Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Nusra Front

Same casualties in car explosions, different media effects…

How powerful are media?

“This is the third explosion I escaped. I don’t know if I will die in the fourth one”.  Tweeted the 18-year old Maria Jawhari.
And her apprehension was fulfilled this time around.
Last year generated over 290 car explosions, many kamikaze-type, around the world, resulting in over 3,500 killed, and five fold of injuries.
Iraq experienced about 3 times more car explosions than in 2012: 92 compared to 35.
Syria witnessed about 27 explosions.
Shall I mention the calamities in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Tunisia…?
Countries under foreign occupations experienced only 35% of the total explosions in 2013.
How powerful are the media?
Lebanon witnessed 3 explosions last year, mainly in the last two months.
This year has started with another 3 explosions.
Onset of the explosion
لحظة الإنفجا OTV Lebanon –
If this trend continues, Lebanon might outpace Iraq, assuming that
1. Iraq continues to crack down hard on the hot zones or sources of terrorism in the cities of Ramadi and Falluja in the Anbar province by the Syrian borders.
2. Syria manages to liberate the large towns of Yabrod and Deir Zur from the ultra Wahhabi Islamists, funded by Saudi Arabia, the people in Kuwait and the Arab Emirates…
3. The town of Qusair stays freed from these Al Nusra Front terrorists
The first car bomb exploded in Haret Hrik in Dahiyaa. The media covered intensively this first since it took place in Hezbollah stronghold. The second one in Dahiya generated lukewarm reactions in the Lebanese media.
The third explosion targeted Iran embassy.
The fourth car explosion generated tons of comments… in Lebanon and abroad, describing the death of Mohammad Shateh
and the selfie kid  Mohammad Sha3ar
(Mind you that this car explosion is supposed to be targeting Al Mustakbal sympathizers of the Hariri clan)
The successive explosions generated none. And all these car explosions resulted in the same numbers of killed and injured. What give?
Another photo depicting the aftermath of #HaretHreik explosion, south #Beirut – #AFP #Lebanon
Maria Jawhari, the 18 year old who was killed in today’s‪#‎HaretHreik‬ ‪#‎explosion‬ had this to say before she died:
رَد إعادة تغريد تفضيل المزيد
رابط دائم للصورة المُضمّنة
Martyr Maryam Jowhary #beirut #bombing #harethreik
Martyr Maryam Jowhary #beirut #bombing #harethreik
Maria el Jawhari was reported as one of at least 4 victims of a bombing in southern Beirut on Tuesday. Netizens shared this image of a January 2 post from Facebook reading,
The car bomb attack was claimed by the Nusra Front in Lebanon and was the second blast in less than a month in the Shia-dominated Haret Hreik. Read more:
“This is the third explosion I escaped. I don’t know if I will die in the fourth one”.
Maria el Jawhari was reported as one of at least four victims of a bombing in southern Beirut on Tuesday. Netizens shared this image of a January 2 post from Facebook reading, "This is the third explosion I escaped. I don't know if I will die in the fourth one". The car bomb attack was claimed by the Nusra Front in Lebanon and was the second blast in less than a month in the Shia-dominated Haret Hreik. Read more:
Ali Ibrahim Bashir, another victim of #HaretHreik‘s #explosion |#Lebanon
Ali Ibrahim Bashir, another victim of #HaretHreik's #explosion | #Lebanon

Who may be taken down Assad or Obama? The consequences of Syria Chemical weapon climate of anxieties…

Do you think a few of the major players, among Presidents, Prime Ministers, UN inspectors, a few head of intelligence services… will pay the price for this extended game of keeping the world community on its toes?

Is the premature US president’s handling of the Syria crisis and its bad timing of any effects on his ultimate downfall?

So far, Russia pulled the Joker card that satisfies all parties, except those who wants Syria destroyed, completely ruined, desolate for decades and divided.

The USA, Russia and China have reached an agreement on the dominion partition of this region.

Ridding the Middle East of all chemical and biological weapon factories and depots is a must. And this policy should apply to Israel, especially Israel that master the modern techniques for biological warfare.

Sahar Charara shared a link from Aljazeera English:

HIGHLY CLASSIFIED. FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (a letter of Obama to Syrian President Assad?)
Dear Mr Assad,

This letter is to inform you that some time in the next two weeks, you will be the subject of a focused, limited and narrow attack by US cruise missiles in response to your recent alleged use of chemical weapons on your own people without our permission.

Here are some helpful hints to help you get through this uncomfortable episode:
1- Send the wives and kids of senior government personnel to Beirut and Paris for a shopping holiday.
2- Remove any chemical weapons from the map I have conveniently appended to this letter of potential bombing locations.
3- Move in political prisoners to use as human shields and ensure maximum collateral damage and thus publicity value when we do bomb.
4- Loudly declare your willingness to attend a UN-sponsored peace conference “under fair conditions“, but don’t lay them out in any detail. Skype call Bibi (Israel PM) if you have any questions on how to do this. The Israelis are the world experts in this field.
5- Point out to anyone who will listen that, while there’s no proof that you were responsible for this attack (even though we both know you did it), the US knowingly provided Saddam Hussein with intelligence while he gassed Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq War, and we’ve not even so much as offered an apology to Iran, never mind to Iraq for the hundreds of thousands of people we killed in a generation of sanctions, invasions and occupation.
6- Tell your broker in Beirut to buy stock in Raytheon before the attack is launched; the price is climbing quite nicely as we approach bomb date and there’s no reason you shouldn’t earn a little something for your trouble.

Hoping the events of the next few weeks aren’t too unpleasant,

Sincerely, Barack Obama

Mark LeVine posted:

Simply put, the entire process by which the president has tried to steer the US towards a bombing campaign reveals such a shocking display of political and diplomatic incompetence – one of the greatest in US history – that he couldn’t have done more to aid the Assad regime if he tried.

Unable even to conceive over 3 years of actually using the full weight of the UN for the purposes it was intended – to stop war – or to lay a proper groundwork for the use of force against Syria when it inevitably crossed the “red line” of large-scale chemical weapon use, the Obama administration, which clearly hasn’t wanted any part of military action in Syria, has allowed itself to get behind a ridiculous plan of action that is allowing the likes of Assad’s son and Russian President Putin to taunt him like a schoolyard bully when no teachers are in sight.

The mess extends in several directions.

The first is the lack of willingness of the Whitehouse to make amends for the chemical weapons-based lies it deployed a decade ago to justify the invasion of Iraq, let alone its own large-scale use of weapons such as White Phosphorus and depleted uranium, the direct support provided to Saddam Hussein for his use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq War – or the even more colossal impact of Washington’s use of Agent Orange and napalm in Vietnam.

Had Obama owned up for the American misdeeds of the past half century, the US might have a little credibility at the moment.

Instead, it’s as if he dusted off the script from 2002-03. Even if this time the script is true, it’s hard not to imagine Dick Cheney hiding somewhere in the Whitehouse attic pulling the strings.

Second, while the president talks about “international credibility” being on the line, his administration has done absolutely nothing to engage in serious reform of the UN – the legitimate embodiment of the international community – and particularly the Security Council, so that countries such as Russia or China could no longer veto action against murderers such as Assad.

The reason, of course, is that this would mean the UN could stop murderers and thieves such as Israelis Netanyahu and Peres, not to mention the US, Russia and China, from pursuing all the policies that routinely violate international law.

At the same time, Obama has done even less to support real democracy in the Arab world, instead strengthening the hands of dictators and despots the region over.

In this environment, there was really never any way the administration could offer the kind of help to the civil resistance in Syria that might have given them a fighting chance without moving to violence, an arena in which they could only be hopelessly outgunned in the current international environment.

Yet neither did it arm the secular opposition early on, when it could have made a difference and prevented the inevitable takeover of the resistance by amply funded extremist jihadis (of the Nusra Front).

As important, by allowing the UN to remain removed from the equation, Obama has given other great powers, in particular Russia, the ability to challenge the US directly, as Putin has indicated he would do, in response to any military action by the US.

If this wasn’t bad enough, not only does the president disregard international law by declaring his willingness to use force without a UN mandate, he also declares that he can use force without Congressional approval, but then goes and seeks it anyway.

These possibilities are all bad.

Either the US Congress becomes complicit in launching an attack that is a clear violation of international law, or the president winds up acting in complete isolation to the vast majority of the international community, the US political establishment, and the American people, who oppose the use of force by a wide margin.

What’s worse, in the hopes of appeasing critics at home and abroad, the president has promised to make the strikes narrowly focused and limited – that is, meaningless in practical terms.

If the president is looking only to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities, he’s given Assad so much time to prepare that no limited strike would accomplish that goal.

If he’s hoping, as his new ally Senator John McCain advocates, to use this opportunity to change the balance of power on the ground, a limited strike will be even more useless.

And if he strikes harder and longer than he said he would, he will look like a liar – and the Russians will no doubt come to the Syrians’ aid with deliveries of advanced weapons systems.

It’s worth noting that, during the 1967 war, it was the Soviet Union’s secret message to the US that it would become directly involved to protect its client regimes that led President Johnson to pull the Israelis back from conquering even more territory.

The US administration’s attempts to win the propaganda battle have been equally amateurish.

After beginning a unilateral move towards military action before it could be determined who was responsible for the attack, it did not release the evidence it says it has until after its main ally, Britain, had already seen its parliament vote against authorizing violence – plunging the “special” US-UK relationship into one of its deepest crises in decades.

When the administration does release evidence, it doesn’t in fact release any evidence – only a narrative about what the “secret” evidence shows, and assumes anyone will accept it at face value.

In the meantime, it once again delegitimizes the work of weapons inspectors, while engaging in a campaign of coordinated leaks about the evidence – rather than merely presenting such in the open – that so confuses and annoys the press corps.

This risible, almost Keystone Cops-esque attempt to manage information and public discourse on Syria has only strengthened another dictator and mass murderer, Russian President Putin (anyone remember the tens of thousands of deaths during the second Chechen War?), who can take the high road of calling for bringing everything to the UN or the G20 precisely because he knows he has the veto power to protect his allies, the Syrian regime.

If there was any silver lining to this absolute foreign policy disaster, it’s that the people of the United States and their British counterparts have apparently decided they will no longer back the use of force without a full and open debate. (This is a major victory to world peace: Seeking the debates in parliaments before any preemptive war)

But what good is this if the US government believes it can ignore its own citizens?

Key members of the Congressional establishment will back the government, despite widespread public opposition, on the claim that “American credibility” is at stake.

Perhaps the worst part of this whole diplomatic and political fiasco is that the loss of credibility and focus has allowed the one claim Obama has made that remains valid and of utmost importance – that normalising the use of chemical weapons would be an utter disaster for the world community and would wind up seeing it used with increasing frequency by governments, armed groups and terrorists – is left in a shambles.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, we’ll all be the worse off for ignoring chemical weapons use.

It’s hard to see how Obama’s attempt to intervene in the Syrian civil war can produce any kind of successful outcome from either the American or Syrian civilian perspective, if Assad is left still standing with nothing worse than a bloody nose.

And if events play out as it seems they will – a “narrow and limited strike” that rallies people around Assad and shifts focus away from his murderous campaign against his own people – Obama will have succeeded in making the situation even worse for the Syrians on whose behalf he is supposedly striking.

Truly, Syria could wind up being one of the worst foreign policy disasters in US history, destroying whatever shred of diplomatic credibility the Obama administration had left.

It’s almost enough to make one nostalgic for the days of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld…

Mark LeVine is professor of Middle Eastern history at UC Irvine and distinguished visiting professor at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at Lund University in Sweden and the author of the forthcoming book about the revolutions in the Arab world,  The Five Year Old Who Toppled a Pharaoh. 

His book,  Heavy Metal Islam,  which focused on ‘rock and resistance and the struggle for soul’ in the evolving music scene of the Middle East and North Africa, was published in 2008.

Follow him on Twitter:  @culturejamming

Note: The 5 principles of propaganda before launching a preemptive war:

1. Never mention any economic interests

2. Completely Forget history and geography: Your citizens should remain in a total blank on where your targeted enemy is located, and whether it had any long history of resistance to invaders and occupiers…

3. Demonize the opponent (club of evils). Just focus on the bad history of the enemy related to violent crimes against humanity…

4. Vehemently claim to defend the victims, the same ones that your bombs and missile will re-kill first in collateral damages”…

5. Monopolize the debate and prevent the opposing opinions

Note 2:

Joumana Hadeed, a Syrian woman, Destroys McCain at Townhall Meeting
Length: 3:17
Note 3: Hitler was asked “Who do you despise most?”
Reply: “The ones who aided me in the occupation of their countries”

Syria’s Islamist Fighters: Welcoming reporters for a media blitz?

Rania Abouzeid posted on the New Yorker this September  5, 2013 “Among Syria’s Islamist Fighters
The climb was tough, uphill through a parched orchard of plum trees with yellowing leaves and fruit the color of a dark bruise.
Mohammad, a Syrian Islamist fighter, was walking in front of me; he clambered over the five-foot-high stone terraces set like a staircase in the side of the hill rather than use the orchard’s well-worn paths.
This was no time for a leisurely walk in the verdant mountains of Jabal al-Akrad, in Syria’s northwestern Latakia province.

The Syrian regime’s MIG fighter jets flew overhead, swooping in low to drop their payloads nearby. It was 1:40 P.M. on a warm day in mid-August, and the jets had already undertaken 11 sorties, accompanied twice by helicopter gunships that opened their doors to release barrel bombs—improvised explosives packed into large barrels.

There was a smell of burnt trees, set ablaze by artillery and other firepower.


Photograph by Alice Martins/AFP/Getty

At one point, Mohammad extended the barrel of his Kalashnikov to help me up the hill: Like many conservative Muslims, he would not touch a female hand who was not a close relative. He had done this twice before realizing there was a bullet in the chamber.

The apex afforded a panoramic view of the battlefronts between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his opponents.

Three peaks of regime position rose behind us:

1. One known as Izay’a, or the Station, because of the three communication antennae sprouting from it;

2. Dahr Sahyoon; and

3. Nabi Younes, the highest, at more than 1,500 meters above sea level.

In front of us, plumes of smoke hung over many of the villages in the hills and shallow valleys, populated by members of Assad’s Alawite minority. Eleven villages had been captured by Syrian Islamist rebels in the first week of August; Assad’s forces succeeded in getting them back by August 19th. The to-and-fro continues. (Lately, the regime recaptured the 3 strategic hills)

The fight here is critical: this is Assad’s heartland, the base of his support.

The battle in these parts is led by a conservative Islamist coalition, spearheaded by Al Qaeda’s the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and Suqoor el Ezz (falcon of dignity) and headed by a Saudi called Sheikh Sakr.

The Islamist coalition includes Jabhat al-Nusra, which is also tied to Al Qaeda; the Salafi Ahrar al-Sham brigades; and groups solely made up of foreign fighters, who are here in great numbers. The rebel Free Syrian Army is also fighting here, but not in the lead.

In a freshly dug cemetery in Tartiyah, a small Sunni village near Salma, most of the handwritten names on the 48 simple white slabs serving as gravestones belong to muhajiroun, or emigrants. Locals have dubbed it the “Cemetery of the Muhajiroun.” There’s another larger  cemetery in Doreen.

The term muhajiroun refers to the early Muslims who migrated with the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, but these days it’s applied to Islamist foreign fighters or proselytizers. The names reveal the origins of the men now lying under the grayish, stony soil: Abu Obaida il Tunisi (from Tunisia), Abu Abdullah al-Moghrabi (from North Africa, probably Morocco), Abu Falah il Kuwaiti (from Kuwait). And, of course, the Chechens.

Elsewhere in Syria, and abroad, a fair proportion of Assad’s opponents view the foreign fighters with suspicion and disdain for their ultraconservative views. They also know the accounts, some captured on amateur video, of summary executions of prisoners—sometimes with a simple shot to the head, and sometimes through beheadings or slit throats.

These reports are not limited to the foreign fighters—they’ve been ascribed to some among the Syrian rebels, too. Others say that they need them now to help topple Assad, and that their ideas about a future ultraconservative Islamic state, and their reputation for brutality, can be put aside and dealt with later.

Some rebels, however, aren’t waiting until the fall of the regime, and have openly clashed with some of the more hardline Islamist groups like Jabhat al-Nusra. (All of this is a confounding problem for the United States as Congress debates military action.)

But there’s no wariness or hesitation here, not among the Syrian Islamists fighting alongside the foreigners.

On a recent evening, in the inner courtyard of a modest single-story home where I was staying, 8 Syrians from several Islamist units in the area recounted tales of Chechen bravery. They spoke of how the Chechens fought without cover, as part of an effort to terrorize the enemy psychologically by showing no fear, and how they urged the Syrians to do the same.

The home belonged to the elderly parents of a Jabhat al-Nusra fighter named Omar, who is in his twenties and also lived there. I’d known the family for a while. Omar was with Ahrar al-Sham earlier in the year, but had joined the more hardcore Jabhat al-Nusra. (“He’s been promoted,” one of his friends said jokingly, adding that the next time I saw him he might be with ISIS.)

Omar cut an imposing figure, dressed like many members of Jabhat al-Nusra in a black shalwar kameez (common in the subcontinent but not in Syria), a black headdress wrapped around his shoulder-length curly hair, and a beard (Salafi-style, without a mustache). He recently had been shot twice, once in each leg, and although his wounds were still healing and bandaged, he was back fighting on the front.

We sat eating plums, figs, watermelon, and pears in a courtyard illuminated by electricity provided to the Sunni villages by Islamist fighters. (State power has been out for more than a year.)

Last winter, a barrel bomb exploded in the house’s backyard. It killed one neighbor and cut the legs off another. Omar’s father, Abu Anis, sustained shrapnel wounds to his back. A wall of Omar’s family home was blown away. It has been crudely patched up, but most of the outer walls still bear deep pockmarks from shrapnel.

The men were openly disdainful of the Free Syrian Army units, saying they were engaged in “tourism” well behind the front, and were also openly hostile to the Alawites, or Nusayris, as they called them.

“Even the Shiites have declared them kuffar [nonbelievers],” said one.

“They are all the same. They view us Sunnis as the enemy; they are all involved in the war against us,” said another.

“They won’t want to stay here after this,” said a third, meaning after they’d swept through the villages.

The men also mocked the Muslim Brotherhood as inadequately committed to its faith.

“We call the Muslim Brotherhood ‘whatever the audience wants,’ ” said Mohammad, the Syrian Islamist fighter. He wore green military camouflage pants and a black T-shirt bearing the Islamic shahada in white script. “If the people say they want Sharia, they say they want it. If the people say they want democracy, they say they want it. They just want power.”

The very concept of moderate Islam was false, Omar claimed. “There’s no such thing—it is a modern expression,” he said. “A moderate Islamist means an Islamist who walks with them, who agrees with them, with the Americans, the Europeans, and Iran.”

As Omar spoke, there was an explosion nearby. It was one of 9 within the span of an hour, but only twice did the men in the courtyard move: once when an artillery shell whizzed past and crashed into a field near the house, and once when a MIG jet flew very low before bombing a position nearby. There was robust outgoing fire, too, from a rocket launcher and other artillery.

“The decision-makers in this country will be those with military power,” Mohammad said. “If they”—the F.S.A. and Syrian political opposition—“want a secular state and have the military power to create one, let them. If they are going to confront us because of our project, we will confront them. We are fighting for religion, what are they fighting for?”

Omar excused himself. One of his Chechen colleagues in Jabhat al-Nusra was marrying a local Syrian girl that evening.

The next morning, the fighter jets were out early, before 9 A.M. Omar’s mother—a sweet, harried woman—prepared breakfast. She always seemed to be cooking, either for Omar and his colleagues or a unit of Ahrar al-Sham stationed up the street.

The 8 men, who were joined by several others from Ahrar al-Sham, listened intently to a walkie-talkie set to intercept regime communications.

“Abu Ali, they’re asking for a [rocket-propelled grenade launcher]. They said they can see our tanks,” screeched one message, before the speaker identified the village where he was based.

“Send them a rocket,” Omar told one of the other men, who got up to relay the message to fighters closer to the field.

A helicopter circled overhead. It was flying high and appeared almost in slow motion relative to the speeding jets.

The men on the ground watched it intently as anti-aircraft fire erupted around them. The barrels the helicopters disgorged usually took time to drop to the earth—enough time, perhaps, to fool yourself into thinking you could run away from them.

The men debated which direction to scatter if the helicopter dropped its payload. It eventually passed over them and emptied a barrel bomb on an adjacent hill. A few days later, an Islamist unit commanded by one of the men sitting there, Abu Najdad, would be responsible for shooting the first MIG out of the air over Latakia province.

I didn’t see the MIG get hit at the time, Omar’s parents and I were cowering in a pit the old man had dug at the end of his garden, under a rock face. It was about two metres long and a metre deep, and felt like a shallow grave.

The old man hid in it every time a MIG took to the air. Em Anis, Omar’s mother, had other concerns. She’d placed stuffed zucchinis on a wood fire outside her house (there was no gas or electricity to power a stove), and she wanted to feed the men of Ahrar al-Sham before they headed back out. “They haven’t had lunch,” she said. Her husband just looked at her and laughed.

Earlier, Em Anis told me that Omar had seen 5 potential brides, but he stipulated that his future wife must understand that he would go wherever his jihad took him, and that she must be ready to accompany him. There had been no takers.

Note 1: Most of the kids who died in the latest chemical attacks were kidnapped by the Nusra Front in Lattakieh suburbs before the regime recaptured the hills.

Note 2: It appears that the Syrian rebels started the chemical attacks and the regime responded in kind?


Who is the Free Syrian Army? Please Explain…

As the civil war in Syria rages on, it is not always clear who is fighting the government.
The Free Syrian Army, an umbrella group of fighters, has been on the front lines since the middle of 2011.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) formed in July 2011 by a group of officers who defected from the Syrian military largely in response to orders to fire on peaceful protesters labeled as terrorists. Defection, however, is dangerous. Soldiers who do not fire on civilians risk imprisonment, torture and death.
backforward. Point # of 8 (View All)

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) formed in July 2011 by a group of officers who defected from the Syrian military largely in response to orders to fire on peaceful protesters labeled as terrorists. Defection, however, is dangerous. Soldiers who do not fire on civilians risk imprisonment, torture and death.
Copyright 2013 Reuters

The FSA is headed by Col. Riad al-Asaad (no relation to President Bashar al-Assad) who was injured in a car bomb in March, 2013 (pictured in a hospital). Brigadier General Salim Idris has in effect commanded since Dec. 2012. Idris has called for robust Western intervention.
The FSA was headed by Col. Riad al-Asaad (no relation to President Bashar al-Assad) who was injured in a car bomb in March, 2013 by the other extremist insurgent movement the Nusra Front (pictured in a hospital).
Brigadier General Salim Idris has in effect commanded since Dec. 2012. Idris has called for robust Western intervention. (Sept. 5, 2013, 5:18 a.m.)
3         “A light strike would be worse than doing nothing. If it’s not the death blow, this game helps the regime even more. The Syrian people will only suffer more death and devastation when the regime retaliates.”
Abdel Jabbar Akaidi, FSA head in Aleppo province
Akaidi believes that attacks on government targets such as airports, command centers and missile launchers would cripple the regime. Senior government military officers have reportedly been moved from such sites following President Obama’s call for missile strikes. (Sept. 5, 2013, 12:42 p.m.)

President Obama has said that the U.S. has only provided non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels. U.S. officials and rebel commanders told the Los Angeles Times that the CIA and U.S. special operatives have secretly trained rebels in the use of anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons since 2012.  (June 21, 2013, 5:44 p.m.)

Rebels have had a difficult time holding onto territory. As the fighting has dragged on, the Syrian government has given up control of most of the north in favor of the coast and the south. Rebel control of territory is divided between the FSA and religious extremist factions that gain local favor with handouts.  (Sept. 5, 2013, 6:02 a.m.)

Not all of the fighters in the FSA come from the ranks of the Syrian army and not all of the rebels are affiliated with the FSA. Concerns about religious extremists, particularly those with ties to Al-Qaeda such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, have persisted.
Copyright 2013 Reuters
Not all of the fighters in the FSA come from the ranks of the Syrian army and not all of the rebels are affiliated with the FSA. Concerns about religious extremists, particularly those with ties to Al-Qaeda such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, have persisted.  (Sept. 5, 2013, 6:59 a.m.)

Media descriptions of the rebels vary. Those opposed to the Syrian government like Qatar’s Al Jazeera tend to play up the FSA, while those with the government like Hezbollah’s Al Manar emphasize the role of religious extremists. Western press often say the FSA is divided and competes with extremists.  (Sept. 5, 2013, 1:17 p.m.)
While the FSA has at times fought beside fighters in religious groups, the 2 have become increasingly opposed. The FSA has also split from official political opposition groups and been accused of brutality. All these factors have raised questions as to who will control Syria after fighting ends.
Sept. 5, 2013, 1:31 p.m.)
انشروها على اوسع نطاق ممكن
إستفتاء: أغلبية الأميركيين يوافقو على إرسال  أعضاء الكونجرس إلى سوريا..ويرون أنه أفضل مسار للعمل في هذا الوقت :)</p><br /><br />
<p>إنظروا, الشعب الأمريكي يريد إرسال الكونغرس إلينا ... هل رأيتم ماذا تفعل أصواتكم ... ؟ ..جعلت الشعب الأمريكي ينقلب على مجلس الكونغرس ... لكم التعليق !!!</p><br /><br />
<p>رابط المقال في التعليق الأول.....
Note 2: “Who are the extremist jihadists groups” will be posted very soon
  1. Officials: US Training Syrian Forces in Jordan
  2. Exclusive: U.S. secretly providing training for Syrian rebels
  3. Syria Rebels Say Hit Hard, or Not at All
  4. Syrian rebel army founder’s leg blown off by car bomb
  5. Institute for the Study of War
  6. Syrian rebel general grapples with disarray in his ranks
  7. الفضائية – مكتبة التقارير
  8. Elizabeth O’Bagy: On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War
  9. Institute for the Study of War
  10. Guide to the Syrian opposition
  11. Splits widen within Syrian opposition
  12. Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West
  13. In Syria debate, little mention of rebels — MSNBC
  14. Syrian rebels also fighting al Qaeda, other hard-liners for villagers’ hearts and minds
  15. Exclusive: Former Syria defense minister defects in break with Assad

The  “Liberation of Qusayr” was good: Regardless of what Israel is insinuating…

When it comes to Syria, the number one question on the Israeli hawk’s mind today, anxiously debated on the opinion pages of establishment papers, goes something like this:

Everybody knows that both the Free Syrian Army rebels and their Hezbollah antagonists are abominable terrorists, the very antithesis of civilization as we understand it.

And what is a “respectable non-terrorist actor” like Israel to do when these two groups of terrorists are battling one another on their doorstep?

Are all Muslims carrying guns equally considered terrorists, or are there varying degrees of terrorism to be assessed?

Alex  Rowell posted this May 21, 2013 on Now: “Israel: Against Hezbollah in Lebanon, with them in Syria”

A cartoon showing a Hezbollah rocket passing Haifa before turning around to Qusayr in Syria

This cartoon is showing Hezbollah’s missiles targeting Haifa are making a long detour toward the city of Qusayr in Syria first

Terrorism can be so complicated sometimes.

Judging by the reactions of Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy, the totally non-democratic Arab Gulf states and the Mursi of Egypt and…they are pipping the Party of God to the pinnacle of the terrorist pyramid. Take, for instance, Friday’s article in the London Times,

”Islamist fears drive Israel to support Assad survival,”

“Senior Israeli intelligence officials” presented the following argument for the Baath regime’s survival: “Better the devil we know than the demons we can only imagine if Syria falls into chaos, and the extremists from across the Arab world gain a foothold there.” The best-case scenario, the officials further opined, was (in Haaretz’ summary) “a weakened but stable Syria under Assad.”

That report prompted a carefully-worded half-denial from Israel Netanyahu PM, who asserted it did “not represent the Israeli government’s position,” but only on the technical grounds that Israel did not in fact have a position on who should govern Syria – hardly an endorsement of the opposition, and indeed an implied suggestion that Assad – along with his Lebanese Islamist allies – were no less preferable candidates than any of the alternatives.

Not that this was the only conciliatory signal Tel Aviv has sent in Assad’s direction of late.

صورة أطفال و نساء قرية حطلة بدير الزور الذين جمعهم إرهابيي جبهة النصرة بالساحة و أعدموهم لأنهم ينتمون للطائفة الشيعية
The extremist Takfir insurgents of Nusra Front executed the inhabitants of the town of Hatla in Deir Zur region. The massacred people were Shiaa…

Following the most recent air strike on an alleged Hezbollah weapons convoy near Damascus at the start of this month, Israeli officials rushed to assure Assad they meant no harm to his regime per se. They were just there to prevent terror – if Assad chose to SCUD-missile, cluster-bomb, and air-strike Syrian civilians, well, that was another matter entirely.

Nor does the de facto support for Assad end with merely enabling his war crimes to continue.

Last month, Netanyahu announced Israel reserved the right to physically obstruct the opposition’s armed struggle against the dictatorship by blocking weapons transfers to rebel brigades.

Incompatible as all this may seem with Assad and Hezbollah’s bellowing about confronting the grand Zionist conspiracy, Tel Aviv’s under-the-table camaraderie with Damascus has long been the Middle East’s worst-kept secret.

An excellent explanation of this decades-long relationship appeared recently in Foreign Affairs under the candid title, ‘Israel’s Man in Damascus: Why Jerusalem [sic] Doesn’t Want the Assad Regime to Fall.

The author, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, runs down the key bullet points: 40 years of calm on the border, fears of Islamism among the opposition, and enduring hopes for a peace treaty that has been on the table since the 1990s. This article concluded that “[Israel] ultimately has little interest in actively hastening the fall of Bashar al-Assad.”

In other words, Israel watches – presumably with some satisfaction – as a kind of umpire in the sky, as Assad and his proxy militias (foremost among them Hezbollah) rain rockets upon rebel “terrorists” just kilometers from Lebanese territory, only stepping in to interrupt the fun when those rockets venture west of the border.

So long as Hezbollah plays by the rules – keeping the guns pointed east rather than south – they’re doing more good than harm in Israel’s eyes, and so they can even be given indirect nudges of assistance.

It’s tough to say which is the greater of the ironies – that Israel is making common cause of a kind with the chief proxies of its supposed arch-enemy Iran, or that so many ground troops of the ‘Islamic Resistance’ are giving their lives to facilitate precisely the Zionist “project” they set out to thwart.

Note 1: Israel and the former colonial powers have wide latitudes and powerful media to distort and interpret current event as they wish the world community to believe. Lebanon is safer as the takfir rebels are kicked out of Qusayr, regardless of the many attempts for the extremist Moslems to ignite a civil war in Lebanon.

Note 2: The liberation of Qusayr from the Nusra Front insurgents closed the supply lines from Lebanon to reef Damascus (suburbs of Damascus), where the insurgents wanted to focus their attacks. The shortest supply line, far shorter than from Daraya on the Jordanian borders, was  to move supplies, including weapons, from the Akkar province in north Lebanon, on to Qusayr, down to Ersal in Lebanon (less than 10 km away) and directly to reef of Damascus.

Hezbollah fighter details military operations in Qusayr

The large strategic town of Qusayr in Syria, at 15 kilometers from the north-east borders with Lebanon, has fallen. The Syrian insurgents will be unable to receive any military aids from Lebanon, for at least 3 months, and the war merchants in Lebanon will find it hard to export their weapons.

This victory will secure the western regions surrounding Damascus and secure the strategic routes to and from Homs and the sea shores. The battle of Aleppo will start in earnest within a couple of weeks. The Turkish borders will be the only open routes for the insurgents to receive any military support.

Hezbollah’s implication in the nearby Syrian war has been reported by numerous media outlets. In order to discuss the real scope and depth of the party’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, NOW talks to Hezbollah fighter Abou Ali, who has been deployed to Qusayr.

Mona Alami posted on NOW this interview on June 4, 2013

M A: Why are you fighting in Syria?

Syria has supported the resistance for over 30 years, we need to remain loyal to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Don’t you worry that Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria will significantly weaken Hezbollah? Do you believe that you can still fight Israel while waging war on another major front?

People have to understand that Hezbollah is now a regional party. The war in Syria is a preemptive strike on an enemy that was going to export the Syrian conflict into Lebanon.

Hezbollah will not allow for its military and strategic interests to be threatened without responding to such a threat. It will also not enter a war unless it is sure it can win it.

Hezbollah can still fight simultaneously on three fronts: in Syria, in the south against Israel, as well as internally. We are expecting to fight an internal war because we feel that those [foreign backers, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia…) who are spending money locally are now going to make use of it. All the indicators point in that direction.

Does the war waged by Hezbollah against the Syrian rebels bear any similarity with the war with Israel?

It’s actually very different from Lebanon, with the exception of the battles of Bint Jbeil (in the south), where the terrain and towns with houses built very close together are in many ways similar to Qusayr.

Elite and special forces that are now deployed in Qusayr are using their training in street fighting they received in Iran, which was done in mock cities specifically built for this purpose.

Who is Hezbollah fighting in Syria? Is it possible that in a country as big as Syria that the rebellion might be solely comprised of foreigners?

Most militants I met were foreign fighters: Europeans, Gulf Arabs, Chechens, Jordanians, and even Filipinos from the Abu Sayyaf movement!

Syrians only play a supporting and secondary role in the rebellion unless they fought in Iraq or Libya. These takfiris (Wahhabi sect) are savage enemies. They chop off their enemies’ heads because they believe beheading will promote them (on earth and in heaven).

Gulf  Arabs are also respected by rebels because they are usually wealthy and can offer a certain financial support to brigades. Jordanians and Somalis are those participating the most in suicide bombings.

Fighting in Qusayr has entered in its third week. Why has it been so hard for you to take over the border area?

Qusayr was initially divided in 16 military areas. Today an area of five blocks still remains in the control of rebels from the Nusra Front who have taken civilians hostage. We are trying to avoid civilian casualties as much as possible, which is slowing down the process.

Rebels who are arrested are immediately transferred to the Syrian intelligence services so that they can be used in hostage exchange operations.

Rebels are using guerrilla techniques against you in Qusayr. How are you responding to them and what weapons are being used?

We have called upon our specialists to neutralize the tunnel networks built by rebels in certain sectors of Qusayr. These specialists helped Hamas build their tunnel networks in Gaza.

Tunnels usually have a basic structure, it is easy for specialists to understand how they work, and they are helping us to destroy them by booby-trapping access and exit points. Rebels have also booby-trapped houses, so the only way to secure a certain perimeter is by blowing up walls to make holes. We are also relying on Syrian massive air raids in our military operations to wear down the rebels. Weapons used are mortars, PKK, Dushka, Russian 75, 106, as well as 155.

Many Hezbollah fighters have died in Qusayr. Some have attributed the high death toll to the inexperience of fighters who were sent initially. Is it true?

No it’s not. Reservists who were first sent to Qusayr had received from one month, three or six months training here in Lebanon. It is now the elite and special forces of Hezbollah who are fighting in Qusayr. Everyone who goes to fight in Syria has received a taklif sharii (a religious command).

Is Hezbollah present all over Syria?

At the beginning of the war, elite forces were initially responsible for protecting Shiite shrines. They have now been deployed in different Syrian areas.

Besides Qusayr, we are now fighting in Aleppo and rural areas surrounding it, as well as the suburbs of Damascus, Hama, and Idlib. In the Damascus suburbs and Aleppo, we are leading similar operations as those launched in Qusayr due to the nature of the terrain.

Are Iranians fighting in Qusayr?

No, but there are Iraqis in certain Damascus areas more particularly around Shiite shrines.

What is Hezbollah’s role in the current Syrian war? Is it collaborating with the regime’s new People’s Army?

Hezbollah is leading operations in Qusayr.  The Syrian army is playing a secondary role, deploying after an area is completely ‘cleaned’ and secured.

Hezbollah officers coordinate with the People’s Army but fighters never interact. The People’s Army is usually last to deploy after the Syrian army, as they have a better understanding of the area and its residents.

اليوم فقط الالقاء القبض على أكثر من 1500 كلب من كلاب العهرة والكر ... في قرية الضبعة أخر معاقل الارهاب في القصير .... 
المشكلة لو تم اعدامهم برصاص ... 
خسارة كبيرة فيهم الـ 1500 رصاصة .... اقتراحاتكم .... 

كيف الطريقة لقبر هولاء الكلاب الوهابية ........؟
Over 1,500 foreign insurgents made prisoner in the town of Dab3a, after fleeing Qusayr

Note 1: Hezbollah specialists helped the Palestinian Hamas build their tunnel networks in Gaza. Hamas aided the Syrian insurgents build tunnels in Qusayr, Homs, and many Syrian towns.  Hamas relied on Syria support in bringing in weapons.

Now, whom will send weapons to Hamas to resist another Israeli preemptive war on Gaza? Hamas sided with this loose Moslem Brotherhood ideology, and forgot the pragmatic ways to survive.

It is reported that Hamas leaders vacated Syria on the ground that Bashar is very scared of the US and will inevitably sacrifice them in order to put down this insurgency

Note 2: The numbers of casualties disseminated in the medias are overblown. It is reasonably estimate that no more than 200 were killed or seriously injured in both sides. The Syrian government will allow the Red Cross to visit Qusayr.

Note 3: Syria, in  coordination with the UN has kept the northern route of Qusayr open for civilians and insurgent to flee. Maybe the States that exported their fighters to Syrtia might repatriate its citizens. It is doubtful: The Moslem Jihadist who fought the Soviet troops in the 80’s were denied the right to return to their homelands, and Al Qaeda spread all over the world and its members hired by various State security services.

Apparently, the concerned States were not enthused to host victorious fighters who will seek an extremist military overturn of regimes… Will the defeated mercenaries change the decision of the States to repatriate their citizens this time around?




June 2023

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