SYRIAN WAR REPORT – SEPTEMBER 12, 2019: RUSSIA RESUMES STRIKES ON TERRORISTS IN IDLIB

South Front

On September 11, the US-backed Revolutionary Commando Army claimed that it had repelled a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) attack in the 55km zone surrounding the US military garrison in al-Tanf. The militant group said that SAA units advanced using a Red Cross visit to civilians in the area.

A Syrian military source, stationed around the 55km zone, denied these claims. The source told SouthFront that no clashes happened in the area. There are about 300 Revolutionary Commando Army militants stationed in al-Tanf. They receive training, weapons and supplies from the US-led coalition despite multiple scandals surrounding this cooperation. Earlier in 2019, the group’s spokesperson, Mohamad Mostafa al-Jarrah, was caught raping a 10-year old girl from the nearby refugee camp.

A prominent Hayat Tahrir al-Sham commander, Abu Abd al-Ashda, left the militant group accusing its current leadership of massive corruption, and failing to defend militants’ territories in northern Hama during the recent SAA advance. According to him, millions of dollars that HTS had for rearmament simply disappeared.

Meanwhile, another key Hayat Tahrir al-Sham commander, Abu Abdul Mohsen al-Jazrawi, was assassinated in southeastern Idlib. The incident happened near the town of Saraqib on September 10. Al-Jazrawi, a Saudi citizen, was reportedly a close aide of the terrorist group leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani.

In the last few months, several prominent foreign terrorists were assassinated in Greater Idlib. The perpetrators of most of these attacks remain unknown.

On September 11, Syrian and Russian warplanes bombed positions of terrorists near the towns of Kafar Takharim and Darkush. The airstrikes were likely a response to the recently increased number of violations by militants in southern Idlib.

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Political analyst to ST: The so-called US-Turkish “Safe zone” means nothing in strategic terms

ST

The researcher in political and military affairs Basem al-Shihawi has underscored that there are both political and military reasons behind the terrorist organizations’ repeated drone attacks against Syrian military posts in Hama and Hmeimim airbase in Lattakia.

He told the Syria Times e-newspaper that terrorists groups holed up in Idlib province would never launch such attacks without Turkey’s permission.

“First of all, it is needless to say that terrorist groups in Idlib province are controlled by Turkey, and that they would never launch such attacks without it’s permission, this is a key point in order to analyse those attacks,” he said.

The researcher added: “Ankara wants those attacks to take place in order to blackmail Moscow politically since it demonstrates Ankara’s influence over terrorists, and Ankara hopes that the drone attacks will force Russia to yield to Erdogan’s demands regarding the awaited constitutional committee and other political goals in Syria.”

He made it clear that the military reasons for the terrorists’ drone attacks are to limit the Russian Air Force’s ability to conduct efficient airstrikes against Al-Qaeda affiliated groups, to hinder Hmeimim’s role in supporting Syrian Air force, to force the Russian military command to focus more on protecting its military base, and to put more pressure over Russian and Syrian anti-air defences.

“As for the continuous attacks being carried out by terrorists despite the de-escalation zone agreement, let’s all remember that the terrorists never abided by it, and this is the reason the Syrian army launched a military operation in order to liberate northern Hama in the first place,” al-Shihawi stressed.

He referred to the fact that suicide drone attacks never stopped since the very arrival of the Russian Air Force to Syria.

“Time and again the attacks became more intense as the terrorists not only started to launch more drones, but more sophisticated ones according to the Russian Defence Ministry who declared, after examining shutdown drones, that they are based on western technology,” the researcher stated.

Erdogan wants to achieve victory over the Kurds in Syria

Regarding the so-called American-Turkish “Safe zone”, al-Shihawi declared that besides being illegal, it means nothing in strategical terms.

“Considering the fact that this region is under American occupation with the help of the so-called ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’, Washington can give whatever promises to Turkey, but is that what Erdogan actually wants?”

He believes that Erdogan’s goal is not a “safe zone”.

“What Erdogan really wants, in order to secure his position against his political rivals inside Turkey and the unsatisfied Turkish military, is a clear victory over the Kurds in Syria, a victory that allows Erdogan to conduct a demographic change in northern Syria, planting pro-Turkey Syrian refugees all over the area, which is something neither Washington is able to give, nor Turkey is capable to achieve,” the researcher affirmed.

He concluded by saying: “The most important factor is neither of the above mentioned, the most important factor is the Syrian Arab Army and its allies that are getting closer from ending Idlib issue, and the moment Idlib is liberated, the occupied east and north will be the focal point for the Syrian Army, a game changer that is going to hinder all Turkish and American plans very soon.”

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

Also Read

Syria: Trump & Erdogan Forces in War Criminal ‘Joint Patrol’

trump and erdogan forces patrol inside Syria - archive photo

US-Turkey NATO forces in Syria – Archive Photo

Trump and Erdogan regime terrorists continue their flouting of International Law and have begun war criminal ‘joint patrols’ in the territories of the Syrian Arab Republic. Both countries are signatories to the Geneva Agreements; ignoring the Treaty to which they pledged fidelity — and without complaints from transatlantic MSM — again shows Trump and Erdogan among the many unindicted war criminals of NATO countries.

Caliph-wannabe Erdogan’s imperialist plot involves his desire to annex more of Syria than was stolen by his Ottoman Empire predecessors.

foreign-terror-sponsor-erdogan

Rabid ErDOGan, war criminal
Erdogan: Syrian factories and economy thief

Trump — the POTUS elected on his promise to drain the swamp but who preferred to become addicted to huffing its decomposing fumes — also wants a share of a new Sykes-Picot partitioning.

Swamp Drunk Trump - Was elected to drain the swamp and instead became swamp drunk
Swamp Drunk Trump – Was elected to drain the swamp and instead became swamp drunk.

The Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Expatriates condemned the flagrant violation of Syria’s national sovereignty and integrity, which follows the colonial bragging of CENTCOM in the joint illegal invasion of Syrian airspace, two days ago.

Let us not expect any reporting on these illegals, by MSM, which is much too busy trying to keep the magic marker and the Hurricane Dorian map trending. Let us also not forget that all the MSM glorified Trump when he bombed Syria for al-Qaeda, based on the criminal lies of an illegal Brit, a de-licensed physician, via ‘fake news CNN!’.

Let us not expect any complaints from the un-anti-fascist Antifa on this joint fascist incursion into Syria; this gang of phony Trump-haters is aligned with his arrogant, colonial, illegal incursions.

syrian-democratic-forces

Fascist US wetworkers of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Let us especially not expect grumbling from the bogus liberals who condemn the US president for everything but war crimes. That haughty gang of colonial serfs support the US armed and run separatist SDF, engaged in strategic depopulation, kidnapping, serial killings, torching of farms, bombing churches, theft of Syrian oil (to be sold to Israel) and the menticide of Syrian children via forcing them into armed militias.

The criminal alliance of the Trump and Erdogan regimes, in the rancid colonial arrogance of criminal ‘joint patrols’ in Syria, will not be permanent; Syria’s beloved President Bashar al Assad has promised that “every inch” of the SAR will be liberated.

syria

 Syria President Dr. Bashar al-Assad: “Every inch of Syria will be liberated”

You can follow Miri Wood on Twitter.

 

 

How Syria Defeated the 2012-2019 Invasion by US & Al-Qaeda

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How Syria Defeated the 2012-2019 Invasion by US & Al-Qaeda

September 4, 2019

On August 31st, the brilliant anonymous German intelligence analyst who blogs as “Moon of Alabama” headlined “Syria – Coordinated Foreign Airstrike Kills Leaders Of Two Al-Qaeda Aligned Groups”, and he reported that,“Some three hours ago an air- or missile strike in Syria’s Idleb governorate hit a meeting of leaders of the al-Qaeda aligned Haras-al-Din and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) aka Jabhat al-Nusra. Both were killed. It is likely that leaders of other Jihadist groups were also present. The hit completely destroyed a Haras al-Din guesthouse or headquarter. The Syrian Observatory says that more than 40 people were killed in the strike. The hit will make it much easier for the Syrian army campaign to liberate Idleb governorate.

At long last, Syria’s army and Russia’s air force are no longer being threatened with World War III by the US and its allies if they proceed to destroy the tens of thousands of Al-Qaida-led jihadists whom the US had helped to train and arm (and had been protecting in Syria ever since December 2012) in order to overthrow Syria’s non-sectarian Government and replace it by a fundamentalist-Sunni Government which the royal Sauds who own Saudi Arabia would appoint. All throughout that war, those Al-Qaeda-led ‘moderate rebels’ had been organized from the governate or province of Idlib (or Idleb). But now, most (if not all) of their leadership are dead.

Turkey’s leader Tayyip Erdogan had hoped that he would be allowed both by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and by the United States’ Donald Trump to grab for Turkey at least part of Idlib province from Syria. But now, he is instead either participating in, or else allowing, Syria’s army and Russia’s air force, to slaughter Idlib’s jihadists and restore that province to Syria. On 9 September 2018, Russia and Iran had granted Turkey a temporary control over Idlib, and Erdogan then tried to seize it permanently, but finally he has given it up and is allowing Idlib to become restored to Syria. This turn-around signals Syria’s victory against its enemies; it’s the war’s watershed event.

Here is the history of how all that happened and how Syria is finally a huge and crucial step closer to winning its war against the invaders (which had originally been mainly Al Qaeda, US, Turkey, Qatar, and the Sauds,, but more recently has been onlyAl Qaeda and US):

reported, back on 10 September 2018, that:

Right now, the Trump Administration has committed itself to prohibiting Syria (and its allies) from retaking control of Idlib, which is the only province that was more than 90% in favor of Al Qaeda and of ISIS and against the Government, at the start of the ‘civil war’ in Syria. Idlib is even more pro-jihadist now, because almost all of the surviving jihadists in Syria have sought refuge there — and the Government freely has bussed them there, in order to minimize the amount of “human shield” hostage-taking by them in the other provinces. Countless innocent lives were saved this way.

Both Democratic and Republican US federal officials and former officials are overwhelmingly supportive of US President Trump’s newly announced determination to prohibit Syria from retaking control of that heavily jihadist province, and they state such things about Idlib as:

It has become a dumping ground for some of the hardcore jihadists who were not prepared to settle for some of the forced agreements that took place, the forced surrenders that took place elsewhere. … Where do people go when they’ve reached the last place that they can go? What’s the refuge after the last refuge? That’s the tragedy that they face.

That happened to be an Obama Administration official expressing support for the jihadists, and when he was asked by his interviewer “Did the world fail Syria?” he answered “Sure. I mean, there’s no doubt about it. I mean, the first person who failed Syria was President Assad himself.”

Idlib city, incidentally, had also been the most active in starting Syria’s ‘civil war’, back on 10 March 2012 (that’s a news-report by Qatar, which had actually helped to finance the jihadists, whom it lionized as freedom-fighters, and Qatar had also helped the CIA to establish Al Qaeda in Syria). Idlib city is where the peaceful phase of the “Arab Spring” uprisings transformed (largely through that CIA, Qatari, Saudi, and Turkish, assistance) into an armed rebellion to overthrow the nation’s non-sectarian Government, because that’s where the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda was centered. On 29 July 2012, the New York Times headlined “As Syrian War Drags On, Jihadists Take Bigger Role” and reported that “Idlib Province, the northern Syrian region where resistance fighters control the most territory, is the prime example.” (Note the euphemism there, “resistance fighters,” not “jihadists,” nor “terrorists.” That’s how propaganda is written. But this time, the editors had slipped up, and used the honest “Jihadists” in their headline. However, their news-report said that these were only “homegrown Muslim jihadists,” though thousands of jihadists at that time were actually already streaming into Idlib from around the world. Furthermore, Obama lied and said that the people he was helping (the al-Saud family who own Saudi Arabia, and the al-Thani family who own Qatar) to arm, were not jihadists, and he was never called-out on that very blatant ongoing lie.) But the US-allied, Saud-and-Thani-financed, massive arms-shipments, to the Al-Qaeda-led forces in Syria, didn’t start arriving there until March 2013, around a year after that start. And, then, in April 2013, the EU agreed with the US team to buy all the (of course black-market) oil it could that “the rebels” in Syria’s oil region around Deir Ezzor were stealing from Syria, so as to help “the rebels” to expand their control in Syria and thus to further weaken Syria’s Government. (The “rebels,” in that region of Syria, happened to be ISIS, not Al Qaeda, but the US team’s primary target to help destroy was actually Syria, and never ISIS. In fact, the US didn’t even start bombing ISIS there until after Russia had already started doing that on 30 September 2015.)

A week following my 10 September 2018 news-report, I reported, September 17th, about how Erdogan, Putin, and Iran’s Rouhani, had dealt with the US alliance’s threat of going to war against Russia in Syrian territory if Russia and Syria were to attack the jihadists in Idlib:

As I recommended in a post on September 10th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan jointly announced on September 17th, “We’ve agreed to create a demilitarized zone between the government troops and militants before October 15. The zone will be 15-20km wide,” which compares to the Korean DMZ’s 4-km width. I had had in mind the Korean experience, but obviously Putin and Erdogan are much better-informed about the situation than I am, and they have chosen a DMZ that’s four to five times wider. In any case, the consequences of such a decision will be momentous, unless US President Donald Trump is so determined for there to be World War III as to stop at nothing in order to force it to happen no matter what Russia does or doesn’t do.

What the Putin-Erdogan DMZ decision means is that the 50,000 Turkish troops who now are occupying Idlib province of Syria will take control over that land, and will thus have the responsibility over the largest concentration of jihadists anywhere on the planet: Idlib. It contains the surviving Syrian Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters, including all of the ones throughout Syria who surrendered to the Syrian Army rather than be shot dead on the spot by Government forces.

However, after Erdogan got control over Idlib, he double-crossed Putin and Rouhani, by trying to solidify his control not only over Idlib but over adjoining portions of Syria, I headlined on 14 July 2019 “Turkey Will Get a Chunk of Syria: An Advantage of Being in NATO”, and reported:

Turkey is already starting to build infrastructure even immediately to the north and east of Idlib in order to stake its claim to a yet larger portion of Syria than just Idlib. This might not have been part of the deal that was worked out by Russia’s Putin, Iran’s Rouhani, and Turkey’s Erdogan, in Tehran, on 9 September 2018, which agreement allowed Turkey only to take over — and only on a temporary basis — Idlib province, which is by far the most pro-jihadist (and the most anti-Assad) of Syria’s 14 provinces. Turkey was instead supposed to hold it only temporarily, but the exact terms of the Turkey-Russia-Iran agreement have never been publicly disclosed.

Turkey was building in those adjoining Syrian areas not only facilities from two Turkish universities but also a highway to extend into the large region of Syria to the east that was controlled by Kurdish separatist forces which were under US protection. In July 2019, Erdogan seems to have been hoping that Trump would allow Turkey to attack those Kurdish proxy-forces of the US.

For whatever reason, that outcome, which was hoped for by Erdogan, turned out not to be realized. Perhaps Trump decided that if the separatist Kurds in Syria were going to be allowed to be destroyed, then Assad should be the person who would allow it, not he; and, therefore, if Erdogan would get such a go-ahead, the blame for it would belong to Assad, and not to America’s President.

Given the way Assad has behaved in the past — since he has always sought Syrian unity — the likely outcome, in the Kurdish Syrian areas, will be not a Syrian war against Kurds, but instead some degree of federal autonomy there, so long as that would be acceptable also to Erdogan. If Erdogan decides to prohibit any degree of Kurdish autonomy across the border in Syria as posing a danger to Turkish unity, then Assad will probably try (as much as he otherwise can) to accommodate the Kurds without any such autonomy, just like in the non-Kurdish parts of the unitary nation of Syria. Otherwise, Kurdish separatist sentiment will only continue in Syria, just as it does in Turkey and Iraq. The US has backed Kurdish separatism all along, and might continue that in the future (such as after the November 2020 US Presidential election).

Finally, there seems to be the light of peace at the end of the nightmarish eight-year invasion of Syria by the US and its national (such as Turkey-Jordan-Qatar-Saud-Israel) and proxy (such as jihadist and Kurdish) allies. Matters finally are turning for the better in Syria. The US finally appears to accept it. America’s threat, of starting WW III if Russia and Syria try to destroy the jihadists who have become collected in Syria’s Idlib province, seems no longer to pertain. Maybe this is because Trump wants to be re-elected in 2020. If that’s the reason, then perhaps after November of 2020, the US regime’s war against Syria will resume. This is one reason why every US Presidential candidate ought to be incessantly asked what his/her position is regarding the US regime’s long refrain, “Assad must go”, and regarding continued sanctions against Syria, and regarding restitution to Syria to restore that nation from the US-led war against it. Those questions would reveal whether all of the candidates are really just more of the same actual imperialistic (or “neocon”) policies, or whether, perhaps, one of them is better than that. Putin has made his commitments. What are theirs? Will they accept peace with Russia, and with Iran? If America were a democracy, its public would be informed about such matters — especially before the November 2020 ‘elections’, and not merely after they are already over.

Hezbollah Retaliates Netanyahu’s Aggression Killing and Injuring a Number of IDF Terrorists

from Al Mayadeen: Hezbollah Retaliates Netanyahu Aggression

‘The Group of the Martyrs Zbieb and Dhaher managed to destroy a military vehicle at the road of Ivivim colony killing and injuring who’s inside it.’ This was the statement by Hezbollah minutes ago.

Hezbollah has vowed to retaliate the unprovoked cowardly multiple aggressions by Israel against an apartment used by Hezbollah members in the village of Aqraba in Damascus countrysidekilling two members of the Hezb in their dorms.

At the same time, Netanyahu forces sent two suicide drones to the Southern Beirut residential neighborhood, the main base for Hezbollah supporters in the Lebanese capital.

This operation Hezbollah stated was carried out by the ‘Group of the martyrs Hassan Zbieb and Yassir Dhaher’ referring to the two martyrs killed in the attack on Aqraba, the Hezb’s reference means this is the retaliation against the aggression against Aqraba only.

Chief of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah vowed to retaliate to both attacks separately, the two drones made Hezb bypass a previous understanding with the Lebanese government not to target Israeli drones over Lebanon, now the resistance movement will be targeting any intruding drones to set the rules of engagement in this regards.

Netanyahu forces are now retaliating against the plants on the Lebanese borders firing flaming bombs which are causing sporadic fires in the area.

Netanyahu carried out the multiple attacks against Syria, Lebanon and also against Iraqi PMUs, all of them engaged in fighting Al-Qaeda and its affiliates Nusra Front and ISIS in both Syria and Iraq, his motives were to gain more votes among the radical foreign imported settlers in occupied Palestine in the coming elections on 17th of current September. Netanyahu, who likes to call himself ‘Mr. Security’ promising his imported foreign settlers security, has instead brought them complete insecurity on the borders and deep inside occupied Palestine.

Al-Mayadeen further added from its exclusive sources: The target was a troop transporting vehicle, Hezb fighters allowed the ambulance to evacuate the killed and injured IDF members, and the operation was carried at the height of the Israeli ‘intelligence’ observation.

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Bodies of Syrian military personnel martyred in south of Idleb were restored استعادة جثامين عسكريين استشهدوا قبل سنوات في خان شيخون بريف إدلب الجنوبي

Saturday, 31 August 2019 21:41

HAMA, (ST)_The bodies of several military personnel martyred several years ago during battles with terrorist groups and buried in Khan Sheikhoun city in the south of Idleb are restored today.

According to the Syrian News Agency (SANA), the bodies of martyrs were unearthed from an area located at the entrance of Khan Sheikhoun city near al-Salam checkpoint, and they were conveyed to the military hospital to deliver them to their relatives.

“The military personnel were martyred during battles with terrorists groups in 2015 and they were buried by their comrades as it was difficult to convey them then,” a source told the agency’s correspondent.

Earlier today, a mass grave containing bodies of military personnel was discovered in al-Lattamneh town in the northern countryside of Hama.

Basma Qaddour

استعادة جثامين عسكريين استشهدوا قبل سنوات في خان شيخون بريف إدلب الجنوبي

تمت اليوم استعادة جثامين عدد من الشهداء العسكريين الذين ارتقوا قبل سنوات أثناء المعارك ضد التنظيمات الإرهابية وتم دفنهم في مدينة خان شيخون بريف إدلب الجنوبي.

وذكر مصدر ميداني في تصريح لمراسل سانا أنه بمعرفة عدد من الضباط تم الكشف عن ” جثامين شهداء عسكريين قرب حاجز السلام في مدخل مدينة خان شيخون وتم انتشال عدد من الجثامين ونقلهم إلى المشفى العسكري ليصار إلى تسليمهم لذويهم ودفنهم أصولا”.

وأوضح المصدر أن الجثامين التي تم انتشالها هي “لشهداء من قواتنا المسلحة ارتقوا خلال المعارك ضد التنظيمات الإرهابية عام 2015 ودفنوا من قبل زملائهم لتعذر نقلهم آنذاك”.

وعثرت وحدة من الجيش العربي السوري في وقت سابق اليوم على مقبرة جماعية تضم عددا من العسكريين ممن أقدمت التنظيمات الإرهابية على قتلهم والتنكيل بهم في بلدة اللطامنة بريف حماة الشمالي.

( السبت 23:15:15 2019/08/31 SyriaNow)
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Lebanon’s Defense Minister: We’re Not Concerned about Pressure, Will Respond to Any ’Israeli’ Aggression

Fatima Salami

When “Israel” invaded Lebanon in an attempt to occupy it and the resistance confronted it, it was often said at the time that “the eye does not resist the gimlet”. The weak believed this defeatist saying. But the resistance ignored it. A few have sought and struggled for the sake of Lebanon. It triumphed despite little material capabilities. And history recorded the enemy’s first ever unconditional withdrawal from an Arab country.

In 2006, the enemy waged a massive war against the homeland. The outcome was its surrender under Lebanese strikes. In 2017, the resistance and the military establishment fought a war hand in hand against the Takfiris. This war ended with the liberation of Lebanon from the terrorists. The so-called emirate was toppled thanks to the golden equation: the army, the people and the resistance.

A few days ago, “Israel” committed a new folly – a blatant and open attack on Beirut’s southern suburbs [Dahiyeh]. It did not go unnoticed. We saw the unanimous official positions as well as the popular support for the resistance and the military institutions, which seems ready to face any “Israeli” aggression against Lebanon.

While speaking to Lebanon’s Defense Minister Elias Bou Saab one gets the sense of how powerful and determined the military establishment is to defend the country. The minister seems confident more than ever about Lebanon’s ability to defend its territory from any attack.

In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News Website, Bou Saab confirms that the Lebanese army will take the initiative to confront any “Israeli” attack. In his opinion, Lebanon is stronger than before and it only gets more powerful with each passing crisis, especially with a strong president and a mindful leadership from all parties. The “Israelis” should take note of this.

Bou Saab also stresses that objections to Lebanon’s behavior are “anomalous” voices that have no value in politics and in influencing public opinion. Regarding external pressures, Bou Saab explains that the president is not concerned and neither are we. He says that their only concerns are Lebanon’s interest first and foremost. Thanks to this awareness, Lebanon continues to go from one victory to another.

Below is the transcript of the interview:

Q. Has Lebanon been subjected to pressure as a result of the positions it has formally adopted, especially with regard to the position of President Michel Aoun and the decisions taken by the Supreme Defense Council?

A. I do not want to say that Lebanon came under pressure. His Excellency the President is not concerned with these pressures and neither are we. When we make decisions at the Supreme Defense Council, we are concerned only with Lebanon’s interest first and foremost. President Aoun’s position is well known. In 2006, it was known, and today it is still known. Every attack on Lebanon is viewed by His Excellency the President through his articulated position. This was evident in his last stance following the attack on Dahiyeh. President Aoun is not concerned with any external pressures. He ignores any position from any party that contradicts his convictions. This is the approach of any President of the Republic who is keen on dignity and sovereignty. Lebanon makes its decisions in line with the positions we heard from the President of the Republic. He does not adopt positions that take into consideration how to please external parties. He does not adopt positions based on fears of exposing Lebanon to external pressures. We should know this about President Aoun. He is not concerned with any pressures. He is only concerned with the Lebanese national interest. And this is what we have seen the last time.

Q. There was talk of US pressure exerted on the Lebanese army, especially after confronting the Zionist drones. Was the army really pressured to be neutral? 

A. The decision made by the Lebanese army on Wednesday (August 28) to confront the Zionist drones in Adaisseh is not a spur of the moment decision. The order was not given on Wednesday. The army implemented the decision after seeing the drones with a naked eye. So, it fired directly at them. Earlier, I said that the Lebanese army will take the initiative to respond to any “Israeli” attack against Lebanese territory. Any attack that is clear and apparent and the army has a clear shot, the military will initiate, confront and shoot at it. Coincidentally, a few hours later, this incident took place. It turned out that drones flew at an altitude the army could see with a naked eye. So, it fired at them. This decision has not changed whether there is pressure or not. The position remains the same and will not change.

Q. If the incident reoccurs?

A. I assure you that the decision will remain the same. It will be in line with the defense of Lebanon and the Lebanese territories. We will respond to any “Israeli” aggression that the army sees clearly whether on land or in the air. In a previous incident along the border, a Lebanese army officer shot at “Israeli” drones. This means that the Lebanese army is following the same protocol and will not change courser under any pressure.

Q. Are you confident of the official Lebanese stance after seeing an honorable position from the three leaders? Or do you have fears of a split that may happen at any moment?

A. I do not think divisions can happen because the official positions in Lebanon and the political parties represented in both the parliament and the government are all united and clear. This is a blatant “Israeli” attack against Lebanon. Some Lebanese may agree with us that this is an “Israeli” attack, but they had a different position regarding the response, stating that the response should be decided by the government. They also argued that decisions regarding war and peace must be in the hands of the Lebanese state.

When this team said this in the Cabinet, the prime minister responded by stating that we do not make the decision for war and peace. “Israel” was the one that made that decision. It is the aggressor, and we will defend ourselves.

I think that these words demonstrate that there is certainly no fear of the unified positions among Lebanese officials being divided. I believe that the “Israelis” must learn a lesson from what happened. And each time they choose to attack Lebanon, they will be met with an unanimous position in the face of their threats.

Q. Do you think that Lebanon is stronger today?

A. We come out stronger than before following every crisis we go through and all the problems inside Lebanon or problems due to “Israeli” attacks. Many of the decisions made in Lebanon in the presence of the President of the Republic made us emerge from any crisis stronger than before. We have been through crises, both internal and external, and every time we came out stronger and stronger. Here, we are talking about the “Israeli” aggressions.

If you made a comparison between the present and what happened in the July war, in terms of the divisions and the political positions, I believe we have achieved a massive victory, even inside Lebanon, through political and unanimous positions. The “Israelis” should learn a lesson from this. Perhaps in the past, they were able to exert greater influence on Lebanon’s political decision-making process through international pressure. However, this is no longer an option for them, especially in the presence of a strong president and a mindful leadership of all parties. Therefore, the objections to Lebanon’s behavior are “anomalous” voices that have no value in politics and in influencing public opinion, which will be supporting the state in defending the Lebanese territory in the face of “Israeli” attacks.

Q. On the second anniversary of the liberation of the Joroud, the equation of the army, the people, and the resistance was embodied. Today we are beginning to see this trio is ever present in light of the recent Zionist aggression against Lebanon. Do you think this equation will peak?

A. In the ministerial statement we were clear: the Lebanese have the right to defend their land by all available means. They have the right to resist any aggression. Some get upset over the description of the trio: the army, the people and the resistance. But the ministerial statement translates this. The disagreement may occur in terms of talking about the resistance as an organization, whether it can make decisions on its own. I am not going to discuss this here. As a defense minister, I am not in a position to talk about this issue now. This should be discussed on the dialogue table in due course. But I emphasize that in any problem, crisis or aggression, we will not accept to burn time debating how to respond. We will all defend our homeland whether through the army, or the people. And whoever wants to resist, let him resist the way he wants. This is evident in the unity that is embodied during any assault. This issue is out of discussion. Any aggression will be faced with Lebanese consensus and defense by all means.

Q. With regard to the international and regional contacts that Lebanon has made officially, have you obtained what some call reassurances that “Israel” will not launch a large-scale war against Lebanon?

A. Diplomatic circles are saying that “Israel’s” message implies that they are not preparing for war and they do not intend to wage a war. What takes us to the other possibility is that “Israel” is preparing for elections and is trying to strengthen its internal situation by launching attacks of this kind. But these attacks are a double-edged sword that could turn against those who think about attacking. Because today we have a strong Lebanon capable of responding and creating equations. It can deter the enemy. If this was “Israel’s” intention, it does not necessarily mean it would have a positive outcome for the elections. It might turn out to be an issue with negative repercussions for them because as I said we are much stronger than before.

Q. Have you felt that the Americans are upset with what “Israel” did, or is there agreement with the “Israeli” position?

A. We found out that no one was expecting this to happen, after inquiries were made from more than one side.

Q. How do you explain what UNIFIL was quoted as saying that shots fired by the army violated Resolution 1701? Isn’t this a double standard, as we do not see this tone when “Israel” violates Lebanese airspace on a daily basis?

A. If an official position is issued by UNIFIL regarding this issue, we will respond in due course and give them the appropriate reply.

Final Words

On the anniversary of the Dawn of the Joroud Liberation, I pay tribute to the souls of all the martyrs who have fallen and without them we would not have been able to continue on this path. Without them, we would not have emerged stronger. We emerge from every battle, every war and every crisis stronger thanks to the blood of the honorable martyrs who fell while defending Lebanon, the Lebanese people as well as the homeland, its dignity and sovereignty.

Therefore, we can only salute their families, pray for mercy for the martyrs and say Lebanon will carry on from one victory to another until the logic of the state is achieved, attacks are prevented and any terrorist or enemy is deterred from thinking of violating Lebanon in the future or sees an opportunity to steal its land, oil or anything else.

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