Three to Five Killed in Deraa Demonstration; Unrest Spreads

The three to five demonstrators killed in Deraa. This is a turning point – to what, one cannot say.

5 protesters killed in Syria, activist says; amateur video shows unrest around country
By BASSEM MROUE and ZEINA KARAM | Associated Press

Syrian security forces launched a harsh crackdown Friday on protesters calling for political freedoms, killing at least five people and marking the gravest unrest in years in one of the most repressive states in the Mideast, according to accounts from activists and social media……

On Friday, Syrian forces used water cannons, batons and gunfire to beat up protesters in Daraa. The violence began when a large group of people emerged from the Al-Omari mosque, marching and shouting slogans against corruption and calling for more political freedoms.

A human rights activist told The Associated Press that security forces cordoned the main hospital in Daraa where some of the wounded were being treated, preventing families from visiting the victims. He cited hospital workers, but spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisals.

The government’s TV channel and news agency said “infiltrators” in Daraa caused “chaos and riots” and smashed cars and public and private property before they attacked riot police. It said a similar demonstration in the coastal town of Banyas dispersed without incident.

Amateur video footage posted on YouTube and Twitter showed large groups of protesters in several cities, but the authenticity of the footage could not be independently confirmed….

A YouTube video claiming to be shot in Banyas showed several thousand demonstrators gathering around an old stone building with a Syrian flag fluttering from its roof. A cluster of men stood on its balcony with a loudspeaker. Amid chants of “Freedom!” and “There is only one God!,” one man shouted out a list of protesters demands ranging from freedom of expression to allowing Muslim women with face veils to attend school.

Syrian forces kill three protesters in southern city
Reuters, Friday, March 18, 2011 3:16 PM EDT

Syrian security forces killed three protesters in the southern city of Deraa Friday, a resident said, in the most violent response to protests against Syria’s ruling elite since revolts swept through the Arab world.

A video aired on Facebook showed what it described as demonstrators in Deraa shouting slogans earlier in the day against Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad’s who owns several large businesses.

The demonstrators were taking part in a peaceful protest demanding political freedoms and an end to corruption in Syria, which has been ruled under emergency laws by President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath Party for nearly half a century.

Smaller protests took place in the central city of Homs and the coastal town of Banias, home to one of Syria’s two oil refineries, activists said. A crowd briefly chanted slogans for freedom inside the Umayyad Mosque in Old Damascus before security forces closed in on them.

Syrian authorities have stepped up arrests of dissidents since the Arab uprisings began in January, and have a history of crushing dissent. In 1982, Assad’s father sent troops to put down an rebellion in the city of Hama, killing thousands.

In Deraa Friday, several thousand people chanted “God, Syria, Freedom” and slogans accusing the president’s family of corruption, the resident said.

He said Hussam Abdel Wali Ayyash, Akram Jawabreh and Ayhem al-Hariri were shot dead by security forces who were reinforced with troops flown in by helicopters. Scores of demonstrators were wounded in the attack in the old quarter of Deraa near the border with Jordan.

After prolonged clashes during the day, the city appeared quieter at nightfall, with a heavy security presence, the resident, who declined to be named, told Reuters.

An official statement said “infiltrators” tried to take advantage of what it termed as a gathering in Deraa by burning cars and trying to cause chaos, which required intervention by security forces. The statement did not mention any casualties.

شل مزاد الأوراق المالية الثالث في سورية


ألغت وزارة المالية المزاد رقم 3/2011 الذي كان مقرراً أمس الأول.

وقال وزير المالية محمد الحسين في تصريح صحفي موضحاً سبب الإلغاء : قمنا بالإعلان عن مزاد على سند خزينة مدة عام بقيمة مليار ليرة سورية وبسعر فائدة تأشيري 1.5%، وألغي المزاد بعد الاطلاع على العروض المقدمة من قبل المصارف المشاركة بسبب ابتعاد عروض أسعار الفائدة بهامش كبير عن سعر الفائدة التأشيري الموضوع من قبلنا، حيث إن أسعار الفائدة هذه تمثل تكلفة على الخزينة العامة للدولة وبالتالي ديناً عاماً يضاف إلى أعباء الخزينة، ولذلك تسعى وزارة المالية لأن تكون هذه الفوائد بحدود مدروسة تتناسب مع قدرة الخزينة العامة للدولة على تحملها

Comments (82)

gk said:

May Allah protect the people who yearn for freedom! And may Allah take care of the dictator and his cronies!

March 18th, 2011, 6:48 pm


jad said:

I’m not sure of the authenticity of this statement or if it’s was truly written by the parents of the victims of Friday’s protests in Daraa but if it is that will defiantly make things more complicated and more confrontational:

بيان من عشائر درعا
السبت 18-03-2011

تمهل عشائر درعا عصابات النظام المجرم قاتل ابناء سوريا أربع وعشرين ساعة من أجل:
1) الإنسحاب من المدينة وسحب المدرعات و إيقاف تحليق الطيران فوق المدينة بالإضافة للكشف عن أسماء القتلة.
2) إطلاق سراح تلاميذ الصف الرابع المحتجزين في دمشق منذ أيام ورد الاعتبار لامهاتهن الاتي أُهنَ عندما حاولن زيارة أبناءهن في دمشق ومحاسبة العناصر المسؤولة وتقديم اعتذار علني عن هذه اللأعمال اللاأخلاقية التي قام بها زبانية النَظام الكاذب.
3) إطلاق سراح معتقلي الرأي من كل أبناء سوريا وفي كافة السجون السورية على الفور.

في حالة عدم اللإذعان لهذه المطالب فإن جميع مقار الأمن بما فيها اللأمن العسكري و الأمن السياسي وفرع أمن الدولة و المخابرات الجوية سوف تكون عرضة للحرق بما فيها وسيتعرض عناصر فروع الأمن لما لايسرهم. غداًسندفن أبناءنا الشهداء في مقبرة البحار وسنرى لمن تكون اليد العليا.

يا أهل حوران يا عشائر حوران الأبية في درعا و انخل و نوى وجاسم وناحتة و الصنمين يا أهل الشيخ مسكين وإبطع والصنمين يا أهل غصم و بصرى و الغرايا والحراك و الحريك و الكرك ويا أبناء أم ولد و المسيفرة و الجيزة و صيدا والنعيمة و كحيل يا أهل بصر الحربر و إزرع و محجة يا أهل دير العدس وكفر شمس ، أن لم يرتدع هؤلاء القتلة ويستجبوا لمطالب الشعب السوري فهبوا هبة رجل واحد فو الله ننتظر منكم الكثير أعيدوها خضراء جذعا أحيلوا ليلهم نهارا وبردهم نارا فلا خير في عيش تنتهك فيه الاعراض ويقتل الابناء ويحكمنا اللصوص و اراذل الخلق.
رأينا الدمع لا يشفي لنا صدرًا ولا يُبري لنا جُرحًا
أعيرونا رصاصًا يخرق الألام لا نحتاج لا رزًا ولا قمحاً

اولياء الدَم

عشائر مدينة درعــــــــا

March 18th, 2011, 8:32 pm


NK said:

Just saw this on one of the Facebook webpages related to the Syrian revolution, basically denying the previous statement and accusing the state security of publishing it in an attempt to justify the use of force against civilians. Also calling on Syrians to attend the funeral of those who were killed in Daraa, while urging people not to carry weapons, insisting the demonstrations will remain peaceful in spite of the security forces’ use of violence.

لقد تم تداول على شبكة التواصل الاجتماعي فيس بوك حوالي الساعة 2.30 بعد منتصف الليل بتوقيت دمشق بيان يحمل أسم عشائر مدينة درعا يتحدث عن تهديد ووعيد إذا لم تنفذ مطالب تتعلق بإطلاق سراح المعتقلين ويهدد بحرق فروع الأمن. أنا أيهم حداد أبن محافظة درعا وبعد اتصالات مكثفة تبين عدم مصداقية هذا البيان وإننا نحذر النظام السوري من أن مؤامرات كهذه باتت مكشوفة وبيان تم طبخه في أقبية أجهزة الامن السورية هو بمثابة مبرر لارتكاب مجزرة في مدينة درعا إذا لم تبدأ بعد. وإننا نؤكد على الطابع السلمي للتحرك الشعبي في مدينة درعا ونحمل النظام المسؤولية القانونية عن أي قطرة دم تراق في درعا الحبيبة

التوقيع أيهم حداد

Ayham Haddad
بيان هام من عشائر حوران الأبية |
بيان من جميع عشائر حوران إلى كل أبناءها في قرى و مدن حوران بالتوجه يوم غد السبت الموافق 19-3-2011 إلى مدينة درعا البلد لتشييع جثامين الشهداء الذين سقطوا يوم أمس في الجامع العمري ، و المشاركة بالتظاهرة السلمية… بعد التشييع للمطالبة بالحرية و الكرامة و القصاص من الجناة فوراً و الدعوة عامة لجميع أبناء الشعب السوري .
كما و تهيب وجوه العشائر بأبنائها عدم حمل السلاح خلال المظاهرة و تود إحاطة الجميع بأنه لن يتم فتح أي بيت عزاء في شهداء الوطن لحين جلب الجناة للعدالة ..
رحم الله شهداءنا و الحرية و الكرامة لأبناء شعبنا

March 18th, 2011, 10:13 pm


Norman said:

What is happening in Syria is going to delay any reform for years, as usual the goal of the opposition is not improving Syria no matter who is in power, their goal is to be in power, then think about how to improve Syria, after what happened in Iraq and now in Libya it is going to make the Syrian government and the Baath party get closer and fight back, in 1979 during the assassinations that the Muslim brotherhood were inflicting on the Syrian intellectual, there was calls for reform and we saw what we see now Mustafa Tlass at that time said in Homs (( We are revolutionaries and will never give up under pressure, we will fight back,))
I do not see any chance at this time for political reform, except in one case ::\

The Muslim brotherhood comes out condemning the violent demonstrations and calling for supporting Syria and the government,and calling for calm to return, that will show the government the responsibility of the MB and I believe that will open the way to lift the emergency law and probably cancel the law that condemns member of the MB to death, and set the motion on the right tract for political reform .
i wonder if the MB have the foresight to do that.

March 18th, 2011, 10:35 pm


Norman said:

This is for you, be alert,they are not helping us they are occupying us.

بروفة ليبية والهدف سورية

عبد الباري عطوان
بعد ساعات قليلة من صدور قرار مجلس الامن الدولي رقم 1973 الذي يسمح بالتدخل العسكري الخارجي لحماية الثوار الليبيين المسلحين في وجه المجازر الدموية التي يرتكبها نظام الزعيم الليبي معمر القذافي وكتائب ابنائه، اقدمت قوات الامن اليمنية على قتل اكثر من اربعين متظاهرا يمنيا واصابة المئات، اثناء اقتحامها لمسجد في صنعاء كانوا يعتصمون فيه بطريقة سلمية.
الصور التي شاهدناها للمجزرة هذه على شاشة قناة ‘الجزيرة’ اظهرت بالدليل القاطع ان اطلاق الرصاص جاء بهدف القتل، لان معظم الاصابات كانت في الرأس والصدر والعنق، ومن قبل قناصة محترفين ومدربين بشكل جيد للقيام بمثل هذه المهام الدموية.
ما نريد التأكيد عليه هو ان هناك انتقائية في مسألة حماية الثورات، والتدخل العسكري الغربي في هذا الصدد، فاليمن ليس بلدا نفطيا، ولا يصدر ما يقرب من المليوني برميل من النفط الخفيف النادر يوميا، ويحتل مكانة بارزة على قائمة الدول العشرين الافقر عالميا.
الادارة الامريكية ترددت كثيرا في التدخل عسكريا في ليبيا، واصرت ادارة الرئيس باراك اوباما على تدخل عربي عالي المستوى، في البداية كانت المؤشرات جيدة في هذا الاطار، حيث ايد اجتماع طارئ لوزراء الخارجية العرب هذا التدخل الاسبوع الماضي، وكانت هناك خمس دول مستعدة للمشاركة، ولكن الرقم انكمش الى دولتين فقط هما قطر ودولة الامارات العربية المتحدة، وهناك احتمال غير مؤكد بانضمام الاردن لاحقا.
ويمكن القول ان من اسباب تردد الرئيس اوباما ايضا هو تغطية تكاليف اي تدخل عسكري في ليبيا، ويبدو ان هذه المسألة جرى حلها عندما تعهدت دولتان، هما قطر ودولة الامارات العربية المتحدة، بالمشاركة بسخاء في تغطية الجزء الاكبر من هذه التكلفة، ومن غير المستبعد ان تستخدم الاموال الليبية المجمدة لتغطية ما تبقى من النفقات.
كنت اتمنى لو ان التدخل العسكري في الازمة الليبية جاء عربيا صرفا، وبمشاركة جارتي ليبيا اللتين شهدتا ثورتين سلميتين عربيتين نجحتا في تغيير النظام فيهما اي مصر وتونس، حيث تتلقى الاولى مساعدة عسكرية سنوية امريكية في حدود مليار وثلث المليار دولار، ولكن يبدو انهما ترددتا في التدخل لشكوك مشروعة حول جدواه، ولرغبتهما في التركيز على اوضاعهما الداخلية في هذه المرحلة الانتقالية الحرجة التي تمران بها.
الثوار الليبيون رقصوا حتى الصباح في الميدان الرئيسي في مدينة بنغازي احتفالا بصدور القرار الدولي بالتدخل العسكري، ولكن المفاجأة الكبرى جاءت في ترحيب وزير الخارجية الليبي موسى كوسا به، والالتزام ببنوده، واعلان وقف كامل لاطلاق النار لتأكيد نوايا نظام العقيد القذافي في هذا الصدد.
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ربما لا نبالغ اذا قلنا ان الزعيم الليبي الذي يصفه بعض المحللين العرب بالجنون، نجح في استدراج الغرب للتورط عسكريا في ليبيا عندما سرب انباء عن عزم قواته مهاجمة بنغازي للتعجيل بصدور القرار حتى يقدم نفسه كضحية لمؤامرة تدخل خارجي، تماما مثلما نجح في تحويل الثورة الليبية من ثورة سلمية بحتة الى تمرد عسكري عندما تركها تحرر مدنا، وتحقق انتصارات في ميادين القتال.
مصداقية العقيد القذافي في اوساط شعبه متدنية للغاية، مثلما هي عليه في اوساط الجماهير العربية، ووصلت الى الحضيض عندما حاول ان يغازل اسرائيل بالقول ان اطاحة نظامه سيؤدي الى حالة من عدم الاستقرار في المنطقة قد تؤثر على استقرار اسرائيل نفسها. ولكن ربما يجادل، في محاولاته لكشف النفاق الغربي، بالقول ان الولايات المتحدة لم تفرض حظرا جويا على قطاع غزة في وجه قنابل الفوسفور الحارقة التي تلقيها الطائرات الاسرائيلية على المدنيين العزل اثناء عدوان عام 2008، او التذكير بان الدول الغربية صمتت 34 يوما على عدوان اسرائيلي آخر على جنوب لبنان والضاحية الجنوبية من بيروت استخدمت فيه كل انواع الاسلحة.
الحظر الجوي الذي فرضته بريطانيا والولايات المتحدة في شمال العراق لحماية الاكراد، وفي جنوبه لحماية الشيعة عام 1994 لم يطح بنظام الرئيس الراحل صدام حسين، بل ان هذا النظام استمر في السلطة لاكثر من احد عشر عاماً رغم الحظر ورغم العقوبات الدولية الشرسة، واضطرت الدولتان الى غزو العراق واحتلاله، وتفكيك مؤسساته، وحل جيشه، واغراق البلد في فتنة طائفية ناهيك عن استشهاد مليون عراقي واصابة اربعة ملايين آخرين على الاقل.
السيد عمرو موسى امين عام جامعة الدول العربية الذي يسن اسنانه لخوض انتخابات الرئاسة في مصر قال ان التدخل العسكري الغربي في ليبيا ليس غزواً ولكنه لحماية الليبيين، والشيء نفسه قاله ديفيد كاميرون رئيس وزراء بريطانيا، ولكن من يعرف كيف ستتطور الاوضاع في الاشهر او الاعوام المقبلة، فالسيناريو الذي شاهدنا فصوله في العراق قد يتكرر حرفياً في ليبيا.
لا نعرف ما اذا كانت الدول العربية التي ايدت هذا الحظر قد فكرت جيداً بالعواقب التي يمكن ان تترتب عليه في المستقبل، خاصة انها ليست محصنة من الثورات الشعبية، فالاستبداد ملّة واحدة، فماذا لو طالب الشيعة في القطيف والهفوف والدمام شرق المملكة العربية السعودية بمناطق حظر جوي لحماية ثورتهم المستقبلية، خاصة انهم يقيمون فوق معظم الاحتياطات النفطية السعودية؟ وماذا لو طلب نظراؤهم الذين يواجهون القمع حالياً بالشيء نفسه بعد تفريق اعتصامهم بميدان اللؤلؤة في وسط المنامة بطريقة دموية، خاصة ان بان كي مون امين عام الامم المتحدة وصف هذا العمل بانه قد يرتقي الى جرائم حرب.
لا يوجد اي ضمان بان هذا التدخل الغربي في حال حدوثه سيحقق النتائج المرجوة، بل ربما يعطي نتائج عكسية اكثر خطورة، وهذا ما يفسر امتناع دولة مثل المانيا عن التصويت لصالحه في مجلس الامن الدولي اسوة بالبرازيل والصين وروسيا.
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ليبيا مرشحة لحرب اهلية، وربما خطر التقسيم او حتى التفتيت فمن غير الواضح ان العقيد معمر القذافي وعصابته سيستسلمون بسهولة، ولماذا يستسلمون بعدما صدر قرار بادانته وابنائه وكبار قادته العسكريين، كمجرمي حرب، او بعد اغلاق كل ابواب الانسحاب الى ملاذات آمنة في وجوههم.
القوات الغربية تملك قدرات تدميرية هائلة لا جدال في ذلك، ولكن علينا ان نتذكر ان هذه القدرات لم تستطع هزيمة حركة طالبان البدائية المتخلفة عسكرياً في افغانستان، او المقاومة في العراق. فالتدخل العسكري يتسم بالسهولة على الورق، ولكن ربما تأتي المفاجآت المؤلمة بعد تطبيقه عملياً.
في الشرق الاوسط ثلاث دول فاشلة هي افغانستان والعراق واليمن، وليبيا قد تكون الرابعة اذا ما طال امد التدخل العسكري، ولم يتم الحسم في اسابيع معدودة. والدول الفاشلة تتحول دائماً الى مرتع للفوضى وفي حالة ليبيا الارهاب والهجرة غير الشرعية الى الشاطئ الآخر من المتوسط اي اوروبا.
يسودنا شعور قوي بان القرار بالتدخل العسكري في ليبيا يستهدف في الاساس دولاً مثل سورية، وربما ايران، اي انه سيكون بمثابة ‘بروفة’ لتدخل اكبر وبأسلحة ضارية اقوى، لان ليبيا تظل هدفاً سهلاً بالمقارنة مع الدولتين المذكورتين.
نخشى على الثورات العربية، من مصير الثورة الليبية الشريفة التي يريد البعض في الغرب وفي الحكومات العربية الى تحويلها الى ‘كونترا’ ثانية وتشويه صورتها الناصعة البياض بالتالي. فالشعب الليبي بات ضحية وحشين كاسرين الاول هو نظام العقيد معمر القذافي الاستبدادي الدموي المتحجر، والاطماع الغربية في ثرواته.
هذا الشعب الشجاع يستحق الانعتاق من جلاده، مثلما يستحق الوصول الى اهدافه المشروعة في الكرامة والحرية وبناء دولة ديمقراطية عصرية.

ذلك حذر تنظيم القاعدة في المغرب الاسلامي من ‘التحركات المشبوهة’ للولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الاطلسي في ليبيا، داعيا الليبيين الى الاعتماد على قوتهم الذاتية وعلى الاسلام، الذي يشكل ‘بعد الثورات الروحي ومصدر قوتها’، على ما جاء في تسجيل صوتي جرى بثه على الانترنت.
وجاء في التسجيل المنسوب الى ‘الشيخ ابو مصعب عبد الودود’، الذي وجهه الى ثوار ليبيا ‘ان معركتكم التي تخوضونها اليوم مع الطغاة هي نفسها معركتنا بالامس واليوم، فاخوانكم المجاهدون ولسنوات عديدة ظلوا يقارعون هؤلاء الطغاة ويصدون الحملة الصلبيبية الجديدة’. واضاف ‘كان من ثمرات ذلك هزيمة رأس الكفر امريكا وحلفائها وتراجع دعمهم لعملائهم الذي بدأوا يتساقطون اثر ثورة المسلمين عليهم’.
وحذر ابو مصعب عبد الودود في التسجيل الذي استمر 12 دقيقة من تدخل الولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الاطلسي في ليبيا. وقال ‘ان امريكا ومعها الناتو هم اصل البلاء فكيف يرتجى منهم خير او مساعدة’.
واضاف ‘هم العدو، فالحذر الحذر من التحركات المشبوهة لامريكا وحلفائها، وليأخذ المسلمون في ليبيا اهبتهم واستعدادهم لها من الآن’.

March 18th, 2011, 10:47 pm


NK said:

Norman, the MB in Syria is nothing like the MB in Egypt, and while the movement survived in Egypt, it was mostly if not totally eradicated in Syria, its members survived in exile, but it really doesn’t have that much leverage inside Syria, it really doesn’t.

As for the opposition wanting to be in power, what opposition are you talking about ? a popular movement can’t be power hungry because it doesn’t have any leaders and doesn’t belong to any one party. If you’re talking about those “opposition figures” appearing on “opposition stations”, I’m not sure why you’re assuming they have any leverage over those demonstrating, actually if Syrian youth truly broke free of their shackles I doubt we would see another dictatorships in Syria for at least a couple generations.

And finally, I find it really odd that you would ask anyone to support the Syrian government and condemn the “violent” demonstrations, after at least 3 unarmed civilians were killed!!!

March 18th, 2011, 11:20 pm


Norman said:

Apparently , the Kurds are leading the uprising according to Elaph,

March 18th, 2011, 11:22 pm


Leo said:


Your Baath party and regime will go down soon. The regime rules with the same mentality that you hold, an anti-freedom anti-democratic fascist ideology which believes that the only way the regime would remove the emergency laws is for the opposition groups to call the people to go home. You live in the past norman, wake up and smell the coffee. The people in the street have nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood. You sound just like Gaddafi who called the Libyan revolutionaries Al Qaeda terrorists. This same mentality, if it doesn’t change, will take us to civil war very soon. Then there is only one side to blame, the same side who has been 40+ years in control.

8. Norman said:

“Apparently , the Kurds are leading the uprising according to Elaph,”

How do you not know that Hauranis in South Syria are Arabs and not Kurds? If you don’t know such a simple fact then I encourage you to learn more about Syrian demographics. If you do know that fact, then you need to work your critical thinking skills and stop posting things just for the sake of it.

March 18th, 2011, 11:23 pm


Alex said:

Lebanese Annahar is obviously eager to see some action in Syria. For now they are using their imagination it seems:

They reported “hundreds of thousands” demonstrating in Banias! (a city that has 30,000 maybe), that’s the 1000 you see in the video Joshua posted above … and Annahar also saw “Tanks firing water” on demonstrators.

بدت دبابات سورية تفتح عليهم خراطيم المياه. وظهر في شريط قيل إنه صور في بانياس مئات الآلاف من المتظاهرين يتجمعون حول مبنى قديم يعلوه علم سوري.

Gives us a hint of what’s to come … back to the disinformation campaigns of 2005 and 2006.

March 18th, 2011, 11:34 pm


Norman said:


keep dreaming, you seem not to care where you are taking Syria, then why should i be surprised,
By the way Kurds are not just in NE Syria , I wonder why nothing happened in Aleppo and Hama .

March 18th, 2011, 11:41 pm


Jad said:

Leo, NK,
You two are taking the sectarian threat and language, even the sectarian ideas of splitting Syria proposed by Observer earlier lighter than it should. You both denying the obvious, as much as you blaming the regime on everything you need to be cautious of what to believe and run after or blindly support. You asked Norman to wake up, you two need to wake up too.

March 18th, 2011, 11:47 pm


SOURI said:

“Amid chants of “Freedom!” and “There is only one God!,” one man shouted out a list of protesters demands ranging from freedom of expression to allowing Muslim women with face veils to attend school.”

This media bias is the most serious threat to Syria now. The crowd didn’t call for freedom of expression. I put the video in a previous post. Their first demand was to ban mixed-sex schools, their second demand was to reduce the cost of electricity, and their third demand was to revoke a decision that moved away religious extremist women with face veils from education. I don’t know how these demands were translated by the Associated Press correspondents as “demands ranging from freedom of expression to allowing Muslim women with face veils to attend school.” Somebody should send a complaint letter to this news agency for this deliberate falsification of the people’s demands.

March 18th, 2011, 11:50 pm


SOURI said:

If this thing escalates and the Syrian regime manages to quell it by force, then the regime must work to really secularize the country this time. If the regime goes back to the policy of appeasement with the Islamists then I will probably become myself an Islamist and fight against the regime.

March 18th, 2011, 11:58 pm


Jad said:

It is treason, now they are asking for international and UN protection and involvement SERIOUSLY!!! At least wait another day before you show us the real ugly face of this ‘revolution’ and what you ‘really’ asking for.
I declare my stand against these guys, I choose Syria, the Syrians and my corrupted government and my Syrian president over this treason.
Go To Hell Traitors!

March 19th, 2011, 12:07 am


Majhool said:


I like your name but like to provide you with a suggestion.

Join your fellow syrians quest for more freedom. This way the circle of support for these basic rights will grow begger. This and only thing that will cut the wings of those with islamic tendencies.

Islamists in Egypt also were first to speak up. However when the rest of the people joined them, they become part of a whole and no longer dominant.

Instead of digging for dirt, make it cleaner. Stop fooling your self of regime secularism, tfeh on a secularism based on repression. Syria’s future will be a diverse one. Islamists, liberals, marxisit, Arabists, etc..


March 19th, 2011, 12:12 am


Norman said:

I am glad, see we agree, I think what Souri said about pushing for a real secular state in Syria as Ataturk did in Turkey is probably the only way to save Syria, no more compromises,

Push forward.

March 19th, 2011, 12:18 am



For all those who criticize the demonstrators, please answer the following questions:

1. Why has Syria been governed under emergency rule for nearly 50 years?

2. Why is Bashar Assad the president of the nation? How did he get there? Who ordained him? Did the people of Syria, who he rules, have any say in the matter?

3. Why is the Assad and Makhlouf (maternal cousins) families the wealthiest in the country while the average Syrian is amongst the poorest in the region?

I would ask everyone in this forum to see if they can recognize the possible biases / prejudices in others answers.

March 19th, 2011, 12:19 am


SOURI said:

Let me quote again علي الأحمد (a leading figure in the Syrian Revolution):

الحكم الطائفي لا يقاوم بالورد والديمقراطية، والحكم الطائفي نتيجته بالتأكيد حرب طائفية رغبنا أو كرهنا فتلك سنة الحياة في الأرض، الحكم العسكري والشمولي نتيجته أن يرحل بثورة تطيح به من جنسه وكذلك الحكم الديمقراطي يطاح به من خلال صناديق الاقتراع، فإلى من يتشدق ويتحدث عن الحرب الطائفية وأن التكفيريين هم من يريدونها عليهم أن يراجعوا أنفسهم ويعرفوا أن النظام الطائفي هو من قاد إلى ذلك، ومن كفر عشرات الآلاف من صحابة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ورضي الله عنهم لا يحق له أن يتهم الآخرين بتلك الصفة التي تقمصها وتجسدها كابرا عن كابر ..

Ali al-Ahmad says that a sectarian war in Syria is سنة الحياة في الأرض. I love this guy because he writes what he thinks bluntly and without the usual hypocrisy that we hear from the modern generation of Islamists.

Those guys want to start a sectarian war in Syria and they don’t care if it leads to the division of the country. Ali al-Ahmad is not a fringe character. His website is popular among the Syrian Islamists, and it was on his website that I read a few weeks ago that the Syrian Revolution would start from Hauran. I think that the أبازيد family which is responsible for the current events in Hauran has direct connections to him.

March 19th, 2011, 12:21 am


Majhool said:

Dear Jad,

Who is “they”?. THis is headless movement, so each will speak for him/her self.

Don’t concern your self too much with an idiot her and there and please stop reading syria-news and champress.

the 20+ million syrians are patriotic. Nothing of the sort you mentioned is realistically possible.

some argue that trason is to have 1.9 billion dollars in a swiss bank.

March 19th, 2011, 12:21 am


Jad said:

Ya Turk,
SNP already answered you, stop repeating your comment it’s annoying!

March 19th, 2011, 12:22 am


Vedat the Turk said:


March 19th, 2011, 12:26 am


DemocracyNow said:

It’s really disheartening that there’s not a single word of condemnation for the killings here on this page.

We can debate change and readiness for democracy endlessly: but we must ALL stand against the killing of unarmed civilians.

Even if the ‘instigators’ of these protests were all Islamists (which is a flimsy allegation, since the sit-in in front of the interior ministry had many secular people judging by their political leanings ….and the way the were dressed), even then: you should all be for their right to protest. The Syrian people are smart enough to call sectarian BS when they see it. But a dialog and a modicum of freedom of expression must be established first.

I have been a supporter of the regime and its foreign policy for years. But I do not understand how killing people is necessary for the preservation of it. I’m bewildered by Bashar: I genuinely believe he is a good person. But why let loose your security people when you know things could turn ugly? Why continue this silly propaganda that almost reads like carbon copies of press releases from Egyptian and Tunisian regimes?

March 19th, 2011, 12:26 am


Jad said:

Dear Majhool,
I’m not quoting Syria news or Cham crap press,
it is written in the last statement of the ‘revolutionist’
it’s unacceptable and stab in the back to all those youth who believed in freedom to discover that they were used and killed for treason.

Dear Norman,
I still believe in all the things I asked for and when I’m forced to choose my Syrian corrupted government doesn’t mean that I agree with them or support their savage actions or respect what they do, I choose that but I won’t stop asking for my rights and to be treated with dignity by this corrupted government.

March 19th, 2011, 12:35 am


Vedat The Turk said:

Thanks for your comments. They are appreciated.

However I am uncertain what \”reforms\” you are referring to? Bashar Assad came to power over a decade ago promising major reforms. As best as I can tell nothing of significance has yet to be implemented during the entire time. Is there something in particular you were hoping for or expected?

Thanks in advance.

March 19th, 2011, 12:37 am


Majhool said:

Jad, Souri, & even Norman,

What is secterianism? let me give you some hints

1) Feelings of contempt to other communal groups for idiological ( theological) reasons

2) Concentration of instituational power & previlages in the hands of one communal group relative to another.

3) a political reality where community intersts are define across communal ( not necessarly theological) differences.

3) a political system based on the balance of power between communal groups.

In syria’s case number 3 is not relevant.

In syria we suffer from 1 &2.

In my view number 2 feeds number 1.

P.S. number one will always be there. In the US many hate muslims becasue they are muslims. However, the system protects all. you can’t erradicate number 1, but the safety valve is to prevent number 2 from taking place.

Wa fehmkon kefayeh

March 19th, 2011, 12:37 am


NK said:


I’m not taking them lightly, I said in an earlier post they’re real threats, I just have more faith in the Syrian people and more confidence that they’re well capable of facing such threats on their own.


Please stop spreading your Islamophobia here, girls wearing face veils are “religious extremist” ?. In a state where women already suffer from social injustice, you actually support adding to that denying them the right to get education because of how they choose to dress ?
Also I don’t see the problem when people ask for separate schools for boys and girls, it’s their RIGHT to ask for whatever they want as long as they do it peacefully, and it’s the OBLIGATION of the government too meet their demands if those demands are reasonable.

March 19th, 2011, 12:43 am


SOURI said:

Listen to this revolutionary message, the theme and music feel like it is Al-Qaeda message:

Listen to the words in the opening song (سيف، موت، رعد، برق إلخ).

I lived in Syria and I know Syrians very well. Most Syrians who oppose the regime are religious extremists. This is the truth.

March 19th, 2011, 12:43 am


jad said:

What are the resources that lead you to believe and be sure that ‘Ali Ahmad’ is one of the leaders of this thing they are calling revolution while in real it is a mean for destroying Syria?

March 19th, 2011, 12:46 am


Nafdik said:

#21 jad, assad lovers have been repeating the same song for 40 years and we are very tired of it. Please allow vedat to repeat himself twice.

You might find this annoying as you say, but probably through repetion some logic might go through as the arabic proverb says.

March 19th, 2011, 12:52 am


jad said:

Very funny Nafdik haha!, why you are writing to me answer him.

March 19th, 2011, 12:56 am


NK said:


Have you actually listened to what that guy said in that video, or you just choose to label him a terrorist and move on ? His massage was pretty decent and if Syrians revolutionaries indeed are going follow what this guy is preaching then I support them 110%

March 19th, 2011, 1:16 am


Leo said:


I do not take sectarian language easily. I am a staunch secularist in a sense of opposing all forms of religious extremism and supporting the creation of a wall between religion and state, but at the same time I staunchly respect the civil liberties of citizens including the freedom of religion, assembly, and speech.

What random people say on some forums or on facebook is no indicator of what is happening on the ground. If you listened carefully to what the demonstrators were chanting, most were saying something in the lines of “Allah, Syria, W Bas”. Whenever the security forces clash and start arresting the demonstrators, the people continue to chant “Silmiye, Silmiye” (Peaceful, Peaceful) refusing to use violence. What was the retaliation of the regime? It was a violent retaliation that resulted in 3-5 death and many more arrested. Is there any justification or excuse for that? I doubt it.


March 19th, 2011, 1:23 am


Nour said:

I think people need to stop alluding themselves. What is taking place is NOT a revolution. A revolution is an organized process based on clear ideas and principles. This is a chaotic collection of people who want to topple the regime for the sake of toppling it, and they are willing to use any method to do so. That doesn’t mean that they are anywhere near toppling the regime because they surely are not, but that appears to be their intention.

The so-called revolutionaries have yet to provide a clear, coherent message, as they have none. Of course they repeat empty slogans of freedom and democracy, but that in itself doesn’t mean anything. Everyone claims to desire “freedom” and “democracy”. You are never going to find a group claiming to fight for slavery and tyranny. The question is what exactly is your conception of freedom and how do you go about achieving it. Until now we have only heard muddled and confused chants which include, among other things, the elimination of mixed-sex schools and cursing the “Alawites”. Seriously, why should I support such a so-called movement that doesn’t really have any direction other than cursing the regime and hoping for its downfall. Everyone supports freedom for all Syrians, meaning freedom for the Syrian nation to do what is best for society as well as individual liberties within Syria. But we certainly do not support chaos and the toppling of the regime just for the sake of toppling it.

March 19th, 2011, 1:33 am


jad said:

I already know how secular you are and I highly respect that in you. You should know by now my answer to you last question: nothing justify using force on peaceful protesters but for them to call for International interference in Syria is simply treason and must be condemned.

March 19th, 2011, 1:38 am


Nafdik said:

Nour, As you mentioned yourself Nour the protests are part of a movement not a party.

The movement has only one common denominator: freedom and dignity of syrians.

There are 10s of parties formnig in tunis now, with opposite directions. We do not want one party hijacking the protests and then ntaking power, what we want is simply to have the freedom to discuss our issues in open way and then resolve our differences through voting.

This formula has proven to be the most effective all over the world and this what all arabs are asking for, except those who are behind the trigger.

March 19th, 2011, 1:52 am


jad said:

Well said Nour, but the problem we are facing now is that the organizers of this chaotic movement intentionally or by mistake are pushing all Syrians into the corner to clash which is the most dangerous game to play.

March 19th, 2011, 1:54 am



I never been in any opposition to the Syrian regime. However, supporting QADDAFI regime against his people,killing the people in Daraa and arresting people in the Omayyad mosque are going to force many Syrians to stand up against the regime.
These protests are the only outcome for the 48 years of dictatorship. The government in Syria is not immune from what is happening in the middle east. Mr. President needs to stop being disrespectful to his people anymore, every time he gave an interview, he says that the reform needs more education and will take very long time. Please read the Syrian history prior to the military coups.
I am wondering if the Syrian people have to wait for reform until Hafez Bashar Assad is ready until inherit the country.

March 19th, 2011, 2:00 am


jad said:

Dear Alex,
You are very quite lately, talk to us 🙂

March 19th, 2011, 2:08 am


Vedat The Turk said:

Thanks Nafdik.

Yes, I am repeating myself to make a point. Hopefully some of the posters in this group will think about the questions I pose and what it says about the regime and why people would demonstrate against it.

Karl Marx once stated that he believed that Napoleon III was the smartest politician in all of Europe but that everyone perceived him to be a fool. I believe the complete opposite is true of Bashar Assad!

The answer to my questions are self evident and provided below:

QUESTION 1. Why has Syria been governed under emergency rule for nearly 50 years?
ANSWER 1. So that the regime can maintain control over those it rules.

QUESTION 2. Why is Bashar Assad the president of the nation? How did he get there? Who ordained him? Did the people of Syria, who he rules, have any say in the matter?
ANSWER 2. Bashar Assad is the President of Syria because his father anointed him. The Syrian people had absolutely no say in the matter.

QUESTION 3. Why is the Assad and Makhlouf (maternal cousins) families the wealthiest in the country while the average Syrian is amongst the poorest in the region?
ANSWER 3. Corruption and greed!

March 19th, 2011, 2:15 am


Alex said:

PBS report on Syria today

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

March 19th, 2011, 3:06 am


Off the Wall said:

This may seem irrelevant, but it carries a lot of meaning. Free press does matter and Dignity is very sweet

صحفيو تونس يشجبون “إهانة” أميركية

شجبت نقابة الصحفيين التونسيين في بيان لها صدر أمس ما سمته “الإهانة” التي تعرض لها صحفيون محليون، من طرف رجال الأمن الأميركيين الذين رافقوا وزير الخارجية هيلاري كلينتون في زيارتها الأخيرة للبلاد.

وأكدت النقابة أن الصحفيين تعرضوا لتفتيش دقيق باستعمال الكلاب المدربة وبطريقة مهينة، مضيفة أنهم ظلوا لمدة ثلاث ساعات كاملة ينتظرون انتهاء كلينتون من حوار تلفزيوني للقاء بها في ندوة صحفية.

ونددت غالبية الصحف المحلية بهذه الممارسات واعتبرتها انتهاكا للسيادة الوطنية خاصة أن عمليات التفتيش تمت داخل مقر وزارة الخارجية التونسية، ووصفت النقابة ما تعرض له الصحفيون بأنه “ينم عن عدم احترام وعن غطرسة عمياء”.

وتراجع أفراد الطاقم الأمني الأميركي بسبب احتجاجات الصحفيين، وأفسحوا المجال لأفراد الأمن التونسي ليقوموا بعملية التفتيش.

غير أن تأخر كلينتون لأكثر من ثلاث ساعات دفع غالبية الصحفيين إلى مغادرة مقر الندوة، احتجاجا على ما جرى أثناء التفتيش وكذلك على عدم تواصل المسؤولين معهم بشأن التأخير.

وردد نحو 100 متظاهر قبالة مقر وزارة الخارجية التونسية شعارات مناهضة للولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وطالبوا كلينتون بالرحيل، ورفعوا شعارات تندد بالزيارة مثل “هيلاري ارحلي”، و”لا للوجود العسكري الأميركي في تونس”

Bare in mind that few months ago, Mrs Clinton hectored Arab ministers in a very obnoxious manners without anyone of them daring to say a ward.

March 19th, 2011, 4:10 am


Revlon said:

Dear Nour,
“I think people need to stop alluding themselves. What is taking place is NOT a revolution. A revolution is an organized process based on clear ideas and principles. This is a chaotic collection of people who want to topple the regime for the sake of toppling it, and they are willing to use any method to do so.”

The oldest, and most famous peoples revolutions in history, the French revolution, was spontaneous and not organised.
The most recent ones, Tunisian, Libyan, and Egyptian: ditto

I have just searched the internet for the definition of the Word “Revolution”. Here is but a couple:
1. an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed
2. A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”) is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.

The brand of revolution that you described applys to military coups d’eta and armed liberation movements.
The current regime is of such vintage.

March 19th, 2011, 5:37 am


Revlon said:

Thank you for your posting.
Reading it has made me feel proud.

March 19th, 2011, 5:41 am


democracynow said:

The Revolution Reaches Damascus

Recent protests in Syria show that the Assad regime is just as vulnerable to popular rage as the region’s other autocracies.

DAMASCUS, Syria — Until this week, it appeared that Syria might be immune from the turmoil that has gripped the Middle East. But trouble may now be starting to brew.

On March 18, popular demonstrations escalated into the most serious anti-government action during Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s decade-long rule. Security forces opened fire on a demonstration in the southern city of Deraa, killing at least two protesters. The unrest also does not appear to be contained to any one geographical region: Protests were also reported in the northwestern city of Banias, the western city of Homs, the eastern city of Deir al-Zur, and the capital of Damascus.

The demonstrations began on March 15, when a small group of people gathered in Souq al-Hamidiyeh, Damascus’s historic covered market, to turn the ruling Baath Party’s slogans against it. “God, Syria, freedom — that’s enough,” they chanted. The phrase is a play on words on the Baathist mantra: “God, Syria, Bashar — that’s enough.” The next day, around 100 activists and relatives of political prisoners gathered in front of the Interior Ministry in Damascus’s Marjeh Square to demand the release of Syria’s jailed dissidents.

The protests may be small fry by regional standards, but in Syria — repressively ruled under a state of emergency since the Baath Party came to power in 1963 — they are unprecedented. An atmosphere of fear and secrecy makes the extent of discontent hard to ascertain. Sources outside the country said demonstrations took place in six of Syria’s 14 provinces on Tuesday. Those claims were hard to verify, but the government is clearly rattled: It has beefed up the presence of its security forces, a ragtag-looking bunch in leather jackets, across the country and especially in the northeast, home to a large and often restless Kurdish population, and Aleppo.

The next day’s protests were met with a brutal response by Syrian security agents, who far outnumbered protesters. Plainclothes officers wielding wooden batons beat the silent demonstrators — old and young, male and female.

“They were goons, thugs who reacted disproportionately,” one witness said. Thirty-eight people were detained, including the 10-year-old son of a political prisoner. Also arrested were a number of activists — including Mazen Darwish, the former head of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, which was officially shut down by authorities in 2009, and Suhair Atassi, an outspoken figure who has become a thorn in the government’s side.

The protests this week are not the first faint rumblings of discontent in Syria. Two failed “days of rage” on Feb. 4 and 5 fizzled — a fact that some blamed on the weather, but was more likely because they were organized on Facebook mainly by Syrians outside the country — but other indirect displays of anger have taken place. On Feb. 16, a group of businessmen in Damascus’s al-Hariqa district, a market area in the old city, took to the streets to protest a police beating. On Feb. 22 and 23, groups held vigils outside the Libyan Embassy in solidarity with anti-Qaddafi rebels. They were dispersed violently.

The identities of those organizing this wave of demonstrations remain a mystery. Syria’s community of dissidents is a small, disparate, and disconnected bunch. But protest seem to be coming from varied sources — Tuesday’s protest was not organized by the usual suspects of activists and former political prisoners. This is a sign of disorganization, perhaps, but also that discontent is not confined to one group and that there may be a growing unhappiness at the grassroots level.

“People are angry that they are not respected, that there are no jobs, education and health care are poor, that corruption is draining their money, that they do not have real freedom, that the media does not reflect our problems and that there is no system because everything happens by opaque presidential decrees,” said Abdel Ayman Nour, a Syrian dissident who runs the website All4Syria from abroad. “Syrians simply want to be respected as citizens and are angry they are treated as sheep.”

The Syrian regime, usually a savvy player, seems confused about how to respond to these signs of unrest. It has veered between offers of reform to denial, arrests, intimidation, and beatings. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Jan. 31, Assad claimed that “Syria is stable,” crediting his anti-U.S. and anti-Israel foreign policy for being in line with his people’s beliefs. The president also promised political reforms would take place this year — but simultaneously, media run by or with close ties to the state have accused infiltrators and Israel of being behind protests.

March 16’s beatings, which were more severe than those used to break up the vigil on Feb. 23, may signal a new zero-tolerance approach by the government. And that would mark a dangerous course for the regime.

“Such a reaction only makes us more angry,” said one civil society activist who asked not to be named. “It is further humiliation of an already humiliated population. How can you talk of reforms and at the same time beat us and treat us as stupid?”

Reforms may be the wiser path to pursue, but the Assad regime faces a daunting task in assuaging its citizens’ economic grievances — let alone their political gripes. The country suffers from double-digit unemployment and GDP growth that appears too sluggish to improve the lot of its rapidly growing population. To make matters worse, a years-long drought in the north has been disastrous for the country’s beleaguered farmers.

Nobody in Syria is sure what will happen next. And there are still sound reasons to believe the protests are one-off events. The core reasons Syrians have stayed quiescent remain: tight control by the security forces, worries of sectarian fallout in the absence of a strongman, and, in many quarters, a fondness for Assad, whom many see as a reformer.

The bloody events in Libya have also scared the population. Remembering what happened to the city of Hama in 1982, when Bashar’s father brutally suppressed an uprising by the Muslim Brotherhood, Syrians fear the response to any unrest here will be similar to that of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi: a violent and sustained bid to cling to power.

“There is no doubt the regime will resort to anything to stay in power,” said Nour. “When Hafez al-Assad died there were tanks on the street, and there are rumors this is happening again. Any uprising will not be dealt with gently.”

But on the ground, there is a feeling that the fear barrier is being broken. Activists who dared not speak their name have piped up. Others meet more openly with diplomats than they dared before. While many Syrians are nervous, others in Damascus’s smart cafes and streets discuss what the future holds more boldly. On Tuesday evening, one cafe turned on Orient TV, an independent Dubai-based channel, to watch coverage of the protests, before quickly switching back to Rotana TV music videos.

Further demonstrations — and bigger, more diverse ones — will be a key sign of the protests’ staying power. Thus far, Syria’s minorities have been hesitant: Christians have traditionally feared upheaval, while the Kurds have largely focused on their own dreams of independence. But on the Kurdish new year of Nowruz, which arrives on March 21, a number of Syria’s Kurdish parties have pledged to raise the national flag rather than the Kurdish standard.

A “you first” mentality has taken hold in Damascus. If nobody moves, Syria may remain quiet. But if a few brave souls are willing to risk the inevitable government crackdown, it will become clear just how deep the desire for change runs in Syria.

The writer is a journalist in Damascus, Syria. Foreign Policy has withheld the author’s name due to security concerns.

March 19th, 2011, 6:15 am


Revlon said:

Dear Nour,
Your question was:
“what exactly is your conception of freedom and how do you go about achieving it. Until now we have only heard muddled and confused chants which include, among other things, the elimination of mixed-sex schools and cursing the “Alawites”

My viewpoint:
40 years of oppression and economic hardship under this regime has convinced the rising public of its futility.

Those of us who believe otherwise, including you, are invited to demonstrate and showcase on behalf of the state. I am for freedom, for all of us.

Each of us humans is created, Gifted, and set free by God.
To respect other people’s minds, is to respect the mighty creator.
We have diverse minds, abilities, upbringings, and beliefs.

Chanting for having non-mixed education by some demonstrators, needs neither be degraded nor censored. It is part and parcel of the emerging, long awaited freedom of expression.

You and I are not obliged to look or think alike or follow each other.
But to share our God-given goodness, we need to respect us for who we are.

March 19th, 2011, 6:34 am


Steve said:

Thanks for reacting to the events so quickly Josh. Here’s another interesting analysis by Chris Phillips:

‘Syrian protestors killed in Deraa’

March 19th, 2011, 6:59 am


Revlon said:

#1 GK,
#2 JD,
Thank you for the posting,
It looks like we have three independent statements, from three different sources.
My hunch is that all of them are true.

March 19th, 2011, 7:02 am


jad said:

تعتزم السلطات السورية فتح تحقيق لمعاقبة المسؤولين قبل المحرضين الذين تم توجيههم من جهات خارجية عن قتل ضحايا خلال تجمع شهدته مدينة درعا يوم الجمعة.

وقالت قناة الإخبارية السورية يوم السبت إن “السلطات السورية ستقوم بتحقيق شفاف لمعاقبة المسؤولين عن قتل الضحايا، والتخريب الذي حصل في درعا مهما علت رتبهم ومناصبهم قبل المحرضين الذين تم توجيههم من جهات خارجية”.
ويأتي ذلك عقب سقوط ضحايا خلال تجمع عدد من المواطنين في مدينة درعا البلد بالقرب من الجامع العمري بعد ظهر اليوم الجمعة حيث استغل بعض المندسين هذا الموقف وعمدوا إلى إحداث الفوضى والشغب ملحقين أضراراً بالممتلكات العامة والخاصة, وذلك بحسب وكالة الأنباء السورية الرسمية (سانا).
كما شهدت مدينة درعا تحطيم وحرق عدد من السيارات والمحلات العامة ما استدعى تدخل عناصر حفظ الأمن حرصا على سلامة المواطنين والممتلكات فاعتدى عليهم مثيرو الشغب ثم تفرقوا.
وشهدت مدينة بانياس في محافظة طرطوس يوم الجمعة تجمعا للعشرات رافعين شعارات بضرورة إلغاء التعليم المختلط وإعادة المنقبات إلى المدارس بعد فصلهم، وفتح ثانوية شرعية في بانياس.
وكانت دمشق قد شهدت الاسبوع الماضي تجمع محدود لمواطنين يوم الثلاثاء في سوق الحميدية ، فيما تجمع العشرات أمام مبنى وزارة الداخلية بساحة المرجة في دمشق يوم الأربعاء مطالبين بالإفراج عن سجناء قال المجتمعون بانهم “معتقلي رأي”.

One more thing about London protest picture shown, why using ‘Kurdistan’ flag in a national protest??

March 19th, 2011, 10:31 am


Revlon said:

2# and #49JAD
#3 NK

My hunch was right. Daraa tribes 24 hr ultimatum/s is/are real and working.
The regime has fully understood the seriousness of their threat

The regime statement has, in part, responded to their first demand, which is the disclosure of the names of the murderers.
It did not deal with the other two: The immediate withdrawal of forces from the perimeter of the city and the release of all Syrian prisoners.

The revolution has won the battle of nerves.
The regime is plunging in quick sands. Moving back or going forward is bound to drive them under.

March 19th, 2011, 11:20 am


jad said:

I can see your point of building many events on false claim and using emotions just to make story up.

-Using a picture of a smoke covering the sky of Daraa by burning tiers and call it DARAA BURNING!
-Saying that the sky is full with helicopters shooting on the funeral and on EVERYBODY while the sky is clear.
-claiming that some women are raped!!! come on!!!!!!
-asking people to protect Daraa because the regime is going to destroy it like Hama!!!!! Seriously??
-Saying that the protest is 20,000 people then after couple hours one of the witness confess it’s around 200 in downtown Daraa!

If they want people to believe there stories they need to be honest.

Could you please answer my question regarding Ali Ahmad, where did you get your information from that he is one of the leaders of these events and how come he knew that things will start from Hurran while the moukhabarat didn’t know all this information until too late and with their own savage reaction to peoples demands and killing 4 Syrians they actually triggered all this trouble for the city?

“The revolution has won the battle of nerves. The regime is plunging in quick sands.”
I actually see the government reaction to be very wise and responsible, that is the first thing they need to do to make things better and they show bravery of doing that, and I think that this move will work for the best interest of all of Syrians.

March 19th, 2011, 11:24 am


Nour said:


You need to go back and read the history of the French Revolution and the period preceding it. The French revolution was not a chaotic collection of people shouting empty, confused slogans. It was an organized affair and took many years to actually reach its objectives. Old traditions of hierarchical rule were replaced with new ideas of citizenship and inalienable rights. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was not a spontaneous outburst of emotion, it was rather a clear statement of fundamental principles rooted in French philosophical thought. Let us also not forget that the French Revolution was not really over at the storming of the Bastille but included much struggle for many years down the road before France finally shaped itself into what it is today.

March 19th, 2011, 12:30 pm


SOURI said:

#29 JAD

I don’t believe neither I am sure of anything. I just read in this guy’s website regularly and I am stating my persoanl impression. This guy reveals such exclusive news about Islamist activity in Syria that it seems he has direct connections with the Islamists inside Syria. He talked about the Deraa Abzed events few weeks ago and he expected a revolution to start from Hauran. His site gets hundreds of comments from Syrian Islamists, and those are only the ones who dare to write a comment. The Syrian authorities hijacked his website on 3/15 and it did not work again until yesterday. I think some of his sources inside Syria were arrested too in the last weeks.

#32 NK

I was not talking about what he said (which could honestly reflect his beliefs or not). I was talking about his choice of the song and the style of his message, which clearly show that he comes from a religious extremist background.

March 19th, 2011, 12:37 pm


Nour said:


The Baath Party Principles make many of the same claims that you do about freedom. They are generalized utterances that everyone repeats because they sound nice. Moreover, do you think all Syrian participating in these demonstrations would define freedom in the way you did or would different Syrians have their own confused conception?

March 19th, 2011, 12:39 pm


Lugnet före stormen….. « Muslimska Nyhetsbyrån said:

[…] Bashar Al Assad i Syrien hur lugn som helst, nåt säger mig att han inte längre är det ”On Friday, Syrian forces used water cannons, batons and gunfire to beat up protesters in Daraa. The violence […]

March 19th, 2011, 12:44 pm


Revlon said:

#51 JAD

“I actually see the government reaction to be very wise and responsible, that is the first thing they need to do to make things better and they show bravery of doing that, and I think that this move will work for the best interest of all of Syrians”

Dear Jad:
Please let me remind you of the context and the meaning of the regime’s gesture.

First, As far as I know, Syrians are still ruled by Emergency laws (EL).
The regime still has the right to arrest, detain, and use the necessary force to maintain national stability.

Murdering the three youths in Daraa yesterday, was within the bounds of the EL.
To fake an investigation and retribution against the perpetrators, and to use them as a scapegoat is a farce.

Second, I can not remember the last time the regime opened a “Transparent investigation” in the killing of any of the thousands of Syrians over the last 40 years!
The regime is acting in the interest of its self preservation. That is wise, from its perspective.

The way I see it!
The revolution handed down their ultimatum and the regime has caved in.
The regime’s response was self defeating: It was to question their own emergency laws.
Asad jr. has failed on all fronts that matter to the people. He must step down now!
He has failed to understand the needs and aspirations of his people.
He has failed to anticipate the rising discontent with the system.
He failed to protect the young citizens of Daraa, from the aggression of his forces.
And now he is failing his own protectors!

March 19th, 2011, 12:46 pm


NK said:


So what you’re saying is, don’t judge the guy based on what he says, God forbid that we form opinions based on facts, oh no, the back ground music is a much better standard to judge people. Just like you choose to label women with face veils as extremists too.

You know what, I would love to hear your definition of Islamic extremism, please let us have those pearls of wisdom.

March 19th, 2011, 1:09 pm


Norman said:

It is crazy to think that we are not sad for the death of Syrian citizens, of course we are, an investigation is the right next move, until we know what happened, we should all keep an open mind and wait for the results, if we see an attempt for a cover up then we all should be screaming but we have to be open to the possibility that the shooters were protecting and fearing for their lives,

About what is taking place in Libya, i wonder if the time has come for the Palestinians in the West bank to go to the street and see what Israel is going to do and if the West will be as happy and eager to protect them, i have the feeling that i would be disappointed.

March 19th, 2011, 1:48 pm


Revlon said:

# 54
“The Baath Party Principles make many of the same claims that you do about freedom. They are generalized utterances that everyone repeats because they sound nice. Moreover, do you think all Syrian participating in these demonstrations would define freedom in the way you did or would different Syrians have their own confused conception?”

Dear Nour,

Thank you for your question.
I have never been a party member, an activist, or a member of any organised political group. I have not watched the news fro years until last month.
My views on freedom are rooted in my own understanding of Religion and my experience as son, father, and professional.

Freedom remains an utterance, until practiced. We both believe in that, don’t we?
I am not informed about the Baath party. I know that it preaches freedom. I used to parrot its slogans at school.
However, I hope that you realise that current Baath party is a tamed version of what it used to be. It now serves as the ideological façade for the military dictatorship.
As such neither Baath party members themselves nor the public at large enjoy the windfall of its slogans.

As people, we all have dreams. They are as different as we are. Our tool to realise them is one. It is the freedom.
Do not over-read into the slogans of the demonstrating youths.
Our society is blessed with close family ties. Respect and obedience to senior and wiser family members serves to keep their feet on the ground.
Our society has an old, and time tested culture and heritage of collective counsel.
Do not worry!
It will work!

March 19th, 2011, 1:55 pm


SOURI said:


I did not label women with face veils as extremist (regardless of whether I think so or not). I was talking about the decision to move away 1200 teachers from schools, and this is what came out in the media when the decision was made:

في إجراء يهدف إلى وقف نمو تيار ديني متشدد في سورية، قامت وزارة التربية بنقل نحو 1200 مدرسة منقبة إلى وزارة الإدارة المحلية وتحديدا إلى البلديات.
وكشفت مصادر مطلعة لـ«الراي»، أن القرار طال مئات المدرسات في بعض المحافظات مثل ريف دمشق وحلب وريفها حيث وصل الرقم إلى نحو 300 مدرسة في كل منها، بينما لم يتعد الرقم بضعة مدرسات في محافظة دمشق، وخلت محافظات أخرى من أية حالة كما في القنيطرة.
ولاقى القرار الذي اتخذ منذ فترة ليست بالبعيدة، ردود فعل متباينة، اتجهت معظمها نحو الترحيب به، على خلفية تخوف الشارع من نمو ظاهرة التطرف في دولة علمانية تدفع في اتجاه سيطرة الإسلام المعتدل.

Did you read this before? It is not me who is labeling anybody with anything, OK?

As for Islamic extremism, this is a subjective concept and I don’t think there is a scientific definition for extremism. For me, anybody who would try to harm you because of your opinion is a religious extremist.

Religious extremism is common in Syria. Islamist can very easily find a reason to label you as kafir and then try to harm you.

If you believe in biologic evolution– you are kafir.
If you believe in psychoanalysis– you are kafir.
If you believe in the physical law of conservation of matter
— you are kafir.
If you believe in comparative religion– you are kafir.
If you believe in the critical study of Islamic history– you are kafir.
If you don’t believe in witchcraft– you are kafir.
If you don’t believe in demons and ghosts– you are kafir.
If you don’t believe in the evil eye– you are kafir.

Being labeled as kafir by the Islamists is not a joke and many of them will try to do physical harm to you. Their beliefs say that a kafir must be killed within 3 days if he does not repent. Kafir women, however, can be kept as concubines. The only exception to this rule is the case of Christians and Jews living under Islamist rule, who are not required to be killed, although recent events in Iraq and Egypt show that this is not a very strict exception either.

Before the Baath rule, it was commonplace for Sunni feudal lords to kill their Alawi peasants and rape their wives, because unlike Sunni peasants, Alawi peasants have no human rights at all in the “Sharia Law.” Alawis, Ismailis, Druze, and Shia are not considered Muslims by the Sunni Islamists. They are considered kafirs. So if the lord kills an Alawi peasant and takes his wife as a concubine, he will be considered performing a religious duty rather than a crime in the Sharia. Many Syrian Islamists still have the same view of the Alawites, and I’ve heard it myself from many of them.

وربما من هذا المنطلق نفهم دعوة علي الأحمد منظر الثورة السورية الذي ابتهل إلى الله في أحد مقالاته قائلا:

اللهم أرنا فيهم عجائب قدرتك ، زلزالا مثل زلزال هاييتي الاخير قوته سبعين درجه على رختر يجتاح جبال العلويين كلها ولا يبقى منهم من يخبر عن مصيرهم ، أو طوفانا مثل طوفان نوح يسحبهم من بيوتهم إلى قبورهم ولا يعرف صغيرهم من كبيرهم .

March 19th, 2011, 2:09 pm


Jad said:

Thank you Souri for the reply. Regarding your last comment, i’m not sure how relevent it is to our dialogue here? Can we stay away from such useless subjects.

In summery of your comment; whatever the government/regime/system do/does to calm down the trouble is unconvincing and fake steps to protect itself not the Syrians.
Here is how I see it:
I don’t believe in violence as a way to solve any issue, therefore any action that can be taken to reduce tension and save lives I support, be it from a beast or from a sheep, I believe in dialogue, so this step of starting an investigation committee is a good start, I won’t refuse it before I see the results.

I just saw two videos by the same group about the 20.000 protesters Reuters report, well the first one is the funeral with huge group of people and within this huge group there was a smaller group of guys marching with them shouting for freedom so I’m not sure how Reuters claim that the funeral is a protest and all of the thousands and thousand chanting slogans even the by standards.
The second one showed about 150-250 young guys shouting slogans standing next to burning tire. The title was the funeral protests of the funeral, no funeral was there and it was one group of guys in one ‘protest’ not protestS!!
No wonder people trust Aljazeera the most, because they wait and investigate a little before going online.

March 19th, 2011, 2:17 pm


SOURI said:

Bad developments:

الشيخ العلامة أحمد الصياصنة من درعا البلد يوجه نداءً لكل أبناء الشعب السوري بأن التظاهر ” فرض عين ” على كل سوري قادر إبتداءً من اليوم وأن أي خذلان يعتبر خيانة لدماء الشهداء .. وقد قام الأمن والجيش بالتعدي على الشيخ بالضرب والإهانة بعد رفضه تهدئة المتظاهرين والرضوخ لتهديداتهم … والله أكبر …. والحرية لسوريا

اعتقال فهد النجرس و العقيدات تهدد الأسد

The Syrian regime has been trying to avoid Qaddafi’s grave mistakes, but it looks to me that if these news are true then we might be heading to a Libyan scenario. I have no doubt that the Syrian regime can win any civil war in Syria, however, the regime will have a hard time dealing with the media and with international pressure. Qaddafi’s performance on that level was disastrous. I think the Syrian regime can do better, but the problem is that there are many international and regional powers who will try hard to not let the Syrian regime pass through this crisis safely.

March 19th, 2011, 2:22 pm


SOURI said:

If this turns into a full scale civil war and the regime wins it, then the regime must start secularizing the country seriously or otherwise it would lose whatever remaining credibility.

March 19th, 2011, 2:37 pm


Norman said:

(( Clean Break))) is full speed ahead, The fragmentation of the Arab world is underway starting with Libya with the full conspiracy and cooperation of the Traitors in the Arab League .

May God save Syria and protect her from the ethnic and religious fragmentation is planned for her.

March 19th, 2011, 2:41 pm


Norman said:

These are the people who are fighting Qaddafi,

David Wood

Anti-American Extremists Among Libyan Rebels U.S. Has Vowed To Protect

WASHINGTON — In 2007, when American combat casualties were spiking in the bloodbath of the Iraq War, an 18-year-old laborer traveled from his home in eastern Libya through Egypt and Syria to join an al Qaeda terrorist cell in Iraq. He gave his name to al Qaeda operatives as Ashraf Ahmad Abu-Bakr al-Hasri. Occupation, he wrote: “Martyr.’’

Abu-Bakr was one of hundreds of foreign fighters who flocked into the killing zones of Iraq to wage war against the “infidels.” They came from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Oman, Algeria and other Islamic states. But on a per capita basis, no country sent more young fighters into Iraq to kill Americans than Libya — and almost all of them came from eastern Libya, the center of the anti-Gaddafi rebellion that the United States and others now have vowed to protect, according to internal al Qaeda documents uncovered by U.S. intelligence.

The informal alliance with violent Islamist extremist elements is a coming-home of sorts for the United States, which initially fought on the same side as the Libyan fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s, battling the Soviet Union.

According to a cache of al Qaeda documents captured in 2007 by U.S. special operations commandos in Sinjar, Iraq, hundreds of foreign fighters, many of them untrained young Islamic volunteers, poured into Iraq in 2006 and 2007. The documents, called the Sinjar documents, were collected, translated and analyzed at the West Point Counter Terrorism Center. Almost one in five foreign fighters arriving in Iraq came from eastern Libya, from the towns of Surt, Misurata and Darnah.

On a per capita basis, that’s more than twice as many than came from any other Arabic-speaking country, amounting to what the counter terrorism center called a Libyan “surge” of young men eager to kill Americans.

During 2006 and 2007, a total of 1,468 Americans were killed in combat and 12,524 were badly wounded, according to Pentagon records.

Today, there is little doubt that eastern Libya, like other parts of the Arab world, is experiencing a genuine burst of anti-totalitarian fervor, expressed in demands for political freedom and economic reforms. But there also is a dark history to eastern Libya, which is the home of the Islamic Libyan Fighting Group, an anti-Gaddafi organization officially designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization.

Story continues below

March 19th, 2011, 2:57 pm


NK said:


Regarding the government decision, read the first 2 comments following that article in that website, I’m sure the government had good intentions, and it’s indeed very important not to expose our children to radical thinking. However, I believe that decision ended up doing more bad that good, it fed the radicals propaganda that the Syrian government/regime is fighting Islam and added tension that the Syrian society can certainly do without. A more proper way to handle this matter would have been to send a committee to investigate and interview those teachers then remove them if they had radical views.

“For me, anybody who would try to harm you because of your opinion is a religious extremist”

“I was talking about his choice of the song and the style of his message, which clearly show that he comes from a religious extremist background”

See how you labeled him as an extremist, Anyways I totally agree with your definition, the key word though is HARM as in actual harm and not just labeling you as kafir. I have a lot of friends who would label Christians, Alawites, Shiites and even Sunnis as kafir, but those same friends have normal relationships with those “kafirs” and condemn suicide bombing, the killing of innocents by Islamic terrorists. And while you and me don’t agree with the way these guys think, we shouldn’t put them in the same camp as real extremists who are waiting to inflict actual harm on the rest of us, because then we’ll be doing the radicals a favor by doing their work for them.

So when we see people calling “No to sectarianism” we should promote them, rather than shoot them down based on their “background”.

March 19th, 2011, 3:49 pm


Majhool said:

I find that Jad, Norman, and souri are set on discussing nothing else but sectarian paranoia. I suggest that others don’t waist their time arguing with them.

The focus should be on how to SUPPORT the quest for basic rights while controlling and limiting the potential damage as much as possible.

After all, 40 long years were enough to eradicate sectarianism, unfortunately the regime institutionalized sectarianism in the state.

March 19th, 2011, 4:05 pm


Norman said:

What you write tell all, I do not need to write anything.

March 19th, 2011, 4:16 pm


Jad said:

What are you talking about Majhool? What comment of mine you are refering to?

March 19th, 2011, 4:49 pm


Norman said:

Do not be on the defensive, you are just not qualified Syrian, If you know what i mean.

March 19th, 2011, 4:53 pm


Ghat Al Bird said:


Several of the comments regarding the demonstrations and status of Syria made by well intentioned individuals are nevertheless imprudent are the ones made by both the “pros” and “cons” who do not reside in Syria and/or are nationals of other countries.

The Arab speaking people have long been considered quite emotional as the Irish are. Still applauding acts that result in the deaths of fellow human beings in a cause one is not direectly involved in is somewhat spurrious.

Lets hope that cool heads win out and that what is taking place in Libya is an excption rather than the rule. The British practice of dividing and ruling is at the present being applied by those that have dictated US policies in the ME for many a year. And as you suggest the fragmentation of the Arab speaking peoples is in full swing.

March 19th, 2011, 4:58 pm


Jad said:

Please don’t write such thing. I highly doubt that what Majhool is refering to.
I think Majhool put my name by mistake since I didn’t write a comment that deserve such reaction.

March 19th, 2011, 5:04 pm


majedkhaldoon said:

I think Gaddafi must change and resign and leave Libya,within two days
1) his ability to fight the rebels is seriously curtailed ,with the airial attack on his troops by France England and USA.
2) any delay will destroy the libyan military power and drain the money,which better is used to help libyans than killing them.
3)the final outcome is bleak for him,he has to leave or get killed at the end,the international decision has already been made.

In Syria I do not think the goverment investigation can be fair,which is needed to calm the people,since Syria is under Emergency law,this must be abolished first.

To discuss the meaning of freedom,we can look at Egypt and Tunis,today in Egypt people went voting booths ,to approve or disapprove the new constitution it was free and the people were very happy.

supporting dictatorship is something of the past,old slogan ,as good as they sound,is not what people want,nor they are believable any more.
I expect Bashar to appear on TV,to do one thing , and say he is resigning,if the people around him are the bad and he is the good,if he and his loyalist are togather then he should expect a loosing fight,time is up for dictatorship.

March 19th, 2011, 6:52 pm


trustquest said:

The Syrians society has been radicalized on religion and orientation lines for what ever the reasons, this is I think a fact and it is contrary to what the regime thinks, and off course it is their making who was there except them. In last visit, my wife visited a family in Banias, they told her not to ride the bus belong to the others and they gave her the name of the chain buses which they use. When she got there she noticed that the town is split between two sects and two sets of minds, with and against. It is really sad situation which seems that the regime can not do anything about it as long as it hang on power and do not make the change and open free election, allow free speech and remove age old laws including the emergency law. People know that, they whisper with this from all walks of lives but they can not say it out loud, even the Diaspora. In one video after the Mosque incident, the regime will run interviews, with their own secret service in the street to give the impression that what happened was just stupid kids, the lady laughed at those who are calling for freedom and said: those stupid calling for freedom, we have freedom, we can walk at night and nothing happen to us, what more freedom they want. She does not know what is freedom, she thinks safety is freedom…but people are starting something I hope will fruit like what other countries have succeeded, especially today the West for the first time in history they bombed the dictator, they did not support the dictator a 180 degree turn from long policy to support oppression.
Most discussion forget the main item behind the uprising in Arab World, it is genuinely and foremost is DIGNITY, combined with economic factors, or the deprivation of dignity from authoritarian regime, they can not provide except tyranny, this is their killing point and they are collecting now their dues.
They could not do except what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, their first encounter with protest, they fire up and killed 5 young kids.

March 19th, 2011, 6:53 pm


Nafdik said:

It is amusing to see regime supporters being afraid that the collapse of the dictatorship will result in sectarian rule.

The assad regime is the most sectarian dictatorship in the arab world. Assad assent to power has been accompaied by the cleansing of the armed forces from all those who are from other sects than his. Same goes for internal security. Assad son has not done much better.

I understand that people are afraid of sectarian retribution but do not forget that this is the mind set that has been drilled into the syrian consiousness by 40 years of secular rule.

If people are truly against sectarian tendency then they should focus thier energy on those who are creating a sectatian syria today ie the assad regime and not on some hypothetocal sectarian parties of the future.

March 19th, 2011, 7:13 pm


majhool said:

My apologies Jad. I did not mean to include you..

March 19th, 2011, 7:22 pm


Nafdik said:

The fact that the government said that it will investigate the killings is a very positive and welcome development.

Whatever the motive of the regime this is an admission that killing peaceful protesters is unacceptable. It will reduce the fear factor and create some restraint on rogue security forces.

I think many syrians are ready to march for freedom if the punishment is tear gas and prison. What has to stop definitely is killing and torture.

March 19th, 2011, 7:26 pm


Ford Prefect said:

We can talk and write about religious extremsists, sectarian devides, Wahhabis, Sufis, and many other irrelevant causes of these outbursts until we are blue in face. In the end, there is one and only one main reason for these intifadas: jobs and income.

The demonstrators might chant against anything, but we must filter out the noise and listen to the real faint voice they are all saying: give us the opportunity and the dignity to work and earn the wages necessary to feed our families.

I don’t care if Mother Teresa was running a country, her people will be on the street screaming if they miss the dignity of working and earning wages fairly.

March 19th, 2011, 7:27 pm


Jad said:

Thank you Majhool!

March 19th, 2011, 7:34 pm


Norman said:


I agree, Yeslam tummak, and your pen.

March 19th, 2011, 7:57 pm


SOURI said:

If Bashar Assad goes on TV now and declares that he is going to have free elections in Syria but without any sectarian parties participating (that is, no دولة إسلامية, no تطبيق الشريعة, no حكم الإسلام, etc.) you will find that the same voices that are calling on him now to transform to democracy will start attacking him viciously and call him an Alawite kafir dictator. This is what happened with his father in the 1970’s.

The struggle in Syria has never been about democracy. It is a sectarian struggle in a pre-national society. 90% of those crying for democracy are sectarian hypocrites, and if they govern Syria you won’t hear them say the word democracy again, except if it is the Islamist type of democracy. I have never in my entire life saw an Islamist who understands what democracy is. They don’t even understand what a nation-state is, let aside democracy.

When an Islamist says “democracy,” he means by it that the Islamists should rule Syria according to Sharia. This is what democracy means to them. You can never expect a Baathist (or just a simple nationalist like myself) to give up to that insane demand. Sharia is not a type of politics, Sharia is a way of life that belongs to 800 AD. You can’t ask me to just let my country slip back to 800 AD and watch. Syria today cannot exist as it was in 800 AD. This is a battle of existence for the country itself as well as for the minorities. If Bashar cedes the country now to those terrorist thugs he would be a traitor.

March 19th, 2011, 8:17 pm


Revlon said:

#61 JAD
You and I share all Syrians the wish for a peaceful outcome for today’s events.

The stand off between the People and the regime has passed the point of no return.
The tribes in Daraa, have lost children, whom they can not bring back. Their “tribal revenge ultimatum” is an act of pride. They are not budging down.

The regime has fully understood the gravity of Daraa threat. It is also mindful of the imminent acceleration of events across Syria. Its partial compliance with the ultimatum was the correct choice of action, to allow for themselves some time to move on to plan B. But do they really have one? I believe they do not.

These times remind me of the frantic calls of Asad sr. to his Soviet friends for a ceasefire on the Golan front in 1967. His forces were in precipitous, moral, mental,, physical and chaotic retreat. The Israeli forces reached to within 40 KM of Damascus. He survived the event, thanks to the support of the Soviet friends.

Today, the regime is also in a mental, moral, and chaotic retreat. They have no friends who can help. Their physical retreat might be imminent.

I have a feeling and a hope, the events would end sooner and more peacefully than anybody have ever imagined.

Here is my suggestion to Asad jr. for a plan B out:
Act now, before anymore bloodshed.
Declare intention to step down.
Negotiate a truce with the revolutionists in Daraa.
Hand over complete powers to an interim governing council within 1 week.
This council would have representatives from the Declaration of Damascus, the revolution and selected members of the current regime acceptable to the other two groups.


March 19th, 2011, 8:44 pm


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