Posts Tagged ‘ assad ’

Shabiha Militias and the Destruction of Syria

July 31, 2015
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Shabiha Militias and the Destruction of Syria

: Stephen Starr   Since the revolt in Syria descended into civil war, attention has largely focused on the growing effectiveness and influence of jihadist groups fighting in the country. Members of Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham have featured prominently fighting alongside secular rebels from street skirmishes with regime troops in Aleppo to battling for control of state military bases, particularly in the country’s north, to partaking in suicide missions against government targets in Aleppo, Damascus and other cities. Yet while both foreign and Syrian jihadists probably number a couple thousand fighters, the regime-backed shabiha militiamen—pro-Bashar al-Assad gangs and...

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Military and Islamist failure: what next

July 6, 2015
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Military and Islamist failure: what next

Hazem Saghieh Who can rule in the Arab and Islamic world – the military, or the Islamists? The experiences of the region in the 20th century in general, and of modern Egypt in particular, seem to present such a zero-sum choice. The work of historians and orientalists has validated it, implying that no other model of rule is available The region today, especially those affected by the uprisings of the “Arab spring”, again finds itself confronting the equation. It’s almost three-and-a-half years since major popular movements arose in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria against military-security regimes. The latter...

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Clash of barbarisms

June 30, 2015
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Clash of barbarisms

elias khoury The Assad regime and the civil war in Syria In the early days of the Syrian revolution, when, after the overthrow of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, optimism still prevailed, people believed that the peaceful popular uprising against Assad in Syria would also ultimately win the day, despite all the repression. We all thought the Damascus Spring was right around the corner. Soon there would be a mass freedom party on Damascus’s Merdje Square or Abbasiyin Square, the regime would fold, and councils of young revolutionaries would lay the groundwork for a new, freedom-loving...

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Is Assad Losing the War in Syria

June 24, 2015
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Is Assad Losing the War in Syria

 Aron Lund Judging by a lot of the media coverage of the Syrian war, President Bashar al-Assad runs a curious sort of regime: it is always either crumbling or on the verge of victory The narrative shifts every now and then. Assad was losing from March 2011 until around October 2013, then he was winning for about a year and a half, and now he is back to losing again. The story is consistent only in that it remains reliably hung up on the extremes of victory or defeat Only rarely will the Assad regime be described as what...

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What if No One Is Winning the War in Syria

June 20, 2015
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What if No One Is Winning the War in Syria

 Aron Lund Regardless of who is or is not losing the war in Syria, it is safe to say that no one seems to stand any chance of winning it. It is a lazy pattern of thought, but a strong one: wars are always discussed in terms of winners and losers, first shots and capitulations. But what this perspective misses is that many conflicts have no discernible end at all. They simply drag on until readers yawn and reporters leave, and go on to mutate into new forms, settling into spheres of influence and establishing stateless violence as the...

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Syria!,‘Systematic Torture and Killing

February 19, 2014
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Syria!,‘Systematic Torture and Killing

By: Aryn Baker / Beirut @arynebakerJan. 20, 201457 CommentsA shocking new report on the Syrian regime’s use of torture and starvation has been released by a team of renowned war-crimes prosecutors, threatening to upend Syrian peace talks scheduled to start on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland The 31-page confidential report, first disclosed by CNN and the Guardian newspaper, lays out in excruciating detail “direct evidence” of the “systematic torture and killing” of thousands of men between the ages of 20 and 40 who are thought to be victims of the regime’s notorious security agencies The report’s authors, David Crane and Desmond de Silva, both...

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Referring Syria to the international criminal court is a justified gamble

January 19, 2013
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Referring Syria to the international criminal court is a justified gamble

If Bashar al-Assad is indicted by the international criminal court it will be much harder for Russia to support him Against the background of mounting bloodshed and terror, Switzerland has asked the UN security council to refer the situation in Syria to the International criminal court. The aim is to send out an unequivocal message to all parties “to fully respect international human rights and humanitarian law”, a warning that would have “an important dissuasive effect” The request is supported by more than 50 countries from every part of the world, including several countries with firsthand experience of systematic...

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Assad’s Pact With the Devil Syrian Regime Using Hired Killers to Cling to Power

December 16, 2012
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Assad’s Pact With the Devil Syrian Regime Using Hired Killers to Cling to Power

The regime of Syrian ruler Bashar Assad has enlisted gangs of murderous thugs known as ‘Shabiha.’ No assignment is too brutal or bloody for these men who are free to kill, plunder and rape. Assad knows that outright victory over the opposition is his only remaining chance to stay in power.When the images and details of the massacre in the western Syrian town of Houla were released, the comparisons with other horrific killings were inevitable: My Lai, Srebrenica, Rwanda. More than 100 people, half of them children and a third of them women, were killed on the evening of...

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Berlin Approves Patriots for Turkey-Syria Border

December 9, 2012
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Berlin Approves Patriots for Turkey-Syria Border

Chancellor Merkel’s cabinet on Thursday approved a measure to send Patriot air defense missiles to Turkey as part of a NATO mission to prevent violence from spilling over from across Syrian border. Once approved by parliament, the mandate will allow the 400 German soldiers to be stationed there too Germany’s cabinet on Thursday authorized the stationing of German Patriot air defense missiles on the Turkish border with Syria as part of a NATO mission to help protect Turkey from possible cross-border attacks. The mission will involve up to 400 troops from the German military, the Bundeswehr, and also includes personnel for AWACS surveillance aircraft...

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The Syrian Shabiha and Their State

November 28, 2012
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The Syrian Shabiha and Their State

       Even as the word shabiha emerged from Syria, to take its place in the languages of the world, the phenomenon to which it r referred was surfacing in Syria’s streets, terrorizing, murdering, and mouthing obscenities     Thus a term hitherto unknown outside Syria entered the Arabic language. Indeed, it was not widely known within Syria itself, and it soon spawned derivatives: shabbah, yushabbih, tashbih; i.e. “to act like the shabiha/to be thuggish”. Used primarily to refer to those loyal to the regime, (the young revolutionaries prefer the term al-mundasseen or “collaborators”), it was also used then found...

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