Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 18, 2012

Syria: After Deadly Strike Gloves Will Come Off

Updated below:

The foreign supported insurgency in Syria made hit-and-run attacks in some suburbs of the capitol Damascus. But those fights were isolated by government forces and seem now to die down as the insurgency has problems to sustain them. That may well be for a lack of personal:

Rebel commanders declared that the "Battle for Damascus" had begun, with fighters drafted into the city from other areas of the country as part of an operation they called "Damascus Volcano and Earthquakes of Syria".
[H]e said that rebel units from Homs, Deraa and two other cities had been drafted into the capital.

This morning a suicide bomber killed the Syrian defense minister and the deputy defense minister during a security meeting. Syrian interior minister Muhammad Al Shaar and others were seriously wounded in the attack.

Ten days ago Hillary Clinton warned:

"The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton said at a news conference.

Were the recent attacks and today's bombing the "catastrophic assault" she warned of? How did she know of them?

The news of who did these assassinations and how is currently foggy. The most interesting question is: Who gave the intelligence that enabled these assassinations?

The deputy defense minister Assef Shawkat is Bashar Assad's brother-in-law. Earlier this year the insurgency claimed to have killed the defense minister Dawoud Rajiha by food poisoning. He was an orthodox Christian. We can therefore be sure that his death will be a rather harsh part of talk the president of the Russian Federation Putin will have today with a major supporter of the insurgency, the Turkish prime minister Erdogan.

These assassination are surely as heavy hit for the Syrian government. But the result of that hit may not be what the insurgency wishes for: that the people in the government give up. My assessment is that the government's gloves will come off now and its response will be felt beyond the Syrian borders.


 The Free Syrian Army in Turkey is claiming responsibility (as did some Jihadi group):

Riad al-Asaad said in a phone interview from his headquarters in Turkey that rebel forces planted a bomb inside a room where senior government officials were meeting Wednesday.
The rebel leader denies government claims that it was a suicide attack, saying all those who carried out the operation are safe.

Time for another reminder: Syria went through a quite similar situation in the late 1970s when the Muslim Brotherhood led another insurrection against the Syrian state. There were many assassinations and assassination attempts, including on the then president Hafez al-Assad, as well as large attacks on government forces. The response was ferocious and the insurrection was put down.

Posted by b on July 18, 2012 at 11:08 UTC | Permalink

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I think the chances of a wider regional war has just increase to become a real possibility...I weep for the entire region. Brace yourselves..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 18 2012 11:15 utc | 1

Assaf Chawkat killed, Interior Minister OK and stable, Defense Minister killed.

Posted by: www | Jul 18 2012 11:30 utc | 2

Linda Juniper ‏@LindaJuniper
The Interior Minister Shaar is alive & stable. ‪#Syria‬ ‪#Damascus‬
Dylan.johnsons @dylan_johnsons
MSM lied about the interior minister death to Kill our morale, so toughen up people. It's only the end if you let it be. #Syria #Damascus

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 11:47 utc | 3

I was wondering, whilst watching the reporting on the BBC and Sky, where is the "moral outrage" over a "suicide bombing" that is prevalent when such things take place other than in Syria? Is "suicide bombing" now acceptable to those Governments and media outlets who are supporting the "rebels" or are they just trying to gloss over the fact they are supporting groups who use car/suicide/roadside bombs which they themselves denote as terrorist acts when done elsewhere?

Posted by: Rod | Jul 18 2012 11:50 utc | 4

yes rod 4

remember 9-11?
If it happens to the west...we all expected to be outraged..but if it happens to syria iran or such countries...the victim gets blamed

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 12:00 utc | 5

Rod @4

You ain't seen nothing yet..The West has now set a trend and they will suffer for it..First they murdered Qaddafi and openly bragged about it..They openly support terrorists - the very same people they claim to be fighting in Afghanistan.

There will be blowbacks across the region..No doubt.:)

Posted by: Zico | Jul 18 2012 12:00 utc | 6

These assassinations mean that the regime is compromised. You can't get a bomb inside a national security meeting while there are gun battles (of unknown extend as the open source information is not credible) in the capital without inside collaboration. And I guess at quite high level. The medieval monarchies finally getting a return for their large investments.

One possibility, if the fight in the capital is more than propaganda and a few gangs running around, is that some section of the regime/army has already revolted.

In any case all this points to further weakening of the Syrian regime and an increased likeness of a full blown civil war Lebanon style (as the alawites don't have any option given the sectarism of the wahabist sponsored 'opposition'). And that's what will 'force' an external intervention, basically to keep the fire for spreading to Israel and Jordan.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 18 2012 12:03 utc | 7

RT are reporting that the blast happened inside the National Security Headquarters and was caused by one of the bodyguards. A group calling itself Liwa Al Islam (Banner of Islam) have claimed responsibility.


Obviously one of the most professional attacks done by the insurgency so far. However don't think it changes the strategic calculations in the region. The US still knows that it can't outright attack. Turkey has been humbled after the downing of the fighter jet and will still talk angrily but do nothing. Russia will still move ahead with its policy of a negotiated settlement. Changes little on the strategic front.

On the ground however Assad will have to crack down hard. There is an attempt to move the fighting into Damascus. As the above post noted fighters from Homs and Daraa and other cities are moving into Damascus (likely an attempt to repeat the Libyan offensive in Tripoli). This could be a bad move for the insurgency, Damascus has been quiet and generally appears supportive of Assad. Fighting in Homs is one thing (they have support from the community, know the area) fighting in the capital will likely be more dangerous. Generally insurgencies should focus on hit-and-run attacks not moving against a disciplined military head on.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 18 2012 12:05 utc | 8

You can't get a bomb inside a national security meeting while there are gun battles (of unknown extend as the open source information is not credible) in the capital without inside collaboration. And I guess at quite high level. The medieval monarchies finally getting a return for their large investments.

It happens, just look at Iraq's green zone, or Kabul. It is very difficult to stop a suicide bomber. What the Syrian government should now do is find the identification of the bomber and trace to what organisation, country supported him.

Posted by: hans | Jul 18 2012 12:11 utc | 9

smells from all sides. remember the "defecting" ambassador doing the rounds claiming that Syria set up Al Queida Camps at the Syrian Iraqui border?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 12:22 utc | 10

Most of the successful bombings in Iraq or Afghanistan were at checkpoints or lower level offices. That's like if they had put a bomb on. This attack is similar to the bomb that hit Yemen's ex-president Saleh and started the 'transition' process to a US/Saudi selected president.

Keep in mind that the objective of the 'illustrated democracies' isn't a real representative democracy, or years of chaos that could spill over Israel or Jordan, but to just replace the current Baathist regime with a more compliant regime (but not less ruthless against it's population). That's why they have been calling for the *sunni* army to revolt against the *allawite* regime (and get properly paid for the job with money from the medieval monarchies). Cue the recent 'defections' of sunni officers.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 18 2012 12:33 utc | 11

Maya Naser ‏@nasermaya
Terrorist group calls themselves the Islam forces adopted responsibility for today's explosion in the National security building ‪#Damascus‬
Retweeted by THE syrian once again islam involved in terrorism..only this time the 'international community' will applaud

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 12:39 utc | 12

Another option would be an internal coup to replace a 'moderate' faction or a faction that was secretly negotiating with the opposing nations with hardliners or some other core faction but that looks very unlikely at this point. I don't know if the official government are just puppets, and the power is in high level army officials, or really hold real power inside the regime.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 18 2012 12:39 utc | 13

I am not a military analyst or student of tactics and strategy, seems to me that the rebels and "activists" had been, even in their strongholds, somewhat haphazard in their attacks. These actions in Damascus seem to indicate some more experienced planners.

Are the West's special ops guys behind these new attacks? Or just intel and communications for command and control? Is the West covertly but directly going to war against Syria's government? And "collateral damage," lots of dead civilians, be damned? Just going for it?

Obama does not want another overt war before the election and would much prefer to get Syria "taken care of" in short order. It would give him another check on the list of "bad guys" to be taken down, but another war would possibly cause voters to look for an alternative, even Romney (as if there's any alternative other than pure protest votes for the Green Party's Jill Stein for the left and I don't know who for the right.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 18 2012 12:43 utc | 14

I guess, they got the hardliners, the are the same people that were supposed to be poisoned in May

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 12:47 utc | 15

Syria's opposition commander says his forces carried out an attack in Damascus that killed the defense minister and other regime officials. But he denies it was a suicide bombing.
Riad al-Asaad said in a phone interview from his headquarters in Turkey that rebel forces planted a bomb inside a room where senior government officials were meeting Wednesday.

Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Gen. Assef Shawkat, who also was President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law, were killed.

The rebel leader denies government claims that it was a suicide attack, saying all those who carried out the operation are safe

so the murderers are safe,...thank allah!

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 12:47 utc | 16

somehow I find this story highly unlikely brian ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 13:04 utc | 17

Maggie Meehan :A recent report of a Syrian army cleanup of an "Opposition" location included reference to finding stolen Syrian army uniforms...pretty obvious why, don't you think?
so likely terrorists donned uniforms to gain entry to plant their need fo a suicide bomber

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 13:23 utc | 18

Like clockwork, the defense minister's been replaced..Thins will get bloodier before they calm down..I expect a new strategy of "show no mercy"..

So far, the Syrian government have been letting go arrested collaborators of these terrorist..I think now anyone with ties to these groups will either have to flee or be killed..Sad times ahead..Syria's been torn apart by forces that have no other interest than protecting the existence of Israel...

Posted by: Zico | Jul 18 2012 13:41 utc | 19

Foreign Ministry in Report to UN Secretary General.. Politicized Decisions Adopted by Human Rights' Council Gave Green Light to Armed terrorist Groups to Kill Innocents

its all a goad to lead Syria to war

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 13:45 utc | 20

BBC daytime hour news broadcast heard on WNYC, NYC's public radio station, just ended. It was a somewhat breathless and often repetitive hour devoted to Syria and the bombing assassinations. Another news reader concentrated on "social media," which mostly seemed to come from supporters of the "activists."

The guests were overwhelmingly pro-"activists." One of them stated that the "activists" have 50 people ready to go with complete and detailed plans for taking over the governance of Syria. And Christians don't have to worry about their safety or status in the New Syria. Not at all.

A retired Syrian army general, now "based in the United States" [Based? Not living? Not working? But based? WTF does that imply? Who has "based" him in the US, etc.?] said that the people killed in the bombing mean this is the end of the Assad and Bathist government, an end to come very soon or in weeks.

There was one guest who was not pro-rebels, and the interviewer pushed him hard that these assassinations indicate Assad has lost control of the nation. Finally the guest asked whether the 9/11 attacking on the twin towers meant that the US government had lost control of the country....

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 18 2012 14:08 utc | 21

'The guests were overwhelmingly pro-"activists." One of them stated that the "activists" have 50 people ready to go with complete and detailed plans for taking over the governance of Syria. And Christians don't have to worry about their safety or status in the New Syria. Not at all.'

taking over? no matter here of 'elections'./..these pro-activisits are wannabe for the bit about christians...they have good reason to be worried DONT TRUST FSA

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 14:19 utc | 22

THE syrian girl ‏@thesyriangirl
“@antissa: Interesting to see Westerners cheer a suicide bombing. Never thought I'd see the day. :P ‪#Syria‬”

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 14:22 utc | 23

Imran Garda ‏@ImranGarda
The Taliban, in confusion, email Free Syrian Army: "When we send suicide bombers to kill officials we are condemned. What's your secret?"

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 14:24 utc | 24

Kind of weird from the BBC:


Our correspondent says residents on the street near the National Security Building said they had not heard an explosion or seen any emergency vehicles at the scene.


More from the BBC's Lina Sinjab in Damascus, who has been to the scene of the reported bombing. She says she saw no broken windows in the area, and the roads were open. She says there was "no sign of any explosion".

Posted by: b | Jul 18 2012 14:34 utc | 25

THE syrian girl ‏@thesyriangirl
“@blacbloc: RT"@SkyNewsBreak: AFP: Russia says those behind the Damascus 'act of terror' should be punished"”

Posted by: brian | Jul 18 2012 14:43 utc | 26


If it happens to the west...we all expected to be outraged..but if it happens to syria iran or such countries...the victim gets blamed

Andrew C. McCarthy: "When we have enough wit to stay out, however, they set upon each other with a savagery that shocks the West but is, in their culture, quotidian."

It's simply chauvinism.

Posted by: Antifo | Jul 18 2012 14:47 utc | 27

yep, expect them to appear on television, how come everybody is in Damascus by the way, I thought you could not report from there :-))

28m Lina Sinjab Lina Sinjab ‏@BBCLinaSinjab

Residents very close 2 building said they haven't heard any sound of explosion or gunfire, haven't seen insured being removed either ‪#Syria‬

32m Lina Sinjab Lina Sinjab ‏@BBCLinaSinjab

Just walked around national security building and saw no sign of explosions, no broken window, no heavy security presence ‪#Damascus‬ ‪#Syria

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 14:52 utc | 28

The U.S. Treasury today announced new sanctions on Syria. Sanctions now include (pdf, see at the end) all individual finances of all members of the Syrian cabinet, including the minister for reconciliation who is a (nonviolent) opposition member.

Now THAT will hurt them.

Posted by: b | Jul 18 2012 15:23 utc | 29

Bus with Israeli tourists on way to airport in Bulgaria bombed.

Posted by: www | Jul 18 2012 15:26 utc | 30

The BBC timeline looks like a twitter feed ... in their lack of credibility.

They keep repeating 'unconfirmed' tweets or reports from journalists in Lebanon or other capitals reporting about tweets or calls.

If that's supposed to be information in the 21th century I think prefer the 19th century version.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 18 2012 15:36 utc | 31

They rephrased it ThePaper, they have got standards :-)9

I wonder, is Syria's security entrusted to 77 year old guys?

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 15:43 utc | 32

@30 I think Iran will be blamed for this one, MEK? Things are moving fast.

Posted by: hans | Jul 18 2012 15:44 utc | 33

The hand of the Mossad-MI6-CIA-MEKet al, spook puppets is quite evident here.

And there is nothing new about their involvement in suicide bombings: most of the terrorist attacks in Iraq, particularly during the "surge" were carried out by agents of the Empire. They were designed to destabilise, to justify further violence and to promote the miracle of ethnic and sectarian division, without which no empire can exist.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 18 2012 15:57 utc | 34

www: "Bus with Israeli tourists on way to airport in Bulgaria bombed."

Haaretz's no-shame reporting on the subject: "Several Israelis were killed and wounded on Wednesday in a terror attack...however it is unclear if the incident was a terror attack."

Posted by: Bill | Jul 18 2012 15:57 utc | 35

Bulgaria's located between Serbia/Kosovo to its West and Turkey to its East. Could have been anyone.

The US had/has links to Kosovo Islamic Fighters from the KLA. Iran has links with the Bosnian Muslims and has transferred weapons there in the past. Al Qaeda used to have a big presence. Proximity to Turkey can't be ruled out or even the MEK travelling through Turkey. Lets also not forget the around Serbia there is a fairly strong Neo-Nazi element.

Spin the wheel and see who it lands on although the US will probably make sure it lands on Iran. Could have also been an accident or malfunction 3 dead suggests it wasn't a very big whatever it was. Grenade maybe?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 18 2012 16:17 utc | 36

I could be wrong, but imo the Def Min and his Deputy, in any country, are only go-fers between the PM/Pres/Govt and the Army. They would be quick and easy to replace and have no tactical or strategic significance whatsoever.

Security blunders which allow senior ministers to be killed are not a good look, but there are hundreds of Army officers who are infinitely more vital to the war effort than a couple of ministers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 18 2012 16:18 utc | 37

I still havent heard a single word from Kofee Annan, condemning this act of terror! He was very quick to blame the Syrian govt when the foreign backed armed terrorist accused the Syrian govt of "massacre" in Tremseh. Shame on him!

It seems Al Jazeera English are having an unexpected orgasm over these murders and are following the line that is been spun by the foreign backed terrorists that they are liberating Damascus (showing unverified videos and phone clips) and this been the "begining of the end".

The Syrian govt now must take off its glove and deliver a massive blow to the terrorist. No more holding back. Give The Abdullah's, Thani's and Erdogan, all a massive black eye before Ramadan starts on Friday.

Allah be with the Syrian govt and people in this dark times.

Posted by: Irshad | Jul 18 2012 16:22 utc | 38

From Amal Saad Ghorayeb's blog:

"The gloves are off. The Syrian Information Minister says Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel are responsible for today’s events. This is the first time a Syrian official singles out the conspirators by name since the start of the conflict. Indeed, this is a new stage in the war.
The same Arab traitors rejoicing the killings are also mocking Seyyid Hassan Nasrallah on twitter now. It is sickening to the core to know that if Israel invaded Syria or Lebanon today they would most likely be cheering it, if not publicly (because they still pay lip service to Palestine) in private just as March 14 collaborators did in 2006 as revealed by Wikileaks State Department cables ."

IMHO, as I've said from the beginning, for Syria to survive it has to find a way to raise the cost to those behind the insurgents, and not just go after the fighters themselves. They will be worn down that way. I hope it is not too late to do that and that the statement above is a sign that they will.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 18 2012 16:41 utc | 39

somehow I just wonder how the Syrians came to trust their bodygard twice ....
"But the story about Mr. Shawkat has been more persistent and more bizarre.

On Sunday, the opposition put a video on YouTube making the poisoning claim, which was run by Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Arabiya satellite networks, both of which report virtually anything that puts the government in a bad light.

Soon afterward, Gen. Hasan Turkmani, an assistant vice president, and Lt. Gen. Mohamed al-Sha’ar, the minister of the interior — both among the reported victims of the poisoning — put out statements through the official Syrian Arab News Agency calling the assertions that they were dead “baseless.”

"The original claim on the video said an opposition group called Al Sahaba — referring to the original companions of the Prophet Muhammad — had recruited a bodyguard of one of the senior officials two months ago.

The bodyguard struck Saturday night, according to the statement read on the recording. Using a tasteless, colorless and odorless poison, he put 15 drops into a meat stew that had been ordered for dinner, instead of the mere five needed to cause death, the statement said. It said eight senior officials were hospitalized at the elite Al Shami hospital and the staff was secluded, its cellphones taken away and other patients transferred. "

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 16:51 utc | 40

and this is the somehow prescient Haaretz account of the poisoning ..

The information shows that Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat, and several other senior officials were indeed poisoned, just as the Free Syrian Army claims. But prompt medical treatment saved their lives.

Israel views this as an important milestone in the ongoing revolution: It shows the opposition has penetrated Assad's inner circle, casting doubt on the regime's stability.

"The Syrian revolt is no longer in faraway cities; it's reached the leaders of the regime," one senior Israeli official said. "An assassination on a similar scale in the future could accelerate the regime's collapse. The opposition has the tools to reach the heads of Assad's regime, and in this case, it's been proven."

The Israeli officials, who are well-briefed on intelligence from Syria, said the poisoning was carried out by the Free Syrian Army's Al-Sahaba battalion. The targets, aside from Shawkat, were Defense Minister Daoud Rajha; Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar; Hassan Turkmani, an aide to the vice president; national security chief Hisham Bakhtiar; and Mohammed Said Bakhtian, national secretary of the Baath Party.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 18 2012 16:54 utc | 41

Lets not forget in Israel there is a lot of neo Nazi sentiment.Fixed,huh,a little bit?

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 18 2012 17:06 utc | 42

Looks like the death toll in the Bulgaria bombing is up to 7 now. Also interesting fact from RT, 18 years ago to the day was the bombing of the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. NetanYahoo obviously has blamed Iran for the blast.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 18 2012 18:01 utc | 43

W00T Season Five of True Blood GWOT premieres this weekend!

The cheers and squeals for yet another "successful mission" are smothering my internets today.

Each one of these takedowns has been bandied about like the new and more exciting season of a familiar tv show. So, we now have actual niches for amateur 24/7 Syria experts throughout every segment of the media, down to hackish political blogs. Don't miss Season Five! "TSHTF"!

Posted by: L Bean | Jul 18 2012 18:22 utc | 44

Hilary Clinton, in her statement from the quote above, refers to an all-out assault on the government and the police/military apparatus, wether it is a real danger of it succeding is another question. But a collapse of the state law-enforcement would mean chaos for Syria and its nabours. And that's the threat she made. Like when she said weapons would find their way to the rebels, she has her hands in this too.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 18 2012 20:37 utc | 45

The Turkish prime minister Erdogan said today 18 Jul 2012 Turkey is "categorically against violation of Syria's territorial integrity."

This reminds me of my main mantra that the Annan plan expires on 20 July and the Syrian government must not agree to a renewal of Point Two of the Annan six-point plan, the point which obliged the government to withdraw its armed forces from in and around urban areas and to refrain from using heavy weapons.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 18 2012 22:01 utc | 46

Hoarsewhisperer #37 said the top brass who died today are "quick and easy to replace and have no tactical or strategic significance". The Syrian Army is a very big institution that cannot be significantly dented by the loss of any few individuals, including these well-qualified individuals. But a tactical or strategic significance is attached to the event: just the raw fact that the terrorists were able to accompish it.

The Martyred Minister of Defense Dawood Rajiha was born in 1947 in Damascus, he graduated from the Military Academy in 1968 specialized in artillery, and then occupied various military posts including battalion and brigade commander, and directed a number of directorates and departments at the Armed Forces, and he was appointed Deputy Chief of General Staff in 2004 and Chief of General Staff in 2009 and Minister of Defense in 2011.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 18 2012 22:10 utc | 47

"the gloves will come off"

If hafiz Assad was there then I would believe it. I fear Jr. Won't take that step. If hafiz was running the show now, Qatar and the Saudi would be pissing their pants. One thing for sure, geagea and Hariri would have benn looking for the closest Japanese store looking for harikari swords.

Sometimes being scary works.

Posted by: ana souri | Jul 18 2012 22:16 utc | 48

economics of terrorism

state-sponsored terrorism to privatization of terrorism to globalization of terrorism

Posted by: Nikon | Jul 18 2012 22:35 utc | 49

Syrian citizens stop to applaud the army as the army marches down a street in Damascus 17 Jul 2012:

Other footage of the Syrian army on the streets of Damascus circa 16 Jul 2012:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 18 2012 22:52 utc | 50

This has to be grim news for the Assad regime. Their days look numbered. The real losers will be the Syrian people as they have been from the beginning of this terror war.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 18 2012 23:54 utc | 51

18 Jul 2012: A spokesperson of the UK mission to NATO said there is no discussion about military action against Syria within the NATO headquarters, and Syria poses no threat to the national security of any of the NATO members, and any role for NATO in military action in Syria would need a UN Security Council resolution. Meanwhile also today a spokesperson of the UK department of foreign affairs said “We will not call for any international military intervention in Syria.”

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 18 2012 23:59 utc | 52

Not to split hairs, but I would not characterize as terrorism an attack on a 'defense minister and the deputy defense minister during a security meeting'.

Some state and non-state groups may fairly be called terrorist organizations based on their conduct and philosophy, but not all of their actions are therefore terrorist acts. A politically motivated attack on a school bus is terrorism; an attack on an armed settler in Palestine is presumably not terrorism.

Posted by: Watson | Jul 19 2012 0:42 utc | 53

Mr Watson,

By your logic, the attack on washington suburbs almost 11 years ago shouldn't be considered a terrorist one. Surprisingly enough, or maybe not, it is safe to assume that this attack and the one 11 years ago were the making of the same group of people.

Posted by: ATH | Jul 19 2012 1:48 utc | 54

Mr Watson,

By your logic, the attack on washington suburbs almost 11 years ago shouldn't be considered a terrorist one. Surprisingly enough, or maybe not, it is safe to assume that this attack and the one 11 years ago were the making of the same group of people.

Posted by: ATH | Jul 19 2012 1:48 utc | 55

Mr Watson,

By your logic, the attack on washington suburbs almost 11 years ago shouldn't be considered a terrorist one. Surprisingly enough, or maybe not, it is safe to assume that this attack and the one 11 years ago were the making of the same group of people.

Posted by: ATH | Jul 19 2012 1:48 utc | 56

Parviziyi | Jul 18, 2012 6:10:20 PM | 47
I've no quibbles with any of your remarks nor, in retrospect, my own.
My main interest in the assassinations is that the event has flushed a lot of wishful thinkers out of the woodwork.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 19 2012 3:38 utc | 57

>>> Sometimes being scary works>>>

That's the only thing that's been working, Souri #48. Syria waited way too long to make the necessary changes and when it finally did, they were neither sincere nor meaningful; it still considers what's been happening as some minor sand roadboamp that will wear away with time. The true friends of Syria don't want to see the regime failing and replaced by extremist Islamist puppets of the West. Not much time left for Syria to get real and fix the problem. Syria's enemies have been baiting it to remove the gloves for over a year. When it does, NATO will pounce on it. In Libya, Gaddafi never took off the gloves against his civilians; NATO and the Zionists Both Israeli and Arab ones) simply fraudulently accused him of having done so and now both are trying to cook up some bogus fear about Syria's probable use of chemical weapons. That gimmick cost a million Iraqi lives and devasted the country.

Posted by: www | Jul 19 2012 4:15 utc | 58

I think the bombings in Damascus has just opened a new phase in the war between the Syrian government and the Persian Gulf monarchs..It's now become a personal affair..I expect a campaign of bombings of Persian Gulf interest and assets all across the region.

Things are not looking good for the region. The perpetrators of this acts did it out of frustration that their 16 months sponsored chaos hasn't bore any meaningful fruit - revolutions are expensive to finance,y'know? To make up for their frustration, they've showed their hand by moving from covertly waging a proxy war on the Syria government to hitting to hitting top officials of the government. Now all top officials of fsa sponsoring countries are fair came across the region. Stay tuned :)

Posted by: Zico | Jul 19 2012 6:59 utc | 59

I agree Zico, it became official unofficial war, when Syria named Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel. There still might be a deal but it will be difficult

In the meantime the media is fighting on perception: This is Russia Today's scenic pic of Damascus

objected to by ABC's pic of Damascus burning tyres

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2012 7:10 utc | 60

whats happened to president Assad?
what sort of bombing was it? suicide, planted?? and by whom?

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 7:13 utc | 61

Zico, this isn't a game that Syria can win. It should just continue wearing down the opposition but also putting a leash on the Baathist loose cannons. Until the Syrian regime realizes that it's in the middle of a civil war and does something about it, things will only get worse.

Posted by: www | Jul 19 2012 7:13 utc | 62

www Its NOT a 'civil' most of the terrorists are NOT syrian:

‎"Syria": TV show, excerpts from the Zionist study issued by the Institute for national security studies, titled "Salafis in Syria" and on the role of Salafis in conflict in Syria. The study showed that many Arab Mujahideen and specifically States "Egypt and Kuwait, Iraq and Jordan, are significant roles in fighting in Syria now, talking about a" study "10 Syrian or foreign groups in Syria, with multiple Islamic ideologies, notably the Salafi groups classified by the researchers in the study into three categories, as follows: first: support groups and mission control access or combatants to Syria. And second: it is the militias that are limited or ongoing attacks on the Syrian security forces. And third: they are terrorist groups, groups and contributing to the conflict in Syria now. All the Zionist television on this study.

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 7:29 utc | 63

its an aggressive invasion by foreign salafist mercenaries...the supreme war crime

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 7:30 utc | 64

Syria is pan Arab Brian, I suggest you do not use this argument ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2012 7:57 utc | 65

what are u on about 'somebody'?

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 8:01 utc | 66

18 Jul 2012: Sergei Lavrov said: "A decisive battle is in progress in Syria." AFP @

My comment: That had better mean that Lavrov isn't trying to twist the arm of the Syrian government again into agreeing to renew the insane Point Number Two of the Annan six-point plan.

17 Jul 2012: The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood issued a statement saying: "Our battle is now in Damascus.... Prepare to become soldiers in this decisive battle.... This requires that we mobilize all the forces and all our efforts to secure victory.... ...this historic moment." AFP @

My comment: The more the armed opposition talks up "decisive battle" and "mobilize all our forces", the more I like it, because I know with supreme confidence that they don't have a hope in hell of winning. I still expect they won't be so stupid as to actually commit themselves to a decisive battle.

18 Jul 2012: SANA said there is "Resolution to Decisively Clear the Homeland of the Criminal Gangs".

My comment: It is not possible to decisively clear the homeland of criminal gangs unless the gangs engage in decisive engagments.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19 2012 8:15 utc | 68

Syria' border are artificial, families spread across ...

Kurdish citizenship is open to discussion

Palestinian citizenship, too

Turkey and Russia are both claiming Circassians ...

.. there will be much much more ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2012 8:17 utc | 69

>>> www Its NOT a 'civil' most of the terrorists are NOT syrian:>>>

That's the illusion the Syrian government is pushing. It doesn't matter how many "outsiders" actually join the fight, in its essence, the fight is Syrian between Syrians. Foreign Salafists are joining the fight to help their Syrian bretheren oust the Baathists and to set up an Islamic state in their place. Saying there's no civil war doesn't change anything on the ground.

Posted by: www | Jul 19 2012 8:23 utc | 70

Ugly sectarianism, northern Idlib, uploaded 11 Jul 2012, speaker urges the assembled crowd to not have any dealings with "Shia", crowd responds with "Allahu Akbar". With English subtitles:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19 2012 8:30 utc | 71

I guess those bombs targeting the military leadership (?) cleared Damascus streets. So should the strategy have been for hiding in peaceful demonstrations that strategy is dead.

Parviziyi spreading those videos does not help either it just makes sectarian conflict more real.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2012 8:50 utc | 72

BBC is reporting decisive battle in Damascus, President has fled to coastal town of Latakia (Iran military base). Did they not say the same about Libya? Israel is putting the blame on the bus blast to Iran. Oh dear!

Posted by: hans | Jul 19 2012 9:21 utc | 73

New Line of Propaganda about Syria: Won’t Somebody Think of the Children!!!!

A quote...."As I read these articles I notice several things: Not only is there no link to the CAT report claiming Syria is torturing children, but many of them make the claim in the headlines of the articles then go on to offer absolutely nothing in terms of even quotes from the supposed report dealing with child torture. Take the Reuters Africa article as an example. Or the MSNBC story. Not a word actually from this alleged report about child torture to be found anywhere in the articles. -- That’s because there is no such report. I checked the UN Committee Against Torture’s website and no such report exists."

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 19 2012 10:06 utc | 74

Libyan Rebels Fought the Globalists' War: How the Devil Paid -

"After it was revealed that the newly unelected "PM" of Libya, Abdurrahim el-Keib, is in fact a long-time servant of Western powers, in particular, oil giants British Petroleum (BP), Shell, France's Total, the Japan Oil Development Company, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, it is now revealed that his government is moving swiftly to exclude the most vicious fighters involved in his NATO-backed ascension to power.

The Guardian has reported this week that Al-Qaeda/LIFG commander Hakim Bilhaj has been excluded as defense minister from el-Keib's cabinet in favor of Osama al-Juwali, chief of the Zintan military council."

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 19 2012 10:09 utc | 75

old news (above) but still relevant . . .

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 19 2012 10:10 utc | 76

Some Syrian Army men wear Salafi-style hairdoos to go undercover to infiltrate among the rebels. A good example is at time 1:00 at . The video also has other footage of how the Syrian army goes about its job of fighting the urban guerillas.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19 2012 10:14 utc | 77

Syria 24 English
6 minutes ago
#Syria #RealSyria sources - the Syrian authorities arrested the bomber who targeted a building of national security in #Damascus

Al Mayadeen

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 10:17 utc | 78

Apparently there's 'dots to be connected' and by golly YAAKOV KATZ, one of the racist scum that works at the Jerusalem Post is just the man to do it!

Analysis: Connecting the dots from Bulgaria to Syria
The attack on Israelis in Bulgaria has hallmarks of the Iran-sponsored Hezbollah, but some differences as well.

no, sorry Yaakov, but suicide bombing is NOT a hallmark of HezB - it's actually a hallmark of Al Q types, the mercenary organisation that was set up by Western (Incl Israeli) Security Services

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 19 2012 10:20 utc | 79

Posted by: www | Jul 19, 2012 4:23:37 AM | 70

bollocks...the syrians dont want the jihadis..,.and most are odd first they go to Libya then they turn up in liberate? rubbish./..,if they believe that the are like these guys:

'There are a lot of soldiers of fortune among the bandits. They are Chechens, Romanians, French, Libyans, and Afghans. Moreover, there was a very funny accident with Afghan soldiers. A few Afghans were caught and asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ They replied, ‘We were told that we came to Israel, and at night we are shooting at Israeli buses. We are fighting with the enemy to liberate Palestine.’ It might be funny, but it is true. The guys were really surprised, ‘Are we in Syria? We thought we were in Israel!’'

so how are romanians and chechens related to syrians?!

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 10:23 utc | 80

The following is footage of the Syrian Army engaged in a firefight against terrorists in the Midan neighborhood of Damascus. It's not dramatic, but it is notable for having been broadcasted yesterday on Syrian State TV.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19 2012 10:34 utc | 81

got to agree with brian here 3w - your statement about this being Syrian against Syrian does rather have the look of 'bollocks' about it given what we know about the similar shenanigans in Libya and what we have heard about the FSA on the ground in Syria so far- certainly from what has been reported it appears that any 'Syrians' in the Terrorists/Mercenaries leadership are just that 'mercenaries' and, as seen from the non-massacre last week, the Syrians fighting on the streets appear to be young (proabably unemployed and haven't had a shag in literally ages ) men of low intelligence - not committed politicised activists by any means

Posted by: Hu bris | Jul 19 2012 10:35 utc | 82

The bulk of the rebel fighters in Syria are Syrians, and the relatively tiny number of non-Syrians among them is overhyped by the pro-government Syrian news outlets. That overhyping has a propaganda purpose, if you pay attention you don't find the official and better quality unoffical outlets overhyping it to the level that commenters Brian and Hu Bris have done above.

Hu Bris is correct that the Syrians fighting on the streets are young, probably unemployed, and poorly educated. He is dead wrong to say that those people are "not committed politicised activists". They are very committed. They say that they will either have victory or death; they are willing to be martyrs for their cause. They are not easy to fight against (see the above videos I posted). If you ask them what they are ready to be martyrs for, it's to destroy the existing Establishment, destroy the System, destroy the Regime. They are not "politicised activists" if you require such people to have a positive vision. They have no vision of what to replace it with.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jul 19 2012 10:52 utc | 83

Souriabaladna Assadqaedna :The perpetrator (of the Murders at the National Security bldg)was arrested, it wasn't the bodyguard, he was employed in the National Security Building as a secretary.

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 10:59 utc | 84

#Syria #RealSyria #SEA

Syrian Electronic Army hacks into dozens of anti-government websites

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:00 utc | 85

'They say that they will either have victory or death; they are willing to be martyrs for their cause'
Martyrs? they are makng martyrs by killing syrians...

No parviz i dont agree with you at all...ive read egypt has 3000+ fighters in syria...thats no mean number.. We have saudi arabian and qatar giving funding...and camps are in turkey and jordan...this is NOT a mostly syrian insurgency...

we know they are also coming from lebanon

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:04 utc | 86

Youll notice too they have almost no popular support,..,.no large rallies in their favor

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:06 utc | 87

@leninology @medialens @owenjones84 if they were popular they don't need 16 months & help of enemy states.

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:07 utc | 88

Lenins tomb..aka british leftist Richard Seymour continues the trend to clueless and tacit support for empire over syria?

'leninology ‏@leninology
@3arabiSouri @medialens @owenjones84 Well, I said you were an apologist for the Syrian dictatorship, and here you are proving my point...

ري ‏@3arabiSouri
@medialens @leninology @owenjones84 in a public uprising you don't assassinate scientists & university professors, you don't torch schools.
liker most people Lenin loves to use the word 'dictator' for a leader he doesnt like

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:14 utc | 89

yep - it's like the Bought-and-paid-for Russian 'Opposition' and 'NGOs' (and especially, in the past, the Bolshiveks ;-) : If their program were a popular one they would not need the amount of Foreign Funding, and help from Foreign (NATO/Saudi/Israeli trained/armed/funded etc) mercenaries they are receiving -that's just basic logic really - repeated failure to get that point is a bit of a mystery tbh :-)

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 12:18 utc | 90

" liker most people Lenin loves to use the word 'dictator' for a leader he doesnt like "

yep - it's the go-to phrase for lefties that want to disguise their support of the psycho Western/NATO/Arab-Despot Gov'ts

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 12:20 utc | 91

Souriabaladna Assadqaedna:
Al Mayadeen TV reports Manaf Tlass returns to Syria after a short vacation abroad
so he didnt defect???? anyone got more info on this?

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 12:34 utc | 92

according Harretz's collection of the output of the twits at twitter:

" 7 reported killed in terror attack against Israelis in Bulgaria

“9:36 P.M.: Hezbollah denies all connection to the attack. A representative from the group told Lebanese media outlets that ‘we will not seek revenge over the death of Imad Mughniyah by harming tourists.’”

Which sounds about right. HezB to my knowledge, and despite what Zio-nuts and the MSM would have us believe, generally don't attack Israelis unless attacked first, and also don't attack Israeli civilians outside of Israel.

(irrespective of whatever corrupt Argentinian prosecutors and police personel in the pay of Mossad would claim)

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 13:08 utc | 93

According to a comment I just read at Mondoweiss:

Roya says:
July 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Wolf Blitzer just interviewed Michael Oren on CNN. Here’s a paraphrase:

Oren: Iran did it.

Blitzer: What’s the evidence?

Oren: Well, there’s none. We’re investigating.

Blitzer: Makes sense. What are you gonna do about it?

Oren: Israel will respond firmly and unequivocally against Iran.

Blitzer: Didn’t you kill their scientists?

Oren: What’s your point?

like something out of a clever satire - In the Loop for instance -

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 13:33 utc | 94

"gloves will come off"

heh. So far, Jr has been kicking rocks around, hands in his pocket.

You have been an hilarious misadventure of wishful analysis, b. Don't spoil a good thing.

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 19 2012 14:04 utc | 95


found this earlier - - nothing about his supposed return but still interesting IF true

"[Tlass] was silent for a moment, then released the smoke of the cigar that barely ever leaves his fingers.

He said, “This bit of information is not for publication. In the quiet town of Douma right now, there are 2,000 fighters gathered into brigades that call themselves the Abu Obeida al-Jarrah group, and every one of them receives an amount of $300 paid by the state of Qatar.” He advised with caution, “the solution is immediate attempts at dialogue with these regions before they erupt. Dialogue must be established between the regime and the people to meet their demands in order to dissuade them from providing a secure environment for the militants.”

Which if true kinda contradicts what Parviziyi has said regarding the commitment of these mercenaries and their reasons for working for the despots and psychopaths of the Arab kingdoms and NATO/Israel -

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 14:11 utc | 96

although this excerpt, further down the page, kind of contradicts statements regarding the mercenaries willingness to "Die for the cause" but could equally be interpreted to support statements regarding the numbers of actual Syrian normally resident in Syria, involved in the terrorism in Syria

"Tlass’ Account of Baba Amr Events:

After the Baba Amr events, he became more isolated, but he was not cut off from Assad. The phone lines were still open between his home in Mazzeh and the Presidential headquarters.

In one meeting with friends, [Tlass] commented that

“a few militants were fighting in Baba Amr.” One of those present responded, “700 fighters.” He said, “that’s right, and it’s said that 200 of them were killed. But what happened to the others? They fled to Lebanon, and from there they will fight against us from across the border. But what is not known is that the Battle of Baba Amr ended after a deal was made requiring the army to give the fighters a way to pull out. This is what really happened, and then the battle ended. But I repeat. This is not a solution, and I warn that there are a thousand Baba Amrs in Syria.

It all depends on one's initial viewpoint I spose . . .

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 19 2012 14:22 utc | 97

The Bush Doctrine
A Combination of Unilateralism and Preventive Warfare
After Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the Bush Doctrine took on a new dimension. That night, Bush told Americans that, in fighting terrorism, the U.S. would not distinguish between terrorists and nations that harbor terrorists.
Bush expanded on that when he addressed a joint session of Congress on September 20. He said, "We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

SO can Syria do the same?and shouldn’t the US treat Turkey as a harbor of terrorism? Or if the US just once more practising strategic hypocrisy?"
President Bush on Monday accused Syria and Iran of continuing to "harbor and assist terrorists," an act he called "completely unacceptable

Posted by: brian | Jul 19 2012 14:36 utc | 98

The attack to kill the top security officials of the Assad regime means the regime is now tottering. It is reported that Assad has fled to the coast. Will Syria turn to anarchy or will the Alawites and Christians now start to flee Syria as the wahabbists take control?

The Saudi's must be very happy as their wahhabi compatriots are "winning" in the Arab spring except for Libya.

Posted by: ab initio | Jul 19 2012 14:57 utc | 99

ab initio 99
as long as three of the four Syrian secret services are intact nothing will happen ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 19 2012 15:13 utc | 100

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