Muallem Says Syria Has 'Surprise Defenses'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Syria vowed Tuesday to defend itself as the U.S. defense chief said his country's forces are "ready" to launch attacks against the Syrian regime, accused of deadly chemical weapons attacks.

Asian, Gulf and European stock markets nosedived and world oil prices hit a six-month high over fears of possible military intervention, as the drumbeat of war appeared to grow louder in Western capitals.

Russia, Syrian President Bashar Assad's most powerful ally, warned any use of force would have "catastrophic consequences".

During a defiant news conference, Syria Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Damascus would defend itself against any strikes.

"We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal," he said.

"The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves."

Muallem said Syria had capabilities that would "surprise" the world, and warned that any military action against it would serve the interests of Israel and al-Qaida.

He was speaking as the United States and its allies moved closer to acting, with the Washington Post reporting that President Barack Obama was weighing limited military strikes on targets in Syria.

Such action would probably last no more than two days and involve missiles or long-range bombers, striking military targets not directly related to Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, the newspaper cited senior administration officials as saying.

Speaking in Brunei, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the military was prepared to act if Obama called for it.

Washington has accused Assad's regime of a cover-up, and has said it will provide more evidence of who was behind the attacks.

"Let me be clear," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday, "the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity."

"Make no mistake. President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people."

President Vladimir Putin of Russia, which has provided Syria's regime with diplomatic cover by blocking U.N. Security Council action, was unimpressed by the mounting evidence of an atrocity.

He told British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday there was no proof Damascus had used chemical weapons, Cameron's office said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said Russia would not get involved in any military conflict, and Moscow has warned that intervention would have "catastrophic consequences" for the region.

Nevertheless, senior military officers from Western and Muslim countries began gathering in Jordan on Monday to discuss the regional impact of the war in Syria.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was to take part, along with chiefs of staff from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Canada, Jordanian state media said.

And a senior Israeli delegation visited the White House for high-level talks on the crisis and the showdown over Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Amman has said, however, that its territory "will not be used as (a) launchpad for any military action against Damascus".

Britain, meanwhile, said its armed forces were drawing up contingency plans for action in Syria and Foreign Secretary William Hague said the West could act even without full Security Council backing.

Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said the suspected chemical attack was a "crime against humanity" that "cannot go unpunished".

Davutoglu had said in remarks published Monday that Turkey, a NATO member that borders Syria, would join an international coalition against it even if the Security Council failed to reach a consensus.

Meanwhile, U.N. chemical weapons experts postponed efforts to collect more evidence from the site of alleged attacks on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21 in which more than 300 people were reportedly killed.

They had been due to visit the sites again on Tuesday, but Muallem said their trip had been put off because rebels failed to guarantee their security.

The U.N. convoy had come under sniper fire on Monday as it tried to approach the suburb where the attack apparently took place, but managed to visit victims receiving treatment in two nearby hospitals.

Comments 69
Thumb Roaring-FlameThrower 27 August 2013, 14:11

Yislam Timmak Ya Walid wallah enta really Muallem. The Arab League as well as Europe do not exist and the United States is an ailing ex super power. Only Syria, Iran, and The Islamic Iranian Resistance aka HA (Hussain Army) exist in this new world order. Yes, we will defend with all means available to us even with our bare hands to quell this takfiri zionist invasion of our beloved Syria. Lieberman said we and HA are not interested in any conflict with Israel and our history proves it. However, let no one be fooled. If attacked we will open a world of pain for the United States and its non existent European allies.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 August 2013, 16:30

yes samy, why dont you continue?

...that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.

Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.

Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.

Missing coolmec 27 August 2013, 17:00

I enjoy reading your comments and I praise your sense of patriotism and civic responsibility. That is based on all your previous comments on taking preventive measures on how to prevent more bloodshed in our beloved
Thank you

Thumb bigsami 27 August 2013, 17:20

Time to stuff that Muallem like a Thanksgiving turkey. God be with those fighting against evil forces.....aka HA, Assad and Iran. Time to clean the filth from the planet.

Thumb scorpyonn 28 August 2013, 07:53

Well said- especially Iran- once it is annihilated there will be a different world order- I have had enough of them always meddling oin other countries affairs and sticking their hooked noses and awful English accent where they do not belong.

Missing nai0271 27 August 2013, 18:24

keep waiting for the mehdi brother..I am quite sure he is on the way to save

Missing nai0271 27 August 2013, 18:28

yeah, you have plenty of suprise defenses....I am sure it will be used at a time of their chosing. Lol.....the only defense you have is bunker where you assad, and his dogs will hide in it like cowards. Just ask Nissrallah, he only sees the sun once every 2 years :)

Missing youssefhaddad 27 August 2013, 14:15

The criminal regime of Syria has caused so much harm to many and it will be a great day for the whole Middle East when Assad and this lier are behind bars with the rest of the members of the Syrian despotic regime.

Thumb Chupachups 27 August 2013, 15:05

roar, i hope u cheer for the wanderers.

Thumb _mowaten_ 27 August 2013, 16:33

you dont understand roar, killing syrians is bad, so to save syrians lives they need to bomb them to oblivion. most people dont understand that, even in the US where 60% of the people are against a war in syria, and only 8% support it, but this too you can't understand because you're a backward savage who doesnt know democracy

Missing coolmec 27 August 2013, 17:00

behind bars? are you joking? Bachar will not even make it to the guillotine!! he will be torn in pieces before that by the Syrian people. His violent death is going to make khaddafi's death like a joke!!!

Thumb LightLeb 27 August 2013, 14:21

Hold on your hat boys! We are going to hell!!

Default-user-icon nyknagi (Guest) 27 August 2013, 14:33

go eat baklava and sleep and save what's left of your dignity, and please stop threatening the U.S we all know including your regime how weak and cornered you have become lately.

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 27 August 2013, 14:41

Except Iraq is a democracy now, run by a Shia majority so you should be happy about it. Saddam used to call it the mother of all battles, it took the US and its allies 3 weeks to wipe him out.

Thumb Senescence 27 August 2013, 15:10

He's a naive neocon, leave him.

Thumb Chupachups 27 August 2013, 14:48

i guess the US cheers for Lakemba and Auburn...what can ya do?


Thumb Chupachups 27 August 2013, 14:58

lol the roar, I can proudly say i have never set foot in Lakemba.. Auburn on the other hand.... -.-

Thumb Chupachups 27 August 2013, 15:15

haha yep, error is me...ah u made it to the north shore? @ where they cannot enter haha sounds like ur in Uluru, anyway thanks for the offer. U should visit us for the derby in syd.

Thumb terminator 27 August 2013, 16:25

if it wasnt for lakemba and auburn people like you would be stepped on. dont know about you, but i was born here, and i grew up around aussies. they hate me and YOU.
there fear of auburn and lakemba is what keeps us safe from there hatred.

Thumb geha 27 August 2013, 15:12

whatever happens after the strike, it will not be like before it.
by that I mean that Iranian influence will be at least weakened, so we hope we will be able to regain our country, and be rid of this Iranian invasion.

Thumb joesikemrex 27 August 2013, 15:26

Syria deserves everything that is coming. Looking forward to break up of this regime, fragmented, in pain, civil war, just like what they did us in Lebanon. Hope it lasts another 50 years

Thumb benzona 27 August 2013, 15:33

All regimes fight back international coalitions. Libya, Iraq, Serbia, etc... They were all defeated.

For now, we know it I'll strictly be tomahawks and air strikes.... There will be a second step afterwards.

Thumb geha 27 August 2013, 15:15

looks like our long wait is now going to be over finally.
hope to get rid of iran and hizbushaitan too at any cost, so we could finally rebuild our country and move on from this era of Iranian terrorism.

Thumb proudlebanon 27 August 2013, 18:40


Thumb beiruti 27 August 2013, 15:16

What proof, he asks, does the West have of chemical weapon use? He asks this? None are so blind as those who refuse to see.

Thumb Lebanese_Templar 27 August 2013, 15:35

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

nobody now give ya no break
Police now give ya no break,
That old soldier man now give ya no break,
not even your idren now give ya no break héhé!

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna, do whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do When they come for you?

Why did you have to act so mean?
Don't you know you're a human being?
Born of a mother with the love of a father,
Reflection comes and reflection goes,
I know sometimes you wanna let go
hehehe i know sometimes you wanna let go

Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boys bad boys whatcha gonna do whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

You’re too bad, you’re too rude,
You’re too bad, you’re too rude,

Missing canadianadam 27 August 2013, 15:45

I don't think any of us are hoping for more suffering on our Syrian neighbors. They've suffered enough.

I can only hope in all this that HA keeps its assets there to "defend villages and holy sites" and that Nasrallah fulfills his pledge to go and personally fight. Even sewer rats arnt safe from bunker busters.

Default-user-icon Hammerhead (Guest) 27 August 2013, 16:27

Wow, they are going to surprise the world with their defences. Israel launched with impunity countless raids against several military targets in the heart of your capital, why didn't you use them?

Thumb geha 27 August 2013, 16:27

another scenario would be for assad, iran and hizbushaitan to retaliate on neighboring countries nut not Israel, like Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf states, under the pretense they are retaliating on American bases.
this scenario would be the most benefic for us as they will be totally wiped out.
unfortunately, the US wants to send a message and not wipe this regime off.
therefore I do not expect a major outcome out of this strike, as iran and hizbushaitan will not budge contrary to all they are saying.

Thumb jabal10452 27 August 2013, 16:37

This is what must happen:

1. The West pounds Assad's forces to oblivion.
2. With Assad's forces are pinned down by the west, the FSA focuses on ruthlessly defeating the Takfiris.
3. With both Assad and the Takfiris out of the way, chances for a democratic, all inclusive Syria are improved.

If step 2 is omitted, then welcome to Syrianstan, the new-and-improved headquarters of the Taliban in the Levant.

Thumb Senescence 27 August 2013, 16:41

"If step 2 is omitted, then welcome to Syrianstan, the new-and-improved headquarters of the Taliban in the Levant."
That's what most people are worried about, at least in Lebanon.

Thumb justice 27 August 2013, 17:07

coz then we will have Hizbustan and Syriastan. It seems you don't mind the first!

Thumb Senescence 27 August 2013, 17:14

"coz then we will have Hizbustan and Syriastan"

Why would I mind the first? Obviously I don't; I don't need your condescending allusion to the obvious good sir.

Thumb scorpyonn 28 August 2013, 07:31

... and if all steps are executed accordingly, the west can bomb Iran back ionto the stone age where it belongs.

Thumb jabal10452 27 August 2013, 16:39

CNN breaking news: U.S. military response to Syria's alleged chemical weapons use could come "within several days," official says.

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 17:20

Relax noname, don't get too excited. Sorry to burst your bubble but Bashar will still be around this time next year and twice as popular. in your face to all you foolish sell out Arabs.

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 18:15

To ..... if you are Lebanese, then you are arab. if you are to inferior to admit it, then I feel sorry for you. is that what you do, resort to name calling when you someone doesn't agree with you. sad case you are.

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 18:37

I side with Syria and its people, and right now the people want and need bashar to get through this period. when they overcome this then bashar will go. in the meantime, I am glad I am not worthy of your respect, don't think I would want it anyways.

Missing mark 27 August 2013, 17:22

Unfortunately they can only destroy Lebanon. To hell you, your regime, and your puppets ha.

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 17:38

Bashar has admitted mistakes were made in Lebanon, get over it. Destroying Lebanon involved way more than Syria. You had divisions within, the interference of the west, france, Israel, qaddafi, Saudi Arabia, saddam, iran, plo, the list goes on and on. Now you want to cheer for America to attack Syria, do you think they are doing it for you Lebanon's good. If you do then go give your head a shake.

Missing zahle_nights1 27 August 2013, 17:56

cityboy, I will cheer SO MUCH when US attaks Syria. I do hope they annihilate the cancer called Baath party... Cheers!!!

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 18:25

cheer all you want, all the cheering in the world not going to change the fact that bashar and the baath party will still be around next year and more popular to boot. cheers:)

Missing samiam 27 August 2013, 18:06

keeps bringing up the israel card even though the only bullets fired from the syrian regime in the last 40 years have been to destroy a truck.

Thumb cityboy 27 August 2013, 18:21

so my boys cheered when USA attacked Saddam, stop spreading bs. Last I recall, Syria and iran did not join coalition where as your arab partners sure did. Furthermore, my boys knew very well that americans did not come to make things better so stop spreading lies. you on the other hand are cheering for America to attack Syria, can you tell me what benefit it will be for the Syrians or Lebanese for that matter. try to form an opinion this time rather than shouting insults and lies.

Thumb whyaskwhy 27 August 2013, 18:23

It's funny how the tone is changing, pro hizbshtan members are now talking about humanity all of a sudden? So the killing of 100k people was done for freedom and equality and now that the World may hold them accountable that will be inhuman and could cause radicalism could start? Loooool hypocrites is to kind of a word to use....

Thumb proudlebanon 27 August 2013, 18:38

i laughed at your post (lebanon memories or crap like that :P) but what's funnier is you don't see how HA is the most one responsible for dragging lebanon into this mess

Thumb Bandoul 27 August 2013, 19:24

This is a news flash bulletin for the cheerleaders of war: Let me tell you about war! WAR is charred remains and severed limbs. WAR is children plucked from this world without rhyme or reason. WAR is desolated streets filled with uncollected garbage and demolished buildings. WAR is acrid smoke and filthy living conditions. WAR is no running water, food or humanity. WAR is what makes our father in heaven cry for what his children do to one another. WAR is what makes us less than animals. WAR is what will end our species and rid this blue planet of our mayhem and total disregard for beauty. WAR is a mental handicap for those who cannot reason and are blinded by hate and greed. I pity all the war cheerleaders and pray for mercy for the rest of us.

Missing samiam 27 August 2013, 20:42

War is never a good thing, but for the sake of Lebanon and the people of Syria, the stalemate must be broken. The war has attracted the worst kind of people like the jihadists and the longer that the conflict goes on, the more likely it will attract groups like the Taliban. Something must be done now or it will progressively get worse for the whole region.

We have already felt the effects the last week with the bombings in Tripoli and Dahiya, and it appears that the situation in this country is in freefall. War shouldn't be a solution, but unfortunately, the sides are too far apart for a more peaceful solution.

Thumb Bandoul 27 August 2013, 22:10

@samiam, the world should have reacted and intervened when the Syrian regime opted to use tanks and artillery to quash peaceful demonstrators and not waited for 100,000 + dead civilians and near total destruction of the entire country. I am a simpleton with an opinion but now it's too late, terrorist are on the ground...a game changer. There could be no good outcome and I am afraid the regime won't fall and the FSA won't win. The people will continue to suffer for years to come and nothing will be solved but WW3 might start.

Missing samiam 27 August 2013, 22:25

agreed Bandoul, but someone has to ask mother Russia on why they kept blocking any intervention (as well as China) early on. One needs a spark to start a fire, and Russia has let this conflict turn into an inferno by giving the regime a green light.

there is enough blame to go around and all sides have a slice.

Thumb Bandoul 27 August 2013, 22:36 perhaps can answer your own question by considering what Russia has to gain by using its position on the security council to block the other members from acting against Syria. Is because Russia is resurgent and desires super-power status to compete with US interest in the region? Is it about oil? Arms sales? Trade? Economy? I am a nobody, I can only guess...

Missing samiam 28 August 2013, 00:21

Bandoul, it is simple--Russia wants a warm water port--this has been a historical need for over two hundred years. Its ports in the Baltic and Siberia aren't usable for several months a year and its port in the Ukraine is considered vulnerable because it can be blocked by Turkey so it has alway yearned for a port it can use all year and hence Tartus.

Some things aren't as complicated as they may seem

Thumb Bandoul 27 August 2013, 21:53

@the_roar, humanity and kindness are offensive to those who abhor them. They adore mayhem and chaos in the service of their lust for power and false glory.

Missing youssefhaddad 27 August 2013, 21:06

Run Muallem run....

Thumb ironlikelion 27 August 2013, 21:53

" warned that any military action against it would serve the interests of Israel"

Although our boarder with syria has been quiet for the last 40 years under the assad regime, we would have preferred a democratic and piece seeking syria over the existing "state of war" between us and the assad regime; one that would have severed the iran-syria-hez axis. In light of the emerging dominance of nusra/qeida, however, if the western intervention only helps tilt the balance of power without eliminating the nusra/qeida elements then none of this situation is at all in israel's interests, or the region's for that matter. I guess all we can do is hope for the best...

Thumb jabal10452 27 August 2013, 22:05

I think that the West's intervention in Syria should be conditional on the FSA aggressively moving on the loonie Takfiris at the same time, while Assads forces turn their attention to the Tomahawks. Otherwise the situation will go from bad to worse.

Thumb ironlikelion 27 August 2013, 23:17

I agree %100. Unfortunately though, I'm not sure that the fsa alone has the necessary resources(including manpower) to effectively combat and defeat the consistent flow of incoming foreign takfiris; I think they may need some type of assistance, which complicates the situation even further.

Thumb Senescence 27 August 2013, 23:52

jabal10452. Agreed. The problem with people when discussing such issues is that they perceive as black or grey; they believe that if one is against rebels then one is aligned with Al-Assad. I'm against both, and my belief therein comes from the fact that once a radical insurgent base is entrenched in the country, it is almost impossible to remove. Afghanistan is the epitome of such a example. After more than a decade of war and billions invested, US/NATO couldn't remove the taliban and are now in negotiations to get them back on equal feat with the government or provide some compromise. Other examples include the obvious; iraq, lybia, yemen, chechnya, etc. where insurgency enjoys effervescent health. The world should have acted been wiser and predicted this--to oust the relevant fanatics, and I can only hope that it is not too late.

Thumb Senescence 27 August 2013, 23:53

jabal10452, Al-Assad should bolt and a new government should be instated, but the utmost important priority as its first order of business should be the elimination of extremists. If it is by war Al-Assad is removed, fanatics will remain due to weak government/significant number of Al-Assad sympathizers/civil war will drag on unnecessarily. If however he admits defeat and recedes power/tried/whatever--diplomatically, the government will be in a much stronger position to wage its war against extremists and this is the course of action that in my opinion should be pursued.

Thumb ironlikelion 28 August 2013, 00:42

I agree with you that these would be a logical series of steps mapped out in a logical order and could even potentially be the most efficient and effective way prevent syria from turning into a "failed state" and to achieve stability. The factors to consider though, are:
1. As you mentioned, whether not it's "too late". (I hope it's not)
2. Whether or not assad would agree to step down. (To me, it doesn't seem realistic, but I could be wrong)
3. Whether or not an election would yield results that reflect the values of the initial demonstrations.

Also, there is the issue of radicals using the time of elections to regroup,recharge build momentum for a second round, only this time against young and less experienced government... I don't know, its a tough situation

Thumb Senescence 28 August 2013, 01:33

ironlikelion, yes indeed, quite unfortunately your considerations prove that Syria's future may be even more cataclysmic and volatile. I so far far believe this to me the course of things, by considering the fact that terrorist elements have been at the forefront of many decisive rebel victories, and the lack of any concrete organization of the FSA.

I can confidently state that extremists will be a problem because of what they fight for. By the rebels' own admittance, Hizbullah has been a strong force not by its number but rather by how determined its fighters are and the cause they fight for, which like the terrorists, are religiously motivated, mostly. They said, that if it was the SAA only, they would have had no problems destroying them.

What I envisage as to the future of Syria with the current givens is one that is ruled by amateurs, a prosperous haven for larceny, the venal, and of course, the tyranny against minorities who sided understandably with Al-Assad.

Thumb Senescence 28 August 2013, 01:40

ironlikelion, what I suppose I hope for if indeed the regime falls, is that it should be done as such through the mediation of both the opposition and the current government, or at least, mediated by the West/USA. In light of that, I also hope the US would not show itself again as how Russia's FM described today, as being akin to a monkey with a grenade when it comes to the Islamic world. The aim of this whole thing was reform to allow more rights and more freedoms, a democracy of sorts, refined. What I fear is indeed what you seem to fear also, which is your last point made. To allow a non-interim government would be wrong, and also would be wrong the handing of power to non-moderates who the revolution was aimed to hand power to!
KSA and Qatar's contribution of both arms and fighters sort of I think, diluted the opposition, and that the men they supplied aren't the ones who fight for neither secularism nor rights nor freedoms nor a democracy.

Thumb Senescence 28 August 2013, 01:40

ironlikelion, I've seen countless videos of Chechens, Lybians, Iraqis, and others of other nationalities pledging to turn the country into an sharia state that is without a doubt oppressive of many dignifying human rights and freedoms, and expanding it-- that, I fear indeed.

I can again, only hope that the West will be perspicacious and extremely calculative regarding its actions in a very fragile region.

Thumb Bandoul 27 August 2013, 23:38

For all those cheerleaders of war, what breaks my heart is that you don't realize that as soon as American bombs fall on the Syrian regime, Hezbollah missiles will rain on Israel which in turn will only mean Israeli bombs will indiscriminately send Lebanon back into the stone age. No body is looking at the big picture because they're too per-occupied with revenge and savoring the demise of the other at the expense of Lebanon, yes, yet once again.

Thumb ironlikelion 28 August 2013, 01:35

I think that people are not quite cheering for war, but rather for an end of the status quo. Humans have a tendency to want to or try change/improve their situations by solving the issues that are clearest(which seems logical) without considering that these issues are actually symptoms of a less obvious but more fundamental issue. No matter how many times one tries to treat the symptoms, they will always resurface until the true fundamental issues are addressed.
Similarly, people who are eager or desperate to change their situations may not consider the potentially farther reaching consequences of the actions taken to achieve that change. Most humans are guilty of these types of error at one time or another.

Thumb cityboy 28 August 2013, 01:11

I share your sentiment Bandoul but in this case I don't think Hezbollah will be sending missiles into Israel unless Israel acts first. What action if any the west does take will be met with a response from the Syrian side and Syria might just even brush it off if its nothing more than a symbolic attack. Hezbollah will only become seriously involved if its the real deal but I don't think the americans are serious in attacking Syria.

Thumb Senescence 28 August 2013, 01:46

"Syria might just even brush it off if its nothing more than a symbolic attack"

Most believe this to be the case; agreed. The Americans do not want multilateral war of any kind; they'd rather be a bit humble (if not something of a vice, under Obama) and shape things from behind the curtain. Most likely, I'd say, a diplomatic resolve will eventually ensue, but I'm not willing to bet on it really.

Missing helicopter 28 August 2013, 04:15

Muallem said Syria had capabilities that would "surprise" the world...........

Impressive indeed, so why were such capabilities not used against Israel to Liberate Palestine? I forgot, they were meant to keep the family in power and to continue to toy with Lebanon.

Thumb scorpyonn 28 August 2013, 07:32

Muallem has a severe weight problem and needs to lose weight!