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Syrian rebels low on guns as regime strikes Aleppo

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Syria has defied all international attempts to calm the bloodshed

You mean like supplying the rebels with weapons?

In one sign of how the conflict can drag in Lebanon, rebels in the town of Azaz are holding 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims seized on a road nearby months ago.

So who's dragging in Lebanon into the conflict? The rebels have sunk to a new low.

Give us anti-aircraft guns. Where is your conscience?” read a small poster held by a protester in the village of Kfar Zeita in the central Hama province.

Hilarious, imagine if OWS protestors demanded anti-aircraft guns! And how would the US react if Russia indeed supplied them.

It's game over for the Jihadists and the mercenaries that compromise the ruthless rebel army.

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It's game over for the Jihadists and the mercenaries that compromise the ruthless rebel army.

@NS

Sorry to say, but you are wrong on this. 110% as a matter of fact. These rebels will never give up, life will never be the same, Assad can NEVER come back to power and go back to his dictatorship and expect that everything will peaches and cream as before. Pandora's box has been opened and there is no turning back now. Assad is finished and is on life support and that is a fact, whether you come on JT, root for the regime that supports murders of innocent women and children or not, the wheel has been set in motion and Assad and his regime will never be the same and he will never come back into power again.

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Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

How does this group retain any sort of legitimacy in the Western media? They are clowns with nobody on the ground in Syria and rely on second-hand news, doctored to their own liking.

Britain’s government said it is giving an extra 5 million pounds (US$7.8 million) worth of aid but no weapons to Syria’s opposition.

Well, at least it is out on the open who is funding the "rebels" now.

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The head of the Azaz rebels’ Political Office, Samir Hajj Omar, said Friday the prisoners would be released only if Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah apologizes to the Syrian people for supporting Assad.

Hey, Never Submit, I have a question for you. You have said that Hezbollah (whom you correct called terrorists) are part of the rebel movement in Syria. How is it then, that the rebels are holding people they are claiming the Lebanese they are holding are Hezbollah and that they want Hezbollah to apologize for supporting Assad, which they are doing?

Thanks in advance.

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But there has been deep reluctance to openly arm the fighters, out of fears that it could escalate the violence and because the rebel Free Syrian Army is not a unified group. Many rebel groups operate largely independently of each other, in many cases sharing only the goal of toppling Assad.

Wait, I thought they were getting weapons from Turkey, the EU, the CIA, France, The UK, NATO, Blackwater, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the Kurds? How is it that they don't have any real firepower? Are they each sending 1 bullet?

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The crass machinations of the Western powers and their non-democratic Sunni allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are despicable.

This is a tragedy that didn't need to happen. And nobody is going to gain anything out of it. The only Syrians that are opposed to Assad are Sunni, and not all Sunni are included. The Christians and other minorities do not support the so-called rebels, as they want nothing to do with an Islamist government.

Annan tried to facilitate a reconciliation, signing Assad on to his peace plan, but the CIA and Mossad kept funneling small arms--paid for by Saudi Arabia and Qatar--to the Sunni, fanning the flames of a sectarian conflict. Annan even visited Iran, against the wishes of the USA, UK, France, etc., and Iran expressed support for Annan's plan.

Now that it is apparent that Assad indeed has the wherewithal and military strength to crush the so-called rebels without a bloodbath, the West simply continues to try and demonize Assad, who had been heralded as representing something a moderate in the region before the so-called "Arab Spring". Nothing but clearly Machiavellian power play for regional control and influence, with no consideration of the Syrian people on the part of the West. Sickening.

The war of attrition in Aleppo is going to be brought to a close before long, but the refugees, of which there are about 200,000 by now, that have fled to neighboring countries won't have anything to go "home" to.

Assad is finished and is on life support and that is a fact, whether you come on JT, root for the regime that supports murders of innocent women and children or not, the wheel has been set in motion and Assad and his regime will never be the same and he will never come back into power again.

This kind of comment is hyperbole. Blaming Assad for the heinous acts of a crazed sectarian militia is nearly the same as blaming Obama for the Sikh temple shooting deaths at the hand of a former US Army white supremacist. In the case of Syria, however, it is the Alawites who are in the minority, and they have been subjected to an international effort to topple a legitimate government that can probably be favorable compared to the Sunni monarchy of Bahrain.

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How is it that they don't have any real firepower?

It's a fair question. The Islamic rebels are running out of ammo because the Syrian army has successfully cut off their supply route from Turkey and via Lebanon. The main rebel army in Aleppo is surrounded and have no means of resupply.

As for Hezbollah, even Hillary and Western diplomats have noted that the rebels are anything buy a cohesive group and are nothing more than a hodgepodge of various al Qaeda groups, mercenaries and Islamic militants. In some cases the rebels are even fighting each other as they don't know who's on the same side as them.

That's one reason why the ceasefire failed, the UN didn't even know who to contact on the rebel side to tell them to stop shooting people.

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NeverSubmit: The Islamic rebels are running out of ammo because the Syrian army has successfully cut off their supply route from Turkey and via Lebanon.

Ah, I see. I thought maybe people were overstating the level of support the rebels were getting. I didn't realize the half of the world that was sending the rebels weapons could be thwarted so easily.

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As for Hezbollah, even Hillary and Western diplomats have noted that the rebels are anything buy a cohesive group and are

1) You did not speak to my question to you about your claim that Hezbollah, whom you have correctly called terrorists, are a part of the rebels. How is it then, that the rebels are holding Lebanese they are claiming are Hezbollah and that they want Hezbollah to apologize for supporting Assad? As you must know, Hezbollah supports Assad because Assad supports Hezbollah. So do you admit you were mistaken about that?

2) I have never ever seen Hillary and Western diplomats note that the rebels are "nothing more than a hodgepodge of various al Qaeda groups, mercenaries and Islamic militants". Could you provide a quote for that? I was unable to find one.

Thanks again.

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This kind of comment is hyperbole.

Funny, that is what I thought of your above post.

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Ben, I don't know why you keep on hitting on this alleged comment by NeverSubmit about Hezbollah being terrorists. The only time I remember seeing such a comment was when he was quoting someone else, probably an Israeli. The reason I remember it is that you had followed it with your usual misinterpretation, as if he was expressing his own opinion (as you are doing above).

We all know (or should know) that Hezbollah are not really terrorists, but the Syrian rebels certainly are.

As for the "rebels" running low on ammo, it definitely would not be the first time that the west instigates something and then lets down their proxies. It is very much possible that they will sacrifice the rebels to get a UN resolution to give them the "authority" to come in and clean things up themselves.

It is also possible that neighboring countries are having second thoughts and are closing down the supply lines.

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I have never paid much attention to Syria before this crisis. I also didn't know anything about the Alawites or the Assads, or the demographics of Syria with respect to religion.

It has become clear, however, that this is a blatant attempt by the West and its regional allies to take down a regime that has been a thorn in its side since long long ago. On top of that, there is the desire to further weaken Iran and the Shia overall.

In light of the above, it seems unacceptable that Assad be forcibly deposed, or reforms imposed from outside.

There has to be reform that establishes constitutional guarantees of power sharing for the Alawites and other minorities.

In light of the religious tensions and conflict, there can be no permitting majority rule by Sunni Muslims in Syria. They would simply vote for Sharia law, etc., basically seeking to impose their pre-modern religious values on the entire population.

That is the historic reality at this point.

I certainly hope that Russia and China continue to support the regime and prevent military intervention of any sort by the West and their Sunni (not to mention Zionist) allies.

Any solution to the crisis encompassing democratic reforms has to involve Assad and be mediated by the United Nations in a democratic manner that maintains the demographic status quo in Syria in terms of the various religions and the political balance of power.

The West has used the Sunni uprisings in other Arab lands to instigate a crisis in Syria based on sectarian strife, and they have been trying to gain UN approval to intervene militarily. Fortunately, Russia and China have prevented their barbaric and sinister ploy from succeeding.

Down with military adventurism.

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(not to mention Zionist)

Sorry, the minute I see someone use (or in this case, misuse) this word, I immediately get rather suspicious about their agenda.

There has to be reform that establishes constitutional guarantees of power sharing for the Alawites and other minorities.

Rather ironic that you are saying there should be no reforms imposed from outside and then in the next breath suggest what kind of reforms there should be. Incidently, you seem to be attempting to quick study about Syria, so you know there are been no power sharing up to this point and that Assad's political party is the only one legal in Syria, right? That is how this homegrown conflict first started.

I agree that the rebels are very worrying. I agree that there should be no military intervention in Syria. However, I think that might the end of where we agree.

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I think that the fact that there is such a high degree of religious intolerance in the region, and that it serves to generate conflict, religion itself needs to be relegated to a certain degree in the constitution of any new political model that is more democratically open with respect to decision making processes that affect everyone in the society.

Syria has to be a place where pluralism and democracy are the norm, and I don't think that Assad and the Alawaites--not to mention the Christians--would be against that if they felt there were constitutional protections preventing the majority Sunni from taking power through the vote and then subverting democracy and pluralism.

Those are the basic concerns I see with any prospective political solution.

Let's recall that Israel holds the Golan Heights, which is definitely a source of tension, and adds yet another dimension to the regional dynamic afecting this conflict, though it is probably predominately characterized by Sunni vs Shia.

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Ubikwit, some very interesting points and overall very well written I must say.

BTW, has anybody heard from Mr. Riyad Hijab, the former Syrian PM who took the pay off and is now retiring in Qatar or something on a NATO pension.

The only thing we heard from him were prepared talking points (in perfect media English, emotive buzzwords included) on the day of his departure and then nothing.

You'd think he'd be giving interviews and making speeches but he's deftly quiet.

The Turkish PM is also awfully quiet about the plane that went down over a month ago. Whatever happened to the theory of the plane being in international waters. You'd think the Turks would be ranting about their two lost pilots, if indeed they had be shot illegally. Awfully hush hush, under the rug on that whole episode aren't they.

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I think that the fact that there is such a high degree of religious intolerance in the region

Not just the region, the world in fact, Why, did you know there are even people who will throw the word 'Zionist' in their discussions and seemingly have no idea what the words mean?

Let's recall that Israel holds the Golan Heights, which is definitely a source of tension, and adds yet another dimension to the regional dynamic afecting this conflict,

Gee, while we are not forgetting things, let's recall that Syria used to use that area to bomb and attack Israel. In fact, let's recall that Syria is still at war with Israel and refuses to make peace.

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The only thing we heard from him were prepared talking points (in perfect media English, emotive buzzwords included) on the day of his departure and then nothing.

I don't know what perfect media English is, but what would you have him say now? Are you really surprised he defected?

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of any new political model that is more democratically open with respect to decision making processes that affect everyone in the society.

Did you know you could get shot for saying something like that in Syria under the past and present Assad governments? How's that for irony.

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@Ben Jack

I accept the fact that Zionism has different meanings to different people. I understand that there are debates among Jewish people regarding the topic in relation to Judaism.

The comment I made was not intended to offend the religious sensibilities of people that aren't determined to establish a theocracy on the basis of some entitlement they claim they are owed because of their religion.

I don't know much about Judaism, but I know quite a bit about history and the evolution of society into the modern era with respect to the place of religion in society.

Israel is touted as a democracy, but there are many problems with that characterization in light of government support for the settler movement, etc. Those people base their claims on a biblical entitlement to "the promised land". It is a transhistorical claim that has no basis in reality, and that is why it is not recognized under international law. Mind you it was a duplicitous Freemason president that was friends with the so-called "Zionist" British Jew who helped author the Balfour declaration that undermined the United Nations process to establish a modern democratic polity in the former Bristish administered territory of Palestine, betraying his Secretary of State in the process.

That is as counter to equality before the law in a modern democratic state as the Sunnis in this conflict that are calling for a Sharia based state and label the Alawites heretics. There's little point in asking what there opinion of Christians is.

Simply put, in a modern society democracy is a superordinate structure which facilitates the formulation of laws on the basis of a constitution that protects the rights of the individual. The process itself is based on an epistemological relationship to knowledge that subordinates religion.

There are forms of religious doctrine that are hostile to democracy and modernity.

The Middle East is probably the area that suffers from the highest degree of religious intolerance in the world, and all I'm calling for are measures that relegate that propensity for intolerance and keep it in check under the watchful eye of the law, that is to say, the constitution, in a future Syria.

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Readers, please stay on topic. Zionism is not relevant to this discission.

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The Middle East is probably the area that suffers from the highest degree of religious intolerance in the world, and all I'm calling for are measures that relegate that propensity for intolerance and keep it in check under the watchful eye of the law, that is to say, the constitution, in a future Syria.

Okay, I agree with this. However, how are you expecting this to come about exactly? I personally never saw this happening with the Assad government. Sadly, even if he were now willing to actually do this now, I am not sure the people against him would believe it.

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I don't know why you keep on hitting on this alleged comment by NeverSubmit about Hezbollah being terrorists.

It is not alleged. He called Hezbollah 'ruthless Islamic terrorists' on July 26th, 2012.

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@Ben Jack

Assad is only one of the parties to the scenario in Syria, albeit an important party.

With respect to the Annan initiative, I don't think that there was a demonstration of a will to work toward a political solution on most of the parties concerned, particularly with respect to the rebels and their backers. At least Assad accepted the terms and started implementing some of the measures. I don't think he has demonstrated the behavior of a megalomaniac dictator that some are trying to portray him as. It would appear that he recognizes that a more representative system is needed in Syria, but he has no illusions as to the aims of the Sunnis, given the past history of a "Muslim Brotherhood" movement to topple the Assads as well as the current drive to do the same, with outside support from the West and extremist elements.

Assad merely demonstrated an openness to outside arbitration involving the UN by accepting the terms of Annan's plan, but that is more than the "opposition" did. The opposition and its supports can claim with some truthfulness that Assad was suppressing their peaceful demonstrations with excessive force, but it seems that they may have had a strategy of merely paying lip service to Annan's plan, while actually following the populist model of the Arab Spring uprisings with the aim of taking power by default due to the higher numbers of Sunni in the population. That would not result in a transition to a more representative or democratic society, but a defacto coup d'etat for the Sunnis.

The United Nations has to serve as the primary forum for discussion by all parties concerned--including Iran--and play a mediating role. There will probably also need to be some form of international guarantees as to security, ensuring for the stability of the post reconciliation political configuration and constitution, otherwise society will remain Balkanized internally.

Syria is a complicated scenario, because it has a diverse population including religious groups with sectarian rivalries and so on. I don't see any easy solution, and I don't see any precedents with many of the defining features of the scenario in Syria. I do see some aspects that point to potential points of contention in the future that could lead to any political solution unraveling if they aren't addressed from the start.

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Incidentally, the King of Jordan has also weighed in on this with the concern that greater Syria could disintegrate if a solution that accommodates the needs of the population both severally and as a whole isn't found. He is dealing with a huge influx of refugees, and seems to be looking for a reasonable and sustainable solution to support. Moreover, he was neither in favor of Western intervention, nor the disintegration of greater Syria.

He specifically mentioned that absent a viable political solution, the Alawites might form an enclave in the area encompassing the hills that form their traditional lands.

That says nothing of the Christians, Kurds and other minorities, though he mentioned land grabbing, etc. What would that look like? Apparently the Christians and other minorities have a sound basis in reason for tacitly supporting Assad. As do the Kurds, seeing as Turkey has already publically stated that it would NOT tolerate an independent Kurdish entity along its border with Syria.

I don't even know what the details of the Annan plan were, but it seems obvious that a simple majoritarian system would not suffice.

Syria is different from the so-called Arab Spring countries in that its population is more diverse. It is not the case that a homogeneous population is simply seeking to overthrow a tyrant.

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ubikwit,

You seem to be unaware that Jordan has had its own similar problems in its past. Jordan is also a country in which the minority kept the majority at bay much like Syria has done. Of course Jordan is worried because the King and his Hashemites are a minority in his own country.

Syria has kept its majority population at bay at the point of a gun and used that gun on its own populations several times in its history. I agree that a political solution would be the best one and the simplest for everyone concerned. However, it may already be too late for Syria to do this. Assad had a lot of time since taking over the reins to find a political solution and never actually went through with it. This is the reality. It is not like he was not aware that political changed was desired by a large section of the population. He knew this and yet did not make any significant changes. Then, when faced with protests about this, he reacted with deadly violence. It is hard to go back from that. It is easy for us to say the rebels should back off and find a political solution. Not so, when your family has been killed by the very government somone outside is telling you to talk with.

That says nothing of the Christians, Kurds and other minorities, though he mentioned land grabbing, etc.

??? You actually think there would be land grabs by these populations in Syria? Really? I find this highly unrealistic.

seeing as Turkey has already publically stated that it would NOT tolerate an independent Kurdish entity along its border with Syria.

Have you heard of Kurdistan? Anyway, do you actually think the Kurds in Syria are strong enough to grab and hold an area to create such a place in Syria? I do not think so.

I don't even know what the details of the Annan plan were, but it seems obvious that a simple majoritarian system would not suffice.

No one knows the actual details, however you keep writing this as if you are ignoring the fact that the minority in Syria has been forcibly ruling the majority for decades now. That is what got Syria into this problem in the first place. While I agree that a solution that serves all members of the population is best, if we are saying the solution is supposed to be up to Syrian, then the opinions of outsiders should not be relevant in this, right?

Syria is different from the so-called Arab Spring countries in that its population is more diverse. It is not the case that a homogeneous population is simply seeking to overthrow a tyrant.

???? Come on, it is not all that different than Egypt. It is the same type of situation as in Jordan as well. Syria is not a unique Middle Eastern country. It is comprised of a minority attempting to keep its majority at bay with violence and threats of violence.

Again, I am not in favor of outside military intervention. I do not think it is the answer. I am not confident in what kind of country the rebels want. We share this opinion. However, while it certainly would mean a more stable Middle East and would be more convenient for us and the rest of the world for things to stay as they have been in Syria, it hardly means the Syrian government has been acting correctly all these years. This is where I have a problem with many on here who seem to be touting the Assad government has being something wonderful. I mean really, read up a little on the government of Syria and the history of dissent and what has happened in the past to those who protested the single party rule by the minority in Syria. No, it does not erase the dire concerns I have about the real possibilty of an extremist government in Syria actually being worse that what they have now. By, it does not make the Assad government smell any more like roses either.

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