'peaceful protest' in Syria
According to the report, after the failure of all efforts to topple the Syrian regime, Washington and Riyadh are devising a new plan.
The plan has two goals, firstly to show that no peace will take place in Syria without the US consent, and secondly to tire out the Syrian government’s supporters to give their backing for the administration.
The US and Saudi Arabia have reached the conclusion that the Syrian army cannot be divided and that incumbent President Bashar Assad is in full control of the military. They also know the Syrian security has good control over the entire country even areas where the opposition sways influence.
Meanwhile, the report added, although the Syrian economy has weakened, because of the conflicts, it is rapidly recovering.
The US has organized several committees in order to implement the new plot in Syria, which include political, military, and security committees.
The political committee comprises US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as supervisor; Derek Chollet, as the executive manager; former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford; Fredrick Hoff as a member, and Jeffrey Feltman as the coordinator.
War games in Jordan- The biggest ever!!!
THE US and its allies including Australia have started the largest military exercises in the Middle East in 10 years in Jordan.
"Yesterday we began to apply the skills that we have developed over the last weeks in an irregular warfare scenario ... They will last for approximately the coming two weeks," Major General Ken Tovo, head of the US Special Operations Forces, told reporters in Amman.
Eager Lion 2012 "is the largest exercise held in the region in the past ten years," he said at the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre in north Amman.
More than 12,000 soldiers are taking part in the war games, representing 19 countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Britain, France, Italy and Spain.
"The message that I want to send through this exercise is that we have developed the right partners throughout the region and across the world ... insuring that we have the ability to ... meet challenges that are coming to our nations," Major General Tovo said.
Challenges coming to our nations? Way to spin it Major General Tovo! Don't you mean - Challenges that will be brought upon other nations? Wouldn't that be more accurate? Thinking , of course about Syria, but also Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.
A splintered Syrian opposition voted on Tuesday to keep a secular academic exile seen as a consensus builder as its top figure(head)
Ghalioun, 67, who will serve another three-month term, has been criticised by some opposition figures for failing to unify the SNC and forge close ties to dissidents inside Syria. He has also been accused of providing a liberal veneer to what is a widely Islamist, albeit factionalised, opposition.
(Recall a piece I had put up that made exactly that point? When I have time, I will relink)
Persistent bloodshed has led Sunni Saudi Arabia – for which an Assad demise would deal a welcome blow to his backers in Shi’ite Muslim Iran, Riyadh’s rival for influence in the Gulf – to warn that Annan’s plan is losing credibility.
You may wonder? What is the Ukraine connection about? And, why has Julia Tymoshenko (Princess Leia ) been in the news lately?
Besides being part of the destabilization agenda of Russia. There is a certain port.....
The port of Oktyabrsk is situated on the left bank of the Bug River, 58 km. north of the entry to the Black Sea. Close to the city of Nikolayev, this anonymous Ukrainian port could not seem further from the strife-torn Middle East.
Yet in the last year, Oktyabrsk has played a key role in the international structure that enables the survival of Syria. It is the main point from which ships bearing the Russian arms that underwrite the Assad regime’s survival set off undisturbed on their journey to the Syrian coast.
Chartered by the state-owned Russian arms corporation Rosoboronexport, the ships make their way from Oktyabrsk to the Black Sea. They cross the Bosphorous Straits to Limassol in Cyprus and continue to the Russian deep sea port in Tartous, Syria. These shipments form a vital node in Moscow’s tireless effort to prevent revolution in Syria.
They have received insufficient international attention.
If Syria constitutes, as some believe, the central linchpin to understanding events in the Middle East, then the signs are not positive. The Western preference for disengagement from the Mideast mess is not being mirrored by non-Western powers. Rather, as the determined and efficient arms line to Assad shows, Moscow’s Syria policy combines clear goals with a brutal effectiveness in their pursuit.
Why is Russia so determined to preserve Assad’s rule? The first reason is economic. As Russia returned to international prominence over the last decade, arms exports to Syria increased exponentially. Between 2007 and 2011, imports from Russia accounted for 78 percent of all Syrian arms imports, according to a recent report by the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The second-largest supplier of arms to Assad in the 2007 to 2011 period was Belarus, which accounted for 17% of Syrian imports. The isolated Lukashenka regime in Minsk does not pursue an independent policy in terms of arms supplying. Rather, it sells Russian arms systems in coordination with – and probably under the direction of – its Russian patrons.
So put the figures together and you have 95% of Syrian arms imports arriving from Russia or its satellites. It doesn’t end there. The remaining 5% of arms imports, says SIPRI, come from Iran. But the Iranians, too, are largely providing Syria with Russian arms systems.
Moscow’s economic interests in Syria are not limited to the sphere of arms exports. Russian companies are heavily engaged in infrastructure projects and oil and gas exploration.
Total investment in Syria amounted to $19.4 billion in 2009.
The second reason Russia is invested in Assad’s reign is strategic. The naval base at Tartous gives the Russian Navy the capability to operate in the Mediterranean and thus to reach the Red Sea via the Suez Canal, and the Atlantic through the Strait of Gibraltar, in reduced time.
The Russians also have an interest in maintaining a troublesome client in the Levant in order to act as a potential tool of disruption and political pressure against the West in its own backyard. Moscow sees itself as threatened by NATO expansion eastwards.
It is useful to have a well-placed client whose capacity for trouble-making might act as a deterrent to Western schemes. (as the West understand with their well placed trouble making Israel)
More nebulously, Russia fears the spread of Islamism (Saudi backed and created Islamism) to the North Caucasus and Central Asia, and perhaps also the spread of the belief that dictators are fallible further west of Russia itself.
Finally, Russian support for Assad produces a self-evident reason for doubling down on itself: namely, the fact that the opposition to Assad is well aware who is keeping him afloat, and is keeping accounts. As a Free Syrian Army officer in Antakya told this reporter, a post-Assad Syria would “neither depend on, nor have relations with, nor take weapons from Russia.”
Give the entire article a read. Linked above