Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Mother of All Transitions Looming!

… But into what exactly? As deadly battles rage on throughout the country, and the international community continues to differ any decision on intervention to some undermined point in a seemingly mythical near future, in the hope that the situation will miraculously work itself out, somehow, while, somehow, producing all the “right” results, Syria’s myriad opposition groups and coalitions are now rushing headlong to form myriad competing transitional governments, each armed with its own detailed transitional plan. Moreover, we now have the Americans and the Germans competing to take credit for helping some in the Syrian opposition form a transitional plan in what was supposed to be an exercise wholly-owned by the Syrians! But initial suppositions change, I guess, especially when the Americans and the Germans need to show that they are doing something at a time when they are doing absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the killing, the pounding of cities, the cold-blooded massacres, continue, unfettered, unabated, unrelenting. Oh, this will be the Mother of All Transitions all right. But again, into what exactly?

Tuesday July 31, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 86. The Breakdown: 24 in Damascus and Suburb, 19 in Aleppo, 13 in Idlib, 11 in Homs, 10 in Deir Ezzor, 7 in Daraa and 1 in Lattakia.

Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiah, Harran Al-Awameed, Ain Terma, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous, Qarrah (Damascus Suburbs), Sit Zeinab, Al-Qadam, Midan, Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Yarmouk, Kafar Sousseh, Mazzeh, Qaboun, Barzeh (Damascus City), Daraa City, Khirbet Al-Ghazaleh, Tafas, Bostra Al-Sham, Na’eemah, Mseifrah, Jimreen, Hraak (Daraa), Rastan, Talbisseh, Houla, Tal Kalakh, Al-Qusayr, Al-Hosn, Al-Ghanto, Al-Bouaydah, Old Homs (Homs Province), Hreitan, Elbab, Eizaz, Marei, Bayanoun (Aleppo Province), Haffeh, Jabal Al-Akrad (Lattakia), Deir Ezzor City, Mouhassan, Albou Kamal (Deir Ezzor Province), Kafar Zeiteh, Hawash, Shahshabo, Hama City (Hama Province), Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, Ma’rrat Al-Nouman, Saraqib, Maar Shoureen, Ariha, Kafroumah, Al-Rami, Khan Shaikhoon (Idlib).

News


Op-Eds & Special Reports
Syria's Kurds Unite against Assad, but Not with Opposition A sudden political shift among Syria's three million Kurds, who now control much of the country's border with Turkey, provides an opportunity for the United States to better coordinate its policy with regional allies and to encourage the Syrian opposition to respect minority rights.

As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role As the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government grinds on with no resolution in sight, Syrians involved in the armed struggle say it is becoming more radicalized: homegrown Muslim jihadists, as well as small groups of fighters from Al Qaeda, are taking a more prominent role and demanding a say in running the resistance.

Spinmeister Ammar al-Wawi Peddles Upbeat Message of Syrian Rebellion As the Assad regime bombards Aleppo, the rebels are desperate not only to repel the military, but to shore up morale and build outside support. Ammar al-Wawi, the Free Syrian Army’s leading spin doctor, tells Mike Giglio the government is “like the walking dead.”

For besieged Syrian dictator Assad, only exit may be body bag “In his mind he is fighting against the imperialists and their pernicious allies for the people of Syria,” Lesch said. “He believes that’s his legacy. Perhaps that is the way he will want to go down.”

Syria rebels suspicious over defector's motives Ammar Abdulhamid, a Washington-based Syrian dissident, said that while Tlass could provide valuable information, the opposition on the ground will not accept him as a leader. After so many months of "confrontations and sacrifice," he said, "legitimate leaders of the transitional period can only rise from the ranks of the internal revolutionary movement."

In cooperation with Impunity Watch and the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies in Buffalo, it's my pleasure to announce the launch of the "I Am Syria" Campaign - an effort designed to raise awareness in the U.S. and the world regarding the revolution in Syria and the massacres perpetrated daily by pro-Assad militias and troops, highlighting the need for immediate international action. You can follow our activities on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and our official website. Please, "Like" us and spread the word…

The Battle for Aleppo City

One of the main factors helping the rebels in their fight for the city so far is the increased number of desertions in Assad armies, while not all deserters are choosing to become defectors at this stage, but clearly, and as reports by locals who came in contact with the deserters and often provided them shelter, soldiers in Assad’s army, especially the Sunnis, are becoming increasingly aware and resentful of their role as fodder. Many are also clearly ill-fed as well as ill-informed about the situation, they don’t believe their commanders, but they don’t enough about the rebels to know if they could trust them. Many just want to go home to their families, or at least they regions.

Scenes from the Battle of Salaheddine: A MIG in action http://youtu.be/Qa9fBOgOW_k The pounding http://youtu.be/x1mHxpbPhec , http://youtu.be/WYhdp3kuZv0 , http://youtu.be/WYhdp3kuZv0 , http://youtu.be/mTvHu2OmeEs More MIG action http://youtu.be/gd1zeql4E4o , http://youtu.be/jtUso_U04zs Al-Jazeerah correspondent is hit during his coverage of the battles http://youtu.be/OpCnO2YtceY At end of the day, the rebels remain in control, as one of their leaders speaking from his headquarters in Salaheddine assures us http://youtu.be/WejTfY-oYVw Impact of shelling http://youtu.be/sBbYxgFmFx8 , http://youtu.be/ZnAdHH0Eyfo More scenes from the ballte http://youtu.be/MbDMbu4F1Wk

In order to control Aleppo City, Assad relied heavily on two Sunni clans of smugglers: Al Birri and Al Hmeideh. Today, rebels put an end to the rule of al Birri, killing and capturing many of their senior members including their top leader, Ali Zein Al-Abdeen Birri, shown here http://youtu.be/RJMiMuMUk9I Despite specific instructions from rebel leaders to refrain from summary executions, Ali and few of his commanders were executed http://youtu.be/5Pjk1sYEjuU

In Bab Al-Nayrab Neighborhood, rebels wrest control of the local police station killing everyone inside http://youtu.be/bhSMVXyA8yc The protests we hear at the end is against shooting the dead bodies in order to conserve the dwindling supplies of ammunition. The rebels lose fighters too http://youtu.be/gXUzTPMKQ6A Scenes from the battle http://youtu.be/9HXasuWYeqg

In Salihein, rebels capture and kill the local police chief, Ali Nasr, who chose to fight to the end, and drag his body in the streets http://youtu.be/V8NLDfHLyeI , http://youtu.be/cFhbAflScWI Rebels had given the General a chance to give himself up along with his men, but he refused http://youtu.be/4cZCRJdc7QA some of the soldiers who surrendered himself http://youtu.be/11LAIJF7vN0 Rebels celebrate their victory http://youtu.be/kxvyY5tVF74 More scenes from the battle http://youtu.be/Yt3BJlZQgjY The battle started at dawn http://youtu.be/gXSN1q-GEbg

In Marjeh, rebels battle to “liberate” the local police station http://youtu.be/WrjmsJuo1h0 , http://youtu.be/PuXlUCuVVQA

The police station in Hanano, after “liberation” http://youtu.be/IOA7ItCz3uE , http://youtu.be/6yEzU5r8ACk , http://youtu.be/kALkZkME5HY One of the torture devices used in Hanano station http://youtu.be/17UBC-bU1NA

On July 30, head of the Aleppo Military Council, Abdul Jabbar Okaidi, toured parts of the liberated neighborhoods, Al-Shar Neighborhood, and was warmly welcomed by then local inhabitants http://youtu.be/94FIRFDvc2U , http://youtu.be/Iy_tmXm8llE , http://youtu.be/HdYecOBc-r4 Un Monitors also paid a visit to the city and met leaders of Al-Tawhid Brigade http://youtu.be/__OIWNtAOJM

Other neighborhood in Aleppo city remain under the control of pro-Assad troops and militias http://youtu.be/VRVX5kiTRiQ , http://youtu.be/clhXH9KNyzw

While Aleppo City and the Rural areas to the North have come under rebel control for the most part, the regrouping process to the south continues, with the formation of a new brigade http://youtu.be/gMpU7bzIcII But more units are formed in the north as well http://youtu.be/FXO7Hj1pdq4

Other Highlights

In Damascus Suburbs, the pounding of Eastern Ghoutah Region continues: Harasta http://youtu.be/wguKbLnQGE8 tanks and helicopter gunships subject the suburb of Zamalka to heavy pounding http://youtu.be/W6xiJtVsQAA The dead line the streets http://youtu.be/2ZKXlPc5RxE , http://youtu.be/aZnTn8fb9ns Saving the injured http://youtu.be/qUulgHgTA9M In nearby Yelda, the pounding claims more lives (July 30) http://youtu.be/xVKhGfecLYw In harasta, People in Eastern Ghoutah keep regrouping as they welcome more defectors http://youtu.be/AIFVFRNcPBY In Ain Terma, rebels fight back http://youtu.be/lDBkSpqvrw4 and destroy a tank http://youtu.be/a6kyiQusz_k , http://youtu.be/smlRmHtBQAA

In Yabroud to the north, flood gave people a respite from the shelling http://youtu.be/6YcAJK12vy0

In Damascus City, another massacre uncovered in Al-Hajar Al-Aswad http://youtu.be/UuVe9hWLoRM

Sheikh Miskeen, Daraa Province: mew massacre (July 30) http://youtu.be/tAmDQIDKVms , http://youtu.be/dVkJnQWDAOk Locals say the people were burnt alive http://youtu.be/d7Pbhz-wLQ0

In Daraa City, we can see pro-Assad troops as they remove the bodies of the dead and injured from a car they hit and take them away on board their tank http://youtu.be/lLR_Uy0owtQ The continuous pounding of Daraa City claims more lives http://youtu.be/vAVAmswAAQQ


The pounding of Talbisseh, Homs Province, continues http://youtu.be/LPakyV-Q_Mw , http://youtu.be/sq7KZKodRwY Locals keep finding bodies in the nearby fields http://youtu.be/tPJFXa73tjM The pounding of Old Neighborhoods in Homs City continues http://youtu.be/zTkAnhgd96g In Qusayr, people the spirit of defiance alive, despite the continuing siege and pounding http://youtu.be/0DQJexoEKR0

The pounding of Ghneimiyeh Village in Lattakia http://youtu.be/wF68fiM2xVI Akko http://youtu.be/aoHmyxfN5ag

In Deir Ezzor Province, the pounding of the town of Mayadeen continues http://youtu.be/xjq73cNBRLk , http://youtu.be/jNTZyRzqfJM But defections keep plaguing Assad troops, as more of them form a new rebel unit http://youtu.be/S0bHufMbJso Scenes from a local battle http://youtu.be/OKxXvCCJ2RA , http://youtu.be/xc9Dw5UOeVo