The Man Who Wrote the Mehlis Report on Rafiq al-Hariri’s Murder Claims Third Witness was a “full-blown mythomaniac”

Bo Åström, who wrote the Mehlis Report

The Man Who Wrote the Mehlis Report on Rafiq al-Hariri’s Murder Speaks Out about the Quality of their WitnessesSiddiq, Hossam, and Antonios Bani Auda – a “full-blown mythomaniac”
by Aron Lund
For Syria Comment
May 5, 2011


Swedish public television (SVT1) just aired an episode of Uppdrag granskning, a popular show specialized in tracking down government abuses and miscarriages of justice. This episode was headlined “Don’t fuck with the UN”, and concerned a witness in the UN International Independent Investigation Commission (UNIIIC) for the Mehlis report. Below is a summary of the show, which can be seen in its entirety here. It’s in Swedish, but some of the interviews and taped segments are in original English.


The show is focused on a Mr. Bo Åström, a veteran Swedish police investigator who worked under Mehlis in the UNIIIC. He left the investigation with Mehlis in 2006, and they still work together, now on another assignment in the Philippines.

Åström was deeply involved in the preparation of the first Mehlis report, and at one point says (it’s possible he wasn’t aware that the camera was rolling) that he wrote most of it, since he was the investigator, while Mehlis more or less only did the preface.

The reporters summarize his view of the Hariri assassination. Åström and Mehlis develop the theory that the main culprits are the four Lebanese generals (Azar, Hajj, Hamdan, Sayyed), on orders of Rustom Ghazaleh and Asef Shawkat. Early on they found two witnesses to corroborate this theory, namely Siddiq and Hossam. Then both witnesses start causing trouble. First, Hossam shows up in Damascus and switches his story. Then, Siddiq is proven to be unreliable, after they investigate the apartment in the Dahiye where he claims the murder plot was hatched, and find that it had not been used by anyone during the relevant period. Åström is very frustrated by all this.


Antonios Bani Auda, the "third witness" after Siddiq and Hossam

At that point however, in October 2005, a certain Abdelbaset Ahmed Bani Auda, known as Antonios Bani Auda is referred to the UNIIIC by Lebanese authorities. Bani Auda is an Arab Israeli with a really shady history as a double or triple agent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, having been a team leader of some sorts in the Israeli Shabak, while simultaneously working for Arafat. He was married to the Lebanese singer Nada Rizq, also an Israeli agent. When she revealed his double-agent role, he had to flee from Israel to Lebanon. There, he explains, he was put in prison, where he claims he was visited by Lebanese intelligence. They tell him that he’ll stay there for the rest of his life unless he agrees to work for them. He accepts, and is freed.

After his release, he says, he is fortunate enough to get asylum in Sweden on a UN quota, and moves to the northern town of Umeå, where he still lives as a refugee with asylum (no citizenship). Lebanese security continue to contact him, and comes to visit him in Umeå repeatedly. They give him money, promise him government jobs and all sorts of things, and start demanding that he must kill Rafiq el-Hariri. He is taken to Lebanon a few times, shown the Qureitem and Hariri’s car, etc. The mission is for him to place bombs in two places, in Lebanon and in another country in Europe, to kill Hariri. He is also taken to meet Syrian officers in Greece and Syria, including Maher el-Assad. He refuses to participate in the mission. The following year, Hariri is murdered by someone else. Bani Auda explains that if he had accepted the mission, Hariri would have been killed already in 2004.

At this point he contacts Lebanese police, who put him in contact with UNIIIC, somewhere around October 2005. Since he lives in Sweden, he’s put in contact with Bo Åström, but also with Günter Neifer, a German investigator. They listen to his testimony and decide that he is trustworthy. He is mentioned in the second Mehlis report (Dec. 2005) as “a new witness”, from paragraph 32 onwards.


Bani Auda claims he is at this point beginning to be threatened and monitored (by Syria or its allies, presumably). He sets a condition for his testimony: he will not testify unless the UNIIIC promises him protection, help in getting a new citizenship (preferably Swedish), etc.

The UNIIIC prepares a written contract to this effect. There appears to be no talk of money or anything apart from protection for him and his family, but among the things mentioned is a new citizenship, protection, help in changing his appearance, etc. The contract states that his testimony will not leave the UNIIIC until these things have been arranged. This contract is read to him over the phone by Åström, and he accepts. He is flown to Vienna, and formally deposits his testimony.


Åström then gets to work on trying to arrange the protection. The problem is that the contract makes promises that the UNIIIC can’t deliver on – the UN can’t issue citizenships in Sweden or elsewhere. The program makes the point that Åström/UNIIIC must have known this. They tricked Bani Auda into making his testimony in return for protection that they couldn’t deliver. Still, Åström tries to use his contacts in Sweden to help Bani Auda.

However, when Åström gets in touch with police in Umeå, he is shocked to hear that they already know about the case. Bani Auda has been talking to local police, possibly someone he already knew there and had discussed the affair with earlier. Åström gets the impression that “the whole community knows”. He is outraged, says he was laughed at. He calls Bani Auda and curses him, telling him that he can’t and won’t arrange protection if Bani Auda can’t do his part and keep quiet about his involvement. He says he’s been made an ass of in front of his colleagues (he repeatedly shouts the phrase, “you’ve given me the donkey’s face”, which makes no sense in either Swedish or English, as far as I know). Still shouting, he appears to threaten Bani Auda, saying he must keep quiet, stop embarrassing him, and allow him to work on the protection detail, or the UNIIIC will “kick your fucking ass back to Israel” etc. At one point, he yells: “Tell us all you know, or we’re going to kick your ass! You don’t fuck with the UN!”, hence the program’s title.


All of the above phone calls have been secretly recorded by Bani Auda himself. At this point, the program sidetracks onto what the reporters apparently felt is the real scandal, namely the question of whether Swedish police has failed to deliver on a witness protection program, and whether Åström has threatened Bani Auda with repatriation to Israel, from where he fled. (This part is not so relevant to the Hariri affair.)

The reporter traps Åström by confronting with the issue, at which point he denies everything. He is then immediately shown the contract, and responds by denying he knew about it. They then play Bani Auda’s recording of him reading the contract, at which point he, deeply embarrassed, claims he doesn’t remember.

It is revealed that the written contract included a clause that wasn’t read out loud by Åström to Bani Auda, which says that the UNIIIC isn’t bound to provide these things unless Bani Auda’s testimony turns out to be true. The reporters say that since some of these details cannot be confirmed, this constitutes a loophole, but it isn’t clear that this is why the UNIIIC failed to deliver. When asked about this, Åström says in passing that he feels that Bani Auda didn’t deliver on his part of the contract, since he didn’t provide all the info he had promised. Günter Neifer is interviewed by phone, and says the contract was Åströms idea, but Swedish authorities apparently refused to provide protection/citizenship etc.

Some half-hearted efforts apparently continue after this point to help Bani Auda, but by February 2006 Mehlis and Åström both leave the UNIIIC, when Brammertz replaces Mehlis. Mehlis explains that this is because he had been informed that there were certain parties that wanted him dead, and that is why he left his post. Åström left with him (as mentioned above, they still work together).


When Åström leaves the mission, Bani Auda is provided with a new contact in the UNIIIC – British policeman who has now left the mission, but who still refuses to be identified to viewers, since he is fears for his life (apparently because of his work in the UNIIIC). He, too, fails to get someone to help Bani Auda, despite trying. Meanwhile, the Bani Auda testimony is (despite the clause in the contract banning this) handed over to the legal defense of the four generals, and then promptly leaked to the Lebanese press. Clips are shown from al-Manar, where Bani Auda’s name and picture is discussed. When interviewed by phone, the British policeman says that Bani Auda had been “horribly treated” by the UNIIIC and “could be killed”. The UNIIIC opinion is apparently that the contract between Åström and Bani Auda “isn’t worth the paper it was written on”.

Åström is asked about this, and says that Bani Auda’s “personal information has been out in the open for five years, and so far I haven’t heard anything other than that he’s alive and well.” He explains that he has changed his opinion about Bani Auda and now considers him a “full-blown mythomaniac”, but he remains convinced that Syria & the four generals were really behind the Hariri hit.


Bani Auda has still received no help from the UN. He has filed a complaint with Swedish police against Åström, for the threat to repatriate him to Israel, and provided his recorded phone calls as proof. The investigation was canceled almost immediately, without hearing either Bani Auda or Åström.


And that’s it. Just to be clear, I’m only describing what was said on the show. I don’t know what’s true or false, and I had nothing to do with its making.

Aron Lund is the author of Drömmen om Damaskus (Silc, 2010), a Swedish-language history of Syria and its opposition movements.

Comments (99)

Sophia said:

No wonder why people in the ME and Lebanon are fond of conspiracy theories!

I don’t understand how a double agent kicked out from Israel and living in Sweden as a refugee can impose conditions and put a price on his testimony for the UNIIIC. My opinion is that he was paid by someone to mislead the UNIIIC. In January, New TV in Lebanon aired a leaked video showing Saad Hariri, in the presence of a UNIIIC representative, Gerhard Lehmann, and Siddiq, discussing the four generals implications. Saad Hariri denied being in this meeting.

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon stinks. I am furious when I think of the millions that the Lebanese state has to put in contribution to this tribunal only to produce more injustice…

May 6th, 2011, 12:30 am


Mina said:

And we still wait for Fisk al-Beiruti insider’s comments on that article

The tribunal has been threatening to publish its findings for a few months but does nothing else than interfering on local politics by waiting for an appropriate moment. The international bodies are losing their credibility one after the other.

May 6th, 2011, 2:50 am


democracynow said:

Awesome HD video of the Aleppo Uni dorm protest on may the third:

Wow… that’s a lot of mundassin right there 😉

May 6th, 2011, 4:22 am


democracynow said:

Syria’s political crisis puts it on edge of economic precipice
Phil Sands
Last Updated: May 6, 2011

DAMASCUS //At a staff meeting this week, employees at a small but successful private company in Damascus were told they would be working without pay this month, a sign of gathering economic storm clouds, as Syria struggles with a grave political crisis.

According to one of the workers, managers announced pay would be halted for most staff members immediately, with employees asked to stay on effectively as volunteers in order to keep the firm ticking over. Crucially, no timetable was set for when payment of salaries would be resumed.

“They said they didn’t know when things would be back to normal, and that it would depend on what happened on Friday,” he said, on condition of anonymity. He also asked the company not be named because it has made no public announcement of the decision.

“If things are quiet on Friday, maybe it will be OK,” the employee said. “But if it’s another one like we had last week, then I’ll probably lose my job entirely. I expect that to happen.”

The Syrian authorities have been insisting all is well, projecting an air of confidence and normality, and trying to allay any sense of panic that the country might be teetering on the brink of an economic precipice, after more than six weeks of political unrest that has shaken the nation.

With economic statistics in Syria hard to come by and widely considered unreliable even when available, there is little hard data to show the current state of the economy. Anecdotally however, the situation is difficult, and worsening.

Rumours of bread shortages last week sent many Syrians running to bakeries to stock up – a move that actually created a shortage and further fuelled the rumours.

The government stepped in and issued a statement that bread was in plentiful supply, something that did little to calm nerves. “If there was no problem, the government wouldn’t say anything, the fact they mentioned it made us sure there was something wrong,” said Abu Ghassim, a father of one from a middle-class family.

Syria’s currency has similarly been subjected to panic selling that by last week had knocked some 10 per cent of its value in relation to the US dollar.

The central bank moved to prop up the exchange rate, using its hard currency reserves to support the Syrian pound and, more recently, raised interest rates on deposits in local currency – an effort to both stop people shifting to dollars en masse and to stop them taking money out of the banks, fearing the system was about to run into trouble.

For now, at least, the currency appears to have stabilised without losing much of its value, and panic bread buying has subsided. Economists however warned conditions will worsen unless real solutions are found to end the turmoil.

“At the moment, we don’t feel we are in a dangerous situation but we cannot say how long Syria will be able to last if things remain as they are,” said one leading economic adviser to the government, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In areas directly affected by anti-government protests and by the violent crackdown by the authorities against demonstrators, economic activity has been hit hard.

For example, in Daraya, a suburb just south of Damascus which has been sealed off by army units in recent weeks, military checkpoints and road closures have all but choked the furniture-making businesses that dominate the area, according to residents.

“No one can come in to buy the furniture we make, and we can’t get materials to build it, or transport it out easily,” said one businessman running his own carpentry shop. “The danger is that all the young men who used to be busy working are now sitting around all day with nothing to do, which really isn’t a solution.”

In central Damascus the usually bustling shopping areas are largely quiet. Although in the past few days there has been much more traffic in the capital – a development seized upon by the state-run media as proof that everything has now returned to normal – shopkeepers complain that sales are dramatically down.

“People are only buying essentials and they’re saving the rest of their money just in case things get worse,” said a clothing store owner in Salheyeh, a place normally popular with relatively affluent Syrians. “Now, we’re not selling anything, I’m not earning enough money to pay the electricity bill, let alone pay the staff,” he said.

Even powerful businessmen who enjoy lucrative monopolies are complaining of the slowdown, especially those heavily invested in the tourism industry. Last year brought record numbers of foreign visitors to Syria, pumping billions of dollars into the economy and, with the tourism ministry predicting further growth this year, Syrian companies invested more into the sector.

But with protests and violence spreading, they are now facing a total collapse of tourism in 2011, according to analysts. Tourists have already been cancelling trips or heading home early, particularly European travellers, advised to get out of Syria immediately by their embassies.

“The situation has had an impact on the economy, there has been a drop in tourism, in production and a rush towards the US dollar,” said Nabil Sukkar, a former World Bank economist who now heads an independent financial consultancy in Damascus. “At the moment I would say the effects remain manageable but the longer any uncertainty continues, the more significant the impact will be.”

With the president Bashar al Assad reshuffling his government last month, the old pro-market economic team – long criticised for supporting a handful of well-connected, business tycoons, at the expense of the poor – has been dropped and replaced by one promising a greater level of support for ordinary families.

A raft of economic pledges have been made, everything from more jobs for university graduates, to cutting fees paid by big state-subsidised industries and waivers on fines for overdue electricity bills. Salaries have also been raised across the board for government employees.

Before the protests broke out, officials had been cutting massive subsidies they said the country could ill afford to pay, while looking for billions of dollars in foreign investments to boost growth.

That talk has now ended, at least publicly, and some economists say, the government has lurched in the other direction – now risking profligately spending money to satisfy the silent majority, which has not yet taken part in demonstrations.

Abed Fadliyeh, dean of the economics faculty at Damascus University, acknowledged there had been an economic slowdown and that times were difficult. However he said he was “very optimistic” about the new strategy, one aimed at greater social justice, rather than simple growth.

“For the last ten years the government made the top ten per cent of the population its economic priority while ignoring the needs of the other 90 per cent,” he said. “Now there has been a huge change and the talk is about raising standards of life for the 90 per cent, for the ordinary people.

“In the long run, that is the only real answer, and it will be better for everyone. The question now is implementation, the programme must be implemented”

May 6th, 2011, 4:31 am


Sophia said:

There are people who copy entire articles in the comment section. It is useless when we have the link to the article, and it makes the reading of the comments very difficult.

Democracy Now,

Comments # 3,4,5 should have gone under the previous entry.

May 6th, 2011, 4:56 am


Sophia said:

More spin from The Guardian:

What will happen in Syria today? They are showing a picture from last week protests. News about ICRC entering Der’aa, quote from Mr. Abdulhamid and his eyewitnesses around Damascus and this:

”Wissam Tarif, of the human rights group Isan, said the regime is desperate to prevent the protesters taking control of a central square in Damascus.”

Surprised? Since when people who are supposed to be in charge of human rights in a given country provide this kind of political comments on the humans of this particular country? I would expect Mr Tarif to comment on those who are in prison, or those who are being beaten, or those who lack bread and milk, and so on…These people are discrediting themselves…

May 6th, 2011, 5:15 am



Happening now in Syria, protest throughout all the country. Let´s pray that today there are not 100 deaths.

من نحانطلاق مظاهرة دير الزور PROTEST IN DEIRAZOR
مظاهرة حاشدة في دير بعلبة PROTEST IN DEIR BALAH
عاجل : إصابة متظاهرين برصاص القوات السورية في التل PROTEST IN TEL
عاجل : جبلة- مظاهرة نسائية كبيرة وسماع إطلاق رصاص PROTEST IN JABLE
عاجل : اطلاق الرصاص الحي على المتظاهرين في حرستا PROTEST IN HARASTA
عاجل : القوات السورية تطلق النار على المحتجين في بلدة التل PROTESTS IN AMUDA
عاجل : الزبداني تتظاهر PROTEST IN ZABADANI
عاجل : برزة البلد تتظاهر PROTEST IN BARZE AL BALAD
وزير بريطاني:سورية على مفترق طرق
عاجل: باب عمرو -حمص تتظاهر PROTEST IN HOMS
عاجل: معضمية الشام تتظاهر PROTEST IN MOADAMIA
انتشار لدبابات في مركز مدينة حمص السورية واطرافها
عاجل : حماه – خروج مظاهرة كبيرة في السلمية PROTEST IN SALAMIYA
عاجل : الرقة مظاهرة كبيرة PROTEST IN RAQQA
عاجل : دير الزور مظاهرة كبيرة في البوكمال PROTEST IN ABU KAMAL
تعذيب المحتجين السوريين في أقبية المدارس
الاتحاد الاوروبي يبت اليوم في مسألة العقوبات على بشار الاسد
عاجل : هجوم قوات الامن الى داخل جامع في الميدان PROTEST IN MIDAN
هيومن رايتس ووتش تطالب برفع الحصار عن درعا والسماح بدخول مراقبين مستقلين إلى المدينة
عاجل : انتشار أمني كثيف في الميدان في دمشق
غوار الطوشة ومهمات الجيش السوري
عاجل : القامشلي مظاهرات حاشدة تخرج الآن PROTEST IN QAMISHLY

May 6th, 2011, 7:35 am


Ford Prefet said:

Very interesting. Also nice headline for such an expose on Swedish public television.

May 6th, 2011, 7:44 am



Thanks Mr. President Al Assad for destroying the intelectuals and the critics as well as reducing the whole civil society to your wife activities. The result of last 40 years of rule is what we see today in the streets, a mass of people shouting ALLAH U AKBAR walking without a known objective and that can only be stopped by your bullets and tanks. So much you gave your retro viral, every time you had a headache or a cold, that finally the virus has become so powerfull that may destroy you totally.

May 6th, 2011, 7:54 am


Mina said:

Using kids in the frontline, how brave

May 6th, 2011, 7:56 am



In these dramatic moments of history we are facing. In this terrible situation of destroy your people or destroy your regime or even your country. In this historical moment where many ways of the history of Syria will cross, don´t you have another question to discuss but the MEHLIS REPORT?

We do not care about Hariri anymore, we care about people that will die today. Today maybe the day that most people takes the streets. It may mark another inflexion if there is more people and less dead. It would mean that the protest has turned massive and non violent. Today is happening now. Please stop using old questions to defend old ideas.

May 6th, 2011, 8:18 am


Sophia said:

Sandro LOEWE,

The Mehlis report implicated the Syrian authorities in the murder of Rafiq Hariri based on false witnesses arranged by no other than Saad Hariri himself.

In the current violent protests that want the fall of the Syrian regime in a violent manner, Hariri, ally of Khaddam, is fomenting trouble.

Go and read the wikileaks cables. Up until recently, and even after having visited Syria, which must have been like a kind of humiliation for him, Saad Hariri was trying to find a way to get rid of Bashar El Assad.

But rest assured, Hariri is so hated in Lebanon that if the Syrian protesters are counting on him they wont succeed.

May 6th, 2011, 8:40 am


syau said:


Syria was accused of being complicit in the Hariri assassination. Incorrectly accused. The Mehlis report is part of Syria’s news. Do your reasearch regarding Saad Hariri, his detest for the Syrian government, conspiracies and fabrications, then you will realise why the Mehlis report is relevant. If you are unhappy with the “question”, then don’t comment.

For someone that seems so passionate for the now, ‘today is happening now’, you seem to be interested in bringing up history from time to time. So as I understand it, if suits your interests at a particular time, the past is relevent, but if not, then nothing in the history books should be discussed as we should look to today, because today is happening now. How hipocritical.

May 6th, 2011, 9:04 am


Revlon said:

Al Dandashi! Look! Talkalakh is back

Ya Bashar Bye Bye Bindna Nshoufak Bilahy
Bashar Bye Bye; We will see you in the hague

May 6th, 2011, 9:30 am


jad said:

Army victims, 2 dead (1 officer), 3 injured, escalation usually start after army casualties
حمص: استشهاد ضابط في حمص على طريق بحيرة قطينة و 3 جرحى من الجيش في مشفى الزعيم تم الان نقلهم الى المشفى العسكري
و استشهاد العسكري حسين دندا و عمره 21سنة متأثراً جراحه بعد اطلاق النار عليه اليوم من العصابات المسلحة

انا سوري

May 6th, 2011, 9:39 am


Sophia said:


Read my comments 39 and 42 under the previous entry. I think it is essential that people like Mr. Tarif should be denounced. He doesn’t have the profile of a human rights activist and should not be called a such.

There are also AP reports on deaths attributed to Human rights syria and that do not figure on their website…

Very disturbing this information war…

May 6th, 2011, 9:45 am


AIG said:


There is nothing disturbing about it. Since the regime is the one blocking the free flow of information, it is clearly the one that has something to hide and therefore it is losing the information war. All the regime has to do is allow free coverage. What are they afraid of?

May 6th, 2011, 9:48 am


Revlon said:

Day 53 of the Syrian Revolution; Friday of defiance turns the system’s day dreams of victory into nightmares of defeat.

To the dismay of the System and their supporters, the revolution’s heart is pumping with ever more vigour.

The country is heaving with demonstrations, from south to north and east to west.

Rukneddin and Sali7iyeh have joined other traditional Damascean neighbourhoods.

Homs, Hama and their countryside are now at the heart of the revolution.

Talkalakh is back, after mourning their loved ones, in the massacre a couple of weeks ago.

The spirit of freedom lives on,
the evil of tyranny is nearing its end,
in the pits of defeat.

May 6th, 2011, 9:48 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

Aside from Homs, the total of people who demonstrated in Syria today was less than 5000.

In Damascus there were about 500 protesters in the Islamist stronghold of Maydan.

In Banias, Al-Jazeera claimed that there were 10,000, but in the images they showed it was obvious that the protesters were less than a thousand people.

About 500 Kurds demonstrated in the northeast. The Kurdish demonstrations are the only demonstrations that can be called civil and I am glad that they all ended peacefully. The Kurdish demonstrations were the only demonstrations that had clear political demands and they were not motivated by sectarian or even ethnic motives as it appears from their slogans and the quality of people who participated.

In Aleppo as usual there were many failed attempts to start demonstrations. None of them gathered more than a 100 people.

May 6th, 2011, 9:49 am


Revlon said:

550 Martyrs and 10,000 missing; What does it take to stop the massacre?
A plea from the people to the heroes of the security forces; Please use rubber bullets, like the Israeli’s do!

Sample of banners from Bab Assiba3 demonstration, Homs:

May 6th, 2011, 10:00 am


jad said:

“Talkalakh is back, after mourning their loved ones, in the massacre a couple of weeks ago.”
Mourning who? It seems that nobody told this guys that the alleged massacre of Talkalakh, didn’t even happen!
It seems that this guy is short of new blood so he wanted to use 2 weeks ago victims to support his smugglers’ friend cause in Talkalakh.

I liked Bab Alsba3 English banners! I wonder how many of those guys know how to read those banners ;), if they want the West to come to occupy Syria they need to do more begging.

Most of those human right ‘activists’ we see on TV are fake, so I wont judge them as such since it will be an insult to any real human right activist.
Did you see this:
إربت تنحل – معارض

May 6th, 2011, 10:05 am


jad said:

Don’t we all love the classy presentation, what I like the most is how cool the army graphics look on the screen and how the tanks never stopped bombing Daraa city which is ‘close’ to Hawran! 🙂 as if Hawran another city! Seriously! “Close to Hawran!”
Anyhow, It’s worth watching:

استعراض لأبرز الأحداث في سوريا هذا الأسبوع

Oh, now we discover why Aleppo didn’t go out until this moment:
According to Fida2 Alsayed, it’s because people in Aleppo are uneducated, ignorant and most of them are parasite traders, otherwise they will go out!

May 6th, 2011, 10:21 am


Revlon said:

We do not like you; You and your party, leave us alone!
In a huge demonstration in Inkhel, Dar3a.

A reminder to those who still claim that The people like bashar, and are not asking him to step down!

Ma Min7ibbak Ma Min7ibbak Ir7al 3anna inta w7izbak

May 6th, 2011, 10:23 am


Revlon said:

Three more martyrs have joined the procession to freedom
3imad 7anbazly and A7mad Samsam in 7ama
and Nidal Alqudsi in 7oms

Al Fati7a upon their soules,
May God bless their family with solce, and empower them with patience.

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
اسماء شهداء حماه اليوم – جمعة التحدي
عماد حنبظلي
احمد صمصام
39 minutes ago

May 6th, 2011, 10:35 am


Revlon said:

The regime is lying: The fourth brigade has not withdrawn from Dar3a.
Its forces are occupying dar3a Mosques and have prevented Athan and prayers.
They have replaced calligraphic plaques carrying the name of God with those with the name of B Asad!

حركة سوريا شباب من أجل الحرية Youth Syria For Freedom
حركة سوريا شباب – خاص من درعا || الزنادقة في قوات ماهر الاسد الطائفية – الفرقة الرابعة – قاموا باحتلال اغلب المساجد ومنع الصلاة فيها او رفع الآذان .. و الكفر الصريح الذي قامو به هو استبدال كلمة الله المعلقة في بعض المساجد ووضع اسم الزنديق بشار الاسد لعنه الله
22 minutes ago

May 6th, 2011, 10:48 am


jad said:

“الزنادقة في قوات ماهر الاسد الطائفية”
Some people have no shame at all putting such sectarian text but to spread this kind of sectarian language is as shameful as the ones who wrote it.
Isn’t this kind of language that is used by “Takferiyeen” the reason why millions of people are killed, are you supporting the killing of other Syrians because of their believe or not-believe in God/Allah?
Stupidity has no limit.

May 6th, 2011, 11:04 am


Revlon said:

The mood in 7ama is that of fury. Many demonstrators are wearing Kufiyeh
Al Mot Walal Mathalleh: We would rather be proud and die

May 6th, 2011, 11:06 am



What else can you argue to show people as donkeys who have been taken to the streets by Hariri alone? Hariri, as Khaddam, as many anonymous syrian are taking advantage of this situation to get what had never dreamt it would happen in 100 years.

Even many syrians who always said they were happy in Syria and loved their president are today showing their alter ego they did have never expressed. And wait, because when largest parasits can smell the fall of Assad they will leave him fall in an accelerated way.

For me is really impressing to see in villages like AMUDA or TELKALAH thousands and thousands of brave men acting for a better future. Maybe they are wrong, maybe they will not reach it. But used as I was to see syrians always afraid of everything, this change let me trust that syrians will know how to defend themselves from tiranny next time.

May 6th, 2011, 11:11 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Just heard an interview on English-AJ with Reem Haddad, a spokeswoman for the Syrian ministry of information. That reactionary woman has no clue. It was the most bizarre interview I heard in a long time. She knows nothing, she refuses to comment on every thing, and she sound like a woman on the verge of a colossal hysteria. Her English is perfect, though. Clearly with a British accent.

With all of Mrs Haddad eccentricity , I prefer her to the hideous and didactic Buthaina Shaaban, with the irritating pronunciation of the letters “s” and “sh”, and her attitude to preach.

May 6th, 2011, 11:29 am


ZIAD said:

SYRIA: Who is Behind The Protest Movement? Fabricating a Pretext for a US-NATO “Humanitarian Intervention”

May 6th, 2011, 11:35 am


why-discuss said:


Are you having a fit or hallucinations?

“the revolution’s heart is pumping with ever more vigour.”

Where? a few hundred people shouting freedom…..?
Some small villages people coming out of the mosque with their children who have been given a poster showing the date for Youtube purpose. It does look really ‘spontaneous’ and ‘organic’!

The only pumping is coming from people like you who can’t admit the failure of a ‘revolution’ movement poisonned with lies, abuses and misinformation and who keep on pumping in think air….
Please spare us your closing religious prayers for the dead, they deserve better than that.

May 6th, 2011, 11:38 am


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

I wonder what makes Amir in Tel Aviv and AIG follow this blog regularly. Are you Syrian Jews?

May 6th, 2011, 11:39 am


AIG said:


What a strange question. I guess our attitude toward knowledge is just different. That is why there are many Arab Studies departments in Israeli universities and no Israel studies department in any Arab university. I see Assad has successfully mind controlled you.

May 6th, 2011, 11:44 am


why-discuss said:


“With all of Mrs Haddad eccentricity , I prefer her to the hideous and didactic Buthaina Shaaban, with the irritating pronunciation of the letters “s” and “sh”, and her attitude to preach”

Please spare us your criticism on accent and attitude: they have nothing to envy of Avigdor Lieberman, Shimon Peres and Yehud Barak’s accent and attitude: Decayed caricatures in motion

May 6th, 2011, 11:45 am


AIG said:

The thing is Why-Discuss, is that Shaaban was never freely elected to anything in her life. Yes, some Israeli politicians are irritating, but at least they truly represent part of the Israeli public.

May 6th, 2011, 11:49 am


jad said:

Is a handicap person in a wheel chair irritate you Amir?
Apparently Mm. Buthaina Shaaban has a lisp which I think is not a funny matter.

May 6th, 2011, 11:50 am


vlad-the-syrian said:

to SOURI333 #31

man these guys are payed by their government
maybe we should thank them 🙂

May 6th, 2011, 11:51 am


why-discuss said:

Bashar al Assad is not (yet)among the 14 Syrians the EU agreed to sanction. Sanctioning Bashar al Assad was requested only by France.

I guess French will not be welcomed in Syria anymore if Bashar survives. At the time when french language was introduced as a mandatory language in schools, that is certainly a step back for french presence in Syria.
Anyway under the new “Napoleon Sarkozy” and his efforts to have his voice heard, France is going in the direction of antagonizing the arab and moslem countries perceived as ‘rogue’: Iran, Libya, Syria.
Is Sarkozy the new poodle of the US?

May 6th, 2011, 11:58 am


why-discuss said:

Amir, AIG

“Yes, some Israeli politicians are irritating, but at least they truly represent part of the Israeli public.”

That makes it even more depressing!
At least in Syria, one can claim that she does not represent part of the Syria public!

May 6th, 2011, 12:01 pm


norman said:


May 6th, 2011, 12:03 pm


Solitarius said:

Gun battles still raging in Homs till this hour (7pm) since noon. Mostly in two parts, Baba Amro, and the old city quarters of Bab El Sbaa, Bab El Draib, Bab Tadmour, Mraijeh.. Etc

The army will probably not leave until they clean the city of all armed individuals which are probably many in these areas. It seems like it’s going to be a long bloody campaign. Tanks and armored vehicles are deployed. I hope that as little innocent people as possible will fall.

Wonderful picture of the day courtesy of twitter people

May 6th, 2011, 12:03 pm


jad said:

Until now 7pm local time and according to local news, 15dead, 10 from the army/police/security and 5 civilians.
Many injured on both sides.

عاجل: مراسل الدنيا: عشرة شهداء من الجيش والقوات المسلحة في مدينة حمص

شـبكـة أخـبـار ســـوريـة | S.N.N
‎15 شهيد عشرة منهم من الشرطة و 5 من المدنيين مع تمثيل بالجثث و العديد من الجرحى بين رجال الامن و الارهابيين (حمص )

6 minutes ago

May 6th, 2011, 12:05 pm


AIG said:


When you understand that you have to tolerate politicians that irritate you because they were freely elected, you will be ready for democracy.

May 6th, 2011, 12:11 pm


vlad-the-syrian said:


it’s a pity ! i think that Obama promised Sarkozy that he will be elected in 2012

May 6th, 2011, 12:22 pm


Souri333 (formerly Souri) said:

The only positive result of this uprising is that we are going to get rid of many Wahhabis. I used to visit Wahhabi websites before and I used to warn them that if they try and defy the regime, they will be let alone to pay the price. Their problem is that they are maniacs and they don’t listen to advice.

Sarkozy is acting extremely stupid. Most of the Francophiles in Syria are Christian and high/mid-class people. I am sure that the Wahhabis and MB are not fans or France. France has some influence in Syria, but this idiot Sarkozy is going to wipe it off.

The Western former colonialist powers will never detach from their colonialist past. There is no point in trying to have good relations with them.

May 6th, 2011, 12:24 pm


why-discuss said:

AIG, Amir

If your democracy means making fun of physical defects of people, I am not ready for that, for sure!

May 6th, 2011, 12:28 pm


jad said:

استشهاد ضابط من الجيش وأربعة من عناصر الشرطة برصاص مجموعة إجرامية مسلحة بحمص ويد الإجرام تمثل بأجسادهم
06 أيار , 2011

صرح مصدر عسكري أن مجموعة إجرامية مسلحة باغتت اليوم حاجزاً للجيش وقوات الشرطة والأمن في غرب منطقة بابا عمرو بالقرب من جسر السلطانية بحمص وأطلقت الرصاص على عناصر الحاجز ما أسفر عن استشهاد الضابط أحمد حلاق وأربعة من عناصر الشرطة هم المساعد أول جورج اليان والشرطي محمد معروف والشرطي بسام ابو العنز والشرطي السائق ثائر جردو ووقوع عدد من الجرحى.

ثم قامت المجموعة الإجرامية المسلحة بالتمثيل بأجساد الشهداء.

May 6th, 2011, 12:33 pm


Mina said:

The UN says 21,000 have crossed into Tunisia from Libya. A new diaspora in the making? Sarkozy’s envoy Bernard Henri Levy wants no less than to create a new Palestinian cause and a complete destabilization of North Africa? The devil only knows how this guy could at the same time be a friend of the Israeli establishment and have the confidence of the Libyan rebels.

May 6th, 2011, 12:33 pm


Shami said:

The courage of the syrian people is incredible ,it surpassed all expectations.They make me proud to be a Syrian again.
Bashar ,Maher,Rami are going into the dustbin of history.

May 6th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Mina said:

Red Cross/Red Crescent report from Daraa

May 6th, 2011, 1:14 pm


jad said:

Thank you for the Red Cross link.

May 6th, 2011, 1:17 pm


why-discuss said:


The Libyan rebels will never forget that BHL and Sarkozy “helped” their cause on the international arena. Be sure that BHL will make sure that Israel and France gets a good chunk of the oil cake to support Israel’s ‘democratic’ army fight against the Palestinians!

May 6th, 2011, 1:23 pm


rm said:

Sophia, you really know nothing about Lebanon if you think Rafic Hariri is hated here. You have no clue do you?

May 6th, 2011, 1:27 pm


jad said:

آخر التطورات في سوريا – مالك شريف

May 6th, 2011, 1:28 pm


Sophia said:

#22 Jad,

The commentator who said that the people from Aleppo are uneducated is ignorant. The people of Aleppo are not only educated but they are the most sophisticated people I have ever met. Actually my sister in law’s family is from Aleppo.

May 6th, 2011, 1:32 pm


jad said:

Not one Syrian have any doubt about the high standards of the people of Aleppo, that person (the official revolution speaker and the one running the FB site) is nothing but a looser who knows nothing about the real Syria and Syrians.

May 6th, 2011, 1:38 pm


norman said:

You are right, most people on this blog are from Aleppo.
Sorry not I . and they are very educated many PHD like Jad

May 6th, 2011, 1:39 pm


Sophia said:

At The Guardian, they have retracted their blog page on Syria and Yemen from the front page. And the assessment of the day is given by Katherine Marsh here (who by the way is becoming more fact oriented):

I think the Syrian authorities are faring well if we consider that the tides are against them and that many of the protesters are there for the kill, and I deplore the loss of life from the beginning and from today.

May 6th, 2011, 1:50 pm


jad said:

(who by the way is becoming more fact oriented)
Because apparently it’s not herself who is writing those reports anymore, someone else is writing them during her ‘absence’!

Shoukran Dr. Norman 🙂

May 6th, 2011, 1:58 pm


democracynow said:

Today’s protests in:

Ankhel, Jasem, Sanamein, Zabadani, Daraiya, Harasta, Kisweh, Nawa, Al Tal, Barzah, Damascus (Meydan, Saliheiya, sit Zaynab, Hajar Aswad), Homs, Hama, Tal Kalakh, Baniyas, Jableh, Lattakiya, Al Bab, Idlib, Me’arit Nu’man, Salamiyah, Qamishly, Ain Al Arab, Hasakeh, Jisr Al Shoghoor…..

(Despite the suffocating repression with live bullets and the threat of shabiey7a thugs..etc..)

May 6th, 2011, 2:08 pm



Riad Seif has been detained today.

Those of you who say that the regime is just detaining violent people like thugs, burglars and criminals what can you say? Maybe he was handling a kalashnikov, it is possible? It would be very clear then that he is the leader of the gang.

Or maybe after days and days looking for an interlocutor for friendly dialogue with opposition organizations the President has ordered to invite Riad Seif gently or by any means to visit him.

But nobody will know anything about this because there is no press to explain to the people this kind of problems.

May 6th, 2011, 2:11 pm


why-discuss said:

Amid Syria’s turmoil, Israel sees Assad as the lesser evil

May 6th, 2011, 2:12 pm




You, that have been in Syria once, and long time ago, you can perfectly distinguish between real news and false news, just by reading them or hearing at them at the BBC. It really impresses me. Without being in the place where the facts are taking place, without having a corresponsal and just hearing to official press you know everything…?

Waw…. Impressing capabilities to know the truth by divine intervention.

You should work at least for the XXX secret services.

May 6th, 2011, 2:14 pm


Mina said:


Calm down, it’s an old Yemeni method. When you want two tribes to discuss, you kidnap a group of each and host them in some big mansions. After they cool down you oblige them to talk to each other and negotiate. It’s called qanun ‘urfi and it works among the Arabs for thousands of years much better than any shari’a.

May 6th, 2011, 2:17 pm


democracynow said:

Interesting tweets from Ben Wedeman (CNN legendary correspondent in Cairo):

“Good Egyptian source just back from Washington says israel is syrian regime’s most ardent advocate with congress, Obama administration.”

“Source says Israel worried about radicalized #Syria more than distant Iran or tamed Hizballah, prefers predictable all-talk-no-action Bashar”!/bencnn

May 6th, 2011, 2:21 pm


why-discuss said:

Sandro Loewe

Today the most effective weapons are the media… no?

Democracy now

Don’t read twitter, read #60
Now that Bashar is regaining the upper hand, Israel has second thoughts about supporting the ‘arab spring’ in Syria. Already they got bad news from Egypt’s new democracy.

May 6th, 2011, 2:24 pm


Sophia said:

Al-Jazeera went out of their way to cover the protests today by showing the same video in a loop.

May 6th, 2011, 2:28 pm


jad said:

It is WRONG WORNG WRONG to split Syrians between traitors and patriots, we are all Syrians, period.
Saying our opinion regardless how much different from each other shouldn’t be the issue, the issue is that we all must work together, blaming others on anything didn’t work yesterday and wont work today nor tomorrow.
Syria is to all Syrians regardless of their political/religious/ethnicity backgrounds, this is our land, we build it together, our country it’s neither for the regime nor for the rebels to dictate to us what we should or shouldn’t say, Syria is ours, both sides are going sooner or later but we only have each other to depend on.
I condemn such moves as much I condemn the brutality of all sides and the sectarian language we are bombard with days and nights. Killing reasonable ideas, thoughts and dreams is no difference than killing the person him or herself.
Logic and freedom of peaceful thoughts shall prevail and everything else must stop.
How disappointing!

أصدر المنتجون السوريون بيانا ً أكدوا من خلاله مقاطعتهم لكل من وقع على ما يعرف بـ ” نداء حصار درعا ” أو ” نداء أطفال درعا ” وفيمايلي نص البيان كما وردنا :
نحن الموقعين على هذا البيان نعلن رفضنا الكامل للنداء السياسي المغلّف بصيغة إنسانية والذي يهدف بشكل مباشر للإساءة لسورية شعباً وحكومة ووطناً؛ نعلن رفضنا لمحتوى (( نداء الحليب )) كونه جاء على شاكلة ادعاءات شهود العيان والناشطين المجهولي الهوية الذين تمت فبركتهم في الدوائر الأجنبية المشبوهة.
كان الأجدى بموقعي النداء التأكد من الحالة التموينية والصحية في درعا من وزارتي الاقتصاد والصحة قبل اعتماد بيان (( نداء )) صيغ في دوائر الفيس بوك الأمريكية المعروفة جيداً بعدائها السافر لوطننا الغالي بكل ما يمثل.
نداء امتلأ بالافتراء على درعا وأطفالها وشعبها وانحاز بشكل فج لحملة السلاح الإرهابي والقتلة والمخربين الذين ارتكبوا فظائع يندى لها جبين الإنسانية ومثّلوا بجثامين الشهداء الطاهرين ضاربين عرض الحائط بقيم الأديان السماوية وحقوق الإنسانية والكرامة البشرية ذاتها، كما خربوا في طريقهم حركة الاحتجاج السلمي.
ونلفت نظر الموقعين على النداء إلى أن الرصاص الذي يطلق على جيشنا البطل هو رصاص اسرائيلي بامتياز.
لذا نعلن مقاطعتنا للفنانين والمثقفين .. الذين وقّعوه لأن الوطن وأطفاله وكرامته وسلمه الأهلي فوق كل اعتبار.

May 6th, 2011, 2:29 pm


AIG said:

For many in Israel’s security agencies and IDF, Bashar’s Syria is an excellent enemy.
1) No problems in the Golan for decades
2) No problems from Hezbollah since 2006
3) Corrupt country and regime makes spying easy
4) Bashar’s economic policies ensure Syria remains weak long term
5) No Islamic state in Syria

It is difficult to argue with these points that are all true. However, it is also more difficult to argue with the point that Syria’s brave citizens deserve a chance at democracy. Furthermore, long term, only true democracy will bring peace to the middle east.

May 6th, 2011, 2:34 pm


jad said:

Aljazeera still insist on keeping Syria news #1 on their website and refuse to push it back to 2nd or third so they need something to keep it up there and when they don’t get anything of substance like blood and dead bodies to show they should fabricate something.
It’s already lost lots of credibility.

May 6th, 2011, 2:37 pm


Sophia said:

Angry Arab mentions on his blog that ex Lebanese PM Sanyura is probably in the US to lobby for the overthrow of Bashar El-Assad.

Hariri and Sanyura and Khaddam were humiliated by Bashar, they cannot live with it and they will keep trying. The sad thing is that they are spilling Syrian blood.

May 6th, 2011, 2:46 pm


why-discuss said:

jad ….
Iran vs Syria : Dorothy Parvaz from Al Jazeera

It is confirmed that Dorothy Parvaz tried to enter Syria with an iranian passeport ( )
Iranians don’t need a visa to enter Syria.
Did she try to cheat the Syrian authority by entering disguised as an Iranian tourist instead of declaring she was a journalist and requesting the permission from the Syrian authorities?

Either Al Jazeera made a professional mistake or it was a calculated provocation, knowing that as Dorothy has a american and canadian citizenship and they’ll get world attention if she is arrested.

If she lied, Dorothy Parvaz will probably be justly jailed.

May 6th, 2011, 2:46 pm


jad said:

I think it’s a calculated move by Aljazeera for publicity, they did close their office in Damascus, so why to send a reporter if they are not interested?
Cheap shot, and as Sophia wrote before, I hope the regime to be wise enough not to let Aljazeera to take it to where they want.

May 6th, 2011, 2:54 pm


jad said:

جولة على كورنيش جبلة (الجمعة 6-5-2010) .. لا وجود لإطلاق نار كما قيل .. لا وجود لمظاهرات كما قالت الشائعات …
39 minutes ago

Those two videos about my rant earlier regarding sanctions against Syrian artists and forcing them to defend themselves on national TV, long but interesting:

Part 1
لقاء مع الفنانين على تلفزيون الدنيا 6-5-2011

Part 2
لقاء مع الفنانين على تلفزيون الدنيا 6-5-2011

May 6th, 2011, 2:59 pm


Sophia said:

I was reading this article, again by Katherine Marsh on the gay girl in Damascus. I think this is an example of the tolerance of the Syrian society. I wonder if the gay girl could still come out as she did in other Arab and Muslim countries. And she wouldn’t even credit the actual authorities for this climate of tolerance.

May 6th, 2011, 3:00 pm


why-discuss said:

Hariri Tribunal prosecutor amends indictment

much more months to go….

May 6th, 2011, 3:01 pm


why-discuss said:


Katherine Marsh doesn’t seem to know much about the mentalities in Arab countries on this subject.

May 6th, 2011, 3:05 pm


Mina said:

A Franco-Algerian journalist who had been arrested in Syria (probably for the same reason of using his Algerian passport and not his journalist card) has been released 3 days ago

By the way, 7 Estonian are hostages somewhere in Lebanon, so with idiots who don’t speak Arabic running around the country I can imagine the result.

(Amazing, I just see now that a video of these hostages has been released in April. It didn’t hit the frontpage)

May 6th, 2011, 3:15 pm


jad said:

Sophia, WD,
I think the coverage of the Gay girl comes from the western society mentality that gay people went through lots of discrimination and they need to be supported anywhere in the world, since they are already liberated in the west.
Homosexual communities are know to have a very strong lobby allover Europe and North America and many of that community are in the decision making positions in the Media and in Politics.
So I’m not surprise of the cover, it’s a policy and lobbying work.

May 6th, 2011, 3:18 pm


Solitarius said:

On Friday 6th May 2011, @Basma_ said:

What one member of the Red Crescent had to say following his visit to #Daraa #Syria:

Today as a true eye witness and a Red Crescent FACT team (field assessment and coordination Team) we did an assessment Visit to Daraa city situation and brought some aid items and baby food with us, we also came up with the needs which we are working on for-filling ASAP.

some highlights from the report :

No mass destruction was noticed, water and electricity is available to almost all of Daraa, some shortage in food but not life threatening, army is distributing bread and essential materials to places since most of the shops are closed, shortage in some medicines because the pharmacies among with the shops are closed, water not reaching high floors since no electricity in some places to power the personal pumps, their maybe people whom are afraid to visit the national hospital so SARC will provide mobile clinic for those people in old part of Daraa city ASAP.

The Red Crescent needs your support to help the people in need ASAP. time to put your money were your mouth is and ACT!

you can contact SARC on 133 from any land-line in Damascus from tomorrow for a list of acceptable and needed materials.

Khaled Erksoussi

May 6th, 2011, 3:21 pm



What else can the President and its followers do to change the mood of the masses? Now there is a general feeling that something should happen because revolutions seen before end in change of regimes. If nothing essentially changes because Israel and Occidental countries prefer Assad family to any risk as they prefered Moubarak, then people in Syria could become very frustrated. Frustration generates hate and violence. Bad ingredients for a democratization on the basis of a ¨young active president and her charming and benefactory wife¨.

I believe nothing is going to change in Syria. The president will keep on accusing its succesive governments of corruption and the people will accuse his brothers of being too violent.

This will not be a victory of the patriotic syrians but one of Israel and Occidental countries.

May 6th, 2011, 3:42 pm


Solitarius said:

Who are you Sandro and where did you suddenly emerge from trying to lecture us about how Syrians should feel about Israel. Israel will have a massive victory should the Syrian regime fall. It will abuse the region like there is no tomorrow. Syria will burn and Lebanon as well. Jordan will be next and perhaps Palestinians can have a little Islamist state in Jordan while Israel gets to keep the occupied terretories forever undisputed. Whatever Syrian government comes next will be a toy in the hands of the different governments. We will be back to the 50s except with bigger and more volatile problems and less industry to rely on. The Europeans are being back stabber sons of bitches as usual. They were faster to call for sanctions than they can say Talkalakh. The future looks very gloomy for Syria now with all this backstabbing and viciousness but it doesn’t mean we should throw the country into an abyss.

May 6th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Jad said:

I disagree of the ‘gloomy’ future you refer to, I believe that tomorrow is better and brighter than many people thinks.
Great nations come out better after troubles and Syria will definatly get healthier and stronger. God willing.
Today was one step further to calm which hopefully will lead to discussion of ideas not exchange of bullets, will keep seeing protests but calmer and more civilized with less victims until the silence words shut the noises of all bullits.
God protect Syria and Syrians.

May 6th, 2011, 4:17 pm


Nour said:


I agree with you. No need for doomsday scenarios. It is natural that Syria, based on its position, is going to go through rough times, but it will come out stronger and better.

May 6th, 2011, 4:23 pm


why-discuss said:

Nour , Jad, Solitarius

Syria will comes out of these traumatic events as a better country.
The new government is well respected by all factions and I think Bashar Al Assad has shown that he keeps his word. He has promised reforms and reforms will happen. I don’t think he’s ever promised publicly something he did not do.
In addition he made a mistake by thinking Syria was immune because of his assumed closeness to his people. Now he knows he did not really understand what the priorities of the people were. He gave a lot of attention to foreign policy and maybe neglected the internals. I imagine he will switch gear and concentrate more on anti-corruption and a more balanced economical development between large cities and small cities rather than on actively supporting the Resistance and Syrian riches. It is clear that the issue of the Resistance and the openness of Syria to millions of Iraqi refugees was never recognized neither from the opposition nor from Arab and foreign media when assessing his achievements.
Egypt will soon bear its share of supporting the Resistance and part of western criticisms that Syria bore for 20 years.
These are lessons he got and I believe he will act accordingly for the sake of Syria, not his own.

May 6th, 2011, 5:10 pm


AIG said:

Yes! Maccabi Tel-Aviv just beat Real Madrid and advanced to the Euroleague basketball final.

May 6th, 2011, 5:13 pm



I see vey optimistic views in all of you. I would love so much to share them but I cannot. I do not see them realistic in the current state of things.

Let´s see if I understand, you mean that Syria will generate more and more richness? It is quite probable since you need to little to be done about management of the economics and bureaucracy to let it improve, since we are almost at level zero. Or do you mean that your personal situation will improve? Or you mean that the country as a whole will improve in comparison with neighbouring countries and will become a regional power?

I do not want to say it but I guess you think this too. So Turkey, instead of colonializing economically Syria will be under pressure from glooming Syria? Or that Lebanon will be even more under control so Syria can beneffit more and more, even becoming a region of Syria, becoming Beirut the port of Damascus? Or that Syria will have every day a more relevant role in Irak that, despite the oil, will not improve more fast than Syria, specially after the fall or Theocratic Iran? Or do you think Iran is going to defeat Saudi Arabia and all their satellites (including USA) to create a new and free Middle East?.

Please explain to me how it would be possible that you do not create conditions for stable investisment and democracy but you can become a power in front of Turkey, Irak, Lebanon, Jordan and of course Israel, that will be very afraid of Syria.

May 6th, 2011, 5:29 pm


jad said:

هيلاري كلينتون: الأسد ليس القذافي
روما: وصفت وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية هيلاري كلينتون الأوضاع في سوريا بـ”الشائكة والمؤلمة”، إلا أنها قالت خلال مقابلة متلفزة بإيطاليا تبثها بالكامل القناة الثالثة الحكومية الاحد المقبل “نحن على إدراك إلى اللحظة أن باستطاعة سوريا تنفيذ الاصلاحات المعلنة”، وعليه “فإننا لانزال نؤمن بمستقبل للنظام الحاكم” بقيادة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد. ونوهت إلى أن الوضع يختلف في ما يتعلق بالنظام الليبي “فلا أحد يعتقد أن القذافي كان سيتخذ قرارا ممائلاً”، في إشارة إلى الاصلاحات السياسية.

وأضافت رئيسة الدبلوماسية الاميركية “نحن نمارس ضغوطاً على الحكومة السورية كي تحترم التزاماتها” بشأن مخططات الاصلاح التي أعلنها في وقت سابق الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد .

وفي الشأن الليبي، أشارت كلينتون إلى أن “استهداف شخص العقيد القذافي ليس ضمن مهام العمليات العسكرية للحلفاء” في ما يتعلق بتنفيذ القرار الأممي 1973 لغرض “حماية المدنيين”، ولكن “هناك أهدافا مشروعة مثل المخابئ التي يسيطر عليها القذافي وعائلته”، وأضافت وزيرة الخارجية الأميركية محذرة من أن “القذافي نفسه قد يصبح ضحية للعنف الذي بدأه على شعبه، فليبيا في حالة صراع” بين كتائب النظام الحاكم والثوار .

وكانت وكالة الانباء السورية (سانا) افادت مساء اليوم نقلا عن مصدر عسكري ان عشرة قتلى سقطوا الجمعة في صفوف الجيش والشرطة السوريين في مدينة حمص وسط سوريا، اثر تعرض حاجز امني سوري لاطلاق نار وخلال قيام القوات الامنية السورية بـ”ملاحقة المجموعات الارهابية”.

واضاف المصدر نفسه ان “وحدات الجيش والقوى الأمنية قامت اليوم بملاحقة المجموعات الارهابية المسلحة على أطراف مدينة حمص في مناطق بابا عمرو والسلطانية وباب الدريب والقرابيص بعد الهجوم الذى شنته هذه المجموعات الإرهابية على حاجز للجيش والشرطة في المدينة”.

واضاف “أدت الاشتباكات الى ارتفاع عدد شهداء الجيش والشرطة الى عشرة شهداء اضافة الى عدد من الجرحى”، مضيفا ان الاشتباكات “اسفرت ايضا عن سقوط عدد من القتلى والجرحى في صفوف المجموعات الارهابية المسلحة”.

وكان المصدر نفسه صرح في وقت سابق “ان مجموعة اجرامية مسلحة باغتت حاجزا للجيش وقوات الشرطة والأمن في غرب منطقة بابا عمرو بالقرب من جسر السلطانية بحمص واطلقت الرصاص على عناصر الحاجز ما اسفر عن استشهاد ضابط في الجيش واربعة عناصر من الشرطة”.

واتهم المصدر “المجموعة الاجرامية المسلحة بالتمثيل باجساد الشهداء”.

وكانت مصادر حقوقية اعلنت لوكالة فرانس براس في وقت سابق ان قوات الامن السورية قمعت تظاهرات جرت في العديد من المدن السورية الجمعة ما ادى الى مقتل 26 متظاهرا.

فرنسا تريد توسيع العقوبات المقررة بحق سوريا

بدورها، أعلنت وزارة الخارجية الفرنسية أن العقوبات التي اقرها الاتحاد الاوروبي بحق 13 من مسؤولي النظام السوري هي “مرحلة اولى” تعتزم فرنسا توسيعها لتشمل “كبار القادة”، منددة مجددا بقمع التظاهرات الجارية في هذا البلد.

كما طالب المتحدث باسم الخارجية برنار فاليرو في بيان بـ “الافراج الفوري” عن الناشط السياسي رياض سيف أحد أبرز وجوه المعارضة السورية الذي اعتقل الجمعة في دمشق.

وتدعو باريس منذ عدة ايام لفرض عقوبات على الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد، غير انه تم استثناؤه في الوقت الحاضر من الاتفاق الذي توصلت اليه الدول الاوروبية ال27 الجمعة.

وقال فاليرو “اننا نثني على القرار الذي اتخذه الاتحاد الاوروبي بالاجماع اليوم بفرض عقوبات على 13 مسؤولا سوريا ضالعين في اعمال القمع”.

وتابع “انها مرحلة اولى. سنعمل بدون ابطاء مع شركائنا في الاتحاد على توسيع هذه الاجراءات وقائمة الاشخاص المستهدفين بمن فيها اكبر القادة السوريين، على ضوء التطورات الجارية”.

وشدد على ان “فرنسا تؤيد فرض عقوبات اشد على كل المسؤولين عن سياسة القمع هذه بدون استثناء”.

وقال ان “فرنسا قلقة للغاية من استمرار القمع في سوريا بحق المتظاهرين المسالمين ومن تدهور الوضع الانساني للسكان الذين يحاصرهم الجيش وقوات الامن” منددا ب”مئات الاعتقالات التي تقترن في غالب الاحيان باعمال تعذيب”.

وتابع “اننا قلقون ايضا لمصير الصحافيين الذين غالبا ما يتعرضون للقمع ولا يمكنهم ممارسة مهامهم” مذكرا بان فرنسا تنشط ايضا في مجلس حقوق الانسان في جنيف وفي الامم المتحدة للتنديد “بدون لبس” ب”القمع” في سوريا.

May 6th, 2011, 5:44 pm


NK said:


I didn’t know his majesty Bashar is the only Syrian standing up to foreign powers and if he goes the rest of Syrians will sell their country to the highest bidder. Thank you and others for reducing my country and my nation to just one man.

It’s been 7 weeks since the protests started, where are the promised reforms ? the lifting of emergency status while arbitrary detentions are in the thousands ? abolishing the SSSC while hundreds are still charged with things like “weakening the prestige of the state” ? or maybe passing a law to organize demonstrations but arresting anyone who requests a license ? (a few of my friends requested a license for a SILENT demonstration in a public park to light candles for the martyrs on martyrs day, the application said clearly that it will be silent there will be no slogans and no placards or pictures or anything of that sort, just people standing around silently and holding candles on martyrs day, it was to take place in a public park so there will be no obstruction to traffic or disturbing for the neighbors, they were detained for a few hours, humiliated by security personnel who most likely don’t even have a high school diploma).


What dialogue are you talking about ? They arrested pretty much every single opposition figure in the country !!! Their dialogue is you’re either with us (patriotic) or against us (misled/intruder/saboteur), yeah I can see the great outcome awaiting Syrians under this regime.

May 6th, 2011, 5:50 pm


why-discuss said:


I did not say there will be more riches, it is quite the opposite: there will be less poor because there will be a more equitable share of the wealth (if any). The rapid reforms in the last 3 years of opening up to a free market, in my view, has not done that. It has made many people richer and showing off their richness with 60,000 $ BMW and Mercedes circulating in Damascus while many people must have 2 jobs to be able to nourish their family and have no decent home. This ‘opening’ was a failure and now Syria is paying the price.
Dardari who promoted this opening, hoping he’ll get foreign investments pouring is now out.
I guess the new government will be more careful not to antagonize the working class by obliging rich people to pay more taxes on luxury items and on habitations speculations.
Free trade with Turkey has done more harm than good to the Syrian economy. It has saturated the market and killed competition instead of encouraging industrial development. Syria is still a agriculture base country and the investments from the Gulf are more into building ‘dubai’ like malls and hotels.. for riches and tourists. It is expected that more will be directed toward low income habitations, factories rather then services. Kuwait and the UAE seem to stand by Bashar Al Assad in this purpose. Also the heavy and inefficient industries managed by the government must be revamped.
As for energy, Syria will benefit from its relation with Iraq and Iran (oil, gaz, trading)
Israel showed less antagonism toward Bashar than Qatar, France and even Turkey. I guess negotiations for peace will resume soon. That would be a boost for Syria economy. I believe that the continuous yet silent presence of the newly arrived US ambassador in Syria shows that the US are keeping their cards in hand while France has already written off Bashar al Assad. The role of France and Europe will probably be greatly reduced in favor of the US. I believe the train of peace is moving for Syria.

May 6th, 2011, 6:17 pm


why-discuss said:


Do you really expect the authorities to believe that it would be peaceful? All demonstrations where police and civilians were killed were called by you ‘peaceful’.
You waited 40 years to be able to make peaceful demonstration, can’t you wait 2 weeks, one month until the procedure is setup and passed to the authorities. Your impatient friends sound like kids who wants their ice cream NOW!

May 6th, 2011, 6:25 pm


Sophia said:

The indictment issued by the STL has just been amended, for the second time since January.

This post was very relevant today. Thanks Mr. Lund.

May 6th, 2011, 6:38 pm


NK said:


My friends (the kids) are university professors, doctors, engineers and lawyers. Yes they obviously are not peaceful and will stroll into the central park in Aleppo carrying AK47s. Forget about the demonstration, what about the arbitrary detentions of Syrian intellectuals all around the country ? do we need to wait 2 weeks, one month, 11 years until the procedure is setup and passed to the authorities for these to stop as well ?.

May 6th, 2011, 7:41 pm


jad said:

We have no other choice but to wait a bit and your friends can buy other candles in couple months time.
No discussion can happen under fire, even during wars, no side will sit on the negotiation table before truce.
A huge battle is raging in Jable for at least three hours now. I guess because today’s outcome wasn’t bloody enough.

May 6th, 2011, 8:29 pm


Mouna said:


I once attended a “lecture” by Butheina where she said she was pregnant BY her second child at the time!!

Perhaps she was subtly implying how potent her lot are … 🙂

May 7th, 2011, 1:11 pm


Jihad said:

The true zindiq is the one who copy messages accusing others of being zanadiq. And this description applies to the undercover Wahhaboi-Zionist “Revlon.”

May 7th, 2011, 9:55 pm


Jihad said:

The editor of Al-Akhbar’s judicial page, Omar Nashabah, has written many analysis poking holes in the already discredited UN-court looking into the assassination of the Wahhabi Rafiq Hariri. All they are doing at the Hague is paying millions for morally bankrupt individuals, Lebanese and otherwise, on the back of the Lebanese people.

May 7th, 2011, 10:00 pm


Jihad said:

The following is a link to one of the best and early articles that were written about the murky Mehlis and the stage that was set by the United States prior to the assassination of the Wahhabi Rafiq Hariri:

May 7th, 2011, 10:10 pm


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