Sanctions against Syria are helping, but more needed from Russia and China: Sanctions against Syria appear to be working and defections by high-level officials show that President Bashar Assad’s regime is cracking, European leaders said Friday. Abdo Husameddine, Syria’s deputy oil minister, defected from the regime and became the highest-ranking civilian official to join the opposition, warning his countrymen to “abandon this sinking ship.”
“It is very good news that clearly high-ranking state and military officials are increasingly turning away from the Assad regime,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Berlin before leaving for the meeting in the Danish capital. “The process of disintegration of the Assad regime has begun; the signs of erosion will continue. No country can be led in the long term with cruelty and repression,”
Syrian Generals Flee to Turkey After Quitting Assad Army: Four Syrian generals fled to refugee camps in Turkey after defecting from President Bashar al-Assad’s military amid an increase in the number of people crossing the border to escape yearlong violence.
At least 234 people, including the generals as well as two colonels, a lieutenant colonel and two sergeants, arrived in the southern Hatay province’s Reyhanli district, Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency reported, citing local governor Yusuf Guler and people it didn’t identify. There are more than 10,000 Syrians in camps set up by the Red Crescent in Hatay by the border.
As Defections in Syria Mount, Rebels Are Said to Reject Talks: An international diplomatic effort to nudge Syria’s president toward peace talks ran into difficulties on Friday even before it got under way when the leader of the main exile opposition group rejected the initiative and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were reported to have intensified an assault on their adversaries.
At the same time, rebels reported that four high-ranking officers had defected over the past three days to a camp for Syrian Army deserters in Turkey, Reuters said, bringing to seven the number of military officers with the rank of brigadier general to have switched sides. But the trickle of defections did not appear to have hampered the Syrian army’s ability to confront protest. No kidding that is because Iran’s IRG and Hezbollah death squads are leading the way!
In a surge of defections from Syria’s army, 15 officers, including high-ranking brigadier generals, joined the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and fled to Turkey on Thursday and Friday, senior rebel officers said. Meanwhile, the head of Syria’s main opposition group said Arab states had committed funding to help equip the growing rebel army. At least 50 officers have defected from the army over the past week, senior rebel leaders said on Friday, in an apparent response to a stepped-up military campaign that has widened from the central city of Homs to the northern province bordering Turkey.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said four defected generals, two colonels, and a field officer are among 234 refugees that crossed over into Turkey since Thursday. Senior rebel officers said more than that—at least 15 officers—arrived in the Turkish camp over the past two days. Rebel soldiers in Turkey said the sectarian divide in Syria’s uprising—pitting Sunnis against Alawites—had begun to crack the military. Col. Hammoud said one of the six incoming brigadier generals described Sunni officers coming under increasing threat by higher-ranking Alawites. “They are being detained and their families are threatened,” he said.
Syrian security forces shot and wounded three mourners on Thursday at a Damascus funeral for an army defector that turned into a protest against President Bashar al-Assad, residents said. The funeral was taking place in the capital’s Mezze district, home to several embassies and security facilities and overlooked by Assad’s hilltop palace, when it came under fire.
“We were around 700 mourners. As soon as we carried the body around the mosque and headed to the cemetery, live ammunition was fired at us,” said a witness who gave his name as Nader. “Security police beat people with sticks and broke into cars.” Demonstrations in Damascus have been expanding despite extra troop deployments and the use of live ammunition on protesters. Opposition sources and residents said the protests were driven by inflation and the plunging value of the Syrian pound, as well as revulsion at military assaults in the city of Homs.
I remember saying a year ago that the Syrian protesters are the bravest in the world as they know they at the least are facing dedicated Syrian and Iranian Revolutionary Guard killers and now we find out we were right on and then some. I know the protesters vowed not to be deterred stating they will break the Government period but there is no way. The Syrian Government will kill and arrest who they have too. Iran will accept nothing less!
I remember the Syrian opposition saying that they would not stop and would ultimately defeat the Government saying Democratic transition would safeguard Syria from violence. As outsiders looking in we know nothing could be further from the truth. People are being imprisoned and murdered and I can not see that stopping until the Democracy movement is crushed. Supposedly this expected situation is begging for us to get involved but we damn well better not. Unless that is going to war with Iran is the goal.
I remember saying from day one that it would take almost the whole military to defect before they would have a chance and now that we know how involved Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are in the slaughtering that is going on around the country that is beginning to look like the beginning of their fight.
You have to be very concerned about what is happening in Syria especially. Iran is not going to allow Syria to fall to Democracy. What we saw after the voter fraud in Iran was mild compared to what the IRG will do if this movement spreads to Iran. I really wish Bashar would step down but Iran is the elephant in the room any way you look at it. The total middle east breakdown we have written about numerous times is well under way. We can only hope we keep it from erupting into WW3.
In closing: You know Putin just got himself reelected as President, he did this so he could be at the helm of Russia as he like me knows 100% that world war is our future. He plans on marshaling China who is rapidly building a more formidable military and whoever he can to take on US hegemony.Russia watched helplessly as we had our way in Libya. Putin blames what is happening in Syria on our interference and Libya for training the protesters to fight against Bashar Al-Assad.Russia and Iran will not let this be another Libya but?
Putin is going to do everything possible to keep us from helping the Syrian people and I really feel for them. I do not see this going down the way Libya did and Iran and Russia are going to make sure it does not. I am afraid the Syrian people are going to be sacrificed, sacrificed in what is merely an opening salvo in this the wars for future dominance. God help us!