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Syria Update Thread.
Posted 06 July 2011 - 11:02 PM (#21)
Just seen this on Al Jazeera Syria live blog:
We just spoke with a resident of Hama, a man who goes by the name Omar Hama. According to Omar, Hama remained quiet on Wednesday, as army and security forces withdrew from the streets and resumed their encirclement of the city. Tanks could be seen surrounding the town.
At around 5pm, two vans carrying security forces pulled onto an overpass on the Hama ring road and fired into groups in the streets below, wounding two people, Omar said. One person was arrested.
Hama has been on strike since Thursday morning, and water and electricity had been shut off. But activists threatened to blow up high-volatage power lines running through town that supply other parts of Syria unless the utilities returned, which they did at around 3pm, Omar said.
Entrances to Hama remain blocked by garbage cans, tire fires and stones, he said, and residents are waiting to see if a planned general strike across the country will take hold on Thursday. Some families have left, he said, but most have stores of olive oil, flour, cheese and other staples to last mroe than a month.
Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:32 AM (#22)
Composer of Hama protest songs found dead with his throat carved out
Friday, 08 July 2011
By DINA AL-SHIBEEB
AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES
Ibrahim Qashqoush, one of Syria’s protest songs’ composers and singers, found dead on the banks of al-Assi river in Hama. (File Photo)
Ibrahim Qashqoush, one of Syria’s protest songs’ composers and singers, was found brutally killed with his neck cut and his throat carved out.
Mr. Qashqoush’s songs were sung by the thousands of protesters in the central flashpoint city of Hama, which has witnessed one of the largest demonstrations in Syria calling for the downfall of President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.
His lyrics angered the Syrian regime.
“Oh Bashar, you are not from us, take Maher and leave us, your credibility has fallen and now leave...oh Bashar, you are a liar…” read an excerpt of one song by Mr. Qashqoush.
His slain body was found on the banks of the al-Assi river in Hama.
Nearly around half a million protesters thronged Hama on Friday as the US ambassador traveled there to show American solidarity with protesters.
(Dina Al-Shibeeb, a senior editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:25 PM (#23)
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni backs offering $5.8bn in aid to Syria to bolster its economy, a French newspaper said on Friday, citing a report by a Tehran think-tank linked to Iran's leadership.
Damascus has long been Tehran's main ally among otherwise mainly hostile Arab states. After four months of popular unrest, Syria's economy is reeling under the weight of strikes, reduced oil exports, scaled-back trade and international sanctions.
Its troubles have prompted Iran's leadership to consider offering $5.8bn in financial help, including a three-month loan worth $1.5bn to be made available immediately, French business daily Les Echos said.
It added that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has backed the idea of the aid, which was outlined in a secret report by the Centre for Strategic Research, a think tank linked to the Iranian leadership.
It was not possible to independendly verify the report on Friday.
Iran, Les Echos said, could also provide 290,000 barrels of oil to Syria each day over the next month while helping to boost border controls to stop Syrians from fleeing the country for Lebanon with cash. - Reuters
Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:15 PM (#24)
Regarding the martyr Ibrahim Qashqoush (see post before the last one) the following video seems to have got him martyred. The demonstration is from Hama 27/6/2011. With english translation. May Allah Subhanahu Wata Ala accept his martyrdom and grant his loved ones Sabr e Jameel. May Allah Subhanahu Wata Ala protect the Syrian people and grant them freedom from oppression.
Posted 17 July 2011 - 03:35 AM (#25)
An excellent page I discovered yesterday on Al Jazeera site. 'Diary from a besieged Syrian town'. The comments section lower down on the page give plenty of updates. Someone called 'Balkis' is doing some good work. May All SWT protect her.
One comment from Balkis on the tactics of the protestors:
Monday to Thursday daily and nightly demos all over Syria, small groups. It you look from the air: octopuse
Friday: after prayer huge demos. For instance: Homs has reached 400.000, Hama 500 000.
They change tactic all the times. For instance, at Homs, they announce they are going to demo at x hour. They move the hour ahead so the security forces are taken by surprise when the demos start. Each town has its own techniques.
Saturday and Sunday: funerals and more you have funerals more you have angry people. Yesterday Damascus lost 23 or 24 persons. Today huge furneral that turn into a demo that is continuing until now.
Weeks are different.
Demos at night is to avoid being caught at home. They know how to move from one street to another. Lybians use to do it at the begenning because the Egyptians and Tunisians taught them.
Another comment from Balkis on the tactics of the military:
They act differently. For instance at Daraa and Talkalach, they entered and butchered the people
I don't know if you have followed Hama. When Hama organised the first massive rally in Syria, 250000, the regime was angry. Security forces and the thugs shot at demos. Then Hama organised a 500000 demo. The army wanted to move but swayed away to another destination. This reminded me of some stories how they use to act in Lebanon. Then, you know now why Ford [US Ambassador]went to Hama. The regime wanted to storm hama and repeat what the other mad dog (Bashar's father) did in the 80s: nearly 20000 deads at Hama. It was a real slaughter. I have uploaded some videos in other blogs before moving here.
Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:58 PM (#27)
With Ramadan coming people may be wondering how it will affect the uprisings in the Arab world. The daily Taraweeh gatherings at the mosques will provide further opportunities for nightly protests after prayer.
The following link is an article commenting on what effect Ramadan may have on a country by country basis.
I shall post the section regarding Syria.
In Syria, the prevailing analysis suggests Ramadan could favor the protesters. Or, as Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell tweeted today, "The consensus seems to be that Ramadan (more people in mosques=demos) is bad news for Bashar." Patrick Seale at Gulf News elaborates:
When the daytime fast is ended at sunset, the tradition is for the rich to feed the poor, often at trestle tables in the courtyards of mosques--or so it was before mosques became centres of protest. If large crowds gather next month for occasions of this sort, there could be serious trouble.
But Kal at the blog The Moor Next Door thinks Ramadan could be a mixed bag for Syrian protesters. Sectarian tensions could be inflamed by Islamist groups exploiting the holiday for political ends or Alawite-dominated security forces continuing their crackdown on Sunni protesters, he notes, adding that "regimes will be presented with extreme risk when confronting their enemies in mosques or communal festivals." Still, he doesn't rule out the possibility that governments in the Middle East could reach truces with opposition movements during Ramadan. "Arab regimes regularly offer pardons or commute sentences for prisoners (both ordinary and political) during Ramadan," he points out.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:17 PM (#28)
As it is friday today and the main day of protests I want to remind you of the following blog on Al Jazeera english website if you want to follow updates. On the blog page go down to the comments section and choose 'Newest first' for the latest updates. The person called 'Balkis' is doing agreat job and is very dedicated.
Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:26 PM (#29)
An 'awe-inspiring' video of todays protest in Hama. MashaAllah. SubhanAllah. Hama is the place in whic Assad senior massacred tens of thousands in the 80s.
This video makes me feel so proud SUBHANALLAH!. I dont own a phone but if I did Id make this my ring tone. From 15 seconds the chant explodes.
The regime has been rounding up prominent activists even in Damascus during the week in an attempt to disrupt Fridays protests. Even Christian activists have been taken in custody.
Posted 24 July 2011 - 12:40 AM (#30)
See the following video. Female members of a house in Deraa (the town in which the revolution began)are filming from a window hoping Assad thugs drive by and dont stop outside their home. The thugs stop and enter the garden to raid the home. You can hear the fear in them and it sounds like one of them begins to recite Quranic verses or prayers.
Posted 24 July 2011 - 11:14 PM (#31)
Muhammad Said Ramadhan al-Buti denies rumour
Posted on July 25, 2011
There are rumours circulating regarding either a cancellation or lessening of tarawih prayers during the month of Ramadhan, per the demands of the Syrian ministry of religious affairs. Coordinating Facebook pages carried news of a supposed meeting in Al-Kuwaiti Mosque in Damascus, organised by the minister of religious affairs. The meeting was reported to host leading Islamic scholars and preachers, employed by the ministry. According to the rumour, those attending were informed regarding a decision to lessen the length of the taraweeh prayers or to cancel them all together, in order to prevent large gatherings for protests.
During the month of Ramadhan mosques become the centre of large gatherings, especially for evening prayers. With thousands of mosques across the country, the intensity of Friday protests can become a daily occurrence and will challenge the regime’s logistics and ability to repress hundreds of thousands on a daily basis – a tipping point could be reached. However, Muhammad Said Ramadhan al-Buti has officially denied this rumour, via the website Naseem al-Shaam. He clarifies that no meeting was organised and no scholar can prevent or alter the prayers’s length.
Posted 25 July 2011 - 07:40 PM (#32)
Cadets in Aleppo marching against the regime. Aleppo is Syrias largest city and the economic heartland of Syria. It is mainly Sunni but hasnt as yet joined the uprising.
Note: The previous post has been edited. Readers may have missed it earlier.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 04:24 AM (#33)
The following video (link) and script is from the comments section of 'Diary from a besieged Syrian town' blog on Al Jazeera English. The video is in Arabic:
#Syria Al Jazeera Arabic anchor, Ghada Owais, destroys Bassam Abu Abdullah, a filthy mouthpiece and regime
Bassam Abu Abdullah, a political analyst in Damascus.
Ghada Thank you.
Ghada asked Bassam AbuAbdallah
AJA: There are 13 persons killed one fo them is 10 at Kanaker, what was the sercurity service looking for at Kanaker ?
He replied there are in some areas armed men. Then he tells her that AJA should be more objective by showing pictures of those who have been slaughtered at Jisr Al Shughur.
AJA: those pictures were shown two days ago
He insisted that they should be shown more than once.
AJA insisted that the subject is about Kanaker
His answer: security forces are looking for killers and criminals who belonged to armed group. It is time for the army forces to act, because it is impossible for the people of Syria to live under this threat.
AJA : "if the responsibles of these killings, according to the repeated story, are the armed groups, who is responsible about the arrests more than 250 persons from Kanaker, who is reponsible, are they too armed groups ?
His answer: I have no information about this subject, the only thing I know that some are involved in killing security officers
AJA: you have no information about the arrested persons, but you have information about the armed groups ? Howe do you get your information about the armed groups and you know nothing about the arrests ?
He tries to evade the question by telling her "either you speak first or you let me talk".."you (AJA) you talk about the demos,...
AJA: "I speak about Kanaker".
He; "I don't know what is going on at Kanaker, but I know that there are armed groups that need to ....
AJA: How do you know therefore that they are armed groups ?
He: I have no informations about Kanaker, I only know that there are armed groups.
AJA: How do you know that there are armed groups and you have just said that you have no infos about Kanaker.
He: I have my own sources
AJA: Who are those sources ?
He: They concern me specially ? and you are a journalist and you study them
AJA: No, I don't know them, sir
He: You are a journalist and you know about the sources ...
AJA: no, sir, I don't know...
He: you are a journalist and this is of you are reponsibility.
AJA: Fine, as a journalist I am asking you about the arrests ? and your sources do tell you nohting about the arrests ?
He: Can you tell me from where you get your infos ?
AJA: Internet and you can get them as well....
He: why are you waging this campaign against Syria ?
AJA: Could you asnwer my question about the arrests ? If the search concerns armed groups, why water, electricity and internet are cut at Kanaker ?
He: There is no relation. There are armed groups and it is time for the syrian citizens to get peace.There are criminals and those who do not want reforms. We want reforms, I and 1000s of intellectuals and million of syrians who want the reforms, not those thugs ???,...you should know that the internal affairs of Syria are dealt in Syria and not on AJA.
AJA: You are labling the syrian people in a way that we express our reserve, and they are your responsibility. You know what is going over there though you are not there (Kanaker), and you know about armed people, but you know nothing about water and electricity cuts, anyway...tk you.
Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:58 AM (#34)
Some news on Sheikh Buti (mentioned 3 posts back).
Buti Expelled From Mosque – Soldiers enter Kanaker: 8 Killed
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
al-Buti – Syria’s senior Sunni cleric – was ejected from his mosque for speaking out against the uprising. He said: “Most of the people who come to Friday prayers and then go out to demonstrate, do not know how to pray.”
Lower down in the comments section is this comment:
Thank you for your question.
“if possible can you share with us your openion as why all the media lately attacking Dr.Al Buti? thanks”
Criticism of Sh. Bouti is coming from different places, including:
- Saudi-financed media. One thing for sure, wahabis/salafis don’t like Sh. Bouti. They now see an opportunity to destroy his reputation and they are ceasing it (the opportunity).
Sh. Bouti has played a great role in protecting Syria from the wahabi influence and it’s now payback time. In doing so, they’re hitting two birds with one stone.
First, they settle the score with him. Second, by discrediting him and other pro-regime scholars, they stand a better chance to spread their ideology through the likes of ‘arour. I hope they fail.
The vast majority of Sunni Syrians are not wahabis/salafis and remain so despite the many attempts made over the past 50+ years. However, when people see their scholars siding with the government against them, it’s easier for ‘arour and company to exploit the situation and gain more influence.
- Other media/blogs. They repeat what the Saudi-financed media circulates without verification (not an excuse). Sometimes, it’s cut-and-paste. Other times, it is a misunderstanding of Sh. Bouti’s opinions. However, there is also genuine discontent with no misrepresentation.
- Disillusioned students and supports/fans of the shaikh. Many of the shaikh’s students and supporters/fans have been critical of shaikh Bouti’s attack on the opposition. Those students and supports/fans are well intentioned and have valid reasons for their criticism.
- Syria’s Ulema. Many of the ulema/scholars of Damascus and Syria have been very critical of sh. Bouti. Many cannot openly voice their criticism because of the security ramifications. Those who did by criticizing the government and offering a different opinion than the one expressed by Sh. Bouti have been banned from public speaking.
I hope this helps.
Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:02 AM (#35)
Joshua Landis blog 'Syria comment' has corrected the the above story (previous post).
Buti [not] Expelled From Mosque – Soldiers enter Kanaker: 8 Killed
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
Correction: Buti was NOT expelled from a mosque
Scooby said: Dear Josh,
Your title “Buti expelled from mosque” is extremely misleading. The clips that you show are from MONTHS ago, when the protests started to spread to Damascus. They occurred AFTER the Friday prayers were finished and when some people rushed the pulpit shouting anti-government slogans. All of the clips that follow took place in the week following that sermon, back in March.
Dear Scooby, many thanks for this correction. I was duped by this well crafted video forgery below. There are many misleading and falsified videos going around. I have frequently criticized the main stream press for not doing due diligence. Now I have been burned. Mea culpa. I have frequently used Buti as a measure of the “Sunni street.” He is a much respected Imam. I know he has many critics today because of his pro-stability stand, but for him to be expelled from a mosque would be big news and a turning point, of a kind. Thanks for correcting me. I count on the collective knowledge of this discussion board. Merci]
Posted 29 July 2011 - 05:05 AM (#36)
From Al Jazeera's 'Diary of a besieged Syrian town' blog comments section:
F.N.N | Syria Flash English Flash
| | Damascus | | Muhajren: Young protesters threw what they called
balls of freedom, about 2000 Ping Pong balls written on them slogans of
revolution (peaceful, freedom, no to sectarianism, We don't love you
leave us you and your party, the people want to overthrow the regime,
Long Live Free Syria) and they were throwing balls toward the near by
railway from Bashaar's house
Watch from 15 seconds.
Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:08 PM (#37)
The regime is finding new ways of preventing mosque gatherings turning into demonstrations. The opposition will have to think of ways to counter these obstacles. InshaAllah.
Friday, July 29, 2011 - 22:28 - Syria
In Midan, a Sunni merchant-class neighbourhood of Damascus, some 3,000 protestors took to the streets following Friday prayers, residents told Al Jazeera.
Khalid, a 22-year-old protester, told Al Jazeera:
Omar, 30, from Midan, told Al Jazeera:
Meanwhile in other news there has been reports (in the same blog) of military defections.
Defected troops clashed with security forces to protect civilians after at least six civilians were killed in a military crackdown on mounting protests in the city, Ammar Abdulhamid, a Syrian pro-democracy leader said.
Deir ez-Zor produces most of Syria's oil output of 380,000 barrels per day but is among the poorest of the country's 13 provinces.
Keep upto date witch Live Al Jazeera Syria blog.
Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:31 PM (#38)
From the comment section of http://blogs.aljazee...ged-syrian-town
F.N.N | Syria Flash English Flash || Duma: Brave revolutionist defies security forces in the Friday of "Your Silence Kills us" 29-7-2011
The revolutionary proclaims Takbeer as security convoy stops in the area.
Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:35 AM (#39)
Free Syrian Army Established to Fight the Syrian Army
Friday, July 29th, 2011
Seven Syrian officers announce the formation of a Free Syrian Army
Revlon posted this in the comment section.
The announcement of the formation of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the presence of seven defecting officers:
Some observations on the the officers appearing in this video:
1.First: Their uniform tells that they are either special forces or Republican guards. If so, the prediction that Qasha3ami made in his last video, that I linked was true.
2.Second: The name of the appointed acting commander in chief tells that he is very likely a 3alawi officer.
[J.L. As`ad can be both an Alawi or Sunni name. There is no indication that the commander is Alawi by his name or his accent. If I had to guess, at the end, he slipped with one word in colloquial that gives away that he is Homsi. When he pronounced the name of al-Naqiib Ayham al-Kurdi, he said "al-Kurdeh" with a "dummeh"on the "K" instead of a kasra and a long mimicking "eeeeh" at the end instead of a "yah". This tells us nothing about his religion, as Alawis live in Homs alongside the Sunni majority and Christian minority. ]
1.Third: here is a summary of the announcement:
•To work with the people to bring down the system.
•To protect the people from the armored killing machine of the system
•- Call all members of the Syrian army to defect and join the FSA
•- We hereby declare that all security forces attacking civilians are from now on justified targets to be neutralized by FSA.
•- We call all opposition forces to unite
- The statement is hereby Signed by
•Acting Commander in Chief of the FSA: Colonel(3aqeed) Riyad AlAs3ad
•Deputy of Acting Commander: Colonel (3aqeed) Ahmad Hijazi
•Commander of 7amza AlKhateeb Phalange: Colonel (Muqaddam) AbdelSattar Yoonso
•(Naqeeb)Ibrahim Majboor: Commander of Al7urriyi Phalange
•(Naqeeb) 3ala Eddin: Commander of Salah Euddin Phalange
•Ayham AlKurdi: Commander of AlQashoosh Phalange
•(Mulazem Awwal) Tayseer Yoonso
•(Mulazem Awwal) Ahmad AlKhalaf
•(Mulazem Awwal) Mazen AlZein
Posted 30 July 2011 - 04:59 AM (#40)
Just read an article on AJE on torture/imprisonment victoms in Syria. One victim was bailed $105. I wander if the regime (which is short of funds) is raising funds in this way as well as frightening people into not protesting? The 'mukhabarat' (secret police etc) are in the business of production and dissemination of fear.
In Egypt the Islamists and Salafists showed their strength in Tahrir square. Im not sure about the MB, salafists etc in Egypt. However it is their country and they have every right to participate in politics etc.
I watched a video of the rally and it was uplifting hearing the crowd chant 'there is no God but God'.
Also the news of the collective retirement of the Turkish generals in protest at the trial of other officers. Are the Militray generals planning something? Is Turkey heading for a collapse too (Sheikh Nazim 'all regimes will collapse')?