Mina Tragedy Death Toll at Least 2,177: AP

The crush and stampede that struck the hajj last month in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,177 pilgrims, a new Associated Press tally showed Monday, after officials in the kingdom met to discuss the tragedy.

The toll keeps rising from the Sept. 24 disaster outside Mecca as individual countries identify bodies and work to determine the whereabouts of hundreds of pilgrims still missing. The official Saudi toll of 769 people killed and 934 injured has not changed since Sept. 26, and officials have yet to address the discrepancy.

Mina Hajj stampedeCrown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdul Aziz, who is also the kingdom’s interior minister, oversaw a meeting late Sunday about the disaster in Mina, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

The agency’s report did not mention any official response to the rising death toll.

“The crown prince was reassured on the progress of the investigations,” the SPA report said.

“He directed the committee’s members to continue their efforts to find the causes of the accident, praying to Allah Almighty to accept the martyrs and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.”

King Salman ordered the investigation into the disaster, the deadliest in the history of the annual pilgrimage. It came after a crane collapse in Mecca earlier that month killed 111 worshippers, and the twin disasters marred the first hajj to be overseen by the king since he ascended to the throne at the start of this year.

Riyadh has rejected a suggestion by Iran to have an independent body take over planning and administering the five-day hajj pilgrimage, which is required of all able-bodied Muslims once in their lifetimes.

Iran has repeatedly blamed the disaster on the Saudi royal family, accusing it of mismanagement and of covering up the real death toll, which Tehran says exceeds 4,700.

“The lying and hypercritical bodies, which claim to (be promoting) human rights, as well as the Western governments, which sometimes make great fuss over the death of a single person, remained dead silent in this incident in favor of their allied government,” Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Monday, according to a transcript on his website.

“If they were sincere, these self-proclaimed advocates of human rights should have demanded accountability, compensation, guarantee for non-recurrence and punishment for the perpetrators of this catastrophe.”

At least 465 Iranian pilgrims were killed in the tragedy with many other are still missingg. Many of the dead also came from Africa. Mali said it lost 254 people, while Nigeria lost 199, Cameroon lost 76, Niger lost 72, Senegal lost 61, and Ivory Coast and Benin both lost 52.

Others include Egypt with 182, Bangladesh with 137, Indonesia with 126, India with 116, Pakistan with 102, Ethiopia with 47, Chad with 43, Morocco with 36, Algeria with 33, Sudan with 30, Burkina Faso with 22, Tanzania with 20, Somalia with 10, Kenya with eight, Ghana and Turkey with seven, Myanmar and Libya with six, China with four, Afghanistan with two and Jordan and Malaysia with one.

The previous deadliest-ever incident at hajj was a 1990 stampede that killed 1,426 people

.

Source: Agencies

20-10-2015 – 12:30 Last updated 20-10-2015 – 12:33




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’ISIL’ Militant Opens Fire on Ashura Mourners in KSA, Five Killed

Local Editor

At least five people had reportedly been killed after an “ISIL” Takfiri militant opened fire on a group of people attending a religious mourning ceremony in eastern Saudi Arabia.

According to Saudi media, nine people also sustained injuries in the armed attack on the religious center in the city of Saihat near the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on Friday night.

“A person who opened fire on a husseiniya was killed, and the attacker was in his twenties,” al-Ekhbariya TV quoted sources as saying.

Witnesses said the attacker was trying to approach the gathering, but he was stopped by security guards at a checkpoint. A gun fight then broke out between the two sides.

According to reports, the militant was killed by Saudi forces, while those injured were transferred to the hospital.

The “ISIL” Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack in an online statement.

The Saudi Attacker on the mosque

At the time of attack, the mourners were commemorating the beginning of the mourning rituals of the month of Muharram, the 10th day of which, known as Ashura, marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the third imam.

Meanwhile, reports said another armed assault targeted a mosque in the al-Anoud district of Dammam, the capital of Eastern Province on Friday. A foreign worker at the site was wounded in the incident.

Saudi security sources said both assailants in the Friday attacks were Saudi nationals.

Shortly after the attacks, people took to streets in Saihat to condemn the acts of terror against them.

Over the past months, “ISIL” extremists had carried out several terror attacks on the Saudi soil.

In a May, a bomber attacked a mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh, located in the oil-rich kingdom’s Qatif district, killing 21 people there. “ISIL” later claimed responsibility for the assault.

Following the attack, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the region to show their anger against “ISIL” as well as the Al Saud dynasty. Protesters expressed their frustration at authorities over the deadly blast.

Also in August, a bomb attack, claimed by “ISIL”, targeted a mosque used by members of a local security force in the southwestern region of Asir, leaving 15 people dead.

During Ashura ceremonies last year, armed men killed seven worshipers, including children, in the eastern town of al-Dalwa. The Saudi Interior Ministry said back then the suspects in the assault were linked to “ISIL”.

“ISIL” terrorists control swathes of land in Syria and neighboring Iraq. The extremist group has also carried out terror attacks in other countries of the world through its affiliates.

The Saudi regime is known as a major supporter of “ISIL” terrorists.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

17-10-2015 | 10:29

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Lebanon Protests: ‘Outside powers exacerbated religious, ethnic differences’

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Ethnic and religious groups in Lebanon have been able to live peacefully together for a long time, according to Richard Becker of the anti-war Answer Coalition. Disputes between them have been ruthlessly exploited by Western states that are trying to control the Middle East country.

RT: Why is it now that we’re seeing these violent protests in a country that seemed fairly stable even at the time of the Arab Spring uprisings?

Richard Becker: I think that we can see that there is a great accumulation of frustration among the Lebanese people over a whole range of issues that include water, electricity and services like trash collection. This crisis is rooted in the system that still exists – the system of confessional government, confessional representation that was bequeathed to Lebanon by the French colonizers when they left, a system that really mixed together the elites of some of different communities and at the expense of the people. It is not really a democratic system at all. Of course there is a more progressive wing in Lebanon, but the dominant force in the government really represents the elite and those many billionaires in Lebanon and millionaires as well. People are reacting to what they view as a lack of attention to what their needs are.

RT: It took a rally over the collection of rubbish, just a day to turn into calls for the government to resign. How do you think the situation will look, let’s say, in a month?

RB:  It is very hard to say. It is in initial stage, and whether it expands into a more broad political demand or set of demands for changes in Lebanon – that remains to be seen. We understand today that the alliance that includes the Hezbollah representatives in the government, the Cabinet of Ministers has resigned. So that is a significant development. In all mass movements or incipient mass movements it remains to be seen whether or not it develops further. There are many problems, many deep crises that Lebanon is facing, including the fact that the Palestinians- there have not been allowed the right of return; that there is an influx of people particularly from Syria and Iraq, from the wars that are the direct result of US intervention in the region, and these problems of the provision of real services to the people. Lebanon is a very small country with very complex problems.

RT: Lebanon has 18 officially recognized religious sects. If the situation gets worse, how likely is it that we will see tensions between them?

RB: That is the way that the ruling elite and also the outside powers, particularly I would say the US, France, the former colonizer, and Israel have exploited and exacerbated the tensions within the country. I believe that left to themselves the Lebanese people are very tolerant people, have been able to work together, to live together for a long time. But these differences and ethnic and religious differences, as I said, have been ruthlessly and relentlessly exploited by those who do not have the interest of Lebanon at heart, but instead trying to control the country.

RT: There is no dictator in Lebanon but a weak state, even if the government steps down, is this likely to bring any real change?

RB: There have been many, many governments over the years and now Lebanon is a year passed the deadline for its presidential election. There are powerful political forces in the country. The US and outside powers have been trying to build up the Lebanese army to be the most powerful armed force in the country. But I think everyone still acknowledges- who follows the situation- that the resistance movement including Hezbollah and other parties, other forces are stronger. It is a very complicated situation, the one that we hope will not turn into another version of the civil war, and there is no reason I believe that that’s about to happen. But that was a great tragedy for the Lebanese people and one that was terribly exacerbated by the outside intervention of the US in Israel.

RT

Lebanon: “We Want Accountability” Campaign Vows More Protests

The movement organizing anti-government protests in down town Beirut vowed on Wednesday more protests to “give back the people their rights”.

Following “You Stink”, the organizers dubbed their new campaign “We Want Accountability”, a day after several protesters were injured in a scuffle with police over the trash crisis and corruption.

We wanted to send a message through our demonstration that we are ready to sacrifice ourselves to gain our rights,” said the “We Want Accountability” campaign spokesman at a press conference it held in Riad al-Solh Square on Wednesday.

Lebanon: “We Want Accountability” Campaign“The regime fears the people who are calling for their rights. That’s why it is assaulting them,” the spokesman Ayman Mroweh said during the press conference.

“Our battle is not with police but with the regime,” added Mroweh, as he called for the release of all protesters arrested on Tuesday.

After the press conference ended, the “We Want Accountability” protesters headed to Helou Barracks to demand the release of the detainees who were arrested earlier on Tuesday.

The Internal Security Forces said in a communiqué that it arrested 48 people who took part in Tuesday’s riots, but kept 18 of them in custody for further questioning.

Riad al-Solh Square, located outside the Grand Serail, has been the site of daily protests since Saturday, when thousands rallied against the government’s response to the waste crisis.

Al Manar

Ministers of Hezbollah, FPM Walk out Cabinet Session for ‘Lack of Partnership’

Ministers of Hezbollah, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Tashnag party stormed out of the cabinet session on Tuesday over the lack of respect for the principle of partnership and because of making decisions and signing decrees without the approval of ministers from Hezbollah and the FPM, Al-Manar correspondent said.

cabinet sessionThe session, which was intended to discuss the issue of waste disposal, witnessed debates about approving a large number of decrees with the absence of political blocks.

The cabinet’s emergency session continued with the rest of ministers who discussed the issue of tenders which was not approved and therefore were canceled.

Information Minister Ramzi Joreige, who read out the Cabinet’s official statement after the session, said the decision to reject the bids was based on the recommendation of Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk. The ministerial committee responsible for handling the crisis was tasked with restarting the process with a new bid document and call for tenders.

Industry Minister Hussein Hajj Hasan said as he walked out of the meeting that the decision to leave was made because political rivals would not “listen to calls for true partnership,” noting that the Cabinet recently passed 70 decrees without unanimous approval.

Al-Manar

Hezbollah Demands End to Waste Crisis ‘Farce’, Rampant Corruption

Hezbollah called for the end of the negative repercussions ‘farce’ to the crisis of waste and demanded ‘reasonable solutions’ that address the transition phase ahead of reaching a long-term strategic plan.

wasteIn a statement issued on Tuesday, Hezbollah affirmed the right of peaceful and reasonable protests, indicating that “just solutions would calm people down and pave the ground for actions in the people’s interest in this important issue.”

“The waste crisis clearly indicates who is responsible for it,” Hezbollah said, adding: “The extent of the popular explosion to demand a solution for it in all Lebanon proves the size of the environmental, social and moral disaster resulting from ill-management of such issue by the successive governments.” The statement was referring to the weekend protests led by the YouReek civil society campaign against the waste management crisis.

“The trash crisis is one of the faces of the accumulating and rampant corruption throughout the last two decades,” Hezbollah said. “We hoped that this sensitive issue would have been addressed positively, but unfortunately we were shocked by the scandal of the proposed prices of tenders” for the waste management.

Since the weekend, Lebanon has been plagued with the waste disposal crisis, with people bursting across the streets of the capital after being fed up with political corruption.

Al-Manar

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Lebanon: Weekend Protests Turn Violent, Monday Sit-in Postponed

A demonstration planned for Monday in downtown Beirut was postponed a day after protest turned violent.

“The protest planned for 6 p.m. Monday has been postponed for reasons that will be announced at a midday news conference,” “You Stink” campaigners said on its Facebook account.

The brief statement said “You Stink” would also clarify “everything that happened” during the weekend demonstrations that started peacefully and ended in violence.

downtown Beirut protest turned violent

Earlier on Sunday a protester was shot in his head as the demonstration turned violent. Some media reports said the protester has died from injury he had sustained. However, these reports can’t be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese Red Cross released a “final report” on Twitter early Monday that said 343 cases were treated at the scene in LRC field hospitals while 59 others were taken to local hospitals.

What began as a peaceful protest Saturday, organized by the “You Stink” movement, erupted into violence in Riad al-Solh and nearby Martyrs Square after riot police began using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters trying to reach Nijmeh Square.

Protesters, angered by the police response, turned out in force again Sunday, in a largely peaceful protest that moved itself to Martyrs Square after some elements within the crowd began provoking a police response.

Those who remained in Riad al-Solh clashed with riot police on and off throughout the evening, setting street debris aflame amid a barrage of tear gas and water cannons. Around midnight the Army was called in to clear the area after the rioters began damaging public property, with several shop fronts smashed on Azariah Street.

The “You Stink” campaign first launched its campaign against the government after the closure of the Naameh landfill caused trash to pile up on the streets.

The government has so far failed to reach a decision on waste management because of political disputes among cabinet members.

Source: Websites

24-08-2015 – 10:19 Last updated 24-08-2015 – 10:33

 Aoun Warns of Manipulation of Protest Movement

Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun denounced Sunday the use of force against protesters, warning against attempts to exploit the “noble” movement to achieve political gains.

Aoun“We condemn the use of violence and live ammunition,” Aoun said over his official Twitter account.

He called for holding the security forces responsible for the violence accountable, stating that they should stand trial.

A demonstration organized by the YouReek campaign escalated Saturday into clashes between police and protesters, with security forces using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands who joined the rally in Downtown Beirut.

“We will not be lenient” in this matter, Aoun said in a tweet.

The FPM chief also took a swipe at Prime Minister Tammam Salam and the Cabinet, saying “the authority that doesn’t have legitimacy from the people and doesn’t abide by the legality of its decisions contributes to the spread of chaos.”

He praised the Lebanese youth who staged Saturday’s protest in a “peaceful and civilized manner,” noting that “they proved that they are aware and mature [enough] to demand their vital and just [human] rights.”

Source: Websites

23-08-2015 – 14:49 Last updated 23-08-2015 – 14:49

Lebanese State Prosecutor Samir Hammoud ordered Sunday that Military Prosecutor Judge Sakr Sakr open an investigation into Saturday’s clashes in Beirut’s Downtown area between activists and police.

protests

Hammoud also tasked medical professionals with examining the wounded and issuing detailed reports on the injuries, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The medical examiners were ordered to determine in their reports the type of used ammunition against protesters, amid conflicting reports on whether police used rubber bullets or live ammunition in a bid to disperse the protesters.

The investigation will seek to identify which members of the security forces opened fire at demonstrators and question them regarding the orders they were given.

The state prosecutor also ordered the interrogation of protesters accused of assaulting security officers.

A demonstration organized by the YouReek campaign escalated Saturday into clashes between police and protesters, with security forces using rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas to disperse thousands who joined the rally in Downtown Beirut.

At least 75 demonstrators and 35 officers were wounded.

Source: Agencies

23-08-2015 – 11:52 Last updated 23-08-2015 – 11:52

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تحذير ونصيحة لكل المعارضين والمجاهدين الاسلاميين .. تجنب هذا الفيديو

عندما رأيت هذا الفيديو اقشعر بدني وأحسست أنني سأكون في منتهى القسوة والعنف وانا أعرضه لأنه من المؤكد أن كثيرا من المعارضين والثورجيين وخاصة الاسلاميين منهم سيصابون بنوبة من الصراع مع الذات وسيصابون بالهستيريا لأنه يتحدى الضميرأو مابقي من ثمالة من عقل لديهم أو صبابة من ذكاء .. مهما اختلفنا مع الخصم والعدو فان هناك حدودا لتعذيبه والافراط في عصر قلبه وأعصابه .. ولذلك لابد أن نتعاطف مع خصمنا وعدونا مهما قسونا عليه .. وخاصة اذا كان التعذيب بهذه السوية التي لاتعرف الرحمة ويتجلى في عرض مشاهد قاسية أو تتحداه .. وتتحدى ضميره وذكاءه ودينه ..

 يتحدث الدكتور الجعفري في هذا المشهد عن شيء اسمه “الجولان السوري المحتل” .. وهو مصطلح لن يتذكر الثوار ماذا يعني وكيف يترجم الى لغتهم لأنه من اللغات القديمة المسمارية وربما احدى اللغات القديمة القادمة من القارة الهندية .. وقد يعتقدون أنه سلاح كيماوي خطير .. وسيجن البعض منهم عندما لايهتدي الى شيء ولايدري كنه هذا الشيء الذي يسميه الجعفري (الجولان السوري المحتل) وأن من اعتقل فيه لثلاثة عقود اسمه (المناضل صدقي المقت) .. ولايفهمون ماذا يقصد بمصطلح يسمى فلسطين أو نكبة .. 


وسيخالون اسم اسرائيل الوارد في كلام الجعفري شيئا من حكايات ألف ليلة وليلة وربما سيعتقدون أنها اسم صحابي مؤمن أو من أمهات المؤمنين لأنها تداوي جرحى المجاهدين ..

ولذلك اذا مااشتدت معاناة المعارض والثوري الذي يعصر ذاكرته ورأسه الكبير المليء بالشعارات الضخمة الثقيلة فيمكن أن تذكروه أن الجولان هي الأرض التي ورثها كمال اللبواني من أبيه التي أعطاه اياها والي الشام العثماني جد اردوغان والتي تبرع بها اللبواني الى نتنياهو في هرتسيليا منذ فترة عربون مودة بين الشعبين الشقيقين السوري والصهيوني .. حيث جاهد اللبواني بأمواله كما كان عثمان بن عقان يجاهد بماله من أجل الدعوة المحمدية .. مع فارق بسيط وهو أن اللبواني مجاهد سويدي الجنسية وتحبه النساء السويديات .. 

 ويمكنكم تذكير المعارض السوري الذي تشوشت ذاكرته تماما واختلطت عليه المسميات بأن الجولان هي الأرض التي كان الثوار يقولون انها النظام باعها عام 67 مقابل الوصول الى الحكم ولكنه حتى اليوم لم يتنازل عنها لمخلوق على الأرض ولايزال يطالب بها .. وأن من تنازل عنها فعلا هو الائتلاف السوري وشلة المعارضة التي كان بامكانها أن تعلن أن أول نقطة خلاف مع النظام هي أنها ستلغي عقد البيع المزعوم وستعيد الجولان .. عند ذكر ذلك سيعرف الثوري والمعارض ماذا يقصد الجعفري بالجولان السوري المحتل .. 
واذا حار الثوار في اسم فلسطين التي لايمل الجعفري من تكرار اسمها فقولوا لهم انها الأرض التي استشهد في سبيلها عشرات آلاف العرب ولم يستشهد فيها خليجي واحد .. وانها الأرض التي يريد خالد مشعل تحريرها وهو يمارس الرياضة والرشاقة بين حيطان قاعدة العيديد .. وبمساعدة الناتو في تركيا الذي سيقرر تحريرها وفق الفصل السابع وأن الفيلدمارشال أردوغان هو من سيقود حملة (عاصفة الحزم التركية) .. 

 وأضيفوا منعا للبس .. فلسطين هي التي من أجلها رفع المؤمن خالد مشعل علم الثورة السورية وأرسل اسماعيل هنية ورائد صلاح المجاهدين الى الثوار السوريين الذين تساعدهم اسرائيل في تحرير مخيم اليرموك من الاحتلال السوري .. 

واذا أراد الثوري أو المعارض علامة فارقة فذكروه بعبارة قالها المحكوم بالاعدام فيصل القاسم (هلكتو ربنا بفلسطين) لأنه كان “يعاتب” فيها الثوار على اصرارهم على تذكر فلسطين ولذلك نال عقوبة الاعدام من النظام السوري الذي يريد تدمير فلسطين من أجل الهلال الشيعي !!! ..

عندها سيقول الثوري وهو فاغر فاه وقد جحظت عيناه مندهشا: آآآآآه .. الآن فهمت .. 

 نصيحة من القلب ايها الثائر المعارض والاسلامي المؤمن .. وحذار حذار من هذا الفيلم المرعب خاصة عندما يسخر الجعفري من المندوبة الأميريكية ويبدي امتعاضه من نفاقها ولايبالي بغضبها وأنت تعتبرها لاتقهر ولايرد لها طلب وبالذات اذا تحدثت عن الأيام المعدودة .. لاتتابع هذا البيان السوري كيلا يتوجع قلبك ويتفجر عقلك من شدة التفكير دون ان يصل الى نتيجة .. التفكير موبقة لاكفارة لها .. وملامسة الضمير تفسد الوضوء وتستوجب الغسل .. 

===========================

فيما يلي نص البيان لمن لايطيق سماعه

بيــــــان

السفير د. بشار الجعفري

المندوب الدائم للجمهورية العربية السورية

أمام

مجلس الامن

الحالة في الشرق الأوسط

السيد الرئيس،

لقد سادت بيانات بعض الوفود اليوم مسحة من السوريالية واللاواقعية حيث لم تراعي تلك البيانات احترام مرجعيات هذا البند وفقاً للولاية الممنوحة للمنسق الخاص لعملية السلام في الشرق الاوسط. ومن المؤسف أن المنسق الخاص نفسه قد وجد من المناسب أن يخرج عن ولايته ويتحدث عن اليمن والعراق وليبيا، وتجاهل الحديث بكلمة واحدة عن الجولان السوري المحتل الذي يقع في صلب ولايته وفي صلب هذا البند، والتي حددها الأمين العام له كالآتي، وأقتبس باللغة الانكليزية:

“The Special Coordinator will encompass previous functions, and also be the focal for overall UN assistance to the Middle East Peace Process… The Special Coordinator’s dual diplomatic and UN development assistance coordination functions will principally cover, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority areas.”

وفي سياق تشويه البند وتخفيف الضغط عن اسرائيل لم تجد الزميلة المندوبة الدائمة للولايات المتحدة الامريكية حرجاً في الابتعاد عن قواعد الدبلوماسية وتحويل بيانها الى مايشبه “بيان صحفي” عدائي ضد بلادي حافل بالمغالطات والادعاءات المستقاة من مصادر مشبوهة معروفة لدى أجهزة استخبارات بلادها هي فقط، بدلاً من التركيز على جوهر البند ألا وهو قضية احلال السلام وانهاء الاحتلال الاسرائيلي للأراضي العربية المحتلة واقامة الدولة الفلسطينية. وأجدها فرصة سانحة لتذكير زميلتي الأميركية بما قاله نائب رئيس بلادها، جو بايدن، مؤخراً في لقاء له مع طلاب احدى الجامعات الأميركية من أن مشكلة الولايات المتحدة في سوريا تكمن في رعاية حلفائها في المنطقة للارهاب في سوريا. 

السيد الرئيس،

تتحمل الأمم المتحدة مسؤولية تاريخية وقانونية وأخلاقية تجاه إعمال قراراتها ذات الصلة بتسوية الصراع العربي-الإسرائيلي وجوهره إقامة الدولة الفلسطينية المستقلة ذات السيادة الكاملة على كامل ترابها الوطني استناداً للقرار رقم 181 لعام 1947، والقرار رقم 273 لعام 1949 الذي حدد شروط قبول عضوية اسرائيل في الأمم المتحدة بأن تلتزم بالقرار 181 القاضي بإنشاء الدولة الفلسطينية وأن تلتزم بأحكام القرار 194 لعام 1948 القاضي بعودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين إلى ديارهم. لكن ما حدث بعد ذلك كان، للأسف، العكس تماماً، فقد نفذت الأمم المتحدة نصف قرارها رقم 181 من حيث الترخيص بإنشاء إسرائيل فقط في فلسطين وتخلت تماماً عن تنفيذ قرارها رقم 194 القاضي بعودة اللاجئين الفلسطينيين الى وطنهم، وهو الأمر الذي جعل الظلم الذي لحق بالشعب الفلسطيني مضاعفاً، وبقي مصيره رهن احتلال شرس وعنصري لا مثيل له في التاريخ الحديث. هذا في الوقت الذي شنت فيه اسرائيل العدوان تلو العدوان ضد شعوب ودول المنطقة، وذلك بدعم عسكري وسياسي واقتصادي غير مسبوق من حماتها ورعاتها من دعاة الحرية والديمقراطية والعدالة المزيفة. كما اقترفت الحكومات الاسرائيلية المتعاقبة جرائم حرب وجرائم ضد الإنسانية كما بينت تقارير الأمم المتحدة نفسها. ومن المعلوم أن النشاطات الاستيطانية الإسرائيلية قد شكلت دائماً أولوية قصوى في سياسات جميع الحكومات الاسرائيلية على الرغم من أن هذه النشاطات الاستيطانية تقوّض، باعتراف الجميع بما في ذلك رعاة اسرائيل أنفسهم، أي فرصة لإنشاء دولة فلسطينية متواصلة جغرافياً وقابلة للحياة ويقوّض حق الشعب الفلسطيني في تقرير المصير. 

السيد الرئيس،

إذا أردنا أن نمنع فرص الحرب ونوقف سفك الدماء ونعزز فرص السلام في منطقتنا، ونحارب الارهاب في تحالف دولي جاد، يجب أن تعمل الأمم المتحدة بجدية مع الدول الراعية لعملية السلام على إنعاشها وإحيائها من حيث توقفت، فمنطقتنا لن تنعم بالاستقرار الا اذ تم التوصل الى اتفاق سلام عادل وشامل مبني على قرارات الأمم المتحدة ذات الصلة وعلى مبدأ الأرض مقابل السلام. 

السيد الرئيس، 

لقد تسابقت وفود بعض الدول التي تدعي حرصها على حقوق الشعب السوري، إلى طلب عقد مؤتمرات وجلسات واجتماعات جانبية للترويج لروايات مضللة حول الوضع في بلادي، كما أسرف ممثلو هذه الدول في التباكي بشكل مسرحي مبتذل على حقوق الشعب السوري ولكنهم لم يتطرقوا ولو بكلمة واحدة لمسألة انهاء الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للجولان السوري المحتل الذي اعتمد هذا المجلس بشأنه القرار رقم 497 في العام 1981؛ وكأن استعادة الجولان ليست من حقوق الشعب السوري، وكأن الجولان ليس أرضاً سورية محتلة يصدر حولها سنويا العديد من القرارات التي تطالب اسرائيل بالانسحاب منها حتى خط الرابع من حزيران لعام 1967!. أين حديث تلك الوفود عن قانون حقوق الإنسان والقانون الدولي الإنساني عندما يأتي الأمر إلى حملات الاستيطان الإسرائيلية في الجولان ومعاناة المواطنين السوريين الرازحين تحت الاحتلال في الجولان منذ ما يناهز النصف قرن؟ أين رفضهم لسياسات القمع والتمييز العنصري الإسرائيلية ولسرقة موارد الجولان الطبيعية، بما في ذلك النفط والغاز والمياه؟ وأين إدانتهم لاعتقال المواطنين السوريين وزجهم في السجون الإسرائيلية بشكل تعسفي في انتهاك لاتفاقيات جنيف كما حدث مؤخراً عندما اعتقلت السلطات الاسرائيلية المناضل صدقي المقت، مانديلا سوريا، وهو من أهالي الجولان، لا لشيء إلا لأنه كان يعمل على توثيق علاقة قوات الاحتلال الإسرائيلي بالمجموعات الارهابية في منطقة الفصل في الجولان السوري؛ علماً بأن السيد المقت كان قد قضى 27 عاما في معتقلات الاحتلال الاسرائيلي دون أن يرتكب أي جرم قانوني، اللهم إلا التمسك بانتمائه لوطنه الأم، سوريا، ورفضه حمل الهوية الاسرائيلية… 

السيد الرئيس،

لقد أضافت اسرائيل، خلال الأزمة الحالية في سوريا، فصلاً جديداً إلى سجل انتهاكاتها، ألا وهو دعم الإرهابيين من جبهة النصرة في منطقة الفصل في الجولان السوري، بما في ذلك عبر علاج مصابي هؤلاء الإرهابيين في المشافي الاسرائيلية، وذلك في انتهاك لاتفاق فصل القوات لعام 1974 وبشكل عرض حياة قوات الأندوف للخطر، وكذلك في خرق لاتفاق الهدنة لعام 1948. وهذا ما أثبتته تقارير الأمين العام الأخيرة حول الأندوف وكذلك تقارير إعلامية اسرائيلية…. وقد وصل الأمر بالاسرائيليين إلى حد إطلاق يد “جبهة النصرة” ضد سكان قرى الجولان وقتل 21 مواطناً سورياً في بلدة حضر، وذلك بهدف ابتزازهم ودفعهم إلى التخلي عن دعمهم للحكومة السورية. لقد أدى هذا الدعم الذي أتحدث عنه إلى ازدياد حرية حركة المجموعات الارهابية في منطقة فصل القوات في الجولان، بما في ذلك تنظيم “جبهة النصرة” المرتبط بالقاعدة، في منطقة الفصل، وقيام هذه المجموعات بشكل مستمر بخطف حفظة سلام تابعين للأندوف ونقلهم إلى الأراضي الأردنية بشكل علني ثم السماح لهؤلاء الإرهابيين بالعودة إلى منطقة الفصل حيث ينتشرون فيها بحماية ورعاية إسرائيليتين! وتمويل قطري. ولذلك أكرر دعوتي إلى ضرورة التعامل مع هذا الواقع الخطير بما يستحقه من جديّة واهتمام ودونما أي إبطاء.

السيد الرئيس،

إننا نهنئ الجمهورية الاسلامية الايرانية بالتوصل إلى الاتفاق النهائي مع مجموعة “خمسة زائد واحد”. إنّ هذا الاتفاق التاريخي يؤكد على أهمية انتهاج الدبلوماسية والحلول السياسية الودية لمعالجة الخلافات الدولية بعيداً عن لغة التهديد بالحرب والعدوان وفرض العقوبات غير الشرعية التي استهدفت الشعب الايراني على مدار سنوات عدة لحرمانه من الحق في امتلاك المعرفة واستخدام التكنولوجيا وتسخيرهما لرفاهه وازدهاره. وفي هذا المجال تؤكد بلادي سوريا على الحق غير القابل للتصرف للدول الأطراف في معاهدة عدم الانتشار، وفقاً لأحكام المادة الرابعة من تلك المعاهدة، بالحصول على التكنولوجيا النووية وتطويرها واستخدامها للأغراض السلمية.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria

July 19, 2015  /  Gilad Atzmon

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria

We are Palestinians and Palestinian organizations that declare our solidarity with the Syrian people in their historic struggle for survival, now in its fifth year.  We are in a unique position to understand and appreciate the challenges facing our Syrian brothers and sisters, because we face the same challenges.

We understand what it means to have our lands and our property taken by foreign usurpers.  We understand what it means for millions of our people to be driven out of their homes and to be unable to return.  We understand what it means for our interests and our national rights to become the plaything of the most powerful nations on earth.  We understand what it means to suffer and die in defense of our sovereignty and human rights.

We do not pretend to tell Syrians what is right for Syria, just as Syria has respected the Palestinian right to liberate Palestine since the time of the Nakba.  However, we declare that the enemies of Syria are the enemies of Palestine, and those who bear arms against the Syrian people and the Syrian army – regardless of their names and affiliations – are mere pawns that serve Israel and its project to divide and control the Arab region.  The people who abduct, murder and slaughter in Syria are the enemies of the Arab nation, just like Israel, with which they share goals and criminal nature.

We therefore reject violence and murder against the people and state of Syria, which has nothing to do with any just demands; rather it merely seeks to destroy the Syrian state.  Any attack on Syria is an attack on the Arab nation, and a true national opposition is one that commits to its country’s principles and flies its flag, and that doesn’t receive orders from abroad.

The Palestinian and Syrian struggles are not religious struggles.  We respect a state that guarantees freedom of religion without preference for any faith over any other. Dividing Arab communities into conflicting sects only serves the Israeli regime and allows it to implement its plots for the region.

While Palestinian refugees have suffered and are suffering in many places, Syria has welcomed them and granted them all the rights of Syrians except the right to vote.  We are grateful for this policy of brotherhood/sisterhood and can do no less than to reciprocate with our solidarity for Syria in its time of greatest need.  It is the least we can do.

The cynical and genocidal policies of NATO and its proxies in the Middle East have as their main policy to destroy the last remaining independent nations and forces that are not compromised by complicity with Zionist and imperialist forces. These nations and forces wish no harm to others, yet their mere existence is intolerable to Zionism and imperialism.  It is our duty to stand with Syria and all nations and movements that resist the intruders and seek an independent course and policy for the benefit and interest of our own people and not to become puppets of foreign powers.

We therefore stand with Syria in its efforts to repel the foreign invaders and the countries that are creating, training, financing, arming and supporting the terrorist groups in Syria.  We call for the expulsion of these groups back to their own countries, and for their supporters to devote their resources to improving the lives of their own citizens in their own countries rather than destroying the lives of our citizens in our countries.  Like the alien and racist Zionist regime, these criminal countries and their leadership must be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity for waging illegal wars against sovereign states and peoples, including Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

More than 1000 Palestinians and Palestinian organizations from across the world have signed this statement, and we now welcome all persons and organizations to add their names. Just fill in below and submit.  Thank you for your support.

http://www.syriasolidaritymovement.org/2015/07/16/statement-of-palestinian-groups-and-individuals-in-the-occupied-homeland-refugee-camps-and-the-diaspora-about-the-global-war-on-syria/

Why We Must Not Arm Even 1 More Syrian Rebel

Reports from Underground

Wed, 15 Jul 2015 18:25 UTC

The fact that the US can find only 60 Syrian rebels to train is quite telling.

It means that out of nearly 18 million Syrians (reduced by 4 million since the start of the conflict) the US could only find 60 that were willing to fight against the Syrian Army, only 60.(1)

In other words, only an increase of ~0.000333% of the Syrian population is deemed “moderate” by the US and willing to fight. The military is currently in the process of vetting 7,000 volunteers, so if we assume that all of them will pass inspection, that will amount to a mere ~0.039222% of the population. A far cry from 0.1%, let alone 1% of the total inhabitants.

The fact that only 60 can be deemed “moderate” is also quite telling. This coming from a government who deemed the Free Syrian Army, among others, as “moderates.” In September of 2014, FSA “moderate” commander and recipient of US aid Bassel Idriss admitted that “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front,” the reason for this being “We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice.”(2)

Back in April of the same year, the leader of the US-backed “moderate” Syrian Revolutionary Front Jamal Maarouf admitted that al-Qaeda was “not our problem” and that his fighters conducted joint operations with al-Nusra. “If the people who support us tell us to send weapons to another group, we send them. They [Jabhat al-Nusra] asked us a month ago to send weapons to Yabroud so we sent a lot of weapons there. When they asked us to do this, we do it.”(3)

One of the most senior “moderate” rebel commanders to be backed by the US and main recipient of Western aid, Col. Okaidi, is seen in a video, which has been authenticated by Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma, speaking during interviews saying “My relationship with the brothers in ISIL is good… I communicate almost daily with brothers in ISIL… the relationship is good, even brotherly.” 

Okaidi admits al-Qaeda is not any different from the FSA “They [al-Nusra] did not exhibit any abnormal behavior, which is different from that of the FSA.” The video shows Okaidi with ISIS Emir Abu Jandal celebrating a victory, an ally ISIS fighter shouts “I swear to Allah, O Alawites, we came to slaughter you. Await what you deserve!”(4)

US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, who worked closely with Okaidi, himself admitted to giving material support to ISIS and al-Nusra, stating that he “absolutely does not deny” knowing that most of the rebels he backed fought alongside ISIS and Nusra.(5)

The reason for all of this is simply that, as pointed out by the leading Western journalist in the region, Patrick Cockburn, “In reality, there is no dividing wall between them [ISIS and Nusra] and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.” According to Vice President Biden, “there was no moderate middle because the moderate middle are made up of shopkeepers, not soldiers.”(6)

This means that apart from a plethora of substantially foreign terrorist jihadi lunatics, there is no other force willing to fight against the government. 

The reasons for this were further articulated by Obama himself, who stated that it was a “fantasy” to think that the US could arm and equip “farmers, dentists, and folks who never fought before” and have them be an effective force against Assad.(7) What is implied here is that ordinary Syrians, actually moderate individuals, have no desire for military action nor are they capable of effectively harnessing it, hence the need to support the extremists, who are. And therefore, as Biden points out, the Wests’ allies “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons to… al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.” What Biden leaves out is that this was all coordinated under a covert US-led operation.

In reality, these moderates were the peaceful opposition that did not want the destruction of the state but instead desired democratic change, who were then displaced by foreign-backers and terrorist who hijacked their uprising, as is conceded by prominent opposition leaders.(8)

This hijacking was the result of US leaders realizing that the actual moderates only wanted peaceful change, while the West desired the overthrow of the state through any means necessary, including violent takeover, and so therefore “Jihadi groups ideologically close to al-Qaeda have been relabeled as moderate if their actions are deemed supportive of US policy aims,” as Patrick Cockburn rightly points out. The result of this is that “Washington thus allowed advanced weaponry to be handed to its deadliest enemy.”(9)

The recent training of 60 “moderates” is nothing different.

To illustrate this, it’s important to see that this narrative of a moderate opposition stays constant, while the group this label is applied to constantly changes.

Right now this label is being applied to the Southern Front, hailed as the new moderate force America can morally support. However, this group is financed and supported by the Military Operations Centre (MOC) in Amman that is staffed by agents from the US, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, as well as other anti-Assad governments, and according to Syrian expert Aron Lund, “adoption of MOC-provided talking points” of moderation by members of this alliance are likely “to be more opportunistic than heartfelt.”(10)

The reason the US is now training 60 rebels is because every single other rebel group that the US trained, equipped, funded, and marked as “moderate” has gone on to join either al-Qaeda or ISIS. FSA brigades, the Syrian Revolutionary Front, Harakat Hazm, all of them have now defected to al-Qaeda and ISIS.(11)

At every point along the way while receiving US-aid they were branded as “moderates.” After they went on to join ISIS or it became too hard to keep up their “moderate” image, the torch was passed on to a new group, as now it is passed onto the Southern Front, yet “in reality” there was never any “moderate middle” nor is there “a dividing wall between [the extremists] and America’s supposedly moderate opposition allies.”

Therefore we should not be fooled when new rebels “ideologically close to al-Qaeda” are “relabeled as moderate” all because “their actions are deemed supportive of US policy aims”, whether they be the Southern Front, the new 60-trainees, or the next group that is sure to emerge in the future, especially given that from the beginning, according to US intelligence, the opposition has taken “a clear sectarian direction”, and according to leading Western journalists has been dominated from the start by “ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra… in addition to other extreme jihadi groups.”(12)

There is nothing moderate about voluntarily taking up arms and agreeing to be a proxy force for foreign powers. Furthermore, there is nothing moderate about attacking and overtaking towns and villages, which is the expressed aim of this new US-backed force, when the majority of the population isn’t calling for it and doesn’t desire it. As Zbigniew Brzezinski has stated, Assad has more support than any group opposing him, and surely he has more support than a US-backed militia, as polls consistently show world opinion sees the US as the major threat to peace, and since most Syrians are aware of the dirty war being perpetrated on them by the West.(13)

The presence of ISIS is not an argument for the training of more rebels, it is instead an argument against this, as quite possibly the single biggest factor in the creation and rise of ISIS was the US sponsoring of the insurgency in Syria which they knew to be sectarian and extremist, coupled with the training of rebels who were either themselves extremist terrorist or affiliated with such parties, flooding them with arms and funds to the tune of $1 billion per year and $2.91 billion since 2014.(14)

It must be remembered what former Scotland Yard detective and UK counterterrorism intelligence officer Charles Shoebridge rightly pointed out, that “the ‘moderate’ rebels the US and UK support themselves openly welcomed the arrival of such extremists. Indeed, the Free Syria Army backed by the West was allied with ISIS, until ISIS attacked them at the end of 2013.”(15)

For the first 3 years of the crisis the rebels the West openly backed were allies of ISIS, committing the exact same kind of atrocities and terroristic acts. And according to Patrick Cockburn, the US-backed FSA were at times despised even more than the other terrorist organizations as they would terrorize and ransack the civilian populations, “Pilloried in the West for their sectarian ferocity, these jihadists were often welcomed by local people for restoring law and order after the looting and banditry of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army.”(16)

If you train rebels one time and they commit these atrocities and fight alongside fanatical terrorists you can at least plead ignorance and good intentions, however if you continue these actions when this has been the outcome every single time, let alone doing it over, and over, and over, and over again, then that is premeditated complicity in the sponsoring of terrorism, an act by the West that Syria’s Christian leaders are also demanding an end to.(17)

This recent attempt to train “moderate” rebels is no different. There is nothing moderate about the entire process, and these fighters will go on to commit the exact same kinds of atrocities and ally with the exact same terrorist entities that all of our other rebels have done in the past.

Furthermore, just the mere action of pumping in more bullets, guns, weaponry, and fighters will inevitably lead to further bloodshed and civilian casualties caught within the crossfire, exacerbating the situation and increasing pain and suffering. As Charles Shoebridge notes, the notion that “pouring sophisticated weaponry into a war zone already awash with weapons” will somehow “save civilian lives” is a deeply “flawed assumption.” “Syria’s rebels must be assessed as they are, not as they once were, or as we’d romantically like them to be,” and therefore on that basis, noting the extensively documented history of rebel atrocities, “we should not be backing them.”(18)

In his book “The Rise of Islamic State” Patrick Cockburn writes, “An intelligence officer from a Middle Eastern country neighboring Syria told me that ISIS members “say they are always pleased when sophisticated weapons are sent to anti-Assad groups of any kind, because they can always get the arms off them by threats of force or cash payments.“” (19) (emphasis mine)

I think it’s about time we stop fueling the spilling of blood and the arming of terrorists inside Syria. If we actually wanted to stop ISIS, that’s the first place we would start.

Notes:

1.)    Rizzo, Jennifer, “Carter: U.S. trains only 60 Syrian rebels.” CNN, July 7th, 2015.http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/07/politics/united-states-training-syrian-rebels-ashton-carter/; CIA World Factbook, Syria.https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sy.html; Syria Regional Refugee Response, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  Last Updated 09 Jul 2015, accessed July 15th,

2015.http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php.

2.)   Knutsen, Elise. “Frustration drives Arsal’s FSA into ISIS ranks.” The Daily Star, September 8, 2014.http://cached.newslookup.com/cached.php?ref_id=394&siteid=2319&id=8144452&t=1410149280.

3.)   Hunter, Isabel. “’I am not fighting against al-Qa’ida… it’s not our problem’, says West’s last hope in Syria.” The Independent, April 2nd, 2015. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/i-am-not-fighting-againstalqaida-itsnot-our-problem-says-wests-last-hope-in-syria-9233424.html.

4.)   Joshua Landis, “US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely with ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra.”https://twitter.com/joshua_landis/status/504610185952784384.

5.)   “In February 2015, he [Robert Ford] openly confessed to having given support to ISIS and Al-Nusra terrorists after being questioned by Al-Monitor News journalist Edward Dark. THE TWITTER HANDLE, @fordrs58 is indeed Ambassador Robert Ford’s account, as was confirmed to me in a personal email by Dr. Joshua Landis, Director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the most well-known Syria scholar in the United States.” Hoff, Brad. Levant Report, May 25th, 2015. http://levantreport.com/tag/robert-ford/.

6.)   Cockburn, Patrick, “Preface” & “The Rise of ISIS”, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015). Pg. xx, 3. Print.

7.)   “Obama: Notion that Syrian opposition could have overthrown Assad with U.S. arms a “fantasy.”  CBS News, June 20th, 2014. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-notion-that-syrian-opposition-could-overthrow-assad-a-fantasy/.

8.)   In the beginning of the uprisings, Syrians did not desire the destruction of the pluralistic and socially inclusive albeit authoritarian state given the popular support for the president and the country’s religious diversity and tolerance. They supported the country’s protection of minorities, as well as the status of women and free education and health care yet opposed corruption, the security-intelligence apparatus, and the feared political police. Wikstrom, Cajsa. “Syria: ‘A kingdom of silence’”. Al Jazeera, February 9th, 2011.http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/02/201129103121562395.html; Muhanna, Elias. “No Revolution in Syria: An Interview with Camille Otrakji.” http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/otrakji030511.html; Otrakji, Camille. “The Real Bashar Al-Assad.” Conflict Forum, February 4th, 2012. http://www.conflictsforum.org/2012/the-real-bashar-al-assad/; For further on this, see Tim Anderson, “Washington’s ‘New Middle East’ Stalls, the Resistance Rises.” Global Research, July 12th, 2015. http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-new-middle-east-stalls-the-resistance-rises/5462101; The fact that the peaceful protests were hijacked and displaced by foreign-backed extremists is also explored in Andersons piece, as well as being conceded by leading opposition figures like Dr. Haytham Manna, who states that “the pumping of arms to Syria, supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the phenomenon of the Free Syrian Army, and the entry of more than 200 jihadi foreigners into Syria in the past six months have all led to a decline in the mobilisation of large segments of the population… and in the activists’ peaceful civil movement. The political discourse has become sectarian; there has been a Salafisation of religiously conservative sectors”, Haytham Manna, The Guardian, “Syria’s opposition has been led astray by violence.” June 22, 2012.http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/jun/22/syria-opposition-led-astray-by-violence; This point is as well articulated by leading Western journalists. According to Patrick Cockburn “Come the uprisings of 2011, it was the jihadi and Sunni-sectarian, militarized wing of rebel movements that received massive injections of money from the kings and emirs of the Gulf.  The secular, non-sectarian opponents of the long-established police states were soon marginalized, reduced to silence, or killed.”  As well, “Saudi involvement, along with that of Qatar and Turkey, de-emphasized secular democratic change as the ideology of the uprising, which then turned into a Sunni bid for power using Salafi jihadist brigades as the cutting edge of the revolt.” Cockburn, Patrick. “The Rise of ISIS” & “Saudi Arabia Tries to Pull Back.” The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 8, 103-4. Print; What Cockburn leaves out in these passages is that this was all coordinated under a covert US/CIA operation out of US-led operation rooms in Turkey and Jordan, where the US was giving intelligence to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar on which rebels to support, which ended up going “largely to hard-line Islamists.” Schmitt, Eric. New York Times, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition.” June 21, 2015.http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/middleeast/cia-said-to-aid-in-steering-arms-to-syrian-rebels.html?_r=0; Sanger, David E. New York Times, “Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria.” October 14, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/world/middleeast/jihadists-receiving-most-arms-sent-to-syrian-rebels.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&.

9.)   Cockburn, Patrick. “Jihadis on the March.” The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 52-3. Print.

10.)            A prominent example of the Southern Front dubiously being labelled as moderate comes from a recent piece by the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. Khatib, Lina. “Syria’s Last Best Hope: The Southern Front.”The National Interest, July 6th, 2015; Cockburn, Patrick. “Isis in Syria: We can’t win a war without taking sides.” The Independent, July 4th, 2015. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/isis-in-syria-we-cant-win-a-war-without-taking-sides-10366142.html.

11.) Zaman Alwasl, “FSA brigades pledge allegiance to ISIS in Al Bukamal, east Syria.” July 7th, 2014.https://en.zamanalwsl.net/readNews.php?id=5696; In September 2014 Abu Fidaa, a retired Colonel in the Syrian army who headed the Revolutionary Council in Qalamoun stated that “A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra,” while FSA Commander Bassel Idriss said that “After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA’s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance.” Knutsen, Elise. “Frustration drives Arsal’s FSA into ISIS ranks.” The Daily Star, September 8, 2014. http://cached.newslookup.com/cached.php?ref_id=394&siteid=2319&id=8144452&t=1410149280; Fadel, Leith. “3,000 FSA Fighters Defect to ISIS in the Qalamoun Mountains.” The Arab Source, January 9th, 2015. http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/3000-fsa-fighters-defect-isis-qalamoun-mountains/; “Moderate rebels who had been armed and trained by the United States either surrendered or defected to the extremists as the Jabhat al-Nusra group, affiliated with al-Qaeda… Among the groups whose bases were overrun in the assault was Harakat Hazm, the biggest recipient of U.S. assistance offered under a small-scale, covert CIA program launched this year, including the first deliveries of U.S.-made TOW antitank missiles… rebel fighters there surrendered their weapons and fled without a fight.” Sly, Liz. “U.S.-backed Syria rebels routed by fighters linked to al-Qaeda.” The Washington Post, November 2nd, 2014. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-backed-syria-rebels-routed-by-fighters-linked-to-al-qaeda/2014/11/02/7a8b1351-8fb7-4f7e-a477-66ec0a0aaf34_story.html; “The Syrian rebel group Harakat al-Hazm, one of the White House’s most trusted militias fighting President Bashar al-Assad, collapsed Sunday, with activists posting a statement online from frontline commanders saying they are disbanding their units and folding them into brigades aligned with a larger Islamist insurgent alliance.” Dettmer, Jamie. “Main U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebel Group Disbanding, Joining Islamists.” The Daily Beast, March 1st, 2015.http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/01/main-u-s-backed-syrian-rebel-group-disbanding-joining-islamists.html; “Islamic fighters with Jabhat al-Nusra… routed US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm… [Washington] has thus been supplying them with heavy weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles… ‘Some of the rebels swore allegiance to al-Nusra, others fled.’” Bacchi, Umberto. “Syria: Al-Nusra Jihadists ‘Capture US TOW Anti-Tank Missiles’ from Moderate Rebels.” International Business Times, November 3rd, 2014.http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/syria-al-nusra-jihadists-capture-us-weaponry-moderate-rebels-1472864; “Fighters under the Obama-backed SRF commander Jamal Maarouf… have apparently been joining al-Qaeda in droves. “Dozens of his fighters defected and joined Nusra, that is why the group won,” Rami Abdulrahman with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was quoted as saying by Reuters. Nusra fighters also confirmed the defections of U.S.-equipped fighters to al-Qaeda. According to sources on the ground cited in media reports, Nusra obtained tanks and other heavy weapons as large numbers of SRF fighters swore allegiance to al-Qaeda.” Newman, Alex. ““Moderate” Rebels Armed by Obama Join al-Qaeda, ISIS.” New American, November 21, 2014. http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/19583-moderate-rebels-armed-by-obama-join-al-qaeda-isis; “Abu Majid, another rebel leader, who has been receiving western support for six months, said it had not prevented his recent defeat by Jabhat al-Nusra… More than 1,000 men, half his brigade’s strength, had left in despair, many defecting to Isil… Defection to the jihadists has now been going on for years. Mahmoud, a former prisoner of the regime who used to work for the FSA, now runs safe houses in Turkey for foreign fighters looking to join Jabhat al-Nusra and Isil.” Sherlock, Ruth. “Fears that US weapons will fall into al-Qaeda’s hands as Syrian rebels defect.” The Telegraph, November 11th, 2014.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/11224488/Fears-that-US-weapons-will-fall-into-al-Qaedas-hands-as-Syrian-rebels-defect.html.

12.) Declassified Defense Intelligence Agency documents from August 2012 state that “Internally, events are taking a clear sectarian direction… The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria… AQI supported the opposition from the beginning… The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition.”  Judicial Watchhttp://www.judicialwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Pg.-291-Pgs.-287-293-JW-v-DOD-and-State-14-812-DOD-Release-2015-04-10-final-version11.pdf; Patrick Cockburn, “The Rise of ISIS”, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 3. Print.

13.) USA Today reports Defense Secretary Carter explaining that the 60 rebel fighters primary mission will be “to protect their towns and villages from ISIL fighters.” The word “protect” here is a euphemism for “control”, as these rebel groups “protect” villages by taking them over, thus insuring that others, like ISIL, do not. Vanden Brook, Tom, “Pentagon pays Syrians $400 per month to fight ISIL.” USA Today, June 22nd, 2015.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/06/22/pentagon-syria-isis/29113251/; The problem with this kind of “protection” is that the Syrians aren’t calling for it, and don’t desire it, especially from a US-proxy, as Zbigniew Brzezinski has stated “whether we like it or not, Assad does have some significant support in Syrian society.  And probably more than any one of the several groups that are opposing him… he has a better standing than any one of them.” “Brzezinski: Assad has more support than any group opposing him,” C-SPAN, January 26th, 2015. http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4525103/brzezinski-assad-support-group-opposing; Polls consistently show that, according to world opinion, the US is the greatest threat to world peace. Gallup International’s annual global End of Year survey 2013, Gallup International.http://www.wingia.com/web/files/services/33/file/33.pdf?1437015589.

14.)            Covert CIA Syrian rebel training program costs $1 billion per year. Miller, Greg et al, “Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut.” The Washington Post, June 12th, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmakers-move-to-curb-1-billion-cia-program-to-train-syrian-rebels/2015/06/12/b0f45a9e-1114-11e5-adec-e82f8395c032_story.html; “As of June 18, 2015, the total cost of operations related to ISIL since kinetic operations started on Aug. 8, 2014, is $2.91 billion.” US Department of Defense.http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/0814_iraq/.

15.) Ahmed, Nafeez. “How the Pentagon Exploits ISIS to Kill Surveillance Reform and Re-Occupy Iraq,” Counterpunch, September 26th, 2014. http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/09/26/how-the-pentagon-exploits-isis-to-kill-surveillance-reform-and-re-occupy-iraq/.

16.)            Cockburn, Patrick. “Jihadists Hijack the Syria Uprising.” The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 84-5. Print.

17.) Gledhill, Ruth, “Syrian Christian leader tells West: ‘Stop arming terror groups who are massacring our people.’”Christian Today, July 1st, 2015.http://www.christiantoday.com/article/syrian.christian.leader.tells.west.stop.arming.terror.groups.who.are.massacring.our.people/57747.htm.

18.)             Shoebridge, Charles. “Why We Shouldn’t Be Arming Syria’s Rebels.” Huffington Post, March 14th, 2013.http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charles-shoebridge/syria-rebels-uk_b_2873880.html; Shoebridge, Charles. “The West Should Not Support Syrian Rebels.” Huffington Post, July 31st, 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charles-shoebridge/post_3720_b_1722772.html.

19.)            Cockburn, Patrick, “The Rise of ISIS”, The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution (Brooklyn, NY, 2015), pg. 3. Print.

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