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Syrian Mess

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    Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 07:34
The goal of this thread is to discuss the possible outcome of Syrian civil war.
I will go over a brief introduction. Arab spring brought a lot of quick changes to many middle eastern and north African countries, some with less violent, or massive suppression, others a complete bloodshed and destruction of the country. The Libyan civil war had a messy result. Many innocent people died. The country was divided among tribal and political parties; as a result, many died, country was ruined and a weak government with loose control over fundamentalist factions came to power. No one doubt about Qaddafi being a crazy brutal leader, but what Americans got from this so call peace keeping mission in Libya. What was the French and British share of pie? Russians and Chinese backed off in Libya, and I suppose they lost one of their rich client ((armament, service, oil).

Now, it is happening again in Syria. Opposition groups demanded for some rights, got beaten up, so they rebelled against government with some encouragement. The Saudis, Qattaris and Turkish governments started to help the rebels with money and light weapons. Americans, French, and British started the Libyan game once more by helping the opposition with communication equipment, and even some rumors about training rebels in Turkey. Last, I heard US and Turkey were talking about a no flying zone plan in Syria (Just like the Libyan case). On the other hand, Russia and China have blocked any plan for toppling the Assad regime in security council (Vetoed). Iranians are sending money, weapon, supply, military advisers, and some say even mercenaries. Lebanese seems active helping both side of the conflict. As I am speaking there are more than 20k people died, 2.5 million displaced, Syrian cities ruined and the country divided by different religious and ethnic groups. Fundamentalist group are back again, terrorizing the government and the people a like. The government becomes more and more paranoid bombarding the rebels harsher. 

What is going to be the outcome based on your opinion?
As you know this one smell like a nasty proxy war between Nato and its Arab allies in one side and the Nato rivals and the gang at the other side. 
Do you think this war going to end in Syria or overflow to the neighboring countries and get more nasty?
What are the benefit for Nato and its allies to be involved in this mess? What are the things for the kinds of Russia, China or Iran to lose? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paradigm of Humanity Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 09:08
This topic would discussed in current affairs section. But that section requires 100 posts IIRC.

I'm getting angry when seeing photographs of dead children and babies. I've no doubt Assad will go down but I'm not sure if he will be able to get an asylum or torn to pieces. It is a shame USA and Turkey are waiting so long for declaring no-fly zone. Children are dying there! Russia's and Iran's positions sickening me. They wouldn't care if a million of civilians died as long as they aquire a political gain (neither US cares unless it conflicts with their policies, as it is the case). Pathetic, they will gain nothing. Syrian dictatorship will fall apart hopefully. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 11:34
Honestly, we have the restriction in place for the current affairs sub-forum for the sake of preventing trolling from new members or commercial entities. But this looks like a genuinely interested and interesting thread. So let's continue to discuss it here.

The Syrian conflict is fascinating. In particular the recent Battle for Aleppo has really drawn my interest. The losses of the rebels have been substantial, and yet they still have the resolve to fight on. Based on this level of resistance, I can't see the Assad regime surviving.

Perhaps in the days of Sparta a small minority could control the populace it was so divorced from. But in the world of today, with its advanced communications devices and the power of effective smal arms, it seems untenable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 13:10
This conflict just exposes the double standards in the corridors of power in the West. (If that ever needed doing.)


Edited by Zagros - 16 Aug 2012 at 13:10
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 16:37
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

This conflict just exposes the double standards in the corridors of power in the West. (If that ever needed doing.)

Was Russia and China supporting Ghadaffi? Or did you mix "West" with "East"? Just asking, haven't been following the goings-on for a while.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 17:35
If you want to discuss Syria you need to discuss the factions (some cross over):
 
Alawi Shia Muslims
 
Hezbollah affiliated Muslims
 
Sunni Muslims
 
Kurds (also Sunni Muslims?)
 
Christians (different sects?)
 
Ba'athists (i.e. Arab Nationalists - a spent force now?)
 
Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (basically Arab Nazis - they support Assad I believe).
 
Al Queda affiliated fighters (includes foreigners including British Muslim fighters, as reported by the Sunday Times)
 
The Army (but the Syrian army seems far less an independent force than its Egyptian counterpart)
 
Free Syrian Army (is this a really independent player - or the creature of the factions?).
 
There may be some genuine democrats but I haven't seen much evidence of them.
 
 
 
 
 
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 17:37
I might add:
 
Iranian revolutionaries
 
The Muslim Brotherhood
 
Anyone care to add to the list??
 
 
 
 
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 20:21
NATO intervened in Libya for the most part because it could do so with minimal or no casualties- it was low hanging fruit, and so was plucked. Syria is a little higher up in the branches, so to speak, and so likely will not get a no fly zone, as that would most likely mean some personnel killed or captured, something that doesn't play well with the public in western countries these days.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 20:27
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

This conflict just exposes the double standards in the corridors of power in the West. (If that ever needed doing.)

Was Russia and China supporting Ghadaffi? Or did you mix "West" with "East"? Just asking, haven't been following the goings-on for a while.


Zagros raises a valid a point in the discussion. The involvement of Russia and China is only half the picture. Did they only become involved after it was clear to them that the West wasn't going to immediately intervene? After the past 10-13 years of intervention in the region, why didn't the West intervene in Syria? My theory is that intervention exhaustion and mission creep had soured most Western leaders in further interventions in the region. Others... on the other hand, would look at this as a double standard being practiced the West.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 20:34
Originally posted by Captain Vancouver Captain Vancouver wrote:

NATO intervened in Libya for the most part because it could do so with minimal or no casualties- it was low hanging fruit, and so was plucked. Syria is a little higher up in the branches, so to speak, and so likely will not get a no fly zone, as that would most likely mean some personnel killed or captured, something that doesn't play well with the public in western countries these days.


David Greenwich's ideas seem interesting and probably more correct than my idea of Western exhaustion. Even with half the list crossed out, there are so many factions for the West to choose from. For the Russians and China, they have made their choice to stick with the Alawites government of Assad's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 21:50
Originally posted by Panther Panther wrote:

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

This conflict just exposes the double standards in the corridors of power in the West. (If that ever needed doing.)

Was Russia and China supporting Ghadaffi? Or did you mix "West" with "East"? Just asking, haven't been following the goings-on for a while.


Zagros raises a valid a point in the discussion. The involvement of Russia and China is only half the picture. Did they only become involved after it was clear to them that the West wasn't going to immediately intervene? After the past 10-13 years of intervention in the region, why didn't the West intervene in Syria? My theory is that intervention exhaustion and mission creep had soured most Western leaders in further interventions in the region. Others... on the other hand, would look at this as a double standard being practiced the West.


The Russians have been supporting the administration since the start of the mess. I don't really see the double standards Zagros is talking about: the intervention in Libya didn't start until after the UN resolution had been passed. Sanctions have now been proposed and supported by the West; the veto coming from the east.


Edited by Styrbiorn - 16 Aug 2012 at 21:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 23:25
It's all very nice to talk about double standards, but all wrongs cannot be undone in the world. If the attempt was made, we would have UN forces in China pushing Beijing towards democracy, in Moscow freeing political dissidents, overthrowing the regime in Burma, liberating Iran, freeing women in Saudi Arabia, monitoring electronic voting in Florida......the list is long. And impracticle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2012 at 23:37
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

If you want to discuss Syria you need to discuss the factions (some cross over):
 
Alawi Shia Muslims
 
Hezbollah affiliated Muslims
 
Sunni Muslims
 
Kurds (also Sunni Muslims?)
 
Christians (different sects?)
 
Ba'athists (i.e. Arab Nationalists - a spent force now?)
 
Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (basically Arab Nazis - they support Assad I believe).
 
Al Queda affiliated fighters (includes foreigners including British Muslim fighters, as reported by the Sunday Times)
 
The Army (but the Syrian army seems far less an independent force than its Egyptian counterpart)
 
Free Syrian Army (is this a really independent player - or the creature of the factions?).
 
There may be some genuine democrats but I haven't seen much evidence of them.
 
 
 
 
Who gives a crap what the Hizbos and other non Syrians think.
 
This is a war by a largely sectarian regime against people who oppose it. AQ according to the DoD has virtually no presence in Syria and this is the July assessment. The Brotherhood and the rest of the opposition are political not military and they are in the process of negotiating a caretaker government once Assad falls.
 
Anyway Assad will fall, it is a matter of when. Once he falls the Hizbos should start packing to Iran because people are not in a forgiving mood. Kidnappings of dozens of Syrians and handing them over to Syria including an 86 year old Druz opposition figure will not sit well with the new regime.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 01:19
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

If you want to discuss Syria you need to discuss the factions (some cross over):
 
Alawi Shia Muslims
 
Hezbollah affiliated Muslims
 
Sunni Muslims
 
Kurds (also Sunni Muslims?)
 
Christians (different sects?)
 
Ba'athists (i.e. Arab Nationalists - a spent force now?)
 
Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party (basically Arab Nazis - they support Assad I believe).
 
Al Queda affiliated fighters (includes foreigners including British Muslim fighters, as reported by the Sunday Times)
 
The Army (but the Syrian army seems far less an independent force than its Egyptian counterpart)
 
Free Syrian Army (is this a really independent player - or the creature of the factions?).
 
There may be some genuine democrats but I haven't seen much evidence of them.
 
 
 
 
Who gives a crap what the Hizbos and other non Syrians think.
 
This is a war by a largely sectarian regime against people who oppose it. AQ according to the DoD has virtually no presence in Syria and this is the July assessment. The Brotherhood and the rest of the opposition are political not military and they are in the process of negotiating a caretaker government once Assad falls.
 
Anyway Assad will fall, it is a matter of when. Once he falls the Hizbos should start packing to Iran because people are not in a forgiving mood. Kidnappings of dozens of Syrians and handing them over to Syria including an 86 year old Druz opposition figure will not sit well with the new regime.
 
Al-Jassas  
The areas near the border with Lebanon are full of Shias who support Assad and are allied with the "Hizbos".  Many Syrians do not accept that Lebanon has an independent existence from Syria (in the same way many Iraqis believe Kuwait is part of Iraq).
 
Trying to pretend that Syrians have a homogenous identity is absurd.
What is past is not necessarily settled.
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@ David: Arabs usually deny whatever is against them. Ask any Arab about 9/11 and many say it was an inside job!Smile

On topic: The conflict will continue for two months at least. The Syrian regime doesn't give up so easily, so it require more efforts by FSA. If Assad loses the Shia must leave the country, if the FSA fails many should escape. It doesn't matter who win the war because the average citizens will pay the price. 

Turkey or Iran intervention will escalate the conflict and change it to a regional war.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 02:15
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

The areas near the border with Lebanon are full of Shias who support Assad and are allied with the "Hizbos".  Many Syrians do not accept that Lebanon has an independent existence from Syria (in the same way many Iraqis believe Kuwait is part of Iraq).
 
No they are not. There about 3000 shias in Syria out of a population of 20 million and the rest of the border area is majority Sunni with minority christian and Alawi.
 
As for Lebanese independence, Lebanon was never in its history been independent from Syria. During the Ottoman empire it was run from Damascus except the Southern part which was run from Palestine. The French created "greater Lebanon" for pure sectarian reasons.
 
Same is for Kuwait.
 
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Trying to pretend that Syrians have a homogenous identity is absurd.
 
And what is a homogenous identity may I ask.
 
75% of Syrians are Sunni Arab muslims living in a land that historically (at least in the last 1400 years) corresponds to modern day Syria. It is the minorities that are the problem and these minorities should either join in (as the Ismailis and some Christians) or leave the country if they don't want to be partners with the majority. Pure and simple.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote David Greenwich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 13:49
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

The areas near the border with Lebanon are full of Shias who support Assad and are allied with the "Hizbos".  Many Syrians do not accept that Lebanon has an independent existence from Syria (in the same way many Iraqis believe Kuwait is part of Iraq).
 
 
No they are not. There about 3000 shias in Syria out of a population of 20 million and the rest of the border area is majority Sunni with minority christian and Alawi.
 
As for Lebanese independence, Lebanon was never in its history been independent from Syria. During the Ottoman empire it was run from Damascus except the Southern part which was run from Palestine. The French created "greater Lebanon" for pure sectarian reasons.
 
Same is for Kuwait.
 
Originally posted by David Greenwich David Greenwich wrote:

Trying to pretend that Syrians have a homogenous identity is absurd.
 
And what is a homogenous identity may I ask.
 
75% of Syrians are Sunni Arab muslims living in a land that historically (at least in the last 1400 years) corresponds to modern day Syria. It is the minorities that are the problem and these minorities should either join in (as the Ismailis and some Christians) or leave the country if they don't want to be partners with the majority. Pure and simple.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Alawis are a Shia sect are they not? Homogenous I would say is more than 75% of the same ethnic/religious identity.  A country like Norway used to be pretty homogenous - same language, same religion, same ethnicity though it has changed in recent years.
 
I don't think the Sunnis are united in agreeing on a democratic government. I think those differences will come to the fore once the Assad regime finally disintegrates.


Edited by David Greenwich - 17 Aug 2012 at 13:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 15:28
Norway's not a terribly good example.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Norway

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 15:35
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Norway's not a terribly good example.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Norway



Around 20,000 Sami and others among 4 million people about 20 years ago made it quite homogenous I'd say (he did say 'until recently').


Edited by Styrbiorn - 17 Aug 2012 at 15:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 16:19
Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Norway's not a terribly good example. 


Around 20,000 Sami and others among 4 million people about 20 years ago made it quite homogenous I'd say (he did say 'until recently').
 
He said 'used to be' homogenous 'until recently'. Surely it[1] is more homogenous now than say a few hundred years ago? Pretty well all European countries, barring microstates, used to be less homogenous than now. 

And, by the way, compare 20,000 Sami out of 4 million Norwegians with 3,000 Shias among 20 million Syrians. 

[1] That is the area now known as Norway.


Edited by gcle2003 - 17 Aug 2012 at 16:26
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Shia and Alawite are 13% of population. 3k figure is stupid. As AJ said there are 74% Sunni Arabs in Syria. I assume there are different groups among Sunni Arabs: Brotherhood, Nationalists, Bathists, fundamentalists and smaller groups. This division makes the FSA weaker than an effective block against Assad regime. Even if they manage to overthrow Assad, there will be another power struggle among themselves, or they create a weak government just like Libya. 
Which party is the strongest among opposition?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 18:22
Whatever the outcome of this conflict, you can rest assured who the beneficiaries of it will be.  Hint: not the people of Syria.

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

This conflict just exposes the double standards in the corridors of power in the West. (If that ever needed doing.)

Was Russia and China supporting Ghadaffi? Or did you mix "West" with "East"? Just asking, haven't been following the goings-on for a while.


LOL good one, no China and Russia don't pretend to serve anyone's interest except their own.  |It's a bit nauseating every night seeing Hillary on the news with her sanctimonious tripe, when you just have to look back a few years to see what her country was doing in Iraq to weed out a handful of militants in Ramadi and Fallujah.




Edited by Zagros - 17 Aug 2012 at 18:31
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 18:42
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

@ David: Arabs usually deny whatever is against them. Ask any Arab about 9/11 and many say it was an inside job!Smile

On topic: The conflict will continue for two months at least. The Syrian regime doesn't give up so easily, so it require more efforts by FSA. If Assad loses the Shia must leave the country, if the FSA fails many should escape. It doesn't matter who win the war because the average citizens will pay the price. 

Turkey or Iran intervention will escalate the conflict and change it to a regional war.


Turkey is already involved, as are the Saudis, in arming and training the militants/terrorists, which has resulted in Syria withdrawing its military presence from the Kurdish region to give a free hand to the PKK.  Similar allegations are emergin from Turkey against Iran (and I don't doubt it).

As to the point someone made about Kurds being Sunni and therefore siding with other Sunnis.  No.  Kurds greatly distinguish themselves from their Arab oppressors in Syria as they did in Iraq, they will only see this as an opportunity to furtehr part themselves from the fabricated Arab states of the 20th century.

Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Turkey are great examples of the divide and rule policy of the great powers of the 20th century who drew their borders to encompass many different nationalities.  The Turks foresaw this and dealt with the Armenian problem and have unsuccessfully tried to answer the Kurdish question, which continues to be a thorn in their side.


"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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What about Lebenese, Iranian and Russian presence in Syria?
Hizbos are backing Assad regime. Iranians are sending weapon, fuel, money and soldiers. Take a look at youtube clips and check news. FSA took 50 Iranian mercenaries just recently. Russians have a navy base in Syria and have ships with troops station there. Even the crazy Chavez of Venezuela sent fuel tanker to Syria. This war is more complicated than a simple civil war. I meant Turkey and Iran intervention in matter of direct involvement and sending armed forces in large numbers .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 19:51
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Shia and Alawite are 13% of population. 3k figure is stupid. As AJ said there are 74% Sunni Arabs in Syria. I assume there are different groups among Sunni Arabs: Brotherhood, Nationalists, Bathists, fundamentalists and smaller groups. This division makes the FSA weaker than an effective block against Assad regime. Even if they manage to overthrow Assad, there will be another power struggle among themselves, or they create a weak government just like Libya. 
Which party is the strongest among opposition?
 
Alawis are not shia, any one who thinks so doesn't know a thing about shias.
 
Alawis worship Ali, literally. Orthodox shia view until Khomaini came to power consider them apostates (according to an ancient scholar more than sunnis) and even today most cosider them as such. They don't believe in the twelvers nor follow any of the major shia tenets. Shias in Syria are roughly 3000 people maybe more since this is from an old census.
 
Alwais are indeed about 10%. But that gives them no special treatment except guarantees of their freedom of worship which no one denied them before Hafiz came and started following sectarian policies.
 
As for the rest of the 75%, Syria is not Libya. Short of an Iraqi scenario when the Americans literally fired every civil servant for being a Baathist and appointed ministers and civil servants based on their affiliation with groups that came aboard the American tanks (there was one minister who couldn't read or write Arabic because he spent his entire life in Iran) Syria will not collapse. In the "liberated areas" visited by journalists civil government exists and except for some isolated Islamists groups no one challenged the FSA authority, not even the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood itself is weak, weaker than salafists and Islamists in general are weak. Once Bashar falls there will definitely be some chaos but no country will gamble with the stability of Syria which is why they will force the opposition groups to unite and over the past few months several groups did.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 20:30
Which group is the strongest among the opposition? I cannot see any dominating group. Islamists are not weak. Salafists blew up the security building of Syrian regime and killed their top ranking people. Brotherhood can draw followers from more conservative Syrians. Hafiz Assad killed many Brotherhood followers and he feared their uprising pretty much all his ruling years.  What side does  the Nationalists usually take Assad or Opposition? Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are helping the opposition group and in return they want influence. I guess Turkey and Qatar helps nationalist and brotherhood, while Saudis funnel money and arms to Salafists. The after Assad rivalry will be among these three groups most likely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 21:08
Shia is one of major Islamic sect including:
1. Twelvers: Ithnā‘ashariyyah.
2. Seveners: Ismailliyah
3. Fivers: Zaydiya
4. Alawites: Nusairis

There are 200k Ismaelis, 2.35 mil Alawites, and Immamia or Twelvers are around 100-200k (estimate).
According to these there are around 2.5 mil Shia living in Syria.
What is the Christians role in this conflict? where does their loyalty stand?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 21:34
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Which group is the strongest among the opposition? I cannot see any dominating group. Islamists are not weak. Salafists blew up the security building of Syrian regime and killed their top ranking people. Brotherhood can draw followers from more conservative Syrians. Hafiz Assad killed many Brotherhood followers and he feared their uprising pretty much all his ruling years.  What side does  the Nationalists usually take Assad or Opposition? Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are helping the opposition group and in return they want influence. I guess Turkey and Qatar helps nationalist and brotherhood, while Saudis funnel money and arms to Salafists. The after Assad rivalry will be among these three groups most likely.
 
The strongest is the FSA under the general command in Turkey. They control the Idlib and Daraa FSA factions which are the strongest militarily.
 
The coordination councils made up of civil society organisations are far more powerful than any Islamist movement. They are the ones who organise protests and run volunteers and the level of cross coordination is quite high.
 
Salafists didn't blow the National Security building. An Alawi officer helped the operation in cahoots with a high ranking Baathist who is now in custody. The group that claimed responsibility is a parasite that claimed responsibility for countless other operations.
 
The reason why Islamists are prominant is because they are well financed. The Turks and the Americans want the Brotherhood and the Turks spent millions on them. The main political exile council is a Turkish intelligence creation dominated by the Brotherhood. The FSA is supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar who do not trust the Brotherhood because its past ties with Iran and the Hizbos.
 
Can all this change? Yes. A year of bloody crackdowns (350 yesterday) changes people's attitdues and collective suicidal policies by minorities particularly the Alawis strengthens extremism which is why we should hope Assad dies as soon as possible because things will be ugly if this goes for another year.
 
Al-Jassas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 22:04
Originally posted by Dude Dude wrote:

Shia is one of major Islamic sect including:
1. Twelvers: Ithnā‘ashariyyah.
2. Seveners: Ismailliyah
3. Fivers: Zaydiya
4. Alawites: Nusairis

There are 200k Ismaelis, 2.35 mil Alawites, and Immamia or Twelvers are around 100-200k (estimate).
According to these there are around 2.5 mil Shia living in Syria.
What is the Christians role in this conflict? where does their loyalty stand?
 
The first three sects are shia for a basic reason, they believe in the basic tenents of the shia faith mainly the Imamah and follow mainstream Islamic theology most of the time.
 
Alawis are not even muslims to begin with. The reject the Prophet Muhammad as a false messenger, the reject the Quran, the worship Ali and have a dogma about him similar to christian dogma of trinity. They, like the Druz, attach themselves to shia for political and historical reasons thats it.
 
As for the numbers, except for the twelvers (who again are a very tiny minority not more than 3000 according to the last census, probably as high as 30000 now) the numbers are correct. Ismailis, heavily persecuted by the regime, are whole heartedly with the revolution. The rest are divided.
 
Christians are a peculiar group. They themselves are not homogenous. Two thirds are Orthodox and the rest are Catholic and protestant denominations. Hundreds of Christians have died or were rounded up in this revolution. Similarly some of the most notorious militias called shabiha are christians especially in the Homs area.
 
The church is controlled by the government. Several christians were refused funerals in their hometowns and had to be given funerals in cities supporting the revolution. Church leaders were very vocal in supporting the crackdown although low level clergy opened up their churches to become makeshift hospitals. Even people supporting the revolution are afraid of the future and government propaganda has been quite effective in neutring them.
 
Al-Jassas 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Aug 2012 at 22:14
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:


LOL good one, no China and Russia don't pretend to serve anyone's interest except their own.  |It's a bit nauseating every night seeing Hillary on the news with her sanctimonious tripe, when you just have to look back a few years to see what her country was doing in Iraq to weed out a handful of militants in Ramadi and Fallujah.




I'm in agreement with all you say, but that makes Hillary the hypocrite, not the whole west.

Originally posted by gcle gcle wrote:


He said 'used to be' homogenous 'until recently'. Surely it[1] is more homogenous now than say a few hundred years ago? Pretty well all European countries, barring microstates, used to be less homogenous than now. 

And, by the way, compare 20,000 Sami out of 4 million Norwegians with 3,000 Shias among 20 million Syrians. 

[1] That is the area now known as Norway.


Norway is more inhomogenous than it ever was, after having received hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Up until recently Norway (and Sweden for that matter) was more or less completely homogenous, with tiny minorities here and there, mostly German merchants. The Sami didn't really live within the Scandinavian states until fairly modern times either. Sorry for the off topic.

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