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Syria News - Nov 2


Mass graves in Sadad: 45 Christian civilians including women and children killed by Nusra and Daash (ISIS) - Vatican Fides Agency

Archbishop: "In Sadad, the largest massacre of Christians in Syria...We have shouted aid to the world but no one has listened to us" - Vatican Fides Agency

VIDEO: FSA-Nusra Raid on Ancient Syriac Christian Town of Sadad in Syria - YouTube

Beleaguered Syrian Christians fear future, increasingly targeted by jihadis - The Washington Post


Rebel mortar shells hit Christian-Druze suburb of Damascus, 2 women killed -


Report: Christians Persecuted and Forgotten? -  Aid to the Church in Need


Ibrahim says case of abducted bishops more complicated - Orthodoxy Cognate


VIDEO: 2012 Interview with Virgin Mary Statue-Smashing FSA Cleric -




Syrian army captures strategic town at approaches to Aleppo - Reuters

VIDEO: Syrian Army Just Gained Control of Aleppo's Strategic al-Safira - Al-Jazeera

Regime troops batter south Damascus rebels - AFP

Syria: War in Qalamoun Didn’t Begin Because It Never Stopped - Al Akhbar English


Hezbollah deploys 15,000 troops for anticipated Qalamoun battle - English | Front Page


Alarm over rise of al-Qaeda linked jihadists in Syria -


Syria: Coalition says Geneva talks may be delayed - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Syrian Brotherhood criticises attempts to discredit opposition -


Two missing Norwegian girls ‘held’ in Syria, father says - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Kidnapped Polish journalist back home after escape from Islamic militants in Syria - euronews


VIDEO: ISIS Imposes Ridiculous Taliban Rules in Syrian Areas that it Controls - YouTube




Kurds in Iraq, Syria work as shield against al-Qaeda - English | Front Page

Yaaroubiyah and beyond: Kurdish armed factions inside Syria handed a military defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham - AFP

Five Reasons US Should Change Policies Toward Syria’s Kurds - Al-Monitor


Conference at the National Press Club in Washington: “The Kurdish Role in the New Middle East” - Today's Zaman


Turkish police fire tear gas at demonstration over wall construction on Syrian border - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Turkey Anger Kurds With Wall To Control Crossovers From Syria - YouTube




Key U.S. senators strongly criticize Obama's Syria policy - Reuters

VIDEO: Senate Hearing: Syrian Civil War - C-SPAN Video Library

CIA training rebels in Syria, so far "only" 1,000 fighters instructed - The Voice of Russia

Iran secret weapons shipments to Syria on US agenda during Maliki visit - The National


VIDEO: Iran Proven to be Lying About Involvement in Syrian Civil War - CBS


Turkey, Iran signal thaw in ties amid mutual concern on Syria - Reuters


Qatar returns to the limelight amid the Syrian crisis - English | Front Page


Israeli warplanes attack target inside Syria, official says - Fox News




Assad can't leave without guarantees - Medvedev - The Voice of Russia

Russia Increases Syria Arms While Joining Push for Talks - Bloomberg

Exclusive: Russian banks strengthen ties with blacklisted Syrian lenders - Reuters


Russia Spotlight: Are Russian Private Military Contractors Guarding Regime Economic Objectives In Syria? - EA WorldView


Russia seeks role as protecter of Syrian Christians - Catholic Culture




Syria has destroyed chemical weapons facilities, international inspectors say - The Washington Post

Exclusive: Syria Pushes To Keep Its Chemical Weapons Factories - Foreign Policy - The Cable


UN report on chemical weapon use in Syria – delayed until early December - Human rights investigations


Terrorist's Confession: We obtained chemical materials and coordinated with foreign sides - SANA


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Mairead Maguire's Open Letter to U.S. Peace Movement

Open Letter to the American people from Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate

My dear friends,

As a teenager living in Belfast, I admired the American Peace Movement and many prominent figures within it. Fifty years later, two of the most inspiring people still remembered across the world are Americans: Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day.

American peace activists and civil rights workers were imprisoned, some killed. But a generation spoke and sang about love.

Like Mahatma Gandhi in India,  the Berrigan Brothers in the  Peace Movement and the American Civil Rights Movement show us that the path to freedom and equality is a peaceful one. This journey of transformation in the pursuit of peace and justice is a constant challenge to the entrenched powers which thrive on hatred and war; acting as a constant challenge to blind prejudice and the lies that are necessary for war.

In making this journey of love we must always acknowledge that those we regard as enemies are fellow human beings and we are called to love them .  If we don’t, when do the killing fields stop?

I first came to you from Northern Ireland to speak to you about what was happening in my country. I was met with great kindness in America. Now I write to you to about Syria.

We must not allow a war to go on for decades, as many did in regards to Ireland.  We must have the foresight to stand up for peace, nonviolence  and reconciliation now, before the suffering is entrenched and before prejudices and lies seep deeply into the consciousness of a new generation, acting as seeds for more yet more war.

I write to you to ask your help for the people of Syria.  All the people of Syria deserve your attention. Like you, they want the opportunity to live, love and labour in support of their children’s dreams.  With your efforts we can make it a bright future in a peaceful and prosperous country where love will conquer all.

The people of Syria are a diverse people, a courageous and generous people with a proud history of tolerance. Over many centuries, their country has welcomed millions of disparate people seeking refuge just as the United States has done.

I visited Syria in May 2013. Despite the on-going violence, I found it to be a land of hope. I met tribal and religious leaders, political dissidents and grieving parents and widows. In Syria, there are millions of ordinary folk risking their lives for a peaceful, reconciled and united Syria they can all love. 

Mother Agnes Mariam, one of the leaders of the Mussalaha (reconciliation) Movement in Syria, is on a speaking tour of America this November. Mother Agnes Mariam has sat at a table with the prime minister of Syria and has eaten olives with a rebel leader.  And recently she risked her life to negotiate the safe passage of thousands of civilians and of many fighters from a conflict zone. 

Your heroes, the heroes we all uphold, show us bridges of nonviolence and  peace must be built between people. War stems from hatred and lies. Peace requires courage, wisdom, and love. And foresight.

Mother Agnes is bringing to America a universal message your country knows well. She presents it through the story of Syria.  I encourage you to hear the story of Syria.


Mairead Maguire

lst November,2013


Syria/Saudi Arabia News - Oct 31


White House: Al Qaeda in Iraq now 'transnational threat' - TheHill

Top U.S. military commander warns of downward Iraqi spiral - Wall Street Journal

In Iraq, Sunni attacks spark Shiite calls to arms - AP

Iraqi Shiites Join Syria War - Al-Monitor

Iraq's Maliki to seek U.S. arms to fight Qaeda, role on Iran and Syria - NBC News

The Iraqi Prime Minister Op-Ed -


Iraqi PM Maliki struggles to convince U.S. lawmakers to back more aid - Reuters


Senators Send Letter to President Obama on Iraq as PM Maliki Visits DC – U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents


Sources: Maliki convey a verbal message from Assad of Iranian agreement on U.S. military strike on Daash -


Iran, Hizbullah 'intertwined' in Syria: analysts - Al-Shorfa


VIDEO: Syria footage sheds light on Iran's involvement - BBC News


Nasrallah blames Syria stalemate on Saudi - Al Jazeera English


Saudi Arabia in firing line as war in Syria spreads to Iran - The Times


Syrian Minister: US Thinking of ‘Opening Channels’ with Damascus -


Al-Qaeda recruits entering Syria from Turkey safehouses - Telegraph


Turkish market on Syrian border serves the discerning rebel -


Israel Prepares Golan Residents for Al-Qaeda Spillover from Syria War -


Report: Syrian Regime Using North Korean Pilots - Israel National News




Exclusive: Syria peace talks face delay as big powers split - Reuters

Assad: For political resolution to Syrian war to succeed, support for armed groups must end - The Washington Post

Syria envoy hopes for Saudi will take part in talks - THE DAILY STAR

Syria's Assad issues general amnesty for all 'criminals' in a possible concession to rebels - NBC World News

Thousands flee Syrian town after rare cease-fire deal - Al Jazeera America

Syria Kurdish Leader: Solution Must Include Assad - Al-Monitor

Kurdish parties in Syria wish to take part in Geneva II - World Bulletin


Meet the Kurdish Female Freedom Fighters of Syria Battling Qaeda - VICE United Kingdom


KDP Denies Closing Kurdistan Border to Salih Muslim - Rudaw


VIDEO: PYD Member: Fresh Operations against ISIL Starts in Syria -


Russia alarmed by fresh reports Syrian militants using chemical weapons against Kurds – FM - The Voice of Russia


A Detailed Examination Of The Range Of Munitions Used In The August 21st Sarin Attack - Brown Moses Blog


Full Report On The Range Of Munitions Used In The August 21st Sarin Attack -


Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons?: Estimating the UMLACA Range -


Syrian Al-Qaida Branch Torches Church -


VIDEO: Rebels Destroy Virgin Mary Statue in Syria -


Syrian Coalition Strongly Condemns Destruction of Christian Statues - Syrian National Coalition


VIDEO: Amateur video shows Syria FSA mercenary 'rebels' massacring 'Assad loyalists' - YouTube


VIDEO: 6 men executed in cold blood by FSA militia -


VIDEO: Belgian Wahhabis Filmed Themselves Beheading a Shiite Man -


VIDEO: ISIS gains power in Syria - The Washington Post


VIDEO: ISIS-linked aid group decrees male teachers can't teach female students - YouTube


VIDEO: Rebels arrest a boy for trying to smuggle several pieces of chicken into his neighborhood - YouTube




Syria: UN and health organisations call for ceasefire to deal with polio threat -

Polio outbreak in Syria threatens whole region, WHO says - Reuters


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Bandar beat down - Chief Saudi cleric says fighting in Syria wrong

"This is all wrong, it's not obligatory [to fight the Syrian government].  These are feuding factions and one should not go there. I do not advise one to go there."  Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, Saudi Arabia

saudiflagAfter weeks of agitation for increased attacks on the Syrian government and its president, Bashir al-Assad, the Saudis signaled a 180 degree change in policy, based on the mufti's statement.  Fighting with the Syrian rebels is no longer a sacred cause, it is something to be avoided, according to the Kingdom's most important Muslim cleric.

The mufti is not some closet liberal in the Saudi hierarchy.  He's the top religious official in the Kingdom.  His statements are used to interpret legal and religious policies.  The King of Saudi Arabia, who asked him to speak on the Syrian conflict, appoints him. 

Syria/Saudi Arabia News - Oct 29


Kurdish militants tighten grip on Syria's northeast, consolidate their control of an oil-producing region - Reuters

Syrian National Coalition: Iraqi Soldiers and PYD Militiamen Attack FSA Brigades near Border with Iraq - Syrian National Coalition

Suicide bombers attack Iraqi checkpoints along highway which runs from Baghdad to Syria -

ISIS shakes Iraq with surge of violence - Ya Libnan

Iraqi Kurdistan accuses Syrian Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim of threatening the region's security - ekurd


Syrian Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim reaches Geneva through Baghdad after he was denied entry by Iraqi Kurdistan - ekurd


Davutoğlu says PYD does not represent all Kurds, warns it not to establish a de facto government - Today's Zaman


VIDEO: Kurdish YPG forces take over Syria-Iraq border centre Til Koçer after heavy clashes - 


VIDEO: Spoils of war for the Kurds that took over a Syria-Iraq border post -




Syrian troops retake Christian town after pushing out al Qaeda-linked rebels - Fox News

VIDEO: ISIS and Al Nusrah raiding the ancient Christian town of Sadad, killing and taking hostages -

ISIS set fire to the Armenian Church in the city of Tal Abyad - Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

No clear information on bishops abducted in Syria: Sayyah - THE DAILY STAR

Syrian Rebels Killed Suspect During Interrogation, Found Innocent Later - SyriaNews


Update on the Latakia Massacre Committed by Syrian Rebels - Syrian Perspective


The Civilian Administration of the Insurgency in Aleppo - Noria Research


PHOTO: Activist Mohamed Shoaeb after being tortured by ISIS in Al Raqa - YALLA SOURIYA


VIDEO: FSA terrorists whipping a man for drinking and selling wine in Syria -


VIDEO: The Woman in Pants who refuses to obey ISIS clothes edicts - Vimeo


VIDEO: Al Qaeda Leader In Syria Photographed Inside A U.S. Aid Tent - YouTube




Syrian Coalition: Syrians Say No to Geneva 2 - Syrian National Coalition

FSA snubs Iran, Russia, China participation in Geneva 2 - English | Front Page

Main Syrian Islamist rebel groups declare opposition to Geneva peace conference, brand peace talks 'treason'  - NBC World News

VIDEO: 19 Islamist rebel groups in Syria have rejected all & any ideas for a Geneva II Conference - YouTube

Lavrov: "State Sponsors Of Opposition Working To Undermine Geneva-II" - EA WorldView

Saudi Arabia’s declining power: The kingdom’s frustrations with President Obama are tied to its own weakness - Slate


Saudi religious leader urges youths not to fight in Syria - Reuters


VIDEO: Secret Saudi Hospitals Discovered on Turkey Syria Border -


Iran’s secret night flights to arm Syria’s Assad revealed - The National


Hezbollah chief rules out military solution in Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian rebels present a video saying: we killed Hezbollah men (VIDEO) - JerusalemOnline


Violent spillover from Syria kills two in northern Lebanon - Reuters


Abbas, Hamas, Flirting With Syria's Assad :: Gatestone Institute


Syrian Electronic Army Target Obama's Twitter, Facebook Posts -


Syria’s Breaking Bad: Are Amphetamines Funding the War? - Yahoo News


Truth and Falsehood in Syria: 23 Reasons Why We Should be Careful About Uncritically Accepting Western Views of the Syrian Insurrection - Syria Solidarity Movement




Tunis Women Performing Controversial 'Sexual Jihad' Arrested - International Business Times

VIDEO: Tunis women arrested for 'sexual jihad' - BBC

A father's heartbreak as his daughters leave Norway to join jihad in Syria - Telegraph


VIDEO: Mothers of Syria: Women take up arms to fight against rebels - YouTube


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Syria/Saudi Arabia News - Oct 27


Saudi Arabia's women hold day of action to change driving laws - The Guardian

Dozens of Saudi Arabian women drive cars on day of protest against ban (VIDEO) -

Saudi women's driving kicks off without arrests (VIDEO) -

U.N. Human Rights Council praises Saudi Arabia on women's rights, Stoning for adultery, flogging, amputations and eye-gouging - Washington Times

VIDEO: Saudi ban women drivers: Protests to change law - BBC

VIDEO: Saudi Arabian Woman Filmed Driving Car On Day Of Protest Against Ban - YouTube


VIDEO: Remake of American Song: No Woman, No Drive - YouTube


Interview: Bitter memory of Syrian girl abused by Saudi sheikh (VIDEO) -


Syria's Women, Many Raped In Refugee Centres, Long To Return Home -


Tunisia's 'sexual jihad' - extremist fatwa or propaganda? - BBC News


Islamic Doctrines Justify Sex Jihad -


VIDEO: Woman and Girls Talk About Being Forced into Sex Jihad -




Poll shows that Saudi Arabia's Syria Connection is Part of a Larger, Dangerous Trend For the Royal Kingdom - PolicyMic

POLL: Saudi Arabia’s Image Falters among Middle East Neighbors - Pew Global Attitudes Project

Saudi Arabia Gets Tough On Foreign Policy – Obaid - SUSRIS


US-Saudi Rift: Divorce Good for American Taxpayers and Christians, Saudis to downgrade ties with the CIA in training Syrian opposition and provide surface-air missiles that could reach Al Qaeda affiliates -


What Did the Qatari Minister Tell His Saudi Counterpart? - Al Akhbar English


UN envoy: Iran participation in Syria conference essential - The Times of Israel




Syrian Kurds Capture Border Crossing With Iraq - ABC News

Al-Qaeda affiliate battling to seek control of Syria borders: analysts - Al-Shorfa

Al-Qaeda imprisons 60 Syrians as they try to turn the country into an Islamic state - Mail Online

Al Qaeda’s thrust toward Golan: Israel, Saudis, Jordan share urgent need to stem the fast-multiplying peril - DEBKAfile

Interview with YPG commander: “Terrorist Groups Are Displacing Kurdish People” - Inter Press Service


Al-Nusra out of Syria's ancient Sadad town (VIDEO) -


Al Nusrah Front denies emir killed by Syrian troops - The Long War Journal


Rebel sources: 15 Hezbollah soldiers killed outside Damascus - English | Front Page


SANA: Terrorists from ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra killed, heavy weapons seized- SANA, Syria


VIDEO: Border crossing Syria-Turkey: Kurds from both sides unite against Turks! - YouTube


VIDEO: Documentary: Al Qaeda: The Lebanon Chapter -


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Syria News - Oct 26


Abu Mohammad al-Golani, leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, killed in Syria, state TV claims - GlobalPost

Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front denies report of leader's death - FRANCE 24

Syrian Army Makes More Gains Near Capital, kills at least 40 opposition fighters in an ambush - ABC News

VIDEO: Damascus Countryside al-Otaiba, the Syrian army killed 41 terrorists -

SANA: Terrorist Car Bombs Explodes Prematurely in Damascus Countryside, Claiming Lives of Militants and Civilians Including Children -


Kurdish gunmen and jihadists clash in eastern Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian Kurds Win Support In Battle With Al-Qaeda Forces - Al-Monitor


Al-Qaeda strives to build Islamic state in northern Syria - The Times


The Price to Release the Two Kidnapped Bishops in Syria, List of Demands by Chechen terrorists (VIDEO) - SyriaNews


Action Needed As Kidnapping Of Syrian Archbishops Reaches 180 Days -


Incursion of the Islamist militias in the Syrian Christian city of Sadad - Fides News Agency


Jihadists burn Bibles and Christian books outside Christian church in Raqqa - Fides News Agency


Syria: Islamist Rebels Posting The Names Of Christians ‘Supposed To Be Killed’ Online - DW


Islamists Repress Syria's Citizen Journalists -


On Syria, UN's Valerie Amos Says Met Jarba's SNC, Won't Answer on Contacts with Al Nusra or ISIS, Trust Fund on Pledges? - Inner City Press


Turkish Al-Nusrah "Whistleblower" Case Postponed Until November - nsnbc international




Al Qaeda Building Stronghold in City of Mosul in Northern Iraq - Matthew Aid

Iraq to press U.S. on drones, F-16s to fight al Qaeda - Reuters

Turkey, Iraq eye closer cooperation on Syria as relations thaw - Reuters

Report: Syrian al-Qaeda planning car bombings in Turkey - Trend.Az

Saudi Arabia, Qatar may be playing dangerous game over Syria rebels - Blogs


Qatar’s Emir appears to offer an olive branch to Syria, mediating for the release of the bishops - THE DAILY STAR


Hezbollah Forces Help Syrian Regime Win Key Battle - VOA


Elite Hezbollah fighters are spearheading battle in Syria, IDF commander warns - JPost


Feltman Dubs Hizbullah 'Soldiers of Fortune,' Accuses it of Causing Sectarian Tensions - Naharnet


Transcript of interview with Jeffrey Feltman on Syria and the Geneva peace talks - Al Hayat


Syria rebels meet peace envoy: FSA - THE DAILY STAR


AUDIO: What Would It Take To Get Syrian Opposition To Peace Talks? Interview with Najib Ghadbian, the Syrian National Coalition representative to US - NPR


VIDEO: U.S. energy boom the “biggest strategic game changer since we won World War II” - Fox News | Money Jihad


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Syria News - Oct 25


Exclusive: Kerry and Top State Dept Officials Split Over Syria Talks - The Cable

Syria Analysis: Fight Within Obama Administration --- Officials Crticize Him as "Uncertain" - EA WorldView

US Navy ships stationed off coast of Syria coming home after extended deployments -

VIDEO: Tought Crowd Heckles McCain in Town Hall Meeting on Syria - The News Star

Moscow slams 'Friends of Syria' for undermining Geneva peace talks - RT News

Russia Rules Out Discussing Assad’s Fate at Peace Talks - Bloomberg

Syria opposition to decide Nov. 9 on Geneva talks - THE DAILY STAR

Syrian National Coaltion Of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces - Jarba Lays Out Conditions to Attend Geneva 2 -

Turkey joins Saudis in showing displeasure over US policy on Syria - JPost


US very concerned over Turkey-China missile deal - Today's Zaman


Saudi Arabia warns U.S. that policy on Syria, Iran straining decades-old alliance - CBS News


The U.S.-Saudi crackup reaches a dramatic tipping point -


'This Is Not How a Protection Racket Is Supposed to Work', Why the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are increasingly at odds - Foreign Policy


Saudi ex-Spy Chief: Lebanon on Brink of Civil War because of Hizbullah Agenda on Syria - Naharnet


The “Hizballah Execution Video”: Confirmation of Shia Militia Involvement - Brown Moses Blog


Four killed in Sunni-Alawite clashes in Lebanon's Tripoli - Reuters


Return of Azaz hostages bittersweet for families of disappeared - THE DAILY STAR


Report: Lebanon Mulls Participation in Syria Peace Talks ahead of Brahimi Visit - Naharnet


Palestinian Mahmoud Abbas signs cooperation accord with Bashar Assad - DEBKAfile


Maronite head asks Qatar help to free Syria bishops -


Qatar to ‘exert all efforts’ to release Syrian bishops - THE DAILY STAR


Qatar’s Foreign Minister Clarifies Position on Syria - Al-Monitor


Tunisia’s 'Road to Jihad' in Syria Paved by Muslim Brotherhood - Al-Monitor


Syria has become Iranian protectorate – Netanyahu - Northern Voices Online




Syria frees dozens more women in hostage deal -monitoring group - Reuters

Syria troops close in on suburbs hit by chemical attack - Yahoo News

Syria 'Gradually' Restoring Power after Rebel Attack - Naharnet

VIDEO: Pipeline fire sparks Syria blackout -

Rebel Advance in Daraa Raises Jihadist Profile in Southern Syria - Syria Deeply – Syria News


Syria’s Minority Alawites Cling to Assad, Hope for Peace -


Syria's Christians Flee Rebel Crosshairs -


Assad Apologist Nun Embarks On U.S. Speaking Tour -


At least 22 people suspected of having polio in Syria - WHO - Reuters




Syrian militants claim kidnap of Russian engineer and post video, The man says he will be killed unless exchanged for an imprisoned Saudi (VIDEO) - RT News

VIDEO: Monstrous murder by Syrian rebels beheading a civilian and slaughtering two women - YouTube

Rebels on a beheading spree in Syria with more massacres (VIDEO) -

VIDEO: Interview: FSA Rebel Group Grandsons of the Prophet Recruits 13-Year-Old Boy as Sniper who Killed 32, Including 13 Civilians - YouTube


VIDEO: Man being executed by Jabhat al-Nusra in front of his grave -


Hanged and beaten by Al Qaeda, but Syrian activist lived to tell the tale - The Times


Syrian Journalist Pays The Price For Standing Up To Al-Qaeda -


Syrian jihadists' new recruitment technique: slick suicide attack videos (VIDEO) - The FRANCE 24 Observers




Al-Qaeda threatens to take over all Iraqi Sunni towns on the Syrian border - Rudaw

Al-Qaeda’s corridor through from Iraq to Syria - The Hindu

Iraq 'Security Road-map' Seeks to Halt Al-Qaeda Expansion -

Iraqi army nabs 8 al-Qaeda gunmen near Syria border - Al-Shorfa

Syrian Kurds and jihadists clash near Iraq border - Yahoo News


Kurdish guerrillas beg West for help in their fight against al-Qaeda - The Times


Syrian Kurdish Leaders Want Erbil at Geneva II Talks - Rudaw


Assad's offer to the Kurds before the Geneva II conference - Today's Zaman


Syrian Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim denied permission to enter Iraqi Kurdistan - ekurd


Reactions against KDP over banning Syrian PYD leader from entering Iraqi Kurdistan - ekurd


Syrian Kurdish Leader Discusses Son's Killing by Jihadists - Al-Monitor


Insight: French investigation into Kurdish murders eyes Turkey connections | Reuters


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Syria News - Oct 23


Saudi spy chief says Riyadh to 'shift away from U.S.' over Syria, Iran - Reuters

Saudi UN Envoy: Iran Has No Role in Syria Solution - Al-Monitor

Saudi Arabia Said to Disregard U.S. on Aid to Syria Islamists - Bloomberg

US halts aid to FSA rebels -

EU Ministers Urge Cutting Support to Extremists in Syria - Wall Street Journal -

In a Weapons Shell Game, Russia Is Still Arming Syria - The Daily Beast


Saudi Bankrolling of al-Qaeda Well Known to U.S. Government - Executive Intelligence Review


PKK Kurdish rebels threaten new fight in Turkey accusing it of backing Islamist rebels in Syria - Reuters


McCain blames Obama administration for Saudi rejection of U.N. seat - Reuters


Chilling Saudi-US relations not expected to heat up oil market -


Boom in U.S. Shale Oil and Gas Threatens Saudi Economy, Warns Prince Alwaleed -


Saudi Arabia Under Fire At UN Over Women's Rights - Gulf Business


Saudi Clerics Protest Women Driving, Blaming U.S. For Anti-Ban Campaign -




Syria Opposition Under Pressure to Negotiate - ABC News

Syrian opposition resists calls to commit to peace talks, calls for Assad’s exit  - Reuters

Friends of Syria talks in London agree on no future role for Assad - GlobalPost

Communique of The Friends of Syria Core Group of countries -

Qaeda linked rebels battle Syrian army in Christian town - Israel News, Ynetnews

Nusra Front claims killing of top Syrian intelligence officer - THE DAILY STAR

al-Nusra Front in Raqqa accuses members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant of abducting and killing a number of its commanders - YALLA SOURIYA


Four rockets fired from Syria hit a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon - English | Front Page


The Story of Al-Tawhid Brigade: Fighting for Sharia in Syria - Al-Monitor


Syria's Rebels: Radicalization and Division - Middle East Institute


Air force strikes rebels near Damascus, Aleppo -


Druze youth from Golan flocking to Syria to join Assad army - Haaretz


Cameron calls Facebook ‘irresponsible’ for lifting ban on beheading videos - RT News


VIDEO: al-Qaida in Syria targets minorities - YouTube


VIDEO: Chechen Mujahideen in Syria -




Syria fully cooperative on chemical disarmament, mission head says - AFP

Who Attacked Ghouta with Chemical Weapons? UMLACA Simulation: The CW rockets used to attack Zamalka have a range of around 2.5 km -


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Syria News - Oct 22


Pressure mounts on Syria opposition to join talks - GlobalPost

EU urges Syria opposition to attend Geneva peace talks - AFP

Brahimi: No Geneva conference without credible opposition - THE DAILY STAR

Syria’s Assad says factors needed for successful conference not in place - The Washington Post

U.S. tries to calm Saudi anger over Syria, Iran - Reuters

Is Saudi Arabia Holding Up The Geneva II Conference on Syria? - Al-Monitor

Arab states urge Saudi Arabia to keep UN Security Council seat - The Independent


Exclusive: On Saudi UNSC Seat, Arab Group Statement Was Never Agreed To, ICP Is Told, "Reuters Never Called" - Inner City Press


Saudi Rejection Of UN Seat Gains Support By Gulf States, Egypt -


Saudi intelligence chief is real leader of al-Qaeda: Syrian envoy -


Report: US canceled delivery of Predators to Turkey - Today's Zaman


Turkey Readjusts North Syria Strategy - Al-Monitor


Syrian Electronic Army attacks most major Qatar websites -


Qatar recovers websites from pro-Assad Syria hackers - FRANCE 24


VIDEO: Syrian Electronic Army launched a cyber attack against Qatar - YouTube




Syrian rebel-held Damascus suburb appeals for urgent help -

UN humanitarian chief calls for immediate ceasefire in rural Damascus - CNTV English

VIDEO: Bombardment on under siege Damascus suburb Moadamiyeh continues -

Suicide bomber kills 31 in Syria's Hama: state media -

Senior FSA rebel chief killed in clashes with army - AFP

Rebel factions under Al Qaeda assault in deals with local Syrian army commanders - DEBKAfile

Analysts: Syrian Regime Strikes Back in Southern Aleppo - Institute for the Study of War


Police resort to tear gas as Kurds protest on both sides of Turkish-Syrian border to denounce decision to build a wall -


Six Syria Kurds died in ISIS suicide bombing attack - Kurdpress News Aganecy


PYD leader claims radicals in Syria would weaken without Turkey's support - Today's Zaman


Assad’s new Kurdish tactic - World Bulletin


Syrian Kurds Beset by Divisions - Al-Monitor


Qalamoun Mountains likely scene of Syria's next big battle -


Hezbollah preparing for decisive battle in Syria, sources say - AFP


Hezbollah will pay a heavy price in Qalamoun, FSA warns - Ya Libnan




Lebanese Hostage Deal: 10 months of Negotiations and $9 Million - Al Akhbar English

Newly freed pilgrim speaks of difficult conditions in captivity - THE DAILY STAR

Lebanese say Syria captors tormented them with lies – The Express Tribune

Turkish pilots detail abduction upon return home - THE DAILY STAR

Fate of Syria women detainees unclear after hostage deal - THE DAILY STAR

Syria rebels say regime freed no detainees despite deal - AFP

Turkish special operation team ‘snatched’ Lebanese pilgrims inside Syria: Report -

Turkey says efforts to save abducted bishops under way - Today's Zaman


Al Qaeda-linked extremists cause new Syria refugee crisis - NBC World News


Fatah Movement: Syrian opposition gunmen prevented aid from entering Palestinian camps - SANA, Syria


Mujahideen finally defeated gangs of secular rebels from Northern Storm in Aleppo -


How Syrian Radio Station ANA Took on Al Qaeda - FP Passport


ANA New Media Association Official Statement In Regards to ISIS Crackdown on Radio Station - YALLA SOURIYA


Jailed Turkish Al-Nusrah Whistleblower driven to Brink of Suicide - nsnbc international


Meeting Syria’s Mujahedeen - Al-Monitor


Foreign jihadists surpass Afghan-Soviet war, storm Syria in record numbers - Washington Times


Report: Spike of Western, Caucasus jihadists enter Syria - JPost


Al-Nusra recruits Algerian terrorists: Report -


German Camp: Collection Point for German Jihadists in Syria - SPIEGEL ONLINE


Norwegian sisters flee to Syria to fight with al-Qaeda - Telegraph


Missing teenagers spotted near Syria -




Doctor: Syria snipers targeting pregnant women and children in "death game" - CBS News

British Press Shills for Syria War With 'Baby Snipers' Story - The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

VIDEO: Syria snipers 'shoot at pregnant women,' UK doctor claims - BBC News 


VIDEO: Syria: Image released of foetus with bullet lodged in head - Telegraph


VIDEO: Targeting Fetuses : the real story - Syrian Truth - English


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Syria News - Oct 19


Saudis Shock U.N., Quit Security Council Over Syria - Foreign Policy - The Cable

Saudi Foreign Ministry statement: Three reasons for declining UN Security Council seat - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Saudi U.N. draft condemns Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria, the regime’s use of chemical weapons and heavy aerial bombardment - THE DAILY STAR

US shrugs off Saudi rejection of UN Council seat, saying Washington would continue to work with Riyadh - AFP

Moscow Slams S. Arabia For UN Security Council Seat Rejection - RIA Novosti

France says shares 'frustration' of Saudi on Security Council - GlobalPost

‘Turkey treats relations with Saudi Arabia strategically' - Today's Zaman

Erdogan, Syrian Rebels’ Leading Ally, Hesitates -

Q+A: Is Turkey Shifting Its Stance on Syria? - Syria Deeply – Syria News


Pro-ISIS sources claiming "many muhajireen" (Chechens, Arabs & 2 Chinese) have been arrested in Turkey - Twitter / Charles_Lister


Turkey rejects claims over spy chief as ‘black propaganda’ - Today's Zaman


Interior minister says wall on Syrian border is for protection from mines - Today's Zaman


How Radical Groups Operate On Turkey’s Border - Al-Monitor


Weapons, fighters flow to Syria's next battlefront, “Saudi Arabia is running the battle in Qalamoun and we have information that it warned Hezbollah against participating" -


Qalamoun battle threatens Lebanon, report says - AFP


As-Safir: Maamoura Car Bomb Possibly Went out of Syria’s Qalamoun -


ISIS-Nusra rift divides Tripoli salafis - AFP


Squeeze play: Hamas, in forced bow to Iran, apologizes for backing Syrian rebels - World Tribune


Syrian Rebels Slam Hamas Over Ties to Iran - Israel National News


Gaza Salafists Killed in Syria - Al-Monitor


Iraq blocks al-Qaeda bid to control Anbar border towns with Syria - Al-Shorfa




Lebanese hostages in Syria freed, They were captured in Aleppo last May by the FSA Northern Storm brigade - Al Jazeera English

Canadian UN worker freed after 8 month Syria captivity, held by an Islamist radical group - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Canadian UNDOF Employee Turned over to UN after being Kidnapped by Terrorist Gangs - YouTube

VIDEO: Canadian hostage speaks about his kidnappers - Syrian Truth | English

Red Cross releases video plea to free 3 staff abducted in Syria - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Head of ICRC delegation appeals for release of kidnapped workers - YouTube

Brother of Abducted Lebanese Cameraman in Syria Demands to Know his Fate - Naharnet

Kidnapped by al-Qaeda: testimonies from Syria - Al-Shorfa

Patriarch claims that more than 450,000 Christians fled or were internally displaced out of the total of 1.75 million in Syria -

Al Qaida taking hold in Syria -


The Islamic State strikes again: This time they raided / destroyed / confiscated ANA's office in Raqqa and arrested a media activist -


ISIS captures rebels camp near Azaz as denies being hit by Turkish mortar - ZAMAN ALWSL


ISIS photos show children training at 'al Zarqawi Cubs Camp' - The Long War Journal


Family vacation? No, 'family jihad' in Syria (VIDEO) - The FRANCE 24 Observers


Whole families from Kazakhstan travelling to Syria for jihad - Asia News


Syrian army repels rebel attack at prison in Aleppo - Yahoo News


Abu Bara al-Masri, an Egyptian Jabhat al-Nusra militant responsible for suicide bombing at Aleppo Central Prison - Twitter / Charles_Lister


VIDEO: Jabhat al-Nusra suicide bombing on exterior wall of Aleppo Central Prison - YouTube


Syria: Al Nusra Jihadist Rebels Execute 10 Soldiers in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor - Israel National News


Alleged soldier brutally beheaded by alQaeda linked terrorists (VIDEO) -


Jabhat al Nusra captured this young boy in Deir al Zor, accusing him of being a 'shabee7a' (PHOTO) - Syrian Perspective


Al Qaeda-Aligned Groups in Syria May Have Access to Biological Pathogens - Washington Free Beacon


Syrian Rebels Using Remote Controlled Car Bombs  - Israel National News


Jihadist Websites Linked to Syria Thriving on Internet - Al-Monitor


State TV: top Syrian intelligence officer killed by gunmen - English | Front Page


Anything But Politics: The State of Syria’s Political Opposition - International Crisis Group


Battling on two fronts, moderate Syrian rebels struggle for funding, lose fighters - The Washington Post




Syrian civil war driving apart Arab rebels and Kurds - The National

Kurdish PYD accused of heavy handed rule in Syrian Kurdistan - ekurd

Syria's first Kurdish-language newspaper - Al Jazeera English


Syrian Kurdistan's Lawyers: We have freed ourselves from the dirty law of the regime. New legal system to be established - ekurd


Yazidis Benefit From Kurdish Gains In Northeast Syria - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: Istanbul Protests in Support of Syrian Kurds - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Oct 17


Turkey says it fires on Islamist militant positions in Syria - Reuters

The brutal Al Qaeda-linked group ISIS has virtually taken over northern Syria putting Turkey on edge - Fox News

Pressure Mounts on Turkey Over Radical Groups in Syria, It is no secret that the Erdogan government initially supported Jabhat al-Nusra - Al-Monitor

Youth in Turkey Become Al-Qaeda Recruits - Rudaw

Syria Informed Turkey on Al-Qaeda Cells, AKP Government Ignored - nsnbc international

Ankara alarmed by Syrian Kurds' autonomy is boosting its military presence on the border -

Turkey’s wall on Syria border faces Kurdish opposition - Al Jazeera Blogs


Dozens killed in Syria Kurd-jihadist clashes - FRANCE 24


Kurdish parties to merge under 'Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria' - World Bulletin


Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia says has lost contact with crew in northern Syria - Reuters


American journalist James Foley remains missing in Syria nearly one year after his capture - GlobalPost


Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church - Telegraph


Jabhat al-Nusra stole aid destined for Syrian families: Iraqi charity - Al-Shorfa


Experts Warn of Al Qaeda Biological Weapons Threat - Israel National News


Kidnapped Turkish pilots appear on Lebanese TV (VIDEO) -


VIDEO: ISIS Extremists Shell Free Syria Army Asifa Militia on Turkish Border - YouTube


VIDEO: New video message from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām: “A Window Upon the Land of Epic Battles - JIHADOLOGY


VIDEO: Al-Nusra Front has posted a video documenting its preparations for a suicide bombing attack - Israel National News




US urges Syrian opposition to join peace talks - AFP

Tensions rise as Saudis fear US 'going soft' - DW.DE

Saudis struggling to supply Syrian rebels: ‘We are not in the arms dealing business’ - World Tribune

Iran is incapable of resolving Syria crisis, says Saudi ambassador to U.N. - English | Front Page

Free Syrian Army chief on ISIS, Geneva and Syria's civil war - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Dozens of Syrian fighting groups break ties with main opposition, says rebel commander - The Washington Post

VIDEO: Liwa Ansar al-Sana announces that 67 groups renounce the SNC & call for unifying rebel forces - YouTube


Statement of the Civilian Movement in Syria Regarding the Remarks of Mr. Zahran Alloush, Commander of the Army of Islam - Syria Freedom Forever 


Little Saigon man suspected of aiding Al Qaeda was headed back to Syria, officials said -


Japanese reporter joins al Qaeda in Syria - Threat Matrix


Who are the British jihadists in Syria? - BBC News


Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood meet in Jordan to discuss Syria and Egypt - Jihad Watch


VIDEO: ISIS fighters from Kazakhstan in Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Dozens of foreign Jihadists bring families to Syria -


Syria chemical inspectors destroy "critical" weapons equipment - CBS News


Syrian opposition: no chemical sites under our control - English | Front Page


Syria army hails recapture of rebel town near Damascus, Opposition says it was backed by Iraqi and Lebanese Shiite militia - AFP


Iran slashed Hamas funding, senior official admits | The Times of Israel


Syria first lady pledges to stand by husband - The National


50 000 Syria Christians ask for Russian citizenship  - Interfax-Religion


A group of clerics issue a fatwa allowing starving Syrians to eat cats and dogs -


To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Oct 15


Jihadists in Syria behind kidnapping of ICRC workers, NGO says - AFP

Islamist militants destroy Sufi shrine in eastern Syria - English | Front Page

Two suicide car bombs explode in central Damascus: SANA - THE DAILY STAR

VIDEO: Moments Before the Two Suicide Bombings During Live Syrian T.V. Interview - YouTube

Syria: Car bomb strikes rebel-held town, killing at least 27 people -

Jihadists make gains against FSA in inter-rebel Syria clashes - Yahoo News

Rival al-Qaeda-linked groups fortifying in Syria with mix of pragmatism and militancy - The Washington Post

Al-Qaeda leader urges unity among Syrian jihadis, no deals with Western-backed and secular groups - The Times of Israel

Al Qaeda’s Teenage Fan Club - VICE United States


FSA threatens ISIS of giving areas to Syrian Army -


Assessing Syria’s Islamist rebel alliance – “Army of Islam” - 5Pillarz


New Report on Battlefield Situation in Southern Syria - Institute for the Study of War


Will Bishops Be Included in Deal To Release Lebanese Detainees? - Al-Monitor


Russian traveler feared captured by Syrian militants - RT News


Sex jihad of Tunisian girl in Syria: "They promised me paradise, so I gave myself to 152 men" - Jihad Watch


Dutch Foreign Fighters – Some Testimonials from the Syrian Front - JIHADOLOGY


Al-Qaida surges back in Iraq, reviving old fears - AP


Al-Qaeda in Iraq Resurgent, Part II - Institute for the Study of War


VIDEO: Syrian Opposition Newscaster: No Such Thing as FSA in Syria Anymore. They're All Islamist Brigades! - YouTube


VIDEO: Three clans of Aleppo declare allegiance to ISIS, Syria -


AUDIO (English translation): New audio message from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shām: “May God Be With You, Oh the Oppressed State” - JIHADOLOGY


VIDEO: Jihadist Send Message to Wahabi Brothers to Infidel World from Aazaz Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Yemeni Jihadists Behead, Threaten Alawites in Aleppo, Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Syria, a Documentary: Armed gangs speak about their atrocities, crimes and sabotage acts Part 1 - YouTube




Syria: Syrian National Council chief threatens to pull out of main opposition coalition if it attends Geneva peace summit- ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Syrian National Coalition PM on Geneva, extremism and new government - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

Russia Calls on U.S. to Bring Syria Opposition to Peace Talks - Naharnet

Kerry calls for 'urgent' Geneva conference on Syria - Yahoo News

U.S. allies let funds flow to al Qaeda in Syria - Washington Times

Syrian opposition totally dependent on foreign sponsors – senior Russian MP - RT Russian politics


Pressure mounts on Syrian opposition to let UN inspectors visit chemical sites - Haaretz


Syria: FSA open to "temporary" ceasefire - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


In Rare Cease-Fire, Hundreds Evacuate Rebel-Held Syrian Town -


Hizballah Cavalcade: Liwa’a al-Imam al-Hasan al-Mujtaba: A Shia Militia Fighting in Rif Dimashq/Ghouta - JIHADOLOGY


Hizballah Executing Syrian Prisoners? - Analyzing the Video (VIDEO) - Brown Moses Blog


Assad's elite unit - The Syrian 4th Armoured division - C A Parkinson


Assad Interview - Al Akhbar English


Assad lambasts Hamas for deception - THE DAILY STAR


Evidence of Hamas Fighting the Syrian Arab Army (VIDEO)-


Hamas doesn’t take action for any side in Syrian conflict - spokesman - RT Op-Edge


Salafi jihadist from Gaza reportedly killed fighting for ISIS in Syria - The Long War Journal




Iraqi Kurdistan’s chief ready to strike militants in Syria, Iraq - English | Front Page

Officials: Erbil Attack Was Carried Out By Foreign Recruits - Rudaw

Syrian Arab Village Welcomes Kurdish Fighters - Al-Monitor


Syrian Kurds says Turkey should stop supporting 'gangs' in Syria - Today's Zaman


Syrian Christians, in fear of Jihadists, begin to take up arms with Assad  - BizPac Review


To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Oct 12


Armed opposition groups in Syria killed at least 190 civilians and seized over 200 as hostages in rural Latakia - Human Rights Watch

“You Can Still See Their Blood”, Killings and Hostage Taking by Opposition Forces in Latakia Countryside (FULL REPORT) - Human Rights Watch

VIDEO: Report: Syria Executions, Hostage Taking by Rebels - Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch Criticizes Turkey Over Syrian Opposition Massacre -

Turkey lashes out at HRW claims of support for Syrian terrorist groups - Today's Zaman

Turkey's spymaster a driving force behind efforts to supply the rebels and topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -

Syrian National Coalition statement on the HRW report about human rights abuse by Syrian rebels -

Free Syrian Army Denies Involvement in Reports of Rebel Murder - US News and World Report

Al-Qaeda’s New Orders: Avoid Killing Christians and Shia -


Syrian rebel fatwa: seize non-Sunni property - Money Jihad


U.S.-backed Syria rebels urged to break with al Qaida allies over alleged abuses -


Report warns of threat of loose missiles in Syria if they fall into the hands of terror groups -


Al Qaeda's Syrian Strategy - Foreign Policy


Syria: ISIS Orphans al-Nusra Front, Cutting Its Funding - Al Akhbar English


The Founding of the Al-Nusra Front and its Collaboration with Other Rebel Organizations -


Liwa Al-Tawhed Captures a "Russian Spy" - Brown Moses Blog


VIDEO: Jobar Update: Syrian Soldier Confirms Capture of Taliban Militants and "Sexual Jihad" Girls - YouTube


VIDEO: Soldier after being shot dead and beheaded by terrorists -


Syrian army recaptures two Damascus suburbs from rebels, Backed by Lebanese Shi'ite movement Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi'ites - The Independent


Opposition: Hizbullah playing key role in Syrian offensive around Damascus - World Tribune


Positive signs for release of bishops, but no word on abducted Lebanese pilgrims - THE DAILY STAR


A Christian volunteer soldier in Syria: 'We have to defend our community' - The FRANCE 24 Observers




Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW wins Nobel Peace Prize for Syrian mission - Reuters

UN Security Council Approves Joint Mission With OPCW in Syria - RIA Novosti

Exclusive: U.S. suggests destruction unit for Syria's chemical weapons - Reuters

Russia Suggests List of Experts to Chemical Weapon Inspection Team - RIA Novosti

Syrian opposition says Nobel prize for chemical weapons watchdog is 'premature' - CTV News

Air raids and clashes near Syrian chemical weapons sites - Reuters

Russia says Syria rebels received Afghan training in chemical weapons, planning attacks on the territory of Iraq - Yahoo News


Who Attacked Ghouta With Chemical Weapons?: Suggesting Scenarios -


Geolocation of alleged chemical rockets in East Ghouta - StoryfulPro


No, You Can’t Make Sarin in Your Kitchen - Bloomberg


Analysts and think tanks in Syria debate have ties to defense contractors - The Washington Post


Report: Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate, An analysis of the defense industry ties of experts and think tanks who commented on military intervention - Public Accountability Initiative


Arab league, OIC call for Eid ceasefire in Syria - Reuters


Syrian Coalition Spokesperson Talks About Call for Ceasefire During Islamic Holiday -


Hacked off: What happened when the Syrian Electronic Army attempted a cyber attack on The Independent?  - The Independent


To contact Bartolo email

Conflicts of interest in the Syria debate


During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”

In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.

Though Hadley’s undisclosed conflict is particularly egregious, it is not unique. The following report documents the industry ties of Hadley, 21 other media commentators, and seven think tanks that participated in the media debate around Syria. Like Hadley, these individuals and organizations have strong ties to defense contractors and other defense- and foreign policy-focused firms with a vested interest in the Syria debate, but they were presented to their audiences with a veneer of expertise and independence, as former military officials, retired diplomats, and independent think tanks.

The report offers a new look at an issue raised by David Barstow’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times series on the role military analysts played in promoting the Bush Administration’s narrative on Iraq. In addition to exposing coordination with the Pentagon, Barstow found that many cable news analysts had industry ties that were not disclosed on air.

If the recent debate around Syria is any guide, media outlets have done very little to address the gaps in disclosure and abuses of the public trust that Barstow exposed. Some analysts have stayed the same, others are new, and the issues and range of opinion are different. But the media continues to present former military and government officials as venerated experts without informing the public of their industry ties – the personal financial interests that may be shaping their opinions of what is in the national interest.

This report details these ties, in addition to documenting the industry backing of think tanks that played a prominent role in the Syria debate. It reveals the extent to which the public discourse around Syria was corrupted by the pervasive influence of the defense industry, to the point where many of the so-called experts appearing on American television screens were actually representatives of companies that profit from heightened US military activity abroad. The threat of war with Syria may or may not have passed, but the threat that these conflicts of interest pose to our public discourse – and our democracy – is still very real.

Columbia University, Once Home to Protests of War, Plans Gripe Session to Bemoan Absence of War

The Struggle for Syria: Panel Event at Columbia University

With over a 100,000 deaths and millions of refugees and displaced persons, the Syrian civil war has shaken the Middle East and horrified the rest of the world.  It has raised many questions about the ethical and legal justification for a humanitarian intervention, the necessity to protect international norms such as the prohibition of chemical warfare, and the Russia-US dynamic in addressing this crisis.  How significant is the current cooperation and commitment to end Syria's chemical weapons program? How do the events in Syria relate to regional and global efforts related to weapons of mass destruction? What are the avenues for progress in Syria?
On October 16th, join us at Columbia University to hear about these issues from a distinguished roster of experts: Professor Michael Doyle, Harold Brown Professor of US Foreign and Security Policy; Professor Peter Clement, former Director of the Office of Russian and Eurasian Analysis at the CIA; and Professor Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute Jonathan Granoff.

To RSVP, contact  Zunaira Mubasher, Columbia University.





One Belmont Avenue Suite 400 | Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 US

Syria News - Oct 10


Chemical weapons inspectors say they can meet tough deadline in Syria - The Washington Post

Inspectors in Syria may need cease-fires to reach chemical weapons -

VIDEO: OPCW Press Conference on Syria - YouTube

VIDEO: OPCW's Syria inspectors: Footage and interviews -

VIDEO: Syria chemical weapons plant during UN inspection - YouTube


UN Chief Proposes Establishing Joint Mission with OPCW in Syria which Would Comprise some 100 Personnel - RIA Novosti


Russia, U.S. agree on how Syria should eliminate chemical arms: Putin - Yahoo News


Pentagon's role in Syria poison gas destruction likely - AP


On Syria, Questions About UN Trust Fund & Plans, on Cyprus; Ban Ki-moon Said to "See From One Eye" - Inner City Press


The Syrian Regime Secures a Critical Chemical Weapons Site near Aleppo - Instituto de Seguridad, Defensa y Estudios Internacionales (ISDEI)


Syrian regime's capture of al-Safira base near Aleppo aids U.N. chemical cleanup -


Syrian opposition leader speaks on U.S.-Russian deal on chemical weapons - English - Front Page




Charbel Denies Imminent Release of Lebanese Pilgrims held captive by rebels in Syria, Talks About Ongoing Negotiations - Naharnet

“Fr. Dall’Oglio is alive and is being treated well by his kidnappers” - Vatican Insider

France reveals two more journalists held in Syria - Yahoo News

Al-Qaeda affiliate detains Aleppo residents for protesting its presence in Syria - Al-Shorfa

Syria: Lone Protester Takes Stand on Raqqa Abductions - Institute for War and Peace Reporting 

ISIS after controlling Azaz, opens new Shariah court and Police station - ZAMAN 


Analyzing Events in Azaz - A Detailed Look At ISIS' Takeover - Brown Moses Blog


Kurdistan: ISIS attack on security base in Erbil was attempted prison break - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Syria rebels 'seize guard post on Jordan border' in Daraa region - Yahoo News Maktoob


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels Forces Advance Across Daraa Region - YouTube


Syria rebel shelling sparks oil refinery fire in Homs - FRANCE 24


Syria: Army of Islam Continues to Expand - Israel National News


VIDEO: Harakat Ahrar al-Sham release their first English language weekly news report -


Hezbollah, Iraqi militia capture Damascus suburb: opposition - Reuters


VIDEO: Video claiming to show Hezbollah fighters in Syria executing injured opposition fighters - YouTube


VIDEO: Over 30 insurgents surrender to the Syrian Army in Damascus -




Turkey says not aiding Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels -

Syrian Kurdish Leader Urges Turkey to End Support for Salafists - Al-Monitor

Growing Unease Over Turkish Jihadists in Syria - VOA

Turkey denies building wall on Syrian border despite locals' claim - Today's Zaman

Turkey reopens border checkpoints which allows the flow of support to rebel groups fighting in Syria -

Saudi Arabia funds Syrian Islamist rebels, splits with U.S. -


Saudi may fire Bandar over Syria: Report -


Charity millions ‘going to Syrian terror groups, People giving money to help Syrian refugees are inadvertently supporting terrorism, the charity watchdog warns - Money Jihad


Iran rejects U.S. condition for joining Syria peace conference - Reuters


The Coalition Rejects Iran’s Participation in Geneva and Considers It an Occupier With Whom It Is Impossible to Negotiate -


Putin suggests large Muslim nations join Syria peace talks - Al Jazeera America


VIDEO: Syria trending toward radical jihadists, not moderate rebels' - Lavrov (EXCLUSIVE) - YouTube


VIDEO: Libyan PM: Libya is used to smuggle arms abroad - YouTube




Syria’s Kurds Divided Over Geneva II Conference - Al-Monitor

US Wants Kurds to attend in Geneva meeting under Syria opposition council: official - Mesopotamische Gesellschaft 


Kurdish Groups Take Control In Northeast Syria - AINA


Son of Syrian Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim killed in fighting: Report -


To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Oct 8


Kerry praises Assad for acting on Syria's chemical weapons in 'record time' (VIDEO) -

OPCW weapons inspectors say "Syrian authorities were cooperative", disabling warheads, aerial bombs and mixing equipment  -

US State Dept Downplays ‘Praise’ for Assad Over Weapons Removal,  He cannot be part of a future government in Syria - RIA Novosti

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slams Kerry's praise of Assad - TheHill


Russia calls for pressuring "Armed Opposition" to guarantee security of chemical investigators - Syrian Arab news agency


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Analysis Of Prior Alleged Chemical Attacks -


Lavrov, Kerry Hope to Hold Syria Geneva II Conference in Mid-November - RIA Novosti


Ban firmly "determined" to make Geneva II Syria Conf. happen - KUNA


Syrian opposition sets conditions for Geneva II: “no dialogue with criminal Assad regime” and Iran must not participate as “mediator” -


U.S. opens door to Iran taking part in Syria peace conference - Reuters


Syrian Officials Sound a Conciliatory Note Toward the Opposition -




ISIS claims responsibility for attack in Iraqi Kurdistan's capital, says was in response to Barzani's support to Kurdish forces battling jihadists in Syria - ekurd

Explosions across Baghdad kill at least 38 people, Eight of the 10 blasts were in mainly Shi'ite districts - Yahoo News

Interview: Maliki Says Terrorism in Iraq 'Directly Related' to Syria - Al-Monitor

Turkey Builds Wall On Syria Border To Stop Illegal Crossings, Smugglers and rebel fighters cross the border undetected in many remote areas - AP


Kurdish National Council to hold talks with Turkish officials -


Gunmen Gain Ground Among Lebanon Sunnis Emboldened by Syria War - Bloomberg


Syria: Golan Village Under Nusra’s Thumb - Al Akhbar English


Syrian Radical Islamist Forces Gain in Aleppo, “It is unlikely the FSA will hold its ground against the ISIS for long" - Al-Monitor


After heavy fighting, Syrian troops reopen key road to embattled northern city of Aleppo - The Washington Post


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria: al-Baghdadi Triumphant, Today ISIS persists in a state of outright disobedience to Al Qaeda leader Zawahiri - jihadica


Indictment: Saudi-American financed jihad in Somalia and Syria - Money Jihad


Syrian Army Kills Former Saudi Officer Linked to al-Nusra Front - Prensa Latina News Agency


Banksy Parodies Syrian Rebel in a Video Satire (VIDEO) -


VIDEO: Kurdish YPG fighters protect Kurdish village, attacked by jihadi terrorists -


VIDEO: Syrian rebels beheading another citizen -



To contact Bartolo email

On the Side of Terror

  “Congressman, you have a noon meeting with a group of peace activists who want to talk with you about your position on Syria.  And I should warn you that there are some TV vans down in the parking lot.”


Syria News - Oct 7


Syria: FSA demand ISIS withdraw from Azaz and Homs - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

VIDEO: General Strike, Protests Staged against Continued Military Presence in Aazaz by Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - Al-Ayyam

VIDEO: Azaz Rally Supports FSA and Northern Storm Militia - Demand ISIS Leave Town - YouTube

VIDEO: ISIS Arrest Dozen FSA Supporters at Azaz Freedom Rally - YouTube

More Border-Region Clashes Between ISIS, FSA & Kurdish YPG - EA WorldView


Jihadist Sources Describe Border-Region Fighting Between Kurds, ISIS Near Atmeh Village - EA WorldView


Human Rights Association IHD delegation to Syrian Kurdistan - ekurd


ISIS or al-Nusra? Lebanese Jihadis Waiting For a Victor - Al Akhbar English


VIDEO: Fissures grow among rebel ranks as hard-line Islamists expand Syrian war role - PBS NewsHour


Christians under threat in Syria as Islamist extremists gain influence - The Washington Post


Few Tunisian women waging Syria 'sex jihad': Official - Ahram Online


Polish photographer kidnapped in Syria `alive`: Ministry - zee news


VIDEO: Young Kurd being slaughtered by Al Nusra -




Syria: SNC, FSA resolve disagreement over Geneva II - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT

FSA Announces Support for the Coalition as a Civilian and Political Leadership And Sole Legitimate Representative of the Syrian People -

Statement by Supreme Military Council in the Presence of the Coalition's President -

FSA urges unity after several prominent rebel brigades rejected the opposition National Coalition - Sarawak

FSA Chief Idris Discusses Developments with Military Battalion Leaders, Lays Future Plans for Freeing Cities and Protecting Civilians -


VIDEO: The future of the Free Syrian Army, with Free Syrian Army spokesman, professor Fawaz Gerges and Robert Fisk - Al Jazeera


Syria: On the frontline with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo (VIDEO) - FRANCE 24


FSA founder probably killed in Syria -


Life & Death Of Abo Gamal, "Media Mujahid" - EA WorldView


Syrian government forces reach agreement to end shelling of Syrian village in exchange for the surrender of dozens of opposition fighters - NPR




Chemical experts begin destroying Syria's weapons arsenal - Reuters

Syria Disarmament Mission to Involve Up to 100 Experts - RIA Novosti

Lavrov: UN Team Did Not Visit Khan al-Assal Chemical Attack Site -

UN's Failure to Go to Khan Al Asal Unexplained (VIDEO) - Inner City Press


Saudi black op team behind Damascus chem weapons attack – diplomatic sources (VIDEO) - RT News


Making Sense Of Russia's Evolving Narrative For The August 21st Sarin Attacks - Brown Moses Blog


VIDEO (Part 1): Mother Agnes Discusses Evidence of Chemical Attack Videos Fabrication with al-Jadeed TV -


VIDEO: Part 2: Mother Agnes Discusses Evidence of Chemical Attack Videos Fabrication with al-Jadeed TV -


BBC Media Fabrications on Alleged Incendiary Bomb Attack in Aleppo, Syria - Global Research


Turkey Aiding Flow of Islamist Fighters Into Syria, Will "Pay Dearly" for Rebel Support: Assad - Bloomberg


VIDEO: German Report: Erdogan supporting jihadists in Syria - Syrian Truth | English


VIDEO: Turkish Students Confront SNC Ex-Presidents Sieda and Sabra at Istanbul Bilgi University - YouTube


German intelligence says Syrian jets parked in Iran - AFP


Saudis fear tide of Syria war turning against their interests -


VIDEO: Interview With The Syrian Electronic Army -


To contact Bartolo email

Nonviolent Progress in Syria Despite the Violent "Opposition"

By Ken Meyercord

One thing about the ongoing crisis in Syria almost never mentioned in our media - even the alternative media - is the role of the nonviolent opposition to the Baathist regime. After the uprising began in the spring of  2011, the government engaged this opposition in discussions about reform of the Syrian political system. Out of these discussions came a new constitution, approved in February 2012 by 90% of the electorate in a popular referendum with a 57% turnout rate.

Prior to the new constitution, Syria was officially a one-party state: the Baathist party, to which the current and former president belonged, being that party. In 2007 the nomination by the Syrian parliament of Bashar al-Assad as President of Syria was approved by 98% of the electorate with a 96% turnout rate - just the sort of mandate you would expect of an authoritarian regime. Under the new constitution Syria became a multiparty state; elections to parliament were open to any political party.

In May of last year parliamentary elections under the new constitution were held. There were two blocs contending for the vote: the pro-government National Progressive Front, comprised of 6 parties, and the oppositional Popular Front for Change and Liberation, which included two parties. Of the 250 seats in the assembly, the Baathists won 134 seats with 34 seats distributed among the other parties in the National Front, including 6 seats for the two factions of the Communist Party. The opposition shared 5 seats. Seventy-seven members of the new parliament were not affiliated with any party. The constitution stipulates that at least half of the members of the assembly must be workers or farmers.

In other words, the Syrian parliament encompasses a diversity of opinion we can only dream of seeing in our own Congress - quite a coup for the nonviolent opposition. An election for President is scheduled for next May, quite a concession for a man our media labels a "thug", "dictator", "tyrant", especially as most governments, including our own, when facing a stressful situation become more authoritarian (e.g., Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, Palmer Raids of the 1920s, the Patriot Act, etc.) . It can be argued that the Syrian peaceful revolution is the most successful transition to democracy of the Arab Spring. What more does the violent opposition want? No wonder they have to rely on foreign Jihadists to do their fighting!

Critics of the Syrian regime will claim the elections were fraudulent, or, as the Obama administration put it, "ludicrous". I have no idea whether this is the case and would welcome the views of those better informed than me. I suspect critics of the elections seldom offer any supporting evidence for their claims. Every country grapples with seeing that their elections are fair (cf. Voter ID laws). Before we dismiss the newfound democracy in Syria as a sham, maybe we should give it a chance, especially as the lives of thousands of people - mostly Syrian but perhaps some of our own - are at risk. If the administration's goal in Syria is regime change, maybe it should wait and see whether the Syrian people effect it in a peaceful manner next spring or, if the incumbent is re-elected, accept the fact that democracy doesn't always work out the way we would like.

Postscript: If you didn't know about recent political developments in Syria, don't feel bad. I attended an event the other day where none of the speakers - neither Cole Bockenfeld and Stephen McInerney of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) nor Shadi Hamid, Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution - were aware of the elections held under the new Syrian constitution.

Ken Meyercord produces a public access TV show called Worlddocs which "brings the world to the people of the Washington, DC area through documentaries you won't see broadcast on corporate TV." He has a Master's in Middle East History from the American University of Beirut.

Syria News - Oct 4


UN Urges Immediate Humanitarian Access to Syria - ABC News

Encouraging' progress in dismantling Syrian chemical arsenal -U.N. - Reuters

Saudi Arabia scrapped U.N. speech in protest over Syria and Israel - Reuters

U.S. Moves on Syria, Iran Anger Saudi Arabia -


US-Israel rift widening over Syria, Iran: Analyst - PressTV


With Syria, Iran, has Obama broken the mold in US foreign policy? Is it the first glimmer of wisdom in the dark tunnel of past disastrous interventions? -


Turkey Renews Permit to Send Troops to Syria - ABC News


Syria Kurdish delegation visits Turkey - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Hezbollah Withdraws 1,200 Troops from Syria - Israel National News


Tunisian president admits hundreds of Tunisians travelling to fight in Syria - SANA


HRW Report: Tens of thousands of political prisoners in Syria - AFP




Syria rebels try to end infighting near Turkish border - Reuters

ISIS Maps Emirate Borders In Syria - Al-Monitor

Watching Rebels Fight Among Themselves for the City of Raqqa - Syria News

Special arms for Syria rebels fall into Nusra hands - THE DAILY STAR

Syria: “The Army of Islam”; Saudi Arabia’s Greatest Export - Global Research

Syrian Sufis Divided As Salafist Influence Grows - Al-Monitor


Syrian army regains control of areas near Aleppo - Times of Oman


Aleppo Stalemate Exhausts Syrian Rebels -


Al-Qaeda-linked ISIS leader, deputy killed in Latakia west Syria - PressTV


VIDEO: Takfiri militants in Syria admit to suffering heavy losses near Latakia - YouTube


PHOTO: Qaeda terrorists destroy statue of Harun al-Rashid caliph in al-Raqqa - SANA


VIDEO: ISIS Van Travels Around Raqqa Streets To Preach To The Public - YouTube


VIDEO: Syrian Rebels announce the formation of two new fighting units -




Who Attacked Ghouta?: Sarin and the Syrian Opposition -

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Liwa Al Islam Videos - Improved Quality -

Who Attacked Ghouta?: Evidence Contradicting a Regime Attack -


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Chemical Analysis -


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Reliability of Using Munitions to Determine Culpability -


Who Attacked Ghouta?: What Happened in Moadamiyah? -


Who Attacked Ghouta?: Summary of Conclusions -


Kurdish Sources Deny Any Knowledge Of Videos Showing Liwa al-Islam Launching The August 21st Sarin Attack - Brown Moses Blog


VIDEO: Two phone calls affirm the use of chemical weapons in Homs by terrorists -


VIDEO: UN official: No sarin gas detected in West Ghouta environment, not a single dead body -



To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Oct 3


Syria: Reports emerge of massacres of Alawites by rebels, tales of horrible atrocities against mostly women, children and the elderly -

Syrian Islamists raid Aramaic-speaking Christian town of Sednaya: report - Washington Times

Syria: Christian bludgeoned to death by Islamist rebels; Muslim friends spared - BARNABUS FUND

Assyrian Church Head: Italian Priest Dall' Oglio Missing In Syria ‘Still Alive' - Christian News Agency

Al Qaeda's affiliates ISIS and Al Nusra continue joint operations in Syria - The Long War Journal


Jabhat al-Nusra elements wanted in Iraq on terrorism charges: official - Al-Shorfa


Syria chemical weapons: used by terrorists, smuggled into Iraq for possible provocations – Russian FM - The Voice of Russia


Syria’s Top Five Insurgent Leaders and Other Powerful Commanders - AConservativeEdge


VIDEO: Liwa al-Islam’s honcho explaining why they had to try a different approach from FSA and the SNC - YouTube


VIDEO: Leader of Liwa Al Islam and the Army of Islam: Let's Bring Back Caliphate in Syria & Crush the Shiite Heads -


Mother Agnes: Syrian opposition activists fabricated the videos showing victims of the Damascus chemical attack - BBC News




Al-Qaeda-linked group advances on FSA rebels near Turkey - THE DAILY STAR

Clashes Between Insurgents, Kurds In Idlib - EA WorldView

CIA ramping up covert training program for moderate Syrian rebels - The Washington Post

Al-Nusra assassinated Mohmmad Morsi Al-Zubi , the secular FSA  leader of Al-Yarmouk Battalion - Syrian Truth | English


Free Syrian Army denies secret negotiations with Assad regime -


Syria's FSA Claims Assad Will Hide Chemical Weapons -


Kurdish Leader Denies Syrian Kurds Seek Secession - Al-Monitor



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Syria News - Oct 2


ISIS fights back against claims on many fronts - THE DAILY STAR

Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Lashes out at Critics - Syria Comment

Rift Between Islamist Rebels, Syrian National Coalition Deepens - Al-Monitor

Foreign extremists dominate Syria fight - The Washington Post

Syria: Al-Qaeda Branch Battles Kurds, Threatens Ankara - Al Akhbar English


Azaz: War to escalate between FSA rebels and al-Qaeda affiliate ISIS - ZAMAN


Sunnis in N. Syria protest Al Qaida’s Taliban-like repression - World Tribune


ISIS: Insult Muhammad and be Executed- Israel National News


Al-Qaeda closer to declare its rule in Aleppo: report -


Al Qaida ISIS takes responsibility for Reyhanli bombings in Turkey last May-


Al Nusra Front, an al Qaeda branch, and the FSA Yarmouk Brigade jointly seize Jordan border crossing - Washington Times


Lost in the Pipeline: Tracking Jihadists From Turkey to Syria - Al-Monitor


Al Qaida militias recruiting Sunnis in Jordan to fight Syria’s Assad - World Tribune


Syrian jihadists wreak havoc as violence spreads into Iraq -




Syrian opposition may try to use chemical weapons again - Lavrov - The Voice of Russia

Russia conducts its own investigation of chemical weapons attack in Syria to identify those responsible – Lavrov - The Voice of Russia

Turkish Court Investigates Syrian Jihadist Use of Chemicals, The first trial session will be in Adana on Oct. 30 - Al-Monitor

Syrian official at UN accuses US, Britain, France of blocking info on chemical weapons attack - Fox News

Is Liwaa al-Islam under leader Zahran Alloush the jihadist force most likely to have conducted the Aug 21 chemical attack? - Global Research


VIDEO: Liwa Al Islam Rebels Confirming to Have Sarin Gas (English Subtitles) - YouTube


Saudi Arabia helped engineer the Army of Islam, a consolidation of 50 rebel groups under Liwa Al Islam leader Zahran Alloush - Reuters


Head of Army of Islam Zahran Alloush: "Islam can't come to rule through democracy" - Syria 24 English


FaceBook blocks Islam Army page, 24 thousand followers within 24 hours: Army Leader says - ZAMAN


VIDEO: Total of 43 Islamist Groups Unite under Newly Formed "Army of Islam" in Syria - YouTube


VIDEO: Al-Jazeera Interview with Liwa al-Islam Brigade Commander Zahran Alloush Last June - YouTube




Syria's National Coalition agrees to participate in Geneva 2 on certain terms - The Voice of Russia

West may fail to bring Syrian opposition to Geneva talks in time - Lavrov - RT News

'Reasonable' Armed Syrian Rebels Could Join Peace Talks, Russia Says - AP

Lavrov: "Our Relationship With The U.S. Is Far Greater Than Any Grievances" - EA WorldView

Syria: Iran may attend Geneva II, say sources - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Turkey obstacle to Syria peace conference, says Syrian FM-


Turkey parliament to debate a government motion authorising military strikes against Syria - Fox News


PYD Leader Skeptical of Kurdish Agreement With Syrian Opposition - Rudaw


Majority of Syria oppositions against Kurds’ rights: analyst - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Energy independence is the best response to Syria crisis -


VIDEO: Website shows fake videos produced by Syria militants -




Using Women Fighters to Win in Syria -


VIDEO: German Report: How Wealthy Saudi Sheikhs are Exploiting Syria's Girls [English Subtitles] - YouTube



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Time for Proof on Syrian CW Attack

Memorandum to: Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

We applaud your moves toward a peaceful resolution of the Syria crisis that will lead to the destruction of all chemical stockpiles possessed by the Syrian Government.

At the same time, we strongly believe the world has the right to know the truth about the chemical attack near Damascus. We note that both sides continue to claim possession of compelling evidence regarding the true perpetrators of this crime.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

We therefore call upon Russia and the United States to release all the intelligence and corroborative information related to the 21 August chemical attack so that the international community can make a judgment regarding what is actually known and not known.

We the undersigned — former intelligence, military and federal law enforcement officers who have collectively dedicated, cumulatively, hundreds of years to making the American people more secure — hereby register our dismay at the continued withholding of this vital evidence.

The issue is one of great importance, as the United States has within recent memory gone to war based on allegations of a threat that proved to be groundless. The indictment of Syria on possibly unsubstantiated claims of war crimes could easily lead to another unnecessary armed conflict that would produce disastrous results for the entire region, and indeed the entire world.

We recognize that when it comes to intelligence, there are many gray areas, as well as evidence that can be subject to interpretation. We further believe, based on our own experience and knowledge of how intelligence collection and analysis actually works, that if there is a clear case to be made – either way – to identify the perpetrators of the attack it has not yet been publicly revealed.

If there is not a credible case, neither the United States nor Russia should be claiming that they know who carried out the attack. We note, for example, the specific claim made by you, Secretary Kerry, that 1,429 civilians had died in the chemical attack. Yet the politically impartial non-governmental organization Medecins Sans Frontieres, which was on the ground in Syria, provided a much smaller figure.

Foreign Minister Lavrov, you have questioned the sources of the chemicals and possible delivery systems, describing the alleged Sarin agent as “homemade.” You have suggested that the chemicals used in the attack were likely in the hands of the insurgents but have cited little hard evidence, and an intelligence assessment you provided to Secretary Kerry has not been made public.

We recognize that protection of intelligence sources and methods requires that some information will be off limits or must be sanitized, but if there is a genuine case to be made, we believe you owe it to the world to make that case now.

If Washington actually has evidence to demonstrate indisputably that August 21st was carried out by the government in Damascus, let us see it. If Moscow can demonstrate otherwise, let us see it.

Respectfully submitted for the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity:

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

W. Patrick Lang, Senior Executive and Defense Intelligence Officer, DIA (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy NIO for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Todd Pierce, US Army Judge Advocate General (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, former Chief Division Counsel & FBI Special Agent (ret.)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

This memorandum appeared first at

Tuesday, Oct. 8th - National Teach-In on Syria and U.S. Policy in the Region

6:30 to 7:30 pm (east coast)
Live Streaming at

With developments unfolding rapidly, it is still uncertain how things will play out in Syria.

A few weeks ago our nation was on the brink of yet another deadly military mistake. At the last moment, a threat of a U.S. missile attack against Syria was averted as the justifiable concern about chemical weapons moved away from a military incursion into a diplomatic process. The raging civil war has not yet stopped, but the massive outpouring of anti-war sentiment from people in every corner of the country and around the world prevented this new attack, and is helping to slow the flow of arms into Syria. Our victory was clear, but our work is far from over.

Will there be a negotiated resolution to the armed conflict inside Syria, or will the fighting escalate into an even broader regional war?
How did the peace movement in the U.S. and world-wide stop Washington from proceeding with military action in Syria, and how can we build on our success to change U.S. policy in the region?
What's happening now, on the ground in Syria and on the diplomatic front? What is the U.S. interest in Syria and how does this connect to U.S. policy in the Middle East more generally?
These are some of the important issues that a dynamic panel of people will address in the National Teach-In on Syria. You are invited to watch the teach-in on line as we dig deeper into the issues and learn the lessons.

We are happy to join with other national groups to sponsor this live streamed panel on Tuesday, October 8th:
Phyllis Bennis - Director, New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
Stephen Miles - Coordinator, Win Without War
Nick Berning - Communications Director,
Rep. Barbara Lee (invited) - 13th Cong. District, CA
moderated by Judith LeBlanc - Field Director, Peace Action

Watch this important discussion with others! This is a moment to bring people together, to take our organizing to a new level.
- Invite people to your home to watch the teach-in together.
- If you are at a school or college get a room and organize a screening.
- Ask your local library or religious institution to set up a public viewing.
- Ask you local community cable station to run the program live or taped.
- Use this teach-in as an opportunity to talk with others about how to strengthen the work of the anti-war movement.

We realize the time of this event might make it hard for some folks on the West Coast to see the broadcast, but we'll be sending out information about how you can access this event after October 8th.

This teach-in is organized and sponsored by the following groups that have been working together on Syria:
Peace Action
Win Without War
Institute for Policy Studies
Just Foreign Policy
Progressive Democrats of America
American Friends Service Committee
Peace and Justice Resource Center
U.S. Labor Against the War
United for Peace and Justice
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Women's Action for New Directions

French were 'hours' from military strikes on Syria before phone call from Obama

From The Independent:

French President Francois Hollande called off military strikes against Syria on 31 August following a phone call from the US President only hours before fighter jets were set to take off, a French weekly magazine has revealed.

The report in the Nouvel Observateur shows how close the West came to launching a war on Syria over the Syrian regime’s presumed use of chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb, before Washington backed down. President Obama announced in a televised speech on 31 August, after informing a “stunned” Mr Hollande, that he would seek a Congressional vote, effectively lifting the military threat.

Rafale aircraft were readied that Saturday for take-off and official statements prepared in anticipation of the strikes, according to the Nouvel Observateur. “Everything made us think that D-Day had arrived,” a French official is quoted as saying. The magazine said that “this incredible misunderstanding lasted until the end of the afternoon,” at 6.15pm, when President Obama telephoned Mr Hollande, who was expecting to confirm the military orders just after the phone call. The strikes had been intended to start at 3am later that night, targeting missile batteries and command centres of the 4th Armoured Division in charge of chemical weapons.

Welcome to the New Syria Reprise

syriaflagThe destruction of Syria, in many forms, is proceeding according to plan and on time.  When the Western powers and their pals, the oil oligarchs, target your country, it's time to run just as fast as you can.

I wrote Welcome to the New Syria on August 27, 2012.  Based on known events and outcomes from the UN-NATO military action against Libya, I offered a number of predictions about the governance of the New Syria presuming a victory by Syrian rebels.  At that time, the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, France and Gulf oligarchies, Qatar in particular, were full of themselves for their destruction of Libya in the name of democracy and progress.  Given the Libya template, it seemed obvious the following would occur in Syria.

Syria News - Sep 30


VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 1) - YouTube

VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 2) - YouTube

VIDEO: Unverified enhanced clearer video showing Liwa al-Islam rebels with gas masks firing missiles allegedly on the night of Aug 21 (Part 3) - YouTube


VIDEO: Liwa Al Islam promo video - YouTube


Lavrov says Syrias rebels have chemical arms, proof mounting - The Voice of Russia


Chemical weapons officials say coordination with Syrian government has been ‘efficient’ - The Washington Post


French president Hollande was 'hours' from military strikes on Syria before phone call from Obama telling him to hold fire - The Independent


U.S. Moves on Syria, Iran Anger Saudi Arabia -




Assad says he is willing to hold a dialogue with the political opposition but not with armed groups trying to overthrow his government - ABC News

VIDEO: President Al Assad's interview with Italian Rai News - YouTube

Syria govt ‘ready to go to Geneva for dialogue, not to hand over power to anyone’ – Syrian FM - RT News

Jarba: Our participation in Geneva depends on the implementation of Geneva and the Arab League reviewing the negotiations -

The Free Syrian Army is holding talks with Assad's senior staff - The Independent

‘Army of Islam’ Coalition Established in Syria, Forty-three Islamist groups unite to create Army of Islam - Israel National News


Syrian militants fight al-Qaeda-linked group, FSA Storm of the North Brigade declares war on the ISIS terrorists - PressTV


ISIS arrests FSA supporters in Azaz, near Turkey - ZAMAN


Kurds defeated by ISIS Islamists near Syria's Afrin -


Report: Radicals from Islamic state of Iraq, Sham responsible for terrorist attacks of Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan - ekurd


Turkish youths joining war in Syria, report says - Today's Zaman


Islamist Syrian rebels claim to capture crossing on Jordanian border -


At least 12 allegedly dead as Syrian regime hits school in air strike: activists - Reuters


VIDEO: ISIS Terrorists Vandalizing the Church of the Lady of the Annunciation in al-Raqqa -




It is not an hoax: Muslim Women Forced to have Sex with Syria Rebels in the Name of Islam -

Report: Kidnapped women forced to make fake ‘sexual jihad’ claims on Syrian state TV - 

VIDEO: Kidnapped women forced to make fake 'sexual jihad' claims on Syrian state TV -


Qaeda tells Syria schoolgirls to wear Islamic clothes: NGO - Fox News


Syrian Woman Torches Herself After Being Raped in Turkey Camp (VIDEO) - Press TV


Syrian refugees in Turkish camps ask 'are we wild animals?' - JPost


Western Female Furies for Jihad - Israel National News


To contact Bartolo email

Syria News - Sep 28


Obama and Iran's Rouhani hold historic phone call, US President says nuclear deal possible - Yahoo News

VIDEO: Barack Obama Reveals Phone Call with Iranian President Rouhani, Hails ‘Huge Victory’ by on Syria Chemical Weapons - YouTube

TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s Sept. 27 remarks on Iran - The Washington Post

Rouhani tweets details of Obama phone call - NBC World News

Iranian president calls US a ‘great’ nation and says Obama struck new tone on Iran - The Washington Post

Iran's Rouhani says he wants quick results from nuclear talks, would like to see a deal with world powers in three to six months - Reuters

VIDEO: Iran committed to nuclear talks in good faith: Rouhani - PressTV

Iran, U.N. nuclear agency to meet again after "constructive" talks - Yahoo News


Iran wants active role in Syria peace talks: Rouhani - Yahoo News


U.S. in touch with Israel about Obama talk with Iranian leader - Reuters


Netanyahu seeks to thwart love affair between Iran and West, but remains handcuffed by 'allies' at home - Haaretz


Israel warns US over Iran’s ‘charm offensive’ - FRANCE 24


Israeli Media: Iranian President Rouhani's "Charm Offensive" Can't Be Trusted - EA WorldView


Israel TV: Iran will have enough uranium for a bomb in 2 months - The Times of Israel


'Iran already has a nuclear bomb,' Israeli paper claims - The Times of Israel


Israel’s Notorious Spymaster Becomes a Dissident - The New Yorker




UN Security Council Votes to Eliminate Syria's Chemical Weapons - ABC News

Text of the UN Security Council resolution on SyriaVoices - Voices

U.S. and Russia Say Majority of Syrian Chemical Arsenal Is “Unweaponized” -

UN experts probing 7 alleged Syria chemical attacks, including new ones after Aug 21 - AFP

Syrian National Coalition chief Jarba says extremists “stealing revolution,” blames the regime for supporting them - AFP

Jarba: Extremism is a Creation of the Regime, International Positions Towards the Chemical Weapons Massacres Are Illogical -

Summary of  Al-Jarba speech delivered to the expanded Friends of Syria at the United Nations -


VIDEO: Syrian National Coalition chief Jarba Press Conference in DC - YouTube

Syria rebels struggle to rally practical backing on U.N. stage - Reuters


Car bomb kills 30 in town north of Syrian capital - Yahoo News


In Raqqa, largest city held by Syrian rebels, Islamists provide electricity, bread, and order - McClatchy


VIDEO: ISIS Terrorists Raise al-Qaeda's Flag Over al-Raqqa's Churches after Vandalizing them - YouTube


Qaeda Affiliate in Syria ISIS Grants FSA 48 Hours to Disarm -


Specter of sectarianism rears up as Syrian rebels gang up on Kurds -


Al-Nusra Front forging al-Qaida base in Syria - JPost


Saudi Kingdom demands all-out support for Syria fighters - Arab News


Saudi Arabia and the Syrian Brotherhood - Middle East Institute


What is Turkey’s Role In Syria’s Islamic Opposition? - Al-Monitor


Turkey denies accusations of providing assistance to Jabhat al-Nusra organisation - Trend.Az


Qatar ‘loses clout in Arab politics’ -




Report: Arab men marrying female Syrian refugees, including girls aged 12-16 - MEMRI


Syria: Tunisian sex slave 'married 152 jihadists' -



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