Round Up: Qusayr, Hezbollah, Regional Sectarianism, Ehsani on Economics, Foreign Jihadis Behead & Kill for Blasphemy, US Intervention Proposal

From Our Readers

Yamin sent the following in an email:

The Syrian Government ignores 70 percent of the Opposition fighters being Free Syrian Army and label all of them as al-Qaeda or Jabhat al-Nusra. To them any fighters, regardless of their just causes, are Moslem fanatics. Hilarious.

The Opposition ignores 95 percent of the forces opposing them and blames many attacks on Hizbollah. To them any Shiite fighter in Syria is Hizbollah, ignoring the fact that almost a half a million Syrian Shiites are up in arms too. No one had ever said that the Shiite fighters in Nebol and al-Zahra northwest of Aleppo were “Hizbollah forces” until last week. Suddenly, Hizbollah is attacking in Aleppo. Hilarious.

The hate between the two sides is larger by far than the hate between the French and the Ottomans on the Jaffa beaches in 1799.

A millennium of Sunni ascendancy in the Middle East has been haltered or eroded by three main events:

  1. the rise of Russia (ceased the Moslem jihad or fatah north and west)
  2. the unification of Persia (gave the Shiite Arabs their first solid base)
  3. the foundation of Israel (halted Egyptian armies incursions into Syria)

Apple_Mini wrote in a comment:

Nowadays, you will find only Sunni taxi drivers in town (Damascus). It is a simple reality: Sunni drivers can go anywhere if they need to: rebels held areas (diminishing) and government controlled areas. On the other hand, all Alawite cab drivers have quit since it would be life-risking mission to go to rebel held areas or areas still threatened by rebels.

If you walk around areas with high foot traffic in Damascus, you will see many displaced people from countryside. Most of them are mothers with children, sometimes even toddlers or infants. You cannot find the fathers. And you probably already know why, those are military-age men from countryside.

When you see young mothers holding infants and begging for money, it strikes you with the thought that the mother might have already been a widow. How will they survive while raising those children regardless of the outcome of this conflict? How could they raise their children while providing opportunities for them to advance to higher social ladder?

Elliot emailed in the following question, for which our contributor Ehsani has provided a response:

Question: One reads how life in Assad controlled Syria has remained somewhat “normal”…students going to University, cafe life, traffic jams, etc. After more than two years of war, sanctions, loss of tourist revenues, oil revenues, some 60% of the country lost, it seems that Damascus would be really hurting financially. I’ve read that Iran is picking up the tab. Is it possible that Iran can do so indefinitely? It must be enormously expensive to fight a war and maintain at least some of the trappings of a peacetime society. Any thoughts on the financing of this situation?

Ehsani’s reply:

When it comes to anything to do with the finances of the Syrian state, facts are in short supply. Not surprisingly, the leadership treats such matters as national security. Any attempts to answer such questions must therefore be done with care. Some speculation is perhaps inevitable.

Syria has a large public sector. This means that it must pay salaries to over 1 million employees. Some speculate that the number is closer to 2 million. Such salaries are still largely being paid. The fall of the value of the Syrian Pound has made this financial obligation significantly easier to meet.

Prior to the start of the crisis, one US dollar (USD) used to buy 46 Syrian Pounds (SYP). The same USD now buys 168 SYP. Let us assume that the average salary of a state employee is SYP 12,000. Before the crisis, the USD cost to the government was $261 a month. The same salary now sets the government back USD $71. This means that the treasury now saves 73% on its wage bill.

The other major expense to the government is of course subsidies. The crisis has meant that large parts of the country no longer depend on the state largess when it comes to heavily subsidized fuel, gas or even electricity. This has resulted in significant savings for the state. For the record, the subsidies used to cost the state near USD 8 billion a year. Close to 63% of that went to energy-related items.

The other thing to note is that official imports into the country have come down significantly. This meant less demand for foreign currency. Prior to the crisis, the central bank used to supply such foreign currencies to the banking system to finance commercial imports.

While expenses have declined, so have revenues, of course. The largest hit came from the sanctions on the energy sector. This has starved the state of foreign currency revenues. It is important to note that income taxes do not constitute a large revenue item. Instead, indirect taxes are more widespread. These are easier to collect in this environment than income taxes. It is the case, however, that one is hard pressed to see significant sources of revenues for the state. The natural assumption is that Iran must be helping, but one can only speculate here. Perhaps companies like Syriatel and other privately owned companies are also doing their part in assisting the state to meet some of its obligations. Some have speculated that the government may have printed Syrian banknotes to ease the strain. While this is possible, I have yet to see credible evidence of such.

Elliot also emailed in another question:

Egypt, the largest and arguably most influential Arab Sunni power seems to have no interest in any sort of role in the conflict. Indeed, I have read that there have been visits of high level Iranians to the country. I noted that Egypt was hoping to increase Iranian tourism. I know Egypt is having its own severe internal problems but one would think that a Moslem Brother would be  more sympathetic to the the Sunni cause. What gives?

 What do you think?

 Observer wrote in a long and thoughtful comment:

In the early 1920 period the people of greater Syria chose the US as the mandate power because:
1. Woodrow Wilson spoke of the right of people for self determination and
2. The US was not an empire or a colonial power.

France and Britain got away with it and stayed sowing the seeds of instability as the book by Fromkin “A Peace to end all Peace” clearly shows.

In Syria, the elites formed by France were of two kinds: the urban elite educated in the French schooling system and the military that allowed less fortunate and rural young men to improve their lot.

The first coup d’etat by Housni Zaim was clearly aimed to allow the establishment of the pipeline of oil from KSA to the coast so that the Marshall plan can be fueled.

At that time Lebanon benefited from the gift of an international airport in Beirut, the transformation of the Syrian Protestant College to the AUB and the creation of the AUB medical center with the aim of having a base for the sixth fleet in case of a war with the Soviets.

The cold war brought the US into an empire and into using might makes right in helping any dictator decimate the communist party.

The urban elite concentrated all the efforts in urban centers and neglected the rural areas and continued a renter’s economy owning the land and never really allowing equal opportunities.

All of this got a significant boost when all and I repeat all of the Baath projects were laid down by non other than Khaled Azem the so called ” red prime minister in the early sixties. He for example wanted to organize the owners of the buses in Damascus into a holding company so that their resources can be combined and the city benefit from a true transportation system that is private with government oversight and help.

He for example went on to lay the ground work for the electrical grid for the port of Tartus for the Euphrates dam and others.

The Baath although bringing a dictatorship brought with it in my opinion an Arab nationalism that was subverted by authoritarian regime to its ends. Nevertheless and despite the fact that it had many a stupid economic decisions it went on to create a middle class that would allow for an employee to own his house within 15 years of work and savings and to insure that his children went to school and got a shot at university.

However, like all authoritarian regimes it was filled with inefficiencies and corruption and worst of all brutality. It had the seeds of its own destruction.

When the current regime fell under the control of the father, all bets were off as he transformed the Baath party to his engine of total control and went about dismantling the structures of any civil society and with a vengeance. Not only it was corrupt and brutal to the core, it was corrupting and diabolical in inducing a culture of impunity, of slave owner mentality and of a hatred for his enemies and his prejudiced populations to the very apparatus of governance,

Hence, and with the brood and the family mafia gone wild and with their complete incompetence and stupidity, they have left the country deeply scared and fractured and with sectarian final divisions.

So I would say that when the people of the ME revolted rightly against Ottoman tyranny and bought the idea of Arab Nationalism they actually killed the very idea and dream of their ideals the moment they agreed to remain divided in these artificial states and in these petty family and clan affairs.

… As Arab Nationalism got its mortal wound in 67 and its death in 91 with defeats and invasions, there remained a culture that has never been defeated for it is engrained to the core into the very genes of the people: their Islamic heritage. Case in point the Eternal Message of the Arab Nation of the Baath party slogan as formulated by none other than the Christian Michel Aflaq is based on Islam as the eternal message. It is perversion of the message for Islam is not for Arabs and not for Arabs to have as their own it is a universal religion with a universal message. Forget my lack of belief and my views on religion itself. I am honest enough to recognize that it is the glue that is keeping the society from descending into complete anarchy and this is despite the second perversion of the faith with fundamentalist fanatics that are using it for hatred and sectarianism.

… The very idea of what kind of Syria is going to come out of this mess is not clear at all to me.

Already on this blog you have those of the Christian faith who forget about Syrian nationality and revert to their religious identity with their insistence that whatever new regime comes preserves their rights and values and culture. All good and worthy except that they do not want it to come from the majority Sunni population. They want to remain Christian first while the Sunnis should be Syrian first. The majority should not crush any minority; to the contrary it should preserve the right of the minority but not favor one group over another. Under the law there is no difference, for culture and equal opportunity; the opinion of the majority should not deprive anyone of their diversity.

Read our Alawi colleagues who have an inconceivable view of a Syria where the majority Sunnis can organize as a religious political party. They want no political Islam at all. Being a member of the MB is a death sentence. How can they fit into a new secular Syria if they want to keep their Alawi fear of the Sunni majority.

How is it that we find it acceptable that Maliki declares he is a Shia first and a Muslim second and an Iraqi third in a country that has Kurds and Christians and Sunnis and Jews in its midst?

So it is clear the rallying ideas of Arab nationalism are dead and buried. The rallying ideas of political Islam today would exclude many non Muslims and many moderate Muslims and many non religious people.

Syrian nationalism has not seen the day of light.

So we are going to go on fighting for one side to prevail over the other. The minority regime in Syria cannot hope to continue to rule over the majority and they are betting on all or nothing strategy. I do not know how they think that they will continue to rule if they prevail: how are you going to rebuild, on what basis, on what justice system, on what elections system; on what constitution. If they think that they can continue to rule like before they are either incredibly stupid or incredibly brutal or both.

If the Sunnis are going to prevail what will they do with Christians? Exclude them, what will they do to Alawis? Declare them apostates? Kill them all?

So I would say that if we cannot live together let us separate peacefully. If we do it by force, many will die and all remaining entities will not be viable. If we do it as a federation then perhaps we can survive.

So in summary I see a completely bankrupt ideological desert today in the ME. All of the intellectuals have been killed and exiled and I will give you two examples: one Baker Sadr in Iraq a real thinker of Islam is dead under Saddam and in Syria people like Haitham Maleh who always brought the rule of law as his protest was imprisoned and exiled.

So what we have are nothing more than criminals committing crimes against humanity on a large scale and on numerous small scale having created a complete desert of ideas. Like the Ghouta that shrank from 130 000 acres to 28 000 acres and the huge desertification of Syria and the huge destruction of the educational and justice system you have now complete destruction of the country by force of arms.

So I have seen how Syrian society was destroyed under the rule of the Assads: corrupt justice, brutal security services, sectarian hatred, incredible divisions of groups, economic extraction of people’s wealth, educational disaster, and defeats against outside enemies from 67 to 73 to 82 to 91 to 03 to 05 to 2011. …

Now this tells you that I am optimistic to the hilt about the revolution. For the people to revolt against such a combination of terrible regime is a miracle. … Deep inside there is no doubt in my mind that this is the bravest and most intelligent and most resourceful people on the planet that can continue to make a living in such brutal destructive conditions. …


Qusayr, Hezbollah, and Regional Sectarianism


Syrian war widens Sunni-Shia schism as foreign jihadis join fight for shrines – Guardian – Syrian rebels say they respect all holy sites but damage to Sayyida Zeinab shrine has spurred 10,000 Shias to volunteer

Photograph: Reuters. Iraqi Shia fighters salute the shrine of Sayyida Zeinab in Damascus.

Not long after a friend called from Damascus to tell him one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam had been damaged by Syrian rebels, Baghdad student Ammar Sadiq was on the move.

Raging with a desire for vengeance, the 21-year-old set off for the border, a six-hour drive through Iraq’s western deserts. He was one more jihadist on a road to war, a well-trodden path through lands that not long ago were used by jihadists coming the other way. When he got to Syria, however, he did not plan to join the Sunni insurgents now blazing through the north, but the equally vehement Shia groups defending the capital.

“It was like a thunderbolt hit me,” said Sadiq. “My friend was telling me that wahhabis from Saudi and Afghanis were trying to destroy the [Shia] shrine of Sayyida Zeinab. I did not wait even to tell my parents. All I was thinking of is to go to Syria and protect the shrine, though I have not used a weapon in my life.”

Sadiq was trying to join a group named Abu Fadl al-Abbas, which over the past 14 months has emerged as one of the most powerful in Syria.

Interviews with serving and former members of Abu Fadl al-Abbas suggest that upwards of 10,000 volunteers – all of them Shia Muslims, and many from outside Syria – have joined their ranks in the past year alone. The group’s raison d’etre is to be custodian of Shia holy sites, especially Sayyida Zeinab, a golden-domed Damascus landmark, but its role has taken it to most corners of Syria’s war. It is now a direct battlefield rival, both in numbers and power, for Jabhat al-Nusra, the jihadist group that takes a prominent role among opposition fighting groups.

Word of Abu Fadl al-Abbas has spread to Baghdad and elsewhere in the Shia diaspora. Many of its volunteers hail from Iraq’s Shia heartland, where the group started some time last year with a fatwa delivered in Najaf by the renowned cleric Abu al-Qasim al-Ta’ai, who gave religious authority to the Shia going to fight in Syria.

The effect led to a surge of young Iraqis wanting to wage jihad and a groundswell of community support for a sectarian war in a neighbouring state, less than five years after similar bloodletting had ravaged Iraq.

Recruitment centres soon opened; militia leaders who had guided the rampage against the Sunni rebellion from 2004, first against the occupying American army, then against the ancient theocratic foe, were again mobilised. Cadres were called to arms, just as they were in 2006 when al-Qaida in Iraq succeeded – twice – in destroying another holy Shia mosque, the Imam al-Askari shrine in Samarra.

For Sadiq, however, joining Abu Fadl al-Abbas did not prove easy. First, Iraqi border guards advised him not to cross into Syria. They eventually let him pass after believing his story of trying to reach his family. He made it as far as Deir al-Zour, a city largely in control of rebels and the al-Qaida-aligned Jabhat al-Nusra, a group that no young Iraqi Shia wants to encounter without support.

Sadiq found the leaders in Damascus of Abu Fadl al-Abbas and soon learned that recruitment carried with it strict duties and obligations that he had not expected.

“The moment you join the brigade, you have to join the Syrian government army,” he said. “You have to fight with President Bashar al-Assad before you fight for [the brigade]. The Syrian army will tell you that you have to know that you are protecting Syria, not only the shrine.”

His quest wavering in the face of a very different role to the guard duty he had anticipated and relentless pressure from relatives back home, Sadiq gave up on his quest for jihad and returned to Baghdad.

Abu Fadl Al-Abbas has been more prominent in recent months than at any time since it started operating around in about March last year. Its increased role on the battlefields has come at the same time as Hezbollah has publicly stepped up its involvement, particularly in leading the attack on the border town of Qusair. Over the same period a weary Syrian army has had a boost in both morale and energy. A war that was starting to look unwinnable now looks to have an end point after all.

“There is no major fight anywhere, except the far north and east where Abu Fadl al-Abbas isn’t deployed,” said a Syrian businessman who has helped integrate Shias from outside Syria into the group. “Its influence is very important and growing.”

The increased organisation of the group was evident in Baghdad, according to Sadiq. “The first step is to register with one of the Shia Islamic resistance offices, like Righteous League [Asaib al-Haq], Mukhtar Army or Iraqi Hezbullah.”

Then comes a trip to a boot camp in Iran. “You have to enrol on a 45-day training course in Iran to be specialised in using a specific weapon like rocket launchers, Kalashnikov, sniper rifle or RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades]. After the course, you will be handed over to an Iranian middleman who will take you to Syria to join the brigade.”

Murtadha Aqeel, 21, a college student from Baghdad, decided to join the jihadists in Syria at the end of 2011. He registered his name and was told that he had two choices, either to join the fighting near Sayyida Zeinab or in Darayya, south-east of Damascus, home to another Shia shrine, Sukayna, named after a daughter of Imam Hussain.

“If you go to Syria, you have one choice only, which is to die,” Murthada said. “You stay for two or three months and come home for two months. Then you return.” Murthada trained with a Kalashnikov on the plains of southern Iraq; gruelling 12-hour days with a thousand other would-be jihadists. He said he was sent to Mashhad in Iran, then to Beirut, and on to Damascus by aeroplane.

“Once you get to the capital, there is a training centre near the shrine where all volunteers have to do a quick session of military training. Then they meet with Abu Ajeeb ([the commander of Abu Fadl al-Abbas] who asks all the volunteers to be careful and to go home safe,” Murthada said.

“All of the volunteers come from abroad. We have everything to facilitate our fight. There are all kinds of weapons, no shortages at all. Three meals and hotels to host the fighters, mobiles and internet which are never cut.”

In spite of the presence of the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, the battle to control the area, which is an essential approach to Damascus, has descended into a grinding but lethal stalemate.

“We face repeated attacks by the FSA [Free Syrian Army] all day, especially by mortars and artillery,” Murthada said. “We were able to fortify the shrine … but the mortars are giving us a hard time. The attacks get even more intense at night. Four of my colleagues were killed by snipers; one of them was Iraqi, another was Lebanese and the other two were Iranians. More than 35 others were wounded.

“There is no need for the Syrian army in Sayyida Zeinab. The brigade’s fighters are protecting everything from the airport to the capital to Sweida [a Druze town near the Golan Heights], including residential areas, hospitals, government buildings, police stations, schools, mosques and hospitals.”

Just over the barricades that now carve a jagged path through central Damascus and surround the gold-topped shrine, Syrian opposition fighters have been monitoring the prominence of the Shia group. Almost all the rebel fighters, a mix of mainstream Syrians who want to replace Assad and jihadists whose battle has little to do with the country they are fighting in, rail against their enemy on the issue of Sayyida Zeinab, accusing the regime of using it as a pretext for inviting Shia fighters to join the conflict.

Abu Ahmed, an FSA commander operating near the Sayyida Zeinab shrine, said he and other Sunnis had no wish to damage it. Many in his ranks used to be local shopkeepers, whose livelihoods depended on the Shia tourist trade. He said the siege of the shrine began last July after a bomb killed four senior Syrian security figures in central Damascus. “The Shia went down to the streets with their arms and blocked all the roads and began to detain people,” he said. “They killed a lot of our fighters. Then they began to gather around the shrine with members of Hezbollah, the [Iraqi] Mahdi Army and Syrian Shia.

“Since last July till today, we are fighting with them every day. We suggested a buffer zone around the shrine, but they refused. We are the biggest losers if the shrine is destroyed as we will lose our businesses,” Abu Ahmed said.

A leader of Jabhat al-Nusra in Damascus, who called himself Abu Hafs, said: “These Shia fighters have been in Syria since the beginning of the revolution fighting with the regime. We know that Iran and Iraq are sending fighters to Syria – only now it has become public.”

Jabhat al-Nusra, which includes large numbers of foreign fighters in its ranks, has made little effort to hide its hatred of the Shia branch of Islam and its willingness to attack shrines that are important to its followers.

Groups that fight under the banner of the Free Syria Army, however, are much less inclined to view the Shia as a theocratic foe, regarding them instead as a powerful backer of their main enemy, the regime. “Now, they are in Qusair,” said Abu Hafs. “They kill everyone they see on their way, even children. They slaughter them by knives. We are in a continuous fight with them in Damascus and Qusair.

“We worship God and they worship graves, but we also avoid attacking religious sites. A week ago, the Syrian army was hiding behind a church – we cancelled our attack in order not to destroy the church.”

Abu Hafs’s claim to be a protector of shrines is derided by Shia fighters. One of them, Jamal al-Ali, a member of Hezbollah who had volunteered to fight with Abu Fadl al-Abbas, said: “You have to know that the aim of these rebels is to destroy the Alawite state in Syria and to start that they have to destroy all the shrines. They are issuing endless calls for jihad against Hezbollah and Abu Fadl al-Abbas.

Back in Baghdad, Sadiq is preparing for a second bid at jihad. Hoping to make his next trip more successful than the last, he is waiting for a chaperone – a Lebanese woman based in the US – to take him to Beirut and finally back to Syria.

Hezbollah’s Vietnam? – by Michael Young

The only thing odd about Hezbollah’s intervention in the Syrian conflict is that it took over two years for the party and its backers in Tehran to make the decision. That’s because whatever one thinks of Hezbollah, the triumph of Syria’s rebels always posed an existential threat to the party and its agenda.

… Hezbollah’s deepening involvement in the Syrian war is a high-risk venture. Many see this as a mistake by the party, and it may well be. Qusayr will be small change compared to Aleppo, where the rebels are well entrenched and benefit from supply lines leading to Turkey. …

Many will be watching closely to see how the current crisis in Turkey affects Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ability to react to the Syrian situation, particularly if the epicenter of the fighting shifts to Aleppo. Erdogan has faced the displeasure among many in Turkey’s southern border areas with their government’s policy in Syria. At the same time, a defeat of the Syrian rebels in and around Aleppo is not something that Turkey can easily swallow so near to its borders, particularly if Hezbollah is instrumental in the fighting.

Hezbollah is willing to take heavy casualties in Syria, if this allows it to rescue the Assad regime. The real question is what time frame we are talking about, and how this affects the party’s vital interests elsewhere. For now, Hezbollah has entered Syria with no exit strategy. The way in which Hassan Nasrallah framed the intervention indicates that it is open-ended. This will prompt other parties to take actions and decisions they might otherwise have avoided for as long as the Syrian conflict was primarily one between Syrians.

Hezbollah is already a magnet for individuals and groups in Syria keen to take the air out of the region’s leading Shiite political-military organization – or simply to protect their towns and villages. As Qusayr showed, the presence of Hezbollah only induces its enemies to fight twice as hard against the party. As a proxy of Iran, Hezbollah will prompt governments to do the same, and they will see an opportunity to wear down the party and trap it in a grinding, no-win situation.

Playing in the favor of Hezbollah’s enemies is that the party has little latitude to alter its strategy in Syria. It must go all the way, predisposing it to sink ever-deeper into the Syrian quagmire, or until the point where the Syrian regime and pro-regime militias can capture and control territory on their own. That is not easy in a guerrilla war in which rebels have often out-matched the army.

Hezbollah, by contrast, benefits from coordination between the Syrian regime and Russia and Iran. Hezbollah’s entry into the conflict in Syria was, clearly, one facet of a broad counter-attack agreed by the Russians and Iranians, who have slowly but effectively reinforced and reorganized Syria’s army and intelligence services in the past two years. …

Hezbollah Don’t Take No Mess – Pepe Escobar

The “Friends of Syria” are appalled. Their much vaunted “rebel held” stronghold of Qusayr is gone. This BBC headline sums it all up: “Syria conflict: US condemns siege of Qusayr.”

For White House spokesman Jay Carney, “pro-government forces”, to win, needed help from by their “partners in tyranny” – Hezbollah and Iran. Right: so the “rebels” weaponized by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the CIA, not to mention jihadis of the Jabhat al-Nusra kind, are partners in what, “freedom and democracy”?

Spin out, facts in. This is a monster strategic defeat for the NATO-Gulf Cooperation Council-Israel axis. The supply lines from Lebanon to Homs of the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA) gangs and the odd jihadi are gone. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will next move to Homs and the whole Homs governorate. The final stop will be two or three Aleppo suburbs still controlled by the FSA.

There’s absolutely no way Qusayr can be spun in the West as yet another “tactical withdrawal” by the FSA. The rebels insist they “withdrew”. Nonsense. It was a rout.

This, in a nutshell, is how it happened. Qusayr had been under control of the Homs-based al-Farouk brigade, part of the FSA, for no less than 18 months. Six months ago, the SAA had already cleared the Syrian north-south highway, not far from the city – essential for all Damascus-Aleppo business.

Qusayr was strategically crucial as a key weaponizing depot for the FSA; Sunnis in Lebanon were relentlessly shipping them weapons through the Bekaa valley. So the first thing the SAA did was to encircle Qusayr. Then Hezbollah stepped in – as most of Qusayr’s population of 30,000 had already left for either Lebanon or Jordan.

The final, wily SAA tactic was to allow the Aleppo-based al-Tawhid brigade to sneak into Qusayr to help the al-Farouk. So when these twin top FSA brigades were properly encircled, the SAA pounced. Virtually no civilians were in town, apart from a few farmers nearby. There was no “genocide”.

And then Paris went chemical

When will the NATO-GCC axis ever learn? Hezbollah’s Sheikh Nasrallah staked his reputation by going on air and promising a victory. Once again, he delivered. Contrary to Western spin, Hezbollah did not do it by itself; it was a combination of SAA, Hezbollah and Iranian specialists applying superior tactics and displaying crack urban warfare knowledge.

It’s also easy to forget that a prime wet dream among US Think Tanklanders these past few months was the possibility of pitting Hezbollah against al-Qaeda-linked jihadis inside Syria. They got their wish.

Hezbollah fighters though don’t need to overextend themselves and venture inside Syria further than Qusayr – which is roughly 10 km from the Lebanese border. Their “mission” is in practice to secure the Syrian side of the Lebanese border.

And talk about precious timing; the “fall” of Qusayr totally blew away a monster chemical weapons propaganda orchestrated by Paris. French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius is breathlessly spinning that “Bashar’s army” used sarin gas against the “rebels”. French media is gung-ho for a military intervention.

There is a slight problem though. Buried in sensationalist reports in Le Monde or Liberation is the fact that the French scientific analyses – based on two samples, one of them collected by Le Monde reporters – do not specify who used sarin, the government or the “rebels”. Even UN experts, in their official report, have admitted as much.

So once again – don’t mess with Hezbollah. One can imagine the ear-splitting wrath levels in Washington, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Riyadh and Doha. Their “response” – or revenge – may include setting Lebanon on fire. The usual imperial courtiers, Brookings Institution-style, are already mourning a Middle East prey to an “aggressive Russian-Iranian axis”. [3] What about the aggressive NATO-GCC-Israel axis bent on totally destroying Syria to install an Islamist, pro-Western puppet state?

The Susan and Samantha show
And now, to compound the drama, we have Susan Rice as the new US National Security Adviser and Samantha Power as the new US ambassador at the UN Security Council. It’s always helpful to remember that along with Hillary Clinton, these were the Three Graces of “humanitarian intervention” that forcefully pushed for the bombing and destruction of Libya. …

Armed men declare Al-Qusayr a “Shiite city” – NOW

A video posted Saturday on YouTube showed gunmen purportedly speaking with a Lebanese accent declaring Syria’s Al-Qusayr a “Shiite city,” after rebels lost the battle for this strategic area. The men shown in the video raised a Shiite flag that read “Ya Hussein,” one of the Shiites’ most revered religious figures, on one of the city’s Sunni mosques. They were also chanting “we are the sons of Ali,” another key figure in the Shiite and Alawite Muslim confessions.

Qusair – the Syrian city that died – BBC’s Lyse Doucet was the first western journalist to enter Qusair after it fell and returned a day later to see how it had changed

There is a maxim that’s often been invoked in war – to save a city, you have to destroy it. That has been the fate of Qusair.

Before it was plunged into battle some 18 months ago, it was a thriving border city of 30,000 set in lush groves of olives and apricots. Now, local officials tell us, only about 500 people still live in a place that lies in utter ruin.

On our second visit to Qusair since it fell to government forces in the early hours on Wednesday, we found a calmer place, with none of the edginess or frenzied celebration we witnessed in the immediate aftermath of battle.

There is more traffic on the streets but it is almost all soldiers travelling in tanks and trucks, on motorcycles and bicycles.

Most are piled high with mattresses, TVs, fridges and furniture as soldiers move from one abandoned building to the next, taking away as much as they can carry.

We only came across one family returning to their house. They fled a year ago when rebels captured Qusair. They came back to a place they didn’t recognise as home.

Blood Group Lists

Abu Samar sifts through one pile and holds up a rifle scope, a holster for a pistol, someone’s notes from classes in Islamic teaching, a games console. Shirts with symbols of the Free Syrian Army’s Farouk Brigades are thrown on a chair.

Taped to the wall is a handwritten list of the blood groups of fighters who lived here.

Abu Samar’s wife quickly bundles up possessions her own family had left behind, including children’s stuffed toys, glass plates still in their boxes, and plump cushions.

“Will you come back here to live?” I ask. “No, never,” she declares, fighting back tears.

They quickly drive away in a car bulging with their goods through a city where every house on every street is as ravaged as their own. But even more worrying than Qusair’s immense physical damage, the social fabric of society has been ripped apart.

Battered church in Qusair, 6 June

Down a desolate street, a battered Church of St Elias symbolises how many Syrians of many faiths once lived here together. This Christian place of worship has not just been destroyed, it’s been desecrated by the fighting. Its marble floor is now carpeted in rubble and broken glass. Religious icons are defaced, prayer books burnt, the altar smashed.

On the other side of Qusair, next to a shattered hospital used over the past year by both sides as a base, we ask a group of soldiers about the terrible price the city has paid.

“It pains me to see these ruins,” says one young man doing military service who wears civilian clothes. “This hospital cost a lot to build, from the taxes my family and other families paid.”

“People will return,” insists another young soldier who joins our conversation. “They will come back to a city that will be even better, and their lives will be even better than before.”

They all blame the rebels for this wasteland of war. “This is what they call freedom,” declares a soldier who stops to show us improvised artillery pieces wrapped in cling film and packed with explosives. “They use these against us because they hate us.”

The battle lines in Qusair and across much of Syria are harshly drawn along political and increasingly sectarian lines. They’re even more defined now that Hezbollah fighters from neighbouring Lebanon have publicly joined forces with Syrian troops. They move openly in the streets of Qusair. One man boldly approaches us wearing a headband in the movement’s distinctive yellow and green colours, and a ribbon around his wrist.

I ask about the latest battle. “It wasn’t hard,” he confidently replies and then confirms reports that Lebanese fighters are now going in and out of Syria on rotation, moving across a border so close you can see it from the edges of the city. “It was easy as pie,” boasted another as he challenged me to guess his nationality.

I ask some Syrian soldiers what they make of the controversial presence of Hezbollah. “Why shouldn’t they fight with us?” one demands. “The other side is sending in fighters from Libya, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Afghanistan. Half the world is fighting in Syria.” …

Hezbollah fighter details ops in Qusayr – NOW

… NOW talks to Hezbollah fighter Abou Ali, who has been deployed to Qusayr.

Why are you fighting in Syria?

Syria has supported the resistance for over 30 years, we need to remain loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Don’t you worry that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria will significantly weaken Hezbollah? Do you believe that you can still fight Israel while waging war on another major front?

People have to understand that Hezbollah is now a regional party. The war in Syria is a preemptive strike on an enemy that was going to export the Syrian conflict into Lebanon; and Hezbollah will not allow for its military and strategic interests to be threatened without responding to such a threat. It will also not enter a war unless it is sure it can win it. Hezbollah can still fight simultaneously on three fronts: in Syria, in the south against Israel, as well as internally. We are expecting to fight a war internally because we feel that those [foreign backers] who are spending money locally are now going to make use of it. All the indicators point in that direction.

Does the war waged by Hezbollah against the Syrian rebels bear any similarity with the war with Israel?

It’s actually very different from Lebanon, with the exception of the battles of Bint Jbeil (in the south), where the terrain and towns with houses built very close together are in many ways similar to Qusayr. Elite and special forces that are now deployed in Qusayr are using the training in street fighting they received in Iran, which was done in mock cities specifically built for this purpose.

Who is Hezbollah fighting in Syria? Is it possible that in a country as big as Syria the rebellion might be solely comprised of foreigners?

Most militants I met were foreign fighters: Europeans, Gulf Arabs, Chechens, Jordanians, and even Filipinos from the Abu Sayyaf movement! Syrians only play a supporting and secondary role in the rebellion unless they fought in Iraq or Libya. These takfiris are savage enemies; they chop off their enemies’ heads because they believe beheading will promote them (on earth and in heaven). Gulf  Arabs are also respected by rebels because they are usually wealthy and can offer a certain financial support to brigades. Jordanians and Somalis are those participating the most in suicide bombings.

Fighting in Qusayr has entered in its third week; why has it been so hard for you to take over the border area?

Qusayr was initially divided in 16 military areas, today an area of five blocks still remains in the control of rebels from the Nusra Front who have taken civilians hostage. We are trying to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, which is slowing down the process. Rebels who are arrested are immediately transferred to the Syrian intelligence so that they can be used in hostage exchange operations.

Rebels are using guerrilla techniques against you in Qusayr. How are you responding to them and what weapons are being used?

We have called upon our specialists to neutralize the tunnel networks built by rebels in certain sectors of Qusayr. These specialists helped Hamas build their tunnel networks in Gaza. Tunnels usually have a basic structure, it is easy for specialists to understand how they work, and they are helping us to destroy them by booby-trapping access and exit points. Rebels have also booby-trapped houses, so the only way to secure a certain perimeter is by blowing up walls to make holes. We are also relying on massive air raids in our military operations to wear down the rebels. Weapons used are mortars, PKK, Dushka, Russian 75, 106, as well as 155.

Many Hezbollah fighters have died in Qusayr. Some have attributed the high death toll to the inexperience of fighters who were sent initially. Is it true?

No it’s not. Reservists who were first sent to Qusayr had received from one month to three or six months training here in Lebanon. It is now the elite and special forces of Hezbollah who are fighting in Qusayr. Everyone who goes to fight in Syria has received a taklif sharii (a religious command).

Is Hezbollah present all over Syria?

At the beginning of the war, elite forces were initially responsible for protecting Shiite shrines. They have now been deployed in different Syrian areas. Besides Qusayr, we are now fighting in Aleppo and rural areas surrounding it, as well as the suburbs of Damascus, Hama, and Idlib. In the Damascus suburbs and Aleppo, we are leading similar operations than those launched in Qusayr due to the nature of the terrain.

Are Iranians fighting in Qusayr?

No, but there are Iraqis in certain Damascus areas more particularly around Shiite shrines.

What is Hezbollah’s role in the current Syrian war? Is it collaborating with the regime’s new People’s Army?

Hezbollah is leading operations in Qusayr; the Syrian army is only playing a secondary role, deploying after an area is completely ‘cleaned’ and secured.   Hezbollah officers coordinate with the People’s Army but fighters never interact. The People’s Army is usually last to deploy after the Syrian army, as they have a better understanding of the area and its residents.

Gulf Arabs pledge sanctions against Hezbollah members over Syria – Reuters

Gulf Arab states on Monday promised sanctions against members of the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah in retaliation for its intervention in Syria’s civil war in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

Both Sunni and Shi’ite Arab states long backed Hezbollah as a bulwark against Israel, but the Arab League, heavily influenced by Sunni-led Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, last week strongly condemned Hezbollah’s intervention, highlighting how Syria’s war is widening sectarian divisions in the region.

The six Sunni-led members of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a similar condemnation on Monday, according to a statement from the GCC secretariat carried by the Saudi Press Agency. “The GCC ministerial council has decided to take measures against those enlisted in the party (Hezbollah) residing in the member states, whether with regard to their residencies or their financial and commercial dealings,” it added, without giving any specific details.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both GCC members and U.S. allies, have been explicit in calling for Assad to go, and have been helping to arm the mostly Sunni rebels seeking to oust him and his mostly Alawite establishment, members of an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

But the rebels suffered one of their biggest setbacks last week when Hezbollah fighters helped Assad’s forces to retake the Syrian border town of Qusair, which controls vital supply lines.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said last week that Syria and Lebanon faced a common threat from radical Sunni Islamists. …

Is Qatar guilty of sectarianism in Syria? – Michael Stephens

Let’s be clear here, Qatar lost in Qusair. It is embarrassing and undermines two years and $3bn of financial support to the rebel movement. And it is time that Qatar began to take some responsibility for things Qaradawi has said, and is saying with regards to Syria.

Much has been made of the increasing sectarian dynamic in the Syrian conflict. The entry of Hezbollah to defend Shia in Syria and the use of Shia fighters to aid the Army of Bashar al Assad in taking the town of Qusair has brought this particular angle under the spotlight. Increasingly we are beginning to think of this conflict as an all-out sectarian death match in which Islam’s two sects fight a zero sum game.

Whilst the extent of sectarian motivations held by Syrians themselves is still reasonably up for question, there can be no doubt that external fighters lack the nuance of the vast majority of their coreligionists inside Syria. Hezbollah and Shia fight to defend Shia shrines and villages from being destroyed by Sunni extremists: Sunnis fight to prevent Sunni civilians and towns from being destroyed by an Allawi Iran-backed Army.

Behind these Sunni fighters stand Saudi Arabia, Turkey and of course Qatar. Qatar especially has become increasingly associated as promoters of Sunni interests in the region directly at the expense of Shia, which has caused a rift between itself and its once strong ally, Hezbollah.

In an interesting piece about Qatar’s break in relations with Hezbollah Emirati commentator Sultan al Qassemi notes ‘a media war is in full swing between Hezbollah and its allies in Iran and Syria against Qatar, which is returning the punches via Al Jazeera Arabic which reflects the spiralling of relations between both parties’. True, Qatar’s relationship with Hezbollah is irreparably damaged as a result of its actions in Syria, and Hezbollah’s response. Likewise there is undoubted tension between Qatar and Iran, which is only alleviated by both sides’ need to maintain cordial relations over the maritime enormous gas field they both share.

But the break with Hezbollah is not just reflected by television stations. Qatar plays host to an icon of the Muslim world, Sheikh Yussuf Qaradawi the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, and an immensely influential force across the Sunni Muslim world.

Qaradawi has struggled to maintain coherence since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. His more recent sermons have rambled into incoherent self-contradictory tirades against whomever he has deemed worthy of finding fault with that week. His knee-jerk rejection of protests in neighbouring Bahrain as simply being a sectarian attempt by Iranian backed Shia to harm Sunnis first got me wondering whether he was really seeing events in the Arab world outside of sectarian parameters. Those who follow Bahrain closely will know that it is a far more complex conundrum than a simple Sunni-Shia paradigm.

Last week Qaradawi revealed his true colours when he called Hezbollah the party of Satan and urged “a jihad in Syria against Bashar al-Assad and Hezbollah, which are killing Sunnis and Christians and Kurds.” One hardly expects that Kurds and Christians will run to the Sheikh’s call, and so it is Sunnis alone who will be spurred into action to defend Syria, something the garrulous Sheikh of course intended. Unsurprisingly Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al sheikh has backed Qaradawi to the hilt.

In true fashion the rhetoric of these Sunni clerics is designed to paint Hezbollah as the sectarian actor, and their position as merely that of standing up against a “repulsive” movement. They are of course correct, Hezbollah’s motivations in Syria are clearly sectarian, but being correct about Hezbollah does not vindicate Qaradawi’s view as moral or just. Both Al Sheikh and Qaradawi see Syria as a war between Sunni and Shia, they stand firmly on the Sunni side and would rejoice in the defeat of Bashar, Hezbollah and Iran and the crippling of the Shia axis.

Qatar’s relations with its own Shia population, estimated at being between 7-10% of the population, are fairly good. Issues to do with the distribution of Shia literature and vetting of clerics have arisen in the past, but as I have previously written Shia can worship, gather, and celebrate their religious festivals without interference. That is not to say some Qataris do not possess anti-Shia views, some certainly do, and many are deeply distrustful of Iran and its intentions for Shia across the region. However Qatar itself is not a country riven with sectarianism, and the leadership has never supported any action that would divide Qataris along sectarian lines.

Given this fact it is important to understand that Qatar’s actions in Syria are not part of some elaborate strategy to destroy Shia or Allawis. Their goal is to remove Bashar and for better or worse this has been the only major driver behind their actions in Syria, dealing a bloody nose to Iran is merely an added bonus.

Yes, it is absolutely the case that Qatar, through a mixture of over-exuberance, lack of foresight, and shoddy vetting, has aided in the arming and financing of groups who hold extremely sectarian views and have acted in sectarian ways. But it would be wrong to assume that Doha picks up the phone to Jabhat al Nusra and orders them to burn down a Shia mosque; they do not and have never supported the sectarian aims held by extremist Sunni fighters.

But let’s be clear here, Qatar lost in Qusair. It is embarrassing and undermines two years and $3bn of financial support to the rebel movement.  We are at a crossroads now, the Shia world has played its trump card and the stakes have increased. Qatar’s decision makers will be anxiously wondering what they can do to respond and stop their side from losing, all the while their most famous guest has begun whipping up the Sunni world and inciting it to Jihad.

The question is whether Qatar stands behind this man and his call for Sunni Jihad. Qaradawi is not the Emir of Qatar, and there is no explicit support for his views from the ruling elite. However the linkage between the elite and Qaradawi is not clear, leading Middle East commentator Marc Lynch has claimed that ‘Like Al Jazeera Qaradawi’s stances now seem to more closely follow Qatari foreign policy’.

It is time that Qatar began to take some responsibility for things Qaradawi has said, and is saying with regards to Syria. Qatar has repeatedly insisted in discussions with international diplomats that it abhors sectarianism, and is deeply troubled by the sectarian drift in Syria. But remaining silent as Qaradawi spews fire from his pulpit hardly instils much confidence.

If Qaradawi continues to urge Jihad we can only assume that Qatar tacitly supports this as a tactic for turning the tide back in favour of the rebels.  Qatar’s leadership needs to understand that whilst there are internal and external complications associated with rebuking Qaradawi; continually allowing him to pontificate from Doha will mean they become tarred by his naked sectarianism.

Top Egypt cleric condemns ‘sectarian’ foes in Syria – Reuters

Egypt’s most senior Muslim cleric, a leading voice of mainstream Sunni Islam across the Middle East, has condemned Shi’ites for engaging in “hateful sectarian strife” in Syria.

In a statement that highlighted a deepening rift in the region since Hezbollah committed itself in the Syrian civil war, Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb also condemned the Lebanese Shi’ite militia for turning away from its struggle against Israel.

… “Syria is nothing but a theatre of the absurd in this battle which has become a Shi’ite-Sunni struggle,” Tayeb, who heads Cairo’s 1,000-year-old al-Azhar academy, said in comments made on Monday.

“We would have wished that the Shi’ites would reject this bait, but the last few days have led one to believe that they have fallen into the trap of hateful sectarian strife.”

Al-Azhar, like the Muslim Brotherhood which now governs Egypt, has historically been more open than Saudi clerics toward Iran and Shi’ite Arabs.

But the Syrian war hardened attitudes and the latest actions by Iran-backed Hezbollah on the battlefield have alienated many Sunnis in the region who once admired its fight against Israel.

“Everyone has now become busy, looking away from the Zionist entity, and especially after Hezbollah joined in the fighting alongside the regime against the Syrian people,” said Tayeb, who has previously criticized Hezbollah but in less harsh terms.

“Liberating Jerusalem does not pass through Qusair or Homs; al-Azhar can do nothing but condemn this intervention, which contributes to yet more bloodshed and the tearing apart of the national fabric of Syria and the region.”

Syria Is Now Saudi Arabia’s Problem – The battle for a town on the Lebanese border marks the kingdom’s first attempt to lead Syria’s fractured opposition. – Hassan Hassan – FP

The opposition’s talks in Istanbul lasted for more than a week, and the coalition’s Brotherhood-dominated General Assembly first refused to accept the expansion plan, despite ferocious pressure from Western ambassadors and representatives from the Gulf states. But according to Gulf sources, the coalition members were given an ultimatum a day before they finally accepted the expansion plan — either accept it or Idriss would announce the creation of an FSA political wing that would supersede the coalition altogether. The General Assembly members backed down and accepted an even worse deal than what had initially been proposed.

To be sure, the Saudis could not have bolstered their leverage within the opposition without help from countries like the United States and Jordan. Riyadh works closely with almost all the players in the Syrian conflict, barring Qatar and Turkey. Contrary to popular belief, the kingdom supports moderate groups within the Syrian rebels to counter the influence of the Brotherhood and its Qatari patrons. As a result, Saudi Arabia’s increased influence may help temper some of the rising fears of extremist trends within the armed opposition. Of course, the kingdom also supports Salafi-leaning groups to counter jihadi groups such as the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

Washington has recently stepped up financial monitoring efforts to ensure that any aid to the Syrian rebels goes through Idriss, according to informed sources from the Gulf. These measures will of course be difficult to enforce, owing to the activities of private donors with established channels with the Syrian rebels — and also due to the poorly regulated financial institutions of some countries, such as Kuwait. But they nevertheless mark an attempt to empower Idriss, and consequently the Saudis.

Nonetheless, Qatar can still pull a few strings within the opposition. A Syrian activist told me that Turkey-based representatives from Qatar had declined to meet a rebel group from Idlib a week before the opposition’s talks in Istanbul. But after the expansion of the coalition, the representatives called the group back and apparently provided it with the ammunition it needed. Doha’s influence may have decreased, but it can still use its established channels to maintain leverage over armed groups.

As it consolidates its takeover of the opposition, another factor that favors the Saudis is its tentative rapprochement with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal met last month with the Brotherhood’s deputy leader, Mohammed Tayfour, for the first time. The Brotherhood had requested the meeting to mend its relations with the kingdom, which had shunned the group and stated privately on more than one occasion that it rejects the Brotherhood’s dominance of Syria. The meeting was not an indication that the kingdom has opened it heart to the Brotherhood, as some have argued, but was meant to contain the group as Riyadh takes over from Qatar.

Still, the Saudis currently have little leeway to exercise their newfound influence. Washington and Moscow are still intent on organizing a “Geneva 2” conference, intended to bring together representatives from the Syrian regime and the opposition to reach a negotiated settlement. The preparations for Geneva 2 have meant that military options, such as increased aid for the rebels, are on pause until the talks take place or fail. …

In Shift, More US Officials See Assad Gaining Momentum – WSJ

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is gaining momentum in the country’s civil war with aid from Hezbollah and is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future, a growing number of U.S. intelligence and defense officials believe, in what officials say is a sharp divergence from the Obama administration’s long-held view.

The shifting views have fueled a behind-the-scenes debate within intelligence agencies as President Barack Obama and his top advisers this week renew consideration of options to aid anti-Assad forces, including one that would provide moderate fighters with American arms.

Some intelligence analysts now think Mr. Assad could hold onto power or even prevail in the conflict. That view is at odds with those of others within the intelligence community who think recent military gains by Syrian government forces and Hezbollah fighters aren’t likely to alter the overall trajectory of a conflict that they still think will end with Mr. Assad’s removal, the officials said.

… A decision to provide U.S. arms to moderate rebels would be an about-face for Mr. Obama, who opposed a similar proposal last year because of concerns the weapons could end up in the hands of radical Islamists aligned with al Qaeda.

Underscoring such concerns, the battle last week for the strategic town of Qusayr pitted the Syrian regime, backed by Shiite militia Hezbollah, against rebels whose ranks included the Sunni Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda linked group.

The new proposal to arm rebel groups has gained traction inside the White House, even though some of Mr. Obama’s top defense and intelligence advisers have made clear in recent months that they think the idea makes little military sense and may be riskier than ever.

Administration officials say they believe they can put in place sufficient safeguards to prevent American arms from reaching the Islamists.

Why Iraq Is On the Precipice of Civil War – Atlantic

…we can identify some of the factors that are feeding Iraq’s present security nightmare.

The immediate threat is a renewed Sunni-Salafi insurgency.

In 2007-08, afflicted by a “surge” of additional American forces, a relentless Special Forces campaign and suffering the fury of alienated Iraqis, Al Qa’ida in Iraq ( AQI) was gutted. Its mid-high ranks were decimated and its operational mobility severely restricted. The consequences were profoundly positive — violence plummeted. Sadly, the peace hasn’t lasted. Now, facing an Iraqi government that lacks the intelligence targeting capabilities of the U.S. government, AQI’s effective successor, the Islamic State of Iraq ( ISI), is wreaking havoc. Waging a campaign of murder against Iraqi Shia, these terrorists want to exacerbate an ongoing government crackdown against Iraqi Sunnis. Their sustaining objective is unambiguous — fostering a cauldron of chaos in which Iraqis detach into base sectarian alliances. In short, they desire a civil war.

So what’s behind the ISI’s empowerment?

Put simply, the ISI’s reconstitution is a symptom of Iraq’s deeper political dysfunction. In the 2010 parliamentary elections, (the Sunni supported) Iraqi National Movement of Iyad Allawi won a plurality of seats. But Iraq’s current Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, didn’t accept the outcome. Following in a troubling tradition of authoritarianism, he was unwilling to give up power. Instead, Maliki promised to form a unity government with Allawi. The idea was that this co-operation would cool tensions and build trust. It hasn’t happened. In fact, the opposite has occurred; we’ve seen renewed arguments over oil sharing, serious disagreements over regional sovereignty, and allegations of high level political harassment. For Maliki it seems, after years of oppression under Saddam Hussein, the incentive for reconciliation isn’t an abiding concern.

Then, in April, the crisis literally exploded. First, the Iraqi Government launched a bloody attack against a Sunni protest camp. Next, in a move that reeked of sectarian persecution, Maliki suspended the licenses of a number of media outlets, including Al Jazeera. On May 17, more than 75 Sunnis were killed in various terrorist massacres. Collectively, these actions have fed into a growing groundswell of sectarian anger. Trust is perishing and in the fear, extremists have found new roots of sympathy. With unrelenting ISI attacks, growing government crackdowns and resurgent Shia hardliners, the storm clouds of civil war are gathering.

Unfortunately as if the above weren’t bad enough, Iraq’s crisis is further complicated by the broader sectarian tensions that are rippling through the Middle East. In Syria, the Lebanese Hezbollah is now waging an open and unrestrained war against the Sunni-dominated rebellion. In Lebanon, suspected Sunni extremists are responding in kind. In a similar vein, the ISI recently claimed responsibility for the killing of over 40 Syrian soldiers who had taken shelter in Iraq. …

Iraq increasingly drawn into Syrian battlefield – AP

Signs are growing that stretches of Iraq and Syria are morphing into a single battlefield for militants, exacerbating Iraq’s slide into renewed deadly chaos a year and a half after U.S. troops pulled out. …

Covering the Syria crisis in light of regional sectarianism is a project from ECFR MENA (European Council on Foreign Relations, Middle East and North Africa) consisting of 8 essays on regional players in the conflict. Four essays are available now (they are: The Gulf, Iran, Iraq, and Jordan), and four more are forthcoming (they will be: Israel, the Kurds, Lebanon and Turkey). The project can be accessed here: “Syria: Views from the Region

ECFR’s Syria: Views from the Region project aims to explore the regional ramifications of the Syrian uprising. While the conflict is first and foremost a domestic struggle, it has also become the epicentre of a wider struggle – part power-projection, part sectarian, part ideological – with implications for the shaping of a region in flux. The regional aspect of the struggle not only complicates prospects of producing de-escalation and a resolution within Syria but also raises the spectre of a spill-over impact, destabilising and re-shaping the region well beyond Syria’s now porous borders.

The conflict is already sharpening sectarian divides, reinvigorating extremist forces, and exacerbating tensions within the GCC and between the GCC and Iran. Among the immediate neighbours, many teeming with Syrian refugees, Lebanon and Iraq are on a knife’s edge, Jordan nervous, Israel bristling and Turkey deeply embroiled; while Kurdish ambitions have received a new shot in the arm. While there are more unknowns than knowns, what is clear is that as different regional forces play out in the conflict the regional landscape will be profoundly impacted.


Boy Killed for Blasphemy, Foreign Jihadis Participate in Beheading, Attack on Shi’ite Village


Brown Moses provides translation of accounts of rebel execution of boy for blasphemy: English Transcripts Of Witnesses Describing The Execution Of A 14-Year-Old For Blasphemy In Aleppo – Visit page for videos

Today there’s been a number of reports on the execution of Mohammad Katta, a young coffee seller in Aleppo, by men described in some reports as foreign Islamist rebels for blasphemy after telling another boy that “even if Muhammad comes down, I will not give it as debt” when asked to give coffee on credit.  An extremely graphic photograph of the boy has been posted online, showing him shot through the mouth and neck, and videos have now been posted online of the boy’s parents and a witness to the execution, which I’ve had translated into English, with notes from my translator in italics:

0:01 Mother: My son is second only to Hamza al-Khateeb (A boy from Daraa whose torture and execution by Assad’s troops shocked the world in May 2011). No, he is second to none, he is the grand martyr because he was innocent and didn’t hurt anybody. They shot him dead in front of my eyes. This act is against religion and against Sharia. I want to ask Muhammad Hassan (A prominent Egyptian cleric) and the Saudi king whether my boy deserved death or not. If they say there is a rule, I will not object to it.
After he was accused of blasphemous language against the prophet [Muhammad], he replied that he is ready to sacrifice his soul for the sake of Muhammad, expressing his great love for him. He repeated it in front of them, and when they asked him to get in the car he agreed saying that he isn’t guilty. He was only 14 years old and he didn’t reach adulthood (As in civil law, Sharia rules aren’t applied to minors).
Those who killed my son must be brought to justice if it was proved that what they did was out of Sharia rules. My son didn’t join neither part of the war. They just slaughtered him as if he was a lamb or an animal. He was just a boy and had his rights. He used to work in order to provide for us because his father is ill. He was blindfolded and he was bleeding in front of my eyes. I cried: shame on you, why did you do this? There were a crowd of around 300 to 400 men standing there watching and no-one tried saving the boy. He was shot three times; in his head, neck the third in his chest.
3:37 Interviewer: Did you see the men? Were they Islamists?
3:39 Mother: Yes, I saw them. They spoke standard Arabic (Spoken by very religious people only, or what can be called the strict clergymen) and were long-bearded and were wearing short garbs with trousers underneath. One of the three men was from Aleppo and he was seated next to the driver.
4:04 Interviewer Did you recognize him?

4:05 Mother: No, I couldn’t see his face well, but I knew he was from Aleppo by his accent. He told the men to let the boy go but they refused. After they returned with the boy he was hardly able to sit down due to the torture they inflicted on him. His face was covered with his shirt. May God and punish them.

0:01 Father: I am Abd-Alwahab Katta’. My son was 14 years old and he used to sell coffee in front of “Sarj al-Lawz”. He was arguing with a customer and saying that he wouldn’t buy on credit anymore even if Muhammad descended down to earth. I sell in cash only.
At that moment three unidentified men were passing by and heard the boy. They were wearing short garbs and were long-haired spoke standard Arabic. They asked the boy why he was blaspheming but he denied doing so. They ordered him to get in the car and took him away. My younger son came here and told me that they took his brother. He added that they were going to punish him and get back. I said let them punish him by beating or whipping if really said blasphemous words.
After half an hour they came back and put the boy near the coffee stall. My wife heard that there were a crowd of around thirty men in the street and after that we heard the sound of gunshots. My wife cried that they killed the boy because she heard a man reading from a paper. I was giving prayers when I heard two gunshots. I then rushed downstairs to find my son’s body lying on the street. After that the men ran over the boy’s arm and dashed away.
1:34 Interviewer: They said before killing the boy that God accepts the repentance if one blasphemes him unlike when one blasphemes the Prophet and in this case he deserves death.
1:42 Father: Yes, they said this and my son denied blaspheming.
1:52 Interviewer: Whom do you accuse of killing your son? Are they FSA or Islamists?
1:55 Father: I don’t know whether they were FSA, Islamist or Afghans, but they spoke standard Arabic. There are now too many battalions and I can’t distinguish one from the other.
2:05 Interviewer: What was written on the car?
2:07 Father: The car was black and there were three men inside. Those who saw them said that they carried the boy out of the car as he wasn’t able to stand on his feet as a result of severe torture.
2:29 Interviewer: Did he blaspheme?

2:30 Father: No, he didn’t. They asked the crowd to listen to the rule by which my son was killed. “God accepts the repentance if one blasphemes him unlike when one blasphemes the Prophet and in this case he deserves death”.
3:04 Interviewer: Are you going to file a suit?
3:07 Father: I filed a suit to the Sharia [Court] and they came here and I am waiting for what will they do. They gave me its number, here it is.
3:16 Interviewer: What did they say?
3:18 Father: They said they will deal with it.

Following this event, Sheikh Ya’qoubi has issued a fatwa asking foreign jihadists to leave Syria:

Sh. Al-Yaqoubi calls upon foreign fighters to leave Syria
Denunciation of the execution of a boy in Aleppo
By H. Eminence Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

A group of Muslim fighters in Aleppo executed yesterday a fourteen-year-old boy in after accusing him of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad PBUH.

We denounce this inhuman un-Islamic crime; and we demand that the murderers be captured and brought to justice. They are but a gang of criminals who use religion to cover their thirst for power.

What these criminals just committed is one of the most cruel crimes ever perpetrated by the name of Islam. They murdered an innocent life and executed a child who happened to be a good Muslim from a righteous family who observes Islam; and we confirm that what the child said is not balsphemy against the Prophet of Islam in any form.

In response to the crime, we have issued a detailed fatwa on the impossibility of the implementation of Islamic penalties in today’s Syria. We explained with valid proofs all the errors and fallacies in this crime which was wrongly done in the name of Islamic Shari’a.

On this painful occasion, we call upon all foreign fighters to leave Syria and go back to their homelands. We know our country better and we confirm that we do not need fighters and we thank everyone who sincerely wants to help our people. Yet, we announce that what our people need most is food and medicine and what the Free Syrian Army needs most is ammunition.

Last but not least, we offer our sincere condolences to the family of the boy, praying that Allah grant them patience and forbearance and that their child precede them to the Heavens. We pray that Allah bestow His Infinite Mercy to the martyrs of our country and that He grant our people victory and relieve them from their agony.

Several of the above articles dealt with the foreign presence of Hezbollah supporting regime forces in Syria. Long prior to this development, the presence of foreign jihadis fighting with the rebels grew into a troubling phenomenon. This problematic presence has recently been highlighted by the blasphemy case and other incidents such as the beheading of a prisoner:

Seduced by War, Europeans Join the Fight in Syria – Daily Beast

Men from The Netherlands and other European countries are taking up arms in Syria. But are they even more dangerous than the local fighters? Nadette De Visser reports.

The gruesome video of a beheading in Syria that surfaced on the Internet recently was shocking by any measure. But when people in Belgium and The Netherlands listened to the voices in the background, the terror hit home. The men brutally sawing through their victim’s throat were speaking Dutch, or perhaps the Belgian variant, Flemish, and sometimes switching to French. Suddenly, both Brussels and The Hague, while trying to gauge the authenticity of the footage, are starting to rethink the impact of the Syrian war on Europe.

“We want to know what the hell these guys are doing in Syria,” says Edwin Bakker, an expert on terrorism and counterterrorism at Leiden University and an advisor to the Dutch government. Bakker thinks the footage is genuine and says it is being taken very seriously. “We need to invest in good intelligence,” Bakker says. “We want to know what these guys are doing in Syria, who they’re with, and what they are like when they come back. Is it someone who has regrets, is disappointed? Or is it someone who has experienced many things, gained lots of knowledge, and we should watch him 24 hours a day and, if we can, should we arrest him?”

The Belgian newspaper De Morgen recently published excerpts from transcripts made by the Belgian security service, which was monitoring the radical Sharia4Belgium organization. In the phone calls made from Syria, members of the group describe brutalities committed in the fighting near the city of Aleppo. They claim to have raped and murdered. De Morgen makes a link between those conversations and this video or similar beheadings.

In recent months, law enforcement has been faced with the growing concern of young men heading to the Syrian front from northern European countries to fight against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Fighters from Britain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands (there are an estimated 150 to 200 young men from Belgium and The Netherlands alone) have been traveling to the battlefield in Syria to take arms alongside the Islamist rebels against the government troops. Some are from Muslim backgrounds, some are converts to Islam, but all are potentially dangerous because of the military skills they acquire and the shock of what they’ve experienced.

The young men involved in the Sharia4Belgium organization reportedly are commanded by 22-year-old Houssien Elouassaki, whose background is Moroccan but who comes from Vilvoorde, near Brussels. In the phone taps, the group talks of killing imagined enemies of the “true faith,” according to an extremist reading of the Sunni Islam. When Elouassaki talks to his brother in Belgium, he says: “Three days ago we were all allowed to cut someone’s throat.” “You shouldn’t do that,” his older brother, Abdelouafi, answered. “Ah, well, a Kalashnikov or a knife, what difference does it make? They are Shiite and Alawite, so they have to die.” …

The original footage of the beheading has been posted here (Belgian Jihadis, Syrian Rebels Behead Man), but please note my serious warning before viewing: the graphic video shows the decapitation of the prisoner with a knife—this traumatic video should only be consulted as a record of evidence. The poster makes the following comments (merely reading them should be sufficient for many):

I know this is some pretty heavy stuff (it is not my intention to post gore), the main reason I’m posting this is because I’m shocked I’m hearing Dutch (Flemish Dutch) yelled by these savages.

About 100 ‘Belgians’ are ‘fighting’ alongside Al Nusra. This is what they do.

0:40: “Turn around”
0:50: “Turn him on his stomach, yeah that’s good”
0:58: “Hold onto his feet”
2:04: “The knife isn’t good”

This must be the first time in history ‘Belgians’ are decapitating people in the name of their religion. It’s 2013.

If you read Dutch, you can read original reporting here.

Reports emerged yesterday of a Tuesday rebel attack on Hatlah, a Shi’ite village in Deir Ezzor. The attack is being called a massacre. Throughout this conflict, the Syrian regime has maintained a trend of punishing civilian towns and districts whenever small numbers of rebels are believed to be operating there. Single instances of air raids destroy homes and entire neighborhoods where the regime believes rebels are active. More and more now, the instances of rebels carrying out similar attacks of collective punishment are growing. The regime’s narrative is that the attack on Hatlah was directed at civilians; the opposition narrative is that the attack was directed at loyalists who remain aligned with the regime. In either case, it seems clear that the violence was directed at a community (and residential homes), that the attack was sectarian in nature, that foreign jihadis were key participants, and that it resulted in civilian deaths.

A Sunni Muslim militant from Kuwait boasts of killing Shiites in the Syrian village of Hatla, and warns he and his men are about to find more Shiites in their homes and kill them, in a video posted to YouTube on June 11, 2013. / YouTube/CBS

Syria “rebels” behind alleged massacre of Shiites – CBS

Rebels fighters in Syria have attacked a village in the country’s east, killing dozens of Shiites. A Syrian government official denounced the attack, saying it was a “massacre” of civilians.

An opposition group based in London, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of thousands of sources inside Syria from both sides of the conflict, said many of those killed were pro-regime loyalists, but video posted online from the village revealed a much darker side to the war.

The killings, which took place Tuesday in the eastern Deir el-Zour province, highlight the sectarian nature of Syria’s conflict that has killed more than 80,000 people, according to the U.N.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 60 people were killed in the village of Hatla in the oil-rich province that borders Iraq.

With a steady drumbeat from some U.S. and European politicians calling for the West to arm Syria’s rebels, the composition of the rebel force on the ground is vital to understand, and the men who committed at least some of the killings in Hatla were not Syrian, and were not men who the West would want to arm.

In a video posted Tuesday on YouTube, a man shows the dead bodies of several Shiite Syrians in Hatla, and angrily calls on his fellow Sunnis to “massacre” their Shiite compatriots. The man speaking is not Syrian, he is Kuwaiti, and very few of the armed “rebels” seen with him in the video sound Syrian — the accents are largely Kuwaiti and Iraqi. There were other, similar videos posted of the alleged massacre in Hatla.

Thousands of rebels took part in the attack and at least 10 of them were killed in the fighting, said the Observatory. Not all of the fighters will likely have been hardcore Sunni extremists like the Kuwaiti man in the video, but many will have been. This sort of “Syrian rebel” forms a large part of the disparate forces fighting against Assad in Syria.

… In the video seen by CBS News, the Kuwaiti militant who shows off the bodies does not refer to the slain men as fighters, and before his call on Sunnis to kill Shiites, he warns that he and his men are, “now preparing to storm the homes of Shiites who support al-Assad’s regime in the village.”


Dozens of Shiites Reported Killed in Raid by Syria Rebels – NYT

At least 30 Shiite Muslim residents of a village in eastern Syria were killed in a reprisal raid by rebels, the government and opposition fighters and activists said Wednesday, the latest in a string of massacres underscoring the increasingly sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict.

The Syrian government called the killings, which were reported to have taken place on Tuesday in Hatlah, a village in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour, a massacre of civilians, saying that 30 died. Anti-government activists put the toll at 60 and said most of the dead were pro-government militia fighters who had attacked rebels one day earlier. But some of the activists nonetheless condemned the Hatlah attack as a destructive act of revenge that showed the powerlessness of moderates among the mostly Sunni rebels to rein in extremists.

What was not in dispute was that several battalions of Sunni rebels, including members of extremist Islamist groups, stormed the village and, in video posted online by anti-government activists, could be seen setting houses on fire as they shouted sectarian slogans, calling Shiites dogs, apostates and infidels.

“This is your end, you dogs,” a man off camera said as he panned across what he said were the corpses of “pug-nosed” Shiites, including one with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.

“We have raised the banner of ‘There Is No God but God’ over the houses of the rejectionist Shiite apostates,” one fighter chanted in another clip as a black cloud billowed above the village and jubilant gunmen brandished black flags often used by the extremist Al Nusra Front and other Islamist fighting groups.

“Here are the jihadists celebrating their storming of the rejectionists’ houses! The Shiite rejectionists!,” the fighter added. Some extremist Sunnis refer to Shiites as rejectionists because the sect arose from a group that rejected the early successors of the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century. …

In Kuwait, a Sunni sheik who has used sectarian invective against the Assad government appeared to applaud the “slaughter” of Shiites in Hatlah and to threaten the Shiite villages of Nabl and Zahraa in Aleppo province, in a video noted by Hassan Hassan, a columnist for the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National, who is from eastern Syria. …

The Hassan Hassan article mentioned in that last paragraph is here. He says the following about the Kuwaiti sheikh (and it seems a bit surprising to hear a sheikh proclaim “today we slaughtered Hussain and his son”):

Meanwhile, one of Kuwait’s most outspoken supporters of the Syrian rebels acknowledged the killing of the civilians because of their Shia affiliation. Sheilk Shafi Al Ajmi, who has been spewing sectarian venom since the early months of the Syrian uprising, spoke about the killing outside the Lebanese embassy in Kuwait.

“The reality is what [Hizbollah] will see not what it hears. We are not among those who say and do not do. Today, we took the village of Hatla and slaughtered the bad ones with knives as you slaughtered out wives and children in Qusayr, we slaughtered one of your symbols, Hussain, who lived in Hatla, today we slaughtered him and we slaughtered his son with him. This is today. As for tomorrow, we have a date with Nubl and Zahraa [villages in Aleppo] which Hizbollah has come to save, nay. The lions and herose are besieging them. I swear by God that Syria will be a burying ground for Hizbollah.”

Odds and Ends


The curious case of flight SYR602 – MATT NASH – NOW – A SyrianAir flight not listed on the departures board may regularly leave for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Every other day for at least the past month, SyrianAir flight number 602 departs from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the middle of the night. It’s not listed on the airport’s departures board, nor could any of the half-dozen travel agents that NOW contacted book an interested passenger a seat.

In fact, only SyrianAir’s representative in Beirut could find a record that the flight existed. Other travel agents were simply stumped.

“I’m sorry, sir, there is no flight 602.” …

In Syria, Kidnapping Becomes a ‘Big-Money Business’ – Peter N. Bouckaert, the Geneva-based emergencies director at Human Rights Watch, explains the sudden rise in kidnappings across Syria – Syria Deeply

Karen Leigh, managing editor, Syria Deeply: Can you talk about the rise in kidnappings and the types of kidnappings?

Peter N. Bouckaert: The kidnappings have been going on for about a year, it’s really intensified. It started mostly when fighting broke out in Aleppo, and developed and grown since then into a broader trend across many parts of Syria, and also spilling into neighboring countries. A couple different kinds of kidnapping take place. A lot of them are criminal in nature by groups that say they have an affiliation with Jabhat al-Nusra, and they try to kidnap wealthy Syrians and some journalists for ransom.

A second kind is more sectarian in nature, “tit for tat” kidnappings between different sides. So a Sunni will get kidnapped by Alawites or Shia, and his relatives will go kidnap Alawites or Shia, hold them hostage and try to make an exchange. We’ve especially seen that in the Lebanese border area.

Then there are [random] disappearances, where people are taken by unknown gunmen and never seen again. That’s the case with the two archbishops of Aleppo, and it’s not necessarily a case for ransom. As the fighting has become a lot more sectarian in the last months as fighting increases with Hezbollah, there are fears we’ll see a significant rise in kidnappings that lead to executions based on a sectarian basis.

KL: In the extortion cases, do they target their victims?

PNB: Many of the cases I’ve looked at definitely involved people who did their homework. They targeted specific people in the community who they knew had a specific amount of wealth or standing in the community. Two weeks ago, a prominent member of the Armenian community in Aleppo was traveling from Aleppo to Beirut by bus, and the bus was stopped, and they asked him by name to get off the bus because they knew the Armenian community would pay the ransom.

KL: Who are the kidnappers?

PNB: In most cases, we are talking about criminal gangs who are using weapons that are floating around quite freely in Syria, as well as the chaos that’s reigning in many parts of the country. There are a number of kidnappings that have been carried out by opposition groups looking to fundraise to buy weapons and allow them to continue to fight. In these cases it’s not just kidnappings, it’s also extortion, where people in the community that have wealth are asked to “contribute,” and if they refuse to do so, they are liable to kidnapping.

Some groups have been associated with specific incidents, like the [Free Syrian Army’s] Northern Storm group, implicated in the 2012 kidnapping of a group of Lebanese Shia. One of their members was just photographed with [U.S. Senator John] McCain at the border [during McCain’s May visit to northern Syria], causing a bit of controversy. This was a group of Lebanese Shia that went to Iran for a pilgrimage and were on their way back to Syria when they were kidnapped.

KL: Why are kidnappings on the rise?

PNB: In general, instability is on the rise in Syria, and these kidnappings are part of this instability. Kidnappings are a part of the dangers that civilians in general face in this conflict. In cities like Aleppo, the kidnappings for ransom that are taking place have very significantly undermined support for the opposition. Because in general, civilians are very fearful of these kinds of kidnappings, especially people with wealth. [Bashar al-] Assad’s regime was known for brutality, but this kind of insecurity didn’t exist for wealthy business people. They knew if they stayed out of politics, they could live secure lives.

Armenia Builds a New Aleppo –

To make sure exiles from Syria feel at home in Armenia, the government has commissioned the construction of an entire settlement called New Aleppo.

A counter-narrative from Musa al-Gharbi, University of Arizona, in an ongoing debate: A Reply to George Abu Ahmad

Finding Hope in Syria – HP – Joyce Dubensky

… One of our Peacemakers is Hind Kabawat, a lawyer from Damascus, who recently returned to Syria through Turkey to provide training in a village that had been “liberated” by those fighting the Syrian president, Assad. Below, in her words, are Hind’s observations of people who are suffering, who hope, and who are preparing for a new Syria based on dreams and ideals. Her story is one we rarely hear in the news of battles, violence and horrific acts of hate.

From Hind:

My message is message of hope. In this anthology of anecdotes from my last trip to the liberated areas of Syria, I carry the aspirations of a new Syrian generation who are yearning for a brighter future for their nation and are searching for a new way to build their dreams.

Surreal and perplexing feelings overwhelmed me as I crossed the borders from Turkey to northern Syria on a cold March morning. The crisp fresh breeze of freedom that welcomed me brought childhood memories of joyful children’s faces — children who waved at passing cars with foreign plates and cheered when my dad and I gave them candies on our vacation trips to the North.

Alas, the barefoot children meandering in the alleys between the destroyed houses of this village no longer wave to anybody. Instead of smiles, they wore sadness and tears. Instead of waves, their hands gestured in shivers. Instead of cheers, they sighed worries and interrogations. “Why us? Why are you here? Are you a journalist? What can you do for us?” Their feeble voices bombarded me with questions, to which all I could answer was, “I am a Syrian like you, from Damascus, coming to tell you that you are not alone, and that all of humanity is standing in solidarity with your blessed hearts.”

Rima, a five-year old girl, smiled in relief, held my hand, and whispered that her dream was to go back to school. Abdul-Majeed, who was pinching and pushing his friend Fatima, said the same. Fatima, one of seven siblings whose childhood was rocked by the loss of her father, had little to say. When she did speak — with tears in her eyes — she murmured, “I have no more dreams, I want to sleep and never wake up.”

I continued to walk, holding Rima’s hand, gazing at the horizon as penetrating sun rays flickered on the pale olive trees of our sacred land. Here, we encountered and greeted a group of youths holding their rifles in readiness.

“Where is your camera?” one boy, Ramzi, asked.

“I am not a journalist. I am only a Syrian citizen who wanted to come and see you,” I responded. “Son, what are you going to do with your weapon once the fighting is over?”

“I will sell it to pay my tuition fee,” Ramzi said, hysterically laughing with hope. “My dream is to be a university student.”

Further into the village, Abu Hamid, an older gentleman covered in a black outfit with a headband, smiled at me and cut me out a piece of the bread he was eating, saying, in a thick Northern accent, “to our health and freedom.” I couldn’t hide my tears from Abu Hamid, who concealed a warm smile behind his big beard.

I asked, “What can I do to make these little kids smile again?”

“Just be with them, just be with them,” he said.

In another part of the village, tears welcomed me as I entered the house of one of my mentees’ family. The family matriarch, Oum Mounzer, pointed right away at the picture of a handsome young man, her son, who got arrested while attempting to defect the army. “We don’t know what will happen to him,” her tearful husband added. Through his tears, he helped me sit on the sparkling clean floor, and called his younger children to come and greet me. Their warm and excited hugs left me flabbergasted. Where do they get all of this love from, while their stomachs are empty, their school, along with the whole village, lays destroyed, and their childhood has been stolen by disease, death, and hunger? How can Abou Munzer, Abu Hamid, and everyone, be so warm and caring to a complete stranger, wearing a cross, and walking around with a Canadian-made outfit in an ultra-conservative area, Jabal Al-Zawia?

We shared a meal consisting of fresh bread baked by Oum Abdo and olive oil. This has been the only staple food available to the village for months. Oum Abdo, a 60-year-old lady, proudly repeated to me that she has a grade 9 certificate, which enabled her to read the Qu’ran every night, and recently to read all the flyers and newspapers and hence spread information to others. She added that she got her son and son-in-law to both defect from the army and join the rebels, threatening to disown them otherwise, “You are no children of mine, if you help kill your own people.” She said that she obtained civic identities for both of them, hid them in her chest pocket, and went to visit the young men in the army troops. While there, she passed their new identities to them and threw her verdict on them. In addition to being a brave mother, a good neighbor, and a rebel by nature, Oum Abdo is also helping develop her own community by teaching young women how to bake, a necessary skill after the village’s only bakery was bombed.

Nayfah, a pharmacist who is working now in the field, is Abu Munzer’s eldest and another Syrian I spoke with during my stay. Her eyes shone with joy as she recalled her five years at the University of Aleppo. Today, she works for 14 hours a day, together with her brother Munzer, helping the injured. “How can someone who went to university, and has had the privilege of knowledge, destroy his country?” Nayfa asks, referring to Bashar Assad, a doctor who graduated from schools in the UK.

After the meal, we headed to a small, partially destroyed building with no windows at the end of the alley where I was giving a workshop on conflict resolution and dialogue to a group of teachers, doctors, and members of the local committee. I was greeted by pictures of local martyrs decorating the grey walls around the new freedom flag, as well as by a group of young men and women who had enthusiastically waited since the early morning for the workshop. Despite the bad logistic conditions of the room, I have never been as ecstatic. I interacted with incredibly passionate and impressive individuals who braved the cold wind seeping from the broken windows and the noise of rowdy children playing on the street for many hours to enthusiastically engage in the workshop activities and contribute new ideas for rebuilding their community and the whole country.

It was indeed a most interesting group. Mohammad is an English teacher who is offering small classes in the village to substitute for the destroyed school. Mariam is a strong personality who is able to win the room with her arguments, stressing in every word she utters that the revolution is finally giving voice to women. Hayat, an engineer, explained how she managed to get phone lines efficiently working in the village.

After many years of community work in Syria, this time was different and refreshing. It was the first time I truly sensed people freely expressing themselves without fear of a secret agent reporting on the group. It was the first time I witnessed a new generation who is getting armed with knowledge and is committed to building a new future for the whole country.

Knowledge and education, however, are a constant struggle for Syrians all over the country, even in liberated areas. “The worst challenge we are facing on a daily basis is the inability to effectively teach our children. We don’t have books, we don’t have pencils. How can we send all our kids together to one school, when it could be suddenly bombed by jets?” Mariam asks. To deal with this predicament, children are assigned into groups, and each group is allocated to a basement of the different houses of the village. Old women run communal nurseries, taking care of the village toddlers and infants while their mothers teach in underground schools or help in field hospitals.

Dreams of learning and hopes of getting back to schools were echoed in every village I visited. In Kafranbel, I spent a day with refugee children in a deserted school playing hand in hand and flying balloons with the colors of the rainbow. Mona, a little girl from Maarat al-Neman, told me her dream was to get back to her village.

“But Khaleh (Aunty in Arabic), I can’t go back to my school, it is completely destroyed!!!” said a cute little voice in entrancing crescendo.

“We will build a new one all together,” we all exulted.

On my way back to Kansafra, I asked Mustafa, a young rebel from the Free Syrian Army, about his dreams. He replied with fervor, “to get my son to study at the university!”

“Mustafa, you are too young to have a university-age boy, aren’t you?” I was baffled as I heard his words. Mustafa was eager to prove his point. He ran, dragging me with him, to a garden partly destroyed by missiles and called over two women, his wife and mother, to offer me coffee, while he disappeared into a backroom with windows covered with plastic sheets. Mustafa came back with a newborn in hand. “Mohamad,” he proudly said, raising the infant towards the sky, “my son, I want him to go to university. A child born in the revolution is blessed, and deserves to live free and to have the opportunities that we were denied.”

Indeed, Mohamad is entitled to that right.

Undeniably, children of the revolution have a better future ahead of them. But the responsibility on our shoulders is massive. Freedom is a big dream for them, but knowledge is their ultimate dream.

Hind Aboud Kabawat, a lawyer, is president of the Syrian Centre for Dialogue and is a Tanenbaum Peacemaker in Action.

The regime digs in – The Economist

“YA GHALI,” says a driver greeting the soldier manning a checkpoint of concrete blocks painted with the Syrian flag and plastered with pictures of Bashar Assad in regime-controlled central Damascus. This salutation was never in use in the capital before the war but is now standard at checkpoints. “Ghali”, or precious, is used in the coastal homeland of the Alawites, the sect from which Mr Assad hails. It is a sign both that the president is in control here and that, for all its talk of a state for all of Syria’s communities, his regime has been largely reduced to a sectarian militia, though the most powerful in the country.

This may be a harbinger of the future. The balance of power between the regime and the rebels has ebbed and flowed during the 27-month conflict, but the government’s recapture of the town of Qusayr from the rebels on June 5th has reinforced a feeling that Mr Assad has recently won the advantage. Rebels still control swathes of the north and east of the country and continue to clash with the regime in the countryside around the main population hubs of the west: Damascus, Homs and Hama. But nearly all the city centres are tightly in Mr Assad’s grip. In his determination to assert control, he has shown willing, if need be, to reduce rebellious towns to rubble.

In the aftermath of the fall of Qusayr, reports have circulated suggesting that the regime may capitalise on its gains by attacking Aleppo, the northern commercial hub that has been contested since last summer. Those reports may be premature, but the army has certainly dispatched reinforcements northward. Rumours now abound that Mr Assad will also try to cut a deal with Kurdish leaders in the north-eastern province of Hasaka, from which the regime tactically withdrew many of its forces last year. Officials in Damascus have regained confidence. They talk, albeit too grandly, of soon being able to take back the eastern provinces from the rebels.

Only a year ago Mr Assad’s throne seemed to be wobbling. While suffering dramatic military losses to the rebels, his political response was cack-handed. He owes his turnaround in fortune largely to the support of Iran and Hizbullah, the party-cum-militia it sponsors in Lebanon. Iran, say people in Damascus, has helped the regime to think strategically, while Hizbullah is training Mr Assad’s men in urban warfare. A new 60,000-strong national defence force (set to grow to 100,000) compensates for the regular army’s weaknesses. Defections have slowed as the forces have been pared down to a loyal core; morale among them has risen.

In such circumstances a peace conference in Geneva mooted for next month looks increasingly unlikely to take place on time. For one thing, the opposition’s main political front, the Syrian National Coalition, refuses to attend while the regime’s attacks and advances continue. For another, Mr Assad will be more loth to compromise as he gains on the battlefield.

… Besides, the rebels are losing support, in part because the regime has had some success in stirring sectarian fears. Many Syrians originally sympathetic to the rebels have been horrified by events such as the reported execution on June 9th of a 14-year-old boy by jihadists in Aleppo, allegedly for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Downtrodden Sunnis who six months ago were the mainstay of the opposition may be thinking again. “I hate the regime,” says a woman from a poor Damascus suburb. “But if forced to choose, perhaps I would rather live under them than the rebels. I am tired of the violence.”

Qatari and Saudi support for the opposition has also scared a lot of Syrians. “This is now a war in Syria, but not a Syrian war,” says a dissident artist in the capital. “I have no illusions that the Gulf backers are interested in us having democracy.” Unlike the opposition abroad, many in Damascus were pinning their hopes, however unrealistic, on the Geneva conference as a way to persuade the regime to share power and thus bring the war to a close.

But in rebel-held areas sentiment is harsher. Many there have lost so much that the idea of the regime remaining in place, even in a transitional power-sharing format, is abhorrent. “I’d rather chaos for a few years than live under them again,” says a man from Tafas, a town in the south that is shelled daily. Ali Haidar, the government minister charged with national reconciliation, boasts of the regime’s efforts to support those affected by the violence. But whispered conversations in the streets of Damascus and continuing arrests hark back to darker days under Hafez Assad, the previous president and father of the present one. The UN says the regime’s crimes still far outweigh those of the rebels.

An Iranian drone captured in Syria? Aviationist Blog

Austria begins withdrawal from Golan Heights – al Jazeera – Deteriorating security forces Vienna to remove troops from occupied area as UN scrambles to find replacements.

Austria began pulling out its UN peacekeepers from the Golan Heights days after Vienna decided to quit the mission over deteriorating security concerns.

An AFP photographer said on Wednesday 20 soldiers in jeeps accompanied by tanks entered the Israeli side of the Quineitra Crossing – the only direct passage between Israel and Syria.

Another 50 soldiers out of the 378-strong force were to pull out throughout the day, according to sources on the ground. The Austrian defence ministry said the full withdrawal would be completed by June 24.

Vienna’s decision on Tuesday came after Syrian opposition rebels briefly seized the Quneitra crossing late last week, in an incident in which two UN troops were injured.

The crossing lies in the demilitarised zone on the Israel-Syria armistice line and is monitored by about 1,000 UN peacekeepers, including the Austrians.

Replacements needed

On Tuesday, a senior Israeli official said dozens of Austrian soldiers had already left the mission’s headquarters. Israeli public radio said they were administrative staff.

“But the majority of soldiers will remain in place until the UN has found a country that can send troops to replace the Austrian ones,” said an Israeli official, who asked not to be named.

The UN is trying to persuade Austria to slow down its withdrawal.

The country has played an important role as part of the UN force monitoring a ceasefire between Syria and Israel since 1974.

Japan and Croatia have also withdrawn their forces in recent months, as battles between Syrian government and opposition forces spill into the ceasefire zone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that troops from his country could replace the Austrians, but under the terms of the 1974 accord that created the force, members of the UN Security Council are not allowed to take part.


Intervention: Opinions and U.S. Military Proposal


The Risks of America Doing Too Much in Syria – Richard Haass offers his opinion on the Syria conflict and intervention in a video interview (follow link to view video)

Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American foreign policy think tank, sat down with Rendezvous’s editor Marcus Mabry to talk Syria. Mr. Haass gave a long laundry list of what issues are more important to the United States than the bloodbath in Syria, even as he detailed the risks of that widening conflict.

The Dangerous Simplicity Of the Interventionists – Monitor – Kip Whittington

The pro-intervention crowd has been quite vocal, and their arguments have become commonplace: “US credibility is at stake,” “implement a no-fly zone,” “arm the moderate rebel groups,” “create a humanitarian corridor,” “let’s stop the chemical weapons use” and so on.

Many of these voices are influential thinkers and experienced practitioners outside of the decision-making process who feel the slaughter occurring in Syria is unjustifiable. Others argue that US strategic interests are at stake. These arguments are usually well-intentioned, but that does not mean the United States and NATO should intervene in Syria. While the United States and NATO are undoubtedly capable of changing the balance — note that I didn’t say end the violence — in Syria, it is by no means easy.

… For instance, the no-fly zone argument is familiar: Remove the threat posed by Assad’s airpower to Syrian civilians to allow for the establishment of humanitarian corridors and safe zones that can be supplied by friendly neighbors. This is the popular military operation advocated for by pro-interventionists. Largely because the United States and its allies successfully instituted variations of no-fly zones in Libya, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia, and it supposedly avoids putting large numbers of troops in foreign war zones — no one is willing to argue for large troop numbers after the war weariness created by Iraq and Afghanistan.

In essence, since the United States and its allies have such unrivaled air capabilities it means they can easily destroy Syria’s dangerous air defense systems and succeed in protecting civilians. In light of the recent Israeli air incursions into Syria — with no Israeli casualties — many feel their argument has been vindicated. No mention is made of the potential ramifications of an Israeli involvement in Syria. These lines of thought are dangerously simplistic and merely advocate for an operational tool with no clear objective.

At “Abu Muqawama,” blogger Dan Trombly did an excellent job explaining the very real differences between a US imposition of a no-fly zone and a few Israeli airstrikes on Syrian territory:

“You cannot create a persistent no-fly zone through repetitive raiding in the Israeli style, because these raids rely on minimizing time over Syrian airspace and avoiding air-to-air combat. No-fly zones, to be effective, must do precisely the opposite. You want your aircraft to spend as much time as practically possible over the airspace you are patrolling in order to deny enemy aircraft windows of opportunity to operate. This renders your aircraft vulnerable to enemy anti-aircraft fire, which is why destroying [a] hostile IADS [integrated air defense system], commonly referred to as suppression of enemy air defense (or SEAD) is such a vital prerequisite to no-fly zones (and would involve, as in many other cases, massive amounts of standoff fire and more direct attacks by specialized SEAD strike aircraft).” … (read the rest)

Ed Miliband: government is too focused on arming Syrian rebels – Guardian – Labour leader says David Cameron and William Hague should put energy into Geneva peace conference

Outside powers must not impose solutions on Syrians – Hassan Hassan

I know Assad – and I know it’s time to arm the Syrian rebels and bring him down, says Tory MP who visited dictator’s house for tea – Mail Online – Brooks Newmarks

Meetings: Mr Newmark met with the Syrian President on several occasions and also had a private talk with his British-born wife Asma

I first met President Assad on a trip to Damascus in 2006. I had asked the Syrian Embassy in London to arrange for me to meet senior Syrian political leaders, but on arrival in the capital, was surprised to receive an invitation to meet the President at his modest private house, away from his palace where he meets most dignitaries.

For a man now reviled for massacring his own people, Assad is incongruously softly spoken. But he was always forthright, did not seem to mind that I gave equally forthright answers and regularly invited me to meet him again on subsequent visits, right up to 2011, when the civil war started.

While I abhor the Assad regime and its hostility towards Israel (I am Jewish), I have a long- standing interest in Syria and the Middle East and am a firm believer in the adage ‘Diplomacy becomes a little lazy if all you do is talk to your friends’.

Over a period of about five years, I met Assad several times, always one on one. (I also had a remarkable private meeting with his English-born wife, Asma, which I shall return to later.)

Assad’s answers to my questions were instructive and at times shocking in their directness. When I asked him what was his most important objective, he replied in two words: ‘Regime survival.’

This was quite different from his public utterances at the time about seeking political reform.  I told him there is a complete contradiction between reform and regime survival, but he could not answer this question.

As events have now shown, he is willing to destroy Syria completely and kill its people in vast numbers to protect his family.

In effect, Syria is a mafia state. This is reflected in the bipolar posturings of Assad. When he told Western leaders he wanted political reform, I believe part of him meant it. But when the door closed and he was surrounded by his cronies, regime survival at all costs was all  that mattered.

I also asked him why he supported the Lebanese-based Shia terrorist group Hezbollah. As we saw last week, Hezbollah’s military support for Assad played a key part in his forces winning back al-Qusayr, one of the Syrian towns captured from Syria’s rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA).

In a reply of astonishing and brutal candour, he made no attempt to deny his support for Hezbollah and admitted he had used them as a proxy to attack Israeli forces.

He said: ‘I am weak both economically and militarily. I cannot take on Israel directly. They are much stronger than me. It makes more sense to use Hezbollah to put pressure on Israel.’

He was just as unapologetic when I asked him why he had allowed insurgents to pass through Syria freely during  the Iraq War in order to attack  British and American soldiers.

I said to him: ‘You must know the people you let through your border are only going there to try to kill our soldiers?’

He replied in a totally matter-of-fact way: ‘If they want to get themselves killed by your soldiers that’s up to them. If I don’t let them go through they may turn on me and start a revolution to get rid of me. Remember what I said earlier: regime survival is the most important thing for me.’

In other words, he feared if  he didn’t let them through, they would turn their guns and bombs on his own vulnerable government. For Assad, it always comes back to regime survival.

Certainly, I will never forget the remarkable conversation I had with his wife in early 2011. Again, we met one to one, at her own private house in Damascus. Naturally, we had tea. As we chatted, she said something quite extraordinary. As I had expected, she was keen to talk about her husband’s reform agenda.

I said I had met President Assad many times and that although he talked a lot about political reform, he never did much to bring it about.

I said to her he could be like the founder of modern Turkey, the great Ataturk, bring about real reform, step down from office and be lauded for his achievements.

I had not anticipated her reply. She said: ‘That is what I hope he does too, serve one more term in office and then retire.’

All hope of that is now gone.

When the Arab Spring reached Syria, it did not surprise me that Assad’s regime would respond in the ruthless way that it did. What has surprised me is how quickly a sectarian war has evolved and the progress the opposition has made.

A once-beautiful country is quickly disintegrating into a fragmented Somalia on the Mediterranean. I understand the concerns of those, including fellow Conservative MPs, who say we should not arm the Syrian rebels and help them bring down Assad and that we must not be dragged into another Iraq or Afghanistan.

But I believe they are wrong.

This is not Iraq: in Iraq there were no chemical weapons. In Syria, we know for sure Assad has used them. We sent thousands of British troops to Iraq. No one is suggesting sending a single British soldier to Syria.

Nor is this Afghanistan: the silent majority of Syrians are secular not Islamist. This is more like Bosnia or Libya, in which a brutal dictator is murdering his own people in order to stay in power.

To date we have seen almost 100,000 killed, 1.1million refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries and more than 7million displaced internally.

On the one side we have the Assad regime, which has 300,000 well-armed soldiers, the violent Shabiha secret police, 16,000 pieces of heavy artillery, tanks and an air force that is unchallenged in the skies. They are supported by Iranian and Russian money and arms, and 7,000 Hezbollah fighters.

On the other side we have a highly fragmented Syrian rebel force, 35,000 fighters equipped with small arms under the banner of the FSA.

While the West, scarred by Iraq and Afghanistan, prevaricates, 20 million Syrians face genocide. If we do nothing, instead of 100,000 dead we could see 300,000 dead a year from now.

Russia is threatening to send S-300 surface-to-air missiles and surface-to-ship missiles, which not only threaten Israel but also the West’s Mediterranean fleet.

The Syrian rebels urgently need their own surface-to-air missiles and tank-busters to have any chance of winning. Britain can and should supply them with them. We could train them how to use them in Jordan or Turkey.

I hope and pray a peaceful resolution can be found to this bloody dispute. But if it cannot, we must lift the arms embargo to send a powerful message to Assad that this will no longer be a one-sided war.

U.S. Considers Military Plan for No-Fly Zone in Syria – WSJ

A U.S. military proposal for arming Syrian rebels also calls for a limited no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced from Jordanian territory to protect Syrian refugees and rebels who would train there, according to U.S. officials.

Asked by the White House to develop options for Syria, military planners have said that creating an area to train and equip rebel forces would require keeping Syrian aircraft well away from the Jordanian border.

To do that, the military envisages creating a no-fly zone stretching up to 25 miles into Syria which would be enforced using aircraft flown from Jordanian bases and flying inside the kingdom, according to U.S. officials.

The White House is currently considering proposals to arm the rebels in Jordan, according to U.S. officials. White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden declined to comment on the details of those deliberations.

The limited no-fly zone wouldn’t require the destruction of Syrian antiaircraft batteries, U.S. officials said.

Officials said the White House could decide to authorize the U.S. to arm and train rebels in Jordan without authorizing the no-fly zone recommended by military planners. A White House announcement could come soon, officials said.

Jordan has been inundated by a flood of refugees that Jordanian and U.S. officials say is a growing threat to the kingdom, a key U.S. ally in the region. The U.S. has already moved Patriot air defense batteries and F-16 fighter planes to Jordan, which could be integral to any no-fly zone if President Barack Obama approves the military proposal.

Proponents of the proposal say a no-fly zone could be imposed without a U.N. Security Council resolution, since the U.S. would not regularly enter Syrian airspace and wouldn’t hold Syrian territory.

U.S. planes have air-to-air missiles that could destroy Syrian planes from long ranges. But officials said that aircraft may be required to enter Syrian air space if threatened by advancing Syrian planes. Such an incursion by the U.S., if it were to happen, could be justified as self-defense, officials say.

Military planners believe it would be dangerous to set up a major operation inside Jordan to arm the rebels without creating a no-fly zone to hold Syrian aircraft back.

“Unless you have a good buffer zone inside Syria, you risk too much,” said a U.S. official briefed on the military proposal.

Creating even a limited buffer zone that Syrian airplanes cannot enter will be expensive, costing an estimated $50 million a day. Still, officials say that a full no-fly zone covering all of Syria would cost far more money. Officials said the U.S. hopes the operation would be conducted with other allies, who could help pay for the cost of a no-fly zone.

The U.S. planes involved in the no-fly zone would fly from Jordan and possibly from Navy ships in the Mediterranean or Red Sea. Jordan has offered the U.S. and its allies the use of its military bases to protect a safe zone inside the kingdom, according to U.S. officials. Jordanian officials in Washington had no immediate comment.

U.S. military officials believe it will take about a month to get such a limited no fly zone up and running, officials say. Officials say there may be a limited window to do so. If Russia decides to provide advanced, long-range S-300 air defense weapons to Syria, it would make such a limited no-fly zone far more risky for U.S. pilots.

The Washington Intervention War – FP – With diplomatic options dead in the water, camps are forming in the administration about how to arm the Syrian rebels.

Immediately after Susan Rice was named U.S. national security advisor and Samantha Power was tapped as America’s next ambassador to the United Nations, Washington had a simple question: Could the Obama administration’s two newest liberal hawks mold U.S. foreign policy? And will the exit of current National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, the architect of President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” mean a pivot toward a more energetic intervention in Syria? …

The State Department is out in front of the White House and is actively pushing for arming the rebels. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is far less forward-leaning, focused on the risks and potential pitfalls of lethal aid and potential military action. Indeed, Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey has publicly called intervention in Syria “very difficult.”


Turkish Protests


Muslim Light: What’s Behind Turkey’s Islamization and the Protests Against It – Cinar Kiper – Atlantic

It has been a long time, ninety years in fact, since Turkey has had its latest facelift. It is about time considering it happens once every nine decades or so: after the modernizing Tanzimat reforms of the 1830s and the Westernizing Kemalist reforms of the 1920s, the 2010s are ripe for a whole new round of social engineering — this time at the hands of the religiously conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Back when the secular republic was established in 1923, the facelift came in the form of renouncing all things Ottoman and many things Muslim, some benign — hats instead of fezzes! — others not as much. The idea being, to paraphrase the old adage, if it looks like a Westerner, writes like a Westerner and even drinks like a Westerner, then it probably is a Westerner. As a country that got stuck in the middle — too European to be Middle East, too Middle Eastern to be Europe — Turkey took its symbols very seriously; bars serving fancy cocktails and public displays of affection in one camp, headscarves and a mosque’s call to prayer in the other.

The social reforms might have been strict, but each one served to create a secular, homogenous and above all modern nation-state; a republic that could comfortably mingle at any European party. Yet the authenticity of the revolution was questioned since the beginning: in “A Journey to China, or Things Which Are Seen,” Toynbee wrote of a 1929 visit to Turkey right at the height of enthusiasm for the revolution. But even then he was distinctly aware of some of its superficiality, such as a tram in Istanbul where a curtain separating the sexes had been removed but men and women still didn’t mix — “The curtain had become invisible, but it was still there, all the same” — or how hats had successfully replaced fezzes, sort of — “Many a self-consciously behatted man is still wearing an invisible fez.”

Such invisible relics of Islam didn’t mean the social engineering failed — it did pave the way for Western-living, secular Turks after all — but that even those who couldn’t or didn’t want to play along were adorned in the trappings of the West. Regardless, for the next 90 years Turkey’s genuine secularists saw themselves as spearheading the drive towards Westernization and, perhaps more importantly, wanted the acceptance of Europe — to mixed results. But just as Turkey may not have been readily accepted by the West, it was also too foreign for the East.

Many throughout the Middle East perceive Turks as “Muslim Light,” the casual semi-faithful. Imagine the frustration of the devout Turk, so full of religious conviction yet never really accepted as part of Club Islam. One only has to hear the indignation of an AKP deputy recounting a visit to Mecca — where Saudi authorities were so rude as to doubt his faith and tested his knowledge of common prayers — to see his embarrassment at being indentified with those contemptible secularists. When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan picks his crusade of the month, whether againstabortions,adultery or the arts, it is over his frustration of Turkey’s image among his fellow Muslims; the same frustration secular Turks felt for decades trying to be accepted by Europe.

And so it is no surprise that it was in Istanbul, a city literally divided between the continents of Europe and Asia, that a nationwide clash over appearances began this weekend. Istanbul’s Taksim district on the European side has always been the heart of the country’s secular life: its countless bars, nightclubs, bookstores, and galleries stand as testament that there are Turks who enjoy more of life than simply shuttling between work and prayer. As the centerpiece of Turkey’s window to the world, the area has been at the forefront of the country’s image wars for years, with more religious elements wanting to dress it in mosques and Islamic architecture to show where it really belongs.

The latest chapter of this tug-of-war took place last week, when the government gave start to an urban redevelopment plan to replace Taksim’s main green space, Gezi Park, with a giant replica of an Ottoman artillery barracks. What began last Monday as a peaceful sit-in to save the park escalated by Friday into a stand against Erdogan’s vision for Turkey. The movement quickly spread to other cities, as did the ubiquitous tear gas; coverage mainly focused on the arbitrarily violent riot policing and the solidarity between the protesters fed up with Erdogan’s authoritative style, but beneath it all was a long-standing clash over two very different expressions of Turkey.

Though he had declared his intention to ” raise a religious youth ” openly, Erdogan has waged more of a shadow war of sorts against the visibility of the secular lifestyle. His desire to limit it to the home, or at least behind closed doors, is only matched by his zeal to erect bolder and bolder monuments to an “Islamically appropriate” lifestyle. And while the Occupy-style protestors have been his villains of the week, Taksim has something else he has always despised: alcohol, one of the most overt displays of un-Islamic activities out there. Prohibited by the religion, alcohol’s visibility everywhere is a clear message: Turkey, or at least large parts of it, is indeed Muslim Light.

The AKP’s crusade against alcohol over the years has included a set ofrestrictions passed in 2011, an official crackdown during Ramadan banning outside seating at cafes and bars, an abrupt last-minute cancellation of alcohol licenses for a music festival in 2012, not to mention years of exorbitant taxes on alcohol that have succeeded in turning off many from drinking. But the AKP took its latest great leap towards a less “Islamically embarrassing” society just two weeks ago, with parliament passing yet another comprehensive set of restrictions on drinking. The 17-hour marathon session featured harsh insults, parliamentarian-on-parliamentarian kicking and a walk out in protest by almost every non-AKP deputy — a level of tension and tantrum that captures the determination of the religious and the anxiety of the secularists.

The AKP’s harshest critics, from the opposition parties to secular journalists to the involuntarily sober, all note how it is engineering a conservative Islamic society. It’s a claim the AKP frequently denies, though its arguments aren’t very believable when so much of its legislation so neatly aligns with Islamic sensibilities. Often picking and choosing the Western laws and restrictions that suit its values, the government has argued for years that its alcohol policy is one of public health, despite numbers that indicate no such health problem exists in Turkey. OECD data shows Turks only consume 1.5 liters of alcohol per capita, way below the 10.7-liter average of the EU. Similarly a 2010 WHO report shows that number hasn’t changed much since 1961, and adds that Turkey has the highest rate of abstention among the countries listed; four-fifths of men (83.6 percent) and nearly all women (97.1 percent) abstain from alcohol, with 65 and 92 percent respectively having never had a drink in their lives. As for the young people — “we don’t want children drinking night and day and wandering around tipsy; they are going to be alert, their minds full of knowledge” Erdogan has said — 83.9 percent of Turks aged 15-24 have never once consumed alcohol, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute.

In the end, Turkey’s alcohol restrictions are simply about Erdogan’s personal biases. Defending the ban of campus sales at the Global Alcohol Policy Symposium in April, he argued “of course [students] who imbibe alcohol will get intoxicated, pick up a knife and charge their friends; they’ll forget all about their computers and books.” Given that he thinks the only thing standing between academic success and a stabbing spree is happy hour, Erdogan’s surreal perception of alcohol’s capabilities would rival even the most devout Christians of the Temperance movement. Meanwhile, back in reality, alcohol is rarely the culprit in the countless cases of violent bullying for not fasting during Ramadan or the groups who chant Islamic slogans as they attack random people for kissing in public .

Just on Sunday, during a live interview with channel Haberturk, Erdogan fumbled a couple responses on alcohol — first declaring anyone who ever drinks an alcoholic, then suggesting those who enjoyed the occasional cocktail but voted for him didn’t count. He would later try to save it by reiterating they were not banning alcohol. To be fair, there seems to be no reason to do so: it’s effectively a tax on a Western lifestyle — the kind enjoyed by those least likely to vote for the party in the first place — and a useful source of revenue. Erdogan isn’t against drinking as long as no one can see it; “if you are going to drink, then drink your alcohol in your own house” he told the nation last week . Just as secularists once sought to sweep Turkey’s religious element under the rug, it is now the AKP’s turn to do the same.

Many of his opponents, including the Gezi park protesters, warn of the Islamization of Turkey. But as the party of those left behind by the 1923 revolution, it doesn’t really need to socially engineer much. The party keeps winning elections in landslides, and its values are already shared by the majority of Turks . If he is trying to gain converts, he’s already halfway there, as he so graciously pointed out earlier this week when he reminded the nation how he’s keeping his supporters from intervening against the Taksim protests on his behalf.

Back at the alcohol policy symposium in April, Erdogan had dismissed how the “top-down, domineering modernization mentality” of the government back in the 1920s “encouraged and incentivized alcohol consumption with a copycat mindset of modernity and civilization.” But he of all people should know how such a mindset doesn’t work: “fortunately social values, the societal fabric, resisted the government’s attempts to encourage alcohol, keeping it in check.” It is this patriarchal attempt to impose a lifestyle on those who disagree that is fuelling much of the Gezi protests.

And just as secularists weren’t able to secularize all of the religious, it doesn’t seem likely the religious can convert most of the secular-ish Turks … but it doesn’t mean they can’t be swept under the rug. The lesson to be learned from Erdogan’s statements in April, and the nationwide protests still going strong, is just how much resentment and antagonism can arise from having a lifestyle forced on people who don’t want to play along. Marx once wrote that history repeated itself “first as a tragedy, then as a farce.” If Erdogan is able to point out the mistakes of 1923, he shouldn’t be repeating them again in 2013. Maybe in the 2100s, when the time for the next facelift rolls around, the country will have finally learned to coexist … or at the very least learned to be farcical about it.

Turkish protests affect the lira – Daily Star

Without Irony, the U.S. Rebukes Turkey for Cracking Down on Protesters  – David Harris Gershon

Turkish police clear Taksim Square – FP

Istanbul’s Taksim Square was calm Wednesday morning after a night of violent clashes as Turkish riot police worked to clear out entrenched demonstrators. Police detonated sound grenades and fired water cannon, tear gas, and rubber bullets at the thousands of mostly peaceful protesters who repeatedly converged on the square, until crowds were dispersed early Wednesday morning. Some protesters threw rocks and petrol bombs. Many of the protesters have regrouped in the nearby Gezi Park, the site of the first protests nearly two weeks ago. While officials said they would not intervene in the park, there were reports of police firing tear gas into Gezi Park overnight. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to meet with some of the protest leaders, whom he selected, Wednesday afternoon. Some are refusing to attend in light of the police violence. Meanwhile, Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog imposed fines on four opposition television channels, accusing them of incitement for broadcasting footage of the protests. Additionally, between 50 and 70 lawyers who staged a sit-in in support of the protests were detained after skirmishes at Istanbul’s High Court.


New Resources


Visit the new blog, Levantoday, created by several graduate students.

Syria Conflict MonitorNew website offers detailed profiles and histories of armed groups in Syria: Syria Conflict Monitor

SCM has compiled an extensive, searchable database of self-published opposition videos. To date, over 4,000 videos have been catalogued based on variables that track the strength, location, and organization of armed groups. The database transforms the disparate information published by the opposition into highly informative visual representations that layout the organizational structure of each groups, its affiliates and allies, fighting strength, and geographical location.

Beyond the database itself, we present for the first time the SCM Timeline Series-Alpha. Our timelines take a deeper look at the major fighting groups on the ground in Syria. Beginning with each group’s founding, the timelines visually reconstructs the major activities of each group and allows the user to follow with a few scrolls of the mouse the entire operational history of each group. We are launching the site with two thorough timelines and are working laboriously to release more in the coming weeks.

Report from the Syria Center for Policy Research, “Socioeconomic Roots and Impact of the Syrian Crisis” – available here.

Report on the “Convoy of Martyrs in the Levant” – interesting look at a group of mujahideen in Syria with individual profiles of jihadis and graphs exploring percentages of fighters by country.

Policy brief from ECFR MENA: Syria: the Imperative of De-Escalation

Comments (604)


dawoud said:

Mathew Barber,

After reading the article, which I believe was first posted by Sami in one of his comments, about Bashar’s meetings with the British MP Newmark I can’t see how anybody would ever support al-Assad’s bloody dictatorship. “Regime Survival,” as he explained justified ANYTHING! UNSURPRISING now that he is destroying Syria just to stay in power!

June 13th, 2013, 8:07 pm


dawoud said:

747. majedkhaldoun (previous thread)

Yes, Arabs will help: Jordan will provide territory for training an no-fly zone (and likely covert forces to break to Damascus, just as it did with Bab al-Aziziyah in Tripoli), KSA with weapons and money, Qatar with money and weapons, etc. Help is on the way for the Syrian people! where would Shia Iraqi/Lebanese/Iranian/Houthi/Bahraini terrorists go after Damascus’ airport is stopped by the no-fly zone? How would Iran fly its weapons to Bashar through Iraqi sectarian airspace? Who is the real Ilyia?

June 13th, 2013, 8:22 pm


Syrialover said:

DAWOUD, #2 No, I posted that story, then Juergen, and then I referenced it a couple of times in posts after that.

It’s necessary insight into Bashar and co for those Assadists who haven’t got their stories straight and updated.

They are confused by what a weak and broken conduit Bashar is for daddy Hafez’s imagined heritage.

They also have to work with the reality everything “strong” created by master thug Hafez Assad was made of fake, degradable and cheap material anyway. Bashar is one such creation.

June 13th, 2013, 8:32 pm


Tara said:


Thank you. I was wrong. It is official now. America is going to provide military support to moderate rebels. The play field will be leveled. And Batta days are numbered, for real this time. I am expecting lots of defection from now on.

June 13th, 2013, 8:47 pm


Syrialover said:

EHSANI, great to be reading you again! Thanks for your insights.

I assume you are among those thinking hard about what could be salvaged of the Syrian economy and how to start rebuilding it.

This conflict is exposing the huge underlay of neglect, poverty and underdevelopment in Syria outside the middle class urban enclaves the Assadists are so proud of.

On top of all the destruction, loss and waste from this nightmare, any reconstruction and recovery is going to be an even more monumental task given the demographics created by the Assad era.

It’s hard not to feel despair when reading that the occupants of the vast Syrian refugee camps are typically uneducated women in their 20s with 8 or more children, and that an airstrike destroyed the house of an unemployed laborer leaving his 11 children homeless.

June 13th, 2013, 9:02 pm


zoo said:

Lethal or no lethal , that is the question. If the regime is now accused of having used chemical weapons in small scale, what would prevent it to use it in larger scale now that they are supposed to have been caught red handed. Will the US ship tons of gaz masks and bomb the chemical storage thus creating an human disaster?

In my view the USA will NOT provide lethal weapons now, they will promise they will if Bashar al Assad backs down on his acceptance to participate in the Geneva II conference. The whole exercise is to put more pressure on the opposition to accept to participate in the conference,0,5216293.story

There was no immediate word on the type of weaponry the United States would provide or when it would be delivered. The White House said earlier that Obama had approved direct military assistance to the beleaguered rebels but declined to give details or say whether any of it would be lethal equipment.

June 13th, 2013, 9:06 pm


zoo said:

#5 Tara

I really enjoy how you jump on the slightest sign of a change of course and make wild predictions.
Haven’t you learn yet? Nothing of what you predict will happen. It is all carrots and sticks to push the parties to participate at the conference, that’s all.

June 13th, 2013, 9:11 pm


revenire said:

Well, someone has sent new anti-tank weapons over the past few weeks.

June 13th, 2013, 9:11 pm


Ghufran said:

NATO and the GCC want something done to stop the Syrian army from taking Aleppo but the extent of western intervention will largely depend on how far Russia is wiling to go to support the regime, I read the white house statement about chemical weapons and I could read Q’sair between the lines. Putin remained ” committed” to preventing NATO from helping rebels to achieve a decisive victory but may be ready to compromise on Assad and I hope that he does. Obama is under a lot of pressure from both republicans and democrtas to act , the latest came from Clinton today, but I do not see any major campaign coming unless Putin is selling fish without being ready to go fishing. This will be a hot summer anyway but not as hot as either side predicts.

June 13th, 2013, 9:11 pm


revenire said:

Many of our brothers get excited at the merest shred of “news” from the Zionist-controlled press.

June 13th, 2013, 9:13 pm


mjabali said:

At last some news on al-Qusayer. When I begged to follow what was going on in al-Qusayer, this blog went on to post other things.

Funny reading Observer’s take on the modern Syrian history and the Syrian character. What funny about his narrative is that it never stopped being the version of the entitled few who were surprised when the indigenous people took over. The biggest surprise was that this group was from another religious sect. Observer’s interpretation of the Syrian class and religious dynamics never was close to the reality, with all due respect.

Next post we are going to see Daowud’s speeches, or Tara, or Uzair….LOL

By the way: these posts are becoming extremely long. I wish I have the time to read them all….

June 13th, 2013, 9:15 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

With US is going to approve arming the opposition, US will be the major player in this crisis, The stakes are high for the US, defeat is not an option.
I doubt the chemical weapons is the only reason for US to change its mind, HA involvement was probably the main reason.and Assad provoking turkish opposition to Mr. Erdogan are two more factors

How the US would help?
Bombing all,civilian and military airports.
sending anti tanks weapons
Taregeting Assad and try to kill him.

Ehsani : Thank you but I have a question, what are the revenue resources

June 13th, 2013, 9:19 pm


revenire said:


June 13th, 2013, 9:21 pm


zoo said:

#10 Ghufran

Intervention in Syria and helping the rebels with tax payer money is not very popular in the USA. Recent polls showed it clearly
Chemical weapons is not an WMD that can cross continents, therefore it is a weaker case than Saddam’s WMD.

Obama will send gaz masks now and just like the UK and France he will promise weapons “after” the conference.

The opposition will face another humiliation when they will realize that they have no other choice than participate in the conference.
This new announcement is a poison covered with sugar.

June 13th, 2013, 9:23 pm


Tara said:

Zoo@ 8

I am actually tempering my response very much. I am learning.. Slowly but surely. I admit, I am afraid to feel happy.. Time will tell.

I just hope one day will come where we all wake up to a new Syria where everyone lives with each other happily thereafter.. And we all walk down that Hamidieh route.

June 13th, 2013, 9:24 pm


zoo said:

#13 Majed

Oops, more predictions! This time they are really hilarious.

June 13th, 2013, 9:26 pm


zoo said:

#16 Tara

I hope that day comes too

June 13th, 2013, 9:27 pm


zoo said:

The Syrian economy is amazing.
2 years ago Ehsani predicted that it is the economy that would topple Bashar Al Assad and quickly.
Now he is wondering how the country is surviving so well with few electricity power cut, Internet still working, salaries still paid, banks still open, Syrian Airlines still flying to the Gulf and Europe and the currency not as bad as the lebanese pound was during the civil war where there were no sanctions on Lebanon.

A miracle?

June 13th, 2013, 9:34 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I am sure you are saying this silly thing over and over again, out of anger and frustration,and that makes me happy

June 13th, 2013, 9:35 pm


zoo said:

NFZ: NO. Direct Intervention: NO. Military support: YES. Lethal aid to rebels: MAYBE

U.S. military options in Syria remain challenging,0,4714780.story

The Obama administration’s possible military choices range from limited one-off missile strikes from ships – one of the less-complicated scenarios – to bolder operations like carving out no-fly safe zones.

White House officials on Thursday played down the prospects of a no-fly zone, citing the open-ended costs and uncertainty of such an operation in a place like Syria, with its well-defended air space. But they did not rule it out either.

The White House did, however, rule out the more politically unpalatable possibility of sending U.S. forces into the country.

A more likely move would be to begin providing lethal assistance to Syrian rebels. The White House said on Thursday it would increase support to the opposition Supreme Military Council, including military support, but it did not specify lethal aid.

June 13th, 2013, 9:41 pm


zoo said:

#20 Majed

Anger at what? ha ha ha!

June 13th, 2013, 9:42 pm


dawoud said:


Sorry, yes I did read it first in one of your comments a few days ago.


Sister, this is just the beginning! As I explained earlier in the previous thread (and as Majed is also stating above), this is just the beginning because the U.S. credibility will suffer if the rebels lose. The U.S. role will escalate to a no-fly zone! Please remember that the U.S. has planes and Patriot missiles BOTH in the North in Turkey and in the South in Jordan. This what it needs to establish a no-fly zone. As soon as Iranian planes become unable to land in Damascus, Bashar’s weapons will evaporate. Defections within the regime will multiply as those who were thinking of it stopped when the regime began winning. Things are looking very good; and Majed, you, Syrialover, Sami, et. al, and I will likely be able to join Professor Landis for a celebratory dinner in downtown Free Damascus! Yes, we will still welcome REV, Ann, Ghufran, “1400 years of colonization” Darryl, and the rest of the pro-regime commentators as the new Syria will be about forgiveness and starting a new page! I will pay the bill for everybody! It would be my first visit to Syria!

June 13th, 2013, 9:42 pm


Ziad said:

“(Obama has) the same kind of commitment to expanding executive power that Cheney and Rumsfeld had. He kind of puts it in mellifluous terms and there’s a little difference in his tone. It’s not as crude and brutal as they were but it’s pretty hard to see much of a difference.”

Noam Chomsky

June 13th, 2013, 9:57 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

There will be press conference to Obama tomorrow

June 13th, 2013, 10:00 pm


zoo said:

Happy days in post revolution in Tunisia continue

Tunisia rapper jailed for two years
Shouts of protest erupted in the courtroom as the judge announced the verdict
AFP , Thursday 13 Jun 2013–Culture/Music/Tunisia-rapper-jailed-for-two-years.aspx

A Tunisian rapper was handed a two-year jail sentence on Thursday for insulting the police in a song, with the court ruling sparking clashes between his supporters and police.

Ala Yaacoub, 25, better known by his rap name “Weld El 15”, was retried at the same court in a Tunis suburb that had convicted him in absentia in March, after he handed himself him in to face justice.

As the judge read out the verdict, shouts of protest erupted in the courtroom from his supporters who were swiftly expelled by police.

Several people were beaten outside the building, including Emine M’tiraoui, a journalist with the news blog Nawaat, and at least three people arrested.

June 13th, 2013, 10:05 pm


dawoud said:

24. ZIAD

Believe me, Bashar is over! It will soon be over! Hasan Nasr-Satan has turned his back on the Syrian people, and they will not forgive him! He is a dead man walking as far as most Syrians are concerned. Thousands of defected Syrian soldiers, who have been training in Jordan, will soon enter Syria and liberate the area from Jordanian border to Damascus’ southern suburbs in no time! It’s over, brother Ziad! Bashar al-Assad may lose his job before Ahmadinijad!

June 13th, 2013, 10:06 pm


zoo said:

I am shocked to see the happiness and excitement of some Arabs when they heard that the USA, Israel’s main ally and protector, will help killing other Arabs.

Arab honour and dignity?

How low can they go?

June 13th, 2013, 10:15 pm


zoo said:

Date of this announcement: May 31th

Though Sabra’s interim mandate has expired, the election of a president has been postponed till “no later than June 12”, said group spokesman Khaled al-Saleh.

June 13th, 2013, 10:24 pm


revenire said:

Dave how many Syrian children will die if the Anglo-Americans attack? Are the bombs smart enough only to kill your Shia enemies?

June 13th, 2013, 10:27 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan’s visit to Gaza postponed, not cancelled

GAZA ( EXCLUSIVE— Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu said that the ongoing protests in his country would not affect the planned visit to Gaza by Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Sinirlioglu told “The Turkish stance in supporting the Palestinian cause would not change adding that Erdogan’s vist may postponed but will not be cancelled”.

Hamas spokesman Mushir Al Masri said that Turkish Prime Minister’s planned Gaza visit, which would be the first step for lifting the embargo, was very crucial.

June 13th, 2013, 10:29 pm


dawoud said:

al-Qasir so-called “victory” of the regime and its Shia Lebanese terrorist ally led to 3 things:
-Europe lifted arms embargo on rebels
-USA will soon provide weapons to the rebels and become deeply invovled.
-Hasan Nasr-Satan has become the most hated “man” in the Arab World!

If the regime begins to retake Aleppo (halab), two things will happen:

-a no-fly zone will be established
-the Syrian soldiers trained in Jordan will accelerate their entrance from southern Jordan

In fact, I expect defected Syrian soldiers in Jordan to begin infiltrating the Der’ah area in order to relief pressure from the Aleppo front!

It’s over!

June 13th, 2013, 10:31 pm


Ziad said:

‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies

A natural counterpart to the burying of evidence of ‘our’ embarrassing crimes is the hyping of the crimes of official enemies.

Thus, the media would have us believe that as many, or more, people have died in Syria during two years of war than have died in ten years of mass killing in Iraq (the favoured media figure is around 100,000 Iraqis killed). The Times reports ‘as many as 94,000 deaths’ in Syria. (Anthony Loyd, ‘War in Syria has plumbed new depths of barbarity, says UN,’ The Times, June 5, 2013)

June 13th, 2013, 10:32 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

He is shocked
he is angry
he is extremely nervous
he is dizzy
don’t worry nothing happened yet

June 13th, 2013, 10:33 pm


zoo said:

Vagueness on the media ‘scoop’ that the USA “will provide weapons to the Syrian rebels” indicate the impossibility of an imminent implementation

Precisely what kinds of additional – and presumably lethal – assistance Washington will provide the SMC, however, remains unclear and the source of continued debate within the administration.

Rhodes’s vagueness and his statement that the administration will now consult with Congress and its allies – Obama attends a Group of Eight meeting in Northern Ireland next week – suggested that the issue was far from settled.

– See more at:

June 13th, 2013, 10:35 pm


zoo said:

#34 Majed

None of the above.. I am just having fun because I know that ultimately the opposition will join the conference in July without any of its conditions met.

June 13th, 2013, 10:40 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

likes to deceive himself, started to become delusional WOW

June 13th, 2013, 10:43 pm


Ghufran said:

Some people are too quick to draw conclusions and make wishes and predictions, one guy wants all airports bombed, another wants a nfz,etc. The truth is that the west wants a political solution to this war after plan-A failed, but NATO et al do not want to go to Geneva and leave empty handed so they will try to reverse the advances made by the regime by helping rebels defend Aleppo and pose a real threat to SAF and tanks, it is probable that NATO will deliver SAMs and
ATMs but a bombing campaign and an nfz are unlikely unless NATO is ready to go to war. Take a deep breath and try to bring real materials to this blog instead of this feel- good bedtime stories, Aleppo battle has started already, the question is whether rebels aided by NATO can keep it from falling in the hands of the army, if they succeed, Geneva may take place in few weeks, if they fail, there will be no Geneva in the immediate future.

June 13th, 2013, 10:49 pm


omen said:

just now on aje, addressing the u.s. administration acknowledging the regime’s use of chemical weapons:

lawrence korb, former u.s. assistant sec of defense:

i think the next step will bring it to the un where they haven’t been able to get a resolution. if they can get a un resolution condemning the use of chemical weapons, i think this will be the first step to the u.s. providing more aid and it will be lethal aid. up to now it’s been non lethal aid.

we are back to where we started. what sign is there that there will be any change at the security council? russia & china will continue to veto in order to stymie any progress.

the un isn’t needed. are we supposed to forget obama signed an executive order sanctioning material support for the opposition? plus turkey is already empowered to strike under the doctrine of self defense. i suspect u.s. forces are in jordan merely to ensure the king doesn’t get toppled.

earlier the west promised to supply the opposition with weapons if it united. the nc did so and yet the west failed to forward the weapons. i’m still waiting on the walkie talkies obama promised to deliver the rebels.

June 13th, 2013, 10:56 pm


revenire said:

Omen relax – if the West goes in they won’t care about the UN. They will just attack. If that happens you will get your bloodbath. Count on it.

June 13th, 2013, 10:59 pm


revenire said:

I’ve seen some reports of the terrorists fleeing Aleppo for Turkey. I haven’t been able to confirm these reports but I’ve seen them from more than one person on the ground near the Syrian-Turkish border.

Time will tell.

June 13th, 2013, 11:00 pm


sf94123 said:

No military victory for any side in Syria. Just keeping the status quo! Geneva I, II, III or IV is the only way out of this madness. The sooner the better to all mankind!

June 13th, 2013, 11:07 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“If that happens you will get your bloodbath.”

As if 93000 dead ISN’T a bloodbath…..

June 13th, 2013, 11:10 pm


Ziad said:

WAKE UP MUSLIMS! Say NO to Salafi destruction of Islam

June 13th, 2013, 11:11 pm


omen said:

i was disbelieved earlier when i argued despite its rhetoric, the west is failing to support the opposition. here a former diplomat admits up front it isn’t in US interest to support the rebels.

Crocker, who was US ambassador to Syria from 1998 to 2001, warned against getting too deeply involved with the Syrian opposition at this stage “because you could find yourself decisively committed to the outcome that is most injurious to our interests.

interest = oil or some other natural resource that enriches corporate profit.

June 13th, 2013, 11:16 pm


ghufran said:

Moaz lashes at Qardawi and others:
انتقد الرئيس المستقيل للإئتلاف السوري المعارض معاذ الخطيب فتوى رئيس الاتحاد العالمي للعلماء المسلمين الشيخ يوسف القرضاوي حول “الجهاد” في سوريا، وقال الخطيب أن بعض الفتاوى الدينية تزيد “العمى السياسي”.
واتهم الخطيب دولاً لم يحددها بالتجارة بدماء السوريين “الذين يواجهون مكراً دولياً واقليمياً”، لافتاً إلى أن هناك دول تخاف البعبع الايراني وتريد حماية نفسها عبر تحويل الصراع الى بلاد الشام، في اشارة الى دول خليجية.
وقال الخطيب “هناك عروش قد تنهار، وخائفة من البعبع الإيراني ، ما هي أفضل طريقة لحمايتها؟ تحويل الصراع إلى بلاد الشام للخلاص من الجماعات الجهادية المؤرقة لهم ومن حزب الله معاً”.
وتساءل الخطيب: “من سيدفع الثمن؟ سوريا شعباً وأرضاً، وشباباً مخلصين ونساء وأطفالاً”، مضيفاً “كل الدول تتاجر بدماء السوريين الذين يواجهون مكراً دولياً واقليمياً”.
وتابع الخطيب بالقول: “دماء السوريين لن تستبيحوها من دون ثمن وستكون لعنة على كل من شارك في سفكها وشربها من الجيران وحتى إيران” حسب تعبيره.

June 13th, 2013, 11:22 pm


dawoud said:

43. ZIAD

What about the Iranian Wilayet al-Faqih DESTRUCTION of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, Yemen, and Iran itself? How could a “Sunni atheist” like yourself be a public relations commentator on behalf of Iran’s Wilayet al-faqih universe?

June 13th, 2013, 11:25 pm


ghufran said:

This is what Clinton said:

“You just think how lame you’d be … suppose I had let a million people, two million people be refugees out of Kosovo, a couple hundred thousand people die, and they say, ‘You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?’ And I say, ‘because the House of Representatives voted 75 percent against it?’” Clinton said. “You look like a total wuss, and you would be.”
Responding to a question from McCain about how he views Obama’s Syria policy, Clinton said that any president who avoids a military intervention in order to satisfy short-term political objectives would come to regret it in the end.
“If you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is, ‘Oh my god, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it.’ You look like a total fool,” Clinton said.

June 13th, 2013, 11:36 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

We have to connect between Putin statement yesterday, when he said Assad could have avoided this war by responding to the demand of true reform, and the decision by Obama to send military aid to the rebels, I believe it may be that Putin abandoned Assad.
US is considering NFZ in the south up to 40 Km which means half the distance to Deraa.
Assad will start losing in the south soon,Assad have to pull his troops from the north to defend his palace in Damascus, or he has to pull away to Qurdaha, and leave Damascus.either way there will be defeat to HA
So what about Geneve 2? , probably we should forget about it

June 13th, 2013, 11:56 pm


revenire said:

Brother Majed yesterday you had a different crystal ball projection, the day before another, and so on.

Perhaps nothing has changed at all.

June 14th, 2013, 12:05 am


dawoud said:

50. revenire
Are you Irritated?

June 14th, 2013, 12:06 am


dawoud said:
U.S. to Arm Syrian Rebels
“Proponents of the proposal think a no-fly zone could be imposed without a U.N. Security Council resolution, since the U.S. would not regularly enter Syrian airspace and wouldn’t hold Syrian territory.

U.S. planes have air-to-air missiles that could destroy Syrian planes from long ranges. But officials said that aircraft may be required to enter Syrian air space if threatened by advancing Syrian planes. Such an incursion by the U.S., if it were to happen, could be justified as self-defense, officials say.”

June 14th, 2013, 12:29 am


majedkhaldoun said:

This is according to message I receive.

Zoo did you pull your hair out yet?

June 14th, 2013, 12:30 am



Dear Matthew,

Here’s a link to an article by Habib Ali la-Jifri that summarizes the vents in Syria objectively and very succinctly. He is a well-know Muslim scholar. He is sunni Muslim and from the people of tasawuf (sufism). Like Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaquobi, he is a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, prayers and salutations be upon him, but from the Hussein side, may Allah be pleased with him. Shaikh Muhammad is a Hasani.

I think it would be great if you could find a way to get it translated into English. The title of this article is “Syria, the slaughtered.”

Habib Ali has also issued a condemnation of Nasrallah’s intervention in Syria accusing him of fueling the already raging fires of sectarianism.

Habib Ali is not at all liked by the salafi and takfiri crowds. He is also not on good terms with Shaikh Qaradawi. However, he is no friend of the Syrian government and has condemned its crimes against the Syrian people. In his article, he provides interesting insights.

It is also important to note that Habib Ali was very close to Shaikh Sa’eed Ramadan Al-Butti, although he did not agree with some of Shaikh Sa’eed’s positions during this revolution. He is well-connected and is preview to confidential information that help him paint an accurate picture of the events in Syria.

June 14th, 2013, 12:37 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Hassan Nasrallah will make a speach friday,I wonder what he would say

June 14th, 2013, 12:40 am



Another important article that may have gone unnoticed.
This is about a vist last week to the White House by Shaikh Abdallah bin Bayyah, the Vice President of the of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

Shaikh bin Bayyah is one of the top scholars of the Mulsim world, if not the top scholar. He doesn’t have the same media clout as Shaikh Qaradawi, but in terms of scholarship, he is at the very top. He is well-resected and like by both Shaikh Muhammad Al-Yaquobi and Habib Ali and has influenced Islamic Scholarship in the West through his student Shaikh Hamza Yusuf, the leading Muslim scholar in the USA. Another article that needs translation.

في اجتماع مع كبار مساعدي الرئيس أوباما
ابن بيه يطالب أميركا بحماية السوريين

June 14th, 2013, 12:58 am


Citizen said:

the direct American involvement in the conflict in Syria will surely show a point of no return for the collapse of the United States!

June 14th, 2013, 1:06 am


Mina said:

for Elliot:

Egypt is very vocal on its support to the rebels but this is not reported by the Western media because the economy is in a bad shape and Western countries don’t want to see a failed Egypt. Religious channels have had programmes on Syria and the arch heretic Bashshar ever since the fall of Mubarak (and a little before) and Qardawi, an influential preacher who lives in Qatar, has been invitet to give friday sermons several times including at al-Azhar. Calls for the head of Asad at the friday sermon are not rare even in sermons broadcasted on tv.

June 14th, 2013, 1:09 am


Juergen said:

Vote for Zahra campaign irritates the Mullahstate of Iran

Zahra, the only women virtual candidate in the Iran election asks the right questions no other of the six puppets would ever dare to ask:

Has forced hijab, and subsequent floggings and punishments made Iranians better Muslims?

“Today we are ruled by clowns,they have pitched their circus above the carcass of my IRAN. If you want a piece of that carcass,vote for the clowns.If its excecutions that you crave and violence that you celebrate, vote for the clowns.”

June 14th, 2013, 1:10 am


Juergen said:

‘Hello distinguished surgeon,’ physician in war-torn enemy state writes to Israel
Syrian doctor, in unprecedented note, asks Israel to save patient’s lifeDetailed and polite handwritten letter, attached to clothing, explains previous medical care performed on patient in critical condition

June 14th, 2013, 1:38 am


revenire said:

Comes Juergen, always with the Zionist propaganda – this time directly from The Times of Israel.

June 14th, 2013, 1:54 am


Juergen said:


You just wont publish any baathy propaganda because we all would burst into laughter. Still kullu bi khair?

June 14th, 2013, 2:13 am


omen said:

un released a death toll of 96,ooo while acknowledging the actual number dead is probably much higher. when you consider more than a 1000 people died when one building collapsed in bangladesh, what does that suggest when half the infrastructure in syria has been shelled to rubble?

this sac official cites a figure of 200,000 who are missing.

missing? or forcibly disappeared?

at 2:03 on video.

June 14th, 2013, 2:30 am


Citizen said:

London Bashes Obama with Scandals to Extort a US Attack on Syria, Save Death Squads; Petraeus at Bilderberg Prepares Regime Change in US

June 14th, 2013, 2:52 am


SimoHurtta said:

‘Hello distinguished surgeon,’ physician in war-torn enemy state writes to Israel

Doesn’t it bother you Jürgen, that Israel (and Germany) are treating in their hospitals wounded rebel fighters, but not wounded unarmed civilians? In Israeli and western propaganda the amount of killed in Syria is mentioned in every second sentence, but are their hospitals full of Syrian wounded civilians?

By the way if Syrian rebels complain about the lack of medicines and medical instruments, why not donate medicines instead of more weapons? Strange isn’t it Jürgen?

June 14th, 2013, 4:07 am


Hopeful said:

#28 Zoo

Did that make you reflect and think about why that was the case? Or were you satisfied to assume that they were just all traitors paid by the CIA?

June 14th, 2013, 4:34 am


Juergen said:


You seem to know exactly the identity of all 350 patients who were treated in Germany. Interesting. I spoke the other day with an activist who was allowed to visit some patients, obviously a 60 year old women and teenage children are in your view rebel fighters right? By the way the german government offers a lot of protection to those victims of the Assad terror, their whereabouts and their names were never given out, and thats for your information an standard procedure for war victims not to be exploited by media or regime apologists.

June 14th, 2013, 4:49 am


zoo said:

#49 Majed

You are suddenly producing a wave of new predictions based on media hysteria. A sign of relief or greater anxiety?
You have had these peaks of wild expectations several times in the last 2 years with repeated failures.
Just calm down, nothing is played.

June 14th, 2013, 5:31 am


zoo said:

#38 Ghufran

I agree, it is all about posturing before negotiations.
UK expressed it well: We want to arm the rebels so they are in a less weak position during negotiations.
Of course this posturing will be interpreted by the desperate rebels that the West want their victory. They will soon find out that, in exchange for the ‘weapons’ promises, they will have to select a delegation to come to the negotiating table.

This posturing also offer the danger of escalation. The USA has waited that Iran be embroiled in its election and in a way paralyzed to make these threats to Syria. In less than one month, Iran may get back to business as usual and would take actions in case weapons are delivered that may threatened the Shia communities in Syria and the stability of the regime.
Russia may also escalate its delivery of weapons and worse of all the regime, now accused of using chemical weapon , may make the false accusation a reality.
Time is running out for the opposition and their allies.

June 14th, 2013, 5:47 am


zoo said:

Neither the UN nor NATO have made any response to the USA claim of chemical weapons used in Syria

NATO urges Syria to allow United Nations for chemical weapons inspection

Rasmussen welcomed the “clear US statement” but did not mention any specific NATO response to it.

He said he still believed the right way forward was a political solution. He urged the Syrian government and opposition to attend an international conference planned by the United States and Russia and called on all sides to “stop the bloodshed immediately”.

June 14th, 2013, 5:53 am


zoo said:

Russian MP says US fabricated Syria chemical weapons evidence
A senior pro-Kremlin Russian lawmaker said on Friday that information on the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces was fabricated and suggested the United States would use it to justify intervention in the conflict.

He added: “Why would Assad use ‘a small quantity’ of sarin against the fighters? What would be the point?! In order to give a reason for outside intervention? There’s no logic in that.”

June 14th, 2013, 5:56 am


apple_mini said:

No matter how those politicians or media spin it, the truth is once again US government is working side by side with Al Qaeda on military front. Irony, isn’t it?

June 14th, 2013, 6:00 am


zoo said:

Some weapons not to be totally crushed but not enough to win

Is Obama Prolonging The War In Syria?
By Massimo Calabresi June 14, 2013

Follow @TIMEPolitics

Administration officials told reporters Thursday that the CIA will covertly arm Syrian rebels in their fight against Bashar al Assad. Reports the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. officials said the administration faced little choice other than to step up its support or risk watching as rebels lose still more ground to a resurgent Assad regime backed by Russia, Iran and soldiers from the militant Hezbollah group.

That makes sense. The U.S. doesn’t like Hezbollah or Iran, and it certainly doesn’t want the Assad regime to win the war. Washington’s also not crazy about Russia’s foreign policy in the Middle East. But the administration is not going to give the rebels enough to do much more than keep fighting. Reports the New York Times:

The officials held out the possibility that the assistance, coordinated by the Central Intelligence Agency, could include antitank weapons, but they said that for now supplying the antiaircraft weapons that rebel commanders have said they sorely need is not under consideration.

But there could be another reason for doing just enough to keep the two sides fighting. The Assad regime is increasingly relying on Hezbollah to fight throughout the country. The rebels for their part are relying on jihadist and al Qaeda allies to fight back. Keeping two of the United States’ most active terrorist enemies fighting each other might be seen in some circles as not such a bad thing.

Read more:

June 14th, 2013, 6:01 am


SimoHurtta said:

Well, well Jürgen. Why should Germany hide the general facts what kind of patients they treat if they are normal civilians? If the patients are old women and children why not tell, they do not need to tell the names or show the faces and the patients are located in Germany. What is this BS about need of protection? If these your wounded “war victims” are international Al Qaida fighters from different places (not Syria) the need to protect their identity of the media is very understandable.

Jurgen how about Israel? Are their (= yours) northern hospitals full of wounded Syrian civilians? Have you told the audience how Israel Druzes are ready to send their young men to fight in Syria. Not on the side of rebels but on the side of government and to protect their relatives. RT had an interesting report of that.

June 14th, 2013, 6:28 am


Juergen said:


They hide their identies because international treaties asked for this. If you read the 1st geneva concention of 1949 has already this measures in place:

Art 12
•Be respected and protected without
discrimination on the basis of sex,
race, nationality, religion, political
beliefs, or other criteria
Art 12

•Not be murdered, exterminated,
or subjected to torture or biological

Art 15
•Receive adequate care.
Art 15-16

•Be protected against pillage and
ill- treatment.
All parties in a conflict must search
for and collect the wounded and sick,
especially after battle, and provide
the information to the Central Tracing
Agency of the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Art 9
This Convention, like the others,
recognizes the right of the ICRC to
assist the wounded and sick. Red Cross
and Red Crescent national societies,
other authorized impartial relief
organizations, and neutral governments
may also provide humanitarian service.
Local civilians may be asked to care for
the wounded and sick.

As a soldier I know that POW and injured civilians are to be secured from harassment and that includes the media. I believe Israel is following the same rules in this conflict. You arent alone in misunderstanding these international standards, the regime has consequently denied these rights to be implemented.

You should mention that the Druze are split in this matter. Many arent so much fond of the lionking anymore.

June 14th, 2013, 6:48 am


dawoud said:

U.S. studying Syria no-fly zone near Jordan border: diplomats


June 14th, 2013, 6:52 am


Altair said:

Observer has a thoughtful analysis, but the conclusion is terribly wrong. The answer to this mess is not more sectarianism. There are 2 reasons why it wouldn’t work:

1. The rump states would be weak, ineffectual states, like Lebanon is today.

2. There are no “pure” areas in a sectarian sense. The coast is not exclusively Alawi, for example. What would happen to all the Sunnis, who are the majority in most of the cities like Latakia and Banias? They would be expected to leave, or be “ethnically cleansed”?

Beyond that, it is a deeply immoral solution. Syria must be rebuilt on the basis that it is a state for all its citizens.

Furthermore, this conflict is not in its basis a religious one. It was and hopefully still is a plea for better, fairer, more civilized government and rule of law. So why divide on the basis of religion?

Observer stated that Syrian nationalism has not seen the light of day. But it did at one time, in the post-Ottoman period. Syrians attempted to unite in a state that included what would become Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Transjordan only because the British and French prevented Syrian independence and facilitated the Zionist invasion. Why validate this Anglo-French and more recently, Israeli, subversion?

On the contrary, Syrian nationalism should be promoted. It may be the only hope that the “Levant” has.

June 14th, 2013, 6:56 am


majedkhaldoun said:

You predicted that US will not arm the opposition, you predicted that Assad did not use chemical weapons, both proved to be wrong while my predictions turn to be right.
It seems that the more angry and nervous you are the more you accuse me to make failed predictions, have you pulled all your hair yet.
You started today to make comment as early as 5 Am, this means you could not sleep, nervously.
My prediction is that Assad gains will be reversed
My prediction is that relations between US and FSA will improve.
My prediction is that Salim Idris will soon meet with US official.
My prediction is that once US start to get involved, US will be the major player in this crisis.
My prediction is that Assad will regret his use of chemical weapons.
My prediction is that Zoo will get more angry in the future
My prediction is that the more Zoo is angry the happier I will be

June 14th, 2013, 6:57 am


Syrialover said:

Think, think, strategy … Michael Doran of the influential US Brookings Institute discusses how Americans can intervene with minimal risk:

“…Toppling Assad, therefore, is a necessary condition for peace. Unfortunately, the term “regime change,” has become nearly synonymous with direct American intervention on a massive scale.

“It need not be. As Senator John McCain explained in an important speech at Brookings on June 6, President Obama has options of a limited nature that would expose Americans to minimal risks. The president must simply explain to the American people and its allies that, while he is steadfast in his dedication to seeing the Syrian rebels dismantle the Assad regime, he also has no intention of taking responsibility for governing the entire country. Instead, he intends to offer the rebels assistance that is limited in scope yet highly effective.

“Call it the pressure points strategy. According to this concept, the United States, together with its key allies, would seek to overcome the fragmentation of the rebels by building up a force of carefully vetted units. In effect, the United States would create the Free Syrian Army’s Special Forces. It would also function as their strategic brain, providing them with intelligence and logistical support – but all from outside of Syria and in concert with key local allies. These elite units would carry out assignments chosen to deliver maximum pain to the Assad regime at minimum cost.

“Assad has numerous vulnerabilities that such a force could exploit. He is, for instance, desperate to ensure that the Alawite-dominated areas of the northwest Syria remain connected to Damascus. Fear of losing this connection was precisely why Hezbollah made an all-out effort to clear Qusayr, which guards the primary route between the two regions. The Assad regime is a wasp, and Qusayr is its tiny waist. A pressure point strategy would dedicate itself to hammering away at this point, cutting the wasp in half while also separating it from Hezbollah.

” Qusayr is hardly the only point where the regime is vulnerable. Half of Aleppo and the entire countryside around it – reaching all the way to the Turkish border – are already in the hands of the rebels. Strong and effective external support, therefore, is all that is needed to remove Syria’s largest city from Assad’s grip.

“A pressure points strategy will not strengthen al Qaeda. On the contrary, by building up only vetted units, arms will remain in the right hands. Moreover, the creation of an elite force, backed by the prestige of the United States – would strengthen the non-al-Qaeda rebels, who are desperately in need of rallying point…”


June 14th, 2013, 7:08 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Arming FSA came just before Obama will meet Putin,It is an important message
Arming FSA most likely will encourage Europe to get more involved in arming the FSA
We are begining a new era in this blessed and great revolution, new turning point,US will become a major player in it.
The best thing US could do is to destroy all airports
There seems that an agreement between Sahwats in Iraq and FSA ,this agreement aims at blocking Damascus Baghdad road

June 14th, 2013, 7:35 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Ehsani
what does it mean the Dollar is 162 lira, to me it means Syria is printing money

June 14th, 2013, 7:48 am


majedkhaldoun said:

جميل يكشف أن ارتفاع سعر الدولار وراءه شائعة بأن الحكومة سحبت الأموال من المصرف المركزي بحلب
الدولار يصل الى اعلى مستوى له في السوق السوداء مسجلا 166 ليرة.. تقرير: 40 مليار دولار خسائر الاقتصادي السوري في الربع الأول من العام الحالي بسبب الازمة.. ومجمل الخسائر يتجاوز 84 مليار

June 14th, 2013, 7:55 am


zoo said:

#83 Majed

“The best thing US could do is to destroy all airports”

Ha ha ha!

June 14th, 2013, 8:04 am


SimoHurtta said:


Jürgen stop that childish and naive propaganda. Germany could easily inform that of Syrian those XX patients treated now in Germany X (X=amount) are women,Y are of over 50 years old, Z are children under 15 years old etc. Nobody’s identity had to be revealed and the German taxpayers would know who they are actually helping.

But if the wounded patients are “opposition” (= Al Qaida) fighters from Britain, Yemen, Libya, Syria etc it is clear that the need to protect what kind patients from Syria Germans (Turks, Israelis etc) have in their military hospitals is essential. Not to protect against Syrian James Bonds, but to protect (once again) the western “freedom system” from a huge embarrassment.

We all know about the international jihadists fighting in Syria in hundreds. Where do you Jürgen think those “internationalists” are treated if they are wounded? Surely if a number of Finnish citizens wounded in Syria would be treated in Finnish hospitals the state would treat it as highest level secret. Not to protect the jihadists, but itself from an embarrassment if it would be public knowledge.

As a soldier I know that POW and injured civilians are to be secured from harassment and that includes the media. I believe Israel is following the same rules in this conflict. You arent alone in misunderstanding these international standards, the regime has consequently denied these rights to be implemented.

Well how do you then explain the story with picture of the letter in Israeli press. Israel has many times reported treating Syrians. They make propaganda of it.

June 14th, 2013, 8:14 am


zoo said:

#81 Majed

I prefer not to recall your predictions that ended up in disasters, that would fill pages and pages of SC.

The US promised to provide minimum weapons just to prevent the rebels to be totally crushed. The USA does not want the rebels to win, they want the rebels to feel assured of the US support so they can go to the conference. There will be no bombing of airports!

The Syrian government has not used sarin, that’s a fabrication to justify to the reluctant American people the ‘military’ help to the begging rebels. It is a US internal issue.

Using the pretext that they got the US weapons, the opposition will accept to go to the conference, without any conditions. They will claim they won while in fact they lost face and dignity.

Unless he is murdered, Bashar will stay in power during and after the negotiations.

The conference will happen in July. It was committed by the USA and Russia. Whatever happens, they can’t backtrack.

June 14th, 2013, 8:20 am


zoo said:

“Unless something happens very quickly the rebels will lose”

Richard Engel: Syrian rebels will lose without help

June 14th, 2013, 8:26 am


zoo said:

Zbigniew Brzezinski on MSNBC: Propaganda and slogans, chaotic and unstructured strategy, a mess in the making.

June 14th, 2013, 8:45 am


Akbar Palace said:

Well how do you then explain the story with picture of the letter in Israeli press. Israel has many times reported treating Syrians. They make propaganda of it.


What’s wrong? Assad has killed an orders of magnitude more arabs than Israel, but you don’t seem upset?


Oh yes, Zib Brzezinski. Lover of the Assad regime, hater of Israel and freedom. Great man. Another reason why Obama is so stupid.

June 14th, 2013, 9:03 am


zoo said:

David Ignatius om MSNBVC

The USA is sending weapons for the ‘second war’ that will be needed after the regime fall: The ‘good’ rebels against the ‘bad’ rebels.
It sounds like the promise of a new Afghanistan since the Syrian army would have disappeared with the regime.

June 14th, 2013, 9:04 am


zoo said:

Waking up from their fantasies will be very hard

Syria rebels want heavy weapons and no-fly zone from US

Roula Khalaf By Abigail Fielding-Smith in Beirut

Syrian rebels made a plea for heavy weapons from the US and a no-fly zone after the Obama administration announced its intention to ramp up support to opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

The US move comes amid fears that Mr Assad’s regime – bolstered by allies Iran and Hizbollah – is planning an offensive on rebel-held Aleppo, Syria’s most populous city.

June 14th, 2013, 9:25 am


majedkhaldoun said:

ZOO in denial, start talking like this,because he could not sleep last night, he makes no sense at all
“they want the rebels to feel assured of the US support”
Just feel , are you dreaming, you lost it man.
“The USA does not want the rebels to win”,
Zoo go take your medicine
“The Syrian government has not used sarin”,
It was documented, and you still deny it,Wow, I will have good time today seeing you in this state of anxiety and anger

June 14th, 2013, 9:26 am


revenire said:

“Unless something happens very quickly the rebels will lose.”

That might have been the only honest words out of Richard Engel’s mouth in decades.

I am stunned.

June 14th, 2013, 9:27 am


zoo said:

EU asks UN to verify Syria’s use of chemical weapons

(AGI) Brussels, June 14 – The EU Commission has read with “great concern” the White House’s statement according to which U.S. secret services have new evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against insurgents. Michael Mann, spokesman for the EU’s High Representative Catherine Ashton, also emphasized that the statement makes it even more important that a team of United Nations inspectors be sent to Syria to verify this information. . .

June 14th, 2013, 9:29 am


zoo said:

#95 Majed

I like you when you are hysterical. At least you become less dull and more funny.

About the ‘documented’ chemical, it seems that only the declared enemies of Syria believe in it.
The UN and the rest of the world are not convinced…

June 14th, 2013, 9:32 am


revenire said:

Why would Assad use chemical weapons to kill 100-150 people? LOL

The logic boggles the mind.

If you use sarin you’d kill 10,000-15,000.

June 14th, 2013, 9:37 am


zoo said:

The UN requests a verification of the US allegations and reiterates the call for the Geneva conference

Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on
the US statement on Syrian Chemical Weapons Use

“I saw with great concern the statement released on 13 June by the White House. This presents new indications by the US intelligence services that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces in Syria. This assessment, combined with others that have been circulated, makes even more urgent our repeated calls for an agreement to immediately deploy a verification mission to investigate these allegations on the ground.

At the same time, these developments can only reinforce the importance of a political solution and should accelerate the efforts of the international community to find a definitive political solution to the conflict. It is urgent to advance the political process, starting with the convening of the planned peace conference on Syria. The EU will contribute to its success in every possible way.

The next Foreign Affairs Council will examine the overall situation and recent developments in Syria, of which the alleged chemical attacks are an important factor.”

June 14th, 2013, 9:49 am


zoo said:

Erdogan is furious at The Economist which posted that on its cover page

Democrat or sultan?

June 14th, 2013, 9:58 am


Citizen said:

U.S. concerned over the growing military potential of Russia.
The recent presentation of the universal fighter T-50 PAK FA discourage the Pentagon.
This is the first product from the time of Yeltsin about which they know nothing and do not know.
U.S. will try to introduce no-fly zone in Syria to provoke Russia to retaliate.
U.S. boxer ( ) as presumptuous, believing in his invulnerability openly and brazenly defies dissent and, above all Russia.
No-fly zone, they can only provide a range of the Patriot missiles on the border of Turkey, which still does not allow them to use air strikes from the sea or Qatar.
This infuriates the Pentagon.
But before all this, we must also enlist the support of friends and create some kind of coalition to carry out large-scale operations.
In this matter, there is no unity.
U.S. hurrying, and therefore can commit follies.
Well let’s see.

‘Missile defense killer’: Russia finalizes testing on prototype ICBM

June 14th, 2013, 10:04 am


omen said:

hey apple, thoughtful comment on the blog.

75. apple_mini said: No matter how those politicians or media spin it, the truth is once again US government is working side by side with Al Qaeda on military front. Irony, isn’t it?

well, then the usg shares a commonality with the regime who’ve once previously shared ties and also has a history with al qaeda. ironic, isn’t it?

June 14th, 2013, 10:05 am


Uzair8 said:

Getting organised…very pleasing to see. Wish it had been attempted earlier but still, better late than never..

Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi

7 hrs ago

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate Most Merciful

A Call to the Commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)

Shaykh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi

One and a half years have passed since our people took up arms to defend their religion, land and honour against one of the most savage criminal regimes in the World.

At this time thousands of heroes from Syria and the Islamic World have aided our people,

And in relation to the public proclamation of Jihad in Syria which we issued one and a half years ago and today the Ulema Conference issued,

we urge the leaders of the FSA to implement the following points:

1. To open recruitment offices for volunteers in some Arab capitals in the region; so that volunteering is done exclusively in the FSA. Disunity is blameworthy; holding onto the rope of Allah Almighty under a one leadership is an obligation.The anarchy we have witnesed must push us towards planning, organising and uniting; as Allah Almighty says,

{Indeed, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in a row as though they are a [single] structure joined firmly} (Surah Al-Saff:4).

2. The Free Army should allocate volunteers into new formations or amalgamate them into already existent brigades as needed according to a well-studied military plan which considers the need of the most affected areas. These newly formed units should be led by military officers bearing expertise and trustworthiness.

3. A supreme national military court should be established so that military personnel who committ crimes are brought to justice. The court should include 3 judges, 3 jurists and 3 military officers, all of whom should hold expertise and experience in their respective fields.

4. A recruitment department should be formed which enlists all exisiting fighters and issues military ID cards for them. This department should be based in a liberated region.

5. Due to the incursion of Iran and Hezbollah, the conflict has entered a new phase wich requires us to develop our capabilities, tactics to accommodate future volunteers from the Islamic World who are eager to support our people against oppression and persecution.

{And Allah will surely support those who support Him [His religion]. Indeed, Allah is All-Powerful and Exalted in Might} (Surah Al-Hajj:40).

June 14th, 2013, 10:07 am


omen said:

why are people saying the u.s. is going to put up a no-fly zone? the administration is denying it.

June 14th, 2013, 10:10 am


revenire said:

Omen Jordanian-US exercise last week. Patriots in Jordan. Idea floated in the Wall St. Journal of a No-Fly Zone is the south. I doubt they would make an official announcement until they’re ready to impose it.

June 14th, 2013, 10:16 am


omen said:

that cult in japan used sarin. they didn’t kill people by the thousands. their five coordinated attacks killed 13 people.

June 14th, 2013, 10:17 am


Juergen said:


For Israelis, Syria is the big unknown neighbor, many have visited Jordan and Egypt, but Syria is mainly known by the historybooks. Same applies to Syrians. I remember well how a good friend was stunned to see an israeli soldier 2 m behind the Jordan river frontier in Jordan. Its unreal to many.If makeshift hospitals werent necessary, if rebel soldiers and civilians werent targetted by the regime, even after they were injured and under the protection of the Geneva convention, such humane actions by an declared archenemy wouldnt be happening.

June 14th, 2013, 10:23 am


omen said:

president hamlet cant make up his mind. with such hazy details, half of this feels like proposals are being floated as a trial balloon to see what kind of a reception it gets.

June 14th, 2013, 10:26 am


revenire said:

Omen I would urge you to think about what possible benefit Assad would gain by using sarin to kill a few people. What could he possibly gain? Bullets kill many more people each day in Syria.

I think you’re smart enough to realize the US has lied in order to provide a pretext to try to save their failing project. No one really believes Syria used chemical weapons. It is an embarrassment for the US to assert Syria has.

I am curious what exactly would you like Obama to do? Launch cruise missiles today? What about Syrian civilians? How many have to die to impose Al-Qaeda on Syria? You seem rather eager.

June 14th, 2013, 10:32 am


Uzair8 said:

I explained yesterday the possible thinking behind using limited amounts of chemical weapons. Only limited use would be required to punch small holes on the frontline here-and-there (particularly against obstacles such as well dug in rebels) and give the regime the initiative (kickstart) and start (and aid) concerted offensives.

Limited use would make verification difficult, with few witness accounts. I can see the grounds on which the regime may have taken the gamble. If it helped it’s cause (and thwart danger) and was unlikely to bear consequences (getting caught) then it would seem worth a shot from the regimes point of view.

June 14th, 2013, 10:35 am


revenire said:

Omen isn’t this embarrassing for you to support?

“Somaliasupport3 ‏@Somaliasupport3 49s
FSA bragging they abducted a unarmed Traffic cop.. Then torture him and behead him …”

An unarmed traffic cop? This is what the US supports. The US is just bloodthirsty and has murdered more Arabs and more Muslims than anyone.

Have you ever considered moving to Damascus so if, and when, the US launches a new “shock and awe” to free Syria you can be one of the first once to be freed?

Think it over brother.

June 14th, 2013, 10:37 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Those recruits are needed to go to Labanon and Iraq, not only Syria, HA has to be fought in Lebanon,we need over 200,000, after that HA will be forced to pull its troops back from Syria

June 14th, 2013, 10:38 am


omen said:

somebody tell sim israeli medics have also treated wounded syrian army soldiers. should these soldiers be shot for treason?

June 14th, 2013, 10:42 am


revenire said:

Uzair when you graduate from West Point let me know.

Let me tell you a thing or two:

1.) Syria knows using chemical weapons would be suicide so using them would provide ZERO gains.

2.) The entire world is watching Syria.

3.) Russia would drop its support for Syria if the government used chemical weapons.

4.) It would invite attack by NATO, the Anglo-Americans or a combination i.e. a coalition.

5.) Chemical weapon use in a guerilla war like this has ZERO military value.

Your logic is very, very flawed.

This US charge is nothing but a dirty lie to aid its filthy mercenaries.

June 14th, 2013, 10:42 am


Ziad said:


Your sheikh is a dishonorable traitor. I still shudder when I think about the way he kissed ass to the American Matt Barber even before the interview started.

I would not be surprised if the sheikh is on the CIA payroll. Can you ask your master to tell us who pays his expenses?

June 14th, 2013, 10:42 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Revenir and Zoo opinions are worthless, just worthless

June 14th, 2013, 10:51 am


omen said:

i still want to know what prompted the world bank affiliated un to declare rebels were guilty of launching a chemical attack.

was this before or after the regime tried to pin the blame on the rebels? did the regime coordinate with the un in this blame game?

the regime couldn’t very well use large amounts and still try to blame the opposition for it.

June 14th, 2013, 10:55 am


Uzair8 said:


Wait a while. I’m sure the CIA and other western agencies will provide suggestions why the regime will have used limited amounts.

My explanation may be part of it. Other reasons could include:

– It helps in building a sequence of ‘victories’ thus reassuring (boosting) it’s supporters, fence sitters to stick with the regime. It would lift morale of it’s troops to see breakthrough’s and victories on the frontline. Remember most soldiers wouldn’t be aware of use of such weapons which would likely be used by speacial units.

– Rumours and reports of use would scare the population and opposition areas. Perhaps persuade them to not get involved (or deeper). Remeber the regime is the master of the dual message (contained in the same message). One for the outside world (denial) and another for the syrian population (they are made well aware of who was resposible and expected to understand the consequences for daring to oppose the regime).

– Assad likes to test the waters and escalate gradually.

– Use or rumours of use would be designed to deter the regional and internations countries. A warning that Assad regime would be ready to use such weapons if attacked. Those countries would have to include this factor in any calculation regarding intervention.

As some suggested previously (including yours truly*), only chemical weapons would save the regime and give it victory. It couldn’t use them openly and on a larger level and get away with it. The next best thing was to use them sparingly, on a small scale and spread out their use (geographically and timewise).

* Although even chemical use wouldn’t save the regime if Heaven had already decided.

June 14th, 2013, 10:55 am


zoo said:

More voices are raising to warn about jumping to conclusion on WMD in Syria.
It reminds some of the 2002-2003 claims on Saddam Hussein to justify military intervention

Patrick Cockburn on U.S. Plans to Arm Syrian Rebels: Where Is the Skepticism About Chemical Weapons?

Veteran foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn of the Independent joins us to discuss the Obama administration’s decision to begin directly arming Syrian rebels after concluding the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons. “There must be some doubts about this,” Cockburn says, adding that it “reminds me of what they were saying in 2002 and 2003 about Saddam [Hussein]’s weapons of mass destruction. Cockburn warns U.S. involvement could escalate regional conflicts that could “go on for years,” and critiques the media’s lack of skepticism about White House claims.

Please check back later for full transcript

June 14th, 2013, 11:00 am


zoo said:

#118 Majed

Coming from you, I consider your statement as a compliment.

June 14th, 2013, 11:02 am


zoo said:


A sample reminder of your “prediction” 6 months ago.

1. majedkhaldoun said:

It is very important now that a revolutionary goverment is formed.

January 17th, 2013, 8:44 am

June 14th, 2013, 11:04 am


Citizen said:

As is well known, the United States relies on an expansionist imperialist policy, where you cannot do its duties Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel to overthrow the legitimate government in Syria. As people stood up to defend his homeland from terrorists and mercenaries and shedders of blood.
Not in favor of the United States to get involved directly in its dirt, but it will have to so as long as the case has reach its allies and clients into bad situations. On the other hand, it is difficult for the United States to do so surpassing support from other world countries! They came a game of old proven before, and about the alleged use of chemical weapons advertisers desire to arming defeated terrorists and thus the United States of America has declared war on Syria and this is dangerous.
Alexei Vladimirov Friday, 14/06/2013 – 14:38

June 14th, 2013, 11:10 am


zoo said:

Arrest Obama Under NDAA For Supporting Terrorists in Syria

President has violated section 1021 of act he signed into law

Paul Joseph Watson
June 14, 2013

Under the terms of the National Defense Authorization Act that he personally signed into law, President Barack Obama should immediately be arrested and indefinitely detained for providing support to Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria.

Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA law allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to groups engaged in hostilities against the U.S. such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

The indefinite detention provision also applies to Americans who have given “substantial support” to terrorists or other “associated groups”.

Although the administration has attempted to differentiate between FSA militants and Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria, the two groups have become one and the same. Even if you make a distinction between the FSA and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists in Syria, the FSA is still clearly an “associated group” under the terms of the NDAA.

By announcing that his administration will arm the Syrian rebels in anticipation of a no fly zone being imposed over areas of the country, President Barack Obama is giving direct support, aid and comfort to terrorists. Obama and his top administration officials clearly represent a national security threat to the interests of the United States and should immediately be arrested and detained under the NDAA.

The evidence that FSA militants in Syria are being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists and are carrying out terrorist atrocities is overwhelming.

– Jabhat al-Nusra is now the leading front line fighting force in Syria and is commanding the other rebel groups.

– In April, the head of Jabhat al-Nusra pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri.

– FSA rebels are defecting to Jabhat al-Nusra in droves.

– Jabhat al-Nusra killed U.S. troops in Iraq.

– Immediately after the State Department declared Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization, 29 different FSA rebel outfits pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda group.

– FSA rebels have vowed to “fight the U.S.” once they finish with Bashar Al-Assad.

– FSA rebels have been filmed burning US and Israeli flags on more than one occasion.

– FSA rebels have been filmed singing songs that glorify Osama Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks.


June 14th, 2013, 11:13 am


Uzair8 said:

115. revenire said:

Uzair when you graduate from West Point let me know.

Let me tell you a thing or two:

1.) Syria knows using chemical weapons would be suicide so using them would provide ZERO gains.

MY RESPONSE – Alternatively, the regime knows if it doesn’t use them it’s in big trouble. If it can’t be proved and with Russia and others ready to counter any accusation of use, this gives the regime possible room to manouvre.

2.) The entire world is watching Syria.

MY RESPONSE – If it deems it necessary it will proceed. It did so with the brutality and massacres. The world watched and nothing happened. The regime and it’s propagandist media/army dealt with the PR side of things.

3.) Russia would drop its support for Syria if the government used chemical weapons.

MY RESPONSE – It would drop support only if there was open use or convincing (undeniable) evidence. Russia wouldn’t drop it’s support over western intelligence reports of small scale use.

4.) It would invite attack by NATO, the Anglo-Americans or a combination i.e. a coalition.

MY RESPONSE – The massacres and 2 years of regime continuing it’s unacceptable behaviour hasn’t resulted in any of the above. The regime can’t just sit on it’s hands whilst it’s being toppled. It’s gonna do what it deems necessary if it can get away with it. It’s been operating dangerously close to the redline and sooner or later it was going to misjudge with serious consequences.

5.) Chemical weapon use in a guerilla war like this has ZERO military value.

MY RESPONSE – It would have value on certain locations. It sure would compensate for lack of manpower in the military. Every little helps as they say.

Your logic is very, very flawed.

This US charge is nothing but a dirty lie to aid its filthy mercenaries.

MY RESPONSE – US charge or not, there have been plenty of reports and accounts throughout the 2 years and which have been noted by us if not readily accepted/embraced (due to caution). The western/US only backs up our suspicions.

June 14th, 2013, 11:25 am


revenire said:

In a just world, with a US not controlled by Wall St., Obama would have been impeached and the US Marines would have landed in Turkey to destroy the Al-Qaeda nests dictator Erdogan has allowed to flourish.

June 14th, 2013, 11:26 am


Citizen said:

Man Behind Syrian ‘Chemical Weapons’ Claim Is Fiction Writer Who Ran Benghazi Cover-Up
White House makes miraculous discovery to distract from domestic scandals
Ben Rhodes, the White House national security advisor behind the claim that President Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons in Syria, is a fiction writer with zero educational background in government, diplomacy or national security who also played a key role in covering up the truth behind the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Yesterday, Rhodes announced that the White House had “high confidence” that the Syrian Army had used chemical weapons, providing no evidence, and that the Obama administration would now take steps to arm FSA rebels, who as has been widely documented are being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists who killed U.S. troops in Iraq. The Wall Street Journal also reports that a no fly zone is being prepared that would embroil the United States in yet another war.
35-year-old Rhodes has been a speechwriter for Obama since 2007 and now enjoys the role of deputy national security adviser for strategic communication. He created the infamous term “kinetic military action” to describe the bombardment of Libya which allowed Obama to skirt around the constitutional question of having to declare war.
Rhodes’ expertise revolves around manufacturing narratives. “He earned a master’s degree in fiction-writing from New York University just a few years ago,” writes Ed Lansky. “He did not have a degree in government, diplomacy, national security; nor has he served in the CIA, or the military. He was toiling away not that long ago on a novel called ‘The Oasis of Love” about a mega church in Houston, a dog track, and a failed romance.”………………….

June 14th, 2013, 11:34 am


majedkhaldoun said:

If I suggest a goverment to be formed , you say this is prediction?
This is clear that your thinking is deranged.

June 14th, 2013, 11:35 am


revenire said:

Uzair a few things:

I don’t buy the SAA is short on manpower. Where in God’s name do you hear these things? I can guess from “activists” but why bother retailing that nonsense with me? I don’t believe any rebel propaganda sources.

I also don’t buy the government was behind a single massacre. If you have independent evidence of a massacre committed by the Syrian government I am open to look at that evidence.

There is no reason the government would have used these weapons. It is the same lie the US told about Iraq and when the US attacked Iraq and invaded Iraq no chemical weapons, or WMD, were found. As a matter of fact the US went further to lie that Saddam must have smuggled the WMD to Syria.

You believe the chemical weapons story if you like. People believe what they want to believe in the end – facts are tossed out the window.

Have you seen evidence? The US has not shared the evidence with the world thus far. If they have actual evidence why not share it openly?

People that want a NATO attack have been wetting their pants for nearly two days thinking that the cruise missiles will start later today. What they don’t realize is any escalation will be met with a counter-escalation. Syria’s allies will respond to any American moves.

June 14th, 2013, 11:36 am


don said:

[11:05:06 AM]
رسالة من “الانونيموس” الى الشعب السوري

مرحبا العالم نحن” الانونيموس ” مرحبا عزيزي شعب سورية نحن الانونيموس قررنا دعم الرئيس السوري ضد ” الثورة ” السورية وقررنا التالي اولا لقد قررنا أن نخترق كل حسابات الفيس بوك التابعة “للثورة ” السورية , ثاني سوف نحذف “الثورة” السورية عن الشبكة العنكبوتية . ثالثا سوف ندعم الرئيس السوري بكل قوانا: سوف يسجل التارخ هذه الضربة القاضية ” للثورة ” السورية ما يجري في سورية ليست مجرد ” ثورة انها مصنوعة لقتل الاطفال و النساء و الرجال هذه مؤامرة لازالة سورية من على الخارطة و المقاومة السورية , الرجاء التفكير جيدا وافتح عقلك و سوف تعرف من هو على حق ومن هو على الباطل واعرف من انت تقاتل انت تحارب اخوك, نحن الانونيموس نحن الاسطورة نحن لا نغفر نحن لا ننسى عاشت سورية المقاومة ,

هذى بيان رسمي موجه الى سورية شعبا و قائدا

June 14th, 2013, 11:39 am


zoo said:

For the opposition this looks like a welcomed carrot. Just wait until the G8 meets to see the stick pointing out to force it to participate in the UN-US-Russia sponsored conference.

Rebel chief: US aid would be a boost
2013-06-14 17:06

Beirut — The commander of the main Western-backed rebel group fighting in Syria said on Friday he hoped that US weapons will be in the hands of rebels in the near future, saying it will boost the morale of the fighters on the ground.

June 14th, 2013, 11:46 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Hasan Nasrallah lied, The picture of Omar Mosque and the black sign that says Ya Hussein, belies him

June 14th, 2013, 11:47 am


Uzair8 said:


You can believe what you wish. I wanted to deal with the frequent question ‘why use on small scale, what gain?’

This argument I have seen in recent months such as places like Iran Defence Forum (even from a reasonable user/moderator) and elsewhere. Yesterday while checking Amjad’s Twitterline one or two people repeated this argument.

I had some suggestions or answers in mind and wished to share to the wider and silent readers. Next time they come across this type of question they would be aware of possible answers.

June 14th, 2013, 11:48 am


omen said:

there was an international law expert who’s been consulting with the whitehouse. he argued obama still continues to view assad as the sovereign head of syria. he argued obama was differentiating in that he considered the nc representing the people of syria while assad represented the state – which sounds crazy to me. how can obama separate the people from the state?

what’s maddening about obama is that he keeps safeguarding assad’s legitimacy to rule by treating the regime as an acceptable partner for negotiation. what other country do we reward bad behavior by embracing it as a partner? do we agree to talks with the taliban right after they’ve killed americans?

symbolic gestures are just as important in sending a strong message as material support for the opposition. during the libya mission, the US shut down the libyan embassy in washington d.c. why haven’t we done the same for the syrian embassies based in the US? syrian diplomats need to be thrown out on the streets. you’d see more regime defections afterwards as a result.

June 14th, 2013, 11:51 am


zoo said:


I see, your predictions are just ‘suggestions…

Do you now ‘suggest’ that there will be a ‘revolutionary’ government in the next 6 months?

Do you ‘suggest’ that the opposition participate in the conference while Bashar is still in power?

June 14th, 2013, 11:55 am


omen said:

3.) Russia would drop its support for Syria if the government used chemical weapons.

you hear pundits assert this a lot. based on what evidence? when did russia or putin earn a reputation for being moderate or reasonable?

you know what the russian army did to people during the chechan war? they would tie a man’s legs to a tank, his arms to a truck and slowly drive the vehicles apart till his limbs tore apart.

and yet pundits think russia would have qualms against the regime using chemical weapons?

June 14th, 2013, 12:01 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

I am glad that you correct yourself and understand the difference between suggestion and prediction, slow thinker

June 14th, 2013, 12:02 pm


Ziad said:

Israeli Professor: Assad Won, Syrians Follow their Own Channels that No One Watches

June 14th, 2013, 12:05 pm


revenire said:

Uzair there is no compelling reason for the government to have used chemical weapons. If it is as you say that Russia would back them no matter what why hasn’t Russia given them S-400s – much less the S-300s? Why hasn’t Russia given Syria new attack helicopters and MiGs if they would back them no matter what?

Amjad is not a serious man. His feed is full of childish taunts and vulgarity. He is more than likely an American living in his parent’s basement. Let’s not talk about him.

I wonder if you also believe the Americans when they said Iraq had WMD? Many of the same liars are involved.

June 14th, 2013, 12:16 pm


revenire said:

Majed let the Shia alone today please.

June 14th, 2013, 12:19 pm


Ziad said:

الجزيرة؛ اسقاط طائرة بدون طيار وأسر الطيار!!

June 14th, 2013, 12:24 pm


zoo said:

Financially squeezed since Iran has stopped its generous donations to Hamas and manipulative Qatar is limiting its help, Hania tries to mend his ties with Iran and the Shias. He has zero credibility.

Hamas denies it has fighters in Syria
Gaza’s Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya denied on Friday that members of the Palestinian movement were fighting in the Syrian civil war.

He also rejected reports of internal divisions within the Sunni Muslim group over its ties with Shiite Iran and its ally, Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah.

“There is no truth to (claims) that Hamas fighters are in Syria, although we stand on the side of the Syrian people and condemn the brutal attacks they are exposed to,” Haniya said at a mosque in Rafah, on the border with Egypt.

June 14th, 2013, 12:24 pm


zoo said:

Nasrallah says Hezbollah will maintain fight in Syria

12:10 p.m. EDT, June 14, 2013

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed on Friday that his movement would continue its military support for President Bashar al-Assad after its fighters spearheaded the recapture of the strategic town of Qusair last week.

“Wherever we need to be, we will be. What we started taking responsibility for, we will continue to be responsible for, and there is no need to give details,” he said in a televised speech.

June 14th, 2013, 12:27 pm


Akbar Palace said:


It has long been known that Israel’s academia is full of anti-Zionists and despot lovers. Sort of like Professor Josh until he (mostly) snapped out of it.

You know what they say, “Those who don’t do, teach”…

June 14th, 2013, 12:27 pm


Uzair8 said:


I didn’t say Russia would back the regime no matter what. Russia would be reluctant to abandon the regime. It would take a lot to persuade (compel) it to do so. Like Omen said it probably wouldn’t have much qualms on small scale use as long as the regime kept it discreet and avoided putting Russia (on the spot) in an embarrassing situation.

I didn’t believe the Iraq WMD claims. Syria is different. This time we are already aware of, over the previous 2 years, suspected use by the regime. We also know the regime very well.

Regarding Amjad, it was some presumably regimists on his twitter feed (via ‘expand’) who expressed skepticism on small scale chemical use.

June 14th, 2013, 12:29 pm


Citizen said:

German Intelligence: 95 % Of Free Syrian Army Non-Syrian Extremist Groups

June 14th, 2013, 12:29 pm


Uzair8 said:


Before I forget. How could I forget. Of course we await the evidence in the possession of the US/West. We’ll study it carefully and honestly.

[Glad I just popped over to you-know-who’s twitter]

Amjad of Arabia ‏@amjadofarabia 15h
@Gaudd @alextomo You people make a mockery of term “reasonable doubt”.Charles Manson wishes he had a jury of Leftists,hed have gotten off

June 14th, 2013, 12:41 pm


revenire said:

Uzair for you, excitement over the prospect of a US attack on Syria seems to be something of a religion.

You believe they used chemical weapons without a shred of evidence except the liars of the US, UK and France – the same liars who did this before in Iraq.

It now bores me.

The Anglo-Americans wanted a pretext to attack. They’ve put one up. Let them attack. If they want war they can have it.

June 14th, 2013, 12:53 pm


don said:

Meet Obama’s foreign mercenary child killers in Syria

June 14th, 2013, 12:55 pm


Ziad said:


Those few anti-Zionist Israelis are the only ones with conscience. They oppose the barbaric occupation and the brutal treatment of Palestinians. They are the true friends of a just and long lasting Israel. The rest are just following their tribal instincts and defending the indefensible.

June 14th, 2013, 12:55 pm


omen said:

91. Akbar Palace said:
Zoo, Oh yes, Zib Brzezinski. Lover of the Assad regime, hater of Israel and freedom. Great man. Another reason why Obama is so stupid.

i used to admire zbig. but then he started saying inexplicable things like “we shouldn’t get emotional about syria.” (!)

when did zbig turn into a sociopath? if human lives are not that important, what is? what interests is he defending that we should ignore genocide?

interesting that this piece paints zbig as an appeaser. yet in an earlier time, he was architect of the carter doctrine. a doctrine the US continues to follow to this day:

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

“by any means necessary” are not the words of an appeaser.

June 14th, 2013, 12:56 pm


Citizen said:

Opposition to Obama’s War in Syria: Syria/Russia say US lying about chemical weapons use. UN/UK/Germany won’t support US intervention

June 14th, 2013, 1:05 pm


Uzair8 said:

Chemical use, the context?

Why hasn’t the regime been able to break the many longterm stalemates in Aleppo and elsewhere? Even Qusair, close to the Lebanese border, was until recently a long term rebel territory. Apparently, we are told, the regime forces are strong and well manned. Rebels up until recently making vast gains in terms of terrotory and bases.

How long could the regime afford for this situation to remain. The longer it continued the nearer comes the potential intervention. In time the rebels could get more organised, better armed and also grow in strength with influx of foreign fighters.

The regime had to act. The temptation to use chemical weapon on a small scale, discreetly and undetected, may have been irresistable. After all, it’s got away with quite a bit during this uprising. I strongly suspect the regime has been using some chemical weapons in it’s recent offensives, as well as previously, to overcome any tough local resistance in order to rapidly progress.

Remember Shaykh Yaqoubi warning, based on information recieved, of the imminent regime attack on Easter Ghouta including use of chemical weapons and Hezbo involvement?

We read a figure of around 100-150 victims, putting aside any incidents of use we are unaware of, some may be surprised at the US/west siezing on this ‘low’ figure. That’s of no concern. What is of concern is the regime has finally slipped and will face consequences it was hoping to avoid.

June 14th, 2013, 1:32 pm


Mina said:

As long as the UN does not put “calls for djihad” in the list of crimes against humanity, these people can send Belgian maniacs, feed the hungry masses with their “we are victims of a war against Islam”, and attack anyone who disagree with them

When is the UN going to condemn djihad and excommunication for apostasy?

June 14th, 2013, 1:35 pm


Ziad said:

Note under a rock: “We’re stealing your land”

It was only days after it had been placed that a farmer accidentally found a piece of paper that stated he was no longer the owner of his own land. The undated paper, in Hebrew and Arabic, had been hidden under a rock in the farmer’s fields in the village of Bruqin, occupied Palestine. It said that the farmer’s land was being taken for the expansion of the nearby illegal Israeli settler colony of Bruchin [also spelled as Brukhin].

This farmer was not the only one to be informed about a crime in such a way. More land owners, including the village’s mayor, received the same notifications. Additionally, this week the Jerusalem Post published an announcement that more than 500 new houses would be built on land stolen from Bruqin and its neighbouring villages Sarta and Kafr-ad-Dik (the article itself made no mention of the villages, implying they don’t exist). The exact number of dunums of land being stolen is not clear. Villagers have been given 60 days to file official complaints with the occupation authorities. New houses may be built any time now.

June 14th, 2013, 1:43 pm


revenire said:

Outside of a few zealots who listens to Yacoubi about anything? I think you’ve become intoxicated because you’ve immersed yourself in terror.

June 14th, 2013, 2:45 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“When did zbig turn into a sociopath? if human lives are not that important, what is?”


Zbig has always been a sociopath. You’re only noiticing now because Syrians are being killed like cannon fodder. His foreign policy is simple: hands off the worst despots and terror supporters.

June 14th, 2013, 2:50 pm


revenire said:

That’s funny because back in the late 1970s Brzezinski was one of the architects of the so-called “Arc of Crisis” policy. (It doesn’t surprise me Akbar has no grasp of history – he didn’t even know who Nahum Goldmann was.)

Brzezinski used what he called Islamic fundamentalism against the former USSR. Out of that came Al-Qaeda – the same mercenaries Obama uses today in Syria.

Maybe Brzezinski feels guilty about his past sins?


June 14th, 2013, 2:59 pm


Majed97 said:

Too much hype is being made of yesterday’s announcement by the white House to supply weapons to the rebels. The fact is the US has indirectly been doing that since day one, so this news is hardly a game changer. On the other hand, a no-fly zone could have more significant impact on the ground. Having said that, here is the heart breaking new to the rebels and their supporters (fresh news from Washington)…

White House says Syria no-fly zone would be costly and difficult

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Friday it would be dramatically more difficult and costly to set up a no-fly zone over Syria than it was in Libya, stressing that the United States does not have a national interest in pursuing that option.

He said the United States did not want to send U.S. troops – or “boots on the ground” – to Syria and said enforcing a no-fly zone over the country could require intense, open-ended U.S. military engagement.

June 14th, 2013, 3:01 pm


revenire said:

Heard Obama is sending 1000 slingshots to the rebels. That will show Assad.

June 14th, 2013, 3:06 pm


dawoud said:

Attn: Mathew Barber and Editors

I forgot last night to AGAIN complain about your choice of posts. On the night that the U.S. accused Syria of using chemical weapons, you chose to post this story about the U.S. BELOW the suspicious/bigoted (I will explain in a minute why it’s bigoted) alleged email by “Yamin,” which could be a fake name or whatever! What’s this “expert” “Yamin” is talking about? He/She is talking about what can be perceived as a “Sunni threat,” which he/she describes as “A millennium of Sunni ascendancy 🙂 ” Furthermore, this “millennium of Sunni ascendancy” (thanks God from Yamin’s subjective perspective) stopped by his/her silly factors. He/she seems happy that Israel is in the middle to “stop” Egypt from “interfering” in Syria!!!!! This “Yamin” expert, who likely wouldn’t receive a “C” grade for such an “analysis” in the courses I teach, should have known that the United Arab Republic (the union of Syria and Egypt)took place almost ten year after the 1948 Palestinian al-Nakbah and the Zionist birth of Israel!! Israel was there. As to Iran, it is actually INCREASING “Sunni ascendancy!” For example, Palestinians (Palestine does not have Shia and Palestinians had never perceived Shia in a sectarian way before the Syrian revolution) are now troubled by Iran’s killing of Sunnis in Syria, and they are emphasizing their Sunni identity. Even the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood today issued a strong criticism of the Shia and Iran despite Morsi’s attempts to improve relations with Tehran (which I am sure he now will stop after the ongoing Sunni Islamic meeting in Cairo). Iran has just awakened a Sunni “giant,” and Sunnis will now try to stop the Iranian threat.

I can go on and on, but Yamin’s email should have been NO more that a footnote to something (not even a blog post), unless (which is what I believe) the editorial choice of “Syria Comment” is anti-Sunni and covertly pro-dictator! No wonder that the item below “Yamin’s” is a comment by a pro-regime dude, and AGAIN about Sunnis (this time about Sunni taxi drivers, as if APPlE-mini is a QUALITATIVE/QUANTITATIVE researcher, who conducted a scientific survey/poll/study on the sectarian affiliation of Damascus’ taxi drivers 🙂 ).

Mr. Barber, it’s listed above that you are affiliated with the University of Chicago, and I am sure you know a lot about what’s “subjective,” or “objective!” Please try to make SC a little more objective and less anti-Sunni/pro-dictator! Doesn’t it make you think why “Syria Comment” has become a bastion for non-Sunni pro-dictator readers and commentators? It’s because most of what you post is biased against the “evil” Sunnis and the “traitors” of the Syrian opposition!


June 14th, 2013, 3:29 pm


revenire said:

“Nutty” McCain is on CNN now saying the rebels are close to losing and new shipment of weapons won’t help. McCain said “Assad isn’t going anywhere” and admits he fears an Assad victory.

Dave what’s next?

June 14th, 2013, 4:09 pm


revenire said:

Dave more and more Sunnis are supporting Bashar! What will you do? It seems like an emergency!

Economist concedes
“Many Syrians originally sympathetic to the rebels have been horrified by events such as the reported execution on June 9th of a 14-year-old boy by jihadists in Aleppo, allegedly for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Downtrodden Sunnis who six months ago were the mainstay of the opposition may be thinking again. “I hate the regime,” says a woman from a poor Damascus suburb. “But if forced to choose, perhaps I would rather live under them than the rebels. I am tired of the violence.” Qatari and Saudi support for the opposition has also scared a lot of Syrians. “This is now a war in Syria, but not a Syrian war,” says a dissident artist in the capital. “I have no illusions that the Gulf backers are interested in us having democracy.” (thanks Khelil)

June 14th, 2013, 4:15 pm


dawoud said:

Angry Hizbistan/Iranistan 🙂

June 14th, 2013, 4:35 pm


revenire said:

Nasrallah accuses West of hypocrisy over Syria

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday defended his party’s intervention in Syria’s two-year long war, accusing Western and Arab governments of hypocrisy for sending arms and fighters to prop up rebels.

In a televised speech marking Wounded Veterans Day, Nasrallah said the firestorm of condemnation that erupted among Arab governments and their Western backers over Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian conflict has nothing to do with their opposition to the principle of foreign intervention as they claim.

“The problem is not about interference,” he said, charging the United States and Israel with supporting Islamist extremists who travel from outside Syria to join the fight. “Imagine [their reactions] if we intervened in Syria in support of the opposition,” Nasrallah added, implying that the West would approve.

“There are Arab countries which don’t have elections or democracy, or [meaningful] constitutions that are sending weapons and fighters,” he said in reference to the medieval, US-backed regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Syrian opposition’s main backers.

Read the rest >

June 14th, 2013, 4:36 pm


Hopeful said:

I do not think that nations are conspiring to turn Syrians against Syians. I think Syrians, after living in a big lie for 50 years, building up hatred and resetnment for each other, are now conspiring to drag other nations into their internal fight among themselves.

Big kuddos goes to the mafia chief! It is only going to get uglier!

June 14th, 2013, 5:28 pm


dawoud said:


the terrorist Nasrallah is the main the reason that the United States has decided to arm the opposition and establish a “limited no-fly zone.” He said that what’s after al-Qasir is like what was before al-Qasir! No, his terrorist invasion of al-Qasir on behalf of Iran is the reason for the U.S. escalated involvement in Syria. So, rebels should thank him and his masters in Iran!

June 14th, 2013, 5:28 pm


revenire said:

Dave that doesn’t even work as a theory! Sober up brother!!

June 14th, 2013, 6:17 pm


Ziad said:

Idlib province: Rebel fighters from the Liwa’ el-Awal battalion launched 5 grad rockets on the al-Fou’a town which is inhabited mainly by civilians with a Muslim Shi’i background. They stated that such attack is in response to Hassan Nasrallah’s speech, head of the Lebanese Hezbolla. It is not known yet whether the rockets landed on the town that lies in Reef Idlib or whether there are human losses.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

June 14th, 2013, 6:24 pm


Tara said:

Small arms and ammunition will only prolong the war and leads to killing more people.  The US should arm the moderate rebels with heavy and quality weapons in order to achieve victory.  Small arms and ammunition is too little too late.  It is not even a carrot.  

US looks to G8 summit to build consensus over Syria
Washington in talks with allies over radical options including no-fly zone as plan for small arms support meets lukewarm reaction

As apparent US plans to provide small arms to rebel forces met with a disappointed reaction among commanders on the ground, attention is shifting in Washington to building consensus for more radical options.

“This is a fluid situation so it is necessary for [Obama] to consult with leaders of the G8 about the types of support that we are providing for the opposition,” the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said in a press conference on Friday.

Syrian rebels reacted with disappointment to the US announcement of military suppor”, saying it would have limited impact if – as is widely understood in Washington – it was currently limited to small arms and ammunition.

Captain Ammar Jamal, an FSA commander in Damascus, said: “We need to know what kind of weapons. Are they going to send me a gun? What am I going to do with a gun?”

“We want anti-aircraft launchers and anti-tanks missiles would be great,” he added.

But security analysts in Washington said the US decision to provide unspecified military support was unlikely to make much difference on its own.

Barry Pavel, a former senior director for defence policy and strategy on the National Security Council under President Obama, said: “It looks like this was an agreement to arm the rebels with small arms and possibly anti-tank missiles, but in light of what others are throwing at them, including Hezbollah and possibly Iran, I don’t think it’s going to help – these are baby steps.”

Anthony Cordesman, who was director of intelligence assessment in the office of the secretary of defence and who now works at the Center for Stategic and International Studies, said Thursday’s announcement should not be read too carefully and was likely just a first step in attempts to reposition the US.

“There is probably a reason for not saying too much before the G8 where there will be a final attempt to work with the Russians and be clear about what level of Arab support you have,” he said.

“What is unclear to everyone in DC is whether the administration is going to go on doing too little too late to have meaningful effect. The problem is this is a White House that remains deeply divided.”

June 14th, 2013, 6:37 pm


Ziad said:

Escobar: Obama starts Syria war to deviate from Snowden scandal

June 14th, 2013, 6:50 pm


Ziad said:

Nasrallah accuses West of hypocrisy over Syria

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Friday defended his party’s intervention in Syria’s two-year long war, accusing Western and Arab governments of hypocrisy for sending arms and fighters to prop up rebels.

In a televised speech marking Wounded Veterans Day, Nasrallah said the firestorm of condemnation that erupted among Arab governments and their Western backers over Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian conflict has nothing to do with their opposition to the principle of foreign intervention as they claim.

“The problem is not about interference,” he said, charging the United States and Israel with supporting Islamist extremists who travel from outside Syria to join the fight. “Imagine [their reactions] if we intervened in Syria in support of the opposition,” Nasrallah added, implying that the West would approve.

June 14th, 2013, 6:59 pm


Tara said:


“Nasrallah accuses West of hypocrisy over Syria”

Let him. He needs to step up the rhetorics for his internals audience.

Notice his weak argument. He can’t defend his position supporting an oppressive regime against the underdog. He is just saying that the neighbor house is just as dirty. When one builds his argument on comparing oneself to the others, one simply loses. I believe Hassan Nasralla and HA will emerge as the biggest losers.

What a bunch of idiots HA strategists turn to be. From the top of their own world to virtually nothing but a garbage militia despised as much as OBL gang and even more.

June 14th, 2013, 7:08 pm


Tara said:

Batta killed 1,729 Syrian children under the age of 10

Syria deaths near 100,000, says UN – and 6,000 are children

The UN statistics also showed that at least 6,561 minors were among the dead, prompting calls for urgent humanitarian access to prevent further “appalling abuses”. Of those, 1,729 were reported to be under the age of 10. The figures were “heartbreaking”, said Unicef UK, warning of a “lost generation” in Syria.

June 14th, 2013, 8:00 pm


zoo said:

#180 Tara

” I believe Hassan Nasralla and HA will emerge as the biggest losers.”

I believe exactly the opposite. HA was considered weak because it had not positioned itself clearly in the beginning of the uprising.
Because of the naivety of the rebels and their manipulation by Arab countries and Turkey, the “revolution” has morphed into an invasion of the region by Al Qaeeda and other Islamist extremists under the pretext of helping the ‘rebels’.
Hezbollah will not allow the region to become a cemetery for minorities and a region so weakened by Takfiri, Salafist that it becomes an easy prey to Israel and the US hegemony.

The HA are fighting the same kind of people the West has been fighting for 20 years in Afghanistan.
They are heroes and with time, they will be recognized as such

June 14th, 2013, 8:03 pm


Ziad said:

As the US wants to arm ‘nice Syrian rebels’ we must remind ourselves that weapons are not just guns.

They are about money. Hardware will end up in the hands of al-Qa’ida, says Robert Fisk

June 14th, 2013, 8:11 pm


zoo said:

#181 Tara

Please do not distort the information to suit you agenda.

1729 children died, yes, but no one said precisely who killed them.

It is known that they were mostly killed in crossfire or when they were used as soldiers by the rebels as it was reported by the UN this week.

June 14th, 2013, 8:17 pm


Ziad said:

“We, Hezbollah, Are the LAST of people geting involved. Future party and many others were in Syria wayyyy before Hezbollah.”


June 14th, 2013, 8:22 pm


Ziad said:


Discussing any thing with TARA is like discussing string theory with a first grader. Give up.

June 14th, 2013, 8:25 pm


Tara said:


HA morphed itself from being the heart of resistance to a sectarian Iranian puppet. It has already lost in my opinion.

Perception is often more important than reality. Regardless of what HA and Nasrallah reality is, the moment Israel will strike against it, the Arab street will cheer and dance their destruction. In the interim, any victory they will achieve for the Assad in his multiple endless battles against the revolution will only be a Pyrrhic victory. It will be “clinically” meaningless in the long run.

June 14th, 2013, 8:28 pm


Tara said:


Ah-ha. This is becoming interesting..

Zoo and I love to talk to each other. Do you have a problem with that?

You have tried to initiate multiple discussions with me before. Are you jealous ?

June 14th, 2013, 8:37 pm


Ziad said:

Syrian war helped inspire Turkey’s protests

The war in Syria is polarizing Turkey. According to a recent study by MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center, based in Ankara, only 28 per cent of the Turkish public supports the prime minister’s policies on Syria. Since the start of the conflict, the government has strongly condemned Syrian President Bashar Assad. From early on, Erdogan has vocally supported the Free Syrian Army, the rebel group battling the regime, and has urged the United States to supply them with weapons and to establish a no-fly zone.

Turkey is crucial for the rebels. It offers refuge for their families as well as a safe zone where they can plan and launch attacks over the border. Turkish businesses supply the rebels with everything from medicine to uniforms to cigarettes. But many Turks have long worried that this would make them subject to retaliation by the Syrian government — a fear that, for many, was confirmed by the attacks in Reyhanli. The leader of Turkey’s main opposition has repeatedly confronted Erdogan over his pro-rebel policies, accusing the prime minister of supporting Syrian “terrorists.”

June 14th, 2013, 8:37 pm


dawoud said:

188. TARA

If you can explain to me what it’s like for somebody to be a “Sunni atheist,” is the most extremist in his defense of the Shia Wilayet al-Faqih theology of Iran and HA; I will give you the winning Powerball lottery numbers!
The terorist Hasan Nasr-Satan and his Iranian masters are the main reason behind the U.S. plan to arm the opposition and establish a “limited no-fly” zone. Thanks, but no thanks, to Hasan Nasr-Satan حسن نصر الشيطان

June 14th, 2013, 8:38 pm


zoo said:


“the Arab street will cheer and dance their destruction”

I’ll love to see that! Don’t forget to post the video. Will you be part of it?

June 14th, 2013, 8:41 pm


Ziad said:


I don’t recall I ever tried to initiate a discussion with you. I often get irritated by the logic behind your comments. Most of the times I control myself. A few times I did not. I appologize for my harsh comment.

June 14th, 2013, 8:42 pm


Tara said:


Even if most of gem were killed in cross fire, it is the regime responsibility. Wouldn’t you blame Erdogan for an death that may have occurred among the demonstrators?

Additionally, the UN report confirmed many case where children died while imprisoned. The UN also confirmed many cases where children were forced to watch the torture and the killing of their parents.

June 14th, 2013, 8:43 pm


Tara said:


Irritated? I certainly certainly hope not.

Please do not be. It is rather simple. Just skip them. No hard feeling.

June 14th, 2013, 8:48 pm


Ghufran said:

This is what we know:
Small arms and ammo are approved, ATMs ? May be, SAMs probably not.
The CIA , not erdogan or a ” true believer” , has been for months in charge of channeling weapons to the FSA with KSA money. Aleppo battle has already started, clashes at sakhour are being reported as we speak. Events on the ground in the next few weeks will prove or discredit the claims that NATO is serious about changing the military landscape of this conflict. Nobody seems to care about what the people of Aleppo wants, one year after being invaded by nusra ” liberated” parts of Aleppo are plagued by hunger, disease and fear, there’s not a day without an execution of an aleppine on the hands of nusra thugs, if you think that there is a revolution in Aleppo you might as well consider the Talibans champions of liberty and women rights, the utter ignorance of some people on this forum is heart breaking.

June 14th, 2013, 8:48 pm


revenire said:

Tara if one believes your story sure. Then you would be correct. But… that isn’t what happened.

The UN report is useful when it pins the abuse on the opposition but when it targets the government it is wrong.

June 14th, 2013, 8:48 pm


revenire said:

I think a few here miss the point with this Obama deal: the US has been arming them for a long time.

As Idris, and others, said the rebels are close to being defeated. Look at it as a desperation move.

Tara on Nasrallah – I missed your comment but saw it now. One question for you: why would Hezbollah care what is thought of them by their enemies? I don’t get that.

June 14th, 2013, 8:52 pm


Tara said:


“I’ll love to see that! Don’t forget to post the video. Will you be part of it?

To tell you the truth, no I won’t out of fear that one among them did not submit to their ideology and was “destroyed” as collateral.

However, do you not admit that this is the noe prevailing sentiment toward HA in the arab street? Do you think that hey still have even one tenth of the popularity they once enjoyed?

June 14th, 2013, 8:53 pm


Ziad said:


I am not a supporter of the government form in the Islamic Republic of Iran. I would live there only if I had to choose between KSA, GCC, Ikhwani Egypt, or Iran. It is up to the Iranians to decide what form of government to establish.

I look at Iran as an essential partner in the resistance movement. My sole enemy is Zionist Israel and who supports her. Any Arab who cares for the Arab causes and share my views as who the enemy is, would view Iran as a partner. Any Zionist or traitor who sold out to Zionism, or afanatic sectarian salafi would have an antagonistic view of Iran and Hizb.

Any one who reverts to name calling in lieu of rational balanced argument is a vacuous shallow person.

Finally I challenge you to find a single sectarian statement made by Nasrallah. Compare that with Qaradawi, Ar’our, Assir and many others.

June 14th, 2013, 9:07 pm


zoo said:

“Even if most of gem were killed in cross fire, it is the regime responsibility. ”

Why? Who says so?

It is the responsibility of the ones who refuse a peace conference and prefer to see more children killed than renounce to their personal vendetta toward Bashar al Assad

June 14th, 2013, 9:12 pm


zoo said:

#199 Tara

The Arab street is volatile… It changes with the wind. 2 years ago, Bashar al Assad was the most loved Arab leader.
Now the Egyptians are turning their back to Morsy they cheered.
The street finally judges on results.

I am confident that after tasting a bit of the MB and the Salafist sharia soup and Qatar’s kuzi, the Arab street will rediscover Bashar Al Assad and the HA’s solid Arab nationalism virtue.

June 14th, 2013, 9:20 pm


dawoud said:

no name-calling! I just don’t accept your logic because Iran is even more SECTARIAN than KSA! Sunni mosques are BANNED in Iran, and the 12th Imam Shia Islam is the religion of the state. If you go to live in Iran and tell them that you were born as “Sunni Muslim,” but now you have become “atheist,” they would consider you heretic and “Murtad” and they will sentence you to death (please Google how they execute their own citizens by hanging them from a construction crane!).
Please stop talking about Palestine because I grew up under the Zionist racist occupation, but I refuse to accept Bahsar’s and Hasan’s propaganda about Palestine while they are killing Syrians!
If the only way for Palestine to be liberated is for Bashar, Hasan Nasr, and Iran to kill Syrian children; I don’t want Palestine liberated! Fortunately, Bashar’s main goal has always been regime survival and he would never liberate Palestine even if he lives for a million years!

June 14th, 2013, 9:24 pm


Dawoud said:

The New York Times’ editorial agrees that Obama’s decision to arm the opposition is “SIGNIFICANT,” although only light arms have so far been announced:


After Arming the Rebels, Then What?

Published: June 14, 2013 146 Comments

Nevertheless, Mr. Obama’s decision is highly significant because it opens the door to an even larger American role. Anti-tank weapons are also a real possibility. […]

June 14th, 2013, 9:33 pm


omen said:

what! now i’m hearing no “heavy” weapons. does obama want to end the war or to prolong it? so much time has been lost already. wasted, really.

one thing i don’t understand is how passive syrian americans have been. especially the big name activists who have a following. they’ve been much too deferential to obama. waiting for the elections to pass, expecting obama to act afterwards was a big mistake. expats should have been marching in the streets, demanding action, chaining themselves to the whitehouse gates, shaming him by demanding his nobel peace prize be retracted in the face of inaction to address the slaughter, waging phone and mail campaigns, etc. these are traditional activists tactics. why were they not employed?? obama only acts if he’s pressured.

June 14th, 2013, 9:36 pm


dawoud said:

I was about to embed a YouTube video about Iran’s barbaric executions of men and women from cranes, but they are too troubling and graphic and anybody would see them on SC even without clinking on the video. Therefore I am posting this link, which at least wouldn’t be visible unless you click on the link.

June 14th, 2013, 9:40 pm


Ziad said:

Nabi Saleh 10.5.2013

June 14th, 2013, 9:42 pm


Tara said:


Yes. Because we are a bunch of selfish lazy apathetic passive useless people good for nothing other than making money while we think we are all that and then some more.

This is the naked truth..

June 14th, 2013, 9:47 pm


zoo said:

The more the US appears directly involved in helping the rebels, the more the Arab street may withdraw its trust in the rebels and gradually shift toward supporting the side who has always rejected the USA and showed it dedication to resisting Israel.

For example, the intervention of the USA will make the Palestinians who opposed Bashar revisit their conviction.

In a way the media theater about the USA intervention on the side of the rebels and their hated Al Qaeda allies may well serve the Syrian government in appearing as the ‘resistance’ against a islamist-zionist plot.

To emphasize that, Bashar al Assad has indicated that he is under pressure to open a new front against Israel in the Golan.

June 14th, 2013, 9:49 pm


zoo said:

#206 Omen

Surprised? Look at the SNC!

June 14th, 2013, 9:51 pm


revenire said:

Wow Dave. Do you even read the stuff you post? Go back and reread the NYT op-ed and see it isn’t so good for your terrorists.

June 14th, 2013, 9:52 pm


revenire said:

Omen what happened to the FSA Air Force? 🙂

Obama is weak but don’t worry he’s also crazy so look for them to bomb something soon.

June 14th, 2013, 9:54 pm


Tara said:


Even if we believe the supporters version of the story, a government that scarifies 6500 children and remains incapable to protect its citizen should simply resign.

June 14th, 2013, 9:57 pm


zoo said:

Israel is contributing financially to the Ethiopian barrage on the Nile that will squeeze Egypt’s agriculture.

Israel Schemes for a Stake in the Nile

June 14th, 2013, 10:00 pm


zoo said:

#214 Tara

see #202

June 14th, 2013, 10:02 pm


dawoud said:

U.S. considers no-fly zone after Syria crosses nerve gas ‘red line’

June 14th, 2013, 10:02 pm


dawoud said:

How Obama crossed his own line on Syria after months of debate

June 14th, 2013, 10:04 pm


zoo said:

Nasrallah: We are with the government to defend Syria and with the opposition in their call for reforms.

“We defend Lebanon and the Lebanese people, Syria and the Syrian people, said Nasrallah. Syria is divided. A large part of the people is with the regime and a large part of the people is not. We are with the regime to defend Syria and we are with the other party for the reforms.

But we reject the destruction of Syria, “he added, noting that there have been thousands of foreign fighters in Syria and arming opposition groups has started a long ago. “We are the last to intervene in the Syrian crisis, said the head of Hezbollah. The others have come before us, starting with the Future Movement and other Lebanese parties that I will not name. If we had intervened in Syria alongside the opposition, our involvement would have been approved, blessed and welcomed by the Arab countries, “he said.

June 14th, 2013, 10:12 pm


Ziad said:

The End of Syria as We Know It?

Why Obama is Declaring War on Syria

The short answer is Iran and Hezbollah according to Congressional sources. “The Syrian army’s victory at al-Qusayr was more than the administration could accept given that town’s strategic position in the region. Its capture by the Assad forces has essentially added Syria to Iran’s list of victories starting with Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, as well as its growing influence in the Gulf.”

Other sources are asserting that Obama actually did not want to invoke direct military aid the rebels fighting to topple the Assad government or even to make use of American military power in Syria for several reasons. Among these are the lack of American public support for yet another American war in the Middle East, the fact that there appears to be no acceptable alternative to the Assad government on the horizon, the position of the US intelligence community and the State Department and Pentagon that intervention in Syria would potentially turn out very badly for the US and gut what’s left of its influence in the region. It short, that the US getting involved in Syria could turn out even worse than Iraq, by intensifying a regional sectarian war without any positive outcome in sight.

June 14th, 2013, 10:16 pm


Tara said:

From Dawoud link@218

“Obama’s calculus would have been different, he added, if there had been a “more coherent, more credible and more compelling opposition in Syria.”

I sadly agree. Syrians inside Syria are much more matured, courageous, and patriotic than we the expat can ever be. We are partially responsible for the heavy toll and the world silence.

June 14th, 2013, 10:24 pm


revenire said:

Dave Obama is afraid of Assad or he’d attack.

You sound better than yesterday. Hope your headache wasn’t too bad today. Booze can be fun but hangovers are Hell.

June 14th, 2013, 10:30 pm


revenire said:

Syrian News

In the Church of Mar Elias in Al Quseir. All the people invited to the Church.

Sunday mass will be held, to participate in prayer.

For those who wish to clean up the Church to come tomorrow.

The Church of Mar Elias will come back more beautiful.

June 14th, 2013, 10:41 pm


Ameera said:

الظاهر الحرب مكتوبة و المكتوب ما منو مهروب

الناس بالشام بلشت تلملم امورها و تضب شناتيها مشان يطلعوا بعد اخر يوم من فحوص البكالويا و يئولو الله معك يا شام

والبقية نازلين تموين و مونة للحرب يلي جاي اكيد حتى العلوية بالمزة ٨٦ عم يرجعو على الضيع

الكل خايف مؤيد او معارض من الحرب لانو لما تبلش تشتي قنابل الحابل رح يروح بالنابل

سامحونا يا جماعة

June 14th, 2013, 10:41 pm


omen said:

sorry tara, but it drives me crazy when people with influence fail to maximize their potential to move people to action. one big name even disparaged an online petition effort. i was appalled that he would throw cold water on a technique used to raise awareness. these things sometimes take a life of their own & build momentum that produces unexpected results. cynicism alone isn’t going to impact anything. protesting on twitter is a good outlet but activism needed to move beyond that sphere. i feel guilty myself feeling i could have done more.

one area though where expats have been successful and effective in implementing and should be lauded for: all of the fundraising campaigns to collect money for refugees.

June 14th, 2013, 11:21 pm


dawoud said:

221. TARA

I agree. I watched on Aljazeera a spokesperson of the opposition wearing a nice suit and in a nice hotel. Shame! Same with the Palestinian “leaders” (both from Fatah and Hamas). You seem them wearing designer suits, fashion glasses, and driven in black Mercedes! Shame on them because when claim to represent embattled/dispossessed people, you should the kind of simple pants and shirts that here in the USA you find at the Salvation army thrift store or, if they want more fashionable stuff, from Walmart. I remember watching a few weeks ago Hamas’ spokesman, Abu Zuhri, on Aljazeera from Gaza, and I didn’t pay attention to what he was saying because I was resentful seeing him wearing a suit and fashionable glasses as if he were representing something big, and not a besieged/occupied/impoverished territory. I remember seeing him on Aljazeera 5 or 6 years ago wearing simple pants and shirts. I guess power, even when its just imagined, corrupts souls. I mentioned Hamas’ spokesperson because the corruption of Fatah is so well-known that I don’t need to detail any of it here.

I think those exiled Syrians who want to claim representing the Syrian people should first move to live in a tent and wear clothes that don’t exceed $10, etc.

The real Syrian leaders are those fighting inside Syria to protect their lives and dignity from Bashar and his Iranian-backed allies. They are also the suffering refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, etc.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

June 14th, 2013, 11:26 pm


omen said:

740. dawoud said: 735. TARA Dear Sister:

I studied politics and, in fact, I recently received a Ph.D. with a dissertation on Egypt and concentration on U.S. ME policy. I say this to let you know that what worries U.S. decision-makers is losing deterrence by losing CREDIBILITY! Now, by sending U.S. arms to “vetted” rebels, the U.S. has taken side in the conflict. Any loss to the opposition will also be a loss to the United States and a victory for Iran. Therefore, today’s announcement ONLY about supplying weapons will likely escalate with any setback to the opposition. Can you imagine America’s reaction when Bashar’s and al-Manar’s propaganda machines declare “beating America’s rebels and U.S. weapons?” Any new massacres with upcoming/ongoing assault on Aleppo (Halab) will ONLY speed up the no-fly zone. Please remember that there are thousands of defected Syrian forces on Jordan, who have been training with U.S. weapons. They only need the green light to enter Syria, which they will get very soon!

congratulations on your degree, that must have taken a lot of work. i admire people with the discipline to accomplish that. i wanted to ask your opinion, i rarely see this angle discussed. what do you think of this theory? while obama has subjected iran to harsh sanctions, he’s also been incredibly conciliatory in trying to woo them over. for example, he campaigned to negotiate with iran without precondition. during the iranian green movement, obama gave little support to the protesters. despite iran continuing to fly in weapons to the regime, the US has done little to seek to stop it. obama has been more active to make sure rebels didn’t access heavy weapons. ect. (i’m sure there are more examples i am overlooking.)

because the last remaining oil reserves lie largely under shia lands, i believe there has been an effort, via sticks and carrot approach, to return iran into a western ally. western oil companies have long lusted for access to caspian sea oil. access that iran continues to deny. obama’s unwillingness to unseat bashar can be read as an appeasement of iran.

an elephant in the room that nobody address retains power. obama needs to be challenged on this. he needs to be put on the spot and questioned if his great reluctance to topple this regime is related to oil.

June 15th, 2013, 2:14 am


Citizen said:

John McCain, Lindsey Graham call for no-fly zone

June 15th, 2013, 2:39 am


Citizen said:

بدك نبعتلك شوية تموين من عنا ياجارتنا ؟

June 15th, 2013, 2:42 am


Citizen said:

When it comes to blood on its hands for cruel oppression, the US’s corrupt and heartless backing of all Israeli crimes against the Palestinians makes Assad look like a choir boy.

Ron Paul on Obama’s Syria WMD Claim

Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official

BREAKING: Observers on Syrian Coast “Russian Warships Withdraw, US Warships Approach” NATO Signals No-Fly Zone Pretext

Syria the Arena for Russia’s Battle against the West and ‘Jihadists’

June 15th, 2013, 3:02 am


don said:
At event announced by the Muslim brotherhood we found Saudi Sheikh Mohamed El Arefe announcing that he and other clerics that agreed to open the door of Jihad in front of youth. Muslim youth should go and fight in Syria according to Sheikh El Arefe and other Sheikhs sitting in air conditioned rooms !!! It seems that the Sheikhs waiting the American decision after all !!

Of course the Jihadists from all around the world are not waiting this announcement because they are already there.
El Arefe declared this during the Friday Speech from Egypt’s oldest mosque Amr Ibn El As in front of thousands of Muslim brotherhood supporters who chanting Pro-Syria chants and so on. His Friday speech was aired on the Egyptian National TV’s Ch.1 by the way.

Now I wonder if the Freedom and Justice Party and President Morsi support what Sheikh El Arefe called from in Cairo considering the fact the party is organizing this 3 days event and sponsoring it.
Already tomorrow President Morsi will attend that big protest in Cairo stadium in solidarity with Syria. So we have to ask the President and his president directly : Do they support sending Egyptian youth to fight in Syria for Jihad ??

Does the Freedom and Justice Party support the sectarian talk of Sheikh El Arefe and others clerics from Islamic groups from their political allies and how they attack the Shiites and Iranians ??
Does the Freedom and Justice Party support the talk of Sheikh El Arefe who declared with all the confidence in the world that the Islamic Caliphate system will return back ??

This is so much like Afghanistan.

June 15th, 2013, 3:30 am


don said:

Rand Paul: American taxpayers funding war on Christianity

June 15th, 2013, 3:57 am


annie said:

Young Turks

Should The U.S. Intervene in Syria?

June 15th, 2013, 4:17 am


Mina said:

About Hind Kawabat, visiting a village in an area where Kurds, Christians and Muslims did not have problems living together, and ecstatic because the villagers could talk without being afraid it will be reported to the secret police, I wonder if she really believes villagers on the Turkish side of the border can talk freely without such fear. We all know that in the Muslim world, cities are now a bit better than smaller places, when it comes to freedom of speech and movement.

As for how would look Syria without the regime, just look at Benghazi, the militias are having a lot of fun playing with all the weapons left by both Qaddafi and his foes.

1° the opposition did not want to participate to the Geneva conference if it is too weak on the ground
2° the US give them weapons (the EU cannot after videos of European djihadists all over the web)
3° the opposition might say: no more need for a conference, then.

wait and see.

June 15th, 2013, 4:55 am


Mina said:

#227 Don
Calling for djihad during the holy month of Shaaban! These guys don’t even know their religion!

The UN and the EU need to take steps against Djihad and the people manipulating weak minds and hungry people to send them for these crusades.

They’ll soon shoot down any “foreign crusader” plane if you give them such weapons!

June 15th, 2013, 5:00 am



We all know that in the Muslim world, cities are now a bit better than smaller places, when it comes to freedom of speech and movement.

Utter nonsense, and no we don’t because it ain’t so except in Iran and KSA.

The UN and the EU need to take steps against Djihad and the people manipulating weak minds and hungry people to send them for these crusades.

Good point, let’s start here and here while not forgetting this guy

The others are already declared a danger to civilization by both EU and UN.

June 15th, 2013, 5:41 am



As for taking strong action at the UNGA against interference of religion, particularly in Islamic countries, in the lives of people, one has to explore the wonderful alliance of the OIC block, led by KSA and Iran in voting down any possible resolution on that matter and in introducing one resolution after another that muddies the water regarding the destructive role of religion in society. Shameless Iran has been behind quite a few of these resolution,

Funny how sectarians, including ant-sunni secularist-sectarians, only see the religious hatred of the wahabi buffons and ignore that for decades, Iran, the resistance state, has been building tentacles of chauvinist persian hegemony primarily through religious means. Easy to see hamas and MB, but so hard to see the over-armed to hizbulla and other armies in Iraq and elsewhere, where national sovereignty is obliterated daily by the thuggery of nus-lira in Lebanon and his likes in Iraq. The destructive impacts of Iranian mullas in the region will take decades to overcome, and they stand behind all three failed states in the region, the ranks of which will be joined by iran itself in the foreseeable future.

This is why regime propagandists have below zero credibility.

June 15th, 2013, 6:01 am


dawoud said:

223. OMEN

Thanks. I would advise you to research the current U.S. dependence on “foreign” oil, particularly that from the Middle East. You will notice that every year the United States is importing less and less oil because of increased off-shore drilling and shale oil here in the United States and North America. Also, U.S. consumers are using less gas as a result of higher prices and more fuel efficient cars.
I know some guy a few years ago talked about “Shia revivial” and oil being in “Shia” land! Did he mean eastern Saudi Arabic and Iraq? Yes, but do you think that Iran or KSA will ever make eastern Saudi Arabia an independent “Shia” country? Noway? As to Iraq, look the Kurds are now making their own deals with foreign oil companies and transporting it through “SUNNI-majority” Turkey.
As to Obama talking about “dialogue” with the Wilayet al-Faqih theocracy of Ali Khameni (the fatwa guy for killing innocent Syrians), in the last 4 years the United States has put so much economic and diplomatic pressure and isolation on Iran-including cyber warfare. Obama in general wants his legacy to be that of a president who took Americans OUT of wars in Muslim countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), but-as the Reuters article that I posted last night states-Syria is his unhappy return to the Middle East; MAINLY BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT IRAN AND HIZBALLAH TO WIN!

June 15th, 2013, 7:55 am


omen said:

i’ll reply in a bit, dawoud. too shocked at the moment.

June 15th, 2013, 7:56 am


omen said:

awful awful news…

Jessica King ‏@jessCNN 13 Jun

un: 93,000 killed in syria’s uprising. women, men, kids – & @hamaecho – activist i worked w/ before he died in december. rest in peace.

June 15th, 2013, 7:58 am


majedkhaldoun said:

It is clear that Good Iranian are winning against Evil Persians in the presidential election in Persia, Rouhani is a winner against the evil others who follow Khamenei the evil side, but let us not forget that this winning is meaningless since Khamenei has the army power and Rouhani can not do much, it is an evil dictatorship of wicked clerics hateful,and living in the 7 century revenge mentality,
What it means that the majority of Iranian hate Khamenei

in that video the discussion missing a point,There may be a revenge against Alawis if rebels win, but if Assad wins he will continue to slaughter Sunni, so far officially there are 94000 dead actually there are over 150,000 dead and if Assad wins he will kill another 200,000 that number exceeds the Allawis men who are between 20-45 year old, it is a massive revenge if Assad wins and revenge if rebels win

June 15th, 2013, 8:02 am


Tara said:

“Iran is a destabilizing force in the MR.  The region could change much to the better if Iran weren’t there”, said Tony Blair.  Something I would not have thought of prior to Iran interference in Syria.

Tony Blair calls for west to intervene in Syria conflict
Former PM says regime change inevitable and international community should consider installing no-fly zones

Blair suggested that regime change in Syria was inevitable. “People are no longer going to accept that a minority ruled the country without the say of the majority. It’s exactly the arguments we went through over Iraq,” he said.

He also reiterated his criticism of Iran, claiming that the transition across the Middle East was being complicated by the policies of the Islamic republic.

“It’s not just trying to acquire nuclear weapons, it’s trying to export an ideology and an extremism around the region. They continue to meddle in Iraq. It’s a hugely destabilising force. I would be 100% more optimistic about the speed with which the region could change if that Iranian regime weren’t there.”

June 15th, 2013, 8:57 am


Tara said:

A woman seeking attention!  This is why Carla Del Ponte made up the stuff about possible use of chemical weapons by the rebels.  

“This is the woman who boosted her profile through the early 2000s by making quarterly statements about the ‘imminent’ arrest of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, none of which turned out to be true.
She then dabbled in a bizarre Albanian organ-trafficking story, even writing a book on the subject despite the fact that no one takes the idea seriously. A tired canard of the conspiracy theory world, it was just a reheat of a story more usually associated with the ongoing Israel/Palestine lie-fest.
Between these performances she accused the Vatican of hiding Croatian war criminals.
Carla likes attention and has easy standards when it comes to believing things. If you had a low-grade story to sell she would be your natural first port of call. On this latest occasion, the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on which she was sitting distanced the commission from her remarks within hours. To the best of my knowledge, the claims have not been repeated since.”

From the Guardian

June 15th, 2013, 9:02 am


Tara said:

242. TARA said:


A woman seeking attention!  This is why Carla Del Ponte made up the stuff about possible use of chemical weapons by the rebels.  

“This is the woman who boosted her profile through the early 2000s by making quarterly statements about the ‘imminent’ arrest of Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, none of which turned out to be true.
She then dabbled in a bizarre Albanian organ-trafficking story, even writing a book on the subject despite the fact that no one takes the idea seriously. A tired canard of the conspiracy theory world, it was just a reheat of a story more usually associated with the ongoing Israel/Palestine lie-fest.
Between these performances she accused the Vatican of hiding Croatian war criminals.
Carla likes attention and has easy standards when it comes to believing things. If you had a low-grade story to sell she would be your natural first port of call. On this latest occasion, the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on which she was sitting distanced the commission from her remarks within hours. To the best of my knowledge, the claims have not been repeated since.”

From the Guardian

June 15th, 2013, 9:08 am


zoo said:


“I think those exiled Syrians who want to claim representing the Syrian people should first move to live in a tent and wear clothes that don’t exceed $10, etc. “:

I am glad you are starting to realize that the expat opposition is a shame. They bear a huge responsibility in the death toll.

They reflect exactly the mentality of their sponsors, arrogant, heartless and inept.

June 15th, 2013, 9:08 am


zoo said:

If they want to remain relevant, the SNC must dare to move from fancy hotels in Turkey to Syria

A member of Syrian Revolutionary Forces Kamal Al Lebvani called on the coalition to move to Syria–c

A member of National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Kamal Al Lebvani urged the coalition to move to Syria and constitute the enforcement offices.

Speaking to the AA reporter, Lebvani said he would convey this call to the General Staff of the coalition.

“I will also make a suggestion to the coalition for taking over the borders of Jordan and Turkey in Syria” Lebvani said.

June 15th, 2013, 9:12 am


zoo said:

#241 Tara

Tony Blair? A war criminal. Thank you…

June 15th, 2013, 9:14 am


zoo said:

What’s the rush? Is KSA approached by the USA to finance the weaponry they want to send?

Syria crisis developments deprive Saudi King from convalescence

King Abdullah is back in Saudi Arabia after flying home early from convalescence stay in Morocco to follow events, as Syrian conflict intensifies.

June 15th, 2013, 9:17 am


Tara said:


I always thought of Blair as a poodle. He always follows what the Americans say. He said nothing until Clinton’s remarks about Obama.

Was the US correct in bombing Afghanistan? I don’t know but the US simply could not leave Bin Laden ploting terror attacks from Afghanistan unchecked. How else could they have destroyed al Qaeda?

June 15th, 2013, 9:25 am


Tara said:


Have you noticed that it is not until KSA became in charge of the Syrian file, that Obama did not interfere? Should we thank the king for having Obama reinstitute his redline? If so, Qatar was then simply a big failure.

Not to sound immoral, but if Democracy is established in Syria because of the king, I would have hard time supporting a Saudi spring, mat be Just serious reform. The selfish me!

June 15th, 2013, 9:36 am


revenire said:

Tara Blair called for this like a year ago. Google it.

I believe the British role in the conspiracy against Syria is well documented.

Here is one little snippet I report:

Roland Dumas, former French Foreign Affairs Minister: “It’s very complicated because of the fact that everybody is involved. But essentially, that’s what it is. There are two camps fighting each other — look, let me tell you something. Just about two years ago, before the hostilities started in Syria, I happened to be, by chance, in Britain, for reasons having nothing to do with Syria. And I met with British officials, some of whom are my friends, who admitted to me, soliciting my participation, that something was being prepared in Syria — and this was in Britain, not in America — Britain was preparing an invasion of the rebels into Syria. And, they had even asked me, under the pretext that I had been a foreign minister, if I would participate in such a thing. Obviously, I said, ‘Quite the contrary, I’m French, this doesn’t interest me.’ And this is just to say, that this operation came from far away! It was being prepared, conceived, they organized it for them….”

Parliamentary TV network, LCP: “With what aim? Overthrowing Assad?”

Dumas replied: “Very simple! With the very simple aim! To overthrow the Syrian government, because in the region, it’s important to understand, that the Syrian regime makes anti-Israeli talk. And consequently, everything that moves throughout the region— I was told confidentially by an Israeli prime minister quite a long time ago: we will try to get along with the states throughout the area, and those who don’t get along, we’ll destroy. That’s one policy, that’s one conception of history, but after all, why not? But we have to be aware of that.”

June 15th, 2013, 9:48 am


Tara said:

Wasn’t Dumas the lover of the Tlass Madonna ?

June 15th, 2013, 10:07 am


Alan said:

Brzezinksi: Obama Syria plan is ‘chaos, baffling, a mess, tragedy’

The president’s abrupt decision to arm Syrian rebels is a huge mistake, one driven by emotion and propaganda not the kind of strategic White House plan that has marked past successful interventions in civil wars, according to former Carter-era national security chief Zbigniew Brzezinski.

In a broad attack on President Obama’s vague interventionist policy, the highly-respected international affairs analyst warned that by jumping in to Syria’s civil war with no plan is likely to lead to another costly and extended military action that could eventually draw U.S. forces into a clash with Syria’s top ally Iran.

“I think our posture is baffling, there no strategic design, we’re using slogans,” slammed Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Friday. “It’s a tragedy and it’s a mess in the making,” he said. “I do not see what the United States right now is trying to accomplish.”

June 15th, 2013, 10:13 am


revenire said:

Got me. Whatever his details he said what he said.


Chechen President: Events in Syria foreign campaign to destroy the country

Moscow, (SANA)-Chechen President Ramazan Kadyrov affirmed that what is going on in Syria is not jihad, but a campaign plotted by foreign powers to “overthrow the regime, destroy the country and liquidate its armed forces .”

“It is not a secret that the so-called Syrian opposition is led by foreign special institutions which try to recruit the youths coming from Russia to involve them in fighting in Syria,” President Kadyrov said in a speech to Russian Inter Fax Agency on Saturday.

He referred to a number of Chechen men which fight in Syria, saying “according to our information, five or six Chechen men were killed in Syria.”

Kadyrov underlined the importance of clarifying the nature of the so-called ‘Syrian opposition”, and its relation to Islam through mass media.

He quoted Muslim scholars as saying that there is no feature of jihad in Syria, but a plot to destroy Syria.


June 15th, 2013, 10:14 am


zoo said:

#250 Tara

You are absolutely right. The USA has a stronger relationship with KSA than it has with Qatar. Qatar has been ‘buying out’ France and the UK to reach a failure that has cost thousands of lives, a sectarian revival and a political dead end.
In my view the Emir of Qatar and to a lesser degree Erdogan are war criminals.

KSA hates the Moslem Brotherhood, it is suspicious of Qatar’s manipulations and dislikes profoundly Erdogan whose ambition is to represent the Sunnis in the region.
In addition KSA has been seen to tolerate the presence of christian minorities in governing a country where they are a sizeable number ( i.e Lebanon).

KSA has been humiliated by Bashar al Assad’s ascension as the most loved leader in the Arab world in 2006 and it has a personal vendetta against Bashar al Assad for his cozyness with Iran and the Shias.

Therefore I think KSA will play a different game.
In my view, its top priority is a ceasefire so as to stop the escalation of the sectarian war and the growth of the Al Qaeda presence in Syria.
On that, they agree with the USA, Russia and the UN.

KSA who will finance the US weapons planned for the rebels, has now a stronger leverage on the opposition and on the armed rebels than it did.
In my view it will use it to force the SNC to decrease the MB presence in their ranks and accept the participation of the opposition to the conference. The SNC will have to create a delegation that includes all ethnicity and religion, including alawites, local opposition member and armed rebels leaders.

The other issue to deal with is the possible successes of SAA military. Bashar al Assad may feel he is not bound to participate to the conference since the USA has officially announced it will armed the rebels ahead of the conference’s results. Despite the USA efforts, no one believes that the WMD is the reason for that shift.
All the USA efforts will now aim at pressuring Bashar al Assad to still participate in the conference.

Now that the USA and KSA are in charge of the opposition, the cancellation of the conference because of their failure to convince the opposition to attend will hurt their credibility. The same applies to Russia with Bashar Al Assad.

The US and Russis must have this conference in July whatever happens on the ground.

June 15th, 2013, 10:29 am


revenire said:

More depth on Dumas. This shatters the myth of a home-grown revolution doesn’t it?

Former French Foreign Minister: The War against Syria was Planned Two years before “The Arab Spring”

In an interview with the French TV station LCP, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas said: “I’m going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria.

“This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate.

“Naturally, I refused, I said I’m French, that doesn’t interest me.”

Dumas went on give the audience a quick lesson on the real reason for the war that has now claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people.

“This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned… in the region it is important to know that this Syrian regime has a very anti-Israeli stance.

“Consequently, everything that moves in the region- and I have this from the former Israeli prime minister who told me ‘we’ll try to get on with our neighbours but those who don’t agree with us will be destroyed’.

Entire article >

June 15th, 2013, 10:37 am


Ziad said:

Man Behind Syrian ‘Chemical Weapons’ Claim Is Fiction Writer Who Ran Benghazi Cover-Up

White House makes miraculous discovery to distract from domestic scandals

Ben Rhodes, the White House national security advisor behind the claim that President Bashar Al-Assad used chemical weapons in Syria, is a fiction writer with zero educational background in government, diplomacy or national security who also played a key role in covering up the truth behind the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

Yesterday, Rhodes announced that the White House had “high confidence” that the Syrian Army had used chemical weapons, providing no evidence, and that the Obama administration would now take steps to arm FSA rebels, who as has been widely documented are being led by Al-Qaeda terrorists who killed U.S. troops in Iraq. The Wall Street Journal also reports that a no fly zone is being prepared that would embroil the United States in yet another war.

35-year-old Rhodes has been a speechwriter for Obama since 2007 and now enjoys the role of deputy national security adviser for strategic communication. He created the infamous term “kinetic military action” to describe the bombardment of Libya which allowed Obama to skirt around the constitutional question of having to declare war.

June 15th, 2013, 10:50 am


Ziad said:

Massacre of Hatla

The sectarian beasts prey on children, women and elderly.

Criminality emerged again in the Syrian village of Hatla, where hungry monsters pounced on the children, women and elderly.

June 15th, 2013, 10:54 am


zoo said:

Chemical Weapons Experts Still Skeptical About US Claim That Syria Used Sarin

Saturday, 15 June 2013 10:17 By Matthew Schofield, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington – Chemical weapons experts voiced skepticism Friday about U.S. claims that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad had used the nerve agent sarin against rebels on at least four occasions this spring, saying that while the use of such a weapon is always possible, they’ve yet to see the telltale signs of a sarin gas attack, despite months of scrutiny.

“It’s not unlike Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn’t bark,” said Jean Pascal Zanders, a leading expert on chemical weapons who until recently was a senior research fellow at the European Union’s Institute for Security Studies. “It’s not just that we can’t prove a sarin attack, it’s that we’re not seeing what we would expect to see from a sarin attack.”

June 15th, 2013, 10:55 am


zoo said:

We are not at the first lie of the USA that causes millions of death and destruction.
It seems that it has become a US administration’s genetic disposition to lie when they want to force reluctant people to follow blindly their imperialist path.

June 15th, 2013, 11:01 am


revenire said:

Brother Majed told me a few days ago the dead in Hatal were Shia fighters. That one looks awfully young doesn’t he?

June 15th, 2013, 11:04 am


zoo said:

“Mass” rally of a few hundreds of Morsy fans

“We love you Morsy,” they read.

The leaflet bore other slogans including “We will continue our work” and “Let’s build our country,” celebrating Morsy’s perceived achievements in increasing wheat production, improving the quality of bread and raising pensions.

The Muslim Brotherhood had called for mass protests Friday for the Syrian conflict.

Hundreds of Brotherhood and Salafi-oriented Rayah Party protesters chanted for President Mohamed Morsy to allow Egyptians to fight jihad against the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.

“The people want to apply God’s Sharia,” protesters chanted.

June 15th, 2013, 11:05 am


revenire said:

Ben Rhodes is a war criminal. He belongs on trial. His lies are killing Syrians.

June 15th, 2013, 11:06 am


Juergen said:


for your collection, here is the private photo album of Kadyrow.
May be one of his palaces will host Asma soon?

As I mentioned before, such regimes ridicule themselves more than any comedian could do.

June 15th, 2013, 11:08 am


Mina said:

Roland Dumas’ revelations help understanding why all the “rebels” in Homs that were giving long Skype interviews to al Jazeera to galvanize the Arab youth and get them to Syria to fight for djihad had for many of them a very clear British accent, not the kind a Syrian would have got through a course at the British Council in Abu Rommaneh.

June 15th, 2013, 11:12 am


zoo said:

Lots of wishful expectations for Obama at the G8. I doubt they’ll come to any consensus on Syria.
The fabulator Ben Rhodes is in the spotlight again

Obama is expected to push Britain and France to take similar action when talks open in North Ireland among the Group of Eight leading industrial powers. The U.S., Britain and France also will urge Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop his political and military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, still in power after more than two years of fighting.

“It’s in Russia’s interest to join us in applying pressure on Bashar Assad to come to the table in a way that relinquishes his power and his standing in Syria,” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser. “We don’t see any scenario where he restores his legitimacy to lead the country.”

Still, it appears almost impossible for the G-8 leaders to reach a consensus, given Putin’s allegiance to Assad. Russia has called for a political dialogue between Assad and the opposition, but Putin has not called for the Syrian president to step down and opposes foreign military intervention.

June 15th, 2013, 11:14 am


Ziad said:

Syria: Obama’s Response Is Not All It Seems

Syria: Obama’s Response Is Not All It SeemsAn ambiguous statement from the White House on Syria’s use of chemical weapons does not mean Barack Obama is ready for action.

Having read the morning headlines you might be forgiven for thinking that President Barack Obama has announced the US is to begin sending weapons to Syrian opposition forces.

A few hours later you might have heard that he was now poised to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria.

And then you might have looked at the details, in which case it will have become apparent that although these two options are “in the mix” – no decisions have been made, and there appears to be no hurry to make them.

June 15th, 2013, 11:17 am


Citizen said:

When the Lewinsky scandal exploded, Bill Clinton found Kosovo. With the NSA spying activities now out in the open, Obama finds Syria.

Obama lied. He’s a serial liar. He claims Syria used chemical weapons. His so-called red line was crossed. No verifiable evidence provides proof. Clear facts prove he lied.
Stephen Lendman

Vladimir Putin is the number 1 leader in the world also he has a government which is loyal to him very admirable leadership . Unlike USA CIA murdered JFK ,stab your own **** in the back eat your own *** its the most undesirable government in the world
Pretty soon as time goes on the west wont have an army because no one will want to fight and enlist if the CIA are just going to betray the people all the time ,if their is no loyalty from the top their wont be from the bottom .This rhetoric US have to arm the rebels is 100 per cent disloyal when some of these Al-Qaeda probably killed some of US troops and now that clown Obama wants to give them a ticket to Disneyland
He is not the President ,America has a famous history of Hollywood politics like Reagan their all actors .Fake leaders concerned with image no intelligence, puppets who are controlled by the CIA ,Its more than likely he was told to blow the whistle by the CIA they love creating dramas to create wars perfect time for Syria war .And what does he gain by blowing the whistle ? 5 mins fame .Its the job of the CIA to pull the wool over every presidents eyes since they killed John Kenedy!!!!

June 15th, 2013, 11:30 am


Ziad said:

قبل القصير، لا بعدها

كلّما تضعضع وضع المجموعات المُسلحّة ارتفعت وتيرة خطاب الفتنة في المنطقة(هيثم الموسوي)

June 15th, 2013, 11:42 am


revenire said:

Dave it looks like Obama decided well before Qusayr:

Decision to arm Syrian rebels was reached weeks ago, U.S. officials say

As Syrian government ­forces, with the help of Hezbollah and Iranian militias, began to turn the war in Assad’s favor after rebel gains during the winter, Obama ordered officials in late April to begin planning what weaponry to send and how to deliver it.

I hope you didn’t pay a lot of money for your PHD Dave. You’re always wrong.

June 15th, 2013, 11:47 am


Tara said:

Thank you John McCain!

In Washington, Senator John McCain said the increased US support for the Syrian opposition was woefully inadequate, accusing President Barack Obama of “insane” and “disgraceful” inaction amid the massacre of 93,000 people.

“For us to sit by, and watch these people being massacred, raped, tortured, in the most terrible fashion, meanwhile the Russians are all in, Hizbollah is all-in, and we’re talking about giving them light weapons? It’s insane. And let me just tell you it is turning into a regional conflict, not just a conflict within Syria.

“Does anybody believe today that Bashar al-Assad is bound to fall? Of course not. It’s disgraceful, the conduct of the United States in sitting by and watching this happen.”

June 15th, 2013, 11:48 am


Tara said:

I do not want to sound ridiculous but I some one asked if Obama’s dad was Shiaa ?

June 15th, 2013, 11:52 am


Ilya said:

Make no mistake Kadyrov is a brutal leader,that killed lots of people.
But Ramzan Kadyrov and his father, together with Putin saved Russia and Ichkeriya from Foreign Western intervention, saved country from breaking apart ,from spreading terrorism in Northern Caucasus region.
We all know how these western governments supported Jihadis in Russia,also called them freedom fighters that were kidnapping of people,,Taking hostages in Schools,Hospitals,suicide attacks in Airports,blowing up building ,bazaars,rail roads i can go on and on same thing is Going on in Syria.
Now Russian and Chechen live in relative peace (once these Wahhabi thugs were driven out to Mountain regions)there,they can practice their religion without limitation or intervention from outside.
show me one president in big country that does not live in luxurious conditions.

June 15th, 2013, 11:56 am


Citizen said:

Source: transfer of U.S. special forces to the border with Syria is motivated by the challenge of building a corridor arms supplies militants

The first batch of thermal production of missiles for the U.S. armed militants came this morning from Turkey.

MOSCOW, June 14 (Itar-Tass) – Moscow cannot understand the decision of some countries to offer aid to the Syrian opposition on the so-called “liberated territories,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Friday.
“On June 12, gunmen from al-Nusra killed upon the appeal of one of Jihad authorities 60 civilians, including women and children in the Shiite village of Hatla in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor,” the diplomat said
“’Warriors of the faith” posted the video footage of that atrocious massacre on the Internet clearly with an aim to defy the whole Shiite community. The Syrian government turned to the UN Security Council with an appeal to denounce the massacre in Hatla,” he said.
“Against this background, the decisions of some countries to help the opposition in Syria on the so-called ‘liberated territories’ cause at least incomprehension. One would not want to think “that territories are ‘liberated’ the way it was done in Hatla,” he stressed.

June 15th, 2013, 12:02 pm


Ilya said:

These Dumb brainwashed Sheikhs in Egypt and GCC should shut the f..k up,stop crying how Shia and Hezbollah spreading sectarianism hate in ME region.The one i see spreading hate and sectarianism is these disgusting preachers of hate and violence. Wahhabis,Salafis,calling for Jihad against innocent people and children and legal government of Syria. I did not see Hezbollah calling for Jihad against Sunnis,they just stated went there to protect shia residents.
These people in SA in Egypt have no tolerance for minorities especially Christians they don’t let them build churches or even repair existing one.In Egypt Coptic Egyptians are being killed on daily bases their churches are being destroyed,burned, is this not spreading of hate and sectarianism,president Morsi does not do anything to stop it,double standards ,hypocrisy,racism,what is this?How come Sheikhs endorse violence in Egypt against Coptic?

June 15th, 2013, 12:19 pm


Citizen said:

F**k u John Maniac brain!
Americans! do you need to arm al Qaeda with tanks? This is f****d.
You, guys, in America have to really think twice before going into another conflict. If you continue waging one war after another, you may eventually end up in some serious trouble. America going faster to fall due to reckless foreign policy.

June 15th, 2013, 12:23 pm


revenire said:

Juergen I applaud the Chechen president and wish we had more like him. He’s done a good job and the people seem happy.

June 15th, 2013, 12:30 pm


zoo said:

Jordan and Turkey are now declared accomplices to the CIA and to the USA in the plan to destroy Syria under the pretext of helping the rebels fighting for ‘democracy’. Both of these countries are now exposing themselves to violent reprisals–announcement.html

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the CIA would deliver the arms to rebel groups in Syria through clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year in an effort to establish reliable supply routes into the country for non-lethal material.

The bases are expected to begin conveying limited shipments of weapons and ammunition within weeks, U.S. officials told The Post.

June 15th, 2013, 1:15 pm


zoo said:

By arming al-Qaeda in Syria, Obama’s transformation into Bush is now complete

To fight terrorism, we will arm the terrorists

While all this is going on, the American people are told to swallow one insane lie after another: Al-Qaeda is your enemy! No, wait, they’re our friends! Terrorists shouldn’t have weapons… but wait! Now let’s arm the terrorists! The enemy is now patriots, veterans and anyone who cites the Constitution! Let’s declare war on veterans while arming al-Qaeda!

This is the kind of insanity you’re being subjected to on a daily basis by CNN, NPR, MSNBC and other purveyors of bewildering blather.

June 15th, 2013, 1:24 pm


Ziad said:

الداعية ناصر العمر: لسبي نساء الشيعة وتوزيعها على المجاهدين

إنتشرت على مواقع التواصل الإجتماعي والمدونات الجهادية التكفيرية فتوى خطيرة أطلقها الداعية السعودي ناصر العمر وهذا نصها:

“كما تعلمون بأن خطر الرافضة على الإسلام والمسلمين أشد من خطر اليهود والنصارى فكيف نستأصل خطر الرافضة من الوجود لإنقاذ أمة الإسلام؟

June 15th, 2013, 1:26 pm


zoo said:

#282 Ziad

That’s a victory for reformists. Their patience brought fruits without resorting to violence.
Yet there is a lot to do…

June 15th, 2013, 1:27 pm


zoo said:

Naivety, stupidity or hidden agenda? Who will drive the extremists out? Blair, the war criminal?

Syria: Cameron Wants Extremists ‘Driven Out’

The Prime Minister tells Sky’s Dermot Murnaghan that al Qaeda-linked extremists could prevail in Syria if Britain fails to act.

Mr Cameron said: “I want to help the Syrian opposition to succeed and my argument is this: Yes, there are elements of the Syrian opposition that are deeply unsavoury, that are very dangerous, very extremist, and I want nothing to do with them.

“I’d like them driven out of Syria; they’re linked to al Qaeda. But there are elements of the Syrian opposition who want to see a free, democratic, pluralistic Syria that respects the rights of minorities, including Christians, and we should be working with them.”

Mr Cameron also confirmed that MPs are likely to be given a vote before Britain sends any military aid to Syria.

His comments come after former prime minister Tony Blair insisted the West must intervene against the Syrian government to prevent “catastrophic consequences”.

Mr Blair urged Britain to help the US arm opposition forces fighting President Bashar al Assad and his regime.

June 15th, 2013, 1:33 pm


Tara said:


“Both of these countries are now exposing themselves to violent reprisals”

By whom? By The regime -owned and operated Al Qaeda branch just like what the regime did in Iraq in the old days?

June 15th, 2013, 1:39 pm


ghufran said:

تعهد الجيش الحر بإسقاط الأسد في غضون ستة أشهر، إذا تأمن السلاح المناسب. وحث اللواء سليم إدريس قائد الجيش السوري الحر الدول الغربية على تزويد الجيش بمضادات للطائرات والصواريخ وإقامة منطقة حظر للطيران. وأكد أن الجيش الحر بإمكانه لو حصل على الأسلحة الضرورية هزيمة جيش الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في غضون ستة أشهر.
وأضاف: \”هذا الأمر يعتمد على مدى الدعم الذي سيقدمونه لنا. إذا كان لدينا القليل ستستمر المعركة وقتاً طويلاً. وإن كان لدينا ما يكفي فنحن منظمون بشكل جيد. ونحتاج القليل من التدريب. فإذا حصلنا على التدريب والسلاح أعتقد أننا نحتاج نحو ستة أشهر لإطاحة النظام.
I think that idris is making a major mistake by looking and acting like the CIA guy in Syria, people who have done that is the past were left out of future political leadership positions and lost trust of the people around them, that is simply due to the CIA history and its unmistakable alliance with Israel, this new, or not so new, relationship between rebels and the CIA is a gift to the regime.

June 15th, 2013, 1:40 pm


apple_mini said:

Yesterday, Turkey official news says 71 SAA officers with their families defected. The news makes it looks like US administration’s announcement for direct arming the rebels is demoralizing SAA.

How convenient! But we have a question. If there were 71 defectors after the new move of US, had they had at least more than 1 day to plan and organize the defection? We are talking about over 200 people here.

For over two years, the opposition have been enjoying unconditional “affection” and supports from those MSM and the west with its puppets in gulf area. Tons of money has spent on the opposition/the rebels.

Yet, they are still losing. Sure, US government has stepped in to save the failing “revolution” for their own agenda. But behind the back, they must be very disappointed by the opposition/the rebels who directly caused the creditability of US government being challenged again.

June 15th, 2013, 1:43 pm


zoo said:

Back in January 2012…

Hassan Rowhani: “Syria is in the front line of resistance against the zionist entity, and no one should weaken it or interfere in its domestic affairs.”

Iranian News Agency quoted Rohani as saying during a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador in Tehran today that Syria occupies a special position in the region, adding “Syria has formed the line of resistance against the zionist entity for 60 years.”

He underlined that Iran and Turkey have to cooperate to realize stability and security in the region.

June 15th, 2013, 1:45 pm


omen said:

tara, who is asking about obama’s father? what does that have to do with anything?

June 15th, 2013, 1:46 pm


revenire said:

Congratulations to Iran. They’ve had maybe the cleanest elections in history. God bless the Supreme Leader.

June 15th, 2013, 1:48 pm


zoo said:


After the noisy theatrical announcement that the USA will help ‘incrementally’ the rebels with weapons, the USA will now switch to use the stick with the opposition and force it to accept to participate in the Geneva II.

With this conference, the credibility of the USA is more than ever at stake.

June 15th, 2013, 1:51 pm


omen said:

289. ghufran, the regime has more ties to the cia than anybody. the u.s. would ship detainees to the regime to torture. we have has such a fondness for the regime’s security apparatus that both the u.s and israel have argued to retain that branch of the regime post assad.

curious, no?

i’ll probably be dead by the time all the secrets laying out this complex relationship between the two countries finally gets declassified.

p.s. in fact, i wonder if the cia got any help from the regime last year when the cia was dispatched to turkey to make sure rebels didn’t access any heavy weapons. that would be ironic.

June 15th, 2013, 1:54 pm


zoo said:

I see a grin on Selim Idriss’s face when he’ll read that none of his shopping list items are included and the time frame for the delivery is a minimum of 2 or 3 weeks

U.S. aid to Syria rebels likely to include mortars, RPGs: sources

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is likely to send weaponry like rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to Syria’s rebels after President Barack Obama approved arming the insurgents, sources said on Friday.

A source in the Middle East who is familiar with U.S. dealings with the rebels told Reuters that weapon supplies would include automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades, known as RPGs

Two European security sources said the United States would increase the caliber of the arms and ammunition being supplied to the rebels by regional powers including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as supply some heavier weapons, including RPGs.

More RPGs would give the rebels, who have lost ground to government forces and Lebanese Hezbollah militants in recent weeks, greater ability to fight government armored vehicles and even tanks.

But a U.S. official who has been briefed on the new policy said he did not expect the new U.S. aid to seriously affect the course of events in Syria.

All three sources said there were no plans to send shoulder-held anti-aircraft missiles, known as MANPADS, to the mostly Sunni rebels fighting Assad and his Lebanese Hezbollah Shi’ite allies.

The first military supplies – to be sent to groups under rebel commander Salim Idriss that are vetted by Washington and its allies – could take a minimum of two to three weeks to be delivered.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes refused to say on Friday how Washington would arm the rebels.

“I’m not going to get into kind of a detailed description of different types of assistance,” he told a briefing in the White House.

June 15th, 2013, 2:00 pm


Tara said:

Ha Ha Ha.

71 defectors from the Regime army. Haven’t I said so before.

I PREDICT massive defection from the Sunni riches in Damascus who will suddenly and miraculously be pro revolution all along “in disguise”.


I don’t even remember who but someone I know asked this question concerned with Obam’s reluctance to help despite all the ongoing slaughter of the Syrian people. He was wondering if Obama’s father was a Muslim Shiaa from Indonesia..

June 15th, 2013, 2:12 pm


revenire said:

Funny, this was reported back in March 2013. Was the New York Times lying or has the flow of arms been steady. We know Idriss is lying when he claims the rebels don’t have heavy weapons. They have many of them.

It is funny how people forget things.

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From C.I.A.

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

As it evolved, the airlift correlated with shifts in the war within Syria, as rebels drove Syria’s army from territory by the middle of last year. And even as the Obama administration has publicly refused to give more than “nonlethal” aid to the rebels, the involvement of the C.I.A. in the arms shipments — albeit mostly in a consultative role, American officials say — has shown that the United States is more willing to help its Arab allies support the lethal side of the civil war.

From offices at secret locations, American intelligence officers have helped the Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia, and have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine who should receive the weapons as they arrive, according to American officials speaking on the condition of anonymity. The C.I.A. declined to comment on the shipments or its role in them.

June 15th, 2013, 2:15 pm


Citizen said:

289. GHUFRAN said:

تعهد الجيش الحر بإسقاط الأسد في غضون ستة أشهر، إذا تأمن السلاح المناسب. وحث اللواء سليم إدريس قائد الجيش السوري الحر الدول الغربية على تزويد الجيش بمضادات للطائرات والصواريخ وإقامة منطقة حظر للطيران. وأكد أن الجيش الحر بإمكانه لو حصل على الأسلحة الضرورية هزيمة جيش الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد في غضون ستة أشهر.

The timing was to give the opposition a little bit of backbone, because they are desperate. The tide has turned in favor of the Assad government; the timing is meant to boost morale. But the opposition is so fractured, how do you determine who will get the foreign arms? So that it doesn’t get into the hands of the foreign fighters, the Al-Nusra, the Al-Qaeda types. There’s no guarantee about this, and it’s going to prolong the conflict.
Obama’s announcement that he has concluded that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons leaves no doubt that there will be some direct intervention from the US. Perhaps arms supplies, which had been going to the rebels through Jordan via Saudi Arabia and Qatar in any case. But that may not be enough against the background of several Syrian government victories. So, the possibility of a limited or more broad no-fly zone for Syria is a distinct possibility at some stage in the near future. US allies, especially France and Britain, have been pushing the US and Obama in particular towards this decision.
Would be difficult for the West to rectify the hideous consequences of what they did!

June 15th, 2013, 2:16 pm


revenire said:

Tara >>

More than 70 Syrian military officers, including six generals and 22 colonels, have deserted in the past 36 hours and have crossed the border into Turkey, the biggest such defection in months, a Turkish official told AFP on Saturday.

I heard Assad himself has defected.

June 15th, 2013, 2:18 pm


zoo said:

Bye Bye to two war criminals: Hamad Al Thani and HBJ

Regime Change in Qatar

Knee-deep in Syria’s civil war and surrounded by family quarrels, Qatar’s emir is looking to hand over the country to his 33-year-old son.

Arab and Western diplomats reported this week that Emir Hamad, 61, is soon going to replace the prime minister with his son, the 33-year-old Crown Prince Tamim, and would then abdicate power himself in favor of Tamim. The news prompted an almost audible “OMG” across major world capitals, and among Qatar’s neighbors — a novice leader at a time of tension and great flux, after all, seems enormously risky.

Transitions in Qatar rarely go smoothly. Emir Hamad himself seized power from his father in 1995 while the latter was at a sanatorium in Switzerland. Indeed, it is hard to identify a trouble-free change in power in the last 100 years.

Qatar is not a democracy — the Thanis are the country’s only real political constituency

HBJ will remain in charge of the Qatar Investment Authority’s estimated $200 billion portfolio, but may well decide to reside in London, where the Shard, the British capital’s tallest and newest building, is Qatari-owned.

Once the handover is complete, Tamim will be in charge of guiding Qatar’s intervention in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as well as maintaining Qatar’s influence across the Arab world.

But will he continue to be the biggest financial backer of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? Will he still back what are probably the most extreme, albeit effective, jihadi fighters in Syria? And will Iran, which lies 100 miles north and with which Qatar shares the world’s largest natural gas field, seek revenge for losses in Syria by challenging the neophyte? What about Qatar’s Sunni Arab rival, Saudi Arabia, where the now-deceased Crown Prince Sultan used to refer to Emir Hamad contemptuously as a “Persian” for what was perceived to be the less-than-pure Al Thani bloodline?

For the soon-to-emerge Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the quarrelsomeness of his own family may present a challenge as equally daunting as the turbulence in the Middle East. For years, Qatar has been punching above its weight. Now, some may just try punching back.

June 15th, 2013, 2:37 pm


apple_mini said:

I’m not surprised for the desperate measures and extremely distress calls from people like idris. After all, if the rebels completely collapses, where could Idris possibly settle? Syria is out of the question. Visitor to US, probably. Of course, Emir in Qatar can always feed them.

We already know Idris and his men are irrelevant to the current situation unless miracally they renounce violence. When you watch a puppet show, do you really think it is those puppets are making moves by themselves?

June 15th, 2013, 2:52 pm


Tara said:

Breaking news.

Egypt severed its relationship with Syria and closes its embassy in Damascus. The beginning of the end?

June 15th, 2013, 3:10 pm


Observer said:

My post Mjabali was precisely to show how the urban elite neglected the country and failed it.

It shows that the foot soldiers of the Baath and the Syrian Nationalist Party and the Communist party were all from disenfranchised groups.

It also shows how the Baath before Assad actually despite its incompetence has managed to do good things.

I also acknowledge that the socialist agenda aimed to correct the inequality and actually forced the urban elite to change its outlook on life forcing many to actually become merchants and others to get educated and not count on their rentier income, and others to join the new elite.

I do not in any way claim that previous generations were good stewards but in comparison to the brutal hate filled vengeful oppressive regime brought on by Assad in which he brutalized EVERYBODY including from his own sect for the single glorification of his family and his family alone, they were angels.

So why stay together? why not separate? if it is not going to be economically viable to have the country break up, federate the region, let there be a Alawi region and urban oasis and whatever people want. Live and let live. If someone wants to worship the shoe of this figure or the toe of that figure or the event of this deity or the birth of that cleric or the beard of that man or the eyes of that woman let them do it as long as they do not impose their view on others and exclude others based on that view.

God for the home and the country for everyone.

Last but not least, who says that my version or someone else’s version of history is the right one?

The victor in a conflict writes history, but after a while the truth comes out.

In the meantime, one can spin all of the past grievances and injustices for ever, the current regime is brutal oppressive corrupt and corrupting and filled with hatred and bent on enslavement

The current revolt will never die, and it may take a 100 years but the revolt will continue in one form or another. My fear is that the stubbornness of the regime and the hostage taking of the sect for its ends will result in huge massacres and ethnic cleansing all of which can be avoided if a few men with real guts from within the regime were to accept to remove the mafia from power.


June 15th, 2013, 3:18 pm


revenire said:

Tara Lichtenstein has recalled its ambassador to Damascus as well.

June 15th, 2013, 3:32 pm


Citizen said:

Al-Shaytan Morsi says Egypt to cut all ties with Syria serving Israel to make it happy, while keeping Gaza closed !He justified the wishes of his Lords ! slave !

June 15th, 2013, 3:34 pm


revenire said:

Dictator Erdogan attacking his own people now:

Meltem Ay ‏@jin_jiyan_azadi 3m
Many wounded among them include children, people are trapped with no means of help available! @BBCWorld @Reuters @cnn @RT_Com
Expand Reply Retweet Favorite More

Meltem Ay ‏@jin_jiyan_azadi 5m
Solidarity protests kick off all over Turkey. The uproar is growing by the second! @BBCWorld @cnn @Reuters @RT_Com

Meltem Ay ‏@jin_jiyan_azadi 7m
As police violence & brutality escalates thousands join protestors in Taksim! @BBCWorld @Reuters @cnn @RT_Com

Meltem Ay ‏@jin_jiyan_azadi 11m
Streets ring with the slogan “KILLER TAYYIP KILLER TAYYIP!” @BBCWorld @Reuters @cnn @RT_Com

June 15th, 2013, 3:35 pm


Tara said:


I sense extreme frustration and the beginning if depression. SSRI takes 6-8 wks to start working. I am afraid if you don’t start today, it might be too late. Let me know if you need any advise. I am well read.

Egypt to close Syrian embassy in Cairo and withdraw Egypt’s envoy from Damascus, President Morsi says – @Reuters

Egyptian President Morsi says Egypt has decided to cut all ties with Syria – @Reuters

June 15th, 2013, 3:44 pm


revenire said:

Ha ha too late.

June 15th, 2013, 3:57 pm


apple_mini said:

Wow, so many clowns are using Syrian crisis to divert their national crisis. Obama has been under tremendous pressure from NSA Spying and IRS scandals. Then conveniently US made a move to arm the rebels in Syria.

Morsi in Egypt has been keeping losing credibility. Also economy of Egypt is collapsing. Morsi encouraged Egyptians go to Syria to join the rebels after US government promised weapons to the rebels. That looks like a synchronized dance.

Today Morsi cuts diplomatic ties with Syria. Well, does it really matter with those symbolic moves? Has Morsi done anything diplomatic for Syria in the last two years?

When those people bet on risky policy towards Syria to divert heat on themselves, they are facing many uncertainties which can blow back on them.

Just look at what is happening in Turkey and to Ergodan right at this moment.

June 15th, 2013, 4:06 pm


revenire said:

Tara seriously does it surprise you that the Muslim Brotherhood is against Syria? They have always been against Syria.

June 15th, 2013, 4:07 pm


zoo said:

304. Tara

I thought that all Arab League countries had closed their embassy in Damascus a long time ago and opened them in Aaazaz..

June 15th, 2013, 4:14 pm


Tara said:


Morsi is full of … He normalized relationship with Iran and declared he did not want to arm the revolution. What has changed? He is now kissing up to the US closing the embassy after Obama announced intention to arm the rebels. Muslim Brothers are nothing but opportunistic organisms and have no future anywhere.

June 15th, 2013, 4:21 pm


Ilya said:

Egypt is just slave of MB (Katar) and USA.
Both of these organizations giving them few cents so that Morsi,government wont collapse and people will not revolve against him,situation in Egypt aint that good,poverty,lack of food, water,etc.
So Morsi sold Egypt to highest bidder since he is incompetent will take orders from his Masters,will do everything that they tell him
You cant criticize MB in Egypt it will take you directly to prison,because it will upset bosses in Katar they will cut aid.
does Egyptians have any pride or what,i admire Iran who wont sell their country for 30 silver coins,just to please west or ease sanctions!!!
Is Egypt independent country?

June 15th, 2013, 4:22 pm


Dawoud said:

304. Tara

Egypt’s Morsi cuts ties with Damascus, calls on Hezbollah to leave Syria
“Morsi also warned Assad’s allies in the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite militia to pull back from fighting in Syria: ‘We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people,’ Morsi said. ‘Hezbollah must leave Syria – these are serious words. There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria.'”

June 15th, 2013, 4:31 pm


Tara said:


What is with you and Aaazaz? You really like the name, don’t you?

So Batta’s cousin, the Ambassador in Cairo is expelled and he can no longer spies on people there.

Looking forward to the time when they announce that the Syrian mission to the UN is expelled. Would you then put down Shushu picture? You know it annoys me that you have it.

June 15th, 2013, 4:32 pm


revenire said:

Well… Egypt has betrayed Syria before, under Sadat and later Mubarak.

June 15th, 2013, 4:34 pm


Tara said:


Morsi is not an honest person. I do not like him. He stated many times he is against the arming of the Syrian people.

June 15th, 2013, 4:35 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Mursi cuts all ties with Syrian regime, Egyptians preparing to go to Syria.
It is good news
Obama will arm the Rebels, this is not true yet,he decided to help the rebels against Bashar, there is difference.
King of KSA is back home because of Syria, this is good news
Hassan al la3een lied about Qusair,and Ya Hussein flag over Omar Mosque
Good news are coming

June 15th, 2013, 4:53 pm


Ilya said:

Listen don’t you have enough problem of your own Inside Egypt? should not that be you priority,once you settle it ,Then settle dispute with Ethiopia over water Dam ,then you can start meddling in international, affair you are a joke, !!!
Nobody takes you seriously, prove first you capable of handling domestic affairs first,don’t Forget you located on African Continent 99.9%.
Hezbollah Iran and others you accuse have more rights to be in Syria you got no business in ME just because you Muslim speak Arabic coprende!!!
Go deal with Africa first then come to ME.

June 15th, 2013, 4:55 pm


Dawoud said:

319. Tara

I actually was disappointed listening to him because I expected him to say:

1) Egypt is cutting diplomatic relations with Syria, which he actually did!
2) Syria is conditioning any diplomatic relations with Ali Khameini’s Iran (forget about the hapless president-elect Rohani) on Tehran’s stoppage of military aid to Bashar al-Assad, including the withdrawal of Irana’s puppet, Hizb@@@, form Syria.
3) Egypt would ship some of the most advanced anti-tank/anti-MiG rockets it possesses to the Free Syrian Army.
4)Egypt would encourage the Arab countries, whom he invited to meet in Cairo, to discuss Syria to sent a liberation force that would topple Bahsar al-Assad’s regime and free the Syrian people. He should have added that Egypt would lead such a force!

June 15th, 2013, 4:56 pm


Tara said:


You got it.

I am sure he must have been paid to make the announcement today. I am not interested in paid solidarity.

June 15th, 2013, 4:59 pm


ghufran said:

At this rate, southern Reef Aleppo will be under government control in the very near future, clashes are raging in Reef Dimashq and around Hama, what the regime wants is to expel the rebels from a large swath of land that stretches from Damascus to Latakia. People were resigned to the assumption that the army left eastern Syria under the mercy of rebels and Nusra but that does not seem to be the case now after we found out that Rasafa in Deir fell under regime control and other areas are still being attacked, daily. Raqqa is not much different. Rebels, on the other hand, are in no mood to stop, they are still attacking army troops in areas like Hama and Idleb and launching counter attacks in Aleppo.
The point is, despite the talks about Geneva 2, both parties have decided to fight til the last breath even if a political settlement is to be reached later, something in the genes of all warriors tells them that negotiations can not bring back what you lost on the battle field, every time you think a stop to this war is coming another series of violent events flare up.
I agree that Assad and his top associates need to “retire” from political life but I think the war today is much bigger than Assad and his foes, his departure will be helpful but it will not stop the war, third world countries have not yet entered the term of no winners/ no losers in their political dictionary, that makes it very hard for one side to accept the other side on equal footing in a peace conference, the regime wants to crush the rebels and impose a deal that protects its core interests and its constituents, but the rebels will not accept anything short of a total surrender by the regime, there is an ocean between the two, to cross that ocean one side needs to own a victorious ship which big players will not allow, this war will only stop when the US and Russia admit that the game is over, NATO is not yet ready to admit defeat, this admission will require the collapse of rebels in Aleppo and the containment of rebels in other areas especially Damascus, if that takes place, a big but a possible if, NATO will raise the white flag even if rebels do not.

June 15th, 2013, 5:06 pm


Ilya said:

Iraqi al-Qaeda chief rejects Zawahiri orders
In new audio recording, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi reaffirms commitment to merging with Syrian opposition al-Nusra Front.
Zawahiri had earlier ordered al-Qaeda in Iraq and the al-Nusra Front to remain separate entities [AFP]
Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq has rejected orders from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the group’s global chief, to break up his group’s claimed union with the Jabhat al-Nusra, an armed Islamist group in Syria, according to a new audio message.
The purported remarks by head of Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the message posted on jihadist forums on Saturday indicate tensions between ISI and al-Qaeda’s central command.
In April, Baghdadi announced that ISI had merged with Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Nusra Front.
Al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammed al-Jawlani acknowledged a relationship between the two groups, but he denied there had been a merger and publicly pledged his allegiance to Zawahiri.
In Saturday’s message, the man identified as Baghdadi said “the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant will remain, as long as we have a vein pumping or an eye blinking. It remains and we will not compromise nor give it up”.
“It remains, and we will not compromise; we will not give up […] until we die.”
Earlier this month, Zawahiri ruled that the ISI and al-Nusra should operate as separate entities, according to a letter released to Al Jazeera.
Baghdadi had “made a mistake” by announcing a merger “without consulting us”, he said.
The merger plan has been “damaging to all jihadists”, Zawahiri said, adding that “Al-Nusra Front is an independent branch of Al-Qaeda”.
But the message on Saturday said: “When it comes to the letter of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri – may God protect him – we have many legal and methodological reservations.”

After consulting with the consultative council of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant […] I chose the order of God over the orders that contravenes Allah in the letter.
The audio message could not immediately be independently verified.
Al-Nusra Front, created in January 2012, joined al-Qaeda last December on a US list of foreign terrorist organisations.
An al-Nusra front member in Syria, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera that following the release of Zawahiri’s letter, many members of ISI rejoined al-Nusra, particularly in the province of Deir Ezzor.
He said this new audio recording causes further division and confusion among those fighting on the ground.
“Defying the orders of Zawahiri is a black dot on Baghdadi’s career”, he said.
Among elements fighting to oust the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, al-Nusra is one of the best armed and most successful on the battlefield. It has carried out some of the deadliest attacks in the uprising, claiming responsibility for several suicide bombings.
Haha these people so disorganized they cant agree who is their boss who to take orders from or not what a mess..
these morons want to go to Geneva 2? they will refuse they will get embarrassed they know it worst opposition in mankind history of so called revolution.

June 15th, 2013, 5:19 pm


zoo said:

Why does Saudi want the war to continue in Syria?

Qatar’s support is fading and the Moslem brotherhood is weakening by the day in all Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia is taking over and wants to remain the USA favorite in the region (after Israel) despite the decreased dependency of the USA on Saudi oil.
Now that there is a moderate president in Iran, KSA is very worried that the USA would make a deal with Iran on the nuclear issue as this would strengthen the Shias in the region and diminish KSA’s importance for the USA.
They also worry that Iran and Syria may make a separate peace with Israel that would isolate KSA and dump on it the responsibility of the palestinians who are Sunnis.

For these reasons KSA does not want peace in Syria now.
KSA wants to keep the Syria situation hot in order to discourage any possible cozyness between Iran and the USA after the new election.

Therefore it will help financially BOTH sides of the fighting parties to bring the country to its knees and then appear as the savior, like they did in Lebanon.

Dark days ahead for Syria..

June 15th, 2013, 5:26 pm


Citizen said:

You will be shocked! There are many surprises waiting for taking action!!!

June 15th, 2013, 5:26 pm


Tara said:

Can anyone explain to me the relevance of a president in Iran? A figure head only to meet dignitaries and give speeches while the Murshid is in effect the one who manages everything? Does the Iranian president have any real power at all? And does the West not know this?

The policy of the Murshid is not going to change so why all these empty declarations from everyone and his brother of wanting to work with the new kid?

June 15th, 2013, 5:36 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

مفتي سورية: إذا سقطت سورية ستسقط روسي

One Dollar=170 liraا

June 15th, 2013, 5:39 pm


dawoud said:

330. TARA

I actually had a couple of courses on Iranian politics, and I can tell you you that Ali Khameini, the Supreme Leader, can veto anything. I saw an Iranian expert who said that Khameini is MORE powerful than a non-constitutional monarch, and you only compare him to “God” since his is Allah’s “representative” (the Wali al-Faqih) on earth until their “Mahdi” comes back! The supreme leader decides foreign policy (which means that Rohani or any president can’t open relations with the West or stop supporting Bashar withouth Khameini’s approval). The president of Iran can’t declare wars nor sign treaties nor stop the nuclear ambitions without the approval of the supreme leader. The president does NOT control the terrorist al-Quds force nor the Basij, etc………..

It’s just a symbolic position in a Wilayet al-faqih theocracy…

June 15th, 2013, 5:55 pm


revenire said:

My cousin said many feel by the time this war is over Assad’s son will be old enough to take over. I hope he was joking!

June 15th, 2013, 5:56 pm


Ilya said:

USA used chemical weapons there in Falujah Irak on huge scale killed thousands of people,left many with cancers,babies are born with terrible defects everyone should Google it,it was acceptable for world community?
That Did not cross anyone red line?
now USA gonna use pretext of chemical weapons to arm rebels or invade country?.
hypocrisy is mind boggling ,USA can do whatever it wants how it wants no matter what the consequences .

June 15th, 2013, 6:12 pm


Citizen said:

All lovers of democracy and the United States. Price calm Americans: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, not to mention the other.

putin! go ahead !!!

June 15th, 2013, 6:17 pm


Citizen said:

334. ILYA
Take it from German doctors!

June 15th, 2013, 6:21 pm


revenire said:

US used chemical weapons, Israel uses chemical weapons – this is a joke. Syria has no reason to use them. As Lavrov said, they are not backed into a corner and winning on the ground all over Syria.

Obama is a desperate maniac. He might launch WW III over this. He loves Al-Qaeda.

June 15th, 2013, 6:22 pm


Ilya said:

Why these Mujaheddin begging Kafir all the time for help? to beat another kafir?
is not it forbidden in Koran hadith or Sunnah?!

here Sheikh Imran Nazar Hosein breaks down war in Syria and it consequences to the world.

June 15th, 2013, 6:25 pm


Tara said:


I don’t know if the Murshid concept is part of the religion. If so, then it will be very very difficult for the Iranians to get their spring. They have a dictator who claim divinity and control their life and afterlife. They are doomed. If the Murshid concept is part of their religion and hence their genetic makeup then there is hardly any hope for them as denouncing the mullah would be equal to denouncing their religion.

June 15th, 2013, 6:33 pm


Citizen said:

Freedom for 8th grade student Jared Marcum, who was SUSPENDED and ARRESTED by criminal government for wearing a NRA T-shirt to school !!!

June 15th, 2013, 6:37 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Some positive signs. About 2 years and 90000 deaths too late. I hope Obama follows through and quickly. Jordan and Egypt make good allies, especially when Egypt is the largest arab country in the world.

June 15th, 2013, 6:44 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Assad is aging fast

Tara it is in their religion, but not all iranian are Safawi persian, more than half hate Khamenei, the reformers are aganist Khamenei, the election of Rouhani is big khazooq to Khamenei

June 15th, 2013, 6:53 pm


revenire said:

Has Egypt declared war? LOL

June 15th, 2013, 7:00 pm


Ilya said:

Egyptian critics of Arab nationalism contend that it has worked to erode and/or relegate native Egyptian identity by superimposing only one aspect of Egypt’s culture. These views and sources for collective identification in the Egyptian state are captured in the words of a linguistic anthropologist who conducted fieldwork in Cairo:
“ Historically, Egyptians have considered themselves as distinct from ‘Arabs’ and even at present rarely do they make that identification in casual contexts; il-‘arab [the Arabs] as used by Egyptians refers mainly to the inhabitants of the Gulf states… Egypt has been both a leader of pan-Arabism and a site of intense resentment towards that ideology. Egyptians had to be made, often forcefully, into “Arabs” [during the Nasser era] because they did not historically identify themselves as such. Egypt was self-consciously a nation not only before pan-Arabism but also before becoming a colony of the British Empire. Its territorial continuity since ancient times, its unique history as exemplified in its pharaonic past and later on its Coptic language and culture, had already made Egypt into a nation for centuries. Egyptians saw themselves, their history, culture and language as specifically Egyptian and not “Arab.”[40] ”
That said, contrast between Egyptians and “Arabs” frequently concentrates on differences between Egyptians and Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula; Egyptians are more likely to find common cause with other “Eastern Arabs”, particularly Arabic-speakers of the Levant (whose dialect is, if not mutually intelligible, then is acquired with minimal effort by Egyptians—and vice-versa—and who have a similarly complex relationship with Arabness).

Who came up with this Myth that all Egyptian are Arabs?
Arabs build Pyramids? please give me a break stop this nonsense.

June 15th, 2013, 7:04 pm


dawoud said:

339. TARA

Yes, I agree with you. I am a person who doesn’t take orders or religious advice from any scholar or imam. I can read and research if I need to better than all of them. Although I am proud to be a moderate Sunni Muslim, I don’t want anybody to tell how I should live my life. There are silly Sunni “scholars,” Shia Islam institutionalizes the role of clerics and Ayatollah’s. Obeying them becomes mandatory. Following these self-appointed Gods leads to laughable stupidity like this guy, who says that it’s OK to smoke a cigarette while fasting Ramadan 🙂 This video is a must-watch for its silliness and idiocy!

June 15th, 2013, 7:05 pm


Tara said:


I too. I can read and understand on my own. Do not need a scholar to interpret texts for me or tell me what to do. That is the beauty of Sunni Islam, a direct relationship with God

So the concept of a Murshid is not inherent in Shiaa teaching? Some believes in a Murshid and some not?

June 15th, 2013, 7:14 pm


dawoud said:

346. Tara

No, it’s mandatory in the 12th Imam Shia Islam (the Wilayet al-Faqih), which is the official religion of Iran! You violate their theology if you don’t accept or disobey the Wali al-faqih (who is now Iran’s Ali Khameini). This why Hasan Nasr was seen on an old video propagating the Waliyet al-faqih theology of Ayatollah Khomeini in Lebanon! He actually explains what the Wilayet al-Faqih really means. See him in this video (please notice his Iranian accent when he speaks Arabic):

June 15th, 2013, 7:20 pm


ghufran said:

Tim Marhall-Sky News

(commenting on new US position and white house statement about chemical weapons):

First – arming the rebels:

The White House sent out a relatively junior official, Ben Rhodes, to announce that US intelligence now “has high confidence” that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons including sarin, but, “could not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed or who was responsible for the dissemination”.
Because of this, continued Mr Rhodes, the President had “authorised the expansion of our assistance to the (opposition) Supreme Military Council, and we will be consulting with Congress on these matters in the coming weeks”.
That ambiguous statement is a long way from “arming the rebels” and must be seen in the context of the timing. This comes three days before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland at which Syria will be high on the agenda, and at which Russia’s Vladimir Putin will be present.
Given that Mr Obama had last year declared the use of chemicals weapons to be a red line, now that he said it had been crossed, he had to be seen to do something – hence the ambiguous statement and the ensuing somewhat over written headlines.
Consulting allies and “Congress … in the coming weeks” and “any future action we take will be consistent with US national interests” suggests a drawn-out period resulting in not very much. By that time, the recent government gains in Syria may have been solidified.
Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are seen in Arjoun village near Qusair town The Syrian president has the backing of a strong fighting force

Secondly – the ‘no fly zone’:

As the Americans say: “Do the math”. Take one no fly zone. Then divide it by the prospect that it involves bombing air defences with Russian “advisers” next to them. Now subtract a Russian and Chinese UN veto on authorising it, and it equals to no no fly zone.
The French have already come out and said a no fly zone can only happen with UN sanction.
As that is not going to happen, it only leaves a unilateral move from a multi-lateral-minded president. He could go it alone with a partial no fly zone “lite” accompanied only by a “coalition of the willing” to use a phrase from the Bush era, and therein would lie another tale, and quite possibly another Middle East war.
This is pre-G8 positioning. The words coming after there is a failure to agree at the G8 will be more significant.

(I remain skeptical that a wide war will start,as predicted by
AB Atwan and others, I also do not believe the recent change in US position will have a major impact on the military balance in Syria)

June 15th, 2013, 7:29 pm


zoo said:


The political system is Iran is very complex with lots of check and balance. It is a caricature to think that Khamenei is the center of the power.
As it is a religious based system, Khamenei is the spiritual guide and the leader of the highest authority in the country, much like the Supreme court in the USA ( not elected) or the House of Lords in the UK ( not elected). His role is to protect the Islamic revolution and prevent the return to the humiliating dependency in the USA or the West.
Contrary to the common beliefs, Khamenei is elected by a group of elders and can be demoted if he is found to go against his role. He is not infallible.
The president is one source of power and there are many other sources of power like the Parliament, similar to the Senate and the Congress in the United States. Ayatollah Khomeini did not want the power to be in the hand of any single group. He designed the system to prevent that.
As for the president, depending on his alliances within other groups and his skills he can have more or less power to influence decisions made at the parliament ( the Congress) that are counterchecked by Khamenei’s group ( similar to the Senate).
Iran political system is often caricatured as a religious dictatorship. It is not well understood because is is very complex. In fact Iran is the closest possible to a democracy rooted in religion when you compare it to any Arab country.

June 15th, 2013, 7:43 pm


dawoud said:


All your explanations are not correct. You are underestimating the power of the Wali al-Faqih. Even Hasan Nasr in the video I am posting above comment # 346 says that the Walil al-Faqih (Khomeini and now Khameini) can appoint the leader of any Muslim country, since they are his tools and he is God’s rep. 🙂 The “Lebanese” Hasan Nasr actually explains Iran’s system and Wilayet al-Faqih better than you. You also reveal your sectarian love for Iran by falsely claiming that “In fact Iran is the closest possible to a democracy based on religious when you compare it to any Arab country.” This non-sense! Is Iran more democratic than Tunisia or Egypt (although both countries are still in a transitional period)? NO! Iran is even much less “democratic” than Morocco, which still has a hereditary king despite the current rule of an elected prime minister! Your sectarian bias toward Iran’s “complex” wilayet al-faqih is both misleading and funny!

June 15th, 2013, 7:50 pm


zoo said:


As you can read, the Supreme Leader ( Khamenei) is elected by the Assembly of Experts that itself is elected for 8 years. – I made an error saying the US senate is not elected, it was unelected before the 20th century, now it is

Iran has an elected president, parliament (or Majlis), and an “Assembly of Experts” (which elects the Supreme Leader of Iran), and local councils. According to the constitution all candidates running for these positions must be vetted by the Guardian Council (with the exception of those running for “Assembly of Experts”) before being elected.

In addition there are nontransparent unelected organizations (usually under Supreme Leader’s control) trying to “protect the state’s Islamic character”.[1]

This is a chart established by the WP that shows the complexity of the system.

June 15th, 2013, 8:00 pm


revenire said:

Dave you are very biased against Iran. I dare say you’d love to see them get bombed by the US as well.


June 15th, 2013, 8:06 pm


DAWOUD said:

I guess the “moderate” Rohani can’t decide anything of any importance!


World exclusive: Iran will send 4,000 troops to aid Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria

June 15th, 2013, 8:18 pm


DAWOUD said:

BREAKING NEWS: Foreign Persian invasion of an Arab country!
“The Independent on Sunday has learned that a military decision has been taken in Iran – even before last week’s presidential election – to send a first contingent of 4,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards to Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against the largely Sunni rebellion that has cost almost 100,000 lives in just over two years. Iran is now fully committed to preserving Assad’s regime, according to pro-Iranian sources which have been deeply involved in the Islamic Republic’s security, even to the extent of proposing to open up a new ‘Syrian’ front on the Golan Heights against Israel.”

June 15th, 2013, 8:21 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

king Abdullah will make speech to the Arab in the next few days

This one desreve to be heared, not nasrallah al tharthar

June 15th, 2013, 8:35 pm


Tara said:

Dawoud and Zoo,

Thank you both very much for taking the time to reply.

The chart linked by Zoo made it easy to understand. It is a complex system.

Now how come some Shiaa submit to Wilayat al Faqih and some not?

June 15th, 2013, 8:40 pm


dawoud said:

357. TARA

Please read my above comment about the Iranian invasion of Syria!


June 15th, 2013, 8:47 pm


zoo said:

#350 Dave

Iran is certainly more democratic that Mobarak’s Egypt and Ben Ali’s Tunisia.
It is also more democratic than Egypt today, Sudan, Yemen and certainly more democratic than Qatar, KSA, Jordan, the UAE where the whole power in the hands of an unelected family.

By the way the King of Morocco has a similar role as the Supreme Leader in Iran and it is hereditary while in Iran the Supreme Leader is elected based on his religious credentials:

“The King is not only a political leader, but also holds the title “Commander of the Faithful,” indicating his role as a religious leader as well. The royal family of Morocco, which claims descent from the Prophet Muhammad, therefore enjoys a sense of political legitimacy rooted in Islam and also has the power to dictate the form that Islam takes within Moroccan society.[8] As a result, this traditional form of religious authority gives the monarch the political legitimacy to arbitrate the agenda and decisions of a modern, multiparty government.[9]”

June 15th, 2013, 8:59 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Dear Dawoud
Probably not only 4000 soldier, more like 40,000,
If you noticed I don’t usually refer to Persia as Iran, I refer to it as Persia.
Zoo always try to improve the image of Persia, Qurd stays Qurd even if he puts make up.
We hate them as much as they hate us,They hate us after Islam because Omar Ibn Khattab defeated them, they don’t revenge Hussein,they revenge the defeat by Omar, that is why HA killed every one named Omar after they enter Qusair

June 15th, 2013, 9:04 pm


dawoud said:

359. ZOO

I don’t want to continue this discussion for too long because Robert Fisk is tonight reporting a breaking news about Iran’s invasion of Syria. Please see my above comment!

As to Iran being more democratic than Mubarak’s Egypt, still No! I resented Mubarak and his corrupt dictatorial rule, but you still would find a few newspapers in Cairo that criticized the regime. There is no such thing in Iran. Mubarak’s fraudulently elected parliament still allowed a few opposition figures to be “elected.” No such thing in Iran because even the so-called “moderates” like Rafsanjani and Khatami still declare their loyalty to Wilayet al-faqih.

June 15th, 2013, 9:06 pm


Anselm Kiersch said:

With no side able to win an outright victory, there will be a ceasefire and provisional partition sooner or later. The question is just, will it be after 100, 200 or 500.000 dead? The sooner the better.

The Plan (see link to the map below):
A ceasefire, temporary division of Syria, and UN peacekeepers securing the transit roads and areas where the respective forces are retreating from to prevent retribution. A political process to facilitate reunification will follow.

Advantage for the Rebels: They get major towns: Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Deir az Zur.
Advantage for the Regime: They get Homs, the lion share of Damascus, a border to Turkey and have a contiguous territory.

The division will stabilize the situation, because the rebel area will be over 90% Sunni including the Kurds, and the regime area remains secular and multisectarian, but without the demographic domination of one sect.

June 15th, 2013, 9:15 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“Dave you are very biased against Iran. I dare say you’d love to see them get bombed by the US as well.”


Why are you so concerned about Iran? Iran is bombing Syria and killing Syrian citizens. WTF?

How’s California livin’ these days? Enjoying your democracy?

June 15th, 2013, 9:23 pm


zoo said:


Both Iran and KSA are theocracies following their own version of Islam. You will notice the similarities in the “Supreme Guidance”.

Saudi Arabia does not have a Supreme leader like Iran but it has the ULEMA who play the same role as the Supreme Leader in Iran. It is a non-elected body who has the last word on social, political, religious and cultural issues.
The need for a higher religious guidance seems to be inherent to country ruled by Islam.

” The significance of the ulema (the body of Islamic religious leaders and jurists) is derived from the central role of religion in Saudi society. It has been said that Islam is more than a religion, it is a way of life in Saudi Arabia, and, as a result, the influence of the ulema is pervasive.[32] Saudi Arabia is almost unique in giving the ulema a direct role in government,[33] the only other example being Iran.[34] Not only is royal succession subject to the approval of the ulema,[1] so are all new laws (royal decrees).[33] The ulema have also influenced major executive decisions, for example the imposition of the oil embargo in 1973 and the invitation of foreign troops to Saudi Arabia in 1990.[35] It plays a major role in the judicial and education systems[36] and has a monopoly of authority in the sphere of religious and social morals.[37]

June 15th, 2013, 9:28 pm


zoo said:

If you want more money, wear a beard

Private money pours into Syrian conflict as rich donors pick sides

“Direct money from the gulf is super-empowering some of the jihadi groups,” said William McCants, a former adviser to the State Department and an expert on radical Islam. “With the United States holding back, there is a vacuum. And within this vacuum, private money is giving the jihadists more pull.”

So fierce is the competition for private funds that some Syrian groups adopt the language and dress of Islamists — growing beards, for example — to improve their chances with potential patrons, analysts say. Others post videos on YouTube thanking their gulf sponsors for past assistance and pleading for more

June 15th, 2013, 9:38 pm


zoo said:


You seem to suffer of an extreme persecution feeling. I thought only Jews felt like that and they had good reasons to, but a sunni who is part of the majority of worldwide moslems! That’s difficult to feel any empathy, sorry

June 15th, 2013, 9:54 pm


zoo said:

#358 Dave

Obama’s declaration of war to Syria has triggered the possible execution of the mutual Defense Agreement Syria has with Iran.

Iranian soldiers are even more efficient than the HA. If they get in, there may be no terrorist rebels alive to receive the weapons Obama will send them in three weeks.

Obama has played with fire. He needs to call for firefighters very quickly.

June 15th, 2013, 10:11 pm


Ghufran said:

Iran is a theocracy but is still better than the GCC especially when it comes to women rights. Rouhani does not have the power to change Iran’s foreign policy, that file and Iran’s nuclear program are under direct control of khameini , but Rouhani will project a less abrasive image than ahmadinajad and may be able to reduce tension with the EU assuming that Israel and NATO do not do something dumb in the next few months.
I am amazed at how little education does to reform some bizarre characters on this blog like the one suggesting that Shia are ” Qurds” and claiming that hizbullah killed every child or adult named Omar and that Iranians are still holding grudges against Omar (رضي الله عنه) and that they are still avenging the defeat of Furs by Muslims 14 centuries ago !!
( join me in reporting those unacceptable statements to Joshua and the moderator to keep this blog clean)

June 15th, 2013, 11:15 pm


revenire said:

Iran is the strongest power in the Middle East.

I am please to see them getting more involved.

Nothing but good news today: the great Iranian democracy elected a new president, more SAA victories, Assad said a new front will be opened on the Golan and Iran is sending troops.

I am proud to support these heroes.

June 15th, 2013, 11:15 pm


revenire said:

Brother Majed where did you hear the male children named “Omar” were slaughtered?

Perhaps a good rest tomorrow for you brother. These fantastic ideas of yours are getting very bizarre.

June 15th, 2013, 11:24 pm


revenire said:

US allied with the beheaders and cannibals of Al-Qaeda:

“From now on, therefore, every suicide bombing in Damascus – every war crime committed by the rebels – will be regarded in the region as Washington’s responsibility. The very Sunni-Wahabi Islamists who killed thousands of Americans on 11th September, 2011 – who are America’s greatest enemies as well as Russia’s – are going to be proxy allies of the Obama administration.”

June 15th, 2013, 11:27 pm


elian said:

“OBAMA walking on GW Bush path”
there is nothing more truth to that. it is all fabrication about the chemical weapons by the USA to justify its support to the radical islamists in Syria.
Arabs are naive and Israel is running the US foreign policy the new Shiaa Sunnis conflict born in the middle east and will not be put off for centuries to come.
keep this people dumber than a stone of rocks that’s what Israel accomplishing in the middle east.

June 15th, 2013, 11:49 pm


Ilya said:

there will never be peace in ME and in the world until Saudi snake head is cut off,its cause of all problems of terrorism in the world yet USA don’t care i guess bloody money talks!!!
Saudi is good at exporting oil and terrorism in the world by financing Mosques ant terrorist networks all over.
Who attacked USA on 9/11 mostly Saudis,not single Afghans,or Iranians,or Syrians.
Forgotten fact 9/11 2001, Iranians held a candle light vigil to express sympathy/support for the American people.only country that did in ME.Yet USA isolating that country from the world punishing innocent civilians.
Yet some countries rejoiced like Pakistan,SA, what USA did rewarded them with financial aid…

June 15th, 2013, 11:52 pm


revenire said:

I agree with that Ilya. I have read the US will not release the 9/11 documents on the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia and the British are behind most of the terrorism in this world. That is what I believe.

I hope Syria and Iran crushes them.

June 16th, 2013, 12:16 am


Ilya said:

Iranians Vs Persian Gulf Arabs
funny youtube video good night everybody )

June 16th, 2013, 12:44 am



An interview worth listening to. In it, Ayman Abd Al-Noor asks Dr. Abd Al-Razzak Eid, a self-exiled opposition intellectual from Aleppo and ex-Baathist, who left Syria around 2008 after feeling threatened by the government, to recount his experience leading up to the Arab Spring. Towards the end, Dr. Abd Al-Razzak Eid talks about Gol Aggasy, a charismatic cleric who was killed also around 2008. This cleric was known to be working for the Syrian Mukhabarat and was openly recruiting and training fighters to send to Iraq. Needless to say, the Syrian government was in cahoots with Al-Qaeda and used them to destabilize Iraq so much so that Nouri Al-Maliki, the Iraqi PM, accused Syria in 2009 of behind behind the terrorist bombing campaigns in Iraq. However, now he is 100% behind Assad. What a strange world. Anyway, I think this interview is interesting and helps shed the light on the Assad police state and thugs that run it.

الطريق إلى دمشق – د.عبد الرزاق عيد

June 16th, 2013, 12:44 am


don said:

Breaking news.

Egypt severed its relationship with Israel and closes its embassy in Tel Aviv. The beginning of the end?

June 16th, 2013, 1:06 am


ghufran said:

Patrick Cockburn-The Independent:

The volume of propaganda justifying Western military intervention in Syria is so high because leaders advocating it know that polls show that such intervention is highly unpopular at home. Hence the White House’s claim that it decided to arm the rebels when it finally became convinced that the Assad regime had crossed a red line by using chemical weapons including sarin gas. Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington, while arguing for full-scale US intervention in Syria, says “the ‘discovery’ that Syria used chemical weapons may well be a political ploy. It seems very likely that the administration has had virtually all the evidence for weeks, if not months.”
In fact, the evidence smells very like that for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction in 2003. It begs the question of why Assad should use small quantities of sarin gas knowing it would be used to justify Western military intervention when his forces are not short of artillery and every other weapon if they want to kill people. One curious aspect of the sarin gas story is that, at the end of May, the Turkish security forces said they had arrested in Turkey militants of the Syrian rebel al-Nusra Front, affiliated to al-Qa’ida, who had in their possession a 2kg cylinder filled with sarin. This is far more substantial evidence for the possession of poison gas than anything alleged against Assad’s forces, but the US, Britain and France showed no interest.

(syr.expat, we both know that Islamist militants have been used by everybody, the friends of yesterday have become today’s enemies for many governments not just the Syrian regime)

June 16th, 2013, 1:09 am


sf94123 said:

GHUFRAN, this is the remaining of the article!

Only an all-out war can depose Assad. Anything less is like being ‘half-pregnant’
World View: Syria’s insurgents cannot win just by getting a few more weapons. If the West intervenes, it will be as a main player

June 16th, 2013, 1:16 am


ghufran said:

Erdogan is now speaking like Bashar talking about a conspiracy and accusing his opponents of working with terrorists:
اتهم أردوغان حزب الشعب التركي المعارض بأنه مرتبط بمرتكبي تفجيرات الريحانية التي وقعت الشهر الماضي في جنوب تركيا، وقال إن سلطات بلده استطاعت اعتقال أربعة أشخاص “متورطين” في التفجيرات، وأن التحقيقات معهم “أثبتت” صلتهم بحزب الشعب
I have to admit that I thought the protests in Turkey will only last few days, I was wrong, the more Erdo opens his mouth the bigger a hole he digs himself in.

Anselm, that was interesting, do you know the source?

June 16th, 2013, 1:22 am


majedkhaldoun said:

you wrote
some bizarre characters on this blog like the one suggesting that Shia are ” Qurds”
First I did not say Shiaa are Qurd, You are lying
second you made personal insult to me by describing me as Bizarre character
Your personal attack is not to be tolerated, there is no one more bizarre than you, I have it with you, you have been behaving like this for long time, and you proved to be unprofessional rude and obnoxious, I will complain about you, You deserve no respect, If you don’t respect us we will not respect you,

June 16th, 2013, 1:24 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Matthew Barber
Ghufran made personal insult that is not acceptable, he has to be detered

June 16th, 2013, 1:29 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Ghufran has to be taught how to be polite

June 16th, 2013, 1:46 am


ghufran said:

An interesting testimony by AJ Aqidi of the FSA (who did not make it to the rebels NC list):

كشف القيادي في الحر عبد الجبار العكيدي أن الثوار الذين قدموا نصرة للقصير من حلب و دير الزور فوجئوا بأن ثوار القصير كانوا يعدّون العدة للانسحاب من المدينة نظراً لكثرة عدد الجرحى و الشهداء، “ولكن قدومنا أحرج ثوار القصير فقرروا متابعة القتال”.
وأقر العكيدي خلال لقاء إذاعي على الشبكة العنكبوتية، بكثرة عدد الجرحى هناك، مؤكداً أنه شاهد بأم عينه التعفن والدود يغزو جروح المصابين بسبب انعدام المواد الإسعافية الناتج عن حصار قوات النظام وحزب الله.
واستعرض القائد الذي وصل على رأس مجموعة من لواء التوحيد لمؤازرة القصير بعض ما رآه ومجموعته في رحلة القدوم إلى هناك، كاشفاً عن استشهاد 12 من مقاتلي اللواء قبل الوصول إلى القصير بسبب ما وصفها بخيانة من يفترض أن يكونوا أدلاء، ملقياً باللوم على بعض ثوار القلمون حيث تمركز العناصر استعداداً للتوجه إلى القصير، ووصف بعض ثوار منطقة القلمون بأنهم مهربون وليسوا ثواراً.
ولم يخفِ العكيدي الخلافات بين الثوار في القصير، مؤكداً أنه حتى ثوار المنطقة منقسمون على أنفسهم ولا يعملون تحت قيادة غرفة عمليات موحدة، وهنا يتحدث عن انفصال عميق بين المقاتلين على الأرض الذين وصفهم بالمجاهدين الحقيقيين وبين قادتهم الذين بالكاد يرونهم.
ومن مظاهر الانقسام التي تحدث عنها يروي العقيد قصة اجتماع لقادة الثوار في القصير حفل بالسباب والتخوين فيما بينهم، لدرجة أن بعضهم كال الشتائم لطبيب جريح، فقط لأنه طلب منهم الصمود و عدم الانسحاب مما اضطر العكيدي وزميله الصالح إلى الانسحاب من الاجتماع.
ماذا ايضاً… انسحاب
كما كشف العكيدي أن الانسحاب تم فجأة، فاضطر من تبقى من الثوار والمدنيين الانسحاب ومحاولة تأمين طريق للجرحى والمدنيين، مشيراً إلى أنه طالب بأن يتم الانسحاب بالسلاح الكامل لمواجهة محتملة مع قوات الأسد، إلا أن ثواراً من المنطقة تعهدوا بإيصال المدنيين والجرحى بسلام لأن “أهل مكة أدرى بشعابها”.
ويعيد قائد الجيش الحر في حلب قصصاً صارت على كل لسان حول رحلة الموت أثناء الانسحاب من القصير، حيث اضطروا لسحب الجرحى و تعرضوا لأهوال جسيمة في الطريق و”لكنهم بعون الله صمدوا”.
وحول وضع الجيش الحر في حلب بعد حشد النظام وحزب الله تعزيزات لاستردادها قال العكيدي:”معنوياتنا عالية و نحن منظمون لدينا غرف عمليات موحدة تدار منها العمليات، لكنه أعلن عن حاجتهم للسلاح، “نحن الآن صامدون في حلب و لكن لا نعلم إلى متى سنستطيع الصمود إن لم يتوفر لنا السلاح”.
وأشار إلى عدم الحاجة إلى الرجال “فلا نريد سوريا كأفغانستان نريد السلاح، ولا نريد المال لأنه أفسد الثورة”.

For the sake of intellectual integrity, this is what majed said:
“Zoo always try to improve the image of Persia, Qurd stays Qurd even if he puts make up.
We hate them as much as they hate us,They hate us after Islam because Omar Ibn Khattab defeated them, they don’t revenge Hussein,they revenge the defeat by Omar, that is why HA killed every one named Omar after they enter Qusair”
I was indeed being polite when I called that “bizarre”.
more from our angry thawraji (speaking to me):
” there is no one more bizarre than you, I have it with you, you have been behaving like this for long time, and you proved to be unprofessional rude and obnoxious, I will complain about you, You deserve no respect”
I did not ask that majed gets banned but I think he should receive a warning.
I rest my case.
(BTW, there is a spell checker under “comment” )

June 16th, 2013, 1:51 am


Ziad said:

الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام نسف معبد رافضي -دير الزور ج2

June 16th, 2013, 1:52 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Qurd stay Qurd even if he puts make up is a proverb, this means you can not improve the Image of Persia, there is nothing in my statement about Shiaa.

In saying I am Bizaar is not polite , you don’t know how to be polite, this is personal attack, you gave us the impression that you are educated ,so you should have known that what you said is not polite, and represent personal attack, you violated the ethics,you have a bad mouth, you still do not accept that that your behaviour is disgusting and your stubborness makes you worse, if your parent did not teach you how to be polite some one has to, you must appologize.

June 16th, 2013, 2:20 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Decent people when they make mistake they appologize, if they are decent

June 16th, 2013, 2:41 am


Citizen said:

There will be a ceasefire and provisional partition sooner or later, limited no-fly zone, non-lethal aid, his days are numbered, limited use of chemical weapon!!!!

All these terms are corrupt and not commensurate with the situation in Syria!
have you any statistics how many Syrians, who do not accept the partition? Syria does not accept the division!!!!

June 16th, 2013, 3:56 am


annie said:

248. Juergen and all the other videos, very interesting, eloquent and touching and thank you for them. I am twitting
, Fb-ing them and putting some on my blog.

June 16th, 2013, 4:37 am


Citizen said:

Syrian crisis is the crisis of the Israeli entity, which is not a crisis of the Syrian people, or its components religious and ethnic, but created to take advantage of the Syrian contradictions to establish them low intensity war and then create reasons for foreign intervention in Syrian affairs

June 16th, 2013, 4:44 am


annie said:


Thank you JUERGEN for
all the videos, very interesting, eloquent and touching.

I am twitting , Fb-ing them and putting some on my blog.

June 16th, 2013, 4:54 am


Citizen said:

US troops on Syria border as Obama arms rebels

Three hundred US Marines have been deployed to northern Jordan to pave the way for the West to arm Syrian rebels.
A Patriot anti-aircraft missile system, designed to protect Jordanian territory from attack by Assad missiles, has also been moved into the area.
The deployment, seen by The Times north of Al-Mafraq, has been put in place under cover of a military training exercise being held this week, but it will remain there for months………….

June 16th, 2013, 5:11 am


Alan said:

We hope the United States to stop its heavy-handed policy towards Syria because we are dedicated to the safety of Syria and the interest of the American people
We do not want destruction or war!
These laws of physics! You can not disable the laws of nature!

June 16th, 2013, 6:58 am


omen said:

hey annie, i didn’t know until recently that was you with the formal name and the candle icon. sorry if i had been stand-offish. i didn’t recognize you!

June 16th, 2013, 7:44 am


zoo said:

#380 Majed

Will you ever stop acting as a persecuted victim? It is becoming boring to see you calling daily Matt to protect you from imaginary aggressions.

Please avoid your sectarian “proverbs” about Qurds. It is enough you insult the Shias day after days.

June 16th, 2013, 7:56 am


zoo said:

Once more great expectations about to be shattered

Cameron lowers expectations that UK about to arm Syria opposition

David Cameron has lowered expectations that Britain is about to start arming opposition groups in Syria, saying that the “greatest assistance” it can provide is in advice, training and technical support.

June 16th, 2013, 7:58 am


omen said:

via guardian:

Sunni jihadist groups in northern Syria have secured a large supply of the type of anti-aircraft missiles that the Obama administration has urgently tried to keep away from rebel groups fighting the civil war, video footage shows.

The missiles, believed to be shoulder- launched SA-16s, are displayed in a video allegedly made by a Chechen-dominated jihadist group of foreign fighters. They are known to pose a potent risk to most types of aircraft and have been urgently sought by all rebel groups as a means of breaking the dominance over Syrian skies enjoyed by President Bashar al-Assad’s air force.

The English speaker on the jihadist video, who calls himself Abu Musab, does not specify where the missiles came from, but it is believed they may have been seized during a raid on the Brigade 80 military base, on the outskirts of Aleppo airport, in February.

Separate reports suggest some opposition groups may have found an alternative supply line from outside Syria. However, while some light weapons are allowed into Syria, the CIA has led intensive efforts to ensure anti-aircraft missiles, such as the SA-16s, are not allowed across the Turkish or Jordanian borders.

June 16th, 2013, 8:01 am


zoo said:

Who is lying about the type of weapons the USA delivers to the rebels? By channeling US weapons, is Turkey declaring war to Syria.

London, Asharq Al-Awsat–Members of Syria’s armed opposition say that rebels in Aleppo have begun to receive more weapons and support from across the Turkish border, as the government of Bashar Al-Assad prepares an offensive to recapture the city.

Free Syrian Aamry (FSA) officers in Turkey have told journalists that arms have been reaching the FSA through Turkey over the last few days, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. This followed a two-month total stoppage of arms supplies to the rebels from across the northern border.

A leading FSA member, speaking on a condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the first batch of arms delivered to the FSA will include 102 OSA anti-aircraft missiles, to be followed by another 270.”

Despite rumors on pro-Assad social media pages that parts of Aleppo had fallen into the hands of the regime paving the way of taking the city, Syrian rebels say they do not expecting Aleppo to suffer the same fate as Qusayr, mainly due to the strong Sunni presence in the areas surrounding the city, which provide logistical support to the rebels.

June 16th, 2013, 8:05 am


zoo said:

Morsy is desperately trying to divert the attention of the Egyptians from the continuous failures of his government to ‘jihad in Syria’ and the Ethiopian Nile crisis.

Like Al Thani in Qatar and Erdogan in Turkey, Morsy’s foolish pro-US and pro-Islamist foreign policy will cost him his position in 2014.

June 16th, 2013, 8:15 am


omen said:

alan, it’s russia and iran who are being heavy handed in aiding the regime demolish syria. it’s not the rebels who are launching scud missiles.

June 16th, 2013, 8:20 am


zoo said:


Has the USA been outstripped by Islamists?

The USA now see that the ‘heavy weapons’ they have refused to deliver to the ‘good rebels’ are reaching the ‘bad’ rebels.

That may affect the discussions at the G8 meeting.

June 16th, 2013, 8:23 am


omen said:

Kurt Pelda ‏@KurtPelda 28m

Tonight on First German TV (#Weltspiegel): My first report from #Aleppo after the start of operation North Storm ( ).

this wont be subtitled.


June 16th, 2013, 8:23 am


omen said:

zoo: Has the USA been outstripped by Islamists?

i dont know what you mean by this.

the regime still has all of the heavy weaponry. you make it sound like the regime and rebels are equally matched.

June 16th, 2013, 8:29 am


omen said:

you think the world would be a different place if we all spoke the same language?

June 16th, 2013, 8:30 am


zoo said:


The USA went into a dramatic and theatrical announcement that they will provide only some kind of weapons to the rebels because they don’t want the heavy weapons to fall in the Al Nusra’s hands.

Now we read that these same heavy weapons are getting in Syria. There are three possibilities:

a) The USA is lying and has been sending these heavy weapons

b) The USA is unaware of these deliveries. As they said they do not want these to end up in the wrong hands, the USA should do something about stopping them.

c) The rebels are lying about this delivery to boost the moral of their fighters

If the weapons are actually delivered, then, this is an escalation whose responsibility falls directly on the USA.

June 16th, 2013, 8:39 am


omen said:

zoo: That may affect the discussions at the G8 meeting.

what are you hoping will be accomplished at the g8 meeting?

all these discussions seem to do is bide time for the regime.

June 16th, 2013, 8:44 am


zoo said:

The Syria Chemical Weapons Hoax

Greater US intervention in Syria looms. Manufactured threats facilitate doing so. Replacing Assad with puppet leadership is planned. Independent governments aren’t tolerated.

Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for Middle East/North Africa/Central Asian wars. Resource control is prioritized. So is imperial dominance to Russian and Chinese borders.

Fact: State terrorism is official US policy. Obama’s waging multiple direct and proxy wars. He’s doing so lawlessly. He’s ravaging humanity in the process.

Washington, its allies, and proxies use chemical and other illegal weapons. Permanent wars reflect longstanding US policy. Americans are deceived and lied to. Truth is verboten.

Unchallenged global dominance is sought. Washington demands total subservience. What we say goes is policy. All independent governments are targeted.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

June 16th, 2013, 8:48 am


zoo said:

After massacring Shia villagers in Hatla, the Islamist rebels destroy a Husseynieh

NGO: Al-Qaeda-Linked Militants Blow Up Shiite Hall in Deir Ezzor

TEHRAN (FNA)- Terrorists of Al-Qaeda-linked group al-Nusra Front have blown up a Shiite religious building in the Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, the opposing UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Right said on Sunday.

The watchdog said the attack occurred on Friday in the Eastern village of Hatla, where rebel fighters slaughtered at least 60 people earlier in the week under the pretext of being Shiites.

“Videos show the destruction of a Shiite hussainiyah by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the village of Hatla in Deir Ezzor,” the group said.

“The destruction was apparently carried out the day before yesterday (Friday),” it added.

The news agency reported that two videos have been distributed by the UK-based Observatory showed fighters who identified themselves as belonging to what they called ‘the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ inside the religious building, stepping on Shiite holy books.

June 16th, 2013, 8:50 am


Observer said:

Great news, 4000 Iranian troops are coming to Syria.

Similar news occurred in 79 when Russian troops arrived in Kabul.

The bleeding is to continue. The more important news is how much will it cost the Iranians. They sent 7 billion dollars that is 6 months of support to the regime.

So the bleeding and exhaustion is to continue. Iraqis defending the shrines is also pretty good as well.

Meanwhile, a battle has resumed in Qusayr and 77 officers defected and Goebels gave a press conference on the World wide conspiracy against Thouria Alathad.

Laughvrov is talking International Law; go tell that to the many oppressed in his country.

A cache of SA 16 is in the hands of the fanatics. I do not believe it. There will be a civilian airliner that will be downed most likely by regime forces and then all in the West will ask for NOT arming the rebels.

Spin and spin and obfuscate and twist and dance and just remember that the people in Syria broke all expectations and revolted for an end to this regime and end this regime they will do.


June 16th, 2013, 8:50 am


omen said:

The USA went into a dramatic and theatrical announcement that they will provide only some kind of weapons to the rebels because they don’t want the heavy weapons to fall in the Al Nusra’s hands.

light weapons were coming in before. light weapons are coming in now. so why make a big show suggesting a new policy when nothing has changed? if you ask me, the announcement was a form of appeasement to curb mounting public pressure for the administration to do something. the administration makes an announcement suggesting change while actually maintaining the status quo.

heavy weapons were going to come in eventually no matter US efforts.

June 16th, 2013, 8:57 am


zoo said:

#406 Omen

My position has been clear for long time: The violence must stop. Now the only window of opportunity is the Geneva II conference.
The Syrian government has showed its goodwill by accepting to be part of it.
I expect the G8 to force the opposition to join the Geneva II conference as a gesture of goodwill for the sake of stopping the violence on Syrians of all sides.

By refusing the opposition is bearing the full responsibility of the continuation of the violence.

June 16th, 2013, 8:57 am


zoo said:

Omen #411

I thought my point was clear enough…

June 16th, 2013, 9:04 am


omen said:

what does this mean? are saudis moving tanks? for where?

June 16th, 2013, 9:04 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Most of your comments are boring , I will not tolerate any insults from any one,,specially from one who claims to be educated, rudeness and not polite comment has to stop he and you are becoming annoying, it is enough that both of you are spreading fabricated news, both of you are against this decent great revolution that stands for what is right,against an evil regime that killed over 150,000 syrian, educated people has to stand for human rights and condemn atrocities by such criminal regime not to support,such criminal regime, that if they are good decent people, what we see from you and Ghufran is anti revolution, anti dignity and utter support to criminal entity.And dissiminating fabricated news.
As for Shiaa religion it is not true Islam,True Islam supports the right of people to live free and with dignity,Shiaa as clear from Persia and HA support dictatorship, Mutaa marriage is not islamic, Dissimulation which is basicly lying is not islamic, but the most important diference is that elevating human to level close to God is not Islamic, people are refered in Quraan as MIN DOON AllAH, Zull it is Kufr to claim that any person is elevated to a stature close to God.

June 16th, 2013, 9:06 am


omen said:

412. zoo,

if the regime wanted to stop the violence, it would stop. it wouldnt need a conference to do so. if it wanted to de-escalate, it would stop shipping in arms from iran and russia. there has not been one ceasefire agreement the regime has abided by. so i don’t know why you expect it to honor future ones.

June 16th, 2013, 9:12 am


zoo said:

#410 Observer

I agree, it is an excellent news. It is time for Iran to flex its muscles in front of the USA’s cowardice and show what they are capable of.

The USA weakness is that they prefer to use cheap local proxies to do their dirty work instead of the “precious” American soldiers.

Iran does not have that problem.

June 16th, 2013, 9:12 am


Citizen said:
………The bottom line is that a new war with Syria could carry ramifications far worse than those previous invasions. Let’s look at 7 reasons why a war with Syria is a terrible idea.

1. Preemptive War is Murder: Plain and simple. America used to be a country that only went to war as a last resort to defend itself. Now war is used as a hammer to occupy new territory at the whims of bloodthirsty chicken hawks. It is a plan long in the making to create an Arc of Instability where this is taking place. The preemptive war doctrine is one of deliberate destablization and destruction, which makes it morally reprehensible. It is premeditated killing and economic devastation. Even for those that support intervention, it should be acknowledged that when the rest of the world realizes America is no longer even pretending to be the beacon of freedom, but instead is the air raid siren descending across the planet, acts of legitimate terrorism against America become much more likely.

2. The Rebels are Terrorists: This is now a fact that shows the massive hypocrisy of military intervention in yet another sovereign nation. The rebels who are now being openly supported are the very same Al-Qaeda connected death squads that decimated Libya just a short while ago. In fact, the USA Today reports today that rebels have pledged loyalty to Al-Qaeda. This is the same Al-Qaeda that Americans have been told lurks under every bed and is ready to strike, thus justifying the Constitution to be reduced to nothing but suggestions. Very few rebels in the ‘civil war’ are actually from Syria. The same policy think tanks that have spread the fear to lobby for war, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, are now writing love letters to Al Qaeda. The policy of supporting ruthless killers and fomenting religious division to destabilize the Assad regime is another example of the lack of moral direction that makes a mockery of any concept of “humanitarian intervention.”

3. No Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Syrian government has repeatedly denied having any weapons of mass destruction including chemical weapons. Evidence that rebels themselves used sarin gas abounds, not only from the rebels themselves, but from those affected by these weapons and even the United Nations … before they changed their story. For Western governments to use the same tactic that led us to war in Iraq and Libya shows that they are sticking with a game plan that has worked on a hoodwinked public. If this story is tolerated yet again, it reinforces the gullibility of America and her supporters, while continuing to de-legitimize America’s motivations.

4. Humanitarian Catastrophe: More intervention would only deepen the humanitarian disaster. U.S. efforts to support the rebels have already led to a humanitarian nightmare in a country that welcomed people of all religions, and where women have unprecedented rights in the region. Over 93K have been killed and 1.5 million displaced. Atrocities of every stripe are being committed by the Western-backed death squads that are terrorizing Syria in much the same manner as they did in Libya. This demonstrates the emptiness of Western assertions that the Syrian people need to be saved from the mad tyrant Assad. If full-scale war breaks out, Syria will no doubt look like Libya in the aftermath, reducing a once-sovereign, secular, and relatively free country in that region to a divided, conquered and looted wreck of its former self. The only thing the Syrian people need to be truly saved from is NATO’s international intervention.

5. Iran: Iran has a mutual defense agreement with Syria which would force them into a broader war. Of course, most neocons would view this as a gift since they have been trying to force war with Iran for some time and have announced that in documents such as “Which Path to Persia?”. But they better be careful what they wish for: Iran will not be the pushover Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya were. In fact, within the documents of the neocon contingent, and the playbook of architects such as Zbigniew Brzezinski, it is clear that open war with Iran would be the least preferable and predictable of possible moves. However, this group has certainly thrown caution to the wind before, and war with Syria very well could open the final door to world war.

6. Russia and China: Both Russia and China have warned the U.S. against attacking Syria, which they correctly see as the final domino to fall before the move to Iran. Reports have indicated that both nations have made moves to thwart the intentions of the U.S. and Israel. Russia has stated that it will send anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, while it has been conducting its own military readiness exercises in southern Russia. Russia’s three-day exercise included “A total of 8,700 personnel, 185 warplanes and 240 armored vehicles.” This would seem to demonstrate how seriously Russia is taking Western aggression toward Syria. Likewise, China has stated that it is concerned about military attacks on Syria, but so far is urging peace talks, and has refused to commit weapons in defense of Syria. Yet, unlike America, China will not support the opposition either. China has significant trade and diplomatic relations with Syria that are many decades old, so it should be interesting to see if stronger statements about U.S. military boots on the ground will be forthcoming in the wake of the U.S. announcement that the Red Line has been crossed. Lastly, it should be noted that Chinese firms have been beneficiaries of the rebuilding and resource collection in other war-decimated areas. Nevertheless, it would be a terrible idea to cross the final line with either Russia or China, as the end result could be a world war of nuclear superpowers.

7. America’s Broke: Let’s not forget who ultimately pays for these military campaigns and reaps none of the benefit, besides empty platitudes about increased safety. The military-industrial complex, as well as the banks that finance war are the only ones who can claim any financial benefit. The rest of us can expect increased taxes, inflation, decreased tourism as anger spreads, and possible currency wars – all while critical domestic infrastructure crumbles like a third world nation. Not to mention how disgusting it is that the U.S. healthcare system has turned away thousands of patients while directly investing $123 million dollars to the terrorists operating inside Syria. The American taxpayer is directly contributing to their own financial enslavement; one which is going to breed incredible resentment in future generations who will be living in the economic fallout of this imperial experiment.
Given the long-range planning for what we see transpiring now in front of us, it is unlikely that a new war in Syria will be thwarted, which is why we must share this information with as many people as possible. Western imperialism will not stop with its current target — there are many more in its crosshairs, and it intends to march on toward the finish line with Iran and beyond. Perhaps if more people can see for themselves the documented, irrefutable evidence of an orchestrated plan playing out before their eyes, a final awakening can occur.

June 16th, 2013, 9:14 am


omen said:

It is time for Iran to flex its muscles

zoo, i thought you wanted the violence to stop.


June 16th, 2013, 9:15 am


zoo said:

#416 Omen

You are parroting again the ‘honorable’ sheikh with that absurd mantra.
I stop right here.

June 16th, 2013, 9:16 am


zoo said:

@415 Majed

Your post brought tears in my eyes and the urge to go to sleep..

June 16th, 2013, 9:18 am


zoo said:

Happy post revolution days in Libya continue

Attacks in Benghazi kill 6 Libyan soldiers

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Rooftop snipers and knife-wielding assailants killed six soldiers in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi early Saturday, officials said, in the largest attack on the country’s new security forces to date.

The brazen overnight assault by hundreds of plain-clothed gunmen on security installations forced soldiers to withdraw from some of their bases. In one case, soldiers fled out the back door of the First Infantry Brigade’s headquarters in Benghazi as assailants stormed the main gate, torching the building and two military vehicles.

Security officials say 11 people were wounded. The figure includes assailants as well.

June 16th, 2013, 9:23 am


Citizen said:

أمير قطر الجديد يطرد خالد مشعل من الدوحة والدور علي القرضاوي

…………تسربت معلومات غاية في الأهمية من أن أمير قطر الجديد الشيخ تميم، قام بطرد مشعل من الدوحة وأبلغه أن شخص غير مرغوب في وجوده وطلب له البحث عن مكان أخر ليعيش فيه، تقول تقارير صحفية أن الأمير الشاب يختلف عن الأب كثيرا فهو لا يميل للتيار الإسلامي ولا يشعر بالارتياح لهم، ويقول أخرون أن تولي “تميم” جاء بتشجيع من الولايات المتحدة وأن تصرفاته بناء علي تعليمات من واشنطن، التي تخطط لإنهاء الشراكة مع التيار الإسلامي بعد إن قامت بحرقه، فقد خسر التيار الإسلامي شعبيته في جميع البلدان العربية وأثبتت التجربة فشلها، ويؤكد المراقبون أن الشراكة لم تكن بغرض حب وثقة واشنطن بالتيار الإسلامي، ولكنها كانت بغرض كشفه وحرقه أمام الشعوب التي تتعاطف معه وتأيده، لذلك يري المراقبون أن الإصلاحات والتغيرات التي يتخذها الأمير الشاب ستتم، لأنها مدعومة من أمريكا، ويتوقع الكثيرون أن الدور القادم سيكون علي القرضاوي .فلربما سيلجأ القرضاوي للبحث عن نفسه عن مكان أخر غير الدوحة وقطر بالرغم تمتعه بالجنسية القطرية

June 16th, 2013, 9:27 am


zoo said:

Syrian troops capture Damascus suburb near airport
Associated Press By BASSEM MROUE

In fighting Saturday, Syrian government forces captured the rebel-held suburb of Ahmadiyeh near the Damascus international airport two days after a mortar round landed near the airport’s runway and briefly disrupted flights, according to the state news agency. SANA said government forces killed several rebels and destroyed their hideouts in the area.

Ahmadiyeh is part of a region known as Eastern Ghouta, where government forces have been on the offensive for weeks in a move aiming to secure Assad’s seat of power in the capital.

A local rebel commander who identified himself only by his nickname, Abu Hareth, for fear of government reprisals, said rebels have been firing mortar shells at the airport from Ahmadiyeh area and came under attack by the regime late Friday. He said two rebel fighters have been killed.

He added that rebels destroyed three tanks in the battle, claiming that they have acquired a small number of anti-tank missiles recently.

“A large regime force is attacking the area today,” Abu Hareth said via Skype on Saturday.

June 16th, 2013, 9:27 am


Tara said:


Your post about KSA is interesting.

Who are those Ulama? Have not hear any specific name in the past. Is it a body or one person? Do they really have power over the king in matters of defense and foreign policy like the Murshid has over the Iranian President? It seems to me their role is opposite in the KSA And more towards domestic affairs and controlling of…women.

June 16th, 2013, 9:29 am


omen said:

#SaudiArabia plans to supply the Rebels with anti-aircraft-missiles from “Mistral-class” German news weekly “Der Spiegel” reported

if true, it’s about time.

i knew the u.s. exerted a lot of influence in the region but to see ksa, turkey, qatar & jordan kowtow to u.s. wishes in blocking aid the rebels…it’s appalling. countries should have the independence to the come to the aid of people under seige!

p.s. here is a nonviolent option: if the saudis were serious, they could threaten to block oil unless the regime was removed. that would cause the u.s. to stop safeguarding the regime’s position.

June 16th, 2013, 9:32 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo said
By refusing the opposition is bearing the full responsibility of the continuation of the violence.

This is far from truth, it is the regime that bears the responsibility of continuous violence, The regime was called to stop the military brutal solution several time, the regime always lied and never stopped the violence and the regime refused true reform,all what Assad cares about is to keep his dictatorial seat even after killing 150,000 wounding half million, and turning 4-5 million to become refugees
IN Geneva 2 must be about a true reform in Syria, that will guarantees kicking Assad out, Assad will not agree to go to Geneva2 without conditions,Assad is not honest, the oppositions are honest.

June 16th, 2013, 9:37 am


Dawoud said:

King Abdallah of Jordan declares war on Iran and Hizball WITHOUT declaring war! Regardless of what people feel about the Jordanian monarchy, an overwhelming majority of Jordanians and Arabs support any decision the king may make to launch an attack on genocidal Bashar al-Assad, or if he allows Jordan to be used as a base for Free Syrian Army training/arming its starting point to free Syria from the Persian foreign invasion (please see my above comment about Robert Fisk’s article, which breaks the news that Iran is sending 4000 troops to Syria). Thanks Jordan, and please ask for Egyptian troops to be stationed in Northern Jordan to aid the FSA and Jordan! This is now not only a war to free the Syrian people from a murderous sectarian dictator, but it is also a war to protect all Arabs from the Persian invasion. It is also a war to protect Syria as a Sunni-majority country from the sectarian 12th Imam Ja’afari Shiism (the theocratic Iranian Wilayet al-Faqih). It’s war to protect all Arabs and Sunni Islam, not just Syrians!!!!!

ملك الأردن: سنحمي بلدنا من التداعيات السورية

فتح ملك الأردن عبد الله الثاني الباب أمام كل الخيارات لما وصفه حماية الأردن ومصالح شعبه في سياق حديثه عن الأزمة السورية.

واختار الملك “بيئة عسكرية” لقراءة ما اعتبر واحدا من أهم خطاباته منذ اعتلائه عرش المملكة الهاشمية (منذ 1999) حيث تلا خطابا مطولا بحفل تخريج دفعة من ضباط الجيش والأجهزة الأمنية بالجناح العسكري لجامعة مؤتة المقامة على الأرض التي شهدت معركة مؤتة الشهيرة بالتاريخ الإسلامي.

وقال عبد الله الثاني إن الأزمة السورية “فرضت علينا معطيات صعبة جداً” وتحدث بشكل مقتضب عن تداعيات الأزمة على الأردن، وقال “إذا لم يتحرك العالم ويساعدنا في هذا الموضوع كما يجب، أو إذا أصبح هذا الموضوع يشكل خطرا على بلدنا، فنحن قادرون في أية لحظة على اتخاذ الإجراءات التي تحمي بلدنا ومصالح شعبنا”.

وأتبع الملك حديثه في هذا السياق بتوجيه الشكر والتحية لمنتسبي القوات المسلحة والأجهزة الأمنية “الذين قدموا أروع الأمثلة في العطاء والتضحية والإيثار في الحفاظ على أمن الوطن واستقراره وحماية منجزاته إلى جانب رسالتهم الإنسانية النبيلة في التعامل مع الإخوة اللاجئين السوريين”.

Jordan ready to fight against ‘any threat’ from Syrian conflict
Sunday, 16 June 2013

Jordan’s King Abdullah said on Sunday the kingdom was ready to defend itself from any threat to its security from the conflict in neighboring Syria.
“If the world does not help as it should, and if the matter becomes a danger to our country, we are able at any moment to take the necessary measures to protect the country and the interest of our people,” he said.
King Abdullah was speaking as Jordanian and U.S. forces proceeded with joint military exercises with the participation of 17 other countries. Diplomats say the exercises, which entered their second week, aim to send a strong message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He also saluted members of his country’s armed forces who helped over the last year undertake a massive humanitarian relief operation to bring across the border hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing bombardment in their villages and towns and seeking a safe haven.

June 16th, 2013, 9:46 am


Tara said:

I do not understand the sudden change in Qatar? What pull the US has on Emir Qatar to agree to give it up to his son while still in his prime? How could a 33 yo manage a country? Why not pressure the current Emir and HBJ to sever their relationship with the MB as opposed to kicking them out? I will sure miss HBJ talent and Arab nationalism.

June 16th, 2013, 9:49 am


majedkhaldoun said:

It is announced that Persia is sending 4000 soldier to help Assad, the true number probably close to 40,000, HA sent his fighters to help Assad, they are another 40,000 they are now inside Syria killing Syrians, Arabs will not stand by watching these criminals killing Syrian, and USA and Europe must do something, and has the right to intervene.

I said before 2013 will be the year of foreign intervention, Assad is unable to fight anymore, he needs help from who but the enemy of Syrians,Persia and HA

The news of US may help the rebels militarily sent the Lira to spin down to the lowest level ever against the dollar,170, and may go down much further

June 16th, 2013, 9:52 am


dawoud said:


I genuinely believe that Emir Hama is stepping down on his own-according to his own will. I think he is trying to make a point that nobody should rule for life even if he is a monarch! He is a reformer.

June 16th, 2013, 10:01 am


zoo said:

#423 Citizen

If this is true than it means the snake HBJ has been kicked out. It was expected as Sheikha Moza hated him. Now Qatar may recover some sanity.
Hamas has recently made overture at Iran. Iran had cut its generous support when Hamas took a hard stand against Bashar al Assad who hosted him for decades.
If ever Hamas looses Qatar’s financial support, it will become dependent on the two Moslem Brotherhood supporters: Egypt and Turkey.

Maybe under US pressure, Erdogan has already postponed his trip to Gaza and may distanciate himself ever further from Hamas.
Egypt is in a economical crisis and can’t help Gaza.

Will we soon see a return on Damascus Road for Hamas?

June 16th, 2013, 10:03 am


zoo said:

#430 Majed

“It is announced that Persia is sending 4000 soldier to help Assad, the true number probably close to 40,000, HA sent his fighters to help Assad,”

If this is true, that’s a great news! It will enlight my week-end

Funny, you did not ‘suggest’ that this will happen.

June 16th, 2013, 10:06 am


Hopeful said:

#429 Tara

Why are you assuming that ths US (or anyone else for that matter other than the Qataris themselves) has anything to do with this transition?

June 16th, 2013, 10:19 am


zoo said:


The Snake HBJ had a strong influence on Baba Thani who has a failing health. Qatar is now despised, criticized and hated everywhere and it is about to be accused of war crimes for its policy toward Syria. It is hosting extremists who call for sectarian war and Hamas who calls for the destruction of Israel.
In one word HBJ’s influence has led to a negative perception of Qatar.

Sheika Moza and her son Tamam want him out of sight. HBJ will be ‘exiled’ in London where he will exercise his ‘talent’ in impersonating Tina Turner.

There is a possibility that in 2014, the only leader in the region still in power would be… Bashar Al Assad.

June 16th, 2013, 10:19 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Egypt assistance in Syria is more than welcome, Egypt KSA and Jordan must come to aid the Syrian people from the evil aggression of Persia and HA. Persia is to blame for such escalation, Foreign intervention that started by Persia sending troops will put an end to Assad regime,All efforts must be made to crush the persian aggression

June 16th, 2013, 10:20 am


Tara said:

Who after Egypt?  

Syria lashes out at Egypt decision to sever ties
By ALBERT AJI | Associated Press –

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria says Egypt’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with his country is “irresponsible,” accusing its president of joining a U.S.-Israeli conspiracy to divide the Middle East.
The official government statement quoted in state media on Sunday comes a day after President Mohammed Morsi told supporters in Cairo that his country is severing ties with Damascus and closing its embassy in the Syrian capital. Morsi, an Islamist, made the decision amid growing calls from hardline Sunni clerics in Egypt and the region to launch a “holy war” against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Morsi also called for a no-fly zone over Syria. The Syrian statement said Morsi’s call is a violation of its sovereignty “and serves the goals of Israel and the United States” in the region.

June 16th, 2013, 10:20 am


omen said:

Rose Alhomsi ‏@tweets4peace 17h

Have name of head of Red Crescent in X Damascus suburb, making women do things for him before giving aid. Anyone can take it further? #Syria

June 16th, 2013, 10:24 am


Tara said:


If it was the Qataris themselves, we would’ve heard something about it. The Emir is in his prime. He is not ailing. So is HBJ. Native Qataris seem to be happy. What just happened all the sudden, and who could influence such a decision? Was the Emir just visiting the US? Of course, I could be wrong. It is all strange, unless it is a rumor

June 16th, 2013, 10:24 am


Citizen said:

431. ZOO
I think that the United States make their own arrangements in the Region ٌ!some switches positions on the chessboard needed to do what is required for the thing coming!!!I think that the time for the removal of these camels of their thrones was programmed at a later time after the fall of the regime in Syria, and now has become a necessity!

June 16th, 2013, 10:26 am


Ziad said:

Noam Chomsky Interview: Sykes-Picot Is Failing

American author and professor Noam Chomsky was in Beirut to give a commencement speech and accept an honorary degree at the American University of Beirut. Al-Akhbar interviewed this critic of American imperialism about the ongoing conflict in Syria, Edward Snowden, and what is left of the “Arab Spring”.

June 16th, 2013, 10:26 am


Hopeful said:

#432 Zoo

Are you serious about that? You want to see a repeat of the Iran-Iraq war of the 80’s but now on the land of Syria?

This escalation of the sectarian tone is crazy. This is definitely turning into a regional sectarian war while some of you on this board are cheering.

June 16th, 2013, 10:26 am


zoo said:

Morsi’s Syria stance influenced by US: Egyptian opposition

Egypt’s April 6 Movement (the Democratic Front) issued a statement Saturday accusing President Mohamed Morsi of capitalising on Syrian blood and promoting a US agenda with his decision to cut ties with Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria.
“Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have no shame in trading on anything, even the blood of martyrs in Syria, in order to win the sympathy of Egyptians,” added the statement, pointing out that Morsi’s call to support the opposition coincides with Washington’s decision on Thursday to supply Syria’s rebels with weapons.

Morsi did not mention plans to arm the Syrian opposition, however he stressed that “Egypt and its army will support Syrians until their rights are granted and a new elected leadership is chosen.”

In their statement, the April 6 Movement also denounced what they perceived as a threatening tone in Morsi’s speech.

“Misleading the people with false threats of the former regime’s return is nothing but the talk of a fascist regime,” read the statement.

June 16th, 2013, 10:27 am


zoo said:

@441 Hopeful

If you support the USA decision to arm the rebels, you got your answer.

June 16th, 2013, 10:29 am


Tara said:



Never underestimate the power of women.,

June 16th, 2013, 10:31 am


Hopeful said:

#438 Tara

It is not sudden. The Qataris have been informing foreign ambassadors and executives of foreign companies in Qatar about the upcoming change for a while now. They are doing this discreeting and diligently.

My personal opinion is that the Emir wants so ensure a smooth transition, so he is doing it when he is on top of his game in his own country. After all he has been ruling for 18 years, and he has done amazing stuff for Qatar, so he can leave a great legacy.

June 16th, 2013, 10:34 am


zoo said:


Qatar is far from the “happy” OZ you are imagining…

Read what I have already posted:

Regime Change in Qatar
Knee-deep in Syria’s civil war and surrounded by family quarrels, Qatar’s emir is looking to hand over the country to his 33-year-old son.,1

June 16th, 2013, 10:36 am


zoo said:


“he has done amazing stuff for Qatar, so he can leave a great legacy.”

Yes, palaces in Paris and 90,000 dead Syrians

June 16th, 2013, 10:39 am


Hopeful said:

# 443 Zoo

You always avoid my questions to you by asking me questions. It is getting old.

Frankly and seriously, it saddens me to read that you are happy Iran is sending troops. At times, I felt you might be reformable and could see the light one day.

June 16th, 2013, 10:39 am


zoo said:

@444 Tara

Have I ever?

June 16th, 2013, 10:40 am


zoo said:

#448 Hopeful

It saddens me too that you approve the USA in sending weapons to the rebels.

June 16th, 2013, 10:56 am


omen said:

441. Hopeful said: #432 Zoo
Are you serious about that? You want to see a repeat of the Iran-Iraq war of the 80′s but now on the land of Syria?

This escalation of the sectarian tone is crazy. This is definitely turning into a regional sectarian war while some of you on this board are cheering.

you object to the saudis sending arms as well? what alternative is there? inaction will leave the regime with all the leverage to continue killing.

involvement of arab countries doesn’t automatically mean a replication of 8 year long iran-iraq war of the 80s. (already greatly weakened by sanctions, can iran afford to commit to a full on war?) a credible show of force to counter assad could be all that it takes for the rot to give way and for the regime to finally topple.

June 16th, 2013, 11:09 am


zoo said:

Erdogan’s police use violence to prevent Alevi funerals to proceed according to the tradition.

Turkish police stop convoy of protester’s funeral, raid on waiting crowd in Ankara

As of 1.45 p.m., following three separate interventions with water cannons and pepper gas, the police has toughened its crackdown on protesters near the Kızılay Square. The police have begun to use water cannons and pepper gas against journalists and people around the journalists as well. The TOMAs and other armored vehicles have been carrying out dangerous driving maneuvers, ignoring traffic safety and putting lives of people at the square in danger.

An armored water cannon, known as a “Mass Incident Intervention Vehicle” (TOMA) in Turkish, and many riot police officers and gendarmerie forces were present at the Batıkent junction where the convoy has been stopped since 11:00 a.m.

At the Batıkent junction, the chief of the riot police said the family could leave the coffin at Batıkent and carry out the commemoration at Kızılay without the coffin.

Bayraktar and Sarısülük’s brother Cenk Sarısülük insisted on taking the coffin to Kızılay, arguing that their traditions required doing so.

June 16th, 2013, 11:20 am


zoo said:


“a credible show of force to counter THE REBELS could be all that it takes for the rot to give way and for the OPPOSITION to finally collapse.”

Don’t worry, if involved, the Iranian army is more than a credible force.

June 16th, 2013, 11:23 am


revenire said:

Egypt’s April 6 Movement (the Democratic Front) issued a statement Saturday accusing President Mohamed Morsi of capitalising on Syrian blood and promoting a US agenda with his decision to cut ties with Bashar Al-Assad’s Syria.

“We are surprised about Morsi’s condemnation of foreign intervention in Syria, being that he also demands a no-fly zone over Syria, which would allow for foreign intervention,” read the statement, referring to the president’s comments Saturday during a conference organised by Islamists in support of the Syrian uprising.

The implementation of no-fly zone would require the destruction of Syria’s Russian-built air defences.

“Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have no shame in trading on anything, even the blood of martyrs in Syria, in order to win the sympathy of Egyptians,” added the statement, pointing out that Morsi’s call to support the opposition coincides with Washington’s decision on Thursday to supply Syria’s rebels with weapons.

June 16th, 2013, 11:29 am


revenire said:

Hopeful why shouldn’t Iran send troops? I hope they send 100,000.

If the West can send troops why can’t Syria’s allies?

June 16th, 2013, 11:32 am


Hopeful said:

# 452 Omen

If Syrians choose to fight Syrians and acquire weapons from wherever, it is their choice. Sending troops from neighboring countries and militias is a different manner. Especially if these troops are sectarian by nature. The regime cannot continue to get weapons from Russia and then complain about the rebels acquiring them from Saudi Arabia or whomever. I was always against the foreign jihadis coming to Syria despite the fact that I am supporting the revolution. I am against Hizballah fighters and Iranian fighters coming to Syria and find it despicable that a regime, who always sings the song of national sovereignty, will go so low as to invite foreign fighters into the country.

June 16th, 2013, 11:34 am


zoo said:

While Syrian children are suffering and dying, UAE children of the age of 7 get cosmetic surgery to decrease their ear size and remove through liposuction the breast they develop for over eating junk food

Cosmetic surgery for children aged just 7 on rise in UAE

Martin Croucher
Jun 16, 2013

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

June 16th, 2013, 11:35 am


zoo said:


I also find it despicable that rebels, who always sing the song of freedom and dignity would go as low as welcoming international terrorists foreign fighters into the country long before the HA intervened and also thank them for the “victories” they have achieved.

June 16th, 2013, 11:40 am


revenire said:

Hopeful the government can invite who it wants. I am certain if the USA started illegally bombing Syria you would cheer – which makes you nothing but a hypocrite.

Without foreign fighters there would be no “revolution” at all.

June 16th, 2013, 11:41 am


omen said:

now the russians are defecting?

this is me laughing.


June 16th, 2013, 11:41 am


Hopeful said:

# 459 Zoo

I agree that it is despicable that some of the opposition invited jihadi fighters into the country. Do you agree that it is despicable that the regime is inviting foreign fighters into the country? Let’s hear it!

June 16th, 2013, 11:44 am


Ilya said:

Morsi is failing Egypt so he is trying to deflect attention to Syria is 1000 old political trick.
Same thing Clinton did scandal vs Lewinsky,to deflect it that s…bag decide to bomb Serbia.
Morsi you are spokesperson for White house ,you are not fooling anybody…

Egypt staged a successful uprising against the regime of former president Husni Mubarak and has held presidential elections.
But the move towards fledgling democracy has not been accompanied by an economic boom.
Instead, Egyptians have endured one financial crisis after another.
The currency has plummeted and the government is threatening tax rises and spending cuts.

June 16th, 2013, 11:49 am


Akbar Palace said:

Today’s vocabulary word: “Sykes-Picot”

The only way borders can change in today’s world, is through the UNSC. Good luck with that.

My read of the current situation in Syria is that Iran and Hezbollah will either succeed in knocking out the rebels or at least keep Assad alive.

Iran and Hezbollah are importing fighters to Syria and the Arab League has no answer. KSA supplies money and arms to rogue jihadi yahoos. Where are Egyptian and Jordanian F-16s? Sitting on the tarmac.

The US is not getting involved. My guess is a no fly zone will not be a US action.

June 16th, 2013, 11:50 am


Ziad said:

The Forbidden Truth: The U.S. is Channeling Chemical Weapons to Al Qaeda in Syria, Obama is a Liar and a Terrorist

Who has Crossed the “Red Line”? Barack Obama and John Kerry are Supporting a Terrorist Organization on the State Department List

June 16th, 2013, 11:55 am


Ilya said:

Pakistan,yesterday freedom fighters from Al Qaeda linked group killed 24 innocent people including 14 girls.
Pakistan is right there with Saudis with their atrocities against humanity,Wahhabi ideology thriving there,is this what awaiting Syria?
I saw videos in Syria where rebels where training little kids like 8-9 old to become suicide bombers how to handle weapons instead of teaching them love and humanity and tolerance towards other people.
If rebels successful they will not give up arms just look at Libya,Let Bashar get rid of these s…s

June 16th, 2013, 11:58 am


zoo said:

$425 Tara

The ulema is a religious body, unelected with no apparent leader in Saudi Arabia. Yes, in Saudi Arabia this body has a pervasive influence on everything going on, local and international.

In my previous post, you can read what sort of power the ulema in Saudi Arabia have in approving the king replacement, watching the application of Al Sharia, in decisions such as oil embargo etc.

In Iran the same group exist but they have a leader. It is Khamenei, who is elected according to his superior religious credentials by a group of elders. He is considered as the Supreme Spiritual Guide whole role is to protect the integrity of the Islamic republic exposed to powerful enemies since its creation..
Because of the presence of other groups such as the Parliament and the president, there are always tensions and conflicts. Decisions are more often taken through dialogs and compromises among these groups. Khomeini, after the Shah experience wanted to make sure that the power is not concentrated on one person even though Khamenei has the veto power (somehow like Obama).

June 16th, 2013, 12:01 pm


Tara said:


Are you the new and improved Ann? You sure have her vocabularies . No Gore please. And no relishing death either

I don’t mind it as long as a lesson is learned. May be Marygoldran and others should return new and improved?

June 16th, 2013, 12:06 pm


zoo said:

$461 Hopeful

I haven’t read you or anybody finding ‘despicable’ the Saudi army intervention in Bahrain?

No only Syria has a defense agreement with Iran, it is a sovereign country and can invite who it wants, when it wants to help protects its minorities and get rid of terrorists, freelance foreign invaders killing Syrians.

There is absolutely nothing despicable about exercising one’s sovereign rights.

June 16th, 2013, 12:07 pm


Tara said:


Have the Saudi army killed Bahraini protesters?

June 16th, 2013, 12:12 pm


Majed97 said:

Personnel change in Qatar has little tangible value in the regional political arena. Let’s not kid ourselves, non of the rulers in the GCC camp, or any of the AL countries, can make a single decision without approval from their masters. So, unless the US has a change of heart on its approach to Syria, don’t expect material change in the behavior of Qatar and KSA. The regime change in Qatar, ironic and embarrassing as it is, is nothing more than window dressing, and internal personnel rearrangement.

June 16th, 2013, 12:13 pm


revenire said:

I believe that is true Majed97.

June 16th, 2013, 12:15 pm


zoo said:

Pope urges G8 to strive for Syria ceasefire

(AFP) / 16 June 2013

Pope Francis called on Sunday on the leaders of the world’s top industrialised nations meeting in Northern Ireland to push for an immediate ceasefire in Syria.

On the eve of a two-day G8 summit, Francis wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron calling on the powers to act fast to end a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

“I earnestly hope that the summit will help to obtain an immediate and lasting ceasefire and to bring all parties in the conflict to the negotiating table,” he said.

“Peace demands a far-sighted renunciation of certain claims, in order to build together a more equitable and just peace,” he said without elaborating.

June 16th, 2013, 12:17 pm


revenire said:

“No Gore please. And no relishing death either.”

Tara you have called for a NATO, US-UK, French, Israeli attack on Syria that would result in thousands of deaths. You cheer more weapons being added to the war. Who are you to tell anyone not to relish death? Isn’t that what you do each day?

June 16th, 2013, 12:21 pm


zoo said:

$470 Majed97

I disagree. As KSA has shown its teeth and Qatar’s goal of easily toppling Basha al Assad has turned into a nightmare, Qatar may stop promoting the Moslem Brotherhood agenda in the region.
That will have far reaching consequences on Syria, Iran, Turkey and Hamas.

I expect a much more balanced approach in the Syrian issue.
Qatar can put all the blame on HBJ and restart clean.

It does not preclude that Qatar will stay under the influence of France and the USA.

June 16th, 2013, 12:24 pm


Tara said:

The Pope wrote a letter to Cameron?

Would be so embarrassing if he also writes the same letter to the Murshid of the Islamic Republic of Iran.. The media would go crazy.

Can the Pope be emailed?

June 16th, 2013, 12:26 pm


zoo said:


None of the Bahraini protesters used arms and they were proud enough not to beg foreigner for weapons. Yet many of them died.

They deserve admiration.

June 16th, 2013, 12:27 pm


Hopeful said:

# 468 Zoo

That’s what I thought. Again, you change the conversation and want to talk about Bahrain?

Within the opposition, people make mistakes, there are many voices, and people are free to express their opinions and criticize the actions of others. No one owns Syria and can claim to speak on its behalf.

For regime supporters,, no one makes mistakes and no one dares to criticize or challenge any decision. The regime is Syria and Syria is the regime. “sovereignty” means that Assad can do whatever he likes to do with Syria.

This is the essence of this struggle.

June 16th, 2013, 12:28 pm


Ziad said:

Will The US Go from Stupid to Crazy and Attack Syria?

The simple answer is No, and it’s an absolute No. But don’t get me wrong, there are officials in the US regime that would take the entire country off a cliff for their personal interests or for the interests of their foreign lobbies, and they’re doing their best to implicate the US with crimes all over the planet, including Syria.

June 16th, 2013, 12:51 pm


Ziad said:

Sweden set to punish Israel’s Palestinian victims

It is like putting an armed burglar with his defenceless victim in a room and asking them to “negotiate” a solution to the “dispute” resulting from the burglary and, when they fail to agree on how to divide the victim’s property, imposing a fine on the victim.

Fewer people still would dispute the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a massively asymmetrical struggle in which Israel, which boasts the world’s fourth largest army and is equipped with the best that US taxpayer money can buy from the US military-industrial complex, is pitted against largely unarmed Palestinian civilians and miniscule, disparate, disorganized and effectively leaderless factions armed with assault rifles and garden-shed rockets.

Yet, reason and logic are often conspicuously absent from the minds of European politicians when it comes to dealing with Israel. So, rather than put pressure on Israel to force it to abandon its policies of aggression, land theft, colonization, ethnic cleansing and general contempt for international law, on 14 June Sweden – hitherto considered one of the more enlightened European nations – announced that it is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinians because of the lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution.

June 16th, 2013, 12:56 pm


revenire said:

Hopeful who cares about the Emir of Qatar? If you like it so much feel free to go live there.

You have no idea what corruption is and accept it. I’d say you love it.

June 16th, 2013, 12:57 pm


revenire said:

“Russia supplies arms to the legitimate government of Syria,” Vladimir Putin said, days after the United States announced it would start supplying weapons to Syrian rebels. “We are not breaching any rules or laws and we call on all our partners to act in the same fashion.” “One should hardly back those who kill their enemy and eat their organs and all that is filmed,” he said referring to recent rebel footage. “Do you want to support these? Do you want to supply arms to these people?” “It has hardly any relation to the humanitarian and cultural values that Europe has been professing for centuries,” he continued.

Read more:

June 16th, 2013, 1:18 pm


omen said:


world media is aiding and abetting assad by refusing to show the full extent of regime carnage.

even hopeful’s slideshow, at 478, while displaying infrastructure rubble, only offers a sanitized view of hell.

curiously fails to show any of the dead. only offered one corpse but only displaying his arm. no wonder the polls argue again intervention. that’s because the majority of people aren’t seeing the daily horrors this regime is inflicting.

June 16th, 2013, 1:58 pm


don said:

Mr. Landis and moderator, why do you tolerate those repeat offenders with multiple warnings on your blog?! It’s beginning to look like you are sanctioning their open season on the Persian race and Shia islam! I implore you dear sirs to put an end to this blatant racism on your blog.

Just in the case you missed it:

366. Ghufran said:
I am amazed at how little education does to reform some bizarre characters on this blog like the one suggesting that Shia are ” Qurds” and claiming that hizbullah killed every child or adult named Omar and that Iranians are still holding grudges against Omar (رضي الله عنه) and that they are still avenging the defeat of Furs by Muslims 14 centuries ago !!
( join me in reporting those unacceptable statements to Joshua and the moderator to keep this blog clean)

382. ghufran said:
“Zoo always try to improve the image of Persia, Qurd stays Qurd even if he puts make up.

351. DAWOUD said:

352. DAWOUD said:
Foreign Persian invasion of an Arab country!

June 16th, 2013, 2:02 pm


Akbar Palace said:

“…announced that it is considering slashing its aid to the Palestinians because of the lack of progress in achieving a two-state solution.”


The Swedes probably decided to divert these funds to people who are more deserving: Syrians


What’s wrong? Dawoud is right. Iran and Hezbollah has invaded Syria.

June 16th, 2013, 2:11 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Assad lost his legitimacy, he can not claim sovereighnty, anyone who kills his people in such savage way is not legitimate. any people has the right to revolt against their dictator leader, he is corrupt and committing treason by calling on Persia to send him their troops, because of sectarian reason

June 16th, 2013, 2:24 pm


ghufran said:

I do not know what you had for breakfast:
“382. ghufran said:
“Zoo always try to improve the image of Persia, Qurd stays Qurd even if he puts make up”
that ugly statement was made by majedkhaldoun ,not me, when he was talking to zoo, I reported that to the moderator, wake up ,son !!

June 16th, 2013, 2:36 pm


Uzair8 said:

I think Syria will become Iran/Hezbo’s Vietnam.

June 16th, 2013, 2:38 pm


majedkhaldoun said:
So far no american weapons to the rebels.

Ghufran We are not here to tolerate personal insults by you, you are used to say insults to me, why don’t you respect others so people respect you, frankly I have no respect for you at all

June 16th, 2013, 2:44 pm


Uzair8 said:

Hamas’s Syrian conflict
15 June 2013

Abdelbari Atwan

Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has been forced to issue statements denying two important claims: the first, that it is riven with internal conflicts between competing wings; the other that some of it fighters are engaged in the Syrian uprising.


Perhaps the most serious recent report is that the Hamas Movement supplied the armed Syrian opposition with landmines and that the opposition planted these mines in the city of Al-Qusayr. The report noted that Hamas previously received these landmines from Hezbollah and was trained on planting and camouflaging them by Hezbollah experts.


June 16th, 2013, 2:49 pm


ghufran said:

ما يحصل في سوريا لو كان فيه خير للمسلمين لما موّلته دول عميلة لاميركا
ومتحالفة مع اسرائيل ولما سعت اميركا لتسليح المقاتلين الذين يشنون حربا بالوكالة عن اسرائيل ضد جيش بلادهم الذي يضم اغلبية من اهل السنة والجماعة وهو جيش مدعوم على الاقل من نصف سكان سوريا ممن ينتمون لاهل السنة والجماعة.
وتابع: ” اليست حلب ودمشق مدن سنية ؟ هل رأيتهم خرجوا لقتال الجيش ام فروا من المسلحين القادمين لتخريب مدنهم باسم الجهاد؟
لقد رأينا انقسام اهل السنة حين رفضت اكبر مدينتين سوريتين المشاركة في الحراك السلمي، فكيف حين جرى تدمير معظم اقتصاد اهل السنة والجماعة على يد مسلحي المعارضة”

“الرئيس محمد مرسي يتصرف في الملف السوري بما يتعارض ومصلحة الشعب المسلم في سوريا وضد مصلحة اهل السنة والجماعة المنقسمون اصلا في ذلك البلد ما بين موال للنظام ومعارض له، وما اعلنه مرسي من دعوات للتدخل الخارجي ضد الجيش السوري ومن استدعاء للاحتلال الغربي الاطلسي لبلاد المسلمين في سوريا لا يمت للاسلام بصلة ولا علاقة له بمصلحة اهل السنة ولا بعقائدهم الطاهرة النقية”

“اين كانت الاصوات المرتفعة التي تدين حزب الله الان حين كان ذلك الحزب وحده من يدعم المقاومة الاسلامية في فلسطين في حين تآمر عليها بصمتهم هؤلاء الذين يزعمون حبهم للسنة، اليست فلسطين وقف سني لم تحظ من القرضاوي ومن العريفي ومن الاخوان المسلمين بما تحظى به الفتنة في سوريا من تجيش هستيري للمشاركة في القتال؟. هؤلاء جميعا تلقوا ضوء اخضر من اميركا فسارعوا لارضائها ولو كانوا اصحاب نخوة اسلامية حقة لرأينا تحشيدهم هذا وتجييشهم موجها لقتال الاسرائيلين حين خاضت حماس حربها لوحدها وحين اجتاح الصهاينة المسجد الاقصى مرات تحت سمع ونظر من يعلنون الان انهم مفجعون بما يحصل بسوريا”

His message to Nusra:
“انتم في جبهة القتال الخاطئة واذا اردتم فعلا الجهاد فان الجهاد الاولى في سوريا هو جهاد وأد الفتنة وحجب دماء المسلمين فمن تقتلوهم من اهل السنة عددهم اضعاف ممن تقتلون من طوائف تكفرونها، ادعوكم للتوجه الى فلسطين ففيها الجهاد الحق.فمن اتى بكم الى سوريا وسهل دخولكم هل كانوا سيدعمونكم لو ذهبتم لتحرير فلسطين؟، لذلك اوقفوا القتال في سوريا لانه عبثي وهدفه تدمير سوريا وليس حماية شعبها، فما يحمي الشعب السوري هو فرض ارادة المدنيين على نظامهم بشكل سلمي ودون قتال لان القتال لم يورث سوريا الا الدمار وخطر وقوع بلادهم في قبضة الصهاينة”.

( زعيم تنظيم الجهاد في مصر وأحد مؤسسي تنظيم القاعدة السابقين الشيخ نبيل نعيم)
It is never too late to see the light and repent.

June 16th, 2013, 2:50 pm


don said:

I’m aware of that. I agree with you, it should be reported. That’s why I’m referencing it to those who’ve fallen asleep at the switch. I’m not accusing you of making that statement. Sorry for the confusion.

487. ghufran said:
that ugly statement was made by majedkhaldoun ,not me, when he was talking to zoo, I reported that to the moderator, wake up ,son !!

June 16th, 2013, 2:55 pm


omen said:

god bless libya.

Jenan Moussa ‏@jenanmoussa 1h

Libyan Sam 7 rockets are one of main reasons #syria rebels have downed many regime jets last year. My report:

America might in the future send weapons to rebels in Syria, but the Libyan city of Benghazi is doing this already for over a year. Jenan Moussa has this exclusive story, including the first pictures ever of secret weapons shipments from Libya via Turkey to the Syrian opposition.

Although America has recently said it is now willing to supply the opposition in Syria with weapons, only a very limited amount of guns have reached rebel forces during Syria’s two year old civil war.

But despite a weapons embargo, one place in the world – the Libyan city of Benghazi – has been sending weapons to Syria for the last year.

Their own Libyan revolution was supported by NATO and most of the rest of the world. But these former Libyan rebels say the world is abandoning the Syrian opposition. And because of that, Benghazi decided to act and no longer stand idle.

Over the last year, three shipments with weapons were sent by boat from Benghazi via Turkey to Syria.

Here are the first exclusive pictures of one of these shipments. Last shipment by boat was sent a month ago. Because of security concerns, we have blurred the faces of people.

The pictures show Libyans loading vehicles with heavy machineguns in the port of Benghazi.

Vehicles carrying much needed anti-aircraft guns are being parked inside the ship.

Also large quantities of ammunition.

All these weapons are donated by former rebel units in eastern Libya, Libyans government is not involved.

June 16th, 2013, 2:56 pm


ghufran said:

Putin does not seem to be in a compromising mood:
(pieces from his press conference with GB Cameron)

“The blood is on the hands of both parties. There is always a question as to who is to blame for that. One should hardly back those who kill their enemies and eat their organs,It is hardly in relation to the humanitarian and cultural values Europe has been professing for centuries.”

June 16th, 2013, 3:09 pm


ghufran said:

AQ Saleh was injured but he is back now to jihad, smuggling and giving interviews to Qatar media brothel,aljazeera:
قال قائد لواء التوحيد في الجيش السوري الحر عبد القادر الصالح إن التنظيم يسعى لأن تكون سوريا دولة إسلامية معتدلة تراعى فيها حقوق الأقليات، لكنه أكد تمسك اللواء بمبدأ الشورى في اختيار شكل الدولة المستقبلية في حال سقط نظام بشار الأسد.
وأضاف الصالح في حوار مع الجزيرة ضمن برنامج (لقاء اليوم) أن اللواء يشترط أن تكون الشريعة الإسلامية هي المصدر الوحيد للتشريع، مشيرا إلى أن الأقليات في سوريا جزء لا يتجزأ من النسيج الاجتماعي، وأن حقوقهم ستصان.
وعن أي دور سياسي محتمل للواء في المستقبل قال الصالح إن اللواء سيدعم الأشخاص الذين تتوفر فيهم المعايير اللازمة لشغل المناصب السياسية في سوريا الجديدة.
في المقابل نفى أن يكون له أي طموح سياسي، مشيرا إلى أنه سيعود إلى ممارسة التجارة فور نهاية الثورة.
من جهة أخرى اعترف الصالح بوجود بعض التجاوزات من قبل عناصر في اللواء لكنه نفى أن ترقى إلى الوصف الذي طالها من قبل النظام. وقال إن النظام ضخم كثيرا تلك التجاوزات كما ألصق بالثوار عددا من التهم هم بريئون منها.
في ذات السياق أوضح الصالح أن عددا من العناصر غير الملتزمة داخل اللواء تم فصلها. وفي السياق أوضح أن لواء التوحيد يرفض الإعدامات الميدانية ولا يأمر بها، وأن من تم القبض عليهم تم تحويلهم إلى الهيئة الشرعية التابعة للواء للبت في مصيرهم.
من جانب آخر قال الصالح إن اللواء تشكل بعد يومين من دخول مدينة حلب. وأضاف أن اللواء الذي كان يسعى في بداياته إلى ضم أكبر عدد من المقاتلين يتشكل اليوم من 29 فوجا ويضم أكثر من عشرة آلاف مقاتل كلهم سوريون.
ولفت الصالح إلى إن لواء التوحيد خضع إلى إعادة هيكلة وأنه بات يضع شروطا للراغبين في الالتحاق به كالسن والسيرة الأخلاقية، كما بات الملتحقون باللواء يخضعون لدورات تدريبية.
من جانب آخر قال عبد القادر الصالح إن لواء التوحيد يرفض أي حوار مع النظام السوري.
وقال “نحن لا نقاتل نظام سوريا نحن نقاتل محتلا متمثلا في إيران وحزب الله بدعم روسي”.
وأضاف “نحن لا نحاور محتلا وبالنسبة لنا النظام السوري انتهى ونحن نقاتل قوى أجنبية ممثلة في إيران وحزب الله”.
من جهة أخرى تحدث الصالح عن وجود تنسيق عسكري بين لواء التوحيد وجبهة النصرة، لكنه أقر بوجود اختلافات سياسية كبيرة بين الطرفين
AQ Saleh was instrumental in dismantling of hundreds of Aleppo factories and selling them for pennies on the dollar to Turkey, his Mafia is also involved in crude oil theft and trade.

June 16th, 2013, 4:31 pm


Citizen said:

We know that President Obama can stand up in the face of hawks Why he is flattering these bastards?

June 16th, 2013, 4:52 pm


Tara said:

I never liked this woman

Sarah Palin On Syria: ‘Let Allah Sort It Out’ (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post  
Posted: 06/15/2013

June 16th, 2013, 5:55 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

The egyptian army is the largest Arab army,with KSA help to support such army, and good cooperation with Jordan, Syrians can defeat the Persian invasion of Syria, to get ready it will take two months,if they start today, the aim is to liberate Damascus, I sure hope that Arab army would be formed to accomplish that,HA soldiers and Persia started this war by sending their troops to help Assad

June 16th, 2013, 6:01 pm


Tara said:

I think Salim Idriss made a difference.  Syrians owe him.  Any one knows what his background is?  How did he mange to reach to the helm?  He managed to instill trust in the actors in the white house that he is a moderate and capable.  Senators Mackain was confident enough to visit with him in Syria.  He is the “relationships” in Syria that the US did not have 6 months ago   

How President Barack Obama became convinced of need to arm Syrian rebels

President Barack Obama grew convinced that the US should arm Syria’s opposition forces due to Iran and Hezbollah’s increased involvement in the country’s civil war, as a senior aide repeatedly told him: ‘Superpowers don’t bluff’.

One aide singled out was Tony Blinken, a former adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, who was among the team pictured in the memorable photograph inside the White House situation room during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Now Mr Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Mr Blinken, 51, was reported by The Wall Street Journal to have frequently used the phrase “superpowers don’t bluff” during situation room meetings on Syria to stress that the administration’s rhetoric must be matched by a willingness to act.
“We have relationships today in Syria that we didn’t have six months ago that gives us greater certainty not just that we can get stuff into the country, but also that we can put it in the right hands so that it’s not falling into the hands of extremists,” said Mr Rhodes.
“We believe that we can make a difference.”

June 16th, 2013, 6:03 pm


Ziad said:

Let them kill themselves quietly

Op-ed: We shouldn’t give Arabs a reason to unite around their only common denominator– hatred towards Israel

Every day, some 400-500 people are killed in the countries surrounding us. In Tripoli, Lebanon, daily fighting takes place between the neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen and Bab-al-Tabani. Heavy machine guns, anti-tank cannons. Last week, 30 people were killed there and 200 were injured. In Sidon, pro-Syrian Nasseristic militias battle Sunni movements. The Lebanese government is paralyzed and Hezbollah’s political status is wearing out.

June 16th, 2013, 6:10 pm


Ziad said:

Ashrafiyeh and Sirian neighborhoods in Aleppo have been hit by 27 mortar rounds this evening, Both are residential areas.

Second rebel mortar falls on Huda Sharawi school in Siryan tonight (housing displaced families) lots of casualties reported.

June 16th, 2013, 6:18 pm


zoo said:

Putin’s brilliant replies to Cameron

“During a joint press conference in which those differences were made all too clear, David Cameron described Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a “murderous dictator” and contended that he “has to go”.

Putin countered that with a blunt warning to Britain not to try to arm Syrian rebels who “eat the organs” of their enemies.”

June 16th, 2013, 6:19 pm


zoo said:

#503 Tara

Just like Al Khatib who disappeared in thin air after flirting with Kerry and Erdogan
Selim Idriss has zero power over the rebels. In addition he has burnt himself by saying that he will not sit in the conference as long as Bashar al Assad is in power.
No wonder, he is a defector, a traitor who risks martial law if Bashar stays in power. He is fighting for his own life.
I guess he should go on a crash course of turkish.

June 16th, 2013, 6:22 pm


Tara said:


Putin’s answer is retarded, not brilliant.

Assad army crimes are systematic policy of the regime. Eating the organ of the soldier was an individual act.

June 16th, 2013, 6:25 pm


Tara said:


Do you know where Idriss is from? He is not from Damascus. Little has been said about his background that I know of. Why him? Not al Akidi or Asaad?

June 16th, 2013, 6:29 pm


Ziad said:

مشاهد فظيعة لاتصدق حدثت في سوريا – ارهابيو الحر والقاعدة +21

June 16th, 2013, 6:31 pm


zoo said:

The Syrian Army is preparing to block the passage of the anti-aircraft missiles that Saudi Arabia plans to give to the rebels

Assad launches new offensive against rebel supply lines

Syrian regime troops in Aleppo, reinforced after their victory in Qusayr, launched a new attack last night on rebel supply lines to the north of the city in attempt to cut off promised new deliveries from America and from across the Sunni Muslim world.

Regime tanks pounded Kafra Hamra, on the northern Aleppo outskirts and near an important intersection and regime base overlooking the city, activists and opposition television said.

A regime advance in this area would threaten the supply of weapons to Aleppo along the roads from the Turkish border 25 miles away, just as the rebels’ allies promised to increase their provision.

Saudi Arabia now plans to send to rebels anti-aircraft missiles of the sort long held back by the United States for fear they would get into the hands of anti-Western Sunni jihadist groups, German intelligence was reported as saying.

June 16th, 2013, 6:36 pm


Ziad said:

Syria – No deal in sight after Downing Street talks David Cameron said it was “no secret” he and Vladimir Putin had disagreements over Syria More from NickWelfare: Miliband targets ‘costs of failure’

What we used to call the West finds itself in a pretty strange place when it comes to Syria and Vladimir Putin knows it.

Speaking at Downing Street the Russian president was completely unapologetic for arming the Syrian government – it was quite legal he said – and looked unimpressed when his host, the prime minister, called President Assad a “murderous dictator”.

The renewed talk of arming the rebels was meant to put pressure on Putin so that he would, in turn, pressurise the Syrian regime to agree to peace talks. Here’s why that strategy may not work.

The US president talks of supplying the rebels with arms but shows little sign of wanting to do so whilst the British prime minister sounds positively enthusiastic about sending weapons but cannot persuade his own government, let alone parliament, to do so.

June 16th, 2013, 6:36 pm


zoo said:

#509 Tara

I know nothing about the guy. No journalist seems interested in digging in his past. For me he is another passer-by, just like all the others in the opposition.
Until now I just saw him whining and shamelessly begging the USA for help , that’s all.

June 16th, 2013, 6:40 pm


Tara said:

All opposition factions from the National coalition to the FSA to the activists should declare “beheading” a crime against humanity and warn the perpetrators capital punishment no matter who the beheaded was. This is brutal savagery and must be condemned loud and clear. Where is George Sabra and others? Where is Al Khatib? Where is sheikh Yaacoubi? That is where we need them too. Why haven’t we heard severe condemnation

June 16th, 2013, 6:42 pm


zoo said:

#508 Tara

One act caught on video. How do you know it is the only one?
What about the chopped heads which is the speciality of the rebel’s friends, individual acts?
The rebels have linked their fate with monsters. Unless they make a drastic amputation, they’ll get the same end.

June 16th, 2013, 6:45 pm


Tara said:

# 510

Please change the cut of age to 40 and above.

I saw the knife and immediately clicked off. I truly hope these people are not Syrians. These people are not human.

June 16th, 2013, 6:49 pm


zoo said:

Is Hamas getting ready for a U-turn with Syria after having its fundings cut by Iran and not replaced by Qatar, KSA, Egypt and Turkey?

Hamas’ Iranian Stockpiles Falling

Hamas is worried about something else entirely, which is far more significant to the movement’s future. Will it be possible to mend its relationship with Tehran?
This question has implications and a direct impact on the nature of the armed struggle against Israel, should there be one.

Read more:

June 16th, 2013, 6:55 pm


Tara said:

I am not clear to why the West still trying to change Putin. Is the West that naive or stupid? A lot has been said about the G8 summit. Do they not know miracles do not just happen. Why don’t save their breath and our time. Russia is not going to budge. Why is it so difficult for Obama, France, and the UK to understand and they keep trying? Or do they know that already and just playing their role while more manslaughter takes place in Syria?

June 16th, 2013, 6:56 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

General Akidi,(abu Mohammad) in his interview said the head of Mohammad army and his assistant were tried for committing crime and they were shot dead,
Did you hear Assad did anything against his criminal supporters , No,
The leader of this noble revolution has way much higher morality than Assad and his thugs, Assad thugs follow Persian morality which is correctly described as criminal one

June 16th, 2013, 7:00 pm


zoo said:

514. Tara

Their silence speak for itself: They approve these monstruous acts. And you expect me to support such people to replace Bashar al Assad, no thank you!

June 16th, 2013, 7:02 pm


zoo said:

#519 Majed

Please could you avoid the word ‘morality’ when you talk about terrorists who cut heads and eat organs…

June 16th, 2013, 7:04 pm


Tara said:

But Zoo, Bashar was silent in regard to ALL the crimes committed by his army under his name.

June 16th, 2013, 7:06 pm


zoo said:

#518 Tara

Putin will not budge, we all know that. Yet at every international meeting we read the media repeating ad nausea: Obama/Cameron is expected to convince Putin of dumping Bashar al Assad.

Then we read that Cameron is aggressively pushing the EU to allow delivery of weapons, then the week after he decides he does not want to deliver weapons anymore.

What it shows is that, except for Putin, these ‘big powers’ have no clue on how to get out of the quagmire Qatar and Turkey have put them in. There is no plan B or C.
The only plan in town is the Conference and they have no choice than to get the stick out and threaten the opposition of deligitimization if they still refuse to attend the conference.

The opposition is totally demoralized by the fall of two of their supporters, Qatar and Turkey. They are now turning to KSA for military and political support.
KSA wants to get rid of all the Moslem Brotherhood core of the opposition. We will see MB heads fall very soon.
The “new” Coalition will then put all the blame on the MB and accept to attend the conference without any condition.
By promising weapons to the rebels, KSA is playing the game of the savior but ultimately all they really want is the negotiation to start. I doubt they will deliver the weapons as the SA will conveniently stop them.
I think this is imminent.

June 16th, 2013, 7:20 pm


Ziad said:

Deleted Daily Mail Online Article: “US Backed Plan for Chemical Weapon Attack in Syria to Be Blamed on Assad”

In January 29, 2013, Britain’s most popular Daily Newspaper, in its online version published an article titled:

U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria and blame it on Assad’s regime’

A few days later they pulled the article.

What the reason was for the deletion remains unclear. The article was published at this URL:

There exists a cached version of the article which can be found here:

June 16th, 2013, 7:23 pm


zoo said:

#522 Tara

Have you heard Obama condemning the US army for the casualties and excessive use of force on civilians of the war against terrorists in Afghanistan?

A chief commander never criticizes publicly the legitimate army of his country, even if there has been excesses. It is dealt with after the war is over.

June 16th, 2013, 7:27 pm


Ziad said:

Bad Idea, Mr. President

ACCORDING to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama risks looking like a “fool” if he decides not to intervene militarily in Syria’s continuing civil war. Likening the situation to his decision to intervene in Kosovo in 1999, Mr. Clinton said Tuesday that if he hadn’t used force to stop Serbia’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, critics might have said: “You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?” Mr. Clinton believes that Mr. Obama could end up looking like a “total wuss” if he doesn’t intervene. And it seems he’s going to act.

The Syrian revolution isn’t democratic or secular; the more than 90,000 fatalities are the result of a civil war, not a genocide — and human rights violations have been committed on both sides.

Moreover, the rebels don’t have the support or trust of a clear majority of the population, and the political opposition is neither credible nor representative. Ethnic cleansing against minorities is more likely to occur under a rebel-led government than under Mr. Assad; likewise, the possibility of chemical weapons’ falling into the hands of terrorist groups only grows as the regime weakens.

June 16th, 2013, 7:34 pm


Tara said:


I disagree on this one. There had been trials and convictions in the US against soldiers who committed atrocities in Abu Gharib in Iraq while the Americans were still there.

June 16th, 2013, 7:38 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Guys look at what Zoo said
will see MB heads fall very soon.

Another prediction that is sure to fail

Assad has no morality at all he killed children and forced their parent to thank him,they were afraid about their other children, is their worse than Assad, no one worse, he is lowest of the lowest, How many massacres he ordered?, he is committing treason by calling for persia to send troops and weapons, Assad has killed more than 200000 ,he was supposed to defend, he killed them, never in the history of Syria we have such evil criminals, and now is helped by Evil HA and persia,his name will enter in the history as the worst criminal ever

June 16th, 2013, 8:12 pm


Ilya said:

Maz Jobrani Persians vs Arabs
this is a funny clip

June 16th, 2013, 8:15 pm


Hopeful said:

# 525 Zoo

When US soldiers abused prisoners in Abu Ghraib (by doing things that are far far less than what we see going in Syria today), there were trials and convictions, the secretary of defense was called to Congressional hearings and was humiliated publicly and in the press. He submitted his resignation and was eventually dumbed when Bush was reelected.

And yes, I heared Obama condemn acts committed by US soldiers far less than what we see in Syria. For example, he condemned the US soldiers who posed in photos next to corpses last year. Look that up.

There is no comparison.

June 16th, 2013, 8:26 pm


revenire said:

You’re right… Syria has never attacked innocent nations or murdered civilians like the US has.

June 16th, 2013, 8:39 pm


revenire said:

Brother Majed no one forced Hamza’s father to praise Assad. That is oe of the crazier things I’ve heard. Do you have any proof of that? It sounds so bizarre.

Perhaps a nap brother?

June 16th, 2013, 8:43 pm


zoo said:

#527 Tara

It took 3 years to convict the abu graib soldiers and they got what? a demotion and a fine? The US army could not hide the scandal because it was all over on Youtube. For one scandal making it to Youtube they are thousands of massacres that are kept as “classified”
The trial was a theatrical display of US “justice” after hundred thousands of Iraqis were killed by the US army and simply considered as “collaterals”
I never heard Bush criticizing the US army for these murders, quite the contrary they got awards. Ask the US soldiers about the horrors they perpetrated in Iraq. Many of then are under psychiatric care. There is no clean war once it has started.

The Army institution is sacred as it is protecting the country. Few scandals filter but its integrity must be publicly praised by giving a blind eyes to excesses. That’s the way it is all over the world and the USA, responsible of a large number of civilians death in the world, has developed expertise in hiding the horrors they do and blaming the others.

June 16th, 2013, 9:17 pm


Ziad said:


Marine’s trial ends without a conviction in 2005 Iraq killings

Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich faces up to three months in prison for dereliction of duty. Some observers praise the verdict while others say it reinforces view that U.S. troops have no accountability.

Six years after Marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, an incident denounced as one of the worst atrocities committed there by U.S. troops, the last of eight prosecutions ended as the previous seven had — without a conviction at trial.

June 16th, 2013, 9:22 pm


Sam said:


Are you on any prescription meds? Or bad pyschadelics?? A nickel worth of free advice……read your post before the time to edit runs out! Im officially done reading anything you post, just for the mere fact, I think you post to get response for the heck of it. Never an intelligent post from you, EVER!!

June 16th, 2013, 9:45 pm


Ghufran said:

I had to smile when I read the claim by Aqidi , delivered by one of the spinners on this forum, that the rebels executed two thugs for crimes committed against other syrians. I read the full statement by the rebel court and posted it here few weeks ago, it clearly said that the two men were accused of treason and collaboration with the regime and conspiracy to kill other rebels, among other “less serious” crimes. Not a single rebel paid the price of beheading or killing an opponent or a civilian, do not expect those rebels to abide by any law, anything they say or do in front of western press is an attempt to change the perception most western governments have about them, idris knows what to say to foreign press but he did nothing to discipline his troops and it is obvious that islamists who form the bulk of rebel movement do not recognize him, he is a paper tiger who is picked by the CIA for being a ” yes sir ” person they can control and direct, stop kidding yourself and misinforming the readers.

June 16th, 2013, 10:03 pm


Ziad said:

Boris Johnson: Don’t arm the Syria maniacs

Boris Johnson warns that arming the Syrian rebels would be disastrous, adding to tough warnings from Vladimir Putin, the Archbishop of York and an ex-Army leader.

June 16th, 2013, 10:04 pm


Ghufran said:

The new story about chemical weapons received little support from western press, here is one opinion from the Guardian:
On examining the US assessment of Syria’s alleged chemical weapons use, Vladimir Putin’s top foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said: “What was presented to us by the Americans does not look convincing. It would be hard to even call them facts.”
Unwelcome as it may be to the French and British governments, who have been leading the push for this finding, he is right. The White House statement says that laboratory analyses of samples “reveal exposure to sarin” (which the NY Times reports amounts to two individuals, who have been shown to have traces of the agent sarin in their bodies), but then goes on to add the qualifier that “each positive result indicates that an individual was exposed to sarin, but it does not tell us how or where the individuals were exposed, or who was responsible for the dissemination”. Hardly a proverbial smoking gun. It is quite possibly, as Anthony Cordesman has noted, a “political ploy”. The finding rests, we are told, on “analysis” and “reporting”, but perhaps more candidly we should call it “supposition”.
( Obama sat on the ” evidence” for months and did not move until rebels lost Q’sair)
Zoo: I think we both know that Hamas was used and then thrown under the bus.

June 16th, 2013, 11:02 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

they are calling for Erdogan to leave because

لأنه لم يرث الحكم من أبيه
لأن تركيا أصبحت في ظل حكمه من أعتى إقتصاديات العالم
لأن تركيا سوف تصبح آخر 2013 من الدول المقرضة لصندوق النقد الدولي
لأن المواطن التركي عايش أحسن من الفرنسي في بلده
… لأن الشعب التركي يأكل ما ينتجه في بلده
لأنه واجه إحتجاجات معارضة بالغاز المسيل للدموع و بالماء و لم يستعمل الكيمياوي
لأن جيشه لا يقول لا إله إلا أردوغان
لأنه لم يهجر 7 مليون تركي و قتل أكتر من 120 ألف
لأنه بدأ بمنع الخمر و أعاد للمحجبة الحق في إرتدائه
لأن تركيا نحتت طريقها لإعادة المجد لقوة إقتصادية عسكرية عالمية
لأن أردوغان و زوجته الوحيدين إلى الآن من زارا بورما
لأن الحقد الأعمى للعرب و غربانهم الناعقة لا تحتمل رأية مشروع إسلامي ناجح …

ياريت كل الحكام العرب ديكتوريين مثل اردغان · ·

June 16th, 2013, 11:03 pm


zoo said:


Sorry I think Hamas used Syria and Iran and threw them under the bus when its was lured by Turkey, Egypt and Qatar who promised the moon and money.

Now these three are crumbling and never deliver, they showed they are totally unreliable friends. Hamas is coming to regret the loyal allies they have betrayed.
Now Hamas is trying to come back to Iran and Syria by using the HA.
Will Iran and Syria be magnanimous enough to forgive them their betrayal?

June 16th, 2013, 11:17 pm


zoo said:

#534 Ziad

Thanks, it just proves my point.

June 16th, 2013, 11:19 pm


zoo said:

Funny, when a hardliner is elected, the media claims that the elections is rigged. When a moderate is elected, no one claims it was rigged…
Yet it is the same country, the same election system…

June 16th, 2013, 11:25 pm


ghufran said:

This is an audio by AJ Aqidi, an FSA leader, who was hailed as a potential defense minister or a COS in a future “new” Syrian army:

read more:
العكيدي كشف أن عقاب صقر ، مندوب سعد الحريري لدى “الثورة السورية” ، و الناطق باسم “الجيش الحر” لؤي مقداد ، طلبا من “المجلس العسكري الأعلى” إقصاءه عن مهمته ؛ فلم يجد ما يرد به على هذه الفضيحة سوى أن يصف عقاب صقر بأنه “شيعي” ، وبأن أم لؤي مقداد “شيعية” !
قصة تذكرنا بحكاية عبد الحليم الذي لم يجد ما يرد به على مقال لصبحي حديدي سوى أن عيّره بأن زوجته علوية ، ناسيا أن كنته هو ، زوجة ابنه جمال ، ليست علوية فقط ، بل ومن عائلة علوية مرموقة !
Aqidi is widely believed to be responsible for bringing western agents to examine Assafira military compound last year after it was captured by the rebels.

June 17th, 2013, 12:06 am


ghufran said:

Washington Post on Idris (called America’s man in Syria by the article):

there are questions about how much real authority Idris wields over the chaotic rebel force, which consists of hundreds of loosely organized fighting units that answer to no one other than their local commanders.
Idris was selected to lead the Supreme Military Council “in part due to his ability to serve as a ‘diplomat’ for the council . . . and for his personal relationships to foreign officials,” wrote Elizabeth O’Bagy of the Institute for the Study of War in a March report. “He was not chosen because of his command of significant ground forces or operational effectiveness.”

(Idris is more diplomatic than other military figures in the anti Assad camp, he stayed away from making sectarian statements, unlike Akidi, but many openly question his leadership skills and his influence over rebel forces)

Here is Landis on Obama’s new Syria policy:

“In a sense, Obama owns Syria now,” says Joshua Landis, a highly regarded Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “I presume he’ll try to go in toe by toe…. But he has to decide what his objectives are, which he hasn’t. Does he want to provide just enough arms to keep the status quo and divide Syria in two? Does he want to give them enough to take Damascus and drive the Alawites [President Bashar al-Assad’s ruling sect] into the mountains? Does he want he want to see them take over the entire country?”

June 17th, 2013, 1:25 am


Citizen said:

Syria`s Mazzah Military Airport? would be a key 1st target to prevent Russian special forces from landing? Stupidity–RUi8?t=1s
Yeah, Russian Special forces do not need any airstrip, They are able to drop a whole regiment complete with armor from the sky to conquer any place and be self sufficient without air support. do you now forgot how to do it?

June 17th, 2013, 2:04 am



Putin’s brilliant reply…. LOL

Such is the low standard of regime propagandists….

Visibly irritated, throughout the press conference, the mafioso knew that it is over for its pet hyena in Damascus.

If for anything, the fool has even fortified his country’s capacity to influence the fool of Damascus by letting that pathetic excuse for humanity be a mere used toilet-tissue in the hand of the persian racist thugs and their hoards of sectarian drug smuggling gangs.

The capacity of megalomaniacs to be manipulated by their intellectual and economic superiors never ceases to amuse me.

I see the late-night shift hyena propagandists lurking… good , dislike button is on the right-hand side… No yo brilliant… it is your other right….

June 17th, 2013, 2:54 am



I think Hamas used Syria and Iran and threw them under the bus

Once more, LOL, tiny, besieged, supposedly stupid fanatical movement, throws two “regional” power houses under the bus. Impressive record for the regional powers we have been hearing so much about herein.

Is this what sectarian-lefties call “Dialectic”… it is really funny.

June 17th, 2013, 3:06 am



Syria will come to Russian?

Obviously this is a question.. so the answer, based on the linked article is No, it is Russia will come to Israel… and based on Putins recent announcement begging Isralies to support the foolish hyena of damascus…. it already came begging.

So much for a global power-house…the low standards of regime propagandists is really baffling.

First, you abandon your influence to a seventh rate regional power like nearly-failed state Iran, and then beg a tiny country to support your pet-hyena.. really really smart from Putin and his advisers and such a powerful projection of global power and might. Dare tell me if this is not brilliant….

June 17th, 2013, 3:14 am


don said:

Mr. Landis / moderator, are the Persian people racist thugs? Do you approve of this language on your blog? If not, how many more warnings before you take decisive action?

Referenced post/poster:


June 17th, 2013, 3:19 am



Persian People are wonderful. The mullas are racist thugs. Recommendation is to swallow fake indignation.

June 17th, 2013, 5:00 am



And before I forget. The wonderful Iranian people, including Persians, do deserve better leadership and far better representation than what is being dished out on their behalf on this blog. The mullas, with their racist dreams of regional hegemony have done all possible to bankrupt the potential of this magnificent country called Iran, which is, like Syria, blessed with its wonderful people, but plagued with the hoards power hungry fanatics, who use ideologies like toilet tissues to realize their megalomaniac dreams.

It is no wonder that even the late Ahmad Iskandar Ahmad, the chief architect and enforcer of athad gang clan propaganda, expressed once his honest opinion after having met for 15 minutes with Khomeini by saying “he is a senile fool who thinks that he will rule the world from his pillow seat”.

Back to important issues
1 US Dollar = 182 Syrian Lira today. Great success protecting the Syrian economy. The only worst currency decline rate has been the recent decline in Iranian currency given the outstanding religious-nationalist fanatical leadership.

It is so sad to see the wealth of nations being squandered so that a thug like hassan nus-lira can deliver his diatribes from behind a camera not daring to be among his own supporters (the coward), in the service of millennial chaos of religious and nationalistic confusion. This is what true humanist, secular thinking should lead one to conclude, not the foolish calls for sending 100,000 Iranian-jihadees to kill and die in Syria.

June 17th, 2013, 5:19 am


Akbar Palace said:

Syrian Hamster,

Your words make sense. Good job.

June 17th, 2013, 6:44 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Yes the persian goverment and those evil Mulla that control Persia they are racist thugs, and Khamenei is the most racist thugs person, it is about time you realize the Khaminei is an evil person, he is extremist radical, he is criminal supportive of criminal Assad,
And let me remind you those of you who support such criminal racist thugs are to blame for being his propaganda spreaders

June 17th, 2013, 6:48 am


Tara said:


You may want privately email Josh or Matt with your concerns and spare us the whining.

But be careful, you complaint of a poster describing the presence of HA and 4000-40,000 IRGs as Iranian invasion is laughable. Just for the simple fact that it is an invasion. And by the way, there is nothing wrong of describing the Mullahs and the Iranian regime as racist thugs because they are. Additionally, if your sensitive soul aches by racism, do not forget to complain about Ilya’s racist links depicting Arabs as backwards with oh-la-la Persians and their Champs- Élysées – lifestyle (not). Or is your sensitivity selective? I still like and admire the Arabs more.

Moral selectivity does not impress anyone.

June 17th, 2013, 7:45 am


Dawoud said:

That’s why the United States will not go to the U.N. and, instead, will be imposing a “limited” no-fly zone from the Jordanian airspace with option of entering Syrian airspace in cases of “self-defense” 🙂 🙂 Nice try though, Mr. Putin!

Russia says it will not allow Syria no-fly zones

June 17th, 2013, 8:10 am


revenire said:

“552. DON said:
Mr. Landis / moderator, are the Persian people racist thugs? Do you approve of this language on your blog? If not, how many more warnings before you take decisive action?
Referenced post/poster:

Yes Don, you’re correct – the racist anti-Iranian sentiment is in full bloom here, as is the anti-Shia bigotry. It is allowed – perhaps even approved of – but calling cannibals and beheaders “rats” is forbidden.

It is all very strange.

June 17th, 2013, 8:34 am


zoo said:

Putin touched a nerve: All media reported his blunt reply to Cameron.
Now we read that Cameron is not enthuzed anymore to send weapons and ironically calls Russia to pressure Bashar al Assad to participate at the conference.
Funny, I thought Bashar accepted and the opposition refused, no?

Who will pressure the opposition? God?
According to our local theologist in this blog who is in direct contact with the Creator, God wants a military victory of his holy ‘soldiers’ trained in Afghanistan and Iraq helped by the Custodian of the Holy Places’s weapons and money and the expertise of a Christian western neo-colonialist countries. Nothing less.

June 17th, 2013, 8:35 am


majedkhaldoun said:

The election of Rouhani by wide margin is a vote against Khameini
and his mulla,who are just like Alqa-eda are terrorist people and are condemened by the world, The Thugs in Tehran are as evil as Al Qaeda,both are full of hate and has criminal personalities

HA claim that in going into Syria they are defending lebanese is such a stupid ideology ,criminal and wicked, there are lebanese in the USA are they going to fight in USA, Syria is different country than Lebanon, HA has no right to send troops in to Syria, otherwise KSA should send troops into Lebanon to fight HA since there are SAudi in Lebanon.

June 17th, 2013, 8:37 am


zoo said:

Compare to the Iranians, the Saudis can’t be racist or anything else, it is far too complex for their unicellular brain.

June 17th, 2013, 8:41 am


revenire said:

Brother Majed you make little sense. Sometimes I feel dizzy after reading your posts.

June 17th, 2013, 8:43 am


zoo said:

Will Rowhani change his mind?

Rowhani: Syria is in the front line of resistance

Date and Time:10 January 2012 – 22:23

Director of Iran’s Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research Hassan Rohani that Syria is in the front line of resistance against the zionist entity, and no one should weaken it or interfere in its domestic affairs.

Iranian News Agency quoted Rohani as saying during a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador in Tehran today that Syria occupies a special position in the region, adding “Syria has formed the line of resistance against the zionist entity for 60 years.”

June 17th, 2013, 8:46 am


zoo said:

#563 Reve

Dizzy is a mild qualifier… I sometime hear it as an endless psychotic babbling.

June 17th, 2013, 8:48 am


Citizen said:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: I’m shocked by the actions of the Turkish authorities to break up demonstrations!!!

June 17th, 2013, 8:51 am


zoo said:

Are Turkey happy democracy days about to be over?

“Cancellations of tourist bookings to Istanbul have reached 50 percent, endangering the government’s target this year of 32 million tourists and $25 billion in revenue, Hurriyet said today citing Timur Bayindir, head of the Turkish Hoteliers Association.”

June 17th, 2013, 9:00 am



Changing topics, as usual to talk about Saudis. Laughable, useless tactic.

In the meantime, I still await for the demonstration that I have supported Erdoghan’s strong handed and brutal tactics against Turkish demonstrators. I also continue to wait for the text of the resolutions, that do not exist, to which I referred to.

Until such demonstrations are made, anything said by regime propagandists will continue to be worthless blather to me including all fake indignation by hardly a massacre people and by those calling on 100,000 Iranians to kill and die in Syria. I wonder if those 100,000 will also kill children in Banyas and other places and carpet bomb syrian cities for athma’s eyes as requested by one regime propagandist and athma fan, who doesn’t even seem to read Arabic.

June 17th, 2013, 9:01 am


revenire said:

Brother Majed makes at least 10 stunning predictions per week. He isn’t alone. Others also make sweeping statements such as “Assad is done for” “the FSA has an air force” “her cousins give zillions” “Iran is a horrible place” “Russia doesn’t count” “the No-Fly Zone will not need the UN” “Egypt’s army will invade Syria and Lebanon” “95% of Palestinians support the cannibals” etc.

June 17th, 2013, 9:02 am


revenire said:

Hamster does it matter? If you did you did. If the quote was provided you would slither away from it. I’ve watched you closely as part of my Air Force Intelligence job (funded by Asma’s cousins, of course). Heh heh.

Hmm, hamsters are part of the which animal family. It would seem you picked a good name for yourself … LOL

Just joking brother.

Thank you.

June 17th, 2013, 9:07 am


don said:

Why are you personally attacking me?! I don’t recall addressing you or personally attacking you!

557. Tara said: Don, spare us the whining.

June 17th, 2013, 9:07 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo and REvenir
Yes it takes people with normal or average mentality to understand what we write, it is not for you

June 17th, 2013, 9:12 am


zoo said:

#569 Hamster

I have yet to read one post of yours that is not an empty pseudo-literary piece full of whining and disparaging epithets.

June 17th, 2013, 9:12 am


Tara said:


You are dizzy as a side effect from SSRI. Hang in there body. It will pass.

And it was 2 millions. The family is rich and corrupt, has beautiful girls and lots married for money and power. May be they will have a chance for love in another life.

June 17th, 2013, 9:15 am


zoo said:


I haven’t spend enough time in a kindergarten to understand your babbling.

June 17th, 2013, 9:16 am



It does matter when liars throw on accusations thinking that their pathetic attempts to confuse the readers and to label others can go unnoticed and unchallenged and that they can laugh their inhumanity and lies away with hehe and a teenager back slap.

Liars should either present evidence or shut up. Being liars they will do neither of course.

June 17th, 2013, 9:20 am


Tara said:

Dear Don,

I am not attacking you. I am attacking your post. I think there is a difference. Think about what I said and tell me where I am wrong.

June 17th, 2013, 9:21 am



disparaging are the actions, not the words describing them. This is slightly above first grade.

For example:

By now, 1 US Dollar = 200 Syrian Lira
Now this is disparaging and shameless. But again the realities of economic collapse, under brilliant leadership is usually taught towards the end of kindergarten, so skipping classes would not be recommended.

June 17th, 2013, 9:23 am


Citizen said:

Ailing Saudi king cuts recovery trip short over developments in Syria
Special to
ABU DHABI — Saudi King Abdullah has cut short his vacation amid the
intensification of the war in Syria.
The king arrived on June 14 in Jedda after being in Morocco for two
Abdullah, struggling with declining health, cut short his vacation in North Africa for what a government statement attributed to regional events.
“The custodian of the two holy mosques King Abdullah arrived here today concluding his private holiday and recovery period he spent in the kingdom of Morocco due to the repercussions of the events that are currently taking place in the region,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Saudi Arabia wants missiles for Syrian rebels: report
Putin and Obama set to spar over Syria arms at G8. At their first face-to-face meeting in a year, Obama will try to convince Putin to bring Assad to the negotiating table but the Kremlin chief has warned the West it risks sowing turmoil across the Middle East by stoking the conflict – Reuters.
Read more:

June 17th, 2013, 9:26 am


zoo said:

In Canada a group of Syrian help the rebels build a command chain on Syria

Syrian Rebels Are Getting Serious Help from a House in Suburban Ontario

Louay Sakka is a co-founder of the Syrian Support Group, which was set up to help promote democracy in Syria and support the moderate members of the Free Syrian Army as they fight Assad regime.

Although Sakka left Syria in 1997 and has only been back once since, he has become a key supporter of the FSA, helping rebels find each other on the ground and communicate with the US State department. He does this all from the comfort of his basement in Oakville, Ontario, using Skype, Viber, and his Android phone. He also fundraises for the FSA and has set up a PayPal account to allow people from all over the world to contribute. So far they have raised over $150,000 this way – essentially, the SSG is helping to crowdsource a war.

And now, with the US saying it will arm the Syrian rebels after the Assad regime used chemical weapons against the, the SSG will only be getting busier as this situation unfolds.
We are involved in the structuring and in the chain of command in Syria. The FSA is made up of 80 percent civilians and 20 percent military defectors, so we help unite them all because there has always been a historical mistrust between those two elements.

Are you concerned with the alliance the FSA has with al-Qaeda and other extremist groups?
Yes, of course I’m worried about this. I’m worried that the extremists will take over; part of the reason the Syrian Support Group was set up was to help the moderate members overcome this possibility.

Is General Idris concerned as well?
Yes, Idris is very concerned. But at this point he is in no position to push [the extremists] out because he needs them to help fight. They are very effective in helping to topple the Assad regime, which is the main goal right now. But he is aware that they are a threat for the future stability of the country and he also wants to ensure they won’t take over as they did in the eastern provinces, taking control of the oil and gas fields.

June 17th, 2013, 9:32 am


zoo said:


Join the club of desperate hamster-like who call others liars when they are out of argument and insults.

June 17th, 2013, 9:36 am


zoo said:

“Under no circumstances will we participate in supplying weapons,” Merkel told RTL television before leaving for the summit.

“It is important that a political process gets underway. This cannot be solved by military means alone,” she said.

June 17th, 2013, 9:40 am



Any one who accuses others me and not present evidence of accusations, is a Liar until providing evidence, especially after repeated opportunities to do so.

So those who accused me of supporting Erdoghan’s supression of Turkish demonstrator and could not come up with evidence, are naturally liars from where I stand. This is serious to me because I am a consistent person and don’t have double standards.

The same is said about those who issued blanket “snide” remark about revolution proponents making up resolutions and fail to show evidence are also Liars, also from where i stand. Again this is important to me because it is an accusation of forgery, which if not proven, becomes lible and forgery.

Fake indignation is also the tactics of liars.

It is not accusation of others or failing to have an argument. It is the argument, and it shows the character, and the casual attitude towards truth generally shown by regime propagandists. So far, I am winning this one, and others are whining this one.

June 17th, 2013, 9:49 am



Any one who accuses others and not present evidence of accusations, is a Liar until providing evidence, especially after repeated opportunities to do so.

So those who accused me of supporting Erdoghan’s suppression of Turkish demonstrators and continue to refuse to come up with evidence, are naturally liars from where I stand. This is serious to me because I am a consistent person and don’t have double standards.

The same is said about those who issued blanket “snide” remark about revolution proponents making up resolutions and continue to fail to show evidence of made-up resolutions are also Liars, also from where i stand. Again this is important to me because it is an accusation of forgery, which if not proven, becomes libel and forgery in itself.

It is not accusation of others or failing to have an argument. It is the argument, and it shows the character, and the casual attitude towards truth generally shown by regime propagandists. So far, I am winning this one, and others are whining this one.

June 17th, 2013, 9:49 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Did they even kick you out of the kindergarden? Wow

June 17th, 2013, 9:50 am


revenire said:

Saw a video of Idris proclaiming his support of Nusra. You can Google it and see it on YouTube. He is nothing more than a terrorist and a beggar.

Louay Sakka and the rest of the Syrian Support Group should be arrested by the Canadian government for supporting terrorism. Nusra is getting the money.

This “revolution” doesn’t have one man of honor. That isn’t surprising.

June 17th, 2013, 9:52 am


Citizen said:

Syrian army forces have killed a large number of Saudi militants during mop-up operations against armed groups in the strategic city of Aleppo.

On Sunday, a number of Saudi gunmen were killed during intense clashes with Syrian troops in the Kafr Hamra district of Aleppo, situated about 310 kilometers (193 miles) northwest of the capital, Damascus, the official SANA news agency reported.

The development comes as the bodies of 70 Saudi nationals fighting against the Syrian government have been returned to Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bodies were delivered to the country at King Fahad International Airport in the city of Dammam.

The source said the Saudi regime had sent a number of diplomats to Turkey in order to facilitate the transfer process.

He also said there are currently about 8,000 Saudi nationals in Syria fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

June 17th, 2013, 9:57 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Revenir and Zoo
First you need to know what the word honor means

June 17th, 2013, 9:57 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Aleppo on the north in Syria, Saudia are way south of Syria

June 17th, 2013, 9:59 am


Citizen said:

Aleppo is my City!

June 17th, 2013, 10:17 am


Tara said:

Mezza Airport was blasted.

Monday 17 June 2013 01.15 EDT

Huge blast shakes Damascus military airport
About 20 members of government forces believed killed in booby-trap car bomb

The compound, which is used by Syria’s elite Republican Guards, special forces and air force intelligence, also serves as a private airport for the Assad family.

June 17th, 2013, 10:27 am


Citizen said:

Russia said on Monday it would not permit a no-fly zone to be implemented over Syria, following reports that plans for such a measure were being drawn up by the United States.
Any “limited” or “unlimited” no-fly zone over Syria means the beginning of a great war! No one will be able to endure the consequences of such step! hope for your understanding!

June 17th, 2013, 10:28 am


majedkhaldoun said:

It will be nice if Assad get killed

June 17th, 2013, 10:30 am


ghufran said:

This message coming from KSA clearly shows that the kingdom does not want its children killed in Syria or return as jihadists to KSA and threaten king abumit’eb but those hypocrites have no problem sending weapons to help Syrians kill each other:

حذر مفتي عام السعودية الشيخ عبد العزيز بن عبد الله آل الشيخ، من قيام علماء الدين في المملكة بدعوة الشباب السعودي إلى الجهاد في سورية، مؤكداً أن دعم السوريين “بالمال قد يكون أفضل”.
ونقل موقع اليوم السابع عن الشيخ عبد العزيز بن عبد الله آل الشيخ، خلال لقاء مع خطباء المساجد فى الدمام شرق المملكة قوله: “أنا لا أؤيد خروجهم للجهاد مهما كان”، عازيا ذلك إلى أنهم سيذهبون إلى أماكن غير معروفة ولا يعلمون تحت أي لواء ينخرطون، وقد يوقعهم ذلك في أشياء غير مناسبة، ويكونون هدفاً سهلاً لأعدائهم”.
ولفت المفتي السعودي إلى أن “الدعاء لهم ومساعدتهم بالمال قد يكون أفضل لهم وهو ما يلزمهم”، مشترطاً أن “يكون دعمهم بالطرق النظامية”.
وكان أحد أعضاء هيئة كبار العلماء السعودية أصدر في يونيو الماضي فتوى تقضي بتحريم “الجهاد في سوريا” على السعوديين بدون إذن من السلطات، وذلك بعد تصاعد الدعوات إلى ذلك في شبكات التواصل الاجتماعي على الإنترنت.
وكانت المملكة العربية السعودية ومصر أيدتا التوصل إلى حل سلمي للأزمة فى سوريا، وأشارتا إلى أن ذلك “مطلوب ومرغوب عربيا ودوليا”.
وقال وزير الخارجية السعودي الأمير سعود الفيصل، في مؤتمر صحفي مشترك مع نظيره المصري محمد كامل عمرو، في الرياض إن “الخروج السلمي من الأزمة السورية مطلوب ومرغوب عربيا ودوليا، أما طريقة الخروج وشروط الخروج فتتوقف على الشعب السوري نفسه”.
كما شددت صحيفة “الرياض” السعودية على أن “البيانات الأخيرة من المؤتمرات الإسلامية دعت إلى الجهاد، وكما يعلق الزميل مساعد الثبيتي بتويتر أن هؤلاء يغررون بالشباب وهم قد اشترطوا درجة طيرانٍ عالية وسكن فندقٍ من خمسة نجوم، ويلبسون الزري والبشوت الغالية ثم يريدون من أبنائنا أن يكونوا حطباً لفتاواهم وتغريرهم”، معتبرة أن “الغريب أننا لم نستفد جيداً من الدروس الماضية، أفغانستان في الثمانينات وفي أوائل الألفية الحالية، والبوسنة والهرسك وكوسوفو والشيشان، كلها تضمنت حطباً من الشباب السعودي الذي أريق دمه هدراً هناك ودجن في معارك لا ناقة له فيها ولا جمل”.
وأوضحت أن “في صدر الإسلام من يقود الحرب ويعلن الجهاد يكون قائداً لا نائماً في بيته، أو سائحاً في تركيا، بل يقود المعركة كما هو سلوك النبي عليه السلام والخلفاء الراشدين، كانوا على رؤوس الجيش ومع الناس، أما من يدعو إلى الجهاد الآن بكل غرابةٍ نراهم يركضون في بلاد الخضرة والماء والوجه الحسن”، قائلة: “لا تغتروا معاشر الشباب والمؤمن لا يلدغ من جرحٍ مرتين. التغرير تحدث عنه أيضاً المفتي بحضور الملك وهذه رسالة إلى أن مشكلة سوريا للسوريين وليست لأي بلدٍ آخر، وأهل مكة أدرى بشعابها”.
ورأت أن “الشباب الحالي لم يعد خفيفاً يقاد إلى التشدد بسهولة او يغرر به في العمليات ومن ثم السجون، أربأ بهذا الجيل أن يكون كذلك وأحسن به الظن، فهو جيل التقنية وقبل ذلك جيل الابتعاث، جيل التعلم والاستزادة، جيل الصفوف الجامعية والمحاضرات الأكاديمية، وليس من جيل الراكضين المنفلتين آنذاك في الثمانينات حين كان الكل يتوق إلى التشدد المتصاعد
Many people believe that something is being cooked for Syria and that KSA is part of it, wait for few days-weeks and you will see if that was normal posturing or real prewar dance. Russia today gave the strongest signal that it will not tolerate a NFZ over Syria, that may not be enough to assure people who are afraid that Syria may become Libya2 if Russia caves in.

June 17th, 2013, 10:41 am


Citizen said:

in our culture and upbringing are not taken someone’s death to wish!

June 17th, 2013, 10:56 am


Ziad said:

تهجم عصابات الموت والإرهاب على الشعب السوري من كل أقطارالأرض وبتمويل ودعم وتسليح من وكالات الاستخبارات الغربية والإسرائيلية

-عن رامان العتيبي

June 17th, 2013, 11:02 am


Citizen said:

596- /Many people believe that something is being cooked for Syria and that KSA is part of it/
read pls!
Ron Paul on Syria: ‘Another multi-billion dollar war has begun’

June 17th, 2013, 11:04 am


zoo said:

#594 Majed

Your insistent death wishes may do you a bad trick.

June 17th, 2013, 11:35 am


zoo said:

#592 Tara

The use of terrorist car bombs show that the rebels do not really need more weapons. Their allies Al Nusra are managing very well with what they have learned in Iraq.

June 17th, 2013, 11:40 am


zoo said:

#589 Majed

Your concept of honor is simply a deep persecution feeling.

I certainly do not want to learn that!

June 17th, 2013, 11:44 am


Ziad said:

ما بعد القنيطرة روحاني والمنطقة

وعلى سبيل المثال كان اللعب على الطائفية مكلفا جدا لامير قطر الذي استنزف خزانة قطر دون مقابل سوى وهم الامن القومي وحماية امن إسرائيل والمصالح الامريكية التي ردت له الجميل بالعمل على ازاحته لفشله لانه لاصداقة دائمة ولاعدواة دائمة بل مصلحة دائمة وكذلك الحال مع السعودية بل اسوء حال لانهم الان يضغطون على أمريكا لتسليح الإرهاب في سوريا وتوفير غطاء جوي ومناطق عازلة كملاذ امن للارهاب. لانهم لايملكون أي خيار سياسي واي أوراق ضغط واي بدائل استراتيجية واي مرونة او قدرة في التفاوض وهي كارثة سياسية لهم بمعنى الكلمة فضلا عن خوفهم من تحول المنطقة في الخليج الى ثورات شعبية وانتفاضات مسلحة وعودة الإرهاب السلفي للعمل داخل مدنهم ولقد جاءت تحرك العلويين في تركيا مع العلمانيين وكل أعداء الاخوان كرسالة لقدرة محور المقاومة على تحريك الشارع ضد أنظمة الحكم الموالية لامريكا وتستعد أمريكا الان لان يلعب مرسي دور اردوغان وهو دور انتحاري وأزمة تركيا الان هو ما تخشاه اوربا ودول البلقان من سريان الاحتجاج الشعبي وانتقاله من تركيا اليها لاسيما ان اوربا تعيش الان انهيارا اقتصاديا وصراع أقليات.ان الحماقة الامريكية والحقد الطائفي دفعت إسرائيل الى تجنيد وتدريب القاعدة في الجولان وباعتراف قوات الطوراي الدولية وبادلة موثقة أدت الى انسحاب قوات النمسا من الجولان واقر بها الرئيس الفرنسي في اتهامه نتياهو برعاية القاعدة ودعمها وبدلا من ان يكون الجهاد من قبل السلفيين العرب والسوريين والفلسطينين ضد إسرائيل كان تحت رعاية إسرائيل ضد العرب والمسلمين

June 17th, 2013, 11:48 am


revenire said:

Brother Majed calling for a head of state to be assassinated is certainly not dignified or honorable.

June 17th, 2013, 11:48 am



And calling on city blocks to be carpet bombed is dishonorable and diabolical as is denying massacres.

June 17th, 2013, 12:00 pm


Tara said:


How could anyone kick a cute little boy from kindergarten is beyond me.


New post is on.

June 17th, 2013, 12:03 pm


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