July 19, 2012
Syria: "It Is All About Iran"
The latest western UN Security Council resolution about Syria was, as expected, vetoed by Russia and China. South Africa and Pakistan made a point by abstaining. The resolution threatened the Syrian state with sanctions should it not withdraw its troops from population centers while saying nothing about a withdrawal of the western supported insurgents or any consequences to them.
The Ambassador to the UN for the Russian Federation Vitaly Churkin made the point that the issue of Syria is about much more than Syria. It is a global geopolitical conflict.
There is no transcript yet of the press stakeout where Chrukin elaborated on that but the gist was caught by the valuable Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press:
Then Churkin went bigger picture, paraphrasing Bill Clinton by saying "It's all about Iran, stupid" (and striking the last word).
He said that after the US invasion of Iraq worked out differently than the US expected -- with an expanded Shi'a and Iranian role, that is -- now they had to try to contain Iran, by way of Syria.
After the failed policy of the war on Iraq the U.S. is now trying to correct the outcome through another catastrophic attack on another middle eastern country.
But this is even about more than Iran. It is about resistance against Israel and its occupation of Arab land. U.S. politics, under Israeli pressure, can not longer acquiesce to resistance. It has to be snuffed out. No matter what happens next.
The ongoing attack on Syria, if successful and after a long bloody sectarian civil war, will lead to the installation of another fundamentalist Sunni government in a geographically critical state. This is lunacy. Even imperial stalwarts like the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Pat Lang ask:
Are we really happy that Sunni jihadis are disassembling a government that does not represent Sunni fanatics in the likelihood that it will be replaced by one that will?
The humanitarian interventionists in the Obama administration, especially the female ones, seem to be fine with that. They will of course deny any responsibility when the predictable consequences of their action, especially for the women in Syria, will become visible for all.
Posted by b on July 19, 2012 at 02:12 PM | Permalink
Posted by: Alexander | Jul 19, 2012 2:39:16 PM | 1
b, you need to make up your mind about the narrative in Syria. If you're saying that Sunni Jihadists are the major drivers of the opposition to Assad, then you can't claim that it's because Assad opposes Israel since Jihadists are deadly opposed to Israel as well.
Posted by: A V | Jul 19, 2012 2:57:37 PM | 2
Hypothetically yes. But KSA has defector been Israel's best ally in the region. The individual fighters comprising the rebels likely hate zionism, but they are more concerned with sectarian divisions and hence are another defector Israeli-US ally. Which is precisely why the US, along with the Saudis, are supporting them.
Posted by: lysander | Jul 19, 2012 3:03:46 PM | 3
WoW b, you must also be taking some of the flack..Seems your site's also been targeted like all other sites reporting reality on Syria...
So much for freedom of speech!!!
Posted by: Zico | Jul 19, 2012 3:18:19 PM | 4
@ A V
since Jihadists are deadly opposed to Israel as well
Jihadists have always been more concerned with overthrowing Arab regimes then opposing Israel. Bin Laden was a master of this. He was always talking about Palestine in his speeches but show me one thing Bin Laden ever did for Palestine. Al Qaeda fought in Afghanistan, Algeria, Chechyna, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Libya last year and Syria today. Hell sometimes it looks like they have fought in every single Arab nation EXCEPT Palestine.
The reason Bin Laden mentioned Palestine in all his speeches is because it plays well amoung the people. But it was always some far off goal for him to be taken care off after the muslim world was united in a Caliphate. So you have him say things like "liberating Al Quds" and then spending most of his life 1,000 miles away in Afghanistan.
Or look at Lebanon locally. Lebanon has got plenty of Jihadist groups yet when Israel attacked Lebanon in 2006 not one of them went South to help Hezbollah. The only other faction that helped Hezbollah was the secular socialist Amal movement who lost around 120 fighters during the war. Even in Iraq it seemed the Jihadists were more concerned with killing Shiites then they were about killing American soldiers. That was Zarqawi's goal after all. He led AQI and his stated goal was not to defeat the Americans, but to start a civil war.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 19, 2012 3:56:20 PM | 5
Colm O' Toole @ 5
Al Qaeda is a NATO shock mercenary force in the Muslim world.They fight anything ant-imperialist and Shiites..Back in the 70 - 80 during the Soviet/Afghan war, Turkey played the same role they're playing today by training Arab/Sunni fighters (aka Mujahedeen - dumb Muslims fighting the white-man's wars).. In fact, Turkey had an office for the Taliban on their soil.
Al-Qaeda has never threatened the existence of Israel..Yet they always seem to go after Israel's enemies and nationalistic Arab groups across the region.
After the fall of Mubarak and the strategic defeat of the US in Iraq, the West will like to compensate for their losses by having a foothold in Syria. This will serve a couple of objectives:
1. Ensure the survival of Israel for a couple more decades
2. Have a base to further destabilize the region
3. Limit Iran's influence in the region
The US is still not paying attention to the fact that Russia/China have vetoed their resolutions for the third time. The lines have been drawn in the sand but the US is choosing to ignore it and continue with their regime change agenda. They even openly announced again at the UN after the vote that they will find "other means" to bring down the Assad government. How far they're willing t go with this we don't know but one thing is certain, if push comes to shove, Turkey will be on the receiving end of a lot of Russian hurt.
I hope cool heads prevail in this..
Posted by: Zico | Jul 19, 2012 4:31:05 PM | 6
I believe it was "all about Iran" from the day after the 9-11 terror attack in NYC in 2001. Iran is the prize; take her out and Israel is supreme in the middle east.
Posted by: Mark Stoval | Jul 19, 2012 4:59:50 PM | 7
quote from the previous Syria thread:
Its NOT a 'civil' war..as most of the terrorists are NOT syrian
Until recently, the ICRC has used terms like ‘internal conflict’, ‘regional strife’ (with details about the regions, e.g. Homs) as it is careful to use low-level terms, which have no implications, as they want to remain in contact with all parties. Per their policy.
Labeling the matter civil war is very heavy in consequences.
It means that International Humanitarian Law - Geneva Conventions, Protection of Victims, Humanit. corridors and the like, plus future potential actions of the International Criminal Court, automatically come into play, or are on the books or accepted.
(Nobody can be certain of anything - still that is the official landscape.)
So it is a game-changer.
Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19, 2012 5:29:13 PM | 9
The only chance for survival for the Syrian regime is to mobilize all it's support population, in a way a dictatorship with little support wouldn't be able to do, and fight back at every corner of their territory. Time will tell if that's possible. Of course that means a civil war. But that's what the western powers and the medieval monarchies have created and funded. This is not a game and lame attempts at reconciliation and buying back the favor from the US won't work anymore because they won't trust them ditching their Iranian allies. This isn't a 'security' or 'police' problem.
If they can't do that they will last more or less but as Russia or Iran won't commit troops (interfere) or resources on their own they will be slowly or fast worn out.
Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 19, 2012 5:29:29 PM | 10
Yep RT has a piece and CCTV footage of him.
The guy spent two years in Guantanamo Bay after being arrested in Afghanistan. Was arrested again by the Pakistanis in 2009 attempting to re-enter Afghanistan but released shortly after. Doesn't sound like an Iranian plot after all.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 19, 2012 5:31:56 PM | 11
NYTimes is claiming that the bomber is a Hezbollah cell member
Posted by: nikon | Jul 19, 2012 5:37:28 PM | 12
"This is lunacy"
It is the evil in its the purest form! This is about the West and their "values" - violence is concomitant of political thought in Western, liberal, nation-state society(ies). Liberal so-called "democracy" is equally hostile Internally and Externally. Internally, those who doesn't "belong" to nation-state, whose blood isn't pure enough and as such there are "unnatural" in those countries. Anybody recognized Racism as the fundamental Western social norm? Externally, lethal to countries who has some form of socialistic, or in western lingo progressive idea or do want to bow down. There are many "competition" which can be seen: who is the biggest mass murderer in human history? Without doubt the Western reactionary liberal democracy is number one.
Posted by: neretva'43 | Jul 19, 2012 5:49:08 PM | 14
Most ‘ordinary’ Syrians are sitting on the fence waiting to see where the wind blows so that they can live their lives - without being bombed, killed, starved, turned into refugees. They would prefer to keep their families, habits and friends, contacts, homes and businesses, savings, future plans, intact.
Like in all such situations they will wait, temporize and finally come out, when it is safe, on the side of the winner. That attitude is not cynical, but pragmatic, particularly so when the no. 1 issue is economical-State-power arrangements within the country.
Ppl connected to the Gvmt or closely to the Opposition are called on to make a choice earlier. They have to commit, and use their influence or power to support their choice. So defections, and death-defying loyalty. Toss the dice.
Imho. My reading..civil war...
Posted by: Noirette | Jul 19, 2012 5:51:42 PM | 15
Didn't Lenin call liberal democracy "dictatorship of the bourgeoisie"?
Posted by: nikon | Jul 19, 2012 6:00:25 PM | 16
Antifo @ 13
More proof the conflict in Syria is more of a media war than reality...90% media propaganda, 10% whatever...
Posted by: Zico | Jul 19, 2012 6:06:13 PM | 17
"The humanitarian interventionists in the Obama administration, especially the female ones, seem to be fine with that. They will of course deny any responsibility when the predictable consequences of their action, especially for the women in Syria, will become visible for all."
Now we find out just why the Uber-Alpha-Fems such as the truly demented Clinton, Anne Marie Slaughter and Suzanne Power are all in favour of killing lots of arabs . . .
Direct from the "Seriously F**kin' retarded"™ dept at Assange-Central
Syria’s Assad emailed sexist jokes: WikiLeaks
"Hundreds of emails purportedly written by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad show he sent several sexist or irreverant messages in the months before the ongoing Syrian uprising began
The emails shed little new information on the deadly crackdown but give a glimpse into Assad’s puerile and slightly misogynistic mindset.
well obviously the West/Saudis/Israel (those stalwart defenders of all things Feminine) needs to bomb the crap outta those horrible Syrians misogynists!!!! How can ANY red-blooded male sit by and Do NOTHING!!!! after such an horrific affront to such beautiful creatures such as those mentioned above
Assange Fan-Bois!!!! The flower of Western womanhood has been besmirched!!! this is nothing less than a call to arms!
Thank the Lord for Wikileaks and Saint Julian, eh?
Otherwise such blatant effrontery might go unnoticed and therefore unpunished, and where would the world be then, hmm? Answer me THAT all you despicable obnoxious nonbelievers in the Saintliness of the unfeasibly blond-haired God from Oz
I'm sooooo glad Julian is on OUR side, ain't you?
Yessum, praise Jeebus and pass the ammunition!!!
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19, 2012 6:09:49 PM | 18
Doesn't sound like an Iranian plot after all.
Gee, . . . ya think?
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19, 2012 6:10:43 PM | 19
This is a short video of Bashar today 19 Jul 2012 administering the oath of office to the new minister of defense. From time 0:16 to 0:21 the camera has a close-up of Bashar, showing Bashar confident, rested, and stress-free. Congratulations to Bashar for keeping his cool under fire. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx1Zng_SFfI
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19, 2012 6:26:46 PM | 20
This war in Syria is a foreign funded, foreign armed, coup d'etat operation; and obviously it has been meticulously planned and probably has Western Special Ops elements and foreign intelligence workshops and teams to deal with tricky situations and technical access too, when such things are needed. We have been warned about the comprehensiveness of the massive media operation; but the reality of the internet makes it impossible for this deception to be seamless; and so, bit by bit, the curtain has been pulled back to reveal the operators and the dimensions of this historic aggression against a smaller state by US/NATO/ Israel & Gulf State coalition, an unholy alliance if ever there was one.
This is headed for a regional outbreak of a much wider war, or something even worse, if the aggressors whose war aims apparently extend far beyond the borders of Syria, go on to strike at Iran.
Posted by: Copeland | Jul 19, 2012 6:38:50 PM | 21
Nytimes article claim he is a hezbollah cell member even though they dont know his name.
Posted by: nikon | Jul 19, 2012 7:03:22 PM | 23
If you're interested in acquiring a feel for the spirit of the ordinary pro-government soldiers who are fighting on the ground in Damascus at the moment, here's a video broadcast by Syrian State TV today of men of the same age and same socioeconomic class as the Syrian men they are fighting against: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=fzgL5-F7jTc#t=37s
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19, 2012 7:18:37 PM | 24
@15, that sounds about right.
Posted by: ruralito | Jul 19, 2012 7:54:59 PM | 25
The humanitarian interventionists in the Obama administration, especially the female ones, seem to be fine with that.
Not unlike Vladimir Putin's humanitarian non-interventionism in Chechnya, Georgia, Belarus.
Posted by: slothrop | Jul 19, 2012 7:59:48 PM | 26
If you take a short holiday in the way-back machine of the MOA archives, you will unsurprisingly find a twitchy obsession in the piston-like prose of b's dozens of posts celebrating the insurgency, and at the same time condemning US strategic genius to drive a wedge between Sunni and Shia, where he only saw a history of Iraqi nationalism and happy miscegenations, physical and mental. Good God the Arabs are stupid. Of course, that argument was completely wrong, as is provably documented.
And now in Syria, a sectarian political elite is challenged by an historically marginalized majority. Doesn't sound at all like Iraq, does it?
But now, purely for the most cynical ideological purposes, b has necessarily programmed the analysis of His Syria. Now, his jackhammer prose is tailored to the revelation that the historically marginalized majority are a bunch of terrorists, willing to shoot their own neighbors for a few extra bucks thrown their way by Qataris & Hillary R. Clinton. Good God, the Arabs are stupid.
Posted by: slothrop | Jul 19, 2012 8:19:25 PM | 27
"...One would think the wind still whispered Latin
phrases when whoever wrote our dollar bill took its
not-so-mystic motto from Virgil's Messianic Ecologue but
conveniently skipped the part of the prophesy about
the way the Age would end in Fire..."
--Lawrence Ferlinghetti, TYRANNUS NIX ?
Posted by: Copeland | Jul 19, 2012 8:23:12 PM | 28
You tell em, SlobThrob!
I'll bet ol b's quaking in his Lilly-livered Land-o'freedom-hatin terrorist-loving boots, at the mere thought of a vitriolic tongue-lashing from the mighty SlobThrob
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19, 2012 8:41:10 PM | 29
The ideology of the Saudi "jihadists" is hardly obscure: the new head of Saudi intelligence is the long term US based Bandar, Bandar "Bush" as he is known in the Ex-Presidents' Ex-CIA Director's family.
It really couldn't be much plainer if, like King Abdullah (Jr), he was half English. The guys behind these "jihads" are traitors to their country, their religion and humanity itself. They are intent on handing over their countrymen to the empire. It is what Kings do.
Posted by: bevin | Jul 19, 2012 9:04:44 PM | 30
Copeland @ 21:Yep, good synopsis on Syria. Also, Noirette @ 15 has an equally good take on the possibility of civil war, and the average Syrian's response. The folks that fund this kind of global intervention have nothing but time, and plenty of money. It will NOT end well for the average folks in Syria.
Posted by: ben | Jul 19, 2012 9:24:37 PM | 31
sunnis are so marginalized in syria they make up most of the business elites.
Posted by: Nikon | Jul 19, 2012 9:58:00 PM | 33
Also it was allawites who were historically marginalized, only achieved equality under the baathist party
Posted by: Nikon | Jul 19, 2012 10:04:08 PM | 34
>>> sunnis are so marginalized in syria they make up most of the business elites.>>>
Nikon, you are correct but only about those Sunnis that are close to the Baathist socialists. You're wrong to imply that all Sunnis are business elites and thereby not marginalized. The Brotherhood and the Salafists are Sunnis but they are very far from being part of the business elite. The new constitution did not change anything in the status of the marginalized other than allowing them to field new political parties, but the Baathists are still the ones ruling the country and dispensing government jobs and contracts to Baathist loyalists. New constitution but not much has changed.
Posted by: www | Jul 19, 2012 10:57:36 PM | 35
>>> Most ‘ordinary’ Syrians are sitting on the fence waiting to see where the wind blows so that they can live their lives - without being bombed, killed, starved, turned into refugees. They would prefer to keep their families, habits and friends, contacts, homes and businesses, savings, future plans, intact. >>>
Although most are sitting on the fence, as Noirette said, most are not necessarily happy about the current regime very simply because they know that what would replace it would be much much worse. They saw what happened to Iraq and Libya and it's normal to not wish to have the same done to their country. I'm sure now in retrospect, most Iraqis wish they had the good old "bad" days of the tyrant Saddam as I'm sure Libyans are going to be yearning for the old days of Gaddafi. Syrians can't be blamed for wanting to keep Assad, it's the smart thing to want. But to deny that there is a civil war raging in Syria is absurd. Yesterday it was reported that the rebels control the border areas with Iraq and fighting all over Damascus.
Posted by: www | Jul 19, 2012 11:23:00 PM | 36
>>> Also it was allawites who were historically marginalized, only achieved equality under the baathist party>>>
That was almost 50 years ago, only it didn't just achieve equality, it was more like a superiority. Allawites like other Shia sects are marginalized by the Sunnis in all Muslim countries.
Posted by: www | Jul 19, 2012 11:54:40 PM | 38
ooops, meant to say Allawites were marginalized instead of "are" marginalized. They are OK in Syria and unlike other Shia in other Sunni dominated countries.
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 12:02:58 AM | 39
A meeting to discuss security issues but not attended by senior security chiefs (or, at least, by people representing the different security branches)??
Nobody heard the (silent?) explosion of an explosive charge of more than 100 pounds.
The state-run TV didn't display images of the crime scene as one might expect
This is the second attempt to attack the same group (an astronomical coincidence?). Contrary to the previous offense, groups that claimed responsibility for the attack haven't announced the names of the attendees."
Assad removed western collaborators?
Posted by: Nikon | Jul 20, 2012 12:35:36 AM | 40
Asaad is insinuating that the explosion may have not happened at all.
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 1:38:55 AM | 41
So apparently we aren't allowed to see SANA in America.
Or did someone attack the site?
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 1:47:39 AM | 42
>>> Good God, the Arabs are stupid.>>> (Slothrop #27)
They are. What better proof than Palestine? Iraq? Libya? Today's Syria?
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 1:52:26 AM | 43
Nikon @ 40,
Angry Arab needs better correspondents or sources. He writes:
The state-run TV didn't display images of the crime scene as one might expect.
Maybe he should check out youtube where we see "Addounia TV closed on Nilesat 19-07-2012." [Can't remember if I saw this here originally or where]
So no wonder they didn't show the crime scene on its "state-run" television--it's been hijacked! And Angry Arab is kicking them when they're down!
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 2:12:18 AM | 44
I knew I wasn't imagining things . . . credit goes to Antifo @ 13 for catching Addounia TV going off the air.
In this very thread in fact.
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 2:18:01 AM | 45
it's not civil war, it's an armed insurgency
Syrian intelligence suffered two major blows:
- the assassination of high-ranking officers (not easy to achieve, in spite of what someone said here)
- the failure to intercept the infiltration and concentration of insurgents in various Damascus neighborhoods
the fight goes on; as someone said, Western and Gulf assetts are pitted against Syria, while Russia and China and Iran don't (or can't) counterbalance them
so, as b and Parviziyi say, either Assad can wipe out all footholds of the insurgency within Syrian territory, or his regime will be inevitably worn down
maybe it's time for more imaginative ways to call for popular collaboration; I agree with Noirette's picture, but even if those who take a stand in such a situation always are a minority, the dimension of this minority can be decisive
maybe more concessions must be made to the people's demands or desires
Posted by: claudio | Jul 20, 2012 2:43:00 AM | 46
www and brian, please stop this "arabs are stupid" meme; a religious nut is a religious nut at every latitude of the globe
btw, from "arabs are stupis" to "people are stupid" is a small step, and I would disagree with that, too, in so far as it implies that somewhere there are "smart" elites, who have the right and the duty to command the masses;
Posted by: claudio | Jul 20, 2012 2:48:43 AM | 49
Also in may, FSA said 6 died 2 survived, and the national security HQ bombing also has 2 survivors: Hisham Bekhityar and Ibrahim al-Sha’ar
Posted by: Nikon | Jul 20, 2012 3:57:03 AM | 54
I have no idea whether or not Syrian officials were poisoned by the Mercenary Scum financed by US/Israel/Saudi etc BUT any sane or honest person would have to at least ask the question:
In what bizzare alternative universe caould ANY reportage on Assad and Syria that relies on anonymous "senior Israeli officials be considered 'more revealing'?
You appear to be using the phrase "more revealing" as a substitute for "reliable"
The truth is that in fact any sane or honest person would have to ask
"Given the enormous amount of lies Israel has been frequently proven to tell, why should any sane or honest person believe anything which relies on anonymous "senior Israeli officials "
The fact thet you, somebody, are here pimping the propaganda of anonymous "senior Israeli officials " is not really surprising though, given your complete refusal to acknowledge ANY of Ghaddaffi's many achievements which benifitted greatly the people of Libya, several times recently
"Another Israeli official said the information published by the Syrian opposition after the incident is deemed credible by Israel."
Well yes, of course it would be, just as any information published by the Syrian Gov't is deemed in-credible by Israel, given that the Israel Security establishment is one of the group of psychopaths currently providing finance and training and, according to David Ignatius of the Washington Post, both CIA and Israeli intelligence are at the Turkish and Jordanian borders to the north directing command and control of their own mercenaries.
So the only thing that the Haaretz story 'reveals' is what the Israselis WANT people to believe
So why is somebody pimping for the Isreali Security establishment?
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 20, 2012 5:53:14 AM | 56
it is revealing that they have been talking about those same people in May ...
Posted by: somebody | Jul 20, 2012 6:03:26 AM | 57
You shouldn't mistake fanboys for people wafting poisonous gases.
Posted by: Alexander | Jul 20, 2012 6:11:32 AM | 58
On the question of how the top brass of the ministry of defense were killed, I'm told that a briefcase bag full of explosives was left in the room and detonated by remote control, and the person who did it worked daily in the building where it happened (working as a secretary as "Brian" already posted). I get that info from http://www.facebook.com/MhbyAlalamytAlmqawmtHnaAlsalh which is a blog in Arabic by a well-informed and well-connected person in Syria who reports it as a fact, not as a rumour, and this is a person who is, on the basis of my previous visits to the blog, sensible and conscientious and doesn't rehash unreliable rumours of unknown origination. On the other hand, we still haven't had an official account of how it happened. Until we do, we don't know for sure how exactly it happened.
It is common in office buildings for meeting rooms to be located in the interior of the building, i.e. in a room with no windows. The top brass were probably in a meeting room in the interior of the building, and the breifcase bag of explosives was on the table or under the table. SANA has officially reported that Interior Minister Mohammed Al-Shaar was at the meeting and survived the explosion. Hence, explosion damage on the exterior of the building is not to be expected as likely.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 7:01:25 AM | 59
the point of the Haaretz article is that they named the members of the "crisis cell" by name and meeting indicating they knew the way things were organized in May. Now exactly those people are still meeting the same way in July to be finally killed.
when a secret service finds out the ennemy knows their inner workings they change their schedule - fast.
Posted by: somebody | Jul 20, 2012 7:56:32 AM | 60
Linda Juniper @LindaJuniper
Iraqi Official: the Syrian Army controlled AlBukamal border gate, injured & killed 10s of #FSA terrorists. #Syria #DeirEzzor #Iraq
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 8:43:29 AM | 61
Eyewitness: post-attack Damascus
| 19 JULY 2012 Damascus residents interviewed by the Voice of Russia correspondent Nawaf Ibrahim [Editor’s note: these testimonies coincide with the on-the-ground reports from Voltaire Network chairman, Thierry Meyssan].
What’s going on in the city now? How are you feeling about it?
Yara Ismail: Generally, life in Damascus is returning to normal after the July 18 blast. People are recovering from fear and desperation they all feel. As for me, I’m a little smitten. But, I’m happy to see that life goes on in the city. Yesterday, we were walking around and saw people eating out in restaurants and cafés, though they were few. I saw people in the markets buying stuff for Ramadan. Nobody stopped going to work or school.
Muhammad al-Deri: What is really going on in Damascus is that even those who were not physically hurt by the attack are hurt morally. The killed officials were real leaders who fought for Syria and its people. It’s a great loss for us all. Officers who died in the blast were among Syria’s best people. However, the deaths wouldn’t weaken the Syrian army as our ex President Hafez al-Assad created powerful troops indeed, and they comprise top officers.
Tell us about Bashar Assad. It is true that he can be easily contacted by ordinary people?
Muhammad al-Deri: Absolutely true. I met him twice being part of youth activists. We don’t perceive him as a president, he is family for us. When one talks to him, Assad behaves friendly and though one understands that he is a president it’s very easy to talk to him. Assad is supported by over 80% of Syrians and he seeks peace by all means as the majority of Syrians do. Thus, we are so grateful to Russia for all its efforts to establish a dialogue between the government and the opposition. We are for talks, not weapons.
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 8:44:10 AM | 62
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 7:01:25 AM | 59
this is likely
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 8:45:01 AM | 63
i cant help it if SOME arabs are stupid...the give a bad name to the rest
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 8:52:33 AM | 64
Syrian rebels took control of all border crossings between Iraq and Syria on Thursday, Baghdad's deputy interior minister told AFP. "All the border points between Iraq and Syria are under the control of the Free Syrian Army," Adnan al-Assadi told AFP by telephone.
"The border points and all the outposts are under the control of the Free Syrian Army. "The Syrian army are focusing on Damascus." Assadi also said there was fighting under way between the Syrian army and rebels across the border from the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar.
The top official said Iraqi border guards had witnessed the Free Syrian Army take control of a border outpost, detain a Syrian army lieutenant colonel, and then cut off his arms and legs. "Then they executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers." The account of the killings could not be independently verified.
Assadi added: "If this situation continues, we are going to close the entire border with Syria."
For the FSA to take that much border crossings is a bad sign. Also I don't imagine life is as rosy in Damascus as that Voltaire link points out. Was watching RT this morning and they have a reporter in Damascus and she was showing video footage of one of the areas right in the downtown of Damascus. Didn't look as bad as a warzone but looked like a heavy riot had run through the area.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 20, 2012 8:55:58 AM | 65
Yep, that will be a problem for the Iraqui and the Syrian government
"The Iraqi-Syrian desert between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is known as the Jazirah (meaning island), and its people have traditionally paid little attention to the border imposed in 1920. Local tribes have historically maintained stronger cultural, ethnic, familial, and economic ties with each other than with their respective capitals. "
Posted by: somebody | Jul 20, 2012 9:08:12 AM | 66
The assassination, combined with multiple attacks on border stations in Turkey and Iraq, combined with an assault on Damascus screams foreign intel coordination. As if any more evidence was needed. But the fact that it happened just before another UNSC meeting is even more evidence. I guess the stories about "massacres" just wasn't cutting it.
Apparently, the purpose was to get Russia and China to think it was hopeless and they might as well just go along with the resolution. That they did not is a sign that they don't think its hopeless.
This is indeed decisive. I think if the Syrian government survives the next 10 days, it will be a sign that the foreign backed salafist rebels can't win.
And if it does not, the savagery witnessed at the Iraqi border crossing is more evidence, again as if any is needed, that the fight against the rebels has to continue at all costs no matter what.
Posted by: Lysander | Jul 20, 2012 9:28:33 AM | 67
FYI Colm 65:
'The account of the killings could not be independently verified.'
did that even happen?
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 10:07:46 AM | 69
Official Source Dismisses as Untrue Media Reports on Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing and Cities in Damascus and Its Countryside
Jul 20, 2012
PROVINCES, (SANA)- An official source on Thursday dismissed news broadcast by al-Arabiya and al-Jazeera TV channels on Bab al-Hawa border crossing point in Idleb province on the borders with Turkey as "fabricated and false".
The source stated that the Bab al-Hawa border crossing point had been closed since early June and emptied of the staff.
The source also denied al-Arabiya reports on terrorists taking hold of Yabroud and al-Dmeir cities and the Security Detachment in al-Tal city in Damascus Countryside and Barzeh area in Damascus.
It said that this news is completely untrue as the armed forces are carrying out "qualitative operations" in attacking the terrorists in these areas.
The source added that this false news promoted by al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya and the Israeli Channel and the simultaneity and consonance among them comes in the framework of raising the deteriorating spirits of the terrorist groups after the crushing blows which they were dealt by the Syrian Arab Army.
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 10:49:08 AM | 70
>>> The source added that this false news promoted by al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya and the Israeli Channel >>>
News from thses sources may not be good for your health, but listening only to SANA is not much better. Diversify, Brian, and get a fresh outlook on what's happening. You know in advance what you'll be getting out of Jazeera, Arabia and SANA. You never cease to be amazed by what you're picking up from these 3 sources.
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 12:09:25 PM | 71
>>> 'The account of the killings could not be independently verified.'
did that even happen? >>>
If it didn't, it would mean that the regime has pulled a fast one over everyone's eyes. Why would it do that?
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 12:11:55 PM | 72
The source added that this false news promoted by al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya and the Israeli Channel
Well I wasn't quoting them, I was quoting Adnan Al Assadi the Iraqi deputy interior minister (in reality he is the acting Interior minister since Maliki's purge). If anyone should know what is going on at the Syrian-Iraqi checkpoints it would be the Iraq's Interior Minister don't you think?
Also Adnan Al Assadi would have no reason to lie. He is Shia, a member of the Iran aligned Dawa Party. They have no ill will towards Assad and have been very supportive.
The article in Sana however would have a reason to lie. It is the Syrian governments mouthpiece and alot of the articles read like some Soviet-style propaganda network. I don't disagree with there stance (which mirrors my own views) but there is an Information War going on and both sides are playing it up. Adnan Al Assadi's claims that his soldiers saw the rebels take the checkpoints and murder the Syrian soldiers is probably closer to the truth than Sana's denials.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 20, 2012 12:16:20 PM | 73
Colm is correct, why would al-Assadi lie? Here it's reported by the CBC, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters that the rebels have taken control of the Iraqi border and a crossing point into Turkey:
"...Les rebelles syriens, qui accentuent la pression sur le régime du président Bachar Al-Assad, contrôlent désormais la frontière avec l'Irak, selon les autorités irakiennes.
« La totalité des postes-frontière entre l'Irak et la Syrie sont désormais sous le contrôle de l'Armée syrienne libre (ASL) », a annoncé à l'AFP le vice-ministre irakien de l'Intérieur, Adnan al-Assadi.
L'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH) affirme que les rebelles se sont aussi emparés du poste frontalier de Bab al-Hawa, à la frontière avec la Turquie."
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 12:28:18 PM | 74
Colm #65, #73 quotes a news article saying rebels took over four border crossings between Syria and Iraq yesterday, and Colm makes the comment "for the FSA to take that much border crossings is a bad sign." Colm and many others have been badly misinformed about this. It's not Colm's fault, nor even the fault of the reporting news agencies, because the reports were based off of an Iraqi government official who was misinformed. Associated Press has the correct story, published in two news articles at:
Circa 2 AM Syria time 20 Jul 2012: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/rebels-kill-21-syrian-guards-overtake-border-post
Later in the day of 20 Jul 2012: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/iraqi-flights-evacuate-its-residents-syria
Here's a summary of what did and didn't happen. Four main border crossings between Syria and Iraq exist. The one with by far the biggest traffic is called al-Walid. Crossings at Al-Walid yesterday and today have been normal and peaceful, with no sign of any rebels about the place. The same goes for two of the three other main crossings. But yesterday the rebels attacked and took over the border crossing at the Euphrates river, which is referred to on the Iraqi side as Qaim (or Qa'im) and on the Syrian side is called Al-Bukamal (and is also called Abu Kamal in Syria). Today the Syrian government retook control of the Al-Bukamal crossing. It's not clear to me that the rebels tried to hold onto the crossing facility itself, but it is clear there was a fight in Al-Bukamal town today, in which, according to SANA today, dozens of terrorists were killed or wounded and more surrendered; http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2012/07/20/432506.htm . An Iraqi government official confirmed early this afternoon (Syria time) that the Al-Bukamal crossing was under the control of the Syrian government.
By the way, here's a point about SANA as a news source. SANA has not issued a news report confirming or denying that the Al-Bukamal crossing was attacked by rebels yesterday, nor any other comment on the Syria-Iraq border crossings' statuses. The information about the Al-Bukamal attack comes primarily from Iraqi government sources today who have actually checked into the facts today (see AP report above). But SANA today has published a denial of a report of an attack on the Syria-Turkey border at Bab al-Hawa as quoted by Brian at #70. SANA has not issued a denial of the worldwide reported news item that 21 Syrian soldiers at Al-Bukamal were killed or executed by rebels yesterday. It was witnessed by Iraqi border guards stationed on the other side according to named (non-anonymous) Iraqi goverment officials, and I'd say it's safe to presume it's the truth. SANA is very reliable and trustworthy in what it reports. But it doesn't aim to report the whole truth.
But let's ask, do you think AFP and the others who reported this false story will publish true stories now that they know what did and didn't happen, quoting better informed Iraqi officials? I don't think so. I just took a look at AFP and was unsurprised to see silence about it. News that "all is quiet on the eastern front" is not news. Or a least it don't bleed so it won't lede.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 12:44:10 PM | 75
Why would Iraqi government official al-Assadi lie? Answer: He didn't lie, he was misinformed and he acted with too much haste. He did not check his facts. He spoke yesterday. Today the Iraqi government officials are speaking differently from what they were saying yesterday.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 12:47:04 PM | 76
Mohammed Fathi, spokesman for the governor of Iraq's western Anbar province, personally went to the Al-Walid border crossing at midnight last night to confirm that the crossing was operating normally with Syrian government control on the other side, and that's what he found. Link to AP at #75.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 12:51:22 PM | 77
@ Brian and www,
You guys are going back and forth about SANA but can you even view it on the internet? I haven't been able to see it.
And btw www, have you ever found SANA to be conclusively lying? I have found numerous instances of Western media outright lying. So they should get deducted 10 points for those false stories and maybe add 1 point for a true story. The score has to be about 100 for SANA and -1500 for most Western media sources (including Al Jazeera and Al Arabyia).
Can you clarify what the t.v. coverage is for people in Syria? You say there are other channels for Syrian "state" television than the Egyptian controlled satellite channel that was closed. Is Addounia TV distributed by other means other than the Egyptian satellite? Did they stop producing shows because the loss of viewership? Is this station beamed by means other than satellite to Syrians?
What is the link you sent? Is it the same programming as Addounia but over the internet? How many people in Syria can watch this? Is this "Syrian TV" being beamed into syrian homes by other means than Addounia?
Be curious to see your sources too or how you found the info.
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 1:05:34 PM | 78
@ Colm O'Toole #73: In case it's not clear from what I said at #75: You are confusing SANA's denial of an event on the Syria-Turkey border with an event on the Syria-Iraq border that SANA does NOT deny.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 1:08:22 PM | 79
Posted by: brian | Jul 20, 2012 10:49:08 AM | 70
This obviously means you have viewed SANA sometime today. Has access to the site been consistent for you?
Are they selectively blocking the site in certain locations?
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 1:16:58 PM | 80
Per www's link this is what "wwiTV" lists under Syrian television:
Channel Name Live? Stream Information
.Addounia TV 300K State Television.
.Orient TV 400K
.Star 2000 200K Local TV from the occupied Golan Heights.
.Syria National TV300K General TV channel.
.Syria TV 200K Government Television. General organisation of Radio and TV.
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 1:22:04 PM | 81
"Why would Iraqi government official al-Assadi lie?"
I can think of a number of reasons. At the top of the list might be the teeny fact that the U.S. is occupying his country and the U.S. is waging war against Syria. He could have been ordered to give this information and fear for his life.
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 1:24:52 PM | 82
Yeah I get what your saying and agree. Just read this recent update on Al Akbar:
Iraq's government spokesman on Friday said rebels were controlling one major border crossing between the two counties, but three others were now in the hands of the Syrian regime.
Al-Dabbagh said rebels were in control of the crossing near the Iraqi town of Qaim, located 320 kilometers west of Baghdad. But he said the Syrian government was still in control at open border crossings in al-Walid, Rabiya and in Iraqi Kurdistan. Another Iraqi security official at Qaim confirmed the post had been taken over by Syrian rebels, while eyewitnesses also reported seeing the flag of the Free Syrian Army raised at the outpost.
- Al Walid Crossing, the largest one, seems to have been under Syrian government control the whole time.
- Qaim Crossing seems to be still held by the rebels.
- Rabiya and a fourth crossing likely were taken but the rebels have now been expelled and the Syrian regime is back in charge.
At least that is my reading of where things stand.
@ Walter Wit Man
Yeah I also haven't been able to open the Sana links today. Either its a server overload slowing down the site or the site has gone down.
Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 20, 2012 1:28:54 PM | 83
Walter, there are 2 state TV channels; Dounia is just one of the two. The link I gave you takes you directly to the other, Syria-TV; you simply had to press on the "PLAY".
Syrians still get their TV channels, what they can't do anymore is broadcast internationally via satellites owned by the Egyptians and the Saudis and this blockage was part of the planned NATO campaign to keep people outside of Syria in the dark about what was actually happening in Syria while simultaneously broadcasting bogus news reports to fit NATO's agenda as was done in Libya and Yugoslavia. This was all explained here in a posted video of 8 minutes by Thierry Meyssan at the end of June but you appears to have passed over it. The video is in French with English subtitles. This video explains why SANA and Dounia are being blacked out in certain areas:
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 1:46:25 PM | 85
For those that still go on pretending there is no civil war in Syria, in the last 24 hours, 32,000 Syrian refugees fled across the Lebanese border.
Posted by: www | Jul 20, 2012 1:50:03 PM | 86
@ Colm: Assuming that the AP reports I linked to at #75 are correct, I can't agree with your reading. Did you read those reports? Sounds like you didn't. No matter whether you did or not, please don't fail to note that your source at Al-Akhbar.com is actually AFP, a very biased source. You quote AFP saying: "Iraq's government spokesman on Friday [at what time?] said rebels were controlling one major border crossing between the two counties, but three others were now in the hands of the Syrian regime. Al-Dabbagh said rebels were in control of the crossing near the Iraqi town of Qaim. But he said the Syrian government was still in control at open border crossings in al-Walid, Rabiya and in Iraqi Kurdistan." Still? or now? Which is it? Delete the word "now" because it implies that one or all of the three others were not previously in the hands of the regime, an insinuation for which there is zero evidence from Iraq's government spokesman or from any other source.
AFP continues: "Another Iraqi security official at Qaim [aka Al-Bukamal in Syria] confirmed the post had been taken over by Syrian rebels, while eyewitnesses also reported seeing the flag of the Free Syrian Army raised at the outpost." True. However: (1) Al-Bukamal has been one of the four main crossings into Iraq, but it was shut down for security reasons some considerable time ago, with the traffic sent to Al-Walid instead, says AP, and it was not an operating border post yesterday; (2) according to AP, only six rebels took over the Al-Bukamal border post yesterday (see the link at #75); (3) today the Syrian government took the fight to rebels in Al-Bukamal and there's absolutely no way that the rebels are still in control of the mothballed crossing facility at Al-Bukamal.
My trusty source said six hours ago (but I'm repeating myself)
مصدر رسمي عراقي : المعابر الحدودية باتت تحت سيطرة القوات النظامية السورية و مقتل و إصابة العشرات ممن إستولوا عليها
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 2:06:19 PM | 87
I was able to access SANA earlier today but not right now. SANA is having a problem with a DDoS attack. When SANA is down you can get highlights of SANA's content from http://www.syriaonline.sy/?f=Section&catid=12 which is a website of Syrian State TV.
Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 20, 2012 2:09:17 PM | 88
www, Colm O' Toole, somebody
I do not know what country you are from, but from your writing it appears from an Anglo Saxon sphere. Let me give you some advise instead of criticising what Syria is doing divert your energy to your own government to stop it's lies, deceit and support of terrorists. Now you 3, try organizing some demos where you shot at soldiers and policemen and if you live come and write about it here.
Posted by: hans | Jul 20, 2012 2:31:51 PM | 89
it's not a civil war until the insurgents manage to get hold of a significant part of territory, where they can display popular support; not occupying a border crossing for a few hours or an urban neighbourhood for a couple of days with people holed up in their houses
Posted by: claudio | Jul 20, 2012 2:32:37 PM | 90
Just because people are fleeing the country does not mean it's a civil war. They are fleeing violence. It doesn't describe what kind of violence they are fleeing.
This violence never would have happened but for the Western support, coordination, and probably forces. The West is therefore directly responsible. Who knows what extent actual Syrians are involved in the fighting against Syria.
I'm guessing there are relatively few Syrians in the FSA.
Most of what we are told comes from the people DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for these attacks--the West. You would be a fool to blindly accept what they say. This is a massive propaganda war and we've seen this act before.
Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Jul 20, 2012 2:50:25 PM | 91
I'm awed by many posters' ability to search and analyze news on Syria, but Parviziyi is my favorite
my only humble dissent towards him (and b too, on this particular point) regards the necessity, for Assad, to wipe out forcefully and decisively the insurgency to avoid being worn out
I think Syria isn't really free to decide on these matters, it has to coordinate with Russia and China; they are protecting Assad at the UN but they probably ask, in return, that Assad hold back his punches while the diplomatic wrangle with the West is in full action
on the other hand, I have the impression that the Syrian government is doing a great job operating mainly ina delicate "reactive mode", chasing the rebels here and there as they regroup (aided by foreign intelligence, etc) and freely choose new and unexpected targets, and feed always new propaganda to the western MSM
Posted by: claudio | Jul 20, 2012 2:55:28 PM | 92
Oh hans, when would you say someone is entitled to an opinion different from yours, place of birth, descendance, academic degree ?
I assume you would describe Wilhelm Tell as terrorist?
Posted by: somebody | Jul 20, 2012 2:57:15 PM | 93
... and I also think that the West and the GCC may provide an endless flux of money, equipment and intelligence, but jihadists aren't so easily replaceable; so the situation is open-ended
Posted by: claudio | Jul 20, 2012 3:00:09 PM | 94
... seriously Claudio you do not have to destroy whole areas to defeat a few jihadis, and jihadis cannot get a base in areas if the population does not support them. Of course Syria was set up by foreign intelligence services and by a part of the opposition in very much the same way Iranian authorities were set up with the attempted color revolution after the contested elections. How many people died then? You can count them on two hands. No buildings were destroyed, as far as I know. What the Syrian army is doing has the ugliy look of collective punishment.
Posted by: somebody | Jul 20, 2012 3:18:22 PM | 95
"For those that still go on pretending there is no civil war in Syria, in the last 24 hours, 32,000 Syrian refugees fled across the Lebanese border."
You can't just amke claims like that in the middle of a heated argument and expect to be automatically believed. Not that I doubt YOU necessarily, but you need to provide a source so that people here can decide for themselves if it is reliable. (perhaps you did and I missed it - if so then please do so again so that others can decide for themselves, thanks)
And even if it is true it in no way proves a 'Civil War' - all it proves is that many are seriousaly worried about the future, worried enough to take steps not to get caught up in any violence in Syria - but that in no way proves anything about WHO is causing the violence - you say "Syrians mostly" others say "Some Syrians in the lower ranks, but mainly Foreigners." To which I would add that "any Syrians in the higher ranks are essentially NATO/Saudi/Israeli paid agents" which would IMHO make this DEFINTELY a US/Saudi/Israeli war on Syria - NOT a 'Civil War' at all.
The existance of refugeees does not equal a 'CIVIL War'. A 'War'? yes. A 'Civil War'? As that term is normally understood? Nope.
But since we already know that the FSA is funded and armed by the US/Saudi/Qatar and we know that many if not most of it's fighters were recently in Libya fighting for their NATO paymasters and we also know that many of hose fighting in Syria are trained and controlled by Israelis/US/Saudis, to insist on it being seen purely as a 'Civil War 'is deliberately misleading
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 20, 2012 3:29:53 PM | 96
"it's not a civil war until the insurgents manage to get hold of a significant part of territory, where they can display popular support"
Exactly - until the FSA can demonstrate that they are a group with popular support amongst a significant proportion of the Syrian Population,something which we know already they have completely failed to do, then they are nothing but a bunch of psychopatic foreigners and/or Syrian traitors in the pay of US/Saudi/Isreali scum
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 20, 2012 3:34:20 PM | 97
... seriously Claudio you do not have to destroy whole areas to defeat a few jihadis, and jihadis cannot get a base in areas if the population does not support them.
most of the FSA/Mercenary 'areas of control' (if you could call them that) are relatively near to various borders - they stream across, kill loads of innocent people and generally partake in what can only be described as atrocities against the locals and any Gov't forces/supporters they capture, they stage a few photo ops for the MSM, so that the MSM can then act as FSA's propaganda wing, and then when finally pinned down by the Syrian Gov't, attempt to flee back across the borders
The above is a PERFECT description of TERRORISM.
No doubt you'll reply with some ridiculous dismissive drive-by one-liner non-sequitur, as per usual, but it won't change the M.O. of these Mercenary scum one little bit
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 20, 2012 3:44:47 PM | 98
"the same way Iranian authorities were set up with the attempted color revolution after the contested elections. How many people died then? You can count them on two hands. No buildings were destroyed, as far as I know. What the Syrian army is doing has the ugliy look of collective punishment."
another stupid apples to oranges comparison
The Iranians were NOT invaded by an army of well-armed, tained, well-financed Mercenary scum, fresh from wholesale slaughtering Libyan civilians and Libyan
Gov't forces at the behest of their NAOT/Saudi/Israeli paymasters
Why do you keep posting such moronic shit, somebody?
Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 20, 2012 3:48:37 PM | 99