Ali Daifallah’s brother is now with the Syrian First Army and trains officers in armor strategy at Qatana. He is in Mazzeh, Damascus, right now and talked to his brother by Skype. Ali Daifallah’s brother, Major Asim Ikrambaik (from a different father) is following events at Yarmouk. Asim seconds Monzer’s appraisal of the situation. The Yarmouk Camp is different from other suburbs of Damascus. Access routes are tight and designed for surveillance. For decades, the Palestine Branch of the General Security Directorate insisted on maintaining a certain contouring of streets in order to secure control over a possibly restive Palestinian population. Along with this, Saiqa, the PLA, the PFLP-GC and the PFLP, all participated in making sure that Al-Fatah never established a foothold in this camp, even when Arafat was alive. This has now given the Syrian army an advantage manufactured in dreams. The U.S. handlers in Jordan have now been served up a Waterloo, a Canae, a Dien Bien Phu; or think in terms of an Egyptian Third Army in 1973. This is it.
Estimated deaths among the rats are at 1,500 killed. Ali did not know how many injured. He also does not know how many courageous Syrian soldiers and militia have been killed by the criminals.
Monzer reported this morning that Chief of the Syrian General Staff, Lt. General Ali Ayoub, a very experienced field commander specializing in artillery, has taken personal command over the forces closing in on the rats in the Yarmouk Camp. This is a victory he wants to taste up close. General Ayoub has been seen in the vicinity of the fighting and is reporting regularly to Lt. General Fahd Jassem Al-Fureij, the Defense Minister. It is now obvious that the noose is tightening quickly.
I’m getting messages now from people who have not spoken to me for months. Shadia Ghazzawi in Damascus leaves a message: “Ziad, a fat Palestinian woman in a hijab saw a unit of our commandos and stuck her neck out of her window, made the sign of the knife across her throat and repeatedly pointed her nose at a corner where a small grocery used to be just before Faouzi Al-Qawuqji Avenue. The unit commander finally understood what she was trying to tell him. He ordered one of his soldiers to fire at an abandoned car parked next to the store which was vandalized by terrorists. The soldier fired an RPG rocket at the car causing it to ignite somewhat with a very loud burst. When that happened, four terrorists who thought they were going to ambush our forces were ambushed themselves. Our troops opened fire on them as they tried to avoid the flames and killed each one”. God, that story makes me happy.
AHMAD JIBRIL did not leave his home in the camp and take his family to Tartous. This red herring was kited by the terrorist supporters in an effort to portray this very brave man as a coward and to lower the morale of fighters with the PFLP-GC. Monzer says that his information is decisive. Captain Ahmad Jibril has taken up position outside the Yarmouk Camp and is participating in commanding his forces. Monzer says, however, that overall command is now in the hands of the Syrian military.
American terrorists in Northern Jordan must be so enervated by constantly receiving pathetic reports from their naive trainees that it is certain heads are going to roll. Wael who is in Latakia responded to my remarks in an e-mail this afternoon and wrote back in Arabic telling me that it is very possible the Americans miscalculated. “Americans seem to think that everything is sectarian here. It’s not. Palestinians in Syria don’t like these Salafists or Takfiris. Many are members of the Ba’ath Party. It’s very natural that the mercenaries would find themselves alone in the camp. Most Palestinians don’t care if you’re Sunni or not.”
I can report to you also that our forces have killed an Iraqi commander in the NATO-enabled Jabhat Al-Nusra group near Al-Rastan in a firefight. His name is Sabah Ali Ramadan Al-Jabouri, known by the nom de guerre of “Al-Wahsh” or “the Beast”. We can now assure our friends that the Beast is in a cage somewhere in a cold Hell.
Here is a must-read for those who believe the NYT has no hope. Good article about the feelings of Aleppans toward the bearded apes from Erdoghan:
And the truth shall make you free. The Aqrab massacre in a proper light:
Arrest all Germans for this outrage!
And the continuing, hilarious made up story of Richard Engel from the lousy As’ad Abu Khalil:
Mark the Brit, ever the English soccer fanatic, sends this Nabokov piece:
or you goalkeeping types..Camus, Zhukov, Fadel
Of the games I played at Cambridge, soccer has remained a wind-swept clearing in the middle of a rather muddled period. I was crazy about goal keeping. In Russia and the Latin countries, that gallant art had been always surrounded with a halo of singular glamour. Aloof, solitary, impassive, the crack goalie is followed by entranced small boys. He vies with the matador and the flying ace as an object of thrilled adulation. His sweater, his peaked cap, his kneeguards, the gloves protruding from the hip pocket of his shorts, set him apart from the rest of the team. He is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender. Photographers, reverently bending one knee, snap him in the act of making a spectacular dive across the goal mouth to deflect with his fingertips a low, lightning-like shot, and the stadium roars in approval as he remains for a moment or two where he fell, his goal still intact.
But in England, at least in the England of my youth, the national dread of showing off and a too grim preoccupation with solid teamwork were not conducive to the development of the goalie’s eccentric art. This at least was the explanation I dug up for not being oversuccessful on the playing fields of Cambridge. Oh, to be sure, I had my bright, bracing days — the good smell of turf, that famous inter-Varsity forward, dribbling closer and closer to me with the new tawny ball at his twinkling toe, then the stinging shot, the lucky save, its protracted tingle… But there were other, more memorable, more esoteric days, under dismal skies, with the goal area a mass of black mud, the ball as greasy as a plum pudding, and my head racked with neuralgia after a sleepless night of verse-making. I would fumble badly — and retrieve the ball from the net. Mercifully the game would swing to the opposite end of the sodden field. A weak, weary drizzle would start, hesitate, and go on again. With an almost cooing tenderness in their subdued croaking, dilapidated rooks would be flapping about a leafless elm. Now the game would be a vague bobbing of heads near the remote goal of St. John’s or Christ, whatever college we were playing. The far, blurred sounds, a cry, a whistle, the thud of a kick, all that was perfectly unimportant and had no connection with me. I was less the keeper of a soccer goal than the keeper of a secret. As with folded arms I leant my back against the left goalpost, I enjoyed the luxury of closing my eyes, and thus I would listen to my heart knocking and feel the blind drizzle on my face and hear, in the distance, the broken sounds of the game, and think of myself as a fabulous exotic being in an English disguise, composing verse in a tongue nobody understood about a remote country nobody knew. Small wonder I was not very popular with my teammates.
I’ll post another from Mark tomorrow. Z