Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 22, 2012

Syria: Border Posts And City Raids

It is more and more difficult to get a clear picture of the situation in Syria. As a large part of the western media are obviously part of the military information operation against Syria one has to double check each and every detail. Here is the gist of what I read from various sources.

The raid-like assault on parts of Damascus failed after three days. The population of the raided quarters did not help the foreign supported insurgency but rather fled to safe quarters. The Syrian military then had little difficulty to fight the insurgents down. Today an assault attempt on a military hospital in Damascus failed after just one hour.

A similar raid-like assault is now ongoing in some quarters of Aleppo. The result will likely be the same than in Damascus.

There were many reports of successful insurgency attacks on Syrian border stations. Most of them turned out to not have happened at all or as having been defeated. One station on the border to Iraq was in insurgency hands. Two stations on the border to Turkey were also taken over. At one of them the insurgents looted 30 Turkish trucks that were taking food and medicine into Syria. They burned some of them. Another crossing at Bab al-Hawa was taken over by foreign Al Qaeda fighters:

[B]y Saturday evening, a group of some 150 foreign fighters calling themselves as Islamists were in control of the Bab al-Hawa post, an AFP photographer said.

Some of the fighters said they belonged to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), while others claimed allegiance to a group called Shura Taliban.

They were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket launchers and improvised mines.

The fighters identified themselves as coming from a number of countries: Algeria, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and the Russian republic of Chechnya.

A video they produced shows some of them with an AlQaeda flag declaring the place to be an Islamic state. Arabic speakers told me that the accent in the video is not Syrian. These foreign fighters also looted and burned Turkish trucks.

And Turkey has even more problems with the guests it took in from Syria. At two refugee camps, or rather insurgency retreats, people protested over insufficient food and water supply and Turkish riot police intervened with batons and tear gas.

That are some friendly and thankful friends you have there, Mr. Erdogan. Here is more trouble for you.

The Kurds in the north-east of Syria have taken control over their area. They clashed with insurgents and shortly also with a few government troops. Their aim is to sit the situation out while keeping any trouble away from their hometowns. If the Syrian government falls they will try to unite with the Kurds in Iraq and in Turkey.

There are recently only few reports from insurgency strongholds like parts of Homs or Rastan. What is happening there?

All the above action is, from a military standpoint, unimportant. The insurgents can not win and hold. They can keep a few parts of the Syrian military busy but with each and every actions they also take significant casualties.

The whole point of these attack on the border stations and on Damascus and Aleppo seem to be to entice "Damascus is falling" headlines in western media and to induce panic into some Syrians. But the reports of the fall of Damascus are far from being true and the panic they induce seems to be of more help for the Syrian government than for the insurgency.

The U.S., Britain and the Gulf countries have announced more support for the - so far - failing insurgency. Especially in the case of the U.S. one is wondering to what end. Some U.S. financed so-called NGOs make cute preparations for calm after the fall of the Syrian government. But each and every expert says the reality after a fall of the Syrian government would look much different than what is planned for:

"Syria has become a convenient battlefield for everyone, a place to divide the Arab world, said Farid Khazan, a Lebanese lawmaker and a professor of political science at American University of Beirut. "You won't be able to reshape that country without messing up the entire region."
"The fall of the Assad regime doesn't mean it is the end," said Jihad Zein, editorial writer for Lebanon's largest daily newspaper, An Nahar. "We will have a chaotic Syria and some kind of Islamist party dominating the street for a long time."

Are State Department people like Killery Clinton really stupid enough to believe the can create a viable state out of the chaos they create in Syria? If that is not what the Obama administration wants why is it continuing its support for this regime change project?

Posted by b on July 22, 2012 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink


B, I suspect their aim is to create a salfaist strong hold more interested in attacking Iraq and reversing their strategic error of 2003. Their assumption is that these Saudi backed thugs will not bother with attacking Israel, and on the few occasions they do, it's only an opportunity for media posturing about terrorism.

To an extent, they are right. To another extent, they are dead wrong. In the event of state collapse, we will see a tragic repeat of Lebanon, 1982 and Iraq 2003. Israel and the us enjoyed overwhelming power and the support of a section of the population. It should have been an easy matter for them to set up a puppet government in both places.

And yet it didn't work out that way. My guess is Iran along with Iraq will manage to put together a coalition of minorities, former military and non-salfaist Sunnis that will neutralize the Saudi pawns and protect the interests of the resistance.

That's if the government falls, which is not at all clear.

Posted by: Lysander | Jul 22 2012 18:11 utc | 1

They don't want a viable state. They want chaos. They want lots of tiny little enclaves and sectarian statelets and constant fighting.
In such circumstances intelligence agencies thrive, crossing borders with impunity, raiding, killing, plundering; always growing, with greater responsibilities, bigger budgets, more power.

In the long run, b, you are correct: the forces that the US is summoning up will destroy its corrupt allies and challenge its interests. But intellectually the liberals who run the USA (and they are liberals) believe with Keynes that "in the long run we are all dead."
If they cared about the future they would act differently, but they don't. Which is also why they are happy about Fukushima, deny climate change, and undermine the very societies in which they live. It is why they turn a blind eye to the inevitable destruction of the financial system which their greed and obtuseness will ensure. Like their, more formally dressed brothers, the fascists, liberals have a death wish.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 22 2012 18:22 utc | 2

shows some of them with an AlQaeda flag declaring the place to be an Islamic state.

LOL what will this new "Islamic state" be called I wonder? Maybe "The Islamic Emirate of the Bab Al Hawa border crossing" :D Kind of says it all really they came to Syria to try and take over the country. When that failed they settled for the city of Homs. When that failed they are resorting to taking a border crossing and proclaiming their state there.

- The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (the same human rights organisation that cheered the suicide bomber). Now says 19,000 have been killed. This follows 15,000 killed a week or two ago.

- The Kurds seem to be doing pretty well out of this whole War business. When Iraq turned into a free-fire zone they got control of Northern Iraq for there Kurdistan state. Now that Syria has turned into a shooting war they are likely carving the Kurdish areas out of there. All that will be left then is to take the Turkish parts of Kurdistan.

- In the Turkish refugee camp this account: "The row soon escalated into a riot as hundreds of Syrians took Turkish police officers hostage and seized their guns. The Turkish flag at the entrance was taken down and refugees replaced it with their own." Looks like Turkey just lost some territory to the FSA maybe he will be forced to send in some troops and restore order?

- By my reading of the "Battle for Damascus" it seems to be all but over. Several stories have mentioned that shops have opened up again today after being closed most of the week and the areas of Al Midan (the most conservative district) and Mazzeh (on the outskirts) have been cleared. Other than Barzeh district which still had raids today it looks like the rest of the districts have been quiet. Obviously the big push on Damascus was more in the hope that once a few neighbourhoods erupted in fighting the locals would join in. Didn't happen and rebel loses are probably large.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 22 2012 18:31 utc | 3

The Pentagon has a "need to quickly move to a new stage" with chemical weapons as a pretense.

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2012 – Responsibility for security of chemical stockpiles in Syria rests upon the regime, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters here today. . . [but] the Assad regime is steadily losing its footing. There’s momentum against Assad. . . Little explained that Syria’s violence against civilians, stockpiles of chemical weapons and “unacceptable behavior by an illegitimate leader” highlight the need to quickly move to a new stage for Syria and its people. “Use of chemical weapons would be extremely problematic and would take this conflict to a place that I don’t think anyone would want it to go,” Little said.
'cuz Bibi says so--
Hezbollah may get chemical weapons if Syria collapses: Netanyahu
"We certainly don't want to be exposed to chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hezbollah or some other terror groups. ... It's a great threat. . .We will have to consider our action. Do I seek action? No. Do I preclude it? No," Netanyahu said when asked whether Israel would act alone or prefer the United States to take the lead.
and of course State is on board -
MR. VENTRELL: . . . we are going to be looking at avenues outside of the Security Council as we work on our strategy. . .we’re preparing for all scenarios. . .In terms of the chemical weapons. . . we do remain very concerned about these weapons. And so in addition to monitoring their stockpiles, we are actively consulting Syria’s neighbors and our friends in the international community to underscore our common concern about the security of these weapons and the Syrian obligations – the Syrian Government’s obligation to secure them. . .we’re discussing all aspects of this scenario with all of Syria’s neighbors . .the Assad regime is not going to survive this
I wouldn't be surprised if there were a US finding that Syria is unable to secure its chemical weapons due to rebel activity and Assad's alleged impending fall, necessitating US/Israel military action. But first the locations must be determined.
The Central Intelligence Agency is scrambling to get a handle on the locations of the country's chemical and biological weapons, while assessing the composition, loyalties, and background of the rebel groups poised to take power in the event President Bashar al-Assad falls.

Obama administration officials tell The Daily Beast that the CIA has sent officers to the region to assess Syria’s weapons program. One major task for the CIA right now is to work with military defectors to find out as much information on Syria’s weapons of mass destruction, according to one U.S. official with access to Syrian intelligence. Another focus will be to sort through reams of intercepted phone calls and emails, satellite images, and other collected intelligence to find the exact locations of the Syrian weapons, this official said. This task has become more urgent in recent days. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Syrian military was moving its chemical weapons out of storage.

So the story line is: Chemical weapons can't be safeguarded (or alternitively, might be used) by a collapsing Syria government so the US must quickly move to a new stage. It's Iraq WMD's in a new format.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 22 2012 19:00 utc | 4

Right from the beginning, it was clear the US didn't want peace but rather perpetual chaos that will justify foreign intervention..They pretended using the UN but that was vetoed 3 times. Billary openly told the Salafi Jihadis not to surrender their weapons when the Syrian government offered to grant them amnesty and open dialogue with the opposition.

Now, after months of fighting, "rebel" gains are only real in the western msm..On the ground, the "rebels" can't hold nothing bigger than a football field and in fact, have suffered massive causalities..The lack of success by the "rebels" led the US and her allies to assassinate the Syrian defence officials in order to boost the "rebels" morale. But the Syrian army didn't disintegrate. Rather, a new defense minister was appointed and guess what, he's Sunni and from Hama. So far he seems more brute than his predecessor..The rebels wish they had the previous defense minster around now..

The much touted battle for Damascus has been a flop..Many of the "rebels" have turned themselves in and many others have met their end..Now, the Syrian army is on the offensive in "rebel" strongholds and are making significant gains..I laugh when I read stories in western msm about rebels capturing border post..What exactly are they going to do with that? First of, they can't hold such position for long so it's strategically useless..Such attacks are mainly meant for western public consumption and as b said "Damascus is falling" atmosphere.

The mask is finally coming off this whole scheme..The US simply cannot hide behind "pro-democracy activists" anymore for something that is essentially a regime change agenda. The US is determined to get this regime change done and dusted.

After all efforts to topple the Syrian government, through soft and bloody means have failed, the US is now hinting she will have to intervene militarily to topple Assad - FAT CHANCE..Gentlemen, this is where WW3 begins.

Words coming from Tel Aviv are clearly pointing to that direction. Israeli defense minster, Barak, seem to be harping on a lot lately about Syria's chemical weapons and how they need to invade Syria to prevent them from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or Al-Qaeda (Iraqi WMD all over again). I say good luck with that.

In Today's news, Turkey also move anti-air weapons to the border with Syria..Can someone please tell Erdogan his antics don't scare anyone? What's he going to do? Shoot Syrian aircraft in Syrian airspace from Turkish soil?

Truth is, US/NATOGCC have invested huge amounts in regime change in Syria and any failure will have profound repercussions for the US and her allies in the region.

Somehow, I just have a feeling they will fail..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 22 2012 19:04 utc | 5

The Syrian regime should clearly state that if the western democracies and the apartheid colony on the south are so interested on 'chemical weapons' the Syrian regime will 'oblige' and they will be able to find them all over Tel Aviv.

But I guess they are still playing 'diplomacy' games with the Saudis and the US as if they could just make up and go back to torturing 'terrorist' as good old pals.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 22 2012 19:11 utc | 6

That would be World War III, Don Bacon, though it might be just part of the game of chicken all actors play very dangerously.

I think they intend something along the lines the director of Brookings in Doha is pointing out

A new sectarian, ethnically divided Middle East suitable for a sectarian Israel ...
Salman Sheik calls it grand bargain ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 22 2012 19:16 utc | 7

Thank you for this crisp, clear summary of Syrian events.

@#2 bevin--
Too right. Everything in the US these days seems to be short-term, this-quarter thinking. The smell of panic is everywhere. Yes, the US wants chaos, and thinks--probably correctly--that it will benefit. But only in the short-term. The strategic position erodes and erodes, much faster than is needful.

But that is okay: Big, big money is being made.

This quarter.

@#3 Colm O'Toole--
I'm sure Hillary thought her stooges would do better. A massive propaganda campaign is laid, but the events on the ground to sell it are missing. This wasn't for the local market: Americans can always be sold a new war. This was meant to have global appeal, and that is where the thing has simply flopped.

Posted by: Gaianne | Jul 22 2012 19:19 utc | 8

"The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (the same human rights organisation . . . . "

I presume, from your description of SOHR as an 'organisation', you are unaware that the "The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights" far from being what sane people would call an 'organisation' isn't really an organisation at all but is in fact one guy, sitting in two-bedroom terraced home in Coventry with a computer, a broadband connection and a fax-machine, churning out Anti-Syrian Gov propaganda. This one guy, calls himself Rami Abdulrahman, but that isn't even his real namen, that is in fact apparently a nom-de-lies he adopted.

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 22 2012 19:37 utc | 9

This whole thing isn't so much about a regime-change in Syria, as it is a way to dissolve concentrations of power in the middle east. Syria, then Iran of course. All to the end of leaving Israel as the souvereign power-entity in the region.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi/Al-Quaida entities, can never acheve their aspirations of a regional Caliphate, they are too divided along sectarian lines.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 22 2012 19:59 utc | 10

The Iraqui war mongers are at it again

Given the opposition’s progress — four members of Assad’s inner circle died last week as fighting continues to rage across Damascus — and Washington’s sclerotic decision-making, it’s probably too late for the United States to begin directly arming the opposition. But it’s not too late to step in more aggressively with willing allies such as the Turks, so long as we cooperate without ceding total control. That would not have to mean boots on the ground — but much could be gained from a joint air-patrolled safe zone for the Syrian population and safety corridors for refugees. These first steps could go a long way toward restoring U.S. credibility in the Middle East.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 22 2012 20:00 utc | 11

The US hasn't had an aircraft carrier group in the Med since the old Enterprise passed through in March from its home port (Norfolk) to the Gulf area (it's alone there now until the Stennis arrives).

There is a US carrier in the Med now. CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln transited the Suez Canal from the Arabian Sea on July 16 and ported in Antalya, Turkey on July 17. The Lincoln was homeported in Everett Washington but currently it's on an around-the-world cruise to its new homeport in Norfolk. It might head straight home or it might linger. It departed Everett Dec 7, 2011. Antalya is only about 300 miles from Aleppo.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 22 2012 20:17 utc | 12

According to Antonia Radost (German n-tv station), the posts along the Syria-Iraq border were taken after fierce fighting. A few seconds later she had to admit that these border post had been without military personnel for weeks.

Posted by: m_s | Jul 22 2012 20:20 utc | 13

It is difficult to make sense of US policy towards Syria right now. I suppose the main motivation is to weaken Iranian influence in the Levant and to isolate Hezbollah. Those are rational US and Israeli moves given their objectives. Empowering Al Quaida and creating or enhancing civil war in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon cannot be considered rational given their objectives.

I think we are being ruled by narrow minded fools who lack the ability to see one move beyond their immediate objective. Who could have predicted that the war in Iraq would lead to an Iraqi government allied with Iran? Except for those analysts that were predicting that outcome before the end of 2003.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 22 2012 20:30 utc | 14

yep, it does not make sense. the following is a very valid point, I do not want to claim it, that is why I quote, you have to read it twitter like bottom up:

"Andrew Exum ‏@abumuqawama

@KarlreMarks But the latter goal would lead us to support a rapid, overwhelming regime victory. (2/2)
Gespräch zeigen

2h Andrew Exum Andrew Exum ‏@abumuqawama

@KarlreMarks The former goal leads us to support the opposition. (1/2)
Gespräch zeigen

2h Andrew Exum Andrew Exum ‏@abumuqawama

@KarlreMarks On the other hand, though, we want the chemical weapons secure. (2/2)

2h Andrew Exum Andrew Exum ‏@abumuqawama

@KarlreMarks Well, yes, actually. U.S. interests in Syria are at odds with one another. On the one hand, we want the regime to fall. (1/2)"

Posted by: somebody | Jul 22 2012 20:46 utc | 15

"The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi/Al-Quaida entities, can never acheve their aspirations of a regional Caliphate"

Is that REALLY what they want or is it what the 'CLash of Civilisations' junkies want us believe these people want ?
(I consider the MB and Al-Q as being very definitely and imho demonstrably, nothing more than a tool of the Western 'Clash of Civilisations' junkies btw - i.e. IMO they are both part of the 'Clash of Civilisations' group and work, covertly and often overtly, together with them)

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 22 2012 20:57 utc | 16

No surprise, Sen. John McCain warned today that Israel sees the Syrian chemical weapons as a serious security threat and acknowledged that there is a risk that Assad may use the weapons himself.

The Diane Rehm Show, Friday, featured: Mark Landler of The New York Times, Natasha Mozgovaya of Haaretz newspaper and Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera. [Now that's fair & balanced, Diane.]

LANDLER And I think what we'll see in the coming days is a great deal of anxiety [stoked by the U.S. and the NYTimes] on the part of the Turks, the Israelis, the Jordanians, about how an end game, a further deterioration in Syria could affect their own country's security and the security of the region as a whole.
REHM But there's another concern and that is chemical weapons, Natasha. [Rehm is off and running]
MOZGOVAYA Chemical and actually the Syrian regime also has biological weapons. And their chemical arsenal is one of the biggest in the region. And they have dozens, possibly, of sites where it's hidden. So the possibility of this stuff falling into the wrong hands is bad, at least in, you know, I’m talking from the Israeli perspective, if it falls into hands of al-Qaida. As the king of Jordan hinted a couple of days ago, it's bad for Israel if this stockpile is transferred, you know, in an orderly way to the hands of Hezbollah.
MOZGOVAYA It's still bad for Israel, I think, for the region.
REHM Is there any indication that Syrian forces themselves might be prepared to use those chemical and gas weapons against Syria's own people, Abderrahim?
FOUKARA I don't know. But what I do know is from what the Syrian permanent rep to the United Nations said after the vote yesterday, he did address the issue of Syrian chemical weapons. And he gave his assurances, for what it's worth, to the opponents of the Syrian regime that the regime would not use those chemical weapons.
REHM But Syrian soldiers have been issued gas masks.[Thanks, Diane]
FOUKARA They have been issued gas masks. Some of them have been seen wearing them [give me a break], but we don't know if they've been wearing them out of intent to use them against their opponents or out of fear that . .…their opponents would use them against themselves. They would protect themselves.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 22 2012 20:58 utc | 17

"It is difficult to make sense of US policy towards Syria right now. I suppose the main motivation is to weaken Iranian influence in the Levant and to isolate Hezbollah. Those are rational US and Israeli moves given their objectives."

Israel desperately needs sources of water - Syria has water, and with the chaos of a Syrian break-up Israel will be able to ensure the future security of their stolen water sources in the Golan, as well as lay the ground-work for stealing yet more Syrian water supplies

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 22 2012 21:00 utc | 18

yep, Don Bacon, they are basically saying the chemical weapons are only safe with Assad. That is why the side invested in the rebels comes up with news like
which does not really reassure anyone.

The Israelis would take out the sites if they could, Nasrallah warned them off. So I suppose the survival of the Syrian regime is in Israel's interest.

They should dust up some peace proposals ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 22 2012 21:15 utc | 19

As oils depletes and looses importance, strategic positioning along water-supply will dominate more in the years ahead. For sure.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 22 2012 21:15 utc | 20

Water has always been one of the major reasons for Israeli aggression - the real cause of the 67 war, irrespective of what the Zionist-controlled media and academics will claim. was access to water,

Note that the very first Zionist Colonies in the West bank were placed right beside the river -

It's just that in all the crap talked about Israeli and it's reasons for behaving as it does, the Zionists through their Control of western -media and institutions have successfully managed to obscure the fact that a lot of their manoeuvring is actually to secure water supplies

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 22 2012 21:47 utc | 21

This is getting funny - Israel complains to the UN!

"The Syrian soldiers entered the demilitarized zone last Thursday. The Syrian forces entered the area near the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab, a few kilometers east of the Israeli Druze village of Mas'ada in the northern part of the Golan Heights. It seems that the soldiers' entrance to the demilitarized zone was a result of the fighting with the rebel army. "

and this after only 5 days ago

"Israel’s military intelligence chief said on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had moved forces to Damascus from along the Golan Heights region, bordering on Israeli-controlled territory, after street battles raged in the capital between rebels and Syrian Army forces. "

Posted by: somebody | Jul 22 2012 21:49 utc | 22

@ somebody "they are basically saying the chemical weapons are only safe with Assad."

The US wants regime change to its own client, but as we know they are inept at that game. What can we expect from Obama/Clinton/Panetta/Petraeus. In a pinch, though, they will always revert to military force to pull them through (or down). What good is the world's finest military if . . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 22 2012 21:50 utc | 23

btw just because the Zios are waffling on about BCW's does not n necessarily really mean that it is something they are really worried about. Since it's pretty obvious to all but the most biased, blind, or dishonest, that the so-called "Jihadi's" are really just a western Mercenary army, IMO the Israelis don't really have any real worries about how they might behave should they defeat the Syrian Gov't.

Look at Libya for example - the so-called "Jihadis" there don't really appear to have any animosity towards Israel - sure they may TALK about this stuff but the immediate actions of the new Libyan regime, sending off an Army to attack Syria, indicate that all Anti-Zio talk from these western agents is just a smokescreen to disguise the fact that they really serve Westetn/Zio interests.

The so-called Libyan "Jihadi's" first act was not against any Zio interests - instead they immediately acted against the only neighbouring Gov't of the Zionist state that actually posed a real threat to it's hegemonic ambitions

IMO their talk about BCW's and the possibility that they may have to invade is directed at western observers in the hope of ginning up support for a Western invasion.

To me it appears pretty unlikely the Zio's have any real intention of invading Syria - but they sure would like to see a full-on Western invasion - they'll hesitate to sacrifice their own kids for that, but they're more than happy to arm-twist their western servants into sacrificing their kids for future security of the Zionist State

Posted by: Hu Bris | Jul 22 2012 22:23 utc | 24

Killery Clinton, I like it (first time I hear it, don't know if it was already used by others)

Posted by: claudio | Jul 23 2012 0:41 utc | 25

@Gaianne #8

A massive propaganda campaign is laid, but the events on the ground to sell it are missing
my impression is that the Us is pushing for playing out a pre-programmed scenario, even though, as you say, events on the ground aren't following the desired script; nonetheless the shows goes on, and I think there is a further crescendo written in the script; there is probably something more "catastrophic" in the sleeves of Killery Clinton than the bomb that killed the Defense Minister; after which ... the West simply has lost; at that point, the usual retaliations will follow - "crippling sanctions", terrorist attacks, etc, waiting for another try a few years from now

unless they are willing to escalate further on a regional scale (not quite up to WW3, as Zico said); but Nasrallah already raised the stakes declaring gratitude for Syria's decisive role in arming "the resistance" - a clear warning to whomever is concerned ...

Posted by: claudio | Jul 23 2012 1:03 utc | 26

Via Angry Arab, a Youtube clip of the Bab Al Hawa border checkpoint and the Al Qaeda guys holding it.


You will notice that the black flag they are waving in the video is the Al Qaeda flag.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 23 2012 1:23 utc | 27

bevin@ 2: "They don't want a viable state. They want chaos. They want lots of tiny little enclaves and sectarian statelets and constant fighting.
In such circumstances intelligence agencies thrive, crossing borders with impunity, raiding, killing, plundering; always growing, with greater responsibilities, bigger budgets, more power".

I would tend to agree with your assessment, however, these folks are not liberals in the classic sense, maybe Neo-liberals, but not true liberals. Or it it just semantics? In the US, liberal is left on the political spectrum, and Neo-liberal, in Europe, is right.

Posted by: ben | Jul 23 2012 2:10 utc | 28

The progressives are helping. Here's fatster at Firedoglake:
"Two more Syrian generals fled to Turkey and defected overnight, as President Bashar al-Assad attempts to control the rapidly deteriorating situation in that country."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 2:44 utc | 29

Imagine the shocking effect in the US, if generals defected. Or admirals. /s
(The US has 355 admirals for 284 ships.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 2:48 utc | 30

Thanks for the good run down, b. And thanks to all here contributing interesting and possible scenarios, reasons for such actions. It is truly difficult to get a good handle on what's going on in Syria, but it is clear that the Western MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) cannot be trusted, except as it shows what the governing powers want to have happen and known by their publics.

I like "Killery" as well, given her recent behavior. But, once again and with feeling: Killery does nothing of any import which does not have the direct OK or direction from Obomber (such a nicely nasty nickname for our Nobel Peace Prize President).

This is the work of those in both parties who want to establish the rights of a hegemonic power for the US. As has been noted repeatedly, in so many areas, Obama's administration is just a continuation of the Bush/Cheney "regime." And its "Neoliberals," not "liberals," who are behind these crazy actions. As in Neolibs being corporatist and conservative Dems who want to be just as bombastic in "projecting power" as Reupblican conservative power hungry wackjobs. Of course, most progressives and liberals have been suckered by the US propaganda, especially concerning Syria. And they dasn't nay say Obama.

I'm pretty sure Obama does not want an active, ugly war with clear US support or direct miiitary input in Syria in the run up to the November election. But, since he can't seem to recognize that he'll lose Democratic voters on economic issues if he doesn't --and by now there's prcious little time for any meaningful actions-- do something to help the lower econmic quintiles in the country, it seems he doesn't realize the political implications of what he's doing in foreign policy. In the face of new revelations of bankster negligence, recklessness, and more likely illegalities, he does nothing. He is mired in his corporatist approach to governing. It seems today's corporate power structure is not interested in the well-being of any entities but itself and the holders of great wealth.

Romney is unthinkable, but so is four more years of Obama. What a hideous mess my country is in.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 23 2012 3:09 utc | 31

The Leveretts at Race for Iran quote a recent article by Mehdi Mohammadi and they comment:

Mohammadi argues that the Syrian opposition owes its longevity “to plans made by the United States and European Union as well as the Arab League and finally the UN-Arab League special envoy on Syria, Kofi Annan.” With regard to Annan’s diplomatic efforts, Mohammadi notes that, since they have “gotten underway and international observers have been based in Syria as part of that plan, the rate of violence has increased by more than 20 times.” He argues that, at bottom, the “Annan plan is, in fact, a ploy to pursue a single strategic goal: to tie the hands of the Syrian army and give an opportunity to the opposition to regroup and rearm its forces.” Moreover, “the plan lacked any specific political outlook from the beginning…It never clarified in what way the crisis in Syria is supposed to hit its end. It was also silent on the future power structure in the country and specifications of the transition period.”

For ourselves, we are more inclined to see the deficiencies in Annan’s plan less in terms of the corrupt nature of the former Secretary-General’s project than in the single-minded prioritization, by the United States and its European partners, of regime change in Damascus over any possibility for conflict resolution in Syria.
Which is also Russia's position.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 3:16 utc | 32

The suggestion that a president -- a commander-in-chief -- might suffer politically by taking the risky step of taking strong action against the widely recognized forces of evil, those in the despicable Assad regime who have justifiably earned the contempt of the media-driven public for their massacres and their rapes, and who threaten the entire world including Israel with their chemical weapons, is questionable. (satire)

United We Stand™.

In other words, War Is The Health Of The State.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 3:32 utc | 33

from Long War Journal--
Omar Farouq Brigade calls on Muslims to wage jihad in Syria
By Karen Kaya & Bill Roggio, July 22, 2012
A recently released jihadist video produced by the Saraqeb Media Office features a group that calls itself the "Soldiers of the Omar Farouq Brigade in Syria" and urges Muslims to join the jihad against the army of embattled President Bashir al Assad. The group is named after a senior al Qaeda operative who was killed in Iraq in 2006.

The video, which was obtained and translated by The Long War Journal, is titled "Turkish Mujahideen who are Conducting Jihad in Syria."

A speaker in Turkish exclaims, "O Muslims, o believers, where are you? Let's fight together to save Syria, Somalia and Afghanistan...." The video then shows images of jihadi training camps in Syria, which they say include Turkish fighters, while a Turkish song, "Headed to Damascus," plays in the background.

The video closes with the declaration (spoken in Arabic with Turkish subtitles): "We are soldiers of the Omar Farouq Brigade in Syria... and we raise our voice against Assad's barbaric army. We will live free on these lands! .... God help us!"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 4:18 utc | 34

Article below carried by Xinhua highlights the plan by Western-GCC axis to bring the disinformation campaign right into the airwaves and living rooms of Syria.

Syria warns of Western disinformation campaign.

DAMASCUS - Syrian Information Ministry charged Sunday that Western intelligence parties in cooperation with Arab ones are planning to hack into Syrian TV frequencies in order to spread false news that would deceive the Syrians about the situation of the current ruling regime.

In a statement broadcast on all Syrian TVs Sunday, the ministry said that the foreign and Arab intelligence parties are planning to hack into the frequencies of the Syrian TVs for a little while via the broadcast control stations that exist in neighboring countries in order to disseminate false news such as broadcasting news about a military coup or high level defections and so on.

The ministry said that local or Arab anchors might be used to spread the falsifications.

The ministry have warned that a copycat of the state TV with the same station's logo has been broadcasting since a couple of days ago airing national songs. The state media warned the Syrian watchers of following these channels.

Syria has for so long warned of a media disinformation campaign.

The Arab League has officially asked the satellite operators of Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian media, either public or private TVs.

The Arab League had a precedent of media sanctioning. The 22- member league managed to censure Libyan TV in order to keep its leaders from communicating with the people before the NATO-backed rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi.

The warning comes as the Syrian army is dealing deadly blows to the armed rebels, who have managed to bring battles to the capital Damascus and northern Aleppo province.

Posted by: nakedtothebone | Jul 23 2012 4:30 utc | 35

>>> The Arab League has officially asked the satellite operators of Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian media, either public or private TVs.

The Arab League had a precedent of media sanctioning. The 22- member league managed to censure Libyan TV in order to keep its leaders from communicating with the people before the NATO-backed rebels killed Muammar Gaddafi.>>> (nakedtothebone 35)

Thierry Meyssan explains it in a short 3-minute version RT video and how that stunt was pulled and succeeded in Libya:

Thierry Meyssan again but in a longer 8-minute video that goes into chapter and verse how the west is subverting the news to overthrow the regime and that the attack on the attack on the Il-Akhbaria TV station 3 weeks ago was part of the Wests campaign as described above by nakedtothebone; with English subtitles:

Posted by: www | Jul 23 2012 6:33 utc | 36

The media played a big role in the 2002 putsch attempt against Chavez and there happens to be a brilliant documentary on it by chance - the film makers were present filming Chavez and his government when the coup happened

Unfortunately western media is into disinformation in a big way, partly because of lack of independent funding.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23 2012 7:06 utc | 37

From SANA:

Authorities Inflict Heavy Losses upon Terrorists in Aleppo, Contrary to Misleading News

nformation Source: Armed Forces in Aleppo Are Killing Terrorists, Contrary to Misleading News by Some Channels

Authorities Raid Terrorists' Dens in Hama, Kill and Arrest Many of Them

Armed Forces Restore Security to Basateen al-Razi in Damascus

Authorities Chase Down Terrorists in al-Diyabiye and Sayyede Zainab Areas in Damascus Countryside, Inflicting Heavy Losses upon Them

President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday received Chief of General Staff of the Army and the Armed Forces, Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayyoub

Posted by: nikon | Jul 23 2012 7:13 utc | 38

SANA is also showing graphic close up photo of dead insurgents

Posted by: nikon | Jul 23 2012 7:15 utc | 39

Syrian TV Shows Bodies of Terrorists of Arab Nationalities Killed by the Syrian Army in al-Qaboun Neighborhood
DAMASCUS, (SANA) – The Syrian TV showed footage of bodies of terrorists from Egypt and Jordan who were killed by the Syrian armed forces when it was clearing al-Qaboun neighborhood in Damascus from armed terrorist groups.

The terrorists are Abdullah al-Desuqi Musa'ad Bassal and Yasser Abdelrazzaq Kamel Ibrahim from Egypt, Fares Faleh al-Ghazi, Usama Abdelqader Ahmad al-Zahabi, and Ahmmad Abullah al-Zahabi from Jordan.

Earlier, the Syrian TV showed footage of other terrorists who came from Tunisia and Libya, with Turkey and other neighboring countries providing facilitations to allow these murderers to enter Syria and kill its people.

The Times newspaper had reported that the so-called "rebels" in Syria are no more than mercenaries who are funded and given weapons from external sides.

Posted by: brian | Jul 23 2012 8:03 utc | 40

The Syrian government has answered to the question of the chemical weapons making clear that *they will be used* only against external 'interventions'. Good.

But the western democrats and the absolute monarchists are living on a weird fairy land so I'm not sure if they will understand the message.

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 23 2012 10:29 utc | 41

ThePaper @ 41

The backers know what awaits them should they militarily intervene in Syria..At the moment, they seem to be doing musical chairs among themselves as to who should go in first with Israel doing their classic "hold me back or else" to the US..The Persian gulf idiotic monarchs are also baiting Erdogan with lots of promises and cash to take the plunge into Syria but Turkish public opinion is making it hard for him.

One thing they all agree on is to use the terrorist fsa to continue their terror campaign to weaken the Syrian state..At least that will be the least desired outcome for them should their regime change program hit the rocks - which it seems to be happening..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 23 2012 10:39 utc | 42

I think it hit the rocks


Meanwhile, Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, declared over the weekend that the Jewish state was primed to take military action in Syria if it appeared there was a danger of Mr Assad's chemical weapons stockpile falling to Islamists. Mr Barak said that, for the moment, the weapons remained secure.


"In der Antwort der Bundesregierung hieß es auch, seit Ende Dezember 2011 bis Anfang Juli 2012 seien in Syrien etwa 90 Terroranschläge zu verzeichnen gewesen, „die al-Qaida nahen Organisationen oder jihadistischen Gruppierungen zugeordnet werden können“.

Translation "The German government answered that according to German intelligence since the end of December 2011 circa 90 terror attacks have been carried out by organizations either close to Al Queida or Jihadist."

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23 2012 10:59 utc | 43

Some of the refugees in the border camps are starting to get fed up with refugee life and are heading back to their homes. From the Daily Star:

"... KILIS: Turkish police fired tear gas on stone-throwing Syrian refugees who were protesting Sunday at the lack of food and water at camps on the border with their conflict-ravaged homeland.

A Turkish official said demonstrations erupted at two of the 10 camps set up along the border which are sheltering about 40,000 Syrians who have fled the escalating violence at home.

“The clashes were some of the most violent of recent months,” the official told AFP.

The unrest flared after Syrian rebel fighters seized a nearby border post after hours of fighting during the night, the third now held held by the anti-regime militants.

... “Kill us!” cried a Syrian woman carrying a baby in her lap, as dozens of gendarmerie forces and police were passing by.

“Get rid of us,” she shouted.

Refugees at the Kilis camp said two demonstrators has been killed but the Turkish official said there was no confirmation of any deaths, although one Turkish policeman was injured.

After the clashes, many refugees gathered outside the camp, and some were leaving Turkey in their cars, heading back toward the Syrian side of the border.

Similar protests erupted at the Islahiye camp about 90 kilometers away, the official said.

Turkish officials say the country has invested $200 million helping refugees.

Earlier this month, a fire in refugee camps in southern Turkey’s Hatay province killed two people. Officials said the blaze was caused by an electrical short-circuit.

Police, soldiers are Alawites. Therefore, they don’t like us here,” said another refugee Sabri Hallac. “We escaped from Assad, but here we are treated the same.”

Posted by: www | Jul 23 2012 12:00 utc | 44

Besides the lying msm (abdul dayem, abu saleh being the topping of boldness, as they have been exposed), there is one thing that just doestn fit into that whole "free syrian army liberating its people"-thing. As it is quite clear now, most of those rebels are religious sunni fanatics, who see Assad only as ennemy because he is allawi. btw,in the vids we can see day in day out,those rebels seem to just know "allahhouakbar" as a means of communication. So you might think, their ultimate goal would also be to liberate Jerusalem (al quds) from its occupiers, or at least, to do what assad failed to do all those years: to reconquer the golan heights. Bizarrely enough, there hasnt been one single rebel statement about that issue, which is very very strange, assuming that most fanatic muslims see Israel as an ennemy to the islamic world. But in this case, it is clear who their PR-Masters are...ach, everything is just so obvious!!!

Posted by: Kalahari | Jul 23 2012 13:52 utc | 45

yes, it is very obvious and it is disgusting - the New York Times is calling Al Queida "insurgents"

Iraq Insurgents Kill Nearly 100 After Declaring New Offensive

"he attacks were predicted Sunday in an audio message attributed to the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Bakir Al Baghdadi, and posted on the group’s Web site. The message promised that a new offensive, which it called Breaking Down Walls, would begin soon.
We are returning again to dominate territories we used to dominate, as well as more,” Mr. Baghdadi said in the Qaeda statement. He depicted the attacks as part of a battle launched by Sunnis against the country’s Shia leaders. "

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23 2012 14:18 utc | 46

sorry - this is the link

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23 2012 14:19 utc | 47

@45 & 46,
Apart from no mention of Palestine and Al-Quds (Jerusalem), none of these sectarian jihadis clowns have mentioned the occupied Golan Heights, nor have they tried to attack the Isreali occupation army there. Why? Are their PR handlers telling them this is not fruitful for the West to help them?

I have seen videos of these thugs burning pictures of Nasrallah, Khamenei and Ahmednejad. And burning of the Iranian flag - which was broadcast on Al Jazeera Hollywood studios. BUT no burning of the Isreali flag. Why?

Who is advising these thugs?

Posted by: Irshad | Jul 23 2012 15:06 utc | 48

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is illegally advocating a change of government in Syria (and is not calling for a cessation of outside military assistance to Syrian insurgents).

Speaking to reporters on Friday in Ljubljana, Slovenia [a hotspot?], Mr. Ban said that he and the Joint Special Envoy would press ahead to try and end the violence and abuses in Syria.
“We cannot abandon our collective responsibility to enable a peaceful, democratic, Syrian-led transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” he said.
The UN chief called again on all the parties, starting with the Syrian Government and opposition forces, to stop the killing, and especially the use of heavy weapons against the civilian population.

There is no such "collective responsibility" to enable a change of government in Syria.

from the UN Charter:
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
#The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
#All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
#Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter VII. [Chap VII not invoked in Syria]

Also, if the use of heavy weapons against civilian populations were outlawed what would happen to U.S. 'shock and awe?' B-2 bombers would become obsolete. Horrors.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 15:44 utc | 49

Posted by: Roger | Jul 23 2012 15:49 utc | 50

I recommend you follow the link above, the Leveretts have written some sane stuff, and Hillary Mann Leverett have done some public appearances in mainstream western media which have put the interviewer off the approved narrative track, several times.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 23 2012 16:02 utc | 51

This MIT guy says bombing Syria may not be smart.
"The analysis presented here suggests an intervention in mid-2012 to establish safe havens in Syria defended from the air would be a major military undertaking, likely requiring greater resources, facing greater risks, and with a lower probability of success than any of NATO’s previous air campaigns in response to humanitarian crises in Bosnia, Kosovo, or Libya."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 16:07 utc | 52

@ Roger & Alexander
You guys apparently didn't read my #32. I'm highly offended. ;-)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 16:09 utc | 53

CFR's Paul Stares -- Intervention in Syria: Three Things to Know
1. rarely simple
2. never impartial
3. need legitimacy

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 16:12 utc | 54

Latest from Penny on Syria:

Posted by: ben | Jul 23 2012 16:26 utc | 55

Don @ 53

Oops. :p

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 23 2012 16:41 utc | 56

The West wants a sectarian solution in Syria ...

"Prime Minister Monti told the press that a provisional government modeled on Lebanon's could be the best solution to the crisis. He added that such a government should include all elements of Syrian society, and that Russia should support such a move once it goes through the UN.

Putin replied that Russia’s position on the subject remained the same – the priority being putting an end to violence. “Both the government side and the armed opposition must end the violence and get to the negotiation table,” the Russian President said."

so much for democracy and human rights - it would be the recipe for civil war as in Yougoslavia and Iraq ..

Posted by: somebody | Jul 23 2012 16:52 utc | 57

Muslim Brotherhood doesn't want Libyan scenario in Syria but unhappy with Russian stand

Posted by: Antifo | Jul 23 2012 16:54 utc | 58

MB got 17 of 80 seats in the Libyan election, of course they don't want a repeat of that. :p

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 23 2012 17:42 utc | 59

NYTimes, Jul 22
Stymied at U.N., U.S. Refines Plan to Remove Assad
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has for now abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.

a coalition of like-minded countries -- Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 23 2012 18:01 utc | 60

German intelligence: al-Qaeda all over Syria

German intelligence estimates that "around 90" terror attacks that "can be attributed to organizations that are close to al-Qaeda or jihadist groups" were carried out in Syria between the end of December and the beginning of July, as reported by the German daily Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). This was revealed by the German government in a response to a parliamentary question.
Meanwhile, at least three major German newspapers - Die Welt, the FAZ, and the mass-market tabloid Bild - have published reports attributing responsibility for the [Houla] massacre to anti-government rebel forces or treating this as the most probable scenario.

Posted by: b | Jul 23 2012 18:33 utc | 61

It is more and more difficult to get a clear picture of the situation in Syria

no, actually, difficult for you to find evidence to support your grand theory of Empire

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 23 2012 18:35 utc | 62

The Fog of Civil War - What's really going on in Syria is too complicated to fit in a headline.

Living in this town for the first 11 months of the uprising, I tried, and failed, to get articles published questioning why the regime tolerated protests or allowed free assembly in some areas, but not others. These incidents didn't fit the narrative that all protests were being violently quashed. The majority, of course, were -- and often brutally -- but the full picture was unnervingly complex.

The truth gets muddled when media outlets are forced to resort to YouTube videos to tell the world what's happening inside Syria. Though often authentic, such video clips are extremely difficult to verify. Most damningly, though, they lack the nuance afforded by context -- something that can only be achieved by reporters on the ground. Yet it is activists' videos appearing on television stations around the world that have shaped our thinking and opinions on Syria. The conflict becomes black and white when viewed through such a lens: Assad's regime is wrong and the rebels are right. The truth, of course, is more complicated than that.


Posted by: b | Jul 23 2012 18:40 utc | 63

interesting interview by El Pais to Paulo Pinheiro, head of UN committe investigating over human rights abuses in Syria: “Hay una guerra civil, pero también una guerra de propaganda”: "There's a civil war, but also a propaganda war"

Hay una guerra civil, pero también una guerra de propaganda. Hay números que no corresponden para nada con la realidad, por ejemplo el recuento de víctimas. Hay organizaciones que no tienen ninguna manera de corroborar los números. Hay imágenes de vídeo que no corresponden con la situación. Se repiten vídeos ya mostrados. YouTube no es una herramienta de investigación fiable. Para mí ese es el desafío principal, porque no tenemos acceso al país. Hay una instrumentalización de los medios de comunicación
Una invasión de Siria sería contribuir a que la situación en Líbano se agravara. En cuanto al número de víctimas, no tengo duda que ya no serían decenas de miles sino centenares de miles, porque la población en Siria es un mosaico. No hay una separación clara de las familias por etnia o religión. Viven pegados. La solución sólo puede ser política
Es un error decir que la culpa es sólo de Rusia. Son los cinco miembros los que no se ponen de acuerdo. Estamos perdiendo tiempo y eso significa más muertes y más violaciones de derechos humanos. Aquí la prioridad es detener el conflicto. Después, se puede discutir todo, pero el primer paso es interrumpir las hostilidades. Para mí, es la crisis diplomática más grave después de la antigua Yugoslavia.

if someone could provide a link in English ...

Posted by: claudio | Jul 23 2012 18:43 utc | 64

I bet the next new breaking crisis in the Syria saga will be, that the foreign armed and backed insurgents staging an attack on the Russian naval base in Tartous, thereby showing up both the Russians and Syrians and the GCC-Nato warmongers will be crowing for Western intervention.

See how no attacks have happened or taken place in that area? Why has it been quiet?

The blogger over at - who is based in Qatar and is basically there to take a slice of the petro-dollar wealth - is already recommending this:

Posted by: Irshad | Jul 23 2012 19:01 utc | 65

Irshad @ 65

An attack by the Qatari backed rebels will make the Qatari monarch wish they're never born..Russia's been bidding their time with those a*sholes in Qatar after the Russian ambassador to Qatar was assaulted at Doha airport..

Money and the largest US base on their soil makes them feel invincible..Attacking the Russian base in Tartus will be the straw that broke the camel's back.

I really hope they're not stupid enough to do that..

Posted by: Zico | Jul 23 2012 19:45 utc | 66

Syria’s Developments and Iran's National Security Equation

Posted by: AA | Jul 24 2012 2:25 utc | 67

Since the insurgents' bogus war reports are accepted in Syria, why not in Afghanistan too?
Here's the top dozen reports today from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

23/07/2012 Police patrol encounter bomb attack in Paktia
23/07/2012 District center struck with missile rounds
23/07/2012 Mujahideen kill 4 puppets in Ghazni
23/07/2012 3 invaders killed as their military tank blown up in IEDs
23/07/2012 2 puppets killed in Wardak
23/07/2012 Enemy check post comes under heavy weapon attack in Paktia
23/07/2012 Invaders army Camp struck with missiles in Logar
23/07/2012 9 Nato-puppet cowardly troops killed in Paktika
23/07/2012 Attack on supply convoy kills five
23/07/2012 3 killed as enemy’s military tank blown up in IEDs
23/07/2012 2 killed, tank destroyed in attacks in Kapisa
23/07/2012 3 killed as enemy’s check post comes under heavy weapon attack in Kunar

Oh, that's right. Afghan insurgents bad, Syria insurgents good.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jul 24 2012 3:03 utc | 68

Putin’s Geopolitical Chess Game with Washington in Syria and Eurasia (F. William Engdahl)

Posted by: brian | Jul 24 2012 8:15 utc | 69

dont know if this is true:But its interesting:
'A Qatari official who has recently defected to Venezuela says his country is fully aware that armed groups cannot topple the Syrian government, but it is helping them because Israel has tasked Doha with provoking violence in pro-Palestine countries.

The official says Israel has ordered Qatar to incite unrest in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, which is a part of the US Middle East policy.

The unnamed official, who left his country for opposing Doha’s domestic and foreign policies including those on Syria, also said that Qatar has a joint operations center with Israeli intelligence agents, monitoring events unfolding in Syria via Turkey and that Israel's intelligence service, Mossad, can be responsible for a bomb attack in the Syrian capital, which killed at least four military and security officials last week.

He also said that the Turkish government has agreed to allow its soil to be used for the transit of terrorists into Syria under US pressure, adding that Turkey hosts the main terrorist groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

He also said that Doha is angry at Jordan for preventing the armed groups from infiltrating into Syria. The Qatari official also said that Jordan might also experience unrest in the near future.

He also said that Qatari authorities have arrested and jailed several security officials and activists for opposing Doha's anti-Syria stance.

The official also said that the Doha government has suppressed several protest rallies and that there have been no reports about protests in Qatar and the police crackdown since the foreign journalists covering them were all arrested and they are still in Qatari jails.

Posted by: brian | Jul 24 2012 11:19 utc | 70

Brian @ 69

One veteran Turkish journalist whom this author interviewed in Ankara in April, just back from an extensive tour of Syria, gave his eyewitness account of the capture of a small band of “opposition” fighters. The journalist, fluent in Arabic, was astonished as he witnessed the head of the rebels demand to know why their military captors spoke Arabic. When told that was their native language, the rebel leader blurted out, “But you should speak Hebrew, you’re with the Israeli Army aren’t you?”

So, that's why the rebels don't go after Israel..

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 24 2012 11:38 utc | 71

Iraq opens its borders for Syrian refugees, though, noone seems to be crossing. he.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 24 2012 13:07 utc | 72

yes alex 71:

you may recall this fro Anhar Kochneva:

'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 many of the insurgenys believe the are fighting israelis?????

Posted by: brian | Jul 24 2012 13:33 utc | 73

I guess we can assume some are jihadis who have been tricked. But the wast majority of the comitted soldiers seems to be paid mercenaries. There is of course a portion of The Free Syrian Army who are actually Syrians with a cause, but it seems a lot are locals who have been coerced or paid to 'demonstrate'. The violent movement as a whole would not have existed if it were not for NATO incitement, and promises to intervene when the going got tough. The peaceful demonstrators would have gone home once the reforms had been approved. The foreign jihadis Free Syria Army (sic) who fight for a regional islamic caliphate probably need killing, The Free Syrian Army (sic) can probably be defeated and made to surrender.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 24 2012 15:37 utc | 74

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