer-pipes feed the pools. It is, however, offensive and abhorring when the sewer-pipes suck sewage from these pools and dump it in the homes instead of the other way around.

April 28th, 2013, 1:01 pm


Citizen said:

Pushing Al Qaeda to Take on Hezbollah

The coming months will reveal to us if the several pro-Zionist Arab regimes and Islamophobes including those at WINEP and other Israel first “think-tanks” are delusional in believing a “simple solution” in John McCain’s words, to those resisting the Zionist occupation of Palestine would be to assist Jabhat el Nusra type jihadists to make war against Hezbollah. And whether they could defeat Hezbollah or even whether Jabhat al Nusra and friends are capable of igniting yet another catastrophe in this region.

April 28th, 2013, 1:06 pm


Citizen said:

On April 26, 2013, we perfunctorily reported a victory for the SAA and militia at a time when details were not coming in adequately. Wael himself was in the dark until yesterday when he contacted me in ecstatic Arabic prose and told me that the Syrian Army, backed by Ba’ath Party militia and NDF forces, inflicted a non-recoverable defeat on the NATO terrorists.

Aslan has also contacted me to tell me that Turkish officers are speaking quietly about a “change of the guard” in the FSA military command structure. It appears there is a move to oust former Syrian general Saleem Idrees who has little battlefield command experience. That is also true of all the deserter officers. The FSA is in a bind after the news of this colossal disaster finally hit home in Apaydin….

April 28th, 2013, 1:14 pm



Conjecture demonstrated in doubles. Need I say more?

April 28th, 2013, 1:19 pm


revenire said:

Wow. They really got it good in Idlib.

April 28th, 2013, 1:20 pm


ghufran said:

Add this to your list of Jihadi groups:
كتائب أحرار البقاع
بيان رقم ١
وإن استنصروكم في الدين فعليكم النصر
بعد التدخل المباشر لحزب الله و بأوامر إيرانية في ذبح الشعب السوري و بحجج واهية و كاذبة ، و بعد عدم إتخاذ الدولة اللبنانية بدءاً من رئيس الجمهورية و صولاً إلى جميع مؤسسات الدولة العسكرية و الأمنية أي إجراء لمنع هذا التدخل بل على العكس يقومون بتسهيل هذا التدخل ، منها سحب كافة بطاريات المدفعية الثقيلة التابعة للجيش اللبناني على امتداد حدود لبنان مع محافظة حمص و هذا غيض من فيض ، و بعد عدم إكتراث ذلك الحزب لكافة الدعوات لسحب قواته من سوريا ، و بعد استنكار سعد الحريري و غيره لدعوات بعض العلماء للجهاد و الدفاع عن اهلنا في سوريا علما أنه يدعي حرصه على أمن و استقرار بلد لا يجرؤ أن يعود اليه .
فإننا و بفضل الله نعلن عن تشكيل لواء أحرار البقاع لمنع هذا التدخل بشتى الطرق و الوسائل حتى لو اضطررنا لنقل المعركة إلى داخل الأراضي اللبنانية ،و لن يكون اي تحرك لحزب الله بمنأى عن ضربات مجاهدينا .
وعليه فإننا نوجه رسالة إلى إخواننا في الجيش البناني بأن قرار هذه المؤسسة ممسوك بيد حزب الله و سيتم زجها في مواجهة مع أهل السنة في لبنان لذلك ننصحكم بأن تكونوا مدركين لما يجري حتى لو اضطررتم إلى عصيان الأوامر و الإنشقاق عن هذا الجيش .
كما نوجه رسالة إلى القوى و الفعاليات الإسلامية كافة إلى التنسيق التام فيما بينهم واتخاذ موقف صادق و قوي للوقوف بوجه هذا التدخل واذكروا قوله تعالى “يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَنْ يَرْتَدَّ مِنْكُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِ فَسَوْفَ يَأْتِي اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ يُحِبُّهُمْ وَيُحِبُّونَهُ أَذِلَّةٍ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَعِزَّةٍ عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلا يَخَافُونَ لَوْمَةَ لائِمٍ ذَلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَاللَّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِيم”
وأخيراً فليعلم الجميع أننا لسنا دعاة فتنة أو إرهاب و تخريب ، و ليس لنا أي إرتباط بأي جهة خارجية و لكننا سنقوم بكل ما يلزم للذود عن أهلنا في سوريا و لبنان ، و إن كان لا بد من سقوط للهيكل ، فليسقط على الجميع”.
As for secular opposition, nobody is willing to give it a chance, neither the regime nor the NC, this is a war that its outcome will dictate whether Syria will become another Afghanistan or not, the only guarantor of Syria’s unity today, like that or not, is the Syrian army, and the only thing that has stopped Syria from disintigrating into small pieces is that the army has not collapsed yet, the fact that an army loyal to the regime and an army that did engage in attacks on civilians is Syria’s only remaining national unifying body tells you how bad things are in Syria today.

April 28th, 2013, 1:31 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The talk in Washington is about chemical weapons use by Assad, Obama can not show weakness or equivocation, Iran is watching,UN team must be allowed to investigate.
Obama has three choices
1- Arm the opposition(doubt he will do)
2- NFZ
3_ Direct hit to single military installation in Syria,as a final warning.
The third choice is the most likely

April 28th, 2013, 1:41 pm


Hanzala said:

So America and the Jews, after countless years trying to stop “AQ”, have not achieved anything but utter failure. It looks like they are back and stronger than ever. So much for the war on terrorism. I think the US knows if it involves itself in Syria it will go bankrupt. The Mujahideen plan is to bleed America dry just like they did to the Soviet Union, very effective tactic.

Even famous historian Bernard Lewis admits that it was the Muslims who destroyed the Soviet Union.

April 28th, 2013, 1:48 pm


Visitor said:


I agree with most of what you say except when it comes to the US and other Western States.

Take it from me once and for all:

The US will do NOTHING AT ALL in terms of arming the opposition, NFZ’s or direct hits of any Syrian installations.

It is time for Syrians to become non-naive and rely on their own resources to wage the war of liberation without looking for any mirage help from ANY Western State.

But the US will continue to bark in the wilderness. The naive will interpret the barks as a forthcoming intervention. The regime will interpret the barks as another green light to commit more atrocities.

Revolutionaries, wake up and tell the US and its western lackies to shove it up their butts.

We DO NOT need them.



Not only Bernard Lewis knows that. The US also knows that. And that is why the Pentagon chiefs replaced the red markers of their planning boards representing the USSR with markers representing the Muslim World soon after the USSR collapsed due the the Mujahedeen’s heroic efforts in Afghanistan. And that is why the US staged 9/11 with some mules that it used to control. The US cannot allow the Mujahedeen to take full credit for the end of the cold war which they won and not the lowly and evil US admin(s).

April 28th, 2013, 1:49 pm


erin said:

The US and the west are handing Syria to the Taliban and Alqaida and thereafter claim that is the source of Alqaida in the middle east.
It is a very clever dirty playgame to destroy syria.
Assad was never the enemy of the USA neither Mubarak, Gadafi or Saddam.
they are worked with the USA, this is another game for Syria to be put back in the stone age. Iraq and any other arab spring country is no better situation.
Middle east will continue to be in flames for years to come.
a very successful plan in destroying the Arabs and it is the Arab money paying for it.

April 28th, 2013, 2:08 pm


Erin said:

I request that all the people who are banned from this site and their account is blocked by biased moderation to be given their free speech rights back here.
it is ridiculous what has been posted here and the moderator showed his biased against the Syrian regime.
the Syria video project is another venue for Alqaida to take over syria.
the west plays on both side and obviously has not learned that radial islam is the problem not Assad.

April 28th, 2013, 2:12 pm


erin said:

By the way Syria will never fall as long as the is Sunni who are fighting with the regime against the barbaric Alqaida and its foreign terrorists who are brought from all over the world, but hey it could be the best thing for the USA to have this jihadists die in Syria and not blow another Marathon in USA

April 28th, 2013, 2:16 pm


ghufran said:

The full article is available at the Guardian:

Syria nerve gas claims undermined by eyewitness accounts
Description of attack in which six rebels died adds to uncertainty about claims that sarin has been used in the conflict

Peter Beaumont
The Observer, Saturday 27 April 2013 18.01 EDT
(I do not see how the story of chemical weapons can gain traction, I suspect that the response will be timid at best)

April 28th, 2013, 2:18 pm


Observer said:

ZOO please continue to post on the awesome force of Iran and Russia and the role of the BRICS and Venezuela and please continue to tell us how the MB in Egypt is failing and please tell us in what ways you have found the regime repentant?

WIll it stop using scuds or cluster bombs or detain people indefinitely?

The regime is made up of deeply flawed inferiority complexed brutal psychopaths and the calls for extermination and gas attacks and obliterations are nothing more than a testimony to years of mafia rule.

Yes there will be worse to come with massacres of entire pro regime areas and villages and mass exodus and mass retaliation with chemical weapons and yes all the world will be looking without lifting a finger.

The regime is winning my foot ( this is a polite version )

23 billion euros lost


April 28th, 2013, 2:23 pm


ghufran said:

Nusra is threatening to “burn Beirut” :
أوردت كبرى الصحف المصرية خبرا مفاده أن جبهة النصرة هددت بحرق بيروت خلال 24 ساعة, إذا لم يقم الرئيس اللبناني ميشال سليمان بوضع حد لتدخل عناصر حزب الله إلى جانب قوات النظام في سوريا.
و في بيان حصلت \”الأهرام\” على نسخة منه، قال المكتب الإعلامي لجبهة النصرة مخاطبا الرئيس اللبناني: لقد أمضينا من عمر الثورة سنتين ونحن نتابع أقوالك في معظم الاجتماعات العربية والدولية بأن لبنان ينأي بنفسه عن الشأن الداخلي السوري, وبناء عليه لم نتدخل نحن في اتخاذ أي إجراء على أمل أن تضعوا حدا لعناصر حزب الله اللبناني وأن تمنعوا ابن لبنان السيد حسن نصر الله من إرسال عناصره التي ذبحت المواطنين السوريين الآمنين بالسواطير والسكاكين من التدخل, إلى جانب عصابات بشار الأسد ضد الشعب السوري الحر.
وتابع البيان: وبعد أن تبين أنكم لم تلتزموا بسياسة النأي بلبنان عن الوضع الداخلي السوري فإننا نحيطكم علما وتستطيعون اعتباره تحذيراً وإنذاراً أخيراً, بأن عليكم اتخاذ إجراءات فورية (لوقف تدخل) حزب الله, أو أن النار سوف تبدأ بحرق بيروت, فإذا لم تلتزموا خلال أربع وعشرين ساعة من نشر هذا البيان فإننا سنعتبركم شركاء في المجازر التي ترتكبها عناصر حزب الله، وسنضطر آسفين إلى اتخاذ إجراءاتنا الخاصة لحرق كل ما يصادفنا في بيروت وفي غيرها وعلى الباغي تدور الدوائر,وأُعذر من أَنذر.
posted on opposition media sites

April 28th, 2013, 2:25 pm


Erin said:

it is very harsh to accept that Radical Islam is a cancer invading the west from within, Rome fell from within and that’s what is going to happen to the western civilization to fall after the cancer spread all over.
It may be another Hindu or Indian who will stop this cancer from spreading while the west is worrying about its political correctness against this barbaric invasion by radicals.
London has/had more radicals than whole Syria at one time.

April 28th, 2013, 2:29 pm


Citizen said:

The so-called ‘Institute for the Study of War’ is a neocon organizatn, headed by Kim Kagan. Ari Ratner, is described as ‘a former Middle East adviser in the Obama State Dept’ (whatever that term ‘adviser’ means: Presumbly not a career FSO?)

Looks like the Israel-firsters have decided to try to have Washington repeat inside Syria the policy it pursued so successfully throughout the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s: To use Washington’s power to tip the balance in such a way as to keep the war going as long as possible, with neither side winning but with the host population suffering unbelievable losses… and Israel & its many friends in the U.S. laughing all the time.

The US established the Supreme Military Command (SMC) in December, with two-thirds of the leadership having Muslim Brotherhood ties. The formation of the SMC was seen as bowing to intense pressure from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who the fighters said promised more advanced weapons once a central military council was in place.

Also in December the US appointed brigadier general Salim Idriss, a military engineer who defected from the Syrian army in July, as SMC chief of staff and promoted him to division general.

Like everything else the US has tried in Syria, the SMC hasn’t worked out. It is an ineffective chat club. Provision of arms and money has continue to flow from the Gulf States, primarily Qatar, to the jihadists, primarily the terrorists Jabhat al-Nusra but also others like Ahrar al Sham.

What to do? The neocon Hoover Institution’s Institute for the Study of War, Kimberly Kagan, has a plan — “The Smart and Right Thing in Syria.”
The United States must embrace the Syrian opposition fully in order to strengthen its moderate elements, convert the networks of opposition groups into a functioning hierarchy that can govern the country, and ensure that a moderate, representative state friendly to the United States emerges in the wake of Assad.

Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Archdiocese of Aleppo,and Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church of Aleppo, were kidnapped on Monday, April 22 near the Turkish border. They were on a humanitarian mission to try to gain the release of two other priests who had been kidnapped. An armed rebel group stopped the car and kidnapped the two bishops while the driver was killed. The rebels element holding the two bishops are believed to be Chechen.

It’s become obvious in recent days that Washington/NATO are constructing a scenario in which the West must mount an aggressive military intervention in order to save the Syrian revolution from radical Islamists. That basically is the line Kimerbly Kagan is putting out there.

The kidnapping of the bishops fits nicely with that scenario, doesn’t it? Those damn Chechens have got to be stopped!

April 28th, 2013, 2:40 pm


Jasmine said:

Nusrah’s expanding reach-Syrian Taliban ?
Any person with only one eye and half brain can predict the next title in this blog:
Only drones will be saving the future of Syrians.
Although Mathew’s new photo looks less threatening,nevertheless solid factors are introduced very clearly to suggest and encourage a long western interference in Syria.
I hope that the Syrian dialogue will stop this deadly race to hell for the Syrians.

April 28th, 2013, 2:42 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

There is no syrian army, there is Assad family army,this army will be punished once Assad is dead.
The constitution clearly says the army must not interfere in internal politics, using the army to fight Syrian is violation of the constitution.,it is a treason committed by Assad.

Jasmine the only dialogue I will accept is how to kill Assad,and his criminal army,you have the choices, or to be kind just permanently put him in jail in the same room as Hassan nasrallah,that will be torturing him to death,two RATS togather

April 28th, 2013, 3:01 pm


Jasmine said:

Majed @78
There is no winner by the end of this nightmare,revenge and hatred will lead to more destruction and gives the opportunity and excuses for more interference from outside Syria,no one has any interest of stopping the killing ,they are willing to contain the fights but not to solve the issue,no matter what do you want to call it,sectarian war,revolution,Arab awakening,batikh mbasmer,the solution is going to be by dialogue and nothing else,before killing the whole country and dissolving the state,and this should be built on compromise from both side.

April 28th, 2013, 3:22 pm


Citizen said:

something going wrong here!
Israel seems to think it is their job to tell other people to go to war against Israel’s enemies? Israel should fight their own wars.

“Israel’s plans are clear. What is also clear is that many Americans will die to get Israel the war they want, the war that Zionism needs to survive.”.. I ask this, what about the Arab people? how many of them have died and will die for Israel to get what it wants? But it is not death alone, the destruction and dismemberment of a country in many cases is irreversible. Who could stop this madness? only the Arab people could,by condemning the Saudi/Qatari dictators’ bloodshed in Syria.

April 28th, 2013, 3:33 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I heared the term Battikh mbasmer several time, But I realy don’t understand what it means
1-It means something we don’t know what it is
2- something hard to move
3- something we hate

Is it a word used in Damascus only or in different places?

April 28th, 2013, 3:52 pm


Citizen said:

Iran and Syria! U.S. Goes! BLOW on Qatar and Saudi Monarch


April 28th, 2013, 4:06 pm


annie said:

The Two-faced Propaganda of the Damascus Regime

Azmi Bishara ( Official English Page) ·
[An edited translation from the Azmi Bishara Arabic facebook page]
The Syrian regime has been hosting American journalists as part of its propaganda campaign targeted at the West. It explains to its guests that Damascus’ is the only government capable of combatting global Islamic terrorism, and invites them to view the pictures of the “foreign fighters” who have come to Syria. Of course, they neglect to mention here how the Syrian regime is committed to the resistance, nor do they deign to mention the occupation of the Golan Heights. In its propaganda targeted at the Arab public, meanwhile, the same regime has deafened all of our ears with claims that it stands up for the resistance, and that this is what motivated the American-Arab conspiracy that is the Syrian revolution.
In the regime’s propaganda directed to the Arab public, the foreign jihadists who have arrived in Syria are depicted as products of US intelligence and American-allied Arab governments. There’s no mention of that in what is said to the West, however. In the image the Syrian regime projects to the West, the emphasis is always on “terrorism” and “Islam”. Here, the Syrian regime presents itself as a victim of “Islamic terrorism”, in the same boat as the US in the wake of the Boston Bombings.
The sordidness needed to carry out such a feat of duplicity is boundless. A separate fact is that, regardless of their motives, the presence of foreign fighters in Syria has harmed the Syrian people’s national revolution.

April 28th, 2013, 4:06 pm


revenire said:

Annie it is only a few days until the government cuts all access to Syria so they can use chemical weapons again. Millions will likely die because I heard just one sarin bomb would kill tens of thousands. Maybe Assad is going to murder everyone in Syria except his immediate family? That would certainly take care of the fighting.

Sure hope Obama deal with this now that the Red Line has been crossed.

April 28th, 2013, 4:16 pm


annie said:

Bashar looks desperately for cannon flesh abroad
28 avril 2013
Chroniques du délitement. 9 / Le régime syrien en quête de chair à canon, en Syrie et à l’extérieur

Quoi qu’en dise Bachar Al Assad, les choses peu à peu se gâtent pour lui. Pour reculer l’échéance et prévenir la débandade, il veille à dissimuler les failles et les faiblesses de son régime. Ce sont elles qui font l’objet de ces chroniques. Elles sont destinées à soutenir ceux qui souffrent et perdent patience et à montrer que leur victoire est inéluctable. Le chef de l’Etat continuera à manoeuvrer, à mentir et à tuer, puisque c’est ce qu’il sait faire. Mais il ne pourra rétablir avec l’ensemble des Syriens les relations qu’il n’aurait jamais perdues s’il avait accepté d’entendre les cris des jeunes, des femmes et des hommes qui sont sortis dans les rues, en mars 2011, pour réclamer le respect, la justice et la liberté auxquels ils avaient droit, mais dont ils avaient été privés par son père et lui-même durant près de 50 ans.


April 28th, 2013, 4:19 pm


revenire said:

Israel crying the US hasn’t hit Syria.

April 28th, 2013, 4:35 pm


ann said:

Syria’s insecurity to jeopardize entire region: Iranian president – 2013-04-29


TEHRAN, April 28 (Xinhua) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday that insecurity of Syria will jeopardize the whole region, Press TV reported.

“If Syria becomes insecure, the security of other regional countries will be jeopardized, and this will threaten the entire region,” Ahmadinejad said at a meeting with Essam el-Haddad, advisor to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

The Iranian president called for stepped-up efforts to resolve the ongoing unrest in Syria through understanding and dialogue, said the report.

Any new government born out of war and conflict in Syria would mean the continuation of insecurity for a long time to come, he was quoted as saying.

Ahmadinejad said Iran and Egypt are among important countries which can resolve all issues by supporting each other.

Moreover, the Iranian president further expressed Tehran’s readiness to improve relations with Cairo in all fields, saying that Iran will stand by Egypt in its march toward progress.

El-Haddad, for his part, said Egypt calls for fundamental measures to end the ongoing bloodshed and conflict in Syria as soon as possible.

Countries, such as Iran and Egypt, shoulder the responsibility to settle the crisis in Syria and prevent foreign interference in the country, he added.



April 28th, 2013, 5:30 pm


Syrialover said:


What a relief to see your face in the light and not that scary halloween image!

And also to read you explain in #47: “in my experience the worst kind of oppression is religious authoritarianism, in which the oppressor not only dictates your temporal reality, but pronounces judgment upon the soul, as well.”

I have a lot of problems with al-Nusrah. They are not aligned with or relevant to the Syrian people. They have entered this conflict as a playground and chance to control the world according to their fantasies and particular interpretation of religion and history.

They have NOTHING to offer to Syria’s future.

I see them as like the Russians “liberating” and driving the Nazis out of Eastern Europe, only to seize control as an oppressive occupying power that choked and distorted economic, social and political development in those countries for decades.

I agree al-Nusrah’s dark side needs to be exposed, but there are problems with givng them so much airspace.

Below I am going to post some incisive comments on this by Koert Debeuf, the EU parliament’s Alde group, who is a frequent visitor to Syria.

He injects some clear air into this dust storm.

April 28th, 2013, 5:33 pm


ghufran said:

“Qatar has shares in Sainsburys, Barclays Bank, Heathrow Airport and the London Stock Exchange, among British companies, and has discussed with Downing Street investing up to £10bn into infrastructure projects.
Yet all that leads some to question its growing influence in Britain. “These are not benign investors,” said Mr McGeehan. “They come with a chequered human rights past that should be of concern to anyone.”
Meanwhile the armed Islamists who have benefited from Qatar’s largesse may yet be the undoing not just of the Assad regime, but of hopes for a stable, secular and moderate new Syrian government”
Money is plentiful but that is not enough, Qatar does not have the history, the man power, the political system or the moral authority to lead, its quick rise was only possible because of chaos caused by public revolt and civil war in a number of arab countries, when the dust settles, those Bedouins will go back to their tents and camels.

April 28th, 2013, 5:33 pm


Syrialover said:

Article: Not the Jihadists but WE are the problem

By Koert Debeuf, EU parliament’s Alde group

Each time I travelled to Syria during the last months, I saw Jihadists taking the same plane and the same bus as I did and following the same illegal way to enter northern Syria. What drew my attention and worried me each time is the self-confidence in their eyes, the acceptance that they will die in Syria. Above all, they are proud of it. They know they are going to be at the front line of the battle and that some people will admire them for that. And for them, this is exactly what they missed in their lives; admiration, guidance and heroic acts.

What disturbed me most however, wasn’t seeing these Jihadists entering Syria. I can’t stop them anyway. No, what is worse is that I didn’t see any others entering Syria. No relief teams, no doctors and no trucks loaded with aid for the other Syrians, for the vast majority of the rebels who have nothing to do with the Jihadists’ ideologies. While Al Qaida’s friends possess weapons and money to distribute to their fighters, people are dying of hunger in refugee camps supervised by the FSA.

We in the West are so mesmerized by a small group of radicals that we lost the ability to see the reality. By fearing the ghost of Afghanistan, we decided to do nothing. Because if we do nothing, we can’t do anything wrong. And this is precisely the huge mistake we are committing today. Because by doing nothing we only make Assad and the Jihadists stronger. While we are leaving those who share our values on their own.

The main excuse I hear for not intervening is: we don’t know what the Free Syrian Army is and we don’t know what they want. It’s a silly excuse. Because if you don’t know, it’s simply because you haven’t done the effort. It’s not that difficult. Two weeks ago, I had a dinner in Turkey with the Chief of Staff of the FSA, Salim Idriss and four of the five Front Commanders. Anyone who does the effort to go to Antakya will be able to meet any officer of the FSA. You will hear that they want freedom and democracy, that they try everything in order to respect human rights, protect the minorities and help the refugees. But you will also hear that they don’t have the means to achieve these goals properly.

Anyone who makes an effort can reach the refugee camps in Syria very easily and will be able to see how disastrous and inhuman the situation is there, how children spend sometimes days without food or even weeks without milk, how they die because of injuries, caused by a shrapnel, due to lack of medical care. You will see how our aid to Syria is mainly distributed through Assad, which is the reason why almost no aid is reaching the liberated areas. Whoever makes an effort will see that it are the soldiers of Assad and no one else that are attacking and bombarding civilians.

But, apparently all this requires too much effort. We prefer to do nothing “as we don’t know what will happen after Assad falls”. Just imagine that the Americans and the British wouldn’t have entered in WWII because of fear of communists, and because, they too, didn’t know “what would happen after Hitler falls.

Should we be surprised then that those who fight for a better Syria are getting more and more angry and frustrated with the West? They have to witness how the only thing that comes from the West are Jihadist fighters – whatever small and insignificant their number is – while the secular forces and the Syrian people are being left on their own.

However, we will not solve this problem by trying to stop them. We will only solve them if we start to engage in Syria itself. It’s less difficult than we might think. We just need to do an effort.


April 28th, 2013, 5:40 pm


ann said:

Al-Qaeda now has a spokesman in Syria, and he’s ordering Obama to “Act”! Surreal indeed!!

World community treats Syria chemical weapons issue cautiously – 2013-04-28


Yasser Tabbara said, “What we are asking the international community, what we are asking the United States, with its drone technology, with its surgical strike technology, is to help us disable Bashar al Assad from the use of chemical weapons.”



April 28th, 2013, 5:44 pm


revenire said:

Yawn to terrorist supporter Debeuf – he wants NATO to attack. A real liberal fellow – liberal w3ith his calls for murder and invasion.

I remember when he want to Azaz and completely covered up it had been the scene of a fight between Al-Qaeda and the Syrian army.

April 28th, 2013, 6:08 pm


Tara said:

The more the US waits, the more al Qaeda infiltrates Syria. Time to take action.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican senators on Sunday pressed U.S. President Barack Obama to intervene in Syria’s civil war, saying America could attack Syrian air bases with missiles but should not send in ground troops.
Pressure is mounting on the White House to do more to help Syrian rebels fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, which the Obama administration last week said had probably used chemical arms in the conflict.
Neutralizing the government forces’ air advantage over the rebels “could turn the tide of battle pretty quickly,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“One way you can stop the Syrian air force from flying is to bomb the Syrian air bases with cruise missiles,” the South Carolina senator said.
Graham said international action was needed to bring the conflict to a close but “You don’t need boots on the ground from the U.S. point of view.”

Read more..

April 28th, 2013, 6:12 pm


Syrialover said:

“I have met both Bashar al-Assad and his father, Hafez, from whom he took over as president. His father was terrifying – utterly ruthless and a conspirator to his finger tips.

“His own staff fidgeted nervously in his presence. He was indeed like Saddam – except that his cruelty was not random. It was calculated and targeted at anyone who dared to cross him.

“The young Assad, Bashar, is nothing of the kind… he was not much more than a figurehead president. So the only effect of “removing Assad” would be to have him replaced by one of the ruthless generals that have held the Syrians in their grip for 40 years.”

Quote from Sir Andrew Green, a former British Ambassador to Syria

April 28th, 2013, 6:21 pm


Tara said:

I listened to “Face the Nation” earlier today and the program that follows. The US is aware of the defection of Colonel al Saket and his allegation that he received a direct order to use chemical weapons against the people in Syria. The CIA should try to retrieve them as soon as possible.

April 28th, 2013, 6:27 pm


Syrialover said:

Quote: The abundant security in Malki, residents say, is provided by men who speak the Iranian tongue of Farsi, rather than Syrian Arabic

Article: Good life goes on as Syrian elite sit out war


Yet in the neighbourhood of Malki, a tree-lined enclave of central Damascus, a wealthy group of elite, pro-government Syrians still enjoy shopping for imported French cheeses, gourmet hand-made chocolates and iPad minis in the well-stocked, recently built Grand Mall and in nearby boutiques.

Such are the parallel realities of a conflict in which, for all the gains made by rebels and the current chatter about U.S. “red lines” crossed that might ultimately draw in Western might, President Bashar al-Assad is holding his ground in the capital, bulwarked by his own foreign allies and by many Syrians who fear his end could prove fatal for them too. And so life goes on.
In Malki, sprinklers water the manicured lawns outside their blocks of million-dollar apartments. Maids and drivers cater to their every whim and birds sing in the trees. Fuel for their BMWs and electricity for their air-conditioning is plentiful and the well-guarded streets are free of loiterers.

“Look at this display and you feel all is well, life is good and everything is here,” said an elegantly dressed Hiyam Jabri, 50, as she placed her order at the delicatessen counter in the mall’s main supermarket.

Malki residents continue to enjoy material comforts and abundant supplies of imported goods, even as millions of their compatriots subsist on food handouts.

The United Nations World Food Programme estimates it is feeding 2.5 million people inside Syria – a tenth of the population – and a further million who have fled the country, offering them subsistence rations of flour and rice.

” Most of those whom his staff help “haven’t been displaced once but sometimes twice, three times”. Food is so scarce for those uprooted by the fighting that rations intended to feed a family of five are being shared by three families.

The abundant security in Malki, residents say, is provided by men who speak the Iranian tongue of Farsi, rather than Syrian Arabic. Tehran has long been Assad’s sponsor against his fellow Arab leaders and the word on the street – impossible to verify – is that this heavily guarded area of town may be home to the Syrian president himself and to his immediate family.

Senior Syrian officials try hard to show visiting reporters a picture of normality in which the government is firmly in control. But even the cocoon in which they live and work is starting to be punctured by the facts of war.

At the Al-Naranj restaurant in the Christian Quarter, one of Damascus’s finest eateries, diners discussed the relative risks of car bombings versus random mortar attacks and kidnap. Little wonder that so many with the means have left for Lebanon, as life in the capital becomes a kind of ghoulish Russian roulette.
Across the room, a smartly dressed family group celebrated a betrothal with a lavish spread of traditional Syrian food on a table decorated with red roses.

As the strains of the old songs died away and a festive cake was eaten, a fighter jet roared across the sky. Artillery fire thudded in the distance. The family looked upwards through the restaurant’s glass roof, eyes suddenly fearful.


April 28th, 2013, 6:39 pm


revenire said:

Couldn’t they hire bodyguards from Mars? Yawn.

April 28th, 2013, 6:52 pm


jgets said:

Thank you for this insightful, on the ground, piece Professor.

Reading it, it occurred to me your readers might be interested in a military operational perspective of a US Syrian intervention, and its feasibility (or not) under the current operational constraints facing the US Armed Forces.

Here is the link


Best Regards

April 28th, 2013, 6:52 pm


Syrialover said:

Revealed: the boy prankster who triggered Syria’s bloody warwith clogans sprayed in his schoolyard


April 28th, 2013, 7:01 pm


Syrialover said:

Revealed: the boy prankster who sparked Syria’s bloody war with slogans sprayed in the schoolyard


April 28th, 2013, 7:04 pm


ann said:

World community treats Syria chemical weapons issue cautiously – 2013-04-28


Hua Chunying, Spokeswoman of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, “China firmly opposes any country to use chemical weapons. That is our consistent and clear stance. China also disapproves military intervention in any country.”

David Cameron, UK Prome Minister, said, “We’ve been careful not to make the mistake that sometimes we’ve made in the past, that as soon as you see a report you rush in to print.”

Syria’s Information Minister denied his government’s use of chemical weapons. The regime has previously accused rebels of using chemical weapons and even invited the United Nations to investigate one case last month.



April 28th, 2013, 7:05 pm


revenire said:

There is quite a mythology built up by the British. It reminds me if Lawrence of Arabia slightly – with a Daily Mail twist as only they can.

A boy’s graffiti started it all… one brave boy.

No more of these. I am weeping now.


April 28th, 2013, 7:06 pm


jgets said:

For the convenience of your readers, and an additional thank you to Matthew Barber for the fine work on the article, kindly allow me to repost that link concerning US operational readiness for a military intervention in Syria in comment #99 properly please.


April 28th, 2013, 7:18 pm


Dawoud said:

Why Is There a ‘Red Line’ on Chemical Weapons but Not on 70,000 Deaths?
Obama’s strategy in the Middle East is ‘engage where we must, disengage where we can’
SHADI HAMIDAPR 26 2013, 9:54 AM ET

As evidence of the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons mounts, the Obama administration has further confused matters regarding its own stated “red lines.” The evidence appears to be strong but not necessarily “conclusive.” As the April 25th White House letter states, “the chain of custody is not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions.” This sort of rhetoric points to an administration that finds itself cornered but, at the same time, seems intent on postponing any decisive action for as long humanly possible. The debate over whether, how, when, and to what extent lines were crossed not only seems petty (and undermines the very notion of a red line); it is also a distraction.

Yes, I agree with MajedKhaldoun that today’s Syria is more similar to Bosnia than Iraq (the 2003 Iraq War). In Bosnia, the international community (if there is such a thing) gave war criminals several years of free hand to carry out their war crimes and religious/sectarian-cleansing. This is exactly what the war criminal Bashar and this Lebanese/Iranian allies are now doing in Syria.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

April 28th, 2013, 7:26 pm


revenire said:

Quite a large PEACEFUL rally for Syria today in Antakya – no filthy beards, no calls for Al-Qaeda/Nusra/FSA to murder more Syrians, no calls for NATO to bomb Syria.


What a difference from Muslim Brotherhood paid rallies in towns Nusra holds hostage.

April 28th, 2013, 7:30 pm


Observer said:

Some regime supporters are calling for dialogue and others are warning us that massive chemical attacks are about to happen. I would say the day of negotiations or so called repentance that the zoo is talking about are long gone and buried and reburied and then cremated several times.

There will only be more destruction the likes of which no one can imagine. The country has gone into a spiral of disintegration total and without recourse to any stopping. No one least of which the US can stop the ongoing destruction.

Repentance on not conducting insider’s reforms is an oxymoron the regime is INCAPABLE of reform. As Hassan and Ali and Rev tell us Syria and Syrians BELONG to the Athad family and his clique.

There is no hell in after life there is one right here on earth and Syria is one of its chambers.

Syrian Hamster I remain always in awe of your wit

April 28th, 2013, 7:31 pm


ann said:

104. jgets

Any relations to Leo Gets 😀

April 28th, 2013, 7:37 pm


Dawoud said:

Iran’s puppet in Iraq and his media ban! Did America really invade Iraq and lose life/treasure to give this filthy Iranian-puppet dictator (al-Maliki) control of the country?

April 28th, 2013, 7:45 pm


revenire said:

Maybe the Americans can invade again and install someone you approve of Dawoud.

Perhaps not though.

April 28th, 2013, 7:48 pm


Visitor said:

North of Qusair! And what knows you about north of Qusair?

Seventy shabiha thugs were made lifeless at the hands of our most holy warriors of the Nusra Front and associates in North of Qusair today!

All Praise be to Allah The Al-Mighty for bestowing such resounding victory to His servants on this earth of His.

Syrian and Hanzala will bring us the footage in due time for those who need to apply mascara to their eyes with the scenes (Reverse, Zoo the Moo, and Ghuffy the Duffy)

April 28th, 2013, 7:49 pm


revenire said:

Al-Qusayr The Valley of Death


Al-Qusayr is located on the border of Lebanon in the Homs Governate. A relatively peaceful place before the start of the Syrian Conflict, it has become the launching point for the rebel invasion of the province of Homs. Homs is imperative to the Free Syrian Army due to its proximity to the province of Damascus – the home of the Presidential Palace of Bashar al-Assad. It has become the scene of despair and devastation for the rebels attempting infiltrate the area. The rebels, who are autonomous and differ in their motives, have sustained over 2,000 deaths in Al-Qusayr since the start of April.

At the inception of this conflit, the Syrian Arab Army were dealt decisive defeats in the province of Homs due to the lack of preparation and the conscription of much needed reserves. Since January of 2013, the 4th Mechanized Division of the Syrian Arab Army, under the command of Maher al-Assad, have effectively repelled all ensuing attacks. The creation of the National Defense Force by the Syrian Government has paid dividends in the province. The battle-tested 4th Division is now focused in Aleppo and Damascus, as the NDF continues daily patrols around the border.

The presumption in mid-2012 was the FSA’s intention to invade Damascus through Homs; however, this no longer holds value as many of the Free Syrian Army brigades are concentrated in Dar’aa. The Syrian Arab Army has even moved into villages in northern Lebanon that arm and transport foreigners into Homs. This has crippled the anti-government rebels from Lebanon and agitates the Lebanese Kataeb Political Party, who detests the presence of Syrian troops in the country.

Al-Qusayr over the last few weeks is concerning. Of the 2,000 rebels that have been killed since early April, 1,200 of them were killed in just one week. The Syrian Air Force is very effected in areas where rebel troops are consolidated and without anti-aircraft protection. It is apparent that these rebels entering Homs are ill-equipped and poorly trained. How much longer can they sustain these kinds of losses? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure, the trail of dead bodies pave the way to Homs via Lebanon.


April 28th, 2013, 7:56 pm


revenire said:

Visitor yeah you do that. I can’t wait to see your videos.


April 28th, 2013, 7:58 pm


jgets said:

108. Ann

No Dear, no relation. Although I do fail to see the relevance of your comparison.

Care to enlighten me? 🙂

April 28th, 2013, 8:17 pm


zoo said:

66. majedkhaldoun

Obama’s fourth choice is to talk, do nothing and wait for the outcome of the current offensive of the Syrian Army on the Al Qaeda and Islamists rebels strongholds.
Lots of threats and talks but it is becoming clear that no country wants to get involved militarily alone in that adventure. Even Turkey, the most suitable said NO.

The ball is in the camp of the countries who started to arm the rebels: Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Obama will let them sort out the mess while watching.

April 28th, 2013, 8:42 pm


zoo said:

Is Erdogan in the secret process of creating Greater Kurdistan with the agreement of Israel?

Peace process first step to Greater Kurdistan: Turkish main opposition

Main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu slammed the ongoing peace process saying that it the first phase of a more comprehensive plan to establish a Greater Kurdistan on the Iraqi, Syrian and Turkish soil

The plan also envisages the establishment of an alliance between Israel in order to establish a Greater Kurdistan he said.

“The process is being run in line with the road map drafted by Öcalan. The AKP is supporting the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) efforts to gain control in the northern Syria in order to divide Syria. Following PYD’s control will be provided, northern parts of Iraq and Syria will be united and access to Mediterranean will also be possible,” he claimed.

April 28th, 2013, 8:58 pm


revenire said:

It would be very amusing to see Obama intervene to save Al-Qaeda. I would laugh and laugh.

April 28th, 2013, 8:58 pm


ann said:

114. jgets

Checking to see if you have a sense of humor 🙂

April 28th, 2013, 9:20 pm


revenire said:

jegts we like to laugh around here. Each time a terrorist get zapped I do a shot. Sometimes they carry me out of here.

April 28th, 2013, 9:48 pm


jgets said:

118. Ann
119. Revenire

I do, but why it would concern you whether I have a sense of humor or not, in light of the subject discussed here, namely Syria’s misery, is beyond me. Not to mention I find it a little odd.

But, I accept your explanations.

Evidently you are both old hands at this.

Is it alright if we just leave it at that folks?

April 28th, 2013, 9:51 pm


ann said:

New York Times Tells Truth About Syria; Neo-Cons Unfazed

Daniel McAdams – April 27, 2013

The New York Times reveals the truth in Syria: the insurgents are al-Qaeda. But its conclusion is, predictably, that we need more intervention in Syria on behalf of the insurgents. Neo-cons smile and plot


Shocking as it may seem, the New York Times managed to tell the truth about Syria today:

“Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of.”

The conclusion to this revelation is not, unfortunately, “stop arming the non-existent secularists.” Rather, it is to intervene even more — and even more quickly.

Steven Heydemann at the Orwellian war-promoting United States Institute of Peace sums up the view, as quoted in the Times story:

“The challenge, he said, is to end the conflict before ‘the opportunity to create a system of governance not based on militant Islamic law is lost.’”

In other words, the United States Institute of Peace, in its appropriately post-apocalyptic mega-church looking $183 million dollar new building, urges the US to change the regime in Syria as quickly as possible!

Elizabeth O’Bagy, of the Institute for the Study of War, a Kagan family franchise that studies war in the context of “how can we get more of it” is quoted in the piece saying, “[m]y sense is that there are no seculars.”

This is odd, as her boss, Kimberly Kagan, has written a policy recommendation paper which, wait for it, concludes that:

“The United States should fully support the secular opposition to Bashar al-Assad through the provision of funds, weapons, equipment, and training.”

In other words, the Institute for the Study of (more) War knows that there are no secular fighters but urges the US to arm the secular fighters anyway. It is another Straussian “noble lie” that the neo-conservatives view to be a fundamental canon in their Church of War.

Browsing the list of the organization’s major donors will likely provide a clue as to why the ISW would like to solve the problem created by its interventionist positions in the first place with yet more war and violence: Kagan’s warmongering is generously underwritten by General Dynamics, CACI, DynCorp, Palantir, and Northrup Grumman. Of course the money these merchants of death donate to Kagan to promote more war is stolen from us in the first place under the lie that handing it to the military industrial complex will help protect us. We pay the war machine to propagandize us for more war, which requires us to pay more money to the war machine…and round it goes.

The US and its allies have created the problem of Islamist radicals running the insurgency in Syria by providing support to Islamist radicals running the insurgency in Syria — all the while repeating the lie that it was simply supporting a domestic democratic uprising that reluctantly turned violent only after the regime turned to force.

The neo-cons like Kimberly Kagan are unfazed by such revelations and say with a straight face that the only solution to the problem caused by US interventionism on behalf the Syrian insurgency is more, harder, stronger US interventionism in the Syrian insurgency.

To high priest in the church of neo-conservatism John McCain, the problem caused by US interventionism on behalf of the Islamist insurgents in Syria is all the fault of the non-interventionsists:

“Everything that the non-interventionists said would happen in Syria if we intervened has happened. The jihadists are on the ascendency, there are chemical weapons being used and the massacres continue.”

Of course what he fails to mention is that the non-interventionists were right! The US did intervene and all these things did indeed happen as the non-interventionists warned. He admits it. Although the jihadists are on the ascendency because the US has provided them with weapons, chemical weapons are being used by the US-allied insurgency, and the massacres are being committed by the US allies.

But like Kagan and the rest of the neo-cons, McCain trades in lies and distortions to push his one conclusion to all the problems created by his warmongering: more war.



April 28th, 2013, 9:59 pm


zoo said:

After voicing spectacular threats, the UK weighs “limited military action” as the NFZ plan has been “sidelined”.

A warning shot and no more: Defence chiefs tell PM to hold back over Syria amid fears UK could get sucked into fresh conflict


Firing a ‘warning shot’ against Syria is the only military option being considered by the Government after defence chiefs warned the UK could get sucked into a fresh conflict.

Senior officials say plans have been drawn up for a precision air strike or missile attack to force dictator Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table.

But the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, has told David Cameron that imposing a no-fly zone over Syria or creating a safe haven for humanitarian workers would court disaster.

But he is prepared to contemplate limited military action to kickstart a political effort to end the war.

He and the Obama administration hope the discovery of chemical weapons will convince Russia to pressure Assad to discuss a transition of power.

Insiders say that if that does not work some limited military action is possible.
A senior Whitehall source said: ‘Something you might do is to send a warning shot which doesn’t move you into all-out war. That would put more pressure on Assad to come to the table.’ Sources say a limited one-off strike is the only realistic military option likely to take place. More extensive contingency plans for a no-fly zone or safe havens – shown to Mr Cameron ‘several months ago’ – have been sidelined

General Richards and his fellow chiefs warned that both would be very dangerous, since the Syrian military has high-quality air defences.

April 28th, 2013, 10:02 pm


Syrian said:

HA drinking from the same cup, did HA really believe that fighting the real Syrian is like fighting the Israelis,
I guess HA misstoke the mighty FSA with Batta’s slippers army
هادي العبد الله وتفاصيل العملية الإستشهادية التي قامت بها جبهة النصرة في ثكنة كمام بريف القصير

April 28th, 2013, 10:03 pm


Ghufran said:

The argument that the time for negotiating an end to the war is ” long gone” is flawed , a better argument is whether the time for negotiation has arrived or not, it looks like the voice of war mongers is still louder than that of anti war voices but that does not mean that the majority of syrians support hawks on both sides, syrians are tired and suffering and getting killed every day to defend bigger players who are not dying or suffering. It is nauseating to read posts of expats drumming for war while they live in the west and throwing their garbage at the readers of this forum. Nusra et al have to be defeated and marginalized before any solution is possible, others who do not subscribe to alqaeda evil ideology have the right to oppose the regime and participate in the political process. Saying that ending the war means another 11 years of Bashar rule is also a flawed argument, Bashar can barely hold on to power now and his ability to stay as president to finish his second term is questionable at best, it is dangerous to live under the illusion that there is a military solution to this war , indeed the militarization of the 2011 uprising served the regime and devastated Syria , in that sense, war mongers on this site are at the same camp of hard core Assadists, those war mongers also share the same exclusionary thinking of the regime thugs who can not accept the idea of sharing power, Assad made a mockery of Syrian laws to stay in power, and that is exactly what islamists are trying to do to ascend to power, just watch what they are doing in areas under their rule.

April 28th, 2013, 10:09 pm


zoo said:

“convince Russia to pressure Assad to discuss a transition of power.”

Is Bashar going to discus his own removal? What a joke!

Attention should move the SNC rather. The SNC is sensing that it has totally lost any chance to “administer the liberated areas” now in the hand of Al Nusra terrorists
The only pressure that can applies is on the SNC to set up a negotiating team for a ceasefire while Bashar is still in power. That may be a first step to a political solution that will exclude al Nusra and the Islamists from the equation.
There is no other way out.

April 28th, 2013, 10:16 pm


revenire said:

“Gets” you will see this place is divided between Salafists and human beings soon enough.

Incidentally, the terrorists love Maggie Thatcher. She sent them howling against the Godless commies.

April 28th, 2013, 10:17 pm


revenire said:

These people who think a little half-rate nation like “Great” Britain can pressure Russia are not mentally well are they?

Cameron is just another war criminal, like Blair before him. What a sick joke England is. They remind me of a cancer that keeps coming back and back forever.

In a just world Cameron, Blair, the Queen and Thatcher’s corpse would all be in the dock for war crimes.

April 28th, 2013, 10:22 pm


ann said:

White House says the US may use military force against Syria – April 28, 2013


The White House says that United States President Barack Obama may approve of using military force against the Syrian government.

Early afternoon on Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the administration has a number of options in regards to handling reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, and those routes include but are not exclusive to using military force.

Fielding a question from the media during the afternoon presser, Carney said that he could not speculate on what action if any Pres. Obama will pursue against Assad, but said “as a general principal the United States retains the ability to act unilaterally.”

Pres. Obama spoke to reporters hours later about the allegations during a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah in the Oval Office, calling the developments a “game changer” in terms of how the US might respond.

“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law,” Obama said.

“That is going to be a game changer. We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately. But I think all of us … recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations.”

Just one day earlier, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US intelligence community determined “with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons.” The White House sent a letter to members of the US Senate that morning informing lawmakers that Pres. Assad is believed to have used the odorless liquid sarin on at least two occasions.

“Thus far, we believe that the Assad regime maintains custody of these weapons, and has demonstrated a willingness to escalate its horrific use of violence against the Syrian people,” the letter read in part.

Following up on Friday, Carney said, “We still believe based on the information that we have that the stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria are under control of the Syrian regime.”

“Because of that, Assad is responsible for the disposition of those chemical weapons and it is his responsibility first and foremost not to use them or to transport them to terrorist groups, but to secure them and make sure they aren’t used by anyone else.”

“That’s all I can really say about it. That’s our assessment at this time,” said Carney.



April 28th, 2013, 10:25 pm


Visitor said:

Thanks Syrian for the video link.

As usual, you never disappoint.

April 28th, 2013, 10:39 pm


ann said:

`israeli Brigadier-General Itai Brun, the head of military intelligence research at the Israeli Defense Forces, wants to fight Syria to the last American soldier 😉

“Iraqi Scenario” to Take Down Syria

Kurt Nimmo – April 27, 2013

Despite the paucity of evidence, Israeli Brigadier-General Itai Brun, the head of military intelligence research at the Israeli Defense Forces, said the lack of international response to the alleged use of sarin nerve gas was a “very worrying development”


Syria has accused the United States and Britain of telling lies about its supposed use of chemical weapons. Syria says it has not used the weapons and does not possess them.

“Everything that the American minister and British government have said lack credibility,” Syrian Information Minister Omran Al-Zoub told Russian TV on Friday. “It’s baseless, and it’s a new tactic to put political and economic pressure on Syria.”

They “want to manipulate the issue, to let whoever used the chemical weapons … get away (with it), and to repeat the Iraq example,” Al-Zoubi said.

Russia’s foreign minister has warned against repeating the “Iraqi scenario” where Bush neocons installed in the Pentagon fabricated evidence concluding Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.

Prior to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix found no stockpiles of WMD despite claims made by the Bush administration and the corporate media.

“The biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq,” Bush told ABC News prior to his departure from the White House. A 2008 Senate Intelligence Committee report stated that the Bush administration had “misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq.”

Earlier in the week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration believes “with varying degrees of confidence” that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. Speaking from Abu Dhabi, Hagel said the government believes “any use of chemical weapons in Syria very likely originated” with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus,” Obama said in August, 2012. “That would change my equation. . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.”

The Obama administration, however, is taking a cautious approach to the latest accusation. “Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” White House legislative director Miguel Rodriguez said in letters to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz.

The U.S. and Israel have cited photos, shelling and traces of toxins to make the claim Syria is using chemical weapons.

The Israeli military said Syrian forces used sarin and displayed for reporters photographs of a body it claimed showed evidence of nerve gas exposure.

“There is a limit to what you can extract from photograph evidence alone,” said Ralf Trapp, an independent consultant on chemical and biological weapons control. “What you really need is to get information from on the ground, to gather physical evidence and to talk to witnesses as well as medical staff who treated victims.”



April 28th, 2013, 10:44 pm


Ghufran said:

A video here and there will not change the fact that nusra terrorists are in the defensive mode now, I look forward to the moment when the FSA supported by others join the fight to isolate those takfiris who have no agenda for the future.
The news from Homs , Aleppo and even idleb clearly show that nusra is losing ground but I have no doubt that their defeat will not be achieved as quickly as most syrians want, they are still fighting, beheading people ( I saw a pic today of two of those animals posing with a severed head of a young man near zahira), and detonating car bombs.
Numerous posts by syrians on opposition sites summarize our problem with nusra:
” we did not revolt against Assad to be ruled by the Talibans”

April 28th, 2013, 10:47 pm


MarigoldRan said:

The retard is a loser with too much free time on his hands.

The war continues. There can be no negotiations because of what happened 30 years ago.

April 28th, 2013, 10:49 pm


ann said:

“Islamism” and the West: How do you solve a problem like the AP [Associated Press] Stylebook? – April 7, 2013


The Associated Press has decided that the word “Islamist” may not be used to describe anything objectionable. Lori Lowenthal Marcus calls out the relevant passage from the news service’s newly revised stylebook:

[An Islamist is] an advocate of a political movement that favors reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam. Do not use as a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals, who may or may not be Islamists.

Hmmm. It’s an interesting question who will be called an Islamist by AP writers, given this definition.

Who is an Islamist?



April 28th, 2013, 10:56 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Can someone tell me why everyone is waiting for american weapons? Can’t the Saudis supply weapons? Or Turkey? Or the UAE?

April 28th, 2013, 11:03 pm


Syrialover said:

Dubai firm agrees $2.8 million fine over Syria sanctions-busting

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – A Dubai distribution company has agreed to pay a $2.8 million civil penalty for shipping embargoed U.S. devices to the Syrian government to monitor and control internet traffic, according to U.S. Department of Commerce documents seen by Reuters.

The Department of Commerce settlement documents provide new details on the alleged role of Middle Eastern reseller Computerlinks FZCO in delivering and servicing the equipment.

Computerlinks FZCO sold $1.4 million worth of devices made by Blue Coat Systems Inc, of Sunnyvale, California, to the Syrian government in three separate transactions between about October 2010 and May 2011, the documents state.

According to the documents, Computerlinks FZCO not only illegally shipped U.S. hardware and software to Syria, but also provided support “to help the end user of the devices to monitor the Web activities of individual internet users and prevent users from navigating around censorship controls”.

Syria’s use of the internet-monitoring equipment first surfaced in August 2011 after a “hacktivist” group called Telecomix gained access to computer servers in Syria and found that Blue Coat devices were being used to censor Web pages.

The settlement documents say that Syrian authorities were also using the equipment to track individuals as they surfed the Internet.


April 28th, 2013, 11:05 pm


ann said:

Boston bomber: Experts continue to reveal Obama administration’s misleading themery – April 27, 2013


I’ve written about this before: the Obama administration’s penchant for creating “information” themes that misrepresent what’s going on. My expertise is in military operations, so my points have addressed Team Obama’s methods for misleading the public on the meaning of U.S. military activities (see here as well). I’ve also written about the administration’s pattern of propagating its info themes by “disclosing” them as insider commentary to credulous journalists. Sometimes the briefest web search will reveal that what has been “disclosed” is not even true – but reporters obediently retail it anyway.



April 28th, 2013, 11:08 pm


Visitor said:

Ghoofy, the Mullah-nusairi stooge, would like to convince himself we’re on the defensive.

Dream on stooge and watch who is on the offensive,


Our holy warriors of the Nusra Front and their associates are always at the forefront of every offensive.

April 28th, 2013, 11:14 pm


revenire said:

Visitor Al Arabiya? Oh yeah – that’s the paper that said Assad was living on a Russian ship in the Mediterranean.

They had a great story about the war being over and a caliphate in Syria the other day. Do you have a link to that one?

April 28th, 2013, 11:29 pm


ann said:

Syrians play down military intervention after chemical weapons’ talks – 2013-04-29

• Syrians considered them as no more than new pressure cards on the Syrian administration
• Obama has warned Syria that using chemical weapons would be a “game changer”
• Syrian Information Minister said the U.S. and British accusations are a “barefaced lie”


DAMASCUS, April 28 (Xinhua) — Despite mounting talks of possible military intervention in Syria following recent U.S. statements about Syria’s use of chemical weapons, most Syrians downplayed their significance and considered them as no more than new pressure cards on the Syrian administration.

“I don’t think it’s a serious threat… They simply want to raise the ceiling of bargaining, especially as the government has showed over more than two years a defiant attitude and didn’t bow to their pressures,” said Alya, 39-year-old housewife.

Syria has denied the accusation, and Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zouebi told Russian television Saturday that the U.S. and British accusations are a “barefaced lie.”

Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, said that imposing a no-fly zone cannot be done without a unanimous resolution by the UN Security Council.

His comments came in the context of a response to the words of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry about the imposition of no-fly zone in the event of proven use of chemical weapons.

Jaafari said in an interview with a Lebanese TV channel that raising the issue of chemical weapons in Syria is one of the pressures exerted on the Syrian people and the government alike for obtaining political concessions.

Syrians have growing confidence that the crisis in the country would be solved only through political channels owing to Russia and Iran’s firm backing of the government. They are fully convinced that the United States couldn’t act without Russia’s approval as any military intervention requires a unanimous UN resolution.

“Has he (Obama) got finally Russia’s assurances that it will not veto once again a UN resolution on Syria?” said Munir, an engineer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reportedly said that he would defend the Syrian government even if the fighting moves to Moscow’s streets and pledged that he will not allow the Libyan scenario to be repeated in Syria.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Saturday that claims that chemical weapons have been used in Syria should not become a pretext for a foreign military intervention in the country.

“If there is serious evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, it should be presented immediately and not concealed,” said Bogdanov, Putin’s Middle East envoy, during a visit to Beirut.

“If they are able to intervene in Syria, they would have done that a long time ago,” Munir said. “The Americans are aware that Syria, with the support of its allies, would respond and the first target would be Israel, America’s main ally in the region.”



April 28th, 2013, 11:39 pm


ann said:

Syria Rebels’ Al Nusra Links Excused, As Mali MNLA Judged, and Targeted by UN

By Matthew Russell Lee


UNITED NATIONS, April 26 — Where is Mali headed? On April 25 after the adoption of the French drafted resolution on Mali in the UN Security Council, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Gerard Araud what will happen with Kidal and the MNLA, a Tuareg group.

Araud replied that there can be only one Malian Army. Inner City Press asked Mali’s foreign minister Coulibaly if the UN force would disarm the MNLA, and he said: ask the UN.

(French UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told Inner City Press, when asked “who will disarm the MNLA, “I do not respond to you, Mister.” Video here.)

But it occurs — the MNLA are being judged for having made the mistake of being aligned or mixed with Islamists. Now, it’s said, they have lost legitimacy, and it is fair for the UN to (be used by France and Bamako) disarm them.

But how does this compare to the opposition in Syria, which without question became intertwined with the Islamists of the Al Nusra Front, which has acknowledged allegiance with Al Qaeda?

In Syria, France and others make excuses for the Syrian opposition; the EU even removes sanctions so that oil can be sold from rebel held areas. (Russia says the money will go to Al Nusra, and no one has described any safeguards that this will not be the case.)

Why excuse the Syrian opposition’s intertwining with Islamists, but not the MNLA’s?



April 28th, 2013, 11:51 pm


revenire said:

More propaganda from Juergen. Yawn. Big yawn.

April 29th, 2013, 12:05 am


ann said:

Qatar on Syria on “WEOG” Agenda Friday, After UN’s Feltman, Eastern European Qatar

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoop


UNITED NATIONS, April 26 — The UN’s Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman is meeting today with the Western European and Other Group, WEOG in UN parlance. Then WEOG meets with Qatar about its draft General Assembly resolution on Syria. Some find this of note.

As Inner City Press first reported, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have run into opposition to aspects of their draft resolution, particularly its positive treatment of recognitions received by the Syrian opposition.

Inner City Press obtained and exclusively published the letters to Qatar from six Latin American countries, India and South Africa (IBSA) and Malaysia.

What will WEOG have to say to Qatar, in terms of getting a “yes” count high enough to merit putting it to the vote in General Assembly? What would Feltman have to say?

In fairness, Feltman and DPA have been asked to brief about the special political mission; Inner City Press has learned that Feltman will brief the Eastern European group on Monday. Will Qatar go and brief Eastern Europeans as well?



April 29th, 2013, 12:06 am


MarigoldRan said:

More idiocy from the retard.

April 29th, 2013, 12:11 am


Juergen said:

Obama should remember Rwanda as he weighs action in Syria

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By Anne-Marie Slaughter, Published: April 27

Anne-Marie Slaughter is a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University. She was director of policy planning at the State Department from 2009 to 2011.

“As President Obama and his advisers look for “more conclusive evidence” that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against his people, he would do well to remember this shameful moment. The evidence Obama is reviewing first surfaced in December, when the U.S. consul in Istanbul sent a cable detailing interviews with victims and observers of an attack in Homs just before Christmas and concluding that it was likely that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons.”

April 29th, 2013, 12:58 am


ann said:

U.S. in no hurry to go after Assad’s chemical weapons – Apr.29, 2013

A major operation would involve ‘boots on the ground’ – precisely the scenario that President Obama is seeking to avoid

The current controversy was sparked by comments by the head of the research division of IDF Military Intelligence, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, who last week spoke of Israel’s assessment that the nerve gas sarin had been used in the war in Syria


Behind the dispute between the United States and other Western countries over how the Bashar Assad regime made use of chemical weapons lies a genuine American concern over involvement in Syria’s civil war. The Obama administration is concerned not only about the possible political implications of a military operation to neutralize Syria’s chemical weapons stocks, but also the practical difficulties in carrying out such an operation.

When the danger of the chemical weapons first became a subject of public discourse in Israel close to a year ago, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz spoke at a session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee about two possible types of action: a large-scale ground operation on Syrian soil, or a targeted air assault on convoys trying to smuggle chemical weapons to Hezbollah, for example. Gantz hinted that if action became necessary, he would aim for the second option.

If Israel is not interested in a wide-scale operation to foil the threat, that’s true all the more so for the United States. A major operation would involve “boots on the ground” − the dispatch of ground troops that would result in casualties − precisely the scenario that U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to avoid at a time when America is still licking its wounds from the two wars initiated by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In briefings recently for American media representatives, administration officials have said that removing the chemical weapons threat in Syria would require ground operations involving no fewer than 75,000 U.S. troops, probably with assistance from other countries. They would include mainly commando units, intelligence forces and experts in the neutralization of chemical weaponry. Administration sources say the West is aware of at least 18 sites where President Bashar Assad’s regime maintains chemical weapons. There have been several instances in which Assad ordered the transfer of chemical and biological weapons stocks from areas of heavy fighting against rebels to areas thought a bit more secure for their storage.

A military operation in Syria would require precise intelligence at an extraordinary level. It’s reasonable to assume that it would also involve military resistance on the part of the Assad regime, both in defense of the sites themselves and with the goal of portraying the war in a manner that Assad has had difficulty doing: as a joint plot of the West and Al-Qaida against the enlightened regime in Damascus to overthrow it. Intelligence experts are divided over whether Iran and Hezbollah would help defend the Syrian chemical weapon sites in the event of a U.S.-led military operation targeting them. But that would just be the beginning of America’s headache.

The weaponry would have to be collected on the ground and perhaps transported outside of Syria so it could be neutralized and buried; either that or the facilities in which the weapons are stored would have to be destroyed. That’s a task of rare proportions which would take many months to carry out, even if the capture of the weapons proceeded more easily than expected. All of these are good reasons on the administration’s part to avoid action as much as possible.

The lack of enthusiasm in Washington for a new military undertaking is apparent both when it comes to Syria and in connection with the lengthy discussions with Israel over how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. But Iran at least looks like a challenge that some of the experts believe could be overcome with a targeted air operation lasting only a few days. No one has illusions that an assault targeting Syria’s chemical weapons could be wrapped up so quickly. Nonetheless, the Americans, as is their style, have preparations in order for such a possibility. According to Arab media, commando forces from the United States and Jordan have already been training for several months for such a task. A recent Jordanian report caused a major stir in that country, stating that the Americans had sent a rescue team of 200 men to Jordan, along with headquarters staff from an armored division, in preparation for a future intervention in Syria. The report has already sparked protest demonstrations in Amman.



April 29th, 2013, 1:10 am


ann said:

“President Bashar Assad’s palace” What palace?! The man lives in a house, not a palace!

FSA says Israeli jets hit chemical site – April 28, 2013


DAMASCUS, Syria, April 28 (UPI) — The Free Syrian Army says Israeli air force jets flew over President Bashar Assad’s palace and bombed a chemical weapons site near Damascus, Maariv reported.

The report said Israeli jets entered Syrian airspace close to 6 a.m Saturday and flew over Assad’s palace in Damascus and other security facilities before striking a chemical weapons compound near the city.

The Hebrew language daily said a Syrian army air defense battery positioned in the city fired at the Israeli jets, but the aircraft left Syrian airspace unscathed. FSA rebels posted a video showing smoke rising from the headquarters for chemical weapons.

There were no reports of the extent of damage or casualties.

Neither Damascus nor Jerusalem responded to the report.



April 29th, 2013, 1:24 am


Citizen said:

Washington’s «Civil Society» and CIA Financing of Chechen and Other Caucasus Regional Terrorists
Wayne MADSEN | 29.04.2013 | 00:00

Through a myriad of «civil society» organizations, the United States has been financing Chechen groups inside the autonomous republic, in Russia, and abroad. However, large portions of U.S. assistance money has «bled» over to support Chechen and other North Caucasus terrorist groups, which the U.S. State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies insist on referring to as «separatist guerrillas», «nationalists», «insurgents», and «rebels», instead of terrorists.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has continuously refused to refer to Chechen and Islamic Emirate terrorists operating in Russia as «terrorists». NSA analysis reports of signals intelligence (SIGINT) intercepts of Russian police, Federal Security Bureau (FSB), Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), and Russian military communications, including radio, landline and cellular telephone, fax, text message, and fax, have, since 2003, referred to Chechen and North Caucasus terrorists as «guerrillas». Prior to that year, TOP SECRET Codeword internal NSA directives stated that Chechen terrorists were to be called «rebels».

Imagine the surprise if the United States began referring to «Al Qaeda» as Islamist guerrillas and rebels instead of terrorists. Yet, that is exactly how the NSA and CIA have referred to terrorists in Russia that have launched deadly attacks on airports, trains, subway stations, schools, and movie theaters throughout the Russian Federation.

U.S. «humanitarian» and «civil society» assistance to radical Islamist groups has, for the past three decades, filtered into the coffers of terrorist groups celebrated as «freedom fighters» in Washington. This was the case with U.S. support for the Afghan Mujaheddin through such groups as the Committee for a Free Afghanistan during the Islamist insurgency against the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s and the Bosnia Defense Fund in the 1990s. In the case of Afghanistan, U.S. and Saudi money ended up in the hands of insurgents who would later form «Al Qaeda» and in Bosnia U.S. funds were used by Al Qaeda elements fighting against Yugoslavia and the Bosnian Serb Republic and, later, Al Qaeda elements supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in its war against Serbia.

After revelations that an entity called the Caucasus Fund was used by the CIA-linked Jamestown Foundation of Washington, DC to sponsor seminars on the North Caucasus in Tbilisi from January to July 2012, Georgian authorities moved to shut down the fund. The reason given by Georgia was that the organization had «fulfilled its stated mission». Caucasus Fund and Jamestown Foundation events were attended by accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a citizen of Kyrgyzstan born to parents from Dagestan. Jamestown had previously held a seminar in Tbilisi on «Hidden Nations» in the Caucasus, which, among other issues, promoted a «Greater Circassia» in the Caucasus.

U.S. «civil society» aid to groups fomenting terrorism, nationalism, separatism, and irredentism in the Caucasus is either direct through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) or covert through organizations funded by George Soros’s Open Society Institute.

Much can be learned about U.S. backing for terrorist groups operating in the North Caucasus from information gleaned from the tranche of a quarter million leaked classified State Department cables.

A November 12, 2009 Confidential cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow implies that the Carnegie Center NGO in Moscow be engaged to stymie Russia’s political and economic goals in the North Caucasus, particularly by taking advantage of 50 percent unemployment in Ingushetiya and 30 percent in Chechnya. Areas of high unemployment in the Muslim world have served as prime recruiting grounds for Wahhabist and Salafist radical clerics financed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the emirates of Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah. Dagestan is cited in a June 8, 2009 embassy Moscow cable as Russia’s «weakest link» in the Caucasus region.

A Confidential September 16, 2009 cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow indicates that Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon was urged to push the concept that the Ramzan Kadyrov government in Chechnya had «neither control nor stability». The NGO Caucasian Knot told Gordon at a meeting at the U.S. embassy that «foreign fighters» were joining a jihad in the region and that there was a «Hobson’s Choice» between «terrorists» and «corrupt local government». Apparently, the Obama administration decided, likely with the strong support of then deputy national security adviser and current CIA director John O. Brennan, a confirmed Saudiphile and a participant in the Hadj pilgrimage to Mecca, opted for the terrorists.

Other leaked Confidential cables provide in-depth details on U.S., British, and Norwegian support for exiled «Chechen-Ichkeria» leader Akhmed Zakayev, a close friend of the late exiled Russo-Israeli tycoon Boris Berezovsky. A July 29, 2009 Confidential cable from the U.S. embassy in Oslo quotes the head of the Russian section at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, Odd Skagestad, as telling the American embassy there that Zakayev was the «legitimate representative of not just the Chechen exile community, but of Chechens in Chechnya», although he added that «Zakayev is on various INTERPOL lists» for suspected terrorist links. Skagestad stated the Norwegian PST, Norway’s FBI, ignored INTERPOL arrest warrants and permitted Zakayev to visit Norway from his place of exile in London. The Oslo embassy also stated that the Norwegian head of the «Chechnya Peace Forum», Ivar Amundsen, was very «tight lipped» about his activities and that he was a close friend of the late renegade ex-Russian intelligence officer Alexander Litvinenko. Zakayev has also received significant support from the governments of Denmark, Finland, and the Czech Republic, where there are active Chechen exile community. The Kavkaz Center, which runs a pro-Caucasus Emirate website, provides an important public relations service for Emirate leader Doku Umarov’s terrorist cells in southern Russia…

Ruslan Zaindi Tsarnaev, the Maryland-based uncle of suspected bombers Tamerlan and Dzokhar Dudayev, established the Congress of Chechen International Organizations, Incorporated, in Maryland on August 17, 1995 and in the District of Columbia on September 22, 1995. The Maryland entity’s status was forfeited and is not in good standing, likely because of delinquency in filing required fees and forms. The District of Columbia corporate entity was active for 17 years and seven months. Interestingly, the DC corporate status was revoked at around the time of the Boston Marathon bombings. Ruslan Tsarnaev, also known as Ruslan Tsarni, a graduate of Duke University Law School in North Carolina, worked for USAID in Kazakhstan and other countries in preparing them for vulture capitalist enterprises such as derivative financing and hedge funds.

The Maryland address for the Congress of Chechen International Organizations is listed in Maryland corporate records as 11114 Whisperwood Lane, Rockville, Maryland 20852, which is the address for Graham E. Fuller.

Fuller is a former Russian-speaking CIA official, including station chief in Kabul and vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council during the 1980s Iran-contra scandal, with which Fuller was heavily involved. Fuller has been active in events sponsored by the Jamestown Foundation, including keynoting an October 29, 2008 conference titled «Turkey & the Caucasus after Georgia».

Fuller’s daughter, Samantha Ankara Fuller, is a UK and US dual national who is listed as a director of Insource Energy, Ltd. of the UK, a firm owned by Carbon Trust, a not-for-profit company «with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy». According to the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority’s Financial Services Register, Samantha Ankara Fuller’s previous name was Mrs. Samantha Ankara Tsarnaev. She was the wife of Ruslan Tsarnaev and ex-aunt of the two accused Boston Marathon bombers. At the time of her marriage to Ruslan Tsarnaev, Fuller was an investment adviser to Dresdner Bank, J P Morgan Ltd. in the UK, J P Morgan Securities, and J P Morgan Chase Bank, according to the UK Financial Services Register.

Ruslan Tsarnaev is the vice president for business development and corporate secretary for Big Sky Energy Corporation, headquartered in Calgary, Canada with the headquarters of its Big Sky Group holding company located in Little Rock, Arkansas.

North Carolina court records indicate that the Tsarnaevs were married in North Carolina in 1995, the year Ruslan established the Congress of Chechen International Organizations in Washington, DC and Maryland, and divorced in 1999. The divorce was granted in Orange County, North Carolina.

It is noteworthy that the Washington DC corporate registration agent for the Congress of Chechen International Organizations is Prentice-Hall.

Prentice-Hall is owned by Pearson, the publishing and educational firm based in London that owns the Financial Times and fifty percent of The Economist Group. In 1986, the Economist Group bought the New York-based Business International Corporation (BIC), the CIA front company for which Barack Obama, Jr. served as an employee from 1983 to 1984, and folded it into the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The other uncle of the alleged Boston bombers, Alvi S. Tsaranev of Silver Spring, Maryland, not far from his brother Ruslan’s home, is apparently affiliated with another Chechen exile organization, the United States-Chechen Republic Alliance Inc., with an address of 8920 Walden Road, Silver Spring, Maryland 20901-3823. The address is also that of Alvi S. Tsarnaev. The registered officer for the organization is listed U.S. Internal Revenue Service filings as Lyoma Usmanov. The organization is registered as a charitable organization engaged in «International Economic Development».

In the book, Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy Toward Russia after the Cold War, by James M. Goldgeier and Michael McFaul, the latter the present activist and neo-conservative U.S. ambassador to Russia who has directly intervened in Russian politics to seek the ouster of President Vladimir Putin from power and stir up secessionist, religious, and political extremists throughout the Russian Federation. According to this book, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezezinki was Usmanov’s sponsor in the United States: «Brzezinski helped to establish and finance Chechen representation in the United States headed by Usmanov».

Another U.S.-based group that has championed the Chechen movement, regardless of the presence of terrorist entities, is the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC), formerly known as the American Committee for Peace in Chechnya. The ACPC was founded in 1999 by Freedom House, a Cold War right-wing group that has been financed by the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID-funded groups. The ACPC has defended the political asylum in the U.S. of former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov, accused of past terrorist links. The ACPC and Freedom House work with the Jamestown Foundation, founded in 1984 by CIA director William Casey, along with high-ranking intelligence defectors from the Soviet Union, Romania, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.

An October 17, 2008 Sensitive cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow outlines the priorities for USAID and NGOs in their operations in the North Caucasus. The cable states that the North Caucasus Program was active in North Ossetia and Kabardino-Balkaria and was working with local NGOs. The cable states explicitly that USAID’s mission in the North Caucasus was to «advance critical U.S. interests». USAID-specified «hot zones» included Chechnya, Ingushetia, and the Elbruz region of Kabardino-Balkaria. The USAID North Caucasus Program focused on four key regions: Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, and Dagestan, plus Krasnodarsky Krai, Adygea Republic, Karachay-Cherkessia, Stavropolsky Krai, and Kabardino-Balkarskaya Republic……..

April 29th, 2013, 1:35 am


ann said:

Israel’s new cabinet holds first meeting on Syria policy – Apr. 28, 2013


Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz spoke about the issue to reporters before Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting. “With or without chemical weapons, the world can’t remain silent in the face of what’s happening in Syria,” Peretz said. “The international community should have actively intervened long ago, with military force if necessary.”

“Naturally,” he added, “if there is evidence of the use of chemical weapons, we would expect those who have set red lines to also do what’s necessary – first and foremost the United States – and of course the entire international community.”



April 29th, 2013, 1:38 am


Juergen said:


The Damascus house you refer to may be an ugly socialist style building, but what some rightly refer to are the numerous houses and palaces this family has allover the counry. The Quardaha and the Slunfeh mansion I was able to see, and its quite the opposite to that ugly house he lives in Damascus.

April 29th, 2013, 1:52 am


Citizen said:

Syria news: being prepared for open military invasion into the country Confidential reports on the identification of army battalions for military intervention in Syria. Iyad Zhazhi After Syria broke down and succumbed to the global war and making progress Syrian Army began military movements in countries surrounding Syria to start a military intervention in Syria. After a series of setbacks paid terrorist gangs in implementing the goals of the global conspiracy and the war in which the suffering citizens of Syria, these failures have forced all parties to the conspiracy conspiracy to hide behind false pretext, the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian army, creating an auspicious occasion to the barbaric aggression against Syria. This is the justification for Israel, after two years of a terrorist plot aimed at the destruction of the Syrian state. Referring to intelligence reports and witnesses, the sources (military, diplomatic) reported that the team of American and British troops arrived in Israel, Jordan and Turkey in preparation for a gross interference in cooperation with the Israeli forces against Syria, under the guise of fighting with chemical weapons and finding places of storage. Sources say that the American combat group specializing in unconventional weaponry arrived in Israel. In particular, one of the groups are on a military base in the Naqab (Sahara). This American team will work together with the Israeli group and a “Battalion 76”, specializing in unconventional warfare. Also, this group will be supported by special forces from different countries, to put its paw on Syria …. Sources indicate that these teams will be managed from the joint military operational headquarters. Based on the plan, these operating headquarters, military work of Israel, England and America. Recently arrived in Israel in recent weeks. The sources added that the number of U.S. military personnel (managers headquarters), stationed in Israel, Turkey and Jordan – 800 people plus their equipment. Additionally, half of that number of soldiers from the UK and Ankara for a stronger presence on the ground. At the end of last year, in Israel, carried out joint Israeli-American exercise, which was attended by the military, which deal with non-conventional weapons. Sources confirmed that Israel since 2008, began openly to train in an attack on Syria, and continued this exercise next year, despite the fact that in 2009 there were peace talks between Syria and Israel, in the sense that most of the military plans that activated today, is the product of preparation, continuing for many years and is based primarily on the results of the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbulla when Syria agreed on condition of restraint. Syria committed non-interference and non-public participation does not mean that Syria is not available at the scene of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, because Syria has supported Hezbollah, or by delivery of rockets and missiles, or by providing intelligence to Hezbollah. How about sources cited European diplomats that any future confrontation against Syria would not only against Syria, it will also be against Hezbollah. It was a mutual understanding in this issue between the President of America and the Prime Minister of Israel, during the recent visit of Obama in tel aviv.
/google translation/

April 29th, 2013, 1:52 am


Juergen said:

Good life goes on as Syrian elite sit out war
“Look at this display and you feel all is well, life is good and everything is here,” said an elegantly dressed Hiyam Jabri, 50, as she placed her order at the delicatessen counter in the mall’s main supermarket.


April 29th, 2013, 1:55 am


ann said:

Israel Minister: US Should Intervene in Syrian War – April 28, 2013


An Israeli Cabinet minister has called on the U.S to intervene in the Syrian civil war after intelligence reports of chemical weapons use there.

The U.S has warned such weapons cross a red line and last week said the weapons were probably used. Israel says they were used.

Environment Minister Amir Peretz said Sunday action should have been taken long ago due to the high civilian death toll. “We expect whoever defines red lines will also do what is needed, first and foremost the U.S. and of course the entire international community.”



April 29th, 2013, 1:57 am


Juergen said:

Bomb targets Syrian prime minister in Damascus, but he’s uninjured


April 29th, 2013, 4:47 am



LOL, dog poop athad lives not in a palace, but in a house. A house full of $4,000 vases, $6,000 side tables, $15,000 worth of candlesticks paraphernalia, along with tonnes of crystal-encrusted 16cm high heels from Christian Louboutin at $5,500 a pop. A typical damascus house for athma and dog-poop and their brats.

April 29th, 2013, 5:02 am


ann said:

Syrian Saudi Clash at UNSC – Apr 27, 2013

April 29th, 2013, 6:58 am


ann said:

Syrian PM condemns blast targeting his convoy – 2013-04-29


DAMASCUS, April 29 (Xinhua) — Syrian Prime Minister Wael al- Halqi condemned on Monday the blast that has earlier in the day targeted his convoy, calling the attack a sign of the rebels’ ” bankruptcy.”

Earlier on Monday, a booby-trapped car went off in Syria’s capital Damascus’ district of al-Mazzeh while al-Halqi’s convoy was passing by, local media said.

The prime minister left unscathed, but the explosion killed eight people and injured many others.

One of al-Halqi’s escorts is believed to have been killed in the attack, reports said.

The state TV ran footage of the aftermath of the blast, showing a deep hole on the ground and the destruction caused to the area, which is near the Electricity Directorate in the western part of al-Mazzeh and also close to a park and a school.

Not long after, the TV aired live footage of al-Halqi chairing a routine meeting with some officials in the Syrian Cabinet on economic issues.

The prime minister said after the meeting that the blast is a sign of the bankruptcy of the armed groups in Syria and their backers after the victories of the Syrian army.

Such explosions are a result of the Syrian people’s determination to implement the political initiative of President Bashar al-Assad to solve the Syrian crisis, he said.



April 29th, 2013, 7:12 am


ann said:

WMD issue in Syria cannot be used in geopolitical games: Russia – 2013-04-29


MOSCOW, April 29 (Xinhua) — The use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Syria is an issue not to be used for geopolitical purpose, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

“There are countries and external players who believe that all methods are good for overthrowing the Syrian regime. However, the issue of the use of weapons of mass destruction is too serious and we can’t joke with it,” Lavrov told reporters at a press conference.

Russia saw it “unacceptable” to use the WMD issue as a pretext of pursuing certain geopolitical interests, the diplomat said.

“I believe it is unacceptable to use it and speculate on it,” he added.



April 29th, 2013, 7:16 am


ann said:

Russia denies pressing Hezbollah to withdraw militants from Syria – 2013-04-29


BEIRUT, April 29 (Xinhua) — The Russian ambassador in Beirut denied on Monday reports alleging that Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had pressured Hezbollah to withdraw its fighters from Syria.

“The meetings conducted by Bogdanov with Hezbollah included assessments and analysis of the situation, and no specific demands have been discussed,” Alexander Zaspikin was quoted as saying by the An Nahar daily.

As for the possible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government in its fight against rebels, Zaspikin said such claims “should be carefully verified and the truth should be revealed and not exaggerated.”

He meanwhile warned against attempts to “interfere in Syria and escalate the situation” by forming an investigation team to probe the possible use of chemical weapons.

During his three-day visit to Lebanon, Bogdanov held two meetings with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to discuss “the general developments particularly in Lebanon and Syria,” according to a statement by Hezbollah.



April 29th, 2013, 7:21 am


ann said:

Syrian Customs Confiscate Large Quantities of Drugs – Apr 28, 2013

258,000 Captagon pills confiscated and the Wahhabi Pedophile Terrorists will have to face death in reality and not in their virtual world

April 29th, 2013, 7:28 am


ann said:

Mazzeh Explosion Targeting Syrian Prime Minister – Apr 29, 2013

Explosive device planted in a car remotely detonated near a school in upscale Mazzeh Western Villas in Damascus targeting Syrian Prime Minister Wael Halqi

April 29th, 2013, 7:34 am


Akbar Palace said:

The Spammy NewZ Network – Comments

Comment #1:


Please tell the Russian terror-supporter to enjoy a nice hot cup of STFU!


April 29th, 2013, 7:43 am


ann said:

`israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon – Fri April 26, 2013


`israel is asking the United States to take the lead in crafting a response to the evidence of chemical weapons.

“I think the U.S., as the leader of the Western world, should lead the efforts with our partners in Europe and Israel and to take action with what we’re seeing happening today in Syria,” Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told CNN on Friday.



April 29th, 2013, 8:34 am


Visitor said:

Akbar Palace,

In your previous comment you asked very valid questions about why the Syrians don’t seek weapons from certain governments and continue to level charges against the US admin. for not providing such weapons.

I always make comments addressing these valid questions of yours. In my opinion, the Syrians must rely on their own resources in order to achieve their objectives. They should never accept anything from the US or other Western States.

Having said that, you should be aware that SC commentators by no means represent the sentiments of the Syrian people who are in Syria fighting the criminal regime. Neither do these personalities like Khatib or Hitto and by extension the whole of NC/SNC. Most of these are either impostors, novices or outright failures and have no clue whatsoever about leading revolutions. The sentiment of the people of Syria who are actively fighting the dictator is at the opposite extreme. They want to do NOTHING with the manipulative evil of the US admin. and they are quite content in relying upon themselves to acquire weapons by various means. They have proven to be quite resourceful in this regard. Comparing the state of the armed groups to a year ago one could easily see the quantum jump in the quality and quantity of weapons in their possessions.

April 29th, 2013, 9:00 am


revenire said:

Visitor outside of captured weapons all the weapons come from the West. The entire “revolution” is a US project. You sure have been sold a gigantic mythology about some sort of holy war.

Without the influx of aid from the West – weapons and money – the whole thing collapses.

Your leaders beg for weapons every chance they get. You’re lying about that. You can see dozens and dozens of videos where they beg for weapons and help.

Drug money funds the terrorists.

April 29th, 2013, 9:06 am


revenire said:

Visitor you’re obviously an expert on the Koran. Can you cite the parts where beheadings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, narcotics trafficking, weapons-running, rape and sodomy are?

Thanks holy warrior.

April 29th, 2013, 9:35 am


revenire said:

Monday Joke for the Day:

Putin vs Obama

April 29th, 2013, 9:45 am


ziad said:

Giving Food to Shia Muslim is a crime deserve Death Penalty !!

April 29th, 2013, 9:45 am


zoo said:

The embattled Islamists rebels resort again to assassination.

The revolution seems to have aborted lamentably because the revolutionists were unable to force the government out, even when they got huge foreign financial and political help a well as military help from Arab countries, Al Qaeda and other Islamists groups.

The war is now a war between a state weakened by a failed revolution that pitted Syrians against Syrians and Islamist terrorists trying to take advantage of the West’s regional agenda. The West is determined to crush a government that has dared to defy them and has been undermining Israel for decades Yet, it is now wondering if by doing so, they will not offer Syria on a golden plate to Al Qaeda.

April 29th, 2013, 10:06 am


zoo said:

Really? We thought that France ‘cleaned’ Mali from terrorists.

Libya faces growing Islamist threat


Exclusive: Diplomats warn that militants squeezed out of Mali by western intervention are hitting targets in Tripoli
Diplomats are warning of growing Islamist violence against western targets in Libya as blowback from the war in Mali, following last week’s attack on the French embassy in Tripoli.

The bomb blast that wrecked much of the embassy is seen as a reprisal by Libyan militants for the decision by Paris the day before to extend its military mission against fellow jihadists in Mali.

The Guardian has learned that jihadist groups ejected from their Timbuktu stronghold have moved north, crossing the Sahara through Algeria and Niger to Libya, fuelling a growing Islamist insurgency.

“There are established links between groups in both Mali and Libya – we know there are established routes,” said a western diplomat in Tripoli. “There is an anxiety among the political class here that Mali is blowing back on them.”

April 29th, 2013, 10:17 am


ziad said:

Robert Fisk: This was supposed to be a ‘game changer’ week in Syria, so why is it all the same?

Then there are Syria’s chemical weapons. Last week’s hair-raising “red line” headlines transmogrified Obama into King Lear (“I will do such things – what they are yet, I know not…”) with his usual double-speak: “this is going to be a game-changer”, but it’s only a “preliminary assessment”. So forget red lines.

And so no change. Two more years of war? Three? History is a cruel master. For last autumn that wonderful inscription was blasted off the Aleppo citadel wall by rebel explosives. So much for the guardian of frontiers and the suppressor of rebels.


April 29th, 2013, 10:21 am


Akbar Palace said:


Can you explain to me, again, why supporting Assad is so important?

Do you think Syrians have not yet evolved to the point where they should be able to pick their leaders and have freedoms?

April 29th, 2013, 10:40 am


zoo said:

Syria: The Only Red Line Should Be To Stay Out


Syria is a civil war, not genocide. The killings are awful, but that is what happens in low-tech conflicts. Two sides, with the military balance steadily equalizing, are battling for control of the country. Such a struggle is unlikely to have a good outcome, whoever prevails.

Indeed, Syria’s two sides reflect the stark choice that Washington has faced throughout the Arab Spring. One side is stable dictatorship. The other side is a messy mix of democrats and authoritarians, in which the most radical elements are gaining influence if not control. Even if regime opponents win, the fighting is not likely to stop. Rather, Assad’s ouster would merely trigger combat over who would win control of the Syrian government, and whether there would even be a Syrian government in control of the entire country. Reprisals against regime supporters and religious minorities would be likely.

Claims that early American intervention could have imposed a simple and clean settlement are illusory.

The Syrian civil war will end badly. Unfortunately, the U.S. can’t make it end any better. Washington should stay out of the conflict.

April 29th, 2013, 10:49 am


revenire said:

AP you’re not serious. You’re here to ridicule Syria and its government. You dismiss the fact Assad has the overwhelming majority of Syrians supporting him.

Why is the question one of Assad leaving? Who set that up? The United States? Israel? A few puppets that were appointed by the West? The Muslim Brotherhood?

You answer me first okay? I doubt you can.

April 29th, 2013, 11:00 am


zoo said:

Failed? Rebels attempt to control 3 airbases in northern Syria: report

04-29-2013 16:33 BJT

DAMASCUS, April 29 (Xinhua) — Thousands of rebel fighters have massed in northern Syria in the hope of storming three military airports in the region, but the Syrian troops have succeeded so far in keeping them out, a pro-government newspaper reported Monday.

The rebels, from different factions, have beefed up in the vicinity of Koerce, Menngh and Abu-Alduhur airbases in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, to take part in their ” largest military operation” to control the three bases, al-Watan daily said.

However, their attempt has not yielded fruit yet, the paper said, denying reports by anti-Syrian government TVs that the rebels have managed to storm parts of those airports.

Backed by the air force, the troops have succeeded in repulsing the “intensive, successive attacks” and killed tens of the armed men and destroyed their military gears, the paper said.

April 29th, 2013, 11:03 am


revenire said:

These guy’s idea of taking an airbase is attacking it and being killed. That qualifies as a victory for the holy warriors.

I am still waiting for the FSA air force, piloted by Capt. Omen, to attack Assad on his Russian ship.

The Russian story was a stellar moment for Josh Landis and his SC experts.

Note Matt Barber won’t answer if he would have let Al-Qaeda murder civilians, police and army soldiers in Daraa when the “revolution” started.

April 29th, 2013, 11:27 am


Akbar Palace said:

If you answer my simple questions you get a free dinner at TGI Friday’s

AP you’re not serious. You’re here to ridicule Syria and its government. You dismiss the fact Assad has the overwhelming majority of Syrians supporting him.


I am quite serious. We have been banging on everyone’s head trying to figure why 80,000 Syrians/terrorists had to die. SO I am just trying to hit the “restart button” to ask you the obvious: why is supporting any single person worth this mess?

Why is the question one of Assad leaving?

My feeling is that if Assad stepped down, respectfully, and called for political parties, new constitution, and elections, Syrians could have been spared all these deaths and all this destuction.

Please explain to me how I am wrong.

Who set that up?

Who set what up? Assad had it in his power to do what I suggested above. No?

The United States? Israel?


I don’t think the United States and Israel are killing too many Syrians. But say there are, couldn’t this have been avoided if Assad stepped down and called for immediate reforms?

A few puppets that were appointed by the West? The Muslim Brotherhood?

If Assad stepped down and called for reforms and continued to be the head of the Baathist party, perhaps he would have won a real election with other parties competing. No?

You answer me first okay? I doubt you can.


I just answer all of your questions honestly. Who cares who goes first? Just answer MY questions!

April 29th, 2013, 11:29 am


revenire said:

AP why would Assad have had to do anything? I don’t accept your narrative of events but I will entertain you.

Let’s say Assad stepped down the first time someone asked him to. Okay. He is gone. Do you have proof that anything would be different today? Say he stepped down and a new government was instituted. What if this new government was not to the liking of the foreign powers arming the rebels? Then what? How about to the Salafists who want a caliphate and the new government was a secular one? Then what? Are you saying this mythic opposition would have the power to snap its fingers and make Al-Qaeda go away? Do you have proof of that? Seems to me you’re guessing based on something you read or believe. Let me read it too.

Who is to say that if Assad had left 150,000 would not be dead? The army fights for Syria – not just Assad. A president is a symbol – he is not God.

Syria is under attack. Assad has little to do with it except he is president and as president symbolizes the stand of Syria as an independent nation.

Again – you say the US and Israel isn’t killing Syrians. Who is arming the rebels except the West? Your statements are what are called a fallacy of composition in that you proceed from a wrong premise. Out of the dead how many are soldiers? Government supporters? Civilians who want no part of either side? None? 50%? 20%? You can assign blame to Assad but this gets you and I no place in a hurry.

I don’t accept your narrative. It is like me suggesting Obama should step down because he is killing Americans. Who would listen to me? Yet when he has millions to arm Al-Qaeda yet denies people with cancer care in the US – as he has done – that kills Americans. He is not legitimate and needs to step down.

Get my point?

You want me to accept that Assad must go and further assert if he had done all would be well. Who says? Can you please help me understand what fanciful person believes that? Is it you?

April 29th, 2013, 11:55 am


Akbar Palace said:

MOre Answers

AP why would Assad have had to do anything?


Assad doesn’t have to do anything. That’s where we are today.

I don’t accept your narrative of events but I will entertain you.


Let’s say Assad stepped down the first time someone asked him to. Okay. He is gone. Do you have proof that anything would be different today?

One cannot “prove” anything would be different, but let’s look at Egypt. There could have been a election, and the Baath party could have participated. The people would have stopped demonstrating because their demands would have been met.

Say he stepped down and a new government was instituted. What if this new government was not to the liking of the foreign powers arming the rebels?

Who cares about foreign powers? The point is, the demonstrations would have stopped before all these jihadists came pouring in, which really only began about 6 – 12 months after.

Then what?

Then the Syrians would have held elections and a certain party or coalition would have been VOTED in with all the reforms Syrians deserve.

How about to the Salafists who want a caliphate and the new government was a secular one?

Don’t you trust the right of the people to decide? If there is no “clear” winner or majority, than two or more parties would have to work together (aka coalition).

Then what?

Then freedom, not war, no 80000 dead, no cities in ruble. Sounds pretty good to me compared to where we are today.

Are you saying this mythic opposition would have the power to snap its fingers and make Al-Qaeda go away?

Nothing is “mythic”. After 2 years this “civil war” turned out to be an Assad vs. jihadists war with mostly unarmed civilians in-between. What I’m saying is, before the jihadists took over this fight, before they entered Syria from the outside, the demonstrations would have ended if Assad made these reforms and acted like an unselfish, progressive Syrian trying to lead his people into the 21st century.

Do you have proof of that?

There cannot be any proof for “what-if” scenarios, but don’t you think this would have been BETTER than where we are today?

Seems to me you’re guessing based on something you read or believe. Let me read it too.

There is nothing to read. It is just MHO. Poke holes in it. Tell me why Assad stepping down and instituting these reforms would NOT have worked to stop the demonstrations, which led to this civil war.

Who is to say that if Assad had left 150,000 would not be dead?

Because if he met the demands of the people, they would have STOPPED demonstrating and they would have participated in a free election for the first time in their lives. Look around. Egypt, Iraq, it can be done.

The army fights for Syria – not just Assad. A president is a symbol – he is not God.

If he is not God why have you supported him through this horrible mess as if he WAS God?

Syria is under attack.

Tell me something I don’t know. Couldn’t this have been averted?

Assad has little to do with it except he is president and as president symbolizes the stand of Syria as an independent nation.

He symbolizes failure. Look at his country. He is the prethident.

Again – you say the US and Israel isn’t killing Syrians.

Not to my knowledge and not in any significant way, unless, of course, you can show me several Americans and Israelis captured in Syria. I believe there are a lot more Iranians and Hezbollah fighters in Syria then Americans and Israelis.

Who is arming the rebels except the West?

Everybody and his mother.

Your statements are what are called a fallacy of composition in that you proceed from a wrong premise.

What is my “wrong premise”?

Out of the dead how many are soldiers? Government supporters?

At the beginning there are articles showing most of the dead were demonstrators and unarmed civilians. Today? I really don’t know.

Civilians who want no part of either side? None? 50%? 20%? You can assign blame to Assad but this gets you and I no place in a hurry.

If you can’t blame the leader, the one in charge, who do you blame? There is no one at a higher level than the Poster God.

I don’t accept your narrative.

“Narrative”? I’m just saying we have Egypt holding elections and not totally falling apart. Why wasn’t this attempted?

It is like me suggesting Obama should step down because he is killing Americans.

Asking Obama to step down??? If the same thing happened in the US, he would either be impeached or we would have had a civil war, which we did in the 1860s. 600,000 Americans perished.

Who would listen to me?

I’ll listen to you if you have an argument and answer my simple question.

Yet when he has millions to arm Al-Qaeda yet denies people with cancer care in the US – as he has done – that kills Americans. He is not legitimate and needs to step down.

If he has done something illegal, he gets impeached, like Clinton. So far, the US Congress has permitted the US to train Syrians. The US congress WANTS more action against Assad.

Get my point?

I’ll get your point if you can tell me why I am wrong.

You want me to accept that Assad must go and further assert if he had done all would be well. Who says?

If Assad called for elections and won, I wouldn’t question anything, just like Morsi won. I cannot question what Egyptians wanted.

April 29th, 2013, 12:28 pm


revenire said:

AP why not debate British Ambassador to Syria from 1991-1993 – Sir Andrew Green? I agree with a lot of what he has said (except about Hafez – who I assert took Syria into the modern world and out of backwardness).

In an op-ed in the Sunday Telegraph, Green shattered the “proof” of Syria’s use of chemical weapons:

Commentary: Arming the Syrian rebels is pouring petrol on the fire
“Assad believes he is fighting for his life. His fall would not only see Syria’s collapse, but could engulf Lebanon and even Iraq. We must look to the alternatives: better a distant hope than an imminent disaster, writes Sir Andrew Green.”

“For the time being, there is some caution about the interpretation of the evidence—and so there should be after the scandalous misuse of intelligence on Iraq WMD. The talk is of ‘limited but growing evidence,’ of ‘varying degrees of confidence,’ and of the small scale of any use. There is not even clear evidence as to which side, if any, is responsible.”

Green notes that Bashar Assad has the support of Alawites, Druse, Kurds, and secular Sunni who prefer “an effectively secular regime to an alternative that might be run by the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“The Alawites and their supporters will fight to the bitter end. With the military support of Russia and Iran, plus the political support of China (all for their own good reasons) the regime can last a while yet. If it eventually falls, Syria will descend into chaos. That is why so many of us who know Syria have been, from the start, strongly opposed to a ‘regime change’ policy, however dressed-up.”

Green’s believes that if Assad goes Al Nusra will come to power after butchering rival opposition factions, leading to chaos in Lebanon, Iraq and beyond.

AP I also note Green believes if Assad went he’d be replaced by a “ruthless” military man so what you’re talking about is not only getting rid of Assad but the entire government and its organs like the party and army. I say this would lead to a bloodbath and hundreds of thousands dead in sectarian genocide.

“As we look over this precipice, we must have the courage to take a pace back. Indeed, we should reverse the policy of arming the opposition. Instead, we should enter into a serious dialogue with the Russians and, if necessary, the Iranians, designed to reduce the flow of weapons to both sides. Only when both sides realize that a military victory is no longer possible can we hope to have the beginnings of a political process. Better a distant hope than an imminent disaster.”

April 29th, 2013, 12:35 pm


revenire said:

AP you’re denying the involvement of foreign powers? On one side you have the former colonial powers (and their satraps like KSA and Qatar) and on the other The BRICS nations (Russia, China, etc.) Iran, Syria and so on.

I don’t accept the dead were innocent demonstrators and any source you cite for that is tainted isn’t it? If you have one source that is not against Assad saying that I’d love to see it.

Why are you wrong? Your premise is wrong and that means your entire argument is wrong. You’re not stupid.

The idea this is about a dictator and oppressed people is wrong. It is about regime change pushed by the West – entirely by the West – not by the Syrian people.

If the Syrian people did not support the government this would be all over. The army would defect en masse and arrest Assad. To date we have seen very few defections and the command structure is strong and intact – despite two years of war and thousands of dead soldiers.

You want to frame the discussion as a struggle between innocent demonstrators and a ruthless government. No. That won’t be happening with me.

I am shocked – in a way – you can support Al-Qaeda. I am sure you don’t overtly support them but when supporting this thing you do you do support them. Many Americans do this AP.

Obama’s support is overt.

The entire chemical weapons charade is Iraq 2.0 or 3.0 and the WMD lies all over again except this time the world recognizes it and will stop it.

I am also surprised you can’t see the hand of the UK etc. against Syria for reasons I’ve outlined for months here. It is baffling to me.

April 29th, 2013, 12:45 pm


Akbar Palace said:

If you answer my questions you get 2 free dinners at Popeye’s

You’re not stupid.

I could be. You have no proof;)

To be brief, please, let’s not talk about anything except two questions you seem to be avoiding:

1.) Tell me why Assad stepping down and instituting these reforms would NOT have worked to stop the demonstrations, which led to this civil war. I have Egypt as a positive example.

2.) Tell me why you think it would be worse than it is today (if Assad stepped down and held multi-party elections).

April 29th, 2013, 1:06 pm


ann said:


Britain ‘less eager’ to arm Syrian rebels following intel on Al-Qaida links – Apr.29, 2013

Government exercising more caution following intelligence reports and warnings by other governments that the MAJOR part of the rebel movement has been taken over by Jihadist groups


LONDON – The British government is exercising more caution in its attempts to arm the rebels fighting the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, following intelligence reports and warnings by other governments that the MAJOR part of the rebel movement has been taken over by Jihadist groups with links to Al-Qaida. Earlier this month, the British were calling for an end to the arms embargo on the rebels but they have since toned down their rhetoric.

Diplomats and intelligence officials who are involved in the Western efforts to aid the rebels have said over the last week that Britain is “less eager” than in the past to extend military aid to the Syrian rebels. One diplomat who has participated in meetings on the subject said that “Whitehall is less gung-ho than it was a few weeks ago. They are beginning to realize just how dangerous more arms in the hands of the Jihadists could be. They understand now that Syria is becoming a black hole and we should be very careful about any other weapons getting sucked in there.”

A military expert who also took part in meetings on this subject in London said that “there is quite some distance between the British rhetoric and what the government is actually doing on the ground. They naturally want to find a way to end the tragedy in Syria and bring Assad down as soon as possible but they know now that sending arms to the rebels may just cause an even worse situation.”

The British government announced early last week that it was sending military aid including armored vehicles and sets of body armor to the rebel groups. In addition, Foreign Secretary William Hague, along with colleagues in the French government, urged for the European Union to cancel its decision to impose a weapons embargo on all the sides in the Syrian conflict.

But just days later, Hague seemed to be toning down his own rhetoric when he stated in a letter to members of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee that some of the Islamist fighters currently fighting against the Syrian government could return from Syria to attack British and Western targets. “This is particularly concerning as we assess some of the individuals being trained will seek to carry out attacks against Western interests in the region or in Western states now or in the future,” he wrote.

Friday, Prime Minister David Cameron also sought to scale back the tension when he said that while there was “growing evidence” of chemical weapons being used, that evidence was “limited.”

Cameron said he wanted to find ways to “step up the pressure” on the Assad regime but that “it is extremely difficult though, and extremely frustrating.” Cameron ruled out British troops operating in Syria and did not mention supplying arms to the rebels.



April 29th, 2013, 1:13 pm


Observer said:

I think Rev’s post is a very nice demonstration of the circular self contained argument that the regime has created initially as a propaganda tool and now has believed its own narrative and is detached from reality.

This is another great example of the futility of any dialogue with a self serving regime that “owns” Syria; where there are “no demonstrators” and where the “overwhelming majority” of Syrians support the boy.

I pity the regime supporters as they have an incurable inferiority complex about their origin, their faith, their habits, their “state”, their prethident, and even their history.

Hafez brought Syria to the modern world my foot. When he took over the Ghouta was 23 000 dounom, when he diet it was only 8 000 dounoms, a clear destruction of the lifeline of the city. And this is one simple example of the destructiveness of the regime.

A neo con would not want any intervention. Let the carnage continue and let the bleeding continue. Israel’s borders are secure. The oil is flowing, arms purchases are increasing, keep them there instead of here, fix our home first, let them destroy theirs.

Good news indeed.

April 29th, 2013, 1:17 pm


revenire said:

Akbar Palace in the New York Times (saw it at Moon of Alabama): “The Islamist character of the opposition reflects the main constituency of the rebellion, which has been led since its start by Syria’s Sunni Muslim majority, mostly in conservative, marginalized areas.”

So your, and other’s, story of some sort of secular opposition is a myth and always was a myth. In this the NYTs agrees with Assad.

This is little different than the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the 1980s.

I have to agree with B:

“From the very start in Daraa the violent protests started at mosques. In late March 2011 a weapon cache was found inside the Omari mosque in Daraa. All of the ‘battalions’ founded by the various insurgent groups were named after venerated Sunni figures or themes. It was therefore absolutely clear that this was a sectarian insurgency, with foreign support, from the very beginning.”

The New York Times, and other media, are starting to report a different story than they have been the last two years. It shatters your fable.

I have said it before and say it again: Assad has been right about his enemies.

April 29th, 2013, 1:45 pm


revenire said:

When the same resistance that fought and defeated the Zionist enemy in 2006 becomes militarily engaged in Syria, this only confirms the fact that this is not a “revolution” against the Syrian “regime” but a war on the Syrian Arab Republic and the Resistance Axis of which it is part. This war is an extension of the July War, and it is no coincidence that it is backed by the same Arab and Western powers which backed Israel’s onslaught against Lebanon. Just as Hizbullah was accused of neglecting its resistance priority in May 2008 when it was dragged into clashes with Lebanese Sunnis, it is being similarly accused today of turning its guns against fellow Muslims. What many fail to understand however, is that as in 2008 when March 14 tried to dismantle Hizbullah’s telecom network and drag it into a civil war, the movement’s involvement in Syria today IS a defense of its resistance and not merely a defense of its Syrian ally.

Protecting Lebanese and Syrians in neighbouring villages, assisting the Syrian army in liberating areas occupied by takfiri jihadis which border Lebanese villages — and hence pose a strategic threat to its resistance — and training the government backed Popular Committees in guerilla warfare are all part and parcel of Hizbullah’s defense of the resistance which will be the first casualty of any regime change in Syria, as opposition forces have been promising for two years now. While this may seem distasteful to many Arabs who pay lip service to supporting Palestine, such are the sacrifices that must be made for the liberation of Palestine and the region from the Zionist entity. It is also the price that must be paid for preserving Syria’s territorial intergrity and holding in check those who seek to annihilate Christians, Shias and mainstream Sunnis. To prevent a regional sectarian war, Hizbullah has no choice but to help defend Syria from those whose primary agenda is precisely that.

And for those who believe western and Arab media exaggerated reports about the scope of Hizbullah’s military activity in Syria, one need only point to the limited number of martyrs Hizbullah has lost (around 35) and remind them that if Hizbullah did indeed deploy large numbers of fighters to Syria, much of Syria would have been liberated by now.


April 29th, 2013, 1:49 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Post #182 is stuck in moderation. So I’ll try again:


To be brief, please, let’s not talk about anything except two questions you seem to be avoiding:

1.) Tell me why Assad stepping down and instituting these reforms would NOT have worked to stop the demonstrations, which led to this civil war. I have Egypt as a real example.

2.) Tell me why you think it would be WORSE than it is today (if Assad stepped down and held multi-party elections).

April 29th, 2013, 1:52 pm


ghufran said:

I hope that some of you, at least those who are reformable, renounce their sunnism. Alawites have no religion, for the most part, they should join their shia counterparts then renounce their shiasm. This religion, Islam, is in intensive care, Europe only advanced after it put religion where it belongs: church. There will be no hope for this nation as long as it clings to its backward interpretation of religion. Muslims have contributed very little to humanity in the last 8 centuries but they sure managed to introduce terrorism as an industry, kept women in a box and transformed their communities into failed wastelands. I do not know of any other nation or a group of nations that is going backward, a great example is Afghanistan, and it it clear that the disease is, the cure is in the hands of muslims especially sunnis.

April 29th, 2013, 2:18 pm


revenire said:

I answered you in great detail Akbar and, at this point, you are trying to control the discussion.

Is the ex-British ambassador wrong? If so please tell me why he is wrong?

Given the realities of recent history what is the point of these hypotheticals you bleat on about?

“If Assad had done this.” ‘If Assad had done that.”

Can two play your game?

What if Assad had left and 200,000 Syrians had been butchered by Nusra? What if genocide against the Christians had taken place after Assad left? What if you are wrong?

You’re not going to control the conversation AP. It is a two-way street or nothing.

Let’s see if we can agree on something:

1.) demonstrations didn’t cause a revolution
2.) there is no revolution
3.) the intent from the start (back in 2005 or earlier) was to change the government and install a government friendly to the West (if that failed to destroy the nation in a protracted sectarian war)

April 29th, 2013, 2:24 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Ahmadinejad: Shiite Enlightenment

I do not know of any other nation or a group of nations that is going backward…


What about Iran?



Please see Obsevers comment. He’s right.

You just lost a number of free dinners. More for us. …

April 29th, 2013, 2:26 pm


revenire said:

Akbar maybe this will help us stop wasting time: Is the war a proxy war between powers for a redrawing of the political map of the region?

PS – Observer supports Al-Qaeda and is not allowed a “vote” here at SC.

April 29th, 2013, 2:33 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Is the war a proxy war between powers for a redrawing of the political map of the region?


No. We engineers usually believe the simpliest explanation is the most accurate. I think it’s a war to topple Assad (who is trying to cling to power) so that freedom comes to Syria.

I am respectfully awaiting your answers but I am not holding my breath, because I’d suffocate.

PS – Observer is one of the “good guys”. Learn from him.

April 29th, 2013, 2:45 pm


Citizen said:

‘Missiles fired at’ Russian plane with 159 passengers onboard flying over Syria
any comment from arms suppliers?
Mr Landis ! have you any idea to add ?

April 29th, 2013, 2:48 pm


revenire said:

I’ve answered you Akbar. You glossed over my answers to tell me Al-Qaeda is killing Syrians to bring them freedom.

April 29th, 2013, 3:09 pm


Citizen said:

Israel Bombs Syria, Uses WMDs As Excuse
CIA-controlled Al Qaeda operatives in Syria are reporting Israeli war planes have began bombing Syria to destroy targets claimed to be chemical weapons plants.

The bombings occurred over the weekend as the corporate media has gone into full-spin propaganda push to drum up support for military intervention claiming Syria crossed a red-line by using chemical weapons.

The tailspin of rhetoric comes as the CIA has admitted it is arming Al Qaeda and hackers recently reveal the US hired mercanaries to use chemical weapons in Syria so it could be blamed on the government

April 29th, 2013, 3:24 pm


zoo said:

#188 Ghufran

You’ll wait forever. Sunnis are terrified by the extremists among them and they prefer to demonize the Shias instead of having the guts to reform the Sunni creed that seems to go through a serious identity crisis.
This crisis is such that Egyptian religious leaders expressed their apprehension that Egyptians would convert to Shiism if they are exposed to that creed! It reveals their awareness and their inner fear that Sunnism is in danger.
In additions Sunnis have ceased to be fighters. Except for the Islamist extremists, they are either bourgeois or businessmen and won’t raise any public objection or judgment on the religion’s for fear or being ostracized or even killed.

Therefore I see no hope for a change in Sunnism especially that the money and the power is the hands of countries who oppose the notion of change because it would destroy their own society.

April 29th, 2013, 3:28 pm


zoo said:

UN condemns attempted assassination of Syrian prime minister
April 29, 2013

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the attempted assassination of the Syrian prime minister in an attack that killed six people, describing it as a “terrorist attack.”

Syria’s prime minister survived a bomb attack on his convoy in Damascus on Monday though half a dozen other people were killed, as rebels struck in the heart of President Bashar al-Assad’s capital.

“The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack on the convoy of Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki in Damascus earlier today, which resulted in deaths and injuries,” Ban’s press office said in a statement.
“The Secretary-General has consistently condemned all acts of terrorism,” the statement said. “The targeting of civilians and civilian objects by anyone is unacceptable.”

“The Secretary-General remains extremely worried at the continued escalation of violence in Syria, where civilians continue to be killed, injured, detained and abducted every day, including most recently the kidnapping of two prominent clerics in northern Syria,” it added.

April 29th, 2013, 3:36 pm


zoo said:

Streamlining and organizing the volunteers militias
Robert Fisk: Assad sends his feared militia squads to the battlefront

Monday 29 April 2013

Syria’s ‘ghost’ soldiers have been accused of torturing and killing civilians. Soon they will be controlling newly captured towns, reports our Middle East correspondent

In a decision that is certain to arouse fear among the regime’s enemies, the Syrian government has decreed that thousands of volunteers loyal to President Bashar al-Assad should be recruited into uniformed and armed units under Syrian army command to fight on the front lines against anti-Assad rebels, and to control newly “ liberated” towns and villages. T
he “National Defence Forces” will, according to their commander – interviewed by The Independent in the fiercely loyalist city of Latakia – include tens of thousands of recruits, many of them from the same Alawite branch of the Shia Islam sect to which the President belongs.
…The creation of this new force could indicate that the regular army, after its recent military successes, is short of manpower; or that Syria’s President – aware of the lawlessness of pro-government militias and the massive condemnation they have provoked internationally – realises that they must be brought under the control of the armed forces to avoid further bloodshed.
According to the general, however, the new force “does not mean that the Syrian army is weak”, but that it will be able to maintain control of areas “until the arrival of the Syrian army” in towns and villages loyal to the government. “Their job will be monitoring, protecting and collecting intelligence and helping the Syrian army to advance,” he said.

April 29th, 2013, 3:40 pm


Citizen said:

162. AP
/Please tell the Russian terror-supporter to enjoy a nice hot cup of STFU!/

How the Zionists Control America and Lead US to Endless Wars and Bankruptcy?
tell us how the Zionist Matrix of Power controls Media, Politics and Banking and how each segment supports and covers for the other segment?
please tell us how our russian jewish citizens are living as second sort people in Israel?
Do not throw stones!Your house is made of glass!

April 29th, 2013, 3:52 pm


zoo said:

Confused US Analyst: No drones on al Qaeda in Syria, but if the Syrian armed rebels continue to loose ground then arms shipment would be the first ‘plausible’ step .

Yet despite the increased presence of al-Qaida operatives in Syria, the United States is not likely to target Nusra fighters with drones as they have al-Qaida fighters in Yemen and Pakistan, says Michael O’Hanlon, a national security fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

“I think that al-Qaida, in this case, is part of the problem, but it is not the fundamental problem,” O’Hanlon said.

In the coming months, he added, Washington will “see more of a need to make sure that the war tilts toward the opposition, and if it doesn’t, we’ll consider … a range of things that we can do.”

“And I think arms shipments become a more plausible first step than drones,” O’Hanlon said.

April 29th, 2013, 3:52 pm


zoo said:

The Syrian Electronic Army: Bashar al-Assad’s shadow warriors

Phishing attack is latest by pro-Assad hackers operating out of Dubai, who target sites with views opposed to their own


in recent weeks, the self-styled Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) has launched hacking attacks on the BBC, the Associated Press (AP) and most recently the Guardian. Last week the group succeeded in hijacking AP’s main Twitter account, with 1.9 million followers. It falsely claimed that President Obama had been injured in an explosion. AP corrected the message, but not before $130bn had been briefly wiped off the value of stocks.
But unlike Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – whose former regimes were caught badly off guard – Assad’s government has been fighting back. It has created an increasingly rambunctious group of counter-revolutionary hackers. These hackers have a twin function: to punish western news organisations seen as critical of Syria’s regime, and to spread Damascus’s alternative narrative.This says that the war in Syria isn’t a popular uprising against a brutal, despotic family-military dynasty but rather an attempt by Islamist terrorists to turn Syria into a crazy al-Qaida fiefdom.

One member of the SEA told the website vice.com: “We’re all Syrian youths who each have our specialised computer skills, such as hacking and graphic design. Our mission is to defend our proud and beloved country Syria against a bloody media war that has been waged against her. The controlled media of certain countries continues to publish lies and fabricated news about Syria.”

April 29th, 2013, 4:00 pm


Dawoud said:

Everybody agrees that the Alawi security guard who guards the Sunni Syrian prime minister (and spies on him) has more power than the PM himself. So, why would the FSA or the armed resistance target the prime minister? I don’t think that they did. I think that Bashar al-Assad’s criminal regime orchestrated the bombing for two big reasons:
1) to take the global attention from the chemical weapons, which Bashar has used against Syrians.
2) in the aftermath of the Boston terrorist bombing, Bashar (and Hasan Nasras$)-who are the biggest terrorists of all terrorists-wants to highlight terrorism to show that the victimizer is a victim! Nobody-unless Bashar’s sectarian/brainwashed-supporters buys their “investigations.”

Free Syria, Free Palestine, Bahrain is Arab forever!

April 29th, 2013, 4:02 pm


Citizen said:

Syria’s Prime Minister has survived a bomb blast targetting his convoy in the capital. It’s thought 10 people died and 13 others were wounded in the explosion, which happened in a busy district. The bombing’s raising questions about rebel tactics. The editor of Politics First Magazine Marcus Papadopoulos told us how it’s likely that Western aid is ending up in terrorists’ hands.


April 29th, 2013, 4:09 pm


revenire said:

Of course, just like they bombed the uni in Aleppp. You are truly a bright sectarian crayon Dawoud.

April 29th, 2013, 4:10 pm


zoo said:

France: The opposition is not a serious alternative
Divisions in Syrian Opposition “Frustrating” France


There is a sense of frustration in Paris over divisions in the Syrian opposition that resulted from the resignation of Moaz Al-Khatib, the former president of the Syrian National Coalition, and “reservations” surrounding the appointment of George Sabra, the coalitions’ acting president.
There is also an ongoing struggle to cope with the dispersion of the armed opposition and its inability to form a unified front. However, the Al-Nusra Front’s pledge of allegiance to Al-Qaeda’s Ayman Al-Zawahiri was the final straw for France, prompting its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to state that it “does not mind” referring the issue of the Al-Nusra Front to the UN Security Council.

In this respect, Michael Mann, chief spokesperson to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, has refused to comment on talks taking place between Al-Khatib and those opposing him within the coalition, stating to Asharq Al-Awsat that “the EU’s stance is clear as far as working to provide support to them [the opposition].
The EU supports the work of Lakhdar Brahimi and we have already supported Al-Khatib’s call for dialogue in order to find a solution for the status quo.”

Another French source told Asharq Al-Awsat that if the opposition wants to propose itself as a “serious alternative” to the existing regime, it “urgently needs” to stand together.

Paris believes the opposition suffers from an “absence of a clear vision” when it comes to the relationship needed between the coalition and the interim government formed by Ghassan Hitto. It hopes that the coalition’s meeting, which is scheduled for early May, succeeds in naming a new president and defining the relationship between the political authority and the military leadership represented by the Free Syrian Army’s chief of staff, Brig. Gen. Salim Idris.

April 29th, 2013, 4:11 pm


Visitor said:

“196. zoo said:

#188 Ghufran

You’ll wait forever. Sunnis are terrified by the extremists among them and they prefer to demonize the Shias instead of having the guts to reform the Sunni creed that seems to go through a serious identity crisis.
This crisis is such that Egyptian religious leaders expressed their apprehension that Egyptians would convert to Shiism if they are exposed to that creed! It reveals their awareness and their inner fear that Sunnism is in danger.
In additions Sunnis have ceased to be fighters.”


Believe me. You, Ghufran and the other heretics here are delusional idiots of the highest nth rank.

Take it from me in a nutshell with whatever grain of salt you happen to have near by:


April 29th, 2013, 4:12 pm


Hopeful said:


Assad is not a symbol. He is the leader of a country of 20+ million people. Under his leadership, the country spiraled into a civil war that has killed over 70,000 people so far and sent millions of people out of thei homes. Weapons and militants are crossing all borders. The economy is collapsing. Sectarian violence and tension are the highest they have been in decades.

If this is not a failed leadership, I do not know what is. I am a loss as to why any educated smart person would want Assad to continue to lead.

April 29th, 2013, 4:19 pm


Dawoud said:

Hizbas$ shabiha fighting in Syria to support the dictator Video:

April 29th, 2013, 4:25 pm


Visitor said:

Hey Zoo, the ultimate fool,

If you are still in your delusional trance, you may find this a good dose for waking up from your Shiite heretic bullsh*t,


April 29th, 2013, 4:25 pm


Dawoud said:


Good Riddance to these filthy Lebanese Hizbas$ Shia TERRORISTS, who go to Syria to support the dictator and kill Syrias!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

April 29th, 2013, 4:29 pm


Syrialover said:


REVENIRE is clutching at weak straws.

That British ex-Ambassador Green who gave us first-hand insight into Hafez Assad’s chilling and vicious personality (#95) is now an old guy who is out of his depth writing about the current situation. It shows in his article.

He also happens to be a buddy of Asma Assad’s father Fawaz Akhras. Until last year Green was co-chairman with Akhras of the British Syrian Society.

Akhras has been exposed as a confidente and adviser of Bashar Assad and has made outrageous denials and excuses about his son-in-law’s actions.

Here’s a rich read about Fawaz Akhras and his views. It gives us some idea where not-so-innocent Asma Assad has come from.


April 29th, 2013, 4:46 pm


SimoHurtta said:

No. We engineers usually believe the simpliest explanation is the most accurate. I think it’s a war to topple Assad (who is trying to cling to power) so that freedom comes to Syria.

Akbar I am an engineer also. Being an engineer doesn’t mean having a simple mind. Well maybe there in Israel it does, but anyway. If your “simple solution” is true where is the “freedom” in Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Somalia etc. Only a total nut believes, that those religious militias and criminal gangs will give up the power and weapons helping arranging democratic elections if they succeed to overthrow the regime. It simply does´t work like that. When the regime is overthrown the real civil war starts. Like it did in Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

The solution which now is offered with a Christian “president” and Kurdish “prime minister”, who knows Texas better than Syria and has lived in USA most of his life, is a “democratic” and naive joke which the American propaganda machine again offeres to us. If that “solution” by the Syrian national coalition would “work” among Syrians and even for the militia gangs it would be real miracle. Surely it is not the most simple and most likely solution.

April 29th, 2013, 4:52 pm


Citizen said:

Should We Invade Syria? Obama and U.S. Military Divided Over Syria

Even after this U.S.-organized weapons trafficking was uncovered, the Obama administration still has the nerve to say that the U.S. is only supplying “non lethal” aid to the Syrian rebels. Never mind that many of the guns that the U.S. is transporting into Syria from its allies were sold to the allies by the United States, where the weapons were manufactured.Now, many politicians are demanding that Obama institute a “no fly zone” in Syria, a euphemism for military invasion — one country cannot enforce a no fly zone inside another country without first destroying the enemy Air Force, not to mention its surface to air missiles, etc. We saw in Libya that a no fly zone quickly evolved into a full scale invasion, which would happen again in Syria, with the difference being that Syria has a more powerful army with more sophisticated weaponry, not to mention powerful allies — Iran and Russia.
This is the real reason that the U.S. military is not aligned with the Obama administration over Syria. Such a war would be incredibly risky, and inevitably lead to a wider conflict that would engulf an already war-drenched region, creating yet more “terrorists” who would like to attack the United States.

The U.S. public has learned the lessons of Iraq’s WMD’s, and that lesson is not lost on U.S. soldiers, few of whom want to fight another war for oil against a country which is a zero-threat to the United States.

April 29th, 2013, 4:58 pm


Syrialover said:

Aerial shot shows the incredible scale of the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.

Syria’s biggest export under Bashar Assad – its people, and their fear, desperation and hunger.


April 29th, 2013, 5:20 pm


Tara said:

Ghufran @ 188

“I hope that some of you, at least those who are reformable, renounce their sunnism.”

You want billions of Muslim to denounce their religion? I find that a weird and fascistic request to say the least. Are we really suppose to reply.

Thanks but no thanks, I am a Muslim Sunni. I am not kept in a box. I do contribute to humanity and I want to keep my religion.

April 29th, 2013, 5:27 pm


Ameera said:

و بعدين مع هالئصة حاجه بئا و الله تعبنا
دخيلكم في حدا يئلي ايمتى رح تخلوص

April 29th, 2013, 5:48 pm


revenire said:

Hopeful Assad is a symbol of hope to millions of Syrians and a hero to many more millions of Arabs.

The world is cheering as Syria stands against terrorism.

April 29th, 2013, 6:01 pm


Citizen said:

American commetator 🙂
Why going to Syria is a bad move:

1. The US will be also fighting Assad’s supporters: Iran and Hizbollah
2. There are Thousands of foreign Al Qaeda / MB / Wahhabi mercenaries financed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia
3. Why not the UN as many have advocated for Iraq
4. Syria have already downed a Turkish US made Jet fighters (strong Air defense) not like Libya
5. The US troops will be ambushed by these Jihadists once Assad is gone
6. Russia will Not stand idle
7. The US intervention will attract more Jihadists
8. It will take 75k of US foot troops to secure the chemicals that Assad may use against us

Haven’t we learned from our experience with Bin Laden in Afghanistan

April 29th, 2013, 6:03 pm




If Assad called for elections and won, I wouldn’t question anything, just like Morsi won. I cannot question what Egyptians wanted.

Morsi does not have the blood of 100,000+ Egyptians on his hand. He could run for election. Vile dog-poop athad; having committed crimes against humanity, is ineligible to run even for dog kennel cleaner position, let alone dog catcher.

As for symbolism, many a criminal, including vlad the impaler, can now rest in the peace afforded them by their relatively lesser abhorrence when compared to the abomination dog-poop athad.

April 29th, 2013, 6:05 pm


revenire said:

Question: What is with spelling Assad “Athad”? Anyone can answer. Thx.

April 29th, 2013, 6:16 pm


ghufran said:

I do not know why you are upset, tara, I was just expressing an opinion about the status of islam today, 80% of muslims are sunnis, and they,the sunnis, are the only ones who can reform this troubled religion.I have made a similar wish about shia renouncing shiasm if you have read the post, orthodox muslims who think it is Haram to enter the bathroom or peel an orange with a Duaa, whether sunni or shia, are brainwashed individuals who are not fit to help advance a nation,any nation. One has to be a total idiot to pretend that the poverty, oppression and violence that dominate public life in many muslim countries are not related to how Islam is being practiced and interpreted today, if that is heresy then I am a heretic. The Islamic world would be much better today with a bunch of heretics than with a bunch of believers like the ones we have among Taliban, alqaida, Nusra, and similar islamofascist groups.

April 29th, 2013, 6:25 pm


revenire said:

Clearly the type of Sunni Tara is is a cancer on Syrian society and the reason 70,000 are dead. I don’t believe she is Sunni.

April 29th, 2013, 6:40 pm


Visitor said:

“221. ghufran said:

I do not know why you are upset, tara, I was just expressing an opinion about the status of islam today, 80% of muslims are sunnis, and they,the sunnis, are the only ones who can reform this troubled religion.I have made a similar wish about shia renouncing shiasm if you have read the post, orthodox muslims who think it is

blah, blah ……”

Who the f*ck you think you are idiot to ask over a billion people to renounce their faith?

And by the way Sunnis are over 90% of Muslims not 80% according to your lies, not that I or many Sunnis would consider your Shiite heretics as Muslims.

If your Shiite heretics would want to renounce their hereticim then to hell with you and with them, as if you would add or subtract anything to Islam

April 29th, 2013, 6:43 pm



What a lopsided crappy understanding of secularism and of western civilization.

Sinking like a solid rock. sink… sink… sink…

April 29th, 2013, 6:45 pm


zoo said:

The new tactic of the Syrian Army is effective

Syrian troops recapture villages near strategic city of Qusayr

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/04/29/189916/syrian-troops-recapture-villages.html#storylink=cpy

AARSAL, Lebanon — A Syrian government offensive near the Lebanese border is being described as the fiercest fighting in months by villagers fleeing the violence, with troops loyal to President Bashar Assad seizing control of villages that had been rebel strongholds.

The fighting near the city of Qusayr, which the rebels have controlled since last summer, has solidified the Orontes River as the dividing line between the country’s warring sects, with pro-Assad Alawites holding the area on the western bank of the river and anti-Assad Sunni Muslims on the river’s eastern bank.
The push around Qusayr coincides with similar government offensives in the capital, Damascus, and the southern province of Daraa, where the participation of pro-government militias in the fighting has bolstered the Syrian military.

The tactic apparently has been effective. Opposition supporters in the eastern Damascus suburb of Douma, a staging ground for rebels seeking to push deeper into the capital, which has been rebel-run for months, said the government effectively had cut rebel supply lines and isolated the area.
Government forces also overran rebel-held suburbs last week in western Damascus in an effort to apply pressure on Darayya, a rebel stronghold in southern Damascus that government forces overran last August but that rebels have since reinfiltrated.

April 29th, 2013, 7:06 pm


zoo said:

Al Nusra fighters are as holy as hamster poops…

April 29th, 2013, 7:10 pm



Like all creatures, Hamsters know what poop is. Poops, on the other hand find it interesting to grade the holiness level of poop.

April 29th, 2013, 7:15 pm


zoo said:


Any news of the “decisive” Damascus war? Postponed?

Any insight about the election of the interim government early May and when will it move Aazaaz or Al Raqqah?

I can’t wait to have your new predictions.

April 29th, 2013, 7:18 pm


zoo said:

#231 Ghufran

You got the angry reactions I expected. Don’t rub it in, there is no hope for any critical view of Islam to be even considered in the Arab world. The Sunni Arabs are on the defensive. It’s a tabu.

It seems that the progressive Sunnism may come from Turkey.

April 29th, 2013, 7:33 pm




Spoken like a true sectarian thug with characteristic propensity for deceitful conflation of critical thinking and hateful slander.

April 29th, 2013, 7:39 pm


zoo said:

The window of opportunity for the opposition to accept to enter into negotiations before it is defeated is getting smaller by the day

U.S. working hard to find political resolution to Syrian conflict


Government officials in Syria said the attack showed that the rebels are not interested in negotiation.

On Monday, Arab foreign ministers also met with Kerry in a session led by Qatar. Qatar is one of two Persian Gulf nations known to be arming the Syrian opposition, and several other nations have quietly concluded that Islamist extremists are among the recipients.
“There is much more to be done to verify conclusively that the red line that the president has talked about has been crossed,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

April 29th, 2013, 7:44 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

If the people want to be religious,only non democratic system will force them not to.

BTW Mattew Barber is islamophobic, I like to remind him with Turkey, it is a democratic muslem country, and Syria will be just like that.

Ghufran is against Islam,then he should not call himself muslem,now it is clear

April 29th, 2013, 7:59 pm


Visitor said:

“229. ZOO said:

#231 Ghufran

You got the angry reactions I expected. Don’t rub it in, there is no hope for any critical view of Islam to be even considered in the Arab world. The Sunni Arabs are on the defensive. It’s a tabu.”

Retard Zoo,

Do not console yourself by another delusion of you or him (the other retard Ghufy) being capable of evoking anger at your ignorance.

It is not anger that you or your stupid comrade evoked. Think more in terms of derision, disdain, contempt, scorn….

But anger?!….you’re delusional!

April 29th, 2013, 8:01 pm


ann said:

Beware of people who know exactly what to do about Syria (and be glad you’re not Obama) – Apr.29, 2013

The Law of Unintended Consequences reins supreme in the Middle East, and usually for the worse. An attack on Syria might be the wrong thing to do for the right reasons.


it doesn’t take long to prove that in the Middle East, the Law of Unintended Consequences reins supreme, and usually for the worse. It was Israel, you will recall, who built up Hamas in the 1980’s so that it would serve as a counterweight to the PLO; Israel who viewed the Shiites as an ally in the Lebanon War; America which imposed its “freedom agenda” on Israel in Gaza; America that built up Iran by invading Iraq; and Israel, when it comes to it, that subjugated itself to 47 years of debilitating occupation in its miraculous victory in the Six Day War.

So before calling in the U.S. cavalry, perhaps one should take stock of the things one knows that one doesn’t know, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, ever mindful that there are countless other things – usually bad things – that one doesn’t know that one doesn’t know. Among these:

1. Will a U.S. attack on Syria’s chemical weapons facilities increase or decrease the danger that Syrian President Assad will make greater use of such weapons? True, some people are claiming that a US show of force could deter Assad – but it could also embolden him. He may come to the conclusion that following such an attack, all bets are off and that he needs to take advantage of his ‘game-changing’ weapon before the U.S. and the rest of the world take it away from him.

2. If the U.S. attacks and mayhem ensues on the ground, doesn’t that actually increase the danger that the wrong kind of rebels – including, but not limited to, Hezbollah fans and Al-Qaida adherents – will be able to get their hands on some of the chemical weapons?

3. Would a U.S. attack strengthen Assad or weaken him? It could, after all, cast him suddenly not as a tyrant suppressing his own people but as a victim of a grand Zionist-imperialist conspiracy. Once Assad is seen as standing up to the Great Satan – and the Little Satan egging him on – his stature in Syria and throughout the Muslim world could improve dramatically.

4. Will a U.S. attack against Syria increase or decrease the chances that Israel could be drawn into the Syrian civil war? Would such a ploy save Assad? (Probably not. But at least he would go out in a blaze of glory.)

5. Would a U.S. attack increase or decrease the chances that it would go after the Iranian nuclear infrastructure a few months later, if necessary? Is it inconceivable that nothing would suit Tehran better than to have the U.S. become embroiled in a Syrian confrontation? U.S. public opinion currently seems to support a U.S. air strike on Iran, if it continues its nuclear drive, but that might change if Washington appears to be getting bogged down in Syria beforehand.

6. This seems doubly true if the US is drawn into sending in ground troops because it deems an air strike insufficient. Once American troops are killed in yet another Middle East country, Americans might come to the conclusion – not for the first time – that enough is enough.

7. Does anyone know how Iran, Russia and China will react to a U.S. offensive against Syria? They certainly won’t be pleased. And they might very well respond not only by resisting any further international measures against Assad, but by removing all inhibitions in promoting and defending Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

8. Is it really certain that a rebel victory would be better for Israel and the West? True, the current situation is beyond intolerable and the wholesale massacre of Syrian civilians is immoral and reprehensible. But a rebel victory could result in even greater bloodshed, this time by a vengeful Sunni majority seeking revenge for a savage civil war and for decades of discrimination at the hands of the Alawite minority. You can already see the headlines: “Massacred by the weapons that America supplied.”

9. Never mind that the successor regime could be just as radical and anti-Israel as Assad’s only with no self-discipline, no central control and no inhibitions.



April 29th, 2013, 8:05 pm


Ameera said:

مريم مريمتي وعيني مرياما
والقلب مجروح بدّه مرياما
يا يماّ بدّه مرياما
يا يماّ بدّه مرياما
لبست البنّي وقلعت البنّي
وقصدا تجننّي والله مرياما
مريم عالسطوح والشعر عم بيلوح
والقلب مجروح بدّه مرياما
إيه والله بدّه مريام

April 29th, 2013, 8:51 pm


Ameera said:

واسئلله على ايام السيران و العراس و الحفلات

ولزرعلك بستان ورود وشجره صغيره تفييكي
لغزلك من نور الشمس سواره وتحطيها بايديكي

وراح اجيبلك من ابعد بحر احلى دره بلاقيها
واسرقلك من حول البدر اجمل نجم واخبيها

واعمرلك بالعالي قصر وعلى جناحاتي اوديكي
ولغزلك من نور الشمس سواره واحطها بايديكي

ولو بدك لولو ومرجان راح اجيبلك خزنه بحالها
ولو بدك طاقية الجان ماني راح قلك لا لا

ولو بدك ياغصن البان جوه عيوني باخبيكي
ولغزلك من نور الشمس سواره واحطها بايديكي

ياحلوه بعيونك سر ساحرني ومدوبني
وكلماتك احلى من الدر وحبك دومي مسهرني

قربك مر وبعدك مر ومر المر بعينيكي
ولغزلك من نور الشمس سواره واحطها بايديكي

سواره واحطها بايديكي
ولزرعلك بستان ورود وشجره صغيره تفييكي
ولغزلك من نور الشمس سواره واحطها بايديكي

April 29th, 2013, 9:12 pm


Ameera said:

الله لا يوفئكم يا ولاد آدو خربتو حياتنا و خربتو البلد

April 29th, 2013, 9:18 pm


Dawoud said:

By Matthew Barber and the Syria Video team

This long post contains the following sections:

The Defectors Defect
Will EU Oil Purchases Finance al-Qaida?
Al-Musareb: Al-Nusra Punishes a Village Regime-Style
Syrian Taliban
The Opposition’s Ambivalent Response to al-Nusra’s Affiliation with al-Qaida (and the Plan to Introduce an Alternative Islamic Law in Syria)
Jabhat al-Nusra is Now an Iraq-to-Lebanon Phenomenon
Conclusion: Outsiders Reevaluate Their Positions as it Becomes Easier for the Regime to Sell Itself

Dear Mr. Barber:

Although I seem the most anti-Iran/al-Maliki’s Iraq/Lebanon’s Hizbistan and most supportive of the Syrian Revolution, I am genuinely sad and intellectually disappointed. My sadness and disappointment is not because Syria’s dictatorship hasn’t yet fallen. Sooner or later it will, and I have no doubt about this. It is a question of how many Syrians will Bashar take down with him. It is rather because Syria in the era of Arabs’ “spring” has become a missed opportunity for a non-sectarian and democratic Arab World and Middle East. People who had known me before Bashar began killing his own people were right to find me non-sectarian and in opposition to any wars against Lebanon and Iran. However, Iran and its allies changed me and changed the future of the Middle East by supporting Syria’s dictatorship. Had the Syrian Revolution had a similar end to Tunisia’s and Egypt’s (yes, I am aware of the difficulties that both countries are having in their transitional period), we would not have heard about al-Nusra and the current radicalization/sectarianilization of Iraq and Lebanon. I Blame, as you all should, Bashar and his allies for the current dark sectarian/terrorist/violent reality of Syria. Al-Nusra Front and Chechen fighters (which SC loves to post and talk about while ignoring the involvement of Hizballah’s/Iraq’s/Iran’s terrorists) had NOT existed in Syria before Bashar killed Hamza al-Khateeb and decided that either Syrians accept him as their ruler or die! Did you read one of Robert Fisk’s articles in the spring of 2011, in which he wrote how the regime threw weapons in certain areas in Deraa so that peaceful demonstrators would pick them up and fight the army-which would give the regime an excuse to kill them and claim that it was facing an armed gang/terrorists (the people of Deraa collected the weapons in a stadium and informed the regime)? Regardless of the regime’s propaganda, people carried arms only after their honor and dignity were repeatedly violated. NO, they didn’t carry arms to spread a global holy war nor to kill non-Muslims. They only wanted to protect their lives and existence. Why would they and their children/grandchildren have to live in a country ruled by one family? Where is the intellectual decency for of anybody defending four decades of Syrian tyranny? People,including SC editors, can either be overtly biased in favor of Bashar’s dictatorship by stating so, or they can covertly being so by selectively posting articles unfavourable to the Syrian Revolution-without discussing the context and the reasons that militarized/radicalized the opposition.

It is so sad that people have short memories! What do you think? Was there any possibility for any Syrian reform/democratization without Bashar and his elite in charge? No Way!
Edward Said authored a book titled “Blaming the Victims,” which detailed in a troubling way the distorted and inaccurate narratives about the Palestinians in the West, particularly in the United States. Given the early history of the Syrian Revolution, are you and “Syria Comment” blaming the victims?

Thanks, and I look forward to reading your reply because the articles that you choose to post (and those that you choose to ignore) are giving many of us the impression that you support Bashar’s dictatorship.

April 29th, 2013, 10:48 pm


MarigoldRan said:

If the Assadists had to change tactics, that means the old tactic must have failed miserably. Right? After all, why else are they changing tactics?

Also, I’d like to point out that while the Assadists can take territory on occasion (they take a village by giving up 3 other villages) they can never hold it. They don’t have the manpower for it.

Consider Daraya: they’re still fighting there because they can’t control it. They can bomb it and shell it, and launch raids at it, but they can’t hold or control the territory.

April 29th, 2013, 11:00 pm


MarigoldRan said:

In summary: the war continues. This is what happens when a government loses legitimacy. Since the Assadists can’t convince people to accept their rule, they have to fight for every scrap of territory and village.

They can destroy places. But they cannot control it. Or convince their enemies to stop.

April 29th, 2013, 11:02 pm


Visitor said:

All Praise be to The Al-Mighty Allah for granting resounding victories for His servants on this earth of His, the holy warriors of the Nusra Front and associates who dealt ignominos defeats to the thugs of hereticism and thuggocracy in the region of Qusair.

Military experts have concluded that the thugs of Hizbistan and thuggocracy are no match to the stalewarts of steadfastness and the noble warriors of the Victorious Nusra. The coward thugs of Hazboula have been crushed wherever and whenever they came close to our legendary heroes of the Nusra holy warriors and their brothers of the Free Syran Army, as we see clearly in the following report,


With Allah’s Blessing and Will, our region will soon be Hizbistani-free and clean of all traces of their filth.

April 29th, 2013, 11:05 pm


Dawoud said:

241. Visitor

Thanks Visitor for posting the link about Hizballah’s terrorists, which is something that “Syria Comment’s” editors would not do.

April 29th, 2013, 11:10 pm


Dawoud said:

241. Visitor

As a clarification, I do NOT support al-Nusra and I don’t sympathize with them-particularly given what was reported as their leader’s allegiance to al-Qa’ida. I still believe that most of the Syrian opposition is made up of freedom-lovers who reject both Bashar’s tyranny and al-Qa’ida’s terror. In a free Syria, nobody will vote for a candidate expressing his allegiance to the murderous al-Qa’ida. The regime and SC are exaggerating al-Qa’ida’s influence in Syria in order to justify the continuation of Syria’s current murderous dictatorship.

April 29th, 2013, 11:25 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Matthew Barber is clearly islamophobic.

The Alawis has to choose someone else,if they want to save themselves,we should never deny them freedom,even that they deprived us of freedom,but justice must prevail.the sunni who helped Assad must be punished too.

As for defectors defect again, he is talking about a kid who is influenced by others,talking about a kurd,went back home found his people against the FSA,so he switched side, he is more likely to change his mind again, this is a forum ,not for kids, I found it silly to bring it to this forum, but what do you expect from young inexperience guy?

April 29th, 2013, 11:28 pm


Tara said:


Please read your post again and you’d know why Tara reacted they way she did.  You made a blanket statement asking the people of Islam to renounce their religion.  I took an offense in this generalization that is coming from an educated and in my opinion a respect-worthy poster.  My faith is my business not yours.  You gave yourself the liberty to ask the generic me, ie the generic Muslim, to renounce their faith, a statement you’d never imagine uttering to non-Muslims.  This is what one can call institutionalization of discrimination against a specific faith based on generalization the behavior of rare individuals to billions of people.  It is discrimination made easy by a popular culture if you will.  A terrorist is rushed to be judged as a Muslim terrorist if he is born Muslim with out any due process but never called a Christian terrorist if he was otherwise.  It is acceptable to denounce someone like Aroor but never acceptable to denounce a similarly-ranked Christian priest who cheered the killing of the Syrian people under the pretext of protecting minorities when both are co-inhabitant of the same ideology.    

Muslims should not renounce their religion,  they should form Institutions that is similar to ADL where people do not feel free to attack them based on their faith.  Yes, Muslims should come out loud and clear in denouncing the terror groups and reminding everyone  in the case of Islamic terrorists, that the religion is hijacked by those terrorists as they are not by any mean represent the true nature of Islam.  

Additionally, you in my opinion misdiagnosed the root cause of terrorism.  Terrorism is a not born out of being a Muslim Sunni or a Muslim shiaa.  It is rather born from disfranchising people through oppression and dictatorship.  Opression makes one disenchanted in living and simply transform him or her to a martyr-wannabe who wants to die in the most theatrical way.     

April 29th, 2013, 11:33 pm


Visitor said:


April 29th, 2013, 11:43 pm


Visitor said:

Hey guys, Majed and Dawoud,

I do not believe Mathew Barber has a problem of Islomophobia. He is a simple wannabe no different than idiot Lund.

I do not even think it is a problem of Islamophobia.

The real problem is Dr. Landis himself. He is using Mathew and others like Lund to say what he wants to say but does not feel he (i.e. Landis) can say without repercussions.

يعني ببساطة Landis is pro Assad but wants to apear in front of SC readership and others as neutral. Landis has been fooling everyone for a long long time.

Dawoud, as long as they (so-called Islomophobes/Assadists/USAdmin manipulators) continue to use AQ as their propaganda tool, I will continue with my counter attack in support of Nusra, who in my opinion are doing a great great great job. Until the Syrians are ready to fight efficiently and with dedication simiar to Nusra and without corruption left over from Baathism, this is the only game in town. The problem is NOT Nusra.

April 29th, 2013, 11:48 pm


Tara said:


اشتأنالِك. وين هالغيبة ؟

I will refrain from asking you to which side you belong and please do not tell us. I think you are a lovely person and I do not want to ruin the image even if it is a fake one I want to just enjoy you the way you are coming off. And I really do not care if you are in reality an Amir or an Amira. I smile every time I read you.

April 29th, 2013, 11:48 pm


ann said:

NATOs Filthy Mercenary Terrorist Animals Discovered Syrian Army Secret sophisticated weapons after breaking into a house

They looted the house, and destroyed the weapons.


April 29th, 2013, 11:51 pm


revenire said:

Akbar Palace – pay close attention to what Dagan said. He gives the Israeli motives to ally with Al-Qaeda against Assad.

Israel joins US-UK-al-Qaeda plot to depose Assad
The Israeli regime has joined forces with the United States, Britain, and al-Qaeda terrorists in the plot to depose Syrian President Basher al-Assad.

Speaking at a conference in New York on Sunday, former Mossad director Meir Dagan said Tel Aviv must “do whatever it can to make sure that Syrian President Basher al-Assad is removed from power.”

Dagan added that the ouster of Assad would be hugely beneficial for Israel from a strategic point of view and asserted that it would weaken Iran and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.

And Tel Aviv should not be too worried about the possibility of hostile forces taking power in Syria, since Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states will make every effort to install a “moderate” regime in Damascus, the former Israeli spy chief said.

The United States, Britain, and their allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey are providing weapons and funds to terrorist groups in Syria, such as the al-Qaeda affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, which are fighting to depose Assad.

The Syria crisis began in March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

In an interview recently broadcast on Turkish television, Assad said that if the militants take power in Syria, they could destabilize the entire Middle East region for decades.

“If the unrest in Syria leads to the partitioning of the country, or if the terrorist forces take control… the situation will inevitably spill over into neighboring countries and create a domino effect throughout the Middle East and beyond,” he added.


April 29th, 2013, 11:59 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Matthew Barber
Would you mind tell us how long you lived in Syria?

April 30th, 2013, 12:03 am


Hopeful said:

#217 Rev

In times of war, nations need leaders who know how to unify and lead their nations, not symbols and empty rhetorics. Assad is at best a failure and at worst a war criminal.

You tried for two years to keep him and it only made things worst. If you love Syria as you claim you do, isn’t worth it to try something new?

April 30th, 2013, 12:10 am


Ghufran said:

Your point is well taken. People are not going to renounce their religion based on what a poster on SC or elsewhere writes, but for Muslims to advance they need to put their religion where it belongs and follow the example of developed countries not the GCC.
I see little benefit of identifying with a religion or a sect, I prefer that people judge me by what I do and then they are free to say what they want, people who are well behaved earn the respect of others and improve the image others see for their religion, Muslims have done very little to follow that simple rule, just see how muslims behave today and read the garbage posted by Muslims here and everywhere and tell me how can we blame others for having a negative view of this religion. It is people like you and other moderate Muslims who have the responsibility to change that image, many orthodox Muslims are hypocrites and they are only fit to live under a Taliban rule.

April 30th, 2013, 12:14 am


Juergen said:

Kurt Pelda made an outstanding effort to cover the events in Syria over a year. He has made this long report about an young man named Anwar who was an teacher in Avaaz before the war broke out. In his report he shows how gradually this ordinary men becomes more and more radical in his views, and who at the end joins the Al Nusra front. Its quite telling to see that he doesnt even care to pray, he is just not as religious as his comrades are, but still he supports their aims, because in his eyes, the islamists are the only capable of overthrowing the Assad regime.


April 30th, 2013, 12:17 am


ann said:

Obama’s $123,000,000 Of Tax Payers Money To Al-Qaeda in Syria is Finally Starting To Make A Difference On The Ground!


April 30th, 2013, 12:21 am


Syrialover said:

Iran’s forcing Nasrallah onstage into the spotlight, a leash attached to his collar.

It’s announced his current visit to Teheran in its news agencies (unusual) and declared he’ll be making a speech on Syria in May:

“According to MNA, Hassan Nasrallah will have an important speech about the developments in Lebanon, Syria and the region on May 9th, which will be televised live form many networks.”



Nasrallah’s power and glory era is ending. Hezbollah is paying a much higher price for being sponsored by Iran than he could ever have bargained for.

Being ordered to provide cannon fodder for Iran’s doomed war in Syria is demanding sacrifices by Lebanon’s Shia community that’s already divisive and will probably not be tolerated after the losses mount.

The case for losing so many of its fighters on foreign soil while killing Syrians would be a hard one to sell.

Importantly, Iran is draining Nasrullah’s ground troops in Lebanon, creating opportunities for his domestic opponents.

April 30th, 2013, 12:35 am


revenire said:


Strategic analyst SL.

April 30th, 2013, 12:39 am


Syria said:


You’ll find REVENIRE has never claimed to love Syria.

He thinks the situation there is a joke. He’s getting personal kicks and laughs out of going over the top, playing the evil clown.

It’s interesting that his team can’t come up with a strategic analyst. They never have.

April 30th, 2013, 1:02 am


ghufran said:

The author of this blog is against military intervention in Syria:

April 30th, 2013, 1:10 am


Syrialover said:

Those who squirm at the Iranian propagandist pseudo-journalist Sharmine Narwani would enjoy the way she is currently squirming out there in twitter land.

Her detractors are laughing about her being married to a guy called Elias Shams who was a US Defense Dept consultant working on drones.

Narwani is feebly protesting she is no longer married to him, but she sure was at the time! Actually his business partner.


April 30th, 2013, 1:22 am


ghufran said:

The claim that sarin gas was used in Syria is falling apart, recenet videos shared by US checmical weapons experts support exposure to chemical irritants like Chlorine , plentiful in Syria,but strongly argue against the possibility of Sarin being used. Those who acted as “scientific advisors” to rebels on the matter have obviously blew up the case. French FM is now changing position to ” I am not sure Sarin was used”. The story did not look credible from day one, you only need to spend 2 minutes searching what Sarin does to realize that the whole thing was staged.

April 30th, 2013, 1:38 am


Hopeful said:

It took the US 4 years before it got involved in the Bosnia war, which helped put the end to it. If you want to understand why Clinton decided to finally get involved, you can read the following analysis:


Regime’s conspiracy theorists believe this whole thing was a conspiracy led by the US. The oppositions’s conspiracy theorists believe the US wants Assad to stay and it is supporting him. Anti-US conspiracy theorists believe the US plotted this wicked Sunni-Shiaa war. They all seem to agree that they are the poor victims of the hidden hands of the US, and they have nothing to do with what is happening,

In my opinion, this could not be further from the truth. The US’s foreign policy in the past two decades seems to me to be an incredibly reactive one. Not only is the US losing the initiative, it seems to be losing control. It is constantly in a reactive mode responding to events on the ground. It was surprised by the Arab spring as much as anyone else. It is surprised by the Alnusra as much as anyone else. It is paralyzed and the only thing that will warrant its action is a significant change which Obama would not be able to politically ignore.

April 30th, 2013, 1:50 am


Ameera said:

تسلميلي يا تارا

شو بدي ائلك و الله ألبي من الحمض لاوي يعني كل يوم على بكرة الصبح الناس بتئوم توحد ربا و احنا منئوم منتحسر على ايام زمان. تاري يا تارا الدنيا والناس كانو عايشين بخير وما كان عاجبنا شكلو الهي بعدي اسمو عم يجازينا على ايام البطر ولانو لما اجو اللاجئين العراقيين ما رحمناهم و ما فهمنا اديشا صعبة و ذل لنترك بلادنا و فوق هيك غلينا الاسعار عليهم و حطينا كل مشاكل البلد على شماعتهم

April 30th, 2013, 2:36 am


Ameera said:

بعدين حبيبتي انا و عيلتي من جماعة الفينس سيترس يعني أعدين عل الحيط و عم نتناوئ هون وهون و منئول يا رب السترة و الله يرجع ايام زمان و البسط و الامان

الله يخرب ديارون خربو البلد

April 30th, 2013, 2:42 am


Citizen said:

Dear Washington Post,

is the Jordan king Abdullah asking for a diplomatic solution in Syria or for military intervention?

On April 26 you reported: Jordan’s Abdullah urges diplomatic action to end Syrian conflict

Jordan is urging the Obama administration to intensify efforts to find a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, …

Despite the failure of previous initiatives, the king urged a renewed attempt at a negotiated settlement as the only realistic path toward ending the conflict without splintering the country or condemning it to endless bloodshed.
On April 29 your news report claims:
The Obama administration worked Monday to preserve thinning hopes for a political deal that could end the Syrian civil war and to hold off rising pressure from lawmakers and Syria’s Arab neighbors for more direct U.S. involvement.

Several of Syria’s Arab neighbors, led by close U.S. ally Jordan, are lobbying for a more forceful U.S. role in Syria. There is no consensus about what the United States should do, however. Options include giving heavier gear to the rebels, providing protection for refugees or rebel fighters with missile batteries or aircraft, or authorizing precision airstrikes to destroy chemical weapons stockpiles or key air defenses.
So now you claim that “several of Syria’s Arab neighbors” want a U.S. war on Syria. Only Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan are Arab countries which share borders with Syria. None of then, according to your own reporting, has indeed asked for a military intervention. So how come you are now lying to your readers with such nonsensical claims?

April 30th, 2013, 4:51 am


Dawoud said:


الله يخرب بيت حسن نصر الشيطان وايران ونوري المالكي. هم اللي خربوا سوريا بارسالهم المال والسلاح والشبيحه لدعم الحمار القاتل بشار

April 30th, 2013, 8:10 am


Syrialover said:


I don’t think Matthew Barber is Islamaphobic.

If he was, he wouldn’t be in the slightest bit interested in Syria or concerned about the the enormous additional threat and problems the salafist jihadists are bringing to Syrians.

There are many devout Moslems and Islamic religious leaders who share his concern.

April 30th, 2013, 8:13 am


zoo said:

It’s hilarious! Anyone who dares to emit the slightest rational analysis of a certain form of Islam is ‘Islamaphobe’

It is interesting to observe the level of victimization that some Sunnis have on this blog. As I mentioned it before, the more they protest by throwing demeaning labels and insulting the person who dares break the tabu, the more they show how insecure and frustrated they are.

That’s one of the problems of Arab SunnisMoslems that we don’t see in other Sunni countries, like Turkey or Indonesia: They take it as a personal and react with agressivity.

April 30th, 2013, 8:16 am


annie said:

إلى جميع السوريين في داخل سوريا , من يوم و رايح, إذا شفتو أو سمعتو إنه التلفزيون السوري بمنطقة , هربو بسرعة لأنه في انفجار على الطريق !
To all Syrians inside Syria, from now on, if you saw or heard that the regime’s TV is in your area : RUN ! For this is a sign that an explosion is about to happen somewhere near that area !

April 30th, 2013, 8:21 am


zoo said:

Another “victory” of the “heroic and holy freedom” fighters

Syria: Huge new bombing in Damascus kills at least 13


BEIRUT — A powerful bomb exploded Tuesday in the center of Damascus, authorities said, causing dozens of casualties and marking the second consecutive day that a deadly explosion rocked the Syrian capital.

The official Syrian news agency reported that at least 13 people were killed and more than 70 were injured in Tuesday’s blast in the Marjeh district in historic central Damascus. The death toll was expected to rise.

Official media denounced the attack a

April 30th, 2013, 8:26 am


Syrialover said:

Here are points tweeted by a guy called Iyad el-Baghdadi. I think he’s got those guys exactly right!

– I’m hearing a lot of people speak about how Islam or the Qu’ran “inspired” this person or that to violence. That’s not how it happens guys.

– Peace-loving, benign, placid people don’t just read the Qur’an and then get “inspired” to an orgy of killing. That’s not how it happens.

– Rather, a person is already harboring a lot of resentment, anger, and hate, and finds a suitable conduit for that in an extremist movement.

– Once that happens, religious texts are used to justify violence rather than to inspire violence.

– And we know that any book (or collection of books), if read selectively enough, can be made to say anything at all.

– So enough with the “Islam/Qur’an inspired terrorists”. They became convinced of violence first then looked for religious justification.

Iyad El-Baghdadi‏@iyad_elbaghdad

April 30th, 2013, 8:27 am


revenire said:

Iyad… another full of himself arrogant Ivory Tower wannabe.


April 30th, 2013, 8:33 am


revenire said:

“To all Syrians inside Syria, from now on, if you saw or heard that the regime’s TV is in your area : RUN ! For this is a sign that an explosion is about to happen somewhere near that area!”

Wow. Poor Annie.

April 30th, 2013, 8:36 am


zoo said:


The West is desperate as much as the opposition: After two years with billions dollars spent on weapons, non lethal aid, economical blockade, UN general assembly condemnations, threats and gestures to humiliate the country and a massive propaganda of demonization, they have not been able to crack the Syrian Army, the government and the Syrian people.
Now they are hanging on the flimsiest rumor: cluster bombs, scuds missiles, massacres, chemical WMD, just to find a justification for a concerted military attack. And one by ones these rumors falls, and they are back to square one, more angry and frustratred.

I am convinced that the resilience of that government is simply due to the fact that, whether we like it or not and in various degrees, it is supported by a growing majority of the Syrians.
The failure of the opposition to propose a viable alternative has had a profound effect on many hesitant Syrians who wished for a reformation of the governing system and have now realized that not only they did not get any of that but they got a national disaster.

April 30th, 2013, 8:49 am


revenire said:

They’re saying chemical weapons were used again. Ha ha ha. Do you have any idea how many people would be dead if sarin was used in Aleppo? Try tens of thousands. And people would not start foaming at the mouth when they arrived at a hospital, as if on cue for the camera. That’s funny.

April 30th, 2013, 8:53 am


annie said:

Solidarity With the Syrian Struggle for Dignity and Freedom

Petition by
Campaign of Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution
Multiply Your Impact

Turn your signature into dozens more by sharing this petition and recruiting people you know to sign.

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have been struggling for dignity and freedom since March 2011. We call on people of the world to pressure the Syrian regime to end its oppression of and war on the Syrian people. We demand that Bashar al-Asad leave immediately without excuses so that Syria can begin a speedy recovery towards a democratic future.

Since March 2011, Asad’s regime has steadily escalated its violence against the Syrian people, launching Scud missiles, using weapons banned by the Geneva Convention such as cluster bombs and incendiary munitions, and using aerial bombardment. The regime has detained and tortured tens of thousands of people and committed untold massacres. It has refused political settlements that do not include Asad in power, and it has polarized the society through strategic acts of violence and by sowing seeds of division. The regime has also, since the early days of the uprising, sought to internationalize the crisis in order to place it within geopolitical battles that would only strengthen the regime. Staying true to the logics of an authoritarian regime, Asad could never accept the legitimate demands of the Syrian people for freedom and dignity. Thus, there is no hope for a free, unified, and independent Syria so long as his regime remains in power.

This is a revolt that was sparked by the children of Deraa and the sit-ins and demonstrations of the youth in the cities, the peasants of the rural areas, and the dispossessed and marginalized of Syria. It is they who rallied non-violently through protests and songs and chants, before the regime’s brutal crackdown. Since then, the regime has pushed for the militarization of the Syrian nonviolent movement. As a result, young men took up arms, first out of self-defense. Lately, this has resulted in attempts by some groups fighting the regime to force a climate of polarization, and negation of the Other politically, socially and culturally. These acts that are in themselves against the revolution for freedom and dignity.

Yet, the revolution for freedom and dignity remains steadfast. It is for this reason that we, the undersigned, appeal to those of you in the global civil society, not to ineffective and manipulative governments, to defend the gains of the Syrian revolutionaries, and to spread our vision: freedom from authoritarianism and support of Syrians’ revolution as an integral part of the struggles for freedom and dignity in the region and around the world.

The fight in Syria is an extension of the fight for freedom regionally and worldwide. It cannot be divorced from the struggles of the Bahrainis, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, Yemenis, and other peoples who have revolted against oppression and authoritarianism as well as against those seeking to usurp or destroy the uprisings and divert them for their own agendas. It is connected to the Palestinians’ struggle for freedom, dignity and equality. The revolution in Syria is a fundamental part of the North African revolutions, yet, it is also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian, and Chinese movements for freedom.

The Syrian revolution has confronted a world upside down, one where states that were allegedly friends of the Arabs such as Russia, China, and Iran have stood in support of the slaughter of people, while states that never supported democracy or independence, especially the US and their Gulf allies, have intervened in support of the revolutionaries. They have done so with clear cynical self interest. In fact, their intervention tried to crush and subvert the uprising, while selling illusions and deceptive lies.

Given that regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone, we ask you to lend your support to those Syrians still fighting for justice, dignity, and freedom, and who have withstood the deafening sounds of the battle, as well as rejected the illusions sold by the enemies of freedom.

As intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, concerned citizens, and social movements we stand in solidarity with the Syrian people to emphasize the revolutionary dimension of their struggle and to prevent the geopolitical battles and proxy wars taking place in their country. We ask you to lend your support to all Syrians from all backgrounds asking for a peaceful transition of power, one where all Syrians can have a voice and decide their own fate. We also reject all attempts of any group to monopolize power, and to impose its own agenda, or to impose unitary or homogenous identities on the Syrian people. We ask you to support those people and organizations on the ground that still uphold the ideals for a free and democratic Syria.

April 30th, 2013, 9:07 am


Observer said:

Once again my sources are from pro regime sites Mayaddenn and Manar and Alam and RT.
First the Russian have prohibited any Russian airliner from flying in Syrian airspace after the two missiles were fired on the passenger plane returning from Egypt yesterday.

Second this report in Cham Press a pro regime site is telling about the level of property destruction in the country. The regime has the heavy weapons to destroy buildings and is responsible for the destruction but for argument’s sake let us assume for a minute that its narrative that it is all the work of terrorists then it is clearly an admission of huge failure to protect and in this it is guilty as well.

So no matter how you spin it it will come back to damn the regime

Here is the link

Please read it


On a different note I watched the debate on PBS yesterday.

My question to Dr. Landis is: will you advocate intervention when the Alawi community ( God Forbid ) starts getting massacred a la Rwanda? Likewise, will you advocate intervention when the regime starts using massive chemical weapons attacks in retalition for massacres that are bound to happen?

If as Dr. Landis posits that it is a civil war, usually the war ends with a clear victory of one over the other and the worst outcome would be a stalemate as it postpones another conflagration down the road. In this case my other question is whether you advocate the regime winning or the people winning?

April 30th, 2013, 9:17 am


annie said:

Injuries by Chemical Weapons in Eastern Ghuta

Yassin Haj Saleh*
Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

From الجمهورية لدراسات الثورة السورية (The Republic for Syrian Revolution Studies)

The thirty-year-old man was brought to “spot 200″ in Duma as being injured by chemical weapons. He seemed debile and his voice was barely audible. The fighter on the front of Jawbar, East of Damascus, had spent 9 hours in “spot 1″, which is a hospital where casualties receive first aid.

Out of the nine hours, he was unconscious for six hours, between 8 in the morning and 2.

Besides fatigue, the man looked physically fine and conscious when I met him at 6 in the evening of Sunday, April 14. He could stand up on his feet, but not firmly.

“What happened?” I asked him. He said that something that looks like a large stone was thrown nearby, but he didn’t pay much attention. But his companion asked a few moments later, “man, what’s this smell?”. The man did not smell or see smoke, but he had difficulty breathing, and his eyes were frozen wide. He thought himself dying, so he started to pray to God loudly.

He also said that after waking up in the hospital, he was spitting blood- he was still spitting blood at six in the evening, but in much smaller quantities.

He had no skin (dermatological?) symptoms. And when he woke up in the hospital, he knew that his friend had died, and possibly others had fallen martyrs. He did not know whether more bombs of the same kind were shelled on Jawbar front.

In his report, the doctor mentioned that the symptoms that the man, who comes from Qanawat neighborhood in Damascus, were pinpoint pupils and mental confusion, which seems to indicate a injury in the central nervous system. The report also says that the man was given 9 injections of atropine, 5 of hydrocortisone, and other 5 of a drug called Dexone (Dexamethasone).

The doctor recommended a normal diet and serums. There were two spots in the man’s left leg and left arm where two viens were opened to insert the serums, of which one was connected to a serum bag above the bed.

The man remained four days in “spot 200″ for follow-up.

Dr. Sakhr from the medical center in Eastern Ghuta said that he examined 20 cases of injury that day, and he personally suffered from the gas that was stuck to the clothes and hair of patients.

According to Dr. Sakhr, symptoms of injury include shortness of breath, red eyes, runny nose and eyes, hemoptysis, fainting and pinpoint pupils.

Two days later, symptoms of emotional instability manifested in form of agitation and anger or in form exhilaration and mania. These symptoms disappeared after two or three days, according to Dr. Sakhr.

Dr. Sakhr thought that the poison gas used was Sarin. He based his evaluation in the report on clinical assessment (symptoms and pathological development of cases). He had no decisive proofs, but he said that he took samples from infected hair, urine, blood and clothes and sent them to agencies that would supposedly be able to determine the type of toxic substance, and the most appropriate antidote for it.

Some of the people I have seen here think that tactical chemical weapons are the ones used by the regime until now. They target fighters and residents in limited areas.

* Translated by Jalal Imran


April 30th, 2013, 9:25 am


annie said:

Since my comment 279 is awaiting moderation I take the liberty of posting the reference to the petition anew
Solidarity With the Syrian Struggle for Dignity and Freedom

Petition by
Campaign of Global Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution

April 30th, 2013, 9:27 am


Tara said:

Our skies should be off limit to Russian planes

• A Russian charter flight with 159 passengers changed course over Syria after a missile scare that has prompted the Transportation and Foreign ministries to open an inquiry, the Moscow Times reports. The Airbus A320 jet operated by Nordwind Airlines was flying from the Egyptian resort of Sharm-al-Sheikh to Kazan when two ground-to-air missiles were fired at the plane and exploded close by, it said. Russian aviation authorities have recommending suspending all flight over war zone following the incident, RIA Novosti reports.

The Guardian

April 30th, 2013, 9:27 am


majedkhaldoun said:

There is already ethnic clensing in Syria, the Assad army is killing Sunni now,Have you not heared of all the massacres that are committed?,you are only concerned about Alawi ethnic cleansing,which has not happened and it may not happen, but you are not concerned about the ethnic cleansing that is going on now
Is it not ethnic cleansing of Sunni that over 120,000 has been killed?
Is it not ethnic cleansing that over 150,000 are in prison now?.
Is it not ethnic cleansing that 4-5 million are refugees now?.
Are you worried about something may happen in the future ignoring what is happening NOW?.
Mr. Landis there is not going to be ethnic cleansing in a democratic Syria, the Alawis will be protected just like any other minority, but justice must prevail, those who were killed by those criminals , who will pay for their crimes?, those peaceful Alawi have nothing to fear.

How do you see the end of this war? you youeself said this war will continue till one side eliminates the other, do you see another way? did you change your mind?

Is ethnic cleansing to allow a northern state to see what will they do?,if such a state shows democratic principals and not commit ethnic cleansing then your theory of future ethnic cleansing will not materialize,

Syria lover
Matthew Barber sees either this way or the other ,he does not see other possibilities,and that is why I label him islamophobe.

April 30th, 2013, 9:30 am


zoo said:

#274 SL

Whether he likes it or not, the current perception in the West is that Islam is not a peaceful religion. It is reenforced by terrorists acts in the West and elsewhere that coincidentally are performed by Moslems.

There is a need for much more than a few tweets to change that perception.
What are the rich an powerful Arab Sunni countries doing about that? Allowing the proliferation of violent fatwas? What is Qatar doing? buying Greek islands and French luxury hotels, or Saudi Arabia? continue beating alcohol drinkers? Or the OIC? Meeting to condemn Syria?
The tolerance of the Arabs to the abuses some Soslems make of the religion is maybe one of the reasons why negative behaviors are proliferating.

April 30th, 2013, 9:31 am


revenire said:

Brother Majed the majority of the Sunni support the kind Dr. Assad. You, and a few others, are not in Syria so please show some respect to your Sunni brothers that are in Syria and are fighting Al-Qaeda to protect the Syrian mother.

Thank you.

April 30th, 2013, 9:36 am


revenire said:

If Assad wasn’t the kind and loving president he is he would give civilians in any areas with rat infestations 24-hour notice and then use sarin-tipped Scuds. Instead of a few faked videos with people chewing on soap there would be hundreds and hundreds of dead rats to show on CNN. Even then Obama would be too afraid of Syria’s air defenses to do anything but give a weak statement condemning it.

It is pretty clear the West is afraid of Syria – Hezbollah – and Iran or they’d attack. Obama probably has nightmares about Assad.

April 30th, 2013, 9:42 am


revenire said:

The rebels are pretty weak if they have to beg Israel to come help them. Laughing at all the stupid brigades.

Ever watch the videos of them reading some boring speech? They look like kids and so dirty.

The chemical weapons being used by the SAA is really probably bars of soap to wash with. The rats have never seen soap before and try to eat it – hence the foaming.

April 30th, 2013, 9:44 am


Syrialover said:

ANNIE #271

You are right. A bomb just exploded in Damascus, and very quickly we have an on-the-spot report from Syrian TV.


April 30th, 2013, 10:04 am



OK, a loving dog-poop athad. Na, doesn’t work. The only love this abomination has is for itself and its stupid ugly voice as it blathers meaningless sophistries while imagining that it can think. Pretty much like the buffoons who defend the dog-poop athad and its crimes.

April 30th, 2013, 10:08 am


Syrialover said:

Hizbullah faithful ready to die in Syria


COMMENT: This reports the confusion and bizarre party lines Nasrullah’s cannon fodder have been fed.

Here’s one of my favorite lines:

“Kanaan brushes aside critics who say Hizbullah has strayed from its stated focus of “resistance” to Israel.

“We’re keeping an eye on Israel… and these (rebels) are Zionists as well,” he says.

April 30th, 2013, 10:16 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You asked me about my prediction.
I predict the revolution will succeed and the people of Syria will win.
Your prediction that Assad will win is going to be added to your previous failed predictions, many of them

BTW it is silly to say Syrian support Assad, it is not true, Assad is still there because his army is Alawi army chosen to be loyal to his family,it is due to the lack of international support for freedom in Syria,both US and Russia are afraid to let syrian become free

April 30th, 2013, 10:17 am


ann said:

NATOs Mercenary Filthy Smelly Dagestani Animals Shot and Killed by The Syrian Military

They invaded Syria to kill and were killed instead


April 30th, 2013, 10:23 am



Yup, Obama is scared of dog-poop athad who owns an army comprised of such fearsome soldiers*

* Photo taken of a dog-poop athad mafioso looting a civilian area exactly the way retarded dog-poop athad lover highlights in its own delusional blather.

As for nus-lira and his party, of course they never strayed from their role as sectarian agents of the backward sectarian regime of mullastan Iran. So they can keep an eye on Israel, but a hand in the mulla’s pocket (which is in fact a theft of Iranian people’s own livelihood)

April 30th, 2013, 10:25 am


apple_mini said:

Just came back to Lattakia couple days ago. The impression I got is that general mood of the public has been a little more relaxed compared to last year. SAA was able to push the rebels further away from the city. No more shooting or bombing to be heard. There are more army and paramilitary people in the city. Thus the tense psychology and mentality used-to-be have appeased. People do not agree the situation is getting any better but I believe it so.

An injured soldier is recovering and eager to go back fighting in a month.

Surprisingly, good percentage of Alawites, especially those educated and holding a decent job are not on the regime’s side. While I asked them whether they are ready to accept the alternative, the response did not answer the question. To them, the regime and the rebels are competing who is worse.

We know many Syrians refuse to take sides. But to see such a noticeable percentage of Alawites are genuinely disapproving the regime is still mind-boggling.

There is no shortage of anything. Price of bread has gone back to pre-war level.

April 30th, 2013, 10:28 am



Nus-lira and his sectarian gangs of thugs have now provided proof, with their rush to aid the dog-poop athad, the accusation that they have played a major role in aiding the baseej gangs of the sectarian mullastan of Iran in their violent suppression of the green revolution. Many on this site objected to that accusation then. Now that nus-lira thugs provided the ultimate proof that it (nus-lira) and its fighters are nothing but mercenaries of the backward sectarian mullas, one would hope that Iranian people would recognize who is aiding their oppressor and committing crimes against humanity with their resources and livelihood.

April 30th, 2013, 10:40 am


zoo said:

#289 Hamster

Your argument is extremely clear…
Hamsters are not only incestuous, but they eat their own poop.
It is an LSD type of drug.

April 30th, 2013, 10:55 am



Poorly constructed wit is not!

Keep thinking of real hamsters. Must have hit a button to activate the rapid response.

Fast thinking! what is it? 18 hours? or is it like dog-poop athad habit of reserving the right to rethpond?

April 30th, 2013, 11:08 am


Visitor said:

It has become a Religious on every Sunni anywhere in the world to go to Syria and defend it against the filth of the filthy thugs of Hizbistan and to send these lowly thugs to lowest Jahannam.

This is a Holy War and must be declared as such.

We are way past revolution of kids.

Let the Holy Warriors do their job.

Anyone who speaks ill or badmouths the Holy Warriors from now on is an enemy of this Holy Revolution against heretics.

April 30th, 2013, 11:09 am


AKbar Palace said:

President Hamster,

cc: Visitor

If al-Nusra is backed by Iran, that would mean the Iranians are basically fighting against themselves. Is this possible?

Who ae al-Nusra and where do they come from? How are their numbers high enough to challenge the Syrian army?

April 30th, 2013, 11:11 am


zoo said:

#293 Majed

It depends what you mean by the ‘revolution will succeed’.
Do you mean that Bashar al Assad will be toppled? That the Moslem Brotherhood with dominate the new government? or the NC?, or the army will suddenly turn Sunni?
When is this going to happen. In 2014, 2015?

Aren’t you the one who predicted 3 times that Damas will fall?

I predicted the end of the original SNC, the end of Ghaliun, the end of Khatib. I predicted that the FSA will get no military help from the West as they have allied with Islamist terrorists and that the NC will get a very limited international recognition.

My next prediction is that, unless there are new important events, there will be negotiations soon after the Arab Syrian army would have taken back large parts the “swaths” occupied by the Islamists rebels.
In view of more looming defeats, the NC will rush to call on Lakhdar Ibrahimi to arrange negotiations without any conditions based on the Geneva accord.
What is your next prediction?

April 30th, 2013, 11:20 am


Visitor said:

Akbar Palace @11:11AM

Al-Nusra is NOT backed by Iran. Al–Nusra is fighting Iran and its tails in Syria.

Nusra fighters are mostly Syrian Mujahedeen. Very very few are non-Syrians. Nusra members are VERY GOOD Muslims, and have been responsible for ALL the major victories against the Assad/Hizbistan/Mullah thugs. Some put their numbers at around 30000, while others put the numbers at around few thousands. They are fearless, well organized, highly motivated, highly skilled fighters, dedicated and very very honest, unlike many of the defectors, who comprise mainstream FSA, who suffer from deficiencies in all the above mentioned areas in addition to corruption being products of the corrupt Aasad/Baath mafia. I have always called here on SC for new defectors to be rehabilitated by the Nusra Front in order to acquire the necessary qualities and skills to fight this war. But there are lots of corrupt politicians and so-called commanders who prefer corruption over good dedicated fighters.

On another note, I have a question for you. Being an experienced SC contributor, do you think Barber is a new sidekick of Dr. Landis? You always speak of other sidekicks that I do not know. It seems to me that Landis CANNOT operate on this blog without having such sidekicks. Am I correct n this regard?

April 30th, 2013, 11:31 am


ziad said:

There is nothing holy about warriors like this one:


Here are the prophet’s instructions to the small army in the battle of Mu’tah:

وصية الرسول (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)لأمراء الجيش

أمر الرسول على هذا البعث زيد بن حارثة، وقال‏:‏ ‏(‏إن قتل زيد فجعفر، وإن قتل جعفر فعبد الله بن رواحة‏)‏، وعقد لهم لواء أبيض، ودفعه إلى زيد بن حارثة‏.‏ وأوصاهم أن يأتوا مقتل الحارث بن عمير، وأن يدعوا مَنْ هناك إلى الإسلام، فإن أجابوا وإلا استعانوا بالله عليهم، وقاتلوهم، وقال لهم ‏:‏ ‏(‏اغزوا بسم الله، في سبيل الله، مَنْ كفر بالله، لا تغدروا، ولا تغلوا، ولا تقتلوا وليداً ولا امرأة، ولا كبيراً فانياً، ولا منعزلاً بصومعة، ولا تقطعوا نخلاً ولا شجرة، ولا تهدموا بناء‏)‏‏. وقد خرجت نساء المسلمين لتوديع ازواجهن وهن يقولون ((ردكم الله الينا صابرين)) فرد عبد الله بن رواحه وقال ((اما أنا فلا ردني الله))

April 30th, 2013, 11:34 am


ann said:

On Syria, Qatar’s 4th UNGA Draft Drops Support for Arab League, Welcomes

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive


UNITED NATIONS, April 30 — Amid the chess game about Syria and chemical weapons, the proposed UN General Assembly resolution drafted by Qatar and Saudi Arabia continues to be amended.

There is now a fourth revision, Rev. 4, which Inner City Press has obtained and is exclusively publishing here.

The changes include, in Operative Paragraph 26, switching “support” for the efforts of the Arab League to merely “welcoming” them — this after the Arab League gave the Syria seat to the opposition, over the reservations of Algeria and Iraq and the routine “dis-association” of Lebanon.

There is the addition of a paragraph 9 bis, which “underscores further the importance that the Syrian people, on the basis of broad, inclusive and credible consultations, should determine, within the framework provided by international law and based up on the complementarity principle, the domestic process and mechanisms to achieve reconciliation, truth and accountability for gross violations, as well as reparations and effective remedies for the victims.”

Changes were demanded even in the April 26 meeting between Qatar and the Western European and Other Group of states.



April 30th, 2013, 11:36 am


zoo said:

#252 Hopeful

“If you love Syria as you claim you do, isn’t worth it to try something new?”

That’s an excellent idea but who?
Al Nusra? the Moslem Brotherhood? a crippled coalition of expats or a USA puppet?
Any hopeful suggestion?

April 30th, 2013, 11:36 am


zoo said:

#303 Visitor

You are obviously an as “VERY GOOD MOSLEM” as the “holy” al Nusra fighters You should be proud of yourself as you are of their successful car bombs.
I wonder if using bold and uppercase is a sign of anger, disdain or insecurity.

April 30th, 2013, 11:43 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You said I predicted The fall of Damascus three times, this is a lie
You predicted the fall of airports will not happen and Taftanaz airport fell, You predicted SNC will fall, actually you still say NSC is influencing the coalition, and you know that George Sabra now is acting head of the coalition, your prediction is wrong, you predicted the revolution will be over soon, it is still going on, you predicted the NSC will go to Brahimi and call for dialogue this never materialze, enough of your silly predictions, things will end with the demise of Assad regime, he is losiing power gradually, and losing ground, you call the take of a small city ( tiny town ) of apel is a victory, you are dreaming , a straw is not a mountain , be realistic,your analysis and predictions are all mirage, a dream ,you like to happen , but none will happen, you are a loser , a sour loser, and you are denying the truth,
As for Hasan nasrallah your idole he lost his credibility among Syrians and in Lebanon, his sending troops to fight rebels in Syria will backfire on him, he proved he is sectarian anti sunni hateful person,what will he do once this is over and Syrians win?, he will be hiding in a hole,sewage pipe, underground ,or he will go to Iran,Israel is not afraid of him anymore,he is not a symbol of resistance anymore ,he is an evil traitor, .

April 30th, 2013, 11:48 am


Visitor said:


Come of it!

As long as Nusra is fighting Assad mafia thugs they are Holy Warriors.

Since you support Assad, you are a like-wise thug and no citation of a hadith will make you anywhere near to the Nusra level of greatness and nobility.


Zoo the ultimate fool,

As a general rule you can consider ANY reply I make to you as contempt, disdain…

You deserve nothing LESS.

April 30th, 2013, 11:49 am


ann said:

The Agenda For Military Intervention in Syria

April 30th, 2013, 11:52 am


zoo said:


Come on! The whole SC has witnessed your hysterical predictions of the fall of Damascus 3 times. Only Alzeimer people call the others liars when faced with the truth.
I’ll stick to my prediction that there will be call for negotiations from the NC soon.
Georges Sabra is only the “interim”. In may there will be what they dare call ‘election’ in the NC, as well as the new “interim” government headed by Hitto.

I doubt Sabra will get keep prominent position as he’ll get zero support from Qatar and KSA. In their eyes, he is a double heretic: Christian and communist.

April 30th, 2013, 12:02 pm


zoo said:

#309 Visitor

Keep the uppercase and the bold up!
I don’t expect less from people with Islamist dementia.

April 30th, 2013, 12:07 pm


Visitor said:

“312. zoo said:

#309 Visitor

Keep the uppercase and the bold up!
I don’t expect less from people with Islamist dementia.”


April 30th, 2013, 12:14 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

You have multiple personality, you have delusional halucination, and paranoia accusing Tara of being salfist,and at time as vampire, you have inconsistancy and talk about unrelated subjects,they all sings of schizophrenia.
in defending Shia it is clear you have inferiority complex

April 30th, 2013, 12:18 pm


Dawoud said:

Video of the funeral of the filthy animal Shabih Terororist from Lebanon’s Shiite TERRORIST Hizbas$, who was killed in Syria while killing Syrians on Behalf of Hasan Nasra$s, Bashar, and Ali Khameimas$:

April 30th, 2013, 12:21 pm


zoo said:

George Sabra calls on ‘coward’ international organizations to stop closing their eyes on the “Genocide and massacres” happening on Syrian civilians. He calls on Lebanese to stand with the opposition.

Acting President of SOC George Sabra – Press Conference

Posted April 26, 2013

April 30th, 2013, 12:22 pm


zoo said:

#314 Majed

Keep throwing hysterical accusations, it won’t save you from Alzheimer obviously creeping in your brain.

April 30th, 2013, 12:26 pm


Dawoud said:

Just a Reminder: Lebanon’s Shiite Hizba$s is rightly designated by the United States as TERRORIST organization. Any Americans who lobby/advocate/donate/support this terror organization are violating the U.S. law and are subject to prosecution.

April 30th, 2013, 12:35 pm


zoo said:


Brilliant warning!

Turkey and Qatar should be prosecuted for donating and supporting HAMAS, another USA designated terrorist organization.

April 30th, 2013, 12:40 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Mr. Barber,

A few of my posts are not going through after submission, any reason (no errors come up)?

April 30th, 2013, 12:44 pm


Dawoud said:

Yes, but Turkey and Qatar are states. I am talking about American citizens and residents who live in NYC, Queens, Boston, LA, etc. They should be tracked and monitored because Lebanon’s Shiite Hizbas$ is rightly designated as a TERROR group. This Shia party killed Rafiq al-Harriri in a terrorist bombing in 2005, carried out the Khobar Towers terror attacks, is now terrorizing Syrians, etc. …..

April 30th, 2013, 12:45 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

President Obama in his press conference today repeated his statement that Assad lost credibility and legitamcy and must go.
Also he said he ordered verifications of who ,when the chemical weapons have been used, his main concern is the chain of custody and reliability,this can be done by UN team on the ground,which Assad does not allow, or through working with Jordan and Turkey.
Once it is proven this raised the level of dealing with Assad, clearly implyed there will be approval of either military strike or NFZ or arming the rebels, even that he declined to mention such things.
The state department said SARIN has been used, we read here Ghufran said a soap has been used,soap can cause foam, This guy does not know anything about medicine, suggesting that soap thrown by bombs, inhaled ,then cause people to get sick,short of breath and exhaling foam,is way beyond medical knowledge, what a pity!

April 30th, 2013, 12:47 pm


zoo said:

Is the war to regain borders started while Turkey is busy with the PKK withdrwal?

Syria strike on Turkey border kills five


A Syrian air strike on the headquarters of a Salafi Islamist rebel brigade at the main crossing point with Turkey killed at least five people and wounded dozens, opposition activists along the border said.

The attack targeted buildings belonging to the Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most formidable rebel units fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, they said, according to Reuters.

April 30th, 2013, 12:48 pm


Why some Syrians who opposed Assad are now turning against the revolution — War in Context said:

[…] This is the first part of a very long seven-part post by Matthew Barber at Joshua Landis’s Syr…: A Lebanese acquaintance of Dr. Landis wrote in an email about the recent experience of his Syrian natoor (a worker at an apartment building functioning like a cross between a guard, concierge, and janitor): […]

April 30th, 2013, 12:51 pm


zoo said:

Iraq cements position as second-biggest Opec oil exporter

Apr 30, 2013

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/business/energy/iraq-cements-position-as-second-biggest-opec-oil-exporter#ixzz2Ry0XewIo

April 30th, 2013, 1:00 pm


zoo said:

On Syria, Obama just repeats what he said two years ago

Transcript: President Obama talks to press on 100th day of second term

Published: April 30, 2013 Updated 3 minutes ago

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2013/04/30/4631327/transcript-president-obama-talks.html#storylink=rss#storylink=cpy

April 30th, 2013, 1:06 pm


Altair said:

I suspect that many regime supporters are regime supporters because they are convinced that Syria can’t do better than the current president and leadership.

And some simply don’t know any better. After all, the 30 years preceding Bashar al-Asad were of his father. How many people actually remember a day when Syria wasn’t ruled by the Asads. If you count the time when the Baath took over, that was way back to 1963. Fifty years ago! Only people at least in their 60s can remember a day not ruled by this tyranny, and even then there was tyranny in 1958 when Abdul-Nasser took over.

But if anyone thinks Bashar is the worst president, they should think again. That distinction should go to his father. His father destroyed civil society in Syria, all in order to eliminate any challenges to his rule. Syria is paying the price today.

Bashar allowed some civil society to return. Not much, but some. So it looked good. He looked good. After all, compared to the likes of his father, or even the many years before his father, it wasn’t hard to be better.

I’m afraid that most Syrians still don’t understand that dissent is important in a healthy society. When you crush it, you make way for tyranny. Lack of it means new ideas for change are also crushed, new ideas that can benefit a healthy society.

Dictators can sometimes be good, but they rarely are, and even when they are, they often turn into megalomaniacs, something Hafiz al-Asad most certainly became. As far as I know, there was not a single statue of a previous president in Syria prior to him, and no one else minted coins or 1000 pound notes with his picture on it, not to mention the thousands, maybe millions of pictures, stencils and other likenesses of him posted all over the country. (On a side note, Bashar, to his credit, reversed some of this hero worship and cult of personality).

This was not the Syria of the 1950s or even the 1960s.

So is it any wonder that Syrian identity was not allowed to develop? How does it develop under a tyranny that only glorifies the “great leader” and little else and that the only thing that you could complain about publicly was the quality of the hummus (which was always good, by the way) without being thrown in jail?

I’m directly referring to the story in this post about Riyad, the natoor who says the “we let Bashar down”. The truth is Hafiz let Syria down, and gave the inheritance to his son. His son shouldn’t be grateful for that, nor should any Syrian.

Syria deserves better.

April 30th, 2013, 1:15 pm


Badr said:

“Zoo” recently wrote: “No US diplomat since the witch Clinton left has repeated that Bashar al Assad must step aside.”

To put it politely, you were wrong “Zoo”. A couple of months ago at a news conference, Mr. Kerry said it squarely: ‘Assad has to go’.

April 30th, 2013, 1:15 pm


ziad said:

US False Flag Pretext for War on Syria

Full-scale intervention looms. He’s creating a pretext to do it. Old news bears repeating.

A no longer accessible January 29, 2013 UK Daily Mail headlined “US ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime,’ ” saying:

“Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.”

“A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ‘approved by Washington’ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.”

“Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.”

“It reads: ‘Phil….We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington.”

” ‘We’ll have to deliver a CW to Homs, a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have.’ ”

” ‘They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record.’ ”

” ‘Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion?’ ”

” ‘Kind regards, David.’ ”

“The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.”


April 30th, 2013, 1:17 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

It turns out it was personal motive not religious reason ,behind the Boston bombing.
1-Banned from Olymbic
2- Mother could not come back because of shoplifting

April 30th, 2013, 1:24 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

why america hates Syria, Iraq, and Libya, cuba, Venezuela, former soviet union: free health care, free education, care for their citizens.

America wants its own citizens deep in debt, sleeping on the streets, poor with poor health, uneducated.

amurderka wages war on decency. amurderka’s flacks and hacks and rats leave their droppings here and at other blogs.

sharmine narwani pretty damn good.

reckon to some truth is propaganda.

amurderka, the number one refugee creator.

and why not? why should people be left alone.

bomb them. kill them. destroy everything they have. create misery.

America, satan’s own.

April 30th, 2013, 1:42 pm


annie said:

The Reve unmasked : he has been sarcastic all the time and we went for it : “If Assad wasn’t the kind and loving president he is ”
right there, that is sarcasm. But Reve has been pushing it a little too far at times.

April 30th, 2013, 1:53 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

existential threats to Israel found in Syria:

toothpaste, soap, deodorant, truth, honesty, justice.

April 30th, 2013, 1:53 pm


MarigoldRan said:

With retards like the retard, just troll them. It works. After a while they run away.

In the meantime the war continues.

April 30th, 2013, 2:14 pm


Akbar Palace said:

One Track Mind Alert

existential threats to Israel found in Syria

5 Dancing Racists,

Since this is a Syrian website, and since so many Syrians are dying, it would have been more appropriate if you said, “existential threats to Syria found in Syria”.

But you didn’t.

why america hates Syria, Iraq, and Libya, cuba, Venezuela, former soviet union: free health care, free education, care for their citizens.

5 Dancing Racists,

In which one of those lovely countries do you live? Let me guess: Canada or the US.

American doesn’t like these countries because not only is their health care second fiddle to the USA, there is no basic freedoms, no say in govenment or rule-of-law.

April 30th, 2013, 2:42 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Bad news for the resistance professional among us:

Israel welcomes apparent Arab League softening of peace plan


April 30th, 2013, 2:54 pm


Citizen said:

Obama says there is evidence of chemical weapon use in Syria
What an absurdity! Russian intelligence is aware of the serious project, which was drawn by Western intelligence services since last year to carry out a chemical attack and accused the Syrian regime are doing!It’s a farce Obama!

Battalion “the ِAl-Sarsar wind”

April 30th, 2013, 3:03 pm


revenire said:

Obama is a weakling.

April 30th, 2013, 3:07 pm


Citizen said:

Come Obama Bombard Stores from the sea and air! Prefer to serve Israel!You are the President of the United States of Israel!Why are you hesitant?Come on!

April 30th, 2013, 3:08 pm


ann said:

Missiles Fired At Passenger Jet Over Syria – Monday 29 April 2013

It was en route to the city of Kazan, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, from Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el Sheikh.


Two missiles have been fired at a Russian passenger plane flying over Syria, according to Russian media.

About 160 people were on board the charter aircraft at the time of the attack, the origin of which remains unknown, a source told the Interfax news agency.

An unnamed source is understood to have said: “Syrian (officials) informed us that on Monday morning, unidentified forces launched two ground-to-air missiles which exploded in the air very close to a civilian aircraft belonging to a Russian airline.”

The source said the pilots managed to manoeuvre but it was only because they did so that lives were saved.

The source added: “It remains unclear whether the attackers knew whether it was Russian or not.”

The targeted plane belonged to Nordwind Airlines – a Russian charter air carrier. It was en route to the city of Kazan, in Russia’s republic of Tatarstan, from Egypt’s resort city of Sharm el Sheikh.

Russia’s Agency For Tourism confirmed an incident had taken place, saying: “No one was injured, and the plane was not damaged. The aircraft landed in Kazan as it had been planned.”

Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement about the incident.

A spokesman said: “On April 29, at 0455 (Moscow time), a Northern Wind plane was travelling in Syrian airspace from Sharm el Sheikh to Kazan and the pilot crew has recorded military activities on the ground that could have endangered the plane and 159 passengers.

“The Russian authorities are taking urgent measures to clarify the situation including in contact with Syrian authorities.”

The transportation ministry said the plane landed safely.



April 30th, 2013, 3:31 pm


ann said:

Syria Says UN’s Ban Got Pressured April 4-5, Calls GA Draft War Declaration

By Matthew Russell Lee


UNITED NATIONS, April 30 — When Syria Permanent Representative Bashar Ja’afari held a press conference Tuesday morning, it went over an hour.

He took questions, unlike Ban Ki-moon the day before, including from stations like Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, and Voice of America which is run by the US State Department.

After those, Inner City Press asked Ja’afari what he thought Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did between April 4, when Ja’afari said he had a deal with the UN’s Angela Kane to inspect in Khan al Asal near Aleppo, and April 5 when Ban “went back on the deal.”

Ja’afari mused that either Ban got calls or MADE calls, and then went back on the deal. He called on the UN Secretariat to not be “part of this campaign against Syria.”

While Ban didn’t take any question on April 29 — and when the Free UN Coalition for Access complained, the UN’s Stephane Dujarric said press “presence is not mandatory” — one still wants to know what Ban did between April 4 and April 5.

Isn’t that the purpose of a “public schedule” of the type Ban puts, or purports to put, online? (He did not list his April 26 “private” meeting with Sarkozy.)

First clue: as Inner City Press asked Ja’afari who’d said Ban was in The Hague, Ban was in fact in Madrid for this “Chief Executives Board” meeting.

Inner City Press also asked Ja’afari about the pending UN General Assembly draft resolution, the fouth revision of which Inner City Press obtained and exclusively published earlier on Tuesday.

You are right there is a Rev 4, Ja’afari said, adding his prediction that they will have to go to a “Rev 10,” because it is a declaration of war. He called Qatar, the first sponsor or drafter, a puppet, and said the goal is a follow up resolution to take Syria’s UN seat and give it to the external, extremist opposition.



April 30th, 2013, 3:36 pm


ann said:

Syrian Envoy: Chemical Weapons Can’t Be Tolerated – April 30, 2013


Syria’s U.N. ambassador said Tuesday that the use of chemical weapons is not only “a red line” but “a blood line” that cannot be tolerated and again demanded a U.N. investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Aleppo that it blames on rebels.

Bashar Ja’afari said at a news conference that his government has bodies and other proof that chemical weapons were used in Khan al-Assad in Aleppo on March 19 and it wants this incident investigated first. The rebels blame the government for the attack.

Ja’afari said Damascus is demanding details of another alleged chemical weapons attack that Britain and France say was carried out by the government in Homs on Dec. 23 before it will even consider allowing U.N. experts to conduct an investigation in that city.

He disclosed that Qatar also sent a letter to the United Nations “claiming the use of chemical weapons in other parts of Syria,” without giving dates or locations.

Pressed by reporters, Ja’afari declined to confirm that Syria has chemical weapons. “The Syrian government has always emphasized that the Syrian government will not use, if it possesses any, chemical weapons on its own people,” he said.

He added, “The use of chemical weapons in Syria and elsewhere in the world is not only a red line, it’s a purple line, it’s a blood line, and nobody is tolerated or will be tolerated to use such horrific weapon of mass destruction.”

Ja’afari blamed opponents of the Syrian government, which he didn’t name, for launching “a campaign of incitement” which has included “trumped-up charges and fraudulent accusations against Syria” as well as a media, diplomatic and political campaign.

He said it was similar to the campaign leading to the Iraq War in 2003, when the United States and Britain claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The claim proved to be false.

“What happened in Iraq is still alive in our minds,” he added.

Ja’afari insisted that the U.N. team of chemical weapons experts should immediately go to Syria to investigate the Khan al-Assad incident, but made no commitment to investigating the other claims.

“The Syrian government is still waiting to receive information on these situations,” Ja’afari said. “Then, if the Syrian government and the secretary-general and the Security Council members feel that these allegations are also credible, the Syrian government might — might — examine the possibility of asking for further investigation,” he said.

If such information is delivered to Damascus, “then it would be up to us” to make a decision, Ja’afari said.



April 30th, 2013, 3:45 pm


Dolly Buster said:

330. 5 dancing shlomos said:

why america hates Syria, Iraq, and Libya, cuba, Venezuela, former soviet union: free health care, free education, care for their citizens.

America wants its own citizens deep in debt, sleeping on the streets, poor with poor health, uneducated.

So, how come Americans make $3000 a month and Cubans and Venezuelans $30.

Stuff shouldn’t be free, you have to pay. Otherwise there will be shortages and poor quality. For instance Russia is known for сrap cars.

April 30th, 2013, 3:51 pm


zoo said:

#327. Badr said:

“To put it politely, you were wrong “Zoo”. A couple of months ago at a news conference, Mr. Kerry said it squarely: ‘Assad has to go’.

You are right and Obama repeated it today as the condition for the peace in Syria. As he gave no deadline, the wording sounds more like a diplomatic wish than a determination to remove him:

“the only way to bring stability and peace to Syria is going to be for Assad to step down and to move forward on a political transition.”

I think he avoided insisting on that point because it goes against the Russians position and the Geneva accord. In any case this is not going to happen soon.
In the meantime, except for an assassination attempt or a coup, I just don’t see Bashar al Assad either willingly or forced to step down.

April 30th, 2013, 3:52 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Do you look like Mary Muneeb?
Aman Ya Rabbi Aman

April 30th, 2013, 4:25 pm


Tara said:

Zoo @314

You Salafist.

April 30th, 2013, 4:35 pm


Dolly Buster said:

147. ann said:
“President Bashar Assad’s palace” What palace?! The man lives in a house, not a palace!

Actually he has a lavish palace on Mt. Qasiun

I used to have an extensive collection of video-interviews w/Bashar in the 2000s decade. Different interviewers like Amanpour, Rose and Curry would come to that palace.


April 30th, 2013, 6:00 pm


Citizen said:

بوتين لأوباما : اللعبة انتهت

April 30th, 2013, 6:09 pm


Citizen said:

أعلنت وزارة الخارجية الروسية يوم الثلاثاء 30 نيسان/ابريل أن وزير الخارجية الأمريكي جون كيري سيجري زيارة عمل إلى العاصمة موسكو في 7-8 أيار/مايو.

تجدر الإشارة إلى لقاء وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف مع كيري يوم 23 نيسان/ابريل على هامش الاجتماع الوزاري لمجلس روسيا – حلف الناتو في بروكسل.

April 30th, 2013, 6:13 pm


Hopeful said:

#306 Zoo

I was actually referring to someone else within the regime who is not a polarizing figure like Assad is.

April 30th, 2013, 7:29 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

351 hopeful

president assad is not a polarizing figure.

some syrians, real syrians, do not support him. most do.

note, syrians are fighting for president assad who is leading the fight for syria and syrians.

May 1st, 2013, 12:46 pm


EU decision to lift Syrian oil sanctions boosts jihadist groups | Video said:

[…] In one well documented case, fighting broke out in the village of al-Musareb, near Deir Ezzor, between al-Nusra fighters and local tribesmen over ownership of an oil tanker. The al-Nusra commander, a Saudi called Qasura al-Jazrawi, was killed. As a reprisal, the jihadist group levelled much of the village and executed 50 of its residents. […]

May 19th, 2013, 7:54 am


EU decision to lift Syrian oil sanctions boosts jihadist groups | Eelam eNews said:

[…] In one well-documented case, fighting broke out in the village of al-Musareb, near Deir Ezzor, between al-Nusra fighters and local tribesmen over ownership of an oil tanker. The al-Nusra commander, a Saudi called Qasura al-Jazrawi, was killed. As a reprisal, the jihadist group levelled much of the village and executed 50 of its residents. […]

May 22nd, 2013, 3:17 am


100words | Syrian rebels level kurdish village killing 50 residents in fight for oil said:

[…] In one well-documented case, fighting broke out in the village of al-Musareb, near Deir Ezzor, between al-Nusra fighters and local tribesmen over ownership of an oil tanker. The al-Nusra commander, a Saudi called Qasura al-Jazrawi, was killed. As a reprisal, the jihadist group levelled much of the village and executed 50 of its residents. […]

May 30th, 2013, 7:56 am


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