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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Assad Gets Stink Eye

Syria is on the road to no ware these days and President Bashar al-Assad is officially a pariah. His militaristic operations within Syria against the Syrian people has finally prompted reactions within the Arab world. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan who is a close Friend of Assad, the two have even vacationed together sent a warning Monday.
Turkey has become Syria's biggest trading partner, the neighbors have visa-free travel between them, and Turkey tried to broker a peace deal between Syria and Israel. However Syria has given no indication that it plans to make any concessions to Turkeys envoy Davutoglu who went to Damascus on Monday. The message that was said to be convayed to Assad was that he risks more sanctions and “Saddam-like” isolation.

With Syrian troops invading the towns of Binnish and Deir al Zour that are less than 20 miles from the Turkish border are of great concern. If the syrian security forces intervien in the city of Aleppo that has a population of three million people is of greater concern to the Turks. Aleppo is less than twenty six miles from the Turkish border and the threat of displaced Syrians rushing to the security of Turkey will be overwhelming. One of the options that PM Erdogan is considering is sending Turkish troops across the border to create a buffer zone for the protection of the Syrian people as well as keeping out undesirables.The Kurdistan Workers Party, (PKK) is the group that was instrumental in terrorist attacks in Turkey and is well organized in the ethnically Kurdish areas of northern Syria.

The Turkish government believes that the international community won't take further action against Assad's regime unless Turkey opts to as well. While Mr. Davutoglu was expected to warn Assad that he could face isolation similar to that of Libya's Muammar Qaddafi. Turkey and others have made clear that a military operation similar to that in Libya is unlikely. This assessment may be diplomatic but unlikely with the Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti and Bahrain-en ambassadors recalled from Damascus it is likely that the respective governments expect an escalation in violence. The Saudi king on Monday condemned the actions of Assad and urged him to implement political reforms. King Abdullah said in a written statement."What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia." Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah, Kuwait's foreign minister issued a press release and he stated "No one can accept the bloodshed in Syria. The military option must be halted." This came a day after the Gulf Co-operation Council urged Syria to "end the bloodshed". and the Arab League said it was alarmed by the situation and called for the immediate halt of all violence. The head of the Arab League Nabil El Araby urged Syrian authorities to launch serious dialogue with protesters.

In Jordan the relations between Syria and Jordan have been strained in the last few years. Foreign Minister of Jorden Nasser Judeh was quoted on Monday describing the escalation in violence as "disturbing." He urged the government to follow through on promised reforms. The Minister added "There has always been tensions that have marred our relations and Jordan has tried as much as possible to shy away from commenting on what is happening in Syria to avoid any escalation with the regime." With the Arab nations lining up to voice there disgust Russian President
Dimitry Medvedev chimed in with his two cents warning Assad that he faced a "sad fate" unless he curbed the violence and carried out swift reform.

From the Syria Blog on the Al Jaseria website.8/10/11
A day after Turkey warned that Ankara has "run out of patience" with the crackdown that has claimed more than 2,000 lives since mid-March, Brazil, India and South Africa all stepped into the diplomatic fray.
"The Brazilian representative is already in Damascus, where he awaits his counterparts," and their meeting with Foreign Minister Walid Muallem "should take place on Wednesday," a Brazilian foreign ministry spokesman said.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr became the latest Arab official to call for an "immediate end" to the violence in Syria, warning that the country was "heading to the point of no return".

He was due in Turkey on Wednesday for consultations after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited the Syrian capital on Tuesday and said he had urged the Syrian leader to end the bloodshed and implement democratic reforms.
"We hope that some measures will be taken in the coming days to end the bloodshed and open the way to a process for political reform," Davutoglu said.

Turkey demanded that Syria's leaders stop the killing of civilians and said it would watch events there in the coming days, raising pressure on President Bashar al-Assad, who said his forces would continue to pursue "terrorist groups".

"Developments in the coming days will be critical, for both Syria and Turkey," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara after returning from talks in Damascus. "Turkey's main and first aim is for the bloodshed to be stopped, and (for) an end to civilian deaths."

The stink eye is clearly focused on the blood stained ophthalmologist in Damascus but he has blown off the criticism and sanctions, blaming armed gangs financed by the west for the violence. Over two thousand Syrians have lost there lives since May and over three hundred since the start of Ramadan. Assad's government disputes the body count and blames a foreign conspiracy for the unrest, which at times has brought hundreds of thousands of protesters into the streets.

The regime intensified the military incursions a week ago on the eve of Ramadan, the holy month in which many Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, then eat meals and gather in mosques for nightly prayers. The government has been trying to prevent the large mosque gatherings from turning into more anti-government protests.

A Syrian run news agency ran a story Tuesday that the Turkish government is acting on the behalf of the United States and Israel and that the Monday meeting was to “take Turkey into a war with Syria.” Mondays visit by Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu to Damascus was described as "going there as an ambassador to the United States not only to Turkey." The news agency’s source goes on to say that the meeting was to open a new confrontation with Tehran immediately after the Syrian crisis. The news source indicates that the U.S. has an ulterior motive. Quoting the source “Little has been disclosed yesterday about the features of the U.S. plan aimed at Syria in the convergence of the warning by the representative of Russia in NATO and a plan for a major war in the region stems from the military intervention in Syria to military control on the east coast of the Mediterranean up to the massive attack on Iran and the disposal of the forces that prevented the alliance of US-Israeli hegemony over the region for the past ten years.”

Take that for what its worth. What is serious is that the ghost of Saddam Hussein may influence the Syrian showdown. The bloody bastard from Baghdad reincarnates his wrath upon the region. In the 2006 book “Saddam's Secrets” details the transfer of chemical weapons from Iraq to Syria. The author Ex-Iraqi General, Georges Sada makes the claim that he was privy to information that involved the covert operations prior to the U.S. invasion.

In a 2006 interview with The New York Sun. The General was questioned.
"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."
Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."
The discovery of the weapons in Syria could alter the American political debate on the Iraq war. And even the accusations that they are there could step up international pressure on the government in Damascus. That government, led by Bashar Assad, is already facing a U.N. investigation over its alleged role in the assassination of a former prime minister of Lebanon. The Bush administration has criticized Syria for its support of terrorism and its failure to cooperate with the U.N. investigation.
Mr. Sada, 65, told the Sun that the pilots of the two airliners that transported the weapons of mass destruction to Syria from Iraq approached him in the middle of 2004, after Saddam was captured by American troops.
"I know them very well. They are very good friends of mine. We trust each other. We are friends as pilots," Mr. Sada said of the two pilots. He declined to disclose their names, saying they are concerned for their safety. But he said they are now employed by other airlines outside Iraq.
The pilots told Mr. Sada that two Iraqi Airways Boeings were converted to cargo planes by removing the seats, Mr. Sada said. Then Special Republican Guard brigades loaded materials onto the planes, he said, including "yellow barrels with skull and crossbones on each barrel." The pilots said there was also a ground convoy of trucks.
The flights - 56 in total, Mr. Sada said - attracted little notice because they were thought to be civilian flights providing relief from Iraq to Syria, which had suffered a flood after a dam collapse in June of 2002.
"Saddam realized, this time, the Americans are coming," Mr. Sada said. "They handed over the weapons of mass destruction to the Syrians."
Mr. Sada said that the Iraqi official responsible for transferring the weapons was a cousin of Saddam Hussein named Ali Hussein al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali." The Syrian official responsible for receiving them was a cousin of Bashar Assad who is known variously as General Abu Ali, Abu Himma, or Zulhimawe.
Short of discovering the weapons in Syria, those seeking to validate Mr. Sada's claim independently will face difficulty. His book contains a foreword by a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, David Eberly, who was a prisoner of war in Iraq during the first Gulf War and who vouches for Mr. Sada, who once held him captive, as "an honest and honorable man."

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