*Most of the many different Syrian opposition groups will boycott so called
Peace Conference, even the ones have meetings in Turkey the last 4 days*.
[image: Another excellent poster from Kafranbel, Idleb (Syria). Nasrallah
& Assad are determined to take Lebanon back to the dark days of the
Civil War that ravaged the country.
Another excellent poster from Kafranbel, Idleb (Syria). Nasrallah & Assad
are determined to take Lebanon back to the dark days of the Civil War that
ravaged the country.
*laim: 22 Hezbollah Fighters Killed in Battle for Qusayr*
AFP claims, from a "source close to" Hezbollah, that 22 members of the
Lebanese organisation were
on Saturday alongside Syrian regime forces for control of the town of
The source said the group has now lost a total of almost 110 fighters since
it joined the battle in Syria several months ago, with most of the deaths
in and around Qusayr.
Regime troops have been trying for the last two weeks to claim the town
near the Lebanese border and 18 miles from Homs, Syria's third-largest city.
*Regime Says It Will Join International "Peace Conference"*
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has said that the regime has
principle to participate in the international conference which is supposed
to be convened in Geneva" in June: "We think...that the international
conference represents a good opportunity for a political solution to the
crisis in Syria."
Muallem, during a sudden visit to Iraq, criticised foreign actors
supporting the insurgency: "The regional countries that conspire against
Syria are the same that support terrorism in Iraq."
Russian officials said earlier in the week that the Assad regime had agreed
to take part in the conference. However, the opposition Syrian National
Coalition has said that it wants guarantees that President Assad will step
down during a transitional government.
From Enduring America.
Syria opposition says only
way for regime is �out�
Syria's opposition spokesman lashed out Sunday against a statement that
President Bashar al-Assad's is ready to take part in a Geneva peace
conference, reiterating the National Coalition's position that any
settlement must exclude the embattled leader.
"We are ready to enter into negotiations that are aimed towards
transferring power to the people, towards a democratic transition. And that
of course means Assad cannot be a part of Syria in the future," Louay Safi
Earlier Sunday, Syrian Foreign minister Walid Muallem said his government
will take part in a US-Russian peace initiative dubbed Geneva 2, terming it
a "good opportunity for a political solution" to the civil war in Syria,
which in two years has left more than 90,000 people dead.
Meeting in Istanbul since Thursday, the deeply divided Coalition has yet to
reach an official position on Geneva 2.
"In principle, our position was to welcome the international [peace]
initiative," Safi said.
But "the regime has yet to state a position on its willingness to leave"
power, he added.
"We want the regime to be willing to accept Geneva as a framework for
negotiations aimed at a transition of power and democratic change."
The opposition entered Sunday an unscheduled fourth day of meetings, with
four difficult agenda items still on its plate.
Among them were choosing a new president to replace Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib,
discussing a new interim government under rebel prime minister Ghassan
Hitto, expanding the Coalition to include new members, and making a
decision on Geneva 2.
*Four days into the meetings, the opposition was still divided over how to
expand, with some opponents blaming regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia for
trying to take control of the Coalition.*
Imperialist powers go in to battle for spoils of Syria�s revolution
*Posted* by John <http://enpassant.com.au/author/john/
>, May 26th, 2013 -
under Socialist Worker UK<http://enpassant.com.au/category/socialist-worker-uk/
, Syria <http://enpassant.com.au/category/syria/
The �chaos� of the Syrian revolution marks a shift in the balance of power
in the Middle East writes Simon Assaf in Socialist Worker
It is not certain which competing imperial and regional powers will win.
But it is clear that the Syrian revolution could end up being the loser.
The Arab revolutions exposed the deep crisis of Western and Russian
imperialism in the region. The West lost its �strongmen� allies Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. This came on top of
the �Iraqi-Afghan syndrome� and its legacy of defeat and failed occupations.
At stake for Russia is the potential loss of Bashar al-Assad�s regime.
Syria is Russia�s last ally in the Arab world and home to its only
Mediterranean naval base.
The top priority for the US remains what is now termed the �permanent war
on terror�. The killing of a US ambassador last September by an Islamist
brigade in Benghazi, Libya, was a reminder that the US has many enemies in
the Arab world.
As one of Barack Obama�s senior officials told the US Senate recently, this
war on terror is �going to go on quite a while, at least ten to 20 years.�
The West wants to tame the Syrian revolution, or at least make it serve
Western interests. These interests include extending the war on terror to
northern Syria and securing the Golan frontier with Israel.
The US military is keeping a close eye on the Syrian opposition, and wants
to entice the rebels to attack their Islamist allies. For this to succeed
it needs to manoeuvre the opposition and the regime into a peace deal, the
so-called �Geneva Process�.
US secretary of state John Kerry reassured Russia that the Geneva Process
will guarantee Russia�s interests in Syria. For his part, Russian foreign
minister Sergey V Lavrov announced his country�s willingness to drop Assad.
He told a joint news conference, �I would like to emphasise we do not, we
are not interested in the fate of certain persons.�
But Assad�s recent military success, and rebels� refusal to attack the
Islamists, leaves the Geneva Process dead in the water.
Events in Syria are running out of control. In a hard hitting editorial,
the Financial Times warned that, �Western policy [in Syria] looks stranded
between understandable caution and wilful fecklessness that risks turning
it into a failed state overrun by jihadis.�
Turkey, which is fast becoming an economic and political powerhouse in the
Middle East, is poised to gain most from this paralysis.
It has reached a peace deal with the Kurdish PKK guerrilla movement in the
south east of the country. This removes the last major obstacle to
deepening economic ties with the oil-rich Kurdish regions of northern Iraq.
The deal makes safe the Kurdish areas of northern Syria, which are
dependent on their brethren across the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Turkey�s
support for the uprising, even if limited, leaves it in a strong position.
In contrast, Iran is set to be the biggest loser. It has sacrificed its
cherished �crescent of resistance��that stretched from Tehran to south
Lebanon�by defending Assad.
And it has lost the opportunity to break international isolation by
fostering closer ties with post-Mubarak Egypt.
Iran itself is entering fractious presidential elections at a time of
deepening economic crisis brought on by international sanctions and its own
Meanwhile its greatest moral and political asset, the Lebanese resistance
party Hizbollah, is in the process of destroying itself. Hizbollah has
decided to spearhead the Syrian regime offensive on Qusair, the rebel city
near the northern border with Lebanon. It is transforming itself from a
resistance organisation into an army of occupation.
The Syrian revolution has few friends. Western powers want to tame it,
Russia wants it crushed, and none of them want it to succeed.
But despite recent defeats, it remains resilient. There are few illusions
left in Syria. The revolution is learning the bitter lesson that it can
only rely on itself.
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