bashar al assad

But the fact that Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are attempting to control the fate of the Syrian people does not mean that other foreign actors should also attempt to do so for their own benefit. The United States should not go to war to overthrow Assad. It should also not carry out “symbolic” military strikes, which would be undertaken purely to maintain its own credibility - but which would also tarnish Syrian revolutionaries as being proxies of Western powers. The only moral course of action is to return the power of self-determination to the Syrian people themselves, instead of continuing to use them as pawns in a broader geopolitical power struggle.
—  Don’t steal Syria’s revolution: It’s not too late to save Syria, but Western powers will not accomplish this by rushing into another ill-advised war. by Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera English

"And how could you refuse to fight in the cause of God and of the utterly helpless men and women and children who are crying, "O our Sustainer! Lead us forth [to freedom] out of this land whose people are oppressors, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, a protector, and raise for us, out of Thy grace, one who will bring us succour!" - The Holy Quran, Ayat an-Nisa’ 4:75, translated by Muhammad Asad. May Syria be free, and may my role in its liberation increase, God willing.

Photo via @yahyasad on instagram. Give this free Syrian a follow! Link:

Music from the Syrian revolution:

We’ve been saying that things are heating up in Syria for quite some time now, but with the official designation of the conflict as a civil war by the Red Cross, and with all the events of yesterday (most of which I am still catching up on, due to inclement weather and power outage), it seems we’ve turned yet another corner in the way we are talking about the ongoing war. For a little retrospective of the Syrian conflict, instead of a timeline or something of that nature, here are a collection some of Syria’s revolutionary songs from this time.

[I provided translations/background information for the first three songs to the McSweeney’s/Byliner ebook Now That We Have Tasted Hope, which was published this May. Another translation of “Bayan Raqm Wahid” is available at my friend’s site, Revolutionary Arab Rap.]


This Filmmaker Could Have Been Killed At Any Moment, But He Kept The Camera Rolling Anyway

For “Frontline” filmmaker Olly Lambert, what began as an interview with a Syrian rebel commander quickly transformed into an unprecedented encounter with the immediate aftermath of a bombing run by government jets. The resulting documentary provides what is possibly the most immersive account of the brutal Syrian civil war ever recorded, and is a must-watch for anyone looking to grasp the true impact of a modern conflict on a civilian population. 

WARNING: This video contains disturbing imagery that may upset some viewers. Please proceed with caution. 

The Free Syrian Army carried out this attack in retaliation for the massacres committed by the regime and because of the international silence. We promised that we are going to hit the regime in its most sensitive axis. This was necessary for us.

COL. MALIK KURDI, deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army, which claimed responsibility for an attack in Damascus that killed Syria’s defense and deputy defense ministers.

 (via the Washington Post)

U.S. To Provide Syrian Rebels With ‘Lethal Aid’, Obama Bypasses Terrorism Law To Arm Them

President Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisor Susan Rice on Friday said Washington was providing “lethal and non-lethal” support to select members of the Syrian opposition, offering more detail than usual on U.S. assistance.

Barack Obama, in order to arm Al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebels, has waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups. Not surprisingly, federal law currently bans giving weapons to terrorists. Though it seems Obama does have the authority to bypass the restriction and he is choosing to do so by arming the Syrian rebels who have links to Al Qaeda, a group still listed as supporting terrorism.

The president, citing his authority under the Arms Export Control Act, announced today that he would “waive the prohibitions in sections 40 and 40A of the AECA related to such a transaction.”

Those two sections prohibit sending weaponry to countries described in section 40(d): “The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism,” Congress stated in the Arms Control Export Act.

The Syrian rebels not only include factions that are explicitly loyal to Al Qaeda but, according to US intelligence and experts analysts, those factions are now dominant within the opposition. So it is highly likely that some of the arms being shipped into Syria right now by the CIA will fall into the hands of Syrian rebels loyal to Al Qaeda.

President Bashar al-Assad has said that by arming the rebels President Obama will kill the chemical weapons deal.