Author: cjamesyee

Iran senses defeat in Syria [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-8-10 17:50:08 |Display all floors
It is true that some crackpots in the so-called Caliphate movement dream of “taking back” chunks of Russian territory. But they also want the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, Italy up to Rome and a good portion of France. However, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood has never evoked irredentist claims against Russia. (Paradoxically, it has against Turkey!)
Putin may not know it but the Constitution of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath (Renaissance) Party, Assad’s political instrument, includes territorial claims that would imply the dismantling of the Russian Federation. Claiming “Arab unity” as its goal, the Ba’ath Constitution speaks of a “single and indivisible Arab nation” within its “historic boundaries” stretching from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

That vast area consists of lands that were once raided and/or ruled by Arabs as part of various Islamic empires, including most of Ethiopia, the Sahara, much of the Mediterranean, south-western Iran, south-eastern Turkey and chunks of what is now Pakistan. The Ba’ath also regards as Arab a big arc of territory from the Ak-Tash (White Crown) mountains in Central Asia to the Caucasus, taking in virtually the whole of the Caspian Basin.

More interestingly from Putin’s point of view, the Ba’ath claims several autonomous republics of Russia as part of the historic “Arab homeland”. These include Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Charkess-Qaracahi, Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Udmurtia and Ossetia among others.
Putin would do well to ponder a simple question: how could a leader who treats his own people as enemy be a true friend to a foreign power?

Putin must not confuse diplomatic strategy with intelligence campaigns. In the latter all manner of skulduggery may be in order only if because things happen in the shadows. In diplomacy, however, especially in this age of increasing transparency, no one, not even Putin, could for ever hide the true nature of Assad’s brutal regime. And when Assad falls, as he is likely to do, Putin would be left as a self-deluded accomplice rather than a visionary leader projecting machismo.
Even in the most cynical version of Realpolitik backing Assad is bad for Syria, bad for Russia and bad for international peace and stability.


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Post time 2012-8-10 21:53:50 |Display all floors
Syria Songs of Defiance_001171600.jpg


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Post time 2012-8-10 22:59:01 |Display all floors
Syrian fighters expand their hold
KILIS, Turkey — More than 1,300 Syrians fled to Turkey overnight to escape growing violence in their country as rebels try to expand their hold inside Syria’s largest city despite two weeks of withering counterattacks by President Bashar Al-Assad’s troops.

In Pretoria, South Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the defections of Syria’s prime minister and other senior officials increase the urgency of planning for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Clinton was in the South African capital Tuesday when she told reporters that it is important to make sure that Syrian state institutions remain intact once Assad loses his grip on power.

Clinton spoke a day after the defection of Prime Minister Riad Hijab, the latest in a string of high-level departures from the Assad regime. Clinton said she would raise these issues when she travels to Turkey for talks on Syria Saturday.

Aleppo-based activists said clashes were going Tuesday near the historic city center in Bab Jnein and Sabee Bahrat districts, suggesting the fighters were making inroads. They said intense bombardment of the town of Tal Rafaat near the Turkish border sent scores of people spilling into Turkey for safety.

A Turkish government official said 1,328 Syrian refugees had crossed the border by midmorning — nearly double the number of refugees who reached Turkey on Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules.

The new arrivals would increase the number of Syrians who have found refuge in Turkey, which has served as a staging ground for rebels fighting Assad’s regime, to close to 48,000.

“We are expecting a massacre in Aleppo. The regime is bringing reinforcements to the city because they consider that if Aleppo falls, the regime will fall,” said a Syrian refugee in Turkey who identified himself as Abu Ahmad.

“The city is being bombed from the air and ground,” he said, adding he was in daily contact with residents still in the city.

The rebels appeared also to be bringing in reinforcements.

A video posted online by activists Tuesday showed a large group of Free Syrian Army rebels in military fatigues and carrying shoulder carried rocket propelled grenades and automatic rifles, announcing they were joining the “Unification Brigade,” the main group of rebel fighters in Aleppo, to assist in the “liberation” of the city.

Meanwhile, a Syrian rebel group which has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of 48 Iranians in Damascus said three of its hostages were killed in shelling by government troops Monday. — Agencies


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