Saturday, October 13, 2012

Redlines Keep Falling On Our Heads!

Judging by statements from both sides of the electoral divide, Syrians are obviously not covered neither under Obamacare nor Romneycare. But, then, “socialism” has always been bad for us, as Assad/Baathcare amply demonstrated.

Thursday October 12, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 113. The Breakdown: toll includes 10 FSA members, 6 children and 4 women. 40 reported in Aleppo, 25 in Damascus and suburbs (including 5 field-executed in Barzeh), 18 in Idlib, 13 in Daraa (mostly in Maarba), 7 in Hama, 5 in Homs, 4 in Deir Ezzor, and 1 in Lattakia (LCC).


Special Reports

Crisis with Turkey

Turkey's grounding of a Syrian plane allegedly carrying weapons from Moscow to Damascus has put Moscow and Ankara – which have been cooperating in recent years – at odds.
With Turkey and the Syrian regime on opposite sides of the antigovernment uprising in Syria, flare-ups like the Turkish grounding of a Syrian jet this week carry great risk of tipping the two into open conflict.
Forcing down a Syrian passenger plane suspected of carrying munitions is the latest chapter in a dangerous spat between neighbors.
ISTANBUL (AP) — The interception of a Syrian passenger plane from Russia, allegedly carrying military gear to Damascus, is a sign of Turkey's mounting frustration at the drawn-out conflict and its inability to hasten regime change in its neighbor, according to analysts.
The town of Akcakale has felt some of the effects of its neighbour's conflict. It has been hit several times by shells fired from across the border.
As the Assad regime loses control in the country's north, brigades like Northern Storm have carved out spheres of influence along the porous border. Despite their presence, however, the posts still rely on the goodwill of the Turkish authorities to function properly. At the end of the day, the Turks have the final say on what passes through, including aid, weapons, and refugees.

Rebel News

To begin, not all Salafis are alike; the concept covers a gamut ranging from mainstream to extreme. Secondly, present-day Syria offers Salafis hospitable terrain – violence and sectarianism; disenchantment with the West, secular leaders and pragmatic Islamic figures; as well as access to Gulf Arab funding and jihadi military knowhow – but also adverse conditions, including a moderate Islamic tradition, pluralistic confessional make-up, and widespread fear of the kind of sectarian civil war that engulfed two neighbours. Thirdly, failure of the armed push this past summer caused a backlash against Salafi groups that grabbed headlines during the fighting.
The capture of Maaret Al-Numan Wednesday was a major breathrough for the rebels fighting President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, especially after they cut off the highway linking Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo.

(Reuters) - In a dusty park in north Damascus, Fatima Badr is preparing to give birth without medical care, no roof over her head and far from the home she fled when President Bashar al-Assad's forces bombarded her town east of the Syrian capital.
The school is in Kansafra, in a picturesque region known for its flowing green fields and its groves of olives, cherries and grapes. But none of that is visible from the classroom, which has no windows. The children's previous school, in the nearby town of Jabal Zawiya, was deserted. Abu Diyaa's video shows a gaping hole in that school's ceiling, the battle scars of what he says was shelling by regime fighter planes.

The Syrian regime has been committed numerous crimes against humanity using the Red Cross vehicles, secret documents obtained by Al Arabiya revealed. The documents were obtained with the assistance of members of the Syrian opposition who refused to elaborate on how they laid hand on the documents.
The prime minister's office said the initiative came from the U.S. and denied Israel had accepted it, implying the matter was leaked to improve President Barack Obama's image in the run-up to U.S. presidential elections.

Arabic Press (Prepared by Steven Miller, FDD Research Associate)
On the Turkish-Syrian border near Bab al-Hawa, which falls within Syrian territory, women and children have been living for nearly a month under olive trees. There, a number of activists, with help from Arab financiers, decided to establish a refugee camp for the approximately 7 thousand people currently there. According to one activist, "Turkey stopped receiving displaced people after their numbers inside the country reached 80 thousand, and thousands remained [homeless] on the border. That led us to rush to establish similar camps." Currently at the camp, which lies 150 meters inside Syrian territory, there are only 100 tents to house the thousands of displaced persons, and the numbers of Syrians flocking to the camp are expected to rise quickly in the near future.

Ammar Abdulhamid & Khawla Yusuf: The Shredded Tapestry: The State of Syria Today

Briefly Noted

By now the Obama Administration has made it clear that that, when it comes to Syria, the ongoing slaughter is not a red line in itself. The red line in Syria depends on the manner in which the slaughter is carried out: WMDs are a big “no, no.” Everything else is a OK. The thinking on Libya was obviously quite different, and so it seems is the thinking on Mali.

Video Highlights

Executions of local activists in Barzeh, Damascus City

In Aleppo City, moving today’s dead in Boustan Al-Qasr

The Cave Classrooms of Kinsafrah, Idlib Province

Al-Jazeerah English interviews FSA commander Col. Riad al-As’aad