Sunday, November 25, 2012

Due Diligence!

Despite the recent launch of the National Coalition and the positive reception it had in international circles, much still needs to be done in order to ensure opposition unity, at least as it related to the moderate forces. Rebels still need to be brought on board, a decision-making mechanism needs to be agreed, a plan for action needs to be formulated, and a vision for the future of Syria needs to be finally proposed. Almost 21 months have passed since the beginning of the Revolution, and we still don’t have a transitional government or a transitional constitution, yet we still wonder why the international community is not stepping in to support us! In the battle for international recognition and support, we are yet to do our due diligence as opposition groups and activists.

Saturday November 24, 2012

Today’s Death Toll:  82, including 2 women and 4 children: 35 in Damascus and suburbs, 18 in Aleppo, 12 in Homs, 7 in Idlib, 4 in Hama, 4 in Daraa, and 2 in Deir Ezzor. Points of Random Shelling: 219:  67 by mortar; 118 by artillery, 34 by missile, and 10 aerial raids. Clashes: 122. Rebels liberated a checkpoint, downed two helicopters and destroyed a number of tanks and radars in Marj Al-Sultan military airport in the Damascus Suburbs (LCC).

News
Syria Cautions on Patriots, NATO Reassures Kremlin Ankara and NATO have reiterated that the deployment of Patriot missiles in Turkey along the Syrian border is for defensive purposes only, in a bid to ease Moscow’s fears.
Turkey expects NATO Patriot missile decision within week Turkey expects NATO to make a decision about deploying surface-to-air Patriot missiles along its southern border with Syria within the next week, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz said on Saturday.

Special Reports
Rebels who have besieged Sheikh Suleiman army base for nearly two months are confident it will fall in days, giving them full control of a swathe of northwest Syria from Aleppo to the Turkish border. Their optimism has been buoyed by a steady stream of defectors from the ranks of the several hundred troops defending the strategic base, the last major garrison still in army hands between the border and Syria's northern metropolis.
As civil war continues, a generation of Syrian children is living with untold grief and trauma… Children who have been brutalized will reproduce the violence they experience—not because they are “bad” but because violence has saturated their environment.
As one Iranian Revolutionary Guards member told the Wall Street Journal in August, "Iran's borders extend beyond geographic frontiers, and fighting for Syria is an integral part of keeping the Shiite Crescent intact."… So if the Shiite crescent falls, the nations that backed Hamas will have to live with an emboldened Israel in addition to a weakened Iran and Russia—which is exactly what the U.S. and Israel would like to see.
But where is the United States? America has spent months trying to get the Russians and the Chinese to agree to toothless U.N. resolutions to “end the bloodshed,” as though Moscow will abandon Assad and Beijing really cares about chaos in the Middle East. Vladimir Putin is not a sentimental man. But if he believes that Assad can survive, he will do nothing to undermine him. In recent days, France, Britain and Turkey have stepped into the diplomatic vacuum to recognize a newly formed opposition that is broadly representative of all Syrians. The United States should follow their lead and then vet and arm the unified group with defensive weapons on the condition that it pursues an inclusive post-Assad framework. The United States and its allies should also consider establishing a no-fly zone to protect the innocent. America’s weight and influence are needed. Leaving this to regional powers, whose interests are not identical to ours, will only exacerbate the deepening sectarianism.
Now that the short term crisis has transformed into a long term stalemate, the inadequacy of the temporary protection regime of camps in Turkey is revealed. Turkey is a party to international treaties arising from the basic obligation to open its border to refugees. But the international community also has responsibilities.
… the rebel military council leadership was not included in the Doha effort. Military leaders such as Akidi thought they would be invited, but the invitations never came. This has added to demoralization. U.S. and Syrian sources agree that to create military unity, the CIA will have to push friendly intelligence services to pool funding and other support behind a unified command. U.S. officials hope that process will happen over the next month, but rebel leaders fear this could be too late.


Video Highlights

Another Alawite officer defects, Captain Mayyas Saqr Deeb http://youtu.be/ZzHzdKyHwuo

Rebels in Damascus storm the military airport of Marj Al-Sultan destroying planes and armored vehicles in the process http://youtu.be/MiS3EtlB2VU , http://youtu.be/Wqiu-jJJ-7M , http://youtu.be/m0RCk86Lgtw One of the brigades taking part in the clashes http://youtu.be/d4Nb8uDzlxo , http://youtu.be/18F-CAfv1GA A video found on the mobiles of one of the prisoners taken during this campaign shows loyalist militias torturing and mocking a detainee http://youtu.be/wk5iMk-AzDg


Rebels and loyalist militias clash in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/-vp3yqp9GqA