Welcome to the Syrian Civil War. It took 8 months to get us here, but we are finally here, thanks to the diligent efforts and dedication of the cowardly few, the silent middle and the impotent lot, who all collaborated to make the sacrifices of the protesting majority meaningless. Let there be no doubt that the protesters, the little germs according to Assad, will overcome at the end, but the human and material cost will be much higher than it could have been had we all acted earlier to support them.
While the opposition celebrate pyrrhic victories, make grandiose claims and exchange meaningless accusations, the Assads have managed to plunge the country into civil war, just as they had threatened since the beginning of the protest movement.
Yes. There is no denying it anymore, and no sugarcoating it. It’s here, it’s now, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon – it’s Syria First Civil War of the modern era, and it is taking place everywhere: in Homs, in Hama, in Deir Ezzor, in Deraa and in Rural Damascus – and this is only the beginning. The only thing we can do now is see to it that the tragedy is brought to a swift conclusion with the protesters emerging as the true and indisputable victors. It will then be our task to make sure that this is last such war to take place in our country.
A Military Council
The Free Syrian Army announced earlier today the formation of a Military Council made up of
1. Colonel Riyad Moussa Al-Ass’aad (leader)
2. Colonel Malik Abdulhaleem Kurdi
3. Colonel Ahmad Hijazi Hijazi
4. Colonel Arafat Rasheed
5. Colonel Aref Muhammad Nour Al-Hamoud http://youtu.be/cmJ6gDhErtA
6. Lieutenant Abdurrazzaq Rashid Al-Rahmoun
7. Lieutenant Abdulsattar Muhammad Jameel Younso
8. Lieutenant Ghassan Ismail Hleihel
9. Major Maher Ismail Al-Rahmoun
The main goals of the council include: toppling the regime, protecting citizens, protecting public and private property and preventing chaos and any acts of vengeance once the regime has been toppled.
In the meantime, the co0uncil will retain complete jurisdiction over military operations and safeguarding security, but its members cannot take part in political party or religious movement. The Council will constitute the highest military authority in the land and will have the rights to contact foreign government and organizations. It will also form a military police unit charged with pursuing loyalists suspected of committing crimes and submitting them for trial by the revolutionary court.
Once the regime falls, all security apparatuses will be dissolved and all members who were not involved in killings will be invited to become members of the FSA. The same apply to all military personnel.
All governmental and political institutions were called upon to cooperate with and implement the directives of the FSA.
Meanwhile, FSA leader admonished all members of his army to adhere strictly to international law governing protection of civilians and civilian targets, and asserted that the Military Council will dissolve itself once a democratically elected government takes charge of the country.
On the political front…
Cairo has become the current mecca of Syrian opposition groups, where all are heading to the headquarters of the Arab League to argue their case for inclusion in the ranks of the officially recognized opposition, when it gets officially recognized.
And no, this is not a race between the SNC (Syrian National Council) and NCC (National Coordination Committee), or the SNC and the FSA (Free Syrian Army), as some would like to picture it. The scene is much more open than this: there is the liberal-oriented Antalya Group, the Salafist-leaning council established by the popular preacher Sheikh Adnan Arour, the Kurdish National Council, formed in protest over the size and quality of Kurdish representation in the SNC, the Secular Democratic Coalition, or at least some segments in it who continue to protest against the overrepresentation and the great behind-the-scene influence of Islamist elements on SNC decision-making process, among many others.
The protesters, of course, cannot find themselves anywhere in this scene. Those of them who are still betting on the SNC are doing it for pragmatic reasons and in the hope that events will nudge SNC leaders into adopting their demands, despite their ideological objections and predilections. But the erstwhile enthusiasm is definitely gone.
Indeed, and speaking of enthusiasm, the Kurdish streets have grown relatively quiet of late, the assassination of Mishal Tammo, which could have ignited them, had no such effect. The policies of the SNC and the statements of its leaders on the Kurdish Question have served to alienate the Kurds, and played into the hands of those who prefer keeping a low profile in hope of striking a deal with the regime for greater autonomy.
Meanwhile, the Turkmen, who number around 750,000 strong located in the northern and central parts and in some areas along the coast, recently issued a statement saying that the SNC does not represent them. But then, in all fairness, no Syrian opposition group has so far bothered to reach out to the Turkmen, who are only now beginning to organize themselves politically.
Last ditch attempts at clarifying the exact membership of the SNC and opening it to more groups and figures are currently taking place in Cairo, but no one is holding his breaths. The powers-that-be behind the SNC seem satisfied with murkiness of the current situation, even if it stood as an obstacle in the way of getting international acceptance and legitimacy. For while SNC propagandists are quick to point out that the Turkish Foreign Minister, for instance, has recently declared the Council as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people, they fail to tell us why he didn’t declare them as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people at this stage, which is the coveted position for any institution hoping to lead the transitional phase.
But the reason is known, and it’s the same reason given by the French and Americans, among other: problems with representation, including overrepresentation of certain currents and underrepresentation of others, as well as lack of transparency in the selection and decision-making processes, not to mention lack of clear political vision and transitional plans. If these “details” are not worked out in Cairo over the next few days, a new council, if not several of them, might end up emerging.
Nov 14 / Monday
In Deir Baalbah Neighborhood in Homs City – locals stumble on 2 dead bodies in the street short execution style http://youtu.be/1s09rNMSevg In Bayadah, locals hold a mass funerals for 4 of their martyrs http://youtu.be/Qs2O3d2rhsY including this one http://youtu.be/CuCs4RUp_8I and renew their revolutionary vows http://youtu.be/PonjaIm3yQg In Qoussour, people try to fill up their natural gas tanks http://youtu.be/t3qiSoZAcdI In Wa’er locals try to fill up on Kerosene http://youtu.be/7TpaDQaEj0g In Insha’aat Neighborhood, locals come under fire http://youtu.be/kA1UGkmklYs In Jib Al-Jandali, tanks in the streets http://youtu.be/8MlZQ6bymaY Finding people in burnt out apartments is now a commonplace occurrence http://youtu.be/4YDhlia5lhw In Bab Al-Sibaa, clashes took place between loyalists and defectors http://youtu.be/ajr2PZnTWb8
In defiant Baba Amr, smoke rise above the horizon following new rounds of pounding http://youtu.be/AtQpogDBcFc , http://youtu.be/TPvQyXLHgi8 But the pounding continues http://youtu.be/nnMwNmUvLFo , http://youtu.be/njSdqtq_12Q , http://youtu.be/VGgZxROlMKU , http://youtu.be/Pof6OGiPJF4 Another house catches fire http://youtu.be/p2ynobSeuAE More defections take place among the ranks of troops sent in to quell the protests http://youtu.be/b8WJb3q-xo4 But during the brief nighttime lull, locals took to the streets as usual http://youtu.be/EI5OjU-anGs
Pro-Assad militias storm the town of Khirbet Ghazaleh in Derra/Hauran Province http://youtu.be/ST7Wfww3_QY Others storm the Sabeel Neighborhood in Deraa City http://youtu.be/PQmFibChMjM But in the College of Literature, students protest within the hall of their campus http://youtu.be/v54a929yKEc and in Kashef Neighborhood the people rule the streets http://youtu.be/e5XLgnJHEwU In Ankhel, locals hold a funeral for one of their fallen sons http://youtu.be/OjpUI2Tp-CA And soon come under fire http://youtu.be/YJCfV4OTpJg In Basr Al-Harir, there were many martyrs as well http://youtu.be/sYKMkBNnEVQ , http://youtu.be/d5Xko8ukBZg
Elsewhere in the province, loyalists pound the village of Alma http://youtu.be/MB0g9EVCAek But defectors affiliated with the Free Syrian Army fight back and blow up a tank http://youtu.be/3qzbJNpt1o4 and armored vehicle http://youtu.be/HrvwNl3-VYE
All these developments in Deraa/Hauran lead to more defections in the ranks http://youtu.be/Grt_Qdmu8xs
In Idlib City, security forces separate loyalist and protest demonstrations http://youtu.be/i2TlRpKwzNc But no one can keep the protesters down http://youtu.be/MzphceTGPAE In Sarmeen in the larger Idlib Province, a tank storm into the city firing its way through http://youtu.be/PIt9IrgPi4M
In Khneizeer village in Hama Province, local water tanks and mosque come under fire http://youtu.be/9-s6_Y0yAd0 In Shaizar Village, pounding by loyalists leave many wounded http://youtu.be/id8pvE2lzyc , http://youtu.be/f7DDkpNFiv4
In Kisweh Suburb in Damascus, the nights come alive with the sounds of heavy gunfire http://youtu.be/qZHMMumtaCA In Douma, pro-Assad militias go on a vandalism spree http://youtu.be/PqWLAAv_juk