“State of the Internal Opposition,” by Ammar Abdulhamid

This report on the state of the Syrian Opposition is a must read. I have copied what I believe are the important parts, but do read the entire thing. I have long admired Ammar Abdulhamid for his independent and clear thinking. Many readers of Syria Comment have criticized Ammar in the past (See the comments on this post: “Ammar Abdulhamid Emerges as Face of the Syrian Revolution, according to Washington Times post“)

State of the Internal Opposition
by Ammar Abdulhamid, September 11, 2012, based on a trip that he and his wife took to Turkey in Aug.

* For many months, rebel groups were on their own when it came to procuring weapons and supplies. The situation changed six months ago, with the establishment of a special Turkish-Qatari-Saudi “operations room” that supervised all arms flow to the rebels. However, and over the last few weeks, the situation changed again. A reported dispute between Saudi and Qatari officials put an end to the tripartite cooperation and Qatar and Saudi Arabia are acting separately, albeit still under Turkish supervision. The specifics of the dispute are not clear, but the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and its role seem to lie at the heart of it. The main task of the operations room is to supervise the distribution process of supplies. With backing from Turkey and Qatar, the Brotherhood prefers to take control over the entire process, a development that will leave many groups unsupported, including the largest and most effective fighting units on the ground, but it will give the Brotherhood the ability to control military operations to match its ability to manipulate the political processes in the oppositional scene abroad. To date, the largest rebel groups are still unwilling to endorse a strict Islamist agenda, irrespective of who is in charge: Salafist groups or Brotherhood types. These groups are completely reliant on support from the operations room as well as on supplies they can procure for themselves inside Syria. MB control will starve them out, or push them into a brittle alliance that will not survive the test of time and which will increase mutual animus. In an effort to appease all sides of the divide, Turkish authorities seem willing to let each side run their own supply network. So, the Saudis will continue to back their room, Qatar will back the Brotherhood, and Salafis will receive backing from both while continuing to have their owned independent sponsors from all over the world. For now, however, the main operations room is the one receiving Saudi backing….

* Leaders of local rebel groups are fast acquiring all the usual traits and characteristics associated with warlords, their intentions notwithstanding. The ethos driving the devolution towards warlordism is fed mostly by international inaction, now increasingly perceived in conspiratorial terms, as well as lack of trust in existing political opposition groups and their growing disunity. …

* The divide between Islamist groups advocating, openly or quietly, the establishment of an Islamic state, and other rebel groups, who represent the majority of rebels and still cling to the more inclusive concept of a civil state, is now wider than ever, with the two sides openly competing over acquisition and control of the meager logistical support trickling across the Turkish and Iraqi borders, and at occasions, Jordanian and Lebanese borders. Though occasional hijackings of supplies intended to other groups have been reported, the competition between groups remains for the most part nonviolent in nature and restricted to intrigue behind closed doors. This is not likely to last for long,…

* The Brotherhood and Salafist groups have also managed to control coverage of the Revolution in most Arabic media channels through their sympathizers already employed there, and through outright purchase of smaller channels operated by the opposition. They also used their larger financial reserves to establish control over most media teams operating inside the country, irrespective of the actual ideologies of the founding members. This allows the groups to appear as much larger and more influential over the processes on the ground than they actually are, at least at this stage…..

* The potential for warlordism is not going unnoticed by rebel leaders which continue to strive towards greater unity and coordination. Recent developments are particularly telling. In Idlib, and parts of the rural areas of Hama, Homs and Aleppo, most fighting groups, ideology notwithstanding, are now coming together under the banner of the Brigades and Fighting Units of Syria’s Martyrs (Kata’ib wa Alwiyat Shuhada’ Souriyya). The key figure behind this development is one Jamal Maarouf, AKA Abu Khalid. A pious man and a husband of three (polygamy is pretty common in rural areas throughout Syria), Abu Khalid in essence stands for traditional values, a mixture of Islam and rural mores rather than political ideology. In the absence of operational political and judicial structures in his territory in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, he reportedly relies on Sharia to resolve disputes, but remains willing to let such matters be decided by a local government should one be established. Abu Khalid does not advocate the establishment of an Islamic State, is wary of Salafi groups and hates the Brotherhood. But, in operational matters, he cooperates with all. Syria’s Martyrs Brigades currently include 45,000 strong. But not all major rebel groups are willing to join the Syria Martyrs Brigades. Many, especially the more Islamist-leaning ones, like Al-Farouq and Farouq Al-Shamal, have chosen to come together under a different coalition that was provisionally called Al-Jabha Al-Islamiya li Tahrir Souriyya or The Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, led by Ahmad Abu Issa, a rival of Abu Khalid from Jabal al-Zawiyeh. Until recently, Abu Issa has led the Suqur Al-Sham Brigades, which operates mostly in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh. By the time of its public announcement on September 10, however, the coalition had metamorphosed into the Front for the Liberation of Syria. Suqur Al-Sham, Al-Frouq Brigades (Homs, Hama), Ansar Al-Islam (Damascus and Suburbs) and the Revolutionary Council of Deir Ezzor, all joined the Front. On September 3, a group of FSA officers in Antakya announced the formation of the National Syrian Army meant as replacement of the FSA and hoping to unite all groups. Initial reports claimed that rebel groups in Daraa and few in Lattakia and Damascus have rushed to join it. Some also claimed that Al-Tawhid Brigade currently operating in Aleppo City and the rural areas to its north has also joined the NSA. But officers in Antakya say that these reports are not accurate and that, at this stage, no group has confirmed their readiness to officially join the NSA. Indeed, Al-Tawhid recently joined the Revolutionary Military Council of Aleppo, a local front the Muslim Brotherhood, as evidenced by the fact that its political wing, dubbed the Provisional Transitional Council, includes the likes of Hamzah Ramadan and Ghassan Al-Najjar. …The picture emerging on the ground, then, is one of regional as well as ideological differences, with personalities of certain figures playing a major role in shaping the scene as well. As things at this stage, ongoing attempts at unification in the hope of avoiding warlordism are in fact contributing to it as phenomenon by consolidating power in the hands of few specific groups.

* Leaders of larger rebel groups have been able to provide a measure of security in areas under their control, but they have so far failed to provide any solid governance structures, other than token support to committees started by civil activists to ensure that basic services are provided. Meanwhile, and as we have noted above, even non-Islamist leaders tend to fall back on the Sharia as the main source of law when dealing with local informants, troublemakers and captives, due to lack of knowledge of the civil code and inability to recruit civil judges.

* The FSA: In Antakya, the head of the High Military Council, Brig. Gen. Mustafa Al-Shaikh, originally from the town of Rastan in Homs Province, is emerging as the go-to figure for rebel leaders. Col. Riad Al-Ass’aad is fast becoming irrelevant and is distrusted even by people from his own hometown in Idlib Province…..there are a few high ranking officers who defected over the last few months and who continue to shun the spotlight. Some have been briefed by Turkish and, at occasions, western security officials, but their intentions and plans remain unclear.

* The SNC: on the ground, the Syrian National Council remains irrelevant. … The old SNC leader, the Sorbonne Professor, Bourhan Ghalioun, is reportedly planning a comeback, but current leader Abdelbassit Seida is said to have gown attached to his position as well. … On the other hand, SNC leaders are also planning to form a transitional government in response to a request from France who promised to recognize such government when formed. The French did not clarify what their criteria for recognition will be. Other efforts for forming a transitional government are also underway.

* The National Coordination Body (NCB): formed inside the country by traditional opposition figures from the secular left, this particular opposition coalition, for all the good intentions of most of its founders, has served only one purpose so far: to illustrate how cut off traditional opposition groups are from the grassroots. …

* The Islamists – the Muslim Brotherhood: Salafi and MB-affiliated groups in Syria and the Syrian diaspora are carrying out their activities with the expected messianic zeal of a people who believe that their moment under the sun has finally come. Indeed, ever since the beginning of the Revolution and benefitting from its good relations with Turkish authorities, the Brotherhood has been busy buying, bullying and intriguing its way into relevance. In many ways, it seems that the lesson MB leaders drew from history is to emulate Hafiz Al-Assad’s own tactics in controlling the political scene in the country. These tactics include: infiltrating every political and rebel movement, controlling every civil and humanitarian initiative, and hording access to the media. …. The Brotherhood has many Salafi-leaning members in its larger base. So, by pandering to Salafists, it is hoping to become an umbrella organization for most Islamist groups in the country. Indeed, the MB is already providing financial support to many Salafi-oriented rebel groups, including Al-Tawhid (Aleppo), Al-Farouq (Homs and Hama) and Ansar Al-Islam (Damascus), but that does not necessarily translate into political allegiance, at least not on the longer run. Indeed, at this stage, it’s hard to know who is manipulating whom in the ongoing interactions between Salafi groups and the Brotherhood. On the other hand, not even under the banner of the Syrian National Council has the MB deigned to provide assistance to groups that refuse to espouse an Islamist agenda. This renders dubious any claim that the Brotherhood makes regarding commitment to the establishment of a civil state. Indeed, for all its public declarations in support of a civil state, the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria is emerging as the more ideologically committed to the establishment of an Islamic state than all MB branches in the region. ….

* The Islamists – the Salafi Groups: Unsurprisingly, rebel leaders have shown a significant degree of distrust vis-à-vis the Brotherhood and its agendas, and have shown a greater preference for dealing with Salafi groups. For all their calls for the establishment of an Islamic state, Salafi groups seem more willing to accept that the best that they could have at this stage is the creation of Salafist enclaves, or, in civil parlance, Salafist electoral districts. Salafi groups might accept funding from the Brotherhood, but their commitment to an MB agenda, as we noted, is unclear to say the least. Leaders of Salafist groups are emerging from amongst the grassroots, rather than the rank-and-file of the exile community, they feel rooted in the local communities and are more tuned to local realities and aspirations….

* Confessional Minorities: For all the talk about the anti-revolutionary attitude of the Alawite and Christian communities, there are many Alawites and Christians taking part in the revolution both as political activists and as rebels. Their basic attitude towards working with various political and rebel groups could provide certain clues as to future political alliances and on-ground dynamics. Most Alawites and Christians fight with smaller units with clear secular tendencies, such as Unit 111 based in the town of Bdama in Idlib Province. But when it comes to a choice between working with MB-affiliated or Salafi-affiliated groups, most Alawites and Christians prefer MB. The MB is more familiar to them, and by adopting Assad and Ba’ath tactics, the MB is presenting a more familiar political style as well: one based on back room deals and manipulation of the political scene. By comparison, Salafi groups seem more alien and threatening: they openly call for the establishment of an Islamic state…

The Druze community in the suburb of Jeramana in Damascus is coming under increased pressure both by pro-Assad militias and by pro-revolution activists to take a firm stand with either camp. The few Druze villages in Idlib province are providing shelter to refugees from rebel communities. With a population of less than 150,000, the Ismailites of Syria have from the very beginning showed greater sympathy with the revolutionaries and have organized numerous anti-Assad rallies in the town of Salmiyyeh. But they are virtually besieged by loyalist villages, Alawite and Christian, and are unlikely to get more involved.

* Foreign fighters, mostly from Gulf States, Libya, Tunisia, Chechnya, Somalia and Sudan, now number as much as 3,500 by some estimates, and operate out of their own bases in northern and central Syria. Working with a comparable number of Syrian recruits they are at occasions clearly affiliated with Al-Qaeda or similar Jihadi organizations, although the role of Jabhat Al-Nusrah (The Succor Front) in this is not clear. There are also quite a few “foreign” fighters who seem more motivated by Arab nationalism than Jihadi agendas. According to activists based in Antakya, individual members of the Brotherhood seem to be implicated in smuggling Jihadi elements into the country. Some local rebel commanders, while wary of their presence, are, nonetheless, coordinating some operations with them. The groups have already been implicated in hostage taking, torture of captives and mutilations, especially of Alawite prisoners. Although we are only talking about a handful of cases at this stage, the trend is alarming.

… It’s not clear why Turkish authorities put up with Al-Qaeda cells springing up near their borders, and with foreign fighters pouring through. But for now, they don’t seem overly alarmed by the development.

* Of the 3,500 foreign fighters, around 1,300 are said to be Libyans operating mostly in northern Syria and Al-Haffeh Region in Lattakia Province. …

* Though still a tiny minority, an increasing number of individuals acting in the name of the Free Syrian Army are now involved in racketeering activities, including blackmail of local business communities, misuse of funds donated to support the revolution and trading in arms and medical supplies provided free of charge by support groups…..In the town of Eizaz, in Aleppo Province, recently pounded to the ground by Assad’s MIGs, there is now a small band of 200 fighters led by a character called Ammar Dadikhi, a smuggler and a Salafist who proclaims his disdain of the Syrian people to his visitors and calls for the establishment of an Islamic State. He is also the man believed to hold most Hezbollah prisoners in Aleppo. He is one of dozens such characters now emerging all over the country, establishing little fiefdoms and complicating an already complex situation: too small to be considered warlords, too armed to be dismissed. They are the dogs and rascals of this war.

* In another alarming trend, ranking members of the Syrian National Council, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other opposition coalitions are busy establishing their own militias on the ground….Personal agendas are often as prominent as ideological ones.

* Still, and for all the disillusionment, disappointment and disaffection that people felt, all activists and rebel leaders we met have yet to fall on anti-Western sentiments. They are critical of Europe and the U.S., President Obama in particular, and are beginning to entertain all sorts of conspiratorial theories as to why intervention has not happened. But they are not hostile per se, and are still calling for international intervention…

* Many if not all rebel groups still dream of a traditional military victory over Assad. They still think of the liberation process as a military conquest allowing them to move from one town to another, from one region to another, until all Assad’s loyalist forces and militias are defeated and rebel groups have wrested control of every inch of the country. Being aware of the many ideological and personal differences that separate them, certain rebel groups seem to think that military muscle might be the way to deal with their current partners as well down the road. …

State of the State

* The Assad regime may not have fallen yet, but the state has already collapsed. At this stage, Syria is nothing more than a hodgepodge collection of militarized national, tribal and confessional cantons connected by a fraying thread: a quickly fading memory of a united Syria. The regime might remain in control of certain key services and regions, and it might still be able to crackdown and rain terror from the skies on its opponents and their supporting communities, but large swaths of the country have clearly slipped beyond its control. The problem: no parallel governance structures worthy of the name are emerging anywhere. …

* Ethnic cleansing of Sahel Al-Ghab area in Hama province and certain parts of rural Homs is for now a done deal and will not be easily reversible, if ever…

* Individual Acts of vendettas are increasing. Sectarian sentiments are now the norm rather than the exception. ….

* Taking the current state of affairs in consideration, the odds of a successful partition of Syria, even if unofficial, have actually plummeted over the last few weeks. Neither the Alawites nor the Kurds, the two likely groups to opt for such an arrangement, will be allowed to rest in peace in their newly carved out territories. In the coast, local Sunni communities are already stockpiling on weapons to fight against ethnic cleansing that is bound to take place when Alawites make their move. Considering the proximity of different communities to each other and increasing sectarian tensions, their posture may not remain defensive once the process begins to unfold, especially in the region of Al-Haffeh. In fact, as we write this report, a battle is raging in the northernmost parts of Al-Haffeh region, centered on the village of Burj Kassab and its surroundings, where rebels are trying to gain access to the sea and counteract ethnic cleansing by pro-Assad militias. The move, however, have forced residents in nearby Alawite villages to leave their homes, as their villages came under pounding for the first time since the beginning of the revolution. So, sooner rather than later, and barring full scale international intervention, Sunni Arabs, driven by a desire for vengeance, will take the fight to the Alawites, and what has been seeded in Homs, Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa, Hama and Deir Ezzor will be harvested in Lattakia, Jableh and Tartous.

* In Kurdish regions, Arab tribes are reportedly arming themselves in preparation to defend the “integrity of the state.” Kurds, who are also arming themselves, have been able to prevent confrontations by measuring their steps and attempting to establish wider contact with some tribal leaders to allay their fears and address their concerns. Much still needs to be done in this regard if an Arab-Kurdish conflict is to be prevented. Intra-Kurdish rivalry is also on the increase, as PYD loyalists continue to assert themselves on the ground in an attempt to impose control over Kurdish-majority towns. To complicate matters, different PYD leaders and factions seem to be serving different agendas. Syria’s Kurds are now locked in their own internal struggles, which could devolve into conflict, and until they reach some real agreement between themselves or implement the agreement already reached in Irbil (Hewler), they can be considered effectively hors de combat as far as the revolution is concerned, in spite of the revolutionary sympathies of young Kurdish activists.

* A general breakdown in law and order is unsurprisingly reported everywhere. The regime has reportedly released most criminal convicts and Jihadi leaders from its prisons. The move seems to come as part of a strategy to encourage lawlessness and discredit the rebels. Indeed, special security units were formed tasked with carrying out robberies and kidnappings and blame it on the Free Syrian Army. Still, genuine criminal gangs have also appeared quite independently ….

The Humanitarian Front

* From the humanitarian perspective, the situation in Syria is growing increasingly dire. It’s unfathomable why more is not being done,….Only one camp now has an active school that teaches in Arabic. Educational activities in other camps are episodic, and instruction is carried out in Turkish. Volunteers and NGOs who could bridge these gaps are not allowed access. Turkish authorities have finally called for more international help. Western officials we met, however, are not sure what difference this will actually mean on the ground. Turkish authorities are highly suspicious of international NGOs and prefer to try to manage the situation on their own. UNHCR has not been called in. But as the number of refugees in Turkey fast approaches 100,000 and could double by yearend, it is becoming increasingly clear to them that some help beyond financial grants is needed. Turkish authorities are now hoping to establish camps inside Syrian territories, even without an official declaration of a safe zone. The camps will be put under rebel control and rebels will be tasked with protecting them.

* On the medical front, what’s being provided to the wounded in all these countries is woefully inadequate, and though Turkey comes out ahead again, much still needs to be done. Amputees are proliferating in border hospitals in Turkey amidst reports that in many cases the amputation was unnecessary. No counseling is provided. Local staff does not speak Arabic …

* Inside Syria, the situation of the IDPs is tragic…

The Turkish Role

* For all the assertions of solidarity with the Syrian people and all the declared willingness to coordinate policies and actions with the Obama Administration and other NATO allies, Turkey’s leaders’ attitude vis-à-vis the current conflict in Syria remains difficult to decipher. At this stage, they seem to be looking at the situation through the visor of internal identity politics. The Kurdish Question is definitely on the minds of Turkish authorities, so is the less publicized Alawite Question. Though the likelihood of an Alawite uprising is minimal, Alawite discontent could further complicate AKP electoral calculations in certain key provinces. Neither Turkey’s Kurds nor Alawites would be happy with increased intervention in Syria. ….

* No matter what the U.S. and other western powers have to say regarding the SNC, Turkish authorities, though aware of MB’s shortcomings, including its lack of a large popular base in the country and its internal divisions, remain wedded to it because of the ideological connections between AKP and MB, pure and simple. No amount of pressure can break their connection.

The U.S. and Turkey-Based Opposition

* As part of its ongoing outreach to the opposition, the U.S. has finally opened a special office in Istanbul dedicated to this end: The Office of Syrian Opposition Support (OSOS). The office is meant to serve “as a training facility, coordination center, and point of contact for the international community with opposition networks inside Syria,” and “is staffed by Syrian activists who maintain extensive relationships with opposition councils and civil society organizations inside the country.” OSOS, we are told, “will serve as a clearinghouse for information on the opposition and its needs, build the capacity of opposition groups and activists and facilitate the distribution of assistance into Syria.” Out of deference to Turkish authorities and the SNC, ranking members from the SNC and the Brotherhood were included in the advisory board, including current SNC leader Abdelbassit Seida, and MB interlocutor Molham Aldroby. OSOS is funded by the State Department, as were previous efforts at supporting the opposition in Istanbul. Our stay in Turkey coincided with OSOS-organized workshops on sectarianism (Istanbul) and women empowerment (Gaziantep and Kilis). It’s clear at this stage that the focus is on civil society in the broader sense. ….

* Other American-supported efforts in Istanbul will include working with experts from the United States Institute for Peace to fund an office for a Syrian NGO called “The Day After” dedicated to training Syrian activists on the challenges of the transitional period. …

Another U.S. sponsored initiative is the Syrian Justice and Accountability Center currently being established under the auspices of IREX and which might open an office in Istanbul as well. The center will be dedicated to managing the challenges of transitional justice in Syria. Activists on the ground are also reporting and for the first time that the communications equipment, long-promised by the Americans, are making their way into the country as well. OSOS and American NGOs seem to be involved in the distribution process as well.

Concluding Observations

* Realities on the ground as well as regional geopolitical realities indicate that outright military victory by any one side is just as impossible as holding a viable dialog with Assad. Assad does need to be taken out of the Syrian Equation, and military means seem the only way to achieve that, eventually. But military means will prove woefully inadequate when it comes to what lies beyond this necessary step: stabilizing the country, getting all the pieces of the puzzle back to fit, and dealing with rebel leaders and ethnic and regional realities…..

* Future engagement with activist and rebel leaders by members of the international community should seek to convey to all the limit of the military solution in securing the country. At one point or another, the rebels and activists need to be ready to negotiate with representatives from other side of the divide. No matter how the military situation changes on the ground, there will always be communities and enclaves where the majority population has backed the Assad camp, be it out of confessional or ideological loyalties, or out of pure self-interest. These people will be ready to fight to the bitter end if they thought that their survival is at stake, especially after so many massacres have been perpetrated by them or in their name. Rebels and activists have a learning curve to be ready for dealing with this situation. ….

* At end of the day, a political process is still required to bring this conflict to an end, … The political process needed at this stage should focus on producing exactly this new constitution, spelling out the specifics of how communal and regional rights will be protected, and clarifying how transitional justice will be meted out and what its limits will be. …

* Syria has been locked in a state of conflict for months, but rather than embark on a serious mediation effort, international leaders have been busy stalling and passing this hot potato…

By demanding that Assad order his troops back to barracks without showing any readiness to punish him,…. international leaders have made themselves irrelevant….Indeed, western leaders’ approach has been to wash their hands of the whole thing, while Russian, Chinese and Iranian leaders were quite willing to dip theirs in the blood being spilled by pro-Assad militias all while adopting their propaganda and lies. This needs to change. …

By now, there is nothing called a regular army in Syria. What we have are pro-Assad militias, made up of a mixture of army troops, security forces and civilians. The overwhelming majority are now Alawites, supported in certain regions and neighborhoods by Christians as well Sunni Arab and Kurdish recruits. Most members of pro-Assad militias have been involved in atrocities, but they really believe that they are fighting for their lives and for their families. In their minds, they are involved in preemption, in preventing future atrocities against their communities. …

We need to find ways to engage the pro-Assad militias themselves. …The most important effort that can be launched at this stage is an outreach strategy led by the rebels and activists in cooperation with representatives of the international community targeting pro-Assad militias meant to induce such outcome. As for Assad and his generals, a trip to the ICC might help bring closure to the victims of their crimes, and might provide family members of all victims a channel for their grief and anger other than retribution.

* The State in Syria has already collapsed and the country will not be pacified for years to come. At this stage, it is effectively a failed state. The thinking at this stage should focus on how Syria could be put back together again, how she can be pacified, how to prevent her humanitarian situation from worsening, and how to prevent spillovers into neighboring countries. The choice facing many in the international community is no longer whether to intervene but how to intervene…..The endgame at this stage could only be the removal of the Assad regime and replacing it with a more accountable system of governance. …. Iran and Russia might be beyond the pale of making a positive contribution in this regard. But most other regional powers can be coaxed into a process once the U.S. is willing to assume a more proactive role. All this will need to take place outside the framework of the UN… Meanwhile, a solution to Assad air power needs to be found … the situation in Syria will have to be micromanaged… by whatever administration occupies the White House…

Ammar Abdulhamid: Syrian pro-Democracy activist, founder of the Tharwa Foundation, and Fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Khawla Yusuf: Syrian pro-democracy activist and co-founder of the Tharwa Foundation.

Comments (168)

Ghufran said:

I am surprised that Joshua even bothered to bring this clown back to life, abboudeh’s babbling is not even funny.
Now, this is not funny, for real :
اعلن الجيش اللبناني ان “عددا كبيرا من المسلحين” السوريين هاجموا الليل الفائت مركزا له في منطقة عرسال قرب الحدود مع سوريا بدون تسجيل ضحايا، في حين قام مسلحون بخطف ثلاثة جنود من الجيش اللبناني.

September 22nd, 2012, 10:27 am


AIG said:

The Lebanese civil war lasted 15 years and only ended after the international community consented to Syrian intervention. It is becoming clear that only some form of foreign intervention will stop the war in Syria. Alas, there is nobody that is willing to intervene. The only thing that will work in Syria is a coordinated NATO, Russia and China move. That is a long shot now, but maybe in a year or two, attitudes will change.

September 22nd, 2012, 10:40 am


Son of Damascus said:

Omran Al-Zoubi is quickly turning into Baghdad Bob… I actually caught a few minutes of his interview yesterday, he still has a long way to go to match Baghdad Bob’s “style” but in terms poker faced lies he is right on the money.

Al-Zoubi: Situation in Syria Is Now Better than any Previous Day of the Conspiracy

DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed that the situation in the country is now better than any previous time in the course of conspiracy against Syria, and that in terms of security, the crisis is almost over.

In an interview with the Syrian TV on Friday, al-Zoubi said the scene in Syria has become clear as everybody now knows the identity and place of the enemy as well as its military and political support channels, external backers and internal tools.



September 22nd, 2012, 11:02 am


annie said:

I have to read this at leisure but I ran thru the full text and the read was disheartening but most probably accurate. No reason to be very optimistic about the close future. Victory will only be the beginning.
I never thought that the revolution would be like instant coffee.
But is there any one who really cares about Syrians and Syria and not their own agenda or position ?
So far I would say Abouna Paolo from Mar Moussa.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:14 am


zoo said:

This article written by an activist is trying to show impartiality with some faux-pas that clearly indicate where he is coming from (“the blood being spilled by pro-Assad militias”, what about the blood spilled by the rebels militias?)

He does provide some interesting details about the status of the confronting forces:
The vicious and hypocritical ideological intervention of Turkey, the antagonism of Saudi Arabia toward the MB and its supporters Qatar and Turkey, the disunity of the rebels facing the resilience and the unity of the Syrian army where defections have almost stopped, the determination of the Syrian government to finish up the armed rebellion, and the already known ‘irrelevance’ of the SNC and France and the West’s empty calls for a transition government.

I have yet to see the proof of that ‘the state” has collapsed and how happen that the SP is still the same, the civil servants are receiving their full salaries on time, Internet and phone are up 24/7 in most areas, even the rural areas, electricity rationing limited to 1 hour a day and 5 million minus around 50,000 children are at school.
He does not endorse the “70% liberated Syria’ that the rebels have claimed, yet he does not even try to evaluate them (” large swaths of the country have clearly slipped beyond its control”) without any concluding evidence.

Same predictable and unimaginative conclusion : Nothing can be done but God willing (who is undoubtedly siding on the pious MB and Salafists ) the regime will fall.. when and if that are the questions he and no one can answer.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:25 am


b said:

“Fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies”

Neocon central.

What could be wrong with them?

September 22nd, 2012, 11:37 am


zoo said:

1. Ghufran

It seems the weapons supplied by Qatar and KSA through Turkey are running out significantly. The rebels are resorting to steal the Lebanese army weapons. Of course that will not increase their popularity.
The FSA has announced it is moving its headquarters from Turkey to Syria, probably because Turkey does not want them anymore. Their presence brought up publicly by Bashar al Assad is becoming very embarrassing both for Turks and for the West.
If this announcement is not just a PR propaganda, the FSA headquarters in Syria will become any easy target to the Syrian air force as contrary to guerillas they will have to settle in some “Bora Bora” safe place if they find any in the “70% liberated” Syria.
They will also have to ‘unite’ with the MB militias as well as the Salafists militias: quite a challenge.
For the Syrian government, this move is a victory as it shows that Turkey, recently accused directly and publicly by Bashar a Assad of helping “islamists terrorists” against Syria, is trying to remove itself from the quagmire.

Syrian rebels move command from Turkey to Syria ( to unite?)
By BASSEM MROUE | Associated Press

September 22nd, 2012, 11:41 am


Son of Damascus said:

The fact that 54% of the respondents said they would vote for a qualified Alawi candidate is another case that shows the majority of Syrians are NOT sectarian (although reading SC comments you would be lead to believe otherwise…)

This is a must read.

Among Assad’s opponents, moderation reigns


The survey, completed in July, was commissioned by the nonprofit International Republican Institute, a nongovernmental organization, and conducted by Pechter Polls of Princeton, N.J., in consultation with Conrad Winn of Compas Research and Carleton University. Native Syrian interviewers conducted the poll, using secure Skype and online links in Arabic. To minimize regime interference or intimidation, the sampling employed a referral (or “snowball”) methodology, starting with five trusted opposition activists, men and women, from different locations and different ethnic, religious, political and socioeconomic backgrounds. They sampled their own networks of opposition contacts and other networks identified as the fieldwork proceeded.


Asked if the opposition leadership “should support the rights and freedoms of minorities,” the average response score was 6.36 out of 7, indicating very strong and widespread agreement. Among those inside Syria, this view was particularly intense, with 79 percent giving it the highest possible score; the comparable figure for opposition activists outside the country was 68 percent. Asked whether “religious minorities should have equal rights in all aspects of society,” responses were similarly positive. And equal rights even for “non-believers” were accorded the highest possible agreement score by 64 percent of opposition activists, whether inside or outside Syria. Fifty-nine percent, inside and outside the country, said they would vote for a qualified Alawite candidate — one from the Assad regime’s most favored and most loyal sect — in a free election, an impressive share given the bloodletting and sectarian polarization in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011.


On broader democratic values, there was virtual unanimity (with an average score of 6.8 out of 7) on the idea that “the president should have to obey the laws like everyone else.” And 84 percent, both inside and outside Syria, gave a score of 7 to this resounding democratic declaration: “The government majority in parliament needs to respect the right of the opposition minority to criticize vigorously and without fear whatever the government does.”



September 22nd, 2012, 11:42 am


zoo said:

Tunisia Revolution Season 2: “Looking for Purity”

After Protests, Tunisia’s Salafists Plot a More Radical Revolution

By Vivienne Walt / Tunis | @vivwalt | September 21, 2012

The past week of unrest and protests across the Muslim world was largely the work of more puritanical Salafists, many of whom harbor as much ire for their own governments as they do the West.
In Mahmoud’s eyes, increasing numbers of young Tunisians are seeking such purity. It will not spring from the new Arab Spring democracies, where even their protests against the YouTube video and the French cartoons have been blocked. Instead, Salafists will plot another future. “The next step,” he says, “will be an Islamic revolution.”

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/09/21/after-protests-tunisias-salafists-plot-a-more-radical-revolution/#ixzz27DKXInbz

September 22nd, 2012, 11:48 am


ann said:

US blames Libya attack on Al Qaeda-linked forces it previously backed – 22 September 2012

US officials investigating the September 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi now suspect it may have been carried out by Al Qaeda-linked forces that Washington backed during last year’s NATO war to topple Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

They identified Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamouda bin Qumu as a potential figure behind the attack, which killed four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens.

Bin Qumu is a leading member of the Ansar al-Shariah brigade in Benghazi, which has been blamed for the attack. He also reportedly is a member of the Al Qaeda-linked Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and leads the Darnah Brigade—an armed group in his home town of Darnah in northeastern Libya, which fought on the side of NATO in the war for regime change last year.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius has reported that US intelligence is also investigating whether LIFG member Abdul Wahab al-Qaed al-Libi may have encouraged the attack. He is the brother of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top Al Qaeda operations planner and LIFG member killed on June 4 of this year by a US drone strike in Mir Ali, Pakistan.

The Al Qaeda leadership did not formally acknowledge al-Libi’s death until September 11, however. On that date, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a video confirming that al-Libi had died in a US drone strike.

“The idea of this being revenge for Abu Yahya’s death, we see discussion of that,” one US intelligence official told the Post.

These events expose the hypocrisy of Washington’s “war on terror” and its claims to be fighting for democracy in Libya. These were convenient fictions behind which the US and its allies could advance their imperialist interests—seizing $120 billion in Libyan oil funds, taking larger stakes in Libya’s oil industry, and imposing a puppet regime in Tripoli—in alliance with reactionary local proxies. These proxies included Al Qaeda forces, even as the US continued to massacre them in other parts of the world.

This cynical policy has now backfired, however, with deadly consequences for US operatives.

Accounts of the attack show that US State Department officials underestimated the threat they faced in Benghazi. There were a several warnings: a June 6 bomb attack on the Benghazi consulate, a June 11 rocket-propelled grenade attack on a convoy carrying Britain’s ambassador to Libya, and an August 27 State Department travel warning noting the threat of car bombings and assassinations in Tripoli and Benghazi.

Nonetheless, Stevens argued against guarding US diplomatic facilities in Libya with Marines, who usually perform such duties. Local Libyan militias helped State Department security forces to guard the consulate in Benghazi, and no Marines were ever involved in the fighting.

Stevens took this decision to “show faith in Libya’s new leaders,” according to the Wall Street Journal, which wrote: “Officials say Mr. Stevens personally advised against having Marines posted at the embassy in Tripoli, apparently to avoid a militarized US presence.”

Another official, Randa Fahmy Hudome, added: “This is what happens when you’re relying on a government that’s not in control of the whole country … [Benghazi] was awash with weapons in the hands of various brigades who were all in combat with one another. It wasn’t a secret.”

Nonetheless, the attack on the Benghazi consulate, which began at 9 p.m. local time on September 11, apparently took US diplomats by surprise. Stevens and State Department official Sean Smith died of smoke inhalation, while trying to flee a safe room that filled with smoke after attackers set fire to the consulate. After surviving officials went to a secret safe house, where they met other US personnel in Benghazi and a State Department security team flown in from Tripoli, the safe house itself came under heavy and accurate mortar fire.

Newspaper accounts suggest the attackers outmaneuvered the US officials. The New York Times wrote, “The attackers had lain in wait, silently observing as the rescuers, including eight State Department civilians who had just landed at the airport in Benghazi, arrived in large convoys. This second attack was shorter in duration than the first, but more complex and sophisticated. It was an ambush.”

The attackers apparently suffered no casualties, but two US guards—former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty—were killed.

If bin Qumu and al-Libi indeed helped organize the attacks with forces under their command, it would be for the United States a case of the chickens coming home to roost. Having crossed and double-crossed Al Qaeda forces in Libya and internationally—murdering, imprisoning, and torturing them, when it was not employing their services in various dirty wars—it is now facing the consequences of having armed and handed power to them in much of Libya.

Abdelhakim Belhadj, reportedly the LIFG’s founder, emerged as the leader of the Tripoli Military Council after Tripoli fell to NATO-backed forces in August. His forces are reportedly now serving with the Syrian Free Army, the US-backed force fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Belhadj began his career fighting alongside Osama bin Laden with the CIA-backed Islamist mujahedin in the Soviet-Afghan war during the 1980s. Together with other veterans of that war, he founded the LIFG during the 1990s and launched an armed uprising against Gaddafi in 1995 that was suppressed. He escaped and helped run Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan before the September 11 attacks, after which he traveled to Pakistan, Iraq, and Malaysia, where he was captured in 2003 and rendered to a CIA prison in Thailand, where he was tortured.

In 2004, Belhadj was turned over to the Libyan government, which released him and other detained LIFG leaders in 2010, when they pledged to renounce armed struggle. One year later, Washington turned to Belhadj’s forces to topple Gaddafi. Some of these same forces have been brought into Syria to fight in the US-backed war to topple the government of Bashar al-Assad.



September 22nd, 2012, 11:52 am


Son of Damascus said:


“the FSA headquarters in Syria will become any easy target to the Syrian air force”

All of the evidence points to the fact the Syrian Airforce is better at targeting innocent civilians than actual rebels. According to Amnesty the MAJORITY of those targeted have been civilians and not rebel targets.

Syria: New evidence – High civilian death toll from campaign of indiscriminate attacks

Civilians, many of them children, are the main victims of a campaign of relentless and indiscriminate attacks by the Syrian army, Amnesty International said in a new briefing.



And below is the ugly truth of how those indiscriminate non-guided TNT Barrel bombs do to innocent civilians:


I don’t believe the Assadi army has the proper intelligence network to precisely target anything, that is why they are blindly shooting at anything.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:53 am


zoo said:

# 8 SOD

Thanks for posting these long expected revealing numbers
They rather shows clearly that the majority of Syrians still support the regime, to the displeasure of many SC commenters..

“59%, inside and outside the country, said they would vote for a qualified Alawite candidate — one from the Assad regime’s most favored and most loyal sect — in a free election, an impressive share given the bloodletting and sectarian polarization in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:54 am


zoo said:

#11 SOD

The rebels, claiming guerillas tactics, are using the civilians as human shields. It is no surprise that trapped civilians are dying as forced martyrs to the ‘revolution’ when the Syrian army wants to dislodge the armed militias.
Not being protected by the Turkish army anymore, the FSA headquarter will have to cowardly choose to hide among the civilians that offers the best shields.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:58 am


Son of Damascus said:


“They rather shows clearly that the majority of Syrians still support the regime, to the displeasure of many SC commenters..”

To think that being or voting for an Alawi candidate would automatically mean supporting the regime is THE definition of sectarianism…

I advise you to actually READ the article and see who were the respondents before blindly commenting on it.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:59 am


Son of Damascus said:


Human shields? Really that is your excuse now?

Were there any rebels when the gas station in Al-Raqqah attacked? Or how about the bread lines in Aleppo?

Please spare me this BS about “human shields”, Assad has been implementing a scorched earth policy as far back as February in Baba Amr.

September 22nd, 2012, 12:03 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Correct me if I was wrong, was not he and his family part of this same Baathist Mafia that impovrished Syria, stole all the wealth? Only after getting ALCIADA grant for some ficticious project, switched sides.

And for the NCB or what is it called,who cares, a bunch of x Baathists thugs and low lifes, Socialists, Communists and Marxsists, mixed in with Arab Nationalists, what a soup of poison to any nation. Syria mainly sufferred since independence from this rackets of low lifes, low achivers bragging deceptive slogans.


September 22nd, 2012, 12:10 pm


zoo said:

#15 SOD

The truth about the attack in Raqqah: A car park full of rebels trucks, the station is untouched.


September 22nd, 2012, 12:12 pm


ann said:

Shutting down Libyan “FSA” mercenary terrorist training camps 8)

Libyan pro-government activists attack militia headquarters (VIDEO, PHOTOS) – 22 September, 2012


September 22nd, 2012, 12:14 pm


Son of Damascus said:


Do I need to post the videos to disapprove that report? It has been posted already here and it clearly shows FREIGHT TRUCKS were the primary target as WAS THE GAS STATION.

Maybe you don’t watch those videos for purposes like these, but I do because of situations like these. You narratives are blindly pro-regime, you condemn every crime and supposed crime committed by the rebels but reserve NOTHING to your beloved regime….

What is your excuse for attacking breadlines? The flour was tainted?

September 22nd, 2012, 12:19 pm


zoo said:

Ryad al Assad communiqué no 1: Good news…

September 22nd, 2012, 12:20 pm


zoo said:


In the “liberated areas” the responsibility of the security of the civilians is on the ‘liberators’.
Obviously they are capable of boasting about their ‘liberation’ but not of organizing safe bread distribution or even protecting breadlines of the civilians they use as human shields.

September 22nd, 2012, 12:26 pm


ann said:

Berets only! French far-right leader demands ban on Muslim, Jewish headwear – 21 September, 2012


September 22nd, 2012, 12:26 pm


Son of Damascus said:


“Obviously they are capable of boasting about their ‘liberation’ but not of organizing safe bread distribution or even protecting breadlines.”

So when they protect civilians you say they are using them as human shields, and when they are not around civilians they are not doing their job in protecting civilians?

So what the opposition and the rebels should just give up and let Assad and his henchmen rule them for another 40 years just to make you happy?

September 22nd, 2012, 12:30 pm


norman said:

Syria can be saved in one peice only if the Syrian army is supported with international support to restore peace and security to the country, The international community is not sending troops to Syria, so to get the support for the Syrian Arab army, Syria has to either give up on relation with Iran, or Iran gives trustworthy moves with monitoring to it’s nuclear program with lifting the sanction, Iran always said that it does not want nuclear arms but weary of the West and Israel hostility, so it needs assurences. The solution to the Syrian crises will come from Iran, it is all about Iran.

September 22nd, 2012, 12:37 pm


ann said:

From The “Friends Of Syria” With Love and Respect For Islam 8)

French mag publishes more caricatures of Mohammed – 21 September, 2012


September 22nd, 2012, 12:46 pm


ann said:

The Liquidation Of The “FSA” 8) BYE BYE “FSA”!

“FSA” KICKED OUT Of Ottoman Land ..


September 22nd, 2012, 12:52 pm


Citizen said:

25. ANN
f**k that French magazine and its editors , lawmakers and all that French dwarfs in such press! To hell with this satanic culture !

September 22nd, 2012, 1:07 pm




You hate plain syrian people, it is a clear an easy conclusion from your comments. You have been posting for 18 months to justify the status quo and to try to keep syrian people under iron dictatorship. You believe the plain people deserves nothing because you hate them. Assad kul khara. Assef Shawkat already akala.

September 22nd, 2012, 1:11 pm


Son of Damascus said:

A new industry is born in Syria?

Syria’s Dark Horses, With Lathes: Makeshift Arms Production in Aleppo Governorate, Part I

There are many indicators of the stubborn determination and evolving organization of the fighting groups in Syria seeking to unseat President Bashar al-Assad. One of them is this: the development of local arms-producing industries in Syrian cities and the countryside. In a war in which the antigovernment fighters have sought outside support and been disappointed by what has been offered, especially from the West, the society that produced the fighters has also undertaken the production of matériel for guerrilla war, a social project of such a scale that it has contributed to the armed opposition’s momentum and confidence this year. The progression is both intriguing and relevant to those seeking to understand the Free Syrian Army, as the loosely organized antigovernment fighters are called. This is not just for the view that local production provides of latter-day warfare with do-it-yourself arms. It offers insights into something else — the social forces within an uprising that is reordering the Middle East.

At War will highlight samples of the work of arms-producing tradesmen in Tal Rifaat, a small city on the agricultural plain north of Aleppo, doing so both in the interest of illuminating the origins and choices of makeshift weapons and to underline the meaning, promises and risks inherent in a such a collective project. I gained access to several tradesmen and different categories of weapons. Beginning today, At War will examine the industry’s evolution and look at two locally made items, and will continue in the next installment with more weapons and a set of conclusions about what they mean.

At first, the rebels’ improvised weapons assumed forms well established in the Middle East: Molotov cocktails and roadside bombs. These weapons were seen as the government crackdown intensified last year, but initially had little effect against the Syrian Army and security forces. With time these two types of homegrown weapons served to punish the Syrian armored columns that for months had roamed the roads unchallenged; by this spring, the rebels’ roadside bombs had become so prevalent and effective that they had forced the Syrian Army to all but cease operating in entire stretches of its own country, especially along the country’s northern border. These weapons changed the nature and direction of the war.

As bombs made the roads impassable (or at least not passable without a draining and grisly price), the Syrian military recalibrated tactically, sending helicopters and eventually jets to attack where its ground troops no longer ventured. As the government escalated, the rebels and their supporters were not idle. They were busy expanding their arms-shop handiwork. A few writers have taken note. Eliot Higgins, the man behind the busy Brown Moses Blog, wrote an early summary on Foreign Policy magazine’s Web site, in which he identified trends (including the appearance of gun trucks) and a few unusual items (like a locally made flame-thrower) and noted, accurately, that until that point “DIY weapons have been less of a feature in Syria than in the Libyan civil war.”



September 22nd, 2012, 1:16 pm


ann said:

Attacks confirmed desperation of armed Syrian opposition – 20.09.2012


The perpetration of two bombings in the capital today confirms predictions that the armed opposition in Syria resorts to such actions in the face of an advancing government offensive in several provinces.

At least six civilians and officers of the law were killed and others injured on Friday when a bomb exploded near the mosque, Al-Ruknieh, in the Rukneddin neighborhood, north of Damascus.

This incident was accompanied by the explosion of a car bomb in the Mezzeh neighborhood, in the west, near the Ministry of Information and the new Palace of Justice, which did not cause fatalities, but only to sow fear among the population.

In addition to these actions, 15 people were injured when an armed group fired 81 mm mortar shells, of Israeli manufacture, in the neighborhood Bab Houd, city of Homs, against a populated area.

While in the province and city of Aleppo, 350 kilometers north of the capital, there were continued clashes between armed groups and small Army units that perform cleanup operations by zones.

In this sense, government unity caused numerous casualties on insurgent areas in a part of Al-Maysar, while sappers disabled explosive devices in the market place of Saif al-Dawla.

Some sources have commented on demoralization in the ranks insurgents and cite as an example a large armed group that escaped in the area of ​​Saif Al-Dawla in Aleppo, at the proximity of the Syrian Arab Army forces, screaming and shouting that they were not prepared to die.

Among other actions, the Syrian Arab Army units destroyed three cars with DShK machine guns, next to the mosque Al-Ansari, neighborhood Saif Al-Dawla, in the same city.

Additionally, clashes were reported in Homs, in the municipality of Al-Qusayr, and in the provincial capital, innumerable insurgents were killed while trying to escape from the Bab Al-Hood district.

Attacks were also turned back in Idleb province, 320 kilometers north of the capital, where an adult ended up killed and a 10 year old child was injured when a bomb planted by armed gangs blew up.

In Hama, 209 kilometers from the capital, the Syrian Arab Army sappers defused five explosives of about 25 pounds each, placed by armed terrorist groups in the district of Al-Gharbi Mashtal, district of Al-Nakarneh.



September 22nd, 2012, 1:19 pm


Mina said:

Strange how difficult it is to find the date of the press conference of the Syrian MBs in Turkey brodcasted live by aljazeera around Mrch or April 2011. I wonder where Abdulhamid was at the time… He was then lecturing us with “Orange revolutions”, the “Fall of the Berlin wall” and all sorts of roses and jasmine.

September 22nd, 2012, 1:27 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

Quoted from above:

“Leaders of local rebel groups are fast acquiring all the usual traits and characteristics associated with warlords, their intentions notwithstanding.”

Yup, looks like we’re gonna have Syria broken up into 5 or 10 mini-states.

September 22nd, 2012, 1:32 pm


Tara said:

Syria’s neighbors seek extension of U.N. war crimes inquiry
September 21, 2012|Stephanie Nebehay | Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) – Arab countries proposed on Friday extending the mandate of U.N. investigators documenting war crimes in Syria and said that more experts were needed for the growing task.

A draft resolution submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council by a group of Arab states, backed by Western powers, calls for the investigations to carry on for the next six months.


September 22nd, 2012, 1:57 pm


zoo said:

A 21st-Century Islam

Published: September 21, 2012

LONDON — The Muslim world cannot have it both ways. It cannot place Islam at the center of political life — and in extreme cases political violence — while at the same time declaring that the religion is off-limits to contestation and ridicule.

Islam is one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions. Of them it is the youngest by several centuries and, perhaps for that reason, the most fervid and turbulent. It is also, in diverse forms, a political movement, reference and inspiration.

Politics is a rough-and-tumble game. If the emergent Islamic parties of nations in transition — like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Ennahda in Tunisia — are to honor the terms of democratic governance they will have to concede that they have no monopoly on truth, that the prescriptions of Islam are malleable and debatable, and that significant currents in their societies have different convictions and even faiths.

As for the new leaders of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and the great mass of moderate Muslims, they might recall the words of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri protesting the stolen Iranian election of 2009 — an example of God’s supposed will imposed over the will of the people:

“A characteristic of a strong and legitimate government — Islamic or not — is that it is capable of respecting all opinions, whether they support it or oppose it. This is necessary for any political system, in order to embrace all social classes and encourage them to participate in the affairs of their nation, and not dismiss and repulse them.”

Montazeri fell out with Ayatollah Khomeini because his Iranian theocracy was incapable of “respecting all opinions.” Decades on, in this Arab awakening, that challenge remains for political Islam.

September 22nd, 2012, 2:00 pm


Tara said:

The next thing we’ll hear is that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are hardcore Aroor’s followers.  


Is Angelina Jolie a CIA agent? 

So, Jolie visited the camps, mingled with the refugees, and declared that she had never seen camps as good as these. “The refugees are extremely grateful to the Turkish government,” she said to the press. “I would like to express my gratitude as well.” 

Quite understandably, the members of the Turkish government were very happy about this visit, not only because they received praise from Jolie, but also because she helped bring more media attention to a crisis in which Turkey has been very much left alone. Hence Jolie was welcomed personally by President Abdullah Gül, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, and Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin.

And that is where the CHP came into the scene. It was likely that this party would not enjoy Jolie’s remarks, for it has been too critical of the government’s anti-al-Assad stance and its welcoming of Syrian refugees. The very camps Jolie praised were recently condemned by some CHP spokesmen as “terrorist” bases. 

But one of the CHP faces, Mehmet Kesimoğlu, deputy from the northwestern province of Kırklareli, went further and somewhat more creative: He gave a petition to the Turkish Parliament questioning “the secret meeting” between Jolie and the interior minister and probing whether the American actress was actually a “CIA agent.” He rhetorically asked: 

“Does Jolie’s visit complete the visits that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA head David Petraeus made to Turkey? Is Angelina Jolie an agent of the CIA, and is there any intelligence report about Angelina Jolie that indicates she is used as the face of CIA’s war politics?”

This political party, which has always venerated itself as Turkey’s “progressive” force, is actually the home of some of its most parochial and bigoted minds. In domestic issues, they subscribe to an anti-liberal mix of secularism and nationalism, whereas in global issues they abide by a hollow “anti-imperialism.” They are simply outdated, and that is why they can never become a promising opponent that makes the incumbent AKP feel challenged.

September 22nd, 2012, 2:10 pm


WARREN said:

Army colonel threatens to sue top general for ‘concealing truth about Islam’

A US Army colonel who was suspended from a top military college for teaching an anti-Islamic course is threatening to sue America’s top general for “violating academic freedom” and “caving in to Islam.”

Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley’s attorneys have put Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey on notice for a possible lawsuit for “concealing the truth about Islam,” after his course was shut down for its strong anti-Islamic content.

Dooley’s lawyers issued a press release stating that “the final bastion of America’s defense against Islamic jihad and Sharia, the Pentagon, fell to the enemy in April 2012.”

The elective course, which was taught by Dooley at the Joint Forces Staff College in Virginia, was shut down by Dempsey in April. During his lectures, Dooley spoke of Islam being reduced to cult status, Mecca and Medina being destroyed, and Saudi Arabia being brought to starvation.


September 22nd, 2012, 2:14 pm


Mina said:

It would be useful if people like Roger Cohen did not resort to such phrases as “Islam is one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions.”
Islam has the same roots as Judaism and Christianity (thence, the same prophets are named in the Quran and references to the same legends/histories are given), but I cannot see how these would be more monotheist than Buddhism or Tao, or even, Hinduism, if one reads the latter’s texts with the proper tafsirs.

September 22nd, 2012, 2:36 pm


Mina said:

32 Johannes
Why? Did you see Afghanistan and Lebanon into mini-states? They have had plenty of warlords in the last 30 years but business is flourishing.

September 22nd, 2012, 2:50 pm


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

Dooley spoke of Islam being reduced to cult status, Mecca and Medina being destroyed, and Saudi Arabia being brought to starvation.

Sort of like what Shia Mullah’s of Iran did to Persia and the great Persians. Both Wahabi Saud’s Jewish clan and Shia Mullah’s Rothschild clan are brought and sustained in power to serve the Grand Zionist Plan. Just peal the surface and you will see the real color of the deceiver’s fruit.

September 22nd, 2012, 3:05 pm


Citizen said:


قناة سي إن أن تعرض فيديو يظهر مقاتلين مرتزقة من ليبيا في حلب
أظهر شريط فيديو بثته قناة سي أن أن الأمريكية مقابلة مع مقاتل ليبي يقاتل الجيش العربي السوري في حلب
و قال الإرهابي فراس أنه يطمح لحكم إسلامي في سورية وقال أنه لا وجود للقاعدة و المرتزقة في سورية ! فيما لم يوضح إذاً هو ماذا و ماذا يفعل !! حيث قال أنه أتى فقط للمساعدة على حد قوله ! و قال أن صديقه قد قتل على يد الجيش العربي السوري وانه سيعود بعد إنتهاء جهاده !
و قالت القناة أن عدد المقاتلين الأجانب في سورية يصل للألف لحد الآن مع مؤشرات تشير إلى تزايدهم
في الدقيقة 01:50 يظهر الإرهابي بجانب مدرسة في حي سيف الدولة

September 22nd, 2012, 3:56 pm


zoo said:

37. Mina

You are right to point out the inaccuracy of Cohen
The three largest monotheists religions are in order of adherents: Christianity, Islam and Hindouism

The Abrahamic religions are, in chronological order of founding, Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Baha’i Faith.

It was estimated that 54% of the world’s population (3.8 billion people) considered themselves adherents of the Abrahamic religions


As of the early 21st century, Christianity has around 2.2 billion adherents of about 7 billion people. The faith represents one-third of the world’s population and is the largest religion in the world

With about 1.6 to 1.7 billion followers or 22 to 24% of earth’s population, Islam is the second-largest and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.

The worldwide Jewish population is 13.3 million Jews. Jewish population growth worldwide is close to zero percent.

Official estimates of the worldwide Bahá’í population come from the Bahá’í World Centre, which claims “more than five million Bahá’ís” as early as 1991

Non-Abrahamic monotheists

Hinduism has 900 million followers, 14% of the world population

September 22nd, 2012, 4:29 pm


zoo said:

“Anti-Bashar” Michael Weiss lashes out at Islam and the OIC

Guilt and the ‘Innocence of Muslims’

Michael Weiss

The real kingmaker of international scandal, however, was the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which held a summit in Mecca in early December. The same semi-fabricated dossier was circulated, resulting in a communiqué by the OIC that recommended the criminalization of “defamation to Islam and its values” and condemned the use of “freedom of expression as a pretext to defame religions”

Of course, the real losers in this crisis are the people of Syria who must now really wonder if there isn’t a global conspiracy afoot in the service of Bashar al-Assad. Even as MiG fighter jets pounded Damascus, international attention was fixed everywhere else but on the one country where at 23,000 have been killed in the last year and a half. Residents of the city Kafranbel, where mordant wit appears to be the main export, openly mocked the hypocrisy of the clerics who are more outwardly incensed about an anti-Muslim YouTube video than they are about the pulverization of Muslims.

Those fretting about America’s standing in the region ought to appreciate that behind almost every Muslim rage row lies a cynical opportunist with an agenda.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:36 pm


WARREN said:

Anti-Islam film: Pakistan minister offers bounty

A Pakistani government minister has offered a $100,000 (£61,616) reward for the death of the maker of an anti-Islam film produced in the US.

Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said he would pay the reward for the “sacred duty” out of his own pocket.

A government spokesman condemned the remarks and said it was considering taking action against Mr Bilour.

The comments came a day after at least 20 people died in clashes between anti-film protesters and Pakistani police.

Friday’s violence occurred in cities throughout Pakistan, with Karachi and Peshawar among the worst hit.

“I will pay whoever kills the makers of this video $100,000,” the minister said. “If someone else makes other similar blasphemous material in the future, I will also pay his killers $100,000.

“I call upon these countries and say: Yes, freedom of expression is there, but you should make laws regarding people insulting our Prophet. And if you don’t, then the future will be extremely dangerous.”



Uzair as you are a Paki and a rabid radical Islamist you will no doubt be seeking this bounty!

September 22nd, 2012, 4:38 pm


zoo said:

35. Tara

When is Angelina Jolie going to visit some Palestinians camps?
She seems to prefer visiting only USA-Israel friendly countries.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:39 pm


Citizen said:

NATO, Saudis prevent dialog in Syria: Webster Tarpley

French magazine’s anti-Islam cartoons with George Galloway (I)

September 22nd, 2012, 4:40 pm


zoo said:

Jihad in Syria : (Hijacking the revolution)

Executive Summary

This report examines the presence of jihadist groups within Syria, explains where various Syrian rebel groups and foreign elements operating in Syria fall along the spectrum of religious ideology, and considers their aggregate effect upon the Islamification of the Syrian opposition.

The Syrian conflict began as a secular revolt against autocracy. Yet as the conflict protracts, a radical Islamist dynamic has emerged within the opposition. There is a small but growing jihadist presence inside Syria, and this presence within the opposition galvanizes Assad’s support base and complicates U.S. involvement in the conflict.

Internally, Assad has used the threat of jihadists within the opposition to build support for the regime among the Alawite and Christian communities. It has also served to discourage middle and upper class Sunnis from joining the opposition. Externally, Russian and Iranian leadership have consistently pointed to the presence of radical Islamists as a critical rationale for their support of the Assad regime.

Compared to uprisings in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia, the opposition in Syria faces a much greater threat of jihadist infiltration. Many jihadi elements now operating in Syria are already familiar with the terrain, having been sponsored by the Assad regime for over three decades. These jihadi elements turned against their former regime allies in 2011 and are now cooperating with local jihadists.

Moderate political Islam is not incompatible with democratic governance. However, ultraconservative Sunni Islamists, known as Salafists, envision a new world order modeled on early Islam that poses a significant threat to both democracy and the notion of statehood. Salafi-jihadists are those who commit to violent means to bring about the Salafi vision.

It is difficult to distinguish between moderate Islamists and Salafi-jihadists in the context of the Syrian civil war. Assad’s security solution transformed the largely peaceful uprising into an open civil war, and now even political Islamists and Syrian nationalists are engaged in violent means. Additionally, the mainstream use of jihadi iconography by non-Salafist rebel groups distorts perceptions about their ideologies and end-goals. It is significant to draw the distinction in order to understand which Islamist opposition groups are willing to work within a state system.

The vast majority of Syrians opposing the regime are local revolutionaries still fighting against autocracy; while they are not Islamists, in the sense that their political visions do not depend upon Islamic principles, they espouse varying degrees of personal religious fervor. There are also moderate Islamists operating within the Syrian opposition, including those who comprise rebel groups like Suquor al-Sham and the Umma Brigade, who are typified by a commitment to political Islam that is compatible with democracy.

On the more extreme end of the spectrum are groups like Ahrar al-Sham, which is comprised of conservative Islamist, and often Salafist, member units. Ahrar al-Sham’s leadership espouses a political Islamist ideology, though it is clear that the group has attracted more radical and extreme elements of the opposition including many Salafi-jihadists. The brigade also has notable ties to Syria’s indigenous jihadist organization, Jabhat Nusra.

Al-Qaeda’s direct involvement in Syria has been exaggerated in the media. However, small al-Qaeda affiliated networks are operating in the country, including elements of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, Fatah al-Islam and Jordanian Salafi-jihadists. Rather than sending large numbers of operatives, these networks are providing operational support, including trainers and bomb makers, in order to capitalize on the instability in Syria and expand their influence in the region.

Jabhat Nusra, Syria’s homegrown Salafi-jihadist group, has important links to al-Qaeda affiliates and demonstrates a higher level of effectiveness than many other rebel groups. Jabhat Nusra has demonstrated sensitivity to popular perception and they are gaining support within Syria. The emergence of indigenous Salafi-jihadist groups such as Jabhat Nusra is far more dangerous to the long-term stability of the Syrian state than foreign jihadist groups because it represents a metamorphosis of a Salafi-jihadist ideology into a domestic platform that is able to achieve popular resonance.

The U.S. cannot afford to support groups that will endanger Syria’s future stability. However, if the U.S. chooses to limit its contact with Islamist groups altogether, it may alienate a majority of the opposition. Identifying the end goals of opposition groups will be the key to determining whether their visions for Syrian governance are compatible with U.S. interests.

The U.S. Government has cited concern over arming jihadists as a reason for limiting support to the Syrian opposition. However, U.S. allies are already providing material support to the Syrian opposition, and competing sources of funding threaten Syria’s future stability by enhancing the influence of more radical elements. The confluence of jihadist interest with that of the Gulf states raises the possibility that these states may leverage jihadists for their own strategic purposes, while simultaneously limiting Western influence.

In order to counter this effect, the U.S. should seek to channel this support in a way that bolsters responsible groups and players while ensuring that Salafi-jihadist organizations such as Jabhat Nusra are unable to hijack the opposition movement. If the U.S. hopes to counter this threat and stem the growing popularity of more radical groups, it must clearly identify secular and moderate Islamist opposition groups and encourage the international community to focus resources in support of those groups alone. Such focused support would increase the influence of moderate opposition groups and undercut the appeal of Salafism in Syria.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:43 pm


Tara said:


Ah..common. Don’t tell me now she is the 4th wife of Aroor.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:44 pm


zoo said:

Morsi denies sending his humanitarian militias to “protect” the Syrians civilians

Egyptian fighters join Free Syrian Army

By Mohamed Abdu Hassanein

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – “I want to travel to Syria for jihad…is there anybody to help me do this?” “I am prepared to travel to Syria for jihad to stand with the revolutionaries…how can I do this?” These are just two examples of dozens of messages written on the official Facebook page of Egypt’s “al-Gamaa al-Islamiya”. More and more Egyptian activists are requesting further information on how to join up the fight against Bashar al-Assad in Syria, following reports that dozens of Egyptian fighters travelled to the country for jihad. This is something that has reportedly taken place in coordination with Islamist jihadist groups, including Egypt’s “al-Gamaa al-Islamiya”.
For his part, official Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Dr. Mohamed Ghazlan denied that the Brotherhood had sent any fighters to Syria, confirming that “the Brotherhood have no participation with the fighters in Syria, although we support the [Syrian] people’s revolution there.”

September 22nd, 2012, 4:50 pm


zoo said:

#47 Tara

I doubt he would be interested by her, he is far too old.
He has much better local choices among his numerous nubile fans.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:52 pm


Tara said:


Syrians men are attractive to much younger women? I guess I’d take that as a compliment attesting to Syrians’ attractiveness in general.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:58 pm


zoo said:

Bushra al-Assad – the sister of the Syrian President and widow of General Assef Shawkat – has been residing in the UAE for the past 10 days along with her five children,


Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat – A well-informed source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Bushra al-Assad – the sister of the Syrian President and widow of General Assef Shawkat – has been residing in the UAE for the past 10 days. The source indicated that she is present in the country along with her five children, whilst there has been no official clarification from UAE authorities whether she is present in the country or not.

According to information obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, Bushra al-Assad – who is a pharmacist – and her five children have temporarily relocated to the UAE, where she used to live with her husband
The newspaper also pointed out that some expect Bushra al-Assad to issue political statements [from the UAE], and that she will try to play a political role at the domestic and regional level by giving interviews, issuing comments and holding press conferences in support of the al-Assad regime. Addiyar claimed that Bushra al-Assad would seek to adhere to and promote the stances of her late husband Assef Shawkat, who died in the bombing of the National Security headquarters in Damascus a few months ago, along with several key security figures in the Syrian regime.

An informed Syrian source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, categorically denied that Bushra al-Assad has defected from the regime, stating there was no need for her to do so. The source reiterated that the sole reason she was relocating to the UAE was to enroll her children at a school so that they do not miss out on the school year.

This is not the first time that reports have spread claiming that Bushra al-Assad has “defected” from Syria. Despite the absence of any official comment on this news, several opposition sources have confirmed that Bushra al-Assad has left Syria and settled in the UAE, specifically in Abu Dhabi, where she has enrolled her children at a French school.

September 22nd, 2012, 4:58 pm


zoo said:

50. Tara

Al men, especially in the age range of A’rour , are attracted to much younger women, as you did not know.
This is not an Syrian exclusivity…

September 22nd, 2012, 5:01 pm


zoo said:

Egypt’s “democracy” is ruled without a parliament

Egypt court postpones ruling to reinstate country’s parliament


Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court has postponed its ruling on whether the country’s dissolved parliament can be reinstated. The court will reconvene on October 15th. The High Constitutional Court had earlier ruled that the elections law that voted-in members of parliament to the lower house of parliament was unconstitutional. The assembly was consequently dissolved by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Days after president Mohamed Morsi was sworn in, he attempted to reinstate the assembly, but his order was found to be legally flawed.

September 22nd, 2012, 5:11 pm


Tara said:


And also lots of women are attracted to much older men, as you did not know. It works out well..

So if Aroor attracts them, why not? He is entitled to four.

September 22nd, 2012, 5:12 pm


zoo said:

A very sound idea to be followed by other countries…

Iran to unplug from Web to escape West’s ‘Internet monopoly’


The Internet should not be in the hands of one or two specific countries,” Iran’s FARS news agency quoted him as saying at a conference at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University. Taqipour explained his argument by citing how the Internet has become an indispensable element of economic, security and social policy.

The decision to switch to an internal network is believed to have been caused by a series of hacking attempts and cyber attacks against Iran. Iranian nuclear facilities were reportedly attacked by a musical virus in July, turning on lab computers at night and blasting AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck.’

September 22nd, 2012, 5:16 pm


zoo said:

#55 Tara

Maybe Angelina Jolie, like many A’rour female followers, find him sexually attractive but she should have met him 15 years ago. Now she is as old as his first wife, so she presents no interest at all to him, even if she tries hard.
Will Angelina Jolie wear a full hijab and stop driving her Maserati for the beautiful beard of A’rour? Would you?

September 22nd, 2012, 5:21 pm


Tara said:


“will Angelina Jolie…would you?”

In all certainty. When you love someone you love someone. I would do anything for my guy.

September 22nd, 2012, 5:33 pm


zoo said:

Morsi to lecture Obama at his first visit as an Egyptian president


On the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.

September 22nd, 2012, 6:27 pm


zoo said:

58. Tara

Funny, you didn’t think so about Asma Al Assad loyalty to her husband.. Two standards?

September 22nd, 2012, 6:29 pm


Tara said:

On a second thought, it may be the regime in cahoots with the NCB kidnapped those 5 after approving their visit to China to give them legitimacy in the eyes of the Syrian people…

September 22nd, 2012, 6:42 pm


Tara said:


Not at all. It is one thing to give yourself in its entirety to someone and a whole another thing to tolerate and support murders.

September 22nd, 2012, 6:47 pm


Uzair8 said:

43. Warren

I’m British born and bred.

I’ll play along if you want. Yes I’m ‘Paki’ and proud. Only a NaPak(i) (impure) would have a problem with Paki (purity).

I’m a rabid Islamist? Where did you get that impression? You need to read the forum more closely.

Regarding the story. I came across this story earlier. It’s unlikely anyone will take this politicians offer seriously. Sorry you’ll have to do your own research to know why.

Kind regards

September 22nd, 2012, 6:49 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

38. Mina said:

“Do you see Afghanistan and Lebanon into mini-states? They have had plenty of warlords in the last 30 years but business is flourishing.”

Yes, I do. Lebanon and poor old Afghanistan are mini-states. Business is indeed flourishing but that has nothing to do with the fact that neither has a properly-functioning central government. Business has to do with making money and working deals here and there to get the goods out and the money in.

As for Lebanon, there are parts of Lebanon where a government officer dare not go. There are parts of Lebanon where a Shia would go at his peril. There are parts of Lebanon where an Alawi would go at his peril. This is not a country. This is an aggregation of ethnic and/or sectarian enclaves. Fact: the last time there was a proper census in Lebanon was in 1932 when the French ran the show. If you tried to count the Lebanese today, you would be shot and dismembered.

And as for Afghanistan, most of the money coming into that “country” is from the drug trade. Afghanistan has been a train wreck ever since the Buddhists left town.

September 22nd, 2012, 7:27 pm


Tara said:

Iran Universities Ban Women From 77 Fields Of Study
Huffington Post UK


Women are to be excluded from 77 BA and BSc courses at 36 Iranian universities in the coming year.
The ban was first reported by Iran’s semi-official Mehr News Agency, and will see women excluded from studying in the fields of engineering, accounting, education, counselling, the restoration of monuments and chemistry.
On the back of this news, the country’s Oil Industry University announced that “at the moment it did not have any need for women resources.”

September 22nd, 2012, 7:40 pm


Tara said:

As per “Behind the News” program aired by al Jazeera:

The ratio of female to male university  graduates are 3 to 2.  This resulted in fierce competition and lower chance for Iranian female university grads to find a qualified university grad husbands.  The mullahs, concerned about the alarming trend of non- married Iranian women,  and to encourage more marriages banned women from pursuing 77 specialities.

September 22nd, 2012, 8:03 pm


Tara said:


The picture that made Waleed al Moualem cries. Enjoy!

الصورة التي أبكت .. وزير الخارجية 


September 22nd, 2012, 8:10 pm


Tara said:

Hassan Nasrallah exposed:

September 22nd, 2012, 8:37 pm


Tara said:

Syria Conflict: Children Scarred By Fighting

In the Islahiye camp in Turkey, the communal toilets are plastered with Arabic graffiti declaring them “the house of Assad”. The children in the camp gleefully point it out to visitors – and explain the insult to the Syrian dictator.

One of them is Essam Shadikli, a 10-year-old from Aleppo. He and his brothers – 11-year-old Mohammed, and three-year-old Abdulrahman – share a tent in Islahiye. They arrived a month ago, after their parents were killed in an ambush that the boys say was carried out by regime soldiers.
The boys – who are now being cared for by friends and relatives – described how their mother was killed immediately by a shot to the head, as Abdulrahman sat in her lap. Their father was taken to a hospital, where he died the next day.

Three-year-old Abdulrahman has a steel rod in his leg
The newly orphaned boys claim they were then instructed to lie about who had killed their parents.  “The government soldiers told us we had to say that it was terrorists who attacked us, and not them,” said Essam.

He and Mohammad both have deep scars caused by shrapnel wounds. But Abdulrahman – who cries easily when not being held by a relative or neighbour – suffered the worst injuries. His leg is still in a cast after the bone was shattered in the attack.  “We play with him and he forgets what happened,” said Essam. “He knows that our parents are in heaven.”

Asked what caused the fighting in Syria, Essam thought for a few seconds and then said he didn’t know. “But we want revenge against Bashar for our mother and father.”

September 22nd, 2012, 9:39 pm


Syrian said:

51. ZOO said:
“Bushra al-Assad – the sister of the Syrian President and widow of General Assef Shawkat – has been residing in the UAE for the past 10 days along with her five children,”
And enjoying the all money she stole with her family,while the foot soldiers here spending their time defending them and on the filed dying for them
بعدما ترددت أنباء عن انتقال بشرى حافظ الأسد وعائلتها من سوريا الى دبي، عقب مقتل زوجها العماد آصف شوكت، شوهد ابنها باسل، أمام أحد منتجعات دبي، وهو ينتظر وصول سيارته ( لومبرغيني).

باسل آصف شوكت، في الصورة الخاصة بـ”يقال.نت”، وهو يرتدي القميص الرمادي.

September 22nd, 2012, 9:48 pm


ann said:

Syrian forces repossess southern Damascus – Sep 22, 2012


Syrian forces have crushed rebel resistance in southern Damascus.

The operation lasted almost a week and cost the rebels more than 150 lives. Hundreds of rebels have been detained. According to government sources, these prisoners include a number of mercenaries from other Muslim countries.



September 22nd, 2012, 10:18 pm


Ghufran said:

قال رئيس “مجلس الأعمال السوري المصري”، خلدون الموقع، إن “مجموعة من رجال الأعمال السوريين، بدؤوا الخطوات الفعلية لضخ استثمارات جديدة في السوق المصري خلال الأيام القادمة، تتجاوز 500 مليون دولار (37.5 مليار ليرة سورية) في مجالات الغزل والنسيج والملابس الجاهزة والخيوط والأقمشة في العديد من المدن الصناعية المصرية”.
وأوضح الموقع، بحسب صحيفة “العالم اليوم” المصرية، أنه “نتيجة للوضع المتأزم في سورية حاليا، أعلن عدد من رجال الأعمال السوريين وأغلبهم من الصناعيين، الذين وفدوا إلى مصر مؤخرا وهم من مدينة حلب التي تعتبر عاصمة الصناعة في سورية عن نيتهم في إقامة منشآت صناعية في مصر”.

September 22nd, 2012, 10:40 pm


Ghiufran said:

أعلنت السلطات الليبية مساء السبت أنها قررت حل جميع المليشيات والمعسكرات غير المنضوية تحت سلطة الدولة، وذلك غداة تمرد سكان بنغازي شرقي البلاد على هذه المليشيات.
وقال رئيس المؤتمر الوطني العام محمد المقريف -وهو يتلو بيانا في بنغازي- إنه “تقرر حل كافة الكتائب والمعسكرات التي لا تنضوي تحت شرعية الدولة”.

September 22nd, 2012, 10:46 pm


Gihufran said:

يقوم غالبية المصريين بجمع معونات مالية وإنسانية لإرسالها إلى سوريا، ويرى آخرون ضرورة الذهاب إلى الأراضي السورية للقتال، غير أن داعية إسلامي بارز اقترح نُصرة القضية السورية بطريقة أخرى هي الزواج.
وقال الداعية الإسلامي الشيخ خالد عبد الله، على حساب منسوب له بموقع التواصل الاجتماعي (تويتر) إنه قرر “الزواج من سوريتين نصرة لقضيتهما”.
وأضاف عبد الله “قررت بعد سؤالي لشيوخنا الأفاضل حفظهم الله أن أتزوج سوريتين (اثنتين) نصرة لقضية سوريا”، داعياً الشباب المصري إلى الزواج من السوريات اللاتي وفدن إلى مصر بسبب الأوضاع المتردية في سوريا، قائلاً “انصروا إخوانكم السوريين وتزوجوا السوريات اللاجئات نصرة للقضية السورية”.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:05 pm


Ghufran said:

يقوم غالبية المصريين بجمع معونات مالية وإنسانية لإرسالها إلى سوريا، ويرى آخرون ضرورة الذهاب إلى الأراضي السورية للقتال، غير أن داعية إسلامي بارز اقترح نُصرة القضية السورية بطريقة أخرى هي الزواج.
وقال الداعية الإسلامي الشيخ خالد عبد الله، على حساب منسوب له بموقع التواصل الاجتماعي (تويتر) إنه قرر “الزواج من سوريتين نصرة لقضيتهما”.
وأضاف عبد الله “قررت بعد سؤالي لشيوخنا الأفاضل حفظهم الله أن أتزوج سوريتين (اثنتين) نصرة لقضية سوريا”، داعياً الشباب المصري إلى الزواج من السوريات اللاتي وفدن إلى مصر بسبب الأوضاع المتردية في سوريا، قائلاً “انصروا إخوانكم السوريين وتزوجوا السوريات اللاجئات نصرة للقضية السورية”.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:07 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

68 Tara

“Hassan Nasrallah exposed”

Great video, but I really doubt the part about Nasrallah’s sister being a lesbian and living in New Zealand.

September 22nd, 2012, 11:21 pm


ann said:

Obama’s Shaky Libya Narrative – September 22, 2012


Ten days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House’s official story about the incident appears to be falling apart.

In the days following the killing of the U.S. ambassador and two ex-Navy SEALs, President Obama and top State Department officials portrayed the attack as a spontaneous reaction to an Internet video depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad as a lascivious brute. The protests, White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week, were “in response to a video—a film—that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting.”

Now there is mounting evidence that the White House’s initial portrayal of the attacks as a mere outgrowth of protest was incorrect—or, at the very least, incomplete. The administration’s story itself has recently begun to shift, with Matthew Olsen, the director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, telling Congress on Wednesday that the attackers may have had links to al Qaeda and Carney characterizing the incident as a “terrorist attack.” (Hillary Clinton announced on Thursday that she was putting together a panel to look into the incident.)

But other indications that the White House’s early narrative was faulty are also beginning to emerge.



September 22nd, 2012, 11:26 pm


ann said:

Violence continues in Syria, opposition fails to overcome differences – 2012-09-23

• Violence and clashes continued Saturday in several hotspots across Syria.
• Syria’s government troops carried out several operations in the battered city of Aleppo Saturday.
• Syrian opposition has failed again to put its differences aside in order to unite.


DAMASCUS, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) — Violence and clashes continued Saturday in several hotspots across Syria between government troops and armed opposition militias, at a time the Syrian opposition has failed again to pull itself together and announced Saturday the indefinite postponement of the long-awaited National Conference for Rescuing Syria due to disagreements among different opposition parties.

Syria’s state-run SANA news agency said government troops carried out several operations in the battered city of Aleppo in northern Syria on Saturday, adding that heavy toll had been inflicted on the armed opposition fighters, which the government- run media refers to as “terrorists.”

SANA said the army undertook two qualitative operations against “terrorists” near Dar al-Shafaa and al-Bayan Hospital at al-Shaar area in the city of Aleppo, inflicting hefty losses upon them.

It said the forces also destroyed 40 cars equipped with DSHK machineguns and killed all the “terrorists” inside them on al- Atareb-Oroum al-Soughra highway in Aleppo, adding that scores of armed militias had also been killed in an army operation at Bustan al-Basha area in the same restive city.

SANA also reported army operations in the central province of Homs and elsewhere on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Syrian military source denied news circulated earlier in the day that a warplane was downed by rebels at al- Atareb area in Aleppo, noting that the media outlets that disseminated such reports are “partners in shedding the Syrian blood,” according to pro-government media reports.

As violence drags on unabatedly, the Syrian opposition has failed again to put its differences aside in order to unite in the face of President Bashar al-Assad’s administration.

A total of 28 Syrian opposition groups and parties announced Saturday the indefinite postponement of the long-awaited National Conference for Rescuing Syria, which was originally slated for Sept. 23.

A statement issued on Saturday by 28 opposition groups at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus said the conference has been delayed “to avoid any step that might lead to strengthening the division of the national opposition and prolonging the Syrian crisis and its high costs on our people and homeland.”

The National Conference for Rescuing Syria was called for by the oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB) and more other 20 opposition parties and groups.

Barwin Ibrahim, an opposition figure, said during the press conference that one of the main reasons behind the postponement is some differences between various opposition parties and the NCB regarding the vision and basics put forward by the NCB.

She said the NCB declared that it is against the militarization of the crisis while at the same time recognizes the rebels’ Free Syrian Army.

Barwin also criticized the NCB for blaming only the Syrian government army for the violence in Syria without assigning blame on the armed rebels and the parties that are committing terrorism in the country.

“If the Syrian troops went back to their barracks, will the National Coordination Body be able to stop the Free Syrian Army?” Barwin questioned.



September 23rd, 2012, 12:04 am


zoo said:

WikiLeaks: America’s Shia Tools ( operatives) in Lebanon

By: Sabah Ayoub
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012

The US government has never attempted to hide its “peaceful” efforts to neutralize Hezbollah in Lebanon. There was more or less an official declaration circulated by the US embassy in Beirut through its many channels, prompting devotees and volunteers from all over the country to answer its call to action.
This assault would be carried out by Lebanese Shia figures who would tarnish Hezbollah’s image and create political alternatives to the resistance movement within the Shia community.

It did not take long for the US embassy to find people willing to do their bidding. Several Shia clerics and politicians went on to found a group that they dubbed the Independent Shias. They soon believed their own delusions, began their work, and cashed in on it.

Selling themselves as “independents” and “moderates,” these Shia “civil society activists,” clerics and politicians then shuttled back and forth between Washington and Awkar, to receive their instructions before they were deployed to the South, the Bekaa and Beirut to carry out them out.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:14 am


zoo said:

Enraged and frustrated “Friends of Syria” plot other ways to isolate the Syrian government. They threaten banks and financial institutions of retaliation if they don’t boycott Syria.


SCHEVENINGEN, Netherlands — A coalition including the United States, the European Union and the Arab League met Thursday to plot new ways of isolating the regime of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, and a Syrian opposition leader warned that sanctions alone won’t bring the regime down.

The group called Friends of the Syrian People was set up in February after the U.N. Security Council was unable to reach agreement on a resolution condemning Syria’s government, due to opposition from Russia and China.

On Thursday, financial experts joined representatives of the group at their meeting in a coastal suburb of The Hague, Netherlands, to help member countries understand how Syria may be relying on dual-use technologies and front companies to get around the existing sanctions, which include an embargo on oil and arms. Twelve more countries have joined the 60-member coalition, committing also to block Syrian financial transactions and to enforce a travel ban on the country’s top leaders.
In a closing statement, the Friends of Syria coalition called on banks and companies to adhere to the sanctions, even if their government is not a member, or risk damage to their reputation and jeopardize their relations with the rest of the business world.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:20 am


Syrian said:

سالم العلي- يقال.نت
“الإغتراب الشيعي: قصة مجد يُنهيها “حزب الله

طالما شكل الإغتراب الشيعي ، علامة فارقة منذ بدايات القرن الماضي ، من أفريقيا الى دول أميركا اللاتينية و الولايات المتحدة الاميركية ، و من ثم الى دول خليج العربي إبتداء من سبعينيات القرن الماضي ، فلم يعد إقتصاد أهل الجنوب قائماً على زراعة التبغ و التعيين في دور المعلمين ، كما كان الحال عليه سابقاً ؛ فقد ترجم الإغتراب الشيعي الكثير من قصص النجاح ، حتى باتت قرى بكاملها تعيش في أفريقيا و استراليا و ميشيغين في الولايات المتحدة الاميركية في بلاد الإغتراب .

من بلدة جويا الجنوبية ، إلى دير انطار ، يارون ، بنت جبيل ، و عيناتا و شقرا و حاريص و تبنين و النبطية ، إلى صور و قضائها و حناويه و معروب و برج رحال و وادي جيلو ؛ تتزاحم القصور التي بناها هؤلاء المغتربين ، و تفننوا بتلبيسها بالحجر الصخري و أفخر أنواع الرخام.

لم تنل الاعتداءات الاسرائيلية المتكررة المجد الذي بناه هؤلاء المغتربون ، و لا قصورهم ، إلا أنهم في المرحلة الحالية يشعرون بحرارة النيران الصديقة التي تلاحقهم في الإغتراب.

و بدأت معالم الخطر على الإغتراب الشيعي بالظهور الى العلن منذ فضيحة سقوط طائرة كوتونو التي استشهد على متنها اكثر من 87 لبنانياً من المغتربين ، و التي تبين إن تسييرها على خط بنين – بيروت إقترفته ايدي محلية لنقل شحنات الاموال و الالماس ؛ و من دون أن ننسى الملابسات التي أثيرت حول سقوط الطائرة الأثيوبية.

وتبين أن بعض القوى المحلية ، أغرتها قصص النجاح فهاجرت باحثة عن الذهب و محاولة تصدير اسلوب المربعات الامنية الى المغتربين ، الامر الذي ادى الى انتشار الــتــقــاريــر عــن كون الاغتراب الشيعي احـــد اهم مصادر تمويل حزب الله ذي المنظومة العسكرية والمالية المؤسساتية الضخمة ، و من ثم تحولوا الــى اهــداف امنية لكل جهاز مخابراتي اراد تحييد ساحاته عن تأثيرات الصراع الاميركي الايراني.

كما نمى الــهــاجــس مــن تــنــامــي ترعرع الجهاز الامــنــي التابع لحزب الله في البيئات الشيعية الاغترابية .

كل ذلك ، نتج عنه إضفاء صفة الحزب المذكور على كافة المغتربين الشيعة ، وفي كافة بلاد الإغتراب ، من أفريقيا ، الى اوروبا ، الى الولايات المتحدة الاميركية و دول أميركا اللاتينية و الخليج العربي و حتى مصر ، مع ما حملته هذه الصفة من صفات “الارهاب” ، و ” تبييض الاموال ” ، و ” نشر التشيع ” ، و ” تصدير الثورة الايرانية” ، و ” قلب انظمة الحكم” ….

من دون أن ننسى ، الأثر المتمثل بإحجام العديد من الدول عن إعطاء تأشيرات لمواطنين شيعة مع ما يعنيه ذلك الى إجهاض اي مشروع مغترب شيعي .

و للأسف لم تكن هواجس تلك البلدان نابعة من فراغ ، او من “مؤامرة” ، بل مستندة إلى تصرفات غير محسوبة العواقب من بعض الجهات ، و للأسف ايضا عملت تلك البلدان الى تطبيق سياسة العقاب الجماعي بحق الشيعة ، دون تمييز او تدقيق في اختلاف إنتماءاتهم في مدى حيادهم عن سياسة المحاور ، و للأسف لم تلق تلك النتائج الكارثية على الإغتراب الشيعي اي محاولة للتدارك و رفع الضرر من قبل الجهات المتسببة ، بل عملت على تفاقمها أقله أخيراً من خلال التهديد بخطف الرعايا الخليجيين .

و في ظل غياب وزارة الخارجية و المغتربين و إحجامها عن القيام بدورها في الحفاظ على هؤلاء اللبنانيين و حماية مصالحهم يكون لزاماً على المجتمع و على وسائل الاعلام و على هؤلاء المغتربين أنفسهم ، العمل على حمل قضيتهم حيث يجب ، للنأي بأنفسهم عن صراعات و محاور و سياسات لاحقتهم الى مغترباتهم ، و تأكيد احترامهم لسيادة الدول التي هاجروا اليها و خضوعهم لقوانينها.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:33 am


Observer said:

Dr. Landis I did read the report in its entirety.

Is this in your opinion an accurate estimate of the situation?

In analyzing the press that is pro regime in and outside of Syria, I discern I think a “salvage the situation” on the part of Russia and Iran and to a lesser extent China.

I also note that the actors on the ground in helping the rebels remain Qatar and Turkey with a bewildered KSA as it does not know where to turn as it fears an arc of MB in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria which will strengthen a different version than that of Wahabism.

I also now have an understanding of the situation on the ground, it is clear that the regime cannot rely but on the Allawi troops and militia and that ethnic cleansing is occurring without a possibility of establishing an actual mini state just areas that can be defended.

It is also clear that the state has collapsed in its ability to terrorize and to infiltrate and to intimidate and to divide and to co-opt and to corrupt its way into power.

Paying salaries and internet access not withstanding I do think that these are due first to the need to stop the ranks of the opposition from swelling and to continue to pay the milita and in the second it is a private business after all and they need the internet to remain connected with their banks and off shore front companies.

NCB members and the interview of HM to Sky News tells me that these people have seen too many movies and have drunk the cool aid too many times.

Those that cry conspiracy of the West against Syria should read this analysis and realize that the country has no strategic interest to anyone in particular today.

It is poor and failed and backward and ruled by thugs.

Spillover my foot for Lebanon is a bucket of garbage that every power pours its detritus into and find willing Lebanese to oblige and Iraq is another milita ruled sectarian divided oil producer now a shadow of its poor self to begin with.

Turkey will have an ally in Syria and will have an ally in Iraqi Kurds whose leaders are very interested in remaining autonomous and are not willing to share the oil wealth with their Kurdish brothers in Turkey.

So Turkey is bidding its time and so far has managed the situation to its full benefit
keeping itself at the helm without being put in front of the cannon.


You are delusional if you think that the regime is in control of anything. If it is it should have ended this “conspiracy” a long time ago.

September 23rd, 2012, 1:08 am


Amjad of Arabia said:

“Thanks for posting these long expected revealing numbers
They rather shows clearly that the majority of Syrians still support the regime, to the displeasure of many SC commenters..”

It’s very revealing to see the menhebakjis latching on to this one number, and their rather bizarre interpretation of it. The poll proves that this isn’t a war against Alawites, and that the people involved in it would be happy to vote for any qualified candidate, no matter what his or sect her. Such forbearance and tolerance is unheard of, especially considering the strictly ethnic, religious and tribal lines the Lebanese and Iraqis have in the past voted along.

The very diverse range of opinions among those polled is also interesting. If it was a poll of menhebakjis, you’d have found the traditional 99.99999999% agreement on all issues favorable to the regime. It’s not Bashar the person the menhebakjis are rallying around, it’s the symbol of the regime. Were it not for a car accident 19 years ago, it would have been Basil’s picture they would be waving and kissing. Give the menhebakjis a donkey from the Assad family, and they will wave its picture and scream its name. “Allah, Souriya, Ehmaar el Assad wa bas!!”

September 23rd, 2012, 2:31 am


Mina said:

79 Zoo
And it just happens that in complete serendipity, it is precisely in Scheveningen that the Tribunal for Hariri’s murder is located!
They are running out of new proofs?

September 23rd, 2012, 3:02 am


Tara said:


The footage of the shabeeha thugs setting the man on fire after he refused to say La Ilaha ill’a Bashar is hunting me and taking my sleep away. I wish Bashar and his criminal junta the same fate. I do not know how you guys on SC who support Bashar can sleep at night..

September 23rd, 2012, 3:25 am


annie said:

68. Tara

Hassan Nasrallah exposed:

A horrendous video. The man being buried alive for his faith! He will live forever in our memories and respect.

see here http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria

To day in Brussels, Place Flagey at 16:00-18:00 demo for a free Syria.

Last week-end was a Syrian week-end with films and human chain : http://anniebannie.net/2012/09/17/un-week-end-syrien/

September 23rd, 2012, 3:34 am




Trying to reason with mentally-handicapped bigots is a complete waste of your precious time.

September 23rd, 2012, 3:50 am


Citizen said:

Faced with a sharp and militant backlash to its on-going counter-revolutionary offensive in the Muslim world, Washington is demanding that its ‘new’ Muslim clients increase “security” – strengthen the police state and crack down on mass protest movements[10]. Washington is once again on the defensive.

The shifting relations of power, between popular movements and the US-EU, have once again become more acute.

In the first phase, Washington and its EU allies were caught by surprise and severely challenged by the mass pro-democracy movements which overthrew or threatened their client rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere – what was dubbed the “Arab Spring”.

The second phase was the Western reaction to countermand, to halt and reverse the popular pro-democracy movement, via alliances with malleable Islamic leaders ( Egypt , Tunisia and Yemen ) and by launching and escalating armed struggles via Islamic extremists in Libya and Syria . They also buttressed the despotic royal regimes in the Gulf.

Barely a few months later the neo-colonial clients, imposed by the US and EU, revealed its fragile foundations: The fraudulent “transitions” produced servile, rulers incapable and unwilling to address the socio-economic demands of the pro-democracy movements.

The third phase of the struggle now pits a more complex scenario than the earlier “binary conflict” of dictatorship versus democracy. Today we witness conflicts between neo-liberal Islamists in power against secular and Muslim trade unionists and the poor fundamentalist Muslims fighting for the US (Syria) and against the US (Libya) while secular (Syria) and Islamist (Iran) regimes joining forces facing Western-backed Islamist mercenaries and nuclear-armed Jewish threats. Whether it is Pakistan , Somalia or the Sudan – wherever the US has gained client states it has imposed war policies that impoverish the masses.

The Islamic terrain of struggles for both the imperial powers and the popular masses reflects the discrediting and decimation of secular rulers and popular civil society organizations. The religious institutions have become the refuge, the cloak and the war cry of the dispossessed and the property classes.

A careful study of the two decades of US and EU wars in the Muslim world, finds little evidence of “corporate” oil influence in the conduct of imperial wars. Instead they are essentially imperial military wars. What we see everywhere is the large scale destruction of the means of production; the massive dis-accumulation of capital; the massive displacement of millions of productive workers, scientists and engineers who produce wealth. What investors are going to make large scale, long term investments in Afghanistan , Yemen , Somalia , Syria and Libya when their property and lives are in danger from bands of warring ethno-religious warlords armed and trained by US Special Forces?

Big investors do not confide in the stability of corrupt, servile, unpopular client regimes buttressed by the US and EU. Investors count ten lost years in Iraq at a cost of billions in oil profits. The US was not at war for oil as some benighted leftist pundits claim.

Military imperialism has led to ruin and rule followed by ruin and run. The only, and obvious beneficiary of the Western wars on the Muslim countries, is the Jewish state of Israel , whose billionaire political influentials and political acolytes in the Pentagon, Treasury, National Security Council, Congress and the US mass media designed and promoted these disastrous wars against the Muslim world. Most recently they have promoted the US counter-attack, turning the ‘Arab Spring’ into a ‘Muslim Summer of Discontent’.

There is and there will be no closure on the wars as long as Israel claims supremacy in the Arab world. The US , is and will be, in permanent war with the Muslim world as long as its foreign policy and political structures are influenced by the Israeli-Zionist power configuration.

No empire prior to the US has sustained such huge financial losses and gained so little in economic rewards. No previous empire has destroyed so many countries without establishing a single viable productive colonial or neo-colonial regime .Yet to read and hear from our most prominent journalists that the massive, widespread and violent Muslim protests against the symbols and substance of US imperial power are about an “amateur film defaming the prophet” boggles the mind. The pundits ignore the fact that mass unrest and anti-imperial assaults preceded and will follow the ‘film’ incident. A decade of savaging a dozen countries and dislocating tens of millions from Libya to Pakistan , passing through Somalia , Syria , Iraq , Pakistan and Yemen has left an indelible mark on the consciousness of those who suffered and those who struggle and especially among the new generation of pro-democracy fighters who will not accept the roll back of their Arab Spring.

The world-wide protest is not merely opposed to “the film” and the mediocre anti-Muslim reactionaries who produced it, but of the entire political and cultural Islamophobic ambience in the US which nurtures this kind of film. Beginning with the massive round-up of thousands of innocent Muslims by uber-Zionist Michael Chertoff, head of Homeland Security, continuing with the FBI surveillance and infiltration of hundreds of mosques and following the Zionist sponsored rabble rousing campaign in New York City against a cultural center and the purge of a highly respected Arab-American educator; and the rabid weekly anti-Moslem Christian-Zionist rants to 40 million US followers; and the AIPAC-promoted US Treasury appointments, and subsequent sanctions against independent Muslim countries, Muslims have a solid bases for believing that Islamophobia is embedded in US culture. No thoughtful Muslim in the world believes the film was an aberration since Hollywood ’s pro-Israel film and TV moguls have always demonized and grotesquely caricatured Muslims, portraying them as blood-thirsty villains, ignorant barbarians and worthless playboy sheiks.

Obama’s sending of the Marines and warships to defend the missions merely reinforces the image and reality that the US presence in the Muslim world is based on force and arms. There are no critical reflections in US political circles on the larger cultural and political issues involved at home and abroad which arouse the passion and rage now spreading to 20 Muslim nations and beyond.

Islamophobia is not simply an attitude of a minority of marginal extremists, it is part and parcel of policies engaging in large scale on-going wars against a dozen Muslim nations, in policing millions of US Muslims and in arming a Jewish state engaged in uprooting Palestinians and threatening to bomb 75 million Iranian Muslims.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:44 am


mjabali said:


“Turkey will have an ally in Syria and will have an ally in Iraqi Kurds whose leaders are very interested in remaining autonomous and are not willing to share the oil wealth with their Kurdish brothers in Turkey.

So Turkey is bidding its time and so far has managed the situation to its full benefit
keeping itself at the helm without being put in front of the cannon.”

Wrong. This statement quoted above has no connection to reality. It is the wishes of the writer of what should happen.

First and foremost: Turkey is in trouble. If you do not see that you need to “observe” more. The list of possibilities of trouble for Turkey is large. There is a war in the East with the Kurds, and this war is not going to cool off anytime soon especially with the weakening of al-Assad and the growing power and wealth of those Kurds wanting independence from Turkey.

Turkey most likely will never ally itself with the Kurds, because the Kurds are not interested to begin with. why? it would be a situation similar to the situation between Turkey and Iran. No friendship but wars or possibility of wars here and there. Anyone who says that Turkey may ally itself with Iraqi Kurds is naive politically or does not observe the realities on the ground.

The Kurds want the unification of all the Kurds sooner or later, something if happened is going to take a big chunk of current day Turkey.

So to say that Turkey is interested into a good relationships with the current rulers of Iraqi Kurdistan is throwing dust into the eyes of rationality, and rational political analysis for many reasons, I don’t want to bore you people with.

As for sharing the oil wealth with the Turkish Kurds: wait till they unify and the oil wealth would be the wealth of the Kurdish State. Or wait till this oil wealth is shared with the Turkish Kurds in the form of weapons.

September 23rd, 2012, 7:18 am


Halabi said:

GCC media in Arraqah – how long will the Assad regime cede control of this region? How long will menhebaks be in denial that their criminal government and genocidal fantasy can’t deliver the security and stability they claim to desire?


September 23rd, 2012, 7:54 am


Tara said:

Bravo ya Morsi.  Excellent intelligent answers.  Waiting for a Syrian Morsi..

Egypt’s New Leader Spells Out Terms for U.S.-Arab Ties


CAIRO — On the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.
And he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.

“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators.
“We can never condone this kind of violence, but we need to deal with the situation wisely,” he said, noting that the embassy employees were never in danger.

“If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment,” he said. “When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.”

He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mr. Mubarak either.

“Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region,” he said, by backing dictatorial governments over popular opposition and supporting Israel over the Palestinians.
“The president of the Arab Republic of Egypt is the commander of the armed forces, full stop. Egypt now is a real civil state. It is not theocratic, it is not military. It is democratic, free, constitutional, lawful and modern.”

He added, “We are behaving according to the Egyptian people’s choice and will, nothing else — is it clear?”

But he also argued that Americans “have a special responsibility” for the Palestinians because the United States had signed the 1978 Camp David accord. The agreement called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank and Gaza to make way for full Palestinian self-rule.

“As long as peace and justice are not fulfilled for the Palestinians, then the treaty remains unfulfilled,” he said.
He made no apologies for his roots in the Brotherhood, the insular religious revival group that was Mr. Mubarak’s main opposition and now dominates Egyptian politics.

“I grew up with the Muslim Brotherhood,” he said. “I learned my principles in the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned how to love my country with the Muslim Brotherhood. I learned politics with the Brotherhood. I was a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

He left the group when he took office but remains a member of its political party. But he said he sees “absolutely no conflict” between his loyalty to the Brotherhood and his vows to govern on behalf of all, including members of the Christian minority or those with more secular views.

“I prove my independence by taking the correct acts for my country,” he said. “If I see something good from the Muslim Brotherhood, I will take it. If I see something better in the Wafd” — Egypt’s oldest liberal party — “I will take it.”

He repeatedly vowed to uphold equal citizenship rights of all Egyptians, regardless of religion, sex or class. But he stood by the religious arguments he once made as a Brotherhood leader that neither a woman nor a Christian would be a suitable president.
“I will not prevent a woman from being nominated as a candidate for the presidential campaign,” he said. “This is not in the Constitution. This is not in the law. But if you want to ask me if I will vote for her or not, that is something else, that is different.”

He was also eager to reminisce about his taste of American culture as a graduate student at the University of Southern California. “Go, Trojans!” …

But he also displayed some ambivalence. He effused about his admiration for American work habits, punctuality and time management. But when an interpreter said that Mr. Morsi had “learned a lot” in the United States, he quickly interjected a qualifier in English: “Scientifically!”

He was troubled by the gangs and street of violence of Los Angeles, he said, and dismayed by the West’s looser sexual mores, mentioning couples living together out of wedlock and what he called “naked restaurants,” like Hooters.

“I don’t admire that,” he said. “But that is the society. They are living their way.”

September 23rd, 2012, 8:53 am


Observer said:


Why was Maliki apoplectic when the Turks visited Iraqi Kurdistan?

Why are investments and money flowing into Iraqi Kurdistan from Turkey?

Once the regime falls, Turkey is ready to reap big.

Syrian children in the camps are learning Turkish, this will make a new wave of future business and cultural ties.

My question to Dr. Landis and to others on this blog:

What do you think of the strategy of the MB as well as the playbook that was used by the regime to try to portray the revolt as sectarian and to crush it with force?

Do you think that the MB is the best organized and most Machiavellic of the opposition? Or are they as stupid as the regime acting by a playbook without regard to reality on the ground?

Thank you Dr. Landis for your insight

September 23rd, 2012, 8:59 am


Citizen said:

Spy rock explodes near secret Iranian nuclear compound – report

Iranian troops patrolling the perimeter of a secret uranium enrichment site have reportedly found a monitoring device disguised as a rock. The spy gadget exploded when disturbed, probably on a self-destruct trigger.
The incident happened last month, although no link to espionage operations was known before The Sunday Times newspaper broke the news. At the time Iranian Revolutionary Guards were checking terminals connecting communication links at Fordo, an underground site near Qom in northern Iran, the British newspaper reported Sunday citing intelligence sources.
Iranian experts who examined the scene after the explosion believe that the spy device was capable in intercepting data from computers at the plant.

haha British super brilliant madness
British rock did spy on Russia

September 23rd, 2012, 9:01 am


Citizen said:

Dawson, Controlled media propaganda on Syria, and pentagon waste
corporate-media strikes again more of the same lie upon lie upon lie.

September 23rd, 2012, 9:24 am


habib said:

Salafist “heroes” attempting to massacre Alawite villagers: http://youtu.be/0jszK816D1Q

September 23rd, 2012, 9:41 am


Mina said:

So-called “friends” of Syria meeting at the Hariri tribunal? Not exactly an anonymous suburb of the Hague!

September 23rd, 2012, 9:41 am


zoo said:

Hashish traffic, smugglers and Turkish soldiers corruption hampers Syrian refugees safe moves to overloaded Turkish refugee camps


In the evening, at the edge of the Syrian camp in the olive grove, the smugglers turned off the lights on their motorbikes and quietly drifted to a stop into the fields, their clients mounted on back.

Suddenly, a cadre of Free Syrian Army fighters rolled up and demanded to know who was who. The fighters explained they were trying to control the hash traffickers, who they felt were taking advantage of the border chaos — prompting the Turkish government to tighten security and, in turn, making it harder for refugees to cross.

A young smuggler wearing skinny jeans, a philosophy major in college, from a good family in Atmeh, led a group through the fence as searchlights from Turkish patrols leapt across the fields.

Asked the secret of his success as a smuggler, the philosopher said, “Run fast.”

September 23rd, 2012, 9:48 am


Mina said:


Syrian opposition figures meet in Damascus
AP , Sunday 23 Sep 2012

Syrian opposition figures are holding a rare meeting in Damascus for talks during which they called for the overthrow of the Syrian regime.

Some 16 opposition parties are taking part in the conference headed by the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria — a Syria-based opposition group.

The rare opposition gathering in a regime-held city was to discuss peaceful ways to end Syria’s raging civil war and help unite the fragmented opposition.

Sunday’s meeting at a hotel in the capital was held under tight security and was attended by ambassadors of Russia and Iran, two allies of embattled President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The Syrian opposition suffers acute divisions between the largely exiled opposition and those based inside the country. The two differ on means to topple Assad.

September 23rd, 2012, 9:54 am


zoo said:

#95 Mina

The “Friends of Syria” meeting in Nederland was chaired by Uri Rosenthal, the ‘impartial’ Dutch foreign minister

“Uri Rosenthal, a son of Holocaust survivors and married to an Israeli, stresses that his Jewish background and Israeli link don’t affect his decisions.”


A premiere at this not much publicized “Friends of Syria” meeting that was originally announced to be held in New-York:

The SNC did NOT ask for recognition of being THE sole Syrian opposition representative.

While supposedly “70%” of the country is in ruins, the SNC only declared south of Damascus as a ‘disaster area’:
The new buzz word to call for military intervention in an area where the armed rebels are being systematically kicked out.

September 23rd, 2012, 10:01 am


zoo said:

Rebels Announce Move of Headquarters From Turkey to ‘Liberated’ Syria Territory


“The problem is that it gives the Syrian Air Force a target,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria analyst at the University of Oklahoma. “We have to see whether this is a credible headquarters or just a mobile camp that gives them a P.O. box in Syria.”

Though parts of Syria are outside government control, the air force bombs at will. That could restrict the F.S.A. leaders’ movements in northern Syria, whether to funnel arms or to enforce unified goals and standards.

“ ‘Liberated territory’ is areas where the regime cannot reassert itself even with air power,” said Andrew J. Tabler, who follows the conflict at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “I’m not sure there is much territory like that at the moment.”

September 23rd, 2012, 10:07 am


zoo said:

In Libya, the ‘illegal’ militias that were under the Ministry of Defense control and acting as police are apparently relocating and going underground.


23 September 2012 Last updated at 07:14 ET

One powerful militia in eastern Libya, the Abu Slim Brigade, has already announced it will disband and leave its bases in Derna, a town east of Benghazi.

Another militia, Ansar al-Sharia, which denies attacking the US consulate, is also reported to be leaving Derna.

Ansar al-Sharia was driven out of its headquarters in Benghazi over the weekend in unrest which left at least 11 people dead.

However, the militants left with their weapons.

September 23rd, 2012, 10:17 am


Antoine said:

90. TARA said ;

“Waiting for a Syrian Morsi”


Hafez al Assad killed them all between 1979 and 1982.

September 23rd, 2012, 10:42 am


Uzair8 said:

✩ Syrian Commando ✩ ‏@syriancommando
Terrorist #FSA reportedly has 10 units of T62 and T72, will attack #Aleppo countryside area with them. They are hiding them for now. #Syria



Could this be related to the defection in Aleppo of 90 officers along with tanks posted by Annie the other day and thus gives us an idea of how many tanks they defected with?

Normally I would regard this kind of news as possible disinformation with the regime about to carry out the said activity and the propagandists getting the blame in first (blaming the rebels).

September 23rd, 2012, 10:57 am


Antoine said:

Uzair, what is funny about the tweet is that it says FSA with Tanks will attack Aleppo countryside. What need is there for FSA to attack an area that they firmly control ?

Although it has been established that the FSA operates scores of tanks and armoured vehicles, mainly captured from the regime.

I think the incompetent Assad is somehow trying to press an attack on FSA controlled Aleppo countryside wuith some elite Tank units, so as to raise the morale in his Forces which has plummetted terribly in the last 1 month due to the lack of any significant victory on the ground.

They will fail just like they failed with other such previous Tank attacks, FSA has expereince in destroying Tanks in the countryside.

September 23rd, 2012, 11:07 am


Tara said:


Did not particularly mean a leader with MB background. I meant an elected leader who represents all Syrians .

September 23rd, 2012, 11:09 am


Antoine said:

“91. OBSERVER said:

My question to Dr. Landis and to others on this blog:

What do you think of the strategy of the MB as well as the playbook that was used by the regime to try to portray the revolt as sectarian and to crush it with force?

Do you think that the MB is the best organized and most Machiavellic of the opposition? Or are they as stupid as the regime acting by a playbook without regard to reality on the ground? ”


OBSERVER, there is a huge difference between this MB we are talking about, and the MB we knew back in the from the 1960s till the early 1980s. This MB totally lacks conviction, determination, or a clear vision. These MBs are mostly remnants of the “Civilian” current of the MB established in the 1970s by Issam al-Attar ( brother of VP Najah al-Attar) to distance themselves from the Taliae Muqatila of Aleppo and Hama. The current Syrian MB are mainly non-Qutbists or anti-Qutbists who made compromises with their ideology in the 1980s by allying and befriending Saddam. If you remember, Bayanouni and others (current grey-hared MB leaders) were based in Iraq after the Hama massacre from where they joined together in an opposition coalition with Michel Aflaq organized under the eyes of Saddam.

So no, no real MB would take this MB seriously, because they simply do not have any ideology. Even the Egyptian MB I know, today and back in the day, never took these Syrian MBs seriously.

The real Muslim Brotherhood will always remain the Brotherhood of Sayyid Qutb and the vanguards of al-Taliea al-Muqatilah.

The current Syrian MB does not even believe in the Syrian Revolution, if we are to closely look at the last 18 months, they have tried to sabotage the FSA and LCC efforts again and again by using the SNC. They reduced the SNC to a moribund talking-shop. When Baba Amr was being shelled these guys took 15 days to even take notice. The MB is actually a negative force when it comes to helping or arming the FSA’s war effort.

That said, the MB’s orginal aims and ideology, still has many supporters inside Syria.

I hope you will reply to my comment because I have “observed” previously that you have repeatedly ignored several of my comments directed at you.

September 23rd, 2012, 11:21 am


Antoine said:

TARA don’t you think ZOO will be pretty much like this guy once he falls into FSA hands ?

September 23rd, 2012, 11:31 am


Tara said:


No Antoine. I think Zoo is far better looking.

September 23rd, 2012, 11:37 am


ann said:

Syrian opposition supports dialogue – Sep 23, 2012


The mainstream Syrian opposition believes a national dialogue involving the government is the only way to save Syria from destruction.

Delegates from 23 parties and movements spoke about this at a national conference in Damascus on Sunday.

The speakers included Russian Ambassador Azamat Kulmuhametov. He urged the government and the rebels to hold fire and start a political peace process.

Opposision holds conference on Syria in Damascus

The National Conference for Rescuing Syria has kicked off in Damascus on Sunday on the initiative of the Syrian Oppositional National Coordination Body (NCB). About 15 oppositional parties and 8 civil society movements are taking part in the conference.

The conference is also attended by the ambassadors from Russia, China, Iran and a number of Arab countries, which maintain diplomatic missions in Syria.

In his speech the Russian ambassador in Syria Azamat Kulmukhamedov noted that the main goal for today is immediate cease fire by the conflicting parties and conversion of the standoff into a peaceful political discussion.



September 23rd, 2012, 11:41 am


mjabali said:


“Why was Maliki apoplectic when the Turks visited Iraqi Kurdistan?

Why are investments and money flowing into Iraqi Kurdistan from Turkey?

Once the regime falls, Turkey is ready to reap big.

Syrian children in the camps are learning Turkish, this will make a new wave of future business and cultural ties. ”

When the Turks visited Iraqi Kurdistan al-Maliki went “apoplectic,” according to you. Why not? The Turks are bypassing him, so political rationality would make him get angry. Let me remind you that his position is titled: the prime minister of Iraq. If he is that or not is beyond the point. The political rationale makes him angry, “apoplectic” to use what you “observed.” What type of “assessment” you have going here when terming al-Maliki’s reaction “apoplectic?”

If the Turks visited Kurdish areas, it did not mean that the Turks were their to cement good relations with the Iraqi Kurds. May be they were visiting there to lure them, threaten them, buy them…possibilities are many.

Turkey sends its troops across Iraqi Kurdistan’s borders daily. What about these violent visits by the Turkish officials? What about the regular visits of Turkish airplanes bombing targets in Iraqi Kurdistan?

As for when the Assad government collapse, one of the main things the Turks will reap is a new independent part under Kurdish control. This part has oil, water and food, so the Turks are up for a tough fight. The Iraqi Kurds are going to help the Syrian Kurds right away caring less about the visits of any Turkish official.

As for the Syrian kids learning Turkish, I say why doesn’t the Syrian kids teach the Turks some Arabic, the language the Turks fought and hate, so the Turks could read their own history?

September 23rd, 2012, 11:42 am


zoo said:

Freedom of expression? The love life of young Libyans


Dating is especially difficult to navigate. As in much of the rest of the Muslim world, it often involves clandestine meetings and underground raves—all the while risking raids by police. Officially there are no nightclubs in Libya; there is no legal alcohol. Meeting someone of the opposite sex is complicated; it often consists of trawling a friend’s Facebook page, then asking for a phone number. Cellphone conversation and texting can lead to a choreographed “accidental” meeting at the souk or fast-food restaurant with other friends. Some of the more daring among Tripoli’s middle class may even get an hour or so alone with the object of their desire in a borrowed apartment. But this entails extraordinary risks and often months of planning.

For the boys it is easier; Libya is a man’s world. They face fewer restrictions such as evening curfews or household chores. For the girls life is harder; it often involves conflict with families, who find their foreign-raised relatives at best strange—they want to work—and at worst bordering on scandalous when they decline to wear the hijab or are determined to go out with girlfriends for coffee in the evenings.

September 23rd, 2012, 11:51 am


Antoine said:

“94. HABIB said:

Salafist “heroes” attempting to massacre Alawite villagers: http://youtu.be/0jszK816D1Q


What happened to all the brave tough mountain warriors, why did they abandon their village and flee ?

September 23rd, 2012, 11:57 am


zoo said:

#109 Mjabali

Furthermore, by establishing excellent relations with Iraqi Kurdistan, Turkey has inadvertedly established a precedent.
If Turkish Kurdistan become autonomous, Kurds would expect Central Turkey to establish the same friendly relation with them as with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Thus Turkey has encouraged indirectly Turkish Kurds to thrive for an autonomy similar to Iraqi Kurdistan.
As Turkey’s foreign policy is geared essentially toward economical gains, it tends to overlook its long term political impact

September 23rd, 2012, 12:01 pm


ann said:

Another Russian news team following the Syrian Army in Damascus


September 23rd, 2012, 12:05 pm


zoo said:

Syrian opposition figures meet in Damascus


The scenario outlined by the participants is similar to a six-point peace plan proposed by former international peace envoy to Syria Kofi Annan. This ended with his resignation from the post last month after his cease-fire failed to take hold.

Rajaa al-Nasser, a member of the NCB, said Damascus authorities have permitted all Syrian political figures to attend the conference “without restrictions.”

However, the NCB has said two of its senior leaders disappeared after returning to Damascus International Airport from a trip to China on Thursday, along with a friend who was to pick them up. It has blamed the regime for the disappearance.

The state-run news agency SANA quoted the Interior Ministry as saying “terrorist groups” kidnapped the three.

The Russian ambassador in Damascus seized on the conference, calling it a “direct implementation of the process of reforms launched by the Syrian government, including the freedom of expression.”

September 23rd, 2012, 12:06 pm


Antoine said:

Looks like the Syrian Arab Army nowadays exists only in Damascus.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:23 pm


Antoine said:

The Sunni Turkmen of Lattakia have taken a smart decision in going on the offensive in ethnic cleansing rather than waiting to be cleansed by the Assadists. Ofcourse they are helped by the fact that the Turkmen villages are located startegically in high mountains.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:25 pm


ann said:

True Arab hero of Syria meets his end (subs) *vol warning*

The scenario is that the man with the mic singing is a Syrian Arab Army ‘defector’ who has been captured and defected to the side of the Jihadist.

The group are all together prior to an attack, the captured SAA soldier has agreed to conduct a suicide attack and they are singing to boost resolve before the attack.. its explained in the video what happens next..


September 23rd, 2012, 12:29 pm


ann said:

US Supported Free Syrian Terrorist Army Threatens Christians with Severe Punishment

The terrorists of the “Free Syrian Army”, who are currently being armed by the USA, have issued a warning to Christians in Lebanon. It seems that they are not only concerned with “freedom and democracy” in Syria (code word for Sharia Law and Islamic Caliphate) but have set their eyes on Lebanon. And they seem to have an agenda for Christians that support General Michelle Aoun, who represent more than %75 of the Lebanese Christians.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:43 pm


Citizen said:

Soldier Who Taught ‘Total War’ Against Islam Threatens to Sue Top Military Officer
The Army officer who once taught that the U.S. ought to consider “Hiroshima tactics” for a “total war” on Islam has put America’s top general on notice for a possible lawsuit. Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley is accusing the government of concealing “the truth about Islam” at a time when proponents of his view of an inevitable clash between Islam and the West have succeeded at fanning precisely those flames.

On Thursday, attorneys for Dooley told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey that Dooley is considering “a potential civil action,” said Marine Col. David Lapan, a spokesman for Dempsey. The written notice does not indicate that they’ve actually filed a lawsuit against Dempsey.

But Dooley’s lawyers, who have defended one of the most prominent anti-Islam voices in the United States, aren’t just flirting with legal action against the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. They’re launching a PR strike as well. A press release announcing that Dooley has retained them accuses Dempsey of compromising “the final bastion of America’s defense against Islamic jihad and sharia, the Pentagon” to “the enemy.” And it’s language that comes as Americans worry about Islamic radicals targeting U.S. embassies in the Middle East.

As Danger Room first reported in April, Dempsey shut down an elective course Dooley taught at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia, which is under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The course instructed senior officers at the lieutenant colonel, commander, colonel and Navy captain level that “there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,’” and that wartime protections against civilians of Islamic countries were “no longer relevant.”…..

September 23rd, 2012, 12:47 pm


ann said:

Who are these “Syrian Rebels”? Should the West help them? Really? Look again….

Overwhelming evidence has been provided to show that the Free Syrian Army and the rebels fighting with them are nothing but the Syrian chapter of Al Qaeda. The West must know this and they still provide them with weapons to overthrow a secular government. What is happening with our world?

September 23rd, 2012, 12:49 pm


Citizen said:

Michel Aoun
A key Lebanese Christian ally of the Shiite Hezbollah movement, Michel Aoun, said he was targeted by an assassination attempt Saturday night after local media reported his convoy came under fire.

“In my lifetime, I have been the target of three assassination attempts,” the former army chief said on live television, after returning from a political tour of south Lebanon.

“This was the fourth and it failed,” he added.

September 23rd, 2012, 12:57 pm


ann said:

Why Are the “Free Syrian Army” NATO Death Squads Moving Their Headquarters?

September 23rd, 2012, 1:02 pm


ann said:

Tarpley: Syrian National Council “SNC” Crumbles as Assad Warns Again Against Foreign Meddling

September 23rd, 2012, 1:06 pm


ann said:

NATO, Saudis prevent dialog in Syria: Webster Tarpley

September 23rd, 2012, 1:17 pm


Tara said:

I do not trust the NCB. It appears that they are playing the Syrian people and that the kidnapping is nothing more than an act by the regime to give them legitimacy.

September 23rd, 2012, 1:23 pm


Citizen said:

انطلقت في العاصمة السورية دمشق فعاليات مؤتمر الانقاذ الوطني، الذي دعت إليه هيئة التنسيق الوطنية المعارضة، بحضور عشرين حزباً وتياراً معارضاً وبمشاركة سفراء روسيا والصين ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي وعدد من الدول العربية.

September 23rd, 2012, 1:26 pm


ann said:

Turkey, vehicle for Western aggression against Syria: Analyst [VIDEO] – Sep 23, 2012

Turkey has deployed military units along its border with Syria where the Syrian Army is engaged in intense fighting with insurgents as tensions escalate in the region


September 23rd, 2012, 1:38 pm


ann said:

Blast kills 1 person in central Syrian capital – 2012-09-24


DAMASCUS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — At least one person was killed when an explosive device went off on Sunday evening at the Beirut street in the heart of the Syrian capital of Damascus, witnesses and media reports said.

The blast site is close to the high-end Four Seasons Hotel in Damascus.

No details from official media have been disclosed yet, but the Lebanese NBN TV said that two people were also injured in the bombing.

The blast occurred while the Syrian opposition is currently holding a conference for rescuing Syria.



September 23rd, 2012, 2:05 pm


Mina said:

The statement they publish is strong and pretty good.
مراسل “روسيا اليوم”: مقتل شخص وجرح آخر في انفجار قرب مقر انعقاد مؤتمر الإنقاذ الوطني بدمشق

September 23rd, 2012, 2:06 pm


Uzair8 said:

Syrian opposition remains fractured and weak

Until they get organised, more blood will flow

Published 22 September 2012

On Thursday, a conference was organised by the LSE Middle East Centre to assess the Syrian revolution 18 months on. It focused on the revolution from inside the regime, looked at the Syrian opposition, and explored the identity and impact of the revolution on the economy and society. The conference raised many issues: Brigadier General Akil Hashem and activist Suheir Atassi called for foreign intervention while others like journalist Stephen Starr and Dr Thomas Pierret offered more nuanced narratives. The conference deliberately skirted around the thorny issue of sectarianism and the Kurdish question.

Read more:


September 23rd, 2012, 2:10 pm


ann said:

“FSA” terrorist Goes To Paradise After Clash with the Syrian Army – Sep-22-2012


September 23rd, 2012, 2:25 pm


Bruno said:

Seems like the User Saledin in here is now stalking and targeting me because and due to my opposition against the Revolution in Sryia.


“Not targeting. Just so you bragging. You brought it on yourself.”

Saledin i will not tolerate such actions either from you or your FSA Buddies understand me?

This is not the first time that a FSA supporter did something like this.

Other supporters have turned insults and now internet stalking.

As for this article the FSA are the Foreign fighter and have been since last year just in July of this year Al jazeera Accidentally Admitted it in a phone interview with a Islamist commander.

“”This is my urgent message to all Mujahideen from all brigades to join their brothers the Mujahideen of Damascus who are defending the revolution. Those willing to join have to go … through safe routes to Damascus. It is the moment of truth. It is the Damascus fight for salvation. It is either life, dignity and freedom or martyrdom and paradise.”

Commander of Al-Emary Brigades, Captian Quais Quatana’s statement for all Syrian Mujahideen”

I believe thats further proof on what the FSA true goals are, and they are recreate the scene of Egypt in Sryia.

September 23rd, 2012, 3:41 pm


Syrian said:

1. GHUFRAN said:

“I am surprised that Joshua even bothered to bring this clown back to life, abboudeh’s babbling is not even funny.”
This guy was 6 years ahead of the Syrian revlution,he had no reason to be an oppisitoinest
Born into luxury and world of conctions,he could’ve very easily made a very comfortable life for himself,this guy should get more respect than many, including you ,who the only time SC posted anything for you was from nytimes article that porf.Landis thought was yours.

September 23rd, 2012, 4:50 pm


Citizen said:

Four killed in clashes between Kurdish militants and Turkish soldiers
One soldier and three Kurdish militants were killed during overnight clashes in Tunceli, Turkey. The fighting occurred when two separate groups of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) attacked two Turkish military outposts. Turkey’s prime minister has accused neighboring Syria of arming the rebels. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the US, Turkey, and the EU. Confrontations involving the group have escalated in recent weeks.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:06 pm


zoo said:

First US slap to Morsi, are more coming?
Obama does wish to be lectured by an Egyptian President, even a Moslem Brotherhood one.

July 09 2012 10:56 AM

“The White House has invited Egypt’s recently elected president Muhammad Morsi to visit the U.S. in September, as the Obama administration’s latest overture to Egypt’s newly empowered Islamists.”


Sept 23 2012

The White House has REJECTED Morsi’s request to meet Obama.

“Morsi will be stateside to attend the UN General Assembly, but won’t be stopping by the White House, reports the AP. Apparently, we had quite a chilly response to Morsi’s request for audience with President Obama.”
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/340551/mohammed-morsi-says-egypt-and-us-could-be-real-friends-but/#aqDdGlG9Iykc5i41.99

September 23rd, 2012, 5:20 pm


irritated said:

#131 Uzair8

“Until they get organised, more blood will flow..”.

I hope it is theirs and none will be left to get organized.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:24 pm


Ghufran said:

There are thousands of Syrians who opposed albaath and Assad regime since the 1960s, many went to jail,some died in jail , many were not poor and some were alawites, including few from Al-Qirdaha. I respect people’s right to speak even if they display ignorance or foolishness in the process, if Assad and his thugs accepted this basic right we may not be at the verge of a collapsed state today, however, I am not ready to give abdulhameed titles he does not deserve, he is free to talk and we are free to give our opinion about him and his likes. Syria has two problems now ,not to put them both at the same level, the regime and its pre packaged preowned opposition.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:30 pm


Ghufran said:

Egypt’s Supreme Administrative Court on Sunday ruled that members of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s dissolved party can stand in future parliamentary elections.
The court found that any Egyptian citizen should not be deprived of political rights, “including the right to run in legislative bodies,” as long as that person meets the candidacy requirements, judicial sources said.
The ruling allows members of Mubarak’s former ruling and now disbanded National Democratic Party to be candidates in future parliamentary elections.
Comment: that is a step in the right directions. Look at what debathification and desaddamization did to Iraq. You can not be democratic and exclusionary at the same time, there are thousand of state employees in Syria who are talented and qualified who had to accept jobs offered by the state , that does not make them enemies of the revolution or reduce their syrianhood.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:40 pm


annie said:


Video of a street theatre piece played to day in Brussels

134. Syrian
I agree with you. Ammar had guts; I was in Damascus at the time and he was being persecuted by the mukhabarat. Later I did not agree with his testifying in the US (was it at the Senate ?) but he deserves respect. Plus his report is extremely interesting.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:46 pm


zoo said:

After having been rebuffed by Obama who refused to meet him in the USA, is Morsi trying to be smart or he is totally confused?

Morsi: Iran ‘vital’ to ending Syrian crisis


Egyptian president emphsises Tehran’s ties to Damascus, as rebel commanders move headquarters into Syria for first time.
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2012 17:57
Morsi, who spoke bluntly in support of the Syrian revolution in Tehran three weeks ago, said on Saturday that Iran was “a main player in the region that could have an active and supportive role in solving the Syrian problem”.

Despite Morsi’s remarks at the Non-Aligned Movement summit last month, which were viewed as a stark challenge to Iran’s policy of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Egypt then invited Iran to join its Syria “contact group” of nations aiming to negotiate a solution to the Syrian crisis.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia – like Egypt – both support the Syrian rebels, and are the two other members of the quartet.

“I don’t see the presence of Iran in this quartet as a problem, but is a part of solving the problem,” Morsi said, explaining that Iran’s close proximity to Syria and its strong ties with the government make it “vital” in resolving the crisis. “And we do not have a significant problem with Iran. It is normal like with the rest of the world’s states.”

September 23rd, 2012, 5:47 pm


Tara said:

My heart melts for those non-Syrians fighters.  I had in the past dehumanized them, kind of..thought they were terrorists driven by certain ideology.  I no longer feel this way.  The vast majority are not looking to establish an Islamic emirate.  The vast majority are people who feel our pain and are willing to sacrifice themselves for the freedom of the Syrian people.  I thank them and hope they return to their family safely.  

“It is obvious the Syrian army is winning this battle, but we don’t tell [the rebels] this. We don’t want to destroy their morale. We say we should hold here for as long as Allah will give us strength and maybe he will make one of these foreign powers come to help Syrians.”


Syria: the foreign fighters joining the war against Bashar al-Assad
Jihadi veterans of Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan join callow foreign idealists on frontline of Aleppo

The Guardian, Sunday 23 September 2012

Hundreds of international fighters have flocked to Syria to join the war against Bashar al-Assad’s government. Some are fresh-faced idealists driven by a romantic notion of revolution or a hatred for the Assads. Others are jihadi veterans of Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan.

To reach the wars in those countries, foreign fighters had to cross borders with forged passports and dodge secret services. The frontline in Syria is easier to reach via a comfortable flight to southern Turkey and a hike across the border.
The disparate levels of fighting ability among the men was immediately clear. The Chechens were older, taller, stronger and wore hiking boots and combat trousers. They carried their weapons with confidence and distanced themselves from the rest, moving around in a tight-knit unit-within-a-unit. One of the Turks was a former soldier who wore western-style webbing and equipment, while the three Tajiks and the Pakistani were evidently poor. Their trousers were too short, their shoes old and torn.
Inside the school was a Jordanian who often roamed the frontline with his Belgian gun, for which he had only 11 bullets. He was a secular and clean-shaven former officer in the Jordanian army who lived in eastern Europe running an import-export business. He had come to Aleppo without telling his wife and children where he was going.

“This is my duty,” he said. “Originally I was from Palestine. I know what this [Syrian] regime did to the Palestinians, shelling the camps in Lebanon, assassinating the commanders. Half of the miseries of our nation are because of Israel and the other half are because of the Syrian regime.

September 23rd, 2012, 5:52 pm


Tara said:

The FSA condemned the “opposition” conference as a sham

Syrian ‘opposition’ conference

The officially approved opposition conference in Damascus (see earlier) has heard calls dialogue as a way of ending the violence, from both the organisers of the meeting and the Russian ambassador.

Reuters quotes Rajaa Nasser, one of the organisers of the Syria Salvation Conference, calling “an immediate halt to the shooting, a halt to the brutal and barbaric shelling, a truce and a pause for the fighters.”

He added that such a truce could “open the way for a political process … which guarantees a radical political change, an end to the current regime and a serious and genuine democracy.

The rebel Free Syrian Army condemned the meeting as a sham.

A spokesman said: “This is not a real opposition in Syria. This opposition is just the other face of the same coin. It is just a silly plot to mislead the international community to think there is a negotiation in place. They cannot be successful in finding an end to the civil war.”

The Guardian

September 23rd, 2012, 6:04 pm


Atassi said:

Extremely good piece by Ammar, I agree to most his thoughts with a basic understanding of te logic behind his conclusion and possible remedies witch me lead to an interim solution. Syria needs agreeable and organized efforts by all sides. An effective solution requires painful concessions by both sides with a ready international effort supported by a UNSC mandate to bring all factions under one roof……

September 23rd, 2012, 6:09 pm


Ghufran said:

Offices of passport and visa control are now ordered to stay open until midnight in Damascus with more than 1,000 passports issued every day.
( those who decided to stay are those who are unable to leave for financial or family reasons, it is depressing to see Syrians becoming refugees by force not by choice).

September 23rd, 2012, 6:14 pm


zoo said:

@90. Tara

Bravo ya Obama, he did not receive the preacher Morsi and what Morsi wanted to tell him is now hot air for local consumption.

It seems that Morsi is turning out to be a mini-Erdogan, lots of flashy declarations and no serious actions. At least Erdogan has a running economy and is not begging from Qatar, KSA, IMF, Iran, EU, USA to pay his civil servants. Will Morsi survive the next election that he is trying to postpone as far as possible?

Waiting for a Syrian Obama.

September 23rd, 2012, 6:18 pm


Observer said:


Thanks for the clarification about the MB and its different colors or hues if you wish.

My question was in follow up to the posting about the status of the opposition in Syrian now.

I do not have a bone in this group but it was struck me that they were better organized than the others while at the same time stuck in irrelevant ideological rhetoric that makes them ineffective politically.


I do not share with you the mentality of a zero sum game. The discourse and argumentation that you have posted and continued to post clearly show a Machinean world view and any conflict as a zero sum game whereby a loss of one is immediately a gain by the other. I presume this is due to the sectarian nature of the thought process itself for to be sectarian is to divide the world view into the one that the sect espouses in contrast to the other whomever the other may be.

Renan clearly showed that nationalism is a mythic view of one’s self and history combined with visceral rejection of the other as foreign and alien therefore the view of either the Turks win or the Kurds lose is just a reflection of that thinking .

I am not sure that Iraqi Kurdish leaders are keen on having their power base diluted by joining with Syrian or Turkish side Kurds. The Syrian Kurds have 20 different parties and bringing them together is like herding cats.

Turkey poured huge investment money into both Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish areas and is trying to bring the PKK into the political process and sapping its base.

I did not know that the Turkish side had oil. The Syrian side may have some oil, not much, and there are Arabs and other tribes as well on that side.

So my estimate is that Turkey is of course worried but working on the problem diligently and with whatever resources it has at this time. I cannot say the same for iraq or for Syria because both are run by dictators who are just afraid of losing power.

Again my argument is just that not a biblical commandement. I may be wrong, but this is my assessment at this time.

Of course, the dear leader in Syria is never wrong and is our leader till eternity.

Go figure

September 23rd, 2012, 6:24 pm


Tara said:


Funny you are saying that! Double standards? You have always hailed Batta and Iran for not being puppets to the US. You have always voiced your concerns of “bringing Syria to its knees” should the revolution succeeds in case it brings on a puppet government, and now facing a proud, non-puppet democratically elected Egyptian president, you are cheering on Obama?

I thought “being proud” is why you supported Batta. Obviously, I thought wrong. Then that begs a question, what is it that you like so much about Bashar?

September 23rd, 2012, 6:32 pm


Son of Damascus said:

The aftermath of a breadline attacked by the Assadi Airforce.


I don’t know if there is anything more cowardly than to attack innocent civilians, especially when the attacker is perched in his plane or helicopter raining death unto the innocent.

September 23rd, 2012, 6:37 pm



It seems Assad has had enough bombing without positive results.

What will come next? Chemical bombings? Or better creating an independent state that includes Al Malki, Abu Rummane, Al Hamra, Al Bahsa and Salahiye? It would be small as The Vatican and Assad would be the God Alive King On Earth.

Assad I do not give a penny for you, Go to Hell, Criminal and stupid. And all those who gave them support from Day 1, thinking that he was superman and would charmingly control the masses, should feel ashamed and fool.

Pfuu aleik ala wajhak ya shakhsh ya wahsh ya hayawan.

September 23rd, 2012, 6:39 pm


zoo said:

#148 Tara

Bashar Al Assad never crawled in front of KSA, Qatar, the USA or Europe to beg for money, quite the contrary.
Syria has been a proud Arab country, and despite the overwhelming billions of oil-dollars assault of KSA and Qatar that are countries in a state of “arrested development”, Syria is still defiant and proud.

You wish a Morsi for Syria?. I rather have a Syrian president with the intelligence, tolerance and coherence of an Obama than a clown like Morsi.

What do you like so much about Morsi? His beard, his arrogance or his flashy and empty talks?

September 23rd, 2012, 7:21 pm


Tara said:


Open this link and tell me how proud Syria is.


We must have two different definition of pride.

September 23rd, 2012, 7:28 pm


Tara said:


Please tell me how is Morsi crawling in front of the US to beg for money? He is defiant and unapologetic. Show me where he begged for money.

September 23rd, 2012, 7:30 pm


Ghufran said:

The piece produced by abdulhameed is a perfect example of too little too late “analysis” which is a form of elegant babbling, every conclusion and opinion in the article was talked about and discussed here on SC.
When we warned about arming rebels and sending jihadists to Syria,many of you called that regime propaganda, now we can only express our sorrow and disappointment about the status of affairs in Syria. Most of you refuse to accept the undeniable link between the presence of armed rebels and the level of destruction in any given spot. Most of you are just discovering that this conflict is more complex than a simple David vs Goliath battle.
The regime was doomed from the beginning,most of the destruction was avoidable and many lives could have saved if althawrajiyyah kept it peaceful and limited the use of arms to genuine self defense, now, the revolution is over and is being replaced by a civil war led by thugs from both sides. The focus is indeed on saving what can be saved, rich Syrians can always take their money and leave,most Syrians can only stand in lines to get bread and natural gas and hope that they will not become the new victims of cross fire or revenge attacks. Forget about the UN, the FSA, the regime,Ibrahimi,etc, the only objective should be to keep people alive and stop looting and kidnapping, if the FSA can do it,they have my support, the thugs are ruling Syria ,people just want the thugs to be less brutal and less greedy.

September 23rd, 2012, 7:36 pm


ann said:

President Obama – Why is the US supporting Al Qaeda in Syria?

Good news report from Fox19 channel about Syria and American support for the Jihadists in Syria.


September 23rd, 2012, 7:56 pm


ann said:

“Free Syrian Army” NATO Death Squads in Aleppo, implementing Qur’anic law


September 23rd, 2012, 8:34 pm


Tara said:

Eyes wide shut, world watches Syria bleed

(Reuters) – Thirty years ago Hafez al-Assad cut phone lines from Hama to stop word spreading of his bloody crackdown on an uprising in the city, ensuring that the 1982 Syrian revolt was crushed and many thousands killed before the world even knew of it.

Three decades on, his son is 18 months into a military campaign waged, despite efforts at censorship, in the glare of a global media spotlight; but Bashar too can rely on Cold War-era divisions among major powers, and a growing sense of impotence and indifference, to shield him from armed foreign intervention.

More than 1,000 people are now being killed in Syria every week, according to activists who collate reports from various sources. Some are rebels, some loyalists; many are civilians.

Instead of stirring ever greater outrage, the remorseless violence seems instead to have numbed an outside world which has no answers to Syria’s nightmare, giving Assad free rein to ratchet up the firepower against opponents who began protesting in the streets and are now fighting an ill-matched civil war.

Air raids by jet-bombers and strafing by helicopter gunships against residential districts have become a daily routine, while reports of hundreds killed in the town of Daraya three weeks ago elicited barely more than token condemnation abroad.
“There has been a surge in government brutality and government-led violence and that hasn’t provoked any reaction


September 23rd, 2012, 8:43 pm


ann said:

Syrian opposition advocates non-violence – Sep 23, 2012

They said violence can only make matters worse, and urged the Free Syrian Army to renounce it as soon as possible.

The mainstream Syrian opposition believes a national dialogue involving the government is the only way to save Syria from destruction.

Delegates from 23 parties and movements spoke about this at a national conference in Damascus on Sunday.

The speakers included Russian Ambassador Azamat Kulmuhametov. He urged the government and the rebels to hold fire and start a political peace process.



September 23rd, 2012, 8:50 pm


Tara said:

And we too, one of those days, will remember Asma’s shoes as a symbol of brutality in a nation where the first lady from hell was shopping for Loubitin’s shoes while her husband was burning the country.


Imelda Marcos’s shoe collection gathers mould after years of neglect
More than 1,000 pairs of shoes owned by the former Philippine first lady have been damaged by storms and termite.

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 23 September 2012 05.14 EDT
After the 1986 revolt, the new president Corazon Aquino had Imelda Marcos’s shoes displayed at the presidential palace as a symbol of the former first lady’s lavish lifestyle. The shoes became a symbol of excess in a nation where many still walked around barefoot in abject poverty.

September 23rd, 2012, 8:53 pm


ann said:

Syria’s opposition parties call for halting violence – 2012-09-24


DAMASCUS, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Around 20 Syrian opposition parties called for halting the violence on Sunday from all parties in Syria as the country’s Prime Minister Wael al-Halki said the Syrian crisis is in its “final stages” due to the “Syrian troops’ sacrifices in confronting terrorism.”

The oppositional National Coordination Body along with 20 other Syrian opposition parties wrapped up the conference for “rescuing Syria” Sunday evening with a number of demands, mainly halting violence form all parties as a prelude for a political transitional period.

The statement’s signatories also called for halting the violence by the regime forces and the armed opposition alike under an international and Arab supervision.

It also called for the immediate release of all political detainees and urged the UN-Arab League joint special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to push for holding an international conference on Syria that would discuss ways to start a transitional period in the unrest-hit country.

Sunday’s conference was marked with the absence of many opposition parties inside Syria, which said they have differences with the National Coordinating Body regarding the nature of the armed rebels and their acts on ground.

A day earlier, a total of 28 opposition parties said their relation with the NCB is marred by the wrangling on the rebels’ tactics and their role in the 19-month crisis in Syria. They said they are against the militarization of the crisis and against the terrorist acts carried out by operative armed opposition on ground.

The 28 parties did not take part in Sunday’s conference.

Russian Ambassador to Syria Azamat Kulmukhametov, who also attended the conference, stressed that “we see that the main goal now is to put an immediate end to the violence in Syria, whether it was from the government or the armed groups.”

He added that another “no less important” goal is “turning the current confrontation between the authorities and the armed opposition to the track of peaceful, political solution.”

The ambassador also stressed the importance of “solving the Syrian crisis by the Syrians themselves away from any foreign intervention, including halting the armament and the harboring of the armed groups that also group foreign mercenaries.”



September 23rd, 2012, 9:04 pm


Ghufran said:

There is no smoking gun yet but It looks like the three kidnapped opposition leaders were arrested by almukhabarat aljawiyyah, this means , if sources are truthful, that they are not dead and should be released soon,however, the immediate result is further damage to anybody who sill think that the regime can be reformed or trusted, without pressure and a credible punishing force,regime security forces will not stop at nothing to intimidate Syrians and humiliate them,this is why,among other reasons, Syrians will not happily give their weapons to almukhabarat thugs,however, those weapons should only be used for self defense not active ambushes against the army. Syrians,if they want to eventually live in peace,must reject and round up foreigners with guns and not allow sheikhs to incite violence and hatred, religion and politics do not mix well.

September 23rd, 2012, 9:49 pm


mjabali said:


I see that you are running from the real topic as usual to tell us about yourself and attack me personally. You lack the tools and knowledge of real political discussion and analysis of the area. Next time I won’t waste your time and mine.

You are trying too hard to dismantle my way of thinking. Sorry dude, I think according to what I learned from the best and not from reading a lunatic like Renan.

Wasn’t Renan the one who said that the Semites has a brain that is not complete. Renan is a famous racist man against the Middle Easterners, and you mr. observer did not “observe” this and instead quoted him trying to refute something in me.

learn real analysis from the real political scientists or sociology professors, or please read the REAL EVENTS on the ground.

I brought you real incidents from the ground and you brought Renan.

You were caught trying to make Turkey rational and the winner of this whole fiasco. You are wrong. Better observe more.
I said Turkey is in trouble with the Kurds putting their hands on a rich part of Syria.

September 23rd, 2012, 9:53 pm


Halabi said:

Less than two weeks into the protests and the Syrian regime, first with Buthaina and then Bashar, said there are foreigners who are responsible for the murders in Daraa. The ambassador to the U.K. said there were foreign fighters from Iraq, Algeria and other countries who killed protesters in Daraa.

Menhebaks called the protesters Islamic extremists, Wahhabis and terrorists from Day One. That’s the history of the rhetoric, yet the sectarian opponents of the revolution want us to ignore facts, ignore reality, and believe a narrative of peaceful phase of the revolution that was acceptable to them but has since morphed into something they can’t follow. The sectarian opponents of the revolution–as well as the ideological ones who see imperialism around every corner (as they hypocritically indulge in all that the West has to offer, wishing death on their neighbors in the West just as they wish death on their fellow countrymen in Syria)–were never going to accept any order in Syria that’s democratic if that means that Muslims can control the government.

Please, keep the lectures and hate coming. And the lies, we need the lies. I heard Riyad Al Asaad had a wonderful time in Bulgaria.

September 23rd, 2012, 10:08 pm


Halabi said:

This is what Assad supporters want. This is the 7asm they salivate over. Warning, this video will make menhebaks laugh and beam with pride, and will make humans sick.


September 23rd, 2012, 10:26 pm


Observer said:


Again no offense meant; but he who ” has a shard under his skin; feels it when stroked”

Again I may be wrong about Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.

On the long run Turkey will win and have increased influence and trade relations with the entire ME.

Iran will see its influence diminish as the Palestinian cause returns to its natural Arab side.

Iran’s double standard approach to the Arab spring has also diminished its role from a religious perspective.

This will be to Turkey’s advantage.

Finally I quoted one of Renan’s ideas and that is the point I wanted to make.

I do not deny you your correct view of the suffering of minorities in the ME and I can understand fully your point of view. After all a good proportion of Syrians have been on the receiving end of the combined Baath and Sectarian policies of the regime for some time.

So my sympathies for your sense of suffering; but this does not absolve from pointing out the sectarian thinking.


September 24th, 2012, 8:24 am


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