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Posts tagged "syria"


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

Photo: A Black Hawk takes off after unloading a team of Pathfinders and an Afghan patrol in Kandahar. US Army Flickr Stream.

Educate yourselves

(via thepoliticalnotebook)


Leaked Emails Reveal Assad’s Love of LMFAO and Right Said Fred

Syrian opposition activists quietly watched President Bashar al-Assad trade crisis-management tips with Iran and order Right Said Fred songs from iTunes as they secretly accessed his email until Assad shut down his account after a totally separate hack by Anonymous. Before the account he shared with his wife Asma went dead, the activists managed to download about 3,000 messages from it, which The Guardian reported as an exclusive on Wednesday.

One email conversation that truly stands out from the reams of communication The Guardian posted, is Assad’s correspondence with iTunes, from which he ordered country singer Blake Shelton’s “God Gave Me To You” to send to his wife, Asma, the day after Syrian forces started shelling Homs. Assad also had an affinity for Chris Brown, Right Said Fred, and New Order. “In January he bought a number of songs by the popular US dance group LMFAO including their hit Sexy and I Know it,” The Guardian reported. But it’s Right Said Fred that cracks us up: Assad ordered “Don’t Talk Just Kiss“ because, we’re guessing, he already had “I’m Too Sexy.”

Read more at The Atlantic Wire.

If this doesn’t demonstrate how much of a threat data leaks are to civilized society, I don’t know what does.

Uncomfortably true. 

(the Onion)


45 Syrian women and children stabbed then burned.

At least 45 women and children were killed in the Syrian city of Homs late Sunday, opposition activists said, hours after the U.N. special envoy to Syria met with the country’s president in an effort to reach a diplomatic solution to end the violence.

The killings occurred in the Homs neighborhood of Karm al Zaytoun, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition activist network.

Hadi Abdallah, a spokesman for the Syrian Revolution General Council, told CNN there were 47 victims — all stabbed to death and burned after “Syrian forces and thugs” stormed their homes.

This is beyond horrible.


From the New York Daily News:

Shocking new video surfaced Tuesday which suggests Syria’s desperate dictator has turned military hospitals into torture chambers — and turned the doctors into torturers.

The ghastly images obtained by a British TV station were secretly filmed by a hospital worker in the embattled city of Homs who said the abuse visited on the rebels and others who wind up there are medieval in their cruelty.

“I have seen detainees being tortured by electrocution, whipping, beating with batons, and by breaking their legs,” the unidentified worker told “Mani,” a French photojournalist who smuggled the footage out of Syria.

“They twist the feet until the leg breaks,” he said. “They perform operations without anaesthetics. I saw them slamming detainees’ heads against walls.”

And that’s just a warm up for other tortures too cruel to be described on the genitals of wounded patients, who appeared to be shackled to their beds in the stark footage.

Ever since the Syrians rose up against Assad and his gangster regime nearly a year ago, there have been rumors the hated Mukhabarat secret police was torturing civilians in military hospitals.

Well I just threw up in the back of my mouth.


Feb. 6, 2012. A Syrian man hugs his seriously wounded brother in a house used as a hospital in Bab Amr, a southern neighborhood of Homs.

Syria is no longer sliding into war or staring at the abyss of warfare. Syria is at war. On assignment for TIME this week, photographer Alessio Romenzi risked his life documenting civilian casualties in Bab Amr, a district in the besieged city of Homs.

See more here.



WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC: Syrian boy with his jaw blown off

Few videos could highlight the tenuous situation in Syria as one published Sunday afternoon showing a boy with his jaw completely blown off.

The video also contains other children with their limbs removed during Syrian President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on dissent.

The condition of the boy is unclear at the time of this post.

H/T: bbcity

This is what Russia and China vetoed. This is what the world is staying silent over.



The Only Remaining Online Copy of Vogue’s Asma al-Assad Profile

Max Fisher for the Atlantic:

In February, Vogue magazine published, for the benefit of its 11.7 million readers, an article titled “A Rose in the Desert” about the first lady of Syria. Asma al-Assad has British roots, wears designer fashion, worked for years in banking, and is married to the dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose regime has killed over 5,000 civilians and hundreds of children this year. The glowing article praised the Assads as a “wildly democratic” family-focused couple who vacation in Europe, foster Christianity, are at ease with American celebrities, made theirs the “safest country in the Middle East,” and want to give Syria a “brand essence.”Vogue’s editors defended the controversial article as “a way of opening a window into this world a little bit,” conceding only that Assad’s Syria is “not as secular as we might like.” A senior editor responsible for the story told me the magazine stood by it. A few weeks later, the article and all references to it were removed from Vogue’s website without explanation. In August, The Hill reported that U.S. lobbying firm Brown Lloyd James had been paid $5,000 per month by the Syrian government to arrange for and manage the Vogue article. […]

Sadly, Vogue’s piece of the Syrian puzzle has been almost entirely scrubbed from the internet. But, somehow, the text can still be found at a website called, a gif-filled but meticulously updated fan page to the Syrian dictator. The site is registered to a Syrian man living in Rome named Mohamed Abdo al-Ibrahim. A personal site for Ibrahim lists him as an employee of the Syrian state-run news agency.

Rememba’ when?