The Revolution Strikes Home: Yasir Qash`ur, my wife’s cousin, killed in Banyas

The Syrian revolution struck home yesterday. My wife, Manar Qash`ur [Kachour], burst into tears last night as she read the Facebook page that has kept her updated on events in her hometown, Latakia. Lt. Colonel Yasir Qash`ur, who was Manar’s cousin and 40 years old, was shot in Banyas on Sunday. He was one of two Lt. Colonels and 10 military personnel killed – more were wounded. Yasir’s funeral was held in the village this morning – Monday. My brother-in-law, Firas, and father-in-law, Shaaban, both attended.

Addendum: Tuesday morning. [I am adding Youtube video of the funeral held Monday in Beit al-Murj, our village, a day after writing this post.]

Yasir’s parents have a house in Manar”s village, Beit al-Murj, where we spend summers. Yasir’s father, Ahmad Qash`ur is married to Yamna Qash`ur; they are first cousins; Yumna is the sister of my father-in-law. They live two doors down from our house in the village and are a leading family in the community. Yasir’s father, Ahmad, worked as a lawyer with the oil refinery in Banyas. Both Yasir’s brother and sister are dentists in Banyas. Their family house in the village, where they spend summers, always had the door open and tea boiling in the courtyard. Every time we drove into the village, we would stop to say hello and share a tea or would yell greetings out the window of the car as we drove by. Yasir had a great sense of humor and was easy going. He was handsome and known for his striking blue eyes and fair complexion. He married a girl from Banyas, Rudaynah, who is a teacher.

Rudayna, Yasir’s wife

Manar remembers that when they were about 13 years old, Yasir was trying to learn to whistle. He was unable to make a sound despite hard work and constant effort. One night after coming home late and washing up in the bathroom, he managed to whistle. proudly, he whistled as loudly as he could. He woke every one in the house. His father came into the bathroom and slapped him for arousing the family from its happy sleep. Yasir’s whistling triumph was unappreciated except as village lore. The retelling always roused a hearty laugh from everyone at his expense.

Ahmad and Nur Qash`ur

Yasir has two children, Ahmad and Nur, 10 and 12 years of age. He just finished building his first apartment in Banyas after 20 years of serving in the military. He built it on top of his parents’ house. The shutters had yet to be hung; it was not painted and much of the internal trim had yet to be added. But it was enough to move in. Last summer, when Manar and the kids were in the village, Yasir’s father told Manar, “Finally Yasir has his own house. I don’t want anything else. Now I am very satisfied.”

My sons, Kendall Shaaban and Jonah (Yunis) Firas, played with his children in the village the last several summers.

My father-in-law said on the phone this morning that it seemed that supporters of ex-Vice President Khaddam, who was from Banyas, were behind the attack. It is said that they had set a trap for the military unit. All this is speculation, however. We know precious little about who is killing whom in Syria. Allegations are numerous. Real knowledge is scarce.

Yasir’s mother, Yamna Qash`ur, sitting on the balcony of her brother’s house in the village. Her sister in-law is cooking bread

My son Jonah with two of Yasir’s nieces in Beit al-Murj

Beit al-Murj viewed from our balcony

Boys tending sheep down the road.

More of Shabulla and Jonah’s cousins in the village

Yasir’s grave

The news report by al-Watan about Banyas

تسعة قضوا بينهم ضابطان.. وترفعوا إلى منزلة شهيد، و46 جريحاً من الجيش والشرطة والمدنيين جروح بعضهم خطرة.
هذه حصيلة المعركة الحقيقية التي شهدتها مدينة بانياس أمس التي تحصن فيها عدد كبير من المسلحين رافعين شعار «الجهاد»، ومستخدمين المتفجرات والقنابل اليدوية والأسلحة الرشاشة، راغبين في جعل بانياس ساحة للفوضى والقتل تحت غطاء الحرية وتحت تغطية مالية تم القبض على من يديرها ليتضح أنه الذراع المالية لعبد الحليم خدام واسمه محمد علي بياسي ويشاركه المدعو أحمد موسى، أما أبرز أعماله على الأرض فهو توليه مسؤولية تأمين الأسلحة عبر الزوارق البحرية القادمة من لبنان وتوزيعها «للثوار» الذين أكد أغلبية أبناء بانياس أنهم من أرباب السوابق، وهذا ما أكده أهالي بانياس في شهاداتهم واتصالاتهم مع مختلف وسائل الإعلام ومنها «الوطن».

وفاة ضابط برتبة مقدم وارتفاع عدد جرحى إطلاق النار ببانياس إلى 31 شخصا

أفاد مراسلنا في بانياس، نقلا عن مصادر في المشفى الوطني بالمدينة، إلى أن “ضابطا برتبة مقدم توفي في إطلاق نار، فيما ارتفع عدد اصابات رجال الامن الى 31 جريح” .

From the Comment Section:

  • Like it or not, when protesters use violence and kill people,including security officers,they will be seen as criminals not freedom fighters,and this may actually strengthen the regime hardliners position. There will be a point,already coming in Banias,where people will choose security over freedom, and that will be a tragedy. Damascus and Aleppo are watching,and the more violent protests become the less likely they will receive support from these two large cities. The official media has performed poorly so far and most people today get their information from other sources especially that we have not seen any of those alleged thugs on tv after, reportedly,they were captured committing violent acts. If I was a civil right advocate calling for a regime change I will be praying every day that the scenario in Banias is never repeated again.
  • A story of how the 19 security personnel were killed has started to emerge, and I’m inclined to believe it. The story that has surfaced explains that one of the soldiers did not want to shoot at his people so he shot the 19 other soldiers before he got killed. The story for me is believable because the media government story did not bring how and why those people killed, like there is a cover up or a shy attitude to cover the above story. Still, in general we are seeing not excessive use of force but elements from the Mokhabarat, security personnel and Shabeeha, which people have known about them for long time, those element are working in harmony and bring the havoc on the live of the peaceful protesters.
  • So an officer who did not want to kill his fellow countrymen, shot and killed 19 of his countrymen to prevent them from shooting at his countrymen. Your story cannot be true, because all security are armed, and even if someone went off shooting his colleagues, he would be whacked very quickly. It takes a long time to shoot down 19 people (and injure 75). Story does not stand, sorry. You’re going for this long shot story just to avoid accepting the counter argument that there are outside elements that are armed and operative inside the country.
  • Bashar has had 3 weeks, how long we should wait? blood is spilled things are much worse, people are not going out of their homes at dark,instead your thugs are roaming the streets shooting. This will lead to the creation of  rough bands.
  • Banias is a clear example of why demonstrations need to stay peaceful. Thugs in that city burned many private and public buildings, kept the city markets closed for 10 days, hunted and killed army officers and terrorized civilians.some Mosques in that city are being used to call for violence and sectarian uprising. Those who are unable to see this can only complain after the government does what it needs to do: protect the city and bring armed thugs to justice. Syrians may have to suffer from both a corrupt regime and armed criminals who use religion as a weapon.
  • I agree that the Syrian TV videos were not convincing enough, I have a question to the opposition though: Isn’t it strange that there is not a single video showing the security forces or army shooting at protesters? Not a single video! We only see crowds and hear gunfire, so by the same argument you use to denounce the state TV, how can we be sure that it has not been edited? Why nobody seems to be able to take a proper incriminating video on either side?
  • Who killed the army officers in Banyas?? Would the regime target expendable units in the army just to scare people off further??? Getting a little bit hard to swallow! An easier story to believe would be violent Khaddam followers. Then we have this: حسب متصل بقناة الحوار أن مقدم بالجيش نزار قطاش قد تم إعدامه مع عشرة من رفاقة لرفضه إطلاق النار في بانياس   This is off twitter…   this is a new level of serious
  • Lebanon went through worse crisis, than Syria is going through,Lebanon did not divide,I do not think that dividing Syria is inevitable. Democracy will bring it together. There is strong desire and will to stick with each other. I don’t believe at all, that there is third party playing sedition, those thugs are the regime thugs,no one should be deceived .
  • Allegations about dissent within the army have no truth to them. Such allegations have been propagated by the opposition for two weeks. They are meant to divide the army, but this is a long shot and it is not going to work.
  • Do I find the Syrian TV celebratory coverage of events inappropriate? It depends!  Inappropriate for the sentiment of people? absoutely! It is indecent, insensitive and inconsiderate. Inappropriate for the “National Sentiment” of the regime: No! It is quite appropriate for them. This is how they operate. Jr said it himself in his last “Temper Tantrum Speach”. To them, Syria is them and them is Syria. Others are either with them or, non-Syrians / traitors, Zionists / etc….  The regime’s media has provided us with many stories about militant groups vandalising here and killing there! At the end of the day, we have: The word of arrsested, badly tortured youngsters on the one hand, and The word of Jr, his serial killer brother, and cousin media moghul Makhloof! Is it difficult to choose whom not to believe? Not to me! Let us not waist time trying to disprove the regime’s fables! Let us invest our precious time and energy in serving a higher purpose: Promoting the cause of freedom and the great Syrian revolution.
  • I think the regime needs to go but not Libya-style and not overnight. After 48 years of albaath rule, political life in Syria came to an almost total arrest. I agree with one thing Bashar said when he suggested that the country needs to improve its educational,economic and judicial system before we can expect a western style democracy,assuming that this is acceptable to islamists,the problem is that albaath is responsible for much of Syria’s problems today and can not be trusted to initiate reform.  The moment of truth is coming when elections start at the local and then national level.if independents are allowed to run and if the 8th article of the institution is removed,then we can start to believe that Bashar is finally fulfilling his promises. Until things changed on the ground,no Syrian should trust this regime. As for those who claim that nobody is shooting or burning except the government militias,I say this is true in many cases but it is not true in places where the locals witnessed the killing of security officers and the destruction of property done by “freedom seekers”. The opposition has too much to lose if they allow thugs to infiltrate their ranks. Finally, do not underestimate the power of the MB and its sympathizers in Syria, they are everywhere,and they are willing to install a regime similar to Hamas in Gaza if Syrians allow them to,I still think there is a way out of this but the pressure on the regime,through peaceful protest,should not stop.
  • Let us get this straight. It takes less than a day to amend the constitution, changing the minimum age of the president to be from 40 to 34 years to perfectly fit for Bashar, but it takes weeks? months? years? to implement a law that would allow opposition parties to exist? It takes studies and god knows how long to remove the state of emergency? You have to be kidding if you still have faith in this regime.
  • Anti regime people should isolate those who commit violence and carry arms. It is obvious that some protesters are thugs and criminals who are actually indirectly serving the regime.pretending that all protesters are peaceful is not going to help the cause of freedom. I am afraid that Syrians may eventually rise against chaos instead of rising against the government.give absolute freedom and weapons to uneducated unemployed people who are in their late teens or early twenties and see what happens.
  • I guess bisho will no longer be able to drive his car solo through the streets of Damascus like before claiming that the people love him so much that he doesn’t need bodyguards… See mr. president, things have already changed and you don’t even know it!!
  • I am very disturbed by the calls for blood i have been reading over the past few days. Where did all this hate come from, and where was it hidden. I am fearful for Syria….
  • do you really believe for a second that if things become stable for the president he will, or would be capable of eliminating the loyalty requirement. Far from it, as its value would have been demonstrated, its price will likely become too high and may include more privileges and far more impunities, especially after a period of calm, when people start talking about what really happened and who are those mysterious thugs. On economy, how dreamy are you or anyone else to think for a second that any Syrian government under the same regime will ever have a chance in attracting investment again. To begin with, the facade of stability has been shattered irreparably. The regime had to give up any shred of economic liberalization in order to bribe the people, who seem to have rejected these bribes.
  • Those armed gangs have very good organization and communication system equal to that of the security forces, they know where the demonstrations are going to happen and they manage to infiltrate the security cordon and mingle with the crowds before they start shooting at protesters and the poor regular police !!! WHO ARE THEY KIDDING
  • this is an answer to asad who gave a free hand to extremist rafidi theocrats to build propaganda centers in Syria in which are insulted Omar,Osman,Abu Bakr ,Aisha ,99 % of the sahaba ,but also Salahadin al Ayyoubi ,Nur Al Din Zangi….the regime has been warned.
    Thanks to this awarness ,Syria will never be like Iraq (and Lebanon),a play ground for the iranian theocracy.
    It’s now clear that you are not against this kind of marginal extremism but your problem is mainstream Islam in general.
  • It seems that the regime now is eradicating Wahhabis from Banias, though I am not sure what is exactly happening there. This war is far from being over. I think it is going to be long and it may last for months, just like the war with the Muslim Brothers.
  • Egypt is going to be more and more Islamized, until the point when Sharia will be the law of the land. Look at Iran’s example. Is it an attractive example?…I don’t see a bright future for Egypt. The Islamists will gradually enforce a very repressive culture in Egypt and Egypt will fall into a black hole. … Qaddafi does not seem to be losing in Libya. …Do you know that Libya is a tribal Islamist society? Do you expect “democracy” to work in such a society? These assumptions about automatic democracy in the Arab countries sound too naive to me…. As for the the future of reform in Syria and the economy, I am not optimistic either. The picture is gloomy. I don’t think Bashar will seriously reform anything. Before the uprising there was economic reform and some secularization effort. Now we have lost both of these, so there is nothing left.
  • There is no half free, half democracy or half rights. Syrian are asking (or should be asking) for no less than a complete freedom and equality including the freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of choice, equality between men and women, equality regardless of regions, sects, areas or ethnic background. If this is what the Syrian revolution is about, then I am all for it, otherwise it’s another crime against Syria.
  • Despite of all what happened, I am optimistic, on the political front, and independent of the outcomes of the current cricis in Syria, I can not imagine the next presidential election in 2014 to be carried out in the same laughable manners we are used to. Taboos have been broken, and there is no turning back. Iran is going through another election around the same time. And things will be really different than before.That off course assuming the Syrian regime manages to enact some of the reforms required for it’s survival, a questionable proposition, so far.

A Joud from the large industrial family in Latakia says that things are pretty bad in Lattakia. Joud Enterprises are pretty much shut down. Workers are not showing up for work and orders for products are declining.

The Syrian government has recently announced an increase in salaries and benefits. On March 24 pay for civil servants and pensioners was raised between 20 and 30 percent and the minimum wage went up by some 50 percent.

The increase has affected all five levels of employment. If you happened to have no formal education, your starting salary will be $259 a month. The highest that a person in this fifth and bottom group will ever hit will be $592 after your many years of service. If you happened to be on the other extreme in education credentials, a person with a PhD will start with $475.69 and will face a cap of $1030.

In other words, the difference in starting salary between a PhD holder and an elementary school dropout is $216 a month. A person earning a PhD will make $7.2 in extra income a day than a person who quits school.

The difference in starting salary between a PhD and high school (Bacc.) holder incidentally is $156 a month ($5.2 a day)

Continued Protests End Hopes of Economic Recovery [Jihad Yazigi’s Syria Report]

The demonstrations held across Syria last Friday have dashed any hopes of a rapid end to the current wave of protests as well as prospects for a quick economic recovery….

Syrian Authorities Formalise Harder Approach: [Jihad Yazigi’s Syria Report]

The Syrian Government has formalized a harder approach to protests as Said Bkheitan, the deputy head of the Baath Party, said that the situation now requires “deterring and decisive decisions” to restore order…..

CNN report: Syria: a sleeping giant

Ex-Finance Minister Hussein says that Heating oil subsidy should be increased.

قال الدكتور محمد الحسين عضو القيادة القطرية ووزير المالية في حكومة تصريف الأعمال أنه من أنصار تخفيض أسعار المازوت آملاً أن يكون ذلك من أول القرارات التي ستأخذها الحكومة الجديدة

Death toll rises amid fresh Syrian protests
Amnesty International, Monday, 8 April 2011

At least 171 people are believed to have been killed during three weeks of unrest in Syria, Amnesty International said today after at least eight more fatalities during protests. “The alarming reports coming from Syria today show that the authorities have not altered their violent methods for dealing with dissent,” said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International…..

Stocks: According to Ehsani

The Egyptian stock market fell by 29% from the middle of jan till march 24. It has since rebounded by about 5%. The loss there as of today is -22.8% compared to Syria’s -20%. In Tunisia they also fell by -22% at the beginning and after a brief bounce, the current loss in that market is -17%

Syria Tries to Placate Sunnis and Kurds
Published: April 6, 2011

CAIRO — The government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria offered several unusual gestures on Wednesday intended to earn it good will among Sunnis and Kurds.

The government announced that Syria’s first and only casino, which had enraged Islamists when it opened on New Year’s Eve, would be closed. It also said that schoolteachers who had been dismissed last year for wearing the niqab, a type of face veil, would be allowed back to work.

These concessions and others were made public as activists were calling for renewed demonstrations to be held on Thursday, which is the 64th anniversary of the formation of the Baath Party, which has been in power since 1963. Protests demanding expanded political rights and a multiparty democracy have spread to cities across Syria over the last three weeks, posing a highly unusual challenge to Mr. Assad.

Ayman Abdel Nour, a Syrian writer and activist who was a childhood friend of Mr. Assad’s, said that about 1,200 women would be affected by the niqab decision, which was the most immediately significant result of a meeting Tuesday between Mr. Assad and a popular Islamist leader, Said Ramadan al-Bouti.

Other concessions offered at the meeting, Mr. Abdel Nour said, included permission to create an Islamist satellite channel and to form an Islamist political party. The party, he said, would be similar to the AKP in Turkey.

“It will be a moderate Islamist party loyal to the regime,” Mr. Abdel Nour said. “This is a very important deal. The regime is trying to weaken the demonstrators.”

Mr. Assad also promised to give citizenship to stateless people within Syria, and to make a national holiday of the Kurdish New Year’s festival Nayrouz, Mr. Abdel Nour said. An estimated 200,000 Kurds living in Syria are stateless, international human rights groups said.

“If the Islamists and the Kurds enter the demonstrations, the regime will lose control,” Mr. Abdel Nour said. “The president is trying to delay the big explosion.”

The unrest began three weeks ago in the southern city of Dara’a after the arrest of a group of teenagers for writing antigovernment graffiti.

The protests have since spread to the coastal city of Latakia, the crowded Damascus suburbs and the remote Kurdish cities of the northeast. The government has responded harshly, pledging political reform but also violently dispersing crowds, arresting scores and accusing protesters of complicity with a foreign conspiracy. The clashes with security forces have killed as many as 173 people, according to figures released by Insan, a Syrian human rights group, on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, security forces maintained a tight grip on Dara’a, where residents are reported to be conducting a general strike. Ahmed Al Sayasna, a local religious leader reached by telephone, said that security forces were stationed outside the town and that shops were shuttered.

The strike began on Monday, the day after Mr. Assad appointed a former lieutenant general, Mohamed Khaled Al Hanous, governor of the restive region. Activists rejected his appointment as too little, too late.

“The issue is not the governor; the issue is the whole system,” said Wassim Tarif, the executive director of Insan. “Who shot at people in Dara’a? It was the security forces backed up by the military. That is the president’s responsibility.”

In another development, Syrian state media reported Tuesday night that two policemen in the Damascus suburb of Kafr Batna had been shot and killed. The report blamed their death on unidentified gunmen but offered few details.

Mr. Tarif said that a peaceful demonstration was held in the suburb on Friday and that it was followed by two days of police raids and arrests.

Liam Stack reported from Cairo, and Katherine Zoepf from New York.

Beware the void under tyranny
By Robert Kaplan, April 06 2011 11:29

Ivory Coast is a showcase of events in the Middle East. The issue is not democracy, but the threat of anarchy, writes Robert Kaplan
Read the full article at:

عاجل: مصدر مطلع يؤكد بأن الحسين والدردري خارج الحكومة المرتقبة

كشف مصدر مطلع للاقتصادي بأن كل من وزير المالية السابق محمد الحسين والنائب الاقتصادي عبد الله الدردي خارج الحكومة.

وخلافاً لما تداولنه مصادر صحفية سابقة بأن الوزراء الباقون في الحكومة المرتقبة هم خمسه، أكد المصدر للاقتصادي أن الوزراء الباقون سبعة وليس خمسة وهم:

وزير الخارجية السابق وليد المعلم

وزير الدفاع السابق: علي حبيب

وزير الإسكان السابق: عمر إبراهيم غلاونجي

وزير الأوقاف السابق: محمد عبد الستار السيد

وزير شؤون رئاسة الجمهورية السابق: منصور عزام

وزير الثقافة السايق: رياض عصمت

وزير الري السابق: جورج صومي

Comments (108)

Vedat The Turk said:

Hi Josh. My condolences to you and your family on your loss. The Syrian people are going through a great deal of hardship to enjoy the democratic freedoms we have attained in Turkey. I pray that it is not in vain and that one day Syria too will be a robust multi-ethnic / multi party democracy.

April 11th, 2011, 12:10 pm


jad said:

Dear Dr. and Mrs Landis,
I’m really sorry to hear about your relative.
With my deepest sympathy,
your friend,

April 11th, 2011, 12:21 pm


Opal said:

I read your post with great sadness today.. Your touching descriptions and images of family life felt like a hard slap of reality amidst the usual coverage of recent events. My condolences to you and your family.

April 11th, 2011, 12:36 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Where is the ass clown club now with their songs of ‘Peaceful Protesters?’ Or are they going to say that Joshua Landis is lying?

April 11th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Off the Wall said:

Dear Joshua and Manar
Please accept my sincerest sympathy for your family’s loss.

Yours Truly

April 11th, 2011, 12:40 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

Please send my condolences to your wife and her family,I hope this is the end of bad news.

April 11th, 2011, 12:57 pm


SOURI said:

My condolences to your wife and you.

April 11th, 2011, 1:03 pm


Nour said:

Dear Josh:

I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to you and your wife’s family.

April 11th, 2011, 1:04 pm


GK said:

I like to know more about the cities where demonstrations had been held. Demographics, poverty, education level, and main source of income for the people. Would you please readers enrich us!!!

April 11th, 2011, 1:04 pm


Alex said:

So sad to read Yasir’s story. Allah yer7amo. If some here are not interested in reading between the lines, I think Joshua wanted to tell you that “the regime” … “the Alawite controlled army” is not made exclusively of the stereotype corrupt thuggish characters some of you are obsessed with. The majority are good, decent people like Yasir who was killed by armed men in Banias and not because he refused to shoot as your holy revolution’s many popular lies alleged.

“the revolution” in Banias is really an intersection of legitimate grievances, Wahabi salafi power, and dirty politics by Khaddam and his supporters.

A Canadian Syrian friend of mine went back last year to live in Banias. He had enough of the cold weather in Montreal and missed the delicious fresh Mediterranean fruits and vegetables he used to enjoy in Syria. Last month he had a back operation and he needed an extended period to recover.

Yesterday he finally decided that Banias is not a tolerant city anymore for an Alawite. Despite his back pain and the sounds of machine guns in the street, he took his two children and escaped to his parent’s Alawite village.

This is a protest movement with many legitimate demands, and many sick ones too … When I see their page on Facebook I want to throw up. No matter how much help and advice they got from Neocon “Regime change” budget and their employee Ammar Abdel Hamid and other Egyptian NGOs, they are mostly a bitter, violent, Salafi bunch that represents a small minority of Syrian Muslims…

Allah yer7am all the young men who died from both sides … the videos on Youtube allowed us all to see what those killed look like. Each one of them had parents, children, dreams …

We have to find ways to try to minimize violence when confrontations take place in the future.

April 11th, 2011, 1:32 pm


Ford Prefect said:

My sincere and deep condolences to you and your lovely wife and family, Josh! My wife and I have known your family for years and have nothing short of the utmost admiration to all of you.

We are so deeply saddened by the latest events in Syria and your personal loss highlights the terrible tragedies that are happening now in Syria.

What we are witnessing today, as Alex said, is a calamity that has the potential of tearing down the very fabric of the Syrian society.

While the people’s legitimate demands are noble and just, it didn’t take long before the dark horses of religious bigotry and envy of everything Syrian hijacked the message and the messengers.

So sad to loose a young Syrian and many other martyrs that Syria needs the most. Allah yirhamo; God bless Syria and all of its people.

April 11th, 2011, 1:54 pm


Aatssi said:

My sincerest condolences to you, your wife and her family for the loss.

April 11th, 2011, 2:01 pm


CC said:

Dear Joshua, my condolences to your family.

April 11th, 2011, 2:08 pm


Sophia said:

Dear Prof. Landis,

I read your blog now and then and I feel sorry for what happened to your wife’s cousin. Let’s hope that the Syrian people will be able to overcome the present turmoil and focus on preserving their country from the evil that hit my country, Lebanon, some 35 years ago.



April 11th, 2011, 2:13 pm


Averroes said:

My sincerest condolences, Joshua, to you and your wife’s family, and to all Syrians for the blood that’s being spilled. It is so sad indeed.

Media is one front that Syria leaves pretty much unattended, and we have to face fierce assaults on that front with very weak defences. Why does it have to take the blood of people like Yasser, and the other security personnel to communicate the message that these demonstrations are very far from the false claim of nonviolence? There may be some that are truly peaceful, but there’s no hiding whatsoever that there is a very real armed and criminal aspect to it.

Still, I talk to some people who still subscribe to the delusional theory that officers are being mowed down by the dozen for refusing to shoot at civilians, and I wonder what would make them change their minds? It’s very clearly a psychological warfare that’s taking its toll. Syria really needs to beef up that front.

الله يرحمه، و يرحم كل من قتل ظلماً في هذه الأحداث،

April 11th, 2011, 2:13 pm


SOURI said:

Alex concluded that people on the Facebook page represent a small minority of Syrian Muslims. I wonder how could he decide that hey represent a small minority? Actually this is exactly what the revolutionists are claiming , they are claiming that the religious extremists are a minority among them.

Sectarian hatred is common in Syria. Most Sunnis hate the Alawis. This is a fact. Most Sunnis are Islamists (Islmists mean those who do not believe in the separation between religion and state). I have never seen an Islamist in my entire life who does not hate the Alawis.

The people on the Facebook page represent no less than 50% of the Syrian population. The fact that only a fraction of them is acting on the ground does not mean that others disagree with what they are saying. Most non-Wahhabi Islamists have not joined the revolution because of fear and economic factors, not because they don’t agree with the principles of the revolution (which is basically to allow the Islamists to rule Syria).

April 11th, 2011, 2:19 pm


NK said:

Dear Joshua.

May it comfort you to know that, your loved one is safe in God’s care now. May the memories held deep within your heart, help to soothe you. You’re in my prayers. With deepest sympathy.

April 11th, 2011, 2:21 pm


gk said:

It is very interesting to read Alex’s comments (#10) explaining that: “Yesterday he finally decided that Banias is not a tolerant city anymore for an Alawite.” I have been reading for years on this blog how Syria is a tolerant country and all people living in harmony not like our neighboring states: Lebanon and Iraq. Would you please explain what happened to cause the 180 degrees change?

April 11th, 2011, 2:21 pm


SOURI said:

Syria is a tolerant country because of its ruling regime. This is what everybody was saying. The Syrian people without the regime are not tolerant and sectarianism is common. The Islamists claim otherwise because their notion of tolerance is different from ours.

The Baath is a nationalist party that is strictly anti-sectarianist. This is what people mean when they say Syria is a tolerant country.

April 11th, 2011, 2:40 pm


Alex said:


You are proving everyday that you hate Syria. There is nothing that pleases you more than reading bad news that make Syria look like your Lebanon that suffered from decades of civil war.

All your democracy activism (genuine I’m sure) fails to compete with the negativity that you have been accumulating over the years towards Syrians.

As I explained before, you are a good person and I respect you and what you stand for, but it is amazing how much hate there is in Lebanon towards Syria, hate that is wrapped in the lovely “we want democracy in Syria, that’s all” type of nonsense.

You hated hearing today that Manar’s cousin was indeed killed by violent, anti-Assad revolutionaries. You were sure that this is another of your black and white cases where the thuggish regime is murdering poor, democracy loving people every day.

I don’t think there is any value in discussing anything Syria related with you because you are blinded by your desire to see “The Syrian regime” humiliated, but I will answer your question:

Did I say that I believed Banias is not safe for an Alawite to live in? … if you have a Ph.D. I hope you are capable of understanding that I was talking about how my friend felt yesterday.

The revolutionaries, who are a small minority of Syrian Muslims, would end peaceful coexistence that Assad regime, that you hate, promoted and manged much better than other regimes in the difficult Levant.

But the psychology behind people’s attitudes and behaviors is very complex. In times of crisis fears become more dominant and if that’s what you would like to focus on in order to generalize to non-crisis times, you can do that alone, but don’t expect me to agree with your wishful analysis.

And I also said the Syrian people have legitimate grievances against the same regime that I hope will be debated and when possible, addressed.

Finally .. the Syrian people were also very upset at what Lebanese like you were saying and doing since 2005. But when Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006, Syrians (all religions) opened their homes to every single Lebanese refugee who needed to stay a few weeks in Damascus… 250,000 of them.

April 11th, 2011, 2:43 pm


AIG said:


Most Lebanese and Israelis do not want to see Assad humiliated. What they want to see is a Syrian foreign policy that is not based on destabilizing its neighbors. Is that too much to ask?

It is wrong when Syria does it, and it is wrong if someone else is doing it to Syria but clearly the Assad regime cannot complain if others are using methods it perfected.

April 11th, 2011, 3:06 pm


Ford Prefect said:

Ah, tolerance! That nice-sounding word superimposed on the freshly-minted nation-states of the Middle East.

GK, if you are referring to religious tolerance, I am happy to report that it is alive and actually has been doing just fine for about, ummm, thousands of years in the Middle East. In fact, there hasn’t been a single religious sect or strain that was wiped out due to intolerance. As they say, the proof is in the pudding!

Therefore, I find your question about “…what happened to cause the 180 degrees change?” in Syria to be rather humorous but, nevertheless, unworthy of any further discussion.

April 11th, 2011, 3:17 pm


N.Z. said:

Our heartfelt sympathy to all the Syrians who passed away violently over the years. We are one. Our destiny is one. Our suffering is one. Our fear and aspirations are one.

Let us not play on our differences, rather on our shared values, our humanity. Emotions are high and blaming the outsiders, infiltrators or sectarianism will only inflame the situation further.

A civil war is ugly, we will all loose. Governments come and go, good or bad, however, we, the people with our shared history will remain forever.

We will come out stronger if we suppressed our anger. Let us pray for a strong and united people. Syrian People are one.

Syrian Regards.

April 11th, 2011, 3:19 pm


Alex said:


I was discussing feelings. GK comes here every time he smells a conflict for Syria (internal or regional). Did I ever go when Lebanon lived through one of its many crises to anti-Syria Lebanese blogs to lecture them and to indirectly express my joy?

Syria’s relations with Israel and Lebanon are not the reflections for Israel’s relations with Syria or Lebanon’s relations with Syria.

Israel occupies lands that the UN, the US, and the whole world clearly recognize as Syria’s. The opposite is not true.

As for Syria and Lebanon, read Patrick Seale today in the Guardian explain that it has nothing to do with who rules Syria:

“Nor is the crisis likely to reduce Syria’s influence in Lebanon. No Syrian regime of any colour can tolerate a hostile government in Beirut. Its security – especially vis-a-vis Israel – is intimately tied to that of its Lebanese neighbour. The wave of protest engulfing the Arab world has pushed the Arab-Israeli conflict into second place. But that can only be temporary. Until it is resolved, the region will know no stability and little peace.”

April 11th, 2011, 3:22 pm


AIG said:

Ford Perfect,

Clearly the Jews of the Arabian peninsula were wiped out because of intolerance. It is not the whole middle east, but it is a pretty big area. There are also less than 50 Jews left in Syria.

However, what kind of measure for tolerance is the fact that a religion is not wiped out completely? I am having a hard time thinking of a religion that was completely wiped out in Europe or any other part of the world.

April 11th, 2011, 3:25 pm


ziadsoury said:

Dear Prof Landis, Manar and family,

Sorry for your loss. Please accept my sincerest condolences for your family’s loss.

I condemn all acts of violence and all the killings of my fellow Syrians.

April 11th, 2011, 3:27 pm


SOURI said:

And the Syrian farce continues: Syria steps wants to try the last government for its economic reform policies:

I am getting a feeling that Syria is going to turn into a big circus soon, with many clowns who were locked up somewhere during the last years getting out and taking lead of things.

The future is very dim.

April 11th, 2011, 3:33 pm


AIG said:


So what if you think that Israel holds territory that belongs to Syria? Is that a reason to support terrorism inside Israel? It isn’t and you know it, but the Assads have been doing this for years. They really can’t complain about “foreign interference” since this is one of their favorite modus operandi.

Patrick Seale has the right to his opinion, but all Syria has a right to do is employ soft power in Lebanon in a way that it would accept soft power being employed in its own territory. Otherwise, the Lebanese have every right to complain and resent Syrian interference. By the way, how would Syrian security be hampered if there were a neutral or hostile to Syria government in Lebanon? It really changes nothing.

April 11th, 2011, 3:33 pm


Alex said:


Did I say I support terrorism? … I support Gandhi’s approach … tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank peacefully demonstrating non stop like they did in Cairo until they get their Palestinian state within the pre 67 borders.

Syria, in recent years at least, did a good job convincing Hamas to stick to politics. Damascus resident Khaled Mashal’s interview with the WSJ is a very clear proof that the man changed a lot since the days he used to live in “Arab moderate” Jordan.

The Syrian army stayed too long in Lebanon. I always wrote that the best thing they did was to withdraw immediately after hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people demonstrated demanding a Syrian withdrawal.

As for the use of non-soft power in Lebanon … I think tens of millions of dollars were spent on the extended Hariri investigation and there was no proof Syria tried to kill any Lebanese or to violently overthrow the Lebanese President or Prime minister. I don’t feel like discussing anything that has no proof because I can print to you here a whole page full of links to allegations that turned out to be not true.

April 11th, 2011, 3:45 pm


souri-Amreki said:

Poor GK asked a simple question (comment #18): “Would you please explain what happened to cause the 180 degrees change?” but a lot accused him of hatred!

Me too, I sensed intolerance from previous comments and would like to understand why?

Please educate me (and him) about the situation there and what is going on. I sincerely would like to know since I have not been to Syria for a long time!

April 11th, 2011, 3:46 pm


Shami said:

I’m sorry for this news Dr Landis ,my condolences for you and your syrian family.

April 11th, 2011, 3:47 pm


N.Z. said:

AIG, what are your thoughts on Turkey? is Erdogan interfering in Syria’s internal politics?

An unstable border is worrisome, but, having a hawkish neighbour is troublesome, rather unbearable.

April 11th, 2011, 3:49 pm


ziadsoury said:


Some times, like OTW noted, you make good points.

Yes we have problems and we want to fix them. What are you doing about yours?

April 11th, 2011, 3:56 pm


Ford Prefect said:

AIG, very valid question and I was expecting someone to raise it.
The discussion of Jews in the Middle East is a lengthy one – but suffice it to say that it has not been a happy history.

I deeply regret that history as a person of Syrian origin and as a Muslim. As you know, things did flare up after 1948 when Jews were considered the “enemy”. You can probably relate to that in today’s Israel of what you think of the Palestinian as a first impression.

Many of us Syrians in the US and abroad have been reaching out to Syrian Jews to convey our affection to all humans of Syrian origins. We have reached out to the Syrian Sephardic Jewish community in New York and offered them any personal service and help we can muster to help them retrace their history there.

Many of them have since gone back to Syria, repeatedly, to visit the Jewish sacred sites and places. I am happy to say that, politics aside; they were excited to see that Jewish landmarks have been preserved, that they were welcomed by the people and the Government alike, and that they can still claim to be proud people of Syrian origin. I can tell you also that there have been investments made to rejuvenate and restore the Jewish historical sites in Syria – both in Damascus and Aleppo.

I am not saying the above in sugarcoat the bad blood that still exists today; but as smart and educated people, it is incumbent upon us to dispel some of the myths around our stormy relationship.

We must teach our children that although there is bad blood, and we are practically at war with one another, we are part of that same fabric. If we coexisted before in Spain, North Africa, and Syria, among other places, We sure can coexist at any other time.

April 11th, 2011, 3:57 pm


Sophia said:

What worries me most is that the Syrian revolution is mostly faceless. By this I mean that nobody is taking openly the lead to give a basis for discussion and reach a compromise or offer a clear alternative for the people, the way things happened in Tunisia and Egypt.

A facebook page is not a platform of real people, it is mostly propaganda. This very fact makes me think that the revolution today in Syria has the features of a civil war. There are no clear leaders and no clear platform for change.

This is not to say that there aren’t real revolutionaries in Syria. However, these real revolutionaries must come forward and be more proactive in shaping things before the country slides into civil war. They have a responsibility and they should size it instead of letting the chaos take over.

In this regard, this revolution is really different from what happened in Tunisia and Egypt.

April 11th, 2011, 3:59 pm


Syria Almighty said:

Syrian Revolution terrorists attack an ambulance and kill the passenger:

April 11th, 2011, 4:00 pm


democracynow said:

It’s really simple:

How much is the percentage of the financially corrupt officials, of the heavy handed security officers, of the embezzlers, of the family connected but totally useless and incompetent, of the unscrupulous civil servants, of the corrupt judges, of the corrupt traffic police, of the torturers, of the killers and prison wardens in the regime?

More than 90%, I’d say…

How much is the percentage of the salafists and Khaddam supporters among the protesters compared to those who have legitimate demands?

Less than 10% I’d say…

The protesters are still far, far more honorable than this regime.

And besides, the majority of the Syrian people have legitimate demands and would love to air them. That they do not go out and protest is because they fear arrest, incarceration and torture. Also as it’d been proven off late, they should fear the regime snipers. Never test the marksmanship of the regime snipers. Gotta give it to the dudes, they know their stuff.

April 11th, 2011, 4:12 pm


AIG said:


As far as I can tell, Turkey is using only soft power regarding Syria. Is Erdogan’s support of Islamic parties too much? I don’t think so. All he is asking is for Assad to let one exist.

Since 1973, not one bullet was fired in anger across the Israeli-Syrian border. That means that Israel also has not fired one bullet. This is not how “hawkish” neighbors behave. What has been “ubearable” about it? We pretty much live by the rule that if you don’t bother us we won’t bother you.


The way we solve problems in a multi party democracy like Israel is through public debate and elections. I don’t know any other way to solve problems or change things. Is it perfect? Far from it. But it is far better than any other method.

April 11th, 2011, 4:18 pm


AIG said:

Ford Perfect,

A good first thing to teach you children is that if you host and fund someone like Mesh’al who says things like the following:

Then you are not really trying to build co-existence. Before talking the talk, walk the walk.

April 11th, 2011, 4:24 pm


scooby said:

Condolences to your family for your loss.

In related news – huge protest in Damascus University today, people from Deraa, Banyas, and Kurds reportedly stepped out this afternoon. Details emerging, no one reported dead, but police broke it up.

April 11th, 2011, 4:26 pm


why-discuss said:

Dear Josh

My sincere condoleances to your wife and the family of the deceased. The report of the murder of your wife’s cousin is depressing. I am so sorry that healthy and decent are killed by the hysteria of some Syrians calling for reforms. I can’t believe that any of these protesters believe that blood is a way to get reforms. I am sure that many hateful people are using this unique opportunity to set their agenda, knowing well that such violence may snowball like it did in Lebanon and recently in Libya and can only bring doom on the whole society. I am sorry for the naive Syrians who don’t see that from now on they are being manipulated, like Lebanese were during the civil war that lasted 15 years and destroyed their country.
I hope the silent majority speak out and reject that form of demonstrations before it is too late.

I am not surprised that many lebanese are secretly or overtly rejoicing of the turmoil in Lebanon. Most Lebanese maronites have the hate of Syria in their DNA, it’s beyond logic and beyond repair. Nothing will convince them that Syria is not the cause of all their troubles. Now the Hariri’s sunni supporters have joined these maronites in their assault on Syria as Syria is close to their hated enemies: Hezbollah and Iran.
They are taking advantages on the present weakness of Syria to set their scores with Hezbollah. What they don’t realize is that if Syria becomes chaotic, it will spill on Lebanon. Lebanon has much more to loose economically than Syria who is already under multiple sanctions. Syrians are more resilient to economical hardship than Lebanon.

April 11th, 2011, 4:27 pm


SOURI said:

There are reports saying that Bashar has cut his ties with Qatar because he accuses the Qataris of taking part in the “Saudi scheme” to undermine his rule. The Wahhabis now are launching an unprecedented war on Bashar both on their TV channels (Al-Arabiyya, Wisal, Safa, etc.) and on the ground in Syria. Bashar cannot publicly blame the Wahhabis because he fears the popular reactions inside Syria and in the Gulf, but it is obvious that he holds Saudi Arabia responsible for the attack against him. The fact that Qatar has allowed its Wahhabized cleric Al-Qaradawi to publicly attack Bashar has been interpreted by Bashar as Qatari involvement in the scheme against him.

The Gulf countries took yesterday a very sharp and an unprecedented position against Iran, and they are declaring it now to be their arch enemy.

In Lebanon, the Wahhabi Saad Hariri also took a a very sharp and an unprecedented position against Iran and Hizbullah.

Saudi Arabia has obviously decided to turn its cold war with the Syrian-Iranian axis into a declared war. They are no longer going to hide behind their finger.

What does this mean for Bashar? Probably his relations with the Gulf countries will be weaker than ever, and he is going to get closer to Turkey and Iran. The last crisis hit Syria’s image as an independent player in the Middle East and showed it to be dependent on Turkey. The way Turkey involved in Syrian affairs was offensive to many Syrians, because we are not used to somebody interfering in our internal affairs this way since 1963.

Bashar needs some “Sunni” legitimacy to his rule, and if he is not going to get it from Saudi Arabia then he is going to get it from Turkey. This makes Syria too dependent on Turkey both politically and economically. This may be the beginning of a new era in the history of Syria when we will be just a Turkish satellite in the region, after decades of being game makers, a role that has been above Syria’s capabilities and has caused the economy of the country to suffer. Syria has become exhausted both economically and politically and it may not be able to preserve its traditionally strict independence.

The Wahhabi chants against Iran and Hizbullah will probably be viewed carefully by the regime in Syria, and the result may be that Syria will keep more distance with Iran and the Lebanese Shia, which means even more dependence on Turkey.

Egypt may also be a substitute, but Egypt has been for so long under heavy Wahhabi-American influence, and it won’t be easy for the country to depart from that legacy. Anyway, Egypt is going eventually to be ruled by the MB, and I don’t think the Syrian regime would prefer the MB over the Turkish AKP. Also Egypt, unlike Turkey, can’t help Syria much in terms of economic and political development.

April 11th, 2011, 4:39 pm


N.Z. said:

I hope the Syrian president will talk to his people, today not tomorrow. What is he waiting for? His first address to the nation after the civil unrest was a failure.

April 11th, 2011, 4:39 pm


NK said:

One of the “مندسين” they accused of pulling scarves off women yesterday

Apparently some one paid him 50 Lira (1$) to kiss a girl, and shocking he did it !!!
For the love of God, who are they fooling, it’s obvious this guy is homeless and mentally challenged. It saddens me to see people like him being exploited by official media like that.

April 11th, 2011, 5:11 pm


aron said:

Very sad to read this. My deepest condoleances to you and your family.

April 11th, 2011, 5:40 pm


Solitarius said:

I’m really sorry for your, and your wife’s, loss Dr. Landis. He is a fallen hero and the Syrian people should remember his name and the names of the many others like him who continue to fall everyday.. What a tragedy..

April 11th, 2011, 5:44 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:

Regards and personal condolences to Dr. Landis and family and all those who have suffered and have had family and friends injured and killed.

Its disheartening and quite sad to read about a historical people as Syrians truly are and their present tragedies.

Cursory look at the Middle East at the present reflects the traumas in the Arab speaking states as well as a calm well financed and protected state whose population has been transplanted only in the past historically speaking, few years from all parts of the world.

Some one once stated that the “eye for an eye syndrome” will result in one day everyone becoming blind.

April 11th, 2011, 5:56 pm


abbas said:

I am sorry for your loss
there is a lot of pressure inside Syria that is like a Coke bottle when you shake it will explode in everyones face, blood draws blood and usually it’s the innocent who get killed, I hope the president find another way of trying to control the masses other than violence, I don’t think that this gene is going back in the bottle

April 11th, 2011, 6:02 pm


Shami said:

Alex, the failed nasserian system and clones(Asad and co)radicalized our societies by their irrationalist imposed propaganda ,this system produced extremists and suppressed liberal and rationalist way of thinking,Bashar has added a shia style personality cult flavour to this trend,his addiction for image cult is an insult to the syrian dignity,these statues and posters of asad family are rejected by our dignity and must be erased,their destruction will mark the return of a stolen dignity.
The current turkish model is liked in Syria(and Egypt) ,we share many things in common,we are close people and like in Turkey, i dont see the syrian people to vote according religious lines ,the majority of Syria’s inhabitants dont suffer of historical complexes towards their environment.
The division in Syria will be of political nature not religious.

April 11th, 2011, 6:09 pm


SOURI said:

Many people now question two things: is Assad really a reformer? and is he really in charge of things or is he tied down by others in his regime?

President Assad has a chance to prove that he is a true reformer and leader of Syria by appointing a new government that consists solely of people who believe in economic reform. The last government had too many reactionaries who were hindering the reform process. If Assad wants really to fix the economic problems of the country, he ought to get rid of those who oppose reform, not the contrary.

We need a government full of reformers. If Assad appoints a reactionary government, this will give a negative signal about his reformative willingness and his ability to tame the anti-reform elements in his regime. People will lose faith in him and it will not be possible for him again to be called a “reformer” by the US secretary of state. The only virtue that Clinton could find in Assad to justify calling him a reformer was probably his timid policy on economic reform. If he loses that, he will have lost everything and he will only be a dictator who runs a corrupt and failing state.

I still can’t believe that Assad will really turn back on reform. I am hoping that these nasty rumors are being propagated by anti-reform fossils and they are not true.

April 11th, 2011, 6:18 pm


Equus said:

My deepest condolences to your family Mr. Landis. I just handed in my thesis and decided to browse the net for cheerful news…I guess nothing cheerful or beautiful about it. The poor is being manipulated to chant slogans on the streets without understanding its magnitude, Saudi-Jordan-Kadam advance their agendas and country protectors fall innocently. Mrs Clinton & president Sarkozy call them peaceful protesters I guess they are not so peaceful after all.

I’m sorry again for your loss and especially the kids who are left without a father.

April 11th, 2011, 6:30 pm


jad said:

أسماء شهداء الجيش في بانياس

المقدم وهيب عيسى
المقدم ياسر قشعور
المساعد سامر جلاد
المساعد سهيل الحسن
الرقيب أول علي أحمد علي
المجند عبد الحي اسماعيل
المجند محمد فرح
المجند أنور طاهر
المجند علي علي

قائمة بأسماء شهداء وجرحى عناصر الشرطة الذين استهدفهم رصاص المجموعات المسلحة خلال الأيام الماضية في كل من درعا وريف دمشق وحمص واللاذقية

12 نيسان , 2011


1- الشهيد الرقيب أول وائل علي سلامة
2- الشهيد الشرطي حسن معلا
3- الشهيد الشرطي حميد الخطيب
4- الشهيد الشرطي محمود محمد أرمله
5- الشهيد الشرطي يوسف إسماعيل العبدالله
6- الشهيد الشرطي المجند محمود محمود الخلف


1- العميد حسن فارس حمود
2- العميد هشام محي الدين برازي
3- العميد يوسف محمد يوسف
4- العميد منصور حسين محيو
5- العقيد قصي حبيب عبود
6- المقدم أحمد سليمان الفرحان
7- المقدم محمد هاشم البني
8- الرائد رياض الدعاس
9- الرائد خالد أحمد محمد
10- الرائد سام اليان غانم
11- الرائد سمير إبراهيم جمعة
12- الرائد محمود حمادة حمادة
13- الرائد أميل نويصر النصار
14- النقيب تمام معروف خلف
15- النقيب رمضان محمد الحميدو
16- الملازم أول بلال أحمد عيسى
17- الشرطي المجند صافي وديع الأخرس
18- الشرطي المجند علي غازي سعد
19- الشرطي إسماعيل ضهير خضور
20- الشرطي منار عبد الحميد بارودي
21- الشرطي المجند أحمد قاسم الرفاعي
22- الشرطي المجند ثروت تركي طالب
23- الشرطي المجند أحمد جمال عسل
24- الشرطي المجند عبد الرحيم مصطفى كنعان
25- الشرطي المجند باسل محمد شاكر إبراهيم
26- الشرطي المجند أيهم فارس سرايا الدين
27- الشرطي المجند تاج غازي دناور
28- الشرطي المجند كرم مطانيس الطرشة
29- الشرطي المجند جلال عدنان نعسان
30- الشرطي المجند أحمد علي المقداد
40- الشرطي المجند طليع جمال شيب الدين
41- الشرطي المجند مرهف مشاري جنيد
42- الشرطي المجند أبو الحسن إسماعيل مرعي
43- الرقيب مراد عمار الشرع
44- الشرطي المجند عبد الرحمن محمد خير ياسين
45- المساعد مرهف إحسان الحلبي
46- المساعد وائل مرشد حمود
47- الشرطي مزيد محمد فايز حمزة
48- الشرطي عامر يوسف أمباعة
49- الشرطي مجد ماضي مسعود
50- الشرطي ساري فاروق مسعود
51- الشرطي أيهم محمود علي
52- الشرطي أحمد فندي حوراني
53- الشرطي وائل عبد الحميد الأحمد
54- الشرطي عمرو محمود عباس
55- الشرطي هشام ياسر العمر
56- الشرطي محمود فيصل العلي
57- الشرطي حسين إبراهيم قدور
58- الشرطي راغب عبد العزيز مسعود
59- الشرطي حسن حمادى برغوث
60- الشرطي معاذ إسماعيل العقايلة
61- الشرطي فؤاد فيصل الحسين
62- الشرطي أيمن سيفو اليوسف
63- الشرطي حسن علي بزكاوي
64- الشرطي أحمد خليل الموسى
65- الشرطي ثائر علي حبيب
66- الشرطي قيس علي أبو عباس
67- الشرطي طارق عادل الأعور
68- الشرطي شادي جدعان عقيل
69- الشرطي عبد الله خالد المحمد
70- الشرطي أحمد محمود عباس
71- الشرطي عادل إبراهيم ديب
72- الشرطي الياس عماد المجبر
73- الشرطي علي حبيب أبو درعا
74- الشرطي هائل تركي الحسن
75- الشرطي صالح خضر العلي
76- الشرطي غياث إبراهيم الخضر
77- المساعد أول عبد الرحمن خالد العبد الله
78- الشرطي باسل يوسف بدور
79- الشرطي ناصر أحمد سليمان
80- الشرطي ثائر أحمد سليمان
81- الشرطي سامر إبراهيم وسوف
82- الشرطي وسيم محمد القيم
83- الرقيب هيثم سلمان وسوف
84- الشرطي حبيب يحيى إبراهيم
85- الشرطي محمود علاوي شلاش
86- الشرطي حسام مصطفى السالم
86- الشرطي أحمد يوسف الناصر
87- الشرطي أيهم سجيع طه
88- الشرطي شقيف رمضان نداف
89- الشرطي عبد الكريم خالد الأحمد
90- الشرطي غدير عبدالله العلي
91- الشرطي علي عيسى شعبان
92- الشرطي فارس غسان صالح
93- الشرطي سامر رأس الحامض
94- الشرطي مهند حسن حبقة
95- الشرطي أشرف دنون
96- المساعد أول نزيه يونس خليفة
97- الشرطي كمال عبد الله إسماعيل
98- الشرطي أحمد محمود شقيف
99- المساعد أول سليمان محمد شحود
100- الشرطي سامر أحمد الشيخ
101- الشرطي أسعد محمد زينو
102- الشرطي محمد أحمد مصطفى
103- المساعد أول عبدو محيا الحلو
104- الشرطي إياد الدين يوسف الحسين
105- الشرطي غدير موسى نيساني
106- الشرطي محمد بلال محمود
107- الشرطي عمار محسن سليمان-
108- الشرطي إخلاص يوسف خليل
109- المساعد أول طلال عيد الناعمة
110- الشرطي أحمد محمود الحسن
111- المساعد علي عثمان عباس
112- المساعد هايل بدر عيسى
113- المساعد عدي يوسف رشود
114- الشرطي نادر شاهر شبيب
115- الشرطي نبيل محمود حجازي
116- الشرطي باسم محمد إبراهيم
117- الشرطي ياسر حسن وسوف
118- الشرطي محمد صالح معروف
119- الشرطي غياث فهد الحسن
120- الشرطي حازم محمود صالح
121- الشرطي جميل أمين عيسى
122- الشرطي علي يوسف رحال
123- المساعد أول محمد كامل الوعري
124- الشرطي محسن سلمان رمضان
125- المساعد بسام يوسف المحمد
126- الشرطي مسلم خميس ريا
127- الشرطي غياث عبد اللطيف بدور
128- الشرطي طالب إبراهيم القشلي
129- المساعد أول علاء بكسرواي
130- المساعد أول شاهين محمود شاهين
131- المساعد أول فادي سلامة سلامة
132- الشرطي زاهر محمد طليعة
133- الشرطي شادي أحمد علي
134- الشرطي حسان غسان يوسف
135- الشرطي رواد غصن إسماعيل
136- الشرطي أحمد حسين الخليف
137- الشرطي سراج رمضان غانم
138- الشرطي عاصم فهد أحمد
139- الشرطي علاء الدين علي معلا
140- الشرطي محمد ياسين أمين
141- الشرطي مصطفى علي العوض
142- الشرطي محمد فارس شرف الدين
143- الشرطي مهند عبد الحميد طقيق
144- الشرطي رواد ممدوح حمود
145- الشرطي شادي عبد الرحمن شيحا
146- الشرطي محمد محمود النسر
147- الشرطي مهدي عبد الهادي حلاق
148- الشرطي مصطفى مصطفى الشيخ محمد
149- الرقيب أحمد محمد داوود
150- الشرطي محمود أحمد سالم
151- الشرطي مصطفى محمد مخلوطة-
152- الشرطي محمد عبد المجيد قراط
153- الشرطي أحمد خلف الجواد
154- الشرطي بشار محمود الحسين
155- الشرطي خضر حسين الوكاع
156- الشرطي أحمد محمد المحمد
157- الشرطي سليم محمد برهوم
158- الشرطي علاء جهاد محمد
159- الشرطي علاء محمد حمدان
160- الشرطي علي فريز مسعود
161- الشرطي عبد أحمد النمر
162- الشرطي رامز محمد إبراهيم
163- الشرطي حسين إبراهيم يوسف
164- الشرطي مهند نزير علوش
165- الشرطي محمد مالك عمار
166- الشرطي دولين محمد ناصر
167- الشرطي سامر نبيل أبو سيف
168- الشرطي ربيع حسين سليمان
169- المساعد علي إبراهيم معلا
170- المساعد أول سليمان نجيب حسين
171- الشرطي ناصر حكمت رجب
172- الشرطي نبيل أحمد عمار-
173- الشرطي هشام إبراهيم عيسى
174- المساعد أول حسين الخضر
175- الشرطي سيف الدين فلاح حريدين
176- الرقيب المجند محمد صالح الحمادي-

April 11th, 2011, 6:41 pm


Ali Ismael said:

Dear Joshua, My deepest condolences to you, your wife, and your family. Hopefully, those filthy assassins will be brought to justice soon, and just like their ancestors, the criminal Muslim Brotherhood, they shall be uprooted and thrown in the dumpster of history.

April 11th, 2011, 6:49 pm


Nafdik said:

My condolences Joshua to you and your family.

Thank you for sharing the personal story of Yasser to remind that we are all brothers.

April 11th, 2011, 7:49 pm


qunfuz said:

My deepest condolences, Joshua, and to the families of all the martyrs killed by security forces, the shabiha, and any agents provacateurs that may be operating. I have just heard from an Alawi friend that his parents, who have nothing to do with the regime, are receiving threatening anonymous phone calls – ‘we’re coming to kill you all’ kind of thing. This is terrifying. The thing is, I can’t believe the regime stories (with the reservation that Khaddam may be operating in Banyas). It really looks to me like the regime terrifying the minorities into fierce loyalty. The answer is for a wider section of society to join the protests, which are increasingly chanting ‘ash-sha’ab as-suri wahed wahed.’ This thing has got momentum now. Back to business as usual is not an otion. The choice seems to be civil war or democracy. I’d prefer democracy.

This piece is partly in response to Joshua’s interview with the real news network.

April 11th, 2011, 7:56 pm


NAJIB said:

Allah yer7amon

they left a wonderful legacy, their children, watch here :

Lieutenant Colonel Yasser Qashour was laid to rest in his village, ‘Beit al-Marj’, Qaddmous Region.

Lieutenant Colonel Wahib Issa was laid to rest in his hometown ‘Hamam Al-Qarahila’, Jabla Region.

April 11th, 2011, 8:08 pm


qunfuz said:

Alex – it is unwise, to say the least, to tar all the protestors, as you almost do, with the same brush. We do not know who killed Joshua’s brother-in-law, but let us suppose it was Khaddam-linked militia. We cannot then go on to link all the protestors, and all the many people who have been gunned down in the streets while chanting ‘hooriyeh’, with Khaddam. Or with salafis or neo-cons for that matter. That is horrifically insulting. It isn’t difficult to find out that a lot of the protestors are genuine democrats, or that there are Alawis amongst them. And it isn’t difficult to work out that the people of Deraa marched because their children were arrested; then more people marched because Deraa ran with blood; then more people marched after the speech during which the president laughed at his own jokes.

Another thing: if armed gangs can run around so easily, what was the point of half a century of emergency law? and if the regime is so sure of its story, why doesn’t it allow the media in to see. what does it have to hide?

I completely agree that syria is at risk of being torn apart. The longer this situation goes on the more likely that becomes. The answer is immediate serious irreversible reform towards democracy on a very short time frame, and the withdrawal of security forces. If people wish to protest, let them. Let the government go after the foreign gangs, if they exist.

“..the more important truth is that despotism will never protect anyone from religious extremism, because religious extremism is one of the symptoms of despotism.” Alaa al-Aswany.

April 11th, 2011, 8:13 pm


souri-amreki said:

It looks like you guys don’t know the difference between wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood! Al-Qardawi is not wahhabi!!! Go and check your references.

April 11th, 2011, 8:23 pm


jad said:

Dear Qunfuz,
With all due respect, your analyses of what is happening in Syria and your mix of ‘security forces, the shabiha, and any agents provocateurs” with ‘revolutionist’ ‘protesters’ as well as your call of the majority of the society to join in is a bit superficial.
What we are seeing so far in Syria is everything but a real revolution, the majority of Syrians are by-standards, the violence is forced on them by both sides (those who call themselves revolutionists and the regime) a forced revolution never worked out, the only revolutions that change any nation are the one coming out by the society themselves and not by force.
What I see today in Syria is nothing but an unethical attempt by many elements to destroy Syria without forgetting that the regime brutality helped deteriorating the situation, but for you to call for everybody to join in this massive chaos wasn’t as wise I would’ve expect from you.
And writing that Syria doesn’t have the unity of other nations like Egypt is another slap in the face of SYRIA since the differences of Syrians is what make Syria last this many years.

April 11th, 2011, 8:35 pm


SOURI said:

Qaradawi is a “Wahhabized” Muslim Brother. He lives in the Gulf since decades ago and he agrees with the Wahhabis on many issues, especially those that have to do with politics. He is a “political Wahhabi.”

Some political Wahhabis are not even religious, like Saad Hariri and Abdul-Rahman Ar-Rashid who heads the Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat Wahhabi newspaper. Political Wahhabis are money-salves. They adopt Wahhabist political positions to please their Wahhabi masters in Riyadh. Qaradawi adopts Wahhabist political positions to please his master the prince of Qatar, who in turn has adopted the Wahhabi position on Syria and Iran to please the Saudis.

You might have noticed that Hamas had a different position on Syria from Qaradawi, because Qaradawi’s position is the Wahhabi position.

April 11th, 2011, 8:42 pm


NK said:

Actually Hamas issued a statement denying what Syrian media reported (that Mechaal criticized Qaradawi).

April 11th, 2011, 8:47 pm


Shami said:

Souri ,so according to your logic when Alex was pro wahhabi Qatar ,he was wahhabi too?
When Hamas’s alliance with asad will stop for a reason or other ,Hamas will become wahhabi once again .
The problem is that those you labeled wahhabis in Syria ignore what wahhabism is,this word is repeated by some scared people who believe bashar and co that the other syrians will slaughter them once his regime gone.

April 11th, 2011, 8:58 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Dear Joshua,

Although we disagree on most things, I am sorry to hear about your wife’s cousin.

I wish Assad would do something to quell the unrest and save lives.

April 11th, 2011, 9:13 pm


Norman said:


I am sorry for your loss, words are hard to come by in these occasions.

April 11th, 2011, 9:13 pm



Dear Joshua and family, my condolences and heartfelt sympathy for the tragic loss of your cousin martyr officer Firas Qashour.
You are in our prayers and thoughts.

April 11th, 2011, 9:19 pm


Norman said:


The demonstrators do not want reform and better Syria, as if they had good intentions they would have given the government some time to move, their intention is a shia, Sunni war to destroy Syria, the only state standing for the Palestinian and Arab rights,

It is more organized than just good intention Syrians can plan .

You should remember that recently a car full of weapons was confiscated in it’s way to Syria from Iraq,

April 11th, 2011, 9:26 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Then you are not really trying to build co-existence. Before talking the talk, walk the walk.



April 11th, 2011, 9:27 pm


Ayman almasri said:

Violence never solved a problem when the issue at hand is the future. Firing on the Syrian army or burning property will not advance the cause of freedom,but arresting peaceful protestors or ,even worse, shooting at unarmed protestors can only inflame the public opinion and isolate the regime. The attack in Banyas that left scores of Syrian soldiers dead or wounded must be clearly condemned by the those who chant for freedom as is the violence against peaceful protestors.the regime today has to face questions from the families of fallen soldiers and policemen who ask how is it possible for thugs in Syria to own so much fire power in a state where every move by citizens is monitored by an army of secret police. Syria in my humble opinion is not ready for a western style democracy but reform can still be implemented in a gradual and meaningful way. People who express their opinion with words should not be arrested,and allowing a class of corrupt officials and business crooks to dominate economic life will only produce hatred ,despair and ,yes, revolution. The time for the head of the state to speak is now,and his speech must be totally different from his first one which angered his supporters and adversaries alike.

April 11th, 2011, 9:36 pm


Souri said:

The US is stuck on Libya. If they don’t send land forces, Qaddafi is going to win. If they send land forces, they are going to be trapped in a new costly and endless war. Qaddafi is going to win either way. The “Libyan revolution” has failed.

April 11th, 2011, 9:36 pm


SOURI said:

The Egyptian revolution has also failed when the referendum results showed that 77% of Egyptians chose the Islamists over the secular opposition. These nonsensical “revolutions” are all doomed to failure, except probably for Tunisia. Tunisia (as far as I know) is the only Arab society that is mature enough to move on to some sort of more democratic system.

April 11th, 2011, 9:40 pm


NK said:

Students rally in Syria’s capital over deaths
Students gather outside capital’s university to express solidarity with protesters killed campaigning for democracy.
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2011 16:20

Hundreds of students have rallied in Damascus, the Syrian capital, to express solidarity with pro-democracy protesters killed over the weekend.

The rare demonstration on Monday at Damascus University reportedly turned violent when security forces beat up and arrested several protesters who were shouting for freedom and unity, witnesses told the Associated Press news agency.

Ammar Qurabi, head of Syria’s National Organisation for Human Rights, told the AP news agency that one student had died after he was shot in the demonstration.

Video footage posted online showed what appeared to be plainclothes security forces beating protesters and forcefully pulling others away as they marched inside the campus.

An activist in touch with students who witnessed the demonstration corroborated the footage, but spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

“The Syrian people are one!” the students shouted in the video.

Abdul-Karim Rihawi, the head of the Syrian Human Rights League, said Fayez Sara, a well known Syrian writer and journalist, was detained at his home on Monday, while several other activists had been picked up in the past few days.

‘Meaningful reform’

William Hague, Britain’s foreign minister, said on Monday that “meaningful reform” was the only legitimate response to the demands from protesters.

“We call upon the Syrian government to respect the right for free speech and peaceful protest,” he said at a news conference in London.

Syria’s three-week uprising against the government of Bashar Al-Assad, the president, has continued to gather strength despite a government crackdown.

The activist who spoke to AP said most of the students taking part in Monday’s protest in Damascus were from Daraa – the southern city that has become the epicentre of the violence – and the port city of Baniyas, where four protesters were killed on Sunday.

About 2,000 mourners chanting “death is better than humiliation!” turned out in Baniyas on Monday for the funeral of the four protesters after noon prayers, an eyewitness said.

The army has been deployed in the city and a resident told Al Jazeera that the area was calm but tense.

‘Armed group’

A witness to Sunday’s violence in Baniyas said “that armed gangs were shooting at army and residents at the same time. Residents alleged the gunmen were loyalists of the regime,” Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Syria said.

“A statement was issued on behalf of the people of the city, the veracity of which has yet to be confirmed, desperately asking for help, from the army and from human rights groups, from anyone.”

State television first confirmed the death of one security official, but later revised it to nine, while AP, quoting witnesses, reported the deaths of four civilians.

People said that most of the army forces were killed by the military security forces as they refused to shoot the population, Al Jazeera’s correspondent said.

The reports have yet to be verified.

Members of the group that came under attack were armed with sticks and guarding the Abu Bakr al-Siddiq mosque when they were confronted by Assad loyalists, the Reuters news agency said.

The official SANA news agency, quoting a government source, reported that an “armed group” ambushed an army patrol in Baniyas.

Details were sketchy because telephone lines, internet access and electricity were apparently cut to most parts of the city.

One witness said dozens of people were wounded, but most of them asked to be treated at a small clinic instead of the main hospital, which was under the control of the security forces.

Anti-regime slogans

Sunday’s clashes came as days of protests and violence in Daraa, the southern flashpoint city, forced many schools and government offices to close.

More than 120 people have been killed in the recent protests, according to human rights groups.

A key demand of protesters is an end to a decades-old emergency law that gives the regime a free hand to arrest people without charge.

But Assad has stopped well short of the protesters’ demands, promising instead to form committees to look into reforms.

The UN and many Western countries have condemned Syria’s use of violence.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has told Assad he is “greatly disturbed” by the reports of violence.

April 11th, 2011, 10:27 pm


Shami said:

Souri,it’s the begining of a process ,the important is the existence of democratic change over ,the winning parties must prove themselves and if they fail the people will not elect them once again.
Egypt could be able to reach the political level of Turkey in 2 decades,Tunisia in one decade.
As for Libya i want to see the egyptian army finishing with Gadhafi,it’s a realistic solution.

April 11th, 2011, 10:30 pm


NK said:

More disturbing news

The caller claims his brother-in-law (lieutenant colonel Rami Kattash from the 9th infantry regiment ) was executed along with 10 others under his command because he refused to fire at demonstrators.

April 11th, 2011, 10:42 pm


Norman said:

اعتقال إسلامي سوري اعترف بتلقيه أموالاً من جهات لبنانية

بواسطة admin2– 2011/04/11
نشر فى: أخبار محلية
كلنا شركاء
ذكرت صحيفة «الأخبار»اللبنانية أن السلطات السورية اعتقلت مؤخراً إسلامياً سورياً يدعى أحمد عبد اللـه في مدينة بانياس الساحلية. وقد اعترف عبداللـه بأنه تلقى أموالاً من جهات لبنانية.
ونقلت الصحيفة عن مصادرها قولها إن اعترافات المعتقل سوف تعرض بالصوت والصورة على شاشة التلفزيون قريباً.
وكان المعارض السوري هيثم مناع قد ذكر في أكثر من حديث صحفي أن جهات لبنانية, لم يسمها, عرضت عليه وعلى أطراف المعارضة المال والسلاح, أكثر من مرة, لكنه لم يقبل, وربما قبل غيره (على حد قوله).
يذكر أن بانياس التي اعتقل فيها الإسلامي المذكور قد شهدت العديد من التظاهرات والاحتجاجات والصدامات خلال الأسابيع الأخيرة, وكان أعنفها أمس الأحد, حيث شهدت مواجهات مسلحة بين الجيش ومحتجين مسلحين اعتقل بعضهم, وعثر بحوزتهم على أسلحة بينها قاذفات ر. ب. ج. حسبما ما أعلن التلفزيون السوري مساء أمس.
ويخشى البعض ان تكون هذه القصة مثل قصة المصري الذي تم اتهامه بانه تلقى اموالا من اميركا لزعزعة استقرار سوريا ومن ثم اطلق سراحه بعد يومين ؟.

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لا تعليق

April 11th, 2011, 10:50 pm


SOURI said:

The new Egyptian foreign policy:

The new Egyptian leaders seem eager to depart away from the American-Wahhabi axis and approach the resistance axis. This is perhaps one reason for why the Wahhabis have been so viciously attacking Syria. They believe that Syria is similar to Iraq and that if the Baath regime falls, the Wahhabis will be able to take over much of the country. The chants against Iran and Hizbullah are not coincidental and they clearly show the purpose and nature of this Wahhabi uprising that is taking place in Syria.

Toppling the Syrian regime is only part 1 of the Saudi plan. Part 2, which is more important, is to install a Wahhabi-American regime in Damascus similar to the Hariri regime in Beirut. The truth is that such a regime can be easily installed in Damascus. Damascus is well-known in Syrian history to be a reactionary pro-Saudi city. Since the 1940’s, Damascus has always favored a “reactionary” political line and close relations with Saudi Arabia (contrary to Aleppo which was a seat for Arab nationalism and always supported immediate Arab union). The politicians of Damascus foiled in the 1940’s the attempts of Aleppine politicians at unifying Syria and Iraq and favored instead to join the reactionary Arab League. They also foiled the union with Nasserite Egypt in 1961, and tried then to reinstall in Damascus the same feudalistic reactionary regime that ruled Syria before the union. Right now, the general Sunni mood in Damascus is very anti-Alawi. Most conservative Sunnis in Damascus hate everything about the Baath regime, and if they were in charge they would turn Syria into a Wahhabi colony, just like Beirut under the Hariris.

April 11th, 2011, 11:03 pm


why-discuss said:


“It really looks to me like the regime terrifying the minorities into fierce loyalty”
What a strange logic? Why don’t you consider that there are people who want the country to fall apart and who uses the religious differences and suspicion to enflame the normal citizen.
A friend of mine and others in the suburb of Damascus intercepted a car whith a group of people distributing weapons to Alawites telling them that they should be armed because the Sunni want to kill them! I guess the other way around is happening. And you come with that absurd suggestion that the government is distributing weapons to obtain ‘fierce loyalty’! There are thugs with an agenda that does not care about reforms , no doubts about that. Exactly the same was happening in the early days of the Lebanese civil war and we know where it lead, because no authority could stop.
How do you suggest they are stopped? By dialog, reforms, concessions? Come on!

April 11th, 2011, 11:17 pm


why-discuss said:

Freedom of expression: Egyptian Military Court Sentences Blogger To 3 Years

by The Associated Press
April 11, 2011

An Egyptian military tribunal convicted a blogger of insulting the army and sentenced him to three years in prison, further raising activists’ fears that the army is against greater freedom of expression and political reform……

April 11th, 2011, 11:39 pm


Joshua said:

Many thanks for everyone’s kind words and warmth. Manar and her family thank everyone. Of course, Yasir is only one of hundreds who have been killed in recent turmoil.

April 12th, 2011, 12:22 am


pamela said:

Please accept my sincere condolences epecially to Manar, I live in Syria although I,m not Syrian ,but thoroughly married to a Syrian. When I read about any Syrian being killed I instantly think of their mothers and fathers ,God give them patience… there is definately something very strange happening these days , and i hope the real murderers of Yasir( Allurhamo) and all the innocent shabab (Allurhammon)are brought to justice very soon.

April 12th, 2011, 12:29 am


jad said:

“Al Jazeera almost killed me twice” Nidal Ali Jannoud says
Al Jazeera TV channel submitted a video clip this afternoon showing group of people hitting and beating unarmed citizen with sticks and batons, they continued beating him until he died. Al-Jazeera TV Chanel said that the Syrian regime used Al-Shabeeha (as they call in Syria) to hit the demonstrators, but we discovered that the exposed beaten person is a farmer called Nidal Ali Jannoud who had been out since yesterday morning with a view to selling his production of tomatoes in the market of Baniyas, accompanied by one of his friends who confirmed that they encountered a passing Army Martyrs and all the guilt that he tried to save the martyrs, doing that a group of terrorists arose objecting him “peaceful” by stabbing his friend with knives but he was able to escape while Nidal Ali Jannoud couldn’t escape from them, the terrorists have rushed beating him and stabbing him to the death with daggers and knives, his fate was unknown until noon on the second day when security forces found his corpse dumped in the bushes next to Lahoud Gas Station close to one of Baniyas entrances, this is what was mentioned in the police report and the forensic medical report and what was confirmed and certified by his companion. His body was handed over today to Baniyas Hospital in which his friend is still receiving medication and the wounds of stabs are found on his body. Al-Jazeera drafted the news in an incitement way and proved that its crime is too big, the news are drawing the Syrian Bar, God bless the martyr and inspire his family patience and solace. Damascus News Network. 11 April 2011

April 12th, 2011, 12:29 am


syau said:

Alawi, Shia, sunni, wahhabi….. and the list goes on. To me, it looks like you all have fallen right into the hands of Khaddam and the puppetiers behind the scenes. This is what they are looking for a sectarian war to divide the country. I thought the “Syrian Revolution” nonsense was about freedom of speech, reforms and erraticating the emergency laws. So much for it not being about religion. Who cares if the President is Alawi- that shouldn’t matter, what matters is that he is the President and a brilliant one at that.

April 12th, 2011, 12:30 am


Revlon said:

Dear Mr Lanids and bereft relatives,
My condolences!
May God bless you with solace and empower you with patience.

April 12th, 2011, 12:42 am


Revlon said:

#75 Dear Norman, could you please explain to me the gist of this piece of news that you have posted!
اعتقال إسلامي سوري اعترف بتلقي أموالاً من جهات لبنانية ”

I am not sure I understand what you are getting at!!!!

April 12th, 2011, 12:46 am


Avi Salam said:


You said that most Sunnis hate Alawites!!! I wonder why! If most Sunnis hate SOME of the Alawites who have been involved in/controlling the current Syrian regime, then I would understand that. But to say that most Sunnis hate Alawites, I cannot find a logical explanation for that except DEEP BIGOTED HATEFUL SECTARIANISM!!!

On the other hand, I have met with many elder Alawites who told me stories of the persecution, massacres, and extremely brutal injustice they had been exposed to, by Sunnis mind you, for several hundreds of years!!! So I can understand why the Alawites will not easily forget what the Sunnis did to them, just as naturally as I can understand why Jews will not easily forget what happened to them over the past several centuries.

One advice I can give to the Sunnis of Syria is to try to mend their relationship with Alawites the same way Europeans did with the Jews: The Sunnis must admit publicly to the centuries-old persecution of Alawites, recognize the Alawites’ religion and their right to practice it, and ask for Alawite forgiveness. I have many Alawite friends, from multiple generations and ages, and I can assure you that they are very forgiving, they might actually forgive their persecution and massacres by Sunnis, but they will not forget easily!

I have one last message to the Islamist regime of Ankara, and in particular to that stupid Erdughan: Your turn is coming soon, as one third of the Turkish population are Alawites, and another quarter are Kurds, they have been treated as second-class citizens for centuries, and they will not accept it anymore!!

April 12th, 2011, 1:53 am


Alaa Janbay said:

My sincere condolences to you and Manar. I am very sorry to hear about your loss. I don’t know how much more blood shed Syria can afford.

We are not Libya or Iraq, or Lebanon for that matter. Maybe we are and we’re just all in denial. You know, when all this started, I had no doubt that it was the government loyalists that were shooting at demonstrators. It turns out, and after closely watching the news and reading so many analyses; there is a lot more to the story in Syria. The revolution was high-jacked on the first day that people went out to the streets in Daraa. The Syrian president is in the dark. I firmly believe now that he is not ordering security forces to shoot at demonstrators. He is not the problem. Within the military, there are brigades loyal to their leaders, whomever that “leader” may be. With tens of security branches in Syria, each branch takes orders from someone, from some individual. Who is this individual? And are they loyal to Bashar? Not all are I would say. I don’t doubt the story about the Khadam loyalists. Who knows, there could be Maher loyalists, Asef Shawkat loyalists, Rifaat loyalists and so many others. It seems that each group has an agenda and some business to settle. They have found a platform to carry out their agendas. This platform they are using is the Revolution. I am not ruling out that the government forces are using some force against demonstrators, but the snipers on rooftops are filthy gangs. They are taking orders from someone that wants to topple the regime, and the people of Syria as well. Bashar needs to do some house cleaning very quickly while reforming at the same time. The Syrian military should be in charge on the streets. Let the people demonstrate all they want, but anyone not in military uniform and carrying a weapon should be taken out. Those from within the government ordering the shootings and killings need to be brought to justice and punished. I think the president now has a very faint idea who those criminals are around him. He needs to take action against them and save his people. I hope he has the power to do this.

April 12th, 2011, 2:55 am


qunfuz said:

‘It is more organized than just good intention Syrians can plan.’ – the same yhinking whiuch said bin Laden wasnt behind 9/11, because arabs and muslims are too stupid to pull it off.

What about the demonstration in Selemiyeh, an Ismaili town?

People call me naive, yet provide absolutely no proof for their own claims.

The responses of many people on this site are surprising and worrying. The fierceness of their pro-regime propaganda is shocking. It detracts from the academic status of the site. I have not been a big opponent of the regime, as you know. I am definitely not a neo-con, a salafi, a Zionist, or an admirer of Ammar Abdulhamid. In the context of an Arab world full of client dictatorships, Syria actually looked pretty good. But we are in a new context (whoever said ‘islamists won’ in egypt because of the yes vote in the referendum – it’s a lot more complicated than that) and the regime has failed to adapt. Remember how fast Hafez adapted to, for instance, the collapse of the Soviet Union? Bashaar’s regime has not shown comparative adaptability. No, what it has done is to shoot down unarmed protestors in vast numbers. It has also (in Lattakia) played with sectarian fire. And then it has told us silly stories, as Bin Ali, Mubarak and Qaddafi did before, about foreigners behind it all. Syria has support at present from Saudi, Jordan, Israel, America. That’s why Clinton called Asad a reformist and promised not to intervene. But the people here believe the tales. I understand people who are too scared to speak because they have family in Syria, but I don’t understand people who supported the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia who lap up the regime stories in Syria.

there might be wahhabis/ sectarians getting involved, but i’m sure they are far less significant than the regime is claiming. the longer this goes on, the more people are killed, the more likely that ugly sectraian hatred will come to the surface. this would be a disaster for everybody. the regime doesn’t seem to care about that, however.

April 12th, 2011, 6:56 am


qunfuz said:

why discuss – the regime is aware that its strongest support comes from worried minorities. it knows too that the basic deal between it and the syrian people is that it provides security and sectarian peace and the people put up with corruption and lack of freedom.

At present it wants to ‘remind’ people of the chaos that could follow in its absence. In the same way, Habib al-Adli withdrew the police from the streets and freed criminals during the revolution in Egypt, in an attempt to scare them into loyalty and away from chaos. It’s called ‘apres moi, le deluge’, and it’s a tried and tested method. It makes pefect sense.

I am watching all these youtube videos trying to make sense of them. I have heard the odd sectarian chant, but most have emphasised unity.

April 12th, 2011, 7:02 am


Akbar Palace said:

Intellectuals for Intellectual Dishonesty

…the basic deal between it and the syrian people is that it provides security and sectarian peace and the people put up with corruption and lack of freedom.


Remind me again why you have one set of rules for Syria and another for Israel.

April 12th, 2011, 7:26 am


Shami said:

Ignace Leverrier explains the tactic of asad gang by trying to push to a mini civil war in order to use it as pretext for large scale repression measure,asad family militias and mukhabarat are used for this purpose.

April 12th, 2011, 7:31 am


qunfuz said:

AP – I was never a party to the deal between regime and people. Beyond that, I’d keep your nose out of other people’s business. For all its failings, the Syrian regime doesn’t run an apartheid state, doesn’t occupy parts of other people’s countries, and has fewer political prisoners. The Syrian people will continue to struggle against your colonial settler state, whatever kind of regime we have in Damascus.

April 12th, 2011, 7:46 am


mohammed said:

Dear mr landis
perhaps your allawi inlaws should not go around opressing and shooting their fellow countrymen to keep this regime in power.
one wonders if he was part of mahers repressive 4th brigade.

April 12th, 2011, 8:18 am


Akbar Palace said:

Qunfuz’s State of Denial

Beyond that, I’d keep your nose out of other people’s business.


Yes, I understand. I need to keep my long Jewish-American nose out of Syria’s business.

So why is your nose in Israel’s business? Again, the double-standards are most interesting.

For all its failings, the Syrian regime doesn’t run an apartheid state, doesn’t occupy parts of other people’s countries, and has fewer political prisoners.

Syria “failings”? Yes, I would consider the complete lack of freedom there a failing! And yes, we hear the term Apartheid State™ applied to Israel all the time from the intellectually “goofy” on this website and from the Leftists in Europe and the Arab world. Yet it seems to me Syria is more of an “Apartheid State” than Israel is.

All citizens of Israel have Israeli citizenship. No language or dress is outlawed. Freedom of religion, sexual preferences, and freedom of expression is guaranteed as witnessed in the Israeli Knesset. Apparently many Kurds were stripped of their citizenship. Sounds like “apartheid” to me. Then there are the basic freedoms lacking in Syria.

How do you know how many “political prisoners” are in Syria? Is this something they publish?

Both B’Tselem and Adalah, Israeli NGOs, keep tabs on the Israeli government and political prisoners there. Yes, believe it or not, Israel is still at war with some very violent people like Hamas and Hezbollah, and several of their terrorist are in jail. Is Israel allowed to defend herself like any other country? Yes or no?

And, BTW, who is Syria at war with? The Syrian-Israeli border has been oh so quiet for so many years.

The Syrian people will continue to struggle against your colonial settler state, whatever kind of regime we have in Damascus.


Your “resistance” rhetoric is old and tiresome. As we say here in the States, “Build a Bridge and Get over It”.

As we’ve seen on Youtube, the struggle Syria is fighting isn’t with any “colonial settler state”. My suggestion is that you mollify your animus toward Israel and spend that energy improving your own Arab societies.

April 12th, 2011, 8:40 am


Akbar Palace said:

Here are some pictures of some beautiful Israeli-Arab towns. So, as you can see, more Arabs (like Qunfuz) would prefer in Syria and Lebanon so they don’t have to put up with the horrible crimes of Israeli Apartheid™

April 12th, 2011, 1:41 pm


N.Z. said:


In time like these silence is more sound than responding to your hateful comments.

United We Stand,
Arab Syrian

April 12th, 2011, 2:04 pm


Al Snerdly said:

Now the tenured academic gets a doze of reality
to compensate for the decades of brown nosing the Assad clan.
Once these clowns are gone, you will find another spin
to explain why all these years you downplayed the truth
about this cruel dictatorship, never missing an opportunity
to offer a nice p.r plug for this murderous familia….

April 12th, 2011, 2:04 pm


Akbar Palace said:

Hateful Comment NewZ


Yes, “hateful comments” are something Jews and Israelis are familiar with (ref. “Syria Comment”, MEMRI, Indymedia, etc).

In any case, our “colonial settler state” (thanks Qunfuz for that double adjective) will continue to be an optimum location for ME arabs to find home, peace, freedom and prosperity . Enjoy the pics.

April 12th, 2011, 2:52 pm


Latakian said:

How can someone believe that 20 army soldiers where ambushed. In a country where no one owns firearms?
Look up the new small arms statistics in the world you’ll see that Syria is one of the countries with the least firearms owned by civilians. The only people capable of killing is the army or security service. I mean come on, the Syrian media is the most fake media in the world right next to Soviet propaganda. There is videos on the internet of ambulances who are going to pick up protesters that are getting sniped. And nobody asks why the huge crowds of pro-bashar protesters where not even scratched. But when there is an anti-goverment protest the “terrorists” seem to appear.

April 12th, 2011, 10:36 pm


Living said:

@AKBAR PALACE, nice lies, your an addict of the hasbarah handbook, freedom and equality in israel? that’s another nice lie, gays in israel have a right? riiiiight, sure sure, i love the way you point us to wikipedia, just so many of you that don’t know, wikipedia can actually be edited by anyone, and here’s the best part, a new branch of the IDF is trolling the site changing things to try and create facts, but oh there is so much more.

Now to my Syrian brothers and sisters, the government is slowly making changes, to speed up the changes as Egypt is doing is suicide, what have i heard from my friends who have visited? in syria the matter of what religion you belong to is frowned upon, over charging, stealing, killing, raping are serious offences and dealt with harshly, in america they slap you on the wrist for killing someone.

Syria has been infiltrated by non-syrians, jordan pissed off and accusing syria for their riots, saudi arabia not happy with syria supporting hezbollah nor iran, america slaps trade sanctions because israel/jews tell them to, syria has the lowest debt and the second best unemployment rate, assad jnr is not so bad compared to the alternatives, better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

Watch john pilgers “the truth ” about american wars, read ” what famous men said”, read “the protocols of the learned zionists”, america has 47% of zionists in congress and the rest recieves “donations”, america soil has never been attacked but america has attacked everyone else, america is the only country to use weapons of mass destruction while no one else has, america has killed over 1 million iraqi’s alone, so i believe what i see not what i hear from america and it’s handlers being israel.

April 13th, 2011, 2:55 am


Akbar Palace said:

Freedom isn’t a bad Thing NewZ

that’s another nice lie, gays in israel have a right? riiiiight, sure sure


Yes, Gays in Israel have the same rights as non-gays (aka “straight”). Not that I find homosexuality appealing, however, homosexuals in Israel are free to live as they want as long as they don’t hurt anyone. Apparently even Palestinians are attracted to the Israeli gay community.

April 13th, 2011, 7:50 am


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[…] Security Forces. The reason I took an interest in this story is because my wife’s cousin, Lt. Col. Yasir Qash`ur, was one of the nine soldiers killed on April 10. We know him well. We spoke with Yasir’s […]

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[…] Syrian Security Forces. The reason I took an interest in this story is because my wife’s cousin, Lt. Col. Yasir Qash`ur, was one of the nine soldiers killed on April 10. We know him well. We spoke with Yasir’s […]

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The 4th Media » Syria: The armed gangs controversy said:

[…] reason I took an interest in this story is because my wife’s cousin, Lt. Col. Yasir Qash`ur, was one of the nine soldiers killed on April 10. We know him well. We spoke with Yasir’s […]

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[…] Landis, Joshua (2011a) ‘The Revolution Strikes Home: Yasir Qash`ur, my wife’s cousin, killed in Banyas’, Syria Comment, 11 April, online:… […]

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