Tag Archives | Syria

Lest we forget, an attack on Syria is an attack on Iran and a threat to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

via chycho

United States involvement in Syria has nothing to do with a repressive regime. After all, in 2002 the United States willingly used Assad’s regime to torture Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, when they renditioned him to Syria from New York. The world was also quite grateful to Syria for accepting 1.5 million refugees created by the US invasion of Iraq, especially considering that for approximately the same period the United States had only accepted 7,000 Iraqi refugees. What’s happening in Syria is part of a bigger picture, a grand chessboard if you’d like, and what’s happening there is definitely not the end game.

Irrelevant if Assad stays in power or the rebels take control, what’s important to know about Syria is that an attack on Syria is an attack on Iran and a threat to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – a mutual security organization founded in 2001, which “includes not only the two giants Russia and China, but also the energy-rich Central Asian states Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.”

In 2006 Syria signed a defense agreement with Iran.… Read the rest

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Syria’s First Man in Space Joins Rebel Opposition

Via the Christian Science Monitor:

Turkey’s state-run media is reporting that the Syrian government has lost a high-profile figure to the Free Syrian Army:

Mohammad Ahmad Faris, 61, crossed into Turkey after reaching the headquarters of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo, meeting with rebel commanders there, and declaring his solidarity with the umbrella group of rebel fighters, the Anadolu agency reported.

“We are with you with our lives and blood,” Anadolu quoted Faris as telling members of the Free Syrian Army.

The agency said Faris crossed into Turkey on Sunday, but Mahmut Osman, an Istanbul-based member of the Syrian opposition group — the Syrian National Council — said he had arrived in Turkey on Saturday and would hold a news conference in Istanbul in the coming days. He would not disclose Faris’ current whereabouts.

Anadolu reported that it was Faris’ fourth attempt to defect, after three previous efforts had failed.

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Lionel Messi and the Anti-Syria Conspiracy

He's the best, period - 24-365You definitely cannot make this stuff up. From Reuters:

Barcelona footballers don’t just have a slick passing game, they can also secretly indicate arms smuggling routes to Syria, a pro-government Syrian television channel claimed this week.

Without a hint of irony, Addounia TV superimposed a map of Syria on a screen to show how Lionel Messi and his team-mates, representing smugglers, had kicked a ball, representing a weapons shipment, into Syria from Lebanon.

The subtle signals to rebels were transmitted when Barcelona played Real Madrid in December, said the channel, which is owned by a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad. It did not trouble viewers by revealing Barcelona’s motives for the exploit.

“First we see how the guns are brought from Lebanon,” the presenter comments as one player passes the ball. “Then they cross into Homs and give the weapons to other terrorists in Abu Kamal,” he added, referring to rebel strongholds in Syria.

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How To Stage War Reporting

Via Russia Today, an interesting look at mainstream media outlets (Al Jazeera, CNN) dramatizing conflict journalism — in this case, in Syria. The camera is shaken to make the footage seem raw and amateur, a stream of grey smoke in the sky is reported as stemming from a nonexistent "explosion", and an onscreen personality requests background gunfire for a sound effect for his live shot on Anderson Cooper 360. In short, "The activists who become journalists try to make their shows as 'hard' as possible. The more blood and death, the higher the price."
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WikiLeaks Revelation: Israel Bombed Syrian Nuclear Facility in 2007

Israel / SyriaThe Jerusalem Post reports:

Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor in Syria, apparently built with North Korea’s help, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said to State Department officials in April 2008, according to Yediot Aharonot quoting a cable recently released by Wikileaks.

The cable is the first official confirmation of the incident, and details the intelligence gathered before the attack, the collaboration between the US and Israel, the government’s move to bomb the Syrian reactor and concern that Syrian President Bashar Assad would retaliate with war, Yediot Aharonot reported, quoting the cable.

“We have avoided sharing this information with you until now for fear of and in an attempt to avoid a conflict,” Rice says in the cable.

“I would like to inform you that the Israeli attack was aimed at destroying the secret reactor built by Syria in a desert area in the east of the country called al-Kibar,” the cable quotes her as saying.

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5 Year-Old Syrian Boy Gets Engaged To 3 Year-Old Girl

05_Flatbed_WEB - OCTOBERWhile vacationing with his family, young Khalid met Hala and immediately fell in love. After returning home, the distance between him and his new love threw him into a depression. That is, until he reunited with Hala and popped the big question. This sounds like a love story that Lifetime would make a movie about, but the big twist is that Khalid is still in nursery school! From CBS News:

Two Syrian children may be the youngest couple ever to get engaged.

Khalid, 5, popped the question to Hala, who’s just 3, “of his own free will,” following a whirlwind holiday romance.

The families of both children are not only taking the betrothal seriously, they insist the school children are in love and are already planning a wedding for 10 years down the road — when Khalid will be 15 and Hala 12.

The parents arranged the engagement ceremony in their home town of Homs, about 100 miles north of Damascus.

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Enter Syria’s ‘Tell Zeidan’: A 7,500 Year-Old Harbinger of The World’s First Cities

Truly fascinating article from John Noble Wilford in the New York Times. Is this the place where social classes — the rich and the poor — as we know them today first emerged? Reports the New York Times:
Tell Zeidan Artifacts

Archaeologists have embarked on excavations in northern Syria expected to widen and deepen understanding of a prehistoric culture in Mesopotamia that set the stage for the rise of the world’s first cities and states and the invention of writing.

In two seasons of preliminary surveying and digging at the site known as Tell Zeidan, American and Syrian investigators have already uncovered a tantalizing sampling of artifacts from what had been a robust pre-urban settlement on the upper Euphrates River. People occupied the site for two millenniums, until 4000 BC — a little-known but fateful period of human cultural evolution.

Scholars of antiquity say that Zeidan should reveal insights into life in a time called the Ubaid period, 5500 to 4000 BC.

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