Haytham Manna

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

The situation in Syria is the gravest it has been since peaceful protests began in March 2011. Civil resistance has been reduced to relief operations and humanitarian assistance, and the efforts of Syria’s democratic forces are now scattered and fragmented. Foreign support for the Syrian National Coalition and superimpose it as the legitimate representative of the people has weakened democratic civilian organisations’ relationships with a number of western countries. Meanwhile, the military capacity of jihadi groups has increased.

The SNC is fragile, and more likely to implode than become institutionalised. This is highlighted by three issues: the political initiative of its then president, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, in proposing talks with the regime; the decision in Istanbul to form a Syrian government in exile; and the fact that Syria’s seat in the Arab League was handed over to the SNC at the recent meeting in Doha.…  Seguir leyendo »

It was not the supposed imminent collapse of the Syrian regime that dominated the recent meeting of the Friends of Syria in Marrakech but the thorny subject of al-Nusra, one of the armed resistance groups operating in the country, which the US has just classified as a “foreign terrorist organisation”. The chairman of the Syrian National Coalition called for the US to reconsider its decision; the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamad Tayfur condemned it as wrong and hastily made. Many other statements of support for al-Nusra followed, most notably from non-Islamist members of the coalition.

It is no secret that the entry of the armed opposition into the city of Aleppo was co-ordinated by al-Nusra and the al-Tawhid brigade, part of the Syrian Free Army, and that al-Nusra remains an effective fighting force.…  Seguir leyendo »

On 18 March 2011, the most important civil movement in Syria’s modern history was launched in the streets of Dara’a. Inspired by the revolutionary spirit of the Arab spring, it was peaceful. Anti-corruption and anti-authoritarian, it combined local and national demands for democratic change.

In the second week of this mobilisation, I launched what became known as “the three no’s”: no to violence, sectarianism and external intervention. As a strategy, this would ensure the territorial integrity and unity of the Syrian people. Our challenge was to break out of the province of Dara’a into all of Syria, and we needed to ensure that the uprising attracted majority support.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Friday 18 March more than 2,000 citizens staging a demonstration in the southern Syrian city of Deraa were confronted with live bullets, water cannon, fire trucks and clubs. Four were killed and dozens were injured. The following day 8,000 mourners turned out for their funerals.

Despite the release of detainees, various promises of reform and an increase in salaries, last Friday became a day of solidarity. More than 150,000 of Deraa’s 900,000 inhabitants gathered. They chanting “Silmiya, silmiya[peaceful, peaceful], freedom freedom – the people of Syria cannot be humiliated. Dignity and freedom.”

Despite all the presidential promises not to fire on protesters, there was more shooting in Deraa and al-Sanmeen, where more than 100 were killed in one week with up to 60 others missing.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Friday 18 March more than 2,000 citizens staging a demonstration in the southern Syrian city of Deraa were confronted with live bullets, water cannon, fire trucks and clubs. Four were killed and dozens were injured. The following day 8,000 mourners turned out for their funerals.

Despite the release of detainees, various promises of reform and an increase in salaries, last Friday became a day of solidarity. More than 150,000 of Deraa’s 900,000 inhabitants gathered. They chanting “Silmiya, silmiya[peaceful, peaceful], freedom freedom – the people of Syria cannot be humiliated. Dignity and freedom.”

Despite all the presidential promises not to fire on protesters, there was more shooting in Deraa and al-Sanmeen, where more than 100 were killed in one week with up to 60 others missing.…  Seguir leyendo »