Terrorists Rapidly Losing Ground in Syria

 

Syrian Army, Allies Regain 1000 Km2 between Eastern Qalamoun and Palmyra

May 23, 2017Syrian army advancing towards Palmyra

The Syrian army and allies launched a large scale campaign against ISIL terrorists in the area  between eastern Qalamoun in Damascus countryside and Palmyra city in Homs southeastern countryside, controlling 1000 square kilometers and killing dozens of the takfiri militants.

تشير الخريطة  إلى التقدم في هذا المحور (محور رقم ٢ على الخريطة) إضافة إلى المحاور جميعا

The map shows progress on this axis (axis 2 on the map) as well as all the axes

click the image to enlarge

One of the ISIL militants was arrested as the group’s takfiris escaped the military fronts due to their collapsing morale.

It is worth noting that the campaign is still ongoing.

Source: Hezbollah Military Media Center

Video: ISIS Terrorists Rapidly Losing Ground in Eastern Aleppo

Global Research, May 23, 2017

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and their allied units are rapidly clearing the countryside Maskanah, a strategic town in the province of Aleppo, from ISIS terrorists.

So far, government troops have liberated Wadi Muwayih, Jub al-Ali, Tal Hasan, Nafiyah, Atirah, Mazyuna, the Thaletha farm, the railroad station, Samaljieh and the Al-Khazim Gas Station. The advance was supported by multiple airstrikes carried out by Russian and Syrian aircraft on ISIS targets in the Maskanah countryside.

According to pro-government sources, some 19 ISIS members died in the recent clashes. In turn, ISIS argued that 2 armoured vehicles belonging to the SAA were destroyed.

With these advances, the SAA is now in about 10 km from Maskanah with only 3 villages – Sain, Ras al-Ayn and Sakariyah – remaining on the government forces way to the entrance to the ISIS stronghold.

The SAA, Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces, Druze militias, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and other pro-government factions continued their advance east of Suweida in southern Syria. They liberated the area of Zuluf, the Zuluf dam and Dahra Umm.

South of the Zaza triangle on the Damascus-Baghdad road, the SAA and its allies reached the Scientific Research Battalion area ad also captured it.

Meanwhile reports appeared that large reinforcements arrived to SAA units operating in the Suweida countryside and at the Al-Tanf road area. The deployed units were from the National Defense Forces in Suweida, the Arab Tawheed Party, the Ibdal movement and the Iraqi Imam Ali Battalions.

On Saturday, the US-led coalition deployed units of the Norwegian Special Operations Forces at the Al-Tanf area in Syria. Norwegian troops had entered Syria from Iraq under a pretext of ISIS attack in the area. Thus, Washington and its allies continued efforts aimed at preventing the Damascus government from regaining control over the Syrian border with Jordan and Iraq.

On Sunday, a number of pro-government sources reported that Russia may deploy its Special Operations Forces in order to support Syrian government forces advancing in the border area. Experts believe that the presence of Russian military servicemen in the area will prevent further airstrikes by the US-led coalition. However, the reports still have to be confirmed by some evidence.

On Sunday, the last batch of militants and their supporters left the al-Weaer district of the city of Homs, transferring a full control of the area to government forces assisted by the Russian Military Police.

ISIS terrorists are reportedly preparing to withdraw from the Al-Yarmouk camp south of the Syrian capital of Damascus. According to unconfirmed reports, ISIS had reached an evacuation agreement with local Palestinian leaders. The agreement will allow the evacuation of ISIS militants and their supporters from the camp with the approval of the Syrian government. According to local sources, ISIS distributed leaflets to the people in mosques inside the Al-Yarmouk camp and called on those who wished to leave the camp to the ISIS-held areas in eastern Syria. The leaflets stated that ISIS opens the door for registration for civilians who wish to exit to “the lands of the Caliphate” east of the country. Fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have also agreed to withdraw from their positions in Al-Yarmouk camp to Idlib province.

The original source of this article is South Front

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) Tiger Forces and their allied units are rapidly clearing the countryside Maskanah, a strategic town in the province of Aleppo, from ISIS terrorists. So far, government troops have liberated Wadi Muwayih, Jub al-Ali, Tal Hasan, Nafiyah, Atirah, Mazyuna, the Thaletha farm, the railroad station, Samaljieh and the Al-Khazim Gas Station. The advance was supported by multiple airstrikes carried out by Russian and Syrian aircraft on ISIS targets in the Maskanah countryside.

According to pro-government sources, some 19 ISIS members died in the recent clashes. In turn, ISIS argued that 2 armoured vehicles belonging to the SAA were destroyed.

With these advances, the SAA is now in about 10 km from Maskanah with only 3 villages – Sain, Ras al-Ayn and Sakariyah – remaining on the government forces way to the entrance to the ISIS stronghold.

The SAA, Hezbollah, the National Defense Forces, Druze militias, the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and other pro-government factions continued their advance east of Suweida in southern Syria. They liberated the area of Zuluf, the Zuluf dam and Dahra Umm.

South of the Zaza triangle on the Damascus-Baghdad road, the SAA and its allies reached the Scientific Research Battalion area ad also captured it.

Meanwhile reports appeared that large reinforcements arrived to SAA units operating in the Suweida countryside and at the Al-Tanf road area. The deployed units were from the National Defense Forces in Suweida, the Arab Tawheed Party, the Ibdal movement and the Iraqi Imam Ali Battalions.

On Saturday, the US-led coalition deployed units of the Norwegian Special Operations Forces at the Al-Tanf area in Syria. Norwegian troops had entered Syria from Iraq under a pretext of ISIS attack in the area. Thus, Washington and its allies continued efforts aimed at preventing the Damascus government from regaining control over the Syrian border with Jordan and Iraq.

On Sunday, a number of pro-government sources reported that Russia may deploy its Special Operations Forces in order to support Syrian government forces advancing in the border area. Experts believe that the presence of Russian military servicemen in the area will prevent further airstrikes by the US-led coalition. However, the reports still have to be confirmed by some evidence.

On Sunday, the last batch of militants and their supporters left the al-Weaer district of the city of Homs, transferring a full control of the area to government forces assisted by the Russian Military Police.

ISIS terrorists are reportedly preparing to withdraw from the Al-Yarmouk camp south of the Syrian capital of Damascus. According to unconfirmed reports, ISIS had reached an evacuation agreement with local Palestinian leaders. The agreement will allow the evacuation of ISIS militants and their supporters from the camp with the approval of the Syrian government. According to local sources, ISIS distributed leaflets to the people in mosques inside the Al-Yarmouk camp and called on those who wished to leave the camp to the ISIS-held areas in eastern Syria. The leaflets stated that ISIS opens the door for registration for civilians who wish to exit to “the lands of the Caliphate” east of the country. Fighters of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) have also agreed to withdraw from their positions in Al-Yarmouk camp to Idlib province.

Homs City fully under government control for the first since 2011

Homs, Al-Waer

BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:10 A.M.) – The departure of the remaining militants and their families from the Al-Wa’er District of Homs, Sunday, has left the provincial capital fully under the government’s control for the first time since 2011.

Over the course of two months, the militants and their families holed-up in Al-Wa’er were transported in twelve batches from the district to the northern Aleppo city of Jarabulus on the Turkish border.

Initially, the last batch of militants was scheduled to be transported from Al-Wa’er on May 12th; however, many of the civilians that chose to leave the district had requested to return from Jarabulus.

While many civilians have since returned to the district from the Turkish border, Al-Wa’er has been declared militant-free by Governor Talal Barazi of Homs, which means the government will reopen the area to the public.

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The War on Syria: Exposing Media Distortions

Book review: Washington’s Long War on Syria, by Stephen Gowans

Global Research, May 21, 2017

The war in Syria, mainstream media tell us, is a simple story, with a brutal dictator on one side and freedom-loving rebels on the other. Into this mix, the Islamic State has inserted itself, while the benevolent United States must intervene to rescue the Syrian people. U.S. involvement in Syria, motivated by altruism, the story goes, arose in direct response to events in 2011.

This view is as fanciful as it is notable for its myopic self-regard.

In Washington’s Long War on Syria, Stephen Gowans dismantles the official story, myth by myth, and provides the context without which it would be impossible to understand events.

Gowans relates the history of armed Islamist opposition to the secular government, reaching back decades. U.S. meddling in Syrian affairs also has a long history, as the author thoroughly covers.

Gowans quotes U.S. government documents that reveal a growing consensus on the desire to topple the Syrian government, which officials regarded as an impediment “to the achievement of U.S. goals in the region,” which included the spread of free market economies. The George W. Bush administration imposed a series of sanctions on Syria, which crippled the economy and wrought widespread suffering. “Sanctions of mass destruction” were visited on Syria “with grim humanitarian consequences,” Gowans writes.

By 2006, the U.S. began meeting with and providing support to Islamist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood-led National Salvation Front. Islamic extremists received funding to establish a satellite television station to broadcast anti-government programs into Syria. Millions of dollars were funneled to Islamist anti-government forces. Direct action was also mulled, and Bush Administration officials seriously considered the option of invading Syria.

The 2011 uprising in Syria is portrayed in mainstream media as entirely peaceful and dedicated to democratic ideals. Quoting from Western sources, Gowans shows that opposition groups in Daraa attacked police and burned down government buildings. In the weeks following the violence in Daraa, demonstrations throughout Syria typically numbered in the hundreds, far below levels seen elsewhere in the Arab world at that time. Contrary to Washington’s claims, protests in Syria tended to be led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition quickly took up arms, and in a matter of months, had progressed from burning down buildings to waging armed guerrilla warfare.

Sensing opportunity in the armed uprising, Washington painted a very different picture of events so as to win public support for intervention. “When it became evident that the most prominent of the armed rebel groups were dyed-in-the-wool, head-chopping jihadists…U.S. propagandists created the concept of the ‘moderate’ rebel to assuage concerns that Washington was backing al-Qaeda and its clones,” Gowans reports.

Until its collapse, the opposition Syrian National Council was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and received $40 million a month from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Gowans observes: “Weren’t all these states presided over by princes, emirs, and kings, who preferred to govern by decree, eschewing any form of democratic input? What a curious set of allies for a so-called pro-democracy movement.”

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), much touted in the West, is hardly the moderate force of popular imagination, and Gowans thoroughly debunks such claims, showing how the FSA collaborates so closely with Al-Nusra that the two organizations share arms and ammunition and often fight side-by-side, in coordination with each other. CIA arms sent to the FSA can be expected to find their way to Al-Nusra.

In one of the book’s many examples demonstrating the ideology of the Free Syrian Army, the words of an FSA commander are referenced. “Those whose intentions are not for God had better stay home, whereas if your intention is for God, then you go for jihad and you gain an afterlife and heaven.” Gowans drily comments: “This was hardly the exhortation of a secularist.”

And who are the moderates of whom we hear so much? Gowans refers to the words of former director of national intelligence James Clapper: “Moderate these days is increasingly becoming anyone who’s not affiliated with Islamic State.” Gowans points out that “as far as Washington is concerned, every non-Islamic State armed group was moderate, including Al-Nusra, even though the al-Qaeda affiliate had been designated a terrorist organization by the United States itself.” In page after page, and with devastating logic, Gowans thoroughly demonstrates the absurdity of Washington’s claims to be aiding moderate forces.

Gowans demolishes the U.S. argument that its intervention in Syria is motivated by humanitarian concerns by contrasting it with U.S. silence on Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Bahrain to violently crush opposition. While Washington’s aid to Islamist rebels in Syria approached $1 billion a year, military and political support to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia continued unabated. Nor has Saudi intervention in Yemen proven an impediment to U.S. largesse. Recently, the Trump administration signed an agreement to provide Saudi Arabia with a staggering $110 billion in arms. The deal also called for as much as $350 billion to be added over the next decade.

“The Arab Spring had two components: its reality and its rhetoric,” Gowans explains.

“The Arab Gulf monarchies embraced the discourse of the Arab Spring in Libya and Syria, but crushed its reality at home. The monarchs’ patrons, officials of the United States, and the broader Western world, did the same.”

Washington’s Long War on Syria is a well-researched and deeply considered analysis of the tragedy that has befallen Syria. Stephen Gowans reveals the political and economic interests that are motivating Washington’s intervention in Syria. No praise is too high for this much-needed corrective to Western propaganda. This fascinating book is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the war in Syria.

To order:

 

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute.

He is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea, a columnist for Voice of the People, and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language.

He is also a member of the Task Force to Stop THAAD in Korea and Militarism in Asia and the Pacific.

His website is https://gregoryelich.org

Follow him on Twitter at @GregoryElich

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian Army Within 20 km of Al-Tanaf Controlled by US-led Forces on Syria-Iraq Border

Global Research, May 21, 2017
South Front 19 May 2017

According to reports, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies continued their advance on Al-Tanaf and managed to take positions in about 20 km away from the town controlled by US-led forces on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The SAA also captured the Khabrat Zarkaa area south of the Damascus-Baghdad road. Kharbat Zarrkkaa is located about 50 km from the al-Tanf border crossing. According to pro-government sources, Russian Su-30 fighters escorted government forces in the area.

A rough map of the situation:

According to some opposition sources, the US informed Jaish al-Thawrah in Al-Tanf two days ago that it will be transferred to a another area in order to avoid conflict with the SAA.

According to pro-government sources, there was a US-Russian agreement on the deployment of Syrian forces 15 km from Al-Tanf which would be handed over to the SAA after negotiations.

There are reports that the US may establish a base south of Deir Ezzor and transfer Jaish al-Thawrah to it. By this the SAA will be able to open the Damascus – Baghdad road.

At the same time the US-led coalition and the Syrian Free Army can continue the military operation towards the town of Al Bukamal in the Deir Ezzor countryside.

Some of these reports look questionable and can be confirmed only by developments on the ground.

Al-Jaafari: “Our ambition is the highest by focusing on combating terrorism… we would like to remind that state terrorism is being practiced against Syria”

Source

Geneva, 19/5/2017 ~ Head of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation to Geneva Bashar al-Jaafari announced on Friday the end of the official meetings within the 6th round of the intra-Syrian dialogue held in the Swiss city with a final session of talks the delegation held with the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.

“We have just concluded the last session with the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, within the framework of the current Geneva round, which we agreed to call it the 6th round of Geneva. For us, as the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic, the official meetings with the Special Envoy has ended at this moment and de Mistura as the special envoy will follow his contacts and meetings but this is another matter,” al-Jaffari said in a press statement following the end of the session.

“In this round, we discussed mainly one topic, which can be considered as the fruit that matured or resulted from this round. I mean expert meetings. One expert meeting was held yesterday between our experts and experts of the Special Envoy’s team and this is the only result that we came out with in this round,” he added.

In response to a question about the coincidence of the meeting with an American aggression and ISIS  massacre against Syrians in addition to the ambition of achieving better results in this round, al-Jaafari said that the delegation discussed during today’s session the U.S. attack on one of the Syrian Arab Army’s military points on al-Tanf road in the Syrian Badia, which took place Thursday evening.

“Minutes ago, we talked extensively about the massacre committed by the US aggression on Thursday in my country .The important thing is that our political ambition is the highest in terms of concerns within all parties involved. Our ambition is supreme because we want to constantly focus on the fight against terrorism“, he said.



Al-Jaafari pointed out that terrorism, represented by terrorist groups and the terrorism committed by countries and governments against Syria which includes the US, French and British aggression whether against civil or military targets, as what happened in Manbaj city when the French bombed the city and killed 200 civilians or as in Raqqa when the US raided the Deaf and Dumb school and as happened in al-Tharda Mountain in Deir Ezzor or as happened yesterday also.

“At every meeting, we would like to remind the attendees that state terrorism is being practiced against our country,” he added.

On setting a time limit for expert meetings and whether it would continue beyond the Geneva meetings, al-Jaafari noted that he did not say that, but, he added “I said that in this round there was only one meeting at the expert level, which was yesterday’s meeting. I mean between our experts and the experts of the Special Envoy, but the agreement is that these technical meetings take place during the rounds and not between or after them.”

“This is absolutely false,” al-Jaafari said in response to a question about some statements about the fallacies and that the meetings were focused on the issue of political transition and the nature of the government.

He clarified that Astana agreement on the de-escalation zones is about specific areas and not the entire Syrian territory, noting that the mechanisms of implementing the agreement have not been set yet.

“You should take into consideration that the main focus of the talks is the delegation as a whole. The expert meetings are detailed in a whole scene and therefore the important thing is the delegation’s meeting. The meetings of the experts are purely technical in order to find common points between the points related to the constitutional process, which are included in the paper of basic principles, and our political talks at the level of the delegation as a whole because the meeting of experts will be of a partial nature to take place within the framework of the meetings of the whole delegation,” he explained.

About US allegations about Sednaya prison, al-Jaafari said that this kind of allegation is not new and in every round of talks whether in Astana or in Geneva, and even before that, even in the Security Council, a massacre was carried out, adding that:

“only the nuclear weapon is left to hit us and they no longer have dangerous toys, but to use the nuclear and accuse us of using it.”

“The purpose of this fabricated story by the US intelligence is to increase the pressure on us politically as a government and secondly to prepare for the visit of US President Donald Trump to Riyadh because he talks about the establishment of a new Arab Islamic NATO, which is a funny story, funded by Saudi regime and Gulf countries who are ready to spend billions of dollars on the fabrication of wars in the region besides the existing wars,” he pointed out.

“This story is part of the general view of the pressure exerted on the Syrian government. It is no coincidence that this type of allegation appeared on the first day of our arrival in Geneva because it was intended to defame and exert pressure on us politically and to help the other extremist parties who reject the political solution in the escalation during the Geneva round,” he said.

Asked whether any of the four baskets were discussed, al-Jaafari said:

“in four days we did not discuss any basket of four baskets and we only talk about the subject of expert meetings.”

The  session of talks between the Syrian Arab Republic delegation and the UN Special Envoy for Syria was held earlier today at the headquarters of the United Nations in the Geneva.

Four sessions of talks were held between both sides over the past three days.

In a press conference following yesterday’s session, al-Jaafari said that the intensive consultations held between the UN Envoy and the Syrian Arab Republic delegation over the past two days resulted in reaching agreement to hold informal meetings between constitutional experts from both sides.

He added that the purpose of these meetings is to discuss the paper of basic principles, which includes in its articles appropriate points that serve as constitutional principles, referring to the basic principles paper which consists of 12 points where the elements related to the constitutional process will be dealt with.


ORIGINAL STATEMENT IN ARABIC:


SOURCES:
Manar/Ghossoun for Syrian Arab News Agency
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at :
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/al-jaafari/
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Re-publications are welcome, but we kindly ask you,
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to cite all these original links and sources.

U.S. regime of war lobbies putting end on International Law

Source

SAA Resistance National Flag

(FNA) ~ The four “de-escalation zones” in Syria were supposed to be safe zones for everyone, even “moderate” rebels, but now the Trump White House and the Pentagon regime have done the unreasonable.

Shredding the rules of engagement and brushing under the carpet the International Law, US warplanes on Thursday attacked a vehicle convoy in a “de-escalation zone” near al-Tanf, identifying the targets are Syrian forces, and destroying multiple vehicles. Casualty figures are as of yet unknown, and the US claiming that the May 18 attack was “defensive in nature” is rubbish.

The targeted forces were 55km away from a “US training base” at al-Tanf, where US occupying troops are stationed, and the Daraa safe zone is farther away from the area that the base is in.

Syrian forces didn’t pose any threat to US ground troops. They were not there to fight. They were there to make sure the safe zones agreement holds.

It’s an agreement between Iran, Russia and Turkey, under which four de-escalation zones have gone into effect, with an aim of separating warring factions around the country.

This was working until US warplanes decided to attack Syrian forces. This makes clear that a lot can still go wrong with the deal, as the US says it has no intention to respect the agreement and will continue to dismiss the terms of the agreement, which is what the terrorist groups of ISIL, Al-Qaeda, and their regional sponsors want.

To put it mildly, if this is not state terrorism and an act of war, we don’t know what is. The US claims its ground troops are stationed in the base at al-Tanf, while in fact it is housing special forces training Qaeda-linked rebels to fight against the Syrian government.

More so, as a presidential candidate, the world’s most famous Islamophobe spent much of the election campaign needling, critiquing, denouncing, and even threatening Saudi Arabia and its terror proxies in Iraq and Syria.

Yet as president, Trump is making his first foreign visit to Riyadh, all while giving the go-ahead to US warplanes to target Syrian forces and allies on the ground, which are fighting ISIL and Al-Qaeda.

It’s a true sight to behold: US warplanes targeting Syrian forces and allies within the de-escalation zones is deliberate and by design. The world is repulsed by this deceitfulness, as it has little to do with fighting terrorism and everything to do with regime change in Damascus.

This is not the first time US warplanes intentionally or accidentally struck the Syrian army.

  • Back in April 7, the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian military airfield in al-Sha’irat, located about 40 kilometers from the city of Homs.
  • Moreover, on September 17, 2016, US-led coalition aircraft carried out four strikes against the Syrian army near the Deir Ezzur airport, killing 62 soldiers and wounding some 100.

In the face of International Law forbidding unilateral use of force except in self-defense, the Pentagon regime has no right to unilaterally launch strikes against a country that has not attacked the United States, and without any authorization from the United Nations. Doing so violates some of the most important legal constraints on the use of force.

Bombing Syria is a diversionary tactic to make intervention in Syria seem more useful than it is. The Iranian and Russian governments are not going to be intimidated by an attack on Syria’s government. They are much more likely to become more intransigent, and they view it as blatant animosity directed towards them.

Instead of respecting the de-escalation zones agreement and appreciating how close the US has come to making a huge and potentially very costly mistake, the Trump White House seems only too eager to blunder into a new war. Their cheap arguments do not provide justification for the Pentagon regime to do an end run around International Law. The hypocrisy of their rationale to train Qaeda-allied “moderates” is galling too. War-party Washington is undermining the de-escalation zones agreement, which the world community supports as helpful, and which does not justify still more US lawlessness.

The Trump administration’s strikes contravene the UN Charter, which is a binding treaty obligation for the US and helps preserve international peace and security. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits the use of force in the territory of another state unless authorized by the Security Council or in self-defense in response to a sudden attack. Neither condition was met before May 18 strike.

For all these reasons, the United Nations and the international civil society must act swiftly and do its job by taking up the monumental question of whether the Trump White House and the Pentagon regime may continue to use military force against Syria.

To do otherwise would be an abdication by the UN of the powers reserved for it under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.

RELATED:

Syria talks overshadowed by US military strike

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.003003&lon=38.430176&z=7&m=bs

click on map to enlarge ~ here for the original link


SOURCES:
Fars News
PressTV
Submitted by SyrianPatriots
War Press Info Network at:
https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/usa-terrorist-state/
~

Preparing for War on Hizbullah

 

The US and its Arab allies are drawing up plans to suffocate the movement financially as a prelude to eventual militarily action

By Abdel Bari Atwan

atwan-ok15-400x264

May 21, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –   The US-led war on the Islamic Sate group under the banner of fighting terrorism may be viewed by many, especially by Arab members of the coalition that is waging it, as legitimate. But in our view it increasingly looks like a cover or smokescreen aimed at paving the way, or bestowing legitimacy on, a different war: one aimed at eliminating resistance to Israel in the region, and specifically the Lebanese Hizbullah movement.

The US war for Kuwait in 1991 was fought for the same purpose. A trap was set, after careful planning and precise distribution of roles, for Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Its aim was to drag him into Kuwait to provide a pretext for destroying Iraq, aborting its scientific progress and military ascendancy and undermining its regional role. It is no exaggeration to say that the proxy war on Syria war has a similar objective– not only to destroy and fragment Syria as an adversary of Israel, but to lure a reluctant Hizbullah into the conflict and thus diminish its enormous popularity and the place it gained in hearts of tens or hundreds of millions of Arabs after its two great victories against Israel: First, when it succeeded in liberating southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000 after years of persistent resistance, and again in July 2006 when it also fought valiantly and stood fast in epic resistance to an Israeli onslaught that sought to annihilate it.

Most of the regional moves currently being made by the US — including Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Riyadh and the Eager Lion military exercises in Jordan – have one ultimate objective: to declare all-out war on Hizbullah. This includes drying up its financial resources and criminalizing the organization, in the same way Saddam Hussein was criminalized and the Palestinian resistance movement prior to that: first during the days of the PLO and its factions, and then with the rise of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups that continue to fight Israel.

The West has a variety of problems with Iran, and the country’s nuclear ambitions are one of the most prominent. But it is possible to live with, and even contain, these ambitions by various means. However, Iran’s unforgivable sin in the West’s eyes was to support Hizbullah in Lebanon and transform it into a formidable military force that poses a real deterrent and threat to Israel at a time when the Arab states were surrendering to it. Many have stopped referring to it as the enemy and instead begun building bridges of cooperation and normalization with it and treating it as a strategic regional ally.

Hizbullah crossed all American and Israeli red lines by developing a vast missile capability (100,000 missiles according to some estimates) along with fighting skills that most of the region’s armies — including the Israeli army — lack, combining attributes of conventional armies with expertise in guerrilla warfare. Moreover, four years of fighting in Syria has further strengthened, developed, and modernized these skills.

There have been reports in recent days of an unpublicized closed-door meeting in Washington involving a number of Gulf and Arab states aimed at agreeing a strategy for confronting Hizbullah in the coming period. Participants included Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE. This was intended to prepare for the two multilateral summits (with Arab/Muslim leaders and Gulf rulers respectively) that Trump will attend in Riyadh.

Reports from this meeting indicate that the joint Western-Arab plan for confronting Hizbullah include imposing financial sanctions on the organization’s members, supporters and sympathizers around the world, especially Lebanese expatriates in Africa and Europe who provide financial support for the party or institutions affiliated or close to it. This will involve measures to monitor money transfers and dry up all the party’s external funding sources in order to create difficulties for its leadership in financing its political and military structures and its extensive social institutions and activities.

The war on the hardline jihadi groups such as the Nusra Front and IS is drawing towards a close. Nusra is besieged in Idlib, rural Damascus and a few enclaves in rural Aleppo. The recent Astana agreement delegated the task of liquidating it to the so-called moderate Syrian opposition factions backed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. As for IS, it has lost most of Mosul, and the war to liberate al-Raqqa by the US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is now imminent, and will begin as soon as sufficient supplies of American tanks, armoured vehicles and missiles have been delivered to these forces.

In other words, the destruction of the ‘Islamist’ groups that are internationally designated as terrorist organizations will open the door wide to the more important war on Hizbullah, not only in Syria but in Lebanon too. It is to begin with an economic war and culminate in a military offensive — as, indeed, the wars on Iraq did.

Could this scenario which is being implemented in stages against Hizbullah (and by extension Iran) achieve the same success it did against Iraq – and prior to that against the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, which was ended with the 1982 Israeli invasion? It is hard to give a categorical answer to this hypothetical question. What can be said, however, is that circumstances have changed, and Israel has changed as well. Hizbullah is the pivot of a regional and confessional structure, and has the open and total support of Iran, and of Iraq to a lesser degree. Any war against it will not be easy. If the 1991 scenario succeeded in Iraq, that was due above all to Arab collusion and betrayal, as well as the demise of the Soviet Union which left the US as the world’s unchallenged hegemon.

The wars currently unfolding in the region and the conspiracies being hatched are all for the sake of enhancing Israel’s security and stability and maintaining its military power and supremacy. It is ironic that this is happening around the time of the centenary of the infamous Balfour Declaration and Sykes-Picot agreements. For the task now being undertaken is aimed at consolidating the Zionist presence in Palestine and the region envisaged in that Declaration, while dismembering the states that emerged from the womb of those agreements.

This article was first published by http://www.raialyoum.com

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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