Saturday, November 24, 2012

No Process No Peace!

As the Revolution embraces her second winter and refugees continue to proliferate, rebels advance in the face of all odds, and opposition groups try to take advantage of their second chance at recognition and relevance. Still, there is no end in sight for our crisis, because the thing that can help bring this end about while ensuring that the Revolution has met its goal of toppling the regime while preserving the integrity of the state is still missing: a credible political process.

Friday November 23, 2012

Today’s Death Toll:  76: 30 in Damascus and suburbs, 17 in Aleppo, 6 in Daraa, 5 in Idli, 4 in Deir Ezzor, 4 in Lattakia, 4 in Hama, 2 in Homs, 2 in Raqqah, 1 in Banyas, and 1 in Quneitra (LCC).


Syria rebels seize army base but 'hotel warriors' struggle Syrian rebels captured an army base in the eastern oil province of Deir al-Zor on Thursday, striking another blow against President Bashar Assad. But Syria's newly-united opposition is struggling to consolidate, and even allies such as Tunisia and Libya have yet to lend their official support.
Maintaining normalcy in war-torn Syria With no solution and no peace agreement in sight, people are increasingly anxiously clinging to the routines of their normal lives.
Just Another Day In Damascus The Syrian government has been using a variety of ammunition, each with a distinctive soundtrack. Many Syrians, including children, knew nothing about the weapons of war before the Syrian uprising began in the spring of 2011. Now they differentiate them by sound alone.

Special Reports
Bashar al-Assad is not the only Arab leader facing marginalisation
Caught at a stage in their lives when they should be concentrating on their studies and having fun with their friends, many Syrian teenagers are now in a position where they have to take on serious responsibilities, yet lack the autonomy of adulthood. And some Syrian teenagers have witnessed truly horrifying scenes, the likes of which most of us will never see in our lifetimes.
From the edges of southern Turkey, you can see the smoke of a single cigarette inside Syria. The Turkish town of Ceylanpinar is around 50m away from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain. The two countries are separated by a barbed wire fence.
Twenty-one months of conflict between forces loyal to Syria's president, Bashar Assad, and a loose alliance of rebel fighters seeking his ouster, have ravaged the country. Around 40,000 people have been killed, and thousands of homes reduced to heaps of rubble. Some 2.5m Syrians are reckoned to have been forced from their homes. More than 400,000 have registered in neighbouring countries as refugees; tens of thousands more have left of their own accord. For them, the arrival of winter is a curse rather than a blessing. Save the Children, a UK-based charity, reckons 200,000 refugee children are at risk from the cold conditions, confined as they are to ramshackle shelters in hastily-built refugee camps.
The Kurds of Syria may have suffered under the Assads’ boots for nearly 50 years, but they are increasingly worried about the role Salafist groups are playing inside the Free Syrian Army. No matter what the outcome of the war, Salih insists Syrian Kurds are only looking for democratic self-determination within Syria’s borders, without drawing any new ones. For the time being, what has been dubbed the Arab Spring seems to be exactly that: a movement by and for Arabs. Syria’s Kurds are acutely aware of this and only time will tell if they’ll be able to keep Assad,the FSA and Turkey at a distance.
China had large economic interests in Libya, with, according to Chinese media, $18 billion invested in construction projects.  Libya was also home to 35,000 Chinese migrant workers, whom China had to evacuate when war broke out. China’s interests in Syria, however, are very different. “I think the thing ultimately is that in Syria Beijing is facing a lose lose situation," says Sarah Raine, a fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, "because on the one hand Beijing has no love for Assad, no major assets, resource-wise in the country, and not even a particularly sizable Chinese presence to worry about.”
Syrian artists' works reflecting the horror of civil war will be shown in exhibition to support those suffering in the uprising
“You are a black mark on all Alawites,” the officer spat out at one point. He eventually unleashed two muscular goons who dragged Ms. Yazbek through a series of basement torture cells as a dire warning.

“the Coalition was designed in order to sidestep the extremists and save the revolution from their ongoing attempts to hijack it. The reluctance of the international community to intervene in the situation earlier had unfortunately strengthened the hand of extremist elements. The sooner the international community supports the Coalition the sooner we can get the revolution back on the right track.” (More)

Video Highlights

Tal Shihab, Daraa: local rebels destroy an armored vehicle and kill few pro-Assad militias in the process 

The pounding of Damascene neighborhoods and suburbs continues: Jobar Zabadani  Daraya