U.S. Agreement With ISIS Let Thousands of Terrorists Flee Raqqa

U.S. Agreement With ISIS Let Thousands of Fighters Flee Raqqa: Report

© Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty
A picture taken on October 28 shows a fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walking through an empty rubble-filled street surrounded by damaged buildings in the Syrian city of Raqqa.

The U.S.-led coalition was reportedly party to a deal that allowed hundreds of Islamic State militant group (ISIS) fighters to leave the besieged eastern city of Raqqa.

The agreement saw hardened militants and foreign fighters leave the city with their families in a convoy after months of the city being besieged by a Kurdish-Arab ground force backed by the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes and tactical advisers, according to a BBC investigation.

A spokesperson for the coalition admitted there was a deal agreed by locals and ground forces, but said it was largely coordinated with the Kurds and Arabs fighting the jihadi group on the ground.

“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against ISIS, told the BBC.

“But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he added.

Comment: So the Syrians are to blame for the US shuttling ISIS militants out of Syria? What a twist!
See: U.S. makes deal for free passage of ISIS in Raqqa – but denies involvement, BBC video proves they lie

Around 250 ISIS militants departed, with 3,500 of their family members leaving with them. An official described as a “Western officer” was present but did not take part in the discussions for the deal.

The BBC spoke to drivers in the convoy, and witnesses of the deal that played out. Banners were not to be allowed in the convoy into the desert, to prevent it looking like a celebration. The coalition admitted the existence of a deal.

The coalition, in its response to a Newsweek request for comment, said it does not “make deals with terrorists” and pointed to an October 14 release that stated a “convoy of vehicles” was to depart Raqqa in an agreement brokered by local Arab tribal elders that would enable “civilians to depart Raqqa.”

It rejected the BBC investigation’s claim that the coalition was party to a “secret deal” with ISIS, saying that “nothing could be further from the truth. Coalition messaging has been open and consistent on this issue.”

But the release said it “purportedly excludes foreign Daesh terrorists,” referring to an Arabic acronym for ISIS. The BBC investigation reveals that ISIS fighters were included in the deal, not just civilians.

In the release, the coalition’s director of operations Brigadier General Jonathan Braga said: “We do not condone any arrangement that allows Daesh terrorists to escape Raqqa without facing justice, only to resurface somewhere else.”

Even though the deal stipulated that no foreign fighters would be able to leave Raqqa alive, dozens did, the BBC investigation said. The fighters that did leave also took weapons and ammunition with them. Some went into ISIS-held territory in Syria, while others reportedly made their way to Turkey. It’s unclear which areas of Turkey they crossed into.

Raqqa served as the de-facto capital of the jihadi group’s caliphate from January 2014 onward when it overran Syrian rebels in the city. It then served as the background for gruesome beheading videos of western hostages by foreign fighters, particularly Mohammed Emwazi-known as Jihadi John-who killed American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

The coalition and the SDF defeated ISIS in Raqqa last month.

The fight against ISIS in Syria is continuing despite the militant group having lost nearly all of its territory in the country. Pockets of jihadis aligned with ISIS remain in areas across all of Syria, from Damascus, to the central desert, and the eastern borderlands wth Iraq.

“The enemy hasn’t declared that they’re done with the area yet, so we’ll keep fighting as long as they want to fight,” U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon.

  For more details, see:

  1. BBC uncovers secret deal between U.S. and ISIS: Free passage out of Raqqa for top terrorists, foreign fighters
  2. As Russian MoD releases evidence of US military cooperation with ISIS, Lavrov slams illegal US presence in Syria
  3. Syrian army finds ISIS warehouses full of US-made lethal weapons

Somehow I doubt it: Netanyahu threatens israel will ‘act alone’ against Iran in Syria

Netanyahu threatens Israel will ‘act alone’ against Iran in Syria 

Netanyahu threatens Israel will 'act alone' against Iran in Syria

israel will stop at nothing to contain Iran, even if it has to act alone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. The PM accused Tehran of plotting to destroy Israel from Syria, where it has been helping fight terrorists at the government’s invitation.

“Iran is scheming to entrench itself militarily in Syria,” Netanyahu claimed as he addressed the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly in Los Angeles via a video conference on Tuesday.

The Israeli leader further alleged that Iran, which serves as one of the guarantors of a ceasefire deal in Syria along with Russia and Turkey, wants to station its troops on the Syrian territory on a permanent basis “with the declared intent of using Syria as a base from which to destroy Israel.”

Netanyahu, who once branded the milestone nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers a “historic mistake” and a threat to Israeli survival, again lashed out at the universally hailed document, arguing that it will allow Iran to “produce hundreds of nuclear weapons” after “about a decade.”

The PM urged a joint effort of the international community to curb Iran, noting that if allies do not support the Israeli lead, it will not hesitate to act on its own.

“If we stand together we will achieve it,” he said. “But if we have to – we’ll stand alone. Iran will not get nuclear weapons. It will not turn Syria into a military base against Israel,” Netanyahu warned.

Netanyahu’s claim that the deal “rescinds all the limitations on Iran’s enrichment capacity,” has been disputed by reports regularly presented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that has repeatedly confirmed Iran’s full compliance, the latest such confirmation coming this week. On Monday, a confidential IAEA report, cited by Reuters, reportedly found that Iran did not exceed the limit for enriched uranium stockpiles capped at 300 kilograms, and provided free access for inspection at all nuclear sites. It became the ninth time in a row the UN nuclear watchdog confirmed the Islamic Republic’s conformity with the provisions of the deal.

READ MORE: UN watchdog confirms Iran’s compliance with nuclear deal amid calls to renegotiate P5+1

In his refusal to acknowledge the effectiveness of the deal, Netanyahu is one of a very few world leaders, the others being US President Donald Trump and, recently, French President Emmanuel Macron. Donald Trump notoriously labeled it “the worst deal ever” and refused to recertify Iran’s compliance with the agreement in October. The US Congress now has until mid-December to consider whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran. Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke of the possibility of amending the nuclear deal with Iran to cover ballistic missile development by the Islamic Republic, drawing ire from Tehran, which insists that its ballistic missile program and nuclear development are two separate issues.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that both the Iranian and Russian military presence in Syria was “legitimate… at the invitation of the lawful government.”

Speaking about a Russia-US-Jordan agreement to withdraw “non-Syrian” military units from the de-escalation zone in south-eastern Syria, Lavrov said that “there was no talk of Iran, furthermore, of pro-Iranian forces.” Syrian President Bashar Assad has recently thanked Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for standing behind his government in the battle against terrorism.

READ MORE: Lost in reverie: Mattis claims UN let US intervene in Syria, although it never did

“The Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran are continuing the fight against oppression and aggression and eliminating the threats of terrorism,” Assad wrote in a letter in September, as cited by Press TV.

Contrary to Iran and Russia, which have been engaged in the conflict at the invitation of the legitimate Syrian government, the US-led coalition is operating in Syria without any international mandate or permission from the authorities. Israel has been launching airstrikes on Syrian territory, either targeting what it claims are Hezbollah positions or in retaliation to stray projectiles that occasionally land into the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights

The Real Syria Story No One Wants You to Know About


The conflict in Syria and the flashpoint of Daraa, a town near the Syria-Jordan border where the CIA, working with the Muslim Brotherhood, attacked police and set the stage for a conflict that has so far claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Syrians. The proxy war is designed to take down a secular government and replace it with a Salafist principality controlled by the Brotherhood, a longtime CIA and British intelligence asset. ~ Notes HERE

President Al-Assad: Hitting National Belongingness Weakens Defense Line against Cultural Invasion Attempts

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 17:28

DAMASCUS, (ST)- President Bashar Al-Assad has stressed that “hitting national belongingness weakens our first defense line, as a society,  against cultural and intellectual invasion attempts that seek turning us into helpless machines that act according to foreign-prepared plans.”

President Al-Assad made the remarks during his meeting  on Tuesday with participants in the Arab Forum on Confronting the US-Zionist reactionary Alliance and Supporting the Palestinian People’s Resistance currently held in Damascus with the participation of Arab national forces and figures.

“Arabism is a cultural concept that involves all ethnic groups, religions and communities. It is a civilized status to which all who once existed in the region, without exceptions, contributed, said President Al-Assad, adding that “the Arab language and Arab nationalism unite all these ethnic groups, communities and religions and at the same time preserve the privacy of each of them”.

President Al-Assad went on to say that solving the problems facing the Arab nation and restoring brightness to national thinking necessitates hard work as to explain some concepts through which our nation was targeted, including attempts to hit the relation between Arabism and Islam and to put Arab nationalism in a situation of confrontation with other nationalities.

He affirmed the need to clarify the idea that there is no contradiction between belongingness to Arabism and belongingness to Islam as they enhance one another, noting the importance of refuting the ethnic orientation which opposes the national one, particularly in the light of the incessant attempts to divide the region’s countries on ethnic basis. This can be done, the president said, through stressing the idea that Arabism includes all ethnic groups, religions and communities, thus Arab heritage and culture is the accumulation of the heritage and cultures of all the peoples who lived in this region throughout ancient and modern history.

President Al-Assad pointed out that national action was also influenced by another factor, which is the policies of some Arab governments which acted against the interests of the Arab peoples by serving foreign schemes and facilitating aggression on other Arab countries, thereby creating a negative reaction by many people towards nationalism and Arabism.

“Here we must differentiate between belongingness to identity and belongingness to a certain political system which we reject its Policies,” the president said.

“Arabism and national thinking have continuously been accused by their enemies of backwardness and of being old-fashioned in an age overwhelmed by globalization in order to turn us into tools to serve the interests of huge financial institutions led by the United States,” President Al-Assad asserted, noting the need to adhere to identity and to support openness and development ideas as to confront this challenge.

President Al-Assad clarified that the main goal of the war to which Syria has been exposed for seven years is to return the country and the entire region centuries back through targeting the national feeling and belongingness to this region and through putting the Arabs in front of two options: either to give up their identity and subjugate to foreign powers or adopt the extremist thinking and turn Arab societies into conflicting entities.

The president affirmed that the ongoing war, despite the huge destruction it caused to Syria, couldn’t weaken the faith of the Syrian people in the inevitability of victory over terrorism and its internal and external tools through the sacrifices of the hero Syrian army and the popular support for  this army. It also couldn’t break the Syrians’ will to keep adherent to their identity, doctrine and national belongingness.

Here is full text of President Al-Assad’s speech as reported by SANA

President al-Assad began his speech by welcoming the participants in the Forum which discusses important pan-Arab issues, as pan-Arabism constitutes identity and affiliation as well as being the past and present of peoples and the basis of their existence.

He said that the participants are now in Syria during the war imposed on it, and that there was a general view that the storm that affected several Arab states including Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq to some degree and the ensuing destruction seek to set the region back by centuries, but the main goal wasn’t destruction as what was destroyed can be rebuilt; rather the goal was undermining the Arab people’s sense of affiliation and belonging to their environment, geography, history, principles, and pan-Arabism.

His Excellency said that undermining pan-Arab affiliation means undermining the first line of defense against any attempts at a cultural or intellectual invasion that seeks to turn people into mere machines with no will that move according to plans made abroad.

“But at the same time, as this Arab spring as it was called by the enemies, aimed at undermining affiliation, without the weakness of pan-Arab affiliation and the weakness of pan-Arab sentiment, this ‘spring’ wouldn’t have been able to start in our Arab region, because segments of our societies have regrettably, through the course of time, after losing this affiliation were ready to move in other directions,” President al-Assad said, adding that these segments went in two directions when the events began: either throwing themselves into the hands of foreigners, regardless of which foreign country, or embracing Islamist extremism as a replacement for the Arab identity, despite it being an abnormal and deviant identity that has nothing to do with Islam or any religion.

“In summation, the enemies succeeded during past decades in making the situation reach its current state and succeeded in undermining society partially, dividing this society into groups, some of them distant and some of them discordant, and others are contentious and conflicting,” he said.

“On the other hand, these meetings and pan-Arab work has persisted throughout these decades, with tens and maybe hundreds of meetings being held, but the result today is that the situation for the pan-Arab condition on the Arab arena is much weaker than it was decades ago. So, do we meet again to add another meeting to a group of meetings? Do we meet to reminisce about the good days or lament bad luck or to glorify something that isn’t living its best days which is the pan-Arab condition? Are we meeting just to issue political statements, despite these being important? It’s necessary to talk politics and issue statements and take positions regarding what is happening constantly, but political statements alone cannot restore the luster of this condition we are talking about now.”

“We are facing a real problem with many aspects, and dealing with just one aspect and disregarding other aspects means that we won’t reach any results and these meetings will remain vocal platforms that have no effect,” President al-Assad said.

His Excellency said that we should start with the problem, discussing it and its solution or cure and the possible methods to reach this cure, and this requires focusing primarily on weaknesses and the methods used by the enemies of pan-Arabism, which will help find a way to deal with each aspect, because what is currently happening isn’t sudden; it is the result of long-term accumulation over decades, and its effects today on societies are deep and wide-scale.

He stressed that this issue isn’t superficial or transient, as the West was skilled in its performance and in setting traps, but the Arabs were good at falling into these traps, noting that the West built its plans on realities and facts and was active, while Arabs always based their visions on sentiments and were emotional.

“Therefore, as I am addressing a pan-Arab conference, I have to discuss some points I consider a priority, and perhaps your conference can form a more comprehensive and in-depth vision through its discussions. So, I will discuss some headlines before talking about anything related to the crisis or policy,” President al-Assad said.

He pointed out that the first major problem facing pan-Arab work is undermining the relationship between Islam and Arabism, as some have accused Arabism of being secular or atheist, tying these three concepts together and telling the simple citizens that they have to choose between faith and atheism, and naturally they chose faith, and therefore they would stand against any affiliation other than faith and Islam, so Arabism is part of the affiliation they moved away from due to this way of thinking or this incorrect marketing of the relation between Arabism and Islam.

His Excellency noted that the first to spearhead this method were the so-called Muslim Brotherhood, who were planted by the English during the first half of the 20th century in Egypt and later moved to other areas, and throughout time they spearheaded everything that opposes the interests of the Arab people and pan-Arab affiliation.

President al-Assad said that there’s an organic connection between Arabism and Islam, and there is certainly no contradiction between them, stressing that it is wrong to believe that one can either be an Arab or a Muslim.

“So, undermining this relation through Islamic extremism undermines Arabism. They diverted Islam and pushed it towards extremism. It separated itself from Arabism, and Islam and Arabism became weaker. Someone might ask why I’m talking about Arabism and Islam and not Arabism and Christianity. I would say that of course this is the same relationship; the relationship between nationalism and religion, but colonialism and enemies of pan-Arabism didn’t work in this direction, rather they focused on Arabism and Islam,” he explained.

President al-Assad moved on to the second point, saying that pan-Arabism was put against other “nationalities,” and discussing the nature of these nationalities requires separate discussions, but some of these nationalities existed in a diverse region throughout history and they never fought among themselves, so why is this conflict emerging now? This is happening because as Arab states won their independence, colonialism sowed the seeds of sedition among those nationalities and these seeds were nurtured by enemies of pan-Arabism and even some proponents of pan-Arabism through their superficial thinking and ignorant performance.

His Excellency said that this seed has grown and gained root and dealing with it now requires double efforts, adding that this enemies of pan-Arabism achieved this by giving pan-Arabism an ethnic nature, saying that it is exclusive to the Arab ethnicity, and if one doesn’t belong to it then they need to find an identity elsewhere, thereby creating a rift between groups that have coexisted throughout history, and creating a hidden sentiment that we are living together due to political borders and conditions, and when these changes everyone goes their separate ways.

“They focused on the ethnic issue and took away from pan-Arabism the most important civilized aspects in it which are related to the cultural aspect, language, geography, history, and other things,” he added.

President al-Assad said that another cumulative factor linked to political conditions in the Arab world has affected pan-Arab world, and this factor is the result of the bad political work by some Arab states which existed prior to the war but appeared more prominently as the events began, particularly when Arab states and the Arab League provided cover for the intervention and destruction of Libya, then tried to do the same in Syria, but the political conditions had shifted by then so these attempts weren’t exactly successful.

“However, this role pushed many citizens in several places and here in Syria in particular, to say that if this is pan-Arabism and Arabism, then we don’t want them. If these are the Arabs, then we don’t want to be Arabs, we want to be anything else. Well, what is alternative? There is no alternative. These people are reacting to the conspiring by some Arab states on other Arab states or peoples of causes, and didn’t differentiate between affiliation to a specific identity and affiliation to a political system,” he said, adding that there were reactions towards Arab causes like the Palestinian cause due to the betrayal by some Palestinians of Arab states and peoples that hosted them and defended them, eliciting a reaction, and there were many who said “the whole Palestinian cause can go to Hell,” which indicates the immaturity of the sense of affiliation among these people.

His Excellency went on to address another important point which is that pan-Arabism had been accused of being synonymous with backwardness, which is a hypothesis posed in the 19th century and early 20th century, particularly with the coming of the age of globalization, satellite channels and the internet, which, according to that hypothesis, means that we live in a single world with single principles, interests, and economy, so any form of nationalism is a backwards idea.

“Of course, this is the idea posed by globalization which ultimately aims at having us all belong to the financial institutions that lead the world which are practically centered in the United States, through which they lead politics, economy, and everything else,” President al-Assad said, adding that they tried to claim that Arabism is a passing fad, which is similar to what happened with the fall of the Soviet Union when they wanted to portray socialism and communism as backwards concept.

“Now, after around two and a half decades, things have started to change and inferiority complexes went away. For us in Syria, we never suffered from this inferiority complex at any time, and we used to tell them that even if this language is the language of the 20th or 19th centuries, even if it’s the language of the 1st or 10th century, we will speak it today, tomorrow, and the day after, and we won’t have an inferiority complex. On the contrary, events have proven that the lack of this identity was one of the biggest problems, and adhering to it today is necessary,” he asserted.

His Excellency moved on to address pan-Arab work and the existing political movements, figures, parties, and conferences that have been working for decades under difficult circumstances, as while Syria has been supporting pan-Arabism for many decades, there has been a growing animosity towards pan-Arab work in other states, because this work often made political positions on various Arab causes that embarrassed certain states.

President al-Assad said that there are many people in society who belong to pan-Arabism but disagree with us politically, or have other political visions, or don’t like being involved in the work of political parties, and for them their pan-Arab affiliation is a social and civilized affiliation, adding “This begs the question: where are the non-political aspects of our pan-Arab work? This is a very important aspect.”

His Excellency said that Arabism is a civilized condition, and the most important thing in the civilized condition is the culture it bears, and culture is expressed by language. Without language, the culture turns into a large generator which generates a lot of electricity, but there will be no wires in order to transport this electricity towards the city, factories, or any other place.

“Here in Syria, there is no big problem that we suffer from. After all, education in Syria, including all university stages and others, is in the Arabic language. We support foreign languages, but the Arabic language remains the basis because we understand the meaning of the language,” the President added, stressing that cultural alienation and the dissolution of cultures begins with languages then spreads to other aspects.

President al-Assad said that Syria has suffered from war for seven years, and war weakens any country no matter how strong or large it may be, and this war has exhausted Syria, but it didn’t cause it to collapse. More importantly, it didn’t affect the Syrians’ confidence in the inevitability of victory over terrorism.

“The essence of that war is two groups: first is the persons who lost their affiliation, mainly, the pan-Arab affiliation and the national affiliation. They have lost their identity, the ethics, and with them they lost the homeland. This is the basis that the foreign side depended on. We can talk about conspiracies for days, but these conspiracies would have never found a place in Syria without the existence of these groups.”

“On the other hand, the other group is mainly the Syrian Arab Army, which has fought and made great sacrifices in order to keep this homeland safe,” His Excellency said, adding that the Syrian Arab Army, before being a national army, is an army that was based on a clear creed which was established throughout decades, stressing that no army would have withstood such a war no matter how much external support it got without having popular support.

“This point, which is the strength of the army through its creed, was understood by our enemies. All political work in conferences and talk of transitional governments and federalism, and all the terms you hear can be summed up with a single thing that was required, which is undermining this concept, the army as a symbol” he said, adding that they target the institutions and society as well, because we are talking about one creed, and all the war was working towards abandoning the notion of pan-Arabism starting with the constitution, to name Syria as just “the Syrian state” and to make its army “Syrian.”

“What was the headline they have put? A professional army, which means that the army which carried out all those battles is an army of armatures, a group of amateurs who liked the game of war and went to fight just because they want to fight anyone, just as a hobby! This is what they are trying to market. For them, the professional army is the army which stays inside the country and waits for a signal from outside in order to move with coups against national governments. According to them, the professional army is that which covers the proxy governments when they relinquish sovereignty and work against the people,” President al-Assad said.

“Today, I affirm after 7 years of sacrifices, that we wouldn’t think for even a second to make concessions about creed and Syria’s pan-Arab affiliation just to appease the rejects of the 21st century of the Muslim Brotherhood and Daesh or al-Nusra, or any other groups, whether outlaws or the groups which work in the interests of the Americans and the West in our region,” His Excellency said.

The President said that if we want to improve the pan-Arab work and see results, this requires coming together and discuss various issues through dialogue, noting that in the past, proponents of pan-Arabism have not held dialogue with others; only with each other, adding “I believe that the starting point begins with dialogue with other groups that went astray, those others that put themselves or who were put by conditions in a place that contradicts their natural belonging and in a place that contradicts their interests and the interest of their homeland without their knowledge, in most cases. Recovering those is the start of the correct work in order to reinforce the pan-Arab work.”

President al-Assad said that such people are like cancerous cells that were originally normal cells that were changed due to various circumstances to become enemies of normal cells in the body, and they are fuel for a poisonous concoction made by the West, but we have to counteract this poison through dialogue.

“First, we have to address the group which is convinced about the contradiction between Islam and Arabism, we have to tell them that there is no contradiction between these two concepts, both flow into the other, both reinforce the other,” he said, stressing they cannot separate the Arabism of Prophet Mohammad from his religion, nor can they separate the religious context of the Quran from the Arabic language, so how can they separate Arabism from Islam?

“It is necessary now to refute the ethnic concept. There are people who talk about federalism, nationalism, and federalism on national basis. We have to assert that the concept of Arabism is an inclusive civilized concept that includes everyone, which means that Arabism is greater than being ethnic, the cultural concept includes everyone, includes all ethnicities, religions, and sects,” President al-Assad said, asserting that Arabism is a civilized condition to which everyone in the region contributed, making it the sum of heritage and cultures of all the peoples who lived in the area throughout old and modern history.

“The most important thing is the language that brings us all together. We all speak Arabic in this region, not other languages, even if there are other languages. .Therefore the Arabic language and pan-Arabism is what brings all religions, sects and ethnics together, and at the same time preserves the characteristics of each one,” he added, noting that after terrorism failed in the region, the enemies started focusing on ethnicities and nationalities.

As for those who renounced Arabism as a reaction to the performance of some Arab states, President al-Assad stressed that the conspiring by these states against Arab causes and the Arab people doesn’t mean that these states belong to Arabism, and affiliation to an identity doesn’t mean affiliation with a political system.

“If they conspire against us, this doesn’t mean that we should run away from the concept and true affiliation and turn things over to those who have nothing to do with Arabism or religion or the societies of this region in everything they did,” he said, stressing that the lack of affiliation doesn’t serve anyone, because the current problems such as sectarian and ethnic division are mainly caused by the lack of pan-Arab sentiment, because people instinctively seek affiliation, and when an encompassing one is absent, they will seek other, smaller ones that lead to the division of minds, geography, and homelands.

“As for linking Arabism to backwardness, we must be the leaders in supporting development ideas, and to have a program that suits this age and suits the interests of the peoples,” the President concluded.

Hamda Mustafa


الرئيس الأسد: الهدف الأساسي من الحرب التي تتعرض لها سورية إعادتها والمنطقة قرونا إلى الوراء

استقبل الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد المشاركين في الملتقى العربي لمواجهة الحلف الأمريكي الصهيوني الرجعي العربي ودعم مقاومة الشعب الفلسطيني الذي يضم قوى واحزابا وشخصيات من دول عربية عدة.

وشدد الرئيس الأسد خلال اللقاء على أن مواجهة المشكلات التي تواجه الأمة العربية وإعادة الألق إلى الفكر القومي الذي لا يمر باحسن حالاته اليوم تتطلب العمل الجاد من اجل توضيح بعض المفاهيم التي استهدفت أمتنا من خلالها ومنها محاولات ضرب العلاقة التي تربط العروبة بالإسلام ووضع القومية العربية في موقع المواجهة مع القوميات الأخرى موضحا أن العروبة والقومية العربية هي حالة حضارية وثقافية وإنسانية جامعة ساهم فيها كل من وجد في هذه المنطقة دون استثناء فهي لا تقوم على دين أو عرق محدد وإنما أساسها اللغة والجغرافيا الواحدة والتاريخ والمصالح المشتركة.

وأكد أنه من الضروري العمل على توضيح فكرة عدم وجود أي تعارض أو تناقض بين الانتماء إلى العروبة والانتماء إلى الإسلام فكلاهما يصب باتجاه الآخر ويعززه لافتا في الوقت نفسه إلى أهمية تفنيد الطرح العرقي المناهض للتوجه القومي وخصوصا في ظل محاولات تقسيم دول المنطقة على أسس عرقية وذلك من خلال التأكيد على أن العروبة تشمل كل الأعراق والأديان والطوائف وبالتالي فإن التراث العربي والثقافة العربية هي مجموع تراث وثقافات كل الأقوام التي عاشت في هذه المنطقة عبر التاريخ القديم والحديث.

ولفت الرئيس الأسد إلى أن هناك عاملا آخر أثر على العمل القومي وهو سياسات بعض الحكومات العربية التي عملت ضد مصالح الشعب العربي عبر خدمة مشاريع خارجية وتسهيل العدوان على دول عربية أخرى الأمر الذي خلق رد فعل سلبيا لدى الكثيرين تجاه القومية والعروبة وهنا يجب عدم الخلط بين الانتماء للهوية والانتماء لنظام سياسي معين لا نرضى عن سياساته وأن نوضح لهؤلاء أن السبب الرئيسي لما نعانيه اليوم من حالات تقسيمية ابتداء بتقسيم العقول وانتهاء بتقسيم الأوطان هو غياب الشعور القومي والانتماء الجامع.

وأشار الرئيس الأسد إلى أن أعداء العروبة والفكر القومي حاولوا إلصاق تهمة التخلف بهما والادعاء بأن زمنهما قد ولى في عصر تسوده العولمة وذلك بهدف جعلنا مجرد أدوات لخدمة مصالح مؤسسات مالية كبرى تقودها الولايات المتحدة.. ولا بد لمواجهة ذلك من التمسك بالهوية ودعم الانفتاح والأفكار التطويرية في إطار برنامج واضح يتوافق مع مصالح الشعوب ويراعي تطور العصر.

وأكد الرئيس الأسد أن القومية ليست فكرة نظرية وممارسة سياسية فقط بل هي انتماء اجتماعي وحضاري الأمر الذي يتطلب إطلاق حوار بناء مع الأطراف الأخرى التي لا تتبنى نفس النهج والسعي لاسترداد أولئك الذين وضعوا أنفسهم في مكان مناقض لانتمائهم الطبيعي ولمصالح وطنهم مشددا على ضرورة ألا يبقى هذا الحوار محصورا في إطار النخب والتيارات السياسية بل يجب أن يخاطب جميع شرائح المجتمع ولا سيما الأجيال الناشئة.

ولفت الرئيس الأسد إلى أن من أهم الأمور التي تقتضيها مواجهة الغزو الثقافي والفكري الذي تتعرض له الأمة العربية هو التمسك باللغة العربية التي تشكل حاملا للثقافة والعروبة باعتبارها حالة حضارية مؤكدا أن فقدان اللغة هو فقدان للارتباط وغربة عن الثقافة التي ينتمي إليها الإنسان.

وأشار الرئيس الأسد خلال اللقاء إلى أن الهدف الأساسي من الحرب التي تتعرض لها سورية منذ سبع سنوات هو إعادتها والمنطقة قرونا إلى الوراء عبر ضرب الشعور القومي والانتماء لهذه المنطقة ووضع الإنسان العربي أمام خيارين إما التخلي عن هويته والارتماء في حضن الأجنبي أو التوجه نحو الفكر المتطرف وتحويل المجتمعات العربية إلى مجتمعات متناحرة ومتصارعة.

وأكد الرئيس الأسد أن هذه الحرب بالرغم من الدمار الكبير الذي ألحقته بسورية لم تسقط إيمان الشعب السوري بحتمية الانتصار على الإرهاب بأدواته الخارجية والداخلية من خلال تضحيات الجيش السوري العقائدي والاحتضان الشعبي لهذا الجيش كما لم تسقط تمسكه بهويته وعقيدته وانتمائه القومي.

تلا ذلك حوار تناول المستجدات السياسية والميدانية وملف إعادة الإعمار في سورية بالإضافة إلى الأوضاع على الساحة العربية وآفاق تفعيل العمل العربي المشترك ودور المفكرين والقوميين العرب في تعزيز الوعي والحصانة الفكرية على المستوى الشعبي في مواجهة محاولات الغزو الثقافي عبر ترسيخ الانتماء والتمسك بالهوية الجامعة.

وتركز الحوار حول مجموعة من القضايا الساخنة على الساحة العربية أهمها كيفية تحويل الانتماء القومي الى حالة عمل مستمرة تقوم على تطوير المفاهيم والمصطلحات المتعلقة بهذه القضية المحورية بما يتناسب مع طبيعة المواجهة الحاصلة ويساهم في تفكيك الفكر الهادف إلى تصفية الهوية العربية والانتماء القومي.

كما تطرق الحوار إلى أهمية العمل على الجامعات وجيل الشباب في العالم العربي الأمر الذي يشكل محورا أساسيا في عملية التوعية القومية في الحاضر والمستقبل وأهمية وجود آليات واضحة وخطط عملية لتنفيذ هذا الأمر وعدم الاكتفاء بالطروحات النظرية العامة بهدف تثبيت العمل القومي وإيجاد بعض الحلول لما تعانيه الأمة العربية من ترهل.

وأكدت المداخلات أهمية الانتصار السوري في الحرب على الإرهاب والدول التي تدعمه وأن الانتصار السوري هو انتصار عربي مشددة على أن ما طرحه الرئيس الأسد حول العمل القومي يشكل قاعدة يمكن البناء عليها من قبل المشاركين في المؤتمر للتوصل إلى صيغة واضحة يمكن نقلها والعمل عليها في بلدانهم.

كذلك شددت بعض المداخلات إلى ضرورة البناء على انتصار سورية لإعادة الألق للقومية العربية والانتماء العربي بالتركيز على الشعوب العربية رغم مواقف بعض الحكومات العربية التي وقفت ضد سورية في حربها.


Hamda Mustafa

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Putin and Al-Khamenei: Strategy of the alliance بوتين والخامنئي: استراتيجية الحلف

Putin and Al-Khamenei: Strategy of the alliance

نوفمبر 7, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Iranian Al Imam Ali Al- Khamenei know that they are the pillar of a multilateral alliance, where Turkey can be a third pillar through building the axis of the  regional economic, political, and military balance, including the track of settlement in Syria. And China can be a third pillar also through building the international economic, political, and military balance. Furthermore, many countries can be a third pillar in it according to their field, specialization, and kind of their duties. Azerbaijan through the representation of its President Ilham Aliyev was present as a third pillar in forming the axis of the Caspian, and the only ground connection between them, in a way it makes the military and the economic geography of these two great countries as one, so on one hand, Russia becomes in the Iranian Bandar Abbas on the waters of the Gulf opposite Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman, and thus opposite the American conveyors and destroyers, and  becomes across Turkey and across the Black Sea towards Syria on the Mediterranean waters. On the other hand, Iran becomes across Iraq and Syria on the Mediterranean waters, after the direct connection has been resolved across the Syrian-Iraqi borders and becomes across the Azerbaijan-Russian pipeline in Petersburg on the waters of the North Sea off Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany, so there will be an area that stretches from the North Sea to the Caspian, the Black and the Mediterranean  Seas to the Gulf, where Russia and Iran are in the middle.

This is the second meeting of the two leaders after their first meeting two years ago after the accomplishment of the understanding on the Iranian nuclear program internationally, and after Russia has accomplished its military positioning in Syria. At the second meeting the two leaders continue their new mapping for their political, economic, and military alliance in the region and the world. The second accomplishment approached from its end with the victory of Syria along with the Iranian nuclear file. The two accomplishments remain under protection as a permanent task against the attempts of targeting which did not and will not stop. As the two leaders did not celebrate the accomplishment of the understanding on the nuclear program two years ago, but they planned to win in the war on Syria, they did not celebrate in their second meeting for the victory of Syria, but they plan to win in a new war,   which seems a war of making the economic and the defensive balance based on a broad network of interests and security which though it they can polarize the surrounding geography.

The path of settlement in Syria and the protection of the nuclear understanding were  the first discussed issues but they did not take long time, thus, the priority becomes a geographical arch from Petersburg to Bandar Abbas for transferring the steel from Russia to Iran and then to the Gulf, and opening the European market from its northern gate from and to Iran, and for building a giant electric network that is fed by nuclear reactors that build by Russia in Siberia that is able to ensure the needs of ten countries in the region from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon in the west and Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan in the east, the Gulf from the south, and facilitates the transferring of the capacitates, expertise, and the military equipments to where there is a need outside any supervision or control from a third party. The means of cooperation, coordination, and the expertise in this field between the two countries have expanded, in addition to their armed forces, and their security services from the experience of the long difficult multi-dimensional work which they waged together in Syria.

Russia which is reassured to the victory of Syria and which is comfortable towards the cooperation militarily and in oil and arms with Iraq versus Iran which is confident that the change of the equations of Syria and Iraq will change the whole region, and that the cooperation with Russia to build an international protection network for the choice of independence will ensure that America will not evade from the nuclear understanding, as it will ensure the continuation of building the Iranian missile capacity. Russia and Iran together are preparing to cooperate with China and with those who wants to build a network of inter-banking transactions that does not pass through mediation, the US currency, and banks, as a preparation for a new stage at the international and the regional levels, where the aspects of the military dimension will decrease due to the decline of wars in favor of more politics and more and more economy.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

بوتين والخامنئي: استراتيجية الحلف

نوفمبر 2, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– يعرف الزعيمان الروسي فلاديمير بوتين والإيراني الإمام علي الخامنئي أنهما ركيزة حلف متعدّد الأطراف، تصير تركيا ركناً ثالثاً فيه في بناء محور التوازن الاقتصادي والسياسي والعسكري الإقليمي، ومن ضمنه مسار التسوية في سورية، وتصير الصين ركناً ثالثاً فيه في بناء محور التوازن الاقتصادي والسياسي والعسكري على المستوى الدولي، وتصير دول كثيرة ثالثاً فيه كلّ في مجال واختصاص وطبيعة مهام. وحضرت أذربيجان برئيسها إلهام علييف كثالث لهما في تشكيل محور لبحر قزوين، وكحلقة وصل برية وحيدة بينهما، تجعل الجغرافيا العسكرية والاقتصادية للبلدين الكبيرين شبه واحدة، وتصير عبرها روسيا موجودة في بندر عباس الإيراني على مياه الخليج قبالة السعودية والإمارات وعُمان، تشاطئ الحاملات والمدمّرات الأميركية، بمثل ما تصير روسيا عبر تركيا برياً وعبر البحر الأسود وصولاً لسورية، على مياه المتوسط، بينما تصير إيران عبر العراق وسورية، بعدما حُسِم التواصل المباشر عبر الحدود السورية العراقية، على مياه المتوسط، وعبر الخط الواصل من أذربيجان وروسيا في بطرسبورغ على مياه بحر الشمال، قبالة فنلندا والسويد والنروج والدنمارك وألمانيا، وترتسم منطقة ممتدّة من بحر الشمال إلى بحر قزوين والبحرين الأسود والمتوسط إلى الخليج، تتوسّطها روسيا وإيران.

– هذا الاجتماع الثاني للزعيمين، بعد اجتماعهما الأول قبل عامين بعدما تمّ إنجاز التفاهم على الملف النووي الإيراني دولياً، وبعدما أنجزت روسيا تموضعها العسكري في سورية، وفي الاجتماع الثاني يواصل الزعيمان رسم خرائط جديدة لحلفهما السياسي والاقتصادي والعسكري، في المنطقة والعالم، وقد شارف الإنجاز الثاني بانتصار سورية على النهايات، لينضمّ إلى الملف النووي الإيراني، ويبقى الإنجازان تحت الحماية كمهمّة دائمة بوجه محاولات الاستهداف التي لم ولن تتوقف، وكما لم يحتفل الزعيمان قبل عامين بإنجاز التفاهم على الملف النووي، بل خططا للفوز بحرب سورية، لا يحتفلان في لقائهما الثاني بنصر سورية، بل يخططان للفوز بحرب جديدة، تبدو حرب إقامة التوازن الاقتصادي والدفاعي بالاستناد إلى شبكة المصالح والأمن الواسعة، التي يستطيعان عبرها استقطاب الجغرافيا المحيطة بهما.

– مسار التسوية في سورية وحماية التفاهم النووي يقدّما المباحثات من دون استغراق وقت طويل، لتكون الأولوية لقوس جغرافي ممتدّ من بطرسبورغ إلى بندر عباس، ينقل الصلب من روسيا إلى إيران أولاً ومنها إلى الخليج، ويفتح السوق الأوروبية من بوابتها الشمالية من إيران وإليها، وبناء شبكة نقل كهربائية عملاقة تتغذّى من مفاعلات نووية تشيّدها روسيا في سيبيريا، قادرة على تأمين احتياجات عشرات الدول في المنطقة، من العراق إلى سورية ولبنان غرباً، وباكستان وتركمانستان وأفغانستان شرقاً، والخليج جنوباً، وتسهيل تنقل المقدّرات والخبرات والمعدات العسكرية إلى حيث يستدعي الوضع، خارج أيّ رقابة أو تحكّم من أيّ طرف ثالث، وقد توسّعت سبل التعاون والتنسيق والخبرات في هذا المجال بين البلدين وقواهما المسلحة وأجهزتهما الأمنية، من تجربة العمل الصعب والطويل والمتعدّد الأبعاد، الذي خاضاه معاً في سورية.

– روسيا المطمئنة لنصر سورية والمرتاحة للتعاون عسكرياً ونفطياً وتسليحياً مع العراق، تقابل إيران الواثقة بأنّ تغيير معادلات سورية والعراق سيغيّر وجه المنطقة، وبأنّ التعاون مع روسيا لبناء شبكة حماية دولية لخيار الاستقلال سيضمن عدم التفلت الأميركي من التفاهم النووي، كما سيضمن مواصلة يناء القدرة الصاروخية الإيرانية، وروسيا وإيران معاً تستعدّان للتعاون مع الصين ومع مَن يرغب لبناء شبكة تعامل مصرفي بيني لا تمرّ بالوساطة والعملة والبنوك الأميركية، تأسيساً لمرحلة جديدة على المستوى الإقليمي والدولي، تتقلّص وجوه البعد العسكري فيها بالتناسب مع تراجع الحروب، لصالح سياسة أكثر، واقتصاد أكثر وأكثر.

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موفد أميركي في دمشق

الأسد: سوريا شعب واحد لا شعوب وأرضها موحّدة تديرها سلطة واحدة

موفد أميركي في دمشق


ابراهيم الأمين

في خطوة تعدّ مؤشراً الى تعديل في سياسة الادارة الاميركية تجاه الملف السوري، استقبلت دمشق، قبل أيام، أول موظف أميركي رسمي، زارها بصورة غير معلنة، ممثلاً لأحد أبرز الأجهزة الأمنية الأميركية.
وعلمت «الأخبار» أن المسؤول الذي يشغل منصباً رفيعاً جداً رتّب لزيارته عبر اتصالات مع أصدقاء مشتركين مع سوريا.

وهو وصل الى بيروت مطلع الاسبوع الجاري، وتوجّه براً، بمرافقة أمنية لبنانية الثلاثاء الماضي، الى العاصمة السورية حيث أمضى ساعات عدة في ضيافة مسؤول أمني سوري رفيع، قبل أن يعو الى بيروت.

وبحسب المعلومات، فإن الموفد كان يتابع اتصالات أجراها مسؤولون أمنيون أميركيون، من بينهم مدير الاستخبارات الأميركية (سي آي إيه) مايكل بومبيو، مع رئيس مجلس الامن القومي السوري اللواء علي مملوك. وتتعلق هذه الاتصالات بمتابعة ملفات تخصّ مفقودين أميركيين في سوريا، يُعتقد أن من بينهم عملاء للاستخبارات العسكرية الاميركية، وهو ما تريد الولايات المتحدة التثبّت منه، بعدما وصلها ملف رسمي فيه معطيات واسعة عن هؤلاء.

وتفيد المعلومات بأن القيادة السورية تعاملت مع الزيارة بحذر. ويبدو أن دمشق قررت تحديد مستوى المسؤولين الذين التقاهم الضيف الاميركي، من دون حماسة لاستقباله من قبل قيادات سياسية رفيعة، خصوصاً أن التجربة مع الجانب الاميركي غير مشجعة، إذ إن موفدين جاؤوا إلى دمشق سابقاً من دون أي نتائج لزياراتهم. كذلك يبدو أن دمشق غير راغبة في حصر التواصل معها عبر القناة الأمنية، إضافة الى الاقتناع بأن وجود القوات الاميركية على الاراضي السورية يشكل عامل احتلال.

وعُلم أن الموفد الامني الذي عرف باسم «ديفيد» أبلغ المسؤول الامني السوري الذي قابله أن الوجود العسكري الاميركي على الاراضي السورية له طابع استشاري، وأن عمل القوات الأميركية محصور بمحاربة تنظيم «داعش»، وأكد أن الولايات المتحدة وجيشها ليسا في وارد الاصطدام عسكرياً بأي جهة أخرى في سوريا. كذلك كان لافتاً تأكيده أن حكومته لا تنوي الإبقاء على أيّ قاعدة عسكرية أو وجود عسكري في سوريا بعد التخلص من «داعش»، وأن واشنطن لم تتعهد لأيّ جهة من المعارضة السورية بالبقاء في الاراضي السورية، في إشارة الى «قوات سوريا الديموقراطية» عموماً، والأكراد خصوصاً.

ونقلت المعلومات أن الموفد الامني الاميركي تحدث باستخفاف عن قدرات المجموعات المسلحة المعارضة للنظام، وشدد على أن بلاده لا تثق بقدرة هذه المجموعات على تحقيق سيطرة دائمة على أي منطقة ولا على تحقيق الاستقرار. كذلك أكد أن واشنطن تسعى مع موسكو لوضع ترتيبات لمرحلة ما بعد «داعش»، تستند الى موافقة النظام السوري.

وفيما رفضت مصادر لبنانية وسورية التعليق على الخبر، أفادت المعلومات بأن ملفات أثيرت خلال اللقاء الأميركي ـــ السوري تتطلب متابعة لاحقة بين الطرفين. لكن دمشق لا تظهر استعداداً أو حماسة للتعاون الأمني، من دون إعلان واشنطن تغييرات واضحة في سياستها.
يشار الى أن عضو الكونغرس تولسي غابارد زارت دمشق منتصف كانون الثاني الماضي، والتقت الرئيس بشار الاسد. وبعد عودتها الى واشنطن انطلقت ضدها حملة انتهت الى قرار من لجنة خاصة في الكونغرس بإخضاعها لجلسات تحقيق، انتهت قبل شهر الى أنها لم تخالف القوانين الاميركية.

مقالات أخرى لابراهيم الأمين:

US official meets with Syrian intelligence chief in Damascus – report

BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:30 A.M.) – A senior U.S. official allegedly met with Syria’s intelligence chief, ‘Ali Mamlouk, in Damascus this week, Reuters News Agency reported on Friday.

According to the publication, the U.S. official was in Damascus to discuss a number of issues, including the imprisonment of several CIA operatives in Syria.

“The regional official did not name the U.S. official who met Ali Mamlouk, Syria’s national security chief,” Reuters claimed.

“During the meeting, Mamlouk protested to the U.S. official that U.S. forces ‘are on Syrian land and this is considered occupation’,’ the regional official said. The U.S. official responded that ‘our presence is advisory and we are fighting Daesh,’ the regional official added, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State,” the Reuters report added.

Al-Masdar reached out to a Syrian government source for confirmation, but they were unable to confirm or deny these claims.

Irish politician to ST: The West, EU, US aggravate Syrian people’s suffering by sanctions

 Thursday, 02 November 2017 09:54

Irish politician to ST: It is not up to anybody other than the Syrian people to decide their representation

The Irish politician Clare Daly, who recently visited Syria along with European delegation, has affirmed that the West and the European Union are aggravating the Syrian people’s suffering by sanctions and the U.S. support for Saudi Arabia and Israel in the region.

She has spoken for many times before the Irish parliament about the terrible suffering that the Syrian people have had to endure and she pushed her country’s government to argue in the EU to lift sanction imposed on Syria and to oppose the influence of Israel as well as to stop the west’s facilitation to those who are waging war on Syria.

“Ireland is a small country in Europe but internationally we punch well above our weight. Our country is supposed to be neutral and our people are very proud of that position, even though our government bends the rules and facilitates the US military in using one of our airports in the west of Ireland. They say this is only allowed on the basis that the planes are unarmed and not involved in military exercises. This is ridiculous. Why do they keep flying through our airport every day if they are not involved in military exercises in the Middle East? We have used the parliament to highlight these issues, have been arrested breaking into the airport at Shannon to try and search the planes ourselves. This put a lot of attention on the issue and what is going on in the Middle East. We push our government to argue in the EU to lift the sanctions and to oppose the influence of Israel, and for the West to stop facilitating those who are continuing to arm and finance those waging war in Syria,” the politician said in an email sent to the Syriatimes newspaper about the role of the Irish Members of Parliament in explaining the reality of events in Syria.

She underlined that western powers or those they are bolstering, who are arming and financing the ‘rebels’ need to back off and facilitate an agreed negotiated settlement to end the war through the offices of the UN or an agreed international body.

“Pre-conditions to such negotiations like the removal of president Bashar al-Assad are unacceptable. It is not up to anybody other than the Syrian people to decide their representation,” Daly added, indicating that the EU delegation’s members, who recently visited Syria, will do what they can to allow Syria decides its own fate far away from outside interference.

“Incredible experience”

The Irish MP told us that the EU delegation came to Syria to see for themselves what life is like for ordinary Syrian people after seven years of war and their real feelings about what the future should hold.

“We had an incredible experience in a very short time. Syria is obviously a very beautiful country with an almost unrivaled history, wonderful food and friendly people. People have suffered much and the presence or effects of war are very obvious everywhere, but we met so many people who are proud of their country and want the chance to rebuild it, that it was a very humbling experience for us. People proudly spoke of Syria’s mosaic of different religions and traditions but all united by the love of their country,” Daly asserted.

She pointed out that the delegation visited areas that had been secured by the Syrian army after they had experienced terrible destruction of homes, buildings, and families.

“There was a strong determination to get things back to the way they were. The people we met who have been displaced are the most vulnerable, many are deeply traumatized and sad and they will need a lot of help and support to move on with their lives,” Daly underscored.

She concluded by saying: “To witness the resilience of the human spirit in the face of huge challenges was really striking. We look forward to our return and will do what we can to urge the world to allow Syria decides its own fate, free from outside interference.”

By the end of last month [October], a delegation composed of activists from Ireland, Romania, Spain, Norway and Sweden visited Syria.

Since 2011, a foreign-backed terror war has been waged against Syria targeting its people, army, civilization and infrastructures in accordance with US-Zionist plot that aims to fragment the region and to have hegemony over its wealth.

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

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