Tag Archives: Hang the Bastard

Alain Juppé - Armer la rébellion syrienne risquerait de provoquer une guerre civile et religieuse

Selon Alain Juppé, livrer des armes à l’opposition à Assad risquerait de provoquer une guerre dans la guerre.

“Le peuple syrien est profondément divisé et si nous donnons des armes à une certaine fraction de l’opposition en Syrie, nous allons organiser une guerre civile entre les chrétiens, les alaouites, les sunnites et les chiites, ça pourrait être une catastrophe encore plus grande que ce qui existe aujourd’hui”, a déclaré M. Juppé sur France Culture.

Selon Alain Juppé, la Russie qui bloque toute initiative du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU sur la Syrie, “fait un mauvais calcul sur le moyen terme”. “Elle nous reproche l’intervention en Libye, elle estime que nous sommes allés au-delà de notre mandat en Libye, ce que je ne pense pas”, a réaffirmé M. Juppé, soulignant également que “la Russie a des intérêts en Syrie”. “Elle vend beaucoup d’armes ou elle a vendu beaucoup d’armes au régime syrien”, a-t-il dit.

“La Russie craint aussi la contagion islamique sur son propre territoire et c’est pour cela qu’elle est hostile à ce qui se passe en Syrie”, a-t-il ajouté, pour expliquer le soutien russe au régime de Bashar Al-Assad.

Enfin une analyse rationnelle!

Le chef de la diplomatie russe, Sergueï Lavrov : « La Russie fait tout en son pouvoir pour mettre fin à la crise syrienne »

Moscou nous prend il pour fou ?

Le gouvernement russe, pour se donner bonne presse, critique le régime de Bachar Al-Assad pour le retard qu’il accuse dans l’application de ses réformes politiques et le met en garde contre un risque d’escalade de la violence. C’est ce que soutient le chef de la diplomatie russe, Sergueï Lavrov, en affirmant que la Russie fait tout ce qui est en son pouvoir pour mettre fin à la crise syrienne.

« Malheureusement, tous nos conseils, et de loin, n’ont pas été suivis d’effets et n’ont pas toujours été mis en pratique en temps voulu, loin de là. » affirme sans sourciller le chef de la diplomatie russe.

Depuis le début de la crise syrienne, la Russie a bloqué deux résolutions à l’ONU qui condamnaient la violence en Syrie. Elle a également rejeté un nouveau projet américain au Conseil de sécurité, la semaine dernière, qui exigeait du régime l’arrêt « immédiat » des violences.

Fuck you Moscou!

Syria's Armed Opposition No Threat to Regime

WASHINGTON — On the one-year anniversary of the uprisings in Syria, U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the armed resistance is not able to mount a credible military threat to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The powerful, Russian-armed Syrian army remains firmly in control behind the Assad regime.

That assessment underlies the Obama administration’s reluctance to become more actively involved in the uprising against Assad that began on March 15, 2011. After a year of sporadic and inconclusive violence against the regime, the White House has flatly ruled out providing arms to the opposition and instead is focusing on coordinating international pressure against the Assad regime and providing humanitarian relief.

President Barack Obama met yesterday with British Prime Minister David Cameron. “Right now we are focused on getting humanitarian aid to those in need,” Obama said after the White House meetings. International economic, political and diplomatic pressure is becoming stronger, Obama said, vowing, “Assad will leave power. It’s not a question of if, but when.” Cameron agreed on the non-military approach. “What we want is the quickest way to stop the killing — that is, through transition, rather than through revolution or civil war,” he said at a White House news conference. While Russia, Syria’s main weapons patron, vowed this week to continue arms sales to the Assad regime, White House officials reiterated that sending arms to the opposition has been ruled out. “We believe it could heighten and prolong the violence in Syria,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

Even though the Assad regime has fended off the challenge so far, its long-term future is in doubt, some critics say. In a recent assessment, the International Crisis Group, an independent think tank, wrote that Assad’s days are numbered.

Bashar al-Assad apparently made light of reforms he had promised in an attempt to defuse the Syrian crisis

Exclusive: secret Assad emails lift lid on life of leader’s inner circle

By Robert Booth, Mona Mahmood and Luke Harding, Wednesday 14 March 2012

• Messages show Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran
• Leader made light of promised reforms
• Wife spent thousands on jewellery and furniture

Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran on how to handle the uprising against his rule, according to a cache of what appear to be several thousand emails received and sent by the Syrian leader and his wife. The Syrian leader was also briefed in detail about the presence of western journalists in the Baba Amr district of Homs and urged to “tighten the security grip” on the opposition-held city in November.

The revelations are contained in more than 3,000 documents that activists say are emails downloaded from private accounts belonging to Assad and his wife Asma. The messages, which have been obtained by the Guardian, are said to have been intercepted by members of the opposition Supreme Council of the Revolution group between June and early February.

The documents, which emerge on the first anniversary of the rebellion that has seen more than 8,000 Syrians killed, paint a portrait of a first family remarkably insulated from the mounting crisis and continuing to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. They appear to show the president’s wife spending thousands of dollars over the internet for designer goods while he swaps entertaining internet links on his iPad and downloads music from iTunes.

As the world watched in horror at the brutal suppression of protests across the country and many Syrians faced food shortages and other hardships, Mrs Assad spent more than £10,000 on candlesticks, tables and chandeliers from Paris and instructed an aide to order a fondue set from Amazon. The Guardian has made extensive efforts to authenticate the emails by checking their contents against established facts and contacting 10 individuals whose correspondence appears in the cache. These checks suggest the messages are genuine, but it has not been possible to verify every one.

The emails also appear to show that:

• Assad established a network of trusted aides who reported directly to him through his “private” email account – bypassing both his powerful clan and the country’s security apparatus.

• Assad made light of reforms he had promised in an attempt to defuse the crisis, referring to “rubbish laws of parties, elections, media”.

• A daughter of the emir of Qatar, Hamid bin Khalifa al-Thani, this year advised Mr and Mrs Assad to leave Syria and suggested Doha may offer them exile.

• Assad sidestepped extensive US sanctions against him by using a third party with a US address to make purchases of music and apps from Apple’s iTunes.

• A Dubai-based company, al-Shahba, with a registered office in London is a key conduit for Syrian government business and private purchases of Mrs Assad.

Activists say they were passed username and password details believed to have been used by the couple by a mole in the president’s inner circle. The email addresses used the domain name, a group of companies used by the regime. They say the details allowed uninterrupted access to the two inboxes until the leak was discovered in February. The emails appear to show how Assad assembled a team of aides to advise him on media strategy and how to position himself in the face of increasing international criticism of his regime’s attempts to crush the uprising, which is now thought to have left 10,000 dead. Activists say they were able to monitor the inboxes of Assad and his wife in real time for several months. In several cases they claim to have used information to warn colleagues in Damascus of imminent regime moves against them.

The access continued until 7 February, when a threatening email arrived in the inbox thought to be used by Assad after the account’s existence was revealed when the Anonymous group separately hacked into a number of Syrian government email addresses. Correspondence to and from the two addresses ceased on the same day. The emails appear to show that Assad received advice from Iran or its proxies on several occasions during the crisis. Before a speech in December his media consultant prepared a long list of themes, reporting that the advice was based on “consultations with a good number of people in addition to the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador”.

The memo advised the president to use “powerful and violent” language and to show appreciation for support from “friendly states”. It also advised that the regime should “leak more information related to our military capability” to convince the public that it could withstand a military challenge. The president also received advice from Hussein Mortada, an influential Lebanese businessman with strong connections to Iran. In December, Mortada urged Assad to stop blaming al-Qaida for an apparent twin car bombing in Damascus, which took place the day before an Arab League observer mission arrived in the country. He said he had been in contact with Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon who shared his view.

“It is not out of our interest to say that al-Qaida is behind the operation because this claim will [indemnify] the US administration and Syrian opposition,” Mortada wrote not long after the blasts. “I have received contacts from Iran and Hezbollah in my role as director of many Iranian-Lebanese channels and they directed me to not mention that al-Qaida is behind the operation. It is a blatant tactical media mistake.” In another email Mortada advised the president that the regime needed to take control of public squares between 3pm and 9pm to deny opposition groups the opportunity to gather there.

Iran and Hezbollah have been accused throughout the year-long uprising of providing on-the-ground support to the regime crackdown, including sending soldiers to fight alongside regime forces and technical experts to help identify activists using the internet. Iran and Hezbollah both deny offering anything more than moral support. Among those who communicated with the president’s account were Khaled al-Ahmed who, it is believed, was given the task of advising about Homs and Idlib. In November Ahmed wrote to Assad urging him to “tighten the security grip to start [the] operation to restore state control in Idlib and Hama countryside”.

He also advised Assad that he had been told European reporters had “entered the area by crossing the Lebanese borders illegally”. In another mail he warned the president that “a tested source who met with leaders of groups in Baba Amr today said a big shipment of weapons coming from Libya will arrive to the shores of one of the neighbouring states within three days to be smuggled to Syria”. The emails offer a rare window into the mind of the isolated Syrian leader, apparently lurching between self-pity, defiance and flippancy as he swapped links to amusing video footage with his aides and wife. On one occasion he forwards to an aide a link to YouTube footage of a crude re-enactment of the siege of Homs using toys and biscuits.

Throughout 2011, his wife appears to have kept up regular correspondence with the Qatar emir’s daughter, Mayassa al-Thani. But relations appear to have chilled early this year when Thani directly suggested that the Syrian leader step down. “My father regards President Bashar as a friend, despite the current tensions – he always gave him genuine advice,” she wrote on 11 December. “The opportunity for real change and development was lost a long time ago. Nevertheless, one opportunity closes, others open up – and I hope its not too late for reflection and coming out of the state of denial.”

A second email on 30 January was more forthright and including a tacit offer of exile. “Just been following the latest developments in Syria … in all honesty – looking at the tide of history and the escalation of recent events – we’ve seen two results – leaders stepping down and getting political asylum or leaders being brutally attacked. I honestly think this is a good opportunity to leave and re-start a normal life. I only pray that you will convince the president to take this an opportunity to exit without having to face charges. The region needs to stabilise, but not more than you need peace of mind. I am sure you have many places to turn to, including Doha.”

The direct line of reporting to Assad, independent of the police state’s military and intelligence agencies, was a trait of his father, Hafez al-Assad, who ruled Syria for three decades until his death in 2000 ushered the then 36-year-old scion into the presidency. Assad Sr was renowned for establishing multiple reporting lines from security chiefs and trusted aides in the belief that it would deny the opportunity for any one agency to become powerful enough to pose a threat to him. His son has reputedly shown the same instincts through his decade of rule. The year-long uprising against his decade of rule appeared to be faltering this week as forces loyal to Assad retook the key northern city of Idlib.

Much of Assad’s media advice comes from two young US-educated Syrian women, Sheherazad Jaafari and Hadeel al-Al. Both regularly stress to Assad, who uses the address sam@alshahba, the importance of social media and the importance of intervening in online discussions. At one point, Jaafari boasts that CNN has fallen for a nom-de-guerre that she set up to post pro-regime remarks. The emails also reveal that the media team has convinced Twitter to close accounts that purport to represent the Syrian regime.

Several weeks after email was compromised in February, a new Syrian state TV channel broadcast two segments denying the email address had been used by Assad. Opposition activists claim that this was a pre-emptive move to discredit any future leaking of the emails.

On Wednesday Assad announced new parliamentary elections to be held across Syria on 7 May. The move appears to be in response to Kofi Annan’s demand following his visit to Damascus over the weekend for a ceasefire coupled with elections. Activists have described a referendum last month that paved the way for the poll as a sham.

There was further bloodshed on the ground. Opposition activists said government forces killed dozens of people near a mosque in the city of Idlib, with rebels killing at least 10 troops in the same area. In Homs, residents said the old part of the city came under government bombardment. They also reported a massacre of 53 people in the Karm el-Zeytoun area of south-east Homs.

The US president, Barack Obama, signed an executive order last May imposing sanctions against Assad and other Syrian government officials.

In addition to freezing their US assets, the order prohibited “US persons” from engaging in transactions with them. The EU adopted similar measures against Assad last year. They include an EU-wide travel ban for the Syrian president and an embargo on military exports to Syria.

Le président syrien Bachar Al-Assad © AFP/Yuri Kadobnov

Le quotidien britannique The Guardian a publié mercredi des courriels du président Syrien Bachar al-Assad récupérés par des opposants, et censés établir que le dirigeant « été conseillé par l’Iran » dans la répression de la contestation syrienne.

Dans l’un des courriels reproduits et traduits en anglais, un homme présenté comme le conseiller en communication de Bachar Al-Assad fait à ce dernier des recommandations avant un discours en décembre dernier, et indique que ses conseils se fondent sur des « consultations avec un grand nombre de personnes », notamment « le conseiller politique de l’ambassadeur iranien ». Ce mémorandum conseille au président d’utiliser un « langage puissant et violent », de montrer qu’il apprécie le soutien des « pays amis », et estime que le régime devrait « divulguer davantage d’informations concernant [ses] capacités militaires » pour décourager les opposants. Les courriels montrent aussi que le président syrien a été informé de manière très détaillée sur la présence « illégale » de journalistes étrangers dans le quartier de Baba Amr, à Homs, ville autour de laquelle il est appelé à « renforcer l’emprise sécuritaire ».

Sur son site Internet, le journal reconnaît qu’« il est impossible d’écarter totalement la possibilité de faux » parmi ces 3000 courriels, mais précise avoir procédé à des vérifications qui le portent à croire à leur authenticité.

As Syria burns, Bashar al-Assad and his wife, Asma al-Assad, are living opulently behind palace walls

The Guardian –Syrian activists have been gunned down, families massacred and revolution is still rocking Syria, but leaked emails apparently show the country’s president and his wife living an opulent lifestyle. Some of the emails highlight President Bashar al-Assad as a fan of America’s Got Talent, and U.S. country singer Blake Shelton. Asma al-Assad appears to be an avid shopper.

From June last year to February 2012 about 3,000 al-Assad’s emails were intercepted by members of the opposition group the Supreme Council of the Revolution. They were apparently downloaded from private accounts that belong to Mr. Assad and his wife and passed to Britain’s Guardian newspaper. The emails give insight to the regimes handling of the bloody crackdown that international observers estimate has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 civilians in Syria, many of them children.

Most interesting, one email obtained by the Guardian document the fact that Bashar al-Assad took advice from Iran on how to put down the uprising against his rule. Another email suggests that Bashar al-Assad was briefed in detail about the presence of western media in the Baba Amr district of Homs, the same place two western journalists were killed earlier this year. According to the Guardian, the president was also urged to “tighten the security grip” on the opposition-held city in November. Ahead of a speech Mr. Assad delivered in December his Iranian media consultant prepared a long list of themes, reporting that the advice was based on “consultations with a good number of people in addition to the media and political adviser for the Iranian ambassador.” He was urged to use “powerful and violent” language in a bid to appear strong and to leak details of military strength to intimidate any challenges.

The Guardian said it had made extensive efforts to authenticate the emails by checking their contents against established facts and contacting 10 individuals whose correspondence appears in the cache. ”These checks suggest the messages are genuine, but it has not been possible to verify every one, “the Guardian said.

Bachar al-Assad et son épouse d’origine Britannique Asma al-Assad

The Guardian – Le journal The Guardian, présente dans son édition de mercredi un condensé des emails dressant le portrait d’un dirigeant Syrien totalement coupé des réalités de la vie quotidienne qui s’amuse à suivre les conseils de l’Iran sur la façon de réprimer la révolte populaire pendant que sa femme continue ses achats frénétiques de bijoux et autres produits de luxe. Les messages électroniques ont été piratés entre juin 2011 et début février, période où la répression du mouvement contestataire a dégénéré en une quasi-guerre civile qui a déjà fait plus de 8 000 morts.

L’un des quelque 3 000 emails transmis au journal britannique par un opposant syrien anonyme montre qu’une fille de l’émir du Qatar, un des dirigeants arabes les plus critiques envers le régime de Damas, a incité Bachar Al-Assad et sa famille à quitter la Syrie en lui offrant notamment l’exil à Doha. “Je pense honnêtement que c’est un bon moment pour partir et recommencer une vie normale. Je suis sûre que vous avez beaucoup d’endroits où aller, notamment Doha”, est-il écrit dans ce message censé être adressé à Asma Al-Assad, la femme du président syrien.

Les messages électroniques transmis au Guardian par un sympathisant de la révolution ont été piratés entre juin 2011 et début février, période où la répression du mouvement contestataire a dégénéré en une quasi-guerre civile qui a déjà fait plus de 8 000 morts. Pendant ce temps, Asma al-Assad, d’origine britannique, passait commande d’une lampe Armani au magasin Harrods de Londres, de bijoux et de colliers à Paris et de meubles à Damas. “Si nous sommes forts ensemble, nous triompherons de cela ensemble”, écrit-elle à son mari en référence au soulèvement en Syrie dans un email daté de décembre conclu par un tendre “Je t’aime.”.

Plus révélateur encore, et nous y reviendrons, les courriels montrent que Bachar Al-Assad a apparemment reçu à plusieurs reprises des conseils de l’Iran. Peu avant un discours qu’il a prononcé en décembre, son conseiller en communication lui dresse ainsi une liste de thèmes à aborder à partir, écrit-il, de “consultations avec un certain nombre de personnes, en plus du conseiller politique et médiatique de l’ambassadeur iranien”. “Je pense que le discours doit être fort et violent, parce que les gens veulent voir un président puissant qui défend le pays” et parce qu’il faut montrer aux “Etats amis” qu’on les a écoutés, dit le conseiller. Le texte suggère également de “laisser filtrer davantage d’informations sur nos capacités militaires” pour convaincre l’opinion publique que le régime est prêt à tenir tête à une opération militaire.

Le Guardian dit avoir fait le maximum pour s’assurer de l’authenticité des emails, notamment en contactant une dizaine de personnes dont la correspondance apparaissait dans le document. “Ces vérifications nous laissent penser que ces messages sont authentiques, mais il n’a pas été possible de vérifier chacun d’entre eux”, précise le journal britannique.