Schizophrenic Erdogan Condemns Himself in a Summit with Putin and Rouhani


July 1, 2020 Arabi Souri

Russian Putin Iranian Rouhani Turkish Erdogan - Video conference on Syria

The joint statement issued after the video conference meeting between the Russian President Mr. Putin, the Iranian President Mr. Rouhani, and the head of the Turkish regime the madman Erodgan today 01 July 2020 stated:

The Presidents:
Rejected all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives, and expressed their determination to stand against separatist agendas aimed at undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.”

Does Erdogan understand that ‘rejecting all attempts to create new realities on the ground’ includes the Turkification of the lands under the Turkish illegal occupation northwest and northeast of Syria?

Did Erdogan read the statement? Does he understand the meaning of ‘standing against separatist agendas aimed to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria’, that it includes illegal incursion into Syria’s territories by his military and his terrorists?

The joint statement adds:

“Expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of oil revenues that should belong to the Syrian Arab Republic.”

That this also includes the oil seized and stolen by the Turkish-backed FSA (and all the terrorist organizations under its banner including ISIS and Nusra Front and others)?

“Reaffirmed the determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council, while ensuring the protection of the civilians and civilian infrastructure in accordance with the international humanitarian law.”

All of these entities named in this paragraph are sponsored directly by the Turkish regime, they receive all their logistic support and all the protection they need from Turkey and the al-Qaeda terrorists were even embedded with the Turkish Army TSK in their attacks against the Syrian Arab Army on Syrian soil…!

Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat - Burning Syrian Wheat Fields
Erdogan stealing Syrian Wheat – Burning Syrian Wheat Fields – Cartoon by @Natali_AlA

The statement adds that The Presidents:

“Reviewed in detail the situation in the Idlib de-escalation area and underscored the necessity to maintain calm on the ground by fully implementing all agreements on Idlib.

Expressed grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rejected all unilateral sanctions which are in contravention of international law, international humanitarian law, and the UN Charter, particularly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Emphasized, in this regard, the critical need to ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout Syria in order to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, and, called upon the international community, particularly the UN and its humanitarian agencies, to increase their assistance to all Syrians without discrimination, politicization, and preconditions.”

A safe and unhindered humanitarian access means not controlled or targeted by al-Qaeda, Nusra Front, Grey Wolves, Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, Turkestan Islamist Party, and all other FSA groups sponsored by Turkey. The UN and its humanitarian agencies do not include as well the Nusra Front’s ‘first responders’ aka the White Helmets.

“Reaffirmed their conviction that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict and that it could only be resolved through the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2254. Emphasized in this regard the important role of the Constitutional Committee in Geneva, created as a result of the decisive contribution of the Astana guarantors and the implementation of the decisions of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi. Welcomed the agreement to hold the third meeting of the Constitutional Committee in August 2020 and reaffirmed the readiness to support its work through continuous interaction with its members and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria Geir O. Pedersen, as facilitator, in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work.”

The statement clearly says: ‘Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process,’ which means without Turkish interference to influence or insert members of the Turkish regime and on its payroll.

“Highlighted the need to facilitate safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their original places of residence in Syria, ensuring their right to return and right to be supported.”

This literally means not to use the refugees to threaten Europe with, or to push them into despair and have them join Erdogan’s military and terrorist adventures in Libya, Yemen, and Qatar, and elsewhere as well.

“Reaffirmed the necessity to respect universally recognized international legal decisions, including those provisions of the relevant UN resolutions rejecting the occupation of Syrian Golan, first and foremost UN Security Council Resolution 497 and thus condemned the decision of the US Administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which constitutes a grave violation of international law and threatens regional peace and security. They consider Israeli military attacks in Syria as destabilizing and violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country and intensifying the tension in the region.”

Condemning the US decision on the occupied Syrian Golan means bringing up the topic with both the Israelis and Donald Trump’s regime of war and terror, not to be part of the ‘Greater Israel Project‘ as tasked by George W. Bush and continue to do so many years later until this very day.

And considering Israeli military attacks in Syria as violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity also means not to allow the Israelis safe passage to bomb Syrian facilities in Aleppo from the north!

I’m speechless, the Turkish Madman Erdogan is known to be opportunistic, a backstabber, and a hypocrite, but his ability of acting and appearing like a decent human being is really astonishing, well, unless there are two different Erdogans with totally opposite manners?!

Video report:

Hearing is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops – Video

قرار «إسرائيل» بالتنقيب عن النفط في لبنان:‏ إعلان حرب أم استثمار فرصة؟

العميد د. أمين محمد حطيط

منذ أن ظهر التباين بين لبنان والعدو الإسرائيلي بشأن حدود المنطقة البحرية الاقتصادية الخالصة للبنان، امتنعت «إسرائيل» عن الاقتراب من المنطقة التي يتمسك بها لبنان ويصرّ على أنها جزء من حقوقه خشية من ردّ فعل المقاومة، ولم تفلح الوساطة الأميركية رغم مضيّ أكثر من 6 سنوات على انطلاقاتها لم تفلح في حلّ الخلاف حول المنطقة المتنازع عليها والبالغة مساحتها 862 كلم2.

الخلاف اللبناني الإسرائيلي هذا فاقمه أيضاً العدوان الإسرائيلي على 13 منطقة حدودية جنوبي خط الحدود الدولية مع فلسطين المحتلة، التي تطمح «إسرائيل» لإسقاطها وإعادة ترسيمها مجدّداً بما يكسبها مساحات تحتلها الآن وتدّعي خلافاً للحقيقة والقانون بأنها مناطق متنازع عليها، وهي ليست مطلقاً محلّ نزاع لأن اتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب نهائية وحاسمة وتؤكد أنّ هذه المناطق لبنانية من دون أدنى شكّ وبهذا اعترفت الأمم المتحدة في العام 2000 وعلى هذا جرى التحقق من الاندحار الإسرائيلي من قبل لجنة برئاستي في ذاك العام.

بيد انّ المطامع الإسرائيلية لا تقتصر في لبنان على البحر وما فيه او الحدود البرية ومناطقها الـ 13 المعتدى عليها بل تشمل أيضاً الحدود اللبنانية السورية حيث ضمّت «إسرائيل» وبدعم أميركي مزارع شبعا اللبنانية إلى الجولان السوري وضمّت إليها كامل المنطقة مضافة إليها الغجر اللبنانية وبعض المساحات في العباسية والنخيلة، ما جعل الحقوق اللبنانية موضع المطامع الإسرائيلية تصل إلى 862 كلم2 في البحر، و25 مليون متر مربع جنوبي خط الحدود الدولية مع فلسطين المحتلة و42 كلم2 في مزارع شبعا والغجر.

وترى «إسرائيل» انّ القانون الدولي لن يوفر لها أيّ فرصة لنيل شيء مما تطمع به، فقانون البحار يعطي الحق للبنان في البحر واتفاقية بوليه نيوكمب المصادق عليها دولياً تثبت حدوده مع فلسطين بشكل نهائي لا يغيّر في نهائيته ما أقدم عليه ترامب في خريطته المرفقة برؤيته للسلام تلك الخريطة التي أغفلت الحدود وعملت بخط هدنة مؤقت، وأخيراً الاتفاقات اللبنانية السورية حول مزارع شبعا التي تؤكد لبنانية المزارع.

ولأنّ القانون بكلّ قواعده نصاً واتفاقيات دولية يمنع «إسرائيل» من نيل ما تطلب، فإنّ «إسرائيل» تعود إلى منطق القوة الذي هو في الأصل أساس نشأتها، ولكن إعمال منطق القوة ضدّ لبنان بعد العام 2006 بات بالحسّ «الإسرائيلي» العملي والتجريبي متعذّراً بسبب معادلة الردع الاستراتيجي التي فرضتها المقاومة التي يقودها ويمارسها حزب الله. أضف إلى ذلك انّ وجود المقاومة وحلفائها في السلطة اللبنانية بات من شأنه أن يمنع أيّ حكومة في لبنان من التنازل لـ «إسرائيل» مهما كانت الضغوط الأميركية. ما يعني أنّ «إسرائيل» وصلت في مواجهة لبنان إلى الحائط المسدود لأنّ القانون لا يعطيها حقاً والمقاومة تحرمها من استعمال القوة لاغتصاب ما تريده. وباتت «إسرائيل» أمام فرض من اثنين: أما أن تخضع لقواعد القانون وتتخلى عن أطماعها، أو أن تزيل عقبة حزب الله لتعود وتستند إلى منطق حق القوة وتغتصب ما تريد إما باتفاقية إذعان وإما بفرض ميداني تنتجه الحرب.

وفي السنوات الأخيرة راهنت «إسرائيل» على الحرب الكونيّة على سورية لتفكيك محور المقاومة وإسقاط حزب الله، لكن الحرب استنفدت مراحلها ولم يتحقق شيء مما تمنّت، وراهنت على استراتيجية الضغوط القصوى ضدّ محور المقاومة بما فيه إيران وسورية وحزب لله، ولمست في الأسابيع الأخيرة نوعاً من الجنون الأميركي ضد ّلبنان عامة وحزب الله خاصة، وظنّت انّ ما كتبته صحيفة «واشنطن بوست» الأميركية من أنّ «لبنان يتجه إلى الانهيار والبؤس والجوع»، انه كلام سيتحقق، ونظرت بارتياح إلى سلوك سفيرة أميركا في لبنان السلوك الخارج على كل قواعد القانون الدولي العام واتفاقية فيينا التي تنظم السلوك والعلاقات الدبلوماسية بين الدول، وكانت غبطتها شديدة عندما لمست الانقسام اللبناني العمودي والحادّ حول أداء تلك السفيرة، وكوّنت من كلّ مشاهداتها صورة جعلتها تظنّ بأن فرصة اتخاذ القرارات الصعبة في مواجهة لبنان قد حانت، فسارعت إلى استغلالها واتخذت في مجلس وزرائها قراراً بالسماح بالتنقيب عن النفط والغاز في المناطق المتنازع عليها مع لبنان وتحديداً في البلوكات 8 و9 و10 من تلك المنطقة اللبنانية. فإلى أين سيقود هذا القرار؟

في البدء لا بدّ من التأكيد أنّ حسم النزاع على حدود المنطقة الاقتصادية من جانب واحد هو عمل غير مقبول خاصة إذا جاء من طرف لم يوقع قانون البحار كما هو حال «إسرائيل»، كما أنّ قبول لبنان الرسمي بالأمر الواقع الإسرائيلي المفروض هو أمر غير مقبول وغير متوقع، وبالتالي يكون على لبنان ومن أجل حماية حقوقه أن يتصرف بكلّ ما هو متاح له من مسالك ويلج كلّ ما يمكنه ولوجه من أبواب، وتأتي في طليعة تلك الوسائل الدبلوماسية بما فيها اللجوء إلى الأمم المتحدة وهيئاتها وكذلك اللجوء إلى طرف ثالث من الدول التي تدعي صداقة لبنان وفي طليعتها أميركا.

بيد أننا لا نثق بكلّ تلك المخارج. فالتجارب علمتنا أنها عقيمة ويكفي ان نتذكر انّ تحرير الجنوب لم يتمّ بالقرار 425 الذي بقي 22 عاماً طيّ النسيان، ولو لم تكن هناك مقاومة لكان احتلال الجنوب مستمرّاً ما يعني أنّ على لبنان أن لا يركن إلا لقوّته المشكّلة من الجيش والمقاومة التي يحتضنها شعب متمسك بحقوقه، وهذا تعرفه «إسرائيل» وسمعته أكثر من مرة من قائد المقاومة الذي وبكلّ وضوح أنذر «إسرائيل» بالردّ على أيّ عدوان على المنطقة الاقتصادية في الحدود التي ترسمها لها الدولة اللبنانيّة، فهل «إسرائيل» المطلعة على هذا الموقف تسعى إلى هذه المواجهة باتخاذها قرار التنقيب؟

«إسرائيل» تعرف انّ المقاومة لا تهدّد استعراضياً، وأنها قادرة على المواجهة ولكنها كما يبدو تظنّ انّ سياسة الضغوط القصوى والحصار الخانق ومحاولات الفتنة مع احتمالات الحرب الأهلية الشاملة في لبنان ستمنع المقاومة عن الردّ او ستشغل المقاومة عن هم الجنوب لتدافع عن نفسها وعن بيئتها في الداخل، ما يوفر لـ «إسرائيل» فرصة العمل من جانب واحد وهي فرصة لا تتكرّر وتكون «إسرائيل» اتخذت قرارها محدوّة باحتمال من ثلاثة:


ـ جسّ نبض لبنان للوقوف على إرادته وقدرته على الردّ. ولأنه لا يعنيها ولا تهتمّ بكلّ ما هو سياسة ودبلوماسية فإنّ «إسرائيل» ستراقب ردّ الفعل في الميدان من قبل الجيش اللبناني وحزب الله ومقاومته بتنسيق أو من غير تنسيق مع الحكومة. فإذا لمست الجدية اللبنانية في اللجوء إلى القوّة فإنها ستجد لنفسها مخرجاً يجنّبها المواجهة التي قد تطوّر إلى حرب لا تريدها الآن.


ـ الضغط على لبنان وهو في حالة التردّي القائمة والانهيار، الضغط عليه للذهاب إلى مفاوضات غير متكافئة لفرض التنازل عن حدوده البرية وإعادة ترسيمها والتنازل عن مزارع شبعا والغجر والتنازل عن 500 كلم2 على الأقل من المنطقة الاقتصادية الخالصة.


ـ استدراج لبنان ومقاومته إلى حرب تندلع إذا ردّت المقاومة على العدوان، حرب تظنّ «إسرائيل» أنّ ظروفها باتت مؤاتية لها مع استشراء الإرهاب الاقتصادي الأميركي واستراتيجية التجويع للتركيع، فتستدرج لبنان إلى حرب تحمل المقاومة فيها مسؤولية اندلاعها والآلة الإعلامية الصهيوأميركية المتكئة على الداخل اللبناني باتت جاهزة لهذا الأمر، لكن «إسرائيل» كما قلنا ونكرّر لن تدخل الحرب إلا بعد أن تطمئن إلى اهتراء الداخل اللبناني والفتنة الجاهزة للانفجار لإشغال المقاومة عن الهمّ الوطني الكبير.

وعليه نرى القرار الإسرائيلي بالتنقيب على النفط داخل المنطقة الاقتصادية اللبنانية قراراً بالغ الخطورة يستدعي من لبنان أعلى درجات الحذر والحكمة والحزم في التعامل، لأنّ تداعياته مفتوحة على كلّ الاحتمالات من البسيط في السياسة إلى الخطير في الحرب وبينهما صيانة الحقوق أو هدرها ورغم انخفاض احتمال الحرب فعلى لبنان ومقاومته أن يستعدّا لكلّ ذلك خاصة في الأشهر التي تفصلنا عن تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل موعد الانتخابات الأميركية.

أستاذ جامعي – خبير استراتيجي.

مقالات متعلقة

Nasrallah: Syria triumphs, Israel is waging an imaginary war


Date: 26 June 2020

Author: lecridespeuples

Speech by Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah on May 13, 2020, on the occasion of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Hezbollah Commander Mostapha Badreddine, known as ‘Zulfiqar’, killed in Syria in May 2016.




  • Syria has already won the war, even if there are still some minor battles to be fought
  • Having failed militarily, the enemies of Syria strive doubly hard in their diplomatic, economic and psychological warfare
  • There is no dissension between the allies of Damascus, nor a struggle for influence between Iran and Russia
  • News of Bashar al-Assad being sidelined is just propaganda
  • There are no Iranian armed forces in Syria, just military cadres and advisers
  • Having bet everything on the terrorists, Israel sees its defeat and fears the recovery of Syria and the threat it will pose to the occupation of the Golan and the very existence of the Zionist entity
  • The so-called Israeli campaign against the Iranian presence in Syria is nothing but window dressing aimed at reassuring Israeli opinion and providing cover for attacks on the Syrian ballistic power
  • Israel presents as a victory a simple redeployment of forces due to successive victories over almost the entire Syrian territory, and a reduction in air movements between Iran and Syria due to the coronavirus
  • Iran, Hezbollah and other Resistance movements will never leave Syria
  • Israeli incursions into Syria are caused by worry, fear and adventurism, but can lead to uncontrolled escalation and regional war

This video only subtitles the last section of the transcript below, ‘Israel in Syria


Syria won the world war against it

[…] Today we can say that Syria won this war. In previous battles, when great achievements were made, such as after the liberation of Homs, Damascus, the South and even Aleppo, it was said that Syria had won the war, and analysts and specialists in strategic issues said no: Syria had won one (or more) battles, but had not (yet) won the war. Because a war is made of many battles: you can win a battle, lose another, win a third, lose the fourth, but all that does not (necessarily) mean that the whole war is won, or that the whole war is lost.

Today, in all simplicity, and via an objective and genuine assessment (of the situation), whoever goes to Syria and travels there —except for the politicized Arab (and Western) media—, whoever goes to Syria, in its provinces, in its cities, in its villages and boroughs, in all the regions currently in the hands of the State, anyone who observes the overall situation in Syria can easily affirm that Syria won the war, although there are still some battles going on. It should not be said that Syria has won one, two or three battles, and has lost one or two others, and that the war is still going on, without it being clear whether Syria will win it or not, no. The fair and accurate strategic assessment is that the Syrian leaders, the Syrian army, the Syrian State and the great majority of the Syrian people who stood firm in this struggle won this war.

Of course, there are still a few battles left, military or political, which require persistence and continuity of action, whether in Idlib, East of the Euphrates or certain areas North of Syria, but this is only a partial, limited and circumscribed part (of Syria). Syria has triumphed over partition projects, Syria has won this war, and suffice it to say that the objectives of this world war (against Syria) for which, according to their own admission, hundreds of billions of Arabian dollars have been spent —the dollar is American, but it is the Arab (countries) that have paid the bills; if this money had been spent for the good of the Arab peoples of our region, they would have extricated them from ignorance, poverty, misery, illiteracy, diseases, and the said funding countries (Saudi Arabia, etc. ) would not face financial incapacity in the face of the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic as they do now—, thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition, tens of thousands of terrorists and takfiris who were brought from all over the world, dozens of international conferences, etc., etc., etc. They have deployed everything, done everything, absolutely everything, to achieve their objective in Syria: sectarian or political slogans, incitement (to racial or religious hatred), everything that the front of Arrogance (imperialism) and its instruments were able to mobilize in terms of resources and ideology, everything they could do against Syria, they did. And Syria, through the perseverance of its leaders, its army, its people and the State, and thanks to the presence and perseverance of its allies by its side, managed to win this war.

And that is why today, when we talk about our martyr leader, Sayed Mustapha Badreddine, and our other martyrs in Syria, we feel, in addition to the consequences for their afterlife and their (eminent) position close to God the Most High and the Exalted as martyrs, we have the feeling that their blood has borne fruit and enabled these results to be achieved, and that the objective for which they went to fight and for which they sacrificed their blood, their peace and their life, and for which they made unremitting efforts night and day, this goal was achieved and it is before our eyes today.

Economic, diplomatic & psychological warfare

I will now raise some points (concerning Syria). The first point is that naturally, what (the enemies of Syria) have been unable to achieve militarily, they have been trying for the past few years to obtain it politically, through political pressure on the Syrian leaders, on the allies of Syria, on Iran, on Russia, on those who stand alongside Syria, through international relations, through the UN Security Council, through intimidation, threats and tempting promises, so that the allies of Damascus will abandon Syria. But all of this has failed so far. And we know that sometimes the political battle is just as intense as the armed struggle. And sometimes its dangers are even greater, and require all of our vigilance and attention. Syria is still plunged into political war and is facing political pressures which, so far, have failed to achieve any of their goals.

Naturally, and I come to the second point, after the failure of the military war and the impotence and the ineffectiveness of the political war and the political pressures in achieving any objective at all, the front of Arrogance (imperialism), the American despots and their Allies resorted to other means, namely psychological warfare on the one hand, and sanctions and blockade on the other. With regard to psychological warfare, a very broad front has been open for years against Syria, and lately there has been an intensification of psychological warfare, some aspects of which I will touch on in a moment. Likewise, the sanctions and the state of siege against Syria are increasing, and they are betting on the economic consequences (which they hope get unbearable for Syria and its allies). The coronavirus has added to these pressures, but this pandemic is not specific to Syria: the pressures of the coronavirus are weighing on the whole world. Today, those who besiege Iran, Syria, Venezuela and other countries, Gaza, Yemen, etc., are starting to suffer the economic consequences of the coronavirus themselves. We have all seen the catastrophe hitting the United States, the countries of Western Europe, as well as certain countries in our region (Saudi Arabia, etc.). In any event, it is also a means of attacking Syria, namely economic pressures, sanctions, the state of siege against Syria.

With regard to the sanctions and the blockade, we place our hopes on the endurance of the Syrian leaders, the Syrian State and the Syrian people, just as they persevered in the face of the military and political war. What gives us hope is that Syria is a country endowed with human capital and colossal possibilities; the Syrian people are full of liveliness, the wealth and innate means of Syria are many and huge. Before the crisis, Syria was not a debt-ridden or weak country, nor was it a country brimming with wealth, but its economy was entirely viable. In some Arab countries, millions of people live in cemeteries, but no family lived in a cemetery in Syria. Anyway, in the economic battle, the livelihood battle, the financial battle, we have good hope in the endurance and initiative of Syria, just as we trust Syria to succeed against the psychological battle.

Tensions between Syria’s allies ?

With regard to the psychological battle, I would like to give an example, before addressing my last point concerning Syria. Part of the psychological battle concerns the situation of the allies, and we often hear that the allies of Damascus have started to abandon Syria. (According to these rumors), Iran would be entangled in its internal situation and would prepare to abandon Syria. Russia, because of the pressures, its internal situation, such pressures or such problems or I don’t know what other rubbish, would abandon Syria. All these words express only dreams and hopes that we have been hearing for years, and some have been disseminated as if they were information, etc., but they were only aspirations (US / Israeli / Saudi wishful thinking).

Among the talking points of the current psychological warfare, let us quote again the recurrent remarks that we find in the media of the Gulf and certain Western media —the Western media are more reluctant to diffuse these reports, because they try to preserve the (little) credibility they still have— about an Iranian-Russian power struggle in Syria. There is no hint of truth in it. I said at the beginning of my speech that I was going to talk about Iran again. In the two points that remain for me to address (on Syria), I will clearly point out certain sensitive points which concern the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Neither the Islamic Republic of Iran, nor Hezbollah, nor the Resistance factions from different countries —Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc. ; yes, Resistance movements came from these countries and fought in Syria alongside the Syrian Arab Army, the Syrian people and the Syrian popular forces, and are still present there… The Islamic Republic of Iran is not fighting for influence against anyone in Syria. Neither against Russia —regardless of what Russia is doing— nor against anyone. The position of the Islamic Republic in Syria was clear from the beginning: its (only) goal was to prevent the fall of Syria under American-Israeli control, and under the control of the instruments of Arrogance (imperialism), our common enemy. This was Iran’s goal, and nothing else. The Islamic Republic does not seek any influence in Syria, it has no aims and no greed in Syria, and has no desire to interfere in the internal affairs of Syria. Iranian interference in Syria has never existed, does not exist and will never exist with regard to internal Syrian issues, whether in the form of the regime, government, laws, the State… Iran will never do anything that some other States (especially the imperialist and neo-colonialist West) do, in any case. All that mattered and still matters for the Islamic Republic of Iran is that Syria remains in its (pro-) Arab, (pro-) Islamic, (pro-) Resistance position, that it preserves its identity, its independence, its sovereignty, its unity, that Syria remains a noble and dignified, persevering fortress, does not submit to American and Zionist hegemony, and does not compromise on its rights (over the Golan). This is all that Iran wants in Syria, no more no less. And that does not enter into any struggle for influence with anyone.

Certainly, to be completely frank and sincere, there may be differences between the allies as regards the definition of certain military or ground priorities, political questions, at the level of negotiations, etc. But this in no way leads to a struggle for influence, because the decisions of the Islamic Republic are categorical as regards the position alongside the Syrian leaders (who have the final say on all matters), Iran complying with what they determine and accept. The Islamic Republic has a position of support towards the endurance, the persistence, the maintenance and the independence of Syria, and its resilience in the face of projects of hegemony and control over it, and of liquidation of the Axis of Resistance in the region. In this regard, I would therefore like to reassure the masses & supporters of the Resistance in the Arab-Islamic world: in Syria, there is no struggle for influence between Iran and Russia, so we could say that the front of the allies and supporters of Damascus is plagued by internal strife or is in withdrawal. This is absolutely not true.

Israel in Syria

The other point I also wanted to talk about concerning Syria and Iran in Syria, and the Israeli enemy in Syria, is the Israeli aggressions and the Israeli project in Syria. Especially in the past few weeks, the Zionist Israeli Minister of War (Naftali Bennett) is trying to brag and present (false victories) to the Israeli masses, lying to them and misleading them, and also to the public opinion in the Arab-Muslim world —and there are also Arab media that spread these lies and falsifications—, in order to highlight the imaginary victories and achievements of Israel in Syria at the expense of Syria, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Axis of Resistance. I want to talk about it a bit, and it may be the first time that I do it in such a frank and detailed way, even if it will be synthetic.

During the first years (of the war in Syria), from 2011, Israel bet on the (terrorist) armed groups. The relations of the armed groups —especially in the south of Syria— with Israel are absolutely undeniable: exchange of information, financing, supplies, medical care, aid and support of all kinds, up to transit, all this is well known and obvious. Israel has been active in the war in Syria since 2011, and has counted & invested heavily on those who fight the regime in Syria. Israel had a whole set of objectives, the highest of which was the fall of the regime and the liquidation of the current administration (of Bashar al-Assad). But there were several other lesser goals.

When this war against Syria failed, and the Zionists understood that their instruments and the horse on which they had bet had failed in Syria, and that they had lost the war… They are still fighting in Syria, but they lost the war, as I just explained. The proof is that all of southern Syria, the vast majority of which was under the control of armed groups, which cooperated with Israel, was assisted by Israel and were Israel’s allies both openly and secretly, they all left, and some left Syria via the Zionist entity. We don’t forget their buses at night.

The Israelis therefore understood that their objective (to bring down the regime) had failed. They therefore aimed at a new objective, namely to fight against a new danger which appears to them, new dangers which will emanate from the situation and the victory in Syria. What are these new dangers? Some reside in the Syrian Arab forces themselves, in the Syrian army and in the Syrian military capabilities, especially with regard to ballistic capability and the manufacture of precision missiles. And that’s why we see that Israel is attacking everything related to the production of missiles in Syria, because he considers that the ballistic capacity and the manufacture of missiles constitute a (enormous) force for Syria, and obviously also for the Axis of Resistance.

Israel therefore considers Syria as a future threat, Syria which has stood firm during all these years in the face of a universal war waged against it: if Damascus regains its strength and regains its health, and develops its military, human and material capabilities, this will give Syria prevalence in the region and in the Arab-Israeli struggle. Therefore, Israel considers Syria as a threat, a future threat: Syria may not be a current threat, because it remains entangled in its internal situation and the few battles that remain to be fought. Likewise, Israel views the presence of Iran and Resistance factions in Syria as a threat. Israel is worried about Syria, Israel is afraid. Israel is terrified of what the future holds for it in Syria. This is the true description of the situation.

So look at the way Israeli officials express themselves about the Golan Heights, claiming that in southern Syria, for example, Hezbollah has a certain presence and a certain activity, and is trying to create a structure (of Resistance), with the help, silence or complicity of the Syrian authorities, cooperating with young Syrians (combatants) in order to recover the Golan and attack the Israeli occupation in the Golan. And all this while nothing important has happened yet. But this simple assumption, this simple fact created an atmosphere of terror within the Zionist entity, and sometimes pushes it to escalation measures which can lead to unforeseen and dramatic consequences (an open regional war). This indicates that Israel behaves towards Syria from a position of worry, fear and terror in the face of the consequences of the great victory in Syria. You have to keep that in mind in the first place.

Israel has therefore announced a goal in Syria. He cannot declare that he strikes Syria and the Syrian army, even if that is what he is doing concretely. Israel has therefore announced a goal linked to the Iranian presence in Syria, and the presence of Hezbollah, even if he insists above all on the Iranian presence. So they launched a campaign under the slogan “We want to expel Iran from Syria.” And their stupidity is such that it prompted the Israeli Minister of War, Naftali Bennett, to go so far as to set a timetable, promising that before the end of 2020, he would have ended the Iranian presence in Syria. So remember this deadline and count the months that we have before the end of the year to see what will happen to the promise of this stupid minister.

Israel has therefore worked to achieve this goal. What did they do, apart from the international, regional and domestic incitement, and the attempt to present the Iranian presence in Syria —which I will describe in detail— as having gone from a factor of assistance to a burden for Syria, which is a gross lie? They began with airstrikes and air operations which occasionally hit means of transport, warehouses or certain locations in Syria. This has been happening for years, and I never talked about it (in detail).

What is new? The new thing is that Israel goes astray, tricks its people and deceives the opinion in our region (and in the world) —and we are always fighting this battle to raise public awareness by revealing the truth—, trying to present certain details like the proofs of his victory in Syria and the beginning of the defeat of the Axis of Resistance or the Islamic Republic of Iran, the beginning of our exit and withdrawal (from Syria).

What are the clues and evidence that Israel puts forward? For several weeks, certain Israeli officials, media and analysts have been propagating these statements, even if other Israeli analysts say that these statements are inaccurate and just for show —and the latter are the ones who are right. Israel has spoken of several points (put forward as evidence of an Iranian withdrawal from Syria):

1/ the number of troops: the “Iranian (armed) forces”, to use their expression, would have greatly decreased in Syria;

2/ certain bases that have been evacuated, returned (to the Syrian authorities) or abandoned;

3/ the concentration of efforts on eastern Syria and the presence in the region of al-Boukamal, Deir Ezzor, etc.

The conclusion of all of this, (if we are to believe the Zionist enemy), is that the result of intelligence operations, military actions and aerial bombardments carried out by Israel, have largely fulfilled their objectives: Iran would leave Syria, the Iranians would be in full withdrawal, Hezbollah would retreat, and this moron (Bennett) believes he achieved an historic exploit which he trumpets  at every occasion, predicting the full achievement of this objective before the end of 2020. Just see how he spreads these lies and fools public opinion.

Let me show you the real situation. First, regarding the situation on the ground, Israel keeps talking about the presence of “Iranian (armed) forces”, but in Syria there have only been Iranian military advisers and experts since 2011. I would like to say that they were present even before 2011 alongside the Syrian Arab Army and alongside the Resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah), and after 2011, they remained, and due to the events, their number increased. But there are no Iranian military forces in Syria. When we talk about Iranian military forces, we mean one or more battalions, one or more units, legions, etc. That is what we are referring to when we talk about the armed forces.

There are a number of military advisers and experts in Syria, the number of which has increased with the events (since 2011). They had and still have a very important role:

1/ providing support and advice to the Syrian armed forces;

2/ managing groups of Syrian, Arab and Islamic popular forces which they train, arm and lead in the various battles in progress;

3/ coordinating operations with Resistance movements, including Hezbollah;

4/ coordinating the logistical support operations provided by the Iranian defense ministry to the Syrian defense ministry.

These Iranian advisers are not Iranian (armed) forces. It is not an Iranian armed presence.

You see, the Israelis announced a nonexistent, illusory, imaginary goal, similar to the objective of successive American administrations to prevent Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons, while the Iranians do not have nuclear weapons and do not want to obtain nuclear weapons. In Syria, Israel is waging an imaginary battle to prevent Iranian forces from being present in Syria. While in Syria there are only Iranian military advisers and military experts. Despite all the difficulties, the situation in Syria in no way requires the arrival of Iranian (armed) forces in Syria.

To be frank and honest, at one point, a real discussion took place on this subject with the Iranian leaders, and at one point, for a few months, certain Iranian armed forces came to Aleppo, for 2 or 3 months. But apart from this exceptional case, there have never been Iranian forces in Syria, and I say and repeat that there are only advisers, in the number required by the situation: there may be more or less according to the needs of the field, and many of them fell martyrs —some could put forward this argument as proof of an armed presence; but it’s because these advisers were on the front lines alongside the Syrian Arab Army and Resistance factions, fighting and participating in battles, in the manner of the school of their commander of the al-Quds Forces, the martyr Qassem Soleimani, may God the Most High be pleased with him. This is therefore the real and precise description of the situation.

Secondly, naturally, as the battles were won, whether for the Iranians or the factions of the Resistance, and sometimes even for the Syrian army, when the battle or the threat ended in a region, there was no longer any reason to maintain a presence of combatants or military bases, nor our positions on combat axes and front lines. At one time, the fighting was taking place (simultaneously) in Homs, in the rif of Damascus, in Damascus, in the East of Homs, in the suburbs of Aleppo and in Aleppo itself, in Idlib, in the south of Syria, Badiya, al-Boukamal, Deir Ezzor, etc. It was therefore natural to have a presence (of the armed forces) in all these regions. While on the coast, there were no battles, and there was therefore no reason to have this presence.

When the province of Homs was liberated, this presence ceased. Same thing when the battles in Damascus and in the rif of Hama ended, as well as in southern Syria, in Palmyra and in the Badiya. If the Syrian army, of which it is the country, wanted to maintain a certain presence in certain barracks, to take the necessary precautions (to face a possible resurgence of the terrorists), that made sense; but as for the auxiliary forces, whether Iranians, Hezbollah or other factions of the Resistance, it is quite natural that they left this region, maintaining only the minimum of personnel, of combatants and of material there as a precaution. There would have been no reason to maintain the same number of forces, the same bases, etc.

For about two years, when this victory became clear, especially after the liberation of the Badiya and the opening of the highway to Aleppo, and the end of the battle in Damascus, in the rif of Damascus and in the south, the (Syrian & allied) forces gathered (in the last places of activity of the terrorists). The presence of many Iranian advisers was no longer required, and so they returned to Iran. Likewise for a number of Hezbollah fighters and cadres in Syria, whose presence was no longer useful, so they returned to Lebanon. Many of our Iraqi brothers and other nationalities were no longer required, so they returned home.

The situation in Syria having become very good, (what would have been the point of maintaining all this presence)? Some bases and barracks have always remained empty, and had been prepared in case there was a need for additional manpower. Many bases and barracks were no longer useful because there were no more fights, and were therefore abandoned. It all started two years ago or more, and has nothing to do with Israeli operations and attacks in Syria. It has nothing to do with the Israeli strikes in Syria. And that has nothing to do with the martyrdom of brother commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani. It started under his leadership, and the current leadership of the Al-Quds Forces (IRGC) continues the same program it began operating over two years ago.

Likewise, Hezbollah and the rest of the factions of the Resistance have started to do the same for more than two years, namely to decrease the troops, decrease the number of (active) bases, decrease the presence, because Syria begins to recover, Syria has won, the Syrian Arab Army has won, many frontlines no longer exist, the battles having been definitively won there. This is the truth.

Today, when anyone talks about a downsizing of foreign forces in Syria… Let me give you an example for Lebanon. At some point I announced that on the whole axis of Qalamoun, we ended our presence (that used to be massive), keeping only one or two positions. Same thing for the whole axis of Zabadani. All was done in coordination with the Syrian army. Is this an Israeli success? Or is this fact explained because the Syrian army and the Resistance won all the battles in these regions, as well as in the rif of Damascus, in the rif of Homs, etc. What would be the point, once the fighting is over, of staying on the mountains, in the cold, in the heat, what good is it to mobilize and use resources, etc. All that would be useless, it would be a waste of material and human resources. When the fighting is over, all we have to do is pack up and return to our main front, namely southern Lebanon (facing Israel).

The pseudo-evidence put forward by Israel today, namely the issue of the reduction of troops in Syria, the total or partial evacuation of certain places, bases or positions, this is only due to the fact that the presence there would no longer make any sense, as for example in Damascus or around Damascus, where the fighting has stopped. It is quite natural that the military presence should go to al-Boukamal, Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Idlib, because the front lines are there, and there is no more fighting elsewhere. The remaining battles are there, so those who want to help must go there and not sit (arms crossed) in Damascus.

The pseudo-evidence advanced by Israel in no way proves Israeli successes, but proves the victory of Syria, the victory of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the victory of Hezbollah, the victory of the Axis of Resistance in Syria. This victory in the war involves, as with any army and any military force in the world, a redeployment of forces in accordance with new responsibilities and new challenges, in the light of our achievements and victories.

More so, a sign of the imbecility and lies of the Israeli media is that they have tried to explain the fact that for example, lately, the movements between Syria and Iran have decreased somewhat —air freight, the movement of airplanes—, and this has also been put forward as evidence of the Israeli military successes in Syria, while these claims are nothing but lies and falsifications. The cause is the coronavirus. The covid-19 which impacted the US military, European armies, and even the army of the Israeli enemy itself, which canceled maneuvers, training, and large military parades planned to celebrate the anniversary of the victory of 1945, and it is only natural that the pandemic also affects Syria, the Islamic Republic, ourselves and everyone.

To summarize this point, by way of synthesis before evoking the internal situation in Lebanon in the minutes that I have left, I would like to address the Israeli public to invite them to check their information and not to believe the lies of their leaders, who put forward imaginary victories in Syria, whether against Syria or against Iran. Admittedly, Syria suffers prejudice, just as Iranian advisers, Hezbollah and the Resistance in Syria are affected by the Israeli aggressions, which the Syrian, Iranian and Resistance leaders consider as they should —I don’t have time to speak in detail about our point of view on the issue, I will do it another time if necessary—, but the Israelis need to know that what their leaders are saying is only lies, deception and illusions, purely imaginary achievements. And if Israel continues on this path, they can make a mistake or a blunder that would blow up the whole region.

As for the announced objective, namely to expel the Iranian presence —the military advisers, and not the pseudo Iranian forces, as I explained— or even to expel Hezbollah and the Resistance from Syria, this objective will never be achieved, o Zionists. This objective will never be achieved. These advisers are present following a joint decision by Syria and Iran, and the Resistance movements are present at the request of the Syrian leaders and in accordance with the will of the Resistance movements themselves, and all those who, since 2011 to date, have sacrificed thousands of martyrs and suffered thousands of injuries, will not be defeated or deterred by an air strike or an assassination here and there. They will remain firmly on their positions, and will not abandon the battlefield or the place under any circumstances. This goal is unachievable.

These are just illusions that you live in your imagination; you are engaging in sheer adventurism, and at any moment, you can make a serious error in Syria that you will regret bitterly. […]

See also:

Malcolm X about race, crime and police brutality: ‘You can’t be a Negro in America and not have a criminal record’

Khamenei: George Floyd’s murder mirrors what the United States did to the world

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“Any amount counts, because a little money here and there, it’s like drops of water that can become rivers, seas or oceans…” Hassan Nasrallah

‎ الأميركيّون أكثر تواضعاً من عملائهم

ناصر قنديل

لا يجرؤ العملاء على المجاهرة بمواقف واضحة كأسيادهم، فيختبئون وراء شعارات ملفّقة، ويرفعون سقوفاً عالية، وهم يسمعون أسيادهم يفاوضون على سقوف مختلفة ويتحدثون علناً عن أهداف مختلفة، فهل هي عبقريتهم الخاصة أم هي التعليمات. الجواب جاء في كلام السفيرة الأميركية في بيروت التي كشفت سر اللعبة بتصريحاتها التي تطابقت مع أمر العمليات الذي ينفذه عملاء الخمس نجوم الذين تشغلهم السفارة وتشكل السفيرة رئيسهم المباشر. فما قالته السفيرة هو ما نسمعه من هؤلاء العملاء منذ أسابيع، والمضمون هو أن حزب الله بنى دويلة داخل الدولة ويستولي على مليارات الدولارات لحسابه، وهو بذلك سبب الأزمة الاقتصادية والمالية، ولا حلّ للأزمة إلا بسحب سلاح المقاومة، فهل هذا هو المشروع الأميركي؟

الواضح أن مَن هم أعلى رتبة من السفيرة مسموح لهم بما لا يسمح لها ولمن تشغلهم بقوله، فاللعبة هي أن تتولى السفيرة وجوقتها التحريض على حزب الله، ليتقدّم المسؤولون المعنيون، والذين يحق لهم بالكلام الجدّي بالسقوف التفاوضية التي تعبر عن جوهر الموقف الأميركي، فيقولون الكلام الرسميّ المعتمد. وهكذا جاء كلام المبعوث الأميركي الخاص حول سورية، ليحدّد المطلوب لقاء وقف العمل بقانون قيصر، قائلاً إن ما تسعى إليه واشنطن هو العودة إلى ما قبل العام 2011، عندما لم يكن هناك وجود لحزب الله جنوب سورية. والمعلوم طبعاً أن المقصود بهذا الوجود هو أمن كيان الاحتلال وجيشه، وليس أي شيء آخر، والأميركي لا يشعر بالحرج من الإجابة بنعم على هذا السؤال. كما لا يخفي أنه مستعد للانسحاب من سورية إذا تحقق ذلك، ضمن مفهوم العودة إلى ما قبل 2011، والقضية الوحيدة التي لا يجرؤ على التسليم بفعلها تحت عنوان العودة إلى ما قبل 2011، ليست مصير المتعاملين معه شرق سورية، بل مصير قراره بتبني ضمّ الجولان من جانب كيان الاحتلال.

على ضفة موازية يتحدث معاون وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شينكر، فينتهي بعد تكرار استعمال سيمفونية جوقة السفارة عن مسؤولية حزب الله عن الأزمة المالية، ليبقّ البحصة ويقول ماذا يريد وماذا تستهدف إدارته، فيقول للبنانيين بصراحة تصل حد الوقاحة، لديكم أزمة خانقة وعندم غاز وفير وواعد تجارياً في بلوكات متنازع عليها مع كيان الاحتلال ولديكم تصور أميركي لحل النزاع فوافقوا على التصور. والمقصد معلوم وهو ترسيم الحدود البحرية لثروات الغاز اللبناني وفق خط فريدريك هوف الذي يمنح كيان الاحتلال الجزء الرئيسي من حقوق لبنان، ومعلوم أيضاً أن كيان الاحتلال المستعجل على بدء الاستثمار في حقول الغاز الشمالية لا يستطيع فعل ذلك من دون إنهاء الترسيم مع لبنان، خشية تهديدات المقاومة لكل شركة تدخل النطاق المائي الاقتصادي اللبناني أو المتنازع عليه، وفق المفهوم الدبلوماسي الرائج، ستعتبر أهدافاً مشروعة للمقاومة.

لا حاجة للشرح، للاستنتاج أن أي مسؤول أميركي مكلف بملف جدي، أي فوق مرتبة السفيرة قائدة جوقة الطبّالين، لم يتحدث عن نزع سلاح المقاومة كهدف واقعي، بل رسمت معادلات جيفري وشينكر إطاراً تفاوضياً مضمونه، نفرج عن المال للبنان مقابل قبول منح كيان الاحتلال ميزات من حقوق لبنان في الغاز والنفط، ونفرج عن المال لسورية، مقابل مقايضة وجود المقاومة جنوب سورية بالوجود الأميركي شمالها، شرط عدم إلغاء التبني الأميركي لقرار ضمّ الجولان من جانب كيان الاحتلال. وعلى جوقة عملاء أميركا “السياديين” في لبنان أن يخرجوا دون لف ودوران للمجاهرة بالحديث مباشرة عن دعوتهم لقبول ترسيم الحدود البحرية وفق شروط الكيان، وعلى زملائهم “الديمقراطيين” في سورية أن يعلنوا موافقتهم على قرار ضم الجولان، من دون ادعاء أنهم أعلم بمواقف أميركا من الأميركيين.

On anniversary of the liberation of Quneitra , the return of the occupied Syrian Golan inevitable


By Rawaa  Ghanam 

 Friday, 26 June 2020 18:29

The 26th of June , 1974 marks a day of pride for Syrians across country for in that day the Israeli occupation of the southern city of Quneitra was brought to an end..

 Forty-six years have passed since the anniversary of the liberation of Quneitra from the Israeli occupation and  raising of the national flag in the city ,  the Syrians confirm their insistence more than ever to continue their struggle till  the liberation of the occupied Syrian  Golan and every  inch of Syrian land, whether from terrorism or the occupational forces which support it.

The day of victory over the Zionist enemy and the restoration of Quneitra to the bosom of the homeland on  June  26th 1974 is the day on which that late president  Hafez al-Assad, raised the nation’s flag in the sky of the liberated city after it had been liberated by the Syrian Arab Army from the Israeli enemy thanks to the heroism and sacrifices of the army personnel and the resilience of the Syrian people during the October Liberation War.This victory proved a basic fact – Syria’s inalienable and legitimate right to fully restore the occupied Syrian  Golan.

In spite of the policies of Judaization and repression practiced by the occupation authorities during their  brutal Zionist aggression on  Quneitra  and the aggressive destruction of the city in order to erase the national identity of  the Golan,  yet  the Golan challenged these policies and remained steadfast in the face of the occupation.

Citizens of the Golan  affirm strongly their adherence  to their homeland Syria and  reject  the “Israeli identity”, expressing determination  to liberate  the Golan and return  to the homeland.

The Syrians in general and the Syrian citizens of  Quneitra governorate and  in the occupied Syrian  Golan in particular  recall  proudly June 26th moments of victory over the Zionist enemy and the liberation of Quneitra city  , while  they are more confident of  their ability to confront the colonial and terrorist conspiracies  against Syria to undermine its  firm resistant stances in the region.

The released Syrian captive Sidqi Al-Maqt confirmed to  SANA correspondent in Quneitra   the continuation  of resistance and struggle against the Israeli occupation till the liberation of the entire occupied Syrian  Golan and  the rejection of  all arbitrary measures practiced by the occupation authorities aimed at Judaizing the Golan.

Al-Maqt expressed his confidence in the liberation of the occupied Syrian Golan  thanks to  the Syrian Arab Army .He was sure that the national flag will once again fly in its skies.

He  stressed  that the anniversary  of raising of  the national flag in the  city of Quneitra will increase the Syrians determination to continue the struggle to restore the entire occupied  Syrian Golan.

With the commemoration of the liberation of Quneitra from the Zionist occupation, the Syrians confirm day after day that the return of the Golan is a non-negotiable matter , and  that land is the subject of dignity above all and that the steadfastness of Syrian  people and their rejection of the Zionist measures are the best evidence of the inability of the occupation to undermine the will of the resistance and steadfastness  against  the usurper and that the will of the peoples is invincible.

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West Bank annexation plan is a 21st century apartheid with Trump’s approval: Amal Wahdan


Amal Wahdan

June 23, 2020 – 10:45

TEHRAN – Amal Wahdan, a Palestinian activist who has been campaigning for the liberation of Palestine, tells the Tehran Times that the plan by Israel to annex the West Bank is a “new apartheid” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “would not dare” to implement without the “approval of Donald Trump and his circle”.

Wahdan, who was founder and editor of the Arab Gazette, says the annexation plan is in line with Britain’s colonial design in West Asia.

“The West Bank annexation plan fits in perfectly within the larger strategy of “Greater Israel’ to ensure the regional superiority of the Zionist entity through Balkanization of the Arab countries into smaller and weaker entities,” Wahdan notes.

She calls Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump two “troubled leaders” who need each other’s help in these “difficult times”.

“Both troubled and defeated leaders, Netanyahu and Trump need each other’s help in their difficult times in order to remain in office. The former is facing corruption charges that might end his political career if he is indicted and the latter is under constant attack from his adversaries and facing impeachment,” explains Wahdan, a permanent member of the Palestinian Coalition for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Question:  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a number of criminal indictments, has repeatedly said that he would commence cabinet-level discussions for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1 in accordance with U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” plan. What is your take on it?

Answer: The Zionist colonial settler entity in occupied Palestine intends to further its ethnic cleansing plans against the Palestinian people by moving on with Netanyahu’s West Bank annexation scheme, a promise he made to his ultra-right election constituency and allies.

The proposed plan seeks to annex 30% of the West bank, including the Jordan Valley stretching 85km to the North along Jordan River and larger illegal settlements in the de facto occupied Palestine. This move poses an imminent threat to the livelihood of 60,000 Palestinians who live in the Jordan Valley and depend mostly on agriculture (compared to 6000 Jewish settlers( and to hundreds of thousands who live in rural areas surrounding the larger settlements.

“For over 72 years, Zionists practiced apartheid policies against Palestinian people which is much worse than those practiced in South Africa and like those of Nazi Germany.”Netanyahu would not dare to go ahead with his plan of annexation without the approval of the U.S. President, Donald Trump, and his circle. Actually, both troubled and defeated leaders, Netanyahu and Trump need each other’s help in their difficult times in order to remain in office. The former is facing corruption charges that might end his political career if he is indicted and the latter is under constant attack from his adversaries.
In return, Trump will guarantee the support of AIPAC and the American Jewish votes. In addition, we have to bear in mind that Trump’s “deal of the century” granted the Zionist colonial entity what they have been dreaming for over the past decades; recognizing “Israel” as a Jewish state and Jerusalem as its eternal capital, supporting the illegal settlements in the West Bank in opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, annexation of the Golan Heights, and the occupied West Bank. With this gift, Trump granted the Zionist entity what he doesn’t own to those who don’t deserve it. Just like what Belfour did with his declaration over a century ago; he granted a Jewish Homeland in Palestine, a land that he didn’t own, to the Zionist movement.

Q: Could we consider this plan in line with the Zionist colonial project of “Greater Israel”?

A: The ideology of the Zionist Movement and Project has developed over the decades as an organic part of the European colonial powers. It came into formal existence at the end of the 19th century with one main theme: the creation of a Jewish Homeland. In the process to materialize this dream, several options were put in place before they spotted Historic Palestine as the most suitable choice, mainly for geopolitical reasons but covered by the religious myth for political tactics. 

Most Zionist leaders from Herzel, the founder of the Zionist Movement, to Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, Moshe Dayan, Ariel Sharon up-to-date Netanyahu have used the religious mythology in their political platforms, speeches, and with world leaders even though none of them was actually religious.

It was Herzl who carved the area of the future Jewish state by saying: “From the Brooks of Egypt to the Euphrates.” Ben-Gurion had wanted Israel’s northern border to extend to the River Litani. While the World Zionist Organization declared a century ago that the Jewish state shall extend to cover all of historic Palestine, Litani Rive, Golan Heights, Hauran Plain, Deraa, to control the Railroad from Deraa to Amman in addition to the Gulf of Aqaba.

Thus, within the framework of the Zionist project, Palestine, which has been inhabited for thousands of years becomes the ‘promised land’ to God’s ‘chosen people’, and empty land for another people (from all over the world) who have no land! The replacement of the people of Palestine with colonial invading settlers became the implementation of a divine promise.     

Q: Do you think the U.S. “New Middle East” doctrine was to create chaos and divide the Arab homeland into sectarian entity?

A: The West Bank annexation plan fits perfectly within the larger strategy of “Greater Israel’ to ensure the regional superiority of the Zionist entity through Balkanization of the Arab countries into smaller and weaker entities. This was in fact an extension of Britain’s colonial design in West Asia when the victors of WWI, Britain- France signed the Sykes-Picot agreement. This was the first phase of the geographical division of the Arab Homeland and the creation of the satellite entities of the British colonial empire; Saudi Arabia, Persian Gulf states, carving Jordan, Lebanon, and historic Palestine from the Levant.

The Oded Yinon plan went further beyond the geographic division to the sectarian divide of the Arab Homeland between Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. This vision had kicked off in 1982 with the Israeli occupation and invasion of Lebanon and the creation of the Antone Lahed Army south of the Litani River. This war led to the expulsion of the PLO leadership and the scattering of the Palestinian fighters as far as Yemen, Tunisia, and Algeria. The second major blow was the U.S. incitement of Saddam Hussein of Iraq to wage an eight-year war against the Islamic Republic of Iran and its new revolution, which had immense ramifications on both countries. The third was the eruption of what the U.S. and its allies called the “Arab Spring.” This was manifested in a wave of mass demonstrations that swamped the Arab region from Tunisia in December of 2010 to Egypt, Libya and to the torn country of Iraq since the invasion of 2003, to the division of Sudan in 2013, the instigated terror war in Somalia, and the “Arab Coalition” war on Yemen in 2015, led by Saudi Arabia with the support of the U.S. and the Zionist entity. 

Despite of the pan-Arab Nakba (catastrophe), millions of casualties among civilians, exodus, destruction of infrastructures, economic sanctions, and devastation, and loss of billions of dollars of national wealth, the Yinon plan of Balkanization of the Arab Homeland failed miserably to achieve its goals as well as the U.S. “New Middle East” doctrineOn the contrary, it drove regional and Arab resistance movements and countries closer in confrontation with U.S. hegemony and Zionists’ expansionist project from Yemen in the South, to Syria, Lebanon, occupied Palestine, Iraq, and Iran as a regional power.

The Balkanization of West Asia is an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. A policy which the U.S. administration under Bill Clinton successfully implemented in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc and managed to dismantle the Eastern bloc but into failed fragmented entities.

Q: The U.S.-Zionist strategy to annex the West Bank would have serious ramifications on the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and Egypt. What are the options left for the Palestinian people and leadership?

A: The U.S.-backed West Bank annexation plan has put an end to the Oslo agreement that was signed between the PLO leadership and the Zionist colonial settler entity in September of 1993 and the two-state solution. This agreement was in “Israel’s” favor from A to Z. Although, it entailed mutual recognition and the creation of the Palestinian state at the 1967 war borders which included the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as its capital, several important issues like the right of return, borders, settlements, water, sea and airports will be decided at the end of the five year period. None of these articles were implemented. Furthermore, after 25 years of Oslo, the Palestinians are still living in a huge open prison as the Gaza Strip is under siege for 13 years, hundreds of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land are confiscated, dozens of Zionists colonies are erected, over 800 km of the illegal wall surrounding and cutting in between the Palestinian cities, towns and rural areas, water springs, power grids, land, sea, and airports all are under the control of the Zionist colonial entity.

The PLO executive committee and President Mahmoud Abbas have declared their decision to abandon the Oslo agreements, to suspend their diplomatic and security relations with the Americans and the Zionist leaders in rejection to the West Bank annexation plan. But this is not enough to confront the new wave of ethnic cleansing.

The Palestinian leadership needs to free its mind from any illusions that Americans and Zionists want peace and recognize reality that we are in the process of national liberation not state-building. For over 72 years, Zionists practiced apartheid policies against Palestinian people which is much worse than those practiced in South Africa and like those of Nazi Germany. Even the UN human rights experts announced their condemnation of the Zionists’ annexation plan of parts of the occupied West Bank, as a “vision of a 21st century apartheid”.

The new geopolitical order provides a positive environment to a genuine solution in front of the PLO and the Palestinian people; to restore the National Charter of 1968 and resolutions of the National Councils up to 1974 on the vision of comprehensive unity of an undivided, historic Palestine in terms of both land and people, to maintain a tight link between the objectives of the Palestinian National Movement and the Arab, regional and international resistance movements, to emphasize the leading role of the organization in liberating Palestine from settler colonization along with all national forces as a framework for their alliance during the liberation stage.


After the West Bank When (How Soon) Will the East Follow?

By Jeremy Salt


West Bank Palestine 039e9

Whatever percentage of the West Bank Israel begins to annex in July, it will eventually annex the rest. Will it then turn to the east bank of the Jordan river?

Since the 19th century, the Zionist project was based on the seizure of all Palestine, including territory east of the Jordan. The map of ‘Israel’ presented to the Paris peace conference in 1919 extended northwards into what is now Lebanon and included the city of Sidon; in the northeast, all the Golan Heights and Syria almost as far as Damascus; in the southeast the entire Jordan River valley, with the territory it desired extending almost to the town limits of Amman.

Water was integral to zionist calculations from the beginning. In the imperial carve-up between Britain and France, however, the headwaters of the Jordan on Mt Hermon, fed by the Hasbani and Baniyas rivers,  stayed within the French mandate for Syria (later divided into Lebanon and Syria).  The water flows into the Sea of Galilee, from where it feeds the Jordan River before emptying into the Dead Sea.

In the 1950s and 60s the zionists made repeated attempts to divert the waters of the Golan, apart from bombing Syrian attempts to make better use of the water by building pumping stations. In its 1967 attack on Egypt and Syria, Israel seized two-thirds of the Golan, ensuring the flow of its waters south into Lake Galilee.  About 100, 000 Syrians fled or were expelled, along with several thousand Palestinians. About 100 of their villages were demolished and their land given to the 22,000 settlers who now live on the heights. An entire city, Quneitra, was also reduced to rubble by Israeli army sappers.

Currently, Israel takes about 60 percent of its fresh water needs from Lake Galilee and the West Bank.  From the Galilee the water is pumped south to feed the Naqab, while 80 percent of the West Bank’s aquifers is drained so Israeli needs can be met and the settlers (about 450,000 excluding occupied East Jerusalem) can water their lawns and fill their swimming pools.  By comparison, the Palestinians (2.2 million are allowed scarcely enough for domestic use, they have to endure frequent cuts and they have been prevented from drilling new wells since 1967 despite population growth.

With the Dead Sea dying and the Sea of Galilee drying up, falling to its lowest level for a century in 2018, Israel is increasingly dependent on desalinated water.  In 2018, in an attempt to revive the Sea of Galilee, the government approved a plan for it to be refilled with desalinated water. The drought of 2018 forced a reduction in the water pumped from the Sea of Galilee from an annual 400 million cubic meters to 30-40 million.  With a growing population and a diminishing supply of fresh water, control of both banks of the Jordan river is bound to be a critical element in zionist forward planning once the latest stage of expansion – the annexation of the West Bank – has been completed.

A false dichotomy

The mainstream Zionists, led by Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion, attached themselves to British imperial designs like a limpet,   promising to be faithful to British interests in the Middle East. They were rewarded with key positions in the civilian administration (control of ‘immigration’ and the attorney-generalship)  as well as military and police protection for their purchase and settlement of land, and the ejection of the Palestinian farmers which followed.

In the history of the Zionist movement a false dichotomy has been created between the mainstream ‘practicals’ and Vladimir Jabotinsky’s Revisionist stream of ‘politicals.’ Jabotinsky – “your fascist” as Mussolini described him to a zionist delegation – was indifferent to the rights, needs and aspirations of the Palestinians but open about his intentions. The Palestine he intended to take in its entirety extended not just from the sea to the Jordan river but to the other side of the river, originally placed within the mandate but removed by Britain in 1922 and converted into the puppet state of Transjordan.

Jabotinsky knew ‘the Arabs’ of Palestine would resist the seizure of their land, and thus intended to build an ‘iron wall’ of military force to overcome them. Once defeated, having been forced to see reason, as Jabotinsky put it,  peace could be established between the two peoples.

The  ‘practicals’ projected an entirely different image. They reviled Jabotinsky’s fascistic Revisionists. They were socialists,  so they declared, irrespective of the fact that their kibbutzes,  their moshavs,  their labor unions and their peak union body, the Histadrut, were for Jews only. They intended no harm to ‘the Arabs’.  All they wanted was to work the land to the benefit of everyone and live in peace with their neighbors.  They were happy to share irrespective of another fact, that Palestine was not theirs to share in the first place.  When partition was first suggested in 1937 they accepted it and they accepted it again in 1947. It was ‘Arab’ obstructionism that was blocking the road to peace.

The diaries of their senior figures told the real story behind the dissimulation. Only there did they reveal their true intentions, to take the land and get rid of the people. The ‘practicals’ knew as well as the Revisionists that an ‘iron wall’ would have to be built against ‘the Arabs.’  An ‘Eretz Israel’ which included the other side of the Jordan was their map as well.  The differences between themselves and the Revisionists were no more than tribal infighting over power. Tactics differed but the strategic end objective  – the seizure of all of Palestine as delineated on the 1919 map – was the same.

Zionist map 7e5fb

Having served its purpose,  the UN partition plan was dumped almost immediately. The zionist leadership never had any intention of abiding by UN resolutions or international law.  It could do neither, if Israel was to be established as a Jewish state.  As Ben-Gurion made clear,  war would give the zionists what they wanted, all of Palestine, not just the 54 percent allocated in the partition plan and but for international intervention in 1948-9, they might well have succeeded.  Partition was accepted by the zionists only because at that stage they could go no further.

Having seized 78 percent of Palestine, Israel was admitted to UN membership only on the condition that it comply with General Assembly resolution 194 of 1948, giving expelled Palestinians the right of repatriation or compensation.

As it has never complied with this resolution and never had any intention of doing so, there is a clear legal reason to regard Israel’s membership of the world body as null and void. Another distinctive characteristic of Israel’s UN membership is that it remains a state without declared borders. This is not just because of the state of war that still exists between itself and two adjoining Arab states (Lebanon and Syria) but because Israel does not want to declare its borders. This seemingly anomalous situation is deliberate, allowing Israel to continue its expansionist drive towards the borders of the ‘national home’ as inked on the map in 1919.

Annexation of the West Bank takes it a further step in this direction. Netanyahu is a Revisionist. His Arab-hating father was for some time Jabotinsky’s secretary.  Since the election of Menachem Begin in 1977, Revisionists have been in government for more than 40 years, with even more extreme extremists (Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked) now taking center stage. In the Zionist context they almost make Netanyahu seem a moderate.

No one should doubt that beyond his lies and deceit, Netanyahu remains faithful to his Revisionist roots.  In his 1993 book A Place Among the Nations: Israel and the World Netanyahu reaffirmed the “right” of the Jewish “people” to the entire ‘land of Israel.’

There should be no confusion about this. The ‘land of Israel’ is not (not yet) synonymous with the state of Israel.

The land is there only for Jews, not to be shared with anyone else, a principle pursued since the beginning of Zionist colonization and a commitment which Netanyahu took a step further with the nation-state law of 2018 and has now taken another step further with his declaration that the Palestinians of the annexed West Bank will not be citizens but “subjects”, a term usually applied to the subjects of a king or emperor.  Again,  this is consistent with the long-term view held along the political spectrum that Israel is the state of the Jewish ‘people’, and not of its citizens.

Last September Netanyahu pledged to annex the West Bank if re-elected.  He now rules Israel under a power-sharing arrangement with Benny Gantz, army chief of staff during the 2014 onslaught on Gaza that killed 2200 people, including 1492 civilians (551 of them children). The Israeli military also shelled UNRWA shelters, killing civilians there as well as in the streets and their apartments.  Annexation of the West Bank was part of the unity deal between these two unindicted war criminals.

How much will be annexed in the first stage won’t be known until Netanyahu issues the first decree but it will definitely include a 100-km long stretch of the Jordan River valley between the Hussein and Karameh (formerly Allenby) bridges. Violence will follow as surely as night follows day, the zionists using resistance,  as they always do, as a pretext to take more land and further tighten their grip.

There may well be a third intifada on the West Bank  and it would take only a few shots across the river for Israel to have the ‘security’ pretext (the protection of its 11,000 illegal settlers in the Jordan valley) for crossing the water and establishing itself on the east bank.  An immediate acquisition would be King Abdullah (formerly the East Ghor) canal on the east bank, from which is pumped 90 million cubic meters of fresh water a year to the residents of Amman.

On the basis of all past zionist practice, the steady expansion into and settlement of Jordanian territory would soon follow, over the futile objections of the ‘international community.’ This is hardly far-fetched. Zionism is an opportunistic ideology and where opportunities have not arisen fortuitously to seize more of Palestine over the past seven decades,  Israel has created them.

Those beating their breasts because annexation will mean an end to the ‘peace process’ and the two-state solution are delusional. The Zionists never intended there to be a two-state solution in Palestine and the ‘peace process’ died long ago, if it was ever intended to live.  In reality, it was no more than a cost-effective war process fought behind closed doors at Camp David and giving Israel time to consolidate its hold on the West Bank.

Once the annexation of the West Bank begins the Palestinian Authority will collapse.  Mahmud Abbas has already severed links with Israel and the US, not that this counts for anything at this stage. King Abdullah has already warned of the “massive crisis” that will follow once the West Bank is annexed but there is little he can do to stop it. The king can respond by sending the Israeli ambassador home and he can suspend the 1994 ‘peace’ treaty in whole or part but he cannot stop annexation any more than King Canute could stop the incoming tide.

The ‘international community’ is already reacting negatively but is likely to do little in practice. The  US is giving Israel a free hand and the lobby will ensure King Abdullah stays in line. He is dependent on the US, where pressure is already being exerted through Congress for the extradition of Ahlam al Tamimi,  implicated in the bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria in 2001, and released in 2011 as part of a Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange. As US nationals died in the bombing, Al Tamimi is wanted for prosecution in the US.  Refusal or delay by Jordan in handing her over would completely play into Israel’s hands. It is the “child killer” – Israel of course never kills children – that would capture the US media headlines and not the annexation of occupied Palestinian territory.

Israel’s ‘peace treaty’ with Jordan is no more than a tactical tool, just as the ‘peace process’ was, to be tossed aside when it has outlived its usefulness.  The Israel army is already stationed on the west bank of the Jordan. No one should expect it to stay there once the annexation of the West Bank has been completed. The east bank of the Jordan River is as much a part of the 1919 map as the Golan Heights or southern Lebanon, where only the resistance of Hizbullah has held the zionists at bay. Almost certainly Israel is going to cross the Jordan river one day.

‘Israel’ Greenlights Illegal ‘Trump Settlement’ In Occupied Golan Heights

‘Israel’ Greenlights Illegal ‘Trump Settlement’ In Occupied Golan Heights

By Staff, Agencies

The Zionist government approved plans to build a new illegal settlement in the ‘Israeli’-occupied Golan Heights named after US President Donald Trump.

So-called Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely wrote on Facebook that her ministry will start preparations for Ramat Trump – Hebrew for “Trump Heights” – with a capacity for 300 families. The Jewish settlement is currently known as Bruchim and is more than 30 years old and has a population of 10 people.

‘Israel’ occupied Syria’s Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981. The vast majority of the international community considers the move illegal under international law.

But during a visit to Washington, DC by Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March last year, just weeks before the occupations entity’s elections, Trump changed decades of US policy by signing an executive order, officially recognizing the strategic mountainous plateau as ‘Israeli’ territory.

The decision, the latest in a series of US diplomatic moves benefitting the Tel Aviv regime, was widely applauded there. It followed Trump’s controversial decision to recognize occupied al-Quds as the Zionist entity’s so-called capital and relocate the US embassy to the city, sparking outrage across the region.

According to Hebrew media, the plan will involve earmarking $2.3m for developing the settlement.

At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu said ‘Israel’ would begin practical steps in establishing the community of Ramat Trump on the Golan Heights, the apartheid regime’s sovereignty over which was recognized by Trump.

الرئيس حافظ الأسد… وقصة اللقاء الأول

علي ناصر محمد Archives - وكالة أوقات الشام الإخبارية

علي ناصر محمد

الرئيس حافظ الأسد… وقصة اللقاء الأول – جريدة البناء | Al-binaa ...

شكلت وفاة القائد العربي الكبير حافظ الأسد خسارة كبيرة ليس لسورية وشعبها فقط، بل للشعوب العربية قاطبة في وقت من أصعب الأوقات في تاريخ الوطن العربي، إذ خسرتْ برحيله زعيماً، عنيدًا، صلباً، رابط الجأش، لا يأبه للضغوط، صاحب رؤية تاريخية مُدعَّمة بالثقة في النفس ومؤمنة بتحقيق هدفها في النهاية. رجل فكر وأيديولوجيا قومية في وقت واحد.

كان رحمه الله آخر القادة العرب الذين شكلوا التاريخ الحديث للمنطقة. غير أنّ أثره كان أقوى من الجميع فرؤياه الثاقبة ومواقفه المبدئية وموقفه المقاوم للاحتلال، ورفضه العنيد لتقديم تنازلات، فيما يتعلق بالأرض العربية المحتلة، وتمسكه بالحقوق المشروعة للشعب العربي الفلسطيني، حوّلت سورية إلى قوة سياسية إقليمية. ولهذا سيذكر التاريخ للرئيس الراحل أنه لم يحوِّل سورية إلى عملاق سياسي له حضوره ونفوذه على امتداد الوطن العربي فحسب، بل سيذكر له أيضاً ودائماً أنه صمد واستمر في الصمود وواجه كل الضغوط الساعية للانتقاص من الحق العربي، وأنه ظلّ متمسكاً بتصميمه ألا يوقع سوى على سلام شامل وعادل ومشرف.

كما سيذكر التاريخ حافظ الأسد كرجل أعطى سورية الاستقرار واستمرارية الحكم وأكد أهمية بلاده في المنطقة، واستطاع مدَّ خيمة الأمن عليها طوال ثلاثين عاماً عقب سنوات من الانقلابات المتلاحقة والقلاقل وعدم الاستقرار السياسي. إنه، باعتراف الجميع، أول زعيم عربي سوري يذهب بهذا القطر العربي إلى مركز الفاعلية الذي لا تستطيع قوة دولية أو إقليمية تجاهل دوره وتأثيره.

لقد طبع الراحل سياسات المشرق العربي، وعموم المنطقة العربية ببصمات قوية لمواقفه وأفكاره وممارساته على مدى ما يزيد على ثلاثة عقود من الزمن.

ولا يخفى على أحد أنّ تلك الفترة من تاريخ سورية شهدت خطوات كُبرى على صعيد بناء سورية الحديثة القوية، وهو ما لم يكن متوافراً ولا متحققاً قبله في السنوات الأربع والعشرين التي سبقت الحركة التصحيحية، لكثرة الانقلابات والتغييرات التي أحدثت حالة من عدم الاستقرار منعت سورية وشعبها حتى من التقاط الأنفاس، فحوّل المكانة الاستراتيجية لسورية التي كانت هدفاً للصراعات الإقليمية والدولية يدور الصراع عليها إلى شوكة الميزان في التوازنات الإقليمية وأصبح أحد اللاعبين السياسيين الكبار في المنطقة.

وقد تمكّن من تحقيق ذلك بما عرف عنه من حنكة واقتدار في مضمار إدارة السياسة والتخطيط الاستراتيجي، والتصريف التكتيكي الفذّ للمواقف، والتحري الدقيق للخيارات البرنامجية، ولم يكن ذلك يرجع إلى موقع سورية الجغرافي والسياسي في قلب مصهر التناقضات كما يفترض فحسب، بل يعود في كثير منه، وبشهادة المحللين السياسيين، إلى جَلَده ودهائه وكفاءته النادرة في تطويع الممتنع، وفي استثمار تداعيات التناقض في بناء رأسمال القوة.

وقد تمتع الراحل العظيم، حتى باعتراف خصومه، بعقل استراتيجي، وبالرغم من التموّجات التي كان بعضها عارماً فقد حقق لسورية استقراراً وثباتاً، ولعب دوره في عملية السلام بحذق سياسي نادر، فنال عن جدارة لقب الرقم الصعب ولذلك فإنّ رحيل حافظ الأسد ترك فراغاً سياسياً في منطقة الشرق الأوسط كأحد اللاعبين الكبار، باعتباره رجل الاستراتيجية الواقعية بشهادة أعدائه قبل أصدقائه.

كان الرئيس الراحل قارئاً جيداً للتاريخ بشكل عام، وللتاريخ العربي والإسلامي بشكل خاص. قراءة الأحداث ووقائع الماضي، بمعنى الاستلهام من وقائعه وأحداثه العظام وخرج بالكثير من العبر والدروس. وكان يدرك دوره ودور بلاده في التاريخ العربي والإسلامي، حيث إنّ سورية صنعت عقوداً طويلة من هذا التاريخ. وكان يدرك أنّ سورية كانت وما زالت بموقعها الاستراتيجي وبتراثها القومي وتاريخها السياسي العربي، من أهم الأقطار العربية في مواجهة المشروع الصهيوني لإقامة «إسرائيل» في قلب الوطن العربي، في فلسطين، ثم لمواجهة تمدّده خارج فلسطين بعد هزيمة حزيران 1967، ومن ثم كانت سورية على الدوام منذ نجاح هذا المشروع – بشقيه – ولا تزال هدفا للتآمر الرئيسي والتخريب السياسي الداخلي والمخططات الصهيونية عموماً. ولذلك فإنّ الصمود الذي أبداه الرئيس الراحل حافظ الأسد حتى اللحظة الأخيرة من حياته في مواجهة المطامع «الإسرائيلية»، وإصراره على المطالبة باستعادة كلّ الأراضي المحتلة في الجولان وباقي الأراضي العربية المحتلة، نابع من موقف قومي يعتمد على التمسك بالحقوق الشرعية الثابتة، وعلى الشرعية الدولية التي نادت بذلك. لقد رحل الأسد وهو مجلّل بالفخار ومعه كل العرب وسورية بالطبع لأنه رفض التوقيع على سلام ناقص، سلام غير عادل، رفض أن يركع للضغوط أو ينحني للرياح. رحل بعد أن قدمت سورية بقيادته كل ما في وسعها لتحرير جنوب لبنان الذي أسعده ولا شك في أيامه الأخيرة ولذا ستبقى ذكراه في الوجدان العربي كمثل سنديانة قوية صلبة لم تقتلعها رياح الصراعات، ولا العواصف الإقليمية والدولية.

إنّ رجلاً في مكانة حافظ الأسد يترك تأثيراً لا يُنسى على التاريخ وعلى السياسة، وعلى من أتاح لهم القدر أن يلتقوا به.. وقد كنتُ من الذين جمعهم القدر مع الراحل الكبير، وتعود معرفتي الشخصية بهذا القائد الفذ إلى نيسان – أبريل عام 1970 حين كان وزيراً لدفاع، وقبيل الحركة التصحيحية في تشرين من العام نفسه، وكنت قادماً من عدن للقائه بوصفي وزيراً للدفاع في اليمن الديمقراطية.

كان هذا أول لقاء لي بحافظ الأسد، وأذكر أنه ترك في نفسي انطباعات رائعة منذ ذلك اللقاء. إذ كان الراحل العظيم يتمتع بصفات نادراً ما يتمتع بها القادة الذين يتحملون أعباء ومسؤوليات كتلك التي تحمّلها حافظ الأسد. ورغم أن حافظ الأسد، بوصفه وزيراً للدفاع وقائداً لسلاح الطيران في مرحلة كانت سورية كلها ما تزال مهمومة بإزالة آثار نكسة حزيران وإعادة بناء قواتها المسلحة، فقد منحني من الوقت وأنصت إليّ باهتمام شديد. كانت تلك ميزة يتمتع بها القائد الراحل، وكان على شيء من الرقة واللطف، مع ذاكرة مذهلة وقدرة على التركيز الذهني قلّ مثيلها.

كان هادئ القسمات، خافت الصوت مع وضوح النبرة، وكان كريماً أيضاً في المساعدات التي طلبتها لبلادي، لم يتردّد رغم الظرف الصعب الذي تمر به سورية والذي كنت أعرفه، بل لبى كلّ ما طلبناه لتعزيز القدرة العسكرية لقواتنا المسلحة التي كانت في طور النشأة والتكوين بعد أن نال اليمن الجنوبي استقلاله الوطني من الاستعمار البريطاني في نوفمبر 1967م. كانت معركته قومية في الأساس وكان هذا المنطلق من ثوابته، لذا لعب الخبراء السوريون الذين رافقوني على الطائرة نفسها التي أعادتني إلى عدن دوراً هاماً في إنشاء الكلية العسكرية في عدن، كأول أكاديمية عسكرية تدرس العلوم الحديثة، كما قدموا عونا لا يُقدّر بثمن في إعادة بناء القوات المسلحة ووضع القوانين والتشريعات المتعلقة بوزارة الدفاع وتنظيم مختلف الأسلحة. كما أرسل عدداً من الطيارين والمدربين على الطائرات الروسية ميغ 17 قبل عودة طيارينا من التدريب في الاتحاد السوفياتي، وأرسل أيضاً بعثة طبية لإدارة المستشفيات العسكرية..

بعد ذلك توالت اتصالاتي بالراحل، وتكرّرت لقاءاتي به، وكنت أحرص على الدوام خلال زياراتي إلى الخارج، خاصة بعد أن أصبحت رئيساً للوزراء ورئيساً لبلادي، فيما بعد، على أن تكون دمشق محطة مهمة فيها، ولقاء الرئيس الأسد في الصدارة دائماً. وكان رحمه الله مغرماً بالتاريخ وقارئاً جيدا له، وبقدر ما كان يتحدث عن موقف سورية ورؤيتها، فإنه كان يبدي حرصا شديدا على التعرف على تطورات الأوضاع في اليمن والخليج العربي وحرصا شديدا على استقرار الأوضاع في هذه المنطقة الحيوية. وكان يعرف الكثير من أوضاعها ويتابعها بدقة، ويرى في وحدة اليمن وعلاقات حسن الجوار والتعاون مع محيطها في الجزيرة والخليج خير دعم لسورية ولدول المواجهة في صراعها القومي مع العدو «الإسرائيلي».

تعدّدت لقاءاتي بالرئيس الراحل بعد ذلك في العديد من المناسبات والمنعطفات الحاسمة، سواء بالنسبة لسورية أو بالنسبة لليمن أو لي شخصياً، وفي كل المواقف، وفي أصعب الظروف فإنّ الرئيس الأسد أبدى على الدوام دعماً وتأييدا لليمن ولقضاياه وعلى رأسها الوحدة اليمنية، وأبدى معي تعاطفا لا حدود له في الأوقات الصعبة والمحن الشديدة، وكان هذا نوعاً من الوفاء النادر للأصدقاء قلما نجد له مثيلاً في هذا الزمن الصعب.

ورغم أنني زرت العديد من عواصم العالم، والتقيت العديد من زعمائه عرباً وأجانب، فإنّ دمشق والرئيس الأسد يظلان في قلبي ووجداني وفكري إلى درجة أنني اخترت دمشق مقراً لإقامتي وأسرتي بعد مغادرتي السلطة واليمن ومقراً للمركز العربي للدراسات الاستراتيجية الذي أسّسته بدعمه ومساندته، وعقدنا المؤتمر التأسيسي له في دمشق تحت رعايته الكريمة في أبريل – نيسان عام 1995م.

لقد ودَعت سورية منذ عشرين عاماً باني نهضتها الحديثة، الرئيس حافظ الأسد، بأكثر ما يمكن لبلد أن يودع به قائده.. بالوفاء والعرفان… فعلت ما هو أبعد، فقررت تكريس نهجه والاستمرار على خطاه، من خلال إجماعها على نجله الدكتور بشار الأسد.

عشرون عاما مرّت على غياب الرئيس حافظ الأسد، لم يعد المشهد كما كان في حياته، جرت أمور كثيرة في سورية واليمن وليبيا ولبنان وفلسطين وفي أماكن أخرى من الوطن العربي والعالم، لكنّ سورية ظلت في قلب الأحداث كما كانت، ولا يزال الصراع يدور عليها وحولها وهي دائماً عصية على الكسر، وهذا قدرها، باعتبارها صانعة السلام والحرب، فلا حرب بدونها ولا سلام أيضاً بدونها. ووسط هذه العواصف يكون غيابه مؤلماً..

*الرئيس اليمني الأسبق.


By Elijah J. Magnier@ejmalrai

In 2011, a significant Western-Arab coalition joined together and invested huge finance, media support and military resources in attempting to topple the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. For this purpose, the alliance had established military operating rooms where US, British, Turkish and Arab intelligence services were established in northern Syria, Jordan and Turkey to prepare for the post-Assad stage. But this President had already refused any concessions to US Secretary of State Colin Powell when he visited him in 2003 after the occupation of Iraq. Two years after the beginning of the war, the Syrian President asked his allies in Iran and Lebanon (and then later on Russia) for help for each of them to preserve their interests, strategic goals and obligations with their Syrian partner. The Russian military intervention came in September 2015. It was due to several factors: while the Iranian and allied forces dominated the ground, the troops of Moscow were needed to dominate Syrian airspace, and this turned the tables on the Arab – international coalition. Has the situation changed today for President Assad, now that most parts of Syria have been liberated? What does Russia want: control of the Levant and the removal of Assad?

President Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar did not offer concessions on the Golan Heights, and refused to reconcile with Israel: they would not give up Syrian territory in return for a peace deal. Many years later, President Bashar al-Assad refused to hand over the head of Hamas and “Hezbollah” as he was requested to do by the US in 2003, 2008 and even 2018. During the Syrian war, the United Arab Emirates mediated for a US delegation to visit Damascus in a proposal to end the war and rebuild what was destroyed in Syria in exchange for expelling Hezbollah, Iran and Russia from the Levant.

At the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, Russia was not ready to emerge from its self-imposed hibernation and kept on ice its international and Middle Eastern role. The then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev allowed NATO to destroy Libya in 2011. However, in 2015 when President Vladimir Putin was in power, the screws were tightened on Syria’s allies in the vast Syrian countryside with the deployment of tens of thousands of jihadists and militants financed and trained by dozens of western and Arab countries. The Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani travelled to Moscow and was able to persuade President Putin to send his planes to the Levant to defend Russia’s interests (naval base in Tartous that the jihadists threateneded to remove) and its Syrian ally.

Since that date, Western and Arab media have not stopped mocking Russia’s military capabilities. Western think tanks hoped that Russia would fail, and predicted its descent into the Syrian quagmire. When Russia proved its efficient air superiority (Iran was committed to securing ground forces to follow through the Russian airstrikes), reckless analysts claimed, in a mirror image of the US intentions, strategy and wishful thinking that Russia wanted to remove President Assad and impose whoever it wanted because Moscow has become the dominant force in the Levant. 

And when this theory is exhausted, another naive approach begins, that there is an American-Russian understanding in Syria to displace or marginalise President Assad. Naturally, those – who have spent nine years believing, promoting and foretelling the fall of President al-Assad and the government of Damascus every month or every year – are in a permanent state of wishful thinking. They ignore what the former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem said when he bravely admitted defeat: “the [quarry] has escaped the trap, and the time has come to acknowledge the reality of our defeat”, he said.

Leading sources within the “Axis of the Resistance” in Syria said “there is no Russian-US understanding, but a clear challenge to Washington’s influence in the Middle East. Russia is harassing US planes, approaching these at a critical distance. Russia aims to be granted Assad’s approval of expanding Hmeimim airport, its Tartous naval base and to create more static bases in northern Syria. Russia has decided that the Middle East is part of its strategic interests for confronting the US forces that are based in the Middle East and Europe. It is only possible for Russia to survive in the Levant if it establishes a strategic relationship with President Assad, Iran and its allies. Iran’s allies take every opportunity to challenge the authority of the US in the Middle Eastern region, which falls perfectly well within Russia’s objectives. “

Since Russia decided to engage within the Syrian arena, its leadership was nevertheless concerned about falling into the Middle East quagmire. Thus, it has depended on Iran and its allies to restore power to President Assad over all the Syrian occupied territories. Therefore, Russia has no intention to earn the hostilities of the Sunni jihadists as well as confronting Shia and Alawites in an unpredictable war of attrition. If this happened, Russia would be facing another 1981-Afghanistan war, an “objective” contrary  to Putin’s plan to establish himself in the Middle East. It is essential to add that Russia does not control the land or need an army to spread, protect, or even start a new costly war, after seeing the confirmed capabilities of Syria and its allies in the battlefield throughout the years of the Syrian conflict.

“Russia has promised to modernise the Syrian air fleet and the defensive-offensive missile capability of the Syrian army. Furthermore, Moscow will invest in rebuilding part of the Syrian infrastructure projects, mainly in the field of energy. In exchange, Russia will expand its combat capability to confront the US and NATO. The Syrian President is dealing with the Russian President as a strategic ally even if Russia has allies – such as Israel – that are the enemies of Syria. Russia has decided to cooperate with several Middle Eastern countries, and this means that it wants strong allies in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. That could only be possible through its relationship with President Assad and with Iran, a strong and influential position in their respective countries,” explained the source.

President Putin has assigned the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence to negotiate with the Syrian state on expanding the military presence and deployment in other bases because Russia certainly does not wish to move away from the Middle East. American unilateralism has ended its era, and Russia’s new robust position in Syria and Libya has created a gap in ​​the NATO area of influence. Russia is no longer passive but, with its positioning, has moved to the confrontation phase. Hence, the expansion of the Russian strategic positioning has little to do with the continuity of President Bashar al-Assad in power. And Assad has decided to hold the forthcoming presidential elections notwithstanding the international attempt, which includes the United Nations, to prevent the return and vote of the Syrian refugees from nearby countries. 

Russia believes the US is weak now. Therefore, it should take advantage of President Donald Trump’s domestic struggle and the challenge he is facing in the coming months when the elections will be knocking on US doors. Russia would like to take advantage of this opportunity to progress on the Middle Eastern front, and thus establish a robust position in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. 

President Trump is struggling domestically due to the mismanagement of the “Coronavirus” pandemic and the large number of Americans finding themselves jobless. Furthermore, for more than a week, he is facing a real challenge to his ruling based on his provocative response to state-sponsored racial discrimination. He is in crisis with China and Russia. He has to swallow Iran’s challenges: not only has it bombed the largest US base in Iraq, but also violated the US sanctions on Venezuela by sending five oil tankers and spare parts to repair the refineries. The US president is showing severe weakness on several fronts and has managed to draw together both the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon to confront him. A new and solid strategic alliance – not a blind alliance – between Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and its allies in the Middle East is picking up and is challenging the US hegemony.

President Putin has appointed a special envoy as a go-between him and President Bashar al-Assad so that there is no hindrance between messages, agreements, and quick decisions that must be taken or to remove any obstacles as quickly as possible. It is the era of partnership between allies, not the age of domination and bullying or dominance, in contrast with the style of America’s usual dealings with the Middle East. The Middle East is living a new era: a balance has been created which was missing for decades.

Proofread by:   C.G.B. and Maurice Brasher

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The Six-Day War: The Myth of an Israeli David Versus an Arab Goliath

By Miko Peled


The son of an Israeli General, Miko Peled reflects on the nefarious intent behind what was presented to the world as the heroic triumph of an outmatched Israel vs its aggressive Arab neighbors

June 2, 1967, was a tense day at the Israeli army headquarters in Tel Aviv. For weeks, IDF generals had been pushing the government to initiate a war and the atmosphere was tense. Israel’s Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, who also acted as minister of defense, came to see the generals at the IDF command center. All the generals who made up the IDF high command were present. This meeting became known as the showdown. Years later, some would even accuse the army of an attempted coup d’etat.

A fraud

One of the biggest frauds perpetrated by the Israeli military is the claim that the Six-Day War was initiated by Israel due to an existential threat. The reality though is that in 1967, the Israeli army faced an elected civilian government that was less excited about the prospects of war than the generals were. So, as is clearly seen in the minutes of meetings between IDF generals from those days, minutes that are available in the IDF archives, seeing that the government was hesitant, the military decided to sow fear, and they did it very effectively, claiming that the Jewish state faced an existential threat and that the army must act decisively.

The deception worked and over the following three days, Eshkol was forced to yield. He resigned his post as minister of defense and gave it to retired army Chief of Staff, General Moshe Dayan. The IDF generals got the war they so badly wanted. They initiated a massive assault against Egypt, reducing the Egyptian military to ashes and taking over the entire Sinai Peninsula. As a result, the IDF was able to capture the largest stockpile of Russian made military hardware outside of the Soviet Union.

Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshko Peled

Israel would make good use of the knowledge that came with this loot.

It also captured thousands of Egyptian soldiers who were stationed in the Sinai Desert and caught unprepared. According to the testimonies of Israeli officers, at least two thousand Egyptian prisoners of war were executed right there and buried in the dunes.

But the generals were not satisfied. They seized the opportunity that they were given and decided to make the most of it. Without any discussion, much less approval from the elected civilian government, the army proceeded to take the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and something the generals had been chomping at the bit to take for many years, the fertile water-rich Syrian Golan Heights, tripling the size of the state of Israel. They had finally completed the conquest of Palestine and pushed the eastern border of Israel all the way to the Jordan River.

The military moved like a bulldozer, destroying cities and towns both in the Golan Heights and in the West Bank. As a result, countless Syrians who lived in the Golan Heights, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinian residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem became refugees.

The myth of the threat

As the generals themselves stated during their meetings prior to the war, the entire affair was about seizing an opportunity to start a war they knew they would win, and not about averting some existential threat. In fact, the word “opportunity” is mentioned several times in their discussions and the word “threat” is not mentioned at all.

One general who was present in the June 2 meeting was my father, General Matti Peled. According to accounts by some of his comrades who were there, accounts that I later verified by reading the minutes of the meetings, he stood up and told Prime Minister Eshkol that the Egyptian army was an ill-prepared army and therefore Israel must seize the opportunity to destroy it. He stated that the Egyptian army, which at the time was recovering from a war in Yemen, would need at least a year and a half to two years before it was prepared for war. The other generals concurred. My father then went further and said that the IDF command “demands to know why this army that has never lost a battle” is being held back. He didn’t say one word about a threat.

General Matti Peled Six-Day War

More of the minutes of the general’s meeting are included in my book, “The General’s Son,” but it is clear that Israel initiated the war, not out of concern for the safety of Israel, but out of a desire to demonstrate its power and use it to achieve territorial gains. For anyone paying attention the result of the war proved that there could not possibly have been a military threat to Israel. However, people were so moved by the story of little David defending himself from the onslaught of the evil Goliath that they let themselves be taken by the fraud.

Divine intervention

There is a story that I heard from Rabbi Moishe Beck, a revered Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi who used to live in Jerusalem and moved to New York. I asked him why he decided to leave after the Six-Day War. He told me that he was sitting in a bomb shelter in Jerusalem’s Me’a Sha’arim neighborhood and there was the sound of shelling not far from there. At one point, people could hear Israeli Air Force planes flying overhead and began referring to the IDF successes as a sign of divine intervention. He found it abhorrent that people would see the Zionist state military force, which he viewed as criminal, as divine intervention. As soon as he was able, he took his family and with very little means, left Jerusalem. He did not want his children to grow up in an atmosphere that idolized the Israeli military, or any military for that matter.

Many years later, while sitting with Ultra-Orthodox friends in New York, I was asked if it was true that the 1967 victory was so unpredictable that even people who were secular saw it as divine intervention. There was nothing divine about the Israeli assault and the theft of Arab lands. Not in 1967 and not at any other time. The Israeli army was well prepared, well-armed, and well trained and the generals knew victory was inevitable.

The writing on the wall

Israel had, in fact, intended to occupy the West Bank and the Golan Heights many years prior to 1967 and the war presented the perfect opportunity. In the memoirs of Israel’s second Prime Minister, Moshe Sharet, he describes a meeting that took place in Jerusalem in 1953 where dignitaries from around the world were present. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, was also present.

One of the presentations given to this gathering was by my father, then a young and promising IDF officer. He gave the talk in English which he spoke well, and among other things, he stated in no uncertain terms that the IDF was prepared for the moment that the order would be given to “push Israel’s eastern border to its natural place, the Jordan River.” In other words, take the West Bank and complete the conquest of historic Palestine.

Today we know that Israel had plans in place to occupy and impose its own military rule in the West Bank as early 1964. It is also well known that Israel initiated skirmishes with the Syrian army throughout the early 1960s in the hopes that Syria would initiate a war.

The USS Liberty

On the morning of June 8, 1967, in the midst of the war, the USS Liberty was about 17 miles off the Gaza coast, in international waters. Being an intelligence-gathering ship, it had no battle capabilities and was armed only with four fifty caliber machine guns to ward off unwanted boarders. For several hours throughout that day, Israeli Air Force reconnaissance planes had been flying over the Liberty in what seemed like attempts to identify it. The crew felt no threat – quite the opposite, Israel was a U.S. ally.

The General's Son, Journey of an Israeli in PalestineThen, at 14:00 hours, (2:00 PM local time) and without any warning, Israeli fighter jets launched an attack on USS Liberty. The attack included rockets, cannon fire, and even napalm, a toxic, flammable combination of gel and petroleum that sticks to the skin and causes severe burns.

The attack ended with 34 U.S. sailors dead and 174 injured, many seriously. As the wounded were being evacuated, an officer with the Office of Naval Intelligence instructed the men not to talk to the press about their ordeal.

Within three weeks of the attack, the Navy put out a 700-page report exonerating the Israelis, claiming the attack had been accidental and that the Israelis had pulled back as soon as they realized their mistake. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara suggested the whole affair should be forgotten. “These errors do occur,” McNamara concluded. The U.S. desire to see the Soviet arms that Israel had in its possession had something to do with the ease with which the Pentagon swept this affair under the rug.

In 2003, almost forty years after the fact, the “Moorer Commission,” an independent commission chaired by retired Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, United States Navy, was established in order to investigate the attack. The commission included a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, retired admirals, and a former ambassador. Among its findings are the following:

That Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned the Liberty’s firefighters, stretcher-bearers and the life rafts that had been lowered into the water to rescue the most seriously wounded.”

That fearing conflict with Israel, the White House deliberately prevented the U.S. Navy from coming to the defense of USS Liberty by recalling Sixth Fleet military rescue support while the ship was under attack […] never before in American naval history has a rescue mission been cancelled when an American ship was under attack.”

That surviving crew members were threatened with “court-martial, imprisonment or worse” if they exposed the truth.”

That due to continuing pressure by the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, this attack remains the only serious naval incident that has never been thoroughly investigated by Congress.”

In five days it was over. The war ended as expected, with a massive Israeli victory. The IDF destroyed the armies of the Arab countries around it. The death toll was 18,000 Arab soldiers and 700 Israeli soldiers.

In retrospect, one would do well to stop calling what took place in June of 1967 a war, but rather an Israeli assault on its neighboring countries. The name Six-Day War was no coincidence. Israel took the name from the Jewish scriptures, more specifically from the prayer book, where one sees reference after reference to the divine creation or The Six Days of creation.

Israel: A utopian image or merely a mirage?

May 13, 2020 – 21:53

TEHRAN – While the founders of Israel had envisioned a utopia for Israeli settlers, now after 72 years, it has brought no freedom or justice to anyone except for some Zionist Jews and been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians an Israeli-American activist and author tells the Tehran Times.

‘Genocide and ethnic cleansing is the practice of Israel’ 

On promises by the founders of Israel, including Ben Gurion, who had envisioned a utopia for settlers in Israel based on freedom, justice, and peace,  Miko Peled says “Israel is an apartheid regime” which “has been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

He says Israel is “providing Jewish citizens who are Zionist with all the rights of liberal democracy.” 

He also says it “is true” that some Israelis are returning to their original countries as they are fed with governance.

‘Corrupt Netanyahu main reason behind Israeli political crisis’

Israel has been in a political crisis after three inconclusive elections and it is facing the growing prospect of an unprecedented fourth election.

Peled says it is mainly because “Israeli politics is controlled by the corrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu and his racist, violent allies.”

The deadlock ended now that Netanyahu got an agreement that he accepted and protects him and allows him to continue to serve as prime minister, he says, adding there was even social disobedience “about the fact that the man they voted for, Benny Gantz, who promised to unseat Netanyahu, lied to his voters and is now sitting with Netanyahu.”

‘Israel not a democracy but an apartheid’

On claims by Tel Aviv and its allies in the West that Israel is the only democratic country in the West Asia region, Peled says, “Israel is not and has never been a democracy. It an apartheid regime.”
He goes on to note that “the problem with West perspective is that it is a Zionist perspective which recognizing the legitimacy of Zionism and does not recognize the rights of Palestinians.”
 Israel sees Trump’s reckless policies toward Iran ‘a great thing’ 

Actually, in over a year that Israel has been holding three elections, each time Donald Trump has taken a step to promote chances of Netanyahu in elections. His administration moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and recently Mike Pompeo claimed that annexation of lands in the West Bank does not violate international law. However, each time Netanyahu’s party failed to win enough seats in Knesset to form a government.

“Israelis are actually very happy with Trump. His support for the Israeli regime and his reckless policies regarding Iran and the Palestinians is seen as a great thing,” Peled points out.

‘Racism in Israel comes even at expenses of public health’

Despite the coronavirus epidemic, Israel is refusing to release Palestinians who are held in crowded prisons, he said, noting, “Israel never respected Palestinian rights, even now that the spread of the Coronavirus is dangerous to all people.” 
“Racism in Israel is so strong that it comes even at the expense of public health,” the activist regrets.

 ‘2 million people of Gaza are heroes’

Gaza Strip is considered the greatest open prison on the earth.

Peled calls two million residents of Gaza “heroes” who are victims of “Zionist racism and violence”.

He also notes that except Iran, no country in the world cares about the miseries of the Gazans.

“They are victims of Zionist racism and violence and of the fact that the rest of the world, with the exception of Iran, do not care about them.”


Iran passes law about confronting Israel: full details

By News Desk -2020-05-18

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:20 P.M.) – On Monday, the Iranian Parliament approved a draft law dubbed “Facing Israeli hostile measures against regional and international security.”

During the meeting, the Parliament approved Articles 1 and 2 of the said draft law.

Article 1 of this law states, “In the framework of the general policies of the system and the benefit of regional and international capabilities, all state agencies are committed to confronting the hostilities of the Zionist entity against the oppressed Palestinian people, Islamic countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its destructive role in undermining peace and security regionally and internationally, widespread and systematic violations of human rights, including war crimes, terrorist acts, electronic warfare, the use of heavy and prohibited weapons against civilians, the imposition of a human blockade, and the establishment of settlements, and the displacement of the Palestinian people, plans to annex other parts of the Palestinian territories, and the continued occupation of Palestine and parts of Syria (the Golan), Lebanon, and the occupied territories.”

Article 2 states that the necessary arrangements be made to establish an Iranian virtual embassy or consulate (in Jerusalem) within six months of the adoption of this law and to submit the results to the Council of Ministers for approval, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to take the necessary measures in consultation with other countries.

Iran has been increasingly aggressive in its policies towards Israel over the last decade, as they have enhanced their military capabilities and aided paramilitary groups in several countries.

Israel: A utopian image or merely a mirage?


May 13, 2020 – 21:53

TEHRAN – While the founders of Israel had envisioned a utopia for Israeli settlers, now after 72 years, it has brought no freedom or justice to anyone except for some Zionist Jews and been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians an Israeli-American activist and author tells the Tehran Times.

‘Genocide and ethnic cleansing is the practice of Israel’ 

On promises by the founders of Israel, including Ben Gurion, who had envisioned a utopia for settlers in Israel based on freedom, justice, and peace,  Miko Peled says “Israel is an apartheid regime” which “has been involved in genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”

He says Israel is “providing Jewish citizens who are Zionist with all the rights of liberal democracy.” 

He also says it “is true” that some Israelis are returning to their original countries as they are fed with governance.

‘Corrupt Netanyahu main reason behind Israeli political crisis’

Israel has been in a political crisis after three inconclusive elections and it is facing the growing prospect of an unprecedented fourth election.

Peled says it is mainly because “Israeli politics is controlled by the corrupt Prime Minister Netanyahu and his racist, violent allies.”

The deadlock ended now that Netanyahu got an agreement that he accepted and protects him and allows him to continue to serve as prime minister, he says, adding there was even social disobedience “about the fact that the man they voted for, Benny Gantz, who promised to unseat Netanyahu, lied to his voters and is now sitting with Netanyahu.”

‘Israel not a democracy but an apartheid’

On claims by Tel Aviv and its allies in the West that Israel is the only democratic country in the West Asia region, Peled says, “Israel is not and has never been a democracy. It an apartheid regime.”
He goes on to note that “the problem with West perspective is that it is a Zionist perspective which recognizing the legitimacy of Zionism and does not recognize the rights of Palestinians.”
 Israel sees Trump’s reckless policies toward Iran ‘a great thing’ 

Actually, in over a year that Israel has been holding three elections, each time Donald Trump has taken a step to promote chances of Netanyahu in elections. His administration moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, recognized the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and recently Mike Pompeo claimed that annexation of lands in the West Bank does not violate international law. However, each time Netanyahu’s party failed to win enough seats in Knesset to form a government.

“Israelis are actually very happy with Trump. His support for the Israeli regime and his reckless policies regarding Iran and the Palestinians is seen as a great thing,” Peled points out.

‘Racism in Israel comes even at expenses of public health’

Despite the coronavirus epidemic, Israel is refusing to release Palestinians who are held in crowded prisons, he said, noting, “Israel never respected Palestinian rights, even now that the spread of the Coronavirus is dangerous to all people.” 
“Racism in Israel is so strong that it comes even at the expense of public health,” the activist regrets.

 ‘2 million people of Gaza are heroes’

Gaza Strip is considered the greatest open prison on the earth.

Peled calls two million residents of Gaza “heroes” who are victims of “Zionist racism and violence”.

He also notes that except Iran, no country in the world cares about the miseries of the Gazans.

“They are victims of Zionist racism and violence and of the fact that the rest of the world, with the exception of Iran, do not care about them.”


Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

Iran Calls for World’s Action against ‘Israeli’ Occupation of Palestine

By Staff, Agencies

The Islamic Republic of Iran reiterated full support for Palestinians against the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities, calling on Muslim nations and the entire world community to take immediate and practical steps towards putting an end to the decades-long ‘Israeli’ occupation.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Thursday, on the eve of Nakba Day [Catastrophe], when back in 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and the ‘Israeli’ regime proclaimed existence.

“72 years ago, on this day, the Zionist immigrants massacred people of the land of Palestine — including men, women, the youth, the elderly and innocent children — and forced them out of their homes while using deviant and racist ideas and thoughts as a pretext. [That is how] the Palestinian land and the entire West Asia were afflicted with Zionist Nakba,” the statement read.

Palestinians mark Nakba Day on May 15, a day after the occupying regime declared existence.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry described Nakba Day as the starting point of ‘Israeli’ crimes against the true owners of Palestine, including building settlements, further displacing Palestinians, desecrating the al-Aqsa Mosque, maintaining a crippling siege on Gaza, and annexing the occupied side of Syria’s Golan Heights.

The statement also censured new US-backed attempts by the ‘Israeli’ regime to annex more Palestinian land.

The ministry, relatively, expressed Iran’s “full solidarity” with the Palestinian cause, rejecting a “humiliating” peace plan drawn up by the administration of US President Donald Trump to end the ‘Israeli’-Palestinian conflict.

It also emphasized that international bodies, especially the United Nations, need to shoulder their responsibility and “set the stage for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and a referendum joined by the true inhabitants of this land — including Muslims, Christians and Jews — so they can exercise the right to decide their own fate and form an independent Palestinian government with holy Quds as [the state’s] capital.”

بين أم عطا المقاومة.. وأم هارون اليهوديّة القدس عاصمتنا الأبديّة

سماهر الخطيب

تتفقّد منزلها بين الحينة والأخرى تستدين المال كي تدفع ما يطالبها به الاحتلال من ضرائب قد استوجبت على منزل «لا يساوي شيئاً» وتقف أمام الباب شامخةً رافضة لعرض السمسار الذي قدّمه لها لبيع هذا المنزل الصغير وتنعته بكلمات لا تحرّك به ضميره الغائب ليترنّح قائلاً «بيعيه اليوم أفضل من أن تخسريه غداً وتصبحين بلا منزل ولا مال»؛ تزداد إصرارً بالرفض.. وتهدي المفتاح لذاك الطالب الكهنوتي ليتذكّر بأن «له بيت في القدس» ولتردّ له شيئاً من معروفه لها..

حدث ذلك مع أم عطا في أربعينيات القرن الماضي هذا ما عرضه عنها مسلسل درامي يحمل اسم «حارس القدس».

وفي المقلب الثاني وفي الحقبة ذاتها تسرد «أم هارون»، قصتها كطبيبة يهودية واجهت تحديات كثيرة مع أسرتها والجالية اليهودية في دول الخليج، في دليل فاضح على تمهيد الإعلام «السعودي» للتطبيع مع «إسرائيل»..

وشتان ما بين أم عطا وأم هارون ليست حبكة درامية تتجلى وإنما قضية راسخة لا يمكن أن نغفل عنها.

فنحن من تربّى على أناشيد الشاعر السوري سليمان العيسى والذي رددنا كلماته إلى اليوم..

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

تظل بلادي هوى في فؤادي

ولحناً أبياً على شفتيا

وجوه غريبة بأرضي السليبة

تبيع ثماري وتحتلّ داري

وأعرف دربي ويرجع شعبي

إلى بيت جدّي إلى دفء مهدي

فلسطين داري ودرب انتصاري

هذه الكلمات شكلت بدايات الوعي لدى كل طفل عن القضية الفلسطينية وحفرت في ذاكرة أجيال من الأطفال على امتداد المعمورة ليس من النهر إلى البحر فحسب، إنما من المحيط إلى الخليج فهذه الأرض لنا وفي تلافيف العقل قد حيكت بساتينها وقراها وحجارها وشطآنها.

هي بلادنا وأرضنا لا تطبيع إعلامي يمكن أن يمحو الحقيقة ولا تطبيل وتزمير «عربي» خانع كخنوع بعض حكام العرب الذين باتوا دمية بأيدي ذاك الصهيوني الغاشم بلا حياء يطبلون له ويزمرون..

وكما يُقال في المثل الشعبي «فوق الموتة عصّة قبر» فبينما تعاني أرضنا المحتلة ما تعانيه من تدنيس المحتل وتعذيب لشعبنا وحاصرته والبحث عن شتى السبل لإخضاعه والعالم أجمع أصم أبكم فهو لا يفقه ومنشغل بأزمة الفيروس المستجد القاتل لجنسنا البشري يعاني شعبنا في فلسطين من فيروس من نوع أخطر وأعتى وأشرس، فيروس صهيوني استشرى بأرضنا وشعبنا يجتمع القادة العرب في جامعتهم ليدينوا ضمّ الضفة الغربية لدولة الاحتلال «إدانة» فقط هذا ما استحصلنا عليه من «سموّهِم المعظم» يمنّون علينا بها.

وفي كل مرة يجتمعون فيها منذ تاسيس جماعتهم المفرقة، ومن قبلها منذ عهد «الشريف حسين» ومراسلاته مع مكماهون إلى اليوم وفي كل كلمة يتفوّهون بها نخسر المزيد من أرضنا المقدسة ودولة الاحتلال لا تترك فرصة إلا وتبخ في كل إناء سُمّها.

وها هي اليوم تستغل انشغال العالم أجمع بمواجهة الفيروس كوفيد– 19 لتسعى بخبث نحو نسج مكائدها..

فجاء إعلان ضمّ الضفة الغربية تزامناً مع ظهور هذا الفيروس المستجد دونما مغيث لشعبنا الفلسطيني سوى مَن كان ضميره حاضراً مقاوماً بالقول والفعل، بالكلمة والسلاح.

وإذا عدنا للوراء في الأشهر القليلة المنصرمة فإننا سنجد الكثير من الانحياز الغربي للكيان الصهيوني على أرضنا، بل نجد أن ستار وغطاء السياسة الغربية والأميركية تجاه دولة الاحتلال قد تكشّف وظهر ما كانت تكنّه من نيات في طياتها العنصرية والاستعمارية.

منذ نقل السفارة الأميركية إلى مدينة القدس وإعلانها عاصمة لدولة الاحتلال مروراً بانسحاب أميركا من مجلس حقوق الإنسان لكونه بحسب زعمها يظلم حقوق الشعب الصهيوني، وصولاً إلى التصديق على قانون يهودية دولة «إسرائيل» وصولاً إلى الإعلان المزعوم بضم الجولان السوري المحتل كل ذلك يصب في مصلحة الكيان الصهيوني وراعيته أميركا، فما جاء به ذاك المدير الترامبي وصهره من نداءات لـ»صفقة القرن» قد بدأ يحيك فصولها بدقة متناهية منذ تسلمه دفة القيادة من دون أن يرفّ لهما جفن.

فالدول العربية منشغلة وكذلك الأوروبية والآسيوية لا مجال الآن للالتفات إلى ما يعنيه قرار الأمم المتحدة 181 بشأن القدس ولا حتى القرار 194 بشأن حق العودة ولا حتى هل سيكون قرار إنشاء الأونروا أو الانسحاب منها متاحاً للنقاش والتي أنشئت بقرار من الأمم المتحدة والتي من المفترض أن تكون أعلى سلطة عالميّة لولا تحكم الولايات المتحدة الأميركية بقراراتها وانتهاكها مبادئ الشرعة الدولية.

في القرارين الأميركيين اللذين أظهرا صهيونية ترامب أكثر من الصهاينة أنفسهم يفسران بعضهما البعض، فإذا ما أسقط حق العودة فليس للأونروا عمل بعد اليوم، ليصبح جميع اللاجئين الفلسطينيين مواطنين داخل الدول التي احتوتهم.

وهو ما علا الصوت بتوطين اللاجئين، ولم يكن الهدف منه اللاجئين السوريين إنما الفلسطينيون هم من كانوا مقصودين بالتوطين ليسقط حق العودة وتنسحب الولايات المتحدة من تمويل الأونروا لانتفاء الحاجة إليها ويتوافق ذلك مع يهودية «إسرائيل».

أما بالنسبة للضفة الغربية والقطاع بعد أن حلّ ترامب وصهره قضية القدس فإنّ لهما تتمة في السيناريو الأميركي المعنون بصفقة القرن.

فالكيان الصهيوني لن يكلّ أو يملّ من دون أن يضمهما أو يضم أحدهما لحكمه الاستعماري. وليتم ذلك أولاً الخضوع والاعتراف بيهودية هذا الكيان، ولمن رفض فله سيناء. تلك تتمة السيناريو الخبيث فلم يعد خافياً على أحد تلك القمة السرية في البحر الميت من دهاء بين الرئيس المصري والأردني ورئيس وزراء العدو لتتدافع بعدها اللقاءات وحبك المؤامرات ونقل ما صنعوه من ممثلين وبدعتهم الإرهابية إلى سيناء وإفراغها من سكانها الأصليين ريثما يحين الموعد «توطين الفلسطينيين».

ولا ننسى أزمة تيران وصنافير أحد فصول «صفقة القرن»، وليس الهدف من جعلها سعوديّة إلا إرضاء للكيان الصهيوني، لما تشكله هاتان الجزيرتان من رمزية النصر المصري والفشل الصهيوني إبان عدوان 1967 على مصر.

فكانت تنطلق منها القوات البحرية باتجاه الأراضي المحتلة هذا من جهة، ومن جهة أخرى ربما يريد العدو تحويل المياه في البحر الأحمر إلى مياه دولية فيستطيع العبور فيها والتجارة دونما تعليق يذكر.

وبعد سلسلة قرارات أميركية وصهيونية اتخذت وسط صمت دولي وتراخٍ عربي، لم يعد لدولة الاحتلال ذاك الحلم بالتوسّع وخوض الحروب طالما أنها توسعت في «مجالها الحيوي» فلِمَ تخسر عسكرياً وهي تكسب اقتصادياً وثقافياً وفنياً واجتماعياً..! بعد حملة التطبيع و»أم هارون» التي جالت معظم البلاد العربية من خليجها إلى مغربها، وهو ما أشار إليه بنيامين نتنياهو في مكان تحت الشمس بإنشاء حلف اقتصادي تقوده دولة الاحتلال..

إنما على الساحة السورية، ما سيسقط هذا المشروع الأميركي الصهيوني. فالحرب في الشام أصبحت شبه منتهية بنصر الدولة السورية وحلفائها على الإرهاب. وفي العراق كذلك كما في لبنان وفي الداخل الفلسطيني تبقى المقاومة عتية عن القبول بالانصياع لقرارات أميركية ووجود لكيان غاصب. وفي كل بلد لا تزال فيه أنفاس المقاومة فالشعوب تبقى صاحبة القرار لو بعد حين.

ولا نصرَ يمكن أن يتحقق إنْ لم يروَ بتكاتف الشعب والجيش والمقاومة لتنعكس قوة تنبثق من رحم عقيدة متأصّلة في وجدان أبنائها.

وحارس القدس في كل ضمير مقاوم موجود ليس بدعة وليس ذكرى بل ذاكرة تدق بأننا سنعود.. متجاوزين ما اصطنعوه من حدود سياسية، لتظهر الوحدة الجغرافية، فيجب أن نضطلع بمسؤولية قضايانا القومية لنصنع النصر وأن نقرّر مصيرنا بإرادتنا نحن.

مقالات متعلقة


Early on May 1, several missiles launched from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights hit positions of the Syrian Army near Tell Ahmar and Quneitra city. The strike reportedly led to no casualties among Syrian personnel, but destroyed several pieces of military equipment.

This was the second Israeli strike on Syria in less than a week. On April 27, Israeli airstrikes hit the countryside of Damascus, including the al-Mazzeh Airport. Pro-Israeli sources claim that underground facilities of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were the target.

Meanwhile, a new drama is developing in the militant-held part of Greater Idlib. After briefly clashing with the Turkish Army near Nayrab, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham found themselves in the center of a new scandal.

On April 30, the group’s fighters were confronted by supporters of other radical groups in the town of Maaret Elnaasan in western Aleppo. According to pro-opposition sources, the main reason of tensions is the decision of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to open a crossing for commercial purposes to the government-held area. This initiative faced resistance among militant groups directly controlled by Turkey. The Turkish Army even tried to block a road towards Maaret Elnaasan. However, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants were able to suppress the protest and the crossing was opened. The further protests that continued on May 1 forced Hayat Tahrir al-Sham to close the crossing.

Earlier in April, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham tried to open a similar commercial crossing near Saraqib, but this attempt was also blocked by Turkish-led forces.

Representatives of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham claim that the opening of such crossings is vital to contain the developing economic crisis in the militant-held area. According to them, a large part of goods produced within the militant-held area, first of all food, is being sold in the government-controlled territory.

Various fees on commercial activities and contraband traffic are among key sources of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham budget, which has been facing difficulties amid the shirking funding from its foreign sponsors. On the other hand, the ability to fill own budget from independent sources of income allows the terrorist group to remain to a large degree independent from direct Turkish support. Thus, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is capable of remaining a relatively independent player and the most powerful militant group in the entire Greater Idlib.

At least 4 Syrian soldiers were killed and several others were injured in an ISIS attack on the army convoy near the T3 pumping station in the province of Homs. The terrorists used an improvised explosive device to strike the bus moving within the convoy and then shelled it with machine guns.

The attack likely came in response to the intensified security efforts of the army in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert. Just recently, government troops eliminated several ISIS militants and captured 2 vehicles belonging to the terrorist group.


Israel has deployed additional units of the Iron Dome and Patriot air defense systems near the borders of Lebanon and Syria. Pro-Israeli sources claim that the country’s military is preparing to repel possible retaliatory strikes from Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed forces following the recent airstrikes on alleged ‘Iranian targets’ near Damascus.

Over the past year, the Israeli Defense Forces have been steadily increasing their military presence in the area of the occupied Golan Heights under pretext of combating the so-called Iranian threat. Syrian sources describe these developments as a part of preparations for wider aggressive military actions against forces of the Damascus government and its allies in southern Syria.

Late on April 27, Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles dropped leaflets calling on Idlib residents to support actions of the Turkish Army in the area of the M4 highway. Such actions by the Turkish military likely demonstrate that the negotiations with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which were held after a military incident between the sides on April 26, likely ended with no real progress. If the Turkish Army continues its efforts to de-block the part of the M4 highway near Nayrab by force, it may find itself in the state of an open military confrontation with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

2 US soldiers were abducted after an attack on their vehicle near the Omar oil fields, on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, Syrian state media said on April 27. Arab media regularly report about security incidents involving US-led coalition forces and their proxies in eastern Syria. Earlier in April, Syria’s SANA claimed that a US soldier and 2 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in an attack near the village of al-Wasia in Deir Ezzor province.

On top of this, ISIS via its news agency Amaq regularly reports successful attacks against personnel of the Syrian Democratic Forces and civilians in the US-controlled area. For example on April 21, Amaq announced that ISIS forces had killed a “sorcerer” in the town of al-Sabhah. The victim was identified as Hassan Ghanem al-Osman. He became the third “sorcerer” killed by ISIS in eastern Deir Ezzor during the last two months.

The US-led coalition prefers to remain silent regarding the ISIS terror campaign, which is ongoing under the nose of its forces. However, it found time to comment on the April 27 report about the supposed casualties among US personnel calling it fake.

The Russian Military Police established a new observation point near the town of Tell Tamir in northeastern Syria. Kurdish sources claim that Turkish-backed militants regularly shelled the town and the surrounding areas during the past few weeks. They expect that the deployment of the Russians there should help to put an end to these regular ceasefire violations.

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Hezbollah’s Nightmare Continues to Irritate “Israel”: This Time from Syria

Hezbollah’s Nightmare Continues to Irritate “Israel”: This Time from Syria

By Staff, Agencies

The nightmare of Hezbollah is still irritating the top “Israeli” military institution. However, this time the pretext is the so-called “Hezbollah’s presence in Syria”.

In this context, the “Israeli” military posted on Friday a grainy footage on Twitter purporting to show the head of the Syrian Armed Forces 1st Corps, Major General Ali Ahmad Assad, visiting the so-called “Hezbollah positions in Syria.”

The footage, which was filmed from a distance, showed individuals wearing military fatigues greeting a man with military salutes and shaking hands with him in an open area.

The text accompanying the footage on the ‘Israeli’ post read, “See the man with white hair? That’s the head of the Syrian Armed Forces 1st Corps, Major General Ali Ahmad Assad. He’s visiting Hezbollah positions in #Syria.”

“Our message: We see you. Consider this a warning,” the caption further read. “We won’t allow Hezbollah to entrench itself militarily in Syria.”

Israeli military posts video of Syrian Army commander meeting with Hezbollah

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:00 A.M.) – The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) published a video on Friday that allegedly showed a Syrian military commander meeting with Hezbollah personnel in Syria.

“Look closely. See the man with white hair? That’s the head of the Syrian Armed Forces 1st Corps, Luau Ali Ahmad Assad. He’s visiting Hezbollah positions in Syria. Our message: We see you. Consider this a warning,” a message accompanying the video warns.

Avichay Adraee, the head of the IDF’s Arabic-language media division, offered more details about the video in an Arabic-language tweet, alleging that the video was shot in the Syrian-controlled portion of the Golan Heights, and warning that Israel would “not tolerate” the “entrenchment” of Hezbollah forces in the area.

Look closely. See the man with white hair? That’s the head of the Syrian Armed Forces 1st Corps, Luau Ali Ahmad Assad. He’s visiting Hezbollah positions in .
Our message: We see you. Consider this a warning.
We won’t allow Hezbollah to entrench itself militarily in Syria.
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The Syrian military has not commented on the video, its authenticity, or Israel’s warning.

The Israeli military has repeatedly targeted Hezbollah and other ‘Iran-backed’ forces in Syria in recent years, citing the group’s threat to Tel Aviv’s national security.

Syria has slammed Israel at the United Nations and other forums over its air and missile attacks, citing the crucial role played by Hezbollah’s assistance to Damascus in its near-decade long war against al-Qaeda, Daesh (ISIS), and other terrorist elements.

ALSO READ  Hezbollah announces health emergency plan to combat coronavirus

Turkish Drones Falling In Idlib. ‘Moderate Rebels’ Gas Themselves By Mistake

South Front

Early on March 5, the Israeli Air Force carried out a series of airstrikes on targets in the Syrian provinces of Homs and Quneitra. According to the Syrian military, the attack was conducted from Lebanese airspace at 00:30 local time. Israeli warplanes used two civilian flights of Qatar Airways as a cover for their strikes. The Syrian side claimed that it had intercepted all the hostile missiles. However, ground explosions were reported in Quneitra. Therefore, at least some of them in fact did hit their targets.

The previous Israeli strikes on Syria took place on March 2 and February 23. On March 2, an Israeli attack helicopter destroyed a vehicle in the province of Quneitra after Israeli troops in the Golan Heights had reportedly come under sniper fire. On February 23 Israeli warplanes targeted positions of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group in Damascus.

‘Entirely by chance’ the increase of Israeli military actions in Syria came amid the escalation of the Syrian-Turkish conflict in Idlib.

On March 4, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the Turkistan Islamic Party and other al-Qaeda-linked groups supported by the Turkish Army made another attempt to recapture the town of Saraqib, located on the M4-M5 highways crossroad, from the Syrian Army. Despite the intense artillery and air support from Turkey, al-Qaeda members failed to achieve their goal.

Supporters of the 25th Special Forces Division and Hezbollah deployed there claim that Turkish-led forces suffered notable losses in the clashes but provide no particular numbers. Video evidence from the ground confirms that pro-government forces recaptured a T-90 battle tank that they had lost earlier in the same area.

Syrian troops also entered the village of Afis north of Saraqib but failed to fully secure it. The village remains contested. If Turkish-led forces keep control over it, they will be able to carry out attacks on vehicles moving via the M5 highway from Saraqib to Aleppo.

Earlier on the same day, 2 Turkish soldiers were killed and 6 others were injured in Syrian Army artillery fire in eastern Idlib. In response, the Turkish military tried to shoot down a Syrian Su-22 warplane bombing al-Qaeda positions west of Saraqib. Turkish supporters claim that an anti-air missile was launched by an F-16 fighter jet. However, most likely this was a MANPAD launched from one of Turkey’s so-called ‘observation posts’ in the area. During the past weeks, Turkish soldiers were repeatedly spotted launching MANPADs at Syrian and Russian aircraft. The Russian Defense Ministry officially says that Turkish observation posts have merged with terrorist bases and have been used to carry out attacks on government-controlled areas. Nonetheless, Turkish soldiers surrounded by the Syrian Army continue enjoying safety and receiving supplies. This is another demonstration of the fact that modern conflicts often take strange forms.

Setbacks in southern and eastern Idlib forced Turkey and its proxies to shift the focus of their military efforts. Late on March 4, Turkish-backed al-Qaeda forces attacked positions of the Syrian Army in western Aleppo. By the morning of March 5, they had captured the village of al-Sheikh ‘Aqil and al-Rraqim Hilltop. The control over these positions will allow them to shell the western suburb of Aleppo city more effectively.

Since the start of Turkish military actions in Idlib in February, the Syrian military had shot down 13 Turkish military UAVs, pro-government sources claim. According to them, this number includes 7 Bayraktar TB2 and TAI Anka combat drones. It should be noted that only a part of these claims has been confirmed  by visual evidence.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham militants tried to stage a chemical provocation in eastern Idlib, but poisoned themselves, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on March 4. According to the report, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members were planning to stage the incident on March 2nd during the Syrian Army advance in the western part of Saraqib by blowing up canisters with a chemical substance, but a canister leak caused casualties among the militants themselves.

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