Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Nightmare!

As more of our towns and neighborhoods get turned into wastelands and as we pull the pieces of our dying dream from under the rubble, it’s difficult not to be angry at a world that stood by and let it happen. All of this was foretold, the warning signs were clear, everything was taking place in full light of day, yet they all watched, while some gambled and hedged their bets by backing the killers, as the dream was slowly transformed into a nightmare. All demons are loose now, and heaven only knows when and how we could put the country back together. Still, we go on, going back has never and can never be a legitimate option.

Wednesday August 8, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 150.

Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiah, Harran Al-Awameed, Deir Al-Asafeer, Ain Terma, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous, Qarrah (Damascus Suburbs), Sit Zeinab, Al-Qadam, Midan, Tadamon, Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Yarmouk, Kafar Sousseh, Mazzeh, Qaboun, Barzeh, Salhiyeh, Ruknaddine, Dafelshawk (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
White House official says Syria no-fly zone not off table "rest assured that various options that are being talked about in the press, and sometimes being advocated, these are things that the United States government has been looking at very carefully, trying to understand the implications, trying to understand the advantages and the disadvantages," he said.
In Syria, Potential Threat to Government Air Power Emerges For the first time since the conflict in Syria began last year, an activist opposed to President Bashar al-Assad has publicly presented possible evidence that the antigovernment forces have obtained a heat-seeking, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile.
Russian general denies reports he was killed by rebels in Syria Vladimir Petrovich Kuzheyev meets reporters in Moscow after video statement from rebel group shows copy of his Syrian-army issued ID.
Syria military launches assault on key district in Aleppo Reports conflict on whether Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces or Syrian rebels have control of the Salahuddin district of Aleppo.
Al-Qaida fighters infiltrate Syria At least 262 al-Qaida militants are now operating in the border area between Turkey and Syria and rebels say another group of fighters are living in a tented camp just outside Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.
Seized Iranians in Syria Are Army Retirees, Salehi Says “We rejected reports saying these individuals are part of the Revolutionary Guards and explained that a number of retired individuals from several ministries and the guards had signed up to make the pilgrimage,” Salehi said. “Pilgrimage trips to Syria had been interrupted but resumed recently as we can’t stop people from visiting the holy shrine.”
Neighbors pull dead from Syria house rubble Rebels have said Assad's forces have been attacking rural areas in an effort to put pressure on those opposition fighters who have rural backgrounds.
Syria border standoff a new front in Iraq-Kurdish rift The standoff, for a moment last week so close to confrontation, is the most dramatic illustration of a growing rift between Baghdad and the autonomous northern region of Kurdistan. Frictions over oil revenues are exacerbated now by conflicting views of the Syrian rebellion and by territorial disputes that pose questions about the unity of Iraq.

Op-Eds & Special Reports
Malcolm Rifkind, former Britain's defense minister and foreign secretary under Prime Minister John Major, writes: A Call to Arm Syria's Rebels The longer war drags on, the more likely a legitimate struggle for self-determination will descend further into a cycle of communal violence, poisoning the possibility of a mutually acceptable political settlement. Without such a settlement, Syrian and regional violence will continue — whether the Ba’athist regime survives or not.

The Washington Post Editorial Board explains how to “Get… around a dead-end in Syria” The only workable policy in Syria is one that aims at ending the civil war as quickly as possible with a victory for the opposition. A coup by regime elements that removes Mr. Assad may still be possible, but only if generals perceive that the war is lost. That means supplying the rebels with the arms they need to stop the tanks and planes of the Assad forces. To protect civilians, safe zones can be established along Syria’s borders with Turkey and Jordan, with help from Turkey or NATO.

Echoes of Syria's War in the Golan Heights With close-knit families and clans here already divided, there is fear on both sides that a slide into bloodshed would be disastrous. Druse community leaders have acted quickly to broker understandings and restore calm.

Syria rebels see future fight with foreign radicals Some fighters who have come to Syria are idealists who believe in jihad, or holy war, for oppressed Muslims, and would probably return home in a post-Assad era. But others are al Qaeda-linked fighters who may want a base in Syria. Their numbers are still low, but enough to worry countries fearing Iraq-style bloodshed in Syria, a country straddling the lines of most ethnic and regional conflicts in the Middle East.
"We could not endure anymore," Aleppo refugee says Some 2,400 Syrians reached Turkey overnight, the state-run Turkish Anatolian news agency said on Wednesday, adding to the 45,000 who have fled to Turkey since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad started 17 months ago.
Two days in Aleppo: Snipers, temporary graveyards and stairwell beds Account of what Wedeman saw in Aleppo, including his harrowing trip into the city past snipers, street vendors selling their wares as bombs fall, and a lack of enthusiasm for the rebels' battle among many civilians.
Assaults on Aleppo come in response to Syrian defections The massive bombardment of rebels in Syria's largest city aims to prove to supporters of Bashar Assad that his regime is in control despite defections of top officials, activists and experts said Wednesday.


Video Highlights

In Da’el, Daraa Province, helicopter gunships take part in the pounding http://youtu.be/dElNKypDUp0 , http://youtu.be/jttXWC0XiO4 A mortar round falls on a funeral for local activists http://youtu.be/UCfyAEQTwd4 People rush to pull bodies from under the rubble http://youtu.be/aM-rWFocNsY

In Homs City, many neighborhoods lie now in rubble after months of indiscriminate shelling http://youtu.be/E8GdERCtlN0 http://youtu.be/f-rz03vx3Kg , http://youtu.be/b8ISXLDJgUU With this, 500,000 people, the overwhelming majority of whom Sunni Muslims who are now scattered all over the country, have effectively been deprived their homes. This makes the Alawites and Christians, with close to 250,000, the new majority population in town. The remaining Sunnis constitute around 50,000. But the pounding of their neighborhoods continues http://youtu.be/gfqjgVclJLM

In Tal Rifa’at, Aleppo Province, the pounding by fighter jets http://youtu.be/MX5Dlpkz2y8 left a home in rubbles, and its owners trapped underneath http://youtu.be/S11UAJgG6f4 Pulling bodies and body parts from under the rubble http://youtu.be/y6eRJz3CBlI , http://youtu.be/hEU9IG1ZaWo , http://youtu.be/HO--c8uSKf0 , http://youtu.be/EhTIVfSs2k0 , http://youtu.be/2T1QxSjtZrk A local school was left in ruins http://youtu.be/zLozXJJqTxI , http://youtu.be/sbpiDJLPCpE

  The pounding of Aleppo City by fighter jets continues http://youtu.be/kzyWwQA1ud0 , http://youtu.be/fb_lb1UGnqc There were clashes http://youtu.be/8x09se8U03w Trying to take on a chopper http://youtu.be/3rRHbwvlAHw But many neighborhoods remain clearly under rebel control http://youtu.be/Bt-KRhQgfe8

Rebels in Idlib are mounting a methodical campaign on tank convoys going to Aleppo. Tank parts lie in piece along the highway http://youtu.be/xFuoXlohr1w

Inhabitants of Kafrenbel, Idlib Province, rush to save their wounded following a round of pounding by pro-Assad militias laying siege to their town http://youtu.be/VPk_ySxqdts The shelling leaves many homes on fire http://youtu.be/kH69AMHjpWc The tanks taking part in the pounding are stationed outside Kafrenbel closer to the town of Ma’arat Al-Nouman http://youtu.be/HfyYGP4_-CE Other nearby villages in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh were also pounded http://youtu.be/yJwfkckbSks

In Lattakia, the pounding of the village of Salma, a summertime resort in Al-Akrda Mountain continues http://youtu.be/aX1nqo1p_Kw , http://youtu.be/Jm06nfgayhU , http://youtu.be/5OzUNK_iS74

The pounding of Talbisseh, Homs Province, continues http://youtu.be/XNaRj3ke72M , http://youtu.be/F0T9rGMoU-4 Nearby Houla gets pounded as well http://youtu.be/udYAhS030yQ , http://youtu.be/XSOTzMeU6Ko Rastan is pounded as well http://youtu.be/uiYlJeKtpJM

The pounding of Zabadani, Damascus City, continues http://youtu.be/cMU_3v1NwV0 Helicopter gunships are taking part in the pounding as well http://youtu.be/qgTTr3-hD6I

In Midan Neighborhood, Damascus City, local rebels destroy a tank http://youtu.be/9Jsu89GY7uU

Clashes in Karnaz, Hama province, leaves several local dead http://youtu.be/hbamuCzI-LY