SYRIA: 28 SOLDIERS Killed by REBELS (Al-Arabiya)

The title of a recently released Al-Arabiya article is REBEL attacks kill 28 Syrian soldiers from Damascus to Aleppo” (Web-site/URL:

“Syrian rebels killed 28 soldiers in attacks on three army checkpoints on the main road from Damascus to the embattled city of Aleppo Thursday (November 1, 2012), a watchdog said”.

“Five rebels were also killed in the attacks near the city of Saraqeb in Syria’s northwest, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said”.

“The head of the main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) on Thursday (November 1, 2012) BLAMED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY’s FAILURE to react to the country’s conflict for fuelling Islamic extremist sentiment”. This is the latest example of BLAMING and CRITICIZING (Web-site/URL:

“The comments came a day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the opposition should STRONGLY RESIST the efforts by the extremists to HIJACK the Syrian revolution”How can the Syrian rebels do this (i.e. “strongly resist”) Assad when Assad has FAR MORE SOPHISTICATED WEAPONS and the United States has consistently REFUSED to arm the Syrian opposition? Also “hijack” is HIGHLY EMOTIVE and even CONFRONTATIONAL.

“Speaking to AFP by telephone from Turkey, SNC chairman Abdel Basset Sayda said the situation resulted from the international community’s INACTION on Syria”. “The international community is responsible, through its LACK OF support for the Syrian people (and) for the growth of extremism in Syria. The international community should CRITICIZE ITSELF and ask itself: What did it give the Syrian people? How has it helped the Syrians to stop the (Assad) regime’s crazy killing? The lack of MATERIAL backing from the international community for the SNC means that ALTHOUGH we strive to ensure that RADICAL Islamism DOES NOT have an impact, we are MORE LIMITED in our capacity than we would likeThis is yet another example of BLAMING and CRITICIZING (Web-site/URL: Also “material backing” = ARMS/WEAPONSSo the SNC is MAKING A DIRECT PLEA to be ARMED from countries like THE UNITED STATES“In areas LIBERATED (?) from regime control, there is a natural state of CHAOS and HOPELESSNESS, because of the regime’s continued attacks. In such an atmosphere, it is natural that EXTREMISM GROWS”.  If “liberation” leads to “chaos and hopelessness”that is a TERRIBLE trade-off. The situation is WORSE than it was before under Assad (as much as we DON’T want to see/read/hear/believe that). “But he INSISTED (that) the revolutionremains on track”, saying Syria WAS NOT a country where RADICAL Islam could take hold” like THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD has done in EGYPT“Syria is a MIXED (?) society, so ultimately, a RADICAL Islamist project would NEVER take root in the country”REALLY? This is the latest ASSERTION.

“After a conference in Turkey on Wednesday (October 31, 2012), opposition members vowed to work for the RAPID (?) formation (of) a government-IN-EXILE to win greater support from the international community”When was the last time POLITICIANS did anything “rapidly?” NEVERAlso, this government is ” IN EXILE” and will be FOR A LONG TIME/THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, because Assad has still given NO indication that he’s stepping down and the rebels’ gains have been SPORADIC AT BEST.

“Clinton on Wednesday (October 31, 2012) also CRITICIZED the SNC, saying it CAN NO LONGER be viewed as the visible leader of the oppositionThey can be part of the opposition, but the opposition MUST include people from inside Syria AND others”. Again, “must” implies that the “force and pain technique” will be used which again is UGLY (Web-site/URL: and again “criticized” is the latest example of “blaming and criticizing” (Web-site/URL: .

“Sayda insisted (that) the council WAS EXPANDING to be MORE representative, ahead of a five-day SNC conference starting in Qatar on Sunday (November 4, 2012). “We are holding a VERY IMPORTANT (?) meeting starting November 4 (2012) in Doha, at which the SNC WILL EXPAND. Notice “very important” and “will expand”Sayda seems awfully SURE of himself, which can justifiably be INTERPRETED as ARROGANCE  (Web-site/URL: “The SNC represents ALL (?) the branches of Syria’s MIXED (?) society, including Islamist, liberal and secular groups”. ISLAMISTSof course, are SCARY. “There will be Kurdish groups joining the Doha meeting, as well as other new civilian and military groups that will attend”.

Finally, “Reacting to rumors that longtime opposition figure Riad Seif may be named head of a government-in-exile, Sayda was NON-COMMITTAL“. “I believe WE HAVE TO WAIT until we have held our meeting before we can make decisions on who is a good candidate to lead Syria through a TRANSITIONAL phase”. Againthis “transition” can ONLY happen IF Assad is toppled and again it DOES NOT seem like this is happening anytime soon. “We would be JUMPING THE GUN if we tried to propose names before consulting with all the ACTORS”. POLITICIANS often 

Of courseAssad will blame this latest attack on “terrorists” and “armed gangs” just like he has done on everything elseThis is the FIRST indication that we’ve received in a LONG time that MAYBE/PERHAPS THE REBELS have gained the upper hand in the push/battle to oust longtime strongman dictator Bashar al-Assad.


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