Saturday, May 12, 2012


When terrorists lead countries and leaders of the free world stand befuddled, we can all rest assured that the worst is yet to happen.

Friday May 11, 2012

Death too: 20, including 3 in Hama, 3 in Idlib, 2 in Hassakeh, 1 in Homs, 1 in Quneitrah, 1 in Daraa, and 1 in Aleppo.

The towns of Misraba (Rural Damascus), Khan Shaikhoon (Idlib), Hayaleen (Hama), Houleh (Homs) and Mjaidel (Daraa) came under heavy pounding.

Protesters taking part in pro-democracy rallies in different parts of Syria came under fire, including in the city of Aleppo, the town of Hilfaya (Hama) and the Damascene suburb of Tadamon.

A major car bomb targeting a local headquarters of the Baath party detonated in Saadallah Al-Jabiri Square in Aleppo City, no casualties were reported.

A delegation representing the Kurdish National Council visited the State Department in Washington earlier today where they met Ambassadors Robert Ford and Frederic Hof, and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman as well as other U.S. officials. According to a press release by the State Department “Discussion focused on the Syrian revolution and ways in which the Kurdish National Council – working alongside other Syrian opposition groups – can assist  Syria’s transition to a democratic, pluralistic state that ends the discriminatory practices of the Asad regime, including against Syrian  Kurds.”

Op-Eds & Special Reports

A report published in a French website of the Kosovo trip. The report is based on coverage in Serbian media and an interview with me – Kosovo: l’opposition syrienne à l’école de l’UÇK? 

In a rebuttal of the Washington Post’s Op-Ed from yesterday, Bilal Saab argues: “Al-Assad is shooting himself in the foot”:

While President Obama is still not in a position to seriously consider intervening in Syria — both because of the upcoming election and because of the very real risks and difficulties of any military strategy — his hand could be forced by developments on the ground and intelligence reports in Washington. Imagine this not-so-improbable scenario: If Obama starts to receive additional reports from his intelligence advisors that al Qaeda is gaining ground in Syria and about to establish another safe haven in the Middle East along the borders of that country, he may have little choice but to reassess his options.

Indeed, if winning the War on Terror remains a serious goal for the Obama Administration, doing something about ensuring a democratic transition in Syria, despite its daunting complications, is far more useful on the longer run than the short-term strategy of drone strikes. Such strikes kill but a handful of Al-Qaeda operatives while driving thousands to become fresh recruits. Just ask local observers in Yemen and Pakistan. Left to its own dynamics, the situation in Syria could quickly devolve in this direction.

Indeed, regime-led crackdown is opening Pandora's Box in Syria. The longer the world waits, the worse things will become. Inaction is the surest way to make our worst nightmares come true. Only smart intervention can prevent such scenarios. And smart intervention has to involve elements of the political and the military.

Video Highlight

Deir Baalbah, Homs City: the bodies of 7 locals who were summarily executed by pro-Assad death squads

Loyalist troops at the outskirts of the town of Houleh, Homs province, shell one part of the town as locals are heard in the background holding a pro-democracy rally This is the rally  Plumes of black smoke rise above the town when a tank shell fall near the rally, but the protesters remain defiant

Protesters in Saif Al-Dawleh Neighborhood in Aleppo City come under fire from security forces loyal to Assad Earlier in the day, protesters in Al-Azamiyeh Neighborhood also came under fire Boustan Al-Qasr protesters face off with security forces And come under fire Rescuing one of the injured A martyr A major explosion and massive gunfire in Mashhad

Protesters in Saqba, Rural Damascus, come under fire

Protesters in Daraa City come under fire, but remain defiant

Protesters in Hilfaya, Hama Province, come under fire Rescuing the injured , A martyr

The town of Rastan, Homs Province, is pounded

The town or Ariha, Idlib Province, is pounded

Hama City: another child is murdered by pro-Assad death squads

The town of Dmeir, Rural Damascus, receives a visit from UN monitors

Naturally, rallies took place all over the country

Lattakia: Al-Hiffeh

The inhabitants of Kafrenbel, Idlib Province, continue to stage the most elaborate rallies of all