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    Syria's Assad facing dissent over Deraa crackdown

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/thousands-c...134306459.html

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faced dissent within government ranks with more than 200 members of his Baath Party resigning and signs of discontent within the army over the violent repression of pro-democracy protests.

    Two hundred party members from Deraa province and surrounding regions resigned on Wednesday after the government sent in tanks to crush resistance in the city of Deraa. At least 35 civilians were killed in the attack, rights groups said.

    Diplomats said signs were also emerging of discontent within the army where the majority of troops are Sunni Muslims, but most officers belong to the same minority Alawite sect as Assad.

    Assad sent the ultra-loyal Fourth Mechanized Division, commanded by his brother Maher, into Deraa on Monday. Reports from opposition figures and Deraa residents, which could not be confirmed, said that several soldiers from another unit had refused to fire on civilians.

    "The largest funerals in Syria so far have been for soldiers who have refused to obey orders to shoot protesters and were summarily executed on the spot," a senior diplomat said.
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    Is this essentially a Sunni vs. Shi'a thing?
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    *** There is no one free of all need, of whom all else are in absolute need, but God ***

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    God is Greater SYRIANKID's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wontcuddle2 View Post
    Is this essentially a Sunni vs. Shi'a thing?
    Essentially. The government belongs to a minority sect of shiism (Alawi) which is brutally oppressive towards the majority Sunni population. The Syrian government is one of the few allies of Iranian government in the region. The vast majority of the Syrian population hate both.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawi
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    What bothers you most about the Assad family: their oppression of the populace, the fact that they're secular (in relations to the middle east) or the fact that they're Alawi?
    I want to touch the butt.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    What bothers you most about the Assad family: their oppression of the populace, the fact that they're secular (in relations to the middle east) or the fact that they're Alawi?
    Probably all the above. Thing is, if the Syrian President's father could massacre 17,000 people in the 80's, then I'm sure the current one will be just fine.
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    Originally Posted by Blindead View Post
    What bothers you most about the Assad family: their oppression of the populace, the fact that they're secular (in relations to the middle east) or the fact that they're Alawi?
    Obviously the fact that they systematically murder and torture people based on their religion is the worst on that list.

    The law of the land is secular, but favoritism is religiously-based.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Obviously the fact that they systematically murder and torture people based on their religion is the worst on that list.

    The law of the land is secular, but favoritism is religiously-based.
    People don't suffer the same under a theocracy? People aren't murdered and tortured in Iran?
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    Originally Posted by Dave22reborn View Post
    People don't suffer the same under a theocracy? People aren't murdered and tortured in Iran?
    I don't consider Iran a good example of an Islamic theocracy. We saw last year the types of people the government is willing to murder to retain power.
    *** There is no one free of all need, of whom all else are in absolute need, but God ***

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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Essentially. The government belongs to a minority sect of shiism (Alawi) which is brutally oppressive towards the majority Sunni population. The Syrian government is one of the few allies of Iranian government in the region. The vast majority of the Syrian population hate both.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alawi
    I don't see this as a religious thing at all. Yes, Sunnis are upset with the Alawite upper class, but not simply because of their religion. The essential factor is the lack of freedom of speech/press/assembly, massive unemployment, widespread corruption, etc.
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    im sure assad will be more flexible if we let him, but the people wont back off anymore and he obviously does not want to step down.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    I don't consider Iran a good example of an Islamic theocracy. We saw last year the types of people the government is willing to murder to retain power.
    Which have been the good Islamic theocracies in history?
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    Salam Alaikum SK

    Check out a channel called Safa if you have satellite they bring in good info about Syria.
    Today a guy came on from Daraa and he said that more then 3000 troops are refusing orders.

    There are rumors that men dressed in black with huge beards are patrolling the streets they think it might be hezbollah.

    You see, without Syria hezbollah would pretty much die
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    SK there are also growing rumors that "firka" #5 is fighting with "firka" #4
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    Originally Posted by byrontel View Post
    Which have been the good Islamic theocracies in history?
    I love this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashidun_Caliphate

    But the following ones each had their good times.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    Obviously the fact that they systematically murder and torture people based on their religion is the worst on that list.

    The law of the land is secular, but favoritism is religiously-based.
    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    I don't consider Iran a good example of an Islamic theocracy. We saw last year the types of people the government is willing to murder to retain power.
    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    I love this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashidun_Caliphate

    But the following ones each had their good times.
    The Rashidun caliphate lasted less than 30 years and consisted of 4 caliphs. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th caliphs were all murdered due to discontent. And then the caliphate ended. Moreover that 30 year period was filled with wars and conquests of non-Muslim neighbors. Non-Muslims were enslaved and the free ones everywhere were forced to pay Dhimmi or convert. How could the non-Muslims have been happy? Wasn't that torture based on religion too?
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    Originally Posted by byrontel View Post
    The Rashidun caliphate lasted less than 30 years and consisted of 4 caliphs. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th caliphs were all murdered due to discontent. And then the caliphate ended. Moreover that 30 year period was filled with wars and conquests of non-Muslim neighbors. Non-Muslims were enslaved and the free ones everywhere were forced to pay Dhimmi or convert. How could the non-Muslims have been happy? Wasn't that torture based on religion too?
    That was a fair, thoughtful, and comprehensive summary of the 30 years of reign. But you forgot to mention that babies were crying throughout the entire period.

    But seriously, do some actual research, try to find something positive about that period that might help you to understand why it was the greatest Islamic state in history, and then you'll better understand my response.

    And by the way, the Caliphs were murdered by partisan assassins, not due to widespread discontent.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    That was a fair, thoughtful, and comprehensive summary of the 30 years of reign. But you forgot to mention that babies were crying throughout the entire period.

    But seriously, do some actual research, try to find something positive about that period that might help you to understand why it was the greatest Islamic state in history, and then you'll better understand my response.

    And by the way, the Caliphs were murdered by partisan assassins, not due to widespread discontent.
    There will always be some positive and they were the only caliphs who were supposed to have preserved the tradition of Mohammed. All four were related to Muhammad; the daughters of Abu Bakr and Umar were married to Muhammad, and three of Muhammad's daughters were married to Uthman and Ali.

    And here is history:
    The death of Muhammad in 632 created confusion, for Muhammad had left no details as to who should succeed him. After a heated discussion, Abu Bakr was selected as the first caliph. However, the confusion did not end as tribes all around Arabia broke out in open revolt and they refused to send taxes to Medina now that Muhammad no longer was alive. Known as the "Wars of Apostasy", the rebellions were not subdued until the end of 633. On his deathbed, Abu Bakr appointed Umar b. al-Khattab as his successor.
    The second caliph Umar (634-644) continued to send out troops and in 636 defeated the Persians at Qadisiyya. After the battle at Nihavand in 642, the Persians could offer no more resistance. The last Sassanid king fled to Khurasan and was assassinated in 651.
    Umar continued the offensive against the Byzantines in Syria, reached Damascus in 635 and defeated the Byzantines decisively at Yarmuk. The troops then marched into northern Iraq and Armenia, and into Egypt. The Byzantines relinquished Egypt to the Muslims under a peace treaty in 641.The peace treaties concluded allowed the conquered peoples to retain their land and religion; they were given the status of "protected peoples" (dhimmi) and were required to pay a special tax, jizya. Abandoned lands were confiscated. Umar was mudered in 644 by a slave with a personal grudge against him. Umar was feared rather than loved: he had a harsh disposition and lived an ascetic lifestyle.
    A six-member committee selected Uthman b. Affan (644-656). During his reign, grievances that had been stifled under Umar's heavy-handed rule rose to the surface; among the members of the opposition was one Ali b. Abi Talib, who was one of the members of Umar's committee and would become the fourth caliph after Uthman's death. It was in fact Uthman's continuation of Umar's policy of favoritism and state unity which generated complaints.
    Uthman attempted to retain the unity by [b]appointing members of his own clan, the Umayyads, to governorships[b]. These actions led to the charge of nepotism by Uthman's detractors. He attempted to generate income for the diwan by expanding north, west, and east. However, the booty obtained was not enough to maintain the diwan, and this difficulty, along with the increase in the numbers of soldiers and Uthman's adding his governors and family members to the list of pensioners, forced a reduction in the soldiers' stipends. This naturally created more discontent.
    Uthman was murdered at the hands of discontented Egyptians in 656 and the notables of Medina selected Ali b. Abi Talib as caliph. His failure to punish Uthman's assassins quickly generated outrage. Civil war broke out under the leadership of Talha and Zubayr, two of Ali's former supporters, and Aisha, former wife of Muhammad and daughter of Abu Bakr. The rebellion was suppressed near Basra at the famous Battle of the Camel. In Syria Muawiya refused to pay Ali allegience. The two men confronted each other where Muawiya called for an arbitration. The arbitration solved nothing, but it served to delegitimize Ali in the eyes of some of his supporters, who deserted Ali's army and withdrew to Nahrawan, east of the Tigris. The Syrians acknowledged Muawiya as caliph, and he was able to take control of Egypt later that year. In 658, the seceders in Nahrawan, known as Kharijites, were decimated by Ali's army. By this time Ali's rule had been reduced to central and southern Iraq; he was murdered by a Kharijite in 661.

    The differences between the Sunni, Shiʿa, and the Kharijites according to Wiki:
    Sunni Muslims believe that as a rightly guided Caliph, Ali's decisions did not justify any form of sedition or disobedience.
    Shia Muslims believe that the imaamate (leadership) was the right of Ali, and the rule of the first three Rashidun caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar bin al-Khattab, and Uthman ibn Affan) was invalid.
    Kharijites insist that any Muslim could be a leader of the Muslim community and on the right to revolt against any ruler who deviated from their interpretation of Islam.

    There will definitely be discontent to any rule. The ones who benefit will praise and the ones who suffer will hate...
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    Originally Posted by byrontel View Post
    And here is history:
    As copy-pasted from a personal web page:

    http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/itl/denise/right.htm

    http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/

    So that's one Austrian professor's (or his student's) take on history. It might take more googling than that.
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    This is the first real setback to Iran of late.

    In the last few decades, their foreign policy has been a massive win. The threat of Iraq was eradicated, and in fact now Iran itself has a lot of control over the region. The riots in Bahrain show that Iran can project its power into the GCC, and even Mubarak's departure means that Egypt will not be friendlier towards Iran.

    If Iran manages to help Assad defeat the rebellion, they will be the top dog in the region by a mile.
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    Originally Posted by SYRIANKID View Post
    As copy-pasted from a personal web page:

    http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/itl/denise/right.htm

    http://www.princeton.edu/~batke/

    So that's one Austrian professor's (or his student's) take on history. It might take more googling than that.
    You will feel that the Rashidun Caliphate was great as a sunni muslim but there are also historical views and views of others which say they weren't. Any religious theocracy will be wonderful for those that follow that religion but not for others. Examples are Islamic rule of Persia would not have been the happiest for Zoroastrians there, Mahmud of Ghazni's rule would not have been great for Hindus / Buddhists. Genghis Khan would be the greatest warrior for Mongols but not for Muslims who were massacred in Afghanistan.
    So separation of religion and state is what is best.
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    Originally Posted by byrontel View Post
    You will feel that the Rashidun Caliphate was great as a sunni muslim but there are also historical views and views of others which say they weren't.
    I agree that you will always find a group of people who love or hate something. But that doesn't mean that you just average out all opinions and rate everything as lukewarm. A fair analysis will give you a proportioned look at how beneficial or harmful a person/system was.
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    Originally Posted by ZenBowman View Post
    This is the first real setback to Iran of late.

    In the last few decades, their foreign policy has been a massive win. The threat of Iraq was eradicated, and in fact now Iran itself has a lot of control over the region. The riots in Bahrain show that Iran can project its power into the GCC, and even Mubarak's departure means that Egypt will not be friendlier towards Iran.

    If Iran manages to help Assad defeat the rebellion, they will be the top dog in the region by a mile.
    I think the stakes are even higher than that. Syria is Iran's only real ally in the region, but that's only at a government level. Even if the Syrian regime butchers the population into submission, it will be noted that Iran stood by silently and watched (and that's pretending they aren't actively supporting the massacres). So they will lose any popular support they had in the Middle East and will have to count on vocal support from the Syrian government alone.

    As for Egypt, it will depend on who takes power. It was Iran who was distant from Egypt and Jordan for their peace treaties with Israel, but whether Egypt is any closer to Iran will be Egypt's decision, not Iran's.
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    *** There is no one free of all need, of whom all else are in absolute need, but God ***

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    Turkey proposes massive economic, social plans for Syria

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.p...ria-2011-04-29

    Turkey has advised Syria to carry out a massive plan that includes immediate measures to satisfy its people’s economic, social and political needs, while calling for the government not to use excessive force against demonstrators.

    “What we expect from the Syrian administration is to take visible steps and undertake reforms in political, social, economic and security fields,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters Friday during his election campaign tour in Central Anatolia’s Konya province.

    ...

    “These images [of the crackdown on protesters] broadcast on the world’s televisions and the frequent stories highlighting the number of dead and injured will surely undermine the reform process. We told them to peacefully respond to demonstrators,” one source said.

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    http://www.***.co.uk/news/mobile/wor...-east-13247375

    In Syria, many people, too, had hoped Mr Assad would improve their lives.

    But his image of a benevolent leader, frustrated by an old guard in his attempts to bring change to the country, was a well-studied tactic, according to US-based Syrian dissident Ammar Abdulhamid.

    "It was the same during Hafez al-Assad's time. The idea is to always blame mistakes of the regime on others, so you can push them out and say now it will be better and have people continue to pin their hopes on the leader," said Mr Abdulhamid, who adds this worked to some extent with the general population.

    But over the last few years the reality that Mr Assad was just his father's son, a tough leader putting up an act as reformer, became increasingly clear to more people in Syria who confided their bitter disappointment to visiting foreign reporters.
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    Originally Posted by ZenBowman View Post

    If Iran manages to help Assad defeat the rebellion, they will be the top dog in the region by a mile.
    No. Israel is the top dog in that region.
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    SYRIANKID, keep posting in here, good stuff (and a hell of a lot more important and interesting than Libya, from a global/middle east perspective).

    So how many people are really being killed? I keep seeing 'hundreds' in news reports, but nothing to really back it up.
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    Disclaimer: the above post is my personal opinion, and does not represent the official opinion of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.
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    Take the following with a massive grain of salt. Debka is wrong half the time.

    Western intelligence: 7 m. Syrians in revolt can no longer be suppressed
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 30, 2011, 10:35 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Syria Syrian uprising Bashar Assad Mahar Assad Iran Obama Turkey

    Slaughter at Moaret Al-Noman near Homs
    After shelling, tank assaults and siege left 100 protesters dead in the last 48 hours without quelling the unrest, Western intelligence sources believe it has careered beyond President Bashar Assad's ability to hold the menace to his regime at bay – and estimate shared by Ankara. It is likely to keep on spreading and evolve into armed rebellion. Those sources estimate the uprising as already encompassing 6-7 million Syrians (out of a population of 26 million) and a third of its area.
    There are centers of dissent in the north, south and center, including the coastal strip. The outlying towns of Damascus the capital are in rebel hands. President Assad has thrown into the crackdown on the uprising every military asset he can spare without further jeopardizing his regime.
    At the end of the week, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was worried enough to send a delegation of intelligence chiefs to Damascus to warn Assad that after his bloodbath had claimed up to 800 lives in six weeks, it must be stopped or his regime would go down.
    Friday, April 29, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Interior Minister Osman Gunes, Dep. Chief of Staff Gen. Aslan Guner, MIT Intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and Ambassador to Syria Omer Onhon put their heads together in Ankara on the crisis in neighboring Syria. They were all pessimistic about Assad's chances of survival and concluded the uprising against him had gone too far to stop.
    Saturday morning, April 30, DEBKAfile reported: US President Barack Obama signed an executive order Friday April 29 imposing sanctions on members of the Assad family for brutality against civilian protesters after learning that pro-Iranian officers and intelligence chiefs within the ruling family and top military command were conspiring to overthrow President Bashar Assad.
    They accuse him of being too slow and too soft (sic) in suppressing the popular uprising and are pushing for more direct Iranian intervention before it develops into a full-blown armed rebellion.
    The conspirators targeted by the new American sanctions are the president's brother Maher Assad, commander of the Republican Guard and the Army's 4th Division, which is responsible for the ongoing massacre in Daraa; Bashar's cousin Atif Najib, head of the Political Security Directorate for Daraa Province; and Gen. Ali Mamluk, director of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate.
    The sanctions order also named the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) for aiding the Syrian crackdown.
    Mahar Assad claims his brother should have rooted out the uprising against the regime much earlier on by swifter and harsher physical action before its ringleaders had a chance to turn to armed rebellion, DEBKAfile's intelligence sources report. He has warned the president that the level of suppression pursued in the last six weeks has left the dissidents able to set up armed cells in Syrian cities and bring their defiance of the authorities to a standoff. Before long, he says, armed resistance will take hold in Damascus too.
    Already Friday, protesters took on troops in at least two places, DEBKAfile's military sources report. In Daraa, which is still fighting after weeks of brutal repression, protesters were able to kill at least six officers and troops and take two hostage; in Homs in the north, three Syrian police officers went down under demonstrators' bullets.
    Those centers of unrest also felt the hard edge of the military savagery which Friday left at least 62 demonstrators dead and hundreds injured in more than 50 cities across the country.
    But the conspirators insist it is not enough: They want Assad to crack down harder with the help of intensified Iranian intelligence and logistical intervention. The opposition is already receiving a constant flow of weapons organized by Saudi intelligence and smuggled in from Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. The quantities are beyond control of Syrian army and security forces. More direct help from Iran is essential.
    DEBKAfile sources report that until now Assad has restricted incoming Iranian aid to ammunition and anti-riot equipment – fresh supplies of which Iranian military aircraft landed in Damascus in the last 24 hours. But he denied landing permission to another Iranian flight which carried 200 members of Revolutionary Guard special units trained to break up demonstrations in urban areas. That plane returned to Tehran.
    According to our Washington sources, Atif Najib, the former Horon Baath party's security chief whom Assad named to suppress the Daraa-centered uprising, and Ali Mamluk, back Maher in pushing hard for tougher action against the uprising. They are clamoring for direct Revolutionary Guards intervention and are in direct communications with IRGC officers over the president's head.
    DEBKAfile's Iranian sources name their Iranian contact as Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, who has set up a secret operational base close to the Syrian border – either in Iraq or Lebanon – to keep Iran's hand on developments in Syria and watch out for a military coup in Damascus.
    These events prompted the US president to link Syrian and Iranian intelligence for the first time in a single executive order. Administration officials in Washington admitted that the new sanctions were symbolic more than practical since none of the officers named have bank accounts, property or business ties in the US. It was a signal, they said, to Tehran and the plotters in Damascus that the US was onto the schemes taking shape in the hidden corners of the Syrian regime and keeping a close watch on events.
    And:

    Hizballah prepares to pull its heavy missiles from Syrian safekeeping
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 1, 2011, 9:30 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Syrian uprising Bashar Assad Hizballah missiles Israel

    Syrian army tank in Daraa
    The Lebanese Shiite Hizballah has obviously decided the Assad regime is sinking. DEBKAfile's military sources report the organization is preparing to pull its heavy, long-range weapons out of storage in Syrian military facilities – no longer sure they are safe there – and risk transporting them to Lebanon.
    Last year, Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to store Hizballah's incoming Iran-made Fatah-110 surface missiles and its Syrian equivalent the M-600 and the mobile SA-8 (Gecko) anti-air battery which holds 18 warheads with a maximum range of 12 kilometers. Tehran paid for the upkeep of the Hizballah hardware on Syrian side of the border after Israel threatened to bomb these potential game-changers if they crossed over.
    Deployed at Hizballah bases in Lebanon, the Fatah-110 and M-600 would place almost every corner of Israel within range of bombardment, while the SA-8 would seriously restrict Israeli Air Force operations over southern Lebanon and Galilee.
    However, as the uprising against Assad rolls ever closer to Damascus, Hizballah see a very real threat of it infecting the Syrian army and has decided that now might be its last chance to get hold of the core arsenal it has standing by for war with Israel before events get out of hand in Syria.
    Hizballah's headquarters in Dahya, Beirut, became alarmed when they heard about strong resentment building up in the Syrian 11th Division over the Assad crackdown against the dissidents – among officers as well as other ranks.
    The 11th Division, which is camped outside Aleppo, is the best trained and organized of all Syrian army units, equipped as its strategic reserve with the most advanced weaponry. If the unrest has reached this elite unit, Hizballah reckons there is no time to losing for pulling its missiles out of Syrian military safekeeping.
    Meanwhile, top Hizballah and Iranian offices in Tehran are working on the best way to transport the missiles into Lebanon without exposing them to Israeli attack, DEBKAfile's Iranian sources report. Some of them calculate that Israel would not venture to strike them while still on Syrian soil because it would lay itself open to interfering, or even getting in the way of, the revolt against President Assad and playing into his hands.
    A security emergency might well take the wind out of protest movement's sails.
    But already, Tehran's Lebanese surrogate is beginning to distance itself from Bashar Assad, its longtime strategic partner and arms supplier, having decided he has his back to the wall. April 28, the Hizballah-controlled Lebanese Al Akhbar newspaper started criticizing the Assad regime on its op-ed pages.
    ~ SAN Head Rep and Warlord ~

    Disclaimer: the above post is my personal opinion, and does not represent the official opinion of any company or entity. It does not constitute medical advice.
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    In Syria's rebel city 'they will shoot anything that moves'

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...ria-middleeast

    Anyone here who leaves the house is being shot. There are snipers on every building and the army is in the streets. We are just staying inside now, because you know now that if you try to leave the house, you are already a dead man. They will shoot anything that moves. And if soldiers refuse to fire on people, they are executed. These are all the fourth division soldiers in uniform.

    They even shot a little girl, Shiraz. She was just playing in front of her house and they shot her. We still have not been able to bury her because they are shooting at the funerals.

    ...

    There is no difference between us, whether we are Christian, Muslim, Druze, Shia, Sunni, it doesn't matter. We need people to know this – come and see how the army is killing our children, our women and parents. If the rumours were true, why don't they let the world come in and see?
    *** There is no one free of all need, of whom all else are in absolute need, but God ***

    Pbuh: If anyone testifies that None has the right to be worshipped but God Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Servant and His Apostle, and that Jesus is God's Servant and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, God will admit him into Paradise
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