The Cease-fire Shakes; “Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation” by Harling

Qatar’s Emir has attacked the UN as immoral for its stand on Syria. The UN’s efforts in Syria, led by Kofi Annan, have “no more than a 3 percent” chance to succeed, the emir said at a press conference in Rome today.

Meanwhile U.N. Truce observers arrive in Syria as shelling continues. The contingent is expected to grow to 250 after further negotiations with Syria. Reports suggested that the cease-fire, which went into effect on Thursday, was holding in places, with notable exceptions. Youtube reports from Homs show buildings being bombarded. Government sources have claimed violations by opposition members. Government forces have been striking out at Khirbet al-Jouz in the north.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, a force within the Syrian National Council, the main umbrella group for the opposition, issued a statement saying the Annan plan should not be open-ended but rather require a timetable for the political transition it envisions. “We stress that continuing to carry out Annan’s plan without a time limit while the other side maintains its killing and violations will be a means of mocking the lives of the Syrian people,” it said.

At least 17 people were killedacross Syria by midday Monday, according to the Local Coordination Committees. Reported death tolls since Thursday, however, have been lower than those before the deadline. Since April 1, opposition groups have reported more than 50 deaths a day; on four days, they said the death toll was more than 100.

By contrast, the Local Coordination Committees reported at least 37 deaths Thursday, at least 13 on Friday, 30 on Saturday and 28 on Sunday.

How high are the chances that Kofi Annan’s plan will be met? Will Annan’s peace efforts lead to any diplomatic solution? If there is regime change in Syria, who will fill the power vacuum? How fragmented is the Syrian opposition, and will the death toll go up if there’s outside military intervention?

CrossTalking with Diana Johnstone, Joshua Landis and Josef Olmert. is the most important article

News Round Up

Peter Harling’s newest report – Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation –  is superb as always.

He agrees in broad outline with my assessment of Syria’s opposition that I set out last month in my report: Upheaval within the Opposition: Defections, Terrorism, and Preparing for a Phase II Insurgency. He believes Syria is headed for a new “phase of radicalisation,” which is based on the need to develop a new and more violent insurgency to take on the Syrian Army. The Syrian army has become an “occupation force.” Islamiszation, terrorism, and growing hatred will be hallmarks of this new phase.

He fleshes out new trends, in particular, the growing worship of Mahar al-Assad among some regime supporters. The violence is creating a new cult of barbarity and war.

I cannot help but turn back to Khudr’s famous warning that the Alawis would assume fascist characteristics not unlike those of the Germans and Japanese who supported their leaders blindly in WWII. He wrote the following in his article, “The Alawi Dilemma” for Syria Comment almost a year ago in June 2011.

….Baathism, amplified the prejudices of Arab nationalists against local, religious, and cultural peculiarities to an absurd degree. It would have been suicidal during the late president’s rule to establish any sort of gathering or group of Alawis under any cultural, social or religious banner. We couldn’t even mention the name of our communities openly. We lived in a stifling world of taboos and social conformism.

The only meeting ground or assembly point for Alawis, where we didn’t have to pretend that we were something we weren’t, was deep in the inner sanctums of the security state. We found ourselves in the clubby security of the secret services, the Republican Guard, the army officer academies, and the worker and agricultural syndicates in the coastal area. These were all regime sanctioned and established institutions that linked our identity to the security state and Assad rule.

This is where Karfan comes from when he states that we have been systematically deprived of any attachment to our religious, cultural and social identity under Hafiz rule. Thus, you can see where his claim comes from: “We were turned into identity-less supporters of “Asad’s” rule…  meaningless tribes ranked by how much we support “him”.”

The full ramifications of this fact were not visible or even felt among Alawis until the current crisis challenged us with the notion of radical change. Alawis are subconsciously realizing that being an Alawi means nothing outside of Asad family rule. We haven’t much history – at least not that we have documented. We have been too busy pretending that we are no different from Muslims to build our common identity. We suffer from a devastating lack of institutionalized cultural or social institutions and marker apart from those connected to the Assad regime. We don’t even know much about our religion to grasp on to. Alawis have defined themselves over the past 40 years as the rulers of Syria, and not much else.

You can then understand why almost all Alawis, even those who had shown fierce opposition toward the Assad regime, are turning into “Basharists” now that the entire edifice is under attack. A subconscious fear of losing our identity supplied by Assad rule and the security state is consuming us and taking precedence over rational thought.

Again, this is not something new. We saw it in Germany or Japan during WWII. Two very civilized populations turned into blind followers of a crazy elite that committed atrocities and led their nations to destruction. In both cases, the very identity of the nation was linked to the person of the leader, Hitler and Showa. To defend the leader in the minds of the people was nothing less than to defend their own identity.

We should be careful not to compare too closely the situation in Syria to that of Iraq under Saddam Hussein. His Sunni followers certainly identified with Saddam and his rule, but they had a confident Sunni identity to fall back on. The Sunnis have long fashioned themselves as the natural leaders of the Arabs and Islam. They can point to uninterrupted dominance in countries stretching from Morocco to Saudi Arabia. They have an illustrious history and established religion. They did not need to fight to the last breath to protect their heritage and they did not.

Alawis today believe that they are under attack – not because anyone is actually attacking them as a group of people or community; they are not. Rather, they feel under attack because the regime is threatened and may fall. This is tantamount – at least subconsciously – to their identity being shattered. Similar to those German and Japanese who wasted their lives fighting a lost battle street-by-street, the Alawis will fight to the end. It is hard to convince someone fighting for such high stakes to abandon their cause….

Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation
By Peter Harling, Middle East Briefing N°33 10 Apr 2012
International Crisis Group


As the 10 April deadline Kofi Annan (the UN and Arab League joint Special Envoy) set for implementation of his peace plan strikes, the conflict’s dynamics have taken an ugly and worrying turn. Syrians from all walks of life appear dumbfounded by the horrific levels of violence and hatred generated by the crisis. Regime forces have subjected entire neighbourhoods to intense bombardment, purportedly to crush armed opposition groups yet with no regard for civilians. Within the largest cities, innocent lives have been lost due to massive bomb attacks in the vicinity of key security installations. Perhaps most sickening of all have been pictures displaying the massacre of whole families, including the shattered skulls of young children. The first anniversary of what began as a predominantly peaceful protest movement came and went with only scattered popular demonstrations. Instead, there was immeasurable bloodshed….

By Soner Cagaptay, WINEP

It seems a real possibility that the prospect of domestic sectarian unrest could tie Turkey’s hands in devising a policy toward Syria. That said, it’s a problem Ankara could still avoid. The key would be for Turkey to alleviate any concerns that its approach to Syria is meant to serve narrow sectarian interests. …..

…should Ankara intervene in Syria against the Assad regime, some in the Turkish Alevi community might be inclined to view this as a new “Sunni attack” against a fellow minority. That likelihood is further bolstered by many Turkish Alevis’ belief that they actually are the same as the Alawites, though they are not ethnically or religiously related (the Alawites are Arabs and the Alevis are Turks). It is not uncommon to meet Alevis who, due to a lack of religious education, assume that Alawite is just another name for Alevi….

Patrick Seale on Syria: in Guardian

Another way to help is through negotiation with Iran over its nuclear program and that must include Iraq with its new dictator Almaliki who is seen by most as an Iranian puppet.  A solution in Syria requires a regional approach,the the GCC will follow as usual.

Why Religion is Fueling the Conflict in Syria: President Assad’s Religion Problem – Listen – NPR Interfaith Voices with Joshua Landis – Date: 29 March 2012

In Syria, Alawite Muslims are kind of like the Mormons of Christianity: they’re a branch of Islam, but many Muslims, especially the Sunni majority, don’t consider them legitimate. That’s always been a problem for Alawite president Bashar al-Assad. Now that more than 9,000 are dead in a revolt against the Assad regime, we explore why theological differences are playing a huge role.

As Syria Falls, Russia Rises…on Twitter

For this experiment, I utilized DiscoverText – the commercial text analytics solution from Texifter – to capture nearly three months of Tweets containing the word “روسية” (“Russian” in Arabic). I then created a topic model (using natural language processing) to classify the content of those tweets according to their relevance to the Syrian uprisings as well as the presence of Islamist rhetoric.  The following classification charts demonstrate how these trends have shifted between February and April on Twitter…..

حلب – سيف الدولة || هتافات الاحرار إيد وحده 12-4-2012

Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun pushed for intensified Friday protests to “demonstrate even more and put the regime in front of its responsibilities — put the international community in front of its responsibilities.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Whatever Turks&Saudis would like to do re Syria, US should support. Period. Just like supported French&Brits in Libya”

A friend writes:

Dear Joshua

When I read people commenting on your blog about foreign agents providing weapons and training to the rebels, I can’t help but wonder if these people know anything about what is going on in Syria. A week ago ( before the major assault on the northern countryside of Aleppo began ) members of the so called Free Syria Army came to our village and offered people double the normal price for whatever guns or bullets people had. They were carrying no more than old rusty Klashnikoves. The question is if they were really receiving weapons would they roam the area looking for bullets!

With regards

Danger Saudi Will Turn Syria into an Islamist Hotbed, Thursday, April 12, 2012, CS Monitor

A steady stream of firebrand Islamic clerics and senior religious officials took to the airwaves with official Saudi sanction to excoriate the Assad regime and encourage pious Muslims to strive against it. The influence of these clerics and the increasing connection between them and fighters in Syria is evidenced by communiqués from armed groups like the “Supporters of God Brigade” in Hama.

The Saudi decision to endorse such religious statements is a sign that the rulers are once again willing to embrace one of the most potent weapons in the kingdom’s arsenal – state-directed jihad. It is one of the most tried and true weapons the kingdom possesses, having been utilized to fight Egyptian President Gama Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab movement in Yemen, the Serbs in Bosnia, and of course the Soviets in Afghanistan, to name just a few cases.

Independent: Adrian Hamilton: Syria’s opposition can now turn this ceasefire to its advantage

Kofi Annan has been trying to do more than just produce a ceasefire. He has been attempting a diplomatic solution to the growing civil war in the country. He has called his a “peace plan” and bent his efforts – and they are considerable – to try …This is not a fight about democracy in which the ruling regime could, like the generals in Burma or the king in Morocco, give a little in order to preserve themselves in power. This is, like other movements in the Arab world, a revolt against the whole nexus of corruption and internal suppression which keeps the Assad family in wealth as well as power.

Give in with even minor concessions, the regime fears, and the whole edifice will start to crumble as ethnic, religious and regional differences surface. No one need believe for a moment Damascus’s claims that it still has the support of most of the population. But it can, and does, play to fear – fear both of the brutality of the security services and fear of the chaos which civil war and religious conflict might bring.

The adoption of a ceasefire represents not so much a desire for any of the parties directly concerned to stop fighting, so much as a sense of exhausted stalemate.

The authorities have managed to use their heavier weaponry to reduce to ruins the places of resistance. But they have not been able to crush all signs of opposition. Their opponents have failed to set up viable independent centres of power, as the Libyan rebels did in Benghazi, but they have survived the bombardments to fight on. Assad’s hope at this point is that, by stopping the bombardments but keeping his troops in position, he can get the world off his back and starve the rebels into giving up or fading away.

The opposition’s hope is that they can use the period of calm to recuperate, re-supply and bring out their supporters on to the streets in peaceful protest. That is what will achieve their purpose, if anything can. Assad has the upper hand militarily but, if the ceasefire is followed by a resumption of mass and peaceful protest demanding his resignation, what can he do but return to suppression in front of the cameras?

A bit of bad judgement:

This is the house of Syria’s Finance Minister. He built it before becoming minister and from money earned in the Gulf.

What’s goin’ on at the Turkish-Syrian border?
By Pepe Escobar, Apr 12, 2012, Asia Times

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

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

What this means is that Turkey is sheltering the FSA right on the border, only a few meters – and not kilometers – away from Syrian territory. Way beyond hosting a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) command and control center in Iskenderun

for months now – a fact already reported by Asia Times Online – Turkey has now advanced right to the border, enabling a back-and-forth by heavily weaponized guerrillas/mercenaries to attack a sovereign state.

Imagine a similar scenario happening, say, at a Mexican-US border in Arizona or Texas.

This can be seen as a very peculiar Ankara interpretation of “safe havens” and “humanitarian corridors” as outlined by what can be seen as the prime blueprint for regime change in Syria: a report [2] by the Saban Center at the Brookings Institution, authored by the usual cocktail of Israeli firsters and Qatar-affiliated Middle East “experts”.

So expect to see this movie generating countless sequels; the FSA attacking a Syrian border checkpoint, killing soldiers and then retreating under a hail of bullets, which will inevitably hit a nearby Syrian refugee camp.

The border escalation graphically illustrates the wider scenario: civil war.

Comments (192)

Aldendeshe said:

Qatar’s Emir has attacked the UN as immoral for its stand on Syria. The UN’s efforts in Syria, led by Kofi Annan, have “no more than a 3 percent” chance to succeed, the emir said at a press conference in Rome today.


Now the Emir is talking about the U.N. like an SNP rep. It is beyond immoral, did he ever get into meeting in the subteranean conference room. The one Phil Schneider walked out of when he saw the IGIGI staff the upper seats. And 3 % chance, man he is an optimist.

April 16th, 2012, 11:39 am


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……This is tantamount – at least subconsciously – to their identity being shattered. Similar to those German and Japanese who wasted their lives fighting a lost battle street-by-street, the Alawis will fight to the end. It is hard to convince someone fighting for such high stakes to abandon their cause……”

The above statement is why the Foreign backed Syrian revolution will fail and lead to serious world wide confrontation. And that is why it needed BRAINS and STRATEGISTS, not MUD! to lead it.

What about Tlass and kid… Comfortably living in Europe while they spent 40+ years helping drive Syria to the ground. Is that fair?

April 16th, 2012, 12:00 pm


Mina said:

UK desperate for 100 millions Euro assets “belonging” to Mubarak and his family.
On the verge of a new financial crash?

April 16th, 2012, 12:11 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……….Danger Saudi Will Turn Syria into an Islamist Hotbed, Thursday, April 12, 2012,……”


الله واكبرAllah Wa Akbar- I sure hope so, how else we can resurrect Muwaiya Islamic army and head south to clear Arabia of infidel, get all the cash Syria and the poor Moslem World will needs to develop into modern people. Once Islamist manage to take control of Syria, will make sure they get rid of the AL CIADA محمد رسول الله لااله الا الله issued emblems and hav’em sport new headbanner: معاوية لنا النصر

April 16th, 2012, 12:21 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“….This is the house of Syria’s Finance Minister. He built it before becoming minister and from money earned in the Gulf…”

This should be a school or SNP party branch headquarter, should be confiscated and turned as such just as the S.O.B.s Baathist did to our big homes, passed laws to hinder ownership of large land or 2 homes.

April 16th, 2012, 12:49 pm


Tara said:


Have you read Khudr’s article June 2011? What is your take? I find what he wrote back then to be a brilliant assessmrnt of the Alawi state of affair, true and saddening.^

[blue diamond + “The Alawi Dilemma – Revisited,” By Khudr

The Alawi Dilemma – Revisited
By Khudr
For Syria Comment
June 20, 2011]

April 16th, 2012, 12:50 pm


Badr said:

Sorry for the long quotation, but the following analysis by the correspondent is illuminating and right on the mark in my view.

Syrian ceasefire leads to new challenges

By Jim Muir
BBC News, Beirut

Tough though it has been, getting agreement on the ceasefire in Syria is the easy bit compared with what comes next.

At this point, the key question could be: in whose interest is a ceasefire that holds on the basis of implementing all points of the Annan plan?

The objective answer is that it is not to the regime’s advantage – indeed, it could prove fatal.

But it would benefit the opposition, or at least those elements of it who want a peaceful settlement short of the violent overthrow of the regime, which is far from being a realistic possibility at present.

What is equally clear is that more pressure from Moscow will be needed if all clauses of the Annan plan are to be implemented, especially the withdrawal of troops, tanks and heavy weapons.

The Russian role will clearly be equally crucial when, and if, it comes to dialogue between the regime and its opponents. In many ways, Moscow will be the arbiter.

The alternative is stark: a return to the battlefield, with the regime trying to complete its control by force, and the opposition and its outside backers stepping up the arming and financing of rebel fighters, plunging the country into deep and prolonged chaos and a potential fragmentation that would have regional consequences.

That would not be in the interest of Russia or the regime’s other outside allies, such as the Chinese and indeed Iran. They would risk losing their key Arab ally to an abrupt regime change pushed by regional and international rivals such as Saudi Arabia and the West.

What exactly Moscow has in mind as an endgame is not clear but will obviously be important.

It could be something akin to the transition from the Soviet Union to the Russia of today.

Or perhaps Moscow sees it as a question of holding the ring while the Syrians themselves hammer out some kind of formula that would accommodate both the opposition and those still substantial sections of Syrian society that may still see the regime as a better alternative than sectarian chaos.

What is clear is that Russia does not buy into the idea that President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle can simply crush dissent by force and implement “democratic reforms” that remain cosmetic and leave the core of the regime intact.

If a settlement is to have a chance, the opposition and its outside backers must be induced to give up their demand that Mr Assad must stand down as the first step in a transition process, and they must agree to talk to the regime.

In that sense, the Annan plan provided a face-saving way out for the Americans and others who had adopted the regime-change demand without having the means to bring it about swiftly or cleanly.

It also means that regional powers like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who are engaged in a regime-to-regime vendetta with Damascus, would have to shelve their own ambitions, at least for the moment.

A successful peaceful resolution in Syria will depend strongly on a continuation and strengthening of the international consensus and collaboration

But negotiations on the country’s future remain a distant prospect as the smoke of war continues to hang over Homs and other places. The situation on the ground clearly must first be stabilised, at least relatively.

A daily struggle can be expected over consolidating the ceasefire and implementing the Annan plan’s provisions.

Nothing will come easy. The process involves a regime that is fighting for its survival and has shown it will stop at nothing to stay in power. So the chances are that pressure will have to be applied every step of the way.

April 16th, 2012, 1:25 pm


Hopeful said:

This is worth watching… and reflecting…

[blue diamond +
Two different confessions on Syrian regime TV channel !!! Two different groups !!!! different names !!! Two different ways of assassination of Saria Hasson !!! But the result is one

فقط مع النظام السوري القبض على عصابتين مختلفتين بأسماء مختلفة وطرق مختلفة في تنفيذ الجريمة وكلا العصابتين تعترف (طوعاً) بتنفيذ جريمة قتل سارية حسون وتعطي تفاصيل دقيقة جداً حول العملية ]

Do you believe it is accurate?

April 16th, 2012, 1:33 pm


Antoine said:

MAWAL 95 – Since you are an expert in searching and analysing video, can u search the videos of pro-regime rallies from the following towns – Kubaybat, Al Saan, Salamiyah in Hama ; Manbij, Al Bab, Deir Hafir, Khanasir and Al Safirah in Aleppo.

April 16th, 2012, 1:52 pm


Tara said:

45 killed in Syria by Bashar and Asma today. Alfatiha upon their souls. The regime is bombarding Khaledya in Homs and other towns. Annan plan is failed. It should be considered null and void…. Next chapter please.

April 16th, 2012, 1:55 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

“……….Zbigniew Brzezinski: “Whatever Turks&Saudis would like to do re Syria, US should support. Period. Just like supported French&Brits in Libya”…..”

Zbig should make the statement more accurate for laymen to understand, something like this perhaps:

“…Whatever Turks&Saudis would like to do re Syria, US should support. Period, for as long as they will accept Crane paper cutout we gives them in exchange for real hard assets and resources. Just like supported French&Brits in plundering Libya deposited and reserve gold and cash assets, oil and water resources, and that is not my opinion, but it is my boss RA-KA-Phere orders. But should they stop taking those Crane Paper, will just may find a deal with the Muwaiya Islamic Army a handy option to use…”

“….Hamilton: Syria’s opposition can now turn this ceasefire to its advantage…”

Oh Yah…they sure will, they will surprise you as usual……expect a lot more more more MUD!!!!

The rest of the article it is good though, specifically this:

“……Assad’s hope at this point is that, by stopping the bombardments but keeping his troops in position, he can get the world off his back and starve the rebels into giving up or fading away….”

And that is where the problem is, as long as they think, or feel so, nothing will advance.

April 16th, 2012, 1:57 pm


Afram said:

The Saudi decision to endorse such religious statements is a sign that the rulers are once again willing to embrace one of the most potent weapons in the kingdom’s arsenal – state-directed jihad. It is one of the most tried and true weapons the kingdom possesses, having been utilized to fight Egyptian President Gama Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab movement in Yemen, the Serbs in Bosnia, and of course the Soviets in Afghanistan, to name just a few cases.
1-to name just a few cases???like-9/11- the twin towers in Lower Manhattan.poor Iraqis paid dearly for the house of saud sins

2-fight Egyptian President Gama Abdel Nasser’s pan-Arab movement in Yemen!!!?King Faisal to Lyndon B.Johnson have Israel attack egypt-67-LBJ> The USS Liberty Cover-Up

about the qatari fatso and Zbigniew Brzezinski,both use the same Viagra drug dealer.
one threw his dad with the bath water in a coup,the other helped his boss-carter-out the back doors of the white house in disgrace

Inspite of them,Assad so far is walking tall..Russia driving the fatso crazy.

April 16th, 2012, 2:09 pm


jad said:


Thank you for the usual logical analysis about the Turkish stand.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that hours after Gule statement the elephant, barrel of zift* of qatar to escalate his rhetoric, the funny part is that he gave a percentage of 3% success to Kofi Annan plan, I wonder what was his ‘scientific’ equation…

+ أمير قطر: موقف مجلس الأمن غير أخلاقي إزاء شعب يقتل كل يوم في سوريا

رأى أمير قطر حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني أن “احتمال نجاح خطة مبعوث جامعة الدول العربية والأمم المتحدة لسوريا كوفي أنان للتوصل إلى حل للأزمة السورية، لا تتعدى نسبته 3%”.

ونقلت وكالة الأنباء الإيطالية “آكي” عن بن خليفة تأكيده أن “الدوحة أيّدت في الماضي فائدة التدخل العسكري لإنقاذ دماء الشعب السوري وهي الفرضية التي تضاءلت نتيجة لموقف روسيا”، لافتا إلى أن “موقف موسكو الآن يظهر تحسناً”.

وأضاف “إن موقف مجلس الأمن غير أخلاقي إزاء شعب يقتل كل يوم ويتلقى الصمت فقط”.

وفي ما يتعلق بالوضع داخل سوريا، أشار إلى أنه “لا يعتقد أن الشعب سوف يتراجع، ولو كلّف ذلك عشرات الآلاف من القتلى”، لافتا إلى أن “مطالب الكرامة والعدالة التي ولدت بطريقة سلمية، يمكن أن تصبح مسلحة”.

* Rights Registered to Afram 🙂

April 16th, 2012, 2:09 pm


bronco said:

#10 Tara

“Annan plan is failed. ”

Are you trying, like Qatar and many other anti-regime do, to convince yourself as there is no evidence it has failed, despite some instabilities caused by the mercenaries funded by Qatar and KSA who desperately want it to fail.

The Qatar instigated Arab League plan failed lamentably. The Annan Plan has a much better chance to succeed, the reputation of the UN at a stake.

April 16th, 2012, 2:16 pm


jad said:

The latest try of JL to clean the fsa fighters image is suspicious to say the least, especially when the media if full with visual proves of the opposite:

A friend writes:

Dear Joshua

When I read people commenting on your blog about foreign agents providing weapons and training to the rebels, I can’t help but wonder if these people know anything about what is going on in Syria. A week ago ( before the major assault on the northern countryside of Aleppo began ) members of the so called Free Syria Army came to our village and offered people double the normal price for whatever guns or bullets people had. They were carrying no more than old rusty Klashnikoves. The question is if they were really receiving weapons would they roam the area looking for bullets!

With regards

April 16th, 2012, 2:20 pm


jad said:

Damascus – 16.04.2012 : President Bashar Al-Assad among his people Joining a Youth’s Initiative

April 16th, 2012, 2:26 pm


jad said:

“He fleshes out new trends, in particular, the growing worship of Mahar al-Assad among some regime supporters.”

That is a very odd news, because on FB I’m registered to more than 400 pages from both sides, Pro-regime and Pro-revolution and out of all these pages only ONE is called after the name of Maher, and in it they don’t even write a word about what Maher is doing, it’s all similar to all other FB pages, filled with news and comments.

I wonder what trend the writer is referring to and that JL is even running with it without any explanation or proves.

Please provide evidences and proves of what you are posting as we all have been asked to do so.


April 16th, 2012, 2:37 pm


jad said:

You will appreciate this official stand of Turkey.
It seems that the khalayjeh are on their own now, that explain the statement of the barrel of zift*

Turkey- on Syria ‘No Questions Pls”

April 16th, 2012, 2:42 pm


MICHEL said:

Jad, there is maybe an argument to be made that this filthy dictatorship is the best alternative for syria right now, but can people like you at least admit that bisho and his crownies are criminals and thieves? Common, I thought all syrians knew this before this past year.

April 16th, 2012, 2:48 pm


Mina said:


The problem is that criminals and thieves are legion; that the culture of impunity is what dominates the region (not a single exception to the rule); that even in the so-called clean accountable Western countries, corruption rules in finance and politics and crimes rule through weapon manufacturing and selling, not to mention the use of drone. So how can a clean politician survive on this planet? Many are advocating a regional solution, but who should start concessions according to you?

April 16th, 2012, 2:53 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @13

No Bronco. I am not trying to convince myself with anything . I have no pre-conceived notions. I did hope that Annan’ s plan materializes. It didn’t. I am judging the events as they happen. The regime as usual talks the talk but does not walk the walk. It is buying time, hoping to level Sunni Homs in it’s entirety, thinking by doing that, the revolution will be buried. The shelling of Homs has not stopped since April 13. 45 people were killed today so what cease fire are you talking about?

My cutoff is more than 10 dead..How ironic and insensitive this statement that is! What is your cutoff? How many dead would you like to see before you call ceasefire a failure.

April 16th, 2012, 3:08 pm


Antoine said:


Regarding your previous comments about Raqqa, you mentioned many of them fled to Damascus and Aleppo during the famine, so are these people joining in the demonstrations in Damas and Aleppo ?

About your argument that Raqqa is not a large urban centre, the same argument can be applied for Kafr Nabl, jabal Zawoya and other small towns and villages of idleb ; plus villages like Yabroud, Rankous, Qaryatayn in the Qalamoun mountains, all of which have wholeheartedly joined the Uprising.

Also there were mass rallies in Raqqa (almost 20,000 strong) a few weeks ago, but then the momentum was lost. Huge rallies were also seen in Tabqa. Also there has been protests in the Civl. Engineering college in Raqqa.

Also correct me if I’m wrong, but the Tabqa Dam has proved to be disatrous for the rural people of the region in the long run ( as opposed to the State workers in Tabqa City).

You also said that most young adult males in Manbij-al Baab-Raqqa corridor work in the Gulf, but there has been quite large protest in al-Baab and even in Manbij. So why Raqqa is left out, why hasn’t it exploded like al Qouriyah or especially, al-Boukamal ?

Mind you, I’m asking you these questions bevause you seem to be knowledgable about the neglected, forgotten hinterland of Syria and its people.

April 16th, 2012, 3:25 pm


Antoine said:

21. TARA said :

“How many dead would you like to see before you call ceasefire a failure.”

They would gladly see 10 million Syrians dead and 5 million displaced to Turkey and Lebanon, since only then their throne will be secure.

April 16th, 2012, 3:27 pm


bronco said:

13. Jad

The “3%” shows not only the stupidity of Qatar but also its rage and impotency.

It is no surprise. Lately Qatar has suffered many humiliating blows.

– The Annan plan and the UNSC ignored totally the AL plan that Qatar forced into the throats of the Arab countries and failed miserably. A bitter pill.
– Turkey has come to the conclusion that it better supports the Annan plan than follow Qatar and KSA warmongering that want to fund the invasion of Syria by the Turkish army.
– The “Qatari’ MB candidate for the presidency in Egypt has been disqualified and Iran, using the constested Persian Gulf island is sending a mini-warning to the Qatar and the GCC.

It seems that, with the elections in the USA and France, KSA and Qatar are increasingly isolated in their anti-Bashar campaign. Even if they want to send weapons, Syria neighbors, namely Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey are preventing it to happen.

Therefore Qatar only outlet to its frustration is making vocal declarations that no one takes seriously.
Like Turkey, Qatar has made many wrong assumptions about Syria and like Turkey, it is time it changes its tune

April 16th, 2012, 3:33 pm


irritated said:

#23 Antoine

“They would gladly see 10 million Syrians dead”

They = The rebels

April 16th, 2012, 3:35 pm


Juergen said:

Something funny to watch, my tunesian neighbor said i should share it with all of you.

So according to Al Dunya hairdressers, Ataricomputerowners, sheep farmers are a threat to the country. If the muhabarat makes an lousy job like Al Dunya, then i would say the end is near, or who would believe such schoolyard talk?

News on the german vessel:

DER SPIEGEL wrote that there are indications given by the captain of the ship that explosives and maetrials used to operate and handle explosives are on board, he declared that to Egyptian authorities before passing the Suez Channel as well as to Cyprus, who then refused to allow the ship to tank in their habour.

April 16th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Like Turkey, Qatar has made many wrong assumptions about Syria and like Turkey, it is time it changes its tune


The wrong assumptions are not about Syria or Assad, but who they relied on to carry out the plan. They were dead wrong. If they really need a Sunni Syria, not ruined Syria, they will have to contact SNP to group Syria’s and Lebanon Sunnis behind the solution. Otherwise, bite the desert dust. Neither Hariri nor Ghallioun and his MB are representative of Lebanon or Syria inflentual and notable Sunnis. Both are fakely made out to appear so by foreigners.

April 16th, 2012, 3:50 pm


Juergen said:

Feras Hamdan a Syrian-German has written this song for Syria:

Rastan- for peace

Syria, a country of culture and religion,
It governs a family tradition of monarchy,
it brings suffering to the war, makes people
Demonstrations you can join us.
People do not destroy this country and know it,
This war requires sacrifices show the country is broken.
how can there only to protect the innocent
Freedom fighters are brave, may God protect you.
too long was the policy up to this time,
rap for Syria, which is a call for freedom.
Look at how we share the bread as brothers,
The sound has tears and blood in the lines.
People arm themselves and go on roads,
without reason, the struggle still exist
what I want? I just want peace,
and do not see how people shot uselessly.

Green, white, and black along the asphalt,
3 red stars and our fists clenched
not forget at the end is here to win the freedom
all good “Syria Inshallah” for peace.

No one is thinking of the families or the children,
the suffering must be stopped and I stand behind it.
But why are so few on my side?
You do not understand why it is done, the country
wonder where is the help from other countries?
a bit of support might change all that
and you are satisfied with how it looks on blindly
The shocking pictures of the military on it all?
I’m just wondering why you are doing here, just nothing?
why powers are in a different light
why criminals get away with this is genocide,
The sun shines everywhere so why not there?
comes to its senses and lay down your arms,
think of freedom because they are the real winners.
let the pigeons fly up into the sky,
because we want to finally get the freedom.

April 16th, 2012, 4:09 pm


Tara said:


“Sorry, I never heard about a ceasefire with zero casualties.
The die hards will not stop magically, in the contrary they will increase the provocations to make the plan fails”

Of course you never heard of a ceasefire with zero casualties because you never heard of a president killing his own people unabated for over a year.  Ceasefire occurs between warring parties with close military readiness.  This is one sided unabated killing… Can you tell me how you objectively assessed that the people in Homs provoking their own death and destruction as opposed to being killed as part of Assad’s original plan of finishing off the revolution and it’s activists?  Didn’t he estimated 60,000 “terrorists” in his first “historical” speech. 

Also, May you share with me why would I hide my “real desires”?  I do not hide anything from you…    

April 16th, 2012, 4:31 pm


Mina said:

Some good news from the Angry Arab
You bet they don’t like the Syrians…

April 16th, 2012, 4:47 pm


Khalid Tlass said:

28. SNP said :

The Sunni of Iraq shouldn’t be left out, especially not the Baathists (who are the only reps of Iraqi Sunnis), the entire Fertile Crescent needs to be protectded from anti-Sunni elements and neo-Safavids. Ofcourse Syria and Iraq are 2 most urgent cases.

April 16th, 2012, 4:57 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Does any one know how the barrel of zift came up with 3% number?why not 3.5%?
Does it have to do with the amount of $ he is paying FSA criminals,or the amount
Of weapons he is sending them?
What is the chance that Moza’s husband will ever lose weight?

April 16th, 2012, 5:07 pm


Antoine said:

In response to some crude comments from MINA regarding “beduins” from Deir al Zour and Maara allegedly keeping their women backward,

Here is a anti-regime protest video today from Deir al Zour, a protest almost exclusively for women, tell me what “backwardness” you see in them ? Are they being forced to do things against their will ?

the same poster is on record disparaging a wide cross-section of the Syrian people, I ask him, what part of Syria do you like the most ?

April 16th, 2012, 5:23 pm


Mina said:

Thanks a lot for this interesting video. 20 women does not mean “Beduin women”. By “Beduins” I mean real semi-nomads.

April 16th, 2012, 5:35 pm


Alan said:
Israeli officer hits unarmed protester in the face with rifle (VIDEO)

April 16th, 2012, 5:35 pm


Tara said:

Idlib: The regime’s military has been shelling the city since dawn and are ongoing until now, despite Annan’s deadline and the arrival of thel UN observers in Syria. The constant bombardment has resulted in the destruction of several buildings, including one building where residents were able to pull 21 corpses out of the rubble while dozens remain buried underneath. The families of the victims are burying their loved ones today in Hadiqut al-Bustan located in the al-Shamali Neighborhood. Some of the identified martyrs include, 2 martyrs from al-Aswad, Saeed Hussien Natour, Ahmed Saed Yousef, Mahmoud Zain Meery, Mohammed Khair Faddel Rashid, 2 martyrs from Al Sameea’a, Abdo Zayad Sulieman Aoud, Ahmed Mohammed Daib Jaqmoor, Mohammed Naasan Haboush and Mahmoud Balq. It is reported that most of the martyrs are between the ages of 15-30 years. Due to a communication and an electricity blackout, and a closure of all exits and entrances into the city, we were not able to accurately identify the absolute toll of this military operation. The city has been absolutely isolated from its surrounding and in complete closure suffering a water outage. Meanwhile, military aircraft continue to hover above the city and regime tanks have been deployed in several areas including the industrial area and the Shuhada Roundabout.

I will provide the link later.

April 16th, 2012, 5:44 pm


Alan said:
رئيس لجنة العلاقات الدولية في البرلمان الروسي واثق من امكانية جلوس السوريين الى طاولة المفاوضات
هناك فرصة لجلوس ممثلي دمشق الرسمية والمعارضة السورية المتفرقة الى طاولة المفاوضات. أعرب عن هذا الرأي أليكسي بوشكوف رئيس لجنة الشؤون الدولية في مجلس الدوما الروسي، الذي التقى يوم 15 ابريل/نيسان بممثلي المعارضة السورية الداخلية المتواجدين في موسكو بزيارة.

وبحسب قول بوشكوف فان هذا اللقاء يساعد في فهم موازين القوى والسيناريوهات المحتملة. وقال بوشكوف:”هناك تفاؤل، وفي حال عدم احباط بعثة كوفي عنان لن تحبط الهدنة، بالرغم من وجود اشخاص راغبين في عمل ذلك. ويسمح حديثي مع فصيل المعارضة هذا بالتوصل الى استنتاج ان السوريين يمكن ان يجلسوا الى طاولة المفاوضات. وفي جميع الاحوال توجد فرصة لذلك”. واعاد بوشكوف الى الاذهان ان المعارضة السورية متشتتة وان انطباعاته تطال المحادثات مع هيئة التنسيق الوطني فقط. واوضح قائلا:” ومن اجل ان يبدأ الحوار الفعال، كما يقول ذلك ممثلو الهيئة، من الضروري اولا ان تلتقي فصائل المعارضة كلها وتشكل لجنة موحدة، تمثل المعارضة كلها وليس بعض فصائلها”.

وبحسب قول بوشكوف فان قرار” اصدقاء سورية” في اسطنبول حول ان المجلس الوطني السوري هو الممثل الرئيسي للشعب السوري اتخذ على عجل، لان المعارضة السورية الداخلية لا تؤيده، علما انها تحظى بنفوذ كبير في البلاد. وان القوى المعارضة في سورية يجب ان تقرر من يمثلها في الحوار مع السلطات، حسب رأي بوتشكوف.

واستطرد بوشكوف قائلا:” ان المرحلة الثانية هي مرحلة الحوار مع السلطة. والحديث عن صيغته يعتبر الان سابقا لاوانه. لكنه لا مفر منه”.

يذكر ان هيئة التنسيق الوطني التي يعتبر حسن عبد العظيم احد قادتها تقوم حاليا بزيارة موسكو. ويخطط لان تلتقي بسيرغي لافروف واعضاء مجلس الاتحاد الروسي، اضافة الى اللقاء ببوشكوف.

ممثل عن المعارضة: خطة كوفي عنان فرصة اخيرة لتسوية الوضع في سورية
صرح عارف دليلة ممثل المعارضة السورية الداخلية لوكالة “نوفوستي” الروسية للانباء بان خطة كوفي عنان هي الفرصة الاخيرة لتسوية الوضع في سورية. لذلك لا يجب ان تفوتها السلطة السورية. وقال:” نعتبر انه من اجل تغيير الوضع تغييرا جذريا من الضروري ان نتصرف سريعا. ويجب تطبيق خطة كوفي عنان، التي تعتبر فرصة اخيرة لتسوية الوضع”. ولفت دليلة الى ان السلطة السورية لا يجب ان تفوت هذه الفرصة، كما فوتت فرصة تسوية الوضع بمساعدة جامعة الدول العربية”.

وبحسب قول دليلة فمن اجل تطبيق خطة كوفي عنان يجب ان توفد هيئة الامم المتحدة فريقا للمراقبين الدوليين الذين يمكن ان يقيموا الاوضاع في البلاد. وقال:” نطلب ان تلعب روسيا دورا هاما وضروريا في تطبيق خطة كوفي عنان لكي يحقق الشعب السوري طموحاته”.

واشار ممثل المعارضة الى ان الجانبين بحثا في المحادثات مع ميخائيل بوغدانوف نائب وزير الخارجية الروسي اسباب الازمة السورية وتطوراتها الاخيرة وطرق الخروج منها. وقال:” سنبحث مع وزير الخارجية لافروف المسائل نفسها وننوي تبادل الاراء بشأن طرق الخروج من الازمة في سورية”.

April 16th, 2012, 5:48 pm


Alan said:
المعارضة السورية تجري لقاءات في موسكو

April 16th, 2012, 5:53 pm


Tara said:

Bronco @37

Before we go any further in spelling out my feeling about Annan’s plan, can you tell me why do you think I am hiding my desire for Annan’s plan to fail? Fear? Image? What could possibly be my motive to just say I would like Annan’s plan to fail?

April 16th, 2012, 6:04 pm


irritated said:

Ghaliun’s call for demonstrations last Friday got a very meager response.

Is the opposition waiting for the full team of UN observers to become operative before they call for “massive” demonstrations and strikes? Wouldn’t be too late?

April 16th, 2012, 6:10 pm


ann said:

On Syria, Moroccan Follows Mood, Still Mystery, Guehenno in NY, Annan to Doha

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16, updated below — As Kofi Annan and his Arab League selected deputy Nasser el-Kidwa head to Doha, and his first chosen deputy Jean-Marie Guehenno has been spotted in New York by Inner City Press, the mystery of Annan’s Norwegian General Robert Mood remains unresolved, even to some senior UN officials.

Saturday at the UN Russia’s Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin told Inner City Press that Mood was unprofessional for leaving Damascus while Foreign Minister Moellem was away from a day in Moscow. Meanwhile Syria’s Permanent Representative Bashar Ja’afari told Inner City Press his government wanted Mood to return.

On Monday after Inner City Press asked about it at the noon briefing, Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokesman Eduardo Del Buey provided the same answer as Annan’s Amhad Fawzi, with the additional detail of Mood’s replacement’s name and nationality:

Subject: Your question at the briefing
From: UN Spokesperson – Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 4:34 PM
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Major-General Mood went to Damascus from 5 – 10 April to discuss the modalities of the eventual deployment of a UN supervision mission. He then came to Geneva to report to the Joint Special Envoy on 11 April. As is mission was accomplished, he returned to Norway. The advance team in Damascus was being led by Moroccan Colonel Ahmed Himiche.

Even among Ban Ki-moon’s inner circle some drew a link between Morocco leading an advance team to Syria for which Ban demands freedom of movement, and Ban’s UN in Western Sahara accepting limitations on its free movement, as reflected even in the final MINURSO report as watered down, allegedly by not only Morocco but France.

In front of the Security Council on Monday it was argued that France has made it a mission to undermine democracy in Western Sahara. The briefing on that will be April 17 at 10 am, bookended by a briefing about Sudan by Thabo Mbeki at 11:30 am.

Update of 5:50 pm — in a closed door meeting Monday afternoon of troop contributing countries on the “Advance Team to Syria” held by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations Office of Military Affairs, sources complained to Inner City Press that a representative of Syria was present. But they remain a member state, no? And many countries attended which will never send personnel to Syria. Why all the secrecy?


April 16th, 2012, 6:17 pm


zoo said:

Syrian activists hack Lebanese photography website

April 16, 2012

The website of a leading Lebanese photographers association was hacked by anti-Assad forces on Sunday night, with the site still down on Monday.

The Lebanese Photojournalists’ Association’s website was taken down and replaced by a message from the hackers which read “this website was hacked for the Syrian revolution”

April 16th, 2012, 6:28 pm


zoo said:

UN monitors begin Syria mission
Published Monday, April 16, 2012
An advance team of UN ceasefire monitors started work in Syria on Monday, seeking to ensure that both government forces and the opposition respect the terms of a truce, mediator Kofi Annan’s spokesman said.

A team of six observers arrived in Damascus late on Sunday night, led by Moroccan Colonel Ahmed Himmiche.

“The mission will start with setting up operating headquarters this morning, and reaching out to the Syrian government and the opposition forces so that both sides fully understand the role of the UN observers,” spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement.

“The remaining 25 are expected to arrive in the next few days,” he said.

The United Nations Security Council agreed on Saturday to send the unarmed monitors to supervise the ceasefire that officially began last Thursday but has been marked by reports of violence and shelling in the flashpoint city of Homs.

On Sunday, Fawzi said he expected the Security Council to adopt a second resolution by the end of the week to authorize the deployment of a full observer mission of at least 250 monitors, including human rights experts.

April 16th, 2012, 6:32 pm


zoo said:

تنسيقية دير الزور تطلب من الجيش الحر عدم حماية المظاهرات بعد مجزرة ارتكبها

April 16th, 2012, 6:36 pm


ann said:

Qatar Prince Says Syria Peace Plan Has ‘3%’ Chance of Success

I give the prince the same odds ‘3%’ of dying of old age

April 16th, 2012, 6:39 pm


zoo said:

India position on Annan’ plan

India carries BRICS flag on Syria

It gives me great pleasure to study the document which just reached me — ‘Explanation of Vote’ on the United Nations supervision mission for Syria by Ambassador Hardeep Puri at the UN Security Council in New York a little while ago.

Puri made the following points:
A) India fully supports Annan’s mission. India appreciates that Annan’s mission has made progress and “resulted in cessation of violence.”
B) India welcomes Syrian government’s acceptance of the Annan plan. India hopes that the opposition too would “adhere” to the relevant action points in the Annan plan and “renounce violence and cooperate fully.” (Comment: The onus is on the opposition to show sincerity.)
C) India supports the UN supervision mission’s deployment and hopes that “all parties, including the opposition” will cooperate with the mission. Having said that, the UN supervision mission too should work “impartially, fairly and independently” and should give due respect to Syria’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”
D) India calls for an “inclusive Syrian-led political process”. The process should start as soon as possible. “We have noted the commitment of the Government of Syria to such a process. We expect that the opposition will also engage seriously in this process so that the crisis is resolved without any further bloodshed.” (Comment: Delhi’s endorsement of the Syrian government stance stands out.)
E) India feels that a special responsibility lies with “all countries in Syria’s neighborhood and beyond” to facilitate the success of the Annan mission. (Comment: A mild stricture of countries like Turkey or some Persian Gulf monarchies?)
The Indian stance on Syria has undergone a ‘makeover’, which is all for the good. To my mind, India never really belonged to the ‘Friends of Syria’. The ‘new thinking’ follows the BRICS summit in Delhi and the foreign-minister level Russia-India-China meet on Friday in Moscow during which the crisis in Syria figured in the discussions. In sum, India harmonized its position with the BRICS’s.
By the way, during the coming one-year period, India is holding the presidency of the BRICS as well as the RIC. I have no doubt EAM invited Annan to visit Delhi at an early opportunity. Of course, the road to peace in Syria is fraught with obstacles, but Syria needs Annan’s plan and India is right in unequivocally backing it rather than indulge in the corrosive scepticism about its prospects, as the Gulf monarchies and Turkey have been doing.

By M K Bhadrakumar – April 15, 2012

April 16th, 2012, 6:44 pm


Hans said:

I am glad that so many here and out there agree that this so called revolution is nothing but superpower and sub super power new and old chess game. It is not about the Pawns after all they are too small of a creature.
The Kings are not Assad or Ghalioun they both bishops, could be the elephant in the room who no one wants to get rid of them. Kings are Russia and USA.
The pawns ( soldiers) are the Syrians on both sides.
KSA and GCC are the (Knight) horses I meant the night whores, will and can do anything to get back at someone who refused to sleep with them.
the beauty queens are Turkey and France Israel, all in bed with whores and
but afraid that sleeping with Whores the may catch same disease the whores have.

China, Iran are the Rooks in the game, won’t budge but will kick ass if need it to.
The field is the UN which is baseless given these players can play anywhere they can move the pawns to.
Check can occur many times but the end game here is to save both kings at the expense of all others if possible. The more likely result is a draw and another game is to be played.

April 16th, 2012, 6:48 pm


anwar said:

Huh ??? those mountain people nouveau riche should not be calling anyone backward…just be glad you got out of Syria with your million of dollars before the revolution started or else you wouldn’t be able to enjoy your full time-job as an online gov’t propaganda agent.

Funny how they enjoy their lives in western countries but then go on about corruption in the US and Canada. At least people have basic human rights there and aren’t threatened to have their penis cutoff if they dont worship obama or harper.

April 16th, 2012, 6:55 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I gave you thumb up for that truth talk Anwar. It is going to be a pretty nice school or Human Right Center Bldg. Something useful to society for the stolen public money.

April 16th, 2012, 7:03 pm


Tara said:


No.  You are wrong.  I told you before I don’t hide anything from you.  I am not against Annan’s plan.  If Annan’s 6 points plan is carried out in its entirety, it will lead to a regime change.  And with the regime change, Bashar will vanish.  It is my deepest conviction, that Assad can’t  stand a chance in a clean and fair election carried out under international observers.  It is also my deepest conviction that once a hyena, always a hyena.  Assad has proved once and again that he knows no repentance and that the only strategy he is capable of adhering to is kill, kill, and then kill some more until no one left.

Bronco, When I ask you a question, I simply believe your answer.  I disagree with you frequently, but I do not doubt your stated intentions.  Why am I so different?

April 16th, 2012, 7:14 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

رئيس لجنة العلاقات الدولية في البرلمان الروسي واثق من امكانية جلوس السوريين الى طاولة المفاوضات
هناك فرصة لجلوس ممثلي دمشق الرسمية والمعارضة السورية المتفرقة الى طاولة


Only fools and losers will sit infront of Criminal Baathists and negotiate at this point. Where do you start? Give Syrians all the stolen billions in oil and public funds first. Send them to hell you dim witted Syrian opposition and your lame backers, you can not kick thier ass, SNP can, drop your pride and bring your checkbook, Islamists can not deliver nor have the solution, only Nationalists can do.

April 16th, 2012, 7:17 pm


Tara said:


What can I say….See no evil and keep admiring.

April 16th, 2012, 7:20 pm


Mawal95 said:

Joshua says Peter Harling’s commentary is “superb”. I strongly disagree. On 10 Apr 2012 Peter Harling wrote of “Annan’s initiative to… initiate a political transition…”, and on 5 Mar 2012 Peter Harling wrote of Annan’s initiative that it “arguably offers a chance to rescue fading prospects for a negotiated transition.” What’s he talking about there? what’s the “negotiated political transition” he envisages? Peter Harling in his commentary chooses to make no mention of Syria’s Parliamentary Elections coming on 7 May 2012 or the Presidental Election in 2014. I have said repeatedly that there is NO prospect for any “negotiated political transition” in Syria because: (A) the regime’s unshakeable position is that the political outcome must be essentially whatever is popular with the people of Syria as expressed in the results of competitive elections in which the regime is a competitor; and (B) Syria has already passed through its political transition under this past year’s comprehensive reform program, under which there was established by national referendum with 57% voter turnout a new Constitution, and additionally there was enacted good new laws for the Elections, the Political Parties, and the Information Media. The reforms to the political institutions are finished. There is nothing to negotiate. And don’t forget that the anti-regime opposition doesn’t object to any of the reforms that were enacted by the regime. Nor does the opposition advocate any further specific reforms. The opposition’s political platform merely consists of wanting to ouster the regime’s personnel. To repeat, the opposition is devoid of any proposals for making any changes to the institutional structures the regime has put in place. There is nothing to negotiate. The opposition has to compete against the regime in the fair elections, or else fight against the regime’s army with guns. The Assad’s party and Assad himself are powerfully positioned to win any and all competitive elections. The regime’s army is also powerfully positioned to win the fight with guns too (once the menace of a foreign conquest is gone).

The notion of a “Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system” means this: the regime and its opponents will submit themselves to the preferences of the people of Syria in the scheduled elections. So what did Peter Harling think he was talking about?

April 16th, 2012, 7:23 pm


Hopeful said:

Re: Anwar #51

I, for one, find the hypocrisy of many Syrians/Arabs who are living in the West (including many on this forum) astounding! They have enjoyed living in vibrant economies with equal opportunities, free societies with basic human rights, and yet would not miss an opportunity to throw a jab at these countries at any chance they got! The least you could do is help people in your home countries dream about and enjoy the same rights and opportunities you are now taking for granted every day!

Arab countries have a lot to learn from the West. Follow the leads of countries like South Korea, Singapore, and now China: embrace and learn from Western systems and values; and maybe one day you too can manage to lift your nations/peoples out of poverty, ignorance, corruption and rotten governments.

OR, continue to live in the dark and watch the world pass you by, and keep complaining about how the Imperialist West and Israel are the causes of all illnesses in your societies!

April 16th, 2012, 7:38 pm


Mawal95 said:

@Antoine #9: I know nothing about the the towns of Kubaybat and Al Saan in Hama province. Regarding Salamiya, the majority of the people who live in Salamiya are with the Ismaeli sect in their religion. There was a large pro-regime rally in Salamiya on 2 Nov 2011. I saw a video of it at Youtube, and I noted the following report about it at SANA at the time:

Regarding Manbij, Al Bab, Deir Hafir, Khanasir and Al Safirah in Aleppo, I’ve see videos at Youtube of pro-regime rallies in Manbij and Al-Bab, or else Manbij and Al-Safirah. You ought to be able to dig them up if you spend your own time. I think I saw them in and around October, though I wouldn’t bet my life on when it was I saw them.

Returning to the towns of Hama province, I’ve seen lots and lots of ANTI regime rallies of very substantial size, relative to overall town size, in the Hama towns of Halfaya and Tayiba Al-Imam. And I’ve not seen pro-regime rallies in those towns. Nevertheless, I believe that the majority of the people in those Hama towns don’t support the uprising. As an illustration of why I believe so, see the following video, where citizens are returning to the town of Halfaya after the army restored order and drove out armed rebels after the rebels had briefly taken over place:

April 16th, 2012, 7:50 pm


mjabali said:

The ruler of Qatar is probably obsessed with the number three because he has three wives:

The first is Mariam AL Thani
The Second is Mauzah al-Masnad
The Third: Nurah Al Thani

الأولى: الشيخة مريم ال ثاني
الثانية: الشيخة موزة المسند
الثالثة: الشيخة نورة ال ثاني

April 16th, 2012, 8:06 pm


mjabali said:

Anwar said:

“those mountain people nouveau riche should not be calling anyone backward”

Alawism started in cities like Baghdad and Allepo. They even existed all around Damascus and probably in it.

Alawis were exterminated from these cities, only those who lived in the mountains remained till this century.

Not all of them were poor. Some had castles and even small local states إسماعيل الهواش مثلاً levying taxes and fighting the Ottomans for tens of years. This happened while your ancestors were living under the Ottomans not able to ride a horse. العهدة العمرية

The Alawis did not have any powers to protect them and remained under the sword till the 20th C when realities on the ground made them come a little out of the mountains. For the whole time they were fighting to survive.

To give you some light about the Alawis here is a link to an article:

April 16th, 2012, 8:20 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

Syrian Nationalist Party
Metaz K M Aldendeshe
Chief Strategist

Sunni ruled Syria without old or new Baathists, old or new Islamist is heaven for the Middle East. The growth potential for the region is phenomenal. There exist no reason when Baathists are banished from Syria why then, scared silly from peace, Israelis, can not contribute to this growth. It is time for Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Gulf countries and Qatar to stop betting on a losing horses, that has proven losers time after time. NOW, change the tracks and the horses for the win at the finish line, this is not the time to drop out of the race and sit on Baathists dirt patch with the broken Baathist horses that are gilded with gold and precious stones stolen from Syrian public fund to negotiate a weakling surrender. A line item deal can be reached that will predefine and balance Syria future foreign policies and serves as the bases for a new better, peaceful Middle East.

April 16th, 2012, 8:26 pm


mjabali said:


I read the article you asked me about and even had commented on points in it.

I can start talking about it slowly, because through that you may be able to see points that are worth discussing.

The Khudr article started with this paragraph, he said : “You are completely right when you say that most Alawis these days either support the regime (better to say that they support Assad family rule) or are living in complete denial of the situation.”

About this I disagree because the Alawis today are not into the two categories khudr cornered them into. There are many Alawis with Bashar al-Assad, also there are many silent opposition to al-Assad, and also there are an important anti Assad Alawi individuals.

From the people I know and speak with regularly I could tell that the ones with al-Assad are mostly from the “not that educated” class. These are the ones who has relatives in the army where the death toll is increasing. So, when you get your young son in a sealed casket while you are listening to al-Dunia, chances are you are still going to support al-Assad and see what he talks as the truth. This group is simple and patriotic and for the state of Syria. They see their sons as martyrs for Syria.

The silent group are normally educated. This is a sizable group. You can talk to them and slowly they accept criticism about the government unlike the first group. They do not trust people that much and therefore they can not speak up about their true feelings. You have to read between the lines with those.

The third group is anti Assad in the open. Those are mostly educated. The list of those is growing.

I have to go but will continue later

April 16th, 2012, 8:35 pm


Tara said:

Syria ‘more than 11,000 killed in 13 months’

The death toll of 11,117 is 7,972 civilians and 3,145 military and gunmen, including fewer than 600 rebel fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

April 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Rebel fighters(i e :terrorists).

April 16th, 2012, 8:50 pm


Tara said:

FSA: “we wish Annan’s mission succeed”

A commander with Free Syria Army insists that rebels are complying with the ceasefire.

Speaking via Skype, Qassim, a former air force officer from Rastan near Homs, told my colleague Mona Mahmood:

There has been heavy shooting against the Khaldiyed and al-Bayadah districts [of Homs] since last Thursday. The regime is not complying with the ceasefire. But we at the FSA will comply to the end.

At this stage there is a need for self-control and peaceful demonstrations. If Annan’s plan fails, we have an attack plan, but we wish Annan’s mission succeed.

The regime tries to provoke us, but we won’t give it a pretext in front of the UN observers. Despite the shooting, we are holding back to prove to the world that we are an organised army and will adhere to the peaceful nature of the uprising.

The UN observers should come to the opposition towns and villages. There are 700 areas in Syria that are against the regime. Each one of them needs at least five observers, so, of course, the observer mission is limited and the regime is trying put obstacles in its way.

We trust the UN observes and believe that they will do better job than the Arab monitors because they are more experienced and better equipped.

The regime won’t stop the killing because that would mean millions of people would take to the streets to protest against the government.

In Rastan the army is firing from the outskirts of the town. There is no electricity, very little food, schools can’t open at all, and most of the teachers have fled. Like many others parents, I don’t think it is safe to send our kids to school. I have three girls and three boys.

There is no sign of life here. The regime has tried to arrest me many times. I also survived an attempted assassination when my neighbour was killed and two of my children were injured.

April 16th, 2012, 9:08 pm


Aldendeshe said:

. Aldendeshe said:
“….This is the house of Syria’s Finance Minister. He built it before becoming minister and from money earned in the Gulf…”
This should be a school or SNP party branch headquarter, should be confiscated and turned as such just as the S.O.B.s Baathist did to our big homes, passed laws to hinder ownership of large land or 2 homes.
2  15
April 16th, 2012, 12:49 pm


Baathists can go to your grave knowing that your children and grand, grand children, will be held to account of Baathist transgression on Syrians. Anyone that had any position, business dealing or association by marriage, or family, to any Baathist, or any Political or otherwise, a Party, or union that operated under the Baathist State, you are on the hook. Will take back what you stole from us under fraudulent Socialism banners and even be compensated all the way back to November of 1958. All your transgression will be compensated, including arrests, torture and murder of Syrians, corruption, and devaluation of the State Currency as well as losses incurred to the individual and National economy. Penny less thieves you started, penniless and homeless criminals you and your grand grand children will ends up. We will never forget or forgive ever. Unrepentant and un-remorsed to the end you remain, and that we shall be like as well.

April 16th, 2012, 9:16 pm


Tara said:

Tara, Turkey, and the FSA support Annan’s plan

Ankara urges to implement Annan plan
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey has said the United Nations Security Council’s resolution to send monitors to Syria was a step taken in the right direction but called for the full implementation of the Annan plan. 

“This resolution stands as an important message as the United Nations Security Council could finally send out a unified voice on the situation in Syria. Though it does not fully meet our expectations, it’s considered a step taken in the right direction,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement over the weekend. Syrian forces do still commit violence against civilians and demonstrators although it says it has began withdrawing its troops from the cities, the statement said, adding it was important that the monitors resume their duties as soon as possible. Turkey will closely follow the full implementation of the Annan plan, including launching a political transition process and dialogue aiming to structure a democratic and pluralistic political system, the statement read.

April 16th, 2012, 9:20 pm


Mawal95 said:

@ Khalid Tlass: Youtube uploader “RastanTwilight” is a dissident with a video camera who is living in the town of Al-Rastan. In his videos it is clear that the rebels have the support of only a smallish minority in the town, and the rebels are not in control on the ground. Al-Rastan’s anti-regime gatherings are small, and weapons are not on display at the gatherings. And there is no armed rebel presence on commercial streets or major traffic streets. In other words in these videos from Al-Rastan from RastanTwilight, we can’t see evidence that the forces of law and order are not in control (unlike what I’ve seen in some parts of Homs city, which are still not under the control of the forces of law and order). I offer this as evidence for you that you are mistaken about Al-Rastan.

While I’m talking to you, Khalid, here’s a video of many armed rebels openly carrying their weapons at a street demonstration in the town of كنصفرة Kansefra in the Zawiya Hills area of Idlib on 11 Dec 2011: . I ask you to link us to a video showing anything like it nearly as big in any populated area anywhere in Syria during the last month. I haven’t seen one and I say one doesn’t exist, which, if true, indicates your rebellion isn’t getting traction.

April 16th, 2012, 9:22 pm


Ghufran said:

Syrians in the refugee camp in Iskandaron are not happy with Ghalioun and the SNC failure to deliver:
How much support the SNC really still has in Syria?
Those refugees need to go back to their houses and villages,this is a disgrace,I am appalled that nobody is working to give those people the dignity they deserve.

April 16th, 2012, 9:37 pm


Ghufran said:

قناة الجديد تتهم رسميا الجيش السوري بمقتل علي شعبان

April 16th, 2012, 10:34 pm


Mohamed Kanj said:

FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP MR LANDIS.Can u really make ur mind and stop flip flopping. At the start of the disturbances in syria, mr landis said “the regime will fall in a few months”. Later on mr landis went on to say that “regime will fall by years end of 2011”. Now mr landis in the interview with Russia today says “the regime will eventually fall in a few YEARS”. Mr landis reminds me of walid jumblat of lebanon “King of flip flops”.

Mr landis – can u tell us how u predict the regime will fall? Economically, militarily, politically etc etc? Sanctions have hurt the govt yes, but they r still able to stand on their own feet with continued trade with Iraq,Lebanon,Jordan,Iran, eastern countries – russia,china, asia etc etc. Oil is still being distributed to asian countries. The army is yet to c a significant defection and still remains loyal. Everyone keeps mentioning demonstrations etc. Remember no western country or the brutal gulf countries approve of demonstrations on their land without a permit authorised by the internal security branch (police). Why should syria b different? Mr landis keeps mentioning that the elite businessman and army units r loyal to the teeth with the syrian govt along with the majority of minorities and sunni middle class. So explain how u can smirk on tv and say that the govt will fall in a few years? Give us a detailed explaination. Instead of posting baseless and meaningless articles on the syrian issue, can u base ur arguements on some facts?
Guess not mr landis.

April 16th, 2012, 11:18 pm


Equus said:

Reportage: From United Kingdom

Woman wearing full dress is considered naked. Lovely democracy.

April 16th, 2012, 11:22 pm


jad said:

عيد الجلاء ١٧ نيسان
يـومُ الـجـلاءِ هـو الـدنيا وزينتُها .. لـنـا ابـتـهـاجٌ ولـلباغين إرغامُ
يـاراقـداً فـي روابي ميسلونَ أفِقْ .. جـلـتْ فـرنسا فما في الدّارِ هضَّامُ

April 16th, 2012, 11:29 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@ Jad 74 – Typed a poem about Syria nobility and its famed leader who was martyred on duty.

Funny, but sad and disgusting, how Baathist Criminals still harken to this day on the memory of a heroic Sunni Moslem Syrian Defense Minister action at Maysaloon in the early 20’s, his bravery and martyrdom in battle. They have no other leader who can they make poem to. Unlike ??? the Alawite-Nussairi Shia Assad, who as defense minister during the 1967 war with Israel, hid in the basement of a Homs residential building, far away from the Golan front that was left deserted from Alawite soldiers who were more interested in joining Riffat company of thugs to rob Damascus Residents than dying heroicly in the Golan fights, Israeli walked through it. Even more disgusting is Baathist defense minister Mustafa Tlass (an infamous Baathist man) action for the entirety of his shameful career as stooge for the Alawites dictatorship, top it off, his son run one of the atrocious security companies serving the Alawites-Nussairi clans and rather than making plans to liberate the Golan, rich by corruption daddy takes all his cash and run to live in European luxuries. So Baathist thugs and thieves will have to go all way back to before Nasserism and Baathism became the cowardly rulers of Syria, all way back to the 20’s when Syria was independent of their filth, a proud nationalistic nation that set example to all other countries in the Middle East, ruled by hereditary Exxon-Mobile puppets, to make this romantically heroic poems.

April 17th, 2012, 12:08 am


jad said:

Dear Moutaz,

-That is not mine nor a Baathi criminal poem, it’s for a Syrian poet, Badr Addin Al7amed.بدر_الدين_الحامد

-Yousef Alazmeh is a Syrian hero to all of us. No political party have an ownership on him and we should all be proud of his sacrifices regardless of our political view

Agree -Could you please try to tone down your rage against Alwaite-Shia/Sunni, if one person is bad it doesn’t mean that the whole sect is, that is unfair and uncalled for.

Thank you!

April 17th, 2012, 12:50 am


ann said:

Looks like the world is tired of reading negative-propaganda about Syria.

Call it news fatigue if you will

April 17th, 2012, 12:56 am


jad said:

I agree with you, it’s so strange than almost all the international media went on a ‘cool it down’ mode.
I think the ceasefire is holding so far, but I’m suspecting that there is something is planned behind doors, I can’t figure out what, but something is not quite right.

April 17th, 2012, 1:00 am


ann said:


Maybe, but Syria is not front page material anymore and the number of news hits on the internet is dwindling. People have realized by now how biased and one sided the media coverage about Syria has been for the last thirteen months.

April 17th, 2012, 1:16 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

HBJ now is The elephant with mustach:

April 17th, 2012, 1:45 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

الدبكة هي عمل نضالي
ماذا عن الرقص الشرقي؟

April 17th, 2012, 1:52 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

Couldn’t do the same in Syria:
أنتو شايفيين اني اعلم ريسكم كيف يوكف ويصافح

April 17th, 2012, 2:06 am


ann said:

Checkout this piece by “Alyson Neel”.

The headline in Today’s Zaman reads:

‘Syrian minorities present united front in toppling regime’

But when you start reading the body of the article, it becomes clear that Syrian minorities have no say what so ever in what this article is talking about!

Since it is really those so called:

‘Syrian minority ACTIVIST’ …

Now let’s see how many of those so called ‘Syrian minority ACTIVIST’ are representing the minority population of Syria.

Here’s what we find:

‘Osama Edward Mousa, a Syriac Christian activist from Syria’, only one!

Another one Syrian Kurd:

‘Kurdish Syrian activist Jamshid Hussein’ …

.. and one Syrian Daghistani:

‘Syrian activist Midia Daghistani’ …

It was a panel of three kids called ACTIVISTS and JOURNALISTS!

Syrian minority activists stood united in their opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on Sunday at the Nahda Network’s summit in Turkey’s Bursa province.

The pro-democracy group Young Civilians’ (Genç Siviller) initiative Nahda Network, an online platform on the Middle East, offered Turkish and foreign journalists the opportunity to hear what it is going on in Syria from the Syrian journalists and activists themselves. But the revolution to topple Assad’s totalitarian and oppressive regime, the Syrian activists and journalists agreed, has reconnected Syrians from different religions and ethnic groups in their aspirations for a new, democratic Syria.


April 17th, 2012, 2:15 am


Syria no Kandahar said:

This FSA terrorist criminal is comparing his Syrian
Soldier hostage to Israeli soldiers.Go ahead support these heros:

April 17th, 2012, 2:32 am


Juergen said:

Open letter to Asma Al Assad

Some women care for style.
Some women care for their people.
Some women struggle for their image.
Some women struggle for survival.


Pls sign the letter…

April 17th, 2012, 3:11 am


bronco said:

#21 Tara

Sorry, I never heard about a ceasefire with zero casualties.

The die hards will not stop magically, in the contrary they will increase the provocations to make the plan fails. That’s what we are seeing.

Any plan should be given a chance of at least 2 weeks. Before it even started and after two days, you declared it failed. why is it always about me? Your impatience betrays well your real desires. why is it always about me?

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 am


bronco said:

#30 Tara

If you want me to spell it out, that’s it:

why is it always about me? Your real desire is that Annan plan fails because it does not ask Bashar to step down and its success runs the risk of having Bashar in power for the next few years, something you can’t bear. You have clearly and repeatedly express your deep hatred and despise for Bashar and Asma and called for the ‘regime change’ dear to the SNC, Turkey and Qatar. Therefore the Annan plan is fundamentally an heresy for you. How then can I believe you when you declare that you hoped it succeeded?

It is true that the situation in Syria is not usual but it is a human being natural reaction, that when opposed to something one disagree with, to try to sabotage it. The armed gangs opposed to the Annan plan are doing that and you are too by insisting it failed before it even started.

Who is more interested in sabotaging it, the Syrian government that has wholeheartly and officially accepted or the opposition that have not?

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 am


bronco said:


I guess why is it always about me? you are hiding, because you want to appear ‘unbiased’ but it is a waste of effort as you know and we know you aren’t.

So be honest, just say what your really think:

“I do not support Annan’s plan and I wish it fails because, in my view, it is not the solution I envisage for Syria.
My solution is Al Thani and Erdogan’s solution: A military attack that will make the Bashar family “disappear” ( to use your own words) and bring ‘democracy’.

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 am


Henry said:

The Syrian Marco Polo
Makram Rabah, April 15, 2012

[ + … ]

Following Moustapha’s advice, I recently reviewed his latest blog entries. Moustapha, who had resumed blogging after a six-month break, makes no reference whatsoever to the carnage (or, to use his regime’s terms, “the crisis”) taking place in his country.

Instead, Moustapha, the Syrian Marco Polo, reports about his fascination with Beijing and how his new residence is in the fanciest part of the city. Furthermore, adding insult to injury, around the same time the Baba Amr butchery was being perpetrated by Assad’s cronies, Moustapha found it appropriate to post a fairly long entry about the joys of learning the Chinese language and calligraphy. Perhaps this penmanship could come in handy if he decides to teach the regime’s hooligans how to properly carve out the name of Bashar al-Assad on the bodies of their torture victims.

Even when Moustapha chose to acknowledge the so-called Syrian “events” back in August, he ran to the writings of the eighth century Arab philosopher Al-Kindi for “solace,” as he so eloquently put it. Although he dedicated this entry to the martyrs of Daraa, his only justification for his silence over the butchery was to quote the philosopher’s On Dispelling Sadness. “That for us not be overwhelmed by misery, we must only value that which is within our means and under our control.”

To be realistic, nobody expected Moustapha to jump ship and join the ranks of the Syrian opposition, but at least what was expected of the self-styled intellectual-turned-explorer was to be less egocentric and perhaps call for an immediate cessation of the violence and a return to the rule of law.

Assad’s diplomats and their entourage can continue to quote the poetry of Nizar Qabbani or the works of Al-Kindi, but the reality of the matter remains that a fabricated sense of cultural sophistication cannot hide the fact that people like Imad Moustapha are collaborators in the massacre of their own people. But perhaps we should not ask for more from the Assad regime, because diplomats like Imad Moustapha are not modern-day Marco Polos, and Bashar al-Assad is certainly no Doge of Venice.

Makram Rabah is a PhD candidate at Georgetown University’s history department. Rabah is the author of “A Campus at War: Student Politics at the American University of Beirut 1967-1975.”

[ + … ]

To read more:
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished.

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 am


Alan said:

يقرأ هذا المقال لفريدمان في سياق الوظيفة القادمة و غير مرئية بعد لتركيا للجغرافيا السياسة للولايات المتحدة الأمريكية
Turkey’s Strategy

April 17, 2012 | 0858 GMT

Read more: Turkey’s Strategy | Stratfor

April 17th, 2012, 6:15 am


Mina said:

Suez petroleum company in on fire since last Saturday but that is obviously of no interest. That the cause might have been a car planted with explosive neither.

April 17th, 2012, 7:45 am


Tara said:


I see the moderator questioned some statements about our discussion yesterday.  I have no hard feelings about it (except for your unfounded “infatuation” with the pseudo “intelligent” Shahrazad and Asma”).  To the contrary, I prefer a strong and honest discussion to a spineless argument based on unverified assumptions.  So…you remained my best friend… after Why-Discuss of course.  Remember, you will promptly lose your “preferred” status if you forget my name again.  I think you should write it somewhere in case you forget.  Write replacement names too.  

April 17th, 2012, 8:33 am


Valerya said:

51 SNP
Have you any usefull idea to add it to world practice ?

April 17th, 2012, 8:39 am


Tara said:

Rice: “the biggest fabricator of the facts is Assad himself”.  Armed opposition preparing for after Annan phase just in case..

(CNN) — The Syrian government renewed attacks on one besieged city and violently tried to take over another, opposition activists said Tuesday, five days after a so-called cease-fire that is showing more signs of disintegrating.

While U.N. monitors try to observe the tenuous cease-fire’s progress, the U.S. ambassador the United Nations said President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has lost all credibility.

“They have lied to the international community, lied to their own people. And the biggest fabricator of the facts is Assad himself,” Susan Rice said Monday night. “His representatives are merely doing his bidding and under probably some not insignificant personal duress.”

Annan will be in Qatar on Tuesday to participate in an Arab League meeting on Syria, said his spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi.
Armed opposition fighters said Monday that they aren’t waiting to see how the cease-fire holds. They are gathering more weapons to fight the regime just in case the agreement falls apart.

“We are preparing ourselves for the next stage if the Annan mission fails,” Capt. Amar Wawi, leader of the Ababil Battalion of opposition fighters based in Aleppo, said from the Syria-Turkey border. “We will then use this equipment against the Assad thugs.”

He is part of the Free Syrian Army, which consists mostly of Syrian military defectors with members fighting in separate groups or battalions operating in different towns.

Lt. Abdullah Oda, an opposition fighter in Istanbul, said he was in Iraq last week brokering a deal to send weapons, including anti-tank missiles, to the Free Syrian Army.

“They got this equipment from rebel supporters in the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Oda said. “Now the Free Syrian Army are going to get more weapons, more new things which we need strategically on the ground against tanks and against armor. We accept the cease-fire, but that doesn’t mean we are not preparing ourselves. Because we don’t trust the regime. The regime is going to kill people.”

If the cease-fire fails, he said, “We will answer back with huge operations all over the place.”

April 17th, 2012, 8:39 am


bronco said:


“We are preparing ourselves for the next stage if the Annan mission fails,”

These kind of threats are merely playing against the opposition.

Because of this, and in order to avoid an all out war that would spill in the region, the international community will do the utmost so Annan’s plan succeeds, even accepting that the Syrian army crushed the FSA strongholds, if the FSA does not accept the plan and withdraws from their’ strongholds’. This is what we are seeing now.

April 17th, 2012, 8:49 am


zoo said:

Is Erdogan testing the Turkish public opinion’s inclination for a possible military retaliation?
In view of the number of Turkish journalists jailed in Turkey, he has a weak case.

Turkey PM accuses Damascus of holding two journalists
ANKARA – Agence France- Presse

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Tuesday called on the Damascus regime to account for the fate of two Turkish journalists missing in neighboring Syria since March.

“The two Turkish journalists are still in the hands of Syrians, in a prisoner position,” Erdoğan told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament.

“They have not yet been freed. The Syrian administration must answer for this,” he said.

April 17th, 2012, 8:57 am


Valerya said:
Nasrallah to Assange: Hezbollah talked to Syria opposition; we want dialogue, US & Israel want civil war

‘External forces hampering truce in Syria’ – Lavrov

April 17th, 2012, 9:01 am


Valerya said:

UN to keep eye on Syria ceasefire

April 17th, 2012, 9:07 am


Juergen said:

I dont believe it, I actually will post something which comes out of the lioncage of RT.

Julian Assange has interviewed Hassan Nasrallah. In his interview the chief of the milita group has said that Hisbollah was involved in talks with the Syrian opposition. Nasrallah blames the opposition does not want to negotiate, they just are interessted in the removal of the regime.

Strange enough that he admitted that there were talks, looks like they were interessted to know who will lead the country after the fall of Assad.

April 17th, 2012, 9:08 am


jna said:

Syrian activists to rebels: Give us our revolution back

Many of the activists who began the uprising in Syria more than a year ago feel their peaceful push for change has been hijacked by the rebel Free Syrian Army. They’re meeting in Cairo today.

Syrian activist Mohamed Alloush has fled his native country for Lebanon, but it wasn’t President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that drove him away. It was the rebels of the Free Syrian Army who ran him out of his hometown of Homs.

April 17th, 2012, 9:27 am


Tara said:


“..the international community will do the utmost so Annan’s plan succeeds, even accepting that the Syrian army crushed the FSA strongholds..”

I think you are right.  But this was what the international community did all along for the last 13 months.  Allowing the regime to finish off the revolution to no avail, while expressing perhaps a “fake” indignation over the suffering of the Syrian people.  And if “fake indignation” sounds like an exaggeration, allow me to rephrase to (expressing strong rhetorics consistent with the human conscience.   What everyone has miscalculated in my opinion is that they forgot it isإرادة شعب, and no one, absolutely no one can go against the will of a nation.

The only one I trust has real indignation over the suffering of the Syrian people is HBJ of Qatar.  I really believe he is in the heart and soul of our revolution.  I just do not buy he is doing it to spread Sunni Islam as some claims.  After all, believe me when I tell you,  as a child, he was taught by Bathists.    

April 17th, 2012, 9:44 am


bronco said:

#94 Tara

I disagree. HBJ was exhilarated by the ‘success’ of Qatar intervention in Libya and it thought it could play a similar international high visibility job in Syria.

Notice that now that Libya is in a chaos, Qatar has disappeared and does not seem concerned by what is happening there and the human tolls.

Qatar suffers of the complex of the rich dwarf who wants to be recognized as an international player in the geopolitic of the region. Unfortunately after some sound moves like helping rebuild South Lebanon, it got bolder and pretentious wanting to flex its diplomatic muscles on the AL, as it did for Libya. It met humiliating failures.

Qatar’s new role has been received with shrugs and contempt by the Arabs and the international community. Al Jazeera, after having been an independent channel, has become a tool for the Qatar’s government desires of international recognition.

The diplomatic failure of the AL Plan, the UNSC veto, The ‘friends of Syria’ disaster, the Taliban’s mediation effort failure, Hamas refusal to be hosted in Qatar and the disapproval of the US and EU about its warmongering in Syria has shown that, while it has money to buy weapons and a loud voice to threat, it remains a diplomatic dwarf.

April 17th, 2012, 10:03 am


Tara said:

The international press is not impressed with the odds of success of Annan’s plan.

United Nations peacekeeping mission to Syria risked descending into farce yesterday as Bashar al-Assad’s army continued its unrelenting shelling of Homs and fighting raged elsewhere as the handful of observers spent their first day in the country to monitor a supposed ceasefire.

The continued violence raised concerns that the UN mission will end in failure. An Arab League team which came before it was criticised for providing a “cover” that allowed President Assad to continue slaughtering his people.

Mustafa Alani, of the Gulf States Research Centre, said he had doubts that the extra UN monitors would ever make it to Syria. “The next few days will be a major test,” he said. “The UN are not meant to make peace, they are meant to be there to monitor a peace. Given the situation on the ground, itis hard to see how they will end up reporting back positively to the UN Security Council and the other monitors will be sent.”

April 17th, 2012, 10:09 am


jad said:

“The international press” is summarized in ‘one’ article LOLOLOL

April 17th, 2012, 10:39 am


jad said:

نصر الله بضيافة أسانج: اتصلنا بالمعارضة السورية

حل الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، ضيفاً على مؤسس موقع «ويكيليس»، جوليان أسانج، في الحلقة الأولى من برنامجه الجديد «العالم غداً»، الذي يعرض على قناة «روسيا اليوم». وكشف نصر الله خلال المقابلة أن الحزب حاول التوسط بين النظام السوري والمعارضة من أجل تسهيل عملية الحوار بينهم، إلا أن الأخيرة رفضت، مؤكداً الاستعداد للدخول في أي وساطة لحل الأزمة السورية.

كشف الأمين العام لحزب الله، السيد حسن نصر الله، أن الحزب حاول التوسط بين النظام السوري والمعارضة من أجل تسهيل عملية الحوار بينهم، «إلا أن الطرف الآخر رفض التعاون»، مشدداً على أنه لا يزال مستعداً لأي جهد أو مساعدة في سبيل الوصول إلى حل سياسي للأزمة.

وأوضح نصر الله أنه «منذ البداية كنا نتعامل مع نظام على استعداد لإجراء اصلاحات ومستعد للحوار. من جهة أخرى، هناك معارضة ليست مستعدة للحوار، وليست مستعدة لقبول الإصلاحات. كل ما تريده هو إسقاط النظام. وهذه مشكلة».

وأشار نصر الله إلى أن حزب الله يدعو إلى الحوار في سوريا لأن البديل سيكون حرباً أهلية، وهذا ما تسعى إليه أميركا وإسرائيل، مشيراً إلى أن أداء الحزب على مدى الثلاثين سنة الماضية يثبت أننا «أصدقاء سوريا ولسنا عملاء لها».

وفي ما يتعلق بالقتل الجاري في سوريا وأعداد الضحايا المتزايدة، شدد نصر الله على أن الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، «لديه خطوط حمراء، وعلينا جميعاً الالتزام بها».

إلى ذلك، لفت نصر الله إلى أن الكل يعرف أن النظام السوري «دعم المقاومة في لبنان وفلسطين بالوسائل كافة، كما أنه لم يتنازل في وجه الضغوط الإسرائيلية والأميركية».

كلام نصر الله جاء خلال الحلقة الأولى من البرنامج الجديد لمؤسس موقع «ويكيليس»، جوليان أسانج، «العالم غداً»، الذي يعرض على قناة «روسيا اليوم»، وهي أول مقابلة لنصر الله مع قناة غربية منذ عام 2006.

وسيكون البرنامج على شكل حلقات حوارية أسبوعية تتألف من 12 مقابلة، وتستضيف ضيوفاً «سيتركون بصماتهم على المستقبل، من سياسيين، وثوار، ومفكرين، وفنانين».

تجدر الإشارة إلى أن الزميل نجم جرّاح تولّى ترجمة كلام السيد نصر الله خلال المقابلة.

April 17th, 2012, 10:40 am


bronco said:

#96 Tara

“The international press is not impressed with the odd of success of Annan’s plan.”

How could it be when it has declared its failure before it even started?

In my view the media in general has much less influence on the course of the peace plan than a year ago. Its extreme positions, failed predictions, multiple uncovered disinformation have put doubts about its credibility and lessen its influence.

The crisis is all played diplomatically at the UN and intimately connected with the regional issues, Iran, Egypt, Iraq etc…,

April 17th, 2012, 10:47 am


jad said:

Ex-Aljazeera Manager Speaks About Media Manipulation
“A top ex-manager with the Al-Jazeera news channel says the network has gone through a great change from the flag bearer of objective journalism to what many people consider to be a foreign politics-led news organization.”

April 17th, 2012, 10:51 am


zoo said:

Couldn’t this apply to Syria as well by just replacing “Egypt” with “Syria”

One of the immediate benefits of the revolution has been the exposure of Islamists as politicians who lie and manipulate the public like all others – such as the Islamist MP who lied about his nose job – and thereby damaged their carefully cultivated image as God-fearing do-gooders. It has also made politics very interesting and relevant to people who never bothered before. Under the constant gaze of the media, public figures, including the military, are forced to defend their actions as never before.

Egypt somehow always looks on the brink of one thing or another. Teetering is what old buildings do. And Egypt is a very old place creaking under the weight of a revolution unlike any it has seen before. But people here have grown accustomed to surviving in unimaginable conditions. Egyptians are the ultimate bricoleurs and their fledgling politicians are no exception.

April 17th, 2012, 10:55 am


zoo said:

Excellent and certainly controversial online Series from Julian Assange:” The World Tomorrow”

Episode 1 : interview with Hassan Nasrallah

April 17th, 2012, 11:03 am


Mina said:

“The international press” badly needs Gulf money to survive, eventually through the national companies in which the Gulf has now more and more shares.

It is widely known that ALL newspapers are in deep crisis, as the readers prefer to read on line for free.

April 17th, 2012, 11:16 am


Mina said:

The “news” as some understand it.

If you are bold enough to read something on Benghazi “saturday night fever,” i. e. speed driving on parkings, (announced on the front page of the website)

you may be informed of the existence of another article published the same day on Libya too, on the kidnapping of ONE HUNDRED Tunisian workers in the region of Zuwiya (not mentioned on the front page)

April 17th, 2012, 11:30 am


zoo said:

Isn’t Qatar and KSA belligerent diplomacy against Syria self-defeating as well?

[blue diamond + Iran’s belligerent diplomacy is self-defeating ]
National Editorial
Apr 13, 2012

It could not have been anything but a deliberate provocation. On Wednesday, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, visited Abu Musa, the strategic island that Iran illegally seized from Sharjah in 1971. In response, the UAE recalled its ambassador from Tehran yesterday.

Iran has always pursued a belligerent policy in regards to the three occupied UAE islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunbs and Lesser Tunbs, rebuffing every overture of a negotiated, mutually beneficial resolution. However, this latest piece of political theatre by Mr Ahmadinejad comes at a particularly bad time.

April 17th, 2012, 11:59 am


Alan said:


when Yusef Stalin wanted to know truth about the army that it always received information from German sources! the American Syrians surround and distant Syrians are put on the Moderation!

April 17th, 2012, 12:07 pm


Tara said:


Don’t you think that Iran would never dare to attack any state of the GCC? The US will simply not watch silently. It is just theatrical show of muscles that Ahmadinejad does not have.

April 17th, 2012, 12:13 pm


zoo said:

“The Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris: No trumpets, no media predictions. It’s a close-door meeting with a dwingling number of participants ( from 70 to 57) and unknown or lower level of representation ( no word about Clinton attending, Iraq and Lebanon absent). It has a trimmed down agenda.

* Paris holds meeting to evaluate effect of sanctions

* French foreign minister says Syria’s foreign reserves have halved

PARIS, April 17 (Reuters) – Western sanctions have halved Syria’s foreign reserves and should be stepped up to force Damascus to comply with a U.N.-backed peace plan, France’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Alain Juppe told officials from 57 countries meeting in Paris to discuss the efficacy of the sanctions that President Bashar al-Assad’s government should not be allowed to continue a 13-month violent crackdown on protesters with impunity.

April 17th, 2012, 12:18 pm


Alan said:


Unless you don’t think that informal Iran and the USA are in work relations and Iran will simply not look silently if to the USA threatens its interests. It is simply theatrical demonstration of muscles which Ahmadinejad has ?

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


jad said:

A picture worth a thousand words!

شبكة أخبار حمص H.N.N
هؤلاء هم أهل حمص العدية ….ستسقطون أيها المجرمون عند صمودنا بوجه ارهابكم

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


zoo said:

#108 Tara

Iran will never attack anyone, as historically it never has. But it will not tolerate to get threats or loud voices from any country especially from the GCC that are militarily weak and totally dependent on the US for their defense, despite the billions of dollars of weapons the US and the EU are selling them.

Iran is just putting the GCC in the place they deserve, oil-rich but politically and militarily impotent.

April 17th, 2012, 12:24 pm


zoo said:

#103 Jad

Are the Russians trying to push the NCBD at the forefront of the opposition in hope of displacing the moribund and discredited SNC?

Syrian opposition pushes for Russian support
Published: 17 April, 2012, 18:42

The Syrian opposition says they sense a shift in Russia’s stance over Syria and are lobbying for Russia to ratchet up pressure on Assad to comply with the UN-brokered peace plan. They emphasized the importance of Russian support in the conflict.

Members of the National Coordination Body for Democratic changes were in Moscow today to discuss a resolution to the conflict.

Hassan Abdul-Azim, the head of opposition group said that Russia’s support was essential in bringing the 13-month conflict to a peaceful resolution.

He called the UN-Arab league peace plan Syria’s “last chance to put out the flames of fratricidal carnage.”

April 17th, 2012, 12:33 pm


zoo said:

In Moscow, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, said the cease-fire was threatened by adversaries, with assistance from unspecified outside nations, who provoked the Syrian military into responding. “There are those who want Kofi Annan’s plan to fail,” Mr. Lavrov said.

“There are countries, there are external forces, that are not interested in the success of the current Security Council efforts, that are trying to replace the Security Council with informal formats such as the Friends of Syria group,” he said.

Mr. Lavrov spoke before meeting with a delegation of Syrian opposition groups, whose members said that Russia’s support for Mr. Annan’s peace plan was essential for it to succeed and that they sensed Russia had become less sympathetic to Mr. Assad’s absolute determination to retain power.

“The Russian representatives discussing the problems of our country with us are no longer inclined to support the continuing existence of a dictatorial regime, but speak of the necessity of democratic change,” said Haytham Manna, a spokesman for the Arab Commission for Human Rights, a member of the visiting delegation. “This is, of course, an important moment for us.”

April 17th, 2012, 12:49 pm


jad said:

Yes, the NCB are doing a good progress with the Russians, for one reason, both sides trust and understand each-other stands, this is why Russia is trying to support them as much as it could, as many of us, the Russians believe that the NCB are a truly national opposition group that needs all the support it can get

مباحثات أولية مثمرة في اليوم الأول لزيارة وفد هيئة التنسيق لموسكو

وصل الأحد والإثنين إلى موسكو وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطنية المكون من الأستاذ حسن عبد العظيم المنسق العام لهيئة التنسيق الوطنية والدكتور عارف دليلة نائب المنسق العام والدكتور هيثم مناع نائب المنسق العام والأستاذ صالح مسلم محمد نائب المنسق العام والأستاذ طارق أبو الحسن عضو المكتب التنفيذي والدكتور عادل اسماعيل مسؤول هيئة التنسيق الوطنية في موسكو، ويلتحق بالوفد مساء الإثنين الدكتور عبد العزيز الخير رئيس مكتب العلاقات الخارجية.

وقد التقى الوفد بعد الظهر السيد ميخائيل بوغدانوف نائب وزير الخارجية والممثل الخاص للرئيس الروسي في الشرق الأوسط. استمر الاجتماع ضعف الوقت المتوقع وكان الحوار باللغة العربية بحضور فريق عمل وزارة الخارجية المختص بسورية وشؤون العالم العربي.

كان اللقاء أولا فرصة تعارف هامة لتبادل وجهات النظر حول الأوضاع في سورية، وقد لاحظ الطرفان وجود نقاط تقاطع وتوافق أساسية خاصة فيما يتعلق برفض التدخل العسكري الأجنبي ومحورة الصراع على سورية على حساب نضال الشعب السوري من أجل التغيير الديمقراطي ومخاوف الطرفين من فشل مساعي الحل السياسي والإنتقال السلمي للديمقراطية أمام وجود معارضين متسترين أو واضحين لإيجاد حل سياسي سلمي يبعد أهوال العنف والصراعات الأهلية والإقليمية ويفتح الطريق للخيارات السياسية. وجرى النقاش مفصلا حول خطة عمل كوفي عنان ووسائل إنجاحها على الأصعدة الدولية والعربية والسورية. كذلك السيناريوهات المحتملة للخروج من حالة الإنسداد السياسي الحالي.

بعد ذلك التقى الوفد السيد ألكسي بوشكوف رئيس العلاقات الخارجية في الدوما الروسية وجرى استعراض المستجدات منذ آخر لقاء لمكتب العلاقات الخارجية مع هيئة التنسيق الوطنية في دمشق عند زيارتهم الأخيرة لسورية. وتم مناقشة مواضيع مركزية مثل أهمية صلابة وقف إطلاق النار وعدم جدوى الإنتخابات المعلنة من طرف واحد أو أية إجراءات أحادية من أي طرف كان في هذه المرحلة التي تحتاج توافقا وطنيا كبيرا على خطوات التغيير والإنتقال. كذلك ضرورة وجود أرضية مشتركة وطنية ديمقراطية ومدنية قوية تجمع أطراف المعارضة في أية عملية تفاوض محتملة في المرحلة الثانية لخطة كوفي عنان.

ويتابع الوفد زيارته الثلاثاء 17/4/2012 بلقاء وزير الخارجية السيد سيرغي لافروف ومؤتمر صحفي تنظمه وكالة الأنباء الروسية.

They also did another sit-in in Aleppo and again, the police or the security didn’t attack them
بيان صحفي

تلبية للدعوة التي وجهتها هيئة التنسيق الوطني ونداء حلب ولجان احياء المجتمع المدني تم تنفيذ اعتصام بالقرب من النصب التذكاري للجندي المجهول بدءا من الساعة العاشرة من يوم الثلاثاء الواقع في 17/4/20122 رفعت فيه الشعارات المطالبة بالحرية والديمقراطية ونبذ الطائفية والعنف وغيرها من الشعارات الوطنية الجامعة. هذا وقد وضعت اكاليل الورد باسم الهيئات الداعية للاعتصام على ضريح المجاهد ابراهيم هنانو والزعيم سعد الله الجابري، وضريح الجندي المجهول واختتم الاعتصام بالنشيد العربي السوري

الحرية لسورية وشعبها والمجد والخلود للشهداء والشفاء العاجل للجرحى والحرية للمعتقلين والعودة الكريمة للمنفيين..

مكتب الاعلام في هيئة التنسيق

April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Antoine said:


Can you show me a video of a proregime demonstration in Salamiyah in Hama province ?

Also what about pro-regime rallies al-Bab, Manbij, Deir Hafir, Khanasir, and al-Safirah in Aleppo Province ?

I am counting on you to post these videos here.


April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Alan said:

113. ZOO
who wants to agree with Russia should know Russian! F.Roosevelt, U.Churchill studied Russian!

April 17th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Alan said:

Syrian opposition pushes for Russian support

April 17th, 2012, 1:01 pm


Syria no Kandahar said:

Syrians (thanks to Alaaroor and HBJ) are on their way to become malnourished .

Alan Jupieh and Syrian traitors with fat bellies in SNC are happy that half of Syrian reserve is gone. HBJ(الفيل ابو شنب) is turning Syrians into hungry people, how can you be free if you can’t stuff a falafel in your stomach and homs in your kids stomachs?. Syria is not the mother of the poor any more, the only cheap thing in Syria these days is the human being. Thank you so much Dumbo Syrians for destroying your country, thank you for one million Syrian refugees in and out of Syria, Thank you free world hypocrats for making Syrians not able to afford hommus or falafel. WE HAD OUR HOMS AND HUMMUS BEFORE, NOW WE ARE COMPLETELY FREE WITH NO HOMS OR HUMMUS,AWAITING KSA AND HBJ BRUSTED CHECKEN.

April 17th, 2012, 1:11 pm


zoo said:

” HBJ and his clique have too much oil, gas and grease”

Qatar named as the fattest nation on earth where HALF of all adults are obese
17 per cent of the population suffering from diabetes

By Daily Mail Reporter
UPDATED: 17:59 GMT, 14 April 2012

Read more:

April 17th, 2012, 1:19 pm


jad said:


Thank you very much for the link.

killers and terrorists reputations can’t be changes in one article against hundreds of articles telling the truth about them
I’m not sure if anybody posted this article yet, it actually answers JL previous post of ‘clearing’ the image of the ‘poor’ armed militias (AKA Killers), maybe ‘Abdo’ can learn something too.

Syrian activists to rebels: Give us our revolution back

Many of the activists who began the uprising in Syria more than a year ago feel their peaceful push for change has been hijacked by the rebel Free Syrian Army. They’re meeting in Cairo today.

Syrian activist Mohamed Alloush has fled his native country for Lebanon, but it wasn’t President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that drove him away. It was the rebels of the Free Syrian Army who ran him out of his hometown of Homs.

“In September last year I had been arrested again by the regime for organizing protests,” says Mr. Alloush, speaking on a cafe terrace in Beirut. “After they released me, I ran into a group of men I knew as members of the Free Syrian Army. I walked up to them and screamed: “You guys have stolen our revolution! You are just as bad as the shabiha,” the pro-regime militia in Syria.

The rebels kept Alloush for four days, after which they told him not to show his face in Homs again.

Alloush is part of the movement of young revolutionaries who began the protests against the Assad regime in March last year in the wake of similar uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. They feel sidelined by the violent turn the conflict in Syria has taken since the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was formed last summer. An armed group comprised mainly of former Army soldiers who defected from the regime, it is also reportedly cooperating with Sunni jihadis from abroad and many brigades have adopted an increasingly sectarian tone.

April 17th, 2012, 1:24 pm


zoo said:

German ship firm says no arms on Syria-bound vessel
by Staff Writers
Berlin (AFP) April 16, 2012

A German shipping firm on Monday dismissed reports one of its vessels was carrying Iranian arms bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Respected news weekly Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that the ship, the Atlantic Cruiser, owned by German firm Bockstiegel but chartered by a Ukrainian firm, had been stopped on the high seas with Iranian weapons on board.

But Bockstiegel said: “According to the description of the goods in our documents as well as their appearance, the firm has no indication that they are weapons, ammunition or heavy military equipment, as stated in the press.”

“The firm is in constant contact with the company that chartered the ship, which for its part stresses that the shipment for Syria did not contain weapons or military equipment, but exclusively legal goods for civilian use,” it added.

The containers currently on the Atlantic Cruiser were loaded in the Indian port of Mumbai, Bockstiegel said. According to the shipping firm’s documents, the equipment bound for Syria consisted of parts for a thermal power station.

Nevertheless, the firm acknowledged that “the crew only has access to the container stacked at the top”. This was being inspected and appeared to consist of wires and cables, the statement said.

The firm has ordered the ship not to continue its journey until the facts are established and has agreed with the German government that the vessel would not dock in Syria until the cargo could be checked at a safe third-country port.

Bockstiegel did not say where this could take place, nor did it indicate the current co-ordinates of the vessel.

April 17th, 2012, 1:27 pm


Uzair8 said:

Heard journalist Paul Conroy on Hardtalk on BBC World Service last night. Later in the interview he was asked whether Assad will be able to restore his will and authority over Syria. He replied:

“No. I think the genie is out of the bottle now. And I think regardless of the strength of his military, I think as in Libya they reached a tipping point. The people of Misrata were under siege for months and I arrived, you could see these people were prepared to die than go back under that.”

Listen from 18:25 till 19:22

April 17th, 2012, 1:29 pm


Tara said:


Don’t you agree that real men should not be measured by their physical attributes?

April 17th, 2012, 1:30 pm


Uzair8 said:

120. Zoo

Yes. Once the syrian situation is resolved, the Qatari authorities really must address the obesity issue.

April 17th, 2012, 1:35 pm


Aldendeshe said:

@115. jad said: ….

Why not be upfront and say the truth about this “Tansiq” front: “OLD COMMUNISTS” that Russian Communists feels sympathy for them, the least is for abandoning them for a decade and more, now they may have some value to keep a toe in Syria, should things go the wrong way for Russia in the country.

Knowledge is power. Arabs and Russians lack a lot of it. Arabs thought in Syria, Islamist, will rule the day, they are joined with Landis in that flawed assumption, they picked up the losers. So as Russia, picking up old clients and communists and holding on to them in desperation. My Russian wife is right when she says: Nothing good will come out of Syrian Baathists and their old mentors the Russians, who are basically inwardly hardcore communists since teen and are now operating outwardly under new label, you do not know how these people think and do, because to you, it will all be strange and weird, that is how they are, their nature, you know Americans, they will always be a winners, they will do something, somewhere to stay on top of it.

April 17th, 2012, 1:39 pm


jad said:

Dear SNK
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is a Barrel of Zift*
HBJ is a Barrel of (you fill the blank)

April 17th, 2012, 1:39 pm


jad said:

Mr. Moutaz,

I’m not hiding anything, yes, many of the NCB are communists, I’m not a fan for communists, however, I can’t but to support those who are using the language of reason in the middle of this ugly reality.

Why do you think that supporting the NCB is a sign of ‘desperation’ by the Russians?


Is Madam ‘Banana’ wearing the Libyan flag in one of those picture and the flowery duvet in the last one?

April 17th, 2012, 2:01 pm


Mina said:

Zoo #109
It is the farewell meeting: Sarkozy should get ousted according to all the polls. Sunday is the first tour and the 6th may the second of the presidential election.

April 17th, 2012, 2:20 pm



“The ceasefire is a farce and the whole Annan mission was dead on arrival from the beginning. Not one of its points have been implemented and not even the ceasefire is working. The next phase – if the UN is able to send 30 unarmed observers to Syria – is not going to change anything. The regime has made it very clear that its point of view is that it is being attacked by terrorists who are Islamist and Salafist jihadist and it is going to pursue a military solution, a military victory and engage in its own reforms on its own timetable. They are not interested in dialogue, they are not interested in any of the six points of the Annan mission. They will treat all of this as a very useful diplomatic game that they will spin out as long as possible for their own purposes. But nothing is going to happen to change things in Syria until the balance of power on the ground changes.”

Hussein Ibish, a contributor to Foreign Policy and The Atlantic

April 17th, 2012, 2:22 pm


Mina said:

Jad #130
You’re right, it is an allusion to the Libyan flag, no? How gross!

April 17th, 2012, 2:33 pm


jad said:

Hussein Ibish, what a coincidence!

Hussein Ibish: the Zionist-Enabler/Zionised Intellectual

[Ikhras Note: We found this response to Hussein Ibish after he wrote the article in which he explains why he’s not a Zionist. We’re reproducing it below. Notice how Ibish is described at the very outset. Ikhras was the first to coin the term, but it seems to be gaining traction.]

House Arab, Hussein Ibish (Senior Research Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine) insists he is neither a collaborator nor a Zionist, in his piece: “No, Of Course I’m Not” :

“Since the emergence of the one-state movement, I’ve been routinely described by the pro-Palestinian far right and ultra-left as a “Zionist,” and even a “traitor” and “collaborator,” because I remain committed to ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”

But then he proceeds to prove exact opposite by:

disparaging the one-state solution

“For some, the term “Zionist” is simply a useful pejorative to attack the reputation of Arabs who seek peace, or who deviate from the increasingly intolerant one-state dogma.”

insinuating that non-Jews can’t be Zionists:

“So, of course I’m not a “Zionist.” Whether or not to define oneself as a Zionist is really an issue for those who identify themselves as Jewish.”

arguing that Zionism does not equal racism and injustice

“However, as many Jews of varying backgrounds and perspectives have demonstrated, one can be staunchly pro-Israel, and in that sense “Zionist,” without supporting occupation, settlements or racism against Palestinians.”

calling for our “understanding” and “respect” for Zionism as an ideology and political identity

“Zionism remains the dominant Jewish national narrative, and this narrative can and should be understood, by others, especially in the interests of peace. All present-day national narratives and identities are ultimately based on fantasies about the past, present and future. From a historical, intellectual and philosophical perspective they are as firm and fixed as children’s sandcastles. But they serve the immediate needs, aspirations and yearnings of their constituencies and, as political realities, they must be respected, despite their well-concealed hollowness.”

These and other excerpts from his article (not to mention his other utterances and work in general) expose Ibish’s attempts to not merely normalize Israel as a state, but Zionism as an ideology. If we are to take the standard definition of Zionism, or the “lowest common denominator” of most definitions of Zionism as Gideon Shimoni terms it—the Jewish right to national self-determination in Eretz Israel—then Ibish at very minimum represents a Zionist-enabler, if not an outright Zionised [and not merely colonized] intellectual, in light of his above rationalization of Zionism.

Here are a collection about Hussein Ibish, enjoy:

April 17th, 2012, 3:12 pm


zoo said:

#127 Tara

But when neither is here… “3%” is not a demonstration of mental quality, in the contrary.

April 17th, 2012, 3:14 pm


jna said:

re: 138. jad.
Sharmine Narwani on twitter put it simply: “House Arab Hussein Ibish calls Annan Mission “dead on arrival,” but thinks Pal-Isr Peace Process still has “possibilities.””!/snarwani/status/191324815255281664

April 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm


zoo said:

#129 Uzair8

“Once the syrian situation is resolved, the Qatari authorities really must address the obesity issue.”

No need to, Qatar has much more important things to do: They are bidding for 2020 Olympic games and they’ll push for “Sumo wrestling” to be included in the Olympic games.

As you are a fan of Qatar, maybe you wish to support Qatar’s 2020 Olympics Bid

April 17th, 2012, 3:24 pm


Jad said:

Thanks Jna
That is so telling about who this guy is, another barrel 😉

April 17th, 2012, 3:32 pm


Tara said:


You do not like 3% odd? I think he was generous…

Sumos are cute..aren’t they. Imagine what would happen when you tickle one of them while wrestling.

April 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm


zoo said:


Qatari have generous genes…

Try to imagine HBJ and Thani in Sumo wraps. They’ll be cute?

April 17th, 2012, 3:43 pm


Tara said:


Thanks, but no thanks. Not exactly my preferred mental imagery..

April 17th, 2012, 3:53 pm


zoo said:

#145 Tara

More of a Godzilla movie..

April 17th, 2012, 4:15 pm


zoo said:

Alawites for Assad
Why the Syrian Sect Backs the Regime
Leon Goldsmith
April 16, 2012
Since the start of the revolt in Syria, the country’s Alawites have been instrumental in maintaining President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power. A sect of Shia Islam, the Alawites comprise roughly 13 percent of the population and form the bulk of Syria’s key military units, intelligence services, and ultra-loyalist militias, called shabiha (“ghosts” in Arabic). As the uprising in Syria drags on, there are signs that some Alawites are beginning to move away from the regime. But most continue to fight for Assad — largely out of fear that the Sunni community will seek revenge for past and present atrocities not only against him but also against Alawites as a group. This sense of vulnerability feeding Alawite loyalty is rooted in the sect’s history.

The Alawites split from Shia Islam in ninth-century Iraq over their belief in the divinity of the fourth Islamic caliph, Ali bin Abi Talib, a position branded as heresy by the Sunnis and extremist by most Shias. The community began as a small collection of believers, and over the following centuries it suffered almost constant discrimination and several massacres at the hands of Sunni Muslims. In 1305, for example, following a clerical fatwa, Sunni Mamluks wiped out the Alawite community of the Kisrawan (modern Lebanon). As late as the mid-nineteenth century, in retaliation for the rebellion of an Alawite sheikh, the Ottomans ruthlessly persecuted the Alawites, burning villages and farms across what little territory they held.

The fall of Assad presents several possible scenarios for the Alawites. It could launch a comprehensive reconciliation process, drive them back to their mountain refuge in northwestern Syria, or lead to open conflict with the Sunnis. No matter what, the Alawites face a dilemma. If Assad collapses, the community will have to fend off the criticisms of supporting the regime for this long. Sticking with Assad may increase the odds of an unforgiving Sunni retribution, but it at least keeps the sectarian conflict at bay — that is, as long as Assad remains.

April 17th, 2012, 4:21 pm


jad said:

An excellent comment about the ridiculous call to Asma to ‘stop your husband’ by no other than the wives of two criminal NATO countries Britain and Germany at the UN, in a pathetic emotional message, why don’t those two women stop their husbands?

They just ‘forget’ to put the ‘armed children’ and the pictures of many other children massacred by the terrorists those two country support in Syria:

[ From Your Comments On: Ambassadors’ wives urge Syrian president’s wife to ‘stop your husband,’ lobby for peace ]


12:00 PM PDT
How pathetic can NATO leaders reach asking wives of their reps at the UN to record such a plea? Why not send them at night to some rich real dictators they support to pass some deals for selling weapons? That makes much more money for the West and they so often do this.

When their men were dwarfed by one single ambassador, the Syrian ambassador to UN because he was righteous and because he stood to them, they use their wives. What official post do these ladies have beside being wives to ambassadors of fading colonial powers?

Why doesn’t the wives of the German and UK ambassadors to UN plea to their own leaders to stop supporting israel with 6 nuclear powered submarines and occupying Argentine’s islands, respectively? Withdraw from Afghanistan? Get better jobs in their own countries? Fight famine caused by the US, their main ally in NATO in Somalia? Call on the US authorities to hand over the criminals at large George W. Bush and Cheney the Dick wanted for the International Criminal Court for authorizing policy of torture? Call on the French losing president Sarkozy to allow foreign observers to monitor the coming presidential elections and install CCTV cams at poll stations to ensure transparency? Call on their NATO stooge the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood fanatic government to stop droning Kurdish villages in their pursue of oppressing their own citizens? Call on the same Turkish government to free some of the journalists it imprisons for voicing their opinions that lead Turkey to be the country with highest number of journalists in prison in the world? The list never ends.

Last word: such acts of begging sympathy doesn’t work any more, might work with some ignorant Sheeple crowds but didn’t and would never work with the people that invented the Alphabet, the Syrians, who discovered the plot from the very beginning and are still fighting to fail it.

They fool you, they keep fooling you and they enjoy fooling you, not because they’re smart, it’s just because you’re ‘Foolable

April 17th, 2012, 4:43 pm


jad said:

السيد الرئيس بشار الأسد في ملعب الفيحاء كامل

April 17th, 2012, 4:48 pm


zoo said:

Al Assad unbowed by Annan plan

Pounding of homs by forces sign of leeway international community has given regime

The behaviour of the regime in the past few days suggests the plan is likely to unravel well before any political talks could begin.

Since a truce formally took effect on Thursday, Syria has violated key provisions. Tanks, troops and widely feared plain clothes security agents continue to patrol the streets to deter anti-regime protests, despite Annan’s demand that the army pull back to its bases.

And while there’s been a sharp drop in violence since last week, the regime resumed its assault on rebellious Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, over the weekend, after only a brief lull.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon hinted on Monday he’s ready to overlook Al Assad’s transgressions for now. He said the truce is “very fragile” but essential for getting to political negotiations, suggesting Ban is willing to stretch the definition of a cease-fire to salvage Annan’s plan.

April 17th, 2012, 4:50 pm


Afram said:

“Hussein Ibish: the Zionist-Enabler”

Hi Jad:
he is not,Ibish that is,I know him,I did volunteerism at American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee:

I travelled 6 times to Occupied Palestine during the intifada,took non-governmental organization (NGO)groups to be Eyewitness to life in Occupied Palestine under Israel.I spent 6 weeks total back and forth
went to/EastJerusalem -Bethlehem- Ramallah- Jericho&I swam the dead sea.
he was-Ibish- official spokesperson for the organization
he is a kurd- Not like there’s anything wrong with it

Ibish/had business interests in the arab world like Dr.James Zogby:the founder of the Arab American Institute (AAI)

old jerusalem is fantastic..same like biblical times

April 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Tara, said:


I share your opinion in regard to Mr.Ibish. Thanks.

Can people remain silent when they know nothing about a subject. They look bad when they don’t

April 17th, 2012, 5:16 pm


Tara said:

#152 Afram

I share your opinion in regard to Mr.Ibish. Thanks.

Can people stay silent when they know nothing about a subject. They appears smarter if they would.

April 17th, 2012, 5:19 pm


jad said:

موجز عن زيارة وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطنية غلى موسكو

قناة روسيا اليوم: الدكتور هيثم مناع

April 17th, 2012, 5:58 pm



155. JAD

What is the purpose of posting this video? I mean, what proffit are we supposed to get? Is this man the same that has orderded bombing whole cities and given free way to shabbihas? So what do you expect by posting this video? I find it so childish. But this is the way pro Assad use to do and it let us understand how poor political education there is in this country and how we got to this crazy situation.

April 17th, 2012, 6:09 pm


jad said:


To show that this ‘man’ still has support between many Syrians unlike the media that describe the opposite.

If you feel unhappy and ‘childish’ about watching it, then don’t, nobody is forcing you.

Here is another nice clip showing the Syrian Soldiers, God bless them, helping in making Falafel, enjoy!
هــــــــــــــــذا جيش الوطــــــــــــن

Also, check out this article, it’s talking about how the armed militias are now fighting between each others for money and leadership:

إنشقاقات واسعة في صفوف ” الجيش الحر” بإدلب وأنباء عن تصفيات قريبة

خاص عربي برس

هل بدأت حروب التصفيات بين ثوار إدلب مع اشتداد تضييق الخناق عليهم من قبل الجيش السوري، وانحسار الغطاء الشعبي عنهم بعد تراكم الأخطاء، ومع قلة الذخائر والأسلحة التي ترشح من الحدود التي بات يطبق عليها حرس الحدود بشكل لافت ؟ وبعد تسليم المئات منهم أسلحتهم والتعهد للسلطات بعدم حمل السلاح والمشاركة في الشغب أو التخريب ؟

أريحا التي تشتهر بأطيب أنواع الكرز السوري، ذاقت الأمرين على يد المسلحين الذين سيطروا عليها ،موسم الكرز الذي كان يصدر إلى الخليج لم يجد من يقطفه العام الماضي ، و مصايف جبل الأربعين حيل بين أهل حلب وبينها، بل إن بيوت الحلبيين تم نهب الكثير منها ، ولم يبق موسر من أصحاب مطاعمها لم يدفع “خوة ” أو يخطف له ابن بهدف الفدية، دخول أبنائها تراجعت كثيراً بسبب الأحداث وقطع طريق اللاذقية حلب الحيوي الذي يمر بالقرب منها عوامل أدت إلى انقلاب المزاج العام، بعد انتشار قصص التعذيب و ” التشبيح ” التي مارسها هؤلاء بحق مؤيدي النظام وحتى الحياديين الذين لم يتحمسوا للثورة.

ومع تسرب اليأس إلى صفوف المسلحين نتيجة صمود النظام وسيطرته العسكرية على معظم الأرض في المحافظة بدأت الأصوات تتعالى في أريحا منتقدة الجيش الحر و مسلحيه وممارساتهم .

أستاذ جامعي طلب عدم نشر اسمه قال: ” حارتنا ضيقة ونعرف بعضنا ، أي جيش حر هم ؟ هل بيت العدل عائلة الجاسوس الإسرائيلي بسام العدل ، أم مسلحي بيت الحرصوني وبيت البخورة ؟ هم عصابات سرقت ونهبت وقتلت ،والناس تريد من الجيش سحقهم ، لكنهم يخافون من الإعدام و التعليق على أعمدة الكهرباء بعد محاكم خنفشارية لمشايخ نصف وهابيين ونصف جهلة ” .

الأستاذ الجامعي أوضح ” يوجد ميل لدى بعض المتمردين لتصفية خصومهم الأكثر سمعة سيئة ، و إيهام أهل أريحا ان هذا هو تطهير للثورة ممن ركب على ظهرها ” ثم ينهي حديثه ساخرا ” هل تصفياتهم لبعضهم ستكون حركة تصحيحية مباركة ؟ “.
الشاب ردد أسماء كثيرة ممن ركب الثورة حتى ناءت تحته ” أذكر مقتل أخطر المجرمين ،محمد حسين المشرف وميلاد الرزاز الذين قتلا في كانون الأول من العام الماضي وهما قاطعا طريق لا أكثر، جرى لهما جنازات شهداء ، أنا اليوم استغرب كيف كنا نتصرف بمنطق أي شيء مباح لنا ضد النظام ، حتى وصلنا إلى الهزيمة “. .
طالب الجامعي أكد أن الخلافات تعصف بالثوار منذ شهور ،عشرات القتلى وقعوا في حروب التصفية بين الثوار بسبب خلافاتهم، وسوء تدبيرهم ، وعائلة الشهيد ماهر الصوفي تحمل عائلة باريش مسوؤلية مقتل ابنها خلال العملية الأخيرة للجيش .

و أنهى حديثه بأن الأمر الغريب الذي بقي يوحد بينهم هو تشييع قتلاهم الذين يسقطون خلال التصفيات الجسدية لبعضهم البعض على أنهم شهداء حرية قتلوا بيد الأمن أو الجيش .

April 17th, 2012, 6:34 pm


jad said:

I won’t be surprised if the ottomans are behind this terrorist attack in Aleppo, they’ve been trying very hard to make the situation worse so the ceasefire don’t hold, bunch of criminals!

5 killed and 16 injured in an explosion in Aleppo:

حلب حي الشعار العملية الارهابية 17 4 2012

5 شهداء و 16 جريح .. التفاصيل الكاملة لانفجاري الشعار بحلب

سقط خمسة شهداء و أصيب 16 آخرون بجروح ، في انفجارين متتاليين وقعا في حي الشعار بحلب مساء اليوم الثلاثاء.

و قال مصدر مطلع لـ عكس السير، إن ” الانفجار الأول كان عبارة عن عبوة ناسفة استهدفت سيارة مركونة بالقرب من محطة وقود (شرابة) ، أدى إلى انتشار الذعر بين المواطنين “.

في ذات الوقت كانت عبوة اخرى مزروعة تحت جسر الشعار تنتظر كبسة الزر لتنفجر مع مرور باص يقل عناصر حفظ النظام، ما أدى إلى استشهاد خمسة أشخاص ثلاثة منهم من عناصر حفظ النظام و هم “محمد ريانه ” و “باير علي حمود ” و ” محمد شاوردي ” ، و مدنيين اثنين احدهما يدعى “يوسف كبه وار” و الأخر مجهول الهوية .

و وصل عدد الجرحى إلى 16 شخصا ، بحسب ما أفاد المصدر، نقلوا عبر سيارات الاسعاف إلى مشفيي الرازي والجامعة.

وقال شهود عيان لـ عكس السير أن ” قوات الأمن طلبت من المواطنين المتجمهرين حول المكان المغادرة خشية وقوع انفجارات أخرى، و نتيجة لعدم الاستجابة قاموا باطلاق النار في الهواء لتفريق المواطنين ، و فرضت طوقا أمنيا حول مكاني الانفجارين.

و لم يصدر أي بيان رسمي من السلطات السورية حتى الآن (لحظة تحرير الخبر) ، كما أنه لم تتبن أية جهة مسؤولية الانفجارين .

يذكر أن حي الشعار من الاحياء الشعبية و المكتظة بالسكان .

April 17th, 2012, 6:41 pm


jad said:

Saudis slammed for usual rights abuse, never for exporting revolution

April 17th, 2012, 7:24 pm


Tara said:


Qatar coup

Qatar: Rumours of an attempted coup in Qatar have been circulating since late yesterday, though there is no reliable evidence that they are true. On the internet, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia have all been accused of starting the rumour or spreading it.

According to Doha News, the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV channel posted a story on its website which was later withdrawn. Al-Arabiya journalist Muhamamd Saud Jamal (@msjamal) also posted several tweets about it – though they have now been deleted and he has posted an apology in Arabic saying he received false news from Qatar.

Meanwhile, a Facebook page called “The Qatari Revolution Against Sheikh Hamad [the emir] and Moza [his senior wife]”, which is said to be pro-Assad, continues to post claims of demonstrations, arrests and clashes in Qatar, with the US allegedly providing support for the emir.

Qatar, of course, has taken a particularly strong line against the Assad regime.

The Iranian news agency, Fars, is also getting excited about the story:

Informed sources close to the royal family in Qatar told FNA that a failed coup d’état has happened in Qatar but the Qatari officials have sought hard to keep it away from the media and the public, given the growingly fragile conditions in the country and the instability in a number of regional Arab states.

The sources asked to remain anonymous due to the high sensitivity of the issue.

Fars continues:

The news about the military coup attempt coincided with a statement issued by certain figures in Qatar’s ruling family, who oppose the current regime, announcing they do not recognize the legitimacy of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, while they backed his brother, now exiled in France, Abdul Aziz bin Khalifa Hamad Al-Thani.

The statement was signed by 66 opposition figures, including 16 from the ruling Al Thani family. They directed serious charges against the Emir, including the establishment of relations with Israel, total coordination with the United States of America and breaking the Arab ranks. They also claimed his close family members and his wife’s family members are involved in cases of corruption and social injustice.

Interestingly, that section of Fars’s story appears to have been plagiarised from reports of an earlier alleged coup attempt in Qatar that were published in February last year.

Sheikh Hamad, a graduate of Sandhurst military academy in Britain, seized power in 1995 by deposing his father in a bloodless palace coup. Since the Arab Spring broke out, he has backed uprisings in other Arab countries while maintaining an autocratic grip over his own country.

In an unguarded comment last year, President Obama remarked on the emir’s double standards:

He is a big booster, big promoter of democracy all throughout the Middle East. Reform, reform, reform — you’re seeing it on Al Jazeera.

Now, he himself is not reforming significantly. There’s no big move towards democracy in Qatar. But you know part of the reason is that the per capita income of Qatar is $145,000 a year. That will dampen a lot of conflict.

April 17th, 2012, 8:06 pm


Tara said:

Foreign reserved in Syria declined by half.

Western sanctions on Syria have almost halved its foreign currency reserves and reduced oil production by 30%, Reuters reports citing French diplomatic sources said.

Officials from almost sixty countries, including the European Union and the Arab League, meet in Paris on Tuesday to discuss the efficiency of sanctions imposed on Syria to raise pressure on Assad to comply with a UN-backed peace plan.

“We haven’t got a perfect measurement instrument to tell us when the regime will no longer be able to function, but we are seeing an extremely strong decline in foreign reserves. About half,” one French diplomatic source said.

Foreign reserves were estimated at $17bn before the unrest broke out more than a year ago.

Prior to EU sanctions Damascus sold 90% of its oil to Europe and with that market closed Syrian production has now fallen 30 percent. Sources estimate lost revenues at about €400m euros a month, or a total $2bn since November.

“With the deteriorating economy there is a hyperinflationary context, sharp collapse of the currency and a fall in revenues. That pressure will eventually be felt,” said a second source.

Tuesday’s meeting will be attended by diplomats and finance ministry officials. While not expected to decide on new measures, the 57 countries will outline measures they have taken against Damascus and discuss how to ensure their implementation.

April 17th, 2012, 8:14 pm


jad said:

سوريا| موسكو لدمشق: طبّقوا البند 2 والباقي علينا
وقائع خطّة لافروف ــ المعلم

رغم أن زيارة وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم لموسكو تأخّرت نسبياً، إلا أنها كانت ضرورية للاتفاق مع حليفه الروسي سيرغي لافروف على خطّة لتطبيق بنود كوفي أنان، من جهة، وعدم تنازُل السلطات السورية عن كل شروطها من جهة ثانية

ناصر شرارة
ويلخّص مصدر دبلوماسي نتائج محادثات المعلم ــ لافروف على النحو التالي: أولاً، مصادفة موعد الزيارة مع طرح بدء مهلة أنان لوقف النار صباح العاشر من نيسان، وانسحاب الجيش من المدن والأحياء الساخنة في 12 من الشهر الجاري، وهو ما جعل المفاوضات تتركز في شقها الأبرز على معالجة تبايُن برز في الرؤية بين الطرفين بخصوص ما إذا كان يجب على دمشق أن تطبِّق وقف النار من طرف واحد، ومن دون الحصول على التزامات من المعارضة والدول التي تدعمها بوقف مماثل، وخصوصاً أنه سبق لأنان أن وعد بالحصول على هذه الضمانات في خطته. أما لافروف، فرغم أنه أبدى تفهمه لوجهة نظر دمشق المطالِبة بضمانات، إلا أنه شدد على أن «سوريا هي الطرف الأقوى، بالتالي لا مخاطر حقيقية إن أوقفت القتال بشكل أحادي». وخلص إلى أن «وقف النار بلا ضمانات من المعارضة والدول المؤيدة لها، أمر سيئ، ولكن لا يمكن الاستمرار في القتال، لأن ذلك أسوأ».

ثانياً، في نهاية المحادثة، اقتنع المعلم بطرح لافروف بخصوص أنه يجب عدم عرقلة تنفيذ بند وقف النار، رغم الملاحظات عليه، وذلك «لتفويت الفرصة على أعداء سوريا الذين يرغبون برؤية انهيار مساعي أنان في مهدها». وبالفعل، صدر عن وزارة الدفاع السورية، بعد ساعات، عشية صباح 12 نيسان، موعد بدء وقف اطلاق النار، بيان أكد أن الجيش «سيوقف مهامه العسكرية صباح الخميس»، مع التحذير من أنه سيكون مستعداً «لمواجهة أي اعتداء من المجموعات المسلحة». ثالثاً، فور انتهاء الزيارة الروسية، اتصل لافروف بأنان، وطالبه بضرورة إيجاد حلٍّ متوازن لقضية الالتزام بوقف النار، يشمل الأطراف الأخرى (أي المعارضة والدول الداعمة لها). وبحسب معلومات دبلوماسية، فإن تسوية تمّ إنتاجها لهذه القضية، وبموجبها تعهّد أنان بأن يقوم بإطلاع الحكومة السورية على نتائج اتصالاته مع هذه الاطراف (المعارضة والدول الداعمة لها)، وذلك على شكل تقارير يرفعها لها، من دون ضمانات خطية. ولكن هذه المصادر تلاحظ أن كلام أمير قطر الشيخ حمد آل ثاني، الذي رأى فيه أن الشعب السوري «ليس بحاجة للجهد السياسي، بل للسلاح»، يصبّ في خانة إظهار أن الدوحة تعتبر نفسها خارج تعهد أنان لدمشق، أو أنها تحاول تخريب مفاعيله لجهة اعتبار أنه يمثل حلاً وسطاً لقضية مطالبة دمشق بضمانات لوقف العنف من «الأطراف الأخرى».

رابعاً، في محصلة لقاء لافروف ــ المعلم، تمّ التوافق على استراتيجيا عمل للمرحلة المقبلة بين الطرفين، تقوم على مواقف تشكّل ثوابت مشتركة، وتتوزع من خلالها مهام عملية متكاملة على الشكل التالي:

ــ من جهة روسيا، أبلغ لافروف المعلّم أنه رغم تفهُّمه للإشكاليات غير المسبوقة بخصوص مهمة المراقبين الدوليين، إلا أنّ موسكو ستعمل بقوة على إنجاح هذه الخطوة، وستشجع الأطراف على الاتفاق سريعاً على وصولهم الى سوريا، كي يصل منهم في البداية ٤٠ مراقباً، على أن يكون ممكناً الاستعانة بقوات حفظ سلام في المنطقة (الإنتسو واليونيفيل)، ثم تصل أعداد إضافية بعد اكتمال الإجراءات لوصول العدد الاجمالي البالغ ٣٣٠ مراقباً وفق تصور الأمم المتحدة.

April 17th, 2012, 8:29 pm


Tara said:

Syria/Turkey: Syria has admitted that its security forces killed 10 people on the Turkish border after what it described as an armed raid organised in Turkey.

Turkey complained to the United Nations last week after Syria fired across its border last Monday into a refugee camp in the first incident of its kind since the crisis began.

Initial reports said two people were killed in the attack. In a letter [pdf] to the UN, Turkey said two Syrians and two Turks were injured in the camp.

Syria has responded by accusing Turkey of conspiring with Syrian rebels to fabricate a humanitarian crisis as a pretext for establishing buffer zones inside Syria. It said Turkey was helping Syrian rebels organise border raids to terrorize civilians into fleeing to Turkish refugee camps.

The letter from Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Maullem claimed Syrian border troops were attacked by armed groups at the Salama crossing last week.

In response Syrian armed forces killed nine of those involved. In another attack a day later one person was killed and two injured, Maullem said.

A letter from Turkey’s UN ambassador Ertugrual Apakan said an increase in military action by the Syrian army had led to 6,000 Syrians fleeing to Turkey in the first week of April alone. He said 21 wounded Syrians fled last Monday, including two who later died. Later four people were injured in cross-border gunfire.

Maullem said Turkey was trying to “muddy the waters”. He accused it of “sheltering, arming and providing logistical support to armed terrorist elements that enter Syrian territory in order to carry out criminal attacks against government forces and innocent civilians; destroy infrastructure; target public and private property; and force scores of people into Turkey, with a view to fabricating a humanitarian crisis”.


April 17th, 2012, 8:31 pm


jad said:

Syrian hackers get into Ghalyoun’s email and published what they found:

«الأخبار» تنشر مراسلات «المجلس الوطني السوري» المعارض من بريد رئيسه
حسن عليق

■ رياض الأسعد مغرور ويجب إيجاد قيادة جماعية
■ الخارجية الأميركية تقدم الاستشارات لغليون وقضماني
■ هكذا يخاطب «رئيس المجلس» سعود الفيصل

الحرب الشاملة في سوريا وعليها لم تترك مجالاً إلا حوّلته ساحة للمعارك. وإلى جانب الميدان الشعبي والعسكري والامني، ثمة ميدان آخر لا يقل اهمية عما سبق: الحرب الإلكترونية. وبعدما تمكن قراصنة مؤيدون للمعارضة السورية من اختراق الرسائل الالكترونية التي قيل إنها عائدة للرئيس السوري بشار الأسد وزوجته، تمكن قراصنة من الطرف الآخر من احتلال البريد الالكتروني لرئيس «المجلس الوطني السوري»، برهان غليون، والاستحواذ على كل ما فيه. وتضيء هذه الرسائل ــ التي حصلت «الأخبار» على جزء منها ــ على جانب غير مرئي مما يدور في المجلس، إضافة إلى علاقاته وصلاته غرباً وشرقاً، فضلاً عن سبل إدارته للأموال التي يحصل عليها. كذلك تُظهر هذه الرسائل نظرة المجلس لنفسه ومكوناته. ابتداءً من اليوم، تنشر «الأخبار» ما في حوزتها من هذه الرسائل، ثلاث منها في عدد اليوم. الأولى من مسؤول في الخارجية الأميركية إلى غليون تُظهر مستوى التنسيق بين الطرفين، وأخرى تتضمن محضر اجتماع للمكتب التنفيذي للمجلس عقد قبل أسبوعين، والثالثة فيها كتاب بعث به غليون إلى وزير الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل قبل ثمانية أيام

April 17th, 2012, 8:34 pm


jad said:

100 Ahleen Afram 🙂
I’m sorry that I don’t see him as you do, he doesn’t sound genuine in any thing he writes, that is my personal view, what I linked is what others think of him, not my views either.

Huh ??? I wish that #154 stick to what she preaches, to stay ‘silent’ when nobody is talking to her.

Apparently she can’t hence the extremely ‘smart’ comments she writes.

[Jad, I think we all need to avoid this kind of You Are Stupid, So Shut Up, Nobody Is Talking To You asides. It tends to degrade discussion, and we have seen where it led in the past.

As with Bronco/Irritated -style you you you you you trailrides, we should not focus on YOU (or SHE, or THEY) arguments, as if among commentators is one who represents all the evil thoughts and motives in Syria? What is questionable about YOU arguments is they presume entry into another person’s heart and mind, to their Real Motives and Real Desires. That is crap.

Cease fire -more of the You you you you you materials will lead to supervised posting to Syria Comment. We need a cease of personal potshots and more moves toward dialogue – as the majority have said they want.

Can we not aim for a Parliament of Reason, rather than a Parliament of personal sniping, indirect slurs, sniggering, and You People rhetoric (from any ‘side’)? ]

April 17th, 2012, 8:35 pm




So cynical and populist as Huh ??? your God President.

Thanks to the president destroying all kind of political and democratic opposition from the first day.

Thanks to the president and its mafia for bulleting the masses who asked more freedom from the first day.

Thanks to the president for turning Syria into a hell and letting the world know some syrians in power are even more barbaric than crusaders and israelis.

Thanks for letting us know that Huh ??? human garbage is leading the country.

April 17th, 2012, 8:36 pm


jad said:

اللجنة العربية تدعم خطة أنان وفق إطار زمني محدّد وموسكو تحذر من تعطيلها

العنف يتراجع .. والأمم المتحدة تطلب تزويد المراقبين بطائرات

أعلن الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بان كي مون، عشية تقديمه اقتراحاً إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي لتوسيع مهمة المراقبين الدوليين في سوريا، انه اقترح على الاتحاد الأوروبي تقديم مروحيات أو طائرات لبعثة مراقبة وقف إطلاق النار المقبلة في البلاد، مكرراً دعوته الحكومة السورية إلى ضمان حرية حركة كاملة للمراقبين الأجانب في سوريا.

في هذا الوقت، دعت اللجنة الوزارية العربية الخاصة بالملف السوري، في اجتماع في الدوحة أمس، مجلس الأمن الدولي إلى «تسريع عملية نشر المراقبين في الأراضي السورية»، مؤكدة «دعمها الكامل لمهمة (المبعوث الدولي والعربي) كوفي انان وفق إطار زمني محدد»، وكلفت الأمين العام للجامعة العربية نبيل العربي «بدعوة جميع أطياف المعارضة إلى اجتماع بمقر الجامعة قبل نهاية الشهر الحالي تمهيداً لإطلاق حوار سياسي شامل بين الحكومة وأطياف المعارضة السورية»، فيما كان رئيس اللجنة رئيس الحكومة القطرية الشيخ حمد بن جاسم ال ثاني يعتبر أن اجتماع اللجنة لم يلمس أي «تغيير جوهري» في تعاطي دمشق مع الأزمة.

وأعلنت وزارة الخارجية الصينية، في بيان، أن وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم سيجري محادثات في بكين اليوم مع نظيره الصيني يانغ جيتشي، فيما اتهم وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف عدداً من الدول بالعمل على إفشال خطة انان.

وقال مصدر حكومي فرنسي إن وزير الخارجية الفرنسي ألان جوبيه دعا العديد من وزراء الخارجية الى اجتماع في باريس غداً بهدف «إبقاء الضغط» على الاسد. واضاف ان وزارة الخارجية لم تؤكد انعقاد هذا الاجتماع حتى الآن، علماً انها دعت 10 وزراء خارجية سيكونون في اوروبا في هذا الموعد، بعضهم سيحضر الى بروكسل للمشاركة الاربعاء والخميس في اجتماعات لوزراء الخارجية والدفاع في حلف شمال الأطلسي. (تفاصيل صفحة 14)

وقال بان كي مون، على هامش زيارة رسمية إلى لوكسمبورغ، «من مسؤولية الحكومة السورية ضمان حرية حركة
المراقبين» في سوريا. وأضاف إن المراقبين «يجب أن يسمح لهم بالتحرك بحرية في أي مكان لكي يكونوا قادرين على مراقبة وقف أعمال العنف».

وقال بان كي مون إن وقف إطلاق النار «تمت مراعاته بصفة عامة» لكن مازالت تقع أعمال عنف، وان البعثة المكونة من 250 مراقباً لن «تكون كافية في ضوء الموقف الحالي واتساع رقعة البلاد»، مضيفاً «لذلك فإننا بحاجة إلى ضمان قدرة بعثة مراقبينا على التحرك
بفعالية». وأكد انه أجرى في بروكسل محادثات مع المسؤولين الأوروبيين، ومن بينهم رئيس الاتحاد الأوروبي هرمان فان رومبوي ورئيس المفوضية الأوروبية خوسيه مانويل باروسو ووزيرة خارجية الاتحاد الأوروبي كاثرين اشتون، لرؤية «ما إذا كان الاتحاد الأوروبي قادراً على تأمين معدات تضمن قدرة تحرك فعالة، بما فيها مروحيات وطائرات». وأضاف «اعتقد ان المسؤولين الأوروبيين يؤيدون ذلك»، مشيرا الى «عدم البحث في حماية عسكرية تؤمنها الامم المتحدة في الوقت الحاضر».

وتابع بان كي مون ان «مجلس الأمن طلب مني تقديم اقتراح رسمي بشأن بعثة مراقبة للامم المتحدة، وسأفعل ذلك بحلول اليوم الأربعاء». وأقر بان الوضع على الأرض في سوريا «لا يزال هشاً».

وقال مصدر سياسي في لبنان لـ«رويترز» إن دمشق رفضت بالفعل استخدام طائرات هليكوبتر تابعة للأمم المتحدة.
ووصف وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف وقف إطلاق النار في سوريا بأنه «هش»، مشيراً إلى أن عدداً من الدول تتمنى أن تفشل خطة انان.

وقال لافروف، في مؤتمر صحافي في موسكو قبيل اجتماعه مع وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطني للتغيير الديموقراطي السورية المعارضة، «فعلياً، وقف إطلاق النار هش نسبياً». وأضاف «يوجد من يريد لخطة انان أن تفشل. اليوم يفعل هؤلاء، الذين تنبأوا من البداية بفشل خطة أنان، الكثير ليروا نبوءتهم تتحقق. إنهم يفعلون ذلك من خلال تقديم أسلحة للمعارضة السورية وحفز نشاط المتمردين الذين يواصلون مهاجمة كل من المنشآت الحكومية والمنشآت المدنية بصفة يومية». وتابع «بالطبع القوات الحكومية تتخذ أيضاً إجراءات للردّ على مثل هذه الاستفزازات، وكنتيجة لذلك لا تسير الأمور بسلاسة جداً حتى الآن». ودعا الدول الأجنبية للعمل لما فيه «مصلحة الشعب السوري وليس لطموحاتها الجيوسياسية ومصالحها الظرفية».

واعلنت واشنطن ان استمرار العنف في سوريا «غير مقبول»، وطالبت الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد ببذل مزيد من الجهود لتطبيق خطة انان لإنهاء العنف. وقال المتحدث باسم وزارة الخارجية الاميركية مارك تونر إن «تلاشي (وقف اطلاق النار) غير مقبول». واضاف ان «الكرة الآن في ملعب النظام. عليه ان يلتزم بالاتفاق، وعليه ان يطبق جميع نقاط خطة انان، وحتى الآن لم يلتزم بها. وبالكاد التزم بنقطة واحدة منها».

April 17th, 2012, 8:58 pm


jad said:


اجتماع باريس حول عقوبات سوريا: «الأصدقاء» يتشاورون لإرضاء فرنسا
محمد بلوط

بيان استعراض عام لحال العقوبات المفروضة على سوريا من دون جديد. لجنة العقوبات الدولية التي انعقدت في باريس حول وزير الخارجية الفرنسية آلان جوبيه، قامت خلال ساعتين من بعد الظهر بتصريف عناوين سريعة حول تنسيق العقوبات، من دون استحداث جديد فيها.

اللقاء يلبي الحاجة إلى تضافر الضغوط على النظام السوري بموازاة الضغوط التي يشكلها كوفي انان وخطته، والالتزامات التي تتراكم على كاهل الإدارة السورية. وتسعى اللقاءات من نوع لقاء الأمس إلى شغل الفواصل ما بين مؤتمرات «اصدقاء سوريا»، او إجراء مراجعات للتدقيق في صحة تقيد الحلفاء والأصدقاء في القرارات التي صوّتوا عليها في إسطنبول وتونس، وتحويل المؤتمر إلى مرجعية دائمة في القضية السورية، وهو هدف «الأصدقاء» الأصلي. ولفت دبلوماسي عربي إلى أن اجتماع الخبراء والمدراء السياسيين لـ57 دولة في باريس، انعقد بحسب انطباعه، للتشاور أولاً، وإرضاء للفرنسيين الذين يريدون الإبقاء على درجة عالية من التعبئة الدبلوماسية حول النظام السوري.

وكما كان معلناً لم يقدم البيان الختامي للاجتماع، توصيات جديدة بشأن العقوبات المطبقة، ولكنه طلب من «الأصدقاء» مواصلة الضغوط كي يحترم النظام التزاماته في اربعة مجالات: مقاطعة النفط السوري، منع بيع أسلحة لسوريا، وتحريم الاستثمارات في البنى التحتية، وخفض التمثيل الدبلوماسي.

«الأصدقاء» برأوا انفسهم والعقوبات التي يفرضونها من معاناة السوريين، واعتبر بيانهم الختامي أن النظام مسؤول عنها، ودعوا بلداناً اخرى إلى الانضمام اليها. وأقرّ البيان من دون كثير من التفاصيل الدعوة إلى تكوين شبكة اتصالات، من دون تحديد ما إذا كانت تعني تبادلاً أفضل للمعلومات في ميدان تطبيق العقوبات، أو أنها بداية لتطوير مكتب مركزي لتنسيق المعلومات عن الأنشطة المالية والتجارية للنظام السوري، واحتواء محاولات الوسطاء العاملين لحسابه لاختراق حصار العقوبات. البيان لم يحدد أفقاً لإنهاء العقوبات، ولكنه تعهّد بإعادة تقييمها سريعاً بمجرد انطلاق المرحلة الانتقالية، وبالتعاون مع لجنة إعادة إعمار سوريا التي تشرف عليها الإمارات والمانيا.

April 17th, 2012, 9:00 pm


Tara said:

You go to work in the morning and you get greeted by endless smiles from strangers.  I always wondered about the no smile attitude in Syria.  It looks like thrpe Turks have the same issue.  Does it boil down to democracy?

Why Turks don’t smile

A Turkish friend of mine who has lived in the United States for many years once told me an amusing experience of hers. After more than a decade in the land of freedom, she came back to Istanbul for a few weeks. While strolling the streets, she inadvertently smiled at people with whom she came face to face. In return, though, she did not get the polite response that she was used to. Instead, the women she smiled at looked surprised, and worse, the men she smiled at looked aroused.

“I realized that those men took my smile as a sexual hint,” my friend told me. “One of them even began to follow me in a very excited mood!”

Soon, my friend wisely adapted to the Turkish manners: In this country, you don’t smile at strangers. You simply look the other way, and, if you come eye to eye, you try to look tough. 

For a while, and as a sociologist-wannabe, I have been wondering why this is the case. Gradually, I have become convinced that this no-smile attitude tells us a lot about the nature of Turkish society: As surveys also prove, this is one of the places on earth in which people trust each other the least. Hence, they can easily see other members of society as potential threats or even enemies.
But why? Are Turks inherently rude, antisocial or nasty people?

Not really. Quite the contrary, Turks are famous for their hospitality and generosity, and they are also known to be very loyal to their friends. 

But there is a catch here: Turks are very good to people that they know well, such as their family and kin. Yet, for the people with whom they are less familiar, their attitude dramatically changes. In other words, if they see a familiar face on the street, they go out of their way to show affection. For unfamiliar faces, however, they have nothing but suspicion.

This social reality of Turkey seems to tell us a lot about the nature of its politics as well: Here, every political camp is filled with contempt and paranoia for the other camps. (In the 1970s, this led the country to near civil war; luckily, there is much less violence today.) In political arguments, sides blame each other for being not only wrong and misguided, but also treacherous and devious. Quite amusingly, pundits in every political camp argue that the opposing camp serves some evil foreign power that is cooking up malicious plans against the beloved homeland. They are bitterly opposed, in other words, without realizing how similar they are.

But then again, why? Why so much distrust and hate?

Secondly, the brutal authoritarianism of the Turkish state has made matters much worse, by constantly suppressing large segments of society and explaining away every trouble in the country as the product of “enemies within and without.” While most Kemalists still believe in that lunacy, the conservatives who oppose them seem to have taken their share as well. 
So, is there no hope for the future?

April 17th, 2012, 9:34 pm


Ghufran said:

I like the article about smiles,are you introducing it to this forum as an FYI or you indeed agree with content?

April 17th, 2012, 9:46 pm


jad said:


Don’t add words that I didn’t write.

Just check the two comments you left for ‘THE’ ‘she’ #150&151 then come back and preach.

Or are you getting this habit to come after anybody who reply to the provocateur.
When you do your job right, you won’t get any comments back.

[ blue diamond Jad, what I ask of anyone and everyone – to be a responsible commentator. Those who have been banned in the past, moderated, warned, encouraged, thanked, responded to – those who know, can tell us what goes too far, and more.

Some who watch and comment on the heartache in Syria tend not to personalize discussion or use veiled or open insult to make their points. But if they attack, or if they persist, they enter moderation.

I was going to trash the full-text comment that you excised from the Washington Post, but: if Arabi Souri wants to slag and insult Syrians who do not agree with him, then he can do it here himself and he will be cautioned here. We do not need to smuggle in overheated and accusatory language from elsewhere. No one may use Syria Comments to abuse other commentators.

Anyone may issue whatever orders to the moderator that they like. I take my orders from the owner of this blog, your host and mine for many years, Joshua Landis, who demands the best from us. All of us. We need reasonable discourse and I enforce that.

He tells us that any of us:

  • may be edited or deleted at the discretion of the moderating team. Furthermore, commentators who repeatedly violate the site regulations may be warned, temporarily suspended from posting, limited to a set quantity of daily posts, or permanently banned. The moderators reserve the right to ban anyone who annoys or badgers them excessively.
  • Finally, we ask that commentators bear in mind that even well-intentioned humor or sarcasm can be “lost in translation” on an online discussion forum. As such, commentators should maintain a respectful tone with others and be tolerant of opinions that may differ from their own.]

April 17th, 2012, 9:48 pm


Tara said:


I agree with the content. The same thing happens in Syria. No stranger would ever smile at you in Syria. As a women, you can’t smile at any man as it will be interpreted as a sexual invitation and if you smile at a woman passerby, she either tries to avoid eye contact or gives you a stern surprised look. Contrary to what happens in the US, you walk at any place and you feel the whole world is smiling at you.

April 17th, 2012, 9:55 pm


jna said:

Nasrallah: “We contacted the opposition to encourage them and to facilitate the process of dialogue with the regime,” said Nasrallah, speaking through a translator via a video link from a secret location. “But they rejected dialogue.”

As an aside, Nasrallah appeared very relaxed and at ease with the issues during the interview, he looked good.(jna)

April 17th, 2012, 9:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Here is what I was told about Latakia from a trusted friend who is from that city:

Going to Latakia today will make you think that the uprising is taking place in another country,you see signs of caution and you can not see the usual crowd at 1 am in popular youth spots but the city is almost untouched by what is happening in Syria since March,2011. Sporadic small incidents,small demonstrations in certain areas and the confrontation at Al-Raml did very little to stop people from living and going out ,but not until 2 am as before. When I asked about the strength of the regime and the opposition,the lady said that the opposition enjoys strong support in certain segments in the Latakian society,but that support is mostly among impoverished or deeply religious Sunnis,most other Sunnis are either suspicious of the new opposition or they resent the regime and would welcome a new one but are not willing to die or kill for it. Outside that group,the regime have little to worry about,even the usual communist-liberal opposition groups have decided to keep a low profile or focus on launching a campaign against armed rebels while carefully asking the regime to change its harsh ways when dealing with dissidents.

As far as Latakia is concerned,the anti regime movement have little hope of mobilizing large crowds. I wonder if there are bloggers with intimate knowledge of the city who care to comment.

April 17th, 2012, 11:05 pm


Jerusalem said:
دخل فارس بيك الخوري، ممثل سوريا في الامم المتحدة حديثة المنشأ، بطربوشه الاحمر و بذته البيضاء الانيقة….

قبل موعد الاجتماع الذي طلبته سوريا من اجل رفع الانتداب الفرنسي عنها بدقائق واتجه مباشرة الى مقعد المندوب الفرنسي لدى الامم المتحدة و جلس على الكرسي المخصص لفرنسا بدأ السفراء بالتوافد إلى مقر الامم المتحدة بدون اخفاء دهشتهم من جلوس ‘فارس بيك’ المعروف برجاحة عقله و سعة علمه و ثقافته في المقعد… المخصص للمندوب الفرنسي تاركا المقعد المخصص لسوريا فارغا دخل المندوب الفرنسي، و وجد فارس بيك يحتل مقعد فرنسا في الجلسة… فتوجه اليه و بدأ يخبره ان هذا المقعد مخصص لفرنسا و لهذا وضع امامه علم فرنسا، و اشار له إلى مكان وجود مقعد سوريا مستدلا عليه بعلم سوريا ولكن فارس بيك لم يحرك ساكنا، بل بقي ينظر إلى ساعته… دقيقة، اثنتان، خمسة استمر المندوب الفرنسي في محاولة ‘إفهام’ فارس بيك يا حبيبي، يا روحي، مونامور، مون شيري… هون محل كرسي بتاع فرنسا، محل كرسي بتاع سوريا هنيك، سيلفوبليه قوم انقلع من هون بدنا نقعد ولكن فارس بيك استمر بالتحديق إلى ساعته: عشر دقائق، احد عشرة، اثنا عشرة دقيقة وبدء صبر المندوب الفرنسي بالنفاذ: يا دب.. قوم انقلع يا عربي يا متخلف هون مطرح فرنسا الحرة و لكن فارس بيك استمر بالتحديق بساعته تسع عشرة دقيقة، عشرون، واحد و عشرون…

واهتاج المندوب الفرنسي، و لولا حؤول سفراء الامم الاخرى بينه و بين عنق فارس بيك لكان دكه وعند الدقيقة الخامسة و العشرين، تنحنح فارس بيك، ووضع ساعته في جيب الجيبه، ووقف بابتسامة عريضة تعلو شفاهه و قال للمندوب الفرنسي سعادة السفير، جلست على مقعدك لمدة خمس و عشرين دقيقة فكدت تقتلني غضبا و حنقا، سوريا استحملت سفالة جنودكم خمس و عشرين سنة، و آن لها ان تستقل وفي هذه الجلسة ، نالت سوريا استقلالها “. في ذكرى عيد الجلاء نقول كل عام وسورية بألف خير وصبراً دمشق علىالبلوى فكم صُهِرت سبائك الذهب الغالي فما احترق
Thanks to Galioun and co. Not just France is returning to Syria but rather all NATO

April 17th, 2012, 11:10 pm


Ghufran said:

Just in case you are not cross-eyed yet,Qatar and the AL are now “supporting” Annan’s mission,and taweel alteeleh Hamad is retracting previous statements about arming the rebels.

April 17th, 2012, 11:23 pm


bronco said:


You wrote to Jad:

“As with Bronco/Irritated -style you you you you you trailrides, ”

I wish you address your criticism of some of my comments directly to the person incriminated instead of bundling them in a remark to Jad.

In any case the only time I used “YOU” is when replying to a commenter that addresses me as “YOU”.

Your generalization is very upsetting and unjustified.

April 17th, 2012, 11:30 pm


Equus said:

Denmark has demanded information and clarifications from Tel Aviv concerning an assault by a senior Israeli military officer against a Danish pro-Palestinian activist in the occupied West Bank.

Israel sides with Syrian activists but strip activists’ rights in Israel.

April 17th, 2012, 11:42 pm


irritated said:

blue beret No comment

April 17th, 2012, 11:45 pm


Equus said:

Brutal repression of protestors surely requiring international intervention!

Ooops, it’s the IDF attacking protestors against the occupation of Palestinian land.
Never mind!

April 17th, 2012, 11:49 pm


ann said:

‘External forces hampering truce in Syria’ – Lavrov – 17 April, 2012

“Indeed, there are forces which are interested in the failure of the Kofi Annan plan, they were saying that even before the plan was released,” Lavrov stated on Tuesday. “And they are doing their best to make their wish come true through arms deliveries to opposition forces and by encouraging militants’ activities.”

This leads to retaliation measures from the government Lavrov added, “so that things are not going smoothly” for now.

The Russian Foreign Minister also said that “some countries, some external forces are not interested in the success of the current peaceful efforts of the Security Council.”

These forces he went on to say are trying to substitute the Security Council with various unofficial formats and are using all tools to convince the Syrian opposition no to cooperate with the government.

Lavrov called this stance “counterproductive” and “regrettable”.


April 17th, 2012, 11:58 pm


zoo said:

The “Friends of Syria” meeting in Paris went without Clinton or Davutoglu and with no list of participants. A very low key meeting.

Juppe wants to save face by organizing a ‘private’ meeting over lunch with the foreign ministers of 14 Friends of Syria countries. No names yet published.

Juppe to invite 14 FMs to Paris Thursday to discuss Syria

By John Keating PARIS, April 17 (KUNA) — French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe intends to invite at least 14 Foreign Ministers to Paris on Thursday to discuss the situation in Syria, a diplomatic source said here Tuesday.

The source told KUNA that the invitations were still being worked on but that agreement was already reached with Qatar, Germany, Holland and a couple of other countries and that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would “probably” attend.

The source said that France was also “working with Kuwait” to see if the Foreign Minister could come.

The potential for a meeting in Paris Thursday is likely to be firmed up in the coming hours and is viewed feasible as many of the ministers are at a NATO meeting in Brussels and will be in the area.

The source also told KUNA that there was likely to be an official announcement on the meeting Wednesday.

France already hosted Tuesday a meeting of 57 international delegations to discuss sanctions against Syria and ways of making them more effective.

The participants, many of them from the “Friends of Syria” group, agreed to improve coordination and exchange of technical data and also arrived at a consensus for a second meeting of the “expert level” group in Washington next month.

The Sanctions Group meeting stressed the need to be vigilant on the implementation of sanctions, particularly in the oil and banking sector and also stressed these punitive measures were not aimed at the Syrian population.

The group expressed support for the Arab League plan and the follow-up plan by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and urged the rapid implementation of these measures with a view to a political transition in Syria.

April 18th, 2012, 12:17 am


zoo said:

UN Secretary-General wants to beef up the monitors and provide helicopters/airplanes for better mobility

By Los Angeles Times Staff / April 17, 2012

The United Nations Security Council is expected to authorize deploying a full mission of 250 monitors to Syria after it takes up the issue Wednesday, but Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon questioned whether even that number would be sufficient.

“I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country, and that is why we need very efficient mobility of our observer mission,” he said Tuesday.

He said he had discussed with European Union leaders whether the EU could provide helicopters and airplanes for that mobility.

Six members of a U.N. mission to monitor implementation of a peace plan began setting up headquarters inSyria on Monday, and 25 additional observers are expected to arrive in Damascus, the capital, in coming days.

Ban said U.N. military action was not under consideration.

“At this time, the situation is so complicated that we are not contemplating any … introduction of military protection,” he said. “This is the responsibility of the Syrian authorities.”

April 18th, 2012, 12:25 am


jad said:

Bronco #174

If it will make you feel any better, I’m sorry!

The director of Goethe Institute like any reasonable person in the world is saying that the only solution for the Syrian crisis is ‘Dialogue’

Ulrich Nowak: Syrer wollen Assad (Syrians want Assad)

مدير معهد غوته بدمشق: الحل في سورية بالحوار

اعتبر مدير معهد غوته في دمشق اولريش نوفاك أنه يوجد نوع من الحكم المسبق الخاطئ إزاء الحكومة السورية حول معالجة الأزمة في سورية.

وقال نوفاك في لقاء مع القناة الألمانية الأولى قبل أيام “من خلال سفري المتكرر إلى دمشق أرى صورة أخرى من الصعب إيصالها وأرى المشكلة على أرض الواقع وأتكلم مع الناس حول المشكلة مضيفا أن الحكومة السورية تحاول إيجاد حل لهذه المشكلة كما أنه يوجد نوع من الحكم الخاطئ إزاء الحكومة السورية”.

وتابع نوفاك “عندما ننظر إلى ما تفعله الحكومة السورية لنشر الأمن في البلاد وإيقاف العنف واستخدام الأسلحة نرى أن جميع الجهات الخارجية تنتقد هذه الجهود بشكل دائم وتقول إنها قليلة أو متأخرة أو غير كافية موضحا بمعنى آخر بأنها لا تعترف بها”.

وحول ما تورده بعض وسائل الإعلام عن أعداد القتلى في سورية قال نوفاك: “هذا جزء من الصورة وفقا لطرف واحد فقط مضيفا ليس هناك تقارير لجهات حيادية وبنفس الوقت يوجد تقارير أخرى بأرقام أخرى”.

وأضاف مدير معهد غوته بدمشق: “يوجد أرقام تم احصاؤها من خارج البلاد وأرقام أخرى جمعت من داخل البلاد حول عدد الضحايا في سورية وثمة مصادر من الجهات الرسمية السورية تقول إن هناك نحو 2500 قتيل من الجنود وقوات الأمن ويوجد تقارير عن عدد القتلى بشكل عام ولا أعرف مدى دقتها”.

وحول رؤيته لسير الأمور في سورية مستقبلا قال نوفاك: “منذ أيام قرأت في الموقع الالكتروني لمجلة دير شبيغل أن بعض الدول العربية رصدت مبلغ مئة مليون دولار للمعارضة في سورية وبهذا المال سوف يتم تمويل شراء اسلحة ومقاتلين وتحفيز المعارضة موضحا أن هذا ليس هو الطريق الصحيح”.

وأكد نوفاك “أن الطريق الصحيح لإنهاء العنف وحل المشكلة في سورية هو بالحوار بين الأطراف ومنع إرسال أسلحة وأموال ومقاتلين إلى سورية إضافة إلى تهيئة إطار وجاهزية للحوار من كلا الطرفين”.

وأكد نوفاك “ان الغالبية في سورية ترغب في حل الأزمة بوجود الحكومة وتريد الرئيس بشار الأسد”.

April 18th, 2012, 12:30 am


jad said:

Dear Zoo,

I read somewhere that Clinton and Oglu will attend.

April 18th, 2012, 12:34 am


MICHEL said:

Huh ??? [ … ] What’s wrong with admitting the truth about the regime? Jad, your opinion is that the FSA are terrorists, ok, but [ … ] there’s nothing wrong with admitting we are stuck between two beasts, the filthy regime and the current opposition.

Do you really believe that this regime wants the best for the country, that this army is “jesh lwatan” rather than “jesh lnizam”, etc ??

April 18th, 2012, 12:38 am


ann said:

‘No side is interested in long-term ceasefire in Syria’ – 18 April, 2012

But Prof. David Gibbs, a historian from the University of Arizona, is skeptical about the truce and believes that none of the major factions are interested in a long-term ceasefire.

He claims there is not much resolve on the part of Western powers to make it stick. Despite the ceasefire the Western powers have mostly lost interest in the idea of negotiated settlements, Gibbs believes. “Since the end of the Cold War the United States and to some extent the NATO allies have seen the desirability of brute force instead of diplomacy. Diplomacy is often discouraged as an act of cowardice and ineffectual activity.”

As for the rebels, they are committed to bringing the West into the conflict as combatants, which means they are not interested in a long-term ceasefire. They want to settle the crisis on the battlefield on the assumption that the West will enter the conflict.

Prof. Gibbs warns that the outcome of the Syrian conflict could be far more complicated and destructive than was the case in the Libyan scenario.

The US and its allies have committed their credibility and prestige to regime change in Syria, and should Bashar Assad’s regime prevail in spite of the sanctions and “non-lethal aid” to the rebels, the West will look weak and will try to escalate the conflict just to maintain US and NATO credibility, Gibbs concludes.


April 18th, 2012, 12:39 am


jad said:

Very good interview with Jihad Makdissi, however, CBS only showed 20sec out of almost 20min interview, yet they keep whining that there are no press in Syria….

Isn’t it obvious that the mainstream media reporters are not interested in hearing the answers of their questions or to know anything about the truth…the reporter is not even listening of what Jihad is saying, she keeps ignoring every answer he gave her….

CBS Part 1

CBS Part 2

April 18th, 2012, 12:55 am


Mina said:

The focus of some comments on “Bashar and Asma the evils” is so childish, almost unbelievable. As if in any country some people could be good and other bad, as simple as that, and not that it just says something of the whole people, who can easily have both sides in one family. Who were the good and the bad ones in Lebanon? is this a sign that most people here are too young to remember?
Just watch A. Wajda’s masterpiece on Katyn to learn about grey.

April 18th, 2012, 6:04 am


Mina said:

166 “I always wondered about the no smile attitude in Syria”

I guess we didn’t visit the same country. Some should try to put a foot out of the Shraton, Hilton and Four Seasons.

Sorry to affirm it again but this is cheap PR propaganda to depict Syria as another North Korea.

April 18th, 2012, 6:13 am


Mina said:

Free comment from the Atimes:

How the Arab Spring was sapped dry
By Ismael Hossein-zadeh

“Within the first few months of 2011, the United States and its allies lost three loyal “friends”: Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Zine el-Abbidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Saad Hariri in Lebanon. While Mubarak and Ali were driven out of power by widespread popular uprisings, Hariri was ousted by the parliament.

Inspired by these liberating developments, pro-democracy rebellions against autocratic rulers (and their Western backers) soon spread to other countries such as Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

As these revolutionary developments tended to politically benefit

the “axis of resistance” (consisting of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas) in the Middle East, the US-Israeli “axis of aggression” and their client states in the region mounted an all-out counterrevolutionary offensive.

Caught off-guard by the initial wave of the Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia, the US and its allies struck back with a vengeance. They employed a number of simultaneous tactics to sabotage the Arab Spring. These included: (1) instigating fake instances of the Arab Spring in countries that were/are headed by insubordinate regimes such as those ruling Iran, Syria and Libya; (2) co-opting revolutionary movements in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen; (3) crushing pro-democracy movements against “friendly” regimes ruling countries such as Bahrain, Jordan and Saudi Arabia “before they get out of hand,” as they did in Egypt and Tunisia; and (4) using the age-old divide and rule trick by playing the sectarian trump card of Sunnis vs. Shi’ites, or Iranians vs. Arabs. (…)”

The author refers to this interesting guy and his Oct 2011 article, still very valuable

April 18th, 2012, 6:39 am


bronco said:

#182 Jad

The FOS meeting has been shrouded with mystery and lack of information, probably because it had a low and low key attendance.
I have not seen any news saying that Oglu and Clinton attended the “FOS’ meeting held on the 17 but they may attend the dinner organized by Juppe for the 19th with only 14 foreign ministers.

To be confirmed today wednesday.

Don’t worry, I think the moderator is overwhelmed by his job and his impatience is sometimes blurring his observations.

I forgive him his occasional unjustified accusations.

April 18th, 2012, 8:58 am


Tara said:


There is new post.

April 18th, 2012, 9:07 am


Mawal95 said:

Commenter Mohammed Kanj says at #68 :

Mr landis keeps mentioning that the elite businessman and army units r loyal to the teeth with the syrian govt along with the majority of minorities and sunni middle class. So explain how u can smirk on tv and say that the govt will fall in a few years? Give us a detailed explaination. Instead of posting baseless and meaningless articles on the syrian issue, can u base ur arguements on some facts? Guess not mr landis.

Joshua Landis does not practice evidence-based reasoning.

After I look at the evidence on my own, I find some of Joshua’s assertions and expectations are right and some are wrong. However, many of the ones that are right have the same epistemological or substantive-content status as the ones that are wrong, because Joshua doesn’t demonstrate their correctness, doesn’t try to lay out the breadth and depth of the correctness. He just pontificates his ipse dixit; .

In the above video interview on RussiaToday, Joshua said: “Syria’s problem is that it does not have a strong sense of national community. A minority rules. We’re going to see that minority fall I believe in the next several years.”

On 12 May 2011 Joshua said: “Syria’s great weakness is its lack of unity.” On 15 Jun 2011 Joshua said: “There is not going to be any package of reforms that is going to save this regime…. Eventually the Alawite rule of Syria is going to collapse. It is going to be replaced by Sunni rule.”

On 9 Aug 2011 Joshua said: “Building national unity is a long and painful process…. Syria’s chronic failing is that it lacks a deeply shared sense of political community.” If that were true, it’d be important. I find it’s false. I’ve presented plenty of the evidence why it’s false, such as the evidence that the majority of the Sunni clerics in Syria have supported this past year’s reforms under the government’s leadership and have opposed any other pathway to reforms, , .

Joshua has never, to my knowledge, tried to present evidence to support his claim that Syria lacks a strong sense of national political community. He’s had constant opportunities to present it and has never delivered. To be reasonable it would be necessary to deliver because there’s so much evidence against it, and because it’s denied by so many well-informed people, including SANA, Walid Al-Moallem, Mohammad al-Shaar, and apparently Mohammed Kanj.

April 18th, 2012, 11:40 am


jad said:

[ Green Update Symbol Updated from 2012/04/17 at 11:09 am, with picture added.]

NCB sit-in in Damascus today, it was peaceful with banners calling for Syrian people’s unity, for Freedom and Democracy, and for the rejection of Sectarianism and Violence, the police and the security didn’t touch any of these brave Syrians in the sit-in in Alfa7ameh in Damascus. I think NCB are the real national opposition.

NCB demonstrate unmolested in Damascus

April 18th, 2012, 7:57 pm


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