Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Haytham Manna

What Israel did bomb lately in Syria? And How to stop the bloodshed in Syria?

The motives behind Israel’s attack on Syria on Wednesday are still as obscure as the nature of the target.

Did Israel destroy a research scientific institution?

Did Israel bomb a chemical infrastructure?

Did Israel target a convoy of missiles to be delivered to Hezbollah?

Did Israel wiped out a battery of ground to air sophisticated missiles?

As the smoke is lifted, it turned out that Syria outsmarted Israel’s operation of  the “Deadly Mirage“.

Syria brought in 14 containers to the reseach center in Hemraya, accompanied by military convoys and flying aircraft to convince Israel that chemical weapons are being displaced. Hezbollah was also participating in that deceitful maneuvering, which prompted Israel to issue gas masks.

At midnight, Israel military jets launched 8 special missiles on these containers with the intention of spreading the deadly gas to the western sections of Damascus.

Syria managed to catch Syrian Generals and high ranking officers who were in close connection with Israel operation and dismantled old spy rings.

And yet, western analysts claim that this bombing was related to Israel’s long war with Hezbollah in Lebanon rather than any desire to intervene in the fighting in Syria.

What is clear is that Israel has further alienated the people in the Arab world by reminding them of its old habit of humiliating their national pride.

Even Turkey Erdogan lambasted Israel action.

Yet the attack was also a reminder that Syria’s turmoil is having dangerously unpredictable consequences across the region.

Jonathan Steele published on Jan. 31, 2013 in The Guardian

Finding a viable political solution is all the more urgent. So it was good to hear that Moaz al-Khatib, who leads the Syrian National Coalition – the group of exiles who support armed intervention against the Syrian government and are backed by western and Gulf Arab states – now advocates talks with Basher al-Assad’s people.

This is not the view of French, British and US leaders or most of Khatib’s Syrian colleagues, who talk vaguely of a political outcome but only mean Assad’s unilateral surrender.

The former colonial powers in the region unrealistic line was on display again on Monday, when France hosted the so-called Friends of Syria.

Its analysis was gloomy. State institutions are collapsing, Islamist groups are gaining ground, more and more Syrians are dying, and there is no breakthrough in sight. “We cannot let a revolution that started as a peaceful and democratic protest degenerate into a conflict of militias,” said Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, even as he talked of more aid on the battlefield.

Several civic groups that reject the armed struggle were equally pessimistic at a meeting in Geneva. Theirs is the voice of Syria’s secular intelligentsia, who oppose foreign military intervention and favour a ceasefire and a negotiated solution on the lines like that of Lakhdar Brahimi,

The UN/Arab League mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi is trying to broker. Because they do not support the western line, they tend to be ignored by foreign politicians.

Many live in Syria. Indeed, their contingent in Geneva would have been more impressive if the Swiss had not denied visas for almost 60 people.

Rajaa al-Nasser, a Syrian lawyer from the National Co-ordination Body for Democratic Change, says a Swiss official told him the reason was political.

Haytham Manna, (manaa3) the leader of the NCB’s foreign wing, believes France asked the Swiss to block insiders who might puncture the myth that the west’s clients represent all Syrian opinion. The Swiss foreign ministry was not available for comment.

Assad’s non-violent opponents agonise most over whether to accept his recently renewed offer of a “national dialogue”.

Several have spent years in prison and distrust the government. But as casualties go on rising, those oppositionists who favour negotiations won out in Geneva, calling for talks on a new constitution and a transitional government.

Meanwhile to everyone’s surprise, on Wednesday, the Gulf states – not normally big aid-givers – came up with most of the cash to fund a UN appeal for $1.5bn to help homeless Syrians in the country and in refugee camps abroad. Britain added $50m.

Important though this is, British ministers have been as silent as their friends in the Gulf on the real cause of the humanitarian disaster. To listen to them one would think the Syrian government bears all the blame.

In 2011, Syrian forces fired live ammunition at unarmed demonstrators, and their use of artillery and aerial bombing has frequently been disproportionate, as Russian ministers have also said. But the crisis has deepened because of the weapons and logistical help given by Arab and western governments.

William Hague may proclaim that Britain only supplies “non-lethal equipment“, but this is sophistry. By supporting one side in an armed uprising and aiding militarisation through field radios and satellite equipment, Britain has blood on its hands.

Giving generously to feed and house homeless civilians will help, but Syrians would be better served by intelligent politics than charity – an embargo on arms to either side, and serious efforts to persuade rebels and government that military victory is a delusion. The Syrian National Coalition depends on foreign support.

Isn’t it about time for the Western States to tell its friends to work with Brahimi on a ceasefire, and for Russia and Iran to make the same case to Assad?

Two ceasefire attempts made little headway last year because the rebels and their sponsors did not take them seriously. A far more sustained effort is needed now.

For example,  the latest floods that hit the Syrian refugee camp near the Lebanese town of Al-Faour on 8 January, 2013, and in Jordan pressured the Arab Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia to extend  the cash to fund a UN appeal for $1.5bn to help homeless Syrians. Britain added $50m …

The Syrians would be better served by intelligent politics than charity.

Note: What do you think is happening in Aleppo, the sectors under the foreign jihadist Wahhabi Nusrat Front?

A mother of 7 children had her husband killed fighting with the Nusrat, and she had no grown up girls or boys. She demanded her ration for food and was denied, on account that she does not fulfill the conditions. She was not appealing enough for sex and had no girls to satisfy the libido of the “moujahideen”

After Bashar Assad falls, what then for the Syrians?

The alliance between foreign jihadists and some Syrians shows the fight for Syria will not end with the fall of the regime.

It is no secret that the entry of the armed opposition into the city of Aleppo was co-ordinated by  the jihadist wahhabi movements of al-Nusra, an al Qaeda front of foreign jihadists at the command of foreign leaders. The al-Tawhid brigade is also Islamist but of Syrian fighters

Smoke rises in the Hanano and Bustan al-Basha districts in the northern city of Aleppo

 City of Aleppo in flame and ruin. Photograph: Javier Manzano/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian on Dec. 18, 2012 under: Syria: after Assad falls, what then?

“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.

But who are they?

Though the al-Tawhid brigade is Islamist, its members are exclusively Syrian. Al-Nusra’s fighters, on the other hand, are mainly foreign, and its emir (leader) is appointed from outside Syria.

What accounts for the support by so many of those attending the Friends of Syria conference for an organisation the US believes to be an al-Qaida front?

From the moment al-Nusra issued its first statement in December 2011, after a suicide bombing in Damascus, both Syria’s armed opposition and the opposition in exile expressed concern about this mysterious new organisation.

The Syrian National Council claimed al-Nusra had been formed by Syrian intelligence to tarnish the image of the Free Army. Syrian human rights defenders spoke out, too, warning of al-Qaida links. Many feared the organization was fast becoming the most attractive group for foreign jihadists in a sectarian war against Alawites, Shias and secular Syrians.

In January, the National Co-ordination Committee asked Turkey to stop letting foreign fighters enter Syria.

In February, the Syrian National Council issued a statement rejecting “all attempts to exploit the uprising by foreign jihadi and sectarian fighters”. Why the apparent shift of opinion within Syria’s opposition groups?

Al-Nusra has indiscriminately targeted non-Sunni people, and in all parts of the state. In this military strategy one can see a point of convergence between the Muslim Brotherhood, the salafists, and al-Nusra: all three groups reject the idea that Assad’s regime and the apparatus of the state are distinct.

The reasons are historical:

Since a 1980 decree sentencing any member of the Muslim Brotherhood to death, there has been no Brotherhood presence in the state. Because of this, the Syrian Islamist movement has long considered the state as inherently alien. This view is not held by all Syrians, however, almost eight million of whom work for the state in various capacities.

The Muslim Brotherhood targeted the military institutions as if they were Assad’s own army. Similarly, al-Nusra considers them to be the Alawite army. This intersection of views explains the lack of support shown by minorities and secular Syrians for the armed opposition groups, which were dominated by Sunni Islamists. The role of secular democrats was marginalised, and the emphasis placed on funding armed action.

Various interested parties have supported the armed opposition.

The Gulf states consider Islamisation as a protection against genuine democracy in Syria, which would pose a threat to their own regimes.

The Turkish government considers Islamisation necessary for the isolation of the Syrian Kurds.

The west, meanwhile, was happy to simply monitor the scene, hoping armed opposition would result in the overthrow of the Syrian regime.

The Syrian National Council, too, co-operated both financially and militarily with al-Nusra, as did the leaders of various armed groups in northern Syria. Despite all the promises made to the US delegation in Tunisia to break with them, co-ordination continued on the ground.

This is why the US deputy secretary of state found himself isolated in Marrakech when he classified al-Nusra as a terrorist organisation.

The British and French remained silent, as did the EU, this year’s Nobel peace prize winner.

This was met with horror by many Syrians, the vast majority of whom reject al-Nusra. When the Syrian army attacks al-Nusra it is not as the suppressor of the popular movement, but the guarantor of the unity of Syria’s diverse society.

It is the alliance between foreign jihadists and some Syrians that risks tearing the country apart, leading to religious extremism, long-term sectarian war, and the persecution of minorities and various civilian groups.

Support for al-Nusra can be seen as both a symptom of the drunkenness of anticipated military victory, prematurely proclaimed, and an attempt to further undermine the political solution the UN still seeks.

What happens as a result will not be decided by a conference in Marrakech, but on the ground.

One thing is certain: the fight for Syria will last a long time, and will not end with the fall of the regime.

Note 1: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/war-of-lies-and-hypocrisies-in-syria-robert-fisk/

Note 2: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/syria-fundamental-and-pragmatic-discussions-during-and-after-the-assad-


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