Status of Humanitarian aid to the Syrian People (By Souria AlKarama)

Intro from OTW

On the day their murderous gangs of paramilitia and hijacked regular army murdered 55 Syrians to keep  the thug in  power, the thug Bashar Assad and his co-conspirator and partner in crimes Asma, played humanitarias. A clip  Syrian TV shows the two criminals and their cohort seemingly packaging food supplies to the “victims of terrorism” in Homs. Of course, this has to be accompanied by one of the “Baathist” propaganda empty phrases, (see right corner of the image capture”. The phrase says لبينا النداء ، (we answered the call).

April 18, 2012, the repulsive criminal couple playing humanitarians on the day their gangs murdered 55 Syrians .

The repulsive cynicism of the Assad mafia gang knows no limit. Their forces routinely kill doctors and aid workers with all the telltale signs of an utter contempt for Syria and Syrians as demonstrated by the vengeful sniping of the best of Syrian youth who dare to defy this criminal gang’s intent on the murder and impoverishment of more and more Syrians . And yet, the two criminals go on a vogue photoshoot in a “releif centre” set in  a stadium after they have turned most of  Syria’s  staduims and sport-centers into collective punishment, humiliation and torture facilities.  Their  shamelessness knows no limit.

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 tugs are after them in every corner. I salute them, and ask those who pray to pray for their safety and well being.

Status of Humanitarian aid to the Syrian People
(by Souria AlKarama)

When the Syrian uprising erupted some fifteen months ago, it was called the dignity revolution. Civilians marched to the streets in many parts of the country demanding freedom, dignity and reform. Unlike the other Arab countries that witnessed the so called “Arab Spring”, the Syrian revolution seems to be the bloodiest. The Syrian Regime showed, and still is showing, its ugliest face while cracking down on the protestors using unimaginable ways and tactics. These despicable tactics against the Syrian citizens led some activists to rename the revolution “The Bread Revolution”.

The one tactic this article is going to shed light on is what is called “collective punishment”. The Syrian Authority has continuously used this tactic against the Syrian civilians in those areas of revolts prohibiting medical supplies to many areas of the country such as in Daraa, Hama, Idleb and Homs. It was confirmed that the Syrian ministry of health offices in those cities have stopped distributing renal failure, diabetic, hypertension and asthma medications to those in need. They were turned away and told straight to their face, “let your freedom get your medication” referring to the number one demand of the activists in the street. In the same fashion the Syrian authority stopped supplying many cities and most villages with water, heating oil, cooking gas, and electricity. They went further in selected areas and stopped supplying the flour to make bread. Even garbage collection was put on halt in many areas which will deepen the humanitarian crisis especially in the heat of the summer season.

According to the International Red Cross statement issued last April, “more than 1.5 million Syrians are struggling to meet basic needs like food, water, and shelter. Tens of thousands of civilians are living in public buildings and the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent is feeding about 100,000 so called “vulnerable Syrians”. Add to it more than five million unemployed Syrians. The worst of all this is the confirmed number of orphaned children. In the city of Homs alone after 6 months of military attacks and 6 weeks of random heavy shelling to various neighborhoods, at least 2000 children were confirmed orphaned. The reports coming out of Idleb in the north show that the number of orphaned children is even larger.

Under the ethical and moral pressure of all this suffering, many well-known international charities were able to help with limited capacities inside Syria. Due to the restricted regulations the Syrian Regime imposed on them, they turned to help the Syrian refugees who fled the country to Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. In addition, few Syrian non-governmental organizations were established by expatriate Syrians. These newly formed charity foundations were able to build an underground network of brave and dedicated men and women inside the country to coordinate the smuggling and the distribution of the funds, medical supplies and the humanitarian supplies to those in need.

The cash smuggled is used in several different ways. Part of the money was used to buy the food supply to arrange for what is now called “the food basket”. The food basket contains non perishable items like rice, sugar, pasta, cooking oil, canned food….etc. A detailed list of those families in need is compiled by the activists and then just before dawn the baskets are distributed to the families, one by one. Distribution of such items (food) is very dangerous and can carry unimaginable consequences should the Syrian security forces find out. Many activists lost their lives distributing bread and other kinds of food. These heroes paid the ultimate price so their fellow Syrians could survive. One activist, who distributes food baskets in Duma just outside Damascus, once, said “it is by far much better for a person to be caught demonstrating in the street rather than getting caught distributing food to the people. They (referring to the Security forces) want to starve our people”. Many brave activists lost their lives to a sniper or a bomb shell while distributing humanitarian aids. A physician from the city of Aleppo was shot dead at a check point near the town of Rastan, just north of Homs, because he was caught smuggling medical supplies in his car. A young man from Homs whose job was to distribute bread bags to couple neighborhood was shot dead by the Syrian security as he was attempting to smuggle the bread bags.

They also use the cash smuggled to subsidize the families who lost their breadwinner and to the families of arrested fathers, husbands or brothers. Detailed tables that show the martyrs first and last name, the number of dependents and their ages was created. Also the list include any distant family that maybe living in the same household. In many instances the ID number is used to identify the individuals in each family. Cash is given monthly to the family through an underground and well trusted network.

In addition, cash is used to buy medical equipment which is usually bought from a vendor inside the country. This medical equipment is used to furnish the field hospitals, (another underground network that consist of medical personal who can’t treat the injured in hospitals fearing the death squad who are roaming all hospitals especially in the cities with tense fighting like Homs and Idleb). The violation of medical neutrality and the targeting of doctors, hospitals, medics and ambulances is well documented and verified by many independent organizations such as ‘Physicians for Human Rights’ and ‘Doctors without Borders’. The main question is how much those newly formed “NGO” can do to minimize the magnitude of the crisis and suffering? The answer cannot be answered by simply saying: they can help or they can’t!

The magnitude of the humanitarian catastrophe is tremendous and requires well-funded international organizations backed by the international community to make a measurable difference. At the same time it’s very easy for a beginner humanitarian worker to feel very pessimistic of the outcome. A person needs to put things in perspective. If some things are not done perfectly, that doesn’t mean that we should be discouraged from helping.

On June 5th, 2012 there has been a breakthrough. The Syrian government has said it will let the United Nations enter the country and deliver humanitarian aid to people in need, a U.N. official said Tuesday. “After a long time of very intense negotiations, we now have an agreement in writing with the Syrian government on the scale, scope and modality of humanitarian action in Syria,” John Ging, director of operations at the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said in Geneva, Switzerland.

The sacrifice I witnessed in my brief time working with coordinating humanitarian aids to Syria is phenomenal. I bow with humility and pride to the brave Syrian men and women who dedicated their life to help their fellow citizens. These people cannot be defeated. I have witnessed courage equal only to that seen in movies and fairy tales.

By Souria AlKarama
June,  2012

______________________________________________________________

Note from OTW: * Herein, I am reclaiming the word resistance from the Assad mafia and from their partners  such as Hizbullah and other bankrupt defunct nationalist, communist, and fascist parties throughout the region. I am determined on doing so as part of rehabilitating our political language.

Posted on June 21, 2012, in Crimes Against Humanity, Syria, Syrian Regime Crimes Against Humanity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.

  1. Jordan hands over Syrian opposition voices and activists back to the regime – an appeal for Omar Alhariri
    Posted: 07/21/2012 by Mary Rizzo in Grassroots Activism, Human Rights, Jordan, People’s Movements / Struggles, Resistance, Syria
    0

    URGENT APPEAL:
    The Jordanian authorities have handed over the activist Omar Aharir into the hands of the Syrian regime, more precisely, back to the secret services, despite the well-known fact that he has been a wanted man for his activities in favour of freedom and that, for this reason, he will be sentenced to death in Syria. Amman will hand over to the regime another 11 activists.

    We are spreading this news as widely as possible so that this shameful action by the Jordanian authorities is stopped, aware as they are, of condemning these young people to certain death, people whose only crime has been that they have asked for the end of the dictatorship. The Jordanian authorities have been contacted and begged to not proceed in this act, but they have not listened. It’s not enough to undergo the abuse of the Syrian regime, now other States are chasing down and handing over for execution those who are demanding freedom for their people?

  2. I honestly speechless and ashamed,,, God damn the daemon who are doing this to his own people, our people, and God damn every supporter who is still backing the child killer.

    An eyewitness from Damascus Suburbs: Today 300 families in Zamalka broke their fast on dry bread and water and nothing more. This is how almost 1500 individuals ate today. In Erbeen, some people haven’t eaten anything since now because there is no food. In Harasta, people are searching for food on the streets. We are now in a tragic situation. We have to act as fast as we can as these regions are considered distressed areas. We need humanitarian support. This is not a rumor or a humanitarian bid, this is real and you can make sure. I wish if someone can reach us, we are living in very difficult situations.

  3. From Rula Amin: “armed men killed Dr. Nabil Zugheib with his family in Damascus, Zugheib was prominent for his work in the Syrian missile program.”

  4. An interesting conversation about “Revenge ad Justice” on Twitter:

    Mohja Kahf ‏@ProfKahf:
    Nonviolence movements in Syria focus on humanitarian relief and spreading “no revenge” message.Released by FreedomDays Jul19: http://bit.ly/PsHZSZ
    View video

    En SyriaTweet in En ‏@SyriaTweetEn:
    @ProfKahf Once you r residing in Syria start your No Revenge campaign. Until then, please leave Syria to Syrians facing death

    Mohja Kahf Mohja Kahf ‏@ProfKahf
    @SyriaTweetEn No. I will not leave Syria to Syrians facing death.

    SyriaTweet in En ‏@SyriaTweetEn:
    @ProfKahf yeah you mean minorities right! but screw the majority because we are pigs huh

    Mohja Kahf Mohja Kahf ‏@ProfKahf
    @SyriaTweetEn Sign from KafrNobl:The difference between revenge & justice is the difference between the regime & the revolution.

  5. يجب نشر هذه الأفكار وتوسيعها بسرعة “من انشق عن النظام فهو آمن” و”من انضم للثورة فهو آمن” و “من دخل مسجداً أو كنيسةً فهو آمن

  6. المجلس العسكري في حلب يعلن النفير العام في المحافظة

  7. A friend posted this on face book

    من مصدر طبي جراحي من اصدقائي :
    الدكتور اللواء نبيل زغيب لم يقتل بيد مسلحين في باب توما
    بل قتل بيد حاجز المخابرات الجوية في مساكن برزة قريبا من نادي الضباط حيث انه لم يقف على الحاجز فاطلقوا النار على السيارة بشدة لانهم كانو يلاحقون 4 عناصر من الجيش الحر بنفس المكان وقد رشوا السيارة بالكامل
    وجلس العنصر يبكي امام المقدم لانه قتل اللواء دون قصد
    واسعف اللواء وعائلته الى مشفى ابن النفيس
    وكل ماذكر عن استهدافه بباب توما كذب تماما
    وكل اهل باب توما يعرفون انه لم يحدث فيها اي اشتباك

    The source is the emergency doctor who treated the engineer general.

  8. From face book, Rami Jarrah · ·

    ‎#Syria – This is it, the most decisive moment in the uprising yet. what I am about to say is not to reflect my role in the revolution but rather to justify what i am about to do. I was there on the 18th of march in Ommayyad mosque when thousands stood in a joint call for Freedom and Democracy, I watched our beautiful people break the barriers of fear that had engulfed their lives for years, the power of the people coming together this was the most beautiful moment in my life. I can still smell the atmosphere as i type this message.

    I joined the ground committees that had been formed and sole goal was a peaceful transition to equality and justice,

    we worked endlessly day and night only to try and make a presence in one location all of us together but this was a task that the Syrian regime made sure was not a possibility.

    I looked up to the people of Daraa when they stood together with such boldness,

    I was inspired when the Homsi’s took over freedom square,

    I laughed when Qashoosh sang “irhal ya bashar”

    I knelt to the people of Hama when Assi square witnessed their their scream,

    I cried when our Palestinian brothers joined us and endured our pain

    I fell in love with this revolution because it represented me, it spoke on my behalf, if i were to go back in time i would not change anything.

    after much sacrifice from the Syrian people and the ongoing insult to their aspirations from the Syrian regime and no less the international community I think its easy to say that the only support we have had the privilege of was the solidarity of the people of this world.

    our revolution has been polluted & distorted, Yes there is an armed resistance, yes we did not wish for it, yes we had dreams of understanding and coming together and yes we understand the meaning of peaceful uprising. But we are humans, we have feelings, we have families, we have memories that we will not allow anyone to take from us, we have our dignity and so we are sucked in by violence.

    This is our decisive moment where we choose our fate, where we decide if this revolution still represents us or not and I say this is still the beautiful moment it was all those months ago. It is our duty to preserve it and for my contribution towards doing just that I wish to fight along side my countrymen. I can not sit here and speculate whether they are positive or not but I can be a positive and be with them.

    The future of Syria is in our hands.
    3

  9. so very good to have a word from you OTW, and what your friend posted more than interesting — there is so much “trash talk” going around: the FSA did it; the Mossad did it etc…

  10. Dear friends
    The demands of my new life are very high. I barely get time to follow the news. Things will improve once I settle into a new routine.

    For now, here is what is purported to be the details of the operation that resulted in neutralizing some heavy weights in the crime syndicate known as the Assad regime. It is in Arabic.

  11. السيف الدمشقي

    Thank you OTW for the info regarding Gen. Nabil.

  12. In French — Le Monde’s great reporter Florence Aubenas, now in Aleppo

    A Alep, en Syrie : “Mais c’est la révolution !”

    LE MONDE | 23.07.2012 à 11h20 • Mis à jour le 23.07.2012 à 12h07

    Par Florence Aubenas, à Alep (Syrie), envoyée spéciale
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    Dans le quartier de Sarul, à Alep, le 22 juillet, les combattants de l’Armée syrienne libre installent des barrages.

    Sur la voie rapide, qui contourne le centre-ville d’Alep, le trafic ressemble à celui de tous les jours, un embarras de voiture, de bus, de camion et d’une infinie variété de véhicules transportant tout ce qui peut l’être, humains, biens ou bêtes. Comme d’habitude aussi, les sept soldats de l’armée de Bachar Al-Assad montent la garde, là-bas au bout du pont. A 100 m de là – peut-être même moins –, un camion commence par se mettre en travers, bouchant à moitié la chaussée. D’abord, ça klaxonne. Ça peste contre l’embouteillage. Puis, un peu plus bas, c’est un autre camion – bleu cette fois avec des rayures dorées tout le long du pare-brise – qui provoque un nouveau bouchon. “Mais ce n’est pas un embouteillage, c’est la révolution !”, s’exclame soudain le conducteur d’un minibus.

    Dimanche 22 juillet, l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL) a lancé une nouvelle opération, qui l’implante un peu plus dans la ville d’Alep, la deuxième de Syrie. C’est peu dire que la bataille est cruciale pour le régime du président Bachar Al-Assad.

    Dans les campagnes alentours, déjà tenues par l’ASL, chaque village s’est mobilisé pour envoyer à Alep des combattants pris sur ses propres troupes. Samedi, à minuit, un chef militaire et un religieux dispensent leurs conseils au dernier convoi qui démarre : “Ne faites pas de mal aux femmes, ne coupez pas les arbres, n’attaquez ni les civils ni les supermarchés. N’essayez pas de récupérer les armes tout de suite : combattez d’abord.” Autour, les enfants font une haie d’honneur, éblouis, tellement transis d’admiration qu’ils n’osent plus approcher ces hommes, qui, il y a quelques instants encore, étaient leur père, leur frère ou leur cousin.

    Alep est à moins de 20 km mais on roule pendant plus d’une heure dans la nuit pour y entrer, convoi fragile de combattants, tout juste munis de quelques pauvres armes antichars et rien contre les hélicoptères. La révolution – comme l’appellent ici ses partisans – n’est pas de celles qui se racontent dans les livres d’histoires, du moins jusqu’ici. Rien de spectaculaire ou d’éclatant : ni prise de la Bastille ni déferlement populaire qui submergerait la ville. Elle avance à petits pas, en claquettes et tee-shirt, façon camouflage troué, de succès modestes en débandades cuisantes, portée par la certitude inébranlable en sa victoire.

    RIVALITÉS RELIGIEUSES ET SOCIALES

    A Alep, les troupes sont dirigées vers une école de la ville et, entre les fresques de Mickey Mouse ou Bob l’Eponge, on mange, on dort, on meurt. Devant la porte, défile de temps en temps des groupes d’hommes qui scandent “Allah akbar!” et puis s’en vont. “On le fait pour saluer notre armée et aussi parce qu’on avait jamais osé crier cela en public auparavant”, dit l’un. Et un autre : “C’est la première fois que je sors dans la rue sans qu’on me tire dessus.” Le quartier musulman sunnite, comme la majorité du pays, s’est soudé autour de l’ASL.

    A vrai dire, les événements actuels échappent difficilement à l’univers obsessionnel des rivalités religieuses et sociales dans lesquelles se débat la Syrie. Un exemple, même tout petit ? Avec l’arrivée récente des soldats de l’ASL dans l’école, le commissariat de la zone s’est divisé en deux : d’un côté, les cinq policiers sunnites ont rallié l’ASL tandis que les quarante autres se sont barricadés dans les locaux, jurant d’en découdre. Ceux-là, en revanche, appartiennent à la minorité alaouite, accusée de se partager les meilleurs postes du pays.

    Dimanche, au fil de la journée, le campement de l’ASL devient un point de ralliement. Une femme avec son enfant vient demander justice au commandant : son mari l’a chassée alors que c’est elle qui gagne tout l’argent de la famille. Quand on la reconduit, elle s’étonne : “Il faut m’aider. C’est vous les maîtres maintenant.” Et le commandant, soudain très doux : “Il faudra attendre encore un peu.” L’usine de textile, qu’il dirige habituellement, se trouve à moins de 500 m à vol d’oiseau.

    “ET, EN PLUS, ILS ONT LE DROIT DE PILLER”

    Un homme traverse la cour de l’école, pantalon rouge à la mode, des lunettes de soleil qui dépassent de la poche, mais le visage cabossé et sanglant. Deux soldats le traînent plus qu’ils ne le conduisent. C’est un prisonnier, accusé par la population d’être membre des chabiha, ces hommes de main que le régime paye 15 000 livres syriennes (un peu moins de 200 euros) pour effectuer les plus basses besognes. “Et, en plus, ils ont le droit de piller”, dit quelqu’un. Une quinzaine d’entre eux sont déjà enfermés dans la salle des professeurs, et d’autres sont transférés ici toute la journée.

    Et puis, d’un coup, on court dans tous les sens. Des chars s’avancent vers l’école. Un hélicoptère commence à survoler la zone. Il reste dans les airs des heures durant. On tire. On brûle des pneus, faute de mieux. Là-bas, sur la voie rapide, le check-point du matin et ces deux camions ont été pulvérisés. Dans la débandade, on ramène des blessés, dont une petite fille. Chacun s’attend à une riposte des militaires dans la nuit. Déjà, une équipe se prépare pour aller rétablir le check-point. S’il le faut, ils recommenceront le jour d’après, et le jour d’après…

    Florence Aubenas, à Alep (Syrie), envoyée spéciale
    La Ligue arabe promet une “sortie sûre” à M. Assad

    Dans leur communiqué publié dans la nuit du dimanche 22 au lundi 23 juillet, le comité interministériel de la Ligue arabe chargé du suivi de la crise syrienne, réuni à Doha (Qatar), a appelé le président Bachar Al-Assad à “renoncer au pouvoir”, l’assurant que “la Ligue arabe contribuera à lui assurer et à sa famille une sortie sûre”. Cette initiative, selon le texte, est destinée à “mettre fin à l’effusion du sang”, “préserver l’unité de la Syrie” et “garantir une transition pacifique du pouvoir” dans ce pays, membre de la Ligue arabe. Le comité ministériel sur la Syrie, présidé par le Qatar, regroupe l’Arabie saoudite, le sultanat d’Oman, l’Egypte, le Soudan, l’Algérie, l’Irak et le Koweït. La réunion de Doha a été organisée alors que les combats font rage dans certains quartiers de Damas et d’Alep que les troupes restées loyales au président syrien tentent de reprendre aux rebelles. – (AFP.)

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  13. Thank you Umm Nawas; I lifted that to my blog of course and here is a smile

    A message from the Syrian opposition: “We just want to thank our sponsors in the CIA, MI6, Mossad, al-Qaeda, Qatar and the House of Saud for their generous financial support and high tech communications equipment.”
    http://pulsemedia.org/2012/07/23/syrian-oppositions-foreign-funders-no-laughing-matter/

  14. thanks for posting Florence Aubenas, Annie — she is a personal hero, I am glad she is in Halab.

    Here are 2 new articles from Maysaloon, one personal, and following it, his analysis of the current situation

    http://www.maysaloon.org/

  15. I posted about Aboud bcz I strongly felt that he is on SC, using another name, turns out I was right. Tbh we will be very enriched if he starts posting on 7ee6an. In my humble opinion, 7ee6an is a completely different space than SC. SC has become a cesspool now, with Assadist subhumans running riot. It is not worthwhile to have some serious discussion regarding the Revolution on SC in d presence of child killers. Which is why I always prefer to discuss revolutionary issues with pro-revolution people on 7eetan. I was very sad to see this blog in a coma, with only 3 people participating. At the very least, people like MGB, Hamster, Aboud, Jarthouma, should participate more. We should also invite like-minded ppl from SC,like Sandro Loewe, Syria Lover, Syr.Expat, Observer. These ppl r great. Believe me there r a lot of serious discussions abt the Thawra, its a tragedy that we are being reduced to having a slanging match with the Shabbiha on SC.,

  16. Just wanting 2 start a discussion, I believe that the fact that the revolution has been so decentralized has been an advantage , but, as we enter a more decisive and bloody phase in the armed conflict, centralisation has become necessary. Especially integration of all FSA units under a Provincial Military Council is imperative. This has been tried with great success in Reef Halab, Deirezzor, and Homs. But Idleb and Hama FSA is still hopelessly divided. The aim of such integration would be to ensure better communication and coordination among FSA groups within a Province. An integrated Council doesn’t mean centralized Command structure. Rather, all the different FSA local chiefs sit on the Council only to coordinate their activities, share arms and intelligence, make sure there isn’t any rivalry and contradiction between the groups. Aleppo province has been a great success story in this regard. Then, all the Provincial Councils can be represented on a National Military Council. All the FSA commanders will have equal say, i.e , nobody will be boss. The increased coordination will make FSA’s job much easier. Now, SNC shld get real serious abt engaging with this National FSA Council. There should be PR advisors who will advise the FSA Nat’l Council on how to maintain good PR. That way, tragedies like the recent FSA looting of Turkish trucks can be avoided. Council decisions will trickle down to the ground. Senior defected Generals can provide an advisory role in the Council, like advising local fighters on advanced tactics. Also the National and Provincial FSA councils will ensure that unwanted elements, like Al Qaeda and foreign fighters are not at all welcome in the FSA and do not have the right to use the FSA name. If any new fighting group or battalion is formed, they should apply for membership in the Provincial Council, which will be granted only after detailed Intel and background checks.. Pls tell wat u think abt my plan ?

  17. On SC Syrialover referred us to this thesis titled “The Politics of Sectarian
    Insecurity:
    Alawite ‘Asabiyya and the
    Rise and Decline of the Asad Dynasty
    of Syria” which should be interesting.
    http://otago.ourarchive.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10523/2232/GoldsmithLeonT2012PhD.pdf

    Have only started it.

  18. Just wanting 2 start a discussion,

    I believe that the fact that the revolution has been so decentralized has been an advantage , but, as we enter a more decisive and bloody phase in the armed conflict, centralisation has become necessary. Especially integration of all FSA units under a Provincial Military Council is imperative. This has been tried with great success in Reef Halab, Deirezzor, and Homs. But Idleb and Hama FSA is still hopelessly divided. The aim of such integration would be to ensure better communication and coordination among FSA groups within a Province. An integrated Council doesn’t mean centralized Command structure. Rather, all the different FSA local chiefs sit on the Council only to coordinate their activities, share arms and intelligence, make sure there isn’t any rivalry and contradiction between the groups.

    Aleppo province has been a great success story in this regard. Then, all the Provincial Councils can be represented on a National Military Council. All the FSA commanders will have equal say, i.e , nobody will be boss. The increased coordination will make FSA’s job much easier. Now, SNC shld get real serious abt engaging with this National FSA Council. There should be PR advisors who will advise the FSA Nat’l Council on how to maintain good PR. That way, tragedies like the recent FSA looting of Turkish trucks can be avoided. Council decisions will trickle down to the ground. Senior defected Generals can provide an advisory role in the Council, like advising local fighters on advanced tactics. Decisions taken on the National Councils will be implemented by the Provincial councils, which in turn will trickle down to the local fighting units. I also think that a shared common pool of funds should be created at the National and Provincial levels and which will be shared equally among all the battallions.

    The National FSA Council will meet at Antakya but it should be made compulsory for it to meet at least once in 2 weeks at a location inside Syria.

    Also the National and Provincial FSA councils will ensure that unwanted elements, like Al Qaeda and foreign fighters are not at all welcome in the FSA and do not have the right to use the FSA name. If any new fighting group or battalion is formed, they should apply for membership in the Provincial Council, which will be granted only after detailed Intel and background checks..

    Pls tell wat u think abt my plan ? I think we should discuss these matters on 7ee6an.

  19. Blog admin can delete my previous comment at July 23, 19 : 39 – it contains pretty much the same thing but I thought I would add some, since this blog doesn;t have the edit function.

  20. Florence Aubenas in Aleppo today:

    A Alep : “Ce matin, quand on a ouvert les yeux, l’ASL était partout”

    LE MONDE | 24.07.2012 à 10h55 • Mis à jour le 24.07.2012 à 11h39

    Par Florence Aubenas, envoyée spéciale à Alep (Syrie)
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    Un combattant de l’ASL montre un char de l’armée syrienne détruit, dans les rues d’Alep, le 23 juillet.

    “Ce n’est pas la chute d’Alep mais le début”, annonce Abdallah, un des commandants de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), mardi 24 juillet au matin. La veille encore, remonter une rue ressemblait à une opération commando pour sa troupe de trente rebelles.

    Maintenant, des pans entiers de la cité sont tombés sous le contrôle des différentes brigades de l’ASL, des check-points sont dressés à quinze minutes du centre historique et des combats de rue ont lieu notamment dans le quartier de Bab Al-Hadid, dans la vieille ville. Ce revers pour l’armée du président Bachar Al-Assad dans la deuxième ville du pays paraît pour la première fois faire basculer la situation en faveur de la rébellion.

    Lundi et toute la nuit, les événements se sont enchaînés de manière confuse sans que personne n’ait une vision d’ensemble claire depuis l’entrée, samedi soir, des rebelles en ville. Toutefois, il est rapidement apparu que les renforts militaires envoyés par le régime n’auraient pas l’impact annoncé.

    Deux hélicoptères ont été abattus, deux chars détruits. Un troisième a été capturé avec son chauffeur. Il trône maintenant devant l’école du centre-ville, où une partie des troupes rebelles a installé son QG. Comme au champ de foire, tout le quartier s’y succède pour poser à la place du tireur et chacun se prend en photo. Dans la nuit, quatre véhicules sur quatorze du convoi de l’armée régulière étaient à leur tour détruits dans une embuscade.

    PRIS DE COURT

    “Le soir, on a fermé les yeux. Quand on les a rouverts, l’ASL était partout”, explique, mardi, vers 9 h 30, un étudiant. Cette rapidité du mouvement a pris tout le monde de court. Dans les rues, les visages sont intrigués, inquiets, personne ne sait trop à quoi s’en tenir. Il faut se trouver dans certains quartiers acquis à la cause de la “révolution” pour que l’on se réjouisse ouvertement.

    Des groupes de gens se rassemblent, crient : “Allah akbar !” Des échanges de tirs les interrompent. On se met à l’abri dans les rues alentours. On appelle au téléphone des voisins à cent mètres de là. Ici, on ne sait pas ce qui se passe à l’autre coin de la rue. Alors, à Damas ? “Personne n’est au courant. On s’occupe d’abord de se libérer nous-mêmes, déclare un habitant d’Alep. Pour la suite, cela viendra tout seul.”

    Florence Aubenas, envoyée spéciale à Alep (Syrie)

  21. Ramadan Kareem

  22. Antoine
    thanks for the post. No need to delete any post, if you don’t mind.
    Aleppo is in great pain tonight. Air bombardment using fixed wing planes not only helicopters.

  23. “No government in the world kills its people, unless it’s led by a crazy person” said Syria’s Ugly Duckling.

  24. Alawites in the Syrian Revolution علويون في الثورة السورية

    Syrian screenwriter Fouad Hmeira’s July 23, 2012, appeal to Alawites:

    To my brothers, maternal uncles and aunts, paternal uncles and their children, maternal cousins of my children, my family and my kin; to the sons and daughters of my honorable Alawite community,

    I admit that I hesitated much before writing this appeal to you. I know well how rigid with fear and disturbed you are now. I am certain that some of your reactions come from breasts full of turmoil and unease and, often, misunderstanding. This does not stop me. If I will reap insults from you, they are nothing next to the blood that Alawites have lost. I expect and brace for all manner of response. My brothers and sisters:

    I call upon you in all sincerity—and I am one of you, whether you will or not— to take a two-minute break to think about the fate toward which this nation hurtles, and our community with it as part of this nation.

    A quick survey of our impoverished geographical heartland shows that for 42 years, this regime has not built one important factory in our villages, not even in the downtowns of our cities, so that our sons and daughters can work in it, not even a carpet weaving workshop. Why? Because the regime tries its best to make the zenith of our existence ransomed to work in the state security and intelligence agencies, the military, and the regime-organized thuggery industry [shabiha], in order to use us for its defense whenever it needs us.

    The regime never once thinks that its own actions can defend it, but rather relies on the sect. Consider that 13% (although my source for this number is not totally reliable) of the sons of our community work as drivers, bodyguards, and entourage members. Asaad’s dog enjoys air conditioning inside the house in summer, and heating in winter, whereas our children stand outside the house in the cold and the heat, to protect him and his dog.

    The community includes many educated people, but what I say applies to those who have not been able to attain an education. Some of them resort to selling cigarettes in the street, and others to service work wherein they are humiliated for earning their morsel of bread. The rest turn into bodyguards and paid regime thugs. Your poverty is a deliberate and planned regime policy. All Syrians know how impoverished you are, how simple and modest your level of livelihood.

    My brothers and sisters, do not let certain rumors and leaks strike fear in you. Some of these are deliberately circulated to reach you, and some are not. Some of what you see about extremism you must not allow to worry you. Extremism has no religion; we have extremists in our sect, as do Christians, as do even the most refined capitals in the world; even the Sikhs and Hindus have them (who killed Indira Gandhi?).

    The Syrian people as a whole reaches out its hand to you, appealing for rapport, love, empathy, from you. All the sects of our people call out to you with the shared bond of one people, “do not fear.” This population embraces you, is your mother and father; not one family now would sacrifice you as a community on the altar of its desire for power.

    No one is giving you an ultimatum, that you must join the revolution or be annihilated genocidally. Your stance is yours to take freely and by choice. But what is asked of you is that you at least pull back to neutrality, for that is “the weakest of faith.” The people would accept from you even this minimum.

    It behooves those who carry arms among us to sit with those who carry arms on the other side, and to give financially in every way. All that is requisite for national sovereignty and for living in a united Syria together is still present and we are capable of it. Try to dialogue with the Other. Try.

    Disclaimer: My words are directed at those in the Alawite community who have stuck to their positions. Everyone knows that numerous Alawites already contribute to the revolution in all its activities, from relief work to armed struggle and beyond.

    This is a crossroads historical moment in the history of the sect and the history of Syria for all time to come. Do not squander it for your illusions and your fear of your partners in this nation. This fear of your own brothers and sisters is but planted by the regime in your hearts. Let us sit all together at the dialogue table, without the regime and without the government’s institutions. Let us come together as neighborhood groups, as civic associations, joining to reconcile, and to stop the spilling of Syrian blood.

    I am not making this appeal in order to boast or to jostle for favor, as some charge. Although I eschew bigotry, a person by human nature cannot help but lean toward his own kindred. This is whence my call to you springs.

    Can I say?–I weep for you, and at you, and in frustration about you.

    Imam Ali, may God honor his countenance, says, “Who is ignorant of a thing, fights it.” I see no words more honorable than these with which to conclude what I have to say to you. Peace be upon you and the mercy of God and His blessings. Ramadan blessings, and may Syria be well every year.

    Your son,
    Fuad Hmeira

  25. Reponse to Tareq Ali: What is really happening in Syria? http://bit.ly/OA1988

    “TARIQ ALI says we are witnessing in Syria a new form of re-colonisation by the West, like we have already seen in Iraq and in Libya.

    Conclusion

    \No Mr Tareq Ali the Syrian people does not want to discuss and negotiate with a regime that has been oppressing the Syrian people for the past 40 years, that has killed more than 15000 martyrs since the beginning of the revolution, imprisoned and tortured tens of thousands, that has shelled and destroyed cities, villages and Palestinian refugee camps, implemented neo liberal policies that has impoverished a society as a whole while the close family of the dictator Assad ( Rami Makhlouf) accumulated in the same period 60% of Syria’s wealth, that has abandoned and announced the loss of the Golan 11 hours before the first Israeli soldier set a feat in the city of Quneitra, that has not shot a single bullet to liberate the occupied Golan since 1973, that has entered in peace negotiations with Israel on numerous occasions, that has collaborated and served western imperialist regime in the region to crush the Palestinian movement and the left in Lebanon in the seventies and in many other cases (Jordan 1970, black September, Iraqi war in 1991, and 2003 see http://syriafreedomforever.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/understand-the-syrian-regime-and-the-dialectics-of-the-syrian-revolutionary-process/).

    The Syrian revolution is part of the revolutionary process taking place in the Arab world, and should not be separated. The Syrian people are struggling like Egyptians, Tunisians, Bahrainis and other democrats, socialists and anti-imperialists in the region.

    No Mr Tareq Ali, it is not in the interests of the Syrian people to discuss and negotiate with this regime. And Tareq Ali should be reminded as well of the wise words of the French revolutionary St Just who said that those who make half of a revolution gig their own grave.

    The solution is to overthrow the regime and transfer of power to the people of Syria!

    Because as written by the French revolutionary Robespierre: “when the government violates the right of the people, insurrection is for the people the most sacred and the most indispensable of its duties!”

    Victory to the Syrian Revolution, No to Foreign Intervention, and Power to the people!

  26. In one of her tweets, Rana Kabbani noted: Western commentators on Syria seem concerned with 3 things only: minorities, abuse committed by revolutionaries, and chemical weapons.

    Christians of Damascus refused an offer by the regime “Insecurity Forces” to arm themselves: We will not fight against any of the components of the Syrian people!

    مسيحيو دمشق يرفضون السلاح من أجهزة النظام لن نقاتل ضد أي من مكوّنات الشعب السوري
    http://www.annahar.com/article.php?t=mahaly&p=2&d=24800

    After all, the slogan that was chanted at the beginning of the uprising, ” One, one, one, the Syrian people are one” is as genuine as the Syrian Revolution….

  27. Two articles from those who fish in murky waters, the two are no less despicable than the slaughterer. Throwing fuel on fire…

    1.CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/cia-s-favorite-saudi-prince-is-laying-the-groundwork-for-a-post-assad-syria.premium-1.453434

    2.Syria Is Iraq, by Thomas Friedman, whose “Lord” is a warlord!
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/opinion/friedman-syria-is-iraq.html

  28. Rami Jarrah ‏@AlexanderPageSY

    “IMPORTANT VIDEO: defected officer makes statement to battalions of #Aleppo this officer could play a role model…” absolutely..

  29. thank you N.Z.

  30. Florence Aubenas in Aleppo 3rd article

    Alep se prépare à la riposte du régime de Damas

    LE MONDE | 25.07.2012 à 11h31 • Mis à jour le 25.07.2012 à 12h31

    Par Florence Aubenas, envoyée spéciale à Alep (Syrie)
    Réagir Classer Imprimer Envoyer

    Partager facebook twitter google + linkedin

    Il y a des rues à Alep, ce mardi 24 juillet, où Abdallah, commandant de l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), boit et mange tout ce que les voisins lui offrent. Ce n’est pas grand-chose, du pain trempé de concentré de tomates ou de l’eau glacé, mais on sort des chaises en plastique sur le pas de la porte, on trouve le temps de plaisanter entre deux alertes. Soudain, un grand type – jusqu’alors connu comme un honorable garagiste du quartier – décide de rejoindre les insurgés, à l’instant même. Il file chez lui à toute allure, revient aussitôt, toujours avec les mêmes mocassins beiges pointus mais aussi avec deux ceintures de munitions sanglées par-dessus son débardeur et, à la main, un fusil à tirer les lapins auquel il a fixé un couteau de cuisine autour du canon.

    Des habitants restés à Alep observent les combats opposant l’Armée syrienne libre aux tireurs embusqués fidèles au régime de Bachar Al-Assad, le 24 juillet.

    Ces quartiers-là sont ceux où les insurgés sont accueilllis en vainqueurs. Il y a aussi des rues d’une autre sorte. Mardi 24 juillet, aux abords de l’immeuble central de la police, qu’encercle un groupe de l’ASL, le commandant Abdallah refuse l’eau qu’on lui tend. Il n’a pas confiance. Quelqu’un aurait pu mettre du poison dedans. Il est très sérieux : “Ça arrive ici.” Autour de lui, se forme une foule aux visages impassibles. Dans un soupir de reproche, une voix glisse : “Avant, c’était la paix. On vivait tranquillement.” Aux journalistes, les questions se font un peu trop précises : “Est-ce que vous avez un visa officiel pour circuler ?” Un petit gros s’est placé dans la foule, maniant un bâton avec des gestes d’habitué.

    Ailleurs, les tirs reprennent à un carrefour. Alors que chacun cherche un abri, un homme en djellabah claque ostensiblement sa porte à tous les étrangers du quartier. Geste d’excuse d’un voisin, qui n’ouvre pas davantage sa maison : “la peur”, explique-t-il. En quelques pâtés de maison, on a soudain changé de monde et la Syrie se met de nouveau à ressembler à l’image qu’en ont tracée, pendant plus de quarante ans, ceux qui ont approché le régime.

    CONTRE-OFFENSIVE D’ENVERGURE DE L’ARMÉE RÉGULIÈRE

    Mardi, dans la nuit, le sort d’Alep, la deuxième ville du pays, restait toujours incertain, même si les rebelles enserrent toujours davantage le centre historique, s’emparant des portes autour des remparts, les unes après les autres. C’est un de ces moments confus, entre chiens et loups. Le quartier général de la police est encerclé et des voitures trop belles et trop voyantes pour être celles de simples citoyens, quittent précipitamment la ville. Les administrations se vident. Ville riche, tenue par quelques grandes familles, Alep a été jusque-là une des places les moins remuantes de Syrie.

    Aujourd’hui, ses premiers vacillements mettent pour la première fois le gouvernement de Damas en réelle difficulté. En même temps, des bruits insistants annoncent une contre-offensive d’envergure de l’armée régulière et des avions de combat ont bombardé la ville mardi soir, ce qui n’était jamais arrivé jusque-là. Depuis dimanche, où les forces rebelles sont arrivées en nombre dans Alep, les combats se déroulent de la même façon, pour l’instant. D’un côté, les soldats de l’armée régulière ne mettent jamais pied à terre, où ils ne tiennent aucune position réelle : ils livrent exclusivement bataille à bord de chars ou par des bombardements aériens. Du coup, les rebelles – qui n’ont pour se déplacer que leurs jambes et quelques minibus siglés parfois des grands hôtels de la cité historique – gagnent rapidement du terrain, se répandant en ville comme de l’eau.

    Les seuls à leur livrer bataille, rue par rue, tirant une journée entière pour le contrôle d’un rond-point, sont les âmes damnées du régime, les chabiha. Apparus avec la “révolution” – comme l’appelle ici ses partisans –, ils devaient être l’arme absolue pour la combattre, plus effrayants que l’effrayante Syrie elle-même. “Puisque les Syriens ne craignaient plus de descendre dans la rue, leur mission était de nourrir encore la peur”, explique un ingénieur. “Voler, tuer, ils pouvaient, ou plutôt ils avaient l’ordre de tout.” En quelques mois, ils ont constitué une sorte de milice, imposant un maillage étroit sur les quartiers. Ce sont eux qui ont attaqué les manifestations, tirant sur la foule, rossant les gens, pillant les magasins en plein jour. Eux encore qui sont entrés dans les maisons, exécutant sans autre procès et avec mille cruautés, les habitants suspectés de sympathie avec les forces rebelles.

    “CHABIHA”, CHUCHOTENT LES REBELLES

    Dans le quartier de Bab Al-Haddid, mardi matin, un groupe rebelle vient de prendre position quand deux personnes leur indiquent discrètement une fenêtre dans une ruelle. Ils disent un seul mot, “chabiha”, sans même arriver à le prononcer à haute voix et c’est toute la terreur de la Syrie qu’on entend soudain dans ce murmure. Complètement lâché par le régime, seul avec son stock de munitions, le chabiha de la ruelle n’a plus rien à perdre. Il envoie sa première rafale. Les gens se cachent, courant, prêts à s’écraser les uns les autres.

    En revanche, quand apparaît plus tard un hélicoptère de combat qui commence à tirer, on s’abrite mais sans impatience, traînant exprès pour montrer qu’on ne craint rien et répondant aux balles par des “Allah ouakbar”. Autour de l’immeuble de la police, le combat reprend. Le commandant Abdallah, de l’Armée syrienne libre, a allumé une cigarette. Il sort sa propre bouteille d’eau de son sac, refusant celle qu’on lui tend. “Poison”, pense-t-il à nouveau. Deux nouveaux tireurs ont été signalés, il repart, longeant les maisons pour rester à couvert. Un quart d’heure plus tard, un téléphone sonne. Abdallah vient d’être blessé.

    Voir le reportage du photographe Laurent Van der Stockt Ce n’est pas la chute d’Alep, mais le début

    Florence Aubenas, envoyée spéciale à Alep (Syrie)

  31. Have just seen a BBC report with horrific videos and pictures of the aftermath of the Assadist Militias’ campaigns against the revolutionaries in several Damascus suburbs showing dead fighters from clear point-blank executions. Thousands of regime thugs are converging on 7alab as well and I have grave fears for the revolutionaries there. The criminal regime is cleverly timing its moves to coincide with the start of the Olympics when it will commit its crimes while the world’s eyes are diverted.

  32. Thanks N.Z.

  33. True, my pleasure?
    ==============

    A Damascene citizen writes about Tlass jr. Anything with jr. sends shivers down my spine, including Bush Jr. brrrrrrrr, no more Jrs.

    عن مناف طلاس

    تلوح في الأفق بوادر “طبخة” غربية روسية تقول بامكانية جعل مناف طلاس واجهة لمرحلة انتقالية بسورية باعتباره شخصية مقبولة لدى الروس !! و لكن ألم يسألوا الشارع السوري عن شعوره تجاه هذا الرأي المقيت خاصة و أن الشعب السوري بعد الثورة هو صاحب الكلمة الفصل !!! ..لماذا لا نقبل بمناف طلاس ؟
    أولا اني من هنا و من قلب دمشق أؤكد ما ذكرنه وسائل الاعلام بأن مناف طلاس قائد لواء في الحرس الجمهوري مسؤول عن الحملة العسكرية الأمنية على منطقة دوما بغوطة دمشق الشرقية أوائل أيام الثورة و ذلك لأن أحد أقربائي و لن أذكر اسمه كان ضمن اللجنة المنتدبة لأهالي دوما ” الكباريه ” للقاء مناف طلاس شخصيا في أحد بساتين الغوطة الشرقية و جرى حديث وقتها استمر لأكثر من ساعتين و مفاوضات طلب من خلالها الأعضاء بسحب جميع المظاهر العسكرية من الغوطة و بالسماح للأهالي بتشييع شهدائهم و تلبية بشار الأسد لمطالب الأهالي المتمثلة بالاصلاح و اطلاق معتقلين مظاهرة ( 24 أذار )و بسماع شكواهم عن سوء معاملة و تعذيب الأطفال الذين اعتقلوا و غيرها من المطالب و للأمانة حدثّنا قريبي وقتها عن اصغاء مناف طلاس و قبوله بتلك المطالب و بتعهده أن يوصلها للرئيس شخصياً ما عدا أنه ناقش في قصة سحب اللواء من دوما دونما موافقة منه على هذا الطلب بل أصر على ضرورة ابقاءه خشية ” المسلحين على حد قوله ” و هو ما تم بالفعل و قد استمر هذا اللواء المجرم بارتكاب أبشع الجرائم و قتل المتظاهرين مرة تلو المرة عدا عن الحصار الخانق للغوطة الشرقية كاملة ( من دوما الى جوبر ) في أواسط شهر نيسان 2011 و أواخر شهر تشرين الثاني 2011 . ثانياً لنفترض جدلا بأن كلامي أعلاه ليس صحيح و انما محض افتراء , أبالله عليكم أتقبلون من كان أباه السفاح المجرم مصطفى طلاس ليقود المرحلة الانتقالية ؟!!! ان الشعب السوري العظيم بشكل عام و أهل حماه بشكل خاص يعلمون من هو هذا الجزار الذي افتخر بلسانه في أحد كتبه المطبوعة و ضاحكا بلقاء له على قناة روسيا اليوم , بأنه كان يوقع مئات أوامر الاعدمات الميدانية كل يوم أثناء أحداث الثمانينات المؤلمة بل انه كان القائد الميداني لعملية تمكين حكم حافظ الأسد ضد أخيه رفعت , أتقبلون ؟!! أبالله عليكم ؟!!! كيف يمكننا أن نؤمن لابن الجزار أن يقود المرحلة الانتقالية ؟ !! هل سوريا ستسير بخطى واثقة نحو الأمان و الازدهار الذي ننشده ؟!! ثم كيف لنا أن نقبل بشخصية عسكرية تكون رقيبة علينا و نحن الذين قمنا و ثرنا و قاتلنا و اعتقلنا من أجل اقامة النظام المدني حيث لا سلطة للعسكر على الحكم بعد الآن … نحن و اذ في معرض حديثنا لا نقبل بمناف طلاس للمرحلة الانتقالية , نؤكد في الوقت ذاته ترحيبنا بهذا الانشقاق و ان كان متأخراً جداً ما عدا أن تصريحه بذلك أخد وقت كبيراً و رائحة ” الطبخة ” الفرنسية ما زالت تحوم حول ذلك الانشقاق و شكرا .

    مواطن دمشقي من قلب دمشق

  34. By Haroon Siddiqui

    A Jesuit priest thrown out of Syria for criticizing Bashar Assad’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy forces is visiting North America and will be in Toronto Thursday and Friday. He’s bringing a message for fellow Christians and others: It’s un-Christian and immoral to be fretting only or mostly about the possible plight of the Christian minority in post-Assad Syria, while doing little to save the overwhelming majority of Syrians being massacred by the Assad regime.

    Rev. Paolo Dall’Oglio says the regime is “ethnic cleansing” those who oppose it, and is sowing sectarian divisions much the same way Slobodan Milosevic did in Bosnia in the 1990s.

    Father Paolo met Foreign Minister John Baird in Ottawa Wednesday, along with the Canadian members of the Syrian National Council, the umbrella opposition group.

    Here are the details of his program in Toronto:

    Friday: 11 a.m.: Mosaic Institute.

    7 p.m.: Noor Centre.

    Saturday, 6.30 p.m.: South Common Community Centre, South Millway, Mississauga (416-839-0766)

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1231830–christian-priest-bears-witness-to-syrian-bloodbath

  1. Pingback: Civil Conflict in Syria: News & Discussions - Page 141

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