The negotiation is a war by other means التفاوض حرب بوسائل أخرى

 The negotiation is a war by other means

أغسطس 9, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

The negotiation process which accompanied the wars of the resistance has what is enough to study the science of war, the negotiation, and their interaction, and how the negotiation becomes a war by other means, and how the struggle of the wills in the negotiation becomes more difficult and needs more skills and qualifications in addition to wills and resolutions that are stronger than those required by the war. This speech may not be of interest to some Lebanese people who did not feel that an extra dignity has been put on their heads neither now nor in July 2006 or that some of their lands were hostage and now liberated, or that some of them have been arrested in 2006 and now they came back free, but among the Lebanese people there is a big majority that has felt the greatness of accomplishment and its magnitude and some of those who are abroad are following-up this dazzling experience in its military competences and its negotiating determination.

As in the war of July the resistance and some of the official Lebanon were on the bank of negotiation, but unlike the war of July 2006 there is no reverse momentum from inside the country to weaken the will and to reduce the ceiling, but most importantly is that this time the official part was solid as the resistance in dealing with the negotiating ceilings, depending on a decision that the resistance would have born its consequences in the battlefield if the negotiation has been disabled totally. Here is the historic moment in every negotiation. As in July this moment has passed now it passed, when the other party in the negotiation reaches to irrevocable conditions and when these conditions grant the resistance and the country the main goal of negotiations, for example in July the conditions were the withdrawal of Israel from the points to which it preceded, to cease-fire and to set free the detainees, but this raises the cost to become an indicator of the change of the image between the defeated and the victorious. In the war of July the issue was the Chapter VII, while in the negotiations with Al Nusra the issue was those who were accused and arrested in charges of terrorist crimes that cannot be forgiven. So in both cases the negotiator on the opposite bank has accepted the main demands and prepared his demands and his additional terms. On the eve of the issuance of the resolution 1701 Condoleezza Rice told the Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri that the Chapter VI is an attempt to promote the Chapter VII in order to apply it smoothly, but the decisive answer was let the war continue. Today the last thing proposed by Al Nusra was that we are getting out of Lebanon, so why do you complicate the matter in justifying the additional demands?, the answer of the Major General Abbas Ibrahim was decisive I will leave my lines open till the midnight and after that I will not hear you, if you accept what I proposed without conditions then let me know, otherwise the resolving will be in the field. In the both cases the resistance won and Lebanon won, the issue was not mere a negotiator’s courage but there were arrangements and preparations to continue the war.

Is it possible to imagine the size of responsibility that is borne by the decision-maker and the negotiator in estimating the position and what will result from the reverse probability? The opposite negotiator and who supports him will be obliged to go to war after the war was close to its end and that there will be coming round of making sacrifices. It is certain that such of this possibility despite all the analyses must be present in the negotiation. It is a big burden and an important national responsibility. To those who endured it in both cases God bless your resolution, will, and achievements. This is the resistance and this is the country which we boast and admire.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

التفاوض حرب بوسائل أخرى

ناصر قنديل

أغسطس 3, 2017

– تحمل مسيرة التفاوض التي رافقت حروب المقاومة ما يكفي لدراسة علم الحرب والتفاوض وتداخلهما، وكيف يكون التفاوض حرباً بوسائل أخرى، بل كيف تكون مكاسرة الإرادات في التفاوض أشدّ صعوبة وتحتاج إلى مهارات وكفاءات، وقبلها إلى إرادات وعزائم أشدّ من تلك التي تستدعيها الحرب. وقد يكون هذا الكلام برانياً وبلا حرارة للذين لم يشعروا من اللبنانيين بأنّ بضعة كرامة إضافية تكلّل بالغار رؤوسهم، لا الآن ولا في تموز 2006، ولا أنّ بعضاً من أرض بلادهم كان رهينة وتحرّر، أو أنّ بعض لحمهم ودمهم عام 2006 كان مرتهناً وعاد حراً، لكن بين اللبنانيين أغلبية كاسحة باتت تشعر بعظمة الإنجاز ويعنيها فهم حجمه، وبعض كثير في الخارج يتابع عن كثب هذه التجربة المبهرة في كفاءاتها الحربية كما مهاراتها وعزائمها التفاوضية.

– كما في حرب تموز المقاومة وبعض لبنان الرسمي على ضفة التفاوض، وبخلاف تموز 2006 لا وجود لقوة ضغط عكسية من داخل الدولة، لتهوين الإرادة وتخفيض السقوف، لكن المهمّ هذه المرة أنّ الجانب الرسمي كان بصلابة المقاومة في التعامل مع السقوف التفاوضية، لكنه كان يبني صلابته على قرار ستتحمّل المقاومة تبعاته بالعودة إلى ميادين القتال لو تعثر التفاوض كلياً. وهنا هي اللحظة التاريخية في كلّ تفاوض، فكما في تموز مرّت تلك اللحظة، ومرّت هذه المرة، عندما يبلغ الطرف المقابل على ضفاف التفاوض شروطاً يقول إن لا رجعة عنها، وتكون شروطاً تمنح المقاومة والدولة الهدف الرئيسي للمفاوضات، وهو في تموز انسحاب «إسرائيل» من النقاط التي تقدّمت إليها ووقف الحرب والإفراج عن الأسرى، لكنه يرفع الثمن ليصير برمزيته مؤشراً على انقلاب الصورة بين المنتصر والمهزوم. ففي حرب تموز كانت المسألة هي الفصل السابع، وفي مفاوضات النصرة. وبالأمس، كانت المسألة هي المتهمين والمطلوبين والموقوفين بجرائم إرهابية لا يمكن التسامح معها.

في المرتين قدّم المفاوض على الضفة المقابلة قبولاً بالمطالب الرئيسية وبدأ يزيّن مطالبه وشروطه الإضافية، يومها قالت كونداليسا رايس للرئيس نبيه بري عشية صدور القرار 1701، فليكن الفصل السادس ونصف في محاولة لتسويق نص للفصل السابع وتطبيق مرن له، فكان الجواب الحاسم: فلتستمرّ الحرب. واليوم كان آخر ما عرضته النصرة أننا نُخلي لبنان نهائياً فلماذا تعقّدون الأمر، في تبرير الطلبات الإضافية، فكان جواب اللواء عباس إبراهيم قاطعاً مانعاً، سأبقي خطوطي مفتوحة حتى منتصف الليل وبعده لن تجدوني على السمع، فإنْ قبلتم ما كان بلا إضافات أبلغوني، وإلا فليعُد الحسم للميدان، ولتذهب الأمور إلى حيث يجب أن تذهب. في الحالتين ربحت المقاومة وربح لبنان، لكن الأمر لم يكن مجرد شجاعة مفاوض، فوراء هذه الشجاعة كانت ترتيبات واستعدادات لمواصلة الحرب.

– هل يمكن تخيّل حجم المسؤولية التي يتحمّلها صاحب القرار ومعه المفاوض في تقدير الموقف، وما سيترتّب على الاحتمال العكسي، أيّ أن يتصلّب المفاوض الآخر ومَن وراءه وتذهب الأمور إلى الحرب، بعدما تكون النفوس قد توطّنت على أنّ الحرب توشك على النهاية، وأنّ جولة من التضحيات تنتظر. والأكيد أنّ مثل هذا الاحتمال رغم التحليلات كلّها التي تقول بعكسه يبقى قائماً في حساب التفاوض. وهو عبء ضميري كبير ومسؤولية وطنية جسيمة، وجب أن نقول لمن تحمّلوه في المرتين بوركت عزائمكم وإرادتكم وإنجازاتكم. هذه هي المقاومة وهذه هي الدولة اللتان ترفع بهما رؤوسنا، وتكبر بهما قلوبنا.

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SYRIAN-LEBANESE BORDER IS CLEARED FROM ALL HAYAT TAHRIR AL-SHAM MEMBERS

South Front

04.08.2017

The Hezbollah operations room announced on Thursday that the operation to liberate Jorud Arsal in Lebanon and Jorud Flitah in Syria have been finished.

The operations room announced in its official statement that the presence of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) on the Syrian-Lebanese border has ended, thus the operation has achieved all its goals.

Syrian-Lebanese Border Is Cleared From All Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Members

Click to see the full-size map

On Thursday, nearly 100 buses carrying 7777 HTS fighters with their families along with wounded HTS fighter left to the Syrian province of Idlib.

The exchange was carried out at the Sa’an checkpoint in northern Hama, where HTS released 5 Hezbollah fighters who were captured in previous battles: Mousa Korani, Ahmed Mezher, Mohammed Jawad Yassin, Mohammed Mahdi Shuaib, Hassan Taha.

Moreover, HTS fighters had killed Raad al-Amuri – a field commander in HTS – before they leave. HTS fighters accused Al-Amuri of being an ISIS spy.

Lebanese Security Forces also discovered an explosive belt with an HTS fighter before boarding a bus. The explosive belt was dismantled and the fighter was allowed to leave.

The Hezbollah media win in Syria reported that the fighters of Saraya Ahl al-Sham – a group of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – and their families are still at some points in Jorud Arsal, including Al-Malahi. They will leave in the coming days according to a new agreement.

Syrian-Lebanese Border Is Cleared From All Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Members

Click to see the full-size map

Saraya Ahl al-Sham fighters had refused to leave with HTS fighters to Idlib. They are feared that HTS would kill them in Idlib because they had withdrawn from the battle of Jorud Arsal and handed over their positions to Hezbollah. Thus, they’re expected to leave to the Euphrates Shield-held areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is expected to announce in a public speech the battle to liberate Ras Baalbek in Lebanon and several areas of the western Qalamoun in Syria from ISIS. Dozens of ISIS fighters are still holed up in the area at the Syrian-Lebanese border.

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Sayyed Nasrallah to ISIL: Lebanese, Syrians will Attack you from All Sides

August 4, 2017

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech on the aftermath of Arsal battle
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivers a televised speech on the aftermath of Arsal battle
 Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah warned ISIL from a decisive defeat in the new offensive that would be launched by the Lebanese army in northeast Lebanon, announcing that Hezbollah will participate in the battle alongside the Syrian army in the Syrian side of the borders.

In a televised speech on the aftermath of Arsal offensive on Friday, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed that the Lebanese army will liberate areas occupied by ISIL in northeast Lebanon and said Hezbollah was ready to aid the Lebanese army in its battle on the Lebanese front. “It’s clear now that the Lebanese army is the one who will liberate the areas of Ras Baalbek and Al-Qaa,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that Hezbollah would be in the service of the Lebanese army and will help in this battle.

“ISIL controls a large area, some of it from Lebanese and other from Syria. The total area is approximately 296 square kilometers, 141 square kilometers in Lebanon and 155 square kilometers in Syria. The borders are drawn, and there is no problem with demarcation. The geography is similar to that of Arsal and Flita,” His eminence said.

“Before we started the Arsal offensive, we coordinated with the Syrian leadership to end the armed presence of ISIL and Nusra this summer. Lebanon took a decision that the army would do this task, and this was good. The Lebanese army is able to accomplish this mission and any call for an American assistance is an insult to the military institution,” Sayyed Nasrallah indicated, adding that the problem was not with the Lebanese army but with the political decision. “We are hopeful that the presence of the Lebanese President Michel Aoun will help in the war against terrorist groups.”

“If this decision is taken, it means that we are going to the battle, and according to this battle the army will fight in the Lebanese territory. I declare tonight that we, in Hezbollah, are at the service of the Lebanese army. ISIL will gather all its forces to fight the Lebanese army, and we must be aware that it may use suicide bombers. The front will be one and the timing is in the hands of the Lebanese army,” Hezbollah S.G. said.

Battle with ISIL Imminent, Soon

“ISIL shall know that this battle is imminent and soon, maybe few days from now,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, warning that ISIL will face a battle backed by national consensus for the first time, which is a “miracle”. “I tell you that the Lebanese and Syrians will engulf you from all sides and you won’t steadfast. You’ll definitely lose this battle, so think thoroughly unlike what Nusra did. The door of negotiations is still open.”

“The field is ready and the outcome is crucial. Lebanon and Syria are before a new victory,” His eminence pledged.

On Arsal victory, Sayyed Nasrallah first congratulated the captives families on the safe return of their sons and condoled the families of the martyrs whose blood led to that achievement. He also hailed the remarkable and strenuous efforts of Major General Abbas Ibrahim. His eminence also thanked people of al-Qaa who embraced and welcomed the freed. “It is my duty to reassure the rest of the families that we are closely and honestly following up on the issue of the bodies that are still with the militants, the ISIL-held captives and the rest of the missing fighters. I’m personally following up on the file.”

“We shall appreciate and laud the important role of the Syrian army whose efforts facilitates the victory in Arsal outskirts,” Sayyed Nasrallah said, adding that media was unfair when it came to sacrifices by the Syrian army which we must appreciate. It is our ethical duty to thank President Assad, the Syrian leadership, the Syrian red crescent and anyone who exerted efforts on the ground to return our captives, he said. “The Syrian leadership played a positive role in the swap deal despite the heavy burden it shouldered due to this deal,” he added.

Sayyed Nasrallah lauded efforts exerted by Speaker Nabih Berri who adopted Arsal operation since its first beginning and followed up all its details and highly defended it. His eminence underlined that President Michel Aoun had offered the necessary facilitation to ensure the success of the negotiations, “This is a brave president who has said that this is a victory for Lebanon.” He also noted that PM Saad Hariri agreed from the beginning to hold the negotiations and was keen on its success and provided all the facilities, although some details would have embarrassed him. “The government behaved responsibly what led to the completion of this victory.”

The S.G. thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for the aid and support it gave to the Resistance in its war on terrorism.

His eminence called on Lebanese politicians to draw lessons from these negotiations. “This operation led to the transfer of hundreds of militants and thousands of families without international efforts. The guarantors on the ground were the Lebanese General Security and the Syrian regime.”  He urged that this victory should be completed by continuing the work on the refugees file, announcing that Hezbollah have started to follow up this file with the Syrian government.

In the meantime, Sayyed Nasrallah said Nusra has ceased to exist in Arsal outskirts after its defeat there, announcing that Hezbollah was ready to hand over the outskirts to the Lebanese army whenever the army decides that.

On an alleged Hezbollah cell in Kuwait dubbed as Al-Abdali cell, Sayyed Nasrallah described the claims as baseless saying: We are not afraid to say the truth, Hezbollah doesn’t have any arms or cells in Kuwait. We are keen on the best relations with Kuwait and we don’t want any issue to ruin these relations and we acknowledge Kuwait’s support for Lebanon and its assistance in the wake of the July War. We are ready to discuss any ambiguity through the diplomatic channels.”

Source: Al-Manar Website

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Beyond Al Mosul: who is the victorious? ما بعد الموصل: مَن المنتصر؟ updated

Beyond Al Mosul: who is the victorious?

يوليو 10, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

After the entry of the Iraqi army to Al Nuri Mosque from which Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi the leader of ISIS announced his country three years ago, a stage of the history of the region which its remaining chapters are still waiting the appropriate time to be deleted from history and geography has ended. Where the remnants of ISIS in Syria and Iraq may take a time till the end of the year to be eliminated, but in politics it is possible to assert that ISIS the hybrid creature which formed a turning point in the wars of the region and the security of the world, and with which Washington has foreshadowed that it will last for more than ten years, and which it adopted as a reason for its re-positioning in the region , and its seeking to control the political and the military geography, as well as in mixing the papers and the alliances and drawing the red lines  has become from the past.

With the elimination of ISIS the justification of the American presence in Syria and Iraq will end, along with the military alliance of the war on ISIS. The war on terrorism has other forms that do not need the military presence especially in the two countries in which the terrorism in the other countries is represented by dormant and active cells which are more active than those which are still in Syria and Iraq. With the elimination of ISIS and the cover of the American presence under the plea of the war, the Kurdish militias which were given a military privacy and the illusion of separation will lose the cover which allows them to face the danger of Turkish war and the Syrian objection which will converge on getting rid of the project of a state before its birth. Israel will lose the opportunity of negotiation and barter which settled by Washington, under the title of ISIS versus Hezbollah and the issue that concerns Riyadh a lot; the departure of the Syrian President in exchange of the salvation of Syria and Iraq.

Washington, along with Israel and Saudi Arabia, tried to arrange papers so as to prolong the war or to change its rules. Thus were the raids and strikes, the threats and the red lines. Despite the losses and the obstacles made by them in front of the path of victory, they could not prevent the popular crowd from closing the road of withdrawal in front of ISIS towards Syria from Tal Afer and Baaj. As well as they could not prevent the Syrian army from closing the road of withdrawal of ISIS towards Badia, and were unable to prevent the chances of the Syrian army and the popular crowd meeting across the Syrian-Iraqi borders Today they do not seem able to prevent any of the inevitable results of the course of the war, even if they succeeded in causing more losses and obstacles.

Washington along with its two allies Israel and Saudi Arabia seem testing their last pressure paper which is the disabling, and preventing the political solution in Syria which without it the Syrian victory will lose the legitimacy it needs. The seeking to disrupt Astana by boycotting the groups under the Saudi-Israeli influence is clear, On the other hand, the participation of the groups affiliated to Turkey is clear too, as a new title; the linkage between the war on terrorism and the future of Al Nusra and the Kurdish state. While the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance and the American-Saudi counterpart line up on two opposite sides.so Turkey and Qatar have to choose between them.

Syria is facing gradual stages from the political solution at the pace of military developments, the consolidation of Astana instead of Geneva, which Washington co-sponsors and thus disabling, to the regional legitimacy of the victory over terrorism and the beginning of the political solution of a unified government under the auspices and recognition of Astana partners, ending with a station still pending in Geneva; the restoration of Syrian of its control over the entire Syrian territory, starting from the north and east from  Idlib to Qamishli to the south. Geneva path will start, so the Americans will be forced to join the political solution and to recognize the legitimacy of victory unless Israel matures and presents a theory of war at the table of the major solutions in the region that precedes the solution in Syria and prevents the facing of challenges that follow the Syrian victory and its threats by bearing the losses of postponed settlement in avoidance of losses of forthcoming war.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

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ما بعد الموصل: مَن المنتصر؟

يونيو 30, 2017

ناصر قنديل

– مع دخول الجيش العراقي مسجد النوري الذي أعلن منه أبو بكر البغدادي قائد تنظيم داعش دولته قبل ثلاث سنوات، تُطوى مرحلة من تاريخ المنطقة لا تزال فصولها الباقية تنتظر الوقت لتُشطب من التاريخ والجغرافيا، حيث بقايا داعش في سورية والعراق قد يستغرقون قتالاً يمتدّ لنهاية العام، لكن في السياسة يمكن الجزم أن داعش المولود الهجين الذي شكّل نقطة تحوّل في حروب المنطقة وأمن العالم، وبشّرتنا واشنطن ببقائه لأكثر من عشر سنوات، واتخذته سبباً لتموضعها مجدداً في المنطقة وسعيها للتحكم بالجغرافيا السياسية والعسكرية، وخلط الأوراق والتحالفات ورسم الخطوط الحمراء، صار اليوم شيئاً من الماضي.

– بزوال داعش سيزول مبرّر الوجود الأميركي في سورية والعراق وتنتهي مهمة التحالف العسكري للحرب على داعش، وللحرب على الإرهاب أشكال أخرى لا تحتاج الوجود العسكري في بلدين من عشرات البلدان يملك الإرهاب فيها خلايا نائمة وفاعلة أنشط من تلك الباقية في سورية والعراق، وبزوال داعش وتغطية الوجود الأميركي بذريعة الحرب، ستفقد الميليشيات الكردية التي منحها الأميركيون خصوصية عسكرية ووهم الانفصال، التغطية التي تتيح لها مواجهة خطر حرب تركية، ومواجهة اعتراض سوري، يتّجهان للتلاقي على وأد مشروع الدويلة قبل ولادتها، وتفقد «إسرائيل» فرصة التفاوض والمقايضة التي وضعتها واشنطن، بعنوان رأس داعش مقابل رأس حزب الله، وتلك التي حلمت بها الرياض بجعلها أبعد مدى، رحيل الرئيس السوري مقابل خلاص سورية والعراق.

– لهثت واشنطن ومعها «إسرائيل» والسعودية لترتيب الأوراق بما يتيح إطالة مددأأمد الحرب، أو تغيير قواعدها، فكانت الغارات والضربات وكانت التهديدات والخطوط الحمراء، ورغم الخسائر التي تسبّبت بها والإعاقة التي رتبتها على طريق النصر، فإنّها لم تستطع لا منع الحشد الشعبي من إغلاق طريق الانسحاب على داعش نحو سورية من تلعفر والبعاج، ولا استطاعت منع الجيش السوري من إقفال طريق انسحاب داعش إلى البادية، ولا استطاعت منع فرص اللقاء بين الجيش السوري والحشد الشعبي عبر الحدود السورية العراقية، ولا تبدو قادرة بعد اليوم على منع أي من النتائج المحتّمة لمسار الحرب، ولو نجحت بالمزيد من الإعاقة والمزيد من الخسائر.

– يبدو أنّ واشنطن تذهب لآخر أوراقها مع حليفيها «الإسرائيلي» والسعودي، وهي ممارسة التعطيل، ومنع الحل السياسي في سورية، الذي بدونه يفتقد النصر السوري الشرعية التي يحتاجها. فالسعي لتعطيل أستانة بمقاطعة الجماعات الواقعة تحت النفوذ الأميركي السعودي «الإسرائيلي»، واضح، والمشاركة من الجماعات التي تتبع لتركيا واضح بالمقابل، كعنوان لصفحة جديدة هي الربط بين الحرب على الإرهاب ومستقبل النصرة والدويلة الكردية، حيث يصطفّ الحلفان الروسي الإيراني السوري ومقابله الأميركي السعودي «الإسرائيلي»، على طرفين متقابلين وعلى تركيا وقطر الاختيار بينهما.

– تبدو أمام سورية مراحل متدحرجة من الحلّ السياسي على إيقاع التطورات العسكرية، ترسيخ أستانة بدلاً من جنيف الذي تشترك واشنطن برعايته وبالتالي بتعطيله، وصولاً لشرعية إقليمية للنصر على الإرهاب وبداية الحلّ السياسي بحكومة وحدة برعاية واعتراف شركاء أستانة، وانتهاء بمحطة لا تزال معلقة في جنيف لن تنضج إلا بوقائع استرداد الجيش السوري سيطرته على الأرض السورية كاملة، بدءاً من الشمال والشرق من إدلب إلى القامشلي، ليقع الجنوب ناضجاً في حضن الدولة السورية وتقلع مسيرة جنيف ويلتحق الأميركي، مرغماً بقطار الحل السياسي والاعتراف بشرعية النصر، ما لم تنضج لدى إسرائيل نظرية حرب تضعها على طاولة الحلول الكبرى في المنطقة تستبق الحل في سورية، وتمنع مواجهة تحديات ما بعد النصر السوري ومخاطره، بتحمّل خسائر التسوية النائمة تفادياً لخسائر حرب مقبلة.

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From the horse’s mouth– Syrian Rebels: ‘We Want Peace With Israel, Real Enemy Is Iran’

 

Breaking Israel News

A leading member of Syria’s political opposition said most Syrians view Iran as the real enemy and not Israel, adding that Israel could do more to help the Syrian people.

“We want peace with Israel, and today, among the opposition in Syria, most people understand that the enemy is Iran and not Israel, so there is a good chance that there will be peace in the future,” said Salim Hudaifa, a former Syrian military officer who serves as a political representative of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army, at the Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan.

Hudaifa is a former intelligence officer who abandoned Syria’s military in the 1990s and eventually gained asylum in Denmark. During the Syrian Civil War, Hudaifa was recruited by the U.S. to head a program to train the Free Syrian Army, but the program was eventually abandoned by the U.S. Defense Department.

“Israel needs to do more and help the rebels. People here are disappointed [with Israel]. There are also quite a few who think that [the Israelis] are helping [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, because they see that the Israeli-Syrian border is quiet,” Hudaifa said during a forum attended by Israeli dignitaries such as Gilead Sher, the Jewish state’s former chief peace negotiator.

“I think [Israel] can be more proactive and help us,” added Hudaifa. “Regarding the treatment of the wounded in your hospitals, it certainly improved Israel’s image in the eyes of Syrians, but only in a limited way. The reason is that the Arab media does not report it.”

Israel is secretly supporting Syrian rebel groups along its border with Syria in the Golan Heights, providing rebels with funds, food, fuel and medical supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

While Israel has largely refrained from getting involved in the six-year-long civil war, it has periodically carried out airstrikes in Syria when its interests are threatened. These strikes have mainly been against the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which is significantly involved in supporting Assad’s regime in the conflict.

Top Senator to Block US Arms Sales to Gulf

Local Editor

27-06-2017 | 11:02

An influential US senator said he will withhold consent for arms sales to Gulf Arab states until there is a “path forward” to resolving the Qatar crisis.

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee

Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, warned that efforts to fight the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] and counter Iran were being hurt.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut air, sea and land links with Qatar three weeks ago.

They accused Qatar of aiding terrorist groups – charges it denied.

On Friday, the emirate was presented with a 13-point list of demands to end the crisis that included shutting down the al-Jazeera news network, cutting ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and curbing diplomatic relations with Iran.

A government spokesman in Doha said the list confirmed that “the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism – it is about limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy”.

The restrictions had caused turmoil in the oil- and gas-rich nation, which is dependent on imports to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

President Donald Trump initially expressed his support for the actions taken against Qatar despite it hosting the largest US military base in the Middle East.

But his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, acknowledged on Sunday that some of the demands issued by its neighbors would “be very difficult to meet” and called for “dialogue leading to resolution”.

In a letter sent to Tillerson on Monday, Corker said he had been pleased with Trump’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, where he attended a summit of the Gulf Co-operation Council.

The Republican noted that the president had agreed with the GCC’s six member states, including Qatar, to “ease regional conflicts” and establish “deeper security co-operation”.

“Unfortunately, the GCC did not take advantage of the summit and instead chose to devolve into conflict,” he added.

“All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight [‘ISIS’] and counter Iran.”

“For these reasons, before we provide any further clearances during the informal review period on sales of lethal military equipment to the GCC states, we need a better understanding of the path to resolve the current dispute and reunify the GCC.”

Under US law, Congress must be formally notified 30 days before the sale of any weapons to foreign governments, giving lawmakers time to block it if they object.

Last month, a resolution seeking to stop the sale of about $500m [£393m] of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia for use in its aggression on Yemen conflict – part of a $110bn [£86bn] arms deal negotiated by Trump in Riyadh – was only narrowly defeated in the Senate by 53 votes to 47.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

 

Israel Attacks Syrian Army for the 10,000th Time After Syrian Shell Allegedly Lands in Israeli-Occupied Syria

Posted on June 25, 2017

 photo golanheights_zpsqq0axahl.gif

[ Ed. note – From Russia Insider we have humorous treatment of a serious subject–Israel’s second attack in two days against the Syrian Army in the Quneitra province. Today’s attack reportedly hit two artillery launchers and an ammunition truck and follows close on the heels of a strike which occurred Saturday in which the Israelis targeted a Syrian tank and artillery positions–all supposedly over “stray shells” which landed in Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Two Syrian soldiers have reportedly been killed in the attacks.

Before the Israelis struck, the Syrians, earlier in the day Saturday, had been engaged in a fierce battle with Al-Nusra in the Quneitra countryside (near the border with the occupied Golan). The Syrian government says the airstrike was a deliberate attempt on the part of the Israelis to assist the terrorists:

Damascus, SANA – The General Command of the Army and Armed Forces said that the Israeli enemy attacked on Saturday a Syrian military position in Quneitra province in a desperate attempt to support terrorist groups.

In a statement, the General Command said that after army units succeeded in thwarting the wide-scale attack carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists on the surroundings of al-Baath city in Quneitra countryside, which inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists, the Israeli enemy attacked a Syrian military position in Quneitra in a desperate attempt to support terrorist groups and raise their flagging morale.

The Israelis say the attack was “in response to several Syrian projectiles launched toward Israel” (i.e. part of Syria that is occupied by the Israelis). That at any rate was tweeted by the Israeli military. Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly has also commented on it at an Israeli cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“Our policy is clear: We will not tolerate any spillover or trickle whatsoever – neither mortars nor rockets, from any front,” said the prime minister, adding: “we will respond strongly to any attack on our territory or our citizens.”

Reportedly the “projectiles” landed in an open field and caused no injuries.

No comment from Russia. I just checked the Foreign Ministry’s website, and and at least as of now there’s nothing there. It seems when the US attacks the Syrian Army, the Russian government responds publicly, but when it is Israel carrying out the attack, they keep quiet. I hope I’m wrong on that, and that we’ll hear something from the Russians criticizing the Israeli actions, possibly tomorrow. It is after all Sunday. Yet these latest two Israeli attacks  follow a pattern that we’ve seen for several years now. Russia typically has had little if anything to say in any of the cases, although some of the previous attacks were not officially acknowledged by Israel.

At any rate, here is the Russia Insider piece on “Israeli scumbaggery,” as they put it.]

***

Sweet mercy, are we not even allowed to have one day of calm and decency per week? Is that too much to ask? Your RI editors retreated to the countryside for the weekend, and were about to fire up the barbecue to make some tasty shashlik, but then, like clockwork, “Israel”. Why are we not even remotely surprised?

Via Haaretz:

Israel attacked a Syrian army units in the northern Golan Heights on Sunday after errant fire from the Syrian side spilled over into Israeli territory, the second cross-border flare-up in two days.

The Israeli army struck a Syrian army ammunition truck and two artillery guns in the Syrian Golan, the army confirmed after Syrian and Lebanese news outlets reported the attack.

Continued here

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