Syrian Army, Allies Carry out Quality Operation against ISIL in Badiya

August 12, 2017

The Syrian army and allies managed on Friday night to carry out a quality operation by landing troops behind the lines of ISIL terrorists in Badiya, a desert that extends over some 90,000 square kilometers from central Syria to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

The Syrian army and allies advanced 20 kilometers in Kadeir village on Homs-Raqqa border, killing a large number of ISIL terrorists and destroying their tanks and booby-trapped vehicles.

Source: Al-Manar Website

More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

Few minutes ago the Syrian media released more info about the Tiger Forces landing operation behind ISIS lines in the province of Raqqah reported earlier today.

According to the report, government troops led by Tiger Forces Commander Suheil al-Hassan were transported by 4 Mi-35 attack helicopters to the eastern Raqqah countryside 21km behind the frontline and Khirbet Makman village, Al-Qadir town and Bir Rahum.

The Russian Aerospace Forces supported the opeartion providing an air cover to the advancing government troops, according to the report.

This was the first ever airlanding operation conducted by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) during the ongoing war. The operation confirmed the growing SAA military capabilities and its restored ability to conduct rapid operations across the country.

More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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More Details Appear About Tiger Forces Airlanding Operation Behind ISIS Lines (Video, Photos)

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Video Shows Syrian Army in Control of Jordan Border in Sweida

August 11, 2017

Hezbollah Military Media Center posted a video showing the Syrian army and allies controlling posts on the border with Jordan in the southeastern province of Sweida.


Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center


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South Front

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the National Defense Forces (NDF), the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) military wing and other pro-government factions have liberated from US-backed militant groups 1300 km2 in southeastern Syria, including 30 km of the border with Jordan. The recently liberated area includes Tal al-Tabaqah, Tal al-Riahi, Tal Asda, Tal al-Ezami, Bir al-Sout and the Abu Sharshouh crossing other posts and points near the border.

US-backed militants withdrew to the al-Rushd refugee camp where they could hide from government forces attacks and airstrikes. According to pro-government sources, the Russian Aerospace Forces participated the SAA-led advance. This confirms that Moscow supports the Damascus willingness to regain control over its borders and to drive US-led coalition troops out from the occupied garrisons near At Tanf.

The control over the border will also decrease significantly arms and goods trafficking in which so-called US partner forces are deeply involved.

ISIS has been evacuating its members from the key town of Maadan in the southern Raqqah countryside, according to pro-government sources. Earlier this week, the SAA Tiger Forces and tribal forces allies reached Maadan and seized a number of villages near it threatening to encircle the ISIS-held town. This situation allegedly became a main reason behind the reported ISIS decision.

In the eastern Hama countryside, the SAA recaptured Khara’eb al-Katna area, Mount Doyleb and Tal al-Mazrou from ISIS.

In the area of Sukhna, government forces are dismantling IEDs set up by ISIS in the town amid continued clashes with terrorists. ISIS and its suicide bombers still pose a notable threat to the SAA there but it seems that the terrorist group will not be able to take Sukhna back.

The ISIS-linked News Agency Amaq published an infographic showing alleged losses of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) during the 2 months of the battle for Raqqah. According to ISIS, 1040 SDF members were killed, 207 of them because of sniper fire, 40 SDF vehicles and a bulldozer were destroyed and a UAV was downed. ISIS also damaged 3 BMP vehicles and 6 other vehicles. In total, the terrorist group conducted 54 raids against the SDF, including 36 suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device attacks.

On Thursday, the Pentagon announced that a US Special Operation Forces vehicle came under sniper fire near Manbij city in the northeastern Aleppo countryside. No casualties were inflicted. Army Col. Ryan Dillon said that the US-led coalition do not know who is behind the attack. According to local sources, ISIS was likely behind it.

The tensions between the Kurdish-dominated SDF and the Arab population as well as the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas by the US-led coalition create a situation when a notable number of long-standing ISIS supporters remain and new supporters appear in the areas formally liberated from the terrorist group. Following the formal defeat of ISIS, the US-led coalition will likely face an ISIS-led insurgency campaign in Syria and Iraq. The same problem that the US forces faced following the invasion in Iraq.

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متغيّرات متسارعة

متغيّرات متسارعة

أغسطس 11, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– خلال أيّام قليلة ورغم ضجيج المعارك والتصريحات النارية تظهر مؤشرات متسارعة على وجود إطار شامل لتهدئة الحروب وحلحلة الأزمات يتخطّى حدودها الكيانية والإقليمية. ففي الأزمة الكورية وبعد يومين من تبادل تصريحات نارية أميركية وكورية شمالية تتحدّث عن ضربات ساحقة، يعلن وزير الدفاع الأميركي عزم واشنطن على التفاوض بواسطة أطراف ثالثة، ومعلوم أنه نتاج تفويض لروسيا والصين للإدارة التفاوضية للأزمة، وتعلن كوريا الجنوبية رغبتها بالتفاوض المباشر مع كوريا الشمالية.

– في الأزمة الخليجية تراجعت المناخات التي تتحدّث عن خطوات حاسمة لدول المقاطعة لقطر بقيادة السعودية، وحلّ مكانها الحديث عن مراجعة تفاوضية للأزمة، وصار الحديث عن الحوار مفردة تتكرّر في التصريحات الدولية والإقليمية المعنية بملفّ الأزمة، بعدما استنفدت فرص الضربات القاضية التي راهنت عليها السعودية منذ أكثر من شهرين، بينما في الحرب على اليمن تدور محادثات المبعوث الأممي على تحديد هوية طرف ثالث مقبول من الفريقين يتولى مرفأ الحديدة ومطار صنعاء كخطوة تمهيدية لفك الحصار البحري والجوي الذي فرضته السعودية على اليمن والذي كان سلاحها الأمضى رهاناً على تركيع اليمنيين، ويجري التداول بقوة دولية أو بقوة عُمانية أو قوة عُمانية كويتية مشتركة لهذا الغرض.

– في سورية يندفع الجيش السوري بقوة عسكرية شرقاً في البادية ونحو دير الزور، لكنه يندفع عسكرياً بمواكبة سياسية في الجنوب على إيقاع التفاهم الروسي الأميركي، بعدما فقدت الجماعات المسلحة التي رفضت التسليم الطوعي للجيش السوري لمناطق سيطرتها، خصوصاً على الحدود مع الأردن، فيحسم الجيش السوري المعابر في محافظة السويداء من دون أن تكون الطائرات الأميركية تتربّص بوحداته، كما جرى على الحدود السورية العراقية، وينهزم المسلحون بعدما تلقوا ضربات قاسية.

 وعلى المستوى السياسي تبدو عملية تركيب وفد للمعارضة بمقاسٍ مناسب لمهمة جنيف المقبلة حتى نهاية العام، عنواناً للحوارات التي تدور تحت عنوان وفد موحّد للمعارضة، بالتوازي مع عملية فك وتركيب وإبعاد وتقاعد وتمارض لقيادات لا مكان لها في المعادلة الجديدة، التي تقوم على تشكيل حكومة سورية تضمّ تمثيلاً للمعارضة في ظلّ الرئاسة السورية والدستور السوري، والتسليم بسقوط مشروع الإسقاط وبأولوية الحرب على الإرهاب.

– في الأزمة الأوكرانية، ورغم كلّ مظاهر الخلاف حول حلها وكيفياته وما ترتب على الأزمة الدبلوماسية الأميركية الروسية مع العقوبات الأميركية على روسيا، وقرار موسكو إبعاد الدبلوماسيين الأميركيين، يعلن وزير الخارجية الروسي سيرغي لافروف أنه بنتيجة لقاءات مانيلا مع نظيره الأميركي ريكس تيلرسون وتأكيد تفاهمات الرئيسين دونالد ترامب وفلاديمير بوتين، فإنّ مسؤولين أميركيين وروساً سيلتقون قريباً للتداول في تنشيط مساعي الحلّ في أوكرانيا.

– هذه التطورات والمتغيّرات المتسارعة تمنح قدراً عالياً من المصداقية لما تسرّب عن تفاهم بين الرئيسين الروسي والأميركي على هامش قمة هامبورغ، على السعي لتنقية المشهد على الساحة الدولية من عناصر التوتر مع نهاية العام، وجعل الصورة الأبرز للسياسة الدولية هي التعاون في الحرب على الإرهاب. وهذا يعني إطفاء النيران التي تشعل الحرائق، أو منع ضخّ الوقود عنها لتنطفئ نارها، وبذلك نشهد تدريجاً فقدان محفزات وموارد الحروب التي لا تستطيع الاستمرار بدونها، ما يؤكد أنها حروب أشعلت واستمرت بقرار خارجي، مهما بدت أسبابها المحلية والداخلية وجيهة، وأن لا حرب تملك أسباب الاستمرار بلا حاضنة دولية بحجم ما تقدّمه واشنطن، أو توحي لحلفائها بتقديمه، أو تغضّ النظر عنهم عند تقديمه، وعندما تقرّر فإنّ من كانوا يكابرون بالأمس ينصاعون اليوم.

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Syrian Army Controls Border with Jordan

August 10, 2017
Syrian army advancing towards Palmyra

Syrian army and allies controlled on Thursday all posts on the border with Jordan in the southeastern province of Suwayda.

Hezbollah Military Media Center reported that the allied forces controlled the 154th and 143rd border-garrison along with many other prominent positions in Suwayda’s southeastern countryside near the border with Jordan.

Meanwhile, SANA news agency reported that the Syrian army, backed by allies, liberated about 1300 square kilometers and established full control over Tal Assadi, Tal Jarin, Tal al-Rayahin and Bir al-Sabouni, after eliminating the last gatherings of ISIL Takfiri terrorists in Suwayda countryside.

The agency quoetd its reporter as saying that Syrian army units combed the area completely and dismantled the mines and IEDs and fixed their points in it and began to expand their operation in chasing the terrorists in the direction of Bir al-Sout.

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center


BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:50 A.M.) – The Islamic State’s (ISIL) last stronghold, Ma’adan, in the southeastern countryside of the Al-Raqqa Governorate is on the verge of falling to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), a military source told Al-Masdar on Wednesday night.

According to the military source, the Islamic State has already begun evacuating Ma’adan and moving many of their fighters to the Deir Ezzor Governorate, where they hope to fend off the Syrian military’s future assault.

For the Syrian Army, the liberation of Ma’adan will allow their forces to enter the Deir Ezzor Governorate’s northern axis  for the first time in years.


Unfortunately, the road to Deir Ezzor City will ongoing get tougher once they cross the provincial border, as the governorate’s northern terrain is rather rough and difficult to navigate through.
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«تغريبة» بني ترامب الوداع مع سورية والعراق الى «الأزرق» دُرْ

أغسطس 9, 2017

محمد صادق الحسيني

خطوة حمقاء ستعجّل حرب التحرير الثانية وتجبر الأميركيين التعجيل بالهروب تحت النار، وليس بغطاء روسي لطالما سعوا إليه…!

ليس مفاجئاً أبداً ان تقصف قوات الاحتلال الأميركي كتائب سيد الشهداء بالذات في هذه اللحظة المفصلية التي يمرّ بها الهجوم الاستراتيجي الكبير لجيوش محور المقاومة. فهذه الكتائب ومعها كتائب أخرى معروفة من الحشد الشعبي، كان لها دور أساسي في وقت مبكر على إجبار الجيش الأميركي الغازي للانسحاب من العراق العام 2011. وهي التي أسّست لذلك بمقاومة سرية ثابتة الخطى منذ 2003، وكان لسورية الأسد دور حيويّ فيها، وعليه فإنّ هذه الكتائب تعرف طريقها لإجبار جنود الاحتلال الأميركي على الهرب من العراق مجدّداً كما فعلت في الماضي…!

ووفقاً لقائد مخضرم من الحشد الشعبي موجّهاً كلامه للأميركيين الغزاة: سنخرجكم تحت النار مهما راوغتم وتحايلتم، وكلما قمتم بأعمال قصف إجرامي ضدّ المدنيين والعسكريين في العراق وسورية ستزداد العقوبة ضدّكم وخسائر قواتكم الغازية ستزداد أكثر فأكثر…

ولن نسمح بأن يكون لكم دور في تحديد مستقبل العراق ولا المنطقه العربية كما تتمنّون وتشتهون…!

فنحن أصحاب الأرض وأسياد الميدان وما عليكم سوى الاستسلام والهرب مهزومين…

نعرف تماماً أنكم تقصفوننا الآن ترضية لـ«إسرائيل» بعد رضوخكم مكرهين لوجود المقاومة في الجولان واستسلام الخليجيين للأمر الواقع في الميدان السوري تحديداً، والمسألة السورية بشكل عام…!

كما أننا نعرف تماماً، بأنكم تلجأون لهذه الأعمال الجبانة، لأنّ قوات الجيش السوري والمقاومة في سورية تتجه بخطى متسارعة للوصول الى البوكمال لأهميتها في موضوع السيطرة على الحدود، وإحكام الطوق عليكم في التنف، وأنّ هذا التقدّم سيترافق مع عملية تحرير تلعفر واندفاع قوات الحشد جنوباً للسيطرة على راوة وعانة ومن ثم القائم لإنهاء وضع الحدود كلياً وترك جنودكم الغزاة في التنف تأكلهم الجرذان…

وأنّ هذا الأمر يغيظكم ويثير حنقكم جداً…

أما بخصوص بيان داعش، بأنها هي مَن قصفت، فهذا هراء، لأنّ داعش لا تتوفر لديها أسلحة بهذه الفعالية والعملية أوضح من الشمس ولها هدف سياسي واضح يتمثل في التالي:

1 ـ منع القوات المسلحة العراقية، بما في ذلك الحشد الشعبي، والجيش السوري وحلفائه من استكمال السيطرة على الحدود العراقية ـ السورية.

2 ـ تقييد حركة القوات المسلحة العراقية باتجاه تحرير راوة وعانة والقائم والعمل قدر الإمكان على توفير إمكانية سيطرة قواتكم الأميركية الغازية بالتعاون مع داعش على مدينة القائم، خاصة بعد التقدّم السريع الذي تحرزه القوات السورية وحلفاؤها في محاور البادية، واحتمال تحريرها مدينة القائم السورية.

3 ـ محاولة تحقيق مكاسب تكتيكية، في ظلّ التراجع الاستراتيجي الأميركي في المنطقة، لاستثمارها لاحقاً عندما يحين وقت التفاوض حول الحلّ السياسي في سورية. وذلك في محاولة لحجز بعض المقاعد لعملائكم السوريين في التشكيل السوري الجديد بعد الحرب…!

4 ـ وقف عمليات تضييق الخناق أكثر فأكثر على قاعدتي التنف والزقف، والذي تنفذه القوات المشتركة لحلف المقاومة. أيّ ضمان انسحاب لاحق من هذه القواعد بموجب ترتيبات متفق عليها وليس انسحاباً تحت النار…!

لقد قلنا قبل أشهر إنّ الهجوم الاستراتيجي لمحور المقاومة وعلى امتداد ساحات المعركة، من باب المندب مروراً بالعراق وصولاً الى سورية ولبنان، سيجرف كلّ قوى العدوان الصهيوأميركي في المنطقة العربية.

ومن ضمن قوى العدوان وأدواته في المنطقة، القاعدة الإنغلوسكسونية الرجعية العربية في التنف وقاعدة عين الأسد في العراق وقاعدة المفرق الجوية في الأردن التي كان يفترض بها العمل للسيطرة على كامل الحدود الأردنية ـ السورية والسورية ـ العراقية، من جنوب الجولان وحتى شمال تلعفر في العراق، وذلك لإقامة منطقة عازلة لحماية أمن «إسرائيل»…!

ولكن نجاح الجيش السوري في الاستمرار بهجومه الاستراتيجي ومواصلة قواته في الاندفاع شرقاً في عمق البادية، وصولاً الى الحدود العراقية السورية وملاقاته الجيش العراقي والحشد الشعبي على الحدود المشتركة بين البلدين، متجاوزين قاعدة العدوان في التنف لا بل مطوّقين لها بالكامل مما جعلها تفقد أيّ دور محتمل لها في تنفيذ المهمة التي كانت مرسومة لها والمتمثلة في السيطرة على كامل الحدود بين الأردن وسورية والعراق.

إذن، فقد وجدت قيادة المنطقة الوسطى في الجيش الأميركي وبعد هروب مَن كانت تدّعي أنّ وجود تلك القاعدة مرتبط بتقديم «الدعم اللوجستي» لهم لتمكينهم من محاربة الإرهاب. وهنا نعني العصابات التي يطلق عليها مغاوير الثورة وأسود الشرقية وغير ذلك من مسمّيات، والذين تمّ تدريبهم في الأردن لمقاتلة الجيش السوري وحلفائه، وليس لمحاربة الإرهاب الذي ترعاه الولايات المتحدة و«إسرائيل».

نقول إنّ قيادة المنطقة الوسطى الأميركية وجدت نفسها مضطرة لبدء اتخاذ الإجراءات والترتيبات الضرورية للهروب من الحصار الاستراتيجي الذي فرض على قواعدها سواء في التنف السورية أو عين الأسد العراقية. وهذا ما يقوم الطرف الروسي بالعمل على ترتيبه وبناء على طلب أميركي رسمي كي لا تضطر تلك القيادة أن تسحب وحداتها ومعداتها تحت وابل نيران المحور المقاوم من هذه القواعد، كما من قواعد أخرى في سورية والعراق.

فبعد توالي الانتصارات الكبرى بات أمراً جلياً لكلّ مراقب بأنه لن يبقى مكان لقوات الغزو الأميركية ولا التركية سوى الهروب تحت جنح الظلام تحت غطاء روسي، وأما الطرد تحت النار وهزيمة مزلزلة على أيدي قوات تحالف المقاومة الإيرانية العراقية السورية اللبنانية.

هذا هو الواقع الحقيقي وهو الذي دفع صحيفة «اكزاماينر» The Examiner الأميركية تنشر خبراً قبل أيام تقول فيه إنّ القياده العسكرية الأميركية تفكر في تفكيك قاعدة التنف.

القياده الأميركية إذن تبحث عن طريق هروب يحفظ لها ماء الوجه.

أما ما يجري على الأرض بين الأذناب والأتباع الصغار وكيف يريد السيد أن يستغلهم من الآن إلى حين الهروب الاستراتيجي الكبير، فنقول كما سبق وقلنا قبل أسابيع، إنه:

أولاً: الولايات المتحدة قامت في العراق بنقل قيادات وعناصر داعش بمروحيات أميركية إلى قاعدة عين الأسد والى راوة وعانة والقائم.

ثانياً: إنّ داعش وبالتنسيق مع القوات الأميركية نقل عدداً كبيراً من عناصره إلى منطقة عكاشات وإنها تعدّ العدة لتحركات هجومية.

ثالثاً: إنّ داعش وبالتنسيق مع الأميركيين يستعدّ لشنّ هجوم كبير انطلاقاً من عكاشات بهدف استعادة السيطرة على جزء من طريق طريبيل وكذلك على معبر الوليد. ولتعزيز سيطرتهم على تلك المنطقة التي تحوي مناجم اليورانيوم.

رابعاً: إنّ الولايات المتحدة ستصعّد نشاطها الهادف إلى السيطرة على القائم لإفراغ النجاح الاستراتيجي لمحور المقاومة في السيطرة على قسم من الحدود العراقية السورية، من أهميته.

خامساً: إنّ الولايات المتحدة تعمل وبالتعاون مع الأردن على استخدام بعض عناصر أبناء الأنبار في تشكيل قوى محلية لمواجهة الجيش العراقي والحشد الشعبي في الأنبار.

نعود ونقول بأنّ عملية الفجر الغادرة لقوات الغزو الأميركي لا تعدو عن كونها محاولة إشغال أو إرباك للهجوم الاستراتيجي السوري العراقي الكبير…

وكما يعتقد المراقبون، فإنّ الجانب العراقي الرسمي سيتجنّب الردّ على العملية بشكل واضح ومباشر نتيجة تعقيدات الوضع العراقي المعروفة…

لكن في المقابل ثمّة مَن يرى بضرورة أن يقوم طرف ما من المقاومة بما يلي:

١ بردّ مباغت وقاسٍ يشمل القواعد الأميركية في العراق كافة وبالوسائل العسكرية المتوفرة كافة.

٢ يجب قطع الطريق على أعمال الخيانة السياسية من قبل عملاء أميركا والسعودية المباشرين أو ممن سوّلت لهم أنفسهم التلاعب بمستقبل العراق وإفهامهم بكل حزم، بأن عقارب الساعة لن تعود إلى الوراء مرة أخرى، لا بالمال الحرام ولا بعقد التحالفات في غرف الظلام…

جيوش ترامب المحاصَرة بما يسمّى بمراكز الارتكاز تعيش حصاراً مراً ولم يبق أمامها إلا الرحيل إلى قاعدة الأزرق الأردنية، أي من حيث أتت، هي ومَن معها من الأذناب، بعد أن حانت ساعة استقلال العراق وسورية الثانية..!

والعراقيون الأشاوس من جيل الحشد المقدّس يعرفون متى وكيف يلقنون هؤلاء الغزاة من الكاوبوي الأميركي درساً قاسياً سيخرجهم هذه المرة من العراق مرة وإلى الأبد..

كل الكتائب الآن أيديهم على الزناد، ولسان حالهم يقول:

ردي على البارود بارود

ردّي على البارود بارود، وجبال بلادي وروابيها بتعرفني…

بعدنا طيّبين قولوا الله…

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The Secrets of the Syrian War: the Druze Factor


In the last few days Israel has picked up the pace of its shelling and bombardment of Syrian government troop positions in the border zone of the Quneitra province. This suggests that Israel may have decided to make a «last-ditch effort» to influence the outcome of the Syrian civil war. Considering that all the American troops in the region have been placed on alert and are actively seeking an excuse to attack Bashar al-Assad’s army, the idea that the US and Israel might be taking orchestrated steps to escalate the Syrian conflict cannot be ruled out.

Israel’s leaders have thus far proclaimed a policy of neutrality and nonintervention in the Syrian war, although they have not concealed their sympathy for the pro-Western faction of the opposition and have offered them certain types of aid. Israel has admitted injured militants to its hospitals for treatment. It has provided them with material support, including some confirmed, modest shipments of military supplies. Along with the Americans, Israeli advisers have trained Syrian recruits inside Jordan, contributing to the work of the joint Military Operations Center near Amman.

To a large extent, Israel’s blueprint for the future evolution of the Syrian crisis has been developed from the perspective of a «final solution» to the problem of the Golan Heights. Israel’s expert community has often surmised that the disintegration of Syria would be objectively beneficial for Israel, since it would expedite international recognition for the annexation of the Golan Heights. It can be assumed that the highest government officials have also been motivated by these considerations. And the idea of self-determination for Syria’s Druze has seemingly opened up the fast track to this destination: it’s been suggested that if several states were created within Syria, then in the interests of self-preservation the Druze in in that country would also be forced to form their own political unit. And because that entity would be impractical on its own, it might want to be «reunited» with the Druze who live on the other side of the Golan Heights, on land held by Israel, with the idea being that they could all join up together. Israel would thus not only legitimize the land it currently occupies, but also expand it. Despite the fantastical nature of these plans, they have attracted influential supporters from among the Druze who live in Israel (near Haifa on Mount Carmel) and hold Israeli citizenship.

One prominent Druze politician in particular has been committed to this position, Likud member Ayoob Kara, who has served as the deputy speaker of the Knesset and held ministerial posts in several different Israeli governments. He has stated that «if the Druze in Syria are threatened with destruction, Israel will not be able to stand aside».

A significant expansion of his country’s Druze community would open up new horizons for him. The only problem is that there aren’t too many Druze on either side of the Golan Heights who share such sentiments. Nonetheless, it’s not easy for Israeli politicians to abandon this dream. The best outcome for them would be for Syria to splinter on its own, without any visible intervention by Israel, a country that has strained relations with all its neighbors. This, more than anything, is the best explanation for its proclamations of self-restraint throughout the war. And back when the Islamic State (which is banned in Russia) was maximizing the expanse of its conquered territory, Israel was clearly concerned about the prospect of IS showing up on its own doorstep. There was even speculation in the press that perhaps the regime of Bashar al-Assad «wasn’t so bad after all». That was the period when the Russians and the Israelis were cooperating as much as possible in regard to Syria. However, as the IS threat recedes further into the background and Syria stays in one piece, there is apparently a temptation to «set some events in motion».

The current wave of Israeli strikes against Syria has also had symbolic significance. They precisely coincided with the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the Golan Heights, an event attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where even he found himself in the thick of the shelling. In a speech before the Israeli military there, he declared bluntly, «The Golan is ours and the Golan will always be ours. The Golan is ours because it belonged to our forefathers, and because it was taken back by us due to Syrian aggression». This is, to be frank, a rather unique interpretation of history and recent events.

The Israeli army is also providing supporting fire to the Army of Muhammad, a coalition that includes both «moderate» opposition fighters from the FSA as well as al-Qaeda loyalists from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – the former Jabhat al-Nusra. That coalition recently announced the launch of a military operation with the pretentious code name of «The Road to Damascus». Every resolution and international agreement stipulates that such terrorist organizations should be destroyed, not supported. The recent strike near Quneitra leveled by Russian Aerospace Defense Forces from Hmeymim against the positions held by this coalition has shown that they are legitimate targets. Afterward Israel neither protested this action nor took any countermeasures. And the government army, taking advantage of the aftermath of the Russian bombing, fended off the Army of Muhammad and, according to the latest reports, has fully rectified the situation on the Israeli border.

A few Israeli commentators, Yossi Melman in particular, believe that this will be all there is to the matter. However, in the last few months some pundits in Israel have all simultaneously recommended that the country’s leaders expand Israel’s role in the Syrian war. For example, the respected Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) has released a report, titled «Syria’s New Map and New Actors: Challenges and Opportunities for Israel». The authors of the paper openly admit that the agreement reached between the US and the Syrian opposition in 2016 has been a «source of concern» for Israel, because of its insistence that «no part of the national territory [of Syria] shall be ceded». The same document states that «the people of Syria remain committed to the restoration of the occupied Golan Heights by peaceful means». The report claims that these sort of strategies coming from the Western coalition have been one of the reasons that Israel has viewed that group’s actions cautiously.

However, the authors feel that the time has come for the country’s leaders to «reevaluate the traditional regional rules of the game». Between the «devil that it knows» (the existing regime) and the unknowable future should opposition forces seize the reins of power, it is crucial to choose what kind of reality is being shaped, i.e., to wield influence over Syria’s future appearance. The report maintains that there is a need to more actively intervene in events and draw upon the traditional and deeply-rooted ethnic and religious groups in southern Syria that have some sort of ties to the FSA. The justification: there are an awful lot of foreign actors meddling in Syrian affairs as it is. The conflict zone has allegedly already been divvied up between the US, Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Israel can’t just sit back and watch what they’re doing there. Among the possible steps listed by the authors: significantly stepping up the missile and air strikes against the regime’s military targets and communication lines; cooperating with Jordan to establish a no-fly zone over southern Syria; supporting opposition forces that are loyal to Israel; recruiting the Druze population to work with the Israelis; playing a more active role in American operations in southern Syria; expanding cyber-warfare attacks; and reformulating new, more assertive «red lines» for Damascus.

Such measures can hardly be seen as productive or well-timed. The Syrian army is already on an unstoppable roll and can’t be checked without a full-scale invasion. But that would entail serious military operations on a strategic level, requiring approval from both the US Congress and the Israeli Knesset. And the prospects for that type of authorization seem somewhat iffy at the moment. Such a turn of events would lead to a serious crisis for the entire system of international relations, although it should be acknowledged that right now the situation seems to be unfolding in accordance with a dangerous scenario

US Ends CIA Program in Syria but Continues Preparations for Big War

US Ends CIA Program in Syria but Continues Preparations for Big War

ALEX GORKA | 23.07.2017 | WORLD

US Ends CIA Program in Syria but Continues Preparations for Big War

The news hits headlines. The Washington Post (WP) reports that President Trump has decided to discontinue the CIA’s covert program to arm and train «moderate» Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, according to US officials. The program was authorized by  Trump’s predecessor in 2013. The move is described by media as a major concession to Russia. «This is a momentous decision,» the WP cites an unnamed official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the secret program, «Putin won in Syria». Ned Price, a former CIA officer who served as senior director of the National Security Council under President Barack Obama, thinks «The White House appears content to kowtow to Moscow on any number of fronts — including in Syria». Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham tweeted that «if true – and I hope it’s not – it would be a complete capitulation to Assad, Russia, and Iran». But is it really a concession or a big policy change?

At first glance, the plans to oust the Assad government in Syria are shelved and there is nothing left but airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants and the Defense Department run train-and-equip program to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by Kurds. With the de-escalation zones coming into effect, the US is gradually reducing its involvement in the Syrian cauldron. But a deeper look into the matter leads to quite different conclusions.

The suspension of the CIA program is much ado about nothing, it was inefficient anyway. In fact, it does not change anything because the Pentagon program is in place. The US is not curtailing its involvement. To the contrary, it is increasing its military presence in Syria, and also in Iraq, by leaps and bounds.

The Turkish Anadolu Agency published a report on July 17 detailing the military facilities’ whereabouts and, in some instances, the number of special operations forces working there. It said two airfields and eight military outposts in Kobani, Manbij and Rumeilan, among others, are being used to support the Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). One post in Ayn Issah town in northern Raqqa governorate housed around 200 US soldiers and 75 French special forces troops.

US-made armored vehicles, including MRAP, M-ATVs, and up-armored bulldozers have recently reinforced the forces in the area of Qamishli – a city in northeastern Syria on the border with Turkey. Guardian armored trucks and US up-armored Humvees are included in the coalition aid to the SDF, and according to the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2018 request for funds for train-and-equip program for Syrian partner forces, armored bulldozers are also included in aid to «vetted» Syrian groups, Military Times reports.

The source notes that M-ATVs and MRAPs are not part of the package that is divested to the Syrian Democratic Forces. Neither is the Common Remotely Operated Weapon Station, or CROWs system, which appears mounted on the M-ATVs featured in the photographs spread around by media. The images of heavily armored American combat vehicles entering Syria seem to illustrate that the US is increasing the military presence in the region in general and in Syria in particular.

Last month, US High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems – HIMARS – were moved to al-Tanf base in the southeastern part of the country – one of three official border crossings between Syria and Iraq. HIMARS had already been deployed in northern Syria.

US, British, and Jordanian troops, equipped with tanks and helicopters, have been reportedly positioned in a long strip region across the border zones of Syria’s southern provinces of Dara’a and Suwayda, from Tel Shahab rural area, just a few hundred meters from the Jordanian border, to al-Nasib Border Crossing and Khirbet Awad village. Their presence has also been reported near Ramtha, a Jordanian city, located in the far northwest of the Arab country close to the Syrian border. There are no IS militants in that area, so the forces’ mission is to keep away the Syrian government and pro-Iranian forces.

According to an AP report made public in March, the United States had spent to date more than $11.5 billion on its intervention in Syria. Several hundreds of US special operation forces have been sent to Syria under the pretext of training Kurdish militia fighters.

Actually, American military personnel are not supposed to be present on Syrian soil at all. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 enables the president to act unilaterally in the event of «a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces». Syria has not attacked the United States. The US 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) gives no authority to enter Syria, which had no relation to the 9/11 terrorist act. The Syrian government may be painted as a batch of bad guys doing wrong things in their own country, but the UN charter prohibits the use of military force for retaliation or for reprisal or, punishment.

The administration is pushing Congress for the authority to build new «temporary» facilities in Iraq and Syria. That’s what its recent policy statement says. The president wants Congress to extend existing authorities that only cover the «repair and renovation» of facilities to also encompass «temporary intermediate staging facilities, ammunition supply points, and assembly areas that have adequate force protection».

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of who currently commands Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and the XVIII Airborne Corps, said the campaign is now expected to expand into the Euphrates River Valley after Iraqi forces retook Mosul. The general acknowledged that a continued US military force presence in the region could include the use of temporary facilities set up on an ad hoc basis, such as those proposed by the administration, but would mostly draw upon existing bases. Little by little, the bird is making a nest in Syria.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in talks with the Trump administration to keep American troops in Iraq after the fight against the IS in the country is concluded. The parties appear to agree that a longer-term presence of American troops is needed. The US military has about 7,000 troops in Iraq.

As one can see, there are multiple signs that the United States is increasing war preparations in the region. One of the missions is to prepare for a possible conflict with Iran. Another is strengthening the bargaining position at the talks on de-escalation zones in Syria and the talks on crisis management in Geneva. Any scenario can ignite a spark to light a fire.

Russia and the US could put aside all the differences and launch bilateral confidential talks on Syria. An open, honest conversation protected from any leaks to media could help to prevent the worst form happening. Moscow could act as a mediator between the Astana group and the US-led coalition. The mutually agreed proposals could then be submitted to other pertinent actors for discussion and approval. But the refusal to return Russian diplomatic compounds shows the US is not ready for a dialogue. Looks like Washington prefers to balance on the brink of war in the region in an effort to boost its influence and make the situation unfold the way it wants.

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