TWO Significant Mid-East Events!

The Deadly Hamas-Fatah Reunion

And A Syrian Revolution Exploding

A Full Update on Syrian Revolution!

The Evil Axis is Linking to Help Syria.

Iranian Officers Direct Syrian Troops.

Syrian Protesters get Anti-Tank Guns.

Tanks Are Rolling Through the Streets!

April 28, 2011

Begin Excerpt from THE JERUSALEM POST

Iran FM: Palestinians united against the Zionists


04/28/2011 09:21

Salehi calls Hamas-Fatah unity deal a “blessed move” that will lead to great victories against “ruthless occupiers.”

The unity agreement between Hamas and Fatah is a “blessed, positive move,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Thursday according to the IRNA news agency.

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Salehi said the move was “in line with the Palestinian nation’s historic objectives” and also praised the new Egyptian government’s role in mediating between the two factions.


US lawmakers say Hamas-Fatah unity gov’t threatens aid

FM: Hamas-Fatah deal to allow terrorists to roam free

The Iranian foreign minister added that the uniting force between the two groups is “resistance against the Zionist occupiers,” IRNA reported, as well as unity among the Palestinian people themselves.

“Observing these two necessities would lead to the materialization of the Palestinian nation’s absolute rights,” IRNA quoted Salehi as saying.

Salehi also said he hoped that the reconciliation agreement would “lead to acceleration of the developments in the Palestine region and to acquiring great victories in confrontations with the ruthless occupiers.”

Begin Excerpt from DEBKAfile

DEBKAfile Special Report

April 27, 2011, 8:54 AM (GMT+02:00)

For the first time in the anti-Assad uprising, elements of Syria’s popular protest movement are turning to armed revolt on lines similar to those marking the Libyan conflict. Wednesday, April 27, armed civilians were seen for the first time, some openly carrying anti-tank weapons, in the Daraa district of the South and Banias and Jableh on the coast, the primary targets of the regime’s armored-backed offensive on the six-week old protest movement.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that these dissidents resorted openly to arms after discovering that Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) officers were masterminding the brutal crackdown against them, lending the Assad regime the experience they had gained in crushing the 2009 anti-regime opposition in Tehran.
At the UN Security Council Tuesday night, US ambassador Susan Rice directly accused President Bashar Assad of mustering Iranian assistance to repress Syrian citizens “through the same brutal tactics that have been used by the Iranian regime.”

Our Washington sources report that the US, Britain, France and other European countries are not waiting for the Security Council to condemn Syria. As an American official put it, “in the near future,” the US plans to issue a series of sanctions against heads of the Assad regime and its security agencies.

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There is also talk of war crimes charges against the president’s brother Maher Assad who is in command of the military assault on the protesters.

In Syria meanwhile, Western military sources predict that the next stage of the Syrian crisis will see protesters-turned-rebels shooting at the military tanks and armored vehicles spearheading the assaults by commando units on foot in the towns under siege, while snipers pick off demonstrators or ordinary passers-by from the rooftops.

In the first two days of the military operation, the tanks have been rolling through the streets sowing panic and fear in targeted cities and providing cover for the soldiers shooting civilians at random. Disabling the tanks, the protesters believe, will disarm that tactic, which has been directed first against the million inhabitants of Daraa and its outlying towns in the Horon province Tuesday, April 26.

There, under tank cover, small elements of the 132nd Brigade of the Fourth Division commanded by Mahar Asasad are holding Daraa under virtual lockdown, having cut off essential supplies of food and water, electricity and external communications.

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Still, the town refuses to be broken or starved into submission.

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Tuesday night, small units of foot soldiers protected by tanks were on standby night outside Banias and Jableh and Wednesday morning, elements of the 47th Brigade of the Fourth Division were poised to follow a tank charge into Hama.

If Assad loses his tanks, he will need to deploy many more soldiers to shoot the protesters off the streets and carry out mass arrests and so increase the hazards of defections, mutiny and the army’s breakup.

For Damascus, the Syrian ruler is pursuing a different tactic.

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To conceal the massive military involvement in the crackdown from the capital’s population, thousands of undercover soldiers were told to remove their uniforms and issued with black coveralls without insignia for raids on the Damascus suburb of Duma and protest centers elsewhere in the capital. They are intended to look like policemen.

Begin Series of Excerpts from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs/Daily Alert

Excerpt 1 – Reuters

Reports of Dissent in Syrian Army

Simon Cameron-Moore

Anas Abdah, the British-based chairman

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of the Movement for Justice and Development in Syria, said he had reports that some army officers from the 5th Division, from captains to a lieutenant-general, were trying to stop the 4th Division from entering the city of Deraa, the heart of the uprising.

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“At this moment of time we have reports that certain elements in the 5th Division are not responding in the way Bashar and [4th Division Commander] Maher want them to, and are siding with the people,” Abdah said. (Reuters)

Excerpt 2 – Al-Jazeera

Mutiny in the Syrian Army?

Ammar Abdulhamid

On April 25, the city of Deraa was invaded by units of the 4th and 5th Divisions of the Syrian army. Shortly thereafter, reports began of a mutiny in units of the 5th Division, and troops from these units standing up to and halting the advance of units from the 4th Division trying to reach the Al-Omary Mosque in Deraa.

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Excerpt 3 – Reuters

U.S., Britain See Limits to Foreign Role in Syria

Missy Ryan and Phil Stewart

U.S. and British defense chiefs meeting in Washington played down on Tuesday the possibility of a Libya-style intervention in Syria.

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Britain’s Liam Fox said, “We can’t do everything all the time and we have to recognize that there are practical limitations to what our countries can do.” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he agreed with “everything Dr. Fox said.” (Reuters)

Excerpt 4 – Jerusalem Post

U.S.: Assad No Longer Potential Peace Partner for Israel

Hilary Leila Krieger

After two years of pushing Israel to reach a peace agreement with Syria, a top U.S. State Department official indicated Tuesday the Obama administration is no longer looking at the current regime as a partner for such a deal. “It’s hard for us to stand by and see [President Bashar] Assad and his government engage in the kind of things they’re doing against their own people and to then think easily about how to pursue other diplomatic missions,” said Jacob Sullivan, director of policy planning at the State Department.

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(Jerusalem Post)

Excerpt 5 – Ha’aretz

In Syria, the Army’s Loyalty to Assad Runs Deep

Zvi Bar’el

The regime in Syria has not yet collapsed. Assad is sure that the Syrian army can deal with the enemy at home. Assad is still able to rely on at least most of the army, an army whose senior ranks are an inseparable part of the economic elite.

It would be inaccurate to state that the struggle in Syria is between the Alawites and the Sunnis. Among the Alawite tribes there are also many who wish to see Assad and his regime

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toppled. In March, even before the mass protests began, the heads of four large Alawite clans published a manifesto in which they disavowed themselves of the Assad regime and of “all connections that were forcibly imposed on us during the period of President Hafez and his son, Bashar.” Heads of large Alawite clans made it clear to representatives of the government that they would not agree to another massacre of the kind that took place in Hama in 1982. (Ha’aretz)

Excerpt 6 – Daily Star – Lebanon

The Epic Arab Battle Reaches Syria

Rami G. Khouri

In Syria, we are unlikely to see a Tunisian or Egyptian model of the security agencies abandoning the president while they remain in place.

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In Syria, either the entire system asserts itself and remains in control or it is changed in its entirety. Most Syrians do not want to risk internal chaos or sectarian strife and might opt to remain with the Assad-dominated system that has brought them stability without democracy.

The specter of sectarian-based chaos within a post-Assad Syria is frightening to many people. Yet many Syrians indicate with their growing public protests that they see their current reality as more frightening. (Daily Star-Lebanon)

Excerpt 7 – Stratfor

Mixed Support for Syrian Protests

A Stratfor

Source in Syria writes, “Support for the protests is mixed.

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Many of those out in the streets are there because someone close to them was killed. Think tribal mentality: I wasn’t mad at you before but you killed my cousin/brother/friend and now I am mad. People are gathering to defend their honor. There is almost no organization inside Syria among the protesters. I asked several people and they agreed that the Muslim Brotherhood was almost non-present in the country….While the Muslim Brotherhood might have some latent support among Sunnis, they would not be welcome by any of the minorities in Syria.” (Stratfor)

Excerpt 8 – Wall Street Journal

The Freedom Movement Comes to Syria

Fouad Ajami

When the Arab revolutions hit Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, Bashar Assad claimed that his country would be bypassed because it was the quintessential “frontline” state in the Arab confrontation with Israel. Let them eat anti-Zionism, the regime had long thought of its subjects.

Syria is riven by sectarian differences – there are substantial Druze and Kurdish and Christian communities – and in the playbook of the regime those communities would be enlisted to keep the vast Sunni majority at bay. This is the true meaning of the refrain by Bashar and his loyalists that Syria is not Egypt or Tunisia – that it would be shades of Libya and worse.

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The writer is a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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(Wall Street Journal)

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