Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Interviewed by Syria Comment

Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Interviewed by Syria Comment

by Matthew Barber

Matthew Barber interviews Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, April 2013. Photo: Syria Comment

Matthew Barber interviews Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi in Rabat, Morocco, April 2013. Photo: Syria Comment


In a previous post I revealed that Sheikh Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi was elected as the first non-Ikhwaan-linked religious figure of the National Coalition. This event did take place, even though his followers were disappointed to discover that his tenure would not see the light of day, as his appointment was subsequently canceled at the very opposition conference in which his participation was to be announced. This is not the first time that he has been excluded from the opposition. His name has previously been on draft lists of Coalition members, but deleted for unknown reasons. It raises many questions when an influential figure (but one that cannot compete with the funding of the Muslim Brotherhood) is excluded in favor of admitting other, largely unknown individuals. Despite being blocked again by Ikhwaan-aligned figures, his influence is not going to disappear. For those curious about his background and views, I believe it will be useful to publish here the full interview I had with the Sheikh (April 2013; Rabat, Morocco; in English). Our entire conversation is provided below, but it is quite long, so at the outset I list a few of the key topics covered within it:

  • The kind of intervention he’d like to see take place in Syria
  • The problem of Salafi-Jihadism in the Syrian resistance
  • The significance of fatwas in conflicts like Syria’s; his fatwas on violent tactics; the difference between fatwa and qadaa’
  • His position on personal status law
  • The conflict between experienced judges and Islamists over law
  • Jihad in the conflict: the opposition’s vs. the Grand Mufti’s
  • Sheikh Bouti
  • An Islamic perspective on ‘Alawi–Sunni coexistence
  • Mercy rather than revenge


Sheikh Muhammad Abu al-Huda al-Ya’qoubi is a leading religious leader of Damascus. A descendent of the Prophet Mohammed and a Sufi of the Shadhiliyya order, he is a key figure of Syria’s Sunni ‘ulema [the class of religious scholars with the traditional role of interpreting Islamic scriptural sources; the singular is ‘aalim]. In the Syrian conflict, Sheikh Ya’qoubi is notable for his role in giving some important sermons critical of the regime, early in the conflict from mosques in Damascus, and for being the first sheikh to issue a fatwa against the regime, for its violence against demonstrators and civilians. An Arabic article discussing that fatwa was published here.

Jawad Qureshi, a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, has written an important account of the ‘ulema’s actions and reactions during the first year of the uprising. The article (“The Discourses of the Damascene Sunni Ulama During the 2011 Revolution”) offers insight into the backgrounds of significant ‘ulema figures and analyzes excerpts from their important speeches. Qureshi also discusses Sheikh Ya’qoubi’s role as the first ‘aalim to take such a pronounced position of denunciation of the regime. I have made the paper available here.

Fluent in English and Swedish after studying and spending time in Sweden, the UK, and the U.S., Sheikh Yaqoubi is also an important figure for Islam in the West, collaborating with such figures as Hamza Yusuf (who also studied under Yaqoubi) in producing Islamic literature for Western readers. He has his own website where he offers materials teaching his understanding of Islam.

A sense of his understanding of Islam can be found in his recent statement condemning the Boston Bombing:


As Muslim leaders representing Islam and Muslims worldwide, it is our duty to speak up and denounce terrorism and terrorist actions regardless of who is behind them. However, it becomes more incumbent upon us to do so when it is done in the name of Islam.

We strongly condemn the most recent terrorist attack in Boston, USA, and offer our sympathy to the victims. These types of attacks are but signs of cowardice and self-defeat.

Our goal as Muslims is to improve the image of Islam and establish a better understanding of our religion, culture, and history. Unfortunately, this attack, if it turns out that Muslims are behind it, will definitely be detrimental to this lofty goal.

Islam brings about mercy not cruelty, and spreads love not hatred. According to our Holy Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, a true believer is “He who does not harm anyone, neither with his tongue, nor with his hand.”


He also condemned the recent killing of British soldier Lee Rigby.

This approach informs his role in the Syrian Uprising, and the kinds of fatwas he has issued regarding the dilemmas of war and the behavior of belligerents. Of fatwas he has issued during the uprising, here are 11 examples:

1 – حكم قتلا لأسرى من عساكر جيش النظام الأسدي في سوريا

2 – فتوى تحريم خطف الأجانب

3 – حكم عمليات تفجير السيارات الاستشهادية

4 – فتاوى للثورة: حكم استئذان الوالدين للجهاد

5 – فتوى تحريم قتلا لأسير في الإسلام

6 – حكم الجهر بالتكبير في المساجد

7 – حكم التفجيرات إذا قتلت فيها عائلات المجرمين من الضباط

8 – حكم تفجير سيارة بضابط وأولاده

9 – حكم محاربة النظام في المناطق السكنية

10 – حكم وضع الألغام في المناطق السكنية

11 – فتاوى للثورة: المرأة التي فُقد زوجها في أحداث سورية ما ذا تفعل؟

These are: 1) Legal ruling on killing POWs of the army of the Assad regime in Syria; 2) Fatwa forbidding the kidnapping of foreigners; 3) Legal ruling on suicide car-bombing; 4) Getting the permission of parents before going on jihad; 5) The prohibition of killing prisoners in Islam; 6) Fatwa on saying “Allah-u-Akbar” aloud in mosques; 7) Ruling on the use of explosives to kill army officers when their family members might be killed with them; 8) Ruling on detonating a bomb in the car of an army officer who has his children with him; 9) Ruling on fighting the regime in inhabited areas; 10) Ruling on using land-mines in inhabited areas; 11) Ruling on a woman who loses her husband and requests a divorce.

I have made available a .pdf of the full text of these fatwas in Arabic here. There are English translations of a few of them around the Net.

Sheikh Ya’qoubi’s fatwas influence those Syrian rebels who are Sufis and moderate Sunnis. He and 60 other leaders and sheikhs have formed a coalition of Sufi rebel groups, called Movement for Building Civilization (تيار بناء الحضارة), which they intend to have operating soon out of an office in Jordan. A draft document (Arabic) containing the principles of the movement is available here. Rebel groups wanting to join this coalition must sign and agree to adhere to the principles, some of which include: 1) Removing the regime while not destroying the state—protecting public institutions; 2) The rejection of revenge, retaliation, and execution during the uprising: keeping the trials of war criminals for after the collapse of the regime and the establishment of a new government; 3) After the collapse of the regime, rebel groups should cease to carry arms and their members should return to civilian life or join the national army; 4) All ethnic and religious communities are to be defended as equal citizens under the law; 5) No ethnic or religious group is to be held responsible for the crimes of the regime; 6) A future Syrian government must operate according to a separation of judicial, legislative, and executive powers; 7) The future government must be a democracy of political multiplicity and the 1950 Constitution should be in effect during the interim period until a new parliament is elected and a new constitution is agreed upon.

Many rebels and sheikhs in Syria are becoming frustrated with Islamists as the sole option, and are reaching out to the ‘ulema, but without funding the ‘ulema are limited in offering anything beyond ideological support. One young sheikh, ‘Omar Rahmoon, has established his own rebel force in consultation with Sheikh Ya’qoubi on the ethics and principles that should rule the group’s tactics and approach. I have put the founding document for that group (حركة أحرار الصوفية الإسلامية – Movement of the Free Sufi Muslims) here.

A few observations on the interview.

1) Sheikh Ya’qoubi often uses the word “we.” Sometimes this is a self-referential use of the “royal we,” other times he is speaking from the perspective of the segment of Sufi/Sunni ‘ulema who share similar positions to his.

2) I hear a tension in Ya’qoubi’s narrative between: “Islamists have little presence, power, popularity as they do not represent the outlook and religion of Syrians;” and, “Islamists are a grave threat controlling everything, having risen to prominence through targeted, external support.”

3) Sheikh Ya’qoubi recognizes that this is a war, and that Salafi-jihadists pose a grave threat to the future of Syria. He does, however, make the statement that “the whole conflict will be solved by him [the president] being removed.” For myself and many others, this conflict is about far more than the leadership of a single individual; it represents a much deeper struggle about the future definition of the state. Simply removing one person, even one as symbolic as the president, will not likely provide the solution that can put an end to it. That doesn’t mean he should stay, but it shouldn’t be ignored that his departure may mark a beginning, rather than an end, to a larger struggle for regional identity involving contenders from Iraq to Lebanon. As Syria Comment reader Observer framed it: “We are… witnessing the death of Sykes Picot, violently, and with a messy outcome, and with pure sectarian hatred.”

4) It’s obvious that the vast majority of Sunnis will not view Grand Mufti Hassoun’s call for jihad as legitimate, but I believe this is more about one’s positioning within the conflict, and less about any technical or doctrinal problem with the call itself. The concept of “theology” (as typically understood in the West according to a Christian framework) doesn’t correspond to an exact equivalent in Islam, but I felt comfortable using the word in this discussion after Sheikh Ya’qoubi used it first. I pressed the Sheikh about the issue of the Grand Mufti’s jihad only because I wanted to understand if there was a particular religious basis for claiming it was invalid, rather than the mere fact that it serves the side of the opponent.

5) In a recent interview, the Economist asked some Nusra fighters about their position on the Alawi minority community. The response was:

Allah knows what will happen to them. There is a difference between the basic kuffar [infidels] and those who converted from Islam. If the latter, we must punish them. Alawites are included. Even Sunnis who want democracy are kuffar as are all Shia. It’s not about who is loyal and who isn’t to the regime; it’s about their religion. Sharia says there can be no punishment of the innocent and there must be punishment of the bad; that’s what we follow.

At issue here is the notion in Islam that the apostate (someone who leaves Islam), must be killed. This is not a position held only by extremists; it is the mainstream position considered correct by the majority of Sunnis. The portion of my conversation with Sheikh Ya’qoubi dealing with the Alawi community is important, because he asserts that they are not apostates.


Full Interview


Sheikh Muhammad, it’s a pleasure to meet with you today.

I’m very happy to speak with you. You know, we still need America’s help to make it out of this conflict. What kind of help are you thinking of?

About 14 months ago, I believe, at a conference in Bulgaria, I signed a statement in the presence of the Bulgarian prime minister with some top politicians asking for the implementation of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter for military intervention by the Security Council. We could have avoided much of the undesirable developments concerning the growth of ideological military groups.

Groups based on ideology, I believe, now constitute a great threat to the unity of Syria, to the very fiber of Syrian society, and even to Islam; you know Islam in Syria is very moderate! Shafi’ites, Hanafites, Sufis—they love the ‘awliya, the Saints. Now someone is coming to brainwash them by force? To tell them that the shrines of the ‘awliya have to be destroyed? Issuing fatwas for this? They already destroyed 3 of them (I issued a statement about this). And killing on a religious basis such as takfir? This is very dangerous and I think the international community let it go.

There has to be a greater power that either unifies, unites the military groups—some Syrians are patriots, they are good people and no one can blame them for forming small groups to defend their honor, their families, their villages… But the absence of any greater authority allowed for the growth of ideological groups.

I think there’s a sense that a US presence in another Muslim country would not be a successful operation… I think Americans learned from Iraq that Muslims do not believe that a non-Muslim force should fight on the ground in a Muslim country; they will be viewed as another enemy.

That’s right, and that’s understandable. And my suggestion was to have international backing for a force comprised of troops from the region, with air force cover. Probably Jordanian troops, Saudi troops, Turkish troops. They would come together under an international umbrella to create safe military passage for besieged areas, like Homs. Step by step: I’m not talking about invading the country, but about imposing no-fly zones, for example.

Of course, a Security Council intervention based on the UN Charter would lend it legitimacy, instead of a U.S. or NATO intervention that would lend the regime legitimacy, enabling it to claim that they are fighting the good cause of resisting foreign occupation—and we won’t give them this legitimacy. But we have to weigh the pros and cons [even of other forms of intervention]. I issued a statement calling on Jordan and Turkey to intervene. I don’t believe they will do it on their own, but I want Syrian people to be prepared for an international intervention spearheaded by NATO, or the UN Security Council, or by the U.S., because I believe that’s more realistic. I believe we’ve reached a point where the Syrian people are ready to accept international intervention due to several reasons, including the levels of human tragedy, as well as Jabhat al-Nusra giving bay’ah [allegiance] to al-Qaida.

No one would deny that they [Jabhat al-Nusra] had some sympathy from the oppressed—not from all Syrian people; wise Syrians were always aware of the fact that these people are alien in their ideology. Probably the majority of them are foreigners—their ideology is alien to the Syrian religious culture… but one could say they had some sympathy, because they made some achievements, though we never sympathized with them; we made it very clear that car bombs are forbidden and such. But now, they lost—morally—their reputation… because no one wants a new Afghanistan in Syria, no one wants such… Now that people see the need to get rid of them, they see them as a burden, as a cause of harm.

We’ve seen this before and wise people should… but sometimes you wonder… For example, I was sitting behind Mu’az al-Khatib at the Friends of Syria conference here in Marrakesh, and I didn’t like his statement when he criticized the U.S. for listing Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group. I felt that he rushed. In my opinion, the Ikhwaan are going to lead the battle against such extremists in the future, exactly like they are doing now in Egypt. The Ikhwaan want to reach power in Syria. And Jabhat al-Nusra will present a challenge to that. Exactly. And most of the Syrian politicians are afraid of making statements against them because they want to get in and out and Jabhat al-Nusra can assassinate them anywhere in Syria. So this is a reason for them being slippery in their statements… because they are afraid of being assassinated when they go in, either now or later. So this is one reason. But he rushed actually, and I thought it was unwise. Al-Nusra is al-Qaida; for us this was very clear.

Speaking of that, you issued a very compassionate and sensitive statement of sympathy for the victims of the Boston bombing: knowing that al-Qaida would not share your attitude of compassion, but in fact advocates the use of that tactic for political gain, how did you feel about the announcement that Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaida?

I’m not surprised. The ideology is the same. The ideology is against mainstream Islam. And I would stress that this is a sect now. This ideology does not represent 1.5 billion Muslims and it is contrary to the rulings of the four Sunni madhabs on jihad, on going against oppressive rulers or non-Muslim rulers, and on contracts and truces between countries. It’s not about whether I like the U.S. or don’t like it—this is something else. I may agree with U.S. policies or disagree with U.S. policies, but I cannot legally put any Muslim country at war with the U.S. There is not a single Muslim country at war with the U.S. now (or the UK, or France, or any of these “Western targets” of al-Qaida). So legally, I have to say that when they [Westerners] visit us, we have to safeguard their property and respect their freedom; when we visit there or live there we have to respect the same; Muslims don’t stab in the back. So there’s no justification for their ideology at all.

So Jabhat al-Nusra joining al-Qaida, as I said, really destroyed its own reputation in Syria, its future in Syria.

But they didn’t join it; they revealed that their group was created by or in conjunction with al-Qaida. And not only that, but they are Syrian, and the members who would later form al-Nusra were working with al-Qaida in Iraq during the Iraq war. That’s right. They gave bay’ah. Giving bay’ah is like joining. They are part of it now. They under the command of Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Why did he decide to reveal this now? It seemed that al-Nusra weren’t ready to announce this, but Ayman al-Zawahiri—

To be honest they are to be asked this question, but from what I read, there was a conflict between al-Qaida in Iraq… and al-Nusra in Syria. So they didn’t want to give allegiance to the Iraqi wing of al-Qaida…

Regardless, they all represent the Devil, I believe. The damage they do to Islam is much worse than that done by any outside force or group or anything that could be imagined, and it’s our responsibility as religious leaders—doctors of the law, theologians—to explain what Islam is. I’m not afraid… I’ve been known, probably, quite well, for criticizing Western policies in the past, but now I ask for Western intervention [because of the extremists]. [smiling] Because we really have to see what’s right and what’s wrong. Ok, I can criticize Western democracy—this is my right, just as many Western and American professors and politicians criticize Western policies.

Do you believe a new Syria should be a democracy?

Of course! We had the earliest democracy in the Middle East, after independence from France in ’46; we had a Christian prime minister, Fares Khouri; we had a very smooth political system… it was interrupted by some military coup d’état…

So do you believe in creating an “Islamic state”?

Syria is an Islamic state. People are talking about an “Islamic state”; if you mean a state “ruled by shari’a,” let me tell you that 80% of the rulings of the laws in Syria now are based on shari’a. These people who are calling for [Islamic] reform are ignorant. Even the civil law, taken from the Napoleonic corpus of law, intact in 1949 and taken from the Egyptian civil law with some modifications—85% or more of it is compatible with the shari’a.

In Syria, like most Arab states, shari’a law simultaneously is and is not in play. You have a single, codified personal status law that governs family matters, informed by and based on traditional, Medieval shari’a rulings. So for example, a Muslim woman still cannot marry a non-Muslim man, polygamy is allowed, a wife can lose her mahr if she is disobedient, and women do not have the same access to divorce that men have. But this is codified and modernized shari’a that all courts must implement; there’s no place for individual rulings on the part of religious jurists who can dole out punishments like hand-cutting or public whipping, stoning. And certain new modifications for the protections of rights, particularly women’s rights, like a minimum age for marriage, restrictions on polygamy, a few expanded options for female-initiated divorce, and the prohibition of forced marriage—those exist in modern Arab family codes. So you have shari’a, but it’s modified a little bit. In a new Syria, do you favor maintaining the use of standardized family law, or would you want to return to the system of shari’a governance implemented by traditional ‘ulema and individual jurists that existed prior to late-Ottoman codification and the modernization that accompanied the advent of the nation-state?

We do not recommend, generally speaking, after the collapse of the regime, any radical change [to Syria’s laws], because that would create more chaos in the country. Considering personal status law, I do not recommend changing it. The liberals are calling for a change toward more freedom, from, let’s say, the so-called shari’a. I think in Syria we have quite a relaxed system where various sects have their own personal status, and are not forced to follow the shari’a. So on that issue, I do not demand, or recommend, any change in the personal status law. As you described, it’s quite moderate, and it is fully compatible with the shari’a.

The one that was intact before 1949 (I believe the change was around that year, if I remember right) was based on the Hanafi madhab, taken from the ahwal shakhsiya [personal status] of Qadri Pasha of the Ottoman time. The change was also made to take [rulings] from the other madhabs. And outside the four madhabs, two issues were taken [apart from or in contradistinction from the rulings of the jurists of the four madhabs]:

[Sheikh Ya’qoubi here described 2 issues: one regarding the number of instances and timing of verbal repudiations uttered by a husband to divorce his wife—a ruling from a student of Ibn Taymiyaa was adopted apparently due to the influence of Tantawi and other Ikhwaan in the ‘50s; and the second regarding the adoption of a ruling from the Zahiri madhab on wasiyya waajiba, part of inheritance law.]

What about the goal of Islamists to create new codes of “Islamic law” in the areas they govern?

They can’t write them. They are not scholars; they are not experts. The League of Syrian ‘Ulema (which is a cover for Ikhwaan) held a week-long course for judges. But a judge has to study and be trained for years, to be able to practice. I gave a lecture before his Majesty the King of Morocco here, last Ramadan. It was on fatwa and qadaa’ and the difference between them in Islam. Very crucial. I received a lot of praise for it.

Just yesterday I received a question from inside Syria about two groups of peasants who were fighting with each other. There was a truce, but one group had prevented the other group from cultivating their land, for one year. What would be the ruling? So I issued a fatwa: the ruling in the shari’a is that the rent is not applicable; the peasants don’t have to pay the rent to the landlord, because they were prevented from cultivating it, and the other party has to pay them compensation for the damages. But this is not the point. At the end of the statement, I said “This is a fatwa, not a judgment.” A judge cannot use this fatwa unless he hears both parties and obtains proofs regarding the case.

They [inexperienced Islamists applying “shari’a”] are using the fatwas as judgments! A fatwa is an opinion, and it comes from a mufti. A qadaa’ is a judgment, and it comes from a qadi. A fatwa is just a piece of news. It’s optional; people may apply it or not, inasmuch as they fear God or trust the mufti. But a judgment coming from a judge in a court of law carries force.

So many of the people who give fatwas now (even some ‘ulema) are unaware that their fatwas could be used by the common people… and people kill each other because of the fatwas! We have to be careful.

There was a discussion between me and a few scholars over the net, a few weeks ago, regarding a fatwa I had issued. When three Italian journalists were kidnapped, I issued a fatwa prohibiting the kidnapping of foreigners, anywhere, and specifically inside Syria. And I listed the reasons for it [according to the shari’a]. Now, I had generalized by saying “all foreigners” (and referenced credible legal texts from Hanafi and Malaki jurists, and especially from Hanbali jurists, because Salafis tend to use the Hanbali school [chuckling])… Now several scholars starting writing to me, saying “You didn’t write about Iranians and Russians. The fatwa is wrong; the Iranians and Russians are foreigners inside Syria supporting the regime.” I replied, “I cannot give a weapon to the common people or to the military commanders for the killing of supporters of the regime. Because then, they will decide—on their own, on the ground—who is a supporter and who is not. The positions of a country change between one day and the next, and sometimes two different politicians from the same country make two different statements.”

Shall we give military commanders on the ground authority to kill by telling them “You cannot kill foreigners—it’s haram—unless they are supporters of the regime”? Are all Iranians or Russians supporters of the regime? I said that when issuing fatwas, especially regarding blood, the ‘ulema have to be very careful. And to be honest, most of the young ‘ulema now, even some who are good ‘ulema, are not very well trained. They didn’t accompany great scholars. My father and grandfather were great scholars and I’m the 4th in the Umayyad Mosque as instructor (in the family) in 100 consecutive years. From this, you develop a lot of sensitivity, and understanding of the true spirit of fatwa, because one has to be very careful not to be trapped—someone comes and asks you for a fatwa and then you say “this is allowed and this is not allowed” and then people kill!

How influential are your fatwas, and when you issue a fatwa, what impact does it have in Syria?

I actually wasn’t aware of the level of influence of my fatwas until a few months ago. There’s a huge influence. First of all, my fatwas are given a high level of respect by Sunnis, and my going against the regime was crucial for hundreds of young ‘ulema who turned against the regime because of my position, and the trust they have in us. (This was because of the well-backed fatwa I gave supported by many texts concluding that no one should support this regime.) No one should support this regime from a shari’a point of view; the president has to be removed.

So considering the fear you mentioned on the part of Syrians about the future, and considering the way that Jabhat al-Nusra, for example, is implementing what they call Islamic law over the areas that they control, it seems that in an apparent reaction to this phenomenon, Mu’az al-Khatib in the last few days has announced a project to prepare a kind of code of Islamic law that would be a more moderate alternative to that of Nusra and al-Qaida, to be implemented in rebel-controlled regions of Syria. What do you think of this?

I believe that the Syrian people agreed on the personal status law that has now been in effect for many decades, and the civil laws. I believe the same laws should remain in effect for now, and any changes should be done after the collapse of the regime, by referendum, after a new parliament is elected, a parliament that forms a constitutional committee for legal reform. Once a constitution is established, it will have a basis for establishing the legal committee that will tackle legal reform. I think that legal reform conducted under the barrels of guns is very dangerous.

So what laws should they be using in rebel-conquered Syrian territory? They are saying they need to establish Islamic law to maintain order.

They should be using the same Syrian laws. I am not for permitting any military group to make their own laws. Now, if Sheikh Mu’az al-Khatib wants to form a committee to establish a new code of law, is it going to be passed by the Coalition? By votes? On what authority? Are people in the liberated areas going to vote on it? These are the important questions we need to ask. The Syrian people have been ruled by these laws for some time: whether they are right or wrong laws, let’s make the changes after the collapse of the regime. It is now premature to decide on a new legal system.

But since there seems to be this “rush toward shari’a” (at least in territory controlled by Islamists), perhaps Mu’az’s effort is necessary to counter what’s taking place?

He’s probably trying to be in the middle. Yes, he’s trying to be in the middle. I had this discussion with Qadi [judge] Muhammad Anwar Mujanni, a magistrate who defected from the regime. He is now the head of the Majlis al-Qudaa al-‘Aala—the Supreme Legal Council. I had a discussion with him in Egypt, while supporting this majlis. There have been some attacks against this council by the Hay al-Shari’a in Aleppo. The conflict between the two was that the Hay al-Shari’a wants to establish “shari’a,” while the Supreme Legal Council is ruling according to the already established laws. They did a lot of damage to the Legal Council, but it [the latter] has now gained more reputation. Under whose authority does it operate? It consists of a group of qualified judges. Are they working under the National Coalition? Not for now. They work independently. They were all qualified legal magistrates and judges working previously within the legal system who defected. They formed it during the uprising and are thinking of the future of the Syrian legal system. Exactly. They are in communication now with the Arab League, and they are calling for international recognition for their council. Shouldn’t the Coalition support that? It should, it should. But the Coalition doesn’t want to get too far away from Jabhat al-Nusra and from this desire to “establish Islam.” We all want to establish Islam, but what version of Islam? What school? What madhab for each area? I would consider this not establishing, but imposing Islam. So there is dialogue between the Supreme Legal Council and the Hay al-Shari’a in Aleppo? They threatened the Legal Council, I think they kidnapped one of their judges, they invaded their center—there has been some real conflict.

So in the future, there is going to be an inevitable conflict between what you represent, and the Islamists who are actually controlling territory. If the regime were to fall, and the conflict with the regime were to end, those fighters will look at any opposition leadership and say “We were here fighting. Where were you? We have the guns. We control this territory. We have Islamic law here.” How is that conflict with leaders like you going to play out?

[Chuckling] Unmanned aircraft are going to hunt them! That’s what reports are saying America is planning now. Yes, there has been talk of drones. It’s so discouraging to think of Syria looking like Afghanistan. For me, our line is very clear. As long as we have lived, we have opposed such ideologies. We didn’t like these extreme ideologies, takfir ideologies, even the Ikhwaan ideology of Sayyid Qutb who is the father of all of these movements and ideologies, and we haven’t changed over time. Now, the biggest challenge for the Ikhwaan will be which side to take. There will be a huge decision for them to make when the regime collapses about what form of government will be there, and they will have to face the fact that the Islamists are the strongest on the ground, organizationally, politically, in funding. The liberals in the opposition are very small. Ikhwaan have a long history and many resources. Either way, they are going to be affected. If they side with Jabhat al-Nusra and support it, they’re going to lose, and if they choose to fight it, they’re also going to pay a huge price. Morsi took a decision to confront the Salafi-jihadis in Sinai. But this is a marginal issue in Egypt; it’s not the biggest problem. But in Syria, it’s the central issue. Jabhat al-Nusra is in control of major cities and oil wells now.

So when we consider this future problem, what is your opinion on how intervention can help? You mentioned that you still support the international community’s help with intervention. What kind of intervention, and how would order be restored in those areas controlled by rebels?

Well, the purpose of international intervention must be to assist the Syrian people in establishing law and order. Toppling the regime can be done by the Syrians, if the right help is provided. But after that, there will be a threat to the Jordanian Hashemite Kingdom, and many reports are coming out now about possible scenarios. There are Americans in Jordan now training Syrian rebels, and we’ve been working for this. I support this. I’m in contact with almost 70 military groups who consist of Sufis. A recent military group was formed, “The Free Sufi Movement,” and they consulted with me about their principles. I gave them a set of principles that they should use if they want to operate. One of the major issues was the necessity of handing over their weapons to the next Syrian government. They must swear by God that they will accept this.

So you believe international intervention could help establish the National Coalition’s authority over such groups in Syria.

Well, the National Coalition’s role ends upon the election of first government.

Right, but in areas controlled by rebels who may not recognize the authority of that government or of the Coalition’s transitional role, what kind of practical intervention could be conducted?

Some support for the Free Syrian Army. The exact form of it has to be discussed.

You were just elected to the National Coalition. Mu’az al-Khatib notified you of that, but now, soon after, he has resigned.

Well, he had already submitted his resignation when he notified me of my appointment.

Who do you think was responsible for your election?

Well, it is several factors. First, as Sufi leaders, we have been working together with a group of Sufi sheikhs of Sufi orders on an initiative to establish a political movement, a movement that would unite the Sufi powers, disciples, supporters, along with the Sunni ‘ulema. When did you start that initiative? Five months ago. Alongside the establishment of the Coalition. I made three trips to the area, including Cairo and Istanbul, holding meetings with Sufi sheikhs. We reached a point where we picked up 60 people: sheikhs and activists who are pro-Sufi. We contacted military groups. We now have the support of approximately 200 military groups of varying sizes. We set our principles in a document to be agreed upon and signed. We denounced violence, we denounced working in secret cells. We agreed to call the movement Tiyaar Binaa’ al-Hadara, Movement for Building Civilization. Some people wanted to call it “Islamic civilization.” I said no, just “civilization.” I specifically did not want it to have the name “Islamic” to keep it inclusive. Islamic civilization was also built by Christians, Jews, and others. But of course, included in its principles is that Syria is an Islamic state: the president should be a Muslim. Regardless of whether we achieve this or not—because this is the democratic process—the idea was to offer an alternative to Ikhwaan and Salafi political power. Those who are advocating the Islamist agenda in the Syrian political arena are three, currently: 1) Salafis (both ‘ilmi and jihadi), 2) Hezb ut-Tahrir, and 3) Ikhwaan (with several wings). And we believe that the three of them have no majority, no control, no popularity in Syria. They having been pushing in the last two years with a lot of money, and it can probably be said that Salafis have had the most success of the three—the ‘Ilmiya, not the jihadists, though the Salafi-Jihadis, like Jabhat al-Nusra, have been successful in building groups and using money to develop organizations. Ikhwaan would be next in terms of gains, and Hezb ut-Tahrir last. This is the main challenge that our people have been talking to us about over the last two years. Our people are religious and moderate by nature. Now, they will not stand behind someone who works against Islam or calls for the destruction of Islam. But they are complaining to us saying, “We are your students; we love you; we are not these people. What are you doing for us?” They are complaining about your absence in the armed opposition or the political opposition? Both. More than complaining, they are demanding results from us. Of course, people like me have been deliberately excluded, until now. When the SNC was founded in Istanbul, I had already been there for 3 months, before coming to Morocco. And I was excluded from all meetings and invitations. Even up until now: they recently held 3 conferences, and I was not invited to any one of them.

I don’t hear a lot about Hezb ut-Tahrir’s activity in Syria. Are they really that involved?

They are trying to make themselves bigger, and they’re pouring money [into the pockets of the rebel groups they want to win over]. I’ll give you one example: there’s a military group operating outside of Damascus in the Ghuta called Liwa Habib Mustafa. They consist of 2000 fighters. The majority of them are of the people, moderate people, fighting for their own villages, for their honor, for the property of their families, for their blood. And their leaders are, you could say, close to us; some of them might be influenced by Ikhwaan or Salafis, but in general they are moderate. Over six months ago I was contacted by one of the founders, begging for my help. They said “money stopped, we don’t have any funds.” Where was it coming from before? From Saudi Arabia. Every fighter had been receiving a salary of $200. At one point approximately six months ago, money stopped. (A lot of military groups complained that they stopped receiving funds around that time. I believe that a reassessment of the situation took place.) So they were in dire need. And Hezb ut-Tahrir came in, offering 20 million Syrian pounds, which at the time was about $100 for each fighter as salary, but requiring them to work under their umbrella, with the stated goal being the establishment of a khilafa¸ and pledging to fight until the goal is accomplished. Hezb-u-Tahir has its own corpus or interpretation of shari’a. Their founder wrote several books and they consider him as the only valid authority. Hezb ut-Tahrir has its own ideology in terms of ‘usuul al-fiqh; they have their own books, their own references.

So people were asking us for help, “please help us!” And I think they went ahead and took the money from them.

Speaking of the reassessment you mentioned, we’ve been reading that a lot of money stopped coming when parties began feeling that the opposition was too Islamist, and yet the non-Islamist fighters are complaining that parties like Qatar are giving money only to Islamists, sidelining the very groups that would be seen by others as legitimate recipients of support.

That’s right; several people are contacting me, even some members of military groups who receive through Qatar. They tell us “Qatar is paying money, why are you not getting anything? We don’t like it; we know that the leaders of our military groups are getting this money. But we are there just because we are getting paid. We can change sides and help form any new group, and we will be on your side.” To be honest, if we announced now a “Sufi Military Front,” we could easily get 50,000 fighters and a few hundred military groups together. So what are you waiting for? Funds. They can’t join if we don’t pay them. And it will be better for those more qualified with military experience to handle it—I don’t want to get involved in running the military myself; I’d rather stay on the political side.

Now you’re saying Islamists are a minority in terms of popularity and power inside Syria, but they are a majority in the political opposition. The Ikhwaan formed the political opposition and controlled it from the beginning, and they made sure that no other opposition figures would penetrate it. They are trying to make it appear that they represent all the Syrian people; this is why they do not want the ‘ulema to participate on any council, because people would turn to the ‘ulema. This is why good people left the opposition. There has been a hidden war against me personally, to block my access to these institutions. Al-Jazeera hosted figures affiliated with the Ikhwaan and excluded me, even though my name was suggested and recommended several times for appearances.

So coming back to the point about what has now led to my entry into the National Coalition: Sheikh As’ad, me, Dr. Mahmoud Hussein, a few others—we all wrote a draft letter to the Coalition a month ago and got the signatures of 25 Sufi figures on it. It is a good letter that demands several things from the Coalition. We demanded representation. We assert that we are a huge bloc of the social and religious tissues of Syria. That letter was sent to the chairman, Dr. Mu’az al-Khatib, and to the vice chairmen—this was before he resigned. We are now a group with 60 active leaders, ready to establish this movement. All we need is funds. We will be opening an office, hosted by Jordan.

What should the Syrian opposition look like, generally?

It should be made up of individuals, expertise, advisors from all sides and groups: religious and secular. The future of Syria is not bound by victory over the regime. I believe the future of Syria has to be looked at from different points of view, creating a unique opportunity between all members of Syrian society, and all religious and ethnic groups. We need to consider the non-Muslim vantage points. Consider yourself for a moment a non-Muslim Syrian citizen who is looking at the future of Syria. We need to look at how others see it, why others are afraid of us. It doesn’t mean that if I’m a Muslim, or a Muslim scholar, or a Muslim thinker, or a Muslim leader who happens to lead the uprising, that it should then be shaped or framed as in a religious way, or that I alone decide on the future of Syria. This is one point that I believe should be quite important. I don’t mind starting a political speech without “In the name of God.” Here I am in politics—I can mention the name of God on the way there, in my heart, as much as I wish, but now I am at a political event. However, some politicians around the Arab World do so, like Hosni Mubarak used to when he began speeches. It’s a cultural feature. Yes, it’s a cultural thing, but sometimes it shapes your discourse; we don’t want to shape our discourse that way. [By this] we are not running away from our religion! But we don’t want to threaten others. We don’t want others to believe that we are going to establish a shari’a-based state that is going to execute or exclude others. I believe we still have a huge margin of the Syrian people who are afraid to rebel against the regime, just because they are afraid of the future. Or they don’t have enough trust in the recent oppositional leadership. Mu’az won a huge margin—a lot of people who had been concerned before, joined the uprising because of his joining. And we need to give more assurances, I believe, from inside the Coalition. The expansion of the Coalition needs to continue until it reaches its best balance.

Now that you’re part of it, can you help make that happen?

Hopefully, hopefully. Even now that I’m part of it, I’m not claiming that I represent the Syrian people. I don’t have authority from the Syrian people to represent them, either in the Coalition or somewhere else. I am there to help the process of getting through this period, toppling the regime, organizing relief, trying to manage the areas now under the control of the opposition—whatever help we can offer. But the representatives of the Syrian people will be elected. Those who are elected after the fall of the regime will rightly claim to be representatives of the Syrian people.

Tell me your impression of Hitto.

I met him for the first time four months ago in Hatay Airport. He seemed to be quite well-educated. He’s head of the relief unit, the aid unit. I had a good impression of him. Now some people say that he is Ikhwaani, but I don’t know the history of his family. Even if he is, I don’t mind. We may have to deal with an Ikhwaani prime minister in the future Syria. That is democracy. But the real question is: will the government be of all one color, or will it be inclusive?

Tell me about your leaving Syria: why did you leave and why did you leave at that time?

Here’s what happened. Just to give you the picture before I get into this: I was well known for being a trouble-maker for the regime in Syria. At one point I had lost my job at the mosque for 6 months for criticizing [Grand Mufti] Hassoun. I had been offered several positions in the government when I returned to Syria in 2006 [after teaching for a period at Zaytuna College in California], and clearly they wanted me to serve as the mufti of Damascus. They negotiated and said, “This is the job for you.” But I always kept away because I was expecting the fall of the regime. So I did not accept the position to be mufti of Damascus; I was offered this and I refused. They appointed me as member of a council for just one month. Then I resigned. Hassoun was the head of the committee, overseeing the companies of Islamic insurance. I was there only one month and then I resigned after my conflict with Hassoun. This was in 2008. They were trying to woo me to the side of the regime, this is how they do it, by offering them jobs, money, compensation.

Hassoun is also a traditional ‘aalim. Yes. But the authority that appoints muftis in Syria is not ‘ulema-based but rather the regime.

This has changed since Kuftaro in 1960; before that it was a council of muftis that would sit together and elect a mufti. This is how Sheikh Abu al-Yasir Abideen, the mufti before Kuftaro, was elected, and it was how Kuftaro himself was elected as a mufti. So he was the last one elected. Exactly. But at the time he was elected, the term of a mufti was four years. Kuftaro was elected, and afterwards Hafez al-Assad made a presidential ruling that he would be mufti for life. So he became mufti for 40 years, almost.

So the regime was wary about me. And before the uprising, I had been called for interrogation 4 times. This was in 2010 and in January of 2011, because of the subjects of my speeches. In one of them I spoke about the Tunisian uprising (and it had also recently begun in Egypt), and I spoke about corruption. I criticized Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi doctrine and at the time they were trying to beg the Saudis for good relations, so they called me for interrogation.

That is very ironic.

Yes, very ironic!

So I was known for being a trouble maker. Every time there was a special occasion for the Ba’ath party, like an anniversary or such, I would do a speech against the Ba’ath party.

So when the uprising started, I thought, “Let’s not rush.” We heard the president giving promises of reform; let’s wait for the reform. This was wise, but at the same time I wrote a plan of two pages of suggestions for the president and gave it to a friend who was a friend of the president and asked him to give it to him. These requests included the basics: removal of those responsible for the killing of demonstrators in Dera’a, reform of the security system, and other things. The Friday after that I didn’t deliver a speech. Then killing started; I delivered a speech (it’s on the net) about the danger of murder and killing innocent people. When was that? That was in April. It was a full speech, a half-hour on the issue of killing people and how dangerous it is and how this culture is spread by the regime… You specifically said that “the culture of killing is spread by the regime”? Well, not exactly like that, more to the effect of the “army killing people” or the “government killing people,” but it was very direct. The following Friday, they sent over 200 security people to the mosque, with arms [concealed arms, men not in uniform]. I was not planning on giving the khutba. I had appointed one of my students to deliver the sermon in my presence (I was at the mosque). When I saw that over 200 people had come 15 minutes beforehand [who were not those who usually frequent the mosque] sitting with the worshippers— Everyone was scared. They came prepared to fight. It was obvious that they were waiting for any slight provocation or controversial text to be mentioned so that they could start beating people. So I told my student, “Let me go up; I’ll do the khutba” because I thought he wouldn’t be able to handle it. So went up to the pulpit, said the prayers and introduction to the khutba, and then I said “That’s it.” I didn’t do a khutba or speak about any subject! You have to be wise: I had approximately 1,200 people praying in the mosque and I didn’t want a massacre. If you want to make a statement, you have to make it at the right time. So on the following Friday (the 5th of May), I delivered a disastrous speech for the regime, a big slam to the regime. When they were not expecting it. Exactly. And there is a video of it on Youtube with English subtitles that you can watch. No one dared to say something like that. I described what was happening, gave a story of a man who was killed at a military checkpoint in cold blood, his father was prevented from giving emergency aid to him, I mentioned his name Mu’taz al-Sha’ar, I mentioned how people are tortured in prison, I mentioned how people are killed in hospitals… I described what was happening and I said “In any conflict between the people and the government, the people will win.” Just look at history.

So it was really… people were afraid for me! I couldn’t go home after the khutba. I had been planning to say something, so I had already sent my wife and kids to my in-laws, and after the speech I went into hiding. And the security force came to my home that evening, and the next day, three times total according to the neighbors. So for about 25 days I kept moving from one place to another. I don’t think that the government expected me to leave the country, or perhaps there is always some gap [between an event that makes a person “wanted” and the awareness of border security that such a person should be detained]. But on my passport, I didn’t have my profession specified, because I travel a lot, and every time I want to travel (as a scholar) I’m supposed to get permission from the minister. So the last time I renewed my passport, I went to my father-in-law who is a businessman and got a certificate saying that I am a sales manager. So I had my passport issued with “sales manager” on it. So that when I wanted to travel back-and-forth from the country, I wouldn’t have to get permission from the minister [the wazir al-awqaaf]. And my name was not yet on the list of people who were banned from traveling. But someone finally came and warned me saying, “Sheikh Muhammad, some of the top generals in the security services are speaking ill of you, sooner or later things are going to escalate, you have to make a choice: if you stay in the country, they’re going to get you.” So I traveled immediately. I traveled from the airport; my name was not on any list at that time. (I checked before I went—there are people to whom you can pay money and they will check the computer system for you and let you know if your name is on the list. I wouldn’t have gone without checking.) I think two or three weeks after that my name was on the list. After a few months, I got my family out, through Jordan.

In my first appearance on al-Jazeera, I issued a fatwa saying the regime has to be toppled, because there was no justification in the shari’a for oppression. That was from Istanbul, after leaving Syria. After it I did several other programs on the situation, on BBC world, etc. But now they are banning me from al-Jazeera.

Can you say something about the Sufi ‘Ulema? Approaches to policy?

Sufis generally prefer monarchy [such as Morocco’s], but they don’t trust Saudi Arabia, because of the anti-Sufi Wahhabi movement. They hate socialism, so they would tend more towards America than, say, Russia or China. There was fear in the past that some Sufis would be pro-Iran, as Egypt has had Sufis that are pro-Iran. But in Syria this doesn’t exist. Sufis in Syria have no love for Shi’ism. Probably one quarter of the Syrian population is Sufi. This is far beyond ten-thousand members of the Ikhwaan. We don’t allow working underground in secret cells. We work in the open. We don’t need organizations, because the ‘ulema rely on the trust they build with people, through their life of uprightness, knowledge, reputation. So we don’t need, and we prohibit secret organizations. Because the moment we get into secrets, we get into the Batiniyya. They are sects which hold to hidden meanings, hidden dogmas, hidden interpretations: this leads to hidden policies and agendas. Secrecy is forbidden in Islam. Everything we do is in the open; we don’t have a secret organization. I’m at the age of 50 now. I started preaching at the age of less than 15, formally at the age of 17. They discovered that I was under the legal age for a preacher in Syria (18), so the mudiir of awqaaf in Damascus wrote me a paper that he signed, saying “next year we’ll appoint you,” and the age of 18 they appointed me. Since that time I’ve been teaching, preaching, giving fatwas, to varying degrees; we get more knowledge the older we get. And I haven’t seen any need for or good come from secret cells or organizations. It’s very dangerous and people are brainwashed. We are ‘ulema. People come to us; if they don’t like us they go to another scholar—a fourth scholar, a fourth mosque. No one is forcing them to attend a particular mosque; they can choose for themselves. People like scholars of different styles, but at the same time, we work for the same Islam. Hanafi or Shaafi’i—minor differences—but the major issues are wellbeing, protection of life… even the issue of going against the regime: it is very difficult to get a fatwa for rebelling against the regime. And I couldn’t give it, in any circumstance. But the Syrian case is really different. This is why Dr. Bouti—Allayirhamo—and others couldn’t understand the complexity of the danger of the Syrian regime remaining in power. So they went with the classical position of the four madhabs that you can’t go against a ruler—which is very true in the four madhabs! So why does this case qualify? Well, here is the point: The ‘ulema reference a hadith of the Prophet that says “Even if the ruler is oppressive—takes your money and beats you…” Not me, but other scholars have talked about how oppression operates at various levels: when it is levied only at individuals, the statement of the Prophet applies, because an individual cannot rebel against a ruler, even if (and I would say especially if) he is influential, who then creates chaos because he was a single individual of influence who half the people would then follow causing a civil war or great chaos—just because he was oppressed as an individual. Here, the statement of the Prophet applies because you can’t rebel for your own sake, even if you are oppressed. The issue is: when oppression is against the nation, it conflicts with the very reason that this ruler is a ruler. As a president, his job is to protect people’s honor or blood or wealth. How do you decide when a ruler oppresses the nation? We have had many dictatorial Arab regimes with various levels of oppression. Some might say the oppression is directed at individuals or groups who threaten their status or positions of influence within the society. Others might conclude that it is against the entire society. How do you come to the decision that the Syrian case qualifies as this kind of oppression that delegitimizes the very purpose of rule, and calls for a revolution? To be honest, when I issued the fatwa, I sat, writing down—the fatwa from Istanbul, after you left? Yes. It had been in my mind, and I spoke about it in private sessions when I was still in Syria. So it was something already known. I would not have gone against the regime if—according to the shari’a point of view, I had not been backed. The point is, first we have the history of the regime, which gave indications about what would happen [in the future]. We all know that in the 80s, the Ikhwaan were wrong in their assassinations of some top Alawite officials of the time; but the regime’s reaction was beyond measure. It destroyed the city of Hama and killed between 10 and 40 thousand people; we don’t know the real figures. Even at the lower figure of 10,000, I would put no trust in such a regime for reforms—with this history. But briefly, that fight was with a kind of radical Ikhwaan movement that posed a threat to the legitimacy of traditional ‘ulema, like you, and even at that time, that group was ready to use weapons against the regime, prior to the massacre in Hama, which, by your definition would be an illegitimate rebellion against a ruler. If Hafez al-Assad was an oppressive ruler, but targeted specific individuals or groups who threatened his domination (rather than committing statewide massacres), then the Hama incident could be viewed as a reaction against an illegitimate rebellion on the part of the Ikhwaan who began provoking the regime with weapons—which of course did involve a large, brutal massacre in their crackdown. No, you’re right; it’s very coherent. The ‘ulema at the time—my father was alive—he passed away at the end of ‘85—we witnessed and had discussions with many scholars and I was very active in the intellectual debate, and the ‘ulema were against the position of the Ikhwaan. Not because the regime had legitimacy; it had reached power through coup d’état. But if a change is to be made, it has to happen by consensus of the representatives of the nation. Not by a small group. The Ikhwaan acted on their own. They didn’t consult with the ‘ulema. You know from the history of revolutions that you must prepare people before making a change. If there is oppression, you have to prepare people so that they accept the change or call for a change. Now in the 80s, I delivered a speech (I was a Friday speaker) in Salhiye, in the heart of Damascus at the al-Tawusiyya mosque. (My father was a Friday speaker in that mosque. And I was as well, from 1980 to 1990. Then I resigned from all my duties and left the country to study English in the UK , then I studied in Sweden—this was also after a conflict with the regime! A conflict with the Ministry of Religious Affairs.) So we used to deliver Friday speeches at that time. There were three elements of the regime we didn’t like: socialism, nationalism (Ba’ath ideology), and the sectarian character of the regime. We used to put hidden criticisms of the regime into our speeches. I remember giving a speech in which I said “Until when will our children repeat every morning ‘wahda, hurriya, ishtirakiyya’ [the Ba’ath motto, “unity, liberty, socialism”], and how are we going to liberate the Golan Heights and Palestine while our children are being brainwashed?” Things of that nature. Over 10 people immediately took their shoes and ran away from the mosque, in that moment. So people were not ready. And the ‘ulema are the ones who are in contact with people. If any scholar had called at that time for rebellion or demonstration, not 10 people would have gathered around him to support him. In the West they recently wrote an article about Sunni business people supporting Assad so that he reached power, and to be honest, that’s very true! It was Sunni business people who supported him for their own business interests. They didn’t mind working with the devil. This allowed Hafez al-Assad to become stronger and stronger. And over time those business people wouldn’t object to or express disagreement with anything he did… but now things have changed. With the advent of satellite TV channels, people have been changing; they are not numb any longer. They began asking, “Why should I forfeit my freedom to this political regime?” And you shouldn’t expect people to oppose a regime in the early years of its creation; it takes a generation or two. In our case it took one generation, for the Soviet Union it took three. So the ‘ulema have to be wise in finding the right time. When the time was right and I delivered my speeches in the al-Hassan mosque (at the beginning of the uprising), people were coming to me and embracing me, thanking me for making such statements. The Arab Spring was the first cause of this, the second was the regime gradually revealing its truly nasty image. If similar speeches even 10% to that tune of opposing the regime had been delivered five, six, seven years ago, especially in the early years of Bashar, for example, people would have attacked me for every word. So returning to why you decided that this was the right time to issue a fatwa against the regime when traditionally in Islam a ruler is not to be opposed? I’ll give you some historical observations on what has been going on. Either the president rules or he doesn’t rule and the heads of secret service / security are ruling. We heard testimonies all over the news of how people were executed in hospitals, how tanks ran over demonstrators, how people were killed in prison, tortured to death—this savagery wasn’t something done by mistake. It was a systematic policy of the secret service, and people revealed this to the president. I wasn’t among the people who met with the president at the time. But several people met with the president and some of them came to my home after the meeting, the delegation from Deir Ezzor, the mufti and others, for example. After they met with the president they came to my home and had dinner, and we discussed it. I heard from others as well who had met with the president. The president would sometimes express unawareness about these events; other times he would agree that they were occurring but maintain that they were isolated events. Sometimes if cornered and pressured significantly, he would say “give me the names of the people responsible and I will sue them.” This is an interesting issue: some people feel that the president himself is personally responsible for the killing, that he is the one issuing the orders, that he is a murderer of women and children. Others feel that he’s not really in charge of the regime but is just a figurehead, a face for the regime. It is deeper than this, but the simple answer is that yes, he is issuing orders, orders for military responses. Major decisions are usually made by the president himself. For example, no military unit can move from one place to another unless there is a presidential order. But we all agree that when he first became president, he didn’t have any power. He didn’t become president because of any power of his own; the people who made him president, I’m sure, have authority over him. Still? Well, still or not, this is another issue. He could sack Abd al-Fattah Qudsiya, or Ali Mamlouk, or Jameel Hassan from the Air Force Secret Service; he can sack one of them and appoint another person and I don’t think there will be a coup d’état against him or that there would be an assassination against him. But the main issue is that ideologically, he is justifying for himself everything he is doing. He thinks that he is really defending the country against terrorists.

Is he entirely wrong when we see, at this point, that Jabhat al-Nusra is with al-Qaida, and they are willing to commit killings based on a takfiri ideology?

I think he knows very well that he is not right. In his early speech in April 2011, he mentioned that there were 64,000 criminal outlaws—how did all of a sudden 64,000 come from nowhere? This was in April, 2011. These were demonstrators, people going to demonstrations. Why did people form military groups? Mainly they were the people who had gone to demonstrations, were captured, tortured in prison, and then released. After what they went through and witnessed in prison, they opted for fighting the regime, afterwards. So I’m sure the president knows what’s going on, especially with the secret service: the cook knows what’s going on in the kitchen. Abu Mus’ab as-Suri was handed over by the U.S. to the Syrians after being captured in Afghanistan. And then he disappeared in the Syrian prisons. We heard reports that Fira’ Falastin [فرع فلسطين– the “Palestine Branch” of the Syrian mukhabaraat, secret services] released the ex-al-Qaida fighters from Iraq who had been captured, and those were the early ones who began forming al-Nusra.

So they would have released them in 2011? Yes.

How solid do you believe that evidence is? This conflict is full of rumor, and it’s difficult for me to believe that the regime wanted to escalate the conflict (which threatens its very existence) just to bolster the principle of its legitimacy. Sure, it’s to the regime’s advantage that it can now point to real terrorist elements within the opposition, but to create jihadist networks and car-bomb its own cities—destabilizing the very country it still wants to control—seems contrary to its goal of restoring order.

The regime was betting on something, taking a chance. As long as the uprising was peaceful, the regime would be losing. We heard verified statements that some security and military officers started selling arms in Dera’a, in the south. And in another instance, I heard (something I can’t verify) that people were offered weapons deals. The other statements that can be verified claim that they left Kalashnikovs and other weapons, for demonstrators to carry, in order to justify the regime’s actions. In Bashar al-Assad’s most recent interview, he said that this is a war. And when he calls this a “war,” he has considered it a war from the beginning. A “war” means he’s not dealing with “people” (who are demonstrating, who are defending their honor); in a war he can resort to any means necessary. So they wanted it to turn into a war.

But that strategy does not work, because the other side of that war has captured areas like Raqqa, Deir Ezzor; the Kurdish area is no longer under state control; Dera’a is going back and forth between regime and opposition control with areas near Jordan and the Golan out of regime control; the fight in Idlib is very tough; Aleppo is divided… Though not necessarily losing, the regime is not really winning right now. So a strategy to convert an uprising of opinion and dissent into a war—Did not work. It worked on one level but not for the best interest of the people. Although I was asked, and I issued a fatwa saying that people may defend themselves, in Homs, when Homs was attacked in Bab al-‘Amr; I said that jihad was obligatory, at the time. I was one of the earliest people who did so. For me, if our people carry guns and defend themselves under the Free Syrian Army it is better than having either military intervention or having ideological groups proliferate. But unfortunately the down side is that—yes, it’s a war now—probably 50% or so (I don’t know exactly how many on the ground) are extremist groups, whose goal is not just to topple the regime, but to establish their “shari’a states”  and have their own warlord-like control on the streets. The point is quite interesting. These people, especially foreign fighters, and including some of the extremist Syrians (I’m sure they will find some to brainwash and recruit) they won’t care about finishing off the regime or not; all they are interested in is their military activities, training, building secret cells, in order to move to other countries and to work against U.S. interests and some other countries. Someone drew my attention to this after having been inside and talking to some of them. He came back out with this impression. He said they don’t care whether the regime collapses or not; they are just building their own organization, cells, and strategic planning for future work. I believe that in the end, this will force the West to intervene, in order to get rid of them.

What did you think when Grand Mufti Ahmed Badr al-Din Hassoun issued the call for jihad on the part of the Syrian army?

[Laughing] Some have suggested that the Chechen brothers who conducted the Boston bombing were responding to this call for jihad! But that would mean that those brothers were somehow supportive of the Syrian regime! Yes, yes, this is the talk of Syrians who want the West to feel that the Syrian regime is the gravest threat to the U.S. Anyway, the call was very serious and very stupid. Ahmed Badr al-Din Hassoun is considered to be pro-West, pro-America. He was welcomed by the European parliament. He delivered a historical speech there, though I criticized him for some statements he made. I received a lot of damage myself, for criticizing him. Even in the U.S. some try to depict me as an extremist for criticizing him. Because they saw him as so moderate. Exactly. And this issue was related to the Prophet Mohammed; this, you know, is something serious. He made a mistake, he has to admit it—he did admit it. A few weeks before the beginning of the uprising, one of the top business people in Syria, Ammaar Sahlool contacted me and said “I want to come and visit you with him.” I said, “You are most welcome and I will honor him in my place when he comes.” He wanted to put an end to it, just to have a picture with me showing that things are settled, because my speech against him had had a huge impact. He admits that the toughest strike he received was from me. So anyway, I offered him condolences when his son was assassinated; death is something that when it comes, we must stand by each other. I respect him as a scholar, as a Sufi. I didn’t expect this to happen.

So my question is, is it possible for people on that side of the conflict to declare a jihad? There are many Sunnis still with the army, for example. They believe they are fighting for the protection of Syria from al-Nusra and other groups. Can those people not consider their struggle a jihad?

Yes, they can. So the call is legitimate. Not by the Mufti. We are talking about Sunni soldiers in the army who are brainwashed and are banned from any media except that of the regime. I would be lenient toward a soldier fighting in the Syrian army and accept his jihad if he believes in it; but not the Mufti. The Mufti knows what’s going on; he’s aware of the worldwide media, he watches it. You know he denied on al-Jazeera, live in an interview, that scud missiles hit Aleppo University. He denied it! He said, “Did you see it?” An empty argument! His call for jihad cannot be considered legitimate and no one is taking it seriously at all. But he’s an ‘aalim, he’s a mufti. Why can another call for jihad but not him? Okay, because he’s on the side of the regime. Calling for jihad for what reason? Well, from their perspective for the protection of Syria from certain threats. Well, if any people would be influenced by that, people who are brainwashed, people who have restricted access to the media, those who live within the army without a single day of leave and only watch Syrian channels… I think the fatwa is to serve these people. But I’m asking, from an Islamic perspective, theologically, is anything wrong with his fatwa. Yes, of course it is wrong. Everything is wrong with it. Why? Because the regime has no legitimacy, so why would you defend the regime? Why doesn’t it have legitimacy—in a theological sense? First of all, because the president went against his duty. I told you before: his job is to protect the country, protect the people, protect honor, protect wealth, protect sanity, and he did not perform this duty, at all. He had an opportunity to make reform, to bring criminals to justice. He formed a committee to study the case of Dera’a, Douma, and later on Lattakia, and the results of this committee’s analysis never came out. So it is very obvious that he is not on the side of the people; he is on the side of the criminals. So such a president, along with his assistants, has no shari’a backing or support for continued leadership of the country. Besides, from a shari’a point of view, let’s say there’s a controversy about him. He should resign, and hand leadership over to others—if the cause is right. If the cause is right, and there is a controversy, all that people are asking for is that he be removed. Ok, let’s bring someone else. Why not? Why is he sticking to the chair so? We see that the whole conflict will be solved by him being removed. So remove a nation (killing 100,000 people), or remove a single person from the presidency. It’s very obvious.

Sheikh al-Bouti echoed Hassoun’s call for jihad and referred to people fighting in the Syrian army as ashaab an-Nabi [companions of the Prophet]. All his statements supported that position of jihad on behalf of the Syrian army. I wonder about your relationship with Sheikh al-Bouti: he was an internationally respected scholar, and at the same time he supported the regime. It must be difficult and uncomfortable to reconcile that, and I wonder how you do it.

I wrote six articles refuting Dr. Bouti, in the past year. Dr. Bouti, as you said, is an international figure with a great reputation. His followers outside of Syria are millions of Muslims. His books have been translated into several languages. He was not my teacher, though I have to give him due respect as an elder scholar with a lot of experience and knowledge. He was a student of my father, studying for a while under him. He offered a great eulogy for my father in 1985 when my father passed away. I disagreed with him, with his positions, from 1990 on (or around that time). What positions? He went with the regime, and supported the regime. Hafez al-Assad succeeded in pulling him towards him, started sitting with him for hours and hours, especially when Hafez al-Assed was diagnosed with cancer. When Hafez al-Assad discovered that he had cancer, he began to spend more time with him?

In one session, he sat with him privately for seven hours; no one else was there. So this was when his health began failing; was he seeking something spiritual, that wasn’t about politics? Something like that. But probably, there were some politics in it. One of the strongest statements of Dr. Bouti in support of the regime came when Bassel al-Assad was killed (or died in a car accident). He prayed at his funeral, and made statements suggesting that he was in paradise, and that he saw him or that he would see him—I don’t recall the exact words, but his supporters claim that the opposition distorted his own statements. Is it a problem for him to make that statement about Bassel? It is problematic. Because he was Alawi? Not just because he was Alawi, but just because people were not ready to see anyone praising President Assad or his regime. It was very bitter. So the problem was a political problem, not a religious problem? Both, probably, both. Common Muslims are not really aware of theology. What affects them more is politics. No one was ready to see someone siding with the regime. If they had been able to get the Devil to come and replace Hafez al-Assad at that time, they would have welcomed the Devil. The image of Hafez al-Assad was so dirty that anyone who would shake hands with him would be rejected by people. And Sheikh al-Bouti’s relationship helped his image. It helped a lot. And then he prayed at the funeral of Hafez al-Assad himself, and he appeared on TV crying. And I saw him swearing that Hafez al-Assad was a Muslim. Now that funeral was in 2000. Yes. So why did you start disagreeing with him in 1990? The first public appearance of Dr. Bouti in support of the regime (or I would say, in the presence of Hafez al-Assad) was in 1980. That was the first event for the millennium festival for the 15th century hijri. It was at the University of Damascus’ theater. That was the first speech he delivered before the president. He offered sharp criticisms and pointed out the wrong that was happening within the government. He gave him strong advice, he didn’t praise him. But the government was smarter than was thought. They knew how to pull him. The people responsible for pulling him are two: Mohammed Khatib, ex-minister of awqaaf, and Alawite General Mohammed Nasif who was then head of internal security services. Now he is advisor to the president. He is one of the top Alawite rulers of the country now. What do you mean, “they pulled him”? Dr. Bouti was just a professor at the University of Damascus. He had two lectures weekly—Mondays and Thursdays in a small mosque. They succeeded in pulling up to that position and getting him close to the president. These two people. These two people. I don’t know Mohammed Nasif; people tried to have a meeting between him and me in the past few years because my name was growing. I said I have no interest in meeting him. I kept away from the regime, myself. But Mohammed Khatib, ex-minister—I know him very well. Mu’az’s family? No, a different family, from the south. He was minister from 1980-87. He was one of the greatest minds. And he is the one who got al-Bouti into supporting the regime. Now, Dr. Bouti is very emotional. He has some qualities which are good sometimes, but in politics they are not good. He believes anyone who gives him a statement; he doesn’t believe anyone would lie. He trusts people beyond what is reasonable. So little by little he established strong ties with people in the regime. They convinced him—Hafez al-Assad, for example convinced him that every morning and evening he was making extra prayers. He [Sheikh Bouti] gave him some texts to read, and every time they would meet, Hafez al-Assad would point out to him: “This is a text you gave me that I’m reading every morning and evening.” And these types of things lured him. So Dr. Bouti is different from Hassoun. Dr. Bouti really believed every word he said. This is why, when he died, I made a statement in his eulogy, and I consider him a martyr. And the bulk of the rebels disagreed with me, and I don’t care, because this is justice. Other scholars, even Ikhwaani scholars, kept silent, because they don’t want to lose popularity with the rebels. For me, I’m considering history: we have historical ties with Dr. Bouti. I disagreed with him on the theological and legal issue of whether rebelling against the regime is allowed or not allowed; I said this on a TV interview. But people should not be killed for their opinions. He died in a mosque, while giving a lecture, Friday night: he’s a martyr, from that point of view.

Tell me, what would be the place of the Alawi community in a new Syrian state?

My position and the position of the ‘ulema: We do not hold responsible any community or group, religious or ethnic, for the atrocities committed during the tenure of the Ba’ath regime or Assad rule. Every individual is responsible for his own actions. I think it is very important to emphasize the rights of all minorities, especially in the midst of this extremist violence, these winds of extremism blowing through the uprising. The ‘ulema in general have no problem with the minorities, and are probably the safeguard for the unity of the country, for the solidarity of the nation, for the coexistence between all groups—to give a guarantee for these. I recently suggested to the Danish Foreign Minister (I met him here at the Friends of Syria conference in Marrakesh) that someone should organize a conference and invite Sunni scholars and religious leaders from the Christian minority, from the Druze minority, from the Alawite minority, and we should agree on a common, historical statement for the future of coexistence in Syria. Between all of us. And I stress that this hasn’t been done until now. There was an attempt to do so by a U.S.-based organization, a good organization, called Religions for Peace, who invited me—Dr. William Vendley who is based in New York. They organized a conference in Istanbul, this last Monday. I was invited, but I couldn’t travel because of my papers here, which I have to have processed.

In a new Syria, regardless of whether it becomes a democracy or a system run by Ikhwaan or other Islamists, power is going to be Sunni. They are the majority and power is going to be in their hands. Under Islamic law, what kind of protection can there be for ghulaat sects? I don’t know if they are seen as ahl al-kitaab or not.

Let me first say that I don’t have an agenda to “Islamize” the law after the uprising succeeds; the law in effect would be applied for all citizens and I don’t think the law discriminates now. Yes, but it allows Christians and Druze to have separate ahwaal shakhsiya, so would ‘Alawi then be allowed to have their own?

Well, the question is about the very existence [identity] of the ‘Alawite minority. There is a long discussion about this issue—whether the ‘Alawites want to be depicted as ‘Alawites, number one. Under Hafez al-Assad they wanted to be identified as Muslims. As Ja’faris. As Twelvers. As Twelvers, exactly. Hafez al-Assad himself contributed to this. He allowed, for example, Sayyid Hasan Shirazi from Lebanon to come and do da’wa in order to open mosques and make ‘Alawites Ja’faris. And Hasan Shirazi at the time started establishing ties with the ‘ulema, and he came and visited us in our home in 1975. He visited my father and I attended the meeting. And the discussion was about ‘Alawites being Twelvers. And what was the attitude of your family and the ‘ulema in Syria at that time? Of course we would welcome this; this is much better, if they become Twelvers. But they were not Twelvers, they were just telling the public that they were. But here is the point: when you come to the ‘Alawites and ask them “Do you want personal status law,” they don’t have law. As a sect they don’t have it—it’s just a set of myths. Yes, but neither do Christians. Christians also don’t have “law,” but ahwaal shakhsiyya for Christians is necessary because the sphere of family law in Islamic societies is governed by shari’a. But the Torah is often included as part of Christianity, and it has many laws, including laws on marriage. But it’s a vastly complex legal system not followed or considered binding by almost all Christian communities. Christian legal systems that existed previously evolved when church institutions acquired political power, and where those institutions no longer have power those systems have generally fallen by the way. Christianity does not have a self-contained legal system like shari’a or Leviticus. But in Islamic societies where family law is governed by shari’a, it creates the necessity to give Christians ahwaal shakhsiya because they can’t be made to follow laws that are specific to Muslims. That’s right. But ‘Alawites have an internal conflict with themselves—whether they wanted to stay ‘Alawite, whether they wanted to change to Twelvers. If they wanted to write their own personal status law, I wouldn’t oppose it. If they do, it could distinguish them from Muslims. You see, their identity is not fixed. They themselves haven’t yet decided on their identity. But I question this idea that they “haven’t decided” on their identity. They are one of the oldest ghulaat sects in Islam. They are very old and they’ve existed in this area for many centuries. It seems that it was only in the 20th century that their identity began to be in flux, largely because of Hafez al-Assad coming to power, when they then had to wrestle with legitimacy. In terms of legitimacy, in the Hanafi school we consider them like the People of the Book. I didn’t know that. The Hanafi school has considered Magians as People of the Book. And similarly in the fatwas of the Hanafite scholars, such sects as the ‘Alawites and Druze are considered like the People of the Book, in a way that is quite simple, but which also has restrictions. Which scholars and in which period? I’m referring to scholars of the Ottoman period. I know you’re thinking about Ibn Taymiyya and others. I know he wrote against them. Exactly. So scholars after him in the Hanafi school—In the Hanafi school you also find books considering the ‘Alawites, and the Druze, and the Batiniyya in general as non-Muslims. Even a scholar called al-Mahdi from the Hanafi school authored a special book on them. (It has recently been re-published, just because of the uprising.) Now for me, mixing theology with politics is something very dangerous. When we say they are non-Muslims.. I was asked this question and some people misunderstood me. What I told them was that we teach theology in a class on theology: who is a Muslim, who is not. Who is a believer, who is an unbeliever—this discussion takes place in every religion. In Christianity: who is baptized or not baptized, who is entitled to salvation and who is not; it exists in every religion. But to have it in a political or a social law, this is different. When we say they are non-Muslims, it doesn’t mean they have to be killed. If we go to the books of politics: kitaab al-siyaasa, or kitaab al-jihaad, or kitaab al-whatever, or the books of fiqh, you’ll see that the muftis agreed on them living, agreed on giving them full rights. These were Ottoman muftis after Ibn Taymiyya; the Ottomans didn’t exterminate them. Now they had restrictions on them, which they [the ‘Alawis] considered oppression. Because they considered their religion falsehood, they were not allowed to proselytize for it. But no non-Muslim religion is allowed to proselytize. Exactly. The other point is that because of their use of taqiyya, they were not allowed into higher positions, where they would harm the state. But you don’t see the phenomenon of Hasan Shirazi’s legitimization of them as a possible strategy for taqiyya? I think we have to differentiate between two things. There are some educated ‘Alawites, and I know some of them in Syria. I was in contact and in discussions with some of them including one of the greatest figures, Abd al-Rahman al-Khayir. Abd al-Rahman al-Khayir is from a scholarly ‘Alawite family and they consider the al-Assad family as a low family. The al-Khayir family are like the Sharifs of the ‘Alawites and there are several sheikhs from the al-Khayir family. The family and Abd al-Rahman al-Khayir himself was a friend of my father’s and other sheikhs. He presented himself as a Twelver. Now, I read some of his statements, and we believe that he was true in his statements. Now if others pretend, I don’t know. And I believe it was in the interest of the Iranian government to “Shi’atize” them.

Now I could be mistaken, but isn’t it the case that although ‘Alawis advertise themselves as Muslim, they often don’t make a point to portray themselves as Shi’i, but actually seem more aligned with Sunnis, even expressed through the president’s marriage to a Sunni woman?

Anything about ‘Alawites was banned. Books, media, newspapers, articles, radio programs, TV shows—anything. The word Alawiyya was banned. For 40 years! (From 1970.) They didn’t want people to discover the truth: that the regime was sectarian. Anyway, in terms of the future of the minorities, we have already set principles for all to participate in the civil conferences, and all citizens are equal before the law. We only reserve one right, which I advocate, and I think rightly; it is unspoken in most Western countries: the president has to represent the religion of the majority of the people. In Syria I think there is a need to satisfy people, and I think that would be good. When Kennedy was elected it was a big deal. Apart from that one item, I will rise to defend the minorities’ rights, even before defending the majority’s rights, because we don’t want anyone to be oppressed in the name of Islam.

Those with a takfiri ideology will say that ‘Alawis are the descendants of apostates, and therefore should be killed. They are also attacked with accusations of polytheism. Those who maintain these views would see them as unqualified for dhimmi status. When greater numbers of Muslims are being exposed to these views and are saying “hmm, that sounds right,” how does a scholar respond?

From a theological point of view, we oppose this because people may be unbelievers, they may be polytheists, but they may not be killed. These extremists who pose this “challenging” ideology—it doesn’t challenge anything. Their numbers are very small and everyone opposes them, all scholars including Ikhwaan. Here is the major difference between the Hanafi school and the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya (whose positions are not adopted by any of the four schools, but only by the Salafis): Although ‘Alawis are considered kufaar in the Hanafi school, as a sect we accept their legal presence within the Muslim community. They are not to be executed as murtadiin [apostates], because they were not Muslims who rejected Islam. They were born within their sect!

Regarding the future of minorities, we need more representatives of their communities taking a stand against the regime now. The best guarantee for them is someone from that minority coming out in support of the uprising. We remember in Homs, people carried the cross in the demonstrations of Easter Friday. Muslims carried the cross in honor. Muslims will carry priests and honor them when they see them joining the uprising. The same with ‘Alawites. We haven’t seen highly prominent voices expressing regret and joining the uprising. That would be the best guarantee. However, our job as religious leaders is not to highlight the oppression that was carried out by ‘Alawites. In fact, we should prevent people from taking revenge. For example, Saudi sheikhs issued fatwas saying that women and children of the Nusayris should be killed. I said no. Around ten months ago or so, I was consulted for a fatwa on a military operation. Someone had planned an operation to kill a regime general, who was responsible for torture and such. He happened to be an Alawite. Anyway, they had put a bomb in his car, but when he got into the car, he had two sons with him. And there was a dispute as to whether they should detonate the bomb or not. After abandoning the operation, one of them said “let’s consult the sheikh” regarding what would be the right course of action. So he called me for a fatwa. I said “No, there is no way that you can kill him and kill his children.” Ok, do you have proof about him, that he is responsible, a criminal, an enemy in the war? But you can never kill his children. I’m very strict on this. There was another Alawite general who was captured in Douma. This was probably over a year and a half ago, early on in the uprising. And Douma has a mix of Salafis and others—Salafism is strong there. They also asked for a fatwa to kill him. I said “no way.” There is no way to kill a captive. Prisoners of war are to be protected. They tried to give examples from history, or from the Qur’an suggesting that prisoners of war may be killed. I said “this is not directed to you, it is to the ruler of the country!” If he decides that a prisoner of war is dangerous, he may be killed, and this is also based on the treatment of the opposition.

Myself and some others I research with found possible evidence of the killing of a bus full of prisoners in Raqqa, regime soldiers who had surrendered.

Oh, I have a number of stories also, of rebels accepting people’s surrender and then killing them afterwards.

It happens in every war. When people are angry and view the prisoners as those who are killing them, it becomes difficult to restrain the impulse for revenge amidst all that emotion.

This is why I never give a fatwa for the killing of anyone. A fatwa is more dangerous than a weapon itself, when you put it in the hand of angry people. In my last statement on kidnapping being forbidden, I said “a fatwa is a dangerous weapon when put in the hand of an angry man fighting on the ground—you will never know the extent of its effects.”

What role do you see yourself playing in a future Syria, when the country is rebuilt? What function would you like to perform?

Well, first of all I would like to go back to Syria to return to my work. One of the dearest things to me is to sit in the Umayyad Mosque; I want to continue teaching there. I was teaching al-Ghazali’s book Ihya’ ‘ulum ad-Din. Al-Ghazali is one of my favorites. And as a Sufi, I was teaching in the Sheikh al-Akbar Mosque, Ibn Arabi’s mosque [formally the “al-Salimiyya Mosque” after the Ottoman caliph]. I have very strong spiritual ties with him, and I was teaching Sufism there. I long for these places that have so much spirituality, such fragrances of history. Being there lets me perform a great service for Islam, which is a real honor for me. To continue teaching is the most significant role I can perform. At the same time, whenever there is conflict that I can resolve, a problem I can solve, I will always make a positive contribution when I can. Thanks to God I’ve been a good force in creating balance, influencing a lot of people in the uprising toward the right track. Wallah, I listen to so many angry people, receiving their anger; I try to absorb their emotion, their anger, and to transform it and produce something good from it. I tell them, “As Muslim believers if you’re going to treat your enemy in the same vengeful way that they do, you’re no different from them.” As Muslims, we’re unique for our mercy, for our pardoning, for our love, the love we have toward others. In the midst of anger, it is very difficult to control one’s emotions. I’m proud that through my talks, discussions, fatwas, that I’m spreading this orientation. We don’t have enough resources and support, and someone said to me, “In order to be popular, you need to be radical.” [smiling] I said, “I’m not going to change.”

That is going to be the most important thing in the future. After war, there is so much trauma. People suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to problems in families, problems in connecting emotionally. Domestic violence increases after war, and the war-violence people experience affects all of their human relationships. Healing from that is very important, and your effort to absorb anger and produce something good from it is significant.

It is what people need most right now. Is any of the anger directed at you personally for saying or not saying certain things? No, it is just anger against the regime, anger at the atrocities. People need a guiding voice, we must embrace them, direct them in the right way, offer them solace. You know, the focus must not be on taking revenge. Revenge is not cured by further revenge; violence merely begets violence. The best way to treat it is by showing more love, showing mercy. This is what we can offer. If we were to really show it, no one could match Muslims in our mercy, but unfortunately, it’s disastrous now. We have to make a huge effort to heal hearts, to heal people’s hearts after the uprising.

Comments (573)

Citizen said:

Russia has effectively already created an ‘NO ISRAELI FLY ZONE’ over Lebanon and Syria with provision of the s300 air defense system. Which is a very good thing…

This is a gamechanger for Israel – and Israel was in long need of having it’s gamechanged out from under it

The s300s cover not only the Lebanese-Israeli border, in addition to Syria, but have the range to cover Northern Israel as well – and I would assume that if Israel starts attacking Russian-crewed s300 air defenses in Syria – those planes lifting off from Northern Israeli fields would be fair game as well

The coverage of Northern Israel essentially creates a an ‘NO FLY OUT OF ISRAEL ZONE’ – which is even better

The Israelis can’t stand it but they’ve been checkmated

The Israeli aerial attacks on Syria earlier this month are now seen by everyone utterly foolish and an unmitigated disaster for Israeli strategic planning – the Israelis really couldn’t have acted more foolishly and now they are paying the consequences: not only denial of Lebanon as well as Syria, but with planes in Northern Israel within range as well.

This is unprecedented

From Haaretz: ” …the deployment of the S-300s could change the military balance of air power on Israel’s northern front, with the new missiles threatening Israel’s freedom of action not only over Syria but over Lebanon and Israel’s northern areas as well.

Any Israeli decision to attack Syrian targets before, during, or after the deployment of the new missile systems could put it into a dangerous collision course with Moscow and its regional ambitions.”

And a Israeli Minister says today that Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv would be in range of s-300s deployed in Syria

Oh well, guess it’s finally time for Israel to stop attacking it’s neighbors. There’s just no going back to the good ‘ole days now!

May 30th, 2013, 3:04 pm


Citizen said:

According to German TV yesterday, “leaked”-Germany against Turkey’s admission to the EU. Turks blinked, took over the baton of their avowed “friend”! doubtfully, that will allow Turkey to resolve the Kurdish problem, even at the expense of Syria and Iraq.

May 30th, 2013, 3:18 pm


zoo said:

Sarin gaz in the hands of Al Nusra? That’s a game changer.

Report: Turkey arrests Syrian Nusra Front operatives

Published: 05.30.13, 22:09 / Israel News

Turkish authorities have arrested a group of Syria’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front operatives who had allegedly been planning an attack inside Turkey and were in possession of the nerve agent sarin, local media reported on Thursday.

While they could not be immediately confirmed, the reports highlight the growing concerns that Syria’s civil war is dragging in neighboring states. (Reuters)

May 30th, 2013, 3:26 pm


Dawoud said:

Thanks for the interview. I will have more to say about it later.

Here is my response to you from the previous thread article in case you didn’t see it:

[Moderator edit–yes I saw it. Please send to email.–MTB]

May 30th, 2013, 3:26 pm


revenire said:

Dave could you please email Matt with your pleas about everyone you consider a “stalker” (LOL) etc.? I am tired of seeing you attempting to control discourse here by having people you dislike banned. I consider it very childish of you.


May 30th, 2013, 3:28 pm


zoo said:

Matt, Good work.

The interview reveals that Sheikh Ayoubi’s ideas are very dull and unconvincing, almost primitive. Just imagining that Syria will be saved if Bashar al Assad goes is extremely childish and shows a lack of understanding of what is happening in Syria.

I don’t think he has any role to play outside teaching Al Ghazali in the Ommeyad mosque.

May 30th, 2013, 3:33 pm


zoo said:

Dave #4

Yawn…. Please use email, it is so boring…

May 30th, 2013, 3:35 pm


zoo said:

Pathetic McCain is looking for media attention: He takes picture with everybody, even with murderers.

John McCain Hopes He Didn’t Pose With Syrian Kidnappers

“A number of the Syrians who greeted Senator McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and as always, the Senator complied,” the spokesperson added. Like Toronto mayor Rob Ford says, “I take pictures with everybody.”

May 30th, 2013, 3:39 pm


revenire said:

This poor Yaqoubi sounds a bit off.

May 30th, 2013, 3:43 pm


Dawoud said:

6. ZOO

Stop stalking me. I ignored you 3 times, and this should have been a signal to you to mind your business. Obviously, not unexpected from a pro-Syria dictator/pro-Hasan Nasr commentator 🙂

What part of “mind your business” you don’t understand? 🙂

May 30th, 2013, 3:43 pm


revenire said:

McCain is like the old guy you see at parties with a lampshade on his head. I feel pity for this man. I hope he makes peace with God before he is called home.

May 30th, 2013, 3:45 pm


zoo said:


US demands Hezbollah withdrawal from Syria

The US State Department for its part demanded the immediate withdrawal of Hezbollah fighters.

“This is an unacceptable and extremely dangerous escalation. We demand that Hezbollah withdraw its fighters from Syria immediately,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

May 30th, 2013, 3:45 pm


revenire said:

Dave you’re on a message forum. People discuss things here. You know that right? If you don’t want others to discuss things with you maybe turn of your computer for a bit and go outside and enjoy the weather?

Is everything okay? Seriously. I am worried about you.

May 30th, 2013, 3:48 pm


Dawoud said:

Wow! Bashar the murderous dictator has NO confidence in the invading Shia Lebanese terrorists from Hizbass, and he says that they can’t defend Syria. Well, we did he then allow these Iranian puppets to invade his country?

بشار الأسد: مقاتلو حزب الله لا يمكنهم الدفاع عن سوريا
أكد قرار الذهاب إلى جنيف ولم يظهر قناعته بخروج الاجتماع بنتائج مهمة
الخميس 20 رجب 1434هـ – 30 مايو 2013م

May 30th, 2013, 3:50 pm


zoo said:

More about Al Nusra carrying Sarin gaz in Turkey.
Erdogan is starting to feel the consequences of his vicious and hypocritical foreign policy in Syria,0,1849741.story


The 12 Nusra members were arrested in the southern city of Adana, some 100 km (60 miles) from Syria, during raids at their addresses where police uncovered 2 kg (4.5 pounds) of sarin as well as heavy weapons, Taraf, Cumhuriyet and Aksam, as well as several other dailies reported.

The men, who were allegedly planning a large attack in the city, were formally detained by Adana’s top court, the papers reported, although it was not clear on what charges. The papers did not reveal their sources.

Adana’s police department said it had not heard of the reports and the governor’s office could not be reached for comment.

May 30th, 2013, 3:50 pm


zoo said:

#10 Dave

I don’t receive order for you. If you continue to bore us with your repetitive childish complaints addressed to Matt on this forum, don’t be surprised that I will keep advising you to send an email to Matt instead.
His Email is:

Please spare us you constant whining…

May 30th, 2013, 3:56 pm


zoo said:

Are these part of the foreign fighters the UN is referring to?

Several Norwegian citizens who had travelled to Syria to join in with the fighting may have been killed, Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) reported this week.
The authorities believe that the number of Norwegains that have travelled to fight in Syria is between 30 and 40.

May 30th, 2013, 4:00 pm


dawoud said:

16. ZOO

Cyber/in-person stalkers don’t take orders from anybody. They think that they can do what they wish! I don’t expect you to listen nor to seek help. For more on stalking, please see:

May 30th, 2013, 4:01 pm


revenire said:

Ha ha calling people Satan and devils. It’s funny.

May 30th, 2013, 4:02 pm


zoo said:

Is Turkey moving out of the rebels loop? They may have to count on Jordan and Lebanon, but both of these countries are watching their borders. Is it the end of the grace period for the rebels?

Why Turkey is Essential for the Syrian Opposition
Rebel fighters rely on the country for support and weapons, but it may no longer be a secure option.

Turkey may no longer be a secure option for the opposition because the war in Syria seems to have seeped through the border. Rebels escape imminent violence by fleeing, but they do not fully escape the watchful eye of the Syrian regime. An extension of the Syrian war is bubbling up in Turkey.

Without opposition operations in Turkey, the fighting in Syria would likely look much different. Weapons and money would not flow as easily into the country, and the injured soldiers would not be able to access the makeshift hospitals they established on the border. But with the rumored increasing presence of Assad loyalists in Turkey, the opposition may need to rethink its strategy.

May 30th, 2013, 4:07 pm



Amendment to an older comment

6. Running a blog also requires a certain level of technical skills…especially for highly customized blogs.

May 30th, 2013, 4:08 pm


dawoud said:

Laughable: the Syrian murderous dictator says that the terrorist Lebanese shia party, Hizb’al-Shytan حزب الشيطان, is in al-Qasir to fight Israel 🙂 Wow, the murderous dictator and Hasan Nasr-Satan حسن نصر الشيطان need glasses, or a GPS, or a new brain 🙂

الأسد: حزب الله موجود في القصير لأن المعركة مع إسرائيل ووكلائها في سورية ولبنان
لبنان – يو بي أي
الخميس ٣٠ مايو ٢٠١٣

May 30th, 2013, 4:08 pm


zoo said:

Syria Has a Driver’s Seat, and the US Isn’t In It

Published: Thursday, 30 May 2013 | 3:45 PM ET

Since the war in Iraq, U.S. foreign policy has been in a downward spiral: It was caught off guard by the “Arab Spring” and increasing incoherence has left it paralyzed and ineffective. Nowhere is this more palpable than in Syria.

For the U.S., there is no favorable outcome in Syria at this point—only the least unfavorable—and even that will not likely be dictated by Washington but by the Qatari and Saudi troublemakers supporting the rebels and al-Qaeda forces in Syria on one side, and ever-steadfast Russia and Iran supporting Hezbollah and the Syrian army on the other.

Amid this changing geopolitical power theater, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has issued a public statement to a newspaper in Argentina. Assad says there will be no dialogue with the “opposition” because there is no unified opposition to sit down and talk with. Who would Assad negotiate with? The extremist al-Nusra, which arguably has the most control among the disparate “rebel” forces; or one of the representatives of the Free Syrian Army whose ranks are increasingly filled with everyone except the genuine opposition; with potential power brokers shifting on and off the stage; or the Syrian National Council?

There will be no ceasefire—except on Assad’s terms–and the upcoming U.S.-Russia-sponsored peace summit in Geneva will be a wash, regardless of what is put down on paper.

May 30th, 2013, 4:09 pm


zoo said:


Double yawn…

May 30th, 2013, 4:13 pm


dawoud said:

No just in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Latin America, but now in Africa! Nigeria arrests a terrorist cell associated with the terrorist Lebanese Shia party, Hizbass:

Nigeria arrests a Hizbass’ terrorist Cell!

نيجيريا تؤكد اعتقال خلية تابعة لحزب الله


May 30th, 2013, 4:21 pm


Citizen said:

As they say, “You reap what you sow.”
They may end up kicking themselves for their shortsightedness.

May 30th, 2013, 4:28 pm


revenire said:

Dave Al Jazeera is not a legitimate source of news. It is a Qatari organ of propaganda.

Please provide something that isn’t anti-Shia and anti-Hezbollah.

Nasrallah is a hero in the Arab world.

May 30th, 2013, 4:32 pm


revenire said:

Syrians come out to support their president!

Spontaneous rallies, gunfire, street parties and convoys have broken out in the cities of Damascus, Tartus, Lattakia and Aleppo. Social media circles are buzzing with celebratory messages following Al-Assad’s interview.

May 30th, 2013, 4:49 pm


Sami said:

“Syria Has a Driver’s Seat, and the US Isn’t In It”

Yeah that seat is being occupied by a psychopath dictator intent on driving the whole country off a cliff with Nasrallah calling shotgun, thinking the POS Lada they are driving in and the Iranian GPS they are following are worth the packaging they came in!

But as long as they threaten Israel on their way off the cliff seems to be perfectly OK with some folks around here…

it is really dumbfounding that some still really believe this resistance crap when the “Leader of the Resistance” has used half of his pre-revolution SCUD missiles on his own people!

Qusair is not Haifa!

May 30th, 2013, 4:51 pm


Mjabali said:

It does not surprise me that al Yaqubi has no clue when it comes to the Alawis . He sounds off big time off .

May 30th, 2013, 4:51 pm


revenire said:

President Assad – two years into the war on Syria – stands stronger than ever!

Al-Manar: Mr. President, if I might ask about Israel’s involvement in the Syrian crisis through the recent airstrike against Damascus. Israel immediately attached certain messages to this airstrike by saying it doesn’t want escalation or doesn’t intend to interfere in the Syrian crisis. The question is: what does Israel want and what type of interference?

President Assad: This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance. Israel’s support of the terrorists was for two purposes. The first is to stifle the resistance; the second is to strike the Syrian air defense systems. It is not interested in anything else.

May 30th, 2013, 4:51 pm


Sami said:

“This is exactly my point. Everything that is happening at the moment is aimed, first and foremost, at stifling the resistance.”

Of course the resistance story again, because Aleppo is actually Tel Aviv!

May 30th, 2013, 5:01 pm


Akbar Palace said:


I asked you a few days/threads ago how you define the term “moderate”, because you used this adjective when you described Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi.

From your interview, I can’t see anything that DOESN’T look moderate. So I am both surprised and hopeful. Thanks for the interview – you are making SC into something useful.


Now that Assad has won the war, how many more people do you think will be killed, and when do you think Assad will call for free multiparty elections?

May 30th, 2013, 5:04 pm


revenire said:

As the American Racan noted when he visited Aleppo the so-called FSA is hated there. He talked of seeing Somali jidahis manning checkpoints.

Another former opposition supporter, Ed Dark, has long written of the murder and rape committed by the Salafists in Aleppo.

This is the truth of Aleppo.

May 30th, 2013, 5:05 pm


revenire said:

I love the way President Assad joked about Khatib’s silly initiative. 20 days and 500 people! How utterly bizarre.

Does Khatib use drugs?

May 30th, 2013, 5:08 pm


Sami said:

That all might be correct but that still does not explain barrel bombing and shooting SCUDs at his OWN cities.

Hey Reve do you think these are the same rockets that defeated the IAF? I am still eagerly awaiting an answer regarding that.

Do you need me to remind you again? I can’t promise you ponies or anything like that, just my eagerness to your answer to when exactly was the IAF defeated and how a defeated Airforce was able to so easily bomb the chicken brigade!

May 30th, 2013, 5:11 pm


Tara said:

Political prostitution? How many of them we have on SC?

What a mockery! I have always argued that those pro regime demonstrators in Syria are just rent-a-crowd. I am glad the truth always comes out.

Sixteen Italian models have begun legal action after allegedly being hired to stage a sit-in in Rome in support of President Assad of Syria, but not being paid for their efforts.

May 30th, 2013, 5:18 pm


Dawoud said:

Very few things are spontaneous in a dictatorship 🙂 The revolution was!

May 30th, 2013, 5:27 pm


Citizen said:

The fighting between YPG and FSA affiliated groups continues in the countryside of Efrin. Many deaths and wounded.

May 30th, 2013, 5:35 pm


dawoud said:

Did the Shia Lebanese terrorist propaganda outlet, al-Manar TV, lie when they said in a text that the Syrian dictator confirmed the Russian delivery of the S-300 missiles to Syria? Why? The broadcast interview with the murderous dictator (so far he has killed over 100000 Syrians, and turned 4.5 million into refugees) didn’t include these statements. Here is what the NYT says about this:

He was vague on whether Russia’s deliveries had included an advanced S-300 air defense missile system — of particular concern to Israel because those missiles can hit deep inside Israeli territory.

Before the broadcast, Al Manar had sent out text messages that paraphrased Mr. Assad as saying Syria had already received a first shipment of the S-300 missiles.

It was unclear why those comments were not included in the broadcast. American and Israeli officials have been pressing Russia not to deliver the S-300 system to Syria.

May 30th, 2013, 5:40 pm


Observer said:

Monologue from the Prethident and monologue from the pro regime trolls.

It seems that only a few here “understand” the reality of Thouria Alathad.

It is a farm, run by a mafiosi, surrounded by leeches, and feeding on the general population.

It is defending and resisting the call of freedom and dignity and accountability and proper representation.

It is fighting for its sovereignty with foreign troops from Perthia and soldiers of the Velayet e Faqih.

Now RT arabic says that the delivery story is not “accurate”.

The question is

who will blink: Putin or Bibi?

If Putin delivers and then gets clobbered what would he do? Especially if his S 300 does not perform and his “technicians are killed”? Deliver more weapons? Go to the UNSC to ask for defending against Israeli aggression and risk a veto?

If Putin delivers and Bibi gets clobbered then there is a strategic change in the region. Will the US and EU permit that? Will they sit still?

Will Bibi blink and stop bombing missile shipments? Will deterrence be sacrificed?

The bait is Syria the prize is Tehran fools.

Now what about a direct Israeli Russian confrontation? Will Russia fight Israel? Will it come to the rescue of the regime?

If I were a neocon I would be in paradise now. I would drag this out. Let Israel and Russia duke it out, let Iran bleed in Syria, let the entire region slowly descend into chaos.

Who cares what Yacoubi says; or what he knows about this or that sect or oxymoronic ideology from the Baath to the Velayet to Wahabism to MB to Communism and to all the oxymoronic movements of stupid retarded and ill begotten ideologies.

I am surprised anybody reads this post. I only follow the comments for there is a lot of amusing and relaxing notes and pontifications that I read.

Now be prepared the Prethident is going to hit back. He is going to hit back with Thkuds on Hathaka if Israel bombs him again.

Now we are told there are 100 000 foreign fighters and that the country is facing a world war.

Well someone should be tried for allowing this huge security breach to happen right?

Or this because we are doing rethithtance?

Oh my what a retarded inferiority complexed pseudo modern fake and uneducated bunch of morons running the mafia enterprise.

Death to Sykes Picot and Death to the artificial regimes and to the oxymoronic ideologies of the God forsaken land is what we are witnessing in front of our eyes.

“Islam is the answer” my toe. Secularism is the answer my other toe. Arab Nationalism my foot and Velayet e Faqih my behind indeed.

May 30th, 2013, 5:48 pm


revenire said:

Observer I tend to believe President Assad over an anonymous poster on a message forum.

May 30th, 2013, 6:00 pm


revenire said:

Syrian Rebel Watch

(30/05/13) Turkish media outlets have been reporting that several members of the Nusra Front have been detained for allegedly planning bomb attacks in the Turkish city of Adana. Most reports claim the men were in possession of chemical weapons. The article below, and several more, suggest Sarin gas was among them.

May 30th, 2013, 6:06 pm


rand said:

While this sheikh is busying giving fatwas from the comfort of his homes miles away from the action, syrian men and women are busy fighting to liberate their towns and cities.

believe me mr yaqoubi, your credibility is as great as that of a circus clown.

do not flatter yourself

May 30th, 2013, 6:07 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan is the Gazman….

The governing party becomes dizzy as it fires pepper gas, and it gets tipsy day and night as it puts pressure via tear gas. What has been experienced at Taksim Gezi Park is an example for this. This government does not love people, but has love for tear gas. The prime minister’s name from now on is ‘Gazman,

May 30th, 2013, 6:21 pm


zoo said:

Tunisia President Marzouki does not call for Bashar al Assad to go anymore, he calls for a political dialog: “It is no longer a revolution anymore, it is a civil war”

Thursday,May 30 2013

‘Revolution fails’ if Tunis fails in battle on poverty

As the president of the first country to begin the Arab Spring, Marzouki also has some advice for Syria, the latest end of the spring: A political solution is absolutely necessary.

“For me, what is happening in Syria is terrible because it is no longer a revolution. It is a civil war,” he said. “This is why we need to find a political solution because it is now obvious that no one will win militarily.”

A limited amount of Tunisian people also go and fight in Syria, he added. “Of course we don’t believe that participating in a civil war is jihad. It is just a foreign civil war.”

Both the Syrian government and the opposition need to sit at the same table and reach a solution, he said. “They have to accept each other. Our experience is that. If you don’t accept the other party, if you don’t agree to work with them, then you will clash and the situation will get worse and worse. While you are fighting with each other, the economic situation is getting worse. And then the political situation is getting worse and worse. Then you are in a mess.”

May 30th, 2013, 6:27 pm


Tara said:

Let Geneva II comes and goes. Its expected failure will mark the end of the road of” diplomatic effort” and then let’s end the Syrian slaughter once and for all.

Thursday 30 May 2013 15.41 EDT

US and EU must arm the Syrian rebels or watch Assad destabalise the region
Anything short of Assad’s defeat would be a setback not only for Syrians, but for America and Europe

Until now, the EU and the US have done relatively little to suggest they really want the opposition to win. There is no such ambiguity from Assad’s allies. Hezbollah is deploying troops to Syria, Iran is sending military advisors and money, and Moscow is delivering weapons, including advanced S-300 anti-aircraft weapons intended to dissuade western intervention. Meanwhile, as Russia, Iran and Hezbollah take steps to ensure that Assad remains in power, the EU and US are pushing for a July peace conference in Geneva.

It’s true that adding any more arms to the Syrian arena may, in the short-term, help the opposition needlessly kill more people. It’s also true that some of these weapons could wind up in the hands of Islamists. But Syria is awash in weapons, and the Islamist’s arsenal is already substantial. Regardless, no western state is likely to provide Manpads, an extremely dangerous anti-aircraft weapon that could be re-deployed against civilian airliners. The rebels, reportedly, have been receiving MANPADs from Libyan stocks loosed after the war.

When and if European nations provide weapons to the Syrian opposition, it may cause some friction with Washington. At present, Europe is simply more forward leaning on the Syria conflict. As the spillover from the war continues to wreak havoc on the region – and after Geneva fails – the Obama administration will eventually shift toward the EU position.

May 30th, 2013, 6:32 pm


revenire said:

“Believe me Mr Yaqoubi, your credibility is as great as that of a circus clown.”

I agree with this statement.

May 30th, 2013, 6:36 pm


Tara said:


“..You should know name calling and rudeness is not flirting unless you are kindergartener…”

Outstanding! Kept me smiling all day today.

May 30th, 2013, 6:45 pm


Ziad said:

Canadian church boycotts three Israeli companies

United Canadian Church approves ban of settlement products as it targets three companies with operations in Jewish settlements.

May 30th, 2013, 7:05 pm


Majoos said:

Hey you muppets it s me again the majoos!

So the oposition forces on behalf of theit daddies have canceled the Geneva summit.
Tara and Sami are probb. all anxious that the war is keeping on with more blood to be spelt, right? correct me if I m wrong!

May 30th, 2013, 7:19 pm


Syrialover said:

Assad’s Foolish Boast

Bashar Assad has long had a reputation for not being the smartest strongman in the Middle East; in fact he would never have become Syria’s president if his older brother Bassel, who was being groomed to succeed their father Hafez, hadn’t died in a car accident in 1994. It is a safe bet that his ruthless father would not have allowed protests against him to spin out of control, as Bashar has done.

One reckons that old man Assad also would have been bright enough to avoid doing what Bashar just did—which is to say, bragging in a television interview that Russia has delivered the advanced S-300 air-defense system to him.

The time to brag about the S-300 is once it goes operational; bragging about it before it’s actually online is simply an invitation to Israel to launch a preemptive strike, something that will almost surely happen whenever Israeli intelligence assesses that there is a good opportunity and pressing need to do so.

As it happens, Israeli government sources are suggesting that Russia has only delivered some components and that the entire system is far from being ready to use. No doubt Assad hopes to rally Syrian and Lebanese supporters by building up an image of strength. But what he is doing is like waving a red cape at a bull—and if Israel takes out his vaunted S-300 system, as it should, it will undermine rather than enhance his aura of authority.

But even if Assad’s boasts are premature and ill-advised, they do highlight the deeply malicious, indeed repugnant, role that Russia continues to play in Syria where it has emerged as the No. 2 foreign backer—behind Iran—of a regime that has slaughtered its own people en masse, including through the use of chemical weapons.

This brutally exposes just how farcical the Obama foreign policy team is if it thinks that Vladimir Putin is going to cooperate in any way in ending the Syrian civil war.

COMMENT: Regardless of what we think of the Israelis, they are the real deal and professional at warfare.

If they say they are going to do something there will be no games and concessions. Watch them act with lightning, ruthless efficiency and DO it.

In contrast, the Assad-Putin team are just stupid, sinister thugs whose main weapons are bluff and propaganda. And most idiotic of all, they imagine their opponents are just like them.

May 30th, 2013, 7:20 pm


majoos said:

this map was leaked by an american officer in 2007:

that s the new middle eastern map, which is according to many conspiracy theorists of which we have plenty in the middle east, the long-term goal of the so called arab spring?

what do you think?

May 30th, 2013, 7:23 pm


Ziad said:

“I want to thank Moaz al-Khatib because I learned that he has given me 20 days to leave together with 500 people.”

pres. Al-Assad

May 30th, 2013, 7:25 pm


sami said:

نصائح علي فرزات

أيها الإنتلاف

قبل جنيف في ٣ أشياء حطها بدانك حلق:-

١- مافي شي إسمه لبرالي وإسلامي وعلماني في شي إسمه سوري.
٢- الأسد ونظامه بححححححح .. بالمرة.
٣- بتحط عينك عالثورة وطيزك عالكرسي .. مو بالعكس.
٤- إنطلق……

May 30th, 2013, 7:26 pm


majoos said:


Do you really think that Assad is afraid of the Israeli gouvernment?
According to the Salafi-Websites I read the entire Shiite movement was a jewish creation with the sole purpose of entraping the rightous pious muslims.

Don t you think it s weird that the Druze, also an Shiite offspring, are the only arab-spreaking group in Israel who are allowed service in the IDF?

May 30th, 2013, 7:27 pm


majoos said:

Let s shift our attention to Taras and Dawoods favorite topic, the grand Shiite conspiracy!

May 30th, 2013, 7:30 pm


majoos said:

“good thoughts, good words, good deeds” thats the majoos´s credo!

May 30th, 2013, 7:31 pm


majoos said:


are the kurds real muslims in your opinion or also crypto-majoos?

May 30th, 2013, 7:33 pm


Syrialover said:


It’s a shame all you can do on this forum is lie there scratching your tummy about childish and bizarre conspiracy theories.

And do YOU think Bashar Assad is afraid of the Israelis?

I believe he lacks the brainpower and reality-check mechanisms to know what to be afraid of. He’s just sitting in a warm puddle of his own piss that the Iranians and Russians have been stopping from going cold.

May 30th, 2013, 8:08 pm


revenire said:

Excuse me? He’s sitting in what?

May 30th, 2013, 8:09 pm


revenire said:

Short synopsis from b over at Moon of Alabama on Assad’s speech:

Syria: Assad’s Al-Manar Interview

Just listened to Bashar Assads’s interview with Hizbullah’s TV station Al-Manar in the English language live translation by Press TV. Some points from my notes:

The interviewer asked why the recent more offensive reaction against the foreign supported insurgents only came so late.

Assad responded that there first had to be a change in public opinion. Many people first believed that this was a “revolution”. They took time to understand that this was a foreign assault. Now many of the Syrian fighters have stopped to fight and the balance of power has changed. There are now mostly tens of thousands of foreign fighters against our troops.

Q: Is the action in Qusayr to connect to a Damascus connection to the Alawi land on the coast.

A: That is nonsense. There are no road connections there [we pointed this out in an earlier post – b]. The purpose is to cut the insurgents off from the borders to diminish their supplies.

Q: S-300?

A: Russia is committed to our contracts and those will will be fulfilled. Parts of the contracts have been fulfilled [no direct confirmation that S-300 are already in Syria -b].

Q: Geneva conference?

A: We will ask who the SNC represents. Who are the people on the other side? What is their legitimation? Who do they represent? They are just slaves of foreign powers.

Q: Conditions for Geneva?

A: No preconditions. Results will have to go to a referendum for the Syrian people to decide. Constitution says the president stays on. The government (prime minister etc.) may change while president stays on.

Q: Change of position in Arab League or Turkey?

A: No detectable change. Just rhetoric. They still support insurgents with money and weapons. They receive orders from outside.

Q: What if Geneva fails?

A: That is possible. Some try to make it fail. Russia plays down expectations. Would not change things on the ground.

Q: What do you say to our friends.

A: We confront a campaign against the resistance. This is a World War against us and the resistance.

May 30th, 2013, 8:23 pm


dawoud said:

Salah al-Din صلاح الدين الايوبي, the liberator of my parent’s birthplace (Jerusalem) from the Crusades was a KURDISH Sunni Muslim. Over 90% of Kurds are SUNNI Muslims, and are my brothers and sisters. Shia or Shiite Muslims, who don’t support al-Assad’s dictatorship and Hizbass’ terrorism and invasion of Syria, are ALSO my brothers and sisters. If we add Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds, over 85% of Syrians are Sunni Muslims. Hating Sunnis, as many commentators here do, is like hating Syria!

Nigeria discovers ‘Hezbollah terrorist cell’, weapons trove
A ‘terrorist cell’ believed to be linked to Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah and housing weapons intended to attack Israeli and Western targets has been discovered in a compound in northern Nigeria, the country’s security services said on Thursday.

May 30th, 2013, 8:30 pm


Syrialover said:


The same thing you’re sitting in. Yours is the result of uncontrolled giggling at your own jokes.

May 30th, 2013, 8:32 pm


zoo said:

Bashar al Assad should be grateful to Al Khatib, Georges Sabra, the elusive Moustafa Al Sabbagh and the 62 members of the NV for their mismanagement of the so called ‘revolution’. It was quite a help.

Their pitiful performance has shown to the Syrians how tragic and absurd this so called revolution has become in their amateurish and incompetent hands. They have turned legitimate aspirations into a personal revenge for the countries that Bashar al Assad called “half men” , for the Islamists revengeful of their near annihilation in Hama and for Israel still humiliated by the 2006 fiasco.

As Al Khatib said: “The opposition has no brain”, I would add “It had the money and the support of rich countries like Qatar and KSA but I had no clue of how to manage this fake “revolution” that turned out into a national disaster.”

The history will judge very harshly these people who have abused the confidence that some Syrians had put in them to push for reforms toward a more democratic system.
These self-nominated people have preferred to use the naive Syrians as cannon fodder to achieve their personal goal: A regime change to suit them and their western masters and the head of Bashar al Assad who dared insult them.
They’ll all well deserve the humiliation of their defeat.

May 30th, 2013, 9:10 pm


revenire said:

Syrialover what are you talking about? Do me a favor and control the vulgarity okay? This is a public forum.

May 30th, 2013, 9:11 pm


zoo said:

The NC sulk and childishly play hard to get then they’ll bow using a futile pretext that no one believes. They just have no choice.
For Bashar al Assad, the opposition is just a weightless slave. In Geneva II, he wants to negotiate with the countries who control the opposition

Assad to send official delegation to Geneva meeting

Bashar Al Assad, however, played down the exiled opposition’s weight, saying “when we go to the conference, we will be negotiating with the countries that stand behind the exiled opposition but not to negotiate with it (opposition).”

“When we ostensibly negotiate with the slave, we would be negotiating with the master substantively,” he said.

The president also said that all of the decisions of the Geneva conference would be put for popular referendum.
“Yet, political analysts said the coalition’s rejection aimed to buy time for the opposition to put aside their differences after failing to do so during the week-long conference in Turkey’s Istanbul.”

May 30th, 2013, 9:25 pm


Ziad said:


I have a question:

During the interview did Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi express any condemnation or disapproval of the daily terrorist attacks against civilian Shias in Iraq, Pakistan, and Syria?

“We strongly condemn the most recent terrorist attack in Boston, USA, and offer our sympathy to the victims. These types of attacks are but signs of cowardice and self-defeat.”

Thank you

May 30th, 2013, 9:32 pm


dawoud said:

69. ZIAD

I do condemn terrorist attacks against Shias in Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. I also condemn terrorist attacks against innocents of all religions (Judaism, Christianity, Hindus, etc.), and no religions (atheism).
I just find your question a little troubling for two reasons:

1) You didn’t mention Sunni Muslims. Do you condone terrorism against Sunnis? There are also terrorists attacks against Sunni mosques in Iraq. Maybe over 90% of 100,000 Syrians killed are Sunnis.

2) Your attentive concern/question reveals your Shia sectarian affiliation, and it’s NOT something to be ashamed of. I respect it. However, it shows that your pro-dictator position is mainly motivated by your sectarian affiliation. Please don’t mention Palestine as an excuse. I am Palestinian, and I hate to see my just cause being used to justify tyranny. Palestine couldn’t be freed by dictators (like Bashar al-Assad) and sectarians (like Hasan Nasr) who don’t give freedom to their own people.

May 30th, 2013, 9:45 pm


revenire said:

The biggest act of terrorism against Sunnis in recent memory is the attack on Syria. The terrorists have murdered Sunnis by the thousands – most notably Sunnis that serve in the army who are patriots that defend their nation from Zionist aggression.

The only bigger one I can think of is the Anglo-American attack on Iraq. If some bloodthirsty animals get their way perhaps Obama will outdo Bush.

May 30th, 2013, 9:52 pm


Ziad said:


I condemn ALL attacks on civilians anywhere in the world, but I am nobody. However a religious authority like Yacoubi has the duty to point to crimes committed in the name of his creed. If he remains silent and only condemns terrorist attacks in the West, this means he is ass kissing the white man.

May 30th, 2013, 9:59 pm


Ziad said:


The only one who is selective is you. Your only subject is bashing Hezbollah and Shias. When you mention the proverbial 100000 killed in Syria, the only narrative in your mind is that those are all noncombatant civilians killed by Bashar al Assad. You can believe what you want, but reality is different.

I read the daily news and all I hear is that the overall majority of victims are Shias and the perpetrators are Sunnis.

BTW I am Sunni and very ashamed by what is done in the name of my creed.

May 30th, 2013, 10:12 pm


Sami said:

“These types of attacks are but signs of cowardice and self-defeat.”

I believe that statement summarizes his position on any type of bombing targeting civilians, not just against the White Man…

Also Ziad if you are so against all attacks on civilians why do you still stand with Assad?

May 30th, 2013, 10:15 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Matthew Barber
I found it necessary to respond to some of your statements
While the majority in Syria understand Islam as it is explained to them by biased sheikhs, that Apostate should be killed, this has never been accepted by Syrians during the last century,I have explained the meaning of the Hadith that was narrated by Ibn Abbas, and to remind you briefly the hadith applies in a state of war, but in a state of peace the rule as mentioned in Quraan NO COERSION IN RELIGION, God will be the judge, Quraan is the reference Hadith must never override Quraan.
And this is the reason why in Syria that rule against apostate was never carried out,in recent history.
Quraan is our book, and should never ever be overruled.
The so called Ulumaa always miss interpretted Quraan in many matters, this is one of them.
If you follow my writting in SC ,you should have noticed my points, and why I always call for reinterpretation of Quraan as early interpretation were by persian people their mother language is not Arabic, like Bukhari and Turmizi.

The second point you said which is wrong is that removing Assad will not suffice, All my friends in the Coalition say that removing Assad family solve 95% of the crisis

You said Druze are off shoot of Shiaa
This is totally wrong, Druze has nothing to do with Shiaa and this means you know nothing about Druze.
I am Sunni but I studdied Druze religion and I assure you Druze has nothing to do with Shiaa.

May 30th, 2013, 10:15 pm


Ziad said:


I am a new convert to the Assad side. I support him because the alternative(s) are many orders of magnitudes worse.

I strongly believe that the Syrian army is principled, protecting the civilian population, and fighting to protect Syria from its true enemies.

May 30th, 2013, 10:21 pm


revenire said:

The Syrian Arab Army DOES NOT kill Syrian civilians. It never has and never will.

May 30th, 2013, 10:22 pm


Dawoud said:

73. ZIAD

Ziad, 2 things: First, I do read what I post here. I hate the Lebanese Shia Hizb not because it’s Shia, but rather because it’s siding with a murderous dictator who is killing his people.

Second, Well, I am using Sami’s response to you (thanks Sami):

Also Ziad if you are so against all attacks on civilians why do you still stand with Assad?”


Welcome back, brother Majed. Now, I can take a vacation! And, yes, Druze is no more related to Shia than Sunni. It’s different from both, with all due respect to the adherents of this sect.

May 30th, 2013, 10:25 pm


Dawoud said:

72. ZIAD said:

“I condemn ALL attacks on civilians anywhere in the world, but I am nobody. However a religious authority like Yacoubi […]”

I respect your personal condemnation, however I disagree with this “religious authority” label. You say that you are Sunni and, if so, you know that-unlike Shia Islam (I am just saying this to explain the difference, and not to undermine Shiaism)-Sunnis don’t need to take orders from any imam, and any person who knows they prayers can be an imam. I don’t need an imam/scholar/authority to repent, pray, etc…there is no figure similar Iran’s Wilayet al-faqih or the Pope. Now, if you can start a blog or write an opinion article, you may become as influential as al-Yaqoubi-whom, very frankly, I had never heard of before reading Mathew Barber’s last post.

Finally, please don’t generalize with Sunni “creed” and “my creed!” Do you mean by this 100% of Indonesian Sunnis, 100% of Malaysian Sunnis, 100% of Myanmar’s Sunnis (who are now facing genocide), or 100% of Palestine’s Sunnis. I suspect that you are my Palestinian brother from a refugee background living either in Syria, or Lebanon. Am I correct?

May 30th, 2013, 10:37 pm


Dawoud said:

Mathew Barber:

I find your interest in al-Yaqoupi informative and educative. You seem so interested in him to travel to Morocco to interview him, which is admirable. Your SC bio lists University of Chicago. Are you a graduate student writing a thesis on Sufi Islam, or al-Yaqoupi’s Sufism?

If so, do you think that this sect could compete with the Muslim Brotherhood? Then, why do you think that any Sunni school of thought needs to compete with the M.B.? Don’t you think that the M.B. would have agreed with the tolerant “fatwas” listed in your article? Look at the pragmatism and moderation that Egypt’s M.B. has undergone since entering the dissolved parliament and the presidential palace through Morsi.


May 30th, 2013, 10:50 pm


Ziad said:


I know there is no religious hierarchy in Sunni Islam, but when Yacoubi talks, what does he talk as, a nuclear physicist? A professional politician? Of course not. As a sheikh he talks as a religious authority. How could he issue these many fatwas otherwise?

Dawoud. I descend from a large religious Sunni family from Damascus. I myself am an atheist, but never quit my Muslim identity in terms of belonging. I have no Palestinian connection (not that I would have mind) and did not live in a camp.

May 30th, 2013, 10:59 pm


revenire said:

Dave are you a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood?

May 30th, 2013, 11:28 pm


Ziad said:

«الفرنسية» تتراجع عن خبر «الجزيرة الأولى عربيا»

متحدث باسم الوكالة لـ «الشرق الأوسط»: نقلنا الخبر عن «الجزيرة» وثبت أنه غير صحيح

لندن – عز الدين سنيقرة
تراجعت وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية عن خبر سابق نشرته يفيد بأن قناة الجزيرة الفضائية القطرية هي الأولى عربيا من حيث المشاهدة. وجاء تراجع الوكالة الفرنسية في شكل معروف لدى المختصين في الميدان باعتبار الخبر باطلا أو غير موجود أصلا، حيث تقوم الوكالة عند التحقق من خبر سبق أن بثته وتبين أنه مغلوط أو مفبرك أن تلجأ لمثل هذا العرف عند الوكالات العالمية بإعلام مشتركيها عبر العالم بأن الخبر يعتبر لاغيا ولا يجب الاعتداد به أو إعادة نشره.
وكانت وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية نشرت خبرا منقولا عن قناة الجزيرة يقول إنها لا تزال تتصدر القنوات الإخبارية العربية من حيث نسبة المشاهدة بناء على دراسة أعدتها مؤسستان متخصصتان في الإعلام جرت في 21 بلدا من الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا.

وقبل أن تعيد الوكالة نشر الخبر مجددا إقليميا، اكتشفت أن الدراسة المزعومة، التي استند إليها خبر «الجزيرة.نت»، لا وجود لها أصلا، ولا أساس لأي دراسة مشتركة مما قالت إنها تمت بين شركتي أبحاث منفصلتين كليا هما «ايبسوس» و«سيغما».

May 30th, 2013, 11:54 pm


Ilya said:

Too much Islamic abracadabra could not follow this nonsense.
I am sure most Syrians don’t want their future being controlled by these brainwashed monsters, who will impose their will on everything and everybody,there will be no democracy.
Everybody just want to come to power,so they can get their money,power,political or religious agendas,nobody cares about people its sad everyone has their own agendas…
Syrians people are gonna be biggest losers when this war is over country will be like Afghanistan back to stones ages…

May 30th, 2013, 11:54 pm


Dawoud said:

81. ZIAD

Thanks for your response. I am personally not affiliated with any political group and I don’t like to put an ideological label on myself because I don’t want to become an intellectual “hostage” of any ideology or label. I look at a group or regime and I judge it in accordance with what I see. Although I defended Syria against the neoconservative ideology in the aftermath of the Iraq War (which I opposed in the same manner I oppose a Western invasion of Syria), I can’t morally and intellectually support a hereditary dictator who kills his own people. As I said before, I am willing to turn against Qatar if it has mass demonstrations and the Amir uses force to kill his own people.

Although I think of myself as not very religious, I am confident that if I go to my doctor and I receive a bad diagnostics, I would want to go to Mecca to perform pilgrimage. I suspect that you would do the same.

Good Night, and thanks for posting about Palestine. I just hope that I can intellectually win you to my side regarding Syria. I know that you say that the alternative could be worse, but I you don’t take risks you will be stuck in the same fate. Besides, who knows what the future holds. Don’t they say that sunrise comes after darkness?

May 30th, 2013, 11:56 pm


revenire said:

Michigan woman who was converted to Islam by her Arab husband shot dead while fighting for Syrian rebels

Syrian state-run television reported three Westerners, including an American woman and a British citizen have been killed by government forces

Relatives of Nicole Lynn Mansfield, 33, of Flint, Michigan said that the pictures being aired on Syrian television are her

The three individuals were allegedly working with an al-Qaeda rebel affiliate in the war-torn nation

May 31st, 2013, 12:04 am


Ziad said:

“الجزيرة” استفتت وصوّتت.. فكان التلاعب: نعم حزب الله عدو!

May 31st, 2013, 12:08 am


revenire said:

These are the words of the martyr Yara Abbas talking about our soldiers:

“You see our soldiers when they are attacked, sometimes when they are dead. You cannot be separated from this. These soldiers know they’re going to be killed. They stand in the middle of the street and shoot – they are not afraid. They have a mission.

“A soldier from Talbiseh (near Homs) has seven gunshots in his body from Duma and he’s come back to fight.

“From Rastan, Deraa, Idlib – all of them don’t want to go back – they want to stay and fight.

“One soldier, a Sunni from Idlib had a gunshot in his leg – he refused to leave the army. He went to the hospital and came back the next day to fight in Aleppo. In Idlib militias put pressure on his family to make him leave the army – they took his brother for a while, beat him up a bit. But the soldier said ‘they can take my whole family, but not my country.’ I did a story on him.

“The group of soldiers I’m with in Aleppo, I met in Damascus. Before that they were in Homs and Deraa. They are so young, but they’re so strong.”

RIP Yara

May 31st, 2013, 12:14 am


Syrialover said:


You give a correct description of Assadist terrorism, including the fact that Bashar Assad is responsible for all the death and suffering of Sunnis caught up inside the Syrian army.

May 31st, 2013, 12:26 am


Ziad said:

يافا تبحث عن أهلها تحت التراب: جرائم الاحتلال في مقابر جماعية

May 31st, 2013, 12:30 am


Syrialover said:


That’s a sad description of Syrians as cannon fodder for Bashar Assad. Many of them operating as we know with a gun at their backs as well as facing opponents in front.

May 31st, 2013, 12:31 am


Sami said:


Correct me if I am wrong as I am not apologizing nor hiding any rebel atrocities which accure daily but to say the rebels are many orders of magnitude worse than Assad is a clear case of revisionist history.

I am sorry nothing about what the Assadists Militia has done can be described as protecting civilians, barrel bombing civilians and shooting SCUDs at Syrian cities is not what I call protecting.

Also as a recent Assad convert as you claim you are can you explain to me how you get over the whole Houla, Darayya, Baida, and Banyas massacres and tell me you are against all attacks in civilians? Also point me to rebel atrocities that reach that same level of barbarity as the ugly sectarian genocide committed by the regime in those and many more instances not only in the past year or two but over 50 years of subjecting Syrians to their tyrannical rule.

May 31st, 2013, 12:31 am



I must thank Prof. Landis for his choice of admin and contributor. What a thorough job in this post. Thank you Matt. I think I had suggested that Prof. Landis interview Shaikh Muhammad-al-Yaqoubi back in 2011 if I am not mistaken. I think it was long overdue as he is one one the most important and highly influential figures in the Syrian revolution. As a scholar, I won’t be exaggerating if I said that he is one of the top three scholars of Syria or top 10 of the Muslim world. In Arabic, we say: لا يشق له غبار He may not be as famous as scholars who have huge TV presence, but that’s by choice. I know for a fact that he was offered daily or weekly TV programs before and after the start of the revolution, but he turned them down because he is an independent voice, like all the traditional Ulema are, and would not allow himself to be manipulated by others. Additionally, in Syria, the government would not allow any religious figure to have a platform unless it is in line with the government directives. Ignorant people can’t discern the difference, but if you want to determine the caliber of a scholar, look at their writings and listen to their words.

What is interesting Shaikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is that in addition of being a top scholar, he is also well versed in politics. When he was 8 years old, he met Hafez Assad when he accompanied a delegation of about five of the top Ulema of Damascus, his father Shaikh Ibrahim al-Yaqoubi, that went to see the newly crowned leader of Syria to make some demands. Hafez promised to meet the demands of the Ulema, but as expected, he went back on his word. So since he was a young boy, he was privy to political and religious happenings that shaped Syria in the last 40+ years. Actually, since the French mandate. Hi father knew very well the grand father of Moaz al-Kahtib, Shaikh Taj al-Deen al-Hasani, son of the top scholar of Syria shaikh Badr al-Deen al-Hasani. Shaikh Taj was one of the presidents of Syris during the French mandate and is credited with establishing important institutions that still function until today like ‘ain al-Fijah, which feeds Damascus with water. So Shaikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi has a unique historical perspective that not many people in Syria have.

Shaikh Muhammad plays a very important role as many groups on the ground seek his advice and is among the scholars who are trying to protect the opposition from extremism.

I saw a comment that appears to belittle this great scholar because that person never heard of him, as if that detracts from who Shaikh Muhammad is. I find that the best answer are these lines of poetry from al-Firazdaq in response to the Ummayyad caliph هشام بن عبد الملك when he asked “who is he” in reference to Ali son of Hessein, son of the Caliph Ali, may Allah be pleased with them (what makes these lines of poetry more relevant is that Shaikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi is also a descendant of Prohpet Muhammad prayers and salutations be upon him):

هَذا الّذي تَعرِفُ البَطْحاءُ وَطْأتَهُ، وَالبَيْتُ يعْرِفُهُ وَالحِلُّ وَالحَرَمُ
هذا ابنُ خَيرِ عِبادِ الله كُلّهِمُ، هذا التّقيّ النّقيّ الطّاهِرُ العَلَمُ
هذا ابنُ فاطمَةٍ، إنْ كُنْتَ جاهِلَهُ، بِجَدّهِ أنْبِيَاءُ الله قَدْ خُتِمُوا
وَلَيْسَ قَوْلُكَ: مَن هذا؟ بضَائرِه، العُرْبُ تَعرِفُ من أنكَرْتَ وَالعَجمُ

May 31st, 2013, 12:34 am



“يافا تبحث عن أهلها تحت التراب: جرائم الاحتلال في مقابر جماعية”
The Syrian regime has done far worse crimes. Actually, every day, Syrians are pulling civilians from under the ruble. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

May 31st, 2013, 12:37 am



Could not edit my post. Correction, it is al-Farazdaq and NOT al-Firazdaq as I have stated. There might be other typos, but I have no time to fix now, so accept my apologies for those.

May 31st, 2013, 12:43 am



“الجزيرة” استفتت وصوّتت.. فكان التلاعب: نعم حزب الله عدو!
Actually, one of the good things that came out of this revolution is that the mask fell off the face Nasralah and his party. All the PR gains he made up until March of 2011 all but evaporated. I remember trying to caution people about this terrorist group back in 2006, but no one wanted to listen. Now, no one wants to stop cursing Nasralah and his party. There are still some people who support him among the Sunni majority, but judging by my own personal experience and that of my friends, it is my opinion that the vast majority of people in the Sunni community despise Nasralah and his party. What a traitorous group of people Nasralah and his party are. In 2006, the people of Qusair welcomed the Lebanese refugees and now they bomb the same people that lent them a helping hand.

May 31st, 2013, 12:58 am


Syrialover said:


I guess that’s right to refer to many of those men as “our soldiers” as they were meant to be the army of the Syrian nation, paid for by Syrians to serve and protect them.

But that was a malicious and crude cover story by the Assad regime for over 40 years.

A lie now exposed as we watch those Syrians in uniform serve as a terrorist militia assisted by Iran, Russia and Hezbollah to destroy the country.

May 31st, 2013, 1:14 am


Citizen said:

On Wednesday, Turkish officials found the gas in the homes of al-Nusra terrorists in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police. The terrorists planned to use the gas in an at
tack in the southern Turkish city of Adana, RT reports today.
The U.S., Britain and France are struggling to present evidence compelling enough to get the United States involved in the conflict. Earlier this week, The Atlantic Wire reported that Senator John McCain met with the CIA’s Islamic mercenaries who made the case that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons. The latest chemical weapons allegations are buttressed by a recent article appearing in the French publication Le Monde.

May 31st, 2013, 1:20 am


revenire said:

Syrialover I used to tell my children bedtime stories like the one you tell now. They have grown since and no longer believe them. I urge you to absolve yourself of these fantasies.

May 31st, 2013, 1:22 am


Syrialover said:


Thank you for a terrific post.

I endorse your praise of Matthew Barber for interviewing Shaikh Muhammad-al-Yaqoubi.

It’s been been uplifting to read his words as well as your comments and background information about him.

Your and Barber’s contribution are an excellent and very welcome reassurance that Syria Comment is here to discuss the real Syria.

May 31st, 2013, 1:26 am


Syrialover said:


Hizbollah is a spectacular lesson in the high and inevitably fatal cost of being employees of a foreign nation.

Nasrullah’s leash has been jerked tight and he’s now being openly dragged around by the collar by his bosses in Iran. They own him and he owes them.

Those young Lebanese being used as cannon fodder in Syria are very cheap currency to everyone but their immediate families.

It’s a tragic and pathetic situation. They’ll be left with nothing but the realization that Nasrullah and his mates are just idiotic and ruthless self-seekers that destroyed their lives.

May 31st, 2013, 1:48 am




Thank you for you kind words. Matt has definitely improved things around here. Also, thank you for carrying the banner. Hopefully, the Comment section will improve so that meaningful discourse takes place.

Shaikh Muhammad-al-Yaqoubi, as a I mentioned before, provides a unique perspective that very few people have. He has deep knowledge of the incidents of the eighties between the Ikhwan and Hafiz Assad and has a very good understanding of the religious and political forces at work. He grew up around the top Ulema of Damascus, including the late scholar Sayyed Makki Al-Kattani, who was his father’s friend and head of the Ulema Association of Syria. He also grew up around Shaikh Hasan Habbankah, the well-known Damascene scholar who fought against the French in 1925 when he was 17 years old and later stood up to the Baathists after they took over. One of the teachers of shaikh Hassan was Shaikh Muhammad’s uncle, Shaikh Shareef al-Yaquobi, another great scholar and the imam of the Maliki scholars in Damascus, and maybe in Syria. Here’s a photo of Shaikh Makki Al-Kattani and Shaikh Hasan Habbankah Look at their beautiful faces.

May 31st, 2013, 2:01 am



Dear Syriallover, can’t agree more. Nasrallah has been exposed as an agent of Iran. Not that we didn’t know that, but he can’t hide it anymore. His affiliation with Iran was no secret, but he always claimed that he was always doing what is best for Lebanon and that his ties to Iran didn’t influence him in a way detrimental to Lebanon’s interests. Now it’s all clear. He decides that what he’s doing in Syria is in Lebanon’s interest, but never consults with anyone lese, including the pathetic president of Lebanon, who does not have the back bone to criticize Nasralah for dragging Lebanon to the abyss. Additionally, a video surfaced a few years ago (or maybe more, but it has become widely spread after the intervention in Syria) in which Nasrallah, when he was a lot younger, makes it super clear where his allegiance is when answering questions posed by Hizaballah terrorists.

May 31st, 2013, 2:10 am


ann said:

Turkey finds sarin gas in the hands of Syrian Rebels

Published on May 30, 2013

Turkish security forces found a 2kg cylinder with sarin gas after searching the homes of Syrian militants from the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front who were previously detained, Turkish media reports. The gas was reportedly going to be used in a bomb.

The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamists detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia following a search by Turkish police on Wednesday, reports say. The gas was allegedly going to be used to carry out an attack in the southern Turkish city of Adana.

On Monday, Turkish special anti-terror forces arrested 12 suspected members of the Al-Nusra Front, the Al-Qaeda affiliated group which has been dubbed “the most aggressive and successful arm” of the Syrian rebels. The group was designated a terrorist organization by the United States in December.

May 31st, 2013, 2:11 am


revenire said:

“Nasrallah has been exposed as an agent of Iran.”

No, Nasrallah hasn’t been exposed as an agent of Iran. He is a friend and ally of Syria.

I am not sure who you’re an agent of but it isn’t Syria.

May 31st, 2013, 2:45 am


revenire said:

“They’ll be left with nothing but the realization that Nasrullah and his mates are just idiotic and ruthless self-seekers that destroyed their lives.”

Shake your fist at the sky. That is the effect of your words.

Hezbollah is unbeatable.

May 31st, 2013, 2:47 am


ann said:

Darayya Day 3 – May 30, 2013

May 31st, 2013, 3:12 am


majoos said:

As I said before, Salafism und Wahabism are detested my the overwhelming part of Sunnis in the world. Both streams serve only to riddicule Muslims and make them hated in the World. If Sunnis fail to distance themselves from them they will only loose, in Iraq, In syria, In Egypt, In Tunesia, In Pakistan…..

May 31st, 2013, 3:22 am


ann said:

French April Consumer Spending Falls Amid Recession, Joblessness – May 31, 2013

Consumer spending is declining after France slid into recession in the first quarter and as the country grapples with record joblessness.


May 31st, 2013, 3:38 am


ann said:


remember the suicide bomber who failed to detonate his car at the heart of Damascus?

Mohammad Ismail Jarallah, (Jordanian citizen) a.k.a. Abu Al Qe’qa..

he was hit by the shrapnel and the shock wave of the first blast knocking him unconscious. he was rescued by the security forces from the angry crowd. to this day, he believes fighters from “Ahrar ash Sham” -another terror group- saved him..

he lost his vision as a result of his injury.

his “role model” is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the dead terror leader in Iraq. he was raised in the same slum as him (i don’t know what the fvck is going on there).

He was jailed in Jordan for terror related charges. he was released and smuggled into Syria to join “Jabhat al Nusra” international terror group based in Syria. he volunteered for a suicide mission so he could “kill as many of the enemies of Allah as he could!”

he has no regrets, and he would go on another suicide mission today if he could. his ultimate goal is to enforce the “divine law” of Sharia in the world!

May 31st, 2013, 3:42 am


Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

Thank you Matthew for those excellent entries on Shaykh Yaqoubi, this one especially. I hope you don’t mind I re-blogged the entire thing:

Syria Comment’s Matthew Barber with Shaykh Yaqoubi

Small correction: it’s Abul Yusr [instead of Yasir] Abideen. Good job on the comment section as well, moderation has been a much needed improvement. More would be even better!

SYR.EXPAT: Finally, masha’Allah!

I made a start with a new project [ ] and wondered if you could perhaps help out? I already collected a lot on Free Halab, but I felt something seperate, more complete and in Arabic was needed. Your skills are obviously put to much better use with writing [interested in something for Free Halab?] but I think this is too important to be left out and I can’t put in the work atm.

Anyone else also interested?

Some new posts:

Terror in Syria

The Beginning of the End for Hassan Nasr and his Hezb

May 31st, 2013, 3:49 am


Mina said:

when you claim that the egyptian Muslim Brothers became democracy lovers thanks to their entry in the parliament do you have any evidence to argue such thing or you just copy the propaganda you read on facebook?
they have now a huge floor of religious tvs where they “express” themselves all day long and they tend rather to uncontrolable ubris (the latest bassam youssef albernameg on youtube provides a few useful snapshots)

May 31st, 2013, 3:53 am


ann said:

Syria’s War Impacts Turkish Alevis – May 29, 2013

A legal complaint lodged recently by a Turkish citizen reveals some intriguing details about a book that contains serious hate speech against Alevis.

The book describes Alevis as “ill-intentioned and diabolical,” and says that “marriages with them are not permissible; they are worse heretics even than Jews and Christians since eating the meat they cook is forbidden.”

Alevis are then portrayed as people indulging in sexual debauchery: “When dark falls in the evening, glasses start to make the rounds and heads heat up. As flesh begins to crave, all members of that accursed sect bring in their wives. Entering from all doors, the women join the men, blow out the candles and grab whoever they come across first.”

It is a matter of great interest how the Turkish judiciary will handle this case of hate speech, just weeks after musician Fazil Say and writer Sevan Nisanyan received jail sentences for insulting the religious values of Sunnis in Turkey.

Discriminatory practices against Alevis continue unabated by both the government and RAD. Before anything else, RAD — funded by taxes collected from all Turkish citizens, including the Alevis — provides services for the Sunnis alone.

The rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in cases that Alevis have brought and won against Turkey on grounds of discrimination are not being implemented.

It goes without saying that in the eyes of Alevis, the government’s Syria policy is in no way irrelevant to the situation described above.

Its reflection in domestic politics comes in the form of a conviction, especially in secularist quarters, that the AKP supports the jihadists in Syria.

As Koptas says, if the government “continues to resist a fair and peaceful solution to Alevi problems, the Syrian quagmire could drown Turkey, pulling it by its Alevi rein. The crisis sparked by the Kurdish problem yesterday could be rekindled by the Alevi problem tomorrow, and an all-encompassing spiral of violence could take the country hostage for who knows how many years.”


May 31st, 2013, 4:09 am


ann said:

Syrian internal opposition parties to attend peace conference in Geneva – 2013-05-30

May 31st, 2013, 4:16 am


ann said:

Armenian president pledges continued assistance to Syrian Armenians – 2013-05-30

YEREVAN, Armenia, May 30 (Xinhua) — Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan pledged on Thursday to continue assistance to Armenians living in Syria.

“We as a state and as a people have provided support for our brothers and sisters, and will continue to do so regardless of where they live – in Armenia or Syria,” he said at a session of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. Hayastan means Armenia in Armenian.


May 31st, 2013, 4:20 am


ann said:

Syrian opposition boycotts Geneva meeting to buy time – 2013-05-31

Maher Morhej, leader of the Syria-based oppositional Youth Party, told Xinhua that the SNC’s decision aimed to postpone the Geneva conference and to buy more time given the fact that they could not overcome their differences in Istanbul.

He said the SNC’s differences were threatening its very existence and might cause its collapse.

The SNC has been convening in Istanbul since May 23 to widen its ranks, decide whether or not to take part in the Geneva conference, and elect a new leader. Yet, deep differences between liberals and Islamists occurred during the prolonged meeting apparently over the emergence of new opposition groups inside the coalition.

What deepens the conviction about the differences inside the SNC is the recent statement of the rebels Free Syrian Army (FSA), which said that the FSA wanted to occupy 50 percent of the SNC’s seats, otherwise the rebel fighters would not recognize the body as a legitimate representative of Syrians.

In a statement issued Thursday, the FSA said “we knew that there are adjustments about the expansion of the National Coalition to include a number of politicians and a similar number of revolutionary forces operating on the homeland’s ground.”

Any attempt to circumvent or stall granting the FSA 50 percent of the SNC’s seats would not succeed and “we tell you that the coalition’s legitimacy will not be obtained … and any attempt to circumvent would lead you to lose your legitimacy,” the statement said.

Bassam Abu-Abdallah, head of a political research center in Damascus, charged that the exiled opposition had no political vision as it had always been betting on resolving the crisis in Syria by a foreign intervention “but their hopes have faded.”

Speaking to Xinhua, Abdallah downplayed the SNC’s rejection and said the “decision was not theirs in the first place.”

He said the SNC’s Western patrons would find a way to push it back to accept going to Geneva. “Geneva conference will be held,” he stressed.


May 31st, 2013, 4:28 am


ann said:

“Selim the Grim is the Symbol of Alevi Annihilation” – 29 May 2013

Erdoğan Aydın, a historian and researcher on Turkey’s Alevis, told bianet that Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim marked the symbol of the annihilation of Alevis – a group that constituted half of Anatolian population in the 16th century

Turkey’s top officials including President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan participated this morning to the groundbreaking ceremony of Istanbul’s third bosphorus bridge which was named after Yavuz Sultan Selim, as known as Selim the Grim among western historians.

Aydın explained the reasons behind current government’s choice to name the third bridge as follows:

“Turning the names of monarchy to heroic figures in an environment where we seek a modern and democratic mentality demonstrates how our future is being desired to be put on an antidemocratic axis. Democratic governments usually choose the names of scientists or those who served largely to the improvement of humanity.

“They know that these symbolisms aim to demonstrate what direction the society is desired to be moulded upon. Naming the bridge as Selim shows the fact that the incumbent government was unable to accept no peace at home, nor outside. For instance, it became clear that Turkey’s foreign policy on Syria reflected the neo-Ottoman mentality towards Selim’s path.”


May 31st, 2013, 4:42 am


ann said:


John McCain denies he knowingly posed with with ‘rebel kidnappers’ in Syria – 30 May 2013

John McCain has denied that he knowingly posed in a photograph this week with Syrian rebels who kidnapped 11 Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims

Two of the men in the image are Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim, claimed Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star. The men are described as being part of a group who kidnapped 11 Shias last year.

They were identified by one of the kidnap victims, Anwar Ibrahim, who along with one other hostage has since been freed, the Star said. Negotiations over the freedom of the other nine are still ongoing.

“I recognised him (Nour) immediately. He was the photographer who was brought in to take our photos [during captivity]. He works with the kidnappers. He knows them very well,” Mr Ibrahim told the Star.

The Star claimed it had independently confirmed the identity of Nour, who reportedly acted as the spokesman for the kidnappers. The Telegraph has not confirmed the men’s identities.


May 31st, 2013, 4:55 am


ann said:

Russia to sell at least 10 MiG fighters to Syria – May 31, 2013

Sergei Korotkov, general director of the MiG company that makes the jets, told Russian news agencies Friday that a Syrian delegation was in Moscow to discuss terms and deadlines of a new contract supplying MiG-29 M/M2 fighters to Syria.

Korotkov did not say how many MiGs Syria were buying, but says it would be “more than 10.”

May 31st, 2013, 5:12 am


Sami said:

“Shaikh Hasan Habbankah, the well-known Damascene scholar who fought against the French in 1925 when he was 17 years old and later stood up to the Baathists after they took over.”

I have goose bumps reading this Syr.Expat, I always heard these stories about him and Sheikh Abu Al-Khair from my father and Grand Father as a child growing up.

I vividly remember my Grand father telling me about the time he visited his parents and uncle in jail. The Ottomans had imprisoned both Sheikh Abu Al-Khair and Sheikh Hassan for leading the protests in Midan against the Ottoman rule. It really struck me even at the young age 5 or 6 years old how odd it was to imprison someone for speaking out, I kept asking him leish ya Jiddo, I just couldn’t comprehend it.

Thank you for the trip into memory lane and in keeping my Great Grand Father’s story alive and not just a family legend.

May 31st, 2013, 5:13 am


apple_mini said:

John McCain made a fool of himself and it has become such a laughable PR disaster. Of course we believe he was not aware of those men’s identities.

And that is exactly the problems US and west foreign backers are facing: the rebel ranks are completely dominated by “bad guys”. I can be sure if Johnny had met another group of rebels and posed with them for a photo souvenir, people might have found a beheader among them.

For those Syrians who still have faith or hope in those rebels, they are either wily blind or fundamentally inclined to those rebels and their ideology.

May 31st, 2013, 5:47 am


Badr said:

“After 40 years of tight dictatorship in Syria, it’s not surprising that the opposition is finding it hard to produce a coherent, representative leadership to face off against a tough regime team in the proposed Geneva conference.”

From Analysis by Jim Muir BBC News, Beirut

Peter Harling of the ICG: “The regime’s basic strategy is to live another day at any cost, and wait for the world to come to terms with it . . . fears that any compromise would weaken its internal cohesion and possibly precipitate its collapse.
The Damascus regime is highly dependent on its allies and cannot ignore them if they apply genuine pressure. Whether (Russia and Iran) are willing to do so, and at what price, are the only real question marks before Geneva.”

From Analysis by John Keating PARIS, May 30 (KUNA)

May 31st, 2013, 6:34 am


Akbar Palace said:

Looks like Syrialover got it right:

Assad’s Foolish Boast

One reckons that old man Assad also would have been bright enough to avoid doing what Bashar just did—which is to say, bragging in a television interview that Russia has delivered the advanced S-300 air-defense system to him.


Here’s an article you may have missed. Your welcome…

Russia unlikely to send S-300 missiles to Syria before autumn: Interfax

May 31st, 2013, 6:55 am


Akbar Palace said:

In Support of US Senator, John McCain for Regime Change in Syria

John McCain made a fool of himself…

Why, because someone fighting a dangerous regime standing behind McCain arrested some Iranians? Who did this person murder?

Meanwhile we have posters here “standing” and flaunting their support of one of the worst, crime-ridden, and murderous regimes in history.

Who is the “fool” really?

May 31st, 2013, 7:33 am


Dawoud said:

Mathew Barber:

I guess multi-paragraphed long cut/past article posts and pro-dictator video-embedding HAVE RETURNED to “Syria Comment” ONLY after half a day of rule-abiding 🙂 🙂 🙂

I have several new videos, but I have REFRAINED from posting them. Call it unilateral disarmament 🙂 I guess Hizbass’ propaganda instructions are too strict to enforce, and “Syria Comment” is too tolerant to get tougher with the pro-dictator/Hizbass commentators!

I will keep track of a couple of days of comments and EMAIL you my research about the worst offenders.

May 31st, 2013, 7:40 am


zoo said:

109. majoos

Egypt and Tunisia are test cases where ‘moderate’ sunnis are starting to take a firm stand against the Moslem Brotherhood and the Salafist ideologies. We already see signs of mellowing of the Moslem Brotherhood under popular pressure and a growing repression of the Salafists.
Maybe this will force the sunni ulemas who prone a ‘moderate’ Islam to dare publicly denounce the Islamist excesses. It may take a long time because of the influence of KSA and Qatar who, by injecting money and blackmailing the poor countries, are allowing these heresies to stay powerful in Sunni countries. In addition, the Arab Sunnis suffer of a feeling of persecution due to the consequences of 9/11 and other terrorists actions that were perpetrated by Sunnis. Therefore they are over sensitive to any criticism toward Sunnis, despite the fact that they do no condone the Islamist excesses.
Turkey ulemas have recently produced a revised
modern’ version of the Islamic law that got little media attention probably because it would outrage many Arab Sunnis. It is worth following that as it may have a strong impact on the Arab countries and their eternal debate about the Sharia law.

Turkey strives for 21st century form of Islam

· Move to rewrite sharia law basis and redefine Qur’an
· Fusion of Muslim beliefs and western principles

May 31st, 2013, 7:43 am


Dawoud said:

As you all know, I am not a fan of Israel and what it has done to my people. However, when I was in Jerusalem in my teenage years my PALESTINIAN friend’s dad was selling in a small store souvenirs to tourists. One of his most selling items (he sold it only for money) was a t-shirt written on it:
“Israeli Air Force: the Largest Supplier of MIG Parts!” Of course, when we are talking about Israeli planes, we are not talking about “Israeli” planes! They are American planes, made in America by Americans, and paid for by American taxpayers like me (regardless of whether I want it or not). My point is that American technology is much superior to Russia’s, and Russia only LOSES IT DETERRENCE potential by selling its most “sophisticated” weapons to a dictator like Bashar, only to see that these weapons are crushed by American technology (whether by Israel or America itself).

May 31st, 2013, 7:49 am


zoo said:

Dave @125


May 31st, 2013, 7:50 am


Akbar Palace said:

My folks visited the Zionist Entity and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt NewZ


Like this?:

May 31st, 2013, 7:55 am


Dawoud said:

I guess now Syria will NOT get these S-300 before “Autumn” Russia Says! Wow! Until last year, we heard for 5 years that Russia was selling Iran these missiles until it declared that it won’t. Russia is not stupid to see these missiles useless in any confrontation with American superior technology in a war in Syria or Wilayet al-Faqih’s theocracy (Iran) 🙂

روسيا.. صواريخ إس 300 لن تصل سوريا قبل الخريف

صرح مصدر في قطاع صناعة السلاح لوكالة “إنترفاكس” الروسية، الجمعة أنه من غير المرجح أن تسلم موسكو شحنة صواريخ إس-300 المضادة للطائرات لسوريا قبل الخريف. وأشار المصدر إلى أن توقيت تسليم الأسلحة التي أقلقت الحكومات الغربية سيتوقف على تطورات الوضع في سوريا.
وكانت روسيا أعلنت صراحة أن بطاريات صواريخ إس 300 هي في طريقها فعلاً إلى سوريا، وأن الهدف من ذلك هو منع أي تدخل عسكري أجنبي في سوريا، في الوقت الذي هددت فيه إسرائيل ضمنياً قبل يومين، بأنها ستستهدف تلك الصواريخ في حال وصولها إلى نظام الأسد.

Why so long? Maybe Vladimir Putin should use UPS for a faster delivery 🙂

Report: Russia’s S-300 missiles may not reach Syria until 2014
Russian media says delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Assad regime has not yet taken place, AFP reports; Separately, Russian arms manufacturer says it is set to sell at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.

May 31st, 2013, 7:59 am


Mina said:

It was quite interesting in the extract you posted about Marzouki’s statement to see that as a dogmatic, he cannot criticize djihad. He states that for a foreigner to participate in the Syrian civil war is not doing djihad, but falls short to condemn it! The same kind of trap shows up in Yaqoubi’s statements. No matter how “moderate” they try to be, if they cannot understand that the 7th century have nothing to do with our world, they are cavemen.

May 31st, 2013, 7:59 am


Dawoud said:


You that I resent Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands, but I swear to God that my friend’s father sold this shirt and the one I mentioned above at his tiny souvenir store in the old city of Jerusalem. I guess he did for the same reason that the Palestinian flags sold in Jersualem/West Bank are, according to an article that I read in Haaretz a few years ago, are made on a West Bank Israeli settlement: MONEY $$$$$$$$$$$ 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 8:03 am


dawoud said:

P.S., these new Russian MIG planes sold to Syria will not arrive to Damascus until the Autumn of 2017. They will be received at the Damascus airport by Syria’s Defense Minister for the last three years, General Isris (who is now the commander of the FREE Syrian Army) 🙂
As to the S-300 missiles, they are still on their way 🙂 Not yet in Rassia, which is upsetting Syria’s president Ali Farzat (the ex-Cartoonist) 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 8:14 am


zoo said:

The Israeli in a bind on the Golan: They have to choose, either Bashar al Assad with whom they can make a deal as part of an overall peace plan or a war on the Golan with the uncompromising Al Qaeda fighters

Golan Heights villages brace for war as tensions rise between Syria and Israel

Food and medical supplies are stockpiled and bomb shelters prepared as Bashar al-Assad threatens to open new front

“There is an atmosphere of fear now. Everyone is preparing for war, not just me,” she says.

As the fast escalating war of words between the Assad regime and Israel threatens to reignite a conflict that has lain dormant for more than 45 years, villages along the faultline in the Golan Heights are stockpiling food and medical supplies.

On Thursday Bashar al-Assad threatened to “open a front on the Golan Heights” should Israel make good the promises of its security chiefs to prevent Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems becoming operational on Syrian soil.

“There is clear popular pressure to open a front of resistance in the Golan and there is Arab enthusiasm and a desire to come and fight against Israel,” the Syrian president told Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV.

Many in Majdal Shams, a small Druze village, are convinced that this political posturing will soon become impossible to back out of

May 31st, 2013, 8:14 am


zoo said:

Taksim park 4 days of riots is a symptom of the unhappiness of the Turks despite the supposed ‘miracle economy’ and the glittering cultural and economical displays.

According to the OCDE, Turkey is the worst place to be happy among the 26 countries studied

Taksim park protests in 4th day amid police crackdown

May 31st, 2013, 8:22 am


zoo said:

The removal of the military rule in Myanmar unleashes uncontrollable sectarian violence against the Moslem minority. Is a authoritarian rule a necessity in countries with multiple religions an ethnicities to prevent flare-ups and massacres?

Buddhist mobs attack Muslim homes in Myanmar, one dead

Myanmar officials help a Muslim family as they arrive at a
30 May 2013 /REUTERS, LASHIO

Security forces struggled to control Buddhist mobs who burned Muslim homes on Wednesday for a second day in the northern Myanmar city of Lashio in a dangerous widening of ultra-nationalist Buddhist violence.

May 31st, 2013, 9:38 am


Mina said:

No one writes like Bhadrakumar!

Iraq redux, Bosnia redux, Afghanistan redux. Politicians have no imagination.

May 31st, 2013, 9:40 am


revenire said:

“I will keep track of a couple of days of comments and EMAIL you my research about the worst offenders.”


May 31st, 2013, 10:00 am


zoo said:

A US citizen fighting with the rebels in Syria has been killed.

FLINT, Mich. — The family of a 33-year-old Michigan woman says the FBI had confirmed that she was killed in fighting in Syria.

She’s identified as Nicole Lynn Mansfield of Flint.

Speelman’s mother Monica Mansfield Speelman tells the Detroit Free Press newspaper that her niece was a convert to Islam who married an Arab immigrant several years ago but later divorced him.

Syrian news reports say that Mansfield and two other westerners killed with her were fighters for the opposition to Syria’s government.

May 31st, 2013, 10:03 am


zoo said:

#141 Reve

Impressive professionalism, isn’t?

May 31st, 2013, 10:07 am


revenire said:

“113. MINA said:

when you claim that the egyptian Muslim Brothers became democracy lovers thanks to their entry in the parliament do you have any evidence to argue such thing or you just copy the propaganda you read on facebook?
they have now a huge floor of religious tvs where they “express” themselves all day long and they tend rather to uncontrolable ubris (the latest bassam youssef albernameg on youtube provides a few useful snapshots)

Dave once talked of a poll of Palestinians and 95% and could never produce it.

May 31st, 2013, 10:07 am


revenire said:

Hmm I watched the interview with Assad and didn’t see the part where he claimed S-300s were in Syria. I believe he said Syria doesn’t deny or confirm military information like that.

May 31st, 2013, 10:09 am


ann said:

142. zoo said:

A US citizen fighting with the rebels in Syria has been killed.

She was inspired by BOZO THE SENILE CLOWN visit to Al-Qaeda in Syria 😉

May 31st, 2013, 10:09 am


Uzair8 said:

I wish to join in the thanks to Matthew Barber for the interview and for the recent direction/moderation of the blog. The interview contains a lot of insight and useful information (guidance, green light) allowing some of us to shape our stances and to make firm positions on some of the rising issues of concern within the revolution.

It’s also good to see the return of familiar commenters on here (short and long term absentees).

May 31st, 2013, 10:12 am


Uzair8 said:

With Assad allegedly ‘winning’, presumably Mrs’s Anisa and Bushra will be considering whether it’s safe to return?


May 31st, 2013, 10:17 am


zoo said:

Lavrov and Bashar al Assad leave the delivery of the S-300 as guessing game.

The Russian stance is that there could be a 2010 contract with the Assad regime for arms supplies and a Syrian “wish list” for more weapons dated March 2011.

The beauty about the Russian stance is that Moscow keeps the Western powers guessing about the progress of the arms deals with Syria, which of course makes the latter’s “wish list” seamless and leaves them free to supply anything they like anytime they like.

Moscow maintains with a poker face that all its weapons transfers to the Assad regime are perfectly legitimate traffic under international law involving two sovereign governments.

May 31st, 2013, 10:19 am


revenire said:

Uzair I will be talking to their cousins later today and will let you know what they say.

May 31st, 2013, 10:22 am


Uzair8 said:


‘Religion of peace’


I don’t think generalising about a religion does any service to your cause. You wouldn’t want to alienate the Syrian people, who happen to be majority muslim and moderate as well as alienate millions of muslims around the world who’s hearts and minds both sides are vying for.

May 31st, 2013, 10:23 am


zoo said:

Is an Assad-free solution possible? Except for the NC expat opposition and the 10 “Friends of Syria” the answer is No

A widely tossed-around view in international circles is that a solution to the ongoing tragic civil war in Syria is not possible without the inclusion of Bashar al-Assad in the plan.

This view was also voiced by Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki during his recent visit to Turkey. Thus, the president of Tunisia, which supports the Syrian opposition, announced that if it would put an end to the civil war, negotiation with Assad should happen. However, the Syrian opposition is very unlikely to accept a solution which involves Assad.

May 31st, 2013, 10:24 am


ann said:

Manufacturing Dissent: The truth about Syria

This documentary describes the psychological war waged by the mainstream media to facilitate the overthrow of the Syrian government in the Western calendar. It shows how the media have directly contributed to the bloodshed in Syria

May 31st, 2013, 10:28 am


zoo said:

A long waited Syrian government demand is now fulfilled

UN adds Syrian militants Al Nusra to sanctions list
May 31, 2013 05:13 PM
Agence France Presse

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Friday added Syrian militant group Al Nusra Front to its global sanctions list because of its links to Al-Qaeda.

The group, a feared force battling President Bashar al-Assad, is now subject to an international asset freeze and arms embargo, according to an announcement made by the Security Council’s Al-Qaeda sanctions committee.

Read more:

May 31st, 2013, 10:32 am


ann said:

American and British – fighting alongside al-Qaeda jihadists in Syria

Outstanding! Two women – one American and one British – fighting alongside al-Qaeda jihadists in Syria, have allegedly been killed by Assad forces

Even better, the American woman is said to hail from Michigan, Dearbornistan.

May 31st, 2013, 10:37 am


zoo said:

Will Syria civil war outcome be different from other civil wars?

Analysis – Syrian war seen dragging on for years

But any suggestion his government might secure the total defeat of its disparate opponents shows little understanding of the nature of the war or the multitude of forces involved.

“As things stand, the regime cannot reconquer, it cannot reconcile, it cannot reform and it cannot rebuild,” said Peter Harling, a project director at the International Crisis Group.

“It’s a roller coaster, up and down, but over time you see Assad shrinking,” said the top official, adding that recent government gains might prove hard to maintain. “It could all change tomorrow,” he said.

“I do not recall one civil war that has lasted for more than two years and that has ended with a complete restoration of control by the central government,” said Jonathan Eyal, head of international studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

New patterns of power are emerging as Syria is torn apart, state institutions fray and the economy is devastated. The huge influx of arms means it may take decades to restore order.

“As a practical matter it is hard to sustain this level of violence on both sides for a long time,” said Fearon, professor of political science at Stanford University.

“However, even if the intensity of violence reduces a lot, the likelihood of years of continued lower-level but still serious violence in Syria must be judged to be pretty high.”

May 31st, 2013, 10:38 am


Uzair8 said:

81. Ziad said:

‘I descend from a large religious Sunni family from Damascus. I myself am an atheist, but never quit my Muslim identity in terms of belonging.’


If I remember correct, a couple of months ago when I posted a Sheikh Yaqoubi statement which ended in a prayer (and general request for prayer) for the downfall of the regime, you angrily countered, and as well as mentioning you were from a prominent religious Damascan family, you also vowed to perform 2 raka’h nafl (prayer) for your cause (regime victory). I remember privately thinking at the time (but deciding not to post), it would take more than 2 raka’h to save this wretched regime.

Anyway, after you now mentioned in #81 you were an athiest I’m a little confused….

May 31st, 2013, 10:38 am


revenire said:

Uzair do you really believe the government is threatened? It seems to me they’re doing fine and have, by and large, defeated the conspiracy against it.

May 31st, 2013, 10:47 am


revenire said:

Wow – so the entire “revolution” has been declared to be terrorists by the UN. Double wow.

Assad said this way, way back – almost two years ago.

Is Assad some sort of prophet?


May 31st, 2013, 10:49 am


revenire said:

Bravo to the heroes of the Syrian Arab Army!

LATAKIA: In a spectacular ambush indicating the professionalism and experience of the SAA and militias, the Jabhat Al-Nusra was “KAPOWED!!” in Al-Reehaaniyya and Al-Faranliq:

“Abu Al-‘Abed” (a/k/a “Al-‘Aqeed”, the Colonel) JORDANIAN ____* AND LEADER OF THE “MOTHER OF THE FAITHFUL BRIGADES. (Yawn)
Muhammad Jihaad Al-Shammaat
‘Abdul-Baari Al-Nabaki
Firaas Sheeru
Bassaam Al-Baghdaadi
Mas’ood Taaher
Ahmad ‘Issa
‘Azzaam Al-Faaroosi
‘Ali Al-Khabbaaz
Muhammad Yahya Al-As’ad
Muss’ab Ibraaheem Al-Istanaabooli
Muhammad Khayreddeen Al-Darweesh
Ahmad Muhammad Al-Darweesh
‘Umar Al-Shaykh-‘Ali

*noun removed, was “flea” and unsure if you can call terrorists fleas (we don’t want to hurt their feelings do we?)

May 31st, 2013, 10:50 am


ann said:

“The one guy was shouting lines from ‘Braveheart’ to charge, the others weren’t quite buying it”

“The weapons have evolved since the days of Braveheart; but unfortunately for the FSA, their tactics have not”

May 31st, 2013, 11:06 am


Uzair8 said:

I agree with Matthew’s advice (a couple of weeks ago) to ignore Revenire rather than be provoked and repeatedly demand a ban when it may not necessarily be wholly deserved.

In recent months at the end of a comment addressing another user/issue, Rev, out of the blue ended the comment by briefly addressing me:

‘Uzair8, what’s your problem’.

I didn’t respond but remember thinking what’s happened to the usual cheerful Rev? The Rev that usually casually dismisses, with a smile, anything and everything that contradicts his narrative?

Perhaps the mask has fallen, I thought to myself. Maybe that’s his purpose to give the impression of the Regime side being full of cheerful confidence, and momentum, to distract from the reality, I thought.

Perhaps, as I suspected, I was an obstacle in the path of this purpose thus the direct expression of frustration in addressing me.
After all I was trying to undo some of the attempted regime propaganda. One example, from not long before Rev’s address, after the Sh. Buti assassination, which could have been a significant propaganda opportunity for regimists, I quickly shared Sh. Yaqoubi’s response (with info accusing the regime) which nipped in the bud (or at least slowed, halted, or limited any potential propaganda exploitation of the assassination).

May 31st, 2013, 11:11 am


revenire said:

The fact Yaqoubi accused the government of killing al-Bouti shows how far along his mental deterioration is.

I believe that sort of assertion is not only vulgar but also criminal.

May 31st, 2013, 11:23 am


Uzair8 said:

For anyone (academics) interested in studying cults/cult behaviour, Syria is an excellent model for analysis.

We all know how the regime over 40 years has nurtured the cultish system. We’ve seen how it’s supporters (of whatever background) are prepared to support it no matter what and believe it can do no wrong. They out of hand deny any accusations of wrongdoing. Others will extol/hail the (non-existent) ‘virtues’ of Bashar Assad’s leadership and the army. Remember, amongst others, users Ali and Hassan?

This is a violent cult and it has behaved exactly as described on the tin.

The brave Syrian people will overthrow this violent cult, InshaAllah.

May 31st, 2013, 11:27 am


Uzair8 said:

It seems 5DS has lost his rhythm.

‘Never gonna dance again..’

Then again one can always make up with the moderator via email and return as 4DS.

May 31st, 2013, 11:31 am


Tara said:


Agree. The moniker 4DS is less scary than 3DS.


Atheist who prays?

And you said you are Sunni? Could it be a non- Sunni posing as Sunni? I do not know what to believe.

It is ok . We forgive you…but.. We knew all along. We just did not say anything.. Out of politeness, I guess.

May 31st, 2013, 11:38 am


zoo said:

Around 40 countries attend a one day conference in Iran about Syria that is not much reported by the western media.
The participating countries including Arab countries Algeria, Iraq, Oman, Lebanon, agree with the UN and the OIC about a political solution through the Geneva peace conference.

Tehran hosts conference on Syria

Iran believes that proposed U.S.-Russia led peace talks on Syria would be a step forward toward resolving the crisis that has gripped the Arab country for over two years, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Tehran on Wednesday.

The Iranian foreign minister made the remarks in a speech during a one-day conference on the Syrian crisis, which was attended by officials and representatives from about 40 countries, including Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Tanzanian Minister for Defense and National Service Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud, and deputy foreign ministers of Oman, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Indonesia.

The messages of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Syria, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu were read out during the conference.

They all said that the conflicting parties in Syria must end the violence and seek a political solution, expressing hope that the Tehran conference would help improve the situation.

May 31st, 2013, 11:46 am


Uzair8 said:

158. Revenire said:

‘Uzair do you really believe the government is threatened? It seems to me they’re doing fine and have, by and large, defeated the conspiracy against it.’

I expect intervention. If I’m honest, what’s…I wouldn’t say worrying me…but lurking in the back of my mind is the likelihood of US intervention which isn’t going to go down too well amongst the constituents some of us have been trying to ‘educate’ and win over to the side of the revolution.

The fallout of US intervention will have to be dealt with and we will have to face some tough questions but I think the revolution can handle this task. Already Sh. Yaqoubi has been trying to stir a discussion on this issue so we can get it out of the way before any intervention because any discussion post-intervention will be heated and emotionally charged.

Anyway, I for one haven’t called for US intervention. That would probably be the basis of my response if I’m still active.

A Turkish/Jordanian intervention would be ideal, backed by US to deter Russian intervention.

May 31st, 2013, 11:48 am


Dawoud said:

166. TARA

Tara, there are no REAL Sunnis who support the murderous Syrian regime. When Sunni PM Halqi takes the Sunni Moualem with him to Geneva, they know that their families and friends could be dead if they say anything that the regime doesn’t want them to say. Yes, there are decent anti-dictator Shia and Alawi commentators, but not here. 95% of pro-dictator
commentators here are Shia and Alawi who are supporting the dictator for sectarian reasons. There are also one or two Americans who became friendly to the Shia Lebanese terrorist party Hizbass while doing research/study in Lebanon. Their spam posts and videos on behalf of the Syrian dictator are expected.

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 31st, 2013, 11:51 am


zoo said:

“Why isn’t McCain on his way to Guantanamo Bay wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles?”

”Despite McCain’s delusions, the man he supposedly met with – Gen. Salem Idris, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army – has teamed up with Arhar al-Sham, a partner of al-Nusra Front, recently designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.

“Idris claims his group doesn’t work with Al-Nusra, but the two have fought side by side and shared arms in their battle to overthrow Bashar Assad,” writes Bob Livingston. “The question is:
“Why isn’t McCain on his way to Guantanamo Bay wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles?”

May 31st, 2013, 11:54 am


Uzair8 said:

All the S-300 delivery is going to do is to hasten the tough decision the potential inventionists have to face. Any intervention would have to be before the system becomes operative (in 3 months according to one claim).

May 31st, 2013, 12:11 pm


zoo said:

Al Nusra’s possession of Sarin gaz may indicate that Syrian rebels have access to it and may have used it in Syria. Turkey is now under pressure to reveal ist findings

Russia waiting for Turkey’s explanation on sarin gas link in bomb attack


Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Friday that his country is expecting an official explanation from Ankara over Syrian militant al-Nusra’s possession of sarin gas.

Seven members of the al-Nusra group were detained on Wednesday after Turkish police found sarin gas, which was reportedly going to be used in a bomb attack, during a search of the suspects’ homes, Turkish media have reported.

“We look forward to receiving full information from our Turkish colleagues over the matter. The situation is very serious. It seems like the ones who speak about chemical weapons continue to play interesting games. All the details about the matter need to be investigated,” said Lavrov while speaking at a press conference in Moscow.

Newspapers claimed on Thursday that two kilograms of sarin gas, which is usually used for making bombs and was banned by the UN in 1991, had been found in the homes of suspects detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersin

May 31st, 2013, 12:13 pm


zoo said:

A British citizen ‘working’ with the rebels in Idlib has been killed

“Their family have been informed and we are providing consular assistance.”
Doctor Isa Abdur Rahman, a 26-year-old Imperial College London graduate, was killed.

May 31st, 2013, 12:26 pm


revenire said:

Uzair the West is not going to intervene in Syria to put Al-Qaeda in power. You want them to I know but it isn’t happening.

No one knows what weapons systems Russia has sent. They don’t advertise these things.

Press reports are often incorrect.

I will point out our esteemed host Josh Landis had a story about Assad living on a Russian ship. No doubt that was fed to him by someone like Hassan Hassan.

May 31st, 2013, 12:27 pm


revenire said:

Juergen the American media has already picked up the senile McCain’s meeting with kidnappers. He is the object of ridicule and derision.

May 31st, 2013, 12:28 pm


ann said:

Amid Aleppo violence, fate unknown for one of Judaism’s greatest buildings – Matti Friedman – October 16, 2012

No information has yet emerged about the condition of the Great Synagogue of Aleppo, once the Jewish world’s oldest functioning house of prayer

May 31st, 2013, 12:29 pm


revenire said:

Uzair I’d say the cult is those who use Islam – the jihadis – to murder. The so-called Sunni who are really nothing but animals who have perverted Islam. They aren’t real Sunnis. No real Sunnis support the terrorists.

May 31st, 2013, 12:32 pm


Ziad said:

Uzair8 #157:

“Anyway, after you now mentioned in #81 you were an atheist I’m a little confused….”

SC is not the proper forum to discuss personal beliefs, but since you are a nice guy and I hate to leave you confused here it is in a nutshell.

I am a scientist who used to be a religious Muslim. I still don’t have a problem with Islam as expressed in the Quran, and to a lesser degree in the hadith. I have less respect in the prophet’s companions. Remember the first and the second Fitna. I also believe that the four mazhabs were good for their time, but now carry very little relevance for today’s umma’s conditions.

There is great human wisdom in Islam. When I grew up I was surrounded with many people who, without a doubt, were the best human beings in existence. They conducted their lives according to teachings of Islam. They were pious, tolerant, charitable, honest and humane.

My problem is with Allah. I cannot believe in a personal God. The contradictions are too many and too obvious. I believe that Islam could reinterpreted to be based on a non personal God, but I am not qualified to do it.

In any case I still believe that I belong to the Muslim Umma, and its welfare concerns me very much. My heart is broken as to what Salafism, political Islam, and Gulf money are doing to this great religion, while the good Muslims who should know better are completely, or almost completely, silent about it. I still enjoy reading and listening to the Quran, I read a lot of Islam related books, particularly relating to its reform. I have not found a convincing one yet.

May 31st, 2013, 12:34 pm


zoo said:

The opposition is under intense pressure. They will have to bear the humiliation of renouncing to their months old conditions that Bashar al Assad should resign before the conference. Not only Bashar will not resign before the conference,but he has no intention to resign after the conference, another source of humiliation for the opposition. Yet they have no choice than to swallow the bitter pill as otherwise they may not survive..

“If this decision is a tactical one, then it seems like the Syrian opposition is aiming to increase its bargaining power prior to the conference. But if this decision is taken due to their internal struggle, this would lead to questions concerning the legitimacy of the main opposition bloc against the Syrian regime,” Gökhan Bacık, an academic teaching international relations at Gaziantep’s Zirve University, told Today’s Zaman.
Bacık also believes that in the event of a failure in the talks between the Syrian opposition and the regime, countries that are involved in the crisis, particularly Turkey, would be in serious trouble.

When asked whether Turkey, the staunchest supporter of the Syrian opposition in its fight against the regime, had failed to convince the opposition to attend the meeting, the Turkish official replied that Turkey does not put pressure on the opposition to make a decision and respects any decision taken by the opposition.”

May 31st, 2013, 12:46 pm


zoo said:

Briton ‘killed in Syria’ pictured



It is believed that Ali Al Manasfi is the British man killed by forces loyal to President Bashir al-Assad.

May 31st, 2013, 12:51 pm


zoo said:

Another disaster is looming for Egypt as Ethiopia is building a giant dam on the Nile that will make Egypt lose 27% of its water for the next 5 years and 30% of its hydropower. Time to move to nuclear or to war?

Egypt fears grow as Ethiopia builds giant Nile dam
Diversion of water of the Nile River began earlier this week

Alaa el-Zawahri, a dams engineer at Cairo University and an expert on a national committee studying the ramifications of the Ethiopian dam, said Egypt stands to lose about 15 billion cubic metres of water — 27 per cent of annual share — each of the five years that Ethiopia has said it will take to fill the dam. The country’s current share already is insufficient.

Egypt also would lose between 30 and 40 per cent of its hydropower generation, he said.

“If I was more of an optimist, I would say it will cause significant damage (to Egypt),” he told The Associated Press. “If I was being pessimistic, it is a catastrophe.”

May 31st, 2013, 1:02 pm


revenire said:

Odd how we see none of the righteous indignation of the opposition supporters when Turkey finds sarin gas with the rebels IN Turkey.

“Seven members of the al-Nusra group were detained on Wednesday after Turkish police found sarin gas, which was reportedly going to be used in a bomb attack, during a search of the suspects’ homes, Turkish media have reported.”

This gas was probably intended for use in Syria and then the opposition – Idris and senile McCain’s friends – would try to pin it on the government.

May 31st, 2013, 1:07 pm


zoo said:

Who are they?

“the Syrian National Coalition, the country’s main opposition group, increased the number of members in its general assembly, adding 51 new secular and rebel representatives. A statement by the SNC said the body now has 114 members.”

May 31st, 2013, 1:08 pm


ann said:

186. zoo said:

Who are they?

Who cares?! 😀

May 31st, 2013, 1:15 pm


Dawoud said:

181. Ziad

“My problem is with Allah. I cannot believe in a personal God.”

I respect your choice whether to be religious or atheist (although atheism is a secular religion itself), and I- nor anybody else -should play the role of God. Evil happens when religious people (of any religion, not just Islam) think that they know what God wants and they think that they should do God’s work! This often leads to evil. Please read “When Religion Becomes Evil” for Charles Kimball ( He is not saying that we don’t need religion. In fact, as a priest himself, he thinks that we do need religion, but we should be aware of of 5 warning signs that could make any religion “evil!”

Now, as a Muslim myself-and I am not the most religious in the traditional fashion- I know I will need comfort from the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Hadith if I am diagnosed with cancer or a terminal illness, or when a loved one dies (my mother, who was more religious than me, passed away recently). Wouldn’t you feel the same way under similar circumstances? Furthermore, how do you feel when Syrian soldiers (formal employees of the state, who should act more responsibly than gangs or foreign Jihadists) and Shabiha torture oppositional Syrians and ask them to say: “There is no God, but Bashar al-Assad!” Doesn’t this stir a disgusting feeling in you, if not as a Muslim but as a human being?

May 31st, 2013, 1:21 pm


revenire said:

Soldiers don’t say that Dave – that is a Zionist lie.

May 31st, 2013, 1:39 pm


dawoud said:

Sorry Mathew Barber for posting a video, but the pro-dictator dude is saying I am lying when I said soldiers force demonstrators to say: “No God, but Bashar al-Assad!” Here is the troubling video of Bashar’s soldiers doing so. I know he will question this video, and if sees with his own eyes, he will propagate that Zionists did it 🙂 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 1:45 pm


Uzair8 said:

181. Ziad said:

I appreciate the response however it wasn’t necessary. What you believe is your business.

I should have clarified what I meant by ‘confusion’. You prayed 2 nafl for regime victory although you’re an athiest?

At the time I thought you vowed to pray (and mentioned being from a prominent religious family) to regain the religious/moral ground/legitimacy for your side which you may have feared lost to the opposition side after reading Sh. Yaqoubi’s statement which I posted at the time.

May 31st, 2013, 1:58 pm


zoo said:

Moscow threatens speedy delivery of missiles to Syria but also offers to delay

THOMAS GROVE, Reuters June 1, 2013 1:37am

MOSCOW – Russia could speed up delivery of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria if the West intervenes, but also floated the idea of suspending the shipment, Russian media reported on Friday, as Moscow set out its negotiating position ahead of peace talks.

A Russian arms industry source was quoted by Interfax news agency as threatening to hasten delivery of the hotly-contested S-300 missiles if the West were to impose a no-fly zone or Israel were to launch new air strikes.

However the source also “did not exclude that the delivery of the S-300 to Syria could be frozen for a period of time” Interfax reported, comparing the move to the delivery of another weapons system that was suspended by Moscow.

In another signal that Moscow is prepared to arm Assad, the head of aircraft maker MiG was quoted as saying he still plans to send Syria at least 10 MiG-29 fighters under a 2007 contract.


Particularly worrying for the West is Moscow’s plans to fulfil a 2010 contract to send Assad the S-300, an advanced anti-aircraft missile system that could make it far more dangerous to impose a no-fly zone, and could threaten planes deep inside the air space of Israel or NATO-member Turkey.

The Russian arms industry source said the S-300 missiles could not arrive in Syria for months, but the pace of delivery would be determined by the behaviour of Assad’s foes.

“Regarding the deliveries of the S-300, they can begin no earlier than the autumn,” the source said. “Technically it’s possible, but much will depend on how the situation develops in the region and the position of Western countries.”

May 31st, 2013, 2:37 pm


zoo said:

Qatar’s militia, Liwa Al Tawid enters Al Qusayr

Rebels in Qusayr receive reinforcements

Opposition alliance claims pro-Muslim Brotherhood forces cut through army lines

Liwa Al Tawhid, a Qatari-backed armed group close to the Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, said on its Facebook page that its fighters had reached the besieged town.

“Hundreds” of rebels have broken through army lines near the village of Shamsinn, northeast of Qusayr, after losing 11 fighters, according to Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

May 31st, 2013, 2:50 pm



Once again I agree with Mr. Waleed Joumblatt: Barack Obama, the US of America and the whole West advised by Israel have left the people of Syria alone under fire of Assad, Russia and Iran. The world powers have agreed that syrian revolution and hopes for freedom, democracy and dignity be crushed under servants of Evil’ s fire. That is what the existance of Evil serves foe tothe US and the West. The propaganda of Al Nusra and Al Qaeda spread by Assad, Russia and the West media has been effective.

What does Assad hide that makes the US so afraid? Or is it simply the will of Israel?

However it be History books will remember the Obama administration as politically responsible for one of worst massacres ever committed.

May 31st, 2013, 3:00 pm


revenire said:

Somehow I doubt any reinforcements can get in/have gotten in. The only “open” route is the Eastern one and that is being allowed for any remaining civilians to get out.

I am not buying it. I would have to see independent reports.

Alaa Ebrahim is there and he said he heard reports of them coming from Aleppo but he hasn’t seen any evidence of it.

There have been repeated attempts to reinforce the terrorists via Lebanon but all ended with those trying to get in being killed.

May 31st, 2013, 3:02 pm


revenire said:

Dave I don’t rely on YouTube videos. No soldiers are saying Bashar is God. Get real.

You always make wild statements you can never back up.

Remember your “95% of Palestinians” lie?

You remind me of Tara and her “FSA air force” claim (which she did make here at SC). The two of you hate Syria and Syrians and would tell any lie to serve your Zionist goal.

May 31st, 2013, 3:05 pm


Is Syria now about to blow? - Page 382 said:

[…] Well worth the read, although I must admit that I've only read parts of it at the moment: Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Interviewed by Syria Comment – Syria Comment Sign in or Register Now to […]

May 31st, 2013, 3:06 pm


revenire said:

Sandro yes I agree with you: Obama has murdered nearly 100,000 Syrians with his war against Syria.

May 31st, 2013, 3:08 pm


Sami said:

“Dave I don’t rely on YouTube videos”

Then why do you keep linking YouTube videos if you don’t rely on them? Or do you only rely on them when they fit your rhetoric?

“You always make wild statements you can never back up.”

So any updates on the defeated IAF? How many pilots were shot down while the IAF bombed the Chicken Brigade, I remember you stating two planes were shot down.

May 31st, 2013, 3:10 pm



I personally know syrians from the coast who say Bashar as Hafez are the highest expression of divinity on earth. Get real guys.

May 31st, 2013, 3:11 pm


revenire said:

Sure Sandro – like you wouldn’t make that up. You hate Assad. Who beside other haters would believe you?

May 31st, 2013, 3:21 pm


Uzair8 said:

Saw people on twitter referring to Edward Dark’s article in al-Monitor yesterday and today. Amal Hanano pulled him on it too. Decided to check it out.

Amjad of Arabia, tormentor of regimists on social media, was enjoyable to read in the comment section after the article. He does chase around the likes of Dark and Angry Arab – LOL.

Be sure to check out his handfull of responses (or conversations):

May 31st, 2013, 3:22 pm


revenire said:

Uzair I get a kick out of the opposition trolls. Dark makes them nervous. They loved him when he was against Syria but when the terrorists starting murdering and raping people in Aleppo and Ed started telling the truth they all turned on him. Thing is none of his critics are in Syria.

Kind of funny.

May 31st, 2013, 3:29 pm


ann said:

The role of Turkey in the US-NATO-Israeli war on Syria – Wednesday May 29th, 2013

The day after Israeli Air Forces’ May 5th attack on Syria, Turkey and Israel have launched separate military exercises near their respective borders with Syria. Israeli drills took place in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, while Turkey’s ‘Yildirim-2013 Mobilization Exercise’ was held at NATO’s Incirlik Airbase. [69]

According to a statement by Turkey’s General Staff, the aim of Yildirim-2013 exercise was to test Turkish Armed Forces’ readiness for battle and coordination with Government ministries. The ten-day exercise finished on May 15th, the day before Mr Erdogan met Mr Obama in Washington D.C. [70]

The same day, a unit consisting of hundreds of armed personnel carrier vehicles carrying ‘Free Syrian Army’ militants, accompanied by tanks defending them, crossed from Turkey’s Ceylanpinar border gate into Syria. This military deployment, considered to be the largest ever from the region, occurred at a time when the militants squeezed in Ras al-Ayn [in Northern Syria] needed help. [71]

Again, on the same day, U.S.-led IMCMEX 2013 naval exercise in the Persian Gulf against Iran was launched. Although the list of participant countries has been kept secret, in all likelihood Turkey is among the 41 countries taking part in these exercises which runs from May 6 until May 30. [72]

Turkey will also be among the 18 countries taking part in the U.S.-led ‘Eager Lion 2013’ exercise due to be held in Jordan in June. [73]

Recently, particularly in the run up to Prime Minister Erdogan’s visit to the United States, there has been an increase in flights along Turkey’s border with Syria to detect Syria’s air defence systems, collect military intelligence and transmit intelligence to armed groups supported by Turkey’s government. [74]

Furthermore, according to the Government’s own figures, in 2012 Turkey has spent over 694 million Turkish Liras (over 386 million U.S. dollars) from its discretionary operations fund. [75] This fund is financing Turkey’s covert war on Syria.

It is worth bearing in mind that NATO’s Incirlik Airbase is notorious for the role it played during the wars against Iraq (1991), Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011) and for hosting the largest nuclear weapons of mass destruction arsenal outside the U.S. territory. [76]

When the U.S. and its allies launched the covert war on Syria in 2011, they were expecting that either Syria’s political establishment would collapse within a short duration or they would find a way to ignite an open war. As Syria’s leaders and people proved to be exceptionally resilient, increasingly more brutal means have been deployed to tear the country apart. Being at the forefront of this covert war in every respect, Turkey has been thoroughly complicit in monumental war crimes committed against the neighbouring people of Syria.

Having very skilfully manipulated the world public opinion with the help, among other measures, of a gigantic public relations apparatus, for more than ten years; Mr Erdogan’s government, like its main allies, is currently experiencing a deep crisis of legitimacy both at home and abroad. Instead of boosting Mr Erdogan’s standing, the false-flag bombing attacks in Reyhanli have actually unleashed a nationwide popular reaction against his total subservience to Western imperialism.


May 31st, 2013, 3:30 pm


Sami said:

“Sure Sandro – like you wouldn’t make that up”

Why because you are pathological liar that can’t help yourself but make up things like this tidbit:

Make that Israeli pilots – as in more than one – captured near the Archery Club in Damascus.

So any news regarding the defeated IAF and captured pilots? Or did you lie at that instance as you do in most of your posts?

May 31st, 2013, 3:30 pm


revenire said:

The great democrat Erdogan is now using gas on his own people. Turks are demonstrating against Erdogan’s murderous foreign policy and being shot at by police.

May 31st, 2013, 3:37 pm


ann said:

Syria Today 30-5-2013 Syrians out at night in Support of President Bashar Al Assad

Published on May 31, 2013

May 31st, 2013, 3:38 pm


Sami said:

Qusair is looking to be a far harder task to take as the Assadists and Hizballah thought. 105 HA fighters perished, a few of them by a misguided SCUD shot by the Assadists Militia…

In addition, Hezbollah has problems with their allies: The Syrian army was no good, a high-ranking officer Hezbollah in Lebanon complained. SPIEGEL ONLINE, he confirmed that a misguided missile attack Syrian troops have taken a Hezbollah unit. Several Lebanese were killed. Hezbollah men were then taken over the command in Kusair angry.

May 31st, 2013, 3:40 pm


Sami said:

Is the Qatari/MB about to be eclipsed by the moderates backed by the Saudi’s, and who would’ve ever thought that moderates and Saudi can ever be used in the same sentence and not be an oxymoron?

“Saudi Arabia is now formally in charge of the Syria issue,” said a senior rebel military commander in one of northern Syria’s border provinces where Qatar has until now been the main supplier of arms to those fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

The outcome, many Syrian opposition leaders hope, could strengthen them in both negotiations and on the battlefield – while hampering some of the anti-Western Islamist hardliners in their ranks whom they say Qatar has been helping with weaponry.

Anger at a failure by one such Qatari-backed Islamist unit in a battle in April that gave Syrian government forces control of a key highway helped galvanize the Saudis, sources said, while Qatari and Islamist efforts to control the opposition political body backfired by angering Riyadh and Western powers.
The northern rebel commander said Saudi leaders would no longer let Qatar take the lead but would themselves take over the dominant role in channeling support into Syria.

“The Saudis met leaders of the Free Syrian Army, including officers from the Military Council in Jordan and Turkey, and have agreed that they will be supporting the rebels,” he said after attending one of those meetings himself.
Prince Salman bin Sultan, a senior Saudi security official, was now running relations with the Syrian rebels, backed by his elder brother, intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Qatar also gave ground in the political field, accepting finally, late on Thursday, that the National Coalition should add a non-Islamist bloc backed by Saudi Arabia.
“In the end Qatar did not want a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and accepted the expansion,” said a source close to the liberals who were allowed to join a body which the United States and European Union want to become a transitional government.

May 31st, 2013, 3:48 pm


zoo said:

The “infiltrated” Qatar militia is now faced with the Syrian army and the Hezbollah.
Get ready for hysterical cries from Tina Jassem al Thani calling it a ‘massacre’ as his paid fighters will probably get killed very soon.

Assad forces advance; West, Russia exchange barbs ahead of talks,0,7387083.story

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tightened their siege of rebels in a strategic town on Friday, in a counter-offensive that is shifting the balance of the Syrian war ahead of a peace conference next month.

Rebels said they had managed to infiltrate new fighters into the town of Qusair on the Lebanese frontier, where they are encircled by Assad’s army and his allies in Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia who have openly joined the war on his behalf.

Government and Hezbollah forces continued their advance, taking control of the village of Arjun 4 miles (six km) to the northwest of Qusair.

Rebels have lost more than two-thirds of Qusair and say they are now hunkered down in the town centre, lightly armed. Seizing the town would give Assad control of territory between Damascus and the coast, heartland of his fellow Alawites.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition monitoring group based in Britain, said hundreds of rebel reinforcements had managed on Friday to reach Qusair from the north to help defend it.

“It is too soon to tell if they can make a difference. We will have to watch today and see if they can help the fighters create a turning point,” said the Observatory’s head Rami Abdelrahman.

Fighting also raged in Ghouta on Damascus’s eastern edge as government forces pressed on with an assault begun several weeks ago. They have pushed rebels from near Damascus International airport and closed off a main conduit for arms from Jordan.

SANA, the Syrian national news agency, said government forces had destroyed a 200 meter-long, 10 meter-deep tunnel used by fighters to link Harasta, a Damascus suburb, to the Damascus-Homs highway, Syria’s main north-south road.

Activists said heavy clashes were also taking place in Deraa, cradle of the revolt against Assad, which began in 2011 as part of the wave of unrest sweeping the Arab world and has evolved into by far the bloodiest of those uprisings.

May 31st, 2013, 3:48 pm


ann said:

McCain [BOZO THE SENILE CLOWN] Poses With Alleged Terrorists — Proof That Involvement in Syria Is a Bad Idea – 5/30/2013

The photo of John McCain posing with terrorists and kidnappers in Syria encapsulates, perfectly, everything wrong with the position of McCain and others that the U.S. ought to insert itself into Syria’s civil war.

To recap the past few days, talk of arming the Syrian rebels is heating up. In the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs cast a 15-3 vote to authorize arming and training the rebels — Senators Tom Udall, Chris Murphy, and Rand Paul being the three courageous dissenters.

What’s worse, the Sunni side of the war, which McCain wants to support with arms, is not just affiliated with these kidnappers and terrorists, but also al Qaeda-affiliated groups, and Iraqi Sunni insurgents — the very same Iraqi Sunnis who killed American troops, and the Iraqi Army. That would be the Iraqi Army that McCain thought we should spend billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to establish. In fact, Syrian rebels affiliated with al Qaeda are responsible for the killing of nine Iraqi troops. We have every reason to expect that they will continue to target the Iraqi Army when they can.


May 31st, 2013, 3:50 pm




It seems you make yourself ignorant about reality. But I guess you know better than anyone that many alawites believe in the divine role of President Assad, first Hafez was worshipped and now Bashar.

May 31st, 2013, 3:54 pm


zoo said:

Carla del Ponte was right: the terrorists are the ones using chemical weapons, not the government. Unsurprisingly, this Turkish report failed to make international headlines

Turkish Police find Chemical Weapons in the Possession of Al Nosra Terrorists Heading for Syria

by Gearóid Ó Colmáin / May 31st, 2013
According to a report in Turkey’s state media agency Zaman, agents from the Turkish General Directorate of Security (Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü) seized 2 kg of sarin gas in the city of Adana in the early hours of yesterday morning. The chemical weapons were in the possession of Al Nosra terrorists believed to have been heading for Syria.

Sarin gas is a colourless, odorless substance which is extremely difficult to detect. The gas is banned under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

The EGM identified 12 members of the AL Nosra terrorist cell and also seized fire arms and digital equipment.

This is the second major official confirmation of the use of chemical weapons by Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria after UN inspector Carla Del Ponte’s recent statement confirming the use of chemical weapons by the Western-backed terrorists in Syria.

Unsurprisingly, this Turkish report failed to make international headlines. From the beginning of the Syrian war, the international press agencies have attempted to portray the Al-Qaeda invasion of Syria as a ‘popular revolution’, which started out as a ‘peaceful protest’ against a ‘brutal regime’. The fact that there was never a modicum of evidence to support such claims has not hindered the avalanche of vituperation and demonization of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Republic.

May 31st, 2013, 3:56 pm


revenire said:

Sandro many people believe Elvis Presley is still alive. Alawites DO NOT believe Assad is God.

That is a racist insult.

May 31st, 2013, 3:57 pm


revenire said:

Sami provides an example of the length Syria-haters will go to smear the Syrian Arab Army. Most of the fighting is being done by the SAA not Hezbollah and no Hezbollah fighters, much less commanders, talk to Der Spiegel.

It is both laughable and pathetic at the same time.

May 31st, 2013, 4:01 pm


revenire said:

John “Bozo the Senile Clown” McCain is the laughingstock of the Western press for getting taken in by kidnappers. It makes me wonder if any of the terrorists he posed with are also cannibals.

May 31st, 2013, 4:03 pm


zoo said:

More successes for the heroic Syrian army. Damascus is going back to normal

Balance of power in Syria shifting Assad’s way
ZEINA KARAM, Associated Press

The army has also successfully pushed back rebels in some areas around the capital. According to residents, that’s led to a decline in mortar shells on the city center that only few weeks ago were a daily occurrence.

“The army has broken the atmosphere of fear and terror inside Damascus that the rebels created by firing mortars,” said Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general who heads the Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research in Beirut.

Jaber said troops have cleared up to 80 percent of the areas around Damascus in the past two months.

Equally important, he said, is the successful offensive the army is conducting in the area south of Damascus that links the capital with the Jordanian border.

Despite a surge in rebel advances near Jordan earlier this year, the government now appears to control much of Daraa province, an opposition stronghold south of Damascus and the birthplace of the uprising.

Experts say the defection rate from Assad’s military has sharply dwindled by now, and he has more than made up for it with the help of paramilitary forces and Shiite fighters from Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

May 31st, 2013, 4:08 pm


revenire said:

Hisham Jaber is a smart man. I always enjoy his opinions.

Thank you.

May 31st, 2013, 4:12 pm


Sami said:

“It is both laughable and pathetic at the same time.”

What is laughable and pathetic is the one making up lies trying to pass them as facts and when provided with facts that shows his lies he claims them untrue.

Still waiting on an answer for the whole IAF defeated and captured pilots?

Any updates liar?

May 31st, 2013, 4:12 pm


ann said:

He Came To Syria To kill Syrians and Was Killed Instead – AL-HAM-DOOLI-LA!

From Acton to Aleppo: how one British Muslim’s quest to Syria ended in death – 31 May 2013

After five months fighting in Syria with the rebels, Ali Almanasfi’s luck finally ran out. On Wednesday the 22-year-old Briton took a wrong turn and drove into a government checkpoint near the city of Idlib. Syrian soldiers immediately opened fire. They killed Almanasfi together with his two fellow passengers: an American woman and Islamic convert, Nicole Mansfield from Michigan, and a third, so far unidentified man, possibly Canadian.

For the Syrian authorities this was happy proof that Syria’s two-year war was no longer a domestic conflict but was attracting European and North American volunteers, much as the Spanish civil war did in the 1930s.

In December, according to Hussein, Almanasfi said that British “spooks” approached him in the street, addressing him politely as “Mr Ali”.

“Ali said they seemed to know what he was about. They asked him a few questions. It was a probe. They wanted to know if he was planning to go over.” The verb “go over” had only one meaning among radical British Muslims – to join the rebels in Syria. It’s uncertain how much the authorities may have known of his intentions.


May 31st, 2013, 4:16 pm


zoo said:


Bashar al Assad has turned out to be a hero and for good reasons. He has stood for 2 years in front of an international coalition with unlimited money, media means and weapons whose aim was to bring Syria to the stage of slavery under the pretext of bringing ‘democracy’

No wonder many people worship Bashar Al Assad not as God but as an outstanding political and military leader.

May 31st, 2013, 4:16 pm


Citizen said:

201. UZAIR8
I congratulate you! Your Yakubi on the Syria comment twice received great publicity! it can be said that after such advertisementhe would soon become president of Syria! 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 4:22 pm


zoo said:


Majedalkhaldoon has either been banned or he is in a mental institute recovering from a nervous breakdown in company of Visitor.

They both suffer for a acute disease: the Liaromania
They call liars everybody they disagree with.

It appears to be transmissible.

May 31st, 2013, 4:23 pm


zoo said:

Nicole Mansfield who converted to Islam and was killed in Edlib will be buried christian in the USA

The strange and painful history of Nicole Mansfield, Flint woman killed in Syria

They hope so, and say they’re will be a funeral. A Christian funeral, Carole Mansfield said, no Hijab.e

May 31st, 2013, 4:31 pm


Tara said:

People worship satan too in the satanic cult.

Bashar al Assad is a murderer. And those who support him support murders for either selfish or for primitive fear reasons. Deceive yourself all you want. Self deception will not change history and if we stay alive 10 years from now, we will be reading this in history book.

May 31st, 2013, 4:32 pm


dawoud said:

Pro-Dictator Dude:

REV: In the video I posted the Syrian soldiers are forcing their prisoner to say: لا اله الا بشار الاسد, لا اله الا ماهر الاسد Anybody on this blog can click on my comment # 190. You are accusing me of lying. Once they hear it, they will realize that you are a slick propagandist accusing me of not telling the truth. Shame on you! Sorry, if you don’t understand Arabic!

TARA and Sami: Please click on the video in my comment # 190 and let me know if I am telling the truth! Please let me know who is not telling the truth. If I am the one, I will start posting pro-dictator comments, otherwise he should post pro-Revolution comments 🙂

Free Syria from Bashar and the invading terrorists from Lebanon’s Hizbass!

مجزرة للنظام بحلب ومعارك ضارية بالقصير


May 31st, 2013, 4:41 pm


Uzair8 said:

221. Citizen


What was funnier was how your goodself was bemused at why Sh. Yaqoubi, whom you understood to be Pakistani, was being given so much prominence on SC.

Actually this May there have been 3 SC Posts related to the Shaykh.

May 31st, 2013, 4:41 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan the ‘gazman’ is brutally “gazing” his own people for the fourth day in the touristic center of Istanbul. The USA is threatening with a ‘travel warning’ that may affect the summer touristic season.

US and EU concerned by violent police raid against Taksim Gezi Park protesters

The United States State Department and the European Union have expressed their concerns May 31 following the brutal police raids on demonstrators protesting against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park at the heart of Istanbul

Psaki also noted that the crackdown of the police forces armed with tear gas and water cannons happened in one of the most touristic places where many of the biggest hotels are located, indirectly warning that a travel advisory for U.S. citizens could be issued. “We will follow regularly the latest developments,” he said.

May 31st, 2013, 4:43 pm


Tara said:

In my opinion, Giving a dead adult who voluntarily choose a different religion other than Christianity, a Christian funeral is deeply disrespectful to that person. The state should be offended and the prosecutor should in my opinion consider bringing the case to the court of law.

I think that constitutes violation of her rights.

May 31st, 2013, 4:44 pm


ann said:

227. zoo said:

A travel warning will do wonders to the Ottoman’s Summer tourists season 😉

May 31st, 2013, 4:48 pm


revenire said:

Bashar hasn’t murdered anyone. He is the protector of all Syria. If someone wanted to worship him as God, although to repeat these lies is filthy, I would understand. He has saved 100s of 1000s from certain death by defeating NATO and the Zionists.

May 31st, 2013, 4:51 pm


Uzair8 said:

I saw the following Daily Beast headline (link) somewhere earlier. As Ann keeps repeating the claim I decided to fetch the story:

Who Was That With McCain? Not Syrian Kidnappers, NGOs Say

by Josh Rogin

May 31, 2013

Sen. John McCain did not meet with any Syrian kidnappers, during his secret visit to Syria this week, despite what you might have read.


May 31st, 2013, 4:52 pm


revenire said:

Dave stop with the nonsense. No one except terrorist supporters would ever believe your ridiculous videos. You would tell any lie to hurt Syria.

You should pray for your soul before it is too late.

May 31st, 2013, 4:54 pm


Tara said:

Dear Dawoud,

Opinions carry the weight of those who behold them. You do not need validation from neither Sami not myself in regard to an opinion from a Reve. You should deny him the excitement he gets from the reaction he tries to illicit.

What doesn’t interest me doesn’t bother me at all.

May 31st, 2013, 4:55 pm


revenire said:

It would not surprise me to see Erdogan unleash sarin gas on his own people. Turks hate this Ottoman buffoon. He is a perversion in the eyes of 99% of all Sunnis according to Dave’s poll.

May 31st, 2013, 4:56 pm


Tara said:

Asma would not reveal to her cousins any info in regard to whether Batta wet his bed after the weapon sanction was removed.

I did ask.

I understand the need for discreetness but I still tried.

May 31st, 2013, 5:02 pm


ann said:

אתה חוזר על אותה ההודעה

173. Juergen said:

Who Was That With McCain? Not Syrian Kidnappers, NGOs Say

Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

231. Uzair8 said:

I saw the following Daily Beast headline (link) somewhere earlier. As Ann keeps repeating the claim I decided to fetch the story:

Who Was That With McCain? Not Syrian Kidnappers, NGOs Say

May 31st, 2013, 5:09 pm


dawoud said:

233. TARA

Thanks Tara,

Lying about what a video says when it actually says it is NOT unexpected from a pro-dictator propagandist!

The Syrian murderous dictator says that he Would receive the Russian weapons (S-300), which Russia now says they wouldn’t be delivered until 2014. I think the more accurate date would be 2017, when Bashar and Hasan Nasr-Satan حسن نصر الشيطانfacing terrorism charges and the president of Syria is Ali Farzat علي فرزات, the ex-cartoonist 🙂 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 5:20 pm


dawoud said:

Thanks “Daily Beast”

“Everything is based off a report from a pro-Hezbollah outlet and Hezbollah will do anything to discredit us, just like the regime,” Moustafa said.

الجميع يعرفوا ان حزب الشيطان اللبناني وزعيمه “دجال المقاومه” حسن نصر الشيطان كذابين وارهابيين

May 31st, 2013, 5:25 pm


dawoud said:

حسن نصر الشيطان لا يعرف ان ينطق الاحرف العربيه




May 31st, 2013, 5:32 pm


majoos said:


didn´t know they teach Arabic in Hebrew school?

May 31st, 2013, 5:34 pm


Uzair8 said:


תודה Ok אן. אני לא זוכר איפה ראיתי את זה.

May 31st, 2013, 5:38 pm


revenire said:

Hmm. US hack? That about says it all doesn’t it?

“Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani
US hack @joshrogin’s naive attempt to spin McCain out of his #Syria debacle by…invoking “Hezbollah” & citing “NGO”

May 31st, 2013, 5:40 pm


majoos said:

“…while Erdoğan is a member of the much older, and highly institutionalized, Naqshbandi Sufi order….”

“The Sufis are renowned worldwide for building structure, domes, courtyards and mosques over graves. They gather there and carry out acts of worship in and around these structures, just as the Prophet mentioned in the above narration. These are acts of polytheism rejected by Islaam, condemned by Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam).”

May 31st, 2013, 5:45 pm


Ameera said:

مسيناكم مسونا على البوابة لاؤنا

May 31st, 2013, 5:45 pm


dawoud said:

معارضون يؤكدون “ارتفاع المعنويات” بالقصير بجمعة “دجال المقاومة”

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) — قال معارضون سوريون إن قوات الجيش الحر في مدينة القصير القريبة من حمص صدوا لليوم السادس محاولات التقدم التي يقوم بها الجيش السوري وقوات من حزب الله، في جمعة خرجت فيها المظاهرات تنديدا بأمين عام الحزب، حسن نصرالله، بينما قالت المصادر الحكومية السورية إن الجيش يواصل التقدم داخل المدينة التي تشهد معارك ضارية منذ أيام.

May 31st, 2013, 5:48 pm


majoos said:

Wouldn t “ارتفاع المعنويات” rather fit to describe Al-Nusra?

May 31st, 2013, 5:53 pm


revenire said:

Anti-government demonstrations are spreading all over Turkey now. There is rioting. I’ve heard of several dead.

May 31st, 2013, 5:54 pm


dawoud said:

A hero, the most courageous on the face of earth right NOW: الناشط هادي العبدالله, Media activist in al-Qasir, Hadi al-Abdallah. Salute brother, and keep reporting from Hizbass/dictator-besieged al-Qasir!

May 31st, 2013, 5:55 pm


revenire said:

Dave links to US hack site CNN where they lied about “Syrian Danny” Dayem. There are nothing but liars at CNN.

How fitting Dave likes them. How lawful.

May 31st, 2013, 5:56 pm


dawoud said:

فيصل القاسم ‏@kasimf 3h
يا سبحان الله:الجماعات السنية التي تقاتل في سوريا إرهابية،أما الجماعات الإيرانية والعراقية واللبنانية الشيعية التي تذبح السوريين حملان وديعة
Retweeted by هادي العبد الله

May 31st, 2013, 5:57 pm


Juergen said:

Sheikh al Qaradawi

“In the beginning, I defended the Hisbollah.Now I have realized that they are an devils party, slaughtering the syrian people.”

May 31st, 2013, 5:57 pm


dawoud said:

a media activist’s picture from al-Qasir with the hospital doctors. I guess Hizbass and the dictator haven’t conquered the town! Good

May 31st, 2013, 6:00 pm


zoo said:

Turks calls Erdogan “Chemical Erdogan”.
I guess after the Syria foreign policy debacle, the Reyhanli bombs, that is too much for him to bear, he may have a tantrum

Solidarity protests with Gezi Park held across Turkey

Most notably, Ankara locals gathered in Kuğulu Park, their own little patch of green in the center of the city. Another group of 2,000 people that gathered at the Abdi İpekçi Park were quelled with tear gas as they wanted to walk in front of the Prime Minister’s Office. The group finally made a nearly 10-kilometer-long march to join the protest in the Kuğulu Park area.

In İzmir more than 10,000 people held a protest near the Marina. Demonstrators held banners reading “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” and “Resist Taksim, İzmir is with you” and “Chemical Erdoğan.” Protesters in İzmir were also raided by the police armed with tear gas and water cannons.

Solidarity demonstrations were also organized in Bursa, Eskişehir, Adana, İzmt, Konya, Samsun, Mersin and many other Turkish towns.

May 31st, 2013, 6:11 pm


revenire said:

Alaa Ebrahim: “This Just In – Assad urges Turkey’s PM to listen to the ‘legitimate demands’ of protesters.”

May 31st, 2013, 6:12 pm


zoo said:


You quote al Qaradawi? You must be really desperate.

May 31st, 2013, 6:14 pm


revenire said:

Dave you should read the terrorist Hadi’s desperate tweets or can’t you? Use Google translate to help. 🙂

Qusayr is a done deal. It is Syrian.

Our Hezbollah heroes are helping cleanse the town of the foreign cancer inside.

May 31st, 2013, 6:14 pm


revenire said:

Juergen is that funny little man really Yoda?

May 31st, 2013, 6:19 pm


Tara said:

Israeli media reports that premier Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian president Vladimir Putin that Israel would destroy any S-300 anti-aircraft missiles delivered to Syria by the Russians.

To which Putin reportedly replied, why don’t you buy them then?

The exchange reportedly came during a meeting between the leaders earlier this month in the Black Sea city of Sochi. The account comes from the Times of Israel reporting on a story in Maariv, the Hebrew-language daily:

Putin reportedly guaranteed that Assad wouldn’t transfer the S-300s to a third party, such as Hezbollah, and that should Israel strike such an arms convoy, Russia didn’t believe Syria would retaliate. Despite this, Netanyahu reportedly made clear that Israel was concerned over the deal in and of itself.

The Russian president was said to respond to Netanyahu saying that the deal had to go through, but hinted that Israel could prevent the transfer if it, or another entity, bought the missiles instead or “offered an alternative,” according to Maariv.

The Guardian

May 31st, 2013, 6:20 pm


zoo said:

#256 Reve

I like that… Erdogan defending a unborn mall with tear gaz.

In my view it is symptom of the growing discontent by the young generations of the authoritarian and creeping Islamism rules that Erdogan is imposing on the Turkish secular society.

It is also a warning that if he does back off, he won’t have the Constitution changed and he may not even be elected president. His political career will be over.

May 31st, 2013, 6:22 pm


revenire said:

Tara did one of Asma’s cousins tell you that whopper?


May 31st, 2013, 6:24 pm


Tara said:

All Turks and all Arabs love Erdogan.

The boy president should watch and weep learning how a real man handles protest.

I would not have a problem if Erdogan becomes the interim president of Syria.

May 31st, 2013, 6:29 pm


Uzair8 said:

I bet billions intended for the nuclear programme are being diverted to syria to save the regime. In effect being flushed down the drain.

This is hugely damaging for Iran.

May 31st, 2013, 6:30 pm


revenire said:

Uzair doubtful. We’ve heard over and over how this is a drain on Iran etc. but that is ridiculous.

May 31st, 2013, 6:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

Btw, I’m glad North Korea’s gone quite and not carried out it’s ‘sacred war’ threats. Assad could have benefited from the resulting global distraction.

May 31st, 2013, 6:35 pm


majoos said:

@dawoud 253

did you mean this “doctor”
isn t doctoring an inovation salafists detest?
at the end neither the prophet nor the salafs studied medicine.

“It started with the Free Syrian Army and the Assad regime and after two years they are tired of fighting but Hezbollah has definitely changed the game. They have come in and they have definitely strengthened the Assad army in Qusair and particularly in the suburbs.”

Dr Muhammad said he would remain in Qusair, despite the heavy violence. “We will fight until the end, even if that means we will die here.”

May 31st, 2013, 6:35 pm


revenire said:

Uzair what you’re not factoring in is this: if Syria falls Iran knows it is next, along with Hezbollah. They will fight with everything they have not to let that happen.

May 31st, 2013, 6:36 pm


revenire said:

And, of course, that doctor is a liar. The army has allowed any civilians that want to leave to leave Qusayr.

Nonetheless I expect we will hear the cries of the terrorists complaining of a new massacre.

May 31st, 2013, 6:38 pm


Tara said:


Hi. Long time?

I was thinking about you last night eatingزيت وزعتر.

May 31st, 2013, 6:41 pm


majoos said:

ومكروا ومكر الله والله خير الماكرين

May 31st, 2013, 6:43 pm


Uzair8 said:

268. Revenire

‘They will fight with everything they have not to let that happen.’

That’s some admittance!

You’re confirming massive Iranian and Hezbo involvement?

May 31st, 2013, 6:43 pm


majoos said:


“I would not have a problem if Erdogan becomes the interim president of Syria.”

casue you detest and despise the Arabs and don t hold them capable of running their lands. that s why we don t hear any condemnations of attrocities against Arabs by Israelis, Americans and Brits.

A night will come very soon when you supper plate will be empty and that time you will about MAJOOS

May 31st, 2013, 6:49 pm


majoos said:

Is this the reason Obama is letting down the Salafis?

“According to the tradition, Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Talib (the prophet’s cousin and son-in-law) prophesied that at the End of Times and just before the return of the Mahdi, the Ultimate Saviour, a “tall black man will assume the reins of government in the West.” Commanding “the strongest army on earth,” the new ruler in the West will carry “a clear sign” from the third imam, whose name was Hussein Ibn Ali. The tradition concludes: “Shiites should have no doubt that he is with us.”

In a curious coincidence Obama’s first and second names–Barack Hussein–mean “the blessing of Hussein” in Arabic and Persian. His family name, Obama, written in the Persian alphabet, reads O Ba Ma, which means “he is with us,” the magic formula in Majlisi’s tradition.”

May 31st, 2013, 6:53 pm



Good job on your site. Will try to help, but currently I am very busy.

121. SAMI said:
Thank you! When the righteous people are remembered, peace enters the heart.
“ذكر الصالحين ومراجعة سيرهم وتشنيف الأذان بسماع أخبارهم ، مما يثلج صدور المؤمنين وينزل السكينة في قلوب الموحدين ، فهم القدوة والمثل ، والنموذج الأسمى في تطبيق أخلاق الإسلام .”
Will try to visit Syria Comment more often now that Matt is in charge, but I am extremely busy these days, so will let you all (the pro peace and anti tyranny and extremism) carry the banner 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 7:04 pm


dawoud said:

260. TARA

The interesting thing about this exchange between Putin Netanyahu is that the former (Putin) did NOT dispute that Israeli (which uses American technology paid for by American taxpayers) could destroy them. It shows that Russia is worried that it would lose its deterrence/marketing potential if America’s technology could easily destroy the S-300. No surprise! So, the text from Lebanon’s Shia terrorist party’s, al-Manar propaganda, about al-Assad confirming receipt of these weapons was jut FALSE PROPAGANDA, as usual 🙂

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 31st, 2013, 7:19 pm


Tara said:


Yes. It was all a set up. Al Manar texted a statement that says Batta has already received the missiles to test the water and a day later they published the interview duped in English where there was no confirmation of such a shipment. Childish and stupid!

HA in the latest vote is viewed by 73% of the Arabs to be the ENEMY!

May 31st, 2013, 7:31 pm


revenire said:

Uzair Hezbollah is not involved like the Western press claims. It is much smaller than the reports of 4-6000 fighters. Iran doesn’t have any troops in Syria. They have advisers but no fighting troops.

The reason some claim massive Hezbollah and Iranian involvement is 1.) to try to get Western intervention 2.) to try to lower Syrian morale by making the claim the SAA isn’t strong enough and needs help.

May 31st, 2013, 7:56 pm


revenire said:

Dave you really have to be gullible to believe that Netanyahu threatened Putin. That’s ridiculous. I don’t believe you’re that stupid Dave. I think you just repeat nonsense for some strange reason.

I am praying for you brother.

May 31st, 2013, 7:58 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Worshipping Failure

Bashar hasn’t murdered anyone. He is the protector of all Syria.


As “protector of Syria”, the boy wonder has failed in every way imaginable.

May 31st, 2013, 8:23 pm


dawoud said:

277. TARA

Sister Tara:

I am surprised it’s only 73%. I think it’s close to 90% of Arabs HATE this Shia Lebanese terrorist party, which is now invading Syria on behalf of the non-Arab Persian Iran. Speaking of a foreign invasion of Syria, this is it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

May 31st, 2013, 8:25 pm


dawoud said:


Although you and I disagree on the Palestinian question 100% of the times, I still find you reasonable for me to engage in an intellectual debate with you. On the other hand, I find nothing reasonable about the pro-dictator REV, and I ignore him and don’t read his comments 99% of the time. Don’t waste your time engaging in any kind of debate with him. If Bashar and Hasan Nasrass say that the sun rises from the West NOT the east, tomorrow he will propagate this on SC 🙂

May 31st, 2013, 8:30 pm


revenire said:

Dave I wonder if you and Akbar also believed CNN when they said Iraq had WMD?

May 31st, 2013, 8:35 pm


Sami said:


Why do you keep dodging my questions? Assad caught your tongue?

Please explain to me how a defeated airforce was able to enter and bomb such sensitive areas as the Chicken Coop (aka Republican Guard Barracks)?

And what happened to the pilots that were captured? Was is it 3ar3our flying one of the Jets? Maybe your pal Ziad at SyrianPerspective or HNN can verify this for us?

May 31st, 2013, 8:51 pm


Ilya said:

Here is real reason behind Syrian uprising
Doha protocol
quite an interesting article about clues what other countries want from syria

May 31st, 2013, 9:04 pm


Ziad said:

Yesterday I read EXPAT’s praise of Sheikh Yacouby SYR.EXPAT #93. He said:

“…he is one the most important and highly influential figures in the Syrian revolution. As a scholar, I won’t be exaggerating if I said that he is one of the top three scholars of Syria or top 10 of the Muslim world.”

“…Yaqoubi is that in addition of being a top scholar, he is also well versed in politics.”

I admit, I did not know any thing about Sheikh Muhammad-al-Yaqoubi, so I downloaded Matt’s very long and slow moving interview and turned it into Microsoft Word document, so I can highlight and add my remarks onto it. I read it in full to acquaint myself with this sheikh and his ideas and assess his positions and politics. I wanted to see if I could be convinced by his analytical prowess and the depth and width of his arguments to turn into one of his supporters. I did not need to read through the 59 page interview to find my answer. It came in the first three lines of his response to Matt’s opening statement and the first question.

MB: Sheikh Muhammad, it’s a pleasure to meet with you today.
MY: You know, we still need America’s help to make it out of this conflict.
MB: … I signed a statement in the presence of the Bulgarian prime minister with some top politicians asking for the implementation of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter for military intervention by the Security Council.

Any person who invites ex colonial powers to invade his country to eliminate a president is traitor at worst or politically naïve person at best.

The rest of the interview is replete with statements indicating the Sheikh Muhammad al Yacoubi is totally ignorant in politics.

Here is a selection of his statements to give you an idea of his way of thinking and might save you the effort to read the whole interview:

“I want Syrian people to be prepared for an international intervention spearheaded by NATO, or the UN Security Council, or by the U.S., because I believe that’s more realistic.”

“There is not a single Muslim country at war with the U.S. now (or the UK, or France, or any of these “Western targets” of al-Qaida).” What are US and NATO armies doing in Afghanistan? Mali? What are the drones doing in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen?

“There are Americans in Jordan now training Syrian rebels, and we’ve been working for this. I support this. I’m in contact with almost 70 military groups who consist of Sufis.”

“…From Saudi Arabia. Every fighter had been receiving a salary of $200. At one point approximately six months ago, money stopped.”

“Hezb ut-Tahrir came in, offering 20 million Syrian pounds, which at the time was about $100 for each fighter as salary, but requiring them to work under their umbrella, with the stated goal being the establishment of a khilafa¸”

“To be honest, if we announced now a “Sufi Military Front,” we could easily get 50,000 fighters and a few hundred military groups together. So what are you waiting for? Funds. They can’t join if we don’t pay them.”

“I believe we still have a huge margin of the Syrian people who are afraid to rebel against the regime, just because they are afraid of the future.”

“Sufis in Syria have no love for Shi’ism. Probably one quarter of the Syrian population is Sufi.”

“When he first became president, he didn’t have any power. He didn’t become president because of any power of his own;”

“. But the main issue is that ideologically, he is justifying for himself everything he is doing. He thinks that he is really defending the country against terrorists.”

“Ahmed Badr al-Din Hassoun is considered to be pro-West, pro-America. He was welcomed by the European parliament. He delivered a historical speech there, though I criticized him for some statements he made.”

“He denied on Al-Jazeera, live in an interview, that scud missiles hit Aleppo University.” Did scuds ever hit Aleppo U?
“In one session, he sat with him privately for seven hours; no one else was there.” Refers to Bouti and Hafez Assad

“But people should not be killed for their opinions. He died in a mosque, while giving a lecture, Friday night: he’s a martyr, from that point of view.” Refers to Bouti

“Now for me, mixing theology with politics is something very dangerous. When we say they are non-Muslims.. I was asked this question and some people misunderstood me.”

“When we say they are non-Muslims, it doesn’t mean they have to be killed. If we go to the books of politics: kitaab al-siyaasa, or kitaab al-jihaad, or kitaab al-whatever, or the books of fiqh, you’ll see that the muftis agreed on them living, agreed on giving them full rights. These were Ottoman muftis after Ibn Taymiyya; the Ottomans didn’t exterminate them. Now they had restrictions on them, which they [the ‘Alawis] considered oppression. Because they considered their religion falsehood, they were not allowed to proselytize for it.”

“Their numbers are very small and everyone opposes them, all scholars including Ikhwaan. Here is the major difference between the Hanafi school and the opinion of Ibn Taymiyya” refers to takfiris.”

“Although ‘Alawis are considered kufaar in the Hanafi school, as a sect we accept their legal presence within the Muslim community.”

“Regarding the future of minorities, we need more representatives of their communities taking a stand against the regime now. The best guarantee for them is someone from that minority coming out in support of the uprising.” Very strange logic, minorities should support their killers.

“There is no way to kill a captive. Prisoners of war are to be protected”

“Oh, I have a number of stories also, of rebels accepting people’s surrender and then killing them afterwards.”

“I tell them, “As Muslim believers if you’re going to treat your enemy in the same vengeful way that they do, you’re no different from them.” As Muslims, we’re unique for our mercy, for our pardoning, for our love, the love we have toward others. In the midst of anger, it is very difficult to control one’s emotions.”

“In order to be popular, you need to be radical.”

The Syrian conflict has a geopolitical angle to it. We can discuss how significant this angle is, but we cannot deny its existence. This is that Israel/US/GCC are trying to break the resistance axis of Iran/Syria/Hizb. Remarkable that Israel/Zionism and this aspect of the conflict were never mentioned, not even once, during this long interview that must have lasted for many hours. To me this is a further proof of Sheikh Muhammad-al-Yacoubi is total ignorant in politics.

May 31st, 2013, 9:04 pm


Ilya said:

i Wonder if Matthew Barber and Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi,are somehow related if sheikh shaves his beard they look like brothers or father and son in this picture )

May 31st, 2013, 10:33 pm


mjabali said:

Syria Expat wrote a long speech defending al-Yaqubi, even equating him to al=Iman Ali Zain al=’Abidin the son of al-Hussein.

First of all: I do not believe that al-Ya’qubi is a descendant of the Prophet Mohammad’s family. This Ashraf thing is a joke to me. It is not scientific. It is a racket. There is no way on earth someone could claim with 100 percent certainty that he is from the family of the Prophet Mohammad. After all of these wars and the persecution there is no science to support anyone claim.

Saddam once claimed that he has the proof that he is from that group and related to the Prophet Mohammad!!!

Second: Do I care if he is relative of the prophet or not? Not really. Is he better than any other person? Not to me. His Actions and Fatwas matter to me more, because some, if he has any influence at all, may take it as a justification to cut someone’s head, arms and legs like al-Quran say, or take it easy on the prisoners. His actual influence on the ground in Syria seems to be very little, if it existed at all. ايام وكأنها كل مين عم بيغني على ليلاه

Third: The water of the city of Damascus was not because of al-Husseini or al-Ya’qubi. It was a group effort.

Let me repeat it for you: It was a group effort.

A number of merchants, and rich people plus some religious figures did try to establish a company in 1922. It was not one or two people.

The French let those guys have some influence and appointed them. The French let them play sometimes. The Ottomans did not. They cut heads and put people of the famous Khazuq.

Plus, the French are the ones who in 1921 came up with the plans and the know how for the water system of Damascus. Do you think those guys in Damascus could have done a thing without the help of the French. Do not flatter yourself. Plus, where are the effort of some of the Ottomans like Nazem, who in 1906 built his famous system, that was destroyed because of war and disease.

The French came and allowed the guys from Damascus to operate and own a company. In 1932 they started operating Sharikat Miyah Ayn al-Feeja, that was done with the help of the FRENCH.

If it was the Ottomans’ days, these guys, who are the product of the Ottomans themselves, would have never had a chance to own a public company like this.

Fifth: Damscus was small and ravaged by wars. The Ottomans made it really big in the 19th C. with all of those foreigners (Ottoman citizens) they brought. There were thousands that were brought and were given land. You need water for those, right?

The Ottomans tried to do few things. Where were al-Husseini and al-Ya’qubi then: giving sermons, performing marriage certificates, singing in the birthday of the prophet, or doing circumsicion…etc but not own a public company, or participate in political decision making?

Sixth: As for the knowledge of al-Ya’qubi of the Alawite’s affairs, what he said showed his lack of historical depth, and understanding of modern societies. Remember the Sufis were court clowns for the Ottomans, who let them flourish if they appeased them enough.

If al-Ya’qubi is considered one of the most effective and with influence amongst the Sunnis Scholars today: I say: these Scholars have a very limited understanding of what goes on around them for sure. They need lots to learn.

Seventh: عبارة لايشق له غبار is funny. al-Ya’qubi knows Quran and Hadith. He grew up in a privileged religious family that taught him religion but not history or literature, or modern linguistics? He knows a lot, there is no doubt, but in religion and not than many other fields as obvious from his logic. I grew up in Syria and know the limits of the education a man like him would get. Yes, he may know tons of Ahadith and Sufi chants, and and and ….but?

We live in an age that has criticism as number one and not the cult of personality. How many Syrian kids had the chance to meet Hafez al-Assad like him? To say that he he versed in politics is rally funny. He may be versed in Hadith or Tafsir, but not politics.

May 31st, 2013, 10:46 pm


dawoud said:


There is nothing wrong for being a Shia, and I respect Shias who are NOT extremists. Iran is now is ruled by Shia extremists, and their terrorist Lebanese puppet-Hasan Nasr-is reflecting their extremism. Ex-President Khatemi of Iran was an intellectual, not extremist. I respect him and his thoughtfulness. Unfortunately, Iran is now ruled by extremist killers, and their sectarian blood thirst is now on full display in Syria’s al-Qasir.

Thanks for confirming my belief that your support for the most brutal tyrant in modern Arab history is reflective of your sectarian affiliation. How else could you support a butcher?

May 31st, 2013, 10:59 pm


dawoud said:

290. ZIAD

Not even close, brother Ziad. Nobody died today in Istanbul, Turkey and the Turkish police used only tear gas and water. The demonstration was about whether a modern shopping mall should be built (nice! ). A similar situation in pre-March 2011 Syria would have resulted in 100 dead Syrians, 1000 arrested men, 4 tortured teenagers (3 of them dead with mutilated penises), and 5 female demonstrators gang-raped. Sick and Sad, but it’s the reality of al-Assad’s dictatorial Syria. Nice try though, brother Ziad!

P.S., I had a reply for you earlier about religion and when it becomes evil. I hope that you saw it. Thanks and good night!

May 31st, 2013, 11:28 pm


revenire said:

Of course Yaquobi is a traitor. If he enters Syria I hope he is arrested and tried.

I am surprised at Matt. If someone disagreed with Obama would Matt want that person to repeatedly call for – say Russia – to bomb the United States until it changes its legitimate government?

I think not.

I saw an interview of Yacoubi in front of some British “lords” (imagine begging the British to attack your former homeland) about a year ago. It disgusted me.

May 31st, 2013, 11:39 pm


revenire said:

Dave I hope you will start telling the truth about Syria. I don’t know, and don’t care, where you dug up the lie about Assad and the S-300s but this is from the SANA transcript (not the Qatari propaganda you often quote):

Al-Manar: Mr. President, after the airstrike that targeted Damascus, there was talk about the S300 missiles and that this missile system will tip the balance. Based on this argument, Netanyahu visited Moscow. My direct question is this: are these missiles on their way to Damascus? Is Syria now in possession of these missiles?

President Assad: It is not our policy to talk publically about military issues in terms of what we possess or what we receive. As far as Russia is concerned, the contracts have nothing to do with the crisis. We have negotiated with them on different kinds of weapons for years, and Russia is committed to honoring these contracts. What I want to say is that neither Netanyahu’s visit nor the crisis and the conditions surrounding it have influenced arms imports. All of our agreements with Russia will be implemented, some have been implemented during the past period and, together with the Russians, we will continue to implement these contracts in the future.

Dave maybe you can point out where Assad claims the S-300s are already in Syria? I don’t see it and that is the OFFICIAL transcript.

Dave you know what Goebbels said about lies don’t you?

Thank you.

May 31st, 2013, 11:51 pm


revenire said:

This just in from Turkey (not from CNN or the corrupt Qatari channel):

Mert Günak: Attention! Turkish democracy needs you!

After a series of peaceful demonstrations for preserving a recreational area in Istanbul city center which is planned to demolished for the construction of a shopping mall, Turkish police attacked the protesters violently with tear gas and water cannon, directly targeting their faces and bodies. Dozens of protesters are hospitalized and access to the park is blocked without any legal basis. Turkish media, directly controlled by the government or have business and political ties with it, refuse to cover the incidents. Press agencies also blocked the information flow.

Please share this message for the world to become aware of the police state created by AKP of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which is often considered to be a model for other Middle Eastern countries. Turkish democracy expects your help. Thank you!

June 1st, 2013, 12:10 am


mjabali said:


It is obvious that you did not understand what I wrote. But I understood everything you wrote. Actually, it is the same thing you been posting ever since you came to this blog, which could be summed like this:

blah blah blah…I like..I like this guy…I hate this guy….blah blah blah Hassan Shaitan Shia Majoos…Blah blah Shia Kafir….blah Shia Shassan Nass hizbo…
Shia this and Shia that…Shia…Shia Shaytan…Hizbo…

I wrote about Syrian history and that is what you write.

Let me remind you: This is Syria comment and not Daowod Shia Comment.

June 1st, 2013, 12:22 am


Hopeful said:

# 252 Juergen

It is sad that the sectarian language has deepened to that extent. These religious leaders have big influence over people, so it is scary to hear what they are saying.

Qardawi can learn a lot from the moderate well-spoken Yakoubi.

June 1st, 2013, 12:56 am


Ziad said:

Contagious diseases spreading throughout Syria,
pic of children with severe outbreak of fungal infection in Raqqa

June 1st, 2013, 1:52 am


Badr said:

Let’s start a new page!

June 1st, 2013, 5:11 am


Badr said:

I believe this is what Obama’s policy is going to be:

The long haul in Syria

By Doyle McManus
LA Times

“The aim isn’t to help the rebels win soon; that’s beyond our capabilities. Instead, it’s to keep the war within manageable bounds.

That means helping the opposition get organized and funneling military aid from other donors to the moderate Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss instead of al-Nusra.

With luck, officials say, the rebels will slowly grow stronger, the government weaker. But win or lose, it won’t be pretty. “It’s going to be a long haul,” one senior official warned me. A U.S. commitment that began in the romantic dawn of the Arab Spring has turned, instead, into an exercise in painful realism.”

June 1st, 2013, 5:13 am


majoos said:

After Gazdoganzs and Bibi´s staged Gaza flotilla event, incited Arabs started naming their Sons Erdogan.

Nowadays Turks call their dogs Erdogan!

June 1st, 2013, 5:38 am


Juergen said:


I agree.
Quaradawi was never my cup of tea, its quite strange that so many follow his advice, even though they live far from him. I have seen that many treat him like a popstar, thats how shallow the islamic scholars have become. But I find his admittance about HB quite honest.

June 1st, 2013, 5:39 am


zoo said:


I think Matt did a good job in their interview. It exhaustively revealed Sheikh Al Yaqoobi inner thoughts instead of a few tweets and sentences. His whole personality is uncovered and it shows very well his flaws and the conclusion that this guy may be moderate but he is neither a political nor a spiritual leader. He is just another intellectual.
I wonder why Matt did not ask him about the huge work the Turks have done in putting the Sharia to the 21th century. While I believe it is of utmost importance, is getting no media coverage in Arab countries.
See my next post

June 1st, 2013, 6:49 am


zoo said:

Turkey presents Prophet’s sayings for the 21st Century ( in Turkish)

The new seven-volume encyclopaedia of hadiths is pictured at the library of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate in Ankara May 21, 2013.

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

ANKARA | Wed May 22, 2013 12:56pm EDT

(Reuters) – Scholars around the Muslim world were alarmed five years ago by news reports that Turkey planned a new, possibly heretical compilation of the Prophet Mohammad’s sayings that might scrap those it thought were out of date.

Turkish religious leaders and theologians received anxious calls asking about Western media reports they would edit a “radical” new set of hadiths, scriptures that are second only to the Koran in Islam.

“Will you write a new Koran next?” one irate Arab scholar asked a baffled Turkish academic.

The new work, finally ready after six years in the making, is nothing like the 95 Theses in which Martin Luther condemned practices in the Roman Catholic Church and launched the Protestant Reformation.
Instead, its 100 authors have selected a few hundred of the about 17,000 reported quotes from Mohammad to examine Islamic views on God, faith and life in terms that the average modern Turk can understand.

“We don’t live in the 20th century anymore,” said Mehmet Ozafsar, director of the project and vice-president of Ankara’s Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet, a state agency.

“We needed a new work with Islamic beliefs in the perspective of today’s culture.”

The hadiths record Mohammad’s words and acts during his life. Preachers and jurists use them to understand the Koran and support Muslim teachings and fatwas (religious edicts) on all aspects of life, from prayer to education for women.
The first edition of “Islam with the Hadiths of the Prophet,” as the collection is called, has started rolling off the printing presses in Turkish. It will be officially released during Ramadan, which is due to start in early July.

Editions in languages such as Arabic or English were not planned right away, they added, but publishers in Egypt and Britain have recently expressed interest in translating the collection to make it widely available soon.

June 1st, 2013, 6:54 am


zoo said:

Expect tougher reprisals. The Lebanese Shias are not the kind that a few rockets would frighten.

Barrage of rockets fired from Syria hit Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon

BEIRUT — Lebanese security officials say 16 rockets fired from Syria have struck the eastern region of Baalbek.

Read more:

June 1st, 2013, 6:59 am


zoo said:

Erdogan should back off now on his Mall project or loose his election if these riots persist after 5 days of brutal repression

The protesters, who started their mobilization to raise awareness on the demolition of one of the city’s last remaining green areas, started chanting for the resignation of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following the police’s relentless tear gas campaign.

June 1st, 2013, 7:09 am


Tara said:

In the past, HA would fire few rockets on Israel and claims victory.  Can the rebels claim similar victory? 

Rockets fired from Syria hit eastern Lebanon
By BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press –

BEIRUT (AP) — More than a dozen rockets and mortar rounds fired from Syria struck eastern Lebanon Saturday, security officials said, as tensions rise in the two countries’ borderlands where Hezbollah militants are playing a bigger role in Syria’s civil war.
In another development, the officials said gunmen opened fire on a Shiite shrine in Baalbek, damaging it in an attack that could worsen frictions between the country’s Shiites and Sunni Muslims. The attack on the shrine of Sayida Khawla, a great granddaughter of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, occurred shortly after midnight, the official said.

June 1st, 2013, 7:12 am


zoo said:

The rebels are killing their own people

DAMASCUS, May 31 (Xinhua) — As many as 31 Syrian inmates have been killed over the past two weeks due to the rebels’ bombardment on the central prison of Syria’s northern Aleppo city, the Britain- based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

The rebels have besieged the prison earlier this month when they blew up two car bombs to break the government troops’ siege. However, their attempt to storm the facility and take over it has been a failure so far.

June 1st, 2013, 7:12 am


zoo said:

Al Jazeera America has the odour of disaster:
Is Qatar currying favour with the U.S.?

But now, six months later, the Al Jazeera America project has the odour of potential disaster. It has apparently abandoned its initial plan to blend new programming from the U.S. (60 per cent) with its award-winning programming from Al Jazeera English (40 per cent). Its launch keeps getting delayed and it has been unable so far to hire an American senior team. Even worse, the rumoured shortlist of potential “presidents” includes several of the people who have driven U.S. cable networks, including CNN, to a level of utter mediocrity.

June 1st, 2013, 7:16 am


zoo said:

Syrian opposition to boycott Geneva II

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has announced that it will boycott the Geneva II conference scheduled for July unless a settlement is reached leading to Bashar Al-Assad’s ouster.

George Sabra, the SNC’s acting president, announced that the coalition “will not take part in any international conferences,” because “the lives of Syrians are more important than any political solutions.”

Although the details of the proposed summit remain vague, Russia’s Interfax News Agency quoted a Russian foreign ministry source who confirmed that a joint US–Russia–UN meeting on Syria is set to be held on July 5 in Geneva. The source claimed that a high-level delegation will represent Russia in the tripartite meeting in preparation for Geneva II.

The source claimed that Mikhail Bogdanov, deputy minister of foreign affairs and special envoy for Vladimir Putin, will head the Russian delegation.

UN under-secretary-general Jeffrey Feltman will lead the UN delegation.

The US State Department said US under-secretary of state Wendy Sherman will represent Washington.

Russian sources also claimed that Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Syria envoy, will also most likely participate in the meeting.

In a further development, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov described the SNC’s insistence on “Assad’s departure as a precondition for any political settlement in Syria” as “unrealistic.”

June 1st, 2013, 7:24 am


Observer said:

It is clear that there is no point in arguing with someone that asserts that the SAA does not kill Syrian Civilians. It is like the oxymoronic IDF that talks of the “purity” of arms when it battles Palestinians armed with stones.

It is also clear that the SAA is no longer able to crush the rebellion and even at that without the help of the HA and IRGC at its side.

The Central Bank has no foreign currency. Iran is lending 4-7 billion; there is no Gold reserves and we are buying MIG 29. It seems that the reports of the air force shrinking to no more than 50 active aircraft is true.

Lebanon is getting a taste of its “policy of neutrality” with 16 rockets hitting the Baalbek region.

Now the HA towns and villages are getting a small taste of their policies.

As for the news coming from SANA and Xinhua and Manar and Mayaddeen and RT and Alalam and Press tv they are not good. Even the videos are not convincing at all of any gains.

Death to Sykes Picot and Justice for Hamza

June 1st, 2013, 7:56 am


Dawoud said:

308. TARA

هل تعني “صواويخ” دجال المقاومه؟ انها صواويخ وليست صواريخ على لفظ حسن نصر الشيطان

June 1st, 2013, 9:06 am


revenire said:

Tara, like your FSA air force claim, you can declare anything you want.

Missiles fired into Lebanon? Sure your terrorist friends might kill a few innocent civilians – women and children – and if you believe that is some sort of victory then say so.

These firecrackers won’t stop the cleansing of Qusayr.

PS – Observer Hamza’s father thanked President Assad.

June 1st, 2013, 9:15 am


ann said:


Police crackdown triggers anti-government riots – June 1, 2013

A police crackdown against a peaceful sit-in protesting government plans to demolish a park ignited the biggest anti-government riots this city has seen in a decade.

As demonstrators clashed with police in Turkey’s largest city Friday, and protests spread to several other cities, including the capital Ankara and the port city of Izmir.

At least 14 people were injured in the clashes in the capital, including one who suffered brain trauma, the Istanbul governor’s office said.


June 1st, 2013, 9:20 am


Dawoud said:

Turkey Vs. Syria: if Turkey is from Venus, Al-Assad’s Syria is from Hellfire 🙂

Nobody died yesterday in Istanbul, Turkey and the Turkish police used only tear gas and water. The demonstration was about whether a modern shopping mall should be built (nice! ). A similar situation in pre-March 2011 Syria would have resulted in 100 dead Syrians, 1000 arrested men, 4 tortured teenagers (3 of them dead with mutilated penises), and 5 female demonstrators gang-raped. Sick and Sad, but it’s the reality of al-Assad’s dictatorial Syria.

Today Erdogan said: “We have elections every 4 years” and those who don’t want a shopping mall (vs. Syria’s hereditary corrupt rule), can freely vote against the governing party.

What happened in Istanbul happens all the time in NYC, London, etc. whenever demonstrators respond to a municipal planning decision by a city council! No surprise! Still, Mr. Erdogan had the decency to apologize.

June 1st, 2013, 9:31 am


revenire said:

McCain’s psychological breakdown in Vietnam reason for his actions today?

“But the past does shape the present and character surely does matter, particularly if one wants to become president and have the authority to send American soldiers to their deaths in support of questionable interventionist policies that might be rooted in a psychological need to fix what went wrong in Vietnam.”

“Much of McCain’s chauvinistic bluster might indeed be explained by guilt over his long ago confession to the North Vietnamese, a failing for which he might be making atonement through doubling down to demonstrate his unwavering support of the military. And there is also a darker side to him, possibly fed by guilt, evident in his frequently observed volcanic temper, which has sometimes been directed against families of former prisoners who have raised the POW issue. It has been plausibly described as the [sign] of a man who is not at peace with himself.”

June 1st, 2013, 9:34 am


apple_mini said:

Some clowns out there have been trying hard to detect or even fabricate any weak sign or doubt from Sunni among the core of the regime, including the first lady.

The truth is that this ongoing turmoil turns into catharsis for the regime. The whole machine has become more efficient and they are showing strong resolve when the secular country facing existential threat by those backward extremists.

The recent political and military gains by the regime also lifted up tremendous confidence and determination.

A recent personal meeting shows the first lady is in very rosy upbeat spirit. She genuinely and sincerely appreciates Syrian families who sent their boys in the army to defend the country.

They truly believe themselves and all Syrians who believe in a progressive country are standing firmly together to make a sacrifice for the country.

Maybe we should give them more credits for the country having not fallen into the hands of those radicals.

June 1st, 2013, 9:35 am


zoo said:

Wasn’t Turkey depicted as a ‘paradise’ of tolerance and democracy? A few trees cut create a tremor

Dispatch from Istanbul: Anti-government protests explode in Turkey

What started as a peaceful demonstration to save sycamore trees has quickly escalated. And the police are cracking down violently

“The park was a pretext for a protest against the government,” said my new Kurdish friend now sharing a beer with me.

He mentioned the protest songs that were both from the liberal side as well as the Kurdish Party. Everybody I spoke to said that this march was a long time coming. They complained about Prime Minister Erdogan’s power grab and crackdown on individual rights.

June 1st, 2013, 9:37 am


Dawoud said:

P.S., Prime Minister has also the decency to condemn his own policy for using “excessive force.” Yes, they should have sprayed less Water 🙂 Did the Syrian murderous dictatorial police use water cannons on the Der’ah demonstrators when the rebellion was still peaceful and unarmed. No, they used tanks and an MIG rockets. Water cannons in Turkey Vs. Scud Missiles and chemical weapons and Shia Lebanese Hizbass blood-thirsty sectarian terrorists in Syria!
Thanks Mr. Erdogan:

PM accepts police used excessive force […]

June 1st, 2013, 9:38 am


zoo said:

More Iranian tourists arriving in Egypt. Will they convert Egyptian Sunnis to Shiism? There are more than 300,000 Iranians living in Dubai. I haven’t heard about conversions there. Are the Egyptian Sunnis more vulnerable than the Emiratis to the aura of Shiism?

‘It’s just business’ says minister on phobia of Iranian tourists in Egypt
Tourism minister tries to allay fears of ‘Shia infiltration’ as a new Iranian tour group visits Egypt amid their depressing tourism downturn

“They pose a danger to Egypt’s national security,” argued Salafist Nour Party representative Tharwat Attallah before the Shura Council.

“Egyptians might be deceived into [converting to] Shiism, giving Shia ideology a chance to spread in Egypt,” adding Shia-Muslims are “more dangerous than naked women.”

However, Egypt’s economy depended heavily on tourism and has been floundering at less than 30 percent of pre-revolution levels.

General Mohamed Reda, managing director of Lucky Tours tourist agency (which is organising trips for Iranians in Egypt) explains to Ahram Online that the Egypt’s travel industry is trying to attract any type of tourist. He reveals that his company was pressured to organise a trip for 134 Iranians by Egyptian workers negatively affected by the deterioration of tourism in the country.

The group of 134 Iranian tourists who arrived to Upper Egypt’s Aswan early Friday will head to Luxor, Hurghada (on the Red Sea) and Cairo for a one-week visit.

“Our company didn’t face any trouble while planning for this trip,” said Reda. Official apparatuses were very cooperative and another group of Iranian tourists are expected to arrive starting 21 June, he adds.

Reda expects around 200,000 Iranian tourists to visit Egypt in 2013 and estimates they will generate roughly $252 million for Egypt.

June 1st, 2013, 9:45 am


zoo said:

Gezi Park crackdown recalls ‘most shameful moments of Turkish history,’ says Chomsky

Noam Chomsky slammed the brutal police crackdown on the Gezi Park protests.

Outspoken American linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky has condemned the brutal police crackdown on protesters denouncing the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, saying it recalled “the most shameful moments of Turkish history.”

June 1st, 2013, 9:47 am


Citizen said:

In Syria shot down another terrorist – “emir” of the Crimean Tatars

June 1st, 2013, 9:47 am


revenire said:

Another foreign invader crushed by our army. Bravo!

June 1st, 2013, 9:52 am


Citizen said:

GLORY for our heroes SAA soldiers!
Long live for defenders of the homeland!

June 1st, 2013, 9:59 am


Citizen said:

Istanbul riot police withdrawing from Taksim square, protesters remain – state-run news agency

June 1st, 2013, 10:02 am


zoo said:

#325 Citizen

European Banks branches in Al Raqqah and Aazzaz? Al Qaeda will love it!

June 1st, 2013, 10:03 am


revenire said:

Dave stop the Qatari propaganda lies! I have photos of Turkish civilians being beaten with guns from today and yesterday.

Erdogan is a dictator.

June 1st, 2013, 10:13 am


zoo said:

Erdogan the champion of Human Rights in Syria is violating them in his own country.
“13:27 GMT: Nearly 1,000 people have been injured in clashes with the police in Istanbul alone, and at least six of them lost eyes after being hit by gas canisters, Reuters reported citing Turkish Doctors’ Association.”

“The use of tear gas against peaceful protesters and in confined spaces where it may constitute a serious danger to health is unacceptable, breaches international human rights standards and must be stopped immediately,” said the Director of Europe and Central Asia Programme at Amnesty International, John Dalhuisen, in a statement May 31.

“The use of violence by police on this scale appears designed to deny the right to peaceful protest altogether and to discourage others from taking part,” he added.

Quoting activist who observed that some protesters were hit with truncheons, the organization also urged a transparent investigation on the police intervention.

June 1st, 2013, 10:13 am


revenire said:

The filthy British are warning people to stay out of Turkey:

Foreign Office warning over Turkey protests
The Foreign Office has warned Britons to avoid areas where violent protests are ongoing across Turkey, including in Istanbul’s tourist epicentre.

Several here support the dictator Erdogan.

Our hapless American brother Dave has become an apologist for this Ottoman dog who is abusing his own people.

Dave I am praying for you!

June 1st, 2013, 10:19 am


Tara said:

Can one be more hypocritical?

Condemning tear gas by Erdogan while cheering burying people alive by Assad?

Does integrity mean anything to regime supporters? Gosh!

June 1st, 2013, 10:22 am


zoo said:

“Here in the hotel, they can do no good,”

Regional power games sow further division in ranks of Syria opposition

While disputes rage among Saudi- and Qatari-backed dissidents, Assad loyalists are squeezing Coalition’s credibility in Syria to new low.

After hours of bickering, Coalition chief George Sabra announced an expansion of the group to include 51 new members, taking the total to 114.

To date, the Coalition has been dominated by the Qatar-backed Muslim Brotherhood, but regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia is seeking to downsize that influence.

Of the new members, some 10 are affiliated to veteran secular dissident Michel Kilo, whose bid to enter the umbrella Coalition was backed by Riyadh.

“We have reached a compromise solution. While (Kilo’s list) has entered the group, the Coalition has also expanded to include 14 grassroots activists,” Coalition member Salem al-Moslet said.

“We wanted to be more representative. The meeting was too long, but we are on the right track,” he added
Another 15 seats have been assigned to civilian members of the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army command, which is also dominated by Saudi Arabia.

But the result of more than a week of back and forth in the Istanbul tug-of-war looks to be an unsteady balance.

The Coalition will now be able to elect a new leadership and discuss a US-Russian peace initiative, the diplomat said, adding that it will be “two to three weeks” before the group holds its next meeting.

But while disputes raged among Saudi- and Qatari-backed dissidents in Turkey, across the border in Syria Assad loyalists were advancing, squeezing the Coalition’s credibility in the war-torn country to a new low.

In Kafranbel in northwestern Syria, activists raised a placard during a protest on Friday that accused the Coalition of being “part of the problem”.

“I think the rebels were given the weapons they needed to enter Qusayr, and they were given a sign the (Qatari- and Saudi-backed) sides had reached an agreement.”

“The biggest problem is all these disputes could have been solved a week ago,” he added.

A rebel from central Syria slammed the Coalition for being far removed from those at the sharp end.

“They are disconnected. We cannot support people who have become opponents just for personal gain,” said Ali Sattuf, a former army lieutenant who joined the revolt in May 2012.

“We don’t want one selfish regime to replace another,” he added.

Another defector, Omar Ferzat, said: “We need support, and the Coalition is not channelling the right help to us.”

Anti-Assad dissidents inside Syria will only gain trust in the Coalition if its members themselves move into the country, he added.

“Here in the hotel, they can do no good,” Ferzat said.

June 1st, 2013, 10:30 am


revenire said:

Tara said yesterday she wanted Turkish dictator Erdogan – now gassing his own people – to become president of Syria!

June 1st, 2013, 10:34 am


revenire said:

Turkish PM Erdogan Tries to Ride an Arabian Horse and Falls Off


June 1st, 2013, 10:39 am


Ghufran said:

We should not trust religious figures when they start to act as politicians and try to tell people how they should vote and how they should think, religion belongs to houses of worship and private homes and not inside the government or the army. Syria and other arab countries need strong secular governments that do not torture or kill to keep one man or one family in power, replacing secular dictatorships with religious theocracies will produce failed countries that have no chance in today’s competitive and interdependent world.

June 1st, 2013, 10:57 am


revenire said:

I wonder if the “freedom lovers” here will be calling for Erdogan to heed the word of the people? I somehow doubt it.

June 1st, 2013, 11:22 am


Citizen said:

Syrian Rebel Brags About Killing “a Large Number of Christians” Before Martyrdom for allah

June 1st, 2013, 11:39 am


revenire said:

That’s so degenerate. This is what these people support: murder.

What does this Yaqoubi say about it? Nothing.

He calls for NATO to kill even more Syrians!

I am outraged.

June 1st, 2013, 11:44 am


revenire said:

Dave now there are dead Turks. The dictator you support is responsible.

“This started simply as a peaceful sit-in to save a park, but it’s become one of the worst state attacks on protesters in recent memory — and a frightening example of the Turkish government’s growing eagerness to crack down on its own citizens,” an online petition demanding that Erdogan “End the crackdown now!” reads.

“The security forces have been individually targeting protesters to terrify, wound and kill us. 12 people have already suffered trauma injuries from gas canisters — one man died of heart attack, and hundreds are suffering from excessive gas inhalation,” it continues.

June 1st, 2013, 11:47 am


revenire said:

Erdoğan: End the crackdown now!

I am writing this from Taksim Square in Istanbul where peaceful protesters are being attacked with gas cannisters and pressurized water cannons. Hundreds of us are still here despite the police violence, protesting the destruction of Gezi park which the government wants to turn into a shopping mall.

This started simply as a peaceful sit-in to save a park, but it’s become one of the worst state attacks on protesters in recent memory — and a frightening example of the Turkish government’s growing eagerness to crack down on its own citizens. The security forces have been individually targeting protesters to terrify, wound and kill us. 12 people have already suffered trauma injuries from gas canisters — one man died of heart attack, and hundreds are suffering from excessive gas inhalation.

Now more than ever, we need massive public pressure to urge the government to stop using excessive force against protesters immediately, to stop demolishing one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul, and to stop cracking down on citizens who are peacefully assembling or expressing their opinions. Sign the urgent petition now then share this widely. Only a giant outcry will pressure Erdogan to act immediately.

June 1st, 2013, 11:48 am


Sami said:

The hypocritical filth being pushed by the propagandists here has reached a new level. It would make Goebbels proud!

June 1st, 2013, 11:57 am


Citizen said:

Kerry is a moron. The Russian S-300 is an air defense system. It cannot be used to attack targets inside Israel. It does not get used at all until Israel is attacking Syria!

US Warns Russia of Sending S-300 Missiles to Syria: Puts Israel at Risk
US Secretary of State John Kerry strongly condemned Russia over its decision to sell an advanced missile system to Damascus, considering it puts Israel at risk…….

June 1st, 2013, 12:01 pm


revenire said:

Just this week Tara told me Turks love Erdogan!

June 1st, 2013, 12:06 pm


Sami said:

“Just this week Tara told me Turks love Erdogan!”

Well according to you and your likes in order for Erdogan to be loved he’d need to carpet bomb the park with cluster bombs, drop a barrel bomb or two and for good measure shoot a SCUD against those pesky rats infiltrators.

Long live the rethithtanth!

June 1st, 2013, 12:23 pm


Ilya said:

Are these people from Dagestan in this video?
Now EU made it official for AL Qaeda to do Money laundering scheme, how stupid are these people now these blood money gonna be used all around the world to do terror acts oficialy( drug money to do terror all around world)…

June 1st, 2013, 12:27 pm


Tara said:

Hehe! Turks love Erdogan no matter what liar says. They elected him in a democratic process over competing candidates. Arabs love Erdo too and consider HA to be the enemy!

On another note, what has happened to the sectarian militia formerly called the Syrian Army? We have not heard anything about them lately. Did they completely disintegrate and cease to be an entity?

June 1st, 2013, 12:29 pm


revenire said:

HNN Homs News Network

“From my heart I pray for the Heroes of the Syrian Arab Army, and a tribute to the Hero Commander Bashar Hafez Al-Assad, may God grant victory to Syria.” ~ Melhem Zein


June 1st, 2013, 12:48 pm


ann said:




June 1st, 2013, 12:48 pm


Ziad said:

EXPAT related to us that Moaz al-Kahtib is the grand son of Shaikh Taj al-Deen al-Hasani. My grand father just told me that Taj al-Deen al-Hasani was one of the worst collaborators with the French colonials. I do not know any thing about Taj al-Deen al-Hasani, I am just relating my grand dad’s remark. However this begs the question:

Did Moaz al-Kahtib acquire treason through nature or nurture?

June 1st, 2013, 12:49 pm


Citizen said:

The newspaper “Kommersant”, № 91 (5122), 30.05.2013
Israel turns talking about the C-300
While the dispute between Russia and the West on Syria goes farther
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has banned his ministers to comment on the subject of supply Syria Russian anti-aircraft missile systems S-300. Unprecedented for Israel taboo on public statements by members of the cabinet is designed to pay off a scandal in relations with Moscow that erupted after hints of key ministers in the willingness to resort to military action in the event of transfer of the S-300 Damascus. However, this story has turned into a new problem in the relations between Moscow and the West. Rejecting the Russian thesis on the supply as a “stabilizing factor”, the U.S. and its European allies have accused the Kremlin of creating new obstacles to the settlement of the Syrian conflict…………..

June 1st, 2013, 12:53 pm


Citizen said:

This fool dictator must understand that the world has changed and the time is no more longer tolerate his criminality! – Freedom for Turkey’s generals detained in Turkish prisons – the freedom to prisoners of conscience – shame on Erdogan tyrant allies

June 1st, 2013, 1:04 pm


revenire said:

Erdogan is afraid of his military or he would not have locked them all up.

June 1st, 2013, 1:06 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Illogical answer coming in 3…2…1…



Please explain to the people here (who can reason), why you think Erdogan has “lost all legitimacy”, but not Assad.

A LOT more people were killed in the Syrian demonstrations than in Turkey these past few days…

June 1st, 2013, 1:07 pm


Sami said:


Taj Al-Din did collaborate with the French mandate, along with Sa’id Mahasin, Jamil Ulshi and Mohammad Kurd Ali.

Taj however was nominated into politics by King Faisal not the French, the French just found him to be a good puppet.

During Taj’s term the first Syrian Republic Constitution was written.

Philip Khoury wrote a great book that covers the French Mandate.

However to say that Moaz is treasonous because he stood up against the tyranny of Assad is a far stretch from the truth. And for your information he has a much more important lineage than Taj Al-Din and that is of Sheikh Badr Al-Din one of the more prominent figures of Damascus in the 19th Century.

June 1st, 2013, 1:14 pm


revenire said:

Obviously Khatib is a traitor. It isn’t worth talking about. He is a meaningless nothing.

June 1st, 2013, 1:16 pm


zoo said:

Turkey’s media censorship revealed

The protests received limited coverage on Turkish televisions, reflecting the environment of self-censorship in Turkey since Erdogan’s government came to power a decade ago. And many turned to social media or foreign news outlets for updates on the protests.

Read more:

June 1st, 2013, 1:19 pm


Sami said:

Actually speaking of traitors and their lineage did you know Assad’s grand Father signed a petition begging the French to partition Syria?

June 1st, 2013, 1:22 pm


Citizen said:

One protestor dead in Ankara. This is not crowd control, this is murder!

June 1st, 2013, 1:26 pm


zoo said:

#358 Reve

I wouldn’t say Al Khatib is a traitor. He is an average preacher and his place is in a mosque in Syria, not in 5 star hotel in Turkey.
He seems to have totally lost his senses after he got intimate with Kerry and Erdogan and the SNC nest of snakes.

June 1st, 2013, 1:27 pm


Sami said:

Honestly the hypocrisy of the Assadists is dumbfounding, where is your outrage to what your hero has done to Syrians?

If you had shown just a tad bit of humanity towards your own countrymen…

June 1st, 2013, 1:28 pm


revenire said:

Zoo Khatib has stood with those murdering Syrians hasn’t he? He has stood side by side with them. He has accepted their money.

He is a traitor. A Judas.

He preaches hatred and sectarianism.

June 1st, 2013, 1:30 pm


Citizen said:

Seda Turkmen said:
This protest is not about a park, alcohol ban or Syria. It is a reaction to AKP’s arrogant attitude insisting on their policies against public opinion. The general population doesn’t want war with Syria. But we don’t want nuclear plants either; and they don’t hesitate to sign contracts. All AKP’s activities are corrupt but covered by corrupt judges. Plus, AKP’s real intention is to demolish the secular state and establish an Islamic Neo-Ottoman monarchy. What a crazy dream! Shortly, this is a reaction against their arrogance refusing other views.

June 1st, 2013, 1:30 pm


revenire said:

Sami I know the history of Hafez al-Assad quite well. He is the man who built modern Syria into a force in the world.

You hate him but then again so did the brothers in Hama decades ago and Hafez crushed them as his son crushes them today.

June 1st, 2013, 1:34 pm


zoo said:

In Turkey, liberal Turks protest against Islamisation of the country while in Syria the hardine protesters are calling for Islamisation of the country.

Turkish protesters pack Taksim Square as police withdraw

Baku-APA. Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have pulled out of a square which has become the focus of the largest anti-government protest in years, APA reports quoting BBC.

Thousands of people are in Taksim Square after days of unrest sparked by plans to redevelop nearby Gezi Park.
Correspondents say that what was initially a local issue has spiralled into widespread anti-government unrest and anger over the perceived “Islamisation” of Turkey.

One woman told Agence France-Presse: “They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy.”
Another, Oral Goktas, said the protest had brought together people from many different backgrounds.
“This has become a protest against the government, against Erdogan taking decisions like a king,” she told Reuters news agency.

The perception that police had been heavy-handed by firing tear gas and water cannon – a view adopted by many of the country’s mainstream media – also fuelled the unrest. Dozens of people have been injured in the clashes.

Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper quoted police as saying 138 people were in custody.

June 1st, 2013, 1:35 pm


revenire said:

We can add Yaqoubi to the traitors too.

Preachers don’t beg NATO to attack their nations.

Does Yaqoubi, or Khatib, have any idea how many Syrians will die if NATO attacks? Those are preachers?

Some forget that during the Muslim Brotherhood uprising in the early 1980s it was the “preachers” who led the terrorists.

June 1st, 2013, 1:37 pm


zoo said:


Anyway, he is out of the loop now. Neither the coalition nor the Syrians like him. He is finished. I wonder in which country he will settle.

June 1st, 2013, 1:39 pm


Ziad said:


I do not call Khateeb Moaz is treasonous because he stood up against the tyranny of Assad. I call him so because he did not shy to collaborate and beg for help from the declared enemies of his nation thus contributing the destruction of his country. Sorry to me this is the very definition of treason.

I love Bassam Kadi. He was imprisoned and tortured by the Syrian government, and was extremely critical to it. However when he saw the dirty international game being played in Syria, he sided with the government while keeping criticizing it. To me he is a role model of an honest nationalistic Syrian.

June 1st, 2013, 1:39 pm


Citizen said:

This war began at 2:30AM on May 2, 2013 with the sinking of an Israeli manned German Dolphin submarine that was supporting commando infiltration off the Syrian coast. The sub was spotted, submerged to 150 meters and was hit by a sophisticated guided torpedo.
Syrian helicopters remained over the site of the naval disaster until a Russian flotilla arrived, escorting a salvage ship to secure the nuclear-tipped Tomahawk cruise missiles onboard.
In retaliation, Israel began an artillery bombardment of Syrian positions outside Damascus on May 4. During that bombardment, an Israeli submarine off the coast of Lebanon launched a nuclear cruise missile. High resolution video from fifteen miles away clearly identifies the massive flash, the telltale mushroom cloud and the lightning, leaving no doubt that this was a nuclear attack.
The explosion was picked up by American Vela satellites and confirmed.
Any links to the HD video of such explosion?

June 1st, 2013, 1:42 pm


Tara said:

The few Turk protesters are probably few Alawis gathering themselves to give Erdo some nose in revenge for his support of freedom and dignity. Can’t rule out rent-a-crowd either. Didn’t ‘t Batta rent Italian models to protest for him.

Judging from my daughter’s Italian au-pair, Italians are very hot and have very good sense of style. I suggest they give the regime propagandist who thought of hiring the Italian models a big promotion.

June 1st, 2013, 1:43 pm


zoo said:

#366 Reve

I hope that this time, as Erdogan has sent on exile the PKK fighters, Bashar al Assad will do the same with the FSA fighters left alive as well as with the Moslem Brotherhood preachers.
Qatar will be a great place for them to write their war memories and new fatwas against the heretics.

June 1st, 2013, 1:44 pm


revenire said:

I am not in favor of any negotiations with the external opposition. I am in favor of the army doing its job.

June 1st, 2013, 1:44 pm


zoo said:

Amnesty: Turkey, Disgraceful use of excessive police force in Istanbul

Amnesty International said following reports of more than 1,000 injuries and at least two deaths of protesters in Istanbul.
The inappropriate use of tear gas by police has been the most devastating on the safety of demonstrators, causing an unknown number of injuries, including serious head injurieswhen the canisters hit protestors. Hundreds of empty tear gas canisters remain on the ground in areas where demonstrations are taking place.

On a number of occasions police were seen deliberately targeting individual protestors with tear gas canisters. A number of protestors are thought to have lost their sight as a result of the use of tear gas at close range.

June 1st, 2013, 1:48 pm


Ziad said:


If Erdogan falls, this would present the most significant failure of the Zionist-neocon Israel/US/GCC plan for the Middle East. The Ikhwan project will fizzle very quickly.

Qatar and KSA will be soon embroiled in throne inheritance infightings.

June 1st, 2013, 1:50 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Game is over for Erdo,kush-mat soon.Erdo has been destroying
Syria over the last 2 years,Blood of 90000 Syrians is on his rodent
Neck,Erdo introduced tens of thousands of Alnusra fighters into syria,
Erdo enjoyed building his glory on Syrians skulls,Erdo knew that every
Terrorists he pushed into Syria is going to kill Syrians many times civilians,
Erdo thought he is immune to the poison he has been feeding Syrians,Erdo
Ottoman democracy was worse than Al Soud(democracy),Erdo thought that
God is in a deep nap and he can continue pouring Anusra terrorists in Syria
Forever,Erdo thought that by the time his god is up from his nap Assad will
Be gone.Unfortunately for Erdo god naps are too short and he naps with one eye open.

June 1st, 2013, 1:50 pm


Matthew Barber said:

I’m sad to ban Ann today after she has continued to snub my repeated directives about posting multiple videos. Her posts have also recently become more insulting and insensitive, such as the use of “alhamdilallah” when reports of deaths are issued, as well as racially-charged insults (such as “F1LTHY SAUDI SKUM,” written intentionally to bypass the spam filter which demonstrates awareness of its inappropriateness; this follows an earlier warning when she referred to “filthy Tunisian animals”). Generally I think these postings fall short of “contributing to conversation.” It’s too bad; she posted many useful articles (although often redundantly) and I will miss those contributions. I am grateful to her for providing many important articles that found their way into my posts.

I noticed great contributions to conversation in this post from Majedkhaldoun, Ziad, Zoo, UZAIR8, Syrialover, Syr.Expat, Hamoudeh al-Halabi, Mina, Akbar Palace, Sami, Mjabali, Badr, Hopeful, Juergen, and others. I also appreciated Apple_Mini’s firsthand accounts of the environment in Syria (in the last thread I think it was). Ghufran always posts thoughtful reflections and refuses to take the bait of those who insult him.

I was startled by the exchanges of respectful and engaging conversation in the current thread; it really put the usual “conversation” in perspective. I was numbed to how bad it was until experiencing this brief window of friendly, stimulating interaction. I’m now tempted to raise the bar and ban users who don’t necessarily commit obvious violations regarding insults and vulgarity, but whose posts primarily consist of antagonism, provocative taunting, and tired repetitive rants. This would include a user who posts 50 comments in the same thread containing basically the same message about “Hezbass,” as well as users who accuse their opponents of “hating Syria” and continuously fixate on inflammatory terms (like “cannibal”) or repeatedly cite the same line of a user’s previous post ad nauseam. Following the healthy dialogue in this post, I would feel comfortable soliciting your thoughts on this. I think the comments section can become a destination for useful dialogue and healthy debate on Syria, after all.

Zoo, Sami, Tara: I think the use of “liar” (or “pathological liar”) when addressing others is insulting. If users demonstrate pathology, why not ignore them rather than be sucked into exchanges of insults? Trying to engage with an irrational person will only drive you to madness. There are users who only post messages trying to goad others into angry responses. If you would ignore them, their voices would become irrelevant (as was the case during some major sections of intelligent conversation in this post). Instead, you give them power by reacting with frustration.

Zoo, your comment about Majedkhaldoun and Visitor (#223) was unkind and I will not consider this kind of comment acceptable. You make valuable contributions here; please keep your communication respectful and thoughtful.

Citizen, Juergen, Revenire: please try not to go above one video embed per thread.

June 1st, 2013, 1:51 pm



To describe regime loyalists as delusional is unfair to delusion

June 1st, 2013, 1:55 pm


zoo said:

The brutality of Erdogan’s police on protesters who only wanted to keep a patch of green in their city does not bode well for any future protests of a more serious nature.
Erdogan has put the seed of larger unrests in the near future when important issues will be discussed that may destroy his political career if he does not make a quick U-Turn.

Erdogan’s message is clear: I do not tolerate any kind of protest in “my” democracy.

June 1st, 2013, 1:56 pm


revenire said:

I support Assad 1000%.

June 1st, 2013, 1:57 pm


revenire said:

“379. SYRIAN HAMSTER said:
To describe regime loyalists as delusional is unfair to delusion”

I hardly think calling those who support the LEGITIMATE government of Syria delusional contributes to a healing dialogue.

In fact, it is insulting.

June 1st, 2013, 2:01 pm


zoo said:


I agree, my remark toward Visitor and Majedalkhaldoon was nasty. As they are not here to reply with insults, as they usually did, I felt some latitude to vent some of my negative feelings toward them.
That’s not something I’ll repeat.
By the way I never accused anyone of lying or being a liar. I just objected to people who do.
Thanks for expressing the boredom of having to browse through repeated at nausea videos and denigrating qualifiers. I share that at 100%.

June 1st, 2013, 2:05 pm


revenire said:

There is no government on EARTH that would allow people to take guns and start killing soldiers, police and citizens.


June 1st, 2013, 2:10 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan will now hunt police officers and prosecute them.
He already lost the army by throwing many of their leaders in jail, is he about to antagonize the police too?
Is Turkey going to turn to a house of cards that would crumble in 2014?

Ministry to take action against police officers who used tear gas abusively

All camera footage recorded during the interventions will be examined to determine if officers transgressed their legal authority, the ministry added. “Due legal action will be launched into personnel who are determined to have used disproportionate force,” the statement read.

June 1st, 2013, 2:14 pm


Akbar Palace said:


Your Iranian PressTV article is written by a known anti-semite and “truther”, Gordon Duff, editor of the conspiratorial, Veterans Today.

He says Israel’s air defenses no longer exists because Syria’s deplofyment of the Russian S-300 AA missiles. Russia says they haven’t sent them!

Just a suggestion, please use better references. What will be your excuse the next time the IAF knocks-out another military target? Nuclear attack? Submarine sinking? Pul-eeeeze!

June 1st, 2013, 2:14 pm


revenire said:

Russia has issued no official statement on weapons deliveries to Syria. It is all press reports.

For all you know Russia sent Syria S-300s last year.

June 1st, 2013, 2:16 pm


zoo said:


Erdogan is lucky that there weren’t Islamist (or Marxist) extremists with guns infiltrated among the crowd. They would have shot one police man and that would have inflamed the whole protest.
If ever the confrontation with the police had lasted one of two more days, this may have well happen.
Erdogan’s police was also well prepared with sophisticated riot control equipment and the police were well protected.

Yet I am sure that armed troublemakers are waiting for the next opportunity.

June 1st, 2013, 2:22 pm


revenire said:

Dr. Landis was very much on the money years ago in TIME magazine. He described the conspiracy against Syria in some detail.

The West sent foreign jihadis, like they did in Afghanistan, to try to overthrow a legitimate government. They were allied with the Muslim Brotherhood and the corrupt Gulf dictatorships and Syrian expat traitors.

That is all this is about.

The rest is a sideshow.

June 1st, 2013, 2:23 pm


Citizen said:

348. ILYA said:
Are these people from Dagestan in this video?

No!They are from Hizb Al-Tahrir in Crimea Autonomous ( Ukraine)!
They are terrorists and actually a ticking time bomb

June 1st, 2013, 2:23 pm


revenire said:

Matt I don’t need to post videos at all. They’re not important to me – just as the words “rat”, “rodent”, “cannibal”, “filth”, “scum” etc. aren’t.

I hope we can still refer to Nusra as terrorists though.

June 1st, 2013, 2:25 pm


Juergen said:

Sometimes this regime brings up the best comedy:

“Information Minister: The Turkish People Don’t Deserve Erdogan’s Barbarity
Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi said Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s suppression of the peaceful protests in Turkey yesterday is illogical and reveals his detachment from reality.”

and it even gets better:

“Al-Zoubi said if Erdogan is incapable of following non-violent means, he has to step down, stressing that the Turkish people have many and reasonable cadres.”

June 1st, 2013, 2:32 pm


zoo said:

Will Gazi park be destroyed like the Bahrain Pearl roundabout the Bahraini authorities destroyed to avoid demonstrators gathering, or will it become the Turkish Tahrir square?

Bahrain destroys Pearl roundabout

Focal point of pro-democracy protests demolished as authorities try to rid capital, Manama, of demonstrators (The Guardian, Friday 18 March 2011)

Turkey police retreat as protesters flood in to Istanbul park;h=665

June 1st, 2013, 2:34 pm


revenire said:

Juergen I don’t see it as funny. I see it is honest.

June 1st, 2013, 2:36 pm


zoo said:

#391 Juergen

I would say the same with your favorite cartoons from Kafranbel

June 1st, 2013, 2:36 pm


zoo said:

Analysis: Erdoğan no longer almighty

To cut the story short, the Taksim wave of protests has turned into the first public defeat of the almighty image of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, and by Turkish people themselves.

To call this a “Turkish Spring” would be over-dramatizing it. It could be, if there were opposition forces in Turkey that could move in to stop the one man show of a mighty power holder. But it can easily be said that the Taksim brinkmanship marked a turning point in the almighty image of Erdoğan.

June 1st, 2013, 2:40 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Erdo:marhaba daviut
Davut:marhaba afandm
Erdo:Davut we are drowning,how did this happened?
Davut:Afandem don’t worry,I will fix it.
Erdo:Like you fixed Assad,Sabav ibn Sabav .
Davut:Afandem Assad will fall soon,his days are numbered .
Erdo:What about my days gauer(means kafer )
Davut:Your days are not numbered Afandem,Hasha.
Erdo:Why are people angry you think?
Davut:Afandem I think it is Assad agents doing this.
Erdo:Your policies are stupid Davut.
Davut:Afandam my long term policies are good,We had Sufr
Mashakl now we have Sufr neighbors ,eventually will have Sufr
Mashakl and neighbors.
Davut:When you have no neighbors you will have no mashakls.
Erdo:how about the khazook we have now in Takseem I have
A feeling that it looks like the Khazook we put Bashar on for 2
Davut:No Afandem that is just a cushion and you will not even feel it.
Erdo:Remember I sent you with some papers to Damascus to teach
Bashar how to deal with demonstrations do you still have them.
Davut:No Afandem he torn them in front of me.
Erdo:Go to hell Davut.
Davut:I will Afandem .

June 1st, 2013, 2:49 pm


zoo said:

The ‘Gazman’ Erdogan now cracks down on Twitter to stop protest spread in other cities

Turkey Protests Spread After Clashes In Istanbul
By Guldenay Sonumut in Istanbul | Sky News – 19 minutes ago

A defiant Mr Erdogan said the redevelopment would go ahead despite the opposition and vowed to bring the unrest under control.

“Police were there yesterday, they’ll be on duty today and also tomorrow because Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild,” he said in televised remarks.

Support rallies have gathered in Ankara, Izmir, Kocaeli and Adana and their numbers are increasing.
People from all walks of life rallied around this seemingly unimportant protest. University students, actors, journalists, artists, young or old, conservative or liberal, were all united in the movement.

Social media has become the main source of information and people are now afraid the government will shut down the internet.

Twitter has become the eyes and ears of the Gezi movement. Protesters relay crucial information about police barricades, open roads, injury status or emergency situations.

Police closed access to ambulances on Friday and protesters who were injured asked for medical help via Twitter or Facebook.

A group of medical students and doctors volunteered and their names and numbers were quickly broadcast on Twitter, urging protesters to call them if anyone was seriously injured.

Lawyers have volunteered their services to those who have been arrested.

When police started using jammers to stop communication in Taksim, shops, cafes and businesses shared their wifi passwords on Twitter to help everyone share their pictures and videos.

June 1st, 2013, 2:55 pm


zoo said:

Turks love Erdogan? “They want to turn this country into an Islamist state,”

“But our fight is not over either,” said 19-year-old law student Batuhan Kantas, sitting exhausted on the ground in the square. “We are still ruled by a prime minister who thinks people are lambs and declares himself the sultan.”

“We have become one fist,” 33-year-old Ataman Bet said as he swept up shattered glass outside his small coffee shop near Taksim.

He noted that the protesters came from across the political spectrum, and even included some Erdogan supporters.

“People are angry, I am so proud of them,” he said, calling the damage to his shop a “necessary sacrifice”.

“We were sitting there around the square and reading a press statement when the police came toward us with riot vehicles, spraying gas,” said one demonstrator, 34-year-old Burak Ozbey.

He said his friend had to undergo a second brain surgery after she was hit in the head on Friday by a gas cannister and remains in critical condition.

Local media reported that Istanbul police were running short of tear gas supplies, and that the units had been warned to use the gas sparingly.

More than 60 people have been detained over the unrest, according to regional authorities.
Others held up cans of beer in defiance of the recent alcohol law by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that would bring severe restrictions to the sale and advertising of alcohol, which was seen by critics as the latest sign of creeping conservatism.

“They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy,” said one protester in Istanbul, declining to give her name.
Erdogan’s populist government is regularly accused of trying to make the predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular country more conservative.

June 1st, 2013, 3:06 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Senator John McCain visit to Syria is greatly appreciated by Syrian people, he is a good person ,that I am proud of him,and good republican,He will continue to work for the cause of freedom,and will put pressure on president Obama to act in favor of freedom, he is on the right side of history.

Today,there is huge fire in Liuaa 105 north of Damascus.

Two videos today worth mentioning
1- shows Alavi leader in Turkey saying that Anadhol Alavi are different from Syrian Alawis.
2- An Alawi leader clearly saying Alawis are NOT MUSLEMS,they have different book,which is not Quraan

The Alawi identity is not defined,there is only one definition,they are anti Sunni.

June 1st, 2013, 3:07 pm


revenire said:

Erdogan rules by repression – he always has. He is a failure and a towel boy for the West.

June 1st, 2013, 3:11 pm


zoo said:

Al Qaeda is fabricating sarin gaz in Iraq for use locally or abroad

Authorities in Iraq say they have uncovered an al Qaeda cell working to produce poison gas at two locations in Baghdad for future attacks both home and abroad.

Mohamed al Askari, spokesman for Iraq’s defence ministry, said five suspects had been detained over the construction of two facilities in the capital to produce sarin and mustard gas, using instructions from another al Qaeda group.

Four hooded suspects – three in bright yellow jumpsuits and one in a brown one – were presented at a news conference on Saturday which included a table display of beakers and jars of chemical compounds.

A pair of soldiers wearing gas masks and gloves brought out containers containing alleged chemical ingredients.

The members of the cell were prepared to launch attacks domestically, and also had a network to smuggle the toxins to neighbouring countries, and also to Europe and North America, said Mr Al Askari.

June 1st, 2013, 3:20 pm


revenire said:

Al-Qaeda = “Syrian” revolution.

1982 Hama
2011 Daraa

Same thing.

June 1st, 2013, 3:29 pm


revenire said:

On Erdogan’s democratic regime

As much as I would like to comment on the irony of Erdogan’s repression of “his own people” (terms normally reserved for Assad); or the flagrant hypocrisy of his depiction of unarmed protesters who are being shot in the head with tear gas canisters as ‘“extremists” (“Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild,”) while he portrays Turkish- backed terrorists who have torn Syria apart and killed tens of thousands, as the defenseless “Syrian people” who must be protected with Turkish military aggression and NATO missiles; or how “out of touch with his people” (another anti-Assad trope) he has become, considering that a large portion of them reject his government’s neo-liberal economics, low-intensity, procedural democracy— which has rendered Turkey yet another US/NATO/Israeli-supported “democratic regime” with all the authoritarian connotations such an oxymoron carries — and are alienated from the AKP’s House Islamism; or how he is being caricatured as an Ottoman sultan given his neo-Ottoman imperialist pretensions, which have been also been the subject of recent popular protests, specifically those against Turkey’s military intervention in Syria— opinion polls reveal that over two-thirds of the Turkish people staunchly oppose the AKP’s military assistance to the Syrian/foreign rebels. As much as I would like to write academic commentaries on all that, I would really prefer to be infantile and content myself with an : ” IN YO FACE *****

June 1st, 2013, 3:37 pm


zoo said:

Has Erdogan cancelled his promised trip to Gaza after his visit to Obama?

Iran Slashing Hamas Funding

Hamas’s support for Syrian rebels may cost it millions of dollars per month in Iranian aid.

First Publish: 6/1/2013, 10:24 PM
The British Daily Telegraph reports that Hamas, which rules Gaza, is paying a heavy price in lost aid over its assistance to the rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Iran has made a meaningful cut in its aid to Hamas, which had previously reached amounts as large as 15 million Australian dollars per month

June 1st, 2013, 3:42 pm


Dawoud said:

Thanks for uniting the Syrian opposition coalition!

تورط «حزب الله» في المعارك يوحد «الائتلاف»
واشنطن – جويس كرم
السبت ١ يونيو ٢٠١٣
لندن، اسطنبول، نيويورك – «الحياة»، رويترز، ا ف ب – قطع «الائتلاف الوطني السوري» خطوة مهمة على طريق التعاون بين الاسلاميين والعلمانيين من جهة والمدنيين والعسكريين من جهة ثانية. وجاء ذلك رداً على مشاركة «حزب الله» في معارك القصير، وفي اطار الاستعداد لاحتمال مشاركة «الائتلاف» في مؤتمر «جنيف – 2». وقال الرئيس السابق لـ»المجلس الوطني» برهان غليون ان «المخاض العسير» اسفر عن التوسيع و»انجاز كبير للرد» على الرئيس بشار الاسد «الذي يحتمي بروسيا وايران ويستعديهما على الشعب»، فيما ذكر معارضون قياديون ان تنامي دور «حزب الله» وايران في القصير دفع قادة «الائتلاف» الى التوحد.

June 1st, 2013, 3:45 pm


Dawoud said:

Erdogan to visit Gaza in the Middle of June!,7340,L-4386870,00.html

Report: Erdogan to visit Gaza

June 1st, 2013, 3:47 pm



Assad = Al Qaeda in Irak = Torture centers in Damascus for the CIA Guantanamo prisoners = Junud Ash Sham = Israel and sionist interests in the región

June 1st, 2013, 3:59 pm


Citizen said:

Full-scale war on Syria may spread cross borders. The entire region could become embroiled. Global war is possible. Imagine if it went nuclear. Imagine the consequences if it happens. They’re too grim to risk.

War is America’s strategy of choice. Israel operates the same way. Syria’s in the eye of the storm. Both countries plan full-scale intervention. Events head incrementally toward doing so.

They want Assad toppled and replaced. They want regional balkanization. Smaller weaker states facilitate control. America and Israel share similar goals.

Core Zionist doctrine prioritizes a “Greater Israel.” Maximum territory is wanted. Israel’s the only country without fixed borders. It’s for a reason.

It wants them extended as far as possible. It wants neighboring sovereign territory included. It wants regional rivals eliminated. Doing so furthers Middle East dominance.

America and Israel partner to achieve it. Washington wants it globally. Israel believes survival depends on controlling its own region. Syria’s part of its expansion plans. So is Lebanon.

Targeting Assad and Hezbollah reflect it. Proxy war rages in Syria. It’s spilling cross border into Lebanon. Iran’s targeted. Establishing pro-Western governments throughout the region is prioritized.

Events head incrementally toward full-scale Syrian intervention. Israel’s actively aiding Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and other extremist elements. So is Washington. Both countries pretend otherwise. They want the region redrawn in their own image.

A previous article discussed America’s New Middle East agenda. Achieving it depends on destabilization, subversion, chaos, violence, and full-scale war. US-style diplomacy reflects it.

One war segues to others. Divide, conquer and control reflect policy. It’s the oil, other valued resources and more. Unchallenged dominance is sought. Redrawing the region facilitates it. Strategy includes manufacturing threats.

According to Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau, Nigerian security forces uncovered a Hezbollah terrorist cell. Israel claims it planned numerous attacks on Western and Israeli targets.

It called doing so “part of the Shi’ite terror campaign against Israeli targets throughout the world.” It said additional cells likely operate in other African nations.

Claims without clear corroboration lack legitimacy. No evidence supports Israel’s allegations. Anti-Assad, Iran and Hezbollah ones are spurious. They’re repeated ad nauseam.

US and Israeli pressure got Germany to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Its longstanding position resisted. Other Western nations may pile on. Britain formally requested EU countries do so. Israel urged them earlier.

Hezbollah’s aiding its Syrian ally. It has every right to do so. Its own interests are at stake. Syria’s downfall could mean its own.

Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) claims Assad plans a Golan offensive against Syria. It said doing so is “the next stage of the Syrian war, which, if Tehran and Hizbollah have their way, will evolve in a war of attrition against Israel waged from the Syrian Golan.”

It claimed Iranian forces will be involved. Once “hostilities against Israel” begin, “it will be hard to stop the violence from spreading to Israel’s borders with Lebanon, from Syria into Turkey, and from Jordan into Syria and Iraq.”

A second DF report headlined “Israel’s dithering over Golan strikes gives Assad go-ahead for war of attrition.”

“(B)acked by Iran and Hizbollah,” Assad’s “resolve(d) to turn the divided Golan into the next ‘resistance front’ against Israel.” DF claims Syria and Hezbollah plan “to launch an escalating campaign of aggression across (Israel’s) borders.”

Saying so turns truth on its head. Assad has no aggressive intentions. Washington, Israel, and partnered countries head toward full-scale war on Syria. Falsely accusing Assad facilitates doing so.

Syrian National Coalition officials won’t participate. Refusal to do so assures failure. Proceeding will be an exercise in futility.

Peace talks are subterfuge. They mask war plans. Washington, Israel and partnered countries incrementally head toward doing so full-blown.

June 1st, 2013, 4:08 pm


Citizen said:

Des moudjahidines du peuple anti-iranien combattent en Syrie

gunmen in area “Kvrenbaudh” in the northern Hama use American guns, anti-tank model “M-40”, 106 mm , which means that his presence in Syria dates back to at least a few months. It is well known that the United States’ allies do not re-export the weapons to a third party without the prior permission of the U.S. Department of Defense (Pentagon)

June 1st, 2013, 4:25 pm


Tara said:

I am happy that the opposition is finally united and the Islamists, the secularists, the moderates, the activists and the fighters on the ground are now represented under one umbrella. This is a big achievements that I believe catalyzed by HA invasion of Syrian land. It took a while, yet that was very much expected given that oppressed Syrians were deprived from any form or shape of political life over the last 50 years.

June 1st, 2013, 4:33 pm


revenire said:

United? Ha ha ha.

June 1st, 2013, 4:35 pm


Ziad said:

Erdoğan urges Mubarak to heed people’s call for change

June 1st, 2013, 4:59 pm


Citizen said:

Who is Anti-Semite? And who are support those Anti-Semites?
In Qatar, an influential Sunni Muslim cleric whose TV show is watched by millions across the region, fanned the sectarian flames ignited by the Syria conflict and urged Sunnis everywhere to join the fight against Assad.

“I call on Muslims everywhere to help their brothers be victorious,” Yusuf al-Qaradawi said in his Friday sermon in the Qatari capital of Doha. “If I had the ability I would go and fight with them.”
The senior Muslim clerics such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais paying tribute to the killing of Jews by the Nazis and described them as “descendants of apes and pigs
قام كبار رجال الدين المسلمين مثل يوسف القرضاوي وعبد الرحمن السديس بالإشادة بقتل اليهود من قبل النازيين ووصفهم ب”أحفاد القردة والخنازير

June 1st, 2013, 5:11 pm


Dawoud said:

412. ZIAD

Population of Bahrain is 700,000. Bahraini citizens are only 300,000, 190,000 Shia and 110,000 Sunni. Out of the 400,000 who are NOT citizens (and many of which should be citizens according to most universal human rights standards) the majority are Sunni.

Now, is this an appropriate country for the Iranian dictatorship and Hasan Nasr-Satan to make a cause celebre for a Shia Wilayet al-Faqih theocracy?!!! al-Wifaq Party is an Iranian Wilayet al-Faqih puppet, and should never ever be allowed to hijack Bahrain in the same way that the Shia Lebanese terrorist party is doing. I still favor a non-monarchical democracy in Bahrain, plus naturalization of eligible long-term residence and those born in Bahrain.

June 1st, 2013, 5:15 pm


Dawoud said:

411. ZIAD

Erdogan was elected in a fair parliamentary elections. Mubarak was fraudulently “elected” in a “yes” and “no” referendum and he was the sole candidate. Turks can freely remove Erdogan from power in the next election. Erdogan’s police uses water to control demonstrators and Bashar uses MIGS, Scuds, chemical weapons, Shia Lebanese terrorist invaders, etc. to kill Syrians. No comparison!

June 1st, 2013, 5:19 pm


apple_mini said:

This whole interesting and exciting turmoil in Turkey is another gift given to the regime by some kind of twist of fate.

The first gift to the regime was the re-election of Obama. Believe it or not, the regime might have gone or retreated to the coast if Romney had won the election. The dominating voice and thinking in US administration are all about arming the rebels from the very beginning to overturn the regime based on US national interests. The southern front line with Jordan being the home base for the rebels might have been established if the US had pushed Jordanian king and his government to do it. It was Obama and his adviser Susan Rice made personal choice somehow against the well-entrenched thinking and decision.

Any choice does not make too much difference to US and its core allies since Syria was not that important and crucial to US anyway. But it makes huge difference to Syria.

Now Erdogan is facing the biggest crisis and this might put an official end to direct military support to the rebels from the north depending on the evolving situation in Turkey. This might well put the regime in the position that they no longer need any political solution by participating the upcoming conference with those rebels and foreign-backed opposition which the regime despises so much.

Syrian crisis has gone so bloody and so messy and it is the direct result of Erdogan’s diabolical meddling in Syria conflict.

The rebels would quickly become dwindling insurgents without supplies and support from Turkey.

Both events are what I called God given “gifts” to the regime.

So let us watch the situation in Turkey closely and carefully.

June 1st, 2013, 5:20 pm


Dawoud said:


You are violating the guidelines for posting long cut/paste articles. I hope that Mathew Barber is paying attention.


June 1st, 2013, 5:22 pm


revenire said:

Dave Erdogan was elected by fraud. Please.

June 1st, 2013, 5:27 pm


Citizen said:

What type of services that you want to present?
Have you something of service to Palestine?

June 1st, 2013, 5:30 pm


dawoud said:


Free Syria, after the removal of the most brutal dictatorship in modern Arab history (al-Assad’s genocidal regime), will provide the best SERVICE to Palestine!

June 1st, 2013, 5:33 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Hind Qabawat should not be allowed to enter the Coalition, she is supportive of Assad and Badr addin Hassoun, and very close friends and supportive of Buthaina Shaaban, I wonder how is Kilo is asking for her to join the Coalition

June 1st, 2013, 5:34 pm


revenire said:

The most brutal Arab dictatorships of the modern era are Saudi Arabia and Qatar. They are the ones killing Syrians. Assad is protecting Syrians.

June 1st, 2013, 5:35 pm


Uzair8 said:

So the regime is running out of money as suggested by the non-payment to the Italian models.

June 1st, 2013, 5:43 pm


Citizen said:

modern Arab history!!! OMG !!! today they are in the darkest decline era of the history!

June 1st, 2013, 5:50 pm


Tara said:

The head of the National Coalition should commit all members of the coalition to sign a conflict of interest disclosure where each member lists his/her financial ties/income from any organization or country for complete transparency.

June 1st, 2013, 6:06 pm


Ziad said:

Police withdraw from Taksim after violent crackdown as protesters remain defiant on 5th day

939 people in custody in 90 protests

June 1st, 2013, 6:07 pm


revenire said:

Syrian News

Turkish protesters attack the Grand Hotel in Adana where are hosted the leaders of the Syrian-based opposition coalition, police clash with protesters.

الاول من حزيران
متظاهرون اتراك يهاجمون الفندق الكبير في اضنة الذي يتخذه قادة الإئتلاف السوري المعارض مقرا لهم والشرطة تشتبك مع المتظاهرين

June 1st, 2013, 6:07 pm


Citizen said:

for good dancers, testicles are preventing!

June 1st, 2013, 6:07 pm


dawoud said:

424. CITIZEN s

Well, I change my earlier comment: al-Assad’s dictatorship is the worst in ALL Arab history EVER. No Arab dictators before Bashar had ever used Scud missiles, explosive barrels thrown from air, and chemical weapons to kill their own people. Bashar is the Arab champ in the competition for genocidal murder and war crimes!!!!!!!! Is his cruelty motivated just by thirst for power, or by sectarian bloody hatred, or BOTH?

June 1st, 2013, 6:10 pm


dawoud said:

ZIAD said:

“Police withdraw from Taksim after violent crackdown as protesters remain defiant on 5th day”

Thanks Mr. Erdogan for withdrawing police armed with WATER canons. Mabybe Bashar, the un-elected selected dictator, should withdraw his MiGs, Scud missiles, chemical weapons, Shia Lebanese invading terrorists, T72 tanks, etc. from committing genocidal war crimes against the Syrian people.

June 1st, 2013, 6:13 pm


revenire said:

Hezbollah has been invited into Syria by the legitimate government. On the other hand, the Libyans, Tunisians, Chechens, Afghans, Americans, Britons, Danes, Saudis, Qataris etc etc etc are all in Syria illegally.

I doubt very many of the terrorists will be leaving alive.

No nation on Earth would allow foreign terrorists to shoot at their people and live. The SAA is protecting the homeland.

June 1st, 2013, 6:32 pm


zoo said:


You forget two other gifts: The endemic division of the SNC unable to find a valid leadership and the fatal association of the FSA with Al Qaeda.

Bashar Al Assad has been blessed with many gifts to fight the vicious attempts to destroy Syria’s identity.

June 1st, 2013, 6:35 pm


Ziad said:

Will Syria now call for an international conference of the “Friends of Turkey” to be presided over by Armenia?

Angry Arab

June 1st, 2013, 6:36 pm


zoo said:

#431 Revenire

Illegal immigrants include the baffoon Mc Cain who should be sued for breaking the law of a foreign country.

June 1st, 2013, 6:38 pm


Citizen said:

Do you see the freedom of Palestine through express an opinion against the Syrian regime on SC?
You are in line with the Zionist defenders on SC, Right?

June 1st, 2013, 6:40 pm


Syrian said:

Ziad Alsoufi
Yesterday at 11:17am ·
من وين بدها تجيك لتجيك يا بووو حافظ..

خبر اليوم و بدون منافس، الخبر اللي انتشر بالتايمز عن رفع ١٦ عاهرة إيطالية بيشتغلو لأحد القنوات الإباحية المملوكة لبشار، دعوى عالرئيس الشاب لعدم دفع ١٤٤ يورو مستحقاتهون الشهرية..

عرفتو هلأ ليش زاد بدل الجيش؟؟
يا عاهرات، نحنا معاكون للمووووت…

June 1st, 2013, 6:42 pm


Uzair8 said:

Angry Arab seems very selective with his anger.

Perhaps he should change his name to (Selectively) Angry Arab.

June 1st, 2013, 6:43 pm


Tara said:

Hezbollah Stronghold Is Attacked From Syria
Published: June 1, 2013

The location of the shelling increased fears that spillover from the Syrian conflict was spreading deeper into Lebanon. Indiscriminate shelling has hit the smaller Shiite village of Hermel, in northeastern Lebanon, in recent weeks, killing several civilians. But Friday night’s rockets could be the most provocative yet, hitting a major population center in the northeastern Bekaa Valley. Baalbek is the farthest south in the Bekaa that shells from Syria targeting Hezbollah-controlled areas have reached.

Baalbek is home to one of Lebanon’s most important archaeological sites and tourist destinations, the Baalbek ruins, which include a pre-Hellenic temple and later Roman structures. It is also the site of an annual summer music festival that draws people from all over the region. Unrest in the Bekaa Valley would further hurt the Lebanese tourist and agricultural economies, which have already been devastated by the Syrian crisis. 
Another resident of Qusayr, who had fled to Baalbek, said doctors in Qusayr were sometimes forced to amputate limbs that had become infected because they had run out of sterilization supplies. The man, who gave only his family name, Zhouri, said more than 11,000 Hezbollah fighters were in town, burning apricot and apple orchards and shooting at wounded people trying to escape

June 1st, 2013, 6:46 pm


dawoud said:

435. Citizen

This is your personal opinion, with which I disagree because it doesn’t reflect my true beliefs. I grew up under the Israeli occupation, and I watched Palestinians’ human dignity violated at Israeli check points. Accordingly, I value freedom and reject the murder of my Syrian brothers and sisters. Israeli occupation is ugly in its own right and fashion, and I am not interested in making a comparison between dictatorships and occupation regimes. I only say that the terror that al-Assad’s regime has unleashed against the Syrian people has been beyond anything I expect to see. It’s cruel and this what has motivated me. I am an Arab, and I care about Syrians as much as I care about my Palestinian people. So please stop suggesting, although indirectly, that I should not write about the ongoing genocidal war in Syria because I am Palestinian. Besides, hasn’t the regime killed Palestinian refugees in al-Ramel Refugee Camp in Latakia and the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus? I reject terror and war crimes against ALL humans and EVERYWHERE!

June 1st, 2013, 6:50 pm


dawoud said:

437. UZAIR8

His bithplace and homeland is now under the the control of the Shia Lebanese Hizb, whose terrorists are now invading al-Qasir and Ghouta. Is is bias based on sectarian bias, or just the desire NOT to get in trouble whenever his visits his Lebanese homeland? I am not sure! I just can’t see how Ph.D. intellectuals still support hereditary war criminal/genocidal dictatorship!

June 1st, 2013, 6:58 pm


majoos said:

the difference between a staged revolution such as in Syria and a real one as the french revolution the tahrir revolution or the current “tree” revolution in turkey is that a real revolution starts in the metropolises and “staged” revolution don t.

June 1st, 2013, 7:01 pm


dawoud said:

P.S., Citizen

Do you also ask pro-dictator Lebanese and Americans to stop posting on “Syria Comment” because they are not Syrian?! Or, would you have asked me so if weren’t against the genocidal Syrian regime and its Shia Lebanese terrorist ally?

June 1st, 2013, 7:02 pm


Citizen said:

Turkish protester playing the guitar in front of the security forces. Fight them with music.

June 1st, 2013, 7:03 pm


Tara said:

Cleric Qaradawi urges Sunnis to join rebels

Sheikh Qaradawi has about 60 million followers for his religious programme on al-Jazeera TV

An influential cleric has called on Sunni Muslims from around the Middle East to go to Syria to join the battle against President Bashar al-Assad.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamist based in Qatar, told a rally in Doha that every Sunni capable of fighting should support the rebels.

He also claimed Iran and the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, Mr Assad’s main allies, wanted to exterminate Sunnis.

“Iran is pushing forward arms and men, so why do we stand idle?”

Sheikh Qaradawi, who has about 60 million followers for his religious programme on al-Jazeera TV, also denounced Hezbollah, whose name means the “Party of God” in Arabic, as the “Party of Satan”.

The cleric used to be an advocate of rapprochement with the Shia and defended Hezbollah against other Sunni authorities.

Now, he said he regretted that, because he realised that there was no common ground between the two, because the Iranians, especially hardliners, just wanted to “devour” the Sunnis.

June 1st, 2013, 7:04 pm


majoos said:

the difference between a staged revolution such as in Syria and a real one as the french revolution the tahrir revolution or the current “tree” revolution in turkey is that a real revolution starts in the metropolises and “staged” revolution don t.

June 1st, 2013, 7:04 pm


majoos said:

A surprisingly really different coverage of “Al Arabija” and “Al JAzeera” of the Turkish revolution!
In how far do the Qatari intersts differ from that of the Saudi´s?

Was Qatars support for the very extreme islamists in Syria a way of discrediting the Syrian revolution?
Does Thani and Assad do have common interests?
Why did Assad not dispossess Thanis many Hotels, Properties e.t.c. in Syria even though he virtualy declared war at Syria?

June 1st, 2013, 7:11 pm


Citizen said:

413. CITIZEN said:
Who is who?

June 1st, 2013, 7:12 pm


Tara said:

The Turks are demonstrating over a green park in Taksim. Syrians demonstrated over the torture, burning and nail pulling of grade school-aged children in Deraa.

June 1st, 2013, 7:24 pm


Syrian said:

Feras A. Atassi
11 hours ago ·
المواطنون الأتراك يخرجون في شارع تقسيم ليشكروا الله على نعمة المطر

كيفك فيا !!!

June 1st, 2013, 7:25 pm


revenire said:

You better go read that Turkish story again. That isn’t what they are demonstrating about now.

June 1st, 2013, 7:27 pm


majoos said:

Turks are protesting against the mot repressive gouvernment in the world, where more journalists are detained as in China.
A gouvernment which welcomed, armed and organized Chechen, Lybian, and other radical Salafists who underminded a rightful demand for more rights in Syria.
If you, Tara, would really wanted the Syrian revolution to succeed how could you downplay the atrocities by the Salafists?
How do Salafists, who call for the extermination not only of Alawites but also of Sufis or other “moderat” Sunnis who they despise as Kafirs?
How do such Salafis differ from Nazis?
After the Salafis took over the revolution it s more than logical that every sane Syrian would rather with their former “moderate” oppressors than with this animal Salafis in human disguise.
Don t you think?

June 1st, 2013, 7:32 pm


revenire said:

From Turkish media and note they want Erdogan gone. They are not protesting about a shopping mall. It is a lie to say that and a witting lie.

Read on:

“Despite the repeated police interventions, the numbers gathered at the protests only increased. Protesters chanted slogans against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling on the government to resign.”

June 1st, 2013, 7:33 pm


dawoud said:

450. TARA said:

“The Turks are demonstrating over a green park in Taksim. Syrians demonstrated over the torture, burning and nail pulling of grade school-aged children in Deraa.”

Yes, Tara, I agree with you!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

June 1st, 2013, 7:38 pm


majoos said:

@Dawood and Tara

I don t know if you re just blind or what your deal is?
You both are not capable to hold any serious conversation nor argument. I don t know if you re paid or are just thinking it s funny to justify the most babaric movement on the face of this earth?
you should really take a few minutes and look into the mirror and just try to think. Even if you re agnostic or atheist and don t believe that you ve to justify yourself, you ought to have some conscious?
I m not giving up on you and hope in the very best on every human!

June 1st, 2013, 7:53 pm


Citizen said:

Russia Send Aircraft Carrier To The Mediterranean sea!

June 1st, 2013, 8:08 pm


Syrian said:

This is not a Salfis revolution, true most the funding is coming from Salafis sources and they have fighters, but they are not the majority,
They are to Syrians is what Hizb Alshytan is to Batta, same way the so called “secular ” regime using Shia fitghters who Have been declared terrorists long ago,
The Syrian people are using the Salafis to fight you,
but they have not been declared terrorist as Hizb Alshytan so the Syrian people are up one on you there
There is a bigger chance that they will come around than we will ever have with Batta and his Hizb Alshytan
And If we have to lose to on or the other I will take the Salfis Arab over the Shia Majoos any day of the week
And if we lose to the Majoos, history books will write that we did not lose without a great fight.

June 1st, 2013, 8:10 pm


majoos said:


Are you really serious? The entire revolution in Syria is currently just and only because of the Salafis. A large portion of Sunnis in Syria would rather live under what you d describe “a majoos” secular dictatorship as under a taliban-like Salafi rule. That and also the fact, that Allavi, Druze and the Christians are even more afraid that those Salafis are gaining the upper hand are the sole reason the “regime” is gaining grounds in the past months, it s definitly not the 3-6 thousend Hisballah fighters.
In the same time you re loosing the entire support you once had from the US and Europe.

June 1st, 2013, 8:16 pm


majoos said:

“The Syrian people are using the Salafis to fight you,
but they have not been declared terrorist as Hizb Alshytan so the Syrian people are up one on you there”

don t get me wrong, I m not a Syrian and my only wish is that Syrians of all sect and ethnicities will have a future of self-determination which is primally shaped by respect towards each other.
Salafi groups are not only declared terrorists by many states, such as Al-Qauida or …, they are nowadays the arch-type of terrorism for people worldwide.

June 1st, 2013, 8:21 pm


Tara said:

“Russia Send Aircraft Carrier To The Mediterranean sea!”

I am scared.

June 1st, 2013, 8:24 pm


majoos said:

Tara, what Russia does and the US, Britain or France are just granting their respective elites are share of the pie. Thats all rational!

I m scared by irrational pseudo-intellectual people like you, people like you are the ones empowering this kind of governments!

June 1st, 2013, 8:27 pm


dawoud said:

460. TARA

I am scared and already hiding in the closet 🙂

Is he the same Vladmir Putin who will NOT send these S-300 to the Syrian genocidal/war criminal dictator (Bashar al-Assad) until “the Autumn,” or 2014? Or 2016, when probably Ali Farzat, the cartoonist, is the president of Syria 🙂

June 1st, 2013, 8:37 pm


Syrian said:

To the anti Sunni
How would you know what the Syrians want,just the fact that you used the name Majoos shows that you know nothing about Syrian.
It is also more of a fact that the regime have only survived because of the unlimited support of Iran and Hizb Alshytan
It was the regime who forced the ppl. To chose between him and the Salfis.
All those minorities you counted are about 20% of Syrians,
And the Sunnis who did not join the revolution are by no means on your side
If the regime was getting the upper hand it would not need the “3-6thousands” from Hizb Alshytan.
Syrians got nothing from the US or Europe other than empty talk,
The fact that the Syrian ppl. Withstood a regime that has been preparing for this day for the last40 years with the full support of Iran Russia and. HA only speak to the greatness of the fighters of the FSA
Like I said before if we lose to you we made sure you did not win the easy way
Let’s see Iran pay 200 billion dollars to rebuild the country.
And we will go at it again to 20-30 years
We have withstood a bigger foe through out history, we are the majority and will always be

June 1st, 2013, 8:41 pm


Dawoud said:

462. SYRIAN:

SYRIAN says: “If the regime was getting the upper hand it would not need the “3-6thousands” from Hizb Alshytan.”

I agree with you, and I just want to add that the regime DOESN’T have the “upper hand” anywhere in Syria. Not even in Damascus? If they have the capital under control, why don’t they withdraw the army to their barracks and let only the police-as is the case in all civilized nations-handle internal security. How many times did we hear about their control/”liberation” of Homs? Same in al-Qasir is the regime and its Shia Lebanese terrorist allies occupy it, they will not be able to hold it-and they have to pay a heavy price!

This is what happens when a regime turns against its own people! It’s a losing war for the regime. Freedom will win!

June 1st, 2013, 8:59 pm


Observer said:

The most barbaric movement is the regime in Syria. The “information” minister is castigating Erdogan for ” repressing ” the Turkish people. This is someone who has removed the skin of his behind and put it on his face.

How dare he castigate Erdogan? How can he compare the disastrous policies of the last 10 years of the regime with the meteoric rise of the Turkish economy; the advancement of democracy; the rule of law; the recognition that mistakes are made daily; and the fact that the people can vote him out anytime.

How is it possible that we have morons claim that the so called SAA does not kill civilians? The 100 000 killed died of what pray tell me? the 800 000 families that were left without water over the last 10 years? the monopolistic economy of extracting the wealth of the people for the few?

Even if for the sake of arguing we were to suppose that more than 100 000 foreign fighters have entered Syria, how come no one was brought for questioning? how come the minister of the interior was not fired? how come the 17 security services were found wanting?

This is an animal farm; run by a retarded inferiority complexed thugs with nothing more than barbarism as its only means to stay in power and helped by hate filled sectarian animals and of course all in the name of liberating Palestine. Poor Palestine in the name of its liberation we have now witnessed the rape and torture and destruction of at least four or five generations of people.

If only they could come close to the sole of Erdogan then they would be considered as barely human

Death to Sykes Picot and Justice for Hamza

Now I am anxiously awaiting a lesson in ME history on how all that we learned is just fake and that the Ottomans filled these countries with various groups to tilt the balance their way.

At the end these are the people that are living here, if you do not like living with them go ahead and declare a state and get out of our hair and take Palestine liberation movements with you please.

June 1st, 2013, 9:11 pm


Syrian said:

Of course Batta will never win. Even his supporters in Syria will come to the conclusion that to save and rebuild Syria, Batta has to go
Iran and Russia don’t have the money or the will to pay or the to pay 200 billion to rebuild let alone feed 20 millions hungry population.
I can see Ali khamini looking al the 4 billion dollars he has just gave to the regime thinking to himself I will never see this money again.

June 1st, 2013, 9:14 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Hizbollah,by sending fighters to aid Assad, he is stepping up the fight,he has declared loud and clear it is Shiite against Sunni,several thousands HA fighters joined Assad, this will justify,all Moslem men to swarm to Syria to fight along their brothers, I heared Qaradawi called for jihad, and he declared Shiite as worse enemy than jewish and christians,that could mean millions will go to Syria to fight HA,and yes there will be massive arming, If this happens,this means HA made a fatal mistake,they will not stop in Syria, they will go to Lebanon.
It seems that Hassan Nasrallah has made his third major mistake,I don’t think he was smart in this terrible move

June 1st, 2013, 9:16 pm


Dawoud said:


Yes, and one day the army of Free Syria would be justified to move to Beirut’s southern Dhahiya to ARREST this sectarian murderous hypocrite. He has a lot of innocent Syrian blood on his hands, and justice MUST BE served!

June 1st, 2013, 9:45 pm


zoo said:

It’s Russia against Qatar

Diplomat: Russia blocks UN Security Council declaration criticizing Syrian siege of Qusair

By Associated Press, Updated: Saturday, June 1, 9:35 PM

UNITED NATIONS — A U.N. diplomat says Russia has blocked a Security Council declaration that would have criticized the Syrian regime’s offensive against the rebel-held town of Qusair.

The Security Council diplomat says Russia blocked the declaration because the council made no statement when rebels seized the town. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions Saturday were private.

June 1st, 2013, 10:11 pm


Syrian said:

It is Russia against the security council
The Washington post did not mention the name Qatar even once

June 1st, 2013, 10:20 pm


zoo said:

Nobody take seriously the SNC’s pretext for boycotting the conference. It is clear they will bow very soon in another humiliating compromise. In the meantime the delay plays in favor of the Syrian government. In addition the SNC has no political program as they were betting on a foreign military intervention a la Libya

News Analysis: Syrian opposition’s disarray could benefit Assad’s position

After a week-long meeting in Turkey’s Istanbul, Syria’s National Coalition (SNC), the main opposition umbrella in exile, refused to partake in an international conference in Geneva… citing what it called the relentless attack by the Syrian army on the central city of al-Qussair.

Local analysts played down the SNC’s pretext and said that its rejection emanated from its inner differences and that the conference will surely take place as officials from Russia, the United States and the United Nations are expected to meet in Geneva on June 5 to discuss preparations for the upcoming conference.

Yet, political analysts said that the longer it takes for the conference to be held, the better the situation would turn in favor of the Syrian administration.

Maher Morhej, a political expert and head of the oppositional Youth Party, told Xinhua that the Syrian administration has no problem in waiting for the conference as its troops are making huge achievements, adding that “the only beneficiary in delaying the conference is the regime, not the rebels.”

Bassam Abdullah, a political expert who runs a research center in Damascus, said the SNC rejected to participate in the Geneva conference because “it has no political program.”

He contended that the exiled opposition has always placed its bets on the possibility of a foreign military intervention to topple Assad by forces.

June 1st, 2013, 10:23 pm


revenire said:

Brother Majed there are already 10s of 1000s of foreign jihadis in Syria. What are you talking about?

June 1st, 2013, 10:33 pm


zoo said:

#469 Syrian

Qatar is co-sponsoring this resolution as it did for all the resolutions submitted to the GA of the UN

“If adopted, the draft resolution put forward by the United States, Turkey and Qatar would order an existing team of investigators to “urgently conduct a comprehensive, independent and unfettered special inquiry” into the alleged massacre of hundreds of people in Qusayr”

The resolution, first presented Tuesday, was revised to condemn all violence “irrespective of where it comes from” following criticism that it was unbalanced, since it only took issue with abuses committed by the regime’s camp.

Syria’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Bashar Jaafari, nonetheless called the text “shameful”, “biased” and “politically motivated”.

He insisted “the town of Qusayr has seen no massacres,” and blamed opposition jihadists backed by Qatar and Turkey for any abuses there.

Russian ambassador Alexey Borodavkin also called the resolution as well as the urgent debate on Syria “untimely and counterproductive”.

He insisted a probe could not be independent, since all the blame for the Qusayr killings had already been laid on Damascus, and urged the council to “deny support to this dangerous and hypocritical resolution.”

June 1st, 2013, 10:34 pm


revenire said:

“The Washington post did not mention the name Qatar even once.”

If you had done your homework you would have known that the resolution was an effort of the terrorist-state Qatar.

June 1st, 2013, 10:37 pm


zoo said:

According to the Observatory, there has been no “massacre” in Al Qusayr as the Syrian army took over 75% of the town. The 1500 wounded are mostly rebels in the area they still hold. If they surrender, the wounded can be taken care of.

“The Observatory, an anti-Assad network that monitors the violence in Syria through medical and security sources on the ground, said at least one person was killed during fighting inside Qusair and that Assad’s troops were being reinforced ahead of a possible assault on the remaining rebel-held areas.

Rebels also tried to attack the nearby Daba military air base, seized by the army on Wednesday, and fought Assad’s troops around Daba village, it said.”

June 1st, 2013, 10:47 pm


revenire said:

I am against any ceasefire in Qusayr.

Perhaps this traitor – Idris – has told the truth for once in his miserable life:

“Idris warned the ‘revolution could be lost’, if the West did not act quickly and support the rebels with heavy weaponry.”

Idris also went onto say that the SAA and Hezbollah were overwhelming the terrorists still in a corner of Qusayr.

June 1st, 2013, 10:47 pm


Syrian said:

The fact the regime blinked 1st,means they are under more pressure. And as long the fighting will continue up to and through the meeting why would the SNC agree right away if they can get some benefit along the way like more funding,or other assurances they are asking for .

June 1st, 2013, 10:48 pm


revenire said:

I don’t see it that way.

I don’t see the SNC as anything other than puppets who can’t agree on anything. They are “here today gone tomorrow people” who have zero support in Syria. A parade of nothings.

Sure a few at SC support them but do people in the US count? Not really.

I don’t think this fake revolution has accomplished anything but killing innocent Syrians and destroying Syrian infrastructure.

Perhaps that was the goal all along.

June 1st, 2013, 11:06 pm


Syrian said:

Zoo your mixing up Genava with NYC
At any case if you want to elevate Qatar to the size of Russia or down grade Russia to the size of Qatar it is OK. It is a win win situation.
It was Britain who put up the draft

“Britain, president of the 15-nation council, had circulated a draft statement to fellow members voicing “grave concern about the situation in al-Qusair, Syria, and in particular the impact on civilians of the ongoing fighting.”

June 1st, 2013, 11:09 pm


Dawoud said:

ATTN: Mathew Barber

470. ZOO
Violated your guidelines by posting a long article.

June 1st, 2013, 11:16 pm


Dawoud said:

So, Cyprus-according to the story in al-Quds al-Arabi, has cancelled Rami Makhlouf’s (Bashar al-Assad’s cousin and money launderer) citizenship! He could have used to travel throughout the E.U., and money-launder his looted/embezzled fortune!

قبرص تسحب جنسيتها من رامي مخلوف ابن خال الأسد
JUNE 1, 2013

June 1st, 2013, 11:20 pm


revenire said:



June 1st, 2013, 11:21 pm


Syrian said:

The SNC is not any more of puppets than Batta who is the puppet of Iran and Russia
At the end if the Syrian have to be someone’s puppets. They are better off being the West puppets.
And the fact that all of you regime supporters lives in the west or dreaming to emigrate to the west,is a clue that you also would rather be a puppet of the west

In the end don’t mistake the current stalemate as a victory for Russia, the west will not allow Russia to win, not before not ever

June 1st, 2013, 11:24 pm


revenire said:

“Syrian” are you kidding?

“The resolution, also co-sponsored by Turkey and Qatar, criticizes the presence of foreign combatants supporting President Bashar al-Assad — a reference to Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese militant Shiite group — warning that its involvement poses a serious threat to regional stability.”

Qatar – US – Turkey?

Does it matter in the end?

June 1st, 2013, 11:26 pm


Dawoud said:

Iraq’s Moktadah al-Sadr REFUSES “orders” form Lebanon’s Hasan Nasr-Satan to send Iraqi Shia fighters to Syria. The latter accuses the former of being a “traitor,” while the former says that he wouldn’t endanger Iraq’s national unity by sending sectarian forces to kill Syrians.

معضلة أسير نصر الله

‘أنتم خونة’ بهذا اتهم حسن نصرالله مقتدى الصدر الزعيم الشيعي العراقي الانفصالي. وكان هذا الاتهام ذروة الخلاف القوي الذي نشأ بين الزعيمين الشيعيين بعد ان رفض الصدر بشدة الاستجابة لطلب نصرالله ان يرسل محاربين للمعركة في سورية.
وأفادت الصحيفة السعودية ‘السياسة’ التي نشرت هذا الاسبوع تفصيلات عن الاختلاف على لسان زعيم شيعي انفصل عن صفوف الصدر، ان الصدر اتهم نصرالله بأنه ‘يطمح الى تحطيم ما بقي من الوحدة الوطنية العراقية. ان مشاركة شيعة عراقيين في الحرب في سورية، تعني حربا أهلية في العراق. اذا كنت تريد تعريض لبنان للخطر فأنت وذاك لكن لا يجوز لك ان تُعرض الشيعة في العراق للخطر’.

June 1st, 2013, 11:27 pm


revenire said:

I can’t agree that Assad is a puppet of Iran. They are allies sure but a puppet in the sense the SNC is? Not even close.

As far as the West and Russia. The West doesn’t have a lot of leverage over Russia or Syria. They’ve spent nearly a decade sending troops and weapons and are losing. Sure the West could go to over war over Syria. That is possible. I doubt they will.

If they did Russia would respond. The West knows this. Will they risk a larger war over this failed project? Maybe.

June 1st, 2013, 11:31 pm


Ziad said:

Fractious, farcical gathering sees Syrian opposition squabble to a standstill

It is the Assad regime’s genius that many of the opposition leaders arguing in Istanbul have no experience or background in politics

June 2nd, 2013, 12:02 am


revenire said:

Posters on this forum are supporting a bloodthirsty dictator! Erdogan!!

Hundreds have sustained injuries over the past two days, some serious, with at least three people said to be in critical condition. There are reports of head trauma and broken limbs. Human Rights Watch confirmed that one 23-year-old student lost an eye after being hit with a plastic bullet by police.

“This excessive violence once again shows that this government is intolerant of dissent and restrictive of dissent,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, senior Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But this is a new low, even for Turkey.”

June 2nd, 2013, 12:07 am


revenire said:

Wait? The opposition ISN’T united? How can that be? Why just today I read they were right here on SC!?!?


June 2nd, 2013, 12:07 am


revenire said:

Good news brothers! My sources in Hezbollah tell me the “FSA” is in full panic mode in Qusayr.

I have raw video footage but won’t post it here.

There is no need to.

Onward to victory!

June 2nd, 2013, 12:15 am


Syrian said:

We’ll agree to disagree to Batta’s puppethood to Iran
On the matter of the war between Russia and the West over Syria, that of course will not happen
But the Russian themselves were beaten at the hight of their power in Afghanistan by people willing to fight with the western and Muslims backing
And Batta is not Russia and the Syrians are more willing to fight than the Afghan, but they need the same weapons the Afghan got. And that is all what will take.
The West now are enjoying watching Russia and Iran draining their resources in Syria.
With Russian weapons that Batta will never be able to pay them back .and Iran and Hizb Alshytan getting killed in Syria with out the west spending a penny,
When they see Batta about to win they will open the arms faucet a little so to keep fighting.
The Syrians so far are still holding and thanks strangely enough to the years of living under Hafiz, they are used to live in hardship,
In the end a minority will never beat the majority in long run

June 2nd, 2013, 12:20 am


revenire said:

I am not sure what arms you want? Artillery? Anti-tank weapons? SAMs? MiGs?

My opinion is if they received all the weapons they are asking for the end result would be the same: SAA victory. The only difference would be the number of civilians dead.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:30 am


revenire said:

Saw this just a bit ago on YouTube and it is funny because it is so true:

“Turkey has a NATO BASE. Israel is part of NATO and it supports FSA. QATAR has several American bases and it supports FSA. Saudi has many AMERICAN BASES and it supports FSA. BAHRAIN has THE AMERICAN 5th fleet and it supports FSA. Now the beig question is… who is fighting on the devils side?”

“HIZBALLAH + BASHAR + IRAN + IRAQ: not even one American base and they all resist against America everyday verbally and physically.”

This is a good response to those who call some Satan.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:32 am


Ilya said:

Sorry to disappoint you but Soviet Union was not beaten in Afghanistan,its western myth that USSR was defeated to boost their ego.
We just puled out from there as it became too expensive to fight there.
Btw we did lots of nice things there build highways,factories,schools, hospitals.etc that are operational till this day.
I believe Russian and Afghan people are friends, there is no animosity between us.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:43 am


Syrian said:

Here is a video for you
An hour old from inside Damascus
A car attack on an army, shabiha and sniper center in Jobar Damascus

June 2nd, 2013, 1:14 am


Sami said:

“Saw this just a bit ago on YouTube and it is funny because it is so true”

Except Israel is not a member of NATO.

It is however listed as a Partner State along with Iraq, Algeria, UAE, Jordan, Pakistan and numerous others.

So either you’re ill-informed and passing on false information or you’re knowingly fudging the truth? in order to deceive us; which one is it?

June 2nd, 2013, 1:20 am


Sam said:

Reve, I love reading yours and zoo’s post. I’m very pro Assad. As proud Syrians, we have to get the word out to all Syrians living in diaspora, that after the SAA is triumphant and liberates our beloved Syria from the terrorist scum, we go to Syria and spend the most you ever did on a vacation. I have a list of relatives that are saving from now, and the total so far is well over 100 grand. We’re coming back with no money!!!!

June 2nd, 2013, 1:28 am


Syrian said:

It seems that the Syrian goverment learned how to win from your government in 73 and 67
I did not know about the school thing, but I’ll take your word for it
I most nations People don’t have animosities between them ,it is always the few at the top that ruin it for everybody

June 2nd, 2013, 1:39 am


apple_mini said:

The so-called “surprise” attack by the rebels this morning seems over now. With only random shooting to be heard and low roaring continuous shelling by SAA and overall quiet situation in the city right now.

People just headed out for work.

Of course those rebels will come back because they are insurgents. We shall see more SAA assaulting those villages and towns used by the rebels as their bases. That is what hurts the rebels most. Compared to Baghdad, Damascus is still safer. What an irony.

June 2nd, 2013, 1:40 am


Syrian said:

“Compared to Baghdad, Damascus is still safer. What an irony”
Give it time

June 2nd, 2013, 1:52 am


Syrian said:


I’d like to believe Rev. is misinformed.the guy was just talking about Satan, that means he know right and wrong
Deceiving is bi sin, right rev.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:00 am


Syrian said:

Big *

June 2nd, 2013, 2:02 am


apple_mini said:

To the poster of #498: Of course, aren’t those terrorist attacks what you and your terrorists are only capable of and not shy from relying on?

To be frank, we were expecting more car bombs inside the city. Thanks to meticulous and extensive check points and vigilant civilians and soldiers, we have seen much less of that kind of violence.

Nowadays, terrorist attacks are more than political or military means. They actually became more as tools for revenge by sectarian extremists and a bunch of depressed “opposition” members feeling losing their dirty and ugly revolution. In the end, it is civilians getting suffered the most. And we do not expect you and your friends care that much.

To us, you and your friends have lost the war. Not only on the battle field.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:55 am



if this is your healing dialogue?!
then, be insulted if you wish.

It is in legitimate governments where days are numbered
It is called election cycle, something loyalists never understood and never will.

For once, you are asking the right question. But then you fail to carry on with the point on your own…
A hint: it will not become Tahrir Square. In fact, it was.

June 2nd, 2013, 4:00 am


Sam said:

I once believed there was in fact a war on terror, glued to the tv waiting to catch bin laden , then saadam, then the next “boogie man”. It’s amazing how mainstream media can totally disinform the public, and worse, they get away with it!! They’re like the weatherman who is 70% wrong, and keeps his job. The neo-cons had their vision of regime change throughout the Middle East , the only problem was, the true and only regimes that should have been changed was KSA and Qatar! The only true trouble makers out there, we have the mainstream media to help and most of all…..attack on 9/11 ! They already spun it from the beginning, claiming majority of hijackers were Saudi, we shoulda invaded them! Eliminate future Wahhabi and takfiri jihadist, then taken the oil, people believed the lie, they shouldn’t have disappointed them.

June 2nd, 2013, 4:09 am


Syrian said:

@501 apple-mini
I don’t know should I ask Mathew to ban you for personal attack, or just let you be.
Any way that center where the bombing happened was an army post that killed tens of inocents civilians before all if Jober residences had to leave. And you know very well that there are not any civilians left in Jober.
Unlike your regime indescrement bombings with Scuds, barrel bombs and actual sectarian massacres of hundreds in Banais that you shamlewsly called ” hardly a massacre ”

Really you got some nerve!

June 2nd, 2013, 4:20 am


Citizen said:

Syria: FSA Rocket Launch Fail (day without sunshine!!)
A day in Syria without a failed rocket launch somewhere, is like a day without sunshine. Wait for it…

June 2nd, 2013, 4:47 am


Citizen said:

460 – 461 Sit and Enjoy!
This video is about the world’s most dangerous and powerful (ICBM) Missiles, Russian new ballistic missiles vs the world’s most powerful countries. You can live your whole life and don’t see such amazing scenes. Watch this and be informed of reality. Sit and Enjoy , but take care , this is going to be very hotttt !!! …
thank you for watching!

June 2nd, 2013, 4:58 am


Student said:

Dear Mathew,

slowly and slowly your making this blog unreadable. It’s a blog, not an academic journal. You should try to reduce your article a little bit seriously. Their getting longer and longer. Not that I’m lazy. Quite the opposite. And your articles are really rich. But its a blog boy ! Stick to the format !

June 2nd, 2013, 5:43 am


Tara said:

Mrs. Mansfield will be buried the way she wanted to be buried….

Triana Lynn Mansfield posted on a Facebook page called R.I.P. Nicole Lynn Mansfield that her mother had told her that because her identification had been stolen she could not come home right away. She said she now believed that Syrian government forces had set her mother up and killed her because she was American.

My mother was NOT a terrorist. She went there for a reason that is unknown. But believe this-SHE WAS FORCED TO STAY. She told me she would be back in a week. Last time my family talked to her she said someone stole her ID. How did her ID end up on national television? They forced her to stay and die for media publicity

In Michigan, Ms. Mansfield and Ms. Wilson converted to Islam at about the same time about six years ago. They studied the Koran at a mosque in Flint, Ms. Wilson said, where they shared an apartment and worked as home health care aides. She said they both embraced the religion and became Muslims as a path to inner peace.

“She was a good person, a peaceful person,” Ms. Wilson said on Friday, still shocked by the news that F.B.I. agents brought Ms. Mansfield’s family on Thursday. “She is all about peace. She is all about helping people. I don’t understand this. She texted me about three and a half weeks ago and said she was coming home.”

Ms. Wilson said that the Arab uprising in early 2011 had fueled Ms. Mansfield’s interest in the politics of the Middle East and North Africa. She said that she would openly discuss her concerns about the plight of the people in Syria but never indicated she would join rebel forces.

Ms. Wilson said they had traveled to Washington in 2011 to support the Arab uprising in Egypt.

On Facebook, Triana Lynn Mansfield said that she just wanted her mother’s body brought to the United States. “My mother is gone but she will never be forgotten, she is where she wants/needs to be because she’s serving a higher purpose,” she wrote. “I just want her home, so we can bury her the way she wanted to be buried.”

June 2nd, 2013, 7:23 am


zoo said:

Erdogan’s son in law is the CEO of a construction company who won a contract to transform a working class neighborhood into an upscale residences and malls areas in Istanbul.

A five-minute walk from Gezi Park lies Tarlabasi, a working class neighborhood that has long been home to those who live on the city’s margins – a century ago, it was Greek, Jewish, and Armenian craftsmen; today, it is members of the Kurdish minority who migrated there to escape the bloody insurgency in Turkey’s southeast.

it used an eminent domain law to lay claim to much of the area, empowering a private development company to transform it into an upscale neighborhood of luxury apartment buildings and shopping malls.
The company that won the contract to rebuild Tarlabasi is owned by Calik Holding, whose CEO is Erdogan’s son-in-law. The symbiotic relationship between businessmen and politicians appears alive and well in Erdogan’s Turkey.

June 2nd, 2013, 8:44 am


zoo said:

70% of Syrians now support Assad, 10% support the rebels and 20% neutral

“The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent of Syrians support the Assad regime. Another 20 percent were deemed neutral and the remaining 10 percent expressed support for the rebels.”

NATO data: Assad winning the war for Syrians’ hearts and minds

LONDON — After two years of civil war, support for the regime of
Syrian President Bashar Assad was said to have sharply increased.

NATO has been studying data that told of a sharp rise in support for Assad. The data, compiled by Western-sponsored activists and organizations, showed that a majority of Syrians were alarmed by the Al Qaida takeover of the Sunni revolt and preferred to return to Assad.
“The people are sick of the war and hate the jihadists more than Assad,” a Western source familiar with the data said. “Assad is winning the war mostly because the people are cooperating with him against the rebels.”

The data, relayed to NATO over the last month, asserted that 70 percent of Syrians support the Assad regime. Another 20 percent were deemed neutral and the remaining 10 percent expressed support for the rebels.

The sources said no formal polling was taken in Syria, racked by two years of civil war in which 90,000 people were reported killed. They said the data came from a range of activists and independent organizations that were working in Syria, particularly in relief efforts.
A report to NATO said Syrians have undergone a change of heart over the last six months. The change was seen most in the majority Sunni community, which was long thought to have supported the revolt.

“The Sunnis have no love for Assad, but the great majority of the
community is withdrawing from the revolt,” the source said. “What is left is the foreign fighters who are sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. They are seen by the Sunnis as far worse than Assad.”

June 2nd, 2013, 8:54 am


zoo said:

Is Jordan afraid of Qatar’s pernicious news outlet? Al Jazeera website banned.

Jordan gov’t said to block more than 200 websites
Some of the more prominent pages that have apparently been blocked by the government include Qatari news portal Al Jazeera, Time Out magazine, erotic publication Penthouse and the site of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan.

A list of nearly 200 of the reportedly banned sites, as provided by Al Bawaba, can be seen below:

June 2nd, 2013, 9:19 am


Tara said:

Syrians hate Bashar.

Any one one can fabricate any data. I can find a poll saying that 70% of world population believe in Cosmic alians invading the earth.

And in regard to a previous post, there is no such a thing that is called a political research center in Damascus. This is a dictatorship of an oppressive regime that does not allow any opinion except the state opinion. Any so called “research center” is a cover up for regime propaganda tool.

–can Iran pay the Italian models. It is not fair! People should be paid for their services.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:28 am


Ziad said:

As I suspected Sheikh Muhammad al-Ya’qoubi issued two eloquent and touching statements condemning the Boston and London attacks, yet not a single whisper related to the daily attacks in dar al Islam that are killing innocent civilians by the hundreds.

For this I will personally sign his certificate as a House Muslim.
With this the honorable Sheikh has earned three accolades:

1 – Dust can’t be removed off him (D.C.R.O.H.) لا يشق له غبار
2 – House Muslim (H.M.)
3 – Basura (B.)

P.S. I hope the honorable Sheikh reads SC.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:36 am


Juergen said:

These pictures, from the Local Council of Aleppo Province, document some of the devastation wreaked on Aleppo by regime forces’ ongoing relentless and indiscriminate bombardment, which has destroyed many of the millennia-old sites in the historic city.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:38 am


revenire said:

No Tara, you can’t find a poll about aliens. You use that phrase to deride Syria and Syrians. It is insulting, especially coming from an American who has begged the United States to attack Syria dozens of times.

NATO – surely an enemy of Assad – has found that 70% of Syrians support President Assad. I say it is more but why haggle?

Apple_Mini well said. They have lose the war. Car bombings are desperate moves by terrorists. They kill innocent women and children with their attacks because they are afraid to face our men on an open battlefield.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:42 am


revenire said:

Juergen as any resident of Aleppo can tell you the terrorists came to the city to bring the “revolution” to Aleppo. They caused the damage not the SAA.

Ask any Aleppan. Go ahead.

The so-called opposition was angry at Aleppo because there were no demonstrations of any consequence against the government there.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:45 am


zoo said:

Erdogan: I am not a dictator

Erdogan said: “I am not the master of the people. Dictatorship does not run in my blood or in my character. I am the servant of the people.”

June 2nd, 2013, 9:48 am


revenire said:

I never said Israel was part of NATO – the YouTube commenter did. Nonetheless, what he said is honest. It might trouble you but that’s what truth does.

I know you try to pick tiny errors out in my words to go “look he is wrong” and I make mistakes – I don’t claim any divinity like Assad. LOL

All men make mistakes. The strong ones can admit it.

When will those of you who supported this fake revolution admit yours?

June 2nd, 2013, 9:50 am


revenire said:

This fraud al-Ya’qoubi has no honor. He disgraces all those who support Assad – the 70% of all Syria.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:52 am


revenire said:

Information Minister: Erdogan Should Respect His People’s Will and Leave for Doha
Jun 02, 2013

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi called for releasing the prisoners of conscience in Turkey, stressing that there is no justification for the arrest of this huge number of peaceful demonstrators.

Answering questions of the reporters on Sunday, the Minister said the use of excessive force in the face of the Turkish people is wrong, pointing out that the Turkish demonstrators are not terrorists.

Al-Zoubi said there is still an opportunity for Erdogan to halt the violence in Turkey, stressing that Erdogan should respect the will of his people and leave for Doha that might host him.

June 2nd, 2013, 9:59 am


revenire said:

As far as Qusayr goes: no UN corridors will be allowed. Once we have completed operations there we will allow the Red Cross and Red Crescent in.

We know that the terrorists are holding civilians hostage in the few remaining areas they are nested in. Our boys are using extra-special care.

It won’t be long.

June 2nd, 2013, 10:05 am


zoo said:

Working women should be molested: Saudi writer

Writer campaigning against moves to bring women into mixed-gender work environments

Abu Dhabi: A Saudi writer has urged his Twitter followers to sexually molest women hired to work as cashiers in big grocery stores, the latest backlash from conservatives who want to roll back limited social and economic reforms launched in Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah Mohammad Al Dawood, who writes self-help books including one called The Joy of Talking, has stirred fierce debate this week via the internet microblogging service with the use of the hashtag harass_female_cashiers, to press for Saudi women to be forced to stay at home to protect their chastity.

His campaign against official moves to encourage women to work in mixed gender environments has led some Twitter users to denounce him. Others however applauded him as a fighter against government efforts to westernise and corrupt the country.

June 2nd, 2013, 10:34 am


zoo said:

Syria to grant Red Cross access to Qusair when fighting over – TV

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria will allow the Red Cross to enter the besieged town of Qusair after military operations are over, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday, state TV said.
Moualem expressed surprise at the international concern over the fighting around Qusair, saying the world had been silent when rebels took over the town 18 months ago and that Syria was now clearing it of “terrorism”.

June 2nd, 2013, 10:36 am


zoo said:

Great photos of the Erdogan’s brutal repression of peaceful Turks protesting to protect a rare patch of green in the center of Istanbul

June 2nd, 2013, 10:39 am


revenire said:

All the hypocrites of the West and their slaves didn’t mind one bit when terrorists overran Qusayr now are crying when it is being freed?

June 2nd, 2013, 10:44 am


revenire said:

Juergen I am not surprised you’d try to post photos of Aleppo and claim the “regime” (and it is the government not the regime – talk about Turkey as a regime with a brutal dictator but not Syria) caused the damage when you know as well as I do that terrorists who did not come from Aleppo invaded the city and caused the damage.

This is the sort of honesty we have come to expect from the so-called opposition.

June 2nd, 2013, 10:50 am


Hopeful said:

# 524 Zoo

I agree – great photos. Can you show me similar photos of the early peaceful demonstrations in Syria in 2011?

Oh wait, yeah I remember – The free media was not allowed then in Syria, and anyone with a camera was shot to death!

What hypocrisy!

June 2nd, 2013, 10:54 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Fight Christian ,Jews and all non-Moslems until they pay Aljezia while being subdued:
News & Events

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. Sura At-Tawba 9:29

قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ. — سورة التوبة ٩:٢٩

June 2nd, 2013, 11:03 am


revenire said:

Many here defended Erdogan – a great many. In fact, all those who oppose Assad defended Erdogan. What do they say now? Let’s stop playing games…

Erdogan, Turkish PM, threatens to hang the protesters from the trees they are defending!

These words are being used by the same PM who said “If they bring 100.000, I will bring 1M.” This is happening in a country where death sentence is nonexistent. His extremist Islamic and fascist base applauds the declaration. Exact translation from the video.

Feel free to improve the translation if you know Turkish in the comments.

“Yes. I am in. Come on and judge the sincerity of these protests for yourselves. There has been lots of false accusations on social networks for days now. Therefore “you should hang these (referring to the people) on those trees (referring to the trees being protected by the protesters) because THEY ARE USED TO IT” (referring to the hanged Deniz Gezmis, a young activist that was hung wrongfully Thousands of fascists are tweeting “people are dying, police panzers are running over civilians” (these fascist being the public of Turkey). (crowd applauds from pause).”

On the second note about the fascist making “false accusations” due to media black out in Turkey, if you look on independent world press (or my previous report), Twitter, YouTube, Facebook you can find the videos of people being shot, brutalized and run over by panzers by the Turkish police.

The actual video that was broadcast LIVE

No further comments necessary.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:04 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

This is what وهم صاغرون means:
وقوله : { وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ } من الصغار بمعنى الذل والهوان . يقال : صغر فلان يصغر صغراً وصغاراً إذا ذل وهان وخضع لغيره .
والمعنى : قاتلوا من هذه صفاتهم من أهل الكتاب حتى يدفعوا لكم الجزية عن طواعية وانقياد . وهم أذلاء خاضعون لولايتكم عليهم

The clever MB members living in the west should be paying Aljezia وهم صاغرون

June 2nd, 2013, 11:11 am


zoo said:

The opposition update: 12 June, election of a NCROF president.
After a french citizen, a german citizen, a preacher, a christian marxist, who is next? Michel Kilo?

“Despite extending what was scheduled to be a three-day meeting, the group has failed to agree on a new president and an interim rebel government.

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 2nd, 2013, 11:23 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Democracy in Islam:
This is what happens to a woman who dares to criticize Islam,She gets
Killed while sleeping with her kids at night,her killing gets blessed and justified !!
If this is the spiritual education you get,what can you be?
الحديث السادس قصة العصماء بنت مروان، ما روي عن ابن عباس قال: هجت امرأة من خطمة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فقال: من لي بها ، فقال رجل من قومها: أنا يارسول الله، فنهض فقتلها، فأخبر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: لا ينتطح فيها عنزان. ، وقد ذكر بعض أصحاب المغازي وغيرهم قصتها مبسوطة. قال الواقدي حدثني عبد الله بن الحارث بن الفضيل عن أبيه أن عصماء بنت مروان من بني أمية بنت زيد كانت تحت يزيد بن زيد بن حصن الخطمي وكانت تؤذي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم وتعيب الإسلام وتحرض على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، وقالت شعراً:
فباست بني مالك والنبيت === وعوف وباست بني الخزرج
أطعتم أتاوي من غيركم === فلا من مراد ولا مذحج
ترجونه بعد قتل الرؤوس === كما يرتجى مرق المنضج
قال عمير بن عدي الخطمي حين بلغه قولها وتحريضها: اللهم إن لك عليّ نذراً لئن رددت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إلىالمدينة لأقتلنّها، ورسول الله يومئذ ببدر، فلما رجع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من بدر جاءها عمير بن عدي في جوف الليل حتى دخل عليها في بيتها، وحولها نفر من ولدها نيام منهم من ترضعه في صدرها، فجسها بيده فوجد الصبي ترضعه فنحاه عنها، ثم وضع سيفه على صدرها حتى أنفذه من ظهرها، ثم خرج حتى صلى الصبح مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، فلما انصرف النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نظر إلى عمير فقال: أقتلت بنت مروان قال: نعم بأبي أنت يارسول الله، وخشي عمير أن يكون أفتات على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بقتلها، فقال: هل علي في ذلك شيء يارسول الله؟ قال: لا ينتطح فيها عنزان ، فإن أول ما سمعت هذه الكلمة من النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال عمير: فالتفت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إلى من حوله، قال: إذا أحببتم أن تنظروا إلى رجل نصر الله ورسوله بالغيب، فانظروا إلى عمير بن عدي ، فقال عمر بن الخطاب: انظروا إلى هذا الأعمى الذي تسرى في طاعة الله، فقال: لا تقل الأعمى، ولكنه البصير.
فلما رجع عمير من عند رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وجد بنيها في جماعة يدفنونها، فأقبلوا إليه حين رأوه مقبلاً من المدينة، فقالوا: ياعمير أنت قتلتها قال : نعم، فكيدوني جميعاً ثم لا تنظرون، فوالذي نفسي بيده لو قلتم بأجمعكم ما قالت لظربتكم بسيفي هذا حتى أموت أو أقتلكم، فيومئذ ظهر الإسلام في بني خطمة، وكان منهم رجال يستخْفُون بالإسلام خوفاً من قومهم، فقال حسان بن ثابت يمدح عمير بن عدي:

June 2nd, 2013, 11:24 am


Ziad said:

Turkey’s Erdogan Gets Taste of His Own Medicine?

After nearly a week of increasing public protests in Turkey, ostensibly over government plans to turn a last bit of green space in Istanbul into another shopping mall, matters became far more serious on Friday. Riot police descended on the protestors with various forms of tear gas (and possibly worse chemical and biological agents — raw sewage?) and water cannon, blasting everyone and everything in sight including non-participants. When they caught protestors, they beat them violently and brutally, as can be seen in this video. Photographs show that police fired tear gas into crowded underground metro stations, leading to panic and worse. Istanbul looks like a war zone.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:25 am


zoo said:

Fighters Killed In Syria-Lebanon Border Clash

The violence was the worst clash on Lebanese territory since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict more than two years ago.

4:07pm UK, Sunday 02 June 2013

Several fighters have been killed in an clash between Hizbollah fighters and Syrian rebel forces in Lebanon’s eastern border region with Syria, Lebanese security sources say.

One source said 15 rebels were killed in an apparent ambush east of the Bekaa Valley town of Baalbek.

The exact number cannot be confirmed until bodies are retrieved from the remote and rugged border area.

One Hizbollah fighter also died in the overnight fighting near Ain el-Jaouze in a ‘finger’ of Lebanese territory which extends into Syria.

It was the worst clash on Lebanese territory since the outbreak of the conflict more than two years ago.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:27 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

And this is another example of peace and tolerance in Islam :
120 years old gets killed for daring to speak!’
أبى عفك اليهودي
قصة أبي عفك اليهودي ، ذكرها أهل المغازي والسير قال الواقدي حدثنا سعيد بن محمد عن عمارة بن غزية ، وحدثناه أبو مصعب إسماعيل بن مصعب بن إسماعيل بن زيد بن ثابت عن أشياخه ، قالا : إن شيخاً من بني عمرو بن عوف يقال له أبو عفك ـ وكان شيخاً كبيراً قد بلغ عشرين ومائة سنة حين قدم النبي ، كان يحرض على عداوة النبي ، ولم يدخل في الإسلام ، فلما خرج رسول الله إلى بدر ظفره الله بما ظفره ، فحسده وبغى ، فقال ، وذكر قصيدة تتضمن هجو النبي وذم من اتبعه ، قال سالم بن عمير : علي نذر أن أقتل أبا عفك أو أموت دونه ، فأمهل ، فطلب له غرة حتى كانت ليلة صائفة ، فنام أبو عفك بالفناء في الصيف في بني عمرو بن عوف ، فأقبل سالم بن عمير ، فوضع السيف على كبده حتى خش في الفراش.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:33 am


Ghufran said:

Not in defense of hizbullah’s involvement in qsair but one can not pass a fair judgement on this issue without studying the behavior of rebels on border towns and around Shia villages. This is one example:
اكد مصدر أمني في البقاع لمراسل “السفير” في زحلة وقوع اشتباك فجر اليوم بين مجموعة من “الجيش السوري الحر” ومجموعة تابعة ل”حزب الله” أثناء قيام الأولى بنصب مدافع لقصف منطقة البقاع في جرود منطقة بعلبك(وادي نحلة) وأدى الاشتباك الى مقتل وجرح واسر جميع أفراد مجموعة “الجيش السوري الحر” المؤلفة من حوالي العشرين مسلحا، فيما سقط أحد عناصر “حزب الله” في الاشتباك.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:35 am


zoo said:

After the display of the brutality and arrogance of Erdogan over a minor protest, he may have lost the trust of the electorate.
Would he get the chance to change the Constitution to transform Turkey into a presidential system where he has the ambition of becoming the powerful president in 2014?
Many people are starting to doubt.
It would be extraordinary ironical if Erdogan would leave power in 2014 and Bashar al Assad would be re-elected president

June 2nd, 2013, 11:52 am


Ghufran said:

First comment from Jamal Slaiman after he was asked to join the NC:
أكد الفنان السوري جمال سليمان أنّه انتخب فعلاً من قبل 45 عضواً في الائتلاف من بين القائمة القصيرة الممثلة بـ 8 شخصيات تضاف إلى أعضائه ضمن مبادرة توسيع مقاعده، لكنه تريث في قبول العضوية.
وأضاف سليمان في تصريح لصحيفة الأخبار اللبنانية أن ما شجعه على القبول هو ذهاب الائتلاف إلى عملية توسيع تزيد قدرته في تمثيل مختلف القوى السياسية.
وقال: “لا بد من أن يكون هناك توازن، وعدم تفرد أي جهة معارضة بالقرار الوطني”، مضيفاً “رغم تحفظاتي على الائتلاف ومن قبله المجلس الوطني السوري، إلا أنني قبلت الفكرة طالما أنّها تضمن عملية توسيع وطنية. عندما اقتصرت عملية التصويت على ثمانية مقاعد فقط دون الباقي، اعتبرت أن الخطوة أجهضت وقررت الانسحاب، لكن يبدو أنّ هناك جهوداً تركّزت على أن يكون الائتلاف ممثلاً بأكبر عدد من جميع الشرائح السورية، ما دفعني إلى قبول الفكرة مجدداً ولمست الجدية في إيجاد حل سياسي للأزمة السورية”.
وتابع سليمان : “كان ممكناً اتخاذ موقف النأي بالنفس على طريقة الحكومة اللبنانية”، إلا أنّه “شعر بضرورة تغليب المصلحة الوطنية على المصلحة الشخصية آخذاً في الاعتبار بأنّ الكثير ممن سيشتمونه ويتهمونه بالخيانة، لم ينتظروا دخوله الائتلاف حتى يفعلوا ذلك، بل إنهم هاجموه عندما قال مع من قالوا “لا خيار ثالثاً لنا، فإما التغيير الديموقراطي العميق لبنية النظام في سوريا، وإما الحريق الذي سينبعث من كل شارع في هذا البلد العريق”.
وأكد سليمان أنه لم يتابع حوار بشار الأسد على قناة المنار لأنه لم يكن بالمنزل بالإضافة إلى أنه لا يتوقع أي جديد منه.

June 2nd, 2013, 11:54 am


revenire said:

From b’s Moon of Alabama:

NYT Joins War On Shia
From a current screenshot of

The above headline excludes Shiites, Alawites and several other strains of Islam from being Muslim. The NYT claims that hate preacher Youssef al-Qaradawi called on “World’s Muslims”. But he clearly called on Sunni Muslim only and to wage war against Shia Muslims. With characterizing this as a call on “World’s Muslims” the NYT seems to agree with al-Qaradawi who excludes Shia from Muslim believe:

He denounced Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, as “more infidel than Christians and Jews” and Shiite Muslim Hezbollah as “the party of the devil.”

Al-Qaradawi said there is no more common ground between Shiites and Sunnis, alleging that Shiite Iran — a longtime Syria ally that has supplied the regime with cash and weapons — is trying to “devour” Sunnis.

Then there is also this curious “but” in the sub-headline. What does this mean? XYZ “has been called an extremist … but has been influential” Is being influential and on the same side as U.S. policies now a valid excuse for being an extremist?

June 2nd, 2013, 12:00 pm


Ziad said:

Turkish Spring!

The situation in Turkey is spinning out of control, with people in more than 50 provinces across the country joining to stage protests against the 10-year rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

İstanbul authorities decided to withdraw police from central streets on Saturday in a smart move to decrease the intensity of tension, but fierce street clashes continued in up to 10 demonstrations in Aegean provinces.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:14 pm


Dawoud said:

540. ZIAD

Comparing an elected PM (Erdogan) who is used for a couple of days WATER canons to restraint demonstrators (now he stopped) to a hereditary genocidal/war criminal dictator (Bashar al-Assad) who is killing Syrians with Scud missiles, chemical weapons, MiGs, etc. is preposterous and absurd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 2nd, 2013, 12:20 pm


Dawoud said:

From Today’s New York Times:

As Syrians Fight, Sectarian Strife Infects Mideast

The Syrian uprising began as peaceful protests against Mr. Assad and transformed over two years into a bloody battle of attrition. The Syrian uprising began as peaceful protests against Mr. Assad and transformed over two years into a bloody battle of attrition. But the killing is no longer just about supporting or opposing the government, or even about Syria. Some Shiites are pouring into Syria out of a sense of religious duty. […]

Yes, I AGREE WIT THE NYT THAT The Syrian uprising began as peaceful protests!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND!

June 2nd, 2013, 12:24 pm


revenire said:

Gee, who is the guy who mentions Shia in every other post?

June 2nd, 2013, 12:26 pm


Hopeful said:

# 542 Dawoud

Even Assad admitted to that in his last interview. Listen to it and you will hear him say: “when the armed opposition started after Ramdan 2011….” This was September 2011, six months after the revolution started, six months of killings of peaceful protestors, and six months after he declared there was a conspiracy against the government.

Assad brought about the civil war in Syria and he may bring about the biggest Sunni-Shia war in hundreds of years. Only a few people in history can claim so much credit for destruction and violence.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:45 pm


Ziad said:

Arrest John McCain & Investigate US State Department & Clandestine Activity in Syria

The Federal Bureau of investigations suggested I contact your office regarding Senator John McCain’s illegally entry into Syria yesterday, Monday, May 27, 2013.

It is my understanding that US state department and other clandestine activity has been facilitating intelligence, logistics and weapons to militants and criminal mercenaries operating in and around Syria for over two years.

It is also my understanding that John McCain met with and pledged support to militants and criminal mercenaries during his illegal entry into Syria yesterday.

Please sign the petition

June 2nd, 2013, 12:51 pm


Dawoud said:


Thanks, I hadn’t even paid attention to this before your comment. So, yes, from March to September 2011 the Revolution was PEACEFUL, while the dictator, his Shabiha, and his Shia Lebanese terrorist allies from Beirut’s al-Dhahiya were killing free Syrians and destroying Syrian towns and villages. 6 months of one-sided violence/war crimes, the regime’s!

June 2nd, 2013, 12:56 pm


revenire said:

Dear Hopeful,

Dr. Joshua Landis, and others, have documented the conspiracy against Syria started decades ago.

Here is what Dr. Landis said in TIME magazine in 2006:

“Ever since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which Syria opposed, the Bush Administration has been looking for ways to squeeze the government in Damascus,” notes Joshua Landis, a Syria expert who is co-director of the Center for Peace Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Syria has appeared to be next on the Administration’s agenda to reform the greater Middle East.” Landis adds: “This is apparently an effort to gin up the Syrian opposition under the rubric of ‘democracy promotion’ and ‘election monitoring,’ but it’s really just an attempt to pressure the Syrian government” into doing what the U.S. wants. That would include blocking Syria’s border with Iraq so insurgents do not cross into Iraq to kill U.S. troops; ending funding of Hizballah and interference in Lebanese politics.

Read more:,8599,1571751,00.html#ixzz2V4xieSu8

Let’s be clear. The Anglo-Americans created this so-called revolution.

June 2nd, 2013, 12:59 pm


Ziad said:

تقرير للأطلسي: 70% من الشعب السوري مع نظام الأسد

صحيفة أميركية تقول إن حلف شمال الأطلسي يدرس بيانات معلوماتية تشير إلى انقلاب حاد في موقف السوريين لصالح النظام

June 2nd, 2013, 1:22 pm


Ziad said:

Rafeef Ziadah – “Las tonalidades de la ira”

I am an Arab woman of color, be ware of my anger

June 2nd, 2013, 1:34 pm


Sam said:

Reve, the terrorist rats should get a name change….terror mercs sounds like it may help our brothers and sisters who are being dis informed, no the real truth. As Arabs, we are the proudest people on earth, we wouldn’t except help from America or Israel , maybe Europe. But the fact that they are, means they are doing it for employment!! That’s from the brainwashed foot soldier that thinks he’s getting virgins, to the so called leadership, who only jockeyed for a position so they can line their pockets with blood money, worse!! Syrian blood!!! That proves they don’t have Syria or the Syrians in their heart, no Syrian would accept Israeli help. No Syrian would allow their country to be torn apart. For all the brothers and sisters on here, that are against the regime, try and keep an open mind. Grievances can be settled, the opposition never gave them a chance. The Syrian govt. made many changes and reforms. You complained of the emergency law (which protected us from Israeli subversion by the way) that was lifted!!! The president changed the law to allow multiple parties, and to hold elections in 2014. For crying out loud the U.S. system only lets 2 diff parties run for president. Independents that are probably the most qualified don’t get the same chance for some reason or another. This conflict will end with a SAA victory, for ones major reason! The soldiers are fighting for their country , the terrorist for virgins and dollars!! I’ll bet on SAA everytime out the gate!!

June 2nd, 2013, 1:42 pm


Tara said:

Ann gets banned for spamming and relishing death and shortly thereafter Kandi returns full force with Islamophobic posts.

Does hate has no limit. Go ahead. Hate! And please get consume by it.

June 2nd, 2013, 1:42 pm


Juergen said:


Your cynicism knows only one limit the sky.
Even if rebels claim control of areas, how on earth can a President order its army and air force to bomb the area which was totally an area not only protected under UNESCO rules, but also because it was always a populated area. Your uncensored call for killing and cleansing brought an end to many landmarks of this great country. To find excuses why artillery and MIGS were used in cities against civilians is cynical, but what could one expect from you?

June 2nd, 2013, 1:52 pm


Ziad said:

TARA 556

SNK is quoting suras from the holy Koran. Why don’t you check few tafseers and refute his interpretation instead of begging the moderator to shut him up?

June 2nd, 2013, 2:03 pm


dawoud said:

553. ZIAD

Ghasan Ben Joudo’s al-Mayadeen wilyate al-faqih propaganda outlet 🙂
I guess Iranian money can buy a lot of propaganda 🙂 Too bad for the suffering Iranian people that their extremist government is wasting their money!

June 2nd, 2013, 2:05 pm


Ziad said:


Thank you for pointing that out to me. I was not aware. From now on I will get my information only from Al Jazeera, Al Arabia, Al Quds Al Araby, Al Hayat, NYT, and Fox.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:12 pm


Tara said:


Quoting from Quraan out of context to incite hatred is Islamophobe. Plain and simple.

BTW, what is your opinion of people who claim they are Sunnis to convince an audience that Sunnis are in support of Batta ? Don’t you think that the audience are not that fool? Additionally, don’t you think that they are easily exposed just by observing their behavior? I mean they cheer any Sunniphobe text while they are completely blinded by the murders committed by the minorities?

Also, I hope you agree with me that Batta is not going to be glued to the chair through inciting hatred on SC. It is rather counterproductive. I think the jury that judged Batta and his militia is already out.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:20 pm


Ziad said:

TARA #561

“Quoting from Quraan out of context to incite hatred is Islamophobe. Plain and simple.”

Exactly that what I mean, why don’t you make the effort and put the suras in context?

If you are implying that I am pretending to be Sunni to bash the Sunnis from the inside. I am not going to bother to respond. What you think is not of my concern.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:31 pm


Hopeful said:

# 552 Rev

Watch the interview with Assad starting on minute 7:48. He clearly stated that the opposition started the fighting after Ramadan 2011. That was SIX months after the revolution started. Till then, there were thousands of video clips uploaded on youtube on security forces shooting at people, and there were hundreds of interviews on Syrian TV of so-called terrorists “confessing” to carrying arms and attacking the state. Assad basically admitted to what we all knew all along: for six months Assad’s forces shot at peaceful demonstrators and fabricated stories about armed terrorist gangs.

June 2nd, 2013, 2:51 pm


Tara said:


“Exactly that what I mean, why don’t you make the effort and put the suras in context?”

Because the aim of posting it is not academic curiosity or thirst for knowledge. The aim is to incite hatred. Hatemongers already know the proper context but they willfully ignore it, therefore, there is no point to attempt to explain it. Their problem is not lack of proper explanation or proper understanding. Their problem is from within..

I do not care whatever religion anyone is. it is not a question I care to ask. You are a generic person in whom I (without offense) have no interest in knowing his/her creed. And you appropriately should not care about my opinion about your personal belief. The point I was making is that I just do not buy the notion you are a Sunni. All evidence are to the contrary.

June 2nd, 2013, 3:00 pm


Ziad said:


“there is no point to attempt to explain it.”

I thought discussion boards are for presenting arguments and counter arguments. Of coarse no one ever flips to the other side. But if remove arguing, the only thing left is name calling. There is a lot of that on SC.

June 2nd, 2013, 3:12 pm


dawoud said:

560. ZIAD

No, Alarabiya is also biased in the same league as the Wilayat al-faqih media (al-Manar, al-Alam, al-Mayadeen, Press TV, etc.), and so is the case with FOX News. However, please don’t put al-Jazeera in the same biased category because it is so professional and objective. I know that you will disagree because, for a regime supporter, anything other the total one-sided cheerleading for Bashar al-Assad’s ongoing genocide is not “objective.”

P.S., as I had told you numerous times before I don’t care about your personal beliefs and I respect you choice. However, I do side with TARA that you are NOT Sunni. How could you be a Sunni if you are, as you describe yourself, an atheist? Sunnism is not a biological identity, but a religious belief system. If you believe in atheism, which is your right to do so, then you are not Sunni. This also confirms my perspective that very few, if any, Sunnis FREELY support a murderous dictator.

June 2nd, 2013, 3:12 pm


Citizen said:

Turkey’s main opposition leader to Erdogan: You’re training terrorist and sending them to Syria. You are the chief terrorist for Syria.

June 2nd, 2013, 3:30 pm


Citizen said:

haha not very far from reality – will Obama “take him out” by a drone strike? according to Obama’s national…….
McCain Sneaks Across Syria Border, Joins Al-Qaeda


June 2nd, 2013, 3:37 pm


Uzair8 said:

New post up.

June 2nd, 2013, 3:54 pm


revenire said:

Who is Kandi?

June 2nd, 2013, 3:59 pm


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