“The Original Shabiha,” by Mohammad D.

The Original Shabiha
by Mohammad D.
Aug 17, 2012 for Syria Comment
Edited by Joshua Landis

Fawwaz al-Assad (center) watching his beloved team, Tishriin, play soccer – photo supplied by the author

Who were the first Shabiha? How was the word coined? And how did their numbers spread? The following stories about a few shabiha pioneers are based on my personal experiences in Latakia, Syria in the 1970’s and 1980’s so I can vouch for their truth. I have refrained from embellishment or recounting stories that have been told to me by others.

The Pioneer Smuggler

No one in al-Harf, a small Alawi village in the mountains east of Latakia, knew how Faysal Salloum managed to come into the possession of a car. Not a soul in the village had owned a car before Faysal Salloum drove into town. Fewer than a handful of the village’s inhabitants had driven a car, so seeing Faysal appear behind a dust cloud in his Peugeot 343 caused wonder and conflicting emotions among his townsmen. Like most Alawi villages of the mountain in the 1970s, al-Harf did not have a paved road. A hardscrabble dirt track wound up the hill on the southern side of the village. It plunged down into a steep valley and climbed over the adjacent mountain before connecting to a paved road. A single bus traveled that road going down to the coast road.

A single bus traveled the paved road down the mountain to the coast, where one could get to Latakia. It also connected al-Harf to the larger towns higher in the mountain. The bus was owned by the Awad family, Protestant Christians from al-Jawbeh, to the east. Of course, al-Harf had neither electricity nor running water. Two natural springs east of the village supplied it along with two other villages with water. Until the 1950s, Alawis rarely traveled to a city, which were the preserve of Sunnis. When the French conquered Syria and began taking censuses in the 1920s, they found that Alawis and Sunnis lived together in no town larger than 200 inhabitants. Alawis and Christians lived together, but not Alawis and Sunnis.

When I was a child in the 1970s, it was still rare for villagers to venture out into the larger world. Almost none of the two hundred families that made up our village did. Everyone seemed to work in the fields.

The village lands that extended down into the adjoining valley were planted alternately with tobacco or wheat depending on the season. The steep and rocky hills had been terraced by generations of peasants who had eked out a living in these hills before us. Some plots were planted with sesame and vegetables. Among the fruit trees, fig, pomegranate, and olive were the most common. Two small woods covered the eastern mountains, which were too steep for farming. Although most farming families were poor, we counted ourselves lucky because we had land and did not have to work for the Sunnis.

My Uncle who died in 1997 would leave the house at 4:00 in the morning to walk to Dabbash, where there was an elementary school. By Faysal’s generation in the 1970s, the kids went to school in al-Khraybat, an extension of al-Kishkhashe on the road to Latakia. It was three hills away and took only 45 minutes by foot. In the early morning, one could hear the hyenas’ howling. But the terrain was picturesque. The Mediteranean Sea stretched out miles below us.

Middle School was in al-Fakhoura, a two-hour commute. When I was a child our village had perhaps 5 people who had a brofet (preovette), a ninth grade certificate. Only two had earned a Baccalaureate – my uncle and Dr. Abdal Karim . Faysal was not from the richest families of the village and had not finished his middle school studies. His parents grew tobacco and other crops. They owned a few animals from which they got milk and eggs, like almost other families in the village.

Had a villager wanted to buy a car at that time, he would have had to sell everything that he and his extended family owned including their land in order to get enough money. Faysal Salloum had not sold land. In Syria at that time, only some rich landholders and merchants owned cars. The government itself had few.

The car Faysal was driving was a modest Peugeot 304, most likely stolen. It had Lebanese plates. When Faysal opened the trunk, it was full of Marlboro cigarettes and a few cans of cocking fat, known as samneh.

Faysal, whom no one had heard from for a while, did tell that he went to Tripoli in Lebanon and that he was going the next day to smuggle more. He was shady of course and told things in general exaggeratory way most of the time eluding his listeners from knowing the truth. No one in the village was able or in need to buy the smuggled products, because they owned animals and had their own cooking butter, plus they produced great tobacco.

Faysal left in a hurry to sell his goods in the city because he would make real money. He was dressed in army camouflage like an officer of one of the best units of the Syrian Army. At that moment in history only two units in the Syrian Army were allowed only to wear camouflage: The Special Forces (al-Wahdat al-Khassa) and the Defense Brigades (Sarayah al-Difa’). Faysal knew this and of course he was pretending to be one of the officers of Sarayah al-Difa’, which has more Alawites than the Wahdat al-Khassa, and which was less disciplined. The guys in the village knew that he was bluffing with his army outfit.

The Defense Brigades (Sarayah al-Difa’) was headed by Rif’at al-Assad, the brother of the president. It was formed in the 1970’s and had mostly Alawi officers and soldiers in it. The officers of the Sarayah were notorious for their bad behavior wherever they went. They intimidated regular citizens and abused thier power. The Special Forces did not have this reputation. They were professional soldiers. The al-Sarayah officers looked like the smugglers and many of them would later take up smuggle.

Faysal dressed and looked like one of those officers. He wore aviator sunglasses that became a staple of his wardrobe. He had brand new Italian dress shoes. Faysal was blonde with blue eyes, medium height with a tough mountain built. It was around 1977.

To buy Italian shoes at that time in Syria cost most of the monthly salary of a government employee. Only the rich could afford them. Stores were not allowed to import them on the pretext of encouraging local industry. Government shoes were sold at one store, Batta.

It was downtown Lattakia on Baghdad Street and across from al-Bustan Cafe, where all of al-Shabiha would occupy tables on it everyday.

The government at that moment claimed to be a socialist and banned the import of luxury goods. Italian Shoes were considered a luxury item making them even more expensive and an item to smuggle. Some shoes and clothes stores sold them on the sides. Lattakia has a bustling market. The Italian shoes were worn by the old money. They were a sign of richness, but this was about to change with this new wave of smugglers, who would dress up better than the richest man in town. Beware, these guys are coming from the mountains.

The government also banned products deemed “Colonialist/Imperialist” like Coca Cola, Levis, and Marlboros. Those products were on the boycott list. They were accused of siding with Israel, which was used for all types of excesses. All of this did not mean that the people did not want these products and looked after them. Faysal, as well as the first generation of smugglers, knew all of the demands of the Syrian markets and soon in his modest car he was covering the distances between Lebanon and the various buyers.

Faysal drew attention fast because he was really bombastic like all of the smugglers. He did not keep a low profile when it came to dressing. His outings as an officer in the Army’s units draw attentions to him fast. At this stage also he attracted some of his childhood friends who wanted a piece of the action. They wanted to dress like him better than the richest man in Latakia.

Here comes Fayez, and Ghassan, two unsuccessful young men. One was from the same village al-Harf (Ghassan), while the other is from the neighboring village, al-Khishkhashe. The two friends Fayez and Ghassan did not finish high school also at that moment. They were sent by their families to the city of Latakia to finish high school there. Both were failures because of partying and chasing women. They were living in a hotel at that moment. It was their fifth time trying to pass the high school final test.

Fayez and Ghassan were not bad looking, but their clothes were ordinary. Their parents were giving them money from their savings from what they made from selling their harvests in the city. It was was not a lot. They had some land but not that much, plus, land needs someone to tend to it and these two men knew they needed to seek their fortune outside the village. They are from the first generation of Alawis to be able to go down to the city with no fear.

They knew all of this and were conscious about that. They were not the only materialistic persons in town. The culture was mostly like that, like everywhere in the world. Therefore they spend the money they made from their first trip smuggling with Faysal on clothes of course. They started to look good. Fayez was tall, blonde with blue eyes. He looked like a Holywood actor, and started looking more like that with the slew of clothes he started getting for himself from Lebanon’s nice stores. Ghassan was also tall, skinny with brown hair and eyes. He looked really good also with European slacks and glasses. They found success with women, but what type of women, do not ask. They drank of course. Religion for them was just their belonging to the Alawis. None of the three knew anything about the Alawi creed or religion. Books, education and culture were not on their menu.

The trio started working using the little car for runs. Faysal was the boss while the other two were his employees getting money from him every time they went to Lebanon and back. Their business thrived. Customers as far away as Aleppo wanted what they had to sell. They wanted to fill their stores with whatever the government prohibited.

The three guys made money and partied away. Many times they would drive around making a racket and dressed up really well. This drew bad attention to them. Latakia had way more big fish than these three. Trouble found them quickly. Soon their car was confiscated by the regular Police. It was parked and the guys woke up to see it gone. But Faysal managed to get it back from police custody through a small bribe and soon he was on his way to Lebanon to do the same thing again. The guys were lucky the first time. No one got into trouble.

Faysal, and his two underlings, did not really know any high officers or work for any important man. There was no important government or army figure from his village. Consequently, Faysal’s car was taken from him a second time. This time with him inside of it. H was stopped by the Mukhabarat. He was dressed in a captain’s uniform (Naqeeb). He was sent to prison. Ghassan and Fayez were not with him and were lucky to escape prison. They got the scare of their lives, however, and stayed in the village for the next year trying to pretend to study for high school. They stopped working as smugglers because they were not as tough and courageous as Faysal. It was a tough business, dangerous at many times. All of them were in their early twenties.

There was no harsh sentencing against smuggling at that moment in Syria and Faysal was able to get out in a year because it was his first offense. Also, he was not carrying much contraband in his car except for clothes. Most likely it was the clothes the Mukhabart officers would wear for a while. When Faysal got out, he chose to work solo. Soon he headed to Lebanon and got a better car this time: a Mercedes Benz that he drove like a hurricane to avoid capture and cover the distances fast. He did his runs in record time and his fortunes started showing again.

With the Mercedes, Faysal made more trips. This time he was more convincing as an army officer because he was driving the right car. He dressed in camouflage again for his work and wore Italian dress shoes and sunglasses. When lounging or driving around town to be seen, he changed into high end slacks.

This period of actions that resembled super powers brought the first hints of the word that we know today as Shabbih. His ability to go fast is described in Arabic as Yashbahu Shabhan يشبح/‬شبحا/‬شبيح (‬إسم فاعل)‬. Shabih is an Alawi term. The Alawites first started bringing it up to describe people like Faysal and their actions. Some of them would say describing:.

هيكو مايشبح شبح من لبنان للاطقية

Alawis and Sunnis use the verb Shabaha شبح for the same meaning. For example, they both use it when someone makes a dive into the water. They also use it primarily in soccer to describe an action of the goalie where that goalie jumps from a standing position to be airborne. So the verb Shabaha here means someone who goes airborne in a spectacular manner, therefore the more airborne the goalie gets the more admiration he gets for his Shabha شبحة الغولار.

The first people to be called shabih were soccer goalies. A good Shabih is he who could make the most spectacular airborne saves. Shabha here means a jump and a save. Also, when diving into the water a good Shabih is the one who could make better spectacular dives. Divers would always come to the swimming clubs and show their skills. The best Shabih was the one who would make the best dives. So Tashbeeh is a fast spectacular action.

This fast spectacular action brought Faysal many new clients, soon he was traveling as far as Aleppo to deliver what the merchants would ask for. The market needed many things that were not available. Tobacco and electrical supplies were among the most visible and profitable.

This again did not last for long. He could not drive that Mercedes without arousing suspicion, envy and wrath. He was arrested again and given a multi-year sentenced. Next time I saw him it was after he got out of prison years later: wearing a camouflage army get up with his mirror aviator sunglasses and of course shiny Italian shoes. This time he had a big Range Rover. I knew he was going to get caught or something because by now people from al-Assad family started showing up in that lucrative business and they also were driving big fancy cars with fake license plates. The Range Rover was going to be too much of an item for him to keep.

al-Assad’s family first major Shabih: Malek al-Assad was the first smuggler of al-Assad family whom people started seeing and hearing about.

First, rumors started coming out that some people from al-Assad family started getting into the business. It was also in the second half of the 1970’s when Malek al-Assad started showing up in Latakia in a Mercedes Benz even the richest man in Latakia did not own. Before the Mercedes Benz, Malek used to take the Bus from al-Qurdaha anywhere he wanted to go. Of course, he had not finished that much education.

The bus line between al-Qurdaha in that mountain and the cities of Latakia or Jableh was the scene of the first acts of thuggery by an Assad family member. They used to take the bus back then. Most of these stories were about Malek al-Assad, the son of Umm Anwar. al-Assad family did not have the men it had later so at that moment they had few adults. Hafez al-Assad had teenage kids, so did his brothers Rif’at and Jamil. It was Malek the son of his half brother Ibrahim at that moment was fit, willing, able and at the right age. He was the first generation, probably by himself.

Stories started coming out that Malek was harassing fellow riders on the bus, demanding the best seat anytime he took that bus. He would brag about his family. The riders were all Alawites of course, poor mostly, had been subjected to harassment for generations, so they really did not pay him that much attention. Malek knew that and like every bully who needed a bigger stage especially with his new fortune. Later, he started showing up in Latakia not straight from the bus stop but fresh in his clothes and fancy car.

Lattakia is a seaport and some families have real fortunes, but still they could not match the speed Malek al-Assad was changing his super fancy cars when he busted into the scene. All the cars, of course, had fake license plates, and most likely were stolen in Lebanon, or even Europe. He was a sharp dresser also with a taste for leather jackets with the army green pants he would wear. All of his cars were Mercedes Benzes.

The legitimate license plates cost a fortune. It was the taxes one would pay on the car. This tax was incredibly high preventing almost all Syrians from buying cars. The Syrian government imported only a small number of cars each year. There were no car dealerships. Only the state could import cars. The government of course had banned the import of cars also except the ones it imported every ten or so years. To buy a car from the government meant that you had to front a huge amount of money, wait years, and of course pay a bribe to get your car, if, in fact, the cars were actually imported. During my life in Syria in the 1970’s and 1980’s the government imported cars twice (French Peugot in the mid 1970’s and Mazda, and Mitsubishi in the mid 1980’s). Cars were extremely expensive.

Malek al-Assad did not have problems with getting cars. Lebanon was the place especially with the civil war worsening there by the year. The Syrian arm’s grip was tightening on Lebanon and car theft sky-rocketed. The Syrian army officers in Lebanon started getting their hands on these cars, as did hustlers like Malek al-Assad and Faysal Sallum, who of course had to pretend to be to go through the army check points which was manned as usual by conscripts who were easily intimidated.

Now there came into existence an economy that depended on these smugglers. in Latakia, the lucrative imported cigarettes started employing many poor Alawis and Sunnis from the poor hoods to peddle the cigarettes all over the busy down town area. Stores all over the city carried all types of banned foreign cigarettes to their many customers. Most people smoked of course, both men and women.
Electronics flew in to the stores that were owned mainly by non-Alawis. There was no sectarianism in the issue. Everyone worked together to provide contraband to a country hungry for foreign goods.

Malek al-Assad provided many things the market wanted including weapons. The weapons would cause him problems. He is the first one to be known to raise the stakes of smuggling that started growing with the worsening of the situation in Lebanon, the main source of goods so far.

Historically, Latakia always has its own smugglers, who would typically use boats to ferry contraband into the city. Those smugglers were all Sunnis. These thugs/smugglers were locally known as Ugada العكدا. They were the remnants of a class of thugs from the Ottoman days that has a celebrated place in Syrian history. The history of this class of thugs is similar to that of al-Shabiha today. They were a type of Shabiha for the land owners, the Ottomans and whoever was able to pay. They had their own gangs in the early 1970’s. But, with the beginning of the problems between the Assad rule and Sunnis the Ugada paid a price. Most of these thugs were killed at the hands of the Mukhabarat in the coming years.

The weapons that Malek al-Assad smuggled and sold were not welcomed, especially as country had started to experience escalating armed confrontations between the Assad government and its Islamic leaning opponents. People started saying that Malek al-Assad sold weapons to the enemies of the Baath. This got Malek al-Assad into hot water with Hafez al-Assad. So, Malek al-Assad disappeared for a while and people said that he was jailed for few days. His booming business came to a halt.

When Malek al-Assad surfaced again, he kept on wearing the same outfits, but you could tell that he was a changed man. He increasingly sit in al-Bustan café by himself with his car parked out front, but his trips to Lebanon stopped. He became a liability to those he asked favors of. Before long he was driving people as an ordinary taxi driver on the Damascus-Latakia line. His nice Mercedes Benz became a taxi. He died in a car accident in the 1980’s.

Malek was the son of Umm Anwar, who was married to Ibrahim, the older half brother of Hafez al-Assad’s half brother. Umm Anwar started filling the role of her son and soon her stooges were running the smuggling routs. Malek was also the first in a line of many al-Assad men who became major players in the smuggling game.

Fawaz al-Assad the first real Shabih

Fawaz al-Assad and his henchmen gave the meaning we know today to the word Shabiha. Other men from al-Assad family played a role in creating this word and the concept of Tashbeeh; i.e to act like a thug, but it was Fawwaz who was the pioneer thug that stood out in the city of Latakia and its surroundings. He was well above the rest of them.

When Malek al-Assad and Faysal Salloum started the first wave of smuggling, Fawwaz al-Assad was in elementary or middle school. But by the time Fawwaz hit high school he surpassed every smuggler in the region. He took over fast in the realm of Tashbih.

Fawwaz came onto the scene like a bat out of hell. He grew up with smuggling flourishing around him in his hometown of al-Qurdaha and the whole of the Syrian coast. He knew he could have power because he and his brother, Munther, were the only full-blooded nephews of President Hafez al-Assad. Jamil, their father, was Hafez’s younger brother. Rifaat was the youngest of the three Assad brothers. Fawaz quickly understood that he was above the law because of his father. No one would dare to stoop him.

Jamil, Fawwaz’s father, had limited education or luck prior to his brother’s take-over in 1970. He was a modest government employee. But it did not take him long before he drove around in super fancy cars and presented himself as a very important man. The 1970’s and 1980’s saw the quick rise of Jamil al-Assad.

The first major move was when Jamil al-Assad established an organization called al-Murtada with some type of religious agenda. We learned about it when he suddenly brought hundreds of Sunni Bedouins and camped them in other people’s land right next to his fancy beach house, which was in an upscale beach club. Soon you would see the Bedouins in their traditional gear scaring the girls in bikinis off the beach. It was a very bizarre incident that was repeated yearly for a number of years during that period.

Some people say that the aim of al-Murtada was to convert people to the Alawite creed. Reality said that al-Murtada was a chaotic adventure, because Jamil himself was not sure about his own religion. But al-Murtada drew attention to Jamil al-Assad. People started knowing him more and more. As for his religious adventures; Jamil al-Assad showed very bizarre religious tendencies in his life. He wanted to become some sort of a religious leader and he could not. I visited Syria in the late 1990’s and they told me that he had became a Wahhabi, seeking to destroy Alawite saints shrines in the mountain.

The second major move by Jamil al-Assad was establishing his office on Baghdad street that started dealing with the port of Latakia. Historically the port made money to those who control the lines and did freight forwarding for them. Christians were pioneers in this and controlled many lines. Sunnis were in it too and controlled some major lines like the Russian by the Safwat family. Hafez al-Assad nationalized all of them under al-Sahel, which was to be controlled by Jamil and his goons. Safwat still controlled the Russian line, which was one of the most lucrative. Freight forwarding is a big business in Latakia, with Jamil the Alawites got into it for the first time, and shoved aside the notable families of the city.

Fawwaz used his father’s powers to his advantage. He rapidly became the super power in Latakia, and probably its richest inhabitant. The richest because it was no secret that he and his cousins controlled the smuggling routes along the entire coast: Latakia, Jableh, Banyas and Tartus. They had clients in many other cities.
During the second part of the 1980’s, the second generation of Assad’s family smugglers hit the scene.

Fawwaz started to show thuggish tendencies early on in his life. Stories about him with his gang beating up people started coming out from the early years of the 1980’s. Soon we all would witness this first hand. He would drive around Latakia staring down people. If you challenged him or didn’t demure you would pay a heavy price.

At that time, Latakia had many cafes and meeting spots for the local population. Soon all of these public areas would be invaded by Fawwaz. For example, he started coming and sitting in al-Bustan cafe; located in a very strategic area in downtown Latakia. The Café was owned by two brothers from the Sheikho family who had a very thriving business. But, soon all of that changed with Fawwaz liking the place. He would come and verbally abuse most of the people there. Soon, no locals would go there and mostly the Shabiha of Fawwaz dominated the place, sitting watching the people go by in that busy location. No one would escape their taunts.

Many times Fawwaz started fights in my part of town. The youth of the area congregated to promenade in a popular area. That practice is known locally as mushwar, which means a stroll in a nice atmosphere. That nice atmosphere was never there and the Mushwar became an event for every thug to parade their cars and powers in front of the girls of course. All of those thugs would disappear when Fawwaz would be around. Fawwaz would parade his car, then do car tricks before picking on someone. Most of the people he would pick on were peaceful, meek citizens. Fawwaz would do this when he had his men with him. When he was alone he would stare people down mostly. He had that angry look all the time.

When Fawwaz was around 20 years old his entourage was not that big or known. But you would see them in action every now and then. He was armed of course all of the time. The other smugglers were watching all of this. They all wanted to stay clear of him. But, slowly they started working with him enabling him to parade them and intimidate people more. People started wanting to avoid him more and more. One of those was Faysal Salloum who at that moment was driving a Range Rover. There were no Range Rovers in Syria at that time. The Army started getting them later. So, when Fawwaz saw that Range Rover he asked Faysal to lend it to him for a small ride. Faysal never saw that car again.

The thug in Fawwaz started coming out day after day. Remember, he was still in his early 20’s. People started hearing and seeing more and more of his henchmen. Those guys were mostly big tough mountain kids, who saw a chance to make some money. They were not sharply dressed at all. They were the first smugglers to wear intimidating outfits all the time instead of Italian Slacks. They were designed to strike fear, not to look fancy.

Fawwaz was not a good looking young man himself. He always looked angry, or could explode at any moment. Fawwaz was not a handsome fellow like many of the first wave of smugglers. His men were ugly beasts of a sort. All had beards. Fawwaz himself would have a beard every now and then. His head was big and have a strange shape. His body was never athletic, with him being a little overweight most of the times. He was dressed with the latest slacks and shoes, of course, but he never struck people as a well dresser or a handsome fellow. He rarely dressed in army camouflage or army get ups.

Fawwaz has one older brother: Mundhir. It was said that he was smuggling before Fawwaz. This makes sense, but he was not in the scene like his younger flashy brother. Fawwaz started coming to the city of Latakia to usher in his notorious era of Tashbih, i.e: acting like a gangster. Before that he was confined to the town of al-Qurdaha. When he was around 16 years old driving the biggest and baddest Mercedes with few armed tough looking men with him. I saw them many times.

Fawwaz liked what the city of Latakia had to offer, you would be able to see him everyday in al-Bustan Cafe with his guys, or driving his Mercedes around harassing people here and there. Latakia always had areas where the young locals walk and meet. Baghdad Street was one famous spot. He was on that almost every night. AS a matter of fact, Fawwaz was on that street most of the 1980’s. He always had the biggest and baddest car. His license plates were fake of course, but they were not Lebanese. They were Syrian license plates that were similar to those you see on Mukhabarat cars. He paraded himself daily.

Fawwaz and this next generation of Assad family smugglers were the first to introduce the Mercedes known as al-Shabah (the Ghost). This car was the biggest Mercedes ever built. The smugglers would always have fake license plates with tinted windows. The rear windshield was reserved for pictures of the Father the Commander. This intimidating car, with the way these smugglers drive it mixed with their action gives the word Shabiha its real meaning we know today. The car added to popularity of that name from the fact it was called al-Shabah. Now everyone knows al-Shabiha because of al-Assad family goons and their intimidating little army.

The Actions of Fawwaz and some of that generation of Shabiha that I witnessed and could be called thuggish are many. I can list tens of them, or probably need a full book for them. Some of them stand out more than others, however. The first vivid one was the time he drove his Mercedes over the sidewalk to intercept my friend Saddiq Gharib to scare and intimidate him. This was because Fawwaz was in love with a college student that was the classmate of Saddiq, who is a college professor now. She was Christian and studied French Literature. Her class was the one next to mine in the College of Literature (Kulliyat al-Adab) of the University of Tishreen. Fawwaz was probably in high school then when he would force his way into the college to attend classes with this beautiful girl. The professors would not be able to say no to him, and Fawwaz and sometimes his friends would lurk loud outside the class room causing havoc. This went on for a little while till one professor refused to teach. The professor was Alawite, who said that Fawwaz was making a mockery of the education system when he is following the girl into everywhere she went to in the college. Fawwaz stormed the office of the dean following the girl that day. The professors went on strike for few days. At least some professors made a stand. Us students were helpless and would avoid anywhere Fawwaz would be in college. Remember the college had a guard outside to prevent the non-students from entering. So, imagine what this poor guard would do to prevent Fawwaz from entering. Fawwaz was rude and loud and this incident became an issue. After Hafez al -Assad heard about the incident Fawwaz never came back to our college. The girl and her parents migrated out of Syria on the hush. I knew her well then. That did not mean also that Fawwaz would not attend the university functions throughout my college years!!!

By the second half of the 1980’s Fawwaz was the most important man in town. He liked soccer and supported Tishreen, one of the two big teams in the city of Latakia. Fawwaz would bring his big Mercedes and drive a loop before he would park it and sit on a chair watching the game from the track.

The game would be attended sometimes by important officials. Fawwaz would not care about them. He had his own seat in the fenced in area of the stadium where only players and coaches were allowed in. He had his own rules.

Always Fawwaz would have few words with the referee before the game also. In one very famous incident Fawwaz took his gun out and let out some shots. The game was between Hutteen and Tishreen and a forward scored on an offside goal for Fawwaz’ team Tishreen. The referee in that famous incident changed his mind after the gun shot to claim the goal in favor of Fawwaz’ team. That made Fawwaz happier and he let out more shots. Fawwaz was a real bully and acted like one. Officials would avoid him. He gave the word Shabih its full meaning in the minds of Syrians.

By the end of the 1980’s Jamil al-Assad had a PH.D and millions of dollars. Fawwaz became a lawyer and people address him as Ustadh (teacher). Of course he has millions, married to a beautiful girl, have the biggest house in al-Zira’a, and of course was the president of Tishreen Sports Club. Faysal Salloum was in prison with not a penny to his name.

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ann said:

Russia to hold friends of Syria meeting in New York – Aug 17, 2012

Moscow has come up with an initiative to achieve a ceasefire in Syria and to appoint authorized representatives of both Damascus and the Syrian opposition to hold talks on the settlement of the Syrian crisis. Moscow’s proposals have been formulated in the draft statement of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

This document will be considered at a meeting of the Action Group for Syria at the United Nations headquarters on August 17.

Russia is the initiator of this session. The Action Group for Syria unites representatives of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Syria’s key neighbouring countries. Russia suggests that its partners should urge Damascus and the opposition to establish the shortest time frame possible for the cessation of hostilities between the Syrian Government forces and the opposition fighters, and also to appoint their representatives in the peace talks, who would have clear-cut powers for holding the talks. Moscow proposes to seal these agreements by a special statement.

The meeting of the Friends of Syria will be held at the United Nations in the same format, as in Geneva on June 30 – without the participation of Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, after it ends Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin plans to continue discussions with his colleagues from these countries. On the sidelines of the upcoming meeting it is believed that both the Iranians and the Saudis will support the appeal of the Action Group for Syria to the participants of the conflict to reach agreement on the formation of transitional government in Syria.

True, the statement should be adopted first. And judging by the facts, serious obstacles may emerge here. The day before the U.S. Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that it was not clear for the USA at the moment what object Russia was pursuing when it proposed to hold the above-mentioned meeting. This is a frank attempt to torpedo Russia’s initiative, Head of the Centre for Eastern Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Andrei Volodin says.

“Nuland’s statement is no surprise to me at all. The USA has its own hidden agenda. Frankly speaking, America is not concerned about whether Bashar Assad will remain in power or not. It is very much concerned about the strengthening of Iran’s influence in the region after the “Arab revolutions”. The USA can’t reconcile itself to this fact. Hence, its pressure on Syria and attempts to split it. Thus, it wants to isolate Iran and to create problems for it.”

The mandate of the UN Syria Observer Mission will not be extended, and soon the UN inspectors will start leaving Syria, French UN envoy and Security Council Chair Gerard Aro said on August 16.

Earlier the UN observers were unable to work in full strength because of the continued violence in Syrian cities. The mandate of the UN Syria Observer Mission expires on the night of August 19. It has been decided to replace this mission with the UN coordination bureau with an office in Damascus.

Russia favours the preservation of international presence in Syria in this format. Vitaly Churkin says that it is a good formula.



August 17th, 2012, 8:23 am


ann said:

Syrian opposition provokes Hezbollah – Aug 17, 2012

The radical opposition in Syria is openly provoking the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah in an apparent bid to drag it into the Syrian conflict. The Voice of Russia has evidence of Syria’s anti-Assad radicals resorting to disinformation and forgery aimed at driving a wedge between Syria and Lebanon.

This week, a group of Lebanese citizens have been abducted by militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army, who declared them pro-Assad terrorists. In a video posted on the Internet, one of the captives allegedly confesses to be a sniper sent by Hezbollah to help government troops in Syria. But in reality, he is a banker. The truth was revealed to the Voice of Russia by Gazi al-Mekdad, who represents Lebanon’s influential al-Mekdad clan. He accused the Syrian opposition of telling lies.

“Those who are calling themselves the Syrian opposition are shamelessly lying. They say what they think is to their advantage or what is convenient for them. Hassan al-Mekdad has nothing to do with Hezbollah. He is a bank employee who was in Syria on private business. He was kidnapped and pressed to admit that he was one of the Hezbollah.”

The Voice of Russia correspondent in Beirut Zahra al-Amir has collected proof of the kidnapped Hassan al-Mekdad’s non-involvement in political battles in Syria.

“Hassan al-Mekdad has been staying in Syria over the past year and a half. He breached the law of bank checks, which was his reason for leaving Lebanon. Last week, he received news that his case had been settled. He was planning to return to Lebanon. And then he was abducted.”

Al-Mekdad’s wife does not wear a hijab and always appears in public bareheaded, which would have been totally out of question for the family of a Hezbollah activist.

The banker’s own clan, which cooperates with Hezbollah, interceded for him. Lebanese Shiites then took several Syrian Sunnis, linked to the opposition, and also one Turk and one Saudi hostage, and gave the Free Syrian Army 48 hours to release the banker or face new arrests among Syrian opposition supporters in Lebanon.

Vladimir Sotnichenko, an expert of the Center for Middle East Studies in St. Petersburg, believes that the “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” policy is dangerous for the region.

“Dragging Lebanon into the Syrian crisis and getting Hezbollah involved in the civil war in Syria may end up with Lebanon becoming a full-fledged party to the conflict, because Hezbollah represents Shiites who make up one-third of Lebanon’s population.”



August 17th, 2012, 8:27 am


ann said:

Syrian troops assume control of road to Aleppo airport – Aug 17, 2012

The Syrian troops have assumed control of the road leading to Aleppo international airport, according to the Syria al-An news agency.

Rebel fighters have previously fired on the road from both sides. Clashes between the government troops and those of armed opposition are the fiercest in the Sayf ad-Daul district in Aleppo.

Government troops are continuing their mopping-up operation in the liberated districts of Salah ad-Din and Sukkari.

The armed conflict between the armed opposition and the Bashar al-Assad government has been on in Syria since March last year.

Western countries and some Arab states are pressing for al-Assad’s resignation on the assumption that this would end the violence.



August 17th, 2012, 8:30 am


ann said:

Can the US and its Allies arbitrarily Violate International Law? – August 17, 2012

by Rick Rozoff and John Robles

Rick Rozoff discusses General Assembly resolutions on Syria and how the US and its allies are circumventing standard procedure in order to win a propaganda battle.

“Everything that the West and its Persian Gulf allies have done over the last seventeen months has worsened the situation, [costing] more Syrian lives,” Rozoff said.

What do you make about Kofi Annan’s sudden decision.

I don’t know how unexpected it was for those in the know, but it was unexpected for many, to see Kofi Annan all of a sudden decide not to renew his mandate? Which was to have expired at the end of this month.

It didn’t surprise me. I would just tell you frankly, I believe that his stepping down was coordinated with the introduction of the resolution in the General Assembly, which was introduced by the current Secretary-General – Kofi Annan’s successor, Ban Ki-moon – who lambasted the Syrian government, made comparisons to Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s as though suggesting that what happened in Syria was a replication of the precedents I mentioned.

And again, you know, poisoned the well, or prejudiced the vote by his comments. We have to recollect that Kofi Annan himself would never have been Secretary-General of the UN if then-U.S. representative to the UN, the Secretary of State later, Madeleine Albright hadn’t single-handedly rammmed through his nomination and secured his position at the expense of Boutros Boutros-Ghali who was running for reelection for that position.

So, Kofi Annan was the U.S.’s man in the United Nations for two terms. And if anything I was rather surprised he hadn’t tipped his hand earlier in terms of supporting the West’s position. But you know, in fact he did to some extent at the Geneva meeting of the so-called Action Group, where there were different interpretations of what came out. There was Russia’s and China’s, for example, and there was his, which intimated or stated I think even more explicitly that Bashar Assad had to step down as president and the government had to cede power to some sort of coalition. So, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. I think these events were coordinated and then the fact that he received a guest editorial in the Financial Times, the morning of the General Assembly vote, as I recollect last Friday, explaining his position all seems to be a fairly coordinated campaign.

What do you think about: several Russia officials made statements that the resolution actually served to worsen the situation in Syria?

Yes, it does. And everything that the West and its Persian Gulf allies have done over the last seventeen months has worsened the situation, cost more Syrian lives, led to the further destabilization, in many ways made irreparable damage to the nation of Syria, which one would now have to assume is the intent. For example Vitaly Churkin also said after the vote last Friday [August 3, 2012] that to take the vote to the General Assembly while the Security Council was still deliberating on the Syrian issue was a violation of the United Nations Charter.

So, the U.S. and its allies have again circumvented the standard procedure in order to win a propaganda battle, but a propaganda battle that will continue as we were just talking about with the escalation in the loss of Syrian lives as a result. The West and its Saudi allies and Qatari allies will sacrifice the life of every last Syrian if they accomplish their geopolitical objectives, which are not only regime change in Damascus, it’s also to prolong the perceived isolation of Russia and China. That’s the significance of this vote last Friday more than anything else.

Syria is much more the pretext than the actual issue being discussed, because what is at issue right now is whether the U.S. and its allies can arbitrarily violate international law, whether they can subvert the concepts of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of states, whether somebody sitting in the State Department can determine who has to step down as head of state and who is going to replace him. And the U.S. has done this on a least four occasions since early last year. I’m talking about Ivory Coast, Libya, Yemen and now Syria. And there is every reason to believe that if they are successful in Syria, then they would move on to the next countries. And I would suggest that the twelve countries that voted against the resolution on Friday are exactly the twelve countries that are going to be targeted.

Can you list those countries for our listeners?

Yes. The twelve countries that voted against the resolution are Russia, China, Syria, Iran, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Myanmar, Nicaragua, North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

And you think all those countries are on a hit list for regime change?

Each except for Myanmar decidedly are. And I’m a bit surprised that the former Burma, Myanmar, voted against the resolution as it had not voted against the resolution in February.

Why do you think they did this?

I have no idea. I would have thought that since Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar last November that she had pretty much shifted Myanmar away from China and towards the United States. So, frankly I have no explanation for why they voted against the resolution unless they sensed something. If you’d asked me a year ago it would have been self-evident why Myanmar voted against it, because it itself was targeted for regime change at the time.

Somebody has them on the checklist and I think it’s important that they not be able to make checks in each box. And if developments in Syria, that is Western and allied efforts to overthrow the government in Syria, are thwarted with the continued opposition of Russia and China in the first place, then I don’t think we have to worry about the other eleven nations, because of course Syria is one of them. But should they be successful in Syria, then I think the remaining eleven nations are likely targets.

Listen, one last question regarding Syria, which you just brought up again. About a week ago it looked like Assad was all but finished. What do you think Assad’s chances are, and the current Syrian government’s chances are of staying in power?

Barring a direct foreign military intervention, I think better with each passing day. The successful campaign to secure Damascus and now Aleppo, the two largest cities in the country, has given the lie to the media propaganda in the West, in the first place, about the fact that there was no unity within the government, that the Syrian nation and people were divided, that the government had no substantive support…

Yes, they were talking about everybody bailing out, that the high officials saw no future, and after the assassination at the security building.

That’s a good point you raise. With the murder by a suicide bombing of four leading officials of the government, including the Defense Minister and the Deputy Defense Minister…

And the intelligence head I believe it was.


August 17th, 2012, 8:33 am


Dawoud said:

Current Middle Eastern Shabiha: Netanyahu, Barak, Israeli et al., Hasan Nasrillat (who is now kidnapping innocents while disguised as “al-Mikdad tribe 🙂 ), Ali Khameini, Bashar, Nuri al-Maliki, et al.

Thanks to the kidnapper Shabih, Hasan Nasrillat for FINALLY convincing rich Arabs (by his terror and support of Syria’s Shabiha) NOT to send their money and travel to Hizbistan!

What is al-Quds Day? Yes, Palestinians want to rid themselves of Israeli occupation/colonization, but they DO NOT welcome Hizbistan and Iran’s Wilayat al-faqih in Palestine! % 90 of Palestinians are SUNNI Muslims and the remaining % 10 are overwhelmingly Christians. No haters of Aisha, Omar and Abu Bakr among Palestinians. Hasan Nasrillat should focus on preserving his Hizbistan in Lebanon until the Free Syrian Army arrests him in al-Dhahiya al-Janoubia!

Free Syria, Free Palestine!

August 17th, 2012, 8:42 am


ann said:

Syrian delegation to visit Moscow on Tuesday – Fri, 08/17/2012

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet a delegation from Syria headed by Vice Premier for economic affairs Kadri Jamil on August 21, RIA Novosti reports.

The Syrian government sent a delegation to Moscow in early August. The sides signed a deal on loans and shipments of energy resources to Syria.

Jamil said on August 3 that unilateral sanctions have resulted in a lack of oil, gas and petroleum.

The Council of the EU passed the 17th package of sanctions against Syria on July 23. The sanctions include a blacklist of Syrian officials banned from visiting EU states. Their assets in European banks were frozen. Additional inspections of Syrian cargo were organized. Russia says that the package of sanctions is a blockade of Syria.



August 17th, 2012, 8:42 am


ann said:

Saudi shame on the Islamic world: “The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation with United States Imperialism” – August 17, 2012

by Finian Cunningham

These jihadists, who have gravitated to Syria from Britain, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, among other countries, are directed by Washington, London and Paris in time-honoured fashion of these powers’ criminal involvement with Islamic fundamentalists under the catch-all nom de guerre of Al Qaeda. They are weaponised by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel; they are trained and based by Turkey and Jordan. And their brains are weaponised by Saudi Wahhabism, with all its intolerant pathological hatred to anyone who opposes its tyranny and Western objectives.

Far from promoting solidarity and peace, the OIC has shown itself to be a political instrument serving the geopolitical interests of Washington and its allies in the destruction of Syria and their designs for entrenching hegemonic control over the Middle East. That control is all about exploiting the resources of the region to enrich Western corporations and banks, paying off elite rulers and impoverishing the mass of people.”

As the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) concludes its emergency summit in Mecca this week with the suspension of Syria, its member states should now consider amending the body’s name – to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation with United States Imperialism (OICUSI).

For the OIC stands as a violation of every principle it is supposed to represent. In calling for this conference with its flagrantly politicised agenda, Saudi Arabia emerges as the shame of the Islamic world.

Admittedly, the acronym OICUSI is a bit clunky, but it would be far more truthful than the present OIC. The 57-member organisation, founded in 1969, represents some two billion Muslims worldwide and is charged with “promoting solidarity among members and upholding peace and security”.

Far from promoting solidarity and peace, the OIC has shown itself to be a political instrument serving the geopolitical interests of Washington and its allies in the destruction of Syria and their designs for entrenching hegemonic control over the Middle East. That control is all about exploiting the resources of the region to enrich Western corporations and banks, paying off elite rulers and impoverishing the mass of people.

Of course the Syrian people want reform and more democracy. But they won’t achieve that so long as Saudi Arabia and the other Western proxies remain on their thrones of deception colluding with the foreign enemies of the people.

Just at the hour when the people of Syria are desperately in need of international solidarity and peace, the OIC delivers a kick in the teeth.

In this way, the OIC is following in the disgraceful footsteps of the 21-member Saudi-dominated Arab League, which suspended Syria last November.

These sanctions against Damascus are based on the entirely bogus claim fomented by Washington and the former colonial powers London and Paris that the conflict in Syria stems solely from repression and violence perpetrated by the government of President Bashar Al Assad against his people. This propaganda narrative turns reality completely on its head. The violence in Syria over the past 17 months has largely stemmed from armed groups that are supplied, directed and infiltrated by the Western powers in collusion with Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.

The US-led axis is attempting to tear Syria apart by fuelling sectarian bloodshed between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and between Muslims, Christians, Druze and Kurds. The desecration of Islam is particularly vile. Mosques have been turned into sniper posts to fire on civilians, and whole villages have been massacred – the throats of children slit – by so-called Holy Warriors.

These jihadists, who have gravitated to Syria from Britain, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq, among other countries, are directed by Washington, London and Paris in time-honoured fashion of these powers’ criminal involvement with Islamic fundamentalists under the catch-all nom de guerre of Al Qaeda. They are weaponised by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel; they are trained and based by Turkey and Jordan. And their brains are weaponised by Saudi Wahhabism, with all its intolerant pathological hatred to anyone who opposes its tyranny and Western objectives.

In the context of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, this conspiracy of terror and mass murder should be matter of diabolical shame for member states Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan. These supposedly Islamic countries are colluding with the Western powers and their criminal Zionist proxy in the murder of Muslims and other Syrians in the service of imperialist domination of the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia in particular is seen as abusing its historic role as custodian of the holy Islamic centre of Mecca to further a despicable political agenda. By calling the extraordinary meeting of the OIC in Mecca – supposedly to discuss the violence in Syria – Saudi Arabia is covering its blood-soaked hands with a mantle of religious sanctity.

By contrast, Iran’s delegation to the OIC conference, headed by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stood out as upholding the principles of the organisation. Iran rightly pointed out the basic injustice that the Syrian government was not even invited to the Mecca conference to hear the charges being levelled against it, and to have the opportunity to defend itself against such charges. One shouldn’t be surprised by the absence of jurisprudence for Syria at the Saudi-orchestrated event. After all, thousands of ordinary Bahrainis are being dragged through military courts in Saudi-backed Bahrain solely on the basis of trumped up prosecutions with no right to defend themselves either.

Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi noted at the beginning of the three-day conference: “Every country, especially OIC countries, must join hands to resolve this issue in such a way that will help the peace, security and stability in the region.”

He warned: “By suspending [Syria’s] membership, this does not mean you are moving towards resolving an issue. By this, you are erasing the issue.”

Unfortunately, Salehi’s sound advice was ignored. With typical Wahhabist attitude of no discussion, no explanation, the Saudi-hosted conference ended with the formal suspension of Syria from the OIC. The heavy-handed conclusion achieves what it was meant to: to not give Syria a fair hearing, to further isolate the country in the eyes of the world, to conceal the violent involvement of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan in the destruction of Syria, and to give political cover for their imperialist masters in the dismemberment of Syria.

The Mecca summit has all the signs of a tawdry show trial, shamefully under the banner of Islam, conducted, of all places, in the holy city. Current OIC chief is Turkish national Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. He said the decision to suspend Syria sent “a strong message” to Damascus.

A statement issued at the end of the summit said participants had agreed on “the need to end immediately the acts of violence in Syria and to suspend that country from the OIC”.

The suspension was “also a message to the international community stating that the Muslim world backs a peaceful solution [in Syria], wants an end to the bloodshed and refuses to let the problem degenerate into a religious conflict and spill over into the wider region,” the OIC chief Ihsanoglu added.

Absolutely not true. First, if the OIC was serious about “ending immediately the acts of violence in Syria” then it would have suspended the memberships foremost of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Turkey – the instigators of so-much bloodshed, terrorism and crimes against humanity in Syria that are inflaming the region.

Second, on the claim that “the Muslim world backs a peaceful solution in Syria”, it should be noted that the Geneva accord agreed by the UN Security Council at the end of June, which calls for an inclusive political dialogue in Syria, has been continually violated by the Western, Arab, Turk, Israeli backers of the Jihadist terror army assailing that country.

Indeed, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says these parties have sabotaged the Geneva accord.

At the OIC summit, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in particular have arrogated the banner of the Muslim world, when in truth they are the unseemly standard bearers for imperialist butchery in the Middle East.



August 17th, 2012, 8:51 am


ann said:

Humanitarian workers under attack in Syria, says British Red Cross – 17 August 2012

Humanitarian workers have come under fire while providing life-saving care in Syria, says the British Red Cross.

Since hostilities began, five Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff and volunteers have been killed, others have been shot at, and ambulances have been fired upon or in some cases stolen. As a consequence, paramedic volunteers are going into some areas on foot instead of in ambulances, which might become a target.

Katy Attfield, Head of Disaster Management for the British Red Cross, said:
“The Syrian Arab Red Crescent and ICRC are among the only agencies able to work across frontlines in Syria. These staff and volunteers are risking their lives daily to bring aid into areas where people often lack even the most basic essentials – water, food, and medical help. When aid workers are targeted, it becomes impossible for the ICRC and Red Crescent to continue these activities, leaving large numbers of sick and wounded without treatment.

“On World Humanitarian Day we recognise the sacrifices that humanitarian workers make and remind people not only of this vital work, but why it is necessary. The reports from Syria are increasingly focussed on conflict and politics – meanwhile the humanitarian situation for ordinary Syrians has steadily worsened with over 2 million people now affected.”

Katy Attfield continues:
“There are areas where children have not been able to go to school in over a year, where fighting stops people living their normal lives – going to work, tending their crops or even basic things like getting to a doctor – people have been coping with these extreme circumstances for many months, with the constant backdrop of violence. The humanitarian needs are enormous, and even when the conflict ceases, people will need support to get back on their feet.”

Despite the increasing hostilities, in the last few weeks the ICRC and Red Crescent have delivered 25,000 food parcels – enough to feed 125,000 people for a month. In Homs and Damascus, the ICRC have installed generators to boost the capacity of the local pumping stations, which supply most of the drinking water for the population, which in Homs has risen to 800,000 including those fleeing violence. Four new mobile health clinics provide basic health care in Damascus.

Some of the worst fighting is now in Aleppo, and aid workers are at daily risk in the city. Some basics such as medical supplies, food, water and mattresses have been given to people taking refuge in school buildings. However, providing first aid and medical services is very difficult, which has led to some paramedic volunteers going into areas of the city on foot instead of in ambulances, to avoid being targeted by gunfire.

The ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent have been providing aid and medical help since the conflict began.

Despite the challenges, over the past three weeks the ICRC together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have:
• provided more than 125,000 mainly displaced people in and around Damascus city, Aleppo, Homs, and other areas with over 25,000 food parcels
• helped the Red Crescent’s Aleppo branch improve access to safe drinking water in 10 schools hosting an estimated 2,000 people, and also helped improve access to safe drinking water and improve sanitary conditions in Damascus and Rural Damascus for over 68,000 people who recently fled the fighting and are staying in 27 schools and residential areas;
• continued to ensure that more than 300,000 people accommodated in over 100 schoolhouses in Homs have an ample supply of clean water;
• delivered nearly 10,000 mattresses to schoolhouses and other public buildings hosting displaced people in and around Damascus city and in Aleppo and Homs, and 2,000 sets of hygiene items to Aleppo.
• delivered enough supplies to treat between up to 1,000 casualties to Aleppo, and wound-dressing and other materials to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Damascus;
• equipped the Red Crescent’s four mobile health units, which have been providing primary health care and medicines in schools hosting displaced people in Damascus

The British Red Cross launched their Syria Crisis Appeal in March this year. This money has so far helped to provide:
• 8 fully-equipped ambulances
• 3,000 food parcels
• 3,144 hygiene kits
• 8,400 blankets
• 2,920 kitchen sets.
• 150 volunteer overalls for Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff and volunteers
• Financial support and training for volunteers and health staff

Since the conflict began, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent has lost five staff and volunteers:
• On 24 April 2012, a first-aid responder was shot and killed in the city of Douma.
• On 25 January 2012, Abdulrazzak Jbeiro, the secretary-general of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and president of its Idlib branch, was killed.
• In September 2011, a volunteer died when a Red Crescent ambulance was struck by bullets.
• On June 24, 2012 a volunteer for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Bashar al-Youssef, was shot and killed in Deir Ezzor, in eastern Syria.
• On July 9 Syrian Arab Red Crescent staff member, Khaled Khaffaji, was shot in Deir Ezzor, eastern Syria, and died the next day. Mr Khaffaji was shot while on duty in an ambulance clearly marked with the Red Crescent emblem.



August 17th, 2012, 8:57 am


Aldendeshe said:

The identical story can be told of the Tlasse’s in Homs Dablan street Cafes, and how they made their millions. It is a non- sectarian Baathist Mafia that robbed the poor Syrians and usurped wealth illegally from them. Another Mafia Shabiha doing the same under another, yet sectarian, Zionist Mullah Regime in Persia. It is time for the people of Syria and Persia to get rid of the criminal thieves.

August 17th, 2012, 8:57 am


Syrian Natonalist Party said:

Should be under SNP:

Forget about the Zionist Mullahs usurping the poor Persians. Forget about silly Friend of Syria waste of time. Zionist Mullahs should have no say in Syria’s affairs nor it’s future, Mullahs needs to be dumped in dustbin of history. Russia must either take control and lead in resolving this conflict using force, or have it head an International contingent of neutral countries armies to handle a transition of power. Syrians, specially the Christian sects, are confused about the Vatican silence in all this, especially when the matter is concerning an important part of the world for the church, and millions of Christians that are put at grave risk by this Baathist Mafia stubbornness.

(Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Greece, and Germany) can be considered fair and neutral parties.

August 17th, 2012, 9:04 am


ann said:

Regime Change is About Establishing Sunni Dominance Not Democratic Freedoms

Syrian Australians Demand an End to Foreign Intervention

Only the terminally naïve would recommend the Syrian people risk a repeat of the Libyan triumph

by CHRIS RAY – August 17-19, 2012


Around 1500 people, mostly Australians of Syrian descent marched in Sydney on August 5, calling for an end to foreign intervention aimed at destroying the government of President Bashar al-Assad. The Australian media gave the march almost no coverage, unlike well-publicised though much smaller protests against the Syrian government.

It should surprise no one that large numbers of Syrians support the al-Assad government, with its promise of peaceful reform in a direction indicated by the May 2012 parliamentary elections (when, incidentally, the communists won additional seats), rather than the civil war on religious lines now in progress. One does not have to be an al-Assad supporter to suspect that his government’s immediate departure, as demanded by the rebels and their foreign backers, would create a power vacuum, fragment the country and result in far greater bloodshed.

For its Syria project the US has put together a powerful alliance embracing NATO through its Turkish spearhead, and Israel and its Gulf Arab de facto allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Intervention has ranged from sanctions and economic sabotage to funding and equipping foreign mercenaries and “boots on the ground” in the form of Western military advisers and trainers. The current goal appears to be regime change by promoting civil war rather than foreign invasion. But calls for a “No Fly Zone” along Libyan lines can now be heard – no doubt a precursor to another “humanitarian” bombing campaign.

Foreign forces are playing a substantial role in the campaign to topple the government. According to some assessments, foreign jihadis including Al Qaeda units from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and Jordan are more effective, and engaged in more significant combat than the so-called Free Syrian Army. Al Qaeda is once again enjoying the backing of the ‘Great Satan’ patterned on their 1980s relationship in Afghanistan.

Foreign jihadis have admitted that they formed brigades to infiltrate Syria well before the first protests in early 2011.

Also instructive is the testimony of two Western photographers captured and tormented by a rebel group comprising fighters from Bangladesh, Britain, Chechnya and Pakistan – but no Syrians. Viewers of the ABC’s 7.30 Report on 7.8.12 would have seen a Chechen combatant in Syria threaten an ABC reporter.

We are not only talking foreign jihadi cannon fodder: “It is highly likely that some western special forces and intelligence resources have been in Syria for a considerable time,” says Colonel Richard Kemp, of the Royal United Services Institute which has strong connections to British intelligence services.

Some on the Left argue that the Syrian regime is unworthy of support because it is a dictatorship. Should the political form of the Syrian state absolve the Left of any responsibility to defend it against imperialist aggression? The al-Assad government is under attack by NATO, Israel and the Arab Gulf monarchies not for its denial of democracy, or harsh treatment of dissent, but because of its positive features: support for Palestinian and Lebanese resistance to Zionist expansion; refusal to join the US in isolating and impoverishing Iran; upholding a unique (in the Middle East) degree of religious tolerance and pluralism. For a visitor to Syria this commitment to freedom of religion – and rights for women – comes as a revelation in comparison to the reactionary US/British protectorates of the Arab Gulf. Such freedoms enrage the poisonously sectarian Sunni fundamentalists now sponsored in Syria by the West. Bin Laden always hated Shia Islam more than Zionists or the CIA.

For much of the anti-government opposition, regime change is about establishing Sunni dominance not democratic freedoms. They hate the regime because it is a heretical government responsible for a secular state with constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship. The popular rebel slogan “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to their graves” raises the spectre of widespread ethnic cleansing – already underway with the expulsion of tens of thousands of Christians by the NATO-backed ‘Free Syrian Army’.

The fall of the al-Assad government is probably inevitable given the forces ranged against it. Some have predicted an Egypt-like power-sharing arrangement between the Muslim Brotherhood and secular nationalist ‘democrats’ will follow. However Syria’s religious and ethnic make-up is far more complicated than almost anywhere else in the region: a Sunni majority with numerous Muslim minorities (Shia, Alawite, Sufi, Ismailis) as well as Druse and several strands of Christianity – altogether about one third of the population. There are significant ethnic minorities such as the Muslim Kurds and Christian Armenians – descendants of refugees from Turkish genocide – as well as hundreds of thousands of Palestinian and Iraqi refugees, many of them Christians. These minorities do not share the cheerful assessment that the outcome of this war is likely to approximate post-Mubarak Egypt – itself now a more dangerous home for minorities.

The Syrian government is widely blamed for starting the war with unprovoked attacks on peaceful demonstrators. Western media spent most of 2011 denying the very existence of armed opposition, until the media narrative was recast to that of peaceful protests gradually morphing into armed revolt as a consequence of regime brutality.

The authorities’ initial response to opposition protests in March 2011 was brutal and inflammatory. But it is not contradictory to also acknowledge that government forces were under armed attack from the outset. Syrian TV was broadcasting footage of the funerals of military and police personnel killed by protestors in March 2011. My son who was living in Damascus viewed these reports and discussed them with locals. I saw similar Syrian TV coverage while in Jordan in April-May 2011.

Reporter Robert Fisk identified the murder of a boy by police as the spark for the initial March 2011 protest in Deraa. Fisk, no supporter of the regime, also pointed to the existence of video footage of gunmen on the streets of Deraa that same month and al-Jazeera footage of armed men fighting Syrian troops near the Lebanon border in April 2011. Fisk noted that Al-Jazeera television, cheerleader for the rebels, chose not to broadcast it. The station is of course owned by the emir of Qatar, a principal financier of the war against the Syrian government.

On 21 March 2011 Israel National News reported that seven policemen were killed in Deraa in mid-March.

As early as August 2011 the anti-regime, UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimated that soldiers and police accounted for about one quarter of Syria’s death toll since the start of the uprising – a casualty proportion not likely to be suffered by an army ranged against unarmed protestors. SOHR, in a rare moment of candour conceded that some of the dead civilians were tortured and killed by regime opponents. This was before Al-Qaeda bombers began their work in co-ordination with the ‘Free Syrian Army’.

Most Syrians would possibly prefer a ceasefire and negotiations in order to avoid the catastrophic fate of Iraq and Libya. Yet the rebel leaderships and their foreign backers have sought only to prolong the fighting (). ) Four weeks into Kofi Annan’s attempted ceasefire, the Washington Post reported: “Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.” CounterPunch’s Patrick Cockburn was one of the few western correspondents to report the UN monitoring team’s observation that during the ceasefire “the level of offensive military operations by the government significantly decreased” while there has been “an increase in militant attacks and targeted killings”.



August 17th, 2012, 9:06 am


ann said:

‘Rebel atrocities strengthen Assad, turn Syrians off opposition’ – August 17, 2012


August 17th, 2012, 9:28 am


zoo said:

Russia embassy in UK says attacked by Syria activists
08/17/2012 15:16
LONDON – Russia’s embassy in London accused British police on Friday of taking no action to prevent an attack on its building by a group of activists protesting Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

August 17th, 2012, 9:38 am


Tuz Feekum said:

the original shabiha at syria comment = mjabali

August 17th, 2012, 9:40 am


zoo said:

The usual FSA’s denial: It’s the Syrian government who kidnapped Hassan Al Mekdad to ‘create’ trouble in Lebanon. Who are they fooling?

The military council of the Free Syrian Army in Damascus said in a statement on Friday that it was not responsible for the kidnapping of Hassan.

The rebel group added that the kidnapping was a move by the Syrian regime in order to break down relations between the Lebanese and Syrian people.


August 17th, 2012, 9:45 am


Son of Damascus said:

What happened in Houla?
We ask how a once serene part of Syria became the scene of events that shocked the world

(Video report embedded in the link)

The Syrian uprising has been notable for its violence and high number of casualties. But even against the background of the regime’s indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas, summary executions and use of snipers against protesters, the massacre in Houla stands out.

Around 100 civilians, almost half of them children, were killed.

Before the Syrian uprising began, Houla had been a peaceful and serene place. An agricultural area located 25km from the city of Homs, it had a population of 150,000 and included towns and villages such as Taldou, Kafr Laha, West Teiba and Taldahab – all populated by the Sunni majority.

But Houla is surrounded by small towns inhabited by other sects. Ghouri, for example, is populated mostly by Shia, while Fulla, Shenia, Al Kabou, Meriamen and other villages are predominantly inhabited by Alawites.

This sectarian mix forms contact lines that many argue have been used by the regime in a bid to ignite a sectarian war in Syria.

The story of the Houla massacre began on May 25, 2012 – a Friday protesters have named “Damascus, we will meet soon”.

The regime maintains that the events that took place there on that Friday were the work of what it describes as “terrorist” groups.

But an initial UN report into the massacre concluded that: “Forces loyal to the government may have been responsible for many of the deaths.”

And a subsequent report by the UN has concluded that the Syrian government’s version of events on that day was implausible and that regime forces and loyalist fighters were responsible.

So, how did this serene area become the centre of events that shocked the world?

Mahmoud al-Ken’s investigation for Al Jazeera paints a picture of that day. It includes eyewitness testimonies smuggled to Al Jazeera that we are unable to verify.


August 17th, 2012, 9:58 am


Ghufran said:

Iraqi officials say a string of attacks have killed at least 93 people, as the extent of the violence grows clearer and mourners start to bury their dead.

The attacks began early on Thursday in the north of Iraq and ended with deadly bomb explosions near busy markets, restaurants and ice-cream parlours shortly before midnight.

It was Iraq’s deadliest day in more than three weeks. The attacks seemed intended to strike fear into Iraqis and undermine faith in the Shia-led government’s security measures ahead of what was supposed to be a Eid al-Fitr holiday weekend.
More than 190 people have been killed in violence across Iraq since the start of August, showing that insurgents led by al-Qaida’s Iraqi franchise remain a lethal force eight months after the last US troops left the country.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Co-ordinated bombings and related attacks are a favourite tactic of the al-Qaida offshoot, known as the Islamic State of Iraq.
Among the higher casualty numbers disclosed on Friday were 21 people killed when a car bomb detonated shortly before midnight near an ice-cream shop in Baghdad’s predominantly Shia Zafaraniya district, according to police and hospital officials.

August 17th, 2012, 10:00 am


Citizen said:

Lettre du Club-Franco-Syrien au Ministre des Affaires Etrangères
Monsieur Fabius Laurent
Ministre des Affaires Étrangères

Objet : demande de rapatrier les ressortissants français et les résidents qui se trouvent bloquer en SYRIE

Monsieur bonjour,

Via un communiqué transmis hier lundi 13/08/2012, le Collectif Pas en Notre nom, le Club franco-syrien ainsi que le Collectif pour la Syrie vous ont fait part de leur inquiétude quand au sort des ressortissants Français et résidents qui sont allés rendre visite à leurs familles en Syrie pour leurs vacances d’été.

Ils se trouvent actuellement bloqués sur le territoire syrien en raison des sanctions économiques infligées par les pays de l’union européenne à l’État syrien et qui interdisent les vols de la compagnie Syrian Air sur l’Europe. De manière inaccoutumée, La France a appliqué seule cette sanction laissant à l’abandonne ses ressortissants.

A ce titre, nous avons été reçu hier par Madame LUCAS « titre » afin de trouver avec elle une solution permettant de faire revenir nos ressortissants. Cette dernière n’étant pas en mesure d’apporter des solutions concrètes à cette situation, elle nous a dirigé vers d’autres personnes et après plusieurs contacts, nous avons pu obtenir un RDV jeudi 16 août à 11h30 avec Monsieur Patrick DUREL.

Ce matin, nous avons été informé par Madame LAMNAOUER que le cabinet du ministre des affaires étrangères a décidé d’attribuer la gestion de ce dossier à la cellule de crise qui refuse de nous recevoir et nous propose un RDV téléphonique.

Nous avons bien pris note que vous avez transmis le dossier à la cellule de crise, avec laquelle vous nous demandez d’avoir un contact téléphonique et nous vous informons que si la cellule de crise a trouvé une réponse positive pour le rapatriement en France de nos concitoyens bloqués en Syrie suite aux décisions prises par les autorités françaises, nous pensons qu’une conversation téléphonique est inutile et qu’il suffit de nous confirmer par message électronique cette information en nous communiquant simplement la façon dont vous prévoyez d’organiser ce réacheminement de nos compatriotes.

En revanche, si vous n’avez toujours pas pris de décision, il faudra alors engager des

négociations et il est dès lors inadmissible que vous traitiez vos concitoyens de la sorte. Nous refusons cette méthode de fuite devant les problèmes et exigeons d’être reçus par des personnes compétentes et en état de prendre des décisions conformes à la responsabilité de l’État français par rapport à ses ressortissants et résidents dont le retour sur le territoire français est nécessaire, les vacances d’été étant passées, pour le bon fonctionnement de l’économie française. Ce dont le public français doit être informé et ce sur quoi, nous pouvons vous l’assurer, nous avons pris les moyens pour qu’il en soit informé.

Le collectif demande au ministre des affaires étrangères le rapatriement rapide de nos concitoyens, à l’instar de l’Allemagne ou les Pays-Bas qui y ont procédé en dépit des sanctions.

August 17th, 2012, 10:26 am


Uzair8 said:

Forgot all about the first lady’s birthday on the 11th. I may look back to see what happened in Syria on that day.

August 17th, 2012, 10:39 am



Russia is told by the members of the UN action group that its request for the meeting will not go ahead. Russia then postpones the meeting to unspecified date.

Russia is now isolated at the UN paying the price of its ill-conceived policies on Syria.

Time to degrade Russia’s status at the UNSC to non-permanent non-veto member as befits its real size as a secondary power

August 17th, 2012, 10:46 am


zoo said:

Are Egypt and Iran moving into the forefront to solve Syria’s crisis?

Iran supports a proposal by Egyptian President on Syria

AFP | 17.08.2012 | 1:59 p.m.

Iran supports a proposal by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to create a contact group with Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to try to resolve the Syrian crisis, said Friday the spokesman of Iranian diplomacy.

Iran “welcomed” the proposal of President Morsi to create a “contact group with Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to settle all crises in the region, including Syria,” Ramin Mehmanparast said, quoted by the ISNA news agency.

“These four countries can form a contact group, examine the issue as quickly as possible to bring calm to the region and resolve tensions,” he added.

President Morsi proposed at the extraordinary summit on Tuesday and Wednesday of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca “the formation of a committee comprising Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey” trying to find a resolution on Syria.


August 17th, 2012, 10:56 am


irritated said:


August 17th, 2012, 10:59 am


zoo said:

“Some members” refuse to take their responsibility in what was they agreed upon in Geneva.
The final word is now on the military ground, nowhere else.

Russia Suspends Syria Action Group Meeting
Topic: Protests in Syria

18:24 17/08/2012

A Russian-sponsored initiative for a meeting of the Action Group on Syria at the United Nations headquarters in New York has been suspended indefinitely, the Russian delegation at the UN’s New York headquarters told RIA Novosti on Friday.
The delegation said the meeting should be devoted to the agreement reached at the June 30 ministerial meeting in Geneva.

“The planned Action Group meeting on Syria today has been suspended at the request of some members of the group,” the Russian delegation said in a statement.

August 17th, 2012, 11:06 am


mjabali said:

Thanks Dr. Landis for this article. I lived through the same time period. I hope for once the bloggers on this blog would try and discuss it instead of the cut and paste bonanza.

Observer, Syrialover, and others what do you guys think of it?

August 17th, 2012, 11:10 am


zoo said:

The Arab Spring disaster in Syria,
Rich expats, what is your money used for, buying more weapons or helping the destituted civilians?

More aid must reach 2.5 million Syrians in dire need, says UN humanitarian chief


16 August 2012 –
Some 2.5 million people face destitution in Syria as fighting grows ever more intense in populated areas, the United Nations top relief official said today, calling on the Government and donors to facilitate more aid through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the ground.

“There is more we could be doing right now in areas that are safe enough and where we have established solid partnerships with NGOs and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, as she neared the end of a three-day visit to the strife-torn country and Lebanon to see for herself the impact of the intensifying conflict and to discuss ways to increase humanitarian assistance.

Ms. Amos said the displaced families she met on her visits to Damascus and An Nabk are tired and anxious, without prospects of going home any time soon. Having faced traumatic experiences, they are now living in public buildings and in schools, with growing needs for health care, shelter, food water and sanitation.

“The UN and its partners are reaching more people with emergency aid every month, but we are only meeting some of the needs,” Ms. Amos said, voicing particular concern that the school year is due to start in September while schools are being used as shelters for the displaced.

Thanking donors who have already supported humanitarian efforts, she appealed to international partners to contribute more generously.

August 17th, 2012, 11:16 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Thank you Mohammad D. for this enlightening personal account.

What you described here would be called a Mafia. Not just a local mafia, but a state mafia.

First they make dry. They ban imports of “western imperialist” goods, on the pretext of “socialism”. Then they smuggle the goods that they banned, making fortune for themselves. What is the proper name for this kind of activity, if not a mafioso?

August 17th, 2012, 11:25 am


Aldendeshe said:

Foreign jihadis have admitted that they formed brigades to infiltrate Syria well before the first protests in early 2011.


You can go back to March 15 (2) years ago, before they fired the first shot and read on this blog that I said they are ready to get into Syria, they have been training for months and are under the command /financed by BANDAR and HARIRI.

August 17th, 2012, 11:25 am




Today I had a conversation with a peasant worker class friend neat Idleb. He told me:

– We fled our homes leaving everything behind. Our village is being bombed by army planes. We left to avoid death under our homes debris. We are now in the fields away from the urban centre. We do not know what is coming next. We are afraid of going to Turkey camps and live there for 10 years or forever like palestianians. Assad is bombing us as he never did even to jewish.

Another guy I talked to this evening in Tartus said to me:

– Tartus, Damascus, even Homs are fine. There is nothing. You can just feel problems in outskirts faraway from the city. No fear.
All those in north of Syria and oustskirts are dirty people and retarded. But in Damascus everything is under control. No fear.

Take out your own conclusions.

August 17th, 2012, 11:37 am


habib said:

So what do the pious Muslims of the opposition say about their FSA hero, Abdul Razzak Tlas?


“The Free Syrian Army (FSA) most known hero figure, Abdul Razzak Tlas, was caught in a phone sex scandal through Skype. A lady’s voice is heard in the video’s background while Tlas, a defected officer, and an apparantly devout Islamist, is shown touching his penis. The lady’s voice, most probably a government agent, says “how big … how big”, while he puts on an approving look.
Tlas became famous during the Homs war; he became a symbol of the FSA’s fight, leading the alfarook brigade.”


August 17th, 2012, 11:37 am


zoo said:

Tunisia cultural festivals threatened and cancelled due to increasing violent attacks from Salafists

Salafists attack Tunisia festival, 5 wounded: ministry

TUNIS, Aug 17, 2012 (AFP)


Hardline Islamists armed with swords and sticks attacked a cultural festival in northern Tunisia late on Thursday, with five
people wounded in the clash, witnesses and officials said.

It was the third time in just three days that Tunisia’s emboldened Salafists have disrupted cultural events, condemning some of them for violating Muslim sensitivities during the holy month of Ramadan and fuelling fears of a rising Islamist tide.

At the music and theatre festival in Bizerte, “around 200 people belonging to the Salafist movement used violence to block a protest organised by various groups to mark Jerusalem Day, denouncing the presence of certain Arab guests,” the interior ministry said.

The ministry said it had dispersed the assailants with tear gas and arrested four of them, adding that five people were wounded.

Festival organisers Khaled Boujemma and Slahedine Masri, speaking on private radio station Mosaique FM, said the Salafists were armed with swords and sticks. Human rights activist, Bechir Ben Cherifa, said the police waited an hour before intervening.

Witnesses said the hardliners were angered by the presence at the protest of Lebanese militant Samir Kantar, who spent nearly three decades in jail in Israel before being freed in 2008 in a prisoner swap with Lebanon’s powerful Shiite group Hezbollah.

Kantar, sentenced to multiple life sentences for a notorious 1979 attack in Israel that killed a policeman, a four-year-old girl and her father, is considered a hero by many in Lebanon and was honoured by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his release.

There is mounting concern among artists and activists in Tunisia about the ultra-conservative Sunni Muslim movement, which has grown increasingly assertive since the ouster of veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in last year’s uprising.

Two festivals have been cancelled this month and two cultural performances prevented from taking place just this week because of threats by the Salafists, who considered them un-Islamic.

August 17th, 2012, 11:44 am


irritated said:

29. habib

That’s what the non-lethal satellite and communication equipment given to the FSA are used for.

August 17th, 2012, 11:51 am


habib said:

31. irritated


Judging on the following article, the FSA will get an opportunity to enter the gigolo market in the west, if the revolution fails:


August 17th, 2012, 12:00 pm


Erin said:

This article, brings few issues to a light and discussion, first of All that the Alawite, were persecuted by the Sunni for years and even till now the poor ones still don’t have water, or sewage, allowite poor village till now are poor in spite of Allowite ruler for decades, Many of them opted for education and many are all over the world with very good educated positions. I know some in Australlia who are very well educated and even they are not in agreement with Assad family but they are no differece than any descent people civilized and open to others, they are not restricted minded like the wahabi radical sunni in Austrellia.
many opted to enlist in the army which was there only way of getting out of the mesiry life they have lived.
being in the army was a way for them to be able to feed thier poor family and out of the failing agriculture business.
In explaination of the thugs of the Assad family regime, someone should not forget the Sunni thugs for the same era or even through the Ottaman era where Sunni treated everyone else as a second or thrid class in Syria and elsewhere. it is still a present phonemena that Sunni look at others as less than them in Damascus, well known facts and practice by the city people.

In arab countries the ruler of KSA and GCC and their sons have done worse than with Bashar sibeling have done.
Mubarak, Saddam, Jordan’s kings offspring All have done worse than this and not to forget the Khaddam kids they have not spared any person from their “Shabiha” action, no one can claims this all restricted to Allawite ruler. I am trying to remember the Kenndey family had such incient where they killed some beautiful woman and got away with it. Mafia acts or in Arabic term Shabiha acts are similar and it is a based on lawlessness of a society.
what is good for the Goose is good for the Gander.
The sunni are upset with the Allawite acts for the last decades in Syria, we have seen the Sunni acts everywhere else in the last centruies and have not been any better therefore posting such and article here is pure Hypocrciy.

It is all not acceptable and not right to be so, but it is what it is in the middle east, window dressing would not change this fact.

August 17th, 2012, 12:11 pm


irritated said:

#35 Syriapatriot

Any chance it is Adnan Bakkour again? or his ‘cousin’ ?

August 17th, 2012, 12:43 pm


irritated said:

30. habib

Is Internet sex forbidden in the Sharia?

What is the punition?

August 17th, 2012, 12:47 pm


zoo said:

Who predicted that the rebels will succeed in toppling the regime by end of Ramadan? It seems the other way around has happened.

Syrian Army takes over Saif al-Dawleh in Aleppo after taking Salaheddine.

Syrian Arab Army gets ready for the next battle in al-Sukari neighborhood.


August 17th, 2012, 1:02 pm


zoo said:

Syrian opposition meet Israeli “official” in Bulgaria. Controverse in Israel about this meeting. No opposition name was disclosed.

Mandi Safadi, Deputy Minister’s aide holds talks with Syria opposition, presents himself as ‘official’ Israeli envoy


Meeting between Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara’s bureau chief, Syrian dissidents takes place in Bulgaria; FM Lieberman demands Netanyahu reprimand Kara.

Safadi, a native of the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, claimed to have extensive connections with the Syrian opposition and hinted that, in the past, he had organized meetings between the foreign minister and Syrian opposition figures.

August 17th, 2012, 1:12 pm


Citizen said:

Will the US let the Syrian people determine their future?
On Tuesday, as reported by AFP, the US accused Iran of setting up a pro-regime militia in Syria. The accusations were voiced during a press conference of US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.
“There’s now an indication that they’re trying to develop – or trying to train a militia within Syria to be able to fight on behalf of the regime,” said Leon Panetta. “We are seeing a growing presence by Iran and that is of deep concern to us that that’s taking place.”

“We do not think that Iran ought to play that role at this moment in time, that’s dangerous…” Panetta went on saying and urged Tehran to stay out of the conflict: “Our hope is that Iran thinks better about how much they do want to get involved. The Syrian people ought to determine their future, not Iran.”

Echoing these words, General Dempsey added that “The Syrian army has been fighting now for about 18 months or so. And any army would be taxed with that kind of pace… That’s why Iran is stepping in to form this militia, to take some of the pressure off of the Syrian military.”

Sounds assuring – the Iranian culprits training militants that constitute the last hope for the doomed regime of Bashar al-Assad. And the conclusion the public is forced to come to is the only one possible – the US should interfere and stop any foreign (Iranian) involvement in Syrian affairs.

But this is only how it sounds. For anyone who has a minimal knowledge of what is going on in and around Syria, the Pentagon’s top brass’ accusations addressed to Iran only once again underline the notorious double standard policy so common of the US establishment.

It is no secret that Iran and Syria are closest allies. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in cooperation between the two. Why should not such cooperation include assistance in military training when such training is being rendered to scores of countries the world over, including those that are as far from the standards of “democracy” and “human rights” as the countries in question?

August 17th, 2012, 1:56 pm



It seems all the talk about US aiding the rebels is a fake.

US is aiding Assad more than ever. Maybe they offer some arms to let Assad long the battle and help him destroy the insurgency from its roots.

Congratulations to the US, Israel, Iran and Russia. They show us how they will rule the world in the future. They may have their differences but they have the most important point in common. They are absolutely afraid of popular revolutions.

Congratulations to all US americans in this forum. Your country is doing the dirtiest job has ever done. Letting a whole population die under a son of a whore dictaror friend.

Obama and Clinton, hope you lose everything in next elections. Your are the main responsibles. Our expectations about you are zero.

Assad will prevail and millions of syrians will become political refugees abroad if not killed before.

August 17th, 2012, 2:01 pm


zoo said:

U.S. Reliance on Saudi Oil Heads Back Up


HOUSTON — The United States is increasing its dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia, raising its imports from the kingdom by more than 20 percent this year, even as fears of military conflict in the tinderbox Persian Gulf region grow.

The increase in Saudi oil exports to the United States began slowly last summer and has picked up pace this year. Until then, the United States had decreased its dependence on foreign oil and from the Gulf in particular.

This reversal is driven in part by the battle over Iran’s nuclear program. The United States tightened sanctions that hampered Iran’s ability to sell crude, the lifeline of its troubled economy, and Saudi Arabia agreed to increase production to help guarantee that the price did not skyrocket. While prices have remained relatively stable, and Tehran’s treasury has been squeezed, the United States is left increasingly vulnerable to a region in turmoil.

Many oil experts say that the increasing dependency is probably going to last only a couple of years, or until more Canadian and Gulf of Mexico production comes on line.

“Until we have the ability to access more Canadian heavy oil through improved infrastructure, the vulnerability will remain,” said David L. Goldwyn,
imports from the Persian Gulf, spiking to 2.6 million barrels a day in May from 1.9 million barrels a day last December, now roughly 23 percent of total imports, compared with about 17 percent before.

August 17th, 2012, 2:01 pm



Expect all the worse from syrian resistance when Assad prevails and US signs new agreements with him. Bombings against russian, iranian and US interests. In sha allah. Syrian cause has become even more flagrant than the palestinian cuase.

August 17th, 2012, 2:04 pm


Syrialover said:

This forum is REALLY being trashed.

The notorious spammer “Ann” has started it off by posting 10 items (yes TEN) in succession, most of them lengthy cut-pastes from dubious source.

And then, to top it off, spamming in instant thumbs-up votes of 22 green thumbs!!!

It makes the comments section unreadable and destroys it for proper comments.

There is nothing like this being tolerated on any other site I have seen.

Joshua Landis needs to wake up and rescue his blog.

August 17th, 2012, 2:12 pm


Citizen said:

This is your captain panhandling… Air France pilot asks passengers to chip in for fuel after unscheduled landing in Damascus
Passengers on an Air France flight were asked to ‘chip in for fuel’ after their plane was forced to land in the strife-torn Syrian capital Damascus.
The jet from Paris had been heading to Beirut, Lebanon, when fighting broke out on the main road to the airport on Wednesday night.
The captain first decided to divert to Amman in Jordan before realising he did not have enough fuel to get there.
So he requested emergency permission to land in Syria, where rebels are battling to overturn President Bashar Assad’s tyrannical regime.
Once on the ground in Damascus, the crew told the 174 passengers they could not use the Air France ‘company credit card’ to refuel the plane because of financial sanctions imposed on Syria by the west.
They then asked the mainly French and Lebanese travellers how much cash they were carrying to pay for the thousands of litres of kerosene needed to reach Larnaca in Cyprus – the nearest safe airport.
A 42-year-old passenger named Najib said: ‘We went down in Syria where there were lots of soldiers looking very threatening.
We were then told there were some problems and that there was no money to pay for the fuel.
‘They asked if the passengers could contribute for the refueling which could only be paid for in cash.’
But the Lebanese businessman added: ‘As people were rummaging through their handbags and wallets, we were told a solution had been found to the problem.’
A 23-year-old engineer called Roland tolkd France’s AFP news agency later: ‘We could see through the window a lot of haggling going on because Air France’s fuel account with Damascus had been cancelled after they stopped flying in March.
‘Because of the terrible relations between France and Syria, a lot of the passengers were very worried about landing there.’
An Air France spokesman later confirmed to AFP that the passengers had been asked for money after in landed in Damascus on Wednesday.
He added: “The crew at first offered to pay for the fuel in Damascus with a credit card but the transaction was impossible because of financial sanctions.
‘As a precaution and in anticipation, the crew asked how much money the passengers had in cash to pay to fill up with fuel.
‘However a solution was finally found to fill up the plane without borrowing cash from the passengers and the plane took off for Larnaca two hours later.’
The plane flew on to Beirut the following day, he said.
In December last year, passengers on board a flight with Austrian airline Comtel Air were asked to pay for fuel during a stop in Vienna after the carrier ran out of cash.

August 17th, 2012, 2:27 pm


Ghufran said:

نقلت وكالة “رويترز” للأنباء عن متحدث باسم الأمم المتحدة تأكيده تعيين الدبلوماسي الأخضر الابراهيمي مبعوثا إلى سوريا خلفا لكوفي أنان”.

August 17th, 2012, 2:37 pm


Ghufran said:

اعلنت وزيرة خارجية قبرص التي تتولى بلادها الرئاسة الدورية للاتحاد الاوروبي انه تم رفض طلب قدمه وزير الخارجية الاسرائيلي افيغدور ليبرمان للاتحاد الاوروبي بادراج حزب الله ضمن قائمة المنظمات الارهابية.

August 17th, 2012, 2:40 pm


Ghufran said:

اعلنت وزيرة خارجية قبرص التي تتولى بلادها الرئاسة الدورية للاتحاد الاوروبي انه تم رفض طلب قدمه وزير الخارجية الاسرائيلي افيغدور ليبرمان بادراج حزب الله ضمن قائمة المنظمات الارهابية.

August 17th, 2012, 2:45 pm


Citizen said:

Syria: Turning Back the Clock on the Arab Spring

Moscow expresses concern as UN mission in Syria ends

Syrian delegation arrives in Moscow
MOSCOW, August 17 (Itar-Tass) — Syria’s delegation headed by deputy prime minister arrives in Moscow in several days, a source in Russia’s foreign ministry told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“Next week, a Syrian delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil is expected in Moscow,” the source said. “Negotiation at the foreign ministry are due on August 21.”

August 17th, 2012, 2:50 pm


Citizen said:

Russia warns West against ‘sabotage’ of Syria deal

MINSK: Russia said Wednesday it would not let Western powers “sabotage” a political transition accord to end the escalating conflict in Syria that was reached in Geneva at the end of June.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western states of fomenting violence by openly supporting the armed opposition and said Russia expected a formal answer within a matter of days on whether they backed the accord.

“What was accomplished in Geneva should not be sabotaged,” Lavrov told reporters while on a a visit to Belarus.

“We will be trying to get an answer from our (Western) partners within literally the coming days about whether they support what they signed off on in Geneva.

“If so, why are they not taking measures to implement it?” Lavrov demanded.

World powers on June 30 had agreed on a Russian-backed transition plan in Switzerland that did not make an explicit call for President Bashar Assad to quit power.

The West swiftly made clear it saw no role for Assad in a unity government and the plan’s future now looks to be in further peril because of the announced resignation of top Syria crisis mediator Kofi Annan.

Russian officials said Wednesday they wanted to keep a suspended UN monitoring mission in Syria operating in some form after its mandate expires on August 19.

August 17th, 2012, 3:12 pm


Ghufran said:

Even before the battle of Aleppo started a number of us here said that the rebels will not be able to take the city over,however,no victory by either side will be long lived,the time when regime forces can dominate all of Syria is long gone.
I still see a benefit of keeping armed confrontations out of urban areas but I am not sure that is doable today,this conflict is likely to drag on for months or years until major parties decide that enough is enough,that moment is probably not going to come until after the US presidential elections,but even then,any proposal will meet a big challenge by Islamist rebels especially the foreign groups who have not added the word “compromise” to their limited dictionary yet,another risk is a win by Romney and the return of the Neocons who have no interest in solving any conflict.

August 17th, 2012, 3:22 pm


Ghufran said:

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is buying 20% of Heathrow owner BAA in a move that adds the airport operator to a portfolio of British interests including Harrods and stakes in Barclays and J Sainsbury.
Ferrovial, the Spanish conglomerate and the largest shareholder, is to sell a 10.6% stake in BAA’s parent company to Qatar Holding. At the same time two more shareholders have sold shares representing 9.4% of the business to the fund, leaving it with a 20% investment in the owner of the Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports. The total value of the transaction is £900m.
Qatar Holding, funded by proceeds from the world’s third largest gas reserves, said the UK was an “attractive investment destination” and that it saw “long-term fundamental strength in the British economy”. It added: “Qatar Holding looks forward to working together with our fellow shareholders and the management team of BAA to enhance the company’s industry leadership and create sustainable value.”

August 17th, 2012, 3:28 pm



I thinking of giving up any hopes for a better Syria.

Once seen the kind of garbage, noveau riches, illiterated, ignorant people in Lebanon and Syria defending the criminal dictatorship, I think the best thing can happen is an all-out war that cleans up the land of this psichopathic putrefacted populations.

I hope Assads long for 3.000 years or more.

August 17th, 2012, 3:31 pm



Assads until 5.012 at least. That is what the ridiculous ignorant pompous glamourous nouveau riche middle eastern Damascus and Beirut populations need. IN SHA ALLAH.

August 17th, 2012, 3:35 pm


Citizen said:

Juergen !
“Umgestaltung der Welt” – Folge 40

August 17th, 2012, 3:43 pm



When today my alawite colleague in Tartus told me:

“Everything is under control. There are just some dirty, poor, retarded people creating riots in some outskirts and in the north”

I couldn’t avoid thinking that the same poor and dirty populations that managed to took power in the 60’s and 70’s coming from the mountains (the alawites) are now facing the new wave of poor and “dirty” populations coming for power.

It’s just like israelis, who were ravaged by nazis, and then they ravaged the palestinians. So, are doing the alawites. Sahme on you.

August 17th, 2012, 3:47 pm


Syrialover said:

“The Original Shabiha” that heads this section is a brilliant piece of writing in what it says and the enthralling way the story unfolds.

Huge applause and praise for the writer and to Joshua Landis for showcasing it.

A simple but powerful tale of the real Syria and what happened to the country.

The colorful and beautifully constructed story of these few individuals brings to life the damaging distortions and restrictions on Syria’s economy and society under the Assad regime.

It captures and articulates what many Syrians have witnessed but have never dared talk about.

Definitely a tale for the public school text books, TV drama series and popular press in a future Syria under legitimate government!

August 17th, 2012, 3:48 pm


Citizen said:

Global redistribution. Review of the week. issue 40

August 17th, 2012, 4:04 pm


ghufran said:

قال المتحدث باسم الخارجية الايرانية رامين مهمنبرست، يوم الجمعة، ان ايران تدعم اقتراحا للرئيس المصري محمد مرسي لانشاء مجموعة اتصال مع مصر وايران والسعودية وتركيا لتسوية الازمة السورية.

August 17th, 2012, 4:06 pm


omen said:

heads up. this activist called it on the nose in previous defections:

Names of 3
defected individuals known by every single Syrian. A HUGE BLOW to the Syrian Gov.

August 17th, 2012, 4:07 pm


ghufran said:

Syria has “chosen the path of war”, a peacekeeping chief said Thursday as the UN observer mission to the embattled country came to its end.
comment: did Syrians really choose the path of war or it is just the thugs among us?
one of the many tragedies in Syria today is that the interest and the will of the average Syrian are largely ignored.

August 17th, 2012, 4:13 pm


mjabali said:


This is one hell of a story. Alawis in Syria do not dare reporting such tales.

It is too bad that many on this board chose to ignore such an important piece and resort to cut an paste, as if we do not read other news sources.

August 17th, 2012, 4:15 pm


omen said:

a wag inquired if one of maher’s legs would be defecting.

August 17th, 2012, 4:18 pm


Syrialover said:

It’s bizarre and revealing to see how the commentators on this forum have ignored the spellbinding and groundbreaking essay that heads this blog.

It’s just more damning proof that many who have posted above don’t read anything here, not even their own junk cut-pastes.

Joshua Landis needs to weed out these noxious spammers and fanatics and restore the comments section so it at least vaguely relates to the blog.

Many of them are like that semi-literate thug in the story above who menaced and crashed the University of Tishreen, making things impossible for the professors and students.

August 17th, 2012, 4:18 pm




We are not afraid anymore of this suckers from the Air Security, Military Security and State Security. Go to hell all of them. We are fed up. Do you understand ? We are fed up of their stupidity and empty heads.

August 17th, 2012, 4:20 pm



61. OMEN

His leg defected one month ago, but his brain defected the day he was born.

August 17th, 2012, 4:22 pm



SC Doctors
Kindly prescripbe Oral terbinafine (Lamisil) or itraconazole (Sporanox). Topical medication have failed in curing SC’s Onychomycosis problem described by SYRIALOVER @ 43

In the meantime, we need gangrene shots for Aleppo, …. anyone has some or knows how to get a large quantity, contact your nearest free Syrian doctors. Not the shabee7a ones.

August 17th, 2012, 4:23 pm



We need another 18th of July operation to make clean of this authoritarian garbage and their shabihas. I will pray to Zeus-Jupiter-Baal tonight for tomorrow to be a bright day. IN SHA ALLAH.

August 17th, 2012, 4:36 pm


Syrialover said:

ERIN in #33 was one who did acknowledge the significant story “The Original Shabiha” above, but only with distracting and defensive stuff about Alwawite in general and anti-Sunni ramblings.

I say to Erin if you READ the story, it is very clear that ordinary Alawites were also bystanders and victims of that clan.

Your reaction (I do not say response) only makes it look as if Alwawites as a whole need denials and distractions.

In fact the tale is healthy for your cause, because it sharply separates what INDIVIDUALS did from Alawites collectively.

Alawites should read it and be glad the true story is now being told.

And told so interestingly and readably.

August 17th, 2012, 4:38 pm


Aldendeshe said:

We have an informal round of voting and it appears that SNPiers almost unanimously agreed on having the Vatican lead a mission with the other Syrian churches from Antioch to Syriac and all others, including if they like to the Russian Orthodox Church to set up a delegation and mission to resolve the Syrian conflict. Mainly negotiate between Assad and the opposition SNP included.

We can call on the American council of churches to participate. We need this conflict out of the political and diabolically violent roam of Zionist U.N. /Zionists Jews/ Zionist Shia and Zionist Crazies Bedouins.

Which office at the Vatican will equate with a foreign ministry? Can someone help provides contact information for the Pope and other Church heads? Please list those contact information here. Thank you.

August 17th, 2012, 4:41 pm



Agree with SYRIALOVER, superbly written story, outstanding, especially the first part, which in my humble opinion describes a wonderfully colorful, larger than life, largely harmless (except for the cars he stole from Lebanon), yet dubbed criminal Faysal Salloum. A demi-Robin Hood, without the altruistic part. This rat likes Faysal, and would have loved to share a drink with him. He is a trouble maker, but not a ruffian. I hope Faysal, who probably is now is his sixties, never joined the ranks of the buffoon prethident. It would be disappointing.

However, the story, while full of interesting details demonstrating the predatory nature of the Assad Clan, skits around the real National scale thugs of the clan and their role in first encouraging Jamil’s family, and subsequently, attacking them during Basel’s haydays, and assigning much of their principalities to the maternal side of the family and to other cousines. I am hoping that the Gifted Mohammad D., will take a shot at that part of the story.

It remains a captivating post, rare in these days.

August 17th, 2012, 4:41 pm


ghufran said:

I was one of the bloggers here who started posting before he read the main article/ story.
The title is not catchy but the story is beautifully written, honest and powerful.
I do not know Latakia very well but I have relatives and friends in that town and I visited the city at least twice a year and spent a month or longer in the summer enjoying that gorgeous part of Syria.
I spoke about failures being the main theme of Syria’s recent history especially after March,2011 not to ignore the fact that many Syrians broke the wall of fear when they confronted the regime thugs and demanded freedom and dignity.
Alawites,regardless of the outcome of this war, will pay a heavy price for allowing their kids to be part of a brutal and corrupt regime,others will regret for life their neutral stance when it was clear that the regime impoverished Syria and abused its citizens, I was one of those who did not act,but I do not know how many Syrians in their late teens or early twenties who would have behaved differentley in the early 1980s when I left Syria with no plan to return except as a visitor.
Now,as an expat who has a grand child,I can see how I failed Syria and so did many of you,but the least we can do is give a helping hand to people in need,denounce evil wherever we see it,promote dialogue instead of violence and make sure that we do not teach our kids and grand kids to hate those who are different from us. Fawwaz and his likes will end up where he belongs: Mazbalet Al-tareekh, I will do what I can as an individual to make sure that I save as much as I can of what is left of the Mohter Land,please do the same,Syria is too imortant to be left for thugs and fanatics.
(do not you dare calling me Jiddo)

August 17th, 2012, 4:48 pm


Aldendeshe said:

قال المتحدث باسم الخارجية الايرانية رامين مهمنبرست، يوم الجمعة، ان ايران تدعم اقتراحا للرئيس المصري محمد مرسي لانشاء مجموعة اتصال مع مصر وايران والسعودية وتركيا لتسوية الازمة السورية

Tell all these Zionist servants to shove it up the ass, a bunch of sadistic murderers and Zionists helpers. SNP will not accept them and we have the means to blast out of the water anything crappy they (zionists) come up with, if any, other than more blood ritual sacrifices.


August 17th, 2012, 4:56 pm


Citizen said:

Redivision of the World: Russian Perspective. Vol. 40
Government forces continue their onslaught on the Syrian city of Aleppo. Militants are in retreat despite the aid of foreign military instructors and strong financial support. In the city of Homs gunmen fired at a residential complex belonging to the local power plant, killing at least 16 civilians. Meanwhile in Damascus, rebels staged a new attack on journalists, setting off a bomb blast in the Syrian state TV building.

Against this background, U.S. intelligence services expressed confidence in the fact that the Syrian banner of democracy is being in reality used by Al-Qaeda gangs. Indeed, stating the obvious a year and a half from the start of the conflict must require some serious powers of observation!

For some reason Western intelligence services continue to ignore evidence provided by John Cantley, a British photojournalist kidnapped by the Syrian militants. After his release the journalist repeatedly stated that most of his captors were foreigners. Many of them were British, and spoke with what he called a “South London” accent.

Of course, no one is going to bother investigating these statements. Instead, Britain provided further financial aid to the Syrian militants totaling nearly $8 million. This is understandable in light of the evidence provided by John Cantley — the UK is not going to abandon their own.

According to several unconfirmed reports, Britain and France intend to send a combined naval force to the Syrian coast, under the command of the French flagship aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle.” Incidentally, the same flagship also made waves in the recent Libyan conflict. However, this rumor may have been planted on purpose as a show of moral support for the militants and as such, may have little to do with reality.

August 17th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Aldendeshe said:

The only garbage on earth worse than Jewish clad Zionism is Wahabi diry copy and the only copy worse and even blacker than this one is the Shia Zionist version. GO TO HELL, DEVIL RE*PTIL*IAN WORSHIPPERS.


August 17th, 2012, 5:05 pm


Syrialover said:

Syrian Hamster (#69),

I agree there are many true tales of Syria if told like that will help Syrians make sense of what happened to their country.

The simple storytelling of that essay is the best and most brilliant way to do it.

That story is entertaining and well written enough to be a bedtime story for kids.

Ghufran (#70),

You’re right. But Syrians, including Alawites, were not in a position to fully face and process what was happening. They knew it, but couldn’t risk acknowledging it.

It’s when people know and talk about it that the healing and change can get under way. That story shows a great way to get the message out so people can easily digest and even enjoy it.

August 17th, 2012, 5:15 pm



This is Hafez Al Assad Abu Hara’s Syria:

“Always Fawwaz would have few words with the referee before the game also. In one very famous incident Fawwaz took his gun out and let out some shots. The game was between Hutteen and Tishreen and a forward scored on an offside goal for Fawwaz’ team Tishreen. The referee in that famous incident changed his mind after the gun shot to claim the goal in favor of Fawwaz’ team. That made Fawwaz happier and he let out more shots. Fawwaz was a real bully and acted like one. Officials would avoid him. He gave the word Shabih its full meaning in the minds of Syrians”

August 17th, 2012, 5:41 pm


Observer said:

I am sorry this is long but it serves to bring some memories of how and where things started and where they are heading. I hope all will read, some will just thumb and move back to their world view
The Shabih post outlined above is a clear state of f the degeneration of the regime in Syria.

Let me make the following points:
1. Memory of living in the 70’s in Syria for me was characterized by the defeat of 67. After which, I wanted to understand how this came to be and I concentrated on the military aspect of the conflict. After a lot of research into the structure of the armed forces and the weapons used I concluded that the Arab armies were no match for the Israelis at that time.
2. In 73’s vindication of the courage and prowess of the Arab armies was shown and the ability of the Arabs to affect the daily lives of millions in Europe and the US was a final demonstration of the end of the colonial supremacy for good. This is after more than 400 years of European ascendency that culminated in dismantling of the Ottoman empire. The oil embargo as Arnold Toynbee pointed out marked the limit of European ascendency and the meteoric economic booms of the 50’s and 60’s came to a halt and has never fully recovered.
3. It became clear to me after reading the writings of Assadek Anayhoum that a tyranny cannot defeat a democracy without massive coercion or massive return to patriotism. A democracy whereby the Israelis have a popular army with a highly professional cadre would mobilize the entire nation including doctors and mathematicians in code breaking to achieve rapid victory will always defeat a tyranny whereby the soldier is asked to sacrifice his life for the sake of an oppressive regime UNLESS the concept of patriotism is used and UNLESS massive coercion is used ( both of which were used by Stalin to defeat Germany 0.
4. Highly technological superiority is something that the Arabs cannot match without developing the economic basis and this requires a free and open society with democratic principles at play OR a very strong sense of patriotism as we saw in 73 but in the later case it is short lived. This was unfortunately short lived because the Arab effort was tactical and not strategic with a 5/10/20 year plan as the Israelis had and as the current Iranians have.
5. At the time of the 67 defeat the country had been under the rule of the autocratic Baath party and the shock of the defeat and the oppressive Soviet style form of rule did not result in any protest movement. This concentration of power and this defeat resulted in an internal coup whereby the Minister of Defense responsible for the debacle assumed the Presidency with a coup in the 70’s. This is the second seed of the degeneration of the regime the first being the Baath party monopoly on power and the lack of accountability for the 67 defeat.
6. This power grab combined with the 73 vindication resulted in further power consolidation and the 80’s rebellion that resulted in the defeat of the MB reinforced the concentration of trust in the Alawi sect above all else. This was the third element in further degeneration of the regime
7. Nevertheless the regime relied on significant patronage and reached out to a variety of communities to broaden its support base and to balance competing factions.
8. So power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The act of inheritance in my opinion to a son and his family cronies was the fourth nail in the coffin of the regime. The amateur young president consolidated all the power in his very inner circle and friends and he ran the country as a personal fiefdom as if he was still in high school. He retired many prominent members of his father’s circle only to bring them back when the Iraq war blew in his face and then again with the debacle in Lebanon. Having survived these tribulations the amateur incompetent and inexperienced President went further along in a delusional sense of impunity; confusing luck and opportunism with strategic policy making.
9. The initial impulse was to keep the country frozen in time and refuse to allow any innovation; however, the inferiority complex of this President wishing to appear modern and sophisticated carried the day and satellite TV was allowed then the internet then cell phone and finally a new economic reality that was built on pure cronyism and without any basic infrastructure for its success outside of a small inner circle. Innovation was meant to serve the few only. But the door was open for the Syrians to see the world beyond what state TV and the local Baath party apparatchik was telling them.
10. With this sense of impunity it is only natural to allow for favoritism regardless of the concern for the common good and for the cohesion of the society. For a long time, the desire for some stability which many on this forum desire to the point of refusing to accept the degeneration of the regime, prevented any real progress. People went along and managed to progress because the system under the father was careful enough to allow for hope to prevail over despair. This is not the case with this regime. If you are not from the very inner circle then you do not stand a chance.
11. The party gutted of its meaning and the institutions of the state subservient to crony graft and corruption; the appearance of Shabiha is only a natural outcome. I remember one of my cousins being forced to ship her daughter out of the country as she attracted the particular attention of the one of the sons of those so called “responsible” who usually forced himself on these young women and beat up their boyfriends if necessary.
12. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. There is no such thing as intrinsic evil to one particular community or sect. I said before, my ancestors were not particularly nice people when they were in power and the Sunni power that exercised oppression is due to absolutism not to Sunni faith or ideology per se. As a matter of fact the Ottoman policies in the late 19th century were quite regressive in many aspects and the Sunni creed developed at the same time was quite tolerant and infused daily life with Sufi tolerance and mysticism.
13. The Shia Sunni divide is POLITICAL first and foremost as it debates the criteria for community leadership. All of us Sunnis and Shia concede that Ali is the rightful Khalifa and not withstanding the Ommayyad accomplishments I posit that the form of rule introduced by Mouyya planted the seed of despotism in many aspects of life in the Muslim world. Again like today hiding behind the glory of Muslim expansion, many practices of oppression and usurpation of justice system and enslavement of the religious jurisprudence were initiated by the Ommayyad dynasty and carried through to this day by all despotic rulers we have suffered from.
14. The Shia Sunni divide obscures the fact that the rule of the Prophet was through the consent of the people and that the Friday was not for prayer only but was a town hall meeting whereby even the pagans came to settle their issues and differences. This model where no standing army was established, where consent was sought and encouraged, where justice was given and accepted was and remains obscured by years of oppression.
15. The religious divide based on this political dispute has poisoned Islam irrevocably until and unless one of two things happen: either separate religion from the affairs of state and keep the religious beliefs as cultural icons that permeate the idea of justice and solidarity without specifics OR a final and complete reconciliation of the structure of the state based on a unified vision of who and what is the Khalifa and what structure and constitution does the political establishment rests upon. The latter option is infinitely more difficult today and is compounded by the very difficult task of determining the idea of national and religious identity. What are we? As Malilki says he is Shia first, Iraqi second, and Arab third; so in the Arab world if the Muslims are to identify through their Islam then others should be able to identify through their particular as well. The empire of faith that was the Islamic world has been replaced with an amorphous amalgam of irrelevant ideologies that border on moderate to occasional severe racism and/or xenophobia. This persistent fragmentation of the concepts that glued the societies of the ME for generations is leading to very local and narrow ethnic/sect/clan based identification.
16. One aspect of this poisoned Islam is the idea of the rule of the Imam and the disappearance of the 7th or the 12th Imam and his return. All of this pretzel contortion of thinking is now matched by the same pretzel zionisation of Sunni Islam which excludes the other, replaces the liberating faith with Talmudic like meaningless rituals and dress codes, and leads to deification of the Prophet, a mere messenger and mortal among men.
17. It is clear also that the concept of eternal victimhood that is the core thinking of the Shia and the its sects needs to be clarified for what it is: a historical affinity with the suffering of the oppressed that should stop at that and lead to the Muslim concept of solidarity in general and avoid this deep seated hatred of the other and the deep seated sectarian thinking. After all the Bahraini desire for freedom is no less valuable than the Syrian desire for freedom even though the former is Shia and the second is Sunni. These are mere footnotes and nothing more.
18. The Alawi are not any more evil in the eyes of the Sunnis than the Sunnis are the evil monster that the Alawi remember and remind themselves of on a daily basis. It is TYRANNY that is evil and it is TYRANNY that is against innovation and opportunity and progress and it is TYRANNY that is the source of poverty and disintegration and backwardness.
19. This same TYRANNY is the reason we have a dehumanization of the other that manifests itself with complete breakdown of law and order, where individualism is rampant along a complete absence of a sense of civic duty that you see in the filth and criminality and mediocrity of structures and services and it is this gutting of institutions that leads to bribery and corruption.
20. TYRANNY has to be uprooted. This is a very hard process and it is FILLED with pitfalls and the very possibility of NEW TYRANNY but we DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. After repeated failures at self correction and reform especially after the masquerade of so called constitution and what have you we are faced with one prospect either an uprooting of the regime or a very long civil war with disintegration of the country.
21. Now let me reiterate that it is neither culture nor religion that allows peoples and nations to succeed or to fail. It is the political system that either is inclusive and self correcting or exclusive and regressive. Look at West and East Germany, one functioned fully and the other was a miserable failure despite the Protestant Germanic work ethic and strong national identity. Look at the Swiss as they were warring factions. Read “A Distant Mirror” whereby the history of Bernard de Coucy shows you that Europe at that time was much worse than what we have even today in Syria and Lebanon and Iraq. Look at Japan the second richest country on earth and yet with few resources and with a land racked by earthquakes. Yet even Europe and Japan have produced ideologies that resulted in horrendous abuses and criminal regimes.
22. Another point I wish to make is that in the long strategic struggle of the Arab world desire for unity and prosperity and most importantly for justice, neither Russia nor Iran are intrinsically against us the same way that some Westerners and certainly Zionist are. Some the West see only their way of life and their institutions and their control of the affairs of the world as the legitimate means of governance and the Zionist project even though it may have liberated the Jewish people from oppression AND from living in a civil society free of Torah and Talmud injunctions ( Spinoza was excommunicated for advocating by the way ) it is a most racist form of discrimination and for that I wish for this ideology to disappear from the minds of most Israelis just as apartheid disappeared. I do not think that the NY and London commodities and stock exchanges should be the sole places where trading is done, I do not think that Lloyd of London should have exclusive insurance rights, and I certainly do not wish to have the TYRANNY of the dollar as the world currency reserve allowing the US to print its way out of its obligations and to essentially force the rest of the world to prop up a standard of living beyond its means.

August 17th, 2012, 6:36 pm


zoo said:

America and Iran Square Off Over Syria

August 16, 2012
By Robert Dreyfuss

Washington has seen all roads in Damascus as leading through Tehran. Why time and compromise could lead to a deal that saves lives.

Viewed from Washington, the crisis in Syria has always had very little to do with Syria – and a lot to with Iran. Almost from the beginning, the United States has seen the eruption of the Syrian revolt as an opportunity to deal a severe blow to Tehran, depriving it of its chief regional ally and isolating its Lebanese partner, Hezbollah. For that reason, rather than seek a diplomatic solution that would try to bring both the government of President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition to the table, since last August President Obama has demanded that Assad step down. That had the intended effect of galvanizing the Syrian opposition, which – in response to a wantonly brutal crackdown by Syrian security forces – has increasingly become a militarized force engaged in outright civil war.

Meanwhile, as it escalates its military and intelligence role in Syria, the United States has spent the past year and a half since the Syrian revolt began stepping up its encirclement of Iran in the Persian Gulf. It is expanding naval bases in Qatar, Bahrain and Dubai and, according to the Wall Street Journal, “The Pentagon is building a missile-defense radar station at a secret site in Qatar and organizing its biggest-ever mine sweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf, as preparations accelerate for a possible flare-up with Iran, according to U.S. officials.”

August 17th, 2012, 6:39 pm


zoo said:

Which Way for Syria? Listen to the Sermons

August 17, 2012 – 5:48 am – by Barry Rubin

A friend of mine listened to the sermon given at the Ramadan evening prayer in a village near the north Syria town of Idleeb August 7. The closer one gets to ground level in the Middle East, the crazier things become. Sure, by the time the Western-educated, suit and tie wearing leader sits down with the Western reporter everything sounds calm and cool. But the earth is boiling. Just as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood blames Israel for a jihadist attack on an Egyptian military base in Sinai — the Egyptian military, more pragmatically, attacked the jihadist camps — the grassroots leaders and rank and file are easily incited into murderous frenzy.

So here are the main points in the Idleeb sermon:

– The preacher never used the word “Syria” or “as-Suriya,” but only as “Bilad ash-Sham.” That’s a jihadist Salafist designation rejecting the existence of nation-states. In other words, “Syria” is merely a province of a future Islamic caliphate. Note: some people dispute this and suggest that Bilad ash-Sham is standard usage nowadays.

–The upheavals in Syria are not to be defined as a just revolution against a local dictatorship but rather as a conspiracy of Iranian Zoroastrians [the pre-Muslim religion of many Iranians], Zionists, France, and America. Here we have hatred not only for Jews and Christians but also Iranians. Yes, a revolutionary Islamist Syria would be anti-Iranian but also anti-everyone else. And by denying that Iranians are even Muslims, the preacher is strongly suggesting that it is right to murder them as apostates. Conspiracy theories lead to further wars. Enemies are not just those with whom you have a territorial or other dispute, but are enemies of God who must be wiped out to the last man, woman, and child. Such people are not going to accept U.S. mediation or patronage, and nothing the Obama Administration could do would ever win them over.

August 17th, 2012, 6:44 pm


AJ said:

29. HABIB said:

“The lady’s voice, most probably a government agent, says “how big … how big”, while he puts on an approving look.”

Syrian regime now resorting to prostitution to lure the FSA?

August 17th, 2012, 6:47 pm


Aldendeshe said:

I passed through Socrates post above and gone for shoot from the hip thumbdown. Then, the all capital paragraph got my attention and after reading it, I regreted that we can not give a block of 1000 thumb down so I can really express my feelig toward what is said in the last part.

August 17th, 2012, 6:47 pm


omen said:

Several government officials also keep their spouses and children out of the country, and are not penalised for it.

August 17th, 2012, 7:03 pm


Ghufran said:

جان عزيز
“مجيء الابراهيمي إلى دمشق يفتح الأفق أمام رجاء تسوية شرط أن يتعلم السوريون من أخطاء التجربة اللبنانية، فيقدموا عليها أولاً قبل أن ينهكوا، بحيث لا تصير الإرادة الخارجية هي السيدة، ويظل للإرادة السورية دور وصوت. وثانياً أن يجدوا راعياً إقليمياً لتسويتهم أفضل من الراعي الذي كانوه هم للتسوية اللبنانية. راع لا إشكالية تاريخية كيانية بينه وبينهم، ولا قدرة له على إقامة حلف جهنمي من نوع «محتل ومتعاون»، بين ضباطه وسياسيي بلدهم. وثالثاً أن ينجزوا تلك التسوية تحت تسوية دولية عنوانها التوازن، لا التفرد. وهو ما قد يؤمنه لهم محور موسكو ــ بيجينغ، ولم يتأمن للبنان سنة 1990 مع أحادية واشنطن.”

August 17th, 2012, 7:20 pm


Ghufran said:

ندد المتحدث الرسمي باسم الرئاسة التونسية عدنان منصر، بالاعتداء الذي نفذه عدد من المحسوبين على التيار السلفي المتشدد على مهرجان الأقصى، الذي شارك فيه الأسير اللبناني السابق في السجون الإسرائيلية سمير القنطار.
وقال منصر خلال مؤتمر صحافي عقده الجمعة، إن مهاجمة السلفيين للمهرجان الذي دعي إليه عميد الأسرى العرب سمير القنطار، وذلك بدعوى أن المنظمين له من الشيعة، يعد، “عنوان جهل وخطأ كبيرا جدا وإساءة إلى نضالات القنطار”.
وذهب المصري في تصريحات نقلتها مساء اليوم وكالة الأنباء التونسية الرسمية، إلى حد استخدام عبارة “محاولة قتل” سمير القنطار، حيث قال “إن الأشخاص الذين هاجموا مكان المهرجان جاؤوا قاصدين شخصا بعينه… جاؤوا ليقتلوا سمير القنطار”.

August 17th, 2012, 7:42 pm


habib said:

79. AJ

Syrian rebels now resorting to webcam prostitutes to get their masturbation fix?

Must be hard faking it as a pious Salafist, when you can’t use your “rebel” status to get real girls, loool.


August 17th, 2012, 7:56 pm


ghufran said:

a pic published on alarabiya on Thursday about the bombing of Azaz in Aleppo was obviously fake and taken from Azarbijan earthquake. the pic shows a dead body of an infant amid dust and pieces of broken cement blocks,this particular site referenced by many can only survive in a third world environment like the Middle East where a lot of people can not read and only want to watch what fits their pre-made “facts”.
There is no doubt many civilians died in the bombing of azaz,but why does a “famous” site like alarabiya need to fake a picture?
the more I look at that site the more I realize why KSA regime and their allies are a threat to the future of Middle East.

August 17th, 2012, 8:24 pm


ghufran said:

this is why they tried to kill Samir Al-Qantar:
“لن آخذ من وقتكم كثيرا ولن أتكلم كثيرا !! حكم عليّ الإحتلال الصهيوني 530 عاما بالسجن لأني لا أتكلم كثيرا” هكذا إستهل عميد الأسرى سمير القنطار كلمته في يوم القدس العالمي من قصر المؤتمرات بتونس.
جاءت كلمة عميد الأسرى سمير القنطار مباشرة بعد كلمة ممثل حماس الذي ووجهت كلمته بالمقاطعة. ورفعت شعارات معادية لقطر ومن ركب ركبها “عملاء الإمبريالية هزوا يديكم على القضية”،” فلسطين عربية لا حلول استسلامية” “مقاومة مقاومة لا صلح ولا مساومة” “الشعب يريد تحرير فلسطين”… كما وقع تمزيق علم الإحتلال الفرنسي لسوريا وطرد الذين رفعوه من القاعة. “لن نهتف في يوم القدس سوى للقدس و اتحدى راشد الغنوشي أن يخرج في يوم القدس العالمي ليعلن أن تونس رأس حربة في مواجهة الكيان الصهيوني، وإن فعل ذلك سنكون جميعا وراءه”، أما رسالته الثانية فقد أكد فيها أن سوريا ستخرج منتصرة على كل أعدائها في الداخل والخارج.
وأضاف القنطار في حديث موجه لممثل حماس : “لا تنسى أن تذكر غزة بأن سلاحها كان من سورية”. وإختتم كلامه بالقول “أينما إشتممنا رائحة نتنة فإنها رائحة البترودولار وآل سعود”.

August 17th, 2012, 8:33 pm


Tara said:


What is exactly Samir al Quntar’s accomplishments besides smashing the head of a 4 yo girl toddler with a blunt force?

I personally have come to learn the last 18 months that there is no cause in the world that justifies such a crime…Let alone celebrates it.

August 17th, 2012, 8:40 pm


Fawaz Alfawaz said:

The anaylsis on the Shibah KSA great anthropological piece that opens a window to key aspects of the Assads rule in spite of the older Assad inate caution .Ultimately, bad governance , criminality , and the Ibn Khaldoun dipction ( nomadic -read allwites takeover ) combined to play havoc with Syria .
The Syrians were bound to deal with the ramifications , checks came to roast , the cumulative discontent and failures are too much to beat and were bound to give the Syrians a bad hand they are living through now.

Riyadh based columnist

August 17th, 2012, 8:42 pm


Syrialover said:


I have read your thoughtful commentary and analysis with interest. There’s a lot of meat to chew on there.

The Sunni/Shia politicization has always been toxic, but it is now permanently disabling if not fatal for those sections of humanity unlucky enough to be born in the thick of those noxious fumes.

There is zero doubt about the link between political development and economic progress, as you’ve shown in point 21. That story “The Original Shabiha” above about those few individuals is studded with clues about the economic and social erosion the destructive Assad tyranny inflicted on Syria.

Israel and its support by interests in the US deeply enrages me, and like you I believe that Israelis need to get all that rubbish out of their heads, minimize the offense they give the world and get on with their own business, paying their own way.

But so for God’s sake do those who run around obsessing about Sunni vs Shia or pushing Wahhabist fantasies. It’s basically a cheap and lazy (and usually violent) tool for political control.

The rest of the world views it as ridiculous and can’t believe that people find head space for it in the 21st century. It’s displacing so much else Muslim people should be thinking about and acting on.

The truth is that the rest of the world gets on by not wasting head space on ideology/religion or permitting others to occupy and waste it for them. There are too many other complex demands and knowledge in the modern world. Something that’s instinctively understood by that generation driving the Arab spring.

The biggest stupidity and shame of the Sunni/Shia issue is the tragic waste of Arab human resources, talents and energy which are more than equal to any other group in the world.

August 17th, 2012, 9:07 pm


Aldendeshe said:

84. habibsaid:

79. AJ

Syrian rebels now resorting to webcam prostitutes to get their masturbation fix?

Must be hard faking it as a pious Salafist, when you can’t use your “rebel” status to get real girls, loool.


Well, both ALCIADA Wahabi text field manual, and better living manual recommend that operatives and combatants if they cannot rape, or find a donkey, they should do each others. It is called “LOUATT” and it is “Halal” according to recent Zionist Saudi Wahabi imam “Fatwa” made public on youtube, no kidding.
Maybe Tlass, is not finding girls to rape and not into Louatt, so he opted for ALCIDA provided Chat-A-Whore on skype line. Who is complaining that Freedom Fighters are not gettng Western help.

August 17th, 2012, 9:19 pm


Tara said:

هذه أم تنادي بأعلى صوتها للرجال كي يبحثوا لها عن أبنائها
تضرب الكف على الكف و تدعو على بشار ..

الله يحرق قلبك على ولادك يا بشار … الله يعجـــــل عليك

اللهـم استجب …اللهم آميـــن

ـ امرأة تصرخ للجيران لإزالة الركام عن أطفالها
ريف دمشق ـ الضميـــــــــــر 2012-8-16


August 17th, 2012, 9:53 pm



Farooq al-Shara’a has defected and is safe outside Syria.

August 17th, 2012, 9:59 pm



The abuses of Fawwaz and others mentioned above pale in comparison to what the kids of Rifaat Assad, Khaddam, Tlas, Duba, Haidar, and all other cronies of the regime have done in Damascus and Lebanon. Fawwaz was small potato compared to the millions, hundreds of millions, that the Damascus-based Mafia stole from the Syrian (and Lebanese) people. It wasn’t just Alwaites, Khaddam’s sons were among the worst. Come to think of it, Hafez Assad’s kids were angels in comparison – Basel and Bashar were well-behaved overall compared to their thuggish cousins and showed streaks of integrity and modesty at times. The fall of this regime should be blamed on Hafez’s inability to rein in all the abuses, the corruption, and the cronyism that started in the late 70’s. That’s why it’s also so hard to bring it down because the tentacles of corruption were allowed to penetrate all facets of the Syrian society.

I do fondly remember the Mercedez and BMWs with curtains and pictures of Hafez taped to the back window zooming by abu rumaneh and malki streets as police officers looked the other way, while the rest of the population drove Suzuki’s and Mitsubishi’s or even old 1950’s Oldsmobiles and stood in line two hours a day to get loafs of bread.

August 17th, 2012, 10:17 pm


Ghufran said:

I do not know anything about Qantar “smashing” the head of a child?
Would you please elaborate?

August 17th, 2012, 10:25 pm


Observer said:

This is an optimist view of the Arab spring. I agree that freedom will lead to a surge of development.

August 17th, 2012, 10:29 pm


Erin said:

It is clear that the Israeli plan to divide the arab world into pieces has been a success, there is no one arab country not in trouble at the current time from east to west, therefore, Israel has not to worry what so ever about the arabs for centuries to come. It is clearly the only one benefiting from the Arab spring Israel, like it or hate it this the truth. Replacing Assad or the allawite in Syria is not going to solve syria problem there is a chance of making it worse, having the islamists in control of the arab world is to the advantage of Israel only.

it is clear as I said in my previous post that every ruler in the arab world followed either a royal kingdom or a royal republic, where power transferred into a family member after death.
clans and tribes and mafia style is how the arab world have been ruled by after the colonial powers have left this apply to every arabic country, probably except Lebanon.
the Shia- Sunni conflict is way older than the colonial powers, it goes back to the beginning of Islam therefore no one to blame but the Muslims themselves same like the British Irish conflict.
For the Arabic Israeli conflict the problem is Arabs can’t understand that you are not going to win a war with Israel when you still following a stone age mentality, Israel is well advanced in life aspects.

August 17th, 2012, 10:31 pm


Observer said:

I follow first and foremost the Syrian TV station, the Press TV of Iran, RT, Al Mayyadeen, Al Manar, and other pro regime sites.

Then I check the news elsewhere.

My sense is that the Iranian regime, wishing to remain committed to its revolutionary ideal and being an Islamic revolution has realized that if it wishes to remain relevant outside of Iran and wishing to continue to play a role in ME affairs and retain its anti Israel and Pro Palestinian credentials and operations it has to espouse the Arab Spring spirit and sacrifice Fredo.

In this regard the speech by Nasrallah is correct in my opinion in reminding the Israelis that the Palestinian issue is above Muslim and Arab rivalries.

Is this perhaps an indication that Iran is looking beyond Fredo? Or do they think Fredo is going to survive?

If his vice president has truly defected, then he could not keep him close enough and under house arrest. I do not think on the other hand that Fredo and his family care one bit as long as the inner clique is still capable of staying in power even if it is on a rump part of the country.

The latest bombardments are clear indication of complete strategic failure.

I think his fate will be worse than Ghaddaffi. Syrian Hamster is right Clostridium Perfrigens and Staphylococcal Deep Skin Infections are overtaking the regime with gangrene.

August 17th, 2012, 10:46 pm


zoo said:

(In french)A very through report of Pierre Piccinin who first supported the regime then switched on the side of the opposition.
He files a very desperate report, from Aleppo, of the situation in Aleppo for the FSA confused, bitter, divided, lacking amunitions and headless, as they reject Ryad Al Assaad as well as general Sheikh.

Friday, August 17, 2012, 21:33
The Belgian historian Pierre Piccinin is again on the side of Aleppo. With the rebels. His testimony proves the situation deteriorates for the rebellion.


August 17th, 2012, 10:58 pm


irritated said:

#92 Visitor

“Alarabiyah going big on story that Syrian VP Farouk Alshar’ has ‘defected’. Sourcing extensively from the FSA. AJA totally silent so far.”

August 17th, 2012, 11:04 pm


Ghufran said:

Alsharaa’s defection,if confirmed,will receive the same attention as Hijab’s defection,it has a symbolic significance but It will not stop Assad and his supporters from pursuing their violent campaign in an effort to force the regional and international powers to include him and his circle in any future negotiations,if he is seen as a confirmed loser in the near term nobody including Iran will allow him a seat on a future Syrian Taef. My sense is that the regime is seriously injured but is still able to kick and return punches,you also have to admit that Syrians who still support the regime have no choice as of now but to fight,there is a damaging silence ,almost criminal,by those who want to topple the regime without giving millions of Syrians enough breathing room and assurances that they will not be slaughtered and attacked for refusing to take the sides of armed rebels. There was a window of an opportunity for a n internal coup that could have spared thousands of lives and prevented billions of dollars in losses but that window remained shot and it may be too late to open it today,Syrian does not have any good options now,there is no game plan and no desire to save the country on the part of big players,it is a fight that can take years to end,the departure of Assad when it happens will be just a phase,expect a long and a bloody counter insurgency if no political solution is drafted,Syria is more like Iraq not like Libya,Egypt or Tunisia,actually Syria has the potential to be worse than Iraq.

August 17th, 2012, 11:06 pm



I am surprised that Ghufran does not know that al-Quntar’s only achievement is the smashing of a little girl’s head!!!

Thanks to our Tunisian brothers who took the initiative to kick him out

August 17th, 2012, 11:42 pm



100 Ghufran,

Rest assured Iran will have no say In Syria’s future.

August 17th, 2012, 11:55 pm


Ghufran said:

قال زعيم المعارضة الإسرائيلية شاؤول موفاز إن أي ضربة إسرائيلية من جانب واحد ضد إيران لن تنجح في وقف سعي إيران الذي تحيط به الشبهات لامتلاك أسلحة نووية، مضيفا أنه ستكون “كارثة” إذا ما تم تنفيذها (أي الضربة) بدون دعم الولايات المتحدة .
وقال شاؤول موفاز -وهو وزير دفاع ورئيس أركان سابق ويرأس الآن حزب كاديما الذي يمثل تيار الوسط في إسرائيل- أمس الجمعة في تصريحات أدلى بها للقناة الثانية في التلفزيون الإسرائيلي “ليس بوسع إسرائيل أن تغير من الناحية  الإستراتيجية البرنامج النووي الإيراني”. وأضاف أن الضربة يمكن أن تؤخر البرنامج عاما تقريبا، لكنها يمكن أن تسبب ما وصفها بـ”حرب مدمرة”.
وذكر موفاز رئيس الوزراء بنيامين نتنياهو ووزير الدفاع إيهود باراك بالاسم عندما أشار إلى أنه يشعر بالقلق بسبب ما يعتزمان القيام به. وأضاف “أتمنى من كل قلبي ألا ننزلق إلى حرب لأنها ستكون مدمرة”.

August 18th, 2012, 12:26 am


Erin said:

Did anyone ever seen Bashar acting crazy or like a thug or like a shabiha all his life, it is well known that he was raised different than the others in power, my understanding that the cousins of Assad were always afraid of Baseel and Bashar presence because they were more polite, never harassed people.
Also, The article omitted the period when Bashar cousins were fighting each other specifically Raffat’s sons with Jamil’s and Makhlouf sons.
It is what it is, I doubt that Saddam sons where any better than the Assad’s sons and cousins.
The bottom line here that blaming the Allawite for the Sins of Assad’s family is unfair.
even the president’s of the USA offspring get in trouble.
always there is one related to you who does something you you are not proud of.

August 18th, 2012, 12:46 am


Johannes de Silentio said:

Ann is going crazy! Bring back the moderators!

August 18th, 2012, 1:00 am


Ghufran said:

Out of curiosity and after Tara said what she said about Kuntar I looked at a number of reports about the guy ,most of which came from Israeli sources including a rare release of evidence against him that was made public in 2008 but it did not include what Israeli army considered as sensitive information. What is indisputable is that Kuntar and his associates kidnapped a girl,aged 4 years, and her father and that the two got killed after Israeli security or army officers were engaged in a gun battle with the group,Kuntar himself received 5 bullets but was taken to an Israeli hospital and Israeli doctors managed to keep him alive. Kuntar did not admit to the crime, and the only evidence against him was an “eye witness ” and a pathology report,both came from the israeli side.
Do I know for sure that Kuntar is innocent or guilty of the unforgivable crime of killing a child? I do NOT, you should have the same position unless you know something I do not know. The fact that the guy ( a Druz by the way) is supportive of the regime and Hizbullah should not make you believe the Israeli story and post it here as a “fact”, I did not expect more from some hateful posters,especially non Syrian,but I like to believe that educated and fair-minded Syrians subscribe to higher standards.
I denounce,and always did, attacks on civilians but when it comes to terrorism nobody can compete with Israel , a country whose founding fathers were terrorists wanted by the Interpol. BTW, aljazeera threw a hero’s welcome for Kuntar when he was released.

August 18th, 2012, 1:28 am


Son of Damascus said:

Thank you for this very informative post Dr. Landis, and thank you to Mohammad D. for taking the time and writing such an informative post.

Post like these is what keeps me coming back to SC.

August 18th, 2012, 1:36 am


Son of Damascus said:


“Baseel and Bashar presence because they were more polite, never harassed people.”

Yes very polite and charming the both of them are….

Back in either ’92 or ’93 I was in Latakia during the yearly equestrian competition held at the Mediterranean Games Arena (that was renamed Basel AL-Assad Arena after his death).

That day the two “big ticket” items were Basel and Princess Haya (of Jordan) riding. As you can imagine when Basel was riding you could not hear a single sound in the arena other than Basel’s horse galloping and show jumping. When Haya’s turn came up the moukhabaratis in the stadium would jeer and yell every time she approached one of the fences causing her horse to mess up the jump or not take it all together.

After the show princess Haya was complaining to her entourage about the jeers, Basel overheard her conversation and went over and slapped her on her face, telling her “Iza mou 3ajbik irja3i 3end abouki 2ou ibkilouw” (If you don;’t like what happened return to you father and cry to him)

I will never ever forget the look of utter shock on Haya’s face and the rooms complete silence, you could hear the AC hum.

As for Bashar if you can overlook the fact he is a mass murderer that has slaughtered 20 thousand Syrians so that he can retain his throne then yes he a polite person that does not harass people. He just kills them…

August 18th, 2012, 1:36 am


Ghufran said:

كشفت أسرة نجلاء وفا، المصرية التى تقضى عقوبة الحبس 5 سنوات والجلد 500 جلدة، فى الممكلة العربية السعودية، إثر خلاف فى شراكة تجارية بينها وبين إحدى أميرات المملكة، عن تلقيهم تهديدات ببقاء «نجلاء» فى السجن مدى الحياة حال طرح القضية فى وسائل الإعلام.
أضافت الأسرة أنها تعيش حالة قلق شديد منذ القبض على ابنتها عام 2009، حيث قضت 3 سنوات من العقوبة وتعرضت للجلد 300 مرة، ويبقى لها 200 جلدة، حيث تنفذ العقوبة بواقع 50 جلدة أسبوعياً، باستثناء شهر رمضان.
ورفضت نشوى الصعيدى، والدة نجلاء، فى تصريحات خاصة لـ«المصرى اليوم»، الإفصاح عن اسم الأميرة السعودية، واكتفت بالقول إن انتماءها إلى أقارب الملك من الدرجة الأولى يزيد الأمر تعقيداً، موضحة أن محامى الأميرة هددهم صراحة بحبس ابنتهم مدى الحياة، وأوضحت أن المحامى كان قد سبق له أن ضغط على الأسرة لعدم الحديث مع وسائل الإعلام، وهددهم باستغلال علاقاته الواسعة مع جهاز مباحث أمن الدولة «المنحل».
وقال الدكتور يحيى وفا، أستاذ جراحة العظام بجامعة طنطا، والد «نجلاء»، إنه خاطب جميع الجهات الرسمية فى الدولة، فى محاولة لإعادة ابنته، بدءاً من وزارة الخارجية والسفارة المصرية فى السعودية، دون أن يتلقى أى رد، على حد قوله. وأضاف أن ابنته سُجنت لمدة عام و8 أشهر، قبل أن يُحقق معها، وعرضت على المحكمة الجزئية فى السعودية رغم أن الخلاف يتعلق بمسألة تجارية.
وناشد «يحيى» الرئيس محمد مرسى، التدخل للإفراج عن ابنته، وطلب من خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك عبدالله بن عبدالعزيز، رفع الظلم عن ابنته وإعطاءها جميع مستحقاتها.

August 18th, 2012, 1:39 am


Son of Damascus said:


I am not denying the existence of Salafist, or their rise. But when you claim most that Salafist are replacing moderate Sunnis that is just not true.

Salafist ONLY MAKE 1% of a Sunni community of 1.2 BILLION people. So pretty much around 10 million Jihadist Salafist are running around this earth spreading their hate filled mongering crap, and they have a very loooooong way to go to replace the other one billion one hundred ninety million Sunnis out there.

Not every pious Sunni is a Salafist, not every bearded Sunni is a Salafist.

As for the Salafist TV, have you ever tuned into Rush Limbaugh or any hardcore American conservative show? They spew as much hatred as the Salafist and last I checked non-christians are doing just fine in the US.

It is better to have their ideology in the public so that we can monitor it and counter it with common sense rather than have it go underground and us not know anything about it.

My problem with you MJabali is the way you approach your arguments, you generalize based on opinion and not facts. You take offence when others do the same towards your creed (and rightfully so), but you don’t bat an eyelash when generalizing about the Sunni faith, and that is where I take offence.

August 18th, 2012, 2:01 am


Bob said:

Son of Damascus, frankly this incident you report looks as much a fairy tale or wishful thinking from your end. If there was any partial truth to this story, would Haya have come to Syria after Bassel’s death and stood next to Bassel’s mother accepting condolences from the people as if she was a member of his family – check the footage from the funeral(I won’t even get into a debate on the reaction her father would have had if this was true)

You have the right not to like people or hate them even or consider them enemies, but for the sake of credibility let’s not get into fairytale character assassinations, etc, the guy is dead now anyway.

As for Bashar, without being a super fan of his, but blaming him for the 20k death (assuming the number is accurate!) is a bit rich! there is no black and white in this sad story for the country, so let’s try and get to understand what exactly happened/is happening is an adult rational way to be able to move on rather than get into such pointless stories – it’s too late for this unfortunately!

on a more serious note to all – did Shara’a finally defect or is this just a rumor yet?

August 18th, 2012, 2:45 am


AJ said:

84. HABIB said:

“79. AJ

Syrian rebels now resorting to webcam prostitutes to get their masturbation fix?

Must be hard faking it as a pious Salafist, when you can’t use your “rebel” status to get real girls, loool.”

Maybe, but why are the females of this regime resorting to become webcam prostitutes? Are they in some desperate need for real men?

August 18th, 2012, 2:50 am



108 Ghufran,

Actually, the little girl rammed her head against the butt of his riffle,


With just a little bit of wist of logic, You may turn out to be ‘right’ as usual, and he would turn out to be ‘innocent’.

نموذج طبيعي لكل المطبلين للانظمة الخشبية٠

August 18th, 2012, 2:56 am


mjabali said:

Son of Damascus:

I wish you are right and the Salafis are only 1% of Muslims today.

The facts of today say that Salafis replaced many of the moderates fast. Any Muslim country across the board now has a very significant Salafi groups.

In Syria today among the Sunnis, the Salafis are a respectable number. Back twenty years ago they were less than 1%.

The same goes for almost all Muslim country, except the real Salfi states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and co. These rich Salafi states spread their faith through a very well funded and prepared system all over the Muslim world, and even Europe.

Here is a fresh link to a nice article from Jadaliyah telling you about the rise of Salafis in Tunisia: remember twenty years ago the Salfis in Tunisia were less than 1% also.


As for your problem with me and how I use the word Sunni, I say most of the times I am talking about the Sunnis of Syria, who throughout history acted in one bloc in their dealings with the Alawis. There was probably less than 1% of them who were at good terms with the Alawis, and understood who were they.

Sunni faith, in its many different groups, showed almost one uniform attitude towards the Alawis, and other minorities to that matter.

August 18th, 2012, 3:01 am


habib said:

110. AJ

Who knows who she is? Maybe she wasn’t a whore after all, and the PCs were just under surveillance. We’ll probably never know. Only thing certain is that Tlas is utterly discredited as a pious Muslim.

The Syrian Electronic Army strikes again.

August 18th, 2012, 3:05 am


mjabali said:


The article is saying that ordinary Alawis were the subject of injustice by the thugs from al-Assad family that were around.

The article is also showing that the Alawi villages were neglected throughout time and ill developed, even under the Father the Commander الأب القائد.

Also, I lived through the same era in Lattakia, and it was Fawwaz from al-Assad family who ruled the city, like the article said.

August 18th, 2012, 3:11 am



113. HABIB
110. AJ

Can you stop introducing these private questions about how sex is or is not done by this or that? Do you really care too much about their sex? Do you now what basic freedoms and rights are?

Changing to politics:

Increasing rumors about DEFECTION of FAROUK SHARAA having already left to Jordan. His office in Damascus is denying.

August 18th, 2012, 3:15 am


AJ said:

113. HABIB said:

“110. AJ

Who knows who she is? Maybe she wasn’t a whore after all, and the PCs were just under surveillance. We’ll probably never know. Only thing certain is that Tlas is utterly discredited as a pious Muslim.

The Syrian Electronic Army strikes again.”

In your earlier post, you mentioned (or quoted) that she was probably part of the government


“The lady’s voice, most probably a government agent, says “how big … how big”, while he puts on an approving look.”

What’s shocking here is why is this regime resorting to this.. Who is this woman? Was she really impressed by Tlass’ youknowwhat? Is the shabi7a steroids having any effect on the size of their husbands penises?

If so, they will have to rely on cybersex, I would greatly be surprised to see the FSA actually touch these women. They are known to be very ugly and dirty. if they do, they must wear full protective gear..

August 18th, 2012, 3:24 am


Ghufran said:

نفى الناطق الرسمي باسم وزارة الخارجية السورية جهاد مقدسي عبر صفحته الشخصية على موقع “فيس بوك” خبر انشقاق نائب رئيس الجمهورية فاروق الشرع
Did alarabiya lie again?

August 18th, 2012, 3:24 am


AJ said:

115. SANDRO LOEWE said:

“113. HABIB
110. AJ

Can you stop introducing these private questions about how sex is or is not done by this or that? Do you really care too much about their sex? Do you now what basic freedoms and rights are?”

I fully disagree with you. I think this is very important. Rumors are increasing that the shabi7a are in a state of total panic, this must have a very negative effect on their marriages and destroying their lives. Shabi7a wives going to the FSA for “love” is a major sign of desperation by this regime.

August 18th, 2012, 3:27 am


Visitor said:

118 AJ

“this must have a very negative effect on their marriages and destroying their lives. Shabi7a wives going to the FSA for “love” is a major sign of desperation by this regime.”

Or they could be used as a bait to infiltrate the FSA.

August 18th, 2012, 3:44 am


Syrialover said:

Son of Damascus (#107)

What a wonderful eyewitness memory of that late charming gentleman Bassel Assad, the sleazy cult figure Syrians were ordered to worship!

Princess Haya – isn’t she now married to Sheikh Makhtoum of Dubai? I hope she tells the story of Bassel’s vicious public assault on her whenever the name Assad comes up.

As for meek and mild little Bashar, there’s the story of his sinister threats to Rafiq Hariri in a meeting a few months before the latter’s assassination. Witnesses who saw Hariri after the meeting said he was visibly shaken.

We’ve been told by various people who were close to Bashar that his personal duckfoot print is to be found on countless orders for political detentions, torture, executions and other nasty acts since he took office 12 years ago. All he did in the last 18 months was scale up his policies and and make them more visible.

We can expect the rest of the Assad propaganda drapes to be ripped off by plenty more eyewitness accounts like yours.

August 18th, 2012, 3:59 am


annie said:

Food for thought more so since coming from a major Palestinian figure:

The great Palestinian philosopher and former MK Azmi Bishara on the Syrian revolution.

1) Let’s suppose that impoverishment of the people and the suppression of their freedoms are marginal when placed in the context of a grander goal, such as defending the homeland. That would only make sense, however, during limited periods of time, such as during wars. Anyway, such claims do not justify the way in which the people have to share out the misery between them, while the rulers enjoy the riches. Nor does such sloganeering justify the institutionalized, systematic denial of the rights of their people. There is no justification for the tyranny and corruption of the rulers, and their appropriation of the fruits of the masses’ labour. Trying to exploit a cause held dearly by both the people and the regime to achieve this is the beginning of demagoguery, and it is a tool used solely to preserve the existence of the corrupt, tyrannical regime. None of this, of course, takes away from the righteousness of the cause being exploited, but it does serve to bestow legitimacy on an illegitimate regime. Rebellion against this tyranny will necessarily place the removal of that regime as its first target, but the sanctity of the just causes which the regime exploits must also be preserved. This applies when the question comes to US plans to dominate our region, seeking to design the policies of Arab states with Israeli interests at heart, as well as the question of Palestine and the duty to resist the occupation at every turn.

2) No people, anywhere in the world, would accept torture, false imprisonment, financial corruption and the muzzling of the media for generation after generation, regardless of the justification. Nor does anybody to have the right that those being persecuted remain quiet for the sake of grander concerns, without hopes for a change, all to placate commentators who seem to think that the suffering of the people is secondary to the “Central Question”, especially as all the evidence that no progress on that same “Central Question” in the first place.

3) Nobody has the right to just claim to have “understood” the people’s pain and the righteousness of their claims, and then ask those people to simply stay on the sidelines while the leaders undertake some reforms. No human likes being shot at and bombed, but you cannot expect that people who get shot at while protesting peacefully to take it sitting down. If you cannot compel the regime to deal peacefully with peaceful protests, then [any demands that the rebellion end] are demands that the people accept that they should be killed, that their losses for the revolution thus far have been in vain.

4) History will not be kind to the Syrian regime for the way it ordered soldiers to fire on peaceful protestors. Those peaceful protests had been the regime’s greatest fear, and so they worked to quell them in the cradle.

5) It seems inevitable that, if you are being bombed, driven from your home and your possessions looted, that you will reach out to anybody who stretches his hand out to you. Those who abandoned the revolutionaries at their time of need have no right to lecture them on who their sources of support are, especially if nobody is able to persuade the regime to carry out any kind of meaningful process of reform towards democracy, or even to hand over power gradually.

6) There is no fault in the people seeking their own dignity and freedom; there is no sin for those youth who have taken up arms in the face of the regime’s barbarity. The only culprit here is the regime. Writing off the earliest protests as a foreign conspiracy, and dismissing Arab diplomatic moves for a gradual transfer of power—such as the now seemingly fanciful August, 2011 plan for a National Unity Government which would usher in Presidential elections in 2014, and a January, 2012 plan for power to be handed over to the Vice-President –this regime refused them all. None of these proposals ever sought to undo Syria’s army, or to undermine the army’s morale.

7) The duty of the revolution’s leadership and the political opposition at this point is to remain vigilant with regards to those powers which are supporting their efforts, and the political ends for which they do this. It falls on this revolutionary leadership to preserve the sovereignty and identity of Syria, preventing foreign support for their revolution from turning into a bridgehead for those foreign powers’ ulterior plans.

8) In spite of all of the above, I can understand the confusion and anguish felt by a wide number of Arab patriots about the events presently unfolding in Syria. It is not only the anguish shared by those who are shocked by the fate of large swathes of this part of the Arab homeland, at the way the regime has chosen to go with the Samson option, but rather a more nuanced, political anguish. Looking at those states which presently support the Syrian revolution, or at least claim to, one can see countries which have never been democratic, and have in fact stood in the way of all of the other Arab revolutions. Doubtlessly, these states are doing so for an entirely different set of reasons: Syria’s foreign policy and the country’s long-standing support for the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon. The use of sectarianism to fan the flames of the revolution are also here, deeply troubling: in our part of the world, sectarianism is not only disgusting, it is deadly. Yet no matter how anguished and confused an outside observer feels on these issues, anguish and confusion cannot be the policy of the Syrian people, and the Syrian revolution. The Syrian people are not an outside observer, they must choose between either moving forward, or falling back and having to deal with an emboldened, despicable new set of thugs. The Syrian people cannot afford to fret over the identity of those supporting their revolution, their only worries are about the limited number of those supporters, and the limited, cautious nature of that support.

9) A truly patriotic intellectual committed to democratic values must never shirk from explaining the dangers of a potential sectarianism, making clear what the real components of a democratic state based on citizenship and social justice are, on the need to avoid replacing one form of tyranny with another. Nor must we forget the historic role played by Syria in the Palestinian cause and in the wider Arab sphere. Yet this enthusiasm must be based, first and foremost, on concern and support for the Syrian people, and a defense of their revolution against tyranny. Singing the praises of Assad’s regime is an unforgivable sin, and will only serve to discredit the causes for which, ostensibly, this support for the Syrian regime is built.

10) As far as the Syrian people are concerned, no cause can be more sacred than the defense of the life of their children; no cause, for them, can be more urgent than the need to topple the Assad regime and replace it with the democratic government which they deserve.

August 18th, 2012, 5:59 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Does any one have the non pixelated video of the Tlass wanking? It looks very promising…

August 18th, 2012, 6:21 am


annie said:

Very interesting article about original shabiha; they have proliferated and are now organized in armed gangs.

Did Ann ever consider starting her own blog instead of nesting at SC’s corner ?

August 18th, 2012, 6:44 am


Uzair8 said:

Recently there were a couple of Shaykh Yaqoubi arabic statements in response to a question on Shaykh Ramadan Buti’s position on the syrian situation. Somebody has kindly translated it and I’ll share the link and some parts of the translated statement.


Is Dr.Buti a mujtahid in his opinion [of supporting the Syrian regime] and therefore deserve reward [in the hereafter, ajr]?


Dear Shaykh Muĥammad Abu’l Hudā al-Yáqūbī,
Which of the following two categories does Shaykh [Būţī] belong, on account of his stand concerning the regime:





‘I do not consider the opinion of Dr.Sayid [Buti] – may Allāh táālā protect him – as an error of judgement that merits a reward. Because, he is not a person qualified to have an educated opinion in this matter [of the Syrian regime,] because he has fallen short in the past to demonstrate an understanding of our times and the situations in which we live.’


Concerning this issue [of the regime] there are a number of reasons for the shaykh’s stand and probably the following two are the most disastrous.

The first: is an immense lack of knowledge of the situation, except one-sided information which he receives from the regime and he trusts them and believes everything they tell him….


It is therefore that Dr.Sayid [Buti] does not accept any report about the Revolution from other sources after he has ratified and accepted the propaganda of the regime. This is because of his closeness with a number of senior officials [of the regime] and this proximity has influenced his decisions and thus, he views everything from the prism of the regime and repeats their propaganda innocently. Sometimes, a truthful person thinks that everybody is as truthful as himself. And the reason for his stand is this [blind acceptance of regime propaganda,] which is the result of years of friendship and cordial relations with officers and administrators of the regime.

The second: is his animosity with the Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood to the point that he has chosen to side with the enemies of Allāh in his opposition to them! He believes in the propaganda of the regime that all these revolutionaries are Wahabis, who will burn and demolish mausoleums of Awliyā’a, as they did in Libya. Indeed, the Salafis and Brotherhood were the foremost in the uprising that seeks to bring down the regime, because of the revolutionary ideology which is widespread and common in their discourse, and what is prevalent among the [sect] in the name of jihād. Yet, this revolution is mainly a revolution of common people who are religious Sunni Muslims, who are protesting against a brutal dictatorship, and seeking to abolish tyrannical repression and torture.

Even though we oppose the Salafis for many of their opinions and ideas; and we differ with the Brotherhood in their political views, that which brings us together is Islām. And similarly, that which binds us [in this conflict] is the standard of jihad against repression and cruelty and to establish righteousness and truth. We cannot imagine ourselves standing in the ranks of the enemies of Allāh against them [the Salafis and Brotherhood fighting in Syria] and the revolution is not THEIR revolution, even if they were the foremost in the uprising. And from the beginning itself many joined the revolution, a great number of imams [of the mosques, ] preachers, teachers, [people from] universities and followers of Sufi traditions and an overwhelming majority of common folk.


It is necessary for Dr.Sayid to desist from such speech denouncing the people’s revolution….

Similarly our speech does not seek to question his intention or his disposition; indeed, we have no doubt that he is a man of good intention. We know the shaykh and his worship and austerity, withdrawal from the world and his efforts to seek the Pleasure of Allāh táālā; his love for righteous people and his sincerity to serve the religion.


Original arabic statements:



August 18th, 2012, 8:12 am


Observer said:

Nice post ANNIE

August 18th, 2012, 8:17 am


ERin said:

Is this site still being moderated, sometimes my post goes for moderation and never get released. I thought Mr Landis said no more moderation here.
anyone knows what’s going on with the last moderator.

August 18th, 2012, 9:19 am


zoo said:

There are no Jihadists among the FSA? There are and they are “cool”.

Syria revolt attracts motley foreign jihadi corps


A fighter returns to a Free Syrian Army safe house after a shift on the Aleppo frontline, cranks up the volume of the television, lights a cigarette and looks at himself in a broken mirror.

“Anyone got hair gel? I look a mess.”

Meet Abu Zeid al-Tunsi, a Tunisian elite sniper and the group’s official jihadi troubadour.

Syria’s rebellion has attracted fighters from dozens of countries but their motivations do not always fit the Al-Qaeda mold, making for a colourful and multilingual crew with some very personal interpretations of jihad, or holy war.

Abu Zeid, who also fought alongside Libya’s rebels last year to help bring an end to Moamer Kadhafi’s 42-year rule, describes himself as a “freelance” jihadi fighter who does not belong to any group.

President “Bashar al-Assad and his people are Shiite and it is my duty to help in restoring true Islam, Sunni Islam,” he explains, gulping down a bottle of ice-cold mandarin crush.

“I leave my country when I have to, to wage jihad, then I go home. It’s my personal decision, I don’t need a flag for my struggle and I just hook up with whoever needs my expertise,” Abu Zeid says.

August 18th, 2012, 10:21 am


irritated said:

124. annie said:

Did Ann ever consider starting her own blog instead of nesting at SC’s corner ?

You mean that her articles bother you to the point that you want to get rid of her?
Here goes the ‘freedom of expression’!
If you don’t like it, just switch to one to the pro-chaos blogs , there are plenty, singing the same song.

August 18th, 2012, 10:24 am


annie said:

129. Not getting rid of her altogether, it is the logorrhea! Feels like we are being robotized by some Chinese or Russian news agencies. It is not really a problem for me becoz I skip all of her posts, missing out on some good stuff I suppose.

Here an excellent report : Inside the Free Syrian Army: A trip to the front lines – Fast Forward

August 18th, 2012, 10:29 am


irritated said:

#122 Annie

The ‘great’ lecturer Dr Azmi Bishara? Another Bernard Henry Levy?

A philosopher turned into a political stragegist?

They have something in common, though. They are both on Qatar’s payroll.

August 18th, 2012, 10:30 am


Erin said:

The more the foreign, Zionists arabic packed media channels AKA GCC media continue to spread lies, fabricate video, disseminate rumors the longer Assad Regime will last, therefore for you here who are fan of the GCC princes and princess especially the Banana’s one ( Moza god protects her she can be a good dance club star) we will never have a new Syria if there is going to be one.
Egypt revolution was hijacked by the MB so Syria and the end result is not free Syria or Egypt but Islamic emirate regress back into the stone age, with the help of retards theology lead by new dictator who force religion on citizens trying to liberate themselves from decades of repression, it is replacing a repression with another one of a different taste.
It seems Arabs don’t learn from the history well, to liberate this millions, religion needs to stay at home not in the political process, sell people religion make it their daily alcoholic drinks and they will become drunk and in need of psychiatric hospitalization.
enouf said.

August 18th, 2012, 10:38 am


zoo said:

Conflicting reports on Shara defection. Who is lying?

Published August 18th, 2012 – 13:42 GMT

The Syrian government on Saturday denied the reports about the defection of Farouk al-Shara, reported state television quoting a statement by the office of the vice president. “Farouk al-Shara has not thought at any time to leave the country,” said Syria’s state television, after Arab channels had announced his defection to Jordan , citing rebels. No images have been shown, however, of the Vice President.

Shara, the most prominent Sunni in the regime, has serves as foreign minister, before becoming vice president in 2006.

At the same time, the command of the Freee Syrian Army (FSA), said in a statement that, according to preliminary information, there has been an “attempted defection” that “had failed.” “We do not confirm nor disclaim the information related to the defection” of the vice president, said the statement by the FSA.

“Such operations at this level, involving important figures, is part of a series of security measures that require great care ,” continued the FSA . Questioned by AFP, a Jordanian official denied that Shara is in the kingdom.

The statement by the Vice President office said that “since the beginning of the crisis, especially since the (National Dialogue) meeting in Damascus during July 2011, Shara has been working with all parties to stop the bloodshed in order to achieve of a national reconciliation that would preserve the unity of the country (…) away from any foreign military intervention.”

The July 2011 meeting, held nearly four months after the start of the revolt against the regime, was attended by approximately 200 people including members of the Baath Party, in power since 1963, independents and representatives of civil society, but was boycotted by the opposition.

In the statement released by his office today, Mr. Shara also welcomed the appointment of the new mediator to Syria , Lakhdar Brahimi , reported state television.

The Syrian regime has recently been shaken by defections of Prime Minister Riad Hijab , a faithful old regime, and General Manaf Tlass, the highest ranking Syrian dissident who was a childhood friend of President Bashar Al-Assad.

The Arab League proposed in January that Shara will be leading a transition to a democratic state, instead of the head of state, calling it a “man of consensus” .

Aged 74, Shara was born in Deraa, in southern Syria, the birthplace of protest against Assad in March 2011. He had suggested at the outset of the crisis to serve as a mediator but the regime’s hardliners had brutally rebuffed this offer, according to European diplomats at the time in Damascus

August 18th, 2012, 10:38 am


Tara said:

An outbreak of E.Coli diarrhea in Damascus suburbs will soon hit Damascus proper.  Poor Asma, she must find a third party to import her bottled water. 

There has also been an outbreak of diarrhoea among residents in part of the province of Rural Damascus because the water supply has been contaminated by sewage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

“In one pocket of Rural Damascus there are 103 suspected cases of e.coli. Laboratory testing is still going on,” Richard Brennan, director of WHO’s emergency risk management and humanitarian response department, told Reuters. “It is due to contamination of the water supply.”

GENEVA, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Syrians are pouring across the borders to escape fighting in their homeland and diarrhoeal disease has broken out in rural areas near Damascus, U.N. aid agencies said on Friday.

More than 170,000 Syrians have been registered in the neighbouring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, the U.N. refugee agency said.

“There are now almost 65,000 Syrians in nine camps in Turkey, though not all yet formally registered. To put this in perspective, about 40 percent arrived in August.”

Overnight, more than 1,000 Syrians arrived in Jordan, Edwards said. The UNHCR is working to improve the ratio of people to toilets – currently 40 to one – in Za’atri camp which holds nearly 8,000 of some 47,000 refugees registered in Jordan.

August 18th, 2012, 10:49 am


bronco said:

There is a loud silence of the western media on the Syrian Army advances in Aleppo. Is it because they don’t want to announce that the rebels are loosing the fights and retreating?
Is it because they secretly agree that the Syrian Army should put an end to the Islamists who infiltrated the FSA.
Is there some secret military actions being planned by Turkey, France and the UK that the press don’t want to talk about?

There are a growing number of articles discrediting the armed rebels and articles carrying rumors and predictions.
What’s is going on?

August 18th, 2012, 10:50 am


Erin said:

yes there are jihadists from all over the world would like to kill Syria and destroy the country, some backed by retard ideology; speeding the road to meet virgins in heaven as there is not enough women on earth to fight for, some are being paid to do so, others are sick of life and want to die.
CNN broadcast some retards Americans going to fight in Syria and his mother is proud of him and gave him a ride to the airport.
it seems that in the 21st century there are still naive people who don’t understand that dying for a such cause a total stupidity. Assad is not holding Syria in his hands although the killing is the feature of every new day but Assad can’t stop it and if he is killed Syria will not be done, the civil war will continue for years to come given the packers are insisting on destroying Syria.
let’s face it USA and Israel are happy with Syria continue the destruction at no cost to either one of them.
USA if wanted to take the helm and change the regime like it did in Iraq, or in Kosovo would not wait for a permission from the UNSC it is all a joke, the UNSC salaries are paid by the USA money therefore, Bannky baby can’t say no or even fart without the permission of the USA. it is all a nice show on TV and the question remain at who’s expense!

August 18th, 2012, 10:55 am


bronco said:

127. ERin

There is an automatic “spam’ filter that catches some terms or sentences you use and accordingly put the post on hold.
Someone must release it, it is probably Joshua or any helper.
But I think there is no moderation beyond that.

August 18th, 2012, 10:58 am


Erin said:

thanks Bronco
when I use my work computer the post disappear to hell, not sure if the IP is blocked then.

August 18th, 2012, 11:04 am


ERin said:

Can someone of the so called pro revolution explain or even Mr. Landis the theory behind killing some of the best Syrians, the country has? it is clear similar to the 80’S when MB were killing many professional well educated citizen to pressure the regime!
It is a big loss to Syria when revolutionists kill the best of the country who choose to live and work inside the country.
It must serve someone to kill scientist, Doctor, lawyer, who are Christian, Sunni and Allawite.
The regime atrocity is replicated by the thugs, foreign mercenaries, radical Islamists who can’t tolerate anyone else.
That’s why this is a failing revolution unless it is shoved in the mouth of the regular citizens.
The rebels are terrorizing regular people much worse than the regime then revolution will never successed but if a foreign force invade Syria, I think Russia should invade Syria and put a stop to both sides.

August 18th, 2012, 11:26 am


bronco said:

#136 Erin

I agree that weakening Syria to extreme is one of the objectives of the USA, but there are other considerations.

Syria has a border with Israel that has been quiet under the secular regime of the Assad for decades. If the Assad regime falls, there is an unknown that the USA and the West is trying to analyze and predict by looking at what is happening in the aftermath of the Arab spring with their key Arab allies.

They are now observing Egypt to see if the Moslem Brotherhood will be able to temper the anti-Israel feeling of the majority of the Egyptians and keep the Sinai border quiet and the peace agreement intact. They also are observing how the MB is treating the Copts, women and human rights.
If they become convinced that an Islamist regime is not a threat to Israel and will remain under the USA western umbrella, then they will encourage other Arab countries to go the same way.
Syria, Jordan and Lebanon will be good candidates for a Sunni Moslem ‘democratic’ rulers.
If they realize that the MB in Egypt are choosing a line where Israel will be threatened, then they will work to remove the Moslem Brotherhood regime and bring back a more liberal one.

So until the USA gets a clearer picture of the post Arab Spring effect within the new Arab republics on the Israel question and the minorities rights, they will not attempt anything drastic about Syria.
Nevertheless, the alternative of allowing the Syrian government to weaken to the point it can’t control neither the arrival of Jihadists nor the Syria-Israel border is dangerous.
It is clear that the USA and the West countries ally to Israel are in a bow and it is reflected in their contradictory declarations.

If the Syrian regime is able to crush the rebellion and eliminate the jihadists, it will send a message to the USA that the Syrian regime is strong enough to guarantee the continuation of a quiet Syria-Israel border, then we may see radical change in the Western stances.

If the regime falls, then the USA will have no choice than to organize a costly military action, using Turkey and possibly Jordan to invade Syria to prevent bloody excesses and impose security.

In view of the extreme difficulty of an invasion, it seems that the Western countries are hyprocritically hoping for the end of the rebellion.

August 18th, 2012, 11:27 am


bronco said:

138. Erin

I think that once one of your post is held, until it is released or discarded, your IP-nick may be blocked for further post .

August 18th, 2012, 11:32 am


Ghufran said:

نقل موقع “هاري يت” التركي خبر مقتل “عبد القادر يغيت” في حلب أثناء تلبيته “نداء الجهاد” ضد سوريا، وتحدثت معلومات عن مقتل الإرهابي التركي وأحد زعماء تنظيم القاعدة “عبد القادر يغيت” في مدينة حلب أثناء قتاله ضد الجيش السوري.
والقتيل يعد من بين كبار المديرين التنفيذيين لتنظيم القاعدة في تركيا، وقد التحق في صفوف الجهاديين الذي أتوا لقتال الجيش السوري برفقة الإرهابي التركي “عثمان باكي يجيت” الذي قتل منذ أيام في المواجهات بمدينة حلب.
وقد شارك القتيل بهجمات اسطنبول في عام 2003، حيث قتل 57 شخصاً، وسقط مئات الجرحى.

August 18th, 2012, 11:34 am



Farouk Al Shara3 may have been caught before able to sneak out or may have been put under house arrest if news of his planning to leave were discovered by the mukhabarat. But Farouk is way too entangled with this regime (dating back to Hafez time) and the Ba’ath party to want to leave. I bet any transitional government talks have him in the mix so he’s probably going to stick around until the last second. The news of his defection, whether real or not, kind of helps his case in the future. Heck, if I was a high level official in Damascus, I’ll spread false news of my defection even if I don’t intend to do so just in case the regime falls! I could come out later and say “look, I tried to defect back in August 2012 but I was caught, I really really hated that murderous regime, I wanted to join the thawra but what could I have done?”

I’m puzzled by the U.S. handling of this crisis. It almost seems as if they want the situation to continue to deteriorate further. They know the regime is gone and they can expedite its fall if they wanted to, but they’re just not sure if they want to. They figure they can stay on the sidelines until the Syrian army is seriously weakened to the point that it doesn’t have any offensive capabilities (especially outside offensive capabilities, re Israel) and they probably don’t terribly mind that Syria is sucking away Jihadists from Iraq and other places. If they go to die in Syria, that means they’re not fighting (or plotting) elsewhere, and in the meantime, the U.S. is giving token support to the FSA and can claim that they were on the side of the revolution all along.

If the U.S. is really serious about ending this conflict, all Obama or Clinton need to do is come out with a statement giving the Syrian Army (and its leadership) a deadline to stop fighting or to defect, or they’ll all be held responsible past that deadline. Put a list of names of all high ranking officers out if necessary. The Army is still fighting because the leadership sees that sticking with Bashar is their only way out of this crisis now, their backs are to the wall! Give them a way out and they’ll do the right thing! The Army, as an institution, has a national interest to protect itself and the country from complete destruction. There are still a lot of honorable men and officers who don’t believe or see their roles as defending their regime.

August 18th, 2012, 11:50 am


zoo said:

Syria: Who are the good guys again?

by Rodger Shanahan – 17 August 2012 9:14AM

The air is thick with the stench of hypocrisy over Syria.

For a country whose own politicians often refer to it as ‘The City Upon a Hill’ for its role as a moral exemplar, the US risks losing what remains of its moral authority in the Middle East through its hypocritical policy in Syria. Perhaps the most egregious example is the way the West has allied itself with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two of the least democratic states in the world. As it seeks to establish freedom and democracy in Syria, it does nothing to encourage the same in Riyadh, Doha or the other Gulf capitals.

Secretary of State Clinton must have felt a delicious sense of irony as she declared after the most recent Friends of Syria meeting that she and her undemocratic allies ‘…all agreed to support Kofi Annan’s principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led transition, including the goal of a democratic, pluralistic Syria that upholds the rule of law and respects the universal rights of all people and all communities, regardless of ethnicity, sect, or gender…’

The yawning gap between the principles the West espouses over Syria and the company it keeps has not been lost on Syria’s supporters. As Saeed Jallili, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, observed during his recent trip to Damascus: ‘How can those who have never held an election in their country be advocates of democracy?’

By calling for secular, democratic change in one country while aligning oneself with sectarian non-democracies to achieve it, and providing military support to groups accused of human rights abuses, the US and others risk trampling on the very values Western states seek to export. Syria is a difficult nut to crack, but the way the West is approaching it makes it appear as simply another transactional actor like Russia or China, rather than one whose policy is informed by a morality that it would like others aspire to.

August 18th, 2012, 11:58 am


zoo said:

Iran again…

Egypt’s Morsi to attend summit in Iran: state media
AFP – 49 mins ago


Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi plans to attend a summit in Iran this month, state media reported on Saturday, on the first such visit since Cairo severed ties with Tehran more than three decades ago.

The official MENA news agency quoted a source in the presidency as saying Morsi will attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran on August 30-31 at which Egypt will transfer the bloc’s rotating leadership to Iran.

August 18th, 2012, 12:09 pm


Tara said:

My daughter is her age…and could have been her..

August 18th, 2012, 12:10 pm


Ghufran said:

Imports of oil from the kingdom have grown by more than 20 percent this year, leaving the United States vulnerable to tensions in the Persian Gulf.
(you connect the dots)
The idea is to let fighting continues until the country is in ruins,this will make it easier for foreign troops to intervene if necessary and will also make the job of installing a puppet government much easier. The priorities for the West have nothing to do with the best interest of Syria,what is important to power houses in the west and Israel is:
1. Keeping Israel safe and securing Syria’s stocks of missiles and chemical weapons
2. Isolate Iran and hizbullah
3. Install a GCC friendly regime which will be by default friendly to Israel
A mix of Syrian Harirites and Morsi-type figures are the people who are supposed to do the job in the eyes of western and Turkish politicians, nobody wants a strong state in Syria,even Iran prefers a regime that does what it is told,I am not trying here to suggest that an Assadist regime is the answer,but Assad was too cozy with Iran according to his opponents,human rights and democracy are not crucial goals for foreign politicians who for the most parts see Arabs as an inferior race,this vision has a lot of followers among Turks and Iranians,there is no sense denying this,as long as we behave like tribes,people will treat us like tribes.

August 18th, 2012, 12:11 pm


zoo said:

Is Bahrain about to explode to the face of the silent UN?

Bahrain police shoot dead Shiite teenager
AFP – 1 hr 14 mins ago


Bahraini security forces shot dead a Shiite teenager when a group of protesters attacked police with petrol bombs near the capital Manama, the interior ministry said on Saturday.
The main Shiite opposition group, Al-Wefaq, condemned the “barbaric” attack on the teenager, whom it identified as Hussam al-Haddad, 16.

Al-Wefaq posted pictures of Haddad on its Facebook page showing his back and right arm riddled with shotgun pellets, a weapon widely used by Bahraini security forces along with tear gas to disperse Shiite protesters.

Large crowds of men and women attended the funeral of Haddad in Muharaq on Saturday afternoon, according to images posted on Al-Wefaq’s Facebook page.

But the group also accused authorities in a statement of preventing people from participating in the funeral by blocking the bridges linking the island of Muharaq to the rest of the kingdom.

August 18th, 2012, 12:28 pm


Ghufran said:

نفت وزارة الصحة الأخبار التي تداولتها بعض وسائل الإعلام نقلا عن مصادر في احدى المنظمات الدولية حول تفشي مرض الإسهال في ريف دمشق نتيجة تلوث إمدادات المياه مؤكدة أنها عارية عن الصحة تماما وأن الإصابات ضمن الحدود الاعتيادية لمثل هذه الفترة من العام .

August 18th, 2012, 12:29 pm


zoo said:

More Al Arabya propaganda? The irony is that it will backfire.

FSA in possession of Stinger missiles – Report


Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Western reports have claimed that the Free Syrian Army [FSA] is in possession of anti-aircraft Stinger missiles capable of changing the balance of power on the ground in Syria between the al-Assad regime and opposing rebel forces.

Al-Arabiya quoted a Syrian opposition source who confirmed that 14 Stinger missiles had been delivered to the FSA at the Iskenderun area along the border with Turkey. He added that both Turkey and the United States were aware of the arms delivery.

Al-Arabiya also quoted a second US-based opposition source, who asserted that the FSA have yet to use these arms, saying “there is no indication that the Free Syrian Army has used the Stinger missiles yet.” As for the Syrian fighter jet reportedly downed by the FSA last Monday, the source said this was shut down by anti-aircraft guns.

August 18th, 2012, 12:37 pm


Tara said:

Syrian regime should be ‘smashed fast’: French foreign minister.  
Friday, 17 August 2012

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday called for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be “smashed fast” as he visited Turkey’s largest refugee camp near the Syrian border. 

“The Syrian regime should be smashed fast,” Fabius told reporters. “After hearing the refugees and their account of the massacres of the regime, Mr Bashar al-Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth,” he said.

“It is an operation of destruction of an entire people that he is trying to accomplish,” he said.

Fabius made the remarks at the refugee camp near the Oncupinar border crossing in the Kilis province, on the last stop of a regional tour.

August 18th, 2012, 12:51 pm


Citizen said:

As two world superpowers, no meeting between China and Russia could ever, in the world of reality, be characterized as “pointless”.

But the French diplomatic corps (if one can call them that, after making the statement about the need for Al-Assad to be “smashed fast”) understands that unless there is regime change in Syria, and quickly, the push for war against Iran will slow down to an inexorable crawl, and perhaps be stopped dead in its tracks.

Russian Cancels Syria Meeting as France Demands Assad Be ‘Smashed’
UN Diplomats Say NATO Would’ve Spurned Meeting Anyhow
Just one day after they announced it, Russian officials have canceled a high profile meeting to negotiate a settlement on Syria. Details were scarce, but UN diplomats say that only Russia and China were planning to attend in the first place, so the meeting became pointless…………

August 18th, 2012, 12:54 pm


Tara said:

Almikdad family backed down and issued a statement declaring they will stop kidnapping Syrians. Cowardice set in? Half-men will always be half-men even when they carry weapons.

August 18th, 2012, 1:00 pm



I agree fully with ANNIE’s post at 121 except partially with her item 9.

The Syrian regime(s) (at least since 1963) never contributed anything to the Palestinian cause. All they did was use the cause to justify their ruthless behavior and corruption in front of an unfortunately gullible population that finally woke up.


……Based on that what the French Diplomats said is what we and everyone else need to listen to. Keep it coming France.

August 18th, 2012, 1:05 pm


zoo said:

“the National Coordination Body, will establish “quick liaison” with the new envoy, expressing hopes that all parties would cooperate with Brahimi in order to find a political solution that would be conducive to rein the violence.”

New UN envoy’s appointment last ditch for political end to Syrian crisis

English.news.cn 2012-08-18

DAMASCUS, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — The appointment of Algerian veteran diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi as the new UN special envoy to Syria is considered by some Syrian political figures and analysts as a “last-ditch attempt” to salvage the country from the quagmire of civil war.

Brahimi was announced Friday to succeed Kofi Annan, who declared his resignation earlier this month, citing incessant violence in Syria and lack of willingness by the conflicting parties to bring a peaceful end to the simmering crisis. His appointment is expected bring new hopes for a political settlement of the Syrian crisis.

Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa extended Saturday his welcome to the appointment of Brahimi. Al-Sharaa’s office said in a statement that the vice president “backs Brahimi’s insistence to get a united stance from the (UN) Security Council to fulfill his tough mission without impediments.”

On the opposition side, Raja al-Naser, a leading opposition figure, told Xinhua that Brahimi has “many experiences due to his participation in finding solutions to a number of crisis.”

He said his group, the National Coordination Body, will establish “quick liaison” with the new envoy, expressing hopes that all parties would cooperate with Brahimi in order to find a political solution that would be conducive to rein the violence.

August 18th, 2012, 1:10 pm


irritated said:

105. Ghufran

The funny thing is that for anyone who does not condemn Bashar al Assad or supports the Hezbollah, the Israeli narrative pops up to discredit him.

August 18th, 2012, 1:15 pm


Antoine said:

“Syrian regime now resorting to prostitution to lure the FSA ?”


May well be the other way round, since we all know what sort of sex-starved wh_res work for the Assad regime, starting from Bouthaina Shaaban and Reem Haddad, and ending with Sheherazad Jaafari, Hadeel al-Ali, and the inimitable Sharmine Narwani.

August 18th, 2012, 1:17 pm


Aldendeshe said:

crucial goals for foreign politicians who for the most parts see Arabs as an inferior race,this vision has a lot of


More like inferior culture and customs in terms of Anthropology.

August 18th, 2012, 1:24 pm


Antoine said:

275. ANNIE said:

“Antoine !

What is the matter with you ? This call to snitching and may be you will hit a pilot (or his family) who might not have killed a single civilian or revolutionary for that matter ?

You are bringing us down to the level of the system.

What is your nationality ? I am becoming suspicious”


By nationality I’m Canadian. Though I strongly identify with the City-State of HAMA in Syria.

What about you ?

August 18th, 2012, 1:24 pm


irritated said:

Despite what all media reported, AhmadiNejad never used the word “Israel”, he used the word “zionist entity”

Iran’s vision has always been that there should be a united Palestinian state with Arab and Jews living side by side and not an apartheid regime controlled by Zionists whose aim is to keep all the land to themselves and reduce the Palestinians to cheap labor.

The “disappearance” and the “cancer” called by Iran is not addressed to the Jews living in Israel but to the zionist regime ruling Israel.

In order to demonize further Iran and frighten the Israelis, the media changed the wording to make it appear as Iran wants to kill all the Jews.
If they wanted that, wouldn’t they kill the Iranian Jews first living in their country for centuries?

August 18th, 2012, 1:27 pm


Antoine said:

Aldendeshe, I respect your ideology because you are the few to say NO COMPROMISE with Baathists, so I am asking you, what do you think about the brave men of HAMA who revolted against the Baathists as early as 1964 ?

Why didn’t SSNP support those heroes of Hama 1964 ? I hope you know there were some people in Syria, not part of SNP/SSNP who always considered Baathists as untermenschen, subhumans, Yet SNP never contacted them.

August 18th, 2012, 1:29 pm


irritated said:

#93. VISITOR said:

Farooq al-Shara’a has defected and is safe outside Syria.

Is he in Bakkourland?

August 18th, 2012, 1:45 pm


Ghufran said:

نفى المحامي فاضل السليم العضو في المجلس الأعلى لقيادة الثورة السورية صحة الفيديو المنسوب للملازم أول عبدالرزاق طلاس القيادي في كتائب الفاروق التابعة لميليشيا الجيش الحر. وقال السليم: بعد التدقيق والتحليل والتمحيص ظهر لي أن المقطع مفبرك بطريقة غير احترافية”.

August 18th, 2012, 2:01 pm


Tara said:


The video of Abdul Razzak Tlass is not even worth a denial. It appears fabricated even to the non-expert. I have said nothing about it waiting for
comments from pro-regime celebrating. It amazes me the lack of integrity when one celebrates something that he or she knows it is fake, just to serve the worship relation. It is disappointing to
say the least. What happened to human values? Do human values mean anything to those who worship a dear leader?

August 18th, 2012, 2:14 pm


Fawaz said:

Dear Erin,
It is not to be explained , it is only meant to be understood .Put your self in their place .Note the following :
– The religion of the majority is not “accepted ” except in its very meek form wher eat is illegal to congregate in form that can be ” interpreted ” politically by people of the inttlectual Quality of our friend- Fawaz Alassad
– Imagine your being systemically killed and exiled .
– Imagine your are a military officer that graduated from the acedemy 1973 , and your retired from the service after 30 Years and you been told constantly that you are there to liberate the Golan .You retired w/o being trained to do any real fighting or any skills .
– What did the MB do in Tunisia , Libya , Egypt ?you are told in the Assad Syria it is criminal while setting up Shiite ” cultural centers ” is good religion because it suits Iran higher strategic objectives.
– imagine you cannot serve your country unless you are from certain family And still not much to add morally and materially .

August 18th, 2012, 2:35 pm


Juergen said:


I wonder when we will see the video tapes the syrian regime said it has about key arab leaders caught in having sex with prostitutes of the regime. I remember that right in the beginning of the revolution the regime tried to put pressure on some members of the Arab league in that matter.

Even if true, i prefer him having fun over the net than raping an regime girl. Rape and sexual assaults on women and men is reported by many human rights activists, committed by the regime forces.

Given the nature arabs deal with such matters, no wonder we see such a video coming up.

August 18th, 2012, 3:12 pm


Tara said:


I doubt the regime has anything . The regime was severely humiliated by the AL. If Buthina has any sex tapes implicating Arab leaders, we would’ve seen it long time ago . Putting out a fabricated sex tape to trash Abdul Razak Tlass is a sign of bankruptcy and desperation, as even it was authentic, it does not make him any less hero. Heroes are not judged by their sex life. They are judged by their bravery and self sacrifice .

August 18th, 2012, 3:30 pm


AIG said:


Glad to know that you are not against regime change by foreign intervention as you support the Iranians changing the regime in Israel. Why are you complaining then about “foreign” intervention to change the regime in Syria?

I am also glad to know that you are for foreign intervention to decide the borders of countries as you support uniting Israel and Palestine and perhaps Jordan also. I am sure you will not complain if this is applied to Syria.

Also, since a vast majority of Israelis support the Israeli government and are willing to defend their state, can you please explain how you are going to change the regime in Israel without harming and killing many Israelis? I mean, you would think that after seeing the huge price all Syrians are paying for regime change and the number of Syrians killed, you would not make the stupid distinction between changing the regime and harming Israelis.

Just when I think your hypocrisy cannot go higher, you always surprise me. Well done. But then again, I always have to remind myself that you are for a secular regime in Syria and a theocracy in Iran. Your potential for hypocrisy is indeed unlimited.

August 18th, 2012, 3:34 pm


Ghufran said:

Sunnis and Shia will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on the same day, tomorrow.
This is a sign that judgement day is near.

August 18th, 2012, 3:49 pm


Ghiufran said:

قال الدبلوماسي الجزائري الذي سيصبح الوسيط الدولي الجديد بشأن سوريا، أنه يحتاج على نحو عاجل إلى معرفة الدعم الذي يمكن أن تقدمه له الأمم المتحدة، ورأى أنه من السابق لأوانه قول إن كان الرئيس بشار الأسد يجب أن يتنحى.

August 18th, 2012, 4:35 pm



Lebanon President is showing some bones demanding that the Nazi thug occupying Damascus explain himself regarding Samaha explosives,

اكد رئيس الجمهورية العماد ميشال سليمان انه “لن يسمح بان تكون هناك ارتدادات للربيع العربي على الساحة اللبنانية”، وقال ان لبنان “ينعم بالديموقراطية وبحرية التعبير والممارسات السياسية منذ الاستقلال، وقد كرس ذلك اتفاق الطائف واكده اعلان بعبدا الاخير”.

واشار الى ان على الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد “الاتصال به لتوضيح ما تم توجيهه من تهم الى مسؤولين سوريين في قضية الوزير السابق ميشال سماحة لانه اتصل به عندما كان هناك اتهام سوري لشخصيات لبنانية في مسائل امنية تتعلق بسوريا”.

واكد سليمان أنه تلقى اتصالا من وزير خارجية فرنسا لوران فابيوس يطمئنه فيه ان المخطوفين اللبنانيين في اعزاز “هم بخير، وان الاتصالات مكثفة لانهاء هذه القضية قريبا”.


RE: al-Sharaa,

أعلن نائب وزير النفط السابق عبدو حسام الدين الذي أعلن انشقاقه عن النظام السوري في آذار الماضي أن نائب الرئيس السوري فاروق الشرع “في الإقامة الجبرية”.

حسام الدين، وفي حديث إلى قناة “العربية”، قال: “موقف الشرع معروف، منذ فترة يحاول الخروج من سوريا، وهناك ظروف تمنعه خاصة انه تحت الاقامة الجبرية منذ فترة”، موضحًا أن جميع المسؤولين في النظام يخضعون لرقابة مشددة من قبل الأجهزة الأمنية لمنعهم من الإنشقاق تحت ستار تأمين حمايتهم.

We know now why the Nazi thug occupying Damascus said today al-Sharaa never in his life thought of leaving Syria.

Of course he never did. How can he?

August 18th, 2012, 4:48 pm


Ales said:

“The Syrian regime should be smashed fast,” says FM of former colonial power.

Is he a FM or blog poster? Such language leaves a doubt about it, especially since situation in Syria likely won’t change for a long time.

Still, France is one of most ruthless countries in the world in diplomatic terms, thinking they have a mandate to take care of “their ex territories” in Algeria and other African countries and their middle east territories.
Yes, they coined “equality fraternity liberty” for their citizens, but kept on slave trading and colonizing policies, which they defended ruthlessly with armies (for example, Haity).

France’s government and Assad’s Syria were best friends in 2008 and 2009, exactly same as with Gaddafi’s Libya.
When you talk about France, you talk about adder.

August 18th, 2012, 5:13 pm


Citizen said:

Military intervention in Syria will lead to catastrophe – Lavrov
Military action in Syria will lead to catastrophe, Russia’s Foreign Minister has said. Russia opposes US demands for a no-fly zone over Syria, he said, adding that the solution to the ongoing conflict is the Geneva accord peace plan.
The international community reached an agreement in Geneva in June calling for a transitional government in Syria to bring an end to ongoing and bloody conflict in the country.
Different interpretations of the document began to emerge shortly after the accord was adopted, with Washington insisting that the document required that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power. Moscow contested this interpretation, saying the document made no such claim.
“Statements, saying the document [Geneva accord] is as good as dead imply that someone seeks a pretext for military intervention. This is worrying as it can only lead to catastrophe in the region,” Lavrov said in an interview with Sky News Arabic.
Any proposal that stipulates the disarmament of only one party in the conflict was “unrealistic,” he said, adding that “Such proposals are aimed at regime change and not at curtailing the conflict and saving Syrian lives.”
Russia does not support the Assad regime, but rather works in the interest of the Syrian people and regards ending the ongoing violence in the country as its priority, Lavrov said. Moscow also rejects the imposition of any no-fly zone over Syria as a violation of Syrian sovereignty, he said, referencing recent statements by Washington…………..

August 18th, 2012, 5:31 pm


Gihufran said:

أقدمت احدى المجموعات المسلحة التابعة لميليشيا “الجيش الحر” على ذبح “الشيخ جمعان الكشر الخفاجي” وابن أخيه “علي” وأحد مساعديه بعد ان هاجموا الديوان ببلدة “مسكنة” في محافظة الرقة، وتم نشر صور الضحايا والإدعاء بأنه “تمت محاكمتهم على يد اللجنة الشرعية لثوار الخفسة”، كما أقدمت ميليشيا “الجيش الحر” على تهجير أهالي البلدة ومطاردتهم واعتقال كل من يقع منهم في أيديهم، قبل الادعاء بأنه “جرى تحرير البلدة من الشبيحة الخفاجيين” وأفادت المعلومات بأن البلدة أصبحت شبه فارغة من أهلها.

August 18th, 2012, 5:42 pm


Humanist said:


You are wrong because you seem to think Ahmadinejad = Iran.
He isn’t even the real leader of Iran, just a puppet of the “religious” maffia led by Khameini and co.

And if you think ordinary Iranians are so worried about the “zionist entity” you are even more wrong.

Iranians in general put their nation or ethnic group, not religion or sect, first

I dont say it’s a good thing, but in fact there isn’t much solidarity for arabs (shia or sunni don’t matter), especially not among young and non-religious people.

Go see for yourself.

August 18th, 2012, 6:12 pm


Ghufran said:

أقدمت احدى المجموعات المسلحة التابعة لميليشيا “الجيش الحر” على ذبح “الشيخ جمعان الكشر الخفاجي” وابن أخيه “علي” وأحد مساعديه بعد ان هاجموا الديوان ببلدة “مسكنة” في محافظة الرقة، وتم نشر صور الضحايا والإدعاء بأنه “تمت محاكمتهم على يد اللجنة الشرعية لثوار الخفسة”، كما أقدمت ميليشيا “الجيش الحر” على تهجير أهالي البلدة ومطاردتهم واعتقال كل من يقع منهم في أيديهم، قبل الادعاء بأنه “جرى تحرير البلدة من الشبيحة الخفاجيين” وأفادت المعلومات بأن البلدة أصبحت شبه فارغة من أهلها.

August 18th, 2012, 6:21 pm


Ghufran said:

يتوجه الرئيس المصري محمد مرسي الى طهران في اخر اب الحالي للمشاركة في قمة عدم الانحياز وذلك في اول زيارة يقوم بها رئيس مصري الى ايران التي لا توجد بينها وبين القاهرة علاقات دبلوماسية منذ اكثر من 30 عاما، كما ذكرت السبت وكالة انباء الشرق الاوسط المصرية.
Morsi has a chance to bring Egypt back to where it belongs: a leader not a follower in the Arab and Muslim World, so far, he and his FM message on Syria has been careful and neutral.

August 18th, 2012, 6:28 pm


Tara said:

445 children were killed by the Syrian regime in Ramadan.

August 18th, 2012, 7:18 pm


Syrialover said:

# 174. Humanist

That’s right. And if Iran wasn’t run at gunpoint by know-nothing primitive idiots it could be a wealthy, advanced, respected and influential nation.

Which is surely what 99% of Iranians would want.

As you say, the Iranian people are uninterested in squandering funds on foreign mischief missions, being shunned and isolated from the world and getting entangled in a Middle East full of people they have no ethnic or religious affiliation with.

Yet Iranians are still forced to live with waste, stagnation, isolation and repression like the Syrians have under the 42 years of Assads.

So how can we expect their “leaders” to support a legitimate government in Syria?

That article linked by Ghufran in #166 is a sensible read, but the Iranian issue is glossed over.

August 18th, 2012, 7:28 pm


omen said:

isn’t this odd timing considering when the crisis cell group in damascus was taken out?

According to
the Washington Post, the CIA didn’t have a single agent in Syria by the end of July…”

August 18th, 2012, 7:36 pm


Ghufran said:

أعلنت “القيادة المشتركة للجيش السوري الحر” في الداخل في بيان  أنه “بناء على توارد معلومات حول انشقاق نائب الرئيس السوري فاروق وتوجهه إلى الأردن، ان العملية ربما باءت بالفشل”، حسب وصف البيان.
After knowing Iranians for decades,I have to agree with Humanist,Arabs as usual emerge as losers mostly because they are divided and place their loyalty in the wrong venues.

August 18th, 2012, 7:51 pm


Citizen said:

168. AIG said:
Also, since a vast majority of Israelis support the Israeli government and are willing to defend their state

you have in Israel 50 family owns about 85-90% of the Israeli economy! And the majority of the Israeli people, who say that they would defend israeli government is nothing more than the work force in the factories of that 50 rich families! Enough vain in minds!

August 18th, 2012, 8:10 pm


omen said:

166. GHUFRAN a good article written by two academians in the US

the u.s. has bent over backwards appeasing russian interests, it’s ridiculous. the article doesn’t even acknowledge that.

also, this claim: the rebels have only begun to achieve parity through indiscriminate armed attacks, often resulting in as many casualties among civilians as among the ostensible targets.

the article they point to as support doesn’t say this. it’s a mischaracterization.

August 18th, 2012, 8:15 pm


Citizen said:

لقد خرج الجني من الابريق ! و لا حدود سيتوقف عندها ! سيدخل دون جوازات سفر أو تصاريح دخول الى أي مكان يشاء حيث أنه مارد متمرد و لن يستمع حتى الى من أخرجه من جحره

August 18th, 2012, 8:17 pm


Citizen said:

Webster Tarpley- about Syria

August 18th, 2012, 8:30 pm


omen said:


The reason for these overtly anti-democratic and deeply anti-revolutionary measures is simple: The military fears for its lucrative control of the country’s economic structure (for example, control of American aid totaling almost 2 billion dollars per year).

did carter’s peace treaty wind up strengthening military dictatorship?

August 18th, 2012, 8:38 pm



Farooq al-Sharaa has been relieved of his duties and replaced by Muhammad al-Sha’ar.

August 18th, 2012, 9:10 pm


omen said:

Sunnis and Shia will celebrate Eid Al-Fitr on the same day, tomorrow.

something blended families can appreciate:

Just over the border, I meet Thaer Abboud, an opposition activist who fled to Turkey from Syria last year. Abboud is an Alawite from the Mediterranean coastal town of Latakia. Some observers have suggested that Latakia and its surrounding mountain villages could form an Alawite heartland, with the regime and army retreating from Damascus and setting up their own an impregnable mini-state there. Abboud, however, says that far from being a loyalist Alawite fiefdom Latakia is split. Some 50% of the town oppose Assad, including some Alawis, a number of whom have been persecuted: “It isn’t a matter of Alawis versus Sunnis. It’s a political thing. In Syria we don’t have separate communities. There are marriages, relationships between Sunnis and Alawis. We’ve lived together for 1,000 years. We’re not dependent on religion.”

August 18th, 2012, 9:22 pm


Tara said:


Where is Batta going to perform Eid prayer? In his kitchen? Would he mount enough courage to pray in public? Or is he going to pray in Qurdaha to allow for public appearance to save face? I doubt he feels safe anywhere..

August 18th, 2012, 9:24 pm



188 TARA,

He will ‘pray’ with al-Butti or Hassoun.

But I do not think he prays even if he shows in a mosque.

Actually, he, al-Butti and Hassoun are just jokers and they don’t even pray.

August 18th, 2012, 9:27 pm


Tara said:


Batta has not made any public appearance since Damascus explosion. Would he make his first appearance now?

August 18th, 2012, 9:31 pm


irritated said:

# 186. VISITOR said:

Farooq al-Sharaa has been relieved of his duties and replaced by Muhammad al-Sha’ar.

Is he is still in Damascus, or he is in “safe” country as you announced a few post ago?

August 18th, 2012, 9:34 pm


Ghufran said:

A very good article by Atwan at AlQuds Alarabi:
Qatar is not part of Morsi’s plan,he knows that the emirate has money but no political or military weight,he also realizes that adding Qatar to the plan will destroy it.

August 18th, 2012, 9:34 pm


Ghufran said:

Bashar according to few sources is not in Damascus,whether he came to Damascus once or twice is a matter for debate. Security chiefs firmly believe that those who killed Asef wanted to send Bashar a message,it is very unlikely that the armed rebels were behind Asef assassination, I also suspect that a warning was sent through diplomatic channels that attempts on Bashar’s life will only escalate regional tension and bring the conflict to a new level. I regret the fact that Bashar did not resign or get removed ,he is being seen now as symbol of brutality,incompetence and stubbornness, he is also a hurdle in the way of any political solution because of the level of bloodshed and the lives lost on his watch.
Having said all of that,I still think he will perform Eid prayers in a mosque not in Asma’s kitchen (Eid Mubarak,Tara).

August 18th, 2012, 9:50 pm


irritated said:

169. AIG

Thanks, that’s a nice compliment coming for an Israeli living on stolen land and who want to play the psychologist and teach morals.
I never condoned Ahmadinejad ideas I was just clarifying what he meant and how it was deformed by the media.
I do not condone any country whose system is based on religion such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

August 18th, 2012, 9:52 pm



190 TARA,

I think he is a coward and he may stay with Athma.

I also do not believe the bull that Ghufran is trying to pass around as some message has been sent warning against targeting Bashar. You see Ghufran always speaks from two sides of his mouth and I could go through his endless comments and establish the pattern. But I do not waste the time on such an exercise. What he means by his last comment is that his god-country Iran of the mullahs has sent the message. It is the same theme of agrandizing an impotent entity that wants to posture beyond its reach that he keeps vomiting. The Iranian regime is well known to suffer from داء الصلف٠

No one cares about your Iran and the empty threats it keeps mouthing. Every one knows these threats are hollow. And when push comes to shove the mullahs will be taught the lesson of their life time. If some people or country want to assassinate this idiot and have the means and the opportunity to do it, they will not hesitate or be thwarted by your Iranian message.

August 18th, 2012, 10:02 pm


Tara said:

Jeddo Ghufran,

Eid Moubarak to you too andانشالله بينعاد عليك بالصحة والسعادة.

Sorry for Jeddo, could not resist…

August 18th, 2012, 10:05 pm


Ghufran said:

Iran has a lot of problems but it also has a lot of oil and a formidable military force.
As many of you know,the vast majority of its population are Shia,the chance of seeing a regime in Tehran that is a puppet to the west is next to zero,but Iranians want a better government and most of them genuinely hate the Mullahs,it is not a secret that hostility and sanctions imposed by the west actually helped the regime,the level of political ignorance shown by western regimes is astounding.
Another point is that Iranians unlike most Arabs have a real sense of national pride and are supportive of each other especially when they live abroad,compare that to how Arabs from the same country treat each others.
Iran is a regional power which got stronger after the invasion of Iraq and the messy western approach to Afghanistan, however,I think the best way to counter Iran’s ambition is to support Egypt and reduce the animosity between competing Arab regimes,the second part is a hard task when you look at the block called the GCC.

August 18th, 2012, 10:10 pm


Ghufran said:

I see that you took advantage of the absence of a moderator ,I will ask Joshua to add Jeddo to the list of taboo words.
On the issue of “my god Iran” , I will repeat my belief that Arabs first and foremost enemy is Israel, that enemy can not be challenged until Arab governments become less corrupt and less oppressive and until militant islamism is reduced to its real size,a wart on our skin.
Iran is a foreign country with regional ambitions,those ambitions require a smart approach I detailed,from a personal perspective, in a previous post, that is my story and Iam sticking to it. Happy Eid to all including those with a foul mouth.

August 18th, 2012, 10:25 pm


Tara said:

The Syrian Christian patriarchs can take many lessons from the Druze leaders.  
Following the brawl, Druse leaders threatened to banish anyone showing public support for either side, fearing more serious violence, said Majdal Shams Mayor Dolan Abu Saleh. Religious authorities wouldn’t comment. The mayor said two people were briefly expelled.

Syria fighting shatters unity of Druse in Golan
By By DIAA HADID | Associated Press –

MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights (AP) — Civil war in neighboring Syria is tearing apart the once tight-knit Druse community on the Golan Heights. Angry arguments between supporters and foes of Syrian President Bashar Assad have pitted husbands against wives, driven a wedge between neighbors and even threated to ruin an upcoming wedding.
It’s not clear how many residents now support the rebels, but backing for Assad has clearly eroded. Even some of the most fervent regime supporters are critical of Assad’s rule.

Still, there’s a somber mood in Majdal Shams.
Both sides say they feel relations are irreparably broken. Regime supporter Kahlouni said it was best to remain quiet.
“We aren’t even the size of a neighborhood in Damascus,” he said, referring to the Golan’s Arab residents. “Let the days judge who is right.”

August 18th, 2012, 10:32 pm


jna said:

179. omen said:
isn’t this odd timing considering when the crisis cell group in damascus was taken out? “According to the Washington Post, the CIA didn’t have a single agent in Syria by the end of July…””

Very odd, considering the CIA has operatives everywhere in the world and everybody and their mothers, including FSA, Al Quaeda, defectors, smugglers, foreign journalists, wannabes, etc., has easily been able to slip in and out of Syria with extended stays.

I’d say that either the U.S. government is lying or they don’t want U.S. agents in Syria for some reason. The former more likely.

“Interviews with U.S. and foreign intelligence officials revealed that the CIA has been unable to establish a presence in Syria, in contrast with the agency’s prominent role gathering intelligence from inside Egypt and Libya during revolts in those countries.
With no CIA operatives on the ground in Syria and only a handful stationed at key border posts, the agency has been heavily dependent on its counterparts in Jordan and Turkey and on other regional allies.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/in-syria-conflict-us-struggles-to-fill-intelligence-gaps/2012/07/23/gJQAW8DG5W_story.html

August 18th, 2012, 10:47 pm


Ghufran said:

مع احتادم المواجهات العسكرية الشرسة في اكثر من منطقة من البلاد، كشفت مصادر في “الجيش السوري الحر” لـ “عكاظ” السعودية أن “الجيش السوري يستعد للاستنفار القتالي رقم صفر وكذلك الاستنفار الشامل لكل الكتائب الصاروخية خصوصا ما يعرف بـ “فرقة 24 + 26″، بالإضافة لمقري العمليات بالاعتماد على الفرقة 20 قوى جوية لاستخدام الميغ 23 + 25 والسوخوي لأول مرة للقصف بالقذائف الثقيلة وتحديدا ريف دمشق وحمص والرستن وتلبيسة والقصير وتلكلخ والحولة وجوسية وبساتين القصير ولنيزارية والبويضة والغنطو والتركيز في حلب على الحسم بكل قوى السلاح الثابت.
وأكدت المصادر نقلا عن ما سمتها جهات متعاونة مع “الجيش الحر” أن “هذه العمليات الجوية تجري بإشراف خبراء من موسكو وسلاح الجو الكوري الشمالي العاملين في الدفاع الجوي والقوى الجوية في دمشق وجرى وضع الخطط لذلك”،
وأوضحت مصادر “الجيش الحر” أن “العمليات سوف تستمر من اليوم السبت وحتى 23 الشهر الجاري مع إمكانية تمديد الضربة الجوية المركزة حتى بداية الشهر المقبل وإبقاء استنفار رادارات الأبرونا والبي 12 والبي 18 وكافة عمال التنقيط والملاحقة طوال التاريخ المذكور”.
كما تفيد المعلومات عن “أوامر بتحريك الفوج 14 واللواء 81 و65 و21 من الفرقة الثالثة في القطيفة دبابات ت72 وعربات “ب ت ر” وسيارات غاز 66 محملة بمدفعية 23 باتجاه الشمال ورنكوس ودوما والضمير وحرستا وعربين وزملكا وحوش عرب ويبرود والنبك والقسطل”.

August 18th, 2012, 10:48 pm



I wish Eid Mubarak only to those who wholeheartedly support the Syrian revolution.

I am sure supporters or defenders of criminal thugs such as those occupying Damascus do not deserve to be included.

August 18th, 2012, 11:01 pm


Ghufran said:

يروى أن قيصر ملك الرّوم أرسل إلى الخليفة عمر رسولا لينظر في أحواله وأحوال
رعيّته ولمّا وصل رسول القيصر إلي المدينة المنوّرة، سأل أهلها أين ملككم؟ فقالوا ليس لنا ملك بل أمير وقد خرج إلى ظهر المدينة. فخرج الرّسول في طلب الأمير فرآه نائما على
الأرض دون حراسة فتعجب من أمرعمر وقال:” رجل لا يقر للملوك قرار من هيبته يكون هذا حاله، ولكنك ياعمر عدلت فأمنت فنمت. و ملكنا يجور فلا عجب إذا سهر خائفا”

August 18th, 2012, 11:17 pm


Ghufran said:

” وعباد الرحمن الذين يمشون على الأرض هونا وإذا خاطبهم الجاهلون قالوا سلاما “

August 18th, 2012, 11:23 pm



Athad Thugs bombard the villa owned by Farooq al-Sharaa in رنكوس in Damascus countryside.

August 18th, 2012, 11:55 pm


Ghufran said:

حكمت فعدلت فأمنت فنمت يا عمر
A remarkable musalsal about Omar (رضي الله عنه) just ended.
Omar was the first Muslim ruler to be assassinated (by abu louluah from Fares), after that,assassinating head of states became a tradition in Muslim countries, I do not know of any nation or a group of nations that kill its leaders more than Muslims.

August 19th, 2012, 12:44 am




Some people may need a reminder about who killed Omar,

The killer, ابو اللؤلؤة or ابو شجاع as they refer to him in the god-country is accorded a shrine in that god-country of the supporters of thugs. The killer is esteemed as the hero who took revenge for the lost glories of the fallen Persian empire at the hands of Omar, your Just ruler ya فطن.

But let’s go back further in time.

The first empire to use assassination as a political weapon was the Persian. And the first incident of such use of this cowardly act was the assassination of King Philip of Macedonia. The result, as we all know, was the Macedonian conquest of the East at the hand of Philip’s son, Alexander, which ended in the total destruction of the Persian Empire and an ignominious death of Darius as a payback for the futile use of the weapon of guile. Thanks Alexander for saving the world from the empire of Slavery and for allowing freedom to be victorious over bondage.

And also, thanks to Omar who once again achieved the same feat as Alexander and saved the world again from slavery.

But ever since they never stopped using their weapon of choice and they continued to do so throughout the ages up until our present day. And when not engaged in guile, they simply issue hollow threats and postures.

August 19th, 2012, 12:58 am


JPL said:

The Shabiha were suppressed in the 1990’s by Hafez Assad, and disbanded by 2000. Their “ghosts” were resurrected by “activists” (trained by US State Dept.) and mainstream media in 2011, in order to falsely blame killings of civilians by FSA mercenaries and NATO death-squads on the Syrian state.

August 19th, 2012, 12:59 am


Ghufran said:

Bashar attended Eid prayers this morning,alsharaa was not there.

August 19th, 2012, 1:06 am


Juergen said:

Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate it, Kullu ^am wa antum bikhayr

About the Air France flight which was rerouted to Damascus


August 19th, 2012, 1:22 am


Juergen said:

Bild am Sonntag has published this story this morning:

Germany plays in the Syrian conflict a much larger role than previously known. A spy ship of the German navy crosses in front of the Syrian coast. This fleet has the most modern spy technology of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) on board. This allows to observe movement of troops up to 600 kilometers deep in Syria .
The findings, as about the Assad army military operations are passed to U.S. and British intelligence agencies. From there, the information is transferred to the Syrian Liberation Army.
BND agents are also stationed in Turkey’s NATO base in Adana. From there, they listen to telephone calls and radio traffic from Syria. In addition, the informal contact with sources in the immediate vicinity of the Assad regime is maintained. “No Western intelligence has such good sources in Syria as the BND,” said a U.S. intelligence official.
Within the BND and the federal government’s role in the service of international cooperation is perceived as a great privilege. “We can be proud of the important contributions we make to the overthrow of the Assad regime,” affirms a BND agent.

( Its noteworthy that this newspaper is the biggest tabloid in the country, nonevertheless they have usually good contacts to security and government agencies.)

August 19th, 2012, 1:41 am


Aldendeshe said:

Merry Christmas everyone, I thought Syrians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, behold they do in August as well. Soon those 3600 Emirs ruling Arabia will be celebrating Christmas as well.

August 19th, 2012, 3:18 am


Aldendeshe said:

No one care about a Baathist servant (khaddam) like Al Sharaa, neither the regime, he just knows too many State Secrets. He should accept that kind outcome when he joined the mafia.

August 19th, 2012, 3:22 am



211. Juergen

Interesting news.

Someone inside Syria related to the rebels confirmed to me exactly the same kind of technology help was being received by the rebels during last 2 months.

Also explained to me how long range missiles are being transfered to Bekaa Hezballah Training Camps, some are afraid these are the famous chemical missiles.

August 19th, 2012, 3:57 am



“Merry Christmas everyone, I thought Syrians celebrate Christmas on January 7th, behold they do in August as well. Soon those 3600 Emirs ruling Arabia will be celebrating Christmas as well.”

Pathetic idiocy characteristic of acute senility syndrome in full display at SC.

August 19th, 2012, 5:19 am



Thug Athad is a coward living in fear,


See embedded video.

August 19th, 2012, 5:24 am


Stick to the Truth said:

#211 jürgen

Germans are very well known for ” den Schwanz ein zu ziehen”. when it gets hot.

So I guess, Merkel and Westerwelle will also turn their tails on as soon as the first german soldier is killed.

August 19th, 2012, 6:10 am


Stick to the Truth said:

#211 Jürgen

it must be a joke, the German agencies were not able to detect the group behind the killing of forgneirs  for years, three of the managers had to resign.

Now they are trying to polish their reputation in Syria?

Believe me, the german agencies are a disatrous failure.

Germany  playes in international politics only a rolle of a marionette of USA.


August 19th, 2012, 6:36 am


Hassan said:

Brave Syrian soldiers preparing to crush FSA terrorists, these guys will drink blood for Bashar and purify Syria, this is what FSA is up against –

القوات الخاصة تستعد للقضاء على الارهاب في سورية


Should I remind you that the average Syrian Special Forces soldier is much superior to a US Marine, in that he is qualified and trained to be a paratrooper, a mortarman, a sniper, a Tank driver/gunner , and an Artillery crew, all at the same time.

August 19th, 2012, 6:50 am


Citizen said:

Jürgen Elsässer

August 19th, 2012, 7:05 am


Syrialover said:

HASSAN #219 said: “Should I remind you that the average Syrian Special Forces soldier is much superior to a US Marine, in that he is qualified and trained to be a paratrooper, a mortarman, a sniper, a Tank driver/gunner, and an Artillery crew, all at the same time”

Sorry, that’s worrying news for the poor Syrians trapped in the army. It dilutes their training and stops them being competent in anything.

Plus the fact the idiots leading them all got their jobs from family and friends.

And the training and equipment is vintage USSR 1970s military.

My sincere prayers are for liberation of the army from Assad so those Syrians too are freed from this nightmare and can restart their lives.

August 19th, 2012, 7:15 am


Visitor said:

219 Hassan,

Your retarded idiot Assad and his thugs will be trampled upon by the People of Syria and the victorious Free Army of The Revolution.

They will end up crushed under our feet.

August 19th, 2012, 7:16 am


Citizen said:


US Army grants $3 million for anti-suicide nasal spray research
For those feeling down in the dumps, the US military now has a solution: an anti-suicidal nasal spray that delivers antidepressant chemicals to the brain.
The US Army has awarded a scientist at the Indiana University School of Medicine $3 million to develop a nasal spray that eclipses suicidal thoughts. Dr. Michael Kubek and his research team will have three years to ascertain whether the nasal spray is a safe and effective method of preventing suicides.
The research grant comes after the Army lost 38 of its soldiers to suspected suicide in July, setting a record high. So far in 2012, the Army has confirmed 66 active duty suicides and is investigating 50 more, making a total of 116 cases.
The Army’s suicide rate is at the highest level in history, with more American soldiers taking their own lives than being killed by the Taliban. The Pentagon reported in June that suicides among soldiers averaged one per day this year, surpassing the rate of combat fatalities.
But the naturally occurring neurochemical thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) could slow the rising suicide rate. The chemical has a euphoric, calming, antidepressant effect. TRH has been shown to decrease suicidal ideas, depression and bipolar disorders.
“We’ve known since the 1970s that TRH has antidepressant effects, and it works quite rapidly,” Kubek told The Daily. “The bottom-line problem has been figuring out how to get it into the brain.”
Until now, doctors have only been able to transmit TRH through injections into the spinal cord. Pills and blood injections do not allow TRH to enter the brain.

August 19th, 2012, 7:44 am


Observer said:

Now do not dismiss this out of hand because it comes from Haaretz.

Very interesting reading today


August 19th, 2012, 7:55 am


Tara said:

Asma’s kitchen may have been a PR disaster for Batta.   A small unheard of mosque will do…under tight security measure.  Poor Assad children, they will have to be home schooled this year.  Asma must not forget a home-schooled art class.  It is very important.  She can’t skip on children education.

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 19 August 2012 07.26 EDT

Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, attended Eid prayers in a mosque in Damascus on Sunday, his first appearance in public after a bombing …

Amateur video posted by activists on the internet showed a large group of worshippers in a mosque at al-Zahera district in Damascus shouting: “There is no God but Allah and Assad is the enemy of God,” while clapping their hands over their heads.

“May God protect the Free Syrian Army!” they also cried, referring to the main rebel group fighting to topple Assad.

Syrians also protested in many other parts of the country, demanding freedom and calling for Assad to go.

Opposition groups reported fierce artillery shelling that targeted a main cemetery in the rebel-held town of Rastan, north of the central city of Homs, as people visited the graves of dead relatives, but the reports could not be independently confirmed.

Meanwhile, Syrian state TV broadcast footage showing Assad praying at the city’s Rihab al-Hamad mosque, a relatively small mosque in al-Muhajireen district only few hundred metres from the presidential palace, to mark the start of Eid.

Residents of Damascus said security forces blocked streets and encircled several central mosques in the capital on Saturday evening, possibly to confuse people about where Assad would attend the traditional holiday prayers.

Unlike previous years, Assad was not shown arriving or leaving in his convoy – only seated on the mosque floor, wearing a suit and tie, and later, standing and briefly shaking hands with officials before leaving..

Al-Sharaa did not appear in the footage at the mosque with Assad, but observers note the two rarely attend the same functions for security reasons.

August 19th, 2012, 7:58 am


Syrialover said:

# 223. Citizen

Promising news about a new style antidepressant. Let’s hope it can be made available to those Syrians who will need it help recover from the devastating traumas inflicted by Assad.

August 19th, 2012, 8:07 am


bronco said:

Eid Mobarak to all the Moslems on this blog. I hope they’ll finally be able put their internal acrimonies and historical accusations aside and look at the possibilities and future of 23 billions Moslems worldwide (23% of the world population) who have so much in common.

August 19th, 2012, 8:19 am


irritated said:

Sorry Tara for the disappointment and the failure of your predictions: The kitchen is all yours.

President Bashar al-Assad performed eid al-fitr prayer at al-Hamad mosque
August 19, 2012 10:50 AM

President Bashar al-Assad performed Eid al-Fitr Prayers at Al-Hamad Mosque in Mohajirin area of Damascus. Top party and State officials, a number of MP’s, the Mufti, and a number of Islamic Religion Scholars and citizens performed the Prayers along with Mr. President. President al-Assad was received upon his arrival to the Mosque by Minister of Endowment, the Mufti, Assistant Regional Secretary of the Ba’ath Arab Socialist Party, Chairman of the Parliament, and by the prime Minister.

Al-Sharaa was not shown in the footage at the mosque with Assad, but observers said the two rarely attend the same functions for security reasons.

August 19th, 2012, 8:24 am


Uzair8 said:


Eid Mubarak to all muslim brothers and sisters on SC.

I pray Allah Subhanahu WaTa Ala replaces the tears, pain and suffering of the Syrian people, and every muslim, into joy happiness and peace.


August 19th, 2012, 8:24 am


Antoine said:

“And the training and equipment is vintage USSR 1970s military.”


But they are effective killing machines.

This will give you an idea about the kind of training, equipment and doctrines that Assadist Forces have : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Companies_(Syria)

This is a regime whose doctrine is set by how much people they can kill. It is totally based on killing the maximum people. Just look at the weapons the Saraya al-Difaa used, not one gives any strategic depth but all of them can kill a lot of people and destroy lots of houses.

Primitive really, no wonder Noureddin Atassi claimed Syria won in 1967 because Israel failed to topple the Baath.

August 19th, 2012, 8:27 am


Stick to the truth said:

#227 SL

they are urgently needed here


August 19th, 2012, 8:30 am


zoo said:

No wonder Bashar al Assad makes ‘rare’ appearances.

Egyptian cleric issues death fatwa against Al Assad


Egypt’s prominent Muslim cleric Safwat Hejazi said the killing of Al Assad is a duty for every Muslim
By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent
Published: 14:31 March 16, 2012

Cairo: Egypt’s prominent Muslim cleric Safwat Hejazi has said that the killing of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad is a duty for every Muslim.

“He who has the chance to kill Al Assad and does not do this is a sinner,” Hejazi told a rally held in Cairo in support of a popular revolt against Al Assad’s rule.

“Hadn’t I been a known face, I would have gone myself and killed him,” added Hejazi, who had a high profile during an uprising that forced long-serving Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down last year.

Hejazi added that his anti-Al-Assad fatwa (a religious edict) has been echoed by many Muslim clerics.

August 19th, 2012, 8:36 am


Antoine said:


Did you join him ?

So how is the operation in Aleppo going ?

August 19th, 2012, 8:36 am


zoo said:

When were political reforms in the Arab League agenda?
Al Arabi coming out from his coma with the same Qatari inspired mantra.

Al Assad days numbered, League chief says

Al Arabi: There is now no talk about political reform, but a transfer of power

Published: 14:03 July 24, 2012
Gulf News

Cairo: The head of the Arab League has said the Syrian government of President Bashar Al Assad cannot last for long, saying its days were numbered in an interview published in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat on Tuesday.

Speaking after an Arab League meeting which called on Al Assad to step down, Secretary General Nabeel Al Arabi also said the time for talking about political reform was over. “There is now no talk about political reform, but a transfer of power,” he said.

August 19th, 2012, 8:41 am


Tara said:


Was not a prediction. Was a mockery. From seeing the “love birds” eating out, walking freely, holding hands in the streets of old Damascus and Paris, to their current pathetic state of fear, one can’t not take a notice.

All night last night, while dreaming about a cup of coffee the following morning, a phrase kept knocking its way in my brain, “the valley of tears”, I wonder what is it about? Are Assad shabeehas going to perform a magnificent massacre in or around Hama or Homs this very first day of Eid?

August 19th, 2012, 8:43 am


Antoine said:

Bashar should really worry if SAFWAT HEGAZY really said that. Safwat Hegazy (Hejazi) is at this moment the most influential cleric in Egypt and he is basically the MB’s official cleric. He was the man who launched Morsi’s election campaign.

Lets not forget also that PM Hisham Kandil as well as the new SCAF General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi were also recommended for their posts by Safwat Hejazy.

And nobody can accuse Hejazy of being anti-Iran or pro-Zionist, since in 2006 this same man gave the fatwa to kill IDF Reservists, as well as recently in 2012 Presidential election campaign he declared that Jerusalem will be the capital of Egypt under President Morsi.

August 19th, 2012, 8:46 am


Syrialover said:


That article does have some comments worth noting, I agree, regardless of it being Haaretz. The link seemed to require sign-up, but I managed to get the text, and here are some excerpts.

The Assad family against everyone else

“The defections by high ranking officials hold a significant moral importance since they make Bashar Assad look like a leader who no longer represents the Syrian “people” and the state. His war is no longer even that of Alawites against Sunnis, but of the Assad family against everyone else. Still, it is doubtful that a lack of legitimacy is something that troubles Assad, the leader of an illegitimate minority regime.”

Also some comments on Syria’s sinking financial situation:

“However, waging a war for 18 months exacts a heavy economic burden, one which Assad cannot bear without massive external Iranian, and primarily Russian, financial support.

“Syria’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped to $8 billion compared to $17 billion a year ago, and according to the Institute of International Finance the reserves are expected to plunge to a little over $1 billion by the end of 2012, a sum only sufficient for about two weeks of imports.”

And the chances for success by the the Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN envoy to replace Annan:

“The 78-year-old Brahimi has performed diplomatic “miracles” in the past. He skillfully conducted the negotiations between rival factions in Lebanon in 1989, and succeeded – along with Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Algeria – in ending the 15-year civil war with the historic Taif Accord, which formed a new balance of power in the country.

“During the negotiations in Lebanon, Brahimi spent many hours with Assad and the Syrian regime and he is familiar with their methods and thinking. Twelve years later, Brahimi was successful in formulating an agreement between rival factions in Afghanistan and establishing a temporary government, headed by President Hamid Karzai.

“Past events cannot be seen as a guarantee of success in the Syrian crisis, a fact which Brahimi is surely aware of following his bitter experience in Iraq. However, it is estimated that Brahimi only accepted the role after talking with Assad, as well as the Russian, Saudi, and Iranian leaderships, and received a promise that they would support his efforts.

“The appointment of a new mediator could be used by Russia to advance a new strategy in solving the crisis and to restore the prestige it lost, especially among the Arab states, and to portray itself as the rescuer of a self-destructive Syria and of the powerless international community.

“At the moment, the Syrian opposition has no choice but to accept the new initiative, even if it doubts that Brahimi will be able to remove Assad from power, since despite its achievements, it has been unable to win the war. The opposition’s leadership cannot risk losing international support and thwart Brahimi’s mission after the Syrian government was seen as responsible for Annan’s failure.”


August 19th, 2012, 8:47 am


zoo said:

Is Morsi strong enough to extirpate Egypt for the negative influence of its traditional “benefactors” who have reduced the country to a puppet, encouraged corruption and brought the poor Egyptian to despair?
If he does so, he may risk his position.


It’s too early to assess the implications of the visit or to what extent the Arab world’s most populous country may normalize relations with Tehran, but analysts believe it will bring Egypt back to the regional political stage. The visit is in line with popular sentiment since Mubarak’s ouster in an uprising last year for Cairo to craft a foreign policy independent of Western or oil Gulf countries’ agendas.

“This really signals the first response to a popular demand and a way to increase the margin of maneuver for Egyptian foreign policy in the region,” said political scientist Mustafa Kamel el-Sayyed. “Morsi’s visits … show that Egypt’s foreign policy is active again in the region.”

“This is a way also to tell Gulf countries that Egypt is not going to simply abide by their wishes and accept an inferior position,” he added.

August 19th, 2012, 8:48 am


Syrialover said:

COMMENT: Every little bit helps. And heck, who knows, this might do the trick.

ZOO #233 said:

Egyptian cleric issues death fatwa against Al Assad

“..He who has the chance to kill Al Assad and does not do this is a sinner,” Hejazi told a rally held in Cairo in support of a popular revolt against Al Assad’s rule.

“Hadn’t I been a known face, I would have gone myself and killed him,” added Hejazi, who had a high profile during an uprising that forced long-serving Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down last year.

“Hejazi added that his anti-Al-Assad fatwa (a religious edict) has been echoed by many Muslim clerics.”

August 19th, 2012, 8:55 am


Tara said:

Meanwhile, press reports said British and German spies were involved in covert operations to help Syrian rebels in their increasingly bloody fight to topple Assad’s embattled regime.

“We can be proud of the significant contribution we are making to the fall of the Assad regime,” an official from Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service told Bild am Sonntag.

The paper said German spies were stationed off the Syrian coast and also active at a Nato base in Turkey, whose government is staunchly opposed to the Assad regime and is sheltering Free Syrian Army rebels.

Britain’s Sunday Times said British intelligence was helping rebels launch successful attacks on government forces with information gathered from their listening posts in nearby Cyprus.

It said the most valuable intelligence has been about the movements of troops towards the flashpoint commercial hub of Aleppo, which is now partly controlled by rebels and is the scene of some of the fiercest fighting.

The regime’s far superior military might has failed to suppress the poorly armed rebels, whose determination to bring Assad down has only grown with the passing of time.

August 19th, 2012, 8:57 am


zoo said:

The FSA is using kidnapped Iranians as a “lesson” to Iran

Syrian Rebels State Terms for Freeing Iranians
By Pamela Dockins, Ali Javanmardi, VOA


The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) has laid out conditions for releasing 48 Iranians who were kidnapped in Damascus this month.

In an interview with VOA’s Persian News Network, Deputy FSA Commander Colonel Malik al-Kurdi said the hostages would be freed if the Iranian government respected the human rights of “its own people” and tried to help end the bloodshed in Syria.

“This is a simple demand which comes from the Syrian people who are suppressed and are being martyred every week,” said al-Kurdi.

August 19th, 2012, 9:23 am


Ghufran said:

المجلس الوطني السوري
(in a response to librahimi’s statement about Assad)
منح النظام ما يحتاجه من وقت لتدمير أسس الكيان السوري ، تصرف ضد الإنسانية وضد السلام
والأمن في سوريا وفي المنطقة ، نربأ بإبن الثورة الجزائرية العظيمة أن يساهم فيه بأي قدر كان .
وطالب المجلس “المبعوث الدولي ، الذي لم يستشر أي سوري لا في أمر تعيينه ولا في طبيعة مهمته، بأن يعتذر لشعبنا عن هذا الموقف المرفوض، ونؤكد أن الشعب السوري هو المخول الوحيد بتحديد من يحكمه وطريقه هذا الحكم، وقد أعلنها صريحة لا لبس فيها :على الأسد ونظامه أن يرحل حالاً ويترك مكانه لنظام ديمقراطي حر ومدني”، .

August 19th, 2012, 9:31 am



Many thanks and sincere appreciations to Sheikh Safwat Hejazi from all Syrians for his important fatwa.

Our Egyptian brothers are never afraid of siding with the Truth.

Sheikh Hejazi, unlike al-Buti and Hassoun, is an exemplary, honest and knowledgeable scholar and his fatwa must be carried out by any capable Muslim.

August 19th, 2012, 9:33 am


zoo said:

Ex-salafi repented Iraqi Sunni leader wounded at start of Eid
AFP – 22 mins ago

A Sunni religious leader who called on Iraqis to fight US troops but has more recently advocated national reconciliation was wounded by a car bomb as the Eid al-Fitr festival began in Baghdad on Sunday.

Sumaidaie was formerly the head of a Salafist group that called for attacks against US troops, before their departure from Iraq at the end of last year, but he later fled to Syria.
He returned to Iraq last year, and has since called for national reconciliation.

August 19th, 2012, 9:36 am


irritated said:

244. VISITOR said:

his fatwa must be carried out by any capable Muslim.

Are you ‘capable’? Are you crossing to Syria as you promised when you announced the fall of Damascus? You have a better reason now.

Come on be a good moslem and not a ‘half-man’.
If you die, you’ll be a proud martyr.
I think I’ll even miss you.

August 19th, 2012, 9:40 am


Tara said:

Growing violence could leave Syria ungovernable

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 12:58 GMT
Source: Reuters // Reuters


“My message to the international community is that the longer you ignore us the faster you are creating extremists in Syria,” said Sheikh Tawfiq, commander of the Nuraldin Zinky brigade from Qobtan al-Jebel near Aleppo.

“The violence and oppression we are witnessing because of this war is making young Syrians angry and depressed, and is pushing them to extremism even terrorism. The world needs to come to our aid now before it is totally too late,” he said.

August 19th, 2012, 9:45 am


irritated said:

244. Ghufran

While the Syrian government has welcomed Ibrahimi, I have not seen any reaction from the opposition.
Who is expecting one anyway from the tower of Babel?

August 19th, 2012, 9:48 am


irritated said:


The world needs to come to our aid now before it is totally too late,” he said.

If only they stop begging.. where is the dignity and ‘karama’ gone?

The solution is easy, accept the UN Annan recommended dialog.
It is less humiliating that being constantly rebuffed by the supposed “friends”.

August 19th, 2012, 9:51 am


Syrialover said:

Threats by Lebanese clan puts ShelterBox Response to Syrian refugee crisis on hold

ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster.

It provides ShelterBoxes to families, which typically contain a tent, blankets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, basic tool kit and other vital items.

The organization, which works through NGOs and relief agencies such as the Red Cross, had been working with ministers in the Lebanese government to facilitate the importation of ShelterBoxes.

The charity stated:

‘Members of the Muqdad clan wearing balaclavas and holding automatic weapons were interviewed on live television, saying they were targeting citizens of countries and even local individuals who they deemed supportive of Syria’s insurgency,’ said [Shelterbox team member] Phil. ‘Their list included the very contact we had just been meeting with, who was due to pass our aid request to the Lebanese government.”


An insight into the Mokdad clan and their position in Lebanon:


August 19th, 2012, 9:57 am


Syrialover said:

Oh dear, it’s looking like Brahimi might be one 78-year old who has lost some of his essential brain functions:


The opposition Syrian National Council described as “unacceptable” on Sunday comments by new UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi that it was too soon for him to call for President Bashar al-Assad to step down.

“The revolutionary Syrian people were shocked and dismayed by Mr Lakhdar Brahimi’s statements,” the exiled opposition group.

“We call on the international envoy who has not yet consulted with any Syrians on his appointment or his mission to apologise to our people for taking this unacceptable position,” it added.

Brahimi’s comments only served to give Assad’s government a “licence to kill tens of thousands more Syrians,” the SNC said.

In an interview with the Reuters news agency, the veteran Algerian diplomat, named on Friday to replace former UN chief Kofi Annan, said it was too soon for him to follow his predecessor in saying that Assad must leave office.

August 19th, 2012, 10:31 am


Syrialover said:

What gets me about these elderly “statesmen” like Brahimi is whether their advisers are donkeys or are they just a donkey who brays out silly things from nowhere.

There should be some kind of Alzheimers dementia clearance for them before being appointed. I think there would be if they were in the west.

August 19th, 2012, 10:39 am


Syrialover said:

Putin realizes Pussy Riot has hijacked his presidency


What Tara would call a half-man, getting out of his depth.

What was that Pussy Riot song – Putin Wet His Pants?

August 19th, 2012, 10:53 am


Citizen said:

Propaganda and the World War
Kevin Field – August 18, 2012
Since posting some true facts about Hitler from the files of British intelligence last week I have been inundated with requests for more and many questions, so let me give a few small pointers for the record and say that I have no axe to grind, just the desire before I pass on to give some truth in an area ridden with deep and dark lies.
So herewith a few brief pointers:
1. Believe nothing you read in the press; newspapers and the media in general are a tool to promote hatred and war, both world wars and the coming one would not have happened without a controlled press. Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch etc are both instruments of darkness that want to destroy you and plunder your country. Moreover, the BBC has long been used for the dissemination of lies, do not watch the TV news.
2. British intelligence covers a wide field from left-wingers to right-wingers and every shade in between, but its policies are controlled and run by Israel, as is France Germany and the USA. The wars your country fights are not for you, nor to rid the world of Weapons of Mass Destruction or for democracy or because Napoleon, Saddham Hussein, Gaddafi, Oama bin Laden or Hitler was out to get you but to sell weapons to both sides and so weaken both through war.
3. I spent some time reading the old 6 x 4 intelligence index record cards, before they were weeded and destroyed under orders from Lord Rothschild. A colleague and I kept back many of these and the truth of the so called Holocaust is contained in a bulging briefcase to be released after our death, some of this is known already, courtesy David Irving, Ernst Zundel and others.
Bishop Williamson, had access to the closed Vatican library and read through statements of Catholic priests in the camps and visiting priests, along with actual letters from the period and he knows the whole holocaust story is a web of twisted lies.
4. Why would governments go to the trouble to invent a Holocaust story? The British government was terrified that its targeting of civilians and other war crimes would be exposed and so wanted to put the burden of guilt on the German people. Many of the files I have seen reveal that the Western allies were behind a great many war crimes but that other nations, particularly Germany have been financially milked for those crimes.
Incidentally Churchill had many top people murdered including: Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski, ex prime minister Neville Chamberlain and Vernon Kell the intelligence chief, the index files I have seen named a great many others who have been ‘silenced’.
5. The bodies photographed in the pits at alleged concentration camps were in fact the corpses of those who died wretchedly starving in German ruins. Probably none were even Jewish.
The record index proves there were no gassings, there was no small factory making lampshades chair backs and wallets from human skin, there were no vats of human fat being taken to lubricate the Berlin buses and train systems. Moreover it is impossible that fountains of human blood rose from the ground around the camps, as there were no bodied buried there.
Helicopter flights with infra red cameras picked out just 2 bodies lying underground in the areas round the camps, these proved to be the camp commandants 2 pet dogs, no human remains were discovered.
The highly publicised photos of shrunken heads that were reportedly used by SS men as paperweights is complete rubbish, the heads were fake. Your government feeds you this filth along with BBC, the newspapers and Hollywood, so when they call for you to go fight Iran for Israel say no, go fight these wars yourself.
KJ Field ex archivist for Brit intell
My ex employers have said if I break the official secrets act again they will stop my pension. I am of an age where I honestly don’t care what they do. I will not be a party to crimes such as those listed above.

August 19th, 2012, 11:29 am


Tara said:


“Come on be a good moslem and not a ‘half-man’.”

There is no relationship between half-man status and religion or an ideology. What determine a “manhood ” is how one is conducting himself , not which God or ideology he worships. Worshiping a lover is ok but worshiping a dear leader is definitely a disqualifier.

August 19th, 2012, 11:36 am


Citizen said:

UK and German spies feed intelligence to Syrian rebels – reports
British and German spy intelligence on Syrian government troop movement has been shared with rebels to aid attacks on pro-Assad forces, UK and German newspapers revealed on Sunday.
An unnamed Syrian opposition official admitted that British intelligence is covertly aiding antigovernment forces in Syria, UK weekly newspaper the Sunday Times reported.
British authorities “know about and approve 100%” of intelligence from their Cyprus military bases being passed through Turkey to the troops of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), the official said.
The UK owns two military bases on the island of Cyprus, one at Dhekelia and another at Akrotiri. The bases monitor regional airwaves and report to the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), Britain’s national electronic surveillance center in Cheltenham, the report said.
“British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus. It’s very useful because they find out a great deal,” the official said. “The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks.”
According to the source, the most valuable intelligence has been about the movements of troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad towards the city of Aleppo, which has recently become the ground for fierce clashes between the government and the rebels.
“The British monitor communications about movements of the government army and we got information about reinforcements being on their way to Aleppo,” the official told the newspaper. “We hit at the government troops in Idlib and Saraqib [southwest of Aleppo], with success.”
The official claimed that early in August, FSA fighters were given advance warning of two large columns of government troops advancing on Aleppo. One was from Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, and the other from the capital Damascus.
“We ambushed troops and a column of more than 40 tanks in a valley near Saraqib,” the official said. “We cut them off and destroyed many of them with repeat attacks with rocket-propelled grenades.”
German newspaper Bild also revealed on Sunday that Germany is much more active in Syria than was previously believed. German spies, stationed on ships off the Syrian coast, are transmitting intelligence to the FSA to aid in their campaign against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Bild reported………..

August 19th, 2012, 11:38 am


Ghufran said:

Ibrahimi is retracting or denying a statement published on BBC about Assad

August 19th, 2012, 1:06 pm


Badr said:

If only they would listen!

My departing advice on how to save Syria

By Kofi Annan

August 19th, 2012, 1:23 pm



255 TARA,

Thanks for taking care of that tautology on my behalf.

I owe you one.

Promise to pay back in due time.


258 BADR

Kofi Anan was doomed to fail from the start. No need for him to be apologetic. He diverted from his mission and committed the sin of equating the oppressed with the oppressor. Good riddance.

It seems his successor will not fare any better either. Soon we’ll say good riddance for him as well. We might as well say good riddance to the UN as a whole. What has the UN done except giving the criminal thugs occupying Damascus more time to commit more crimes?

August 19th, 2012, 1:59 pm


ghufran said:

أكد قائد الجناح العسكري لقبائل سوريا خالد الخلف انشقاق نائب الرئيس السوري فاروق الشرع منذ نحو 7 ايام، مشيرا الى ان الشرع وصل قبل يومين الى مدينة الحراك في درعا وتم اخراجه الى جهة آمنة بعد ان حاصرت نحو مئة دبابة مدينة الحراك وقصفتها.

August 19th, 2012, 2:37 pm


ghufran said:

Violence by Jewish settlers has been cited for the first time in a US state department list of “terrorist incidents”, as Israeli political leaders condemned a string of recent attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
The inclusion of assaults on Palestinian targets in the annual report on terrorism reflects growing concern in Israel and internationally that violence by a minority of Jewish extremists could trigger a new cycle of conflict and further damage the prospects of a peace agreement between the two sides.
(next step,if the US DOS is serious about being fair is to list specifinc organizations and names in Israel as terrorists, boycott them,put them on a no fly list and arrest them if they enter the US,this move is symbolic but it opens the door to legal actions assuming that Arabs and Muslims in the US still care.

August 19th, 2012, 2:44 pm


ghufran said:

افاد مراسل فرانس برس ان مروحيات للجيش السوري القت مناشير في حلب تحذر السكان من دعم المقاتلين المعارضين وتمنح هؤلاء “فرصة اخيرة” للاستسلام.
وقال معارضون وسكان ان هذا الامر يحصل للمرة الاولى في حلب منذ اندلاع المعارك فيها قبل شهر ونيف.
واتخذت بعض المناشير التي القيت مساء السبت شكل اذن رسمي لمن يرغب من المعارضين في تسليم نفسه.
واورد نصها ان حامل هذا الاذن يسمح له بعبور الحواجز الامنية لتسليم نفسه، على ان يتلقى معاملة جيدة ويعود الى عائلته بعد عمليات تحقق.
ودعت مناشير اخرى المقاتلين المعارضين الى تسليم اسلحتهم.
ودعا منشور حصل عليه مراسل فرانس برس في باب الحديد بوسط حلب، سكان المدينة الى عدم فتح ابواب منازلهم ل”العصابات الارهابية المسلحة” وعدم مساعدتهم في قتل المواطنين السوريين

August 19th, 2012, 2:57 pm


Tara said:

From Kofi Annan’s article above:

These are the punch lines which I believe most of us support and agree with…how come he never made his plan that clear before?

-There was a transient ceasefire that was quickly unravelled after the regime realized there would be no consequences for returning to full heavy weapons military campaign on towns and villages
-Transition means managed but full change of government: a change in who leads Syria and how
-The current government has lost all legitimacy.
-The first move must be by the regime.
-The opposition must embrace a fully inclusive political process that will include communities and institutions currently associated with the regime.

…Early in my mandate we won international backing for this, with Security Council resolutions, which authorised UN military observers to deploy in Syria. After a ceasefire on April 12, contrary to some claims, the government’s shelling of civilian communities stopped, demonstrating the impact this unity could have.

Sustained international support did not follow, however. The ceasefire quickly unravelled and the government, realising there would be no consequences if it returned to an overt military campaign, reverted to using heavy weapons on towns. 

…,,Transition means a managed but full change of government – a change in who leads Syria and how.

For Russia, China and Iran this means they must take concerted efforts to persuade Syria’s leadership to change course and embrace a political transition, realising the current government has lost all legitimacy. A first move by the government is vital, as its intransigence and refusal to implement the six-point peace plan has been the greatest obstacle to any peaceful political process, ensuring the distrust of the opposition in proposals for a negotiated transition.

For the US, UK, France, Turkey Saudi Arabia and Qatar this means pressing the opposition to embrace a fully inclusive political process – that will include communities and institutions currently associated with the government. 

It is clear that President Bashar al-Assad must leave office. The greater focus, however, must be on measures and structures to secure a peaceful long-term transition to avoid a chaotic collapse. This is the most serious issue. The international community must shoulder its share of responsibility.

August 19th, 2012, 3:07 pm


Citizen said:

Kou Kou !
American Media Reports on Russian Sub in Gulf of Mexico
The Washington Free Beacon reported about Akula-class Russian nuclear submarine detected off the US in the Gulf of Mexico, writes Lenta.ru. The sub has spent about a month in the gulf and was detected only when leaving the zone, reported The Washington Free Beacon referring to undisclosed sources in the US state authorities.

The Russian submarine was on patrol close to American territorial waters since June till July 2012. Neither certain dates nor estimated location of the sub were specified. According to The Washington Free Beacon, the fact that US Navy failed to detect the submarine arouses concern of the US security agencies.

There are no other proves of the Russian submarine deployed in the Gulf of Mexico so far. US official authorities did not comment the incident.

By all appearances, the question is a Project 971 Schuka-B submarine (known in NATO as Akula class). These are the basic attack submarines in Russian Navy; they have lower signature comparing to previous generations of subs. In total, 15 submarines of this kind were produced; most of them are based in Northern and Pacific fleets

August 19th, 2012, 3:18 pm


Ghufran said:

From Assadstan to a Syriastan:
كشف عضو مجلس شورى الجماعة الإسلامية المهندس عاصم عبد الماجد عن توجه مجموعة ممن وصفهم بـ”مجاهدي مصر” إلى الأراضي السورية خلال الفترة السابقة “لنصرة إخوانهم في سوريا وإسقاط نظام بشار الأسد”، مؤكداً أن “الجماعة ستحتفل بسقوط الأسد قريباً، كما احتفلت بسقوط مبارك وبن علي والقذاقي”.

August 19th, 2012, 3:34 pm


Uzair8 said:


Inspirational Dear Leader in a rush to finish Eid prayer…..

Video shows embattled Assad in rush ends Eid prayer before imam

Sunday, 19 August 2012


August 19th, 2012, 3:53 pm


Uzair8 said:


Maybe His Excellency was overly excited about getting home and recieving his Eid present from Asma. A duck call.


But he got one of them last eid.

Perhaps the events in Syria over the last year has caused Asma to forget.

August 19th, 2012, 4:11 pm


habib said:

The woman who made Abdul Razzak Tlass pull out his dinky on cam was none other than an “activist” and journalist working in Saudi Arabia, Medea Daghistaney!

What a blessed and pious revolution this is!

August 19th, 2012, 4:17 pm


habib said:

“In the sectarian scenarios, a civil war would pit Assad’s ruling Alawite sect and the regime’s Christian supporters against the country’s majority Sunni population. That split could inflame the larger regional divide between the Sunni Persian Gulf countries that back the opposition and their Shiite-rival Iran, which supports the Syrian regime.

“People know the regime’s trying to create this situation,” said Medea Daghistaney, a secular Sunni from Homs. She described soldiers mistaking her for an Alawite because she doesn’t cover her hair, and warning her not to enter her own Sunni neighborhood because “they will slaughter you.”

The 29-year-old activist, now an Istanbul resident, works for a London-based group that documents Syrian government crimes for future prosecution.”

August 19th, 2012, 4:19 pm


Citizen said:

شنّت صحيفة “الرياض” السعودية هجوما عنيفا على المجتمع اللبناني على خلفية الأحداث التي شهدتها البلاد خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية، معتبرة الاعلان عن خطف مواطنين خليجيين أتوا إلى لبنان للسياحة “عملا إرهابيا”، معطية لدول الخليج الحق بـ”إنذار بطرد اللبنانيين”، ملمحة بأنّ لبنان سيكون الخاسر لا الخليج. وشمل هجوم الصحيفة السعودية الجيش الوطني اللبناني الذي وصفته بأنه “مجرد ظل قابل للتمزيق طالما تركيبته طائفية ليس لها الولاء للوطن”، على حدّ تعبيرها.

الصحيفة السعودية اعتبرت أنّ “لبنان بؤرة صراع في المنطقة العربية منذ أزمنة طويلة، والسبب أن معظم اللبنانيين حولوه دكاناً يباع فيه الحلال والحرام، حتى أن البعض نادى بوضعه تحت الوصاية الدولية في تشكيل شرطة فقط، ونزع جميع مظاهر التسلح ليتحول إلى بلد تجاري وسياحي ينعم بالأمن وتتبدد صور الطائفية ومليشياتها”. ورأت أنّ “اللبناني شخصية ناجحة في العمل التجاري والسياحي، فهم متواجدون في مراكز حساسة في البنوك والفنادق وتجارة التجزئة والشركات العالمية، لكنهم في بلدهم لا ينظرون لعلاقاتهم وفق بناء وطن يظلل الجميع، بل مركز تجاري تعقد فيه الصفقات”.

واعتبرت “الرياض” أنّ ما أسمته “نموذج الوزير السابق ميشال سماحة” موجود في صلب السلطة والأحزاب والمليشيات، متسائلة “كيف يقدم وزير سابق على جلب متفجرات من سوريا لاغتيال شخصيات إسلامية ومسيحية من أجل تفجير حرب أهلية”، وتوقفت عند “ما يقوم به “حزب الله” وأنصاره من خطف وإرسال إرهابيين”، مشددة على أن “إعلان خطف مواطنين خليجيين جاءوا للسياحة يعد عملاً إرهابياً ولدول الخليج العربي الحق بإعلان إنذار بطرد اللبنانيين، لأن النماذج الموجودة على أرضه، قد تكرر أفعالها داخل الدول الخليجية، وعلى أرضه”.

ورأت ان “لبنان لم يكن بلداً مستقلاً، بل كان جزءاً من سوريا اقتطع منها بالعهد الفرنسي، وكان سيلحق به الساحل السوري الذي يقطنه العلويون، لكنها اكتفت بذلك الحيز الجغرافي، وبصرف النظر بقاؤه ضمن نطاقه القديم أو الحديث فمشكلة لبنان أن حامل أعلى الشهادات ليست لديه المناعة من أن يتحول قائد مليشيا تقاتل من أجل الطائفة، لأن المأزق تربوي وثقافي”.

August 19th, 2012, 4:20 pm


Son of Damascus said:

A hero by the name of Fayyad Al-Sabbagh was killed by an Assad artillery shell in Homs on the 17th of August.

He was 19 years old, a citizen journalist that risked his life to document the atrocities committed in Homs. Just like the great heroes Bassel Shehadeh, Syrian Pioneer, and Ahmad Hammadah he paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

His only weapon was a camera, to some he was traitor and deserved his fate. To me he is a true patriot and a hero, Homs was lucky to have him, Syria was lucky to call him her son.

Allah Yer7amak Abu Al-3izz


A Syrian Eid tale:

August 19th, 2012, 4:22 pm



266 UZAIR8,

I already linked that video back in 216.

Do you know what that means?

“أما يَخشَى أحدُكم إذا رفع رأسَه قبل الإمام أن يحوِّل الله رأسَه رأسَ حِمارٍ، أو يحوِّل الله صورته صورة حمار”.

August 19th, 2012, 4:30 pm


Karabennemsi said:

217 Stick

Although I really dislike Juergen’s posts on here and elsewhere, your response is wrong. The BND is very active in the me and Afghanistan/pakistan, and they’re pretty good at what they do.

(Warning of AQ in North africa gaining strength already in 2008)

Your perception is wrong; the german spies usually gather the intelligence years before the other NATO countries start doing the dirty work.

Also the agency you mentioned is the Verfassungsschutz, the inland intelligence agency, while the BND focusses on foreign countries as well as foreign islamists in Germany. Its Not responsible for any Nazi activity.

August 19th, 2012, 4:31 pm


Syrialover said:

#263. TARA

Good point! It looks suspiciously like Annan decided to come up with those particular points only now after he was criticized for doing such an empty and weak job (which has enabled Syrian-people-hating Bashar Assad to buy more time to keep burning the country).

I still agree with that damning analysis of Annan’s performance which I posted earlier: https://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=15594&cp=all#comment-321919

It makes clear how damaging the pompous and posturing “Annan style of diplomacy” was for Syrians.

August 19th, 2012, 4:43 pm


Uzair8 said:



Oops! Sorry. Due to it being Eid, other than post the Eid greeting I didn’t get a proper chance to read all the previous comments.

About the arabic quote. I google translated it. Something about turning into a donkey.

August 19th, 2012, 4:52 pm


Syrialover said:

Uzair and Visitor,

That video you posted of Bashar doing his sacriligeous donkey act at Eid prayers reveals his head has shrunk even further!

Probably Shawkat and brother Maher used to be there to discipline and guide him at prayers before.

It’s probably the last Eid he’ll be celebrating.

August 19th, 2012, 4:57 pm



254 UZAIR8,

That’s OK. It is good to post it again so it can get more exposure.

Basically, your google translation got the picture.

If someone gets ahead of the Imam in prayers then his punishment by Allah is to turn him into a donkey.

Authentic Hadith.

May be in his next life since he believes in re-incarnation.

If you go back to the comments where TARA asked if he would show up for Eid prayers. I said to her that he doesn’t pray even if he shows up in a mosque. It turned out even worse. He’ll now turn into a full fledged donkey!!!

August 19th, 2012, 4:59 pm


Uzair8 said:


Thanks. That’s very interesting. I thought you were just joking and moking Assad. So it’s actually a Hadith?

Very symbolic. Something worth sharing elsewhere. Wasn’t the previous Assad surname also translated to ‘Beast or Donkey’?

August 19th, 2012, 5:09 pm


Syrialover said:


Without the courage, inspiration and determination of young lions like Fayyad Al-Sabbagh, Syrians could not have been able to fight for their future.

Let’s make sure Syrians under a legitimate government will forever acknowledge and commemorate the vision and sacrifice of special people like Fayyad and his grieving family.

August 19th, 2012, 5:16 pm


Tara said:


Sorry Visitor, but the Hadeeth does not make sense even of it goes down in the books as authentic. The God of Quraan would not change a good person into a donkey just because he finished before the imam. We should only believe what makes sense. No?

August 19th, 2012, 5:24 pm


Visitor said:


You’re treading on a dangerous territory.

Hadiths are usually not taken lightly and are not subject to someone’s preferences.

A good person would not commit such an error.

That’s the difference between someone who prays and someone who goes to prayers as a joker as I replied to you earlier.


August 19th, 2012, 5:29 pm


habib said:

279. Tara

Watch out what you say about holy scripture, Tara.

In the new Syria you want so badly, you’ll be stoned to death for such obscenities.

By people like “Visitor” and Tlas the Masturbator, no less. Lol.

August 19th, 2012, 5:38 pm


Tara said:


I know. That is perhaps what we are led to believe. However it appears to me that taking things lightly means to accept as is and not to give a second thought.

Nevertheless , I think we should table the discussion now for a later time. May be after the fall of Batta. In any case, Batta is degraded enough in my eyes so nothing else could potentially degrade him any lower..

August 19th, 2012, 5:46 pm


habib said:

282. Tara

Hahahaha, as if there will be any room to “debate” scripture! All the “revolutionized” countries are currently making laws prohibiting any questioning of holy texts, so how will it fare in Syria, which has more Islamists now than Libya and Tunisia combined?

After the Alawites and Christians are slaughtered, the time will come for the secular Sunnis. Mark my words. And when Syria is cleansed, the purge will come to the West.

Blowback, big time.

August 19th, 2012, 5:52 pm


Visitor said:

282 Tara,


And when you look deeper you’ll find there is no question of being led to believe.
Free choice and sound reasoning are integral part of it.

But that’s for next time.

August 19th, 2012, 5:52 pm


Syrialover said:

Brahimi is now denying he said it was too soon for Assad to step down, but he’s told Aljazeera that he demands an apology from the Syrian Opposition for criticizing him for saying that.

What a wobbling 78-year-old fool – he’s further antagonized one of the main players he needs on side to achieve a single thing. And this was what, day two in the role?

Who the HELL is advising and assisting this guy? Even silly little Sheherazde Jaafari could improve on their PR tactics.


Note: Brahimi’s UN advisers are being paid fat salaries, perks and pensions for their lazy, rubbish efforts. They should be ordered to at least control him in public and make sure his statements are credible and properly positioned in the media. But it appears they aren’t even up to doing that.

Meanwhile, here’s a good description of Annan from a BBC listener commenting online: “…the ineffectual yes-man Kofi Annan, who has presided over the collapse of the UN as a meaningful player in conflicts such as this one, and has now dragged it even further into disrepute by demonstrating how useless its empty pieties are in this particular case. The ‘plan’ was a disaster from the start.”

August 19th, 2012, 6:01 pm


Johannes de Silentio said:

If someone gets ahead of the Imam in prayers then his punishment by Allah is to turn him into a donkey.

In other words, he turns into an ass. Hunh! That’s what is so cool about us Syrians. Our sophisticated sense of humor….

August 19th, 2012, 6:08 pm


Syrialover said:

Calling on the media to put the spotlight and blowtorch on to Brahimi’s UN “team”.

The stakes are too high to let them carry on failing their 78-year-old charge.

He needs a lot of help – they should get out of the way and be replaced by competent professionals.

August 19th, 2012, 6:12 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Junta tanks serving the people

August 19th, 2012, 6:22 pm


Syrialover said:

Attention, attention Administrator. Have you noticed some weird spam thing happening with the first 30-odd comments here.

The words “Hot debate what do you think:” have sprung up next to mass spam votes.

SOS to SyriaComment’s IT experts to clean it up.

August 19th, 2012, 6:25 pm


Syrialover said:

Damn this spreading Brahimi mess, I want him to succeed!

Why is the fate of Syria constantly allowed to fall into the hands of such fools.

I desperately long for the next generation of Arab officials and representatives to come on deck. Sharp and competent people who got their jobs without cronyism and corruption. And yes, are aged under 70.

August 19th, 2012, 6:34 pm


Visitor said:

285 SL,

Do not expect anything positive to come out of so-called efforts initiated by organizations such as the AL or the UNSC.

The AL is crippled by its structural deficiency being ruled by the need for consensus making. This deficiency leads to the need of making compromises to reach a decision. Algerian government is known to be vehemently opposed to the Syrian Revolution. Hence, Ibrahimi becomes a consensus candidate. Likewise, when Al-Dabbi of Sudan was selected, he was from Sudan with another government vehemently opposed to the SR.

When you go to the UNSC you are faced with the same structural deficiency. Here, you have five members who have all to agree in order to reach a meaningful decision, otherwise you end up with stalemate which again leads to the need to compromise. Hence, Anan, a known failed diplomat, becomes a compromise candidate.

The international community cannot come to the rescue of the Syrian People except through coordinated efforts outside these two organization. Specifically, it has to be a coordinated NATO/GCC effort. NATO is awaiting a word from the White House. But with Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton at the helm do not expect any major breakthroughs.

Hence, the solution is a well equipped FSA. And that would be sufficient provided the FSA receives effective anti-armor and anti-aircraft weapons. That’s why you also see this unprecedented smearing campaign against the FSA to paint it as al-Qaida supported army.

But eventually this will play against the media and the countries that are sponsoring this smearing campaign. Because when the countries that are capable of taking action are paralyzed by unfounded or exaggerated reports about alleged al-Qaida connections they fall into the same scenarios they think they are preventing by becoming mere spectators with little influence. The Syrian revolution may eventually turn to exactly such scenario in order to achieve its objectives of removing such scourge of a regime that no country has ever witnessed anything of the sort.

August 19th, 2012, 6:38 pm


Syrialover said:

Lazy journalism:

“Aleppo’s remaining residents, mainly men who decided to stay to watch over their property or families who have nowhere else to go…”

Comment: What, all 3.8 million of them?

From: Ramadan ends but fast stays in Aleppo


August 19th, 2012, 7:20 pm


Syrialover said:

Visitor #290,

Yes, you are right about the structural deficiency.

But there is also the huge issue of the poor calibre, dubious backgrounds, tainted allegiences and way-past-retirement age of those representing Arabs through the Arab League and other bodies. They are from another galaxy, not just another world, from what the Arab Spring and Syrian revolution is all about.

It’s time those elderly idiots and their retinues recruited from friends and family were pushed aside and the world was allowed to see talented, energetic and sophisticated Arab representaives.

The Arab people are being constantly betrayed and humiliated by that shopworn, inept old-boys club.

August 19th, 2012, 7:41 pm


Erin said:

Every revolution has a leader who is porn from within or who championed the cause and became the national leader, George Washington for the american’s, Napoleon for the French’s etc..
In Syria there is no leader for the Syrians to follow, they have only Bashar and that’s why he lasted.
Part of the problem that many of the people who claimed to be in charge of the Syrian AKA SNC proved to be useless, rejected by the Street, due to many reasons some are its connection with the western powers, its members corruption in addition to being a cover up to the MB, it was not secular, not looking for the best for Syria but any member could be the next dictator of Syria, that’s proved it is leader ship to be very problematic on the street.
At the same time the SNC killed any chance for an insider to rise up and have the Syrians follow his cause.
The second reason why we don’t have a leader for the revolution because the revolution was hijacked by different groups, thugs, killers from every nationality, suspicious western propaganda and the brutality of this all.
The Syrian army early in the revolution was not as brutal, was respecting the civilians always warn before attacking civilians populated area that’s the opposite of the rebels where they used the civilians as human shield in many area add to that the killing of everyone who is not in agreement of their views, this made the local feel that the rebel is much worse than the regime in many area.
this all have been proven through the local testimonies.
I think as long as we don’t have one person or one body who the Syrian feel is the person to replace Bashar, this fight will never halt.
it is sometime the one you know better than the devil you don’t know.
I think the American election is helping Bashar to finish all the rebel and the mercenaries without much pressure on him.
the Russian have succeeded in putting a stop to many of the Americans trick over Syria especially when USA gives the rebel communication system just to be picked by the Syrian army and get bombarded few minutes later.
I will say if this conflict is over by next Ramadan than it still still time for the AMERICANS to kill more rebels.

August 19th, 2012, 7:49 pm



301 SL,

The ‘Kingdoms’ seem to be immune to this Spring wave for various reasons. They evolved differently than the other so-called ‘revolutionary’ regimes that basically ‘raped’ the population of its roots in the name of fake or revolutionary promises that never materialized, and only fools should have believed, in the first place, that such promises would ever materialize.

True, the ‘Kingdoms’ have the wealth and the resources. But that is not all. They are based on more solid foundations than the fake revolutionaries. They also allow more free speech, free expressions and political participation than the one-party dictatorial system. I am not in any way asking you to compare to liberal democracies. Instead, you must study the tribal customs from within in order to understand the above. Often these societies are not accessible to outsiders and would look ambiguous. There is a certain degree of democratic principles embedded in tribal societies that is not so apparent to the outsiders. To a certain degree those societies never felt oppressed to the level that we witnessed in the countries that succumbed to this Spring.

So, as far as Syria is concerned it must deal with the problem at hand and the Revolution must at no point project a threatening image to those ‘Kingdoms’, but it should try to benefit, as contradictory as it seems, from as much support as it can get in order to achieve its objectives. This support can only be obtained based on kinship, affinity and common blood ties.

I am calling for pragmatism in this case because that is the most you can achieve. If you go further, you will fail. Challenging the ‘Kingdoms’ is suicidal to the Syrian Revolution.

August 19th, 2012, 8:10 pm


Karabennemsi said:

303 Visitor

If your last sentence turns out to be true, the rebels have managed to become a miniature version of the regime in every aspect. They have a strict no-contradiction-allowed policy towards civilians, they don’t hesitate one second to tell obvious lies to foreign and domestic media (domestic media is of course only talked to if the journalists have been spreading the “right” ideology), they dont hesitate to make business with criminals or use those for undercover actions, they torture and execute suspected collaboratores in growing numbers, and they are dependent on foreign powers with obscure morals and policies.

In that case there is absolutely no reason to trade the current regime against a new one.

Can you give an example of any major improvement in cities or villages which are currently under control of the FSA?

August 19th, 2012, 8:42 pm


erin said:

It seems the rebels will be targeting the Christians very soon given they are spreading rumors about the christian being armed by the regime.
Massacres are on its way.


August 19th, 2012, 8:47 pm


erin said:

I asked you why my comments are being moderated, even it is a link i posted.
will you explain thanks

August 19th, 2012, 8:54 pm




You do not make sense.

FSA is not a government yet and it probably will never be. Its mandate is to challenge the regime which is killing the people. By its own pronouncements it will hand government to civilians once the abominable regime is swept to the dustbin.

The regime, which has no legitimacy to begin with, is demanding a submission from the people and that is why it is following a scorched earth policy.
So the blame falls on the regime and not the FSA.

The FSA, and especially, the initial members who defected deserve the highest honors for taking that step out of the belly of this monster of a regime.

The regime is first and foremost responsible for the crimes that have been committed on the Syrian landscape.

Unless you can see this , there is no point in discussing further with you. As in this case you would not be any different than the mentally challenged menhebekjis who infect this site.

August 19th, 2012, 8:56 pm


Richard said:

302. Erin said:
“the Russian have succeeded in putting a stop to many of the Americans trick over Syria especially when USA gives the rebel communication system just to be picked by the Syrian army and get bombarded few minutes later.
I will say if this conflict is over by next Ramadan than it still still time for the AMERICANS to kill more rebels.”

I wonder why you think AMERICANS are intent on keeping Iran’s client in power.
I’m also puzzled by your affinity for Russian policy.

My preference would be for the U.S. to participate in some sort of no-fly zone for northern Syria.
But when I am reminded that Syria is such a caldron of conspiracy theories and grudges against all parties internal and external, I wonder if a long civil war, culminating in exhaustion, is inevitable.

Most of your post makes a lot of sense. I wish the rebellion well in finding some sort of imperfect but recognizable leadership such as the Libyan revolution managed.

August 19th, 2012, 9:03 pm


Syrialover said:


No, no, no. I’m not talking about the leadership of the ‘Kingdoms’.

I’m sick of the aged 75+ plus Moussas, Elarabys and Brahimis who get appointed to run the Arab League and other international roles after questionable careers in Egypt, Algeria etc

Arabs have got to start showcasing to the world that they have sophisticated, politically savvy and qualified people in their ranks.

These arrogant elderly guys and their cronies are blocking out the sunlight and clear air. This is the 21st century; having them representing the Arab world is like having donkey carts while the rest of the world is in fast cars.

August 19th, 2012, 9:09 pm


Karabennemsi said:

Let me try to clarify.

i am of course aware of the fact that there probably would not nearly as much violence right now if there had been a serious reform process in early 2011 or maybe already in 2000.
Also i can agree that the earliest defections were very brave and courageous.

Now the FSA is fighting against the regime, but not only against the military and other security forces, they are also fighting or challenging the regime’s media, and regime supporting clerics of any confession. They fight them sometimes through physical violence, but most of the time by creating alternatives. In temporarily rebel controlled areas the legal system is replaced, school directors and hospital managers are getting replaced as well, food and gas distribution is also organized by FSA men.

So practically they actually act like a government, and the promise of power transfer to civilian authorities is something i have never heard or read of being implemented. Do you have any examples for such a power transfer, which would clearly show that civilian inhabitants who may be opposed at first to the FSA actually benefit from their presence?
Is there any indicator so far that the FSA will stop behaving the way they behave now once they have overcome the regime?

I am certainly unaware of any developments of that kind, and therefore i can still not see any good in the FSA’s activities.

But if you can provide any kind of example that clearly shows that the FSA is not coming to stay but to change the system, I will be happy to change my mind.

August 19th, 2012, 9:38 pm




OK, here’s your comment addressed point by point,

“i am of course aware of the fact that there probably would not nearly as much violence right now if there had been a serious reform process in early 2011 or maybe already in 2000

Premise is false. The regime is non-reformable. It is designed to be as such. It should not have been born in 1963. It is a black dot in Syria’s history. Only parallel is the Nazis of the 20th century.

“Now the FSA is fighting against the regime, but not only against the military and other security forces, they are also fighting or challenging the regime’s etc…..”

Again premise is false. The FSA raison d’etre is the regime’s effort to subjugate peaceful demonstrators and the use of military options against an unarmed population. FSA has no other mandate other than challenging the regime.

“So practically they actually act like a government, and the promise of power transfer to civilian authorities is something i have never heard or read of being etc….”

Again premise is false. First sentence is negated by my previous. The FSA leaders (el-Sheikh, al-Asaad and others) repeatedly made such pronouncements to the press and can be easily traced. If you have been following you wouldn’t have missed.

Quite often in liberated areas committees based on customs and Religious traditions are formed to deal with administrative issues. At this point in time that is the most you can expect. Keep in mind that the Syrian people have been deprived of participation in political life for half a century. So Syria is in fact only about two years old politically, even though historically it is one of the oldest on earth!!! Thanks to this pathetic abomination of regime which reduced such a beautiful and rich culture to such level.

“Is there any indicator so far that the FSA will stop behaving the way they behave now once they have overcome the regime?”

You want to get the fruits without tilling the land? That is simply not possible. I am not sure if you are Syrian. So, I will say what follows to the Syrians because they would understand and if you were one you too will. One thing the Syrian people must learn out of this saga is that the traditional mercantile mentality is not going to rebuild Syria again. The traditional Damascene merchant has simply failed in this test of answering to the call of the voice of the homeland. You can also say the same about an Aleppine merchant. Instead, he only answered to the petty calls of 7am-5pm of the shutters of his shop. You can also blame that on the regime since it only offered the Faustian deal of fake stability for unreserved submission.

“But if you can provide any kind of example that clearly shows that the FSA is not coming to stay but to change the system, I will be happy to change my mind.”

I already answered that. You can only rely on their words at this point in time. To me that is enough. Since the early defectors, and even the more recent ones, had much to lose and little to gain from their defections, I put my trust in them. They did answer the call of their consciousness. A National Army’s first duty is toward the people and not to the ruler, particularly if that ruler is a ruthless criminal. So, they passed that test with flying colors, and anyone who cannot see this is again a pathetic menhebekji.

August 19th, 2012, 11:04 pm


Ghufran said:

Some of AR Tlass friends left katibat alfarouk and formed Katibat Aisha after a video of ART allegedly engaging in lewd acts on Skype. It does not look like this story is dying as quickly as ART wants it to,he had to issue an interview in tape denying that he was the person in the video. I am not neutral when it comes to the FSA,I was against the idea of forming a parallel army from day one,so my opinion here may be biased,but I find that his defense was not convincing and I am more suspicious now that some of his comrades are upset enough that they had to leave him.

August 19th, 2012, 11:48 pm


zoo said:

Waltz with Farouk Al Sharaa

A rebel group in Syria reported on Saturday that Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa has defected, but later said it could neither confirm nor deny the leader’s arrival in Jordan, suggesting that his attempt to flee has failed.

Citing a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a rebel group fighting against President Bashar Assad, Al Arabiya reported on Saturday morning that Sharaa had arrived in Jordan after deserting the embattled regime.


August 19th, 2012, 11:53 pm


zoo said:

The NAM summit: The USA and Israel are trying to kill it.

A little light shines on Sunni-Shi’ite rivalries
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi

Two steps forward, one step back. This is how this week’s Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Mecca could be characterized in terms of Iran-Saudi relations.
Meanwhile, the United States and Israel are working overtime to poison the environment leading up to the NAM meeting, which is emerging as a clear snub to their strategy to Isolate Tehran.

While the US media have been replete with negative and even derogatory references to NAM – a Washington Post editorial on March 14 mocked it as a “bacchanal of nonsense” – Israel is desperately trying to raise the alarm level regarding an imminent attack on Iran, hoping that this will dissuade some NAM leaders from attending the Tehran summit.

The answer to these questions will be clarified in the near future. The Saudis are at a fork in the road, and their mini-overtures toward Iran may well be interpreted in Tehran as shrewd tactical summitry to achieve their objectives and to highlight their political sway over the Sunni-dominant Muslim World.

Still, some Tehran political analysts are convinced that Riyadh’s complex internal and external context dictates a more cautious approach vis-a-vis Syria, particularly since the Syrian army has been gaining an upper hand in the bloody conflict in Aleppo. After all, even nations in the Middle East base their policies on political realism and not wish lists.

August 20th, 2012, 12:07 am


Ghufran said:

تونس – قالت صحيفة “تانيت برس” الإلكترونية التونسية، إن السلطات الأمنية الفرنسية إعتقلت بلقاسم الفرشيشي مستشار رئيس الحكومة التونسية المؤقت حمادي الجبالي، بتهمة “غسيل أموال”، في حين أكّدت حركة النهضة الإسلامية نبأ الإعتقال غير أنها نفت التهمة.
وأشارت “تانيت برس” نقلاً عن مصادر لم تذكرها بالاسم، إلى أن شرطة الحدود الفرنسية إعتقلت بلقاسم الفرشيشي، مستشار رئيس الحكومة التونسية، في مطار أورلي الدولي “بتهمة تبييض أموال وحمل حقائب (تهريب أموال)”.
وأضافت أن بلقاسم الفرشيشي “المقرّب جداً من الشيخ راشد الغنوشي كان يقوم بنقل تمويلات للنهضة من طرف أشخاص في المملكة العربية السعودية خاصة في أوقات العمرة، وقطر و الإمارات العربية المتحدة”.

August 20th, 2012, 12:41 am



Saudis do not see an Assad in the future,



Under Khamenei and his boy Nejjad a thaw in Sunni-Shia cold war is a mirage the falling regime of Damascus may pursue to futile ends as a means to once again live in denial. The criminal regime which had the most to be sorry about for poisoning such relations in the first place are now dreaming that such a thaw may come to the rescue. Well, dream on. An arsonist may get away with one fire. Next fire will burn him to ashes. Expect nothing but a total burn out of this regime. It simply lit too many fires and the fires are coming home to consume it.

Blame not Zion.


307 SL,

Well the Spring Wave took everyone by surprise. The traditional Arab ‘intelligentsia’ was simply not prepared. But I agree with you these dinosaurs must give way.

I also agree with the ending of the main article of previous post(s). The ‘tahrir squares’ are going to be a fixture for quite sometime until new intelligentsia is born that is capable to rise to the challenges.

August 20th, 2012, 12:59 am


Juergen said:

Stick to the truth

As Kara has been explaining, the federal security agency is merely in charge with gaining information on foreign countries and potential dangers to Germanys security. The federal states have their own agencies and those agencies are responsible to eveluate dangers from within the country. Apparantly and that is not new right wing positions which can end up in a Nazi doctrin are less controversial to many as the usual communistic values or doctrines of the political left wing.

So each federal state ( we have 16) has its own agency, and cooperation is not the main premise, nor a central command over all of them.

In Bosnia I heard the statement of an US army intelligence officer, he said that the BND has the most widespread contacts in the arab world, and that the german agency was much more trusting sources instead of spy technology as other agencies would do.

August 20th, 2012, 1:42 am


ann said:

Israeli delegation secretly visits Turkey in bid to heal rift – 2012-08-19

JERUSALEM, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — A delegation of Israeli Knesset (parliament) members and ultra-Orthodox rabbis made a secret visit to Turkey last week in an attempt to reconcile the feuding countries, local media reported Sunday.

The visit got the thumbs-up from the Prime Minister’s Office, although the Foreign Ministry frowned upon the initiative, the Yedhioth Ahronot daily reported Sunday.

Israeli-Turkish ties were severely damaged following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, in which Israeli soldiers killed Turkish protesters.

In May 31, 2010, a flotilla led by the Mavi Marmara ferry, tried to break Israeli maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. Events got out of hand as Israeli commandos battled armed protesters, killing nine.

Since then, Israeli officials have refused Turkish demands to publicly apologize for the incident, saying the troops opened fire in self-defense, and that an apology would lead to scores of punitive lawsuits by families of the casualties.

A Turkish interfaith organization invited the delegation, which included members of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Deputy Finance Minister Yithzak Cohen and Knesset member Nissim Ze’ev, as well as professors and rabbis from across Europe.

The delegation, in coordination with the Israeli consulate in Ankara, met up with Turkish officials and parliament members, at hotels in Ankara and Istanbul.

The meetings mainly focused on how to revamp diplomatic ties between the countries.

According to the report, Israel reiterated its long-standing stance that it would not apologize for the Marmara incident, but would be willing to pay its condolences to families of those killed and compensate them.

In July, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Turkish journalists, in a bid to improve Israel’s image in the Turkish public’s opinion.

Lieberman said he was willing to work towards a solution with Ankara, however, he reiterated Israel’s refusal to apologize.

Earlier in July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Netanyahu to amend ties with Turkey, citing Ankara’s possible role in any potential coalition against Iran and Syria.



August 20th, 2012, 2:39 am



Only in Syria!

Syrians longing for freedom and dignity turn a tank into a swing set.

تلبيسة تحويل دبابة إلى مرجوحة اجواء العيد 19-8.mp4

From what I can observe, the tank’s gun was used to hang three belts swings and a metal pipe was somehow attached to the tank and two belt swings were attached to it. So at least five kids get to enjoy swinging. Now that’s original.

Hopefully, more tanks are tuned into playsets for kids instead of being used for killing and destruction.

August 20th, 2012, 2:41 am



Rumors about Maher Al Assad: he could be in very bad condition and in coma.

Rumors about Farouk Sharaa: he is probably near Daraa border with FSA trying to cross to Jordan.

August 20th, 2012, 2:42 am


ann said:

UK and German spies feed intelligence to Syrian rebels – reports – 19 August, 2012

“No Western intelligence service has such good sources inside Syria” as Germany’s BND, Bild quoted an unnamed US intelligence official as saying.


British and German spy intelligence on Syrian government troop movement has been shared with rebels to aid attacks on pro-Assad forces, UK and German newspapers revealed on Sunday.

­An unnamed Syrian opposition official admitted that British intelligence is covertly aiding antigovernment forces in Syria, UK weekly newspaper the Sunday Times reported.

British authorities “know about and approve 100%” of intelligence from their Cyprus military bases being passed through Turkey to the troops of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), the official said.

The UK owns two military bases on the island of Cyprus, one at Dhekelia and another at Akrotiri. The bases monitor regional airwaves and report to the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), Britain’s national electronic surveillance center in Cheltenham, the report said.

“British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus. It’s very useful because they find out a great deal,” the official said. “The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks.”

According to the source, the most valuable intelligence has been about the movements of troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad towards the city of Aleppo, which has recently become the ground for fierce clashes between the government and the rebels.

“The British monitor communications about movements of the government army and we got information about reinforcements being on their way to Aleppo,” the official told the newspaper. “We hit at the government troops in Idlib and Saraqib [southwest of Aleppo], with success.”

The official claimed that early in August, FSA fighters were given advance warning of two large columns of government troops advancing on Aleppo. One was from Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, and the other from the capital Damascus.

“We ambushed troops and a column of more than 40 tanks in a valley near Saraqib,” the official said. “We cut them off and destroyed many of them with repeat attacks with rocket-propelled grenades.”

German newspaper Bild also revealed on Sunday that Germany is much more active in Syria than was previously believed. German spies, stationed on ships off the Syrian coast, are transmitting intelligence to the FSA to aid in their campaign against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, Bild reported.

Agents from Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) are equipped with high-tech spy technology, allowing them to observe troop movements as far inland as 600 kilometers (400 miles). The spies pass their findings onto US and British officers, who then pass the intelligence along to the FSA, Bild said.

The newspaper also claims that BND agents are currently operating at a NATO base in Adana, Turkey, where they eavesdrop on phone calls and radio traffic within Syria.



August 20th, 2012, 2:45 am


ann said:

As UK Spying from Cyprus Touted by FSA, Last SC Resolution Recalled

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 — With the Free Syrian Army bragging it gets surveillance information from the UK base on Cyprus, it’s worth noting that a month ago today the UK faces surprising opposition to its draft Security Council resolution on Cyprus, on the same day the Council resolution on Syria that it favor was shot down by double veto.

The two resolutions were both on the Council’s agenda that Thursday morning, but nearly all focus was on Syria.

Security Council sources have told Inner City Press that beyond the two abstentions on Cyprus, from Azerbaijan and Pakistan, there was more extensive opposition in the Council to the UK draft, until the UK further amended it just before the vote.

Some wonder about the process by which certain countries are “given the pen” to lead Council drafting on resolutions. Often, these are former colonial relations, for example in the case of France and Cote d’Ivoire.

On Cyprus, the UK maintains the so-called British Sovereign Base Area of Dhekelia. There, at Ayios Nikolaos, the UK’s Joint Service Signal Unit maintains a listening stations said to be part of ECHELON.

After the July 10 Security Council consultations on Cyprus, Inner City Press asked UN envoy Lisa Buttenheim about announced plans for up to 200,000 refugees from Syria. Of the Syria refugee plans she said “I have not heard that myself.”

She said Cyprus is the “primary safe haven” for nine countries, noting that she is the UN’s “designated official” and worked for example on the evacuation of UN families from Egypt in February 2011.

But Cyprus’ former UN ambassador Andreas Mavroyiannis told numerous media in Nicosia, “We do not know what will happen in Syria, but in our planning we have estimated up to 200,000 refugees could arrive… It will be a very big strain on us if it happens, so we will need help for sure.”



August 20th, 2012, 2:53 am



The most recent massacre in Qatana near Damascus on Friday Aug 17, a new level in sadism and utter disregard to the sanctity of human life by the thugs of the criminal Nazis occupying Damascus and our beloved Syria,


Sixty five charred bodies get dumped from helicopters to be discovered by sanitary employees. Victims wore civilian clothes and most were handcuffed.

August 20th, 2012, 3:06 am



Assad is psicologically mined. Sister destroyed by death of Assef Shawkat, mother assisting to the death of his son Maher. The femenine side of Assad is collapsed. Also Assad must feel the same punishment is coming for him. Not easy to lead a country in this situation, specially when you are not a self-made politician.

August 20th, 2012, 4:08 am


Karabennemsi said:

309 Visitor

“quite often in liberated areas committees based on customs and religious traditions are formed to deal with administrative issues.”

See, that is what I wanted to know, all the rest is pretty much blabla avoiding the topic.

If one translates your sentence out of rebel speech and into a non glorifying summary, it would read like this:

” When the FSA takes other a mindakat or a village, it reverses any progress made in the last years in loosening the local clan structures and in creating active citizenship.”

What you are basically saying is that in rural areas the FSA helps the recently disempowered clan chefs and imams to regain their former totally undemcratic rule. The FSA does this so that they will be allowed to stay in the areas, while the young people and the women, who were put in responsible positions by the NGOs working in the field of active citizenship to improve the implementation of equal rights and to ensure stable development and entrepreneurship, are sent back home although it was them who introduced modern thinking and modern politics to the villages and counties.

Shame on the FSA for not even realising their promises on the smallest possible scala. Shame on these criminals who promise democracy but so everything to hinder it from happening.
Shame on those who try to turn the clock back in Syrian politics to ease the suppression of those who they allegedly protect.

The regime will do anything to stay in power, while the oppositional arsenists will do everything to come into power.

I am very disappointed, Visitor, that you did not at least lie about these evolvements, as all the other propagandists do, because deep down they are ashamed and know whats happening is wrong, but instead appear to be welcoming the people who behave so badly, it would be funny if it wasnt so sad.

All these years of good work, only so some ignorant 18 yo with an AK and a quran can come by to destroy it.

August 20th, 2012, 5:23 am


Uzair8 said:

318. SANDRO LOEWE said:

‘Rumors about Farouk Sharaa: he is probably near Daraa border with FSA trying to cross to Jordan.’


I read a tweet last night which surprised me. I wonder if it is related to Farouk Sharaa and an attempt to find him in Daraa? The sheer numbers of troops semed very high.

12:00 am on August 20, 2012

Daraa: Hrak: The Free Syrian Army face the violent invasion attack launched by the regime forces that was supported by more than 120 tanks and 50 armors and 10 thousand troops who were trying to break into the city


11:59 pm on August 19, 2012

Daraa: Hirak: Clashes between the free Syrian army and the regime forces is the fiercest since the beginning of the revolution in an attempt to storm the town by the regime with thousands of soldiers and dozens of armored vehicles and tanks and a cover and shelling by warplanes in the town


August 20th, 2012, 6:01 am


SahatSurya said:

On the subject of local governance and organizing committees, there was an article from last Sunday (12 August) in LeJDD.


Admittedly the nascent governance structures may not be as “democratic” as some might like, or may be too explicitly Islamic in their legal framework, but the point the journalist makes is there is a chance for debate and criticism and that the current leaders in certain villages insist that in the post-revolution period, under a new transitional government (should one emerge) there will be further elections, and not merely a perpetuation of things as they are during the revolution, particularly with respect to the application of Shari’a law.

August 20th, 2012, 7:10 am


Visitor said:



You’re obviously living on a different planet.

Or , you do not know what progress is.

Or, you have never been to Syria.

Or, you do not understand what you read.

Or, you only read what your mind tells you to read. That is you’re living in a your own coccoon world just like the idiot occupying Damascus.

Therefore, you are engaged in a an idle pursuit.

I suggest you go play somewhere else.

August 20th, 2012, 8:02 am


Visitor said:


The regime would do the impossible to prevent al-Sharaa from leaving Syria. That’s not because al-Sharaa is so important but because of the amount of information he can reveal once he is outside Syria.

August 20th, 2012, 8:09 am


erin said:

Here is why Bashar should stay in power, i don’t recall that any of the Sabiha has done this.
the Arab spring is all a hoax, if you want Syria led by the MB that’s what you are getting.
Many of us said that here but apparently the USA is insisting in installing radical regimes in the ME in place of dictator ones.


August 20th, 2012, 8:47 am



Russia continues to bark as it discovers that its gambit to use Syria and its people as a spring board to achieve lost superpower status have come to naught,


August 20th, 2012, 8:51 am


Son of Damascus said:


The article you linked in 328 is a complete fabrication and a lie being disseminated by the radical Christian right. They are no better than the radical Muslim right that you have such disdain towards…

“crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others.”

So according to the article Middle Eastern Media confirms this news. I clicked on his “sources”. All of them attribute the story to a fake Sky News Arabic report THAT DOES NOT EXSIST.

Maybe you are gullible enough to believe such lies, but anyone with half a brain would easily see it as it is.

August 20th, 2012, 9:03 am


Son of Damascus said:


“All these years of good work, only so some ignorant 18 yo with an AK and a quran can come by to destroy it.”

What good work? Over what years?

What is so wrong with the Quran?

August 20th, 2012, 9:10 am


Son of Damascus said:

I just had two conversations with people I know in Damascus, when asked how are things in Damascus the reply each one of them gave me makes me really question whether these two people live in the same city or even if they live in the same universe.

August 20th, 2012, 9:19 am


Halabi said:

كشف مصدر لموقع “روسيا اليوم” الاثنين 20 أغسطس/آب، أن مسؤولا عسكريا سورياً رفيع المستوى توفي في أحد مستشفيات موسكو. وأضاف أن جثمان المسؤول نقل من موسكو إلى دمشق نهاية الأسبوع الماضي على طائرة خاصة.

ولم يذكر المصدر اسم المسؤول السوري الذي نقل خبر وفاته.


Hopefully this will be the last time I post something from Russian sources. Could this be the death of Maher and could someone please get Sharmine to write how his death doesn’t matter and Hijab’s defection is normal.

Ghufran said:
“I am not neutral when it comes to the FSA,I was against the idea of forming a parallel army from day one,so my opinion here may be biased”

So soldiers who were ordered to kill, rape and pillage should have followed orders and not defected? I agree that is biased, and I’ve mentioned the reason many times. This position is shared by sectarian opponents to the revolution, who are people that can’t support Assad but have so much fear and hatred for all Syrians except their sect or class that they can’t risk democracy.

August 20th, 2012, 9:20 am



Did Maher just die in a Moscow hospital recently?


Could it be that the Bogdanove al-Watan interview was real after all?

Is Rusiia involved in lie and deceit to cover up its failed Syria policies?

The Syrian people are looking forward to the day when this scourge of secondary power dreaming to achieve a superpower status witby using Syrian blood is kickedout altogether from our beloved Syria.

August 20th, 2012, 9:48 am


irritated said:

Lots of rhetorics, predictions, warning..

The reality on the ground is obvious even to Silly Hillary:

The rebels are loosing both battle, the military and the heart and minds of the Syrians and the Western world.
From “peaceful” demonstrators to “heroic freedom fighters” they have turn into bloodthirsty militias animated by greed, dissension and corruption.
The image they are projecting of Syria’s future is a lot worse that Syria has ever been.
This “adventure” has costed 20,000 dead and billions of destruction. They should go back to their drawing board and stop begging shamelessly the USA and the West to get them out of the mess they got in

August 20th, 2012, 9:51 am


irritated said:

One more prediction of our local Cassandra goes to the dustbin.
Soon the dustbin will be recycled, I am sure.

Ramadan is over and Bahar Al Assad is still the president of Syria, the government is still in Damascus, the army still united and the opposition still bickering.

More predictions, Cassandra?

August 20th, 2012, 10:19 am


Karabennemsi said:


http://undp.org.sy/index.php/stories/58-social-development-for-poverty-reduction-/467-empowering-syrian-women / http://web.undp.org/comtoolkit/success-stories/ARAB-Syria-povred.shtml
There are of course other organisations who have more experience in these fields, i dont want anybody to associate them with my personal political believes.
Nothing is wrong with the quran, but everything is wrong if someone with too much testosteron and too litlle brain capacity is trying to dictate others how to live.

Dont be fooled by the media, the FSA is just like the regimes security forces.


Nothing substential, only talking in phrases, a lot of semi nationalist and wannabe intellectual but proletarian behaviour at the same time, its like talking to an regime loyal village chief, or maybe his deputy and son in law.

I have probably been training Syrians in active citizenship before you even learned english, and i will most likely continue to do so in a couple of months, and i really hope i will not have to deal with a new generation of corrupt, murderous wannabe pious idiots, who have no idea what they are dealing with, but rather with the old generation who has seen the successes of the programs and therefore minimized the resistance against them.

August 20th, 2012, 11:19 am


Visitor said:

337 KARA whatever,

Judging from your comments, you claim to know more than you can prove.

A true sign of hypocrisy.

I also doubt you have any credentials whatsoever.

So, once go play somewhere else.

August 20th, 2012, 11:53 am


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