Syria Accepts the Annan Plan if the Opposition Remains Quiet and UN Observers Follow Strict Rules

Syria has accepted the Annan plan in principle and claims that its guns will fall quiet tomorrow – Thursday April 12, 2012. It is difficult to see how a truce can hold for long, but one must give Annan his due. He has worked hard to get both Russia and China to back the plan and placed considerable pressure on both sides to go along with his six points, at least on the face of it.

The problem with the plan is that it resolves none of the political demands of the revolutionaries or the Syrian regime. Both sides continue to believe that time is on their side and that they can only win this struggle on the battle field. For this reason the renewal of the conflict would seem to be only a matter of time. But no one has a better plan to avoid Syria’s downward spiral toward greater levels of violence and civil war.

In the following video, Syrian opposition members demonstrate in the heart of Damascus in front of the Four Seasons Hotel. They denounce Assad’s crimes and vow to defeat him.

Clashes between Arab tribes and Kurds in Northern Aleppo
Relation between the two have always been tense but as the regime gets weaker clashes break out.
Written by a Friend in Syria on Syria Comment

In Shak Maksoud and Ashrafia areas north of aleppo city, clashes between kurds (PKK affiliates) and arabs (Bakkara tribe) have erupted for the second time in less than a month. The clashes began when a member of the Bakkara tribe allegedly killed a journalist affiliated with the PKK and the tribe refused to hand him over to the Kurds The Shak Maksoud and Ashrafia areas have a majority Kurd population and a minority arab population (most of them belong to the Bakkara tribe). The PKK has a strong influence among kurds while the Bakkara has strong connections to the regime In the first occasion the clashes started withd light weapons but when the Kurds succeeded in driving the Bakkars out of the area it turned into vandalism. Kurds started burning the houses of the defeated Bakkaras but spared the houses of those who did not fight.

Regime forces didn’t intervene because they didn’t want to take sides (since they have good relations with both sides) but rather tried to reconcile them. The situation is calm now but it could erupt at any moment.

Syria says it will comply with truce deadline – Al-Jazeera English

Damascus agrees to “cease all military fighting” as of Thursday, but reserves right to respond to “terrorist attacks”….

We asked the Brookings Institution’s Daniel Byman, director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Here’s what a blown deadline can mean:

Increased American involvement First off, the authorization for Annan’s U.N. mission in Syria doesn’t talk about specific consequences if Syria doesn’t cooperate but that doesn’t mean there won’t be indirect geopolitical ramifications. One of these is the U.S. playing a greater roll in supporting the Syrian rebels. “We’re almost backing into this,” he said. “Initially it was diplomacy, then a concerted diplomatic campaign and now humanitarian aid. Each step is an escalation.” Already, the U.S. has given the rebels $25 million in humanitarian support, satellite communications equipment and night-vision goggles. “The next step is military aid,” said Byman. “You can see the progression moving here.” The Los Angeles Times has indicated that the implementation of a no-fly zone or “pinpoint airstrikes on Syrian artillery” are both possibilites….

Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said Syria is committed to the peace plan brokered by special envoy Kofi Annan.

“We are fully committed to have a successful mission for Mr. Annan, but at the same time people should know that I can say optimistically that 40% of the keys to solve the crisis is in our hands as government but the other 60% is in the hands of those who are harboring, channeling weapons, instigating in the media, against Syria,” said Makdissi.

Makdissi also said it will take more than Syrian forces to stop the violence, adding the presence of United Nation observers on the ground will be essential to verify the cessation of violence. “If you read thoroughly the plan of Mr. Annan you will find out there will be observers, military unarmed observers sent to Syria these observers will be operating according to a protocol that we are now negotiating with the technical team of Mr. Annan. Those people will be telling you the truth as other observers did before and nobody believed them. We are not afraid of the reality of the Syrian story,” he said. “We want them to be on the ground and see for themselves who is violating this.

GORANI: So you think in a few days, and you’re being optimistic, your own words, that a UN observer team will be on the ground to observe the cessation of violence across Syria?

MAKDASSI: No, Hala, I am very accurate in what I am saying. I am saying that the Syrian team is ready to finalize the protocol that we have already begun negotiating. But it’s not up to us, it’s UN observers. I can’t tell you when they will come. What I can tell you is that they are very essential to monitor any violations.

GORANI: Alright well let me ask you then about what is going on today. This is a few hours before this agreement with the Annan plan that you say will lead to the cessation of military activity at 6am Damascus time on Thursday. We are hearing reports there are tanks in the center of Hamas today. That there has been shelling in Hamas province as well today. Can you confirm that?

MAKDASSI: I can’t verify anything. What I can verify to you Hala, you have to know that my hat is foreign ministry spokesman. What I can tell you is that there is a clear instruction to be on the defensive mode by our  army what I can tell you is even according to the Annan plan…

GORANI: Yes, but in the end it’s the Syrian army, Jihad Makdissi, against opposition, some of whom may be armed, but then you have peaceful demonstrators as well as the shelling of civilian areas. Has that not happened?

MAKDASSI: You are simplifying. You are simplifying the crisis in Syria, Hala.  If you read very well the Annan peace plan you will notice that the cessation of violence by all parties, so not the cessation of violence by the Syrian government, by all parties. That’s why I’m telling you the problem part in the hands of Syria we are committed to solve this part, but the other are in the hands of those people who have for geo-political reasons, for sectarian reasons, for I don’t know which reasons they call on themselves in destabilizing Syria.

National Jrnl: Syria’s Consequences for Blowing Tomorrow’s U.N. Deadline, 2012-04-11

All eyes will be on Syria tomorrow as the country promises to “cease all military fighting throughout Syrian territory as of 6 a.m.” If the pledge is broken, it will be mean the collapse of the United Nations peace plan brokered by special envoy …

U.S. discusses possible buffer zone for Syria, By Elise Labott for CNN

With the Syria deal in jeopardy and questions as to whether Syria will truly cease its military operations, particularly after Syrian troops fired across the border into Turkey, discussions within the Obama administration about creating a Syria-Turkey border “buffer zone” have intensified, State Department officials tell CNN.

“It would be correct to say this idea is getting another look in the last week or so,” one official said about the buffer zone.

WINEP recommendations by Tabler

Third, Washington should immediately expand contingency planning… supporting the creation, with allies such as Turkey, of safe havens inside Syria.

Non-Syrian Islamists have Growing Influence over the Process of Naming the Syrian Revolution’s Fridays

A friend writes: “islamists around the world are now voting (with a large margin) for the name of this Friday in Syria to be “Armies of Islam save Cham”! The naming is an media process that takes place on Facebook that feeds into policy making. It is representative of Syrian wishes. It’s a weekly process that can have devastating results for the revolutionaries of Syria because every week the naming process is being hijacked by Islamists (mostly non Syrians). Here is the Facebook page

With Syria peace plan in disarray, what next?

The failure of President Bashar Assad to abide by the U.N.-backed plan will force the international community to reconsider more aggressive options.

By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times


April 11, 2012,


Der Spiegel: Siemens Allegedly Sold Surveillance Gear to Syria, 2012-04-11

German engineering giant Siemens and a spinoff company allegedly sold surveillance technology to the Syrian regime, according to a German television report. The government could be using the equipment to crack down on opposition supporters, human ..

133 killed as Yemen troops battle Qaeda, Gulf Times – 11 April, 2012

At least 133 people were killed in 48 hours of clashes pitting Yemeni soldiers backed by tribesmen against Al Qaeda militants, officials said yesterday, as the extremists vowed to retake a strategic town.

Iran oil flow to top Asia customers slows as US, Europe tighten curbs, Gulf Times – 11 April, 2012

….China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, is Iran’s largest trading partner and biggest oil client that buys up 20% of Iran’s total crude exports. Iran is China’s No3 supplier after Saudi Arabia and Angola.

Arthur Bowring, managing director of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, said that as more insurers confirm they will soon halt or sharply reduce coverage to tankers operating in Iran, China’s government may need to step in and take the risk to get contracted crude supplies from Tehran.

The EU sanctions on Tehran will close off the European re-insurance market for all tankers carrying Iranian oil anywhere in the world. Reinsurance helps spread the risk when the coverage surpasses what commercial insurers can handle.

Japan and South Korea have lobbied for exemptions to the EU sanctions, but insurance and shipping executives say a complete ban looks likely.

Omen writes in the comment section:

There is something weird going on. i tried to pull up a cnn segment from jan 24th where anderson cooper interviewed former cia agent bob baer. mr. baer said he talks to the syrian faction of Muslim brotherhood frequently. They ask him why the US doesn’t do more to help. Mr. Baer asked in return what the Muslim Brothers planned to do with Bashar Assad? The Syrian Brothers said they would kill him.

But that’s not what the transcript says. (the original video i tried to pull has been “expired” when other videos in a similar timeline are still active.)

Here is the CNN Jan 24 transcript:

BAER: Absolutely. Well, you know, I talk to the Muslim brotherhood a lot. And I ask — and they ask me. They say why doesn’t the United States do something? And I said, they’re worried about the sectarian problems. And I said for instance, what are you going to do about the — and the Syrian brothers say we’re going to kill them. What do you think? And I said, well, what do you expect?

See the dash in the paragraph? Baer asked what are you going to do about “Assad” in the live segment but in the transcript, Bashar’s name got blanked out. I know Baer said Assad and that the brotherhood would “kill him” because i was skeptical of the claim at the time and tweeted about it.

A few days later, in a separate ABC write up, this Baer account of a promised Brotherhood reprisal against a singular figure turns plural:

Baer says the situation in Syria can be illustrated by a conversation he had recently with a Syrian Muslim brother who wanted to know why the U.S. won’t do more to help. Baer told him it was because the U.S. fears a civil war in Syria.

“And he said, ‘Well you know just get rid of the regime and everything will be OK,’ and I said, ‘What are you going to do with the minority ruling sect,’ and he said, half jokingly, ‘We’re going to kill them,’” Baer said.

Also interesting from the ABC piece cited above was this admission from Bob Baer:

“Let me put this very cynically, it’s probably in America’s interest that the current [assad] government subdues a rebellion and a civil war,” Baer said.

It’s not at all like Libya, where most Libyans are Sunni Muslims and getting rid of Muammar Gaddafi didn’t lead to a Sunni-Shia divide.

Who do Egypt’s villagers vote for? And why?
Yasmine Moataz Ahmed, Tue, 10/04/2012

……Rural dwellers constitute a large proportion of Egyptian voters; the majority of which are illiterate and poor. In the 2011-2012 parliamentary elections, they appeared as strong supporters of the Islamic parties mentioned above.

Why do rural dwellers vote for Islamic parties? Do they vote through coercion or incentives? Do they differentiate between different religious groups — in that case the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis?

Arab League’s Syrian Policy, Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Müjge Küçükkeleş
SETA Policy Brief, No : 56, April, 2012

Policy Brief : Arab League’s Syrian Policy

Comments (280)

ann said:

Activists report calm after Syria ceasefire – April 12, 2012

BEIRUT, April 12 – The deadline for a UN-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of violence in Syria passed on Thursday with no immediate reports of fighting, according to activists.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the sound of explosions in the town of Zabadani, close to the border with Lebanon shortly after the 6am deadline expired, but said it was not clear what had caused the blasts.

A resident of the town said there had been shelling of the town overnight, but that she heard nothing after the deadline. Other activists in the cities of Hama, Homs and Damascus said the situation was calm.


April 12th, 2012, 1:04 am


ann said:

Turkey’s neo-Ottoman game plan – Apr. 12, 2012

The day I arrived in Istanbul, they buried the last Ottoman. Her Imperial Highness Fatma Neslisah Sultan had been born in a royal palace overlooking the Bosphorus when her grandfather still notionally reigned over the remnants of a vast realm. The day after I left, Syrian gunfire killed several people inside Turkey. Their shots crossed a frontier that didn’t exist until the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

On the face of it, these two events seem unrelated: the first a historical curiosity, the second among the most urgent challenges of the day. As many as 9,000 people have reportedly been killed in Syria. Thousands more have been wounded and, according to some estimates, as many as a million are internally or externally displaced. French and British-led intervention in Libya was triggered by Moammar Gadhafi’s credible threat to kill civilians in Benghazi en masse. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has actually done it in Homs.

If the scale of killing were the sole trigger for intervention, we should have done it weeks ago. Compared with these horrors, who gives a fig for the passing of some old sultana? Yet, the two events are more closely related than you might think. For Turkey, it makes a world of difference that the territory now called Syria was, until the First World War, as much an integral part of the Ottoman realm as Ireland was of the British. This historical awareness is especially important for Turkey’s moderate Islamist government, whose deputy prime minister attended the funeral of the last granddaughter of the last sultan. Its doctrine of “strategic depth” sees Turkey as a regional power, straddling Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, like – guess who?

Its foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has, to be sure, formally rejected the charge that he’s a “neo-Ottoman”; but he’s also said: “I am not a minister of a nation-state only.” A former university professor, he talks often about the Ottoman legacy. After one such performance, delivered to foreign ministers of the European Union, one of them joked that the EU was being invited to join the Ottoman Empire. But this is, of course, a modernized, slimmed-down, republican version – the last princess ended her life officially as Mrs. Osmanoglu (that is, Mrs. Ottoman).

Turkey has major business and trading interests in Syria, while the checkerboard ethnic legacy of the partitioned Ottoman realms means that restless Kurds live on both sides of the Turkish-Syrian frontier. Not to mention the pressure of refugees, which has led to increasing talk of the Turkish army’s imposing a buffer zone or humanitarian corridor inside the Syrian frontier. Some even suggest Turkey could cite a violation of Article 1 of the 1998 Adana agreement between the two countries, that “Syria … will not permit any activity that emanates from its territory aimed at jeopardizing the security and stability of Turkey.” (This originally referred to support for Kurdish groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.)

But there’s a larger story. When I say, in relation to humanitarian intervention, “we” should have done it long ago, readers’ default assumption will be that “we” refers to the Western powers, preferably acting with some United Nations authority. And it’s true that if the West’s leading military powers do engage with armed force – as they did in two other corners of the former Ottoman Empire, Bosnia and Kosovo – it would have a transformative effect. But none of them, least of all Washington, show any intention of doing so here.

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have elections to win. British Prime Minister David Cameron is too busy drumming up trade in the Far East. They’ll express outrage and try to ratchet up economic sanctions and diplomatic pressure through the UN, but don’t expect any Libya- or Kosovo-type intervention any time soon.

In these circumstances, other states will determine the fate of the Syrian people. In the near future, Turkey will be more important than Britain, Iran than Germany, Saudi Arabia than France, Russia than America. In Syria, all these regional powers pursue their own national interests, defined not just in economic and military terms but also in cultural and ideological ones. So there’s a tussle between Shia, post-revolutionary Iran and Sunni, reactionary Saudi Arabia, post-imperial Russia and neo-Ottoman Turkey, not to mention China – a vital swing vote among the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

If some weary pasha had gone to sleep in 1912 and woken up only today, he might feel quite at home. Ah yes, he’d say, here are the great powers still pursuing their interests in the Great Game. Many of them, in fact, are partially modernized versions of the old powers: Turkey under Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia yoked to Czar Vladimir Putin, China in the last months of Emperor Hu Jintao.


April 12th, 2012, 1:18 am


ann said:

What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border? – April 11, 2012

There is a video [1] that could be loosely translated as “Terrorist Turkish border opening fire on the Syrian side” that pretty accurately sums up what’s going on at the ultra-volatile geopolitical hotspot of the moment.

The voice-over says, “This is the Syria-Turkey border, and this is an operation of the Free Syrian Army [FSA] … The Gate [that would be the Syrian side of the border, housing the Gate checkpoint] is going to be seized.”


[blue diamond Escobar article posted earlier in Atimes roundup. ]

April 12th, 2012, 1:33 am


Juergen said:

I am thrilled to see the video of a demonstration nearby the Four Seasons Hotel. ( why havent they close it down? It belongs to Waleed ibn Talal ibn Saud directly) I do believe that by agreeing on the Annan peace plan the regime is digging their own grave. I do not focus too much on the military part or the observer mission. Assad has agreed to give full constitutional rights to every citizen, so we will see then demonstrations in every syrian city, free access of the media will then bring the true opinion of so many Syrians.

Here is an article which I have posted earlier, the author has republished it , now even longer and with a focus also on Egypt.

April 12th, 2012, 1:35 am


Juergen said:

Here is a video of an local Berlin relief organization who was founded to help the Syrians in this revolution.

arabic subtitled

Interview with Abdel Razak Tlass about the Pütz article( allegations of a death squad within the FSA)

April 12th, 2012, 1:40 am


ann said:

Syria doesn’t need U.S. idea of ‘humanitarian’ intervention – April 11, 2012

U.S. support for arming anti-government forces in Syria is part of a larger geopolitical strategy aimed at flipping the Sunni-Shiite balance in the region, according to Professors Asli Bali and Aziz Rana in a New York Times op-ed piece on Wednesday. The two Middle East experts also explain that intervention should not be considered humanitarian if it kills more civilians than it purports to save.

Despite President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal repression and systemic human rights abuses, Bali and Rana seem to scoff at the notion that all segments of Syrian society support the rebels and are clamoring for external assistance, as Western political leaders like Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman would have the world believe.

In fact, most minorities in Syria – especially the Alawites, Druze, Christians and Kurds – do not want the Assad regime to fall because they fear the Sunni majority will seek retribution. The Profs even suggest that a large swath of Syria’s middle-class are concerned Islamic radicals might fill the post-Assad power vacuum.

One can only imagine how these groups must feel about the U.S. partnering with gulf monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar in funding the rebel cause. As the authors state, by interfering the U.S. is essentially taking sides in a civil war.

U.S. policy on Syria has been schizophrenic since the outbreak of Arab Spring over a year ago, largely driven by lack of intelligence and the inability to project which outcomes would best converge with U.S. objectives. But recently calls for regime change have become more explicit, as evidenced last week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who told a CBS reporter: “We believe Assad must go…”

However, this sentiment stands in sharp contrast to doubts expressed by other State department officials who claim the Syrian opposition lacks sufficient internal support to establish a viable government once Assad is extirpated.


April 12th, 2012, 1:48 am


Juergen said:

An interview with Samah Yazbek, an Alawite writer and women rights activist in exile now.

She is an honest and humble voice of the revolution. She has just written a book about the beginning of the revolution.

” They are willing to play the role of the devil: let bombs explode in Syria say that these were the Salafists. They released criminals from prison and allow them free rein. They are trying to divide society and to awaken in people the beasts. They are ready to go to the bloody end, and to destroy the country. I’ve seen in modern history no comparable diabolical regime. It is very distressing to report only from it.”

Here is the article, the translation has its ups and downs, the title in German suggests that Assad will fight to the bitter end, the english translations seems to suggest that he remains in power… ( does Assad have a hand on google now?)

April 12th, 2012, 2:12 am


Antoine said:


Have you heard about the death squads of the Iraqi Police, that hunts down former Baathists and Sunni insurgent leaders ?

Do you think such death squads will be suitable for Syria ?

Also, I am sure you have heard about the Communist death squads in the GDR, Poland, and Hungary, who hunted down former Nazis and collaborators.

April 12th, 2012, 2:25 am


Juergen said:


Yes i have heard about what you wrote. You forget to mention, the jews also had an death squad operating within Germany after the war. The longer this regime endulges itself in brutal oppression and mass killings and abide for their citizens not only their constitutional rights but also the most fundamental human rights, the more substantial your indication will become for the future of Syria.

I am against such payback policies, a civilized way would be to follow the South African reconcilitation path, but that does not only require an genuine humanistic approach but also self modesty and some charismatic figures to lead the process.( I exclude here the Assad family for obvious reasons)

As Samah Yazbek suggested, the road to democracy will be long, and there might be setbacks but knowing that does not justify the violence and the will to keep the status quo under this regime.

April 12th, 2012, 2:37 am


Anne said:

U.S. sees no evidence of Syrian forces pullout: White House

WASHINGTON, April 10 (Xinhua) — The United States has seen no evidence of any troop withdrawal by the Syrian government forces, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Tuesday.

“We have seen no evidence thus far of any pullback,” said Carney while traveling with U.S. President Barack Obama. “We have seen much evidence of further brutality and aggression against innocent civilians.”

“We are waiting for the assessment that Special Envoy Kofi Annan will put forward today at the United Nations. And we will certainly work, in the aftermath of that, with our partners and others on next steps with regards to Syria,” he told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Carney’s statement came as Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League joint special envoy for Syria, on Tuesday urged the Syrian authorities to “seize the opportunity to make a fundamental change of course” by immediately implementing a peace plan proposed by him and accepted by Damascus.

In response to the statement by Syrian foreign minister that the government troops have begun to pull back, Carney said that many promises made by leaders of the Assad regime “overwhelmingly turned out to be empty.”

Annan’s six-point plan calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons and troops from population centers, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, as well as talks between the government and opposition.

If the Syrian government meets the April 10 deadline, the Syrian opposition should halt fighting 48 hours after the withdrawal of government forces, so all fighting in the country must stop by 6 a.m. Damascus time on April 12, Annan said last week while briefing the UN General Assembly.

April 12th, 2012, 4:01 am


Anne said:

Showing picture of beautiful refuge children in Hatay Province of Turkey. From Xinhua news photographer:

A Syrian child looks out from the tent site at Yayladagi town in Turkey’s Hatay province, where Syrian refugees stayed, April 10, 2012.(Xinhua/Ma Yan)

April 12th, 2012, 4:03 am


Alan said:

Syrian ceasefire deadline arrives – no violence reported

The deadline for Syria’s UN-brokered ceasefire aimed at curtailing the conflict has arrived with no immediate reports of violence. However, doubts have been voiced on the international stage whether the regime and the rebels can keep to the truce.

The Syrian government told UN-Arab League Envoy Kofi Annan that regime troops would cease fighting at 03:00 GMT on Thursday morning. UN spokesman Ahmad Fawsi says the Assad regime reserves “the right to respond proportionately to any attacks.”

Likewise rebel groups have said they will retaliate to any regime provocation.

The Syrian Defense Ministry announced the ceasefire on state television on Wednesday, but neglected to mention the withdrawal of regime troops from urban areas stipulated in envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan.

Syria’s government stated that it had begun the gradual pullout of its forces from “certain provinces” on Tuesday.

Activists from the Syrian opposition say that they have seen no sign of tanks and security forces withdrawing from urban centers.

Meanwhile, the international community has doubted the Assad regime’s commitment to maintaining the ceasefire.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said the government’s promise to halt violence had “little or no credibility.”
“The burden remains squarely on the Syrian regime and not the opposition in the first instance to meet its obligations in full and visibly under the Annan plan,” Rice told reporters on Thursday.

Russia which has defended the Assad’s regime’s legitimacy on the international stage urged the Syrian opposition to follow suit and keep to the ceasefire. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia was holding talks with the opposition to push for a truce but emphasized “some of our international partners tell them different things and prevent the opposition from making any concessions – this is wrong.”

[ + … ]

April 12th, 2012, 4:05 am


Alan said:
Syria informs UN/LAS envoy that it will “cease all military fighting” April 12
UINITED NATIONS, April 12 (Itar-Tass) —— The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, received a letter from the Syrian Government on Wednesday, April 11, informing him of its decision “to cease all military fighting throughout Syrian territory as of 6:00 a.m. (Damascus time) Thursday, April 12, 2012,” Annan’s spokesperson said.

The letter, from Syria’s foreign minister, also said that the Syrian government reserved “the right to respond proportionately to any attacks carried out by armed terrorist groups against civilians, Government forces or public and private property,” the spokesperson, Ahmad Fawzi, said in a statement issued in Geneva

April 12th, 2012, 4:10 am


Anne said:

Russian leader (now prime minister, next to be president again) Putin makes moves to increase control of ministries and securkty under his direct control.

Siloviki means for officials, meaning Federal Security Service and presidential administration – like Syria, military command and ruler of structure to hold control.

Mirrors to Syria when only strong people keep control to want to keep control. For corrupt is needed to stay safe. Only strong man “guided democracy” can to work for Putin. No elections to lose in regions and management economny.

Also, all big news in Russian control by government and Putin siloviki. Like to Syria. Control. Control.

It is a good story to read the mirror to Syria and explain why strong men like strong men. Like China. Power and c ontrol always to keep power.

From Moscow Times: Siloviki in a Panic
11 April 2012
By Alexander Golts

When Vladimir Putin created his power vertical and eliminated even the hint of civilian control over the government bureaucracy, he insisted that steps were taken to increase efficiency. But the main drawback to the power vertical soon became apparent: At critical moments, it begins to shake uncontrollably. In other words, all of the officials in the system begin quaking with fear. In that condition, they will do almost anything to save their own skins.

Putin is a good case in point. Worried over his own political survival, he rashly announced his “castling move” with President Dmitry Medvedev last September, even though he knew that it would create confusion in the ranks of subordinates. He saw no other option, however, and, as expected, the resulting uncertainties have sparked a flurry of infighting.

Something similar is happening now that the members of the ruling tandem are changing roles. While Putin and Medvedev discuss upcoming government appointments, senior officials at various ministries are going batty wondering who will determine their fate. Anxiety is highest among the siloviki. Due to the opaque nature of their security agencies and their absolute lack of accountability before the people, the struggle between siloviki clans is particularly fierce. For his part, Putin is only further straining nerves by preparing for each decision affecting the siloviki as if it were a secret operation.

Under such conditions, the only way the siloviki can get a feel of how things stand is to release a “leak” — and the more absurd the better — and then gauge the reactions of all concerned.

There have been at least two “leaks” recently.


All of this confusion and anxiety comes at a price. Major government agencies are practically paralyzed, and what would happen if a real crisis were to occur now? Commanders are hardly prepared to carry out orders handed down from superiors whose own fates are in limbo and who are therefore not in a position to assume full responsibility for their orders.

April 12th, 2012, 4:16 am


Amnesia said:

“For this reason the renewal of the conflict would seem to be only a matter of time.”

We know that Assad has no wish to see protests that he cannot quell. The only way to subdue protests is for violence to take place by one or both sides.

Any act by anyone against the Assad regime will be blamed on the “opposition” and met with unequal force, with all the losses of human life inherent. This will pressure the Free Army or parts of it to respond, “breaking” its ceasefire. In other areas, unidentified militias will continue hunting down opposition leaders, out of view of any observer team. Assad will play this game, just as he played it before.

I agree with Dr. Landis that Annan’s hard work can be applauded. Kofi Annan managed to get the world behind him. I am pessimistic. For Annan to succeed, he will have to raise the pressure on the regime while keeping Russia in line. It will be no easy task.

April 12th, 2012, 4:40 am


Alan said:

what about the people? and cities of Syria especially Aleppo and Damascus? want they see protests? who in this dilemma the main ? when to come time to reckon with will of the people?

April 12th, 2012, 5:05 am


Amnesia said:

So far this morning there are reports of raids and arrests by the regime around areas of Damascus. Democracy activists will not be spared.

No pullback of tanks is apparent, also a major breach of Annan’s plan.

April 12th, 2012, 5:08 am


Amnesia said:

Alan, I am not sure what you are asking. I believe protests will explode everywhere they are allowed, which the regime cannot accept. Again, the only way to stop them is with violence.

If violence subsides, Damascus and Aleppo will see a massive change. It is the regime’s dilemma.

The opposition’s dilemma is in regards to how to maintain unity and protect their members on the ground. They know that international help is necessary, and has been very difficult to obtain.

April 12th, 2012, 5:14 am


Alan said:

What you can tell about continuous refusal of political process from outside pro-western opposition? how we can see results people vote for or against?

April 12th, 2012, 5:18 am


Alan said:

essentially! tell me please! why the so-called opposition deprives of Syrian citizens from possibility to tell the opinion? without start any political process there will be a violent capture of will of the people! why so-called (reformers) of opposition show dictatorship and maximalizm worse than dictators?????

April 12th, 2012, 5:29 am


Amnesia said:


There are two main reasons the Syrian opposition has not been willing to sit down with representatives of Assad’s regime, ignoring the obvious war crimes and human rights violations that have been taking place.

1) The Assad regime has not shown a willingness to accept that the opposition in and outside of Syria is valid. They are always dismissed as Salafists, Westerners, Zionists, you name it. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to sit down with adversaries who have very little respect for you. Not much can be expected from such negotiations.

2) Even if the MB and others within the opposition outside Syria agreed in principle to sit down with the regime, they would be unable to do so while at the same time maintaining support from within Syria. Activists within Syria would readily break with the SNC and form their own splinter groups if such negotiations were to take place outside Syria while gross violations of human rights continue against activists and others within Syria. The demand constantly heard by the opposition is to unify its ranks, and the easiest way to break the opposition apart is to join Assad’s “political process”.

As far as people’s votes, we are well aware that the country is split. It is also clear, democratically speaking, that if there were a ready alternative to the regime with certain assurances a clear majority would want change. It is the fear of chaos, and the reality of where the power currently resides, that makes for a lack of any clear alternative. Though most Syrians want stability, at this point more than half, although very close to half, want Assad to go no matter the cost. Without any clear way forward, the country will continue to be split down the middle, virtually a 50/50 tie.

Can the SNC negotiate a way out of this mess? They probably cannot do so now. It would require the disarming of Assad loyalists as Assad departs, a nearly impossible feat.

April 12th, 2012, 5:42 am


Amnesia said:


The opposition outside of Syria is a mixed group. It is impossible to generalize and speak for all of them. The problem currently is not in the SNC or any other group dictating decisions. The problem is that they are not allowed to participate in the decision-making process. Assad’s regime holds all power to make decisions within Syria, and they refuse to give up that power to others. While this continues, it is silly to blame anyone but Bashar himself for the corruption and lack of democracy and freedoms in Syria today.

April 12th, 2012, 5:50 am


Alan said:

Can you state an assessment of emergence of bloody opposition and Chaos of hostile actions from opponents of a mode in their various configuration?

April 12th, 2012, 6:11 am


Amnesia said:

Alan, can you be more clear and specific? Posts to this forum are better kept to a few paragraphs maximum.

April 12th, 2012, 6:17 am


Alan said:

Also can you state an assessment of conscious destruction of infrastructure of the country from opponents of a mode in their various configuration?
And a vital issue as you think how it is possible to bring to court the opponents of a mode connected with their crimes?

April 12th, 2012, 6:21 am


Amnesia said:


Destruction of infrastructure? If you are referring to the security installations, they are valid targets, assuming one considers the regime’s mukhabarat and military valid targets. I don’t agree with suicide missions, and I as well as the majority of Syrians do not want Al Qaeda around meddling.

If you are referring to oil pipelines being blown up, I personally do not wish to take a position on this. I know that the regime benefits by owning these resources, and I also know that the population suffers when energy supplies dwindle. In the current situation, I don’t agree with any prosecution for these acts of sabotage, but I wish that Syria can maintain its infrastructure. Syria needs massive investment in its infrastructure as it is, and no one wishes for further destruction.

There are many types of crimes. Prosecuting individuals on either side for crimes is difficult. The regime’s courts are likely to pardon those with the regime while showing no mercy to opponents. The current situation leaves no suitable path to prosecution. When that changes, a lot of forgiveness will be needed to help the country to heal.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The current regime has to change before any healing is possible.

April 12th, 2012, 6:43 am


Amnesia said:

“Surely no legal principle — not even sovereignty — can ever shield crimes against humanity.” Kofi Annan in 2000

April 12th, 2012, 6:45 am


Amnesia said:

Continued quote from Kofi Annan: “Where such crimes occur and peaceful attempts to halt them have been exhausted, the Security Council has a moral duty to act on behalf of the international community. The fact that we cannot protect people everywhere is no reason for doing nothing when we can. Armed intervention must always remain the option of last resort, but in the face of mass murder it is an option that cannot be relinquished.”

April 12th, 2012, 6:49 am


mjabali said:

The next phase in Syria is going to probably take us back to March of last year.

Protestors in many points and government that is going to claim that there is disorder, therefore force is going to be needed.

I give this phase a month probably till things go back to full swing: tanks, explosions, snipers, kidnapping, shelling…etc

Also this phase is going to see probably clashes between anti vs pro in cities like Damascus. These clashes are going to be on the streets. Protestors like those standing in front of the Parliament. Things are going to get ugly as the norm.

This period will see more of the non-Salafi anti Assad protestors into the streets. At last they are going to be visible again.

The Militants, who are mostly Sunni Islamists of a sort, are going to keep on fighting, or the government is going to blame them for something if matters worsened. In brief, the situation is bad. There are elements ready to be blamed any minute.

Nevertheless, this change in pace may give a chance for something new: like forming parties on the ground of Syria. But, knowing Syrians, Syria and those involved in this mess I say that there is going to none of that. All are going to waste this time slot and keep on blaming or doing the wrong things as usual.

In my humble opinion, the SNC (Syrian National Council) is a proven JOKE. Let Syrians vote for who represent the people.

April 12th, 2012, 7:03 am


Alan said:

how you look at various western Embargoes against the states (certainly and the population in the first stage)of the third world including against Syria ? and what in it moral value of this step?

April 12th, 2012, 7:03 am


Observer said:

The defense ministry orders cessation of operations and calm reigns in the country.

This is the proof that 95% of the violence was committed by the regime.

After all aren’t they fighting Salafist armed gangs that have no soul and no compunction about killing and maiming and beheading as they are directed by God to purify the earth?

The post by Jurgen brought the exact word that I was looking for in describing the regime: diabolical.

April 12th, 2012, 7:33 am


Alan said:

I am still weating for your looking!

how you look at various western Embargoes against the states (certainly and the population in the first stage)of the third world including against Syria ? and what in it moral value of this step?

April 12th, 2012, 7:41 am


Amnesia said:

Alan, that’s another big question. Every case has room for different arguments. Iran and North Korea, although viewed by many to be of the same type, are very different from each other. I don’t view sanctions as being effective, but without effective alternatives sanctions will continue to be used. Is there a double standard with regards to other countries including with Israel? Most certainly yes.

The sanctions against Syria are two-fold: they name explicitly members of Assad’s inner circle and those accused of abuses, and many products, mostly exports, to cut off money that was flowing to the government. Are the sanctions very effective? Not very. The hope western governments have is that the combination of sanctions will force the regime to make major concessions and appease the opposition. These sanctions may indeed make a difference, but for now the regime remains stubborn.

Perhaps I am overlooking the massive war crimes and human rights abuses in the answer to your question above. These crimes should certainly never be overlooked.

April 12th, 2012, 7:48 am


Amnesia said:

Even less effective are restrictions on Syrian imports. The arms the West will not sell continue to be supplied by Russia. I have personally met North Korean scientists who have spent decades in Syria and Libya with Qaddafi. North Korea has no reason to stop helping Assad where possible. Iran will continue meddling, and any other equipment made by Western companies is probably already readily available from China. About a year ago when I believe the Syrian Foreign Minister said that they would forget Europe was even on the map, he was alluding to the fact that his government is still able to do a lot of its business without the West.

April 12th, 2012, 8:00 am


Dawoud said:

What Basahar’s acceptance mean:
1) In violation of Anan’s plan, tanks and military stay in cities and towns to terrorize people and keep them home
2) When people stop peacefully demonstrating, the dictator declares victory and begin the fake “reform” propcess that will keep him in power!
In any case, repots are credible that regime violence is ongoing! Syria needs. Northern and southern safe havens.
No victory yet for ***** of Hizballah 🙂
P.S., my uncle-who lives in a wealthy Damascus area-told me that the regime is still killing innocents in the capital and its reef.

April 12th, 2012, 8:15 am


Alan said:

No! I asked about moral value of acceptance of embargo against the poor countries from side of rich countries! Eventually embargo is weapons of mass destruction!

April 12th, 2012, 9:07 am


bronco said:

Will Annan’s plan succeed in obliging even uncontrollable criminals gangs to stop instigating violence?

The next 48 hours will show if the FSA and the LCC have any control on these gangs.

Many criminals and Islamist extremists have infiltrated the opposition and in the absence of observers, they may not miss a chance to provoke violence during tomorrow demonstrations, thus triggering the army intervention and showing that the Syrian government is not abiding to its commitments.

Turkey, Qatar and KSA will be more than satisfied if this happens and have paid lots of money for that. Turkey especially is very worried than Annan’s plan works because Bashar remaining in power would mean Turkey will be stuck with the ‘syrians guests’ in the camps indefinitely and trading with Syria will remain stalled, in addition to the humiliation of having prematurely threatened Bashar of the fate of Qaddafi.

The presence of observers is the only way to show which side is breaking the truce. This week may be a roller coaster and the moment of truth.

April 12th, 2012, 9:09 am


zoo said:

Will the possible election of Omar Suleiman an indication that Egypt, and other Arab countries, are now ready to turn their back on a Sunni ‘Islamic’ state, to the relief of Western countries.

Egypt candidate Suleiman warns of religious state
Associated Press – 1 hr 16 mins ago

CAIRO (AP) — Hosni Mubarak’s former vice president says he is running for president to prevent Islamists from turning Egypt into a “religious state.”

Omar Suleiman, who was also Mubarak’s long-serving intelligence chief, says the decision by the Muslim Brotherhood to field a presidential candidate”horrified” Egyptians. The Brotherhood, which has emerged as Egypt’s most powerful political bloc after last year’s uprising, reversed an earlier decision not to field a candidate.

In comments published on Thursday in the weekly El-Fagr newspaper, Suleiman warned that the Brotherhood would control all state institutions if it wins the presidency. The group already dominates parliament.

April 12th, 2012, 9:15 am


Alan said:

Libya: So it was all about oil after all!

Last year NATO countries bombed Libya, demanding “democracy” in the country. But now it’s clear it was all about oil and it’s not like the Americans and Brits are going to be democratic about it, and share those spoils equally with France and Italy.

So… oil giants Total from France and ENI from Italy are just going to have to wait in the sidelines while the hungry American and British big boys take their juicy oil slices first… ExxonMobil, Chevron, Texaco, BP, Shell…

It’s no surprise then to read in The Wall Street Journal that the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), together with the puppet Libyan “authorities” are launching “investigations” into both companies’ “financial irregularities” in their shady dealings during the forty-two years of Gaddafi’s power. Now who would have imagined this! An Italian oil company involved in kick-backs? Corruption at the highest echelons of the French oil industry?!? Tsk, tsk!!! Unheard of…! The US and UK would never do something like that!! Just ask Enron, ask Halliburton, ask BP…./…./….

April 12th, 2012, 9:20 am


zoo said:

Islamutopia: A very short history of political Islam

What seems to be certain in all of this, is that the utopia of Islam, re-imagined by those yearning for it centuries later in the tumults of their own time, has been cast by generations of Islamists as one of justice, prosperity and power, animated by spirituality, and by the mythical bravery of heroic figures. This Islamutopia still irradiates the politics of the Arab and Muslim world today.

April 12th, 2012, 9:25 am


jna said:

Syrian officer killed in roadside bomb attack – state TV

9:21am EDT
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria accused “terrorists” of planting a roadside bomb that blew up in Aleppo, killing one officer and wounding at least 24 cadets and officers in an attempt to sabotage a U.N.-backed ceasefire, state media said on Thursday.

“At eight in the morning a terrorist group targeted a bus carrying a number of officers driving to work in Aleppo,” it said. The blast killed a lieutenant-colonel and civilians were among the wounded.

There was no independent confirmation of the blast in Syria, where media access is severely restricted.

The Syrian news agency SANA said a “terrorist group” in the northern province of Idlib detonated the roadside bomb, targeting a vehicle belonging to the security forces.

A member of President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party was killed in a drive-by shooting in the city of Deraa during the morning, it said.

The attacks were reported in the hours following a dawn ceasefire (…)

April 12th, 2012, 10:20 am


Uzair8 said:

150. mjabali

I haven’t called for anything that the FSA and others including SC users* haven’t already called for.

The FSA are Syrians and have been repeatedly demanding arms.

On France 24 some weeks ago there was a good comment by a guest.

She said that the FSA were being criticised from 2 sides.

They are being criticised for being armed and on the other hand there is criticism and complaint that they don’t have enough arms or enough of the right arms.

About non-Syrians supporting the oppressed people. I’m sure you would prefer that the people are left at the mercy of this murderous regime. The people have a human right to self defence. To be able to defend their lives, family, property and honour. As humans we have every right to support the innocent. More so as muslims.

About Sufis. Where does it say that Sufis should lay down and accept slaughter and other atrocious crimes? Self defence is a right.

* These SC users who cannot be labelled as the usual suspects.

April 12th, 2012, 10:50 am


Juergen said:


only the ignorant ones deny the truth that sufism and sufi orders have greatly contributed against oppressive regimes, and against colonialism in general. Countries like Sudan and Algeria would have seen independence at a much later stage and for a higher price if the Sufi orders didnt fight.

April 12th, 2012, 11:03 am


zoo said:

“All parties have obligations to implement fully the six-point plan. This includes both the military provisions of the plan and the commitment to move to a political process,” he said.

Annan says Syria ceasefire ‘appears to be holding’

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said today that a ceasefire in Syria appears to be holding but President Bashar al-Assad must carry out all parts of an agreed peace plan.

“Syria is apparently experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground,” Annan said in a statement released as he briefed the UN Security Council on the 13-month-old crisis in which the UN says more than 9,000 people have been killed.

A ceasefire came into effect in Syria on Thursday and Annan said: “I am encouraged by reports that the situation in Syria is relatively calm and that the cessation of hostilities appears to be holding.” Annan added, however, that the Syrian government must carry out of all the agreed peace plan which includes a withdrawal of troops and heavy weapons from Syria’s cities.

“All parties have obligations to implement fully the six-point plan. This includes both the military provisions of the plan and the commitment to move to a political process,” he said.

April 12th, 2012, 11:14 am


ann said:

Syria urges refugees to return home – Thu Apr 12, 2012

Syria’s interior ministry on Thursday urged Syrians who fled violence to go back to their homes, state television said.

“The interior ministry calls on citizens who were forced to leave their homes to other areas in Syria or neighboring countries to return to their homes,” state television announced.

The appeal was broadcast eight hours after a ceasefire came into effect and activists said shelling and shooting appeared to have stopped.


April 12th, 2012, 11:21 am


zoo said:

Wary that Annan’s plan may succeed, Erdogan is desperately calling for UN and NATO intervention about the borders issues

Turkish PM urges UN to act on Syria
Enis Berberoğlu SHANGHAI / Hürriyet

The number of incoming refugees has multiplied twofold. It has almost reached a boiling point. There is footage. These people get shot while they are running away. There are people dying and getting wounded. There is the cry of the mothers. They told Kofi Annan how their homes were smashed and how their children’s throats were slit. If the U.N. does not follow this through, then what will it follow through? We will follow it through.

Turkey could seek NATO’s help to deal with Syria

ANKARA – The Associated Press
Turkey says it could seek NATO’s help in case the Syrian troops violate its borders again.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters late yesterday that “NATO has responsibilities to protect the Turkish border according to Article 5.”

April 12th, 2012, 11:21 am


jad said:

Zoo, Ann,
I agree it seems the ceasefire from the Government side is holding well even with the many terrorists attacks happened today.

From previous post:


Since yesterday BBC English edition is acting weird, for the first time they start to show the terrorist side of the revo. and they are repeating the clips of terrorists for the whole day yesterday, with interviews saying that whoever pay money to the armed gangs in Syria they have Syrian blood on their hands.

In the Hardtalk program they shredded the opposition SNC member in pieces, they even pushed him to declare that the council is run by the MBs.

They’ve been promoting the move of the Syrian government of the ceasefire as ‘serious’ and not a bluff. and they are admitting the armed militia nasty works, they never did that before.

They are either trying to distant themselves from the american or the turks military plan hence they are preparing the public to go nuts against war or they are noticing what terrorist can do to them if they give them money, I can’t figure it out.

Any idea why would they flip suddenly like that?

April 12th, 2012, 11:31 am


zoo said:

Is the Egyptian state facing bankruptcy?
By Adel Al Toraifi

The Central Bank of Egypt announced that external reserves have declined to less than $15 billion, i.e. less than the minimum value of three months of imports, according to IMF conditions… so we can say that the Egyptian budget deficit (in addition to domestic and foreign loans) amounts to 76 percent of the country’s GDP.
But Egypt is on the verge of an economic crisis that could ravage its currency and eliminate its access to foreign loans, especially with the inflammatory language used by the Muslim Brotherhood – such as Khairat al-Shatar’s recent statements – towards the IMF.
The experiences of the last year show that the Muslim Brotherhood’s party is still living in the past, and reveal the bankruptcy of the Egyptian elite, culturally and intellectually, and the shallow nature of the Brotherhood’s vision as it moves to secure

In Egypt, as pointed out by the veteran writer Ali Salem in his recent article in this newspaper, politicians’ activities are limited by their “talent for non-achievement”.

In reality, the danger in Egypt does not come from economic bankruptcy alone; the Egyptians have always managed to safely navigate through historic lean years, rather the danger comes from the bankruptcy of the ideology and culture of the “Tahrir Square revolution”. All the revolution has done so far is swap a bad regime for a group of radicals who are in reality worse and more dangerous than the former regime.

April 12th, 2012, 11:41 am


Alan said:


what your opinion apropos use of financial means in arms of any opposition in any country of the world as world practice?

and also apropos bribery of voices at the international institutes in favor of oppositions in the countries of the 3rd world?

April 12th, 2012, 11:45 am


Mina said:

The world will certainly be a safer place after that one, reported on the Guardian blog

“2.28pm: Kuwait: In a crackdown on religious “crimes”, parliament today approved changes to the penal code that would extend the death penalty to those who curse God, the Prophet Muhammad or his wives. A demand from Shia MPs to also include the 12 revered Shia imams was rejected, al-Arabiya reports.

In order to become law, the change needs government approval and a further parliamentary vote.

The move follows the arrest last month of Hamad al-Naqi who was accused of blasphemous tweeting.”

April 12th, 2012, 11:46 am


ann said:

More than hundred wanted people surrender near Syrian capital – 2012-04-12

DAMASCUS, April 12 (Xinhua) — More than one hundred wanted people surrendered themselves Thursday to Syrian authorities in suburbs of the capital Damascus and coastal Latakia city, pledging not to traffic or use weapons again, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The wanted people turned themselves in, along with their weapons, to authorities in several suburban areas around the capital Damascus, such as Harasta and Zibdeen and suburbs of Latakia, said SANA.

More than 400 people have turned themselves in over the past week.

In another incident, one person was killed and four others injured when a bomb car was detonated before dawn on Thursday in Jaramana district in Damascus, Syria’s private media reported.

Residents in the area said a white Mercedes stuffed with assorted weaponries went off at a roundabout in Rawda’s street. The blast shattered the windows of nearby shops and houses.

After the blast, security forces set up a perimeter around the area before ambulances and firefighters reached the area.

A source told Xinhua that the Mercedes belonged to a secretary of the ruling Baath party and that the bomb was attached to his car.

There was no immediate word from officials regarding the blast circumstances.


April 12th, 2012, 12:01 pm


bronco said:

47. jad

I have been observing the flip of the media for the last two weeks, just at the time the news of Islamists extremists in the rank of the opposition started to spread.

The UK as well as the US are terrified that al Qaeda reaches Israel’s borders in the eventuality of Bashar’s regime fall and the ensuing security void. Syria could easily become another Gaza.

Except for Turkey and possibly Qatar, the international community will be relieved if law and order prevails again in Syria whatever the political or humanitarian cost is. In view of the failure of the opposition to control the militarization of the opposition and to get support from the majority of the Syrians, the international community is forced to shift priority from changing the regime to ensuring that Al Qaeda and extremists Islamists are silenced and thrown out of the country. That can only be achieved by the current regime.

Of course if the ceasefire collapses in a big way, then we are back to square one and the media will switch in asking for a military intervention with ‘corridors etc..” not really to overthrow Bashar anymore but to ensure the protection of Israel and Jordan from Islamist extremists.

In addition the media have been strongly criticizing the opposition for its disunity and lack of vision in the last 2/3 weeks, reflecting the beginning of a flip.

Now the opposition is realizing that the ‘regime change’ they wanted will never happen and that they have to make a painful compromise and fully accept Annan’s plan, including the dreaded dialog with the regime.

If the ceasefire holds I guess the media will be moving in that direction too.

April 12th, 2012, 12:02 pm


Tara said:

Cease fire? 11 killed by the regime so far.

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria: 11 martyrs have been reported in Syria thus far today: 6 martyrs in Homs, 2 of whom were martyred during shelling in Qusair and 2 by sniper fire in Bayada; 4 in Idlib; and 1 martyred under torture in Madaya in the Damascus Suburbs

April 12th, 2012, 12:04 pm


Alan said:

Syrian rebels ‘using Turkish refugee camps as base’

Стремление сирийской армии повстанцев через турецкую границу пролил свет на требования повстанческих групп, использующих в лагерях беженцев в качестве убежищ. По сообщениям бесплатно сирийская армия может рассматривать их как трамплин для начала вторжения в Сирию.

RT корреспондент Сара Ферт интервью анонимного источника на сирийско-турецкой границы после инцидента, который сказал, что члены бесплатно сирийской армии, действующих в приграничных районах.

“Они [сирийский повстанцев] пересечь границу, то они идут обратно. Может быть, турецкая армия находит и выводит их обратно в лагерь, другие просто приходят сами по себе. Многие из этих людей работают с Бесплатный сирийской армии “, сказал он.

Он добавил, что турецкое правительство закрывает глаза на их движения и “позволяет им вернуться к бою.”
РТ также рассказал член бесплатно сирийской операционной армии в районе, который сказал ей, что оппозиция хочет оказать давление на турецкое правительство в предоставлении “вооружений и техники от НАТО”.

По сообщениям СМИ, сирийские войска режима, которые преследовали боевиков после того, как они напали на военный контрольно-пропускной пункт открыли огонь по ту сторону границы, убив одного и ранив несколько человек.
Турция была резкой критике режим Асада, и ранее обвиняли в укрывательстве и обучение сирийские мятежники на юге страны недалеко от границы области.

Бывший переводчик ФБР Сибел Эдмондс писала в декабре, что США и НАТО было обучение боевиков в Хаккари, на юге Турции.
Страна принимает у себя около 24 000 сирийских беженцев, в том числе сотни перебежчиков армии, которые бежали после восстания против Асада началось 13 месяцев назад. Во вторник Кофи Аннан посетил несколько лагерей, расположенных вдоль границы с Турцией, где он встретился с небольшой протеста осудил сирийского режима.

Турецкое правительство рассматривает создание буферной зоны между двумя странами, чтобы лучше контролировать приток повстанцев. Кроме того, глава Свободной сирийской армии полковник Риад аль-Асад, как полагают, проживающих в Турции.
Турция гремит саблей

В ответ на границе съемки, премьер-министр Турции Реджеп Тайип Эрдоган пригрозил принять “необходимые меры” против Сирии. Он назвал вторжение как “явное нарушение” границы между двумя странами в ходе официального визита в Пекин во вторник.

Эрдоган также обвинил Асада быть лично ответственен за убийство мирных жителей.

” Он продолжает убивать 60, 70, 80, 100 каждый день, “сказал он в ходе визита в Пекин.

Турецкий премьер не уточнил, какие меры Анкара рассматривает вопрос о принятии в отношении Дамаска. В любом случае, Турция, кажется, не планируют каких-либо односторонних шагов, как турецкие дипломаты сообщили министр иностранных дел России Сергей Лавров в телефонном разговоре.

[ + … ]

April 12th, 2012, 12:10 pm


irritated said:


“I do believe that by agreeing on the Annan peace plan the OPPOSITION is digging their own grave.

It will have to accept the dialog with Bashar that they have rejected 100 times and they need to forget about Bashar resignation, the threats of bringing Bashar to the ICC, the calls to NATO etc. A very humiliating retreat, indeed, but the Opposition may have realized they have no chance anymore to win the battle militarily and they are now ready to accept to compromise.

As there will be anti-regime or anti-Annan demonstrations, there will probably be massive pro regime demonstrations too.

April 12th, 2012, 12:12 pm


ann said:

Syria calls on displaced citizens to return home, pardoning gunmen with no homicide records – 2012-04-12

DAMASCUS, April 12 (Xinhua) — Syria’s interior ministry on Thursday called on all displaced citizens who had fled the unrest to return home, and granted amnesty to armed men who hadn’t committed homicide, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The ministry called on the displaced citizens in and outside Syria not to listen to “fabricated news” and to return to their homes, stressing that the government will exert its earnest efforts to help them in the reparation and renovation process.

The ministry also granted amnesty to “all those who have carried weapons but hands were not smeared with Syrians’ blood” if they turned themselves in to the authorities. The ministry, however, stopped short of setting a timeframe to its amnesty.

Over the 13-month-old civil unrest in Syria, 24,500 Syrians have sought shelter in Turkey, 95,000 in Jordan and over 20,000 in Lebanon.


April 12th, 2012, 12:14 pm


jad said:

Terrorists attack happened today:

An Officer Martyred, 24 Wounded in Explosive Device Blast in Aleppo… Law-enforcement Members Wounded in Blast in Idleb

PROVINCES, (SANA) – A First Lieutenant officer was martyred while 24 officers, non-commissioned officers and a number of civilians were wounded in an explosive device blast in Aleppo.

An official source told SANA correspondent that “The blast took place at 8:00 am as an armed terrorist group targeted a military bus with an explosive device at the Southern Bypass area, near al-Nirab Airport Bridge in Aleppo.”

The bus was carrying a number of officers and non-commissioned officers while on way to their workplace.

Director of Aleppo Military Hospital Brigadier General Dr. Mohammad Osama Qashqash said that the injuries varied in degrees of severity, adding that three presons are in a critical condition.

A Number of Law-enforcement Members Wounded in an Explosive Device Blast in Idleb

Another armed terrorist group targeted a law-enforcement vehicle with an explosive device at Wadi Haj Khaled region in Idleb.

An official source told SANA correspondent that an officer and a number of law-enforcement members were wounded in the explosion.

Armed Terrorist Group Assassinates Citizen in Daraa

In Daraa, an armed terrorist group assassinated Naser Bhkeit Naser, Secretary of al-Baath Party Department in al-Mazareeb town while he was heading to buy bread.

Witnesses told SANA correspondent that the terrorists opened fire on Naser from a black Kia car without license plates which caused his immediate death.

Forensic Doctor Mansour al-Hussein at Daraa National Hospital said that the martyr had eight bullet wounds in different parts of his body.

Fourteen Army, Law-enforcement Martyrs Laid to Rest

DAMASCUS/ LATTAKIA, (SANA) – The bodies of 14 army and law enforcement martyrs were escorted on Thursday from Tishreen and Zahi Azraq Military Hospitals in Damascus and Lattakia to their final resting place.

Solemn funeral processions were held for the martyrs who were targeted by armed terrorist groups while they were in the line of duty in Homs, Daraa, Lattakia and Damascus Countryside.

The martyrs are:

Brigadier General Jamal Salloum al-khaled, from Hama.

Lieutenant Moayad Ali Younes, from Hama.

First Lieutenant Ahmad Mohammad Qreinas, from Daraa.

Chief Warrant Officer Housam Ahmad Sa’adat, from Tartous.

Chief Warrant Officer Mounzer Ahmad Janoub, from Lattakia.

Sergeant Major Ammar Jalal al-Wazeh, from Lattakia.

Sergeant Yousef Ali Idris, from Tartous.

Conscript Mahmoud Mohammad al-Muhaeimed, from Raqqa.

Conscript Juneid al-Hussein al-Hammoud, from Aleppo.

ConscriptAbdel Rahman Ahmad, from Hama.

Conscript Fayed Ahmad Milhem, from Deir Ezzor.

Conscript Abdel Rahman Moustafa Ghazi, from Aleppo.

Conscript Said Mohammad Saleh, from Hasaka.

Private Ramez Moufid Bilal, from Hama.

The martyrs’ families stressed confidence in the ability of the Syrian people to overcome the crisis through their unity, condemning the criminal acts committed by the armed terrorist groups against the army, law-enforcement forces and innocent citizens.

They expressed readiness to sacrifice their lives to defend the homeland and protect its people.

April 12th, 2012, 12:19 pm


Juergen said:


Are you still around?

April 12th, 2012, 12:20 pm


jad said:

Aljazeera in Jordan is smuggling weapons to Syria:

مصدر أمني في عمان لـ عربي برس: المخابرات الأردنية إعتقلت عاملين في قناة الجزيرة أثناء تهريبهم أسلحة وأجهزة إتصال عسكرية متطورة إلى سورية

مكتب عمان – منيرة الرازي إربد – خاص عربي برس
ذكر مصدر امني مسؤول في مديرية شرطة اربد فضل عدم الكشف عن هويته أن العاملين في الإستخبارات الأردنية تمكنوا فجر أمس من ضبط (3) أشخاص سوريين من الموظفين في قناة الجزيرة القطرية وكانوا يحملون بطاقات عمل من القناة ، وكانوا داخل سيارة تحمل لوحة سورية وبداخلها أسلحة متطورة من طراز جي ام 3 – النوع الأحدث من جيل قناصات الأم 16 التي تعمل ليل نهار بنواظير حرارية ، كما ضبط في السيارة جهاز بث للإجتماعات عبر الدائرة الالكترونية المغلقة مثل تلك التي لا يمتلكها إلا حلف الأطلسي والاميركيين حيث يعقد اركانهم الميدانيين والمركزيين إجتماعاتهم عن بعد عبر بث الأقمار الصناعية . وقد جرت عملية الاعتقال خلال محاولتهم اجتياز الحدود بطريقة غير مشروعة ، لافتا الى أن معلومات وردت الى غرفة عمليات المديرية تفيد بدخول (3) أشخاص الى مدينة اربد داخل سيارة وبحوزتهم أجهزة إرسال في طريقهم الى سوريا بطريقة غير مشروعة وتم التعامل مع المعلومة ومتابعتها وضبط الأشخاص .
ولدى تفتيش السيارة ضبطت تلك المعدات والأسلحة ، لافتا الى انه بوشر بالتحقيق معهم على الفور .

April 12th, 2012, 12:20 pm


Juergen said:


yes i agree we will see big demonstrations for the regime soon, the question lies only how the regime will react if anti regime protesters camp on Omayad square. I wonder how long pro regime supporters are willing to come out in big numbers, all voluntarily of course as always in past 40 years. What if Hama, Homs, Idleb, Derraa all will fall towards the opposition, i doubt that this regime can give its own people what the constitution is granting each citizen in Syria.

April 12th, 2012, 12:40 pm


Alan said:

Russian, French FMs meet to discuss Syria & Iran

MOSCOW, April 12 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his French opposite number Alain Juppe have discussed the situation in Syria and the forthcoming talks of six broker countries with Iran. The conversation took place on the sidelines of a meeting of the G-8 foreign ministers in Washington.

“Special attention was focused on development of the situation in Syria and the forthcoming talks of six international brokers and Iran on the Iranian nuclear program,” the Russian Foreign Ministry went on to say.

April 12th, 2012, 1:47 pm


anwar said:

Demonstrations for the regime ?? you mean those ultra organized regime orchestrated acting classes ? I d say they would rival those North Korean govt parades and dancing. They force public school & university student and public sector workers to go out and “demonstrate”. Then they report MILLIONS demonstration when it is barely more than 100,000 people. Just like when the monster Hafez died and they had everyone out in teh streets

April 12th, 2012, 1:59 pm


Mina said:

Since this post mentions the Egyptian elections, I took a chance to look for an article that would mention the very low turnout to the Shura Council (Upper chamber) elections in January. Of course, this does not exist, as the main political figures were so ashamed of the score that they did not really boast about and it was just mentioned with the official results.

But here is a trace: the wikipedia article has the figures for the number of voters:,_2012

The number of voters would have been 6,427,666

To get an idea of the total number of voters, one has to turn to this other article,_2011%E2%80%932012

“About 50 million people were eligible to vote out of a population in excess of 85 million – with candidates from 50 registered political parties. The overall voter turnout is 54%.”

The number of voters for the parliamentary elections was 27,065,135.

By the way, the “turnout” section of the Wiki article does not mention the fee that would theorically be applied if someone fails to vote. Locals think that this fee may be applied for example when one sould go to the hospital and be considered as having a due fine. But this element of the voting law as it was decided by the ruling military power is well attested.

Question: what happened to 21 million voters? From what I saw on the ground, most people didn’t know when the elections was going on (even in Cairo). They didn’t have any information on the candidates. They were afraid of spending money to go to the poll stations and bring their relatives because of the complete economic turmoil.

The minimum to ask for is that candidates get time on public televisions and radios to speak about their programmes, and that the time they speak would be equal for all.

April 12th, 2012, 2:33 pm


ann said:

Paper tiger Erdogan hiding under NATO’s skirt now 😀

Turkey calls on NATO to protect its borders from Syria – 12 April, 2012

“NATO has responsibilities to do with Turkey’s borders, according to Article 5 [of the NATO Treaty],” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.

Hisham Ghassib, a political analyst from Jordan, thinks Erdogan’s statement is simply “acrobatics” – and that Turkey is not serious about the call.

“It is inertia of the situation that is driving them towards this absurdity,” he said.

The analyst asserts that oil-rich and Western countries have realized that the Assad government is not going to be toppled.

“The regime is too strong for these methods, they [Western countries] know that the regime is there to stay, but of course now the regime should reform itself to prepare itself for any extended aggression,” Ghassib explained.

However, journalist Patrick Hayes told RT the West might be working on more creative ways to bring down the Assad government.

“You have the Turkish prime minister who’s come back today from China, and he’s talking about evoking Charter Five of the NATO treaty – which would allow them to sidestep the United Nations and to take action against Syria because of the alleged disrespect of the Turkish borders.”

Hayes also said that Turkey could use the 1998 Adana Agreement, which states that “Syria, on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, will not permit any activity that emanates from its territory aimed at jeopardizing the security and stability of Turkey,” as a trump card.

“There is already some talk in some quarters about the idea that Turkey in particular could recognize the Syrian National Council as a government in exile and effectively see the Assad regime as terrorists,” he said. Hayes continued that Turkey could “then use the 1998 Adana Agreement, or other agreements that Turkey has with Syria, in order to try and use force against the Assad regime.”


April 12th, 2012, 2:52 pm


mjabali said:


I am going to be polite and not use the same language. I am not going to say that “only the ignorant does not know,” because you may know and chose not to confirm with ideas you do not like. Nevertheless here some info for you about Syria the topic of our conversation.

So far the major Sufi groups are with al-Assad. The Sufis have a history of sleeping with the ruler. This is a fact and waiting for you or anyone to challenge me on this.

Here is a link to Sheikh al-3Ar3ur speaking about the position of the Sufis of Syria and al-Assad in this events. He, even indirectly call them infidels for supporting the “Alawi regime” of Bashar:

Enjoy that nice talk, and in the meantime here is the meaning of Sufism:

Sufism and militant fighting jihad do not meet.

In Sufism Jihad is inner. It is spiritual.

Sufis leave this world and its problems, at least they try to.

Sufism does not have a political jihadi literature, even if some of its adherents were caught in some fights here and there.

Sufism is not and was not for violence. This is a very simple fact.

By the way, the writer you were talking about: her name is Samar and not Samah, so please get your information right before showing it to those who are not that “ignorant” about these issue.

April 12th, 2012, 3:16 pm


Alan said:

now it is clear that observers of the Russian Federation at the
most professional and technological level will scan the Syrian truth!

Russian observer to join the international team in Syria – Churkin

The UN Security Council could adopt a resolution on sending a team of observers to Syria on Friday, Russia’s permanent representative at the UN Vitaly Churkin declared on Thursday.

He said that Russia would participate in the mission of observers in Syria, sending a Russian peacemaker from the UN mission on the Golan Heights there.

Churkin spoke to journalists after a session of the UN Security Council at which special envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States Kofi Annan informed the Security Council about his efforts at the Syrian settlement in the video-conference mode from Geneva.

The agreement on ceasefire between the government troops and the opposition in Syria came into effect at 6:00 a.m. local time on Thursday. No more clashes occurred in Syria after that.

April 12th, 2012, 3:37 pm


mjabali said:


Take responsibility for your words. I brought samples of what you said. What other people say is another story.

Do not assume things about my position: you can go and see what I write. I call for peace in my country and you call to arm a group to raise the level of violence. There is a big difference between our positions, but for real do not give me morality cliche boring lessons.

Syria need people to sit and talk politics and not foreigners calling to import weapons and destroy the country more that it got recently. Cheif general Uzair the great if we listen to your logic we would lose, let us say, 200,000 to 500,000 Syrians? These are real people and not actors like your films. There should be a difference between fantasy and reality.

Syria now, if parties did not respect the cease fire agreement, is going to a dangerous path with the multiplying of the different armed factions. This is dangerous.

As for your duty as a Muslim, I say do whatever you want but do not call for violence in my country. Go help and fight and do whatever, that is your business, but do not call for violence in my country. That is bad: do you want me to start calling to arm the Shia or the Chrisitans in Pakistan to face the onslaught that is exacted on them?

I am an ordinary citizen, and wish international law deal with this and not me.

As for the meaning of Sufism and its relation to violence if you do not know that what can I say?

April 12th, 2012, 3:40 pm


Alan said:

[blue diamond Alan, this Global Research/Julien Teil/ video was posted yesterday.]

Syria: Intervention or Mediation?

[ … ]

April 12th, 2012, 3:40 pm


irritated said:

#62 Anwar

Too easy .. The opposition demonstrations are much more orchestrated than any of the pro-regime’s.

Anyone going to the mosque to pray on friday is automatically enrolled and forced into the anti-regime demonstrations and who dares to disobey and run away?

In view of the total absence of turnout for the multitude of call for “massive strikes”, I doubt there will be much people demonstrating on a Tuesday for example.

April 12th, 2012, 3:57 pm


irritated said:

60. Juergen

“the question lies only how the regime will react if anti regime protesters camp on Omayad square.”

I doubt very much that anti-regime protests will be massive and repetitive and I am sure they will not camp on Ommayad square: Tahrir Square idealism is now obsolete.

Most Syrians have gotten tired of chaos and see no hopes in continuing confrontations. Most are disgusted with the SNC, the West and Turkey who let them down after having boosted them and promised the moon.

They may protest out of bitterness but without any hope that their protests will change anything. It is now in the hands of the UN not in theirs.

There are some die-hard but I think it is a shrinking minority.

One year has shown that Bashar al Assad may have succeeded in pushing back a historical and ruthless assault from Islamist Arab and several powerful Western countries to overthrow him. In that, he has proven to be another brand of leader than Ben Ali, Mobarak or Qaddafi.

April 12th, 2012, 4:14 pm


zoo said:

U.N. could approve Syria monitors Friday, envoys say

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council could approve on Friday a resolution to send unarmed U.N. observers to Syria to monitor a fragile ceasefire in the 13-month conflict that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, diplomats said.

U.N. Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan has called for 200 to 250 unarmed U.N.-mandated observers to monitor the ceasefire. The Security Council is due to meet later on Thursday to discuss a draft resolution to approve the monitoring mission.

“We hope that even tomorrow we might adopt a Security Council resolution on the deployment of that advance group of monitors,” Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said.

“The full-fledged mission will take some time to deploy … If we are able to put 20 or 30 monitors (there) early next week, very good. If we are able to put more in the next few days that’s even better,” he said.

April 12th, 2012, 4:19 pm


Tara said:

Syria hasn’t fully met truce terms, Annan tells UN

 UNITED NATIONS — UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council on Thursday that Syria has not fully complied with the terms of his peace plan but called for the swift deployment of a UN truce-monitoring force to the country, council diplomats said.

A fragile UN-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of bloodshed in Syria appeared to be holding on Thursday but there were no signs that President Bashar al-Assad was pulling his forces out of restive cities.

Annan told council members that the precarious truce needed support and called for the early arrival of a first wave of unarmed observers to monitor implementation of his six-point peace plan, to be followed by a second wave of observers later.

“Mr. Annan confirmed that what has happened today does not constitute full compliance by the Syrian government . . . as Syrian forces and weapons remain in and around population centers,” said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, the Security Council president for April.

“He emphasized that Syrian troops and armor must return to their barracks immediately,” she told reporters after a closed-door council meeting which Annan addressed via video link from Geneva.

Syrian UN envoy Bashar Ja’afari complained that “eight violations took place this morning by the armed (rebel) groups.”

Ja’afari said that Syria is committed to co-operating with Annan and fulfilling his peace plan, adding that Damascus had already complied with calls to withdraw troops from Syrian towns. He said others inside the country and abroad should comply with Annan’s peace plan as well.
Rice said Annan told the council there were “unconfirmed reports” of some violence though he noted that this was not unusual in the early stages of a ceasefire.

The former UN secretary-general said earlier in a statement that “Syria is experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground,” adding that it “must be sustained.”
Annan has called for 200 to 250 unarmed UN-mandated observers to monitor the ceasefire.

Rice said negotiations on a resolution authorizing the deployment of a UN observer force would begin “as early as this afternoon.” Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the council could adopt it as early as on Friday.

“The full-fledged mission will take some time to deploy . . . If we are able to put 20 or 30 monitors (there) early next week, very good,” Churkin said. “If we are able to put more in the next few days that’s even better.”


April 12th, 2012, 4:20 pm


Shami said:

[alert Shami — this is a warning that you will be subject to moderation if you repeat the personal attack in the post below.

Personal attacks (veiled or open, sniggering or comtemptuous) are intolerable. No one may use Syria Comment to abuse another commentator.

Ann, you are also under warning. Do NOT make unfunny little asides about commentators’ presumed affiliations with Israeli forces. We have been over this ground before.]

Jad you and your brave ila al abad people,will be put in a cage in public parks and invited to shout menhebekjiyeh and mukhabarati songs in front of all.
I will request a cage in al sabeel for you.

April 12th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Juergen said:


I did not write about the sufi orders of today and of those present in Syria. I was giving an example in history and i wanted to straighten up the belief that Sufis had an vital impact on the decolonization of the arabic states and they were in many parts the only organized social and religious order. May I point out to you some facts:

Abd al-Qadir in Algeria fought also against colonial rule and established an independent state.
Sheikh Ibrahim fought in 1857 against the english colonial regime in Egypt.

The so called Mahdi movement in Sudan 1819 challenged the English rule tremendously for almost a decade.

Also important is the role of the Sanussia order in Libya, which also resulted in the formation of two independant states or provinces, some remained in that status until 1911.

The sufi orders in Turkey were also an counterpart against Kemalism and helped to eliminate the most severe consequences of this dictatorship. ( islamic education, teaching of the Quran in secret locations as for years the study of the Quran was forbidden in Turkey)

I leave out the role of the Sufis in Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Tadjikistan, Chechnya and Indonesia, all of those countries have a vital record of armed rebellion with the help of armed sufis.

To state that Jihad is unknown to Sufis is wrong, most of those mentioned wars and rebellions were declared “jihads”. I think Uzair puts it right when he states that self defense is allowed to every muslim.

When you say modern day sufi orders play no political role thats not true, the Naqshibandiya order which has many followers in Syria has their stand forward the nationhood of kurdish and their fight against the turkish government in its neglection of the Kurdish quest.
Thank you for pointing out my mispelling of Samar Yazbek.


I believe we all know how sincere such gatherings are, its all manipulated with the utmost care. This regime knows well how to force people to show their love for the supreme family. I really have doubts that they can manage to bring them in big numbers for a long period, but may be Iran or Lebanon will send in their busloads to do so.

I am sure that cities like Idleb, Hama, Homs, Deir az Zohr, Deraa will soon fall under total control of the peaceful demonstrators. The question will only remain how this regime will react to this manifestation of constitutional rights by its own citizen.

April 12th, 2012, 6:18 pm


Hopeful said:

Charlie Rose’s interview with Bashar Jaafari can be found here:

Charlie Rose is a master and I have to say that Bashar Jaafari held his own – not an easy task. Although the rants against Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were not necessary in my opinion.

Everyone seems to be ignoring the big elephant in the room! There is NO WAY that Assad will be elected president IF real democratic elections are held in Syria. Even if the guy walks on water (which he does not), he is from a minority sect. The enlightened politically-sophisticated people in Syria who would vote based on political agenda, as opposed to sectarian/religious affiliation, do not represent more than 10% of Syrians. It took the US ~250 years to produce a president from the “minority”, and European countries are probably still decades behind. A democratic transition in Syria WILL mean the end of the Assad rule and it will be the last time a non-sunni or a non-Arab will be president of Syria for decades to come! Unfortunate reality, but it is what it is, so let’s stop pretending!

I wish that the intelligent regime’ supporters, who may truly believe that Assad is the best man to lead Syria (like Mr. Ja’afari and many on this forum), can at least acknowledge this fact and stop pretending that a true democracy and the continuation of Assad’s rule can indeed happen at the same time in Syria. They simply can’t!

If the regime is indeed interested in helping Syria move towards democracy, it should understand that, at the end of this path, it is putting itself out of the job (like Mr. Gorbachev did in the Soviet Union). Either that, or simply start working on convincing Syrians, and the world, that Syria is better off under Assad than under a true democracy- a claim that one can at least make some intelligent arguments to support!

April 12th, 2012, 6:43 pm


jna said:

Juergen, do you mean via elections? How else could five cities fall under total control of peaceful demonstrators using their constitutional rights? Are you wishing that now the peaceful demonstrators enter into a serious political electoral process?

April 12th, 2012, 6:51 pm


Tara said:

How can Syrians take up to the street in massive demonstrations when shabeeha’s check points are sequestering towns and city into isolated sections?

Burhan Ghalioun, exiled head of SNC said a test will be tomorrow when large demonstrations are expected after Friday prayers. Ghalioun said he did not trust the authorities who he said had their “hand on the trigger”.

The Syrian people will go out tomorrow in the biggest possible numbers so that the Syrian people can express their will. While we call on the Syrian people to protest strongly… we ask them to be cautious because the regime will not respect the ceasefire and will shoot.

April 12th, 2012, 7:27 pm


Observer said:

Next step is observers. Russia cannot say no and it wants to already pre empt any true evaluation of the ground by hinting at observers amenable to the Syrian regime and they are going to have their Russian observers.

I say all observers from the BRIC are welcome and we should include South Africa and Indonesia and Malaysia and Japan and Morocco and Norway and Denmark and Sweden and Austria and Poland and Estonia and Lithuania and Latvia and Nepal and Australia or New Zealand and Canada. I strongly support observers from Bosnia and Croatia as well as they have good experience in this type of situation.

They have a tradition of serving and they have no beef one way or the other with either side.

Bets I will wager:

1. We will see a new campaign of disappear the opposition
2. We will see a great increase in the number of raids and detentions
3. We will see excuses pop up to keep the tanks and heavy weapons in
4. We will see an explosion here and there at extremely well fortified security areas and there will be claims by Al Qaeda
5. There will be purges of wishy washy and so so supporters and a consolidation of power in fewer people
6. There will be no significant speeches as of yet
7. There will be several claims of armed gangs still active

I see this already on this blog. The are those who have opted for a dialogue mantra who now see only evil in any opposition to the regime. It is again mind boggling at the self delusion that these people suffer from and their refusal to realize that this system of rule and this diabolical regime are obsolete and destined to the dustbins of history.

April 12th, 2012, 7:36 pm


Tara said:

For its own part, Turkey’s economic growth and emergence as a regional giant under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have made it a Middle East power. The Turks were, initially, not interested in competition with the Iranians and relations between Ankara and Tehran seemed quite warm. However, from the Syrian uprising to Iraq’s sectarian convulsions, recent developments have made Ankara the main challenger to Tehran’s desire to dominate the region.

How Iran and Turkey See Each Other

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is visiting Riyadh on Friday. The Syrian crisis will dominate the agenda in Riyadh, and Iran will scrutinize every statement made by Erdoğan and his Saudi hosts. Welcome to the new Middle East which increasingly looks too small to accommodate both Turkey and Iran.
Despite Syria, the Iranians know that Turkey can still be helpful in the context of Iran’s standoff with the West. First, in a world where Iran has few friends, Turkish willingness to act as a mediator is recognized by seasoned diplomats in Tehran as valuable. 

Second, Turkey has so far mainly implemented U.N. sanctions resolutions against Iran. Though there are signs that Ankara is moving to join U.S.-supported sanctions, Tehran, nevertheless, maintains hope. From Ankara’s perspective, the Turkish stance on sanctions is about self-interest given economic ties between the two countries. From Tehran’s perspective, this is a useful tool with which to circumvent Western pressures. 
The Iranian debate about where to go from here in relations with Ankara has two principle strands. The first group is made up largely by hardliners around the Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei. They see the rivalry with Turkey as a zero-sum-game and warn of further tensions with Ankara. For example, they warn that Turkey and Sunni Arab states are mobilizing to weaken the Shiite political elite in Baghdad who back Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and instead want to empower a coalition comprised of Iraqi Sunni Arab and (Sunni) Kurdish interests. In other words, Ankara’s challenge to Iranian interests is not limited to Syria but extends to Iraq and beyond.
The second group is made up of Iranian bureaucrats who shun the zero-sum-game approach, and they also do not recommend Iran’s regional jockeying be based on sectarian calculations. They tend to emphasize Turkey’s usefulness as a mediator and economic partner and stress that it is foolish for Tehran to expect Turkish accommodation of Iranian interests at all times. In other words, Tehran should be realistic in its demands and above all avoid pushing Turkey away.

April 12th, 2012, 8:28 pm


Ghufran said:

I am surprised that some of you expected a total cease fire on April 12th. There are credible forces that want Annan to fail, but that will not be good for Syria:

April 12th, 2012, 8:28 pm


ann said:

On Syria, As UN Moves Toward Monitors, Turkey Talks NATO

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 12 — As the UN Security Council moves to negotiation a resolution to send an advance team of monitors to Syria, the “incidents” on the Syrian border with Turkey continue to reverberate. US Ambassador Susan Rice, as president of the Security Council for April, began her read out of Kofi Annan’s closed door video briefing by referring to the April 9 cross border firing.

Inner City Press asked Ambassador Rice about Turkey’s letter to the Security Council reporting the incident, and Turkish leadership’s talk that NATO Article 5 might be invoked, that an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all.

Rice replied that Turkey has not yet formally invoked Article 5, only notified of the incident. She was asked about Syria’s criticism of the US providing communications equipment to the opposition, and replied that only Syria is violating Annan’s Six Point Plan.

But what about Saudi Arabia and Qatar moving to pay the salaries of the Free Syrian Army?

Inner City Press asked Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari about Turkey’s NATO argument. He replied that Turkey is hosting armed groups. He said that a group came across the border and attacked a police station “over there,” and the Syrian forces “retaliated.” We’ll see – watch this site.


April 12th, 2012, 9:00 pm


ann said:

At UN, South Sudan Says Won’t Leave Heglig Until Monitors, SC All Syria

Even after South Sudan’s statement, the Security Council remained focused on Syria — even as a coup d’etat was reported in Guinea-Bissau. A non-Western diplomat leaving the Council told Inner City Press, “Now you see this is useless,” pointing back at the Security Council. Another, told of the Guinea Bissau coup, quipped “congratulations!” Still another said, “We need another Security Council.”

One Council member with an eye on Bissau, Togo, appeared at the Council at 6:15 pm. But they left at 6:20, telling Inner City Press, “We have to know more.” Some call it coup fatigue.

Meanwhile on the Syria draft resolution, even after hours, negotiations remained on the initial Operative Paragraphs, with a fight predicted over “freedom of movement.” This comes just after the re-release of Ban Ki-moon’s report on Western Sahara, where the UN mission clearly does not have freedom of movement. A European diplomat pointed out that more people are being killed in Syria. So that’s the standard?


April 12th, 2012, 9:22 pm


Sunny said:

So who is the Lawrence of the Arabs in 2012?!

April 12th, 2012, 9:30 pm


bronco said:

#75 Hopeful

Excellent interview with Bashar al Jaafari. He is a very intelligent, eloquent and credible man. Charlie Rose was obviously impressed and almost convinced.
Thanks for posting it.

April 12th, 2012, 9:32 pm


ann said:

Turkish opposition slams government over Syria warmongering – April 13, 2012

The Turkish opposition has slammed the government over warmongering in Syria as Turkey has intensified its calls on the international community to immediately act to avert escalating violence in Syria.

“The Turkish Republic has never done as much warmongering as it has today,” leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a CHP party meeting on Thursday. He said his party doesn’t endorse interfering in the domestic affairs of another country and said they reject intervening in a struggle between authorities and opposition in a foreign nation.

Criticizing Turkey’s Syrian policy, Kılıçdaroğlu asserted that the Turkish government was beating the war drum. He added that Turkey’s relations with Iraq, Iran and Syria have worsened because of the government’s interference in the domestic politics of these countries and that this in turn has downplayed Turkey’s ambition to become a regional power. The CHP leader accused the government of taking sides in the conflict and urged the ruling party to invite Iran, Russia and groups from Syria to Turkey for talks if it wants peace not war.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural also harshly criticized Turkey’s foreign policy with respect to Syria and said it has become based on Washington’s occupation agenda. He added that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is warmongering over Syria and that this policy ignites ethnic and sectarian conflict. The Turkish prime minister said on March 16 that Turkey is considering setting up a “security” or “buffer” zone along its border with Syria.

Pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Hasip Kaplan said on Thursday that it is a very critical and dangerous venture for Turkey to be on the brink of war with its neighbors. Kaplan also said Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu should brief Parliament and Erdoğan should brief political party leaders in detail over Turkey’s policy regarding Syria.


April 12th, 2012, 9:33 pm


Ghufran said:

What is the point of hiding the fact that two high ranking army officers, one in Reef Dimashq and the second in Reef Halab, were assassinated AFTER the cease fire took effect?

FSA denied any involvement and until we have information that nullify that denial we have no choice but to accept the FSA claims. The regime should not be allowed to use small scale terrorist attacks as an excuse to end the cease fire, but nobody should prevent security forces, not the army, from investigating those attacks, and any future similar attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Who will monitor the regime and make sure it does not exploit those incidents to arrest political dissidents? This is where a sizable UN unarmed force is needed. If the UN fails to receive the funds and the political support to do the job, we must assume that Annan mission was created to fail.

April 12th, 2012, 9:41 pm


ann said:

UN draft calls for observers to monitor fragile Syria truce – 04/13/2012

US-drafted resolution calls on Security Council to authorize deployment of up to 30 unarmed inspectors to monitor Syrian compliance with ceasefire; includes vague threat of future action if Assad does not honor truce.

UNITED NATIONS – A US-drafted resolution would have the UN Security Council authorize an initial deployment to Syria of up to 30 unarmed observers to monitor compliance with a fragile UN-backed ceasefire that took hold earlier on Thursday.

The 2-page draft, obtained by Reuters, would have the 15-nation council say Damascus must “ensure full and unimpeded freedom of movement throughout Syria for all mission personnel, including access, without prior notice, to any place or establishment that the mission deems necessary.” [ Observers or Spies 8) ]

The draft also would have the council condemn “widespread, systematic, and gross violations of human rights … by the Syrian authorities (and urge that) those responsible for human rights violations shall be held accountable.”

It includes other demands on the Syrian government, which it says must fully comply with the Annan plan, “(a) cease troop movements towards population centers, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centers, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centers.”

It also “demands further that the Syrian government withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from population centers to their barracks … calls upon all parties in Syria immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms and to cease all arbitrary detentions, abductions, and torture.”

The draft includes a vague threat of future action against Damascus. It says the council “expresses its determination, in the event that the Syrian government does not implement its commitments to consider further measures as appropriate.”

It was not immediately clear how Russia and China, which vetoed two previous resolutions condemning the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s 13-month assault on anti-government protesters, reacted to the US draft, which council diplomats were discussing behind closed doors.

Most of the demands in the draft resolution are addressed to the Syrian government, which could irritate Moscow and Beijing. Both have urged the council to be balanced and to address both the Syrian government and opposition.


April 12th, 2012, 9:54 pm


Juergen said:


There might be soon an open position as a spy detector available in Damascus.


I have no clue how this regime thinks that the parlamentary elections can take place as scheduled in May. I suggested that given the fact that for once the regime will give every syrian his constitutional rights, we will see the big demonstrations which we have witnessed in last summer in Homs and Hama. When there is no fear to get killed, when there are no arrests and torture chambers filled, i do believe that many will make their protest against this evil regime be heard.

April 12th, 2012, 10:05 pm


Ghufran said:

Decent people have the right to disagree. Many anti regime Syrians would have accepted a half democracy before March 2011 and before thousands of Syrians died unnecessarily, but the majority of Syrians want a regime change, and efforts to introduce a half democracy will fail in the long term, only the regime can be blamed for this outcome.

Remember that Hamas was elected democratically in Gaza,and if similar elections are held in Syria, most PA seat will be won by people who are drastically different from the ones in charge today. This will make Syria more conservative, religiously, and less tolerant but that is a phase the country may have to go through, the only fight today worth fighting is making sure that seculars do not lose enough to become irrelevant, forget about preserving the regime or Assad or even a 50/50 power sharing. I as an expat can only wish for cessation of blood shed and a new system that keeps the minimal standards of individual freedom and the rule of the law, in relative terms, do not raise your expectations, you will be disappointed.

April 12th, 2012, 10:26 pm


ann said:

Displaced Syrians in north Lebanon wish quick return – April 13, 2012

TRIPOLI, Lebanon, April 12 (Xinhua) — Displaced Syrian families staying in the Lebanese northern city of Tripoli are looking for a quick return, after a ceasefire went into effect at about 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) Thursday in line with a deadline set by special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, Kofi Annan, to end the year-long deadly unrest in Syria.

Many of these families told Xinhua that they will move back to their hometown as soon as they are sure of the commitment to the ceasefire and the withdrawal of both the Syrian army and the militants from streets and urban areas.

There are around 2,000 Syrian families currently staying in Tripoli. Some of them can pay the rent for the apartments they are living in, while the others are relying on the aid provided by charities or religious institutions funded by the Gulf Arab states, according to, Ahmad Moussa, spokesman of the Syrian Refugees Commission in Lebanon.

Khaled el Sheikh, who came from Syria’s central city of Homs and is now living in a rented apartment in Tripoli with his wife and three children, told Xinhua, “I will be back to Syria as soon as possible once I am sure the security situation has stabilized.”

“I will not hesitate to return as the living conditions in Lebanon are hard and there are no sufficient aid to cover all our needs. We were living in better conditions in Syria. The state provided us with health care and education for our children. In Lebanon the situation is different. You have to secure a monthly income not less than 1,000 (U.S.) dollars to survive,” the 45-year- old man said.


April 12th, 2012, 10:40 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Yep, I’m around. Though a bit tired of the daily bickering here. And of ANN. More of the same and the same and the same.

My deep admiration for the Syrian people who has to cope with all of this. They are so patient and adamant. I have no right to lose my patience. This ugly junta is really really getting on my nerves and pisses me off.

April 12th, 2012, 11:16 pm


ann said:

‘Syrian ‘opposition’ – West-controlled proxy paramilitary’ – 13 April, 2012

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, noted that Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, was wrong in saying that Russia and China had blood on their hands.

“NATO has blood on their hands,” he told RT. “The United States has blood on their hands. Why? Because they have supported an armed insurgency from the onset in March 2011. It is known and documented that this so-called opposition is, in fact, a proxy paramilitary formation, which is supported by the Western military alliance.”

He also noted that there is well-documented evidence to support the fact that most civilian casualties were attributable to terrorist acts by opposition gunmen and paramilitary forces.


April 12th, 2012, 11:57 pm


zoo said:

Counter-demonstrations to fight anti-regime demonstrations?

The Annan-Moallem Letters: Deciphering Syria’s Six-Point Plan

On the other hand, the Syrian regime knows that Annan’s plan is full of pitfalls and could overturn military achievements on the ground. It therefore took measures to reduce the possibility of its enemies benefiting from the second point on ceasing armed violence, which would lead to an upsurge of peaceful demonstrations.

To this effect, the Syrian regime imposed a new law on peaceful demonstrations requiring a prior permit from the interior ministry. But this law will not protect the regime from the possibility of daily unlicensed protests so it is resorting to planning counter demonstrations in support of the regime.

The latest demonstration organized by the Baath in Damascus seems to be a model, with security forces intervening between demonstrators to avoid a clash.

April 13th, 2012, 12:12 am


SC Moderation said:

Ann is under moderation, per the warning given at post 306549.

April 13th, 2012, 12:51 am


jad said:

Jad is under moderation, per the warning given at post 305987.

W T F is that, you put ANN in moderation and you leave this dog called k hara Shami out for attacking people out of the blue for no fuc king reason!!!!!!!!!!

If you have a shred of respect or brain you would’ve deleted that sh it called comment, what a freaking site and shi tty moderation…

April 13th, 2012, 1:15 am


Mina said:

Dear SC Moderator,

You are banning Jad for answering someone who had distorted what he had said, and proved it with a logical argumentation?

April 13th, 2012, 3:40 am


Juergen said:


I do understand you, its like watching Groundhog Day allover the time.Let me know if you make it to Berlin this summer.

April 13th, 2012, 4:18 am


Mina said:

Low-intensity until Saturday. Guess why?
“Nuclear chess in Istanbul
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi
NEW YORK – On Saturday, a new round of nuclear chess between Iran and representatives of the “Iran Six” nations will resume in Istanbul after a 13-month hiatus in talks on Tehran’s nuclear program. (…)”

April 13th, 2012, 4:55 am


Mina said:

UNSC anyone?
10.35am: Tunisia: Following attacks on journalists by the police, the National Union of Tunisian Journalists has decided not to cover the interior minister’s activities for a week, Tunisia Live reports.

Aymen Rezgui, a member of the executive office of the union in charge of freedoms, stated that the reasons behind the decision are the repetitive attacks on journalists, whether physically or through insults, especially on April 9, when a number of journalists were assaulted and threatened.

“On April 9, policemen were attacking journalists and breaking their cameras. There is not respect for journalists, and the interior ministry did not take any measures to investigate the issue,” he stated.

The minister, in turn, has denounced “parts of the media” for having “added fuel to the flames” regarding a demonstration in Tunis on Monday that resulted in clashes between police and protesters, AFP reports.

April 13th, 2012, 6:04 am


mjabali said:


Hajji, you are running around from the main topic which is Sufism a believer of violent methods?

Are Sufis known to be the pawns of the rulers, in almost all of their history?

If the Sufis are this fighting creed, as you claim Mr. Jeurgen, why they never rebelled against any ruler in Syria?

Sufism, again, is spiritual and have nothing to do with violence.

If the Sanusis or Mahdawis went after colonial forces that is not stemming from their Sufi teachings. This is coming from a complex historical realities, but, AGAIN, not from their Sufi theories.

Non Sufi Muslims have that fight them all logic. Sufis’ Jihad is inner.


April 13th, 2012, 6:38 am


Observer said:

This is from Juan Cole today and he is known for his anti empire stand and for dialogue and for giving the other a say. He is against demonization of any foe
Read the post in its entirety and tell if this is not a diabolical regime

April 13th, 2012, 6:41 am


Alan said:

On a permanent basis
Russian Warships to Patrol Syrian Coast
Russian warships will be continuously deployed for patrol duty off the Syrian coast in the Mediterranean, a high-ranking source in the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday.
“A decision has been made to deploy Russian warships near the Syrian shores on a permanent basis,” the source said.
The Russian Kashin-class guided-missile destroyer Smetlivy is currently deployed near the Syrian coast.
“Another Black Sea Fleet ship will replace the Smetlivy in May,” the source said, adding that several Russian warships were on their way to the Mediterranean.

April 13th, 2012, 6:50 am


Alan said:

First major ceasefire violation reported from Syria

The first major ceasefire agreement violation has been reported from Syria’s Khirbet al-Jouz area, near the Turkish border.

Bitter clashes between the Syrian military and rebel fighters who had crossed into Syria from Turkey went on for about an hour. According to Syrian military sources, the government troops used tanks to neutralize the enemy fire nests.

The rebels captured a house and planted the black-white-green flag of the Istanbul-based opposition Syrian National Council over it.

According to reports from the Hama Province, armed extremists gunned down two soldiers when attacking an Army patrol near the city of Bourdayj.


April 13th, 2012, 7:07 am


Tara said:

The Syrian regime is carrying a mission of intimidation, deploying snipers, shabeeha, and armed forces,  and setting up more checkpoints, blocking entrances and exits to all cities, prevent demonstration.

Every Friday the Syrian opposition gives a name to the protests and today it is “Revolution for all Syrians”, which was chosen after an internet poll. The uprising has been criticised by some of his detractors as sectarian in nature.

Although a ceasefire is supposed to be in effect, it remains to be seen whether protests will be allowed as required under number six of Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, which asks the Syrian authorities to “respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed”.

The Local Co-ordination Committees activist group claims that in some areas, measures are being taken to prevent demonstrations/intimidate protesters:

Deraa: Nawa: Security and regime’s army are deployed around Al-Imam Al-Nawawi Al-Kabeer mosque to prevent demonstrators to participate in Revolution For All Syrians Friday 

Damascus suburbs: Mouadamiyeh: Security reinforcement backed by armoured vehicles and vehicles carrying anti aircraft entered the city. Snipers are deployed on a number of buildings, and security checkpoints are stationed around the city 

Damascus suburbs: Harasta: All city’s entrances and exists are blocked, and all mosques are besieged, in addition to disconnecting communications in the area

April 13th, 2012, 7:09 am


Uzair8 said:

@70 Irritated said:

“One year has shown that Bashar al Assad may have succeeded in pushing back a historical and ruthless assault from Islamist Arab and several powerful Western countries to overthrow him. In that, he has proven to be another brand of leader than Ben Ali, Mobarak or Qaddafi.

Could it instead be that this regime was on another level altogether, compared to the others, in terms of Police State; it’s cynicism; the lengths it is prepared to go to survive; prevarication, brutality etc. On top of that he managed to blackout the media coverage thus allowing him to deny the ‘unverified’ reports that got out.

Gaddafi was abandoned by Russia.
Ben Ali was abandoned by the West.
When it comes to Syria we are talking more than just one country. We have the so called ‘resistance bloc’. Iran and Hezbollah are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Assad. Russia so far is still with him.

April 13th, 2012, 7:25 am


Alan said:

Amnesty International Propaganda Targets Russia and Syria

Shameless propaganda stunt by US State Department run, Soros-funded front Amnesty International.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post

The Amnesty International “infographic” titled, “Shocking Facts About Who’s Arming Human Rights Abusers,” portraying Russia’s arming of Syria as “fueling the most bloodshed” is not “shocking” at all when one realizes the disingenuous human rights advocacy organization is run by US State Department officials and is funded by convicted criminal George Soros’ Open Society Institute (annual report page 8), as well as the UK Department for International Development (page 8), the European Commission, and other corporate-funded foundations.

The “infographic,” in this context, clearly becomes a case of shameless, politically motivated propaganda using the Amnesty International “brand” to give it the legitimacy its increasingly distrusted sponsors lack……/…../…..

April 13th, 2012, 7:28 am


bronco said:

Tentative explanations of the apparent absence of the ‘mass” protests called by the SNC and predicted by the anti-regime SC commenters :

– There are mokhabarat and shabbiha everywhere
– Towns are sealed off with checkpoints
– Squares are sealed off
– Mosques are watched


A better explanation could be that Syrian protesters are tired and do not expect much anymore from protests as the Western and Arab countries, after having boosted them with promises, have let them down.

The only hope to break the truce comes now from Turkey eager to create a violent diversion on the border to derail the abhored Annan peace plan that would leave Turkey in the cold.

April 13th, 2012, 7:36 am


Alan said:

participation of the Russian scientists in production Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Winged wonder: RT sneaks onboard new Boeing 787 Dreamliner

April 13th, 2012, 7:37 am


Alan said:

Russia so far is still with him. ( wrong )
Russia so far is still with Syria ( right )

April 13th, 2012, 7:41 am


Afram said:

Today friday the 13th..bad luck superstition.

today,syrian native songbirds are Countering violent islamist extremism bullets..good luck pragmatism.

April 13th, 2012, 7:42 am


Uzair8 said:

#70 Irritated said:

“…pushing back a historical and ruthless assault from Islamist Arab and several powerful Western countries…”

‘Ruthless assault’, LOL.

More like foot-dragging, effectively buying time for Assad, and plenty of empty words.

The only ruthless assault I see is the one against the Syrian people by their own regime.

April 13th, 2012, 7:42 am


Uzair8 said:

110 Afram

Yes, Friday the 13th.

The previous occasion we had the suggested name ‘Friday the 13th: The Pulpit defections’ after a junior cleric allegedly associated with Mufti Hassoun was said to have defected the previous day(s).

April 13th, 2012, 7:46 am


zoo said:

President Bashar al-Assad won’t make same mistake as Colonel Gaddafi – so the West must act

Syria’s fragile UN-brokered ceasefire will do nothing to topple its ruthless and astute leader.

By Con Coughlin

8:34PM BST 12 Apr 2012

President Bashar al-Assad and his clique of Alawite desperadoes in Damascus will have good reason to congratulate themselves on the introduction of the UN-backed ceasefire that is supposed to end 13 months of brutal bloodshed in Syria.

Irrespective of whether it lasts just a matter of hours – as most Western observers expect – or even, if we’re lucky, a few days, all Assad and his henchmen care about is that their grip on power remains undiminished, leaving them free to maintain their tyrannical rule over Syria’s long-oppressed masses.

And, unless there is a radical change in the way the major Western powers are tackling the Syrian crisis, that is precisely the outcome the ceasefire will deliver for the regime, even if, as now seems clear, Assad has no intention of implementing the terms of the agreement brokered by Kofi Annan, the former UN Secretary-General

April 13th, 2012, 7:56 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Hanging of mentally handicapped by MB animals
In Doma

April 13th, 2012, 7:56 am


zoo said:

Syria: the only plan in town

It would be a fatal mistake to dismiss the Annan plan prematurely and argue for Nato intervention
Editorial, Thursday 12 April 2012 22.12 BST

A fragile ceasefire took hold in Syria on Thursday, evidence of the pressure Russia, China – and to some extent Iran – could apply to the Assad regime if they wanted to. It was their alarm at the escalating fighting, which Kofi Annan, the joint UN-Arab League envoy, skillfully levered, that produced the first lull in the conflict in months.

But it would be a fatal mistake to dismiss the Annan plan prematurely and argue that because Syria is already burning out of control, a Nato intervention could not precipitate a wider conflict. It could, and it would.

Despite the tough words since Monday, when Syrian shelling killed two people in a Turkish refugee camp near the border, Turkey is supremely reluctant to create a humanitarian corridor inside Syria, mindful of what happened with the Kurds the last time this was tried. A regional war on its Syrian border is the last thing Ankara wants or needs. Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invocation of Nato’s responsibilities under the article 5 mutual aid clause to protect the Turkish border was another expression of how reluctant his country would be to act alone. Add to that brew a fractured opposition, armed rebel groups nowhere near big enough to challenge loyalist forces, the slow rate of defections and the opportunity that jihadis in western Iraq would have to make mayhem just over their border; include Hizbollah and Iran in this mix and the civil war taking place now would be as nothing to the bloodshed that would result from any foreign intervention.

It would be an exaggeration to say, as one member of the opposition Syrian National Council claimed, that it will be the beginning of the end of the Syrian regime when it starts to apply the Annan plan. But its full implementation would spell the end of Assad’s use of his army to suppress his Arab spring.

April 13th, 2012, 8:03 am


zoo said:

In an interview with Press TV, Ammar Waqqaf of Syrian Social Club group in London, shared his thoughts regarding the issue.

I think the Western countries in general have realized that President Bashar al-Assad and his government command a certain critical mass of Syrian population approval in order to keep going on and on and on. So it is going to be very hard for them to stick to their original objective of toppling of the regime.

Now this message is yet to convince the other parties like the Saudis, the Qataris and the Turks because these three countries have actually crossed the line of low return very early on with their propaganda, with arming these rebels and with making a lot of pressure.

So there is a rift between what Western countries believe to be as realistic expectations of this conflict as an outcome and what the [Persian] Gulf States and Turkey think believe should be which is the full toppling of the regime.

So this is the crack that we are seeing and actually it was interesting today to hear the UN Secretary General saying that all countries of the world should actually work together to make this work and at the face of it, they might think that this is meaning Russia and meaning China but actually if you go deep into it, it may well be those countries who are refusing and they are still in a state of denial about the real position of the Syrian government and they believe that if the international pressure mounts more, then the Syrian government is going to collapse.

So in a sense, yes, there are cracks and I think we are starting to go towards the sort of solution; it is going to take time, in my opinion. And as you have rightly said, we have some incidents today and I think this proves that the opposition is really fragmented.

I am not going to say that they are not really committed to the ceasefire but what I am going to say is that there are certain groups on the ground who do not really follow this hierarchy which makes it even more complicated.

So what we are hoping for is that this would carry on, hopefully. I am not very optimistic, to be honest, but I am hoping that it would carry on and if that is the case, then probably the Western states could tell the [Persian] Gulf states and Turkey, look guy! This is a way out. Let’s just lower our expectations a little bit and see how we can be a little bit more constructive.

April 13th, 2012, 8:09 am


Tara said:

No need for probing Shaaban’s killing, Syria responsible: Jumblatt
April 13, 2012

In an interview with Al-Fajr radio station run by Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, Jumblatt, a harsh critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad, accused what he called the regime’s “Shabbiha” (armed thugs) for Shaaban’s killing.

“The regime’s Shabbiha were not deterred and will not be deterred,” he said. He rejected demands for a Lebanese and Syrian investigation into Shaaban’s killing.

“It is not a matter of an investigation. I disagree with those who are demanding an investigation. Someone had opened fire. A regular army opened fire on a Lebanese citizen, a Lebanese journalist on Lebanese territory,” Jumblatt said, adding: “Therefore, a lawsuit must be lodged, I don’t know, with international courts against this criminal act.”
Al-Jadeed has blamed the Syrian Army for Shaaban’s killing. The TV station’s owner, Tahseen Khayyat, said the Syrian attack on Al-Jadeed crew had been intentional.
Shaaban’s bereaved mother told Shukr, who was accompanied by his wife, “We will not be bought by money but with a word of satisfaction by Almighty God … I want justice done against those who killed my son. I want to tell [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hasan [Nasrallah] that I and my family sacrifice our lives for him.”

April 13th, 2012, 8:18 am


Tara said:

Bashar Jaafari is intelligent and credible?

The media has it that when Jaafari wants to convince Bashar with something, he asks Shahrazad, his daughter to do the job….Is this the new definition of “pride” in the eyes of the regime supporters?

Not in my eyes.

April 13th, 2012, 8:24 am


Tara said:


Welcome back.

I knew you are coming back. Your multiple declarations of leaving for good have never materialized, a good thing.

I am just wondering why do you feel the need to threat quitting when you know you are going to come back? Can we call those threats incredible or empty from now on?

April 13th, 2012, 8:42 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I would definitely wish to see you if I go this summer to Berlin. My father told me a few days ago, that he wants us to go to travel
china for a couple of weeks, and I have my IDF reserve duty this June for at least two weeks…. So every thing is still open and undecided. When I know something for sure, I’ll let you know.

April 13th, 2012, 9:02 am


zoo said:

Peaceful demonstrations?

“The Britain-based watchdog said demonstrators hurled stones at security forces in the Tariq al-Sadd district of Daraa, south of Damascus, cradle of the protest movement that erupted in March last year.”

April 13th, 2012, 9:05 am


irritated said:

#119 SNK

Welcome back, we missed you sharp and politically incorrect comments.

April 13th, 2012, 9:09 am


Tara said:

Cease fire?

‫لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا ارتفاع عدد شهداء اليوم إلى احد عشر شهيدا، ثلاث شهداء في درعا في اطلاق نار عشوائي على المتظاهرين,شهيدين في حماه باطلاق نار عشوائي على المتظاهرين،شهيدين في ادلب عثر على جثمان لايزال مجهول الهوية,شهيدين في حلب باطلاق نار عشوائي على المتظاهرين,شهيد في داريا بريف دمشق باطلاق نار عشوائي على المتظاهرين وشهيد في الحسكة و هو جندي منشق تمت تصفيته‬

April 13th, 2012, 9:09 am


Tara said:

Local Coordination Committees: Thirty-one areas, until this moment, witnessed a breach of Annan’s initiative by opening fire directly at peaceful demonstrators by the regime’s forces, which resulted in the falling of several martyrs. The areas that witnessed the gunfire are: Daraa: Nawa-Daraa AlBalad-Inkhel-Ibtee-Tareeq AlSad, Idlib: Salqein-Jes Alshughour-Rami-Kherbet AlJouz-Habeit, Hama: Bab Qabli Neighborhood-Hameedieh-Tareeq Halab-Aleelat-Qusour-Karnaz-Jouret AlSheyah, Lattakia: Helfaya-Bardej, Aleppo: Bab-Sekary-Maree-Ard AlHamra, Homs: Qarabes-Ghouta-Waer-Old Homs-Slaibeh, Damascus and its Suburbs: Naher Aisha-Assali-Jobar-Daraya-Kafasouseh-Mouadamiyeh-Harasta-Wadi Barada-Douma-Housh Arab-Qaboun

[ blue diamond + ]

April 13th, 2012, 9:15 am


Mawal95 said:

In the video posted by Syria No Kandahar at #114 a large rabble in Douma in Outer Damascus kill a person by hanging (they “lynch” him). The date of the event is said to be yesterday 12 Apr 2012. I suppose the date is true but I’m unsure. We see a very serious violation of law and order that warrants dispersal of the demonstrators by the security forces.

April 13th, 2012, 9:16 am


Mawal95 said:

Yesterday the Syrian Ministry of the Interior issued a reminder that every protest demonstration must be licensed to be legal. Here’s a reiteration of what I’ve said before about this.

The Syrian law that peaceful demonstrations require a license from the Ministry of the Interior was enacted in Syria in conjunction with (and shortly after) the repeal of the Emergency Law on 21 Apr 2011. In response to that new law, in late Spring last year the protesters’ Local Coordinating Committees adopted a policy that they would not seek licenses for any of their demonstrations. All protesting in Syria for the past year has been illegal, by a policy decision of the protest organizers. The government in response decided to tolerate the great majority of the protests despite their illegality.

A license from the Ministry of the Interior or from the police is also a requirement under the law in all Western countries and almost all countries worldwide.

When a demonstration has no license, the government has the legal power to disperse it at any time for any reason. The Syrian government is all in favour of letting dissenters protest peacefully, and licenses are easy to obtain in general, though some restrictions apply.

April 13th, 2012, 9:21 am


bronco said:

Tara #118

From her writings, Sheherazad al Jaafari appears to be a very intelligent woman. Insinuating that her father uses her in cheap ways to convince Bashar is unworthy of you.

April 13th, 2012, 9:24 am


jna said:

Those peaceful demonstrators…

“Among the dead were two soldiers killed by rebels after forces loyal to Assad attempted to break up a demonstration in the central province of Hama.”

April 13th, 2012, 9:26 am


Mina said:

Le Monde has a chat with a researcher who is a specialist of Syria.

“Le régime syrien négocie toujours en position de force. Il a d’abord repris la main militairement pour, ensuite, négocier à ses propres conditions. Ce que refuse une large partie de l’opposition. L’opposition extérieure, le Conseil national syrien, refuse toute négociation parce qu’elle n’a pas d’autre stratégie que la confrontation, pensant que le régime va finir par s’écrouler. Depuis le début de la révolte, le CNS affirme que le régime va s’écrouler dans quelques semaines. Il faut se rendre à l’évidence que ce n’est pas le cas. Et qu’aujourd’hui, le régime sort renforcé de l’épreuve.”

April 13th, 2012, 9:26 am


bronco said:

#124 Tara

LCC reports…

Links please?

April 13th, 2012, 9:29 am


Tara said:

In regard to Jaafari, I did not make up the news. This was reported in the media.
مصدر الخبر

April 13th, 2012, 9:46 am


bronco said:

#131 Tara

“In regard to Jaafari, I did not make up the news. This was reported in the media.”

Do you mean the hacked emails? If not please indicate the media ‘news’ link about Sheherzaad Al Jaafari “lobbying” Bashar al Assad to listen to her father.

April 13th, 2012, 9:51 am



Bashar’s hubris is bringing about his downfall. He overestimated his level of support when he agreed to the Annan plan. Yes men have been pushed to the top, and pragmatists are standing on the sidelines. Stay tuned for a flow of political officials checking out universities in foreign countries for their children. This will not only include no-name MPs who gleefully cheered him on as he steered the country towards civil war, but members of the old guard who stood by Hafez, but never respected his son. The protests will grow; the guns will turn, with heavy handed force, on the peaceful; Russia and Iran will step back; anger will swell, and Assad will be ousted.

Hafez was brutal, but he valued the capable. Bashar is more inclined to listen to pretty young women who feed his ego. The cult of Assad is dead, and fear died along with it.

April 13th, 2012, 10:03 am


Tara said:

# 132

Yes the email leak. Ms. Shahrazad have on multiple occasions expressed an opinion in regard to the performance of Buthina Shaaban and other figures in public office and asked Bashar to remove them from their posts. Now i don’t know whether he listens to her because his ego needs to be fulfilled by having young western female advisers or because of her Iranian connection with his masters. All in all, it seems like Batta has a penchant towards westernized females (Asma , Shahrazad, Hadyl).

April 13th, 2012, 10:26 am


Afram said:

اهلاً-حجي قندهار.
اي نعم صوت تغريد عصافير سوريا.

April 13th, 2012, 10:36 am


mjabali said:

Last night attended great speeches about Egypt: keynote speaker: Saad el Din Ibrahim. Juan Cole spoke before him.

From both men you get the sense that the Middle East is going through a long period of chaos.

Mr. Ibrahim’s stories about the Egyptian “revolution” is very telling about how everyone was caught unprepared, and therefore we are going to have a long period of the unknown.

سلام حجي قندهار..

April 13th, 2012, 10:48 am


jad said:

As I wrote before, Germany is a very important European media leader, when it starts something the French and then the BBC will follow, which is slowly showing in the mainstream media in Europe, not the American yet.

In Jurgen Todenhofer’s latest article he is writing about the reality of the criminal armed gangs of fsa:

Die Rebellen von Homs-Wie Syrien im Bürgerkrieg versinkt

Syrien im April. Omar ist Rebell der “Freien Syrischen Armee” (FSA). Mein Sohn Frédéric und ich treffen ihn in Damaskus in einem dunklen Hinterzimmer. Am 27. Februar ist er mit seinen Kampfgenossen aus Baba Amr geflohen, jenem Stadtteil von Homs, der monatelang ihre Hochburg war. Er will zurück nach Homs. Um seinen jüngeren Bruder zu rächen, der in seinen Armen starb…..

Please cut and paste the writing in Google translator for a translation of this article, it’s talking about fsa terrorists and how they are killing civilians, including women and children because of their sect.

The existence of British, French and foreign fighters training them which is a prove of what I wrote many times about the techniques used by the terrorists.

It also talks about the feeling of peaceful protesters in Damascus that they become tiered:

Here is part of the translation, it’s worth reading:

“Syria in April. Omar is a rebel of the “Free Syrian army” (FSA). My son Frederic and I met him in Damascus in a dark back room. On 27 February, he fled with his comrades from Baba Amr, the district of Homs, which was their stronghold for months. He wants to return to Homs. In order to avenge his younger brother, who died in his arms.

Omar had joined the rebels soon. He saw how the army had fired on peaceful demonstrators. Even children were killed. Not specifically, but did not care.

The number of his comrades in Baba Amr he estimates to 2000. Ten percent were deserters. Even the French, British, Americans and Iraqis were there. As a consultant and trainer.

I ask him about the open letter of “Human Rights Watch,” which accuses the rebels, hostage taking, torture and killing of civilians. Omar replied that the FSA kidnap only freizupressen to prisoners.

They kill civilians and not normal, but only traitors. You will not be tortured, but “heard hard.” Once they are convicted, they would be executed. Around him were 20 Alawite collaborators “executed” was. By head shot or cutting the throat.

Although he had heard from relatives that Assad in the rest of the country still have 50 to 60 percent behind. But a majority did not interest him. Assad is a man of Israel. He will always fight him.

The next day we meet near the Umayyad Mosque Rana, a 22-year-old student of history. She wants to demonstrate in the suburbs of Damascus continued. While their demos were always smaller. You have no choice.

Their protests were always peaceful. The FSA had to protect the demonstrators, mostly in the background. Their fighters had fired only when the demonstrators were in safety. Now much is out of control.

Rana feels left alone. Most people in Damascus and Aleppo are for Assad. The leader of the opposition in exile Ghalioun was just a media puppet that no one take seriously. Only NATO could topple Assad. That the cost of lives, would accept it. However, the intervention will not come, because Assad is an ally of the United States and Israel.

Together with Sharif, a Sunni engineer, two days later we drive to Homs. The city is still the most important, but perhaps also the last stronghold of the insurgency. Sharif said that the rebels had taken advantage of the withdrawal of the Syrian army during the visit of the Arab observer agreement approval contrary to the rise, says Sharif. The government had then vowed to never again engage in such wholesale services.

Since then, the government controls only about 25 percent of the city. In particular, the Alawite district and Baba Amr. 50 percent are controlled by the FSA, 25 percent are no man’s land. Of multiple checkpoints controlled by the regime, we reach the neighborhood of El Waer. We are in no man’s land.”

سلام حجي قندهار..
They did the same in the exact same mosque with a policeman around august, that time they didn’t shoot him as they did to this poor man, he even look that he has Down syndrome, how criminal is that?

April 13th, 2012, 11:13 am



134. Tara

I love your spirit, but it should be noted that Bouthaina Shaaban has performed terribly from a strategic media manipulation standpoint, and Shahrazad is right about this. She was a concession to elements on the inside, and most likely not Bashar’s first choice.

April 13th, 2012, 11:15 am


jad said:

Calm before greater storm in Syria

Washington’s keeps following longstanding regime change plans in Syria. Independent sovereign states aren’t tolerated.

Replacing them with pro-Western ones is policy. All means are used. They include punishing sanctions, color revolutions, violent coups, subversion, cyberwar, targeted assassinations, armed insurgencies, and war if other methods failed.

So far, Syria and Iran withstood hostile Washington assaults. At issue is what’s next? On April 12, Syria was largely calm. Both sides halted hostilities. For how long?

Calm and stability defeat Washington’s agenda. Advancing it depends on violence blamed on Assad. Expect lull conditions to be temporary.

Insurgent attacks will resume. It’s just a matter of time. Alleged or provoked incidents will be used as justification. Perhaps one already occurred.

On April 12, Today’s Zaman headlined, “Syrian troops fire on refugees fleeing Turkey,” saying:

Hours before the ceasefire deadline, Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said Syrian troops “reportedly” fired on civilians fleeing to Turkey. “(N)o casualties were reported.” Regard the allegation skeptically.

Syrian forces engage armed insurgents. Noncombatant civilians aren’t attacked. Why would they fire on men, women and children posing no threat? Reports said they tried to enter Southern Turkey through its Kilis Province Oncupinar border post.

If an attack occurred, blame insurgents, not Assad. Witnesses said they heard “heavy gunfire.” It was dark. Attackers weren’t visible. It suggests guerilla activity, not an army provoked incident.

Insurgents willfully target civilians. Assad’s blamed. Perhaps again. It happens regularly. Expect further provocations. Fingers will point the wrong way. Violence will resume, then intervention. Expect war to follow.

April 13th, 2012, 11:22 am


Tara said:


Yes information. I agree with your assessment in regard to Buthaina. I was not judging Buthina’s performance. I was pointing readers’ attention towards the impact Shahrazad has on Batta. Her casual relation with Batta, the illegit Syrian president, is astonishing to say the least.

April 13th, 2012, 11:29 am



I completely agree. I didn’t mean to nitpick, but I absolutely abhor Bouthaina Shaaban, and just wanted to use the opening you provided to take a jab at her.

April 13th, 2012, 11:36 am


Tara said:


Yes, I figured. The feeling is mutual.

April 13th, 2012, 11:40 am


Afram said:

*Mr.Proof Pipe=burhan ghalioun برهان غليون

Salah Badr Eddin is a syrian kurdish leader he is mad Mr.Proof Pipe.

Istanbul-March 26 – 27 -2012/he says:was agreed with SNC&the Preparatory Committee -for him to give a speech on behalf of “Union of Kurdish Democratic Forces ”

he says:Islamists plus (Samir Nashar, George Sabra and Tayfur and proof pipe)revoked his speech&reneged on a promise to him.

he says:The 5 Musketeers Islamists plus (Samir Nashar, George Sabra and Tayfur and proof pipe)are anti-democracy&distaste for pluralism and rejection of the principle of national partnership.

the kurds are mad…

worth reading>

April 13th, 2012, 12:14 pm


Mina said:

Hmmm, let’s compare, just for the record:
“There’s nothing happening [in Bahrain]. I know people that live there and it’s all very quiet and peaceful …” (…)

“A new video showing Bahrain police officers assisting in the looting of a supermarket demonstrates the continuing culture of impunity among the country’s security forces ” (…)

And this one, for Jad and Zoo

April 13th, 2012, 12:15 pm


Juergen said:

Here is an other “masterpiece” by Jürgen Todenhöfer, I always liked this men first for his unique cv and then for his opinions which were in most cases totally different from the mainstream.

What makes me angry is on the one hand his vanity which i did not notice beforehand. For him the importance is that he was in Syria, he knows how things are in the country and he has met with Assad. Everyone else is just not qualified in his eyes. He surely knows how much likely it is as a journalist to meet real “Syrians” on the street, nonevertheless he still thinks that those he meet represent the vast majority among Syrians. And thats to my understanding a good cover up story.

He was again in Syria, here is his report. Sorry to translate it again in total, there is no internetsite for this article yet.

The rebels of Homs
(Published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 04/13/2012)

Syria in April. Omar is a rebel of the “Free Syrian army” (FSA). My son Frederic and I met him in Damascus in a dark back room. On 27 February, he fled with his comrades from Baba Amr, the district of Homs, which was their stronghold for months. He wants to return to Homs. In order to avenge his younger brother, who died in his arms.

Omar had joined the rebels soon. He saw how the army had fired on peaceful demonstrators. Even children were killed. Not specifically, but did not care.

The number of his comrades in Baba Amr he estimates to 2000. Ten percent were deserters. Even the French, British, Americans and Iraqis were there. As a consultant and trainer.

I ask him about the open letter of “Human Rights Watch,” which accuses the rebels, hostage taking, torture and killing of civilians. Omar replied that the FSA kidnap only freizupressen to prisoners.

They kill civilians and not normal, but only traitors. You will not be tortured, but “heard hard.” Once they are convicted, they would be executed. Around him were 20 Alawite collaborators “executed” was. By head shot or cutting the throat.

Although he had heard from relatives that Assad in the rest of the country still have 50 to 60 percent behind. But a majority did not interest him. Assad is a man of Israel. He will always fight him.

The next day we meet near the Umayyad Mosque Rana, a 22-year-old student of history. She wants to demonstrate in the suburbs of Damascus continued. While their demos were always smaller. You have no choice.

Their protests were always peaceful. The FSA had to protect the demonstrators, mostly in the background. Their fighters had fired only when the demonstrators were in safety. Now much is out of control.

Rana feels left alone. Most people in Damascus and Aleppo are for Assad. The leader of the opposition in exile Ghalioun was just a media puppet that no one take seriously. Only NATO could topple Assad. That the cost of lives, would accept it. However, the intervention will not come, because Assad is an ally of the United States and Israel.

Together with Sharif, a Sunni engineer, two days later we drive to Homs. The city is still the most important, but perhaps also the last stronghold of the insurgency. Sharif said that the rebels had taken advantage of the withdrawal of the Syrian army during the visit of the Arab observer agreement approval contrary to the rise, says Sharif. The government had then vowed to never again engage in such wholesale services.

Since then, the government controls only about 25 percent of the city. In particular, the Alawite district and Baba Amr. 50 percent are controlled by the FSA, 25 percent are no man’s land. Of multiple checkpoints controlled by the regime, we reach the neighborhood of El Waer. We are in no man’s land.

Frédéric films. Behind us appears a white Corolla. He passed us and blocked the onward journey. The driver gets out and pulls his gun. What we filmed here, he asks, with thin lips. “The damage to the city,” replied Sharif pale. Through the car window, I ask the young rebel, show us the worst destruction. Puzzled, he gives us a sign to follow him.

Sinan, the FSA fighters conducted us through the almost deserted ghost town. About 60 percent of people are fleeing from the violence of both sides. He brings to us in miserable refugee families abandoned homes. They were able to save anything except her life, a few blankets, tin pots and a tiny gas stove.

On the way to a hospital, we stopped at a deserted restaurant. The hospital is only 300 meters. But the military situation is uncertain. Phone tries Sinan explore whether the road was free. From the roof of the inn, we see the silhouette of Baba bombed Amr. From the rebel district Khaldia rise to clouds of smoke. The neighborhood is under attack. But the FSA is active. As the ball strikes us clapping alongside one of their snipers, we retreat to the ground floor.

Above us we heard the hum of a Syrian UAV. A few hundred meters away, where we suspect the sniper hit, suddenly a grenade in quick succession. Sharif urges to go. We usually did not go too far to see the wounded or dead.

At the exit to Damascus maintains military vehicles at all. The road will be shot at by rebels. Some cars turn back, others continue in the convoy. We need to Damascus. The smoking Homs is not an option, although Sinan had offered to stay with him.

We do our very small Hyundai. Again and again emphasizes Sharif, asking Allah for help, on his earlobe. When finally arrives in Damascus? Appear as a half hour after the outlines of the city, we tap on the shoulder Sharif. “Allah Shukur Alhamdullah – thank God, not me,” he mutters.

In Damascus, life goes on as usual – although this can hardly imagine anyone in the West. Streets and shops are crowded. The war seems far away. Only occasionally reminiscent of the four major barriers to building bomb attacks by the security authorities.

Sharif is melting slowly. He had friends on both sides. The conflict made him sad. Already, killing not only government troops, but the FSA “their own people.” Of the 9,000 dead, at least half going to her account. Even women and children were killed by the rebels. In Homs and Alawite Shiite civilians were tortured mercilessly. The Western media reports put the things on their head.

Frederic and I mention, although we could confirm Sharif’s portrayal in part. In Damascus refugee homes, we have taken completely broken people who were brutally tortured by Homser rebels and wounded.

That is the tragedy of civil war, says Sharif would brave freedom fighters from terrorists. Whether the West knew that he would support in Syria desperados?

The rebels would have run. They no longer go to democracy and freedom, but only by hatred and revenge. Because they would have done differently than the Tunisian and Egyptian insurgents never to bring the whole nation behind him. Syria threatens to break up this increasingly sectarian revolution.

How many Syrians, he still dreams of democracy. But that is what Assad trying to impose now. Of course he would have had to do with its reforms much earlier. But better now than never! Syria is significant in terms of democracy, human and women’s rights further than Saudi Arabia.

At the beginning of the uprising, the government has made serious mistakes. However, the rebellion from the beginning had been armed. In just the first three months, over 200 soldiers and policemen were killed. He was at one of the funerals here. These soldiers are children of Syria.
The next day we visit the Greek-Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III. The sober argumentative church leaders understand themselves as advocates of religious tolerance in Syria. The coexistence of Christians, Sunnis, Shiites, Alawites, Druze, and Ismailis were a high democratic value. With the support of international revolution, he was threatened existentially. The West must act to stop fueling the conflict.

One should not confuse Bashar al-Assad and his father. The majority of the people standing behind him. He amazed by the “stereotyped” false reporting of foreign media. Much was made up.

The country needs to be reformed, in fact. The new constitution Assad was “an important step.” As a Christian, he called for a speedy silence the guns. But this time on both sides. And for an “all-party dialogue.” Violence is no solution. Meanwhile, the rebels killed more civilians than the state security forces.

Gregory has written a moving peace manifesto, a desperate “cry for help” We must settle before it is too late.

On the last evening we visit the tiny St. Theresa Church in Bab Tuma. On the gallery young Iraqi Arab Christians hymns samples of beguiling beauty. In silence we listen. With hundreds of thousands of fellow believers, these young people from the chaos in Iraq have fled to Syria. Where should they escape, even if Syria is in chaos?

The writer is the author of the book
“Demonizing Islam – Ten theses against hatred”

April 13th, 2012, 12:20 pm


zoo said:

Which ulama Turkish Moslems should follow, Moslem theologian Professor Mehmet Gomez or Ahmet Misbah Demircan?

Dear ulama: Heaven is not your porn fantasy!

Visiting Denmark seven years after the Danish cartoon crisis, Professor Mehmet Görmez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, spoke these words of wisdom:

– We must further support non-Muslims living with us side by side… We must have even friendlier relations with our neighbors who write racist messages on mosque walls in the West.

– [Non-Muslim] minorities and their churches [in Muslim lands] are entrusted to Muslims.

– The [violent] incidents [targeting Christians] in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring are the biggest stain on Islamic civilization.

– We must grant freedom to the church in the East as much as we want freedom for the mosque in the West.

– Restrictions, humiliation and insults against the church should upset all of us [Muslims].

Professor Görmez is a Muslim theologian. But he is not the only one. Another well-known Muslim theologian is Ali Rıza Demirci, father of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Beyoğlu, Istanbul, mayor, Ahmet Misbah Demircan. The elder Mr. Demircan’s popular blog features his “scientific” work published in volumes of books.

One of his masterpieces is the “Sexual Life According to Islam,” a two-volume book published in 1984. Here are some excerpts from that book which can be downloaded even today from Mr. Demircan’s popular blog:

– In heaven there will be no bachelors.

– Every man [residing in the lowest circle of heaven] will be given 72 women per day. A fully faithful Muslim will be given 100 virgins per day with whom he will have sex all day long. Women in heaven will become virgins immediately after having sex with men.

April 13th, 2012, 12:25 pm


Tara said:


From your readings, What is the secret with age 33? Any idea? And can women choose who they want to be with?

April 13th, 2012, 12:51 pm


zoo said:

#146 Tara

Sorry, I don’ know where it comes from.
Maybe we can suggest to Al Jazeera to arrange an exclusive interview with Ali Reza Demirci to clarify these promises of heavenly pleasures that could be a good incentives for over 33 men kamikaze.

April 13th, 2012, 1:02 pm


Mina said:


Now that you expressed that you like this journalist you are probably going to be called “minhibak” by your own friends, no?

For me this account is the only truthful one. All the other so-called journalists are just talking to very small amount of people and since they have no idea of the country they simply project their own fantasies and personality in what they describe.

As for “Although he had heard from relatives that Assad in the rest of the country still have 50 to 60 percent behind. But a majority did not interest him. Assad is a man of Israel. He will always fight him.”
I have heard this in Syria for 10 years. Always from low-educated people. And this is indeed what brought a lot to take the streets, which makes Qatar position dubious and unsustainable.”

Thanks for this article.

April 13th, 2012, 1:05 pm


Tara said:


Good idea. It would be a blockbuster interview. I was just trying to look out for women’s rights..

We must be able to choose. Otherwise women in heaven should organize women spring and revolt…

April 13th, 2012, 1:11 pm


ann said:

Russian ships to patrol Syria’s coast – Apr 13, 2012

Russian military ships will constantly patrol Syria’s coast, a representative of the Russian Defense Ministry recently said.

He said that at present, one Russian vessel already patrols Syria’s coast.

In winter, a group of Russian ships headed by the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” was present in the Mediterranean Sea, but it left in February.

After the situation in Syria deteriorated, the US, France, the UK and several other countries sent more military ships to its shores banks.


April 13th, 2012, 1:21 pm


ann said:

Army major assassinated in central Syria, anti-gov’t protests on – 2012-04-13

DAMASCUS, April 13 (Xinhua) — Syria’s official media said ” armed terrorists” assassinated an army major in the central Hama province on Friday, just hours after the killing of a brigadier in the capital Damascus.

Major Musa Yusuf was killed when two “terrorists” ambushed his car while he was en route to work, said state-run SANA news agency.

Earlier on Friday, Brigadier Walid Joni was gunned down in his house in the Jaramana area in Damascus. Joni is the third senior officer to have been killed in three days.

Meanwhile, SANA said “terrorist groups” threw dynamite sticks at law-enforcement patrols in Sabunia neighborhood in Hama, causing no casualties. While in the northern Idlib province, authorities blocked an infiltration attempt by gunmen coming from Turkey’s territories through Khirbet al-Jouz town in Idlib, SANA said, adding that some of the gunmen fled back to Turkey after the confrontation.


April 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm


ann said:

Syria ceasefire ‘relatively respected’ – Annan’s spokesman

A ceasefire in Syria has been “relatively respected,” Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for international mediator Kofi Annan said on Friday. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution to send an advance team of 10-12 observers to Syria to monitor the ceasefire. A larger mission of up to 250 observers will be sent later, Reuters quoted Fawzi as saying. Syria has reportedly given entry visas to journalists from 74 news organizations in the past days.


April 13th, 2012, 1:27 pm


ann said:

Truce under threat: Clashes near Syrian border with Turkey – 13 April, 2012

Syrian troops are reportedly clashing with rebels near the border with Turkey in what appear to be the first serious violation of the ceasefire introduced just a day ago. It comes as Damascus and Ankara traded accusations and threats of war.

­The clashes are taking place on the outskirts of the northwestern village of Khirbel el-Joz that borders Turkey, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The group also says the Syrian army deployed tanks in the area before the clash.

Meanwhile Damascus’ spat with Ankara over a cross-border raid by Syrian troops reached a new height on Friday, when the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem accused Turkey of plotting against his country.

Turkey has a strategy to shelter “terrorist groups that enter Syrian territories, attack civilians and destroy the infrastructure,” Muallem said in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He said Turkey was harboring terrorist and turning a blind eye to the attacks they launch across the border to “terrorize civilians at the borders and force them to flee into Turkey so as to create a refugees’ crisis and then request human corridors and a buffer zone be implemented.”


April 13th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Alan said:

VIDEO: US, NATO HAVE BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS. Syrian ‘Opposition’: West-controlled Proxy Paramilitary’
With Syria halting military operations as part of a UN-brokered ceasefire, Western powers have been saying they do not trust the government to uphold the armistice. Experts believe the US and its allies are pursuing their own agenda: regime change.

Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, noted that Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, was wrong in saying that Russia and China had blood on their hands.

[ + … ]

April 13th, 2012, 1:45 pm


Alan said:

SYRIA: US conspires with Turkey over militarized buffer zone following Syrian ceasefire

Washington has made clear that the ceasefire implemented Thursday is only a staging post in its plan for regime change in Syria.

Using the G8 foreign ministers summit as its platform, the Obama administration demanded that the government of Bashir al-Assad comply with all United Nations proposals to end conflict with western-backed insurgents. On the very first day of the ceasefire, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that Assad was not complying with other parts of the six-point plan drawn up by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. “The Annan plan is not a menu of options, it is a set of obligations,” she declared.

[ + … ]

April 13th, 2012, 1:48 pm


Juergen said:


Its may be a german issue also. We never had good journalists covering this part of the world. The usual correspondent would get his stories at the hotelbar while his arabic cameramen would cover the intifada.Needless to say that our biggest journlists in the Middle East dont speak a word of arabic. Even after 9/11 the quality didnt change, only since then we have a variety of islam and terrorist experts. Germans seem to like those often selfproclaimed “experts” and their expertise. I think that in France and England such experts would may be just good enough for the tabloids and not for the mainstream media.

What i find questionable is not that talking you mentioned by this FSA fighter, its his attitude. If he knows Syria so well he should be aware that every move, every step he makes is controlled by the regime. Its not that by pure chance he was able to visit Homs, the regime wanted him to go. Anyone such a journalist meets may come from the regime, or is subject to regime “debriefings” after such interviews. If you ask a simple Syrian on the street what he thinks of his President, you may expect an honest answer if you are naive, but you can put this man in real danger by questioning such. He simply blends that reality away. No words about the atrocities the regime has committed, just the equalisation of the crimes some FSA members do with those committed by regime forces.

April 13th, 2012, 1:51 pm


zoo said:

#149 Tara

I think there should a courageous woman to write the women version of the pleasures in Heaven.
It will also be a blockbuster but the writer may not live long enough the get the Nobel prize.

April 13th, 2012, 2:01 pm


Juergen said:

interesting view on the involvement of Turkey by Timothy Garton Ash

Europe has left Syria to a distinctly Ottoman fate
On Syria there’s a moral case for intervention – but with the west reluctant, Turkey and other powers will be the ones to decide

April 13th, 2012, 2:02 pm


jad said:


You might find this article interesting:

Turkish Foreign Policy Has Gone Bankrupt

Our foreign policy has sunk. What dreams we had. We were in the midst of creating a “new Ottoman empire” and ruling the region. We were to become a grand state whose words were obeyed. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was put in charge of this policy.

What were his words again? “Zero problems with neighbors.” First, zero problems. Then, a new Ottoman whose words were to be respected. But everything turned out to be the other way around. Turkish foreign policy has gone bankrupt.
Look at Syria: Until a short time ago, Assad was our friend. We even convened joint cabinet sessions. How did Assad and Damascus now become our enemy?

Is it because America and Israel wanted it so? Is this their way to cripple Iran? If a sectarian civil war breaks out in Syria, will it not affect us? How could those who once resisted engaging in Iraq, and who denied the US transit through Turkey for their operations there, now advocate intervention in Syria? Isn’t the purpose of the US missile shield at Malatya is to defend Israel?

Was it not Israel that refused all Turkish requests, raided its ships and killed its people? Did it not denigrate its ambassador without apologizing? Is Israel about to be defended by a radar system based in Turkey? Doesn’t all this show how pathetic Ankara has become?

Our border with Iran has been the same for years. We have had no problems. We became friends and despite everything, we were able to keep it that way. We bought their oil and their natural gas. We expanded our own industries, heated our homes and drove our cars thanks to Iran. However, these relations soured due to Iran’s nuclear projects and US disapproval.

We are now taking legal action for natural gas. At first, Iran even rejected the Istanbul meeting. Prime Minister’s visit to Tehran was no success either – just listen to the statements that followed it. And why? Because of our misguided foreign policy.

We are not exactly on good terms with Armenia, and are only so-so with Azerbaijan. If northern Iraq gets the chance, we will see its real colors. The same goes for Baghdad. Our problems with southern Cyprus persist. We think Israel doesn’t exist and vice versa. With Greece, you know how it is – we have never managed to become good friends. For Bulgaria, it is as if Ankara doesn’t exist.
Is this really our zero-problems policy with neighbors?


April 13th, 2012, 2:13 pm


bronco said:


“Erdogan is to hold talks with King Abdullah in Riyadh today, with Hurriyet reporting that Erdogan will tell Abdullah that Arab countries must take the lead in coordinated international measures against the Syrian government.”

KSA is trying to push Turkey to start military operations on Syria while it is promising to provide the financial cover and a discreet political support.

The Saudis are and have always been cowards. They prefer others to do their dirty works so as not to soil their white dishdasha and anyway they have the money to buy people so why bother?

Erdogan will be a fool if he accepts that role. At the first problem, the Saudis will dump him and he may find himself in a deeper mess. KSA is jealous of Turkey’s Sunni influence in the region and will turn against it if it sees it has no need for Turkey anymore.

KSA is too fearful of Iran’s reaction should it openly take the leadership of the campaign against Syria and Qatar is too small to have a military credibility.

I think KSA will simply give a tap on Erdogan’s back and that’s all. Erdogan is now facing a quagmire in Turkey over Syria of his own making and Turkey is finding itself increasingly isolated.

April 13th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Alan said:

History of Saudi Drummers in air poisoning between Saddam and Iran today stupidly repeat with Turkey! it seems Saddam’s example indicative for Erdogan!

April 13th, 2012, 2:24 pm




To: Mr. Shami
RE: Your public park proposal
Decision: Request rejected
Reason for Rejection: Potential risk to minors

Dear Mr. Shami
The citizen committee of Alsabeel Park, Aleppo, has considered your request, and based on the clarity of evidence, and the potential risk of vulgarity and obscenity, the committee decided to reject your request. While the committee understands your motivation, the park is frequented by minors who should not be subjected to the hazard posed by your proposal.

Appeal will not be entertained.

April 13th, 2012, 2:37 pm


Mawal95 said:

Today’s Friday anti-government protests in Syria were branded “Friday of revolution for all Syrians” which in Arabic is جمعة ثورة لكل السورين . If you do a search for that Arabic text string at Youtube, Youtube will give you a list of videos of protests from around Syria today. Here it is:

There were no large crowds anywhere.

Everywhere, today’s turnout was smaller than it was early last summer.

In many locations, today’s turnout was a pale shadow, a huge decimation, of what it was last year.

The meagre size of the protest demonstration crowds is excellent evidence (if not definitive evidence) that the uprising does not have a broad base of support. But the fact that anti-government crowds turned up today at all, after all the violence the rebels have done against the security forces in recent months, is a good indicator that the uprising isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

April 13th, 2012, 2:45 pm



Non Violence
Assad and co are creative in their use of non-violence. Here is an example (Dear moderator: the source, “Alquds” does not allow permalink easily, so I apologize for the cut-paste)

Green Update Symbol اعتقال سوري حاول تسميم لاجئين في الأردن

اعتقال سوري حاول تسميم لاجئين في الأردن

عمان ـ د ب أ: اعتقلت السلطات الأردنية مواطنا سورية يشتبه في محاولته تسميم لاجئين بالقرب من الحدود بين البلدين امس الخميس، وسط تقارير متزايدة عن محاولات من جانب أنصار نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد لاستهداف نشطاء المعارضة في الأردن.

وأفاد نشطاء ومصادر أمنية بأن السلطات الأردنية اعتقلت مواطنا سوريا بعد أن ضبطته وهو يعبث في إمدادات المياه لمجمع سكني في مدينة الرمثا شمال الأردن، تستخدمه السلطات لإيواء اللاجئين.

وقال محمد وهو ناشط سوري يقيم في المجمع السكني إن اللاجئين استيقظوا فوجدوا أحد القادمين الجدد يحاول تلويث خزانات المياه.

وتابع أن هناك مخاوف مؤكدة من أن يكون النظام السوري قد أرسل أشخاصا بين اللاجئين من أجل قتلهم.

وأكد مصدر عسكري يتمركز في المنطقة الحدودية نبأ الاعتقال، مشيرا إلى أنه تم نقل المواطن السوري إلى مركز اعتقال للاشتباه في محاولته تسميم حوالي 2000 سوري يقيمون في المجمع.

يذكر أن هذا الحادث امس هو الأحدث في سلسلة من الاعتقالات بحق مواطنين سوريين يعتقد أنهم عملاء أرسلوا من أجل اختراق مجتمع اللاجئين الذي يضم 100 ألف لاجئ وتقول السلطات الأردنية إن عدد هؤلاء المعتقلين وصل إلى العشرات في الشهر.

وزعمت الجمعيات الخيرية الأردنية أن تدفق الآلاف من السوريين على مدى الشهرين الماضيين كان مصحوبا بزيادة في عدد من تتبدى عليهم ملامح تدعو للاشتباه بهم.

وقال زايد حماد، رئيس جمعية الكتاب والسنة وهي من أكبر المنظمات غير الحكومية في الأردن التي تقدم المساعدة للاجئين السوريين إن العاملين في مجال الإغاثة راودتهم شكوك إزاء وافدين جدد لأنهم كانوا يحملون عدة جوازات سفر ويطرحون أسئلة عديدة حول عدد وطبيعة اللاجئين.

وصرح حماد بأنه لا يوجد شك في أنه قد تم إرسال عشرات من العملاء للتجسس على أنشطة الجمعية ومجتمع اللاجئين.

Now we understand the non-violent supporters of the Assad Mafia

April 13th, 2012, 3:03 pm



Funny, one hates the K-town, one uses K-town’s name derisively in their own pseudonym, and one ends being called Haji K-town…. ooops, ……….boomerang.

Isn’t it Irritating

April 13th, 2012, 3:09 pm


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

I would like to congratulate SC Admin for the new selection of anti-spam words.

The one I am entering for this comment is “respect”. Right on, I say. But unfortunately there are many posting here who have not taken the hint: they continue to display very little respect for the intelligence of the readers of this blog. Just look at all the cut and paste drivel [rt/press tv/xinhua/syr. truth (!), etc.] they dredge from around the Web.

April 13th, 2012, 3:43 pm


Jad said:

The Syrians are helping eachothers:

الشباب السوري المتطوع  يجهزون المساعدات الغذائية

April 13th, 2012, 3:58 pm



Don’t Trust Your Shabee7 –Interviewee
Speaking of the usual “respectful” sources of news whose fans continue to bombard us with Check this one out. They can’t even trust their Shabee7a to declare the love to the Mafiosi in chief. This is your “spontaneous regime supporter.”

Possible Explanations:
1. The man is reading what they told him to say, which he could not memorize…

2. The man is sneaking a look at someone else paper, making him a snooping, yet trustworthy!” representative of the Syrian public….

Either way, it is bad. But wait until regime supporters herein compose lengthy legalese interpretations, which will include speeches and interviews of the mafiosi in chief, not to mentioned links again, to SANA and the list of “trustworthy” sources used herein.

How “Pizzaironic”

April 13th, 2012, 4:04 pm


jna said:

Security Council draft resolution on advance mission in Syria.
This is a revised draft.

April 13th, 2012, 4:06 pm


Hopeful said:

RE: Mawal95 #160

“The meager size of the protest demonstration crowds is excellent evidence (if not definitive evidence) that the uprising does not have a broad base of support.”

I have a different hypothesis on why the demonstrations are smaller:

1. Many of the demonstrations’ organizers have either been killed, jailed, threatened or are on the run. Movements need leaders, and the regime has been intelligently targeting and hunting them down.

2. After all the violence of the past few months, people are frightened.

3. People are tired and many are losing hope and are simply leaving the country. They feel that the opposition leaders failed them and the world abandoned them.

4. People lost faith in the concept of peaceful uprising and are not willing to try it all over again.

April 13th, 2012, 4:10 pm


Afram said:



Do U LIKE extra cheese on UR Pizzaironic?

April 13th, 2012, 4:21 pm


jna said:

Juergen, I find it disturbing when comfortable foreigners preach an escalation in warfare for Syria, especially at a time when the UN, the regime, and the opposition are working on sustaining a ceasefire and when the UN plan is for “facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system”.

April 13th, 2012, 4:28 pm


Tara said:


I find it uncomfortable to harass Jurgen In regard to his opinions after he shared with us personal info.

Have you noticed none of the regime supporters or anti revolution shares any info with us. Doesn’t that tell you anything?

April 13th, 2012, 4:58 pm


Afram said:

[Green Update Symbol Afram, thank you. I have answered you via email.]

Dear Moderator:

simply asking you,can we criticize and judge wahabi saudi arabia?
saudi F.minister is shouting day in and day out on every media channel to arm evil doers,what to do.fold our arms and say nothing!?

please reply


April 13th, 2012, 5:20 pm


jna said:

[Green Update Symbol JNA, I have sent a note to Tara and you via email.

Warnings have been issued over the past month that deal with needless personalizing discussion. Some commentators are unable to separate a person and his/her opinions from a national or ethnic or citizenship group. At times, gross and offensive national stereotypes have been assigned to individuals who post here. This is not acceptable in any circumstances.

In the recent past, Juergen has been accused of being Mossad, a friend or direct enabler of terrorists, a Nazi, an IDF plant, an ignorant German who exhibits the gross national characteristics of Germans. All of this is intolerable, and many comments have gone to Trash.

The rules clearly state that SC will not tolerate equating individuals with the actions or policies of national actors. Snide, sniggering asides, coded language -all of these things will be and are trashed without notice. Warnings may or may not be issued.

Thank you for expressing your concerns. Complaints, questions, and other notes on moderation are best addressed directly:]

Tara, harrass Juergen? See

April 13th, 2012, 5:26 pm


Norman said:

In the beginning, i had doubt but now i feel that the moderator is teaching us how to function in a democratic society and that is something we did not grow up with and for that i appreciate his efforts.

April 13th, 2012, 6:18 pm


Norman said:

176. Tara said:


I find it uncomfortable to harass Jurgen In regard to his opinions after he shared with us personal info.

Have you noticed none of the regime supporters or anti revolution shares any info with us. Doesn’t that tell you anything?

Yes they are afraid, welcome to the new Syria, Syrians used to be afraid from one bogyman, now they are afraid of two.

April 13th, 2012, 6:24 pm


Tara said:


Is it fear or unconscious discomfort with their moral stand?

If anything, it is us the pro-revolution who were tortured, disappeared, and slaughtered around?

April 13th, 2012, 6:42 pm


Tara said:

The demonstrations reached their greatest number since the beginning of the Revolution…on the “Revolution for All Syrians” Friday

The LCC documented 771 demonstrations on “Revolution for all Syrians” Friday. Most of these demonstrations took place in the governorate of Idlib, which experienced 157 demonstrations, followed by Hama with 125 demonstrations, and Aleppo with 96 demonstrations.

The rest of the demonstrations were distributed as follows:

In Damascus Suburbs: 76; Deir Ezzor: 71; Daraa: 71; Homs: 52; Damascus, the capital, 43; Hasakeh: 33; Lattakia: 31; Raqqa: 11; Tartous: 2; Sweida: 2; and Qunaitra: 1.

The number of demonstration points reached 569 all over Syria. The largest number of demonstration points was documented in the governorate of Idlib, where demonstrations set out in 152 points, followed by Hama with 109 points, then Aleppo and Aleppo Suburbs with 63 points. In Daraa, 54 demonstration points were recorded; 50 points in Homs; 44 in Deir Ezzor; Damascus with 42 points; Hasakeh with 26 points; and Lattakia with 24 points.

In Damascus, the capital, 20 demonstration points were recorded, followed by Raqqa with 5 points.

Two demonstrations took place in two different points in Tartous; two in Sweida; and one demonstration in the governorate of Qunaitra in Majdal Shams

[blue diamond + ]

April 13th, 2012, 6:47 pm


Tara said:


For your eyes only:  here is the source
On a side note, if you forget my name, you will cease of becoming my best friend and I would never play Salwa ya Salwa with you ever again.  Just saying…

April 13th, 2012, 7:05 pm


jad said:

Dear Norman,

You are absolutely right about your notice, and to make things worse Syria Comment is apparently not safe either.

I advise you and every commentator on SC to keep his/her own personal information as discreet as possible and from now own to be very careful of sharing any kind of personal information with anybody on SC, it may be used against you later.

April 13th, 2012, 7:12 pm


Tara said:

It looks pretty grim for Bush bush today, 771 demonstrations today and the international observers are not there yet. When the observers arrive, the demonstrations will all coalesce in few massive demonstrations across the countries instead of 771.

April 13th, 2012, 7:13 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

[ blue diamondSyria No Kandahar, please provide a link for off-site material, per the Syria Comment fair-use guidelines.]

If This party opens branch in Syria I know many potential members(from pro and against government ):

janan kawaja
عضو فعال جدا

غير متصل

رسائل: 873

رفع الستار عن تمثال حمار بربطة عنق بالسليمانية وحزبه يؤكد: رأس الحمير ارتفع اليوم عاليا
« في: 09:10 12/04/2012 »
   رفع الستار عن تمثال حمار بربطة عنق بالسليمانية وحزبه يؤكد: رأس الحمير ارتفع اليوم عاليا

  السومرية نيوز/ السليمانية

April 13th, 2012, 7:14 pm


ann said:

U.S., Russia offer rival draft resolution on Syria observers – 2012-04-14

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 (Xinhua) — The U.S., together with its allies, and Russia on Friday tabled rival draft resolution on the authorization of an advance team of unarmed military observers for Syria in order to monitor a ceasefire between the Syrian government forces and armed opposition fighters.

The U.S., Colombia, France, Germany, Morocco, Portugal and the United Kingdom jointly submitted a draft resolution while Russia put forward a rival one, likely putting off the council vote, which is expected late Friday, until Saturday.

The 15-nation Security Council began its meeting behind closed doors on Syria at around 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Friday, and the meeting is still going on, UN officials said.

The two sides agreed to the council’s approval of the advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers for Syria, where a ceasefire is reportedly honored by both the government forces and armed oppositions, according to the two drafts obtained by Xinhua.

They also both supported the good offices of Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League special envoy for Syria, and its six-point plan to end the year-long crisis in Syria, which has been plunged into violence since March 2011.

The two drafts also reaffirmed the council’s “strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the (UN) Charter.”

However, the rival drafts argued over whether Syria should give immediate guarantees of freedom of access to the mission and whether the council should warn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of further measures if he does not keep commitments.

The U.S. draft “demands” the Syrian government “implement visibly its commitment in their entirety,” while the Russian version “calls upon” Damascus to do the same thing.

The Syrian government said it accepted Annan’s peace plan and pledged to comply with the ceasefire deadline.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, who spokes to reporters on Friday after the council’s closed door discussions on Syria on Friday morning, criticized the U.S. draft for asking too many work to be done, saying, “We have put together a shorter version of ( the U.S.) text.

“We had this understanding yesterday that it should be to the point, pragmatic, specific about putting in boots on the ground, ( an) advance party of the monitoring team,” Churkin said.

The two drafts were presented to the council in response to a request by Annan to send the UN observers to monitor compliance with the truce. If the ceasefire holds, a larger mission with up to 250 members could follow.


April 13th, 2012, 7:26 pm


jna said:

To be fair to Juergen, I don’t remember him ever calling for an escalation in warfare in Syria.

April 13th, 2012, 7:39 pm


Juergen said:

Well there might be some commentators here or one in particular who would argue that Arabs never can deal with democracy or can enjoy the civil liberties we have in the west. Such things are nonsense and close to racism in my eyes.


by posting that i expect more and more Syrians to demonstrate and cities falling into the hands of those protesting is that an call for violence? I never was a friend of any military intervenance. The longer this regime is resisting and firing on their own people the more brutal the more violent things get. You can count how many times the word sabr is used in the Quran, that might give you an indication how much sabr the arabs have in general when God almighty has used this word and islam more than others.

Here is an example how state TV, Al Dunia work with people on the street. The guy on the picture is reading from an card the reporter shows him what to say. That regime is what it was from the beginning: pathetic.

Here is a video of that scene:

April 13th, 2012, 7:42 pm


Juergen said:

Alarabiya travels through the town of Taftanaz in Idlib

Israel demonstration in support of the Syrian people

I think Mawal was pointing out that the number of protesters out on the streets get lesser, well i heard that 3 million Syrians were out demonstrating today, that might be exagerated. See how millions flock out today in support of the beloved leader:

April 13th, 2012, 7:54 pm


Afram said:

Karl Marx said:
“Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval.Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex/female sex,the ugly ones included.”

It’s time for middle eastern women to have their own arab spring.
c’mon ladies,out off the kitchen hit the more bab al-hara days.

April 13th, 2012, 8:20 pm


Juergen said:

Afram you are so right, the other day i read an comment that women are wanted in the time of rebellion and unthinkable without the support, but when its done they should go back to the kitchens.

AJ has written an article about the Names of the Fridays and how much this voting is causing tensions.

Ir7al Yabachar

April 13th, 2012, 8:31 pm


bronco said:

#183 Tara

The LCC opposition PRs are not doing a good job. The “771” demonstrations did not make it to the headlines of the international media. Even Al Jazeera did not mention any massive demonstrations. It seems they were “demonstrationettes” with a few hundreds here and there. I can hear Ghaliun and Basma’s teeth grinding and Erdogan’s colon showing signs of nervosity.

Of course you can always invoke the ‘fear’ factor, even though it was claimed a long time ago that it was not effective anymore.

I think it is the “desillusionment” factor that is at work now.

April 13th, 2012, 8:32 pm


zoo said:


Assad’s opponents had called for mass rallies on Friday to test whether the authorities would tolerate a return to peaceful protests, as Annan’s six-point plan said they should.

But rallies filmed by activists were far smaller than the huge, chanting crowds seen in major cities at the start of the uprising 13 months ago and on several occasions in 2011.

April 13th, 2012, 8:38 pm


zoo said:

As the ceasefire seems to hold, is Syria gradually implementing the points of Annan plan?
Damascus has told Annan’s team that they have already begun granting visas to media, Fawzi said.

“We have been receiving assurances from the government that they are indeed granting numbers of visas to numbers of journalists,” said the spokesman.

“The last letter we received this morning listed 53 journalists who had been given visas by the Syrian authorities.

“A previous letter we received three or four days ago listed 21 organisations that had been granted entry visas.”

He added that there were round-the-clock efforts to find the necessary number of troops — likely to be up to 250 — in the event of a full observer mission being approved.

Fawzi said he was not able to list the potential countries involved, but that they had been discussed with the authorities in Damascus during last week’s assessment.

“They could come from Asia, Africa, from Latin America, South America,” he said.

In Oslo, (Norwegian general Robert) Mood said the ceasefire appeared to be largely holding.

“The fact that one is seeing today a near total cessation of combat operations is a sign that parties are indeed ready to choose a course” other than violence, he said, although voicing concern about reports of unrest in Homs and near the border with Turkey.
“If the parties continue to observe the ceasefire, it is extremely important to open the way as soon as possible to massive humanitarian aid,” Mood said, adding that those in need of aid were short of food, water and basic essentials.

“But there is also a need for reconstruction. Destruction in some towns is so widespread that schools, hospitals and public institutions are totally destroyed and must be rebuilt,” he said.

April 13th, 2012, 8:46 pm


Tara said:


It doesn’t matter if it reached the media or not. It matters that it happened and it will only get emboldened by the arrival of the international obsevrers.

I did not check the international media yet. I was waiting for Zoo to do “some work”. Bronco, I hate it when people think they can slack off, and come and go whenever they wish. Zoo has been getting “Cs” lately. I just want to give him a chance to improve. 😉

April 13th, 2012, 8:55 pm


Juergen said:

Interesting read Zoo. Sounds like the eyedoctor wants to make sure the “best” are coming to do this job.

I have an example how much quality you get from some countries. In Bosnia there was a UN led police training programme.The aim was to train the local police in democratic and anti rascism policies. The boss of the unit an Irish told me: “They must have a lot of humor in the headquarter,they send chinese police to train here, obviously chinese police is known for their democratic attitudes.”

He told me then the story of an Burundi police officer who was out in the countryside near Srebrenica. The farmers there stack their hay in triangle forms on the fields. This highly decorated UN police officer went to a farmer with money to purchase one of those huts he has seen…

April 13th, 2012, 8:57 pm


ann said:

Syria Draft Doesn’t Call for Withdrawal to Barracks, Requires Assad Consultations

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 13 — The revised Syria draft resolution produced late April 13, and obtained by Inner City Press, does NOT as proposed stress “the importance of the withdrawal of all Syrian government troops and heavy weapons from population centers to their barracks.”

Nor does it made “demands” on Syria’s Assad government. Rather, in Paragraphs 2, 4, 6, 7 and 8 it “calls up” the government, and where applicable “all parties,” to perform certain acts.

It “decides to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers… to begin to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence.”

The full mission, it acknowledges, would be “subject to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties” and only “after consultations between the Secretary-General and the Syrian government.”


April 13th, 2012, 9:10 pm


Observer said:

I sent Dr. Landis the latest ICG report on Syria dated April 10th

I hope he will post it. It is clarifying and it shows in the posts of the pro regime supporters on this blog a tendency to explain the positions they adopt

The hard liners will destroy the whole country and to them the opposition is one hegemonic conspiracy to destroy the regime and any measure is justified in crushing it.

Some pro regime moderates are desperate for an opposition that would at least discuss the reforms because they know and they are panicking at the future of Syria that they see ( and that the hard liners are either blind or oblivious to ) of a completely isolated and destroyed country.

The people on the ground lost faith in the exiled opposition and this is understandable as their performance left a lot to be desired.

The average Syrian has written off the regime as being capable or even worthy of reform and the ruling family has sacrificed many of its bridges and its cards and is left with the hard line security services on the one hand and the sects hostage to the potential for major revenge should it be defeated. The worst to come off of this conflict are those sects that have been passively supportive or actively on the side of the regime for they will inherit a Syria devoid of any institutions.

The report clearly shows that Russia has made a huge gamble as its only legitimacy to play on the international arena rests in the performance of the regime.

The massacres described in the report with the skulls of infants and children deliberately crushed has actually resulted in a reign of terror for both sides with the people become radicalized and the Alawite community now deeply tied to the fate of a single family.

I hope the report will be posted. I do not have the link but will try to get it

April 13th, 2012, 9:19 pm


zoo said:

#196 Juergen

You’re right. Abu Ghraib was a good example of “liberators” coming from a ‘democratic and human rights promoting’ country

April 13th, 2012, 9:19 pm


Observer said:


I hope and wish that the pro regime supporters who have a minimum of reasonableness left read it and truly comment on it and dissect it and refute it and argue logically about it.

By the way did you see today Kim Jong Eu elected the new leader of North Korea on state TV?

April 13th, 2012, 9:22 pm


irritated said:

#198 Observer

The average Syrian has written off the “opposition” as being capable or even worthy of reform

The far from massive demonstrations show that the average Syrian wants to go ahead with its present government, rather than be thrown in the black hole that the opposition is proposing.

The anti-regime die hard have no other pastime than to dig in the graves trying to find a logical justification for the messy “revolution’ that Syria has gone through.

April 13th, 2012, 9:25 pm


jna said:

188. Juergensaid:

Here is an example how state TV, Al Dunia work with people on the street. The guy on the picture is reading from an card the reporter shows him what to say.

Juergen, I don’t put that beyond Syrian news but I don’t read Arabic. Is it readable that you can transcribe what the note says?

April 13th, 2012, 9:33 pm


irritated said:

#198 Observer

The Crisis Group report brings absolutely nothing new. It is full of “if”s, “maybe”, would, “slim chances”, “frustrating” and keep repeating that the Annan plan is the only plan in town.

And that ‘cliché’ to top it up:

“As Crisis Group previously argued, the regime will genuinely shift its approach if and only if it faces a different balance of power – politically, through a change in Moscow’s attitude; or militarily, through a change on the ground. Crisis Group likewise expressed its strong preference for the former and significant disquiet regarding the latter. At this writing, neither seems particularly likely in the foreseeable future. “

April 13th, 2012, 9:35 pm


Norman said:


Morals are not limited to one side,

April 13th, 2012, 10:05 pm


jad said:

توفيق عكاشة لثوار سوريا يأغبى شعوب الأرض

April 13th, 2012, 10:08 pm


Tara said:


I am not talking about the sinister elements that could have infiltrated the revolution, disillusioned by their own interpretation of Allah. I am talking about ثورة شعب against their oppressor. Having said that, morality is then limited to one side only, the side of the people.

Deny it all you want. Deep down, I know you agree.

April 13th, 2012, 10:21 pm


zoo said:

After lingerie shops, women’s new job opportunities in Saudi Arabia

Saudi religious police may hire women – Official
By Amal Baqzai
Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – An official within the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice [CPVPV] acknowledged that the organization is having trouble monitoring female-only gatherings, particularly in light of reports that illicit and illegal activities are taking place at such gatherings. The source attributed the CPVPV’s failure to get to the bottom of what is happening at female-only gatherings to the absence of female CPVPV operatives. (..)

April 13th, 2012, 10:22 pm


Norman said:

Noble goals are no more noble if they are being achieved by immoral or un noble means,

April 13th, 2012, 10:31 pm


Tara said:


I am not following. What behavior are they talking about in female gathering? Drugs? Sex? Or just chatting and partying? What is it exactly? These people in CPVPV have lots of time and money in their hand.. I think they need to be starved to divert their attention to something useful. It looks like the monarchy is held hostage to some demented Sheikhs who like the Turkish guy Ahmet Misbah Demircan want us to live in their twisted fantasy.

April 13th, 2012, 10:37 pm


zoo said:

The Simple Truths of the Syrian Uprising

Syrian activists and others have become so engrossed in minute details they can no longer see the big picture: the reason for the Syrian uprising in the first place. It is as if the details have become larger than the general picture. The minutiae have come to the forefront, obscuring what was obvious and clear.

Thus, we find that the debate has become contradictory and sharp: To get rid of the regime or to negotiate with it? Foreign intervention or self-reliance? Are there gunmen or aren’t there? What are the the advantages of having weapons over not having them? Unity or fragmentation of the opposition, which is better?… And other details that must be discussed.

However, this discussion must take place within the comprehensive framework of the uprising, otherwise it looks like these questions are surfacing in order to bring down the aims, principles, and mottos of the uprising.

The battle against tyranny is not separate from the battle against those who see in the Syrian uprising a chance to strip Syria of its dignity and rights and isolate it from its Arab milieu. The same applies to its resistance.

Mahamad Dibo is a Syrian poet and writer.

April 13th, 2012, 10:39 pm


Tara said:


Why don’t you want to face the truth? The goal is being achieved through the sacrifice of the Syrian people not through the work of sinister elements. Average people got armed to defend themselves and I salute them for it. It is human right and moral responsibility to defend loved ones. You would have done the same thing. The revolution can’t be held responsible for sinister elements that have infiltrated it’s rank. It was an inevitable consequence in this day and age given the brutality of the regime, the greed, and the presence of fanatic ideology.

It is in my opinion why the passive supporters of the regime should have been active supporters of the revolution. Bluntly, it is why Syrians regardless of their religions and sects should have been one hand in fighting the tyranny. You just can’t resist the revolution then claim to have some “divine” right in the way Syria is shaped thereafter.

April 13th, 2012, 10:51 pm


jad said:

Dear Mjabali

Check this out, a call for Aljihad against the Alawites from a mosque in Damascus suburbs, this is what the west are supporting, Alqaeda and its ignorant radicals.

While he was explaining about the history of the Alawites, I thought that I was reading a comment on SC:

الإصدار المرئي :: دعـــوة للجهاد في سوريا ::

April 13th, 2012, 11:33 pm


Norman said:

The revolution did not and will not win because it scared 35% pf the Syrians and could not win the support of another 35%, and with that they probably lost the chance of making any significant impact on the future of Syria for the better.

April 13th, 2012, 11:40 pm


jad said:

It seems that the Americans are trying to screw up the resolution voting as they did before and most of the 700+ today’s protests have no more than 10s of people

Churkin Sceptic on Syrian Resolution

تراجع الاحتجاجات في سوريا ومشروعا قرارين بشأن المراقبين في مجــلس الأمن

نزار عبود

نيويورك | بدأ مجلس الأمن الدولي في وقت متأخر أمس بحث الموضوع السوري وسط تحفظ كل من روسيا والصين والهند وجنوب أفريقيا على نص مشروع القرار الأميركي ـــــ الغربي، الذي يتضمن وصفاً مفصلاً لصلاحيات بعثة المراقبين، ويسمح حتى بدخول المفتشين إلى قصور الرئاسة، كما فعلت بعثة مفتشي هانس بليكس في العراق، ما دفع روسيا إلى المسارعة إلى طرح مشروع قرار بديل.

وفي تعليق أدلى به مندوب سوريا لدى الأمم المتحدة في نيويورك بشار الجعفري لـ «الأخبار»، تساءل عن «كيف يمكن المجلس أن يعتمد قراراً في الوقت الذي لم تنته فيه بعد المفاوضات بين السلطات السورية وكوفي أنان وفريقه الفني حول البروتوكول الناظم لنشاط المراقبين في سوريا؟».

وأعلن فيتالي تشوركين مندوب روسيا، أن مشروع القرار الأميركي الغربي يختلف كلياً عن أهداف بعثة فريق المراقبين الطليعي. وأكد حرص روسيا على أن يكون مشروع القرار مقتضباً من عشرة أسطر، تسهّل إرسال المراقبين على جناح السرعة، مشيراً الى احتمال أن تمتد المحادثات بشأن القرار الى اليوم. وصرّح دبلوماسي مشارك في المفاوضات بأن روسيا، «تفاوض على كل عبارة» في مسودة القرار.

وفيما كتبت واشنطن مشروع قرارها بالحبر الأزرق سارعت موسكو الى طرح مشروع آخر بالحبر الأزرق ايضاً، يتسم المشروع بالاقتضاب وتفادي القضايا التي تتحمل عدة أوجه. وكان محدداً في تحميل المسؤولية لأي طرف يخل بقرار وقف العنف المسلح، ويدعو إلى التفاوض مع الحكومة السورية والأمم المتحدة، ويطلب رأي المختصين في طبيعة عمل الفريق المراقب بعد التشاور مع السلطات السورية، التي جعلها المسؤول الأول عن سلامة أفراد الفريق الطليعي. ويطلب القرار من الحكومة السورية «الإيفاء بالتزاماتها، وتطبيق خطة أنان بكاملها، كما اتفقت عليه مع المبعوث في 1 نيسان. ويعرب عن عزم المجلس، «تحت شرط استمرار وقف العنف المسلح بكافة أشكاله من كافة الأطراف، على الإنشاء الفوري، بعد التشاور مع الحكومة السورية والأمم المتحدة، لبعثة مراقبين في سوريا، ويطلب مقترحات رسمية من الأمين العام في مهلة أقصاها 16 نيسان الحالي، ويقرر تخويل فريق طليعي من المراقبين يصل عددهم إلى 30 مراقباً عسكرياً غير مسلح للتواصل مع الأطراف، والبدء في رفع تقارير عن التطبيق التام لوقف كافة أشكال العنف المسلح من كافة الأطراف، شرط انتشار البعثة، … ويدعو الحكومة السورية والأفرقاء الآخرين إلى ضمان أن يكون الفريق قادراً على تولي مهماته. ويطلب من الأمين العام رفع تقرير فوري لمجلس الأمن بشأن العراقيل التي تعترض التطبيق الفعال للقرار من أيّ طرف كان. ويطلب منه أيضاً رفع تقرير عن التطبيق بحلول 19 نيسان، ويرفض فكرة الإنذار باللجوء إلى إجراءات أخرى، وأكد إبقاء المسألة قيد المتابعة.
وبالتزامن مع مناقشات مجلس الأمن (سانا، رويترز، أ ف ب، يو بي آي)، خرج الاف المتظاهرين المناهضين لنظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الى ساحات وشوارع المدن والقرى غداة تطبيق وقف اطلاق النار، الذي سجل خروقاً عديدة من قبل النظام والمعارضة.

ووزع ناشطون على شبكة الإنترنت أشرطة فيديو تُظهر تجمعات حاشدة في مناطق عديدة، أكبرها في مدينة دوما في ريف دمشق، وفي اللطامنة في ريف حماة، مع عشرات أسماء المدن والقرى والبلدات التي اختلطت فيها أعلام المعارضة مع الهتافات الداعية الى رحيل الأسد واللافتات المبتكرة. وأفادت «رويترز» عن «أعداد قليلة» من المتظاهرين في انحاء البلاد بعد صلاة الجمعة.

وأظهر إحصاء نشره «المركز السوري لتوثيق الاحتجاجات»، أن إجمالي نقاط الاحتجاج في «جمعة ثورة لكل السوريين» بلغت 700 نقطة في 560 منطقة، وبلغت نسبة توثيق هذه التجمعات عبر أشرطة الفيديو على يوتيوب حوالى 44 بالمئة من اجمالي التجمعات المصرح عنها. وتختلف أعداد المتظاهرين في هذه التجمعات، إلا أن عدداً كبيراً منها لا يتجاوزون العشرات من يشاركون فيها.

April 13th, 2012, 11:43 pm


Ghufran said:

انا يا  عصفورة الشجن    مثل عينيك بلا وطن

بى  كما  الطفل تسرقه    اول الليل يد الوسن

واغتراب  بى وبى فرح    كارْتحال البحر بالسفن

انا لا ارضٌ ولا سكنٌ    انا  عيناك هما  سكنى

راجع  من صوب  اغنية    يا زمان ضاع فى الزمن

صوتها يبكى فاحمله بين   زهر  الصمت والوهن

من  حدود الانس يا حلما   زارنى طيراعلى غصن

أىُّ وهم عشت انت به    كنت فى البال ولم تكن

April 13th, 2012, 11:54 pm


jad said:


Are we seeing a new coalition, Turkey-US trying to screw Russia-Annan efforts to solve the Syrian crisis?

انتقادات للسياسة التركية إزاء سوريا

أردوغــان: خطــة أنــان ميتــة

محمد نور الدين

ليس صعبا التكهن بأن تركيا تراقب بقلق مرحلة اتفاق وقف إطلاق النار في سوريا، ونشر المراقبين من جانب مجلس الأمن الدولي.

ومبعث القلق ليس الخشية من انهيار هذه الخطوة بقدر نجاحها. وذلك لسبب بسيط يورده الكاتب التركي المعروف سامي كوهين، وهو أن حكومة رجب طيب اردوغان لا تريد لخطة مبعوث الأمم المتحدة والجامعة العربية إلى سوريا كوفي أنان أن تنجح، إذ انها توفر حلا مع الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، فيما العنوان العريض لسياسة تركيا الحالية هو انه لا يمكن التوصل إلى حل للأزمة في ظل بقاء الأسد في السلطة.

وقد أكدت هذه الشكوك بخطة انان تصريحات جديدة لأردوغان من بنغلادش، حين قال «إنني لست على قناعة بأن خطة أنان ستنفذ. ليس من شيء من ذلك حتى الآن».

وقال اردوغان، وفق «خطة طريق» خاصة بتركيا، انه لا يكفي سحب الدبابات السورية من المدن وتمركزها في الأرياف بل يجب «عودة الدبابات إلى الثكنات». ودعا إلى «إجراء انتخابات نيابية واحترام نتائجها كائنا من يخرج من صناديق الاقتراع. ولتحترم إرادة الشعب. هذا جوهر القضية».

وأعلن اردوغان، ان اول عمل سيقوم به بعد زيارته السعودية، هو زيارة مخيمات اللاجئين السوريين في تركيا، ولا سيما مخيم البيوت الجاهزة في «أونجو بينار».

من جهة أخرى، أكد وزير الخارجية التركي احمد داود اوغلو أن أنقرة بدأت تلقي المساعدات الدولية المرسلة إلى اللاجئين السوريين الموجودين على أراضيها. وأوضح مصدر دبلوماسي ان مفوضية الأمم المتحدة العليا للاجئين أرسلت 1500 خيمة وكمية من الأغطية إلى تركيا هذا الأسبوع.

يقول كوهين، في مقالته في «ميللييت»، إن الصورة التي ظهرت بها تركيا في الآونة الأخيرة على الساحة الدولية هي صورة الصقر المتشدد، وسط تساؤل عما يجبر الحكومة التركية على ذلك.

وأكثر من ذلك يقول كوهين انه خارج مسألة إقامة «منطقة عازلة أو أمنية» فإن الانطباع عن صورة تركيا المتحمسة لتدخل عسكري يقوى يوما بعد يوم، خصوصا بعد إطلاق النار عبر الحدود التركية على مخيمات اللاجئين، وتصريحات المسؤولين الأتراك عن الرد بالمثل.

ويتابع كوهين إن بيان حلف شمال الأطلسي بأن حماية حدود تركيا هي مسألة أطلسية وفقا للمادة الخامسة من نظام الحلف، يضيق الخناق أكثر على الدبلوماسية التركية ويحرجها. وينصح الكاتب «الحكومة التركية بالابتعاد عن التوتر والتصرف بهدوء وبدم بارد، وحذر من النقطة التي وصلت إليها الأزمة السورية».

ويرى غونيري جيفا اوغلو، في الصحيفة نفسها، أن موقف «الأطلسي» بالنسبة للحدود التركية مع سوريا جاء ليبرّد الرؤوس الحامية في تركيا، ويحول دون أن تتفرد أنقرة بالتدخل العسكري. ولاحظ أن تصريحات المسؤولين الأتراك قد بردت في الساعات الأخيرة، وهذا أمر جيد. وقال انها «محاولة للتفكير على مستوى عالمي عندما تكون اللعبة إقليمية».

وفي صحيفة «راديكال» كتب قوراي تشاليشقان ان «هناك ألف سبب كي لا تستطيع تركيا التدخل العسكري في سوريا. من ذلك البيئة الاجتماعية السورية، حيث تعارض الأقليات، التي تمثل 40 في المئة من السوريين، كما البورجوازية السنية، مثل هذا التدخل وإحلال الإخوان المسلمين في السلطة». ويقول ان «تركيا تتعاون مع السعودية من أجل إيصال الإخوان المسلمين الى السلطة، وهو ما ترى فيه مجموعات سورية واسعة خطرا على سوريا».

ويقول تشاليشقان ان الولايات المتحدة لا تريد حربا في سوريا لأن ذلك سيضرب أسعار النفط، وحينها ستتأثر الطبقة الوسطى في الولايات المتحدة وتتراجع حظوظ التأييد للرئيس الأميركي باراك اوباما في الانتخابات الرئاسية. وينتقد الكاتب مواقف الحكومة المنقلبة من «أخي الأسد» إلى السعي لتغيير النظام في دمشق. ويقول ان على الحكومة ألا تنسى ان تغيير النظام في سوريا ليس سهلا مثل تغيير النظام التعليمي في تركيا، موضحا ان المشكلة ان الحكومة تطبق في السياسة الخارجية المعايير التي تطبقها في سياساتها الداخلية.

April 14th, 2012, 12:01 am


ann said:

Syrie: L’épuration ethnique des chrétiens est en marche – 14 avril 2012

Une opération de « nettoyage ethnique » à l’encontre des chrétiens est en cours dans la ville syrienne de Homs. Elle serait menée par la « Brigade Al-Farouk » de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), des éléments armés d’Al Qaeda et par différents groupes wahhabites. L’ASL compterait dans ses rangs des mercenaires provenant de Libye et d’Irak.

Alors que les forces de l’opposition syrienne se sont rendues coupables de violences, d’abus et de tortures – comme l’affirme un rapport rendu public par l’ONG « Human Rights Watch », « un nettoyage ethnique à l’encontre des chrétiens » est en cours à Homs, affirme l’agence Fides. Information, envoyée à l’agence, par l’Eglise orthodoxe syrienne, qui rassemble 60% des chrétiens en Syrie.

90% des chrétiens de Homs ont été expulsés
Des militants islamiques armés, affirme cette note de l’Eglise orthodoxe, sont parvenus à expulser 90% des chrétiens de Homs, et par la force, ont placé leurs maisons sous séquestre.
Selon des sources du Métropolite orthodoxe, les militants se sont rendus de maison en maison obligeant les chrétiens à s’enfuir, sans leur donner le temps de prendre quoi que ce soit avec eux.

La presse étrangère ne dit pas toute la vérité
Le vicaire apostolique d’Alep, Mgr Giuseppe Nazzaro, s’exprime en ces termes: « Nous ne disposons pas de sources permettant de confirmer directement ces informations, mais on peut dire que de tels rapports commencent à faire s’écrouler le mur de silence jusqu’ici construit par la presse dans le monde entier. Dans cette situation, les mouvements islamistes et terroristes commencent à s’imposer. »

Plusieurs responsables ecclésiastiques catholiques estiment que la presse étrangère ne dit pas toute la vérité sur ce qui se passe en Syrie. Le vicaire apostolique rappelle avec préoccupation un certain nombre d’épisodes récents: « Dimanche dernier, une voiture piégée a explosé à Alep, dans les environs de l’école des Frères Franciscains. Par miracle, un massacre d’enfants a été évité au Centre de catéchèse de l’église de Saint Bonaventure et ce seulement parce que le franciscain responsable, pressentant un danger, a fait sortir les enfants avec un quart d’heure d’avance sur l’horaire fixé. D’autres bombes ont explosé à Damas: il s’agit de signaux négatifs pour les minorités religieuses ».


April 14th, 2012, 1:54 am


Jad said:

Since day one we’ve been writing the exact same line ‘negotiation and dialog are the only solution’ yet every body from the net rebles mock this idea even those break striainto 18 pieces observers didn’t want to read the word ‘dialog’
More sane experts and politicians around the world are coming to the same conclusion, did we need 10000 victim and destroyong the Syrian state along the social fabric to realize this simple reality? Unfortunatly, many people want more victims just to avoid reality:

Kofi Annan is right – negotiation is key for Syria
Syria’s transition from killing to talking will be messy, but it’s the only way to avoid the horrors of civil war
Patrick Seale
The former UN secretary general Kofi Annan has reason to be proud of the Syrian ceasefire which, as a result of his persuasion and tireless travels to Moscow and Tehran, Turkey and Qatar, came into force on Thursday. It may well be breached here and there – the transition from killing to talking is bound to be messy; the violent emotions of a vicious year-long conflict will not easily be quelled – but it heralds, nevertheless, the beginning of a new political phase of the Syrian crisis.
The international community must be patient and give Annan its full support, because a durable ceasefire is an essential precondition for a negotiated resolution of the conflict – the only alternative to the horrors of an inter-communal civil war (such as was triggered in Iraq by the Anglo-American invasion of 2003, with the loss of tens of thousands of lives).
Several hundred independent observers, mandated by the UN security council, are expected to arrive in Syria within days to monitor events.
Some will undoubtedly be unhappy with this outcome. Those Syrian opponents who dreamed of toppling President Bashar al-Assad – indeed, of putting him on trial and executing him – will be bitterly disappointed. His foreign enemies will be equally put out. This week saw the surprise visit to the Free Syrian Army – the main, Turkish-based rebel force – of US senators Joe Lieberman and John McCain. “This is war,” they declared with their familiar belligerence. “Diplomacy with Assad has failed!” They called for arming the rebels and for foreign air power to defeat the Syrian army.
But Annan is right in declaring that “any further militarisation of the conflict would be disastrous”. Even armed with weapons from outside, the opposition could not hope to reverse the balance of military power, still overwhelmingly on the side of the regime. To think otherwise is political insanity. The more the opposition resorts to arms, the more the regime will feel justified in crushing it.
Men such as these US hawks and their Israeli allies will not like a settlement that leaves the Syrian regime in place, even though battered, impoverished and destabilised. They are typical of that current of opinion which, from the start, has wanted to overthrow the Syrian regime in order to weaken and isolate Iran, and bring down the whole Tehran-Damascus-Hezbollah “resistance axis”, seen as the main challenge to US and Israeli supremacy in the Middle East.
Any future regime will also have to devise a way in which Syria – a mosaic of religious communities like its neighbour Lebanon, which requires a degree of mutual tolerance – can integrate a movement such as the Muslim Brotherhood and other even more radical Islamist currents. The Muslim Brotherhood are, very probably, the most powerful and most determined of Assad’s opponents. They will not want to negotiate with the regime, nor will the regime want to negotiate with them. Jihadi opponents of all stripes will want revenge for the repression Islamist extremists have suffered in Syria over the past several decades. This is not a problem that will go away.

April 14th, 2012, 2:02 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

Hi Juergen,

Since I think you are interested in ME and Arabic music check out these, though you may know them already:

Ibn Arabi Ensamble:

Mira’ihi Brothers from Tunisia on Oud and Qanoun :

April 14th, 2012, 3:28 am


Alan said:

UN SC discusses sending of advance team of observers to Syria

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The United Nations Security Council is working on a draft resolution for sending an advance team of UN observers to Syria. The US-authored and Western countries-backed draft has drawn objections from Russia, China and a number of other SC member-states, which found it biased. On Friday Russia proposed its own, shorter wording of the resolution.

Russia’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, has told the media the security Council had achieved the understanding the resolution should concern the crux of the matter and be pragmatic and specific. The gist of the resolution is the deployment of an advanced observer mission in Syria, the Russian envoy recalled.

One can hardly say this about the Western draft, which is filled with ultimatums to the Syrian government and blames the Syrian authorities for the violence in the country. In the reworded draft the Western countries tried to take some of Moscow’s objections into account. There appeared a clause to the effect the Security Council demands from all factions in Syria, including the Opposition, to immediately end armed violence in all forms.

The Russian resolution envisages the deployment of an advanced group of 30 unarmed military observers, which would establish contact with the conflicting parties and start reporting compliance by all parties with the terms of the full termination of armed violence in all forms up to the deployment of the mission. The Russian draft contains a call addressed to the Syrian government and the other parties to ensure the advanced group should be able to perform its functions and to guarantee its security without harm to the freedom of movement and access. It recognizes that the Syrian government bears the main responsibility for that.

The diplomats believe that urgent arrival of UN observers in Syria will be of key importance to maintaining the ceasefire, which took effect on Thursday morning.

April 14th, 2012, 3:30 am


Alan said:

A.Bystrov: Sudan – South Sudan – problems of distribution of revenue from oil export
08:44 13.04.2012
Source – Institute of the Middle East

April 14th, 2012, 3:58 am


Alan said:

Turkey Cites NATO Article 5 To Call For Military Action In Syria

April 14th, 2012, 3:59 am


oab said:

The overall picture presented by the people posting comments shows a thoroughly polarized syrian public, each insisting that they represent the “people”. No room for discussion and nobody trying to stake out the middle ground, because that would be dangerous as both sides are ready to blast anyone with a moderate stance. The “opposition” has only one policy “get rib of Assad” and the loyalists are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

To the opposition, I would say look at Lebanon, look what years of tying your cart to a foreign sponsor has wrought, Jumblatt, Hariri, Nasrallah, Geagea etc etc. Each sect leader trying to get the upper hand at the expense of the others, at the same time knowing that his position as the leader is under threat by competitors within his own sect. If you don’t think that’s gonna happen because the Sunnah will dominate, then look at Iraq, the Kurds have set-up an autonomous region, the central government is dominated by the Shia majority, but it is weak and ineffectual. The Sunni’s are frustrated and susceptible to foreign meddling. It’s been almost 10 years since the “Liberation” and thousands are still dying.

To the loyalists, I would say that you need to respect your fellow syrians desire for change and to reach out with your hand and your heart, believing that both sides are trying to do what’s best for the long term future of the country.

Nothing good will come from foreign intervention, it never has and it never will, because these people will always want pay-back either in policy stances or support for their interests and it is clearly in the policy interests of the West to see Syria weakened and taken out of the regional equation. Either by the removal of Assad or by years of civil strife or both.

The declared intent for the GCC/NATO is the weakening of Syria will strengthen their hand vis-à-vis Iran, which they view as the real threat. Israel, would love to see Hezbollah isolated from its strategic depth in Syria, Israel will probably seek another round with Hezbollah if the current Syrian regime falls (with support from other sects within Lebanon as was the case in 2006) – and the SNC is making all the right noises about that possibility.

April 14th, 2012, 4:26 am


Mina said:


Alas, you are losing your time. What you state is what the “moderates” have been trying to say to the hardcore Sunni opposition for a year. In return the moderates are called “minhibaks” and “loyalists”.

But make no mistake, there is less than ten Syrians commenting on SC, the rest are like me, just tourists.

April 14th, 2012, 4:32 am


Mina said:

Jad #205

He is right to be angry: they have simply helped fail both Egypt and Yemen revolutions. If the cameras had stayed on Egypt workers and youth last year, there may have been a process towards real elections (i. e. with reaching the awareness of the countryside dwellers and achieving some equality, since voters have an equal voice in a democratic process).

Because of its history, of its strategic position, and its 80 millions inhabitants, Egypt has a special role in the region and can be the lighthouse.

Instead of that, the extremists of each Arab country are feeding each other with conspiracy theories of “Bashar the Zionist agent”, instead of criticizing Omar Suleiman and asking details about his past.

Shouldn’t he be judged just like Mubarak? Because he knows too much of Egypt’s deals with the US he is safe? His candidacy is a grim farce, just as if Maher al Asad was running in the next elections, no?

It reminds me the month when the Abu Ghraib scandal was discovered, and we saw crowds of demonstrators in Pakistan and elsewhere protesting not about Abu Ghraib but about the caricatures published in Denmark. It says it all.

April 14th, 2012, 4:54 am


Juergen said:


many thanks, such is my taste truly. I never made it to an concert of Sheikh Hamza Shakur and the Al Kindi ensemble, but they are great too.

Somebody i like in particular from Syria is Lena Chamamyan, i saw her in Damascus in a concert.

April 14th, 2012, 5:06 am


Mina said:

Although some are trying regularly to consider Russian and Chinese media as a new version of the Pravda, without taking into consideration the very little experience and/or knowledge of the Middle East of the main Western media, I think it is rather interesting to read such a title by the Chinese news agency (posted by Ann yesterday: Army major assassinated in central Syria, anti-gov’t protests on – 2012-04-13

For those thinking that RT is “just propaganda” since it is Russian, why not then add Wikileaks to the propaganda organs? Assange has now a talk-show on RT.

Does anyone has an outline of the bleak record of Turkey towards Syria? What is exactly the story about the dam that caused a drought in Eastern Syria (around the Ghabur river?) and obliged the Assyrian Christians to flee to cities and misery? Is it was helped the cotton industry to boom in Turkey or were they strong in this before?

April 14th, 2012, 5:10 am


Juergen said:


I am working to get that translated, but i doubt without some tools you can not read what is written on the card, its too small. But lets see i will ask some folks for their opinion.

April 14th, 2012, 5:29 am


Juergen said:

German vessel with arms and ammunition for the syrian regime has stopped its way to Tartous

DER SPIEGEL published that a german vessel was chartered in Djibouti to bring iranian goods through a ukrainian company to Tartous. The german shipping company was warned that the shipment it has received in Djibouti was wrongly declared as equipment for pumps and were instead an long waited arms shipment for the syrian regime. The german company then had stopped the vessel before reaching Tartous.

April 14th, 2012, 6:35 am


Alan said:

[NO HATE LANGUAGE Alan, does no fact-checks. The remarks about Jewish scum have been edited. Please be careful to read over your sources for hateful language. ]

Turkey Cites NATO Article 5 To Call For Military Action In Syria

As Turkey provides Syria terrorists with military bases on its border they cite the NATO treaty to justify military intervention after skirmishes at those bases.

Iran busts major Israeli terrorist network

Islamic Republic’s intelligence ministry announced that it has busted a major Israeli network of terrorism and sabotage being operated from neighboring AzerbaijanOn Tuesday, Islamic Republic’s intelligence ministry announced that it has busted a major Israeli network of terrorism and sabotage being operated from neighboring Azerbaijan. The statement claimed arrest of several terrorists trained in anti-Iran foreign countries and seizer of a large amount of explosives, automatic weapons, silencers, military and telecommunication equipment and terrorist tools after a tough gun battle with the terrorists.

Earlier this month, the Jewish Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter for The New Yorker magazine, Seymour Hersh had revealed that the US Joint Special Operations Command had been training members of Iranian terrorist organization Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) since 2005 inside state of Nevada. Ironically, MEK is listed as a ‘terrorist group’ by the US State Department since 1997.

Last month, US Treasury Department issued subpoenas into an investigation against over three dozen former US high ranking government and military officials for accepting large sum of money in return for lobbying for an anti-Tehran government terrorist militant group, the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK).

Stop and Think! A large number of these scums happened to be Jewish with loyalty to Israel, such as, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, Vermont Governor Howard Dean, CNN’s resident terror expert Frances Townsend, former US Attorney General, Michael Mukasey and John Bolton.

US and Israel share a long anti-Islam and anti-Iran cooperation with Azerbaijan’s communist-nationalist ruling class. The US, NATO and Israel have been using Azerbaijan as a launching pad for their intelligence, terrorism and military activities against Azerbaijan’s Muslim neighbors. Azerbaijan has a powerful Jewish minority with links to their Azeri relatives settled in the US, Israel and Britain after the fall of communist USSR. Azerbaijan’s strategic location and its large oil reserves work like magnet for oil-thirsty Israel.

[ + … ]

April 14th, 2012, 6:39 am


Amnesia said:

Alan, you asked me a few questions.

Are embargoes effectively weapons of mass destruction? Yes, very often they are. I agree with you. However, embargoes didn’t make the third world poor in the first place. A lot of blame resides within each individual country. I blame the US for much of the suffering of Iraqis, but the Iraqis themselves are largely to blame now. Dictatorial policies, incompetence, and corruption are rampant, and are the main causes for the continued violence and suffering.

I don’t like embargoes, and I don’t like military adventures. Sometimes though, some form of action must be taken. Syria has suffered greatly over its periods of dictatorship, and the people deserve much better. Bashar was given a chance, but he failed Syrians miserably.

To your question about arms, I believe the US did the right thing in arming the mujahideen of Afghanistan in the 80s. Although more than a million died, the Soviet Union was to blame for most of that. As long as Assad continues to arm supporters and massacre opposition supporters and activists in Syria, I also support arming the FSA to defend. When peace comes, all weapons must be collected again.

If by “international institutes” you mean human rights organizations, they really are for the most part not biased. These organizations criticize virtually everybody and every country, but they do a good job of bringing attention to abuses when they happen. Criticizing them for being unfair is for the most part unjustified.

Syria decades ago before the Baath came to power had a thriving democracy. Were there problems and protests? Sure there were. However even when coups took place, democratically elected leaders would be brought back years or months later. Military coups and the dictatorial regimes that followed were extremely damaging. Bashar’s father should have been driven out the moment it became clear that he wished to stay for life. That didn’t happen, and he ruled until death. Bashar himself should have embraced the opportunity to bring the country back to being a democratic republic ruled by law. He did the opposite unfortunately, and Syria is facing ruin because of him. Syrians have a lot of work to do for a better future, and Bashar and his corrupt gang are standing in the way.

I will repeat what I stated earlier: Bashar will not accept demonstrations against him. The only way to stem rising demonstrations is through violence, abuse, and torture. This will continue while the opposition is defenseless, and thus the reason the opposition wishes for outside protection.

April 14th, 2012, 7:08 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

@OAB #222

The questions we must ask are these:

Can you have a semi-democracy or as I see it, a half-dictatorship (the middle ground you’re talking about)?

And can a leopard change its spots?

Negotiating is fine, but not under a regime of fear and terror with most of those who should be doing the negotiating dead or languishing in dark torturers’ chambers.

You have to press the reset button and start afresh. Many “oppositionists” here, myself included, said from the very start, if Assad and Associates are so sure about their popularity (and I don’t deny they have some following) why don’t they call an independently-monitored referendum to prove their popularity and show us once and for all the following Bashar/al-Baath command? Heck, my older sister as late as 2010 truly believed he was going to deliver reform and made all sort of excuses for him, but when in April-June 2011 peaceful demonstrators started to fall dead to his snipers’ bullets, and her own nephew and teenage grandson were arrested and tortured by his Mukhabarat just for marching in a peaceful demonstration (one did not even march, he was standing on the curb and just took a photo of the event on his mobile), she just lost all hope and belief in him and his promises.

I say yes we should negotiate but cannot have half a dictatorship or half a democracy. You seem to imply fearfully that under a democratic system Syrians will automatically vote in sectarian blocks, something I do not accept. Yes, there will be a backlash against an Alawi-Baathist-Assadist party (let’s call it regime-remnants) from some Sunni voters, but I am convinced that Syrians will select parties and blocks according to their policies and plans for the country not by religion/sect or ethnicity, and will select a prime minister or a president on the same basis.

Sadly, the course chosen by the Assadist regime proved to a great many, my sister included, that the hopes for real political reform were nothing but a mirage.

Now after so many dead and maimed and so much wanton destruction and great damage to the national economy through the regime’s own madness (no need for external forces to come to weaken the country, the Assadists are doing it in-house through their سورية الأسد أو نحرق البلد ‘Suriyya-l-Assad au na7roq-il-balad’ =’Assad’s Syria or we’ll burn it down’ policy), the people find it even less acceptable for the Assadists to have any role in running the country. But hey, don’t take my word for it, have a free and fair referendum and let’s see what the people want.

If (back to world of ifs!) the Assadists were genuinely interested in both reform and maintaining the “Steadfastness Front” , they could have said “OK, we insist that foreign policy (including the relationships with Iran and Russia) and the army be put aside in a non-negotiable ‘Steadfastness’ basket, but everything else is fair game”. No more rule by fear, no more mafia-like networks in charge of the economy, no more…


April 14th, 2012, 7:12 am


Amnesia said:

Annan’s six-point peace plan

1. Syrian-led political process to address the aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people

-Opposition in and out of Syria must be respected and protected-

2. UN-supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians

-The military and mukhabarat have no place in civilian areas-

3. All parties to ensure provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and implement a daily two-hour humanitarian pause

-Hospitals must not be used as places of detention and torture-

4. Authorities to intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons

-And stop detaining them in the first place-

5. Authorities to ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists

-And quit harassing those speaking to them-

6. Authorities to respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully

-Not just respect, but protect-

April 14th, 2012, 7:20 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

You’re welcome, Juergen. I have to admit that for some reason I find it difficult to appreciate religious chants in Arabic yet I fall for Western religious music (Tallis, Bach, and down to Part). Maybe it’s because I can’t understand German or Latin and just listen to the music, whilst the Arabic chants I can understand well and my atheist ears start resisting :-). We all have our contradictions, that’s for sure

April 14th, 2012, 7:36 am


bronco said:

The revenge of the ‘friends of Syria’

Following his strategy, and relatively satisfied with the halt to violence, Annan is now pushing for his peace plan to be included in a Security Council resolution, thus stopping short any attempt by Qatar, Turkey and KSA to derail it with military intervention.

These countries are their western allies, disappointed that the plan seems to hold despite their predictions, are now trying to sabotage it by including in the UNSC resolution about observers new threats and accusations on Syria, with the hope that the resolution either will be delayed or vetoed. Therefore no observers will be sent and the opposition will be boosted again to restart violence. It could be the end of the peace plan and back on violent confrontations.

This is the revenge of the ‘friends of Syria’ for the Russian veto on the previous resolution that was calling for Bashar to resign.

They want to use this new resolution on the observers and the peace plan to sneak in condemnations of the regime as a prelude for calling for its fall.

Another struggle at the UN that may cost more Syrian lives and destroy the hope of a settlement.

April 14th, 2012, 8:24 am



After having spent last 20 days in Lebanon and Syria and coming back to check SC I realize that nothing changes in the minds of Assad mafia supporters. I have heard shelling and bullets near me (some 2 miles away from my position) and I have talked to so many people that confirm day after day atrocities commited by the regime under the legitimacy of the state legitimacy. Many interesting stories to be told about the drama of army members discovering how they killed civil population and some times even their own relatives.

April 14th, 2012, 8:28 am


Amnesia said:

“Many interesting stories to be told about the drama of army members discovering how they killed civil population and some times even their own relatives.”

Very sad.

April 14th, 2012, 8:41 am


Amnesia said:

Bronco, Russia overlooks atrocities because of their own peculiar interests, not for the Syrian people. Without Russian support the regime might not have waged such a war in their country in the first place. Their port in Tartous belongs to Syria only. Bashar does not speak for Syria in letting them have it. Russia is now foolishly forever damaging any remnant of support they once had in the Arab and Muslim world.

April 14th, 2012, 8:50 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

The dirtiest most criminal revolution in history (very painful to watch ):

April 14th, 2012, 8:50 am


Tara said:

America has never been serious about regime change.

Mr. President, return to the Syrian issue!

I could not stop laughing when media outlets published the news of North Korea’s long-range rocket launch failure; the rocket flew for 120 km before breaking up into four pieces. 

This was less a rocket launch and more a fireworks display, or as Adel Imam said in his famous film “Al Safara Fil Emara” (The embassy in the building), “don’t exaggerate the issue so much!”

The reason for this laughter was that the US administration wanted to turn the North Korea rocket launch into a political issue that Washington could utilize to draw attention away from what is happening in Syria, with regards to the crimes being carried out by the forces of the tyrant Bashar Assad. Washington sought to call a UN Security Council meeting, and the Obama administration preoccupied the world with the issue of North Korea’s rocket launch. This reached the point that the White House issued a statement saying that despite the failure of North Korea’s rocket launch, this nevertheless represented a “provocative action” that “threatens regional security (and) violates international law.”

The Obama administration considers the failed rocket launch, in which the rocket itself broke up into four different pieces in the sky, to be a provocation that threatens regional security as well as a violation of international law, whilst the death of more than 11,0000…

Assad has failed to abide by Annan’s cease-fire, he did not abide by the article that called on him to withdraw his troops from Syria’s cities, allow demonstrations to take place, and permit the entry of international press (to Syria); this is not to mention releasing detainees and other requirements of the Annan initiative. Indeed Assad has failed to abide by any previous initiative, however despite all this, the Obama administration wants to preoccupy the world with the issue of North Korea’s “toy” rockets, under the pretext of protecting international law and regional security! Therefore one can only inform Mr. Obama that the North Korean experiment failed, and it was ultimately revealed that this (long-range rocket) experiment was as lacking as North’s Korea’s infrastructure — particularly as the country is in dire need of food aid today — therefore there is no longer any excuse to draw the attention of the world away from the need to confront the unprecedented crimes being committed by the tyrant of Damascus in our region.

So Mr. Obama, please return to the Syrian issue today, particularly as it is more than enough that the international community has, over the past year, provided Assad with one opportunity after another — or shall we say a license — to kill more Syrian people, and we are now hearing talk about new observers being sent to Syria! However the reality of the situation is that what is happening in Syria today represents the true violation of all laws, and the real threat to regional — and Mediterranean — security. (..)

April 14th, 2012, 8:56 am


Amnesia said:

Hi Tara,

We all agree that the suffering in Syria needs more attention, but I disagree that North Korea is a diversion. North Korea has on many levels the worst regime on Earth, and they support Assad. Both stories deserve attention.

April 14th, 2012, 9:02 am


bronco said:

#238 Amnesia

“Russia is now foolishly forever damaging any remnant of support they once had in the Arab and Muslim world.”

I think it is exactly the other way around. Arab leaders have seen that US and EU are totally unreliable partners in time of crisis, except for selling more weapons. After supporting and exploiting Mobarak, Ben Ali and Qaddafi for decades, they just dumped them in a matter of weeks.

In the contrary Russia, at great risk, has supported politically Bashar Al Assad on the international scene, while facing sharp criticism and condemnation.

In the long term, we will probably see a massive return of Russia in the region, Syria being one of its the door.

Russian politicians are far from ‘foolish’, they look at long term strategies to reintegrate their place in the region while the US is only foolishly concerned by its need of energy and the support of Israel that dictates its foreign policies.

April 14th, 2012, 9:11 am



Obama has simply lost all remaining credit in the Arab World. American foreign policy is senseless and lack of direction. They are giving Syria to Russia and Iran so confrontation with Israel and US can gain momentum in the future. They want Syria Assad Criminals to destroy Syria and SFA to erode Assad military power.

The idea could be that Syria creates to more real danger to Israel in the next 20 years or so (without shooting a single american bullet)? Probably, but the result could be quite the opposite.

I think it is ethically worse trying to act as a stupid who does not know provoking thousands of dead (by unaction) than allegating that your victims in a war were killed by mistake like in Irak. Obama, go to your christian-islamic church-mosque and try to clean your responsability for the thousands of dead in Syria due to your lack of action. History will tell.

April 14th, 2012, 9:15 am


zoo said:

Is this called violence?

Kidnappings, assassinations surge in Syria amid shaky ceasefire
2012-04-14 19:36:39

DAMASCUS, April 14 (Xinhua) — As the UN-backed ceasefire in Syria entered its third day on Saturday, Syrian media reported a surge of kidnappings and assassinations targeting government officials and prominent figures, raising fears that the country is sliding towards a civil war.

According to official SANA news agency, a candidate for Syria’s upcoming parliamentary elections, Mohammad Ismail al-Ahmed, was kidnapped Saturday by an “armed terrorist group” in the northern province of Idlib.

“Terrorists” stormed al-Ahmed’s house in Idlib’s al-Tih town, shot at him, and took him to an unknown destination, SANA said.

According to private media reports, the so-called “battalions of Mohammed”, a rebel group, have recently threatened to kill whoever might put himself as a candidate for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

The group said in a video uploaded onto YouTube that they would force the candidates to withdraw from the parliamentary elections.

They also claimed responsibility for the earlier assassination of Lieutenant Colonel Youssef Saqqer in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

Earlier Saturday, another armed group kidnapped Colonel Mohammad Eid in the central province of Hama and took him to an unknown place, SANA said.

Private websites and TV close to the Syrian government said Saturday that a prominent preacher was assassinated late Friday in the Damascus suburb of Saida Zeinab.

The reports said Sayyed Nasser al-Allawi, the imam and preacher of al-Hossayniya Scientific Hawza, was shot from a near distance in front of his house and died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Al-Allawi, born in Syria and with an Afghan origin, was active in providing assistance for vulnerable families fleeing to the area because of the unrest, the reports said.

Also on Friday, “armed terrorist groups” killed Major Moussa Youssef in the central province of Hama, an act decried by SANA as an attempt to “undermine Syria’s stability and blow up any effort to find a political solution to the crisis.”

April 14th, 2012, 9:20 am


Tara said:

Russia Orders Syria To Obey Peace Plan
Saturday April 14, 2012

Russia has reportedly called on all sides in Syria to “strictly” obey UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, after forces loyal to the government shelled the city of Homs.

The reports of violence come two days after a ceasefire began and ahead of a United Nations Security Council vote later on a Western-Arab draft resolution authorising a team to monitor the fragile ceasefire.
The draft calls on the regime to allow access for up to 30 unarmed military observers.
It is unclear how many additional monitors will be sent in the coming weeks, but diplomatic sources suggest as many as 500.
The Russian foreign ministry said: “The resolution on the deployment into Syria of a UN monitoring mission advance group has been practically agreed for adoption at the UN Security Council.”
The Council has threatened to consider “further steps” if Syria does not comply.

US and European UN delegations had to revise the draft resolution late on Friday after Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters it needed cutting out “all the things which are not really necessary for this particular purpose”.
In the re-written draft, wording has been changed and weakened slightly, in some cases from “demands” to “calls upon” or “requests”.

April 14th, 2012, 9:23 am


Mina said:

Obviously the assassinated preacher in Sayyid Zeinab was a Shii.
Iraq here we go…
And comments are all about the thousands of death and “history will judge”, just showing how little esteem the same people have for African deads everyday in Somalia, Congo, or Sudan/South Sudan.

April 14th, 2012, 9:25 am


Alan said:

thanks for a response! we have here Easter! I will leave on communication not much later!

April 14th, 2012, 10:14 am


Mina said:

Is this disgusting cynicism or blatant racism?

Already when the Norwegian racist killer commited his rampage, I was shocked by the media coverage. Just think if he had been Muslim.

And now, the BBC title seems to refer to something really small, and does not even mention the number of victims in the article (77 dead including 69 teenagers)

April 14th, 2012, 10:19 am


Alan said:

[ Alan, I responded to your question via email. Please re-read the fair-use guidelines. ]

April 14th, 2012, 10:31 am


jad said:

The endless tries to escalate the situation, this time in Aleppo.

It said that the shooting last for more than one hour along destroying and burning public and private properties, isn’t it obvious that some players are behind this to worsen the situation?

حقيقة ما جرى بحلب بالصوت و بالصورة 14-4-2012

حرق كولبة شرطة من قبل المخربين حلب حي الاذاعة 14-4-2012

April 14th, 2012, 10:34 am


Uzair8 said:


I will not apologise for echoing the call to arm the defenceless people in the face of this escalating state brutality. This idea is not new but something that has been in the pipeline for some time.

My comments were an instinctive response to the worrying comments by the former UK Ambassador to Syria, shortly after which Khalid Tlass reassured me that the FSA were fine.

I will try to avoid knee-jerk reactionary comments.

April 14th, 2012, 10:45 am


jad said:

What really happened at the Syrian-Turkish border has nothing to do with what the Turks or the media report, it was an attack by the terrorists at the Syrian border and the Syrian army retaliate to them not at the ‘camp’ which is strangely built next to the border fence

NAS-E: The truth about what happened on the Syrian-Turkish borders.

“During the latest clashes that took place on the Syrian-Turkish borders, and accusing the Syrian army with breaching the borders and shooting on refugees, then they have showed dead bodies and injured people as they have been hit inside the camp, and many lies and fabrications.

But in this video, we will show you their lies and explain what really happened on the borders, and who are those injured people and dead people who were filmed as refugees… Watch the scene.

That’s all what happened on the Syrian-Turkish borders Kelles gate, but the armed terrorist groups who carries their wounded, were shooting on the camp and film the scene as the Syrian Arab army is shooting inside the Turkish territories, the we see Erdogan on TV asking the NATO to protect the borders, since Turkey is a member in the NATO, even this Erdogan fell in the trap of lies and fabrication.

Event the NATO won’t help you Erdogan, as in your words you have broken the Turkish army’s spirit which is already broken.

They are the Syrian army lions … Don’t mess with that.”

April 14th, 2012, 11:00 am


Uzair8 said:

Regime supporters complain about opposition (esp foreigners)calling for ‘escalation’. They make it sound as though everything is fine and dandy in Syria. Do you not consider that the current situation has been made unbearable by the regime? Are you sure you’re concern is for the syrian people and not about the prospect of the fighting widening to affect yourselves too?

Silent readers wouldn’t be blamed for noticing indifference to the current suffering and coming to such a conclusion.

April 14th, 2012, 11:04 am


Mina said:


The attack came from a fake jinaza, they say.

The FSA and their foreign PR supports must be really embarassed that the ceasefire actually works, because it prooves that the armed groups are a small number of people, and that does not fit in the legend of the desperate citizens who would have resorted to weapons after a long time being peaceful and in front of the escalating violence of the so-called regime.

April 14th, 2012, 11:04 am


Uzair8 said:

Do you think muslims in general, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other regional muslim nations have tried to follow the guidance from the following Quranic Verses? They have tried to mediate and given Assad plenty of chances to behave even being accused of buying time for the regime.

“If two groups among the believers fall to fighting, make peace between them; but if one of the groups goes on acting wrongfully against the other, fight ye (all) against the one that acts wrongfully until it reverts to the command of God; and if it reverts then make peace between them with justice and be fair, for, God loves those who are fair. Believers are but brethren, so make peace among your brethren (whenever two parties among them are at odds), and remain conscious of God, so that you may receive mercy.” (49:9-10)

April 14th, 2012, 11:13 am



There are some lebanese Hizballah members getting back from Syria to their villages in Lebanon´s Bekaa Valley. The point is that they are getting back inside mortuary coffins. No reasons of their death are officially being given. Last week there were 7 or 8 more cases. Bashar must be very satisfied of lebanese patriots fighting against lebanese nationalists and syrian revolutionaries, who are no more than zionist actors. Sure.

April 14th, 2012, 11:31 am


Mina said:

The UN has voted the resolution allowing 30 observers to be sent. Their number is obviously proportional to the actual size of the demos.

April 14th, 2012, 11:42 am


bronco said:

#250 Jad

Turkey and Qatar are pushing their allies to sabotage Annan’s peace plan so they can resort to the invasion via the ‘corridors’ option.

Russia wants Annan’s plan ‘as is’ to become a UNSC resolution that would officilally block the ‘friends of Syria”s attempts to resort to the military option.

It seems that Iran has decided that Erdogan and Qatar needs to be reminded that it does not appreciate their sabotage and warmongering attempts against Syria.

Iran has started very subtly to send reminders: The visit of Ahmadinejad to the contested Gulf islands has created a havock in the GCC whose members met in emergency. By that, Iran is sending a message to the GCC that they are weak militarily and that they need to respect and fear Iran, despite the ‘defense’ weapons contracts that Hillary came to sell them.

As for Turkey, I think Iran will soon send another strong message of ‘hands off Syria” and ‘hands off Shia’ to Erdogan, just after the end of the nuclear meeting in Istanbul.

On the ground Sunni mercenaries under Turkey and Qatar’s control are retaliating by attacking Shia pilgrims and religious figures. A cold war is going on between Turkey-Qatar Sunnis against Iraq-Iran Shias by proxy in Syria.

The ‘friends of Syria’ are trying all they can to delay the UNSC resolution of sending observers so the activists could continue spreading false information about the army breaking the ‘ceasefire’. The UNSC resolution they are proposing contains hidden threats that could be interpreted later as a greenlight for military intervention. Russia and China, already fooled in the Libyan resolution, will never accept that. If they are forced to veto it, they will.

The media is already jumping in to repeat ” The Annan plan failed” so as to push for the long desired ‘humanitarian’ corridors, the prelude to the military invasion.

Would Russia succeed in passing their version of the UNSC, it is difficult to tell.

April 14th, 2012, 11:54 am


zoo said:

Annan is winning…

UN Security Council authorizes deployment of unarmed truce observer team to Syria
Published: 14 April, 2012, 19:26
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously agreed to send an initial team of unarmed truce observers to Syria.

The resolution, which authorizes an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to Syria to watch compliance with the ceasefire agreement, passed 15-0.

The observers will be tasked with establishing contact and interaction with the sides and making reports on compliance with the ceasefire regime by all parties to the conflict until a full mission is deployed in the country.

The observer team is expected to arrive within a few days of the resolution’s passing.

The resolution also calls on both sides to immediately “cease all armed violence in all its forms”, and for the Syrian government to implement the demand by international envoy Kofi Annan to pull troops and heavy weapons out of cities and towns.

April 14th, 2012, 12:00 pm


zoo said:

The showdown is maybe only postponed

UN Resolution 2042 approved the first 30 unarmed military monitors, who are expected to to leave within days. A new resolution with a full mandate will be required for the full monitoring mission of more than 200 observers.


April 14th, 2012, 12:20 pm


Tara said:


We welcome the international observers to Syria. The mission hopefully will ensure people demonstrate without fear of being killed and that future election is held under International supervision. The regime must abide by the 6 points plan otherwise it is cosidered a failure.

April 14th, 2012, 12:27 pm


zoo said:

This is the full text of the draft resolution agreed upon that enterinate the Six Point Annan plan

Colombia, France, Germany, Morocco, Portugal, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America: draft resolution

Recalling its Presidential Statements of 3 August 2011, 21 March 2012 and 5 April 2012, and also recalling all relevant resolutions of the General Assembly,

Reaffirming its support to the Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Kofi Annan, and his work, following General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/253 of 16 February 2012 and relevant resolutions of the League of Arab States,
Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, and to the purposes and principles of the Charter,

Condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups, recalling that those responsible shall be held accountable, and expressing its profound regret at the death of many thousands of people in Syria,

Noting the Syrian government’s commitment on 25 March 2012 to implement the six-point proposal of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, and to implement urgently and visibly its commitments, as it agreed to do in its communication to the Envoy of 1 April 2012, to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres, and to implement these in their entirety by no later than 10 April 2012, and noting also the Syrian opposition’s expressed commitment to respect the cessation of violence, provided the government does so,

Noting the Envoy’s assessment that, as of 12 April 2012, the parties appeared to be observing a cessation of fire and that the Syrian government had started to implement its commitments, and supporting the Envoy’s call for an immediate and visible implementation by the Syrian government of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal in their entirety to achieve a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties,

1. Reaffirms its full support for and calls for the urgent, comprehensive, and immediate implementation of all elements of the Envoy’s six-point proposal (annex) aimed at bringing an immediate end to all violence and human rights violations, securing humanitarian access and facilitating a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition;

2. Calls upon the Syrian government to implement visibly its commitments in their entirety, as it agreed to do in its communication to the Envoy of 1 April 2012, to (a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres;

3. Underlines the importance attached by the Envoy to the withdrawal of all Syrian government troops and heavy weapons from population centres to their barracks to facilitate a sustained cessation of violence;

4. Calls upon all parties in Syria, including the opposition, immediately to cease all armed violence in all its forms;

5. Expresses its intention, subject to a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, to establish immediately, after consultations between the Secretary-General and the Syrian government, a United Nations supervision mission in Syria to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties and relevant aspects of the Envoy’s six-point proposal, on the basis of a formal proposal from the Secretary-General, which the Security Council requests to receive by 18 April 2012;

6. Calls upon the Syrian government to ensure the effective operation of the mission, including its advance team, by: facilitating the expeditious and unhindered deployment of its personnel and capabilities as required to fulfil its mandate; ensuring its full, unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement and access as necessary to fulfil its mandate; allowing its unobstructed communications; and allowing it to freely and privately communicate with individuals throughout Syria without retaliation against any person as a result of interaction with the mission;

7. Decides to authorize an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to liaise with the parties and to begin to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties, pending the deployment of the mission referred to in paragraph 5 and calls upon the Syrian government and all other parties to ensure that the advance team is able to carry out its functions according to the terms set forth in paragraph 6;

8. Calls upon the parties to guarantee the safety of the advance team without prejudice to its freedom of movement and access, and stresses that the primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to report immediately to the Security Council any obstructions to the effective operation of the team by any party;

10. Reiterates its call for the Syrian authorities to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access of humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance, in accordance with international law and guiding principles of humanitarian assistance and calls upon all parties in Syria, in particular the Syrian authorities, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and relevant humanitarian organizations to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution by 19 April 2012;

12. Expresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further steps as appropriate;

13. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


Six-Point Proposal of the Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States

(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy;

(2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilize the country;

To this end, the Syrian government should immediately cease troop movements towards, and end the use of heavy weapons in, population centres, and begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres;

As these actions are being taken on the ground, the Syrian government should work with the Envoy to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism. Similar commitments would be sought by the Envoy from the opposition and all relevant elements to stop the fighting and work with him to bring about a sustained cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties with an effective United Nations supervision mechanism;

(3) ensure timely provision of humanitarian assistance to all areas affected by the fighting, and to this end, as immediate steps, to accept and implement a daily two hour humanitarian pause and to coordinate exact time and modalities of the daily pause through an efficient mechanism, including at local level;

(4) intensify the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons, including especially vulnerable categories of persons, and persons involved in peaceful political activities, provide without delay through appropriate channels a list of all places in which such persons are being detained, immediately begin organizing access to such locations and through appropriate channels respond promptly to all written requests for information, access or release regarding such persons;

(5) ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists and a non discriminatory visa policy for them;

(6) respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.

April 14th, 2012, 12:28 pm


zoo said:

The fight is not over at the UN…

“With the passage of a resolution, a small sigh of relief is emanating from the Council chambers. But the battle over Syria is in no way over. The fight among the Security Council members is likely to continue anew once the Secretary-General gives his report in five days. Likewise, the ceasefire itself is tenuous at best; reports are still coming in of Syrian government attacks on protesters, and heavy weapons still remain within cities across the state. It is certain too that the Russian Mission will jump at the chance to lay blame at the feet of the Free Syrian Army should they launch an attack on the Syrian government. All told, the fire may not be blazing anymore, but a spark could easily turn the embers into an inferno once again.

April 14th, 2012, 12:32 pm


Uzair8 said:

The critical element in Syria
By Rami G. Khouri

Saturday, 14 April 2012

[Selected quote]

The reality of the Assad regime’s response to domestic revolts since the early 1980s has been very clear: smash the opposition and punish their towns and neighbourhoods, so they never dare to revolt again. This is one important way in which Syria is different from other Arab revolutions.

When Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali faced a popular revolt in Tunisia, he fled the country. When Hosni Mubarak of Egypt faced a revolt, he sent a bunch of camel-riding thugs to Tahrir Square to quell it. When Assad faced a revolt, however, he unleashed thousands of tanks, artillery, snipers, torturers, rapists and roaming killer gangs across the entire country.

Assad’s track record since April 2011 has been consistent and unambiguous: strike hard to punish demonstrators and deter their supporters, and engage in any available diplomatic process only as a secondary track.

Assad’s problem is that his strategy of using extensive force, reflecting his father’s legacy from the 1970s and 80s, no longer works. The more he assaults and ravages his largely unarmed civilian demonstrators who challenge his legitimacy the greater the intensity and breadth of the revolt, and the parallel support for removing him from around the region and the world.

April 14th, 2012, 12:33 pm


Mawal95 said:

As linked to by Juergen #190, an Al-Arabiya TV crew went to Taftnaz in Idlib province in the wake of the recent army fight against rebels there. They recorded civilian workers removing rubble from wrecked buildings. They asked a nine-year-old boy: “Why did the army kill the people?” The boy replied with concision: “Because they are traitors”. Despite that being the notoriously prejudiced Al-Arabiya, I’ve no doubt the boy is saying the killed people were traitors, as I believe it’s impossible for him to think the Syrian army are traitors.

A point an anti-regime commentator recently made about the Syria-based news media is — — “The Syrian media, in all its components, constitutes an integral part of the crisis…. One year after the introduction of the “new and modern” media law, the official and private media continues to polish the image of the authorities, straying away from objectivity while ignoring the people’s demands and their revolution. The media has painted the uprising as terrorist acts carried out by armed groups, funded by foreign parties in an attempt to hatch an international plot against Syria.” — Yes, and more concisely, painted as traitors.

Syria’s information media law enacted last year is specifically intended among other things to further the expansion of political pluralism in news outlets. Nonetheless the Syrian media, government owned and privately owned, in all its components, has been unanimously and straight-up pro-regime and anti-uprising. In recent months it has been even more whole-heartedly and emphatically and unanimously so.

The state of the Syrian media constitutes an item of evidence that strong anti-government political opinion doesn’t have a broad base. It is impossible to have a broad base without information-dissemination outlets reaching the minds of a broad base.

Some dissidents have the notion that a broad base exists, or else could be created, but is invisible to us because the government doesn’t permit this base to have information-dissemination outlets. That notion is refuted by the laws of the land, including last year’s information media law, the text of which is in Arabic at . The law doesn’t permit advocacy of violent overthrow of the government, but Syria has a political system whereby the government can be voted out of office in free and fair elections (religious and tribal parties banned). Regarding the notional or hypothetical political base that would want to vote against the government, this base is not in evidence in any Syrian information media outlet reaching a non-tiny number of Syrians. Which implies the base does not exist.

Regarding those who want to violently overthrow the government, how much of a political base can “traitors” have?

April 14th, 2012, 1:05 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ ZOO #263, 264: Thank you for those, and thank you in general.

April 14th, 2012, 1:08 pm


Uzair8 said:

Remember an earlier comment describing Kofi Annan as a ‘wily old fox’?

a nice title come to my mind:

‘Wily old Fox corners Rabbit of Golan’

The sort of post title you see on ‘the Walls’.

April 14th, 2012, 1:10 pm


jad said:

كلمة الدكتور بشار الجعفري في مجلس الأمن 14 4 2012

Check out at 15:00min.. excellent point!
In April 17th the Syrian people will celebrate the Independence from the ‘french’ occupation.

April 14th, 2012, 1:13 pm


jad said:

Zoo, Mawal

They did the changes that the Russian wanted, no wonder Rice, American Amb. was looked pissed at the end.

As Bronco predicted, Annan won over the trio amigos of ‘TSAQ’

April 14th, 2012, 1:28 pm


Mina said:

Jad, #269

He says that the two men who killed the son of the Grand Mufti Hassun were paid 800 dollars. It probably means they also know who paid.

April 14th, 2012, 1:50 pm


bronco said:

#270 Jad

There is another meeting of the UNSC in 5 days where Annan will report the progress and call for a new resolution to send more observers. Therefore the “TSAQ” could theoretically have five days to create as much provocations as they can to trigger a reaction from the Syrian armed forces. But I don’t think they will.

As the nuclear negotiations with Iran seem to make some progress, I think the US and the international community do not want its Arab allies to provoke the Iranians about Syria. The visit of Ahmadinejad to the litigious Gulf island is a sign that Iran will not let itself bullied by the GCC’s threats.

So I think KSA and Qatar will wait and see.

As for Erdogan, he may be ready to accept his defeat in pushing Bashar out of power. His priority is now that peace prevails in Syria so he can send back all these ‘syrians under temporary protection’ back home as their presence in the Hatay region are becoming a source of problems. The ‘refugees’ are mostly Sunnis and anti-Bashar while the Hatay Turks are mostly Arab alevis (alawite) and pro-Bashar. In addition the FSA is becoming another burden to control. Moreover the difficulty of transiting merchandise through Syria is creating a slow down in Turkey’s trading not only with Syria but Jordan and Lebanon.

Therefore for now I think the TSAQ will play low key, waiting to see the developments on the ground and the region.

April 14th, 2012, 1:57 pm


Mawal95 said:

I cannot find an official source for the text of the UNSC statement that was agreed upon at the UNSC today. According to the text quoted by ZOO #163 and also quoted at it contains the statement:

“The Security Council… condemning the widespread violations of human rights by the Syrian authorities, as well as any human rights abuses by armed groups, recalling that those responsible shall be held accountable.”

That is baldly asserting that the Syrian authorities have committed human rights violations. There is no respectable evidence that the Syrian authorities committed human rights violations, and I counterassert that any such allegations are falsehoods. But any rational and fair-minded person must concede that, at the minimum, it has not been established as the truth.

I repeat, it is unacceptable for any fair-minded person to condemn the Syrian authorities for human rights violations when there is no high quality evidence to establish it and the Syrian authorities deny it.

Furthermore the above text is saying that those Syrians who commit human rights violations “shall be held accountable”. That insinuates a violation of Syrian sovereignty unless the accountability is wholly under Syrian law.

The statement drafted by Russia, dated 13 Apr 2012 is at . It makes no allegation or assertion that the Syrian authorities have committed any human rights violations.

April 14th, 2012, 2:03 pm


Mina said:

Excellent speech by Jaafari at the UN, thanks for the link
The new redux of “political Islam” he mentions that is attemptedly sold to replace “political Arabity” makes me think of what Zionism is to Judaism. The Gulf tries to develop a version of Islam where everything turns around Mecca, although the ground of Wahhabism was precisely to reject the cult of Mohammad as shirk…

April 14th, 2012, 2:03 pm


jad said:

Dear Mina,
This is the thing, the killers didn’t really know who is behind it or who is the person they were supposed to kill.

An interesting interview with JL 🙂
CrossTalk: Still Syria?

“How high are the chances that Kofi Annan’s plan will be met? Will Annan’s peace efforts lead to any diplomatic solution? If there is regime change in Syria, who will fill the power vacuum? How fragmented is the Syrian opposition, and will the death toll go up if there’s outside military intervention? CrossTalking with Diana Johnstone, Joshua Landis and Josef Olmert.”

April 14th, 2012, 2:10 pm


oab said:

To: @Athiest Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorship

Thanks for your reply, I do however feel that your anger and frustration is getting the better of you in your argument (which probably applies to many people here on both sides).

It is clear you are right to feel anger towards the regime and all those that act in its behalf. But I assure you that it is not only Syrians who feel the that way.

Your also right in saying that half measures are inadequate to address the issues facing Syria and all of the Arab world. But anything short of a gradual transition may not result in your wishes to come true. Despite all my misgivings about what I am seeing in Egypt, it is better than a civil war (where everybody loses and we have no guarantees on how things will look once we come out the other end).

My concern is that the chaos that will come after a collapse will only result in far more death and violations of human rights than we have already seen. We all witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union and the results of that collapse are clear for all to see. And a strong argument can be made to avoid such a fate. Syria is not living in a vacuum, and its enemies and even its friends will not sit by and not try and meddle and all of it will be at the expense of Syria and Syrians.

You may hate what I am saying, but I hope you can see the reality beyond your immediate need to see the end of the Syrian Regime.

I am not advocating anything beyond talking, you don’t have to commit to anything and you still have the full backing of all the major players (even China and Russia). Unfortunately, the US and its allies seem to be the ones pushing the opposition not to accept any talks. Also, talking does not mean you accept the legitimacy of the regime, and with all the pressure on the regime today, your chances of getting maximum concessions are at their highest, before the US and its allies are distracted by another issue and they try to make a deal with the regime at the expense of the opposition (have no doubt they will do that if they feel its worth it)

The problem, which becomes clear once you even accept this approach, who can talk in your name. Does the SNC represent you? or is it only their oft repeated mantra “Assad must go” that brings the opposition together. Can they agree on concessions on your behalf? or will you call them traitors if they did not come back with enough concessions?

Right now I suspect that many in Syria see Asaad coming out on top, and if I may use the Iraqi example again, Saddam survived just fine under sanctions for 12 years putting down multiple rebellions and coupe attempts. And then with the final US invasion and collapse another decade of death and destruction followed…. that’s 20 years… a whole generation lost.

I just think that an agreement that would allow parties to organize and operate freely and even to challenge for the presidency in internationally monitored free and fair elections is a half measure than we can all LIVE with. And right now is the best time to get these concessions, because the other road is too unpredictable and dangerous even if you were following someone you really trusted.

April 14th, 2012, 2:21 pm


jad said:

A promising Syrian movement is just born, this is a great step forward, the names of the activists are public which is assuring and great improvement and their mission is clear too, we can do the change within working together and away from violence:

مجموعة من الشباب السوري، تعلن عن تأسيس ائتلاف سياسي يدعو إلى إنهاء الازمة
خارج السرب:
قامت مجموعة من الشباب السوري، من المستقلين والتيارات والتجمعات، بالإعلان عن تأسيس ائتلاف سياسي جديد، وبإصدار بيانِ صحافي يوضحون من خلاله هويتهم الفكرية والسياسية، والأطر التي سيعملون بناء عليها.

ومن خلال البيان الصحفي، يمكن وصف المجموعة بالمعارضة والنابذة للعنف، علمانية الفكر.

ومن الملفت للنظر في هذا البيان، أن المجموعة آثرت العمل العلني بالأسماء الصريحة للأعضاء المؤسسين، خلافاً لمعظم المجموعات المعارضة اليوم.

نص البيان:

بيان صحفي من “ائتلاف شباب التغيير السلمي”

9 – 4 – 2012
إيماناً منا، نحن مجموعة من الشباب السوري من تيارات وتجمعات ومستقلين، بضرورة العمل العلني السلمي بهدف إنهاء النظام الاستبدادي وبناء دولة ديمقراطية علمانية تعددية تكون لكل السوريين بعيداً عن فكرة الإقصاء والانتقام، نعلن عن تشكيل “ائتلاف شباب التغيير السلمي” الذي يعمل على خلق قوة ضغط سياسية باتجاه ايجاد حل سلمي ومخرج آمن يحافظ على مكتسبات البلاد ومؤسساتها ويرفض الانجرار إلى كافة دعوات التسليح ويرى أن السلاح هو مقبرة ثورة الحرية والكرامة ويدخل البلاد إلى أماكن مجهولة تضر بمصلحة السوريين سواء أكانوا من الموالاة أو من المعارضة.
إن السلمية والعلنية التي نعمل عليها في ائتلاف شباب التغيير السلمي تهدف إلى إعادة الثورة إلى مسارها الصحيح، وإعادة تفعيل دور الشباب وأهميته في المجتمع المدني حتى نكون قادرين على رسم مستقبلنا بأيدينا، ونقف حاجزا أمام انحراف ثورتنا، وكذلك العمل على بناء قدرات الكوادر الشبابية وتدريبها وتأهيلها لتفعيل وقيادة مؤسسات المجتمع المدني والدخول في العمل العام، وترسيخ مبدأ المواطنة و ثقافة اللاعنف، وانخراط الشباب بحملات إغاثية إنسانيّة، والتشجيع على استخدام كافة الوسائل السلمية للتعبير والنضال، كسبل أساسية للوصول إلى دولة الحق والقانون وبناء المواطن الواعي لحقوقه وواجباته، والمنتمي لمجتمعه والمؤهل لخدمته .
اللجنة الإدارية المؤقتة
1- محي الدين عيسو
2- ديما نقولا
3- طارق السواح
4- رودي أيو
5- عامر سابا
6- أنس جودة
7- أميرة مالك
8- ثائر حداد
9- حسن حميدوش
للتواصل والاستفسار : Email: –
محي الدين عيسو : الناطق الإعلامي 0947812313
رودي أيو : منسق 0955841095
حسن حميدوش : منسق 0944382418

April 14th, 2012, 3:05 pm


Antoine said:

237. SANDRO LOEWE said:

“After having spent last 20 days in Lebanon and Syria and coming back to check SC……….Many interesting stories to be told about the drama of army members discovering how they killed civil population and some times even their own relatives.”

Please tell us about it. Does that mean that Army members were under the illsuion that they were really fighting “terrorists” ?

April 14th, 2012, 3:11 pm


Mina said:

I really like some here lately who say “I was there, trust me”, but don’t send a detailed report to Joshua. They know it would be posted and they can simply change the names, no? Josh has posted several times reports from on the ground by some correspondents who were at time anonymous, and it is a very useful piece of information when it comes from insiders. The details enable one to verify it is not pure fancy, and it helps to have an accurate idea of what people are going through.

April 14th, 2012, 3:16 pm


bronco said:

Jad #275

Joshua Landis was wrong in predicting that there will massive demonstrations on friday at the call of Ghaliun. That was the stance many anti-regime were predicting with certainty: “Once there’d be a ceasefire, millions will go the streets”. We have only seen a few thousands and it was a Friday.

I am really surprised that Joshua Landis still believes in Ghaliun’s influence on the opposition when everybody, including Juppe who was a early supporter, have expressed their deception in the SNC and its leadership. It is clear that the SNC have failed lamentably in all aspects. Where is the ” Opposition National Pact”? Where is the “military Bureau”…. Lots of noise for nothing.

The Syrian regime has been able to keep its cohesion despite the international medias attacks and the sanctions while the SNC pampered and financed by the West has shown total immaturity and ineptitude in getting a minimal acceptance from the Syrians.

It is yet to see how the regime will manage the dialog and the transition to democracy. If it shows the same political determination and astuteness as it has shown until now and keeps the same support from Russia, there is a chance it will succeed and baffle all the doom predictions.

April 14th, 2012, 6:15 pm


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