Tremseh: A Massacre or a Fight? Annan’s New Plan: For and Against

What happened in Treimseh and just how many have been killed there remains the subject of heated debate. Opposition forces are reporting up to 250 massacred. Others claim that this is propaganda designed to influence the Security Council vote on Syria coming up. Moon Over Alabama blog, headlines:  Syria: Insurgents Claim Another UN Meeting “Massacre”.He suggests that the numbers killed are being cooked by the opposition in the hope of generating world condemnation of Syria at the UN. At the center of political debate are the merits of the Kofi Annan plan. Seth Frantzman in the Jerusalem Post headlines his article: Is Annan an accomplice to murder in Syria?. More serious debate is provided by Patrick Seale, who argues for the Annan plan and Jeffrey White, who argues against. Both their articles are copied at the bottom of this post.

On Treimseh

Addendum: Guardian (GB): Syria used helicopters and tanks in Tremseh ‘massacre’, confirms UN

Syria used helicopter gunships and other heavy weaponry in the shelling of Tremseh, says General Robert Mood, head of the UN monitoring mission in the country. The head of the UN monitoring mission in Syria has said that helicopters and tanks were …

AFP reports:

Separately, two Syrian activists said most of those killed in the Thursday incident were rebels, and that they died in fighting.”At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven,” said Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network.

“The rest were members of the [rebel] Free Syrian Army,” he told AFP.

“An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA,” he said. “The army staged a counter-attack with the support of [pro-regime] reinforcements from [nearby] Alawite villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated.”

An activist at a media center in Hama also said “a large number of rebels were killed in fighting between the FSA and the regular army.”

AP’s Ben Hubbard provides a grimmer picture of the Massacre. He quotes top officials and activists:

…”It certainly does build strong international support to continue to ramp up the pressure on Assad,” said Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest from aboard Air Force One on the way to Obama campaign events in Virginia.

The head of the U.N. monitoring mission in Syria also singled out government forces for blame, saying they attacked from the air and land in “continuous violence.”

Yet much remains unclear about what happened in Tremseh, such as why Assad’s troops moved against the village and whether all of the dead were civilians. One group said dozens of the dead were rebel fighters….

The new violence is certain to raise questions about whether the international community’s diplomatic efforts to end the crisis remain relevant. Kofi Annan, the international envoy whose peace plan for Syria has been largely ignored by all sides, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the reports of the attack.

He singled out the government for using heavy weaponry in populated areas, something it was supposed to stop doing three months ago.

Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, head of U.N. monitoring mission, told reporters in Damascus that a group of observers about five kilometers (three miles) away during the violence confirmed the use of heavy weapons and attack helicopters….

Another activist, Abu Ghazi al-Hamwi, said local rebels, often called the Free Syrian Army, tried to fight off the army but couldn’t.

“They kept shelling the city and the weapons that the Free Army had were not enough to keep them out,” he said.

He, too, backed away from claims of more than 200 dead, saying late Friday he had been able to confirm 74.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that more than 150 people were killed in Tremseh and that more than 100 of their names had been compiled. It said dozens of the dead were rebel fighters and that the bodies of about 30 were totally burned. Others were stabbed or gunned down as they fled.

Both Darwish and al-Hamwi suspected that sectarianism motivated the attack. Tremseh is a Sunni Muslim village in an area also home to communities of other sects, including Christians and Alawites, the sect of Assad and many in the army and security forces.

Syria’s Sunni majority is the driving force in the anti-Assad uprising, while most Alawites have stood by the regime.

Both activists said that pro-regime thugs from the nearby Alawite village of Safsafiya entered the village with the army.

Thursday’s killing recalled a massacre in late May in the area of Houla, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Tremseh, where more than 100 people were killed. Activists then also blamed the army and Alawite thugs, while the regime blamed “terrorists” seeking to frame the government.

Moon Over alabama concludes:

The heavily armed insurgents lost a battle. How this is supposed to be a “massacre” is beyond me.

U.N. Blames Syria’s Heavy Weapons in Bloody Clash
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and RICK GLADSTONE, July 13, 2012, NYTimes

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The general leading the suspended United Nations monitoring mission in Syria said on Friday that there had been persistent fighting around the town of Tremseh, where both sides accused the other of massacring villagers a day earlier in what, if confirmed, would be the bloodiest sectarian incident of the uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

At the same time, Kofi Annan, who engineered an unheeded, six-point peace plan for Syria as the special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, issued a statement singling out the government in particular for the relentless violence in which scores of people were reported to have died.

Estimates of the tally of the dead in Tremseh, a village in western Syria’s Hama Province, ranged from a government assertion that 50 people were killed, to claims by a resident that 230 bodies had been readied for burial on Friday. Video posted online showed the bloodied corpses of some 15 mostly young men lying dead on the ground. …


Nawaf Fares, formerly Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, was a friend of President Assad and served as governor of Latakia before joining the diplomatic corps. As governor of Latakia, he was well respected for being honest, forceful and having the ear of the President himself. He could get things done and was a force for good, according to several Latakians that I have talked to.

Le Figaro is quoting french foreign minister that Manaf Tlass has entered into negotiations with the opposition.

Former Syria Diplomat: Only Force Can Topple Assad
2012-07-12, By BEN HUBBARD

Beirut (AP) — Syria’s highest ranking diplomat to defect to the opposition has dismissed the main international plan seeking to stop the violence, saying nothing short of President Bashar Assad’s departure is acceptable.

Nawaf Fares, formerly Syria’s ambassador to Iraq, said in an interview Thursday on the Al-Jazeera satellite channel that only force can remove Assad.

Fares announced that he was joining the anti-Assad revolution in a video on Wednesday. He was the second high-level regime official to quit in one week. The other, Brig. Gen. Manaf Tlass, has not spoken publically and does not appear to have joined the rebels.

Despite rising international condemnation, Assad’s regime has largely held together. The defections of Fares and Tlass have raised hopes among opposition leaders that others will quit the regime too.

Naasan Agha, former Syrian minister of culture, quoted on the Facebook-page of the Syrian journalist Mousa al Omar on his exchange with Naassan Agha, who is currently in Morocco.

اتصلت بالدكتور والوزير السابق رياض نعسان آغا المتواجد حالياً في الدار البيضاء لأسأله عن انشقاقه ..

فقال: لستُ من أركان النظام لكي أنشق عنه , وقد خرجت منه 2010 وحين قامت الثورة كان لي رأي ضد الحل الامني والحملة العسكرية وحين لم يسمع احد نصيحتي خرجت بهدوء الى الامارات ومازلت على موقفي الرافض لرؤية النظام التي أهلكت البلاد وادخلت سوريا في المجهول ..

سألت د. آغا عن النهاية فقال : لا بد مما ليس منه بُدٌ .. والشاطر يفهم! الاعلامي :موسى العمر

Psychologically battered, Syrian soldiers abandon Assad

Free Syrian Army fighters, who defected from the regular army, are seen at Mahameel near Idlib, June 18, 2012. Picture taken June 18, 2012. REUTERS/
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, ANTAKYA, Turkey | Thu Jul 12, 2012

(Reuters) – As one of the Sunni Muslim soldiers who form the bulk of the Syrian army, Lieutenant Adnan Suleibi kept being pushed to the front of units fighting in the rebellious city of Homs.

Alawite personnel – members of the same minority sect as President Bashar al-Assad – remained in the rear. Alawites control the military through their domination of the officer corps and, crucially, direct the Soviet-style intelligence and secret police apparatus entrusted with preventing dissent.

“The Sunnis are cannon fodder and morale has been sapped. There are 75 men left in my brigade out of 250. The rest were killed, injured or deserted,” said Suleibi, a slim 23-year-old in jeans and striped t-shirt…

With influx of refugees, Syrian rebellion reaches deeper into heart of Damascus
By Special Correspondent, July 12 – Wash Post

DAMASCUS — The revolution that has engulfed much of Syria in bloodshed is now encroaching on the capital in ways that challenge long-held assumptions about President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power even in the city presumed to be his stronghold.

Compared with places such as Homs, Hama and Deir al-Zour, where bombardments and battles are commonplace, Damascus is still relatively calm. No longer, however, can the government boast that the capital is an oasis of tranquility or that a silent majority of its residents are loyal to the regime.

The city now feels pregnant with rage, and ready to explode…..

Holier Than Thou: Rival Clerics in the Syrian Jihad
Aron Lund, Jamestown Terrorism Monitor,

Jihadi theologians and their conflicting views on the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat el-Nosra, etc. … The Syrian conflict is emerging as an extremely attractive recruiting ground for jihadi groups – in February, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaida, called upon “every Muslim and every honorable and free person in Turkey, Iraq,…

….With Sunni sectarian perspectives becoming more central to the armed uprising as time passes, most FSA factions are now steeped in religious rhetoric and there are a number of explicitly Islamist groups calling themselves part of the FSA, some of whom use radical jihadi slogans. One such group is the al-Bara bin Malek Brigade, which uses the Salafi-Jihadi flag made famous by al-Qaeda in Iraq and vows to carry out “martyrdom operations.” [3]

Outside the FSA umbrella, there are other groups which are more radical and more hostile to Western influence over the uprising. These include the Ahrar al-Sham Brigades, a network of Islamist militias spread over several provinces, as well as a Salafist group in Homs called the Ansar Brigade. Others, such as Fath al-Islam, a Syrian-Lebanese-Palestinian group, predate the uprising. There is not, however, a formal al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, after the failed attempt to establish al-Qa’ida fi Bilad al-Sham (”al-Qaeda in the Levant”) in the mid-2000s, though this situation may be about to change (al-Hayat, September 28, 2010).

The Rise of Jabhat al-Nusra

The most prominent Syrian jihadi group, by far, is the Jabhat al-Nusra li-Ahl al-Sham min Mujahedi al-Sham fi Sahat al-Jihad (”The Support Front for the People of the Levant by the Levantine Mujahedin on the Battlefields of Jihad”). Jabhat al-Nusra (as it is known) emerged in early 2012 and has rapidly captured the imagination of jihadi activists and the attention of international news media through spectacular suicide bombings (, January 24, 2012).

While non-jihadi Syrian dissidents often accuse Jabhat al-Nusra of being a regime creation, most signs indicate that it may be a spinoff from the al-Qaeda-affiliated ”Islamic State in Iraq”  (al-Sharq al-Awsat, March 22). U.S. government sources have repeatedly linked Jabhat al-Nusra to al-Qaeda generally and the Iraqi branch specifically, and the group has a very active branch in the Deir al-Zor region along Syria’s eastern desert border, where tribal smuggling networks have remained active since the Iraq war (McClatchy, February 10; Guardian, March 22; see also Terrorism Monitor, June 1). Jabhat al-Nusra is now seen by the vast majority of international Salafi-Jihadis as ”their” group in Syria, despite the presence of other contenders. It has been actively promoted by the major jihadi web forums, perhaps indicating that trusted sources have vouched for its credibility…..

Abu al-Mundhir al-Shanqiti vs. Abu Basir al-Tartusi….

The Middle East Needs Dialogue not War
by Patrick Seale

Even if President Bashar al-Assad were to quit the scene, the opposition would still have to reach a negotiated compromise with Syria’s powerful officer corps and security services — the backbone of the regime — as well as with representatives of the various minorities, which are an ancient and essential part of Syrian’s social fabric, notes Patrick Seale.

“Dialogue is the strategy of the brave.” This is the striking phrase I heard from the mouth of Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, one of the wisest of European statesmen, when I attended the Oslo Forum last month, an annual gathering of would-be mediators of the world’s conflicts. Rarely has dialogue been more necessary than in today’s deeply disturbed Middle East.

In Syria, the present fierce struggle is unlikely to yield a decisive outcome. Even if funds and weapons continue to pour in to the rebels, the latter will not be able to defeat the Syrian army on their own. The opposition prays for an external military intervention, but this is not likely to happen. The mood in the United States and Europe is to withdraw from Middle East conflicts not to get sucked into yet another one. In any event, so long as the Syrian opposition remains deeply divided it will have no hope of achieving its goals.

What then are we left with? More of the present bloody stalemate in which many more people will die or be displaced from their homes. Syria will be destroyed to the delight of its enemies — Israel first among them.

Even if President Bashar al-Asad were to quit the scene, the opposition would still have to reach a negotiated compromise with Syria’s powerful officer corps and security services — the backbone of the regime — as well as with representatives of the various minorities, which are an ancient and essential part of Syrian’s social fabric.

Only a dialogue, preceded by a ceasefire honoured by both sides, could save Syria from the catastrophe of a sectarian civil war, in which there would be no winners, only losers. This is what Kofi Annan, the UN-mandated mediator, is trying to achieve. He should be supported not undermined. The deal now being negotiated in Egypt between the Muslim Brothers and the armed forces could provide a model for Syria.

Dangerous tensions in the Gulf could also be fruitfully contained through dialogue. It is reported that Egypt’s President Muhammad Morsi is soon to pay an official visit to the Saudi monarch, King Abdallah, and has also accepted an invitation to visit Iran’s President Ahmadinejad. Imagine what a formidable diplomatic coup it would be for Egypt if President Morsi were to initiate a tripartite strategic dialogue between Cairo, Riyadh and Tehran. Acting together, these three major capitals could resolve many of the region’s conflicts, and put an end to destabilising interventions by outside powers.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia, could, through dialogue and cooperation, draw Iran into the security architecture of the region. That would be a far better recipe for stability and peace than a policy of threats, sanctions and intimidation. [underlining mine, JAW]

In spite of the propaganda emanating from Israel and Washington, there is no evidence that Iran wishes to acquire atomic weapons. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ai Khamenei declared last February that the possession of such weapons would be “pointless, dangerous and a great sin from an intellectual and religious point of view.” He should be taken at his word. Western intelligence agencies have themselves confirmed that, while Iran wishes to master the uranium fuel cycle, it has not embarked on a military nuclear programme.

Nor is there any real evidence that the Gulf region faces a threat from Iran’s alleged “hegemonic ambitions.” I believe too much is made of Iran’s alleged role in stirring up Shia communities in the Gulf and in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. The Islamic Republic is at present in no shape to threaten or dominate anyone. It is simply seeking to survive in the face of a campaign of cyber attacks, assassination and sabotage by the United States and Israel, which is just short of outright war. Crippling sanctions have reduced its oil exports by a million barrels a day; its currency has collapsed; and its hard-pressed population is struggling to cope with 30 percent inflation. Under such intense pressure, Iran may well lash out in frustration, triggering a regional hot war, which would definitely not be to the advantage of the vulnerable Gulf Arabs.

Instead of helping to resolve conflicts by promoting dialogue between the states of the region, the United States is reinforcing its armed forces in the Gulf region. It is reported to be bringing additional F-22 and F/A-18 warplanes to local bases, and is doubling its minesweepers from four to eight. A senior U.S. Defence Department official has explained that this deployment of American power is intended to provide “tangible proof to all of our allies and partners and friends that even as the U.S. pivots towards Asia, we remain vigilant across the Middle East.”

Is this really what the region wants to hear? The militarisation of American foreign policy started during the Cold War in response to what was perceived as a threat from the Soviet Union. Militarisation was then greatly expanded under George W. Bush’s administration. The result was two catastrophic wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have devastated these countries, bankrupted America and gravely damaged its reputation. The American historian William Polk has calculated that the United States has spent at least $2.59 trillion on ‘defence’ in the last five years, a large part of it on weapons, and is planning to spend 5% more in the next five years.

Israel and its neo-con allies in the United States are pushing the Obama administration to bring Iran to its knees, in much the same way as they pushed the Bush Administration to destroy Iraq. The Arabs should not lend their backing to this campaign. The conflicts of the region — and especially the dangerous tensions regarding Iran’s nuclear facilities — would best be settled by dialogue and compromise rather than by military force.

No doubt some Gulf countries fear they would be threatened by Iran if the American protective umbrella were removed. But even if the United States were to withdraw its bases from the region, as some U.S. strategic thinkers advocate, it would retain an ‘over-the-horizon’ naval presence which would surely provide adequate protection.

I have long argued in this column that it is not an Arab interest to make an enemy of Iran. The Gulf States and Iran have many commercial and strategic interests in common, not least the security of their vital region. The clear lesson of the present crises is that local powers should be able to protect themselves or reach a satisfactory accommodation with their non-Arab neighbours by means of dialogue and cooperation.

It is Israel that needs to be persuaded that its current policy of seizing Palestinian territory while seeking to weaken and destabilise its neighbours, is not the best way to ensure its own security. On the contrary, Israel’s long-term survival can only be assured if it normalises its relations with the Arabs, as well as with Iran, by allowing the emergence of a Palestinian state. Only a sincere and sustained dialogue can bring this about. That should be the urgent focus of the international community.

By Jeffrey White, July 11, 2012, WINEP

UN envoy Kofi Annan’s latest plan to end the violence in Syria — perhaps better labeled the Annan-Assad plan — is a bad one. It extends yet another lifeline to the regime, undercuts the armed opposition’s growing effectiveness, and substitutes diplomatic bustle for progress toward ousting Bashar al-Assad. Like Annan’s previous ineffective ceasefire, the new plan is almost certainly doomed to failure — and the sooner the better.

Developed in consultation with Assad himself, Annan’s latest proposal hinges on building security and stability from the ground up. That is, in areas of intense conflict, it calls for local arrangements to contain the fighting. This plays straight into the regime’s hands, and it is no wonder Assad participated in its formulation. If implemented, local ceasefire arrangements would simply reduce pressure on Assad’s increasingly stretched forces, giving them time to rest and refit, while preserving the regime’s increasingly precarious military position in key provinces in the north (Idlib and Aleppo) and east (Deir al-Zour)…..

Annan’s plan could gain traction internationally, which would suggest a fundamental misunderstanding of both the conflict and the regime. The war in Syria has become a war to decide the fate of the regime, not a prelude to power-sharing agreements or Assad-led political reform….

Lately, however, the regime has been losing control of the military situation, and its position in the distant provinces is crumbling. Therefore, Assad probably regards the new proposal as a way to shore up his defenses, at least temporarily. This makes Annan’s plan a bad deal for the Syrian opposition and all those seeking the regime’s end, but a good deal for Assad.

Syrian Armenians Starting To Take Refuge In Armenia
Jamestown Inst – July 11, 2012 — Volume 9, Issue 131

With fighting continuing to escalate in Syria and no end to the bloodshed on the horizon, a growing number of the country’s ethnic Armenians are looking to take refuge in Armenia. Hundreds of them are believed to have already moved to their ancestral homeland, while thousands of others have applied for Armenian citizenship in apparent preparation for such relocation. The authorities in Yerevan are facing growing calls from domestic opposition and public figures to encourage and assist in that influx.

Currently numbering between 60,000 and 80,000 members, Syria’s Armenian community mainly consists of descendants of survivors of the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the former Ottoman Empire. Like other diaspora communities in the Middle East, they are mostly affluent and well-educated, have had little involvement in the country’s political life and been loyal to the government. The ruling al-Assad family has largely respected their cultural and religious rights ever since it seized power in the country in 1971.

Most Syrian Armenians apparently remain supportive of President Bashar Al-Assad despite his regime’s more than year-long bloody crackdown on anti-government protests that seem to be degenerating into civil war. Many of them are deeply apprehensive about the mainly Sunni Muslim rebels, among them radical Islamists, fighting the regime in Damascus. Some are convinced that Assad’s fall would spell the end of the community (, February 13).

Despite being largely concentrated in Syria’s largest and relatively safe city of Aleppo, far away from the main trouble spots in the bloody unrest, the community has already suffered casualties. At least four Armenian soldiers serving in the Syrian army have been reportedly killed in the fighting (,, June 25). There have also been reports of Armenians kidnapped and held for ransom by unknown militants. An Armenian Catholic priest in Aleppo claimed last month that most of some 2,000 Armenian residents of Homs have fled the troubled city after anti-government “terrorists” looted their homes and burned down the local Armenian church (, June 13).

With no end to the vicious violence in sight, ethnic Armenians started leaving Syria early this year. Armenia has been their prime destination. There is no official data on how many of them have taken refuge in the South Caucasian state so far. But media reports and anecdotal evidence suggest that there are currently several hundred such refugees. The influx should intensify in the coming months as evidenced by skyrocketing applications for Armenian citizenship filed by Syrian nationals.

According to the Armenian police, there were almost 3,000 such applications last year and about 2,700 of them in the first five months of this year. Only 422 Syrian Armenians applied for an Armenian passport in 2010 (Armenpress, June 29; Haykakan Zhamanak, June 30). Virtually all of those requests are certain to be granted. Armenia allowed dual citizenship in 2006 with the specific aim of bolstering ties with its large worldwide diaspora and encouraging ethnic Armenian immigration. Tens of thousands of diaspora Armenians, including those who were born in Armenia but emigrated following the Soviet collapse, have since become Armenian citizens.

U.S. Said to Ready Additional Iran Sanctions
2012-07-12   By Andrew Cinko

July 12 (Bloomberg) — Sanctions said to target front companies in oil trade.

Syria Faces UN Sanctions Push as Ally Russia Resists
By Flavia Krause-Jackson on July 11, 2012

Syria would face United Nations sanctions under a Security Council resolution drafted by Western powers seeking to overcome Russian resistance to measures that would hasten the fall of President Bashar al-Assad.

The move came after Kofi Annan, the UN’s special envoy to Syria, yesterday asked the UN’s decision-making body via video link from Geneva to “send a message to all that there will be consequences for noncompliance” with his peace efforts.

“Russians remain very skeptical to anything that even slightly creates the chance of military action,” Richard Gowan, associate director for crisis diplomacy and peace operations at the New York University Center on International Cooperation, said in an interview. “Still, I would not rule out a change of course as bad news keeps piling up on the ground.”

The deterioration of the 17-month conflict, daily killings and rising number of reported defections have emboldened the U.S, France and the U.K. to challenge Russia to break with a Soviet-era ally it’s protected from punishment. Annan’s transition plan envisions Assad’s exit within a year’s time.

The latest attempt to hold Assad accountable “includes a clear threat of sanctions if the regime fails in its first step of stopping the use of heavy weapons with a fixed timeline,” Mark Lyall Grant, the U.K.’s UN envoy in New York, said yesterday. “We’ve heard a lot of commitments in the past. They have not been followed through.” …

The Real Housewives of the Syrian Revolution
Behind the lines of the war against Bashar al-Assad.
BY SUHA MAAYEH | JULY 11, 2012 – Foreign Policy

RAMTHA, Jordan — For Aysha, a 28-year-old Syrian refugee in Jordan, her small Nokia cell phone is a lifeline to a loved one on the front lines of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

It’s the only way she can contact her husband, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Layla. They talk almost every day. He has joined the ranks of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), leaving her with their three children and making her one of many “rebel wives” keeping the faith on the other side of the border. It has been two weeks since she last saw him.

Aysha often rode on the back of her husband’s motorcycle before he went off to war, her black niqab flowing behind her as he drove. Now her world is a lot less glamorous. She spends most of her day at home — a box-like three-bedroom rented apartment, dotted with mattresses and featuring only one small window — taking care of her three daughters, mopping floors, and hand-washing the laundry. The apartment was paid for with money scrounged together from local charities, sympathizers, and their Jordanian neighbors, and their daily survival is dependent on this private aid.

The stresses of refugee life, which include hosting her in-laws, have taken their toll on Aysha. She has lost weight since her husband rejoined the front lines — partly due to worry, partly because she doesn’t have enough money to buy food. Sitting on a mattress in her sparsely furnished apartment in this dusty Jordanian border town, she admits she doesn’t know when she’ll see her husband again.

“My fate is with the Free Syrian Army,” she says with resignation.

Rape, assault are weapons of war in Syria: rights group
By Lauren French

WASHINGTON | Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:39pm EDT

(Reuters) – Government forces in Syria are targeting women for rape and assault as the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and anti-government forces continues to escalate, according to a report released by a human rights group on Wednesday.

Women Under Siege said it had documented 81 instances of sexual assault in Syria since anti-government demonstrations began in March 2011, with most occurring in the rebel stronghold of Homs, a frequent target of attack by government forces.

New Texts Out Now: Akram Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East
Akram Fouad Khater
Akram Fouad Khater, Embracing the Divine: Gender, Passion, and Politics in the Christian Middle East. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011.

Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Akram Khater (AK): This book was partly a happenstance, and came partly out of a keen awareness of a gaping hole in Middle Eastern scholarship. The happenstance is common enough in scholarly research. Tired of the texts I was reading at the Bibliotheque Nationale for my PhD dissertation, I turned to the Arabic card catalog to browse for interesting manuscripts. I stumbled upon one titled Aghrab imra’a fil ‘alam [The Strangest Woman in the World]. With such an unabashedly over the top title, I simply had to order the manuscript, and with that I began my journey into the history of Hindiyya al-‘Ujaimi, a visionary Maronite nun of eighteenth-century Aleppo and Lebanon….

Der Spiegel: Author Jonathan Littell on Syria ‘I’m Fundamentally a Pessimist’, 2012-07-13

Author Jonathan Littell on Syria ‘I’m Fundamentally a Pessimist’ AP Author Jonathan Littell says:

I’m positive that the Syrian revolution was not driven by religious or ethnic concerns in the beginning, but rather by economic and social concerns. This is a true proletarian revolution of the workers and the farmers, an uprising of those for whom life had passed by. But if the situation deteriorates further, it’s possible that precisely what the West fears will come to pass. Jihadists will infiltrate Syria from all directions, to misuse the revolution for their own unacceptable purposes. One more reason not to just look on and wait until we’re tearing our hair and wailing: My God, my God, the Islamists!

SPIEGEL: Haven’t we reached that point already?

Littell: I didn’t meet any religious fanatics in Homs. But the regime is playing the religious and ethnic card to get the non-Sunni minorities on its side, the Alawis, the Ismailis, the Druzes, the Christians. That shows how embattled the regime feels at this point. Yet Assad could have easily defused the revolution in the beginning by initiating social reforms. Initially, the protesters had no intention of toppling him. They wanted equality, not democracy, which is a vague concept to them. Now, though, it’s become a battle of life and death.

SPIEGEL: What will the outcome be?

Littell: The Syrian army and security forces aren’t strong enough to defeat the revolution completely, as can be seen from the growing numbers of deserters. But neither are the rebels strong enough to win without help from outside. The worst thing would be a long war of attrition that would destroy the country entirely. I can image that, as a last resort, Assad and his people would consider dividing the country and withdrawing to an Alawi stronghold. That, though, would amount to a “Lebanonization” of the country, and would mean massive ethnic cleansing….

Littell: It will end badly. I’m fundamentally a pessimist, and I always consider the worst scenario not only possible, but likely.

SPIEGEL: What is your impression of the FSA fighters, whose ranks are increasing from defecting regime soldiers?

Littell: Extraordinarily motivated, decisive, brave, prepared to die. For many of them, deserting the army, which can be a fatal move in and of itself, was an act of immense relief and liberation. Often, the defectors had participated in the repression by following orders to shoot at the demonstrators — whose beliefs they share — and then accumulating a terrible sense of guilt.

SPIEGEL: It seems the rebels are increasingly perpetrating atrocities as well.

Littell: I never experienced that myself, but there are certainly criminal groups operating at the fringes of the FSA, committing blackmail, rape and murder. Still, it is not nearly as systematic as it is on the government’s side.

SPIEGEL: You write that the rebels sometimes execute prisoners.

Littell: They showed me injured prisoners they were treating in an underground clinic. A rebel fighter who ends up in the hands of the government’s troops, on the other hand, will be tortured in every possible way, that’s for certain. I admit, I also saw a member of the regime’s dreaded Shabiha militia, who’d been lynched and whose naked, blood-smeared body, his head smashed in, was put on the back of a truck and paraded through the crowd, with shouts of “Allahu akbar!” It was a triumphal procession of bloody revenge. It depends who the FSA captures — a member of the militia, a sniper who has been picking off civilians, women and children as they walk down the streets, or someone who was simply conscripted into the army.

Sen. Graham: Statement by Senators Graham, McCain, Lieberman Statemen on Syria, 2012-07-13

U.S. officials have said that Syria has begun moving its chemical weapons stockpiles out of storage facilities.

WASHINGTON—Syria has begun moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities, U.S. officials said, in a development that has alarmed many in Washington.

The country’s undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide have long worried U.S. officials and their allies in the region, who have watched anxiously amid the conflict in Syria for any change in the status or location of the weapons.

U.S. officials said that Syria has begun moving parts of its vast chemical weapons arsenal out of storage facilities. Julian Barnes has details on The News Hub. (Photo: Reuters)

American officials are divided on the meaning of the latest moves by members of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Some U.S. officials fear Damascus intends to use the weapons against the rebels or civilians, potentially as part of a targeted ethnic cleansing campaign. But other officials said Mr. Assad may be trying to safeguard the material from his opponents or to complicate Western powers’ efforts to track the weapons

Some said that Mr. Assad may not intend to use the weapons, but instead may be moving them as a feint, hoping the threat of a chemical attack could drive Sunnis thought to be sympathetic to the rebels from their homes.

Is Assad dangling WMD bait? – 13 Jul 2012 – War in Context

(Update below.) As much as Bashar al Assad pushes the narrative that he is quelling unrest spawned by foreign agitation, he is also sending a strong message to his challengers. That is, that he has the power to act with impunity confident — that whatever atrocities his forces commit, these actions will never do more […]

Syria: To oppose, or not to oppose?
Maher Arar -al-Jazeera

Human rights activist Maher Arar is the publisher of Prism Magazine, and first came to public attention after he was rendered by US authorities to Syria, his native country. The opposition movement inside and outside the country must walk a fine line between independence and intervention….

The Golden Runaway
Is the apparent defection of one of Bashar al-Assad’s top generals (and close friend) the beginning of the end for the Syrian regime?

 In contrast to portrayals of him as part of the president’s “inner sanctum,” he has been excluded from top decision making circles since the early stages of the uprising, when he reportedly wanted the regime to pursue negotiations with the opposition rather than initiate a harsh crackdown…. The fact that the Syrian family most often associated with propping up the Assads has jumped ship is significant in symbolic terms.

Guardian on Tlass: Martin Chulov in Rehanliya, Julian Borger and Kim Willsher in Paris

According to one opposition figure, Tlass’s flight had been in the works for more than a year.

“Manaf had decided to defect very early on in the revolution and got in touch with the FSA to plan ahead. They advised him to stay in place as he would serve them better being on the inside rather than the outside.

“The same instructions had been given to a very large number of acting officers as they fed the Free Syrian Army with operational information and troop movements giving the FSA enough notice about impending attacks to avoid casualties and plan counter attacks,” the opposition figure said….

The Hezbollah men asked Manaf what he thought about Assad’s handling of the situation, according to one Syrian source.

“The response came fast and dry – ‘a donkey’,” said the source.

“Friends no more – Implications of the Tlass and Fares defections from the Syrian regime”, The Middle East expert Aron Lund analyzes the meaning of these defections and their possible future consequences.

Comments (190)

jad said:

MoA is correct in his conclusion:

سوريا : قواتنا المسلحة نفذت عملية نوعية استهدفت الارهابيين في التريمسة ولا ضحايا مدنيين

اعلنت دمشق ان القوات السورية المسلحة نفذت عملية نوعية استهدفت خلالها تجمعات لعناصر المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة وعددا من مقرات قيادتها في التريمسة في ريف حماه، مما اسفر عن القضاء على أوكار هذه المجموعات ومقتل عدد كبير من عناصرها، نافية سقوط قتلى في صفوف المدنيين.
وقال مصدر عسكري ان العملية جاءت “استجابة لاستغاثات الأهالي في بلدة التريمسة الذين تعرضوا لمختلف أنواع الأعمال الاجرامية على يد المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة التي نفذت عمليات قتل وترويع بحق المواطنين الآمنين وتفجير عدد من المساكن”.
وتابع المصدر “قامت بعض وحدات قواتنا المسلحة صبيحة يوم الخميس الواقع في 12/7/2012 بعملية نوعية استهدفت خلالها تجمعات لعناصر المجموعات الإرهابية المسلحة وعددا من مقرات قيادتها واوكارا استخدموها منطلقا لعملياتهم الاجرامية ومقرا لممارسة أعمال تعذيب بحق من خطفوهم وذلك بعد عملية ترصد ومتابعة وجمع للمعلومات الدقيقة بالتعاون مع الأهالي”.
وذكر المصدر أن “العملية اسفرت عن القضاء على أوكار المجموعات الإرهابية ومقتل عدد كبير من عناصرها والقاء القبض على عشرات الإرهابيين ومصادرة كميات كبيرة من الاسلحة والوثائق من بينها بطاقات شخصية لعناصر من جنسيات غير سورية أحدهم يحمل الجنسية التركية”.

مصادر ميدانية موثوق بها تؤكد أن ما حصل في”التريمسة”معركة حربية حقيقية وليس مجزرة مدنيين

“الحقيقة” تحصل على شريط يؤكد أن معظم القتلى المتوفرة صورهم هم من المسلحين الإسلاميين والوهابيين، واعتقال أحد أخطر زعماء الميليشيات الوهابية في المنطقة.. حسين الدباس

وبالعودة إلى ما حصل في “التريمسة”(الواقعة على بعد 5 كم إلى الشمال الغربي من بلدة محردة و 25 كم إلى الشمال الغربي من حماة)، قالت معلومات حصلت عليها”الحقيقة” هذه الليلة من أحد الأطباء في بلدة “مورك” القريبة من المنطقة إن”الرواية التي تداولتها وسائل الإعلام لا أساس لها ومثيرة للسخرية”، موضحا بالقول “إن معطيات استخبارية وردت إلى السلطة من أهالي القرية نفسها تفيد بتحشد عدد كبير من المسلحين في القرية يقدر بالمئات للانتقام من أهلها الذين يتعاطف معظمهم مع السلطة في مواجهات الميليشيات الإسلامية المسلحة في المنطقة ، والتي يغلب على تركيبها البدو”، وأن “عددا من أخطر زعماء هذه الميليشيات، عرف منهم المدعو حسين الدباس(وهو من بدو المنطقة)، يعقدون اجتماعا في منزل المختار مصطفى اليونس لتنسيق عملية الانتقام. وعندها ، في ساعة مبكرة من فجر أمس، تحركت وحدات أمنية وعسكرية إلى القرية واشتبكت مع المسلحين لبضع ساعات ، مع أسفر عن مقتل عشرات المسلحين منهم ، ربما تجاوز المئة، كانوا يتحصنون في المنازل ، لاسيما منها المطلة على البساتين المجاورة ، واعتقال عدد منهم بينهم حسين الدباس نفسه”. وقد وصل”الحقيقة” للتو شريط يظهر عشرات القتلى الذين سقطوا في التريمسة. ويظهر من الشريط (المنشور جانبا) أن معظم القتلى المتوفرة صورهم ـ وكما يبدو من اللحى والشوارب المحفوفة لبعضهم على الطريقة الوهابية ـ هم من الإسلاميين والوهابيين، وليس بينهم أي طفل أو امرأة. كما ولا تظهر على جثثهم أية علائم لقتلهم بأسلحة بيضاء (ذبح) كما قالت “الجزيرة” والجهات الإسلامية السورية المعارضة، لاسيما “الهيئة العامة للثورة السورية”. ولم يتوفر حتى الآن ، وبعد مرور حوالي 24 ساعة على المعركة ،أي شريط آخر يثبت وجود قتلى من النساء أو الأطفال بينهم!!
هذا ونفى المصدر جملة وتفصيلا ما قالته وسائل الإعلام الخليجية ، استنادا إلى “شهود عيان” وإلى مصادر المعارضة الأسلامية السورية عن أن هناك أكثر من 150 دبابة شاركت في المعركة. وقال”هذا هراء ، القرية لا تتجاوز مساحتها 1 كم متر مربع ، و 150 دبابة عبارة عن فرقة مدرعة!”ـ موضحا بالقول”ما جرى هو أن السلطة استخدمت فعلا بعض المدرعات والدبابات وإحدى الحوامات، فقد كان في مواجهتها أكثر من مئتي مسلح تحصنوا في منزل المختار وبعض المنازل المحيطة به ، فضلا عن المدرسة الواقعة في وسط القرية وأماكن أخرى”. وقال الطبيب ـ المصدر”معظم سكان القرية من الموالين للسلطة ، ليس حبا بها، ولكن بسبب الجرائم التي يرتكبها مسلحو الأخوان المسلمين والمسلحون الوهابيون الذين يسيطرون عمليا على المنطقة الممتدة من ريف حماة الشمالي وحتى إدلب ، بما فيها المنطقة التي تقع فيها التريمسة”. وأعاد المصدر إلى الأذهان واقعة أن أهالي التريمسة “هم من استدعوا الجيش واستقبله في كانون الثاني / يناير الماضي لمواجهة المسلحين الإسلاميين البدو وطردهم .

July 13th, 2012, 2:24 pm


Atassi said:

Keep twisting and flipping the stories, Keep on defending the butcher and his regime, Facts are being recorded; We will hunt down the accomplices and bring them on front of the SYRINA justices.. NO way out of it

July 13th, 2012, 2:39 pm


jad said:

Al-Qaeda tries to carve out a war for itself in Syria
Al-Qaeda has infiltrated into Syria and is working to establish footholds in the war-torn northern provinces.

Whilst the militant Islamic organisation’s influence remains small, home-grown jihadist groups that are linked with, or sympathetic to the ideals of movement are growing.
The Daily Telegraph has seen al-Qaeda’s flag flying openly in some areas of Idlib and Aleppo provinces that straddle the borders with Turkey and Iraq and fighters in the rebel Free Syrian Army have told how representatives of the militant group have tried in past months to win control of towns and villages.
“An al Qaeda group led by a man who called himself Abu Saddiq took control in Der Tezzeh,” said one FSA rebel speaking on condition of anonymity.
“I was a member of the Revolution Council there. Suddenly there was a new way of thinking. Abu Saddiq was installed as the ‘Emir’, or ‘Prince’ of the area for three months. I was told to put my hand on the Koran and to obey him.
“He wanted to build a religious country. He did not want democracy but a religious leader in power. He wanted to use suicide bombers as a way of fighting government troops in the area.”
Opposition activists have also told of a similar events inside Idlib, a city that continues to see fierce fighting between government soldiers and rebel groups.
“Al Qaeda tried to set up an Emir there and ran bombing operations against the Syrian military. The members were all Syrian,” said a medic working with the opposition.
In both cases local activists and rebel fighters reported that the groups had failed to win hearts and minds. “The local people didn’t like their way of thinking. They did not like their methods,” said the opposition doctor. “Now he has a small group of only around 25 people with him and they have moved to live in the surrounding mountains
“We killed thirteen men,” said a fighter proudly.
At a headquarters in Saraqeb bearded men sat squatting on the floor counting piles of bullets. One man in his early twenties proudly revealed a powerful home made bomb; nuts and bolts embedded in a powerful and deadly wedge of TNT.
“Our brothers, mujahideen from Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us how to make these,” he said.
“Tell Nato we can make them some if they need.”

July 13th, 2012, 2:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

What do you think of some of the things UK activist Tariq Ali (on RT) has to say?

July 13th, 2012, 3:27 pm


Observer said:

Again if it is a battle why not show it on Syria’s TV
Sana has just a text meanwhile this is from the NYT

I say the idea that there was no massacre is pure hogwash. The first news from SANA was that the propaganda of the bloody terror group is massacring people and claiming it is from the Army.

The UN and Annan point the finger at the use of heavy weapons the same ones that we saw with the glorious exercises that the great Fredo army conducted recently.

July 13th, 2012, 3:29 pm


Observer said:

I see no serious reporting posted today on the events all I know is that the observers were not allowed to enter the village just as in Heffah and Houlah and other parts.

I smell the end as the gangrene is now spreading.

July 13th, 2012, 3:35 pm


Uzair8 said:

The 250 figure was being mentioned last night as the story was breaking (In my case Sky News in UK). This afternoon on the BBC they said they (and activists I think) were revising the figure and it would be much lower. Something like that. I’m going by memory.

July 13th, 2012, 3:48 pm


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Moon of Alabama is another American self hater. Who hates Israel more than he loves the Arabs. I wont be surprised if he turns out to be Jewish.

No one denies that now, after 16 frustrating months, this uprise has some sectarian (Islamist) elements. But how can you blame them, when they’re resisting the worst sectarian Alawi junta.

July 13th, 2012, 3:54 pm


Syrialover said:

Jad, Irritated,

If you are Syrian, surely among all your extended family and social networks there must be someone by now who has been a detainee. Or is at least living in a location where life is being made tense and miserable by the security services or army.

They won’t lie to you.

July 13th, 2012, 5:25 pm


Visitor said:

Wasn’t JL supposed to close this site?

July 13th, 2012, 5:55 pm


Uzair8 said:

This new update claims the defection to the FSA is the highest rank so far….

July 13th, 2012, 6:32 pm


Uzair8 said:

Video – Apparently ‘the highest rank’ defection to the FSA from a few weeks ago, finally speaks. (?) [According to the comment that follows]

July 13th, 2012, 6:33 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

Question to those who feel irritated,or feel they are in a zoo,or they are ligers.
The regime use of chemical weapons,would that not justify the rebels to use chemical weapons in the Alawi region?

July 13th, 2012, 6:48 pm


jad said:

Using the Syrian children by the armed terrorist group in the fighting.
In this footage the kid looks like 8-9 years old, yet some people still asking why many Syrians don’t support the criminal actions of those terrorist groups…go figure!

تقرير لقناة يظهر استخدام الاطفال في ميليشات الأرهاب

نشرت وكالة فرانس برس تقريراً عن مقاتلي الميليشيا الإرهابية المسماة بالجيش الحر الذين يتحصنون بقلعة الحصن يوضح وجود أطفال يقاتلون فيما يسمى بالجيش الحر.
يذكر بأن هذا الدليل ليس الأول فقد سبق وأظهرت شرائط أخرى مشاركة قاصرين وأطفال في إدلب في عمليات مليشيات ما يسمى بالجيش الحر وخصوصاً التي تتبع لجماعة الإخوان المسلمين.
الصور المرفقة تظهر الطفل المشارك بالعمليات القتالية.

July 13th, 2012, 7:03 pm


jad said:

Covering Syria: The information war

The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria may seem to be self-evident from the scenes presented on television, but it is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.

What we are seeing is a new stage of information war intentionally constructed and cast as a simplistic narrative of a struggle for human rights and democracy so as deliberately to exclude other interpretations and any geo-strategic motivation.

The narrative, as CNN puts it, is in essence this: “The vast majority of reports from the ground indicate that government forces are killing citizens in an attempt to wipe out civilians seeking [President Bashar] al-Assad’s ouster” – the aim being precisely to elicit a heart-wrenching emotional response in Western audiences that trumps all other considerations and makes the call for Western/Gulf intervention to effect regime change.
You won’t read in the mainstream press of foreign jihadists increasingly pouring into Syria to fight their holy war; you won’t read that some ultraconservative Salafi sheikhs in Saudi Arabia are running their own military network inside Syria; you won’t read how Assad’s support during the 14-month crisis has if anything increased in light of the insecurity gripping the country; you won’t read comments like those of the Lebanese Christian Maronite patriarch who said that while “Syria, like other countries, needs reforms which the people are demanding … the closest thing to democracy [in the Arab world] is Syria”.

You won’t read how the head of the opposition in Turkey, a former ambassador to Washington, Faruk Logoglu, has said that what Turkey is doing hosting armed FSA fighters and allowing them to carry out attacks in Syria is “is against all international norms; against all neighborly relations … It is a basic rule that countries must respect the sovereignty of others.”

You won’t read how armed insurgents used the Arab League observer mission’s ceasefire to “reinforce themselves and bring supplies from Lebanon, knowing the regime would be limited in its ability to obstruct them at that time”, or how they have used the Kofi Annan plan to prepare for larger attacks.

While we have seen extensive demonization of Assad, his wife and family, with the president depicted recently in the British press bathing in blood, you won’t read articles demonizing the Saudi or Qatari regimes, or highlighting the hundreds of millions of dollars they have poured into political parties and groups, particularly Salafists, across the region in their “counter-revolution” against change; or the recent declaration by the official Saudi Mufti for all churches in the Arabian Peninsula to be demolished (which was not covered by a single Western mainstream news outlet); or as a senior Sunni political figure told me recently, the more than 23,000 detainees in Saudi prisons, a majority of whom (a recent report notes 90%) have degrees (to be fair, Chatham House did comment on this in a recent report that this “is indicative of the prevalence of a university education”).

July 13th, 2012, 7:08 pm


Ghufran said:

There are a number of unanswered questions about Traymseh,what is known is:
1. The army did fire on targets in that town ,a fire fight was documented by the UN and reported by SOHR, helicopters were used.
2. SOHR retracted its initial figure of more than 100 death,now they say that 7 civilians were killed and 30 armed men found dead.
3.all of the other stories are mere speculations or usual propaganda,more info is likely to come in a day or two,the UN decided to wait at least until tomorrow to enter town.
4. Traymseh is not known to be a stronghold for the opposition or the FSA before.
I personally prefer to wait for more information before I can form an opinion, I think the number (200-350) of fatalities is not supported by any neutral source.
I suspect that the Traymseh story will not receive the same treatment as Alhoula, everybody is now becoming numb and some are even indifferent to the bloodshed in Syria,Syrian blood is cheaper today than fake Chinese toys,and that is depressing ,to say the least.

July 13th, 2012, 7:23 pm



To hogwash, you need hog washers.

July 13th, 2012, 7:31 pm


Ghufran said:

Much of what is being said and written about Syria is hogwash, there is no shortage of hog washers ,I am starting to feel like a hog washer myself,may be it is time to stop talking, the country is probably irreversibly damaged,I hope I am wrong.

July 13th, 2012, 7:53 pm



Funny, the anti-spam word for this post is RESPECT. But this post is all about the utter disrespect this rat has for the writer of the article cut and paste from the cesspool calling itself truth and for the malicious act of propagating such trash.

A sane person doesn’t even need to read carefully to recognize the incitement against Syria’s Bedouin community. A community not only marginalized to a despicable level by this regime, but also used heavily as cannon fodder in its murder brigades and now being put forth for a slaughter in a most sinister racist manner.

What lies beyond shamelessness is no longer an uncharted territory. Thanks to regime propagandists and their insecurities, we are discovering what lies in that abyss everyday.

July 13th, 2012, 8:00 pm


Syrialover said:


Thank God it IS being coverted – and in such detail.

Would you prefer it was like the Hama days 30 years ago? The details obscured for Syrians and the rest of the world?

Who did what to who and when, sure, let’s look at that as much as possible.

But the bottom line is that the Assad family brought this on, is keeping it sizzling and it’s pointlessly destroying the lives of millions of innocent Syrians.

The fish rots at the head, and he has the big guns and vicious teams at work. I don’t care WHO stops Bashar Assad. But we now know his associates sure ‘aint going to.

I have big sympathy and worry for fighters and their families on both sides.

They are ALL victims.

July 13th, 2012, 8:03 pm


omen said:

aje: the government has blocked un monitors from inspecting the town.

July 13th, 2012, 8:09 pm


Tara said:

The regime has been blocking the observers from entering ANY massacre site. The regime usually allows the monitors to enter after the evidence is washed out. This behavior is a clear evidence of the regime culpability in committing thoses massacres. Can any pro regime contest this simple fact?

July 13th, 2012, 8:15 pm


omen said:

16. JAD said:

Covering Syria: The information war
The narrative that has been constructed by the Western mainstream media on Syria…is a narrative duplicitously promoted and coordinated so as to conceal and facilitate the regime-change project that is part of the war on Iran.

if only our hero bashar would open up the country to media so that the truth could be know…

oh, wait…

July 13th, 2012, 8:15 pm


omen said:

regime change? the u.s. government postures as being hostile to iran but corporate interests (who actually controls u.s. policy) are very friendly with iran. probably most notorious of these was dick cheney before he made himself vice president. halliburton, using third party cut outs as a way to skirt u.s. sanctions, did business with the axis of evil. there is a relationship there.

i’m sure halliburton wants a piece of that pie of the proposed pipeline coming through syria, down from iran.

multinations prefer dictators eager to give away the store as a form of insurance in exchange for the regime to be left in power. something less likely under a democracy who’d want proper compensation.

this is why you don’t see u.s. in a hurry to topple the bashar. remember zbig, a voice of the establishment, said not to get emotional about the atrocities.

July 13th, 2012, 8:26 pm


Aldendeshe said:

“The response came fast and dry – ‘a donkey’,” said the source.

He does not mean an animal. In Syria Donkey are culturally considered stupid (wrong in fact). So in Syria when someone is called “HMAR” this means he is making very stupid moves. so it is relating to the action.

July 13th, 2012, 8:31 pm


Aldendeshe said:

Question to those who feel irritated,or feel they are in a zoo,or they are ligers. The regime use of chemical weapons,would that not justify the rebels to use chemical weapons in the Alawi region?


And I take it Isarelis / Alciada is going to give it to them to use it and then blame Assad forces for its use. Sort of like the Anthrax scare envelopes mailed in the days after 9/11. Yeeepppp that will justify an attack on Syria and its WMD storages without Russia and China U.N. approval. This plot been in the weaving for sometime now.

July 13th, 2012, 8:40 pm


zoo said:

The killing of armed gangs and rebels fighters is no ‘massacre’

Most of the people killed in the Syrian village of Traimseh were rebel fighters, an opposition activist said on Friday, adding the bloodbath followed a Free Syrian Army attack on an army convoy.

“At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven,” Jaafar, an activist at the anti-regime Sham News Network, told AFP. “The rest were members of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army.”

“An army convoy was on its way to the region of Hama when it was attacked by the FSA,” he said. “The army staged a counter-attack with the support of (pro-regime) reinforcements from (nearby) Alawi villages. The FSA resisted for an hour before it was defeated.”

Separately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that “dozens of rebel fighters” were among those killed.

July 13th, 2012, 8:43 pm


omen said:

23. TARA said: This behavior is a clear evidence of the regime culpability in committing thoses massacres. Can any pro regime contest this simple fact?

bashar could be caught red handed on video bludgeoning a child.

apologists would dismiss it by explaining he was drugged and manipulated to be placed in a compromising position as part of a cia/zionist/ufo/lizard people plot.

July 13th, 2012, 8:45 pm


Tara said:


“bashar could be caught red handed on video bludgeoning a child.”…and “the apologists would dismiss it”.

Omen, yes. I observed this behavior time and again..but why?! I want to know why…this particular question bothers me alot. Are they genuine believing the regime innocence? Is it some kind of a mental illness where they are convinced of this delusion of innocence ? Or they know the criminality of this regime deep in the heart of their heart and deny it for secondary gains?

July 13th, 2012, 8:58 pm


irritated said:

As I thought, hysteria is growing to higher level among the war mongers. In the above posts I can hear the calls.
We want our civil war, we want blood in Damascus and Aleppo, we want planes to bomb these arrogant cities who do not obey call for massive strikes and civil desobedience. We want to destroy this traitor army to the last soldier.
Everyone who is against the SNC and the FSA is an enemy and should be eliminated in the worst death possible.

Sitting in Australia, the USA, Canada and Europe let’s enjoy the burning and sacking of Sodom and Ghomorrea.

July 13th, 2012, 8:59 pm


zoo said:

Al Arabiya : Activist claims Syria massacre dead mostly rebels; videos show victims

Friday, 13 July 2012

Most of the people killed in the Tremsa massacre in central Syria were rebel fighters, an activist said on Friday, adding the bloodbath followed a Free Syrian Army attack on an army convoy.

July 13th, 2012, 9:10 pm


jad said:

You are absolutely right, the warmongers are not satisfied until they see more blood spelled for them to celebrate…yet they don’t see themselves as mentally ill they just accuse everybody else…
Ya 7aram!

July 13th, 2012, 9:10 pm


zoo said:

Two “fighters” in Tremsa explain what happened

13 July 2012 :

Saed Darwish :

Tekmet Chehada Mustapha Al younes :

July 13th, 2012, 9:14 pm


bronco said:

It seems that this is the first time “dozens” of armed rebels are killed in one single operation. It must be a tough reality check for the FSA especially after last weeks when the media were repeating that the FSA was getting stronger, more organized and that the Syrian army was suffering severe defection and was weaken.

The defeat of the FSA at Tremsa must come as a psychological shock to the whole military organization of the FSA. In Bab Amro, when they were defeated, the armed rebels withdrew or were allowed to retreat. In Tremsa, I think they were not given that chance. After the rejection of Annan peace plan, it has become a war with no mercy.
The effort to alert the media and make the death of the rebel fighters appear as a ‘massacre’ have also failed. It is obviously for everybody a military defeat for the FSA that will probably boost the Syrian Army morals.
In view of this escalation, it is clearer everyday that there is no solution except a political one where there should be no preconditions.

July 13th, 2012, 9:43 pm


zoo said:

Pressure valve off in al-Assad’s Syria

By Fareed Zakaria

Money is the main reason to believe that al-Assad’s regime cannot last. Inflation is said to be as high as 30%. According to some reports, al-Assad and his cronies are freely printing money; the Syrian pound has depreciated against the dollar by more than half on the black market. Meanwhile, the regime is running out of cash
But there’s one more piece to the puzzle – the growing strength of Syria’s opposition. The Free Syria Army is getting stronger. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are now openly arming the rebels, channeling through routes from Turkey, Lebanon, and now even Iraq. Rebel attacks have become more focused, running deeper into the two main cities Damascus and Aleppo. The various opposition groups are coming together to plan for a post-Assad Syria.

July 13th, 2012, 10:11 pm


omen said:

The regime use of chemical weapons,would that not justify the rebels to use chemical weapons in the Alawi region?

no, of course not.

if the regime dared to use them, they would be signing their own death warrant. the current hesitation from world leaders to support the rebels would quickly reverse. if not finally release nato to come bomb the palace.

these things have a shelf life. how old is the stockpile?

July 13th, 2012, 10:31 pm


Syrialover said:

Tara (#30),

The answer is that they have something invested in the Assad regime that they can’t face losing.

It takes gigantic strength to let go.

It could be a loyalty and connection with a person, protecting an asset, fear of losing face, anything, even something small. It can blot out all else.

They feel the need both to justify it to themselves and get in first to stop others attacking this position.

That’s how human being are.

July 13th, 2012, 10:41 pm


omen said:

31. IRRITATED said: As I thought, hysteria is growing to higher level among the war mongers.

hysteria? what do you call the holocaust? a temper tantrum?

projecting the regime’s barbarism upon the opposition instead – must help the apologists sleep at night.

July 13th, 2012, 10:48 pm


irritated said:


what do you call the holocaust?

The Jews were no armed and paid by rich countries, they were not putting bombs to kill civilians. They were not putting the live of their own kin at risk. They never called for blood and destruction. They were victims of hatred and revenge. The Nazis helped by some European countries were the ones who were inhabited by hatred and hysteria and were ready to destroy everything to get the power. We see what they did and what happened to them.

July 13th, 2012, 11:13 pm


omen said:

listed above:

Yet much remains unclear about what happened in Tremseh, such as why Assad’s troops moved against the village

fouad ajami, on cnn, had this answer:

And there are all kinds of scenarios. There’s even a scenario that many of the weapons, standard weapons of the regime are being moved from other parts of Syria to the (INAUDIBLE) homeland to the basic homeland of Bashar al-Assad and his own community.


What’s really interesting to me, Wolf, about the recent violence is it’s very premeditated, it’s very precise. And the aim of Bashar al-Assad has become very obvious.

I believe Bashar has now realized he can’t win the war for all of Syria. What he’s done now is he’s began to do these massacres on the [fault line] between the Alawi (ph) highlanders and the Sunnis in the plains.

I mean, these massacres, the massacre in Houla, the massacre in (INAUDIBLE), the massacre now in Turaymisah, these [are] forlorn hamlets, but they happen to be on the fault line between these Sunni communities and the Alawis (ph) and they’ve begun ethnic cleansing.

This began to look like the Balkans. And the man does it, and he has the feeling that the international community will not come to the rescue and will not do anything to stop him.

July 13th, 2012, 11:15 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

In your comment you are ASSUMING
Assuming Russia will not use veto in UN.
Assume US will consider Syrian blood a red line.
Did you think that both may not be true?

We are not living in a world where morality is a controling value, Assad has no morality, he is killing Syrians and murdering children and raping women, ,yet he is defended by those miserable criminals who support the regime and they change facts and deny massacres,,there is nothing lower morality than that.
Revenge sometimes as ugly as it is, is impossible to avoid,specially after seeing the crimes of this regime by your own eyes
UGly memories can be forgetton after a while , but forgiving,No,only God forgive.
You would think that educated persons in USA have acquired some reasoning,and learn to believe in the rule of law, they take advantage of freedom and rule of law here in USA, but when it come to Syria they forget about everything they learned here.

July 13th, 2012, 11:36 pm


Jad said:

Propaganda bonanza
Reading the papers and watching Arabic news this morning, you reach this inescapable conclusion: this coverage of Syria is the biggest propaganda bonanza of my lifetime: bigger than Iraq in 1990 and bigger than Iraq in 2002.  I have never seen anything like it.  When London, US, and UK agrees on war or on a foreign policy matter, the world falls under their feet.  Western academic become so intimidated that they view their role as mere mouthpieces for US foreign policy.  And make no mistake about it: the activities of the opposition-in-exile shops (whether Iraqi or Syrian) are choreographed by Zionists in US, UK, and France, and by Zionists subcontrators in Doha and Riyadh.  It is unbelievable.
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

Al-Arabiyya TV
I watched Al-Arabiyyah TV (the news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law).  They were reporting on several massacres in Syria.  I saw Sida, the token head of the Syrian National Council calling on the world to punish Syrian regime for massacres committed and for massacres “that will be committed”–kid you not.  I then watched a report that talked about a massacre of four families and then the narrator added: and some members of the Free Syrian Army were killed there as well.  
Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

Real friends of Syria
I watched Ammar Al-Qurbi (a Syrian exile opposition figure who was close to the regime) on the news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyyah.  He said that Syria has only three friends: Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and added that Saudi Arabia needs to be more open about its support–at that point he was interrupted in mid sentence and he took the clue and switched his yelling to another subject.

According to the New York Times, Syrian `Alawites (all of them, 13% of the population) are determined to exterminate the Sunni majority population (more than 75%)
This is the verdict of the New York Times: if there is even one `Alawite in the area, he is guilty of murder.  “Tremseh is a Sunni village surrounded by villages populated by Mr. Assad’s Alawite sect.”  The matter is closed.  This is the quality of journalistic investigation by the Times. Can you imagine if the Times were to report after a massacre of Palestinians that “the Arab village is surrounded by villages populated by Netanyahu’s Jewish sect”?  Can you imagine the outrage? And notice how the phraseology makes all `Alawites the personal property of Bashshar Al-Asad.  This is a license by the Times for their massacre.  

IF CONFIRMED: Human Rights Watch on Syria
Look at this statement:  “Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch, said if the images were confirmed it would be the first documented use of cluster munitions in the conflict.”  In the paper edition, he merely said: “IF CONFIRMED, it would be…”  If confirmed? Since when does HRW react to unconfirmed news? In the case of Israel, Human Rights Watch does not confirm the death of an Arab, unless his/her body is personally examined and touched by a White Man representative from the organization.  If confirmed?  If confirmed, Israel has nuclear weapons and will use them.  If confirmed, HRW sees its role as a mere echo of US Department of State.  If confirmed, HRW has different standards toward countries depending on their relations with Israel. If confirmed, HRW has covered up crimes against Syrians in Lebanon because it sees itself as an ally of the March 14 coalition in Lebanon.

July 14th, 2012, 12:20 am


Ghufran said:

قررت البحرين حظر مسيرات المعارضة، وبررت القرار بمنع تعطيل حركة المرور وتفادي أعمال العنف بالشوارع التي من شأنها عرقلة جهود إنهاء الاضطرابات بالمملكة التي تسبب بأضرار مختلفة للبلاد. من جهتها وصفت المعارضة الخطوة الحكومية بأنها محاولة جديدة لإسكاتها وحرمانها من حقها في الاحتجاج.
أكدت وزارة الداخلية الكويتية، رفضها للمسيرات والتظاهرات التي ينظمها المقيمون بصورة غير قانونية “البدون” باعتبارها «تخل بالأمن والنظام العام، وتعطل مصالح الناس وتعرض حياتهم للخطر» محذرة المشاركين من مخالفة القانون بما يفرضه من عقوبات تصل إلى الحبس لمدة عامين.

July 14th, 2012, 12:48 am


annie said:

Exclusive: An eyewitness to the Treimsa massacre
Nadine Elali , July 13, 2012 share

Khaled Abou Abdallah is an engineer from Hama city and works near Treimsa village where Syrian government troops with tanks and helicopters slaughtered more than 150 people overnight, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Abou Abdallah is an activist and represents Hama’s local coordination committee. He was an eye witness to the massacre that he says has left over 280 people dead, and the number of casualties is expected to increase. He spoke to NOW Lebanon over Skype.

According to Abou Abdallah, who refused to use his real name for security reason, tanks approached Treimsa from both the Hama military airport and checkpoints from Mahrada, a village close to Treimsa.

“There were almost 300 military vehicles and heavy artillery, tanks, armored vehicles, portable mortars, and rocket launchers. 120 mm artillery shells were set on the outskirts of the village east and west of Treimsa, from areas of Alawite presence and people loyal to the regime,” he said.

Treimsa was then completely sieged and the shelling began at 5 a.m. that morning. People’s homes were the main targets; 50 houses were completely destroyed and over 180 people were killed as a result of the shelling. Some of the wounded were taken into Treimsa’s main mosque, which was also shelled. Others tried to leave their homes and flee towards the Assi River and they were targeted by helicopters.

“It was the first time we see helicopters of the like, they were really big and looked like Apaches. They would fire rockets that were capable of setting rocks on fire. They were throwing bombs which would divide into another 20 as it hit the ground. There were around five planes flying over us, they killed 10 families near the Assi river bank, they were all burnt to death, among which were 18 women and 15 children,” he added.

After three hours of shelling and bombing with heavy artillery, the activist says that gangs loyal to the regime – shabiha from Alawite villages close to Treimsa – entered the village with swords, knives, and Kalashnikovs and slaughtered over 70 people. They also took over 100 detainees and there are 200 people still missing.

“By 11 a.m., the shelling lessened, we tried to sneak in, we had a doctor with us, Mostapha Naji who was killed by gunfire. Treimsa was not equipped to treat all the wounded; we took many of them to Kafarhoud, a neighboring village, but only those that can be saved. We couldn’t take everyone because of the checkpoints and the closest hospital is eight kilometers away and Syrian troops had turned into a base.”

Abu Abdallah holds the UN mission headed by Kofi Annan partly responsible for the massacre; he feels that the international community is giving Assad more time to kill the Syrian people.

“Had it not been for the extension of deadlines and Annan’s world tours, this massacre would not have happened; and had the international community been firm on resolving the Syrian crisis, more pressure would have been exerted on Assad. Assad is killing us using the world and its international community.”

The activist, who also represents Hama’s local coordination committee, believes that the Syrian National Council (SNC) has failed in representing the revolutionaries and warns them against not voicing the Syrian people’s demands.

“We are sending the SNC a warning. We are beginning to feel that they have become a burden to us and not of any assistance, and we have come to the conclusion that the only way to freedom is by us resisting the regime’s forces. If the SNC does not voice our demands, which are a no fly zone and arming the Free Syrian Army, to the international community, we will request from fellow revolutionaries to appoint new representatives inside Syria or outside and form a new council.”

To read more:
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon:

July 14th, 2012, 3:09 am


Syrialover said:


Hey, here’s a theory. Maybe Syria is getting so much attention in the world media and from outside countries because what is happening there is making history for its shocking savagery.

They know there is no precedent for a “government” attacking its own citizens and destroying homes and schools and shops.

To you, it’s nothing but the biggest “propaganda bonanza” of your lifetime.(#43)

To the rest of the world, it’s a violation of civilization they are struggling to come to grips with and find a solution.

July 14th, 2012, 3:32 am



Any Syrian who argues with the regime propagandists bunch on this blog is first wasting his or her time, secondly deluding self into thinking that he or she is actually carrying out a debate and thirdly is engaged in idle pursuit while in fact he or she should be on the ground engaged in the war of liberation of Syria.

July 14th, 2012, 3:53 am


Mina said:

On Tlass, from the comment section of G. Malbrunot\’s blog
\”C’est en 1994 que Frédéric Chatillon, actuel conseiller de Marine Le Pen, a rencontré le général Mustapha Tlass. Il est devenu l’un des principaux coordinateur de la galaxie propagandiste francophone qui s’est constituée autour d’une nébuleuse d’extrême droite radicale, puis de la “galaxie Dieudonné”. On voit toute la délégation poser en compagnie de Manaf Tlass lors de son équipée à Beyrouth. Une recrue de choix pour la démocratie!
Mustafa Tlass a des ambitions culturelles: \”Sa maison d’édition édite la 8e édition du Protocoles des sages de Sion. Il a écrit plus de 40 livres dont L’Azyme de Sion, accusé d’être un concentré d’idéologie antisémite reprenant les accusations de crime rituel à l’encontre les Juifs et analysant l’affaire de Damas de 1840 qui avait donné lieu aux mêmes accusations\”. Il a présenté une thèse de doctorat à la Sorbonne sur le thème du crime rituel juif. Ses liens avec la France ont connu leur apogée grâce à la liaison entre sa fille Nahed et Roland Dumas, inspirant certaines inquiétudes à nos services de contre espionnage. La qualification d\’\”ami de la France\” pour un tel personnage montre la déchéance de notre honneur national consécutif à la glorieuse Politique Arabe de la France de nos ministres successifs des Affaires Etrangères.\”

July 14th, 2012, 4:02 am


Mina said:

On other websites too, they chase Khaled Abu Saleh’s video!
Here, after they modified the “official” release of the 6th July meeting in Paris

Il y en a un autre qui est un personnage ambigu et incroyable : Khaled Abou Saleh

On le voit partout filmé de nombreuses fois par la chaîne Al-Jazeera : en tué, blessé, secouriste, activiste, manifestant et participant à la conférence du 6 juillet des “amis du peuple syrien” avec François Hollande :

Petit hic, il paraissait dans la vidéo de la conférence. Mais curieusement, celle-ci fut recadrée faisant en sorte qu’il disparaisse :
(from the same page as above)

July 14th, 2012, 4:05 am


Mina said:

Agreement reached in Homs with 300 Syrian rebels. Problem, no one knows what to do with the 100 remaining foreign fighters. A charter to Mekka? It’s pilgrimage soon.

July 14th, 2012, 4:09 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


I observed this behavior time and again..but why?! I want to know why…this particular question bothers me alot. Are they genuine believing the regime innocence? Is it some kind of a mental illness where they are convinced of this delusion of innocence ? Or they know the criminality of this regime deep in the heart of their heart and deny it for secondary gains?

Me too, Why are they continue to support this ruling family. It bothers me as well.

I don’t have the answer, just vague ideas.

There are several features that SC mn7ebaks share: old age and aging, Ph.D here and there, a physician, urban architects and other pseudo and pretentious intellectuals, who find it difficult to erect a sentence in a proper English. They are the privileged, not the ones who are fighting for their stolen rights. It is more difficult for old and aging people to get used to changes. The privileged will not waive their privileges easily.

Some of them think that it is still possible to restore the old deal: give up your rights to have security. This 40 y/o deal is no more, because the Syrian people feels he can have both: freedoms AND security. No reason to settle for less.

Some of them simply look down on Sunnies. This is something cultural, breastfed.

July 14th, 2012, 5:56 am


Expatriate said:

Moscow urges US: ‘Cooperate with both sides of Syrian conflict’

Pressure Building for More Middle East War

WikiLeaks Syria file dump benefits CIA/NATO

July 14th, 2012, 6:24 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Sneakers shabbiha watch

Champions of Arabism


July 14th, 2012, 7:37 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Amir said
” Why are they continue to support this ruling family. It bothers me as well.”
The answer is very clear, it is the sectarian feeling, this regime is deeply sectarian, they are Alawis against Sunni,they recruited some christians as both are closely related.

July 14th, 2012, 7:52 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Sure. Sectarianism is part of the story. But there are still quite many Sunnies who serve and support this Alawi dynasty. How would you explain this phenomenon?

July 14th, 2012, 8:33 am


irritated said:

#286 ( previous post)Observer

With the number of questions you ask, it is obvious that you have lost your previous certainties about the course of the events and you are invaded by serious doubts.
I think no one can answer your questions, just time will. For now it seems to be playing against your original predictions.
By the way the observers are on the ground now.

July 14th, 2012, 8:54 am


Observer said:


The basis for the mentality is in my opinion as follows
1. The sense that Syria belongs to this family. It is the premise that the stability and prosperity of the country is due to the exclusive ownership that the family exercises
2. The mentality that the regime has of : either I rule over you or I kill you; for refusal to be ruled by such God like figure is tantamount to high treason
3. A deep seated sectarian assabyaia whereby the other as Ernest Renan said is hated and despised and considered subhuman a clear first step to permit its slaughter.
4. A single narrative with which they have initiated from the very beginning of the presence of armed gangs to deny legitimacy to any opposition. This is the basis for also denying any legitimacy to any other reforms but the ones proposed by the regime. Hence the call for so called dialogue is based on anyone accepting the regime’s premises and agreeing in principle before any discussion to its legitimacy first and foremost.
5. There are two popular sayings in Syria about this: he put the skin of his behind on his face and he killed the victim and walked in his funeral. Both indicate a total lack of shame and guilt and a complete disregard for humanity or decency. A third saying is he beat me up and raced to complain about it crying and lamenting.
6. It is pure Soviet style propaganda; just as you have it in NK and in the old Soviet Republics.
What is most despicable and Hamster said it more eloquently than ever, is that the pro regime pretend to care about shedding blood and destruction of the country when deep down inside they would love to see hundreds of thousands exterminated and whole villages and towns destroyed for the sake of remaining in power.
Remember they are driven by fear real and mostly imagined.

July 14th, 2012, 8:57 am


zoo said:

Thanks Annie

The FSA accusing and threatening the SNC: It is the sign of the final demise of the expat opposition?

The activist, who also represents Hama’s local coordination committee, believes that the Syrian National Council (SNC) has failed in representing the revolutionaries and warns them against not voicing the Syrian people’s demands.

“We are sending the SNC a warning. We are beginning to feel that they have become a burden to us and not of any assistance, and we have come to the conclusion that the only way to freedom is by us resisting the regime’s forces. If the SNC does not voice our demands, which are a no fly zone and arming the Free Syrian Army, to the international community, we will request from fellow revolutionaries to appoint new representatives inside Syria or outside and form a new council.

July 14th, 2012, 9:02 am


irritated said:

Amir In Tel Aviv

But there are still quite many Sunnies who serve and support this Alawi dynasty. How would you explain this phenomenon?

Hmm.. hmm.. well.. fear… there must be some good reasons.

July 14th, 2012, 9:05 am


majedkhaldoun said:

Actually The Sunni who support Assad are corrupted people they have been used by the regime, they benefited enormously financially from this regime,they are not enthusiastic about the regime but afraid to lose their privilages,they are no more than 2%,they are under threat,many Sunni are used to their misery,and have to deal with daily frustrations,they are quiet,but they prefer to change the regime.they cannot afford to stay home and not work,

July 14th, 2012, 9:07 am


irritated said:

Todays’s lesson from our local warmonger

Our local warmonger who have relentlessly called for civil war, blood and sectarian revenge is now giving lessons to expats about believing in ‘rule of law’

July 14th, 2012, 9:11 am


jna said:

Syria cooperating, but lack of money hurting humantarian aid
By Jill Dougherty

Humanitarian agencies such as the World Food Program, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization, Ging says, have launched a major operation in Syria but are facing “an incredibly complex and dangerous situation to develop networks to be able to deliver to the areas that have been affected by the conflict.”

The main challenge remains lack of security, which prevents the agencies from reaching all the people in Syria who need food, medicine and blankets.

But there has been progress, he says. In April food assistance was reaching 200,000 people; through June this increased to 500,000 people and into July they expect delivery to 850,000.

A senior U.N. humanitarian officer who briefed reporters Friday on the situation in Syria said there has been a “breakthrough” in dealing with the Syrian government. “Bureaucratic delay and obstructions, the officer said, “have been largely removed.”

The Syrian government is following through on what it has agreed to do, but some difficulties still remain.

One of the biggest obstacles right now, OCHA’s John Ging says in a statement, is lack of international funding. OCHA’s appeals are only 20% funded at the moment, he says, and “that means they are 80% short.”

Wealthy GCC would rather supply arms to destabilize Syria than provide aid funds to help stabilize Syria.

July 14th, 2012, 9:13 am


Tara said:

Amir, SL, MK and Observer

Thanks for your answers. What I really want to know is not why they support the regime. I want to know wether they actually genuinely believe the regime’s innocence and therefore it’s manufactured narrative, OR, they in their heart know it is all lies. To rephrase, are they deceiving themselves first and foremost or are they well aware of the regime criminality but trying to deceive the others.

Delusion of innocence or pre-mediated deception of others?

July 14th, 2012, 9:18 am


irritated said:

Amir In Tel Aviv

Many of these ‘2%’ Sunnis made lots of money, emigrated with their money to a safe place in the West, they now live in a plush neighborhood and call for regime change.
They do send some of their money for that purpose. They want to come back as ministers in the new government to get the prestige now they got the money.
About the rest of the 78% poor Sunnis … well.. fear…

July 14th, 2012, 9:20 am


zoo said:

Islamist Generation
Today’s Muslim youth are less Westernized than their parents were.
By Mark Steyn
July 14, 2012 4:00 A.M.

Likewise, halfway across the world, the Arab Spring was also hailed as the voice of youth, tweeting its universal message of hope and change. A year on, it’s proved to be rather heavier on change, and ever lighter on hope. Egypt’s first freely elected head of state is a Muslim Brotherhood man. In the parliament of the most populous Arab nation, the Muslim Brotherhood’s party and its principal rival, the Even More Muslim Brotherhood, between them won nearly three-quarters of the seats. In traditionally relaxed and secular Tunisia and Morocco, elections have been won by forces we are assured by the experts are “moderate Islamists” — which means that, unlike the lavishly bankrolled American protectorate of Afghanistan, they won’t be executing adulterous women in the street, or at any rate not just yet.

July 14th, 2012, 9:27 am


Juergen said:

I was on a trip and could not post for a week. I am not sure someone has posted it already, here is the english version of the Juergen Todenhoefers exclusive interview with Assad.

Interview with Randa Kassis on the role of islamists among the rebels

“SPIEGEL ONLINE: Who is responsible for the massacre in the Syrian city Tremseh responsible , where more than 200 people got killed?

Kassis: The government troops and their supporters are the culprits. Whole neighborhoods and villages falling into their rifle scopes. Bashar al-Assad now wants to intimidate all Syrians – generally and without exception. He wants us all to their knees and force gag. Literally every Syrian to learn first hand what it means to resist. There will be more massacres.”

“SPIEGEL ONLINE: How long will it be before Assad will fall ?

Kassis: My wish is that he’s done in a few weeks. But from a purely military , it may take many months . Unless a miracle happens.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: How would that look?

Kassis: Miracles are not predictable, nor is the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. I did not know anybody with such unexpected totally, calculated for decades absurd interference with the wheel of history.”

July 14th, 2012, 9:28 am


irritated said:


How are your friends in Hatay and Doha?

July 14th, 2012, 9:31 am


Ghufran said:

It was not just sectarian loyalty that prevented many alawites from abandoning the regime,it was the actions of many regime opponents domestic and foreign,that convinced most alawites that the evil of the regime is more predictable and manageable than the unpredictable and uncotrollable thuggery and violence of armed rebels. Residents of areas that are labelled as pro regime were subjected to daily acts of kidnapping,assassination and robbery as early as few months after Daraa revolted. What some of you say on this board may impress some who are either non Syrian or expats who are detached from reality or have their mind made regardless of the facts but the anti regime posts,as factual as they may be,are not effective enough in the face of horror stories that skeptics hear from their relatives and friends which clearly show that this monster has two heads.
This crisis is made of two parties that compete at the expense of ordinary citizens who are helplessly watching the future of their kids slip away in front of their eyes. We argue here and exchange insults while Syria’s enemies are performing their bloody dance and lecturing us about freedom and democracy,congratulations.

July 14th, 2012, 9:36 am


zoo said:

UN meetings and Syrian massacres: Timing is everything

Published: 14 July, 2012, 10:27

Author and Middle East expert Tariq Ali : I have now seen evidence from journalists in the field I trust – [like] Charles Glass, who’ve been there – who insist that atrocities carried out by the Syrian National Council and their organization’s supporters are creating mayhem in some areas and they are deliberately carrying out these atrocities so that they can be blamed onto the regime,” he said.

“A journalist from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung some weeks ago explained what happened in the Houla Massacre and was denounced. But we now have other reports coming from journalists. Charlie Skelton in The Guardian has written a very detailed text pointing out extremely ably as to who the people are, who we see on CNN, BBC, and who are promoted by the [US] State Department and the British Foreign Office, who control these networks or influence them,” Ali went on to explain.

He added that the West itself has unleashed the rebels, while Saudi Arabia and Qatar – “those beautiful examples of democracy” – are arming them, and the Turks are playing their part too – all in order to get rid of the regime.
A Middle East expert from the University of Mainz, Dr. Guenter Meyer, is even more direct in his assessment of the latest developments. He says the rebels are trying to drum up support for their cause.

“It’s quite obvious that the rebels were responsible for the Houla Massacre. Germans, just a few days ago, interviewed Bashar al-Assad, [and] he described this tragedy as a ‘massacre marketing,’ which means that rebels on purpose kill as many people as possible in order to incite worldwide public opinion and to promote the invasion from abroad into Syria in order to oust Bashar al-Assad,” he told RT.

Indeed, it was quite clear, he continued, that at the beginning of the Syrian uprising the government was responsible for the killing of peaceful protesters. In the meantime, however, the situation has changed completely.

“There are still peaceful protesters, but there’s an increasing number not only of deserted army people but also of jihadists, of Islamic fighters who have the only purpose – to fight the Alawite government,” Meyer said.

In Meyer’s opinion – that echoes the one of Tariq Ali – Western governments, the Gulf Arab states, Turkey and a large part of the Syrian opposition have no interest in a peaceful solution whatsoever. They want to get rid of Bashar Assad, and to make this happen, they need to ensure that the military intervention from abroad will take place.

That is why, “whenever an action of the United Nations Security Council is going to start, then these atrocities are being reported,” Meyer concluded.

July 14th, 2012, 9:40 am


Tara said:

Is Koffi now disillusioned with Assad?   It is high time.

Peace envoy Kofi Annan said Syria had “flouted” Security Council resolutions with mass killings in Treimsa village, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon demanded that the Council act to stop the bloodshed.

“The use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, which has been confirmed by UNSMIS, is a violation of the Syrian government’s obligations and commitment to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centres,” Annan said in a letter to the 15-nation council obtained by AFP.
“Tragically, we now have another grim reminder that the council’s resolutions continue to be flouted.”
He again called on the council, which is debating rival draft resolutions on Syria, to “send a message to all that there will be consequences for non-compliance”.

July 14th, 2012, 9:40 am


Juergen said:


good joke, i wish i could have been somewhere closer to the ME, i got as close as the OPEC headquarters.

July 14th, 2012, 9:40 am


bronco said:


Is Koffi now disillusioned with Assad? It is high time.

It’s for the gallery as he has been accused to be on Bashar and Russia’s side by the opposition and he prefers to appear neutral.
Annan has one and only goal: the official compliance by the UNSC to his plan that does not include the removal of Bashar al Assad by force.

July 14th, 2012, 10:16 am


zoo said:

Turkey is reaching summits in ridicule as they have not be able to find out what really happened to their spy plane.

Are you hiding something from us?–.aspx?pageID=449&nID=25472&NewsCatID=405

Dear officials,
You have muddled the plane incident so much, you have got it wrong to such an extent that now even your own public has started being skeptical.

Everybody spoke before being fully informed. The data changed every day… Now, everybody has question marks in their minds. So much so that many people have started believing that the plane was not downed by Syria at all, but went down because of a technical failure.

July 14th, 2012, 10:20 am


Ghufran said:

UN observers have entered Treymseh

July 14th, 2012, 10:22 am


zoo said:

Firas Tlass: the international community wants Syria to be a failed state.”

45 officers of Tlass family defect from regime – Businessman Firas Tlass

By Mohamed Nassar
Dubai, Asharq Al-Awsat – The eldest son of former Syrian Defense Minister General Mustafa Tlass, Firas Tlass, informed Asharq Al-Awsat that a total of 45 members of the Tlass family have defected from the al-Assad regime, including his younger brother and boyhood friend of Bashar al-Assad, Brigadier General Manaf Tlass.
He also asserted that the Syrian revolutionary movement on the ground is capable of “resolving” the Syrian crisis, far more than those giving their opinions and views on Arab satellite television.

Tlass also revealed that he is in constant contact with Abdul Razzaq Tlass, commander of the FSA’s al-Farouq brigade. He said “I have been in contact with Abdul Razzaq over the past 6 weeks” adding “I love him, for he is my cousin.”

He also called for mass civil disobedience to break out across Syria, adding that the regional situation is very complex and there is significant foreign intervention in Syrian affairs. Firas Tlass told Asharq Al-Awsat that the situation on the ground is not a result of the strength of the al-Assad regime forces but rather due to “regional conflict” adding “many countries are seeking to gain influence and power over Syria.” He stressed that “this is a chess-game… the international community wants Syria to be a failed state.”
As for the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tlass said that al-Assad remains part of the solution, despite the fact that he is the major reason behind the crisis. He said that the best solution for Syria would be for Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to a national council, adding this can be viewed as a mixture of the Yemeni and Egyptian solutions.

However the Syrian tycoon told Asharq Al-Awsat this the most likely solution would see the “rise of a strong internal current that unites an important part of the revolutionary trend, and which possess a strong and clear political program to govern the next stage” adding “this current would impose itself on the scene and would be capable of negotiating with the regime.” He nominated his cousin Abdul Razzaq Tlass as a figure who can represent the Syrian revolution.

July 14th, 2012, 10:27 am


Tara said:


I think you are right. It is for the gallery.

But, I think his one and only goal is egotistical one, to preserve his self-perceived legacy..his not wanting to change Bashar comes from his perception that removing Bashar is not possible except by using force, hence, he would have no role and no lime light.

July 14th, 2012, 10:30 am


Juergen said:

Helpless and harmless: the UN Grüßonkel( benevolent uncle)
Jens Wiening, ARD radio studio in Amman

The Syria-envoy Kofi Annan recently said that if we have a problem at home, then we sit under a tree and discuss it for so long until it is solved. Annan should be immediately put under the tree and talk to the tree trunk. Because he is better off doing that than touring he crisis countries of the world. On his mission of peace it has now become clear that Annan is indeed harmless, helpless and powerless. Annan has failed. His peace plan is not worth the paper on which he stands.

Three days earlier this week Annan toured the Middle East and once again tried to influence the conflicting parties. With the massacre of Tremseh it is clear: everything has failed.
Annan has lost all credibility. He is relegated to the Grüßonkel of the UN. President Assad does not take him seriously. If his troops are responsible – as assumed – for the massacre of Tremseh , then is the message from Assad to the United Nations: Sod me! If I like it, I’m talking to some of you, then I continue to clean up my country. It would be an irreverence and provocation to commit such a massacre at the UN Security Council dispute over sanctions.

The opposition wants to increase the pressure to intervene?

If, contrary to all reports, the opposition has played its part in the massacre that would be just an irreverence and provocation as well. In this way, to increase the pressure on the international community to finally intervene in Syria, could make one only speechless.

There is no solution Annan could achieve. Even with the opposition, he does not need to talk. The opposition has since long time criticized him.Demonstrators in Syria are already demanding: Down with Annan. The supporters of President Assad – whether in Iran, Iraq and Russia – meet only out of self-interest with Annan. This becomes a good thing if you say: Yes, yes, a peace plan that we want to support. And the great pictures will transport this message around the world.

Last year there were large demonstrations. They were peaceful and were brutally suppressed by Assad’s men. At that time the world community has watched helplessly and passively.
Then it happened : old conflicts are broken up further and further, between the religious groups, the minions of the regime and its victims. Everyone lives dangerously in Syria now . No matter which side he stands. And who is on either side, has not even friends.

UN needs a replacement for Annan

Here, the week had started so well. So much movement was long not seen into the peace process. With the massacre of Tremseh two points have become clear. A peaceful solution, will no longer be possible in Syria. And for all other calls, which will certainly give it, and must, need a replacement for Annan, the UN – which can be hopefully then not to degrade Grüßonkel.

July 14th, 2012, 10:31 am


Ghufran said:

Fareed Zakaria will be speaking with Syrian opposition leader Abdul Basit Sieda about a reported massacre in Hama province, the recent discussions with Russian officials in Moscow and the opposition’s claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power is a threat to regional stability. Program will air at 1 pm ET

July 14th, 2012, 10:31 am


Tara said:

Assad or we will burn the country.

Troops storm Syria town as observers visit Treimsa
(AFP) – 5 hours ago
DAMASCUS — Syrian troops and pro-regime militias stormed and torched a southern town on Saturday, reports said, as UN observers visited a central village where a mass killing has provoked harsh global condemnation.
Hundreds of soldiers backed by helicopter gunships attacked Khirbet Ghazaleh in the province of Daraa — the cradle of a 16-month uprising — amid heavy gunfire, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
An activist on the ground who identified himself as Bayan Ahmad gave a similar account, saying pro-regime militias were setting alight houses in the town.
“The army entered without resistance as the rebel Free Syrian Army left town. The shelling has wounded dozens of people but we don’t have medical resources to treat them,” he added.
Elsewhere, a pregnant woman was among 28 people killed across the country, the Observatory said, a day after 118 people died including dozens of civilians gunned down by troops at anti-regime protests.


July 14th, 2012, 10:50 am


majedkhaldoun said:

I don’t think that the UN should extend the UN mission for three months,the most is six weeks, however it must include provision that in two weeks we have to have progress.
Meanwhile Assad movements and his family where about, must be monirored and reported to the FSA, Bashar and Maher,Asef Bushra and Anisa ,must pay first for their crimes

July 14th, 2012, 11:20 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


The answer to your question, in my eyes any way, is obvious.

If I try to see the world and the region through mn7ebak’s spectacles, it is a reality full of conspiracy (Wahhabi – Zionist – American – western – Salafi – Qatari – Freemasonry – whoever).

All means are legit to foil this wall to wall, global conspiracy.
Wasn’t it Norman Alex and others who said that “the Hama massacre was justified to save Syria” ..?

For us it is criminality. For them it is a grand salvation and a necessity.

July 14th, 2012, 11:20 am


jna said:

78. Juergen said: “UN needs a replacement for Annan”

Let’s see: Paul Wolfowitz, Tony Blair, Don Rumsfeld, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Richard Perle, Nicolas Sarkozy, Saad Hariri????

Why is the opposition always trying to get rid of international observers in Syria?

July 14th, 2012, 11:31 am


bronco said:

#79 Ghufran

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remaining in power is a threat to regional stability

Of course he is. He is supporting Iran and Hezbollah who are threats to Israel. Without him, Lebanon and Syria would sign a peace treaty with Israel. He must go.

July 14th, 2012, 11:48 am


Ghufran said:

South African President Jacob Zuma’s genitals have gotten a lot of attention lately. In May, a month after Zuma married his sixth wife — he presently has four — a Johannesburg art gallery featured a red-and-black acrylic painting of Zuma, striking Vladimir Lenin’s famous pose, his genitals hanging out of his pants. The Spear, painted by a white artist, became a national controversy: Zuma’s party sued to have it removed, angry vandals splashed it with paint, and protesters marched. The widely read South African City Press launched a dedicated, multi-day special report, including a soul-searching interview with the editor-in-chief on her decision to pull images of The Spear from their site.
Comment: I hope, one day,syria may get to the point where a story about a politician’s penis occupies the headlines instead of reports of daily death,S.Africa did it,we may have a shot at getting there eventually.

July 14th, 2012, 11:48 am


Juergen said:


Why dont you include russian or chinese democrats on your list? Cant you name one international russian or chinese who could advocate peace?

July 14th, 2012, 11:49 am


irritated said:


Why is the opposition always trying to get rid of international observers in Syria?

Because the international observers hamper their ‘freedom’

July 14th, 2012, 11:56 am


bronco said:

#80 Tara

“The army entered without resistance as the rebel Free Syrian Army left town.”

What happened to the FSA 30,000 fighters? Are they still occupying 70% of the Syrian territory? It seems they’re leaving most towns they’ve occupied for months.

July 14th, 2012, 12:07 pm


Tara said:


“Without him, Lebanon and Syria would sign a peace treaty with Israel.”

I thought Bashar before the revolution was ready to make peace with Israel. No? Was Asef Shawkat not his middleman with the Israelis?

July 14th, 2012, 12:10 pm


jna said:

Juergen…I’d be comfortable with Mikhail Gorbachev.

July 14th, 2012, 12:17 pm


zoo said:

“So I broke up with her and took it back and bought the weapons I needed.”

Chaos and frustration among the armed rebels while they dream of uniting.

ANTAKYA, Turkey — Abu Moayed, a commander in an armed Syrian opposition brigade, stood and waved his arms emphatically at the fellow rebel commanders
His fighters, he said, needed money and weapons. But they were not getting the support promised from the donors and opposition leaders outside Syria.

“We are borrowing money to feed our wounded!” Abu Moayed shouted. “There is no distribution of the weapons,” he added. “All of our weapons, we are paying for them ourselves.”
At least 80 different fighting groups operate in Idlib alone …some of them have found themselves competing for resources and frustrated with Syrians who claim leadership positions in the opposition and do not fight, but disburse funds that many fighting groups say they do not receive.
Mr. Afara, for example, said money funneled through the Muslim Brotherhood was not shared with fighting groups seen as secular, which angered fighters who had turned back the Assad military at great cost, and now are told they do not match a foreign donor’s ideal.

To underwrite their weapons purchases to date, the fighters and commanders present said, they raised money themselves. Sometimes they gathered donations from their villages and neighborhoods. Other times, they said, they sold their cars and their land. One young commander, who called himself Captain Bilal and had a partly healed bullet wound to his lower right leg, said he needed weapons so badly a few months ago that he asked his fiancée to return the jewelry he had given her.

“She said ‘No,’ ” he said. “So I broke up with her and took it back and bought the weapons I needed.”

Abu Moayed agreed, as the meeting gave way to a shared meal. “We want to be like one hand,” he said, “one front.”

July 14th, 2012, 12:18 pm


Tara said:


I think you are right. What we see as criminality, they believe it necessity and perhaps heroism to foil a cosmic conspiracy. So they are rather genuine in their support. That is only mostly applicable to the Alawis though. The Sunnis and most of the Christians supporters know exactly the regime criminality. What a pity!

The Nazi convinced the average Germans with their logic, but after their fall, the average Germans got convinced that Hitler was evil. It appears that the masses are easily brainwashed by the powerful…

July 14th, 2012, 12:21 pm


bronco said:


The difference will be that now, there will be no need to negotiate the fate of the Golan or the Palestinians refugees in Syria. It will be imposed by the ‘saviors’ and ‘friends” of Syria to a weak and ruined country, begging for foreign help.
Erdogan was the go between before Gaza war. He since changed his mind about Israel and Syria.

July 14th, 2012, 12:24 pm


Antoine said:

FSA can destroy Assad by their superior military skill and superior military capability.

July 14th, 2012, 12:26 pm


zoo said:

Erdogan in a tantrum again.

Turkish PM denounces ‘attempted genocide’ in Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan today branded the massacre of 150 people in a central Syrian village as “attempted genocide” and said the regime was doomed.

“There is nothing more to be said about Syria,” he said, speaking of the bloodshed in the village of Treimsa in Hama province, which actvists said was bombarded by government forces.

“This inhuman massacre, this attempted genocide, are just early signs pointing to the demise of this regime,” Erdogan told a meeting of his Justice and Development party in the north-western town of Kocaeli.

“All dictators are cowards … sooner or later, these cruel despots will go and the people will want a settling of accounts,” he said in comments aired on public television.

Erdogan, a one-time ally of Damascus, has previously called Assad “a bloody dictator” and called on him to step down.

July 14th, 2012, 12:33 pm


Antoine said:

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood proved to be a parasitic and unreliable gang who are indirectly collaborating with the regime, they are parasites pure and simple, none of the most succesful brigades like Farouq, Kahled bin Walid, Suqour al Sham, Majlis Askeri Halab, Majlis Askeri Deirezzor, Maghaweer Qusayr, etc. none of them are connected to the MB and all are politically independent, MB allied brigades are getting most of the weapons and money and doing the least fighting as their political leaders in SNC are arguing in 5 star hotels.

July 14th, 2012, 12:39 pm


Antoine said:

This is the fate of those who are loyal to Assad :

July 14th, 2012, 12:41 pm


zoo said:

No warm welcome for Hillary in Egypt

Clinton faces Egypt protests

Published Saturday, July 14, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faced unprecedented protests on Saturday as she arrived in Egypt for key talks with President Mohammed Mursi.

Youth activists, MPs and journalists condemned the meeting, with many accusing the US of wanting to control the country.

He also warned the Mursi of the repercussions Alexandria visit, claiming it would “arouse the wrath” of Egyptians.

Juma reminded the president of the fate of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, saying that his alliance with America turned the people against him.

July 14th, 2012, 12:50 pm


b said:

The NYT comes out with an actual report of the Tremseh “massacre”.

As I suggested it was no massacre at all, just a battle and the FSA lost.

New Details of a Battle Challenge Reports of a Syrian Massacre

New details emerging Saturday about what local Syrian activists called a massacre of civilians near the central city of Hama indicated that it was more likely an uneven clash between the heavily armed Syrian military and local fighters bearing light weapons.

A combination of videos, televised confessions of numerous captured fighters and reports from activists outside the area all indicated that a battle on Thursday between the military and local fighters in Tremseh, a village of 11,000 people about 22 miles northwest of the central city of Hama, resulted in a slaughter of rebel forces.

Although what actually happened in Tremseh remains murky, the evidence available suggested that events on Thursday more closely followed the Syrian government account. But Syrian officials colored that account with their usual terminology of blaming “foreign terrorist gangs” for all violence. The government said the Syrian Army had inflicted “heavy losses” on the “terrorists.”

The picture emerging is that there was a large group of fighters from the town and the local area bivouacked in Tremseh. The Syrian Army moved in early Thursday, blocking all exits and blasting away with machine guns, tank shells and rockets fired from helicopters, laying waste to the town.

“Whenever the Syrian Army knows there are fighters concentrated in an area, they attack,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, the Observatory activist who collects statistics from a network in Syria. “The majority of people killed in Tremseh were either rebel fighters from the village or from surrounding villages.”

Syrian state television paraded several captured fighters on television on Saturday who said Tremseh had been a regional center of operations for the past 20 days. The captives said that 200 to 300 fighters had gathered there to plot attacks on checkpoints and other military targets.

July 14th, 2012, 12:50 pm


Ghufran said:

طرطوس تأتي في مقدمة حالات سرقة الأموال البريدية خلال الأزمة بمقدار 307 ملايين ليرة تليها سرقات فرع مؤسسة البريد باللاذقية بمبلغ إجمالي 204 ملايين ليرة
These two provinces are typically seen as pro regime

July 14th, 2012, 12:59 pm


Uzair8 said:

‘There has been too much blood for a diplomatic settlement and not enough to prompt external intervention.’

Aaron David Miller, Wilson Center on BBC radio 5 last night.

Listen from 7 min 30 sec.

July 14th, 2012, 1:00 pm


zoo said:

Is the Egyptian mess giving misgivings to the West about removing a leader before having a clear picture of who and what is coming after?

“So, Madam Secretary, put on those dancing shoes and get ready to hit the floor.”

The Egyptian mess
Forget solutions; the fact is, U.S.-Egypt relations are in for some tough times.
By Aaron David Miller

July 13, 2012,0,1409465.story

U.S.-Egypt relations are in for some tough times. Forget solutions or overcoming these challenges. They’re far too entrenched and Egypt’s far too much a mess for that. More likely we’ll have to do some pretty fancy shuffling and two-stepping just to manage the relationship. So, Madam Secretary, put on those dancing shoes and get ready to hit the floor.

July 14th, 2012, 1:03 pm


Mina said:

For some more than obscure reason, I can’t find this piece of news in English… 7 years of jail for a drawing of Mahomet on his FB page. Welcome to the new Tunisia.

July 14th, 2012, 1:16 pm


Tara said:


I thought you and yours always attacked the western media for bias..,oh wait, until it supports your manufactured narrative…..only at that time, it ceased of becoming biased…

I am so unimpressed. Intellectual honesty means nothing to some. Take a stand: Is it biased or not?

July 14th, 2012, 1:19 pm


Jad said:

Minister Ali Haidar interview in English for the observers:

Syria’s Ali Haidar: Both Sides Have Extremists

Syrian National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar is optimistic, but still thinks that “Syria is on top of a volcano.” Haidar, who is also the President of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), maintains that he “joined a project and not a ministry,” revealing that contacts with the armed opposition are underway.

Radwan Mortada (RM): What is going on in Syria these days?

Ali Haidar (AH): The situation is a continuation of a crisis that began in earnest a year and a half ago and still remains. It is a deep and comprehensive structural crisis on all levels of Syrian life. Its final form or final chapter is a situation of continuous violence which reaps the lives of many and spills plenty of blood.

This is in general. Going into the details, the crisis goes back many years. No one was able to solve the problems in any of its junctures, leaving behind flaws and weaknesses inside Syria.

This led to a real popular peaceful mobilization on the ground which began with rightful demands. But the bearers of the foreign project were able to interfere in the path of the crisis.

They took advantage of the exuberance and fervor of Syrian youth and their rightful demands to impose a violent image onto the political mobilization. The latter was supposed to be peaceful, notwithstanding all the violence perpetrated by the other side.

RM: How do you see a way out of the crisis?

AH: Before anything else, we must recognize the other. All sides must recognize each other. There should remain no one who could say they are the sole legitimate representative and the others are traitors and collaborators.

We must admit that the crisis is Syrian and that the solution should be Syrian. It is fully and deeply political, so the solution must be political and not military.

The only instrument for a political solution is dialogue, but on the basis of rejecting foreign intervention and refusing violence and its justification.

Syria is sitting on top of a volcano. The crisis is deep, not shallow. No Syrian side should think that they alone can emerge victorious in this battle. Syrians cannot win over other Syrians. Victory comes from the Syrians themselves.

July 14th, 2012, 1:32 pm


Jad said:

Who is Driving the Syrian Uprising?
Hands Off Syria!

This week is “Hands off Syria” week, with the United National Antiwar Coalition, with a call out for groups across the nation to take a stand against western antagonism of Syria and  Iran.  I volunteered a week or so ago to create a ‘fact sheet’ on Syria;  actually, showing the reasons why the US led intervention in Syria is an imperialist intervention and should be opposed.  But when I sat down to write, I found I just couldn’t to do it.   “The US is pouring gas on the fire in Syria.” Acknowledged by all.   “US motives are malicious towards Syria and they don’t care about the people.”  Unfortunately, not so obvious to some.  “Sanctions and violence don’t help people be free.”  Should be obvious, but . . .

I felt compelled to back up my stance with a little information about Syria and what is happening there now.  It’s hard to have a conversation on the subject with a regular follower of US mainstream news.  They have heard a story about a popular Syrian Revolution, but it bears little resemblance to what is actually occurring in that hapless country.  And, they have no idea of what was going on in Syria before that either.   I filled 4 pages, so I knew that what I wrote wasn’t going to fly as a little fact-sheet flyer to hand out at demonstrations.   Furthermore, it was just too specific not to trigger outrage in some individuals in this world of constructed truths and balanced reporting, and also from those who, like myself, are outraged by US complicity in the escalating cycle of atrocities in Syria.

So, I sent it off to some more experienced individuals for feedback, thinking I would hear that it is too long and inflammatory.  Instead, it was suggested that I add some more context and tie it up a little better.  So, I added a section of recent history and a page of philosophical discourse to provide context and circulate widely.  The result is a little strange.   It isn’t an article because it is mostly a bulleted list.  But, it isn’t just a list either as it has an introduction and a cohesive topic.  So there you have it.

July 14th, 2012, 1:34 pm


Jad said:

About the reporting of violence in Syria 

1.    The current cycle of violence in Syria appears to have begun with peaceful demonstrations in some Western Syrian Cities

2.    Many of the ‘facts’ presented in the press regarding the situation in Syria are undocumented and the truth is difficult to ascertain

3.    A continual stream of reports of atrocities in Syria have over time been shown to be untrue or distorted

4.    Some prominent reporters with Al Jazeera quit because they found out the station was  showing manipulated and contrived coverage received from the Syrian Opposition

5.    The London Observatory, a significant source of information on the Syrian crisis from day 1, has no one on the ground in Syria, and has rather shady credentials.

6.    The initial Arab League Monitors in Syria reported that both the government and the opposition were using excessive force BUT there were numerous incidents of violence against civilians by anti-government militias and  a number of reports of government violence from the opposition that, on investigation, were without substance.

7.    The Syrian Government has retaliated with excessive force on a number of occasions, has killed and imprisoned thousands

8.    However, even a year ago, about 1/3 of the casualties were members of the police and military, though this fact was not reported in western news outlets

9.    Suicide bombings of government buildings have killed scores and injured hundreds in Damascus and Aleppo

10.  The question as to who perpetrated the recent massacres in Hula and Hama remains unanswered.  Investigations have not been completed.
{…} /2012/06/29/hands-off-syria/

July 14th, 2012, 1:36 pm


Jad said:

Thank you for your efforts exposing the media biased in covering the Syrian crises.

July 14th, 2012, 1:37 pm


Jad said:

SYRIA: Criminal Propagandists: Killing Civilians as Part of a “Humanitarian Mandate”
by Tony Cartalucci

Claim “UN blames regime forces for Syria massacre ,” admits “neither activists’ claims nor the videos could be independently verified.”

Surely if nothing “activists” have so far said about latest so-called “massacre,” in Tremseh, Syria can be verified, it is impossible to “blame” anyone for the alleged deaths that are said to have occurred. Nevertheless, the Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and many other mainstays of the West’s corporate-run media machine ran with titles such as, “UN blames regime forces for Syria massacre” (AP), “Syrian regime condemned for Tremseh massacre” (Reuters), “Syria crisis: Tremseh ‘massacre'” (Guardian), and “Syria unrest: Kofi Annan shocked at Tremseh ‘atrocities'” (BBC).

And even below these deceitful titles, clearly implicating the Syrian government and its security forces in what is portrayed as a callous act of mass murder against defenseless civilians, each report concedes, buried toward the end, that Tremseh was in fact the site of a vicious battle between heavily armed NATO-backed “Free Syrian Army” militants and the Syrian military. Under the deceitful headlines and beyond the first several paragraphs purposefully loaded with manipulative Goebbelsesque propaganda, what the Western corporate-media is actually reporting is terrorist forces being defeated by the Syrian military in violence growing SOLELY because the West continues to funnel cash, increasingly advanced arms, and even foreign fighters into the country.

BBC even went as far as literally admitting, after offering up another “Houla-style” narrative, that (emphasis added):
…later, activists told the AFP news agency that rebel fighters had attacked an army convoy, but were beaten back and many were killed in a counter-attack.

“At this stage, though we do not yet have the final count, the number of civilians killed by shelling is not more than seven,” said Jaafar, an activist from the anti-regime Sham News Network.
“The rest were members of the Free Syrian Army.”
What the Western media is doing, and above all, what US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is promoting, is without a doubt criminal – with a historical precedent already set leveling serious charges and penalties against such intolerable activities. Just because a government with the perception of legitimacy claims something is true, that a war is necessary, that its intentions are good – doesn’t mean that it is so – for every brutal imperialist throughout history has in one way or another attempted to dress its naked military aggression, subjugation, and exploitation toward others with good intentions and just causes.

July 14th, 2012, 1:41 pm



Assad Go Home, and do it right now.

We do not wanna repeat these words too much.

We want your head.

Assad The Criminal, Go Home, and take all Makhloufs, Assads, Shibbhas and all Hizballas rats with you.

Stop blablabla. Stop stupid arguments. Stop making us losing time.

Silly brainless donkey lion, Go Home.

July 14th, 2012, 1:47 pm


Jad said:

Arabic translation of the Guardian article I linked yesterday and for some strange reason annoyed someone. In this article the journalist expose the background of the main members of the Syrian oppositions and who support them:

شبكة شام-شارلي سكيلتون في تقرير ناسف يفضح كل روايات المعارضة على الجارديان
by شبكة شام المؤيدة | S.N.N
شبكة شام الإخبارية- في سابقة ربما هي الأولى من نوعها في بريطانيا نشر في “المنبر الحر” لصحيفة الجارديان البريطانية تحقيق للكاتب و المحقق تشارلي سكيلتون تترجمه شبكة شام كما العادة بطريقتها الخاصة عبر تصوير الشواهد و تنسيقها مع الحفاظ على حرفية و دقة الترجمة ما أمكن. 
لسنا في وارد محاكمة توقيت المقالة و لا سبب تأخرها لكننا ننوه قبل البدء إلى النقط التالية
يشكر الكاتب على التحقيق الذي لم يقدم لنا إلا شيئاً واحداً و هو أنه أحدث و ربما لأول مرة خرقاً في صحيفة مقروءة في بريطانية و جعلنا من خلال متابعة التعليقات على المقالة نتأكد كم هي هذه الصحف مجرمة بحق شعوبها قبل أن تكون مجرمة بحق سورية
إننا إذ تعودنا بعد 16 شهراً من القصف الإعلامي اليومي ان نلقي الأسئلة في بحور الشك و نعمل عقولنا في كل خبر ينبغي علينا أن نسأل عنJ تواقت هذا التقرير مع تسريبات ويكيليكس الأخيرة و عن سر هذه الانعطافة الحادة في سياسة الجارديان. شكوكنا لن نتخلى عنها
الملفت في المقالة انها و على عكس أغلب كتاب الزوايا و المراسلين لم تمسك العصا من المنتصف و لم ترجم الحكومة و المعارضة لتبرهن على موضوعيتها، و لكن لغة المقالة متوازنة و توحي بأن كاتبها شخص متوازن.
لقد كان الإعلام سلبياً للغاية عندما يتعلق الأمر بمصادر المعارضة السورية و لم يكن هناك أدنى تدقيق في خلفياتهم و علاقاتهم السياسية. إنه الوقت لإلقاء نظرة أقرب.

ثمة كابوس يتكشف على امتداد سوريا، في منازل الحفة و شوارع الحولة..جميعنا نعرف كيف تنتهي القصة: مع الآلاف من الجنود و المدنيين الذين قتلوا و مع البلدات و العائلات التي دمرت ما يزال الرئيس بشار الأسد يضرب حتى الموت..هذه هي قصة الحرب السورية، و لكن ثمة قصة أخرى يجب أن تقال. قصة أقل دموية، و لكنها لم تكن مهمة مع ذلك. هي قصة رواة القصص: من “المتحدثين”، و “الخبراء في سوريا” و “دعاة الديمقراطية”. و واضعي البيانات… الناس الذين “يحثّون” و “يحذّرون” و “يدعون لأخذ أفعال”…إنها حكاية عن بعض من أكثر أعضاء المعارضة السورية الذين نُقل عنهم و اقتبس منهم، و عن علاقتهم بتحالفات رجال الأعمال الأنجلوأمريكيين المعارضين. وسائل الإعلام المعروفة جداً كان لها موقف سلبي بشكل ملحوظ عندما يتعلق الأمر بالمصادر السورية حيث كانت تصفهم بكل ببساطة بأنهم “متحدثون رسميون” أو “دعاة مؤيدون للديمقراطية” و من دون-بالنسبة للجزء الأكبر منهم-لتدقيق في بياناتهم، و خلفياتهم أو علاقاتهم السياسية.
من المهم أن نؤكد و نلح على التالي: إن التحقيق في خلفية متحدث ما سوري ليس للشك في صدق معارضته أو معارضتها للأسد، لكن الكراهية العميقة لنظام الأسد لا تعطي ضماناً للاستقلالية. و في الواقع فغن ثمة العديد من الشخصيات الرئيسية في حركة المعارضة السورية كانت على مدى طويل من المنفيين الذين كانوا يتلقون تمويلاً من الحكومة الأمريكية لتقويض حكومة الأسد قبل فترة طويلة من اندلاع الربيع العربي.
 و على الرغم من أنه لا ذكر حتى الآن  لوجود قرار سياسي لدى الحكومة الاميركية للإطاحة بالرئيس الأسد بالقوة، فإن هؤلاء المتحدثين لا يملون من الدعوة للتدخل العسكري الأجنبي في سوريا بصوت صاخب.. و بالتالي هم حلفاء طبيعيون للمحافظين الجدد في الولايات المتحدة و المعروفين جيداً بتاييدهم غزو بوش للعراق، و هم يضغطون الآن على إدارة أوباما بغية التدخل في سورية. و كما  سنرى، العديد من هؤلاء المتحدثين هم ممن يتلقون الدعم المالي، و في بعض الحالات لهم علاقات قديمة و متطورة و مربحة مع دعاة التدخل العسكري على جانبي المحيط الأطلسي.
 تقول هيلاري كلينتون يوم الأحد: “الرمل ينفد من ساعة الرمل”. لذلك، و بما أن القتال اشتد في سوريا ، و أبحرت السفن الحربية الروسية لطرطوس، فإن الوقت لإلقاء نظرة فاحصة على هؤلاء الذين يتحدثون نيابة عن الشعب السوري قد حان

July 14th, 2012, 1:48 pm


omen said:


In Atmeh, ‪Idlib‬, the ‪FSA‬ were tricked by members of the Kurdish PKK and were fired upon by trained armed women, killing 9 FSA members.

July 14th, 2012, 2:13 pm


omen said:

In your comment you are ASSUMING
Assuming Russia will not use veto in UN.
Assume US will consider Syrian blood a red line.
Did you think that both may not be true?

us/nato have gone around un security council before in green lighting operations without waiting for their okay.

but you are right. i had second thoughts after posting. i remembered saddam gassed the kurds and nobody did anything about it.

but then again, times have changed since then. such an event could not be covered up if it were repeated. and public pressure to address the issue would be too great to ignore.

July 14th, 2012, 2:23 pm


omen said:

110. JAD said: Arabic translation of the Guardian article I linked yesterday and for some strange reason annoyed someone. In this article the journalist expose the background of the main members of the Syrian oppositions and who support them:

were snc members found guilty of genocide?

July 14th, 2012, 2:44 pm


Jad said:

مازن مغربية
إن سنحت لك الفرصة أن ترفع رأسك الذي طأطأته لعقود أمام الاستبداد والظلم والقمع… إياك أن لا تلتقط اللحظة…
ولكن إياك أن تعتقد أن رفع الرأس يكون بكسر سقف الوطن (وأنا هنا لا أقرن سقف الوطن بسقف النظام)…
وإياك أن تعتقد أن رفع الرأس أمام النظام يكون بطأطأته والركوع لأمريكا والغرب وتركيا وبعض دول الخليج…

July 14th, 2012, 2:50 pm


omen said:

Firas Tlass: 45 officers of Tlass family defect from regime

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat during a telephone interview from Paris, Syrian business tycoon Firas Tlass strongly denied reports that the al-Farouq Brigade commander had been killed. He also revealed that he is personally providing humanitarian relief and assistance to the brigade, but stressed that he is not arming the FSA. The Syrian businessman also refused to discuss his younger brother’s defection from the al-Assad regime, saying that he is waiting for the dust to settle following this shocking news.


As for the fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tlass said that al-Assad remains part of the solution, despite the fact that he is the major reason behind the crisis. He said that the best solution for Syria would be for Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to a national council, adding this can be viewed as a mixture of the Yemeni and Egyptian solutions.

However the Syrian tycoon told Asharq Al-Awsat this the most likely solution would see the “rise of a strong internal current that unites an important part of the revolutionary trend, and which possess a strong and clear political program to govern the next stage” adding “this current would impose itself on the scene and would be capable of negotiating with the regime.” He nominated his cousin Abdul Razzaq Tlass as a figure who can represent the Syrian revolution.

July 14th, 2012, 2:52 pm


Information said:

Qadsaya: Lots of shots being heard rigt now, but I’m not sure what’s being fired. Possibly heavy artillary from descriptions.

July 14th, 2012, 2:57 pm


Jad said:

Did the US, UK, France or Israel found guilty of anything after all the killing and destruction they impose on other nations?
Yet we have an American guy and an immigrant Israeli boy preaching us about right and wrong in Syrian matters, how believable!

July 14th, 2012, 2:57 pm


omen said:

amazingly enough, sharon was found guilty of war crimes by an israeli commission.

July 14th, 2012, 3:05 pm


Uzair8 said:

It is said that why would the regime commit massacres giving the west a so called much needed excuse to intervene. Also the timing of the massacres is questioned coinciding with UN meetings?

We have to bear in mind the possibility of the regime using double and triple bluff. For a regime bent on carrying out massacres, such uncertainty and doubt is perfect environment for it to carry out it’s ‘necessary gambles’.

Here is what I wrote elsewhere in response to such a question:


I’ll attempt to answer your question. Here is a possible answer:

The regime is damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t.

Damned if it does:

If the regime carries out such massacres it could provoke international response and invite military intervention which could lead to it’s fall.

Damned if it doesn’t:

The people no longer fear the regime. If the regime doesn’t restore the ‘fear factor’ quickly then it is doomed. It needs to escalate the level of brutality and carry out such massacres to terrify the people into submission and deter others.

It has decided in it’s calculation that it has no choice but to proceed with it’s current policy and deny responsibility relying on it’s propagandists to create enough doubt around the events. It has judged that Russian backing will shield it from consquences at the UN. Houla massacre happened and there were no consequences. It has also come to the judgement that the International community is reluctant to get involved thus this gamble is worth taking. The regime may continue it’s current brutal military campaign against rebel areas with sufficiently spaced out massacres thereby avoiding the building up of pressure to a level that risks bringing on serious consquences.

Also it is possible the Shabeeha thugs aren’t under total control. The regime has armed minorities around syria. The regime and it’s loyal supporters have their backs to the wall. Fighting for their very lives. They haven’t the luxury to entertain such considerations.

[quote from original question] The idea that troops went looking specifically for children to cut their throats – do people really believe that? [/quote]

I refer you to the chilling comments of the former Attorney General of Hama Adnan Bakkour. The Godless Beastmen (read the highlighted parts of the interview) :

July 14th, 2012, 3:07 pm


Jad said:

And he became a prime minister!! LOL
Let us know when Bush and Blair go to court for Iraq…

July 14th, 2012, 3:09 pm


Jad said:

Syria: Massacre before meeting of UN Security Council – Déjà vu

Syria: Disagreement in the Security Council – Syrian Ambassador in Qatar

The propaganda war against Syria goes on. The readers and viewers in the West must live with half-truths and twisted facts, which are sold as confirmed information or the so-called journalists just write down and publish the suspicions that are submitted to them by ominous sources like the so-called „Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, based in London, even when these journalists know that their coverage of the situation and the events within Syria has nothing more to do with journalism in general.

On Wednesday evening, the first Syrian ambassador has announced his defection and thus, the Syrian ambassador in Iraq is the next “defector” and was sold as a really high diplomat who has now changed the side because of the brutality of the Syrian regime, of course. As if the opposition forces, militias and armed religious fanatics within Syria are angels and a blessing for the Syrian population, especially for the Christians and Alawites.

No surprise, the Gulf State media al-Jazeera and al-Arabiyya were fast in spreading the news and the statement by this now “former” ambassador of Syria. This former Syrian ambassador to Iraq has called on all people and soldiers, that they should follow him. In addition, it was hailed as a success, that the first Syrian ambassador resigned of his post and turned against the Syrian government. But the backgrounds were not disclosed by the general mass media of the Gulf States and the West.

July 14th, 2012, 3:17 pm


Uzair8 said:

Recently something worrying me is the thought of the revolution being betrayed. Whether it’s by…say the SNC, Annan, regional countries or the wider international community.

I can’t bear the thought of the criminals surviving this situation (remaining in power or escaping trial) through means such as dialogue or whatever, after all they have done.

I hope the people aren’t denied the right to see the criminals face trial. I hope the people aren’t denied having their tears of grief turn to tears of joy on the overthrow of the regime.

I hope and pray this promise by Sh. Yaqoubi is true:

“… we….promise that people’s tears, which shed in grief and sorrow at what they witnessed, shall soon turn into tears of joy and rapture at the regime’s fall, the country’s liberation and the trial of every criminal.”

July 14th, 2012, 3:20 pm


Syrian Nationalist Party said:

There should remain no one who could say they are the sole legitimate representative and the others are traitors and collaborators.

Anyone accepted foreign support, or worked with foreigners and mercenaries, became a bearer of Syria’s enemies plots to destroy Syria’s capabilities should not be considered an opposition, rather, an enemy combatant. These should not sit on any negotiation table, they should join the Baathist Mafia hired help recent escapees in court of law, answear to charges, be convicted according to their crimes.

July 14th, 2012, 3:21 pm


omen said:

snk did a countdown of the previous massacre before it happened. like he already knew.

the regime isn’t above plotting the timing of massacres in order to cast blame on the rebels.

disappointing when people like tariq ali fall for regime bait – hook, line & sinker.

July 14th, 2012, 3:23 pm


omen said:

one more for the road: we finally hear from the pilot!

ANTAKYA, Turkey — To escape the government he served until it gave him an order he could not obey, Capt. Akhmed Trad, a pilot in Syria’s air force, needed a plan: how to spirit himself over a border quickly, and leave no family behind.

July 14th, 2012, 3:29 pm


Ghufran said:

قال نائب المندوب الروسي الدائم لدى مجلس الأمن الدولي ألكسندر بانكين، إن روسيا مستعدة للتوصل إلى حل وسط عند مناقشة قرار دولي جديد حول سوريا بشأن تمديد ولاية بعثة المراقبين الدوليين، لكنه أوضح أن ثمة “خط أحمر” لا يمكن تخطيه.
Where is that darn red line?
I can not believe that a nation of 24 million with thousands of bright and capable men and women cannot come up with a better leader than Bashar.

July 14th, 2012, 3:35 pm


Uzair8 said:

#122 Uzair8

Should have added the following:

Looking forward to the tears of joy and the rapture of seeing the regime fall helps to keep going and bear the unfolding horrors. The emotions thus far held back. Don’t deny the people this.

July 14th, 2012, 3:35 pm


jad said:

#126, Read the whole news, the red line is the international sanctions:

بانكين: فرض عقوبات دولية على سورية يعتبر خطاً أحمر بالنسبة لروسيا

جدد الكسندر بانكين النائب الأول لمندوب روسيا الدائم لدى الأمم المتحدة التأكيد على أن فرض عقوبات دولية على سورية يعتبر خطا أحمر بالنسبة لروسيا.

وأوضح بانكين في تصريح له اليوم نقلته وكالة ايتار تاس أنه من المستحيل مواصلة عملية التسوية وعمل بعثة المراقبة في سورية في ظل عقوبات مفروضة على أحد الأطراف في سورية فقط.

وقال الدبلوماسي الروسي “إن موسكو مستعدة للقبول بحلول وسط بشأن نص القرار الدولي حول تمديد مهمة المراقبين الدوليين في سورية الذي يسعى أعضاء مجلس الأمن الدولي لإصداره”.

واعتبر بانكين أن دعوات بعض ممثلي المعارضة السورية إلى إبعاد مبعوث الأمم المتحدة كوفي عنان عن عملية التسوية في سورية غير لائقة مشيرا إلى أن المعارضة نفسها متورطة في عمليات عنف.

July 14th, 2012, 3:46 pm


habib said:

Oh, the irony:

Turkish police used water cannon, tear gas and baton charges to break up Kurdish demonstrations across the country on Sunday and one local politician died in the protests, a sign of rising tension ahead of the Kurdish New Year next week.

July 14th, 2012, 3:53 pm


Tara said:

In the mind of a Shabeeh…

Confessions of an Assad “Shabiha” loyalist: how I raped and killed for £300 a month

….with the frankness of a man who knew he had no escape from death. For the equivalent of £300 a month, plus a £100 bonus for every victim, he had become a hired killer for President Bashar al Assad, he said. What was more, he had enjoyed every minute of it.

“We love Assad because the government gave us all the power – if I wanted to take something, kill a person or rape a girl I could,” he said, in a calm, quiet voice devoid of remorse.

….While ordinary Syrian army conscripts may be treated as prisoners of war, Shabiha are often executed – especially ones like Mohammed, whose personal notoriety as a thug had spread throughout the province.  So it was that, with no expectation of mercy, he spoke candidly of his crimes – his casual, matter-of-fact manner telling its own story about just why Syria has become so steeped in violence.

Born in Orem al Kubra, a farming village loyal to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, he was at first reluctant to get involved when the uprising began, he said. “My friends were joining the Shabiha, and they encouraged me to come with them. I hesitated, and men in the local Air Force base beat me up until I agreed.
“I informed on people who didn’t like Assad, I captured them and I put them in jail. The government gave me a gun.”
For the first time in his life, Mohammed, who is in his late twenties, found himself with both money and power. Not only that, he was effectively exempt from Syrian law.
He described one rape he had committed. “She was a student of Aleppo University. It was daytime and I was driving around the city with my boss. She was passing on the street. I said to my boss, ‘What do you think about this girl? Is she not beautiful?’
“We grabbed her and put her into the car. We drove to an abandoned home and we both raped her. After we finished we killed her. She knew our faces and our neighbours, so she could not live.”
What was his motivation, I asked? He shrugged. He was not particularly interested in defending President Assad’s regime, he said, nor the Syrian leader’s minority Alawite sect, from which most Shabiha are drawn. “It wasn’t for Bashar. I didn’t care about Bashar al Assad. All I cared about was that I got the power.”

Listening to him talk, it was tempting to wonder whether he might be making it all up, perhaps on the orders of his captors. But our interview took place in a secluded corner of the jail, well out of their earshot, and had he been under pressure to fabricate a story, he could easily have communicated that discreetly. He showed none of the nervousness I have encountered previously among prisoners in rebel jails in Libya, where it was often obvious that some were following a confessional “script”.

Instead, the only glimmer of emotion came when I asked him just why he seemed so emotionless. “I grew up in a normal family, and I was taught to respect women,” he said. “But the devil took hold of my mind in those days.”

July 14th, 2012, 3:56 pm


habib said:

130. Tara

Lol, this coming from someone who doubts televised “confessions” on Syrian TV. This is about as legit.

July 14th, 2012, 3:59 pm


Ghufran said:

Jad, I looked at whole piece,the Russian diplomat did say that sanctions are the red lines,but Syria has already been sanctioned to death,the red question today is not the sanctions,as the Russian guy said,it is what to do with Assad and the regime top figures, if that line is the red one,then we need to cross it for the sake of the country.
Here is another red line from Lebanon:
يبدو أن المكرمة السعودية التي خص بها العاهل السعودي عبدالله بن عبد العزيز سعد الحريري بملياري دولار لم تنقذ الحريري الإبن من الأزمة المالية الكبرى التي يمر بها.
وفي وقت ينفي فيه الحريري أن شركاته تعاني من أي أزمة مالية ذكرت صحيفة “الاخبار”، أن موظفي حزب “المستقبل” الذين صرفوا من عملهم يستعدون للقيام بتحركات أمام مراكز الحزب للمطالبة بالتعويضات التي لم يحصلوا عليها، مشيرة إلى أن هؤلاء كانوا قد وعدتهم أكثر من مرة قيادات “المستقبل” بأنهم سينالون حقوقهم، خصوصاً بعد “المكرمة” السعودية التي نالها الرئيس سعد الحريري.
كما سبق وذكرت الصحيفة عينها أن موظفي شركة “ميلينيوم”، التي يملكها رئيس حكومة لبنان السابق سعد الحريري، لم يتقاضوا رواتبهم للشهر الثالث على التوالي، علماً بأن “الموظفين في هذه الشركة هم حراس منازل آل الحريري والعاملون داخل منازلهم، إضافة إلى عدد من العاملين في الشركات التابعة لهم”.
وفق الصحيفة، فإن “كلفة رواتب الموظفين لا تتعدى كلفة اليخوت الثلاثة التي يقضي الحريري وقته فيها، لكونه يستخدم يختاً لنفسه فيما يوضع اليخت الثاني بتصرف مدير مكتبه نادر الحريري، ويستخدم اليخت الثالث المسؤول عن أمنه الشخصي عبد العرب”.
KSA wants another Hariri in Syria,now that is a bloody line that no Syrian should accept.

July 14th, 2012, 4:00 pm


Syrialover said:


Again, I say that people who deflect criticism of the regime are doing so because they personally have something to lose.

This is what’s driving them to rationalize the Assad regime’s actions and push arguments about outsider conspiracies, the crimes of the opposition etc.

If you know any of these people and think about them, I promise you will discover it’s true.

They have an “investment” in the regime. Psychological, material, status, ambitions, relationships – something. It could be something they do not easily admit, or even subconscious, but it will be there.

This applies to everyone I know personally who criticizes the opposition and blame outsiders. People who are not otherwise bad or stupid. But if I look at them hard, I realise their motives and what they are unhappy about losing.

Human beings are very complicated, but also very simple.

July 14th, 2012, 4:04 pm


mjabali said:

Observer from the previous thread said:

“One final question for MAJBALI, as a liberal would be willing to sacrifice in goods and action for the sake of a liberal Syria and if so how and when and where? And this is not meant as a critique or a cynical question just curious.”

Mr Observer: Having a liberal Syria is a dream. It is very hard to attain. There are many obstacles to achieve this lofty goal. Liberal Syria means that all of us Syrians are equal. Is that day gonna come ever?

It will also mean that all Syrians can say whatever they want protected by the law and the state. I hope to see this day.

In “Liberal Syria” the judge and the policeman are making sure we all are protected. In “Liberal Syria” you can worship whatever you want while respecting other who worship other things.

Achieving this could be very hard, but also could be very easy too.

Hard: because it is almost impossible to convince the Syrians of this. Many forces will fight you and prevent you from spreading this equality call. Syrians like many others are caught up in the past. In the past till now: Syrians were always taught to never be independent. Only a few minimal percentage of Syrians are not caught up in the past.

Easy; because if the right powers agreed to push for this agenda they could force the Syrians to adopt a modern law that champions humans rights and equality. Syria is a very hard place: everyone is a leader and everyone wants to make their own vision as the final one. But they all listen to “Power.”

Syrians need to learn how to be flexible. You can not convince anyone with anything new. New is their enemy. Syria was never liberal ever (maybe except few years in the 1950’s as some like to think, and I could argue against that too).

But, in spite of all of these problems, Syria is very fit to be a liberal force too because of the nature, education and aspiration of many of its sons and daughters.

AS for what can I do as a person:

I am just a lone wolf that has no crew to run with. Just a hard working immigrant learned the freedom of speech in the country I emigrated to. This does not mean that the country I left did not have liberal people or ideas. No, there are many of them: the society and the state never gave them a chance.

I know lots of liberal Arabs that I read and learn from. We need a lot to do to help this cause. Also, this is a learning process and we all need to put in what we know and learned so maybe our countrymen would see the beauty and power of liberalism that we saw in action in the West.

What I would like to do if I have the means:

1- form political parties asap giving the people the outlet to channel the right ideas.

2- Call for immediate or ASAP type of election to start teaching the Syrians how political activism could change systems.

3- Write the simple and direct constitution that states in plain language that we are all equal and religion stays at home.

4- Ask for help from the right powers to achieve this asap.

Liberalism is achieved through political participation first of all copied with spreading its theory so people could know its value into making them reach a humane status instead of living like sheep.

July 14th, 2012, 4:15 pm


jad said:

Bashar as a person is not of any importance for the Russian anymore, it’s the regime itself, I think the game now is to find a new face for the regime that can please all sides.

July 14th, 2012, 4:17 pm


jad said:

How dare you question “The Telegraph”??? It’s forbidden to question any of the God’s media outlet, otherwise you are not a real Syrian or a true human like all those writing on here….Just saying 😉

July 14th, 2012, 4:22 pm


jad said:

Three significant videos from the Syrian opposition
Category: Eye on the media

Three significant videos that went unnoticed in the past week. The three videos come from the opposition camp.

The first video explains how strikes are cooked, and the type of language the opposition militia (under the code name SFA or FSA) use to strengthen their grip on towns they control. In the video, an SFA fighter appears threatening villagers who communicate or “make business” with a Shiite village nearby. The fighter, who appears to be a commander, says “Shiites are fighting “us” everywhere. This is the second time I warn you, if you deal with them, you will be regarded as one of them. I swear by Almighty Allah, if I know anyone of you or any villager deals with them, I will kill him in front of the mosque.”
This is not unprecedented. We have had tens of reports of opposition fighters threatening people who don’t strike, and using a sectarian tone to intimidate and control simple people.
The third video comes as an answer from an opposition Islamic cleric to the video showing the Syrian-Canadian Thwaiba Kanafani joining SFA. The cleric is not happy about this, but his feelings have nothing to do with Thwaiba’s pro-Israel sentiments expressed in her interview here, but because of her being a woman.
The cleric says: “We are not responsible for any news you find anywhere but on our official page. As for that woman, we have no women in our phalanges, and we don’t need women, we still have enough men. (…) We do not condone the way Thwaiba Kanafani was dressed. we do not object to women participating in our revolution, we welcome every effort, but these efforts must comply with Allah’s Shariia.”

July 14th, 2012, 4:28 pm


jad said:

The first video explains how strikes are cooked, and the type of language the opposition militia (under the code name SFA or FSA) use to strengthen their grip on towns they control. In the video, an SFA fighter appears threatening villagers who communicate or “make business” with a Shiite village nearby. The fighter, who appears to be a commander, says “Shiites are fighting “us” everywhere. This is the second time I warn you, if you deal with them, you will be regarded as one of them. I swear by Almighty Allah, if I know anyone of you or any villager deals with them, I will kill him in front of the mosque.”
This is not unprecedented. We have had tens of reports of opposition fighters threatening people who don’t strike, and using a sectarian tone to intimidate and control simple people.

July 14th, 2012, 4:29 pm



107. Jad

“About the reporting of violence in Syria:
1. The current cycle of violence in Syria appears to have begun with peaceful demonstrations in some Western Syrian Cities”

Yes it appears according to everyone except Assad mafia that all began with peacefull demonstrations. And it also appears according to everyone except to Assaf mafia that demonstrators were bulleted, detained and tortured.

Once this fact accepted you can avoid the rest of the story. Assad is a dictator and a criminal. He and his mafia must be ousted. Syrians do not love them anymore.

July 14th, 2012, 5:24 pm



136. JAD

“Bashar as a person is not of any importance for the Russian anymore, it’s the regime itself, I think the game now is to find a new face for the regime that can please all sides.”

First you defended Assad, now because Russian decides to save the regime you do not need Assad anymore. So, Russia instead of loyalists is deciding who is and who is not in front of the regiime.

You are dreaming if you think anyone can find a “new face that pleases all sides”. Your “new face” should be a corrupt ols guard sunni Baathist who allows the fxxx security apparatus control the state? Is this what you consider pleasing all sides?

July 14th, 2012, 5:30 pm


Expatriate said:

Where is that darn red line?

July 14th, 2012, 5:37 pm


omen said:

i meant to include this in earlier discussion about how saddam gassed the kurds.

Ten years ago, the systematic gassing of the Kurdish population of northern Iraq had far less impact on America. Only six months after the slaughter at Halabja, the White House lent Saddam Hussein another billion dollars.

Declassified U.S. government documents show that while Saddam Hussein was gassing Iraqi Kurds, the U.S. opposed punishing Iraq with a trade embargo because it was cultivating Iraq as an ally against Iran and as a market for U.S. farm exports.

July 14th, 2012, 5:40 pm


Expatriate said:

Latest Syria ‘Massacre’ – Goebbelsesque Propaganda

UN meetings and Syrian massacres: Timing is everything

July 14th, 2012, 5:47 pm


omen said:

via jpost:

Is Annan an accomplice to murder in Syria?

The appointment of Annan sent a clear message to Assad that a representative was being sent who would provide cover for increased repression.

July 14th, 2012, 5:48 pm


jad said:

BOMBSHELL: Defected Syrian Ambassador Admits Role in Killing US Troops
In Telegraph interview, Western-coddled Nawaf Fares admits he organized “Jihadi units” to fight US troops in Iraq.
by Tony Cartalucci
Unfortunately for Nawaf Fares, who has just admitted to being an international terrorist, not only does he fail to provide any actual evidence to suggest the Syrian government had ordered or condoned his terrorist activities during the US occupation of Iraq (as even the Telegraph notes), nor provide any evidence at all that “Al Qaeda” had coordinated its bombing campaigns with Syrian security forces, but a myriad of confirmed reports and evidence already exist contradicting entirely Fares’ statements.

That President Bashar al-Assad is a “collaborator” with Al Qaeda is farcical at face value. The following headlines help illustrate the absurdity of Fares’ claims: “Al Qaeda head calls for fall of Assad” (AP), “Top US official: Al Qaeda in Iraq joining fight against Syria’s Assad” (McClatchy), “Al Qaeda’s Zawahiri calls for war to oust Syria’s Assad” (AP), just to name a few. Additionally it was reported by Seymour Hersh in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection,” that not only was Al Qaeda being arrayed against the Syrian government since as early as 2007, but it was in fact the United States, Israel, and the Gulf States that were organizing, funding, and arming them.

Casting further doubt on Fares’ claims, particularly regarding allegations that the Syrian government was behind bombings sweeping the country, Reuters in April 2012, ran an entire article covering the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) and their “tactical switch” to terrorist bombings in the face of superior military weapons and tactics employed by government security forces. Titled, “Outgunned Syria rebels make shift to bombs,” it states that Syrian extremists who had honed their skills fighting US and British troops in Iraq, had joined the ranks of the FSA militants to employ their bomb-making abilities against, not in collaboration with, the Syrian government.

July 14th, 2012, 6:04 pm


omen said:

Goebbelsesque Propaganda gə(r)-bəl-ɛsk präpəˈgandə

(2012) when a regime manufactures events as to cast blame upon the victims for committing the very atrocities a dictator is committing. this is facilitated by blocking foreign journalists from entering the country and blocking un monitors from examining the sites of massacres.

July 14th, 2012, 6:07 pm


Juergen said:


yes i agree timing is everything, remember what happend when the Un observer mission started?

Goebbelsesque Propaganda

i call Assads latest interview that

July 14th, 2012, 6:11 pm


Syrialover said:

We need a GOOD LAUGH.

“Meanwhile, the Syrian President’s advisor Buthaina Shaaban has allegedly threatened to expose sex tapes involving rulers from Gulf countries. Shaaban briefed a delegation from the Syrian community residing in region after a meeting was held with Bashar Al-Asad. The advisor reportedly said, “officials from Gulf countries will be shown what ‘trump’ cards we have after we release their sex tapes to internet websites.”



And they will be fakes starring her! With lookalikes for the 87-year old king of Saudi Arabia, the 83 year old Emir of Kuwait and the 80-year old father of the Emir of Qatar.

I am laughing so much my chest hurts.

Did someone say she was in Moscow? That gives some relief for Syrians not having to look at her old ugly witch-like face and hear her ugly words. And punishment for Russia.

July 14th, 2012, 6:15 pm


irritated said:

#148 SL

Published Date: December 12, 2011 ….
It was reported on SC then. Recycling is always good when there is nothing else to make you laugh.

July 14th, 2012, 6:28 pm


irritated said:

Sandra Loewe

Please refrain from spitting when you write your insults.

July 14th, 2012, 6:32 pm


irritated said:

@135. mjabali

You forgot the essential for Observer:

– Split the country according to sects and ethnicity
– Print a Telephone Book

July 14th, 2012, 6:36 pm


Jad said:

الأزمة السورية.. مخاوف من استغلال ورقة لاجئي فلسطين
أكد مسؤولون في المخيمات الفلسطينية في سورية أنهم ليسوا طرفا في النزاع،  وجددوا تمسكهم بموقف حيادي من الأحداث الدائرة هناك. ونبه المسؤولون في الوقت نفسه، إلى محاولات طرفي النزاع الزج بهم في المعركة واستغلال ورقة فلسطين في الصراع الداخلي.

ويرى المسؤولون في في المخيمات الفلسطينية أنه من غير اللائق أن يفرض ضيف رغباته على صاحب المنزل، ومن الغير المقبول إطلاقا أن يزج أكثر من 700 ألف شخص بأنفسهم في الأزمة السورية. ويخشى كثير من اللاجئين الفلسطينيين أن يجدوا أنفسهم في مرمى النيران في ظل المحاولات المتكررة التي تهدف لجرهم إلى الصراع.

مزيد من التفاصيل في التقرير التالي

July 14th, 2012, 6:36 pm


zoo said:

No hand shaking, just big smiles and subtle warning: Keep Peace with Israel or no money.

In her discussions with Morsi, Clinton emphasized the need for Egypt to adhere to its 1979 peace treaty with Israel, while also seeking continued counterterrorism cooperation and offering U.S. support to help Cairo regain control of the increasingly lawless Sinai Peninsula — a major security concern for Israel.

For Egypt’s sake, Clinton pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in debt relief, private investment capital and job creation funds — money the Obama administration has outlined previously. She told Morsi she would send a large business delegation to Cairo in September to strengthen U.S.-Egyptian economic ties.

A large and vocal crowd massed outside the hotel where Clinton was to stay in Cairo, chanting and carrying anti-American signs.

July 14th, 2012, 6:43 pm


omen said:

132. HABIB

you’d still laugh even if you knew events described were real.

July 14th, 2012, 6:45 pm


Syrialover said:

Irritated, yes I agree with recycling good things. That one deserved it.

Sorry though if I offended you about auntie Bouthina.

July 14th, 2012, 6:46 pm


majedkhaldoun said:

What you say is good
“In “Liberal Syria” the judge and the policeman are making sure we all are protected. In “Liberal Syria” you can worship whatever you want while respecting other who worship other things.”

To achieve that you need to get rid of hate , hate of other people and other sects,when you hate others you don’t respect them and their rights.
I am not asking you to love them, I am asking you to stop hating them,
when you hate others they no longer respect you.
Stop hating is done by words and actions,it means cooperation, it means charity, it means talking to other as equal,it means justice.
You call it liberalism, I call it freedom, we both agree on that.

July 14th, 2012, 6:48 pm


omen said:

8. AMIR IN TEL AVIV said: Moon of Alabama is another American self hater. Who hates Israel more than he loves the Arabs. I wont be surprised if he turns out to be Jewish.

i think he’s german. he not only translated that faz piece but he also earlier had a forensic break down, party by party, of the german parliament newly elected.

July 14th, 2012, 6:51 pm


irritated said:


The only offended are the Kuwaitis allegedly caught on videotape enjoying their “freedom” in Damascus.

July 14th, 2012, 6:51 pm


irritated said:

157. omen 8. AMIR IN TEL AVIV

What don’t you ask him or hire a private detective?

July 14th, 2012, 6:53 pm


Uzair8 said:

The regime is desperately trying to deter defections.
ITV News.

UN: Tremseh attack targeted army defectors, activists
Sat 14 Jul 2012

An attack in the Syrian village of Tremseh appeared to target the homes of army defectors and activists, and assailants used weapons including artillery and mortars, a statement by the spokesman for the UN observers in Syria said.

The observers entered the village after activists said about 220 people had been killed there by President Bashar al-Assad’s troops.

The observers saw damaged houses and a burnt school and planned to return to the village on Sunday, the statement said, adding the number of casualties was unclear.

Read more:

July 14th, 2012, 6:54 pm


Ghufran said:

أعلنت بعثة المراقبين الدوليين في سوريا مساء السبت أن الهجوم الذي شنته القوات النظامية على بلدة التريمسة في وسط سوريا الخميس، وأسفر حسب منظمة حقوقية سورية عن مقتل أكثر من 150 شخصا، “استهدف على ما يبدو مجموعات ومنازل محددة، بشكل رئيسي الجنود المنشقين والناشطين”.

July 14th, 2012, 6:55 pm


irritated said:

Lesson of love on SC

After calling for civil war, calling for the killing of anyone who disagree with the opposition, the elimination of the Persians, now we get a lesson of tolerance and ‘love’ on SC.
Can you hear the violons?

July 14th, 2012, 6:58 pm


Uzair8 said:

Some updates. People can look into them…

– Recent defectors to Turkey are slowly beginning to release video statements.

– Apparently SNC has confirmed the news of defection of head of Political Security in Damascus.

– Anonymous apparently planning to attack Syrian Electronic Army.

July 14th, 2012, 6:59 pm


irritated said:

#160 Uzair8

The regime is desperately trying to deter defections.

While Qatar and its rich cronies are desperately trying to encourage defections.. with tangible benefits.

July 14th, 2012, 7:01 pm


Tara said:


Difficult to believe that Auntie Buthaina is using sex to blackmail people…if she did, she deserves the contempt . Your post was very funny. Sorry irritated.

July 14th, 2012, 7:02 pm


Syrialover said:


A quality comment, beautifully expressed.

I am circulating it.

This is why I stick with SyriaComment.

July 14th, 2012, 7:05 pm


Tara said:


Who do you not believe? The Shabeeh or the writer?

July 14th, 2012, 7:07 pm


Uzair8 said:

164. Irritated

Qatar and it’s cronies are not encouraging defections by threatening to target them, their families and homes if they didn’t defect.

July 14th, 2012, 7:09 pm



Moon Of Alabama was an artillery officer in the German Army. He said that himself when he discredited ambassador Ford and the state department claims about the satellite pictures of Syrian artillery pieces, posted on line by the state department and ambassador Ford at that time.

July 14th, 2012, 7:12 pm


zoo said:

Is he in Bakkourland?

The elusive Manaf Tlass
Simon Wood
July 13, 2012 – 20:42
Well, can you tell me where he might be?”

“He could be in Paris, he could be in Dubai, he could be in Turkey, he could be in New York, I cannot say where he is. I am very sorry.”

The search for the elusive Manaf Tlass continues.

July 14th, 2012, 7:12 pm


Ghufran said:

قالت دوناتيلا روفيرا وهي محققة لدى منظمة العفو الدولية قضت عدة اسابيع في سوريا في الاونة الاخيرة ان من الواضح ان بعض انصار المعارضة لجأوا الى اساليب وحشية مع استهدافهم افراد قوات الامن .
واردفت قائلة “أسروا اشخاصا ورأينا أدلة على قيامهم بضربهم..وفي بعض الحالات قاموا بقتلهم.”هل الامر يمكن ان يسوء عن ذلك؟ بالتأكيد يمكن”.
وقالت في كلمة القتها في وقت سابق امام مركز الدراسات الاستراتيجية والدولية ان قوة المعارضة المسلحة تتزايد ومع زيادة الاشتباكات يقوم الافراد بارتكاب انتهاكات لحقوق الانسان من خلال ضرب واعتقال وقتل جنود الاسد.
وتتعقب منظمة العفو الدولية هذه الانتهاكات الى حد ما من خلال الشرائط المصورة التي يبثها على موقع يوتيوب على الانترنت افراد الجيش السوري الحر عند مقابلتهم المعتقلين.

July 14th, 2012, 7:12 pm


irritated said:

#168 Uzair8

Qatar and it’s cronies are not encouraging defections by threatening to target them, their families and homes if they didn’t defect.

How do you know?

July 14th, 2012, 7:13 pm


Uzair8 said:

172. Irritated

Would the regime not be able to protect them (it’s troops) from any Qatari threats?

How would Qatar and co carry out any threats of violence?

Threats of violence wouldn’t make sense. However, with the regime short of money, the much easier financial inducements or promises of future role are more likely. Also avoiding legal consequences (trial) is one incentive.

July 14th, 2012, 7:22 pm


Ghufran said:

“The attack on Treimsa appeared targeted at specific groups and houses, mainly of army defectors and activists. There were pools of blood and blood spatters in rooms of several homes together with bullet cases”
Comment: you can take what you want from this observation by the UN,but their report is not likely to please the opposition which is already claiming that the UN is taking the regime’s side in this conflict.

July 14th, 2012, 7:47 pm


Syrialover said:

# 156. Majedkhaldoun

You pinpoint it right. Hate has always been the main currency of the Assad regime, the fuel that drives it. The inspiration and conversation among themselves.

Their favorite sound, flavor and color: hatred.

The in-tray of Bashar Assad is filled with hatred and cruelty, and he is busier than ever now signing off the tidal waves of orders that hit his desk.

Syrians now hear, smell, taste and see the regime’s hate in full force.

To get the picture, read the words of the former Attorney General of Hama Adnan Bakkour, provided by Uzair8 in #120 above.

July 14th, 2012, 7:50 pm


Ghufran said:

I know that most of how have made up your mind about Traymseh,the BBC is now casting doubts on the opposition story echoing what the UN said in its initial report.
For all practical purposes,the blood bath in Traymseh will not receive the same treatment as Alhoula massacre,much of what happened in Traymseh was due to a fire fight between regime forces and armed opposition fighters.

July 14th, 2012, 8:12 pm



اياك أن تكسر سقف الوطن ؟

تلك المفاهيم الغبيه العقيمة لاتستحق سوى الرمي في سلال القمامة وقد رميناها فالتقطموها كمتسولي الاهتمام.الان تريدون أن تقولوا لنا انكم تريدون التخلص من الطغيان والاستبداد وبذات الجملة تحاولون تمرير تلك المفاهيم العفنه التي وضح للجميع مدى سخافتها ومدى كونها أدوات للاستبداد، للتخوين، ولأقصاءالاخرين وتبرير قتلهم ساعة بحجة أنهم سلفيون وأخرى بحجة انهم من البدو أو أنهم عملاء تجرأوا على كسر تلك السقوف الخانقة . كم مخاتلة هي كلماتكم وكم فيها من العنف الفكري والاخلاقي.

أوطان بسقوف ليست أوطانا بل سجونا … لم ولن تفهموا هذه الفكره الانسانيه فقد افقدكم خوفكم الذي صنعتموه القدرة على تفهم ما هو انساني حتى ضمن بشاعة الحرب. شمولية احكامكم الجاهزه تجعلكم الات تردد فكر الطغاة ،تلتهم وبنهم شديد كذبهم وتعيد تقيأه ظانة أنها حيتان فكرية تتقيأ مسكا ندرت جودته ووجب علينا تحن الرعاع التقاطه،

لن يكون لوطننا سقف فنحن نحب السماء حتى ولو كانت عاصفة ممطرة … أما أنتم فستحملون سقوفكم التي ستنخفض يوما بعد يوم كلما كبر خوفكم من السماء

July 14th, 2012, 8:15 pm


Tara said:

The resistance dude is killing Palestinians in the Yarmuk refugee camp.

July 14th, 2012, 8:28 pm



What did you expect? they probably broke one of the ceilings so loved and admired by the regime fans who keep demonstrating an absurd level of ultra-left/ultra-right schizophrenia (probably it is not schizophrenic at all, both ultra left and ultra right are nothing but two competing strands of fascism).

Having blessed the buffoon’s murder of Syrians, and went into such mental anguish hyping up their fake anger against the “TERRORIST BEDOUINS”, do you think that they will bother about a few Palestinian refugees?

July 14th, 2012, 8:38 pm



Now the anti-spam word is again “respect” and this comment is all about respecting MJABALI.

I like your Syria, it has no ceilings.

July 14th, 2012, 8:52 pm


Tara said:


This is for you.  

July 14th, 2012, 8:53 pm



It’s really amusing to watch the supporters of the Assad police state, especially those living in the West, spin the news and whine about biased coverage. They don’t seem to see the irony.

Anyway, the caravan of freedom keeps going and going and going despite all of the ______________ (you fill the blank). Everyday, we hear about more defections and more gains by the opposition. It’s like snowball that keeps getting bigger and bigger until one day it crushes the murderous Syrian regime.

Here’s a new defection of two Brig. Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel, two Captains, two First Lieutenants, one Lieutenant, and one sergeant. And they’re all from Rastan.!

In the past, you rarely heard of Colonels defecting. Now we hear of many Generals and Colonels defecting. Those that have been defecting (soldiers and officers) are the backbone of the Syrian army. As more of them defect, the pave the way for many more to do the same, until the day of reckoning comes.

Batta had many opportunities to self-correct, but arrogance combined with stupidity blinds the inner eye.

July 14th, 2012, 9:21 pm


omen said:

Here’s a new defection of two Brig. Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel, two Captains, two First Lieutenants, one Lieutenant, and one sergeant. And they’re all from Rastan.

this is good news for bashar!!

July 14th, 2012, 9:26 pm


omen said:

176. what happened in Traymseh was due to a fire fight between regime forces and armed opposition fighters.

as if they’re evenly matched.

you sound reassured, ghufran, that massacres lack political traction and that the regime is able to act with impunity.

July 14th, 2012, 9:44 pm


Tara said:

A friend of mine sent me this joke to describe the current status of the infighting inside the opposition 

المعارضون حائرون .. 
يختلفون .. 
يفكرون .. 
يتسائلون .. 
في جنون .. 

حبيبة عبد الحليم حافظ من تكون ..!!

July 14th, 2012, 9:48 pm


Ghufran said:

So,Omen,would it make you feel better if the victims in Traymseh were all innocent civilians instead of armed men? As a non Syrian,do you really think that the outside world care much about the number of dead Syrians?
At the end of the day,it is the Syrian mothers who are mourning the loss of their sons and it is the Syrian state that is being destroyed,those of you who are not Syrian but they truely care about Syria can find ways to help Syrians in need or at least stop inciting violence,this bloody dance must stop,most of the dancers could not care less about the average Syrian.
The regime should and will be held accountable,this is not 1982, but we do not need a civil war to bring justice.

July 14th, 2012, 11:01 pm


Syrialover said:

New post by Joshua Landis.

July 14th, 2012, 11:16 pm


Bruno said:


(Apparently SNC has confirmed the news of defection of head of Political Security in Damascus)

Where have you heard this from? Twitter sources? did you know that Twitter is the king of Rumors?

(Anonymous apparently planning to attack Syrian Electronic Army.)

Ah yes the Anonymous who promised major dirt on the major banks such the bank of America but haven’t sigh i wonder why is that?

July 15th, 2012, 5:11 am


omen said:

Ah yes the Anonymous who promised major dirt on the major banks such the bank of America but haven’t sigh i wonder why is that?

wasn’t that a threat from assange if washington managed to extradite him?

July 15th, 2012, 1:00 pm


Post a comment

Neoprofit AI Immediate Venture Instant Prosperity