MAY 2012 Reference List
May 31 UN officials acknowledge armed gangs’ role in Syria unrest
UN Webcast 30 May Bashar Jaafari Jaafari presents some of the results of the preliminary investigation into the Houla massacre.
” In Syria, there is no Plan for Peace” Patrick Seale, ME expert and author
Israeli views on Syriahttp://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/israels-perspective-on-syria/4045926
Earlier this year Israeli academic and journalist Jonathan Spyer was smuggled across the Turkish border into Syria. On horseback, with local help, he made his way to Idlib and spent a week with rebels from the Free Syrian Army. Two weeks after he returned home, the Syrian Army took the town. He speaks on the regional implications of the conflict in Syria.
Vitaly I. Churkin (Russian Federation) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout
Alexander A. Pankin (Russian Federation) on Syria – Security Council Media Stakeout
Note: ME experts you rarely hear in the Australian media include: Jeremy Salt, Alastair Crooke, Sharmine Narwani, and John R. Bradley. Fiona Hill has written several articles for The Drum, New Matilda, and The Conversation. There are references to their articles on these posts, but they can be accessed with a quick google.
Syrian rebels, getting top treatment in Turkey, eye quick homecoming (PHOTOS)
By Alastair Crooke
The UN Secretary General was reported on March 3 saying that he had received “grisly reports” that Syrian government forces were arbitrarily executing, imprisoning and torturing people in Homs after retaking control of the Baba Amr district from insurgents. Did he really believe this; or was he just “saying it”?
“One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the conflict between information masters and information victims” the US officer assigned to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Intelligence), charged with defining the future of warfare, wrote in the US Army War College Quarterly in 1997.
Al-Nusra Front, an Islamist group unknown before the Syrian revolt, released a video on Saturday claiming responsibility for twin suicide bombings in Damascus that killed 55 people.
The video said the bombings on Thursday, the deadliest since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime erupted in March 2011, were “in response to regime bombing of residential areas in Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Daraa provinces and others.”
Al-Nusra Front, which does not give a precise date for the attacks, says it has launched a “military operation in Damascus against the regime strongholds, targeting the Palestine branch of the security services.”
BBC Profile: Syria’s Al-Nusra Front
The al-Nusra Front has said it was behind Thursday’s bomb attacks in the Syrian capital, Damascus, the latest and deadliest since the uprising in the country began in March 2011. The BBC News website here profiles the shadowy jihadist group.
Intelligence Chief Concerned About Al Qaeda in Syria Conflict
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before Congress today that al Qaeda and Sunni extremists were seeking to gain influence in Syria, possibly infiltrating some of the fragmented opposition groups engaged in fighting there.
“Another disturbing phenomenon that we’ve seen recently, apparently, is the presence of extremists who have infiltrated the opposition groups,” Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“The two bombings in Damascus in December … and then the two additional bombings in Aleppo, both of which were targeted against security and intelligence buildings … had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack. So we believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.” Clapper said.
“The state of the opposition, which is quite fragmented, it’s very localized — the Syrian National Council really doesn’t … command and control these oppositionist groups,” Clapper said.
|DAILY STAR: Militants claim deadly Syria bombings in video12 May 2012|
BEIRUT: A video posted online in the name of a shadowy militant group late Friday claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings in the Syrian capital this week that killed 55 people.
In the video, a group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front says the bombing was in response to attacks on residential areas by the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Crunch Time in Syria: The UN Protocol’s Jihadist Loophole
We have arrived at a determining moment in the Syrian crisis. The choices are startlingly simple:
1) Cautious, incremental movement toward political reconciliation and reform spearheaded by the Syrian government and closely monitored by Kofi Annan’s UN mission, Moscow, Tehran and Beijing.
2) Dangerous escalation of violence and militarization that will increasingly include foreign jihadists and is likely spill to over into the broader Middle East.
After only one week of observing events in Syria first-hand, United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) commander Major-General Robert Mood spelled out the dwindling options……….
The 600-pound gorilla in the room is the growing presence of Al-Qaeda and other jihadists operating inside the Syrian theatre.
Homs Opposition: Al Farouq Battalion is Killing Us
It is extremely rare to have a direct peephole into events on the ground in Syria. The hard-fought battle over narratives often leaves truth in the dust. But among the cache of recently leaked emails (exclusive to Al Akhbar) from Syrian National Council (SNC) President Burhan Ghalioun’s inbox, comes this gem – important information that further highlights the glaring loophole in UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s demilitarization plans for Syria: rogue fighters.
CONFIRMED: Opposition Extremists Behind Damascus Bombings
by Tony Cartalucci
Editor’s Note: The term “Sunni extremist” refers specifically to terrorists who have been approached by, manipulated, and used to carry out violence across the Arab World, as specified in Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection.” It by no means indicates that Sunni Muslims as a sect are behind the violence – as many Sunnis have been targeted by the West’s terrorist proxy forces as well.
May 12, 2012 – Regarding the recent, devastating bombings in Damascus, Syria, an Associated Press report, “Syria opposition: Assad trying to destroy UN peace,” featured the “chief of Syria’s major opposition political group Syrian National Council,” Burhan Ghalioun, baselessly claiming “the relationship between the Syrian regime and al Qaeda is very strong.” Also included was the comments of a “Free Syrian Army” commander who claimed, “the Syrian regime wanted through these terrorist explosions to support its silly story of the presence of armed and terrorist gangs.”
….On 5/2/12, Syria’s ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel-Karim, following a meeting with Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, accused Gulf countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of being behind the Syria-bound arms shipments.
“The ship was bound for the Syrian opposition; this is sure given that the political and security leaderships in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries are behind these acts, which undermine the security of Syria, Lebanon and the region.”
Many questions remain in need of answers. Any serious first year law student would ask the questions that presumably Lebanese investigating judges and the media will ask. A few of the more obvious ones would include:…..