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Dear 7ee6anis

I will be on travel for the next two weeks. I will probably post one more post while on travel. Sorry for the lack of links. I am about to head to the Airport.

The farcical referendum on the constitution is finished. As of today, Syria is the same as it was before. Nothing has changed.

The regime continues its rampage, with Aelppo’s country’s side being the latest arena where Assad’s forces continue to demonstrate unparalleled brutality. FSA claimed that they have downed three planes. Lawlessness is increasing in the City of Aleppo with kidnapping for ransom increasing and becoming a profitable business. (more on this later).  SNC and/or any politicians are failing miserably in condemning this type of behavior, which is making it even harder to keep the silent people silent. They are becoming vocal in the interest of law and order. This must be addressed not only by the FSA but also by the politicians, SNC, and whatever groups. Right now, and as I write these, I am talking to a friend on the inside, who is extremely pro-revolution and who is berating the political leadership for their miserable press failure.

At the same time, yesterday’s discovery of a massacre of tens of men from Homs and the kidnapping of tens of women indicates that the regime is hell bent on a sinister plan. Qatar and KSA are upping the rhetoric regarding the  a head with arming the revolution, but it seems that what the mean is the militarization of the people not the FSA only, which is a terrible terrible idea.

Human right council, at request from Qatar, and in coordination with the EU will have an emergency meeting today. It may end with referral to the security council and then to the ICC.

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310 Comments

  1. Or do you want a weak fragmented Syria that can bullied by its neighbours?

    Actually considering the events of the last 11 months, your statement is pretty disgusting as well. the only people who have bullied Syrians in history have been their rulers. The tanks, artillery, army, Police, Civil Service, all exist to protect the privileges of the Effendiya and to feed on the blood of the poor. The Syrian revolution is one of workers and proletariat and they will not allow the Effendiya to checkmate them again using the old, rotten terms like “Watan” and “Wataniyya”.

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  2. So if someone is rational and collected they are not only heartless but it is safe to deduce that they come from a different social level as well, and therefore feel no sympathy to the deaths of Syrian. That makes no sense at all, how you reached such a conclusion is beyond me.

    “Let Syria fall to the likes of Colombian drug dealers rather than Bashar. There is no other option.”

    Sorry I misread your comment, you are not comparing the revolution to Colombian Drug Cartels but rather want drug cartels to take over Syria, that totally makes sense. Replace one mafia with another mafia, and take out the entire army along the way so that Syria can never recover from this crises for at least 3 generations. totally makes sense and makes everything you said better.

    I am sorry if I don’t want to see Syria turned into Lebanon, with each sect having their little fiefdoms waiting for any excuse to kill each other. Only 10% of the army is being used (4th Brigade, and Rep. Guard) the rest are paramilitary units that will melt as soon as the butcher is either gone or dead.

    As for the bullies may I remind you that Syria is in a state of WAR with Israel, maybe you trust Israel, I don’t and would like Syria to have a semblance of protection against their arrogant aggressions.

    It is a pity and a crying shame that our tanks and artillery are being used against the very people they are supposed to protect. Take over the tank, kill the occupants, convince them to defect there are more options than just blow it up.

    Maybe Syrian blood is cheap to you, or you hold some bitterness over the Assadist regime criminal behaviour in Lebanon, but I mourn every single Syrian that dies (pro-rev or not), I blame one family for all of this.

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  3. Is Joshua Landis, a hyphenated Professor?

    “It should be expected that Sunni defections from the regime will travel up the ranks as the civil war in Syria becomes ever more overtly sectarian in nature. It must be remembered that it took Iraq three years to launch its civil war in earnest. That was after the bombing 2006 of the Askari mosque in Samara’. It takes a long time for people who have lived together in relative harmony for decades to stop associating with each other and put hate in their hearts, but that is what we are seeing. It is what happened in Lebanon and Iraq.”

    It is taking quiet a long time to see any high ranking defection, period!

    Why is this professor so keen on labelling everything in sectarian terms? Is he a hyphenated professor or what?

    Let it be clear, that Tlass is not running because he is a defector, but he is a traitor, no less than Khaddam no less than Rifaato less than Makhlouf…. These are not defectors, these are traitors no less than the 2 Butchers, the despicable bashar and hafiz,

    I despise how his likes throw lightly the phrase “sectarian in nature”. What is happening is not a civil war, it is a country that has been turned to a slaughterhouse run by Assad, his Shabeeha, inside and outside Syria. Is he one? Or is he an American with an agenda, giving more time to the Butcher to see our lovely Syria turned into another Iraq? Are they betting on time?

    “Syria becomes ever more overtly sectarian” is the professor assuming that we were covertly sectarian?

    If there is anyone sectarian in Syria is this family and their henchmen, they lived in Damascus for 43 years, I wish they learned an iota of peacefulness living. A mosque beside a church adjacent to a synagogue.

    It is this family, that changed their name, not only their religion. A proud person need not to change anything, need not to denounce his people, need not to turn them into tools in scaring their brethren. This Beast family aka Assad, hate everything Syrian.

    This is a Machiavellian attitude, the lowest form of human. Selfish, no self esteem. What did they offer Syrians after 43 years. Genocides, massacres, fear. Yet this despicable mass murderer was loved, literally loved by Syrians! You call us sectarian. The regime is sectarian. Not Syrians.

    If we all, Alawites, Armenians,Christians, Druze, Ismaiilis, Kurds, Shiite, Sunni,……
    put our hands together, we will prevail and defeat every evil scenario. This uprising did not call for the fall of the regime, it called for reform, in return we got killed. We are not suicidal and we are determined to achieve both, dignity and freedom, united. We have the right to self defence like any oppressed, from this Beast and his cultist members.

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  4. I watched “72 hours under fire” on CNN. It is about the CNN team that went into Baba Amr during the bombing and before the army went in. The team consisted of Arwa Daman the reporter, a photographer and a security man who used to be in the Special Forces in England. What caught my attention was a sentence uttered by the security man. He said that in a few hours in Homs, he counted more explosions from the shelling than in 7 months that he spent in Sarajevo during the war. This sentence explains it all. For the Syrian regime to be able to shell cities for weeks on end with such intensity, they need continuous supply of ammunition that is compatible with their Russian made weapons.
    No one can convince the Russians to change their mind and stand against the Syrian regime. No one has the ability to compensate Russia for the loss of its cash cow. It is the conflict that keeps giving with its endless need for weapons, ammunition and spare parts.

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  5. The REAL Apartheid State

    N.Z. said:

    Baathist are Syrians. Baathist is not a racist ideology, Zionism is.

    Antoine replied:

    Bathism is racist towards Kurds, Turkmen,, Armenians and others. Baathism is a slave cult, designed to make slaves out of a healthy nation.

    Antoine, I agree. If arabs were as free in Syria as they are now in Israel. We’d have nothing to discuss. One day, N.Z. will recognize that arabs can live with Jews.

    IMO, Assad and his family a small group of thugs who have preyed on several million Syrians. This is the story across the ME. A small privileged group enslaving the people they supposedly govern.

    It is the conflict that keeps giving with its endless need for weapons, ammunition and spare parts.

    Sheila,

    I agree. Now that the Syrian “cat is out of the bag”, we see how peaceful and democratic Russia, China and Iran really are. Actually, all three of these countries have lots in common with the thugocracy in Syria. Birds of a feather…

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  6. Baathism is not a racist ideology Assadism is. There are 2 million Baathist in Syria, and countless millions working. Started out as a way to help the poor, ended with the Assad clan robbing the poor.

    I am not a fan of Baathist principles, but racist it is not. Assadism and Zionism is where you think a piece of land belongs to you because it was promised to you occupants be damned, that is a racist ideology.

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  7. Sheila,

    Convincing the Russians is our only hope of a political solution, they are pissed off that NATO took advantage of the Libyan No-Fly zone, they want to seem to be steering the ship on this one especially since Syria is a historical ally of theirs.

    As long as there is a 1% chance of NATO intervention the Russians won’t agree, they have made that clear (they are worried about their much bigger client Iran ending up in the same place). Another issue of the Russians is that if the anti-air capabilities in Syria become non-existent a certain neighbour might have unfettered access almost all the way to Iran via Kurdistan. Iran is what they are preserving, not the Assad regime.

    Assad is laying the ground work for sectarian warfare, sending his hyenas to murder and inflame the Sunni’s to retaliate against the Alawites. He is waiting for the opposition to retaliate in the same manner as his dogs, so that he can point a finger and say I told you so.

    Preserve the Army, dissolve the 4th brigade and republican guard, ensure the Alawites continue to have a presence in the army, actually empower and embolden a real police force that can restore order and safety, and over haul the justice system so that the criminals that killed, maimed, and raped Syria and Syrians be brought to justice.

    Or else our country is doomed for a long time, even after Assad is dead.

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  8. Baathism is not a racist ideology Assadism is.

    SOD,

    Frankly, I still don’t know what Baathism is. It seems to me it was a just a cover for 2 families to rape 2 countries. All the liberalism and liberty promised by Baathists never came to fruition.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%27athism

    Assadism and Zionism is where you think a piece of land belongs to you because it was promised to you occupants be damned, that is a racist ideology.

    SOD,

    Take a look at some of the pictures from some of the arab towns in Israel. I was in Shfaram a few years ago to visit some Druze families.

    Now compare that to Deraa and Homs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_localities_in_Israel

    One day, you’ll understand that Jews love the land as much as the Palestinians do. Furthermore, you will one day understand that Israeli law has nothing to do with the Bible as all Israelis can buy land. You or a Palestinian may think the land is holy, well, Jews may have the same feeling. I hope you aren’t surprised.

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  9. AP,

    To me Zionism does not equal to Jews.

    I have no issue with Jews, Moslems, or Christians.

    I have grave issues with Zionists, Jihadist, and White Supremacist, or anybody that thinks they are better than me.

    Personally I would love to see the great Jewish families from Damascus and Aleppo return, they are as Syrian as I am and I would welcome them as my brothers and sisters.

    Take a look at the millions of Palestinians displaced all over the world living as refugees, then tell me how gracious Israel has been. Or take a look at all those colonies that Israel likes to call settlements as if no one ever lived there and then tell me how democratic Israel is.

    I am well aware of the Assad crimes and where my country is at, I don’t need someone that has never been there to point it out to me thank you. If you haven’t realized by now we are trying our best to bring down this regime and improve our country, and he has been bloodily brutal in resisting that.

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  10. SOD,

    I’m sorry you feel Zionism is racism. It isn’t. I do not know one Israeli or Zionist who believes they are better than anyone else. We do not ask for trees to call out if Arabs are hiding behind them. Zionists recognize all Arab states. Zionists insist on equal rights, and we’ve proven it. Zionism is merely a nationality no different than the Palestinians.

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  11. SOD,

    If your highest priority is to bring down the Assad regime, why are you not calling for closer contacts with the US and Israel? Why is there no backlash against Russia and Iran, who are ARMING Assad?

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  12. In Idleb, Syrian Christians opened their homes to the fleeing citizens of neighbouring villages. Churches opened their doors and welcomed the new internal wave of refugee. This is the Syria that I know, these are the people I grew up with. Syrians are aware of the regime intentions.

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  13. AP,

    Who said that I don’t have anger and rage towards Russia and Iran, I am well aware that they are supplying and assisting the Assad regime.

    But at the same time I am well aware of the realities and that without Russian support Assad won’t budge an inch, maybe it is wishful thinking of me to try to preserve as much of the Syrian society before it falls into the abyss of sectarian hatred and ethnic cleansing, but without a political solution that is sponsored by Russia Assad see this as a green light to continue to slaughter Syrians.

    After a whole year and 10,000 dead Syrians what has the US really accomplished for Syrians, their sanctions has done nothing but hurt the Syrian population, they have not gotten the Russians to budge on anything, and the Pentagon keeps reminding us that they are not planning to strike Syria every other day.

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  14. NZ,

    The Assyrians and Kurds of Qamishli have been out protesting everyday in support of Idlib and Homs.

    Last friday they had a sign that said “Oh Jesus … there is no turning back on our revolution”

    Here is their latest protest

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  15. @ Antoine
    You “figured out” and “concluded” wrong.
    Where you get that bullshit, I am really not sure – since I never said one word or the other about the events.
    And I don’t have to prove myself to you or share anything about what I feel about anything to you or anyone else here.
    That’s absurd…..as if we are sharing our full selves here and all our thoughts and feelings??? You must be very simple minded indeed. I offer what I want to offer. And what I keep to myself- is not yours to ponder or question.
    In fact- it is a violation of the blog rules to start second guessing our fellow contributor motivations or what is in our “heart” or analyzing how loyal or empathic we think some other person’s personality is or their social background and what that means about their sympathies.
    I love and care for all Syrians equally, and if anything I do not have the class biases and trappings of most who grow up there – because it all means nothing to me and has no resonance or representational meanings for me.
    I see only beautiful faces when I go there from rags to riches.
    But I don’t cry for people on a blog. No, i do not.
    I am silent because there are no words to express what should be expressed or words to heal anything. There is no need for me to add anything to make myself feel better or convince you or anyone else.
    I get outraged with words about the things I think I can say – or must say to prevent more harm where I think more harm will be prevented.
    I do what I am good at and speak where it makes sense.

    Only a photographer can capture atrocities and pain on that level, and no- I don’t want to be secondarily traumatized at this moment- into speechless and silence.
    I just want to prevent more death in the way that I believe in, however unpopular I may be.

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  16. I majorly second the nicely put proposals of Son of Damascus @3:28….

    we cannot rule out what can be done with/to the Russians before all avenues have been pursued fully…

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  17. After a whole year and 10,000 dead Syrians what has the US really accomplished for Syrians, their sanctions has done nothing but hurt the Syrian population, they have not gotten the Russians to budge on anything, and the Pentagon keeps reminding us that they are not planning to strike Syria every other day.

    SOD,

    10,000. I am truly sorry.

    The US? We have limits, the US isn’t superman. Russia and China are superpowers as well and they sit on the UNSC as permanent members. They US has NO WAY of forcing these 2 countries to do anything. If Israel, the US, and “world zionism” were so powerful as some believe here, they would prevent these 2 countries from doing business with Iran. That has never worked.

    At some point, arabs, you would think, would show the same type of “hatred” for Iran, Russia, and China as they have in the past for the US and her allies. I mean my goodness, they’re ARMING Assad!

    But, perhaps, it is wishful thinking on my part. I was hopeful the Arab Spring would change the decades-old assumptions and alliances, I guess I was wrong.

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  18. Brussels has switched to a higher gear : we had a demo last Saturday, and on Sunday a long afternoon event with music, films, Suheir Atassi and George Sabra,

    This Thursday Amnesty organises a demo in front of the Syrian Embassy
    and every Sunday afternoon we’ll be protesting at the Bourse between 2 and 4

    The Syrian Embassy was attacked and invaded about a month ago and the windows of the Syrian Air offices were smashed.

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  19. MOSCOW – Russia has no intention of curtailing military cooperation with Syria despite calls from the West to stop arming President Bashar Assad’s regime, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday.

    Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia will abide by existing contracts to deliver weapons to Syria despite Assad’s yearlong crackdown on the opposition, in which over 7,500 people have been killed.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/03/13/russia-says-it-will-keep-selling-weapons-to-syria/?test=latestnews

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  20. AP,

    I am not writing about world Zionism, I am writing about the political realities that Syria is facing.

    AP may I remind you the US fabricated evidence and made up lies to invade a sovereign nation, you are going to tell me that they can’t convince the Russians all of a sudden to play ball.

    As for the “decades-old assumptions” you are the one assuming that I have no ill feelings towards Russia, China, and Iran. You are filling whatever blanks with (Anti-US, Israel, and Zionism) when I am not. So please don’t bunch me with the anti-imperialist, anti-western Angry Arab group, when I am not.

    My biggest disappointment does not lie with Russia, US, Iran or any other nation. My disappointment lies at the Opposition who are too busy undermining each other, trying to shore up their seat rather than unseating the dictator.

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  21. I am not writing about world Zionism, I am writing about the political realities that Syria is facing.

    SOD,

    No you aren’t, but others, like N.Z. are.

    AP may I remind you the US fabricated evidence and made up lies to invade a sovereign nation, you are going to tell me that they can’t convince the Russians all of a sudden to play ball.

    SOD,

    I disagree that anyone in the US government “fabricated” evidence. If you can show me the US government knew Iraq didn’t have WMD, I’d like to see it.

    The US has been having terrible problems with Russia lately. Not only with respect to Syria, but also with respect to Iran and even Europe. Russia is afraid of getting booted out of the ME entirely; and they’re digging in their heels by putting all their chips on the X-box president and Iran.

    As for the “decades-old assumptions” you are the one assuming that I have no ill feelings towards Russia, China, and Iran.

    SOD, generally, I am not seeing the “jihadist” forces, demonstrations, or whatever else you want to call speak out against Russia, China and Iran like I’m used to with Israel for example.

    Why is that?

    My disappointment lies at the Opposition…

    Going by what people are saying, the Opposition is doing a poor job. I do not know the details of what the opposition is doing politically.

    So please don’t bunch me with the anti-imperialist, anti-western Angry Arab group, when I am not.

    Fair enough. I’ll try to remember!

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  22. As you know AP, Israel’s biggest export is fear, and fear is good for business.

    Looks like it slipped your radar, although, it has the word “Israel” in it. I was hoping that you will comment, you chose to ignore.

    “SOD,

    10,000. I am truly sorry.” Your sorrow is taken with a grain of salt.

    AP,

    6 million Jewish people died during the Holocaust, I am truly sorry.

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  23. Cheers Zenobia, I got carried away by anger at the situation. In my opinion this Syrian Uprising and infact the whole Arab Spring has brought out the worst in the middle and upper classes.

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  24. S.O.D,

    It is ironic that the Russians are pissed off at NATO’s actions in Libya, infact most people are surprised that NATO needed to bomb the Libyan ragtag gaddafi mercenaries so as to enable the Libyan opposition to score victories. In Syria they are demanding only a no-fly-zone, the FSA is so string that even with the few guns and ammunintion that they have, they are giving the Army a run for their money and regularly capturing Tanks and armoyred vehicles, that is NATO establishes just a safe zone, that will be enough to topple Assad.

    the Libyan rbeels were actually very incompetent and indisciplined and cannot be compared to the FSA. the Libyan rebels most of them did not even know how to fire a gun properly, they had no discipline and just wasted thousands of bullets by firing into the air. Maybe thats why they found the going tough and needed NATO to bomb the crap out of Gaddafi’s socialsit genocidal mercenaries. The FSA on the other hand is extremely disciplined, we can see that in the thousands of videos, not once will u see them wasting even 1 bullet. The FSA don;t need NATO to bomb them, just need a safe haven so that potential defectors have a place to go and FSA can set up training camps in the safe zone, refugees can live normally without fear, the need of the hour is a Benghazi and that will be enough by itself. The Syrian Air Force is very weak, and the Air Deefence can be defeated by concerted action.

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  25. Despite the fact that the FSA is getting no outside support whatsoever, it os actually getting its hands in heavy weapons. FSA has caotured many tanks and armoured vehicles in this conflict, in Homs they have at least 1 Tank and several APCs, in Rastan and Qusayr they have been videod with T-55 and even a T-72 Tank, now in Idlib and Halab they are rapidly capturing these heavy weapons.

    LOL what the FSA is capturing by itself, even NATO or Turkey or KSA will not be able to supply :

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  26. AP,

    I don’t speak for N.Z, and as such he is more than capable of answering your questions about his opinions than I am. And I believe he did answer you @ 22:08 and then again @ 20:42.

    Personally I would like Israel to stay way the hell out of this, don’t need their statements every week reminding us how soon Assad will fall, don’t need those videos where the former head of Shin Bet is claiming solidarity with our cause. They just add credibility to Bashar’s arguments of Israeli involvement when there is none.

    As for the WMD I guess Colin Powell’s speech at the UNSC was true after all, and the CIA agent married to the Ambassador that was exposed did not really happen, and the US found tons of WMD in Iraq.

    “generally, I am not seeing the “jihadist” forces, demonstrations, or whatever else you want to call speak out against Russia, China and Iran like I’m used to with Israel for example.”

    I am not a Jihadist, nor do I support jihadist so I don’t really care what they have to say.
    I believe Palestinians have every right to arm themselves, but the targeting of civilians is a crime. I believe the Lebanese have every right to defend and arm themselves, but it is the job of the Lebanese army and not a Militia group.

    And for the record I don’t see China, Russia, or Iran occupying any Arab land, while Israel DOES occupy Arab land. So don’t expect Arabs to have the same anger at Russia … as Israel.

    The political opposition failures are becoming apparent too much inner squabbling and arguing of who controls what, pretty soon will have enough opposition groups that cover the entire alphabet. This is of course not to be confused with the activist opposition that is risking its neck night and day video taping the horrors, helping the wounded, smuggling supplies to besieged areas, and organizing protest in the most dangerous parts of the world, they are and continue to be the heart of this revolution in my eyes at least.

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  27. Antoine,

    In order for NATO to establish a no-fly zone they need to annihilate all of Syria’s air defence systems, including the Airforce.

    First I don’t wish to see that happen because those airplanes are very expensive to replace, and so far the Airforce has not been used (as it did in Hama in 82) to bombard and kill Syrians. There are three military elements to Bashar’s suppression Republican Guard, 4th Brigade, and paramilitary units (Shabiha, and Moukhabarat), so at most 20% of the Syrian armed Forces have been involved in the repression why should the other 80% (which when used have shown a propensity to defect rather quickly) pay the price of NATO bombardment, do you think American pilots can tell the difference between them, or that the Regime might use them as ‘shields’ for the protection of loyal units?

    Secondly as I outlined to Sheila @ 03:28 the Russians are more interested in the protection of perhaps their biggest client Iran than Syria. Russia does not want to see Israel having an open corridor to fly over to bomb Iran, and most likely this is the main reason why they would veto any resolution that calls for bombing Syria.

    The only military involvement would have to come by the GCC and Turks (with covert American help perhaps), but the Turks have proven so far to be more willing to deploy their troops on our borders for a PKK rebel leader than Syrian lives, as for the GCC they had a hard time fighting Houthi Yemini rebels what do you think a real Army can do to them?

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  28. Have you noticed something ? Areas that were suppressed in August last year, and had been “quiet” since, are again heating up ? Latakia, Deirezzor, Hama, but whats more important is a firm FSA presence has been established in Reef Halab, large araes of it is under FSA control.

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  29. S.O.D you are wrong in your assessment that only 20 % of forces are being used up and that only the Rep. Guard or 4th Div. is being used in the repression. If that were so, so many defections wouldn’t have occurred in the first place. So fat the Rep. Guard hasn’t been seen outside Damascus ( they wear distinctive uniform with read caps and red epaulettes). As I said you should not underestimate the support that Assad has. If educated, uinformed people in Damas and Aleppo can be so fanatically pro-bashar, what about the poor, ill-informed soldiers living in isolated barracks with no access to the normal society, no access to non-regime media, don;t you think many of them will believe in the regime’s spin ? Dr. Kamal al Lubwani, a prominent oppositionist, was in Prison as late as November 2011, and he told that he had absolutely no idea that an Uprising was taking place in Syria and came to know only after getting out of Prison. That is the extent of the regime’s misinformation ( or rather the lack of information).

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  30. S.O.D. do you think Bashar covertly supports the PKK ??? Why do I sometimes hear a sympathetic voice towards PKK from some Syrian oppositionists ?

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  31. Thank you Haitham al-Maleh and Dr. Kamal al-Lubwani, for getting out of the useless SNC and its leader Ghalioun who is more loyal to USA, CIA, Erdogan and King Abdullah than he is to the Syrian people. God bless you and may all your efforts bear fruit.

    And remember, 1 bullet = 1 Assadist.

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  32. heartbraking report of Hama, made in 1984. The story of the father of Khaled al Khani is inside it as a report of an eyewitness

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  33. S.O.D,

    In the end, what will make the revolution victorious will not be any outside support, but gradual defections and sustained proetests and demos. That, and protests spreading to new regions. From what I have seen of recent videos, defections have not only kept at a suatined rate, but the rate has increased recently. This despite the fact that FSA has “lost” some ground recently and is being chased up and down the country, you would expect most soldiers and officers to hedge their bets with the regime.

    Another is the continued protests, and protests erupting in new areas or in areas that were suppressed before.

    The geographical extent of the revolution clearly has extended. It started in daraa and its epicentre was in North-Central Syria (Homs-Hama-Idlib) but the proetsts have spread to the east and north-east, among the Kurds, in the Qalamoun mountains and in Reef Daamascus.

    JARTHOUMA,

    Do you think the FSA will be able to get back into Baba Amr and regain control ? how long will it be before FSA regai

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  34. 6 million Jewish people died during the Holocaust, I am truly sorry.

    N.Z.,

    Thanks. I hope you’ll understand why security is so important to Israel, especially since she is still at war with a number of neighboring countries.

    I don’t speak for N.Z….

    SOD, that’s a relief!

    Personally I would like Israel to stay way the hell out of this, don’t need their statements every week reminding us how soon Assad will fall, don’t need those videos where the former head of Shin Bet is claiming solidarity with our cause.

    The GOI has been unusually quiet about Syria. You can hear a pin drop. The former head of the Shin Bet, like myself, or any other Jew or Israeli is speaking for themselves. I understand your sensitivity.

    This whole situation is very sensitive and that is why I participate here. So I can understand it better.

    And for the record I don’t see China, Russia, or Iran occupying any Arab land…

    Neither is Assad. Is occupation the worst thing that can happen to a people? But they are all arming a murder who, by your estimate, has killed about 10,000 people.

    …while Israel DOES occupy Arab land.

    SOD,

    That’s correct. They do. At this time that amounts to a few square miles if we are to take into account Israeli proposals vs. Palestinian agreement of the ’67 border and the Old City of Jerusalem. So my point is, we have to take everything into account. Where Israel occupies land claimed by the Palestinians, Israeli arabs are the more free and safe in Israel than in any other arab country. Where there is no “occupation” arab despots have killed hundreds of thousands of arabs.

    What’s worse SOD? Let’s think out of the box for a few minutes.

    PS – Thanks for the responses…

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  35. مدينة دوما :: 13-3-2012 :: جمعة الوفاء لانتفاضة الاكراد :: مقطع فيديو يصور قيام مليشيات الاسد و كلابه بتصفية الشاب محمود محمد صعب -ابو اكرم (عمره 28 عام – اب لولدين) حيث قامو باطلاق الرصاص الحي عليه و من ثم عمدو لربطه من قدميه و تعليه من النافذه حتى فارق الحياة شهيدة …
    يذكر بأن الناشط محمود اعتقال بتاريخ 15-8-2011 نتيجة لنشاطه المناهض لنظام الاسد المجرم

    Hung to bleed to death same as in a slaughterhouse

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  36. As you know AP, Israel’s biggest export is fear, and fear is good for business. Waiting for your comment. Will you shy away again?

    Every year, America and Israel are voted as one of the greatest threat for world peace. Why?

    Chris Hedges spent seven years in the Middle East. He was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. He gave this talk Saturday night in Washington, D.C.

    The battle for justice in the Middle East is our battle. It is part of the vast, global battle against the 1 percent. It is about living rather than dying. It is about communicating rather than killing. It is about love rather than hate. It is part of the great battle against the corporate forces of death that reign over us—the fossil fuel industry, the weapons manufacturers, the security and surveillance state, the speculators on Wall Street, the oligarchic elites who assault our poor, our working men and women, our children, one in four of whom depend on food stamps to eat, the elites who are destroying our ecosystem with its trees, its air and its water and throwing into doubt our survival as a species.

    What is being done in Gaza, the world’s largest open-air prison, is a pale reflection of what is slowly happening to the rest of us. It is a window into the rise of the global security state, our new governing system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism.” It is a reflection of a world where the powerful are not bound by law, either on Wall Street or in the shattered remains of the countries we invade and occupy, including Iraq with its hundreds of thousands of dead. And one of the greatest purveyors of this demented ideology of violence for the sake of violence, this flagrant disregard for the rule of domestic and international law, is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/aipac_works_for_the_1_percent_20120304/

    Like

  37. Antoine,

    Expect the Free Syrian Army to withdraw from the main population centres in Idlib as well soon.

    Remember this happened in Daraa initially, in Rastan, the outskirts of Damascus,Idlib previously, obviously Bab Umar etc,

    Still…. you are right alot of people are forming more and more kata’ib with volunteers and defections from the FSA. I doubt that the incursions into Idlib and Homs with the so called elections in May in a “new stable Syria” (as over 90 % of the country is back to normal with virtual victory according to the idiot Sha7adeee on Aljazeera) will get rid of the revolution lol!

    Antoine, like you said, this process will be slow with the eventual increase in defections. What
    is important is the continual demonstrations thru out Syria that will force the Assad militia to
    place more and more vunerable military check points. These will be rife for further defections and would become further soft targets. I mean half (I exaggerate a bit) the attacks on check points come from the inside with defections lol!

    Both the FSA and the civil unrest go hand in hand. Anyway…. see what happens in Homs again soon :).

    It seems that the FSA is also infiltrating into Damascus yet again!

    The revolution will only fail when we have a divide between the supporting population and the armed resistance (like in Algeria). Once the population gets tired of demonstrating and fear comes back then you can say that Bashar is getting the upper hand

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  38. Why do we have to take constant injections of zionist propaganda here as if there were not more urgent topics to deal with ? Why lose our energy in discussions with AP ?

    Do you think I am allowed to post any comments on Haaretz ? They are automatically deep sixed.

    But this is supposed to be a Syrian blog run by Syrians and if they can put up with this, so be it.

    Like

  39. Responding to N.Z. odd Question

    As you know AP, Israel’s biggest export is fear, and fear is good for business. Waiting for your comment. Will you shy away again?

    N.Z.,

    Thanks for the response (anniebannie I would just skip the post, no need to bother yourself. BTW – My posts are usually to help make alliances with the Syrian protestors since they are getting killed by Arabs, not Israelis).

    Israel’s biggest export, I think, is cut diamonds.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Israel

    Fear is something every country has. If there was no fear, there wouldn’t be armies. Arabs perhaps fear Israel may gobble up more arab land, and Israelis fear arabs will invade Israel.

    Your point? Are you saying Israel has nothing to fear despite all the wars Israel has fought, all the missiles she has had to absorb, and all the calls for Israel’s destruction? I find it interesting that the same people who call for Israel’s destruction are the same people who claim Israel “exports fear”.

    I saw the article you cut & pasted from Chris Hedges (whoever this guy is). I disagree with him.

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  40. AP how many times did we ask ya to take your Zionist shit away from this site? I’m not the moderator here but HELLO it’s a Syrian related issues blog not for Zionists to release their venomous shitty propaganda. And yeah your best mate Aboud is not here to defend your rights and coexistence crappy theory.

    Give us a break!!!

    Like

  41. The revolution will only fail when we have a divide between the supporting population and the armed resistance (like in Algeria). Once the population gets tired of demonstrating and fear comes back then you can say that Bashar is getting the upper hand

    The situation between Syria and Algeria is not comparable. In Algeria, you had Islamist parties, some moderate, some extremist, with the support of half the population, on one side ; and the regime, with all its security apparatuses, collabortaors, and radical secular/atheist “intellectuals” on the other. Their aim was to establish an Islamic State and to do away with the existing system, with violence if necessary. The people whop voted for the FIS did not come out in large rallies to protests when the Military cancelled the elections. You had very stupid radical leaders like Ali Benhadj who overshadowed moderate leaders like Abbassi Madani and Abdelkader Hachani.

    Lastly, the armed resistance in Algria failed to create a good relationship, an organic relationship with the civilan population where they operated. As long as an insurgency has an organic relationship with the civilian populace, it will continue to flourish. the Algerian militants alienated the civilians ( similar to what the PLO did by their stupid actions in Lebanon).

    Finally, the machiavellian Generals were able to do all sorts of false-flag operations. Read about the Bentalha massacre or Rais massacre. Entire villages were massacred by Alegrian Secial Forces wearing fake beards and shouting religious slogans so as to give the villagers the impression that it was the islamists who were doing it. Such a situation is impossible in Syria. The regime already has tried to di it in Homs several times, but each time their plan failed. Why do you think the shabbiha are beheading people ? To give the impression that Islamists are doing it. Fortunatly, the people are not buying even 1 % of the story.

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  42. Once the population gets tired of demonstrating and fear comes back then you can say that Bashar is getting the upper hand

    Fear comes back ? ROFL. The only step left for Assad to induce fear is using nuclear weapons.

    Getting tired of demonstrating, that would have happened back in August when the Army invaded Hama , Deirezzor and Latakia to crush the demos.

    Like

  43. As of now, Haitham al-maleh, Dr. Kamal al-Lubwani, and Catherine Telli have resigned from the SNC. They have complianed that Ghalioun has monopolised all power. They have called for full arming of the FSA. god bless them.

    Ghalioun shoukd go back top his teaching, he is beter suited to to do that, not to be in control of a fatal, lethal situation lie this, what we need is a totally dedicated, aggressive, machiavellian leader like Mr. al-Maleh, someone who has spent time in the regime’s torture machines and who strongly identifies with the shaab. To the best of my knowledge Ghalioun never had to personally face the sordid side of the Syrian regime, while all the 3 who have “defected” were until recently in Prison inside Syria, they know what to do.

    Like

  44. Syrian Christians for Democracy
    Assad is killing Christians and the Catholic News Service covers up for him
    الأسد يقتل المسيحيين وخدمة الأنباء الكاثوليكية تغطي جرائمه

    For Immediate Release

    Contact information for press members:
    George Stifo +1 508 667 6599 George@syrian-christian.org
    Ayman Abdelnour +1 514 317 2744 ayman@syrian-christian.org
    Washington DC, 03/14/2012

    Syrian Christians for Democracy is appalled by the ongoing massacres in the city of Homs where dozens of women and children were violently murdered last week. We present our sincere condolences to the families of the martyrs and we hope that their death will not go in vain.

    In this sad occasion, we denounce the Syrian Christian journalists hired by the regime to spin the facts and propagate fear mongering rumors to alienate the Syrian Christians from supporting the revolution and align them behind Assad’s rule.

    Recently, we witnessed a growing number of fake accounts and false accusations picturing the opposition forces as perpetuators of crimes against the Christian community in Homs, while the real source of danger on the Christian families was kept in the dark. We regret the hasty work of media outlets to disseminate rumors and reports of incidents in the absence of a balanced effort to substantiate the claims.

    We are referring in particular to The Catholic News Service’s latest story published on the 8th of March 2012. The article cites a Vatican source in Jerusalem claiming that Christians in the Hamidiya neighborhood of Homs were stopped from leaving the city by anti-government forces and were forced into the mosque, where they were then used as human shields by rebel forces against the advancing tanks of the government forces.

    This is inaccurate because:

    1) The Syrian government forces are indiscriminate of religion in their continuous shelling against civilians and are in no way deterred by the use of human shields, a fact all Syrians know only too well.
    2) It was in fact the government thugs who attacked several Christian families and forcefully appropriated a large number of their homes and buildings in the Christian neighborhood of “Al Motraniyye”, effectively driving the Christian residents out of that area completely.
    3) The regime forces are moving the displaced families from the destroyed “Bab Amr” and “Bab Sbaa” neighborhoods of Homs to the appropriated and abandoned Christian homes in order to create a conflict between Homs residents and escalate the sectarian crimes in the city.
    4) The vast majority of the Christians in Homs have lost family members, neighbors and friends in the protests for Freedom and Democracy. They have no sympathy for a regime killing them daily.

    Therefore, we caution all foreign press agencies against false sources of information pertaining to Christians in Syria. Such sources often promote fictitious accounts of violence and persecution against Christians for the sole purpose of winning sympathy and financial support from the regime. Such untruthful accounts and opinions are the real threat to Christianity in Syria because of the animosity and division it cultivates between Christians and their fellow Syrian Muslim citizens. This division benefits solely the Assad regime that continues to commit heinous crimes to incite sectarian strife.

    We at Syrian Christians for Democracy welcome all inquiries and are able to verify any accounts or claims pertaining to Christians throughout Syria. We are continuously monitoring the hot zones in Syria and we rely on a secure network of activists and priests whose only concern is to safeguard their community. We will gladly cooperate with and supply necessary information to any organization contacting us for further details.

    Finally, we call on the Syrian Christian families still in Homs not to leave their homes and resist all attempts to drive them out of the city. Our organization supports their heroic sacrifices and we are ready to provide them with all the means necessary to protect and defend their historical presence in Syria.

    Like

  45. Exclusive: secret Assad emails lift lid on life of leader’s inner circle

    (…)

    The president also received advice from Hussein Mortada, an influential Lebanese businessman with strong connections to Iran. In December, Mortada urged Assad to stop blaming al-Qaida for an apparent twin car bombing in Damascus, which took place the day before an Arab League observer mission arrived in the country. He said he had been in contact with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon who shared the same view.

    “It is not out of our interest to say that al-Qaida organisation is behind the operation because this claim will [indemnify] the US administration and Syrian opposition,” Mortada wrote not long after the blasts. “I have received contacts from Iran and Hezbollah in my role as director of many Iranian-Lebanese channels and they directed me to not mention that al-Qaida is behind the operation. It is a blatant tactical media mistake.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/assad-emails

    Like

  46. umm nuwâs,

    The year-long uprising against his decade of rule appeared to be faltering this week as forces loyal to Assad retook the key northern city of Idlib.

    What do you make of this inserted and misleading sentence in the article, related to the Butcher, secret emails?

    Like

  47. As the Arabic saying goes, a pot found its lid. Mr. and Mrs Butcher.

    She played her role no less cunningly than her husband. Beauty combined with elegance. Sophistication and eloquence, more importantly, a deceitful modesty.

    They will receive guests and dignitaries, in their modest apartment in an upscale neighbourhood in Damascus. Where together with her heir, are raising there 3 children. She looks after the home, nothing ostentatious. No servants. The guests will come, the same menu will be served, the same conversations will be fed, that of a democratically run household.

    Both modern. Change and reforms are first things on their agenda. But the old guards, are not ready. He is ready, they whine.

    Many fell into the trap with this simple formula. She was the perfect cover-up. Investments poured into the country by lured investors.

    A perfect equation for stability. A dictator that was non-the-less admired by the vast majority of the population, with a tight grip and a hidden iron fist.

    Tomorrow will mark the first anniversary of the Syrian Uprising against one of the bloodiest dictatorial regimes in the 21st century.

    Eyes, hearts and minds are still puzzled by the relentless time given by the International Community to the pampered Butcher. While humanity is watching, the country that was known as Syria has been turned into a slaughterhouse by Assad and his elves.

    Like

  48. Well done N.Z and umm nawas for this find. I came across it here first and I really hope this is the blow to the regime many have been hoping/praying for. 🙂

    Like

  49. Tweets,

    The Assads email in English? so much for anti-imperialism!

    Asma Assad bought on 3/2/2012 Louboutin Shoes for 3.795 £. I guess the devil doesn’t wear Prada anymore.

    Many Syrian female activists have suddenly started calling for both Assads’ execution. Must be the shoes, or maybe the fondue set.

    Like

  50. OTW, where are you? It has been a while and we missed you.

    Hope all is okay! Take care. nz

    Like

  51. As per the new revelations,

    Mayassa, the daughter of the Qatari Emir, is “friends and family” with Asma, and she has revealed that the Emir considers Bashar a “friend”

    The wife of Erdogan wanted Asma’s email from Mayassa, apparently Erdogan’s wife would like to write to Asma,

    God help the people from these corrupt leaders feeding on the people’s blood. Thee leaders don’t have anything called morality, ethics, kindness, etc. God curse all the rulers of the Middle East. How can someone be even friendly with the likes of Asma and even want to write to her. I don;t know, but I feel like crying, I wonder what crime the Syrian people committed in history to be surrounded on all sides by these hyenas.

    Like

  52. As per the new revelations,

    Mayassa, the daughter of the Qatari Emir, is “friends and family” with Asma, and she has revealed that the Emir considers Bashar a “friend”

    The wife of Erdogan wanted Asma’s email from Mayassa, apparently Erdogan’s wife would like to write to Asma,

    God help the people from these corrupt leaders feeding on the people’s blood. Thee leaders don’t have anything called morality, ethics, kindness, etc. God curse all the rulers of the Middle East. How can someone be even friendly with the likes of Asma and even want to write to her. I don;t know, but I feel like crying, I wonder what crime the Syrian people committed in history to be surrounded on all sides by these hyenas.

    Bashar seems to be insulated from the crisis. He seems to enjoy his personal life and doesn;t pay much attention to matters of State. Apparently, the reins are firmly in the hands of the vampires Maher and Assef Shawkat, and the she-devil Najah Attar.

    Like

  53. Dear All,
    Been very busy lately. Everyntime I want to write, I get distracted by other issues, and by the time I have something to say, the news would already be old.

    Like

  54. Dear N.Z. — in response to your earlier question about the Guardian journalist’s comment — I think (only an opinion) that it was because there’s been no real news since the army invaded Idlib . People leaving the SNC with no reliable other opposition group in sight. As’ad Abu Khalil going bonkers (his latest target the French Dr Berès , age 71, who ran a field clinic in Homs in February) — and Maysaloon reading Ayn Rand with enthusiasm. allah yustur…..

    here are al-Jazeera’s updates in English — the interactive interviews are interesting

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/2012314201510748320.html

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2012/03/2012315527913540.html

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/201231591410765861.html

    Like

  55. Brussels, to day, between 11 and 12; not many people (working day and working hours). This is in front of the Syrian Embassy.

    Like

  56. Reading Asad Abu Khalil, one realizes how bitter and graceless the person is, to the point of dehumanizing himself and everyone else.

    He is the sort of person who will hold a grudge against a 3 yr old kid for crying too loudly on a bus.

    Like

  57. Antoine, I think that As’ad Abu Khalil’s attitude comes, unfortunately, from desperation at the refusal of this or any United States Government (since that is where he, a Palestinian, lives) to consider the situation of the Palestinians. Eighteen people were murdered in Gaza last week — this interview with Ali Abuminah of Electronic Intifada points out the glaring difference in rhetoric . Right now the American (verbal) support for the Syrian opposition has not been worth the paper it gets printed on — but Sec’y of State Clinton would not even acknowledge that people had , once again,been extra-judicially murdered by the Netanyahu crew in Gaza — only that the Palestinians had no right to retaliate.

    http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4685/on-israeli-attacks-and-gaza-ceasefires_democracy-n

    Like

  58. So do you think the Uprising has all but been “defeated”, in the sense that large-scale protests gaining strenght are no longer possible, the FSA has been cornered and reduced to low-intensity insurgency, people have become too scared, and damascus, Aleppo and a few corrupt losers are again pinning their hopes on the regime ?

    The FSA needs to come up with new ideas, like use lots of IEDs, form FSA secret cells in the heart of Damascus to create unrest, FSA needs to get trigger-happy. Also civilans should join FSA in large numbers and get military training.

    Like

  59. Can anyone give me tips on how to keep track of online Turkish-language media’s coverage on Syria ?

    Like

  60. Antoine,

    Google Reader

    Google Reader helps you find and keep track of interesting stuff on the web. You can subscribe to your favorite websites, and keep up with what’s popular. New content comes to your Google Reader when it’s posted, so you don’t need to visit individual sites.

    http://www.google.com/reader

    Like

  61. Thats exactly what I mean, Um Nuwas. To grudge the Syrians their suffering just because that of the Palestinians isn’t recognized.

    Btw till this day we haven’t heard any condemnation from him of Hezbollah and Amal’s attacks on Palestinian camps in Lebanon in the 1980s.

    Like

  62. S.O.D,

    I mean how will I search content in Turkish ? I don’t know a word in Turkish and Google Translate is woefully inaccurate. I don;t even know what the main Turkish language media outlets are, but I know this much – the road to Damascus goes thru turkey rather than Russia, and anyone who wishes to defeat the Assads must have Turkish public opinion overwhelmingly on their side.

    In fact what we need is mass hysteria among the Turkish populace regarding Syria, to the point where Turks will be rallying for War with Assad on streets of Istanbul and Ankara.

    Like

  63. Antoine,

    With the news of the two Turkish journalist being handed over to Syrian intelligence (one of them being wounded) will most definitely reinvigorate the Turkish public.

    Turks in my opinion don’t wish to intervene directly, they as well want the Syrian Army intact or else they will have to worry about PKK fighters on both Iraqi and Syrian borders. Every country has its own specific reasons on why they don’t want to intervene, but they continue to call on Assad to step down (as if this time he will listen).

    If they really wanted to intervene or if Damascus was even remotely worried about Turkish intervention they would have never stormed Idlib, which is in close proximity to Turkey.

    As for the Turkish news I would start with english print newspapers such as Hurriyet Daily, and Today’s Zaman.

    Like

  64. Thanks S.O.D,

    I wonder what was the matter with the two Turkish journalsts,

    What is the prominent sentiment now in Damascus ? Are they still rooting for the regime ? Is it more out of fear or out of loyalty ?

    Like

  65. Antoine lets see tomorrow if the demonstrations have become somewhat circumspect. 🙂

    Bashar’s tertiary syphilis knows that he has no where near enough the troops required to hold ground. This is what he needs to do. What is he doing now?

    Hit with distant artillery and then concentrate loyal troops in areas for the shock effect, particularly in areas the media has portrayed as “liberated” by the FSA. After that you do a number of barbaric acts to instil supposed fear in the population. Then you have to hold ground by putting up military check points everywhere. As you do not have enough troops you rely on low grade sunni conscripts and soldiers interspersed wih Alawite militas and officers.

    Large sections of the population are internally displaced at the same time and the FSA disappear to regroup.

    Then the FSA infiltrate again and start harassing the check points. These check points result in further defections. Also check points themselves take a life of their own and result in further internal defections. Because of this the Shabiha are forced out again. Also these check points further serve the role of providing more weaponry for the FSA.

    Eventually areas again get liberated and then you get more demonstrations as the youth from the internally displaced populations re-enter and demonstrate. Bashar the shriveled penis then again uses artillery and brings in more troops who have been subject to quite alot of attrition the last time with significant casualities and repeats the process again!

    Unfortunately, his army will become less and less effective as he repeats the process over and over and over again. Eventually, the number of concentrated shock troops will become less and in the long run he will have to give up ground permanently to keep forces in areas that are very important.

    Meanwhile…..he has to devote a significant number of his forces to chase around demonstrators all over the country lol!

    Antoine, this regime cannot keep this going and they know it! They are just doing this to have a strong card at what they see will be the eventual negotiating table. Personally we should negotiate with Bashar. I am not too sure if we should have him shot or hanged

    Like I said before, the only way for Bashar to win is to instil fear again in the population and for the revolution to give up hope because of a lack of patience.

    Like

  66. We must remember that demonstrations generally happen because of two main reasons

    1-The area is protected by the FSA

    2-The geographic spread of the Shabiha makes it impossible for them to be everywhere at once. This in effect creates areas that can demonstrate while the demonstrators have look outs. Interestingly this is a very good idea! Once the Shabiha realise that a demonstration is going on in an area they divert and run around chasing different demonstrations. They then identify “hot spots” and bring in more shabiha that are supposed to man check points and intelligence buildings lol! The FSA smile and find soft targets.

    It goes hand in hand Antoine, the FSA and the population. Each is vital component of the revolution .

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  67. You know the scary thing for the sectarian Alawites is this. If they continue like this they will disproportionately loose a significant part of the fighting male population. You must remember, even if we assume that every Alawite in the country supports the baffoon (which is weak premise, despite what people think. Alot are scared ) we would only have an active force of about 150,000 men! Assad is loosing about 30 to 40 militia a day all over the country (we are excluding the wounded!). If this goes on Algerian style then the Alawites are really in trouble.

    He is trying use the minorities to get to the negotiating table with a strong show of force. He knows that this may get out of hand and become irreversibly self destructive. They will also have nothing to negotiate with in the end and this supposed idea of an Alawite state that Bashar is promising some idiots will be a joke.

    Like

  68. I agree the FSA need weapons. It is the relative speed that they will get it. Most important of all they should never and I mean never put themselves in a situation where they are out of ammunition,

    Like

  69. You know the scary thing for the sectarian Alawites is this. If they continue like this they will disproportionately loose a significant part of the fighting male population. You must remember, even if we assume that every Alawite in the country supports the baffoon (which is weak premise, despite what people think. Alot are scared ) we would only have an active force of about 150,000 men! Assad is loosing about 30 to 40 militia a day all over the country (we are excluding the wounded!). If this goes on Algerian style then the Alawites are really in trouble.

    Accoding to my and some others calculations and estimates, the number of Alaiwtes in the regular Army may well be around 150,000 , but the total number of armed and uniformed Alawite men – Army, AF, Navy, all the intelligence and security branches, Police, Shabbiha , is close to 300,000. Then there are at least 50,000 Christians and Druze in the Army.

    Then you have, the weirdos of Dahiye el Janoubiyeh and Sadr City, all too eager to declare Jihad on the people of Syria. Its nice to be optimistic and confident, but you should do a realistic judgement of the enemy’s capabilities.

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  70. Btw Jarthouma, is Assad really losing 30 to 40 thugs per day ? I don’t think so, even the FSA, well, even Rami Abdel rahman is not quoting such a high figure. I think it is close to 5 to 10.

    Btw do you have authentic sources for that figure of yours ?

    It is highly possible that a large proportion of Army casualties are actually soldiers who were killed while trying to defect. Assad keeps on crying about 2,000 Syrian soldiers killed, what he doesn’t mention is that almost 1,000 of those were killed by his own men.

    Like

  71. Thanks Annie, this is the first I came acriss, and worth posting here :

    Gov’t readies for Syria buffer zone amid flow
    ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News

    Amid a new wave of refugees from Syria, Turkey is mulling whether to set up a buffer zone on its southern border to handle the influx.
    Syrian refugees walk under rain on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border near Antakya in a bid to cross into Turkey. AFP Photo
    The Turkish government is making preparations for a further exodus from Syria, as the number of people fleeing to Turkey rises sharply due to Syrian army rampages in the restive neighborhood of Baba Amr in Homs and in the rebel stronghold Idlib. The number of Syrians currently staying in Turkey rose to 14,700 yesterday.

    According to the course of developments, the establishment of a buffer zone at the border could be considered, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said in a televised interview yesterday.

    Asked if Turkey was considering a corridor or buffer zone at the Turkish-Syrian border, Atalay said the issue was a common problem across the region, recalling that there had also been an influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon.

    Considering the efforts of the international community, including the Arab League, Turkey was studying its strategy with all dimensions, Atalay said, adding that the Syrian army was militarily interfering in any attempt by the Syrian people trying to flee the unrest.

    “The Syrian administration has been planting mines, taking measures not to allow refugees to flee to the other side of the border,” he said.

    Around 1,000 Syrian refugees, including a general, have fled to Turkey in the last 24 hours, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has estimated. “The number of Syrians currently staying in Turkey climbed to 14,700 today,” spokesperson Selçuk Ünal told reporters yesterday.

    Some 14,200 of those Syrian refugees are staying in camps in Hatay province, and the 500 Syrian refugees sheltering in Reyhanlı are being taken to a new camp in Gaziantep. A defecting general is also among the latest wave of Syrian refugees, Ünal stated.

    “With the Syrian general who arrived yesterday, the number of Syrian generals hosted in Turkey increased to seven,” he adeed.

    Turkey is to open a new refugee camp near the southern town of Kilis next month to host a further 10,000 Syrians. Work has also begun on a camp near the eastern end of the border at Ceylanpınar for 20,000 people. That would bring the total capacity in Turkey for Syrian refugees to 45,000. Turkey has not yet sent the invitations for the “Friends of Syria” group meeting that will take place in İstanbul, Ünal said, adding that an invitation for France was still being considered.

    Despite the strain between Turkey and France, the gathering would be a multi-party meeting, the spokesperson said.

    On the other hand, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said that a “neutral actor” should take over responsibility for security in Syria to open the door for a settlement.

    “By saying ‘neutral’ I don’t mean someone from abroad, but someone who would have the people’s trust,” Davutoğlu said on TGRT television. He played down the May general elections, saying it was already too late for the al-Assad regime.
    March/16/2012

    Btw I feel the title is a bit misleading, and the number of Syrians inside Turkey is definitely over 20,000.

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  72. Both hurriyet and Zaman appear to be unsympathetic to Assad.

    What I know is the CHP, a leftist party and third-largest in the Turkish Parliament , is supporting Assad.

    Like

  73. Antoine,

    I do agree that we have to take the enemies full capacity into account., I doubt that the Alawites have 150,000 to really give to the army :). Secondly there is a very large contingent that is not active in the battlefield. I don’t know if you remember, the debate between Haitham Maneh and ahhh… I forgot He was a retired academic officer in the Syrian Army that defected. After Haitham Maneh gave a figure of 1000000! the officer actually broke it down well. A significant number of the military in Syria is involved in supporting roles. These include the cooks!, the engineers, logistics, maintenance etc

    300,000 Alawites active forces in the army is way over the top! Sorry to say. I mean that would be almost every single Alawite male that is of fighting age! I am sure we have Alawites who are academics, doctors, teachers, low paid pen pushers, full time farmers, etc.

    Also the contribution from Iraq is exaggerated and I have yet to see evidence of very large contingents from Iraq. Still, I would be happy to be proved wrong.

    Where did you get the the number of 50,000 Druze and Christian forces fighting on the ground?

    Finally a significant number of this “300,000” figure that is usually pushed around include the low grade sunni officers, soldiers and conscripts that have defected, and not bothered to return.

    Yeah, you are probably right that overall this 30 tpo40 figure overall is high. I have assumed this from recent claims over the last month or so. I have just taken the official announcements of the Free Syrian Army and roamed around for clips on Youtube for announcements by the Kataaib around the internet. Finally I have personal connections (yeah the last is subjective). Do you know how many check points and security buildings are attacked a week?

    Personally, given the amount of force that the Assad Militia has been using over the last month 30- 40 a day would be very reasonable. This is also only going to get much worse.

    Even 5-10 a day killed would be significant if we also included the wounded as well. That would push the total to 30-40 a day (if we included the wounded). The Syrian army does not have fancy body armour like the Americans.

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  74. Antoine,

    Another reasonable way would be to list all the central and peripheral districts in Syria that are in revolt. You then take the number of Kataaib that have been formed throughout the country over the last month or so and in the past.

    Once you have this comparison you can assign a certain form of activity to each katibaa. I assume they do not claim to form a fighting force in Syria without some form of enthusiasm. The risk of losing their family, homes and life assumes that they are willing to fight.

    With that list, and given the area of Syria, 5-10 a day would be very low in this current climate, even if we assume an utter incapacity on behalf of the “rebels”

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  75. “The FSA needs to come up with new ideas, like use lots of IEDs, form FSA secret cells in the heart of Damascus to create unrest, FSA needs to get trigger-happy. Also civilans should join FSA in large numbers and get military training.”

    Just one question to you, Antoine, do you not wince when you re-read your own post? And a simple suggestion: how about joining the FSA and putting your wishes directly to them and see if you can convince them with your valuable advice. Until you do that I think that it would be wise for you to choose your words carefully, just for the sake of the reputation of the FSA in particular and the revolution in general. Please!

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  76. Jarthouma, there are 4 million Alawites in Syria ( 12 % of the population). Of that, 33 % are adult males between the ages of 18 and 60. Wiythin that subgroup, it is reasonable to assume a very large proportion of Alawites are in the military and securioty forces, 300,000 is a reasonable figure. Do not forget that Alaiwtes are basically a martial race who were carefully cultivated by the French to serve as soldiers in the Army. Almso every Alawite family has someone in the Military or Security forces or Intelligence. I am not even taking into account the Shabbiha. The economy of Latkia and Tartous mountains is under-developed. The men have only two attractive career options – farming or the Army. Other professions are not considerd attractive among the Alawites. The proportion of civil servants, businessmen, other miscellanoeus people is very small among them.

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  77. With that list, and given the area of Syria, 5-10 a day would be very low in this current climate, even if we assume an utter incapacity on behalf of the “rebels”

    Actually there are some kateeba that are almost totally composed of volunteers with no military experience. They are mostly led by old men ( between 55 and 60 yrs of age) who had served in the 1973 War. these volunteer units draw their strenght mostly from small neighborhoods and villages. CNN showed a video , near Homs, of one such unit. It was led by an old man who had fought in the Army as a conscript in his younger days, and was composed of young guys from the neighborhood with no military experience whatsoever. they were brave but very inexperienced and unskilled. They tookmany casulaties.

    In Idlib City too similar groups are there. Basically they are like a “citizen army”, composed of people from civilan life. They are very strongly-knit and brothersm cousins and friends fight side-by-side. These sort of “citizen militoas” may be enough to fight the shabiha, but they are no match for well armed and experoenced units especially armoured units. o actually there is an “utter incapacity” among some of the rebel units.

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  78. Antoine, basics here 😉 lol

    Firstly it is a big if and I mean a big if to assume that the Alawites are 10% of the population. I really doubt Syria under the authority of sectarian Alawite thugs would have actual figures. Secondly, I assume you mean about 2 million if we are talking about 10-12 percent of the population.

    Sorry 300000 is way way over the top for Alawites in the military and security. That in effect would be the majority of military able men ha ha !

    Also, as you very well know a lot of the Alawites are in useless pen pushing beuracratic civil services.

    Actually, now thinking about it my 150000 figure is a bit exaggerated as well 🙂

    Even if we assume that a lot of the militia are minimally trained Antonine, I am sure they can kill a Shabiha or two a week! That alone would make the 30 to 40 figure conservative

    These sectarian Alawites are f****d in the long term and they know it.

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  79. Oh yeah, so much for limited demonstrations Antoine lol ! Oh well Bashar back to the crayon board

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  80. Jarthouma,

    You are an optimistic and cheerfuk guy. I like you for that. I hope most of the guys in the LCCs and FSA is also like you.

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  81. Demonstrations have reakky started in the north-east. In al-Hasakeh, city as well as province, in Qamishly, and al-Raqqah. The Kurdish population has almost totally started taking part in the demos 9 PKK terrorists are working for Assad and are functioning as “Kurdish shabbiha” and are trying to create ethnic tensions between Arabs and Kurds). The Assyrians had joined long ago. the Kurdistan Regional Gov’t in Iraq is acepting Kurdish defectors from the Army.

    Al Raqqah, a city of 300,000 people , mainly Sunni. For the last year not even 1 significant anti-regime demonstration has taken place in that city. Infact there had been pro-regime rallies and Assad had spent Eid al-Adha in that city. However now it is heating up due to a number of deaths of local boys at the hands of the Mukhabarat.

    What I don’t understand is why al Raqqah, a large and mainly Sunni city in the Euphrates valley, had not joined the revolution. What could be the reason ?

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  82. Al Raqqah is really heating up. 9 people were killed at the large anti-regime demo in the city today. This is the first time a demo of about 5,000 ppl was able to gather in Raqqah, and this is the highest single martyr toll for the City. Going back to my earlier question, why was Raqqa silent up till now ?

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  83. A number of reasons,

    Some of the tribal leaders were bribed and people did not want to start tribal vendettas.

    More importantly, Raqqah alone with Halab were his ace in the hole, so to speak. He had significant concentrations of donkeys i.e. the Shabiha in the area to ensure it stayed this way. You must remember that Raqqah and Halab are closely interlinked as well in terms of the population

    He was forced to remove forces from these areas to quell the insurrections in Idlib and Homs. Remember, he did not need to do this before, but because of the significant depletions in his forces he has to now. This gave breathing space for the people in this area.

    The rest was left to remaining Shabiha to do the stupid act by doing what was necessary to further the ignite the area by arresting, torturing and killing some youth in the area Dar’aa style 🙂

    Bang goes Raqqah…..

    lol

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  84. A number of reasons,

    Some of the tribal leaders were bribed and people did not want to start tribal vendettas.

    More importantly, Raqqah alone with Halab were his ace in the hole, so to speak. He had significant concentrations of donkeys i.e. the Shabiha in the area to ensure it stayed this way. You must remember that Raqqah and Halab are closely interlinked as well in terms of the population

    Jarthouma, what is the difference between Raqqah and areas like hama, Homs or Idleb “in terms of population” ? Is Raqqah a tribal area ? What are the major tribes there ? Even Deirezzour is a tribal area but has been at the forefront of the uprising since the beginning. I have heard even Baba Amr and Khaldiye in Homs are populated by bedouin tribes, and Wadi Khaled in Lebanon, which is a major FSA base, is totally a tribal area (bedouin).

    So what is the demographic difference that Raqqah has ? Why were their tribal sheikhs collaborating with the regime ( it may change, becz Bedouin are known to keep blood vendetta when one of their own is killed, and as of today 15 ppl have been killed in Raqqah by the Army).N So why could Assad recruit Shabbiha more easily from areas in Raqqah and Reef Halab ?

    Anyway these are just some of the rallies taken out in Raqqah yesterday. It looks like Hama before Ramadan. Enjoy. Infact I have not seen so large crowds since last Ramadan.

    Especially this one :

    I have noticed from these videos that the people of Raqqah are slightly darker in complexion and speak with a different accent. they also wear poor and humble clothes, like those cheap readymades that Iraqis wear. So is there a real ethnic difference between Raqqah and the rest of Syria ?

    From the videos it is clear that Raqqah has entered the revolution. The fear barrier has broken down. Infact raqqa is in now in the same stage as daraa was in April. Hafez’s pictures are being torn down all over the place.

    Just today 12 soldiers defected in raqqah and there were clashes with the shabbiha. If Assad decides to hit Raqqah hard, there will be even more unrest, deefctions and growth of the FSA. mabrouk !!!

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  85. This is what happened in Raqqah yesterday. Already looking like Daraa and Homs in early April 2011.

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  86. Antoine, they have a tribal characteristic like Der al zou and the tribes around the Anbar province in Iraq. They are also strongly connected to Halab.

    There are Sunni sell outs wherever you go, but people treaded carefully. Their was no clear stupid act like in Daraa.

    Most importantly of all though was the very heavy security presence that prevented this. Remember Bashar had to remove forces from these areas to suppress Idlib. He assumed he had it under control until a few donkey Shabiha did us a favour

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  87. This is not a movie trailer this is Syria!

    This is the one and only Danny Abdul Dayem, 23 year old young man, brave and a force of good, together with his mother Helen are commenting on the crimes the Butcher of Syria and his silent masters and slaves are still watching.

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  88. So With

    No international intervention to rescue people under siege
    No international intervention to supply weapons to FSA
    No genuine international will to oust the regime
    No hope of political settlement

    and with

    More people getting killed for nothing (and I mean that)
    More pathetic performance of opposition groups
    More hatred growing day after day within Syrians

    Where to go from here?

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  89. In reality, the regime is enjoying its best days since the first spark of this revolution and getting a better iron grip of the situation as we speak. In a retrospective view I think the pathetic “professional politicians” of the opposition have done a fatal mistake by refusing to sit & talk with the regime back in November, at that time the regime was at its weakest point while the international pressure was at its best.

    Nowadays, it’s the other way around and the regime is enjoying the upper hand (thanks to the bunch of losers called “opposition”) I’m not even sure if it’s a good idea to sit and talk with the regime. However, at the same time I can’t see and benefit of maintaining the current status quo combined with this continuous bleed of innocent civilians.

    At this stage I could understand where Zenobia and Sheila used to come from when they were calling for a moment of sound thinking rather just riding this high-speed train directly to the hell that once called the “Unknown”!!! At the end of the it’s Syria as a country we’re losing.

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  90. So, True, what makes u think the regime is at its strongest point / I would say its at its weakest point, infact with each passing day it gets weaker and weaker. The longer this drags out the weaker they will become.

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  91. Though I agree it is the tea-drinking chit-chatting “intellectuals” in the SNC who have brought us to this point. What we need is an aggressive and populist leader, like Haytham Maleh, who knows the regime from inside out.

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  92. Continuing Antoine’s comment … A leader who has smelled the powder, who has nothing to prove; someone like Dr Mohammed although the intellectuals are needed too but the people can relate to the good Dr better than to someone they hardly know.

    I may be repeating myself but one day Aboud said that he would rather be in an Israeli prison than in a Syrian one. After reading the book by Khalifé I would agree. Yet I submit here a collection of testimonies of Palestinian prisoners released after the longest time and you will see that the zionist jails are close to the Syrian ones (though the Israeli henchmen do not assassinate at will and the families do not have to pay one kilo of gold to see their loved ones- Tadmor)

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  93. True do think like the media train

    One moment the media tells us that the FSA is a couple of kilometres from the palace in Damacus and the next time they tell us that Assad has crushed the main opposition stronghold in Idlib with a possible victory in site !

    The media by its nature makes things grand. It is neither here or there and we have been thru this a number of times because of the nature of the conflict.

    I agree with Antoine, I see the regime now at its weakest! It has virtually used its final card ie mass barrage with heavy artillery and achieved nothing !

    The FSA has come back now to Damascus and they are even now attacking points in Bab Amr!

    Yes the Syrians are relatively isolated from help at the moment but that does not change the Demographics and the impossible equation for the sectarian Alawites and there supporters.

    It is an unsustainable position given the spread of the revolution geographically and the persistence of the internal opposition

    The last thing on earth that we need now is I give up and negotiate with a dog who pretends to have strong cards so he can let the steam out of the revolution

    I tell you what. I will be nice. We do a cease fire with the regime, he removes the charred remains of his mechanised units and we are allowed to demonstrate

    That would be a minimum for us to agree on but he would never allow it in a million years. It would spell his end

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  94. N.Z. @ 3:42

    Sorry for the confusion. This the you tube link for Danny Abdul Dayyem. All people who are working selflessly, wholeheartedly for a Syria free of tyranny are forces of good. No one will be able to taint them. They are unstoppable, they are contagious as germs.

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  95. ” I laugh a lot when people ask me, What if the Syrian Revolution fails, I tell them, it was victorious after 5 minutes from the moment it started.” Faisal Qassem.

    فليأت من يأتي وليذهب من يذهب من الحكام، سوريا تغيررررررررررررررررت يا جدعان

    للقلقين من نتائج الثورات: ليس بإمكانكم أن تصنعوا العجة من دون أن تكسروا البيض

    ليس المهم أن تغير الثورة هذا المسؤول أو ذاك، المهم أنها غيرت الشعب والباقي تفاصيل

    True, what we are witnessing in Syria is just the beginning. This is not “only” about regime change, this is a world altering event. The fall of the tyrant is a speck of what is to come.

    Those inside are not counting on the SNC or any outlet media, more importantly, they never wanted international intervention. They want the means to help them protect their families, their legitimate demands under international laws were ignored, by both, the United Nations and its Security Council, and all the Humanitarian organizations.

    SNC, has finally realized!

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