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A Military Coup in Syria?

The 48 Hour Rule is Officially in Effect

I have an abundance of reasons to be skeptical about this report but I pass it along for informational purposes only, because the blogosphere is starting to buzz a bit. From the Lebanese Foundation for Peace


No newspapers are getting in or out of Syria, the media is controlled very tight, and the Syrian scene witnessed a dramatic, security deterioration the last 24 hours.

Precise Intelligence reports coming from Syria indicated massive army troops deployment around the capital Damascus. Most of the military Barracks of the Syrian Army around Damascus gave allegiance to the dissidents: Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan and General Ali Safi. These people in the Syrian Army were against the withdrawal from Lebanon.

It is known that President Bashar Assad is in the city of Alleppo, assessing the internal situation within Syria and trying to organize a "forced" return to Damascus.

We will provide you with additional details as soon as we have them.

[NOTE: The Syrian military General backing Ghazi Kanaan's movement is General Ali Safi and not Madi as originally reported by error.
The Lebanese Foundation for Peace apologizes for this error of publishing.]
The Intelligence Hour for Syria and Lebanon
Special Flash: Damascus, Syria

A Coup d' Etat took place in Damascus late last night. Intelligence reports coming from within the Syrian Military Command indicate the following:

A rebellion split The Syrian Army in two factions .

Since yesterday , Damascus is under the de facto control of the Syrian Army, under the command of Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan, and supported by Syrian Intelligence General Rustom Ghazaleh, Syrian military General Ali Safi, and Firas Tlass son of former Minister of Defence, Mustafa Tlass. The group rebelled against the decision of President Bashar el Assad to withdraw from Lebanon and seized the Damascus military yesterday.

Around 3 am, Damascus time, the Syrian Air Force bombarded two military airfields around Damascus, the Air force base of Dumair, and the Air force base of Katana. Also, late night around 3 am, the Syrian Air force bombarded military positions of the Syrian Army west of the city of Homs.

President Bachar el Assad retreated secretly to the city of Aleppo where he is temporarily holding ground. He is massing special forces troops loyal to him and preparing himself to take back Damascus by force .

The Syrian President left in Damascus his brother in Law, Syrian Military Intelligence Chief General Assef Shawkat to negotiate a settlement with the dissidents. The situation within the Syrian military was very tense for a week and exploded yesterday. The dissident group took control of Damascus as they were very upset at the Lebanon withdrawal for they left behind a billion dollar industry.

My skepticism begins with the fact that this is someone (supposedly) from Lebanon. I'll feel better about it if a Syrian blogger were reporting this. So far the only Syrian blogger I know of, has not posted anything about it.

Also Discarded Lies posted this well over 12 hours ago and the MSM is still dark. I personally believe someone wanted to see their hit counter fly... but I'd like to be wrong.

Update: Another Syrian blogger another dead end.

Update 2: Yet another Syrian blogger, yet another dead end. I'm thinking we can put this one to bed.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A Military Coup in Syria?:

» The Dead Pool linked with Baby Assad busted?

» Carpe Bonum linked with Coup in Syria? Maybe not

Comments (14)

Paul,I have alread... (Below threshold)


I have already contacted several of the Syrian and Lebanese bloggers I know. I have been contacted back by two of the Syrian ones. There is no coup, whatsoever.


All the information you need is at the above link, including an article detailing the specific disinformation campaign.

I hope this helps before the rumor spreads too much.

And on a second note, I'm h... (Below threshold)

And on a second note, I'm happy there wasn't a coup. The reported people who did it were the military sect who were anti-Lebanon withdrawal, and that would have been REALLY bad.

It's probably not true but ... (Below threshold)

It's probably not true but wouldn't it be something to see a hard-liners rebellion put down and Lebanese "peace keeping" troops occupying Syria for the next 30 years?

The coup / non-coup is also... (Below threshold)

The coup / non-coup is also being reported here:

- Whatever is actually goin... (Below threshold)

- Whatever is actually going on over there it appears to be occupying Syria and Hesbalah/Hamas for the moment. Notice how much things have quieted down in Palestine and Israel. Couldn't be happening at a better time......

A coup by hardliners would ... (Below threshold)

A coup by hardliners would not be good.

There is now another report at Middle East Newsline. I don't know how reliable they are.

At discardedlies.com there is a 3/17/05 comment #54 : "There definitely is something going on in Syria right now. No Syrian newspaper website has any news dated today. The Syrian Ministry of Information website is down."

Last night in the same thread, this was reported: "One of the members [can't tell member of what] has a contact in Damascus who reports unusual military pressence on the streets, with artillery units in place. He also reports that rockets marked 'sarin' are also in place."

Lebanon's Bekaa Valley - Sy... (Below threshold)

Lebanon's Bekaa Valley - Syrian vested interest

Whether a coup is in progress or not, I expect the hardliners in Syria will not give up their control of the Bekaa Valley easily if it is true that it's been a hotbed of drug production and trafficking, as well as possible storage area for Saddam's WMD. (One of many links.)

Is this thread still open f... (Below threshold)

Is this thread still open for commenting? Can't seem to access it.

Re: Short list of bloggers... (Below threshold)

Re: Short list of bloggers from Syria

For those who wonder why we in the West aren't getting hundreds of e-mails, phone calls and internet postings from Syria, here is an interesting article dated 3/17/05 which shows (despite its optimistic title) how suppressed the free flow of information is within Syria.

Conversely, one can then deduct that those few who do get their message out, such as "Sasa", might be govt-sponsored or condoned.

I did wonder a few days ago why "Sasa" (who says there's no coup in Syria, and is a commenter on Robert Mayer's site, widely echoed by Robert Mayer on many other sites) was reporting that Walid Jumblatt announced it was okay for the Syrians to stay in Lebanon, without reporting that he was booed by the crowds. (Link.)

Paul listed three Syrian bl... (Below threshold)

Paul listed three Syrian bloggers:

1) http://amarji.blogspot.com/ by Ammar Abdulhamid from Damascus. He just returned from a fellowship at the Brookings Institution in DC, a liberal, mostly anti-US think tank. (His site is also referenced on pg 2 of the 3/17/05 article above.)

2) http://saroujah.blogspot.com/ - The Syrian News Wire by "Sasa" from Damascus.

3) http://babtouma.blogspot.com// - by "Fifi" from Damascus. Last reporting on 1 March 05 from a bath house in Al-Hammam (Egypt?) after visiting Turkey.

Commenter #55 at another site only found 2 Syrian blogsites (one anti-US from Damascus and one anti-US from inside the US) - no links listed for them.

So, in conclusion, while Fr... (Below threshold)

So, in conclusion, while Free-Lebanon.com (a site established for the stated purpose of promoting a lasting peace between Lebanon, Israel and Syria) is reporting military intelligence received from their long trusted and previously proven accurate source within Syria, "Sasa" and Robert Mayer have been verbally attacking the messenger at Free-Lebanon.com's thread and at a lot of other sites who are trying to sort out the information on the reported coup-in-progress. (It's a long thread to read through, but it starts getting interesting around 3/16/05 with "Marie.")

While "Sasa" simply contends there's no coup because he's not seeing it, Mayer called a friend in the US Embassy in Damascus who didn't know (or perhaps was not allowed to say) anything. Mayer later on explains his zeal for debunking the story stems from his self-assigned role as guardian of the blogosphere - to protect us from all those MSM sneers which he must think keeps us all awake at night wondering what that lily-white MSM who never use fake docs, fabricated quotes, or unverified sources, might think of us!

(He also attacked the grammar of a Middle Eastern commenter adding that he was once an editor - it seems the umbilical cord to the MSM has not been cut.)

Correction to thread link: ... (Below threshold)

Correction to thread link: The Free-Lebanon.com referenced thread is at this link.

Re: Interconnection of the... (Below threshold)

Re: Interconnection of the 3 debunkers:

Sasa reveals himself at his own site, at Robert Mayer's site and Joshua Landis' site.

A Google search for "Saroujah" reveals threads where Sasa (Saroujah) has commented at Landis' site, like this one.

(After reading this trio's ongoing conversations with each other, which they so obligingly posted on the net, I can expand on one detail above. Joshua M. Landis is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies in the History Department and the School of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma, currently in Damascus, who attended a party with the US Embassy's military attaché. So Mayer's e-mail verification of whether there's a coup or not was: Mayer - Landis - military attaché and back.)

CHECK OUT:www.sour... (Below threshold)




Scratches the surface to see what's really going in Syria's political life.







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