Coup in Syria?

UPDATE 3/17 pm: Publius Pundit has word from Syria that everything seems normal and that this information is probably false.

I've no idea how reliable a source the Lebanese Foundation for Peace is, but I thought you might want to read this (via Evariste at Discarded Lies):


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.


UPDATE: Very late....getting slammed (for this time of night) with Google hits for word combinations of "military coup Syria" "Syrian coup" "Damascus coup" etc......

....something is afoot.

UPDATE II: No confirmation. Perhaps this is just a case of rumors flying and we're simply reinforcing those rumors by publishing them?

Posted by: Rusty at 09:45 PM


1 I doubt it. There's nothing in DEBKA or LFG about it.

Posted by: Carlos at March 16, 2005 11:36 PM

2 Wow...out of sheer ignorance of the situation in Syria at this present time...I'm interested.

Posted by: justin at March 17, 2005 02:51 AM

3 There are several reports on lgf (a couple by me and the original link by someone who's nic I didn't get) but they're all to the report. The only other thing I have is some verbal reports that people checking have said the ISPs to Syria have been blocked for a week and that phone calls to friends in Damascus reveal a lot of military and tanks going up and down the streets and in Damascus proper but no one knows why or what happening, just that there's a lot of rumors going around. And it was a military coup not a coup d'etat. Sorry. But there's no report of anyone being killed....yet.

Posted by: foreign devil on lgf at March 17, 2005 02:54 AM

4 A few days ago, FoxNews had a blonde, female reporter in Damascus (reporting on Lebanon's demonstrations!). I wonder if she is still there and if she's in touch with the outside world.

Posted by: BR at March 17, 2005 04:46 AM

5 Where did you hear about this?

Posted by: Collin Baber at March 17, 2005 06:08 AM

6 They must have shown her some war games heheheheheh

Posted by: Salamander at March 17, 2005 06:44 AM

7 .getting slammed (for this time of night) with Google hits for word combinations of "military coup Syria" "Syrian coup" "Damascus coup" etc......

....something is afoot.

Not to do any bubble bursting Rusty but I think everyone is going to google to look for confirmation. They see you and click the link... for now it is just a echo chamber. The only thing afoot is this rumor.

How do I know? How do you think I got here?

Posted by: Paul at March 17, 2005 08:05 AM

8 There is absolutely no truth to the rumors. I contacted several bloggers in Syria and they have let me know that everything is normal. I have also found an article detailing this exact disinformation campaign. Everything you need to know is here:

I hope this helps. I'm trying to get this out as quick as possible to stop the rumor from spreading.

Posted by: Robert Mayer at March 17, 2005 08:30 AM

9 Bullshit! All bullshit.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 17, 2005 08:53 AM


Old news boyo

Posted by: obsnooks at March 17, 2005 09:26 AM

11 Publius Pundit phoned Josh in Syria at the Embassy in Damascus and the whole report from the LFP is BOGUS! Everything is normal in Damascus and the embassy is preparing for a ball tonight. No reports of anything going on so that was just a great bit RUMOR!

Posted by: foreign devil at March 17, 2005 10:05 AM

12 I also hear the Swift Boat Vets for Truth will be holding a big rally to present some never-before seen Kerry evidence.

Posted by: Venom at March 17, 2005 12:31 PM

13 Why would they do that? They are many more have already proven him to be a traitor. He already positioning himself to attempt another run. I hope he is the DNC's choice. You can again vote for him. And I will again vote for his opponent. I will win again.
Hillary/Edwards? Dumb assed Democrats never learn.

Mclaine/Giuliani. A winner.

Mclaine/Rice. A winner. You know, gets them women and minority votes.

Kerry yes. All you moombats put your money on him. I'll put mine on a winner. I'll win again and listen to your whinning. Ha, Ha.

Some people can write volumns and still can't pick a winner. Losers stay losers. Winners continue to win.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 17, 2005 02:12 PM

14 Ah shit! I really hate to leave such great company. But here comes Snooter Willians and Baloney (last name unknown, 1st name fits). I can reconized the sound of their pick up. No muffler. Now must spend the next couple of hours sitting on a bale of hay in the big barn and drinking budweiser. I will say they always show up with a cooler full.
When they leave I will know who's catching the most fish. Who's boat motor broke down. Who shot the biggest deer last week and who's doing who. Important stuff that affects our community.
We don't talk about the Iraq thing. Snooter doesn't know where Iraq is. Refreshing. Two new calves yesterday. We can talk about that. Later.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 17, 2005 02:24 PM

15 "Snooter doesn't know where Iraq is."

Ignorance is definitely bliss in this case, eh?

Posted by: Young Bourbon Professional at March 17, 2005 03:06 PM

16 World

Syrian military split on pullback; Opposition reports Assad has fled

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The regime of President Bashar Assad has come under severe strain over the decision to pull back forces from Lebanon and, according to an unconfirmed report, Assad has fled Damascus to regroup in Aleppo.

Lebanese opposition sources said the Assad regime has been divided over the decision to withdraw thousands of troops from Lebanon. The sources said some elements of the military have refused to follow orders for the pullout of troops as well as intelligence agents from both central Lebanon and the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Syria's military increased deployment around Damascus due to tension within the regime. The opposition Lebanese Foundation for Peace said the Syrian military has undergone a split, with a rebel faction having taken control over parts of the capital, Middle East Newsline reported.

The rebel faction was said to be led by Syrian Interior Minister Ghazi Kanaan and Firas Tlas, the son of former Defense Minister Mustapha Tlas. The sources said this group, which included Syrian intelligence chief in Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Rustom Ghazaleh and Maj. Gen. Ali Madi, has rebelled against Assad's decision to withdraw from Lebanon.

"Around 3 a.m. [Wednesday], 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," the opposition Lebanese Foundation for Peace said. "Also, late night around 3 a.m., the Syrian Air Force bombarded military positions of the Syrian Army west of the city of Homs."

There was no confirmation of this report. There were no unusual military movements reported in Damascus on Thursday.

The foundation said Assad has fled to Aleppo and amassed a force of loyalists in an attempt to regain control of Damascus. Assad was said to have left Damascus with Syrian military intelligence chief Gen. Assaf Chawkat, the president's brother-in-law.

"The dissident group took control of Damascus as they were very upset at the Lebanon withdrawal, for they left behind a billion dollar industry," the foundation said.

Over the last day, Syrian intelligence officers left their Beirut headquarters and Lebanese forces moved in. On Thursday, Lebanese sources said Damascus completed the first stage of its withdrawal from Lebanon and redeployed 8,000 troops and military intelligence personnel to the Bekaa Valley and Syria. The sources said Syria has removed its military presence from central and northern Lebanon.

"There's a lot of movement going on in Lebanon," U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said on Wednesday. "I would say there's a certain lack of clarity, which we continue to look for from the government of Syria. The lack of clarity is where are they going and when will they leave and will it be all of them."

Copyright © 2005 East West Services, Inc.

Posted by: Kukunet at March 17, 2005 03:15 PM

17 And snooter doesn't give a shit. This not to gentle giant just kicks anyones ass who messes with him. Hell Iraq. Snooter couldn't find Europe on the map. His way of looking at it. I ain't going anywhere my ancestors ran from. He'd like to join the Marine Corps and go kill muslims but he never finished highshool and don't fly. Says if God intended man to fly he would have given him wings. What I don't understand is how he always gets the biggest buck every year.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 17, 2005 06:24 PM

18 KUKUNET:Interesting post. Same as we started with at 9:00PM Yesterday.

Posted by: greyrooster at March 17, 2005 06:29 PM

19 Grey, it was a joke. You know, how back just before the election, there was all this "talk" about how the Swifties were gonna present something amazing, and then they didn't? I was just pointing out how reporting rumors does nothing.

Oh yeah, and I didn't vote for Kerry.

Posted by: Venom at March 18, 2005 02:52 PM


Posted by: fakhri at May 17, 2005 04:10 AM

Processing 0.0, elapsed 0.0066 seconds.
15 queries taking 0.0042 seconds, 28 records returned.
Page size 19 kb.
Powered by Minx 0.7 alpha.