Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recognition & Aftermath!

Syrian opposition is beginning to get the regional and international recognition it needs. But will this recognition go beyond “humanitarian and non-lethal assistance?” The Obama Administration does not want us to expect much beyond that in terms of overt assistance. The heavy lifting, it seems, will have to be done by others. Will the Brits go for it?

Monday Sunday November 12, 2012

Today’s Death Toll: 155. The Breakdown: Toll included 5 children and 3 women: 50 in Damascus and suburbs, 38 in Aleppo, 35 in Hassakeh, 9 in Deir Ezzor, 7 in Raqqah, 6 in Homs, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Daraa, and 1 in Banyas. Other Developments: LCC also documented 124 points of random shelling by regime forces: 53 by artillery, 47 by mortars and 24 by missiles. The fiercest shelling was reported in Damascus and Suburbs with 63 points, followed by Aleppo with 46, and Idlib with 32. Rebels clashed with loyalist militias in 75 points destroying several military vehicles in Raqqah and shooting down a plane in Alboukamal (LCC).

News

Man arrested at Heathrow airport on suspicion of Syria terrorism links Police investigating alleged terrorism linked to Syria arrest 24-year-old man arriving on flight from Bahrain
David Cameron starts to force the pace on Syria conflict The PM's risk calculus appears to have changed - and European officials do not know what to make of his new stance

Special Reports
Barack Obama called for Syrian's Bashar al-Assad to step aside more than a year ago. Here's why he's still in power.
Fighters on the front lines of the Syrian war expressed optimism about the new council formed out of Syrian opposition groups.
* Brotherhood says will not monopolise new coalition
* Group said to control SNC, channel funds to supporters
* Qatar, Turkey have backed Brotherhood in Syria opposition
New National Coalition claims its 'accountability and unity' has assuaged concerns about arming rebels
With the U.S. election out of the way and growing concerns about the rise of jihadist groups within Syria, Western powers are now engaging groups fighting inside Syria, rather than the exiled and ineffectual Syrian National Council. The ultimate goal may be to create a safe zone -- a slice of liberated Syria -- where the opposition can form an interim government.
Syria's neighbors are increasingly being drawn into the country's civil war in a variety of ways, whether militarily or due to an exodus of Syrians fleeing the fighting at home. The spillover has raised concerns that the nearly 20-month-long conflict between Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime and rebels trying to topple him could endanger the entire Middle East.
Khatib will be supported by three vice-presidents: Riad Seif, a prominent dissident who had once been tapped to lead the new body; Suhair al-Atassi, a leading female opposition figure; and a yet-to-be-named Kurd. The new group is also backed by the SNC's new leader, George Sabra, a Christian.
Sheikh Ahmad Mouaz al-Khatib is seen as moderate and charismatic, but some worry about his political inexperience.
Those sceptical about his chances of reinvigorating and bringing together Syria’s opposition are doubtful less about the man himself than the possibility of anyone pulling off the task he has taken on. “[He is] a figure who has long managed to bridge... communications between secular and Islamist groups on the ground,” wrote Ammar Abdulhamid, a US-based anti-regime activist, on his blog. “As such, he is a potentially unifying figure, and his touch will be needed in the days and months, if not years ahead.”

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

Press Releases: Formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Press Statement | Mark C. Toner | Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson | Washington, DC | November 11, 2012

The United States congratulates the representatives of the Syrian people on the formation of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course toward the end of Assad’s bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just, democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve. We will work with the National Coalition to ensure that our humanitarian and non-lethal assistance serves the needs of the Syrian people. We also commend the Government of Qatar for its steadfast leadership and support of this conference.

Video Highlights

After three months of trying, local rebels finally managed to get the body of their colleague, executed by pro-Assad militias in Deir Ezzor City. His body has already turned into skeletal remains http://youtu.be/Je30mL3eTdA

Leaked video shows pro-Assad militias openly looting homes in the Damascene suburb of Douma. They are making fun of how little they are getting, while mimicking how rebels speak when they showcase the weapons they earn after a successful battle with militias. The poor looting the poor while fighting so a dictator can retain power and continues to enrich himself http://youtu.be/JSME6zSmscs , http://youtu.be/sUa1WQnjkko Posing for the camera http://youtu.be/z1uynuHGg7E

Regime tanks taking part in pounding Harasta Suburb in Damascus http://youtu.be/stBdCz9ij20 Same in Yalda http://youtu.be/fvRr2fjl1gc while MiGs pound Saqba http://youtu.be/qbU8gbZzgls , http://youtu.be/jLej_KNQOe8 And Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/wlfeFFJvstg Rebels and loyalist militias clash in nearby Arbeen http://youtu.be/9u0IkOsuCjE , http://youtu.be/cPXDsdQPcj0 New massacre in Dhiyabiyeh http://youtu.be/kc1nCPXt5vk , http://youtu.be/0KvTG3KY8oM

Rebels clash with loyalist militias in Aleppo City: Boustan Al-Qasr http://youtu.be/NXbkcEJhMko , http://youtu.be/6H3gofO__uc Khan Al-Assal http://youtu.be/yL8PtzH5vmA , http://youtu.be/DNj5hql94aY

Sounds of clashes in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/qMgKraXsTvc

Remains of the downed helicopter in Alboukamal, Deir Ezzor Province http://youtu.be/sHAl4NmoLno , http://youtu.be/mxesCV3rtn4 The plane has been pounding the town before it was shot down http://youtu.be/I7vTIBcztFw