Wednesday, September 5, 2012


For all the talk about prevention, the actions of world leaders towards the tragic developments in Syria reflect more a deep-seated belief in the inevitable than the preventable. Thirty thousand innocent people have been killed and millions made homeless because no one had the courage to challenge an assumption, and a callous prophecy was thus allowed to fulfill itself.   

Tuesday September 4, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 155. The Breakdown: 80 in Damascus and suburbs (including 18 in Douma, 10 in Moadamia, and 10 in Daraya), 17 in Hama, 15 in Aleppo, 12 in Daraa, 10 in Idlib, 9 in Homs 6 in Deir Ezzor, and 4 in Lattakia.

* Reports from local activists speak of an ongoing battle between rebels and loyalists over control of the northernmost coastal strip separating Syria and Turkey. In the course of the battle and for the first time since the beginning of the revolution, Alawite villages were targeted by rebels using mortars confiscated from loyalists in previous clashes. For the first time since the beginning of the revolution, loyalists were forced to flee their villages. Rebels seem adamant on having their own access to the sea.


Op-Eds & Special Reports
Czech diplomats are working on behalf of the United States to find the whereabouts of an American journalist and former U.S. Marine who went missing in Syria more than three weeks ago.
When I set out last week to find some of a reported wave of Syrian refugees waiting to enter Turkey, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would they be pressed against a fence? Camped out on a border line? My Syrian translator said something about them being stuck in a “no man’s land” between the two countries.
If the fighters seeking to oust Mr. Assad sometimes portray their battle as a struggle for democracy, the Sunni Muslim children of the Zaatari camp tell a much uglier story of sectarian revenge.
The outgunned Free Syrian Army is scrounging for weapons to arm the large number of volunteers coming forward to fight for the opposition.
The Syrian leader believes that a campaign of mass murder will be his path to victory. Is he right?
Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, who spent 16 years as a political prisoner in Syria, says that the imprisonment conditions in Syria are very different to those portrayed by British journalist Fisk in a recent newspaper article
Assad's war has claimed four times as many victims in 20 months as have been killed in the Israel-Palestine conflict in the last 20 years.
The fact that the Obama White House is today unmoved by the same sort of strafing and bombing of Syrian civilians [as happened in Libya] suggests that in the end the administration has no red lines at all. And the Republican candidate and his surrogates, who decry the bloodshed and the massacres, have so far refrained from calling for notably stronger action. Will Assad have greater reason to fear a Romney administration than he does an Obama one?

Today’s article in the New York Times purports to offer a glimpse of Syria’s future, it may very well be right. The problem it fails to mention how Assad worked hard to get us to this point, and how he was aided in his endeavor by international dithering. Since the beginning, many Syrian activists and dissidents have read through Assad’s obvious strategy and have called for early international intervention to help prevent this devolution. No one listened. Now the nightmare is unfolding. Assad can rejoice, so can all those who bet on the fragmentation of Syria.

Video Highlights

In the village of Al-Bouaydah Al-Sharqiyah, Homs, doctors operated on a dying pregnant woman hit by a nipper in an attempt to save her fetus, but he was born dead to join his mother

Brig. Gen. Mustafa Al-Shaikh, leader of the High Military Council, inspects the living conditions of refugees along the Syrian-Turkish borders. Turkey decided to close its borders to stop the influx of refugees leaving people stranded in no man’s land and subject to shelling by regime forces

Rebels down a MIG in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, killing the pilot. Leader of the Syria Martyrs Brigades in Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, Jamal Maarouf introduces us to the scene: The first few moments

In Hama, a new massacre takes place in Al-Fan Al-Shimali ,

In Aleppo City, locals pick up the dead from the streets of Hanano Neighborhood Elsewhere, in Daher Awwad, buildings catch fire on account of pounding by MIGs

In Idlib, the pounding of restive towns continues: Kafrenbel