Syria Protests

Syria Protests

Syrian president Bashar el Assad anticipated the protests in the country and accelerated the reforms he had already started.

Although Syria is not a democracy, the country's stand on Arab nationalist issues like supporting the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine has helped a great deal in toning down any possible protests or demands for change. Syrians are very patriotic, and any suspicious protests are directly labeled as foreign intervention and the actors as traitors. The USA and Israel have for long attempted to topple the regime in various ways and have failed.

Prominent figures from the opposition were among the first to call for reforms, but for a while, terrorist groups (backed by the CIA and their Arab allies) overshadowed their legitimate demands by committing atrocities and igniting sectarian strife.

A few hundred protesters originally paraded in the street asking for political prisoners to be released. One of the President's most outspoken critics got released from prison under an amnesty, as a sign of good will.

On the 3rd of February 2011 activists tried to organize a Day of Rage via the social media networks of Facebook and Twitter. Protesters demanded reform in the government, however the protests took place outside of Syria and were relatively small in nature.

On the 5th of February 2011, small protests took place in front of the parliament in Damascus and at Syrian embassies in various cities around the world, also with little noted attendance .

On the 16th of February 2011, the director of the Organization for Democracy and Freedom in Syria - ODFS, Ribal Al Assad, who is also the son of Rifaat Al Assad and the direct cousin of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad appeared in a press conference from London, UK. He called out to the Syrians world-wide and addressed them to keep the Syrian revolution a peaceful one.

On March 14th the parents of political detainees demonstrated, but were quickly surrounded and attacked by other citizens.

On March 15th, the president visited citizens in their homes and farmers on their land, to check if the reforms had taken effect. Images circulated on the internet, supposedly as paparazzi shots, but many believe they were released on purpose to demonstrate how close Bashar is to his people, and that the protests are minor incidents.

Deraa was where most protests took place. The city is said to have suffered from corruption for a while. Reports on the incidents there are still contradictory, depending on the sources. Protests in the south of Syria continued Tuesday March 22, for the fifth consecutive day of unrest, posing an unprecedented challenge to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Small gatherings had been reported in several agricultural towns around the city of Deraa, which has been the center of protests, as well as in Hajjar al-Aswad, a town close to Damascus. At least six people were reportedly killed in Deraa near the town's mosque, since the unrest began. In a report on the situation in Deraa, Syria's official news agency SANA said armed agitators rode into the city on motorcycles, filling Molotov cocktails from plastic drums of gasoline and setting fire to public and private property. An armed gang after midnight supposedly attacked a medical team in an ambulance at the Omari mosque, killing a doctor, a paramedic and the driver. The security forces who were near the area intervened, hitting some and arresting others... a security force member was also killed in the operation.

A special committee was charged with investigating the events in Deraa, to hold to account those found responsible. Al-Assad also dismissed the governor of Deraa, Faisal Kolthoum.

To note that more than one million sms messages were sent out from Israel (occupied Palestine), Lebanon and KSA urging the people in Syria to take part in the protests and to launch protests from mosques.

In a complete conflict with previous protests in other Arab countries, the UN and US officials did not wait much before qualifying the actions as "disproportionate use of force against civilians, and demonstrators".

The presidential adviser Bouthaina Shaaban announced at a news conference on Thursday 24th that the government will study the idea of scrapping the emergency law of 1963, as well as drafting a law that would allow political parties to exist more easily, enacting measures to fight unemployment, and raising salaries for public servants.

For now demonstrations have failed to catch on in larger cities, despite the strong cyber attacks with undercover agents and fake internet activists publishing data that would incite Syrians to act in that direction.

Syrians in general, including the opposition, are thought to be very aware of national security issues. So far demands have been for reforms only, and not an end of the Assad regime.

Observers were questioning whether the real Syrian opposition would manage to bring around reforms, without being hijacked by foreign intelligence working for a hidden agenda.

On March 29th 2011, Israel, the US and the rest of the west got a clear and loud message from the Syrian people to stay out of their internal affairs! More than 5 million protesters hit the streets (of Damascus,Aleppo, Homs, Hama and other towns and cities) in massive demonstrations in support of national unity and Bashar el Assad.

To note that the foreign media, including CNN, appear to be intentionally distorting and to some extent falsificating information about the unrest in the country.

Mohammed Naji Otri, who had been in office since 2003, resigned on March 29 and Dr. Adel Safar, the then agricultural minister, was named on April 3 to replace him. On April 14th the new government was announced as follows:

-Prime Minister: Dr. Adel Safar
-Minister of Defense: Lt. General Ali Habib
-Foreign Minister, Minister of Expatriates: Walid al-Moallem
-Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources: Engineer Sufian Allaw
-Minister of Communications and Technology: Dr. Imad Abdel-Ghani Sabouni
-Minister of Endowments (Awqaf): Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed
-Minister of Local Administration: Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji
-Minister of Presidential Affairs Mansour Fadlallah Azzam
-Minister of Tourism: Lamia Merei Assi
-Minister of Culture: Mohammad Riyad Hussein Ismat
-Minister of Irrigation: George Malki Sawmi
-Minister of Justice: Judge Tayseer Qala Awwad
-Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform: Riyad Fareed Hijab
-Minister of Social Affairs and Labor: Ridwan al-Habib
-Minister of Higher Education: Abdul-Razzaq Sheikh Issa
-Minister of Interior: Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar
-Minister of Finance: Mohammad al-Jleilati
-Minister of Economy and Trade: Mohammad Nidal al-Shaar
-Minister of Education: Saleh al-Rashed
-Minister of Health: Wael Nader al-Halki
-Minister of Housing and Construction: Hala Mohammad al-Nasser
-Minister of Transport: Fayssal Abbas
-Minister of Electricity: Imad Mohammad Deeb Khamis
-Minister of Information: Adnan Hasan Mahmoud
-Minister of Industry: Adnan Salakho
-State Minister for Environmental Affairs: Kawkab al-Sabah Daya
-State Minister: Youssef Sleiman Ahmad
-State Minister: Ghiyath Jaratli
-State Minister: Hussein Mahmoud Farzat
-State Minister: Joseph Sweid
-State Minister: Hassan al-Sari

The new government will take responsibility of addressing the issues that affect people's lives and livelihoods as part of the reforms President Bahsar Al-Assad had promised.

The security authorities also released nearly a hundred people who had been arrested in Banias after a women protest was held demanding the release of detainees in the coastal region.

Armed group of snipers had opened fire at a number of army soldiers while on patrol in Baniyas. Soldier Fadi Issa Mostapha was martyred, and soldier Tayseer Omran was wounded at the hands of the criminal group, SANA reported.

In addition to the lifting of emergency law, the Syrian regime also implemented a number of other social reforms, such as the cancellation of the previous Niqab Ban in Syria to ease tensions with the conservative Muslim population. Teachers and university students who were last year prohibited from wearing the face-covering niqab in public schools and universities, are now permitted to do so. The government has also set up the Al-Sham religious center for Sharia law studies.

On May 31st, the Syrian president issued a general amnesty on all political crimes committed before May 31, 2011, including the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and all political prisoners. Membership in the Brotherhood, which led an armed rebellion against Assad's father in 1982, had been punishable by death in Syria.

On Monday 6 June, more than 120 Syrian security forces were killed by armed groups (see conspiracy section below) and government buildings were torched up in the north. This was yet another clear sign that the protests in Syria were not peaceful. The government promised a "decisive" response, setting the stage for a stronger government crackdown.

Syrian National Dialogue Committee: Opposition meeting in Damascus:
Cutting the road short to foreign intervention and fake Syrian activists plotting from abroad, Some 200 critics from the opposition of President Bashar Assad's regime gathered in the Syrian capital Damascus for the first time since the start of the three-month uprising.
The meeting held on June 27th, was approved by authorities, and was meant to discuss strategies for a peaceful transition to democracy.

Some of the most prominent figures who took part in the meeting included Michel Kilo, Aref Dalila, Loay Hussein, Fayez Sara, and Mazen Darwish.
The opposition dialogue body confirmed that there is no alternative to a political process with its various dimensions that would open the door wide to all Syrian citizens to participate in building a democratic and pluralistic society that responds to the aspirations of the Syrian people.

It was however boycotted by other opposition members who formed what they referred to as "National Council" to "bring down" the regime in Damascus. The spokesperson of the group, which includes Suhair Atassi, Abdallah el Moulahim Trad, Mamoun al-Homsi, Sheik Khaled al-Khalaf, Haitham al-Maleh, and Aref Dalila,... is Jamil Sahib. The latter explained the purpose of this council is to unite the opposition forces to support the revolution and be heard by international organizations, similar to what the opponents of the Muammar Al Gaddafi regime did in Libya.

The conspiracy behind the Syrian Unrest revealed:

On April 13, Syrian state television broadcasted footage of three young men (‘Anas Kanj’, ‘Mohammed Badr Al-Kalam’ and ‘Mohammed El Sokhna’) in a terrorist cell confessing to receiving funds and weapons from Lebanese Future bloc MP Jamal Jarrah in order to carry out acts of sabotage in Syria. Their mission was to ignite protests in the Umayyad Mosque against the regime and carry out sabotage acts, like attacking a police station in Sbeineh.

Jarrah first denied the Syrian accusations that he was involved in financing and arming anti-regime protesters in Syria stating: 'We don’t have the desire, the ability or the intent to interfere in internal Syrian affairs'. On April 15 however, leaked wikileaks documents published on Al Akhbar newspaper revealed Future Movement, along with its head Saad Hariri was very much involved!

The documents revealed that on 24 August 2006, President of the Future Movement Hariri met with diplomat and senior staff of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the U.S. Senate, along with a political staff member of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. During the meeting, Hariri talked about regional affairs, especially in Syria. ‘ The Syrian and Iranian regimes are a major obstacle to peace in the region… the moment is favorable in order for the international community to weaken to Bashar…The U.S. Government needs a clear and new policy to isolate Syria.... if you don’t isolate and apply a blockade on Syria, they will not change. By subjugating Syria, Iran's principal bridge in the region behind the problems in Lebanon and Palestine will be dismantled…Iran would be forced to work alone. The Saudis and other Arab countries are fed up with the young man Bashar, and no longer want to try to use a conciliatory approach with the Syrian regime…You must get rid of the Syrian regime completely…To fill the void in the event of the fall of the regime in Damascus, Hariri talked about democratic percentages of sectarianism in Syria, before suggesting a partnership between the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and some of the personalities who were part of the system in the past, like Abdel Halim Khaddam and Hikmat Shihabi to fill the void…The Muslim Brotherhood movement in Syria are similar in characteristics to the moderate Islamists in Turkey; they would accept a Christian or a woman in the presidency. They accept a civilian government like in Turkey… they even support peace with Israel. Hariri added he maintains very strong links with all of Khaddam and exiled Muslim Brotherhood leader in Syria Ali Bayanouni, pressing the Americans to talk with Bayanouni: Talk to him, you will see wonders…

On the other hand, Dr. Haytham Mannaa, spokesman of the Arab Commission for Human Rights, narrated the story of a phone call he had received for an important meeting at a cafe in the French capital, Paris. Dr. Mannaa cited that a Syrian businessman, holding a second nationality, attended the meeting accompanied by three Syrians, along with another man working as a reporter for a giant Arabic TV network that belongs to a major Gulf State.

In the meeting, talks were focused on Syria and ' the needs of the youth in Daraa'. The Syrian businessman with the Western nationality offered to arm Syrian opposition groups both qualitatively and quantitatively. According to Dr. Mannaa, he and the delegation with the businessman were stunned at what they had heard. Dr. Mannaa revealed that this was not the first armament offer of its kind. "There were two other armament offers, one of them came from a Lebanese party that is currently at direct political odds with Syria," Dr. Mannaa also revealed that there were some agents who had been distributing false statements on behalf of Daraa’s tribes, families, and the Syrian Assembly of Tribes at different times. “They would even introduce sectarian rhetoric and calls for vendetta. All these statements inspired by Washington and distributed via what is known as “Reform Party” led by (Farid Al-Ghaderi – who visited the Israeli Knesset in 2007), or via pseudonyms such as “Amirat Taamor, - (Princess of Taamor) who works with him.

In addition to all that, many spies and opportunistic Syrians working against Syria from abroad were heavily showcased on Television and print media to bash the regime and its reforms. Corrupt Syrian politicians that were exiled like Abdel Halim Khaddam (responsible for most of the corruption in Lebanon during the occupation), were also backed by the CIA and other foreign powers for the same purpose. In an interview, Khaddam also expressed his desire to make peace with Israel, another addition to his long list of recorded treason.

On 4th July 2011, a meeting was held at Cinema St. Germain in Paris under the name of "popular movement in Syria" which was organized by La Regle du Jeu (The Rule of the Game) magazine and website which is headed by Bernard-Henri Levy, one of the staunchest defenders of Israel along with other French figures known for being Israel's friends in France.

The meeting was attended by Syrian opposition figures including members of Antalya Conference executive office Omar al-Azem, Ahd al-Hini, Abdel Ilah Melhem, Lama Atassi (President of France-Syria democracy, co-organizer of the rally with Bernard-Henri), Ammar al-Qorabi, Sundos Souleyman, Adib al-Chichakli, Radwan Badini, Ashraf al Mekdad,... The Muslim Brotherhood was also represented at the meeting by Mulham al-Droubi, who is in charge of international affairs in the group.

Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner (one of Israel's biggest supporters) was also present, alongside philosopher Andre Glucksman, and Frederic Encel who (known for his racist anti-Arab stances), in addition to former Israeli Knesset member and assistant of Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Kouchner explained how there was a need to weaken Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. He resorted through his speech to sectarian provocation, talking about ethnic and religious majorities and minorities in Syria. In a clear lack of understanding of the situation in Syria, he expressed "the need to protect Christians because they are the ones being killed the most". (When in reality they would be the most hit and exiled if any extremist group took over power with the departure of Bashar)

Kouchner also called for turning international public opinion against Syria and resorting to the Security Council to find an excuse for a military strike against Syria.

Bernard-Henri said that La Regle du Jeu will provide a platform showcasing videos from across Syria. He also spoke on behalf on the magazine's editors, vowing to work with Syrian opposition figures to "bring down the regime in Syria"

Other personalities present at the conference were Laurent Fabius, Bertrand Delanoë, Cécile Duflot, François Bayrou, Rama Yade, Fadela Amara, Axel Poniatowski, André Glucksmann, Kendal Nezan, Aalam Wassef.

See also:

Scarlett Haddad
See also Arab Revolutions.

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