Syria Daily, August 19: Assad Regime Claims “Reconciliation” Deal in Damascus Suburb

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LATEST: Islamic State Claims Beheading of Journalist James Foley, Threatens To Execute Journalist Steven Sotloff

TUESDAY FEATURE

On Eve of Anniversary of Assad’s Chemical Attacks, Obama Celebrates “Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction”

The Assad regime is claiming a reconciliation agreement, ending clashes with insurgents, in the Damascus suburb of al-Qaddam.

The head of the Popular Reconciliations Central Committee, Sheikh Jaber Issa, claimed the deal would “return services” and allow displaced residents to return to al-Qaddam, south of the capital.

According to Issa, lists of insurgents would be provided “for their legal status to be settled”, as roadblocks were removed and streets cleared.

Opposition outlets have not confirmed the claim.

The regime has reached agreements in several other suburbs since the start of the year, Moadamiya, Yelda, Babila, and Barzeh.

The deals have followed months of siege by the Syrian military in what opponents have called a “surrender or starve” strategy.


Islamic State Claims Beheading of Journalist James Foley, Threatens To Execute Journalist Steven Sotloff

The Islamic State is posting pictures and text claiming that they have beheaded journalist James Foley, missing since November 2012, and they are threatening to execute Steven Sotloff.

Sotloff, who worked for Time magazine, disappeared in August 2013.

Claimed photo of Foley before his execution:

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The jihadists posted video of the execution, following a clip from a speech by President Obama with the subtitled warning, “We await your next move in Iraq”.

Liwa al-Tawhid Fighters Leave Islamic Front and Join Free Syrian Army Brigades

Well-placed sources confirm that many fighters who were with Liwa al-Tawhid have left the Islamic Front and have joined Free Syrian Army brigades.

The fighters are now serving under FSA command against the Islamic State in Marea in northern Aleppo Province.

The sources say that one motive for the move of the Liwa al-Tawhid men was that many of them come from Marea or nearby villages, and thus are fighting for their home ground and their families. Marea is also the home of the family of Abu Furat, a famous Free Syrian Army commander who was killed in December 2012.

Insurgents have been able to repel Islamic State attacks on Marea, a key town for the insurgency, after the jihadists advanced through northern Aleppo Province. In some cases, they have lured the Islamic State fighters into ambushes on the outskirts of the town.

Liwa al-Tawhid, which has been prominent in the battle for Aleppo city, is still formally part of the Islamic Front bloc.

Military Executes 3 Pilots for Refusing to Fly Bombing Missions

EA sources confirm claims that the Syrian military has executed three pilots who refused to fly missions bombarding northern Hama Province.

The three pilots are Colonel Nofal Dayoub, Brigadier General Ahmad Ghanam, and Colonel Sami Razak.

Insurgents Take Qubaiat Village in Hama Province

The Supreme Military Council says insurgents have taken control of Qubaiat village in Hama Province after “fierce clashes” with regime forces.

The Council claims the killing and capture of a number of Syrian troops and militia.

The Free Syrian Army also used heavy artillery to shell Assad troops at the al-Aboud checkpoint on the outskirts of insurgent-held Morek.

Opposition forces have been advancing through the province over the last month, moving within three kilometers of Hama Military Airport.

Fighting outside al-Sheiha:

Assad Regime Offers to Help Iraqi Kurdistan Against “Terrorist” Islamic State

Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi, in an interview with the Iraqi Kurdish outlet Rudaw, has offered Damascus’s help to Iraqi Kurdistan in its fight with the jihadist Islamic State:

We have to put a stop to all this. Neither we in Syria nor our brethren in Iraq and Erbil or elsewhere in Beirut and Amman, are able to confront terror single-handedly. No one can confront terror alone. There must be cooperation, genuine cooperation. We have to share intelligence and knowledge. We should also support each other financially, as thousands of families both in Syria and Iraq have been displaced. None of this is possible without our commitment to cooperation.

Al-Zoubi also asserted that the Assad regime is happy to work with Syrian Kurdish forces:

Our Syrian Kurdish brethren…are part of our nation. It’s the duty of all nations — Kurds and Arabs alike — to confront terror. They have the duty of protecting the nation, our dignity and people’s properties. Side by side with the Syrian army, they are doing their part.

President Assad’s media advisor Bouthaina Shaaban took the campaign to US media on Monday, telling CNN that Syria had been warning for more than two years of the “threat to humanity” and calling for an international coalition to defeat it.

Opposition: “Poison Gas” Attack on Athman in Daraa Province

Neither we in Syria nor our brethren in Iraq and Erbil or elsewhere in Beirut and Amman, are able to confront terror single-handedly. No one can confront terror alone. There must be cooperation, genuine cooperation. We have to share intelligence and knowledge. We should also support each other financially, as thousands of families both in Syria and Iraq have been displaced. None of this is possible without our commitment to cooperation.

Opposition: “Poison Gas” Attack on Athman in Daraa Province

Opposition activists are claiming a regime attack with “poison gas” on Athman, just north of Daraa in southern Syria.

Aftermath of the attack:

Victim being treated in hospital:

The airstrike followed fighting in the area, with State media claiming “army units killed and injured a number of terrorists”, and

Fighting continues in #Daraa and several regime forces have reportedly been killed in Atman. #Syria

— Paradoxy (@Paradoxy13) August 16, 2014

” target=”_blank”>opposition outlets saying several Syria troops had been slain.

The Syrian military carried out a series of strikes this spring with chlorine canisters dropped in barrel bombs, notably in Hama Province, when regime forces faced significant resistance.

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23 COMMENTS

    • Total regime propaganda. ISIS contribute little to any rebel victories, often showing up at the last minute, killing a few regime guys and taking maximum spoils. When the rebels left for new battles, it would seize the gains as it did in Mennegh and Raqaa.

      The rebels were then unaware of how closely ISIS was working with the regime then and still hoped it could be won over and “civilized.” When ISIS real intention and closeness to the regime became impossible to deny, rebels no longer tried to win ISIS over.

      Given that they started with nothing and could hardly afford divisions, it made no sense that the rebels would dump ISIS immediately at the first attempt.

      The regime, by contrast, never attempted to civilize its ISIS ally. It did everything possible to maximize its barbarism, thus bringing it in line with the regime’s own brutality. Maximization of ISIS barbarism was essential to the regime for propaganda reasons, for killing off democratic activists or for murdering FSA commanders on the sly).

      ISIS was to be used by the regime to divide the rebels and produce maximum chaos. It’s the same reason Assad released hundreds of extreme Islamist troublemakers from his jails just as he ordered snipers and troops to gun down peaceful and unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators. Women and children, groin shots and head shots, were expecially favored targets to get the regime’s “point” accross.

      So how do you explain the contrast in Assad’s treatment of extreme Islamistrs vs. his treatment of peaceful demonstrators? Do you thing a guy who would do the latter would do the former for humanitarian reasons? How dumb do you think readers are?

      May I suggest you try this stuff on readers of People Magazine, Entertainment Today and Reader’s Digest? The folks here are too sophisticated and well-informed for this stuff to work.

    • Nothing new to that. Menagh was taken primarily thanks to IS suicide vbeds and its fighters who were the first to storm the base. FSA had pleasure in having them on their side because they perfectly knew that IS fighters are in another league. A bit like JAN in aleppo at the begining, front lines were kept mainly thanks to JAN fighters. Unfortunately IS and JAN are a much more formidable force than the average rebel brigades were corruption, disunity and disorganization make most rebel groups completely worthless on the battleground.

      • ISIS didn’t “help” the rebels in Mennagh. It’s sole intent was to take the base and indeed, ISIS did exactly that. It still retains possession.

  1. AFTER HOMS, EVERYONE KNOWS THE REGIME’S “RECONCILIATION” EFFORTS ARE A FRAUD

    We have only the regime’s word for the latest one and everyone knows what that is worth. After what happened to 700 people who disappeared after being guaranteed safe passage in Homs no one is buying. Nor is anyone buying regime denials of that crime. If the 700 are not already dead, they are undergoing daily rape, torture and starvation in the regime’s dungeons. Who doesn’t know that’s the regime’s way?

    Dissected: A TOP MYTH OF ASSAD APOLOGISTS ONLINE: “ARABS NEED A STRONG MAN ”

    This self-serving “fact” is repeatedly promoted by online supporters of unpopular dictators who survive on force alone. It begs the question by relying on a phony premise unsupported by evidence: arabs can’t handle democracy, apparently being lesser beings.

    In the same self serving way southern segregtionists and white colonialists assured as the blacks, arabs and Chinese couldn’t manage themselves without white overlords. Where’s the proof? Someone who benefits tells us so. In the West absolute kings used the same Hobbsian arguments to retain their powers as demands for democracy grew and a middle class demanded a share in government proportional to their contributions. . Kings insisted—with no proof—that democracy would never work.

    When people didn’t accept that, kings argued–like Khamenei–that God gave them the “right” to rule. You can’t argue with God, can you? And where’s the prooof that “God” did this? We must take the word of kings, Supreme Leaders and would-be caliphs.

    KIngs and their supporting aristocracy that had lost its useful functions, once guaranteed that America—as the first large democratic republic and a country whose population was so diverse–could never succeed without a king. It was guaranteed.

    With the right constitution, checks and balances, free speech and an electoral system based on winner-take-all plurality system Iraq should have usedrather than a proportional representation system, the US easily avoided many of the divisions the latter system has enabled elsewhere. That same plurality system, not special cultural traits, explains why extremists had much greater difficulties getting anywhere in the USA during the Great Depression, in contrast to many democracies having proportional representation systems.

    –In Syria it was a “strong man” (actually a weak and chinless wonder) who wrecked the country rather than allow democracy.

    –In Iraq it was another would be “strong man” (Maliki) who did likewise.

    –In both countries it is another would be “strong man” (Al-Baghdadi) who under the guise of religion is wreaking havoc.

    –In Russia see Putin and his quest for empire whose main effect will be to keep Russia backward and spur disintegration. Had Putin chosen democratic rule and acting like a European state instead of promoting xenophobia, paranoia and extreme nationalist, Russians would face a far bright future.

    –In Iran, the Shah repeated the mistakes of the Czar, surrounding himselves with a privileged class and resisting essential reforms. A movement that might have establish democracy had its revolution stolen by a clerical class whose “strong man” leaders did more than anyone to create the present sectarianism via a quest for empire which required the brutal suppression of Sunnis.

    –In Turkey,Erdogan is headed in the same direction and the Turks will soon find themselves worse off than before. Political and social freedoms are increasingly restricted and as all checks and balances are eliminated, a ruling and corrupt in-crowd will become as brutal and authoritarian as all governments where “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    Anyone who likes rule by dictators should admire, not detest, extreme Islamist leaders since they fit the bill perfectly by ones own logic. By the same logic, the best secular dictators would be the strongest and most authoritarian—people like Hitler, Stalin and Saddam Hussein.

    FOR THOSE WHO MISSED IT:

    In a late update yesterday, I looked at signs that the signs that rebels may be expanding into Sweida Province and why the Druze may not resist it because of key developments. I counted 18 airports that that were fallen, presently neutralized, under growning attacks or likely to be so soon because of potentially fatal and isolated locations.

    http://eaworldview.com/2014/08/syria-daily-assad-regime-turns-bombs-islamic-state/

    • Arabs don’t need a strongman style of government but you cannot expect a quick transition from a dictatorship to a full democracy with checks and balances in a few years. The transition took hundreds of years in the west. This is why the transition has been so problematic in the Arab world as it has always been hijacked by Islamists and they are not for democracy, they want to setup a caliphate. And as you can see in Raqqa and Mosul this is much worse for Arabs than living under a dictatorship, in fact if you are a minority it can be deadly.

    • If ISIS are able to take the airbase and ISIS massacre the regime troops there then the anger in the Alawite community is going to grow. If ISIS take Salamiyah after Taqba then they are approaching much larger Alawite communities in the Homs and Hama plains. On the map it doesn’t appear there is much between Taqba and Salamiyah.

      I think the regime are putting up a fight in Taqba because they know it is strategically and militarily more important than the bases North of Raqqah. Also, ISIS control the Taqba Dam. Not much is said about this because they control many of the cities downstream from the dam. But if they were to release the water from Taqba they could devastate areas along the river all the way down to Iraq. It’s another weapon they possess if threatened. They have flooded areas of Iraq before so we know they will do it.

      • Fighting is now reported inside the base. Huge clashes. Assad tried its best to save tabqa. Last days airstrikes were some of the most heavy ones ever recorded. I am afraid tabqa is going down tonight. IS seems unstoppable. Next major stop Aleppo or Homs? Azaz? In any case goodluck to who is in its path……..

  2. Breaking News! REGIME EXECUTES 3 PILOTS AT HAMA AIRBASE FOR “INSUBORDINATION”

    Source: Paradoxy. A large number of troops arrested a few weeks ago for refusing to go to Morek undoubtably got the same treatment—a sign panic is growing. As in the great German film, Downfall, those who long supported the regime’s crimes want off a sinking ship and such regimes tend to execute any loyalists who change their minds. Such executions are needed “pour encourager les autres.”

    MAJOR BUILDUP AROUND TABQA AIRPORT SUGGESTS THE END IS NEAR FOR AN ESTIMATE 700 TROOPS

    For Alawites on the coast there is one consolation: Top commanders close to Assad, have been removed to safety by copter while left behind troops face certain death and other indignities from the regime’s former ally, ISIS. Several sources report a huge gathering of ISIS forces for the Big Event.

    http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=35.761697&lon=38.569908&z=13&m=b

    WELL-KNOWN AL NUSRAH LEADER CONDEMNS ZAWAHIRI WHO NO LONGER ANSWERS MESSAGES

    http://news.intelwire.com/2014/08/zawahiri-falls-off-map-gets-rebuked-by.html

    • Breaking news or breaking rumor?

      “Paradoxy @Paradoxy13 · 6h
      3 regime pilots have allegedly been executed today by military security in the #Hama military airport for insubordination. #Syria”

  3. OBAMA AGREES TO ALLY WITH GENOCIDE REGIME AFTER WEEKS OF DENYING SUCH PLANS

    Source: Rekka Kroenen. America and Syria began bilateral cooperation talks in the field of counter-terrorism. Next up is Raqqa.

    See also: Increasing rumors that U.S. and Assad are cooperating/coordinating airstrikes in Syraq. Ousting the regime that nourished ISIS and alienated Sunnis and supporting rebels against ISIS would have been a much better move but not for Obama and the like-minded scumbags he prefers as White House advisors (Ryan Crocker, Tony Blinken and Denis McDonough). Obama is the Genocide President!

    Khamenei, Nasrallah and Putin must be delighted. As far as most Sunnis are concerned, this is solid proff that, just as ISIS claims, the USA under Obma has always covertly supported Assad’s genocide campaign directed at Sunnis and Iran’s quest for a regional empire dominated by Shia heads of state loyal to the Supreme Leader.

    http://bit.ly/1oN1gVS
    ttp://bit.ly/1oN1j3N

    http://www.alhadathnews.net/archives/133528

    And here’s Michael Young, senior policy analyst at RAND Corporation writing on “To fight ISIS, make peace with Syria’s Assad.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/13/rand-isis-arab-airstrikes-column/13863321/?utm_source=rand_social&utm_medium=hootsuite_rand&utm_campaign=hootsuite_rand_social

  4. BULLETIN: Obama Allies USA with Genocide Regime After Weeks of Denying Such a Scheme

    Bascially this amounts to America declaring war on all Sunnis, not that Obama hasn’t done so covertly for 3 1/1 years. ISIS is going to reap a big propaganda bonanza from this. If we had attacked ISIS through the rebels, that would not be the case. But Obma has always preferred Assad, his master in Iran and other Bad Guys. This is akin to allying with Hitler and Himler after Auchwitz. Disgusting!

    Rekka Kroenen reports that America and Syria began bilateral cooperation talks in the field of counter-terrorism. Rumors say the USA and Assad are already cooperating/coordinating airstrikes. I’ll be Obama is helping Assad bomb Syrian civilians as part of the deal. He has no problem with their imprisonment and torture. Obama has always favored keeping Assad’s brutal security agencies in power and done so openly. Now he will surely give all top regime figures a “free pass” on war crimes as part of the deal.

    Obama could have chosen to support the pro-democracy rebels in March of 2011 when strongly urged to do so by Hillary Clinton and Petraeus. But he always preferred the Bad Guys.. While rebels were fighting ISIS, he never gave them air cover. While Assad encouraged sectarianism and state terror against the Sunni majority, released thousands from extremists from jails, nursed ISIS back to health and allied with it for three years, Obama failed to act. The moment ISIS backstabbed the regime, Obama comes running. How does that look? What are we supposed to think?

    I’ll make a prediction: If Iranians rise up against Khamenei while Obama is still in office, the bum will send the marines to assist Khamene in cracking down.

    Here’s Michael Young, senior policy analyst at RAND Corporation writing on “To fight ISIS, make peace with Syria’s Assad.” (and thereb make war on the Syrian people and ALL Sunnis).

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/08/13/rand-isis-arab-airstrikes-column/13863321/?utm_source=rand_social&utm_medium=hootsuite_rand&utm_campaign=hootsuite_rand_social

    The biggest joke right now is Obama getting swindled by Putin and Assad into a big victory now being spun into a big diplomatic triumph

    http://eaworldview.com/2014/08/syria-feature-eve-anniversary-assads-chemical-attacks-obama-celebrates-elimination-weapons-mass-destruction/

    ISIS TO OBAMA: “THANKS FOR HELPING US RECRUIT!”

    More than 6,000 new fighters joined IS in Syria last month in the group’s fastest expansion to date. Source: Zeina Khodor. Obama’s philosophy is, “Never nip trouble in the bud. It’s best to let it develop and get out of control before acting.”

    As for any reconciliation between Syrians and this regime, forget. it. Aside from the fact that crimes so vast require punishement, Sunnis would be nuts to trust the Genocide Regime. Everyone knows about the 700 people who Assad detained to torture, rape and murder after a “guaranteed” them safe passage in Homs. They’ve never be seen since.

    .
    TOP DEMOCRATS DESCRIBE OBAMA’S BEHAVIOR AS SCARY & ASTONISHING

    It’s the same Obama we saw in the first election debate and in Syria since March 2011: the real Obama.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/19/us/aloof-obama-is-frustrating-his-own-party.html

    Obama is as isolated and insular as Woodrow Wilson vis-a-vis Congress. He arrogantly dismisses anyone who does not agree with his folly as a “neo-con” or Fox News addict. When not otherwise engaged, he resembles Warren G. Harding who was addicted to card games.

    You can make a long list of all the people Obama betrayed in his courtship of Putin (now ended) and of Khamenei (never ending): allies, America and the west (re: national security, Syrians, Sunnis worldwide, black Americans, etc.

    I feel especially sorry for the way he betrayed black Americans.Had he been the fifth black president after several good ones his lousy performance may not have done as much damage but having opened the door for black folks, he slammed it in their faces. Thus this post today from Malcomite:

    Malcolmite ‏@Malcolmite · 6h
    I wish Obama was dead…

    This former Obama voter and fellow sucker agrees. I can no longer stomache the man. It is a sad, sad day for America when our president signs on with a slick, unrepentant Auschwitz-style dictator. I’d even take Nixon over Obama. In terms of being completely dishonorable, the closet match to Obama would be Aaron Burr who just missed victory but engaged in some nasty schemes of his own. Obama would have aligned with Pol Pot given the opportunity.

  5. American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS…..

    I remember when two years ago, when pro opposition sources and western media accused the syrian governement of detaining him.

    ISIS are animals, not human. They are much worse than any other side on this conflict and lack every sign of humanity.

    They are really a primitive death cult, borderline satanic. They must be eliminated completely.

  6. Urgent! Unconfired: ISIS CLAIMS TO HAVE CAPTURED 18 AMERICAN (16 SPECIAL FORCES &* CREW AFTER SHOOTING DOWN A PLANE

    The source for that is a twitter from “Join Islamic State.”

    I stress it is not confirmed and could be ISIS propaganda. What is confirmed by video and photos today is that ISIS beheaded US journalist James Foley in retaliation for US bombing attacks which saved Mosul Dam and thousands of trapped Iraqis.

    See Twitters from Message to America for that.

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/A_Message_to_America?src=hash

    OBAMA”S REFUSAL TO NIP ISIS IN THE BUD IS TO BLAME FOR THIS

    The party Obama dismissed two weeks ago by comparing it to a JV team and contrasting it to the Lakers has come back to haunt Obama, a man infamous for extremely “off” judgements on which he bases policy.

    It took Obama over three years to go after ISIS. Obama allowed Assad and Iran to nurse it into what it had become. Obama refused to act because he was courting Assad and his boss Khamenei and didn’t want to offend either. ISIS functions as an ally of convenience to both until backstabbing Assad about two months ago in Palmyra. The arrangement was similar to the non-aggression pact between HItler and Stalin. Obama was aware of it and did nothing,
    Foley and his family are direct “beneficiaries” of that policy. Now that he has created the disaster, Obama must deal with it. That means he must not back off due to ISIS demands or thousands of Americans and Europes will die, probably tens of thousands.

    Given Obama’s often demonstrated lack of foresight, I don’t know if he understands that.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=655383714569535

    • It’s three hours later and I’m sure something would have been on the news if this guy’s claim is true. He was hoping all it would take is a repeat of Blackhawk Down to turn Obama and a certain proportion of the US population into jello. He may be right. The point we meed to remember is that we are certain to be on ISIS agenda in the future whether or not we target ISIS now. Ditto for Europe. So the more we can cripple ISIS now,. belatedly beause of Obama, the better.

      • I think in this modern times(maybe it was always that way), there is no “staying out of it” option for anyone. For the US, IRI, the ruskies…you are either bid to win, or stay out and lose. Obama, still thinks he can isolate US and prevent any spill overs, well, history has shown quite the opposite to happen. I just don’t know if Obama is smart enough to see that in time…Putin has strategy but bad tactics, and Obama has neither…

  7. Scott: Re; Military Executes 3 Pilots for Refusing to Fly Bombing Missions
    I have no doubt these men were executed but not for refusing to fly combat missions. Colonels and generals make terrible fighter pilots. Possibly they were squadron commanders and were urging the pilots under them not to fly?

    Bill

  8. Could you return to analysis of the actual war? The anti-Obama stuff is really reducing the Signal-to-noise ratio of your posts. I’m upset at the guy, too, but you’re letting this anger overtake the quality of your posts.

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