Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Way Out Goes Further In!

All scientific studies confirm that the world does indeed go on even after one buries one’s head in the sand. The fires in Syria will not burn themselves out, and as they continue to rage unabated, they will burn more and more people in the process. But you cannot fight fire from a safe distance. 

Friday September 28, 2012 – Dedicated to the unity of the Free Syrian Army

Today’s Death toll: 167. The Breakdown: including 15 due to aerial shelling, 4 children and two women. 57 in Aleppo City (including 25 field-executed in Al-Rashideen), 48 in Damascus and suburbs (including 10 field-executed in Barzeh, and 17 in Qudsaya), 22 in Deir Ezzor, 14 in Aleppo Province, 10 in Daraa (including two martyred in Damascus), 7 in Hama, 5 in Homs, 2 in Raqqah and 1 in Lattakia  (LCC).

News

Special Reports

Op-Eds
While our allies could take the lead in maintaining the no-fly zone, it is necessary in Syria, as in Libya, for America to take the lead in establishing it; only our Air Force and Navy have the weaponry needed to dismantle Syria’s Russian-designed air defenses with little risk. A “lead from behind” approach can work in Syria. President Obama need only apply it.
Even at 8.1 percent unemployment, America has historical responsibilities, which are also historical privileges. Even on the back burner, the world burns.

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

FSA Unity? Col. Mithqal Al-Bateesh announces the creation of a joint command of all revolutionary military councils http://youtu.be/s40a7fLHwjY Once again, the move underlines not growing unity, but increasing rivalry between different rebel groups on the one hand, and between different factions in the Antakya-based officers on the other. Despite dedicating this Friday’s rallies to the unity of the Free Syrian Army, unity remains elusive.

Habeet, Idlib Province: people remain defiant as fighter jets fly over their anti-Assad rally http://youtu.be/cwi_h2J9hCo

Aleppo city: Rebels declare the liberation of the neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud http://youtu.be/HgmwK5u17MI

Fire rage near the Syrian-Turkish borders http://youtu.be/RLOM9XJS26s

The continuing bombardment of Eastern Ghoutah Region in Damascus Province leaves any communities destroyed and farms on fire http://youtu.be/KcKAJzJXImE , http://youtu.be/l_8PzVz62-g

The pounding of Homs City continues: Hamidiyeh http://youtu.be/KZLnUfWksq8 , http://youtu.be/PmDRZuk72rM Sultaniyeh http://youtu.be/Gm0I-FLuFMo The nearby town of Rastan was also pounded http://youtu.be/mFaAe622QX0

Syrian-American protesters assault the Iranian UN Ambassador http://youtu.be/gmER3d_0duo

Despite the continuing shelling and battles, hundreds of rallies took place across the country. This is a small sample:  

Kafar Yahmoul, Idlib: http://youtu.be/iOIf-wfeq5E
Harasta, Damascus: “the people the unity of the Free Syrian Army” http://youtu.be/r23tvy7WL3c  
Saqba, Damascus: http://youtu.be/whjE7lqOQO0
Douma, Damascus: http://youtu.be/xy6IZW06Tdk
Al-Wa’er, Homs City: http://youtu.be/WaDLHaCMegc

Friday, September 28, 2012

Power Makes Stupid!

If we are to judge humanity by the quality and intelligence of her political leaders, who have just strutted their stuff at the UN for our collective horror, the verdict will have to be harsh. Yet, they are these people that we need to make see the obvious: that thugs cannot be stopped by empty threats, nor can they be allowed to rule countries and determine the fate of entire nations.  

Thursday September 27, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 133. The Breakdown: 35 in Damascus and Suburbs, 29 in Aleppo, 20 in Idlib, 13 in Homs, 11 in Daraa, 5 in Hama, and 2 in Latakia (LCC).

News

Special Reports
On the northern edge of this war-torn country, barely 100 meters from the Turkish border, thousands of desperate Syrians slept in the dirt.
People with cellular subscriptions received the messages while those with prepaid phones did not, residents in the Syrian capital said.
As over 120 leaders meet in New York for the UN General Assembly, the civil war in Syria is generating significant attention but little collective action. After eighteen months, the toll is dire: nearly 30,000 killed, more than a million internally displaced, and at least 25,000 detained. At the same time, the conflict is increasingly taking on international dimensions.
Bashar al-Assad may fall, but is the worst yet to come?

Op-Eds
Time to accept that what others did in 18 days, or six months, or however long, does not matter, when we are resilient and confident that we will be here for not only an "Arab Spring" but for many seasons to come, as many as it takes. Time to accept that the revolution is not a just something you enjoy when it's uplifting and abandon when it becomes too ugly or too painful. Revolution, like freedom, has an expensive dowry. It's time to remember what we have forgotten: the absence of fear keeps the revolution alive. And remember the people's conviction that in the end, victory is ours.

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

Iran’s President, Ahmadinejad says he loves both parties, well our party does indeed feel his love all the way to our bone marrow, sliding along the edge of a dull blade.

Egypt’s president, Morsi, says he opposes foreign intervention in Syria, but of course. Islamists like him feel the coming of their moment in the region, a long bloody conflict in Syria, a country historically known for its more pragmatic culture, will facilitate the rise of Islamists there and will add another Islamist piece to the puzzle of the new caliphate to which all aspire. Assad is willing to sacrifice so many Syrians for the sake of retaining some power, and the Islamists willing to sacrifice more for the sake of gaining and expanding their power, no matter how tenuous their foothold happens to be at this stage.

There is simply too much unjustified hubris and lust in the air. But no one will have his way, but this realization will not dawn upon us until we spent few years cannibalizing each other. We are the colonialists in our own land. So long as we keep looking at what we have through the filter of totalitarian ideologies we will never be worthy of it, and we will never be able to really own it, or develop it.

Video Highlights

Pounding lead to a new massacre in Haass, Idlib Province http://youtu.be/3oi6RSqZ14M , http://youtu.be/RPV9gQlGX7U , http://youtu.be/f1TFVZdoHK8 , http://youtu.be/lL0lUGQvDb8 In Khan Shaikhoon, locals pull bodies from under the rubble http://youtu.be/31t36n2_wlI Nearby Kafrenbel gets pounded by fighter jets http://youtu.be/Q1MOq8dgJto , http://youtu.be/HUg7ARH2DXg , http://youtu.be/2Sf7917DEjE

The pounding of Deir Ezzor City by tanks continues http://youtu.be/TcNhIHVaXhU

A new massacre in Qaboun Neighborhood in Damascus City http://youtu.be/puQmne3H4o0 , http://youtu.be/b0hUaqBFSeM

In Tartous, the ethnic cleansing of restive Sunni suburbs begins in Baydah village on the outskirts of Banyas City, as the village comes under artillery fire http://youtu.be/E-n7ecofOzk

MIGs pound the town of El-Bab in Aleppo Province http://youtu.be/0eZ5XgeqjAs


In Jobar Neighborhood, Homs City, a new massacre http://youtu.be/xezPJLwX8tg the massacre was the result of random shelling http://youtu.be/xKiJvGrgRVU

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kill Us Maybe!

The killing spree by pro-Assad militias escalates as their sense of insecurity increases. Meanwhile, the global debate on intervention continues. But rockets speak louder than words, and actions count more than intentions.  

Wednesday September 26, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 343. The Breakdown: 162 in Damascus and Suburbs (including 107 martyrs in the massacre in Dhiabieh, 19 in Barzeh, 8 in Hajar Aswad, 6 in Douma, and 4 in Assali), 48 in Deir Ezzor (most field-executed in Jourah), 37 in Hama (most in Masha Al-Arba’een), 34 in Homs (including 18 in the massacre in Bayada), 29 in Aleppo, 27 in Daraa (including 15 in Ibta’a) and 6 in Idlib (LCC).

Highlights (LCC):

Damascus Suburbs: Al- Dhiabieh Reports of 107 martyrs found, most of which women and children who were field executed, including 9 from Al-Rifaie whose throats were slit with knives. 4 bodies were found in front of the Al-Ashra Mosque, 3 bodies in Al-Mashrou Al-Jadid, 5 bodies in Souk Al-Sabet. The number of martyrs will likely increase, but due to continued shelling, activists were unable to recover all bodies.

Damascus City: Barzeh: 15 martyrs were named in a massacre committed by shabbiha in the neighborhood, most victims were children and women. Assali 14 bodies of martyrs, who were field-executed, were found near Al-Mustaqbal Swimming Pool.

Daraa: Ibtaa Regime forces launched a barbaric military campaign in the town where they detained and slaughtered dozens of residents. Fifteen bodies were just recovered from the rubble after regime forces shelled civilian homes with heavy artillery stationed in the surrounding areas. In addition, regime forces used warplanes and gunship helicopters to comb areas surrounding Abtaa, Da’el, and Sheikh Miskeen. Intermittent gunfire was also reported by helicopter machine guns across the area which has led to a massive exodus, and the complete destructions of dozens of homes, including underground make-shift shelters.

Deir Ezzor City: Dozens were martyred due to regime shelling using rockets and missiles in Jabalieh, Aarafi, and Hamadieh neighborhoods.

Hama: Hama City Clashes between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces were reported in Aleppo Road neighborhood and sounds of intense gunfire are heard in the vicinity of the neighborhood. Shahshabo Mountain Warplane shelling at Rasha and Moneir villages was reported and 6 explosive barrels landed, which causes a case of panic and fear among residents.

Lattakia: Turkman Mountain Fierce clashes were reported in Soulas village between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces.

News

Special Reports

Meanwhile, exiled activist Ammar Abdulhamid interpreted the attack in a very different way: “Assad’s grip over Damascus has become tenuous at best. Rebels are able to conduct bombings and attacks even in the most secured areas aided by informants embedded within Assad’s own security establishment. The battle of Damascus is set to begin at earnest soon, in what promises to be a very bloody development.”

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

Video Highlights

Lebanon’s Manar TV broadcasted the following report of a gun battle that reportedly took place in the security headquarters in Omayad Square, Damascus City, that was the target of an attack by local rebels groups earlier in September 26. While rebels report that dozens of pro-Assad militias were killed during the attack. The report here claims that the attack allowed for three “terrorists” to infiltrate the building and were later surrounded by the regular army and killed. The battles we see were obviously staged. This Manar version, which jives with the official version, fails to explain how three terrorists managed to occupy the security headquarters on their own, emptying it out in the process and necessitating an attack by hundreds of soldiers to retake it http://youtu.be/oyT5aOkrhaM The view from afar by activist cameras http://youtu.be/EFD2Bqjw98g , http://youtu.be/aWPc1lgP_yw , http://youtu.be/Jva_NMOeGN8

Regime propagandists continue to be quite creative. A few days ago, and after rebels in Eastern Ghoutah managed to bring down a helicopter gunship, official media claimed that the pilot flew too high to avoid being shit and ended up colliding with a civilian airplane. No worries though, the plane and its passengers were unharmed.

In Dhiabieh, Damascus City, some of the 107 victims of summary executions by pro-Assad militias http://youtu.be/_SrbJPR7UJE , http://youtu.be/wWQTLNNT1EA , http://youtu.be/dtR4tCpIp5U , http://youtu.be/KilOA_b4gOA

In nearby Barzeh, local bury their dead of the day vowing never to kneel but before God http://youtu.be/v2FXKFOWJ50



MIGs take part in pounding of Alboukamal near the borders of Iraq http://youtu.be/yfIo4_KDP1Q , http://youtu.be/D0_Ib_zFYgo , http://youtu.be/1SBgWUGJM_o , http://youtu.be/RMGrBNWEvuE

Locals in Ibtaa, Daraa Province, try to identify the bodies of the martyrs http://youtu.be/o5E0_VKfDTs

The pounding of the town of Rastan, Homs Province, continues http://youtu.be/QPWD5sf5f8Y , http://youtu.be/DP-n_lOJXGg

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Damascus the Insecure!

Assad’s grip over Damascus has become tenuous at best. Rebels are able to conduct bombings and attacks even in the most secured areas aided by informants embedded within Assad’s own security establishment. The battle of Damascus is set to begin at earnest soon, in what promises to be a very bloody development.

Tuesday September 25, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 148. The Breakdown: 44 in Damascus and suburbs, 37 in Aleppo, 25 in Deir Ezzor, 15 in Daraa, 10 in Qunaitra, 5 in Homs, 8 in Idlib, 3 in Hama, and 1 in Lattakia (LCC).

In Homs Province, the head of the Military Council of Homs, the convoy of Col. Qassim Saadeddine, came under attack from pro-Assad militias in what is believed to be a deliberate assassination attempt. Col. Saadeddine is headquartered at the town of Rastan where his troops have been keeping Assad’s militias at bay since the beginning of the armed phase of the revolution. He is highly respected by locals.

Highlights (LCC):

Deir Ezzor City: Jourah District was raided by security forces who carried out dozens of summary executions. Regime forces also shelled Qoussour District.
Damascus Suburbs: Douma came under heavy artillery shelling.
Daraa: Ankhal came under heavy artillery shelling.
Aleppo City: Kallasseh Neighborhood came under intense shelling.
Aleppo Province: warplanes targeted the town of El-Bab.

News

Special Reports
Though President Bashar Assad seems to have a grip on Damascus, it's unclear how strong it is as people go about their business behind closed doors.
If you need a measure of how desperate Syria’s refugees are, contemplate this: Many are fleeing to Iraq.
"Shabbiha" militias in Syria's most shell-shocked city used to offer fellow minority Alawites protection out of solidarity. Now, security comes at a price: About $300 a month.
Dozens of young men have left Ireland to join the Syrian and Libyan uprisings. Though most have never held a gun before, these are causes they are willing to fight and die for.
ONE OF the most troubling scenes veteran French war surgeon Jacques Beres witnessed during a recent trip to Syria was the aftermath of government shelling of a bakery queue in Aleppo, the northern city convulsed by fighting between the regime and rebels.
The Syrian government has encouraged the conflation of activism with Islamic movementto keep citizens in a state of fear and obedience.

Op-Eds
Many characterize the situation as a civil war, implying that the civilian population is caught up in a sectarian bloodbath. In fact, Syrians are paying a high price for attempting to oust the most vicious and authoritarian regime that has ever ruled their country.

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

Video Highlights

The town of Zabadani, Damascus Suburbs, continue to be pounded http://youtu.be/hVrVDAjCDgU , http://youtu.be/g-t9oaEFbEQ In Abbaddeh Suburb, MIGs take part in the pounding http://youtu.be/2BKsmoTk8IY In the suburb of Shebaa, a little girl was targeted by a sniper http://youtu.be/1XaHitb8e4Y

MIGs continue to pound Aleppo City: Maadi http://youtu.be/EvSftCShepE The nearby town of Menbij is also pounded http://youtu.be/N4h2ooN-Xxk

Warplanes drop TNT barrels on the town of Rastan in Homs Province http://youtu.be/zDpL32n0h94

Barrel bombs were also dropped over the town of Salma, in Latakia Province http://youtu.be/Fg7pWVTop74