ALEPPO CITY’S COUNTRYSIDE FULLY SECURED, SYRIANS IN ALEPPO CELEBRATE THE END OF TERRORISM

Ibrahim Mohammadon Sunday

For the first time since 19-07-2012
#Aleppo city is free of terrorism

#Syriab_Arab_Army 🇸🇾✌🏻💪🏻❤️

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In December 2016, the Syrian Arab Army, Russia & allies liberated the northern Syrian city of Aleppo of the al-Qaeda and equally-heinous terrorists who had occupied and terrorized civilians in the city since 2012.

In the years subsequent, Aleppo to a large degree returned to peace, with rebuilding occurring in the hard-hit Old City, with displaced Syrians returning (contrary to the lies of UK Channel 4, among other war propagandizing media).

Yet, civilians since that Aleppo’s liberation continued to be terrorized by the presence of terrorists in the countryside of Aleppo.

Last year (January 2019), visiting Aleppo, I returned to the Lairamoun industrial district in the city’s west. I had been there in November 2016, had seen the nightmarish underground prison of the Free Syrian Army, used to hold Syrian soldiers and civilians alike, a true dungeon replete with suffocating solitary confinement cells.

In January 2019, I went to a factory 500 metres from al-Qaeda snipers. Aleppo MP Fares Shehabi explained to me how the factory owner and workers defied the existence of terrorists at close proximity and re-opened the textile factory.  As he spoke, he took me to a door which, when opening, exposed us to potential sniper fire–the sniper fire the courageous factory workers were exposed to.

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Al-Qaeda stronghold near Lairamoun, Aleppo, 400 to 500 metres from textile factory

Shehabi’s powerful words include:

“This factory is on a front line in the war against terror. 400 to 500 metres away, the Tajik Brigades of the Islamic Turkistan Army, a branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.

This factory was rubble two years ago. We rehabilitated it. We are doing this as a message of defiance against all who conspired against the people of Aleppo, against the economy of Syria. The enemy was sniping at us , launching mortars, when we were fixing this factory to work again.

Show me one place in the world with a production situation like this, a factory being rehabilitated under these circumstances.

This is why they out us under sanctions, this is why they consider us enemies.

How can I be an enemy of freedom and democracy if I want our people to work, to make money, my country to have a production economy, and I don’t yield to al-Qaeda gangs in close proximity to me.

…imagine the difficult situation in which these heroes, the factory workers and owners, had to go through in order to defy al-Nusra and defy Turkey, and rise up again from the ashes. This is a real example of how you rise up, undefeated.”

Eva Karene Bartlettabout 12 months ago

After filming Fares Shehabi / Faris Shihabi speaking powerfully about the courage and resilience of a Lairamoun factory owner and its workers 100s metres from al Qaeda snipers,
[see: https://www.facebook.com/EvaBoBeeva/posts/2344877145522266 ]

Firas Darwish explained some terrorist graffiti left on the outside of the factory: a terrorist sniper nicknamed Abu Mohammed, proud of head shots. …See More

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Fares Shehabion Sunday

هكذا كانت #حلب في أسوأ ايامها عام ٢٠١٣..!

عشنا في حصار كامل في كل شيء و فقدنا اكثر من ١١ الف شهيد مدني و ٦٠ الف جريح و لم نستسلم و لم نتخاذل و لم نفقد الامل للحظة لا في أنفسنا و لا في جيشنا و لا في قائدنا..!

اليوم نعيش حلم اصبح حقيقة..نعيش معجزة صنعها هذا الجيش الجبار و الذي لولاه لكنا جميعاً في خبر كان.. …See More

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In November 2016 I wrote of the terrorism Aleppo civilians experienced that month and in prior months:

My article on the November 3 terrorist attacks noted:

On the afternoon of Nov. 3, after meeting with Dr. Mohammed Batikh, director of Al-Razi Hospital, the victims of terror attacks which had begun a few hours prior began to arrive one after another, maimed and critically injured. The vehicle bombings and bombardment of Grad missiles, among other attacks, left 18 people dead and more than 200 injured, according to Dr. Zaher Hajo, the head of forensic medicine at Al-Razi Hospital.

The body of a civilian who was killed in the Nov. 3 attacks in Aleppo. Nov. 3, 2016. (Photo: Eva Bartlett)

The corridors and emergency ward at Al-Razi Hospital, one of two state-run hospitals in Aleppo, quickly became clogged with the injured and grieving family members. In one crowded interior corridor, one of the wounded screamed out in pain: “Ya, Allah! Ya, Allah!”

In another corridor, a 15-year-old boy with a cast on one leg and bandages on his head, said the mortar attack which injured him had killed his 4-year-old cousin and left his 6-year-old cousin with critical injuries.

In a front room, a mother wailed for her son who had suffered severe injuries. She screamed and pleaded for someone to save him, her only son. Not long after, though, the news came in: the 26-year-old had died. Her son, a doctor, was not the first medical professional to die in terrorists’ routine bombings of Aleppo neighborhoods.

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Dr. Nabil Antaki, a gastroenterologist from Aleppo, with whom I met on my trips to Aleppo in July and August, messaged me in October about his friend and colleague, Dr. Omar, who was injured on Oct. 6 when terrorist factions unleashed an attack on Jamiliye Street, killing 10 people. Just a few days after the attack, Dr. Omar, too, died.

At the morgue behind Al-Razi Hospital on Nov. 3, inconsolable family members leaned against the wall or sat on the pavement, coming to grips with the deaths of loved ones.

One 14-year-old boy had been there on Nov. 2, when his father was killed. On Nov. 3, he returned when his mother was killed. Both of this boy’s parents are dead, both killed in terrorist attacks on the city’s New Aleppo district.

A man spoke of a 10-year-old nephew who was shot in the head by a terrorist sniper while the boy was on his roof.

A woman and her children leaned against an iron rail next to the door to the morgue, weeping over the death of her husband, their father, who was killed while parking a car. When the man’s mother arrived, she collapsed, shrieking in grief.

The body of a civilian who was killed in the Nov. 3 attacks in Aleppo.

And in the midst of all of this, all these women and children, a car arrived at the morgue with the body of yet another victim of the day’s terror attacks, Mohammed Majd Darwish, 74. His upper body was so bloody that it was unclear whether he had been decapitated.

Near the morgue, Bashir Shehadeh, a man in his forties, said his family had been displaced already from Jisr al-Shughour, a city in Idlib. His mother, some of his friends, and his cousin have been killed by terrorist factions’ shellings. He said enough was enough, and called on the SAA to eliminate the terrorist threat.

Al-Razi’s Dr. Batikh said a private hospital, Al-Rajaa, was hit by a mortar attack. “They cannot do operations now, the operating room is out of service.”

One of the most notable attacks on hospitals was the December 2013 double truck bombing of Al-Kindi Hospital, the largest and best cancer treatment hospital in the Middle East. I have previously reported on other attacks on hospitals in Aleppo, including the May 3 rocket attack which gutted Al-Dabeet, a maternity hospital, killing three women. On Sept. 10, Dr. Antaki messaged me:

Yesterday, a rocket, sent by the terrorists, hit a maternity hospital in Aleppo in Muhafazat Street. Two persons working in the hospital were injured. No death. But the point is that it is a hospital and it was hit by a rocket.”

Dr. Batikh and Dr. Mazen Rahmoun, deputy director of Al-Razi, said the hospital once had 68 ambulances, but now there are only six. The rest, they said, were either stolen by terrorist factions or destroyed.

Aleppo’s doctors continue to treat the daily influx of injured and ill patients in spite of the dearth of ambulances and effects of Western sanctions which mean a lack of medical equipment, replacement parts, and medicine for critical illnesses like cancer.

According to the hospital’s head forensic medicine, Dr. Hajo, in the last five years, 10,750 civilians have been killed in Aleppo, 40 percent of whom were women and children. In the past year alone, 328 children have been killed by terrorist shelling in Aleppo, and 45 children were killed by terrorist snipers.

Humanitarian Crossings: Shelling of Castello Road

Less than 100 metres away, the second of two mortars fired by terrorist factions less than 1 km from Castello Road on Nov. 4. The road and humanitarian corridor were targeted at least six times that day by terrorist factions. Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Eva Bartlett)

On Nov. 4, prior to our 9:30 a.m. arrival at the Bustan al-Qasr crossing and until our departure an hour later, no one had been able to cross from the area just beyond crossing, which is occupied by Jaysh al-Fatah militants.

Two weeks prior to our arrival, journalists had reported that terrorist factions heavily shelled the crossing and areas around it starting in the early morning.

A Syrian general at the crossing confirmed that shelling had taken place on Oct. 20, adding that three police officers had been wounded. A journalist in the delegation asked the general what he would say to Syrian civilians like Bashir Shehadeh, who demanded that the SAA eliminate the terrorist factions.

“We need to be patient, because the civilians there are not able to leave, they are not guilty,” the general replied. “We don’t work the way that the terrorists work.”

Regarding the amnesty decree issued by President Bashar Assad in late July, the general explained that terrorists who want to be granted amnesty could lay down their arms. Those who choose to go on to Idlib would be granted safe passage by the Syrian government and army, in coordination with the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

According to the general, when two militants arrived at the Bustan al-Qasr crossing about two months ago, they surrendered their arms and proceeded under amnesty.

Five months ago, he said, 12 civilians crossed there, were treated in Aleppo’s hospitals, and returned to their homes in terrorist-held eastern Aleppo.  

At the Castello Road humanitarian crossing, the large green buses which were said to be evacuating militants from areas of eastern Aleppo in recent weeks were there again, waiting to ferry away more. Ten ambulances, three buses, and 14 minivans were lined up in anticipation of any civilians or militants trying to leave terrorist-occupied areas, whether for safe passage elsewhere or to settle in government-secured areas of Aleppo.

Ten ambulances wait at the Castello Road crossing to treat anyone exiting via the humanitarian corridors established by the Syrian government and Russia, including militants who lay down their arms. Nov. 4, 2016. (Photo: Eva Bartlett)

George Sire, 25, an anesthesiologist at Salloum Hospital in Aleppo, was one of the volunteers who arrived at the crossing with five of the private hospital’s ambulances, at the request of the Syrian government.

When speaking with a Syrian commander about permitting men who had used arms against Syrian civilians and soldiers to lay down their arms and reconcile, he said they are sons of the country and urged them to reconcile.

At around 1:30 p.m. the first shell struck, hitting near Castello Road. About 10 minutes later, while I was being interviewed, a second hit, this time considerably closer, within 100 meters — close enough, in fact, to create a cloud of dark smoke over the road. It prompted security to usher me away from the road and move our delegation away from the crossing.

I later learned that another five shells targeted the crossing, injuring a Syrian journalist and two Russian soldiers.

No one passed through this or any of the other seven humanitarian corridors that day.

And:

“Last Friday, I visited one of Aleppo’s main public parks, a once-beautiful park where fountains danced to the songs of Arab greats like Oum Kalthoum, and simple cafes were full.

Now the fountains are dry, the main one littered with rubble from one of many terrorist shellings of the park, and one of the main cafes out of commission after being hit by a terrorist shell roughly a year and a half ago.

While people do continue to frequent the park, the risk of being killed by a mortar or rocket remains, as pretty much everywhere in greater Aleppo.

I had read about the July 22, 2016, terrorist rocket on the park which killed civilians while they were in the park on a summer Friday.

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Photo via Pierre Le Corf

SANA news reported on that day that: “Eleven civilians were killed, among them a child and two women, while 44 others were injured in terrorist attacks with rocket shells and sniper bullets on neighborhoods and the public facilities in Aleppo city on Friday.

…eight civilians were killed and 34 others injured in a rocket shell fired by terrorist groups on the public park.”

In November, a local took me to the area where the murdered woman was sitting when the rocket’s shrapnel killed she, another woman, a child, and injured nearby civilians.

The park was busy this Friday, not as busy as a hot summer day would have seen it, but still had people sitting on such benches or on the plastic chairs of the cafe behind where the murdered women had been sitting.

Walking around the large park, we saw evidence of shelling…on the pavement and in the small plots of grass. Some were like the small holes in the pavement that I’m used to seeing in the Old City of Damascus, ravaged by terrorists’ mortars. Others were mini-craters in the grass, including one near a cafe which was hit apparently about a year and a half ago.

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Speaking with local security there, they estimated that between 40-50 shells have hit the park in the past few years. The number could be greater, or less, but the fact is the park has been targeted, as have public places around the city of over 1.5 million people, who on a daily basis facethis mortar/rocket/Grad missile/explosive bullet/gas canister terrorism.

This park in summer would have not only been a spot to try to briefly escape the hell of 6 years of foreign war on Syria, but would also have had many displaced Syrians who have fled terrorist-occupied areas to government-secured areas, many of whom during the day sought refuge in the shade from blistering heat.

Without electricity for years, thanks to the terrorist factions who control the area where the power plant is, Aleppo residents who can afford it buy power by the ampere. Many can only afford the basics–some light bulbs and power for their fridge.

From a photo essay I published in mid-2016, after my second Aleppo visit:

The power plant lies in areas controlled by terrorist factions. For years, Aleppo residents have suffered from a lack of power, and compensate by purchasing generator-supplied electricity. Not cheap, some opt to buy just 1 ampere worth, which according to Aleppo resident Nabil Antaki costs around 4000 Syrian pounds a month (roughly US$8) . Two amperes will run a small television. Four amperes, a fridge, small television and a few bulbs.

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Many others can’t afford that, period. I remember the suffocating heat even on an August visit to Aleppo, staying in a friend’s place without electricity or water…the desire to be out in an open place where one could breathe, sweat less, was strong…

In the canal running through the park, a boy around 14 years old stripped to his underwear and dove in, swept down river by the quick current, scrambling out and up the wall to dive in anew. When we passed the river a little later, a girl had joined in. I asked whether this would be frowned upon and my friend laughed at me, “We are not al-Qaeda here.” (I remembered the words of a man who I’d spoken with the night before, who spoke of al-Nusra in occupied eastern areas forcing women and girls to cover even their wrists and hands. This girl would have no freedom in areas occupied by the West’s “rebels”.)

Scenes like these, of seeming normalcy, can be shattered in an instant, with the fall of a mortar or shell fired by terrorists which the West deems as “moderates” and whose crimes Western leaders continue to ignore.

Eva Karene Bartlettabout 3 years ago

Last Friday, I visited one of Aleppo’s main public parks, a once-beautiful park where fountains danced to the songs of Arab greats like Oum Kalthoum, and simple cafes were full.

Now the fountains are dry, the main one littered with rubble from one of many terrorist shellings of the park, and one of the main cafes out of commission after being hit by a terrorist shell roughly a year and a half ago.

While people do continue to frequent the park, the risk of being killed by a …See More

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Small public park in Aziziya. People who are displaced frequent such parks, to get out of the small apartments or government-supplied shelters they live in.12

From Aziziya district, on July 4, half a kilometer away, the explosion of a terrorist-fired bomb. Around 5 pm, this is a busy time when streets are packed with cars and pedestrians; terrorists know they can kill and maim more civilians when attacking at these busy hours. Minutes later, an anti-aircraft explosive bullet landed roughly 15 metres away from my Aziziya venue. Had it landed on one of the parked cars, there would have been many casualties. A day later, such an explosive bullet killed the mother of an Aleppo friend, at her home. Photo: Eva Bartlett

In that 2016 photo essay, I wrote also about the villages of Nubl and Zahra’a, north of Aleppo:

Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bombs litter the countryside around Aleppo and on the route to Nubl and Zahra’a. These, and larger variations, are what Western-backed terrorists have rained down on the city of Aleppo, as well as besieged Foua and Kafarya in Idlib governorate. Manufactured locally, fired upon civilians daily, gas canister bombs get virtually no mention in corporate media, although their impact is deadly.

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The roughly 65,000 people of Nubl and Zahra’a villages, under siege from terrorist factions of the so-called FSA, al-Nusra, and affiliated factions for three and a half years, were on February 3, 2016, liberated from the choke-hold which strangled them. Zeinab Sharbo, 25, and Mounthaher Khatib, 26, each have young children who suffered for want of food and basic elements of life, and who were traumatized by the terrorists’ bombing of the villages. Although corporate media, when deigning to mention the villages, usually focused on their predominately Shia composition, Sunnis also live in the villages. According to Zeinab, “Sectarianism wasn’t a problem before, we were brothers and sisters, we intermarried with neighbouring villages.”

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Abdul Karim Assad, 7, has painful face disfiguration from a terrorist-fired mortar which burned his face. Under siege at the time, the boy was only treated with basic medical care in a barebones hospital in Zahra’a. The boy is not originally from Nubl, but from Idlib, from which his grandfather fled when terrorists invaded. He is another poster child for the terrorism inflicted upon Syria.

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Aleppo’s over 1.5 million residents are depending on trucks from outside of the city to bring in the basics of life. Unable to use the main highway, and now unable to use the paved Ramouseh road, trucks travel an extended distance over many rough dirt roads to enter Aleppo from its north.

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The Dabeet maternity hospital, the inside destroyed and outside badly damaged on May 3, 2016, by terrorist rocket fire, is one of numerous hospitals targeted by terrorists in Syria. The May 3 attack killed three women. A week later, the hospital was hit by terrorist mortar fire. Aleppo’s Kindi hospital, destroyed by terrorists, was one of the largest cancer hospitals in the region.

*

Back to the present.

The Press Office of President Assad on February 17, 2020 published his latest speech, addressing this restoration of peace to Aleppo and the need to do so in Idlib. Syriana Analysis has subtitled this speech:

Partial transcript of recent speech by President Assad:

“When Aleppo city was liberated at the end of 2016, I said that what was before the liberation of Aleppo city will not be the same as what will be after that, and I based that on my knowledge of where the members of our Armed Forces are aiming with their hearts and minds. I based that on my conviction that the patriotism of the people of Aleppo and their fealty to their homeland and the homeland’s army will overturn the calculations of the enemies.

“This is what happened, but Aleppo had to pay a great price equal to the greatness of its people and the patriotism of its position; years of violent and barbaric shelling that affected most neighborhoods, tens of thousands of martyrs, injured people, orphans, people who lost children, and widows. Years of siege without water or electricity or other life necessities, all for Aleppo to kneel and for her people to surrender.

“With every treacherous shell that had fallen, the enemies’ hopes would grow that Aleppo would become another Aleppo, one that never existed throughout history, an Aleppo that does not constitute with its twin Damascus the wings by which the homeland soars; rather an Aleppo whose people would stand with traitors in front of masters, kneeling and prostrating themselves before them, beginning for a few dollars and much disgrace.

“That was in their dreams; but in our real world, with every shell that fell, fear fell and the will to challenge grew. With every martyr, nationalist spirit grew and faith in the homeland became stronger. In our real world, it remained the real Aleppo, the Aleppo of history, nobility, and authenticity. And because it is so, its people did not settle for steadfastness just in the sense of bearing of pain and suffering and acceptance of the status quo; but rather in the sense of work and production that persisted throughout the years of the siege despite the conditions that contradict any economic sense.

“Despite that, this city kept contributing – even if at a bare minimum – to national economy, and I am confident that this type of steadfastness which reflects a concrete will and a deep-rooted sense of belonging is what will raise Aleppo from the ashes of war and restore its natural and leading position in Syria’s economy,” President al-Assad said.

President al-Assad added “It is true that liberating the city in 2016 did not achieve the desired safety for the city at the time, and it remained under the threat of treacherous and cowardly shells, and it is also true today that victory in one battle does not mean victory in the war, but that is by the abstract military logic which is based on endings and results; however, by national logic, victory begins with the beginning of steadfastness even if it was at day one, and by that logic, Aleppo is victorious, and Syria is victorious. We are all victorious over the fear they had tried to instill in our hearts, victorious over the delusions they tried to instill in our minds, victorious over fragmentation, hatred, betrayal, and all those who represent or bear or practice these qualities.

“However, we are fully aware that this liberation does not mean the end of the war, or the failure of schemes, or the disappearance of terrorism, or the surrender of enemies, but it certainly means rubbing their noses in the dirt as a prelude for complete defeat, sooner or later,” the President affirmed.

“It also means that we must not relax; rather we must prepare for the coming battles. Therefore, the battle to liberate the countryside of Aleppo and Idleb will continue regardless of some empty sound bubbles coming from the north, and the battle for liberating all Syrian soil, crushing terrorism, and achieving stability will also continue.”

His Excellency went on to say “Our Syrian Arab Army will never hesitate to carry out its national duties, and it will be as it always has been: an army from the people and for the people. Throughout history, no army has emerged victorious unless the people are united with it in its battle, and when it is united with the people in their vision and cause, and this is what we have witnessed in Aleppo and other Syrian cities, where you embraced the army it protected you, defended you, and made sacrifices for you.

“While we are experiencing times of joy, we must remember that these moments have been made possible by years of pain, heartache, and sadness, for the loss of a dear one that gave their life for the lives and happiness of others. As we bow in honor of the greatness of our martyrs and injured people, it is also our duty to stand in honor of the greatness of their mighty families. If victory is to be dedicated, then it is dedicated to them, and if anyone should receive credit for it, then they deserve the credit. I salute them for the children their raised, and salute their children for their sacrifices. I salute every one of the heroes of our great army and the allied forces begin them. I salute the strength of their bodies in the cold and frost as we bask in warmth and safety.”

President al-Assad went on to salute “our brothers, friends, and allies who stood shoulder to shoulder with the army on the ground and were guardian eagles in the sky, their blood intermingling with the blood of our army that was spilled in Aleppo, Aleppo the faithful to its homeland and history, which will never forget the blood of those who made sacrifices for it, and which will return as it was and stronger.

“Our beloved people in Aleppo, I congratulate you on the victory of your will, the will by which we will wage the greater battle: the battle to build Aleppo. By the will of all the Syrian people we will build Syria, and we will continue liberation, God willing.”

If you haven’t already read it, consider reading my January 2019 compilation:

Turns Out President Assad Was Right About Terrorism in Syria; Turns Out He Has Massive Popular Support in Syria

Eva Karene Bartlett about a year agoTurns Out President Assad Was Right About Terrorism in Syria; Turns Out He Has Massive Popular Support in SyriaIn the workshop of a Sunni Syrian, with his Christmas tree, Imam Ali photo, Quranic calligraphy, and photo of President Bashar al-Assad .See More

because corporate media has been lying to you, not Syria’s president, not Russia.

-Related: US to grant $35 million to promote its fake news bubble in Syria & control local media

القوميّون العرب يواجهون الإرهاب!

د. محمد سيد أحمد

في ظلّ حالة من الإحباط واليأس مما يحدث داخل وطننا العربي منذ مطلع العام 2011 حيث هبّت رياح الربيع العربي المزعوم وبدلاً من أن تكون نسائم ربيعية لطيفة منعشة، وجدناها رياحاً خريفية محمّلة بالأتربة التي تزكم الأنوف، وشتاء قارص البرودة محمّلاً بالأمطار الثلجية والصواعق الرعدية المرعبة، وصيفاً شديد الحرارة تحرق نيرانه كلّ من يتعرّض لها، وخلال أيام قليلة من الأحداث كنا قد تكشفنا حقيقة المؤامرة التي تتعرّض لها أمتنا العربية، ونبّهنا وبحّ صوتنا بأنّ ما يحدث هو مؤامرة كبرى على أوطاننا بهدف تقسيمها وتفتيتها من جديد – بعد التقسيم والتفتيت الأول في مطلع القرن العشرين – ضمن مرحلة جديدة من مراحل المشروع الاستعماري الغربي بقيادة الولايات المتحدة الأميركية واصطلح على تسمية هذه المرحلة بـ «الشرق الأوسط الجديد».

وفي إطار مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد قامت القوى الاستعمارية باستخدام آليات جديدة تماماً في العمل على تقسيم وتفتيت أوطاننا ومن بين هذه الآليات تطوير آلية العنف والتطرف والإرهاب التي هي بالأساس صناعة استعمارية غربية نشأت مع الاستعمار القديم في مطلع القرن العشرين حيث احتضنت بريطانيا القوى الاستعمارية الكبرى في ذلك الوقت التنظيمات الإرهابية الوليدة داخل مجتمعاتنا المحتلة ومنها جماعة الإخوان المسلمين، حيث قامت أجهزة الاستخبارات البريطانية بدعم حسن البنا وتنظيمه الذي خرجت من تحت عباءته كلّ التنظيمات الإرهابية الحديثة في ما بعد، وخلال العقود الأخيرة ومع تبلور مشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد وجدت القوى الاستعمارية الجديدة متمثلة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية الوريث الشرعي للاستعمار الغربي في ما بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية أنه يمكنها استثمار هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية لتقسيم وتفتيت مجتمعاتنا العربية من الداخل دون الحاجة للتدخل العسكري المباشر كما كان في الماضي خاصة بعد خسائرها الباهظة في أفغانستان والعراق حين قرّرت السير وفق المنهج القديم.

ومع مطلع العام 2011 كانت قد أعدّت العدّة وتمّ الاتفاق والتنسيق بين القوى الاستعمارية الغربية والتنظيمات الإرهابية لتعمل بالوكالة في تنفيذ أجندة المشروع التقسيمي والتفتيتي لمنطقتنا العربية باستخدام ورقة الفتنة الطائفية والمذهبية والعرقية، حيث أشعلت هذه التنظيمات الإرهابية النيران بالداخل ودارت الآلة الإعلامية الغربية الجهنمية الجبارة لتغسل أدمغة الرأي العام العالمي وإيهامه بأنّ هناك ثورات شعبيّة داخل هذه المجتمعات العربيّة ولا بدّ من دعم هؤلاء الثوار من أجل إسقاط الأنظمة الدكتاتوريّة وتحقيق العيش والحرية والعدالة الاجتماعية والكرامة الإنسانية لشعوب هذه الأوطان، وتمكّنت الآلة الإعلاميّة الغربية ومعها الآلة الإعلامية العربية العميلة من خداع الرأي العام داخل مجتمعاتنا والأمر نفسه تمّ في الوقت الذي كانت القوى الاستعمارية الغربية تدعم وتجيش وتسلح الجماعات الإرهابية للاستيلاء على الحكم لتقوم بعد ذلك بعملية التقسيم والتفتيت التي تستهدفها في الأصل.

ورغم النجاح النسبيّ لمشروع الشرق الأوسط الجديد في مرحلته الأولى في مطلع العام 2011 حيث تمكن من إشعال النيران بالداخل العربي في تونس ومصر واليمن وليبيا وسورية إلا أنّ هذا النجاح لم يتمكّن من الاستمرار طويلاً حيث تمكّن الجيش المصريّ من إحباط وإفشال المخطط عبر مواجهة شرسة مع الوكيل الإرهابي مما أجبر الأصيل الاستعماري الأميركي على التراجع مؤقتاً عن مشروعه في مصر، وفي الوقت ذاته كانت المواجهة الشرسة والمعركة الكبرى والحرب الكونية بين الجيش العربي السوري والوكيل الإرهابي على كامل الجغرافيا العربية السورية حيث نجح في إحباط وإفشال المخطط عبر معارك لا زالت مستمرة حتى اللحظة الراهنة في إدلب. واستطاعت سورية أن تقلب موازين القوى الدولية عبر تحالفها مع روسيا التي عادت من جديد كقوة عظمى بعد غياب عقدين كاملين عن الساحة الدولية كانت الولايات المتحدة الأميركية خلالها هي القطب الأوحد في العالم. ووقفت روسيا ولا زالت مع سورية في حربها ضدّ الإرهاب المدعوم أميركياً، لدرجة جعلت الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين يصرّح بأنه لن يترك معركة الإرهاب في سورية حتى لو وصلت الحرب إلى شوارع موسكو، وفي الوقت نفسه يصرّح وزير خارجيته سيرغي لافروف هذا الأسبوع أنّ القضاء على الإرهاب في إدلب آخر معاقل الوكيل الإرهابي على الأرض العربية السورية أمر حتمي، وهو ما سيجبر الأميركي عن التراجع مؤقتاً عن مشروعه في سورية.

وفي ظلّ محاولات جيوشنا الوطنية التصدّي للوكيل الإرهابي كان موقف النخب العربية مخزياً فهناك من قام بالانخراط في دعم الوكيل الإرهابي سواء بشكل مباشر أو غير مباشر، وبذلك أصبح في خندق الأصيل الاستعماري الذي يسعى لتقسيم وتفتيت مجتمعاتنا، وهناك من فضّل الانسحاب من المعركة ولزم الصمت سواء بوعي أو دون وعي وهو ما يصبّ في النهاية في صالح مشروع الوكيل والأصيل، وهناك من قرّر خوض المعركة إلى جانب وطنه وجيشه، وعلى الرغم من قلتهم إلا أنهم صمدوا صموداً أسطورياً، وفي ظلّ هذه الأجواء الكئيبة والمحبطة على مستوى النخب العربية يأتي من بعيد بصيص من الأمل عبر ضوء خافت في ظلام دامس، مجموعة من الشباب القومي العربي في المهجر يتحرّكون ويجوبون العالم شرقاً وغرباً في محاولة لتأسيس هيئة شعبية عالمية لمناهضة العنف والتطرف والإرهاب، لتكون صوتاً مدوياً مدافعاً عن أوطاننا داخل أروقة المنظمات الدولية الرسمية وغير الرسمية، ليقولوا للعالم أجمع أننا من وقف وتصدّى للإرهاب، ونحن مَن تآمر الغرب الاستعماري على أوطاننا عبر الوكيل الإرهابي لتستمرّ عمليات سرقة ونهب ثروات شعوبنا المغيبة عمداً مع سبق الإصرار والترصد، فلهم كلّ التقدير والاحترام. اللهم بلغت اللهم فاشهد.

Idlib City Is Preparing Ticker Tape Parade For Assad

South Front

Syrian government forces did not stop their operation in Greater Idlib with the success in the western countryside of Aleppo city, and continued making gains in the province. During the past 24 hours, they took control of over 10 settlements.

Furthermore, they forced members of the mighty Idlib rebels to retreat from Sheikh Aqil, besieged another Turkish observation point, and set a foothold for a possible offensive on the city of Darat Izza.

This town, located 30km west of Aleppo, had an estimated population of approximately 42,000 in 2013. In the modern Syria, it is most-widely known as the stronghold of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham that hosts its key forces and facilities in this part of the province.

The fall of Darat Iazza into the hands of government troops will also disrupt a link between the Turkish-occupied Afrin region and armed groups hiding in the countryside of Idlib city. Thus, Ankara will not be able to freely redeploy its proxies from one part of northwestern Syria into another. On the same day, President Bashar al-Assad congratulated the Syrian people and the Syrian Army with the victory in western Aleppo.

However, he said that this achievement “does not mean the end of the war” and declared that the military will continue combating terrorism in the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. Turkish threats to launch a war on Syria if its forces do not stop their anti-terrorism campaign, al-Assad described as empty words. The televised speech of the president came amid reports that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham started evacuating its remaining weapon depots in the Mount Simeon District of Aleppo province towards the region of Afrin, and the border with Turkey west of Idlib.

These developments indicate that the group does not really believe that it is able to defend Darat Izza in an open battle with the Syrian Army. It is interesting no note how the public rhetoric of pro-militant media outlets changes depending on the military successes of the Syrian Army.

During the previous stages of the conflict, they preferred to call the Damascus government a bloody dictatorship that is killing peaceful moderate rebels all around Syria. Then, it evolved into the regime fighting against the ‘Syrian revolution’, while ‘Assad sectarian militia’ evolved into ‘Assad forces’. After the deployment of the Syrian Army in the vicinity of Idlib city, ‘Assad forces’ started slowly becoming ‘government troops’. It seems that when the army enters the city itself, Idlib grant-eaters will welcome the internationally-recognized government. Taking into account the recent developments on the frontline, they probably should start preparing posters featuring great leader Bashar al-Assad immediately.

Therefore, the main hope of Idlib groups and their supporters is the Turkish diplomatic efforts in the framework of the Astana format. On February 17, Moscow and Ankara started a new round of negotiations on the situation in Idlib. The Turkish leadership’s current main goal is to stop the Syrian advance and to consolidate its own influence in the scraps of the militant-held part of Idlib. In turn, it will likely have to surrender a part of its lovely moderate rebel groups that are publicly linked with al-Qaeda.

If Russia and Turkey find no understanding on the situation, Ankara will continue making attempts to protect Idlib groups with a variant of military and diplomatic measures. This will likely lead to a further escalation of the conflict.

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انتصار حلب بعشرة

انتصار حلب بعشرة


ناصر قنديل

في الظاهر يبدو انتصار الجيش السوري في أرياف حلب، واحداً من الانتصارات المتدحرجة التي بدأها الجيش السوري منذ تحرير أغلب أجزاء مدينة حلب قبل ثلاثة أعوام وبضعة شهور، لكن التدقيق سيكشف أهمية هذا الانتصار وتميّزه وتأثيره على المناخات السياسية والمعطيات العسكرية وتثبيته قواعدَ ستحكم كثيراً ما بعده.

انتصر أمن حلب أولاً وقد عانت العاصمة السورية الثانية لسنوات ما بعد التحرير الأول من القصف والاعتداءات اليومية، ونظراً للعمق التركي وراء مناطق سيطرة الجماعات الإرهابية كان التجرؤ أكبر مما كانت تفعله هذه الجماعات في استهداف أمن دمشق من الغوطة قبل تحريرها، ورد الاعتبار لأمن العاصمة الاقتصادية سيكون له مردود كبير على حياة الناس أولاً وعلى النشاط الاقتصادي ثانياً، وبالتالي على مجمل الوضعين الأمني والاقتصادي.

النصر الثاني هو بفتح الطريق الدولي الذي يشكل شرياناً حيوياً بين العاصمة دمشق وكل من مدينتي حماة وحلب، وبالتالي بين نصف سورية ونصفها الآخر تقريباً، وهذا الربط الذي يختصر الوقت والمخاطرات المرافقين للطريق المؤقت البديل، يعني عودة للحياة الطبيعية سكانياً واقتصادياً وأمنياً، وخصوصاً بعودة نسبة كبيرة من النازحين من أبناء المناطق التي شملها التحرير أو وفّر لها الأمن أو سهل الانتقال إليها، وهي عودة مرتقبة بعشرات الآلاف من أكثر من وجهة نزوح.

النصر الثالث هو بسقوط آخر واجهات الاحتلال التركي من الميليشيات التي ترفع علماً مزيفاً باسم “الثورة السورية”. والمعلوم أن أرياف حلب كانت المنطقة الجغرافية التي تتمركز فيها هذه الجماعات ضمن تقسيم أدوار بينها وبين جبهة النصرة التي تتولى منطقة إدلب، وفقاً لترتيبات القيادة التركية، وسقوط آخر معاقل هذه الواجهات التي كانت تستعمل العلم السوري وتسعى لتغطية الاحتلال التركي بواجهة سورية، لا يعني فقط أن الاحتلال صار عارياً فقط، بل أيضاً سيكون له تأثير على مسار العملية السياسية وعمل اللجنة الدستورية، حيث كان بعض رموز ما يُسمّى بالمعارضة يستند لهذا الوجود في رفع السقوف وممارسة التعطيل.

النصر الرابع هو في كون ما تبقى من معاقل للجماعات الإرهابية بات تحت وطأة مفاعيل النصر السريع للجيش السوري، في حال انهزام وتفكك وضياع، وسيكون لهذا النصر تأثيره في رسم إيقاع المواجهات اللاحقة بعدما تم تفكيك وإنهاء بنى وهياكل تحتل مناطق تقارب بحجمها المناطق المتبقية تحت سيطرة جماعات النصرة، وتضم بين صفوفها أعداداً من المسلحين تقارب عدد من بقوا في المناطق التي يستهدفها التحرير اللاحق.

النصر الخامس هو بتثبيت معادلة العلاقة بروسيا وإيران، كحليفين لسورية، لحقت بالعلاقة بينهما وبين سورية حملات تشكيك ومحاولات نيل من المصداقية، وكانت أصعبها هذه المرة لخصوصية المناطق التي تدور فيها المعارك وموقعها المصيري بالنسبة للدور التركي، وما قالته توقعات أصحاب حملات التشكيك بأن ما كان يصحّ في التزام روسيا وإيران قبل إدلب وريفها وريف حلب لا يصحّ الآن، وقد بدأت أم المعارك. وجاءت النتائج لتقول إن ما يصحّ في فهم الحلف المبني على المصداقية هو قانون لا استثناءات فيه.

النصر السادس هو بالرسالة التي وجّهتها العملية للقيادات الكردية، التي كان بعضها يراهن على ثبات كانتون تفرضه تركيا لجماعاتها في ريفي حلب الغربي والشمالي لأهميته وحيويته على حدودها، وأنه سيكون ذلك فرصة لطلب المثل. وجاء النصر يسقط هذه الفرضية ويسقط معها المعوقات أمام التفكير العقلاني الذي يشكل شرطاً لنجاح الحل السياسي مع هذه الجماعات.

النصر السابع هو في تثبيت قواعد حاسمة لمفهوم السيادة في العلاقة السورية التركية، التي دخلت عليها بعض الأوهام لدى القيادة التركية، من نوع التلويح بالاستنجاد بالأطلسي أو بابتزاز الحليفين الروسي والإيراني، أو بالرهان على التهويل والترهيب بفرضية الحرب المباشرة بين الجيشين السوري والتركي، وكلها اختبارات جدّيّة وقاسية خاضتها القيادة السورية وفاز بها الرئيس بشار الأسد وأثبت الجيش السوري أهليته لتخطّيها، وباتت الحقائق التي قالتها معارك حلب خصوصاً حاكمة لمضامين لاحقة للعلاقة بين سورية وتركيا، عنوانها أن السيادة السورية خط أحمر.

النصر الثامن هو في تأثير معركة حلب الحاسمة على مستقبل الحسابات الإسرائيلية التي كانت تبني على ثبات تركيا ومَن معها من جماعات إرهابية ومن جهّزتهم من جماعات تحت مسمّى المعارضة، حسابات تفترض أن استعادة سورية وحدتها تحت سيادة جيشها أمر دونه الكثير، وبالتالي فالتعامل مع ما تسمّيه “إسرائيل” بالفوضى السورية مستمرّ لأجل بعيد. وجاء النصر ينبؤها بالعكس ويفرض عليها حسابات من نوع مختلف فقريباً ستكون سورية متفرّغة للتعامل مع الاعتداءات الإسرائيلية، وقد استعادت وحدتها وسيادتها وعافيتها.

النصر التاسع هو في تأثير المعركة الفاصلة في حلب على مستقبل الحسابات الأميركيّة التي تنازلت عن الواجهة الكرديّة في المناطق الشرقية لحساب الأتراك كي يصمدوا ويثبتوا، ويؤخروا لحظة الاستحقاق عن الوجود الأميركي، وجاءت الساعات التي سبقت النصر لتحمل طلباً تركياً بالتدخل المباشر للأميركيين أو للناتو كشرط لخوض تركيا المعركة عسكرياً بجيشها، وأقام الجميع حساباته، وعندما قرّر الناتو عدم الدخول، فهذا يعني أن واشنطن هي التي قرّرت، وقرارها هنا هو نسخة عن قرارها اللاحق بالنسبة للمناطق الشرقية، وإلا لكان الأفضل دمج المعركتين معاً وكسب ما تؤمّنه شراكة تركيا من فرص أفضل.

النصر العاشر سياسيّ ودبلوماسيّ في علاقات سورية العربية والدولية، فالمتأخّرون عن دقّ أبواب دمشق، أو الذين فعلوا ذلك بتردّد وبالنقاط، باتوا يدركون أن عليهم مسابقة الزمن لفعل ذلك بصورة جدّية وسريعة وفعّالة، لأن الدولة السورية تُنهي آخر معاركها بسرعة، وتسابق الوقت بالمفاجآت، وعليهم أن يلاقوا ساعة النصر النهائي من سفاراتهم وقد استعادت كامل جهوزيتها ودورها في دمشق.

نصر أخير لا رقم له هو انتقام رفاق السلاح للقائد قاسم سليماني الذي أقسم لأهل حلب بأن يكون معهم في التحرير الثاني الآتي بلا ريب، فكانوا معه يهدونه نصرَهم العظيم في ذكرى الأربعين.

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‫الأسد: معارك التحرير مستمرّة… رغم «الفقاعات الصوتيّة الآتية من الشمال»

سوريا 

الأخبار

لإثنين 17 شباط 2020 19:44

وجّه الأسد التحية إلى أفراد الجيش والقوات الرديفة وإلى «الأشقاء والأصدقاء والحلفاء»

تعهد الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، في كلمة مصوّرة لمناسبة تأمين مدينة حلب وتحرير طوقها الغربي، باستكمال معارك تحرير ريفَي حلب وإدلب كما «كامل التراب السوري».

وأكد الأسد في كلمة نشرتها حسابات الرئاسة السورية، أن «هذا التحرير لا يعني نهاية الحرب، ولا يعني سقوط المخططات، ولا زوال الإرهاب، ولا يعني استسلام الأعداء… لكنه يعني بكل تأكيد تمريغ أنوفهم بالتراب كمقدمة للهزيمة الكاملة، عاجلاً أو آجلاً».

وفي تعليق مباشر على التحذيرات التركية، قال الرئيس السوري إن «معركة تحريرِ ريفِ حلب وإدلب مستمرةٌ، بغض النظر عن بعض الفقاعات الصوتية الفارغة الآتية من الشمال… كما استمرارُ معركة تحرير كلِ التراب السوري وسحق الإرهاب وتحقيق الاستقرار».

وأكد أن الجيش السوري «لن يتوانى عن القيام بواجباته الوطنية، ولن يكون إلا كما كان جيشاً من الشعب وله»، موجّهاً التحية إلى أفراد الجيش والقوات الرديفة وإلى «الأشقاء والأصدقاء والحلفاء».
وعن مدينة حلب، قال الأسد إنها بقيت حتى في زمن الحرب والحصار «تساهم ولو بحدود دنيا في الاقتصاد الوطني»، مضيفاً إن «هذا النوع من الصمود، الذي يعكس الإرادة الصلبة والانتماء العميق المتجذّر، هو الذي سينهض بحلب من تحت رماد الحرب ليعيد لها موقعها الطبيعي والرائد في اقتصاد سوريا».

معبران للمدنيين

توازياً مع استمرار المعارك في ريفَي حلب وإدلب، فتح الجيش السوري «ممرّين آمنين» في كل من ميزنار بريف حلب الغربي ومجيرز في ريف إدلب الشرقي، وذلك بهدف «تأمين المدنيين الراغبين بالخروج من مناطق انتشار الإرهابيين إلى المناطق التي حررها الجيش».
وأفادت وكالة «سانا» بأنه تم تجهيز نقطة طبية قبالة معبر مجيرز، لاستقبال المصابين وتقديم العلاج والإسعافات الأولية للمحتاجين، إضافة إلى وجود فريق طبي لتقديم اللقاحات للأطفال.
وتقدم الجيش في ريف حلب الغربي، اليوم، وسيطر على قرى بسرطون وحور وعنجارة، كما استهدف سلاح المدفعية نقاطاً في محيط دارة عزة والأتارب.

تمديد مفاوضات موسكو

قالت وزارة الخارجية التركية، اليوم الاثنين، إن الوفد التركي الذي يبحث تطورات شمال غرب سوريا في موسكو،

شدد خلال المحادثات على ضرورة خفض التصعيد.

وأضافت إن المحادثات ستستمر غداً الثلاثاء، وإن المسؤولين الأتراك والروس ناقشوا الاحتياطات التي يمكن اتخاذها من أجل «تنفيذ الاتفاقيات التي تم التوصل إليها في وقت سابق بشكل كامل ووقف الانتهاكات في إدلب».
من جانبه، أعلن وزير الخارجية التركي مولود جاويش أوغلو أنه أبلغ نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف أن «هجمات النظام السوري في إدلب يجب أن تتوقف… وأن من الضروري التوصل إلى وقف دائم لإطلاق النار وألّا يتم انتهاكه».

مطار حلب إلى العمل

يستأنف مطار حلب الدولي هذا الأسبوع تسيير أولى الرحلات المدنية بعد توقف لسنوات، في خطوة تأتي إثر سيطرة الجيش السوري على محيط مدينة حلب وإبعاد المعارك عنها، وفق ما أعلنت وزارة النقل الإثنين.
وأفادت الوزارة على حسابها على «تلغرام» بأن أول رحلة جوية من دمشق إلى حلب ستنطلق الأربعاء، كما ستتم «برمجة رحلات إلى القاهرة ودمشق خلال الأيام القليلة» المقبلة.

وتوقف مطار حلب الدولي، الواقع شرق المدينة، عن النقل المدني بشكل كامل منذ 2012، حين سيطرت الفصائل المعارضة على الأحياء الشرقية لحلب. وبدأت أعمال تأهيل المطار تدريجياً في عام 2016 وانطلقت أول رحلة تجريبية منه في عام 2017.

BREAKING: SAA SECURES ALEPPO CITY COMPLETELY

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The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) declares the city of Aleppo secure after over 7 years of being invaded and bombarded by tens of thousands of anti-Islamic terrorists.

Against all odds, and in the very difficult weather conditions the SAA cleaned all of Jamiyat Zahraa western Aleppo after taking control of the Llayramon and cleaned the two cities of Hreitan and Anadan in Aleppo’s northwestern countryside.

Hayyan, Bayanon, and Tal Musibin in northern Aleppo countryside are also cleaned from anti-Islamic terrorists of Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda group loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan.

The SAA stormed the districts of Rashidin 1, Rashidin 2, and Rashidin 3 west of Aleppo and cleaned the village of Kafr Naha, the Regiment 46, and Jamiyat Ridwan in the southwestern countryside of the province.

Aleppo – Idlib highway in the province of Aleppo is under the control of the Syrian Arab Army after cleaning the Police Academy and a number of residential blocks southwest of the city.

Aleppo is the second city in Syria and is the economic powerhouse of the country, its people were living under constant terror attacks and indiscriminate bombing until just a few hours ago. Over 150 civilians were killed by these bombings in a couple of months towards the SAA military operation to clean the region.

The most-hated pariah Erdogan, the head of NATO member state and commander of NATO’s second-largest army, tried his best in shouting, lying, pimping, and sending Turkish Army soldiers to stand as human shields to protect al-Qaeda terrorists to supplying al-Qaeda directly with the latest weapons and armored vehicles, even MANPADS that enabled them to shoot down two Syrian Army helicopters within one week, now he’s seeing his dream of becoming the current day Caliph collapse with his own eyes.

Turkey’s Madman Erdogan Sends NATO Troops to Defend al-Qaeda Terrorists in Idlib

Aleppo citizens flooding the streets in celebrations, many can’t believe the speed the SAA managed to clean large areas from tens of thousands of human-garbage dumped on Syria. Residents praised the Syrian Arab Army and its leadership, thanked President Bashar Assad, Iran, and Iranian slain general Qasim Soleimani, Russia, Hezb Allah chief Hasan Nasr Allah, and called on cleaning Idlib next.

Congratulations to humanity the liberating of one of its oldest continuously inhabited cities, the second to Damascus in historical importance.

All disgrace and shame on NATO states who waged the War of Terror against Syria using over 350,000 terrorists imported from all sides of the world and spending over $200 billion, at least. $137 billion spent by Saudi Arabia and Qatar until 2017 alone.

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Erdogan’s Long-Coming Reality Check:

February 14, 2020

by Ghassan Kadi for The Saker Blog

It is hard to say if Erdogan is running out of choices, friends, time, or all of the above; and his stands on various issues and the contradictions he ploughs through are making his situation increasingly untenable.

For the benefit of readers who haven’t heard this before; Erdogan is juggling being a Turkish Muslim reformer who parades under the photos of Turkish secular anti-Muslim nation-builder Mustafa Kemal; an EU-aspiring member and also an aspiring global Sunni leader; an ally of Israel as well as Hamas; an Islamist who is also at odds with the Wahhabi Islamists; a nationalist Turk who wants to curb Kurdish aspirations not only in Syria and Iraq but also in Turkey; a Sunni leader who wants to restore the Sultanate and Caliphate and the fundamentalist Sunni version of anti-Shiite Islam but is also a friend of Shiite Iran; a NATO member with a special relationship with America, and a special friend and ally of Russia.

Ironically, despite all the contradictions and conflicts of interest, he has thus far managed to get away with wearing not only all those hats, but also turbans and fezzes in between. Clearly however, this maneuvering cannot last forever and, sooner or later, he is going to end up painted into a tight corner. I certainly would like to believe that he is already in this space.

Erdogan however believes that he has a mandate from God. Following his November 2015 election win, in an article titled “Erdogan the Trojan Horse of Terror” (https://thesaker.is/erdogan-the-trojan-horse-of-terror/), I wrote: “With this win, Erdogan felt invincible. For an Islamist, and this is what Erdogan is, feeling invincible takes on a whole new meaning.

This is a simplistic translation of a Quranic verse: “If God is by your side, no one can defeat you” (Quran 3:160).

Erdogan believes he is invincible because he believes that he is on a mission and that God is by his side. If he had any reason to doubt this divine role he believes he has, the November election results put that doubt to rest.”

Ironically, Erdogan is able to comprehend the contradictions of others. Whilst America for example does not give two hoots about the Syrian Kurds and is only using some vulnerable leaders to dig a wedge between the Syrian Government and the Syrian Kurdish population, Erdogan has most vehemently stated to both the Obama and Trump administrations that America cannot be an ally of Turkey and the Kurds at the same time.

Yet, this same Erdogan justifies for himself the supplying of Idlib terrorists with state-of-the-art weaponry to attack not only Syrian Army units with, but also the Russian Hmeimim Air Base. The Russians have thus far thwarted countless attempted drone attacks on the base, and if Turkey did not directly supply the weapons, it definitely facilitated their transport.

Remember that the Idlib area that is controlled by Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra) lies between the Syrian-Army controlled area and the Turkish border. It has an open highway to Turkey where all arms and fighters move freely from Turkey into Syria.

And even though Erdogan has signed an agreement with Russia to end the terrorist presence in Idlib, according to veteran Palestinian journalist Abdul Bari Atwan, he does not want to understand why Russia is fed up with him and his antics and why President Putin is refusing to meet with him. In his article written in Raialyoum https://www.raialyoum.com/index.php/لماذا-يرفض-بوتين-لقاء-قمة-مع-اردوغان-لح/, Atwan argues that the Russians refuse Erdogan’s call for a new disengagement negotiation meeting and that Turkey must adhere to the existing Sochi agreement; which it has broken on several occasions by Erdogan.

Atwan adds that:

Firstly: “the Turkish gamble and reliance on Syrian opposition and the Free Syria Army in particular have failed because those forces abandoned their positions and the Syrian Army entered the towns of Khan Sheikhoun and Maarra Al-Numan unopposed without suffering a single casualty

Secondly: The 12 Turkish surveillance posts that were established in the Idlib district have turned into a liability because seven of them are under siege by the Syrian Army with a hundred Turkish soldiers trapped in each and can easily be destroyed by the Syrian Army in case Turkey launches a major offensive against Syria.

Thirdly: Russian support to the Syrian Army has reached an unprecedented level after the Russians shot down two drones launched by Tahrir Al-Sham yesterday” (ie the 10th of February 2020).

In addition, according to Atwan, “Erdogan missed a golden opportunity when he refused the (recent) Iranian initiative proposed to him by Iranian FM, Zarif, to find a political resolution for the impasse with Syria, and this was perhaps the last opportunity to reach a diplomatic resolution before a direct open confrontation with Syria”

In a Financial Times article titled “Testing Times for Erdogan and Putin” https://www.ft.com/content/cbe31640-4726-11ea-aeb3-955839e06441, the author is a tad short of saying that the relationship between Erdogan and Putin is irreconcilable. According to him, “If Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan was looking for a way to convey his anger at Russia over the death of eight of his country’s troops in Syria, a visit to Ukraine provided the perfect opportunity.

At a guard of honour at the presidential palace in Kyiv on Monday, Mr Erdogan shouted “Glory to Ukraine”, a nationalist slogan deeply associated with anti-Russia sentiment and the country’s fight for independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

His carefully chosen words — to an army battling Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine — were a clear rebuke to President Vladimir Putin”.

In all of this, what Erdogan needs more than anything, is a long-coming reality check, and it seems more forthcoming than ever.

He may believe that he is a president for life who deserves the purportedly one thousand room palace he built for himself. He may hope to rebuild the Ottoman Empire and resurrect the Caliphate. He may imagine that, having been able to build up the Turkish economy to a level that has earnt a position in the G20, he has become the leader of a super power; but he has not. Turkey is at best a regional power, but it is only powerful if it has more powerful friends and allies to back it up. For as long as Turkey has to literally beg the Russians and/or the Americans to buy state-of-the-art weapons to defend itself with, then it is not in a position that allows it to stand on its own feet; not in the manner that Erdogan wishes it to stand. He should take heed and look at history. Mehmet Al-Fatih built his own guns to breakdown the defence walls of Constantinople. Even though the engineer who built them was from the Balkans, but they were Mehmet’s guns and they were the biggest in the world at the time.

I am not advocating that Erdogan should build his own nuclear arsenal, fighter jets and defence and attack missiles. In the ideal world, no one should. But to add to his list of contradictions, if Erdogan wants to wear the Turban of the Sultan, huff and puff at Russia, he cannot be riding Don Quixote’s donkey at the same time.

And if he thinks that he can now make a U-turn and be the loyal NATO leader and dump Russia, he will find himself again facing the same impasse he had with the Americans over the Kurdish issue. Furthermore, what will this do to his trade deals with Russia and his gas supplies?

And if Erdogan also thinks that America would come forward to save him in Idlib, one would have to remember that the illegal American presence in North East Syria is hundreds of kilometres away from Idlib and separated by the Russian-backed Syrian Army. Why would America, even Trump’s America, risk a confrontation with Russia to save his hide?

Erdogan has thus far evaded Karma because he has been hedging his bets in all directions, working up his enemies and allies against each other. But unless one is powerful enough to stand on his own feet when he needs to, then such a strategy in the long run can only leave one with no friends, a long list of enemies and a hoard of untrusting onlookers.

Above all, what do Turkish people want from the Turkish presence in Syria? Turkey hasn’t been at war for a whole century. The leader that once promised “zero problems” with neighbours is digging in his heels and seems determined to engage in an all-out war with Syria. The average Turkish citizen may ask why and to what end?

Erdogan has hopefully finally wedged himself into a corner that he cannot weasel his way out of without losing face. He will either have to bolster his military presence in Syria and fight the Syrian Army and Russia, or back off. If he takes the former option, he will not find any international supporters, and possibly the support of his own people will become questionable. But if the psychopathic, megalomaniac feels that he has to retreat, he will be scrambling for a face-saving exit, and the options are running out.

Russia was prepared to put the deliberate Turkish downing of the Su-24 in November 2015 behind and move forward. A lifeline was given to Erdogan back then, based on the promises he made and the later agreements he signed. But time proved that he was only looking for buying time, and that window with Russia is up.

Body bags have already been sent to Turkey and there are unconfirmed figures of how many Turkish soldiers have been killed defending Al-Nusra fighters. What is pertinent here is that, in the event of an all-out war with Syria, Syrians will be fighting an existential battle, aided by Russia and regional allies. Turkey however, will be fighting a different type of existential battle; one for Erdogan, not for Turkey itself.

Turkey has no reason for having a military presence and fight in Syria. It is only Erdogan’s ego and dreams that do.

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