Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Noose Tightens But The Killing Continues!

The Assads will refuse to see the writing on the wall, no matter how big and bold the letters are. Theirs has always been a case of willful blindness, which has proven an incurable disease once contracted by Arab dictators.  

Saturday September 24, 2011


First of all let me apologize for my inability to update this blog as usual, it’s simply too much work when I am on the road, meeting fellow dissidents as well as officials in different countries. But, having communicated with many activists from inside the country recently, it’s heartening to see how strong the commitment to nonviolence is despite increase in brutality levels in the ongoing crackdown. The defectors and their role, real and potential, aside, the increasing calls for international protection reflect a lingering desire to keep the protests peaceful. Keep toughening the sanctions, provide concrete offers of golden parachutes to regime officials, engage opposition and dissident groups out there, as fractious as they are, and provide them with logistical and material support not to mention advice on formulating a transitional plan, and we might still have a chance at avoiding the bleak scenario of Assad-orchestrated civil strife.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Killing with Confidence!

One thing is clear, the crackdown and the killing is now very methodical. That angst of erstwhile weeks has gone away. The Assads seem to think that their ability to survive Ramadan indicates that the worst is behind them. They are wrong. The worst, for them, is just beginning.

Monday September 19, 2011

13 protesters were killed today by pro-Assad militias, including 8 protesters (5 men, a woman and 2 defected soldiers) in the Houleh District in Homs Province.

Kids in Hama burn their school books containing pictures of Assad and family as students of all ages, but especially young children, stage demonstrations throughout the country calling for Assad’s departure and for toppling his regime.



Burying a paramedic killed in the line of duty (Sept. 17)

Homs City – Daytime

Homs City – Nighttime

Homs Province
Rastan (daytime) a children’s demonstration “kick Assad ambassadors out, they don’t represent us” (nighttime) Banner “Go back to your barracks so we can go back to school” A funeral for a local defector (Sept 18)

Houleh (daytime) pro-Assad militias storm in and open fire on locals Locals reconnect power lines after the raid and children stage a demonstration called for the execution of Assad


An open air hospital in the olive groves More troops arrive in Khan Shaikhoon

Kafar Takhareem an all children protest Same in M’arr Shamsheh Same in Sarmeen and Idlib City and Jarjanaz Tilmans



Saqba 20,000 locals take part in a funeral for a local activist Taking the body out of the Mosque Marching down the street Jisreen a martyr Madaya a student demonstration , Zabadani a martyr Daraya a silent demonstration pro-Assad militias prevent people from entering the local mosque Kisweh a student demonstration

Qaboun pro-Assad militias break up a funeral for Adham Aabdeh , then roam the streets in trucks brandishing their machineguns making stops to open fire on protesters beating on a protester in public funeral before crackdown , Laying Adham to rest signs of torture on Adham’s body



Hama – Taybat Al-Imam (daytime) a student demonstration , , (nighttime) Khattab (Sept 18) Khattab (daytime) a student demonstration Kafar Nabboudeh (nighttime) Hama City - Hamidiyeh

Aleppo City – Sheikh Fares (nighttime) Tal Rif’aat (daytime) ,

Deir Ezzor – Qouriyeh (nighttime)

I have received the table below by email: it explains the current makeup of the recently formed Syrian National Council. I have added the color-coding and the tallies at the end, but the classification system is not my work, as most of the names are unknown to me. Bear in mind that the Antalya Conference has already withdrawn and talks to get it back are not going anywhere. Should the Antalya insist on withdrawal, the Council will lose all 2 of its liberal members, and 2 (that is) half of it of tribal representatives. Also, Muslim Brotherhood has not yet joined the Council and is not expected to do so. MB members named in the Council seem to be present in their personal capacity and not as official representatives of the movement.

Syrian National Council (SNC)

MB=Muslim Brotherhood, F=Female

1.           Ibrahim Al-Yusef (leftwing; Kurd; Journalist; MAF)
2.          Ahmad Ramadan (Islamist and long-time Hamas activist)
3.          Ahmad Shaker (Islamist)
4.          Adib Shishakli (Independent)
5.           Osama Shurbaji (Islamist)
6.          Ausama Monajed (Islamist; Breakaway MB)
7.           Osama Kadi (Islamist)
8.          Anas Al-Abdah (Islamist; Breakaway MB)
9.          Anas Airout (Islamist; Imam of the Banias Mosque)
10.        Badreddin Bahro (Islamist)
11.         Badr Jamus (Ex. Honorary Consul in Moldova)
12.        Bassam Jaara (Ex Baathist;)
13.        Bassma Kodmani (Leftwing/Technocrat) F
14.        Bashar Al-Aisami (Druze, Ex Iraqi Baath)
15.        Bashar Hasan Al-Heraki (Islamist one of the organizers of Istanbul 1, assistant to Imad al Din Rashid)
16.        Jan Abdalla (Christian; Ex Iraqi Bathist)     
17.        Jamal Al-Wadi (Islamist; Higher Revolutionary Council; from Deraa)
18.        Hosam Al-Qatlabi (Ismaili; leftwing; Alitilaf)
19.        Hassan Al-Shalabi (Islamist, extremist; Member of the “Sourourist” Extremist wing of the MB)
20.       Hassan Al-Hamshi (Islamist; MB)
21.        Khaled Al-Haj Saleh (leftwing; Brother of Yasin Haj Saleh)
22.       Khaled Khouja (MB)
23.       Khalil Karo (Kurd)
24.       Rami Nakhle (Leftwing; Druze; LCC)
25.       Radwan Al-Alami (???)
26.       Radwan Ziadeh (Islamist)
27.       Riad Al-Hasan (???)
28.       Raymoun Ma’joun (Christian; leftwing)
29.       Raymoun Yukhana (Christian; leftwing)
30.       Rinas Sinou (Kurd)
31.        Ziwar Al-Omar (Writer; Kurd)
32.       Salem Al-Mosalet (Tribes)
33.       Samer Kailani (???)
34.       Sadad Akkad (MB and owns a Children’s TV station)
35.       Shadi Junaid (Islamist)
36.       Abdelilah Thamer Al-Melhem (Tribes)
37.       Abdelbasit Sida (Kurd; not known as an Islamist but is often seen hanging around with them)
38.       Abdelbaqi Yusef (Kurd; Yaqiti)
39.       Abdelrahman Al-Haj (Islamist Breakaway MB)
40.       Obaida Nahhas (Islamist)
41.        Afra Jalabi (Independent) F
42.       Imadedin Al-Rashid (Islamist “Sourouri wing”)
43.       Ammar Alhaddao (Islamist; extremist, Tribes)
44.       Ammar Qurabi (Human rights activist; liberal)
45.       Omar Idlibi (Leftwing; LCC)
46.       Amr Al-Azm (Liberal; Secular)
47.       Fida Al-Majthoub (Islamist)
48.       Kamiran Hajo (Kurd; Damascus Declaration)
49.       Louay Safi (SAC; Islamist)
50.       Mamoun Naqqar (Islamist; Justice Party)
51.        Mohamad Al-Abdalla (Independent, LCC)
52.       Mohamad Thamer Al-Mahid (Tribes)
53.       Mohamad Sarmini (Islamist, helped organize the youth Islamist conference in Istanbul)
54.       Mohamad Yasser Tabbara (SAC; Borderline Islamist)
55.        Mohamad Yasin Al-Najjar (???)
56.       Mahmoud Al-Kilani (???)
57.        Mahmoud Othman (MB)
58.       Mostafa Al-Sabbagh (Islamist)
59.       Mostafa Kayyali (Independent)
60.       Mostafa Mohamad (Kurd)
61.        Moti’ Al-Batin (Islamist; Imam of the Deraa Mosque)
62.       Mouath Al-Sebai (MB)
63.       Mona Mohamed (Kurd) F
64.       Musa Musa (Kurd)
65.       Najib Ghadbian (Islamist)
66.       Nazir Hakim (MB; Brussels group)
67.       Heba Al-Fouz (???) F
68.       Hesham Marwa (Islamist)
69.       Haytham Rahma (Islamist; Breakaway from MB; Brussels group)
70.       Wael Merza (Islamist)
71.        Wajdi Mostafa (Leftwing; Alawi)

Total: 71 names

Total Islamists: 34
Total Leftists: 15 (including 2 Druzes, 3 Christians, 1 Alawite, 1 Ismaili, 3 Kurds)
Total Liberals: 2 (both from Antalya Group Executive Committee)
Total Tribal Members: 4 (including at least 1 Islamist)
Total women: 4 (1 unknown, 1 Kurd, 1 leftist, 1 independent)
Total Kurds: 10 (including at least 3 leftists)
Total Christian: 3 (all leftists)
Total Druzes: 2 (all leftists) 
Total Alawites: 1 (leftist)
Total Ismailis: 1 (leftist) 
Independents: 4
Total Unknowns: 6

Figures will slightly change once we know more about the political backgrounds of the Kurdish participants, the Independents and the Unknowns.