Syria: the Strategic Prize for New and More Religious Sunni Leaders of the Middle East

Leader of Aleppo’s powerful Islamic militia – Liwa al-Tawhid – explains (in Arabic video) why his troops and people want an Islamic democracy and why Syria’s revolution is an “orphan revolution.” Abdal Qadr al-Salih explained that just as Europe’s leaders are Christian because the people are Christian, Syria’s leaders would be Islamic and that Syrians want Islam to govern them. The US has not supported the Syrian revolution, he claimed, because it knows that Assad best protects Israel. Syria’s revolutionaries will want to liberate Jerusalem after liberating Syria.

France announced that it plans to give $1.5 million in emergency aid to the newly formed Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.

Syria’s Jabhat al-Nusra militia looks pretty serious
By , CSM / November 27, 2012

Some eye-catching video shows a disciplined jihadi militia on the move in eastern Syria after ransacking a regime artillery base.

Video was placed on YouTube today of Syrian rebels celebrating a crushing victory in Mayadin, a town in Syria’s oil-rich northeast last week.

The cameraman is traveling in a convoy of fighters from the Jabhat al-Nusra, the main jihadi fighting group in eastern Libya and one that has attracted veterans of both the war against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya last year and of the wars against the US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Though the men are clearly delighted with their victory and seizure of a temporary government artillery base in Deir al-Zour Province, with shouts and smiles as a captured tank charges along the desert sand next to the road, there is very little of the random shooting in the air and other goofing off common among rebel militias. Though the scene looks chaotic, these fighters are disciplined as such groups go….

Now it appears that rebels aligned with the Free Syrian Army have scored their first hit of a government helicopter with a surface-to-air missile (hat tip to Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch), with video released online of the shot… rebels reported securing a cache of surface-to-air missiles earlier this month. The missiles look like Russian-made Strela-2s, a type of heat-seeking missile that’s been in service sine the 1970s….

Islamist militias have been the most committed and capable fighters of the wars in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Syrian Euphrates river towns like Mayadin have strong tribal and general cultural ties to Iraqi  Euphrates river towns to their southeast, like Haditha, Ramadi, and Fallujah. It was in those tough Sunni Arab towns, clinging to a narrow river valley in the middle of the desert, where Al Qaeda-inspired fighters found their most success during the US war in Iraq, and they were helped from their cousins to the north. Now the Iraqis, and other jihadis, are returning the favor….

High stakes as Syrian opposition tries to form government, Reuters
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis
CAIRO | Tue Nov 27, 2012

Syria’s new opposition coalition will hold its first full meeting on Wednesday to discuss forming a transitional government crucial to win effective Arab and Western support for the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The 60 or so delegates, chosen after marathon talks in Qatar this month, are meeting in Cairo ahead of a gathering of the Friends of Syria, a grouping of dozens of countries that had pledged mostly non-military backing for the revolt but which are worried by the rising influence of Islamists in the opposition.

“The objective is to name the prime minister for a transitional government, or at least have a list of candidates ahead of the Friends of Syria meeting,” said Suhair al-Atassi, one of the coalition’s two vice-presidents.

Atassi is only one of three female members of the coalition, in which the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies account for around 40 to 45 percent.

The two-day meeting will also select committees to manage aid and communications, a process that is developing into a power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and secular members.

Rivalries have also intensified between the opposition in exile and rebels on the ground, where the death toll has reached 40,000 after 20 months of violence.

But the new coalition has given rise to hopes that Assad’s enemies can set aside their differences and focus on securing international support to remove him.

“We have ideological differences with the coalition, but it will achieve its mission if it brings us outside military help,” said Abu Nidal Mustafa, from Ansaral-Islam, an Islamist rebel unit in Damascus….

Syria’s Islamist Militia Leaders Explain what they are expect from the new Syrian National Council and why they made their “Islamic State” video in Syria’s new opposition in race to convince skeptical Islamists By Erika Solomon and Mariam Karouny

“We are with the coalition – for now. We want to see what it is going to do for us,” said a fighter from one of the biggest Islamist brigades in the capital Damascus.

“It is known that we want weapons, we want a no-fly zone. Can it do that? We will see. We are not going to wait forever. With or without them, we are fighting and we are going to win.”….

Some put their frustration on display earlier this week when they announced the creation of an Islamic state in a video rejecting the National Coalition.

The immediate backlash from most rebel leaders and Syrian activists pushed many fighters in the video to retract their remarks the next day. But it laid bare the deep mistrust which the coalition has to overcome.

“Our video caused a big racket internationally, which is what we needed,” said one fighter present at the Islamic state meeting, who asked not to be named.

“We need to know we are going to get help and support from the coalition because Jabhat al-Nusra don’t want us to have anything to do with them. And right now, al-Nusra is our main support. So they need to show us they can do something for us.”

Iraq tensions rise as Syria crisis deepens
By Lauren Williams | November 28, 2012 12:45 AM
The Daily Star

BAGHDAD: The crisis in Syria is threatening to rupture Iraq’s precarious sectarian divide, which some say may re-ignite into a civil war.

Wedged between Syria’s greatest ally, Iran, and its greatest foe, Turkey, with its own volatile ethnic makeup, oil riches and fresh out of years of civil strife, Iraq is desperately clinging to a neutrality on the Syrian crisis.

That policy is being increasingly put to the test as players from across Iraq’s fragile political spectrum begin to take sides in a war of increasing sectarian dimensions.

“This situation is not going away,” said U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Joel Rayburn, former U.S. military intelligence officer in Iraq, now at the National War College.

Fighters from across Iraq’s Sunni, Shiite and Kurd communities have crossed from Iraq into Syria to assist their compatriots in Syria.

Sunni fighters from Iraq’s Anbar province, where familial and tribal affiliations span a porous border, openly told The Daily Star they are assisting mainly Sunni fighters battling President Bashar Assad’s forces with money, men and weapons.

Syrian Kurds are being trained to fight alongside other Kurdish forces by Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan government against Free Army and Assad forces.

And Shiite fighters, encouraged by clerics in Najaf and northern Mosul, are reportedly being sent from Iran and Iraq to Syria to defend Shiite shrines and fight alongside Assad’s regime, dominated by members of the Alawite sect….accusations are rife that Maliki is pursuing a sectarian agenda to consolidate Shiite power in Iraq and that the crisis in Syria is pushing Iraq closer to Iran’s orbit.

Facing a revived Sunni insurgency that has killed hundreds of Shiites inside Iraq this year alone, and without the cover of recently departed American troops, Maliki is wary of a Sunni-led state in Syria that could join forces with the Sunni opposition at home.

Iraq’s Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, whose Iraqiya parliamentary bloc reluctantly entered a power-sharing agreement with Maliki’s Dawa Party and is now facing multiple death sentences in absentia on terror charges, has accused Maliki of stoking sectarian tension.

Mass arrests of former Baathists and Sunnis accused of terrorism are frequent, along with allegations that Maliki is stacking parliamentary bodies, the army, and security institutions with Shiite sympathizers.

Hamed Obeid al-Mutlaq, an MP with the Iraqiya bloc who sits on Iraq’s parliamentary security and defense committee, said sectarian strife is a direct result of Iranian intervention.

“The best way that the government can avoid these consequences is by not taking sides with the Syrian government, but by being neutral and fair,” Mutlaq said. “We must not comply with Iranian pressure to stand by Assad. We must have a good relationship with the Syrian people because I believe the Assad government will be finished eventually.”…

Rayburn said Maliki’s motivations on Syria were a combination of “sectarianism and pragmatism.”

“They have made up their mind that the outcome of a Sunni Syrian state would result in the transport of Sunni jihad through their borders,” he said. “That is their overriding concern, second is Iranian pressure.”…..

Political analyst Ibrahim al-Soumaydaie said he is “terrified we are on the brink of a new civil war.”

“Arab … monarchies are trying to push the bad Arab Spring to Iraq. They are trying to remove the Shiites from the region.”

He said he feared that may “push” Baghdad to take preemptive action by “taking total control of the security forces and tacitly supporting Shiite militia to confront Sunni insurgents.”

Moreover, he said there was a danger Kurdish forces may align with Sunnis in confrontation with Baghdad.

Government troops and Kurdish Peshmerga forces clashed last week in the disputed northern oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

“It is a very dangerous situation. The sectarianism here in Iraq is deeper than in Syria. When someone triggers the sectarianism here, no one can stop it,” Soumaydaie said.

Sunni Leaders Gaining Clout in Mideast

The United States is left somewhat wary about the rising Sunni Muslim alliance of Egypt, Qatar and Turkey and its potential for anti-Western sentiment….For years, the United States and its Middle East allies were challenged by the rising might of the so-called Shiite crescent, a political and ideological alliance backed by Iran that linked regional actors deeply hostile to Israel and the West.

But uprising, wars and economics have altered the landscape of the region, paving the way for a new axis to emerge, one led by a Sunni Muslim alliance of Egypt, Qatar and Turkey. That triumvirate played a leading role in helping end the eight-day conflict between Israel and Gaza, in large part by embracing Hamas and luring it further away from the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah fold, offering diplomatic clout and promises of hefty aid.

For the United States and Israel, the shifting dynamics offer a chance to isolate a resurgent Iran, limit its access to the Arab world and make it harder for Tehran to arm its agents on Israel’s border. But the gains are also tempered, because while these Sunni leaders are willing to work with Washington, unlike the mullahs in Tehran, they also promote a radical religious-based ideology that has fueled anti-Western sentiment around the region…. The Gaza conflict helps illustrate how Middle Eastern alliances have evolved since the Islamist wave that toppled one government after another beginning in January 2011. Iran had no interest in a cease-fire, while Egypt, Qatar and Turkey did.

But it is the fight for Syria that is the defining in this revived Sunni-Shiite duel. The winner gains a prized strategic crossroads….

The new reality could be a weaker Iran, but a far more religiously conservative Middle East that is less beholden to the United States.  Already, Islamists have been empowered in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, while Syria’s opposition is being led by Sunni insurgents, including a growing number identified as jihadists, some identified as sympathizing with Al Qaeda. Qatar, which hosts major United States military base, also helps finance Islamists all around the region.

The emerging Sunni axis has put not only Shiites at a disadvantage, but also the old school leaders who once allied themselves with Washington….“The resistance,” said Tha’er al-Baw, 23, referring to Hamas, “proved that they are much better than the negotiating camp. In the days of Arafat, we used to think peace could be achieved through negotiations, but nobody believes this now.”…. Mr. Morsi changed little from Mr. Mubarak’s playbook, though his tone shifted. He sent his prime minister to lift morale. Ten foreign ministers, including those of Turkey and the newly Islamist government in Tunisia, also part of the new axis, visited Gaza during the fighting…. Those countries will not supply arms, however, so Hamas will maintain contacts with Tehran. Khaled Meshal, the Hamas leader,told CNN that ties are “not as it used to be in the past, but there is no severing of relations.”…

Israel’s View of the Syrian Crisis. Itamar Rabinovich.

Middle East Report N°132 – 22 November 2012 – Good ICG report

Conflict has left Syria a shell of its former self
Millions of homes, schools, mosques, churches and hospitals have reportedly been damaged or destroyed since the uprising began in March 2011.

Much of Syria has become a disaster zone: In September, the opposition group Syrian Network for Human Rights estimated that more than 2.9 million homes, schools, mosques, churches and hospitals had been damaged or destroyed since the uprising began in March 2011. More than half a million are a complete loss, it said.

Weeks later, the group’s founder, Sami Ibrahim, estimated that 600,000 more buildings had been shelled or bombed, as the government of President Bashar Assad escalated its campaign with daily airstrikes by helicopter and warplane. The rebels are fighting back, claiming to have captured half a dozen military bases in recent weeks in eastern and northwestern Syria and around Damascus. On Monday, they said they captured a hydroelectric dam in northern Syria.

Although the toll on structures is impossible to verify, the weapons the government is turning against civilian populations have become increasingly destructive, activists say, with TNT barrel bombs and vacuum bombs wiping out entire buildings in one blow…..

“Truly they have burned the country,” Melad said. “For the country to stand on its feet again it needs 20 years, because the country has become a mere skeleton.”

A friend writes me that a new set of government profiteers are emerging in Aleppo who demand exorbitant fees to process government papers. He writes:

1 . I renewed my mother’s passport. She is too sick to go to the passport office. We had to bring guy home. Total cost of renewal was 25,000 syp
2. I needed to renew my wakale to register a piece of land in Kasab. The official fee is 100 syp. There is no way to get anyone to do it, so I asked our moukhtar who had been working on it for two weeks. Got it done yesterday but before I got the paper in my hands, I had to pay 20,000 syp.

Flight records say Russia sent Syria tons of cash
By Dafna Linzer, Michael Grabell and Jeff Larson, ProPublica, November 26, 2012- (via War in Context)

This past summer, as the Syrian economy began to unravel and the military pressed hard against an armed rebellion, a Syrian government plane ferried what flight records describe as more than 200 tons of “bank notes” from Moscow. The records of overflight requests …..

Many believe the planeloads of banknotes sent from Russia are fueling the recent inflation in Syria, as the government is simply printing money at this rate.

Prospects for Syria’s civil war in 2013
Monday, November 26 2012
An Oxford Analytica Prospect

The stalemate between government and rebel forces is set to break in 2013. The balance of power has begun to tip in the rebels’ favour with their attacks growing, the political opposition forming a new and more effective body, and the government losing control of increasing swathes of territory. However, the regime remains united and is escalating its use of heavy weapons and air power. The manner of its fall will shape the government which follows it, and alter geopolitical alliances in the region.
Strategic summary

· A wide-scale humanitarian disaster is likely as the conflict intensifies — and could prompt more active Western intervention.
· Rises in border violence and refugees will add to the severe internal challenges faced by Jordan and Lebanon.
· Tensions will escalate between Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the one hand, and Iraq, Iran and Hezbollah on the other.
· France, the United Kingdom and Turkey are likely to provide more active support to the opposition.

What next
A re-organised opposition will enable greater Western support — however, this will fall short of military intervention. The civil war will intensify and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is likely to collapse by the end of 2013.


The regime has failed to dislodge opposition militants from Aleppo and the Damascus suburbs. Its Praetorian Guard, the most reliable part of the armed forces, can no longer control large parts of the country consistently. Rebel groups cannot defeat the regime, but are able to attack military bases, economic targets and intercept main communication routes.

The economy is suffering from sanctions and damage to its infrastructure. The regime is being propped up by a flow of money, oil and other assistance from Iran, Iraq and pro-Syrian groups in Lebanon, but can no longer deliver basic services to the people (see SYRIA: Civil war driving country to economic collapse – November 6, 2012).

Tipping points
Syria’s new opposition body is on course to achieve wide international recognition
The balance will change in favour of the opposition in early 2013 in several areas:

· Organised opposition. The formation of the National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NC ) under a moderate and inclusive leadership, will not resolve the differences that have undermined the political (and largely external) opposition, but will enable its leadership to achieve greater focus, provide a more credible body to liaise with militants inside Syria, and pave the way for a government in exile.

· Arms flows. The NC will enable the West to provide non-lethal support to the fighters and this is likely to encourage the Saudis, Qataris and others to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons.

· Western intervention. The West is also engaged in contingency planning for more direct involvement if the humanitarian situation or concerns about Syria’s chemical and biological stockpiles warrant it. Russia and China will remain opposed to this in the UN, but the West may seek to bypass it.

Rebels gain strength
Efforts to improve communication and cooperation between the mainly locally organised militants will be stepped up via the main umbrella group, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), based in Turkey. Improving their capacity to mount larger scale attacks will be key. The West and the NC will seek to reduce the influence of jihadi groups who are prominent in Aleppo.

As the rebels gain in strength, the regime will lose its northern strongholds, facilitating the establishment of a largely-contiguous rebel area by mid-2013. This should provide a launchpad for an effective campaign on the remaining regime forces concentrated in Damascus (see SYRIA: Rebel gains clear way to partition – November 21, 2012).

Main scenarios
The three main scenarios in decreasing order of probability are as follows:
· War of attrition. The regime shrinks to enclaves in the Allawi heartlands and Damascus where its elite troops remain stationed in force. The rest of the country falls into the hands of local groups with varying degrees of loyalty to the NC and FSA.

· Coup. New leaders try to negotiate a settlement with the opposition after removing Assad. The narrowing down of the regime to a core of Allawi clans commanding the Praetorian Guards makes this less feasible than in early 2012.

· Negotiated settlement. Assad seeks a negotiated settlement, in line with Russian and Chinese preferences. However, this is unlikely; Assad continues to rule this out, believing that he can win.

Post-Assad Syria
The post-Assad regime will need massive international support to establish its authority over the whole of Syria, bring stability to peoples’ lives, rebuild the economy and deal with systemic issues, such as the grossly over-manned public sector.

The transition could be prolonged and difficult. A particular problem will be the role of the Allawi community and other pro-Assad minorities in the new government. Kurdish areas have acquired a significant degree of autonomy (see SYRIA: Kurdish autonomy could divide post-Assad state – August 29, 2012. Parts of its leadership have strong links with the Iraqi Kurdish administration, whilst the Turkish Kurdish militant group the PKK has also established itself in the region. The post-Assad regime will also have to deal with jihadi groups.
Regional fallout
Lebanon and Jordan are most vulnerable to overspill
The fighting’s intensification will have a profound effect on Syria’s neighbours:

· Lebanon. The assassination of an anti-Syrian intelligence chief and clashes between pro- and anti-Assad groups in Tripoli have indicated the potential for greater instability in 2013. However, Hezbollah, Syria’s main ally, has a major interest in maintaining a stable Lebanese government, of which it is a part, and may well remain on the sidelines. As the civil war escalates, it could come under greater pressure to choose between its domestic interests, and its alliance with the Assad regime which is a vital conduit of support from Iran (see LEBANON: Assad’s fall will upend political landscape – October 11, 2012).

· Jordan. The refugee flow has placed an extra burden on the economy and already overstretched water and power resources. King Abdallah faces growing unrest as he imposes subsidy cuts to alleviate the budget deficit. He will come under greater pressure from public opinion and his Gulf and US donors to increase support to the Syrian opposition — which incurs the risk of fighting spreading into Jordan (see JORDAN: Syria overspill will test stability – August 16, 2012).

· Turkey. Ankara will step back from unilateral intervention even as the fighting on its border increases. However, further artillery strikes against Assad’s forces appear likely, and the Turkish military may begin providing active support for Syrian rebel operations from its side of the border (see TURKEY: Syria policy carries regional risks – October 12, 2012). Ankara is keeping a close eye on the PKK’s activities in Syria and may act if it becomes a serious threat.

· Iraq. The Shia-dominated government in Baghdad is helping Assad and remains nervous about a Sunni regime in Damascus which it believes would strengthen the hand of its own Sunni population.

· Iran. Iran will seek to salvage its influence in post-Assad Syria. After over 30 years bolstering the regime, strong social, economic and military ties are likely to remain (see IRAN: Tehran will stand by Assad despite risks – August 31, 2012).

International implications
The regime’s fall will pose a problem for Moscow, which has provided weapons to Syria and has a strategic stake in the country. Russian leaders say that they are not committed to Assad, but have profound fears of the impact of Syria’s emergent jihadi Islam on Muslims in Russia and the former Soviet states. They and the Chinese will try to ensure that the UN stays involved and will reject Western efforts to sideline them or use the UN mandate for the Libyan campaign as a precedent for Syria.

Riyadh sees Assad’s downfall as a means of reducing Iranian influence in the region, but, unlike Doha, does not want the Muslim Brotherhood to dominate a successor regime.

Battling Rebels, Syria Flattens ‘Slums’

DAMASCUS—All that remains of Abu Mohammed’s ancestral home here in Syria’s capital are two small adobe brick rooms and a few fig, loquat and mulberry trees.

It was bulldozed as part of a government slum-clearance program that appears to have a political motive: isolate neighborhoods sympathetic to Syria’s armed insurrection, and then obliterate them, according to critics, human-rights groups and even some officials within the government itself. “We are like gypsies now,” says Mr. Mohammed, who took his wife and five children to another part of the city after sections of his neighborhood, Qaboun—one of the first to rise up …

Senior security officials within the Assad regime say partial demolitions of pro-rebel neighborhoods in and around Damascus are a key element of an ambitious counterinsurgency plan now unfolding. The plan also involves the expansion of regime-funded militias known as “Popular Committees” within the capital.

These officials say the strategy applies lessons learned from other offensives against the rebels since the start of the conflict more than 20 months ago, most notably in the central city of Homs.

The government’s official position is that the destruction is part of a long-discussed master plan to rid Damascus of illegal slums. City officials say illegal settlements account for nearly 20% of the capital’s 26,500 acres.

Based on several extended visits to Damascus and vicinity last month—some of which coincided with demolition by military authorities—the destruction appears to be occurring only in areas where opposition fighters have been active. In addition, much of it has been overseen by the military rather than municipal authorities, residents say.

“There’s still work to be done, we are not finished yet with cleansing operations that are in response to popular demand,” says Hussein Makhlouf, a relative of Mr. Assad and governor of Rif Damascus, the province surrounding the capital.

In his Damascus office, Mr. Makhlouf praised the government’s official slum-destruction decree, known as “presidential decree No. 66,” as a model for urban renewal. He said demolitions will soon begin in Daraya, Harasta and Yalda, all suburbs that have been at the center of the insurgency against Mr. Assad. Mr. Makhlouf was forthright about the motives behind the demolitions, saying they were essential to drive out rebels, or “terrorists” as he called them.


Syrian Refugees: A Moral and Humanitarian Imperative for the United States
Peter Billerbeck, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs

Ensuring refugee camps in neighboring countries do not devolve into permanent squalor and misery is not only a moral and humanitarian imperative but also a necessary bulwark against broader trans-border sectarian instability and clashes with the potential to engulf the entire region…..

Killer Swarms
It wasn’t the Russian winter that stopped Napoleon.

Throughout the Cold War, and on into the post-9/11 era, the swarm — simultaneous attack from several directions — has been the favored fighting method of insurgents and terrorists. The Viet Cong swarmed helicopter landing zones and American foot patrols in Vietnam. Hezbollah did the same to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in southern Lebanon during the long war to evict the IDF — and then did so again during the 2006 conflict there. The Free Syrian Army today regularly strikes many places at once, too, giving the Assad regime’s military a problem it cannot solve. Iranian naval strategy embraces swarming as well, the idea being to attack the relatively few, large vessels of the 5th Fleet from all directions with hundreds of small, explosive-laden boats. Even in cyberspace one sees swarms in the form of the millions of hits to single sites, coming from all over the world, that often characterize debilitating “distributed denial-of-service” attacks. If al Qaeda were ever to develop a capacity for sustained swarming in the United States, rather than just mounting rare, one-off attacks, the consequences would be truly dire.

Palestinians in Syria
By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Ahmed Ramadan, 27 Nov 2012, The Washington Post

Palestinian refugees in Syria, in comparison with many countries in the region, are more integrated into society and have greater rights, such as the right to own property. As a result, the Assads have long touted themselves as ….

Other Palestinian groups have also been targeted. At least half a dozen commanders from the Palestine Liberation Army, an armed group that has been folded into the Syrian military, were assassinated this summer. There are conflicting accounts about whether they were targeted because of their loyalty to the Syrian government or because of their refusal to follow orders in taking part in the crackdown.

Yarmouk, home to about 150,000 Palestinians, has been ground zero for clashes among various Palestinian factions and between Palestinian fighters and the Free Syrian Army.

The Free Syrian Army and the Syrian military also have fought in the neighborhoods around Yarmouk, and on occasion Syrians have fled into the camp to escape the fighting.

The Syrian government, for its part, has turned to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, a radical Palestinian group, to clamp down on any unrest in Yarmouk. In recent weeks, heavy clashes have broken out between the group and the rebels in and around the camp. And on Sunday, rebels took control of a PFLP-GC base on the outskirts of Damascus after heavy fighting.

“The General Command is almost a battalion of the Syrian army, pretending to protect the Palestinian camps but only sending their troops to attack the citizens and clashing with the Free Syrian Army,” said Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, a 24-year-old Palestinian activist who lives in Yarmouk and supports the Syrian uprising. “They even physically attacked activists and delivered them to state security.”

The Syrian military has shelled the camp repeatedly while clashing with rebel fighters in the neighborhoods near it. At least 50 Palestinians were killed in Yarmouk in the first two weeks of November.

While Yarmouk has been the hardest hit, half a dozen other Palestinian camps in the country have faced similar attacks, spurring thousands of Palestinians to flee to neighboring countries.

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, roughly 10,000 Palestinians have crossed the border to Lebanon, already home to some 450,000 Palestinian refugees, and 1,600 have fled to Jordan, according to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency.

Governments in the region are concerned that the new refugees might inflame political tensions in their own countries. This is especially true in Lebanon, where rival political factions supporting the Syrian government and opposition have clashed repeatedly in recent months. So far, there have been no major incidents of violence.

“There is an effort by the Palestinian leadership to keep the Palestinians as much as possible distanced from what is happening, in an effort to protect them,” said Hoda Samra, a spokeswoman for the U.N. agency in Lebanon.

Syria Renews Border Attacks as NATO Seeks Missile Sites
By Selcan Hacaoglu and Brian Parkin on November 27, 2012 – Bloomberg

Syrian warplanes attacked targets close to the Turkish border for the second consecutive day as North Atlantic Treaty Organization officers arrived to select missile sites to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

U.S., Dutch and German officers representing the three NATO countries with Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries visited Turkish provinces near the Syrian border today, authorities said. As work began, Assad’s jets struck the town of Harim, the state-run Anatolia news agency said. That followed yesterday’s bombing of a Turkish-sponsored refugee camp near the Syrian town of Atma that sent thousands of people streaming toward the frontier.

Russia renewed its opposition to NATO’s involvement today, with Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov telling a Berlin press conference “we don’t like this plan.” The alliance’s aims were unclear: “Who’s threatened? Where’s the threat coming from?” he said. Iran has also opposed the move.

Turkey’s military said yesterday that the Patriots were a purely defensive measure and won’t be used to enforce a “no-fly zone” or to launch attacks….

The Associated Press reports:

Activists say Syrian rebels have captured a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates river in the country’s north in a strategic victory that followed days of fighting. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Tishrin Dam, near the town of Manbij, fell to the rebels before dawn on Monday.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory, says the dam supplies several areas of Syria with electricity. The rebels have been making strategic advances recently. On Sunday, they briefly captured a regime helicopter base outside Damascus.

Against the odds, Syrian rebels begin to chip away at regime’s air advantage
Tom A. Peter, CSM 11.24.2012

 Syrian opposition fighters have long decried their lack of anti-aircraft weapons and called on the international community to arm them with something that can counter the the Syrian regime’s military’s jets and helicopters. Such support has yet to come – and there are few indicators that it will arrive anytime soon….

Syrian opposition fighters have long decried their lack of anti-aircraft weapons and called on the international community to arm them with something that can counter the the Syrian regime’s military’s jets and helicopters. Such support has yet to come – and there are few indicators that it will arrive anytime soon.

Still, those in the Free Syrian Army fighting for control of Aleppo province say that they’re making some progress in the battle for the skies. Using truck-mounted, DShK heavy machine guns, more commonly referred to as dushkas, FSA fighters say that they’ve managed to establish anti-air defenses capable of challenging jets.

Dushkasare one of the more difficult weapons for FSA fighters to acquire and in almost all cases must be captured from the regime forces or brought over by defectors. The anti-air defense network has grown slowly over the last several months, but many now say it’s reached a point where it can effectively challenge airplanes and helicopters…..

“We control 70 percent of the sky, because if you compare the situation now to two months ago there are a lot less airplanes,” says Khlief Abu Allah, a dushka gunner who worked in an anti-aircraft unit in the Syrian Army during his obligatory military service before the revolution started.

While airstrikes remain a major threat in Aleppo, residents and FSA fighters say there’s been a noticeable drop in the number of attacks in recent weeks…..

Syrian rebels capture three military bases in a week
Martin Chulov in Beirut, Guardian, 11.24.2012

Attacks yield large number of weapons, which had been in short supply…

Syrian rebels’ success in seizing three military bases in less than a week has underscored the growing difficulty faced by Damascus in securing its outposts and stopping a rebel encroachment that has claimed large swaths of the east and north of the country.

Attacks on the bases, one north-east of Aleppo, a second at Mayedin in the far east and a third near Damascus, yielded a large number of weapons, which had been in desperately short supply, especially in positions across Syria’s second city.

The impact of the new weapons seemed to have been felt immediately along northern frontlines, where Kurdish groups loyal to the Assad regime were on Friday engaged in their heaviest clashes yet with rebel forces and jihadists, near the border town of Ras al-Ain…..

An excellent new Website that compiles good Mid East stories

Comments (141)

ann said:

Twenty killed in Damascus car bombs – Nov 28, 2012

At least 20 people were killed in Syria when two car bombs exploded in the eastern Damascus district of Jaramana on Wednesday, activists and Syrian media said

Addounia television, which said the blasts occurred shortly after 6.40 a.m. (0440 GMT), broadcast footage of firefighters hosing down the blackened hulks of two vehicles.

Debris from neighbouring buildings had also crushed several other cars.

Four bombs set off in predominantly Christian Damascus district

Four blasts tore through the predominantly Christian-populated Damascus district of Jaramana earlier today, killing and injuring people.

This is reported by China’s Xinhua news agency with reference to the Syrian TV channel Ekhbaria.

Two car bombs and two homemade explosive devices were detonated. No other details have been available.

The death toll and the number of injured are being finalized.


November 28th, 2012, 3:45 am


ann said:

Sweden: Muslim Swedes told to join Syrian war effort – 28-11-2012

Swedish security service Säpo has expressed concerns that Swedes fighting in Syria may commit war crimes after a militant group’s recent YouTube recruitment video called on Swedes to join the war effort in Syria.

Säpo told the TT news agency that a few Swedes are already fighting in the Syrian civil war.

The new video clip was posted on YouTube on November 21st by a group calling itself the Swedish holy warriors in Syria (Svenska Mujahideen Fi Ash Sham). The group also emailed a link to the video to TT.

“Jihad is obligatory for any and all who believe in Allah, his prophet and doomsday. It is obligatory in Sweden and in the rest of the world,” a man speaking in fluent but slightly accented Swedish says in the clip.

“It is heart-wrenching when Muslims turn their back on their sisters and brothers,” one of the masked men adds.

“The aim is to raise awareness and recruit people to the conflict in Syria,” terror expert Linus Gustafsson of the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan) told TT.

The video shows several persons holding automatic weapons assembling outdoors. The landscape appears to be Mediterranean.

However, experts at Säpo explained they were unable to confirm that the video is recorded in Syria.

It also remains unclear why the group has chosen to use an older Arabic name for Syria – Sham.


November 28th, 2012, 3:58 am


ann said:

Simultaneous bombings near Damascus kill 29: watchdog – 28 November 2012

Damascus. Simultaneous bombings in the mostly Druze and Christian town of Jaramana near Damascus killed at least 29 people and left dozens injured on Wednesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, AFP reported.

“The number of people killed by two car bombs in the town of Jaramana has risen to 29,” said the Britain-based watchdog, updating its earlier toll of at least 20 dead.

“Terrorists blew up two car bombs filled with a large amount of explosives in the main square of the town of Jaramana in Damascus province, killing and wounding several residents, and damaging several residential buildings and shops,” said state news agency SANA.


November 28th, 2012, 4:10 am


Citizen said:

3MIN News [November 27, 2012] What Could Disappear !!

November 28th, 2012, 4:11 am


Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

Re Dan Murphy:

“Jabhat al-Nusra, the main jihadi fighting group in eastern Libya”

Say what!? This group didn’t exist prior the very end of 2011 and its name [Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham] is specific to Syria. Was there another Libyan group that happened to have the same name?

November 28th, 2012, 4:36 am


Syrialover said:

Joshua, you are buying into nonesense giving headlines to those claiming they’ll turn Syria into an Islamist state.

They might be helping to kick Assad hard, but they have also gotten in the way of the rebellion by providing an unhelpful distraction and excuse for support to be withheld.

The bottom line is they are arrogantly attempting a free ride on the backs of the majority of Syrians who have sacrificed and suffered for other ideals in this revolution.

I don’t believe it will achieve traction other than nuisance value once the dust settles.

Political Islam is a quick-and-dirty, ignorant, and above all, lazy route to claiming power. That’s what’s wrong with the MB.

Some claim it may have to run its course. Why? It would be another pointless disaster that wastes time and resources and stops the clock.

The economy, investment, employment, education, infrastructure development, modern legal and bureaucratic systems, foreign relations, trade, you name it would sit in the trash bin while self-appointed amateurs fool around with the lives of Syrians.

November 28th, 2012, 6:29 am


Hanzala said:

I think the chances of Syria becoming an Islamic state after Assad are very high.. Dawla Islamiyya fil Sham.

Even FSA groups that started out as relatively moderate have started to take a strong Islamic leaning.
The FSA have made it this far without Western backing, and I believe they can go even further.

November 28th, 2012, 6:52 am


Syrialover said:

I recommend reading HAMOUDEH AL-HALABI’s excellent comment on Jabhat al-Nusra and its Assadist origins.

He says Jabhat al-Nusra, which is neither FSA nor Islamist but nevertheless very real, has blown up a hotel, a mosque, a shrine and more.

November 28th, 2012, 7:17 am


Syrialover said:

Traditional Muslim women in Egypt reject the MB and Morsi

Ever niquab wearing Muslim women:

November 28th, 2012, 8:00 am


Visitor said:

More developments on the ground of FSA successes both north and south.

News of airbase liberation in Aleppo countryside.

One or two battalions surrender in the south.

November 28th, 2012, 8:04 am


zoo said:

More “success” for the FSA and its allies: twin car bombs kills 34 in Jaramana

Syria: Twin car bombs in Damascus kill 34 people
By ALBERT AJI and BARBARA SURK | Associated Press – 22 mins ago

November 28th, 2012, 9:57 am


zoo said:

Now that 2012 is ending without the toppling of Bashar al Assad, Oxford Analytica is adjusting the date to 2013. Why not wait until 2014 when Bashar’s term is over?
The Oxford analytica’s “predictions” are very unusual as they give very precise predictions, a rarity in the world of political analyis that want to keep their credibility intact if their prospects turn out to be wrong.

The unanimous doom description of the situation of the Baath Party and the luminous description of the progress of the opposition brings us back months when the SNC was created with theatrical media coverage as well as the ridiculous Friends of Syria meetings that reached nothing but more violence.
I do not trust the Western country or Turkey can ever bring Syria to any stability, the same way they did not bring stability to any country in the middle east where they intervened. Palestine, Iraq, Libya are some of the examples of the ‘successes’ of the foreign intervention. After decades, they are still instable.
Syria is destabilized and only the Syrians, coming back to their senses, can save it.
Unfortunately the Islamist hysteria and the blinded support they are getting from hateful countries who only wish to see the end of an independent Syria, may bring the country to become a failed state, a Somalia.
Another western instigated disaster is looming in Syria. They will never be forgiven if ever it happens.

November 28th, 2012, 10:20 am


zoo said:

Will this expression of ‘gratitude’ set a precedent ?
Saudi diplomat, bodyguard gunned down in Yemen

Agence France-Presse
SANAA // A Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard were killed in broad daylight when their car was raked with gunfire by unidentified assailants in the Yemeni capital today, a diplomatic source said.

Read more:

November 28th, 2012, 10:43 am


zoo said:

The international community proposal In Cairo: No call for Bashar al Assad to step down as a precondition? They are now discreetly pressuring the deeply divided new coalition to accept that bitter reality.

“But the coalition already faces a major test. It has not agreed on how to deal with international proposals that envisage a transitional period without requiring Assad to step down, an option deemed unthinkable by opposition groups in Syria.”

Splits mar start of Syrian opposition talks


CAIRO, (Reuters) – Syria’s new opposition coalition held its first full meeting on Wednesday to discuss forming a transitional government but disagreements broke out at the outset, showing that President Bashar al-Assad’s foes remain deeply divided.

A transitional government is crucial to win effective Arab and Western support for the 20-month revolt against Assad, and would bolster the opposition as a democratic alternative to decades of autocratic rule in Syria.

The 60 or so delegates, chosen after talks in Qatar this month, are meeting in Cairo ahead of a gathering of the Friends of Syria, a grouping of dozens of nations that had pledged mostly non-military backing for the revolt but who are worried by the influence of Islamists in the opposition.

But the coalition already faces a major test. It has not agreed on how to deal with international proposals that envisage a transitional period without requiring Assad to step down, an option deemed unthinkable by opposition groups in Syria.

November 28th, 2012, 10:56 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Now that 2012 is ending without the toppling of Bashar al Assad, Oxford Analytica is adjusting the date to 2013. Why not wait until 2014 when Bashar’s term is over?

What a stupid question. Why!! Because they are not after toppling Assad nor his regime, they are after toppling Syria and its people. Using enemies of humanity official lingo, it is called “Rolling Back Syria”. Do you really think for one moment that the Jews and the puppet nations they own will ever allow removal of Shia Assad? You must have bought that deceptive coward Shia Ayatoilet anti-Israel rhetoric. Have Shia Assad fired one single bullet on the Golan in 40 years, did he retaliated for the bombing of Syria’s baby milk factory. Did the coward shia of Lebanon retaliate for Mughniye killing? Look how the Ayatoilet respond to humiliating illegal sanctions. Any other nation that is not ruled by Jewish mercenaries with rag on his head would have retaliated and refused to live under this international oppression.


November 28th, 2012, 11:02 am


Majed97 said:

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more apparent that Syria will be partitioned. If so, then I hope the partition will be based more on secular vs. religious lines, instead of sectarian lines because there are many Sunnis, like myself, who do not wish to live under an Islamic dictatorship. The Syria I favor is called: The Secular Republic of Syria (SRS).

November 28th, 2012, 11:23 am


annie said:

Those of us lucky enough to avoid these traps only knew half the evil we faced everyday. We knew our government would never fight Israel and free the Golan. We knew this was Syria’s role in a game of Middle East geopolitical chess: the resistors. Crocodile tears were routinely shed by the regime for Palestine while no one did anything for Palestinians, and while Palestinian refugees in Syria were treated as second-class citizens. But we did not imagine the sinister role the army would finally play.

Read more:
Follow us: @TheNationalUAE on Twitter | on Facebook

The latest Amal Hanano

November 28th, 2012, 11:37 am


Aldendeshe said:

Isn’t it obvious to the average 2 legged moron that Syria’s enemies are using these mercenaries and militants to achive a sinister destructive plan for Syria. That all along the intended goal is “Rolling Syria Back”, in accordance with the “American Century Paper”. Isn’t obvious that the type of fronts they are using, the fictitious and false slogans the fighter blabbing, the end mean is all fake. You can just evaluate the type of targets the militant are after, the type of attacks they commit, the war crimes they carry out on behalf of a hidden master, and you should conclude, if you have a garbanzo bean sized brain, that is all directed on weakening Assad, destroying Syria and annihilating its people, nothing more. Assad knows this, and he is playing along, no compromise, he is not the target after all, Syria is, so he is making them happy. When the idiot militants finally achieve, in the opinion of the masters, satisfactory destruction to Syria, they will pull the plug and deal with Assad directly behind the back.

November 28th, 2012, 11:40 am


zoo said:


Uppercase and bold are not more convincing. You better revert to lowercase. At least you would appear less hysterical

November 28th, 2012, 12:14 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

Once upon a time this is what Syria was.

2 States created during the French Mandate
2.1 Diagram of states under the Mandate
2.2 State of Greater Lebanon
2.3 State of Alawites
2.4 State of Jabal Druze
2.5 State of Aleppo
2.6 State of Damascus
2.7 Sanjak of Alexandretta

November 28th, 2012, 12:21 pm


zoo said:

More troubles looming for Turkey. Erdogan has allowed the area to be flooded with weapons, now these weapons are ending up in Islamists and Turkish Kurds handa. Will the NATO Patriots help Turkey against the PKK attacks?

PKK challenges Turkey with more armed attacks

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is more likely to seek more arms rather than disarm following a recent call to do so from Turkey’s prime minister, militant leader Murat Karayılan has said, Doğan News Agency reported earlier today.

“Today the Middle East is very complex. Why should we abandon arms? Why did we get armed, why should we lay them down?

November 28th, 2012, 12:24 pm


Visitor said:

Japan joins other countries in expanding sanctions on the criminal regime still occupying few parts of Syria.

Japan sanction list now includes 59 criminal thugs and 35 criminal organizations.

November 28th, 2012, 12:28 pm



After a helicopter was shut down yesterday with a shoulder-fired SAM, the government sent a MIG jet to teach the rebels a lesson. Well, the rebels didn’t like this condescending attitude and didn’t like the lesson, so they shot the MIG down and captured the terrorist who was piloting the plane.

ريف حلب – دارة عزة ||بيان قائد لواء احرار دارة عزة جند الله التابع لجبهة الاصالة و التنمية باسقاط طائرة ميغ 23 فوق سماء مدينة دارة عزة بريف حلب الغربي

حلب- دارة عزة || لحظة اصابة الطائرة وسقوطها 28-11-2012
حطام الطائرة الميغ
اسر الطيار الذي اسقطة طائرته في دارة عزة اليوم 28-11-2012
معالجة الطيار الخائن بالمشفى الميداني بدارة عزة
اثار الدمار الذي خلفته الطائر قبل اسقاطها في دارة عزة
قصف من الطائرة الحربية على دارة عزة قبل اسقاطها

November 28th, 2012, 12:39 pm


Visitor said:

Looks like those ‘rebels’ have an ‘attitude problem’ SYR.EXPAT @24. Don’t you think?

November 28th, 2012, 12:51 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Revenge is coming,unless the Alawis abandone Assad, what are the Alawis waiting for, they want to fight till death,this is suicidal idea,they are making big mistake by supporting Assad,he will be gone in a year or two,they will be alone don’t they think of their families,they want them to die,civil war may kill many Sunni,but there is always going to be a large majority of Sunni in Syria, but the minorities will suffer much more, if civil war is allowed to happen in Syria, over 100,000 Alawi death will occur,do they really think there will be Alawi in Homs or Damascus left, or in the coastal cities?they must abandone Assad soon,or they will no longer exist.

November 28th, 2012, 1:04 pm


zoo said:

Why are Western countries so concerned that Israel be brought to the war crimes court (ICC) by the Palestinians? Don’t they trust the “impartiality” of this court they themselves created, or they think that the ICC justice be applied only to the countries they hate?

Palestinians win more European support for limited statehood

Israeli, British and U.S. diplomats had tried to persuade the Palestinians to drop their upgrade bid. When that foundered, they focused on trying to get the Palestinians to guarantee that they would forego complaining about Israel to the ICC.

The court prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and other human rights violations.

November 28th, 2012, 2:02 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:


We are becoming hysterically mad at the cowardness of Shia, specially the ones with rags of all sorts for cover. This Jewish induced cowardness is degrading to human spirit and dignity. Poor Persians, we really feel very upset and sorry for them, how they were brought down by the SHIA ZIONIST HELPERS to become such a lowly of cowardly nation of down trodden people. If this forum were talking one, you would not even hear what we are cussing the Ayatoilet with foul words, it is loud beyond what human ears can hear in range of decibels. Persia was once, a great proud nation, until the enemy of humanity paid a “toilet”, a Jew with British father named Khomenei to bring Persia down and deliver it to the Jews. Iran Shah Pahlavi, was educated and powerful man, he made Persia the super power of the Middle East. Today, it is the pariah of the region, it is subjected daily to incredible, unjust humiliation from world community, and the rag head AYATOILET, did nothing to prevent or retaliate against this oppressive, unjust, inhumane treatment of Persians. Coward Shia thug, he sends his Jewish President ”hired Puppet” to Arabia to kiss and hug the murderous Zionists of Arabia , rather than sending them a dozen brave Sunni’s to put the one city state puppets rulers in place. We are utterly confused, we can understand that there exist no proud shia anymore in Persia, but there are millions of brave Sunni’s that he can use, or is it he (the AyaToilet) just in charge of oppressing the Persians and helping the Zionists? Very confusing indeed, but obvious act of SHIA cowardness that caused the death of Hassan and Hussain, the spoiled rats of another wannabe dictator named Ali.

Now you been blabbing with ANN for 2 years and not one word from you about how is your COWARD SHIA BATTA is going to end it all before 10% of Syria is left standing. Stop jabbing and join in the crusade to save Syria. I wish to point you to some public videos of how proud f a nations Syria was before “Sharmout Attassi’s” and servant “Hakir Khaddam’s” took over. Non exist online, but here is a proud Persia before the “Zionist Chill Ayatoilet” British Zionist agent took over:

November 28th, 2012, 2:02 pm


Syrialover said:


I am sure MJABALI and others here can comment on the on-the-ground options available for the Alawis to abandon Assad before it is too late.

But I think it’s been pointed out here that Alawi lack collective bodies or representation under which they could take a stance in support of the revolution. That situation is part of the Assad legacy.

Those close to the Assad regime would face savage retribution if “disloyalty” is detected.

I recall months ago reading about local Alawi communities, villages etc that made clear they were not in support of the Government’s actions and were allied with their neighbors. I am not sure of their current fate – others here may be able to tell us more.

So does it come down to individual defections – risking retribution from their own group as well as potentially from those allied to the opposition?

November 28th, 2012, 2:04 pm



The rebels have an attitude problem indeed. They just don’t get it, especially after they captured the SAM shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from Fawj 46. They are becoming very good at using them and that is contributing to their attitude problem.

I saw a report stating that in the past two days, 10 planes (helis and MIGs) were downed by the rebels in Syria. No need for favors or aid with strings attached from the outside. Allah Akbar.

ثوار سوريا يفرضون حظرا جويا ويسقطون خلال يومين 14 طائرة ، ومعارك قرب مطار دمشق، ووادي الضيف بإدلب

نوفمبر 28, 2012

تمكن الجيش السوري الحر خلال الساعات الثمان والأربعين الماضية من إسقاط 14 طائرة ومروحية تابعة للنظام السوري وهو ما يهدد النظام السوري من فرض منطقة حظر جوي حقيقي دون منّة من أحد، وكانت الكتائب الثورية قد سيطرت على عدة كتائب للدفاع الجوي في حلب ودمشق وإدلب وهو ما مكنها من الاستيلاء على صواريخ مضادة للطيران من طراز كوبرا وإيغلا الروسيتين وسط رفض دولي حتى الآن بتزويد الثوار بالأسلحة النوعية المتطورة ..
وكان ثوار حلب قد أسقطوا اليوم طائرتين واحدة في منطقة بلتنا بريف المدينة والثانية بدارة عزة بريفها أيضا حيث نشر الثوار مقاطع فيديو لحظة سقوط الطائرة ومقطع آخر يعالج فيها الطيار في مشفى ميداني، بالإضافة إلى ما نقلته وكالة الصحافة الفرنسية عن تحطم طائرة في حي الشيخ سليمان بحلب بصاروخ أطلقها الجيش الحر على الطائرة وهي الطائرة الثانية التي تسقط خلال يومين في الحي ، بالإضافة إلى إسقاط ثوار إدلب طائرة في ترمانين، وأسقط ثوار الغوطة طائرتين أيضا اليوم، ليرتفع عدد الطائرات التي تم إسقاطها حتى الآن في سوريا إلى خمس طائرات، يضاف إليها خمس طائرات تم إسقاطها بالأمس.

November 28th, 2012, 2:06 pm


ALI said:

“Revenge is coming,unless the Alawis abandone Assad”

Holy Mary!! listen to yourself, what’s wrong with you people?!! As if grassroots Alawis have some sort of spokesman or TV station to announce the abandon of Assad.

If you can’t guarantee a safe, fair and equal life to Alawis in post-Assad then good luck with your dreams. Like it or not, Assad currently is protecting Alawis and all other minorities till you Sunnis declare beyond any doubts that minorities (especially those who believe in different shape of God from yours) will not be discriminated or hurt.

November 28th, 2012, 2:06 pm


Tara said:

Zoo@519 from a previous thread,

“I guess he is a British citizen. He got a dual citizenship: the Queen and Syria? That’ll make him untrustworthy to most Syrians unless he renounces to his british citizenship…. No way a serious ambassador carries multiple nationalities.”

So it is allowed to be a first lady with dual citizenships and not an Ambassador? Oh..I remember now… It is rather her luminous face that cuts her a special status.

And oh, please don’t tell me that Batta does not share governmental secrets with her. After all, she is the one who wears the pants by her own description..

November 28th, 2012, 2:09 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

How many plane Syria has left, and how many pilot left?

November 28th, 2012, 2:13 pm


Visitor said:


We should start promoting the expression which I recntly made in a comment:

FSA is a Superpower in and by itself

you’re right no need for favors from anyone. Proud ‘rebel-with- attitude’ day for all

November 28th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Juergen said:

Dr. Faisal Quasem a syrian Journalist quoted this question from the late Habib Bourguiba to Ghadafi:

“Why do you invest your money in the purchase of weapons? Wouldnt it be better invested in the education of your people? ”
Ghadafi: ” “Do you want that my people will stand up against me?”
Bourguiba: “Its better to be toppled by educated people than by clueless people.”

November 28th, 2012, 2:16 pm


Tara said:

Ali @31

“If you can’t guarantee a safe, fair and equal life to Alawis in post-Assad then good luck with your dreams.”

What kind of guarantees would you like to see that you think will assure Alawis? The question is open to any interested.

Have Galioun, Sayda, and now al -khateeb in your opinion not given enough verbal guarantees of a new free and democratic Syria for all?

November 28th, 2012, 2:17 pm


ALI said:

“What kind of guarantees would you like to see that you think will assure Alawis? The question is open to any interested.”

Just to declare loud and clear that:

• Minorities will not be subject to revenge
• Minorities will not be discriminated
• Minorities will not stripped from their current advantages and state positions (especially in the army)

“Has Galioun, Sayda, and now al -khateeb in your opinion not given enough verbal guarantees of a new free and democratic Syria for all”

These names are just decorations with zero power or influence. The guarantees should come from Jihadists who got the upper hand in driving this armed chaos.

November 28th, 2012, 2:25 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Syria is a dictatorship with no representative government and so the Alawites are tied to the dictator Assad.

If Assad jumps off a cliff, the Alawites must follow. For many educated Alawites, they understand the dilemma they’re in. But since they live under a dictatorship, they can do nothing about it!

The same is true for the Christians, and anyone else tied to the regime.

November 28th, 2012, 2:26 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

The brave Shah Pahlavi who stood up for his Iranian nation against the evil ones, the enemies of humanity. But the Rothschild’s-Rockefellers nation robbers ALCIADA/MI6 found a low life agent of incredible Satanic cunning to deceive the Persians and rob them from bravery and glory. Will tell you more about that Jew later for now watch the video of this Great Nationalist Leader of Persia stands up to all.

November 28th, 2012, 2:27 pm


ALI said:

For those who enjoy the scene of blood and the smell of blown up bodies, all these latest minor achievements by your Jihadi armed gangs are not worthy the time of reporting them, it’s all part of the big plan of the last chapter. Jihadi groups are gathering in the outskirt of Damascus to pause a “siege” but in reality Assad is setting the stage for the Chemical theatre wipe out.

I’ll be sure to post my condolences when hundreds if not thousands of Jihadists evaporate off the map, who laughs best who laughs last.

November 28th, 2012, 2:28 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Mmmmm. You do realize that if Assad uses chemical weapons, he will kill thousands of civilians too? Chemical weapons are indiscriminate. It travels anywhere the wind takes it to.

Also, the moment he does that, even Russia will have to drop their support of him. And the West WILL intervene if that happens.

November 28th, 2012, 2:30 pm


Tara said:


“• Minorities will not stripped from their current advantages and state positions (especially in the army)”

Good luck. There is no room in Syria for this anymore.

Next answer please.

November 28th, 2012, 2:33 pm


Uzair8 said:

Updates posted on YS over 3 hours ago:


Regime propaganda site admits huge losses to the army in Damascus, says their deaths have reached the point of genocide

Regime propaganda site Syria Truth: Military sources confirm all units in #Damascus except republican guard are nearly extinct. #Syria

Regime propaganda site Syria Truth: 6000 tons of ammunition were captured by gunmen, supposed to resupply Aleppo and Idlib regions. #Syria


Regime propaganda site Syria Truth: Military sources say the top 3 military hospitals in Damascus are incapable of receiving more wounded.


Regime propaganda site Syria Truth: Military source estimated more than 200 soldiers between dead and wounded in Daraya, #Damascus yesterday

November 28th, 2012, 2:36 pm


MarigoldRan said:

It would be good if it’s true, but the regime sites may have been hacked.

The regime hacked Reuters’ blog a few months ago and posted similar reports, albeit for their side.

November 28th, 2012, 2:41 pm


zoo said:


While wives of president or kings may have a foreign nationality, I have never heard of a president or an ambassador having a dual nationality.
Maybe Syria will be the first country in the world with such ambassadors and also soon with a president who will be french, british, american or even better …saudi.

Welcome to the recolonization of Syria…

November 28th, 2012, 2:43 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Pffft. Syria was a colony of the Alawites before the revolution began. And the Alawites have behaved much worse than the British or the French ever did.

Assad and his cronies have used Syria as their own personal piggy bank. It’s time to end that once and for all.

November 28th, 2012, 2:46 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

refusing equality,means you choose the suicide option, the third condition is not equality

November 28th, 2012, 2:50 pm


ALI said:

“Good luck. There is no room in Syria for this anymore.”

Thanks for your “hit the point” answer, you see the agenda is just to diminish minorities and give it all to Sunnis.

Can you deny that there are plenty of minorities who work for the state are totally deserve it? Can you tell me how those people will trust you if your first action will be to strip them from their jobs and positions.

Ah I forgot in post-Assad you need “Fatwa” from Jihadists in order to decide their future

November 28th, 2012, 2:52 pm



Visitor @34,

‘FSA is a Superpower in and by itself’

Totally disagree. The secret of victory is humility. The FSA is no superpower by any stretch of the imagination. It’s only by Allah’s providence that they are able to stand barbaric Syrian regime. We should encourage humility.

November 28th, 2012, 2:53 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

It is good.

November 28th, 2012, 2:57 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Also, the moment he does that, even Russia will have to drop their support of him. And the West WILL intervene if that happens.

It is ok to get bigger, a good strategy, drag more nations to the Syria swamp, and instead of having Syrian citizen getting killed, foreigners will be the target of the real Alqaida fighters. After all, it is their duty to protect BILAD AL SHAM. Either expand this spraying to Muscat Istanbul and Benghazi or having all come in and spray’em locally. Otherwise, they will bleed Syria to just enough to keep Assad in power with few men and dictate him the demands which he will agree to it forthwith, Syrian will be royally screw**d.

November 28th, 2012, 2:58 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Ok, SNP, you’re a troll. I’ll tell you what: why don’t you stick a sword up your anus and tell us what it feels like? It would make the world a better place.


The minorities have a choice: abandon the regime, or die with it. The time for negotiation has passed.

November 28th, 2012, 3:00 pm


ALI said:

“refusing equality,means you choose the suicide option, the third condition is not equality”

It’s the equality I’m seeking, how will you guarantee that this new Sunni (manager, director, minister, prime minister or president) won’t just cleanse his department from minorities in favour to Sunnis?

Please answer.

November 28th, 2012, 3:02 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Khomenei was MI6 British Agent, a Jew, born to British father out of wedlock:

November 28th, 2012, 3:03 pm


ALI said:

“Mmmmm. You do realize that if Assad uses chemical weapons, he will kill thousands of civilians too? Chemical weapons are indiscriminate. It travels anywhere the wind takes it to”

Sometimes you need to chop some peripherals to save the patient. For a good cause, the price is not questionable.

November 28th, 2012, 3:07 pm


Tara said:


You are either playing or joking. You can’t be for real. of course no one should have “advantages” in the new Syria. Not Alawis and not Sunnis. Alawi privileged status will sure disappear. That is not to say give it all to Sunnis.

November 28th, 2012, 3:09 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

you said
“Minorities will not stripped from their current advantages and state positions (especially in the army”
current advantage is not equality, if you don’t understand what you are saying then there is no need to discuss with you anything,Go away, we don’t have time to waist with someone who does not know what he says,do not bother to respond.

November 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm


MarigoldRan said:

Mmmm. Except that it wouldn’t save the patient. Use chemical weapons and the West will bomb the regime back to the Stone Age.

The problem with chopping off limbs to save the patient is that you’ll end up with neither limbs nor patient. I mean, how many limbs can a person chop off before he dies? And is there even a point in living if you have no arms and no legs?

November 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm


Visitor said:


You have good point. I will revise:

FSA is a Super Power in and by itself among fake Super Powers of this earth but under the Infinite Power of The All-Powerful, The All-Mighty

November 28th, 2012, 3:10 pm


zoo said:

How Hamas Is Trying to Fool Everyone

by Khaled Abu Toameh • November 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

In reality Hamas has not changed or relinquished its dream of replacing Israel with an Islamist state that is funded and armed by Iran. Unless Hamas changes its charter, the talk about changes in its strategy only serves to spread the movement’s campaign of deception.

Is Hamas really on its way to moderation and pragmatism, as some Western political analysts and diplomats have come to believe?

And what do some Hamas leaders mean when they say that they are ready to accept a Palestinian state “only” in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem?

These questions were raised after CNN recently aired an interview with Hamas “political leader” Khaled Mashaal.

Mashaal told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour: “I accept a Palestinian state according to 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, with the right of return [of millions of Palestinians to Israel].”

The Hamas leader’s remark has since been misinterpreted by some Westerners as a sign that the radical Islamist movement, which was established 25 years ago with the declared goal of destroying Israel, has now abandoned its ideology and is on its way to endorsing a softer approach.

Hamas is engaged in a subtle campaign to win the sympathy of the international community by appearing as if it is ready to abandon its dream of destroying Israel. Mashaal’s remarks should be seen in the context of a new Hamas tactic aimed at turning the radical Islamist movement into a legitimate and recognized player in the international and regional arenas.

Those who have been misled into believing Hamas’s lies should be referred to the movement’s charter, where it is clearly stated that “The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it…the liberation of that land is an individual duty binding on all Muslims everywhere. When our enemies usurp some Islamic lands, Jihad [holy war] becomes a duty binding on all Muslims.”

November 28th, 2012, 3:12 pm


ALI said:

“The minorities have a choice: abandon the regime, or die with it. The time for negotiation has passed.”

So no negotiation then, too much for Sylmia opposition.

With such a sh!tty attitude you forced all minorities to stick with Assad, and Ok then will die defending the country from evil rather surrendering to Jihadists who will be killing us every day.

November 28th, 2012, 3:14 pm



Meet the ace who downed 2 planes in Dar Izza in the Aleppo Province (a helicopter and a MIG). Not bad at all. He claims to have downed the two planes using the Igla SAM missiles captured from Fawj 46.

November 28th, 2012, 3:19 pm


zoo said:

Gazans thank Iran for help in battling Israel

By IBRAHIM BARZAK | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

Palestinian school girls pass a billboard covered by national and Iranian flags with Arabic reads “thanks and gratitude to Iran”, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Residents of the Gaza Strip have plastered large billboards in key locations thanking Iran for its help during a recent eight-day battle against Israel. The posters reflect the strong ties between Iran and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups in Gaza. Israel considers Iran to be its most dangerous enemy, citing Iran’s support for the militants and its suspect nuclear program. During the fighting, Gaza militants groups fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, including Iranian-made missiles reaching as far as Tel Aviv.

November 28th, 2012, 3:23 pm


ALI said:

“we don’t have time to waist with someone who does not know what he says,do not bother to respond.”

Oh thanks for the warm welcoming to post-Assad era, I feel so overwhelmed with such a cosy attitude.

So you got angry and simply lost it just because I asked for some guarantees that minorities employees won’t be swallowed by the Sunni tsunami.

Ok then do not “waist” your time boy, go support your Jihadi gangs.

November 28th, 2012, 3:23 pm


Tara said:


The notion is silly. Why is it ok for the wives and not ok for the Ambassadors?

November 28th, 2012, 3:25 pm


MarigoldRan said:

According to Wikipedia, the Igla MANPAD that took down the helicopter and the jet is an improved version of the Stinger. It was designed to avoid enemy plane countermeasures such as flares and jamming.

The weapon was bought by the Syrian regime to fight the Israelis. An ironic turn of events.

November 28th, 2012, 3:32 pm


Tara said:

Zoo @63

Weren’t we told that Iran is going to abandon Hamas after it defected and declared its antagonism to Assad? Or were those old rockets that were supplied to Hamas during the “old good days”

November 28th, 2012, 3:38 pm


5 dancing shlomos said:

old glory: vanishing, tired, a waste of time.

offering at the base of the statue of oppression at internment island, ny:

“give us your wealth. we give you poverty, insecurity, misery,
destruction, diseases, ignorance, death.”

“Americans Have Less Access to Justice than Botswanans … And Are More Abused By Police than Kazakhstanis”

November 28, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog

U.S. Scores Towards the Bottom of All North American and Western European Nations

Justice is a key value for Americans.

After all, one of our key mottoes is:

“Liberty and justice for all” (for all who are wealthy and connected – 5ds).

But the World Justice Project – a bipartisan, independent group with honorary chairs including Supreme Court Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Ginsberg and O’Connor – just released a report saying that Americans have less access to justice than most wealthy countries … and many developing nations.

The group’s “World Justice Index” ranks countries’ faithfulness to the rule of law based upon 9 factors (we’re paraphrasing so that they’re easier to understand):

1. Whether there are checks and balances on the power of government officials

2. Absence of corruption

3. Order and security

4. Due process, freedom of speech and other fundamental rights,

5. Transparency of government operation

6. Due process in regulatory enforcement

7. Access to civil justice

8. Access to criminal justice

9. Availability of informal dispute resolution systems

Among high-income countries, the U.S. ranked near the bottom in access to civil justice … behind Estonia, United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic and other countries:

For example, Germans sue equally whether they are rich or poor … but in America, only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:

Indeed, the report ranks developing countries such as Botswana and the former Soviet nation of Georgia as having more access to the civil justice system than the U.S.

Americans have experienced more unfair physical abuse by police than in Kazahkstan, Russia, Chile, the Czech Republic, Romania and other countries:

When compared to other countries in North America and Western Europe, the U.S. ranked third to last in checks and balances on the power of government officials and absence of corruption, and second to last in protection of due process, freedom of speech and other fundamental rights, access to civil justice, and access to criminal justice:

The World Justice Project is not alone in this assessment.

As we pointed out in July:

Economic historian Niall Ferguson notes:

The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Competitiveness Index and, in particular, the Executive Opinion Survey on which it’s partly based … includes 15 measures of the rule of law, ranging from the protection of private property rights to the policing of corruption and the control of organised crime.

It’s an astonishing yet scarcely acknowledged fact that on no fewer than 15 out of 15, the United States now fares markedly worse than Hong Kong. In the Heritage Foundation’s Freedom Index, too, the U.S. ranks 21st in the world in terms of freedom from corruption, a considerable distance behind Hong Kong and Singapore. [Transparency International puts the U.S. at 24th.]

Perhaps the most compelling evidence of all comes from the World Bank’s Indicators on World Governance, which suggest that, since 1996, the United States has suffered a decline in the quality of its governance in three different dimensions: government effectiveness, regulatory quality and the control of corruption.

Compared with Germany or Hong Kong, the U.S. is manifestly slipping behind.

Indeed – as we’ve extensively documented – the rule of law is now as weak in the U.S. and UK as many countries which we would consider “rogue nations”. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

This is a sudden change. As famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto notes:

In a few short decades the West undercut 150 years of legal reforms that made the global economy possible.

Given that a country’s economic health is correlated with a strong rule of law more than any other factor, that lawlessness in America is even more epidemic than the World Justice Project indicates – look here and here – and that 2 U.S. supreme court justices have warned of dictatorship … we’re in real trouble.

November 28th, 2012, 3:38 pm


ALI said:

Why do you hate us?

Being minorities does not justify your hatred.

November 28th, 2012, 4:03 pm


zoo said:


It’s jealousy and envy.
Shias are much more cohesive, while the Sunnis have an identity problem as there are may subsects such as the whahabite, Salafists, Hanbalist etc.. Many Sunni don’t know what they are and have no cultural model to follow. If they are strictly religious then Saudi Arabia and the Sharia are their model, otherwise they waltz between Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia looking for a common culture they can identify with.
Shias have a clearly defined identity and a specific culture that unites them all in all the countries where they exist, even if they are not religious. That’s what make then strong and that’s why many sunnis envy them secretly, if they don’t hate them for the same reason.
While Syrians had a clear identity as Syrians, now they are forced to identify with their religious community. While for alawites, kurds and druze, it is a simple matter as they are cohesive and are not under any external religious influence, Sunnis are in total confusion with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the Moslem brotherhood trying to win them.
Their confusion is well reflected in their comments in this blog.

November 28th, 2012, 4:43 pm


Albo said:

Wake up people, in all seriousness neither ethnic cleansing nor the use of chemical weapons could take place with the international community sitting idly by.

But props to those genocide enthusiasts (© Sami) who think they could get away with the first but are so fast to point out that the second isn’t an option. lol.

November 28th, 2012, 4:51 pm


zoo said:

Did France, UK and Turkey recognized the CNSROF as the ‘sole representative’ of the Syrian people, or just of the Syrian opposition?
If the CNSROF has nominated its ambassador in the UK and in France, what are France and the UK waiting to reciprocate by nominating their ambassador at the CNSROF, temporarily located in Cairo? Or it was just a gimmick to tease Bashar Al Assad.
Turkey has been wiser. They still keep a consulate in Syria and have not encouraged the CNSROF to nominate a new Syrian ambassador from their ranks.
All this circus shows the absence and the confusion of the enemies of Syria

November 28th, 2012, 5:03 pm


alepoinmyheart said:

Bad news for assad air power, the manpad loot for regiment 46 contained critical part to enable the use of igla16, where tens have been captured
It seems that the main firepower left with the regime will soon be shrinked to marginal effect.

November 28th, 2012, 5:04 pm


Tara said:


Are you becoming a borderline racist?

This is sad. All this generalization? You are either madly in love with Shiaa so you reveren them or madly in hate with Sunnis so you can’t help but show all this contempt…

Sunnis Jealous and envy ?!

Remember the whole Persian world became “Arabinized”, adopted our language and culture and not vice versa.

November 28th, 2012, 5:06 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Do you know the difference between Wahhabi,Salafi or Hanbali?

Also Shiite has many divisions, Alawi, Ismaiili, Yazeedi Shiite Arab Shiite persia, and Khans

November 28th, 2012, 5:07 pm


MarigoldRan said:

@Ali and Zoo

We hate you because you claim more than your fair share of power. And you will not relinquish it without war.

We also hate you because you support a regime that bombs and destroys many communities in Syria.

And we also hate you because you call us terrorists and jihadists.

Before you ask “why do we hate you?” ask first “Why do you hate us?”

November 28th, 2012, 5:11 pm


ALI said:

See no one could answer why do Sunnis hate minorities?

It’s just the thing they were born and grown up with, it’s the hatred they fed from their mothers and passed it through generations.

I do NOT hate you Sunnis, but it scares me when I see this thirst to revenge from minorities.

Come back to your mind and yes we will forgive you.

November 28th, 2012, 5:17 pm


ALI said:


We forgive you.

November 28th, 2012, 5:22 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrians turn to Aleppo TV for survival

Aleppo Today: the most popular television channel in a city at war. Walk into any rebel office or field hospital, and it’s on. A private channel, Aleppo Today doesn’t even broadcast pictures, but it has a 24-hour news ticker with street-by-street details on where the tanks are, the latest airstrikes, the rebel offensives — even alerts when the Internet starts working again. It is must-see TV for anyone trying to stay alive in Aleppo


Aleppo TV a Syrian Lifeline:

Aleppo TV a Syrian Lifeline: An underground television station called Aleppo Today has become must-see TV for Syrians who still remain in what was once the country’s most populated city. The station has been broadcasting political reports since July, when Syria’s civil war swept into the city. Now the station provides a constant live-stream update on the fighting.

The broadcast is simple, just music and still images. But running along the bottom of the screen is information alerting viewers to the movement of government tanks, strikes by air force jets, rebel offensives in the city and Internet delays. The reports come from more than 40 correspondents in Aleppo and another 30 reporters in the suburbs. According to WBUR, the channel is often blocked by President Bashar Assad’s regime, but when that happens, the station moves their broadcasts to another channel and it doesn’t take long for members of its loyal audience to find it. via WBUR

November 28th, 2012, 5:27 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrian rebels plan free election

Aleppo province of northern Syria, rebel leaders are planning the first “free” election outside government control — imperfect as it may be. For the first time, towns and villages across the province will come together in each place and decide who will represent them.

Both podcast and transcript –

November 28th, 2012, 5:31 pm


ALI said:

Palestinians are about to make history and inaugurate their state on the world map, while Syrians doing their best to destroy their country to an invisible sub-states.

November 28th, 2012, 5:32 pm



Another missile base falls in the hands of the FSA.!

Also, if you haven’t noticed, Bab Al-Hara has been playing live for close to two years now. The protagonist are the brave people of the opposition who, unlike the fake TV heros, have sacrificed their wealth and selves to remove the Assad occupation regime. The French were angels in comparison to these barbarians. In this video, notice the segment where Bashar is shown at 0:40 during his swearing-in ceremony making a vow before Allah to uphold democracy and to respect the constitution and laws of Syria. What a lier.

One of the ironies about Bab Al-Hara TV series is that you could argue that it played a role in preparing Syrians for this revolution. It revived the attributes of chivalry, bravery, courage, daring in people. It also the revived the will to fight the occupier. In Bab Al-Hara, it was the French. In the real Bab Al-Hara, it is the Assad gang.

The actors of the fake Bab Al-Hara series had their moment in the spotlight, but they are now forgotten. Actually, they are now exposed for the cowards and tyranny supporters they are. The people will hold them accountable. The free Syrian people no longer need fake heros. They have real ones.

November 28th, 2012, 5:36 pm


Tara said:


The Alawis and Christians who supported the regime over the last 40 years and took part in the subjugation deserve to be hated.

We also hate the Sunnis who took part in it. The problems for Alawi is that more that 80 % support the regime which makes it the vast majority of them. Hate begets hate. Do I hate Barta, yes indeed! Could not hate anyone more! Do I hate The First Lady from hell? You bet.. As much as Batta if not more. The Alawis need to acknowledge their historical mistake and apologize for it for the Syrian people to forgive.

November 28th, 2012, 5:39 pm


zoo said:

#67 Tara

You are right to mention that. I jumped to simple conclusions and diplomacy is nothing but simple.

I believe Hamas is playing a game by using Iran to force Egypt and Qatar to get more concessions from Israel, more money and more recognition among Palestinians .
After the Gaza attack, Iran was boasting themselves but Hamas was extremely discreet in praising Iran’s role in the ‘victory’.
It made me think that Hamas had turned its back definitely to Iran by embracing Qatar and Egypt as its best friends.

Now as tough negotiations are going on between Egypt and Israel and that Abbas may get a boost after the UN assembly recognition of Palestine, suddenly posters appear in Gaza praising Iran.
It’s a smart and effective move to put pressure on Egypt but I doubt it is out of a genuine love for Iran.
After been abused for decades by the international community empty promises, the Palestinian leaders are known to be cynical and to take advantage of any offer presented to them that would help the palestinian cause but also to turn their back when they don’t need it anymore.
Therefore I believe their alliance with Iran is strictly opportunistic. They know that Israel only knows the language of war, therefore they don’t expect Egypt and Qatar to make a diplomatic breakthrough but they expect economical support from them. Hamas uses anything it can find to become stronger militarily and diplomatically.
As for Iran, while they are surely aware of the unreliability of Hamas on long term, they have effectively used them to show a sample of their military power to warn Israel and worry the GCC.
In addition, Iran uses Hamas to make it clear that they have an important role in the region and that they can’t be excluded by the Sunnis in solving the regional problems.
Because of that, Iran seems to still believe that it is worthwhile continuing its support for Hamas, despite their religious differences and Hamas’s negative attitude towards Bashar Al Assad.

November 28th, 2012, 5:43 pm


zoo said:


“The Alawis need to acknowledge their historical mistake and apologize for it for the Syrian people to forgive.”

Shouldn’t be the other way around with the Sunnis’ historical oppression and exploitation of the Alawite community for decades?

November 28th, 2012, 5:49 pm


Syrialover said:

“You think because I’m Alawite I must be pro-Assad…but I’m Syrian, and Assad robbed me of my country.”

November 28th, 2012, 5:49 pm


Visitor said:

“See no one could answer why do Sunnis hate minorities?”

Not really Ali-Come-Lately! Every one realized you are either stupid or playing dumb.

I personally think it is the former.

November 28th, 2012, 5:51 pm


Sami said:


In any and every country discrimination is evident, no matter which part of the world civilized or not, what differentiates the civilized world over the uncivilized is how they approach discrimination and deal with it.

If you want guarantees then you should do all you can to ensure a true constitution that is powerful and representative of ALL Syrians is put in place rather than the Sham of a Constitution that his royal Battaness passed after eating his fool from Bouz Al-Jidi on Friday…

A Constitution that can’t be changed on a whim in order to usher in our next “benevolent” leader for life, a constitution that not only guarantees the freedoms of the minorities but EVERY INDIVIDUAL, for in the eyes of the law your sect/creed/sex/ethnicity should not even be considered for the smallest injustice committed on any citizen is threat to all citizens.

A constitution that has checks and balances so as no government body can hijack a nation for the sake of one family, or strip its citizens from their basic rights for the sake of the ‘moqawameh”. A constitution that not only guarantees the rights of the individual but is able to prosecute to the letter of the law anyone that breaks those rights or infringes upon them, with no exceptions.

There should be no special treatments for any sect or any religion in Syria’s constitution, for Syria should not only be a Sunni State but an Alawi, Durzi, Ismaili, Ashouri, Syriani… State as well, for all these religions are part of the very fabric that makes Syria what it is.

And honestly your worry about the minorities exclusively and not about Syrians as a whole is rather telling of your own sectarian biases…

November 28th, 2012, 5:53 pm


ALI said:

Hate is a strong word Tara, it’s very natural to disagree with people but hating them is a big thing, no?

Minorities always loved Sunnis and dealt with them with respect. Those who were open to deal with minorities and acknowledge them as human beings have been rewarded with love and incentives from minorities with no exception. But those who were hiding behind closed doors waiting for the moment to let their hatred and lethal venom out deserved nothing but Sydnaya and Tadmor prisons.

November 28th, 2012, 5:58 pm


Sami said:


A former commentator by the name of Halabi should have the Copy Right honour for that phrase, I merely borrowed that most fitting phrase…

November 28th, 2012, 5:59 pm


Syrialover said:

Waiting, still waiting for Tunisia and Egypt to recognize the Syrian opposition Coalition.

Meanwhile their Islamist-led governments show they are out of their depth and unable to deliver. No surprise.

It’s up to the secular, more competent and more sophisticated elements of their respective revolutions to get their acts together and win through the ballot box.

Let’s hope Syria doesn’t suffer this damaging and wasteful phase of “political development” while political Islam tries and fails.

Story: Rising discontent fans flames of protests in Tunisia poor town

Much of Tunisia’s interior suffers from a chronic lack of development, and has seen growing social unrest, including protests that often turn violent, amid rising discontent over the Islamist-led government’s failure to improve living standards.

November 28th, 2012, 6:01 pm


Citizen said:

DAMASCUS // A Syrian newspaper yesterday published the names of 142 foreign fighters from 18 countries the regime said were killed alongside rebels in Syria’s conflict.
The list, which the pro-regime Al Watan reported was sent to the United Nations Security Council by the Syrian government last month, included Arab, North African, Central and South Asian “terrorists”, giving the date and place of their death.
“Most are jihadists who belong to Al Qaeda’s network, or who joined it after arriving in Syria,” the paper reported.
Among the people named were 47 Saudis, 24 Libyans, 10 Tunisians, nine Egyptians, six Qataris and five Lebanese. It also listed 11 Afghans, five Turks, three Chechens, one Chadian and one Azerbaijani.
theKurds are living there !!!
Cheap Turkish Jandarma ( FSA ) Trying To Seize All Turkish Syrian Border Posts – Turkish Citizen

their camps on the Syria-Turkey border. They come into Syria, plant bombs etc then run back to camps in Turkey.
The Turkish people don’t want a war with Syria… if Erdogan did put Turkey in danger, I reckon he’d be overthrown from within.
Erdogan has covered many people’s eyes in turkey. It’s Syria that is taking off the blindfold

Syrian Kurds Talk Alliance in Fighting Invading Rebels
PKK-Linked Rebels May Add More Kurdish Allies in Ongoing Battle for Syria’s East

November 28th, 2012, 6:05 pm


Tara said:


If the perceived HISTORICAL oppression of the Alawis was practiced by the Ottomans and not Fellow Syrians then No. If on the other hand, there has been systematic and institutionalized oppression of the Alawis by their fellow Syrians Sunnis prior to Papa Hafiz, then yes. It should become a subject of public debate protected by law.

However, there can’t be real reconciliation in regard to the CURRENT oppression of the Syrians perpetrated by their Alawis countrymen unless and until the Alawi community acknowledge and apologize. Also the Syrian Christian Church
needs to do the same.

November 28th, 2012, 6:07 pm


ALI said:


“to ensure a true constitution that is powerful and representative of ALL Syrians is put in place rather than the Sham of a Const”

Yes, I’m all for that but don’t we need to be sure that Jihadi gangs will not exterminate minorities first.

“And honestly your worry about the minorities exclusively and not about Syrians as a whole is rather telling of your own sectarian biases”

Yes, I’m worried because we’re the weakest link in this massacre. I have the right and I should be worried Sami

Think about all the hatred in Visior’s heart, tell me what will he do if he reaches my hometown? I’m worried becase such people do exist, and I regret that the regime was quite lenient and merciful to those fundamentalists

November 28th, 2012, 6:07 pm


zoo said:


“Remember the whole Persian world became “Arabinized”, adopted our language and culture and not vice versa.”

Common language, yes, religion yes, culture NO. There was no culture as such in the Arabic peninsula. The Islamic culture bloomed from the culture already existing in countries that the Arab warriors invaded, Sumerian, Persian, Berber, Indian etc..
Other than Islam and the poetic arabic language, not much culture came from the desert tribes and because arabic was the language of the Holy Coran and the invaders, it propagated in the Islamic civilization. Later it was dropped when the Islamic empire collapsed and moslem countries reverted to their own language, persian, urdu, spanish etc…

It is commonly recognized that the Islamic civilization owes most of its valuable achievement first to Islam in its various sects, to the Arabic language carried by the Coran and to the different non-islamic and non-arabic cultural richness that existed in the region the Arab warriors invaded.

So if it makes you feel reassured to say ‘our culture’, feel free to say it, but it won’t change the history.

November 28th, 2012, 6:15 pm


ALI said:

“Ottman empire”

Oh no who’s talking about the Ottman empire, we’re talking about the filthy rich bourgeois of Sunnis who were buying/selling minorities kids and turn them into slaves to shine their shoes.

I did not hear Sunnis apologizing for these actions, so why do minorities need to apologise for defending the country?

November 28th, 2012, 6:16 pm


Citizen said:

Garbage dump !
Chechen connection with Al Nusrah Front in Syria is growing: Eyes on Turkey and concern in Russia

International Sunni Islamists are flocking to Syria in increasing numbers and the nations they are coming from keeps on growing in diversity. Some so-called jihadists are naïve and only united in their hatred towards other sects in Islam. However, the Chechen angle is worrying because of their experience and tenaciousness. Also, given the current instability in several parts of the Caucasus, then why are Chechens involving themselves in Syria?
It is known that Turkey and Georgia have given either tacit approval of safety to Chechen Islamists in the past, or both nations have been involved in covert operations aimed at the Russian Federation. Either way, it is clear that Chechen Islamists were given breathing space in parts of Turkey and Georgia. Georgia could claim that the internal convulsions which continue to cause problems in several parts of this nation, is a valid reason why they couldn’t prevent Chechen Islamist intrigues in the past. Yet, Turkey can’t provide any such excuse and given the nature of this nations support for sectarianism, terrorism and sedition within Syria, then clearly the “Chechen connection” may be based on the intrigues of Ankara.
Similarly, it is possible that the CIA and Ankara are working in coordination with other operatives. Other intelligence services in the United Kingdom and France could also be involved in certain areas because it is known that many operatives from various nations played a more important role in Libya than was ever stated. While the armed forces of Libya were relatively weak and minor in comparison to Syria, you clearly have many ratlines linking many aspects of both conflicts. This not only applies to the nations involved and the media war but also to the covert nature of events, whereby in recent months more military installations in Syria have come under attack despite being outside the nature of the conflict.
Bill Roggio, The Long War Journal, comments that “The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group that is fighting Bashir al Assad’s regime in Syria, has claimed credit for yet another suicide attack as well as another joint operation with Chechen fighters.”
“Al Nusrah claimed the attacks in a series of three statements released on jihadist websites on Nov. 21. The statements were translated by the SITE Intelligence Group.”
“The suicide attack was executed by “the knight Abu ‘Aun al Shamali,” who used a car bomb “laden with 2 tons of explosives.” The statement was accompanied by pictures of the car bomb as well as the explosion at the hospital. Al Nusrah then detonated a car bomb parked outside the hospital and launched “an armed attack by a group of mujahideen on what remained of the headquarters.”………

November 28th, 2012, 6:16 pm


zoo said:

#94 Ali

“I’m worried becase such people do exist, and I regret that the regime was quite lenient and merciful to those fundamentalists”

I fully agree with you.

November 28th, 2012, 6:18 pm


Syrialover said:

ALI, you told us how your Alawi parents and other family were stuck inside Syria and now not in a position to move around.


I understand your anxiety and struggle to get a fix on what non-Alawi are thinking about people in their situation.

I ask, seriously and with sympathy, what are your family’s options?

November 28th, 2012, 6:22 pm


Tara said:


“Hate is a strong word Tara, it’s very natural to disagree with people but hating them is a big thing, no?”

It is a big word and not politically correct. But let’s face it. Hate, love, desire, contempt, jealousy are part of human emotions that we people are born with and there is nothing wrong discussing them. I have always argued with Why-discuss that it is my right to hate as much as it is my right to love. How could we not hate those who killed, tortured, castrated, and raped our children? Tell me how?! You can’t find a Jesus in each and every one of us people. This is a fact of life, as simple as that. That is why I am so shocked of how stupid the Alawis react during this crisis.

And by the way, you used that word first.

Additionally, do you believe that ruling the country should only belong to Alawis?

November 28th, 2012, 6:28 pm


zoo said:


Why don’t you ask your family about the shameful exploitation of the alawites by the self-righteous sunni bourgeois families before the Assad took power ?
Why don’t you check why the army recruits were essentially alawites?
Why do you check how they were considered as heretics and considered less then humans by your religious leaders.
They need hundred of apologies,compensation and protection not a “public debate”..
That’s so condescending.

November 28th, 2012, 6:33 pm


Sami said:


Why should I worry about the “if” while ignoring the reality that IS. If you are worried about potential massacres where the hell are you when your own countrymen and women ARE BEING MASSACRED RIGHT NOW. What the fact that they happen to believe in a different faith than you do somehow makes it any less worse in your eyes?

Who committed the Houla, Qubair, Triemseh, Darayya, Jisr Al-Shgour, Tal Klalakh massacres? Who is dropping barrel bombs on hospitals, breadlines, olive oil pressers, and parks filled with children? Who has got over 200 000 detained Syrians rotting in their dungeons? Who is using cluster bombs filled with thermite against civilians?

You want to make sure your town does not get massacred, then you better ensure that ALL TOWN AND CITIES don’t get massacred not just yours. That is the only way to make sure massacres don’t happen, but if you turn a blind eye for that Sunni village next door getting massacred then others will do the same when your town comes up next.

And for the record your “secular” government not only nurtured those Jihadist you are so afraid of but in many ways they would have never survived if not for the full support they received from your Eternal Leader

November 28th, 2012, 6:35 pm


Sami said:


Please define “defending the country”!

Does genocide and the rape of urban and rural parts of Syria under the banner Assad 2ouw ni7riq al-balad translate to “defending the country”?

November 28th, 2012, 6:39 pm


Darryl said:

“89. ALI said:

Hate is a strong word Tara, it’s very natural to disagree with people but hating them is a big thing, no?

Minorities always loved Sunnis and dealt with them with respect.”

Ali, the whole middle east has been based on hate, discrimination, hustling and fake history for the last 1400 years. The Baath party should at least have done something about it, yet they continued to propagate fake history to keep everyone busy. Had they taught at least real history in schools where the new generations learn from the mistakes from previous generations, we may not be in this position. Except they kept propagating the myths.

November 28th, 2012, 6:42 pm


ALI said:


Thanks for asking, I totally appreciate that.

Well I’ll be saying lies if I say we don’t have plan B, surely they can’t exit from main official points but if the sh!t hits the fan then as you know it’s not that complicated at all to cross to Lebanon and reach the appropriate embassy. For my father we’re already in touch with the authorities and as a minority they can issue him a protection visa as long as there’s no evidence of involvement in specific actions.

November 28th, 2012, 6:47 pm


ALI said:

“Additionally, do you believe that ruling the country should only belong to Alawis?”

Hell no, who wants this responsibility for ever, didn’t you hear the president when he said he will let go after leading Syria to the shores of safety. We did protect and developed the country and it’s quite natural to pass the responsibility to others.

But at the same time we don’t accept to be threatened, discriminated or marginalized by fanatics.

November 28th, 2012, 6:52 pm


Tara said:


““Remember the whole Persian world became “Arabinized”, adopted our language and culture and not vice versa.

Common language, yes, religion yes, culture NO. There was no culture as such in the Arabic peninsula. The Islamic culture bloomed from the culture already existing in countries that the Arab warriors invaded, Sumerian, Persian, Berber, Indian etc..”
You are making a non-thoughtful distinction to support your political view. 

Majdi Yaakoub, and Micheal Debakey, ones of the greatest cardiothoracic surgeons in history, were of Arab origin.  The former is an Egyptian and the later was a Lebanese.  Both shaped the field of cardiothoracic surgery in its current form.  Can one simply credit the  “Arab civilization” for their innovations simply because they were born in Arab lands?  Absolutely not..  They were Arab indeed.  Yet their work was the product of the western culture not the arab one.  

You can’t simply deny the contribution of the Arab to the Islamic civilization claiming that those who contributed to it were non -Arabs.  After all, they spoke, lived, were ruled, prospered, studied, influenced by the Arabs conquerers.  Those conquerers established the culture where they went.  Sorry but your argument is not valid.          

November 28th, 2012, 6:53 pm


ALI said:


“You want to make sure your town does not get massacred, then you better ensure that ALL TOWN AND CITIES don’t get massacred not just your”

I hear you loud and clear but I can’t do much, at the end of the day we’re just a minority but now, after shifting the power, you might be in control of the future of Syria including minorities.

If and there a big fat IF here, If there was some mistakes here and there then you can’t fix a mistake by a mistake otherwise we’re doomed for ever, no?

“Please define “defending the country”!”

Defending Lebanon
Defending Palestine
Defending Yemen
Defending PPK
Defending resistance groups around the world
Defending Syria from the evil of MB

And the list goes on and on

November 28th, 2012, 7:01 pm


ALI said:


“The Baath party should at least have done something about it”

At least Baath could teach generations of belonging to the state rather religion, Baath allowed freedom for minorities to practice their own beliefs, Baath stopped the Sunni ideology tsunami from converting everything in Syria to a religious figure.

November 28th, 2012, 7:04 pm


Citizen said:

Neck of the woods

The headlines from Europe in the past few weeks have been ominous. I don’t mean the terrible economies of the Eurozone and Britain. Certainly not the imploding situation in Greece and Spain and the looming crises in other European economies. Nor the re-appearnce of Fascism in Greece and Hungary and other places.
Last month the British announced that they were sending warships to the (Persian) Gulf in preparation for war. Now one wonders who in the Gulf region has attacked Britain or any of its interests to merit such attention? And how can Britain afford another major ‘unprovoked’ war in the Gulf while the right-wing Cameron regime is cutting back on essential services for the British people? Are they planning to intervene, for example, in rebellious Bahrain and liberate it from its repressive regime? Just as they did in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and now threaten to do in poor butchered Syria? If not, then does Britain have the power and the resources to liberate a huge country like Iran from its ruling mullahs? Would they recruit the democratically elected Saudi princes and the freedom-loving Al-Nahayn shaikhs in their endeavor of liberation? They certainly can supply many mercenaries to help.
Then there is France. Nick Sarkozy was ready to invade the Gulf and liberate the Iranian people from their nuclear program or their grim mullahs or both. Well, the French people liberated Sarkozy from the Élysée Palace. Then came Francois Hollande and his two feuding women. The French usually feel free to liberate West African countries, whether freeing them from one ruler in favor of another or freeing the rulers from their people or vice versa. Around1920 they felt free to liberate Syria, already just liberated from the Turks, of its British-appointed Hashemite king Faisal I and sent him packing to Iraq. Now the French seem to be getting frisky again, especially about dysfunctional Syria but maybe also about belligerent Iran. Most of the Arabs who criticized George W Bush for his “liberation” of Iraq now understand that he was right, otherwise why clamor for Mr. Obama to ‘liberate” Syria (right after Libya)?

How do they do it, these troubled nearly-broke Europeans whose populations are dwindling? How do they afford it? The answer can be given in three words: “United States of America”. In any of these new battles, these proposed films, the Euros play the ‘extras”. “Extras” don’t finance films; but they can sing along to the tunes of George Cohan’s “Over There……”

November 28th, 2012, 7:05 pm


Tara said:

Zoo @101

Why don’t you ask your family about the shameful exploitation of the alawites by the self-righteous sunni bourgeois families before the Assad took power ?
Why don’t you check why the army recruits were essentially alawites?
Why do you check how they were considered as heretics and considered less then humans by your religious leaders.

So you are sanctioning revenge against the Syrian Sunnis because of past historical grievances that happened before lots of us were born? Why can’t you then hold us responsible for Adam and Eve’s historical mistake of eating the forbidden apple .. And the slaughter perpetrated now by the Alawis against their fellow Syrians should be avenged from the next generation following that example?

“That is so condescending”

And your post#70 is flattering?

November 28th, 2012, 7:07 pm


Hamoudeh al-Halabi said:

#55 Ali said “Sometimes you need to chop some peripherals to save the patient. For a good cause, the price is not questionable.”

Considering that this refers to the use of chemical weapons against the population of Damascus, killing thousands civilians at once, it is the sickest thing I’ve read in the comments so far [amongst a whole lot of disgusting things that have been said in general]. This is worse than Assad, whose “rationale” it is for flattening cities, and both are far worse than what any “jihadists” have been doing in Syria or elsewhere or all put together for the past two years and beyond. How can there be any dialogue whatsoever when such savage and wicked evil is shamelessly put on the table?

For a “good cause” the price is not questionable? That is what Hitler thought about solving the “Jewish problem”, that is your sick mentality, keep it in mind when you are fearful of the future of Alawites in Syria and come across enemies who share your own mentality.

November 28th, 2012, 7:20 pm


zoo said:


The Arab warriors were religious and in the country they invaded they carried exclusively a religious culture. As it is still applied in Saudi Arabia where they came from, this culture prohibited just everything perceived as idolatry, music, painting, non religious litterature etc..

If an islamic culture came to life it was due to the pre-existing culture and traditions in the country invaded. It bloomed with the combination of a self assured and progressive Islam that was tolerant towards minorities and that willingly accepted the impregnation by the native culture.
We, in the arab world, are the product of that combination and we carry the heritage of many contributors to that culture.

Unfortunately since the desintegration of the Islamic civilization, Islam has constantly been under siege from the Judeo-Christian dominating culture.

Unless there is a renaissance, we are loosing the cultural battle and we are gradually absorbed by the dominant western culture.

Claiming that Arabs brought an encompassing culture to India, Iran false. They brought the religion’s culture, the language and the military and social stability needed for a rich civilization to bloom.

November 28th, 2012, 7:23 pm


Darryl said:

“109. ALI said:

At least Baath could teach generations of belonging to the state rather religion, Baath allowed freedom for minorities to practice their own beliefs, Baath stopped the Sunni ideology tsunami from converting everything in Syria to a religious figure.”

Ali, this approach does not work as it builds compartments around the various sects and beliefs and tries give rights to minorities at the expense of the majority, in case Sunni Muslims. Hence we have lots of resentment caused by years of stacking the system against Sunni Muslims.

The Baath party should have taught in schools the bad and good history as to show over the years the discrimination, the hurt, the bad blood between the various groups and talk about the root causes for these issues. This would have allowed Sunni Muslims to at least reflect on their belief system, they are human after all.

November 28th, 2012, 7:26 pm


zoo said:

111. Tara s

Don’t go as far as Adam and Eve.
Why is the 1982 Hama repression of the islamist uprising still not forgotten by the Sunnis and they are after a revenge?
Why Sunnis can call for justice and not Alawites?

November 28th, 2012, 7:30 pm


Darryl said:

“113. ZOO said:

Unfortunately since the desintegration of the Islamic civilization, Islam has constantly been under siege from the Judeo-Christian dominating culture.”

Mr Zoo, Islam has not been under siege by Judeo-Christian civilization, it has been under siege from itself. Judeo-Christian civilization adapts itself because it believes that it’s scripture is divinely inspired and hence not set in stone as Islamic belief is set. Remember the LauH al MaHfouz.

Judeo-Christian system has a set of moral code that separates it from the politics of the day and at the end of the day you are accountable to the state that makes laws and regulations that fit the era you live in. In Islam, who can oppose Allah or even dare ask a question?

November 28th, 2012, 7:40 pm


ghufran said:

أفاد ناشطون سوريون أن ثلاثة أطفال سوريون توفيوا نتيجة البرد القارس في مخيم الزعتري في محافظة المفرق بالأردن .
و كتب ناشطون عبارات تخاطب الدول العربية ، و قالت احداها ” أطفال سوريا يموتون برداً ، بينما أنابيب الغاز العربي تمر من تحتهم إلى اسرائيل”.
و قال آخر ” الأطفال داخل سوريا يموتون من القصف و في خارجها يموتون برداً “.
في المقابل، زعمت إدارة المخيم إن “الاطفال الثلاثة توفيوا بسبب أمراض كانوا يعانوا منها سابقاً “.
و يقع مخيم الزعتري في محافظة المفرق شمال الأردن، و يفتقر إلى أدنى مقومات العيش، إذ أن الخيم لا تقي من البرد، كما أن هناك نقص حاد في المدافئ و الأغطية .
I do not think that any arab refugee died in Syria because of hunger of cold weather, Arabs are ungrateful even when it does not take much to keep a child alive, when this is all done,Syrians will find themselves alone in a disaster zone and regret what they did when it is too late to bring back the dead or undestroy what was destroyed.

November 28th, 2012, 7:47 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Why Sunnis can call for justice and not Alawites?

What did the Sunni of Syria do wrong to the Alawites, can you name it, other than the load of crap your father told you of lies to cover up his guilt and criminality.

November 28th, 2012, 7:50 pm


Tara said:


“Why do you check how they were considered as heretics and considered less then humans by your religious leaders”

There is no such a thing as ” religious leaders” in Sunni Islam.

November 28th, 2012, 8:03 pm


Aldendeshe said:


You have consciousness, the Syrian warlords don’t have any, they are Zionist trained and Protocols sworn, they are professional war criminals and genocidal maniacs with 50 years of experience aided by the United Nations. Some have fought on various continents. What matter to them, is that they are millionaires now and will in the end go retire in luxury of Paris, London and Dubai.

November 28th, 2012, 8:05 pm


Visitor said:

What can we do without SNP? He said it all in one short paragraph.

Sunnis are the nicest people on this planet.


But Lavrov wants to play the real statesman now to the bad luck of the duck.

Lavrov just declared that Russia will never be drawn into a military conflict in the Middle East.

The duck now is on its own as reports also emerged of Iranian impatience indicating Iran cannot continue to bankroll ducks while it is facing economic starvation. Ducks should learn how to swim on their own from now on.

November 28th, 2012, 8:07 pm


Citizen said:

The operator of al-Qaeda cells Ban­dar bin Sul­tan work­ing more close­ly with Turk­ish coun­ter­part Ugly face Fidan on Syria.

November 28th, 2012, 8:12 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Zoo said
Why Sunnis can call for justice and not Alawites?

Zoo both must call for justice, but show me where Syrian goverments before Hafez came to power,where they killed 40,000 Alawite,and imprisoned over 100,000, and turn to refugee 2.5 million, Alawis were allowed to enter the army, assume any goverment job treated equally in court,while the criminal Assad family resorting to military brutal crackdown ,kiilling tens of thousands of Syrian and still killing, just because asking for freedom and democracy.

November 28th, 2012, 8:15 pm


MarigoldRan said:

The only thing the regime is defending is itself and its supporters. It claims to be defending the country. But like everything else it says, that’s a lie. Basically what the regime has decided to do is, “If I can’t control it, then I will destroy it.”

A government that benefits the minority at the expense of the majority is no government at all. A government that shells and bombs its own cities is no better than an invading force. The regime at this point is no longer the government of Syria, and rightfully so.

So please don’t make any more silly claims about the regime “trying to defend the country.” That’s dishonest. You can instead say things like, “the regime is there to protect minorities like me.” That might be a valid argument. But the idea of the regime fighting to protect the country? That’s total RUBBISH.

November 28th, 2012, 8:18 pm


Citizen said:

Truce in East Syria, as Kurds Vow to Keep Islamists From Expanding Control
Tense Calm in Ras al-Ayn as Tuesday Pact Holds

November 28th, 2012, 8:26 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

” For my father we’re already in touch with the authorities and as a minority they can issue him a protection visa as long as there’s no evidence of involvement in specific actions.”

The sheer chutzpah of these Qurdahans. So a shabih khara, after shabihing for 20 months, finds that his pathetic president can’t deliver on the glorious new Syria that he promised him in return for his raping and murdering civilians, and faced with the well earned vengeance of his victims, goes running and crying to a Western embassy, pleading for asylum on the basis that he is a “minority”. Yeah, Batta supporters were always a minority, didn’t you know, Chemical Ali?

And what Visitor will do to your village is nothing compared to what I will do. You better pray that Visitor reaches you first, I’m very imaginative when it comes to ekhwat el manuki who seem to think that dumping chemical weapons is acceptable.

As for Sunnis being “jealous” of Shias, only in your usual reality-challenged shabih world. Iranians line up by the thousands to get visas to Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait. I know Lebanese Shiites in Saudi Arabia who would cut their balls off than be sent back to Hizbollstan. The Shiite suburbs of Beirut are the poorest, because Hizbollshaytan would rather concentrate on murdering infidels than provide a better quality of life for its own.

And enough with the pathetic bellyaching Chemical Ali about your peasant grandmummy getting screwed by Aldendeshe’s feudal grand fathr. Your “suffering” such that it was was neither unique nor particularly terrible. You better pray that we allow you people to live like that post-Batta. And there is nothing you can do to turn the tide except whine and stew on this forum.

So how are your helicopters faring these days?

November 28th, 2012, 8:31 pm


Observer said:

Zoo and Tara

It is not being an Alawi or being a Sunni that makes you an oppressive person.

Sunni Islam if it were an evil ideology like that of Nazi Germany would have not continued to expand and to have new converts and to continue to enjoy many calling themselves Muslims even in only in name.

Likewise, Shia Islam is not inherently evil for otherwise it would have withered away.

Sunni muslims considered their faith and their way of life and their culture to be the central theme of what is appropriate and the colonial defeats that they suffered and the dismantling of their countries into a variety of artificial entities have left many of them angry and resentful at the West.

Shia militancy is a new phenomenon with the Iranian revolution and the combination of the success of Shia uprising on the one hand and the defeat of 67 on the other has revived political Islam. It is unfortunately very immature and without proper ideal generating and without leaders or idols to follow.

It is human beings that oppress and hate and discriminate and they are the worst for it if they use any ideology or a historical grievance to dehumanize the other and to justify his/her slaughter.

After 40 years of Alawi rule in Syria, the greatest failure of the regime was and remains the failure to move into a civil society where citizenship is not dependent on your ethnic sectarian religious familial genealogy.

Rich people exploited poor people and some used their perceived Sunni superiority to actually degrade others and now we have a reverse situation where Alawi take pleasure and pride in humiliating others and exploiting them.

It is not because they are Alawi or Sunni per se it is because they are both stupid and bad and ill educated and ill mannered. What Arabs in Syria and in other parts of the ME are doing to domestic help in terms of abuse and rape and beatings and exploitation today for example is awful and criminal and shameful.

Now if the minorities feel that they are unsafe in Syria then they should be granted full separation if they so desire and if not feasible then we should ask for a federated state in a federated ME.

Look at how Morsi is going after a power grab. It is because he is a stupid and bad person at this time with this decision and not because he is Egyptian or Sunni or bearded or fat or dark skinned or ugly.

In the meantime let us bring out all the bad people in Syria today starting from the Prethident and down to the vengeful FSA fighter who is executing prisoners.

My question to my fellow Alawi and please please do not take it the wrong way: can you define your sect on its own or is it always in contrast to Sunni or Shia Islam?
After all Shia Islam was brought on by a political dispute that moved into religious doctrine. Is it the same for Alawi faith or can it define itself on its own merit of a complete worldview?

Justice for Hamza

November 28th, 2012, 8:35 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

For all the hypocrite shabihs like Chemical Ali whining about Jihadis, your beloved Batta released the mastermind behind the London bombings

Let’s see you criticize the regime, ya “regime opponent”.

Unbelievable. War criminals running and crying to Western embassies after the families of their victims come after them. Have these Qurdahans no shame at all. Why didn’t your shabih daddy go to Russia or Iran if he loves them so much? Or China, isn’t it supposed to be overtaking the West? LOL! When push comes to shove, shabih war criminals like Chemical Ali’s daddy would rather live in the Sunni gulf than in Shia Iran.

November 28th, 2012, 8:36 pm


Citizen said:

Syria: The “Liberated Zone” of Aleppo: Religious Dictatorship Supported by France

Thanks to logistical support from France, the new authorities of the “liberated zone” of Aleppo are currently setting up a religious dictatorship inspired by the Saudi model. The reality is very different from the soothing declarations of Presidents Sarkozy and Hollande concerning the defence of liberty and the promotion of democracy.

The French government assures us that it is in permanent contact with the representatives of the “liberated zones” in Syria, and that it is supplying them with logistical support. It also declares that it is working to avoid the revolution being hijacked by Islamists.

However, the National Coalition, which had been recognised as the representative for both the exterior and interior opposition, has been recused by the Revolutionary Committee of Aleppo, which has now installed an Islamic government in the “liberated zone” [1]

The French government has not clarified its position. It has given no indication that it has suspended its logistical aid (both humanitarian and “non-lethal” military aid) to the “liberated zone” of Aleppo, even though this is clearly in the hands of the Islamists, who have denounced democracy as a “Western conspiracy”. We may remember that France supported the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr, and that François Hollande received several of its refugee leaders, with honours, in Paris on the 6th July 2012.

It is difficult to gather a clear idea of what is happening in Aleppo, where three areas are now under the control of armed groups. Contrary to what happened in Baba Amr (Homs), whose population fled when an Islamic Emirate was proclaimed, it seems that some of the inhabitants have stayed put and now support the new authorities. The heretics – Sunnis, Sufis and Chiites, including the Druzes, Alaouites and Ismaelites – and the ’infidels’ (Christians) have been expelled and their possessions confiscated.

Government troops don’t dare to attack for fear of causing a bloodbath and more destruction. Little by little, a new life-style is emerging.

But in any event, the “revolutionary” authorities have just created a Committee to Command Good and Prohibit Impious Acts and on the 22nd November, they published their first legislative act, which we here translate in full….

November 28th, 2012, 8:38 pm


Citizen said:

Syria: Ban strongly condemns terrorist bombings in Damascus
28 November 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the terrorist bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, this morning which have left dozens killed and injured.

“There are no circumstances that justify the targeting of civilians. Such terror attacks are unacceptable,” said a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

At least 34 people were reportedly killed and many injured by two car bomb explosions Jaramana, in south-eastern Damascus.

“This latest act of violence only underscores the urgency of stopping the destructive spiral of war in Syria and moving urgently toward a peaceful political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” the statement added.

The conflict in Syria, which began 21 months ago as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, has led to the deaths of at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, forced over 440,000 people to neighbouring countries, and left more than 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates.

Tomorrow the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the crisis in Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is scheduled to brief the Security Council on the situation in the country.

November 28th, 2012, 8:41 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

If only we knew Chemical Ali’s real identity, we would send samples of his posts to every Western embassy and alert them that his shabih daddy is running scared and wants to hide under Hillary Clinton’s skirts. Alas.

November 28th, 2012, 8:46 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

Chemical Ali with the Fleeing War Criminal Daddy

“Defending Lebanon
Defending Palestine
Defending Yemen
Defending PPK
Defending resistance groups around the world
Defending Syria from the evil of MB”

“Defending resistance groups around the world” is Qurdahan short hand for supporting global terrorism. It would have been better if your Batta’s father had done a better job of defending the Golan than in defending Mars from the Great Zionist Conspiracy. And the Palestinians don’t want you people, or haven’t you been paying attention?

November 28th, 2012, 8:57 pm


ALI said:

Amjad, what’s wrong with you?

My father is not a shabih at all. Shabiha are low class jobless people who kill for money and many of them are Sunnis, my father helps people including Sunnis if you don’t know. Last week our neighbor came to visit us and asked my father to locate two of her nephews. He did not only locate them, he actually picked them up and drove them to her house, just like that out of his good nature.

Embassies don’t need our identities, they know everybody who works for the state so it’s not like we’re hiding his identity. You’ll be surprised how much western embassies welcome minorities. FYI two week ago Canada took 503 Syrians, 377 of them are minority.

Judging people is not acceptable and you should be ashamed of your behavior.

November 28th, 2012, 9:41 pm


ALI said:

I didn’t suggest using chemical weapons on civilians but it’ll be great to wipe out Jihadists for good, that’s for the good of Syrians. Anyway it won’t happen any soon as the Arabic Syrian Army only used 10% of its capacity saving the rest in case NATO decides to take a BIG mistake.

November 28th, 2012, 9:46 pm


ALI said:

You all should pay attention to the stark fact that’s Bashar didn’t yet put on his military uniform, that means we’re not at war yet. But if he does then all these Jihadi rats will flee to the sea.

November 28th, 2012, 9:49 pm


Tara said:


“You all should pay attention to the stark fact that’s Bashar didn’t yet put on his military uniform, that means we’re not at war yet. But if he does then all these Jihadi rats will flee to the sea”

This is laughable. I can picture Besho when he was a teenager. He looked like a retard then. He went to med school but continued to look like a retard, and he can now wear Giorgio Armani’s suit or a military role-play suit and still look like that especially when he flashes his big smile.

Some of your “naive” phrases entertain me.

November 28th, 2012, 10:02 pm


Citizen said:

General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned – Seven Countries In Five Years

November 28th, 2012, 11:06 pm


Amjad of Arabia said:

Chemical Ali

Show me your source for your made up claims that Canada has taken in hundreds of Syrian refugees. Obviously Mr Nerve-Gas-Trigger-Happy,in your attempt to make facts up, you betray that you have no idea how asylum in Canada works. You cannot show up at a Canadian embassy, plead for asylum, and expect to be on a plane to Toronto.

First, you have to arrive inside Canada, whether on business or education or visit, and then once inside you request asylum, a decision that takes months if not years for the Canadians to make. Just being in Canada and asking for refuge doesn’t automatically make one a refugee, and if that’s what your shabih daddy has been told, he’s in for a disappointment. Best for him to make peace with his maker.

“But if he does then all these Jihadi rats will flee to the sea.”

Typical menhebakji wet dream fantasies. Remember the days when the filth on this forum said that once Baba Amr was shelled, the war would be over? Har har har har, premature ejaculation much?

November 28th, 2012, 11:18 pm


Observer said:


Your father releasing two detainees is actually the very example of the criminality and the degeneration of this regime.

First they should never have been arrested without due process second it should not take a Wasta to get them released.

This is what the revolution is about. Enough of this arbitrary family based mafia state.

November 29th, 2012, 8:20 am


Juergen said:

Mabrouk Palestine, you deserve better than just words.

I hope some here can remember what great things people are able to bring up, something touching like this new album of Marcel Khalife f.e.

November 29th, 2012, 6:14 pm


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