It's strange, when I wrote the name of the Russian aerial company, the filter of Mp.net generates this laughing emoticon.
Syria says the agent responsible to the blast of the defense heads was arrested: http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=278698
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion...d-7965154.htmlRobert Fisk: If Alawites are turning against Assad then his fate is sealed
The Long View: There seems to be a Baathist pattern of destroying Sunni villages on the edge of the Alawite heartland
'Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' th' Tiger," Macbeth's First Witch announces, but Shakespeare got his geography a bit wrong. Aleppo is 70 miles from the Mediterranean. It's certainly ancient; Aleppo was mentioned in the cuneiform tablets of Ebla in the third millennium BC and belonged to the Hittites and the Emperor Justinian, its 14th-century citadel walls still lowering today over the revolutionary capital of northern Syria.
And that's the point. While the drama of last week's assault on Bashar al-Assad's regime in Damascus stunned the Arab world, the sudden outbreak of violence in Aleppo this weekend was in one way far more important. For Aleppo is the richest city in Syria – infinitely more so than Damascus – and if the revolution has now touched this centre of wealth, then the tacit agreement between the Alawite-controlled government and the Sunni middle classes must truly be cracking.
As the birthplace of agriculture – the Euphrates is only 70 miles to the east – Aleppo is also the headquarters of the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (Icarda), one of the finest institutions of its kind in the world. It increases food production in Asia and Africa in an area containing a billion people, 50 per cent of whom earn their living from agriculture. Donors include Britain, Canada, the US, Germany, Holland, the World Bank – you name it. And its 500 employees are still operating in Aleppo.
Alas, its principal research station at Tel Hadya, 20 miles from Aleppo, was raided by gunmen who stole vehicles – to use them as "technicals" mounted with machine guns – along with farm machinery and computers. Mercifully, Icarda's gene bank is safe and has been duplicated outside Syria. The Syrian government moved a military checkpoint closer to Icarda's property at Tel Hadya – the Syrian ministry of agriculture was always one of the more progressive offices in Damascus – but what use this will be in the coming days, we shall see.
Liberman: transfer of WMDs to Hezbollah is casus beli
If the ring of fire has indeed started its execution, and they are cleansing the northwest, then the endgame of the first phase of this revolution is in sight.
From the west, the Kurds are taking control of their areas. The regime doesn't have long to go now...they are holding onto an offensive while still trying to quietly cleanse the area of Lakatia. If they were doing it more forcefully, more people would conclude Assad's game is up. Other news earlier lends credence to my theory that Assad is slowly inching the WMDs to Lakatia. Then, it doesn't matter if he loses in Damascus or Aleppo, he has a state to go towards. But with Alawites in the revolution, perhapos clan leaders might try to force him to step down, what with his reduced authority. But for sure, the ring of fire strategy is going on. Hamed Haouch was the city mentioned in the article, and it indeed lies in there according to the maps here : http://www.traveljournals.net/explor...tions/h/7.html
Looking on Google/Bing maps, it seems that Highway 5 looks like where any new border may fall
This is what we're looking for in the next few weeks and days (well minus Sanjak and Lebanon). Except add Kurdish territory in the Western areas. I already explained in another thread how even if the Salafis win, they can really only retain control of Damascus territory, as Aleppo has tons more minorities, and on top, Jabal Druze can be another haven for minorities from Damascus.
I really don't understand their game tbh...demanding greater autonomy in each of their countries while hinting they have the power to secede. Why so indecisive? The Kurds of Syria could easily carve a new independent state out right now, and there isn't much Assad can do. So why the pussyfooting around? I can understand if the Iraqi part is hesitant about doing so, and the Iranian part is...well not much chances lately. But easily a new Kurdistan could emerge there...so why the beating around the bush. We know they want independence.
Last edited by IconOfEvi; 07-24-2012 at 08:26 AM.
The problematic point is Hama ( should be within future Sunni state ) . Homs is located to the east of the road , so it fits well. Alawis will try to secure Homs refinery and oil pipeline to Damascus , but even if they'll lose it, it's OK : they still have Baniyas refinery under control.
Here's an article for the folks who still think that anybody other than the Syrian government is responsible for the Houla Massacre.
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...-a-845854.htmlA Syrian Bloodbath Revisited
Searching for the Truth Behind the Houla Massacre
By Christoph Reuter and Abd al-Kadher Adhun
Initially, the United Nations was convinced that the Syrian government was behind the brutal Houla massacre. But then, some began to have doubts. SPIEGEL traveled to the town to interview survivors and witnesses -- and was able to reconstruct the horrifying slaughter.
Nothing is going to happen, Muawiya Sayyid, a retired police officer, reassured his family on the afternoon of May 25. They were afraid to leave the house, but Sayyid reminded his family that he had been a colonel and troops with regime connections had remained unharmed in previous raids.
It was a fatal miscalculation, as Colonel Sayyid was forced to realize during the last few minutes of his life. According to statements by his surviving wife and daughter, he was in his room on the second floor when he overheard the murderers in front of the house as they agreed bring out the women first and then kill everyone. He told his wife and children to run. "I'll try to stall them," he said. He succeeded, but paid for it with his life.
The Houla massacre at the end of May, which claimed the lives of 108 village residents, according to the United Nations, including 49 children and 34 women, most of them murdered with hatchets, knives and guns, shocked the world. UN observers were able to gain access to the site of the carnage, where they could see the bodies and independently confirm what had happened there. The Syrian ambassadors to the UN and 12 countries, including Germany, were expelled. On June 1, the UN Human Rights Council condemned the Syrian regime and its shabiha militias for the massacre, with Russia and China voting against the resolution. The government in Damascus, however, blamed the incident on "terrorists" and denounced what it called a "tsunami of lies" over the massacre.
But then views began to shift. As time passed, the UN began to question its original findings. On June 27, the Human Rights Council discussed a report prepared by its Syria commission, which concluded that there was insufficient evidence to determine who had committed the massacre.
On June 8 and 14, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a leading German daily, published two reports based on the statements of anonymous eyewitnesses, who claimed that members of the armed opposition had committed the massacre and then blamed it on the regime. According to the reports, 700 members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had come to Houla from various towns to kill families that had converted to the Alawite or Shiite faiths and had not joined the rebellion. At the beginning of June, Jürgen Todenhöfer, a member of German parliament for the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), pursued the matter and sharply criticized the rebels for what he called "massacre marketing."
Since May 26, when Alex Thompson with Britain's Channel 4 television station joined UN observers in Houla for a few hours, no foreign journalist had been in the town to examine the site and speak directly with surviving members of the massacred families and eyewitnesses of the attack.
Now, though, a SPIEGEL team has managed to visit the place where the massacre occurred: Taldou, the largest of four widely scattered villages that form the Houla municipality. Getting there was complicated; the Syrian regime doesn't want any foreign journalists in the country, especially not in Houla.
The region is also surrounded by a ring of Alawite villages, where the Syrian army has established bases from which it continues to fire at Houla with tanks and artillery. The regime provides arms to the villages, which in turn supply the pro-regime shabiha militias, which have set up checkpoints on area roads and are participating in attacks.
Taldou itself, home to more than 15,000 people before the revolution, is under the control of its own residents. They have formed a unit of the FSA, which protects them from smaller attacks, but not from bombardment. Parts of the village, including one of the areas where the massacre took place, remain inaccessible, because they are within the range of army snipers positioned on a ridge outside the town.
The SPIEGEL team spent two days in Taldou, where it was able to move about freely, interview surviving members of the Sayyid and Abdul Rassak families and speak with witnesses. Some of the witnesses spoke on camera, while others wanted to remain anonymous, because they still have relatives in prison or in cities controlled by the regime. To prevent collective memories from interfering with their own experiences, the witnesses were interviewed individually and asked what they had seen and heard.
Here are video interviews with 6 witnesses, 3 of them military. One soldier who witnessed it had the day off-
I found these quotes to be the most interesting-
Ali Adil Sayyid, the only surviving member of his family, is a distant relative of Abdulmuti Mashlab, a member of the Syrian parliament. This circumstance prompted UN observers to make the assumption that people were killed because of their family ties to a regime official. But Mashlab, says Ali, was merely the uncle of his uncle's wife.He now reports that, on May 28, he received a call from Jamil Hassan, the head of Syrian Air Forces intelligence and one of the leading members of the regime: "He told me to come in on June 2. He pointed out that I was from Houla, and that an international conspiracy against Syria was underway. For that reason, he wanted me to find a few people, as poor as possible, from Houla or the surrounding area. I was to bring them to Damascus so that they could circulate the regime's version of the massacre. He said that the people from Houla would be paid, and so would I. Then he called his office manager and told him to give me 25,000 Syrian pounds." This is the equivalent of slightly more than €300 or roughly $385.
Druze community in Syria-Lebanon have gone quite anti-Israel in recent years, I wouldn't be so trusting of them. Though of course any new state(s) post-Assad should be viewed as a potential friend and all the diplomatic outreaches should be offered (even to the Alawites), though obviously they will all be refused.
Iran warns 'hated Arabs' against... JPost - Iranian Threat - NewsIran warns 'hated Arabs' against Syria intervention
Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander sends veiled warning to Saudi Arabia, Qatar not to meddle in Syria.
A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Tuesday any foreign powers intervening in Syria would suffer "decisive blows", specifically referring to "hated Arabs" - a veiled reference to regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
"Not yet one of Syria's friends and the large resistance front has entered this arena, and if this were to happen, decisive blows would be struck against the enemy's front and specifically the hated Arabs," Masoud Jazayeri was quoted as saying by Fars news agency.
He did not specify who would strike those blows and said the enemies of Syria were incapable of replacing its government, which has battled a sustained armed uprising against the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Jazayeri's comments came after Syria acknowledged on Monday that it had chemical and biological weapons, and said it could use them if foreign countries intervened.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said the army would not use chemical weapons to crush rebels but could use them against forces from outside the country.
The Syrian people were "furious" with those who have supported the armed rebels and would seek their revenge, said Jazayeri, specifically naming the United States, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Damascus has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of channeling weapons and money to rebels fighting Assad's forces. Activists say more than 17,000 people have been killed in the 16-month uprising against his rule.
Turkey has called for Assad to quit after he failed to heed calls for reform, and has harbored Syrian rebels and tens of thousands of refugees along its border with Syria. Washington has also called on Assad to step aside.
The Syrian army should have been using the air force a long time ago.
At the moment their strategy is an open threat to use WMD against a foreign intervention and the airforce against rebel formations.
I am sorry to say but this complete thing will not end well. That region is on the verge of major war with at least 5 states participating. WMD will be used.
And given that Syrian army got harder blow in past year than in all wars with Israel combined, at least (well, there are CW/BW but conventionally) it will not pose serious threat to Israel in at least next decade.
Israel isn't worried about the conventional Syrian army but by the Islamization of that country and the potential for cross border attacks like the ones we are currently seeing on the Sinai border.And given that Syrian army got harder blow in past year than in all wars with Israel combined, at least (well, there are CW/BW but conventionally) it will not pose serious threat to Israel in at least next decade.