“Syria’s Opposition Must Find a Different Way,” By Ehsani

Syria’s Opposition Must Find a Different Way
By Ehsani for Syria Comment
February 10, 2012

As the death toll mounts on the streets in Syria, it is important to remember how we got here. Damascus has decided to reassert control over its restive cities by using the full might of its military. This should not come as a surprise to observers and policy makers. Indeed, the surprise is that the government has taken this long to order its offensive.

In the first three months of this crisis, it is fair to suggest that the opposition was largely peaceful. By the summer of 2011, this was beginning to change. The uprising was morphing into an armed resistance as weapons started to surface on Syrian streets. The defining moment was at the beginning of Ramadan.  Contrary to consensus opinion, the government was not deterred by the start of the Holy month. Hama was stormed and taken back from the opposition to the shock of the region. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia made its first defining public comment on Alarabiya Television Channel immediately following Hama’s fall to the government, after withdrawing its ambassador from Syria.

Since Hama, Syrian opposition members have begun increasingly to  call to demand weapons and a military response to overpower the regime. For the next 6 months, Syrian streets and neighborhoods became armed enough that the mighty Syrian army had to think twice before entering the developing mini enclaves ruled by the opposition within its cities. Not surprisingly, taking up arms suddenly became the accepted modus operandi of the opposition and the uprising. Those cautioning against such strategies were referred to as ignorant or regime supporters.

Young opposition activists who followed the advice to arm and fight the regime are now being left to fend for themselves against the military Goliath of the Syrian Army. As I wrote following my return from the country, many assured me that the armed forces were yet to use more than 20% of their capacity. As I listened to pronouncements by opposition leaders about the necessity to arm, I could not help but wonder what would happen when Damascus would unleash its full  military might. We will now find out.

While Rastan, Homs and Zabadani were becoming hell for its residents, I was dismayed to see that the so-called brains of this revolution were landing in Doha airport. The purpose of the meeting is of course to focus on “the situation on the ground in Syria” and find ways of “helping the rebels”. How infuriating to see men in suites sit in the comfort of Doha hotels instructing the poor men, women and children of the restive neighborhoods of Syria on what they should do next.  The fact is that since the first calls to arm the population, the brain trust of this revolution sent the people of Syria into a kamikaze mission. Did anyone really think that the Syrian army was going to be defeated at the hands of poor young men with Kalashnikovs?

Sadly, following the double veto at the U.N., many capitals have announced that they are willing to further arm the rebels. This is a travesty. The fact is that no amount of arms in the hands of such untrained rebels will come even close to defeating the Syrian army. This insanity must stop. The Syrian National Council and regional powers must come up with a different strategy if they truly care about the Syrian people who are now dying on the streets and in their homes.  Some have argued that had it not been for the veto at the U.N., the Syrian army would not have responded this way over the past 48 hours. This is false. The decision to storm Homs and Zabadani was made before the vote. The central government decided to restore its control over all its cities before a Syrian Benghazi could be established.

At the beginning of this crisis, I was skeptical that the opposition was as armed as the government media claimed. By the end of Ramadan, I had no doubt that armed elements were indeed committing violence against government forces and others. This was confirmed to me by a first-rate reporter who has spent months in the most troubled cities and neighborhoods of Syria. This is not to give a pass to the government. It is the stronger of the two parties, and it must assume most blame for the violence. The leadership has been very consistent in its defiant attitude. In spite of this, many still speculate that the President will soon step down or leave the country. Such false signals have convinced those taking up arms that their strategy is somehow working and that a “win” is around the corner. This is regrettable and dangerous.

Those of us living in the comforts of the West are only too familiar with how politicians in democratic countries compete over their “records”. My wish is to see the Syrian opposition begin to discuss President Assad’s  record on the economy, the public sector, illegal housing, the environment, health care, education, the media, and individual liberties. Instead, we seem to hell bent on steering our country straight into an iceberg with 23 million on board.

The Syrian National Council and many Arab and International policy makers who are now pontificating on Syria’s future were nowhere to be seen in 2007, when the President’s second 7-year term began. We have gone from being in a coma to calling for the downfall of the regime and even the hanging of its leader. This is insanity. The Syrian National Council must call for all rebels and opposition groups to stop arming themselves. Instead, it should declare that the opposition set its sights on 2014, when President Assad’s second presidential term will come to an end.

What is needed is a smart and innovative strategy that helps spare lives but effectively convinces the leadership that the old ways of doing business are over. Popular efforts must be spent in writing a new constitution, a bill of rights to calm minority fears, and an economic plan to reassure the business community and workers alike. The standard of living of most Syrians is appalling, so is the education level and health care system. The opposition must channel their energies towards such topics rather than the senseless calls to arm the rebels in what is clearly a suicide mission.

To be sure, the opposition if anything is likely to go in the opposite direction to what I am suggesting. Just this morning, a young member of the opposition (Mr. Mohammad Al Abdallah) is calling for Mr. Ghalioun to step down accusing him of failing to do anything while Homs residents are being slaughtered. While his anger is understandable, he offers no precise prescription of what to do next. I am not sure how you make a revolution and succeed in toppling this regime peacefully. Perhaps Mr. Abdallah can nominate a Syrian Ghandi for the next phase of this country’s future.

Comments (207)

Tara said:


The right of self defense is granted to people by the divine entity. It is not just a right, it is a moral responsibility. Algeria sacrificed one million for her independence. This argument, with all due respect, can not be brought to the Syrian mothers who buried their tortured children with their own hands. The regime has had many chances to reverse course and did not. It continued to show extreme contempt to the lives of its own citizens. I don’t accept the argument that we’re living in the west and inciting the Syrian people to suicide. Our sentiment is only a reflection of their demands. They stated their goal loud and clear. The life of the martyred 6000 plus can not be lost in vain.

February 10th, 2012, 9:30 am


Juergen said:

article by a german radio reporter (ARD)


Damascus – Friday in an empty city
During the protests in Syria, it always comes back to violence. The situation is particularly sensitive after Friday prayer. In the mosques the prayer takes place, then the demonstrations . The security forces are already waiting in front of the house of God. Bjorn Blaschke was in Damascus.

Bjorn Blaschke, ARD radio correspondent in Cairo, now in Damascus

A city of the size of Hamburg, with nearly two million people officially. It is noon, the sun shines from a clear blue sky and the city is empty. Only a few cars, mostly taxis cruise through the streets. The drivers are in search of customers, maybe they are well camouflaged intelligence officers on mobile observation posts.

At the major intersections traffic police and young men in black faux leather jackets wait for the time to pass. Otherwise it is empty. Oppressively empty. A ghost town? Backdrop of an apocalyptic film? No, in Damascus, the capital of Syria, it is every Friday like this. Only at the mosques the picture is different.

Security forces have been brought in by a bus. Very few carry batons, most pump guns and Kalashnikovs. By their clothing is not obvious whether the men are soldiers, policemen or militiamen.

Some are dressed in civil, others have uniform jackets and jeans. Or uniform pants and simple sweaters. “We are police officers, but in this situation we have to improvise,” says one. On the roofs of surrounding houses people can be identified, probably snipers. The security contingent was ordered only to protect those who wish to pray in the mosque. Provocateurs could cause trouble, says the commanding officer. He wants to leave unnamed. He doesnt want to be targeted by terrorists.

Terrorists, with this term he means underground fighters, who oppose the regime. The police would not shoot. “Only in self-defense, which is known. When a gunman aimes at us. It is forbidden that we are opening ourselves the fire.”

Change of location. In another district of Damascus. A young man has agreed to an interview if his voice is alienated.
It is about his work in the background for one of the so-called local coordination committees, who oranize the protests locally. They plan for demonstrations throughout Syria, every Friday after the noon prayer, but always at different mosques. “Everyone who is one of us knows at which mosque there is a demonstration after the Friday prayer . The police, however, knows as well. They are waiting all along. And when the demonstrators come after the prayer from the mosque and chanting against the regime, they chase us in order to arrest us. Or shoot us immediately. ” Therefore, there is so often many injured or killed.

“If there are injured or killed, we try to take them. There are doctors on our side, the emergency departments have been set up in private homes.” he says. “If injured people stay behind, then the security forces will interrogate them. They extort the names of colleagues and in the end they force the victim to sign, that terrorists had fired on them. Or armed demonstrators.”

Back at the mosque. The police officer draws his foreign guests in an impromptu guardhouse next to the mosque, where he directs the operation of today. The prayer is coming to an end. He can not rule out that its going to be “uncomfortable”. The regime has enemies. “The weapons come from outside. The weapons in Homs, Hama, Idlib, everything comes from Lebanon and Turkey. One hundred percent.” The same applies to many of the fighters, who were notorious gangster Syrians or they come from other arab states.

“There are Islamists,” says the police officer. With support from Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the servants of American politics. It is an attack on the Syrian foreign policy.”

The Americans and of course the Israelis had come to terms with the Islamists worldwide. Whether it’s the Saudi Wahhabis now, the Taliban in Afghanistan or the Salafists who are in Libya and Egypt on the rise. The trade is clear: The Islamists leave Israel in peace, but they may act against the secular systems elsewhere. Also that of Bashar Assad. ” They want to brake Syria’s position as the last bastion of resistance against Israel. The Americans always behave as they would give in care for democracy and freedom of the press, but even they dont observe them,” says the police officer and accuses the Americans: “They are dishonest.”

Even when it comes to what has changed in Syria, and what will change . “The President has made it clear that he wants reforms. For example, a new constitution. And yes, there are also local elections which have been held. Only no one outside of Syria is talking about it. Sorry!”

The young man who told with altered voice from the ground, argues against it. President Assad and his regime must go away . “For 42 years the Assad clan, which is 42 years of corruption that has turned Syria into a developing country, and neither I nor the group I belong to have either money or weapons received from abroad . ”

And if someone would call him today and offer him a gun? For example, one of the deserters who have come together in the so-called “free Syrian army” and attacked government offices? “Yes,” said the young man: “If it would bring an end to the regime, I would be willing to give my life for it.”

But so far only a few members of the Free Syrian army are in Damascus. The security apparatus of the regime is very much present. He and his friends in the underground have good wires to all the security forces: the secret services, police, the military. They provided information about prisoners and the dead, but dont dare to change the sides. They were still waiting for a signal. From the outside, preferably by the United Nations. “You could set up protection zones to protect human rights, and they could impose a ban on flights over Syria.”

He is not afraid by foreign occupation. The regime is already an occupation. If the Syrians had the choice, they would prefer a foreign occupation. Only a few metres away a few dozen armed men are positining themselves near the entrance of the mosque. The Friday prayer is now almost over. If those who have prayed leave the mosque, it will be seen whether they will protest. The police officer is tense, but still answers questions. Doesnt he think that the uprises in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya should have an effect on the Syrian regime? “In Libya, there has been no revolution. There is war, a civil war, murder and destruction. The Libyan President Gaddafi was killed by the americans, that’s known.” And how can the crisis, such as the Syrian regime, the situation is called, will be resolved?

“When you stop the BBC, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya to run their propaganda, the crisis in Syriawould be over in two days ” the man says, “If not, I will definitely be behind President Assad. I’m doing to protect the political culture. based on the resistance against Israel, the country’s unity and love for Syria. This is our famous political culture. ”

The Friday prayer is over. For a few seconds the tension is almost unbearable. Will there be a demonstration? Will there be shootings ? Or will everything remain quiet? – The tension is resolved only when the faithful flock out of the mosque. Silently. Anxious if possible, to spread quickly to form no small group, not to attract attention, not to speak. It remains quiet. Not silent. For this time …


February 10th, 2012, 9:33 am


bronco said:

Ehsani, that’s a very realistic and widely accepted assessment of the external opposition’s failure

In my opinion the external opposition and its advisors (Qatar, Turkey, France, the USA) have shown to have a total lack of imagination and understanding the forces in presence in Syria.
They first tried to copy the Egyptian model, when it failed they tried the Libyan model, then the Yemeni mode with no result other than increasing in violence and death tolls.
I have little hopes that they’d say “Eureka” very soon.
In addition they have such an ego issue, pumped up by the Western countries, that I have doubts they would want to admit their defeat, even it that defeat would save Syrian from further violence and destruction. They are beyond repair.
It is not Bashar al Assad who should step down, but the SNC. It should be dismantled. The people in Syria, the NCC must take over as they should have if they had been recognized and advised properly earlier. That’s the only hope.

February 10th, 2012, 9:39 am


mjabali said:

The only way to save Syria intact, get out of this chaos, and force the desired regime change is through POLITICAL means: dialogue and agendas.

By Dialogue: In theory: ALL parties should sit on the ground and discuss how to stop this madness all at once. But, why invite Qatar and Iran, for example, to talk about the future of Syria?

In my humble opinion: first you start with a meeting between the US, Russia and the Assad regime ONLY.

Why no opposition at this point: it is because what the hell is this opposition and whom do they represent? No one from the real people of Syria living in this hell had voted for anyone of them. These guys, with all due respect, are appointed and found but never elected by the large mass of Syrians. You need an elected opposition to achieve real change.

Here comes the importance of establishing real political parties on the proper land of Syria to ELECT the people who are going to replace al-Assad through peaceful means.

There should be no games played here: the first conference between the US/Russia and Assad should set up the timetable for this and how it should be done.

We need REAL INDEPENDENT PARTIES that are on the proper land of Syria and not outside composed of bitter, vindictive elements hell bent on destruction.

When we establish political parties with leadership and an agenda then we know that desired change is inevitable.

February 10th, 2012, 9:44 am


AIG said:


I read between the lines that you do not believe the Assad regime cares about the Syrian people as you do not even bother to make a plea to them to stop the violence. How can such a regime be a partner in ruling Syria? Why would they develop “caring” in 2014 and leave power?

February 10th, 2012, 9:49 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Brilliant analysis.in every word it is very clear that you have just been in Syria and seen the facts on the ground.

February 10th, 2012, 10:09 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

أكدت الفنانة العربية الكبيرة وردة الجزائرية أن قناة الجزيرة القطرية وموظفيها وعامليها يتحملون مسؤولية قتل آلاف الليبيين ومحاولة قتل أقصى ما يمكن من أرواح الأبرياء في سورية عبر استخدام الإعلام كوسيلة دمار شامل في إثارة الفتن ونشر الأكاذيب.
وخاطبت الفنانة العربية الكبيرة موظفي قناة الجزيرة في رسالة وجهتها اليهم نشرتها أمس صحيفة المغرب التونسية: لقد قتلتم آلاف الليبيين وما تزالون تحصدون أكثر ما يمكن من أرواح الأبرياء في سورية وستقسمون بأنكم لم تمسكوا سلاحا أبدا قطعا واجيبكم بأن لديكم أقوى سلاح دمار شامل هو سلاح الإعلام الذي استعملتموه أسوأ استعمال لقتل بني عروبتكم.
وأضافت الفنانة الكبيرة إذا كان أسيادكم يقبضون من البترول فأنتم تقبضون من الدم العربي لأنكم لعبة في أيديهم القذرة وبقدر ما تفتون وتكذبون وتوهمون وتزهقون أرواحا لتنجح أجندة رؤسائكم يكون أجركم.

[Link added by Moderator: http://shamtimes.net/news_de.php?PartsID=1&NewsID=788 ]

February 10th, 2012, 10:10 am


Areal said:

Very early in the “first three months of this crisis” , the MB terrorist opposition said :

” No Dialog ”

Now the people of Syria answers :

“No opposition”

February 10th, 2012, 10:11 am


Juergen said:


you are right, it would be a slap on all who have sacrified or lost love ones to wait until 2014 for the ´next presidential election.Given this regimes brutal past this interim phase would be only good for the regime. I can understand that all who have taken their rights in the last months wont go back under the cheese dome they have lived far too long. I think many of us living here in the west dont know how life is under such regimes. The everyday oppression by the regime is now halted by the limits of their funds and their dealing with the “crisis”, yet that will surely change if the regime has a momentum of stability.
An regime which uses artillery to shoot at “terrorists” in residential areas is not worth surviving, nor do pacifist appeals will change the rule of such violence, its too late for that.Only a miracle can safe the Assads rule over the country , but time surely is working for the opposition.

February 10th, 2012, 10:13 am


Juergen said:

Worthwile report to watch

Journalist accompanied rebels

The American journalist Clarissa Ward has accompanied a group of rebels in an attack on a checkpoint:

In normal life, they are farmers or ordinary workers – many are young and inexperienced military – as well as Fouad. The 23-year-old mechanic. Now he’s fighting on the front line. “You’re surrounded,” says the rebel leader at the checkpoints. “Come out and join us!” The answer: shots.

Determined to take the post, the rebels pull a hand grenade. Suddenly, the advance is stopped abruptly: Fouad has been hit. They desperately try to get him out of the firing line. The assault fails. Now they are fighting for Fouads life. But when they arrived at the hospital, he is dead – just like many other fighters who are there taken to. “The Arab honor is not there anymore,” said a rebel and does Assad responsible for this. “He’s a dog,” complained one woman. “Assad is nothing more than a dog!”

As night falls, the families come to mourn their fathers, sons and brothers. Then, under cover of darkness, they carry the dead to the grave.

click on the player in the article to see the video


February 10th, 2012, 10:39 am


irritated said:

Juergen #9

“time surely is working for the opposition.”

How much “time” would the SNC need to become a real alternative to the new version of Syria’s political regime soon announced by the ‘obsolete’ old regime?
For now, it looks that the SNC is entangled in its own dissensions and on the down slope in popularity among the Syrians.

February 10th, 2012, 10:49 am


Tara said:


While I initially have opposed the transformation of the Syrian revolution into an armed resistance in fear of ” legitimizing” retaliatory massive assault by this murderous regime against the people in Syria; I now can’t offer anything but my full support to the will and resolve of the Syrian people who have sacrifised everything to achieve their freedom. None of us should assume intellectual superior and falsely believe that people on the ground can
be herded by the external opposition or anyone else for that matter into suicide or deliverance. It is the people on the ground who influence the opposition’s stand and attitude and not vice versa. This is a revolution, and not an intellectual
discourse. I am sorry but I find it insulting to discuss “the president’s record on economy and
education” before we discuss his record on
respecting the sanctity of human life.

February 10th, 2012, 10:50 am


Syria no kandahar said:

Aleppo will turn from being not a revolutionary city
Into anti-revolution if wahabis keep doing these crimes(called self defense by Tara):


FSA declaring responsiblity,stating it was not a suicide car,but an attack using regular weapons:


How would an attack by RBGs or similar weapons
Produce this:


What can you expect from criminals except lies?

February 10th, 2012, 10:52 am


irritated said:

#12 Tara

Do I understand you are turning your back to the ‘intellectual’ Ghalioun that you used to trust and admire?
Are you also turning your back to HBJ that you admired for his “genuine” interest in Syria’s wellbeing?

February 10th, 2012, 11:11 am


Majed97 said:

Well said, Ehsani. Thanks for a very rational assessment of a “revolution” that has evolved into a beast that threatens all Syrians. Such beast must be contained at all costs, and order must be restored in a hurry…

February 10th, 2012, 11:18 am


Revlon said:

Dear Ehsani:
((Popular efforts must be spent in writing a new constitution, a bill of rights to calm minority fears, and an economic plan to reassure the business community and workers alike. The standard of living of most Syrians is appalling, so is the education level and health care system. The opposition must channel their energies towards such topics rather than the senseless calls to arm the rebels in what is clearly a suicide mission).

Calling for allaying fears of minorities while they are slaughtering the majority is ill timed at best.

There shall be no bill of rights to allay the fears of the minorities.
There shall be a bill of rights to allay the fears of all people, regardless of their religion or ethnicity. That is what the SNC and other revolution bodies have declared.
– Amnesty is not a human right for perpetrators of crimes.
– Excising Justice is a human right for victims and/or their families.
– Forgiveness is a generous gift bestowed in free will by victims and/or their families upon the remorseful perpetrator.

Anyhow, allaying fears of minorities has not and shall not significantly change their attitudes towards either the regime or the revolution, since most of them much like a fraction of the majority are part of this regime’s system of corruption and murders.

If the regime can guarantee the Russians’, the Iranians’, and the Israelis’ interests, I can not see how and why such lame paper work (writing the constitution, blah, minorities, blah blah, etc…) should shake Assad-Makhloof mob, and their supporting gangsters off their throne!

Until such write up project is completed, and in the meanwhile could you kindly tell me, from the “comfort of your seat in NYC” how should the protestors manage their lives?
– Should they wait for the friendly minorities to pay them visit and drag every able male, including teens to prison to play sand bag and to endure endless sessions of torture and a lasting darkness.
– Should their families offer their daughters to relieve the tension of the minorities that they must be enduring from having to kill so many of the majority on a daily basis?
– Should they ask for protection of Russia, China, or Iran?
– Or should they ask for protection of peaceful pundits like NCB opportunists, or even yourself?!


February 10th, 2012, 11:21 am


Halabi said:

Ehsani – I agree that the Syrian military can’t be defeated with small arms, but I don’t think your version of how we got here is accurate.

Many members of the SNC were in the Damascus Declaration, who called for very specific reforms in 2005 in a peaceful way and found themselves in Assad’s dungeons. Mishaal Temmo (who was assassinated last year), Riad Seif and many others spent years in prison just for speaking against the regime.

Decades of corruption, mismanagement and brutalization of the Syrian people by the Assad regime was more than enough to fuel the revolt, and a sweeping wave of Arab anger that started in Tunisia gave Syrians the spark needed to rise up.

When people came out in predominately peaceful protests, as you correctly note, they were met with violence. On March 25 in the town of Sanamein more than 20 were cynically mowed down. Weeks late in the town of Bayda, shabiha forces stomped on poor villagers. And so on.

From day one, the regime said that there were armed gangs and terrorists, mundasseen, who were killing soldiers and civilians. The regime said that video from Bayda was filmed in Iraq, only to show Ahmad Bayazi, one of the young men who was brutalized, on Syrian TV months later to confirm that he was alive and well, and in Syria.

More than 1,500 Syrians were killed by July 31, around 80 more were killed the next day when the military stormed Hama, a city that saw little violence and massive protests in July. To this day, not a single person, military or civilian, has been charged and tried for murder.

This is part of the record that Assad is judged on. This government has also failed us in every other point you mention: “the economy, the public sector, illegal housing, the environment, health care, education, the media, and individual liberties.”

But most importantly, Assad and his father have killed tens of thousands of Syrians over the years, imprisoned far more, and ruled over us like we are livestock for decades.

Maybe your solution of holding off until 2014 will save lives. But it’s unrealistic, just like the expectation that Bashar will resign. The Syrian revolution isn’t going to back down. Ask the reporter who spent time with the activists and armed rebels, and I’m sure he will tell you that people think that they’ve come too far to turn back.

Despite its weakness, the revolution has won the approval of global powers and has captured the imagination of the international media. People who don’t know anything about Syria now understand that Bashar Assad is a dictator who is killing his own people, and that the Syrian people are courageously confronting a tyrant.

So how do we stop the killings? I don’t have an answer, and it seems those who are much smarter than me don’t know either. We don’t have a Ghandi, and if we did I’m sure a government assassin would take care of him, just like they did with Temmo.

If this continues without foreign intervention, Assad will likely take control of some areas of unrest, lose others, and his forces will continue to be attacked. Peaceful protesters will come out and be shot at and killed by the regime. The cycle goes on and the country remains paralyzed. If he is still in power in 2014, he will be ruling over a divided, violent country that can only be healed with his departure.

February 10th, 2012, 11:37 am


Ehsani said:

Dear Revlon,

point taken, we will cancel the attempt to write that bill.

The protestors are better off sticking to the Ghandi model. I would advice them not to arm.

February 10th, 2012, 11:38 am


Revlon said:

In spite of massing of nearly 300 Tanks, FSA forces have managed to repel outlawed Assad forces and inflict the following losses:
-17 tanks destroyed and with their crews
-15 armoured and passenger vehicles destroyed
– 45 soldiers killed, including a colonel and several snipers.
– Assad forces was forced to withdraw to a 7 km distance after our units embarked on executing their earlier threat of destroying strategic Regime posts in the region.
– We assure our people that Assad forces have not succeeded in entering either Madaya or Zabadani.

بيان الجيش السوري الحر – الزبداني ومضايا – 9 شباط 2012

February 10th, 2012, 11:43 am


Mawal95 said:

Thumbs up to Ehsani. I echo the comment of “Syria No Kandahar” that Ehsani’s recent trip to Syria must’ve helped Ehsani to get some Real Syrian perspective. I have one quibble. Ehsani says “popular efforts must be spent in writing a new constitution.” Rewriting the Constitution by the regime’s appointed Committee is completed and the result is to be published within the next few days (I don’t know why it isn’t published right now today). Popular efforts should be spent debating this new Constitution; i.e. campaigning for voting for it or voting against it in the upcoming nationwide Referendum on it.

Then popular efforts must be spent in campaigning in the parliamentary elections which are to take place this summer. As leaked and reported by Alwatan.sy, in order for a person to qualify as a candidate in the competitive elections for President under the new Constitution, the candidate needs basically only one thing and that is the endorsements of a certain percentage of the members of the Parliament (the percentage was said to be 20% by one leak and 5% by another leak). The ballot boxes shall decide. This is the civilized way out of the crisis.

The dissidents and rebels accuse the government of improper and fraudulent vote counting in past elections. The new Elections Law enacted in year 2011 gives the representatives of each political candidate the power to oversee the vote counting in his/her district; and objections or allegations of improper counting are to be referred to panels of law judges. These law judge panels have been created in each Syrian province for the sole purpose of supervising the elections. They include altogether dozens of law judges. Until 2011 the vote counting was under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. The new law totally transferred the supervision to members of the judiciary. The Local Council elections held on 12 Dec 2011 were held in accordance with the new law. Many objections were raised by the candidates in practice in that election and the final results weren’t announced until 22 Dec 2011 due to adjudicating objections and doing recounts. The parliamentary elections will be conducted in the same way. The Referendum on the new Constitution can be managed in a somewhat comparable way: although there are no local candidates to appoint overseers of the vote counting in a local district, something analogous will be arranged. The dozens of judges on the supervisory panels are ordinary decent human beings who believe in honesty, respect for the rule of law, and respect for the Will of the People of Syria.

February 10th, 2012, 11:45 am


zoo said:

Syrian crisis and the familiar rumblings of a cold war

With their vetoes, Russia and China are saying they too have interests in the Middle East, which they are bent on protecting
By Patrick Seale, Special to Gulf News
Published: 00:00 February 10, 2012
The Syrian crisis is no longer a purely Syrian affair. Its wider dimension was highlighted 4 February 4 when Russia and China cast their veto at the UN Security Council, thereby aborting a western-backed Arab Resolution, which had called on President Bashar Al Assad to step down.

At a stroke, the debate was no longer simply about Syria’s internal power struggle. Instead, with their vetoes, Moscow and Beijing were saying that they too had interests in the Middle East, which they were determined to protect. The region was no longer an exclusive western preserve under the hegemony of the US and its allies.

Russia has decades-old interests in the Middle East, in Syria in particular. As a major customer of Iranian oil, China does not approve of western sanctions against Tehran. Nor does it take kindly to US attempts to contain its influence in the Asia-Pacific region. There is a hint in the air of a revived cold war.

The Syrian crisis has, in fact, been a two-stage affair from the very beginning — internal as well as international. On the internal level, the uprising has aimed to topple the regime on the model of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. In this increasingly ugly struggle, both sides — government and opposition — have made serious mistakes. The government’s mistake was to use live fire against street protesters who were — at first at least — demonstrating peacefully. The crisis could perhaps have been defused with the implementation of immediate reforms. Instead, mounting casualties have created enormous bitterness among the population, reducing the chance of a negotiated settlement.

The opposition’s mistake has been to resort to arms — to become militarised — largely in the form of the Free Syrian Army, a motley force of defectors from the armed services, as well as free-lance fighters and hard-line Islamists. It has been conducting hit-and-run attacks on regime targets and regime loyalists. The exiled opposition leadership is composed of a number of disparate, often squabbling groupings — of which the best known is the Syrian National Council. Inside the SNC, the Muslim Brotherhood is the best organised and funded element of the opposition. Outlawed since its terrorist campaign in 1977-1982 to overthrow the regime of former president Hafez Al Assad — an attempt crushed in blood at Hama — it is driven by a thirst for revenge.

No regime, whatever its political colouring, can tolerate an armed uprising without responding with full force. Indeed, the rise of an armed opposition has provided the Syrian regime with the justification it needed to seek to crush it with ever bloodier repression.

February 10th, 2012, 11:47 am


Revlon said:

FSA is in control in Rastan.
Its commander visits the city’s automatic bakery to reassure its workers!
الرستن 8 2 2012 قائد لواء خالد ابن الوليد يقوم بالأشراف امو المواطين

February 10th, 2012, 11:54 am


zoo said:

Echos of the new Constitution

Syrians urged that article 8 of the constitution needs to be removed immediately in order for people to start taking the government’s reform promises seriously.
That controversial article 8, penned in 1973, designates the Baath Party as “leader of state and society”. It also establishes the National Progressive Front (NPF), a parliamentary coalition of socialist parties under the umbrella of the Baath.

Article 8 was inserted into the Syrian constitution exactly 10 years after the Baathists came to power and ever since then activists have been lobbying for its removal. That dream is now more of a reality than ever before as authorities are preparing for a Constitutional Assembly that would draft a new legal document for Syria — one that omits Article 8.
Analysts keep urging that article 8 alone, however, is not the only problem with Syria’s existing constitution. There are entire chunks in the constitution authored in rosy socialist language that also need to be eliminated, they added.

A Syrian political analyst, journalist, and author based in Damascus, Syria. He is editor-in-chief of Forward Magazine, Sami Moubayed wrote last September at Huffington Post “Twelve articles also need to be cut out, which speak of a socialist state, a socialist economy, a socialist education system, and an ‘ideological army’ based on Baath Party thought. Among the proposed changes — put forth by a team of Syrian legal experts earlier last summer — is empowering the premiership at the expense of the presidency, thereby reducing certain presidential powers in order to bring forth a strong and capable prime minister.”


February 10th, 2012, 11:55 am


Pirouz said:

Agree with many of your points, Eshani.

But there are now too many outside influences involved trying to capitalize on the situation, for geopolitical gain.

In terms of Syrian national security, this is now a fight for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In tactical terms, we’re seeing larger applications of force comparable in nature to that of the Lebanese Army battling the Salafi-jihadi group Fatah al-Islam at Nahr al-Bared during the summer of 2007. This war in Syria is larger in scale, as the battle is taking place at several points across the country, using a Syrian Army that is many times stronger than that of the Lebanese.

February 10th, 2012, 12:08 pm


Mawal95 said:

Ehsani aired the notion of a “rights for minorities”. Here is the lynchpin of the regime’s political support for minorities as stated by Bashar Assad on 13 Dec 2011 ( http://english.pravda.ru/hotspots/conflicts/13-12-2011/119945-bashar_assad-0/ ): “In accordance with acting Constitution [and forthcoming new Constitution too, says Mawal95], Syria is a secular state. Therefore, no movement that acts under religious slogans and aims to split the Syrian society can hope for legalization. This goes for the Muslim Brotherhood too. This organization can not be legalized judging upon their ideology. It does not mean, though, that we cut those people from the opportunity to participate in the peaceful life of the country. We offer them to establish their own political party which would be based on secular principles so that the party could compete for seats in parliament.”

Happily for Syria, most Syrians agree with that, as far as I can see.

February 10th, 2012, 12:10 pm


Laurence of Arabia said:

Ehsani – I agree with the analysis and even the historical perspective. The difficult problem is how to start a dialogue while people are being killed. Asking people to focus on 2014 is no longer realistic. I think we need more than 1 SNC and we need to tell the various shades of opposition about what is needed to make it work. Some will sit with the Government and others may not. Mine would focus on the issues you mentioned: what is the platform of my constituency? How I’ll you pull the country out of the economic and political quagmire ? Others will focus purely on human rights. Expecting the SNC to be a panacea is clearly ill fated and it is surprising to note that the SNC would actually want to be a panacea. There is no one-size-fits all solution today, there can’t be by definition. There will be one that fits most tomorrow. To get there we gotta disagree, diverge and disperse. Dialogue, go on hunger strikes, and sit across the table with those we completely abhor. Like you said a few posts back: same DNA – It makes ‘una faccia, una racia ‘ seem to be an understatement.

February 10th, 2012, 12:11 pm


solitarius said:

Brilliant analysis and a crystal clear view. Thank you Ehsani.

The opposition consistently pushed people to pick up arms and fight a losing battle. People will die because the Syrian system of politicians, military, security and intelligence services aren’t going to pack up and go because some people in Baba Amer (or even a 100 villages and neighborhoods) picked up AK-47s.

However would the opposition organize itself into political parties, something they could have done abroad over 40 years, and present programs and views on politics, regional alliances, economics, coupled with disciplined nonviolence then many Syrians would have joined them and we could have gotten ourselves free elections by 2014 instead of getting somewhere between a civil war and a NATO aerial bombardment.

February 10th, 2012, 12:20 pm


zoo said:

Is Hamas attempting to re-affirm Iran’s important role in the solution to regional problems that the Western countries have been trying to eliminate by inducing fears in the GCC countries about Iran’s alleged hegemonic and proselytical intentions?

Hamas leader visits Iran after outreach to Gulf
By NASSER KARIMI | Associated Press – 1 hr 44 mins ago

“The Friday report by Fars says Ismail Haniyeh will meet Iranian leaders, despite what the agency claimed were efforts by Gulf countries like Qatar and Kuwait to stop the visit.”

February 10th, 2012, 12:27 pm


Revlon said:

Communique by FSA:
FSA forces have nothing to do with Aleppo explosion.
FSA accuses the regime of staging the explosion and its announcement by regime-FSA imposters.
The explosion was staged to discourage Aleppines from walking out in support of Homs.
تعميم عاجل :
الجيش السوري الحر ينفي نفياً قاطعاً أية علاقة له أو لمجموعاته في تفجيري حلب ويهيب بكل وسائل الاعلام العربية والعالمية توخي الحذر في نشر أية معلومات يسربها النظام من خلال عملائه الذين يحاولون الادعاء بانتسابهم للجيش السوري الحر الذي ليس لديه هدف سوى حماية المواطنين السوريين من قمع النظام واجرامه وليس باشعال الفتن بين المحافظات السورية وبين فئات الشعب السوري العظيم. …إن الجيش السوري الحر يوجه اتهاماً مباشراً للنظام السوري المجرم بارتكاب جرائم التفجير المشابهة للتفجيرات السابقة في دمشق. ويتساءل من أين جاء الأطفال في صبيحة الجمعة إلى مقر ادارة الأمن العسكري في حلب. ويعتبر التفجيرات بمثابة تحذير لأهالي مدينة حلب لئلا يشاركوا في المظاهرات والحراك الثوري الشعبي في سورية ولمنعهم من ابداء دعمهم لأهالي مدينة حمص .

الجيش السوري
• 6 hours ago

February 10th, 2012, 12:28 pm


zoo said:

Aren’t Egypt’s new rulers going overboard to affirm their independence from the Western countries that shamelessly supported Mobarak for 40 years?

Egypt bars British woman from leaving country
By SARAH EL DEEB | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago
CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities barred a British woman from leaving Egypt on Friday because she is on a list of people under investigation over ties to foreign nonprofit groups accused of fomenting unrest in the country, an airport official said.

February 10th, 2012, 12:35 pm


Equus said:

“As night falls, the families come to mourn their fathers, sons and brothers. Then, under cover of darkness, they carry the dead to the grave.”

The US have repeatedly targeted rescuers who responded to the scene of a strike, as well as mourners at subsequent funerals.

New York times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/world/asia/us-drone-strikes-are-said-to-target-rescuers.html?_r=2

“It’s not fascism when WE do it!”

February 10th, 2012, 12:39 pm


norman said:


We want them to do more don’t you think?.

February 10th, 2012, 12:41 pm


zoo said:

#30 Revlon

Damage control?
After FSA Colonel Arif Hamoud claimed the responsibility of both attacks on FRANCE 24, now FSA denies it.

Free Syrian Army denies implication in Aleppo blasts

The head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ryad al-Bashar, has told FRANCE 24 that his forces were not involved in Friday’s twin blasts on security buildings in Syria’s second city of Aleppo, denying an earlier claim by an FSA colonel.
By Rebecca BOWRING (video)

February 10th, 2012, 12:45 pm


Revlon said:

The traditionally moderate Islamic Scholars of Syria issue a communique addressing the army directly and bypassing Jr, it’s commander in Chief
بيان علماء سوريا الشرفاء
Communiqué of Islamic Scholars of Syria
وقع عليه كل من :
شيخ القراء كريم راجح , سارية عبد الكريم رفاعي ,محمد راتب النابلسي , محمد هشام البرهاني
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
… رسالة مفتوحة من علماء الشام
معذرة إلى ربكم ولعلهم يتقون
بعد صمت ألجئنا إليه , وتريث وترقب على أمل أن يكون القادم أفضل , وبعد سعينا وبكل جهدنا لأجل حقن الدماء وعدم تأزيم الأمور بالنصح والتوجيه وجدنا أننا ما نزال نبتعد عن الحل السديد باستمرار الحل الأمني وتصعيده عسكريا , حتى غدت معه سوريا التي كانت موئل الأمة العربية والإسلامية وملجأهما تحترق وتلتهمها نيران بعض من أبنائها وهي تمضي الآن إلى المجهول …
لذلك فإننا معشر علماء الشام وأهل هذا الوطن السوري الحبيب , ومن واقع مسؤوليتنا والأمانة التي حملناها نعلن ما يلي ::
نترحم على أرواح شهدائنا ونعزي أهلهم وندعو الله أن يلهمهم الصبر والسلوان ونسأل الله تعالى الشفاء العاجل للجرحى والحرية للمعتقلين
2 نبرأ إلى الله تعالى من هذه الدماء التي تراق على أرض محافظاتنا السورية ونحذر من أثر ذلك على مستقبل الوطن ووحدته
3 نطالب جيشنا العربي السوري _ ضباطا ومجندين _ بعدم المشاركة في القتل وقصصف المدن والأحياء مهما كانت الأسباب والذرائع فالقتل من أكبر الكبائر عند الله تعالى ولا يحل في كل شرائع والقوانين ولا يحل الأمر به أو الاستجابة لمن يأمر به بل إنه من أعان على قتل امرئ مسلم ولو بشطر كلمة لقي الله مكتوبا بين عينيه آيس من رحمة الله
We ask the Syrian army, officers and soldiers, not to participate in killing or shelling of cities under any excuse.
4 نطالب بإتاحة المجال للإغاثة والإسعاف ومد يد العون لمن يحتاج وعدم عرقلة ذلك
We demand the facilitation of rescue and aid of the needy
5 ندعو أهل سوريا جميعا إلى وجوب التلاحم والتكاتف والتراحم وتقديم ما يستطيعونه من دواء وغذاء وكساء وإيواء إلى إخوانهم وأهلهم المتضررين دون أن يحال بينهم وبين ذلك
We ask Syrians to stand united, and provide what they can of medicine, food, cloths, and shelter to their brethren.
6 نستنكر أي فعل يستهدف به أي شخص على خلفية طائفية وظننا بشعبنا العربي السوري ومن خلال تاريخنا المشرق في التعايش المشترك أنه لا يساق إلى فتنة أو حرب أهلية
We denounce any attempt of targeting people for sectarian reasons!

وإلا … فاليوم جيش وغدا لا جيش .. واليوم حكم وغدا لا حكم .. غير أن سورية هي المنتصرة والعاقبة للشعب ولهذا الوطن ولينصرن الله من ينصره إن الله لقوي عزيز
Today it is an army!
Tomorrow it shall cease to be

Today it is a government!
Tomorrow it will cease to be!

The victorious end shall be the People’s
God shall support those who support his cause
God is mighty
دمشق 16 ربيع الأول 1433 ه الموافق ل 8 شباط 2012

February 10th, 2012, 12:45 pm


Equus said:

According to the Israeli intelligence website Debka-File, both British and Qatari special operations units are already “operating with rebel forces under cover in the Syrian city of Homs just 162 kilometers from Damascus… Our sources report the two foreign contingents have set up four centers of operation—in the northern Homs district of Khaldiya, Bab Amro in the east, and Bab Derib and Rastan in the north. Each district is home to about a quarter of a million people.”

Debka-File notes in the report that the presence of the British and Qatari troops “was seized on by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for the new plan he unveiled to parliament in Ankara Treating the British-Qatari contingents as the first foreign foot wedged through the Syrian door, his plan hinges on consigning a new Turkish-Arab force to Homs through that door and under the protection of those contingents. Later, they would go to additional flashpoint cities.”
So it defeats the point to argue where is Syria is headed.

February 10th, 2012, 12:50 pm


Juergen said:

The SNC (german section) holded an press conference in the official press conference hall of the government today.
Ferhad Ahma from the SNC asked for medical assistance by the german government, fe syrian civilians could receive medical treatments in Germany.
Ahma furthermore appealed to the german government to declare syrian ambassador Radwan Loutfi persona non grata and to close down the embassy in the light of the espionage scandal of syrian diplomats in Berlin. Ahma himself was probably an victim of pro Assad forces, i have posted earlier an article describing the attack on him in his apartment shortly after christmas.
Ahma stressed that the realtions with the german government are friendly and that foreign minister Guido Westerwelle and his staff will further evaluate their actions. An spokesperson of the minister did not rule out that the ambassador may soon be an unwelcomed person for the german government.

February 10th, 2012, 12:53 pm


zoo said:

#33 Norman

I think it’s cinema. The US is accepting to appear bullied over some NGO’s disguised activists. That will boost Egypt new rulers image in front of its population as the tough guys who challenge the USA.

When the Israel peace deal issue will come with the 1.5 US billions attached, then we will see if Egypt new rulers would have the same tough language.

February 10th, 2012, 12:53 pm


Juergen said:

what do you think are the news that A. Tlass died correct or just wishful thinking?

February 10th, 2012, 12:54 pm


Revlon said:

19. Ehsanisaid:
((Dear Revlon,The protestors are better off sticking to the Ghandi model. I would advice them not to arm))

Would you be willing to come down to the most peaceful spot in Syria right now, Qirdaha, or any other spot of your choice to show the protestors the way?

Or, do you think Mannaa of the NCB would?

February 10th, 2012, 12:57 pm


irritated said:


I doubt Germany will take any unilateral decision neither to expel the Syrian ambassador nor to recognize the SNC.
If France has not yet expelled the Syrian ambassador, do you think Germany will do it?
They’ll wait for a EU decision as they always do.
It shows again how politically weak the SNC is.

February 10th, 2012, 1:00 pm


Mawal95 said:

Today was Friday. Can anybody point us to any large or interesting anti-regime demonstrations today?

February 10th, 2012, 1:03 pm


solitarius said:

Gotta love CNN fabrications

They show a satellite image of a supposedly destroyed neighborhood (actually only slightly rough image) in Homs.. takes me 3 minutes to locate it. Turns out to be in Zahra neighborhood. For those of you who don’t know.. Zahra gets bombed by mortars from “FSA” from Bayyada all the time.. here is the cnn video:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/02/10/exp-jk-syria-wall-segment.cnn (see minute 1 and on)

and here are the coordinates of the place shown on google maps:

CNN tilted image making the North-South axis horizontal, probably to delay me from catching it by like 1 extra minute. Good job CNN.

Would have loved to see this comparison made on Gaza, South Lebanon or South Beirut pre and post Israeli aerial love. Also perhaps Tripoli pre and post NATO .. I could go on about this for hours.

February 10th, 2012, 1:04 pm


Revlon said:

39. Hi Juergen:
I have no confirmation either way!
Regime spread rumours all the time.
Colonel AlAssad was claimed to had ben arrested by regime a few days ago which turned out to be a flase one.

If the regime had killed him why have they not shown his body, like the FSA showed the body of the famous Shabbeeh of banyas a few days ago.

Unlike Assad outlawed army, the FSA shall be upfront about is. They will either confirm his martyrom or capture or deny the story altogether once the situation permits in Baba Amr.

February 10th, 2012, 1:07 pm


Revlon said:

42. Mawal95:
((Today was Friday. Can anybody point us to any large or interesting anti-regime demonstrations today?))

Homs people are having their largest protest ever, in their shelters!

February 10th, 2012, 1:15 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ Solitarius: Good work sir, thank you. Zahra neighborhood in Homs is religiously mixed with a large percentage of Alawis. Looking at this footage, I rebuke the regime for being so late to fight back against the rebels in Homs.

February 10th, 2012, 1:19 pm


Laurence of Arabia said:

Let’s take a poll: JFK once said:”Those who make peaceful revolutions impossible, make violent revolutions inevitable.”. Should an armed struggle be pursued now that we can blame someone else for making this decision?

February 10th, 2012, 1:19 pm


irritated said:

#44 Revlon

The death of Abdul Razzaq Tlass

لاعلامي حسين مرتضى : مقتل عبد الرزاق طلاس 9.2.12

I am not surprised that the FSA is withholding the information for the international press, it is too much of a blow.
If he was alive, they would show him and discredit the Syrian media.

The killing in Aleppo is probably a retaliation for the death of A. Tllas.

February 10th, 2012, 1:26 pm


Tara said:


In response to your previous post.

The least I can do is to reflect and support the sentiment of the Syrian people. If they decide to turn their back on Ghalioun or Hamad or whoever, then they have my full support. Kid yourself not, the ME culture of glorifying the one person is now extinct, of course except in the mind of the misguided or corrupt Besho’s lovers. To the rest of us, we the people give legitimacy and we take it back.

February 10th, 2012, 1:33 pm


Badr said:

Gene Sharp: Author of the nonviolent revolution rulebook

By Ruaridh Arrow
Director of Gene Sharp – How to Start a Revolution


February 10th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Ehsani said:

Dear Revlon,

I was in Syria very recently. I saw first hand how tough it is to walk to city squares and demonstrate. There is no denying that it is a formidable challenge. However, the difficulty of executing such a task ought not to be an incentive to take arms out of frustration or hopelessness. If I implied that demonstrating peacefully is a walk in the park, then here is my confirmation to the contrary. Regardless of the difficulty, however, I still view fighting the Syrian army and security with AK-47’s a much harder undertaking.

February 10th, 2012, 1:44 pm


Juergen said:


usually the moves are coordinated, but i think Westerwelle has a lot of ground to make since he embarrassed most Germans for not voting in favor of the Libyan resolution. Sarkozy needs an reelection badly, so the move could come quickly. The expel of those 4 and the arrest of the two alledged spies were surely coordinated. Lately he french were very charming in relation to Germany, so may be the two nations will make a step forward. But that would mean at the same time to loose our embassy in Damascus as well.

February 10th, 2012, 1:51 pm


Juergen said:

satellite pictures of Homs in US tv show destruction

February 10th, 2012, 1:56 pm


Uzair8 said:

Regime strategy?

I was wondering why the regime chose now to attack Homs on such a scale. Why didn’t it do this earlier?

My guess is that it realises it cannot allow the status quo to remain for much longer and must act quick. It may be running out of funds and the economy cannot take the strains much longer. The recent UN veto has given it some breathing space to act and it has taken the opportunity. It is taking a risk potentially provoking the international community.

What can such a strategy (shelling populated areas) achieve? The Homs FSA and LCC have had months to prepare for such a moment in the form of digging tunnels, stocking food, positioning barricades. The FSA can slip away to fight another day if the regime forces enter Homs. Syrian Army holding ground would then be sitting ducks for guerrilla hit and run attacks. The Homs civilians will be the ones who suffer.

Protests would probably end in Homs. Perhaps the regime strategy is to pressure and subdue the people hoping this would result in pressure on the FSA to leave these areas?

This could all depend on the people of Homs. If they remain determined and defiant, refusing to be subdued then the regime cannot succeed. It all depends on how much the people are willing to sacrifice.

Some analyses predict the regime could last for a year or two. Yes militarily. However, the economy/finance may tell another story. As it deteriorates and sanctions begin to bite deeper as well as newer sanctions being introduced, more middle class people and the businessmen will become more pessimistic and pursuaded to withdraw their savings from Syria (or exchange syp for dollars). This will weaken the economy further pursuading others to withdraw their savings, in turn once again weakening the economy further pursuading others to withdraw their savings. A vicious circle? I’m not economist.

The opposition don’t necessarily have to hold out for a year or two. If it looks like the regime cannot restore order then pessimism will spread amongst the silent majority.

In the end it is the ordinary people of Homs and other besieged towns and cities that will decide the outcome.

February 10th, 2012, 2:03 pm


Revlon said:

Looting, destruction and burning of shops and homes of the Sunni People of Rankous, by Assad Alawi forces.

These people know who burned their living and to where their looted furniture was moved.
They shall have their day to excise justice

رنكوس :تدمير كامل للممتلكات من سيارات ومحال تجارية
Uploaded by mahmoddoumany on Feb 8, 2012
تدمير كامل للممتلكات الخاصة بالاهالي
من سيارات ومحال تجارية ومنازل
والمدينة أصبحت كمدينة أشباح مهجورة
ريف دمشق – مدينة رنكوس
دمار كامل ! على منازل الآمنين في مدينة رنكوس 8/2/2012دمار كامل ! على منازل الآمنين في مدينة

Uploaded by mahmoddoumany on Feb 8, 2012
تدمير كامل للمنازل بواسطة المدفعية
وحرق العديد من المنازل
هذا ما كان يشهده إخواننا في .. ريف دمشق – مدينة رنكوس 8/2/2012

February 10th, 2012, 2:10 pm


Mawa95 said:

On 22 Jan 2012 on this board I give video links to Friday demonstrations in Arbeen neighborhood in suburban Damascus on 20 and 13 January, showing turnout that was at least as large as any in that neighborhood this past year — https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13169&cp=10#comment-292232 . Shortly afterwards there was a violent armed rebellion in Arbeen and adjacent neighborhoods on the east side of Damascus, which was effectively put down by the Syrian security forces and this was widely reported by the news media both inside Syria and outside Syria. Question now: what is the subsequent turnout size at Friday demonstrations in Arbeen? Answer: very substantially smaller than it was before the attempted violent uprising, as you can verify at

This is a pattern we’ve seen again and again and again this past year in Syria: if a neighborhood experiences serious violence perpetrated by dissidents, and their violence and the authorities countermeasures are widely reported by the news media inside Syria, then the subsequent turnout size at anti-regime demonstrations is very substantially lower. When noticing this phenomenon last summer I said on this board that there was no exception to the pattern; absolutely every neighborhood that had serious violence had lower anti-regime Friday protest turnout afterwards. Since then, I haven’t been paying attention exhaustively so I don’t know whether absolutely no exception to it cannot still be found. But it certainly remains a very visible pattern.

February 10th, 2012, 2:21 pm


Mawal95 said:

On this board on 22 Jan 2012 I give video links to Friday demonstrations in Arbeen neighborhood in suburban Damascus on 13 and 20 January, showing turnout that was at least as large as any in that neighborhood this past year — https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=13169&cp=10#comment-292232 . Shortly afterwards there was violent armed rebellion in Arbeen and adjacent neighborhoods on the east side of Damascus, which was effectively put down by the Syrian security forces and this was widely reported by the news media inside Syria including Syrian State TV. Question now: what has been the subsequent turnout size at Friday demonstrations in Arbeen? Answer: very substantially smaller than it was before the serious violence, as you can verify at

That’s a pattern seen again and again and again this past year in Syria: if a neighborhood experiences serious violence perpetrated by dissidents, and their violence and the authorities countermeasures are widely reported by the news media inside Syria, then the subsequent turnout size at anti-regime demonstrations is very substantially smaller. When noticing this phenomenon last summer I said on this board that there was no exception to the pattern; absolutely every neighborhood that had serious violence had lower anti-regime Friday protest turnout afterwards. Since then, I haven’t been paying attention exhaustively so I don’t know whether absolutely no exception to it cannot still be found. But it remains a very visible pattern. And as I said last summer it’s something that we who want peaceful civil process in Syria can take some comfort from.

February 10th, 2012, 2:26 pm


Revlon said:

52. Juergen:
((satellite pictures of Homs in US tv show destruction
Thank you Jurgen for the link, for I had difficulty playing the same video from CNN website.

If those images were from Al Zahra as some claimed earlier, we should have seen at least a single video of shelling of that neighbourhood! No!
Not a single one!Not by the claimers or their Dunya Channel.

They claim that the shelling in the last 4 days, shown on CNN to to have damaged Alawi areas; yet all of those killed and wounded turned up to be sunni men, women and children?!

I hope to find the recent satellite map of Homs to verify the neighbourhoods and extent of destruction.

February 10th, 2012, 2:38 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Bashar looks much younger than 46. But he will be aging quickly now.

February 10th, 2012, 2:45 pm


irritated said:

48. Tara

I congratulate you for your realism and your wisdom.

February 10th, 2012, 2:50 pm


Revlon said:

55. Mawal95:((if a neighborhood experiences serious violence perpetrated by dissidents, and their violence and the authorities countermeasures are widely reported by the news media inside Syria, then the subsequent turnout size at anti-regime demonstrations is very substantially smaller))

Why would “dissidents” use violence if it leads to reduction of size of their protests?
Would not that hurt their purpose?

Were the women violent, who we went out demanding their husbands be released and got shot in cold blood by your regime forces?

February 10th, 2012, 2:53 pm


Aldendeshe said:


Here goes that Mando Soda you promised me a treat last year. Well, I lost a Mando Soda, but tens of thousands lost their life in Syria and millions more have no future. They relied on the Deceiver Amen and his stooges. As usual, the deceiver with his shenanigan and puffed up ego, delivered another blow to part of the earth. They are coming back and landing soon, they get to see firsthand what he did and been doing for mankind. It is not going to be an easy stay this time, perhaps one of the worst one ever.

February 10th, 2012, 2:57 pm


zoo said:

The AL Plan at the UN assembly?
Arab League May Seek UN Vote on Syria That Russia Can’t Veto
February 10, 2012, 1:45 PM EST
By Flavia Krause-Jackson

Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) — The Arab League may seek approval in the United Nations’ 193-member General Assembly of its plan for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, after Russia vetoed the initiative in the Security Council, UN diplomats said.

The 22-member League, which has suspended Syria and imposed economic sanctions on the country, is looking for fresh ways to intensify pressure on Assad and may seek a vote in the General Assembly by Feb. 17, according to two senior UN diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because plans haven’t been made final.

Failure by the UN’s decision-making body to deliver international condemnation of Assad’s deadly crackdown on protesters has left his neighbors and their Western allies with dwindling options on how to end a conflict that the UN estimates has killed more than 5,400 people since it began in March last year.

The Arab League plans to meet on Feb. 12 in Cairo to discuss next steps. No official was made available in the Arab League office in New York to respond to questions about plans at the UN.

February 10th, 2012, 3:04 pm


zoo said:


Maybe Russia is getting back into the picture in Egypt?

Why Egypt may not care about losing US aid

Some say that Egypt’s military rulers may be willing to forgo $1.3 billion in aid if it means a boost in popularity.

By Kristen Chick, Correspondent / February 10, 2012

February 10th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Atassi said:

How to set Syria free

11 February 2012
The Economist
(c) The Economist Newspaper Limited, London 2012. All rights reserved

Getting rid of Bashar Assad requires a united opposition, the creation of a safe haven and Western resolve

IN HOMS they are burying their dead under cover of darkness, for fear that the mourners themselves will become the next victims. Syrian government forces are setting out to strike the city’s makeshift clinics, where the floor is already slick with blood. The rebels in Homs have guns, but they are no match for the army’s tanks. And yet the butchery seems only to fire the conviction among the city’s inhabitants that state violence must not prevail against the popular will.

The outside world, to its shame, has shown no such resolve. A vote on February 4th, in the UN Security Council, condemning Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, and calling on him to hand powers to his deputy, was defeated thanks to vetoes from Russia and China. For Mr Assad, this was the impunity he needed to redouble the killing. Earlier a ramshackle mission to Syria by the Arab League had ended in bickering. Division has eviscerated international co-operation just when the turmoil whipped up by the Arab spring makes it essential.

The people of Syria deserve better. With the number of dead rapidly climbing above 7,000, the world has a responsibility to act. It also has an interest. Syria occupies a vital position in the Middle East, jammed between Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon, and allied with Russia and Iran. The country is a cauldron of faiths, sects and clans seething with grudges and mistrust. Many of Syria’s minorities are sheltering with Mr Assad’s Alawite sect only because they fear a bloody reckoning if Syria’s Sunnis, the largest group, are victorious. A lengthy civil war in Syria would feed mayhem and religious strife in an unstable part of the world.

So shifting Mr Assad from power as fast as possible is essential. It is too late for him to negotiate an accommodation with his people by overseeing reform and an increase in democracy. Mr Assad’s repeated resort to violence has earned him the permanent distrust of most of his people. Any freedom they gain would immediately become a means to resist him. For the good of Syria and the region, therefore, the aim must be both to dethrone Mr Assad and also to minimise the loss of life. The pity is that, just now, those goals are at odds.

Bombing and other sorts of hand-wringing

As tyrants go, Mr Assad has two advantages (see

). One is his willingness to do whatever it takes to put down the rebellion. Whereas the troops in Cairo’s Tahrir Square would not fire into the crowd, Syrian soldiers are steeped in blood. Although some have switched sides rather than kill their compatriots, Mr Assad commands crack units and a relatively loyal officer corps, as well as tanks, heavy artillery and an air force. Syria’s rebel irregulars could not beat them in a head-on fight.

His second advantage is others’ lack of unity—not only at the UN and in the Arab League, but also among Syria’s opposition. The Syrian National Council is a divided gaggle of exiles, with only limited authority in a place they still call home. Inside Syria there is a ragtag of militias, gangs and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), mainly soldiers who have deserted the regime.

The most direct answer is to even up the fight by flooding Syria with arms or, perhaps, bombing Mr Assad’s troops in their barracks. But such a focus on firepower would play into Mr Assad’s hands: the grounds on which he would most like to fight are military. Foreign bombing would satisfy outsiders’ urge to do something—anything—to show their outrage. But even in Libya, which had a front-line and a terrain more vulnerable to aerial attack, bombing took a long time to weaken Qaddafi’s forces. In Syria it would have less military value.

The time may come when supplying weapons to the opposition makes sense. But such a policy would not suddenly turn the opposition into a fighting force. And a country awash with weapons would be plagued by the very violence that the world was seeking to avoid. The guns that flooded into Afghanistan to arm locals against the Soviet Union helped create the chaos that spawned the Taliban.

Far better to attack Mr Assad’s regime where it is vulnerable—by peeling away his support, both at home among Syria’s minorities and abroad, especially in Russia, its chief defender on the UN Security Council. Both Syria’s Alawites and Vladimir Putin cling to this dictator because they think that, despite his faults, he is better than the alternative. Yet under Mr Assad Syria has no future. Before the Arab spring his attempts to modernise the economy enriched a coterie of his cronies but did little for ordinary Syrians. Were he to see off today’s uprising, he would be left ruling over an isolated, impoverished and angry country. Surely the opposition can offer enough Syrians of all creeds a better future than that?

Stand up as one

To make that promise credible, Syria’s fractious opposition must unite. A contact group of outside powers and the opposition could channel money into Syria, as well as help with communications and logistics. With a single voice and a credible leader, the opposition could seek to reassure the merchants, Kurds and Christians who back Mr Assad that they will be safer and more prosperous without him. The Russians would also begin to shift ground. Mr Putin enjoys standing up to the interfering West, not least for domestic political reasons (see next leader), but sticking with a doomed leader could cost Russia its naval-supply base in Tartus and its arms exports. The more senior officials and army officers defect from the regime, the more likely Mr Putin is to change sides too.

To help persuade them, Turkey, with the blessing of NATO and the Arab League, should create and defend a safe haven in north-western Syria. The FSA can train fighters there, and a credible opposition can take shape. Turkey seems willing to do this, providing it gets Western support. The haven would be similar to that created for the Kurds in northern Iraq; Mr Assad would suffer only if he attacked it.

A haven carries risks, if only because the opposition is so fractious. But it is likely to cause less bloodshed than joining the civil war directly or letting Mr Assad slaughter his people at will. And a free patch of Syria would be powerful evidence that Mr Assad’s brutal days are numbered.

February 10th, 2012, 3:16 pm


Uzair8 said:

This is a stubborn regime.

Is the opposition and the ‘street’ also determined and stubborn?

Nobody said that bringing an end to the ‘Alawite golden age’ was gonna be easy.

February 10th, 2012, 3:21 pm


Juergen said:

This is a longer video by an german tv crew who was inside Homs.
I will try to translate some parts, and those who speak arabic can catch up a bit more by the interviews.

A father is digging a grave for his daughter in the night, not even then we are safe they say.
Many will ask now for arms to protect themselves from the brutal repression of the regime.

Homs had become the center of the revolution, and pays a heavy price for it now.40-50.000 soldiers have joined the FSA until now, still the regular army outlarge them by 400.000 men.

Abdul Bassit Sahoud( did i spell him right?) the goalkeeper of the syrian national soccer team is a local hero and an revolutionary par excellance. He is on the targetlist of the regime, in December alone he survived three deadly attacks on just one day.

He said: Of course those who attacked me were criminal gangs but those gangs belong to Assad.

Whenever they can they deliver aid supplies to the needy, the Syrians from abroad have collected money to support the people of Homs. Through Jordan and Lebanon they smuggle the goods to here.

1 plastic bag filled with life

Everywhere the garbage is mounting, if one is risking his life every day, this might be the least concern to worry.

No one is daring to call it yet a civil war, but it sure looks like a warzone in some areas.

(one commander of the FSA): Homs is the capital of the revolution. Defecters have shown up here from all parts of Syria, and thats why the regime is firing out of every canon to bring us to silence. They stage an other massacre.

Surely the revolution is also religiously motivated, yet many think that Assad is using this to discredit the opposition.

(young man near the oven)

Yes we sunni muslim are the majority, yet we respect the christians, the jews and even the atheists if they want to live among and with us we will accept all of them.

(interview with one christian and one alawite girl


I am an christian girl.I am against the regime, the tyranny and the killing. I belong to the christian faith, but i see myself first of all as an syrian.I never have placed religion in the center of my life.Religion this is we practice at home. My friends i do not choose according to their faith.Religion is a private affair.

Alawite :

I am alawite, same like the President. He surely has gone too far, has crossed all red lines. As a human you just can live anymore under this regime.

Assad wants to label this war as an religious conflict, its either him or the sharia state ( does anyone know a good translation for Macchiavellis state for God? in german we say Gottesstaat for a country in which religion prevails over all other matters)

Some politicans in the west even understand Assad. The starnge thing is though that Assad is determined to fight against an islamist state with an other islamist state: IRAN.

1.3 mio people lived in Homs the 3rd largest city of Syria, thousands have left and houndreds have lost their life.

Abdul Bassit Sahoud also is a singer. At that night he brings thousands of people to stand with him. Ghadaffi has flown it states in one song and now giraffe its your turn!
They call the President giraffe because of his remarkable physiognomy.

Homs at night, a fire near the street no energy. The fear for the night is senseable, and somewhere in the dark the forces of the regime are waiting for their term. Allah akbar we hear, it sounds more like may God be with us. The dying goes on in Homs.


February 10th, 2012, 3:24 pm


George Issa said:

How to do it without direct military intervention:

1. establish Safe Zones near border. protect their safety by foreign armies and airforces.
2. Get UN General Assembly declaration for safety of people (NO veto power in UN General assemebly)
3. Help and arm Free Syrian army
4.Israel is waiting for hezbollah to disperse some of his members to Syria, to launch an attack against southern lebannon. Talking about Iran attack is just Disinformation.
5. two thirds of the regular Syrian Army are in neutral mode. not loyal to Assad but not ready to defect.
6. sevral high officer in the army have already talked to American.
once the escalation reaces its peak all the above elements will act together.
Assad only have the loyalty of 1/3 of army at most.

February 10th, 2012, 3:31 pm


annie said:

SNK you spared me the reading of Ehsani’s prose with your comment
“6. Syria no Kandahar said:

Brilliant analysis.in every word it is very clear that you have just been in Syria and seen the facts on the ground.”

I was struck like everyone by the difference between his narration of his visit and that of True from Walls who has also visited his homeland. The difference is that Ehsani being pro regime has nothing to fear whereas True was running the risk of being arrested and tortured.

February 10th, 2012, 3:38 pm


Tara said:


A vote against Bashar in the General Assembly would be the most humiliating slap on the face a “president” can encounter. It would be a risky undertaking by the AL unless they do their homework in advance as we all know most governments do not reflect the sentiment of their people.

February 10th, 2012, 3:44 pm


Uzair8 said:

@66 Annie

Ehsani being pro regime…

I thought Ehsani was anti regime. (?)

February 10th, 2012, 3:45 pm


Alan said:

…Ehsani being pro regime…
I thought Ehsani was anti regime. (?)

Why if the person pro native land it name pro regime… ?

February 10th, 2012, 4:04 pm


Revlon said:

50- Dear Ehsani,
Please allow me to provide my view which I regard as complementary to yours, and all of the mental undertakings of others on SC

((I was in Syria very recently. I saw first hand how tough it is to walk to city squares and demonstrate. There is no denying that it is a formidable challenge))
“Formidable challenge” highlights how subjectively disengaged you were from the daily suffering of these people. You were physically with them but your description was more fitting of a character of a reality TV show.
– One can challenge a Shabbeeha holding a baton or a knife; the result would be a broken part and bruised body, and a couple months of living dependent on others to care for you.
– One can challenge an armed sniper or a reckless security gunner; the result is a bullet in the face or head and a quick merciful death, a bullet in the chest and one has few hours to say good bye to r rescuers, or in the tummy and one would have days of agonising pain before parting away.
– One can risk getting arrested: the result would be to endure the compendium of Stazi, KGB, and Assad Syria developed methods of torture that would make one wish they were never borne.

Families of those victims risk retaliation by Shabbeeha in the way of raping their sisters or daughters or kidnapping or killing their children
The result to the revolution would be devastating.
Leaders of the protests would gradually either become eliminated or stop believing in the vanishing mirage of freedom in the hope of sparing themselves and their loved ones the grave consequences.

Your Ghandi might well be the last man standing!
But make no mistake! He/she will undoubtedly be executed for treason, while pro-regime posters on SC

((However, the difficulty of executing such a task ought not to be an incentive to take arms out of frustration or hopelessness))
Here you go again Ehsani!
Difficulty is a gross understatement of the gravity of the consequences of being an activist.
Would you not take up arms to protect your daughter from getting raped in front of your eyes or your child to be taken away just because his older brother went out and protested?

((However, I still view fighting the Syrian army and security with AK-47′s a much harder undertaking))

I like to conclude by agreeing with your conclusion. This is exactly why ground activists have been asking for months for enforcing safety areas and provide proper equipment to the FSA, including communication hardware and anti-tank missiles

February 10th, 2012, 4:05 pm


jad said:

After killing innocent Syrians in Aleppo and confessing that they did the bombing, the terrorists fsa is now having their battle in Aleppo’s streets:

مواجهة بالأسلحة الرشاشة مساء اليوم في “باب الفرج” بحلب بين أجهزة الأمن ومسلحين

حلب ، الحقيقة ( خاص): شهد عدد من شوارع مدينة حلب مساء اليوم اشتباكات كثيفة بالأسلحة الرشاشة بين أجهزة الأمن وعناصر مسلحة . وقال موقع “عكس السير” إن الاشتبكات جرت في منطقة “باب الفرج” و “شارع القوتلي”، حيث سمعت أصوات أطلاق النار في مناطق عدة محيطة بساحة سعد الله الجابري. وقال مراسل الموقع المتواجد في المنطقة إن “أصوات إطلاق النار الكثيفة تسمع كل عشر دقائق من جهات عدة حول محيط الساحة ومنطقة الجميلية ومنطقة “بستان كل آب”.وروى مواطنون في شارع القوتلي للموقع نفسه أنه عند الساعة السابعة ونصف مساء قام ميكرو باص “سيرفيس” باختراق حاجز أمني كان وضع في شارع القوتلي لمنع السيارات من التوجه إلى ساحة سعد الله الجابري. وعندما لم يمتثل الميكرو للوقوف وقام باختراق الحاجز متوجهاً باتجاه الساحة قام عناصر الأمن بملاحقته، فخرج عدة مسلحون من شبابيك الميكرو وقاموا بإطلاق النار واشتبكوا معهم”.وحضرت سيارتا إسعاف إلى المنطقة ولم نستطع معرفة ما إذا كان هناك إصابات أو ضحايا”.

وقال الموقع إن أغلب الطرق تم قطعها بحواجز أمنية كطريق “المعري، السليمانية، النيال، المرجة، طلعة العرقوب” وتخيم على شوارع حلب حالة من انعدام الحركة وشلل شبه كامل في حركة السير، ويخيم الوجوم على الجو العام للشارع، وتسمع بين لحظة وأخرى أصوات رصاص متقطعة تأتي من عدة جهات.

وكانت المدينة شهدت اليوم الجمعة انفجارين استهدفا مقر فرع الأمن العسكري في منطقة حلب الجديدة، ومقر كتيبة حفظ النظام الكائنة في ثكنة “هنانو” في منطقة العرقوب، وقالت المصادر الرسمية إن الحصيلة الأولى للضحايا هي 28 شهيداً وأكثر من 150 جريحاً، والعدد مرشح للازدياد.


February 10th, 2012, 4:06 pm


Alan said:

Russia accuses West of stoking Syria conflict by arming rebels
in attempt to deflect criticism of Russia for blocking UN resolution, deputy FM says Western states sending the opposition arms, giving them advice and direction.


Russia said on Friday that the West was stoking the conflict in Syria by sending weapons to the opponents of President Bashar Assad.

In an attempt to deflect criticism of Russia for blocking a UN Security Council resolution urging Assad to give up power, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Western states were stirring up trouble in Syria, where Assad has pursued a violent crackdown since March on protests against his 11-year rule.

“Western states inciting Syrian opposition to uncompromising actions, as well as those sending arms to them, giving them advice and direction, are participating in the process of fomenting the crisis,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying. He did not specify which nations were arming Syrian rebels.

On Sunday Russia and China vetoed a Western-Arab draft UN resolution that called on Assad to quit. That drew U.S. and European criticism which Russia dismissed as hysterical.

Ryabkov, speaking on a visit to Colombia, said Russia would take “drastic measures” if the West kept trying to intervene in Syria’s internal affairs through the Security Council.

“The UN council is not a tool for intervention in internal affairs and is not the agency to decide which government is to be next in one country or another,” Ryabkov said. “If our foreign partners don’t understand that, we will have to use drastic measures to return them to real grounds.”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who is almost certain to win a presidential election in March, warned the West not to meddle in the affairs of Syria, or those of Russia.

Russia’s lower house of parliament adopted a statement on Friday condemning the West for “intervening in other states’affairs and imposing outside decisions on them”.

Some lawmakers in the assembly, which is controlled by Putin’s ruling party, called for firmer resistance to the West.

“There is criticism in the Duma that Russia’s position on Syria is not strong enough. They say Russia should press its point harder,” Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Reuters.

February 10th, 2012, 4:10 pm


Alan said:

good morning Jad ! how are you?

February 10th, 2012, 4:11 pm


jad said:

Ahleen Alan,
I’m good thank you! Yourself?

Veteran US Diplomat Questions Syria Storyline

By Sharmine Narwani

The problem with US policy in the Middle East is that it now operates almost entirely at the political level: gone are the days when area experts were the heavyweights in the command center, weaving historical context, relationships and nuance into vital policy decisions.

Today you are more likely to have single-issue interest groups, commercial projects and election cycles impact key deliberations. It’s a short-term view: tactical more than strategic and black and white in its approach. Like a high-octane marketing campaign, it is heavily focused on key phrases, scene-setting, and narrative building.

The spotlight on Syria in recent weeks has been intense and the propaganda has been incessant: Regime massacres in Homs, evil Russia and China, a benevolent UN Security Council trying to save Syria, 1982’s Hama slaughter resuscitated, and an American ambassador left “disgusted” at the gall of others using veto power.

But take the hysteria down a notch or two, bring the debate back into the hands of measured, experienced observers, and the storyline may be tangibly different. Over the weekend, I had the privilege of receiving an email that reminded me of a time when area experts at the US State Department delivered honest assessments of events so that wiser decisions could be taken.

The missive was from a former US diplomat with service experience in Syria who has asked to remain unnamed. I am publishing the email below in its entirety for the benefit of readers:

These thoughts are from a US diplomat with direct and fairly recent experience in Syria. Why don’t we ever hear similarly sober assessments from the figures in Washington? Part of the reason, of course, is the over-politicization of the policy-making process, which has long been wrested from the hands of able area experts and delivered into the arms of hawks, ideologues and politicians building campaign warchests.

It is worth mentioning that much of the US administration’s focus on Syria derives from its unhealthy fixation on Iran. In supporting Iran’s worldview that US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East must end, Syria has put itself in the crosshairs of American policy priorities.

Dirty politics and geopolitical mudslinging aside, at the heart of this matter rests an issue that is fundamental to good policy-making: When do handy narratives simply become lies that spawn bad policies?

This WikiLeaks cable from 2006 illustrates Washington’s efforts to identify “opportunities” to expose “vulnerabilities” in the Syrian regime and cause sectarian/ethnic division, discord within the military/security apparatus and economic hardship. How will the US achieve this? The cable lists a whole host of Syrian vulnerabilities to be exploited, and then recommends:

“These proposals will need to be fleshed out and converted into real actions and we need to be ready to move quickly to take advantage of such opportunities. Many of our suggestions underline using Public Diplomacy and more indirect means to send messages that influence the inner circle.”

Propagandizing the American Public
Public Diplomacy, in effect, means propaganda – which under the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 specifies the terms in which the US government can disseminate information to foreign audiences. In 1972, the Act prohibited domestic access to information intended for foreign audiences – in other words, it became illegal for the US government to propagandize Americans.

Back to Syria.

A reporter from a major western cable news network just emailed me about his visit to Syria: “I got back from Homs last month unconvinced that the country was rising up against the Assad regime, and far from convinced that there are any good guys.”

Very little is known about what’s going on in the country. And it is not necessarily because there is limited media there: the Arab League mission report lists 147 foreign and Arab media organizations in Syria. The reason we still do not know what is taking place in Homs is because there is a ferocious battle for narratives between two rigid political mindsets. And the current dominant narrative is the one coming out of Washington – which, according to Wikileaks, has been waiting for “opportunities” to seize upon “vulnerabilities” to undermine the regime of Bashar Assad.

Not give us the truth, mind you. But to pursue a policy objective that US citizens have not agreed upon because they are unaware of the facts.


February 10th, 2012, 4:19 pm


Alan said:

Jad ! what about Aleppo explosion today?

February 10th, 2012, 4:21 pm


Alan said:

Allh yesallmak Saied Jad ! iza lazem shi men Russia atini Ishara !

February 10th, 2012, 4:25 pm


jad said:

I’m sorry to inform you that there is nothing peaceful left in the uprising anymore, NOTHING AT ALL, and whoever call for a peaceful means he/she will be attacked in every way possible as Haytham Manna.
I linked this article yesterday but I guess some words in it sent it to the moderation area:

Syria Activists In Photos: Peaceful Protestors or Armed Terrorists?

Western media has been running repeated footage of claiming to show Syria engaging in a brutal crackdown on innocent civilian protestors? These photos, videos and international observers tell a different story. You decide.

Before your view the photos below, go ahead and turn on CNN. Wait until the segment on the crisis in Syria comes on… they have been playing it repeatedly ever 15 minutes or so for last few days.

Wait until your heart starts bleeding as the anchor describes how the brutal Syrian regime is indiscriminately reigning mortar and rocket fire down on the besieged City of Homs, indiscriminately killing innocent civilian protestors including woman and children.

Note how the anchor says the video is from “activists” trapped inside the city and CNN cannot confirm the authenticity of the videos because foreign media has been forbidden from entering Syria. The new clip then turns to their “activist” of the day, referring to him only by a convenient common American name that U.S. citizens can identify with. The activist goes on to talk about how he will fears he will be killed by tomorrow unless the International community intervenes with military actions to overthrow the brutal Assad regime. The anchor then proceeds to describe how people are bleeding to death in street and people can’t even safely bury their dead, as the days civilian death toll climbs to over 100 people.

Now that your heart is bleeding, a doctor comes on the air to give the story further credibility and get your blood boiling.

As you go there and answer, a full team of DHS goons will be monitoring your comments in real time and letting the President and the Pentagon know if there is enough popular support to invade Syria.

Now join me back in reality and take a look at the photos of these so called peaceful activists. After you check out these photos, if you are brave enough to take the blue pill and go down the rabbit hole even further, check out the videos on the bottom of this article and (even more on this page) showing these activists shooting guns, rockets at the police and security forces. Hell there is even a video of them running through the city with a tank and firing at Syrian army.

Finally, check out this report from the Arab League of Nations, independent observers sent to Syria, which will tell you in detail how everything you just watch on CNN is a load of…..


February 10th, 2012, 4:26 pm


zoo said:

Iranian engineers kidnapped in Syria released

Source: Mehr News Agency
Seven Iranian engineers who had been kidnapped in Syria in December last year have been released, an informed source at the Iranian Energy Ministry announced on Friday.
An official told the Mehr News Agency that the engineers have been taken out of Syria and the will soon be brought to the country through Turkey or Iraq.

The official said all the engineers are in complete health.

The engineers were working on the Jandar power plant who were kidnapped by gunmen. According to the Iranian Energy Ministry, the Jandar project is 70 percent complete that will be fully operational by the summer time if the conditions get normal.

February 10th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Alan said:

SYRIA: PREVENTING WAR: NATO’s Objective is to turn Syria into Another Iraq, a Quagmire of Ethnic and Sectarian Violence

[T]he reported “hundreds of Syrian activists” would have no particular reason or opportunity for being in Libya. Which means that the assault against the Russian diplomatic mission was a special operation pulled off by Western secret services. It is very reminiscent of the “stray” missile that hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. The assault on the embassy is a blatant offense against Russia’s national security, which must be retaliated for adequately.

NATO’s ultimate objective is most likely turning Syria into another Iraq: a quagmire of ethnic and sectarian violence, locked in endless terrorist warfare among feuding communities. Similarly to Iraq, Syria is also a patchwork nation with its own Sunni, Shia and Christian communities. The chaos that is very likely to follow an illegitimate deposition of the Assad government may claim hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.

Syria’s population is roughly equal to that of Iraq: 24 million. All these people are now hostages to a military gamble orchestrated by the same powers that have turned Iraq into a perpetual war zone.

In turn, Syria is also Russia’s last stand: the recent assault against the Russian embassy in Tripoli has demonstrated that Russia could also be on NATO’s list of potential targets.

The Russo-Chinese veto in the UN Security Council effectively prevented a military operation against Syria. Writer and political scientist Igor Panarin believes France, Britain and the US have increased pressure against Moscow following the vote.

In the article below, professor Igor Panarin explains his view.­­­­

Moscow and Beijing have been absolutely reasonable in their concerns about a possible “Libya scenario” being imposed on Syria. A similar UN Security Council resolution on Libya triggered a NATO military operation in support of an armed coup in that country, which resulted in the toppling of a legitimate government. Notably, even with Muammar Gaddafi deposed and killed, there is still no stability in Libya to this day. Not to mention all the Libyan civilians killed by NATO air strikes – something the leaders in London, Paris and Washington are reluctant to admit.

Sergey Lavrov commented on his meeting in Damascus on February 7 with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by saying his trip to Syria was well-timed and helpful. “There is every reason to believe that the message we have brought with us [to Syria] for progressing on every track has been appreciated,” Lavrov said.

The Kremlin has repeatedly contributed efforts to prevent Syria’s civil disorder from escalating, prevent a foreign invasion, and facilitate a peaceful dialogue between Syria’s opposing political parties. Yet the Western powers, who have long pressed for a military intervention against Syria, expressed their utter resentment over the Russo-Chinese stance in the UNSC, and then reacted with outrage to the Russian officials’ visit to Damascus. An intense and comprehensive pressure campaign against Russia promptly ensued.

First, on February 5, a group of people presenting themselves as Syrian opposition activists stormed the Russian embassy in Tripoli, Libya. It is no secret that NATO spec op troops spearheaded the capture of Tripoli by rebel forces in the summer of 2011, and that the present Libyan government is under control of the West.

Moreover, the reported “hundreds of Syrian activists” would have no particular reason or opportunity for being in Libya. Which means that the assault against the Russian diplomatic mission was a special operation pulled off by Western secret services. It is very reminiscent of the “stray” missile that hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade during the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999. The assault on the embassy is a blatant offense against Russia’s national security, which must be retaliated for adequately.

Secondly, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice persistently refers to the “atrocities” allegedly committed by the Assad regime. No sound evidence of such atrocities has been presented so far, which reminds us of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s case against Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the alleged weapons of mass destruction, which were eventually never discovered in Iraq.

Thirdly, caving in to American pressure, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Britain recalled their ambassadors from Syria within three days. The US has shut down its embassy in Damascus and evacuated its staff. On February 7, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar similarly withdrew their ambassadors from Damascus. All six of these Arab nations are members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Fourthly, the French Foreign Ministry announced on February 8 that President Assad had already violated his commitments negotiated with Lavrov and Fradkov on February 7. Later the same day, the French arranged a phone conversation between Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev. As the French leader insisted on forcing al-Assad to resign as soon as possible, the Russian president cautioned him against hasty measures.

Fifthly, a number of Arab media outlets circulated a falsified report on February 8 alleging that Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin had threatened the persistent foreign minister of Qatar with “obliterating” his country. The Russian diplomat subsequently refuted the allegation at a UN-hosted press conference, suggesting that somebody is deliberately trying to put Russia at odds with the Arab world.

Sixthly, the media campaign against Syria has been drastically stepped up, with practically every big-name international network joining the firing squad: the BBC, CNN, Euronews, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, etc.

Russia wholeheartedly supports a political settlement for Syria and intends to continue its diplomatic efforts involving Damascus, Syria’s neighboring countries and Arab League member states. Apparently, the NATO heavyweights are interested in a different scenario for Syria – hence the amplified pressure on Russia.

NATO’s ultimate objective is most likely turning Syria into another Iraq: a quagmire of ethnic and sectarian violence, locked in endless terrorist warfare among feuding communities. Similarly to Iraq, Syria is also a patchwork nation with its own Sunni, Shia and Christian communities. The chaos that is very likely to follow an illegitimate deposition of the Assad government may claim hundreds of thousands of civilian lives.

For reference, some 700,000 civilians have perished in war-torn Iraq since its “liberation” by the US-led coalition, with some 5 million refugees fleeing the country.

Syria’s population is roughly equal to that of Iraq: 24 million. All these people are now hostages to a military gamble orchestrated by the same powers that have turned Iraq into a perpetual war zone.

It would be next to impossible for Syria to survive such a massive instigation campaign without help from friendly nations. In turn, Syria is also Russia’s last stand: the recent assault against the Russian embassy in Tripoli has demonstrated that Russia could also be on NATO’s list of potential targets. Syria is Russia’s strategic ally, who could assist Russia in restoring its military presence in the Mediterranean. There are also considerable economic interests concerning Russian arms and hardware sales to Syria. One important transaction of late has been the shipment of several Yak-130 lead-in fighter-trainers to Syria in January 2012, especially considering the timing of the deal.

A further spread of war and chaos in the Middle East would put Russia’s national security at risk, making its southern frontiers more vulnerable to infiltration by terrorists and insurgents. That is why, along with rendering support to Syria through diplomatic, political and press-coverage means, Russia should also consider forming a Special Operations Corps to secure its national interest through preventive action in the Middle East.

Prof. Igor Panarin, Doctor of Political Sciences

February 10th, 2012, 4:33 pm


jad said:

Shoukran 3zizi Alan, ma bidna gher salamet albak.

What about Aleppo?
The same criminal acts over and over, the terrorists fsa admitted it already, now the violence supporters put the face of ‘wha! it wasn’t fas’……SURE!!

Free Syrian Army claims responsibilty for twin Aleppo blasts (FRANCE 24)
Talking exclusively to FRANCE 24, Colonel Arif Hamood of the Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for two blasts on security buildings in Syria’s second city Aleppo earlier on Friday.


“الجيش الحر” يكذّب خرافات “الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية” و يؤكد معلومات “الحقيقة” عن تفجيري حلب
ناطق بما يسمى “الجيش السوري الحر” يعلن في تصريح لقناة ” فرانس 24 ” الفرنسية ـ العربية مسؤوليته رسميا عن التفجيرين

‘UK hands playing in the region goes back a long time ago’

An Israeli News Website has revealed that the British and Qatari special operations units are operating inside Syria, aiding the armed terrorists in the city of Homs.


February 10th, 2012, 4:35 pm



Are the regime and menhabeks relying on the principle that if a revolution takes too long it risks coming full circle?

February 10th, 2012, 4:37 pm


Majed97 said:

King abdullah of Saudi Arabia wasn’t at all bothered by the 100 vetoes by the U.S. in support of Israel over the past 40 years, but he is now outraged by the Russian/Chinese veto to protect Syria’s sovereignty and keep it from being destroyed by foreign powers.


February 10th, 2012, 4:42 pm


Alan said:


Russia raps West’s escalation of Syrian unrest
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has accused the West of being an ‘accomplice’ in the aggravation of the Syrian unrest.

The Western states are “accomplices in the process of inflaming the crisis,” he said on Friday and noted that the countries had pushed Syria’s “opposition into violence.”

He further noted that the “opposition’s refusal” to enter direct talks with the Syrian government meant it “bears full responsibility for improving the situation.”

Earlier on Friday, twin blasts rocked the northern Syria city of Aleppo amid continuing unrest in the Arab state.

The Syrian state television said ‘armed terrorist gangs’ were behind the attacks that left at least 50 civilians and military personnel dead and injured some others.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011.

Damascus blames ‘outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups’ for the violence, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Last week, the US tried to pass a resolution against Syria at the United Nations Security Council as means of staging Libya-like military operations against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia and China, however, vetoed the draft resolution.


February 10th, 2012, 4:43 pm


jad said:

The US arming Syrian rebels is underway:

Lebanon seizes USAID cargo for Syrian rebels

Early this week, Lebanon’s security officials intercepted and seized a suspicious cargo containing huge amounts of US dollars, guns, special passports and credit cards upon arrival in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, from the US and Brazil. The items, packed in a number of chests and delivered via airmail, were discovered at Beirut’s airport.
Earlier in August 2011, Lebanese army intelligence had intercepted a covert shipment of 1,000 assault rifles, reportedly destined for the city of Baniyas in Syria. Army investigators say they have uncovered ties between the smugglers and the political entourage of former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Last year, Saad Hariri, was quoted telling a British reporter that Western agenda in Syria is to install a coalition of Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Assad Ba’athists in Damascus. The new regime will distance itself from Hizbullah, Hamas and Iran – and establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
The war planners in Washington always believed that ‘victory road’ to Tehran goes through Damascus and Beirut. Their belief was confirmed after Jewish army’s great humiliation at the hands of Hizbullah fighters in 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. They believe that without pro-US regime changes in Damascus and Beirut – an attack on Iran will result in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Israeli Jews as result of tens of thousands of Hizbullah-Syrian rockets and missiles raining over Jewish cities and towns.
In October 2011 – Sheikh Nasrallah had warned the Zionist regime that in the next Lebanon-Israel war, Hizbullah’s first target will be Tel Aviv.
The recent Russia-China veto against ‘US-Israel war on Syria’, has delayed the coming Holocaust but not taken it “off the table”. Now, US-Israel is campaigning for a “coalition of willing” western and Arab puppet regimes. Pepe Escobar in interview with RT said that inspite of its defeat at the UNSC, Washington will continue to arm anti-government rebels in Syria. Watch a video below.

Americans have totally been defeated by Israelis and their lobby groups in the US and EU. Willian A. Cook sums up the reality in the following words on February 5, 2012.
“While Israeli control of America in the form of Las Vegas billionaires buying the presidency continues in the United States, and Republican candidates crawl to the altar of Mammon to remove Obama, who has already sold his soul to the forces of Evil, the people of the world look on in disbelief, having witnessed for sixty years the dominance of Zionist deceit, treachery, and manipulation of America as it savaged the mid-east in the name of friendship, democracy and shared values. But now, they have moved to take control of their own lives as they watch Israel corrode from within as it metamorphoses into a tribalistic, superstitious people further isolating themselves from the community of nations.”
According to Israeli website, Debkafile, linked to intellegence sources – has reported that British and Qatari troops are directing the anti-government rebels in Homs.
“Four centers of operation have been established in the city with the troops on the ground paving the way for an undercover Turkish military incursion into Syria,” the report said.
During the last two decades, the collaboration between Hizbullah and Lebanon Army has resulted in busting over two dozens Israeli spy networks and arresting more than hundred spies after the collapse of these networks.


February 10th, 2012, 4:51 pm


Uzair8 said:

I can’t find the quote from a few months back by Syrian Commando where he predicted by February the mopping up operation will be over.

Moving on. Ramadan isn’t too far away. Mid July.

February 10th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Tara said:


Your comment about Annie and Uzair is very distasteful. I am not surprised.

Can you take a conversation manners class?

February 10th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Uzair8 said:

The following fits well with comment #53 above:

US says signs growing that Syrian elite wants out

By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press – 12 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says it is seeing growing signs that the Syrian elite, including people close to President Bashar Assad, are increasingly worried and beginning to prepare exit plans.

Two U.S. officials said Friday that one Assad family member has moved large amounts of money out of the country to avoid U.S. and other sanctions on the country and provide a nest egg for a life in exile. Similarly, a senior member of Assad’s national security circle has very recently left the country and appears to have settled abroad, they said.

Read more:


February 10th, 2012, 5:14 pm


irritated said:

Ford on CNN: a snake looks better.

February 10th, 2012, 5:22 pm


Uzair8 said:

My comment on the story in #90.

What message does this send to Syrians?

To soldiers: The elite are plotting their escape. Why should you continue to fight?

To the Christians: The Alawis (incl. Assad family) are gonna escape to the coast forming their own state leaving you behind. They’re gonna abandon you. Break away from them. Don’t tie your fate to a doomed regime.

February 10th, 2012, 5:27 pm



Hassan Nasrallah, nothing happens in Homs.

Brilliant clip with a speech by Nasrallah and images probing that ¨nothing¨ happens in Homs.

In his speech Nasrallah tells the audience that after hearing about shelling and hundreds of deads in Homs his heart was suffering but then he called Damascus, talked with God Bashar and was illuminated by him. The revellation was: nothing happens in Homs (prophet Nasrallah said, peace do not be upon him on earth). Since he got God revellation he deducted that all the rest are simply lies. Prophet Nasrallah, keep on telling lies, this is what your God needs from you.

حسن نصر الله :لا يوجد شيء في حمص وكله فبركات إعلامية !

February 10th, 2012, 5:41 pm



92. UZAIR8 said:

I do not believe that Assads can create their own state in Lattakia. This is one of the reasons they are fighting till the end. In case a new power controls Damascus and the syrian army it will not let anyone separate a small piece of land. It is enough having lost Atakya, Lebanon and Golan Heigths to great powers (France-Turkey, France-GB, Israel-US) as to let a criminal mafia create a state inside Syria´s boundaries.

And I do not think US, SA or anyone opposes to the idea of destroying the last remains of the Assad dictatorship. Who would deal with an hypotetical Alawi state between Syria, Turkey and the mediterranean shore? It would be a failure state with no diplomatic relations.

February 10th, 2012, 5:49 pm



JAD, ZOO, ALAN, and rest of SC members,

I would thank that full articles are not pasted. Most minhebbaks are posting lots and lots of full articles. Well, if you post just the link, I think we can manage to read the article. But the problem is that almost nobody is reading these articles and at the same time you are not saying nothing new from your own and you do not add ideas or suggestions. You just try to hide behind articulists who try to attack the West or defend Assad mafia while denying facts that are happening. So it would be better if you dare to present your own arguments and reasons to justify repression, tortures, killing and shelling of towns.

February 10th, 2012, 5:55 pm


Ghufran said:

For those who deny the presence of Arab fighters in Syria:

[NOTE: Provide links for quotes, please. Unlinked stories, articles, editorials, blog entries, comments, excerpts, quotes, tweets, FB postings — they may be moderated or deleted. ]

أعلن وزير الخارج

February 10th, 2012, 6:22 pm


jake said:


‘In case a new power controls Damascus and the syrian army it will not let anyone separate a small piece of land.’

the current syrian army is seen as a sectarian/assad army by most opposition activists (despite the fact that the army is composed of majority sunnis who among them are still fighting alongside assad for nationalistic/shared reasons). protestors now support the free syrian army which itself is sectarian with its leader promising to remove this ‘sectarian regime that favours one sect’ – implying alawites, alongside with members of the FSA being composed of sunni islamists (who see alawites as infidels), nevermind the fact that almost all the members of FSA are sunni (with few among other sects/religions). if FSA replaces the syrian arab army (which is one of their goals alongside overthrowing the regime) then they wont mind alawites creating their own state since that possibly will remove a thorny issue (what to do with deposed military/security alawite members who could set up an insurgency similar to iraqi sunnis?)

‘Who would deal with an hypotetical Alawi state between Syria, Turkey and the mediterranean shore?’

you forgot lebanon, which itself has a significant population of alawites eager to help their co-religionists (not to mention other similar religious groups like shiites and christians in lebanon). lebanon itself is connected with the global world and with connections to lebanon their cities (latakia, tartus) could become a second beirut (cosmopolitan, modern, etc.) but more secure since it contains mostly one religious group (and minorities) thereby not creating the similar civil conflict experienced in lebanon.
with regards to turkey, they also have their own alawite populations in antakya (about half a million) who can similarily exert an influence on the couyntry through trade etc. One of the reasons why turkey has been still reluctant to invade syria or establish safe zones is because it could upset the religious divide in turkey’s antakya province, alevis in eastern anatolia, not to mention the kurds in the southeast (who sometimes associate with the PKK which syria now backs). Furthermore – if turkey truly believes its message of not promoting any sect and establishing good relations between them (As was declared in their message to maliki) then they would welcome relations and trade with the alawite state (assuming assad isnt in charge – which he might not).

‘It would be a failure state with no diplomatic relations.’

like i stated that it could have good relations with 2 of its 3 neighbours (not to mention other countries like russia who has a base there). but alongside that it could be a good tourist region since most of the alawite concentrated region consists of vegetation-filled landscapes and no desert regions (like the rest of syria), as well as beaches for tourism. if any of the remaining alawites in the government (excluding assad family) decides to create an alawite state it could be a good country and benefit its inhabitants (alawites).

‘I do not believe that Assads can create their own state in Lattakia. This is one of the reasons they are fighting till the end.’

No the reason they cant create an alawite state is because they dont have the mindset of an alawite. they see themselves as first and foremost syrians and secular (he married a sunni women). the disproportionate number of alawites in government is a result of his fathers legacy (who was sectarian and cared about minorities). but assad mostly cared about those who shared his interests (i.e. business class and loyal sunnis). that is why you see him fighting so fervently to control damascus and aleppo whereas he rarely cares about the protests in latakia and tartus (he merely represses them but doesnt drive the protestors (sunni) out of latakia and tartus).

February 10th, 2012, 6:24 pm


Ghufran said:

What happened to the claim that those Iranians were from RPG?
كشفت الحكومة الإيرانية اليوم الجمعة أن المهندسين الإيرانيين السبعة الذين اختطفوا في سورية في كانون الأول الماضي على يد مجموعات مسلحة, تم إطلاق سراحهم, وذلك بعد 3 أيام من الإفراج عن 11 من “الزوار” الإيرانيين الذين اختطفوا في سورية منذ أسابيع.

February 10th, 2012, 6:27 pm



Exclusive. Forbidden or fake parts of Assad interview:

February 10th, 2012, 6:59 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Other than your Wahhabi suicide bombers in Aleppo,you have nothing else to show the world
Except this comedy,like your (revolution ),the black

February 10th, 2012, 7:08 pm


anton said:

dear jad . Alan , majed97, Ghufran , Ann and and all Syrian patriots and Syria lovers

please continue with your excellent job exposing facts

irritated , SNK , Norman

I love you guys

Alex, Ehsani

thanks for your insight

God bless Syria , the Syrian People and the Syrian Army

February 10th, 2012, 7:13 pm


zoo said:

The war of rumors: A Chinese newspaper fuzzy rumor carried by The Telegraph:
After Hezbollah fighters, the 7 Revolutionary Guards disguised in engineers, now elite Iranians troops are coming to Syria.

15,000 elite Iranian special-ops ‘head’ to Syria
Published: 10 February, 2012, 13:41

The regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria is expecting up to 15,000 Iranian troops to help maintain order in the country’s provinces, a Chinese newspaper reports. Iran has yet to confirm or deny the news.

According to the central Chinese daily Renmin Ribao, the Iranian special task troops are due to be deployed in Syria’s key provinces.

The Syrian opposition announced earlier that commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, Qassem Suleimani, advises the Syrian authorities on quashing the country’s opposition movement, the Telegraph newspaper reports.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers, who operated in Iraq and other wars on foreign soil. The Quds is reportedly in charge of training and funding Hezbollah.

The number of advisers and troops from the Quds in Syria could reach up to high hundreds or low thousands, the Telegraph reports. The newspaper said that they have set up at least one military base near the capital Damascus.

Official Tehran has neither confirmed nor refuted the news of its military participation in Syria. However, according to the head of the country’s state news agency Mehr, it is not in Iran’s plans to send any military contingent to the country.

“As far as I know there is not and will not be any program to dispatch Iranian military troops to Syria,” Reza Moghadasi told in his interview to Voice of Russia radio station.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran, speaking to RT regarding the troops, dismissed the news as “basically Western propaganda” and attributed the claims to erroneous information received by the Chinese media.

“Iran has no troops in the country. Iran has never had troops involved in the problems within Syria.”

“Someone in the Chinese media has been receiving information that is completely false,” said Marandi.

He went on to say that the Iranian government supports Assad al-Bashar’s regime, but at the same time emphasized the fact that foreign intervention goes against Iranian policy.

“Iran’s position is based on a moral principal and that is the non-interference of hegemonic powers and the non-interference of neighboring countries in Syrian affairs,” he concluded.

Syrian tanks and troops reportedly massed outside Homs on Friday. A large offensive is expected to hit the city and its neighborhood in the nearest future.

February 10th, 2012, 7:31 pm


zoo said:

The Moslem Brotherhood mask are falling in Egypt: They want to monopolize the country’s politics

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wants to sack the military-appointed government and replace the current PM with one of its own. The call days before a general strike sparks even more concern the Islamist group wants to monopolize the country’s politics.

­Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan said the military should appoint a Brotherhood representative as prime minister, who would then form a new government.

“We call on the military council to sack this government that has failed to handle this big event and to form another government,” Associated Press quotes the Islamic fundamentalist group spokesman as saying.

February 10th, 2012, 7:40 pm


Ghufran said:

Most will agree that the terrorist act in Aleppo is not helping supporters of a violent regime change,that act is also weakening support for the opposition in one of Syria’s most critical cities. Almost every Aleppine I talked to is saying that this murderous attack was done to punish a city that chose not to follow Homs and Hama example. For months,cars with Aleppine license plate were the target of armed gangs that consider the people of Halab as traitors.
A number of Aleppines who visited the US or had relatives in Aleppo said that those armed gangs were mostly imported from outside Aleppo,this
observation is not much different from what happened in the late 70s and early 80s when Aleppo and Damascus did not join the revolt of Hama.
Taking responsibility for this crime by one FSA chief ,then denying it by another shows clearly that the FSA and the armed opposition in general is sharply divided and is mostly a political body that has little control over a sleuth of armed gangs that now have a wide variety of Syrian,and probably non Syrian,elements that can only live by the gun and by the gun they shall perish.Pity a nation that has to choose between two gangs to achieve freedom,neither the regime nor the armed opposition have the key to end this heartbreaking tragedy.

February 10th, 2012, 7:53 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

الجيش الوهابي العميل

February 10th, 2012, 8:25 pm


Syria no kandahat said:

العميل رياض الاتعس :
بعد الانسحاب تم الانفجار
نحن مسؤولون عن الهجوم وندين الانفجار

February 10th, 2012, 8:32 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

PKK demonstration in Derbasia,Alhassaka .Kurdish Idependance slogans,Ogalan and Kurdish flags,not even one Syrian flag(of any kind).Alzhiemered Erdogan and Oglu are going
Soon to have Western kurdestan(an isreal dream)
To the south of their borders,they are going to cry
When it’s too late.God will punish Turkey for all the Syrian blood they have been spelling.The only winners at the end of the game in Syria(like in Iraq) will be the KURDS AND ISRAEL.

February 10th, 2012, 8:43 pm


Tara said:

Syria draft resolution reaches U.N. assembly after veto
Reuters – 3 hrs ago

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia circulated a draft resolution backing an Arab peace plan for Syria among members of the U.N. General Assembly on Friday after a similar text was vetoed in the Security Council last week by Russia and China, diplomats said.
The new draft appeared as two advisers to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon repeated a warning that Syrian government attacks on civilians could amount to crimes against humanity.
Like the failed council resolution, the assembly draft “fully supports” the Arab League plan floated last month, which among other things calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside to help end 11 months of violence in the country.
Russia and China cast their vetoes in the council last Saturday saying the draft there was unbalanced and failed to blame Syria’s opposition, along with the government, for violence that has killed over 5,000 people, according to U.N. figures.
There are no vetoes in the General Assembly. The 193-nation body’s resolutions have no legal force, unlike those of the Security Council, but were the Syria text to pass it would add to pressure on Assad and his government.
The assembly is due to discuss Syria on Monday, when it will be addressed by U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay. Diplomats said the resolution was not expected to be voted on then, but that there could be a vote later next week.
The assembly draft, seen by Reuters, broadly follows the one voted down in the council. While calling for an end to violence by all sides, it lays blame primarily on the Syrian authorities, whom it strongly condemns for “continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
The draft urges accountability for those guilty of human rights violations, but makes no specific mention of the International Criminal Court, to which Pillay has said Syrian officials should be sent. Only the Security Council can refer Syria to the court – an unlikely move given its divisions.
In one addition to the council text, the assembly draft invites Secretary-General Ban to appoint a special envoy for Syria – a proposal that Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby put to the U.N. chief earlier this week.
In a statement, Francis Deng, Ban’s adviser on prevention of genocide, and Edward Luck, his adviser on the responsibility to protect, said they were alarmed by Syrian security forces’ “indiscriminate fire” on densely populated areas of the city of Homs.


February 10th, 2012, 9:09 pm


sam alkhal said:

I pray to god every night that there will be a peaceful resolution to this conflict, it seemed like yesterday, that i was watching the Iraq invasion unfold on TV, thinking, my GOD, can war of attrition in Syria be possible also someday? Is it real or urban myth that all dictators get fitted with cement boots, the day they take power? I dont know what to beleive anymore? Noone knows for certain, what is happeing on the ground there, but one thing is certain, all sides are going down the toilet bowl, and neither side is the one who pulled the chain!!! I have heard rumors, from the beginning of the rebellion, that is starting to make some sense. The rumor was, Gulf states, along with Turkey were plotting all along. The warming of ties with turkey and Qatar, Turkey claiming to open the borders so there can be economic prosperity on both sides, all the while, smuggling arms and fighters into syria slowly, waiting like sleeper cells………

February 10th, 2012, 9:22 pm


Tara said:

She grabbed me by the arm and said: “Let me tell you a story: there was a wolf that adopted a newborn sheep that had lost its mother. The wolf gave the sheep milk from her breasts and cared for her until she grew up. Then one day the wolf bit her by the neck, and ate her. Someone dared to ask the wolf: ‘What gives [you] the right to do that?’ The wolf replied: ‘The sheep was only there at my indulgence. I decide whether it eats and I decided whether it lives or dies.’ That has been our lives here,” the old woman said, “and that is what is changing now.”

Syria: ‘True freedom is without fear’
In a town near Homs residents walk a fine line every Friday between fear of the Assad regime and the courage to fight it


February 10th, 2012, 9:30 pm


Tara said:

Can Turkey just keep quite?  I am tired of empty threat.

We wanted al-Assad to be Gorbachev, he turned into Milosevic: Davutoğlu

Turkey had hoped that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would handle his country’s crisis like ex-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev but he turned into former Yugoslavian leader Slobadon Milosevic instead, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said in Washington.

“We wanted [al-Assad] to be the Gorbachev of Syria, but he chose to be Milosevic. That is a problem,” Davutoğlu told students at George Washington University.

Davutoğlu likened the present situation in Syria to what happened to Sarajevo during Milosevic’s rule in Belgrade.

“Just like in Sarajevo, a city collapses day by day,” he said in reference to the central Syrian city of Homs. “Will we wait and see? No, never. As Turkey, we will not simply watch a massacre taking place in our region. We are trying to raise a new international awareness.”  

“Unfortunately, [al-Assad] failed to deliver and now we have no hope of any fruitful results to be obtained through dialogue,” Davutoğlu said.


February 10th, 2012, 9:47 pm


Norman said:


Don’t you think that now that the MB have won the election they should chose the PM and have the chance to have a government that can manage the country keeping the army as the one to be sure that they will not exceed their welcome stay, let them try and see how difficult to provide for the people.

February 10th, 2012, 9:47 pm


Norman said:

After 60 years of vetoes by the US King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia needed the Russian veto to understand how impotent the UN , I am sure that now Israel is shivering of fear that the KSA is going to take the Arab rights by force, what a joke some Arabs are, HA,HA,HA, drink your oil King abdullah, sooner or later you will be buying water from the Levant.

February 10th, 2012, 9:54 pm


Ghufran said:

Turkish rulers are a big disappointment to all,they manage to antagonize the regime while they sold the opposition speeches and slogans. Comparing Assad to Milosevic may indicate a will o use force,but again,this is Oglu talking not Clinton,ie: hot air UOP.
I managed to meet with three anti regime Syrians,Christians by faith,they differ about many things but agreed that Assad is a liability to most and that violence is a threat to minorities,seculars and the future of Syrian youth,I could not agree more.
This crisis,assuming that it does not end in a civil war,took syria economically and culturally to the 1970s,I can not imagine any reputable company that will consider investing in Syria in the near future or any real tourism returning. The other catastrophic result of the uprising is a more divided Syria and a population that needs a generation to heal. Please do not take this post as a regime propaganda,you know how I feel about the regime and its thugs,I am deeply saddened that Syrians got to this level of brutality and regressive mentality.

February 10th, 2012, 10:36 pm


zoo said:

Norman #110

The Army control huge lucrative industrial investments in Egypt. The 1.5 bilion US Egypt is receiving from the USA goes to the army to buy weapons from the USA (!) and to give a comfortable life to the army officers..

The army would never renounce to that. They want to be able to retain a large part of their investments and their high privileges but they don’t want to retain the heavy political responsibility of the country.
They are ready to negotiate an arrangement with the MB, but they have strong suspicions that the MB wants the whole thing, the money, the investments and the monopoly of the country’s politics.

Aside of that, there are the liberals who got nothing out of the elections and have declared that they will not share power with the Islamists. They prefer that the MB takes the whole power and fails.

If the MB agrees to leave the Army the control of the lucrative industrial and commercial investments, the army will allow it to take full control of the politics of the country. So there are background fights and tough negotiations going between the army and the MB.
The army would prefer a secular president to avoid the temptation of a Islamic totalitarianism and who would side with the army.
The situation is fluid and no one knows how it would end.
Egypt is entering in a period of deep social and economical troubles.

February 10th, 2012, 10:46 pm


jad said:

As we expected, this is the first written account documenting that the armed terrorists militias are not allowing people to leave to use them as human shields:

كتبت مرح ماشي: حكاية ثائر الدرعاوي مع زكاة الثورة التي يقبضها الجيش الحر من اهالي زملكا

“يرن هاتف الفتاة ويعلو صوتها من خلال (السبيكر) قائلة بتوتر واضح: “ثائر.. المسلحون منتشرون في كل مكان، لقد سيطر الجيش الحر على المنطقة بشكل كامل منذ عدة أيام، والجيش “النظامي” يحاول أن يفرض سيطرته من جديد”.

يسألها ثائر: “ماذا عنكم؟ طمئنيني”.
تجيب رشا بصوت باكٍ: “الجيش النظامي أعطى إنذارات للمدنيين بإخلاء المنطقة إلا أن عناصر الجيش الحر منعت الناس من الخروج بغية استخدامهم كدروع بشرية في الاقتتال مع الجيش”.
تتابع الصبية: “لقد أعلنوا الجهاد في الجوامع، وسيطر الجيش الحر على جميع أئمة المساجد فصادر أصواتهم”.

يطلب ثائر إليها أن تروي قصة وجود الجيش الحر منذ البداية لأن هنالك من يريد أن يستمع إلى الحكاية من جديد، فتبدأ الفتاة بالكلام: “الحكاية بدأت عندما خرجنا في مظاهرات ضد السّلطة ليخرج عناصر من الجيش الحر من صفوفنا دون أن نعرف من هؤلاء أو من أين أتوا، معظمهم غرباء عن زملكا وبعض أهالي المنطقة تعرّفوا على وجوه بعضهم لافتين إلى أنهم من سقبا في الغالب.. لقد وصلنا إلى مرحلة أن بين حاجز الجيش النظامي وحاجز “الجيش الحر” حوالي 100 متر لا أكثر وعناصر الطرفين يريان بعضهما من بعيد”.
وتكمل الصبية كلامها قائلة: “العميد المسؤول عن فرق الجيش “النظامي” في زملكا رفض الدخول دون إرادة سكان المنطقة، وأصرّ على أن يدخل بعد أن يوقع الأهالي على عريضة تطالب الجيش السوري بالتدخل على اعتبار أن كثيراً من سكّان زملكا يُعتبرون حاضناً شعبياً للتظاهرات التي حصلت في الفترة الأخيرة”.”


February 10th, 2012, 11:03 pm


jad said:

عشرات القتلى والجرحى في تفجير مقرين أمنيين في حلب … والملك السعودي ينتقد الفيتو الروسي الصيني
موسكو تهدّد بإعادة الغرب إلى أرض الواقع … والعرب إلى المراقبة

اتهمت روسيا، أمس، دولا غربية بتأجيج الصراع في سوريا عبر إرسال أسلحة إلى المعارضة والضغط عليها لمواصلة رفض التحاور مع النظام، مؤكدة استعدادها لاستخدام «تدابير صارمة» إذا ما حاولت تلك الدول استخدام مجلس الأمن أداة ضغط بهدف التدخل بالشؤون الداخلية لسوريا، وأكدت أنها لا تتفق مع ذرائع الدول الغربية حول ما يسمى التدخل الإنساني ولا يمكن أن تسمح به، ولا باشتراك تحالف دولي وخاصة الأحلاف العسكرية بالتدخل في النزاع الداخلي لمصلحة طرف واحد.
في هذا الوقت، انتقد الملك السعودي عبد الله استخدام موسكو وبكين حق النقض (الفيتو) ضد مشروع قرار في مجلس الأمن «يدعم بشكل كامل مبادرة الجامعة العربية» التي تدعو الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد الى التنحي، ووصفه بأنه «بادرة غير محمودة»، معتبرا ان «ثقة العالم بالأمم المتحدة اهتزت»، فيما سيطرح وزراء الخارجية العرب، خلال اجتماعهم في القاهرة غدا الاحد، تعيين موفد عربي خاص وإيفاد بعثة مراقبين مشتركة من الجامعة العربية والأمم المتحدة إلى سوريا.
وقال وزير الخارجية التركي أحمد داود أوغلو، في ندوة في واشنطن، إن رؤية أنقرة للمنطقة هي «أنظمة سياسية جديدة تستند إلى مطالب الشعوب وإلى الاندماج الاقتصادي واستخدام كل الوسائل السلمية المتاحة لتجنب سفك الدماء». وأضاف «نحن ضد أي طغيان وضد اي تدخل خارجي في المبدأ»، لكن «لا يمكن ان نكون صامتين
حيال ما يجري في سوريا». ورأى ان المشاكل مع سوريا هي مع النظام وليس مع الشعب، قائلا «سيكون لدينا علاقة مميزة مع سوريا الجديدة، لا يمكننا التضحية بعلاقتنا مع الشعب السوري مقابل دعم النظام على المدى القصير». وأعلن تأييد أنقرة إنشاء مجموعة «أصدقاء سوريا»، داعيا الى العمل لإيصال المساعدات الانسانية الى الشعب السوري. وقال «ندعو الى تبلور وعي دولي وأن يتحقق ذلك من خلال مجموعة مثل اصدقاء سوريا الديموقراطية او اي تسمية اخرى يمكن مناقشتها». (تفاصيل صفحة 13)
وكانت وزارة الخارجية الاميركية اعلنت أول أمس ان مساعد وزيرة الخارجية لشؤون الشرق الاوسط جيفري فيلتمان سيزور المغرب وفرنسا والبحرين لبحث موضوع تأليف «مجموعة أصدقاء سوريا» ودعم المعارضين ووقف العنف. وقالت المتحدثة باسم وزارة الخارجية فيكتوريا نولاند «بعد الفيتو المزدوج في مجلس الامن، فقد اجبرنا على العمل خارج الامم المتحدة، ولهذا فإننا نعمل على ارضية جمع الاصدقاء معا».



February 10th, 2012, 11:32 pm


Ghufran said:

It is now a race between advocates of a violent solution and those who still believe in a political solution. The critical factor is money,this is why there is so much emphasis on sanctions and manipulation of the Lira. Sadly enough,Syrian expats are part of this game. Fundraising to send money to buy weapons,not just food,is underway in a number of circles here in the US. I replied ,when asked, that feeding a child is more effective and more ethical than buying a bullets that can only be used to kill Syrians. Those who are killed on both sides are human,many of them are parents. At the end,we are pouring gas on the fmales of hatred and creating a new generation of Syrian children who worship forces,live to hate and can not build a country,that is what at stake,not whether the new president Sunni or alawi,sincevthe geniuses who wrote the new constitution do not think that christians are Syrian enough to be president. The situation is disgusting beyond description.

February 10th, 2012, 11:41 pm


Ghufran said:

Excuse the grammar and spelling mistakes in my previous post,my iPad is confused like many of us.

February 10th, 2012, 11:56 pm


jad said:

I agree, the west along the immature oppositions and their brainless supporters have nothing to say but calling for more violence.
Just check the interview below and compare what Haytam said to all the others, George Sabra sounded like a mummy, boring and calling for the same crappy violence his MBs council is talking about, Lama Attasi (B.H. Levy’s puppet) has no brain whatsoever and she speaks like an idiot, yet those are being introduced to us as the ‘leaders’ if those are the top ‘brains’ I wonder how retard are the lower level of this oppositions…
قناة دبي الفضائية: الدكتور هيثم مناع

‘The situation is disgusting beyond description.’
I totally agree…

February 10th, 2012, 11:58 pm


jad said:

My reply comment to you didn’t show for come reason.

I wrote that I agree with your disgust feeling toward everything around us.
It’s obvious that the mighty west, the goats princes along the ‘oppositions’ they create doesn’t want to have any solution whatsoever, they want violence and blood the more the better.
Please check this interview and compare Haytham rational answers to George sabra boring reply that glorify violence as the answer similar to his MBs council along Lama Attassi, B.H. Levy’s favorite and the armed militia ‘face’, those two are the ‘top’ leaders, I wonder about the lower ranks and how ‘smart’ they must sound.
قناة دبي الفضائية: الدكتور هيثم مناع

February 10th, 2012, 11:59 pm


Norman said:


وزير خارجية ليبيا: الحكومة الانتقالية لا تستطيع منع الليبيين من القتال في سورية
مقتل ثلاثة من ثوار مصراتة في معارك ضد النظام السوري

لندن ـ يو بي اي: اعلن وزير الخارجية الليبي عاشور بن خيال أن حكومة بلاده الانتقالية لا تستطيع أن تمنع الليبيين من القتال والمشاركة بالانتفاضة السورية، لا سيما وأنها تتخذ موقفاً هو الأشد من نوعه بالعالم العربي ضد نظام الرئيس بشار الأسد.
وقال بن خيال بمقابلة مع صحيفة ‘فايننشال تايمز’ الجمعة ‘إننا في الواقع لا نستطيع منع أي شخص من التوجه إلى سورية، فالناس يريدون الذهاب إلى هناك والقتال مع السوريين ولن يمنعهم أحد، ونحن لا نتخذ هذا الموقف رسميا، غير أننا لا نستطيع التحكم برغبة الناس’.
واضاف وزير الخارجية الليبي أن حكومته الانتقالية ‘اتخذت خطوة ثورية جداً للاعتراف بالمجلس الوطني السوري (المعارض)، وتدعم أولئك الذين يقاتلون النظام في سورية’، متهماً نظامها بـ ‘دفع البلاد نحو مرحلة لا يريدها أحد’.
وقال بن خيال ‘إن النظام السوري يكرر ما فعله القذافي، وسيسقط عاجلاً أم آجلاً’، مشدداً على أن ليبيا ‘ستكون بمثابة قوة للسلام، ولن تكون مصدراً للمتاعب بل بلداً مسالماً وستعيد نهجها حيال جيرانها في الجنوب، عقب الإطاحة بنظام العقيد القذافي’.
واضاف ‘أن قواعد اللعبة حيال افريقيا ستكون مختلفة، لأن صورة الأفارقة بين المواطنين الليبيين العاديين ليست جيدة’، جراء اعتقاد الكثير منهم بأن الأنظمة الأفريقية دعمت القذافي خلال الانتفاضة.
وتعهد بن خيال بوضع حد لما وصفها بـ ‘أنشطة نظام القذافي الشائنة بالبلدان الأفريقية، والذي كان يستخدم البعثات الدبلوماسية الليبية في 11 بلداً أفريقياً لتخزين وتهريب الأسلحة والمتفجرات’.
وقالت فايننشال تايمز ‘إن ثواراً ليبيين سابقين من مدينة مصراتة اعلنوا هذا الأسبوع عن مقتل 3 من زملائهم في القتال الدائر ضد النظام السوري، فيما يرحّب العديد منهم بالتوجه إلى سورية للانضمام إلى الانتفاضة المسلحة ضد نظام الرئيس الأسد بسبب دعمه لنظام القذافي واستضافته قناة تلفزيونية مؤيدة له’.

February 11th, 2012, 12:00 am


zoo said:

Tell me who are your friends, I’ll tell you who you are. Check Hariri’s friends at the end of the article.

Hariri: Arabs Must Recognize SNC as Legitimate Representative of Syrian People
by Naharnet Newsdesk 15 hours ago


Former prime minister Saad Hariri on Friday called on the Arab countries to recognize the opposition Syrian National Council as the “legitimate representative” of the Syrian people.

Hariri warned about “the dangers of the war waged by the Syrian regime against the growing popular revolution across Syria,” said a statement released by his press office.

“The military campaign waged by the armed brigades of the Syrian regime against the cities of Homs, Zabadani, Daraa and other cities witnessing popular movements, is a dangerous episode of the bloody series sponsored by international and regional parties that agreed to give Bashar al-Assad the opportunity to pounce on his people and protect his political regime with all brutal methods,” Hariri said, as quoted in the statement.

“The Syrian regime has reached the edge of collapse,” the ex-PM noted, adding that Assad’s government has disregarded “the almost unanimous Arab and international condemnation of the regime and of its crimes.”

Hariri said Assad “would not have dared to invade the Syrian cities and villages with tanks and rocket launchers hadn’t he received an external cover that allows him to do so.”

He called on the Arab countries to take “practical steps that go beyond condemnation, and even beyond imposing economic sanctions.”

“They should start by recognizing the Syrian National Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, and pull the rug from under the feet of the brutal regime.”

Hariri claimed that “Assad’s Brigades are currently engaged in the last battle to defend a regional axis, which is seeking to remove Syria for good from the Arab sphere and to seize its national decision under the pretext of defending the regimes of resistance and defiance.”

The former premier said the Lebanese had “a national duty and a brotherly responsibility” to express solidarity with the Syrian people.

“Large Lebanese groups have lived similar situations of oppression and tyranny in the past and were subjected to military attacks by the same regime that is killing its own people now,” he noted.

“We are confident that the Syrian people will triumph in the end, no matter how brutal the regime is, and that the forces of tyranny will receive the same fate that all criminals receive usually,” Hariri added.

Separately, the ex-PM’s press office said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem visited Hariri on Friday at his Paris residence to inquire about his health following the leg surgery he underwent.

“Hariri also received, for the same purpose, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, and MPs Michel Pharaon, Sami Gemayel, Hadi Hbeish, Ghazi Youssef and Khodr Habib as well as (Independence Movement chief) Mr. Michel Moawwad and Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh,” the press office added.

February 11th, 2012, 12:06 am


jad said:

بورتريه | بشار الجعفري: المندوب السوري الأصعب في زمن الأزمات

نزار عبود
نيويورك | في الأمم المتحدة لم تعتد سوريا سوى أن تكون المدافع عن الحقوق العربية كافة، لا أن تكون هدفاً من الدول العربية نفسها. كان مندوبها بشار الجعفري في كل المناسبات عملاقاً في المواقف، لا في طوله وحسب. إنه أكثر من سفير وأكاديمي ومتبحر في السياسة وحقوق الإنسان. برزت ثقافته ومطالعاته الرفيعة في كل المناسبات، ولا سيما حين كان يكرر طلب حق الردّ على مندوبي العدو في المحافل الدولية بعيداً عن جمود الخطابة الحزبية العربية والتصاقاً بالقوانين الدولية المتبحّر فيها، وبذخيرة من مخزون تاريخي يقل نظيره، فهو يعشق القراءة، وأفضل هدية له هي الكتاب.

في اللقاءات الخاصة، لا ينكر العيوب والأخطاء الكثيرة التي يعانيها الوضع السوري ويحلم بتغييرها بوسائل وأساليب عصرية. لكنه وجد نفسه في الأمم المتحدة بعد حرب لبنان عام 2006، ومشاريع عزل سوريا في السنوات التي سبقتها وتلتها، في عين العاصفة. فهو لسان الحكومة السورية الأول بعد وزارة الخارجية في دمشق، ولا يكاد جفناه يعرفان النوم وهو يتصدى في الجلسات والاجتماعات لخصومه من الشرق والغرب والعرب، وأيضاً في إيصال الرسائل العلنية وغير العلنية لأرفع الجهات في المحافل الدولية. الجعفري لا يتوانى عن زيارة الأمين العام بان كي مون ومساعديه مراراً لكي ينقل استياء، بل اشمئزاز، قيادته من تجاهل الخطابات الكثيرة التي تُرسَل عن الجولان والحالة في سوريا في التقارير.
وفي الجلسة الأخيرة التي عقدت في أواخر كانون الأول الماضي، رفع الصوت عالياً منتقداً بان ومساعديه على إهمال حال السوريين في الجولان، رغم رسائله العديدة بشأن معاناتهم مع الاحتلال. لكنه يعرف حدود الأمين العام وأزمة المنظمة الدولية التي باتت أداة لشرعنة العدوان والحروب، بدلاً من أن تكون حارساً وصائناً للسلم.
في الأزمة الأخيرة، وقف الجعفري وقفة قيادية ممثلاً رئيسه وسياسة بلاده وشعبه متصدياً لحملة دبلوماسية غربية ـــــ عربية من أثقل الأعيرة. مستعيناً برباطة جأش نادرة، وبملفات كثيرة، وخلفيات سياسية قلّ نظيرها، فتح كل نيرانه السياسية على مجموعة من وزراء الخارجية قدموا من واشنطن ولندن وباريس وبرلين ولشبونة، فضلاً عن الأمين العام لجامعة الدول العربية نبيل العربي ورئيس وزراء قطر حمد بن جاسم آل ثاني. وكان لكلمته في تلك الجلسة، التي عقدت في مجلس الأمن الدولي يوم الثلاثاء 31 كانون الثاني الماضي، صدىً قوي في النفوس بين محبيه ومبغضيه. لم تستطع وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون ونظيرها البريطاني وليام هيغ الردّ عليه، وعندما ردّ عليه وزير خارجية قطر، كان عليه أن يتحمل ما تلقاه.



February 11th, 2012, 12:13 am


Syrialover said:

Dear Moderator – please look at #75, which is personal and offensive

and #95 is pleading for a stop to the absurd cutting and pasting you promised was to be controlled.

February 11th, 2012, 12:21 am


Atheist Syrian Salafist Against Dictatorships said:

As usual JAD uses dubious sites that make things up as they go. more like a creative writing site than an objective news source. Just like their other claim that france24 reported that FSA fighters admitted responsibility for the explosions in Halab, nothing but another flagrant lie. Pathetic.

February 11th, 2012, 12:25 am


Syrialover said:

China opens door to Syrian opposition

China has held talks with Syrian opposition representatives in a sign that it has begun hedging its bets on the latest Arab country shaken by unrest. – Financial Times, February 9, 2012


February 11th, 2012, 12:29 am


jad said:

Atheist Salafi bla bla bla..
Talk to your FSA criminal militia and tell than not to call AFP and admit their attack before asking me or them not to put the news.

February 11th, 2012, 12:40 am


Syrialover said:

# 17. Halabi

Thank you for your memory and perspective. You expose an important gap in current discussions.

Those who eventually replace Assad and have the task of repairing and healing the country will be standing on the shoulders of many courageous giants and martyrs from the last two decades. I hope they will be properly rememered and honoured.

Naive talk of reform and negotiation with Assad is an insult to all those who suffered a terrible fate for trying in the past.

February 11th, 2012, 1:06 am


Syrialover said:

#129. Jad

You said more than that. You know you have broken the code of conduct here.

And the moderator has made clear the reasons why endless cutting and pasting like you and others do is not appropriate.

I have seen a more intelligent and reasonable side to you here at other times. Please calm down and bring that back.

February 11th, 2012, 1:13 am


Uzair8 said:

Rise up protectors!


This was always about Dignity and Freedom. It is still about Dignity and Freedom.

Step aside Assad! You can’t stop the Juggernaut. The people have already gained their dignity. Your bullets can no longer take away their freedom.

The blood of the beloved martyrs will not be betrayed.

February 11th, 2012, 1:16 am


jad said:

#132 Syrialover

“You said more than that.” What more I said?

[Edited by Moderator: Again I urge commentators to NOT personalize discussion. Do not use national origins or citizenship or otherwise discriminatory language to disparage other commentators obliquely.

Jad, the personal references to nationality break the spirit of Syria Comment rules against personal attacks and discriminatory language. Refer to other commentators by their chosen nicknames.]

February 11th, 2012, 1:44 am


jad said:

تشوركين: الأسد ليس القذافي وسورية ليست ليبيا

اتهم المندوب الروسي في مجلس الأمن فيتالي تشوركين الدول الغربية “بتصعيد الوضع في سورية عبر دعوة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد للتنحي”، مشيراً إلى ان “الأخير ليس الزعيم الليبي الراحل معمر القذافي الذي كان معزولاً، واضاف تشوركين، في حديث لشبكة “سي إن إن” الأميركية ان “هناك “مزاعم” حول قيام دول غربية بتقديم الدعم العسكري للمعارضة السورية”، معتبراً انه “في حال ثبوت صحة ذلك فسيكون الوضع “خطيراً” وستتجه الأمور إلى “نزاع مسلح بالكامل”.
ورداً على سؤال عن استمرار روسيا ببيع السلاح لسورية، قال تشوركين “لدينا صفقات ونحترمها”، مضيفاً انه “حتى في حال وقف بيع السلاح للحكومة السورية فلن يكون هناك من وسيلة للتأكد من عدم وصول أسلحة للمجموعات المسلحة التي قال إنها تعمل في سورية، كما حصل في ليبيا”.
واعتبر تشوركين ان “الحديث عن نجاح الثورة في المحافظة على سلميتها لفترة طويلة سبقت الأحداث المتصاعدة حالياً أمر غير صحيح”، مضيفاً ان “القتيل الأول من عناصر الأمن السورية سقط منتصف أيار الماضي”، مضيفاً انه “كان هناك تظاهرات سلمية، ولكنها انتهت وحلت مكانها تحركات مسلحة تهاجم السلطة وهي مسؤولة عن العنف”.
وأعاد المندوب الروسي قرار بلاده باستخدام “الفيتو” في مجلس الأمن إلى ان “المشروع السابق دعا لوقف العنف الحكومي ولم يقل شيئاً عن المسلحين”، مضيفاً ان “سورية دولة متعددة الطوائف، ما قد يسبب الكثير من القلق”. وأيد تشوركين “عودة المراقبين العرب إلى سورية، وانضمام بعض المراقبين من الأمم المتحدة إليهم”، مشيراً إلى “إمكانية العمل لوضع تفويض دولي يحدد صلاحياتهم”، وأكد ان “النظام السوري يطبق إصلاحات دستورية وسيجري انتخابات قريبة، ما قد يفتح الباب أمام تطور في النظام سياسي”.
ولدى سؤاله حول التقارير عن مقتل المئات في حمص بعد زيارة وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف، إلى دمشق، قال تشوركين “نحن نؤمن بما يحصل على الأرض، هناك وعود من كافة الأطراف والأسد وعد بتطوير النظام السياسي وتقديم دستور ونعمل مع الحكومة السورية للإصلاح ووقف العنف ونعمل بنشاط في الموضوع الدبلوماسي.”
وقال المندوب الروسي ان بلاده تؤمن بضرورة حصول تقدم في النظام السياسي السوري، وتعتبر ان الستاتيكو الراهن غير قادر على الاستمرار، مؤكداً ان الأسد اتخذ قرارات إصلاحية وكلف نائبه فاروق الشرع، الاتصال بالمعارضة التي حملها مسؤولية إفشال الحوار. وأضاف “للغرب أسلوب في التعامل يقوم على مهاجمة الأسد وهذا سيؤدي لمقتل عشرات الآلاف وتهديد المنطقة، نحاول منع الحرب الأهلية، ولكن منذ بداية الأحداث في سورية ونحن نسمع أن الأسد فقد شرعيته وهناك من يحاول أن يشبه الوضع بما جرى في ليبيا ولكن سورية ليست ليبيا والأسد مختلف كلياً عن القذافي الذي كان معزولاً تماماً”.
المصدر: وكالات-عربي برس


February 11th, 2012, 2:08 am


Juergen said:


Gee i did not know there is a muslim country singer-well it looks like it takes all kind of folks to make a world

February 11th, 2012, 2:16 am


Syrialover said:

#134. Jad

You are making it worse. You are lucky the moderator is taking a break (that’s right, break not “brake”).

You are being as offensive as if somebody in a US forum dismissed what you wrote with “the comment is from an Arab.”

“An old Belgian lady” is even more deliberately disrespectful and crude. Especially since it happens to be directed at a very long-term respected contributor here who I suspect has had more time and involvement inside Syria than some recent newcomers who are throwing their weight around this forum.

To those people he is dismissing by their real or imagined nationality, please note Jad’s comments are not acceptable to others.

And Jad,you should stop posting until you are calmer and more rational. We are all sick with anxiety sbout what is happening to Syria and how our family and friends are suffering. But it is no excuse to be uncivilized in a public forum.

February 11th, 2012, 2:39 am


Uzair8 said:

@ #136 Jeurgen, yes lol.

I originally I was gonna post the lower quality recording of the same song which I think would have worked (and sounded) better in the context of my comment. Then I found the official recording.

It was dedictated to the FSA.


February 11th, 2012, 2:47 am


Uzair8 said:


I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my nationality other than mentioning being from the UK..lol. 🙂

Btw, if it helps, the name Uzair is from the Judeo-christian ‘Ezra’.

Also, perhaps you should consider sending Annie a box of dark chocolates as an apology?

Moving on. Those peski pakistanis interfering again:

Pakistan Foreign Minister Rejects Foreign Military Intervention in Syria

Feb 09, 2012


February 11th, 2012, 2:56 am


ann said:

102. zoo said:
The war of rumors: A Chinese newspaper fuzzy rumor carried by The Telegraph
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Quds Force includes 15,000 elite soldiers, who operated in Iraq and other wars on foreign soil.

NeoCON propaganda par excellence.

Syria does not want or need foreigners (Iranians or otherwise) to help it maintain order.

Syria can mobilize up to 2,500,000 Syrian combatants when necessary.

February 11th, 2012, 3:33 am


Uzair8 said:

The Syrian people are special, earning a place in the hearts of people across the world. SubhanAllah! They have faced a year of immense trials. Some of which we may not remember. People who have put their own lives own hold and embraced sacrifice so that the future generations can enjoy what they themselves could only dream of. Freedom and dignity. Surely God Almighty will not abandon the oppressed.

I post the following nasheed in memory of the many fallen including Ghiath Matar (remember his smile) and particularly the children, oh the innocent children. We shall never forget:

I remember your smile


February 11th, 2012, 3:41 am


jad said:

CNN report about the damage done to Homs, the area they talked about is actually Alzahra, a pro regime area, so all the damage they talk about was made by the armed militias and fsa.
How ironic that a report meant to accuse the regime of committing such damage to the neighbourhood ends up being the work of the terrorists militias.
Media lies are endless!

February 11th, 2012, 3:48 am


ann said:

Explosion hits weapon warehouse in northern Lebanon city
English.news.cn 2012-02-11

BEIRUT, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) — A weapon warehouse exploded in northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Friday evening, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The Lebanese Army has been struggling to contain clashes that erupted between opposition and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the coastal city of lebanon on Friday morning.

According to the NNA and security sources, the army has conducted several raids across Tripoli in search of gunmen.

Tripoli, which is home to Lebanon’s largest Sunni and Alawite communities, has been witnessing protests on a near weekly basis ever since unrest in Syria erupted in mid-March of last year.


February 11th, 2012, 4:16 am


ann said:

Rifaat Eid: Exploded arms warehouse belongs to Future Movement
February 11, 2012


Arab Democratic Party Secretary General Rifaat Eid told LBC television station on Saturday that the “arms warehouse,” which exploded in Tripoli, belongs to the Future Movement.

“What was Mohammad Noaaman, who is said to be a Syrian opposition activist, doing in the arms warehouse with other [people]?” Eid asked.

Eid also said that “fundamentalist groups in Tripoli were fighting the Lebanese army yesterday.”

Shooting broke out in Tripoli on Friday as gunmen deployed heavily in Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, one group supporting and the other opposed to the regime in Syria.

Lebanon’s political scene is split between supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, led by Hezbollah, and the March 14 pro-Western camp.

Three Syrians were injured in an accidental explosion at a munitions depot in Tripoli on Friday, AFP quoted a security source as saying.

The men, all security guards, lit a fire to warm themselves near containers that stored munitions, without being aware of the contents, prompting an explosion at the privately run facility.

February 11th, 2012, 4:18 am


Juergen said:

I just read an article in the newspaper SUEDDEUTSCHE. They wrote about Germanys relation to the syrian muhabarat. The newspaper described how BND (Germanys secret service) chief Ernst Uhrlau seeked the help and assistance with the syrian muhabarat as early as spring 2002. The german government was under criticism because the masterminds of the 9/11 plot lived in Hamburg. One friend of Muhammad Atta was the german-syrian Mohammed Haydart Zammar who was detained by the US in Marrocco in December 2001 and then send to Syria even though he was at that time already an german citizen.
Assif Schaukat visited Ernst Uhrlau on 10 july 2002, and many see this meeting as an crucial part the next developments. At the same time two alledged syrian spies who were charged with espionage and harassment of syrian opposition members within Germany and awaited their trial. Two weeks prior to the trial they were released and expelled to Syria. In November 2002 the BND sent in a team of interrogators who were able to interrogate Zammar in syrian custody for 3 days.

One may find the release of the spies as the price Schaukat asked to allow the BND team to work within Syria. During an investigation committee which was held in 2009 we know that this was not the case, the government tried to get better relations with the syrian regime in order to establish an syrian-german partnership on the secret service level.
The partnership never really worked, the BND was not overwhelmed with what little the syrians shared with them. And the harassment of syrian opposition in Germany continued.


February 11th, 2012, 5:27 am


Juergen said:

Aleppo bears the brunt in another day of carnage and defiance

“…According to Syria expert Joshua Landis, the ferocity of the Homs siege is a result of the anger being voiced among some regime supporters – many of whom are drawn from the same Alawite sect as President Assad – who feel the ruling elite’s response to the anti-government uprising has been ineffective. “His supporters are saying he needs to smash the opposition,” he said….”


February 11th, 2012, 5:41 am


Juergen said:

From Aljazeera:

Syria’s state-run news agency says gunmen have assassinated an army general in the capital Damascus. It’s the first killing of a high military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March.

The SANA news agency says three gunmen opened fire at Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli on Saturday morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine. Al-Khouli was a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital.

The attack indicates that violence in Syria is reaching the tightly controlled capital, which has been relatively quiet compared to other cities. Assad’s crackdown of the uprising has killed more than 5,400 people, according to U.N. figures.

sounds like the chicken are coming home to the roost…

February 11th, 2012, 6:13 am


Mawal95 said:

A video of two dead rebels lying on the street. Not very interesting. But serves as a tasty reminder that being a violent rebel in Syria is very hard work. I like the accompanying music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=eu3uQTvczxw#t=75s

February 11th, 2012, 6:42 am


jna said:

Can’t be true, Opposition has already proven that the regime is blowing up it’s own facilities and personnel.

U.S. officials: Al Qaida behind Syria bombings

By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Iraqi branch of al Qaida, seeking to exploit the bloody turmoil in Syria to reassert its potency, carried out two recent bombings in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and likely was behind suicide bombings Friday that killed at least 28 people in the largest city, Aleppo, U.S. officials told McClatchy.

The officials cited U.S. intelligence reports on the incidents, which appear to verify Syrian President Bashar Assad’s charges of al Qaida involvement in the 11-month uprising against his rule. The Syrian opposition has claimed that Assad’s regime, which has responded with massive force against the uprising, staged the bombings to discredit the pro-democracy movement calling for his ouster.

The international terrorist network’s presence in Syria also raises the possibility that Islamic extremists will try to hijack the uprising, which would seriously complicate efforts by the United States and its European and Arab partners to force Assad’s regime from power. On Friday, President Barack Obama repeated his call for Assad to step down, accusing his forces of “outrageous bloodshed.”

The U.S. intelligence reports indicate that the bombings came on the orders of Ayman al Zawahiri, the Egyptian extremist who assumed leadership of al Qaida’s Pakistan-based central command after the May 2011 death of Osama bin Laden. They suggest that Zawahiri still wields considerable influence over the network’s affiliates despite the losses the Pakistan-based core group has suffered from missile-firing CIA drones and other intensified U.S. counterterrorism operations.



February 11th, 2012, 7:30 am


NK said:

Mawal95 #150

almost a year ago someone posted this on youtube


but who cares about the details, right ? as long as it’s showing bodies of Syrians I’m sure it’ll help you sleep well at night.

February 11th, 2012, 7:30 am


Mawal95 said:

I appreciate that video link, NK. I was unaware that the video dates from June 2011. I said above that the video is “not very interesting”. But since then I’ve watched it a couple more times. Which must imply I do find it interesting. What’s interesting is the confident and self righteous spirit of the soldiers. I’d like to get footage from this week that conveys the spirit of the soldiers now.

February 11th, 2012, 8:08 am


Juergen said:

European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton:

“Leadership requires that you go to when you are the problem and not the solution. President Assad should do exactly that and resign.”

February 11th, 2012, 9:28 am


Hans said:

“Leadership requires that you go to when you are the problem and not the solution. President Assad should do exactly that and resign.”
although this statement is a true one in Democratic state it is not true in the middle east given there is no democratic states.
none of the leaders in the middle east would leave even they are all the problem and the only exception is Lebanon but it is a weak democratic state because you have the mentality of barbaric radical people who live in Lebanon. such radicals have no understanding of democracy even Turkey is a radical Muslim and not full democracy opponents are jailed and tortured in turkey.
it is impossible to have democracy with religion.
back to the first statement, although Assad is part of the problem ( and the regime is an iron boot regime) is not different than any other one.
the replacement are going to be much worse than the current, the writing is on the wall.
the oppositions figures are group of radicals and traitors.
Lawless Syria is much worse than Assad Syria.
Syria was not a strong country till Hafz Assad came to power tells you that Arabs needs a boot to rule them.
do you have doubt!

February 11th, 2012, 10:02 am


Juergen said:


“Arabs needs a boot to rule them”

Dont you think that every human being deserves dignity and the observation of human rights? You may not claim it to be rascim, but thats exactly what it is to me.
I think the times of Peter Scholl Latour are gone, get used to the fact that the Arabs arent what you think of them.

Who tells you that after Assad will be history that things go worst?

February 11th, 2012, 10:32 am


Juergen said:

US Says Signs Growing That Syrian Elite Wants Out

Two U.S. officials said Friday that one Assad family member has moved large amounts of money out of the country to avoid U.S. and other sanctions on the country and provide a nest egg for a life in exile. Similarly, a senior member of Assad’s national security circle has very recently left the country and appears to have settled abroad, they said.


February 11th, 2012, 10:44 am



Assad in his next speech will try to reach out to the syrian people and attempt a conciliatory approach:

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

[Copy right: Quote is the property of Buthaina Shaaban, adviser to the president and Lord Of The Rings fan.]

February 11th, 2012, 11:12 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

“Arabs needs a boot to rule them”

Some used to say the same about the Germans not long ago.

February 11th, 2012, 11:27 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Douma today

Notice the pictures on the turret.

February 11th, 2012, 11:29 am


Tara said:

Dear Amir,

We know Hans does not represent all Germans. He may even be a self-hatred Arab who lives in Germany. But…thank you!

I would have liked a response from some of the pro-regime Arab men on the site but boy…am I surprised?

February 11th, 2012, 11:46 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Dear Tara,

I believe that most if not all mnhebaks (regardless of men or women) do not believe in Arab democracy.

I have an idea about where this disbelieve stems from, but I prefer to keep my mouth shot. This subject should be debated among the Arabs themselves. Not by non Arabs.

February 11th, 2012, 12:11 pm


Juergen said:


may be some still are shocked…

But given the calls for Maher to finish the job they may think he is right.


Thank God the Americans did not stick to that assumptions after WW2.

February 11th, 2012, 12:14 pm


ann said:

157. MM said:

“”””You’ve shown your true colors, “Ehsani”””””

What does this mean?

February 11th, 2012, 12:24 pm


Revlon said:

I am not sure if this video was linked before.
It shows one of the character witnesses shown in the earlier Midan explosion reappearing in Aleppo incident.
It also highlights many inconsistencies in the video footage aired by the regime.

Fabricated Aleppo explosions; Exposing Assad regime lies.
فضائح تفجيرات حلب. كشف كذب النظام الاسدي
Uploaded by desert1rebels on Feb 10, 2012
تمثيل غبي جدا جثث بدون دم منفخة انها جثث المعتقلين واشلاء تختفي بلكامل وكئنها فرمت بماكينة لحمة
تنسيقية احرار القريتين مهين

February 11th, 2012, 12:49 pm


Revlon said:

State Dept. releases a bird’s eye view of Syria crackdown
Posted By David Kenner
Friday, February 10, 2012 – 6:09 PM


The State Department wants you to see the crackdown in Syria. Today, it uploadedeight satellite images showing how President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have positioned artillery toward major protest centers.

The release was accompanied by a note by U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford. “[S]ome try to equate the violence perpetrated by the regime with the violence perpetrated by the opposition,” he wrote. “[I]t is unfair to do so when one side is using such heavy weaponry… We are intent on exposing the regime’s brutal tactics for the world to see.”

That’s an argument that seems designed to undermine the case of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who criticizedthe recent Security Council resolution on Syria for not condemning the violence of armed groups within the country in the same language it used toward the Assad regime.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing today that the United States will be releasing more declassified satellite imagery in the coming days. “Our intent here is to, obviously, expose the ruthlessness…of this regime and its overwhelming predominant military advantage and the horrible kinds of weaponry that it’s deploying against its people,” she said.

February 11th, 2012, 12:57 pm


ann said:

Gaddafi’s son predicts new uprising in Libya – Feb 11, 2012


On Saturday, Libya’s Transitional National Council demanded that Niger’s authorities must extradite Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saadi, who is currently in Niger.

Saadi, 38, who once played as a forward for Libya’s national football team, fled to Niger after his father was ousted in August 2011.

In an interview with the “Al Arabiya” TV channel on Friday, Saadi claimed that certain forces in Libya were preparing an uprising against the country’s incumbent regime. He said that although he had left the country, he still maintains contact with some Libyans and knows that many of them are dissatisfied with the current regime.

February 11th, 2012, 12:59 pm


mjabali said:

Amir in Tell Aviv:

Few days ago you said that you want to get rid of the “Alawi Junta.”

To tell you the truth, this sectarian tone coming from someone who lives in a state based on religion is not a surprise although there is a part of me who knows for a fact that many Israelis are not like you see things in this limited scope. Also, I read many Israeli newspapers and there is more sympathy with the Alawis, since they are a minority like them in this sea of hatred, than your tone that reminds me of Sunni Salafi Sheikhs like Abd Allah al-Hamad al-Tamimi who called in the last few days for the Sunna to unify and stand up against Shia, Alawis, and others.

Now to go back to the video you posted in your comment #161 in which we see an armored anti aircraft platform firing as you claimed in Douma.

Ok, we Syrians know it is wrong to use this type of weapons in cities and against your own people. Also, we know that these guns are firing against adversaries that have humble military means like AK’s and RPGs. There is a war over there mr Amir and to have fights of this sort is ordinary.

BUT, if we follow the Israeli logic into confronting these type of disputes we see something like this video:


So, your Junta sends 2000lb bombs against guys with AK47 and RPG and some Katyusha (home made) and you have no problems with them. You voted for them also to do that and probably participated in the offensive on Gaza.

Remember that the Palestinians in Gaza want democracy and freedom also. Did you ever recognize that?

Don’t you see mr. Amir that you have double standards here?

February 11th, 2012, 1:01 pm


mjabali said:

Salafi thinkers do nothing in their lives but spreading hatred and destroying every aspect of people living togather.

Here is a link to Salafi Sheikh inciting sectarian hatred:


From Egypt a Salafi court orders 8 Coptic family to get out of their homes:


February 11th, 2012, 1:06 pm


equus said:

Let’s see if the Media moguls will cover this uprising.

Saudi Arabian protester, second in two days, reportedly shot dead by security forces


February 11th, 2012, 1:08 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


For the 1000 time: there is nothing between the Arab-Israeli conflict (or any other international conflict), and the civil war in Syria.

If the Israeli government gave the IDF an illegal order to shoot and kill Israelis, I would join the FIA (Free Israeli Army), and fight against that criminal Israeli government / junta.

I have nothing about the Alawi sect. I don’t really know much about the Alawis. I’m against the Assad (Alawi) and bros (Alawis).

A vulnerable minority (as you present the Alawi sect) shouldn’t play with fire = 10% oppressing the rest 90%. This situation is unsustainable, and the Alawi elders should have thought about it before they resorted to criminality.

February 11th, 2012, 1:40 pm


mjabali said:

The guys who are making these fake videos in Homs are getting sloppy.

In this video you notice the following:

– Again the camera man points to the exact set of trees where the “incoming shells” “hit” later.

– When watching the video full screen you could see something strapped into the tree where the explosion exactly took place and severed the tree. They did not bother masking it: poor imagination.

– What type of incoming explosive trajectory would do this type of damage?

Any person who went to the army would laugh his ass off when watching how the charges were set off on the tree branches.

Want to see an expert claiming that these are incoming shells…anyone who can help us here? Professor Landis do you know any specialists in this matter please…

February 11th, 2012, 1:56 pm


irritated said:

Amir In Tel Aviv

“I prefer to keep my mouth shot.”

That is a great idea I encourage you to follow through.
Preferably “shut” not “shot”, I would not like to think of you mouthless.

February 11th, 2012, 1:59 pm


ann said:

Blood thirsty islamist terrorists killed this young prominent christian orthopedic physician. He was recently appointed to head Teshreen hospital in Damascus less than a month ago

Senior military officer killed by gunmen in Damascus: state media – 2012-02-11


DAMASCUS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The head of a military hospital in Damascus was assassinated Saturday by gunmen in one of Damascus ‘ main neighborhood, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

Three gunmen opened fire at Brigadier Issa al-Khouli, an orthopedic physician and head of the Hamish military Hospital, in front of his house at the Ruken al-Deen neighborhood, killing him instantly.

Brigadier al-Khouli is the first senior officer to have been killed inside the capital Damascus since the eruption of the anti- regime protests in March of 2011.

Clashes have intensified lately between armed militia and the government forces.

A day earlier, Syria’s Ministry of Interior pledged to “stamp out terrorism” and to “hunt down those who compromise the security of the homeland and citizens.”

In a statement carried by SANA, the ministry pledged to continue its duty in persevering the country’s security and order.

February 11th, 2012, 2:02 pm


Halabi said:

So the Al Qaida terrorists that secular Bashar allowed to slip into Iraq to kill innocent civilians, many of them Christians and Shiaa, are now attacking Syrians. His support for terrorists in neighboring countries should be enough for most people to demand an end of this government and a trial of supporters of Al Qaida.

Instead, menhebaks see the return of Assad’s terrorists as the result of people demanding their freedom.

In any event, the presence of Al Qaida in Syria will bring more, not less, interference from the U.S. Obama takes his responsibility to fight Al Qaida seriously, and has launched attacks from drones and with special forces in countries where the U.S. doesn’t have military presence. By claiming Al Qaida is in Syria, the Assad regime essentially put out an invitation for the U.S. to act.

February 11th, 2012, 2:03 pm


ann said:

Syria expels ambassadors of Tunisia, Libya – 2012-02-11


DAMASCUS, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — Syria’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saturday that Damascus has given the ambassadors of Libya and Tunisia 72 hours to leave Syria.

The Syrian embassy in Qatar was also closed, and Syrian ambassadors to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have also been called back, Syria’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said during a meeting with reporters.

The expulsion of diplomatic missions of Libya and Tunisia came apparently in retaliation to similar actions taken against Syrian diplomats in those countries.

February 11th, 2012, 2:06 pm


Badr said:

it is impossible to have democracy with religion

Not necessarily. It depends on how people think the role of religion should be in public life.

February 11th, 2012, 2:06 pm


ann said:

Dialogue is the only way out of Syrian crisis – 2012-02-11


BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — China vetoed a U.N. draft resolution on Syria a week ago as it believes the Syrian crisis can and should be solved by the Syrians themselves instead of external forces.

Eleven months into the Syrian unrest since March 2011, violence continued with at least 28 killed and another 235 wounded in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday. The turmoil’s total death toll has exceeded 5,400 according to a UN estimate, while the Syrian government said more than 2,000 government troops and security persons have been killed.

To end the bloody conflict, both the Syrian government and the opposition should engage in immediate dialogue and abandon violence in the first place.

President Bashar al-Assad has reiterated that a referendum will be held in March on a new constitution, which would allow a multi-party political system. Parliamentary elections will follow, with the participation of the opposition groups.

While the Syrian government should keep the promise and implement the reforms, all parties in Syria have a stake in quickly settling the crisis, because no side would gain from escalated violence.


February 11th, 2012, 2:10 pm


irritated said:

@158. Juergen said:

“US Says Signs Growing That Syrian Elite Wants Out”

Massive defections!!! Finally.

February 11th, 2012, 2:12 pm


mjabali said:

Amir in Tell Aviv:

You have no clue about Syria and still want to argue and parrot the argument of the Salafi Sunnis point by point.

– The Alawis are not represented by al-Assad Family. You seem to never be able to understand this little fact.

– There is nothing that is called the “Alawi elders.” This takes place in your imagination. Again you have no clue.

– I do not represent the Alawi sect or anyone. I represent myself mr. I am independent if you are able to tell.

– AS for playing with fire: the Alawis been playing with fire from the moment they emerged into this world. It is nothing new but another day at the office. They are built for it and have the stomach too for a long fight and this is what I have been telling people. They have no other choice especially with all of this hatred and threats they always receive even from people like you.

– Also, everyone is playing with fire mr. so why don’t you recognize this fact. Everyone is fueling this fire.

– As for Israel all I wanted to show you that your junta solves matters like al-Assad and even more irrational than al-Assad. Remember how you bombed Beirut in 1982 for example. Your Junta and al-Assad solve matters in the same old violent logic. Is it hard to understand this point?

– As for freedom and you supporting it, don’t you think there is double standards with you when you neglect to see what the Palestinian wants and chose to support the Syrians who want the same identical thing. Palestinians living under the harsh conditions for decades, living next door to you and you can not see them or even recognize their plight. You are like the ruler of Qatar who can not see what is going on in Bahrin or in the Eastern parts in Saudia Arabia.

February 11th, 2012, 2:16 pm


irritated said:

#154 Juergen

“Leadership requires that you go to when you are the problem and not the solution

What a stupid statement. I hope it was taken out of context otherwise Cathy Ashton would need to have her brain checked.

Leaders will always be a problem for people who are against them and the solution to the ones who are with them.

February 11th, 2012, 2:18 pm


ann said:

Lebanese military vows to crackdown on security saboteurs – 2012-02-12


BEIRUT, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The Lebanese military vowed on Saturday to crackdown on individuals who it said are sabotaging the country’s security as efforts to quell the fighting between Sunnis and Alawites were continued in the north coastal city of Tripoli.

In a statement to the media, the military said it has made the decision to confront those who are tampering with the country’s security, regardless of what party they belong to.

The military also said it will hold those who support armed groups responsible for any human or material loss in its ranks.

In Tripoli, the Alawite neighborhood Jabal Mohsen and the Sunni district Bab al-Tabbaneh have been locked in a fight since Thursday night.

Clashes between Tripoli’s detractors and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is an Alawite, have raised concerns that the unrest in Syria may spill over into Lebanon as the turmoil goes on.

The information Xinhua obtained showed at least 12 people had been injured in the sectarian fighting, including six soldiers and six civilians.

A security source told Xinhua that the army has been given order to arrest weapon carriers and dispatch extensive patrols in Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen.

Although sporadic bursts of fire can still be heard across Tripoli on Saturday evening, the army is close to arrange a cease fire deal between the fighting factions, the source said.

February 11th, 2012, 2:33 pm


ann said:

Draft GA Resolution of Syria Now Online, Saudi in Lead, UK Was Busy

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 10 — Hours after Inner City Press exclusively reported that a draft resolution on Syria was being prepared for he General Assembly session on Syria set for February 13, it obtained the draft, and is now putting it online.

In twelve multi-part paragraphs, the resolution repeated much of what was dual vetoed on February 4 in the Security Council — except that the General Assembly does not have the powers of the Security Council, to require member states to act, and to authorize force.

While the target told Inner City Press that “the Qatari President of the General Assembly is not the mastermind, that is the UK and Saudi Arabia,” UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant at 6 pm on Friday denied to Inner City Press that he had been involved: too busy with the Falkland Islands, or Malvinas as Argentina called them.

So with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the lead, the draft:



February 11th, 2012, 2:38 pm


Juergen said:


no comments on what Hans said to you about the Arabs?

February 11th, 2012, 3:02 pm


equus said:

Who is distributing the old flag prints in Syria? Avaaz.org
Who is writing the English posters for (peaceful protestors)? Avaaz.org . They collect money in the name of humanitarian phantom mask to further their political agenda, then leave them to their destiny. Same replica of the Libyan model, they distributed the old flags, kept portraying the humanitarian phony face and now…not a single dime is helping Libyans.

In fact the business of America is permanent wars for unchallengeable wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.

February 11th, 2012, 3:09 pm


Ghufran said:

Info coming about a cease fire in Zabadani and the army entering town.

February 11th, 2012, 3:19 pm


bronco said:

Ann #185

This paragraph is still unacceptable in this form because the AL plan implies that the president should pass ALL HIS authorities to the VP, which actually means to STEP DOWN. The media, the international community and the Russians understood this way but Al Arabi and Alain Juppe denied that it was meant to be interpreted this way. If the resolution calls for Bashar Al Assad to step down it should say it explicitly instead of vaguely referring to the AL ‘decisions’. If the AL plan does not call for Bashar to step down but to pass on SOME authorities to the VP, then I should spell out explicitly too.

In my view it should be changed to that:

“…including the call for the president to give the VP the responsibility and the necessary authorities to commence a serious political dialog between the Syrians government and the whole spectrum of the opposition……”

“7. Fully supports the League of Arab States’ 22 January 2012 decision to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs,

including through commencing a serious political dialogue between the Syrian govemment and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition under the League of Arab States’ auspices, in accordance with the timetable set out by the League of Arab States;

February 11th, 2012, 3:26 pm


bronco said:

Ann #185

This paragraph is still unacceptable in this form because the AL plan calls for the president to ALL HIS authorities to the VP, which actually means to STEP DOWN. While the media, the international community and the Russians read it this way, Alain Juppe and Al Arabi denied that it was meant to that effect. If the resolution calls for Bashar Al Assad to step down, it should say it explicitly instead of vaguely referring to the AL ‘decisions’. If the AL plan does not call for Bashar to step down but to pass on SOME authorities to the VP, then I should be spelled out explicitly too.

In my view it should be changed to that:

“…including the call for the president to give the VP the responsibility and the necessary authorities to commence a serious political dialog between the Syrians government and the whole spectrum of the opposition……”

“7. Fully supports the League of Arab States’ 22 January 2012 decision to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations or ethnicities or beliefs,

including through commencing a serious political dialogue between the Syrian govemment and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition under the League of Arab States’ auspices, in accordance with the timetable set out by the League of Arab States;

February 11th, 2012, 3:34 pm


irritated said:

@190. Juergen said:

“must see interview
Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria”

Thanks for pointing it t us despite the fact that what he says goes totally against your views and many on this blog.

“He is saying 90% of Syria is normal”

February 11th, 2012, 3:40 pm


zoo said:

@ 188 Ghufran

Will it be a example for the other rebels strongholds?

Zabadani: Armed rebels get amnesty after giving back their weapons.

Assad’s forces enter Zabadani after ceasefire: leader
AMMAN | Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:29pm EST
AMMAN (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces entered the besieged town of Zabadani near the border with Lebanon on Saturday after agreeing a ceasefire with rebels, an opposition leader in exile, Kamal al-Labwani, said.

The agreement, reached after a week-long tank and artillery bombardment that left at least 100 people dead in the town of 20,000, stipulates that rebels return weapons and armor seized from loyalist forces, who would not pursue the rebels, Labwani told Reuters.

February 11th, 2012, 3:46 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…You have no clue about Syria (…) You seem to never be able to understand this little fact (…) This takes place in your imagination (…) Again you have no clue”.

I never claimed I’m an expert on Syria or on the Alawi sect. This, in fact, is something universal. It’s about basic human rights. I know injustice when I see it. And I see it in Syria without being an expert.

About the Palestinians: I’m for full rights for the Palestinians. But not if this will cost me and my people, our basic rights.
So if the Palestinians agree to honor our rights, and abandon their stupid dream of a Palestine from the river to the sea, they will have their rights. Most Israelis (according to surveys) agree with this pact.

February 11th, 2012, 3:48 pm


irritated said:

@186. Juergen said:


no comments on what Hans said to you about the Arabs?”

I missed that, please point me to the comment.

February 11th, 2012, 3:50 pm


zoo said:

Analysts: Israel doesn’t fear change of regime in Syria
Vita Bekker
TEL AVIV // During the Egyptian protests that ousted Hosni Mubarak as president last year, Israel worried its critical peace partner would be taken over by Islamist radicals.

Now, as another Arab neighbour – Syria – faces escalating bloodshed and turmoil, Israel appears more relaxed about regime change there.

The difference? Analysts say Israel doubts that Islamists will take over in Syria after the expected downfall of President Bashar Al Assad.

They add that Israel may also feel a new Syrian government may be friendlier towards the West and more distant from Iran and groups such as Lebanon’s Hizbollah that are anti-Israel.

Some Syrian opposition leaders are already warning there will be payback for Hizbollah, which has used Damascus as a safe haven, if Mr Al Assad goes.

February 11th, 2012, 3:55 pm


zoo said:

UN General Assembly ready to vote on Syria resolution
Joe Lauria
Feb 12, 2012

UNITED NATIONS // As violence mounted in Syria yesterday with bombardments of civilians and the assassination of a general in the capital, the UN General Assembly prepared to vote on a resolution endorsing an Arab League plan to end the killing.

The League meets today to consider its next step in its campaign to oust the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad. League member Saudi Arabia has introduced a draft General Assembly resolution of condemnation that echoes one vetoed in the UN Security Council by Russia and China, according to a copy seen by The National.

The main opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), also said it was confident of Arab recognition and support of the group as the official opposition, although not at today’s League meeting in Cairo.

February 11th, 2012, 3:56 pm


Juergen said:


155 is Hans post

I find his opinion genuine, and i think its quite an statement for a member of the church to say i am in opposition to the regime already… See Irritated what i dont like is nonreflectve opinions, or slogan thoughts. you know it, some others dont the head is not just made for haircuts…

February 11th, 2012, 3:58 pm


zoo said:

No terrorists in Syria?

Jihadists, weapons ‘moving from Iraq to Syria’
BAGHDAD, (AFP) — Jihadists are moving from Iraq to Syria and arms are also sent across the border to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Iraq’s deputy interior minister said in an interview with AFP on Saturday.

“We have intelligence information that a number of Iraqi jihadists went to Syria,” Assadi said, adding that “weapons smuggling is still ongoing” from Iraq into Syria.
While there are still regular civilian protests that turn deadly in Syria, the focus has now also shifted to armed conflict with regime forces.

“The weapons are transported from Baghdad to Nineveh (province), and the prices of weapons in Mosul (the province’s capital) are higher now because they are being sent to the opposition in Syria,” Assadi said.

He said that the price of a Kalashnikov assault rifle has risen from between $100 and $200 to between $1,000 and $1,500.

“The weapons are being smuggled from Mosul through the Rabia crossing to Syria, as members of the same families live on both sides of the border,” he said.

And “there is some smuggling through a crossing near Abu Kamal,” Assadi said, referring to a Syrian city.

February 11th, 2012, 3:59 pm


Juergen said:


he said 95% just for the record…

February 11th, 2012, 4:02 pm


zoo said:

No mention of Egypt of Qatar. It seems that Hamas still hopes to return to friendly Syria..

Hamas looking for a new base
By Ali El-Saleh

However the general feeling is that it will be extremely difficult for Hamas to find a country that will permit it to transfer its main headquarters to its territory, not least among the Arab states surrounding Israel.

Amman has explicitly rejected the idea of Hamas relocating its base of operations to Jordan,
Accordingly, Mishal – whose family members who hold Jordanian nationality have returned to the country – is expected to remain in the Qatari capital, albeit on a temporary basis.

However the source stressed that Hamas will not officially acknowledge the fact that its political bureau members have left Damascus, and will not shut its offices there, but will rather keep these open until the situation becomes clear.

Another Palestinian source stressed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Hamas is not under any pressure from the Syrian authorities to leave the country.

February 11th, 2012, 4:09 pm


irritated said:

#197 Juergen

The Archbishop is on the spot, he hears and see the reality, not the rumors and the media games, like say, 95% on the people in this blog. His opinion is genuine and valuable.
Many people in Syria disapproved the regime, especially recently when it opened the market and corruption flourished, while poverty was creeping in many circles of the country, especially in the areas that became the ‘hotbeds’ of the revolution. But this doesn’t mean that “you should throw the baby with the water of the bath”. The system was overdue for a serious overhaul. This crisis has made it a matter or high urgency.
About what Hans said, if a country’s education is proper and stimulate discussions on different points of view then people develop a brain that think and able able to get into discussions without resorting to violence.
Unfortunately while there are many exceptions, the education and the religious system in the Arab world either produces amorphous people or else rebels looking for a cause.
There is a large article about the problem with the education system in the Arab world that someone posted that explains why Hans could think that Arabs need a boot!

February 11th, 2012, 4:29 pm


Tara said:

The 2003 invasion has tainted the idea of liberal interventionism. But the people of Homs should not suffer because of that
Jonathan Freedland
Friday 10 February 2012 14.45 EST

We rightly slam generals who are always fighting the last war, but I wonder if today’s peace movement is guilty of the same crime. The thought was prompted by a hasty glance at an email from the Stop the War Coalition.

I saw the words “rally”, “Syria” and “embassy” and assumed they were organising a demo outside the Syrian embassy to protest at the truly shocking slaughter now conducted by the Assad regime against its own people. After all, Stop the War do not confine themselves to opposing military action involving British troops (they recently co-organised a demo outside the Israeli embassy to mark the anniversary of the offensive against Gaza). All credit to them for taking a stand against the Syrian tyrant, I thought.

But I had read too fast. Stop the War were, in fact, calling for a rally outside the American embassy, urging the US to stay out of Syria and its neighbour Iran. Its slogans were directed not at the butchers of Damascus, but against the planners in Washington.

There’s a one-word explanation for how anti-war activists find themselves more exercised by the prospect of intervention to stop murderous violence than by the murderous violence itself. That word is Iraq. The 2003 invasion of Iraq has tainted for a generation the idea once known as “liberal interventionism”.

After Iraq, the response to any talk of western action is deep cynicism. Anyone proposing it is assumed to be lying: to be exaggerating a non-existent threat in order to hide the more sinister, “true” purpose (usually oil); and to be blithely ignoring the certainty that any action will only make things worse. Because that’s how it was with Iraq, runs the logic, so it will be true of Iran, Syria or any future conflict. And so the peace movement ends up fighting the last war – specifically, the Iraq war.

But if it is nonsensical to propose military force in every case, as some on the bellicose right do, then it is surely just as nonsensical (for anyone but an absolute pacifist) to oppose it in every case. We need to see again what we understood well before Iraq: that every case is different.

Take Syria. I am not with those who, appalled at the sight of the world doing nothing as children and their parents are killed and maimed by Bashar al-Assad’s troops, immediately demand military action. There is not a binary choice between nothing and war. A range of non-violent steps in between are available to western nations. These include sabotage, electronic interference with the Assad forces’ communications, the offer of incentives to high-level Syrian defectors and the public naming of those units directly involved in the current brutality and their commanding officers. That way Assad’s generals will know that, however this ends, they will never be able to travel freely again, for fear of arrest and prosecution. In addition, of course, the west can support the opposition, which, we should remember, is not a rival army, but began as a non-violent protest movement of ordinary citizens, lethally crushed.

That menu of options comes from Carne Ross, who resigned from his post as the lead official on the Middle East inside the UK mission at the UN over Iraq. Specifically, he quit because he did not believe Britain and the US had exhausted all other options before resorting to war. Once again, in Syria’s case, he believes there are non-violent steps the west could and should take first. I agree. But if those stops don’t end the slaughter? “When innocent civilians are killed in large numbers, military force has to be an option,” he says.

In other words, the post-Iraq blanket rejection of intervention makes no moral sense. Many, chiefly on the right, argued against intervention in Bosnia in the 1990s – and yet if the west had acted earlier, it would have saved tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of mainly Bosnian Muslim lives. Force should always be a last resort – not a first resort, as it is for too many on the right, but not a non-resort as it is for too many on the left.

There is similarly blanket thinking on Iran. Because it understandably recoils from one proposed solution – military action – the anti-war camp refuses to recognise there might even be a problem, namely the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. It dismisses all talk of the issue as neoconservative warmongering, assuming that it amounts to no more than a re-run of Iraq – a drumbeat for war for war’s (or oil’s) sake, with the feared threat from Iran as hollow as it was from Saddam.



February 11th, 2012, 4:35 pm


irritated said:

Halabi #177

“Al Qaida terrorists that secular Bashar allowed to slip into Iraq”

and who are now welcomed back home by the opposition to help them destroy Syria to save it from the grip of the Assads.

February 11th, 2012, 4:38 pm


zoo said:

MIT spy kidnapped Syrian army defector (Mustafa Harmus), delivered him to Assad: report
Istanbul – Hürriyet Daily News
February 12, 2012
Former Turkish intelligence officer Ö.S., who was discharged from the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) last week, was detained for alleged connection to the kidnapping of a Syrian officer who had defected from the Syrian army, reports have said.

Free Syrian Army (FSA) founder Col. Mustafa Harmuş had defected from the Syrian army in June and started living in a camp in Turkey’s Hatay province. Harmuş had drawn Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s ire after he appeared on numerous TV channels and accused the Syrian regime of crimes against humanity. The Syrian government had placed a $100,000 reward for his capture before Harmuş disappeared on Aug 29.

Ö.S., an active Turkish intelligence officer at the time, became a suspect in the disappearance after police found out about phone conversations between him and four other people, talking about the kidnapping, according a report by the daily Hürriyet said.

Ö.S. had forged official letters to take Harmuş out of the camp in Hatay, claiming he would take Harmuş to another location in Gaziantep province, the report said. Instead, Ö.S. delivered Harmuş to two of his accomplices, who then handed him over to the Syrian police, it added.

Turkish police has been running a surveillance operation on Ö.S. and four others for five months and waited for Ö.S.’s return from Syria, where he had gone to on Feb. 3 allegedly to collect the reward for handing over Harmuş.

Col. Mustafa Harmuş was claimed to be executed by the Syrian regime after he was delivered by the suspects.

February 11th, 2012, 4:44 pm


zoo said:

Turkey should watch out for a tsunami of the US media and be ready for retaliation from Israel and the lobby in the US.

‘Enough is enough,’ Turkey’s Davutoğlu tells Israel

WASHINGTON – Anatolia News Agency
[‘Enough is enough,’ Turkey’s Davutoğlu tells Israel]

Turkey’s top diplomat lashed out at Israel yesterday over its uncompromising stance on core issues of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
The U.S. veto on the recognition of Palestine was wrong as was the Russian veto on Syria,” Davutoğlu said

February 11th, 2012, 4:53 pm


Tara said:

I somehow like French doctors…

Syria: veteran French surgeon saves lives after 44 years in world’s war zones
‘We are just here to help in some way’, says Dr Jacques Bérès, 71, pressed into action within hours of arriving in Homs area

Saturday 11 February 2012 15.21 EST

Syrian people protest against president Bashar al-Assad in Homs. Photograph: Reuters
When Dr Jacques Bérès crossed into Syria by truck last week, his hulking suitcase full of surgical kit was perched against an awkward cargo – two dozen rocket launchers.

The retired French surgeon – who has volunteered his services in nearly every major global conflict since Vietnam in 1968 – said he rarely had to share transport with gunrunners on his mercy missions. But nothing about this war in Syria seems to be going to script.

“It’s not good,” Bérès said of his arrival. “In principle, it is forbidden for humanitarian people to travel with weapons. But it is their country and their war. We are the observers. We are just here to help in some way.”

In the three days that the 71-year-old orthopaedic surgeon Bérès has been near Homs, he has been at the centre of an escalating uprising. Hours after arriving on Thursday he helped to save the life of a gunshot victim and gave first aid to five seriously wounded opposition fighters.

On Saturday he operated in Zabadani on a civilian shot in the leg, as the victim’s family and Free Syrian Army soldiers waited anxiously outside. The fighting has seen opposition fighters launching attacks last week against key government posts.

But the destruction during the past week of the two most prominent resistance hubs in Homs, Baba Amr and al-Khalidiyah, had its effect in the city’s outskirts, where residents are waiting for an invasion.

“It’s 100% certain that they will do the same here that they have done in Homs,” said Abu Mahmoud, a Free Syrian Army captain, as he arrived at Zabadani’s medical clinic. “We know they are coming and we are preparing for them. We only have light weapons,” he said, pointing at the webbing around his waist that carried five ammunition clips for a Kalashnikov and a hand grenade.

Only six weeks ago, this hard-bitten rebel was a career officer in the Syrian army. “But they wanted us to kill our own people, our own families,” he said, standing in the muddy courtyard of the improvised clinic. “I waited for the chance to run. There were a group of officers who they thought were going to escape and a military firing squad killed 17 of us. I got away.”

Abu Mahmoud is a recent defector; he waited for almost 10 months before fleeing and was party to some of the most prominent operations of the regime crackdown, in Idlib, Deraa and Homs. But the time it took him to defect is not being held against him in his home town, where he is now one of the Free Syrian Army’s local leaders.

“Every officer like him had three people from Assad’s army watching him,” said the lead physician at the clinic, Dr Qassem. “He couldn’t run. If he did, he would have been killed.”

Captain Mahmoud offered a warning: “In Homs they are firing from the hospital and other high ground. Here, they are only five or six kilometres away, in the military firing range. They have positions on every exit from town and some units are less than one kilometre away.”

He picked up a box of medicines, turned for the gate and left.


February 11th, 2012, 4:56 pm


Hans said:

Many people wants Assad to go for different reasons and maybe the majority truly want Assad to go but in reality Assad is not the real problem for Syria, many of the so called revolutionists here are full of Syrians and other Arabs bloods on their hands, lies here and on the western media have been exposed well by the Russians, backdoor deals to sell syria to the devil were exposed in the back doors of the UN.
The GCC pigs goat beard trash bags are full of dirt who are trying to destroy syria.
did anyone hear that the KSA pig sorry the so called king wants to obtain nuclear weapon from Pakistan because Iran have/will have nuclear weapon, I guess the Saudi pig doesn’t care that Israel has/had 200+ nuclear war head, he only cares about Iran having the war head!!!
i am not defending Iran but it is the same mentality/analogy syria is being put in!
The GCC pigs with the help of the west want to topple Assad, put piece of shit MB regime in Syria to please the GCC, I wish Assad had an election six months ago he would definitely won against the traitor who are trying to put Syria on a plate of blood to the the pigs of GCC and the west.
Russia is still there for syria to the END will see.
History will tell who destroyed syria Assad regime or the pigs of GCC .

February 11th, 2012, 5:08 pm


Halabi said:

I’m sorry the truth irritated you, Irritated. When you support Assad, by definition you back Al Qaeda in Iraq, and terrorist attacks in Lebanon, Jordan and civilians in Israel. You’re only allies are a non-Arab theocracy, an armed party in Lebanon, China and Russia, bastions of human rights and democracy. So it’s natural to be in bed with terrorists.

Has your mufti Hassoun given any menhebaks the order to attack civilians in the U.S. and Europe?

February 11th, 2012, 5:38 pm


Tara said:

The last paragraph is a must read.  It is a graphic description of how shabeehas cut off heads of the protestors.  The first head was cut off “for freedom”, the second head was cut off for “the shabbeha martyrs”, the third head was cut off for “collaborating with Israel”. Read: 

Abu Suleiman was working methodically to wrap the body of a seven-year-old girl in a white shroud. He didn’t flinch as a volley of mortar bombs crashed down only a street away. He has been preparing the dead for burial since the start of the uprising. Last week he had his busiest day.

Carefully, he folded over the white cloth to cover the girl’s curly chestnut hair, matted with blood. He did not clean it off. “If they are killed by a bomb or a bullet, we don’t wash their martyrs’ blood,” he said. He wrote the girl’s name on the shroud, Nuha al-Manal.

Most of the casualties we saw were civilians and many were children. An 11-year-old boy was brought in. Most of his face had been torn off in an explosion. Everything below the mid-point of his nose was gone, bloody shreds hanging over a hole where his jaw and mouth had been.
Bombs were continually falling outside. People were screaming in the corridor. The boy was still conscious. We caught a glimpse of eyes wide with shock before the nurses pulled a screen across. We decided to try to find a surgeon outside Syria who could reconstruct his face, but the boy died of his wounds the following day.

State television denied there was a bombardment. It told the inventive lie that residents were setting fire to rubbish on their roofs to give the impression of an attack. The official media also said that most of the violence was caused by the rebel fighters of the Free Syrian Army – “terrorists”, “criminal gangs” or “agents of Israel” in the language of official spokesmen.

We were smuggled into Syria and then into Homs by the rebels. Although it has a military council and a spokesman in Turkey, the “Free Army” is not a single organisation with a coherent command structure. It is more a name used by local militias. Arriving just over the border from Lebanon, we found two separate, rival Free Army groups with commanders who did not much like each other.

We followed one of the groups into an attack against an army base. The attack was big, more than 60 men, all of whom had defected from the Syrian forces. By contrast with, say, the fighters in Libya, they were trained, disciplined and followed a plan of attack. Of course, that plan failed. After an hour of firing on the base, they fled when the government troops brought up heavy weapons.

I checked with an officer. While soldiers were released, he said, members of the Shabiha were executed after a hearing before a panel of Free Syrian Army military judges. To explain, they showed me film taken from the mobile phone of a captured Shabiha. Prisoners lay face down on the ground, hands tied behind their backs. One by one, their heads were cut off. The man wielding the knife said, tauntingly, to the first: “This for freedom.” As his victim’s neck opened, he went on: “This is for our martyrs. And this is for collaborating with Israel.”


February 11th, 2012, 6:14 pm


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