Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Why Syrians SUPPORT Bashar al-Assad

00 Carlos Latuff. Russia and China Veto against US Intervention in Syria. 2012

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The sudden reversion of Washington to a “war on terror” pretext for intervention in Syria confused western audiences. For three years, they watched “humanitarian intervention” stories, which poured contempt on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s assertion that he was fighting foreign-backed terrorists. Now, the USA claims to be leading the fight against those same terrorists. However, what do Syrians think, and why do they continue to support a man who the western powers claim is constantly attacking and terrorising “his own people?” To understand this, we must consider the huge gap between the western caricatures of Bashar al-Assad as a “brutal dictator” and the popular and urbane figure within Syria. If we believed most western media reports, we’d think that President Assad launched repeated and indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, including the gassing of children. We might also think that he heads an “Alawi régime”, where a 12 percent minority represses a Sunni Muslim majority, crushing a popular “revolution” which, only recently, was been “hijacked” by extremists.

The central problem with these portrayals is Bashar’s great popularity at home. The fact that there’s popular dissatisfaction with corruption and cronyism, and that an authoritarian state maintains a type of personality cult, doesn’t negate the man’s genuine popularity. His strong win in Syria’s first multi-candidate elections in June dismayed his regional enemies, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey; but it didn’t stop their aggression. Syrians saw things differently.  They saw Bashar as maintaining his father’s pluralist and nationalist traditions, whilst modernising and holding out the promise of political reform. Opinion polls in Syria showed major dissatisfaction with corruption and political cronyism, mixed views on the economy, but strong satisfaction with stability, women’s rights, and the country’s independent foreign policy. The political reform rallies of 2011… countered by pro-government rallies and quickly overshadowed by violent insurrection… weren’t necessarily anti Bashar.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and other sectarian Islamist groups did hate him, as they also hated the secular state. Yet, even these enemies, in their better moments, recognised his popularity. In late 2011 a Doha Debates poll (created by the Qatari monarchy, a major backer of the Muslim Brotherhood) showed that 55 percent of Syrians wanted Assad to stay. Armed Islamists went further. In 2012, Reuters, the UK Guardian, and Time magazine reported three “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) leaders in Aleppo saying that Assad had about “70 percent” support; or that the local people, “all of them, are loyal to the criminal Bashar, they inform on us”; or that they’re “all informers … they hate us. They blame us for the destruction”.  Of course, unpopularity is fatal to a revolution; to a religious fanatic, it’s merely inconvenient. All three FSA groups were Islamists on good terms with al-Qaeda. None of these revelations changed the western media reliance on Muslim Brotherhood-aligned sources, “activists” or “moderate rebels”. They relied, in particular, on UK-based Rami Abdul Rahman, who calls himself the “Syrian Observatory of Human Rights”. Such sources kept “Bashar the Monster” alive, outside Syria.

Central to the Bashar myth are two closely related stories… that of the “moderate rebel” and the story that conjures “Assad loyalists” or “régime forces” in place of a large dedicated national army, with broad popular support.  To understand the Bashar myth we have to consider the Syrian Arab Army. At over half a million, the Army is so large that most Syrian communities have strong family links, including with those fallen in the war. There are regular ceremonies for families of these “martyrs”, with thousands proudly displaying photos of their loved ones. Further, most of the several million Syrians displaced by the conflict haven’t left the country, but rather have moved to other parts under Army protection. This would be inexplicable if the Army were indeed engaged in “indiscriminate” attacks on civilians. A repressive army invokes fear and loathing in a population, yet, one can see that people do not cower as they pass through the many army road blocks in Damascus, set up to protect against “rebel” car bombs.

Syrians know there were abuses against demonstrators in early 2011; they also know that Assad dismissed the Governor of Dara for this. They know that the armed insurrection wasn’t a consequence of the protests, but rather a sectarian insurrection that took cover under those rallies. Saudi official Anwar el-Eshki admitted to the BBC that his country provided weapons to Islamists in Dara, and their rooftop sniping closely resembled the Muslim Brotherhood’s failed insurrection in Hama, back in 1982. Hafez al-Assad crushed that revolt in a few weeks. Of the incident, US intelligence said that total casualties were probably “about 2,000” including “300 to 400” members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s élite militia. The Brotherhood and many western sources since inflated those numbers, calling it a “massacre”. Armed Islamists posing as civilian victims have a long history in Syria. Quite a number of Syrians criticised President Assad to me, but not in the way that the western media did. They say that they wanted him to be as firm as his father was. Many in Syria regard him as too soft, leading to the name “Mr Soft Heart”. Soldiers in Damascus told me there’s a general order to make special efforts to capture alive any Syrian combatant. This is controversial, as many regard them as traitors, no less guilty than foreign terrorists.

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00 Syrian Church 2012

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Well, what about the “moderate rebels?” Before the rise of ISIS, back in late 2011, the largest FSA brigade, the Farouk unit, the original “poster boys” of the “Syrian Revolution”, took over parts of Homs city. One US report called them “legitimate nationalists … pious and not Islamists, not motivated by sectarianism”. The International Crisis Group suggested that the Farouk troops might be “pious” rather than Islamist. The Wall Street Journal also called them “pious Sunnis” rather than Islamists. The BBC called them “moderately Islamist”. All this was false. Syrians in Homs said that Farouk went into the city with the genocidal slogan, “Alawis to the grave, Christians to Beirut”. Shouting, “God is Great”, they blew up Homs hospital, because it treated soldiers. The churches blamed Farouk for the ethnic cleansing of more than 50,000 Christians from the city, and for the imposition of an Islamist tax. Journalist Radwan Mortada says most Farouk members were sectarian Salafis, armed and funded by Saudi Arabia. They later happily worked with the various al-Qaeda groups, and were the first to blame their own atrocities on the Army.

Let’s consider some key accusations against the Syrian Arab Army. In May 2012, days before a UN Security Council meeting set to debate possible intervention in Syria, there was a terrible massacre of over 100 villagers at Houla. Western governments immediately blamed the Syrian Government, which in turn accused foreign-backed terrorists. Western officials at first blamed Army shelling, changing their story when it was clear that most died from close quarter injuries. One UN report (UNSMIS) was shelved, while another (CoI), co-chaired by US diplomat Karen Koning AbuZayd, blamed un-named pro-government “thugs”, giving no motives. Although the Houla massacre didn’t result in a Libya-style intervention because of opposition at the UN from Russia and China, controversy raged over the authors of this atrocity. German and Russian journalists, along with the Mother Superior of a Monastery, managed to interview survivors who said that a large Farouk battalion, led by Abdul Razzaq Tlass, overwhelmed five small army posts and slaughtered the villagers. The gang sought out pro-government and Alawi families, along with some Sunni families who’d took part in recent elections. One year later, a detailed, independent report (by Correggia, Embid, Hauben, and Larson) documented how the second UN Houla investigation (the CoI) was tainted. Rather than visiting Syria, they’d relied on Farouk leaders and associates to link them to witnesses. They ignored another dozen direct witnesses who contradicted the “rebel” story. In short, they tried to bury a real crime with identified perpetrators and a clear motive. As Adam Larson later wrote, the “official” Houla massacre story turned out to be “extremely ambiguous at best and at worst a fairly obvious crime of the US-supported Contras”.

Houla set the tone for a series of similar ‘false flag’ massacre claims. When 245 people were murdered in Daraya (August 2012), media reports citing “opposition” activists said, “Assad’s army committed a massacre”. British journalist Robert Fisk contradicted this, writing that the FSA slaughtered kidnapped civilian and off-duty soldier hostages, after a failed attempt to swap them for prisoners held by the army. Similarly, when rebels slaughtered 120 villagers at Aqrab (December 2013) the New York Times headline read “Members of Assad’s Sect Blamed in Syria Killings”. In fact, as British journalist Alex Thompson discovered, the victims, not the perpetrators, were Assad’s fellow Alawis. FSA groups had held 500 Alawis for nine days before the fleeing gangs murdered a quarter of them. Yet, without close examination, each accusation seemed to add to the crimes of the Syrian Army, at least to those outside Syria. Another line of attack was that there was “indiscriminate” bombing of rebel-held areas, resulting in civilian casualties. The relevant question was, “How did they dislodge armed groups from urban centres?” Those interested can see some detail of this in the liberation of Qusayr, a town near the Lebanese border, which Farouk and other Salafi groups, including foreigners, had occupied. The Army carried out “surgical attacks”, but in May 2013, after the failure of negotiations, decided on an all-out assault. They dropped leaflets from planes, calling on civilians to evacuate. Anti-government groups stopped many from leaving, whilst an “activist” spokesman claimed that there was “no safe exit for civilians”. In opportunistic criticism, the US State Department expressed “deep concern” over the leaflet drop, claiming that “ordering the displacement of the civilian population” showed “the régime’s continuing brutality”. As it happened, on 5 June, the Army, backed by Hezbollah, liberated Qusayr… they drove the remnants of Farouk, the FSA, and their al-Qaeda partners into Lebanon. This operation, in principle at least, was what one would expect of any army facing terrorist groups embedded in civilian areas. At this point, the war began turning decisively in Syria’s favour.

Accusations of “indiscriminate bombing” recur. In opportunist questioning, more than a year later, British journalist John Snow demanded of Syrian Presidential adviser Dr Bouthaina Shaaban why the Syrian Army hadn’t driven ISIS from Aleppo. A few questions later, he attacked the Army for its “indiscriminate” bombing of that same city. The fact is, most fighting in Syrian urban areas is by troops on the ground. The most highly politicised atrocity was the chemical attack of August 2013, in the Eastern Ghouta region, just outside Damascus. For months, the Syrian Government complained about terrorist gas attacks and invited UN inspectors to Damascus. As these inspectors arrived, “rebel” groups posted videos on dead children online, blaming the Syrian Government for a new massacre. The US government and the Washington-based Human Rights Watch were quick to agree. The UN investigation of Islamist chemical attacks stalled, as attention moved to the gassed children. The western media demanded military intervention. Only a Russian intervention and a proposal that Syria hand over its chemical weapons stockpile (a stockpile it maintained it never used) defused a major escalation of the war.

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Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Russia and China Say... NO WAR IN SYRIA! 2012

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Saturation reporting of the East Ghouta incident led many western journalists to believe that the charges against the Syrian Government were true. To the contrary, a series of independent reports systematically demolished those claims. Very soon after, a Jordan-based journalist reported that residents in the East Ghouta area blamed “Saudi Prince Bandar … of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaeda linked rebel group”. Next, a Syrian group led by Mother Agnes Mariam provided a detailed examination of the video evidence, saying the massacre videos preceded the attack and used “staged” and “fake” images. Detailed reports also came from outside Syria. Veteran American journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that US intelligence evidence was fabricated and “cherry-picked … to justify a strike against Assad”. A Turkish lawyers’ and writers’ group said, “Most of the crimes against Syrian civilians, including the East Ghouta attack, were committed by armed rebel forces in Syria”. Most likely, the Saudi-backed FSA group Liwa al-Islam was responsible for the chemical attack on Ghouta. A subsequent UN report didn’t allocate blame, but confirmed that chemical weapons were used on at least five occasions in Syria. On three occasions, they were used “against soldiers and civilians”. The clear implication was that these were anti-government attacks by rebels. MIT investigators Lloyd and Postol concluded that the Sarin gas “couldn’t possibly have been fired … from Syrian Government-controlled areas”. Despite the definitive nature of these reports, combined, neither the US Government nor Human Rights Watch retracted or apologised for their false accusations. Indeed, western government and media reports repeat the claims as though they were fact, even falsely enlisting UN reports, at times, as corroboration.

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When I met President Assad, with a group of Australians, his manner was entirely consistent with the pre-2011 image of the mild-mannered eye doctor. He expressed deep concern with the impact on children of witnessing terrorist atrocities as fanatics shouted, “God is Great”. The man is certainly no brute, in the manner of Saddam Hussein or George W Bush. The key factor in Syria’s survival is the cohesion, dedication, and popular support for the Army. Syrians know that their Army represents pluralist Syria and that it fights sectarian foreign backed terrorism. This Army didn’t fracture on sectarian lines, as the Takfiris had hoped, and defections have been small, certainly less than 2 percent. Has the Army committed abuses? Probably it has, but mainly against members of armed groups. There’s some evidence of execution of foreign terrorists. That’s certainly a crime, but probably has a fair degree of popular support in Syria, now. The main constraint on such abuses seems to be a binding general order from “Mr Soft Heart”, to save the lives of Syrian rebels.

However, despite the repeated claims by sectarian Islamists and their western backers, there isn’t any convincing evidence that the Syrian Army deliberately bombed and gassed civilians. Nor would there be a motive for it.  Nor does the behaviour of people on the streets support it. Most Syrians don’t blame their army for the horrendous violence of this war, but rather the foreign-backed terrorists. These are the same terrorists backed by the governments of the USA, UK, and France, hiding behind the fig-leaf of the mythical “moderate rebel” whilst reciting their catalogue of fabricated accusations. The high participation rate (73 percent) in June’s presidential elections, despite the war, was at least as significant as the strong vote (88 percent) Bashar received. Even the BBC couldn’t hide the large crowds that came out to vote, especially those that mobbed the Syrian Embassy in Beirut. Participation rates are nowhere as near in the USA… indeed, no western leader can claim such a strong democratic mandate as this “dictator” has. The size of Bashar’s win underlines a stark reality… there never was a popular uprising against this man; frankly, his popularity has grown.

30 September 2014

Tim Anderson

Senior Lecturer in Political Economy

University of Sydney (Sydney NSW AUSTRALIA)

Pravda.ru

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/30-09-2014/128641-syrians_support_assad-0/

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Syrian Forces Stomp on Islamist Strongholds Near Turkey

00 Destroyed Syrian Church. 09.12.13

This is what the Islamists want to do to the Christians, Alawis, Shiites, and the Sunni who don’t agree with them… any questions?

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On Sunday, rebels and state media said that Syrian forces flushed Islamist terrorists from their last redoubts in northwestern Syria near the Turkish frontier, capturing two villages and restoring government control over the border crossing. The military’s advances fully reversed the gains rebels had made during their three-month campaign in Latakia Governorate, the rugged coastal region that is the ancestral heartland of President Bashar Assad. The counteroffensive’s success is the latest blow to the rebels, who suffered a string of bitter recent setbacks in more the than three-year-old Syrian Civil War.

Islamist terrorists launched a surprise assault in Latakia in March, pushing south from the Turkish border to seize a string of villages in the lush mountainous terrain. The military, nervous about an incursion in a bastion of government support, dispatched reinforcements to blunt the rebel advance and eventually turn the tide. On Sunday, Rami Abdurrahman, the director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that after months of bloody clashes, army troops backed by Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah fighters seized the seaside hamlet of Samra before also taking the village of Kassab and its adjacent border crossing. He said there were minor clashes still taking place west of Kassab, a predominantly Armenian Christian village whose residents fled after the rebels seized control. The Syrian army command issued a statement saying that it “restored security and stability to Kassab”. It also said the operation “smashes the illusions” of the rebels securing a sea port in Samra or a buffer zone along the border to use as “a base for launching terrorist acts against the Syrian people”.

Lebanon-based al-Mayadeen TV, whose reporter is with the Syrian troops, broadcast live footage from Kassab that showed a blown-out stone building with a smouldering wooden staircase. Soldiers in camouflage uniforms were in the streets, and the rocky hills typical of the area could be seen in the background. Syrian al-Ikhbariya TV said that engineer units were clearing mines and dismantling booby traps in Kassab. The government made dislodging rebels from Latakia a priority for strategic as well as symbolic reasons. The coastal province is a stronghold of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, which is an offshoot of Shiite Islam, and losing control of even a portion of it was an embarrassment to the government.

Now in its fourth year, Syria’s conflict spilled far beyond the country’s borders to shake the foundations of the Middle East. Last week, an al-Qaida breakaway group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which holds much of northern and eastern Syria, overran huge swaths of neighbouring Iraq and captured the country’s second-largest city. In the wake of its onslaught, the jihadi group has pillaged Iraqi military bases, carting off Humvees, ammunition, and weapons. The terrorists transferred some of that materiel to Syria to bolster their forces there. The Syrian Air Force hasn’t targeted Islamic State territory with the same ferocity as it has other rebel factions. However, on Saturday and Sunday, Abdurrahman said that its aircraft bombed facilities belonging to the extremist group in Hassakeh Governorate bordering Iraq and in the groups’ stronghold of Raqqa Governorate, the Syrian military appeared to be wary of the Islamic State’s possessing high-grade military equipment. Among the places targeted by the airstrikes was Shaddadi, a town just across the Syrian border from Iraq that terrorists said is a hub for the movement of men and equipment across the frontier.

Also on Sunday, SANA said that a general amnesty declared by President Bashar al-Assad following his re-election freed some 230 prisoners from lockups in the central cities of Homs and Hama, as well as northeastern Hassakeh Governorate. The Observatory confirmed that the government released prisoners on Sunday, although it couldn’t provide exact numbers. The group said that the presidential amnesty freed more than 1,500 people… a mixture of anti-government malcontents and common criminals… since its announcement on 9 June. International rights groups say that there are tens of thousands of anti-government figures imprisoned in the country. It isn’t yet clear how many of them will be receive clemency under the pardon.

Editor:

Most activist figures are off by an order of magnitude… there aren’t tens of thousands of political prisoners in Syria. There might be a couple thousand… there’s no need to imprison more. Assad will keep about a thousand of the most adamant hardheads in custody. That’s all that he needs to do. After all, he DOES have popular support amongst ordinary sorts… they DON’T want to live in an Islamist hell (nor do they want their country to disintegrate like Iraq and Afghanistan). The army has popular support, especially, after Islamist massacres. Interestingly, one of the bitterest foes of the Islamists is the established Sunni Muslim hierarchy (who have deep ties with the Tatar Muslims in Russia). Fancy that…

BMD

15 June 2014

Ryan Lucas

Associated Press

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/syrian-government-forces-advance-northwest

Monday, 10 March 2014

Ma’loula Nuns Released by Islamists in Exchange for Syrian Prisoners

00 released Syrian nuns. 10.03.14

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On 9 March, al-Jazeera reported that Islamist insurgents released the nuns that they captured from the ancient Mar Tekla Monastery in Ma’loula in exchange for the Syrian authorities releasing rebels held in Syrian prisons. The liberated prisoners will go to Lebanon. Currently, RT reported that the exchange is underway, monitored by the Qatari and Lebanese special services, directed by Ghanim al-Kubaisi and General Directorate of General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim. Already, the 13 released nuns, headed by Igumena Pelagia arrived in the Lebanese border town of Arsal, where they will go ahead by car on the motorway through the Djeida border checkpoint to Damascus. Last December, Islamist militants attacked the Mar Tekla Monastery in Ma’loula, 55 kilometres north of Damascus. The armed extremists took 13 nuns hostage, and the fate of the nuns became the focus of regional and world media.

9 March 2014

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RT reported that the 13 nuns abducted by Jabhat al-Nusra militants from Mar Tekla Monastery in Ma’loula in December 2013 were now free, and are on their way back to Syria. Late Sunday, the nuns arrived at the border checkpoint of Djeida-Judaydat Yabus on the Syrian-Lebanese border. Earlier, the General Directorate of General Security confirmed that the Orthodox nuns were safe and under the control of the Lebanese armed forces. A source told Reuters on Sunday that the militants transferred the nuns to Arsal in western Lebanon earlier this week. Metropolitan Louka al-Khoury told reporters when he met the nuns at the border, “The success of the Syrian forces in Yabrud furthered this process”. It’s not clear why the militants released the nuns now. Earlier reports stipulated that al-Nusra demanded the release of 500 imprisoned rebels in exchange for the nuns.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as well as a rebel source, reported that the militants released the nuns in exchange for imprisoned female rebels. Reuters noted, “Part of the deal was the release of 138 women from prison by Assad”. According to al-Mayadeen, the Syrian authorities released from prison the wife of one of the al-Nusra chieftains, Duleymi al-Saji. The authorities took her with her four children to the Lebanese border town of Arsal for the exchange. ITAR-TASS reported that Igumena Pelagia stated that all 16 nurses captured in Ma’loula are now free, saying to reporters, “We’re terribly tired; we’ll answer questions after the [Easter] holidays”. For his part, Metropolitan Louka pointed up that the Mariamite Cathedral in Damascus held a molieben of thanksgiving on 10 March, after the release of the nuns, who were in captivity almost 100 days.

10 March 2014

Pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/news/69077.htm

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/news/69088.htm

 

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Religious Buildings Caught In Aleppo Crossfire

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St Mary Armenian Apostolic Church in Aleppo (Aleppo GovernorateSYRIA. Both American Republicans and Democrats want to pursue a policy that would lead to the destruction of this building by Islamist fanatics and the killing or expulsion of its believers. Russia and China prevent this evil from occurring. “Axis of Evil”… its address has been 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue since 1991…

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Syrian churches and mosques, symbols of the diverse fabric of the country’s religious communities, are no longer sacred in a struggle that has ravaged the northern city of Aleppo. On Thursday, rebels fired rocket-propelled grenades through a wall encircling an Armenian Orthodox church in Aleppo in an attempt to push further into the key Midan district, whilst gun battles erupted Friday during an army seizure of the nearby Ansar mosque. The St Gregory church courtyard became a battlefield as rebels, coming from their stronghold at Suleiman al-Halabi Street, met resistance from army units on the other side. The soldiers forced the rebels back into a back street through the damaged wall, whilst in the courtyard flames from a diesel fuel tank… hit during the fighting… burned unattended. With municipal services paralysed by the fighting, local residents have given up on the fire department, instead ferrying buckets of water to douse the flames themselves.

Clashes continue to rage in Midan, where fighting first broke out last Saturday, and in the nearby rebel bastions of Bustan al-Basha and Arkoub, where a unit of the élite Republican Guard Division seized a mosque. On Friday, the Republican Guards came under fire from inside the Ansar mosque, located at a strategic point in front of the Hanano military base and rebel-controlled Arkoub. According to a military source, the army recaptured the mosque after fierce clashes that killed a number of rebels and saw the arrest of several others.

A local congregant confirmed the operation and said that the rebels had been using the mosque as a shelter since its imam, the nephew of the Syrian chief mufti, or spiritual leader, fled Aleppo 20 days before. A 44-year-old government employee remorsefully told AFP on condition of anonymity, “When the rebels first took the area, they asked the people leave their homes so they could stay and fight from there. However, Arkoub is a poor place, so nobody had the money to take their family and leave, so the rebels began to stay at the mosque. I’ve been going to this mosque for more than ten years, and it means so much to me. Every time I visit this place, I feel near to God. Today, I heard the mosque is damaged, that there are bullet holes and windows are broken, but I couldn’t go to check”.

Unfortunate Casualties

Battles and shelling in and around religious structures aren’t new, and sacred buildings have become mere strategic military locations in a conflict whose daily death tolls easily reach over 100 victims per day. The spokesman of the Armenian Orthodox Diocese of Aleppo told AFP by phone that he didn’t believe either the rebels or army would attack the church on purpose, emphasising, “Syrian people don’t do that. Whatever side they’re on, Syrians always have respect for religious centres, mosques or churches”. The spokesman noted that fighting had been raging in the area for the past week, and the building was most likely an unfortunate casualty of the conflict.

A military source said that government troops backed by armoured vehicles deployed across Midan on Friday and in nearby Suleiman al-Halabi, Bustan al-Basha, and Arkoub. one Christian woman in Midan said, “The arrival of the army to the district calmed people down and helped stem the tide of displacement that we had on Wednesday and Thursday”. However, another resident wasn’t about to take his chances amid the clashes. As he fled the area with his wife and four children, Mohamed said, “The gunmen said they’d target security headquarters and that civilians should leave so they wouldn’t be wounded by the mortar fire”.

Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital, for the past two months was the focal point of fighting in the uprising against the Assad régime. Artisans and mechanics alike had closed down their shops in Midan on Friday, with the local economy paralysed by the fighting. Régime forces used helicopter gunships to attack two police stations in Midan, which the rebels had taken over on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. In the rebel-controlled Hanano district in northeast Aleppo, air strikes pummelled another police station on Friday and Saturday, the régime preferring its own brand of destruction to the rebels gaining a new base.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that over 27,000 people, the majority civilians, died in clashes in Syria since the start of the revolt in March 2011. Houses of worship are merely the latest casualties.

16 September 2012

Agence France Presse

As quoted in Asia One News

http://www.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20120916-371785.html

Editor’s Note:

Do mark it down that the West (both government and media sources) are taking oppositionist propaganda at face value. That’s dangerous. There’ve probably NOT been 27,000 deaths… but there’ve been at least 10,000, I’d warrant. All too many of those are Alawis and Christians murdered by the oppositionist Islamists… something glossed over by Western sources. The American neocons and interventionists were creaming their jeans in the thought of yet another military intervention (even though such an intervention would be unaffordable, and would break the American economy and push it back to late 2007 conditions)… but Russia and China stood tall and said NO. That’s allowed patriotic elements in Syria to push the fanatic Islamists back. Reflect on this… the West wants a repeat of the wars and miseries they inflicted in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. That’s evil, full stop. Of course, the poor bloody soldiers sent to these hellholes were just following their godless orders; they’re free of any taint… the leaders have this blood upon their hands (if you want to show disrespect to a fallen soldier’s funeral, you’ll have to get through me first… I guarantee that my Zaporozhets dander will be up). However, a decent and moral person can have only one reaction to the West’s drumbeats for war:

NO!

BMD

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