Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 04, 2013

Under Pressure Insurgents Up "Massacre" Campaign

The Syrian opposition is currently promoting a "massacre" that allegedly happened in the village Bayda near Banias at the Mediterranean coast. The Hariri/Sunni aligned Daily Start headlines it as Images of Sabra and Shatila in Banias where up to 3,500 Palestinians were killed by rightwing Phalange hordes under Israeli supervision.

The number of those killed in Bayda is dubious and even the propagandized numbers are much smaller than the Sbara and Shatila ones.. The insurgent supporters claim "50", "more than 100" and "hundreds" were killed. The exiting evidence does not support that:

Amateur video showed the bodies of at least seven men and boys lying in pools of blood on the pavement in front of a house as women wept around them.
Why does the video only show seven men when "hundreds" are supposed to have died?

There is also context missing in the English agencies reports. The German news agency DPA reported this:

Activists said troops attacked al-Bayda after a bus carrying pro-regime militants, known as Shabiha, was attacked, killing at least seven and wounding more than 30.
We know that the opposition calls any civilians that support the Syrian government "Shabiha".

The current evidence then is this. A bus full of presumably government supporters was attacked and seven were killed and 30 wounded. Government troops then raided a nearby village to find the perpetrators. Seven men were killed in that village, probably by the government troops.

The might have been an ugly revenge killing by the government troops or they might have fought and killed the perpetrators guilty of the earlier incident. But this was, at least according to the available evidence, not a "massacre" or a willful mass killing of women and children like in the Sabra and Shatila camps.

We can assume that there will be more propaganda "masscre" reports as part of yet another campaign to press the U.S. into an open war on Syria. The more the insurgency is under pressure and in retreat, the louder this and other campaigns will become.

Posted by b on May 4, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

Comments

I share your suspicions regarding a coordinated propaganda campaign.
To push an agenda

A belief in an alleged airstrike by Israel that sounds much like a rehash of a previous alleged incident is being preached from on high today.
Then...Today, front and center in big bold black letters
Syrians brace for chemical attacks
Have it all linked up at my place
http://pennyforyourthoughts2.blogspot.ca/2013/05/breaking-israel-claims-to-have-launched.html
As if they are pulling out every trick in the bag.. for maximum emotional play

Posted by: Penny | May 4, 2013 1:01:51 PM | 1

Oddly enough, this hysterical attempt to stampede the West comes hot on the heels of this unusually candid snapshot of public opinion courtesy of the BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22385051 Apparently Jordan is the only country (of those polled) where there's any pro-terrorist sentiment to speak of.
Things are going so well for AIS (al qaeda in Syria) that Israel felt compelled to intervene on their behalf, though the airstrike hasn't been confirmed by Damascus or Israel.

Posted by: Sasha | May 4, 2013 1:04:13 PM | 2

How credible this is, I don't know, but I'd deem it to be very possible, even likely, if the dear old KLA types are involved. I believe it was Turks, Israelis and Albanians that were involved in the harvesting of organs from Serbian prisoners at the Medicus clinic.
http://sana.sy/eng/22/2013/05/04/480531.htm
The spoils of war!

Posted by: Sasha | May 4, 2013 1:19:47 PM | 3

The “massacre” story on The Guardian website has this subhead:
‘Human rights groups say thousands are fleeing city of Banias in fear of pro-government gunmen’

Who are these Human Rights Groups?

“According to Syrian opposition activists, …”
“ Although the pictures could not immediately be verified, video and other pictures appeared to confirm reports …”
“According to reports, the first incident is alleged to have taken”
“while overnight fresh killings were reported by activists”
“ … blamed on gangs of pro-regime loyalists”
.” Images claimed to have been taken ..”
“…. A video posted by activists appeared to”
“ … killings blamed on the National Defence Forces,”
“…. Some analysts have speculated that,..”
“According to some sources, ..”
“The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (a clothier in Coventry) claimed …”
“ It (he) said that at least 10 people, including children, were killed on Friday and that the number could be as high at 60.
“According to some sources…”
“Amateur video, the veracity of which could not be confirmed, ….”
“The latest incident appears to underline the increasingly sectarian nature of a conflict“…
“The Observatory said security forces were checking people's identity cards and asking them to return to Banias so that the situation could appear normal.”
There is more speculation in this article, which is a model of how not to practise journalism, than in a week on Wall St.
Goebbels was nothing compared to the propagandists currently promoting war in Syria. And The Observer, which also has the war in Iraq on its conscience, is in the forefront of this shameful rubbish. Most ominous is the way in which these people have decided to promote the war as sectarian, pitting sunni against shia, Christians and all else. The evil which lies behind this campaign is of breathtaking proportions

Posted by: bevin | May 4, 2013 2:03:41 PM | 4

The US State Department loves to use the word "horrific" when referring to the latest proganda spawned by the Coventry clothier, and they were consistent this time.

Massacre in al-Bayda

The United States is appalled by horrific reports that more than 100 people were killed May 2 in gruesome attacks on the coastal town of al-Bayda,. .

But the "horrific reports" can't be verified.

BBC: Foreign news organisations are severely restricted in Syria, so accounts and videos from activists are difficult to verify. [Make that impossible to verify.]

AP: The video appears genuine and consistent with reporting by The Associated Press from the area. [Our reporting is consistent with our reporting.]

Perhaps that's because "dead bodies" published by Daily Mail don't really look so dead.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4, 2013 2:17:53 PM | 5

b: The more the insurgency is under pressure and in retreat, the louder this and other campaigns will become.

"Other campaigns" to counter failures include the US domestic ones, especially in the Congress, to "do something." The Syrian Observatory (Coventry clothier), playing its part in the production, is being used as a conduit by CIA/M16 to manage the provision of videos and narratives to the news-starved pro-war media (this isn't an original thought, I believe b has said it before).

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4, 2013 2:28:54 PM | 6

Has the MSM in the US ever done any kind of "in depth" coverage/analysis on who exactly the Syrian Obvervatory on Human Rights actually is? Have they even ever attempted to interview any of its members?

One would think that they'd at least be curious since they seem to endlessly parrot their "findings" as fact.

Posted by: RC | May 4, 2013 3:17:38 PM | 7

Well in the UK they did that

"They" are Rami Abdulrahman (or Rami Abdel Rahman), who lives in Coventry.

According to a Reuters report in December of last year: "When he isn't fielding calls from international media, Abdulrahman is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife."

Posted by: somebody | May 4, 2013 3:32:08 PM | 8

Don,

AFA #5 goes, the EXIF data of the image is just "(c) AP". This is ridiculous.

Posted by: k_w | May 4, 2013 4:53:47 PM | 9

So, obama - for a moment. That can, of course change - said that zusa will not send troups to Syria. And in the next moment there is a "horrific" "gruesome" "massacre" in which, say the presstitutes, Assad troups are guilty.

My message to the terrorists:

Too bad for you that there were "to few" dead bodies and that even the zato "toilet tissue, slightly used" distribution corporations spread your propaganda only half-heartedly.

Be patient. Quite soon you will get your thousands killed by Assads troups. While at that I remember that I'm out of champagne. So kindly excuse me; I want to be prepared for your moment.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 4, 2013 6:20:48 PM | 10

@5: The 'dead bodies' photograph reminds me of similar propaganda from the Georgia - Russia spat in S. Ossetia

http://www.pennwellblogs.com/mae/uploaded_images/Georgian-victim-779571.jpg

Posted by: Yonatan | May 4, 2013 6:59:27 PM | 11

Bizzaro World
by Justin Raimondo, February 14, 2002

We’re living in a comic book world, where American superheroes confront an “Axis of Evil,” and the Evil One (Lex Luthor?) is defeated but lives to fight another day. I hear that comics have fallen on hard times, and that today’s sophisticated kids just can’t be bothered (too much like reading), but, really, if it wasn’t for my early infatuation with the world of DC Comics – Superman especially – the post-9/11 world would seem completely inexplicable. I remember one story-line that had Superman trapped in “Bizarro World” – another dimension, existing alongside our own, in which everything was weirdly skewed, perversely inverted: a parody of our own.

And currently, we live in a new, improved Bizarro World, with fictitious weapons programs, horrific massacres, missile shipments, victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist threats everywhere, a scary North Korea [!!], Israeli air strikes, etc etc -- and NONE of it is real, boys and girls. There isn't a damned part of it that actually exists. It's a Bizarro World!

So, sleep tight, and don't let the bed-bugs bite.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4, 2013 7:27:30 PM | 12

Raimondo's come a long way since he got rid of that stupid cigarette. But he needs to draw the proper conclusion. If capitalism is so bad, perhaps the opposite of capitalism would be better. And that ain't libertarianism.

Posted by: ruralito | May 4, 2013 7:58:28 PM | 13

1000 a month being killed in Mexico, much of it just across the border. But OMG look at Syria. And the horrendous Assad! We have to DO SOMETHING to stop the killing!!!

Why not focus on our own backyard first? Oh, I forgot. The ongoing massacre is Mexico is being done by our friends, with our guidance.

The usual hypocrisy...

Posted by: JohnH | May 4, 2013 8:48:45 PM | 14

thru all thus one person is silent, who ought not to be : ALLAH

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 8:50:22 PM | 15

Okay, so Syria and Mexico aren't safe, but the US did make some countries secure, didn't it?

Like Iraq, with Operation Iraqi Freedom? --No.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq given the security situation. Travel within Iraq remains dangerous. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 9, 2012, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations where U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.

How about with Operation Enduring Freedom, in Afghanistan? --No again.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan. The security threat to all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan remains critical. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued on June 27, 2012, and reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing security risks, including kidnapping and insurgent attacks.

Surely with Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya? --Nope.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and all travel to Benghazi, Bani Walid, and southern Libya, including border areas and the regions of Sabha and Kufra. Because of ongoing instability and violence, the Department’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in these regions of Libya is extremely limited.

In fact if you're an American, there are 31 other countries with similar warnings, so just be careful everywhere:
The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.

Thank you, Uncle Sam,, for Keeping Us Safe. Not.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4, 2013 9:14:21 PM | 16

Events are developing rapidly. The mask is truly off now, and may the face of the enemy be seen by all. In 10 days Israel will have reached retirement age.

Posted by: Sasha | May 4, 2013 9:42:24 PM | 17

News of the "massacre" has clearly been coordinated with the Israeli attacks. I don't know what the best response is. Clearly, if Syria responds to the Israeli attack, it will have to end it's successful offensive against the NATO Al Qaida mercenaries, thus giving the breathing room. Yet, if it ignores it, Israel can just keep on attacking more and more.

Enemies of Syria will now mock her participation in the resistance axis. Of course, the fact that Israel is attacking Syria and not Jordan or Egypt or Saudi Arabia does not dawn on them. Nor the fact that Israel seems to be coordinating with the Al Qaida terrorists.

Posted by: Lysander | May 4, 2013 10:00:02 PM | 18

they are really desperate...

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 4, 2013 10:06:38 PM | 20

What Israeli attacks??
What we have is claims of attacks, and as with other claims that shouldn't be believed on that basis alone.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 4, 2013 10:09:44 PM | 21

Tshirt says it all pic.twitter.com/Dq1P84Z45p

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 10:11:24 PM | 22

israeli attack could be a trap for Syria, enticing it to declare war against Israel resulting: pretext for NATO attack

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 10:11:55 PM | 23

"A number of explosions rocked the Damascus suburb of Jamraya, hitting Scientific Research Center, the initial information indicates that Israeli rockets struck the area."

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 4, 2013 10:12:06 PM | 24

Sharmine Narwani ‏@snarwani 8m
Starting to look like #Damascus attack was coordinated effort btwn rebels & #Israel. Rebels attacked multiple checkpoints right after blast.

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 10:12:31 PM | 25

under guise of charity, salafists train terrorists http://www.english.rfi.fr/africa/20130427-tunisians-jihadists-syria

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 10:19:14 PM | 26

"Syrian" Revolution Coordination Union posted a video & said Mount Qassioun looks beautiful when it's on fire... pic.twitter.com/2nmFnMrI37

Posted by: brian | May 4, 2013 10:44:12 PM | 27

hey berny, you jews are really something special

Posted by: guest | May 5, 2013 12:08:08 AM | 28

Look what the Free Syrian Activists over at NPR did. They have a big headline screaming about a rebel leader saying "We Won't Share Weapons With Extremists" and then in the photo they show guys manning an anti-aircraft gun in front of an black islamist jihad flag. lol


http://www.npr.org/2013/05/04/181158423/syrian-rebel-leader-we-wont-share-u-s-arms-with-extremists

Posted by: JBradley | May 5, 2013 1:56:42 AM | 29

So Israel just attacked Syria again - TWICE in less than 48 hours. I guess it's now Assad's call. To retaliate or not to retaliate.

I think if any Syrian had any dream of their revolution being purely authentic and indigenous, this strike will disabuse them of such fantasies. The fsa and al-nusra are Israel's proxies in Syria..They've served their purpose of exhausting the Syria army so the IDF can take over from here.

From what I'm hearing it seems the Russians are telling the Syrians to keep calm and not retaliate. How does one say sold out in Russian???? I think it's about time Syrian themselves take their own destiny in their hands and deal with issues as they see fit. One has to keep in mind that many Russian top politicians and businessmen has massive investment in Israel and therefore will be the biggest losers in any Syria-Israel war. I believe this is why Putin is putting pressure in Assad not to rock the boat.But will he listen this time? Let's wait and see.

Posted by: Zico | May 5, 2013 2:20:47 AM | 30

@21 Don Bacon - "Better to say nothing and be thought a f... " Well, you know the rest.

Posted by: Sasha | May 5, 2013 2:21:37 AM | 31

The latest strike by The Zionist entity is very serious. I have been watching Syrian media all morning and it has been back to back patriotic songs which seem to be rallying the the nation for what could be a full scale war with Israhell. Hold on to your seats today!

Posted by: Hilmi | May 5, 2013 2:49:14 AM | 32

is israel trying to bring on armageddon?

Posted by: brian | May 5, 2013 3:04:21 AM | 33

Patriotic songs are fine, but, to date, Dr. Assad appears to be more eager to kill Sunni Muslims than Israelis.

Posted by: David | May 5, 2013 3:06:35 AM | 34

Posted by: David | May 5, 2013 3:06:35 AM | 33

not at all...if he was sunni syrias wouldnt be supporting him
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh0ecbxkj1s

take that back to your ziomasters , dave

Posted by: brian | May 5, 2013 3:20:19 AM | 35

wonder how many other 'davids' are trolling here?

Posted by: brian | May 5, 2013 3:20:49 AM | 36

David, take your Zionist bullshit somewhere else. It won't fly here.

Posted by: Hilmi | May 5, 2013 4:07:29 AM | 37

Rumor has it Dr. Assad will declare war on Israel. Scary... not. LOL. I thought Syria was still technically in a "state of war" with Israel. I guess the Assad forces will have to punch through the FSA positions to invade the Golan. LOL.

Posted by: David | May 5, 2013 4:08:01 AM | 38

For the record, I am a Sunni Muslim born in Haleb, Syria and I support President Assad 100%

Posted by: Hilmi | May 5, 2013 4:13:39 AM | 39

Who said anything about Golan? The Syrian military can strike Tel Aviv in 5 minutes.

Posted by: Hilmi | May 5, 2013 4:18:51 AM | 40

Hilmi,

Has the TV changed? Do you have a feeling of how the Syrian government has decided to play things?

Zico,

It is hard to know what is going on in Russia or Iran. Assad would probably gladly agree to not retaliate if Russia gave some better weapons. We will never know what deals or broken promises have occurred. The problem with Syria's passive position externally is that there has not been much of a cost to the attackers. The good side is that Syria could focus on smashing the insurgents and not put Russia in an impossible position, which is what would have happened in some scenarios.

The good thing about this is it puts the cards on the table.

Posted by: Paul | May 5, 2013 5:09:30 AM | 41

Israel just upped the ante. Guess they couldn't sit back and see their proxies being defeated and routed out of Syria.

Assad now imho has only 2 choices.

1) Retaliate one way or another. The iron dome has to be swarmed for rockets to reach Israel without being shot out of the sky. So that would mean thousands of rockets OR 1 or 2 Iskander missiles which are hypersonic and cannot be shot down. Neither iron dome nor patriots would be a defense against that. If I were Assad I'd shoot 2 Iskanders at a military airfield (and knock out some warplanes in the process).

2) Do nothing. Ignore it. This has serious repercussions. Either way He'll be blasted for doing nothing and criticized for rather fighting muslims than Israel. The MSM would have a field day with this that goes without saying. BUT it must not be discarded so easily. Assad is winning terrain and scattering the terrorist zionist proxies. He's on a roll and fighting a war on 2 fronts (Israel is already massing troops on Golan border). AND (most importantly) striking Israel in any way would invite an intervention.

Which is the better choice? I'd go with a limited strike (just no saying how US/Israel would respond) but option 2 sure seems like the most rational approach.

Really curious as to wether an airplane was shot down or not and if they got their hands on the pilot(s). That would sure as hell give Assad some bargaining chips and a better position (attack once more and we kill the pilot). We all know to what extremes Israel goes to retrieve their soldiers (wether dead or alive).

Posted by: Gehenna | May 5, 2013 5:28:39 AM | 42

"He's on a roll and fighting a war on 2 fronts (Israel is already massing troops on Golan border) is not a good prospect."

fixed the sentence

Posted by: Gehenna | May 5, 2013 5:31:41 AM | 43

Lysander (18)

Clearly, if Syria responds to the Israeli attack, it will have to end it's successful offensive against the NATO Al Qaida mercenaries, thus giving the breathing room. Yet, if it ignores it, Israel can just keep on attacking more and more.

and

Zico (29)

From what I'm hearing it seems the Russians are telling the Syrians to keep calm and not retaliate. How does one say sold out in Russian???? I think it's about time Syrian themselves take their own destiny in their hands and deal with issues as they see fit. One has to keep in mind that many Russian top politicians and businessmen has massive investment in Israel and therefore will be the biggest losers in any Syria-Israel war. I believe this is why Putin is putting pressure in Assad not to rock the boat.

Calm, guys, calm. The hotter it gets the cooler our heads must work.

Of course one would like to hit a button and take care of the israel tumor once and forever.

However ugly as it may be, there are two sides to it.

First, israel hereby comitted a serious and grave crime. That's something else than some small covert action. While israscum talk about a "preventive strike" in international law there is no such thing. To militarily attack another country is a clear war crime.
Second - and that might be one reason why Russia wants to stay calm - obviously israscum wants to significantly increase the pressure on the zusa president. It's no coincidence that those attacks happen just one day after obamas hesitating decision (for the time being) to not bring in zusa troups.
zusa cannot, no matter what, afford afford a further major war and particularly not one with a very high probably of spreading uncontrollably.

Simply speaking israel just said "Listen americans, we don't care sh*t about your interests. Your raison d'etre was and is to be israels golem and servant. No matter what, you *will* obey and do as we wish. Go and attack Syria for us and then Iran!"

Obviously Russia wants to wait for an american reaction. After all it would be a very different situation if israel stood alone.

As for the accusation that Russia has sold out Syria to the zionists:
Nope. Actually Putin has fought quite some zionist oligarchs (-> e.g. chodorkowsky) and not few have been leaving to israel. Putin would have been stupid to openly declare that certain groups cannot be trusted.
Just look how he behaved all those years; as friendly and patient as was necessarily required (in a formertimes weak position). Nowadays he talks quite straight to zusa, but then nowadays Russia is strong and zusa fatally ill.

In a few days a Russian flotilla will be at the Syrian cost (which actually may explain quite a lot in terms of urgency on the side of israscum and "freedom" terrorists ...). Russia might, for instance, quite well "update" some existing AD systems to S-300 in Syria.

Furthermore it would be hard to believe that going through Damascus really was Irans only (or major) way to supply Hezbollah. Quite probably this was an israeli lie anyway (trying to bring Iran closer into the game).
So, one should by no means count out Hezbollah.

So, let's see what happens these days. I do not expect that israel will get away without being punished. It might well turn out that their attack will in the end turn against themselves and their interests.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 5:52:34 AM | 44

I can't imagine the scale of losses suffered by the Syrian army as a result of last night's strikes on Damascus. The size of the explosion was like something I've never seen before. Reports that military bases were also hit.

But the attack was inevitable. It was the Israelis who started throwing around accusations recently that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, now clearly a ruse - at a time Hezbollah were becoming more proactive and the Syrian Army were making large gains on the ground.

Israel is showing its true hand behind the Syrian "revolution" - desperate to set back Assad's strengthening hand.

As the BBC is pointing out today, ‘Israel will not want to be seen as being involved in the conflict, but Syria's state media is hammering the message that the rebels are working hand in glove with Israel.’

‘A state TV bulletin said: "The new Israeli attack is an attempt to raise the morale of the terrorist groups, which have been reeling from strikes by our noble army."’

Israel is getting frustrated and has lifted its mask. I expect more attacks in the coming days. Perhaps even an Israeli enforced "buffer zone" along the Golan with the real intention of creating a safe base for militants to launch attacks against Damascus.

But retaliation must be avoided

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 5, 2013 6:11:27 AM | 45

@mr Pragma #43

"First, israel hereby comitted a serious and grave crime. That's something else than some small covert action. While israscum talk about a "preventive strike" in international law there is no such thing. To militarily attack another country is a clear war crime."

Technically they're still at war right? No peace deal has ever been signed, is there an armistice in place? I couldn't find it so easily.

"Second - and that might be one reason why Russia wants to stay calm - obviously israscum wants to significantly increase the pressure on the zusa president. It's no coincidence that those attacks happen just one day after obamas hesitating decision (for the time being) to not bring in zusa troups.
zusa cannot, no matter what, afford afford a further major war and particularly not one with a very high probably of spreading uncontrollably."

This does make sense! In essence it would be a onesided attempt to escalate things further. As befits a bully strike first and then cry crocodile tears when you get struck back (and of course uncle Sam and the NATO would come to the rescue).

@Pat Bateman #44

"Israel is showing its true hand behind the Syrian "revolution" - desperate to set back Assad's strengthening hand."

"Israel is getting frustrated and has lifted its mask. I expect more attacks in the coming days. Perhaps even an Israeli enforced "buffer zone" along the Golan with the real intention of creating a safe base for militants to launch attacks against Damascus.

But retaliation must be avoided"

Agreed. The question is: Is Israel prepared to invade Syria?
From the onset Syria has said that it will not use Chemical Weapons against it's own people (even the USrael proxies). They'd only use it against a foreign nation.... Syria will have a problem then fighting a 2 front war and attacks would almost certainly come from Turkey/Nato as well (3 fronts).

What will the terrorists do? The Syrians have an undeniable hatred for Israel. Overthrowing Assad with the help of Israel would make it a hollow victory and stain their "revolution". Al Qaeda and other takfiri jihadist groups would relish this and have multiple targets.

It is a beehive and Israel if it invades is sure to be stung by both sides. Will they do it? The gains would be securing the Golan oilfields forever and securing the watersources.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 5, 2013 7:00:01 AM | 46

Paul, The Syrian tv channel "SAMA" is debating what is next. Syrian citizens are calling in to voice their anger. I dont think anyone really knows what the response will be or when the response will occur. President Assad has not appeared, yet. Personally, I tend to believe a response is inevitable. Although, if they are taking the advice of our Russian allies, the retaliation may indeed happen after the Russian Pacific fleet arrives in about 10 days.

Posted by: Hilmi | May 5, 2013 7:10:24 AM | 47

Agree with a lot of the comments, cooler heads need to prevail. These Zionist strikes are designed to force a Syrian response. Its a trap.

When the US got involved in the Lebanon civil war and set up a barracks in Northern Beirut, Hezbollah warned them that they would be seen as allied with enemy forces. The US assisted Israeli and Phalange Forces but for 6 or 7 months Hezbollah did not fire on a single shot at the Americans, despite the Marine barracks firing mortars at Hezbollah positions.

Then when the time was right they launched a single bombing at the Marine barracks (another on the French) and killed 241 Americans and sent them packing.

The lesson was that 1 single bomb rightly placed can send the Americans running. And the virtue of patience.

Syria needs to be patient and choose the right moment to respond. For now they have a war against the NATO rebels to win. Israel can wait.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | May 5, 2013 7:18:32 AM | 48

Gehenna (45)

Technically they're still at war right? No peace deal has ever been signed, is there an armistice in place? I couldn't find it so easily.

That doesn't change much. In fact Syria might then use that same argument as they please.
Anyway, pretty everyone perceives this attack as a war crime against a weakened country that did nothing to provoke.

As befits a bully strike first and then cry crocodile tears when you get struck back (and of course uncle Sam and the NATO would come to the rescue)

That's what israscums is going for. But I think exactly this question, "will zusa/zato" *really* stay with israel?

From what can be seen so far obama is saying things meant to sound like a clear comittment toward israel but at the same time as independent as possible (Along the line "israel is a souvereign country and can, of course, defend themselves").
Whatever, words are cheap. I think there is a serious risk (or should I say "almost certainty") that funnily enough, albeit from different angles, Russia and israel want the same: To see if zusa puts engagement rather than just words on israels side.

Bad luck for the americans. In this game they can't win. Either they stay with israel (and will, no doubt, be forced by their israel master into a military quagmire) or they won't (and will be accused as anti-semitic with the full force of all the world infesting zionist organisations - and will be seen a feeble loudmouths by the world).

It is a beehive and Israel if it invades is sure to be stung by both sides. Will they do it? The gains would be securing the Golan oilfields forever and securing the watersources.

No they won't.

israel pays a price for those attacks, namely that many muslims forget their differences and remember their common cause and their common arch-enemy. That's a high price considering how much effort and money was put into dividng the muslims by blowing out of proportion some minor differences.

Furthermore this was not really an attack on Syria; it was one on zusa. It was meant to push zusa away from reason and concentrating more on their own problems and lack of resources.

The "invincable" israel idf has basically lost the last war against Hezbollah. And they know, of course, that their iron dome system isn't worth much more than the expensive printing of the colour brochures for the system.

They might very quickly finding themselves in a situation where Putin tells turkey "play nice, stay away ... or else!" and where Hezbollah, Syria, and indirectly Iran blow israel into pieces, Egypt looked happily away and saudi arabia were too much concentrated on somehow keeping their monarchy diktatur running.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 7:38:22 AM | 49

Yes, but how many attacks can Syria allow before Israel starts seriously degrading Assad's military capablity? I mean we've had two LARGE strikes in a 24 hour period. Doing nothing will only insure that these attacks increase in frequency. There should definitely be retaliation in the form of taking out the Israeli jets attacking Syria over Syrian airspace. Syria is a sovereign country and MUST protect its citizens. They are certainly capable of protecting their territory from enemy bombers without going half-crazy and attacking Israel itself directly.

Posted by: RC | May 5, 2013 7:50:29 AM | 50

RC (49)

I think it is an erroneous assumption that israel will attack more if they are not stopped. (Sad) fact is that israel can (and does) strike Syria as they please. Sometimes they don't strike for years although they could and sometimes they do strike although they shouldn't.

And no, Syria does - evidently - not have adequate AD capabilities. Most of its equipment is rather old and hardly up to the task to kill modern israeli fighters.

Of course, Russia could change that very quickly.

The worst (for zusa/israel) option would btw. not be to simply sell modern AD systems to Syria but rather to station (upon request of Syria) and have them operated by Russian personel.
There would be two very nice effects:
- Russia needn't discus accusations of selling high-tech systems to Syria (because they wouldn't)
- Russia would have Russians on the ground and therefore any attack on Syria could be taken as one on Russia.

There are other variations, too. Russia could, for instance ask for a second base, say, in the Southeast (near Golan heights). This would bear quite some advantages which would alltogether be very ugly for israel and zusa.

Right now, however, Syria can't do much against israel terror.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 8:02:00 AM | 51

@49 "Yes, but how many attacks can Syria allow before Israel starts seriously degrading Assad's military capablity? I mean we've had two LARGE strikes in a 24 hour period. Doing nothing will only insure that these attacks increase in frequency."

Syria cant afford stepping into trap, thats exactly what Israel wants. Getting bombed now and then certainly hurts, but nowhere NEAR as much as having 2nd war front and maybe Turkey plus NATO joining to "defend innocent victim Israel". Assad should focus of extinguishing terrorists, and thats what he'll do.

Lets not forget Libya - it was weak, bombed by entire NATO to the extent never seen since Vietnam days, and STILL Gaddafi would have won if not France, UK and Qatar army battalions on the ground. Israel sorties (even daily ones) are nothing compared to what Libya experienced.

Retaliation will be either managing to intercept some IAF planes, or clandestine strike in Israel with plausible deniability from Syria. I can bet Syria wont start open war with Israel, Assad follows bigger picture.

Posted by: Harry | May 5, 2013 8:05:31 AM | 52

As of right now, it is highly doubtful that there really were two attacks. Because this feels like a replay of the first time this same scenario played out..

And only one attack actually took place

It's as if claims of one is a distraction so the other one, most likely the real one will go unnoticed and unreported.
Which is exactly what happened the last time
US/Israel said they conducted one. Syria went to the UN with evidence regarding the January, Damascus hit and nothing else.

Today SANA is reporting that Damascus was hit, again

http://sana.sy/eng/337/2013/05/05/480617.htm


"Several explosions hit al-Hameh area in Damascus countryside on Sunday.

Initial information indicated that the explosions took place in Jamraya and targeted the Scientific Research Center there causing casualties.

The information also indicated that these explosions have been caused by Israeli rocket attacks.

The new Israeli aggression is a clear attempt to raise the gunmen morale after the painful blows they received at the hands of our valiant army in several places and after the achievements which were realized on the ground by our armed forces to restore security and stability to Syria.

The new Israeli aggression shows the direct involvement of the Zionist entity

in the conspiracy against Syria and the relationship that links the armed terrorist groups with the Israeli hostile schemes backed by the Western, regional and some Gulf states.

Earlier, the Jamraya site was the target of an Israeli strike on January 30"

Unless anyone here has seen something of substance regarding the Thursday/Friday strike from the US/Israeli propaganda machine?
Because I sure didn't.

Posted by: Penny | May 5, 2013 8:21:53 AM | 53

Difference here is, Syria being an ancient wise civilisation and the zio-fascist occupation a young inflated supremacist brat that is about blow up in flames and drag as many as possible with them, that Syrians don´t retaliate in a ti-for-tat manner, that´s stupid and something the Americans do all the time. No Syria cuts the hand off the aggressor at a convenient point in time when it hurts the most and unlike the zionazi spoiled psychopathic brat, they don't brag about it...

Posted by: Mrs. Magma | May 5, 2013 8:27:53 AM | 54

RT is reporting that the 104th and 105th brigades of the Syrian Republican Guards were also hit. Interesting, too, that Mount Qasioun was targeted, given the scale of Syrian Government forces at this site. Deemed impenetrable, it was the base from which soldiers defended Damascus with artillery fire against rebel positions below. I think b recently posted an article about the battle for Damascus taking place on four fronts, and the importance that the Syrian Government placed on Mount Qasioun in securing a ring of defence around the capital.

Ironically, Hezbollah has provided useful cover for Israel to attack Syrian military sites. All we are really hearing in the media is that this was a strike against Hezbollah-bound missiles. Of course, who could blame poor old Israel trying to prevent weapons falling into the hands of the baddies?

It diverts attention from Israel's ultimate motive, which is to shape events on the ground and to prop up the insurgents. Feels like just the beginning..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 5, 2013 8:50:29 AM | 55

From the video it is clear that some ammunition dumps were hit. This was clearly an attack on the Syrian army, not an attack on some alleged Hizbullah missiles. It is direct Israeli support for the insurgency.

Posted by: b | May 5, 2013 9:06:20 AM | 56

b (55)

Yes and no.

Yes, it was an attack on the Syrian army insofar as Syrian army positions were hit.

And no because 2 jets and a couple of missiles can only generate very limited damage. The difference in the fight against the terrorists in Syria is supoosedly neglegible.

Furthermore israel took considerable risk and will pay a price, both short and long term.

I think targetting a Syrian army position was more of a welcome sidelin but defiitely not worth the risk and the price. The real target was something by far more valuable; I think it was rather to put pressure on zusa.

As life has it the attack coincides with Russian eastern (and a weekend). Which gives the Russian plently space for maneuvers and time for thinking.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 9:16:03 AM | 57

Three consecutive strikes around the capital within three days, with perhaps more to follow, exactly how many supply trucks, en route to Lebanon, could there possibly be?

One assault, enough to halt a sudden transfer of arms, would have been possible. So why the repeated bombing sessions?

I'm going to agree with b for now, ie this was/is more likely a pre-planned attack on Syrian installations than any last-minute-improvised-pre-emptive strike on weapons being funneled over the border.

Posted by: never mind | May 5, 2013 10:20:06 AM | 58

It will be interesting to see the UN dealing with this matter. Quite clearly Israel is in breach of the UN Charter, there are no two ways about this. And clearly Syria is the victim of an unprovoked attack.
As to the UN it has almost no credibility left, it is dominated by the US which has three votes on the Security Council's Permanent Membership. It is this, rather than any desire to get caught up in imperialist wars, which makes Russia's position so crucial: unless it acts honestly and defends international law it will become just another satrap.

Those who believe that Russia will sell out Syria are forgetting that by doing so they would be returning to Yeltsinism, the lowest point in Russian history.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 10:31:41 AM | 59

Sun Tzu said, "All warfare is based on deception".

I doubt there were ANY attack on Syria, at least I do not see hard evidence. That explosion might be caused by anything. What would be military and political objective of a bombing military depot? There is none. This is just continuation of propaganda conducted by the West since day one. We have seen this from alleged downed Turkish F-4. No one even mentioned that episode anymore.

This war is going thorough circles of propaganda and, counter-propaganda aiming on "hearth and mind" of Syrians and wider. Counter psyop to Western hysterical stories of use of chemical weapon against civilians; delivery of weapons from Croatia and elsewhere and so on. What I see is that the West is surprised by skillful management of PR conducted by the Syrians and certainly buttressed by Iran and somewhat secretly Russia. That truism stated by Sun Tzu is as relevant as ever in a case of this war.

What's count is that the Syrian army is making slow but steady progress and more importantly cutting mercenaries supply lines. And, The Western fascists can't do damn thing about it. They can not stand the seeing Assad staying on power. All this is happening in oncoming week when Kerry should be going to Moscow in newest effort of salvaging project called: Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change

While significant damage being done to social fabric and economy of Syria, it is certain the Syrians won't allow somalization of its land, nor will Russia near its borders.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 10:55:30 AM | 60

Brian @ 33 -- Israel is trying mightily to get the US more involved in Syria and then on to Iran.

Posted by: jawbone | May 5, 2013 11:01:56 AM | 61

The MSM, after a lot of the early reports contradicted each other, are certainly refining their final version. The 'Israeli' attacks inside Syria were a big surprise to me. I presumed that Russia would have warned 'Israel' after the attack around Xmas. It is Russia's job (not Syria's) to protect Syria from outside military intervention. Mr Pragma is correct, imo, there will be a price to pay.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 5, 2013 11:03:59 AM | 62

al-Manar TV's video:

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-hit-arms-depot-first-daylight-images-reveal/?

obviously significant explosion took place there, but no images of missile shown.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 11:09:22 AM | 63

"Despite hostile Syrian rhetoric, Israel hoping to avoid further escalation in hostilities"
http://www.timesofisrael.com/syria-israels-airstrikes-are-a-declaration-of-war/

Funny, it's kind confirmation of my assumption.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 11:12:02 AM | 64

Asad' AbuKhalil's blog at Al Akhbar English is interesting:

"This was never a “revolution”. I among other leftists in Lebanon signed a petition early on after the events in Deraa in which we denounced the regime and mocked and dismissed its narrative of armed groups roaming the country and shooting at people. I now figure that I was dead wrong: I do believe that armed groups were pre-prepared and armed to strike when orders (from Israel and GCC countries) arrive. They had a mission and it had nothing to do with the cause of liberation of Syria from a tyrannical regime....
"The conflict in Syria has long been outside of the hands of the Syrian people. It is not that a local-internal conflict became regional and international over a two years period. No, it was regional-international from the start. The US and its clients in the Arab counter-revolution movement were ready to steer Arab uprisings in a direction that pleases US and Israel. The fall of Mubarak required the fall of the Assad regime although the US and Israel are discovering that they can continue to do business with the Muslim Brotherhood...

"It is not that the there is no Syrian revolution (and there is not), but the outcome of the conflict in Syria is now certainly not going to be democratic. You can make that prediction on the basis of the sponsors of the “revolutionaries” and the ideology (and practices) of the active armed groups in Syria. But the Syrian armed groups are being fooled by US and Israel into thinking that the Syrian throne is now within their reach, while the two sides hope for a longer protracted conflict that would exhaust and fatigue the entire Syrian nation and would distract them from considering harming Israeli interests."


Syria must have produced a crisis too among the European and north American "left". Some of these groups and parties have been issuing apologies for the imperialists from the beginning of this campaign against the Baath government. I recently ran across an article, of astonishing salafist ferocity, in a publication called North Star (to insult the memory of Frederick Douglass) written by a member of the International Socialists, which appears to have become a full blown auxiliary of the Democratic Party, with wahhabi politics.

Anyone wondering why there has been virtually no organised political response to the co-ordinated lowering of living standards has only to look at the european left and its treachery to Libya and Syria- not to the rulers thereof but to the people.

All that the people of the world on the periphery of the empire ask of those who live in the metropolitan countries is that they mind their own business, fight their own rulers, defend their own living standards. Nobody in Syria or Libya expects or wants the leaders of the Russian Revolution Re-enactment societies, (dressing up as Lenin or Trotsky, Antonov Avseenko or Krupskaya and pretending that President Hollande is Kerensky etc) to do anything for them, they have more sense than to expect the impotent cowards who watched helplessly as the Trade Unions were dismantled and strikes banned to help them. But they know how leftist propaganda, taken up by the imperialist media, can confuse the masses into believing that their governments, so evil at home, act decently abroad, when the truth is that bad as NATO's governments are at home in Greece, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere they are ten times worse in places such as Iraq, Syria and Libya.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 11:12:41 AM | 65

This from DU. Damascus explosion?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1017116557

Posted by: ben | May 5, 2013 11:13:26 AM | 66

bevin @ 59 -- The rule of law in the UN has become the US's might is righ approach.

Syria is a very difficult situation, with the US most likely allowing Israel to make these two bombing runs against the Syrian government positions.

I guess the new rule is firmly in place: If your might is enough to, oh, bomb a smaller country into dust then anything you do is right. Or right enough to stand until someone bigger comes along to annihilate you.

Sickening.

Posted by: jawbone | May 5, 2013 11:15:05 AM | 67

Also, if a nation bombed US weapon storage facilities, it would be seen as an act of war by that nation. Just what the US would do might depend on where the bombed facility was located. But there would be retaliation. First, probably, cutting off the offending nation using economic sanctions.

Second? Who knows. It would depend. Probably cruise missiles. Or...?

Posted by: jawbone | May 5, 2013 11:17:55 AM | 68

@bevin 65
"I now figure that I was dead wrong: I do believe that armed groups were pre-prepared and armed to strike when orders (from Israel and GCC countries) arrive. They had a mission and it had nothing to do with the cause of liberation of Syria from a tyrannical regime...."

It took more than two years to him to figure out this!? When I read him I could not but feel that he is either westernized-liberal or naïve.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 11:27:00 AM | 69

neretva 69

He has been slowly giving up his original position which like the Cliffite "Neither Washigton or Moscow" slogan is a very attractive alternative to outright anti-imperialism.
Asad works in a University. Remember Ward Churchill? He had tenure too. And when he lost his post he also lost his pulpit; to the general detriment. I do not condone academics choosing to weasel their way onto the same side as the imperialists who pay their salaries (SOAS is full of them) while mouthing marxism but I can understand their reluctance to risk giving up the chance to do some good by refusing to compromise with any evil.
Such is the sad story of reformism, social democracy, euro-communism and liberalism.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 11:39:04 AM | 70

re 70
Asad is generally well worth the price of admission as this brilliant cartoon from yesterday- with the description below- shows

Arabs have unearthed this old cartoon by famed Palestinian artists, Naji Al-`Ali (killed by Yasir `Arafat). The headline says: "Arab solidarity". The man with the papers says: "If Israel were to attack Syria, we should attack." The other men say: "Clarify. Attack whom?

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 11:43:13 AM | 71

In my opinion Syria should start seriously thinking about upgrading its air defenses.

I don't know what is the *true* state of Iranian air defense technology (there is a lot of empty propaganda coming from both the western and Iranian sides regarding Iran's capabilities), they claim that they will have a system similar to S-300 ready by next year.

At any rate Syrians must make some serious effort to get whatever Iranians can offer in terms of air defense and also see what the Russians are willing to provide them.

Sitting down passively and let the Israelies make air strikes on Syria with impunity will only make Israel more brazen.

Rebels seem to be on defense and losing battles and it is becoming more and more obvious that without direct intervention from outside (for example air strikes by Israel on a regular and daily basis, although I don't know how feasible that would be from military stand point) the rebels will lose the conflict and the Syrian government will eventually enforce its sovereignty over all Syrian territory to the great loss of the Western imperialism's control and authority in the middle east.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | May 5, 2013 11:44:43 AM | 72

bevin, I doubt Angry Arab was under academic pressure to support the Syrian rebels. If so, he would certainly tone down his totally uncompromising opposition to Zionism. Rather, I think he has a strong recollection of some of the more unsavory things Syria did in Lebanon in the 70's and he just can't let it go. The fact that if it weren't for the help of Syria and Iran Israel would still have a chunk of Lebanon (with a phalangist puppet government ruling the rest) does not seem to dawn on him.

Anyway, if he's starting to figure it out now, I'm going to guess a lot of others in the "neither Bashar nor the opposition" camp are putting two and two together about now.

Posted by: Lysander | May 5, 2013 11:53:20 AM | 73

The Qatari regime once again show love for Israel. Knew of the attack in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gozkNKuN_eU

Posted by: Anyonmous | May 5, 2013 11:58:17 AM | 74

Not sure Syria do need S-300, which is strategic air defense complex. Syria already have very capable systems Buk and Patszir-M. What further the country need is to integrate the old with the new one into integrated multilayer air defense system. And more than anything highly skilled and technical crew which will be serving the system, whiteout educated crew it is just worthless no matter what technology is behind them.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 11:58:48 AM | 75

@Lysander

I tend to agree with bevin. If you read that text he said,

" I do believe that armed groups were pre-prepared and armed to strike when orders (from Israel and GCC countries) arrive."

On either conscience of sub-conscience level he doesn't blame those who are really behind this mayhem. He deftly inserted these countries as if they are subject of geopolitics thus preserving its status. This behavior is typical for academia and for those who lives directly or indirectly of empire.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 12:25:57 PM | 76

@ neretva, That Abu Khalil's academic training influences him is certain. That he avoided drawing the correct conclusion for so long due to some fear of loosing an enviable sinecure is doubtful. IMHO, AA holds enormous anger towards the late Hafez al Assad. He discusses the reasons at length and frequently in his blog. He can't seem to move on from it, despite the passage of time and a sea change in the political environment. Perhaps now he is finally seeing the error of his ways. Hopefully others will too.

In fairness, it took me a few months to figure it out myself, around the second half of 2011.

Posted by: Lysander | May 5, 2013 1:03:47 PM | 77

"In fairness, it took me a few months to figure it out myself, around the second half of 2011."

Even after Libya, and what happened to Qaddafi?

Not me, to me it is very elemental. In today's world not such things as "revolution" can occur in a vacuum. In the past yes, but not now. Unfortunately.

It is not that I support Assad although now is represent and is the symbol of independence of that country. More than ever they have made of him to be truly the sovereign. I support independent Syrian state and the way Syrian's has lived.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 5, 2013 2:26:07 PM | 78

Lysander 73: God forbid that I should accuse him of conscious corruption or cowardice. I certainly do not. I agree with your point about lasting disgust at Syrian perfidy in Lebanon in the past.

In much the same way the Cliffites, out of hatred of Stalinism, abandoned North Korea to the imperialists. And thrived throughout the Cold War for their unintentional treachery: that is how recruits such as Chris Hitchens were able to join the "extreme left" while retaining all their imperialist proclivities.

Posted by: bevin | May 5, 2013 3:59:07 PM | 79

neretva'43 (75)

Not sure Syria do need S-300, which is strategic air defense complex. Syria already have very capable systems Buk and Patszir-M. What further the country need is to integrate the old with the new one into integrated multilayer air defense system.

I have doubts. One must not forget that there is little in between short and mid range AD systems (which are quite similar in capabilities anyway) and S-300 in terms of coverage. What a country like Syria (and many others) would need is a strange mix; considerably better coverage (like 80 - 100 km horizontal, 15-18 km vertical) and a regime with the simple, single (or few) systems all in one package but doing most of the CCC of S-300.
The problem with Pantsir and Buk Systems is that is comes down to the question what's most important to you, this or that installation or small city or ...
The Problem with S-300 is that, as you correctly imply, it's rather complex a system and way beyond the de-facto (as opposed to blah blah) capabilities of many militaries.

Concerning the integration of old and new layer will, possibly with very, very rare exceptions, stay a nice but practically infeasable concept for most countries. And, to look a little more generally, a modern everything interwoven with everything concept might not even desirable nor practical for many countries. zusa will learn that soon enough having basically all their infrastructure core exposed to the enemy; gone are the times where nobody could attack their space-based (another zusa big mouthery. Actually it's orbit-based but that, of course, sounds less "supreme" and "superior") global communication structure.

Just look at the Russians, at a low, pragmatic level. Their barracks often enough are really that, barracks and, except for some special forces, their soldiers gear looks old-style and outlandish compared to zusa. Yet they are to be feared much more than the american burger eating "oops-my-iphone-based personal climate control system fails, I'm helpless and lost" troops who for a reason replace soldiership with video game like bestiality.

And how should Syria (or many other countries) implement such americanisms? They are miles away from any control of the loop; they have to buy everything, from the fiber to the electronics to the software, i.e. they'd be completely dependent and wouldn't even know which of their equipment might betray or worse turn against them.

Nope. Military also means "to do with what vou've got and what you master". If you happen to hobby shoot bow and arrow and are good at it (and have easy access and control of the material) then fighting with bow and arrows will be so much more deadly than say, a DSR 1 lapua sniper rifle. The same holds true for a country (or a militia. just ask Hezbollah).

And more than anything highly skilled and technical crew which will be serving the system, whiteout educated crew it is just worthless no matter what technology is behind them.

I fully agree. And I go another step.

Just look at Iran. Man, were they bleeding when zusa didn't send technicians and spare parts anymore.
Put in another way: Today the Iran forces are very heavy weight opponents. No country other than zusa, Russia and China could even dare to try something against them. And if they did it would cost them very dearly.

Simple reason: Yes the Iran S-300 will only be something like "S-250" or "S-270". But they will create way more damage with those than many other countries will with seen-in-brochure, liked, ordered, payed, delivered S-300 or whatnot.

Because they sweated tears, brains, and nerves to understand ridiculously old zusa and Russian equipment, to master the production of spare-parts in the beginning and later of simple complete systems, aso.
Today they know their self-made weapons inside out; often enough simple repairs will be made even by simple technicians in the field. They know everything, from the material up to electronics and software of their increasingly techy stuff.

As a sidenote: That's (one very important reason amongst other reasons) why they are right in saying that israel isn't a matching opponent for Iran; they'd crush them swiftly anytime.

In summary, all Syria really needs are 1 or 2 S-300 Systems and, right you are, good training along. They wouldn't even need to hit everytime. It would be enough to immensely drive up the risks and costs for israel, turkey and zusa/zato.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | May 5, 2013 4:53:48 PM | 80

@4 "Goebbels was nothing compared to the propagandists currently promoting war in Syria."

How true. I suspect, though, (or at least hope) that we're finally seeing the limits of the 4th Gen war/color revolutions here in Syria.

Posted by: guest | May 5, 2013 9:20:28 PM | 81

@N'43

I guess I can see then why you'd have to believe Syria has adequate air defense, because you don't believe that they've just been bombed. I guess one way to protect yourself from an air assault is to pretend it never happened, but unfortunately that doesn't work for those who got bombed.

@28 I guess I have to change my name. That wasn't me.

Posted by: guest77 | May 5, 2013 10:01:29 PM | 82

Not sure where to put this:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22424188

Syria crisis: UN's Del Ponte says evidence rebels 'used sarin'

Carla Del Ponte: "I was a little bit stupefied by the first indication of the use of nerve gas by the opposition"

Testimony from victims of the conflict in Syria suggests rebels have used the nerve agent, sarin, a leading member of a UN commission of inquiry has said.

Carla Del Ponte told Swiss TV that there were "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof".

Ms Del Ponte did not rule out the possibility that government forces might also have used chemical weapons.

Later, the commission stressed that it had "not reached conclusive findings" as to their use by any parties.

"As a result, the commission is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time," a statement added.

SNIP

Ms Del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney-general and prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), did not rule out the possibility that troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad might also have used chemical weapons, but said further investigation was needed.

"I was a little bit stupefied by the first indications we got... they were about the use of nerve gas by the opposition," she said.

Ms Del Ponte gave no details of when or where sarin may have been used.

Via commenter Phoenix Woman at FDL post by DSWright,

Posted by: jawbone | May 6, 2013 11:12:22 AM | 83

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