Regime's Top Sunni Defects - General Manaf Mustafa Tlass Flees to Turkey - Syria Comment

Regime’s Top Sunni Defects – General Manaf Mustafa Tlass Flees to Turkey

General Manaf Tlass, One of Syria’s top Sunni Military Figures from the Inner-circle of Bashar al-Assad, has Defected.
Bashar al-Assad and Manaf Tlass, sons of the President and Defense Minister, attending military training in the 1990s

Addendum: My sources in Damascus say that Manaf’s house is being ransacked earlier today. The source went by the house in person.

Spokesperson of Turkish foreign Ministry: Two high rank officers in the Syrian Army have arrive to Turkey during the last three days. He didn’t wish to reveal their names. However, there are wide range media speculation that one of those officers is Manaf Tlas, the son of EX Syrian Defence Minister

Kim Ghattas (@BBCKimGhattas)
7/5/12 2:10 PM
Message posted by one of Tlass brothers on social media seems to confirm they have defected #Syria

Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin)
7/5/12 11:08 PM
‏عاجل: المخابرات الفرنسية اشرفت على عملية تهريب العميد مناف مصطفى طلاس من سوريا حيث وصل اليوم الى باريس ‎‪- Says that French intelligence are overseeing his transportation to Paris, where he arrived today.

For 16 months the opposition has been complaining that elite Sunnis have not defected. That complaint can now, officially, be put to rest if the stories of Manaf’s flight prove to be true. In March it was rumored that he had led with his father and brother, but those stories were false.

Manaf Tlass, the son of ex-Defense Minister (1972 – 12 May 2004), Mustafa Tlass, has fled the country. Mustafa Tlass was instrumental in smoothing the way for Bashar to assume power after the death of his father.

When Hafez al-Assad died in June 2000, his son Bashar was immediately promoted in military rank by Defense Minister Mustapha Tlass. He was also made secretary-general of the Baath Party whereas Manaf became a member of the Party’s Central Committee and an officer in the Republican Guard.

On Tuesday, all of Syria was buzzing that Manaf had defected but there was no confirmation. His Honda had supposedly turned up in the Rukn ad-Din neighborhood of Damascus, but he was no where to be found. Rumors of his possible defection were wide-spread on Twitter.

Syria-Steps, an on-line news source in Syria that is known for being pro-regime, has just confirmed the rumors. It claims:
أكد مصدر أمني رفيع المستوى “لسيرياستيبس” فرار العميد مناف مصطفى طلاس إلى تركيا..
“A highly placed source in intelligence has confirmed that General Manaf Mustafa Tlass has fled to Turkey.”

Manaf Tlass’s father and brother, Firas who is a leading businessman, are believed to be out of the country. The father had gone to Paris on the pretext of getting medical attention. Firas is said to be in Dubai. It is not clear where the women and children of his family are.

Manaf Tlass was a close confidant of Bashar from his earliest days and part of his inner circle or “shille”, which included people, such as his cousins Rami and Hafiz Makhlouf,  Mudar al-Assad (son of Rifaat), Nader Qala’i (ex-CEO of Syriatel and business partner to Rami) Yazan Aslan (son of Ali Aslan, Chief of Staff)

Manaf is as handsome as a movie star and carried a lot of authority. He was a true military guy and had spent his entire life in the military, unlike Bashar. People close to him say that when he walked into a room, all eyes turned to him. Not only did women find him attractive, but men did as well. He carried himself with an air of self-confidence and authority. He is smart, dashing and cunning.

The word is that Manaf had been told to solve the Harasta and Duma problems (the growing uprising on the outskirts of Damascus). He did a good job by negotiating with the opposition leaders in both suburbs, agreeing that both government forces and opposition would pull back. The Alawi leadership said “no, that is not how we are going to do this.” They pushed him aside and came down like a ton of bricks on the opposition in both neighborhoods, in an effort to assert state authority and crush the uprising through military means.

Manaf supported a policy of negotiation, flexibility and compromise. He was overruled by the military leadership and has since looked for a way out.

If he has indeed fled the country, the regime will be thrown back on its heels. Manaf is perhaps the most senior Sunni in the regime because he was a close friend of Bashar, he came from the Tlass family which had been at the Assads’ side from the earliest days of Hafiz’s assumption of power, and because he was situated at the heart of the military. When foreign statesmen or Syrians thought of a Sunni who could possibly take power, Manaf had to be at the top of the list or very close to the top. Of course, Farouq al-Sharaa, the VP is usually thought of as the Sunni who could serve as an interim leader because he is Vice President, but Manaf is respected by Bashar’s generation and a military leader.

The Tlass family in 1990s? Manaf is on the right. From right to left: Colonel Manaf Tlass and his wife Tala, General Mustafa Tlass and his wife Lamia, Firas Tlass and his wife Rania (Rania is a Jabri (a leading Sunni notable family of Aleppo).

Comments (229)


Aldendeshe said:

So the Sunni criminals that helped the Baathists and Assad regime murder 30,000 Sunni in Hama are seeking the French Rivera now, time to spend the loot in luxury. Watch the Ikhwan Crusaders Murtazaka take em in for a price and brag about it. All those Sunni’s were just prop anyway. They had no real influence or powers, other than on t.v. cam. The departure ( run with cash) will not weaken the regime any bit.

July 5th, 2012, 11:37 am

 

Tara said:

Well, it is high time to see high-ranked Sunnis defecting. High ranked Alawis defection is also welcome….I think we are witnessing the regime of terror disintegrating from within. The world of Bashar is unraveling…in front of his very own eyes. I am sure evil can no longer survive unpunished..

July 5th, 2012, 11:39 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

About Manaf Tlass
Should we expect a statement from his father Mustafa Tlass?or interview with him?
How did he defect? he must have moved north, how come he was not discovered.?
Would he be welcomed by FSA?

July 5th, 2012, 12:06 pm

 

norman said:

Coward robbed the country now found God,Syria will be divided no trust left

July 5th, 2012, 12:26 pm

 

irritated said:

Majedalkhadoon

Would he be welcomed by FSA?

After Paris and the high style of life, I doubt his elegant family will accept to live in a Turkish camp.

July 5th, 2012, 12:30 pm

 

Tara said:

Norman

He was part of the “good” regime that you kept supporting at the expense of the downtrodden for the last 15 month. All of the sudden now he became coward and thief? He is that but don’t you think your statement is hypocrisy at its glory?

July 5th, 2012, 12:31 pm

 

Antoine said:

“Manaf Tlass officially defected…”

Should be immediately arrested and tried in Martial Court by FSA in Idleb, including pending all investigations starting from his every movement and action from March 15 2011 until last night, then judgement should be delivered and executed. I have no doubt that he will get the death sentence if tried in a real accountable Court by real Syrian Revolutionaries.

Next step should be getting hold of his father and brother and launching similar cases, including the building of a 5 star Hotel over a mass grave in Hama, running Kangaroo courts from 1966 till the 1990s, and many more.

Syria will not be led by people with blood on their hands, period.

I pretty sure they will meet the fate of Gaddafi Interior Minister who defected only to be gunned down by men he had personally tortured in Gaddafi’s Prisons.

July 5th, 2012, 12:33 pm

 

zoo said:

The grain of salt from the Israeli media, not reported by J.L

Tlass had secretly joined the opposition and was watched

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-top-syrian-officer-a-close-friend-of-assad-defects-and-flees-to-turkey-1.449089
….
A source in the Syrian defense establishment confirmed the report, and claimed that Tlass fled after he discovered that the Syrian intelligence services found out that he is a member of the opposition and rebel forces.

According to the source, Syrian intelligence was tracking him for an extended period of time and had gathered intelligence on his activities. The source said that Tlass fled after he understood that he would probably be arrested by Assad’s security forces. The Syrian source underplayed the importance of the incident, saying that it looked like Tlass understood that the Assad regime had the upper hand.
….

July 5th, 2012, 12:36 pm

 

Antoine said:

FSA should simply slam the door on Manaf Tlass face, tell him to go back to Syria and resume his command, see if Assad will forgive him, or alternatively, see if Hillary Hypocrite Clinton will come to his rescue, lets not forget he already has the blood of 16,400 Syrians on his hands ( automatically being a part of the upper crust of the regime) , only if he had defected on 18 March 2011 or even as late as 4 February 2012 perhaps his pardon may be considered, pending an “ATWAH” between the people of Syria and the Tlass family.

July 5th, 2012, 12:37 pm

 

Tara said:

Antoin

“Should be immediately arrested and tried in Martial Court by FSA in Idleb, including pending all investigations starting from his every movement and action from March 15 2011 until last night, then judgement should be delivered and executed. I have no doubt that he will get the death sentence if tried in a real accountable Court by real Syrian Revolutionaries.”

I hate to say it but No he shouldn’t be. If this is done, it will definitely stop any further defection. The FSA and the SNC should declare amnesty to those who defect.

July 5th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

irritated said:

It’s interesting how the anti-Bashar crowd is torn between hailing the first high level sunni defection and calling him to pay for his crimes.

According to J.L article, if he plays well, he’ll be the next president, a sunni that “not only did women find him attractive, but men did as well. He carried himself with an air of self-confidence and authority. He was smart and cunning.”

Will he get a welcoming celebration by Erdogan,
and the military heads of the FSA? Or is he just transiting on his way to Monte Carlo?

July 5th, 2012, 12:41 pm

 

omen said:

7. ANTOINE said: “Manaf Tlass officially defected…” Should be immediately arrested and tried in Martial Court by FSA in Idleb

and if he freely offered valuable information to the fsa that would shorten the conflict and that would hasten the demise of the regime?

July 5th, 2012, 12:43 pm

 

Antoine said:

1. ALDENDESHE said:

” All those Sunni’s were just prop anyway. They had no real influence or powers, other than on t.v. cam. The departure ( run with cash) will not weaken the regime any bit.”

___________________________________________________________________

Aldendeshe, may I ask you who are the real powers and influcne behind the regime ?

In my opinion and analysis, the regime’s main power lies not in individuals, but in ideas, abstract ideas of the human brain, and pecualiar circumstances.

Btw Aldendeshe, just consider if ALL the Sunnis in the Syrian Arab Army deserted their posts, will it weaken the regime ?

Also Aldendeshe, can I ask you , does SNP knows the exact Division and Brigade level formations which are deployed in Idleb and Hama Governorates counter-insurgency operation at this moment ? What are the names of their commanders ? What is their hometowns ? Which battallions and regiments have been deployed in fighting the FSA ? What is their sectarian composition ?

Please I have asked classified information from you before, but every time you have refised to oblige, so can I conclude that the SNP has somevested interests in this conflict and is not “neutral” as claimed ?

If not, then please explain why SNP refuses to reveal classified information about the regime’s operations publically.

July 5th, 2012, 12:45 pm

 

omen said:

11. IRRITATED said: According to J.L article, if he plays well, he’ll be the next president, a sunni that “not only did women find him attractive, but men did as well. He carried himself with an air of self-confidence and authority. He was smart and cunning.”

this is called “command presence.”

July 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

Tara said:

As attractive as Batta is. I presume to certain crowd.

What happen to refined taste?

July 5th, 2012, 12:47 pm

 

zoo said:

Why is King Abdallah asking France for a loan to narrow its budget deficit and not the rich Gulf countries?

http://www.alriyadh.com/en/article/749314/france-loans-jordan-150-million-euros

Jordan’s government announced Wednesday that France will provide a 150 million euros soft loan to Jordan in support of the energy sector with the first amount to be paid soon, following discussions between King Abdullah II of Jordan and French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday.

The government and the French Development Agency hammered out an agreement over the loan, which supports Jordan’s efforts to narrow the budget deficit and enhance the efficiency of the energy sector, according to a report of Qatar News Agency (QNA).

July 5th, 2012, 12:52 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

I was just going to post how pro regime will probably come out and demonise Manaf Tlass as a ‘butcher’, ‘war-criminal’ or similar when they turned a blind eye to the the regimes crimes but Irritated has beaten me to the punch and stolen my thunder.

After the blessed night of Shab e Barat this is great news. This defection and the wikileaks.

On the defection and the possibility of Manaf Tlass being a possible leader, I’m sure the opposition will come to the best judgement. I for one will take cue from Shaykh Yaqoubi.

July 5th, 2012, 12:53 pm

 

Antoine said:

10. TARA said :

“I hate to say it but No he shouldn’t be. If this is done, it will definitely stop any further defection. The FSA and the SNC should declare amnesty to those who defect.”

__________________________________________________________________

Not at all, that defeats the very purpose of the Revolution, which is to uprootb the regime root and branch, and to get accountabillty for all crimes committed from March 8 1963. If FSA were to declare “amnesty” on people like Maher al Assad and Assef Shawkat and Mouallem ( the declaration itself would be a laughable affair) , then I will ask you why not delcare amnesty for Bashar as well ? Then why not stop this revolution as well.

No amnesty, not at all, except for middle and lower ranking officers and conscripts, those who did not commit crimes willingly that is.

Anyway FSA rules of defection are very clear, to defect you must join FSA unit within Syria and fight with them, rather than run away to Turkey to enjoy hospitality of the Turkish Government, infact I can tell you, 90 % of FSA fighters on the ground do not have a high opinion at all of those who escape to Turkey, be they Manaf or anybody else.

Millions of Syrians are waiting for a grand Nuremberg style trial in Damascus where everyone who committed horrible crimes against the people, be they a General or a Conscript or a shabbih, will stand in the box and the relatives of the victim will look them in the eye.

Do you think this Syrian mother would like to grant amnesty to all :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSK68KaQi7I&feature=youtu.be

_________________________________________________________________

July 5th, 2012, 12:54 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Norman
I don’t remember you ever said Manaf robbed the country before,why do you say it now? did any other person robbed the country other than Manaf? is Rami Makhlouf a good person, never robbed the country?
You say now Manaf found God, I don’t think he grew beard or show any sign that he is connected with MB.
Manf palace in Ya3foor is truely magnificent palace.

It is strange people are great till they defect, then they are evil,and has robbed the country.

The only way Manaf was able to defect ,is that he got help from other officers in the republican guards.Mustapha Tlass was quoted to say about Assef Shawkat God help Syria from Asef, we knew Tlass family would defect sooner or later

July 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

Antoine said:

12. OMEN said :

“and if he freely offered valuable information to the FSA that would shorten the conflict and that would hasten the demise of the regime?”
__________________________________________________________________

He doesn’t know anything that the FSA doesn’t already know.

TARA would you welcome it if Bashar Jaafari’s daugter defected just minutes before the victory of the Revolution ?

July 5th, 2012, 12:57 pm

 

Antoine said:

MajedKhaldoun,

I don’t trust Manaf Tlass and most FSA fighting on the ground do not as well, besides he isn’t even a Militarily qualified battle hardened officer.

To be honest the Revolution has many many enemies and many more indifferent people, the Revolution relies on its own strength, 5 conscripts defecting in Homs is more precious than Manaf Tlass cooling his heels somewhere.

I think FSA should force Manaf to get down on the ground in Idleb and lead a platoon personally from the front, without a bullretproof vest as well.

July 5th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

8. zoo

That is probably the standard copybook response to any defections. It may be baseless. We will never know.

If the ultra-paranoid regime was aware of his activities wouldn’t they have dealt with him right away? Then again maybe they wouldn’t out of fear of the consequences vis a vis the larger Tlass family and Sunnis in general?

July 5th, 2012, 1:02 pm

 

Alan said:

4. NORMAN said:
Coward robbed the country now found God,Syria will be divided no trust left

Norman applause you are a true advocate
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/BernardLewisMap.jpg

July 5th, 2012, 1:03 pm

 

Antoine said:

TARA, FSA concentrates more on grassroots defections that will fight alongise them, not run away to a foreign country. tha target is the sizable number of ordinary Sunnis still neutral or loyal to the regime.

July 5th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

norman said:

They all robbed the country except me.

July 5th, 2012, 1:05 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

Antoine

There is something to your argument and it is causing confusion. Conflicting feelings, emotions.

However, if the opposition has appealed for officers and others to defect on mass then how can we respond negatively if some do respond to these calls and defect?

Burhan Ghalioun and more recently the new head of the SNC called for defections. Shaykh Yaqoubi has previously appealed to officers in the military to disobey orders and to defect. I can’t see any of them not welcome this defection.

July 5th, 2012, 1:14 pm

 

Alan said:

Munaf Тlas is not a reference center of the universe! enough to increase the topic!

July 5th, 2012, 1:15 pm

 

maida said:

Its funny how people hail that a “Sunni” has defected. As if he cares about religion or what it means. Does it really matter whether he s Sunni OR ANY OTHER DENOMINATION- they considered themselves the elite in Syria and could do whatever they wanted- His family and himself were part and parcel of the regime- and actively depleted Syria of its valuable resources. They made fortunes from the sweat and hard work of poor Syrian people and considered it like their farm to do what they please with it. Noone dared go against them and I dont think these things should be overlooked if he defected -He should be made to return the fortunes they made to the Syrian people then we will be convinced that they are genuine.

July 5th, 2012, 1:18 pm

 

Faisal said:

Manaf Tlass has been for 1 year under house arrest. Now that he has defected, the revolution should cooperate with him to get as many information and secrets he has about the regime. After the regime falls, the books will be opened, and every criminal will pay his due.

July 5th, 2012, 1:19 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

We need to interview Manaf,He has a lot of informations about Bashar and his regime, he is high prize, reminds me of the defection of Saddam sons in law.

Antoine
take it easy he needs to be tried first, he could help overthrow Bashar, this is a major step and will bring Bashar regime to the end,it is estimated that he has more than 100 officer who are loyal to him.

July 5th, 2012, 1:20 pm

 

jna said:

Antoine-“I think FSA should force Manaf to get down on the ground in Idleb and lead a platoon personally from the front, without a bullretproof vest as well.”

I didn’t see it said that he defected to join the FSA. It said he went to Turkey. Don’t think that even the FSA has such swelled heads as to believe they rule in Turkey.

July 5th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Norman’
Don’t tell me you are Baathist for nothing

July 5th, 2012, 1:25 pm

 

Observer said:

The Wikileaks e mails involve the alfadelgroup of holding companies in Syria. I went to their web site and it is under construcion however a UN report about alfadel group has a lot of information from August 2011 about the company and its projects.
Does any one know who they are and what they do?

As for Manaf, I met him once, a long time ago and he seemed to be mainly interested in actually being a professional soldier, but I am not aware of his political views.

His defection if true is important but I would be more interested in the defection of inner circle and high ranking officers like Nassif Kheir Bek or others like him who are part of the very structure of the regime.

I wonder where their families are?

July 5th, 2012, 1:26 pm

 

Badr said:

A deluge begins with a trickle.

July 5th, 2012, 1:29 pm

 
 

Antoine said:

OBSERVER,

What are you talking about , people like KheirBek should be 6 feet under, FSA encourages defections from Connscriots and Offciers – those who did not commit crimes willingly. Period. It is apparent that people like Kheirbek and Tlass and other so-called inner-circle were willing members of the regime.

FSA is wary even of Battalllion commanders and Platoon commanders.

Basically now FSA is engaged in a brutal epic phallic fight, so no to any high level defections, FSA just want a military contest with the regime and to militarily defeat the regime and then shape Syria according to their plans.

July 5th, 2012, 1:33 pm

 

norman said:

Makes,
I am a baathist in my heart do not need wasta I do not need to steal my wealth I make it for me and others.

July 5th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Alan said:

Toz!
http://www.rt.com/news/nato-navy-drills-syria-474/
NATO launches war games in Mediterranean amid tension with Syria

July 5th, 2012, 1:36 pm

 

Observer said:

Here is the wikileaks first e mails
http://wikileaks.org/syria-files/releasedate/2012-07-05-10-how-the-finmeccanica-technology-is-helping-the.html

Antoine, when I say defection I do not mean specifically to the FSA, it could be defecting to Iran or Russia and fleeing the country.

You can defect actively and passively. Many conscripts have refused to join their military service for example without necessarily fighting or joining the FSA making them de facto defectors.

July 5th, 2012, 1:37 pm

 

Tara said:

Antoin

“TARA would you welcome it if Bashar Jaafari’s daugter defected just minutes before the victory of the Revolution ?”

Ouch!  Did I give the impression that I dislike Shehrazad the most?  Or it just assumed so because she is a girl? 

My dislike scale is consistent with the level of crimes.  It appears that her “crime” is less than any military commander’s

To answer the question, and I hate to admit that …but if Bashar to defect now and one single  life is to be saved, I would grant him amnesty if it is up to me.  Now, I am sure that my resentment towards Batta is not contestable.  It shouldn’t

The point is: One innocent life is worth much more than Bashar and his family combined.

July 5th, 2012, 1:48 pm

 

Observer said:

Baathist ideology is one of a single Arab nation with an eternal message.
The eternal message is supposedly the Islamic message. By making this universal message the privy of Arabs only it deprives it of its universality, renders the non Arab muslims to a second state citizens.
Arab nationalism means that you speak Arabic and that you view your heritage and culture as being Arab. I am half Kurdish and presumably a quarter Turkish and yet I feel Arab in my heritage and culture however I do not think that as an Arab I am superior or different than non Arabs especially those living in the ME with the Arabs for thousands of years.

If Arab nationalism has risen to the level of a super national identity and was liberating and inclusive in its formulation and allowed for a harmonious modus vivandi with religious and ethnic and cultural affinities and differences then we would not have had the mess we are in today including the fact that we have dictarorship in Syria that is the mirror image of the Wahabi dictatorship in Saudi Arabia the one difference is that the former is secular fundamentalist and the later is a religious fundamentalist. Both excommunicate the other systematically and legitimize the killing and torture and rape and theft of the property of the other considered their “apostate”.

The reality is that the minorities that espoused the idea of Arab nationalism despite their heroic attempt at bringing this 19th century idea to the fore failed to do so because deep down their communities never abandoned their minority thinking in contrast to the Jewish groups that coalesced under the ultra nationalist Zionist ideology helped in great deal by the holocaust to cement this idea in their minds. Where zionism successed for a time Arab nationalism failed especially when it was advoacted by the Baath party and its minority driven agenda.

Sorry Norman, the ideal was betrayed from day one. It was a stillborn idea for it embodied an exclusivist element and reduced the universality of the message to a meeting agenda item.

Subjugating science to politics is folly, subjugating politics to morality is fundamentalism, and politicizing morality is barbarity.

Pascal in Pensees would be essential reading today.

July 5th, 2012, 1:50 pm

 

Alan said:

IDF will ‘destroy’ any Lebanese village that fires rockets if war breaks out again
@ if the Israeli government thinks it can get away with it, it will create a false flag diversion as a “justification” to invade Lebanon again@
http://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-will-destroy-any-lebanon-village-from-where-rockets-fired-if-war-breaks-out-again/

July 5th, 2012, 1:54 pm

 

norman said:

Arab nationalism in the Baath part like the American nationalism they are not all wasp to be Americans many do not speak English but they are Americans because they live in America,the same for the Arab nation it is not genetics as all are from different genes it is all the people who live in the Arab land no matter what they belong to religion or ethnicity.

July 5th, 2012, 2:09 pm

 

VISITOR said:

He should not be given special treatment. But he could be offered amnesty. His defection indicates the regime is crumbling and will encourage the remaining Sunnis to desert the regime.

July 5th, 2012, 2:12 pm

 

Bruno said:

I actually don\’t believe these rumors, if they were and are true,

Lets take a look.

(On Tuesday, all of Syria was buzzing that Manaf had defected but there was no confirmation. His Honda had supposedly turned up in the Rukn ad-Din neighborhood of Damascus, but he was no where to be found. Rumors of his possible defection were wide-spread on Twitter.)

Rumors are and were spread on twitter, yeah just like those North Korean tweets right?

Now heres the AFP article.

(Another opposition source said Tlas was expected to issue a video message soon announcing he was joining the opposition.)

I don\’t think that would happen anytime soon.

July 5th, 2012, 2:21 pm

 
 

Alan said:

The Three Stage Foreign Plan To Destabilise Syria: Bashar al-Assad
http://www.activistpost.com/2012/07/three-stage-foreign-plan-to-destabilise.html
../../..
Assad claimed that:
They wanted to take people into streets like it was in Egypt or Tunisia. But they couldn’t do it.
Having failed to trigger a popular uprising, the second stage of the plan was the creation of ‘liberated’ areas within the country. The attempt to militarise some territories, said al-Assad, was:
Like the Benghazi model in Libya. But our army didn’t allow that.
In Libya’s Benghazi, British SAS were on the ground advising and training rebels from the start of the supposedly spontaneous rebel uprising.

French, Quatari and Jordanian special forces also later aided the Libyan rebels, supported by NATO’s massive and illegal air bombardment and resulting in Gaddafi’s murder and his country’s assimilation into the West’s new world order.

The Syrian army’s decisive crackdown on militarised rebel strongholds such as Homs has led to stage three in the foreign meddlers’ plan – a campaign of brutal destabilisation involving, said al-Assad:
Assassinations, bombing of state institutions, massacres targeting civilians and kidnappings.
Whilst it is certainly possible that al-Assad is exaggerating or lying about foreign involvement in the destabilisation of Syria, a wealth of evidence supports his claims. It has been widely acknowledged that the Syrian Free Army are being armed by the West and several Arab states. The presence of Al Qaeda in Syria has been admitted by both the US and British governments, whilst al-Assad’s claims that Islamic terrorists are behind the worst violence have been either ignored or dismissed by the West.

The role of foreign intervention is described in the interview as “significant” by al-Assad, which he said was more harmful than any mistakes that had been made by the Syrian government.

July 5th, 2012, 2:37 pm

 

habib said:

Lol, not much cautious language in the headline, considering he has been lied about before. Why is every opposition claim taken at face value?

July 5th, 2012, 2:41 pm

 

Noor al-Deen al-Dimashqi said:

Well, we’ve been hearing of this defections for months. why did not the Syrian intelligence stop him? I do not buy this defection. I think it is a kind of penetration.

July 5th, 2012, 2:52 pm

 

Shabbi7 said:

Hi Dr. Landis,

Your writing style is clearly all based on rumors and gossip without much to offer in support of your ideas.

This blog post’s title declares that Syria’s “Top Sunni” Manaf Tlass defected, and then you refer to some sources, which is fine. But then a sentence later you say “if the stories … prove to be true.” IF…

But that’s OK. Stories of defection have been passed around like cheap delicious candy and I can see why some people might get excited. Let’s assume the story is true.

What really pisses me off is that way you write about this “Sunni” being in favor of negotiation and dialogue while the “Alawite leadership” was in favor of killing and heavy-handedness. You write this while ignoring that many in your audience know that the “Alawite leadership” you speak of has been following the strategy of “negotiation, flexibility, and compromise” all over Syria. How many times have we heard of the rebels and army agreeing to pull back in cities? How many times have we heard about Bashar al-Asad holding personal dialogue with various delegations from cities and villages from all parts of Syria and beyond?

This, like Gay Girl in Damascus, is not an innocent mistake. The whole point is to paint a picture of Sunni vs Alawite. This whole crisis started because Sunnis wanted freedom and Alawites would prefer to kill them. That is the narrative you want to peddle while carrying the title of Syria expert. You do it with a misleading tone of certainty and knowledge, but you don’t bother to account for your readers who have a memory span longer than 2 weeks.

Then you go on to say “when foreign statesmen or Syrians thought of a Sunni who could possibly take power, Manaf had to be at the top of the list or very close to the top.” Can you show us one article that mentioned Manaf? I had never heard of him until seeing this blog post of yours. All media (who quote foreign statesmen and SNC puppets like they’re quoting the Bible) has mentioned names like Khaddam, Ghaliyoun, Shar`, Shawkat, and even Shaqfeh, but NEVER Manaf Tlass.

I really can’t stand reading your material anymore. I might as well be reading WINEP’s propaganda. Maybe your blog content will help you sell a few more copies of your upcoming book, but if your book follows the same style you are showing us here, in 5-10 years from now your book will be used as an example of garbage narrow-minded writing.

Just thought you might want to know.

PS: For all those dabbi7a offended by my blog name: Toz, I don’t care.. really.

July 5th, 2012, 2:55 pm

 

Juergen said:

The journey into Syria promo

July 5th, 2012, 3:01 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@NORMAN

In America they have one President, one Defense Department, one Economic Policy and they all pledge the allegiance to one flag and sing one national anthem. Compare that to your Arab Nationalism model and try to figure out how Saudi can partner with Israeli against Syria. Or Moslem Brotherhood of Egypt can have peace with Israel when 4 million Palestinian Moslems suffer. You see Norman, today we are paying in Syria the price of ignorance and not having a Syrian National Government leading the country, we have an Arab one that compromises all Syrians well being to benefit Arabs while they eat, sleep and invest in Syria enemies projects. Hopefully Assad can find a safe home in an Arab country.

July 5th, 2012, 3:33 pm

 

Juergen said:

press conference about wikileaks Syria files

July 5th, 2012, 3:39 pm

 

Juergen said:

“If you ask Awad Belal what he thinks of the Syrian regime, the 27-year-old will tell you the story of one of his cousins. The story dates back twelve years. Bashar al-Assad had just been elected with 97.2 percent of the votes supposedly the new President of the Arab Republic and a TV announcer declared: “The winner was Dr. Assad.” Belal Awads cousin was at that time with friends in a cafe to watch television in Daraa. “Since when has a Ph.D.?” He wondered aloud, half in jest. Less than 15 minutes later, the secret police took him out of the cafe. Eight and a half years in prison was his cousin, says Awad Belal.”

http://translate.google.at/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.swp.de%2Fulm%2Flokales%2Fulm_neu_ulm%2Fstudentenulm%3Bart4329%2C1526639

July 5th, 2012, 3:49 pm

 

omen said:

from above:

@zaidbenjamin
BREAKING: URGENT: Brigadier General Manaf Moustafa Talas is on his way to France after defecting yesterday evening

also

@zaidbenjamin
Brigadier General Manaf is the son of Moustafa Talas, Hafez al-Assad’ defence minister 1972 – 2003 and one of his close aides ‪

from two days ago, via juan cole who provides context to the ranking:

In a one-day record, some 85 Syrian military personnel escaped to Turkey Monday, along with 300 family members. Six were officers, and one was a brigadier general (a one-star in American terms, i.e. not very high ranking).

were there more than one brigadier general who have defected? or was this earlier report referencing manaf tlass?

for someone who was such an insider, a son of a former defense minister, why didn’t manaf tlass have a higher ranking than brigadier general? simply because he wasn’t alawite?

July 5th, 2012, 3:54 pm

 

Juergen said:

I just got off the phone with a friend who said that he is sure now that the regime will be gone soon. He happend to met Manaf and his wife along with Bashar and his wife when they visited an art exhibition together. It seems like Bashar has lost a real friend now.

July 5th, 2012, 3:55 pm

 

Syrialover said:

What a sweet, delicious story!

And a wonderful, punchy, upbeat interview by Dr Josh on BBC World Service news roundup.

The bittersweet reality is that the Manaf Tlass types can do miracles for a party in post-dictatorship elections. But then they later fizzle out.

Worth considering for the opposition.

July 5th, 2012, 4:01 pm

 

Alan said:

اللانظام !

July 5th, 2012, 4:04 pm

 

Bruno said:

@Juergen

(I just got off the phone with a friend who said that he is sure now that the regime will be gone soon. He happend to met Manaf and his wife along with Bashar and his wife when they visited an art exhibition together. It seems like Bashar has lost a real friend now.)

(I just got off the phone with a friend)
(his wife along with Bashar and his wife when they visited an art exhibition together.)

Yeah i have a huge problem believing your claim.

July 5th, 2012, 4:11 pm

 

Alan said:

Saudi Arabia, Qatar funnel arms to gangs in Syria: Analyst
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQnfAi2IXqA
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil El-Araby has called on Syrian opposition groups to unite against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

El-Araby made the remarks at the start of a two-day-long conference, hosted by the Arab League, that brought together some 250 members of the Syrian opposition in Cairo, The Associated Press reported.

“There is an opportunity before the conference of Syrian opposition today that must be seized, and I say and repeat that this opportunity must not be wasted under any circumstance,” he said.

This is the first such gathering to be hosted by the Arab League.

The West and its regional allies accuse the government of killing protesters, but Damascus blames “outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Press TV talks with Lawrence Davidson, professor of West Chester University, regarding the issue.

July 5th, 2012, 4:17 pm

 

habib said:

53. Juergen

Loool. Losing “a friend” will break the regime?

July 5th, 2012, 4:19 pm

 

Alan said:

54. SYRIALOVER
enjoy the sweet delicacies of how much you want anyway, sooner or later come back hungry!

July 5th, 2012, 4:22 pm

 

omen said:

52. ALDENDESHE said: The oppositions are not a substitute to America’s Eisenhower, they are, and have shown Syrians the worst of Islamic sectarian genocide in its history.

come now, not even the regime is claiming that houla was committed by the rebels.

watch this report. it pokes holes in the regime’s opportunistic fear mongering in invoking alqaeda.

video

July 5th, 2012, 4:26 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

It is clear that the pro regime are bitter,and angry and they can not stand the defeat anymore.
Colonel Ryad Al Asaad said the news are true, initially I thought another guy his name Manaf Tlass has defected,
It will be good news if Dawood Rajha defect

July 5th, 2012, 4:32 pm

 

habib said:

65. majedkhaldoun

What defeat? People in the West are getting to know the truth about the “opposition” now, and actually know what it consists of. Support is dwindling, from average people.

I live in Denmark, home of the Secretary General of NATO, people here have gotten really sceptical of the opposition lately.

All you have left is Muslim Brotherhood affiliated governments and groups, even most regular Turks don’t support the opposition.

July 5th, 2012, 4:38 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN

We collected thousands of videos and claim of responsibilities from Opposition sources and have documented all for future use to remind Syrians with it. My favorite, the dull knives throat cutting. The Islamic terrorists you are claiming they are revolutionary are finished. We have own videos as well, interviews with Christians who suffered the brunt of this evil to destroy Syria using sectarian means.

And we did not need to fabricate any, they are all genuine man.

July 5th, 2012, 4:43 pm

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Habib
There is saying in Syria
Someone will not believe till he sees with his own eyes
You are one of them

July 5th, 2012, 4:50 pm

 

Ghufran said:

News about a possible defection in the Tlas family were posted on this side more than 3 weeks ago,now it is fairly possible that Manaf managed to get out. I remember one poster,a Tlas family member or a person who is close to Tlas’ , complaining that I talked about the issue.
This regime has lost most of its friends,however,I want to see a prominent alawi officer gives his back to Bashar,seeing Manaf leaving,not necessarily defecting,is not good enough. The analysis about why Manaf may have left is reasonable but it only gives half of the story,the other half is that many officers,especially Sunni ones,have concluded that the Assad family has not managed this crisis well and those officers want to secure their future now not after the fall of the Assad. I have not heard any confirmation about the story except that a Syrian source said that Tlas does not want to take sides,if that is true,we can not call this a defection in the political sense of the word,but it is still significant.

July 5th, 2012, 4:53 pm

 

habib said:

68. majedkhaldoun

Doesn’t matter what “I” see, it matters what people in the West see.

If the opposition loses broad Western support (which is happening at a fast pace), you can just as well give up already.

The insurgents in Libya would be history now if it hadn’t been for NATO.

July 5th, 2012, 4:58 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Norman (#25)said: “They all robbed the country except me.”

Robbing does not just mean robbing people of money and resources and freedom.

You can rob them of moral support, respect and dignity by failing to condemn the regime.

July 5th, 2012, 5:00 pm

 

ann said:

Dear Prof. Landis,

Like Aldendeshe said you need to follow the money not the propaganda media headlines and narrative about Syria.

The Tlass family is sitting on a fortune worth Billions of US dollars of money that belongs to the Syrian people. They boast an investment worth at least $650,000,000 in Cairo based EFG-Hermes bank.

I ask you, how come the EU did not freeze all their bank accounts around the world?!

Will the Syrian people ever see that money that belong to them again?!

July 5th, 2012, 5:03 pm

 

Alan said:

72. ANN
bravo !

July 5th, 2012, 5:18 pm

 

observer said:

Norman my point exactly in the sense that I feel as an Arab because I was raised as such and the Arab heritage and culture are mine. The problem is that this baathist Arab nationalism has not been promoted and the idea never took hold from the very beginning with the Baath actually fighting against the common thread that binds people to this Arab identity.
The revolutions will reclaim the Arab identity in time but not under the Baath rule.
That is the difference with the American system where the identity of the citizen supersededs at least within one generation the previous ethnic or national identity and keeping the American identity does not erase your cultural background.

The issue remains that the majority are muslims and Islamic culture is deeply embedded in the daily life, in the very concepts of justice and identiy and outlook on life and even the idea of Umma solidarity.

Many of us cheered and continue to cheer the Iranian revolution not only because it stood with the Palestinians but because it allowed for the muslim way to prevail even if at bottom we may not agree about everything it had to offer and to this day the majority of Arabs agree that Iran is entitled to nuclear technology and even the bomb despite what the arab rulers say or wish.

Now to portray the Syrian revolution as just a proy war is unfair and unrealistic the people have decided they want change and the brutality of the regime has given them a reality check on how depraved and brutal the regime is and therefore the state of slavery and abject submission that it wants for the majority of the people.

Now is the fear of an islamist political parites or an islamist discourse to politics at the root for stubborn Arab exclusionary nationalism?

Let us make sure at least that sovereignty belongs to the people and not to God as both KSA and Iran claim.

July 5th, 2012, 5:20 pm

 

Tara said:

Some Pro regimists lack integrity. Munaf was never an evil before he defected. Now the mnhebaks want his money to return to the Syrian people? Mnhebaks really deserve that name..,what a pity!

People who have no integrity deserve no respect.

July 5th, 2012, 5:22 pm

 

Observer said:

ANN and ALAN, the Tlass are small potatoes compared to all the clique that is and was in play. Tlass the father was removed when his bodyguards were caught allowing drug shipments in the country or at least it was rumored.
Now did you know that the late older brother of Fredo the so called Basel ( Michael Corleone ) used a tank to crush his cousin’s car that he brought to Syria as the only car in the country to teach him a lesson on who comes first and to remind him that he could not import a car that was not already in the possession of Basel?

So if Manaf has millions, the others MUST have billions.

THIS IS A MAFIA wake up and smell the roses, unless you are part and parcel of the network in which case the olfactory nerve is already numb.

July 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm

 

Shami said:

For Munaf Tlass,
Better late than too late !

July 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm

 

gk said:

Part of the Tlas money were robbed from Lebanese people, businesses and government!

We will never forget that but still personally welcome his defection because the dictator Bashar and his mafia are worse!

July 5th, 2012, 5:29 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Firas Tlas:
تنجو سوريا بالوصول إلى جمعيه وطنيه تأسيسية منتخبه بإشراف دولي وفق آلية محدده . هذا هو الهدف . الطريق لتحقيقه دمج تيارات من الحراك السلمي السياسي مع تيارات ممن تعسكر –  الجيش الحر بمكوناته المختلفة – لخلق جهة واحده منظمه . حينها سترون كيف يتهافت المجتمع الدولي للمساعدة في إنهاء الأزمة –  أنا لا اسميها نزاعا بين طرفين – . عليكم العمل لتحقيق ذلك .
وبلا جنيف وبلا القاهرة وبلا اسطنبول وبلا بلوط كمان . الدم السوري مو مي لينهدر هيك. وتفهم كل الطوائف إن كل نقطة دم سوريه إلها نفس القيمة عندي
It is common knowledge that the Tlas family benefited tremendously from being part of the regime since 1970, they have the right to distance themselves from the regime’s brutal treatment of its citizens,but nobody is naive enough to believe that it takes 42 years for anybody to “discover” that this regime is bad for Syria. I support the right of every Syrian to abandon the regime,but let us not distort the picture here by seeing the events with one eye or applying selective vision.

July 5th, 2012, 5:36 pm

 

omen said:

70. HABIB said: The insurgents in Libya would be history now if it hadn’t been for NATO.

not so! nato wasn’t around when libyans earlier won independence from their colonial master italy.

it would have taken i-don’t-know-how-many-months longer without nato, but rebels still would have won in the end. history should tell you: minority rule cannot hope to prevail once the majority have awoken.

July 5th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Habib,

The west is first against Assad. Main point.

Whether or not they “have faith” in a particular opposition at this particular stage is secondary.

Those responsible for policy in the west, including Denmark where you live, have sophisticated insights and understandings and realistic expectations about that.

They are not expecting to see a neat “ready made opposition” available off the shelf. They realise it’s not there because of Syrians’ political, institutional and civil society wasteland under the Assads.

Plus they are also aware it is tough to organize something stable while the battle is still going on.

But they will keep strongly supporting the process and have hope because they know that many decent, competent and dedicated Syrians are trying their best to get an opposition body together.

Crucially, the west is showing faith in the Syrian people as a whole and respecting and admiring and supporting them for standing up with such courage to the vicious and primitive Assad regime.

And they don’t want to have to send in those miniature precision drones to demonstrate that – not yet.

Danish policy experts and observers I am sure will be saying this -check and see.

July 5th, 2012, 5:38 pm

 

omen said:

78. GK said: Part of the Tlas money were robbed from Lebanese people, businesses and government!

did tlass the elder play a part in prolonging the civil war in lebanon?

July 5th, 2012, 5:40 pm

 

habib said:

75. Tara

The opposition is so desperate for support now that they embrace everyone into their ranks, it seems. No surprise that you’re apologising for these guys, “they aren’t as bad as the others”, lol! Didn’t you cry about accountability earlier?

81. Syrialover

If that was true, they’d had attacked Syria long time ago, didn’t take long for them to attack Libya. But they learned a lesson from Libya.

Danes (and other Europeans) are very skeptical towards Islamists, and they might have thought the regime was Islamist due to their friendship with Iran, but they now know better. That’s what it all comes down to, no Euopeans want to help Islamists.

July 5th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

VISITOR said:

Pro regimes may continue to spin Stories based on wishful thinking and that’s good because when their we love you regime gets crushed they too will be devastated. They should not expect leniency because they made a conscious decision to make a war to the finish. Sure enough they will get war to the finish and the martyrs’ blood will not go unpunished.
The truth of the matter is that more than one third of the thug army has defected and is now a Free army. In addition more than 200000 volunteers are ready to join and are only waiting for weapons. So let’s see what will become of these delusionist pro thughery, enemies of the people.

July 5th, 2012, 5:45 pm

 

ann said:

Hurry up and read the entire link before the forces of evil bring it down. You will NOT find any references to this link on Google search. The only reason I can think of is Google deleted all references this news!

EFG Hermes Expands into Syria, Launches Syrian Private Equity Fund [ 3/3/2010 ]

http://www.efg-hermes.com/English/NewsDetails.aspx?NID=140&h=h1

Damascus — EFG Hermes, the leading investment bank in the Arab world, will enter the Syrian market with the opening of its full fledged office in the Syrian Arab Republic and the simultaneous launch of a new private equity fund that targets investments in the untapped Syrian market.
EFG Hermes Syria is a partnership between EFG Hermes (70%) and Syrian businessman FIRAS TLASS (30%). The Damascus office will offer EFG-Hermes’ full range of world-class investment banking, private equity, brokerage and asset management services. EFG Hermes Syria is awaiting final approval from the Syrian Commission on Financial Markets and Securities to launch its operations out of the Syrian capital Damascus.

[…]

July 5th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

irritated said:

60. Bruno said:

Yeah i have a huge problem believing your claim.

You should get used to Juergen boasting about his friends in high places. We heard that so much that we are not impressed anymore.
But if it makes him happy too believe we still are…

July 5th, 2012, 5:48 pm

 

habib said:

84. VISITOR

“Spin stories”?

Lol, look at the story here, the Shawkat is dead stories, the chemical weapons stories, Asma is in London stories, Gay girl stories, fake death stories, so on and so on.

I think it’s pretty clear that the “opposition” is leading when it comes to “spin”.

July 5th, 2012, 5:50 pm

 

Shami said:

assad regime soviet Hi-24 ?helicopter downed !

July 5th, 2012, 5:50 pm

 

omen said:

after free syria is established, i want to see rifaat assad indicted for overseeing the hama massacre.

July 5th, 2012, 5:51 pm

 

Syrialover said:

OBSERVER #74

As always, you offer welcome and worthwhile insights. I look out to see your name and read what you say.

GK # 78
You said: “We will never forget that but still personally welcome his defection because the dictator Bashar and his mafia are worse!”

Exactly correct, thanks.

July 5th, 2012, 5:52 pm

 

Tara said:

Habib

Are you kidding? Where did you see me apologizing for Munaf Tlass? Read my posts again . I was being sarcastic that
Mnhebaks never conceded in the past that this is a bloody and corrupt regime and now all of the sudden showing concern about Tlass’s bank account .

July 5th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

habib said:

89. omen

What about Mustafa Tlass? Do Sunnis go free?

July 5th, 2012, 5:56 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

#92

The blame game has started!

July 5th, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

irritated said:

Uzair8

Shaykh Yaqoubi has previously appealed to officers in the military to disobey orders and to defect. I can’t see any of them not welcome this defection.

You touch a very good point.

You see, the anti-Bashar want defections of the “good” guys not the bad ones. They want defections of good Alawites and Christians, not corrupted Sunnis.
Sadly for them, the good guys are still faithful to the regime and to their convictions. That’s what makes the anti-Bashar crowd so furious and disappointed.

July 5th, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

ann said:

EFG Hermes expands into Syria, launches Syrian private equity fund – March 03 – 2010

http://www.ameinfo.com/225733.html

EFG Hermes Expands into Syria, Launches Syrian Private Equity Fund – MAR 03, 2010

[…]

About Firas Tlass
Firas Tlass is the founder of Min Agl Suriyya (“MAS Group”). Mr. Tlass has led MAS Group into numerous investments in a diverse range of industries and enjoys a strong network of relationships across the Syrian business community. Mr. Tlass has successfully led the development of projects in the real estate development, transportation, cement and fertilizer sectors in Syria.

[…]

July 5th, 2012, 5:59 pm

 

irritated said:

87. habib

Spin stories?

You forgot “The Torture Archipelago’… by Navy Pillay and George Soros.

July 5th, 2012, 6:03 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 89. Omen said: “after free syria is established, i want to see rifaat assad indicted for overseeing the hama massacre”

YES!

And his sleazy smartass son have to spend any remaining family funds that aren’t confiscated on useless legal costs.

July 5th, 2012, 6:08 pm

 

omen said:

something to keep in mind.

the 5 stages of grief:

denial
・anger
・bargaining
・depression
・acceptance

give people time to process reality.

July 5th, 2012, 6:11 pm

 

irritated said:

Ann #95

Firas Tlass is a “corrupted” Sunni who managed to become billionaire, in the same lineage as Abdel Halim Khaddam and others.
Lebanon and Syria are plenty of those, while the anti-regime crowd insists that the bad ones are the “Alawites who control the country”

July 5th, 2012, 6:13 pm

 

irritated said:

Omen #98

From the posts we read here, the oppositionists are at stage 2.. I hope they’ll move on to 3 soon.

July 5th, 2012, 6:16 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Quick, where are the pro-regime block voters with bursts of 10 green thumbs up for their team?

The Assad-loving team is struggling with red thumb votes – they wait for you to put aside your other spam business and get back to their case.

Tara, Juergen, Majedkhaldoun, Omen, Observer, I and others wait with laughter to get our usual sudden 20+ red thumbs down when they come on duty.

July 5th, 2012, 6:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

As the final collapse of the regime comes closer things may get a little nastier on SC. I’ll probably slip into the shadows.

Prof Landis may have to recruit another mod or two to keep an eye on things.

July 5th, 2012, 6:21 pm

 

omen said:

92. HABIB said: What about Mustafa Tlass? Do Sunnis go free?

1) it’s not up to me.
2) rifaat is just for starters. i hope the list is long where justice finally catches up with war criminals.

July 5th, 2012, 6:22 pm

 

irritated said:

Visiyor

“one third of the thug army has defected” … and they became thug FSA.

July 5th, 2012, 6:23 pm

 

irritated said:

103. omen

Just like the list of Americans responsible of the killing of not thousands but millions : George Bush jr, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Ariel Sharon, etc…
La Hague will be crowded…

July 5th, 2012, 6:27 pm

 

ann said:

something to keep in mind.

Remember to take your daily vitamin B complex!

🙂

July 5th, 2012, 6:30 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

SyriaLover at #58 kindly brought to our attention the BBC World Service appearance by Prof JL. The programme is now available to listen:

Listen from 9min.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00tvk7r

July 5th, 2012, 6:31 pm

 

Bruno said:

I see Joshua Landis a member of the elitist group CFR is it? yeah i can see how credible your source is.

July 5th, 2012, 6:35 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Habib and others.

Sorry, you have to forget about the Libya argument. As has been explained many times here and other places, there is no neat comparison.

Just some of the reasons:

1. Libya was logistically easy with vast open desert and few population clusters

2. Benghazi was a large, heavily populated, distinct and strategically vital safe haven which was about to be wiped out.

3. The west already had separate, long-standing compelling motives for wanting to squash Gaddafi and co like vermin (they bombed the regime inside Libya without succeeding in the 1980s, remember?).

They had been waiting for years for the green light from the Libyan people.

Point 3 is clearly documented in late 20th century newspapers and journals if you look.

July 5th, 2012, 6:36 pm

 

habib said:

101. Syrialover

Lol, yet opposition folks are the only ones who seem to keep writing about and obsessing about these “thumbs”…

The rest of us couldn’t care less. It’s not a popularity contest.

Or well, it is for the opposition actually, with the “Darwinian survival” and new leaders all the time. Not to mention desperately sucking up to the West.

July 5th, 2012, 6:38 pm

 

karabennemsi said:

Where does all this fuzz come from?

As far as I know it is not even sure yet that he DESERTED, let alone defected.

Especially to the regular commentators on here who consider themselves the very spearhead of the revolution, please curb your enthusiasm, if not for the sake of other readers who get pretty tired reading about the immediate imminent fall of the regime every two hours or so, but then for yourselves, considering how disappointed you would be if this turns out to be a hoax.

Also:

“84. VISITOR said:
They should not expect leniency because they made a conscious decision to make a war to the finish. Sure enough they will get war to the finish and the martyrs’ blood will not go unpunished.
The truth of the matter is that more than one third of the thug army has defected and is now a Free army. In addition more than 200000 volunteers are ready to join and are only waiting for weapons. So let’s see what will become of these delusionist pro thughery, enemies of the people.”

wtf man?
This is such a clear case of war-rhetoric that you should be ashamed of yourseld to even post that.
The numbers are simply made up, and calling for bloodshed after a possible success of the revolution is just really really dumb.
I dont think there is anybody on this blog who will have a more positive stand towards the rebels after your post, and I am pretty sure you actually wanted to achieve the opposite.

July 5th, 2012, 6:40 pm

 

Tara said:

  Syria: senior Assad general defects to rebels

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9379856/Syria-senior-Assad-general-defects-to-rebels.html

The desertion of Brig Manaf Tlas, a senior commander in the elite Republican Guard, dealt a humiliating personal blow to President Bashar al-Assad and represented a major scalp for the opposition.
Brig Tlas was once a close confidante of the president, serving as a member of Mr Assad’s small inner circle and the central committee of the Syria’s Ba’ath Party.
A pro-government website with links to the Syrian security services confirmed the defection, saying that Brig Tlas had fled to Turkey but played down the impact of the development.
“His escape does not mean anything,” a security official was quoted by the Syriasteps website as saying.

In an indication the move had been feared, Brig Tlas had been sidelined last year. He remained at home in Damascus for months amid rumours that he was under arrest after questions over his loyalty were raised in part because of the actions of other members of his family
….

July 5th, 2012, 6:40 pm

 

habib said:

109. Syrialover

Would had been the same in Syria, if Gadaffi hadn’t come first. The reason Syria wasn’t invaded earlier is because the Libya war was dragged out for so long. NATO got exhausted…

This was said in the media by western leaders plenty of times back then, but if you want to stick to your self made story, be my guest.

July 5th, 2012, 6:41 pm

 

bronco said:

Habib

Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya turning Islamist have been a wake up call for the USA and the EU. They expected secular governments and now they dread these countries will end up like Iran, despite the public rhetoric and the assurance of Qatar and Turkey.

Because of that, their attitude toward Syria is changing. If this is going to become another islamist country, they much prefer to keep the present regime with some cosmetic changes.
We have seen many attempts by the West to boost the ‘secular’ opposition that have failed. The FSA is to a large extent an islamist movement that the West increasingly distrust.
On both sides of the opposition, it is obvious that the Islamists are making the game in Syria.

The West will be obliged to backtrack very soon…
That was the essence of the Geneva meeting: Reforms , YES. An Islamist regime in Syria: NO

July 5th, 2012, 6:43 pm

 

anwar said:

irritated these sarcastic comments are really getting old. Why can’t regime supporters just come forward with actual thoughts instead of the usual belittling/condescending crap or useless newsflash

btw the regime must be proud of all these torture chambers..the most documented use of violence, terror and torture since the Nazis. Yes, you will get the West’s support alright …(sarcasm)

July 5th, 2012, 6:45 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Habib (#110)

What a sour old puss you are! We find it very entertaining to see their spam votes – it shows how ridiculous and desperate they are.

I will be watching to see what they give you.

It always gives me a laugh as a break from the anxiety and heartbreak of what has happened to Syria.

July 5th, 2012, 6:49 pm

 

Halabi said:

The script from Assad worshipers today was predictable. Look back over the past 16 months and before, whenever someone leaves the Assad mafia all of a sudden that person was a traitor and thief, and the mukhabarat were investigating him for months and were just about to arrest the criminal…

A couple days of this rubbish and then silence. No Interpol notice, no trial in absentia, no effort to recover stolen assets. Which is also consistent with the Assad regime, which hasn’t tried a single person for murder since March 18, 2011, let alone investigated any crimes.

The vast majority of high level government officials are crooks, and many of them are murderers. I don’t think many revolutionaries will sing praises for these criminals, but we are all pleased when Assad loses supporters because that will hasten his fall and end our nightmare.

As for the EFG-Hermes hysteria, the JV with Tlass was for the Syrian branch which I don’t think ever took off and made money. The 30% stake couldn’t have been worth more than $3 million, and the way these deals work is that the local partner greases the wheels to get a license issued (i.e. bribes other officials, cuts Assad’s cronies in on the deal) and gets the stake in the JV without putting in any capital. A mafia economy which ever single Assad supporters loves and benefits from.

July 5th, 2012, 6:51 pm

 

habib said:

116. Syrialover

Lol, I got three down and none up.

What does that make of your “theory”? Pure spin.

Oh I get it, it was a conspiracy to prove you wrong, just like when the regime “bombs itself”, lawl!

July 5th, 2012, 6:51 pm

 

irritated said:

“represented a major scalp for the opposition.”

Listen to the West, they give good torture advices. They have a long experience.
Scalp?

July 5th, 2012, 6:52 pm

 

irritated said:

Halabi

Adnan Bakkour was an exception to your rule. He appeared and disappeared in the total indifference from the ‘Assad worshipers’ after his defection has been on the headlines of western media and a blockbuster on Youtube.

It was a ‘scalp’ then for the opposition desperate for significant ‘defections’ but it did not last. Who’s next?

July 5th, 2012, 6:59 pm

 

Syrialover said:

#118. Habib

Sober up. You getting those red thumbs down and not green thumbs up SUPPORTS my theory.

And it’s not just theory, it’s heavily evidence based.

Anyway, back to waiting for more defections.

Gaddafi continued to run around trying to hold his pants up with broken string through a number of increasingly significant defections. His blustering lies and delusionary speeches fooled nobody inside or outside.

July 5th, 2012, 7:02 pm

 

habib said:

121. Syrialover

Well yes, if you consider opposition votes “spam”.

You guys can’t do anything without shooting yourself in the foot. Point a camera at an opposition gathering and you have entertainment for weeks.

July 5th, 2012, 7:06 pm

 

irritated said:

Anwar #115

Why can’t regime supporters just come forward with actual thoughts

You mean like counting the thumbs red and green and tirelessly claiming imminent victory?

July 5th, 2012, 7:06 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

The integrity of Western sponsored and Arab financed Syrian playing oppositions to Assad rule is not only questionable, but evidently a financial fraud and a tragic hoax.

You only need to look at the strategies they followed from the start, it is telling. It is identical to the west attack on Iraq and Afghanistan. They could have assassinated Saddam and took a short cut to regime change, they could have invited their agent Tim Osman, a.k.a. Osama Bin Ladin to cocktail lunch and had him and his 60 Alcida bodyguards poisoned, but they did not. Rather, in Iraq, they went on spending spree totaling nearly a Trillion Dollars (not counting Saddam’s gold and Iraq billions) and have nothing on the ground to show for except the blood drenched streets where more than 100,000 American young man and women and 2 millions Iraqi died. In Afghanistan, 40 some nations and more than 100,000 soldiers sent to fight less than 100 Al-Qaida hardcore, most, if not all died in Tora Bora attacks. But Opium trades are flourishing now, the harvest is never been so big ever before.

Move to Syria, and it would not be hard to see the similarity of planning and the end goal. Millions are spent on Islamic Terrorists who seems to do everything possible to turn off Syrians away from the revolution and toward the Baathist regime. About the only one defecting from it, are the most notoriously corrupt Sunni’s whose banking interests are well tied up with Jewish-Western ones. The Khaddam’s and Tlass’es have robbed Syria and Lebanon to the tilt, so much, that they cannot rob it anymore, time to move under cover of defection. Don’t wait for American or European sanctions to hit them hard, like the ones hit the poor people of Syria! They already paid up the hefty dues in advance. It is all about money, all about fleecing those with money, they cheer when the wealthiest thieve joins them with all his cash.

Some anti regimists lack integrity. SNC was never an evil before it sent teams of genocidal slaughterer to kill and make homeless innocent Christians in Syria, Homs in particular. Now the manenhebaks wants to lead Syria with the help of Alciada Islamic Terrorists. They scuff at the idea and demands poor Syrians makes for money to be returned to the Syrian people! They place a big question mark when asked about it. Mamenhebaks really deserve those Islamic Terrorists, that name..,what a pity! People who have no integrity deserve no respect

Those that follow them, deserve to be deceived by endless dead end strategies and con games by the fake Western taught and backed and Arab financed, Israeli armed terrorists, claiming to fight for Syria Liberation. As long as they are paid well and rack up savings, the mercenaries do not care what happen to Syria. Their goal is really rack up the cash and lives the good life in Luxury hotels. Now they can be like the Baron Nation Robbers of Syria and Lebanon, just like the Riffat’s, Khaddam’s, Shihabi’s and Tlass’es.

For those sincere ones looking for better day in Syria, do not be deceived. It is not going to be any time soon, if ever. The game plan is to keep doing everything that would not work, as long as it will prolong this cash cow. Study their master’s game in Iraq and Afghanistan and you will know that money is the end game.

July 5th, 2012, 7:07 pm

 

Bruno said:

The telegraph and other mainstream news outlets are only reporting what this blogsite is reporting, thats the only reason they even reported.

(A pro-government website with links to the Syrian security services confirmed the defection, saying that Brig Tlas had fled to Turkey but played down the impact of the development.)

I question the apparent timing of this. However i still don’t believe he has defected due to the fact even the writer of this blog even admits that.

(flight prove to be true. In March it was rumored that he had led with his father and brother, but those stories were false.)

prove to be true, as in other word for it, might be true.
or maybe.

(Two high rank officers in the Syrian Army has arrive to Turkey during the last three days. He didn’t wish to reveal their names.)

If the defection of the Top Sunni were and are true you would think that the Turkish foreign Ministry would have said something by now? or more rather at least reveal there names.

But then after that, (speculation) and theres always this.

(Rumors of his possible defection were wide-spread on Twitter.)

Well of course they are wide spread on twitter, twitter is the god of Gossips.

This is why i am having a hard buying this.

July 5th, 2012, 7:12 pm

 

abbas said:

Question to anyone that knows
isn’t Manaf mother Alawi

July 5th, 2012, 7:18 pm

 

Uzair8 said:

It seems the Mukhabarat/Shabeeha etc also believed the twitter rumours and proceeded to ransack Manaf’s house. (?)

July 5th, 2012, 7:21 pm

 

Tara said:

Scandals are on the horizon.  I’d personally prefer to read email leak similar to the first batch.  The personal life of dear leader, his Batta status, Asma’s obsessions with luxury items, Shehrazad’ s infatuation with the dude, and Hadyl’s picture with white lingerie are definitely  more interesting read than arms and technology contracts.  How did Asma handle his other relations?  Did he have to sleep in the other room for a month?    

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9379768/WikiLeaks-begins-publishing-tranche-of-Syria-emails.html

WikiLeaks begins publishing tranche of Syria emails

WikiLeaks published the first of nearly 2.5 million emails relating to Syria on Thursday, warning that the information would prove embarrassing not only to the repressive regime of President Bashar al-Assad but also to its international opponents.

They appeared to show that Selex Elsag, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica, was selling radio communications equipment worth 40 million euros to the Syrian police in May 2011 – the same month that the European Union imposed an embargo on the regime, prohibiting the export of weapons and equipment that could be used for internal repression.

A spokesman for Rome-based Finmeccanica, which is Britain’s second-biggest defence supplier, told The Daily Telegraph that the company was trying to verify the authenticity of the emails and would issue an official statement.

More…

July 5th, 2012, 7:23 pm

 

habib said:

sarcasm can be lost when written, better to avoid it.

SC Moderator

126. Tara

What has been published so far is boring business-stuff.

Don’t hold your breath. [Edited by Moderator]

Edit: And just to nip it in the bud, knowing what drama-queens you are; no, that was not a death-threat, lol.

July 5th, 2012, 7:29 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Bronco said: “Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya turning Islamist”

Calm down and wait.

People I know inside Egypt and Tunisia in the last few days have told me they are feeling very optimistic with what is evolving.

They say fears about Islamists are greatly exaggerated, and the hardliners appear to have lost traction within their own parties.

July 5th, 2012, 7:31 pm

 

omen said:

72. ANN said: Dear Prof. Landis,
Like Aldendeshe said you need to follow the money not the propaganda media headlines and narrative about Syria.

The Tlass family is sitting on a fortune worth Billions of US dollars of money that belongs to the Syrian people. They boast an investment worth at least $650,000,000 in Cairo based EFG-Hermes bank.

I ask you, how come the EU did not freeze all their bank accounts around the world?!

Will the Syrian people ever see that money that belong to them again?!

does this mean loyalists too will demand accountability from assad family and inner circle who likewise have looted the syrian treasury?

finally, a point of agreement.

July 5th, 2012, 7:33 pm

 

habib said:

128. Syrialover

I’m sure the Iranians thought so as well immediately after the revolution…

July 5th, 2012, 7:35 pm

 

Bruno said:

Three Thumbs down what for again? i am right, i am just pointing the obvious.

July 5th, 2012, 7:38 pm

 

irritated said:

Antoine

FSA is engaged in a brutal epic phallic fight,

What a lyricism! Phallic? That’s 18+

July 5th, 2012, 7:39 pm

 

Tara said:

Habib@127

Your post is impolite. You mother, I am sure, taught you better.

July 5th, 2012, 7:42 pm

 

irritated said:

#129 Omen

“loyalists too will demand accountability from assad family and inner circle”

Certainly.
Among the reforms there must be a anti-corruption team (I hope more efficient than the one in Tunisia)
Khaddam and Rifaat Al Assad are already persona non grata in Syria.

July 5th, 2012, 7:44 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I was right and am laughing.

The spam block voters rushed in and dumped their mass votes for the first 50 or so posts on this thread, then appear to have gone away away for a break, probably to spam some other site on their task list.

Irritated got the biggest instant block of thumbs up votes from them in that round. Then Alan.

They honored lucky Tara and Antoine with lots of thumbs down.

What fun. They’ll be back.

Be patient Bruno, they will look after you later.

July 5th, 2012, 7:46 pm

 

Tara said:

Sponsored bySyria Elite brigade general who was friend of Assad ‘defects to Turkey’

http://www.scotsman.com/news/international/syria-elite-brigade-general-who-was-friend-of-assad-defects-to-turkey-1-2395654

“A high-level security source has confirmed the fleeing of General [Manaf] Tlas to Turkey,” the Syriasteps website, which has links to the Syrian security apparatus, said last night.

In what seems to be an effort by the government to get its domestic media retaliation in first, it quoted a security official as saying: “His escape does not mean anything. If Syrian intelligence had wanted to arrest him, it would have done so.”

Syrian opposition campaigners and Free Syrian Army rebel sources said they had information that Gen Tlas was in Turkey, but they would not consider him a defector until he made an announcement. “We think he has made it to Turkey, but he has not contacted us. There is a difference between leaving Syria and joining the opposition to Assad,” a Syrian opposition source said from Istanbul.
….

July 5th, 2012, 7:47 pm

 

habib said:

135. Syrialover

Jesus, get over those damn thumbs already. No one but you cares about them.

You’re embarrassing yourself.

133. Tara

Sorry, I just couldn’t let such an obvious joke go…

July 5th, 2012, 7:50 pm

 

anwar said:

I despise Tlass and all the other thiefs involved with Assad past or present

but I would welcome him with open arm. Anything…and I mean anything to get rid of this cancerous regime. Tlass is like chemotherapy…a necessary evil. I wouldn’t even flinch once for having him on board. Let’s focus on killing dracula before worrying about all the other vampires.

July 5th, 2012, 7:52 pm

 

Karabennemsi said:

128. Syrialover said:

“People I know inside Egypt and Tunisia in the last few days have told me they are feeling very optimistic with what is evolving.

They say fears about Islamists are greatly exaggerated, and the hardliners appear to have lost traction within their own parties.”

Well, that is good to know. Im not sure if you understand German or French by any chance, but this article from last month paints a very disturbing picture:

http://www.leaders.com.tn/article/abdelwahab-meddeb-revient-sur-les-evenements-de-la-marsa-autodafe?id=8707
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/buecher/autoren/kulturhetze-in-tunesien-die-liste-der-geaechteten-11802848.html

July 5th, 2012, 7:53 pm

 

omen said:

105. IRRITATED said: Just like the list of Americans responsible of the killing of not thousands but millions : George Bush jr, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Ariel Sharon, etc…La Hague will be crowded…

i would be elated to see that happen.

on aje, former president of argentina, guilty of crimes against humanity, was just sentenced to 50 years.

According to estimates, at least 9,000 and perhaps up to 30,000 Argentinians were subjected to forced disappearance (desaparecidos) and most likely killed; many were illegally detained and tortured, and others went into exile.[15] […]The bodies were hidden or destroyed to prevent protests at home and abroad.[16] Some 11,000 Argentines have applied for and received up to US$200,000 as monetary compensation from the state for the loss of loved ones during the military dictatorship.[17]

July 5th, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@OMEN

I and 1000’s of legit oppositionists to the Baathist thieves been demanding accountability from the regime decades before ALCIDA recruited Syrian fraudsters, drug /weapon traffickers and murderers to act as opposition cover for Mossad and Alciada on camera and youtube.

The problem is that these Baathists are stuck in catch 22, they must keep on stealing and robbing Syria and sending all the cash abroad to Jewish-Western bankers to remain in power. Once the flow of cash is slowed, as is the case in Syria now, they will get the upside down, pocket out, forceful shakeup, get really squeezed like a grape under the press. The problem now for Syrians, when they discover that the fake oppositions they trusted for 2-3 years are out on the cash run too, is that all the cash stolen is hid in those Western-Jewish owned banks and companies. What are the chances to get these sums back when real Syrian revolutionaries are put in power? NIL. GONE WITH WIND BABY. The thieves get to keep the normal 5% commission, should be ok, if they already own a flat in Paris in some stranger name.

July 5th, 2012, 7:55 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 139. Karabennemsi

Those conversations were based on me asking about some negative articles in the western press. They corrected these, based on what they knew from inside Tunisia and Eygpt.

I was glad to hear what they had to say.

July 5th, 2012, 8:03 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Habib,

Nah. I’m embarrassing you.

July 5th, 2012, 8:05 pm

 

habib said:

144. Syrialover

Lol, ok, if deluding yourself makes you happy, be my guest.

Expected reply: “No YOU are deluding yourself!”

July 5th, 2012, 8:12 pm

 

Syrialover said:

The Tlass defection is very good.

But let’s watch and be patient. It’s going to prove just a warm-up punch on the arm compared to the heavy stomach and head blows Bashar Assad has coming to him.

July 5th, 2012, 8:13 pm

 

Syrialover said:

No, no Habibie, I mean Habib. You are NOT deluding yourself. Others are deluding you.

July 5th, 2012, 8:15 pm

 

Tara said:

If indeed Munaf refused to take part in attacks on civillians, then hat off to him.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jul/05/top-syrian-general-defects-turkey

A Syrian general who was a leading member of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle, Manaf Tlass, has defected to Turkey, according to a Damascus-based website with close links to the regime.

Tlass is a member of the most powerful Sunni family in Syria, and the son of a long-serving former defence minister, Mustafa Tlass, but he was reported to have fallen out of favour in recent months for refusing to take part in attacks on civilian areas regarded as opposition strongholds.

Tlass’s defection was reported by Syriasteps, a news website linked to the country’s security apparatus. It said that “a highly placed source in intelligence has confirmed that General Manaf Mustafa Tlass has fled to Turkey”, and quoted a security official as saying: “His escape does not mean anything.”

The defection of such a high-profile figure from a family at the heart of the regime would be a damaging blow to Assad and could provoke more defections, especially among more junior Sunni officers and rank-and-file soldiers. That would serve to weaken the security apparatus, but at the same time sharpen the sectarian nature of the conflict between the Sunni majority and the Alawite minority, from which the ruling family and the military elite are drawn.
….
Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said: “Several sources inside Syria, including Alawite sources close to the regime, have confirmed to me that Manaf Tlass has left the country.”
…..

July 5th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

habib said:

147. Syrialover

Bingo, the opposition is deluding everyone, lol.

I’m on a roll tonight, folks, badumcha!

July 5th, 2012, 8:17 pm

 

Tara said:

I agree with the Guardian’s assessment. Munaf’s defection is likely to pave the way to more high-ranked Sunni officers to defect. If I was in the FSA or the SNC, I would most definitely issue a statement welcoming the defection of Munaf Tlass and his family, give him an amnesty, and encourage more defection by Sunnis and Alawis in return for Amnesty to hasten the disintegration of the regime.

July 5th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

Karabennemsi said:

143. Syrialover

I was serious, i actually think it is good to know that there are politically active people inside Tunisia who are optimistic about their future.

On a different matter, your complains about block voting:

I received three thumbs down for posting an article by french intellectual http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdelwahab_Meddeb, in which he urges the Nahda to take action against art being destroyed by Salafis, and in which he discusses the need and the importance of a free art scene and why the Salafi movement actually destroys, bans and censors art.
I can not understand how such an article would provoce anyone to vote thumbs down. I therefore assume that this voting must have been a personal one, so obviously this is not something which only happens with regime-haters. Also I have to say I can therefore not see it as an honour to be voted down.

July 5th, 2012, 8:25 pm

 

Syrialover said:

I agree, Bashar and co can’t be having a “phallic” fight. They don’t have the relevant equipment or even little toy versions of it.

But a Phyrric fight, yes, that’s more the type of thing they are proving brilliant at.

Definition: Someone who wins a “Pyrrhic victory” has been victorious in some way but they then lose very badly. This is because what they did was at a huge cost with very detrimental consequences to them.

July 5th, 2012, 8:33 pm

 

Karabennemsi said:

150. Tara

Amar al-Wawi, a former rebel commander in the Idlib area who serves as secretary of the FSA’s military committee in Hatay, about the desertion:
“Manaf Tlass is on the FSA’s list of wanted criminals.”

July 5th, 2012, 8:34 pm

 

Tara said:

karabennesmi @153

I am sorry to hear that. It would be stupidity in action.

July 5th, 2012, 8:38 pm

 

Tara said:

@154

This is in my opinion where the opposition is missing on real leadership. The defection should have been analyzed by a small group of pragmatic and bright “leaders” and appropriate statement should have been issued. I hope that Ghalioun takes a lead on that. The goal is to encourage more defections not to hamper them.

July 5th, 2012, 8:45 pm

 

bronco said:

128. Syrialover

I hope you are right. It is all about believing that the display of ‘tolerance’ of Mursi when he swore in is genuine and long lasting.

Yet, on one side, the islamic hardliners are waiting in the shadow with their ultra conservative views of the society, and on the other side the enormous economical problems are looming.
The Iranian Islamic revolution was very tolerant at start, just enough to get the confidence of the people, then it turned more authoritarian.
So we never know.

July 5th, 2012, 9:00 pm

 

bronco said:

#155 Tara

“I hope that Ghalioun takes a lead on that”

Are you ignoring the new SNC leader on purpose?

July 5th, 2012, 9:02 pm

 

bronco said:

153. Karabennemsi

So Manaf Tlass in on both hit list… It must be quite uncomfortable.

July 5th, 2012, 9:06 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

It is my soft heart towards French doctors..

July 5th, 2012, 9:11 pm

 

bronco said:

#150 Tara

“If I was in the FSA or the SNC,”

Bashar is lucky you are not.

July 5th, 2012, 9:12 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco@160

Sarcasm?

July 5th, 2012, 9:14 pm

 

Syrialover said:

# 151. Karabennemsi,

Sorry to confuse you.

My comments are only about the instant “blocks of 10” spam votes supporting pro-regimers – an issue that occurs here the last few months. Go back and you’ll quickly see the pattern and how clumsy and over-the-top it is. They do it in sudden waves, and often long after the comments appear.

Though in your case, there are several posters here who I believe would be genuinely against the idea of a free art scene. Freedom of expression and thinking is un-Assidist, which is why they would vote thumbs down for your post.

And by the way, you will see anti-Assad comments get 10-block votes down fron the spammers as they give mass green thumbs up to regime supporters. Which makes getting sudden 10+ red thumbs down an honor, showing you have attracted the annoyance of that dumb spam team.

July 5th, 2012, 9:19 pm

 

jna said:

126. Tara said: “…I’d personally prefer to read email leak similar to the first batch. The personal life of dear leader, his Batta status, Asma’s obsessions with luxury items, Shehrazad’ s infatuation with the dude, and Hadyl’s picture with white lingerie…”

But not read about the murder of a regime supporter in Lebanon. We must have priorities.

July 5th, 2012, 9:28 pm

 

Shami said:

On Manaf Tlass i agree with the opinion of our brother Anwar.

Bronco,

The extremist takfiri salafis are less than 0,1% of the muslim world ,they are a minority even inside Saudi Arabia.
This exaggeration of the takfiri phenomenon is the favorite game by an another extremism=the secular extremists.
The regime tried hard to portray the syrian revolution as a salafi revolution,the extremist salafis do not allow music but the syrian revolution is very musical and almost all of the sheikhs inside Syria who backed it are Sufis or of the Ekhwani moderate trend.
There are also smart salafis who are not extremists ,and sheikh al Assir in Lebanon is an interesting case.
Other thing ,In mainstrean Sunni Islam =theocracy is an heresy ,no theocratic state in Islam.if you want a proof ,go back to the Islamic caliphats ,which one of them was theocratic?
The greatest islamic caliphat the Umayyad one ,had christian ministers(most important ministery in Islam) and christian army officers.

Malaysia ,Turkey can be source of inspiration for the time being.

July 5th, 2012, 9:31 pm

 

Halabi said:

Tara, Riad Al Asaad spoke about Tlass today on Al Jazeera – he starts from minute 4 in the link below. What he says is the opposite of what the delusional dissemblers here have attributed, without citation, to the FSA.

http://youtu.be/kZuNsUDqpSQ

Of course Al Asaad is living it up in Bulgaria with his $2 million so it’s hard to know what to believe.

July 5th, 2012, 9:36 pm

 

bronco said:

161. Tara

Genuine. Ryad Al Assad and Dr Ghaliun with all his degrees lack the common sense that you (sometime) show.

July 5th, 2012, 9:39 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Tara,

It’s wartime, things are moving at top speed and blazing hot, with sparks and flame everywhere and wheels spinning in all directions.

If I was an FSA commander who had witnessed atrocities by the army and had a team fighting in great danger I would be desperate to get my hands on an Assad Republican Guard general and put the world right. I wouldn’t care if he’d started fighting on the FSA side or even personally wounded Bashar.

That’s a normal reaction. It’s wartime. Syrians are going to be working through a huge amount of that. As things accelerate, so will the confusion and heated debates on the run.

Syrians still have a wild ride ahead of them while the heavy brakes (or breakdowns) send Bashar’s team into their final skid.

July 5th, 2012, 9:46 pm

 

jna said:

“PARIS — The United States and its European and Arab partners will threaten the Assad regime with global sanctions if it fails to quickly implement a Syrian peace plan that includes the appointment of a new interim government, U.S. officials said Thursday on the eve of an 80-nation conference.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/05/syria-sanctions_n_1652836.html

Seems like this is a backwards action. Should not they be threatening the armed opposition who have totally rejected the Geneva ceasefire and transition plan? Hopeless.

July 5th, 2012, 9:51 pm

 

bronco said:

#164 Shami

I think the number of extremists is irrelevant, what counts is their influence.

You seem to be part of the people who think that the Arab spring will follow Turkey’s path.
Turkey has been under an authoritarian secular military regime for decades with multiple attempted coup before reaching the stage it is now. In 40 years, the Turks had time to mature politically and develop economically under the control of the military.
Malaysia is not a model, it is a authoritarian regime that may soon get into trouble.
I don’t think there are any enviable quick model for a modern country ruled by Islamists, especially if there are sizeable religious minorities. Most of them remain authoritarian.

A good model is yet to invent if the leaders have enough imagination and are not tempted to go back to the early years of Islam if they fail.
Watching Tunisia , Egypt and Libya can give a good idea of what’s to come. No one knows for sure.

July 5th, 2012, 10:00 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

The (sometimes) is outstanding! Loved it.

The feeling is rather mutual.

July 5th, 2012, 10:01 pm

 

Syrialover said:

That poor Syrian regime supporter who was killed in Lebanon. Of course, we must not think he was ever connected to any violence or humiliation, injustice or theft against anyone in Lebanon that might attract payback.

Didn’t his killer realise he had “protected species status” by decree of Bashar al Assad?

Which must be why his death is attracting more sobs and outrage from a couple of people here than the deaths of 16,000++ innocent Syrians at the hands of his bosses.

July 5th, 2012, 10:04 pm

 

bronco said:

#JNA

The transition is on ‘mutual’ agreement, both sides will have to be pressured. While the West could apply ‘global sanctions’ on Syria, it cannot do it on the reluctant opposition as its has no leverage on it as long as Turkey Qatar and the GCC are fueling the military confrontation.
If there is a serious commitment by the friends of the opposition to stop completely arming of the rebels in exchange for the acceptance by the regime of a national unity government that include significant members of the opposition, then there is a chance it will move on.
That’s Annan’s job…

July 5th, 2012, 10:09 pm

 

Tara said:

JNA,

I wrote you something. It is in jail. Awaiting release by our friendly moderator
—–

Syrialover,

I understand all that and some, and I am not trying to belittle the anger those fighters have amassed witnessing the death of their family, neighbors and friends … but that is exactly why a leadership needs to be born as soon as possible..A pragmatic and bright leadership is the only way to channel the demagogue into a more productive energy to shorten the path to victory. We just do not want a pyrrhic victory. We want the shortest and least painful path to it.

July 5th, 2012, 10:11 pm

 

Tara said:

Halabi@165

Thank you. Very appreciated.

July 5th, 2012, 10:13 pm

 

Norman said:

The question to all of you, If munaf Tlas is forgiven for what he did in the last 15 months, will he be forgiven because he defected and is that available to Alawi military leaders or only to Sunni ones, I just wonder what will happen.

July 5th, 2012, 10:20 pm

 

Tara said:

JNA

No JNA, the point was that I took an issue with YOUR choice of linking the murder of a single regime supporter while ignoring the many many links of the murders of Syrian children, activists, and civilians. I have certain expectation from certain people and you fell short, therefore I felt prompted to say it.

I still prefer to read emails similar to the first batch. Not that I would give our Batta a second look…He is painful to look at. It is the dear leader status being an object of idiotic worship that makes it interesting. In another term, it is a phenomena.

July 5th, 2012, 10:23 pm

 

mjabali said:

Shami:

Whom are you trying to fool? Salafis are extremist takfiris themselves. They won around 25 percent in Egypt. They could win at least 25 percent across the board in many Middle Eastern countries. They can get over 50 percent in some countries. Moderate Islam exists but is receding.

About tolerance here is a link to a man who got burned to death in Pakistan because of his religious ideas:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18713545

here is also a link to how Salafis refuse to have a woman or a Christian as a vice president in Egypt

http://www.alquds.co.uk/index.asp?fname=today4z500.htm&arc=data201277-044z500.htm

here is also a link to an article about the Alawis in a Syrian news outlet. See how tolerant the people who left comments

http://www.sooryoon.net/archives/58390

July 5th, 2012, 10:29 pm

 

bronco said:

151. Karabennemsi

You got thumbs down because the adamant anti-regime crowd interpret your comment as if you are trying to show that an Islamist regime can be oppressive.
They are in total denial of that. Having never living in a country where religious rulings oppresses and esmaculates freedom of expression and arts, they can’t imagine it could ever happen to Syria. They say: In Syria, secularism is in our genes, it can’t happen to us. They ignore that Iran was exactly like that before the revolution. They also ignore that until now Turkey has the world largest number of jailed journalists and that the situation of women in Turkey is not to be proud of.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar Wahhabis are closer than it appears.

July 5th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

jna said:

Bronco, I think the USA can put pressure on Turkey, Qatar, and the GCC to support a Syrian ceasefire and transition if the USA wants to, in support of the Geneva plan. Also, Russia and China have to hold the Assad regime to concretely supporting the plan without playing games.

July 5th, 2012, 10:33 pm

 

bronco said:

#175 Tara

Forgiving? If he gives some millions to help the desperate FSA, why not? This applies to every rich defector.

July 5th, 2012, 10:38 pm

 

bronco said:

#179 JNA

I think Turkey is ripe for an appeasement. KSA is also increasingly worried of a spill off. As Qatar’s MB candidate won in Egypt, it is possible that it is less keen in a regime change in Syria as it was before.

In any case the USA would loose its face if Bashar stays in power.
So the whole fight is not to topple the regime, but to remove the scapegoat. As Bashar said he would leave once he is assured that the country is in good hands, that’s what the USA and the Western allies are aiming at, with no success yet.

July 5th, 2012, 10:53 pm

 

Tara said:

Bronco

Rich defectors are welcome. Why not? I do not have a problem with that.

July 5th, 2012, 10:54 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

Some people are so cheap and fake, they will do anything for money, that is all they care about, that is all they are after.

July 5th, 2012, 10:59 pm

 

Antoine said:

ALDENDESHE,
I guess u are right about high-level defections, but how can you say that about a Conscript from idleb or a Lieutentant or Captain from Homs ? If they defected do you think they do it for money ? Theyree have been thousands of proven documented defections like these. In fact how can you even call them Baathists ?

July 5th, 2012, 10:59 pm

 

Aldendeshe said:

@ANTOINE
There is no comparison between them. they bailed out because of ethics and conviction, not protect the stolen wealth that is stashed abroad. They left all they owned behind.

July 5th, 2012, 11:05 pm

 

habib said:

164. Shami

Their number is irrelevant, what matters is their bodycount. And it sure is high.

July 5th, 2012, 11:56 pm

 

Son of Damascus said:

Manaf’s military rank is not the important part of the defection but rather as Dr. Landis pointed out his position within the inner circle.

While I believe his influence was perhaps undermined over the last months, he still carries clout that non of the other Generals that defected had so far. Anyone that lived in Damascus would understand this fact very well, he was extremely close to Basel frequenting the Pub in Sheraton, the Pool in Kafrsouseh (where Manaf actually met Tala), and in Latakia together frequently. Both him and Basel were seen as the grooms of the next generation of leadership, when Basel died in his car crash back in 94′ he was instrumental in helping Bashar transition into the role his brother was groomed for.

Also something worth mentioning Firas as far as I know did not make his money in Syria, but rather working with his brother in law Akram Oejjeh (A Syrian born Saudi billionaire that worked for the Saudi defence industry). I am not saying he or his family did not benefit from their illegal privileges in Syria but rather as a businessman Firas understood there is always a limit to what he can make in Syria versus oil rich gulf, Sky is the limit on what you can make is the gulf vs. Assad is the limit in Syria. A good example of that is the whole White Porsche controversy back in the 90’s that Firas bought for Rania, and Basel feeling slighted that someone bought a luxury car he did not own a model of.

Now was this defection genuine or just to save his own skin, I think it is the latter rather than the former (yes he was always a career military guy, but like his father he has an unquenchable thirst for the finer things in life), but nevertheless a welcomed defection because any soul that can help bring an end to this dictatorship and help to finally put an end to the bloodletting is better than the opposite of that.

July 6th, 2012, 12:02 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

A good example of that is the whole White Porsche controversy back in the 90′s that Firas bought for Rania, and Basel feeling slighted that someone bought a luxury car he did not own a model of.
__________________________________________________________________

So guess how slighted many Syrians like me feel when these Blabbedy Blabbedy Baathists used Socialism to cease control of our homes, land and industries, thrown us to the dogs in foreign lands, and then used all they stole to live in luxury, supported by an illiterate class of peasants and workers for 40 years. Now you should appreciate that we have a strong feeling of getting even with those same peasants and workers as well as the blabbedy blab Baathist Socialist that ran this whole scam for practically a life time.

July 6th, 2012, 12:13 am

 

Juergen said:

Tara

We have this group of military officers who tried to kill Hitler in 1944. They did not succeed, researchers estimated that 3-4 million people would have been saved if he actually died on July 20 1944. Streets and schools are named now after those officers. Just a few people raise their concern because for more than a decade those officers joined the Nazi party, were active members of the movement, helped in the massmurder and at the very end they decided its better to kill Hitler. I think no one with a clear mind would think that those officers were democrats or wanted to establish an pluralistic new Germany. Even if Manaf defected he should be persecuted for his actions.

Here is a video report which was broadcasted last night in german tv, the reporter was in Syria. a lot of dubbing, but i am sure one could get the message. See the abbess of Maaloula as she is wandering in her office sending adorations to the eyedoctor.(… a doctor could never be bad) The reporter was probably not aware that Anise is a good friend to her, she comes everyyear with a big bunch of money. Those nuns in Maaloula… i never saw them smile. The monastery above St.Thekla for St. Sergius and Bachus is much friendlier and I would say more authentic ( from minute 23:32)

http://www.ardmediathek.de/suche?s=syrien

July 6th, 2012, 2:02 am

 

Uzair8 said:

I posted the Prof JL appearance on BBC World Service (WS) earlier. In the early hours I heard the Professor once again on WS with a different interview or maybe the rest of the previous interview. A good listen:

Listen from the start.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00tx6bl

July 6th, 2012, 2:17 am

 

ann said:

Russia Warns West Of ‘Big War’ In Syria – 7/6/2012

http://www.rttnews.com/1918041/russia-warns-west-of-big-war-in-syria.aspx?type=gn&Node=B1

Russia has warned the West that its stance on Syria could aggravate the situation to the point of war, and said it will reject any U.N. Security Council peace enforcement resolution on Syria as it would be “nothing but intervention.”

“Their [Western] position is most likely to exacerbate the situation, lead to further violence and ultimately a very big war,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow on Thursday.

The West has also distorted the Russian position on Syria by suggesting Moscow should offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asylum. “This is either an unscrupulous attempt to mislead serious people who shape foreign policy or simply a misunderstanding of what is going on,” Lavrov was quoted by Russian state media as saying.

He also said representatives of the Syrian Opposition groups would visit Moscow next week in the context of Russia’s request to them to unite to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis.

[…]

July 6th, 2012, 2:50 am

 

Patriot said:

@Antoine, #18

Why do you use Mouallem’s name in the same sentence as Maher Al Assad and Assef Shawkat? I guarantee you the man has no blood on his hands…

July 6th, 2012, 3:10 am

 

Antoine said:

Aldendeshe,

Recently I learned the interesting fact that both USA and USSR, both CIA and KGB, supported Nasser’s 1952 Coup (so callled Revolution).

I wonder why CIA wanted Nasser to grab power in Egypt.

As far as I know the Egyptian King Farouk I was a old-fashioned pro-British type ( like all Arab Kings).

Was there a long-term plan ?

July 6th, 2012, 3:47 am

 

Antoine said:

“185. Aldendeshe said:

@ANTOINE
There is no comparison between them. they bailed out because of ethics and conviction, not protect the stolen wealth that is stashed abroad. They left all they owned behind”

_________________________________________________________________

Precisely, so why is SNP slurring the grassroots revolution on the basis of what SNC and some ex-Baathsts are doing ?

Also do you think Islamists ( I mean hardcore genocidal type) have received any coooperation or approval from mainstream grassroots revolutionaries like LCCs, SRGC, FSA ?

July 6th, 2012, 3:50 am

 

Mina said:

Branco 178
The Western media is making its best these days never to mention “Wabbahism” as the dogma behind the destruction of the mosques and saints sanctuaries in Tumbuktu. So indeed, you are right. The EU is getting bailed out by the Gulf and Wahhabi influence is allowed to creep wherever it wants “in the Muslim world”.

July 6th, 2012, 3:58 am

 

SANDRO LOEWE said:

The end of Assad is nearer and nearer every time we take a breath, every time the suns rises, every time a child takes an arm to share in this crazy chaos promoted by Assad The God Dog and Gang of mafious criminals.

I have watched at the video of the child in Krak des Chevaliers. It really hurts inside. I feel as the most sacred place of Human Being which is childhood has been violated.

But when your parents are being killed and tortured to death by Assad forces, when Assad snipers kill children running through the streets of a sunni village, when your sisters are being kidnapped and raped, when even you could have been detained, tortured and raped even if you were ony 14 years old, what does remain of Childhood? Nothing.

Then it is better even for a child to help defend their family. They know if their village is taken, there will be massive detentions, killing and rapes of women and girls. And all males from 12 y.o. and over will be massacrated.

I think childhood was gone before he took the kalashnikov.

Assad stupidity is the real cause behind all of this.

July 6th, 2012, 4:37 am

 
 

Alan said:

لرئيس المصري المنتخب وجه دعوة لـ بيرس ونتنياهو لزيارة القاهرة

نشر موقع صحيفة “معاريف” الاسرائيلية، اليوم الخميس، بأن الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي بعث رسالة عبر موقعه على “تويتر” يوجه فيها دعوة لرئيس وزراء اسرائيل بنيامين نتنياهو و رئيس اسرائيل شمعون بيرس لزيارة القاهرة.

ونشر الموقع صورة تظهر الدعوة على موقع للرئيس المصري المنتخب، ويتساءل الموقع العبري هل هذا الموقع على تويتر هو الموقع الرسمي للرئيس المصري، والذي وجه من خلاله دعوة رسمية لنتنياهو وبيرس بزيارة القاهرة في شهر آب القادم.

ونسب ايضا للرئيس المصري على نفس الموقع أنه وجه رسالة لرئيس وزراء اسرائيل يؤكد فيها أنه سيحافظ على اتفاقية السلام مع اسرائيل واستعداده في الاستمرار بالتعاون بين البلدين.

بدوره أكد مكتب رئيس اسرائيل عدم معرفتهم بهذه الدعوة وبأنه لم يصل رئيس اسرائيل أي دعوة من قبل الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي، وصدر نفس التصريح عن مكتب نتنياهو.

يشار أنه سبق ونشرت تصريحات نسبت للرئيس المصري محمد مرسي ومن ضمنها لقاء مع وكالة الانباء الايرانية “فارس”، والتي أكدت فيها رغبة الرئيس المصري تطوير العلاقات الايرانية المصرية، حيث نفى مكتب الرئيس المصري هذه التصريحات مؤكدا أن الرئيس لم يعط أي تصريحات للوكالة الايرانية.

July 6th, 2012, 6:04 am

 

omen said:

peter biles, bbc world news, covering the paris friends of syria conference:

manaf tlass who is 46 years old and a former republican guard general was clearly part of the establishment but we understand that he had fallen out with the syrian leadership a little over a year ago and had been under some form of house arrest.

so, he will, no doubt, be greeted warmly by syrian opposition figures if indeed he is on his way to paris which is what we are being told.

July 6th, 2012, 7:09 am

 

Tara said:

11.07am:Syria: The French foreign minister Laurent Fabius has confirmed that Manaf Tlass has defected and is on his way to Paris, according to Reuters.
Tlass reportedly has relatives in France. Could he make a guest appearance at the Friends of Syria meeting?

From the Guardian blog.

July 6th, 2012, 7:14 am

 

annie said:

Beloved TARA “One innocent life is worth much more than Bashar and his family combined.”
SON OF DAMASCUS “a welcomed defection because any soul that can help bring an end to this dictatorship and help to finally put an end to the bloodletting is better than the opposite of that.”

Defectors should be welcome even at this late stage because without them there won’t be any toppling of the regime.
When the regime is over, the first job will be the reconstruction of the country and reconciliation after the real criminals have been sentenced.

July 6th, 2012, 7:15 am

 

omen said:

mina (5:36) if misplaced sectarian loyalty weren’t held to be more important than objecting to savagery, the regime would had been ousted long ago.

July 6th, 2012, 7:25 am

 

omen said:

194. MINA said: The Western media is making its best these days never to mention “Wabbahism” as the dogma behind the destruction of the mosques and saints sanctuaries in Tumbuktu. So indeed, you are right. The EU is getting bailed out by the Gulf and Wahhabi influence is allowed to creep wherever it wants “in the Muslim world”.

bbc news reported this islamist group waging destruction is being used as a proxy and has ties to the algerian regime.

July 6th, 2012, 7:32 am

 

omen said:

101. UZAIR8 said: As the final collapse of the regime comes closer things may get a little nastier on SC. I’ll probably slip into the shadows.

when the going gets tough…?

July 6th, 2012, 7:53 am

 

Alan said:

Iraq warns of al-Qaeda influx to Syria
http://www.rt.com/news/iraq-syria-al-qaeda-militants-546/

Russia ‘categorically denies’ claims it supports Assad – Foreign ministry
http://www.rt.com/news/clinton-russia-china-syria-569/

July 6th, 2012, 8:12 am

 

Alan said:

‘No chance of unity government in Syria’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erIUpOXXUDg
Iraq’s Foreign Minister is blaming al-Qaeda members for orchestrating the uprising against Syria’s president. In a news briefing, he said militants from the terror network were flowing into Syria. Violence there is worsening, with over a hundred people killed in the last three days. Reports say fighting’s intensifying in Homs, where troops are clashing with rebels. Paul Sheldon Foote, a Middle East expert from California State University, says he doesn’t believe the coalition government is possible in Syria.

July 6th, 2012, 8:17 am

 

majedkhaldoun said:

Where is Manaf Tlass now? He is not in France yet,Is Turkey interrogating him?or CIA is doing that?He is not going to join the FSA, in the last 16 months, he was told to stay home , this prove that Alawis do not trust any Sunni.
We have had many FOS meetings it is not doing any good.
If we have armed the Opposition long time ago,the Assad would have been history long time ago.those who called for Silmyieh has prolonged the conflict.Assad is incompetent but lucky.
King Abdullah of Jordan is afraid to help the Syrians he is afraid about his throne, those who are quiet are accomplices in Assad crimes

July 6th, 2012, 8:18 am

 

Alan said:

TOZ !!! wich price ! Toz againe !
Clinton: Russia & China will ‘pay price’ for supporting Assad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlcJjMEiHiI
and for the end againe Toz !

July 6th, 2012, 8:22 am

 

Alan said:

Clinton ! it is provocative !

July 6th, 2012, 8:26 am

 

omen said:

bbc tv: now the french foreign minister is saying manaf tlass is on his way to paris.

aje blog:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed on Friday a Syrian general who was close to President Bashar al-Assad had defected and was bound for Paris.

Manaf Tlas, a brigade commander in Syria’s Republican Guard who went to military college with Assad, fled to Turkey this week, sources told Reuters.

“I can confirm that he has defected and is on his way to France,” Fabius told a meeting of world leaders and Syrian rebels in Paris.

July 6th, 2012, 8:30 am

 

Alan said:

Moscow Warns West of ‘Big War’ in Syria
http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120705/174419990.html
Moscow lashed out on Thursday at the Western position on Syria, saying it could aggravate the situation to the point of war.
“Their [Western] position is most likely to exacerbate the situation, lead to further violence and ultimately a very big war,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
The West has also distorted the Russian position on Syria by suggesting Moscow should offer Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asylum, he said.
“This is either an unscrupulous attempt to mislead serious people who shape foreign policy or simply a misunderstanding of what is going on,” Lavrov said.
He also warned that Russia will reject any UN Security Council peace enforcement resolution on Syria, since that would be “nothing but intervention.”../../..

July 6th, 2012, 8:31 am

 

Alan said:

Homs of Death: ‘Unprecedented’ violence escalation alarms UN
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuGt8IFkbXc
Shelling continues in the Syrian city of Homs as a UN monitor admits the violence in the country has reached unprecedented levels. More than a hundred people have been killed in the last three days. RT correspondent Maria Finoshina described the situation on the ground as a “destructive nightmare.”

July 6th, 2012, 8:53 am

 

omen said:

110. KARABENNEMSI said:

84. VISITOR

wtf man?
This is such a clear case of war-rhetoric that you should be ashamed of yourseld to even post that. […] and calling for bloodshed after a possible success of the revolution is just really really dumb.

i must say i agree. nothing is served by answering genocide with genocide.

July 6th, 2012, 9:08 am

 

Alan said:

The threat of Mrs. Clinton against Russia and China put the U.S. under the response on the part of Russia and China!Drama biting fingers. Thank you for your candor Mrs. Clinton in a statement! message of passed!

July 6th, 2012, 9:10 am

 

Aldendeshe said:

192. Antoinesaid:

Aldendeshe,

Recently I learned the interesting fact that both USA and USSR, both CIA and KGB, supported Nasser’s 1952 Coup (so callled Revolution).

I wonder why CIA wanted Nasser to grab power in Egypt.

As far as I know the Egyptian King Farouk I was a old-fashioned pro-British type ( like all Arab Kings).

Was there a long-term plan ?
__________________________________________________________________

Yes, installing Nasser (a freemason)in power and removing Mosaddeq from Iran, as well as installing the house of Saud, Assad and Saddam, and replacing the shah Pahlavi with Mullah Islamists are all parts of the same long term plan by the Secret Ammonite Government. The CIA just takes orders, it is not a policy making body, it is a policy implementing one.

July 6th, 2012, 9:40 am

 

irritated said:

Miss Piggy in ‘the shadow of the Eiffel tower’ with zionist Laurent Fabius seems to have a hysteria fit after Lavrov rejected her advances in Geneva.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0706/Clinton-says-Russia-China-should-pay-price-over-Syria

I don’t think Russia and China believe they are paying any price at all for standing up for the Assad regime,” Ms. Clinton said in a “Friends of the Syrian People” meeting held this morning in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.

Yet Moscow and Beijing “should pay a price,” Mrs. Clinton said in strong tones to the French-hosted meeting

July 6th, 2012, 10:23 am

 

zoo said:

The fall of Khan Sheikhoun. The rebels withdraw ( where?)

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-activists-25-killed-army-takes-city-124516791.html

Anti-regime activists say Syrian forces have killed at least 25 people, arrested scores more and torched dozens of homes while seizing a northern city from rebels.

Osama Kayal from the city, Khan Sheikhoun, said Friday that local fighters repelled an army advance early this week, destroying at least six army vehicles and killing the soldiers inside.

Rebels withdrew on Wednesday when a larger force arrived, backed by attack helicopters, said Kayal and other activists.
….

July 6th, 2012, 10:27 am

 

bronco said:

Tlass’s Paris connection

Tlass is on his way to Paris to join his wife and his sister, Nahed Ojjeh, widow of Saudi millionaire arms dealer Akram Ojjeh.
.
Nahed Ojjeh, a tough business woman, married Ojjeh when she was 18, he was 60. She later had a tumultuous love and business life in France.
Among other relations, she is said to have been Roland Dumas’s mistress.

Her story and her family’s would make a fascinating TV series…

A well connected family, indeed…

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahed_Ojjeh

July 6th, 2012, 10:39 am

 

KDD said:

It is ironic that Manaf’s negotiation tactics by far were the most effective in reducing casualties and violence, and were in the regime’s best interest. I know that he negotiated with Zabadani rebels last year where they pulled back voluntarily – no bloodshed.

The regime may have survived if they acted “bil husna” or in kindness and compassion. But the actions tht followed shows the tunnel vision that this regime has – that violence and instilling fear (a la Hafez) is the only answer to everything that happens. Essentially, this is the nuclear option. It’s a gamble that you can only keep doubling down on until completely bankrupt. Thus, we are now witnessing the death spiral.

July 6th, 2012, 10:57 am

 

zoo said:

Syria becomes a matter of prestige for government, (not national interest)… and a nightmare for Erdogan.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-becomes-a-matter-of-prestige-for-government.aspx?pageID=449&nID=24841&NewsCatID=416

The Wall Street Journal article casting doubts on Turkey’s account of the downing of its jet by Syria has sent the blood rushing to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s head once again. The fact that unnamed sources in Moscow also are telling much the same to the Russian media is no doubt increasing the anger in Ankara.

The simple fact is that the whole Syria affair is turning into a matter of prestige for the Erdoğan government. In the meantime the policy it pursued towards this country from the start is being questioned at home where more and more people are wondering why Turkey has been brought to a position of war with a neighbor when there are no apparent national interests at stake.

This is why the government has to pursue this case in a way that enhances its political credibility at home and abroad, since ending up in a position of eating humble pie over Syria will hardly tally with the “regional power image” that Prime Minister Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu are plugging hard for Turkey.

There is a Turkish saying which has it that “the sums done at home do not always match the realities of the marketplace.” Looking at the big picture Ankara seems to be faced with just such a situation over Syria.

July 6th, 2012, 11:01 am

 

Uzair8 said:

217. Zoo

Once again the regime got lucky as the FSA ran out of ammo.

Majed may be right (#207). One of these days Assad will run out of luck. One of these days…

July 6th, 2012, 11:04 am

 

Tara said:

Bronco

A fascinating TV series indeed. To add

Rania Jabri ( Firas Tlass’ wife) comes from a family with similar arrangement. A striking age difference between her parents, doubt for love as the father is known to be very rich.

The spin is Asma al Assad and Rania are somehow related.

Josh said that Rania is from prominent Sunni Aleppine family…Ironically, the family prominence
in Sunni Syria is measured by the size of the bank account..They can be peasant in essence yet prominent.

July 6th, 2012, 11:05 am

 

bronco said:

#219 KDD

the most effective in reducing casualties and violence, and were in the regime’s best interest
Some may argue that it only allowed the rebels to regroup and wait for more weapons to regain control.
While Tllas was thinking that the rebels will take the olive branch, it is obvious they didn’t in view of the powerful arms they got in in the few weeks that followed the Zabadani crisis and during the UN “peace” mission.

He may have been well intentioned, but I am not sure if he was effective for the government.
The rebels have been and are still determined to topple the government by violence, at any cost.

July 6th, 2012, 11:09 am

 

bronco said:

@222 Tara

The Tlass Saga.. Who will write it?

July 6th, 2012, 11:11 am

 

zoo said:

Russia preparing its return in Egypt

Carving a New Niche in Egypt
04 July 2012

…..
There are a number of reasons why it is important for Russia to develop relations with the new Arab elites. First, it presents an opportunity to strengthen Moscow’s influence in the region amid the diminished economic strength of Russia following the Soviet collapse.

Second, it would be advantageous for Russia to establish a dialogue with moderate Islamist forces, primarily among Muslim Brotherhood members. Such experience would also help stabilize the situation in the North Caucasus. Conversely, the political defeat of moderate Islamic parties could lead to the further radicalization and destabilization of the Middle East. That, in turn, could radicalize the North Caucasus and other Muslim regions within Russia.

To help promote Russia’s interests in the Middle East, the Moscow-Istanbul-Rome Initiative, or MIR Initiative, held a conference in Rome in late May called “Bridging the New Middle East.” The Muslim Brotherhood leadership and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, participated. They stressed that Russia could best strengthen its position in the Middle East by focusing on relations with the new Egypt.

Russia first strengthened its position in the Arab world by means of its strong relationship with former Egyptian President Gamal Nasser. Today, with the emergence of Morsi, Russia has an opportunity to return to the big game in the Middle East.

Read more: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/carving-a-new-niche-in-egypt/461603.html#ixzz1zr87ALUl
The Moscow Times

July 6th, 2012, 11:18 am

 

zoo said:

“As for me, I hope that Arab people everywhere will start building the Kingdom of Allah on Earth as soon as possible. The sooner it is erected, the sooner it will collapse. It was the same with communism. It was only when Soviet leaders actually tried to build communism that all of its myths were completely dispelled.

Sometimes you have to build a system to kill it.”

Elections in the Arab World Are a Bad Idea
04 July 2012
By Yulia Latynina

The Nazis won the elections in 1932. Salvodor Allende, a Marxist, won the elections in Chile in 1970. And now Islamist Mohammad Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, won the presidential election in Egypt.

These events reveal two facts. First, devoted missionaries of liberal democracy were wrong in their naive belief that the overthrow of bloody Arab dictators would bring freedom and liberty to oppressed people. The problem is that the people themselves don’t share these values. Take, for example, a survey by the polling agency Free Egyptians in which an overwhelming majority of Egyptians supported the terrorist attacks against the United States on 9/11.

While free elections brought Hamas, a terrorist organization, to power in the Palestinian Authority, elections in countless African and South American countries have been won by cannibals and terrorists alike.

Free elections are great tools in the West, when the people choose, for example, between Republicans and Democrats in the United States or Liberals and Conservatives in Britain. But in the Arab Middle East, elections aren’t such a good idea. There, the people’s will is solely responsible for bringing to power the third form of totalitarianism to appear after the Nazis and Communists: religious totalitarianism.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/opinion/article/elections-in-the-arab-world-are-a-bad-idea/461546.html

July 6th, 2012, 11:24 am

 

irritated said:

The FOS meeting in Paris

The usual hysteria of France calling the UNSC for a chapter 7 resolution and for Bashar to go. The usual promises to send more ‘communications equipment’ to the rebels, the nth SNC call for corridors and for Alawites to defect etc…

The only interesting point is that the next FOS meeting will be in Morocco and next in Italy. Nice program.
How can I join?.

July 6th, 2012, 11:43 am

 

omen said:

experts tell us that military intervention would be ill advised. we are told that syrian people need to overthrow the regime on their own. that by forging their own way, somehow, strengthens the path towards developing their own democracy.

by that logic, shouldn’t experts also denounce external machinations as well, such as the friends of syria, who are seeking to institute a political solution by engineering a transition.

why is one form of intervention bad but not the other one?

it doesn’t make sense.

syrians are expected to:

1) to do this on their own. bare their chests and turn themselves in cannon fodder, sacrificing their lives in attempt to overthrow the regime.

yet

2) are expected to passively accept an external solution handed down to them, not of their own making.

these two expectations contradict one another.

and the anti military intervention argument sends an ugly message. it implies that syrians are expected to die en masse without help, but, if they do manage to overthrow the regime, they aren’t possibly capable enough to manage their own affairs and need the caretaking of the “international community” to set up a proper framework (aka puppet ruler.)

July 6th, 2012, 12:15 pm

 

Syrialover said:

Fascinating exercise. Statements by Iranian leaders analysed with a body language lie detector.

Imagine if they do Bashar, Jaafari and the gang!

http://iran2407.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/iran-lying-for-time/

July 14th, 2012, 9:43 pm

 

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