Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Chemical Assad!

All those warnings against possible use of chemical weapons by Assad and his militias ring quite hollow. In reality, Assad can do much evil before he has to worry about consequences. Putting together a force of 75,000 will not be done overnight, and Assad might just decide to go down a hero to his supporters, falling victim to his own lies about resistance and dragging the country along with him for a nightmarish descent into Hell.

Monday December 3, 2012

Today’s Death Toll: 239, including 10 children and 8 women: 116 in Damascus and suburbs (including 40 in Zayabieh Massacre), 41 in Aleppo, 18 in Daraa (including 10 in Tafas), 17 martyr in Hama, 13 in Idlib, 12 in Homs, 10 in Hassakeh, 10 in Deir Ezzor, and 2 in Lattakia. Points of Random Shelling: 291. Clashes: 157. Clashes around Damascus continue. Rebels downed a MiG over Eastern Ghoutah, between Dmair and Ruhaibeh, and shelled the Military Airport in Deir Ezzor. Rebels also stomred the town of Mansourah in Raqqah province, and destroyed several military vehicles belonging to loyalist militias (LCC).

Citing security concerns, EgyptAir flight to Damascus returned without landing on Monday.


Assad Suffering Reversals in Fighting and Diplomacy A senior Turkish official said that Russia had agreed on Monday to a new diplomatic approach that would seek ways to persuade President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power, a possible weakening in Russia’s steadfast support for the government.

Special Reports
Sunnis in Lebanon are growing more outspoken about the most powerful faction in their country, the Shiite movement Hezbollah.
…some rebel groups are misusing video to make themselves appear more active and successful than they really are, skewing the distribution of resources, and making it harder for outsiders to accurately evaluate the forces on the ground. The stories also underscore the fragmentation of the armed opposition as a newly formed coalition of Syrian opposition groups struggles to establish authority over a rebellion which is unfolding faster than the speed of diplomacy.
Exclusive: The British government is sending a team of experts to Syria to gather evidence on warzone rape - a move backed by UN special envoy and actress Angelina Jolie.
Radical clerics exhort jihadists in Syria to help depose dictator President Bashar Assad. Many in Lebanon say they joined the fight because of family or tribal affiliations.
I am not objecting to the tough stance the administration is taking on chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime. I just wish its outrage–combined with the willingness to act–extended to all the other horrifying and reprehensible things that Bashar Assad is doing.

Launch of Syria Deeply

It was clear that the Syria story, a crisis unfolding into civil war, had become too complicated for people to understand. Why was it happening? Why was Assad killing his own people? Why was the international response so tame? The user experience of the story was abysmal: a lot of noise and competing narratives, not enough context, history, and background. The global news audience was underserved.
I love what I do in journalism, covering the world on radio and television. But when I look at the system as a whole, how all of the networks and newspapers cover foreign news for an American audience, I know we can do much, much better. We are failing the Syria story and complex issues like it.
As conflict rages in Syria, the news industry is in crisis, too. Lara Setrakian's Syria Deeply is re-imagining the business of storytelling.

Video Highlights

Random shelling claims the lives of several children in the village of Armanaya, Idlib Province http://youtu.be/wHOWuyBRrI0 More dead in Al-Barrah http://youtu.be/UdFD5GdlFA0 In Kafrenbel, rebels come under shelling as they try to transport the body of a fallen comrade http://youtu.be/2f2rhyL4sms , http://youtu.be/VVCksXeXLPg

Locals pull the dead and wounded from under the rubble following an aerial raid on the town of the Kurdish-Majority of Ras Al-Ain along the Turkish borders. Rebels from Jabhat Al-Nusra have taken control over parts of the town in recent weeks http://youtu.be/E5hPNN0PzQg , http://youtu.be/8JcCqcZ7uKs , http://youtu.be/_09Ns6YuJ30

This video shows clearly missiles being launched from the Damascus Military Airport targeting rebel groups advancing towards the capital http://youtu.be/qMbADxly28M

Impact of shelling by missiles on Eastern Ghoutah: Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/TDlGaOaKBHs Zamalka http://youtu.be/FOXVfsfYRhc , http://youtu.be/FzT1nS1Dotc Misraba http://youtu.be/kkfqlhePq8o Babbila http://youtu.be/dJTYLpBR8qM

Some of today’s martyrs in Damascus: Misraba http://youtu.be/BVDyLnMZouw Mleihah http://youtu.be/cbwEwYZUWTw An unexplained bomb shell in Harran Al-Awameed http://youtu.be/-NN3FOnon5A

A failed attempt to storm the town of Daraya by pro-Assad militias left plenty of loyalist dead http://youtu.be/LlzRolQ40jY

For all the missiles and MiGs, rebels have taken control of the town of Agraba along the Airport Highway http://youtu.be/C1dj2s6GUTg

Random shelling claims the lives of many in Handarat, Aleppo http://youtu.be/fRLm3Zdub4M In Sfeirah, locals find the bodies of 5 comrades who were executed http://youtu.be/ALmhuaopFow

Clashes in Houleh, Homs Province, continue http://youtu.be/PC08qDMfUXE , http://youtu.be/N58dcq5QKBU Locals leave the city http://youtu.be/v2fIsnOU16g

The city of Deir Ezzor comes under heavy shelling at night http://youtu.be/H9vDB9O9PKE

Arab, Kurds and Turkmen rebels come together to form a new battalion, named after Yussouf Al-Azmeh, the Syrian Defense Minister who died in battles against French invasion in 1920 http://youtu.be/XMHeUDFIsiw