“The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime is Likely To Survive to 2013,” by Joshua Landis in MEP

We are pleased to offer members of the press a preview of an article by Joshua Landis from the upcoming Spring 2012 journal Middle East Policy titled “The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime is Likely To Survive to 2013.” Click here to read the full article.

Dr. Landis (University of Oklahoma, Center for Middle East Studies & Editor, Syria Comment) believes that the regime’s chances for survival to 2013 are stronger than many think, for four reasons:

1. Asad remains strong militarily.
Unlike Mubarak in Egypt, who left the military in the hands of non-family members, the Asads have taken extreme “sectarian safety measures,” staffing the security forces and broader government with loyal Alawis. Some estimates suggest that as many as 80% of Syria’s officer corps are Alawi.

2. The opposition is weak.
Reports that the political Syrian National Council has gained control over the Free Syrian Army are by most accounts fictional. Whether peaceful or armed, the opposition cells in Syria work independently.

3. The international community is unlikely to intervene.
Syria remains in the realm of “too big to fail,” and foreign powers are unlikely to intervene if Syrians cannot unite and build a military force capable of providing, at the very least, a credible promise of stabilizing Syria on its own.

4. The economy is problematic.
Asad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf is “Mr. Ten Percent” of the Syrian economy, having assumed a majority stake in many major enterprises and holding companies, assuring that the Asad family maintained control over the economy.

To read the entire article, click here.

Comments (109)

Revlon said:

Syrian Dream . سوريا الحلم
Khalidiya, Homs
about an hour ago

Prayers from Minerates’ loudspeakers attept at providing comfort and a sense of solidarity to the peoples of Khalidiya as their neighbourhood is currently being pounded by Assad forces.

سوريا الحلم . حمص . الخالدية . مسجد خالد بن الوليد . التكبير الأن عبر مكبرات الصوت لتخفيف حدة الخوف التي أصابت الناس نتيجة القصف

February 23rd, 2012, 12:31 pm


jad said:

I doubt that the regime can survive until 2013 but nobody knows.
Here is a lengthy report about the Syrian crises and it support many points in Dr. Landis article.
The report includes critical points against both sides, the Syrian regime and the oppositions, I apologize for a long comment, here some parts of the report:

on the actors of the Syrian crisis
link: http://www.cf2r.org/

1. Criticism of the Syrian oppositions and the media coverage:

-Our principal observation is that the Iranian issue largely conditions the way the Syrian crisis is being handled. This « manufactured Lebanonization » of Syria is the result of actions led by three main groups: -­- the Syrian regime, its military units and various security services; -­- political and religious groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and leaders of Salafist groups with support from governments and political forces in neighbouring countries: Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and, to a lesser extent, Iraq;-­- regional and international powers involved in the zone : Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UnitedStates, and, to a lesser extent, France.

-Media coverage of the crisis: In Syria, the difference between the situation on the ground and the perception given by Anglo-­-American and Arabic media networks is stark, even more so than in Libya where several members of the present delegation were able to observe the same phenomenon at work. It is important to underline the intense media campaign being waged against Damascus. This observation of fact should not be construed that the authors of the present report are in favour of one side or another in the conflict.
The Syrian crisis is the subject of a veritable media war involving a number of MMC – means of mass communications – conducted via the international media networks, American radio stations, Sawa, the Lebanese media with close ties to the « March 14 » movement, etc. It is also necessary to add that French-­-speaking media networks, though secondary players in this crisis, often take up the conclusions of the major Arab and Anglo-­-American media networks without verifying such information.
Misinformation techniques employed: The editorial board of Al-­-Jazeera has selected very precise wording to target the Syrian government and legitimize the demonstrations, and even acts of violence and terrorism.
Above all, for the last 5 months Qatari television network Al-­-Jazeera has spent nearly 70% of its broadcasting coverage on the Syrian crisis. Does this country objectively warrant such massive coverage? As in Libya, we can legitimately ask the question: in the name of what political agenda is this network service continuing to deploy such resources for coverage which is more militant in nature than informational.
Clearly, the Syrian regime is not a model of democracy, but Syria’s adversaries are pitting all their might to blacken the picture and sway international opinion behind external opposition forces to justify measures taken against the regime, in the hope of hastening its downfall.
This falsification of the facts seeks to hide from global public opinion the support – often reluctant -­- that the majority of the Syrian population have for the current regime and the fact that the external opposition is not the most legitimate stakeholder (as opposed to longstanding domestic opposition groups), neither do they espouse democratic ideals that they pretend to promote (given their strongly Islamist character).
The botched response of the Syrian authorities: In the face of this torrent of misinformation, the Syrian government, ill prepared for the information war, has been totally overwhelmed. Its response has been clumsy and inappropriate and has only served to reinforce suspicions surrounding the regime.
The Syrian National Council is largely dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, even though it front lines several French-­-speaking academics, researchers and university professors funded by the Ford Foundation and other American organisations, as well as by Qatari financiers. This Council seeks to replicate the tactic employed by the National Transitional Council of Libya (NTC), but it lacks a real footing in Syria. The SNC is regularly denounced by the domestic opposition which affords it no legitimacy whatsoever.There has been no movement that officially represents a political Islam inside Syria since 1982 (massacre in Hama). The Muslim Brotherhood are mostly present outside Syria – in Germany, London, Brussels and Washington – having only kept a few dormant networks in the country. They have, however, succeeded in establishing different support networks via front associations and with counterparts in various Salafist groups

2. Criticism of the Syrian regime

Hussein al-­-Odat, spokesperson of the National Coordination Committee that regroups domestic opponents to the regime was arrested at that time. Opposition groups sought to regroup and organise, but these attempts failed. Al-­-Odat remarks that the regime did everything in its power to impede the emergence of a responsible national opposition movement. « The servants of the regime constantly manipulate reality and give out false information. Syrian citizens no longer have consensual points of reference: no freedom, no democracy, no equality, no separation of powers. No rule of law. This a regime founded on the security services which have all the room for manoeuvre and can do anything with full impunity. Every initiative must be submitted for authorisation : 113 professions require the approval of the services before they can work (civil servant, teacher, etc.). This is a security regime founded on generalised corruption and nepotism: deputies, judges and magistrates are appointed by the regime. There is no social justice, no change in political power. And, the sovereign administration has never shown its competency in any area at all ».
Radicalization of the movement: On 18 March, three days after the beginning of the movement, military weapons were spotted not only in Deraa, but also in Homs, Hama and in different towns near the Turkish border. However, for three months, demonstrations were mostly peaceful. With ties to contraband networks, militants did not use their weaponry, but established stockpiles and dug tunnels for storage and refuge purposes. As of June 2011, the movement began to radicalize in most of the centers of protest and the activists began to demand the resignation of Bachar al-­-Assad and the end of the regime. According to many witness reports from among representatives of the domestic opposition and leaders of the religious communities, after the appearance of these armed activists in the summer of 2011, demonstrations were no longer peaceful and protesters were actively seeking direct confrontation with the security forces and started making use of their military hardware.
The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCCDC) is an umbrella group that includes 11 Arab, Kurdish, Syriac parties and independent national figures. Of the Coordination’s twenty members, five are Alawites. This opposition grouping is the regime’s most credible and legitimate opponent. It makes up the most important, the oldest and most legitimate opposition movement. Loaï Hussein admits that the domestic opposition currently does not have the human resources to ensure a takeover from the current regime. This is why the NCCDC recommends a transition period, in order to introduce institutional reform.
The full report in English is here

February 23rd, 2012, 1:40 pm


zoo said:

Military: Thousands of troops needed to secure Syrian chemical sites

By Barbara Starr
The U.S. military has calculated it could take more than 75,000 ground troops to secure Syria’s chemical warfare facilities if they were at risk of being looted or left unguarded, CNN has learned.

The conclusion comes from a military analysis of options for Syria that the Department of Defense is preparing for president should he request it, according to a senior U.S. official.

Securing Syria’s chemical sites would be “extraordinarily difficult” given the scope of the problem, a Department of Defense official told CNN.Both officials would only speak on the condition their names not be used because they were talking about military planning.

February 23rd, 2012, 1:44 pm


zoo said:

Weren’t they opening an office in Qatar?

Taliban urge Afghans to attacks Westerners
Staff Reporter
KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban urged Afghans on Thursday to target foreign military bases, and beat and kill Westerners in retaliation for burnings of copies of the Koran, Islam’s holy book, at NATO’s main base in the country.

“Our brave people must target the military bases of invader forces, their military convoys and their invader bases,” read an e-mailed Taliban statement to media released by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

“They have to kill them (Westerners), beat them and capture them to give them a lesson to never dare desecrate the holy Koran again.”

February 23rd, 2012, 1:48 pm


zoo said:

Syria ‘to try to evacuate journalists from Homs’
Thursday,February 23 2012, Your time is 1:53:03 AM
DAMASCUS – Agence France-Presse
The governor of Syria’s flashpoint city of Homs has been told to try to evacuate Western journalists killed or wounded in the city’s besieged Baba Amr district, the information minister said on Thursday.
“For humanitarian reasons, and although they entered the country without a permit to go to an area controlled by terrorists, the governor of Homs has been told to exert every effort possible to evacuate the journalists,” Adnan Mahmud told AFP.

February 23rd, 2012, 1:55 pm


zoo said:

Incited by the media, thousands of sunni jihadists are heading to Syria from several middle eastern countries. What does it mean “the FSA refused to receive them”?

Free Syrian Army reject jihadists help

By Abdul Sattar Hatita
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Reports coming in from Syria indicate that the Free Syrian Army has refused utilizing Arab jihadists, some of whom have actually arrived in Syria, in spite of this army’s modest capabilities when compared with the army of the ruling regime.

The opposition “national council” hopes that more military personnel will defect from the regular army to help the free army confront the forces of Al-Assad and end the dictatorial rule in the country with Syrian hands.

A few days ago, 23 year old Egyptian Muhammad, disappeared from the Al-Sadat City near Cairo in Egypt leaving a letter to his family. The family members understood from the letter that he was going to support the Syrians against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.

Muhammad is one of thousands of Muslim and Arab youths who several intelligence reports say began to head to Syria via several Middle Eastern states after they saw the horrific scenes of acts of killing that are carried out by the Al-Assad regime.

Imad Husari, member of the Syrian National Council and member of the executive office of the local coordination committees in Syria, says that a number of non-Syrian jihadists did indeed arrive in Syria and that the Free Syrian Army refused to receive them.

February 23rd, 2012, 2:00 pm


Areal said:

In the related article from MEP, I found
“The Asads tutored their children in the arts of war so they could log is not take command of the military and police their population ”

May I remind the author that President Bashar al-Assad was tutored as a medical doctor before the death of his older brother forced him to take a military training.

Also , I remember that one commenter on this blog made a remarkable compilation of the martyred security people as published in Sana.sy website.

Unfortunately , as the comment section of this blog is not thoroughly referenced by the search enginee ( WHY ? , I have not investigated the matter ) , I can retrieve this particular comment.

I wonder if the compilation is still updated by the author !!

February 23rd, 2012, 2:08 pm


jad said:

Washington wants Assad to fall but worries about who will take over:

واشنطن تريد سقوط الأسد وتخشى خَلَفه

يمثّل مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا تدويلاً جديداً لمسألتها، من غير أن يتمكن من الخطو فعلياً نحو وقف الصراع الدائر ومنع الرئيس بشّار الأسد من الحسم الأمني ضد معارضيه المسلحين. يفيد مؤتمر تونس معارضة الخارج بتحميلها لافتة جديدة، ويبقي المبادرة في الداخل في يد الأسد

نقولا ناصيف
يلتئم في تونس غداً مؤتمر أصدقاء سوريا، في محاولة إضافية لدعم المعارضة السورية وتوفير أوسع مساعدات لها على جبه نظام الرئيس بشّار الأسد، ومضاعفة الضغوط عليه لحمله على التنحّي. بيد أن ما يُتوقع انعقاده في تونس لا يُشبه ما يستمر حصوله داخل سوريا، وهو مضي الأسد، بدعم روسي صريح، في حسم أمني عنيف ضد معارضيه المسلحين. يستضيف مؤتمر أصدقاء تونس المعارضة السورية، وأخصّها المجلس الوطني السوري، من غير أن يُميّز بينها وبين المعارضة المسلحة التي تخوض مع الأسد أكثر من محاولة بقاء، بل الصراع على السلطة.

وتبعاً لمطلعين عن قرب على الموقف الأميركي، تقدّم واشنطن تقويمين متنافرين لما يجري في سوريا والتحرّك العربي والغربي حياله، وفي الوقت نفسه لموقفها من المعارضة والجيش السوري الحرّ. ويكمن هذان التقويمان في معطيات أبرزها:
1 ـــــ تتطلع الإدارة إلى مؤتمر تونس على أنه جزء من جهودها المستمرة مع أصدقائها وحلفائها والمعارضة السورية، لبلورة الخطوات التالية توصلاً إلى وقف «مذبحة الشعب السوري »، والمضي في تحوّل سوريا إلى الديموقراطية. وتتوخى الإدارة التركيز على تثقيل الضغوط على نظام الأسد من خلال عقوبات اقتصادية إضافية لزيادة العزلة الدبلوماسية لسوريا، وتلاحظ أن تأثير العقوبات هذه بدأ بالظهور. وترمي من مؤتمر تونس إلى اقتراح إجراءات جديدة من العقوبات وعناصر الضغط، في موازاة تقديم مساعدات إلى المعارضة.
2 ـــــ تنظر واشنطن إلى الهدف المباشر من مؤتمر تونس الذي تشارك فيه بتمثيل رفيع هو وزيرة الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون ومساعدوها، وهو تعزيز دور المعارضة السورية وتوحيدها، وطرح أفضل الوسائل لتسهيل وصول المساعدات إلى الشعب السوري. إلا أن الإدارة تعمل، في الوقت نفسه، على نحو فاعل مع المعارضة السورية، مجموعات وشخصيات مستقلة، الملتزمة التحوّل السلمي نحو الديموقراطية والتعددية والدولة العلمانية التي يقبل بها الشعب السوري. ومن شأن مؤتمر تونس تقديم فرصة أخرى لمجموعات المعارضة للعمل معاً وتوحيد نظرتها إلى النظام الجديد الذي تريده لبلادها.
3 ـــــ لم تفصح واشنطن حتى الآن، على الأقل، عن إقرار بوجود معارضة مسلحة داخل سوريا، وإن تحدثت مراراً ـــــ من دون إجراءات جدّية ـــــ عن سبل تزويد المعارضة السلمية السلاح للدفاع عن نفسها في وجه العنف الذي يقابلها به النظام. وهي، إذ تتفادى الإقرار بوجود معارضة مسلحة، ترمي إلى تجنّب تداعيات الدعم الروسي لدمشق الذي أقر بالمعارضة المسلحة هذه، فبرّر للنظام لجوءه إلى العنف والقسوة لتصفية مناوئيه المسلحين. بذلك تهمل الإدارة أي موقف يستفيد منه الرئيس السوري في حملته العسكرية لتبريرها، وتحرص في الوقت نفسه على التحدّث دائماً وأكثر من مرة عن المعارضة السلمية، والتركيز على دورها في رسم مستقبل سوريا. وهي تلمس الآن، أكثر من أي وقت مضى، الفروق البارزة بين معارضتي الداخل والخارج، وبين أفرقاء معارضة الداخل القريبين من الحوار مع النظام والرافضين له بلا شروط مسبقة.
بيد أن أحاديث الدوائر المغلقة داخل الإدارة الأميركية، وفي وزارتي الخارجية والدفاع ولدى الاستخبارات، لا تنكر وجود مسلحين أضحوا جزءاً لا يتجزأ من النزاع الدائر مع النظام. ولا تخفي الإدارة قلقها من بطء مقدرة المعارضة السلمية على توحيد جهودها كي تكون جاهزة فعلاً لتسلم السلطة عند انهيار نظام الأسد. لا ترى مناصاً من انهياره، إلا أنها تنظر بحذر إلى قوة المعارضة المسلحة التي ستتمكن من الحلول محل الأسد، بدل المعارضة السلمية، عند سقوطه في استعادة حتمية لتجربة انتقال السلطة في ليبيا إلى المسلحين بعد مقتل زعيمها معمّر القذافي.
4 ـــــ على وفرة الجهود التي تبذلها في ممارسة الضغوط على نظام الأسد، تشعر واشنطن يومياً بأن دورها صغير في إحداث تطور كبير في سوريا، وهو يتضاءل أكثر. بالتأكيد يفضّل المسؤولون الأميركيون رؤية الأسد خارج السلطة، ولكنهم غير قادرين على الوصول إلى هذا الهدف في مدى قريب، ولا يسعهم إلا ابتكار مزيد من الضغوط عليه. تدرك واشنطن وحلفاؤها أنهم فشلوا في مجلس الأمن، إلا أنهم نجحوا في حمل الأمم المتحدة على تصويت 138 دولة ضد الرئيس السوري، وحمل هذا التصويت أكثر من دلالة: أولاها أنه أكبر ممّا توقعته الإدارة، وثانيها أنه أكد وقوف المجتمع الدولي بمعظمه تقريباً ضد العنف الذي يمارسه الرئيس السوري في بلاده. مع ذلك يتعذّر استثمار هذا التصويت أكثر من مغزاه المعنوي ليس إلا .
5 ـــــ تنظر واشنطن بقليل من الثقة إلى الجيش السوري الحرّ، وتعتقد بأنه قريب جداً من حركات ثوار منه إلى جيش نظامي، ولا يعدو كونه إلا صورة مطابقة للمسلحين الذين قاوموا الزعيم الليبي وأدت سيطرتهم على البلاد إلى وضعها بين أيدي ميليشيات، تتنازع النفوذ والسلطة ويبتز بعضها البعض الآخر بالمال. لا يجمع الجيش السوري الحرّ بسائر أطراف المعارضة في الداخل والخارج إلا العداء للنظام وللأسد،إلا أن ما يفرّق بينهم غياب التفاهم والتنسيق والتعاون، على نحو يُخشى أن يقود سوريا، بعد سقوط الأسد، إلى تعميم الفوضى فيها على الطريقة الليبية بسيطرة المسلحين الدائرين خارج فلك المعارضة السلمية.
6 ـــــ تتفق واشنطن مع الرياض والدوحة اللتين تقودان حملة إسقاط الأسد على الحاجة إلى أن يروا معاً نهاية الرئيس السوري التي تؤول حكماً إلى «تقزيم» إيران، التهديد الموازي للدول الثلاث هذه. وتقول واشنطن، في الاتصالات والتحرك المكوكي السعودي لديها، إن نظاماً كالذي يرأسه الأسد، مشابه للنظام الإيراني، لا بد من أن ينتهي. وبإزاء استعجال الرياض تسليح الجيش السوري الحرّ، تتساءل واشنطن عن سرّ برودة تركيا حيال تفاقم العنف في سوريا، وهي ـــــ كلاعب رئيسي في الأزمة السورية ـــــ لا يقوم بالكثير المطلوب منها.
مع ذلك، ليس بين المسؤولين الأميركيين مَن يسعه التنبؤ بحدود الخط الأحمر التي تحمل تركيا على تجاوزه من أجل التحرّك ضد النظام السوري. لا يمنع ذلك المسؤولين الأميركيين من ترداد عبارة قالها أمامهم دبلوماسي أوروبي عن الترّيث التركي وهو يتوقع بداية حرب أهلية في سوريا: تعتقد أنقرة أن النظام السوري بات كبيت من زجاج، لا بد من أن يتكسّر كله دفعة واحدة.
7 ـــــ تشير المراجعة المتأنية للإدارة لواقع الجيش السوري النظامي الذي لا يزال يدين بالولاء للأسد، إلى أنه لا يزال متماسكاً، ولا يبدو من السهولة بمكان تفكيكه كما حصل في ليبيا، عندما انفصلت عن الجيش الليبي مجموعات نظامية متكاملة بعديدها وعتادها. ترى واشنطن أيضاً أن الأشهر الطويلة المنصرمة من أحداث سوريا أظهرت فعلاً وجود جيش قوي يسيطر عليه الأسد وضبّاطه الكبار ويحفظون ولاءه للنظام والرئيس، في حين أنه لم يكن لليبيا، في واقع الأمر، جيش، بل فرقتان يقود كل منهما نجلا القذافي، إحداهما لخميس، والأخرى للمعتصم.

February 23rd, 2012, 2:09 pm


jad said:

Ref. “Free Syrian Army reject jihadists help”
Coming from Alsharq Alawsat I think that it’s the new MEDIA plan to take away any reference of the ‘jihadists’ being active inside Syria to justify the measures of arming ‘peaceful’ ‘non-armed’ protesters, the west and the Khalijis are planning to do in Tunisia.

February 23rd, 2012, 2:14 pm


ann said:

US preparing for military intervention in Syria? – 23 February, 2012


Sources in Washington tell Israeli news agency Debka that the Pentagon is currently drafting the approach they want America to take in the Syria ordeal, and once it is ready for the president, Obama could approve military action. Debka adds, however, that the decision will also depend on what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes away from this week’s Tunis conference.

Representatives from 80 countries across the glove are expected to descend on Tunis on Friday under the name “Friends of Syria.” Should Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and the UAR support a western intervention in Syria, Clinton could offer an endorsement to the Pentagon, who will in turn finish their draft for war plans and send them to the White House for approval. According to Debka’s sources, UK, France, Italy and Turkey also prepare to send their troops into Syria.

Earlier this month, President Obama seemed to side more with a solution that would save the US from directly dragging itself to war. “I think it is very important for us to try to resolve this without recourse to outside military intervention. I think that’s possible,” the president told NBC News.

Elsewhere in Washington, some representatives have already openly endorsed aiding the Syrian rebels. Speaking from Kabul, Afghanistan last week, Senator John McCain insisted that the US could offer support to the opponents of Assad without necessarily sending troops of their own over.

As RT reported earlier, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds said she believes that American forces in conjunction with NATO have already been training Syrian revels since May 2011 in the Turkish city of Hakkari. Upwards of 10,000 Libyans are also believed to being trained nearby to assist in nearby Jordan.

Senator Lindsey Graham provided more information recently on America’s interest in toppling the Syrian government. He also this month advocated for the aiding of rebels, saying that a US intervention to remove al-Assad would assist in hurting Iranian interests in the region.


February 23rd, 2012, 2:27 pm


Hans said:

Where is the USA, to support human rights in the KSA, isn’t about time that USA stands clear based on the founding fathers values of liberty and freedom for all and be on the right side of the history, instead of supporting a rotten, invested monarchy in the KSA.


February 23rd, 2012, 2:42 pm


irritated said:


“Washington wants Assad to fall but worries about who will take over:”

It took them 10 months to realize this evidence!
USA foreign policy on the hand of Miss Piggy is going nowhere..

February 23rd, 2012, 3:42 pm


zoo said:

A brilliant new idea from Tunisia inspired by the financial providers of Tunisia’s crumbling economy.
Maybe that’s the job Tunisia will offer to the thousands of unemployed youth in Tunisia: Peacekeeping in Syria.

Tunisia to propose peacekeeping force for Syria
Associated Press – 2 hrs 1 min ago

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s presidential spokesman says the North African country will propose a political solution to the Syrian crisis involving a peacekeeping force.

Adnan Mancer told The Associated Press Thursday in a TV interview that Tunisia would propose to the “Friends of Syria” conference for a Yemen-style transition, where the president stepped down.

Mancer says Tunisia is ready to take part in the peacekeeping force to back “a political solution because we totally oppose a foreign military intervention.”

February 23rd, 2012, 3:49 pm


zoo said:

One more ultimatum to Bashar and then what?
A ceasefire? Who will stop the uncontrolled armed gangs and the snipers? Burhan Ghaliun, Erdogan, Nabil Al Arabi, Hamad Ben Jassem or some high tech US drones?
Moscow, Beijing reject ‘interference’ in Syria
By LYNN BERRY | Associated Press – 1 hr 48 mins ago

MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow and Beijing remain opposed to any foreign interference in Syria, the Foreign Ministry said Thursday as Russia worked to shore up international support for its position ahead of a major international conference.

Officials from the United States, Europe and Arab nations were meeting in London on Thursday to craft details of an ultimatum to Assad demanding that he agree to a cease-fire and allow humanitarian aid into areas hardest hit by the crackdown.

The ultimatum was to be presented at a major international conference Friday in Tunisia on the Syrian conflict.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:01 pm


albert said:

I suspect that all requests for a ceasefire will fall on deaf ears. A bit too late to lose momentum through a ceasefire for whatever reason. Such momentum is necessary as a lever to bring the opposition to the table. A Regime demand that was not heeded so far.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:18 pm


b said:

I agree with Prof Landis and his analysis.

In the part of the economic effects I miss the 1+ million Iraqi refugees who were welcome but nonetheless burdened Syria’s economy and still do.

I wonder why his headline sets a 2013 enddate. Why wouldn’t Assad under these circumstances stay longer? The piece never explains that.

I for one expect (and expected him) to stay for at least another full term as president.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:23 pm


zoo said:

French wounded journalists trapped in Homs


Injured journalist Edith Bouvier and another french journalist working for Le Figaro and Times are asking the french authorities to rescue Edith Bouvier in a ‘medical’ way as she is not easily transportable.
The French and British government are now obliged to negotiate the logistics of such rescue with the Syrian government. In view of the medical situation of the journalist, a helicopter would be probably necessary.
The ‘medical’ staff keeping Edith Bouvier calls for the Red Cross to intervene but do not call explicitly for a ceasefire.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:39 pm


zoo said:

China not to attend Friends of Syria conference
Updated: 2012-02-24 00:35
BEIJING – Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that China will not attend the Friends of Syria conference to be held Friday in Tunisia.

Hong said China is not prepared to attend the conference as China needs to further study the aim, effect and mechanism of the conference and it has no idea of the preparations of the conference.

China is a friend of the Syrian and Arab peoples, Hong said.

“China supports all efforts that are conducive to peacefully and properly resolving the Syrian issue,” Hong said, adding that China hopes to work with all concerned parties to play a positive and constructive role in the process.

China believes that any action taken by the international community should help to cease tensions, boost political dialogues, resolve differences and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, Hong said.
Russia and China on February 4 vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution on Syria backing an Arab League plan which demands a regime change in the Middle East country. And later on February 16, China voted against a draft resolution on Syria at the UN General Assembly.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, as a special envoy of the Chinese government, on February 18 met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damasucs.

During his two-day visit to Syria, Zhai also met with Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Mualem, Vice Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, assistant Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnous and heads of Syria’s opposition groups.

Zhai said that China has followed closely the development of the situation in Syria, and is deeply worried about the escalating crisis in the country, which has caused civilian casualties and affected peace and stability in the Middle East region.

He said China urges all parties concerned in Syria to immediately launch inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions attached, and jointly discuss a comprehensive political reform plan and mechanism.

China supports efforts by the Arab League (AL) in seeking a political solution to the issue of Syria, Zhai said. He called on parties concerned to strengthen communication and consultation, and join efforts in seeking a peaceful and proper solution to the Syrian crisis within the AL framework and on the basis of AL’s political initiatives.

Zhai stressed that China takes an objective, just and responsible stance on the issue of Syria.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:46 pm


zoo said:

Iran, Hezbollah are on Syria side: Velayati

Velayati, a former foreign minister, said those Arab rulers that “begged the Americans” to keep Hosni Mubarak in power, gave sanctuary to the Tunisian dictator, and supported the killing of the Yemeni people are now portraying themselves as the defenders of the Syrian people.

He said Syria is the only government which has withstood Israel since the 1967 war and it is the only country which has not accepted the Camp David agreement.

“It is for these reasons that they have targeted the most sensitive center of the resistance (movement) ignorant of the fact that Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah are standing on the side of Syria strongly and we are witnessing that Russia and China have also come to this side and its reason is that they have understood that the situation of the world in changing.”

February 23rd, 2012, 4:49 pm


zoo said:

Lowering political expectations: The first meeting is about humanitarian aid.

‘Friends of Syria’ 2nd meeting to be held in Turkey: Davutoğlu
LONDON – Hürriyet Daily News
Second meeting of the “Friends of Syria” group will be held in Turkey, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said during a press conference in London today.

The first meeting of the group will be held on Friday in Tunisia.

Davutoğlu said Turkey expressed its request for the group to take concrete measures regarding the situation in Syria.

“Those measures will be clarified in tomorrow’s meeting,” Davutoğlu said and added that Turkey was ready to assist the people of Syria anyway it can, starting with humanitarian aid.

February 23rd, 2012, 4:54 pm


DAWOUD said:


I will send an email as soon as I have more time (maybe tomorrow morning US EST) to Professor Landis and CC it to Ehsani and Mr. Okraji. It will explain my perceived “provocative” tone. For now, please keep in mind the following points:
– Everything I say is my opinion, which does not mean that anybody has to believe in it. Does it mean that Prof. Landis has to have an “affirmative action” policy? Of course not! But, it’s my right to voice my opinion against any slant when there are those on this blog who question whether Bashar is a dictator! And others who claim that Hamza al-Khateeb was killed by Saudi terrorists!
-I don’t care what anybody’s religion/sect is, but both factors have unfortunately become relevant to the ongoing Syrian revolt. When Prof. Fawaz Gergis on CNN’s GPS describes that on his recent visit to Syria he found Syrian Christians loyal to Bashar, we need to discuss it here. Surely, it has to be done without generalizations and threats of violence and racism. I have always done this discussion in a responsible manner.
-MORE will be said in the email

PS., thanks to our brother AND sisters in occupied/besieged Gaza for their anti -Bashar rally:
انشودة يلا ارحل يا بشار بنسخة غزاوية

February 23rd, 2012, 4:59 pm


albert said:

With all due respect, Prof. Landis’ prediction about the current regime’s demise in Syria is highly speculative and takes away from the otherwise good research he has done to write his essay, however.

A very close look at the current developments in Syria would reveal that the major power behind regime change in Syria is none other than President Bashar al-Asad himself.

February 23rd, 2012, 5:06 pm


mjabali said:

Prof. Landis:

Good article but there is a point I have a problem with. you said:

“Alawis already by the mid-1950s constituted some 65 percent of all noncommissioned officers in the Syrian military.2 Within a decade, they took control of the military leadership and, with it, Syria itself.”

You got this quote from the notable historian Hanna Batato as you footnoted.

I think this percentage is over estimating and not accurate. There is no way the Alawis would constitute 65 percent of the noncommissioned officers by mid-1950’s.

Remember how the Alawis of the Syrian National Party were killed in numbers following the Assassination of al-Maliki in 1955.

The two highest Alawi officers in the 1950’s were assassinated and their killers walked away free.

General Mohammad Naser was assassinated in Damascus in 1950, he was a Chief in the army, but his killers walked away free of any punishment.

Colonel Ghassan Jadid was assassinated in 1957.

If the Alawis were 65 percent on the non-commissioned officers no one could have done that to them in the 1950’s.

From the 1950’s to 1966, a big stop in the history of Syria, many non Alawi officers lost due to the political changes, to explain:

1958 union with Egypt made many Sunnis from the old Ottoman heritage not to join the army.

1961 Separation from the Union with Egypt, the minority officers were very weak to do anything. By minority officer: we are talking about a sizable Druze and Ismaili officers also.

Remember that the Sunni officers from Damascus kind of alienated many Sunni officers from other cities and excluded them. For example, the Nasiri officers rising from Allepo after the separation from Egypt.

1963 was the first time the Alawis and their allies show force.

After 1963, Mohammad Umran was the first Alawi officer to hold a major position. The Alawis were not that strong up to that moment, but they got lucky with the appointment of Salah Jadid, the Baathi/Leftist brother of the Syrian Nationalist Ghassan Jadid.

It is a very complicated matter, but if you go throw the number of coups, and mini-cuops in Syria you will see how Sunni officers lost their grip on the Army.

In the mid 1960’s the Alawis did not have anything yet. But, they were solidifying their rule especially after the 1966 mini coup against Amin al-Hafez. That time period saw the rise of Hafez and his brother. But, those guys would not gain control till the 1970’s. The 1960’s did not see any Alawi revival instead, by the end of it Hafez put many of the top Alawi officers in Jail when he took over in October 16 1970. When Hafez took control he did not depend on any of the Alawi strong men, he saw them as a threat. He groomed the generation of officers that I saw take over Syria in my lifetime.


February 23rd, 2012, 5:47 pm


jna said:

Rebels and Ordinary Citizens Alike Struggle to Survive the Bombing of Homs
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/23/rebels-and-ordinary-citizens-alike-struggle-to-survive-the-bombing-of-homs.html […read it all, some pasted below]

…The rebels may still be hanging on, but the activists increasingly are not. Abdullah had to flee last week after suffering a shrapnel injury. He spoke from a safe house just outside Bab Amro. Likewise, 21-year-old Omar Shakir of the Bab Amro News team said he fled two days ago, also to a safe house just outside the neighborhood. Before that, he’d been staying in the same makeshift media center in Bab Amro as Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik, the two foreign reporters killed Wednesday after a shell hit the building. Four of the activists from Shakir’s team were also injured in the attack. Activists suspected that government forces directly targeted them after locking onto the satellite signals being used for their broadcasts. Danny Abdul Dayem, the British-Syrian dual national whose dramatic English-language videos became regular features on global news broadcasts, escaped to Lebanon ten days ago. Rami Ahmad al-Sayyed, responsible for livestream broadcasts, was killed earlier this week when a mortar hit the car out of which he was helping unload injured patients. Even Fadwa Suleiman, the Alawi actress who galvanized protesters when she joined them in Homs, left the city earlier this week, according to a statement posted on Facebook by a friend.

…Of the neighborhood’s popular figures who have given the world faces and name to attach to Homs’ story, only two remain. Khaled Abu Salah, who rose to fame when he challenged Arab League observers to work harder to see the government’s atrocities, appeared in film showing the foreign journalists’ bodies in the rubble of the press center. Abdulbaset Sarout, the 22-year-old soccer star who pumped his fist in protests and gave voice to popular revolutionary chants, stayed, too. Alongside violent footage of the escalation, Arabic satellite channels played on loop a video of both of them sitting with Rami Ahmad Sayed, gathered in the dark playing the oud and signing of a freedom, a ghostly reminder of the sacrifices all three have been willing to make.

February 23rd, 2012, 6:10 pm


ann said:

Reports say many killed in ongoing violence across Syria on Thursday – 2012-02-24


DAMASCUS, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) — A family of six members was murdered by unidentified gunmen in central Homs province, as eight law-enforcement troops were killed Thursday in clashes with armed groups in several parts of Syria, state-run SANA news agency reported.

An armed group brutally killed a family at al-Arman al-Janoubi neighborhood in Homs Thursday, said SANA, adding that the group hand-cuffed Mohammad Riyad Dawish, his wife and his four children, and stabbed them to death.

Meanwhile, three law-enforcement personnel were killed and seven others were injured when a primed explosive device, planted by an armed group, went off at the southern entrance of Idlib city in northern Syria, said SANA, adding that the military engineering units dismantled three explosive devices in Jiser al-Shughour region in Idlib countryside.

In the central province of Hama, two law-enforcement members were killed and another was injured by the gunfire of an armed group that attacked with grenades and machineguns the police station of Mahardeh in Hama countryside Thursday.

In southern Daraa province, three law-enforcement members were killed and five others were injured in an attack by an armed terrorist group in al-Sad area, said SANA.

In a related context, Syria’s Health Ministry on Thursday denied as “untrue” the death of seven babies in a hospital in Hama countryside because of power outages.

In a statement carried by SANA, the ministry stressed that “no babies died in Hama hospitals because of power outages,” adding that “all hospitals are equipped with power generators.”

The ministry added that the systematic misleading campaigns will increase the determination of national health institutions in serving all patients.


February 23rd, 2012, 6:35 pm


jad said:

US and al-Qaeda teaming up in Syria?

“According to US intelligence, extremist are rushing into Syria to help the anti-government rebels overthrow President Bashar al-Assad. US officials have blamed al-Qaeda for a series of bombings in Damascus aimed at the Syrian Military and intelligence facilities. Washington war hawks are calling for arming the uprising in Syria, but so is al-Qaeda. So is it possible for the two to support the same cause? Here is our report.”

February 23rd, 2012, 7:01 pm


ann said:

Youssef Al-Ahmed turned down $10 million of qatar blood money to turn his back on his own country

Syrian ambassador leaves Cairo – 2012-02-24


CAIRO, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) — Syrian ambassador to Egypt Youssef el- Ahmed and his family left Cairo to Damascus on Thursday in response to Egypt’s decision to withdraw its ambassador to Syria, official news agency MENA reported.


February 23rd, 2012, 7:02 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

The religious and ethical duty of Al Saoud:
Spreading fitna and sectarian war in Syria

February 23rd, 2012, 7:12 pm


aron said:

MJBALI – I agree with you. As I recall, the context provided by Batatu is that Abdelhamid Serraj (then the boss of the 2ième bureau = Military Intel) discovered these proportions when he was investigating the Malki murder. (Update: Yes, just checked the Batatu article, it’s sourced to a conversation between Batatu and Serraj in 1980.)

I have no idea what’s true or false about that part of the story. I assume Batatu (a great scholar) reports his conversation correctly, and perhaps Serraj really thought he had found such a number. But the 65% of NCOs figure has always struck me as impossibly high, and there’s plenty of evidence against it.

There is a very good article by N. E. Bou-Nacklie in the Intl Journal of ME Studies from 1993, on the sectarian composition of the colonial-era Troupes spéciales du Levant, which later formed the core of the army after independence in 1946. The article investigates the complaints that France over-recruited from minorities; his short conclusion is “yes, but…”. I recommend reading the whole thing!

It provides a lot of statistics for the sectarian composition of the Troupes. These tables reveal that the number of Alawites (of all ranks) in the Troupes (which covered both Syria and Lebanon) started at slightly below 20% in the 1920s and rose to 22% in the last measurement in 1944. That was clearly an overrepresentation, double the 10% Alawi rate of population in Syria+Lebanon, but it is very far from a rate of 65% of NCOs.

Money quote:

“‘Alawi overrepresentation in both the Syrian Legion and the Troupes Speciales remained constant from 1921 to 1944, but almost all of them were in the lowest ranks. On the eve of independence many were either demobilized by the French, as the ‘Alawi-dominated Bataillon de Côté was, or given to the Lebanese, as was the other ‘Alawi-dominated Première Bataillon du Levant, which was demobilized shortly after independence. Over 500 of the remaining ‘Alawis chose to go overseas as Avenantaires with the French, leaving the Syrians with only about 2,000 ‘Alawis out~of an army of about 14,000, or 14.3 percent, as against 10.1 percent representation in the population. The other 1,100 ‘Alawis were illiterate laborers.”

The Syrian military did of course begin to grow very rapidly after the Palestine war. But to get from 14% of the total army to 65% of non-commissioned officers, you’ll have to have had an absolutely astounding rate of Alawite over-recruitment during the the first six years of independence. They would more or less have been forced to recruit ONLY Alawites into the officer corps from 1946 to 1954. I’m sure there was some over-recruitment of Alawites even then (possibly quite large, due to social factors and military tradition in various families and so on), but it’s wholly unlikely it could reach anywhere near the 65% NCO mark. If that figure were true, it would in fact mean that the Jadid/Assad takeover in 1963-1970 had resulted in LESS Alawite sectarianism in the armed forces. Which it plainly didn’t.

In sum: I don’t want to distract from Landis’s larger points, that there has long been a very large over-representation of Alawites in the Syrian officer corps, and that the capture of the state by Alawite officers had some roots in colonial policy. That is absolutely correct, and this doesn’t detract from his argument at all.

But I would caution against using that particular figure, 65% of NCOs in 1954. I don’t think it’s accurate at all, and my only conclusion is that Serraj was either wrong or lying (he was in exile in Sadat’s Egypt, which was actively fanning the flames of Syrian sectarianism at the time…), while Batatu was wrong to take his word for it.

February 23rd, 2012, 7:23 pm


jad said:

No wonder they want to replace Valerie Amos with Kofi Annan, she is too smart for them while Kofi doesn’t speak much and he says YES to everything the big rich guys ask him to do…

Amos warning against military intervention as a reason for humanitarian aids in Syria:

اموس تحذر من مغبة التدخل العسكري لتقديم المساعدات الانسانية في سوريا

الامم المتحدة – 23 – 2 (كونا) — حذرت مساعدة السكرتير العام للامم المتحدة للشؤون الانسانية فاليري اموس اليوم من مغبة التدخل العسكري لتقديم المساعدات التي يحتاجها بشدة المحاصرون بمدينة حمص ومواقع اخرى في سوريا.
وقالت اموس في رسالة الى كافة الدول الاعضاء ومنها فرنسا التي دعا وزير خارجيتها الان جوبيه الى مد ممرات آمنية لتقديم المساعدات الانسانية “يجب علينا تجنب عسكرة المساعدات الانسانية”.
واعربت اموس عن اعتقادها بأن ايصال المساعدات الانسانية للمحتاجين عبر التفاوض “هو المنحى الأكثر فعالية” محذرة من الدعوات التي تنادي بتدخل عسكري لدعم العمل الانساني وما يتضمنه من تأمين للممرات واقامة مناطق عازلة.
وشددت على ان تلك الخطوة من شأنها “تعريض المستضعفين وعمال الاغاثة للمزيد من الخطر”.
وفي المقابل قالت اموس انه “يجب علينا جميعا ترديد” المناشدة التي وجهتها اللجنة الدولية للصليب الاحمر للموافقة على هدنة مدتها ساعتان يوميا للسماح بوصول الامدادات الى المدنيين واجلاء عدد متزايد من الجرحى في حمص وأماكن أخرى.
وقالت “جميعنا علينا التزام للاستجابة لاحتياجات الشعب السوري وسيكون في غاية الاهمية دعمكم لحث كل من الحكومة السورية وجماعات المعارضة على الوفاء بالتزاماتهما من اجل منح المرور بأمان ودون اعاقة لعمال الاغاثة ومواد الاغاثة لكافة المناطق المتضررة “.
واشارت الى ان منظمة الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري لديها “شبكة شاملة في جميع انحاء البلاد وكانت قادرة على الوصول الى البلدات الأكثر احتياجا” ولكنها شددت على ان “هناك حاجة للقيام بالمزيد”.
واكدت ان “ضمان الوصول الى البلدات الاكثر تضررا من القتال يحتل الاولوية القصوى للامم المتحدة”.
وعلى صعيد متصل قال دبلوماسيون ان البعثتين الفرنسية والروسية تعدان بشكل منفصل مشروعي قانون متنافسين بشأن الوضع الانساني في سوريا من المقرر ان يجرى تقديمهما الى المجلس خلال الايام القليلة المقبلة.
وكشف متحدث باسم الامم المتحدة ان اسم السكرتير العام السابق للامم المتحدة كوفي انان تردد لتعيينه مبعوثا خاصا للمنظمة الاممية الى سوريا ولكنه لم يتم التوصل الى أي قرار بهذا الشأن بصورة رسمية حتى الآن.


February 23rd, 2012, 8:04 pm


ann said:

UN, Arab League name Kofi Annan special envoy on Syria – 2012-02-24


“The special envoy will be the high-level representative of the secretaries-general of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis,” the statement said. “The special envoy will provide good offices aimed at bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations, and promoting a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.”

“He will consult broadly and engage with all relevant interlocutors within and outside Syria in order to end the violence and the humanitarian crisis, and facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition,” said the statement.


February 23rd, 2012, 8:07 pm


jad said:

معنى التدخل الأميركي في سوريا
سمير كرم

بدأت الولايات المتحدة تدخلها العسكري في سوريا.
هذا هو معنى ومدلول تحليق أعداد غير محدودة من طائرات التجسس الاميركية بلا طيارين (وتسمى من قبيل التعمية طائرات استطلاع) لمراقبة تحركات القوات النظامية السورية.
لن يغير هذا التفسير ببدء التدخل العسكري الاميركي في سوريا ما حرصت المصادر العسكرية (مصادر البنتاغون) والمخابراتية الاميركية ما اعلنته من ان تحليق هذه الطائرات في اجواء سوريا لجمع المعلومات عن مواقع القوات النظامية السورية “هو بغرض المراقبة وليس من باب التحضير لتدخل عسكري اميركي… إن إدارة الرئيس الاميركي باراك اوباما تريد فقط جمع الأدلة وقراءة تحركات الحكومة السورية واتصالاتها العسكرية لاستخدامها لاحقاً في الدفع باتجاه استجابة دولية واسعة ضد نظام الأسد”.
فإما أن هذه المصادر الاميركية بهذا النفي فيما يتعلق بالتدخل العسكري تفترض السذاجة في الآخرين، بمن فيهم الاطراف المعنية المحيطة جغرافياً بسوريا، ومنهم الذين تربطهم بسوريا علاقات تجعل هذا التدخل جريمة بحقهم، أم الذين تربطهم بسوريا حالة عداء تصل الى درجة احتلال جزء من اراضي سوريا والتلويح بما هو اكثر. او ان هذه رسالة اميركية مشفرة ومعكوسة الى المنطقة بأسرها بأن اميركا تقترب من خطوط اقتحام سوريا، حتى وإن فشلت في استصدار قرار من مجلس الامن الدولي، يعطي لأميركا وحلف الأطلسي إشارة ضوء اخضر بأن تكرر في سوريا ما سبق ان قام به الحلف بقيادة الولايات المتحدة بالتدخل العسكري في ليبيا.
لم تكتف المصادر الاميركية العسكرية والمخابراتية بهذه التعمية، بل اضافت ان مناقشات تجري في البيت الابيض ووزارتي الدفاع والخارجية الاميركيتين بشأن إمكانية إيفاد “بعثات إنسانية” الى سوريا، وأن مخاوف قد نشأت خلال تلك المناقشات من عدم إمكانية إرسال مثل هذه “البعثات الانسانية من دون تعرض المشاركين فيها للخطر، مما ستكون نتيجته الحتمية اضطرار الولايات المتحدة للقيام بدور عسكري في سوريا”.
ومعنى هذا هو ان التصريحات التي بدأت بقصد نفي التمهيد لتدخل عسكري في سوريا بتحليق طائرات الاستطلاع الاميركية في سماء سوريا، انتهت بتأكيد استعداد اميركي لتدخل من هذا القبيل. رافق هذا النفي/التأكيد الاميركي المتضارب المقصود، عدد من الظواهر التي تتعلق بهذا الاحتمال القوي للتدخل، ضاربة عرض الحائط بمجلس الامن والفيتو الروسي والصيني الذي منع صدور قرار من هذا المجلس، تحت ضغوط الولايات المتحدة والاتحاد الاوروبي وعدد من الدول العربية تتقدمها المملكة العربية السعودية.
اول هذه الظواهر المصاحبة لتمهيدات التدخل الاميركي يتمثل في اهتمام المصادر الاميركية بالاشارة – في اليوم نفسه – الى ان سفينتين حربيتين ايرانيتين، وصلتا الى ميناء طرطوس في سوريا، بعد ان عبرتا قناة السويس بموافقة من السلطات المصرية على هذا العبور. وكأن المصادر الاميركية تعطي مبرراً “إيرانياً” للتدخل الاميركي في سوريا بالقول، بأن إيران تتدخل في احداث سوريا. وبهذا تغفل المصادر الاميركية حقيقة ان وصول السفينتين الإيرانيتين سبقه الحصول على تصريح من السلطات السورية المعنية. هذا فضلاً عن استخدام اسلوب الضغط الاميركي على مصر التي وافقت سلطاتها على عبور السفينتين الإيرانيتين قناة السويس، في حين تعرف هذه المصادر الاميركية قبل غيرها ان حرية الملاحة في قناة السويس مفتوحة لجميع دول العالم بما فيها الولايات المتحدة التي لا تكف سفن اسطولها الخامس والسادس عن عبور القناة، وبما فيها اسرائيل، التي تعبر سفنها قناة السويس في الاتجاهين.
اما المظهر الثاني الذي رافق خطوة التحليق الجوي الاميركي في سماء سوريا فكان أنه تزامن مع الخطوة التي اتخذتها السلطات المصرية بسحب سفيرها من دمشق، في خطوة لا بد ان تكون قد فاجأت سوريا، بقدر ما فاجأت الرأي العام المصري، الذي يرقب احداث سوريا بقلق وخشية من التدخل الاميركي والاطلسي.
وأما المظهر الثالث الذي صاحب التحليق الاميركي بطائرات التجسس في سماء سوريا وخطوة سحب السفير المصري، فكان إبداء مرونة من الجانب الاميركي في محادثات تجري في القاهرة وفي واشنطن ازاء النزاع بين البلدين، حول تقديم مسؤولين في منظمات المجتمع المدني المصرية – بينهم اميركيون ومصريون – للمحاكمة بتهمة تلقي اموال من جهات رسمية اميركية لممارسة النشاط في مصر.
يبقى المظهر الرابع – الذي قد يبدو بعيدا عن هذه التطورات للوهلة الاولى – وهو محاولة الوفد الاسرائيلي في الجمعية العامة للامم المتحدة اضافة صوت اسرائيل الى الدول التي تبنت قرار الجمعية العامة بإدانة العنف في سوريا. وقد قام الوفد المصري بالتصدي لهذه المحاولة الاسرائيلية، الامر الذي تناقض تماما مع قرار القاهرة بسحب السفير المصري في دمشق. ولعل هذا تم في إطار محاولة لإيجاد توازن في الموقف المصري ..لكنه بدا على أي الاحوال ادنى بكثير من الموقف الروسي – الصيني في مجلس الامن. وليس خافياً ان الموقف المصري كما تمثل في سحب السفير قد تم اتخاذه تحت ضغط من جماعة الإخوان المسلمين وحزبها (حزب الحرية والعدالة) وهي حليف “استراتيجي” لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين التي تلعب دوراً أساسياً في احداث سوريا، والتي أيدت بلا تردد دعوة لتدخل خارجي – اميركي اطلسي – في سوريا. لقد ارادت اسرائيل ان تضم اسمها الى اسماء الدول العربية التي صوتت مع قرار الجمعية العامة ولكن وفد مصر رفض هذا رفضاً تاماً، ووجه تهديداً الى الوفد الاسرائيلي بأن تفتح مصر موضوع حقوق الانسان في الاراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة. وهنا تراجع الوفد الاسرائيلي عن مطلبه
ليس في التاريخ الاميركي مع هذه المنطقة ما يدعو للاطمئنان.

February 23rd, 2012, 8:12 pm


Jad said:

A very bad sign, when Haytham Manna3 decline to attend, it means evil:

بيان من وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطنية إلى مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية في تونس
تابعت هيئة التنسيق الوطنية لقوى التغيير الديمقراطي جملة التحركات التي سبقت مؤتمر أصدقاء سورية منذ انطلاقة هذه الفكرة، وكان المبدأ الذي انطلقت منه هو حسن النية خاصة وقد استضافت المؤتمر دولة انطلاق الربيع العربي التي طالما أكد المسؤولون فيها رفضهم للتدخل العسكري الأجنبي في سورية ورفض الطائفية والعنف من أي جهة كان والحرص على وحدة الأراضي السورية والتسمك بوحدة النضال الديمقراطي عبر السعي لتوحيد جهود المعارضة السورية لا شقها وتمزيقها بعقلية التمييز والاستقصاء، والتأكيد على خطة العمل العربي باعتبارها القاسم المشترك الأعلى للحراك الشعبي والتعبيرات السياسية والمدنية في سورية. لذا قررت الهيئة تشكيل وفد موسع برئاسة الدكتور هيثم مناع نائب المنسق العام وعضوية المحامي عبد المجيد منجونة والمحامي رجاء الناصر والأستاذ مأمون خليفة والأستاذ صالح مسلم والأستاذ محمد حجازي والدكتور هاني أبو صالح والدكتورة هدى الزين والأستاذ فاضل علي والأستاذ عبد الرحيم خليفة  وكلهم من قيادة هيئة التنسيق الوطنية داخل وخارج البلاد.

ورغم تطمينات الرئيس التونسي بأن التعامل مع أطراف المعارضة سيتم دون أي تفضيل أو تمييز وأن لا اعتراف بأحدها على حساب المجموع وأن التدخل العسكري الأجنبي خط أحمر وأن العسكرة المتصاعدة تشكل خطرا فعليا على السلم الأهلي ونجاح الثورة السلمية، رغم كل ذلك تحركت مجموعة دول مغلقة لرسم مؤتمر بأهداف محددة وتصورات مسبقة الصنع في أروقة مجموعة مغلقة من أحد عشر بلدا عربي وغربي. الأمر الذي كان من أسباب عكوف دول كبرى عن الحضور. ثم لاحظنا توجها أكبر وأخطر نحو سحب المبادرة من الجامعة العربية باسم انقاذ خطة العمل العربية وتحديد من يمثل الشعب السوري مكان الشعب السوري ومكان مؤتمر المعارضة التي أقرته الجامعة العربية،  وترك قضية التسلح عائمة وفتح المجال للتطبيع الدولي مع فكرة التدخل العسكري الخارجي. وفي هذا تعارض صريح مع مصالح الشعب السوري وثورته وحدود سورية ووحدتها والنضال من أجل الكرامة والديمقراطية والعدالة التي كانت في صلب انطلاقة الثورة السورية. ورغم أن ورقة العمل الأولى كانت قد وصلتنا وأوصلنا لأكثر من طرف مخاوفنا من التمسك بها، فقد أقرت الدول الإحدى عشر البيان الختامي للمؤتمر في لندن بإقرار ما طالب به الجناح الأقل عقلانية والأكثر تعصبا وتحزبا في مواضيع تشكل خطرا على الوحدة النضالية السورية، وتعزز قدرات وأسلحة السلطة الدكتاتورية، عوضا أن تكون سندا للشعب السوري وثورته.

لقد وجد الوفد فيما أحاط بترتيبات المؤتمر وأوراقه ودور بعض الدول المريب ما يسمح له بوضع مشاركته في المؤتمر موضع تساؤل كبير وأن يقرر الإمتناع عن المشاركة في المؤتمر وإحالة ملف كامل حول هذا الموضوع الهام إلى الأخوة والأخوات في المكتب التنفيذي لاتخاذ الموقف المناسب من المؤتمر وقراراته وتوجهاته وأشكال المتابعة المنبثقة عنه.

عاشت سورية مدنية حرة وديمقراطية

تونس في 24/2/2012

وفد هيئة التنسيق الوطنية إلى تونس


February 23rd, 2012, 8:43 pm


Leo Syriacus said:

A brilliant article, thank you Dr Landis for your insight and analysis, it has been a pleasure reading your writings about Syria for years as it is some of the most accurate in westren media.
I tend not to agree with you on two points though:
1-The 65% presence of Non-Commissioned Alawite officers in the mid-50’s…I believe they did not attain such percentage in the army until the late 60’s-early 70’s
2-The time frame of the regime collapse..all the factors contributing to the regime defeat such as the disatisfaction and unrest of the masses in Syria, the defection of army soldiers (albeit rank and file versus high rank officers), the economic collapse, the sanctions, the diplomatic isolation, the organization of the opposition groups and the possibility of military action…all of this is gaining momentum by the day and is significantly greater than 3 months or six months ago.
As strong as the regime may seem to day I doubt it will withstand all this pressure for another year..the silent majority which was made of fence sitters is joining the opposition at high rates and for a multitiude of reasons

February 23rd, 2012, 8:57 pm


Leo Syriacus said:

If my previous comment discussed points of disagreement ( to which I welcome any further comment from Dr Landis ) I do thank Dr Landis for highlighting some points that any Syrian of intellect has known for a long time:
1-The “fault-line” of the revolution is economic and not sectarian, the agrarian heartland of Syria ( Horan-Central Area-AlGhab Plain-The Eastren Plains) is suffering and this is the reason for the intense revolution in Homs,Hama,Deraa,Deir Alzor, and Idlib..versus the calmer more affluent Damascus and Aleppo
2-The regime being minoritarian is doomed and will collapse..no oligocracy has ever lasted long in history anywhere
3-The regime being the remnant of a colonial project will be swept aside by the popular revolt and the Arab Spring
4-No Syrian, pro- or against the regime, will advocate the destruction of the Syrian state, its institutions,or law and order
what is needed is regime change not destroying the state.

February 23rd, 2012, 9:10 pm


mjabali said:

Mr Aron Comment # 28

Thanks for the great link…As for al-Sarraj and Sadat: Sadat for sure hated the Alawis. I listened to his rants against the Alawis few times. He used to call them Anjas..(Dirty) during his almost daily radio speeches…al-Sarraj, I think was exaggerating..

February 23rd, 2012, 9:25 pm


ann said:

‘US agenda in Middle East is very obvious’ – 24 February, 2012


The pressure is ramping up on the Syrian regime as calls for a peacekeeping force to get involved in the crisis intensify. But retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski says such missions hide another agenda.

Kwiatkowski expressed doubts that any peacekeeping mission sent to Syria would be neutral. “Our experience with peacekeeping forces is that they are never neutral, that they always take sides,” she said in an interview with RT. “In fact, we have plenty of experience with the repeated and abject failures of peacekeeping forces. Obviously it hides another agenda.”

She claims that when it comes to the Middle East the United States is “extremely biased.”

“We have an agenda and it is very obvious to people around the world and to the governments what our interests are. The American government couldn’t care less about most of the people in the Middle East,” she states.

Moreover, Kwiatkowski believes that the US does not possess accurate information about the actual situation in Syria. “What is needed is a greater understanding of what is actually going on inside of Syria. And we don’t have that.”


February 23rd, 2012, 9:26 pm


ann said:

On Annan to Damascus, Syrian “Thinks” He Can Get In, Ban Comparison: of Oil for Food and Kofi’s Karma


UNITED NATIONS, February 23 — In front of the UN Security Council on Thursday morning, Inner City Press asked Portugal’s Permanent Representative Cabral what he’d think if former Secretary General Kofi Annan were named envoy to Syria. Cabral said Annan’s “name’s around, I like the idea but I’m not sure he would take it.”

India’s Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri told the Press of Annan as envoy, “Why not? You need stature, and he has it.”

Throughout the day, as a debate on Women, Peace and Security took place inside the Security Council, a range of diplomats weighed in with Inner City Press. Several of them noted how much lower profile the UN Secretariat has become under Ban Ki-moon.

“Kofi did Kenya,” one of them said. “What’s Ban got to show?”

At 6:10 pm, Ban’s spokesperson’s office issued a statement that Kofi Annan was, in fact, the joint UN – Arab League envoy.

Inner City Press asked Margot Wallstrom, Ban’s sexual violence in conflict expert, about the appointment but she declined to comment.

When Syria’s representative who spoke in the Security Council came out, Inner City Press asked if Annan would be allowed into Syria, “can he come in?”

A western diplomat told Inner City Press that Finland’s Martti Ahtisaari was in consideration. “But after his Ahtisaari plan on Kosovo, the Russians wouldn’t accept him,” the diplomat concluded. Watch this site.


February 23rd, 2012, 9:45 pm


Syria no kandahar said:

[Edited to correct link typo]

If you are with the opposition don’t buy nuts from this guy,he will be nuts:

February 23rd, 2012, 9:49 pm


ann said:

Syria: Christians Afraid To Go Out At Night, Ask For Prayer – February 24, 2012


In the wake of a year of protests and violence, the volatile situation in Syria has brought great suffering to the entire population. Syrian Christians say their greatest need right now is prayer, according to Open Doors, an international ministry supporting persecuted Christians and religious freedom around the world.

The danger has prompted many churches across the country to meet only in daytime, many only on Sundays. On Fridays, the weekly Islamic day of assembly, many Christian schools now close. Because of rampant killing, theft and kidnapping of children, some parents have stopped sending their children to school. Syria also suffers a lack of fuel and electricity, an economy in shambles and few jobs.

“Christians’ plights vary by place,” said Dr. Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors USA. “Damascus Christians seem to have the fewest difficulties; in contrast, many Homs believers have fled what has become a war zone.”

Some Christians want to stay; others desperately seek to emigrate, said Moeller. Many say they simply cannot flee.

“Many believers tell us that Syria is where they belong and will remain, even if that means dying there,” he said.


February 23rd, 2012, 10:10 pm


bronco said:


Kofi Anan or someone else. The objective as explained by Ban Ko Moon and reported by Ann #31 task looks stangely like what the Russians have been asking all along.
If this is true, maybe besides the humanitarian arrangement discussions, in the corridors, the main purpose of the meeting in Tunis is to force the opposition into accepting the dialog with the Syrian government. Maybe I am giving too much credit to the common sense of the international community…

“and facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition,” said the statement.

February 23rd, 2012, 10:14 pm


irritated said:

#37 Ann

“What is needed is a greater understanding of what is actually going on inside of Syria. And we don’t have that.”

Obviously Heckle Ford’s work in Syria and his rantings on Facebook were totally useless.

February 23rd, 2012, 10:19 pm


bronco said:

No more AL plan? No more resignation of Bashar? No more VP taking over?
He will seek to “facilitate a peaceful Syrian-led and inclusive political solution that meets the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people through a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition,” it added.

Ban announced Annan’s appointment after final talks in London with el-Arabi and other international leaders on the next steps to take to end the Syria violence.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and foreign ministers from Britain, France and Arab countries were expected to give public support for Annan’s task at a Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis on Friday.

Dealing with Assad will however be one of the toughest challenges taken on by Annan in more than four decades as an international diplomat.

Richard Gowan, of the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, said Annan’s work as a mediator in Kenya “is widely viewed as one of the finest pieces of preventive diplomacy in recent years, so there will be hopes he can pull off another coup here.”

Weeks of often tense talks saw Annan pull off a deal between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga so that their followers ended unrest in which more than 1,300 people died.

Annan has also been critical of the western campaign last year against late Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi. “That may give him some additional credibility with the Assad regime,” Gowan told AFP.

“Despite Annan’s personal profile, the key to successful mediation is for him to have genuine political support from across the international system. If the Russians and Chinese don’t give him sufficient support, Assad and his supporters are likely to refuse to talk seriously,” Gowan said.

February 23rd, 2012, 10:30 pm


Ghufran said:

There are good reasons why SC is still the most visible blog on Syria,that was only possible through the good work of Joshua,Camille, Ehsani and all bloggers who took the time to dig deep and go beyond the obvious to tell the real stories about Syria’s internal and external issues. The minute I see fighting parties put down their weapons and start talking to each other will be the minute of victory for this revolution,otherwise,it will be a path for destruction and national decline.

February 23rd, 2012, 10:38 pm


ann said:

Sources: Obama has not requested review of military options for Syria – February 23, 2012


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president on Thursday that the White House is still focused on ending this crisis with political pressure.

“Further militarization will lead to a dangerous and chaotic path,” Carney said of arming opposition forces. “We’ll continue to evaluate as time goes on. The fact of the matter is the aggression is being carried out by Assad and that’s why we’re working so hard with international partners to cease and desist.”

Military plans for larger-scale military operations could be presented to the president by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a moment’s notice, but officials in the Pentagon say the president is right to be cautious. It would be a much different mission than the one in Libya last year to protect civilians and oust dictator Moammar Qaddafi.

Syria has four times the population of Libya on one-tenth the landscape. The fighting is largely urban, meaning air power would be less effective against Syrian tanks and more likely to cause civilian casualties. It’s also widely believed that Syria has a larger and better-equipped military than Libya.

“Libya was a lot easier,” former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said in an interview with Fox News. “All its population centers are on the coast. (It had) a very small and weak army that Qaddafi kept weak.”

Right across the Mediterranean from Libya, Hadley added, were nearby NATO naval military bases from which to launch operations.

“So militarily it was very easy to do,” Hadley said.

Hadley also pointed to concerns about arming a fragmented opposition force, which has been said to have links with al Qaeda.

National Intelligence Director James Clapper spoke about these concerns in front of a Senate panel last week.

“Another disturbing phenomenon that we’ve seen recently apparently is the presence of extremists who have infiltrated the opposition groups,” Clapper told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “We believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.”

Clapper also pointed to the uncertainty surrounding many chemical weapons sites in Syria that would be vulnerable should Assad lose his grip on power. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, U.S. officials told Fox News that close to 50 chemical warfare component sites exist, although Clapper made reference to only a few.


February 23rd, 2012, 10:39 pm


zoo said:

The ineptia of the Syrian opposition soon exposed at the “Friends of Syria” in Tunis

After a Year, Deep Divisions Hobble Syria’s Opposition
Published: February 23, 2012

The need to build a united opposition will be the focus of intense discussions at what has been billed as the inaugural meeting of the Friends of Syria. Fostering some semblance of a unified protest movement, possibly under the umbrella of an exile alliance called the Syrian National Council, will be a theme hovering in the background.
The council’s internal divisions have kept Western and Arab governments from recognizing it as a kind of government in exile, and the Tunis summit meeting will probably not change that. Russia, Syria’s main international patron, is avoiding the meeting entirely.

The divisions and shortcomings within the council were fully on display last week when its 10-member executive committee met at the Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, Qatar — its soaring lobby bedecked with roses and other red flowers left over from Valentine’s Day.

“They were in a constant, ongoing struggle, which delayed anything productive and any real work that should be done for the revolution,” said Rima Fleihan, an activist who crawled through barbed wire fences to Jordan from Syria last September to escape arrest. She was representing Syria’s Local Coordination Committees, an alliance of grass-roots activists, on the council until she quit in frustration this month.

“They fight more than they work,” Ms. Fleihan said. “People are asking why they have failed to achieve any international recognition, why no aid is reaching the people, why are we still being shelled?”

He said lack of money was the group’s most acute problem. Although the Qatari government picked up the bill for the Doha meeting and for frequent travel, council members said that no significant financial support from Arab or Western governments had materialized despite repeated promises, so they must rely on rich Syrian exiles. They hope Friday’s meeting in Tunis will begin to change that.
demanding to know why they seemed to swan from one luxury hotel to the next while no medical supplies or other aid flowed into Syria.

The bickering takes place in plain sight. “Is this any way to work?” yelled Haithem al-Maleh, an 81-year-old lawyer and war horse of the opposition movement, as he came barreling out of one Doha meeting, only to be corralled back in. “They are all stupid and silly, but what can I do?”

February 23rd, 2012, 10:51 pm


zoo said:

Contradictions and confusion in the draft declaration over Bashar’s resignation.
More threats and ultimatums may hamper the eventual cooperation of the Syrian government in any humanitarian effort.

“Friends of Syria” to demand ceasefire
By Lin Noueihed and John Irish | Reuters – 1 hr 34 mins ago


A draft declaration from the meeting, obtained by Reuters on Thursday, called on Syria to implement an immediate ceasefire to allow the United Nations access to Homs, and to let agencies deliver aid to civilians affected by the violence.

U.N. humanitarian envoy Valerie Amos was expected to attend the meeting, along with representatives from the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), which is already working with the Syrian authorities and opposition to arrange daily ceasefires to allow in humanitarian aid.

Instead, it called for a ratcheting up diplomatic pressure on Assad to step down and endorsed an Arab League plan that sees him handing power to a deputy as a prelude to elections.

The wording of the draft reflected a harsh reality: there is little the outside world can or will do to stop the violence as long as Russia and China, both of which declined invitations to the Tunis meeting, reject Security Council resolutions.

Another problem facing world powers is divisions within the Syrian opposition, which they will seek to overcome before offering full backing.

The draft stopped short of fully endorsing the main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people but proposed that it be recognized as “a legitimate representative of Syrians seeking peaceful democratic change.”

February 23rd, 2012, 11:04 pm


Michel said:

You said “I don’t care what anybody’s religion/sect is, but…….When Prof. Fawaz Gergis on CNN’s GPS describes … he found Syrian Christians loyal to Bashar, we need to discuss it here.”

Syrian Christians have no weapons, and no armed military presence in Syria. IF there is a change in Syria they will quietly accept whatever change exists. There are notable figured such as Michel Kilo and George Sabra in the opposition. What you are doing is inciting hatred against non Sunnis in Syria. Do you want a situation where we leave Syria as Egyptians are persecuting their Christian community or the Iraqi one is too? Leave Christians ALONE.

February 23rd, 2012, 11:15 pm


Ghufran said:

هناك ثلاثة احتمالات للأزمة السورية، فإما أن ينتصر النظام، أو تنتصر المعارضة، أو يُنهك الطرفان ويضطران للقبول بحل وسط في نهاية المطاف، ولكن السؤال الذي يطرح نفسه هو أي سورية سيحكم المنتصرون أو الذين سيصلون إلى الحكم عبر أي طريقة كانت، هذا إذا بقيت سورية التي نعرفها وهو ما نشك فيه كثيرا ً.
I do not know about the SNC and the militia,but I think the regime has decided to try to make as much progress on the ground as possible before it is forced to sit down and negotiate,the offensive campaign in Homs will not last much longer.

February 23rd, 2012, 11:17 pm


Ghufran said:

The regime wants the armed groups to give away their weapons and the opposition wants guarantees that the regime will not repeat alzabadani story and arrests people right and left:
Here is Camille on RT:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh2rPepEwrM

February 23rd, 2012, 11:43 pm


jad said:

Shocking report from Homs by Channel 4, the armed gangs have nothing to do with any kind of organized army and I believe Nir was right that those gunmen don’t have any real connection with other armed militias in other places, and they can be easily infiltrated and run by Alqaeda Jihadists.
The disturbing-disgusting fact is that they are hiding between civilians and holding them hostages for their own bloody madness, while innocent civilians, children, women and men are paying the heavy price.

An immediate ceasefire is a must, the red cross must get in and help, victims must be evacuated with their beloved ones and be taken to have a proper treatment in real hospitals for HUMAN.
Civilians must be able and allowed to leave this infested areas and the regime have the responsibility to help the civilians to get out, it’s a crime against humanity to leave them alone under the rules of those criminal gangs while indiscriminately shelling them, that is the ultimate unjust to the Syrian trapped there.

I understand that no country in the whole world will tolerate the existence of armed militias running freely in its cities and towns but at the same time it’s the government/regime responsibility to help those trapped civilian and not to kill them.

I also find it irrational that any respected journalist will gamble his life and be within the hands of armed militias and under the retaliation of the national army, how suicidal is that.

Homs siege
A French photojournalist’s shocking record of life under siege in Homs reveals horrific detail of what is happening there under the Assad regime.

February 23rd, 2012, 11:59 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

King Abdullah,in his talk to Medvedev said no dialogue with Bashar,
The supreme Military council decided to form with Ryad Al As3ad a council,they decided to keep Colonel Ryad al As3ad the head of the free Syrian Army.
The friends of Syria most likely will form a committee include members of te SNC, whose job is to monitor the progress,Assad will be given 72 hour to abide, they will not talk publicly about arming the FSA with new weapons, but there will be support for this.
It will get worse before it gets better, I doubt Bashar will last till 2013

February 24th, 2012, 12:09 am


jad said:

There is no solution to this hell in Syria but DIALOGUE and NEGOTIATION.
The freaking greedy colonial western regimes and the filthy monarchy khalijis need to stop wasting billions of dollars over sending weapons and planning wars and instead spend fraction of money to mediate for a peaceful solution that will cost them nothing, but I guess peace is not what they want, blood and destruction is their ultimate goals.

Dear Bronco,
What’s the point of sending Kofi Annan to Syria?

February 24th, 2012, 12:16 am


bronco said:

Dear Jad

I think that the most important task of Kofi Anan would be to evaluate the possibility of the dialog that the Russians and the Chinese have be hammering. While the Russians can convince Bashar to accept to sit with the opposition, the challenge for Kofi Anan would be to make the opposition accept this dialog that they have been consistently conditioned on the departure of Bashar.
Kofi Anan will not ask Bashar to step down as it will break the communication for good. In view of the wide criticisms directed to the SNC now increasingly exposed in the media, it has become a very unreliable organization that no country is willing to recognize. I think they can be brought to the dialog table by some incentive on giving them some ‘status’ that they have been begging for. The Syrian opposition political leaders in Syria will probably follow.
The second challenge is to evaluate whether the FSA would accept to be part of the dialog thus guaranteeing a cessation of the provocations on the Syrian army and a turn against the unruly armed gangs.
From that point, the situation may calm down and a political process can start.
Of course Qatar, KSA, France and the UK will try all they can to disrupt this process, but I guess Kofi Anan who has been against the Libyan war and knows the UN inside out may be able to manage.

February 24th, 2012, 12:59 am


paul david said:

Landis’s article undertakes no analysis of the most important possibilities for the future of Syria. That includes the vision of the regime but forgets the basics. This is not about how long and why is able Al Assad to resists. The question is rather which likely humanitarian, social, economic and political sceneraios will shape the future of the country. Landis’s article does not provide that answer.

February 24th, 2012, 3:52 am



There’s also something left on the article: what if Russia withdraw support to Assad after Kremlin elections on 4th March? I agree that there are internal factors that suggest a long survive to the regime. But it’s not only about that. There’re external issues playing an important role and this is the real fear of the regime.

February 24th, 2012, 6:22 am


aron said:

mjbali – You’re welcome!


I’ve now read the MEPC article, and I think it was excellent, although the conclusions are obviously very depressing.

The only thing I would quibble with is that the term ‘in power’ can be a bit misleading, given the scenario sketched out by JL.

If the economic meltdown plays out as described (and there is no foreign intervention, assassination or internal coup) Assad could probably remain ‘in power’ as president almost indefinitely, way past 2013. But his and the Syrian state’s legitimacy and ability to actually govern will contract rapidly, until that presidency loses all meaning. So the ‘regime’ may stay to 2020 for all I know, but by then it will simply be Syria’s best-armed militia.

February 24th, 2012, 6:58 am


Mina said:

Published Friday, February 24, 2012

One of the main Syrian opposition groups announced on Friday it was boycotting the international “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis, citing concerns about Western-led military interference.

The National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB) denounced what it described as attempts to leave the door open to militarize the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad.
The mood of the Syrian street


I am really surprised by this sentence in your article: “The Asads stand atop the last minoritarian regime in the Levant and thus seem destined to fall in this age of popular revolt. When they do, the postcolonial era will draw to a final close. ”
How could anyone say so while watching the Gulf clowns, from Oman to Bahrein, Qatar to KSA? If the poor state of these “countries” is what it is, isn’t it because of the history of UK and US oil extraction and following deals?

February 24th, 2012, 7:00 am


mjabali said:

In the Egyptian Public Assembly/Majlis al-Sha’b a Salafi representative curses the Shia and the Alawis.

That happened when they were discussing unemployment.

When they need to talk about real issues they run away to the threat of the Shia and Iran.

Islam is bringing the downfall of reason in Egypt, same way it is doing in Syria and have done in Iraq. Who can argue about this?

When it is time to talk about real issues they start encouraging the masses to war with Iran, the Shia and the rest of the infidels. From time to time the same people would bestow the “honor of ascending to paradise” to some lunatic who blows himself among civilians. Where is reason when you need it?

Look at what happened yesterday in Iraq: explosions sending the killers to paradise and the victims to hell. Really? Hundreds of people dead in Iraq and no one even mention that as any worthy piece of news. Human life there became cheap the same way it is now in Syria. I saw a video from Syria where the dead man is laying shot in the face while kids and adults chat casually. What type of people are you bringing up through these actions?

This is what the petrodollars and years of religious brainwash brought to Egypt and the Middle East. Remember we are in the 21st Century….

February 24th, 2012, 7:19 am


Mina said:

You missed the one where a Salafi started the call for prayer (30 mn after the actual asr time) and was rebuked by both the MB president and by the Shaykh al Azhar. Madness…



February 24th, 2012, 7:43 am


majedkhaldoun said:

I heared today the term Basharon,in reference to the supporters of Bashar, and a reminder that Sharon,of Israel,is a friend of Bashar,Israel the strongest supporters to Bashar.

February 24th, 2012, 7:53 am


Majed97 said:

Tears of freedom and democracy, Saudi style.

February 24th, 2012, 7:55 am


Badr said:

Jonathan Marcus
BBC News, Tunis

But in truth there are only limited options available to the Friends of Syria, who are largely looking on from the sidelines.

A likely call for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access depends entirely on the goodwill of the Syrian authorities – and that seems in short supply.

Tougher and more co-ordinated sanctions will take time to work. There is a growing realisation, at least in Western capitals, that the fragmented Syrian opposition is as yet nothing like a potential alternative government in waiting.

All the talk of safe havens or humanitarian corridors demanded by opposition groups founders on a simple fact; one way or another they all mean going to war with the Syrian regime. That seems out of the question. So inevitably calls for arming the Syrian opposition are likely to grow.


February 24th, 2012, 8:18 am


Akbar Palace said:

A Little Bird Told Me NewZ

a reminder that Sharon,of Israel,is a friend of Bashar


Can you show proof of this “friendship”?

Israel and Syria have been in a state of war since the creation of Israel is 1948.

February 24th, 2012, 8:24 am


Mina said:

This guy who has a Saudi passport was extracted from Malaysia after his comments on the prophet on Twitter. How come they can’t extract Ben Ali?

February 24th, 2012, 8:27 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Ismaeel Haneieh supported the syrian revolution,in a speech in Egypt, this is a change in Hamas position.

The regime is instigating the Shiite Sunni sedition, the revolution in Syria is for freedom and dignity,not a religious one as some try to make it look like.

Iraq did not send Zebari to the friend of Syria meeting, This will reduce the chances that the Arab summit will be held in Iraq at the level of kings and presidents.
Anti tanks and anti planes missile must reach The FSA,The only dialogue is when a balance of power is possible, FSA has to be powerful enough to establish a free area,this is the most important thing that is required from this meeting,today.in addition to give Bashar 72 hour to comply with garanteeing the delivery of food and health supply to Homs,
There is implied recognition of SNC already, it is apparant ,the evidence the presence of SNC member in the meeting.

February 24th, 2012, 8:34 am


Mina said:

All the way since the Gaza war there is no such thing as “Hamas-position” but rather “Gaza-Hamas position” versus “Damascus-Hamas position”.

February 24th, 2012, 8:37 am


majedkhaldoun said:

The evidence that we in the opposition believe is
1) not even a single bullet was fired accross the border of Syria and Israel since 1967.
2) in 2006 Mr. Bush suggested to the Israeli goverment to turn toward Syria, Israel PM refused and did not involve Syria in the fight.
3) USA did not need UN SC to interfere in Iraq, and they supported the revolution against Gaddafi, and helped targeting tanks in Libya, yet US did not do anything in Syria because of Israel.
4) there are several reports from Israel that Assad is better than any future goverment in Syria,they obviously prefer Assad to stay.
5) Israel hates the Arab spring in Egypt.
While you stand against Assad the reports from Israel is the opposit

It is in Israel advantage that Assad stays in Syria, Israel is afraid of this Arab spring, and afraid that Turkey would benefit of changing the regime in Syria, as relations between Israel and Turkey deteriorate.

February 24th, 2012, 8:52 am


Mina said:

From the Angry Arab (http://angryarab.blogspot.com/)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Clashes outside the meeting place of the “Friends of the US” conference in Tunisia.

Flash II
Many demonstrators are protesting Arab GCC countries and the US in Tunisia. The Hariri anchorwoman at Al-Arabiyyah (news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law), Najwa Qassim, insisted that those protesters are Syrian shabbihah (armed goons). Here correspondent on the ground in Tunis had to correct her: he said that they are Tunisians and not Syrians.
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil at 5:48 AM
Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Labels: English

February 24th, 2012, 9:03 am


zoo said:

‘Friends of Syria’ to call for UN to plan mission
Associated PressBy MATTHEW LEE and PAUL SCHEMM | Associated Press – 7 mins ago

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — A senior diplomat attending the Friends of Syria meeting says the group will call for the United Nations to begin planning a Syria peacekeeping mission.

The diplomat said Friday the group would endorse preparations for the U.N. to send civilian police to Syria once hostilities are over. The diplomat said the envisioned operation would occur in a permissive environment and would not be a military intervention.

February 24th, 2012, 9:09 am


irritated said:

#70 Zoo

“once hostilities are over”: who and how to stop the hostilities? Wasn’t this question the main reason of this meeting?
“civilian police a permissive environment”: what is that?

It sounds totally absurd or this “official’ is talking nonsense.

The only valid idea is to have UN’s Kofi Anan visit Syria to finally evaluate objectively the situation on the ground and clear up the political mess Qatar, the AL and their western friends have created.
I suspect this will be the first and last of this “Friends of Qatar” meetings.

February 24th, 2012, 9:18 am


irritated said:

#69 Mina

Remember that many Tunisians have been vocal against Qatar’s insidious interference in funding religious groups to ensure they take over the country. .
There is also a resentment against Saudi Arabia that hosts and protect Ben Ali.
This meeting is perceived by many as a “Friends of GCC” meeting

February 24th, 2012, 9:25 am


zoo said:

No need to arm the FSA, let Arab and Turkish armies ‘defensively’ invade and crush Syria to halt the ‘butchery’
says a pro-Israel activist.

How to Halt the Butchery in Syria
Matt Rota
Published: February 23, 2012

FOREIGN military intervention in Syria offers the best hope for curtailing a long, bloody and destabilizing civil war. The mantra of those opposed to intervention is “Syria is not Libya.” In fact, Syria is far more strategically located than Libya, and a lengthy civil war there would be much more dangerous to our interests. America has a major stake in helping Syria’s neighbors stop the killing.

Simply arming the opposition, in many ways the easiest option, would bring about exactly the scenario the world should fear most: a proxy war that would spill into Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan and fracture Syria along sectarian lines. It could also allow Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups to gain a foothold in Syria and perhaps gain access to chemical and biological weapons.

There is an alternative. The Friends of Syria, some 70 countries scheduled to meet in Tunis today, should establish “no-kill zones” now to protect all Syrians regardless of creed, ethnicity or political allegiance. The Free Syrian Army, a growing force of defectors from the government’s army, would set up these no-kill zones near the Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian borders. Each zone should be established as close to the border as possible to allow the creation of short humanitarian corridors for the Red Cross and other groups to bring food, water and medicine in and take wounded patients out. The zones would be managed by already active civilian committees.

Establishing these zones would require nations like Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan to arm the opposition soldiers with anti-tank, countersniper and portable antiaircraft weapons. Special forces from countries like Qatar, Turkey and possibly Britain and France could offer tactical and strategic advice to the Free Syrian Army forces. Sending them in is logistically and politically feasible; some may be there already.

February 24th, 2012, 9:31 am


irritated said:

Shouldn’t the French Ambassador negotiate instead with France’s “ally”, the FSA, who are responsible for the illegally entered wounded French journalists in Homs?

“France’s Syria ambassador – who was withdrawn on 7 February – returned to Damascus on Thursday evening. A foreign ministry spokesman declined to say whether this was related to efforts to get Ms Bouvier out.”


February 24th, 2012, 10:01 am


ann said:

Pro-Syrian crowd tries to storm Tunisia meeting – 56 mins ago


TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — About 200 pro-Syrian demonstrators tried to storm the hotel where a conference is being held by Arab and Western officials over the crisis in Syria.

The protest forced U.S. Secretary of States Hillary Rodham Clinton to be diverted to her hotel, delaying her appearance at the “Friends of Syria” conference.

The protesters, waving Syrian and Tunisian flags, tussled with police and carried signs criticizing Clinton and President Barack Obama.

Police wielding truncheons stopped them from entering the venue and drove them out of the parking lot after about 15 minutes.


February 24th, 2012, 10:22 am


jad said:

Le meeting des amis de la Syrie débute dans le chaos

As if invading Syria and destroy it by the MBs councils’ ‘friends’ is not enough, Ghalyoun is going over board and informing us that when he gets power he will ‘decapitate’ Syria into pieces…the first piece to the Kurds…I wonder about the rest of Syria who will this generous man give it to?

“رويترز” عن غليون: الحكومة السورية بعد الاسد ستكون غير مركزية
الجمعة 24 شباط 2012، آخر تحديث 16:12
نقلت وكالة “رويترز” عن رئيس المجلس “الوطني السوري” برهان غليون رؤيته ان “الحكومة السورية بعد رحيل الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد ستكون غير مركزية، ويمكن للاكراد ادارة شؤونهم”.

February 24th, 2012, 10:33 am


irritated said:

#66. majedkhaldoun said:

“Ismaeel Haneieh supported the syrian revolution,in a speech in Egypt, this is a change in Hamas position.”

It simply means that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have finally accepted to fund Hamas with the millions of dollars that Iran was ‘discreetly’ providing to Hamas.
Hamas is now totally is Saudi Arabia’s hand and its office in Damascus may probably be closed by the Syrian government soon.

In addition, his new position may affect negatively the 600,000 Palestinians in Syria who have been benefiting of the same rights as the Syrians for years, contrary at how they are treated in other Arab countries.
Hanyeh made a very dangerous and premature move.

February 24th, 2012, 10:34 am


zoo said:

Dr. al-Jafari Re-Elected Rapporteur of UN Special Committee on Decolonization
Feb 24, 2012
NEW YORK, (SANA)_ The Permanent Reprehensive of the Syrian Arab republic to the UN, Dr. Bashar Al-Jafari, was unanimously re-elected as Rapporteur of UN Special Committee on Decolonization.

The UN Special Committee on Decolonization was convened at the UN headquarters yesterday .

The re-election of Dr. Al-Jafari, according to many analysts and observers, is yet another recognition by members of the Committee of the Syrian important and key role.

February 24th, 2012, 10:45 am


jad said:

Showing how the armed gangs do the destruction first then take footage of it to sell as a ‘bombardment’ prove in the media.
The interesting things is that the same terrorist who did it make the comments in the other clip as if he was an innocent civilian happened to be in the location…without showing the armed gangs he is with.

شاهد الفيديو لتعرف من وراء احراق المحلات في حمص

February 24th, 2012, 10:52 am


jad said:

Lah Lah Lah Lah….tsk tsk tsk tsk, how sad! The Saudis are OUT!
“العربية”: إنسحاب الوفد السعودي إحتجاجا على عدم فعالية إجتماعات تونس
إنسحب وزبر الخارجية السعودي سعود الفيصل إحتجاجاً على عدم فعالية إجتماعات تونس.

February 24th, 2012, 11:07 am


Alan said:

76. JAD сказал :

رئيس المجلس “الوطني السوري” برهان غليون رؤيته ان “الحكومة السورية بعد رحيل الرئيس السوري بشار الاسد ستكون غير مركزية, ويمكن للاكراد ادارة شؤونهم “.
الكثير من السوريين سيطلبونه للمحاكمة بمن فيهم الأكرادالذين دائما اداروا شؤونهم بدون فزلكاته !

February 24th, 2012, 11:09 am


Jerusalem said:

«أرسلت صور المسلحين الذين شاهدتهم بعيني وهم يشتبكون مع الجيش ويرمون عليه القذائف من وادي خالد … بل طلبت مني إدارة «الجزيرة» العودة إلى بيروت بحجة أنّني متعب …». مجدداً، تردّ إبراهيم عليه لتقول «تعرضت للإهانة الشديدة، ومسحت بالأرض، لأنني أحرجت زهير سالم الناطق باسم «الإخوان المسلمين» في سوريا، وحرمت بسبب ذلك من كل مقابلات سوريا وتعرضت لتهديد بنقل دوامي إلى دوام ليلي بحجة أنني أفقد المحطة توازنها». ثم تلفت إبراهيم إلى التحريض الذي يمارسه الناشطون السوريون على الهواء بعبارات تحريض طائفي يفهمها السوريون جيداً». ثم يتساءل هاشم في رسالة جديدة عن موقف مدير الأخبار (إبراهيم هلال)، فترد عليه زميلته بالقول إنه واقع «بين فكّي كماشة، أحدهما له علاقة بالأجندة والآخر بالمهنية المطلوبة …».هذه المحادثة الإلكترونية كاملة بثّتها «الإخبارية السورية» بعدما أجرت مقابلة مع القراصنة الذين اخترقوا نظام «الجزيرة» المعلوماتي. لكن هذا السبق الصحافي لم يأخذ حقّه، ولم يصل إلى جمهور كبير بسبب ضعف الإعلام السوري الرسمي وعجز قناة الإخبارية عن تحقيق الحضور المطلوب، إلى جانب فقدان الثقة بهذه المحطة

February 24th, 2012, 11:25 am


ann said:

Police wield batons against pro-Syria protesters in Tunis – 2012-02-24

TUNIS, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — Some supporters of the Syria government attempted to storm the venue of the so-called Friends of Syria conference but were met by baton-wielding policemen trying to stop them, Xinhua reporters said on Friday.

The protesters clashed with the police in front of the hotel in Gammarth, north of Tunis, where the international conference on the Syrian crisis is taking place, Radio Express FM reported.

Shouting anti-America and anti-Qatar slogans, the demonstrators denounced the expulsions of Syrian diplomats as well as the ongoing meeting, which they termed “a plot against Syria perpetrated on the Tunisian soil.”


February 24th, 2012, 11:32 am


ann said:


EU to freeze Syrian Central Bank assets Feb 27 – 24 February, 2012


“Starting from Monday, we will take new strong measures, notably a freezing of the assets of the Syrian Central Bank,” Juppe announced.

Another participant in the event, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on Friday called on all nations to freeze Syrian assets and boycott oil from the country.


February 24th, 2012, 11:39 am


Alan said:

الوفد السعودي ينسحب من اجتماع مايسمى (أصدقاء سورية)احتجاجا على عدم فعالية الاجتماعات
هذا مؤشر على انخراطها في محافل التخبط و المغالاة! لقيمة للسعودية اذا لم تكن سورية في كامل قيمتها و عافيتها!

February 24th, 2012, 11:46 am


ann said:

Head in sand: UK recognizes Syrian rebels – 24 February, 2012


After pledging to intensify links with the opposition, Hague continued “we will now treat them and recognize them as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

He further claimed “it is very important in Moscow and Beijing for there to be a re-evaluation of the position” as Syria continues to slide “towards greater chaos and bloodshed.”

However, Moscow remained adamant that both sides were responsible for the violence, and maintained that humanitarian relief must not be used as a pretext for military intervention.


February 24th, 2012, 11:46 am


Majed97 said:

Recognizing the SNC as “A” legitimate representative of the Syrian people is really in line with what the Russian, Chinese and even Syrian government has been saying for months (will negotiate with all parties). There is nothing drastic about that, which might explain as to why Saudi are unhappy about the meeting. They want the SNC to recognized as THE representative…

February 24th, 2012, 12:03 pm


zoo said:

Hawk Saudis do not care about humanitarian plans, they want to crush Syria and its defiant leader.

Saudi minister leaves Tunis meeting over “inactivity”-TV
Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:24pm GMT

DUBAI Feb 24 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s delegation walked out of a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Tunis on Friday over what it saw as the gathering’s “inactivity”, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said.

It said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal left the meeting after saying in a speech that focusing on humanitarian aid to Syria was “not enough”.

Saudi Arabia says no use in dialogue in Syria

February 24th, 2012, 12:05 pm


admir said:

@ Majed # 66

“The regime is instigating the Shiite Sunni sedition, the revolution in Syria is for freedom and dignity,not a religious one as some try to make it look like.” – majedkhaldoun


not exactly – the revolution in syria from the beginning was about islamism and briging sunnis to power by overthrowing the alawite (offshoot-shiite) government.
just by taking a look at some of the pictures of the facebook page ‘syrian revolution 2011’ and reading their initial comments (i.e. before march 15 2011) will give enough evidence that the uprising was a sunni islamist revolution from the beginning.
-initial pictures always showed sunni mosques and gave reference to god (as opposed to secular authority like egyptians/tunisians did).
-initial comments were sectarian and against non-sunnis (particularily against alawites)
it was only when the revolution gained momentum (and everyone paid attention to the facebook page) that the admins of the page got help from egyptian and tunisian activists to hide their actual message in the lying cloak of false messages about ‘unity’ and ‘oneness’ and ‘civil state’.

finally it isnt the regime that is instigating the shiite-sunni sedition, the activists are the ones doing it themselves and blaming it on the regime (like how they massacred 120 soldiers/security forces in jisr-al-shugour and blamed it on the regime). the regime could have caused sedition like mubarak did and crushed the revolution, but why would they need to do that when they have the opposition rebels doing it for them?

February 24th, 2012, 12:24 pm


bronco said:

#96 Majed97

The Kingdom wanted a declaration from the international community that Bashar al Assad should resign, not less.
Instead all they got is an ‘humanitarian’ plan that will need to be approved by Bashar Al Assad and a recognition of the SNC as one ( of many) representatives of Syrians. The French did that a few months ago with not much impact on the SNC’s internal disunity.
Now the SNC can say ‘show me the money’. It’s an incentive for the SNC to bring it to participate in the dialog with the Syria WITHOUT insisting on the precondition of the resignation of Bashar al Assad.
No need for dialog in Syria say the Saudis. In their own authoritarian regime, the word ‘dialog with opposition’ is forbidden.
Contrarily, the UN and most of the international community want a democratic dialog and no more military confrontations and civilian casualties.
Saudi Arabia, been bypassed, will probaby increase money and weapons delivery to armed islamists extremist in Syria to prevent any dialog.

The next step will be for Kofi Anan to discuss with the Russians the modality of a ‘ceasefire ‘ and the dialog between the Syrian government and the ‘tamed’ opposition.

February 24th, 2012, 12:28 pm


Revlon said:

In my opinion, the US while maintaining a comfortable distance from getting embroiled in the Syrian crisis is increasingly tightening the pressure on the regime by escalating sanctions, advancing the arming of the rebels as a potential alternative, and probably providing the green light for proponents of arming and supporting of FSA (GCC and Turkey) to proceed with their plans.
UPDATE 5-Clinton suggests Syrian rebels will get arms
By Arshad Mohammed
LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested on Thursday Syria’s opposition will ultimately arm itself and said she would bet against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staying in power.
“There will be increasingly capable opposition forces. They will from somewhere, somehow, find the means to defend themselves as well as begin offensive measures,” she added.
Some U.S. officials have avoided answering questions on whether the “Friends of Syria” group may discuss arming the opposition. The United States, in a change in emphasis, on Tuesday suggested it could become an alternative.
Western and Arab powers to meet in Tunis
The official said members of the “Friends of Syria” group were likely to pledge specific amounts of aid but did not expect them to consider arming the opposition. Arab diplomats have suggested, however, that formal or informal moves to arm the rebels may be discussed.

February 24th, 2012, 12:44 pm


zoo said:

Putin: we do not intend to be anyone’s yes-men.


The Russian strongman earlier this month accused Western powers of acting “like a bull in a china shop” in Arab conflicts and on Friday firmly defended Russia’s veto of a UN Security Council resolution that blamed the violence on Assad.

“I think that our position at the UN Security Council on Syria shows that we do not intend to be anyone’s yes-men. And I hope that this is how things continue,” said Putin.

February 24th, 2012, 1:06 pm


zoo said:

Red Cross in Syria’s Baba Amr to evacuate wounded
AFP – 15 mins ago

Ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amr on Friday to evacuate casualties from bombardment by regime forces, including two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two others, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

“The ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are on the spot in Baba Amr, attempting to evacuate as soon as possible everyone in need of urgent help,” the ICRC spokesman in Damascus, Saleh Dabbakeh, told AFP.

He said the four Western journalists were included in the operation, and at least 11 ambulances and other vehicles are in Baba Amr.

February 24th, 2012, 1:09 pm


Revlon said:

السعودية تقول ان تسليح المعارضة السورية فكرة ممتازة
Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:14pm GMT

تونس (رويترز) – قال وزير خارجية السعودية الامير سعود الفيصل يوم الجمعة ان تزويد المعارضة السورية التي تواجه حملة قمع عنيفة من جانب قوات الرئيس بشار الاسد بالاسلحة تعد فكرة ممتازة.

وردا على سؤال في بداية اجتماع ثنائي مع وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية هيلاري كلينتون في العاصمة التونسية عما اذا كان يعتقد ان تسليح المعارضة السورية فكرة جيدة قال الامير سعود الفيصل انه يعتقد انها فكرة ممتازة.

وردا على سؤال عن السبب في رؤيته لذلك قال الوزير لانه يتعين على المعارضة السورية الدفاع عن نفسها.

وكان تلفزيون العربية قال في وقت سابق إن الوفد السعودي انسحب من الاجتماع احتجاجا على ما قال إنه “عدم فاعلية” الاجتماع لكن مسؤولا سعوديا قال إنه غادر فقط لحضور محادثات ثنائية.

واضافت القناة التلفزيونية أن الأمير سعود الفيصل غادر الاجتماع بعدما قال في كلمته إن التركيز على المساعدات الانسانية لسوريا “لا يكفي”.

وقال مساعد لوزير الخارجية السعودي لرويترز ردا على سؤال بشأن التقرير “غادرنا لحضور اجتماعات ثنائية” على هامش المؤتمر
Assistant to KSA FM explained the reason for the FM “withdrawal from the meeting after his speech” as intended to attend a scheduled side meeting in the FSG conference.

February 24th, 2012, 1:17 pm


irritated said:

98. Revlon

The Saudis come back with an unconvincing diplomatic excuse for their withdrawal. Harm is done.

February 24th, 2012, 1:23 pm


Revlon said:

Syrian National Council المجلس الوطني السوري

31 minutes ago
باباعمرو:تم دخول منظمة الهلال الاحمر السوري الى منزل جهز كمشفى ميداني بعد رفض قوات الامن دخول منظمة الصليب الاحمر الدولية ورفض الصحفيون الذهاب معهم لعدم ثقتهم بالنظام السوري وطلبوا دخول سفير فرنسي أو امريكي مع منظمة الصليب الاحمر كي يتم اخلائهم من باباعمرو .

Assad security forces has denied IRC access to baba Amr; only a team of the regime red crescent has been permitted in!

February 24th, 2012, 1:24 pm


Revlon said:

99. irritatedsaid:
((98. Revlon
The Saudis come back with an unconvincing diplomatic excuse for their withdrawal. Harm is done.))


February 24th, 2012, 1:26 pm


irritated said:


Are “humanitarian” corridors to Turkey, Lebanon , Jordan, Iraq necessary?

When needed, the Red Cross seems to be doing its humanitarian work of evacuating who needs help in conjunction with the Syrian government.

February 24th, 2012, 1:27 pm


irritated said:

#100. Revlon said:

“Assad security forces has denied IRC access to baba Amr; only a team of the regime red crescent has been permitted in”

see #97…

February 24th, 2012, 1:31 pm


Revlon said:

103 Dear Irritated,
I did!
The red cross was allowd in to evacuate the injured journalists only!
Thousands of wounded civilians shall remain off limit to Red cross!
For them, only the red crescent Shabbeeha shall be allowed in by their mates, Assad security forces!
You know better than I do how the regime handles medical teams!

February 24th, 2012, 1:35 pm


jna said:

“The Red Cross has begun moving women and children from part of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, officials say.”

February 24th, 2012, 2:30 pm


irritated said:


11 ambulances for 4 foreigners? Do you have new information?

The article says “11 ambulances and the evacuation of anyone in need of urgent help” #97

February 24th, 2012, 2:32 pm


irritated said:

JNA #105

Obviously the ICRC has reached an agreement with the Syrian government without the need of the threats and ultimatum the Friends of Syria were planning to press on Syria for humanitarian reliefs.
By the way, they should forget about the ‘corridors’, it will not happen.
Once civilians are moved from Bab Amr, the armed gangs will either surrender or will be destroyed.

February 24th, 2012, 2:38 pm


jna said:


The Red Cross usually does not comment on the stances of the parties they negotiate with, but I wonder if and/or when the opposition agreed to the Red Crescent/Cross safe passage. I think opposition was waiting till after the “Friends” meeting outcome hoping for some foreign intervention corridors, like they proposed.

February 24th, 2012, 2:49 pm


Richard Steven Hack said:

Drop over to http://www.raceforiran.com and see my post there on the issue which took apart this thesis that Assad is in no danger line by line.

The US and NATO will be bombing Syria within six months.

The purpose of this is to weaken Syria and to allow Israel to better attack Hizballah in Lebanon so as to eliminate both as viable actors in an Iran war.

See my posts on this issue over at raceforiran for the details.

February 26th, 2012, 3:27 pm


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