Syrian Rebels Responsible for Houla Massacre

June 11, 2012

(EYE)(NRO) It was, in the words of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the “tipping point” in the Syria conflict: a savage massacre of over 90 people, predominantly women and children, for which the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed by virtually the entirety of the Western media. Within days of the first reports of the Houla massacre, the U.S., France, Great Britain, Germany, and several other Western countries announced that they were expelling Syria’s ambassadors in protest.
But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad. For its account of the massacre, the report cites opponents of Assad, who, however, declined to have their names appear in print out of fear of reprisals from armed opposition groups.
According to the article’s sources, the massacre occurred after rebel forces attacked three army-controlled roadblocks outside of Houla. The roadblocks had been set up to protect nearby Alawi majority villages from attacks by Sunni militias. The rebel attacks provoked a call for reinforcements by the besieged army units. Syrian army and rebel forces are reported to have engaged in battle for some 90 minutes, during which time “dozens of soldiers and rebels” were killed.
“According to eyewitness accounts,” the FAZ report continues,

the massacre occurred during this time. Those killed were almost exclusively from families belonging to Houla’s Alawi and Shia minorities. Over 90% of Houla’s population are Sunnis. Several dozen members of a family were slaughtered, which had converted from Sunni to Shia Islam. Members of the Shomaliya, an Alawi family, were also killed, as was the family of a Sunni member of the Syrian parliament who is regarded as a collaborator. Immediately following the massacre, the perpetrators are supposed to have filmed their victims and then presented them as Sunni victims in videos posted on the internet.

The FAZ report echoes eyewitness accounts collected from refugees from the Houla region by members of the Monastery of St. James in Qara, Syria. According to monastery sources cited by the Dutch Middle East expert Martin Janssen, armed rebels murdered “entire Alawi families” in the village of Taldo in the Houla region.
Already at the beginning of April, Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix of the St. James Monastery warned of rebel atrocities’ being repackaged in both Arab and Western media accounts as regime atrocities. She cited the case of a massacre in the Khalidiya neighborhood in Homs. According to an account published in French on the monastery’s website, rebels gathered Christian and Alawi hostages in a building in Khalidiya and blew up the building with dynamite. They then attributed the crime to the regular Syrian army. “Even though this act has been attributed to regular army forces . . . , the evidence and testimony are irrefutable: It was an operation undertaken by armed groups affiliated with the opposition,” Mother Agnès-Mariam wrote.

sit back make popcorn


Allawites have their backs against the wall. If they let go then there will be an Islamic Genocide

February 20, 2012

(Sultan Knish)This isn’t the conflict between a dictator and his people that every media outlet is trying to present it as. This is a religious civil war between Alawites and Sunnis. The Alawites have slaughtered plenty of Sunnis and if the Sunnis win then the butcher’s bill will come due. As repugnant as the Syrian elite may be, they are not only fighting for power, but for the lives and futures of their families. And they may be willing to do things that the Libyan forces would be unprepared to do.(Showdown in Syria)

Bashar al-Assad’s family have promoted Alawites, but the sect denies that they are favoured by the regime (REUTERS)(Assad’s Alawites: The guardians of the throne – Al Jazeera English ) The Muslim Brotherhood rebellion which began in 1976 and led to a civil war between 1979 and 1982 determined how many Alawites see the current uprising. The Brotherhood attempted to rally the Sunnis into a sectarian struggle. Many Alawite intellectuals, judges and doctors were assassinated. The massacre of Alawite officer candidates in the Aleppo military academy in 1979 – as well as the assassination of Alawite Sheikh Yusuf Sarem – remain fresh in the community memory. The Sunni majority, meanwhile, remember the brutality with which the Brotherhood’s armed uprising was crushed. The Brotherhood was destroyed within Syria and remains largely absent from the current uprising, even if most of today’s protesters are conservative Sunnis. This year’s is also a popular and leaderless uprising, especially of the poor, unlike the Brotherhood’s rebellion. While the Brotherhood lost much of its credibility after that crackdown, it remains influential in the diaspora-based opposition, which encourages Alawite fears.

I wouldn’t want to be in Assad’s shoes


Israel ‘preparing to absorb Syrian refugees’

January 14, 2012
(aljazeera.com) Assad’s government has cracked down hard on Syrians demanding regime change since March [Reuters]

Israel is preparing to receive Syrian Alawite refugees on the occupied Golan Heights if the Bashar al-Assad government collapses, Israel’s army chief of staff has said.

They spent a century persecuting and declaring violence on Jews and the Jews are ready to save their lives by allowing the clans associated with a terrorist state to come to Israel… and yet Israel won’t build in it’s own Capital?


The Syrian Revolution 2011: First Protest Shooting in Damascus

April 5, 2011
Syrians living in Jordan shout slogans as they protest in solidarity
with anti-government protesters in Syria,
outside the Syrian embassy in Amman April 2, 2011.
(REUTERS/Majed Jaber)
The Syrian Revolution 2011: First Protest Shooting in Damascus
A DEBKAfile Exclusive Report:

The Syrian uprising took a new turn Tuesday, April 5, when armed protesters opened fire for the first time on security forces from a well-laid ambush in a Damascus suburb. Two policemen were killed according to first reports. The fact that armed elements have taken over and are willing to use violence against Assad regime — and in the capital yet — marks a new and dangerous stage in the two-week long protest.
Syria’s banned opposition groups and Muslim Brotherhood, under the combined new banner of “The Syrian Revolution 2011,” earlier announed a fresh round of demonstrations against President Bashar Assad starting Tuesday, April 5, and lasting until next week, debkafile’s Middle East sources report.
Both sides of the conflict realize that the Assad regime is not yet at the tipping-point for its survival after street protest rallies and bloody crackdowns centering on Daraa in the south and Latakia on the Mediterranean coast, in which 110 demonstrators died. However, a mass, nationwide uprising could badly shake its stability because it would seriously overtax Assad’s loyal military and security troops.
The opposition and the regime are meanwhile playing cat and mouse to see which holds the balance. The protest movement has already made an important gain: Even if Assad weathers the storm, his regime will never recover its old stability, arrogance and confidence. After 11 years in power, the Syrian president’s authority will be on the wane.
To knock it over completely, the Sunnis, who are 76 percent of the Syria’s population of 26 million, must join the protest movement en masse. This they have so far avoided doing for fear of the bullets which Assad’s loyalist forces do not hesitate to shoot.
Because it is hard to get ordinary Sunni Muslims out on the streets, the heads of Syrian Revolution 2011 have instigated a campaign of passive resistance. This week, for example, opposition leaders told the population to stop paying their electricity bills, an act of protest that has caught on in Syria’s big cities. The Assad regime is therefore confronted both by the “Days of Rage” and quiet civil resistance.
Furthermore, the important port-town of Latakia has split down the middle between two opposing camps — the 300,000 members of the ruling Allawite sect fear to venture into the districts populated by the town’s 400,000 Sunnis — and vice versa. Army control is reduced to keeping open the road linking the Syria’s main import and export port facilities to the highway out of the city.
In the next 48 hours, the opposition is hoping to whip up mass demonstrations in Aleppo and Damascus, the capital. Aleppo, a city of 2.8 million inhabitants is the political and economic hub of the Syrian Sunni community. Therefore, major outbreaks there would produce a big crack in Assad’s authority.
The Syrian ruler has tried to pre-empt the Aleppo demonstration by pouring substantial armed strength into the city, cutting its Internet links and arresting thousands of people suspected of opposition ties.
But he faces a huge problem. He can’t trust the Sunni rank and file to obey orders to suppress a large-scale Sunni insurrection in Aleppo — only the Allawite units which owe loyalty to the president and the Assad clan. He must therefore rely on the support of the 4th Army Division and the security and intelligence services and they may be too thin on the ground to shoulder the task. He dare not try and loose Sunni troops on the protesters of Aleppo for fear they join the protesters.