Video: Stormy Winter Comes to Syria

By South Front

Global Research,

December 03, 2021

South Front 2 December 2021

The winter came to Syria with a hurricane and a new wave of hostilities. On December 1, a storm hit refugee camps in the north of the country. The hurricane damaged and destroyed a large number of settlements in Idlib and in the north of Aleppo.

The hurricane is not the only reason of a headache for Syrian militants in Greater Idlib, where a military storm is going really strong. Several recent reports talked about a near ground operation by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies to reinforce the ceasefire in the region.

On November 30, three militants were killed when the SAA shelled a position they were manning in the al-Ghab Plains in the western part of the Greater Idlib region. The army reportedly used its Russian-made 2K25 Krasnopol laser-guided 155 mm artillery round.

Video Player

The slain militants were Syrian members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP). They were fighting in the terrorist group’s Ansar [Supporters] unit which is dedicated for Syrians only.

The SAA shelling was likely a response to the ceasefire violations which led to casualties in Syrian ranks. In the last few days, two soldiers were allegedly killed in the al-Ghab Plains by sniper fire.

Meanwhile, the SAA, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS), continues fighting terrorists in Syria’s central regions, and the last month was busy enough for the allies.

In November, the VKS carried out more than 610 airstrikes on ISIS cells and their hideouts in Syria’s central region, while the Syrian army conducted several combing operations in different parts of the region.

The most recently, a new wave of airstrikes targeted hideouts of ISIS cells located near the strategic Ithriyah-Khanasir highway, which links Hama with Aleppo.

While the SAA and Russian forces are doing their job, members of the US-led international coalition are busy revealing their activities in Syria.

The UK has officially claimed responsibility for the October 25 drone strike on northeastern Syria. The remotely piloted [MQ-9] Reaper, armed with Hellfire missiles, reportedly killed Sabahi Ibrahim al-Muslih, also known as “Abu Hamzah al- Shheell”, a cochairman of ISIS Shura Council.

The US also did not stay aside. However, it had no successful operation to reveal. Thus, Washington launched investigation into the murder of dozens of civilians.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has ordered an investigation into an airstrike in Syria in 2019. According to The New York Times, an American F-15 fighter jet, by order of Task Force 9, dropped a bomb on a crowd of civilians gathering in a field near the settlement of El-Baguz on March 18, 2019. The US military leadership downplayed the strike, which reportedly killed about 80 people.

Despite the growing discontent among the locals, the US-led international coalition continues its reinforcement in northeastern Syria. Over the last few days, dozens of trucks loaded with supplies and military equipment for the US-led coalition entered the country from Iraq.

While civilians are preventing some US convoys from passing through their villages, throwing stones to the vehicles, other US convoys suffer more severe damage. On December 1, a convoy moving logistic supplies to US-led coalition bases came under an IED attack, when it was passing near the town of al-Malikiyah in the northeastern countryside of al-Hasakah. Two trucks reportedly burnt out as a result of the explosion.

*

Note to readers: Please click the share buttons above or below. Follow us on Instagram, @crg_globalresearch. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Video: Northern Syria is Volatile As Ever. Militants in Greater Idlib Ramp Up Their Provocations

SUPPORT SOUTHFRONT:

PayPal: southfront@list.ruhttp://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfrontThe original source of this article is South FrontCopyright © South FrontSouth Front, 2021

String of pearls: Yemen could be the Arab hub of the Maritime Silk Road

November 22, 2021

With an Ansarallah takeover of Yemen, Asia’s trade and connectivity projects could expand into some of the world’s most strategic waterways

By Pepe Escobar, posted with the author’s permission and cross-posted with TheCradle

https://media.thecradle.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/a.jpg

The usual suspects tried everything against Yemen.

First, coercing it into ‘structural reform.’ When that didn’t work, they instrumentalized takfiri mercenaries. They infiltrated and manipulated the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), ISIS. They used US drones and occasional marines.

And then, in 2015, they went Total Warfare: a UN-backed rogue coalition started bombing and starving Yemenis into submission – with barely a peep from the denizens of the ‘rules-based international order.’

The coalition – House of Saud, Qatar, UAE, US, UK – for all practical purposes, embarked on a final solution for Yemen.

Sovereignty and unity were never part of the deal. Yet soon the project stalled. Saudis and Emiratis were fighting each other for primacy in southern and eastern Yemen using mercenaries. In April 2017, Qatar clashed with both Saudis and Emiratis. The coalition started to unravel.

Now we reach a crucial inflexion point. Yemeni Armed Forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees, backed by a coalition of tribes, including the very powerful Murad, are on the verge of liberating strategic, oil and natural gas-rich Marib – the last stronghold of the House of Saud-backed mercenary army.

Tribal leaders are in the capital Sanaa talking to the quite popular Ansarallah movement to organize a peaceful takeover of Marib. So this process is in effect the result of a wide-ranging national interest deal between the Houthis and the Murad tribe.

The House of Saud, for its part, is allied with the collapsing forces behind former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, as well as political parties such as Al-Islah, Yemen’s Muslim Brotherhood. They have been incapable of resisting Ansarallah.

A repeat scenario is now playing in the western coastal port of Hodeidah, where takfiri mercenaries have vanished from the province’s southern and eastern districts.

Yemen’s Defense Minister Mohammad al-Atefi, talking to Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper, stressed that, “according to strategic and military implications…we declare to the whole world that the international aggression against Yemen has already been defeated.”

It’s not a done deal yet – but we’re getting there.

Hezbollah, via its Executive Council Chairman Hashim Safieddine, adds to the context, stressing how the current diplomatic crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia is directly linked to Mohammad bin Salman’s (MbS) fear and impotence when confronted with the liberation of strategic Marib and Hezbollah’s unwavering support for Yemen throughout the war.

A fabricated ‘civil war’

So how did we get here?

Venturing beyond the excellent analysis by Karim Shami here on The Cradle, some geoeconomic background is essential to understanding what’s really going on in Yemen.

For at least half a millennium before the Europeans started to show up, the ruling classes in southern Arabia built the area into a prime hub of intellectual and commercial exchange. Yemen became the prized destination of Prophet Muhammad’s descendants; by the 11th century they had woven solid spiritual and intellectual links with the wider world.

By the end of the 19th century, as noted in Isa Blumi’s outstanding Destroying Yemen (University of California Press, 2018), a “remarkable infrastructure that harnessed seasonal rains to produce a seemingly endless amount of wealth attracted no longer just disciples and descendants of prophets, but aggressive agents of capital seeking profits.”

Soon we had Dutch traders venturing on terraced hills covered in coffee beans clashing with Ottoman Janissaries from Crimea, claiming them for the Sultan in Istanbul.

By the post-modern era, those “aggressive agents of capital seeking profits” had reduced Yemen to one of the advanced battlegrounds of the toxic mix between neoliberalism and Wahhabism.

The Anglo-American axis, since the Afghan jihad in the 1980s, promoted, financed and instrumentalized an essentialist, ahistorical version of ‘Islam’ that was simplistically reduced to Wahhabism: a deeply reactionary social engineering movement led by an antisocial front based in Arabia.

That operation shaped a shallow version of Islam sold to western public opinion as antithetical to universal – as in ‘rules-based international order’ – values. Hence, essentially anti-progressive. Yemen was at the frontline of this cultural and historical perversion.

Yet the promoters of the war unleashed in 2015 – a gloomy celebration of humanitarian imperialism, complete with carpet bombing, embargoes, and widespread forced starvation – did not factor in the role of the Yemeni Resistance. Much as it happened with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The war was a perverse manipulation by US, UK, French, Israeli and minions Saudi, Emirati and Qatari intel agencies. It was never a ‘civil war’ – as the hegemonic narrative goes – but an engineered project to reverse the gains of Yemen’s own ‘Arab Spring.’

The target was to return Yemen back to a mere satellite in Saudi Arabia’s backyard. And to ensure that Yemenis never dare to even dream of regaining their historic role as the economic, spiritual, cultural and political reference for a great deal of the Indian Ocean universe.

Add to the narrative the simplistic trope of blaming Shia Iran for supporting the Houthis. When it was clear that coalition mercenaries would fail to stop the Yemeni Resistance, a new narrative was birthed: the war was important to provide ‘security’ for the Saudi hacienda facing an ‘Iran-backed’ enemy.

That’s how Ansarallah became cast as Shia Houthis fighting Saudis and local ‘Sunni’ proxies. Context was thrown to the dogs, as in the vast, complex differences between Muslims in Yemen – Sufis of various orders, Zaydis (Houthis, the backbone of the Ansarallah movement, are Zaydis), Ismailis, and Shafii Sunnis – and the wider Islamic world.

Yemen goes BRI

So the whole Yemen story, once again, is essentially a tragic chapter of Empire attempting to plunder Third World/Global South wealth.

The House of Saud played the role of vassals seeking rewards. They do need it, as the House of Saud is in desperate financial straits that include subsidizing the US economy via mega-contracts and purchasing US debt.

The bottom line: the House of Saud won’t survive unless it dominates Yemen. The future of MBS is totally leveraged on winning his war, not least to pay his bills for western weapons and technical assistance already used. There are no definitive figures, but according to a western intel source close to the House of Saud, that bill amounted to at least $500 billion by 2017.

The stark reality made plain by the alliance between Ansarallah and major tribes is that Yemen refuses to surrender its national wealth to subsidize the Empire’s desperate need of liquidity, collateral for new infusions of cash, and thirst for commodities. Stark reality has absolutely nothing to do with the imperial narrative of Yemen as ‘pre-modern tribal traditions’ averse to change, thus susceptible to violence and mired in endless ‘civil war.’

And that brings us to the enticing ‘another world is possible’ angle when the Yemeni Resistance finally extricates the nation from the grip of the hawkish, crumbling neoliberal/Wahhabi coalition.

As the Chinese very well know, Yemen is rich not only in the so far unexplored oil and gas reserves, but also in gold, silver, zinc, copper and nickel.

Beijing also knows all there is to know about the ultra-strategic Bab al Mandab between Yemen’s southwestern coast and the Horn of Africa. Moreover, Yemen boasts a series of strategically located Indian Ocean ports and Red Sea ports on the way to the Mediterranean, such as Hodeidah.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

These waterways practically scream Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and especially the Maritime Silk Road – with Yemeni ports complementing China’s only overseas naval base in Djibouti, where roads and railways connect to Ethiopia.

The Ansarallah–tribal alliance may even, in the medium to long term, exercise full control for access to the Suez Canal.

One very possible scenario is Yemen joining the ‘string of pearls’ – ports linked by the BRI across the Indian Ocean. There will, of course, be major pushback by proponents of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ agenda. That’s where the Iranian connection enters the picture.

BRI in the near future will feature the progressive interconnection between the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – with a special role for the port of Gwadar – and the emerging China–Iran corridor that will traverse Afghanistan. The port of Chabahar in Iran, only 80 km away from Gwadar, will also bloom, whether by definitive commitments by India or a possible future takeover by China.

Warm links between Iran and Yemen will translate into renewed Indian Ocean trade, without Sanaa depending on Tehran, as it is essentially self-sufficient in energy and already manufactures its own weapons. Unlike the Saudi vassals of Empire, Iran will certainly invest in the Yemeni economy.

The Empire will not take any of this lightly. There are plenty of similarities with the Afghan scenario. Afghanistan is now set to be integrated into the New Silk Roads – a commitment shared by the SCO. Now it’s not so far-fetched to picture Yemen as a SCO observer, integrated to BRI and profiting from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) packages. Stranger things have happened in the ongoing Eurasia saga.

Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

21 NOVEMBER 2021

Source

Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

OneWorld is publishing the full text of the interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Giorgio Cafiero on this topic, some excerpts of which the latter included in his recent article for Inside Arabia titled “Israel’s Working Relationship with Russia Inside Syria”.

1. What does Russia believe it can get for itself through cooperation with Israel in relation to Syria?

Russia and Israel agreed to a deconfliction mechanism in September 2015 shortly before the onset of the former’s intervention in Syria. The two sides hoped to mitigate the risk of midair incidents since Moscow bombs forces that it and Damascus regard as terrorists while Israel does the same, albeit the latter strikes Syria’s IRGC and Hezbollah allies that were invited into the country but which Tel Aviv regards as latent national security threats. Neither wants to clash with the other since that could dramatically escalate regional tensions. Moreover, Russia and Israel have excellent relations, particularly proven by the fact that Tel Aviv declined to sanction Moscow in solidarity with its Western allies all these years.

Russia officially condemns Israel’s strikes from time to time but hasn’t ever taken any action to stop them, whether directly or indirectly. The second-mentioned observation gained extra credence in recent years after Syria has thus far failed to use the S-300s that it belatedly received from Russia in late 2018 after the incident near Latakia that President Putin described as a tragic chain of circumstances. Even though Russia also officially acknowledges the legality and anti-terrorist purposes of the IRGC and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, some argue that the Kremlin might discretely be hoping for Damascus to request their dignified but phased withdrawal (in this context, under the duress of Israeli airstrikes) as part of a compromise solution for ending the war.

2. To what extent is Russian-Israel cooperation vis-à-vis Syria problematic for Moscow’s relationship with Tehran?

Russia and Iran both fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria, but the first-mentioned mostly does so through the air and via the sharing of tactical intelligence to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) while the second joins the SAA and their shared Hezbollah allies in on-the-ground battles. Moscow and Tehran therefore have the same interest in supporting Damascus, but they seemingly differ over their post-war vision for the country. The Kremlin believes that a series of mutual compromises is needed by all parties of the conflict while the Islamic Republic’s implied stance is that its Arab ally doesn’t necessarily have to concede anything to those whom it doesn’t regard as its political equals.

Even though Russia isn’t directly involved in Israel’s strikes, Iran and Hezbollah might not be happy that Moscow doesn’t ever tip them off when it’s informed of these attacks ahead of time per the reported protocol connected with their deconfliction mechanism. There might also be some questions about why Syria hasn’t yet used its Russian-supplied S-300s that were belatedly shipped to the country after the September 2018 incident for the reported purpose of deterring what was described at the time as further irresponsible Israeli behavior. Since then, Israel has continued to strike Syria, with Damascus only targeting its incoming missiles and not using the S-300s or other anti-air defense systems to strike the attacking jets themselves like many earlier expected.

3. Does Bashar al-Assad’s government believe that Russia can pressure Israel in ways which suit the interests of Damascus?

It’s unlikely that Syria seriously has those expectations, and in the off chance that it did, they’re unrealistic. The power dynamic actually seems to be the inverse: Israel believes that Russia can pressure Syria when it comes to requesting Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal. Moscow doesn’t want to take sides since it has great relations with both, albeit of a different nature and strategic impact with respect to advancing its interests, hence why it’s hitherto sat back and passively let everything unfold between them as it has.

Nevertheless, it’s precisely this passivity in spite of occasional condemnations of Israeli strikes that can be interpreted as tacitly advancing Tel Aviv’s interests since Moscow doesn’t do anything to stop its attacks against the IRGC and Hezbollah, not directly nor indirectly as was earlier explained. This leads some to wonder whether Russia discretely prefers for Israeli strikes to function as a form of pressure for getting Syria to request Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal as part of a larger regional compromise that the Kremlin might hope to broker.

4. What are Israel’s incentives to work with Russia? Is there any good reason for Israelis to believe that Russia will act against Iranian influence/power in Syria?

There’s a massive Russian diaspora living in Israel that has gradually come to command sizeable influence in society and some parts of the permanent bureaucracy, including the formulation of foreign policy. President Putin is also very well respected in Israel for his resolute opposition to anti-Semitism, fascism, and historical revisionism connected to World War II. Furthermore, as an influential Great Power that’s returned to West Asia with its Syrian intervention and is nowadays considered the kingmaker for resolving that country’s crisis, Israel has every reason to pragmatically expand its relations with Russia, especially since this could give it some leverage to better balance its historical relationship with the US.

Nevertheless, Israelis shouldn’t have any unrealistic expectations about Russia directly acting against Iranian influence in Syria. Doing so would risk undermining Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign there as well as its bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic which are important for maintaining stability in the South Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Afghanistan. The most that Russia is seemingly willing to do is “passively facilitate” regular Israeli strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah by not interfering with them per the reported conditions of the September 2015 deconfliction agreement and speculatively not authorizing Syria to use the S-300s and other anti-air defense systems for targeting attacking Israeli jets (which could escalate tensions), which is still a lot.

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Nov 20, 2021

The Political Segment from Sayyed Nasrallah’s Speech on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]

Tranlstaed by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

The political segment from the speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah at the festival held by the party marking the Prophet’s birthday and the Islamic Unity Week at the Ashura courtyard in Beirut’s southern suburbs.

1- Palestine:

The first file we will be talking about which is our priority as followers of the Messenger of God is Palestine, the point of consensus in this ummah. There is no disagreement about this. The Shiites, the Sunnis, and other Muslims are united on this file.

Here, we repeat and remind you of the responsibility. There are oppressed people in Palestine that are suffering from a siege and a suffocating livelihood crises and from very pressing humanitarian issues, including that of the detainees and their families, for example, and that of the displaced inside and outside the country – because there are displaced inside Palestine and outside. There is an occupied land and sanctities that have been violated – Islamic and Christian sanctities. No free person, not just a Muslim, any reasonable human being with feelings and instinct cannot say that this isn’t their concern. Let alone if this person is a Muslim. He cannot say that he is not concerned about this. We in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Hijaz, Yemen, and everywhere are concerned.

There are new theories that say that each person should be concerned with his country only. However, this is not a validation for interfering in the internal affairs of others. This is an occupied land whose people are persecuted and oppressed and their sanctities violated. To make matters worse, the enemy poses a threat to all neighboring countries, people in the region, and the nation. So, we must not say, for example, that this is not our concern and that we are neutral. The values that the Messenger of God called for say that we must bear a responsibility towards Palestine – if you cannot fight, you can spend money. Today the resistance in Palestine needs money – the steadfastness of the Palestinian people in their land in light of the stifling living crises, the unemployment crisis, the siege, and the crisis of temptations to buy land, which unfortunately are now assisted by merchants from Arab countries who deceive people. Those who have money should give. It is not mustahab.

This is part of the battle. If you do not have [the ability to support with] money, weapons, or taking part in fighting, you can have a position – show your support and do not turn your back as a result of flimsy pretexts, as is happening now in much of the Arab world. They abandoned Palestine and the Palestinian people. They began looking for the “Israelis’” right to the land of Palestine and talk about the “Israeli” society as an oasis of peace, etc. This is very unfortunate and very sad. Can you take a position? Your duty is to take a stand at a time when there is television and radio. However, today there is social media. Everyone has radio or television set. This is an influential matter. No one is saying that this is ineffective, but silence toward what is happening in Palestine is not right. We can never be silent. If you cannot speak out in a certain country, then do it in your heart – hate this enemy and to deny this occupation, this aggression, this injustice, and this violation.

Today, brothers and sisters, America and some Arab regimes want to destroy and eliminate this hatred and denial in the heart by our Arab and Islamic people, which is the weakest of faith, through normalization – we must love “Israel”, not only to recognize it but also to embrace it and love it, organize poetry for it and recognize its rights. Is this not what is happening today in some countries in our Arab and Islamic world. That is also why today this is one of the most important battles that must be fought. All of us can fight it, even as an individual, who does not belong to a party, movement, organization, group, current, faction, etc.

Each one alone can fight this battle in the face of normalization by boycotting and expressing positions or opinions. Let us take Bahrain, for example. Bahraini scholars issued statements of condemnation regarding what the Bahraini authority is doing with the “Israeli” enemy, in terms of relations, normalization, and opening embassies. They wrote their names in it even though they may be threatened with arrest and persecution. They did that anyways. A few days ago, we saw Bahraini youths taking to the street to denounce the visit of the enemy’s foreign minister and the opening of an “Israeli” embassy in Manama. They were suppressed, beaten, and arrested. They know the conditions of the detainees and the torture they are subjected to.

Despite their suffering, the Yemenis insist on supporting Palestine. They demonstrate and donate money for it. They declare their readiness even before the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday – the leader of Ansarullah declares his readiness once again to be part of the regional equation that protects Al-Quds and the holy sites in Palestine. This is an expression of commitment to duty and responsibility. This is the prophetic spirit. This is belonging to the Messenger of God.

We also find this in many countries in the Arab and Islamic world. A conference for normalization that was held in Erbil was meant to feel the pulse and was the beginning. If people were silent about it, normalization in Iraq would have passed. But the Sunni and Shiite religious authorities, Shiite and Sunni scholars, and the rest of the sects, political parties, resistance factions, clans, and tribes from the south to Anbar took a sharp, decisive, and harsh stance. The official and judicial position was also excellent. They cut off sedition from the start, and this was meant to feel the pulse. If the Erbil conference had passed without official, popular, scholarly, and religious reactions, other conferences would have followed. But now, the issue is different. Therefore, this battle must also be fought – for people to bear the consequences of standing by Palestine as the Islamic Republic in Iran, Syria, and others are bearing. This is one of the duties, one of the simplest duties that we must accept and coexist with. This is one file.

2- Yemen:

Also, it is our responsibility to talk about another file in a few words. I will mention all the files in a couple of words. The Yemen file.

From the beginning, we made a position. We said that these people are oppressed and assaulted. It’s been seven years since this aggression. The criminal or the wrongdoer in the Arab and Islamic world are those who stand by these oppressed people and condemn the aggression. Therefore, we are the ones who are wrong, and the actions of others are right. Therefore, we must be held accountable for this wrongdoing. This is absolutely not right. Isn’t this the responsibility of the Islamic peoples, Muslim scholars, Islamic movements, the Islamic nation, and indeed all the free people of the world in the face of this bloody war that has been going on for seven years?

The Security Council and the international community are talking about the will of the people. A few days ago, in the Yemeni capitals, major cities, and governorates that are with Ansarullah and with the Sana’a government, we saw huge demonstrations of millions, hundreds of thousands – describe them the way you wish – regardless of them celebrating the Prophet’s birthday. These people were expressing popular will and a popular position. Shouldn’t this popular will be respected? Who are concerned about the Yemeni people? These are the Yemeni people, who attended the demonstration in their millions in some cities and in the hundreds of thousands in others under the banner of this leader and this jihadi faith movement. Shouldn’t the will of these people be respected?

Thus, instead of condemning the victim, the world and the UN Security Council must work to put pressure on the powers, on America, on Saudi Arabia, and on the others – the forces that are continuing to wage the war and aggression? On the other hand, those who are saying that these brothers do not want to stop the war are wrong. They really want to stop the war, meaning a cease-fire and the lifting of the siege. However, a cease-fire and the continuation of a siege means the continuation of the war. Here, at the very least, we must have sympathy in our hearts and condemning this crime that has been going on for seven years are also among our duties.

3- Daesh:

The third file is Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and what it brought upon the nation, Muslims and non-Muslims, humanity, and the Messenger of God, his religion, and his name. Unfortunately, all the atrocities it commits are under a banner that has the seal of the Prophet on it – “Muhammad is the Messenger of God”.

People are killed and slaughtered with knives, massacres are committed, and worshipers – men, women, and children – are killed in mosques and churches in suicide operations. However, many in this world remain silent. The Americans say we created Daesh. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this.

The Americans say that they are using Daesh to tear apart Muslims, to destroy armies and countries, and to destroy and tear apart peoples. Yet, there are those who are not ready to hear this talk. This is being said by the Americans and in previous and current post on a daily basis. One of the most imperative duties today in defending the Messenger of God, Muhammad, and his name is for Muslims, Muslim scholars and elites, Islamic movements, and, first and foremost, the general public to stand in the face of this brutal, terrorist, and murderous group, which is portraying the worst image of Islam and its Prophet since the Messenger of God was sent.

There has not been a monstrous and offensive model like this since the first days of Islam. This is also a responsibility – we cannot do anything for the people who are being killed in mosques. Today, thank God, it seems that we have come to a good end. However, last Friday in Kunduz during Friday prayer and the second Friday in Kandahar. Today, it seems good precautionary measures were taken. They send two or three suicide bombers to a mosque filled with hundreds of worshipers. What kind of mind is this? What kind of brutality is this? Then, you find people who are silent. They don’t even issue a condemnation. This is a strange and contradicts the spirit of Islam and belonging to this Messenger.

4- Islamic Unity:

Before I tackle some of the points concerning Lebanon, I will talk about the last file which is the Islamic unity file. We say the Islamic Unity Week. Of course, this file has been in the works since the victory of the Islamic revolution. Before the Islamic revolution, religious authorities and major religious centers in the Muslim world – Shiite and Sunnis – have been working on it. Following the victory of the Islamic revolution, a distinctive interest in it arose. When talking about Islamic unity, neither Imam Khomeini, nor His Eminence Imam Khamenei, nor any of the Sunni and Shiite scholars and elites meant by it is unity to merger, unity to cancel, unity to melt – call it whatever you want. No. The Sunnis have their own doctrines and understanding, so do the Shiites, etc.

There is no problem with this topic. There are also other Islamic groups. What is meant here is cooperation, closeness, collaboration, support, and integration between Muslims on the basis of {And cooperate with one another in virtuous conduct and conscience.} It also means avoid fighting, conflict, and negativity – {and do not dispute, lest you falter.} This is the intended meaning [of Islamic unity]. The whole point is this realistic idea because there will always be people – who have been arguing for forty years – who will argue that this [Islamic unity] slogan is unrealistic, an imaginary and philosophical talk, and talk that has no ground. Yes, if merger, and solubility is the intention, then this is true. Otherwise, it is hypothetical and imaginary talk.

But this was never the intention – for the Shiites to become Sunnis or the Sunnis become Shiite. Rather, all the great things Muslims have in common must all meet. Hence, they must cooperate, advise each other, and be like one body, but each having his own personality. This idea should be reorganized and work to achieve. Of course, in all the squares where they converged and cooperated, they triumphed. Through this closeness and cooperation, the resistance in Lebanon achieved victory. The resistance in Palestine triumphs when it unites inside and outside Palestine with the rest of the resistance as it is happening now. Today, the resistance that includes Sunnis and Shiites is a main force for resistance in Palestine. Similarly, when the Sunnis and Shiites fought shoulder to shoulder some of these groups, including a Daesh, they were able to achieve victory in more than one Arab and Islamic country.

When we cooperate, we triumph. When we fight, we fail. Our enemy who wants to dominate the region and control it and continue to occupy Palestine wants us to always be fighting each other. It wants to convert any political problem into a sectarian one. It wants to exploit any personal dispute and light it up to ignite a big sedition.

This is a great responsibility. Today, one of the Muslims’ greatest responsibilities, including their scholars, leaders, elites, and seniors, is to prevent any action that could lead to sedition, to rupture, to separation despite all the enemies’ conspiracies and all the existing ignorance and hatred. And let us be frank. Among the Shiites in the Arab and Islamic world, there are those who do not accept this idea and project and do not support it. They work to sabotage it. Some do so as a result of certain convictions, while others do so as a result of the American and British intelligence penetration into the Shiite community. Same goes to the Sunni community. Today, the Americans are toying with us Muslims, and the British, who have historical experience in this matter, are toying with us Muslims.  Today, everything that brings you closer is an obligation, and everything that drives you apart is forbidden, and we must work to avoid it.

I will talk about the Lebanese files in a few words quickly.

1- The Tayouneh incident and the massacre that was committed:

On Monday, I spoke about it in some length. I will stick to what I said on Monday and assure everyone that we are all following up on the investigation. According to my data, it is a serious and accurate investigation that follows up on the details. It is also a brave investigation, and we should wait for things to come to an end. The political, popular, and media condemnation of the perpetrators, killers, and those who nearly dragged the country into strife, internal fighting, and civil war must also continue. The data does not justify them at all even though they are trying to say no, it is not. In any case, the investigation will reveal this topic. We once again commend and show our respect and appreciation to the awareness, patience, insight, and wisdom of the families of the oppressed martyrs of the Amal movement and Hezbollah. The families of these beloved and oppressed martyrs will, God willing, continue with this position, and together we will follow up on this file until its conclusion.

2- The demarcation of the maritime borders and the issue of the economic zone and the disputed area:

Regarding Hezbollah, since this issue has been raised in the country again, we said: We do not want to interfere in this matter. We will not express an opinion or a position related to the demarcation of the border – do we support Line 23? Do we support Line 29? Do we accept anything under Line 29? Do we accept below Line 23? We have declared on more than one occasion that we do not want to interfere in this matter. This is left to the state, and the state should take a stand and make up its mind. But what I want to talk about tonight is related to what the “Israeli” enemy has done recently –we heard from the media that it assigned one oil exploration company to start drilling for oil in the disputed area. We waited until we saw what position would be taken. Of course, we are continuing to collect information to verify these data. But I want to say tonight, clearly and frankly, is that when I spoke about the resistance’s ability, numbers, and capabilities, I said on Monday that the resistance’s capabilities are intended to defend Lebanon and protect Lebanon’s wealth, oil, gas, land, and waters from “Israeli” greed.

If the enemy believes that it can act as it wants in the disputed area before resolving this conflict, it is mistaken. I will not issue a position now not to complicate the existing negotiations, but I will definitely say that the resistance in Lebanon by following up on this file. When it finds that Lebanon’s oil and gas, even in the disputed region, are in danger, it will act accordingly at the right time and at the right moment. It is able to do so.

3- The IMF negotiations:

We have no problem with the negotiations. We hope that Lebanon will have a real unified delegation, not a bilateral, tripartite, or quartet delegation. They should act as a single Lebanese delegation to unify the numbers, the vision, and what is accepted and rejected. Secondly, Lebanon should negotiate from a position of responsibility and concern for the national interest and not from a position of surrendering and accepting dictates, some of which may not fit Lebanon’s circumstances, interests, people, and the harsh living conditions in the country.

4- Livelihood following the rise of petrol prices in particular in the past few days and its impact on employees, teachers, schools, factories, work, transportation, etc.:

So today you and I are appealing to the Lebanese government to go back to subsidizing fuel. This is talk futile, and no one will listen because the intention was for us to reach this point. They tortured people and brought them to this point. Secondly, they will tell us that we do not have money in the central bank. Thirdly, this is one of the conditions of the IMF that they want to follow – it is not possible to do anything. Yes, something can be done, of course, under the title of alleviating suffering:

1- Reminding them to launch the cash card as soon as possible. Basically, their idea was that the subsidies would be lifted as the cash cards are introduced. But subsidies have been lifted and there is no cash cards yet.

2- Activating the cash card

3- Agreeing to the demands of the employees in raising the transportation allowance so that their salary can at least get them to work and they’d have some left for food.

4- This is the most important – the revival of public transportation. It can be activated within a few weeks if there is serious follow-up. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport can shoulder this responsibility. It needs protection from the prime minister, the government, and the president of the republic. There is also a loan from the World Bank that has been frozen for a long period of time. This loan can be activated. This project can be activated and will help alleviate the suffering of people to a reasonable extent.

It is therefore not right for the state, government, and ministries concerned to say that there is no more money and that the IMF will not accept with us just to keep the tragedy going on.

We estimate that we can do a set of steps that can help relieve suffering. In all cases regarding this file, I would like to remind the rich that even those who pay Zakat from their money are responsible for people who are suffering under the poverty line. We remind traders to fear God when dealing with people – let them not monopolize, raise prices, and are looking for huge profits. We remind everyone to bear responsibility and cooperate, and that there are options that only need will, decision, and resolution from officials and the people.

In conclusion, I once again congratulate you on these occasions and venerable and great days. We, the resistance, will continue jihad and hard work and will heed to the appeal of God and His Messenger to liberate the land and sanctities as well as shoulder the responsibilities of this nation. Regarding the internal situation, we will continue to be patient and endure. We will continue to follow up wisely to prevent any internal fighting and maintain internal and domestic peace, coexistence, and cooperation to take our country out of all its crises, difficulties, and hardship.

Many happy return. May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

The US Is Taking Note Of Russia’s Pragmatic Stance Towards The Taliban

18 NOVEMBER 2021

The US Is Taking Note Of Russia’s Pragmatic Stance Towards The Taliban

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Newsweek’s interview with Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov was significant because it was the first time that Russia’s pragmatic stance towards the Taliban was given publicity and treated fairly by a major Western media outlet.

Russian Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov was recently interviewed by Newsweek about his country’s pragmatic stance towards the Taliban. This high-profile and fairly conducted media appearance speaks to the fact that the US is taking note of Russia’s evolving position. It also signals the incipient progress that’s been achieved in improving bilateral relations since this summer’s Biden-Putin Summit because it shows that Russia and the US are interested in working more closely together on this issue of mutual concern. Prior to summarizing the insight that the envoy shared, the piece will point readers in the direction of the author’s prior analyses on this topic that were published at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) in case they’re interested in some background briefings:

* 3 June 2020: “Pakistan’s Role In Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership

* 24 June 2021: “The Geostrategic Challenges Of Russia’s ‘Ummah Pivot’

* 14 July 2021: “Russia’s ‘Ummah Pivot’: Opportunities & Narrative Engagement

* 25 August 2021: “Russia & The Taliban: From Narrative Challenges To Opportunities

* 27 September 2021: “Comparing The Contours Of Russia’s Ummah Pivot In Syria & Afghanistan

To sum it up for those readers with limited time, Afghanistan forms a crucial component of Russia’s Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) because it functions as the irreplaceable transit state for facilitating its overland connectivity with South Asia. Pakistan helped Russia enter into contact with the Taliban due to all sides’ shared anti-ISIS concerns, after which Moscow began to independently cultivate its own relations with the group that it still formally designates as terrorists. That political issue hasn’t hampered their cooperation though since they’re now coordinating on humanitarian, security, and socio-economic issues. Russia’s surprising successes in this respect are entirely attributable to its pragmatic grand strategy of attempting to become Eurasia’s supreme “balancing” force in the 21st century.

———-

Kabulov began the interview by stating Russia’s top two policy goals in Afghanistan: seeing it become a normal state at peace with itself and its neighbors; and containing international terrorist and drug trafficking threats. He then proceeded to explain that the Taliban has evolved from what he claims was its prior “global jihadist agenda” to becoming a “military political opposition” movement in Afghanistan. They beat NATO because they had better morale, he said. Although their post-war vision differs from the socio-political models that Russia and other countries adhere to within their own borders, Moscow nevertheless respects it. Even so, Kabulov insisted that his country wants the Taliban to abide by “basic human rights and international relations rules”.

These include an ethno-politically inclusive government and equal socio-economic opportunities for women. The envoy praised the progress that’s been achieved thus far, especially in terms of retaining a diversity of media outlets in the country and establishing law and order, but he of course also noted that a lot of work still remains to be done. Kabulov lauded the Taliban’s anti-terrorist struggle against ISIS (which is also banned in Russia) and said that they “are actually doing this much better than your and previous administration forces”. Since “they are serving both regional and international interests” in this respect, Russia is against all efforts to weaken its relevant capacities. The envoy also hopes that the US releases Afghanistan’s frozen funds so that the Taliban doesn’t need to rely on the drug trade.

As for the state of cooperation with the US on this issue, Kabulov sounded upbeat but noted that a lot of their discussions concerned dealing with the same financial and security messes that America itself is responsible for creating in Afghanistan. The Troika Plus framework between those two, China, and Pakistan was also presented as an example of their fruitful cooperation thus far. These four countries’ top priority right now is to avert Afghanistan’s impending humanitarian crisis and brainstorming multilateral solutions for sustainably improving its socio-economic situation. Broader cooperation with the Central Asian Republics (CAR), Iran, France, and Germany is possible too.

Kabulov expressed relief that the US hasn’t succeeded in setting up any regional bases, which he said would have provoked attacks against those host states by the Taliban and other terrorist groups. He also revealed how displeased Russia was with the US’ initial attempts to have it and the region shoulder the Afghan burden. A balance must be struck, he implied, between the US and its allies responsibly cleaning up the mess that they made there and other stakeholders assisting these efforts in a fair way that doesn’t ask too much of them or anything else that might be unrealistic. In the worst-case scenario that the situation deteriorates, Kabulov said this country’s CAR allies can count on Russia to defend their national security.  

Russia will not, however, render any anti-terrorist military assistance to the Taliban, nor has such been requested of it from the group. Kabulov then commented on the emerging regional consensus surrounding the need to help stabilize Afghanistan and contain the various threats that might emanate from it. The Moscow and Islamabad Format talks, as well comparatively minor supplementary ones like the latest virtual event in Tehran, are proof of this in practice. The envoy cautioned, however, against needlessly multiplying meetings just for the sake of it without focusing on achieving tangible dividends from each process, the most urgent of which concern humanitarian issues followed by anti-terrorist and drug-related ones.

Russia’s goal is to prevent Afghanistan from ever being exploited by foreign terrorist organizations to carry out another 9/11. About that world-changing event, Kabulov said that it was unfair to punish the Afghan people when none of their compatriots participated in it and only Osama Bin Laden operated from there. Arming Afghans with political and economic instruments can help them prevent this from ever happening again, the envoy advised. Going forward, Russia will continue working with its Troika Plus partners to convince other donors like those in Europe to contribute to averting Afghanistan’s impending humanitarian crisis. In conclusion, Kabulov hopes that the Taliban will continue to make comprehensive progress by having their comparatively moderate elements keep radical ones in check.

———-

This interview was significant because it was the first time that Russia’s pragmatic stance towards the Taliban was given publicity and treated fairly by a major Western media outlet. Kabulov’s interviewer wasn’t aggressive or provocative like Western ones usually are. Rather, they seemed sincerely interested in better understanding his country’s position so that their own and others could potentially learn from it. This further reinforces the earlier mentioned observation that relations between those two countries are improving when it comes to areas of mutual concern. Evidently, both sides have made progress on responsibly regulating their rivalry since their leaders met this summer. Afghanistan can therefore serve as a perfect example of Russian-American cooperation and help build more trust.

Of course, that best-case scenario is still a far way’s off as seen by the US’ reluctance to release Afghanistan’s frozen assets, but there’s still no denying that the present state of affairs could obviously be a lot worse than it is. Russia hopes to lead the international community’s efforts to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan or at the very least avert its impending humanitarian crisis. China and Pakistan are playing major roles in this respect too, but the former is considered by the US to be its top global rival while the latter has limited influence on the global stage. That’s why it falls onto Russia to rally the international community around this shared cause. The US can greatly assist if it encourages its Western allies to follow suit. Until that happens, progress will remain limited and uncertainty will prevail.

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Nov 19, 2021

Full Speech of Sayyed Nasrallah on the Birth Anniv. of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah tackling a range of political developments on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and his grandson Imam Jaafar Sadiq [AS], and the Muslim Unity Week. 

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

May the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you all.

In the coming days, God willing, we will welcome a very dear, precious, and great occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the Greatest Messenger of God, the Seal of the Prophets, and the Master of Messengers, Muhammad bin Abdullah [PBUH]. I congratulate all Muslims in the world and all Lebanese on this great and solemn occasion in advance. God willing, on this occasion, we will hold a proper and appropriate celebration in a few days, and therefore, I will leave talking about the celebrant  and the occasion itself until then.

With regard to the topics, I divided them into two part. One part I will talk about today, and the second I will talk about it, God willing,  during that celebration.

I will begin with tonight’s topics. I will speak about the first topic as briefly as possible, appropriate, and unobtrusive.

1- The elections:

The country today is busy preparing for the electoral law, the dates of the elections, the administrative procedures related to the elections, and the natural prelude to entering the stage of the electoral atmosphere as well as having the elections on time.

Regarding the elections, I want to emphasize several points:

i- Holding the elections on time

We have already talked about this and emphasized it on more than one occasion. In any case, there still remain those who try to spread confusion by blaming a certain party, including us sometimes, of planning to extend and postpone the elections, etc. This is all baseless talk. We affirm, insist, and call for the elections to be held on time within the constitutional deadline. To be fair and according to our follow-up with all the parliamentary blocs, parties, and political forces, we believe that no one – so as not to make baseless accusations like some opponents do – whether implicitly or openly is planning or preparing to push matters towards the postponement of the parliamentary elections and the extension of the current Parliament. Therefore, let us put this issue behind us and let everyone engage in holding the parliamentary elections on time, and we are certainly one of those.

ii- The expatriate vote

We agreed to the current law, which was voted on in 2018 and followed in the 2018 elections, as a result of the discussions, and in all sincerity, taking our allies into account. We agreed to a number of things in that law. In the joint parliamentary committees, whether formally or informally, a discussion took place some time ago, and some parliamentary blocs asked to reconsider or demanded a reconsideration. Some of our deputies expressed a position based on an existing reality. This same discussion existed in 2018 and became more intense at the time than it was in the past. This issue was the expatriate vote.

Today, when we want to prepare electoral campaigns or for people who want to run for office or be elected, there is no equal opportunity, whether in conducting electoral campaigns, in candidacy, or even by going to the polls to exercise free elections, specifically with Hezbollah. There will be other political forces whose situation may be less sensitive, but Hezbollah’s situation abroad, in some European countries, in North America, in the Gulf, and some other Arab countries is known. There is no possibility for preparing an electoral campaign, candidacy, or elections. In fact, this is a point of appeal, and we had mentioned to our allies that with regard to Hezbollah, we would not submit an appeal.

But someone can file an appeal regarding the elections in terms of unequal opportunities. The brothers raised the issue from this angle, and an atmosphere emerged in the country that there were those who wanted to prevent the expatriates from voting. Extensive debates were held over this and there was no problem. We discussed the issue once again and came up with the following conclusion. It was expressed by our deputies at the last meeting of the joint committees. But I’d like to mention it here to close discussions on it.

We, once again, discussed and evaluated it. This is what we had to say. Regardless of how many countries in which expatriates or residents will take part in the parliamentary elections – they usually participate in presidential elections – and if there are countries that participate in parliamentary elections, this may be present and perhaps their number may be few, but in any case, as long as the injustice befalls specifically us, we do not have a problem. 

This means that we, Hezbollah specifically, will be oppressed. We will not be allowed abroad or have the right to campaign, announce candidacy, or the freedom to vote. This even applies to our supporters. But as long as the injustice pertains to us and there is a national interest and it allows the Lebanese residing outside Lebanese to feel that they are partners and bear responsibility, we have no problem with that. We will overlook this observation, and that is why our brothers amended and said that we support the principle of expatriate voting, in principle. We divided the issue.

Now, there is a detail that whether the expatriates or those residing outside the Lebanese territories will vote according to the constituencies in Lebanon or elect the six representatives that are said to be allocated for the elections abroad. If they are going to vote according to the constituencies in Lebanese, we have no problem with that. And if voting on the six representatives will be confirmed, we are open to discussions when it’ll be discussed in Parliament. However, if the topic is not discussed, there is a law. So, work according to the law. Hence, we consider this matter closed.

And we hope, God willing, from our brothers, our expatriates and people residing outside the Lebanese territories to register and take part in the elections. They are welcome, and we hope that they will have the real opportunity to frankly express their opinion.

iii- Voting at the age of 18

With regard to the issue of [voting at] the age of 18, I honestly tell all the Lebanese people and young people between the age of 18 and 21 that this matter is only raised to be used locally. It is always raised at a time close to deadlines, and time does not help. Although it was brought up at a time way ahead of deadlines, something strange happened. Since 1992 when we first took part in the parliamentary elections, we’ve been known to have strongly supported giving young people at the age of 18 the right to vote.

Whenever you talk with political forces, you find that everyone is in favor. Yet, you go to the Parliament and it gets dropped. There is something strange in this country. We not only raised this in our speeches, slogans, and political and electoral programs, but we also seriously worked and fought hard for it. In March 2009, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc proposed a constitutional amendment law to reduce the voting age to 18 since this needs a constitutional amendment. In March 2009, it was voted unanimously. This was before the 2009 elections. The constitutional amendment needs two-thirds of the members of the parliament. The government also voted unanimously on this proposal. It was returned to the parliament after the parliamentary elections in the February 2010 session. The session was attended by more than 100 deputies, out of which only 34 deputies voted on the project, mainly the Amal Movement, Hezbollah, and some other blocs. The rest of the blocs abstained, and it fell through. There is really something strange about this country.

If you now make an opinion poll for the parliamentary blocs and the political forces, they all tell you: yes, this is their natural right, and they must elect, etc. Of course, I heard a strange two days ago saying that young people need to be prepared and educated. What is this talk!

In Lebanese, children as young as five or six years old talk politics! You are talking about 18-year-olds. These need educating, preparation, school programs!!! What is this nonsense?!

Anyway, we once again call, the expatriates have the right to vote. All people should demand this right and respect it. If they are wronged somewhere like us, let us go beyond this oppression. With regard to the issue of voting at the age of 18, there is no injustice to anyone. If this right is not given, this is injustice to all Lebanese youth who are being deprived of the right to participate in the parliamentary elections only for purely partisan and personal reasons, not for national or real reasons..

iv- The MegaCenter

Also, related to the elections is the MegaCenter. We have no problem so that no one later says that Hezbollah is preventing this from happening. From now, we do not have a problem. You want to adopt the megacenter, go ahead. You don’t want the megacenter, also go ahead. You want to adopt the magnetic card, we don’t mind. Whether the Ministry of the Interior wants to adopt it or not, let it go ahead. What do you want us to vote with? The identification card? We’ll use it to vote. An excerpt of the civil registry? We’ll use it to vote. We’ll use whatever you want. We do not have a problem. Just hold the elections on time and don’t come up with excuses for not holding the elections on their constitutional dates. The rest of the matters related to the elections, nominations, alliances, the electoral program, and reading the electoral scene will be discussed at their right time, God willing.

2- The electricity file:

In fact, I should have started talking about this file, but I deliberately did not start with it because this file contains some annoyance. Hence, I opted  to start with the elections.

In the past few days, they told the Lebanese that fuel has run out, the factories will stop working, and the country will go into complete darkness. Save us. What should we do? Now, they’ve found a temporary solution. They found some with the Lebanese army, and the army instructed to take advantage of what it has to overcome this stage. Of course, We thank the leadership of the Lebanese army for this kind humanitarian step.

But the question remains: Today, this issue should be an absolute priority for the current government. Basically, when the cry came out, it was necessary – this is our personal suggestion – that the government hold an extraordinary session, not a two- or three-hour session, but one that remains from dawn to dusk to find a solution. What does it mean that the country has entered complete darkness? This does not only mean that the country is in complete darkness because of power outage, the country is in a state of clinical death because here we are talking about hospitals, cooperatives, everything having no electricity. Despite this, what has been happening in the country? Instead of calling for a serious, radical, and real treatment, as usual, the Lebanese blamed each other for being responsible, insulted and cursed each other, and insulted one another. All of this does not bring electricity.

Eventually, responsibilities must be determined. But usually in the prevailing Lebanese way, people enter the labyrinth, with more grudges, insults, and swearing emerge. And you’ve seen social media in the past two days.

Since the government holds its session every Wednesday, the priority on the table must be the issue of electricity. What I want to call for tonight is for you to see what you want to do regarding electricity. Find a solution or put the country on the path to a solution, not that pump it with painkillers, i.e., take an advance from the central bank and buy fuel with it for power plants to generate electricity for a few hours. Does this solve the problem? How many days and weeks will this last? The issue needs a radical solution. There are contracts that exist. Make up your mind, say yes or no, but address the issue in any way.

Today, a sum of money was sent to the Lebanese government – the Lebanese state. One billion and one hundred million dollars is in the hands of the Lebanese government. If we want to speak as a matter of absolute priority, take advantage of this amount or part of it and primarily and radically address the issue of electricity – building new power plants, addressing the problem of existing plants. The matter is in your hands. There are many offers from various countries in the world, from the East and the West. You do not want from the East, from the West, then, unless there is an American veto.

If the Americans are forbidding you, tell the Lebanese people frankly: O Lebanese people, we are terrified and unable to bring in European companies because the Americans will be angry with us and have forbidden us from doing so.

In this way the people will express their opinions – whether or not they’d like to live in darkness and in humiliation with no electricity, as the Lebanese used to live in humiliation with the lack of gasoline and diesel. We’ll act depending on the outcome. I know, for example, in Iraq – this is a common and well-known thing there – that the Iraqis have an electricity problem. When they tried to reach an understanding with some European countries, the Americans intervened forcefully and prevented them. So, is there a veto here in Lebanon, an American veto preventing that?

As for the Iranians, there was an old offer. Today, there is a new offer. Two days ago, when His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran was in Beirut, he reconfirmed that we are ready to build two plants and provide a certain, large, and respectable quantity. Respond to him.

Ask for an exception since America is your friend. To us, they are our enemy, and we expect anything from our enemies. But they are your friends and allies. You trust them and consider them moral and humanitarian who possess human values and law. Ask them for an exception.

Iraq got an exception. Afghanistan under the rule of the Ghani government had an exception – it used to import many things from Iran. Other neighboring countries have exceptions. You ask for an exception. I learned a rather funny thing that was in fact published in the media – when one Lebanese official was by told by the Iranian foreign minister to ask for an exception as the other countries, the official replied to him, saying: I hope you will ask for the exception. It’s a very funny thing. Imagine a Lebanese official telling the Iranians who have enmity with the Americans to do so. There is an ongoing war between them and the Americans, and I him: you ask the Americans for an exception so that you can build us, for example, power plants, or so you  can sell us fuel for the power plants, or so you can sell us gasoline or diesel. What a way of taking responsibility? 

Anyway, regarding this issue along with all the people, we will raise the voice. The government, the President of the Republic, and the Prime Minister must determine the agenda. But we are among the people who have the right to demand that electricity be at the top of the agenda, or they should allocate an emergency and urgent special session and work for a real radical treatment for this issue. If the issue remains a matter of throwing accusations and scoring points and who disrupted, we will get nowhere.

Hezbollah or others may have raised this suspicion in the past. For the first time, I would like to raise a suspicion. I’m one of those people who has a feeling that somewhere there might be a certain game. Let me say how. It’s the same with what happened gasoline, diesel, and food stuff. The state knows that at some point it will have to lift the subsidies. Everyone tells you that there is no solution except the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF will ask for the subsidies to be lifted, and no one dares to take the responsibility of lifting the subsidy. 

They’ll let the people fight, race to cooperatives, and queue at gas stations for petrol, diesel, etc. After a month, two, or three, they’ll start shooting each other, cursing one another, and wielding knives at each other. Then, they will call for the subsidies to be lifted just to be saved and accept the fact that the price of gasoline is 500,000LBP. 

If the subsidies are lifted, the problem of the humiliating queues will be solved. Therefore, if you notice and you can go back to the media when we saw the humiliating queues, the voices called for the subsidies to be lifted. This action was serving this. Whether this was intentional and planned or not needs to be verified.

When talking about the subject of electricity, privatization and selling some state assets and some public sectors, including the electricity sector, are always mentioned. The electricity sector is always being eyed for privatization.

There is a fear I would like to raise today. I do not want to accuse anyone. It is very unclear to me, to be honest, that somewhere – within the government or outside it or whether they belong to the opposition or not – they want the electricity sector in Lebanon to collapse. Then, the state would be helpless and unable to solve the problem. Hence, there would be no solution except through privatization. Then, the Lebanese people would not want to live in darkness, so they’d demand to solve this problem with privatization. This is the real fear. We must pay attention to this subject. 

From this subject, I will delve into the third point which is related to diesel, gasoline, and the like. I once again make appeal to the various political forces and leaders in Lebanon – brothers, go and check with your allies and friends. I repeat and say that whatever we are capable of doing with our allies and friends, we will do. What can Iran do more than this? They are already telling you that they are prepared to sell you gasoline, diesel, and fuel and build power plants and metro stations. They want to cooperate with you and offer you facilities. This is a solution. 

The Syrians told you they do not have a problem. Bring Egyptian gas and electricity from Jordan. I will offer you the facilities you want. If there is anything else, I am at your service as well. These are our allies. 

As for your allies, we have not seen them do anything. You have not done anything. Talk to someone to make you an exception. Talk to someone to help the Lebanese. If your allies told you that Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people, then exclude Hezbollah and bring help for the rest of the Lebanese areas. Act responsibly, not maliciously.

Until now, we still hear that, for example, they brought diesel from Iran. They brought it across the border into Syria, so 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We hear it every other Sunday, etc. Here is another example of the level of responsibility in the country. A politician reached a conclusion that the power cut stated happening when diesel was brought in from Iran as the power plants broke down. You all know. It is all known. He did not know that the state’s electricity plants run on fuel, and what was brought from Iran was diesel. There is no relation between diesel, fuel, and electricity plants. In any case, this is the level that exists in the country.

This is a call for the last time. Budge a little. Move a little, and don’t be malicious. What is your main role other than criticizing, insulting, and accusing? Do something positive for your people and your country.

3- Gasoline and diesel:

I moved to the third topic, in which I will talk about what happened with us and what will happen concerning diesel and gasoline.

So far, we consider ourselves still in the first phase. Of course, a number of ships have arrived so far, and we are gradually moving them to Lebanon. We consider that the first phase will continue until the end of October. During the first phase, we did two things, and we will continue with them.

The first thing we said is that there is a group that we will gift them diesel for a month and a group that we will sell diesel to. We did not put the diesel at the stations and said, “People, please. Who wants to buy can come.” Meaning that we are doing more than the goal. We said that the goal is to secure this material for these pressing and urgent cases, and we do not want to compete or block the way for companies and stations that sell diesel. In the end, we will give to a group and the rest can buy from the stations. By doing so, we are not cutting off people’s livelihood. We adopted this approach, and we will indeed continue until the end of October as a first phase.

Within this first phase, there are two points I would like to add. 

1- We had announced a gift or donation for a group for a period of one month. That period has ended. There is a quantity that has arrived and another that is on the way, and it will reach them, God willing. What I would like to announce today is that we will renew this gift. This gift is for the same group and will be for an additional month, for a second month.

I will again mention the institutions belonging to this group: government hospitals, nursing homes, orphanages, centers for people with special needs, official water institutions, water wells belonging to municipalities, provided they are a poor municipalities, and fire brigades in the Civil Defense and the Lebanese Red Cross. After the end of the first month, I announce today that we will provide the quantity they need from this material as a gift and assistance, God willing, for a second month.

2- Regarding the groups, I would like to announce that this material would also be sold to the fishermen. This addition comes following many revisions that have been made. We’ve already started and not just starting. This happened in the last period. The fishermen has been added to the segments to which this material can be sold to. The same institutions that we talked about before will remain – private hospitals, pharmaceutical laboratories, mills, bakeries, etc. We will complete the first phase by working with the same [entities] we worked with last month.

When we reach the second phase, which starts from the beginning of November, we will add heating for families. We and our brothers are studying the standards because the most important thing is to abide by the standards. During the past month, there were cases that included people not belonging to the group that this material can be sold to contacted us. These people are very dear to us and we love to be of service to them. However, we had a serious commitment to the standards and the groups. If we did not abide, it will be chaotic, and, therefore, we would not be able to serve the groups that we considered a priority.

Today, we have the issue of heating that needs to be studied, and it is a very big topic. For example, among the entities that it will be sold to are private hospitals, bakeries, mills, laboratories, etc. We considered that establishments and companies operating generators are the largest segment, and they, in fact, are the ones that need the largest amount. But when we bring in the issue of heating, there is no comparison because here you are talking about Lebanese families in areas where there is cold and frost.

This requires different controls, standards, and a distribution mechanism that we are studying. God willing, before the beginning of November, we will talk about this issue, I or one of my brothers, and it will be announced in detail. Also because of winter, we may add new entities. This, too, is being evaluated and studied – first of all because of the high demand that happened. The volume of requests in all Lebanese regions was very large. I’d say it was greater than expected, yes, greater than expected. It is very large in all areas. This is on the one hand.

On the other hand, winter season is coming, and of course, the demand for diesel will increase exponentially – we had made diesel a priority. This means that we have decided to continue with diesel being the priority. We postponed bringing gasoline. Even if we get gasoline, we will exchange it for diesel with the merchants because the priority now is to provide the fuel oil in the way that it is secure. Thank God, now, in one way or another, the queues of humiliation are over. Gasoline is available at the stations, albeit at a high price. Our main concern was to get rid of the queues of humiliation. Now, these queues are over. Gasoline is available. We do not believe now, as a result of the large file, that we should work on all the entities. We have to focus our priority on diesel, especially since we are a few weeks away from winter season.

I will conclude this whole file. We heard people say, leave the Lebanese state buy its own gasoline and diesel from Iran. We support this talk. This is our demand. Let the Lebanese government ask the Americans for an exception, while the Lebanese companies buy. We guarantee that they will get facilities from Iran to buy diesel, gasoline, and fuel from Iran, etc. At that point, we will withdraw from this file. We will leave the file completely. We will not buy, nor bring ships, nor transport to Baniyas, nor bring from Baniyas to Baalbek. We will leave the matter completely. Go ahead, take responsibility. Open this door. This only needs some courage and boldness. Many countries neighboring Iran have exceptions – exceptions in buying gasoline, diesel, oil derivatives, and many other materials. Go ahead, work on this matter. This is one of the doors – you consider that we are violating sovereignty. Good, then help us so that we do not violate sovereignty. Go ahead, ask for an exception and open this door.

4- The Beirut Port [blast] investigation:

I would like to recall what I used to say since the beginning – we want and support the investigation. I honestly say and tell you that even if the families of the martyrs and the wounded abandoned the investigation, we, Hezbollah, will not abandon the investigation. We consider ourselves among those who were affected not only in terms of martyrs, wounded, and homes, but we were also affected morally, politically, and media wise.
Taking humanitarian considerations towards the families of the martyrs, we want the truth and accountability. Politically and morally, we, as Hezbollah, want the truth and we want accountability. There is no discussion regarding this topic. It is not cutting of the road in front of the investigation nor is it to end or cancel the file. Never. Whoever says this is unfair. We want to reach a result. What is really required is justice. What the former judge did is clear. He was biased and politicized. We spoke loudly about this and gave advise. The man rose and asked with legitimate suspicion and left. The man made a legitimate request and left. However, instead of benefiting from all the mistakes and the observations made to the previous judge, the current judge continued with the same mistakes. He ignored these remarks and did worse. The current judge’s work is politically motivated and biased. His work is being politicized and has nothing to do with the truth and justice.

Before I conclude, I would like to address the families of the martyrs – if you expect to uncover the truth with this judge, you will not. If you expect that this judge will bring you justice, even at the level of an indictment, you will not get it. The work of this judge is politically motivated. He is exploiting the blood of the martyrs, the wounded, the tragedy, and the calamity to serve political goals and political targeting.

1- We previously talked about the evidence, but now I would like to highlight the issue more because we have reached a point that can no longer be tolerated.

Let us simply talk logically. Is this interference in the affairs of the judiciary? But first off, tell me this is a judiciary so that I can agree with you whether this is interference or not. This is not a judiciary. This is a politically-motivated job. As long as it is a politically-motivated job, allow me to say a couple of words. What do science and justice say? They say there was an explosion. Hence, look for the responsibilities. This is a problem that I will return to shortly.

I would like to ask the current judge – disregard the previous judge. Since the arrival of the ammonium nitrate ship to Lebanon’s Beirut Port to Lebanon, there have been two presidents: President Michel Suleiman and His Excellency President Michel Aoun. His Excellency, President Michel Aoun has said on more than one occasion – a transparent man – “I knew on this day and I followed up this way. I am ready for the judge to come and listen to me.” 

Did you listen to him? You are a judge who works as the judiciary, did you listen to His Excellency the President and took his statement? He is the one telling to go to him. What are you afraid of?

Did you ask President Michel Suleiman? Did you listen to him? did you ask him – you were the president of the republic when this ship came and entered, did you know? What did you do? Regardless of whether he was responsible or not. You did not ask him, and you did not listen to His Excellency the President even though he invited you. 

Since the day the ship entered Lebanon in November 2013, there have been multiple prime ministers. You, the judge, quickly belittled Prime Minister Hassan Diab and thought you can accuse him, summon him, etc.

One question. Did you ask former heads of government? Did you listen to them? I’m not telling you to summon them. Did you go to them? Did you sit with them? Did you ask them even a question about their knowledge of the subject? What did they do if they had knowledge? Were they responsible or not? You did not do any of this. You quickly went to Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Can you tell me that the explosion took place during the premiership of PM Hassan Diab? Why did you go after the former ministers and not the current ministers? I am not defending people who are our friends only. Among them are our friends and those who are not our friends. The people I’m telling you to investigate include some of our friends. Why did you not ask the ministers in the current government who were in office when the explosion occurred? Instead, you went to the former ministers. Why not all the former ministers? Did you ask all the finance ministers? Did you summon them all and investigated with them? Did you investigate and ask the ministers of works who were in office in November 2013? The current Minister of Works is also our friend. The ministers of interior who were in office in November 2013 until today is also our friend. The ministers of defense as well as the ministers of finance and works are also the ministers of guardianship. Did you investigate with the ministers of defense? Non, you didn’t. Did you ask the ministers of justice? No, you didn’t. Did you ask all the heads of the security and military services? No, you did not. I tell you no because they really did not ask them. he asked some of them, but not all of them. What do they call this? You are going after specific agencies, specific ministers, and a specific prime minister is clearly [political] targeting. Does the issue need a little understanding in order to see that there is clearly targeting? There is political targeting. This is the first point. We’ve spoken about this in the past. We also warned you. Do not be biased and politicized. Or else, we will demand you leave. Then he continues working as if nothing happened. On the contrary, he rose even more and behaved as if he was the ruler with regard to this file. This is the first point.

2- The main subject in the explosion: 

The whole thing is incomprehensible. Yet, you skipped it. Basically, it is like what many Lebanese say. I am not saying anything new. The basic principle, O honorable judicial investigator, is that you go and tell the families of the martyrs before you incite them against the politicians. You have to tell these families that you sit with every other day who brought the ship, who let the ship dock, who gave permission, who left the materials in hangar 12, and who gave approval. You are not doing any of these. You are tackling another matter which comes in second place which is negligence. You are making a big deal out of this for settling political scores. O brother, tell the Lebanese people. If you don’t want to tell the Lebanese people, at least tell the families of the martyrs. And you, our people and our loved ones, the families of the martyrs, go and demand. This is your right to demand. Ask him how your children were killed? You, an investigative judge, do not want to tell them because this does not serve the politicization that you are working on. So, what did you turn to? To negligence. You are making a bigger deal out of negligence – the one who is charged with negligence should receive the most severe penalties.

I’m not asking for anything. I am only asking why he is disregarding and neglecting the first part of the issue. Why is the truth not told to the Lebanese? The judicial secrecy is the issue. It is not about someone killing another person. This is a catastrophe that has befell the country, and the country is heading towards a catastrophe if this judge continues working in this way. Therefore, the matter needs a different approach.

3- Bias:

The judges, who were involved and whose responsibility wss greater than that of the presidents of the republic, are responsible. I do not know. I am not a judge to rule on this matter. The responsibility of judges is greater than that of heads of government, ministers, and heads of the security services because the judges are the ones who allowed this material to enter and to be stored. The rest are all procedural. The two judges or the judges are the first to be responsible. O families of the martyrs, ask this judge. Ask him about those judges whose responsibility is unquestionable.

There might be a discussion about the responsibility of the prime minister, a specific minister, and the security apparatus. But there is no discussion that these judges are responsible. What did you do to them? You did nothing. You filed a lawsuit against them in court, the High Judicial Council and the Discriminatory Public Prosecution, and to appoint a special court. Great! You do not want to summon the judge, issue an arrest warrant for him, or imprison him because he is a judge. The judiciary wants to protect itself. However, you want to summon a respectable prime minister like Hassan Diab, subpoena him, issue an arrest warrant against him, and throw him in prison. Is this a state of law? Is this a state institution? Does this country have morals? The law says that judges go to court. The constitution says that presidents and ministers go to the presidents’ court. In the case of the presidents and ministers, why don’t you accept. You consider this your right and transcend all constitutional principles and attack people? However, in the case of the judges, the law says that they go to the High Judicial Council. Answer us so that we know whether what is happening is right, just, and fair or is political targeting?

4- The last part in this file:

When presidents, ministers, and representatives feel that they have been wronged, who do they turn to? They tell you – this specific judge is biased. He is attacking us and is unfair with us. He want to arrest us unjustly. He is impatient with formal matters as in talking with us and our lawyers. We are being wronged. Who do we turn to? In a state of law and institutions, the law must answer. They turned to a judicial body, and we see that this judicial body did not take its time to study the case, did not discuss, nor summon, nor investigate. It returned the request saying it’s outside of their jurisdiction. Whose jurisdiction is it? So, guide us. You say the law and the state of institutions, O Higher Judicial Council, answer. Bring the prime minister who will be summoned for arrest, the ministers, and others who may be caught up in lawsuits. Where are they being wronged? If there is no jurisdiction for so and so and so, who has jurisdiction then? This needs a solution and an answer. In any case, we have big problems. We consider that what is happening is a very bad situation. It will not lead to the truth and justice, but it will lead to injustice and to concealment of the truth. This does not mean that we are demanding that the investigation be closed. Not at all. We want an honest and a transparent judge, who works on a clear and transparent investigation based on rules, an investigation in which there is no bias. He must continue the investigation and this matter should not stop at all. 

First, we want an answer. Where would an oppressed person and a person with suspicions seek refuge in this country?

Another thing, the issue is no longer a personal matter, the issue has repercussions at the national level and on the country. Today, I am appealing to the High Judicial Council. What is happening has nothing to do with the judiciary, nor with justice, with fairness, nor with the truth. You must find a solution to the matter. The Supreme Court does not want to resolve the issue. The Council of Ministers is required to resolve this issue. It referred this issue. It will be raised in the Council of Ministers. We will speak and others too. This matter cannot continue this way. There is no possibility for it to continue this way, especially in the next few days. Therefore, among the institutions, the High Judicial Council should meet and see how to address this issue. We are talking to you and on behalf of many people in this country. We are a large segment in this country, and we have the right to be heard. We have the right to be given an answer. We have the right to demand in the Council of Ministers. It is our right that the Council of Ministers discuss this issue and take a stance. In all honesty, I tell you this matter must not continue this way.

As for the rest of the points of discussion, I wanted to talk about the demarcation of the maritime borders, the disputed area, the new negotiations, the Israeli steps, and other files. We will talk about all this, God willing, during the occasion in a few days.

I just want to conclude with two points. I must, morally and ethically, talk about them.

The first point is the bombing that took place in Kunduz, a few days ago, in Afghanistan, in a mosque during Friday prayers, which led to dozens of martyrs and wounded. Of course, this is a painful matter. Any person, Muslim or not, will ache when he sees elderly people and children being killed, just because they were praying in a mosque. This is very sad and very painful.

Despite the distance, we also share with our family and loved ones and these oppressed families their grief and pain. We express our sorrow for what happened and condemn it. But what’s most important is that Daesh committed this crime and claimed responsibility. I say the Wahabi terrorist organization Daesh. 

I hope from all our friends, companions, and the media in our axis, if they accept from me, to call it the Wahhabi terrorist organization. Because what Daesh is doing is the result of this school of thought that accuses the other of being an infidel. One can accuse the other of being an infidel, but he does not spill one’s blood and take his money and honor. A doctrinal disagreement, a certain person says that so-and-so is an infidel and does not believe in a specific cause. But what is more dangerous than takfir [accusing another Muslim to be an apostate] is spilling blood and taking someone else’s money, honor, and social public safety. It is this school of thought that led to these results throughout the world, especially in our Arab and Islamic world. 

The one who also bears the responsibility is America. Before the Americans left Afghanistan and on more than one occasion, I mentioned to you in the media and in speeches that we and others have information that the Americans are moving Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and from the Al-Hol camp. They even transferred some from Iraq to Afghanistan. At that time, many were wondering what the Americans wanted from Daesh in Afghanistan? Of course, at the time, even when they transferred them to Afghanistan, Daesh did not carry out a single operation against the American forces there. Rather, they fought those who were fighting the Americans, including the Taliban. But today, the goal has appeared more, to be sure.

I am an enemy of the Americans and I am accusing them. A few days ago, Turkey’s foreign minister, who is an ally of the Americans but has a problem with them, also said that the Americans had moved Daesh from the east of the Euphrates and eastern Syria to Afghanistan. That’s the Turkish foreign minister, a country that is not a small one in the region. He is a friend of the Americans. This is well known. Why did the Americans take Daesh to Afghanistan during the year they were negotiating with the Taliban in Doha to withdraw?

They were preparing for a post-withdrawal phase. What is the post-withdrawal phase? It is preparing for a civil war in Afghanistan. They had two tools. The first tool was the Afghan state and the Afghan army, which they spent hundreds of billions of dollars on. This collapsed, but the alternative was ready, which was Daesh. Today, Daesh’s work in Afghanistan is to drag the country into a civil war. They carried out operations against non-Shiites in Jalalabad and Kabul. But targeting the mosque in Kunduz, where Shiite Muslims pray, is also to create a state of internal tension that will lead to a civil war in Afghanistan.

The Americans are responsible. The American policies, the American administration, the American army, the CIA, and all those who are working on the issue of Daesh and Afghanistan, we also hold them responsible for the innocent blood that was shed in Afghanistan. The responsibility of the current authorities – whether the world recognizes them or not – now that it is an authority that exists in Afghanistan, is to protect these citizens regardless of their affiliation to any religion or sect.

There is another matter that I must talk about from a moral standpoint, even though it has been a while since it transpired. An incident took place a while back in Palestine where a group of security services affiliated to the Palestinian Authority arrested, beat, and tortured martyr Nizar Banat, a Palestinian brother, a resistance fighter, and a thinker who had brave and courageous positions, which led to his martyrdom.

Of course, one may ask why are you talking about this now and that this story is old? At that time, although we saw that all the Palestinian factions took a position, we preferred to wait because the issue was not very clear, and we considered that it could be an internal affair. But today, it is my duty to pay tribute, even for a few minutes, to this resistant martyr, mujahid, thinker, and bold, brave, and oppressed martyr Nizar Banat. I am one of the people who during the previous period – I mean during his life and not after his martyrdom – I usually and for security reasons do not have internet, but every once in a while, the young men give me recorded summaries, I listen and watch what this person said, how he spoke, and how he expressed a position?

At various times, I listened and gave time to Brother Nizar. I was very impressed by his clarity, his pure thought on the issue of resistance, the issue of “Israel”, the issue of the situation in the region, the position on the axis of resistance, the conflicts in the region, and targeting the axis of resistance. I was amazed by his courage – he lives in the West Bank and it is possible that he might be attacked, arrested, or killed at any moment. Of course, I had in mind that the “Israelis” would kill him and not anyone from the PA. In fact, I would like to say a couple of words first to shed light on this bold, courageous, clear, authentic, and strong figure as well as his position on the issue of resistance, the Palestinian cause. He had courage until his martyrdom. Secondly, as this is the first time I am talking about the subject, we share with honorable family, all his family members, his loved ones, his friends, and his companions the pain and the unending grief. I know that to them this matter has not ended. 

The third point is to demand justice and truth from the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian judiciary, and all the Palestinian people for martyr Nizar must. Time will not stop this, and this blood must not be wasted just because those who have wronged him or committed crimes against him belong to a certain security apparatus. This is regarding martyr Nizar. I wanted to talk about him. 

I said at the beginning of the speech that in a few days we will have a great and very dear occasion, which is the anniversary of the birth of the greatest Messenger of God. Of course, celebrations and commemorations take place in different regions of the Islamic world.
But in the past years, what must also be noted with admiration and pride is how the dear and oppressed Yemeni people are commemorating this occasion. We are talking about the areas under the control of what they call the Sana’a government, meaning in the areas where Ansarullah is present. Huge crowds gather in all governorates and cities at the same time.

The whole world saw how they’ve been commemorating the birth of the Messenger of God Muhammad during the past two years despite the war, destruction, difficult economic conditions, difficult living conditions, rampant diseases, great dangers, and siege. But it is really amazing the way they commemorate this occasion, and as a Muslim, I tell you that I feel ashamed. Despite the circumstances and situation, these people mark the occasion in such a way, while we, the rest of the Muslims in different parts of the world, how do we commemorate this anniversary even though our circumstances are much better than theirs, even if there are some difficulties. 

First, salutations to the dear and oppressed Yemeni people, who love and adore the Messenger of God, for what they will do during the next few days.

I consider the way the Yemenis mark [this occasion] as an argument for all of us as Muslims in the Islamic world.

In the past few years, we used to hold celebrations. It is possible that during the last two years, we’ve eased down on celebrations a little because of the coronavirus. This year, we want to hold a decent and respectful celebration. That is why starting from now I invite the lovers of the Messenger of God to make the marking and celebration of this year’s occasion appropriate and to the level of their love, adoration, and loyalty to the Messenger of God.

May God give you wellness. We’ll talk about the rest later, God willing, if God keeps us alive. May God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you.

$1.25 Billion, ISIS Annual Revenue from Stolen Syrian and Iraqi Oil

 ARABI SOURI 

ISIS terrorists in Syria and Iraq

“ISIL (ISIS – DAESH) was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the possibility of going to Damascus, we know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought that Assad was threatened, we thought, however, that we can probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, instead of negotiating we’ve got Putin supporting Assad.” Former US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a leaked audio recording.

“We created Al Qaeda then we left the mess for the Pakistanis to deal with them” Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a congressional hearing.

“The problem is in our allies, they were arming and funding everyone who wanted to fight Assad.” Former Vice President of the USA, currently President of the same USA Joe Biden said during a foreign policy address at Harvard University in September 2014.

“We will keep the oil, I like oil, let the others fight terrorism, I like oil.” Former US President Donald Trump.

‘When I was appointed as the financial controller of ISIS and moved to Raqqa from Iraq, there were 250 million dollars in cash and 3000 kilograms of gold stored in houses and tunnels in the city. We were selling the oil from the wells under our control in Iraq and most of them in Syria to petrol stations, factories, and merchants, and the rest we were exporting them, we were selling the oil for 180 dollars/tonne, which brought us 1.25 billion US dollars a year.’ Deputy Commander of ISIS Sami Jassim Al-Jabouri.

Deputy Commander of ISIS Sami Jassim Al-Jabouri - حجي حامد سليم جاسم الجبوري نائب القائد في داعش

The above is part of the confessions of the ISIS Deputy Commander and its former financial controller Sami Jassim Al-Jabouri, aka among his ‘colleagues as ‘Hajji Hamed,’ which were published by the Iraqi news agency INA.

Sami Al-Jabouri was detained by the Iraqi Security Forces in a ‘complex external operation’ a little over a month ago, his arrest was announced by Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi on October 11, 2021.

The war on Syria for the past 10.5 years was about everything else but saving the Syrian people, spreading democracy, or promoting freedoms; you name it, it was in their agenda: Protecting Israel to build the anti-Christ kingdom as per the Zionist and Evangelical Church beliefs, extending a gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe to bypass Iran and Russia and strangle their economies, deprive China of any access to the Mediterranean through West Asia, stealing the oil, stealing the water, stealing the food, mainly wheat, stealing Syria’s factories, then moving to the next countries on the list.

“If we didn’t go to fight the terrorists in Syria, we would have had to fight the terrorists in Russia.” President of Russia Vladimir Putin repeated several times since Oct 30, 2015.

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden and their allies are not in prison, the first one is preaching the world on ‘climate change’ and the ‘need to reduce carbon emissions’ while traveling in his private jet and attending with his president a summit using a motorcade of 85 vehicles, the second, despite being part of or at least knowing about ‘one of the greatest hoaxes in journalism’ to smear the 3rd one in what was called the ‘Russian collusion’, she’s tweeting her congratulations to senator Patrick Leahy on his ‘long service’ because in the USA and all its cronies the politicians serve for decades but they want to see change in the countries they target, she’s also tweeting about some more acts deliberated, the 3rd one is busy launching his new platform and campaigning to strip two of the most credible [sic] US mainstream media outlets the New York Times and the Washington Post of their Pulitzer prizes because of their essential part in the 2nd’s conspiracy role against him, and the last one, we’re not sure he himself knows where he is.

Those politicians, the war criminals with their allies and their proxy terrorist groups agree on destroying the world one country at a time, Syria was too difficult for them to crack open, now they’re working hard on extending its suffering to strip its people the joy of celebrating their win on the world’s most vicious and super-rich terrorists ISIS, and its ilk, these same politicians do differ on everything else of no real value, just to entertain their sheeple who think they’re free and live in a real democracy.

The 1.25 billion US dollars that the US-created and sponsored ISIS terrorist group was earning are only from the proceeds of selling the stolen oil, this does not include the lootings, ransoms, racketeering, drug trafficking, human organs trafficking, white slavery, and all of that is not comparable to the billions in direct funding by the Gulfies and their NATO sponsors, mainly the US taxpayers, most of which were funneled by dropping weapons and other parcels ‘by mistake’ by the Pentagon to areas under ISIS control, programs to train ‘moderate terrorists’ who would join ISIS or fight on its side, and humanitarian aid sent by the different countries to areas under the control of ISIS and its brethren.

If you want us to remain online, please consider a small donation, or see how you can help at no cost.
Follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

Related

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

November 09, 2021

Deconstructing Islamophobia (alas, a necessary repost)

Foreword: almost exactly two years ago I wrote a column entitled “Deconstructing Islamophobia“.  Yesterday, I posted an article about immigration which, alas, generated a few truly idiotic comments about “The Muslims they… bla bla bla” which I initially planned to reply to, but which I simply deleted in utter disgust.  Here I need to clarify, I was not disgusted by anybody’s dislike (or even hatred) for Islam or Muslims, not at all, I was disgusted by the utter stupidity of the “arguments” invoked.  So I decided that before writing my next column about issues of immigration, I would repost my “Deconstructing Islamophobia” as a reply to all those who believe that ignorant hatred is a form of piety.  On a more personal note, I am particularly ashamed when I see some (not all, thank God!) of my fellow Orthodox Christians parrot exactly the lines which the National-Zionists want to inject into our collective minds.  These are the type of folks which can’t even understand the truisms I listed yesterday, including these two truly basic ones:

  • Being FROM a Christian/Muslim country and actually BEING Christian/Muslim are two totally different propositions and the former does not in any way imply the latter.
  • To be considered as an adherent of religion X requires, at the minimum,  a) being aware of its main teachings and b) living your daily life in according to at least the main precepts of this religion.

So, especially for (some of) my fellow Orthodox Christians, I will add this: how would you like it if some Muslim, Buddhist or Judaic blamed the Orthodox Church for the Papacy’s Inquisition or Crusades, or blamed Orthodoxy for the actions of Cromwell in Ireland?  And if you began protesting the ludicrous nature of such accusations, your accuser would reply “the Christians they… bla bla bla“!  You would be pretty disgusted, wouldn’t you?  So you want the non-Orthodox to understand how different our faith is from the Papacy or Cromwell’s Puritanism and their innumerable crimes, yet you steadfastly refuse to even admit that the Muslim world is at least as diverse as the Christian one, and has been so during its entire history!

But hey – Who needs education and knowledge when hatred and bigotry are seen as acceptable, even pious, substitutes, right?!

Well, I want to you know that I am personally ashamed of this bigotry masquerading a piety and while in the current prevailing political doxa most people will side with you, I shall never, no matter what labels (crypto-Muslim being the kindest I saw) you place upon me.  And please remember that: I reject your theses not because I defend Islam or Muslim, but because you are ignorant bigots.

With that out of the way, I invite the rest of my readers to (re-)discover my two year old analysis.

Andrei

***

Introduction: a short survey of the cuckoo’s nest

My initial idea was to begin with a definition of “Islamophobia” but after looking around for various definitions, I decided to use my own, very primitive definition. I will define Islamophobia as the belief that Islam (the religion) and/or Muslims (the adherents to this religion) represent some kind of more or less coherent whole which is a threat to the West. These are two distinct arguments rolled up into one: the first part claims that Islam (the religion) represents some kind of threat to the West while the second part claims that the people who embrace Islam (Muslims) also represent some kind of threat to the West. Furthermore, this argument makes two crucial assumptions:

  1. there is such thing out there as a (conceptually sufficient) unitary Islam
  2. there are such people with (conceptually sufficient) common characteristics due to their adherence to Islam

Next, let’s summarize the “evidence” typically presented in support of this thesis:

  1. The god of Islam is not the same god as the God of Christianity
  2. The Muslim world was created by the sword
  3. The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was an evil person
  4. Islam is incompatible with western democracy and represents a threat to what are referred to as “values” in the modern day West
  5. Muslims have treated Christians horribly in many different historical instances
  6. Muslims often turn to terrorism and commit atrocities
  7. Islam is socially regressive and seeks to impose medieval values on a modern world

There are more such as these, but these, I believe, are the main ones.

What is crucial here is to point out that this evidence relies both on theological arguments (#1 #4 #7), and historical arguments (#2 #3 #5 #6).

Finally, there is a most interesting phenomenon which, for the time being, we shall note, but only discuss later: the legacy corporate Ziomedia on one hand denounces Islamophobia as a form of “racism” but yet, at the same time, the very same circles which denounce Islamophobia are also the ones which oppose all manifestations of real traditional Islam. This strongly suggests that the study of this apparent paradox can, if carefully analyzed, yield some most interesting results, but more about that later.

Of course, all of the above is sort of a “bird’s eye” view of Islamophobia in the West. Once we go down to the average Joe Sixpack level, all of the above is fused into one “forceful” slogan as this one:

This kind of crude fearmongering is targeted at the folks who don’t realize that the USA is not “America” and who, therefore, probably don’t have the foggiest notion of what Sharia law is or how it is adjudicated by Islamic courts.

[I have lived in the USA for a total of 22 years and have observed something very interesting: there is a unique mix of ignorance and fear which, in the USA, is perceived as “patriotic”. A good example of this kind of “patriotism through ignorance” is in the famous song “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” by Alan Jackson which includes the following words: “I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell you the difference in Iraq and Iran, but I know Jesus and I talk to God“. Truth be told, the same song also asked in reference to 9/11 “Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue?“. Why exactly the massacre of 9/11 should elicit patriotic pride is explained as follows “And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?“. Thus when the “United American Committee” declares that Sharia law is a threat to “America” the folks raised in this culture of fear and patriotism immediately “get it”. David Rovics hilariously described this mindset in his song “Evening News” where he says: “Evil men are plotting, to blow up Washington, DC, ’cause they don’t like freedom and democracy, they’re fans of the Dark Ages, they are all around, they’re marching from the desert sands, and coming to your town“. I have had the fortune of visiting all the continents of our planet (except Oceania) and I can vouch that this blend of fear+patriotic fervor is something uniquely, well, not “American” but “USAnian”.]

Having quickly surveyed the Islamophobic mental scenery, we can now turn to a logical analysis of the so-called arguments of the Islamophobes.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: a unitary Islam

Let’s take the arguments one by one beginning with the argument of a unitary Islam.

Most of us are at least vaguely aware that there are different Islamic movements/schools/traditions in different countries. We have heard of Shias and Sunni, some have also heard about Alawites or Sufism. Some will even go so far as remembering that Muslim countries can be at war with each other, and that some Muslims (the Takfiris) only dream about killing as many other Muslims (who, obviously, don’t share the exact same beliefs) and that, in fact, movements like al-Qaeda, ISIS, etc have murdered other Muslims in huge numbers. So the empirical evidence strongly suggest that this notion of a Muslim or Islamic unity is factually simply wrong.

Furthermore, we need to ask the obvious question: what *is* Islam?

Now, contrary to the hallucinations of some especially dull individuals, I am not a Muslim. So what follows is my own, possibly mistaken, understanding of what “core Islam” is. It is the acceptance of the following formula “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” or “lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llā“. Note that “Allah” is not a name, it is the word “God” and “rasul” can be translated as “prophet”. There are also the so-called Five Pillars of Islam:

  • The Shahada or profession of faith “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God
  • The Salat or a specific set of daily prayers
  • The Zakat or alms giving
  • The Sawm or fasting
  • The Hadjj or pilgrimage to Mecca

That’s it! A person who fully embraces these five pillars is considered a Muslim. Or at least, so it would appear. The reality is, of course, much more complex. For the time being, I will just note that in this “core Islam” there is absolutely nothing, nothing at all, which could serve as evidence for any of the Islamophobic theories. Yes, yes, I know, I can already hear the Islamophobes’ objections: you are ignoring all the bad stuff in the Quran, you are ignoring all the bad stuff about spreading Islam by the sword, you are ignoring all the bad things Muhammad did in his life, you are ignoring the many local traditions and all the normative examples of the tradition (Sunnah and it’s Hadiths). Yeah, except you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say:

  1. Islam is inherently evil/dangerous AND
  2. use local/idiosyncratic beliefs and actions to prove your point!

If Islam by itself is dangerous, then it has to be dangerous everywhere it shows up, irrespective of the region, people, time in history or anything else.

If we say that sometimes Islam is dangerous and sometimes it is not, then what we need to look into is not the core elements of the Islamic faith, but instead we need to identify those circumstances in which Islam was not a threat to anybody and those circumstances when Islam was a threat to others.

Furthermore, if your argument is really based on the thesis that Islam is evil always and everywhere, then to prove it wrong all I need to do is find one, just ONE, example where Muslims and non-Muslims have lived in peace together for some period of time.

[Sidebar: while I was working on my Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies I had the fortune of having the possibility to take a couple of courses outside my field of specialization and I decided to take the most “exotic” course I could find in SAIS‘ curriculum and I chose a course on Sharia law. This was an excellent decision which I never regretted. Not only was the course fascinating, I had the chance of writing a term paper on the topic “The comparative status of Orthodox Christians in history under Muslim and Latin rule“. My first, and extremely predictable, finding was that treatment of Orthodox Christians by Muslim rulers ranged from absolutely horrible and even genocidal to very peaceful and kind. Considering the long time period considered (14 centuries) and the immense geographical realm covered (our entire planet from Morocco to Indonesia and from Russia to South Africa), this is hardly surprising. The core beliefs of Islam might be simple, but humans are immensely complicated beings who always end up either adding a local tradition or, at least, defending one specific interpretation of Islam. My second finding was much more shocking: on average the status of Orthodox Christians under the Papacy was much worse than under Muslim rule. Again, I am not comparing the status of Orthodox Serbs under Ottoman rule with the status of Orthodox Christians in modern Italy. These are extreme examples. But I do claim that there is sort of a conceptual linear regression which strongly suggests to us that there is a predictive (linear) model which can be used to make predictions and that the most obvious lesson of history is that the absolute worst thing which can happen to Orthodox Christians is to fall under their so-called “Christian brothers” of the West. A few exceptions here and there do not significantly affect this model. I encourage everybody to take the time to really study the different types of Muslim rulers in history, if only to appreciate how much diversity you will find].

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the “Muslim god” vs the “Christian God”

This is just about the silliest anti-Muslim argument I have ever heard and it come from folks inhabiting the far left side of a Bell Curve. It goes something like this:

We, Christians, have our true God as God, whereas the Muslims have Allah, which is not the God of the Christians. Thus, we worship different gods.

Of course, the existence of various gods or one, single, God does not depend on who believes in Him or who worships Him. If we can agree on the notion that God is He Who created all of Creation, and if we agree that both Christians (all denominations) and Muslims (all schools) believe that they are worshiping that God then, since there is only one real/existing God, we do worship the same God simply because there are not “other” gods.

I wonder what those who say that “Muslims worship another god” think when they read the following words of Saint Paul to the Athenian pagans: “For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). What Saint Paul told them is that they ignorantly worship a god whom, in spite of that ignorant worship, Saint Paul declared to them. I submit that “ignorant worship” is not an insult, but a diagnosis of heterodoxy, and that such an “ignorant worship” can nonetheless be sincere.

The issue is not WHOM we worship, but HOW we worship (in terms of both praxis and doxa).

And yes, here the differences between Christians and Muslims are huge indeed.

In my 2013 article “Russia and Islam, part eight: working together, a basic “how-to”” I discussed the immense importance of these differences and how we ought to deal with them. I wrote:

The highest most sacred dogmatic formulation of Christianity is the so-called “Credo” or “Symbol of Faith” (full text here; more info here). Literally every letter down to the smallest ‘i of this text is, from the Christian point of view, the most sacred and perfect dogmatic formulation, backed by the full authority of the two Ecumenical Councils which proclaimed it and all the subsequent Councils which upheld it. In simple terms – the Symbol of Faith is absolutely non-negotiable, non-re-definable, non-re-interpretable, you cannot take anything away from it, and you cannot add anything to it. You can either accept it as is, in toto, or reject it.

The fact is that Muslims would have many problems with this text, but one part in particular is absolutely unacceptable to any Muslim:

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, Begotten of the Father before all ages, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made

This part clearly and unambiguously affirms that Jesus-Christ was not only the Son of God but actually God Himself. This is expressed by the English formulation “of one essence with the Father” (ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί in Greek with the key term homousios meaning “consubstantial”). This is *THE* core belief of Christianity: that Jesus was the the anthropos, the God-Man or God incarnate. This belief is categorically unacceptable to Islam which says that Christ was a prophet and by essence a ‘normal’ human being.

For Islam, the very definition of what it is to be a Muslim is found in the so-called “Shahada” or testimony/witness. This is the famous statement by which a Muslim attests and proclaims that “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God”. One can often also hear this phrased as “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is His prophet”.

Now without even going into the issue of whether Christians can agree or not that “Allah” is the appropriate name for God (some do, some don’t – this is really irrelevant here), it’s the second part which is crucial here: Christianity does not recognize Muhammad as a prophet at all. In fact, technically speaking, Christianity would most likely classify Muhammad as a heretic (if only because of his rejection of the “Symbol of Faith”). Saint John of Damascus even called him a ‘false prophet’. Simply put: there is no way a Christian can accept the “Shahada” without giving up his Christianity just as there is no way for a Muslim to accept the “Symbol of Faith” without giving up his Islam.

So why bother?

Would it not make much more sense to accept that there are fundamental and irreconcilable differences between Christianity and Islam and simply give up all that useless quest for points of theological agreement? Who cares if we agree on the secondary if we categorically disagree on the primary? I am all in favor of Christians studying Islam and for Muslims studying Christianity (in fact, I urge them both to do so!), and I think that it is important that the faithful of these religions talk to each other and explain their points of view as long as this is not presented as some kind of quest for a common theological stanceDifferences should be studied and explained, not obfuscated, minimized or overlooked.

Bottom line is this: it is PRECISELY because Islam and Christianity are completely incompatible theologically (and even mutually exclusive!) that there is no natural enmity between these two religions unless, of course, some Christian or Muslim decides that he has to use force to promote this religion. And let’s be honest, taken as a whole Christianity’s record on forced conversions and assorted atrocities is at least as bad as Islam’s, or even worse. Of course, if we remove the Papacy from the overall Christian record, things looks better. If then we also remove the kind of imperialism Reformed countries engaged in, it looks even better. But even Orthodox rulers have, on occasion, resorted to forceful conversions and mass murder of others.

And here, just as in Islam, we notice that Christians also did not always spread their faith by love and compassion, especially once Christian rulers came to power in powerful empires or nations.

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam was spread by the sword

In reality the “Islam spread by the sword” is a total canard, at least when we hear it from folks who defend “democracy” but who stubbornly refuse to concede that 1) most democracies came to power by means of violent revolutions and that 2) just a look at a newspaper today (at least a non-western newspaper) will tell you that democracy is STILL spread by the sword. As for the USA as country, it was built on by far the biggest bloodbath in history. If anything, Sharia law and Islam could teach a great deal to the country which:

  1. spends more on aggression than the rest of the world combined
  2. has the highest percentage of people incarcerated (and most of these for non-violent crimes)
  3. whose entire economy is based on the military-industrial complex
  4. and who is engaged in more simultaneous wars of choice than any other country in history

So “Sharia Law Threatens America” is a lie. And this is the truth:

Was Islam really spread by the sword?

Maybe. But anybody making that claim better make darn sure that his/her religion, country or ideology has a much better record. If not, then this is pure hypocrisy!

Finally, I will also note that Christ said “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). In contrast, the Prophet of Islam established the first Islamic state in Medina. So when we compare Muhammad’s actions to Christ, a better comparison should be with the various Christian rulers (including Byzantine ones) and we will soon find out that the Christian Roman Empire also used the sword on many occasions.

Next:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: the Prophet of Islam was a bad man

You must have all sorts of stories about how the Prophet Muhammad did things we would disapprove of. I won’t list them here simply because the list of grievances is a little different in each case. I actually researched some of these accusations (about marrying young girls, or sentencing people to death for example) and in each case, there is a very solid Muslim defense of these incidents which is almost always ignored and which provides a crucial context to, at least, the better understanding of the incident discussed.

Since I am not a historian or a biographer of the Prophet Muhammad I don’t have any personal opinion on these accusations other than stating the obvious: I am not a Muslim and I don’t have to decide whether Muhammad was a sinful man or a infallible person (that is a purely theological argument). I will simply say that this ad hominem is only relevant to the degree that some Muslims would consider each action of their prophet as normative and not historical. Furthermore, even if they would consider each action of their prophet as normative, we need to recall here that we are dealing with a prophet, not a God-Man, and that therefore the comparison ought not to be made with Christ, whom Christians believe to be 100% sinless, but with a Christian prophet, say Moses, whom no real Christian will ever declare sinless or infallible. As for the Quran, let’s not compare it to just the New Testament but to all the books of the Bible taken together, including those who were eventually re-interpreted by the new religion of (some) Jews after the fall of Jerusalem: rabbinical/Phariseic Talmudism which found plenty of passages in its (deliberately falsified) “Masoretic” text of the Old Testament “Tanakh” (please see here if you don’t know what falsification I am referring to).

Finally, NO religious text worth anything is self-explanatory or “explains itself” by means of comparing passages. This is also why all major religions have a large corpus of texts which explain, interpret, expand upon and otherwise give the (deceptively simple looking) text its real, profound, meaning. Furthermore, most major religions also have a rich oral tradition which also sheds light on written religious documents. Whatever may be the case, simply declaring that “Islam is a threat” because we don’t approve of the actions of the founder of Islam is simply silly. The next accusation is much more material:

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions:Islam is incompatible with democracy

That is by far the most interesting argument and one which many Muslims would agree with! Of course, it all depends on what you mean by “democracy”. Let me immediately concede that if by “democracy” you mean this:

Then, indeed, Islam is incompatible with modern western democracy. But so is (real) Christianity!

So the so-called “West” has to decide what its core values are. If Conchita Wurst is an embodiment of “democracy” then Islam and Christianity are both equally incompatible with it. Orthodox Christianity, for sure, has not caved in to the homo-lobby in the same way most western Christian denominations have.

But if by “democracy” we don’t mean “gay pride” parades but rather true pluralism, true people-power, and the real sovereignty of the people, then what I call “core Islam” is not threat to democracy at all. None. However, there is also no doubt about two truisms:

  1. Some Muslim states are profoundly reactionary and freedom crushing
  2. Traditional Islam is incompatible with many modern “western values”

Still, it is also very easy to counter these truism with the following replies

  1. Some Muslim states are pluralistic, progressive and defend the oppressed (Muslim or not)
  2. Traditional Christianity is incompatible with modern “western values”

Again, Iran is, in my opinion, the perfect illustration of a pluralistic (truly diverse!), progressive and freedom defending Muslim state. I simply don’t have the time and place to go into a detailed discussion of the polity of Iran (I might have to do that in a future article), and for the time being I will point you to the hyper-pro-Zionist Wikipedia article (which nobody will suspect of being pro-Muslim or pro-Iranian) about the “Politics of Iran” which will show you two things: Iran is an “Islamic Republic” meaning that it is a republic, yes, but one which has Islam as its supreme law. There is absolutely nothing inherently less democratic about a Islamic republic which has a religion as its supreme law than a atheistic/secular republic which has a constitution as its supreme law. In fact, some countries don’t even have a constitution (the UK and Israel come to mind). As for the Iranian polity, it has a very interesting system of checks and balances which a lot of countries would do well to emulate (Russia for starters).

As for modern “western values”, they are completely incompatible with Christianity (the real, original, unadulterated thing) even if they are very compatible with modern western (pseudo-) Christian denominations.

So, now the question becomes: is there something profoundly incompatible between the real, traditional, Islam and the real, traditional, Christianity? I am not talking about purely theological differences here, but social and political consequences which flow from theological differences. Two immediately come to my mind (but there are more, of course):

  • The death penalty, especially for apostasy
  • Specific customs (dress code, ban on alcohol, separation of genders in various settings, etc.)

The first one, this is really a non-issue because while traditional, Patristic, Christianity has a general, shall we say, “inclination” against the death penalty, this has not always been the case in all Orthodox countries. So while we can say that by and large Orthodox Christians are typically not supporters of the death penalty, this is not a theological imperative or any kind of dogma. In fact, modern Russia has implemented a moratorium on the death penalty (to join the Council of Europe – hardly a moral or ethical reason) but most of the Russian population favor its re-introduction. Note that Muslims in Russia are apparently living their lives in freedom and overall happiness and when they voice grievances (often legitimate ones), they don’t have “reintroduce the death penalty” as a top priority demand.

The simple truth is that each country has to decide for itself whether it was the use the death penalty or not. Once a majority of voters have made that decision, members of each religion will have to accept that decision as a fact of law which can be criticized, but not one which can be overturned by any minority.

As for religious tribunals, they can be easily converted by the local legislature into a “mediation firm” which can settle conflicts, but only if both sides agree to recognize it’s authority. So if two Muslims want their dispute to be settled by an Islamic Court, the latter can simply act as a mediator as long as its decision does not violate any local or national laws. Hardly something non-Muslims (who could always refuse to recognize the Islamic Court) need to consider a “threat” to their rights or lifestyles.

An “Islamic Matrioshka”?!

As for the social customs, here it is really a no-brainer: apply Islamic rules to those who chose to be Muslims and let the other people live their lives as they chose to. You know, “live and let live”. Besides, in terms of dress code and gender differentiation, traditional Islam and traditional Christianity are very close.

Check out this typical Russian doll, and look at what she is wearing: this was the traditional Russian dress for women for centuries and this is still what Orthodox women (at least those who still follow ancient Christian customs) wear in Church.

Furthermore, if you go into a Latin parish in southern Europe or Latin America, you will often find women covering their heads, not only in church, but also during the day. The simple truth is that these clothes are not only modest and beautiful, they are also very comfortable and practical.

The thing which Islamophobes always miss is that they take examples of laws and rules passed by some Muslim states and assume that this is how all Muslim states will always act. But this is simply false. Let’s take the example of Hezbollah (that name means “party of God”, by the way) in Lebanon which has clearly stated on many occasions that it has no intention of transforming Lebanon into a Shia-only state. Not only did Hezbollah say that many times, but they acted on it and they always have had a policy of collaboration with truly patriotic Christians (of any denomination). Even in today’s resistance (moqawama) there are Christians who are not members of Hezbollah as a party (and why would they when this is clearly and officially a Muslim party and not a Christian one?!), but they are part of the military resistance.

[Sidebar: by the way, the first female suicide bomber in Lebanon was not a Muslim. She was a 18 year old from an Orthodox family who joined Syrian Social Nationalist Party and blew herself up in her car on an Israeli checkpoint (inside Lebanon, thus a legitimate target under international law!), killing two Israeli invaders and injuring another twelve. Her name was Sana’a Mehaidli]

A Hezbollah fighter respectfully picks up an image of the Mother of God from the ruins of a church destroyed by US-backed Takfiris

Recent events in Syria were also very telling: when the AngloZionist Empire unleashed its aggression against Syria and the “good terrorists” of al-Qaeda/al-Nusra/ISIS/etc. embarked in a wholesale program of massacres and atrocities, everybody ran for their lives, including all the non-Takfiri Muslims. Then, when the plans of the Axis of Kindness (USA, KSA, Israel) were foiled by the combined actions of Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, something interesting happened: the Latin Christians left, whereas the Orthodox Christians stayed (source). Keep in mind that Syria is *not* an Islamic state, yet the prospects of a Muslim majority was frightening enough for the Latins to flee even though the Orthodox felt comfortable staying. What do these Orthodox Christians know?

Could it be that elite traditionalist Shia soldiers represent no threat to Orthodox Christians?

Deconstructing the phobia’s assumptions: Islam generates terrorism

In fact, there is some truth to that too. But I would re-phrase it as: the AngloZionists in their hatred for anything Russian, including Soviet Russian, identified a rather small and previously obscure branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia which they decided to unleash against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. From the first day, these Takfiris were federated by the USA and financed by the House of Saud. The latter, in its fear of being overthrown by the Takfiris, decided to appease them by internationally supporting their terrorism (that is all Takfiris have to offer, their leaders are not respected scholars, to put it mildly). Since that time, the Takfiris have been the “boots on the ground” used by the West against all its enemies: Serbia, Russia first, but then also secular (Syria) or anti-Takfiri Muslim states (Iran).

So it is not “Islam” which generates terrorism: it is western (AngloZionist) imperialism.

The US and Israel are, by a wide margin, the biggest sponsors of terrorism (just as the West was always by far the biggest source of imperialism in history) and while they want to blame “Islam” for most terrorist attacks, the truth is that behind every such “Muslim” attack we find a western “deep state” agents acting, from the GIA in Algeria, to al-Qaeda in Iraq to al-Nusra in Syria to, most crucially, 9/11 in New York. These were all events created and executed by semi-literate Takfiri patsies who were run by agents of the western deep states.

As far as I know, all modern terrorist groups are, in reality, “operated by remote control” by state actors who alone can provide the training, know-how, finances, logistical support, etc needed by the terrorists.

And here is an interesting fact: the two countries which have done the most to crush Takfiri terrorism are Russia and Iran. But the collective West is still categorically refusing to work with these countries to crush the terrorism these western states claim to be fighting.

So, do you really believe that the West is fighting terrorism?

If yes, I got a few bridges to sell all over the planet.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “liberals”

There are many more demonstratively false assumptions which are made by the AngloZionist propaganda machine. I have only listed a few. Now we can look to the apparent paradox in which we see the western “liberals” both denouncing Islamophobia and, at the same time, repeating all the worst cliches about Islam. In this category, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton are the most egregious examples of this hypocrisy because while pretending to be friends of Muslims, they got more Muslims killed than anybody else. For western liberals, Islam is a perfect pretext to, on one hand, cater to minorities (ethnic or religious) while pretending to be extremely tolerant of others. Western liberals use Islam in the West, as a way to force the locals to give up their traditions and values. You could say that western liberals “love” Islam just like they “love” LGBTQIAPK+ “pride” parades: simply and only as a tool to crush the (still resisting) majority of the people in the West who have not been terminally brainwashed by the AngloZionist legacy corporate propaganda machine.

Conclusion: cui bono? the so-called “conservatives”

Western conservatism is dead. It died killed by two main causes: the abject failure of National-Socialism (which was an Anglo plan to defeat the USSR) and by its total lack of steadfastness of the western conservatives who abandoned pretty much any and all principles they were supposed to stand for. Before the 1990s, the conservative movements of the West were close to fizzling out into nothingness, but then the Neocons (for their own, separate, reasons) began pushing the “Islamic threat” canard and most conservatives jumped on it in the hope of using it to regain some relevance. Some of these conservatives even jumped on the “Christian revival in Russia” theory (which is not quite a canard, but which is also nothing like what the Alt-Righters imagine it to be) to try to revive their own, long dead, version of “Christianity”. These are desperate attempts to find a source of power and relevance outside a conservative movement which is basically dead. Sadly, what took the place of the real conservative movement in the West is the abomination known as “National Zionism” (which I discussed here) and whose ideological cornerstone is a rabid, hysterical, Islamophobia.

Conclusion: cui bono? the US deep state

That one is easy and obvious: the US deep state needs the “Islamic threat” canard for two reasons: to unleash against its enemies and to terrify the people of the USA so that they accept the wholesale destruction of previously sacred civil rights. This is so obvious that there is nothing to add here. I will only add that I am convinced that the US deep state is also supporting both the Alt-Right phenomenon and the various “stings” against so-called “domestic terrorists” (only only Muslims, by the way). What the Neocons and their deep-state need above all is chaos and crises which they used to shape the US political landscape.

Finally, the real conclusion: rate the source! always rate the source…

Whom did we identify as the prime sources of Islamophobia? The liberals who want to seize power on behalf of a coalition of minorities, conservatives who have long ditched truly conservative values and deep state agents who want to terrify US Americans and kill the enemies of the AngloZionist Empire.

I submit to you that these folks are most definitely not your friends. In fact, they are your real enemy and, unlike various terrorists abroad who are thousands of miles away from the USA, these real enemies are not only here, they are already in power and rule over you! And they are using Islam just like a matador uses a red cape: to distract you from the real threat: National Zionism. This is true in the US as it is true in the EU.

Chechens in Novorussia

Most westerners are now conditioned to react with fear and horror when they hear “Allahu Akbar”. This is very predictable since most of what is shown in the western media is Takfiris screaming “Allahu Akbar” before cutting the throats of their victims (or rejoicing at the suffering/death of “infidels”).

Yet in the Donbass, the local Orthodox Christians knew that wherever that slogan (which simply means “God is greater” or “God is the greatest”) was heard the Ukronazis are on the run. And now we see Russia sending mostly Muslim units to Syria to protect not only Muslims, but everybody who needs protection.

Having a sizable Muslim minority in Russia, far from being any kind of threat, as turned to be a huge advantage for Russia in her competition against the AngloZionist Empire.

There are, by the way, also Chechens fighting on the other side in this conflict: the very same Takfiris who were crushed and expelled from Chechnia by the joint efforts of the Chechen people and the Russian armed forces. So, again, we have Muslims on both sides, the Takfiris now happily united with the Nazis and the traditionalist Muslims of Kadyrov protecting the people of Novorussia.

That is one, amongst many more, nuances which the Islamophobic propaganda always carefully chooses to ignore.

Should you?

The Saker

The Liberation of Marib: Three Goals with Three Results

Nov 5,2021

The Liberation of Marib: Three Goals with Three Results

By Ali Al-Darwani

The pace of the liberation operations of Marib is accelerating unexpectedly, suggesting that its conclusion is around the corner. This is what the battlefield says. Looking at previous military operations by the army and the popular committees, including the ones in Nasr Min Allah, Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous, and Amkan Minhom to the subsequent operations in Al-Bayda, Shabwa, and Marib, all the way to Rabi Al-Nasr 2, tell us the victories on the ground are understated. The armed forces hold back on declarations in order not to compromise military, security, and intelligence operations. This means that the announcement by Brigadier General Yehya Saree during Wednesday’s briefing by the armed forces downplays the extent the achievements on the ground. And the coming days will reveal the reality.

This is as far as the battlefield is concerned.

The situation is not much different when we examine the data and expectations, which expose convictions among the mercenaries of the aggression, of the inevitable liberation of Marib, or, according to them, the fall of Marib. It’s just a matter of announcing it officially, which reflects the collapse of the morale of the elements of the aggression and their acceptance of the expected fait accompli. Perhaps the defeat of the aggression in Fardt Nihm, then in Kovel and Mas, and more recently in Abdiya, Mahlia, Rahba, Jabal Murad, and Juba add insult to injury. They can be added to the many setbacks they’ve suffered and will be carrying on their backs to the city of Marib.

The string of defeats were reflected in statements and insinuations by the leaders of the mercenaries and their media mouthpieces, which began to talk about the danger of the fall of Marib for the rest of region. They are not just talking about Yemen’s occupied south, but rather about the Arabian Peninsula and the region as a whole.

These exaggerations are tempting Riyadh to throw more weight behind these battles even though it has spared no effort in providing military support, especially from the air, including hundreds of raids to prevent and curb military progress on the ground. But to no avail.

Nevertheless, the mercenaries issued a statement – attributed to the parties supporting it – mourning Marib in light of the recent victories by Yemen’s armed forces and holding the Saudi-led coalition and the regime it backs responsible for the defeat.

Marib is important to Yemen politically, militarily, and economically. Politically, it is an occupied part of the country and cannot in any way be left in the hands of the invaders and occupiers. It must be returned to the bosom of the homeland and complete national sovereignty must be imposed and restored.

Militarily, Marib has always been a focal point and a dagger in Yemen’s waist. The forces of aggression used it as a camp in which they collected elements of Al-Qaeda, Daesh, and other takfiris, as well as remnants of the Islah party, and a handful of mercenaries looking for Riyadh’s crumbs, including oil and gas. This dangerous outpost, which threatened all its neighboring areas – Al-Jawf in the north, Sanaa in the west, and al-Bayda in the south – should not remain a source of danger and a hotbed for the elements of Al-Qaeda and Daesh.

Economically, Riyadh has used Marib as a tool for its siege, cutting off oil, gas, and electricity supplies – the most vital services for all aspects of life for a large segment of the Yemeni people – to other areas. Liberating Marib will break part of the unjust siege and plans by the aggressors and their hopes to break the will of the people and bring them to their knees will be destroyed.

Speaking of the results, internally, thwarting the aggression and its plans, especially the partition plan, and taking one of the most important cards out of the equation, is considered an important achievement, which will bring the aggressors to the negotiating table without arrogance as well as political and humanitarian blackmail.

It will undermine their ability for political maneuvering and their dangerous gamble at the expense of the Yemeni people, their present, and their future.

The second result concerns the people of Marib who will return to their homes, and farms after being displaced for years. Meanwhile, calm and security will return to the country, the price of the riyal and the prices of essential goods and materials will decline, as these have recently been achieved in liberated districts in the south of the governorate. As for the people of Marib belonging to the other camp, Sayyed Abdul-Malik al-Houthi’s initiative still stands; they must seize it today because it is their only way out.

The third result is regional. It relates to [Mohammed] bin Salman and the loss of one of his most important cards, which he uses to bargain here and there, selling and buying from other people’s possessions. By doing so, he is losing what he imagined from a regional position – strength and reliance on his cross-border influence and powers. Now, he will appear to have lost all these cards and will stop fiddling with and engaging in unfair bargains.

What has been achieved to date clearly expresses that, by God’s grace, the Yemenis have overcome strategic obstacles to reach the position of imposing conditions on the enemy, with confidence and power, depending on the facts on the battlefield as well as historic and geographical facts. To God be the glory before and after.

Related Videos

Related Articles

Breaking: US-sponsored ISIS Terrorists Massacre 60 People in Diyala, Iraq

 ARABI SOURI 

Iraq: US-sponsored ISIS Terrorists Massacre 60 People in Diyala Province

ISIS terrorists stormed a town in the Miqdadiyah region of Diyala province and slaughtered dozens of people in it, initial report speak of 60 civilians slaughtered.

News coming out from the Al Hawasha village said ISIS terrorists have set up ambushes and targeted the villagers of the Shia sect killing dozens, many are still being unaccounted for, the Al Housha village is in the Miqdadiyah region of the province of Diyala northeast of Baghdad.

ISIS commits a sectarian massacre against the Shia in the Al Huwasha village of Miqdadiya, the terrorists set an ambush and targeted civilians, now there are a number of unaccounted martyrs and injured.’

Iraq is in political, economic, sectarian, and social turmoil ever since the United States decided to topple one more country with a national army that doesn’t recognize Israel and coincidently is rich with oil and gold reserves, the country after 18 years of direct invasion suffered and continue to suffer over 1.5 million of its people killed and double of those maimed, and triple of those displaced, and more than 70% of the population impoverished.

The rise of terrorist organizations like ISIS and previously Al Qaeda in the Rafiden (Iraq) mostly from tribes with connections to the Al Saud and the NATO-version of Islam they follow called Wahhabism has only come as an alternative to the ‘US boots on the ground’ after the Iraqi resistance was inflicting a heavy toll on the invaders and looters of their country.

Obama’s role in creating ISIS – Interview with the founder of ‘Jihad’ in Egypt and former friend of chief of Al Qaeda Zawahiri – July 2014

Iraq has concluded very controversial parliamentary elections earlier this month which despite the long preparations and settings developed saw hundreds of proven violations in the ballot boxes as confirmed by the special higher commission for elections which itself is accused of failing all its promises in conducting transparent elections. Protesters took to the streets from the majority of parties and independent candidates with calls to annul the results of the whole election. The USA and its Saudi allies are trying to shore up parties that want to dissolve the Iraqi PMU forces who defeated ISIS in Iraq, no coincidences in politics.

ISIS terrorist organization continues to prove it works for the Pentagon in every single crime it committed since it emerged after the USA and its British partners invaded Iraq in March 2003 based on lies of the country’s possession of weapons of mass destruction proven a completely fabricated information by the USA itself.

From Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria to Libya and the rest of Africa, wherever these ISIS terrorists spring up from nowhere obvious unmistakable NATO interests arise in the targeted countries and the creator and sponsors of ISIS come to ‘fight terrorism’ in those targeted countries. The terrorists commit their massacres against everybody and focus mainly on Muslims who do not follow Wahhabi Islam which is only followed in Saudi Arabia and the ‘democratic empire of the gas station Qatar’ in the Arabian Peninsula.

If you want us to remain online, please consider a small donation, or see how you can help at no cost.
Follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

Related Articles

US Occupation Base In Syria Targeted By Drones, Rockets

21,10.2021

US Occupation Base In Syria Targeted By Drones, Rockets

By Staff, Agencies

Unidentified drones carried out an offensive against a US occupation military base in Syria.

The targeting was reported across various media outlets in late Wednesday, with al-Mayadeen sources noting that added to the drones, the base was targeted by rocket launchers.

The same sources reported that the bombing targeted the residences of the US occupation soldiers, military barracks, and led to fire and destruction in the base.

The reports specified the target as the outpost located in the hugely-strategic al-Tanf area in southeastern Syria.

The United States has been trying to exercise control over the area, which hosts an intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders.

Sky News Arabia cited “an American official” as describing the incident as a likely “rocket attack.”

“Preliminary evaluations,” the official claimed, had shown that “Iraqi groups” had conducted the airstrikes.

The United States led scores of its allies in an invasion of Syria in 2014.

The coalition that has purportedly been seeking to fight the Takfiri terrorist group of Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] sustains its illegal presence in the Arab country, although Damascus and its allies defeated the terror outfit in late 2017.

Related Articles

5 Kamikaze Drones Bomb Biden Forces Illegally Deployed in Syrian Al Tanf

ARABI SOURI 

US Biden forces in the Al Tanf in the Syrian desert

5 Kamikaze drones loaded with explosives bombed the American illegal Biden forces deployed in the Syrian Al Tanf area at the joint borders with Iraq and Jordan, strong explosions were heard and smoke was seen rising from the targeted base.

Many sources confirm that between 3 and 5 booby-trapped drones bombed the base, the troops housing units, and the military barracks, the drones came from Iraq and Syria, the sources added. Some sources added that in addition to the drones there was bombing by grad missiles that targeted the illegal base.

Using the map of the Israeli bombing from over the US troops in Al Tanf on the 13th of the month:

There’s no immediate news how many of Biden oil thieves mercenary forces were ‘headached’, the new term used by the Pentagon to describe its casualties among its troops in Ain Asad military base in western Iraq after Iran bombed the base early January last year in retaliation to Trump’s war crime assassinating the Iranian top general Qasim Soleimani in the International Airport of Baghdad while he was on an official visit to Iraq 5 days earlier.

The number of US casualties from this bombing is irrelevant, the Pentagon will never reveal the correct number, it never had in all its previous war and military interventions abroad, the main important point is that there was a bombing and there were casualties. Will the US people ask their ‘democratically elected’ officials what they are really doing in Syria? And not the usual line of ‘exporting democracy and freedoms’ to the countries they’re destroying.

US Army Carried out ‘Military Drill’ with ISIS Affiliate in the Syrian Al Tanf

https://syrianews.cc/us-army-carried-out-military-drill-with-isis-affiliate-in-the-syrian-al-tanf/embed/#?secret=28eaEiFffK

An attack on Biden forces in Syria was anticipated in the wake of the joint Israeli – US bombing of a Syrian airbase housing allied forces near Tadmor (Palmyra) on the 13th of the month. The Resistance Axis vowed to strongly retaliate against the blatant joint war crime that led to the killing of Syrian soldiers and members of the allied forces fighting ISIS in the Syrian desert.

The White House junta of Joe Biden continues the policies of the former war criminal Trump who continued the policies of his predecessor the Obama Biden junta in the war of terror and war of attrition against Syria including the theft of Syrian oilwheat, and other resources, sponsoring the separatist Kurdish SDF terrorists and commanding the terrorists of ISIS, Nusra Front, HTS, and other anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood terrorists in the country. Syria is literally on the other side of the planet from the United States of America, has never carried out against or threatened the USA or its people, yet the US consecutive regimes have repeatedly tried to topple the Syrian state driven by instructions they receive from their Israeli lobby masters.

US Forces in Syria Causing Catastrophic Effects on Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp

https://syrianews.cc/usa-forces-syria-cause-rukban-concentration-catastrophic-conditions/embed/#?secret=7EmeJc5VBL

If you want us to remain online, please consider a small donation, or see how you can help at no cost.
Follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

Top Trump Security Adviser Contradicts “Imminent Attack” Claim Behind Soleimani Assassination

October 20, 2021

Top Trump Security Adviser Contradicts “Imminent Attack” Claim Behind Soleimani Assassination

By Staff, Agencies

A new book that hit shelves today by Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg reveals that the Trump administration planned the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani as part of a “disproportional” response to attacks on US troops in Iraq by Shiite resistance groups. Kellogg was then-Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, and also served as executive secretary and chief of staff for the US National Security Council under Trump.

“We had always considered him a legitimate target because he was a sponsor for terrorism and was directly responsible for the deaths and maiming of hundreds of Americans,” Kellogg writes about Soleimani in “War by Other Means: A General in the Trump White House,” according to the UK Daily Mail, which received an advance copy of the book.

Solemani commanded the Quds Force, an elite formation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard [IRG], and commanded Iranian forces in Syria fighting against the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups before leading the Iranian and Iraqi fight to push Daesh out of Iraq.

Despite being sanctioned by the United States as a “terrorist”, Soleimani enjoyed enormous prestige across the Middle East as the “linchpin” who united resistance groups to halt Daesh’s advance toward Baghdad when the Americans would not commit to anything more than airstrikes against Daesh.

Because of the anti-Daesh war, Soleimani was closely linked with resistance groups in Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces [PMF], which opposed the continued US presence in Iraq. According to Kellogg’s book, an exchange of strikes in late December 2019 is what pushed the White House over line and decided to take Soleimani out.

On December 27, 2019, the Shiite resistance group Kataib Hezbollah attacked an Iraqi military base in Kirkuk where US forces were based, killing a US contractor and injuring four US service members, as well as two Iraqi service members. The next day, the US launched an airstrike on Kataib Hezbollah positions, and that evening, protests in Baghdad descended on the US embassy in the Green Zone and set fire to some of its outer structures.

Washington blamed Iran for both of those attacks, and Soleimani in particular, who they learned would be secretly traveling to Baghdad in just a few days.

“But our response had barely begun,” Kellogg wrote about the December 28 airstrikes. “We had highly reliable intelligence reports affirming that our chief enemy here was Soleimani.”

“’The Iranians had crossed our ‘red line’ by killing an American and reinforced their folly by attacking our embassy in Baghdad. We would respond. And this time our response would be disproportional,” Kellogg wrote. “We jumped up the escalation ladder. Our answer would be unambiguous. Our target would be Soleimani.”

The airstrike, carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper combat drone, hit a group of vehicles at Baghdad International Airport just after midnight on January 3, 2020, killing 10 people. Among them was Soleimani, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kataib Hezbollah and deputy commander of the PMF.

The fury over the US attack, which was carried out without consulting the Iraqi government, led to the country’s parliament voting to ask all US forces to leave the country. However, Trump threatened to freeze Iraqi oil assets in a Federal Reserve bank account if Baghdad followed through.

“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort the day after the attacks. He would later claim that Soleimani planned on targeting a US embassy, then later increased his claim to four embassies.

After other senior administration leaders, including then-War Secretary Mark Esper, clarified that there wasn’t actually intelligence pointing to a specific attack Soleimani was allegedly planning, Trump momentarily let the mask slip by tweeting on January 13 that “it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past!”

Then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo similarly claimed Soleimani was “actively plotting to “take big action” against the US. “There would have been many Muslims killed as well, Iraqis and people in other countries as well. It was a strike that was aimed at both disrupting that plot, deterring further aggression, [and] we hope, setting the conditions for de-escalation, as well,” he told Fox News on January 3.

However, Pompeo also soon said he had no specific intelligence on a specific threat posed by Soleimani, and also admitted within a week that “we don’t know precisely when – and we don’t know precisely where” the supposed attack was to have taken place.

However, by July of 2020, Pompeo had changed his tune again, aligning more closely with what Kellogg writes in his book. His response came after Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, submitted a report on Soleimani’s assassination finding it was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the United Nations charter.

“The strike that killed General Soleimani was in response to an escalating series of armed attacks in preceding months by the Islamic Republic of Iran and ‘militias’ it supports on US forces and interests in the Middle East region,” Pompeo told Fox News on July 10. “It was conducted to deter Iran from launching or supporting further attacks against the United States or US interests, and to degrade the capabilities of the Quds Force.”

Huge Crowds in Yemen Celebrate Prophet’s Birth and Recent Military Successes — Pledge Full Liberation

October 19th, 2021

By Ahmed Abdulkareem

Source

All were celebrating and dancing on the ruins of Saudi destruction in a demonstration that is also a challenge to the machine of death.

SANA`A, YEMEN — Carrying a green flag in his hand and with ribbons tied on his wrist, Walid Ahmed al-Thueli, accompanied by a big family, arrived at the Square of the Seventy in the capital Sana’a early morning of Monday. He came to celebrate the birthday of Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad and recent victories that have been achieved by Yemeni forces against Saudi-led Coalition. The Yemeni’s family, which abides in the Rawdah neighborhood north of Sana`a, left their house at 6 a.m. to ensure finding a good place in the arena but were unable to reach the center of the square. Inside the square filled with celebrators, thousands of protesters were singing traditional songs collectively and dancing to the tune of “al-Baraa,” a dance of the Yemeni heritage.

Despite an ever-present hovering of Saudi warplanes above, a fuel crisis, high prices and destroyed roads, massive demonstrations took place across 14 Yemeni provinces on Monday — including Sana`a, Sadaaal-HoudeidaHajjahal-Jawfal-BeydaTaizeAmranIbbDhamaral-MahwitRaymahShabwa, and the oil-rich Marib. The protests, organized by Ansar Allah (Houthis), were not only to celebrate the birth anniversary of the Prophet Mohammad, but also to send local, regional and international political messages, including pledging to expel Saudi-led Coalition forces from the whole country, rejecting the policy of normalization with Israel, and opposing the actions of industrialized countries that threaten the climate.

In Sana`a, where the largest demonstrations took place, hundreds of thousands of residents from the suburbs of Sana`a and its neighboring provinces gathered near the rubble left by Saudi air raids on the parade platform in the Square of the Seventy in the center of the capital. Since early Saturday evening, human torrents had been pouring into the square from four entrances, facing potential ​bombardment that might be renewed at any moment by fighters flying in Yemeni airspace. Other Arab and Islamic communities also joined with protestors in the Seventy Square, including Palestinian, Syrian, and Egyptian communities and a delegation from southern Saudi Arabia, specifically from Najran.

Welcome banners were hung over the square, which was decorated with green flags and colored lights. Loudspeakers blasted out hymns and the big flat-screens around the square displayed inspirational programs. All were celebrating and dancing on the ruins of Saudi destruction in a demonstration that is also a challenge to the machine of death. “We came to this place to make it clear to the world that our lives are continuing and that, despite the destruction, the bombing, we are winning and the joy is still here between us,” Walid said.

There was a similar mass demonstration for women, who gathered in Althawrah Sports City Stadium north of Sana`a. In oil-rich Marib, where the Yemeni Army has advanced steadily towards the last strongholds of the Saudi’s allies in the province, the demonstrations were held in Harib for the first time despite a constant hovering of Saudi warplanes above. In al-Jawf — an oasis region in western Yemen that was the core area of one of the most ancient of the Arabian kingdoms, “the Minaean state of Ma’in” — thousands also took to the streets in al-Hazm.

In Shabwa, the third-largest governorate by area in Yemen and home to the port of Balha’s natural gas refinery, thousands of southerners took the streets in Bihan, a newly liberated area  to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday and the expulsion of Saudi forces. The number of people who took part in the demonstrations dwarfed similar rallies that took place in previous years, indicating a growing support to Sana`a authority.

Celebrations and positions

The massive crowds were unprecedented, exceeding all expectations. Following the completion of preparations in various governorates, organizing committees opened the celebration squares in Monday’s early hours and more squares were opened to accommodate the large influx of protestors. Security was tight across Yemeni cities where the protests were held, as reports circulated that al-Qaeda and IS were planning attacks on demonstrators in retaliation for their recent crushing defeat in Al-Bayda. Police carried out special measures to ensure security, including establishment of additional checkpoints in the Yemeni capital and throughout Yemen’s provinces. Despite the huge crowds, no incidents or attacks were reported.

The leader of Ansar Allah, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, was the keynote speaker at the celebrations via video conference and giant screens. In the annual speech, in which the principles of the political program of Ansar Allah for the  year are laid out by the leader of the movement, al-Houthi outlined Ansar Allah’s strategy and position on a number of local, regional and international issues. He renewed Ansar Allah’s position on efforts to end the war in Yemen, saying that the Yemeni people’s efforts to achieve freedom and independence are uncompromisable, confirming that the Yemenis will continue struggle until the end of the war, expelling the occupiers, lifting the siege, paying compensation and reconstruction.

Al-Houthi renewed Yemenis’ support for the Palestinians. At this point, he also confirmed that the Yemeni Army will definitely be a part of determining the al-Quds Formula. “We confirm what we previously proclaimed, that we are part of the historical equation announced by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that the threat to al-Quds means a regional war,” al-Houthi said. He also condemned the so-called Abraham Accords and recent normalization of relations between Israel and some Arab regimes, describing them as “demonic alliances.” Prior to that, Ansar Allah had announced their joining in an initiative, the so-called Jerusalem (Al-Quds) Formula, that ​was spearheaded by Lebanon’s Hezbollah and has already been embraced by Palestine’s armed resistance

Joyful chaos

The birth anniversary of Prophet Mohammad, which is also known as Eid Milad-un-Nabi or Mwaled, is observed on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. The Holy Prophet was born in Mecca on that day in the year 571. The revival of the Prophet’s birthday was prohibited under the Saudi influence during the previous regimes. Now — as in other Islamic countries, except Saudi Arabia where the prophet was born — this day is a time of rejoicing for all Yemenis. This year, the scenes inside the besieged, hungry and pandemic-ravaged country were abounding with joyful chaos, a rare sight in the war-torn country.

The cars, homes, public places, government buildings and squares are decorated with green lights despite the lack of power; and green flags fly, representing peace, spiritualism and patience. Yemen’s impoverished families were keen to distribute sweets and gifts, hold parties, and create paintings, sculptures, poetry and essays that are appropriate for al-Mwaled. The sky of Yemen was also decorated with fireworks

The massive and unprecedented celebrations, however, came also in the wake of the recent developments in Yemen`s Shabwa and Marib provinces, and southern areas. The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, confirmed at a press conference held in Sana`a on Sunday that Sana`a forces supported by local tribes have managed to liberate 3,200 square kilometers in Shabwa and Marib during new military operations dubbed Rabi’ al-Nasr’ (Spring of Victory). In Shabwa province, which contains Yemen’s largest natural-gas reserves and produces over 100,000 barrels of oil per day, General Saree confirmed that Baihan, Usailan and Markha Olaya had been liberated in the operation of Rabi’ al-Nasr.

US, facing defeat, cries foul, talks peace

In Marib, which lies about 120 km (75 miles) east of Sana`a,  Abdiyah, Harib, and parts of Al-Jubah and Jebel Murad are freed despite the fact that the United States has tried to stop Ansar Allah’s advance in the oil-rich province. In the statement of the U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, which was met with dismissal by Ansar Allah, was a call to “Houthis” to stop and ensure the opening of a safe passage for “life-saving aid and the wounded.” Mohammed Abdulsalam, Ansar Allah spokesman, said on Saturday night that “the U.S. demand is roundly condemned. It shows Americans are in close connection with al-Qaeda and Daesh militants, who suffered heavy defeat in the al-Abdiyah district of Marib province.” He added:

As Yemeni forces are closing in on the last bastions of Saudi-led militia forces as well as Daesh and al-Qaeda operatives, Americans are crying foul and claiming they seek peace. This is while they are the enemy of peace and tranquility in Yemen and worldwide. 

In the other southern areas, people are suffering from a serious humanitarian crisis because of Saudi policies that have led to high prices of food and medicine and frequent power outages. Yemeni currency has been in freefall, with the value now at a mere 1,180 Yemeni Rials to a single U.S. dollar, making food prohibitively expensive in a nation where 80% of the population is reliant on aid.

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

19.10.2021 

Sayyed Nasrallah: ’LF’ The Biggest Existential Threat to Christians; Hezbollah Has 100k Fighters to Defend Lebanon

By Al-Ahed News

Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech on Monday evening in which he touched on the latest political developments in Lebanon and the region.

Starting with a message marking Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s birth anniversary, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated all Muslims around the world and the Lebanese people, and stressed that the festival will be held to celebrate the occasion on Friday despite the pain resulting from the Tayyouneh massacre.

His Eminence praised the masses in Yemen who celebrated today the holy occasion of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH]’s birth anniversary despite the war and the siege against their country.

Moving to Afghanistan, the Hezbollah leader mourned the martyrs of the Kandahar mosque blast who have been massacred by the Wahhabi terrorist Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] organization.

His Eminence then extended condolences to the Syrian leadership and people on the martyrdom of the liberated detainee Medhat Saleh who had been assassinated by the ‘Israeli’ enemy in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Tayyouneh Massacre

Moving to the main subject behind his appearance, Sayyed Nasrallah extended condolences to the families of the martyrs of the Tayyouneh massacre that was committed on Thursday by the “Lebanese Forces” [LF] party, led by Samid Geagea.

Noting that the latest events are critical, dangerous, and require identifying the stance, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the families of the martyrs as saying: “Your sorrow was ours and your pain was ours in this dangerous crime.”

The Hezbollah leader lashed out at the perpetrators of the Tayyouneh massacre, in which seven Shia protesters were sniped, and many others sustained injuries. “There is a party that wants to make our people in Ain Remmeneh and Furn Shebbak feel as if the people living in Dahiyeh are their enemies

Some “LF” leaders referred to opening fire at the protesters as “resistance”, and the leader of this party wants to fake an enemy and keep the Christians worried about their existence, Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that the goal behind provoking such concerns is to present this party as the main defender of the Christians.

“The goals belong to leadership as well as to the roles offered by Gulf countries that have interests in our country,” His Eminence warned, naming the party as the “Lebanese Forces” and its leader, whom Hezbollah didn’t name before, as it didn’t want to create tension with anybody.

“We didn’t respond to this party despite all the insults it has been addressing us with,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, pointing to that “What happened is critical in a new phase for us to deal with the internal Lebanese affairs.”

“This party has long been attempting to fake an enemy for passing its scheme and chose the foreign-targeted Hezbollah for this purpose, and although the martyrs of the Thursday massacre are from Hezbollah and Amal Movement, the “LF” leader focused on Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah made clear.

In reference to the weapons, training, and structure, the Resistance leader underscored that everything prove that there have been militias fighting in the event: “This party doesn’t care if a military confrontation or a civil war would erupt as this serves its foreign [agendas].”

Sayyed Nasrallah told the Christian people that the ‘LF’ main agenda was to create a civil war that would lead to a demographic transformation. “The ‘LF’ party doesn’t quit using the language of the old war and division, which prepared for their latest crime.”

“The ‘LF’ offered former Saudi minister al-Sabhan in 2017 to start a civil war in Lebanon, its leader stabbed his ally Saad Hariri in his back while he was arrested in Saudi Arabia, and provoked some old allies some months ago to confront Hezbollah,” Sayyed Nasrallah outlined.

Regarding Thursday’s massacre, Sayyed Nasrallah affirmed that: “We’ve been assured by the Lebanese Army which we requested to be deployed heavily in the area [of the protest]. And Geagea’s talking about a “mini Christian May 7th incident” condemns the leader of the ‘LF’ himself as it represents a complete claim of responsibility for the massacre.”

Regarding the Army’s assuring that everything was ok, Sayyed Nasrallah explained: “We [thought] we’ve been protected by the Lebanese Army and the Lebanese state on Thursday. We didn’t take any security or precautionary measures due to the area’s sensitivity.”

However, the Resistance leader stressed that “this mine that we were able to contain on Thursday requires a solution and a treatment.”

Sayyed Nasrallah told the Lebanese people in general and the Christians in particular that portraying Hezbollah as an enemy is an illusion and unfairness, and it is the ‘LF’ party that covered the Nusra Front and the Takfiris in Lebanon and Syria

Sayyed Nasrallah urged the Christians in Lebanon to ask the Christian areas in Syria how Hezbollah defended them, and asked them: “Who supported the people of Arsal outskirts villages and who supported the “rebels” who have been backed by the ‘LF’?”

His Eminence then answered: “It is Hezbollah that defended the Christians back then before the Lebanese Army was allowed to interfere. Hezbollah eliminated the danger that was threatening the Christians there and sacrificed the elite of its youths in these battles.”

“We are not bragging about our achievements, but facts and truth shall be conveyed,” Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out, recalling that after the ‘Israeli’ withdrawal from south Lebanon, every Hezbollah or Amal member was banned from entering Christian areas.

We consider that we’ve done the right thing in 2000, and we didn’t attack the collaborators who tortured and killed us, however, in every area where the ‘LF’ party has been, a battle or war has occurred, the Hezbollah leader said.

“All of those whom we arrested were handed to the Lebanese Army and we didn’t prosecute even those who killed us. We had a historic chance to apply the charges against us but this is not what our religious teaches us,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.

In a continued address to the Christian Lebanese, His Eminence noted that even the supporters of the ‘LF’ party live in our areas and Hezbollah didn’t harm any of them. “All the accusations against us are unfair and represent a big mine in the country.”

Meanwhile, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that “The biggest existential threat to the Christians in Lebanon and the security of the Christian society is the ‘LF’ party whose scheme to establish cantons still exists. This party is a threat because it allied with Daesh and the Nusra Front, whom it called “opposition”.”

Drawing the Christians’ attention to possible scenarios from the past, Sayyed Nasrallah said: “Had Daesh and Nusra achieved victory, no Christian would have been left in Syria, and the ‘LF’ leader’s alliance with those groups exposed a major threat to Syria.”

“Those who forced the Christians to flee Iraq are the Saudi-run Wahhabi terrorist groups; we don’t pose any threat or danger to the Christians, it is rather from the side of the ‘LF’ and its leader,” His Eminence added.

Hezbollah has been positive to all dialogue proposals in Lebanon and made the understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement in 2005, and the first to oppose it was the ‘LF’ party, which didn’t spare any effort to cancel this understanding, Sayyed Nasrallah recalled.

“Our main concern was to prevent the Sunni-Shia sedition the ‘LF’ party has been seeking and the state is the guarantor for all the Lebanese people, whether Christian or Muslims,” His Eminence added.

“Although the ‘60’ electoral law doesn’t serve Hezbollah’s interest, we accepted it as it serves the Christians’, and the side that negated the Orthodox electoral law is the ‘LF’ party,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.

Hezbollah has done its duty, but we are displaying the facts, Sayyed Nasrallah added. “Hezbollah is a very important positive factor and doesn’t represent any threat. It didn’t set any condition on the President of the Republic in the elections, and Minister Suleiman Franjieh was loyal and made a very ethical stance during the elections.”

When the ‘LF’ attacked us and we gathered our martyrs and our wounds, it is because we avoided a civil war in the country, Sayyed Nasrallah said.

To the “Lebanese Forces”!

Sayyed Nasrallah advised the ‘LF’ leader to give up on fighting and internal wars; referring to him as a person who definitely miscalculates his schemes.

“The “Lebanese Forces” officials admitted in their statements that they are an armed militia,” His Eminence said.

The Hezbollah leader then addressed their leader, Geagea, urging him to bear in mind that Hezbollah hadn’t been stronger in the region than it is today; “you are wrong” as you claim that Hezbollah is weaker than the Palestine Liberation Organization.

“Bear in mind that Hezbollah’s only military body is formed of 100,000 fighters who are not trained for civil wars but to defend our country against the enemies. Our calculations are right; we have constants, ethics, and values; so, don’t miscalculate, better stay polite, and take lessons from your wars and our wars,” Sayyed Nasrallah told Geagea.

His Eminence then urged the state and all the Lebanese people to stand against this vampire and criminal to prevent a civil war: “For the first time we announce the number of our combatants not to threaten with war but to prevent a civil war.”

Sayyed Nasrallah then dared the ‘LF’ party to answer: “In case of war, would the frightened ‘Israel’ support you, or would the US and Saudi Arabia support you?”

Right to Peaceful Assembly

“It is our right to peaceful protesting as any other side, and we formed a committee of 2000 members instead of a popular invitation. We didn’t intend to breakthrough or attack; it was just a peaceful protest,” Sayyed Nasrallah described the Thursday rally.

“Provocative slogans were voiced, which is wrong, and after that the shooting started and martyrs were killed. After opening fire towards the protests, and after the death of the martyrs, some youths got weapons to deter the attackers,” he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah then announced that Hezbollah has been informed by the security apparatuses that the martyrs have been killed by the “Lebanese Forces” fire.

However, Sayyed Nasrallah noted, “We, the ones killed unjustly, want a serious and quick investigation about how the massacre took place, and we want to hold those responsible accountable. We also need to know whether the soldier who opened fire at civilian protests had done this individually or had he been given an order to do this.”

But despite all the previous incidents, we are keen on the Lebanese Army establishment, which is the sole guarantor of the Lebanese unity, the Hezbollah leader underscored.

As for the Khaldeh incident, Sayyed Nasrallah uncovered that the Lebanese Army is investigating and the prosecution of 18 of the arrestees will be done within days.

“The Lebanese Army personnel are our brothers and they are part of the golden equation to which we adhere,” His Eminence said, urging that: “The right track is to investigate the Tayyouneh massacre and hold the killers accountable,” noting that had the investigation been politicized, Hezbollah won’t abandon the issue of the blood of its martyrs.

Beirut Port Blast Cause

Elsewhere in his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah clearly noted that “We are concerned about the Beirut Port blast cause, in which we sacrificed martyrs, and we are very keen to learn the truth,” and “Once the track of justice turns into political targeting, we have no right to remain silent.”

“The ‘LF’ party is the first abuser of the Beirut Port blast cause, and we won’t abandon this issue. Hezbollah was the most daring to tackle this issue are there has been intimidation for those willing to tackle it,” His Eminence added.

“Hezbollah took it upon itself for the families of the martyrs to learn the truth and the reasons why the technical report regarding the investigations has not been issue yet.”

He then dared those who are accusing Hezbollah of being behind the blast to bring their evidence, asking whether Hezbollah’s demand to change the judge is considered threatening while the US intimidation is not?

“Those who mostly bear the responsibility of the Beirut Port blast are the judges that permitted the entry of the nitrates to the port,” the Resistance leader underlined.

Addressing the state of law and institutions, Sayyed Nasrallah told them to do something and shoulder their responsibility, as it is the time for treatment.

To the Families of Tayyouneh Martyrs

At the end of his speech, Sayyed Nasrallah addressed the families of the seven martyrs of Tayyouneh massacre, praising their level of responsibility and belonging, and patience despite the incitement.

“Punishing the killers is a path we will continue, and your martyrs are in the same level of that of the martyrs of Resistance. We have to preserve the goal for which thousand of martyrs have been sacrificed; it is a secure and stable Lebanon,” His Eminence underscored.

“The US wants a civil war as it has done in other countries; it wants us to lose our civil peace. What is needed is patience and insight, awareness and openness, and overcoming the wounds to spare another mine or any other choice the enemy wants for us,” Sayyed Nasrallah concluded.

Related Videos

Related Articles

What Business Does America Have on Syrian Lands!

Oct 18, 2021

What Business Does America Have on Syrian Lands!

By Mohammad Sleem

Beirut – As the Syrian crisis reached the end of a devastating war, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad called for the withdrawal of US and Turkish troops from Syria in a speech to the UN General Assembly in New York lately, asking what the American troops have to do on the Syrian territories.

Mekdad stated that Syria will reassert the government’s control over the entirety of the country again, insisting that “This is a non-negotiable national and constitutional right”.

Moreover, the Syrian foreign minister stressed that foreign presence on Syrian soil without Syria’s approval is both illegitimate and a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

So how is the American presence shaped and formed in Syria in all?

The deployment of American troops and its international allied forces has focused in recent months on the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle at the Tanf border crossing near the deployment of the Syrian Army and its allied forces. The Tanf border crossing is of great importance to all local, regional and international parties involved in the Syrian conflict, in addition to Albukamal in Deir ez-Zor province.

Rmelan Airport:

It is one of the most important locations for US forces. The Ramlan base area has oil wells under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]. The base has been constructed by the US in November 2016 after measures to build new facilities and to expand runways. It was originally an airstrip for agricultural pesticide spraying aircraft and helicopters.

The airport, known as Abu Hajar Airport, is located southeast of the town of Rmelan, northeast of Qamishli city in al-Hasaka governorate, close to the Syrian-Turkish-Iraqi border triangle, an area known for its heavy oil production and subject to the People’s Defense Units [YPG]’s self-administration system. The airport is the first established US military presence since the beginning of the war on Syria.

 

Ayn al-Arab Base:

This base is located south of the city of Ayn al-Arab [Kobane] near the village of Kharab Ashiq, about 33 kilometers south of the Turkish border. It is the largest of US base and it provides support to the international coalition forces and its allies. Western newspapers published information from the analysis of satellite images showing housing units for hundreds of soldiers and a fleet of vehicles of different types as well as facilities for military transport aircraft and the defense of al-Qaeda, such as control towers.

Al-Mabrouka Base:

It is a small camp in the village of Al-Mabrouka, where small-scale US forces are located west of Qamishli city in al-Hasaka governorate within the control of the YPG.

 

Rubaria Airport:

Located near the northeastern city of al-Hasakah, near the border with both Iraq and Turkey, the airport was originally a small airstrip for small agricultural aircrafts before the US turned it into a helicopter runway under the supervision of its troops to provide logistics to Kurdish forces and support other international coalition forces fighting the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”].

 

Tell Beydar:

The base is located 30 kilometers northwest of al-Hasaka and is close to the Turkish border. It includes helicopter airstrips and a training camp for non-combat forces such as police, civil defense and others to meet the needs of Kurdish forces in managing the areas they control.

 

White Hill [Tell Abyad]:

A large number of US soldiers are deployed at the base. Some reports indicate more than 200 troops are deployed in the city, and the US flag is raised on some government buildings in the city center.

US forces are present alongside forces from the international coalition and armed opposition states at the Syrian al-Tanf base on the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border triangle. The US requires the establishment of a “no-clash” zone under which no coalition forces of the government allow them to approach or enter.

Furthermore, US forces are also present in several camps in Raqqa province to support the SDF’s operations, which have been fighting to retake Raqqa from Daesh. US forces use artillery of various kinds like rocket launchers and other heavy combat equipment, in addition to various types of intelligence and armored vehicles to conduct joint patrols with the SDF.

US forces are also deployed as training advisers in at least three training camps in al-Hasaka governorate to train Kurdish fighters as well as near the city of Manbij, north of Aleppo, which has been controlled by the SDF since August 2016.

Based on the aforementioned, it’s crystal clear that the US does not have any business in Syria except what it has been doing for decades: draining Syria’s natural resources! Wherever natural resources and oil exist, American troops arrive in a jiffy and settle down.

Eastern Christianity Fell into the Last Ambush in East Beirut, But ‘for Every Samir there’s a Habib’

ARABI SOURI 

Samir Geagea - Habib al-Shartouni

Samir Geagea, Lebanese politician, head of parliament bloc, war criminal, and US proxy is working overtime to ignite a redo of the Lebanese civil war that lasted 15 years between 1975 and 1990, the civil war that destroyed much of the country and led to a massive exodus of mainly the Christians. Naram Serjoon, a Syrian author has a radical idea to prevent new massacres and a new civil war in Lebanon, it worked before to wake up the Christians of Lebanon from sacrificing themselves for the evil plot Geagea is tasked by his western and Saudi sponsors, the following is the translation of his latest post.

It is said that the history of life on earth is a history of death, the process of extinction and fading affected 90% of the earth’s creatures; I fear that this prophecy will apply to the Eastern Christian existence, which is eroding and vanishing, it seems that a shot of mercy on this existence will be fired from Christian hands but at the same time, only a Christian hand will save Eastern Christianity.

I am writing these words and my pen is trembling, and my heart is trembling from the cold, and here I am writing a prophecy as if it were a vision, and a vision as if it was a prophecy, and my prophecy and my vision look to the East, which has changed a lot so that the Jews became more than the Christians in less than fifty years. The Zionist project was able to uproot Christianity from the East by uprooting its nails that were embedded like wedges throughout the East. I look around and I do not see except the bleeding of the Christian demography. This Eastern bleeding of Christians is not a coincidence and is not innocent, as if someone wants to say that the East is pure Islam and that the West is an overwhelming Christianity, and that the conflict between East and West is a conflict between Christianity and Islam, and it is Israel that will represent the remnants of Christianity through The Old Testament, and that the relationship of the East with Christianity will be limited to Jewish Israel.

In the twentieth century, the biggest loser from the friction with Western European colonialism was Eastern Christianity. Antioch and its church were appended to Turkey. Antioch Christians became isolated as a weak minority in a Turkish Islamic sea. The Christian presence isolated from the Christianity spread in the Levant kept shrinking and eroding until the Christian presence in Antioch almost became extinct, which is a natural result of isolating the Christian enclave of Antioch and separating it from the large natural Christian body in the Levant.

Then two projects were advanced in the region through the Sykes-Picot project. The most losers of these two projects were the remnants of the Eastern Christian bloc in the Levant, and these two projects are the Francophone project and the Anglo-Saxon project.

The Anglo-Saxon project created the Jewish-Zionist project that swallowed Palestine and completely eradicated its Christians, only 1% of the historical Christians of Palestine remain in all of Palestine today, that is, Christianity has been eradicated from Palestine, what is the use of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher when there is no demographic mass around it? Today, it has turned into a tourist attraction under the supervision of Israel.

The Francophone project created the state of Greater Lebanon and designated it to be a Christian state with a Christian majority. But this entity called Christian Lebanon separated the Christians of Lebanon from the Christians of Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Jordan. The Christians of Lebanon were attached to European Christianity because this French Christian entity, by design, began to feel that it was threatened by its Arabic and Islamic environment and that there was no way to preserve it except by European protection. This made the relationship with his Arabic and Islamic surrounding tense which caused civilian wars in which all of the Christians joined and lost their youth in religious tribulations that led many of them to emigrate, and Christian Lebanon turned into a European protectorate at odds with its surroundings and always suspicious of it.

For Every Bashir there is a Habib

When the West invaded Iraq and launched the Arab Spring project in Syria and took care of the growth of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) and gave them names like Jaysh al-Islam, Jaysh al-Jolani, Ahrar al-Sham and Sultan Murad as armies of liberation and freedom, it was aware that the first to pay the price would be the Christian presence in the East. Nevertheless, it turned a blind eye to the violence that pushes Christians to emigrate and flee like what the Zionists did to the Jews of Iraq when they blew up synagogues and Jewish neighborhoods to force Iraqi Jews to flee to occupied Palestine. Indeed, the Christians disappeared from the Nineveh Plain and from the Syrian Jazira region, and the Christians evaporated from areas that were Christian for the past two thousand years. I learned from well-known and respected Syrian Christian personalities that the Christians of Syria received a share of the extinction, and that their numbers decreased, and that there were those who were working to displace them and facilitate their migration under the pretext of protecting them. The West dismantled the Iraqi army, which was the cover for all Iraqi Christians and Muslims, but Christians were targeted with covert violence, in particular, to force them to flee.

Likewise, the West, with its support for the so-called Syrian revolution, expelled the Syrian army and the Syrian state from the Syrian Jazira and from the Christian areas. In fact, the West saw that ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra were expanding in Lebanon from the Syrian border, nevertheless, it did the impossible to stop the Syrian army and Hezb Allah and prevent it from confronting ISIS and Al-Nusra in Lebanon although far and near knew that this Islamist terrorist wave would uproot Christians either by terrorizing and intimidating them or by launching religious guardianship on them to force them to leave. It is very difficult for anyone to convince me that the West did not see this fate and this path. The West is not naive to believe that the Islamists will leave the Christians to live in safety.

There is no doubt that the Islamist wave has annihilated a lot of Christian demography and kept it away from the scene and the demographic map, but the last remaining scene remains of the Christians of the East who are pushed to a new holocaust this time by a crazy and extremist Christian, Samir Geagea, the one who boasts that he has thousands of experienced fighters to defend Christianity and East Beirut even though these gunmen watched the advance of ISIS and al-Nusra in Lebanon and their spread and did not move a finger to protect any Christian, rather, Geagea’s effort was to defend Jabhat al-Nusra.

It is strange that Geagea realizes that any battle with any party in Lebanon will end with his complete crushing, Western countries will not intervene to protect him because he will not be more precious than the Christians of Al-Quds (Jerusalem,) Palestine, Iraq, and eastern Syria whom the West saw with its own eyes dispersing, shrinking and extinct and not move a finger.

Samir Geagea wants one thing, and that is to lure Hezb Allah into a battle with him, even if it is a losing battle, if Samir Geagea loses the battle, this will cause a natural sympathy and Christian bias towards him, and a part of the Christians of the Aounist movement will be inclined towards him.

This will divide the Christians more and open a Christian-Christian conflict, and if it appears that he is winning, it will be an attractive factor for Christian elements from the other Aounist camp as well because victory has an attraction like happened with the Islamists who won at the beginning of the battles of the Arab Spring and the Syrian war, which encouraged many to join them to enjoy victory and the attachment with the new glory.

What matters is that Christians will be lured to a Christian – Christian war or a Muslim – Christian war or a Shiite – Christian war, whatever the results are, it will be catastrophic on the Christians of the East. Their intense presence in Lebanon may end whatever the result of the conflict will be because the war will not be merciful and immigration will be easier for Christian youth because this violent engagement in free internal conflicts will only be bad results on Christians because they will find themselves in the midst of a long civilian battle will be bleeding their money and their youth, many of them will find the doors for immigration open and welcoming and this mass exodus will be the shot of mercy on the Christian presence in Lebanon.

Perhaps the Christians of the East and Lebanon, in particular, do not realize what trap and ambush they are being led into by the recklessness of Samir Geagea, who puts the Christians of Lebanon against their will in the face of Hezb Allah and the Axis of Resistance that challenged America itself and the West and will not allow Geagea to harm Hezb Allah. Samir Geagea will be extremely naive if he thought Israel would go to war for him. Rather, Israel’s ultimate ambition will be to split the alliance between Michel Aoun and Hezb Allah and for Geagea to relieve it from paying the blood of the confrontation with Hezb Allah, as it did with the Islamist youth who paid their blood and it left them to die on its behalf.

But if this war breaks out, it will isolate the Eastern Christians and turn them into a strained entity that is afraid for its existence that will end by natural shrinkage and contraction. And if the strong Christian presence in Lebanon ends, this will mean a message to those who remain from the Christians of the East that the East is no longer for them and they must prepare their departure because in any change in the political systems, trends, and conflicts, they will be forced to enter into alliances they do not want and they will be a weak minority that will be swept away by political passions.

Unfortunately, if Hezb Allah refrains from punishing Samir Geagea because it is aware of the sensitivity of the situation and the game targeting Christians, its main allies in Lebanon, it will encourage Samir Geagea to commit more foolishness and recklessness. Perhaps there will be no equation with the least losses, except to return to a Christian equation that said previously “for every traitor, there is a Habib, and for every Bashir (Gemayel) there is a Habib”. It is the equation established by the hero Habib al-Shartouni, the Lebanese national Christian, the son of the martyr hero Anton Saadeh.

As the hero, Jules Jamal, the Syrian Christian who carried out the death sentence against the French (Christian) destroyer Jean Bar in Port Said, Habib Al-Shartouni was a Lebanese Christian who executed a traitorous Lebanese Christian in defense of the name of the national Eastern Christianity. This heroic act was a reason for the Lebanese Christian national forces to wake up and take the initiative from the reckless and adventurous Christians and bring the Christians of Lebanon back to the heart of the national scene that created the fall of May 17 (accord), and that created the phenomenon of Hezb Allah, whose back was supported by Christian patriotism, without them, it would not have been easy to achieve the liberating of the south (from Israel in 2000) and defeating Israel in 2006.

Habib al-Shartouni’s work was a message that everyone understood, and heroism that saved a lot of Christian and Lebanese blood. Will the youth of Christian Lebanon do it and bring us a hero that saves us the trouble of punishing Samir Geagea and launches an equation (for every Samir there’s a Habib)? Be fully confident that this equation will awaken the lunatics in the Lebanese Forces (Radical right-wing LF Militia) from their delusions, dreams, and indiscretion, and restore many of them to their senses and rationality, which are manipulated by the Israeli propaganda outlets that publish scenes of violence in the name of the Lebanese Forces as if they are calling for holy Christian jihad.

Who is Samir Geagea's Habib

If you want us to remain online, please consider a small donation, or see how you can help at no cost.
Follow us on Telegram: https://t.me/syupdates link will open the Telegram app.

الأميركي وفرضية عدم عودة إيران للاتفاق

التعليق السياسي

أعلنت واشنطن عن سلسلة مشاورات تشمل كيان الاحتلال ودول الخليج لمناقشة فرضية فشل مساعي العودة إلى الاتفاق النووي، وأوردت واشنطن الفرضية بناء على معطيات يوردها الأميركيون تحت عنوان عدم رغبة إيران بالعودة للاتفاق، وتضعها إيران تحت عنوان مواصلة واشنطن لعبة التذاكي لعودة مشروطة تتبنى ما كان الرئيس السابق دونالد ترامب يسعى الى تحقيقه ولا يمكن لإيران القبول به.

التسريبات الأميركية تقول ان إيران تواصل السعي لتطوير برنامجها النووي، وانها باتت قريبة من بلوغ اللحظة النووية الحرجة، أي امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لإنتاج سلاح نووي، ويضيف الأميركيون انه إذا أرادت إيران تأجيل العودة للاتفاق الى ما بعد هذه اللحظة، فإن واشنطن لن تكون مستعدة لذلك.

المسؤولون الأميركيون يتحدثون عن خطة عمل، والوقائع الحاضرة في المنطقة تقول ان هذه الخطة وضعت قيد التطبيق، ففي افغانستان تحول تنظيم “داعش” من تفجيرات عشوائية ضد “طالبان” أو الأجانب الى تفجيرات تسهدف قومية الهزارة القريبة من إيران حيث سقط العشرات كضحايا بتفجيرين كبيرين، وفي العراق خطر انفجار سياسي وربما امني على وقع الإمساك بنتائج الانتخابات النيابية والدفع بها الى نقطة مواجهة داخل البيت الشيعي الذي يشكل بيئة التحرك القريب من إيران، وفي لبنان تحقيق قضائي في انفجار مرفأ بيروت لم يعد خافياً حجم الدعم الذي يلقاه أميركياً، وتوجيه التحقيق نحو حزب الله وحلفائه، وتأتي مجزرة الطيونة لتقول ان المخاطرة بأخذ لبنان نحو الحرب الأهلية فرضية قائمة ضمن سلة الخيارات البديلة.

تتجه واشنطن بعد الانسحاب من افغانستان لترك قواتها للمنطقة، على قاعدة حرق الأخضر واليابس وراءها ما يضع قوى المقاومة امام مسؤوليات جسام، قد يكون بيان غرفة عمليات حلفاء سورية الذي يتضمن إعلاناً عن العزم على رد قاس على الغارات الإسرائيلية أول رسائل محور المقاومة للأميركي نحن عنوان وصلت رسالتكم وإليكم جوابنا.

مقالات متعلقة

Terrorist Blast Targets Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar: At Least 46 Martyred, Others Injured

October 16, 2021 

Terrorist Blast Targets Shia Mosque in Afghanistan’s Kandahar: At Least 46 Martyred, Others Injured

By Staff, Agencies

An explosion has gone off inside a Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar, according to security sources.

At least 46 people were martyred and 200 others injured in the suicide blast near the Shia mosque in the southern province of Kandahar, according to preliminary information.

According to reports, the explosion was staged by a suicide attacker, and multiple fatalities and injuries have been reported.

The blast occurred at the Imam Bargah Mosque, which has a capacity of 4,000 worshipers, and is considered among Kandahar’s biggest mosques.

The blast came a week after an explosion at another Shia mosque in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province. At least 46 people were martyred and 143 others injured in the blast; Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group] claimed responsibility.

Iraq Elects 2021: The People’s Decision in The Spotlight!

October 10 2021

Iraq Elects 2021: The People’s Decision in The Spotlight!

By Mohammed Sleem

The 10th of October 2021 is the day of Iraq’s parliamentary elections. The world is watching the democratic operation as the Iraqis are on spot to elect the best choice for their country, amid severe crises on several levels, especially the economic and political ones.

Among the external ambitions, the western countries are willing to put their hands on the Iraqi territories, especially the American and British ones; and with the several pluralism views and parties taking action on the political arena, the people’s decision is the most important to set a whole new perspective, orientation, and goals for Iraq itself.

Since 2003 the country has been lacking stabilization. On the economic level, corruption is one of the main factors the people were suffering from, as they have been struggling to find different income resources for the goal of living, and of course the mismanagement of the available minerals and natural resources made things harsher; not to forget the plundering taking place by the hands of external armies who are absurdly executing the plans of the American administration and the British ones also.

Besides, the security challenges represent a vital issue to any new government emerging to power since the bombings and the impact of the terrorist organizations are still in place, leading to a huge number of casualties and financial losses.

On the elections side, several coalitions are heading towards the political process, each has their own strategy to cure what was considered a total mess.

The electoral programs are the main concern every party is looking to deliver and implement, presenting the reform plans that suit every coalition on a side and securing its strategic choices in addition.

The Popular Mobilization Units, better known by the Arabic name of al-Hashd al-Shaabi, are one of the most essential sides that several sides are looking to dissolve, since protecting Iraq from the external ambitions doesn’t match the plans of the Americans and their partners. Sheikh Qais al-Khazaali, the Secretary General of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq resistance movement stated earlier that “The United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and ‘Israel’ want to dissolve the Popular Mobilization Units.” He added during his meeting with sheikhs and elders of the Rumaitha clans in Muthanna that “hundreds of millions of dollars were spent to weaken the front that adopts the defense of the Popular Mobilization,” describing the demand for its dissolution as “catastrophic.”

Earlier, al-Khazaali stressed that “the dimensions of the upcoming elections include key issues, such as the future of the Popular Mobilization and the fate of the Chinese agreement, and addressing the issue of energy,” adding that “external intentions are struggling and trying to outweigh cuffs on it.”

The parties backing the PMU are looking forward to protect the strategy that proved its success earlier against the takfiri groups especially when Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL’ terrorist group] took over the third of the Iraqi lands back in 2015, to prevent any approaches to bring back the external ambitions, through destroying the Iraqi capabilities as a united country against all the external proxies and tools.

A recent tool the western countries are backing and depending on to implement their policies is represented by the NGOs that were active in 2019 demonstrations against the government corruption, and funded by the American administration in order to mix the papers in, and make a new ambiance to control the people’s minds and decisions.

Meanwhile, there are several parties that are calling to protect the PMU, the most important are The Fatah Alliance, which was formed in 2018 under the chairmanship of Hadi al-Ameri, the Secretary General of the Badr Organization, and which includes political wings of a number of armed factions, parties and movements, the most important of which is the Badr Organization, the Sindh rally headed by MP Ahmed al-Assadi, leader of the Popular Mobilization, and the “Sadiqoun” movement headed by Qais al-Khazaali, the Secretary General of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq movement.

The coalition, which is running with 73 candidates, also includes the Supreme Islamic Council headed by former MP Hammam Hammoudi, the Islamic Action Organization, the Jihad and Construction Movement headed by the PMU leader Hassan al-Sari and the “Sayyid al-Shuhada” Brigades.

To sum up, the Iraqi situation almost looks like the Lebanese one, external interventions, plans and ambitions facing the people of the land, and in order to prevent all what’s mentioned, the people themselves must take the decision, which should be brave enough to stand against such schemes.

%d bloggers like this: