By Chris Marsden:
Imperialist powers unveil their proposed Syrian military strongman
28 July 2012
This week, Syrian General Manaf Tlass was mooted as the head of a proposed interim national unity government, to be installed if the US and its allies succeed in overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Tlass only defected on July 6. Before that he was a general in the elite 104th brigade of the Republican Guard. The son of a former defence minister, he was for years Assad’s right-hand man, helping strengthen ties with Syria’s Sunni business community.
Behind the scenes he is being sponsored by Washington. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The Obama administration and officials of some Arab and Western nations are discussing ways to place Syria’s highest-ranking military defector at the center of a political transition in the Arab state, according to US and Middle East officials.”
Tlass read a prepared statement on Saudi-based Al-Arabiya television, calling for unity and stressing that he was speaking as “one of the sons of the Syrian Arab Army” who could reach out to “honourable troops” that must now become “the extension of the [opposition] Free Syrian Army.”
He was on a pilgrimage to Mecca aimed at reinforcing his Islamic credentials. His trip was arranged by Saudi Arabia’s new head of intelligence, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan.
Whether or not his power grab is successful, the backing Tlass has received blows a hole in all attempts to portray the anticipated overthrow of Assad as the dawn of a new democratic era. The US, France, Britain and other imperialist powers want Assad eliminated because he is seen as too dependent upon Iran. Their goal is to impose an equally militarist and authoritarian regime, but one that is under their control.
The Syrian National Council (SNC) is split on whether to endorse Tlass.
US Governement gives waiver for private group to provide financial & logistical support to Free Syrian Army: here.
Libya rebels move onto Syrian battlefield: here.
Foreign ‘jihadi’ fighters implicated in Syria: here.
Robert Fisk: Syrian war of lies and hypocrisy: here.
US Defense Secretary Panetta threatens Syria, Iran in Middle East tour: here.
Sheera Frenkel, McClatchy Newspapers: “Romney had to back away from a statement from a top adviser promising support for unilateral Israeli military action against Iran”: here.
USA: Terrifying Peace: Living Within a Permanent War Economy: here.
Behind the scenes, the German government has long been active in the civil war in Syria and in the preparations for a military intervention: here.
Bloody fighting in Syria as US-backed forces slaughter prisoners: here.
Accounts of Syria Rebels Executing Prisoners Raise New Human Rights Concerns: here.
1) Haytham Manna at the Anti-imperialist Camp, Assisi, Italy
2) Salama Kaileh: Assad?s collapse imminent
3) Statement Syrian Left Coalition
1) Discuss with leaders and activists of the Syrian popular uprising
Anti-imperialist Camp, Assisi, Italy, 23-26 August, 2012
Haytham Manna is the foreign representative of the ?National Co-ordination Body for
Democratic Change? (NBC) and as such one of the most vocal and prominent figures of the
Syrian left as well as of the anti-imperialist wing of the current democratic people?s
Speech and public debate
with Haytham Manna
Thursday, August 23rd, 9pm
The NBC is a coalition of democratic forces which are taking part in the popular
rebellion under the well-known slogan of the three NOs:
No to foreign intervention!
No to militarization and civil war!
2) Salameh Kaileh: Assad?s collapse imminent
Popular movement will prevail over foreign meddling
Salameh Kaileh is a Palestinian-Syrian author, political activist and Marxist
intellectual representing the Syrian Left Coalition. He was arrested anew on April 24,
2012. Having been tortured, he was eventually deported from Syria where he had spent
Kaileh insisted that the majority of the population does not want to be drawn into a
sectarian civil war. Actually the tendency is even reverse. While in the first stage the
minorities maintained passivity out of fear from Sunni fundamentalism they are today
joining the anti-regime protests. Even among Allawis the support to Assad is less than
being reported. Instead of threatening them ? as some opposition forces happen to do ? it
is the task of the opposition to convince them and to take away their fears by bold
3) Damascus uprising calling upon soldiers to switch side
Statement of the Syrian Left Coalition
All Syrians follow the huge revolutionary developments which overwhelmed the capital
Damascus in the past two days, knowing that what the media covers is less than what
happens in the uprising capital. It confirms the persistence of the revolution and its
marsh towards victory. Everybody can see the weakness of the regime, the dispersion of
its forces and its tendency towards disintegration.
The revolutionary democratic awareness has awakened among all the people of Syria. We are
confident that the soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army, who are the sons of the revolting
people, will rebel against their commanders, will break their fear and tradition of
military submission that chain them. The spirit of freedom and people?s revolution has
entered all the military barracks, have entered the hearts of all of the soldiers and
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Urgent Statement by the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change
National Coordination Body’s Media Office / Exile Branch
On Thursday, five members of the delegation from the National Coordination Body returned to Damascus from the People’s Republic of China. Following their departure from Damascus International Airport after 5pm two cars were travelling together, but contact was lost with one of them. That car was carrying Abdelaziz Alkhayyer, Head of the Office of Foreign Relations Office of the NCB, Iyas Ayash member of the Executive Committee and a leader of the Arab Socialist Movement, and friend Maher Tahan who came to pick them up. There has been no contact with them since.
Al Khayyer arrested by Syrian Air Force Intelligence
Regime responds to tomorrow’s opposition conference in Damascus
On Thursday, September 20th, Abdelaziz Al Khair, a senior leader of the main domestic opposition coalition “National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change” (NCB) was arrested along Iyas Ayash, member of the Executive Committee of the NCB and a leader of the Arab Socialist Movement, as well as Maher Tahan.
According to Haitham Manna, the international spokesman of the NCB, the arrests took place by the hands of the Air Force Intelligence. They are held incommunicado in the prison of the Al Mazzeh military airport near Damascus. The regime, however, denies any involvement and accuses “terrorist groups”.
This happens against the backdrop of an opposition conference scheduled for Sunday, September 23rd. Organised by the NCB, the conference calls for a political solution in order to stop the violence. Despite the kidnapping of important leaders the organisers nevertheless will attempt to hold the event.
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