Will the Syria Opposition Unify? Does it Need to?

The New York Times is reporting that the C.I.A. is Steering Arms to members of the Syrian Opposition. The CIA has a major challenge in trying to unify the Syrian militias, teach them to fight, get them advanced weapons, and supply them with enough intelligence so that they will know how to avoid the Syrian army where it is strong and attack it where it is weak. But even if the Syrian militias, which Jeffrey White of WINEP estimates to be around 100 (I read a 200 estimate yesterday but have forgotten where), cannot unify or develop a command and control structure, they are still likely to bring down the regime eventually. The sponsors of the Syria regime will not supply it with an endless aid and arms. For 12% of the population to police a large country that is in widespread revolt is too costly, especially when much of the world is mobilized for regime-change. Perhaps the CIA’s biggest challenge will be to make sure the arms get to pro-American militias. It cannot afford a repeat of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Many believe that in time, Syria will produce one leader and its political factions will unify around a national agenda. This may not be the case, however. Like Lebanon or Iraq, its factions may never overcome their differing visions of what Syria should be. In Iraq, the US army held down that country’s militias until it could stand up a new Iraqi army controlled by Prime Minister Maliki. Of course the Kurds got their own state, but Iraq’s Arabs are unified today because the US army was their to force unity upon them. Following the destruction of Saddam’s one-party state, would Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites have come together by themselves?

It could be argued that Lebanon is unified today only because of Syrian intervention. Of course, Syria’s intervention in 1976 prevented Lebanon’s Muslim militias from defeating the Christian forces decisively, which might have unified the country under a new form of government. In all likelihood, however, Lebanon’s Sunnis would have had little more success uniting the country’s religious factions than had the Christians. Syria helped Hizbullah to the per-eminent position it holds today. When the Syrian government becomes dominated by Sunnis again, it may well try to push Lebanon’s Sunnis to the fore there as well.

Britain and America may propose a new diplomatic initiative that focuses on one point from international envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan — the Syrian-led political process based on the Yemen model in which former president Ali Saleh was offered immunity. But Assad is unlikely to quit Syria for amnesty anytime soon.

Syria: The search for plan B

With both sides locked in a conflict they think they can win, it truly seems like Mission impossible for an unarmed 300-strong UN observer mission in Syria. However there is go further… once Russia and the West find common ground.

Haytham MANNA. Head of the Executive Bureau, National Coordination Body for Democratic Change;
Joshua LANDIS. Director, Centre for Middle East Studies – University of Oklahoma; Blog Syriacomment.com – from Oklahoma City;
Walid PHARES. Special advisor to the US Congress on Terrorism; National Security Advisor to Mitt Romney – from Washigton;
Ole SOLVANG. Human Rights Watch;
Paul VALLET. Professor of Political Science, Sciences Po, Paris.

Produced by François Picard, Anelise Borges, Mary Colombel, Christopher Davis.

Watch the second part here.

Video footage of Homs devastation – posted on Atlantic by Max Fisher

C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition
By ERIC SCHMITT, June 21, 2012, NYTimes

WASHINGTON — A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government. It is also part of Washington’s attempt to increase the pressure on President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, who has recently escalated his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule. With Russia blocking more aggressive steps against the Assad government, the United States and its allies have instead turned to diplomacy and aiding allied efforts to arm the rebels to force Mr. Assad from power.

By helping to vet rebel groups, American intelligence operatives in Turkey hope to learn more about a growing, changing opposition network inside of Syria and to establish new ties. “C.I.A. officers are there and they are trying to make new sources and recruit people,” said one Arab intelligence official who is briefed regularly by American counterparts.

American officials and retired C.I.A. officials said the administration was also weighing additional assistance to rebels, like providing satellite imagery and other detailed intelligence on Syrian troop locations and movements. The administration is also considering whether to help the opposition set up a rudimentary intelligence service. But no decisions have been made on those measures or even more aggressive steps, like sending C.I.A. officers into Syria itself, they said.

The struggle inside Syria has the potential to intensify significantly in coming months as powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters. President Obama and his top aides are seeking to pressure Russia to curb arms shipments like attack helicopters to Syria, its main ally in the Middle East.

“We’d like to see arms sales to the Assad regime come to an end, because we believe they’ve demonstrated that they will only use their military against their own civilian population,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said after Mr. Obama and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, met in Mexico on Monday.

Spokesmen for the White House, State Department and C.I.A. would not comment on any intelligence operations supporting the Syrian rebels, some details of which were reported last week by The Wall Street Journal.

Until now, the public face of the administration’s Syria policy has largely been diplomacy and humanitarian aid.

The State Department said Wednesday that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would meet with her Russian counterpart, Sergey V. Lavrov, on the sidelines of a meeting of Asia-Pacific foreign ministers in St. Petersburg, Russia, next Thursday. The private talks are likely to focus, at least in part, on the crisis in Syria.

The State Department has authorized $15 million in nonlethal aid, like medical supplies and communications equipment, to civilian opposition groups in Syria.

The Pentagon continues to fine-tune a range of military options, after a request from Mr. Obama in early March for such contingency planning. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told senators at that time that the options under review included humanitarian airlifts, aerial surveillance of the Syrian military, and the establishment of a no-fly zone.

The military has also drawn up plans for how coalition troops would secure Syria’s sizable stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons if an all-out civil war threatened their security.

But senior administration officials have underscored in recent days that they are not actively considering military options. “Anything at this point vis-à-vis Syria would be hypothetical in the extreme,” General Dempsey told reporters this month.

What has changed since March is an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels. The increasingly fierce air and artillery assaults by the government are intended to counter improved coordination, tactics and weaponry among the opposition forces, according to members of the Syrian National Council and other activists.

Last month, these activists said, Turkish Army vehicles delivered antitank weaponry to the border, where it was then smuggled into Syria. Turkey has repeatedly denied it was extending anything other than humanitarian aid to the opposition, mostly via refugee camps near the border. The United States, these activists said, was consulted about these weapons transfers.

American military analysts offered mixed opinions on whether these arms have offset the advantages held by the militarily superior Syrian Army. “The rebels are starting to crack the code on how to take out tanks,” said Joseph Holliday, a former United States Army intelligence officer in Afghanistan who is now a researcher tracking the Free Syrian Army for the Institute for the Study of War in Washington.

But a senior American officer who receives classified intelligence reports from the region, compared the rebels’ arms to “peashooters” against the government’s heavy weaponry and attack helicopters.

The Syrian National Council, the main opposition group in exile, has recently begun trying to organize the scattered, localized units that all fight under the name of the Free Syrian Army into a more cohesive force.

About 10 military coordinating councils in provinces across the country are now sharing tactics and other information. The city of Homs is the notable exception. It lacks such a council because the three main military groups in the city do not get along, national council officials said.

Jeffrey White, a defense analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who tracks videos and announcements from self-described rebel battalions, said there were now about 100 rebel formations, up from roughly 70 two months ago, ranging in size from a handful of fighters to a couple of hundred combatants.

“When the regime wants to go someplace and puts the right package of forces together, it can do it,” Mr. White said. “But the opposition is raising the cost of those kinds of operations.”

Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from Beirut, Lebanon. Souad Mekhennet also contributed reporting.

Are Syria’s Rebels Getting Foreign Support? – Stratfor

Syrian Air Force Pilot Defects to Jordan: Officials, Reuters

A Syrian air force pilot defected to Jordan on Thursday, landing his MiG-21 jet fighter at a military airbase and asking for political asylum, Jordanian officials said.

Rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad have launched an offensive to recapture the Baba Amr neighborhood in the city of Homs, an area they lost to government forces in February after a 26-day siege that trapped civilians, left hundreds dead and destroyed scores of buildings.

Syrie : une contagion au Liban qui arrangerait le régime comme l’opposition ?
21 juin, Par Wassim Nasr

Syria activists using U.S. tech to beat curbs
By Mohammed Abbas
LONDON | Thu Jun 21, 2012

(Reuters) – U.S. technologies that may include a mobile phone “panic button” and an “internet suitcase” are being used by activists in Syria and other authoritarian countries to override government communications controls, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

Alec Ross, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior adviser for innovation, said the United States was working on between 10 and 20 classified technologies that could be used by protesters and others facing communications curbs.

He also described how Facebook and other social networks could be used to challenge propaganda spread online by what he called the “Syrian Electronic Army”…..

The so-called “panic button” is a pin code that when entered into a mobile phone will immediately wipe its address book and messages.

Another is the “internet suitcase”, which he said could be used to set up a communications network even when the state-controlled telecommunications provider has shut off connectivity or is using it to monitor and punish dissent.

Ross said there was “clear evidence” that Syria’s main mobile phone operator Syriatel, which is currently under U.S. sanctions, was being used to identify and punish dissent….

Syrian scholar and theologian Shaykh Sayyid Muhammad al-Yaqoubi discusses the situation in Syria and the prospects for democracy there. Shaykh al-Yaqoubi is a member of the Syrian National Council

Pentagon plans to base 40,000 U.S. troops in Middle East
Posted: 21 Jun 2012, The Christian Science Monitor

Even as the Pentagon draws down US troops in Afghanistan, it plans to base a sizable contingent of forces in nearby Kuwait – with the clear purpose of sending a signal to Iran. The signal – that the United States plan to maintain a credible force in the region – […]

Violence among tribes in western Libya has left 105 dead and 500 wounded.

After Kuwait’s latest election was deemed illegal, the country’s constitutional court has declared a decision by Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah to dissolve the previous parliament unconstitutional.

The generals, not the dictator, hold the keys to the regime’ (Michael Young, The National)

…Syria may have a somewhat better opportunity to revamp its army once President Bashar Al Assad leaves office than Egypt has had. While there is more carnage to come, Mr Al Assad’s armed forces and security organs, after all the blood that they have shed, cannot conceivably anchor themselves in the system by managing, and hijacking, a political changeover. Rather, the core of any new military institution will be the disparate elements of the Free Syrian Army.

There are definite dangers in such a reality. As the Libyan experience has shown, when a conflict abruptly ends with the fall of a dictator, it can become very difficult for the civilian authorities to reimpose their will over the military actors. The armed opposition to Mr Al Assad is fragmented, and if that persists the centrifugal forces in Syrian society may come to define the post-war order. On the more positive side, we are bound to see a cleaner break with the past than in Egypt.

Even as western countries continue to sterilely debate what should be done about Syria, they don’t seem to appreciate enough that a political transition, to be democratic and tolerant, must begin today. If Syria is to enjoy a pluralistic post-Assad era, respect for representative civilian rule, and reform of the army and intelligence services, then any delay in initiating that process may be ruinous.

The splits within the Syrian National Council have not helped. But this need not hinder outside programmes that could ameliorate coexistence in Syria and give hope to the refugees. Some have suggested creating a police force in exile, to take over security once the refugees return. Much could be done to facilitate social reconciliation and contain the understandable impulse that many will feel to resort to revenge once the Assads are overthrown.

Comments (64)

bronco said:

Will Russia and Iran watch the CIA organize and arm the Syrian rebels without counteracting?
Will the Syrian government remain quiet undefinitely when it is official that Turkey is plotting with the CIA to destabilize Syria even further by boosting the military capabilities of the rebels?
This is a declaration of war from Turkey and the USA.

The Syrian government has a short window to act decisively. The confirmation of the CIA plots may give it the pretext for a full scale war that may hurt Turkey which will be forced to retaliate by intervening militarily. Turkey is already suffering from increased PKK attacks in Turkey, in Iran and on the Iraqi borders. A unilateral attack of Syria could be a big blow to Turkey’s economy and stability. Turkey will call NATO at the rescue.
Will Syria goes to the extreme of drawing Turkey and NATO in a war? If it is cornered and face destruction, I think it will.
This action will create hell in the region as Iran will not stay put if Syria is bombed and NATO will be drawn in a war they have until now refused to accept.

That would the last card to play and time is running out.

June 21st, 2012, 8:21 pm


zoo said:

Syria rebels divided, at times violent
By BEN HUBBARD | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago


SARJEH, Syria (AP) — Rebel commander Ahmed Eissa al-Sheikh keeps a paper on his desk bearing the names of the dead from his brigade. The first 16 are neatly typed below a Quranic verse extolling martyrdom. The next 14 are handwritten and crammed into the margin, because the paper is full.

Al-Sheikh, an Islamist with a long black beard and gray fatigues, runs the Falcons of Damascus group from the mayor’s office in his village, which his fighters have taken over. The list is a constant reminder of al-Sheikh’s personal score with the Syrian regime: 20 of the dead are his relatives, including three brothers and his 16-year-old son, all killed fighting Syrian forces in the last year.

One of northern Syria’s most powerful and best-armed commanders, Al-Sheikh boasts more than 1,000 fighters, and they don’t shy away from rougher tactics themselves. They have released prisoners in bomb-laden cars and then detonated them at army checkpoints — turning the drivers into unwitting suicide bombers.

His fighters say the cash comes from Syrian expatriates and other Arabs. He was heard on the phone thanking a group in Bahrain.

“God willing, Syria will not bow to anyone but Allah after the regime falls,” he said.

June 21st, 2012, 8:27 pm


zoo said:

Annan and major powers launch last bid for Syria peace on 30 june
AFP – 4 hrs ago
International envoy Kofi Annan and the major powers have launched a final drive to find a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis while preparing sanctions and emergency plans for UN observers in the conflict-stricken state.

Annan wants to get Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s last major ally, and the United States, which has called for the Syrian leader to step down, and other key nations behind an effort to bring Assad into talks, diplomats and officials said.

The UN-Arab League envoy hopes to unveil his new plan at a meeting in Geneva on June 30, according to UN diplomats.

Annan held talks with Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague in London on Thursday and Hague said it was “urgent” to hold a Syria meeting soon.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon discussed Syria on the sidelines of a UN summit in Brazil with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose country also has influence on Assad, and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, a UN spokesman said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who spoke with Annan on Wednesday, said the envoy is working on a “political transition roadmap” for Syria, where activists say 15 months of conflict have left more than 15,000 people dead.

Annan would be making a proposal to Russia, Turkey and other interested groups “to try to get them to agree on this roadmap” and to put pressure on Assad and the Syrian opposition, Clinton told reporters.

June 21st, 2012, 8:31 pm


Ghufran said:

بعد ستة عشر شهرا من بداية الأزمة وبعد تحول إدلب المعروفة تاريخيا بأنها موالية للوهابيين وللإخوان المسلمين ، إذ بنا نشهد بأن النظام لم يبعد عن ساحة الفعل في الجيش السوري وفي سلاح طيرانه ضباطا من أدلب هم بالمناسبة سنة والسنة في الطيران السوري كما في الجيش السوري على خلاف ما يشاع هم الأكثرية .ايضا زعماء خلية الأزمة الذين يديرون الوضع السوري أمنيا (وهم تسعة )ستة منهم من السنة
This statement was taken from a pro regime source

June 21st, 2012, 8:55 pm


habib said:

Lol at the US. They make the same mistakes over and over again. Can’t wait to say “told you so” once they get their next 9/11 for acting so damn retarded.

June 21st, 2012, 9:49 pm


ann said:

Most Turks Oppose Taking Sides in Syrian Conflict – June 21, 2012



An opinion poll by the Ankara Social Research Center published this month has found that more than two-thirds of those polled opposed any intervention by Turkey in Syria. The poll also revealed that a majority, even those who support the Turkish prime minister’s party, believed Ankara should not take sides in the conflict.

In a shopping plaza in central Istanbul, those poll numbers are echoed:

We should stay neutral, this man says. We should not be involved. It is our neighbor and it is a civil war, which means we should not take sides. It will be very dangerous for us to get involved.

But Cengiz Aktar, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University, says it comes down to a long tradition of Turks having little interest in foreign affairs.

“Turks don’t feel concerned with that [Syria],” said Aktar. “Like they don’t feel concerned with any similar disaster happening in the close vicinity or far away. They don’t pay attention. They are not interested in foreign developments.”

Analysts say the prime minister, who is renowned for closely following opinion polls, is likely to be disappointed by the indifference – if not opposition – to his government’s stance towards Syria.

The poll comes as Mr. Erdogan is facing growing criticism from the media and, reportedly, from his own diplomatic corps, that he has misread the Syrian conflict.

Sinan Ulgen is a former senior Turkish diplomat who now heads EDAM, the Istanbul-based international affairs research institute.

“I think Ankara decided to burn bridges too fast too prematurely,” said Ulgen. “It has decided to support the opposition groups – both the Syrian National Council and Free Syrian Army – with the belief it will help Ankara in a post-Assad period. However, it turns out the Assad regime has proven more resilient than initially thought. Now Ankara has to re-engineer a new policy.”


“Unfortunately [he] miscalculated the interventionist will of his partners,” he said. “He became more realistic as he probably tested the will of his partners, especially the Americans and the French. And, as he can’t do it alone, he has toned down his ambitions.”

Turks are not the only ones with a hands-off attitude toward the Assad government. According to a study by U.S.-based Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, a vast majority of Jordanians, Egyptians and Tunisians would like to see Assad step down. But, among those countries, there is limited support for tougher international economic sanctions or Arab military intervention, and very little support for Western military action.


June 21st, 2012, 10:39 pm


ann said:

Madam Secretary Clinton, we want JOBS here at HOME!

US Adds Syria to List of Countries Not Doing Enough to Fight Slavery – June 21, 2012


STATE DEPARTMENT — The United States is adding Syria to a list of countries that could face sanctions for not doing enough to fight human trafficking. The annual U.S. report on worldwide slavery says Burma and Venezuela are among those countries making progress.


June 21st, 2012, 10:47 pm


MK JCNJ said:

The CIA looking for “pro-American militias” in Syria? Like the Contras in Nicaragua; the IDF in Palestine; RENAMO in Mozambique; UNITA in Angola; the SLA in Lebanon? This will be an absolute disaster for the Syrian people. But a moneymaker for a lot of others.

June 21st, 2012, 10:53 pm


Norman said:

With the US arming the opposition, I feel that we are going back to the days kidnapping and hostages, Many people are eager to make it an all out war and anarchy, we in the US are going to be sucked in and probably end up not making anybody happy and making enemies in the process, what is going on in Egypt could complicate the US life,and make it significantly more difficult to control the chaos.

June 21st, 2012, 11:06 pm


omen said:

8. MK JCNJ said: This will be an absolute disaster for the Syrian people.

will be? it’s a disaster now. have you seen homs?

June 22nd, 2012, 12:21 am


Halabi said:

Father Paulo’s interview with Al Arabiya. He’s a little bizarre but very interesting and uplifting at times. This man isn’t welcome in Assad’s secular Syria, but was given a hero’s welcome in Qusair, where Christians are killed for sport according to the propagandists here…


June 22nd, 2012, 12:38 am


Syrialover said:

Moving post from Off The Wall blog about “the real silent, gravely endangered heroes of Syria” – those doing relief activities.

He writes:
“… I have argued in my previous post that the regime, with its murderous “burn the country” campaign has succeeded in occupying a large number of activists with humanitarian relief, which reduces their ability to participate in the political and even military aspects of this revolution. At the same time, the scale of mayhem, and the hate and contempt to Syria and Syrians shown by this mafia gang and their supporters has made even the slightest of humanitarian relief a heroic political and resistance act*.

“I have asked my new friend, Souria Alkarama, who is heavily engaged in relief work in Syria to summarize the status of relief activities. My friend has kindly written the following post, which is being transmitted, un-edited, as I have received it. It is worth noting that many like my friend are working silently on this issue. You may not find them boasting about it, or writing with strong language as we do, but they are in fact among the real silent, gravely endangered heroes of Syria. The thugs are after them in every corner. I salute them, and ask those who pray to pray for their safety and well being.”

Read her account of the scale of the problem and what people are doing: http://7ee6an.wordpress.com/

June 22nd, 2012, 12:56 am


Syrialover said:

OTW (above) says:

“…the hate and contempt to Syria and Syrians shown by this mafia gang and their supporters”

The shocking truth. That’s 100% what fuels the Assadists – and some of their promoters here.

It’s what Syrians are up against in this fight for their lives and future.

June 22nd, 2012, 1:13 am


majedkhaldoun said:

If the USA is arming the FSA,it is something going on only recently,there was no arming up till three weeks ago,, FSA in desperate need for anti tank and anti airforce weapons,once these things are available to the FSA, you can be sure the regime will leave soon.
The regime has to realize that the brutal military oppression,is hopeless,the regime must be the one to ask for dialogue, Again we are not against the Alawis, we are against those who has blood on their hands.
There are reports that US and England will forgive Assad for his crimes, I say he did nothing to USA and England for them to forgive him, He killed Syrians, and it is up to the Syrians only to decide his fate.
Mr. Landis said it repeatedly, ultimately the people of Syria will remove Assad.

June 22nd, 2012, 1:32 am


Juergen said:


I think its the monastery which makes people a bit strange to the outside world.I spent two days there in Nebek and felt thousands of miles away from things. Its a very special place. Some folks believe that they have builded in the old times such places of worship on known sacred grounds, I think that there is some truth to it.

June 22nd, 2012, 1:55 am


Syrialover said:

This really hits home. The full horror of Assad’s new vision for urban Syria (also linked by Joshua in lead post above).

Hell by Scooter: A Video Tour of Homs, Syria’s Most Devastated City

Somehow, no matter how many articles you’ve read or photos you’ve seen of the carnage in Homs, there is something uniquely chilling about watching this point-of-view video of one man’s journey into its war-torn neighborhood of Jouret Shiah.

Taken partly on foot and partly from the driver’s seat of a small red scooter, it portrays Homs as an apocalyptic wasteland. The streets are mostly empty and totally silent, save for a distant but steady stream of gunshots. At one point, the videographer finds a group of young men — the only people we see are young men, everyone else appears to have fled or hidden in the few still-habitable homes — evacuating, from the back of a sedan to the bed of a pick-up truck, a wounded and obviously terrified rebel fighter…..


June 22nd, 2012, 2:33 am


Tara said:

Angelina Jolie donated 100,000 $ to Syrian refugee while Mrs. Batta spent the same amount on shoes, candles, and chandeliers during the slaughter of Homs.

Jolie’s $100K to help Syria refugees

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2162857/BLOGS-OF-THE-DAY-Jolies-100K-help-Syria-refugees.html#ixzz1yVE4q1Dw

June 22nd, 2012, 3:00 am


ann said:

Fears grow over Syrian arms flow – 2012-06-22


Washington – As evidence mounts of Islamic militant forces among the Syrian opposition, senior US and European officials are increasingly alarmed by the prospect of sophisticated weapons falling into the hands of rebel groups that may be dangerous to Western interests, including al-Qaeda.

In an interview with Reuters, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta articulated US worries that shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, also known as MANPADS, could find their way onto the Syrian battlefield.

Intelligence experts believe that hundreds, if not thousands, of such weapons were looted from arsenals accumulated by late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and are floating on the Middle East black market.

“I think it’s fair to say that we have a concern about the MANPADS coming out of Libya,” Panetta said in the Thursday interview. “We’ve had an ongoing view that it was important to try to determine where these MANPADS were going, not only the concern that some of them might wind up in Syria but elsewhere as well,” he said.


June 22nd, 2012, 3:02 am


ann said:

Syria says armed opposition fire at representatives of Red Cross, Red Crescent in Homs – 2012-06-22


DAMASCUS, June 21 (Xinhua) — A Syrian foreign ministry source said Thursday the armed groups in central Homs province have undermined efforts to evacuate restive people and opened fire at a convoy grouping volunteers of Syrian Red Crescent and the International Red Cross.

The Syrian competent authorities have been trying over the past two days to enable the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to enter restive areas in Homs, said the unnamed source whose remarks were carried by state-run SANA news agency.

It said the armed groups have unveiled their criminal face by blocking the humanitarian help to reach the troubled people, noting that the Syrian government has not reneged on its promises in allowing in aid and evacuating restive people “but the armed groups have committed a crime by shooting at the joint convoy and by rejecting the evacuation of the sick and injured citizens.”

The ministry source appealed to the head of the UN and the Human Rights Commission to shoulder their responsibilities in order to press those armed groups to comply with the “humanitarian logic.”

The source reiterated the Syrian government commitment to preserve the safety of its citizens with the help of the international community.

Meanwhile, an official at the Syrian Red Crescent told Xinhua Thursday that a group of volunteers from the Syrian Red Crescent and the International Red Cross have not yet succeeded in entering restive areas of central Homs province, adding that it seems the armed opposition is divided over allowing the mission in or not.


June 22nd, 2012, 3:11 am


ann said:

Slovenia opposes military intervention in Syria: FM – 2012-06-22


LJUBLJANA, June 21 (Xinhua) — Slovenia opposes military intervention in Syria, Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said here on Thursday.

Military intervention would only worsen the situation and spread instability throughout the region, Erjavec told a joint session of the parliamentary defense and foreign affairs committees.

On the settlement of Syria’s crisis, he said Slovenia would only take part in operations in line with resolutions of the UN Security Council and those of the European Union.


Currently, Slovenia has a military officer stationed in Syria as part of the UN observer Enditem


June 22nd, 2012, 3:15 am


ann said:

China, Brazil issue joint statement on strengthening partnership – 2012-06-22



Turning to Syria, both leaders called for an immediate end to violence, and urged concerned parties to open political dialogue so as to peacefully resolve the crisis. They also reiterated support to the six-point peace plan on Syria tabled by joint UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan.

They stated that global governance institutions need to undergo reforms to better adapt to a new international order and face new challenges.


June 22nd, 2012, 3:20 am


Alan said:

As the new age Romans mission-creep toward the next doomed Middle East neighborhood, this time in Syria, when does the quaint phrase “experiencing déjà vu” become just a polite way of saying we are apathetic spectators at the Circus Maximus?

June 22nd, 2012, 3:32 am


ann said:

CIA Arming Syrian Insurgents – 6/22/12

Washington wages war while talking peace



The New York Times article failed to explain what’s been ongoing since violence erupted early last year.

Throughout the conflict, NATO’s been waging covert war. Washington directs everything. Israel, France and Britain are directly involved. So are Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon’s March 14 alliance, and other Arab League countries.

In January 2012, British media confirmed that MI6 and CIA operatives were training Syrian insurgents. US, British, French, and Qatari special forces are involved.

They’re recruiting, funding, equipping, arming, training, and directing insurgents. They’re choosing targets. They’re responsible for recent massacres and terrorist bomb attacks.


On June 17, Middle East analyst Peter Eyre accused Washington, Britain, France, and their major media with promoting anti-Assad terrorism, saying.

“The Talons of Obama, Clinton, Cameron, Hague and Hollande are waiting to grab Syria but in doing so will probably also take out some aspects of Lebanon and Palestine with the their ultimate goal being Iran”but their final shopping list will not be complete until they also have Yemen, Somalia and Sudan in their grasp.”

What’s now ongoing isn’t new. Britain’s sordid history reveals previous similar missions. UK forces are involved in all US imperial wars.

“We are now seing an almost out of control, undisciplined pile of thugs running amok in Syria with the arming, financing and training by our special forces, as well as those from Israel, France, Qatar, Saudi and that no so friendly ally Turkey who forms part of NATO.”

French and British forces were caught red-handed.


June 22nd, 2012, 3:48 am


ann said:

Are Syria’s Rebels Getting Foreign Support? – June 21, 2012



Though Syria shares a border with Iraq, one cannot simply assume that EFP technology has spilled across the border. Certainly, the principle behind EFPs is simple enough, but the EFPs in Iraq were largely used by Shiite militants, who are aligned with Iran and, by extension, the Syrian regime. The Quds Force is unlikely to have provided copper liners for improvised EFPs to the Sunni militants in Syria or to have permitted its Iraqi proxies to transfer them. (However, it is entirely possible that an entrepreneurial-minded Shi’i who had some of the liners could have sold them to a Sunni militant, who then furnished them to Syrian militants.)

It will be important to monitor how many EFPs Syrian militants deploy. If they deploy only a few EFP devices in scattered locations, they may be obtaining liners on an ad hoc basis. However, if EFPs are deployed in a broad, systematic fashion, it will be an indication — though certainly not conclusive evidence — that the Syrian militants are receiving supplies from an external source. The precision and effectiveness with which any such devices are employed will also be telling of the training the militants employing them have received. A domestically developed EFP capability will have some failures and inconsistencies — the sorts of problems frequently evidenced as a bombmaker advances along the bombmaking learning curve. Such growing pains will be absent if the Syrian militants are aided by outside training and logistics.

There are many ways that one can judge the degree of foreign support that a militant group is receiving. The indicators can include anything from uniforms and assault rifles to the presence of increasing numbers of anti-tank guided missiles and man-portable air defense systems. But more subtle indications, such as those involving IED components and bombmaking skills, should not be overlooked.

June 22nd, 2012, 4:02 am


Alan said:

“The goal is high. The goal is nothing less than regime change,” Franklin Lamb, a Beirut-based international lawyer, told Press TV.

US seeking regime change in Syria: Analyst

June 22nd, 2012, 4:29 am


ann said:

Syria: The Military Nuances of the Conflict – June 15, 2012



Numerous recent reports indicate that Syrian rebels have taken the April 12 cease-fire as an opportunity to regroup and rearm with weapons shipments organized, funded and transferred by other countries. The rebels claim that large numbers of assault rifles, machine guns, mortars, sniper rifles and anti-tank missiles have been smuggled into Syria in recent weeks. The weapons came to the rebels allegedly through Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, predominantly from suppliers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. With the rebels better armed and motivated and the Syrian regime determined to crush the opposition, the environment is right for the conflict to intensify.


Supply lines through Lebanon have proved crucial, particularly because they are so close to Homs. But in the last few weeks, the number of weapons reportedly entering Syria from Turkey has increased dramatically. The Syrian rebel force in the Idlib governorate, which borders Turkey’s Hatay province, is now reputed to be one of the strongest and best-equipped rebel forces in Syria and has said it is prepared to attack regime forces.

Because Hatay province is home to most of the Syrian refugee camps and serves as the Free Syrian Army’s headquarters, accumulating rebel strength in Idlib makes strategic sense. Supply lines are shorter, and the rebels in Idlib have a path of retreat into Turkey in case of overwhelming pressure from government forces.

The sharp increase in the number of destroyed Syrian army tanks and armored fighting vehicles over the last month attests to the capability the rebels have gained with the new equipment, particularly with the anti-tank missiles. In addition, the Syrian rebels have been at war for more than a year now. With experience and aid from defecting Syrian troops, their fighting acumen has improved.

The influx of fighters and jihadists from other countries also bolsters the rebels. This influx includes experienced Syrian and Iraqi fighters who fought in the Iraq War against U.S. forces. Given the improvised explosive device tradecraft that these fighters have brought to Syria, they have had an enormous effect on the rebels’ ability to inflict casualties and damage on the Syrian military.

The Syrian army has begun changing some of its tactics and operations to better fight an increasingly capable enemy. With Russian and Chinese diplomatic support, Damascus has grown confident that it can avoid foreign military intervention and is starting to rely more on artillery and even attack helicopter support. Artillery and aviation also allow the Syrian regime to largely avoid costly armored attacks on rebel-held urban positions where armor is more vulnerable.


Moscow has admitted it is transferring weaponry to Syria, including relatively advanced Buk-M2E surface-to-air missile systems. The Russians have stated — correctly — that air defense equipment cannot be used against the rebels since they have no air capabilities. However, this equipment will strengthen Syria’s air defense network, complicating any potential NATO intervention. Syria already has a sizable inventory of attack helicopters, including 35 to 50 Mi-24 series Hind gunships. More important than whether the Russians are sending more helicopters is Syria’s recent decision to use the ones they have.

One of the first known instances of the Syrian regime’s using helicopters was March 22, when an Mi-8/17 “Hip” was videoed using its side-mounted machine gun. Since then, numerous videos have emerged showing helicopters being used against the rebels, including videos of Mi-24s reportedly operating over Rastan and Farkia in recent weeks. These helicopters alone will not decide the outcome of the conflict, but they can be particularly devastating to ground forces without air defense equipment. They can also be instrumental in turning the tide in localized fighting, as seen in the June 5-13 Battle of Al-Haffah, during which heavy helicopter fire forced rebels to retreat.

Attack helicopters were of great use during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. The Soviet forces relied particularly on the Mi-24 to provide heavy fire support against the mujahideen, who nicknamed the aircraft “Satan’s Chariot” and who were largely defenseless against it until they received FIM-92 Stinger man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) from the CIA. Given that many members of the mujahideen became members of the Taliban and given the continuing U.S. concern about loose MANPADS, the United States and its allies would be very reluctant to deliver these weapons to the Syrian rebels.

The Syrian rebels could attempt to acquire Syrian army MANPADS, as they nearly did when they overran a Syrian surface-to-air missile site near Homs on June 10. The rebels claimed the base housed some Soviet-designed SA-7 MANPADS, but helicopter fire drove the rebels off before they could take the systems. Because Damascus is greatly intensifying its helicopter operations, Syrian military forces are likely to take considerable measure to secure their MANPADS.

Encouraged by an influx of weaponry and fighters, the Syrian rebels are becoming more confident and are determined to carry out further operations. The regime in response has escalated its crackdown and has intensified the use of helicopter gunships as well as artillery. Thus, the April 12 cease-fire is looking increasingly shaky. While the conflict is set to intensify, neither side has overcome its fundamental constraints and an end to the conflict is not yet in sight.


June 22nd, 2012, 4:31 am


Alan said:

Made in USA: thermal imagers and QuikClot at bandits

A huge batch of ammunition and weapons for the rebels of Hama

June 22nd, 2012, 5:05 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


Are you Russian?

June 22nd, 2012, 5:20 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:

Does the new constitution allow this?
If that was your car, Jad, Norman, Irritated, Zoo and other mn7ebaks?
Is this how they fight “armed terrorist gangs”?

June 22nd, 2012, 6:23 am


Alan said:

That actually occurred in Al-Hula

June 22nd, 2012, 7:37 am


Alan said:

He said the group had encouraged the pilot to defect?

Did the Syrian pilot willingly defect or did he have “incentive” to do so?
As the Toronto Star let’s us know.. “his family is under rebel protection”
Is his family under rebel protection. Or has his family been kidnapped? Being spun as “protection” Is his family being held hostage by the NATO backed rebels??

The rebels are vicious, without a doubt. Therefore, it is not a stretch to believe the pilot undertook the “defection” to save his family.

June 22nd, 2012, 8:30 am


Alan said:

Navy and the Russian Emergencies Ministry began preparations for the evacuation of Syrian citizens and military personnel of the point of logistics (E & P), the Russian Navy in Syria Tartous

June 22nd, 2012, 8:46 am


zoo said:

A Turkish military airplane disappears over Hatay, near Syrian border
Was it shot by the Syrian army? It is the trigger to a Turkish attack on Syria?


All connection has been lost between the Turkish Armed Forces and a Turkish military plane in the southern province of Hatay, according to an official statement from the forces.

The plane left the eastern province of Malatya at around 10 a.m., while the connection was lost at around noon, the statement said.

Search attempts are continuing in an effort to locate the missing pla

June 22nd, 2012, 8:48 am


zoo said:

The Turks are extremely worried that these allegations if proven could be used by Syria as a casus belli. While Turkey’s army is stronger that the Syrian army, any war will create a regional crisis and a disaster for Turkey economy and tourism. They want to avoid that at all cost. They’ll keep denying…

Turkey denies arms shipment to Syria opposition

ANKARA – Agence France- Presse
Ankara denied Friday allegations that it is shipping weapons to Syrian rebels across the border, after a report claimed Turkey was among nations arming rebels fighting the regime in Damascus.

“Turkey does not ship weapons to any neighbouring country, including Syria,” foreign ministry spokesperson Selcuk Ünal said when asked whether Turkey was involved in an alleged arms delivery to Syrian rebels.

June 22nd, 2012, 9:01 am


Halabi said:

Amir, was the car on the wrong side of the road? The new rule is that if Assad’s mafia even wrongly suspects someone has committed a traffic violation, then the car can be shot at, crushed and all its occupants slaughtered. If soldiers fancy a motorcycle, they can definitely kill the rider and take it as booty.

These are the great reforms intended to boost national unity and prepare the country for dialogue. It’s shocking that the revolutionaries have refused to join hands with these benevolent killers.

June 22nd, 2012, 9:05 am


zoo said:

26 regime supporters killed in Syria ambush: Opposition watchdog

BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse

At least 26 regime supporters were killed in an ambush in the northern province of Aleppo on Friday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“At least 26 supporters of the regime — believed to be militiamen — were shot dead in the west of the province of Aleppo,” the watchdog said, adding that regime forces have shelled villages in the area for several weeks.

Amateur video posted on YouTube and distributed by the Observatory showed piles of mangled bodies of young men, their clothing soaked in blood. At least two of the bodies in the footage were wearing fatigues.

June 22nd, 2012, 9:05 am


zoo said:

Why Is the U.S. Selling Billions in Weapons to Autocrats?

The export of American arms to countries around the world — even those actively repressing their own citizens — is booming.


June 22nd, 2012, 9:12 am


zoo said:

The Brotherhood’s useful idiots
06/21/2012 21:32

You have to hand it to the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. They know how to play power politics. They know how to acquire power. And they know how to use power.

Last Friday, the day before voters by most accounts elected the Brotherhood’s candidate Mohamed Morsy to serve as Egypt’s next president, The Wall Street Journal published a riveting account by Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley of how the Brotherhood outmaneuvered the secular revolutionaries to take control of the country’s political space.

The Brotherhood kept a very low profile in the mass demonstrations in Tahrir Square in January and February 2011 that led to the overthrow of then-president Hosni Mubarak. The Brotherhood’s absence from Tahrir Square at that time is what enabled Westerners to fall in love with the Egyptian revolution.

June 22nd, 2012, 9:14 am


Stick to the truth said:

Dear Mr. Landis,

thank you for the interesting posting.

“Many believe that in time, Syria will produce one leader and its political factions will unify around a national agenda. This may not be the case”

Since you have lived in Syria for a while, you should know what Syrians say.

“The Arabs agreed not to agree”

So there is no hope that the rebelles will produce one leader.

Again, this is only a wishful thinking.

June 22nd, 2012, 9:14 am


zoo said:

The USA should back the Islamists in Egypt.

The Arab spring
Egypt in peril
Beneath the chaos lies a complex power struggle between generals and Islamists. The West should back the latter

Jun 23rd 2012 | from the print edition

However, the most troubling developments are in Egypt (see article), the Arab world’s most populous country. After 18 months of messy progress towards democracy, the army seems determined to reverse the march to freedom, or at least to put a heavy brake on it. If Egypt goes wrong, then democracy’s progress elsewhere in the Arab world will be far slower.

Egypt is not, however, doomed to return to dictatorship. Turkey, where the army has reached an accommodation with moderate Islamists, points to a peaceful way out. And the West can help by making it clear that democratically elected politicians, even Islamist ones, rank above generals.

Who’s actually in charge?

June 22nd, 2012, 9:17 am


Juergen said:

chinese car industry to boosten the sale.

I am sure the Assad regime has some commitments to the russian and
Stick to the truth

There is an other famous saying: The hand you cant break, kiss.
But I guess there is always a reason to stay at home and watch al dunya right?

June 22nd, 2012, 9:18 am


Alan said:

in this video
Camille Otrakji, a contributing editor for the Syria Comment online magazine warns :
“As soon as you have so many forces excited about the war option, there is that danger always, and they will get there through disinformation as usual, like they did before the Iraq war, and before intervention in Afghanistan in the late 1970s also – they always rely on disinformation,”
Russia in media crossfire over Syria

June 22nd, 2012, 9:21 am


Alan said:

Turkish warplane crashes in Syria – report

June 22nd, 2012, 9:33 am


bronco said:

#44 Alan

Was it an accident or was it shot?
No news of the pilot?
It is a very strange coincidence one day after the defection of the Syrian pilot to Jordan.
Is there something behind it?

June 22nd, 2012, 9:42 am


irritated said:

#41 Juergen

“I guess there is always a reason to stay at home and watch al dunya right?”

And al Jazeera to get higher adrenaline…

June 22nd, 2012, 9:44 am


Stick to the Truth said:

The specific commentator you mentioned has never even hinted that he/she is going to the battlefield. I would appreciate you not personalizing your posts.

SC Moderator

Dear SC moderator,

You may have misunderstood my reply to Mr. Jürgen. I was only suggesting that the STAMMTISCH is a much safer place than buttelfield

June 22nd, 2012, 9:57 am


zoo said:

Update on the Turkish military plan crash: Turkey asking Syria for permission to locate the plane after the pilots probably were ejected.

Pilots rescued from military plane crash: Report

The pilots of a crashed Turkish military plane have been rescued by forces, daily Hürriyet reported.
The pilots, who are in good health, were located in the Mediterranean Sea.

A missing warplane that lost contact with Turkish Armed Forces earlier today crashed in Syrian territorial waters, Doğan news agency has reported.

Search and rescue teams are waiting for Syrian authorities to issue necessary permits to locate the plane. Mediterranean naval units are now approaching the area.

June 22nd, 2012, 10:12 am


ann said:

25 people killed by “terrorists” in northern Syria: state media – 2012-06-22



Armed terrorist groups have abducted a number of citizens and killed them at Darat Ezzeh suburb of Aleppo, said state-run SANA news agency, adding that the kidnapped people were shot dead before being mutilated.

The state news agency put the number of the killed at 25, noting that the fate of many others remains unknown.

June 22nd, 2012, 10:27 am


zoo said:

UK media Psy op?.

Leading Syrians prepare to defect


Members of Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle ‘making secret plans to defect’ as Syria air force colonel abandons attack mission and flies MiG to Jordan.

The Daily Telegraph understands that the pilots of three other MiGs on the mission also considered defecting, but were worried about being turned away.

June 22nd, 2012, 10:41 am


Halabi said:

Some of Assad’s propagandists always ask where are the peaceful protests. They never stopped. In Aleppo, which is under complete control of Assad’s soldiers and shabiha, protests repeatedly come under fire and don’t have the weapons or an FSA wing to protect them.

Peaceful protest

Unarmed protester shot in the head

Aleppo looks like the early days of Daraa, Hama and Homs. It will eventually morph into a more violent confrontation as the death toll rises and people fight back.

June 22nd, 2012, 10:46 am


zoo said:

Annan wants Iran in Syria solution
Reuters – 15 mins ago

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran should be part of the solution to the Syria crisis, international mediator Kofi Annan said on Friday, a week before a planned crisis meeting that is in doubt because of Western objections to the Islamic Republic’s participation.

Annan told a news conference that he wanted states with influence on both sides of the conflict to be involved in the peace process and said some countries had taken national initiatives that risked unleashing “destructive competition.”

June 22nd, 2012, 11:06 am


zoo said:

Was the Turkish military plane violating Syria airspace?
If true, it’s an embarrassing situation for Turkey as diplomatic relation are cut.

Turkish jet downed by Syrian air defences – Al-Manar TV

BEIRUT | Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:59pm BST

(Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar television station said on Friday that Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish military aircraft, quoting Syrian security sources.

“Syrian security sources confirmed to a Manar correspondent in Damascus that Syrian defence forces shot down the Turkish fighter jet,” a news flash on the Beirut-based station said.

June 22nd, 2012, 11:13 am


Alan said:

Usually after the storm appear the sun!
Mu`ayin Yahiya al-Assad caputred:
High-level Syrian military officers prepare to defect (as summarized by Foreign Policy)
The articles listed above appear as part of psychological warfare!
Commits the Western world, led by the United States a serious mistake for breeding terrorism in different parts of the world! How the United States will fall victim to its own sooner or later
History will teach the donkey even if Iraq was not a lesson!
Can a Moderate Kurd Unite the Syrian Revolution?
This website is offline

June 22nd, 2012, 12:06 pm


Alan said:

Syrian government ready to withdraw together with opposition – Lavrov

June 22nd, 2012, 12:18 pm


ann said:

Ottoman Air Force Gets A Taste Of The Syrian Hammer 🙂

Syria shoots down a Turkish fighter jet – June 22, 2012

Turkey says one of its fighter jets was shot down by Syrian air defenses over the Mediterranean today, a potentially alarming development as Syria’s civil war is deepening and signs are emerging that Turkey is assisting the arming of that country’s rebels.


June 22nd, 2012, 1:41 pm


ann said:

Once A Paper Tiger, Always A Paper Tiger 🙂

Turkish PM Erdogan says the two pilots on the plane are alive and currently in Syria; Syrian vessels currently assisting Turkish vessels in finding the plane.



Syria shot down a Turkish Air Force F4 fighter plane carrying two pilots, which crossed into Syrian territory, because the aircraft was unidentified, on Friday, according to a report by the news agency.

Syrian ships were assisting Turkish vessels search for the remains of the plane. Erdogan told the news agency that the pilots were alive, and the two pilots are reportedly currently in Syria.

The plane took off from a military airfield at Malatya in the south-east at 10:30 am (0730 GMT) and lost radar and radio contact with its base when it was over the Mediterranean Sea west of the Syrian coast.

Earlier, Anatolian referred to the plane as being “on duty,” but gave no details of the operation it was undertaking at the time of its disappearance.


June 22nd, 2012, 1:50 pm


ann said:

UN’s Annan: Iran should be part of Syria solution – Jun. 21, 2012

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/06/21/4048950/russia-slams-britain-over-syria.html#storylink=cpy

GENEVA — U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says he believes Iran should be involved in efforts to end the violence in Syria.

Annan says he is working to convene a so-called ‘contact group’ meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30.


The former U.N. secretary-general told reporters in Geneva on Friday that “I have made it quite clear that I believe Iran should be part of the solution.”

June 22nd, 2012, 2:18 pm


ann said:

Where’s Saudi Arabia and Qatar To Help You Prop Up Your Lira Now 😀

Turkish Lira plunges on report Syria shot down Turkish warplane – Fri Jun 22, 2012


The Turkish lira fell sharply on Friday after a news report said a Turkish warplane had been shot down by Syrian air defenses, and analysts said it would be vulnerable to further losses as more details of the incident emerged.

Turkey’s stock and bond markets had closed before news of the jet downing came out.


June 22nd, 2012, 2:31 pm


ann said:

Ottoman Airline At Half Price ($525) Since They Stopped Flying To Syria 🙂


June 22nd, 2012, 2:46 pm


Syrialover said:

Amir, you asked Alan if was Russian.

I think at one stage he said he lived in Australia, though he speaks Arabic.

But the ferocious promotion of Russia against the world is interesting.

Alan,care to comment?

June 22nd, 2012, 3:25 pm


Syrialover said:

The story linked below shows how mindblowingly stupid Assad has been.

He’s had many opportunities over many months to stop things getting to this stage, but now he faces the Saudis generously funding and Turks facilitating paychecks to the Syrian army if they want to defect.

This looks like real endgame territory. A bit like Gaddafi’s NATO moment.

Will he be able to get Russia to finance paychecks for the Syrian army which he’s now rumored to be unable to pay?

See “Saudi Arabia plans to fund Syria rebel army”


June 22nd, 2012, 4:26 pm


Syrialover said:

60. ann said: “Ottoman Airline At Half Price ($525) Since They Stopped Flying To Syria”

Quite the opposite! It’s amazing that you don’t realise Turkey has enjoyed a huge tourism roll, and promotions like this are part of catching the wave.

Good luck to anyone trying to book a hotel room in Turkey. They’ve picked up Syria’s tourist trade plus a generous diversion flow from Egypt and Tunisia, and now Greece.

June 22nd, 2012, 4:41 pm


Alan said:

I didn’t write that I live in Australia! Sandro lives there 🙂 ! I know 4 languages! and Russian including!

June 22nd, 2012, 4:53 pm


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