Syria Dividing: Most Large Cities Calm. The Troubles in Latakia Lead to Army being Deployed

Shaykh Dahr: Downtown Latakia

Syria is dividing into sides – those that will fight the state and those that support the president or fear revolution. The silent majority is still sitting on the side lines, but they will not be able to do so for long if order collapses. The army is sticking by the President, a main difference with Egypt or Tunisia. So long as the army remains united and obeys the President, it will be hard for the opposition to take over parts of the country or bring down the regime.

There were pro-Bashar demonstrations in many cities yesterday, such as Hassake, Homs, Latakia, Damascus in several places, and Aleppo, but there were equally anti-government demonstrations in a number of places, which are now increasingly calling for an end to the Baath Party and the fall of the regime – isqat al-nizaam. I have spoken or corresponded with people in Latakia, Aleppo and Damascus today. Aleppo and Damascus are calm. Latakia is not. The Republican Guard and the army have entered the city to end violence. The people were cheering them on from the balconies in the Sunni neighborhood, I am told.

My wife’s family in Latakia is divided over what is going on. Her mother claimed that although they had not been able to go down town, she insisted that she was very confident in the wisdom of the Syrians. She said they would never be dragged into civil war. She said that in most parts of the city yesterday, people had been out and about.

My brother-in-law, Firas, who lives in American, a Christian quarter near Shaykh Dahr, the downtown area where the demonstrations and shooting took place yesterday, has left the city with his Christian wife and children. He was very anxious when we spoke to him in Latakia this morning at his work place. He said that all the Sunnis who work in his company were saying that there were foreign Sunni elements in town that no one recognized. He believed that they were involved in the fighting yesterday in center city. A number of Syrian military and police were taken to the hospital, having been shot. Firas said that they did not have arms because they were not supposed to shoot at the demonstrators due to the President’s orders. The opposition had arms.

A Sunni demonstrator from Latakia on Aljazeera just reported that the police shot at the demonstrators, but he also mentioned that there were foreign elements in town who were armed. It is unclear who these foreign elements were according to him. He did not specify. The Sunni demonstrator who spoke on Aljazeera claimed  that the police were responsible for stirring up the sectarian sentiments of the people.

Pro-government people believe that there is an organized and armed opposition that came into town to start a fight and spread false rumors about Alawites from the Mountains coming into town to attack Sunnis, etc.

See the Facebook site:   بلدي حبيبي … ممنوع الفتنة …ويلو اللي يعادينا ؟ In order to see how people are talking about the “Mukharabiin,” the foreign intruders who no one recognizes in Latakia. They say that the unknown intruders entered both Sunni and Alawi neighborhoods and yelled about how the opposite sect was coming to destroy them and “burn them down.” They claim that there was an organized effort to stir up sectarian distrust and violence.

In Jableh, a mixed city just south of Latakia on the coast, there was a big demonstration made up of the entire city (`an bikrati abiiha) on Saturday night. They chanted: “wahid, wahid, wahid, Sunni wa Alawi wahid.” “One, one, one – Sunnis and Alawis are one. ”

Another Christin friend from Latakia – no relation – said that there was a much more organized opposition in town and a lot of sniper shots going on still. There is a fire at the prison, he said. He pooh-pooed the notion that a foreign element was in town, but said that the organized opposition was home grown.

One Sunni Imam from Latakia spoke on the phone with Al Jazeera. He was asking for government and human rights groups to protect the civilians. He said that four policeman fired on the people. Then after prayers when we protested again, unknown people started shooting at us.

These rumors are not unlike those that emerged from Daraa. The leading imam there claimed that he had heard people speaking with a foreign accent, possibly Iranian, and that they had been sent to stir up the trouble.

Rumors continue to circulate in Damascus that Maher has either shot Farouq al-Sharaa or carried out a coup, etc. I would suggest not believing such rumors because I have heard so many like them over the last five years. The standard line is that members of the Assad family or inner circle have begun to shoot each other and that the regime is in extreme chaos verging on collapse.

Here are some video’s of the pro-government demonstrations that have been sent to me. To see the anti government video’s and those of anti-government demonstrations go to Ammar Abdulhamid’s site, here.  or the Syria Revolution 2011 page, which now has been renamed the “Revolution against Bashar al-Assad.


“… While anger continues to grow, many Syrians remain unwilling to declare their loyalties, according to analysts in Damascus. “There is not yet the critical mass needed,”  said one activist, who asked not to be named. Counter-demonstrations have been manned by loyalist groups and Syria’s tightly controlled state media is not covering the protest activity in detail.

My Friend in Aleppo writes:

As an addendum to yesterday, I can certainly understand why a lot of Syrians are upset with foreign coverage of the crisis (going so far as to besiege the Al Jazeera studios in Damascus). The events in Deraa, Latakia and elsewhere are indeed critical and deserve wide attention.

But for maybe 90% of the Syrian population, the reality they are living is the sort of pro-regime support that was witnessed yesterday in Damascus, Aleppo and other cities. The festivities in Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, lasted a good 12 hours and involved I would guess in the low tens of thousands of people–but this was not covered or even mentioned by a single news outlet that I have seen. This isn’t to say that all those people are diehard Bashar fans; it was a beautiful day Friday and there were many families out just to see what was going on. That these demonstrations are “organised by the regime” is kind of a cliché, however, seeing that any thinkable civil group involved (unions, youth clubs, etc.) is tied to the regime on some level; but “fabricated,” as a recent comment posted to your blog suggests, they most certainly are not.

Pro-regime Demonstration in Hasseke in the North East

Demonstrations for Bashar in major cities

The following is an email exchange I had three years ago in 2008 with a Syrian, named “Independent”. It is haunting today because we were discussing whether Syria would crash in three years, 2011, due to economic hardship. It was sent to me this morning by “Independent.” Here is is:

Independent wrote in 2008:

Josh, I always enjoy reading your commentaries and thoughts about Syria and its environs.

Yes you are absolutely right, “The battle between Washington and Damascus is largely an economic one.” Both Israel and the U.S. and its allies in the region fear any kind of regime change in Syria (as the March 14 side would like)and therefore have not acted yet directly against the regime.

While Lebanon is sinking into an economic abyss, you painted too rosy a picture about Syria’s highly subsidized economy (Syria’s economy is growing at almost 6%). In a matter of years, Syria will be a net importer of oil, if it hasn’t happened already (data is not available or otherwise top secret). Any enhanced oil recovery they attempt on their archaic fields will not help in the short run. So today they rely heavily on cheap Iranian oil.

What about prices for flour, sugar, coffee, etc..? These staples of the majority of Syrian society will soon lose government subsidies and will and are becoming more expensive day by day.

All this smells like inflation to me, even though the highly edited official numbers may not state so.

You paint too rosy a picture Josh!

Landis responded:

Independent, You may be correct about the coming Syrian crash. Most people in Washington and Israelis that I talk to believe that Syria will sink into a deep economic abyss in about three years when oil begins to run out.

My sense is that Syria is making the right moves to avoid this in the fields of private banking, foreign investment, privatization, issuing private and government debt, opening a stock market, introducing a VAT tax, parking meters, etc. Whether it can complete this “modernization” process in time to avoid the crash is not clear, but I am more optimistic that most.

Some believe that none of these reforms will matter so long as there is not regime change or the introduction of an independent judiciary.

I was just talking with Ehsani who was expressing his amazement that Syria has not been able to attract more Gulf investment than it has. “This is a bad sign,” he said. He pointed out that the rise of Dubai is a clear sign of Syria’s and Lebanon’s failure. They have the resources, climate, human capital, etc. that should have made them the obvious “Dubai” of the Middle East, but they screwed it up and have been by-passed. “Opportunities like that come along only once in a hundred years,” Ehsani said.

It is commonly said that oil is a curse to those who have it. The Middle East has avoided reform because of oil. Running out of oil is forcing Syria to confront hard choices it has put off, but it is now globalizing, in large measure, because oil is running out, a fact that is forcing the regime’s hand on modernization. I think it can make the shift. In any case, we will see very soon. Thanks for the nice words – and the skepticism.

February 18th, 2008, 5:36 pm

Syria’s Mufti Hassoon just told Al Jazeera (with a straight face) that Syria has reached Egypt & Tunisia reforms “without a shedding any blood”. He’s now being eaten alive on twitter.

السلطات السورية تفرج عن 260 معتقلا سياسيا بينهم إسلاميونSyria has released 260 political prisoners


“….. Edward Walker, a former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, said sectarian friction made many in the establishment wary of giving ground to demands for political freedoms and economic reforms. “They are a basically reviled minority, the Alawites, and if they lose power, if they succumb to popular revolution, they will be hanging from the lamp posts,” he said. “They have absolutely no incentive to back off…..”

Syrian MB: Uprising will not stop until demands are met
By Mohammed Al Shafey

London, Asharq Al-Awsat – The former leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Ali Sadr al-Din al-Bayanouni AKA Abu Anas yesterday told Asharq Al-Awsat that reforms in Syria are long overdue, and stressed that there is a popular intifada [uprising] in the Syrian street today. Al-Bayanouni also clarified that he has been calling for serious and genuine reforms for months.

Al-Bayanouni told Asharq Al-Awsat that all the factors which led to revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, are also present in Syria, from the absence of freedom to the presence of tyranny, corruption, poverty, and unemployment, not to mention the arrest of opposition figures and unfulfilled promises of reform.

al-Bayanouni told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the people are demanding the fall of the regime, the abolition of the emergency law that has been in place in Syria since March 1963, the granting of general freedoms, and an end to people being arrested for their political views or affiliations, as well as the abolition of laws and special courts, and the confrontation of corruption in a serious and effective manner.”

The former Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leader stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that “the situation in Syria is much worse than the situation in Egypt [prior to the revolution].” He added “at least the Egyptians had media outlets, they could speak and talk about the situation in their country, whilst a mere whisper in Syria is enough for an individual to ensure his own destruction.”

Al-Bayanouni said that “in 1982 former Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad sent forces to the town of Hama to crush the armed wing of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The Syrian armed forces killed 30,000 people.”

Al-Bayanouni stressed that “all Syrian governorates will revolt, and there is an almost unanimous view that this regime is not viable, as the people do not want it.” He added that the Syrian regime is corrupt down to its core, and stressed that 60 percent of the Syrian population are suffering from poverty, whilst nearly a third of the Syrian workforce is unemployed. Al-Bayanouni said that Syria must rein in its security apparatus, release thousands of political prisoners, and allow freedom of expression, as well as reveal the fate of tens of thousands of political dissidents who disappeared in the 1980s.

Comments (77)

Shami said:

SOURI ,they are still here:
Baltajiyeh militia of Bashar who are now killing the Syrian protesters in Lattakia :

March 26th, 2011, 5:14 pm


gk said:

The Syrian regime can not kill innocent people like it did in 1980s in Hama unless they want the outside world to interfere! Even the Israeli objection to outside intervention and the fall of the Asad regime will not save the Asad regime!!!

May Allah protect the Syrian people from its dictator!

March 26th, 2011, 5:36 pm


SOURI said:


This video is from the sectarian clashes in Tripoli, Lebanon. There is no Syrians in it.

Very few videos that are distributed nowadays are authentic.

March 26th, 2011, 6:11 pm


Shami said:

Souri ,indeed ,it seems from Lebanon.

March 26th, 2011, 6:22 pm




I have seen that exact same video circulated by Lebanese parties after the clashes in Beirut in the spring of 2007.
Is this what we are going to be subjected to? The Hariri/Feltman/Jaajaa/Bandar propaganda machine adapting old Lebanese tapes to instigate the same FUTNAH in Syria that they have been trying to instigate in Lebanon for years?

March 26th, 2011, 6:26 pm


Shami said:

Montagnard ,so it’s according to you and Dr Landis , an another fitna plot from the same cia zionist wahhabi team against asad dictatorship ?

The regime has to face the law of history whatever the version of the facts propagated by the syrian regime propaganda.

And it’s not true Souri that most of the videos that we get from Syria are not authentics.

March 26th, 2011, 6:36 pm


Vedat The Turk said:

@ Joshua: Thanks for the update Josh. It is very useful.

What Josh is reporting seems to indicate that Syria is quickly turning into a regional battle with Iranian and Saudi influences qucikly joining the battle.

This is an escalating turn of events but should come as no surprise to followers of Bashar Assads rule. Over the years, Assad has needlessly antagonized all of his neighbors except Hezbollah — the Saudi’s, Jordanians, Egyptians, Palestinians, Lebanese and Isrealis have all been victims of his belicose taunts / actions. It should therefore come as no shock that some of them have jumped at the first opportunity to weaken his regime with the hope of forcing its collapse.

The Iranians / Hezbollah on the other hand see Assads survival as essential for there long term survival. A Sunni victory in Syria would be unbearable and a major loss for these Shia regimes.

As I have long argued all of this could have been avoided had Assad been more modest / less prone to antagonism towards the regional powers like his father Hafez had been. Now everyone is ganging up on the Assad regime for its past misdeeds. In the Middle East payback is a bitch!

March 26th, 2011, 6:46 pm


Jad said:

What an Egyptian doing in a Syrian protest inside Syria?
اعتقلت السلطات السورية الناشط المصري محمد رضوان يوم جمعة العزة 25 مارس 2011 بدمشق. و أجبرته على الإدعاء أنه ذهب لإسرائيل و تلقى أموالا من الخارج.
رضوان مهندس و يحمل جنسية أمريكية و كان يعمل بسوريا.
هذا تطور خطير….. هكذا سيكذب النظام على الشعب ويقول انه قبض على “المدسوسين من الخارج” نرجوا نشر الخبر وندعوا الحرية لهذا الشاب

March 26th, 2011, 6:58 pm



You finally have the regime where you wanted. The regime is agreeing to the demands of the opposition. The regime is making serious concessions that would have been unthinkable a short while back. The regime is sending messages that they hear you loud and clear. The regime is saying more reforms are on the way. The regime abandoned its long known stand of “we need another generation to implement democracy”. I congratulate you and the Syrian people for winning these achievements in accelerating these long overdue reforms. You should keep the political pressure to keep these reforms coming and get more concessions from the government. This is all good for the future of Syria.
But can’t you see how dangerous it is to publish such fake videos, playing on the emotions of the Syrian people when they are already in a very emotional state, especially after victims have fallen?
It does not matter where you are from in Syria, if you love and care for Syria and your compatriots, you will be mourning the deaths of the fallen Syrians this past week.
Couldn’t you see what such tapes could do to instigate a FUTNAH?
Wouldn’t you consider the source of who would be the provocateur of such a FUTNAH?
I have read your comments long enough to know that, although you are very passionate about your views and your love for Syria is without a doubt sincere, your opposition to and dislike of the regime goes very deep, you would not condone a FUTNAH.
The way that tape was circulated was to serve only one purpose, a FUTNAH. If so who do you think would be behind it? Who are Syria’s enemies?

March 26th, 2011, 7:18 pm


Solitarius said:

I’m surprised by those who go out of their way to claim that this Egyptian man is innocent (twitter acount: Battutta)

Being neutral and objective means just that.. it doesn’t mean that you should automatically side against the government just because it has a bad history. Really as Jad asked, what is an Egyptian American who passed by Israel doing in Syria taking pictures in times like these? I personally wouldn’t dare take pictures and go anywhere.. Hell even in normal circumstances i wouldn’t take any pictures if i’m close to any government, police or Baath building

clearly there are people who are over doing it in terms of their humanism to the point of being ridiculously naive. People wake up.. It’s that governments lie.. but governments also recruit people and send spies all the time.

I think, and i’m not very familiar with regime tactics, but if the moukhabarat wanted to convince people that there are outsider networks, then they can easily make up some set with many guns and cash and bring some nobodies that nobody knows and can trace and claim that they are foreign agents..

Why would they pick an AMERICAN and an EGYPTIAN (i.e. big diplomatic crisis) and who at the same time is a big tweeter.. so you get the whole twitter community up in arms against Syria… So unless they had some reasons they wouldn’t have done it.

March 26th, 2011, 7:19 pm


Shami said:

Montgomery:But can’t you see how dangerous it is to publish such fake videos, playing on the emotions of the Syrian people when they are already in a very emotional state, especially after victims have fallen?

I should have been more perceptive ,it affected me because i witnessed myself such awful sight of expensive cars procession with armed people near Le Meridien in Lattakia.
As for the reforms they will be implemented only if the pressure from the street is maintained ,the objective of these reforms is to make the change over or the democratic transition to happen ,which means the end of Asad regime not to allow them to win some time.

March 26th, 2011, 7:44 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Professor Josh’s “Haunting” Email Exchange NewZ

Independent, You may be correct about the coming Syrian crash. Most people in Washington and Israelis that I talk to believe that Syria will sink into a deep economic abyss in about three years when oil begins to run out.

Professor Josh,

Eerie indeed.

As you know, I’ve been participating on your website for years. And for years your participants have been predicting the demise of Israel. Daily, weekly, month-after-month. You never challenged this type of thinking and so you encouraged it. You also encouraged and apologized for the empty shell and president-for-life. I would think a professor with a Phd would use his head a little more.

Alex, Simohurtta, Majid, where are you?

Anyway, here are some other “blasts from the past”:

“US-Syrian relations have been deteriorating for some months now, and Syria is losing hope in any peace deal, and that means that there’s gong to be conflict between Syria and Israel,” says Joshua Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma. “Syria’s strategy is going to be to try to isolate the US in the Middle East, and to hang Israel around America’s neck.”

Syria will wait patiently until that change takes place, during the Obama administration’s term hopefully, but there is no rush.

March 26th, 2011, 8:11 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“…..The leading imam there claimed that he had heard people speaking with a foreign accent, possibly Iranian, and that they had been sent to stir up the trouble…..”

Common, possibly Iranian!!! why not Hebrew, Israeli trained merceneries, they have 200,000 of them. Why not Paki or Afghani ALCIADA trained fighters working for Saudi’s. The same goes for Lattakia. Iran and Hizb will never get into secterian attacks on Sunni Syrians, it is totally against what they have been doing and spending billions to change thier image and be accepted in Syria.

March 26th, 2011, 8:43 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Unfortunately,Syria will have very bad months ahead,

March 26th, 2011, 8:46 pm


trustquest said:

Not all protest today is for regime support.
Today Banias on the coat went out with opposition protest, you may want to report this video:

March 26th, 2011, 8:55 pm


NK said:

I have no doubt something sinister took place in Latakia today, I’m very proud of the Syrians there, I think they proved that a sectarian war is not something that will take place on Syrian soil.
I think the question everyone is asking now is, where is Bashar ? Friday was bloody in spite of everything the regime promised, then today a sectarian conflict almost took off, which would have been disastrous. This is when Syrians need to hear from their president/leader the most, where is Bashar ?

March 26th, 2011, 9:09 pm


Norman said:

I wonder where the Syrians are going to go if Syria ends up like Iraq, I wonder what will happen to the Iraqis, It will be time for other Arab states to take in the Syrians and the Iraqis how about Lebanon, We took them in multiple times.

March 26th, 2011, 9:21 pm


Jad said:

The anonymous rebels are now all defencive and talking about how good, intelligence, patriots and not sectarian they are and that everybody should trust them!
How about telling us and those young Syrians who paid their lives for their call of ‘who the hell are you’, what are you planning to do after destroying the social fabric of Syria and how and what are the ‘saving’ plans you propose for poverty, corruption, unemployment, economy, policies (domestic and international) and how are you going to free Jolan?!
They also sound a bit desperate and begging everybody to send Aljazeera millions and billions and zillions of messages.
I guess if they stop spreading sectarian language, be honest and have welcoming national and rational language and have names, ‘maybe’ they will convince more people otherwise what they are doing is using the blood of Syrians for keeping the violence circle running full speed.

Do you think that any Arab country will help us? You are so optimistic!! Arab leaders proved over and over that they are bunch of traitors…

March 26th, 2011, 9:33 pm


Norman said:


First i think that he is shocked from what happened as he felt all along that the people like him , so he and the leadership are trying to find out what is going on before he comes on TV and say things that turn up not to be true, so let us give him some time to sort things out then come with a comprehensive plan, If we need him that much to assure us, i wonder what will happen if he just said, you want it, take it, I never wanted this job in the first place.

March 26th, 2011, 9:33 pm


Aldendeshe said:

بينوني, لاتدخل ايران اوالشيعة بمشاكل سورية. اذا كنت مسلم شريف ولا بتخلي شيخ جامع واحد يقول انهم او لهجتهم ايرانية. انا علماني وبقول لك حرام. خاصة بعد المساعدة القوية للشعب السوري الي مدوها لنا بعهود. وإذا لم يكون عندكم اثبات بلا اي شك, لازم انت تنفي هالاتهام. هاي مبين, وطريقة شغب اميركية, صهيونية او السعودية.

March 26th, 2011, 9:43 pm


Aldendeshe said:


I hope Bashar never think of saying that. He is our only hope right now to make it out of this in one piece. He is very sensitive person, I am sure he is in big shock. He really never expected anything like that. And it would never have happened where not for foreigner’s meddling with their diabolic plot. One way to really nip them in the bud is to carry out reforms right away, especially party law, SNP planning on setting offices and establish local leadership in Syria and Lebanon, as soon as the law permits. Reforms will strengthen Syria and cut the ropes from the FITNA producers, pull the rug from under their feet. You see, they changed the website title today from Syrian Revolution 2011 to Against Bashar Assad. The reason why is they understood that Bashar did in one day, with Shabban announcement, the rug pulled from under their feet. So now, to prolong the conflict they extended the operation to his removal. Why, because they know that this is a Civil War or utter destruction of the Syria as a State and society. It is my believe, that the site is a neocon-Israeli operation, a typical of the Islamist so called website in the early days and during the Iraq war. It is obvious that is going to be an ongoing operation that can only be cut short by Reforms and National Unity.

March 26th, 2011, 10:07 pm


Ann Smith said:

Landis cannot shake his pro-Bachar slant. His coverage of events in Syria is “fair and balanced” a la Fox News. You are referred to other websites for anti-regime videos but pro-Bachar propaganda is served “direct”. As a Lebanese citizen, I wish the Syrian people the best and I encourage them to destroy the oppressive regime that rules them and their neighbors. The Lebanese have suffered much torture, terror and tyranny under the Assads’ reigns. I have been dreaming of a day when Assad and his legacy are disgraced and kicked into the ground, for 30 years now.

March 26th, 2011, 10:13 pm


alkindi said:

@ALDENDESHE Poor sensitive Bashar? Foreigner’s meddling with their diabolic plot? Was it evil foreigners who arrested a bunch of high school kids for writing anti-regime slogans on a wall? Was it evil foreigners who shot tens (if not hundreds) of people in the past couple of days?

What world do you live in? The Syrian people have had enough of the thuggery of the Assad regime, enough of the corruption, the torture, the killing. Khalas man, it is over…

March 26th, 2011, 10:24 pm


Norman said:

Thank you, I just hope that the Syrian government will muster the courage to say it as it sees it and go on the attack on the people who are responsible, be it Hariri, Bender or Feltman, it might be time to go on the attack and fight back.

It will be interesting if Syria let the opposition to the Saudi Royal family use Syria for their attack.

March 26th, 2011, 10:28 pm


Ziad said:

شاهد عيان: (أكياس دم) جاهزة.. و(ثوري) يهتف للحرية في صلاة الجمعة!!

دمشق – سيريانديز

أخبركم وأنا بكامل اليقين والرضا عن نفسي عما رأيت من حقائق حدثت ظهيرة الجمعة بعد صلاة الجمعة في مسجد عبد الكريم الرفاعي في دوار كفرسوسة في دمشق..
كنت أجلس في القسم العلوي من المسجد.. وبعد الصلاة وإذا بأحد المصلين ومن منتصف الحرم تماماً تحت الثريا العملاقة يصيح بالحرية!!
أصدقكم القول أني لا أعرف هذا الشخص ولم أره في حياتي علماً بأني ابن المنطقة منذ أكثر من ثلاثين عاماً..
الذي حدث أنه بعد قيامه والهتاف بالحرية قام بعض المصلين يهدئونه ويكفونه إلا أنه اشتد حدة وبدأت الأمور تشتد –بدورها- حدة!!
كيف اشتدت الأمور حدة؟.. تعالت الأصوات وخرج الناس.. في حين كان على دوار كفرسوسة أربعة شبان انتظروا خرجوا المصلين من المسجد وأخذوا يهتفون حرية.. حرية.. إلا أن أحداً لم يلتفت إليهم وكل ذهب في طريقه وعندما لاحظوا اللامبالاة من قبل المواطنين راحوا بالاعتداء على بعض المواطنين وركضوا هنا وهناك لإثارة الانتباه…
ما أثارني أن أحداً من هؤلاء مد يده إلى جيبه وأخرج كيساً صغيراً ورماه على الأرض بقوة.. ليخرج منه مادة حمراء “دم”…
حينها استهجن المواطنون هذا الموقف والتفوا حول بعضهم ليرددوا شعارات مؤيدة للرئيس بشار الأسد ولسورية… ليقوم هؤلاء بالفرار بعدها..
الملاحظ أيضاً وجود أربعة أشخاص آخرين يقفون من بعيد على الأطراف يقومون بالتصوير وآخرين مختبئين خلف جدار الجامع…
ودخل الحابل بالنابل مما اقتضى وصول عدة سيارات لحفظ الأمن وانتشارها حول المسجد فتوحدت صيحات الناس لتصبح “لا إله إلا الله” خروجاً من المسجد وكل منهم انصرف إلى عمله…
يمكن لمن مرّ في المكان بعد نصف ساعة فقط من الصلاة أن يرى منطقة دوار كفرسوسة أكثر أماناً من بيته والحركة فيها أكثر من طبيعية.. ولكن السؤال الذي أرقني: “من هذا الذي وقف أولاً تحت الثريا”؟! وثانياً.. في الدوار.. وثالثاً..؟!

March 26th, 2011, 10:37 pm


Gil Franco said:

Any ideas on why the Kurds seem to be so quiet?

March 26th, 2011, 10:54 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@ Norman

I doubt they will do that. That is the problem I had with the Iranian as well, they are timid, they don’t want to be accused of any meddling lets its get used by enemies to attack them. But I thought it is insane letting these other countries Egypt, Jordan And Arabia help your enemies in every economic, military and diplomatic way and then go hug them or invites them over for dinner as Iran did for 3 or more years past. Thought it is fatal strategy that will lead to annihilation of the States of Syria and Iran. This negligence upset me a lot, to the point I started to call Ayatollah Khemenei, Mahishi Mahiyoshi Khemeni, especially with all those flower bouquet adorning everywhere he sat for camera.

March 26th, 2011, 11:00 pm


NK said:

Does this guy sound like a spy to you ?

March 26th, 2011, 11:01 pm


NK said:

Sorry I meant to post the link to Al Jazeera report on this in my previous post, Anyways here it is

March 26th, 2011, 11:17 pm


Norman said:

What we can say that he was not forced to say what he said don’t you think?,

March 26th, 2011, 11:28 pm


NK said:

Yeah exactly, it sounded like a rant, he looked relaxed and just answering questions honestly, I doubt someone would be so willing to spill his guts out if he knew he would be charged with espionage, especially in a country like Syria.

As to his testimony, it sounded like a Colombian journalist asked him to conduct some interviews and take some shots of the demonstrations, I didn’t know that was a crime! even if an Israeli asked him to take photos of the demonstrations, it’s still not a crime. It’s not like he was gathering sensitive info or anything.

March 26th, 2011, 11:37 pm


Ziad said:


I did not hear any one accusing him of espionage. He fits the profile of a foreign agitator.

If all he did is shooting few photos that would be benign. But why would a Colombian man want photos of Syrian protests, and why would the price be in Egyptian currency?

His trip to Israel and his questioning for 4 hours by Israeli officers will make things more complicated for him.

March 27th, 2011, 12:00 am


Norman said:


He might be stupid but could have been used to incite violence and sectarian conflict with his pictures unknowingly.and that might be a crime in Syria .

March 27th, 2011, 12:00 am


NK said:

Ya habibi Norman

By this measure the security forces can confiscate the phone of anyone of the thousands who took to the streets the past week asking for reform then charge them with espionage for taking photos … we’re calling for less prisoners not more 😉

If his charge is taking photos, the regime is going to get a lot of heat from the U.S and more importantly from Egypt. God knows after what our “بواسل” did last week in front of the Embassy in Cairo, we could do without anymore tension with them for awhile. And finally the regime already have a pretty bad image worldwide, the heat they’re getting on twitter and other social media sites is not helping any. I don’t know, just my 2 cents …

March 27th, 2011, 12:11 am


Norman said:


Your understanding of what the emergency law gives the authority is (( SILLY )),LOL, they have a lot to say when a foreign national transmit pictures out of the country,

March 27th, 2011, 12:23 am


Nafdik said:

Norman i fail to see how one can stir sectarian violence with pictures?

Can you please explain how you this happening?

March 27th, 2011, 12:26 am


Revlon said:

#1, #3, #4, and #5)
Thank you Shami, for providing the YouTube link!
It has prompted me to share with you, my insights on the circulating and potentially very ominous stories of Black Shirt Militas in Dar3a and Latakia.

Militants in the clip wore black-shirts and were heavily armed.
Such profile fits two independent accounts from Dar3a and Latakia. They were provided by two, independent, and credible (to the discussant) witnesses; A senior citizen and Imam respectively.

They chanted Ya 7afez Ya 7afez!!!.
It is the name of Dad of someone we know, which underscores their loyalty to, and affiliation with, the chantee!

As see it, there are three probable case scenarios, to account for the sudden appearance of Militias (reported by both the regime and the People), in Dar3a and Latakia.

First: That the organised, heavily armed militias were the armed wing of the Peoples Revolution.
Where would the arms come from?
Where would they be stored?
The security forces have been breathing over every soul’s neck for the last fourty years.
Where would the organisation take place?
And if for argument’s sake they came from the outside! How could they invade the Syrian border and travel for hundreds of kilometres on Syrian roads, under the watchful eye of a totally mobilised security apparatus?
I find this case scenario to be highly improbable.

Second: They were Syrian 3alawis, who came from mountain villages.
Organised, Para-milita (clandestine) can be sponsored by the government. It would take its orders from M. Asad.
It would achieve two important goals.
The “clean-handed” elimination of opposition, without apparent government affiliation
The discrediting of the peaceful claims of, and laying the blame of ensuing chaos on, the revolution.

Why could/did they speak with foreign/accent?
They would be religiously and militarily indoctrinated (3B: 3alawis Brothers, The counter parts of Moslem brothers).
Their indoctrination takes place in Iran (revolutionary Guards). They would be able to speak fluent Persian.

Third: They were Lebanese, religiously and militarily indoctrinated 3B or SB (for Shi3a Brothers). They entered from the government-controled, Syrian-Lebanes border.
That similar or the exact tape are indeed on recordfor Tripolis Militias, does not exclude the participation of same or similar militias in the latest events.
Ala cart, toll-free, home delivery of Militia can be ordered by the distressed M Assad, 24/7, from nearest Lebanese, Alawis Militia outlets, along the Syrian Lebanese border.
Delivery time can be as short as 30 to 90 minutes.

Which case scenario is most probable to me? It is either the second or the third, again, in ascending order of probability.

Which source is more credible to me? The government / Its media /Pro-Bashar camp or the senior citizen from Dar3a and Imam of Latakia who were pleading for help!
I just can not compare!

March 27th, 2011, 12:32 am


Norman said:


The commentary with the pictures and the video that gives the wrong story and can not be vindicated,

Look at the video above which apparently from Lebanon and was claimed to be from Syria, apparently there is a lot on misinformation which is meant to stir sectarian divide .

Things are more complicated and more organized than just a sudden love for freedom, there is something else here.

March 27th, 2011, 12:34 am


NK said:


I know under emergency law the Syrian security can do a lot, but I thought they said on Thursday they were working on ( lifting Emergency law ASAP ) and ( Cease arbitrary detention immediately ). or is it كلام الليل يمحوه النهار ؟

Anyways, here’s what I mean by, we can do without this heat

March 27th, 2011, 12:35 am



Berlon @#37
Spare us your crap and go fish somewhere else. Syrians are dying and the country is at a critical crossroads. That tape @#1 which you have linked again in #37 was produced in Lebanon in 2007. It is an old clip that has been circulating since that time. To claim that these are black shirts militia in Daraa and Latakia is preposterous.

March 27th, 2011, 1:03 am


SOURI said:

Israel seems to be frightened from the prospect of a Wahhabi emirate in Southern Syria. Perhaps this is the reason why the Syrian regime let Wahhabism grow so much near Israel and Lebanon.

تلقى وزير الدفاع الاسرائيلي ايهود باراك ورئيس الوزراء بنيامين نتنياهو الليلة اتصالي طمأنة من وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل ، الاتصال التي تعرض للتشويش لمرات عدة بسبب ” هزهزة ” غير متوقعة للهاتف في يد سعود المصاب بالرعشة الدائمة لمرضه بالباركنسون ، تضمن رسالة سعودية واضحة إلى اسرائيل مفادها ” أن لا خوف عليكم ولا انتم تحزنون ” بعد إنتشار مقاتلي تنظيمي جند الشام والقاعدة في بلاد الشام في مناطق سوريا الجنوبية – درعا وسهل حوران- على بعد امتار من الحدود مع اسرائيل وفي ريف دمشق خاصة في دوما والقابون حيث الوجود الكثيف للسلفيين الممولين من السعودية سرا والذين كان النظام السوري يتركهم يسرحون ويمرحون على إعتبار انهم غير مسيسين حتى كشروا اليوم عن انيابهم وظهر ان لهم تنظيم فعال وممول وتمكنوا في دوما والقابون من اخراج تظاهرتين كان ينقصهما حمل السلاح ورفع صور بن لادن قبل اعلان تلك القريتان امارتان من امارات القاعدة المماثلة لتلك التي في افغانستان والعراق

سعود الفيصل قال لنتنياهو ولايهود باراك بان السعودية تضمن بان لا توجه مجموعات القاعدة وشبيهاتها ولو طلقة واحدة باتجاه إسرائيل مؤكدا بان وصول هذه المجموعات المسلحة من العراق ولبنان إلى سوريا هدفه المساعدة على تصعيد الانتفاضة التي تقوم بها قوات الطليعة المقاتلة التابعة لعلي الاحمد وقوات جبهة الخلاص التي يقودها نائب الرئيس السابق عبد الحليم خدام الذي سوف يعين مؤقتا رئيسا للحكومة السورية المؤقتة بعد إنهيار النظام تحت ضربات القاعدة واخواتها والطليعة المقاتلة واخواتها وتشكيلات سلفية مماثلة تعشعش في سوريا بحجة الجمعيات الدينية
وكان العشرات من مقاتلي جند الشام التابعين لابي هشام السوري وهو اسم الحركة للناشط السوري الذي يقود مجموعات جند الشام ولكنه في الواقع رجل المخابرات السعودية الاول في سوريا وله علاقة يومية مباشرة مع بندر بن سلطان
وكان سلفيون القابون ودوما قد إستعجلوا حمل السلاح اليوم ولكن ضباط بندر بن سلطان الذين يديرون العمليات في سوريا طالبوهم بالتظاهر بسلمية تحركهم إلى ان يتلقوا امرا مغايرا
أما في قرية الصنمين الواقعة غير بعيد عن الحدود مع اسرائيل فقد هاجم عشرات المقاتلين التابعين لجند الشام مقرات الجيش السوري ودمروا الياته واسروا العشرات من المجندين الجدد الذين كانوا نياما قبل ان تشتبك المجموعة مع وحدات التدخل التابعة للامن العسكري وتقتل منهم عديدين ومن بينهم السعودي الملاحق من قبل السوريين منذ سنوات لاتهامه بتفجير القزاز في دمشق عام 2007 وهو ايضا من المرتبطين بالمخابرات السعودية
شاهدوا الفيديو الذي نشره موقع الاخوان السوريين المسمى الثورة السورية ضد بشار الاسد وستميزون ان الجثث هي لمقاتلين اشداء يلعب كل منهم برشاش 14 ونص بيد واحدة وهو حي وواضح انهم من السلفيين فاشكالهم تدل عليهم والمؤمن تعرفه من سيماه وهؤلاء رحمهم الله مؤمنون بدليل اصرار المصور الذي يصور جثثهم على القول بانهم سبقونا إلى الجنة للغداء مع الرسول ونحن سلنحقهم وهذا هو شعار الانتحاريين في العراق

March 27th, 2011, 1:03 am


alia said:


The idea that “armed foreigners” can reek havoc in Syria against the will of the regime is absolutely preposterous, when the Mukhabarat and the army are breathing down everybody’s neck around the clock. This could happen only if Bashar and cronies are indeed dead…The sweet friendly image of Bashar is a clever ploy that the regime has fabricated to confuse the citizens even more than they are confused already. Classic Splitting to control…. Asma looked far from being a happy fulfilled human being on her latest vogue article, take a look again at that picure she looks as if she is suffering from Anorexia Nervosa.
I am disapointed that you are stating that “the army is not on the side of the people as it was in Tunisia and Egypt”: first of all this is just the beginning in Syria so hopefully some elements in the army will dissociate themselves from the regime as it happened gradually in Tunisia and Egypt and second we know that the army of Syria represents the woes of Syria and that its loyalty to the people was always in doubt.
As for Grand Mufti Hassoun….he was always known to be an unbalanced human being in the not-so private circles, now he has shown his utter foolishness to the world community.The so-called scholars of Islam are more often than not the problems of Islam. Being a Sunni Muslim I have no trouble pointing fingers at my own people.

The questions that comes to mind:1) Why Latakia so early in the struggle? would have expected it to be one of the last areas of trouble..2) Will the Syrian regime collapse? it is high time, no one is immune. 3)Will the result be pretty, most definitely not. But is that the fault of the people who are protesting or the people who have abused them? There are some really strange conversations going on on the blog lately, makes one think that it is infiltrated with all kinds of agents …glad to see that Akbar Palace and GIA or whatever are up to their menaingless antics as usual. And Norman is ready to go to Jail :)…


March 27th, 2011, 1:13 am


Nour said:


Don’t be fooled by the deception. “Israel” would love nothing more than to have a wahhabi state in Syria because that will assure them 100% that “Israel” will never be attacked and that all aid to resistance against the Jewish state will stop. The Wahhabi state would be busy trying to impose silly measures controlling people’s dress and groomings, as well as Women’s movements. They will also use Syria as a base to export terror attacks against anyone and anything EXCEPT “Israel”. I would challenge anyone to give me an example of a single operation carried out by any Wahhabi against “Israel” or ANY “Israeli” interest around the world.

March 27th, 2011, 1:38 am



The agents that assasinated Imad Mughnia in Damascus and took pictures of the inside of the building in Al-Kibar alleged nuclear reactor, must have an established secret network on the ground in Syria which allows them covert movement of people and weapons. It is not far fetched that the network and the agents are busy taking advantage of the spontanuous and sporadic demonstrations of the legitimate Syrian youth. The Syrian exiles that are enticing and encouraging the youth to demonstrate do not possess the sofissticated covert network and logistical support needed to coordinate snipers and saboteurs, while the protesters are carrying on with protests and marches.
As far as Norman going to jail, I dare anyone would mess with him, he is a Syrian American living in the states under the full protection of the first amendement of the US constitution.

March 27th, 2011, 1:41 am


NK said:

(CNN) — The father of an American student who disappeared in Syria said Saturday his son “is safe and well,” but remains in the hands of Syrian authorities.

Tik Root, 21, of Ripton, Vermont, disappeared March 18 in Damascus, his father, Tom, told CNN’s “In the Arena” Friday night.

The young man attends Middlebury College, also in Vermont, which published a statement from Tom Root.

“We received some great news this morning from the Syrian Embassy and officials from Damascus, conveyed to me by Senator [Patrick] Leahy and others,” Root wrote.

“Tik has been located, and we understand that he is safe and well. He remains in the hands of the Syrian authorities, who are currently responsible for him. We very much appreciate the efforts of Ambassador Imad Moustapha and Senator Leahy in continuing to work to bring this complex situation to a resolution. … Please know how much we value everyone’s good wishes and hopes.”

Moustapha is Syria’s envoy to the United States.

Tom Root told CNN Friday that his son, who is studying this spring in an Arabic program through Damascus University, likely watched a protest, but would not have participated.

“We suspect he was picked up on the periphery,” the elder Root told CNN’s Eliot Spitzer.

LOL, I just came across this

Did the Syrian security round up all Americans in Syria or something ? Is that what they meant when they said they captured SEVERAL foreigners ?

P.S watch the video in that link.

March 27th, 2011, 2:00 am


Revlon said:

Dear Mr. Landis:
You said: Syria is dividing.
I say: Syria is made of people. The people of Syria are united.
Demonstrators across the country are speaking one language: Freedom.
The scene, not Syria, is indeed divided. There are two camps now:
The cheering self-liberated People of Syria and
The ruling clan, on their way to the prison of “Limbo”

Participants in Demonstrations have so far represented the more vocal, and risk-willing members of the silent majority. However, they reflect not only their views, but also their families’ and neighbourhoods’.

The size of demonstrations, have been kept in check by the violent crackdown, practiced by official security forces and supporting /affiliated, foreign-accented-militias / Para-militias.

You said: Most large cities are calm!
I say, please allow me to add the following caveats:

There is a complete state media black out, on events on the ground.
Al Jazeera coverage does not exist on the ground.
Demonstrations and government crackdown, have become a daily feature of Syrian cities. The revolution is in full swing.
Our awareness of events is lagging in time and requires diligent and continuous search on You-tube!

You said: The army is sticking by the president.
I say, there is no evidence to support this claim.

The army has not yet engaged in action against civilians.
It is clear to anyone who watches videos of the events that the Regime’s firepower is already excessive and savage. The regime is under no existing armed threat.

Engaging the army would lead to mutiny.
Loyalty of the army to the rulers is limited to few hundreds to few thousands, in the high echelon, which is nearly purely Alawis.
Their tools on the ground, the files and ranks, numbered in hundreds of thousands belong to the silenced majority.
Syrian Arab Tribes, whose descendants make up a respectful number of the rankes and files, a large number of low-ranked and a small number of high ranked officers, have already demanded its descendants allegiance to the Peoples. Oblige they will.

The system understand this dilemma and is aware of the historic precedent of the Lebanese army!

Thank you for keeping your blog updated and for reading my comment.

March 27th, 2011, 2:01 am


Shai said:


It really does amaze me how dependent some people are on Israel. How even now, when the Arab World is experiencing an awakening never before seen in the history of the region, Israel has some “role” to play in all this. Every development in the region, according to some, is a function of Israel.

While Israel does indeed more closely resemble KSA and Iran than Syria, I can assure you that neither are deemed “friends”. Those same Wahhabis in KSA preach far worse against Jews (not Israelis) than any Syrian ever could. They are far more dangerous to us Jews in the region and worldwide, than any Mufti in the secular-Arab world.

March 27th, 2011, 3:25 am


Alia said:


Please give me the information that you have about “extensively coordinated covert channels” that would have been involved in the 2 incidents you cited and evidence that they are involved now. You mistunderstood my reference to our friend Norman, I am well aware he is a Syrian American safely protected therefore able to offer to go to jail in Syria willingly 🙂

Hi Shai,

It is not out of love that Israel will hold on to an Assad regime it is the case “of the Devil we know”. YOu know and we all know that Israel which survives on the basis of the paranoia that it feeds its citizens has been closely monitoring every movement that is happening in the Arab world and attempting to influence the outcome whenever possible. There is a nice contribution on Israel in Col. Lang’s blog.

March 27th, 2011, 4:20 am


Shai said:

Hi Alia,

I agree – Assad is better for Israel, and not because he’s our friend. Because at the moment, he’s the only stable thing that’s calling for Peace with us.

I disagree – “… and attempting to influence the outcome…” What outcome? The Arabs barely know what comes next, in each separate case. How could Israel possibly know what the other options are, or if they’re any better for Israel? Look how the same paranoia you speak of, is also exercised by you.

If Israel’s existence depends on that paranoia, how do you explain 1979 (Egypt) and 1994 (Jordan)? Wouldn’t peace agreements be counter-productive to that paranoia?

Note, I’m not suggesting Israeli governments haven’t used paranoia – they certainly have and do. I’m suggesting it is used for their own political survival, not for the State’s.

Listening to the words of the current Arab leaderships, as they themselves attempt to survive, don’t you hear the same paranoia? (“External forces”, “influence”, “The Palestinians”, etc.)

March 27th, 2011, 4:39 am


Revlon said:

1# Shami,
I have played the video of the 3alawi Gang again and again.
1. Two Posters of H Asad were on the wall! None for B Asad
2 Most cars had no license plates. They looked stolen.
3 Around three had license plates. They were white in colour. None had a blue band on its left side.
Lebanese license plates are black, red, or white with left blue band.
Although the clip is, quite fittingly, of low quality, The license plates, looked more Syrian to me!
They spoke with accent that sounded more like coastal Syrian, than Lebanese.

March 27th, 2011, 7:12 am


Revlon said:

Dear Mr Landis, The real value of Youtube videos of Pro-Assad demos, embedded atop this edition of Syriacomment is in what they fail to show!

“Pro-regime Demonstration in Hassake in the North East
Demonstrations for Bashar in major cities”

Watching them brought to mind similar images of Qaddafi’s supporters in besieged Tripolis. The mundane stops here.

However, what they failed to show proves the obvious to the People: Shooting, be it by official security forces, or Para-militia (infiltrators, thugs, Palestinians, spies) targets only anti-regime demonstrators.

Embedded videos showed that, pro-regime demonstrators, including families and children, were relaxed, happy and in festive mood. They did not seem to be under any threat of bodily harm.
Security members were mingling with them.
There were no scenes or sounds of Foreign-accented-miltias /Infiltrators / Thugs.. firing on the crowd!

The System’s media coverage, exemplified by these embedded videos, underscores its naivety and deceitfulness.

March 27th, 2011, 7:33 am


Solitarius said:

Quite an interesting experience getting caught up right in front of raging pro-Bashar demonstrators in Hamra/Beirut.. situation was rather funny actually when you are the only one in the street and suddenly the masses are rallying right behind you and start running towards the camera.

But now just saw this:

إطلاق نار على سيارات خلال تجمّعات سورية في الحمرا
أفادت محطة “أم.تي.في” ان الجيش اللبناني يعمل على تفريق عدد من التجمّعات السورية في الشوارع المؤدية الى السفارة السورية في الحمرا في بيروت وقد أطلق بعض المتظاهرين الرصاص على سيارة “هوندا سيفيك” ما أدى الى إصابة سائق السيارة ولكن إصابته طفيفة، كما ان متظاهرين سوريين أطلقوا النار على سيارات أخرى مما سبب بلبلة.

All I can say is what a f*cking liar!!!

There was Lebanese army indeed but they were just watching the demonstrators infront of the embassy and who then took a march down Bliss street and then back to the embassy.. there was no fire whatsoever.. this website is definitely spreading lies

March 27th, 2011, 7:43 am


Alia said:


Something like this….

more specifically from the same website the pdf of the letter sponsored by the 2 members of the house

note the language: “it is imperative that we work to ensure that US foreign policy interests..etc..”.( as usual you see the loss of identity that is insinuated as if the best interest of Israel is really the best interest of the US)

there is paranoia everywhere except that in the case of Israel it is an existential necessity while Syria exists despite the paranoia

March 27th, 2011, 8:07 am



عن العربيه عن مصدر حكومي
قرار الغاء قانون الطوارئ تم اتخاذه

Demand 1: Check (tentatively until we get the details).

What should be next, Article 8 or ……

March 27th, 2011, 8:27 am


Jad said:

The Syrian government lift the Emergency Law 🙂

March 27th, 2011, 8:28 am


Jad said:

REUTERSFLASH Clinton says one should not now expect U.S. to get involved in Syria in the same way as in Libya – CBS interview
7 minutes ago

March 27th, 2011, 9:03 am


Vers la fin du régime baathiste en Syrie? « Mounadil al Djazaïri said:

[…] Landis d’autres acteurs sont également présents dont l’origine est cependant inconnue : des étrangers armés qui excitent les tensions entre les membres des diverses […]

March 27th, 2011, 9:04 am


nafdik said:

Revlon #37. Thank you for posting this eye opening video.

Did anybody confirm this is happening in Syria now?

March 27th, 2011, 9:29 am


jad said:

#59, Refer to #3 and #5 and to the comment under the same video:
لكل من يقول انهم سوريون انهم لبنانيون و المقطع شهير و مصور فديو من ايام الحرب الاهلية ام المقطع الثاني فهو في العراق اي مقطع السيارات يقول تعالى يا ايها اللذين امنوا اذا جائكم فاسق بنبأ … و الكلام موجه لمن كتب هذا المقطع له علاقة بالقرداحة لنه بالتأكيد اما جاهل باللهجة الساحلية و اما مدسوس لتشويه صورة اهل القرداحة

March 27th, 2011, 9:42 am


Norman said:

please stop mentioning my name, We still have the Patriot act in the US and Guantanamo is not pleasant in the summer,

Latakia because it could be a flash point for violence as it was in 1973,
It is diverse of christian Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims,

It looks to me more and more as a war against the shia staged in Syria, I wonder if that is why the deal over Lebanon was vetod by the US, Commentaters on CNN are calling to bring down Syria to teach iran .

March 27th, 2011, 9:49 am



Berlon @ Revlon
You seem to spend too much time trying to authenticate these tapes to justify your arguments in fanning the sectarian flames.

Here is a part of the collage used in editing the tape.
It was uploaded to the youtube site on March 3, 2010 by madridyy with a caption Hezboullah Lebanon juni 2008.
If you read the comments under that clip on youtube you will read some of the comments by Lebanese commentators.
Explain your self please and tell us what is the connection with this SHAM video editing studio publishing all these unauthentic videos?!!

March 27th, 2011, 10:21 am


nafdik said:

Thanks Jad.

And now for a truly authentic video of our own Sahhaf:

Not as comic as Hassoun as at least it is her job but still quite entertaining.

March 27th, 2011, 10:22 am



Dear Jad
I am as angry as you are with the posting of this video, and more so with the context it is posted and the attempts to analyze it.

Dear Shami, Revlon, and Nafdik
Posting this video, and discussing it and any attempt at analysis discredits a lot of the serious discussions we have been trying to have here, to which you have also contributed. I am confident that the truth about events in Latakia will emerge much sooner than it used to regardless of any attempt by any side to suppress the truth. At this stage, who is trying to instill sectarian violence in Syria is less important than stopping it dead in its place.

Let me be blunt, I am proud of the courage many Syrians are showing. It is relatively easy to participate in a demonstration for the president, being protected by agents, and even supplied, such as the case in Aleppo, with musical band and entertainment. But it takes courage to participate in a demonstration with political demands that challenges the status quo, known for being the one of the most repressive in the Arab world. I like courage, for it tells everyone that Syrians can no longer be pushed around or fooled. Courage is motivated primarily by recognition of ones rights, and belief in the justice of ones cause. Syrians asking for freedom, for the right to object and/or agree have both motivations, hence comes their courage. The numbers belie the official press that it is only very tiny groups of infiltrators.

However, Syrians, of all stripes, are likely to show even more of the same courage when confronted with an existential threat such as attempting to saw sectarian violence. And based on what I have been hearing, many in Latakia are confronting gangs and banding together despite of the stressful condition. Everyone I talked to is saying similar thing and they are willing to work with authorities to fight the gangs, no matter who these gangs are. Their priority again is to stop sectarian division dead in its place.

The video you are pushing here was initially presented to entice fear and to ferment hatred. Neither emotion induces courage. They only breed blood lust, and manufacture rage against innocent people. Is this what you want?, the death of courage and the victory of blood lust….? I hope not.

March 27th, 2011, 10:27 am


Norman said:

This is where the US stands and her allies,

Print Back to story
How Syria Could Rattle the Region
Bruce Riedel Bruce Riedel
Fri Mar 25, 5:24 pm ET

NEW YORK – Last time there was a crushed, bloody uprising in Syria, former CIA official Bruce Riedel was there. If this revolt is successful, it will have major effects from Tehran to Washington.

Almost 30 years ago I was in Syria when Hafez al Assad and his brother Rifaat killed 30,000 Syrian Sunnis who had dared to defy their police state. Dissent was crushed mercilessly. Now the spring of Arab revolt has come to Syria.

The uprising led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamah in March 1982 was the largest protest movement in the Arab world in the wake of the Iranian revolution in 1979. The Brothers’ goal was to topple Assad’s Alawite minority dominated regime and create a Sunni majority Islamist state. As I watched the Assad brothers send the elite Republican Guard through Damascus that winter it was clear the Alawis were ready to fight to death to stay in power. They knew then and know now that the Sunni retribution for decades of Alawi rule and terror will be just as merciless. Hamah was pounded for days by tanks, the old city destroyed, the rebels hunted and killed. The Sunnis got the message.

So does the current unrest in the southern city of Daraa threaten to send Hafez’s son and heir Bashar Assad to the graveyard of dictators? It’s much too soon to call. The son may be just as ruthless as his father and probably judges he must act decisively fast. The secret police chiefs who back him and the key generals will demand repression. But the very nature of the regime—based on the support of the 15 percent Alawi population and some Christian support—makes it a brittle state. If it starts to come undone it could unwind.

Syria has a long tradition of coups that could also be revived. If the Sunni majority smells blood, Syria could make Libya look like child’s play. Syria’s allies Iran and Hezbollah must be very nervous. They need the Assads to have their access to Syria. A Sunni regime will have no love for the Shia Persians and Lebanese. Nor does Assad have other friends in the Arab world. The Saudis, Iraqis, and Jordanians will not lift a finger to help Bashar. Israel has seen little positive effects for it so far in the winter of Arab discontent.

But unrest in Syria is different especially if it disrupts the Tehran-Damascus axis and unsettles Hezbollah and Hamas. The Mossad must be watching carefully to assess Assad’s staying power. For the U.S. the Assads have been consistent disappointments. They have flirted with peace with Israel especially in 2000 but never jumped. We should hope this spring will be their last.

Bruce Riedel, a former long-time CIA officer, is a senior fellow in the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution. At Obama’s request, he chaired the strategic review of policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009. He is author of the new book Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America and the Future of the Global Jihad and The Search for Al Qaeda: Its Leadership, Ideology and Future.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at

Copyright © 2011 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.Questions or CommentsPrivacy PolicyAbout Our AdsTerms of ServiceCopyright/IP Policy

March 27th, 2011, 10:28 am



ALIA @#48
I am afraid I don’t have the evidence you are requesting and that is why I referred to it as covert (clandestine) network.
It will be hard to defy the logic that a network doesn’t exist to support such complex and high risk operations in the past (assassinating Mughnia and taking pictures, samples and scouting Al-Kibar), when the chaotic environment didn’t even exist.

March 27th, 2011, 11:00 am


jad said:

Are you saying that we in Syria don’t have any potential for any sectarian clashes and nobody will use it against our social fabric to steer problems?
Isn’t it possible for any of the smugglers’ groups in the south (Jordan), the west (Lebanon), the coast and the north to do what Mm Shaaban said?
I say the possibility of her story on both issues to be true is high.
Check the videos of the ‘revolutionists’ themselves when it’s showing them burning cars, throwing stones and arguing between each others, how you think some of those young angry guys who have no clue of how things work will react if they have gun in their hands and being used by someone? It will be many folds more bloody and devastating than what we are seeing so far especially when they are charged with sectarian motives. It’s obvious that many elements are using those incidents for their advantages. Did you read Qaradawi speech?
Until today every sign I read is pointing toward chaos and blood and in this situation I better pause and evaluate before I take any decision, wisdom is necessary these days.
Denying an existing issue doesn’t make it disappear and looking at things in black and white is not good either.

March 27th, 2011, 11:08 am


nafdik said:

off the wall,

While I agree that it is unfortunate that the video was fake, the blame falls 100% on the government.

When they open free access to journalists we will get the ability to verify sources and so on.

In the meantime we will have to rely on rumor and smuggled clips of dubious identity.

As for the constant call for fear of sectarian divide of the nation. Only a blind or a dishonest person will deny that the whole foundation of the regime is sectarian.

So please, please, please, please spare us the comical calls for unity and being careful from foreigners spreading sectarian division.

Self-delusion and incessant lying will not help the cause of the regime.

March 27th, 2011, 11:13 am



Nafdik #68
One please would have been enough. You have answered my question loud and clear.

March 27th, 2011, 11:42 am



While I understand what you mean, I take issue with your use of words “it is unfortunate that the video was fake”. I think we are very fortunate that the video was fake, unless you condone that things should go in a total chaos with armed gangs on the loose and a civil war which would replace a legitimate political protest.
I am certainly not accusing you of supporting such a turn of events because I know that you wouldn’t. It is just to draw your attention to how things could escalate. As far as your comment that we already have sectarian problems that exist in our society, you are right and that is why we have to make sure that while we achieve political change we do not end up with a civil war like Iraq did, and then the political change will be worth nothing with a failed state and a fractured society, not to mention the dead wounded and refugees and all the destruction and looting of property.

March 27th, 2011, 11:43 am


nafdik said:


I agree with all you are saying.

I agree that we are facing a possibility of civil war.

But we should be clear why this is the case.

The reason civil war is a possibility is that because we have one party who wants freedom and the other that is willing to create genocide to avoid them reaching their goal.

March 27th, 2011, 11:49 am



Here is where I disagree with you. A lot of the protesters demands and goals are being responded to, accepted or on the way of being implemented. It will take skillful leadership abilities on the part of the new leaders to complete this journey to where you see as the final goal, a free, democratic Syria with dignity for all. You don’t want to throw the baby with the bad water. The regime is giving concessions after concessions fast in order to survive, that is true. But the people of Syria have a higher vested interest in the future of Syria than a regime on the ropes. At this time they have little to loose if they lost Al-Sulta. Syrians have a lot more to loose if Syria slips into chaos and civil war. Maybe I am too confident that the revolution has already won, and what is critical is how you go from here to the next steps without loosing everything. We have never been at this stage before and the situation has changed faster than predicted. I would like to see some leadership that is wise and trustworthy to safeguard the achievements and navigate the country into the future while showing the regime the door without bloodshed.

March 27th, 2011, 12:13 pm


Aboali said:

Mr. Landis, you’ve just lost any credibility you ever had with the Syrian people. Your unabashed towing of the pro-regime line and it’s propaganda machine makes you no less complicit in the murder of Syrian protesters from Daraa to Lattakia than the Security thugs who fired the bullets, shame on you.
Don’t ever set foot in my country again, you’re no longer welcome here.

March 27th, 2011, 2:59 pm


AIG said:


How will Syria convince the US to stop the sanctions? What will be the deal?

March 27th, 2011, 3:09 pm


Blonde Arabist said:

As I haven’t been able to read everything above, I apologise if i am repeating comments from any previous posts.

However, have just seen a series of references in British (only Daily Telegraph) and Canadian media outlets mentioning the “Shabiha” gang (see link below).

I’ve never heard of this group before (my knowledge of Syrian mafioso politics during the 1990s being nil), but could they really be actively undermining their own ‘Alawi regime? Henchmen of Maher, perhaps? Rather amusing then that a bunch of ‘Alawi gang-members were decidedly looked like “foreigners”, hey Joshua?

March 28th, 2011, 4:25 pm


C L O S E R » Blog Archive » Closing the week 12 – Featuring the Syrian Uprising said:

[…] the Syrian Uprising Syria Comment » Archives » Syria Dividing: Most Large Cities Calm. The Troubles in Latakia Lead to… Syria is dividing into sides – those that will fight the state and those that support the […]

March 29th, 2011, 7:29 am


News – Saudi Arabia – 2011-03-28 | ArabiaLink said:

[…] and Jeffrey Fleishman (LAT) reports. ANALYSIS: Joshua Landis (Syria Comment Blog) writes, “Syria is dividing into sides – those that will fight the state and those that support the presiden…. The army is sticking by the President, a main difference with Egypt or Tunisia. So long as the […]

March 29th, 2011, 7:48 pm


Post a comment

Neoprofit AI Immediate Venture Instant Prosperity