Starvation: a Twisted Example of the Assad Regime’s Terrorism

starvation in Yarmouk

Images of people who allegedly starved to death in the Yarmouk neighborhood of Damascus


by Matthew Barber

A fabulous documentary about the situation of children in Syria is being shown on Canadian and British television. The documentary, “Children on the Frontline,”  will be available for viewing for a limited time online, but unfortunately only for viewers in Canada or the UK. The documentary contains enlightening footage of life inside war-torn neighborhoods of Aleppo, and interviews with a number of children who talk about their experiences living on the frontline of the Syrian war. One little girl talks about how she searches for salvageable scrap metal that she brings home to her father who makes bombs. She describes, as though it is perfectly ordinary, seeing the head of a man split open when a bomb in their workshop was accidentally detonated. Another girl, about 5 years old, relays a dream of being surrounded by a circle of snipers who begin opening fire on her. “They hit me here, here, here,” she says, touching her body in the places where she dreamed the bullets hit. The scene that brought tears to my eyes was seeing several sisters searching through abandoned homes, looking for weapons. The harsh juxtaposition of the world of children and the world of war is depicted so clearly: One of the girls is carrying a gun and they are discussing finding weapons, when suddenly they become distracted by a stash of little toys and stuffed animals they discover. The gun is laid aside as colorful little bears and plastic balls are examined. Their older sister then won’t allow them to remove the items from the house, because “it would be stealing” from the people who own the house. The mother of the girls explains on camera that she won’t allow her children to loot anything from any home, whether it had belonged to regime-aligned people or not.

A well-known activist named Aboude is also profiled, who lives in Aleppo and is 13 years old. He began taking the courageous stance to criticize the government openly, at school, two years ago when he was only 11. No one put him up to this; his parents were against his involvement in activism, but he has been leading protests ever since. The documentary also examines the plight of the area that is now threatened by al-Qaida-linked Islamists who punish even the most stalwart revolutionaries for “un-Islamic” behaviors. The area in which the documentary was filmed is an FSA stronghold at the edge of rebel territory, directly adjacent to regime positions. Though sniper fire is a serious threat, one of the fighters explains that “being close to your enemy is the safest place to be,” because aerial bombardment is unlikely on the frontline where rebel positions are so close to regime forces. In addition to daily confrontations with regime forces, the people of the area now have to contend with the threat of kidnappings by al-Qaida rebels who target even the most committed activists who pioneered dissent in the early days of the uprising. Those who follow events in the country have known for a while that this has been a growing problem, but there are still plenty of FSA-controlled areas that are feeling increasingly hampered by the oppressive involvement of ISIS members who are more interested in imposing their own religious norms than in uniting with rebel forces to provide defense. (A significant example of this occurred this week when Raed Fares, the man behind the famous protest artwork that comes out of Kafranbel, was shot—likely by ISIS—but survived the assassination attempt.)

[Update: the video was made available for now on Youtube: ]

Something evident in the area depicted in the documentary, still controlled by FSA forces, is that food is available. Other areas of resistance that become surrounded or captured by the regime do not remain so fortunate.

Over the past month or more, a high number of photos and narrated accounts have emerged that present evidence of horrific levels of suffering, due to starvation.

Starvation is a weapon of torture employed against the regime’s opponents; it is less about any military strategy but more about collectively punishing political enemies and breaking the will of those who defy the state. Starvation in Syria has been taking place in two contexts: 1) opposition areas that fall under regime control and are subsequently blockaded, food supplies being prevented from entering these districts, and 2) prisoners in custody who are not fed by their captors.

Over the course of the Geneva peace talks, the regime’s narrative was unsurprising. It highlighted instances of terrorism committed by jihadists and then portrayed itself as trying to combat the terror problem. Even as we near the beginning of the 4th year of the conflict, regime figures at the talks would not acknowledge that their opponents were Syrian or that a great portion of the Syrian population does not recognize Assad as president. They portrayed their own narrative as “the Syrian side” or “the Syrian story” implying that contrary views were not Syrian. For regime proponents and members of the Ba’athist cult of unreality, a Syrian is not someone originating within the geographical bounds of the historical place called Syria; to be a Syrian, one must embrace and endorse the rule of the current state, as defined by the rulers.

The Guardian reports that during the Geneva talks this past week, nearly 1,900 people have been killed in Syria. Allegations of blockades that result in starvation continue, reportedly occurring in multiple locations within the country. In addition to the accounts of starvation, Human Rights Watch yesterday released a detailed report on the Syrian regime’s systematic use of punitive housing demolition—the destruction of entire neighborhoods—over the last two years. The report can be accessed here: “Razed to the Ground.”

After hearing the tired yet predictably deceitful language propagated by regime figures at the Geneva talks, it is important to remember that yes, terrorism has been rampant among many Syrian rebel factions—typical in asymmetrical warfare, and in this conflict often directed at sectarian targets—but nevertheless, no single player in the conflict has utilized terrorism as widely as the Syrian regime.

The places currently under siege in Syria that we could identify (that may experience the risk of a lack of food or from where reports of the absence of food have been received) are: Babila, Beit Sahem, Duma, Harasta, Zamalaka, Deir al-Asafir, Mukhayam Yarmook, Yelda, al-Mo’adamia, Daraya, Qabuun, Jobar, Berzeh, Homs, Homs al-Qadima, al-Qasour, al-Qarabiss, Jorat al-Shayah, al-Waer, Rastan, Telbissa, Hola, al-Dar al-Kabira, Qal’at al-Hosn, Zara.

The following are a few of the examples of starvation that have been circulating recently.

An old man from Rif Dimashq (Damascus countryside or suburbs) cries while talking about the imposed blockade and the inability to find food.

Starvation in the Yarmouk Palestinian neighborhood of Damascus, showing recently deceased emaciated body and an emaciated man still alive:

Emaciated infant dead from starvation in Jisreen:

An article in Arabic describes how a family in Yarmouk was poisoned after eating cat meat

‘Eating grass to survive’ in besieged Homs – BBC

“We are now eating anything that comes out of the ground, plants, even grass. We pick it, then cook it with some water using wood because we have no gas…

“These shrubs and grass that we’re eating causes illnesses, such as indigestion and fever. A few days ago an elderly man died within six hours from eating the grass and shrubs.”

An Amnesty International article discusses, in addition to the absence of food, the danger of being shot by snipers while trying to bring leaves/grass for family members to eat:

… “Every day, we receive around four people – probably half of them women – who were shot at by snipers as they were picking plants and shrubs in the fields. The women say they prefer to risk their own lives to spare their children. On one occasion, we received a teenager, probably aged 16 or 17, who was shot dead. His father started talking to him, saying: ‘You died for the sake of bringing hibiscus leaves for your siblings.’ It was heartbreaking,” he said. …

BBC article from today describes some aid reaching Yarmouk:

… In a separate development, the UN relief agency UNRWA said it had delivered 720 food parcels to a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus on Thursday.

Yarmouk camp, which is held by the rebels, is suffering severe shortages of food and medical supplies, with activists reporting dozens of deaths there from starvation.

UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness described “chaotic scenes” as 700 of the total 900 food parcels brought into the camp were distributed to residents.

He said it was the first aid to reach the remaining 18,000 residents since 21 January, when UNRWA distributed 138 food parcels. …

More images are here: 1, 2

In addition to the issue of blockades that will not allow food to those inside, evidence emerged recently confirming widespread starvation within Syrian prisons. On Jan. 20, the Guardian published a report it had received from an independent commission on the issue. The report, available here, consisted of an analysis given by several individuals who examined photographic evidence of torture and starvation. The photographs had been smuggled out of Syria by a regime defector who worked inside the prisons. The evidence consisted of 55,000 photographs of around 11,000 bodies. A large percentage of the photographed corpses showed signs of emaciation. I won’t relay the story of the defector or details of the investigation. The report is worth reading. Aspects of the report’s methodology were criticized, as were the political motivations behind the timing of its release just prior to the Geneva talks, in addition to scrutiny on those who funded the report. This notwithstanding, the findings of the report deserve attention.

One article to discuss the report was published on Mail Online: Starved, tortured then throttled: The true horror of how Assad’s soldiers execute rebel prisoners is revealed in new images

The article contains a number of the leaked photos of tortured and starved bodies, a few of which I will post. On the one hand I feel apologetic for posting these, but on the other I believe its important to consider the extent of suffering experienced by prisoners in Syria. This is a reality we must not ignore, and it should disturb us.
starvation 1

starvation 2starvation 3torture

Commentary on the report appeared here and in the following article: Syrian regime document trove shows evidence of ‘industrial scale’ killing of detainees

Senior war crimes prosecutors say photographs and documents provide ‘clear evidence’ of systematic killing of 11,000 detainees

Syrian government officials could face war crimes charges in the light of a huge cache of evidence smuggled out of the country showing the “systematic killing” of about 11,000 detainees, according to three eminent international lawyers.

The three, former prosecutors at the criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone, examined thousands of Syrian government photographs and files recording deaths in the custody of regime security forces from March 2011 to last August.

Most of the victims were young men and many corpses were emaciated, bloodstained and bore signs of torture. Some had no eyes; others showed signs of strangulation or electrocution.

The UN and independent human rights groups have documented abuses by both Bashar al-Assad’s government and rebels, but experts say this evidence is more detailed and on a far larger scale than anything else that has yet emerged from the 34-month crisis.

… The authors are Sir Desmond de Silva QC, former chief prosecutor of the special court for Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, the former lead prosecutor of former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic, and Professor David Crane, who indicted President Charles Taylor of Liberia at the Sierra Leone court. …

“This is amazing. This is the type of evidence a prosecutor looks for and hopes for.  We have pictures, with numbers that marry up with papers with identical numbers – official governmentdocuments. We have the person who took those pictures. That’s beyond-reasonable-doubt-type evidence.” …

“These photos – if authentic – suggest that we may have only scratched the surface of the horrific extent of torture in Syria’s notorious dungeons. There is only one way to get to the bottom of this and that is for the negotiating parties at Geneva II to grant unhindered access to Syria’s detention facilities to independent monitors.”

ISIS has also starved their prisoners. The narrator in this video says that after being imprisoned by ISIS and not being given food or water, prisoners had to eat rats. The video shows the mutilated body of a man who was in prison with him. He says there were 325 prisoners. ISIS guards came and led out a group of them, including some militia commanders, after which they heard gunshots. The guards came back and took out another group, including a 14 and a 15 year old. More gunshots were heard. When they asked the guards where they were taking these people, they were told that they were letting them go home, but then one of the prisoners who was arrested for a trivial reason and tortured at the hands of a British interrogator was shot and killed in front of them for not being able to move after being tortured. That’s when they realized that they were all being executed in turns. One of the prisoners was arrested for simply walking past an ISIS headquarters building and looking at them. Another was a 73 year-old diabetic man with very swollen fingers and feet. The arrested children were more resistant to the hunger and thirst than were the adults. As the cameraman moves the camera around, people standing near the narrator cover their faces out of fear of being seen by ISIS.

Starvation of pro-regime civilians by blockade is also used as a weapon on the part of rebel forces: The politics of starvation: Syria’s civilians go hungry after months of sieges – Patrick Cockburn

blockades & sieges in Syria

… Unnoticed by the outside world, the largest single community currently besieged and on the edge of starvation in Syria lives in two Shia towns west if Aleppo, Zahraa and Nobl, with a combined population 45,000. In this case the besiegers are Sunni rebels who accuse the Shia townspeople of supporting the government of President Bashar al-Assad and are seeking to starve them into submission. …

Zahraa and Nubl form an isolated Shia pocket in an area where most of the people are Sunni supporting the rebels. The towns have received no supplies from the outside apart from an occasional delivery by a government helicopter. …

The politics of starvation are complex in Syria and open to manipulation for propaganda purposes. The problem stems primarily from the government forces’ strategy of sealing off areas that have been captured by the armed opposition and not letting people or goods in or out. …



Landis and Tabler discuss why nothing got done at Geneva and who is to blame on PBS Newshour


For those interested in more translations of the @wikibaghdady leaks, the folks over at reddit continued them. See here

The Other Syrian Peace Process – Aron Lund

… On January 23, Moheisini launched a peace plan called the Umma Initiative…

…The plan is as follows: after an immediate ceasefire between the ISIL and other rebels, the factions will elect a joint arbitration court from a list of ten independent religious scholars. …

… Just as this post went online, the ISIL announced that it is rejecting the Umma Initiative. The group demands that all signatories must first cut their ties to states like Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and of course the West, and to non-Islamist groups like the SMC and other foreign-funded entities. Until this happens, it will continue to fight its enemies. While this is a clever way of trying to play the ball back to the signatories of the Umma Initiative, the end results seems to be that the ISIL has opted for increasing isolation instead of reconciliation. It will attempt a military solution to the conflict, in the hope that the anti-ISIL ranks will splinter with time.

Assad’s hopes thwarted at Syria talks – Liz Sly

… That hesi­ta­tion is evidence that the regime is rattled by the way the talks have gone, a senior U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“I find Minister Moualem’s reluctance to make a commitment telling, and it probably is an indication of their understanding that they have a very hard case to defend,” the official said, referring to Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, the head of the Syrian delegation. …

Fascinating article: At Neutral Site, Syrians Feel Free to Confront the Other Side – Anne Barnard & Hwaida Saad

For Syrian officials, a lakeside idyll here, far from their country’s war, has been marred by what plainly feels to them like an endless stream of impertinent questions.

They have been asked why their government is bombing its citizens, when their president is leaving office, what happened to a British doctor who died suspiciously in a Syrian government prison. They have even been offered the coordinates of jihadist fighters — and asked if they will drop bombs on them instead of on civilians.

The questions that gall them the most, judging by their reactions, are not from the foreigners whose queries they are accustomed to viewing as part of a “media war.” The ones that really nettle them come from Syrians.

… It is an encounter that neither side has experienced before, and in some ways it is the most significant thing taking place at a peace conference that has been more about optics than results. Here in neutral and secure Switzerland, Syrian government delegates used to meeting journalists only inside a government-controlled bubble are finding that almost anyone can come up to them anytime, anywhere, and ask anything.

It is a surreal experience, too, for Syrian activists like Adnan Hadad of Aleppo, who sees it this way: “If we tried this in Syria, they would torture us to death.” …

Yet the government bubble is far older than the war. An Arab journalist who worked in Syria for years said government delegates probably had “never seen, let alone spoken to, anyone in the opposition.”

So for them to sit across from Haitham al-Maleh, an opposition delegate in his 80s who is a former political prisoner, is “historic,” the journalist said, “as if people from the Stalinist system suddenly sat down with Solzhenitsyn or Sakharov.”

“‘Darkness at Noon,’ you have to think in these terms,” the journalist added, referring to the book about Soviet repression and speaking anonymously to freely express his personal views. …

An example of the kinds of encounters that Anne was describing above can be seen in this video of Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi running from a reporter who keeps asking “Why won’t the regime bomb ISIS targets?” (It was recently reported that an ISIS defector claimed he and his comrades always slept soundly in their bases, knowing that the regime wouldn’t be bombing them.)

Even if the Syrian regime doesn’t attack ISIS bases, the Turkish military attacked an ISIS convoy on Wednesday. Turkey’s longstanding policy of leaving the border open to jihadists was certain to return to haunt them at some point. ISIS and others seeking to create what they term an “Islamic state” will recognize the legitimacy of Turkish borders as much as they do Syrian borders. The irony is that after tacitly (and actively) supporting the jihadists, Turkey may at some point begin fighting them. The attack was in retaliation for cross-border fire. al-Arabiya – Turkish army strikes ISIS convoy in Syria

The Turkish armed forces opened fire on the convoy of an al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group’s vehicles in Syria in retaliation for cross-border fire on Tuesday, destroying three vehicles, Turkish media said on Wednesday.

“A pick-up, a truck and a bus in an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) convoy were destroyed,” Agence France-Presse quoted published by Turkish media. There were no casualties on the Turkish side.

The army said the attack, carried out Tuesday, came after two Turkish military vehicles had been fired upon at the Cobanbey border post in the south of the country.
The Turkish military targeted ISIS positions in northern Syria after a mortar shell fired from Syria landed in Turkish territory during clashes between ISIS and the rebel Free Syrian Army, Reuters reported broadcaster NTV as saying.
The incident is considered to be the first pitting Turkey against ISIS which has been fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad as well as fellow rebel groups in the north of the country since January.

Al-Qaeda in Turkey?

The Turkish military action also comes after Israel’s military intelligence chief said some of the al-Qaeda militants fighting in Syria have set up bases in Turkey, where they can also easily access Europe.

Al-Qaeda fighters from around the world enter Syria weekly, but they “do not stay there,” Major-General Aviv Kochavi told a security conference, while presenting a map of the Middle East marking areas with an al-Qaeda presence. According to the map, there are three al-Qaeda bases in Turkey. …

If you missed it before, make sure to view a documentary released at the beginning of this month, on the struggle of the Kurds in northeastern Syria. The Kurdish fighters in the video point out that Turkey keeps its border with Arab areas of Syria open, allowing fighters and journalists in and out. However, they keep the portion of the Turkish border adjacent to the Kurdish area of Syria tightly sealed. The Kurds believe that Turkey is worried about the success of the Kurds, and is happy to allow ISIS fighters through to fight them. That those ISIS fighters may eventually pose a terror threat inside Turkey, or become a force that Turkey itself will have to fight, highlights the irony. Another significant moment in this film is a scene in which a Kurdish fighter displays a knife he retrieved from a fallen ISIS fighter. He says the knife was bloody when he got it and had been used to cut someone’s throat. Printed on the side of the knife was “Made in USA” and the words “9/11 – We Will Never Forget.” The implication was that US military equipment, complete with pro-US nationalist (and ultimately anti-jihadist) slogans, destined as aid for FSA rebels, wound up in the hands of ISIS jihadis who were using that very equipment in their executions. Layers of irony.

While Turkey worries about its border, Israel is worrying about its border as well, going so far as to take an active role in supporting rebels. Israel’s Growing Role in Southern Syria Arabic version here: دور إسرائيل المتنامي في جنوب سوريا

Concerned about the possible drift of al-Qaeda affiliates to areas adjacent to the Golan Heights border, Israel finds itself obliged to increase its assistance to local rebel militias in southern Syria.

As the fighting in Syria rages, Israel has been moving cautiously and often reluctantly toward assuming a modest role in the civil war, restricted to areas along the Golan Heights frontier line. What began as a purely humanitarian step — extending emergency medical aid to injured and sick Syrians from neighboring villages — has by now reportedly expanded into a well-developed mechanism for providing a whole range of items, from medications to food, fuel, clothes, heaters, and more. …

Intra-jihadist ideological conflicts: The Islamic State of Disunity: Jihadism Divided – Cole Bunzel

More on the nature of ISIS: The Dawn of the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Aymenn al-Tamimi

Comments (143)

Alan said:

Starvation: a Twisted Example of the Assad Regime’s Terrorism bla bla bla….. continuation of Qatar paid work!

February 1st, 2014, 6:19 am


Poul said:

Don’t forget the 40-50.000 Shia starving in Nubl & Zahra, north of Aleppo besieged by the rebels.

February 1st, 2014, 6:44 am


Alan said:

This article deals with propaganda against the independent government by the Anglo-Sax”s! all the details of the consequences are the result of the bloody hands of criminals Obama – Clinton – Rice – McCain and their customers aipac jewish lobby!

February 1st, 2014, 7:18 am



An interesting article, herewith excerpts

موسكو التي خدعها ظلها


اعتقد الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين الذي عاد إلى سدة الرئاسة سنة 2012 أن بإمكانه ملء فراغ على الساحة الدولية، الذي سببه التراجع الأميركي المؤقت في الكثير من الملفات الدولية، وراهن باندفاعته السياسية على إمكانية قبول واشنطن ببعض الشروط الروسية لحل عدد من هذه الأزمات، ما يعيد لبلاده دورها ويحيي الآمال بتعددية قطبية.

بعد أكثر من سنتين على هذه الاندفاعة، ما زال الاحتمال الروسي بلعب دور دولي يراوح مكانه، ويواصل السقوط تلو الآخر في مطبات حفرتها واشنطن والدول الغربية على الطرق الافتراضية التي عدَّها بوتين ممرا لعودته.

فقد فشل الروس في مؤتمر «جنيف 2» في الدفاع عن آخر حلفائهم في شرق المتوسط، وأصبحت حسابات الخسارة في سوريا أكبر من احتمالات الربح المشروط، أضف إلى ذلك رفض الدول الـ40 المشاركة في «جنيف 2» اعتبار مكافحة الإرهاب بمفهوم النظام السوري مقدمة على مسألة مصير النظام، وتمسكها بمقررات «جنيف 1»، واعتبار وزير الخارجية الأميركي في كلمته الافتتاحية أن العنف الذي يمارسه الأسد هو الجاذب لهذا التطرف والإرهاب.


حاول بوتين العودة إلى مصر والعراق، فلم يحصل في القاهرة إلا على هامش محدود لا يعول عليه، وإدراك الخبراء الروس أن غيابا استمر 40 سنة عن القاهرة لا يسترد بردات فعل مصرية غاضبة من التردد السلبي الأميركي في التعاطي مع انتفاضة 30 يونيو (حزيران)، أما في بغداد فقد استغل رئيس الوزراء العراقي نوري المالكي حاجة موسكو إلى سوق سلاح جديدة فأغراها بصفقة سلاح كادت تسقط ضحية الفساد من كلا الجانبين من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى نجح المالكي عبر التلويح بالتعاون مع موسكو في دفع الإدارة الأميركية إلى تزويد بغداد بالعتاد العسكري الذي تطالب به، واستدراج واشنطن من جديد إلى بغداد، وإعادة بناء الثقة معها.

للحظة ما شعر بوتين أنه استعاد زمام المبادرة، فنجحت ضغوطه في دفع القيادة الأوكرانية إلى رفض توقيع اتفاقية الشراكة مع الاتحاد الأوروبي، وتوقيع اتفاقية التعاون مع موسكو، فخرجت المعارضة الأوكرانية عن صمتها وعادت إلى الشارع، ولم تفلح محاولات الالتفاف التي قامت بها موسكو بتقديم 15 مليار دولار كإغراءات اقتصادية، من أجل حماية حليفها الرئيس يانوكوفيتش في كييف، لأن حراك المعارضة الأوكرانية المتصاعد والدعم الغربي لها، أديا إلى تراجع موسكو سريعا عن الكثير من ثوابتها، فقدم حليفها رئيس الوزراء استقالته، وألغى البرلمان الأوكراني قانون التظاهر المثير للجدل، وأعلنت وكالة «إنترفاكس» عن دخول رئيس الجمهورية فيكتور يانوكوفيتش في إجازة مرضية بسبب أزمة نفسية حادة يمر بها، فيما حذر أول رئيس لأوكرانيا ليونيد كرافتشوك من حرب أهلية على حدود روسيا.

يردد كبار السن أن ثعلبا خرج للصيد صباحا فسار بعكس الشمس فنظر إلى ظله وقال «علي اليوم أن أصطاد جملا»، وعندما ارتفعت الشمس قليلا نظر إلى ظله ثانية وقال «يمكنني البحث عن معزاة»، وعندما انتصبت الشمس فوقه في وسط السماء نظر إلى ظله وقال «سأكتفي بدجاجة».

خرج الروسي إلى الصيد مستخدما عتادا سوفياتيا عفّى عليه الزمن، حاملا أوهاما إمبراطورية، لكنه لا يملك الإمكانيات ولا الأدوات لاستعادتها، مستغلا اللحظة التي قرر فيها الصياد الأميركي الاكتفاء مؤقتا بما لديه من غنائم، فلم يعثر إلا على فتات ما تركه الحلفاء الغربيون الذين خرجوا منتصرين من حرب باردة، لا مجال للعودة إليها.

February 1st, 2014, 7:26 am


apple_mini said:

Mr. Matthew Barber, we, as faithful readers on this site would really like to get some thoughtful and insightful information and discussion here when Syria is in crisis and Syrians are suffering.

To my knowledge, this post is either misinformed or biased. The rebels are to blame for situation in Yarmouk camp, at least the most of it.

The regime has given the rebels in Yarmouk several chances to get out so the Yarmouk can be spared from any conflicts. Do not forget the factions of Palestine playing the major roles of the conflicts inside the Yarmouk camp.

After the camp was put under siege after failed ceasefire. Majority of the population in Yarmouk have left, except those who are directly or indirectly involved with the rebels for fearing of being caught by the regime or pro regime militias then later being used as hostage.

If the rebels really care about those suffering civilians, they would not interrupt aid convoys to get in or simply compromise a little on their position.

We have heard enough from John Kerry about those “truth” in Syria. We just hope we do not need to hear them here again.

February 1st, 2014, 9:10 am


Hopeful said:

#6 Apple_mini

Here is how you deal with militants who take refuge in civilian areas and hold hostages to guarantee their own safety:

You don’t bomb the hostages and starve them to death!

February 1st, 2014, 9:22 am


Alan said:

The truth is: a multi-generational global conspiracy does exist amongst a self-selected cabal of hereditary autocrats (and wandering bandit tribes), Wall Street financiers, oil tycoons, London banking/drug criminal organizations, and so-called “elites” working at various private universities and think tanks. A cabal, parts of whom, are associated via multi-millennial secret occult societies infiltrated throughout the historic intelligence and governmental organizations of the world, whose goal is the creation of a communo-fascist one world government. A New World Order. Since the creation of this totalitarian world government includes the destruction of the ecclesiastical institutions of the world (clash of civilizations), I have concluded that they also wish to elevate the religion of their secret societies to world status as well. Ergo, a Satanic New World Order.

A Satanic New World Order (us) subordinated to the cabal’s private fiat banking, the interlocking directorates of their corporations, the circumscribed group mind processing of their MSM, their psycho-pharmaceuticals, and concocted behavioral modification that passes for public education in the United States; the masses, forcibly subordinated under their private armies, police and drone and nuke umbrella via false-flag, environmental and financial terrorism.

The “unkempt, irradiated masses” subjected daily to a Hegelian Dialectic game-play that keeps the serfs (us) fighting amongst themselves, off-center and discombobulated. Never guessing the identify of their true enemy that has stolen and soiled their world, taxed them to poverty, drug addiction, starvation, despair; and intends to inflict mass slaughter on them, as this global genocide suits their sociopathic notions of what the natural world should look like.
Greg Burton- Chico, California

February 1st, 2014, 9:45 am


Tara said:


CC: Hardly-a-Human-Being who goes under the alias of Hardly-a -Massacre

Please read post# 6: “Majority of the population in Yarmouk have left, except those who are directly or indirectly involved with the rebels for fearing of being caught by the regime or pro regime militias then later being used as hostage”

How dare you dear Matt publish the picture of the starved little child or the elderly delivered to death in the Yarmuk camp when he remained in Yarmiuk after all civilian left as he was per Apple -mini- “directly or indirectly involved with the rebels for fearing of being caught by the regime or pro regime militias then later being used as hostage.”

Apple mini tols us that the child was afraid being directly or indirectly related to rebels and feared being taken as a hostage by the regime therefore he stayed in Yarmouk camp and was delivered to God as a consequence of starvation.

Again Matt, How dare you!? You are risking losing Apple as a reader. It would be a devastating loss and you shall never forgive yourself. I am afraid that JL is going to terminate your association with SC for this balatant mistake.

Apple: I don’t usually read you. I made an exception today getting bored driving 2 hours to the mountains to ski. You are as usual embarrassing yourself. Keep it up girl!

February 1st, 2014, 9:49 am


apple_mini said:

Hopeful, no need to be naive. Does it occur to you that the rebels are willingly not only using civilians as human shields but also human sacrifice for their propaganda war?

If only the regime is to blame for those atrocities, we will not see relief for Syrians.

And again, who really cares about Syrians? If those powerful do, then we would have seen some progress towards at least ceasefire.

February 1st, 2014, 10:06 am


Observer said:

Cease fire? Hardly a massacre asking for a cease fire?

That is most telling especially since Alan is now talking about a world wide conspiracy of elites controlling the masses.

I suggest that they both read Hayek’s The Road to Surfdom first and they Why Nations Fail and finally Collapse.

On a different note JL was on PBS yesterday and he actually made a point that I did not appreciate first. He made a point that the Syrian delegation or the regime delegation I should say came to Geneva not to negotiate with the opposition but to sit face to face with the US to see if they can come up with a compromise that keeps the regime intact. He said they found a firm and unequivocal NO from this administration.

Today Lavrov says that Russia cannot solve the Syrian crisis alone and I am not sure what it means, does it mean inviting the Iranians, does it mean distancing itself from the fall of the House of Assad. Rumors has it that an Alawi replacement is in the works to placate the fear of the community from retribution.

It was telling what JL said on PBS. He said the outcome if Assad stays is actually a few more years of fighting until the regime exhausts its young men fighting for it and then a collapse of the regime and the army protecting it.

If that were to happen and this may explain the desire for a cease fire it is because the community is staring at a genocide in the face. Therefore there is a reluctance to deliver the chemical weapons. The regime claims it needs help moving them through Qalamoun and yet it claims significant gains there.
It tells me that the level of exhaustion is significant and that the regime has achieved its maximum potential right now and this did not translate into a political coup in Geneva. So the position of strength that the regime thought it had achieved amounted to nothing and the opposition has shown that despite its current situation the events on the ground will ultimately go in its favor.

ISIS is selling oil and gas to the regime these days so that goes to tell you that the two are two sides of the same coin.

Tara good skiing, I will go out today to cross country ski they just groomed the park.

Do you downhil or cross country. I mainly skate ski. Something will do in Zabadani when the time comes.


I miss ZOO and ALI and Mjabali

February 1st, 2014, 11:22 am


Akbar Palace said:


Thank you for the article and comments. The UN and the world have failed once again. Nothing was learned this past century. You either have the ability to protect yourself or your people, otherwise, you’re doomed.

February 1st, 2014, 12:27 pm


Mina said:

On Yarmuk

February 1st, 2014, 12:27 pm


ghufran said:

It is essential that the human disaster in Syria gets the attention it deserves, both parties in the conflict and the international community claim that their main objective is to improve the lives of Syrians and protect civilians, needless to say most politicians on both sides of the aisle are simply lying.
When was the last time you have heard or seen an armed man in Syria begging for food?
Even the thugs of the GCC realized that the beef is not where poor Syrians are but it is where armed militias are. much of UN food aid and the humanitarian assistance is either stolen by rebels or taken by “organizers” to be given to “special” people or even sold in the black market (does Iraq ring a bell ? ).
Blaming the regime only for this dark situation in Syria is not just factually wrong it is also dishonest especially in areas like Yarmouk. Rebels in most cases CHOSE to invade civilian areas and refused to let those civilians leave or get aid directly from the red cross, regime authorities also refused to let aid agencies operate independently and those authorities themselves were engaged in acts of theft and bribery (I am not going to pretend that I am surprised).
The humanitarian crisis in Syria is used by politicians to advance their cause as part of a PR war, you know the real intention of any “field report” when the conclusion was that one side is the criminal and the other side is innocent.
This is a war, people, you will be kidding yourselves if you think civilians can be saved or helped without a cease fire. This insanity needs to stop, if foreign nations, especially the Bedouins of the GCC, were concerned about civilians they would have designated 1/10 of what they spent on weapons and 5 stars hotels to help Syrians who are eating grass to survive, instead most donors make promises they have no intention of keeping, at the top of the list is the GCC countries. Even wealthy countries like China and Russia are only giving pennies to poor Syrians compared to their GDP, the truth is that when Syrians decide to kill Syrians, others will mostly watch and try to take advantage of the situation.

February 1st, 2014, 12:47 pm



The “unkempt, irradiated masses” subjected daily to a Hegelian Dialectic game-play that keeps the serfs (us) fighting amongst themselves, off-center and discombobulated

What a load of horse-shit. I bet you the character who cut and pasted this crap is clueless about what does “discombobulated” mean…

rather confusing, isn’t it.

February 1st, 2014, 1:03 pm



I have reached a conclusion that the “multimillennial” conspiracy is overseen bu a bunch of incompetent poops. For thousands of years, these bozos have been plotting with “world intelligence” and what have you, causing mayhem, and yet they haven’t managed to create their “satanic world order” after all of these millenniums.

February 1st, 2014, 1:12 pm


Observer said:

It is clear we are at the beginning of this civil war. POUL can you send us links to the starving Zahra please. The regime lost in Quneitra and Hama today. These are villages of their core troops recruiting from.

I would love to be a fly on the wall when the Drum the Witch and the Laughing Cow report to the iPad Retard

Cease fire? Hardly a massacre is talking about a cease fire? Lavrov saying that Russia cannot solve Syria alone? Is this the talk of a returning superpower? Tsk tsk indeed.

I want to sell the bust so that they can buy the boom

February 1st, 2014, 1:13 pm



After the confirmation of the worst prospects of a fuxxxing dictatorship towards the people, then I have nothing else to say that FXXXX all those criminals who support the regime and their crimes. And there are many of them, including Putin, Obama and Merkel. All of them are total aescoria in this world. And this scoria rule the world.

February 1st, 2014, 1:44 pm



Thourgh hundreds of syrians who live inside the syrian horror I have been receiving information and detailed description of brutalities and tortures committed by the regime for 3 long years.

What is new in this report we did not know? What is new that Obama did not already know? NOTHING.

UNO should be suspended and its Budget given to the reconstruction of countries destroyed due to UN unaction.

Obama should be given the Nobel Prize of Hypocrisy. And Bush, who we all considered the stupid elected by the stupid americans, should be canonized by the other WAR CRIMINAL, the POPE FRANCISCO, who is the evil itself, by defending Assad remaining in power killing its population.

February 1st, 2014, 1:49 pm




Thanks for promoting the war crimes in Syria, for promoting the bombing of all syrian cities, the starvation of millions of human beings while you are imnotized by your stupid beliefs out of reality.

February 1st, 2014, 1:54 pm



Elissar Moualla

I prefer to believe she is an ignorant to think she is just a sectarian alawite defending his God President King Dictator Persian Governor of Satrapie of Syria Bashar Al ASS AD.

February 1st, 2014, 2:54 pm




… Starvation is not real…. The typical example of paid low quality Assad dictatorship propaganda bla bla bla

I hope you suffer it to discover what it really means. Your words should be punished under democratic countries´laws if countries really believe in protecting universal democracy.

Democracy is made for defensors of human and civil rights not for coverup criminals like you.

February 1st, 2014, 3:04 pm


Mina said:

Evacuations from Yarmuk today
Loewe, instead of spending your time insulting me, why don’t you give us your analysis of the OTV program? It explains basically that it is a battle between pro-Hamas groups composed of both Palestinians and Syrians and other Palestinian groups allied to the Syrian army (already since the battle of Sayyida Zeinab last year). How is Brahimi is supposed to solve that, according to you, an observator of Lebanese politics?

February 1st, 2014, 3:09 pm


Alan said:

(opposition Ford – Bandar) rejected response in Geneva, 2 and rejected:
– The basic principles of the common denominators
– Programme Against terrorism
– Address the humanitarian imperatives
– Without a political program
– They do not have any control over the Syrian interior
– personal hatred on the state
Is the immorality of political opposition want to rule bullying are not familiar with the art of negotiation and not even communicate the correct terminology. Poor – intellectual poverty – belonging to those who think on their behalf , divided among themselves

February 1st, 2014, 3:15 pm


Syrialover said:

Lots of agitated squeaks from Team Assad in response to Matthew Barber’s devastating blast of reality above.

A fascinating insight into the mental limitations, low awareness and distorted perceptions of Assadists is provided in the article “At Neutral Site, Syrians Feel Free to Confront the Other Side” posted above.

It describes extreme shock being experienced by Assad regime officials in Geneva confronted for the first time in their lives with questions and criticisms from Syrians they can’t control or get arrested and tortured. Not foreigners, Syrians!

No longer inside ‘a government controlled bubble’ they “are finding that almost anyone can come up to them anytime, anywhere, and ask anything.”

“… An Arab journalist who worked in Syria for years said government delegates probably had “never seen, let alone spoken to, anyone in the opposition.”

February 1st, 2014, 4:00 pm


Tara said:


I agree with JL assessment. The regime came to Geneva thinking it was coming not to negotiate with its fellow Syrians but rather to negotiate with the Americans. The regime was hoping it can forge a compromise with the Americans that keeps Batta in power in return to humanitarian concessions. The regime thought that its propaganda machine was successful in making the West, out of fear of the Islamists, falling out of love with the revolution.

The US, realizing that ordinary Syrians are peaceful and non-fanatic, was smart enough to realize that Batta was the magnet for the Islamist terrorists and that he may have helped sustaining and strengthening them to achieve his short term goal. Sadly for the regime, Mr. Kerry on his opening speech pulled the rug out from under the regime feet and left its delegate stumbling. It was the first day of the “negotiation” when the regime understood that its propaganda has miserably failed and that the US is not fooled by the terror of the Islamists the regime itself attracted and nourished. The regime delegation hence offered no huminatarian concession and returned to Syria with humiliation.

The war continues and the Syrian people will eventually win. Assad does not have unlimited number of Alawis fighting for him and the Sunnis who support him like my family does so to maintain their privileges and will not sacrifice a finger for him.

I am sorry to say that most Syrians have developed visceral hatred to those who support Batta especially the Alawis and that most Syrians couldn’t care less if most Alawis and Christians who support him vanish from the face of the earth and took their children with them and all the Sunni traitors

I don’t know about you observer but I really truly come to hate any one who supports Batta. I always thought of myself as a good person. I really truly have touched many many lives in a positive way but when it comes to the regime and its supporters, I truly do have visceral hatred. I wish them ill. I can’t watch any Syrian TV series. It causes me a great deal of discomfort. I can’t even look ( let alone talk) at any loyalist I may come across inadvertently in an airport, in a conference or anywhere. I wish them that they somehow vanish and that Syria is cleansed from them all. It is too bad. It goes against the way I have lived my life all along but I just can not help it…

February 1st, 2014, 4:08 pm


Syrialover said:

And they are so wonderfully stupid!

Below is an example of crude, idiotic and primitive regime propaganda that should be framed as a poster for the museum of totalitarianism.

Few will believe that something like this was produced and circulated to international audiences in the 21st century.

A satirist couldn’t have dreamed it up:

“Syria: Regime Propaganda Tries to Discredit Mother of British Doctor Killed in Detention”

February 1st, 2014, 4:17 pm


Observer said:

Tara you cannot hate to a point that you become the enemy that you loathe.

Alawites are human beings and in certain circumstances they are capable of the best and the worst of humanity like all of us are. I certainly cannot say that I will not commit some atrocities if someone tells me that the price for not doing it is a mass rape of my daughter for example.

The regime lives and grows with hatred and division and corruption and graft and theft and humiliation for to live by high standards means its very demise.

Take care and no I do not hate but I do want very much a long and arduous and complete public trial of the criminals of ALL sides.

It is essential for people to see what JUSTICE means, not mob justice not lynching justice but real justice.

February 1st, 2014, 4:27 pm


Syrialover said:

They are dinosaurs venturing out of their cosy primitive nests and blinking in shock at the glare of the 21st century.

Here are some good comments on Geneva:

“Assad may have miscalculated by agreeing to Geneva talks, diplomats say”

February 1st, 2014, 4:28 pm


Syrialover said:

I heard Joshua Landis on PBS giving one of the grimmest and ugliest possible ongoing scenarios for Syria.

It is that Assad will keep going until all the young men from the minorities caught up in his net and fighting for the regime have been wiped out in the war. He will stop only when he has finally exhausted his supplies of human cannon fodder.

Those men and their families are human beings who are victims of the sick and brutal Assad dictatorship as much as those they have been forced to attack.

They just had the terrible bad luck to be born in Syria in the Assad era.

February 1st, 2014, 4:41 pm


Brad said:

Syria Comment has now become a place that very comfortably repeats the simplistic “official” and mainstream assumptions that one is used to seeing on CNN, FOX, or MSNBC. Syria Comment used to be a place for serious analysis. Matthew Barber now gives us the “Regime = worst terrorists” and “FSA are ‘good rebels’ who are the enlightened bringers of secularism and democracy” and “ISIS are the only ‘bad rebels'”
… does this sound familiar?

Everyone is better off going to Angry Arab’s site – he’s been consistent about the Syria conflict from the beginning. See As’ad AbuKhalil here for example:
“This is a fact: sieges and denial of assistance is an ugly weapons used by both sides in the ugly Syrian war.”

AbuKhalil consistently points out the crimes of both the regime and the rebels (esp. the so-called “moderate” FSA!). Perhaps Syria Comment has fallen for the overly simplistic “Good guys vs. Bad guys” narrative because the Syria conflict has increased its notoriety.

Grad students can now make a name for themselves for repeating accepted narratives.

February 1st, 2014, 4:51 pm


Syrialover said:


The people I feel visceral repulsion for and see as truly nasty with bad brains are those living safely in freedom in prosperous democracies, who CHOOSE to support the Assad regime.

These can range from Shia academics in western universities (intellectual and closet Shabiha) to uneducated thugs who despite decades of benefiting from living in the west are still obsessed with status through associating with the Assads. And many other examples in between.

The bottom line of their thinking is that Syrians are lesser humans than the rest of the world and do not deserve the freedoms, security, dignity and opportunities they themselves are enjoying.

Scratch the surface and you will always find they have some form of personal investment – emotional, financial, status, sectarian, you name it – in the Assad dictatorship and they fear losing it.

They need lobotomies, their brains, as SYRIAN HAMSTER has said are a lump of dog poop.

February 1st, 2014, 5:08 pm


Syrialover said:

BRAD #34 you show that you yourself choose to rely on filtered, biased, blank-spot accounts and opinions on Syria through Angry Arab.

Reading AbuKhalil you are hit by the an eerie and creepy feeling that the people of Syria aren’t real and what is happening them is of interest only to support a particular world view.

You have conveyed that in your own post.

Perspective, proportion and real life dimensions are badly distorted in the world of Angry Arab and his admirers.

The world knows there is NOTHING in history to match the scale and ferocity of a government’s actions against its citizens in what the Assad regime has done.

But if we are to follow your “logic” it’s wrong and unfair to say anything about the regime’s massive military, Iran-assisted atrocities and destruction of Syria unless perfectly counterbalanced by reports of “bad actions” by what in many cases are basically civilians fighting to defend their lives, their families, their homes, communities and livelihoods.

And if you want to talk about “fighting al quaeda terrorists” – which the simplicity and shallowness of your approach suggests you could be thinking – my answer to you is “Algeria” (ref. my post on 30 January –

BRAD, as you can see from the lead posts here the reality of Syria is very confronting – too confronting for some.

February 1st, 2014, 5:51 pm


Syrialover said:

Here’s the story about how the Syrian opposition started to get well organized and professional in dealing with the media in Geneva. At last!

COMMENT: This is going to be increasingly uncomfortable and annoying for the Assad regime, which is stuck at the unsophisticated and inept level revealed in #29.

The inexplicable (and in my mind unforgivable) failure of the Syrian opposition to bring its media relations up to standard before now has handed the Assad regime all kind of default advantages.

I would like to know the inside story of why inept and clearly inexperienced amateurs were allowed to be in change of opposition media relations all this time. The stakes have been too high for this to be excused.

February 1st, 2014, 6:37 pm


ghufran said:

Taken from page one in the Syrian War Handbook:

“To rally your troops you need to make sure that people on your side believe that they only have two choices: kill or be killed, and to increase morale you should do anything to cultivate hatred against everybody who is remotely linked to the “enemy”. Do not allow guilt to grow inside you, give your good side an early and fatal dose of prevention by repeating lines that describe how evil and godless those who do not share your opinion are”

Back to reality, no winner is permitted in this dirty conflict, Syrians have already lost except those who made their millions from this war and ran away with the money or getting ready to do just that.
Over 130,000 people were killed. More than $ 30 B of capital left Syria from Aleppo alone. Damage to cities and infrastructure, in Homs, Aleppo and Reef Dimashq, is well above $ 150 B without adding the unknown is areas that can not be reached. UN believes that Syria lost 3 decades in human development because of this war.

Waiting for a bonehead to tell me that it was “worth it ” !!

Here is Moaz, one of the few I can still read and listen to:
“مايريده الروس: ضمان قاعدتهم البحرية وعقود التسليح للجيش القادم، ضمان الديون الروسية، الحصول على عقود تنقيب عن الغاز والنفط، مكافحة الارهاب، وأخطر بند: مجلس أمن قومي يكون لهم اختيار رئيسه ونصف أعضائه”.
أما الأميركان فيريدون بحسب الخطيب “إنهاء السلاح الكيميائي، ضمان أمن (الاسرائيليين)، مكافحة الارهاب”.
وأشار الخطيب إلى أن الأمور الأخرى كلها يتعبرونها فتافيت من المكاسب وسيتركونها للنظام والمعارضة”.
ولفت إلى أن “بقية الدول تتشارك في ارادة تحطيم سورية نظاماً ومعارضة، وشعباً وأرضاً ، وكل ماكان يطرح سابقاً من مبادرات لإنهاء المأساة كان مرفوضاً من قبل الجميع ، لأن بلدنا لم يكن قد انهك بشكل كاف.

February 1st, 2014, 7:41 pm


Sami said:

What a disgustingly shallow and skin crawling pathetically low set of logic on this Rotten Apple.

More like a Rotten to its core Apple…

Anyone quoting Asa’ad Abu Khara deserve the khara he spews!

February 1st, 2014, 8:23 pm



By Asa’ad Abu Khara, i guess you mean the former CIA receptionist?

February 1st, 2014, 8:45 pm


Sami said:

Syrian Hamster,

Yes, the same one that derides the evil Western Colonialism and lives in California.

February 1st, 2014, 9:39 pm


Mick said:

“Even if the Syrian regime doesn’t attack ISIS bases, the Turkish military attacked an ISIS convoy on Wednesday.”

For someone that is supposed to have a tad bit of background, spewing out this sentence is telling.

Who did you ask? The Nusrah Front? I realize this is a cutesy statement that started a few days ago after the Nusrah Front whined about loosing what it had of Ar Raqqah, but to blame the regime for this is rich.

So for years the regime, which said Al Qaeda was involved in the opposition, was mocked. Now that it is blatantly obvious that hardcore Al Qaeda is actively involved in Syria, and the opposition is actually confronting the very foreign-based Al Qaeda group with the Syrian-based milder Al Qaeda (Nusrah Front), we are being fed the line of shit that the regime is behind the first. Am I to forget Salim Idriss praising the work of Da’sh in the past when it fit his goals? He sure loved the work they did in splitting Alawites women in two in Latakia.

February 1st, 2014, 10:41 pm


Mick said:

Not to mention, it is easier to blame Bashar than to actually follow the money of the Islamic groups fighting in Syria.

The best you get from Western media is that there is Saudi/Qatar funding of some groups. Nothing serious. But only to state the obvious. Now it has been stated. It can be ignored again.

This has gone on from day one when Western Journalists lied about Salafists in Wadi Khaled in Lebanon.

Sa’d Hariri and his friends funding attacks in Syria. No mention in the West.

State Department hoping for a combined Turkish and Jordanian based force attacking Syria…no mention.

Refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan off limits to people? Doesn’t bring up questions in the lazy Western media or academia.

No, it is all Bashar’s fault. If you can find a way to sell that, you can make some big money.

February 1st, 2014, 11:43 pm


apple_mini said:

Syria has been screwed up badly.

Here is my personal account of a glimpse of it:

We know a young man whose family are in Daraa. Last year, his dad urgently needed a certain medicine for his cancer treatment. The drug was run out in Daraa due to the collapsed medical care over there by the ongoing war. We helped him to secure several doses at the French hospital in Damascus. By the time the package arrived in Daraa, his dad already passed away. About two weeks later, the French hospital got hit by several mortar shells “dedicated” from the rebels.

This man told us everything for this so-called “revolution” happened way before February 2011 in Daraa. Many things including weapons had been prepared and just waiting for a spark. In Daraa in order to recount the SAA and pro Syrian government militia casualties, one needs to multiply civilian casualty by 10.

Recently, we found out this young man has been taken away by the regime. People have not known his whereabouts for 3 months now.

You see, the county really got screwed. Everyone who possesses power or brandishes power is dirty. The innocent ones are those silent ones. It is a dark age: horrors and lies are rampant.

February 2nd, 2014, 1:41 am


Syrialover said:

MICK, you’re kidding. Mainly yourself.

Are you trying to say that the media is being UNFAIR to poor Bashar, who has nobody to help him but Iran.

Or maybe you’re unaware of Iran’s hands-on assistance to Bashar and major funding of Shia terrorist militia like Hezbollah in Syria. You probably are in the dark about that, because it’s so poorly covered by the western media. Ignored much more than the alleged Saudi financing of al quaeda in Syria.

Here’s something to cheer you up. The Independent Newspaper recently carried a story by ageing “ex-journalist Rabbit Fisk” claiming that Saudi Arabia was financing ISIS. (Fisk is now widely described as an “ex-journalist” since spouting the Assad regime line while his writing has sharply declined).

The Saudis responded with a strong official public denial, stating Fisk’s false claims were of the utmost seriousness. It said Saudi Arabia “refutes such implications and finds them an inaccurate and misleading account of the situation”.

The Saudi statement also said that it supported the opposition and moderate FSA, and called on more countries to do the same to counteract the spread of al qaeda.

Astonishingly, The Independent chose to ignore Saudi Arabia’s response, burying it deep in the letters page (–friend-or-enemy-of-the-people-9088190.html).

Happier now?

February 2nd, 2014, 1:46 am


Mick said:

Oh poor innocent Saudi Arabia.

How dare anyone frame them for the spread of Wahabi Salafism.

Hizballah terrorism. Just when was the last act of Hizballah terrorism? Yes, in the ’80s they did some some nasty stuff. Then they morphed and kicked Israel out of Lebanon. Since then?

Since then, it seems like Sunnis have been blowing the shit our of civilians from Lebanon to Pakistan. On a daily basis.

Wonder if the West will show the picture of the dead civilians the Nusrah front was so proud of today in Hirmil?

February 2nd, 2014, 1:56 am


Syrialover said:

But actually, MICK you are showing a disappointing lack of energy and interest, only poking away at the surface with the handle end of a teaspoon (not even digging).

Your earnest statement in #41 about Assad being mocked for “warning people about al quaeda” and saying we are being “fed a line of shit that the regime is behind [al Qaeda]” reveals where you are coming from, and what a short circular trip you’ve taken.

Why not contact ex-journalist Rabbit Fisk and maybe excite him with your particular insights and information.

February 2nd, 2014, 2:09 am


Mick said:

Oh my God, if I had to deal with journalist on trying to find out what was going on in Syria, I’d be lost.

Kinda like reading a paper that said Saudi Arabia had nothing to do with the Salafist extremists in Syria.

I realize Bush believed that just because the majority of the suicide attackers on 9/11 were Saudis meant he had to attack Iraq was an actual U.S. policy decision, I’m not that advanced.

Salafists are blowing up civilians all over the region.

I realize it is easy to blame people that don’t have money, but be real.

Saudi’s, Libyans, Tunisians, Chechyans, etc are blowing themselves up to kill civilians in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, etc.

No one in the West is looking at the source of this because they know they source. As long as they can play ignorant, all is fine.

Oops. Qatar just notified about a book proposal. Ignore everything I wrote prior.

February 2nd, 2014, 2:42 am


Syrialover said:

MICK #47 of course you don’t need journalists to find out what is going on in Syria (putting aside ex-journalist Rabbit Fisk who falsely claims that the Saudis are bankrolling ISIS).

Instead, your comments are bursting with the special information and insights you’ve selected from Assad regime narratives. And it’s blocked out space for anything else.

You write “No one in the West is looking at the source of this [al Qaeda]”

Sorry, MICK you are getting entertaining here.

I suspect if you started reading stuff other than the pro-Assad version of the world you might get a big surprise, an information shock even.

Seriously, your comments suggest you need to go back and catch up from at least 2001 and all that’s happened since.

February 2nd, 2014, 3:57 am



This reminds me so much of a couple of characters (overt/covert)regime supporters. It is so true.

حازم نهار
كيف تكون “يسارياً” في دقيقة؟

قم بشتم دول الخليج العربي، وصف أهلها بالتخلف، مع قليل من الحديث عن “الياسمين الدمشقي”، وانفش ريشك باعتبارك شخصاً متحضراً وراقياً، ومن المهم أيضاً إضافة بعض الكلمات حول إيمانك باللاعنف، وكرر بعض عناوين الروايات الروسية التي لم تقرأها، ولا تنس في المآل أن تبلل ريقك بقليل من البيرة.

لا تحاول القراءة والفهم، فهما يضران بصحتك و”يساريتك”، لكن انتبه أن هناك من يستطيع أن يرى بوضوح ذلك الكائن الحقيقي في داخلك، المعجون من عقل بدوي عمره آلاف السنين مع قليل من الشعارات والترهات البعثية والروح الستالينية.

February 2nd, 2014, 4:06 am


Aboud said:

Thank you Mr Barber, this page is all anyone needs to read to know why millions of Syrians refuse to live under the Assad family’s continue rule. It is enough to condemn the man as the 21st century worst war criminal, and is a damning indictment of the moral and ethical bankruptcy of his supporters.

Syria is this era’s ultimate litmus test of character, just like the issues of civil rights and fascism was in days gone by. History has judged and noted where every person has stood on that test.

February 2nd, 2014, 4:19 am


Alan said:

Syrian Christian Leaders Call On U.S. To End Support For Anti-Assad Rebels
The stories told by five top Syrian Christian leaders about the horrors their churches are experiencing at the hands of Islamist extremists are biblical in their brutality.

February 2nd, 2014, 4:49 am




I am Christian and I cannot read your comments after my breakfast. I prefer to read your silly words when I am evacuating.

What do you mean by Christian Leaders? The rat of Michel Aoun? Maybe the corrupt and decaying Christian authorities of Assad? The same that sell the church treasures to hire prositutes? The same that hire for 99 years the Church historical buildings by two pennies to corrupt personalities of the regime ?

Forget about calling any authority in Assad Syria a Christian or a muslim, they are simply sick minds in tainted bodies.

February 2nd, 2014, 5:05 am



Assad pretends 130.000 deaths (it means 500.000) are just an accident that can be negotiated with international brokers while the syrian people remains opressed under Assad and international boots.

He thinks millions of relatives of these died humans will forget what he has done.

No, Assad must kill 10.000.000 before he can sit again in his trhone built on death and suffering.

US, is being siptted in the face by Assad, checmical weapons bla bla bla humanitartian corridors bla bla bla Al Qaeda worse than Assad bla bla bla…..

US is really ridiculous in the international scene after the screenplay they developed last august pretending they wanted to hit Assad but they could not do it for lack popular support.

Mr. Assad can you understand that you must leave?
Mr. Assad can´t you hear empty head that you must leave?

February 2nd, 2014, 5:53 am


Alan said:

Cause American long aggression on Iraq, a great tragedy for the Iraqi people. Are you asleep at the time?
Cause long-Israeli aggression against Palestine the great tragedy of the Palestinian people. Are you asleep at the time?
Do you want to awaken the conscience of others, when your conscience is asleep! Stop crying!

February 2nd, 2014, 7:32 am


Sami said:

“Hizballah terrorism. Just when was the last act of Hizballah terrorism? Yes, in the ’80s they did some some nasty stuff. Then they morphed and kicked Israel out of Lebanon. Since then?”

Been too busy terrorizing Lebanese and killing (by car bombs) anyone that dares to oppose them. Then they decided to oppose Israel by invading Syria…

I don’t know a single true American patriot that would somehow try to dignify this terrorist organization that murdered in cold blood 240 American’s that came to help quell the civil war in Lebanon by pretending this grouped morphed into some kind of humanitarian organization that is there for the better good of the region.

Scream about Salafism and wahabism all you want, but as long as you turn a blind eye to the sectarian killing machine in Damascus and the sectarian thugs from Lebanon you will be seen as nothing more than a hypocritical fool.

February 2nd, 2014, 8:25 am




I have always stand against American agressions in the arab countries.

Also I always stand against israelí agressions in palestinian lands.

And I will always be against Russian and Iranian agressions in Syria.

You are sectarian always supporting the same side, when it commits crimes or when it does not.

I am a person with values. I do not blame the side or the color I blame the criminal whoever he is and wherever he come from.

February 2nd, 2014, 8:35 am


Observer said:

A pity we do not hear ALI and ZOO anymore. I had a very nice glimpse of the mental state of the regime insiders.

Ghufran it is easy to stop the destruction very easy. Stop using the military and allow people to demonstrate peacefully. Allow to demonstrate and vent their anger on both sides. Simple but of course it does not cross the regime mind to think that a dissident is a human being. They think that dissent means that you are a traitor and that justifies your dehumanization.

I am quite concerned about Hardly a Massacre asking for a cease fire. It seems that it was only recently that it was Hardly a Massacre had a dismissal of the other’s very importance and that these were just a few hooligans needing discipline and now we are to the point that a cease fire is needed. The one who needs a cease fire is the exhausted one. Destruction has been exported to the regime side as well. They are tasting a little of what they send out. They have no offensives any more just barrel bombs.

That should tell you something.

I do believe now that the war is going to continue and that regime change will have to occur the hard way. Zarif is also asking to stop the bloodshed before even looking for a political solution.

If I were a regime insider I would prepare my departure for Tehran.

February 2nd, 2014, 9:27 am


Alan said:

It seems that someonе”s skin is suffering from itching so always ask ALI and ZOO for treatment?

February 2nd, 2014, 10:41 am


ghufran said:

Here is Jarba’s comments after Geneva 2 ended:
(the guy looks like a hybrid between a Saudi Bedouin and a smuggler chief, no disrespect intended)

..and here is Al-Mouallem’s remarks:
(trying to put a pretty face on a conference that helped the NC more than his government)

Notice that not a single prisoner from either side was released and that no cease fire was implemented. Both Jarba and Mouallem did not mention the military developments in the battle field which may consolidate the government’s control over a larger piece of territory, including Aleppo, and this will make another conference a total waste of time.

The euphoria on the opposition side after a decent show in Geneva 2 will be short lived unless the US takes aggressive measures in the next 10 days (unlikely) or rebels (most of whom do not recognize the NC anyway)score a big victory (even less likely.
(I find some of the comments on the subject entertaining)

February 2nd, 2014, 11:19 am


Syrian said:

A new offensive have begun in Dra’a and the Horan region

فلا يفل الحديد الإ الحديد و لا يردع السفاح الإ السلاح ولما رأيناه من هذا النظام الأسدي الذي لم يفهم لغة السياسة و الحوار فإننا نحن غرفة العمليات العسكرية المشتركة في حوران و التي تضم ((غرفة عمليات المنطقة الغربية – غرفة عمليات الشيخ مسكين -غرفة عمليات مدينة درعا – غرفة عمليات المنطقة الشرقية – غرفة عمليات المنطقة الشمالية الشرقية – الفوج الأول مدفعية )) و دعما لمواقف المعارضة السورية ومن درعا شرارة الثورة السورية العظيمة فإننا نعلن عن بدء معركة جنيف حوران و التي تضم كافة الألوية و الكتائب العاملة على أرض حوران الحبيبة أرض البطولة و الإباء
*** فيا أبناء سوريا عامة و حوران خاصة أبشروا بما يسركم و يثلج صدوركم

February 2nd, 2014, 11:55 am


Badr said:

“He said they found a firm and unequivocal NO from this administration.”

Landis actually said more about the failed talks somewhere else. Read his response to the following article:
Get Real(ist) About the Geneva Talks

February 2nd, 2014, 1:35 pm


ghufran said:

Aryn Baker of The Time agrees that the NC did itself a favor by showing up at Geneva:

Syrian officials will be able to go back to Damascus triumphant that they did not make a single concession. But that intransigence may yet be the regime’s undoing. Where government officials were imperious, accusatory and inconsistent, opposition representatives were generally gracious, calm and focused on their demands for genuine democracy and a denunciation of terrorism. In doing so the opposition, which has long been dismissed as incapable of true leadership, gained much-needed credibility both in Syria and abroad. In the months leading up to the talks, the Syrian government complained, with some legitimacy, that it had no real partner in the fractured opposition. The opposition’s performance in Geneva suggests the government does have a clear counterpart in negotiations

Read more: Syrian opposition gains unexpected credibility at Geneva talks |

February 2nd, 2014, 1:35 pm



North of the country is under control of FSA and Nusra. Most people sympathizes with the Nusra Front formed by local guys and men. FSA has commited some abuses that make them unpopular.

Nicest thing is that all of them, even those I know that supported Assad in the past, have realized that the problem is IRAN and RUSSIA.

Many are realizing or beginning to realice that ISIS is funded by cover up op from Moscow.

February 2nd, 2014, 3:06 pm


ameera said:


February 2nd, 2014, 3:40 pm



Ahlein y marhabatein

February 2nd, 2014, 3:44 pm


ameera said:

Kefak ya Sandro.

Esmak bezakerni bi Samo Zeen 🙂

February 2nd, 2014, 4:01 pm


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN repeats one of his favourite observations(#58):

“the guy [opposition leader Jarba]looks like a hybrid between a Saudi Bedouin and a smuggler chief, no disrespect intended”

Obviously Jarba does not look ‘ideal Syrian’ enough or seems to be of the wrong ‘class’ in Ghufran’s books for him to respect him.

How about Ghufran balances it out by telling what he thinks Bashar Assad, Walid Mouallam and the cast of various other regime figures resemble.

Jarba’s appearance is very normal and unconfronting compared with those bizarre-looking guys.

February 2nd, 2014, 4:06 pm


Syrialover said:

GHUFRAN repeats one of his favourite observations (#58):

“the guy [opposition leader Jarba]looks like a hybrid between a Saudi Bedouin and a smuggler chief, no disrespect intended”

Obviously Jarba does not look ‘ideal Syrian’ enough or seems to be of the wrong ‘class’ in Ghufran’s books for him to respect him.

How about Ghufran balances it out by telling what he thinks Bashar Assad, Walid Mouallam and the cast of various other regime figures resemble.

Jarba’s appearance is very normal and unconfronting compared with those bizarre-looking guys.

February 2nd, 2014, 4:06 pm


Syrialover said:

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the Hama massacre. Tens of thousands of ordinary people killed in days as collective punishment and a show of force by the Assad regime.

One of Bashar and Maher Assad’s most formative and happy memories as teenagers. A event of pride and celebration for the Assad family.

Today Syrians are still afraid to speak about it.

But they will. And the true scale of the massacre and the likelihood that chemical weapons were used will finally be explored and documented.

It will produce adequate evidence to indict Rifaat Assad and other for war crimes.

Here’s a poignant memory of visiting Hama soon after the massacre by Bara Sarraj:

February 2nd, 2014, 4:29 pm


Alan said:

Finian Cunningham
The concerted propaganda campaign in the context of “failed negotiations” at Geneva has a foreboding meaning – Western regime-change efforts in Syria are about to be intensified.

February 2nd, 2014, 6:25 pm


Alan said:

The talks were engineered to fail as a prelude to military intervention by the US and the West!!

The UN will be impotent in this conflict, because it has been given its marching orders from the US.

Why else on earth, was Iran “disinvited” to these talks, when their input could have been of monumental help in getting dialogue moving in a positive direction?!?

Get ready for another black ops psy-op attack, the old “Punch yourself and start screaming “he attacked me….””…. Bio Hazard:: Like spewing deplete uranium all over the place, killing the people who load, shoot, clean up, investigate, play on the remains, etc...
Who funded and supported these extremists and gave them weapons and training? Oh yeah, the United States and the UK, the two biggest sources of terrorism in the world.

February 2nd, 2014, 6:48 pm


Syrialover said:

Balkan countries create deterrent for citizens fighting in Syria


Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) are creating a legal framework to sanction citizens that participate in foreign wars, such as the one in Syria, intending to discourage participation and prevent returnees from going back.

The Social Democratic Party of Serbia (SDSP) proposed in parliament last week a new law that will sanction recruiters with prison sentences of up to 12 years, and those who depart to participate in foreign wars with prison sentences of up to five years.

The law aims to prevent participation of Serbian citizens in armed conflicts worldwide, regardless of whether for religious, material or other reasons.

“The vast majority of people who decide to fight abroad are manipulated most directly. They … are not only a security problem, but, very often, become promoters of the most radical political and ideological principles and crisis generators,” said Rasim Ljajic, deputy prime minister and president of SDSP.


Babanovski said there are more than 400 fighters from the Balkans participating in Syria, though some security services put the number at 2,000, and the potential to cause mischief is real. The fighting also creates a direct threat to neighbouring Turkey, which is housing as many as 600,000 Syrian refugees.

“The largest number comprise members of the El Mudzahedin unit from Bosnia and the KLA [Kosovo Liberation Army] from Kosovo.”

February 2nd, 2014, 7:02 pm


apple_mini said:

Ghufran, I disagree.

Performance during negotiation does not mean that much. The regime has been known for years for its impotence. But as long as they stood on its ground, they have done their duly “performance”.

On the other hand, the opposition had been trained by some of the top experienced negotiators for strategies and how to conduct negotiation beforehand.

Does this mean anything positive to solve Syrian crisis? I doubt it.

February 2nd, 2014, 8:59 pm


ghufran said:

العراق (آسيا) أفاد مصدر أمني بوجود جثة من بين قتلى تنظيم داعش يشتبه بانها لقائد التنظيم ابو بكر البغدادي، بحسب ما نقلت وسائل إعلام عراقية اليوم الأحد.
No confirmation yet about news of the death of ISIS chief who was supposedly in Iraq at the time.

Progress in negotiations in areas were reported at a time when an attack on Yabroud may be coming:
عادت عشرات العائلات إلى مدينة المعضمية بريف دمشق الغربي في إطار التسوية التي تمت في المنطقة عن طريق (المشروع – مفرق داريا).
واجتمع وفدان من المسلحين ولجان المصالحة الوطنية تمخض عنها الوصول إلى عدة نقاط أهمها:
«تسمية مسلحي معضمية الشام بتسمية جديدة وهي «الدفاع الشعبي» وتصرف لهم رواتب وأجور وتعويضات نظامية، وضع حاجزين مشتركين مع وحدة الجيش مهمتهم تفتيش كل السيارات الداخلة والخارجة ومنع الذين من خارج المدينة بدخولها ومعرفة سبب قدومه الحاجز الأول على مفرق داريا والحاجز الثاني على مفرق البلدية، قدّم وفد المسلحين قوائم بالمفقودين والمعتقلين ليصار إلى وضع لجنة محامين لإخراجهم بشكل نظامي، دعم مدينة معضمية الشام بكل ما تحتاجه لإعادة دورة الحياة بأسرع وقت ممكن، عودة المخفر وفتح المدارس قريباً جداً، تزويد المشافي بالأجهزة الحديثة لعلاج المصابين في المعضمية، سورية واحدة ولا «للطائفية» ونبذ كل من هو طائفي».
وأفادت معلومات تناقلها ناشطون على الفيس بوك عن مساع لتسيير سرافيس النقل الداخلي إلى داخل المعضمية خلال أيام.
وفي بلدة ببيلا بريف دمشق تم التوصل إلى اتفاق مرحلي بين المسلحين ولجان المصالحة الوطنية والحكومة سمي «مبادرة وقف إطلاق النار» والذي ينص على ما يلي:
الوقف الفوري لإطلاق النار من الطرفين ووقف الأعمال العسكرية، وإدخال المواد الإغاثية والطبية إلى البلدة وصولاً إلى فتح طريق بشكل دائم للدخول والخروج من وإلى البلدة بأسرع وقت ممكن إضافة لإخراج الجرحى وأصحاب الحالات المرضية الخطرة لعلاجهم خارج المنطقة، وإصلاح البنى التحتية وإعادة الخدمات الرئيسية للبلدة من (ماء وكهرباء واتصالات ومواصلات)، وإخراج المعتقلين من أبناء البلدة
وتحويل ملفهم بشكل عاجل للقضاء
The progress was reported in Muaddamiyyeh and Bibila only according to this report. What was most interesting is the inclusion of armed Syrian rebels in local security forces and that they were paid. Any confirmation ?

February 2nd, 2014, 10:24 pm


Andrew said:

Al-Qaeda fighters kill Syrian rebel leaders

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant attack and kill commanders of rivals in escalation of infighting among rebels.

February 2nd, 2014, 10:48 pm


Syrialover said:

APPLE_MINI is now making excuses for the regime’s mediocre public performance in Geneva.

We are told in #72 “…On the other hand, the opposition had been trained by some of the top experienced negotiators for strategies and how to conduct negotiation beforehand.”

As if the Assad regime hasn’t pissed away millions of dollars on expensive international PR and strategy advisers for years!!!!!!!

And still failed.

It’s not the help you get, it’s how capable you are of using it. Starting with the information, instructions and people you give the advisers to work with.

I also read that the regime team (who are not exactly chosen on merit or performance, and with little real world experience) struggled with limited and inappropriate scripts in Geneva they dared not deviate from.

What they said was decided and directed hourly from the Assad lair in Damascus – site of more spectacular miscalculations, idiocies and disastrous mistakes than made by all other dictators in history put together.

Looking back you’ll see all Bashar’s rehearsed interviews since he started the conflict show a slick PR approach and script not created in Syria – so he does use them when it suits him.

Except we know from email leaks that he prefers the counsel of smartass little Miss Jaafari and a that other young woman, and his silly father in law, the disgraced Dr Fawaz Akhras, who advised him on how to rebut footage of child torture.

And of course, let’s not forget his “media adviser” the infamous witch Bouthaina “botox” Shaaban.

February 3rd, 2014, 1:58 am


Alan said:

The US kills & jails more than any state on Earth, Saudi & Qatar jail pro-democracy poets, but these states are bringing democracy to Syria.

Jordanian sources: US airplane loaded with weapons lands in al-Mafraq, Jordan

February 3rd, 2014, 7:29 am


ghufran said:

After being the main sponsor of most Islamist terror groups and militant Sunni movements in the Islamic world and even in the West, KSA is launching a preemptive strike to polish its image.
The Bedouin in chief, Abdullah, has issued a decree making it a crime to fight in any war outside the holy kingdom or belong to a terrorist group, not because is it wrong to do so but because that can damage KSA “reputation” and its relation with other countries.
أصدر العاهل السعودي الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز آل سعود أمرا ملكيا يقضي بالسجن لمدة تتراوح بين 3 و20 سنوات بحق كل من يشارك في أعمال قتالية خارج المملكة أو ينتمي إلى جماعات متطرفة، وذلك منعا لإلحاق ضرر بـ “مكانة المملكة عربياً وإسلامياً ودولياً وعلاقاتها مع الدول الأخرى بما في ذلك التعرض بالإساءة إليها ورموزها”. وينص الأمر الملكي على المعاقبة بالسجن مدة لا تقل عن 3 سنوات ولا تزيد على 20 سنة على المشاركة في أعمال قتالية خارج المملكة، والانتماء للتيارات أو الجماعات الدينية أو الفكرية المتطرفة أو المصنفة كمنظمات إرهابية داخلياً أو إقليمياً أو دولياً، أو تأييدها أو تبني فكرها أو منهجها بأي صورة كانت، أو الإفصاح عن التعاطف معها بأي وسيلة كانت، أو تقديم أي من أشكال الدعم المادي أو المعنوي لها، أو التحريض على شيء من ذلك أو التشجيع عليه أو الترويج له بالقول أو الكتابة بأي طريقة. وجاء في الأمر أيضا أنه إذا كان مرتكب أي من الأفعال المشار إليها من ضباط القوات العسكرية، أو أفرادها، فتكون العقوبة السجن مدة لا تقل عن 5 سنوات ولا تزيد عن 30 سنة. وينص الأمر على تشكيا لجنة من وزارة الداخلية، ووزارة الخارجية، ووزارة الشؤون الإسلامية والأوقاف والدعوة والإرشاد، ووزارة العدل، وديوان المظالم، وهيئة التحقيق والادعاء العام تكون مهمتها إعداد قائمة – تحدث دورياً – بالتيارات والجماعات الدينية أو الفكرية المتطرفة أو المصنفة كمنظمات إرهابية داخلياً أو إقليمياً أو دولياً، ورفعها إلى الديوان الملكي للنظر في اعتمادها.

February 3rd, 2014, 10:48 am


ghufran said:

News about the death of Fayez Sara’s son in prison. His dad accuses security forces of torturing him to death, there is no response from the government yet:
نعى المعارض السياسي وعضو الائتلاف الوطني لقوى المعارضة السورية فايز سارة استشهاد ابنه وسام سارة تحت التعذيب في فرع الأمن العسكري بدمشق بعد شهرين من اعتقاله.
وأعلن “سارة” وفاة ابنه وسام على صفحته الرسمية في موقع التواصل الاجتماعي “فيس بوك” وكتب: “انضم وسام إلى قافلة شهداء سوريا شاباً في السابعة والعشرين من عمره وأب لطفلين” موضحاً أن: “وسام في ثورة السوريين كان واحداً من شبابها الأوائل، خرج متظاهراً وناشطاً في الإغاثة وأخوته ضد الدكتاتورية مثل كل السوريين الراغبين بحياة أفضل .. حياة توفر الحرية والعدالة والمساواة لكل السوريين، كان بجد مناضلاً سلمياً من اجل مستقبل سوريا والسوريين”.

February 3rd, 2014, 12:17 pm


Alan said:

Russia will never stop backing Syria. Why? Because the majority of Syrians support Assad. Why? Because the Rebels are all a bunch of terrorist, murdering fanatics that are mass murdering innocents, mass killing Christians, cutting off peoples heads and their hearts out of their chests. How is supporting and arming a bunch of barbarians going to be a better thing for the Syrian people than Assad? Please riddle me that!…

February 3rd, 2014, 1:34 pm


Hopeful said:

#79 Ghufran

The government will say he committed suicide!

February 3rd, 2014, 2:10 pm


ghufran said:

It did not take long for the mask to fall off many Thawrajiyyeh’s faces, Thawrajiyyehs is a Syrian term for halfhearted Revolutionaries(I am going to call them Ts for short). Those Ts were screaming bloody murder, and rightfully so, at the death of civilians in areas under rebel control but when rebels started their campaign of terror the same Ts did not condemn it but lied about it and tried to cover it up blaming the regime for every bomb that went off in Syria, then when the lies were exposed and their beloved rebels bragged about their acts of terror,the Ts chose to be silent
This is the latest Ghazwah by rebels, according to SOHR, shelling a school and killing 5 students in Rabi’aa in Hama:
محافظة حماه- المرصد السوري لحقوق الإنسان:: استشهد 5 طلاب في المرحلة الثانوية بينهم فتاة على الأقل جراء استهداف لواء إسلامي مقاتلة وكتائب إسلامية مقاتلة بـ 5 صواريخ غراد مناطق في بلدة الربيعة التي يقطنها مواطنون من الطائفة العلوية أصاب إحداها مدرسة للتعليم الثانوي في البلدة وكان اللواء الإسلامي المقاتل نفسه قد تبنى منذ 3 أيام قصف القرية بصواريخ غراد مما أدى لاستشهاد سيدة وطفلها البالغ من العمر سنتين

February 3rd, 2014, 2:16 pm


Hopeful said:

#80 Alan

Even if I believe in all the B.S. about the rebels being all terrorists, about the global conspiracy against Syria, about the traitors and Zionists teaming up to destroy Syria and Iran, etc., etc. Even if I believe in all of that, I would still think Assad is a miserable failure and Syria should get rid of him to make room for a better leader who can manage to better protect Syria and Syrians. Even the most loyal Nazis recognized how Hitler only brought destruction and pain to Germans and Germany. Even the most national Serbs finally realized that betting on Milosovic was a losing proposition.

No matter how you look at it, Assad is at best a failed inept leader, and at worst a war criminal. Wake up.

February 3rd, 2014, 2:21 pm


Syrialover said:

ALAN in #80 has just asked a question that needs to be put to the mullahs in Iran and Putin, who are doing exactly what Alan says here:

“How is supporting and arming a bunch of barbarians going to be a better thing for the Syrian people …”

GHUFRAN #78, that’s a great step by the Saudis to come down hard on terrorists and “tourist jihadis” who rush off to fight in other countries.

Why carry on with negative remarks about what you think are their external motives?

They have the same domestic security reasons as other countries for doing this – probably even more.

Good on them. Did you see they have made a strong official denial that they are funding ISIS?

February 3rd, 2014, 2:27 pm


Alan said:

The bigger news here, though, is that there appears to be a split on foreign policy in the Obama administration, although the size of the split may be difficult to size up. Obama himself wanted an intervention in Syria when his hand was forced on the chemical-weapons “red line,” but not on the scale demanded by McCain and Graham. Either way, this looks very similar to the Western intervention in Libya, where arms shipments (mostly but barely covert) was preceded by a bombing campaign against the regime in service to a coup d’etat. That left a huge vacuum in which the radical Islamists could exploit the failed-state environment and export their jihad into Mali and, er, Syria too.

How much distance is there really between Kerry and Obama now? I’d doubt that it’s much, but the fact that Kerry is talking about Obama’s policy failures in Syria is bad enough for the administration.

February 3rd, 2014, 2:39 pm


Hopeful said:

#84 Syrialover

Yes- good for the Saudis to show that the government is serious about fighting terrorism. Obama is visiting Saudi Arabia next month. I think something big is cooking.

Read this article:

I think now that they have shown that they gave diplomacy a chance, the US and the Saudis are fed up with both Assad and the Jihadis. Assad will not make it to the end of 2014. I am willing to bet big money on it.

February 3rd, 2014, 2:45 pm


Tara said:


I do not know about you Ghufran but I rather have a Bedouin president than a peasant president. At least the Bedouin will never barrel bomb his own people like the peasant.

February 3rd, 2014, 6:51 pm


PenGun said:

War 101. Move the women and kids out of the way first.

February 3rd, 2014, 7:07 pm


apple_mini said:

Tara, one of your best women (pure, of course) in terms of beauty and fame is married to the peasant president. I doubt you are anywhere close to her except you go out skiing for two hours in your life.

What are you gonna do about it other than bxtxxing about it?

February 3rd, 2014, 9:00 pm


Tara said:


Even if he marries Angelina Jolie, he will remain a peasant.

February 3rd, 2014, 9:47 pm


Ghufran said:

Come on guys, did you really expect the Saudi royal thugs to admit that they are in bed with Wahabbi terrorists ?
As for jarba, Syrians need a president who is held accountable whether a Bedouin or not, Syria lived under albaath one party rule and Assad family since the 1960s, notice how the NC which was made by the GCC wants to have the exclusive rights of representing all Syrians, those who believe this garbage are either naive or dishonest.

February 3rd, 2014, 9:48 pm


Juergen said:

With Cyber ghost one can watch the documentary Matthew has posted.

February 3rd, 2014, 10:34 pm


Hopeful said:

#91 Ghufran

Actually, I am certain that the Saudi government did not support the jihadi terrorists. Both the US and Saudi Arabia learned their lesson after Afghanistan in the 80’s. Now, of course the Saudis funded and armed the FSA, as they have consistently said for the past year. Of course many of the arms fell in the wrong hands due to corruption, chaos, and side switching. Of course many Saudi wealthy citizens sent money and support to jihadi organizations (charities collecting money for Syria are on every corner in Saudi streets and malls).

The US officials have been saying they worry about the arms falling in the wrong hands, because they saw that happen many times. The new decree by the king is an attempt to assure the US that it is doing what it can to limit the jihadis problem in Syria so that they can deal with the regime properly.

You, and many regime supporters would like to believe that US, the West, the Saudis, Turkey, etc., are intentionally supporting and arming the jihadis. The reality is that the only thing that has kept Assad in power today IS the existence of jihadis in Syria. Because of that, his loyal supporters stuck to him, the silent majority did not rise against him, and the western countries could not convince its population and hesitant parliaments to approve military strikes, in other words, the jihadis helped Assad survive. The government of the US, Saudi! Turkey, etc., know that very well. So to insinuate that they were the ones to support and arm them is a naive statement at best, a propaganda for the regime at worst.

Now, you want to understand what supporting jihadis and terrorists look like? Think of the training camps all over eastern Syria during the 2000’s that Assad has set up for the global jihadis to train before he shipped them in buses across the borders to Iraq to keep the Americans busy from coming after him in Damascus.

February 3rd, 2014, 11:31 pm


ghufran said:

I do not think Bandar and the other thugs in KSA are dumb enough to allow the CIA to catch them with their pants down giving direct aid to terrorists who killed and want to kill Americans. What the ruling mafia in KSA has done for decades is provide a safe haven to Wahhabis and turn a blind eye to pro terror fund raising and brain washing campaigns as long as those terrorists did not try to unseat Al-Saud. There is a reason why most of the terrorists who attacked the US in 2001 were from KSA and why UBL was a Saudi and why the thoughts leaders in the Takfiri movements are linked directly or indirectly to the “holy” kingdom.
The dirty Saudi money goes all over the globe including Lebanon, the USA, Europe, Egypt and North Africa and now Syria. Saudi involvement in Takfiri movements takes different shapes and forms including financing Mosques and Imams who openly praise the Saudi monarchy, support maltreatment of women and produce backward Fatwas and spread hatred against non Wahhabis only to deepen divisions inside Islam and brainwash the impressionable minds of the youth.
As I said multiple times before, many regimes and countries have used Islamist militants as hired guns to achieve short term goals (fight the Russians in Afghanistan, attack the Americans in Iraq, etc)but KSA is by far and beyond the most reliable source for funding and support for terror movements that use Islam as a cover. I understand why some of you feel threatened when KSA is attacked but the truth is much bigger than all of us.

February 4th, 2014, 12:26 am


Matthew Barber said:


I don’t believe that the Assad regime “created” ISIS, even if Syrian intelligence was responsible for promoting the influx of mujahidiin into Iraq—mujahidiin who developed and built AQI and have now been coming back into the country from which many of them found their initial entry-point into Iraq. Al-Qaida has its own, separate agenda that is obviously very opposed to the Syrian state and the people who control it. That doesn’t mean Syria hasn’t been willing to instrumentalize al-Qaida when it suited their purposes.

I don’t buy the (in my mind conspiratorial) theories that the regime cleverly planned Nusra, ISIS, etc. But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been willing to tolerate the presence of rebel factions that 1) sow discord among rebels and weaken opposition unity, 2) discredit the image of the opposition/Syrian rebels, 3) serve the regime’s attempted self-portrayal as embattled opponent of terror.

Syria is the ultimate fantasy-playground for jihadists—a Disneyland where the glorious conquests of the early years of Islam (as imagined in the minds of young, contemporary aspiring martyrs) can be reenacted and brought to life. It’s World of Warcraft, except that in the minds of its participants, it’s real. The phenomenon of “global jihadism” is something that many people are studying and still trying to understand. The Syrian regime didn’t create it. Tons of young “players” all over the world were ready to come join the game as part of their testosterone-driven quest for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. The regime is not behind this international lust for glorious battle, this opportunity to find someone to label “evil” so that killing him and directing violence toward his community will be justified… and satisfying.

Even though I think it’s unlikely that the regime is responsible for creating two al-Qaida factions with allegiances to Ayman al-Zawahiri, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t exploit their presence by allowing them to operate unopposed when it suits their purpose. Syrian officials know that jihadism, being self-destructive, will always be divided by internal violence, that it will not be able to compete with a traditional state in terms of what it can offer in the way of governance, and that it will not be accepted or recognized by other external powers. Therefore, it poses a minimal threat to the regime (especially since it expends a great deal of its resources in merely trying to hold onto power in rebel-held territory, in trying to establish its fantasy dystopian governance, or in fighting the Kurds, but rarely the regime) and the regime is happy to allow it free reign as long as it attacks the enemy that poses a legitimate threat to the regime’s existence: Syrian rebel factions not allied with al-Qaida who are made up of local citizens with legitimate grievances against the state, who can provide a counternarrative that challenges Ba’athist double-speak, and who could provide the foundations of a future state that the international community could support and offer recognition to. That’s the regime’s true enemy.

Since ISIS seems to label Syrians with such aspirations as “apostates” or “infidels” or “atheists,” it’s not difficult to understand why the regime wouldn’t bomb their bases in Raqqa and elsewhere, but would concentrate its firepower on civilian neighborhoods in Halab where the real fight is taking place, knowing that as they strive to obliterate the battalions of these ordinary neighborhood folk, they will be aided by the jihadists who will likewise be attacking the same targets. Nationalist and non-al-Qaida Islamists therefore get caught in the middle, fighting two fronts, which is exactly what the regime wants to see, even if it didn’t mastermind all of the specifics.

Bottom line: I have never said the regime is behind ISIS, and have in fact laughed at those theories. But it’s not hard to see that where the regime takes the fight is not ISIS territory, and it’s easy to understand why.

And saying so does not mean turning a blind eye to the danger that jihadists pose—have we ever done that here? And all that about Qatari and Kuwaiti and Saudi funding? Yes, of course, that’s all true. We write about that stuff all the time. Just because violent and intolerant killers who label their opponents with hateful spiritual categories (heretic, infidel, unbeliever, etc.) utilize some of the most disturbing violence seen by humankind while trying to build their fantasy religious paradise, all while being supported by networks of sheikhs from the Gulf, DOES NOT mean that the Ba’athist cult of unreality with its many lies and torture is a force for good in Syria.

On the topic of Gulf support for jihad in Syria, an article was published today: “Saudi Arabia to jail citizens who fight abroad”

“Saudi Arabia will jail for 3-20 years any citizen who fights in conflicts abroad, according to a royal decree released on Monday, in an apparent move to deter Saudis from joining rebels in Syria and then posing a security risk once they return home. …
The decree underscored concern about young Saudis hardened by battle against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad coming home to target the ruling Al Saud royal family – as happened after earlier wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Do you think I believe for a second that Saudi Arabia is legitimately interested in weakening opposition to its Syrian opponents, in whatever form? Or that the majority of Saudis are not sympathetic to mujahidiin in Syria, including al-Qaida-linked ones, or that they’re not influenced by the fervor surrounding the fantasy of creating a revived “golden age” of Islam in Bilaad al-Sham? Not for a minute.

More convincing are articles like this NYT story from a month ago: “Saudis Back Syrian Rebels Despite Risks”

“On his eighth trip to fight with the rebels in Syria, in August, Abu Khattab saw something that troubled him: two dead children, their blood-soaked bodies sprawled on the street of a rural village near the Mediterranean coast. He knew right away that his fellow rebels had killed them.

Abu Khattab, a 43-year-old Saudi hospital administrator who was pursuing jihad on his holiday breaks, went to demand answers from his local commander, a notoriously brutal man named Abu Ayman al-Iraqi. The commander brushed him off, saying his men had killed the children “because they were not Muslims,” Abu Khattab recalled recently during an interview here.

It was only then that Abu Khattab began to believe that the jihad in Syria — where he had traveled in violation of an official Saudi ban — was not fully in accord with God’s will. But by the time he returned to Riyadh, where he now volunteers in a program to discourage others from going, his government had overcome its own scruples to become the main backer of the Syrian rebels, including many hard-line Islamists who often fight alongside militants loyal to Al Qaeda.

The disillusionment of Abu Khattab — who asked that his full name be withheld because he still fears retribution from jihadists — helps illustrate the great challenge now facing Saudi Arabia’s rulers: how to fight an increasingly bloody and chaotic proxy war in Syria using zealot militia fighters over whom they have almost no control. …

But as Abu Khattab talked about Syria, his own convictions seemed scarcely different from those of the jihadists he had carefully denounced (two officials from the Interior Ministry were present during the interview). He made clear that he considered Shiite Muslims and Mr. Assad’s Alawite sect to be infidels and a terrible danger to his own people.

‘If the Shiites succeed in controlling Syria, it will be a threat to my country,’ Abu Khattab said. ‘I went to Syria to protect my country.’

At times, his sectarian feelings seemed to outshine his unease about the excesses of some of his more extreme comrades. He did not deny that he had often fought alongside members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the brutal jihadist group affiliated with Al Qaeda.

Yet this is a man who lectures inmates at the rehabilitation center every week about ethics and war. The center, like many Saudi institutions, has been somewhat embarrassed by the contradictions of Saudi policy with regard to Syria. Although the center incarcerates some men who have been arrested for trying to travel to Syria, last summer the nephew of Abdelrahman al-Hadlaq, its director, was killed while fighting there. His mother posted statements on Twitter saying she was proud of him.”

So a hospital administrator who “pursues jihad during his holiday breaks” was turned off by how some fellow rebels had no problem popping bullets into little kids, so he now volunteers with the Saudi jihadist rehabilitation program to try and prevent young men from joining the fight in Syria, even though he still loves “the jihad” and hates Shiites—evil non-Muslims who somehow pose a threat to his country. Furthermore, the nephew of the rehabilitation program’s director was killed fighting in Syria, and his mother endorsed his martyrdom. A pretty clear picture is emerging—so much for jihadist rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia.

This phenomenon is serious, is out of control, and will have global ramifications. That’s why we’ve featured so many stories like this in the past year on SC, including those considering the danger of the regionalization of the conflict, in nasty sectarian form.

But despite all the attacks from pro-revolution readers anytime we would write an article about jihadism in Syria, never for an instant did our opinion of the despotic and tyrannical nature of the regime change. The barbarity and cruelty the regime is willing to use to preserve its tightly-clenched grasp on power long preceded this uprising.

I suppose I would sum it up like this: If jihadists like those funded by wealthy Gulf interests take over Syria, it will be a disaster, and if the regime doesn’t fall, it will be a tragedy.



Yes, I used a proxy to view it. I had to scrounge around for a good 40 minutes until I found one that worked. I tried both Canadian and UK proxies, and ultimately had better luck with the latter. Everyone should try and watch it.

As for Brad… This must be the first article on SC he’s ever read.
“Accepted narratives”? Apparently missed the last 3 years, lol.

February 4th, 2014, 1:17 am


Matthew Barber said:

Moderation update:

I’ve added the following line to the SC Rules page:

“As a participant in a discussion community, you bear responsibility to fairly represent yourself and your views. Posting with multiple identities will not be tolerated. This is a place to engage in discussion, not to spread propaganda by over-representing one’s position with multiple names.”

I’m aware of the recent attempts to change identities and post under multiple names. This is a warning and a request to not do so.

February 4th, 2014, 1:28 am


Mina said:

Got news on the ground saying that the agreement implemented in Moadamiyah where checkpoints are operated by FSA + SAA together is now implemented in other places as well.

Time to get optimistic. Time for this nightmare to stop at any cost. Time for religion to get out of the curriculum.

February 4th, 2014, 6:26 am



But despite all the attacks from pro-revolution readers anytime we would write an article about jihadism in Syria, never for an instant did our opinion of the despotic and tyrannical nature of the regime change. The barbarity and cruelty the regime is willing to use to preserve its tightly-clenched grasp on power long preceded this uprising.

The above may clear and obvious concerning yourself but i don’t think it accurately describes the owner of the blog.

February 4th, 2014, 8:22 am


Tara said:


Dear Matt, your opinion and analysis @97 is the best I have heard and expect. Thank you.

February 4th, 2014, 8:50 am


Hopeful said:

#96 Ghufran

You can it have it both ways. They are either dumb ignorant Bedouins being played by the US and the west, or they are so smart that they can fool the CIA and other western intelligence. Which one is it?

I do not understand your last statement. Why would “some” of us be threatened if you attack the Saudi government?

By the way, I am not defending the Saudi government. But when it comes to Syria, I believe they are on the right side.

February 4th, 2014, 10:34 am


Observer said:

I think JL is now clear about the eventual collapse of the regime and with it the entire clan and the community that supports it.

It is simple there are many more Sunnis than Alawis and at the end their fate will be similar to the Maronites of Lebanon small players and that if they do not get massacred in the process.

What a pity that so many intelligent decent hard working hopeful Alawis swallowed the regime’s propaganda wholesale including some on this very blog.

I would put it differently: if the regime stays it is a disaster and if the salafists take over it is a tragedy for in the later case change will happen and only Sunnis will be able to defeat their own extremists.

In the meantime it is clear that the regime has no other strategy than to destroy what it cannot control. It is now in an effort to split the country and to make the other parts as miserable as possible.

Misery will visit it as well in due course.

February 4th, 2014, 11:42 am


Hopeful said:

A miracle!

These men used their bare hands. No tools available, not even spoons.

Assad would like it very much if Turkey would stop supplying these guys with tools and supplies. Can the US also stop giving assistance so that these terrorists would cease to be able to rescue buried children? Saudis, please stop sending money as well, ok?

What hypocracy!

February 4th, 2014, 12:09 pm


Hopeful said:

#103 Observer

I have no doubt that, if the country is divided tomorrow between Sunnistan and Alawistan, the Sunnis will get rid of the jihadis and the Alawites will revolt and overthrow Assad in less than a week.

The jihadis and the regime are both assuring that the other is surviving. That is the real tragedy.

February 4th, 2014, 12:13 pm


Alan said:

Mr. JL
Please ! Can you turn the light on the operational and political role of the United States and its allies for regime change in Syria,
protracted since the start of the pre-zero hour to the present day, especially after american politicians announced the failure of their policy in Syria!
What are the limits of this policy and what are the limits of this failure? Please dared to publish details! We know that when the scheme fails to be forming a committee to look into the details and draw lessons
Thank you

February 4th, 2014, 1:47 pm


Alan said:

Kerry Tells Senators That Obama Syria Policy Is Collapsing

US imperial system ‘wants to destroy Syria’
An American political analyst says it is the US imperial system that wants to destroy Syria because the system is after “war and destabilization.”

“This is a continuation of the same strategy that the White House is employed for what’s going on in three years,” founder of Eric Draitser told Press TV on Tuesday.

He made the comments after Republican lawmakers said US Secretary of State John Kerry told a congressional delegation that the Obama administration’s Syria policy is failing.

Kerry spoke to a bipartisan congressional delegation about Syria at the Munich Security Conference in a closed-door session.

“He acknowledged that the chemical weapons is being slow-rolled, the Russians continue to supply arms [and] we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy,” Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

The White House, however, on Monday said it “absolutely” stood by its policy in Syria.

The analyst says the Obama administration is not after peace in Syria even after holding meetings in Geneva to resolve the Syrian crisis.

“The Geneva negotiation process was the pretext that the United States is using to ramp up towards yet another war,” Draitser said………

February 4th, 2014, 2:02 pm


Hopeful said:

#97 Mathew

The contradictions you talk about that exit within GCC societies regarding the rebels in Syria are very similar to what the Palestinians experienced during the second Intifada. A suicide bomber blows himself up in Israel. He kills, among others, many Arabs. The Palestinian authority condemns it. Most Palestinians, and Arabs, approve of it, although many feel unease about it. The bomber’s parents say they are proud of their son.

The fact is that the vast majority of citizens in GCC countries feel that they should help their Syrian brothers against a tyrant. Many of them are conservative Sunnis who do not like the Shiaa and are very suspicious of Iran and its interference in Arab countries. Many of them are very wealthy and are more than willing to donate to the cause of spreading Islam. It won’t be too difficult for a group of would-be fighters to raise $10M dollars and head to Syria and recruit more fighters. The governments of these countries: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, cannot afford to crack down on these activities, but that does not mean that they are “behind” them, or even in support of them. One reason these governments have survived for so long is that they do not use heavy handed tactics when dealing with their elitist countrymen. Saudi Arabia has many billionaires presiding over massive empires. The Saudi Arabia rulers are not going to question them on whom their money is supporting in Syria. At least not now. But that is very different from saying that the Saudi government is supporting and funding ISIS or Alnusra in Syria.

Perhaps the most appropriate description of the relationship between GCC governments and the jihadis is how you described the relationship between ISIS and the Syrian regime. The regime did not create ISIS but it certainly is not too unhappy that it exists as it indirectly helps it in its fight against the moderate rebels. Similarly, GCC governments did not create ISIS and Alnusrah, but perhaps they were not too unhappy initially that they entered Syria to help the rebels against the regime. I think that situation has changed by now.

February 4th, 2014, 3:04 pm


habib said:

Wow, Syrcomment is now officially a mouthpice of the opposition. Great.

February 4th, 2014, 3:44 pm


Tara said:


I understand your frustration. Any publication that does not worship القائد المؤمن الملهم الفذ الدكتور بطة is always going to be a mouthpiece of something. Loyalists frustration reminds me with the Syrian delegation to Geneva being confronted for the first time in their pathetic lives with a Syrian journalist asking why does the regime use barrel bombs against civilians, all that while not being able to lock and torture to death that journalist who for sure serving as a mouthpiece for something. I’m sure you feel the same shock and frustration every time you read SC and you think it is not worshiping Batta enough.

February 4th, 2014, 4:02 pm


Tara said:

Habib, read and enjoy:

أضافت وكالة أنباء النظام (سانا) نقطة جديدة واستثنائية، في سجلها الحافل بالمصداقية والمهنية ونقل الحقيقة للسوريين ولمختلف شعوب الأرض، حينما أوردت خبر تلقي “الرئيس القائد المؤمن الدكتور” برقية من “علماء وخطباء مساجد سوريا” –كل سوريا!!-، يعظمون فيها دعوته لصلاة الاستسقاء، التي أثمرت ثلوجا وأمطارا، رأى فيها مرسلو البرقية أنها تبشر بالفرج والنصر القريب.

وتذكر هذه البرقية بصيغتها التي نشرتها “سانا” جميع السوريين أن “حافظ ما مات”، وقد خلف وراءه إعلاما قادرا على اجترار أوقح أنواع الكذب، حتى في أحلك الأوقات وأشد الظروف كارثية.

وهذا الخبر كما أوردته “سانا”
تلقى السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد برقية من علماء وخطباء مساجد سورية جاء فيها:
سيادة الرئيس القائد المؤمن الدكتور بشار الأسد وفقه الله لما فيه خير البلاد والعباد.. قال الله سبحانه وتعالى “وقال ربكم ادعوني أستجب لكم”.. كان لدعوتكم الكريمة للمواطنين عامة ولأئمة المساجد وخطبائها لإقامة صلاة الاستسقاء والتوجه إلى الله سبحانه بالتضرع والدعاء مع التوبة إلى الله بأن يغيث البلاد ويكرمها بالسقيا بعد طول جفاف استجابة عظيمة من المواطنين ظهر صداها في مساجد دمشق وسائر المحافظات.. فارتفعت الأكف إلى الله سبحانه بالدعاء والابتهال والتضرع وفق الهدي النبوي واستغاث الناس به سبحانه أن يغيث البلاد بالأمطار وأن يرفع عنها البلاء والفتنة.. وقد استجاب ربنا سبحانه للأصوات التي ارتفعت إليه وأغاث البلاد بالأمطار والثلوج ولله الحمد والمنة..
وإنا لنسأل الله سبحانه كما أغاث الأمة بالسقيا أن يغيثها برفع البلاء والمحنة عن سورية وأن تسير البلاد بقيادتكم الحكيمة المؤمنة نحو غد مشرق تعيش فيه سورية بطمأنينة وأمان وازدهار ولعل استجابة الله تعالى دعاء الأمة بالأمطار والثلوج بشائر لاستجابته بالنصر والفرج القريب.. إنه سميع مجيب.

February 4th, 2014, 4:04 pm


Syrialover said:


Your post includes an important description of the motives and character of “holy warriors”.

The fact that they and their mission are predatory, pathologically cruel, thrill-seeking, irrational and deeply delusional is given inadequate attention in their home communities and media coverage.

Also unstated is the fact that they are NOT REPRESENTING ISLAM, and the main “prey” they seek to have power over and violently punish to get personal thrills, are innocent normal Muslims who don’t conform to their bizarre made-up-as-you-go-along fake version of Islam. Their behaviour is sick and criminal by universal human measures.

I congratulate you for stating the following in your comment above. This needs to be universally, clearly spelt out:

“Syria is the ultimate fantasy-playground for jihadists—a Disneyland where the glorious conquests of the early years of Islam (as imagined in the minds of young, contemporary aspiring martyrs) can be reenacted and brought to life. It’s World of Warcraft, except that in the minds of its participants, it’s real.

“… Tons of young “players” all over the world were ready to come join the game as part of their testosterone-driven quest for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment. … this opportunity to find someone to label “evil” so that killing him and directing violence toward his community will be justified… and satisfying.”

February 4th, 2014, 4:20 pm


Syrialover said:

Another powerful and accurate insight into “holy warriors” came from Racan Alloch after direct experience with them in Syria.

“ISIS has one goal: to make their own dicks feel bigger”


February 4th, 2014, 4:32 pm


Syrialover said:

#109. HABIB said:

“Wow, Syrcomment is now officially a mouthpice of the opposition”


Since the departure of ZOO, REVENIRE, ANN and a couple of other Team Assad members who routinely occupied up to 70% of this forum, it has stopped serving as an unofficial mouthpiece of the regime.

February 4th, 2014, 4:41 pm


Syrialover said:


Thanks for your comment on private GCC support for fighters in Syria #108.

A couple of things which may bring change:

1. Returnee jihadists are increasingly seen to be a potential threat to the social fabric and political stability of the Gulf states.

They are part of rising socialization issues with the native young of these countries, with their problems including unemployability, a falling marriage rate, and lack of purpose and constructive engagement. This is no longer just anecdotal – it is now being officially discussed and documented by studies.

2. Saudi Arabia and a couple of the Gulf States have now turned on the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Saudis rushed to provide major financial support to the post-MB government in Egypt.

The UAE last year arrested, prosecuted and stripped local MB figures of their assets, and Dubai officials labelled the MB a threat to their society.

Also Qatar is finding itself under increasing pressure from other Arab League members to dilute its association with the MB.

February 4th, 2014, 5:29 pm



A link to a great production. (Youtube) . hope it is not a violation

تأييدك للقاتل يجعلك شريكا له

Definitely far more intelligent than anything produced by regime thugs including Allan’s three rats disgusting clip.

February 4th, 2014, 5:36 pm


ghufran said:

I do not believe that any Saudi official, dumb or smart, will be able to directly recruit Jihadists to kill Americans without getting caught. The royal mafia in KSA does not answer to anybody except the US but still has to accommodate the Wahhabi religious establishment, their main backer domestically, and that where the Saudi regime’s dilemma is.
GCC support for Jihadi and Takfiri movements is easier to spot outside the official circle for obvious reasons. What Saudi officials did for decades was providing a hospitable environment for Wahhabi thugs and deviant Sheikhs and allow them to operate freely at the expense of Saudis(especially Saudi women) and non Saudis who are in the Wahhabi range of influence. The Saudi regime also finances Wahhabi activities outside KSA in the name of spreading the message of Islam. Saudi authorities have also released members of Islamic militant groups only to mysteriously find them practicing Jihad in Syria.
The royal mafia in KSA will not react negatively to Jihadi and Takfiri groups unless those groups threaten the rule of Al-Saud or if big Daddy (USA) gets upset, you can see a hint of that in abdullah’s decree.
It will be great for the cause of religious liberty and freedom if the two evil forces, Al-Saud and the Takfiris, fight in KSA and provide Muslims and the world with a much needed break but I do not see that happening any time soon.
(Dood alkhall minno w’feeh)

February 4th, 2014, 6:40 pm



what a contradictory incoherent rubbish… yes it is your post Ghufran

February 4th, 2014, 6:44 pm


Ghufran said:

Clapper on Syria:
Clapper said Assad’s government is likely to remain in power, absent a diplomatic agreement for a new transitional government, which most analysts consider a long shot.
“I foresee kind of more of the same, sort of a perpetual state of a stalemate where … neither the regime nor the opposition can prevail,” he told the House Intelligence Committee.
Clapper added that the chemical weapons agreement strengthened Assad’s position but he did not elaborate.
Jordan through Al- Bakheet ( close ally of the king) warned about a possible dangerous twist in the conflict where rebels are pushed out of Horan inside Jordan, he also expressed concerns that KSA may be pressuring Jordan to take more risk than it can tolerate.

February 4th, 2014, 10:01 pm


Mick said:

Matt #97

Syria was not behind the Libyan/Saudi/Jordanian Salafists that went into Iraq any more than they are behind ISIS. Again you present rumors and not facts. Every time the Syria government approached the U.S. to help, the were dismissed. So again, my anger because of my knowledge wants me to lash out. I have been battling this idiocy for over a decade. I have had idiots tell me that ‘Asif Shawkat was behind meetings with Hamas, Hizballah, Jundallah, Al Qaeda, and the MEK and was making strategies. You know, complete bullshit. But the person said it with a straight face so idiot number 2 believed it.

According to U.S. magical thinking, the Syrians were capable of stopping everything from crossing the border. If they didn’t, they must be supporting it. This became lazy mainstream thought. (ever been to the tribal region that is the Iraq/Syrian border?)

So even though at the time we had an Ambassador, a DAO (who happened to know the border quite well), and full knowledge of the area, we never had any evidence of what you claim about government support of the same groups that are active from Libya to Pakistan.

It doesn’t mean the media didn’t claim it. I thought it funny that we had UAVs, Marines, and every resource available to the most advanced military in the world, along the Syrian/Iraq border, and Syria had its conscripts, and if someone got across, it was the 3rd world nation with conscripts’ fault.

Rhetoric. Not a study of who supports the agents. Then as now, you just accuse Syria for the Sunni fundamentalists attacks.

Syria did not call on Libyans or Saudis to go to Iraq to attack. They did not build the rat lines. They did not fund them. Although they did once in a while find and arrest them.

Please quit trying to link Syria with the Gulf sponsored terrorists. I realize a lot of bigots have spent years for both political and personnel gain on the subject, but Sunni fundamentalists don’t sacrifice their life for an eye-doctor. There are quite a lot of Arab media channels paid for by gulf actors to encourage this. To ignore them, or at best minimize them while thinking that Sunni fundamentalists are swayed by some unfunded, unviewed rumor mill is not exactly what I call historic level reasoning. Just gossip.

February 4th, 2014, 10:51 pm


Mick said:

And I actually find this line of thinking quite rich coming from a bunch of people who are defending their support for the Nusrah Front…you know the group that Zuwahiri thinks is his best buds in Syria.

Yeah, Bashar is the one that has some kind of problem of who he picks and chooses as friends.

February 4th, 2014, 11:07 pm


Mick said:

And where was Matt and the West when ISIS and Nusrah had complete blockade on Aleppo? I guess that wasn’t part of the political messaging timing so it didn’t matter.

“Rebels stopped supplies from entering western parts of the city in a bid to weaken the supply routes for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, they add.

They say the blockade has led to severe food and medicine shortages.”

It’s only bad NOW when the West says it is because it has pictures to show how bad Bashar is.

February 4th, 2014, 11:27 pm


Ghufran said:

Kerry suggested allowing KSA, Iran and Turkey to participate in Geneva 3 in what he called a ” parallel course “.
Jamous of the NC ( I find the Jarba- Jamous combo interesting ) said that the NC now welcomes adding more members to opposition team:
أعلن الأمين العام للائتلاف الوطني المعارض، بدر الدين جاموس, يوم الثلاثاء, أن الائتلاف مستعد لتوسيع وفد المعارضة المشارك في الجولة الثانية من مفاوضات جنيف.
وقال جاموس للصحفيين، عقب مباحثات رئيس الائتلاف أحمد الجربا في موسكو إن “وفد الائتلاف يضم 16 شخصا ويمكن تغيير تشكيلته”، مضيفا أن “الائتلاف كان من البداية يريد تمثيل مصالح المعارضة إلى أقصى حد ممكن”.
Do not ask me why this was not done 2 weeks ago !!

February 5th, 2014, 12:28 am


Juergen said:

Insightful article about the relationship between al-Qaeda central command and ‪ISIS‬ in ‪Syria‬ and Iraq‬:

Al-Qaeda and ISIS: The Renunciation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The Islamic State of Iraq, which later became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was never really a subordinate of al-Qaeda. The groups’ relationship dates back to 2003, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden. The religious dispute between the two jihadi groups, however, is new, as all reconciliation attempts have so far failed.

A statement attributed to al-Qaeda, published by the Fajr Media Center, a jihadi propaganda platform, announced that al-Qaeda has no official ties to ISIS. According to the statement, al-Qaeda was never notified, consulted, or approached about the founding of ISIS. Instead, the statement continued, al-Qaeda has called for dissolving the group, stressing that ISIS “is not a branch of Qaedat al-Jihad [al-Qaeda], and has no organizational ties to it.”

February 5th, 2014, 12:55 am


Juergen said:

Insightful article about the relationship between al-Qaeda central command and ‪ISIS‬ in ‪Syria‬ and Iraq‬:

Al-Qaeda and ISIS: The Renunciation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The Islamic State of Iraq, which later became the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was never really a subordinate of al-Qaeda. The groups’ relationship dates back to 2003, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi swore an oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden. The religious dispute between the two jihadi groups, however, is new, as all reconciliation attempts have so far failed.

A statement attributed to al-Qaeda, published by the Fajr Media Center, a jihadi propaganda platform, announced that al-Qaeda has no official ties to ISIS. According to the statement, al-Qaeda was never notified, consulted, or approached about the founding of ISIS. Instead, the statement continued, al-Qaeda has called for dissolving the group, stressing that ISIS “is not a branch of Qaedat al-Jihad [al-Qaeda], and has no organizational ties to it.”

February 5th, 2014, 12:56 am


Juergen said:

ukrainian children sing for Syria

whatever happend to the often stressed arab solidarity?

February 5th, 2014, 2:04 am


Hopeful said:

#123 Ghufran

Better late than never. I am glad that more opposition groups will join.

I suspect that timing was the issue. They needed more time to get others involved, and the UN/US/Russia decided to go ahead and stick to the timeline for the opening rounds. I think it was a good decision to signal seriousness.

February 5th, 2014, 4:01 am


habib said:

110. Tara said:

Being balanced is better than being a mere mouthpiece, no?

Or has the Qatari/Saudi influence corrupted you the same way as it corrupted the opposition?

February 5th, 2014, 7:45 am


Observer said:

The fall of Erdogan indeed through democratic principles and at the ballot box and people have no shame comparing that to the iPad retard 98% approval elections.

No wonder peasants remain peasants forever.

February 5th, 2014, 7:56 am


Alan said:

Obama to visit Saudi Arabia in March
Obama to visit Saudi Arabia in March

If the radical Islamist militants from the Salafi organizations supported by Al-Riyadh (terrorism exporter) will be arrested by Russian security services and give testimony, then Saudi Arabia will face the threat of sanctions under international conventions on the fight against international terrorism and terrorist sponsorship as minimum. Moreover, even the U.S. will not be able to help in this situation, given the bitter experience of the events of September 11, 2001

Unfortunately, Wahhabism and Salafism continue to spread across the world, where there are large Muslim communities, due to the head of Saudi intelligence services Prince Bandar who, according to media reports, almost openly offered President V.V. Putin in July and December 2013 to help in the fight against Caucasus Islamists in exchange for Russian participation in plans to remove the current Syrian regime. Nevertheless, Russia continued to support Bashar Assad.

It is worth recalling that Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan headed Saudi intelligence services in 2012, and before that, he had served as ambassador to Washington for nearly 20 years. In those years, he was nicknamed “Bandar Bush” because of his close relations with the Bushes and the neoconservatives. He is the heir of the Sudairy Clan in the royal family of Al Saud (that competes with the Twaijri Clan, to which the current King Abdullah belongs) and, in fact, holds considerable power in Saudi Arabia, being the Secretary of the National Security Council of KSA at the same time. It was he who conducted the country’s extremely aggressive policy against Iran, Shiites and any democratic movements in the Arab States. In 2012, he openly admitted that he was behind the creation and support of the Islamist militant movement of Dzhabhat en-Nusra, that is one of the main opponents of the most radical type of B. Assad’s regime.

February 5th, 2014, 2:58 pm


Observer said:

And here is the UN report on the fate of children in the conflict.

Heartbreaking but we are all familiar with the regime depravity. Perhaps Laughvrov should read it first.

February 5th, 2014, 5:16 pm



Lavrov and Putin mafia should be killed. They are being denounced by tens of thousands of testimonies.

Unfortunately this russian mafia, the hugest in the world today, will stage covered up operation against the Olympic Games in Sotchi and will charge it to Al Qaeda of Raqqa and Aleppo. And we will believe it because we are stupid and silly.

February 5th, 2014, 7:23 pm


Tara said:

The interview with Fayez Sarah in regard to his tortured martyred son is heart breaking.

May those who killed him and those who knowingly propagandized and distracted to cover up The peasant’s crime fare a worse fate.

A day will come in Syria when those peasants will lie and do anything to hide their identities to avoid contempt.

February 5th, 2014, 8:03 pm


Alan said:

الجربا يلتقي نبيل فهمي تحضيراً للجولة الثانية من محادثات جنيف-2

February 6th, 2014, 3:25 am


Sami said:

So the “resistance camp” barrel bombed Quneitra… How ironic!

February 6th, 2014, 7:41 am


Observer said:

I do not recall who was always praising the glory of Putin Norman or some other person. But here is the story on the glory of Putin in Sochi by the WSJ. Doors without knobs and toilets without partitions and no running water in a spotty fashion but still present. No trash cans and no soap in the hotels.

Glory indeed

February 6th, 2014, 1:05 pm


Alan said:

Timing of such threats is never a coincidence.
They are looking at a false flag event, or perhaps several, of epic proportions somewhere in the West, to attempt to inflame public outrage to the point where people will support some kind of military action in Syria to oust both the Al-Assad government, and the alleged rebels.
The bottom line here is, certain elements in the US and Israel want to attack Syria to “neutralize” it, in advance of an attack against Iran.
I personally get sick of the way of thinking of Western institutions! tfuuuu!

February 6th, 2014, 1:09 pm


Alan said:

Saudi Cleric Admits on TV that Saudis Form Majority of Takfiri Group Members in Syria

February 6th, 2014, 1:46 pm


Syrialover said:

New thread started

February 6th, 2014, 3:21 pm


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