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Old 06-24-2013, 06:42 PM   #1
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Default Syria in-depth analysis: Where the anti-Assad coalition went wrong

This story is well worth the read.

Syria in-depth analysis: Where the anti-Assad coalition went wrong
Published time: June 18, 2013 13:57

Excerpt:
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And this is key

The take over of Aleppo by rebels amounted to a national tragedy and was a turning point in the war. The fate of ‘Syria’s beating heart’, burned, pillaged and reduced to rubble, shocked Syrians from all sects, and they understood. The silent majority started to feel threatened by the revolution, increasingly expecting the government and the army to protect them. Syria’s allies, Iran and Hezbollah on the side of the resistance (by which I mean resistance to imperialist proxy politics breeding war and divisions across the Middle East) and Russia, diligently playing its comeback as a power on the regional scene - did not waver.

With the support of Syrians, the army went from defensive to offensive, and began accumulating hard fought successes – step by step – while the Qatari scenario; armed groups on the ground and fragmented opposition councils and coalitions, floundered.

Finally, Israel’s air raids on Syria forced the resistance axis’ hand. Targeted by both rebels and Israel, Hezbollah mobilised in response to a two-pronged attempt to ‘choke the resistance’. The Syrian army went on the offensive in Qusair, to the heart of the armed opposition, supported by Hezbollah. That offensive turn wasn’t possible without Syrians developing an understanding of “developments on the ground” and “confidence in victory”.

For Hezbollah, who surprised everybody by opening up about their involvement in Qusair, the cost of this involvement, on the Lebanese scene, is to be offset by the benefits of a decisive victory.

http://rt.com/op-edge/assad-syria-re...on-crisis-879/
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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At least 600 Russians and Europeans fighting alongside Syrian opposition – Putin


At least 600 Russians and Europeans are fighting alongside the rebels battling the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“It is known that there are at least 600 people from Russia and Europe fighting along with opposition forces in Syria,” Putin said during the Forum’s plenary session.

Putin reiterated that weapon supplies to the Syrian rebels violate international law, and threaten to further destabilize the war-torn state.

"Why supply weapons to militant forces in Syria when we are not sure of the composition of these groups?” he said, adding that it remains unclear where these arms will end up.

"If the United States ... recognizes one of the key Syrian opposition organizations, al-Nusra, as terrorist ... how can one deliver arms to those opposition members?" Putin said. "Where will (those weapons) end up? What role will they play?"

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has also criticized the supply of arms to the rebels in separate remarks to AP and Bloomberg: “The problem is that the weapons are coming to the region anyway,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“And if you take, you know, stock of what is being used by the opposition you would find a lot of arms shipped by the West, including the US, to the Gulf countries and to other countries in the region,” he said. “So, this smuggling continues and this is very dangerous. Because the leading opposition force on the ground is very extremist.”

Syrian rebels (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

Syrian rebels (AFP Photo/Bulent Kilic)

Putin’s remarks echo a statement made by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls earlier in June, when he said that more than 600 European nationals, including 120 from France, are fighting in Syria.

At the time, Russia said that around 200 of its citizens were fighting in Syria alongside rebel militants as part of a self-proclaimed ‘Caucasus Emirate' under the flag of Al Qaeda, and that there were “various organizations affiliated with it.”

In Spain, at least eight people allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda were arrested in Ceuta on suspicion of recruiting jihadi fighters to go to Syria, and elsewhere.

Prior to that, Belgium announced in April it had detained the leader of Sharia4Belgium, radical Salafist organization that was allegedly recruiting volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Britain was one the first Western countries to raise concerns over European Muslims joining the Syrian rebels. The Home Office voiced fears that scores of UK citizens fighting in Syria may use their military know-how to wreak havoc when they return home, and carry out terror attacks.

However, despite these concerns, EU governments agreed to not extend the arms embargo on Syria, effectively allowing them to supply the Syrian opposition with weapons.

Russia slammed the move, but in response was criticized for its contract to deliver advanced S-300 long-range air defense systems to Damascus. Moscow maintains that all arms supplies to Syria are being carried out under a contract signed with the country several years ago.

"Russia, in the framework of existing international law, in open and transparent contracts, supplies weaponry to the current and the legitimate government of Syria," Putin said at the Economic Forum.

http://rt.com/news/russians-europeans-putin-syria-063/
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:00 PM   #3
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Quote: Originally Posted by Fred O'Malley View Post

This story is well worth the read.

Syria in-depth analysis: Where the anti-Assad coalition went wrong
Published time: June 18, 2013 13:57
http://rt.com/op-edge/assad-syria-re...on-crisis-879/

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

We don’t know what will come out of Geneva II, the US and Russian backed conference for a political solution to the Syrian crisis. But it is forcing rhetorical and diplomatic conversions upon those taking the road to Damascus.

In mid-May the Arab League made a surprising declaration. Two months after handing Syria’s seat at Doha to the opposition, League Chief Nabil el-‘Arabi explained that Syria’s seat was in fact vacant, that the opposition was in Doha at the invitation of Qatar, and that having failed to form a government, it was barred from attending League meetings.

Then Turkey. Erdogan’s fiery anti-Assad rhetoric, even accusing the Syrian regime of the Reyhanli attacks, gave way to reports rebels were arrested with Sarin gas in Turkey. In a country ranked low on press freedom, the absence of neither government confirmation nor refutation speaks volumes. Before the sarin story broke, the usually tight-lipped FM Davutoglu treated journalists to a session of bizarre intimate confessions on how he formed his judgement on Syria and Assad, as if he were coming to terms with the past, before the next leap of faith.

In Arabia, there was no soul searching. Patrons of the now discredited Syrian National Coalition turned. Qatar, smarting from its failure to engineer and broadcast Assad’s fall over its very own private TV channel, ceded its place to Saudi Arabia. The change of guard was reflected in the changing composition of the SNC, not easy as the SNC agrees only on one thing: wrestling power from Assad, and nothing else.

Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

....On the other hand, the U.S. cadre of pundits, politicians and leaders found itself stymied. They typically seek regime change through two complementary scenarios: achieving a state of revolution via compliant media and social media, which manufactures consent and lays the ground for intervention......

Click the image to open in full size.

For a solution to emerge in Geneva II, sectarianism and any pro-western agenda must be rejected in favour of resistance and co-existence, where sects are assured of a future and the resistance is given air to breath.

For this reason, the current Saudi-Qatari-US sponsored opposition is irrelevant to the future of a peaceful Syria. Not only it has no popular basis in the country but it has also failed to recognize that contemporary Syrian society’s core value-system is based on resistance and co-existence.

Whatever appeasement and assurances the opposition offered Syria’s sects and the resistance - and they were really few -, have been nullified by the company it keeps and by the actions of the armed groups it endorses on the ground.

The attempt at rapid and violent regime change in Syria has failed because of them.

Geneva II comes at an opportune moment. Expect more conversions on the road to Damascus.

http://rt.com/op-edge/assad-syria-re...on-crisis-879/
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