Posts Tagged ‘assad syria’

Defector general Tlass calls for Syrian unity

July 25th, 2012 Comments off

Undated file picture shows top Syrian General Manaf Tlass smoking a cigar in an undisclosed locationSyrian general Manaf Tlass Tuesday called on Syrians to unite and start building a post-President Bashar al-Assad Syria as he made his first public appearance since defecting from the regime.

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Top Syria diplomat abandons Assad

July 12th, 2012 Comments off

Syria’s ambassador to Iraq says he has defected to the opposition – the first senior diplomat to abandon the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
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Gunmen storm pro-Assad Syria TV

June 27th, 2012 Comments off

Seven people have been killed at a Syrian pro-government TV channel, state media report, as the UN calls a key meeting for Saturday.
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Assad: Syria faces ‘real war waged from the outside’ –

June 3rd, 2012 Comments off

Assad: Syria faces 'real war waged from the outside'
Thirteen men were shot dead at close range in Syria. Activists claim the killers were government militia. The government blames the rebels. NBC's John Ray reports. Some of the images in this report may be disturbing. By Alastair Jamieson and
Assad: "Monsters" to blame for Syria massacreCBS News
Troops deployed to Tripoli after Syrian groups clash; 15 killedGlobe and Mail
Defiant Assad rejects role in Houla massacreAFP
The Associated Press –Bloomberg –Voice of America
all 2,305 news articles »

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What the Egyptian “low intensity democracy” election can teach us about hypothetical elections in a post-Assad Syria

May 26th, 2012 Comments off

“…The Egyptian case is an example of US-promoted “low-intensity democracy” or “polyarchy”, par excellence: a western-backed bourgeois elite stage-manages elections designed to suppress, rather than express, popular aspirations for more radical political change. To facilitate its task, it is equipped with tools like foreign funding of Empire-serving candidates, vote-buying, the creation of a climate of apathy and or/intimidation to ensure a low voter turnout in rival constituencies, redrawing electoral districts and gerrymandering to ensure the election result (though this didn’t occur in Egypt, it is practiced elsewhere) and a fair —though not excessive— amount of voter/election fraud thrown in when faced with stiff competition from anti-system candidates who enjoy real popular legitimacy…”

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No fans of Assad, Syria’s Kurds distrust uprising

April 18th, 2012 Comments off

In a Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011 photo, a Syrian Kurdish boy who lives in Lebanon carries a banner during a protest outside the Arab League office in Beirut, Lebanon. Syria's Kurds, who have long complained of discrimination under Assad, would seem a natural fit to join the revolt against his rule. Instead, they are growing increasingly distrustful of the opposition who they see as no more likely to grant them their rights. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)Syria’s Kurds, who have long complained of discrimination under President Bashar Assad, would seem a natural fit to join the revolt against his rule. Instead, they are growing increasingly distrustful of an opposition they see as no more likely to grant them their rights.

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Assad’s hidden strenghts!

March 2nd, 2012 Comments off

“…The core of Assad’s support still lies within the minority Alawite sect, of which he is a member. Many Alawites, who make up about 12% of the population, feel that Assad has mismanaged the instability, but they cannot ignore the reality that, in a Sunni-dominated Syria, their community — like the Sunnis of Iraq and the Maronite Christians of Lebanon — is likely to be pushed to the margins of power and suffer reprisals.
But it would be a mistake to assume that only the Alawites support the status quo. The Syrian Baath Party’s Arab nationalist ideology, its strong support for the Palestinians and its opposition to Israel have proved useful tools in extending the regime’s legitimacy beyond the Alawite sect.
One source of support for Assad is Syria’s Christian community, which makes up about 10% of the population. Though many Christians feel that the regime has made numerous mistakes in addressing the protest movements, they have a deep and understandable fear of the sort of instability and sectarian recriminations that followed Saddam Hussein’s fall in Iraq. The majority of Iraqi Christians there were eventually forced to flee the country after suffering high levels of violence and intimidation. Other minority groups, such as Syrian Kurds and Druze, have either continued their support of Assad or have resisted the urge to join elements of the protest movement for similar reasons.
Though Sunnis account for the overwhelming majority of Syrian opposition to the Assad regime, there are other Sunnis within the Baath Party’s rank and file that would have few prospects in a post-Assad Syria and so have not opposed the status quo. The country’s Sunni merchant class and business community, located mainly in Aleppo and Damascus, have also remained largely on the sidelines of the protests. Some have supported elements of the opposition, but most remain fearful of the socioeconomic vacuum that an abrupt change in leadership would create…..
One factor bolstering the military’s continued support for the regime is fear of “de-Baathification” along the lines of what happened in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Regime loyalists within the military probably would face bleak futures in a post-Assad Syria. Another factor is that more than three decades of Baathist indoctrination have served to ensure that this is not only Assad’s military; it is also that of the Syrian Baath Party. Many in the military continue to view the current cycle of unrest as part of a foreign conspiracy to degrade Syria’s internal stability and regional role.
Taken together, these pillars of regime support provide a wide base within the Syrian population that continues to prefer that Assad remain in power. At the same time, opposition forces are hurt by having little minority support and being largely leaderless and divided. They have embraced regime change yet have not offered a real-world vision of what would come next, or how they would navigate what would surely be years of political and socioeconomic instability following Assad’s fall…”

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America’s shameless: "It is just despicable … to see two permanent members of the Security Council using their veto while people are being murdered!"

February 25th, 2012 Comments off
“… They took a tentative step toward recognition by declaring the council to be “a legitimate representative” of the Syrian people, a possible precursor to calling it “the legitimate representative.”

Despite the show of unity, which diplomats said they hoped would impress upon Assad that the end of his family’s four-decade autocratic rule is inevitable and at hand, there were signs of division. Some nations argued for arming Assad’s foes, while others called for the creation of protected humanitarian corridors to deliver aid.
Neither idea was included in the conference’s final document, which instead focused on steps nations should take to tighten the noose on the regime, including boycotting Syrian oil, imposing travel and financial sanctions on Assad’s inner circle, and working with the opposition to prepare for a post-Assad Syria, including lucrative commercial deals…. 
Highlighting the divisions, though, Saudi Arabia called publicly for weapons and ammunition to be sent to the opposition, ….  Clinton demurred on the question….. “

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On intervention in Syria

January 19th, 2012 Comments off

The shorter Steve Cook: Bashar al-Assad is massacring his own people, but the West doesn’t want to intervene because they think he’ll fall soon enough. He won’t though, and while intervening is difficult, it’s not as difficult as the conventional wisdom holds. It may have the added bonus fo the US to undermine Iran’s regional position. That being said, post-Assad Syria might be a disaster.

The shorter Marc Lynch: Bashar al-Assad is massacring his own people, but a massacre is not enough ground to strike against a country, even if it may be part of the ground. Any form of military intervention, such as a no-fly zone, would quickly grow into something complicated that would draw the West in further. The Syrian opposition is not yet strong enough to provide a real alternative to the regime anyway. Beef up sanctions and go to the ICC first to isolate the regime further and provide a legal basis for more down the road.

My short take: I am always againt military intervention, humanitarian or otherwise, because of the experience of Iraq and because I believe in national sovereignty as the cornerstone of democracy and in respecting international law. I do not see Russia and China giving a go-ahead for UN-sanctioned intervention, nor do I see Arab unity over intervention in this case. That being said, we must be realistic about Syria: the conflict is likely to perdure and will probably draw in its neighbors – Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel. In other words, it is likely to internationalize. These countries (and in the case of Lebanon and Iraq, others working through them) may want to back a particular faction, or quarantine the conflict (which will have an impact on the belligerents, of course). What’s more, fighters from those countries may very well want to join one side or the other (there have already been rumors of Iranians joining in on the regime side). In other words, foreign intervention will be a reality sooner or later. I’d rather it’d be done by Syria’s neighbors then the West, even if that means it will be bloodier or even if it leads to Assad staying in power. Quite simply, it’s none of our business.

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Israel prepares for fall of Assad, Syria refugees (Reuters)

January 10th, 2012 Comments off

Reuters – Israel is making preparations for the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a flood of refugees from his minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
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