سورية… لا بواكي لها…عصيةٌ عصية يا شام يا شام

الخميس 9 شباط 2023

سعاده مصطفى أرشيد

كانت بلادنا على موعدها المئوي مع الزلزال الذي ضربنا بلا سابق إنذار، ولم تعترف الطبيعة الجيولوجية بنتائج الإتفاقية الأنغلوفرنسية التي منحت الشمال السوري لتركيا عام 1916 ثم إتفاقية سان ريمو اللاحقة عام 1920، كما لم تعترف بسلخ لواء الإسكندرون عام 1939، فضربت الطبيعة ضربتها دون الاكتراث للحدود المصطنعة، فأصابت المناطق السورية التي تقع داخل الحدود الدولية التركية، والتي كانت أنقرة قد حشدت بها جماعات التكفير من النصرة وداعش وغيرها، كما ضربت مناطق داخل الحدود الدولية لسورية، والتي تخضع لاحتلال الجيش التركي وتقيم بها الحكومة التركية إدارات تابعة لها.

المواطن السوري نزيل بيته في حلب أم خيمته في إدلب، وكأنه لم تكفِه الحرب الكونية على بلاده منذ اثني عشر عاما، وما ترافق معها من قتل ودمار وتهجير واحتلال، فجاء الزلزال ليفاقم من مأساته وآلامه، مشاهد الدمار وأشلاء القتلى ينفطر لها القلب، فيما تزداد أعدادها طردياً مع كلّ نشرة أخبار وحسب جهود فرق الإنقاذ العاملة في ظروف جوية ماطرة وباردة.

الرئيس التركي رجب طيب أردوغان أعلن عن حالة الطوارئ لثلاثة شهور في أحد عشر ولاية، وهو نظريا مسؤول عن إغاثة ملايين السوريين الذين استضافهم في تركيا لأسباب تركية لا إنسانية، فاستخدمهم ضدّ بلادهم ودولتهم من جانب، ثم استخدمهم مرة ثانية لتهديد أوروبا بإطلاقهم للهجرة إليها، وعن ملايين آخرين في المناطق التي احتلها في الشمال السوري، وحسب ما تقول منظمات الإغاثة الدولية إنّ ثلاثة وعشرين مليون مواطن في سورية وتركيا قد أصبحوا في أمسّ الحاجة للإغاثة العاجلة.

انتفض العالم المنافق والذي يعرف أردوغان كيف يتعامل معه بفوقية واعتداد، وانطلقت الجسور الجوية والقوافل البرية لنقل الإغاثات الطبية والغذائية، ومعها فرق الدفاع المدني إلى المناطق التركية، وتنتشر صور الطائرات المزدحمة في السماء التركي فيما تعيش سماؤنا أجواء الحصار الظالم، فالسوري لا بواكي له، لا من جسور جوية حقيقية ولا قوافل إلا من روسيا وإيران وبعض الدول العربية ومن بعض أبناء أمته، أما العالم الغربي وعقوباته والذي طالما أرسل لسورية أدوات القتل والدمار، فإنه وكما أثبتته هذه الكارثة يستنكف عن إرسال المواد الإغاثية، فهو لا يعترف لا بالدولة السورية وحقوقها ولا حتى بإنسانية المواطن السوري.

على ما أحدثت هذه الكارثة من دمار وأذى في الأرواح والماديات ما لا يمكن علاجه بالإغاثة العاجلة فقط على ضرورتها الملحة، وإنما يستدعي التفكير بورشة إعمار وإعادة بناء طويلة ومكلفة، ولكن وبشكل ملحّ تحتاج سورية لكل أبناءها للعمل السريع على ثلاثة ملفات :

أولا: تطوير الحملة الشعبية ـ القومية التي انطلقت لتعمّ سائر المدن في الكيانات السورية حتى لو أدّت إلى تحطيم الحدود المصطنعة التي أثبتت الطبيعة تهافتها وبطلانها.

ثانيا: حملة شعبية على المستوى العالمي لرفع الحصار المجرم عن سورية وفضحه وكشف نفاق من يحاصرنا، ذلك بالتظاهر أمام سفارات بلادهم، وبتوقيع العرائض التي يشارك بها الأفراد من سياسيين ومثقفيين وأكاديميين، وإجراء الإتصالات مع جهات غربية مؤيدة لنا لعمل ذات الإجراء في المدن الأوروبية والأميركية.

ثالثاً: وهو الأهمّ الطلب الرسمي والشعبي على الحلفاء في طهران وموسكو، وذلك من أجل القيام بوساطة مزدوجة، الجزء الأول منها ما بين الدولة السورية والأتراك، بحيث يدرك أردوغان أمام ضرورات ما أحدثه الزلزال أنّ مصلحته كما من مصلحة الدولة السورية انسحابه من الشمال السوري (إدلب وجوارها)، وتفرّغه لإغاثة محفظاته الإحدى عشر وأنّ عودة الدولة السورية لفرض سيادتها على أرضها ليس فقط حقاً من حقوقها، وإنما هو مصلحة تركية أيضاً، ووساطة أخرى ما بين الدولة السورية والمعارضات غير المتورّطة في الإرهاب والتكفير وفتح مجال العودة لهم إلى حظيرة وطنهم.

سورية تحتاج اليوم إلى من يحبها وينتمى إليها.

*سياسي فلسطيني مقيم في الكفير ـ جنين ـ فلسطين المحتلة

عصيةٌ عصية يا شام يا شام

الخميس 9 شباط 2023

د. كلود عطية

الشام لا تغرق في وحول العالم بل هي التي علّمت العالم كيف يكون النهوض من تحت الركام.. لا تعنيها مساعدات ملطخة بالدماء ولا مواقف دول دمّرت في أرضها حجراً أو غيّرت مكان حبة تراب.. هي الشام حضارة الكلمة ولغة الحب والسلام.. هي الإنتاج والاكتفاء.. هي العز والشرف وكرامة الإنسان.. لا يعنيها الموت وهي الحياة والهواء والشمس والقمر المعلق في سماء كل الأمم…

الشام لا تُحاصَر إلا بالمحبة والوفاء أما تفاصيل الحرب الكونية والحصار فهي مرتدّة على أصحابها وانْ طال الزمن.. هي الحق والخير والجمال هي الثقافة والمعرفة والعلم والإبداع.. لا يدخل اليها ويبقى ويعود إلا من كان يفتّش عن الأمان ويبحث عن وطن يختصر بتاريخه كلّ الأوطان..

هي الشام تاريخ من الوجود الإنساني والحضاري لا تزعزعها كلّ الأحداث الماضية من حروب وويلات وهزات أرضية وبشرية..

عصية يا شام عن النسيان فأنت الذاكرة الحقيقية لكلّ أحرار العالم، ولكلّ أبناء الحياة..

فيديوات مرتبطة

مقالات مرتبطة

NYT makes U-turn after saying Syria can’t receive aid due to sanctions

8 Feb, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

The New York Times goes in reverse and removes information about sanctions on Syria hindering aid efforts to the country in light of the disastrous earthquake that hit it.

Screenshot showing the previous summary of the New York Times news article discussing the aid effort to Syria, February 7, 2023 (Social Media)

The New York Times went back on its words after it said in the summary of one of its new articles on the devastating earthquake that took place in Syria that the disaster-stricken state could not receive aid because of the sanctions imposed on it.

Two hours after it was published, the article said: “As the Syrian government tightly controls what aid it allows into opposition-held areas, border crossings with Turkey have been a lifeline.”

It previously said: “Syria is not able to receive direct aid from many countries because of sanctions, so the border crossing has been a lifeline.”

The border crossing in question is the Bab Al-Hawa crossing that lies on the Turkish-Syrian borders, which has been pivotal for Syria over the past couple of days due to the harsh sanctions imposed on the country, preventing it from directly receiving aid.

It is noteworthy that in 2020, then-US President Donald Trump signed into law the so-called Caesar Act, under which Congress authorized severe economic sanctions against Syria. In accordance with the sanctions, anyone doing business with the Syrian authorities is potentially exposed to travel restrictions and financial sanctions.

The US claims that “the Caesar Act and other USW Syria sanctions do not target humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people” and that Washington will continue sending its alleged humanitarian assistance to Syrians. However, this was not the case following the devastating earthquake that struck Syria and was not mentioned anywhere in Biden’s remarks.

To add salt to injury, Damascus International Airport is still undergoing repairs and maintenance following the most Israeli airstrike on the facility on January 2. The airport is the target of repeated Israeli occupation assaults and airstrikes that put it out of service. This fact cannot be ignored as any humanitarian aid to land in the country will definitely be hindered.

Due to the inhumane sanctions imposed on Syria, the country is being deprived of humanitarian aid. At a time that calls for unity, Western nations turned away from Syria.

In these defining moments and amid this humanitarian catastrophe, it was expected that all political rifts and rivalries would be brought aside for a short while at least, mainly because the destructive event has directly affected civilians.

Following the earthquakes, several Western countries mobilized rapidly to send aid and rescue workers to Turkey but decided to exclude Syria and neglect it, by only offering condolences and merely expressing readiness to support the affected Syrians, with nothing done on the ground, in a clear show of double standards.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Syria has risen to more than 2,800, while rescue teams continue extensive search efforts to find survivors under the rubble.

On Monday, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, killing thousands, mainly in Turkey and Syria, and leveling houses and other facilities, including public infrastructure.

Read more: Western selective humanitarianism, Syria earthquake falls on deaf ears

هل يجرؤ العرب على كسر حصار سوريا؟

  الأربعاء 8 شباط 2023

ابراهيم الأمين

عند وقوع أزمات كبرى، يظهر الحجم الفعلي لبلد كلبنان. حتى لقاء باريس الخماسي، أول من أمس، الذي كان مخصصاً لمناقشة الملف اللبناني، تحوّل في جانب منه إلى البحث في التطورات العاجلة في المنطقة جرّاء الزلزال المدمّر الذي ضرب سوريا وتركيا فجر الاثنين، بعدما أظهرت عمليات الإنقاذ هول الكارثة. تركيا، الدولة التي يتعامل معها العالم كقوة إقليمية كبرى، تحتاج أمام هذه المأساة إلى المساعدات التي تتدفق عليها، فيما يعي العالم جيداً أن سوريا المنهكة والمحاصرة أكثر احتياجاً إلى دعم شامل ومستدام.

في لبنان، لم يكن متوقعاً من مسؤولين لا يهتمون لأحوال شعبهم أن يبادروا إلى خطوات نوعية تجاه الشعب السوري. فهؤلاء، كالعادة، يعملون تحت الضغط الخارجي، الأميركي تحديداً. وليس متوقعاً ممن لم يخض معركة الحصول على استثناء من العقوبات الأميركية لاستجرار الغاز المصري أو يجرؤ على قبول هبة إيرانية غير مشروطة، أن يبادر إلى خطوات واضحة لمساندة بلد شقيق، قدم الكثير لنا إنسانياً وسياسياً.

الجاحدون والفاشيون فقط هم من يسيّسون أي خطوة إزاء كارثة إنسانية كالتي أصابت الشعب السوري. هؤلاء، ممن يعيشون بيننا أو ينتشرون في العالم، لا يمكن إلا احتقار من يتحدث منهم عن نظام وشعب وعن موالاة ومعارضة، عندما يقارب مسألة الدعم الذي تحتاجه سوريا في هذه المحنة.
احتاجت حكومة الرئيس نجيب ميقاتي إلى صوت مرتفع حتى تقوّي «ركابها» وتقرر إرسال وفود أو مساعدات، علماً أن لهذا الأمر رمزيته. فيما القرار الذي يمكن أن يتخذه لبنان، ويشكّل فارقاً بالفعل، هو فتح المعابر اللبنانية أمام كل أشكال الدعم المتوجهة صوب سوريا، ورفض الإذعان لكل أنواع الضغط والترهيب والعقوبات التي يرفعها الغرب الأميركي – الأوروبي. مثل هذه الخطوة من شأنها المساعدة على تسهيل تقديم مساعدات كبيرة لسوريا، من قبل أشخاص أو جهات أو مؤسسات لا تريد الخضوع للعقوبات الأميركية، ومستعدة لتقديم الدعم عبر لبنان.

عربياً، يبدو أن تطوراً ما حصل، تمظهر في الحركة السياسية التي بدأها رئيس دولة الإمارات محمد بن زايد، بإبلاغه الجانب الأميركي قراره إرسال مساعدات مباشرة عبر مطار دمشق، قبل أن يتبعه قرار ولي العهد السعودي محمد بن سلمان إطلاق حملة تبرعات يذهب قسم منها إلى سوريا، إضافة إلى برنامج دعم من الحكومة السعودية نفسها.

وبحسب المعطيات، يناقش بن زايد مع الجانب الفرنسي المبادرة إلى استعادة التواصل مع سوريا من الباب الإنساني تمهيداً لما هو أكثر. وهو أثار ذلك في اتصال مع الرئيس إيمانويل ماكرون، ونُقل أن الأخير لم يرفض الفكرة من حيث المبدأ، وهو وإن حاول إعطاء الأمر بعده الأخلاقي والإنساني، إلا أن القرار النهائي يبقى رهن أمور كثيرة، تبدأ بالموقف الأميركي ولا تنتهي عند صقور الفاشيين في الإدارة الفرنسية. فيما المهم الآن مراقبة نشاط عواصم عربية كالجزائر والقاهرة وأبو ظبي والرياض، للبحث في إمكانية اختراق الجمود بما خص الملف السوري عبر مدخل المساعدات الإنسانية لمواجهة أعباء الكارثة، وفتح الباب أمام مراجعة تعيد ربط سوريا بالعالم العربي بشكل طبيعي، وإنهاء القطيعة التي قامت من قبل متآمرين دمروا سوريا وهجروا أهلها.

مساع عربية لإقناع فرنسا بتغيير موقفها وفتح الأبواب أمام مساعدة سوريا من دون شروط


طبعاً، لا يجب توقع الكثير من النتائج. لكن من المهم أن يتصرف العرب بقليل من الشهامة والأخلاق الإنسانية. ومن يعتقد أنه يمكن ترك سوريا تموت بعد كل ما أصابها، يقوم بفعل سياسي واضح ينم عن حقارة غير مسبوقة. فيما الأبواب مفتوحة اليوم أمام من دعموا مؤامرة تدمير سوريا للتصرف بمسؤولية ولو من الباب الإنساني. والتحدي نفسه يواجه دولاً قادرة مادياً مثل قطر، إضافة إلى عواصم غربية لا يمكنها الاختباء خلف مليون يورو قرّرت ألمانيا دفعها للمتضررين من الزلزال أو قدر هزيل من المساعدات قدمتها فرنسا عبر منظمة أطباء بلا حدود. بينما تشير معطيات واردة من العاصمة الفرنسية إلى أن عملاء الغرب من المعارضين السوريين يحذرون السلطات الأوروبية من تقديم الدعم إلى مناطق تقع تحت سيطرة النظام، ويطالبون بإحياء «الخوذات البيض» التي لا تعدو كونها مجموعة من المرتزقة تعمل لدى الاستخبارات الغربية وتمدها بمعطيات ذات طابع أمني، أو عبر منظمات غير حكومية أقامها أرباب المعارضة السورية ويعيشون على حسابها.

ولعل من «حسنات» الكارثة أنها كشفت المزيد من العنصرية التي تتحكّم بالغرب تجاه منطقتنا كلها، وليس سوريا فقط، وبما يتخطى كل الحدود، إلى درجة نشر صحيفة «شارلي إيبدو» الفرنسية رسماً كاريكاتورياً للدمار في تركيا، مع تعليق: «لسنا بحاجة حتى إلى إرسال دبابة»، ما يعبّر عما يتمناه هؤلاء لكل الدول العربية والإسلامية والفقيرة في العالم، وعن عقلية فاشية واستعمارية لا تفارق أذهان هؤلاء ومخيلاتهم.

وإذا كان أحد يتوهّم باستخدام الكارثة لابتزاز الدولة السورية من أجل تقديم تنازلات سياسية مقابل الدعم، فإن الأخبار الواردة من دمشق تؤكد أن على من ينتظرون من الرئيس بشار الأسد أن يخرج إلى المنابر مستجدياً أو ليتلو فعل الندامة، استعادة سنوات انتظار استسلام الأسد يوم وصل مرتزقتهم إلى مشارف دمشق!

فيدبوات ذات صلة

مقالات ذات صلة

Ambassador Sabbagh: Syria Warned that Incorrect Track of OPCW on Alleged Douma Incident Will Lead to False Conclusions

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

February، 2023
New York, SANA

Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Bassam Sabbagh, said that Syria has repeatedly warned that the incorrect and unprofessional track adopted by The OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in Syria on Douma alleged incident will lead to false and null conclusions.

Sabbagh was regretted that the fact-finding committee had not correct the method of its work despite all the demands addressed to it to commit to the rules included in the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“Syria took a strategic decision in 2013 to join the Chemical Weapons Convention and has eliminated all its stockpile in a record time despite difficult conditions the country has been passing through,” Sabbagh said at UN Security Council session on “the Chemical File in Syria.”

He added that Syria has persistently stressed its firm stance to condemn the use of chemical weapons by any one, at any time or place.

The Syrian diplomat recalled Washington’s scenario to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on the false pretext to Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, saying that Washington’s crimes in Iraq are imprescriptible.

Mazen Eyon

How are sanctions, blockade affecting humanitarian effort in Syria?

7 Feb 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

By Sara Salloum 

With thousands dead and thousands of others injured in Syria due to the earthquake, numerous international cargo companies refuse to land in Syria out of fear of US and EU sanctions.

How are sanctions, blockade affecting humanitarian effort in Syria?

A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 Richter ripped through Syria on early Monday, leading to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, with the latest tallies showing that more than 1,602 people have been killed in the catastrophe-stricken country, with thousands more injured. 

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the United Nations and competent UN organizations, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), among many other humanitarian organizations to provide help for the country in the face of the devastating disaster Syria has been hit with.

Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad held a meeting with UN representatives and various NGOs in a bid to explain the impact of the unilateral sanctions that are drastically affecting the situation in the country and the humanitarian response to it.

Local sources told Al Mayadeen that numerous international shipping firms have refused to land in Syria out of fear of US and EU sanctions after several countries have asked Syrian airline companies to transport tonnes of aid aboard their civilian airliners, which are not properly equipped for transporting such large amounts of aid.

“The unjust sanctions on Syria directly contributed to an increase in the number of victims as a result of the earthquake because of the inability to secure modern machinery and equipment used in such instances,” the head of the fire department in Latakia, Lieutenant Colonel Mohannad Jaafar, told Al Mayadeen.

“We have fulfilled our duty as per the capabilities available to us. Our entire regiment, with all its firemen, is on high alert. Rescue operations are still ongoing, but we are sadly taking more time because we do not have the proper equipment or a sufficient number of vehicles. Were we to have had these capabilities, we would have been able to save more lives,” Lt. Col. Jaafar added.

Social media users have been sharing a screenshot from live flight trackers showing how Turkey’s airspace is full of air traffic while neighboring Syria to the south does not have any air traffic whatsoever, signaling how the whole world was quick to send aid to Turkey in stark contrast with the situation in Syria.

Some sources have revealed that so far, some 62 aid teams from 50 countries have made it into Turkey while barely any have made it to Syria.

Mohammad, a 40-year-old local from Latakia, told Al Mayadeen how they waited for hours for search and rescue teams to make it to the site. During this time, locals resorted to manually removing any debris they could in a bid to save their families and neighbors.

Mohammad expressed his sadness over the situation in Syria, recalling the vast capabilities that his country had before the war and how it was sending aid and equipment to other disaster-stricken countries around the world when they were hit with such catastrophes, such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Iran.

Aleppo has been classified as the most damaged, with more than 46 homes destroyed thus far. The Aleppo municipality said they were facing extreme difficulty when it came to providing proper equipment and manpower due to the amount of damage dealt to the governorate.

“The fierce military battles that took place in Aleppo have directly contributed to the collapse of the buildings after the foundation of these buildings were damaged, and the reconstruction efforts were delayed due to the sanctions on Syria,” the deputy chief of the Aleppo City Council, Ahmed Rahmani, told Al Mayadeen.

Since the early hours of the morning, the Aleppo governorate has called on the people, private sector companies, and contractors, who have vehicles, to support and help remove the rubble, especially in the densely populated neighborhoods. The Engineers Syndicate also called on all of its members to stay in the Syndicate building in order to carry out their national duty and help people in need.

The crisis resulting from the terrorist war on Syria prompted civilians to seek refuge in damaged or somewhat destroyed buildings lacking basic infrastructure and services.

The Secretary-General of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Khaled Arsoussi, made a distress call to international organizations, saying that “Syria urgently needs assistance from international organizations at home and abroad.”

Arsoussi explained that there was a great shortage of equipment for rescue operations, especially when it comes to removing the rubble, with an alarming shortage of medicines and fuel, both of which are required to operate hospitals.

The Syrian Ministry of Health estimated the losses of the health sector in Syria during the decade-long war on the country to have been billions of Syrian pounds, especially in light of the destruction caused by terrorist groups and foreign mercenaries. 

The years of war on Syria have seen the complete destruction of 38 hospitals at the hands of terrorists, as well as the that of 450 vehicles and the killing of more than 700 Syrian doctors.

The Syrian Trust for Development called on those wishing to participate in the national campaign in support of those affected by the disaster to donate cash directly to the following accounts at Byblos Bank:

– Hama Governorate account; account name: Syrian Trust for Development; account number: 2050262888028

– Aleppo Governorate account; account name: Syrian Trust for Development; account number: 2050262888007

– Latakia Governorate account; account name: Syrian Trust for Development; account number: 2050262888008

Related Stories

وقع الزلزال…والتوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

وقع الزلزال…والتوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

 الثلاثاء 7 شباط 2023

ناصر قنديل

الزلزال الذي ضرب تركيا وسورية وأسقط آلاف الضحايا والمصابين وخلّف عشرات آلاف المشرّدين بلا مأوى، كارثة إنسانية موصوفة، والعالم الذي ينفق تريليونات من الدولارات على التسلح والحروب يرسل القروش لتركيا، لكنه يحجم عن إرسال شيء الى سورية، بل يواصل المكر والخبث والكيد والحقد عبر العقوبات والحصار، كما تقول بيانات التضامن المخادعة بالحديث عن مساعدة الشعب السوري، بدلاً من القول سورية، وعبر المؤسسات الإنسانية، كي يقولوا وليس عبر الحكومة السورية، وكي يقولوا ضمناً لا شيء، لأنهم يعلمون أنّ صناديق هذه المؤسسات خاوية وقد بدأت بالتقشف في مساعداتها التي كانت تقدّمها في العام الماضي، ولحق النازحين السوريين نصيب من هذا التقشف، وبالمقارنة بين العالم ما قبل الحضارة المدينة وعالم اليوم، نكتشف بسهولة أنّ المسمّى عالم ما قبل الحضارة المدنية كان أشدّ رحمة وأكثر شهامة، وأشدّ كرماً، عندما يتعلق الأمر بالكوارث الطبيعية، حتى في حالات الحروب، فتوضع الخلافات جانبا وتتحد الجهود لدرء الكارثة، بينما لا يرفّ جفن العالم المدّعي للحضارة ولا قلب، والمطلوب رفع العقوبات والحصار، وتخفيف وطأة الكارثة.

كلّ الذين يتهرّبون من الحقيقة السورية يخادعون أنفسهم، وهم في سرّهم يعلمون أنّ سورية سواء انتهت كارثة الزلزال عندها برقم 2000 ضحية أو عشرة آلاف ضحية، فهي ستعود وتتعافى وتقف على قدميها، كما دأبها دائماً، لكن دماء وأرواح هذا الفارق سوف يتمّ تقييدها في حساب لا يقفل على ذمة وضمائر كلّ الذين كان بوسعهم فعل شيء، ولم يفعلوه، ولنبدأ بالأمين العام للجامعة العربية مكتوم الصوت، ليكفّر عن جريمة رئاسته للوفد الذي ذهب يدعو لشنّ الحرب عليها، بعد قرار الجامعة تعليق عضويتها، لم لا يكون أول الواصلين الى دمشق يشرف بنفسه على الاتصالات الهادفة لحث الحكومات العربية على تسيير جسور جوية وقوافل بحرية وبرية لكلّ ما تحتاجه سورية في زمن الكارثة، سفن الوقود والمعدات الطبية والأدوية والمستشفيات الميدانية، والآليات الثقيلة لدعم جهود البحث والإنقاذ، والبيوت السريعة الإنشاء لإيواء المشرّدين، وأدوات التدفئة والألبسة والمطابخ الضخمة لتأمين الطعام، ومثله السؤال لكلّ حاكم عربي قادر ولم يفعل شيئا، خصوصاً في الدول العربية الغنية، وبالأخص في الخليج، وفي الطريق سؤال للحكومة اللبنانية، أليس ما تحتاجه سورية اليوم أكثر من وفد استكشافي للحاجات، هو إعلان تخصيص مطار القليعات ومرفأ طرابلس لاستقبال السفن والطائرات التي تحمل الإغاثة لسورية، والتي لا تستطيع التوجه إلى مطاراتها ومرافئها بسبب العقوبات، ومعلوم أنّ لبنان عندما يفعل ذلك لن يتعرّض لأيّ مساءلة أو أذى، وهو قادر ان يطلب من الأمم المتحدة تولي الإشراف على ما يصل عبر المطار والمرفأ نحو سورية، وربطه بزمن الكارثة.

لأنّ سورية عائدة وسوف تتعافى رغماً عن أنوف أعدائها، ولأنهم يعرفون ذلك، فالسؤال ماذا عن أميركا وأوروبا، أليس التوقيت مناسباً، بلغة المصالح بعيداً عن الضمائر الميتة، للتذرّع بالزلزال واعتباره توقيتاً مناسباً لاستثناء كلّ ما هو إغاثي وطبي وإنساني وغذائي ومنه الوقود وما يتصل بالبنى التحتية وإيواء النازحين والمشرّدين، من كلّ ما له صلة بالعقوبات، وقد سبق للأميركيين والأوروبيين أن كتبوا وحللوا عن مشاريع تفاوض مع سورية بفعل ذلك مقابل أثمان سياسية، فماذا سوف يخسرون إنْ فعلوا ذلك دون مقابل، وهم يعلمون أنهم سوف يربحون وضع القطار على السكة، لكسر الجليد وبدء الحديث مع سورية؟

بلغة المصلحة أيضاً أليست فرصة للسعودية ومصر اللتان تبحثان عن مدخل لبناء جسر جديد للعلاقة مع سورية، أن تصل وفود وزارية منهما على رأس قوافل الدعم والمستشفيات الميدانية، وقد سبق لهما خلال محنة مرفأ بيروت أن فعلا شيئاً مشابهاً، واعتبار التوقيت المناسب لفعل ذلك هو هذه البوابة الإنسانية؟

بمفهوم التوقيت المناسب، هو توقيت مناسب لتركيا لتسلم مناطق سيطرتها للدولة السورية، وهي تحتاج كلّ مقدراتها داخل تركيا في مواجهة الكارثة، وتحت إشراف لجنة رباعية سورية روسية إيرانية تركية تقام غرفة عمليات مشتركة، تفتح الطرق، وتدير فرق الإغاثة، في كلّ المناطق السورية، وهي فرصة للذين تورّطوا في الخروج عن حضن الوطن ليعودوا ويظهروا بعضاً من وطنية في زمن الكارثة.
التوقيت المناسب للشجعان فقط!

مساعدات عربية تصل إلى دمشق… وجسر جوي من الرياض

الأخبار  الثلاثاء 7 شباط 2023

بعد أن تركّزت مساعدات الدعم العربي والدولي بشكل رئيسي إلى تركيا التي عرضت 70 دولة إرسال مساعدات إليها بحسب الرئيس رجب طيب إردوغان، وصلت اليوم إلى سوريا، اليوم، طائرات من دول عربية عدّة، في إشارة إلى «خرق» للحصار الأميركي المفروض على سوريا عبر قانون «قيصر»، ما قد يساهم في مساعدة المناطق المنكوبة جراء الزلزال الذي ضرب تركيا وسوريا أمس.


ويأتي ذلك بالتزامن مع مواصلة عمليات البحث عن ناجين اليوم في ظلّ طقس شديد البرودة، بينما تجاوزت حصيلة ضحايا الزلزال المدمر أكثر من 7100، 1712 قتلوا في سوريا، و5434 شخصاً في تركيا.

وكان لافتاً موقف السلطات السعودية التي أمرت اليوم بـ«تسيير جسر جوّي وتقديم مساعدات صحية وإيوائية وغذائية ولوجستية لتخفيف آثار الزلزال على الشعبين السوري والتركي، وتنظيم حملة شعبية عبر منصة «ساهم» لمساعدة ضحايا الزلزال في سوريا وتركيا»، في حين لم تتطرق أمس إلى أي مساعدات.

وعمد العراق إلى الأمر نفسه، إذ فتحت بغداد ممراً جوياً مخصصاً للمساعدات الإنسانية وسترسل الوقود غداً الأربعاء. كما وصلت طائرتان عراقيتان إلى دمشق تحمل كل منهما 70 طناً من المواد الغذائية والبطانيات والإمدادات الطبية، من بين أشياء أخرى، بحسب وكالة «سانا».

ومن لبنان، توجّه فوج من الجيش اللبناني وفرق إنقاذ خاصة من لجنة الصليب الأحمر اللبناني إلى سوريا، بعد أن توجّهت أمس لمساعدة تركيا. وفتحت بيروت أجواءها وموانئها مع إعفاء شركات النقل الجوي والبحري الوافدة لأغراض إنسانية من الرسوم والضرائب، بحسب وزير الأشغال اللبناني، علي حمية.

وأفادت «سانا» أيضاً بوصول طائرة مصرية تحمل مساعدات لمتضرّري الزلزال، بعد توجيهات من الرئيس المصري عبدالفتاح السيسي، بإرسال 5 طائرات عسكرية محملة بمساعدات طبية عاجلة إلى سوريا وتركيا، وذلك في أعقاب اتصال هاتفي أجراه السيسي مع الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد.

ومن جانبها، أرسلت الإمارات طائرات نقلت «مساعدات طارئة» إلى كل من سوريا وتركيا، معلنةً تخصيص مساعدات إنسانية بقيمة 100 مليون دولار مناصفة بين البلدين. وقد وصلت طائرتان إماراتيتان محملتان بالمساعدات.

وأعلنت قطر إنشاء «مستشفى ميداني» وإرسال «فرق بحث وإنقاذ» إلى تركيا، واستعدادها إرسال 10 آلاف حاوية لتركيا، من دون التطرق إلى مساعدات لسوريا.

مغربياً، كانت الجزائر سبّاقة في الاستجابة لإغاثة المناطق المنكوبة في سوريا، إذ أرسلت منذ ليلة أمس وحتى اليوم 115 طناً من المنتجات الصيدلانية والغذائية والخيام إلى سوريا التي توجه إليها ليلاً فريق حماية مدنية جزائري مكون من 86 منقذاً، بحسب وزير الداخلية الجزائري إبراهيم مراد. وقد وصلت ثلاث طائرات جزائرية إلى مطار حلب الدولي، محملة بالمساعدات الطبية والغذائية والإنسانية، بحسب «سانا».

كذلك، أرسلت الجزائر إلى تركيا أمس 17 طناً من معدات التدخل فضلاً عن «مجموعة أولى من 89 عميلاً متخصصاً في إدارة المخاطر الكبرى»، وفقاً للعقيد في الحماية المدنية فاروق عاشور.

من جانبها، قررت تونس إرسال 60 منقذاً، 41 منهم لتركيا، بينهم أطباء، و19 إلى سوريا. كما سيتم إرسال أطباء من وزارة الصحة وفرق من الهلال الأحمر التونسي. وسترسل تونس أكثر من 15 طناً من المساعدات من البطانيات والأغذية وحليب الأطفال، 11 منها إلى تركيا و4 إلى سوريا.

كذلك، وصلت طائرة ليبية إلى مطار حلب الدولي تحمل مساعدات إغاثية للمتضررين، بعد أن أمر رئيس الوزراء الليبي عبد الحميد الدبيبة بالإرسال «الفوري» لفريق بحث وإنقاذ مكون من 55 منقذاً تابعين للحماية المدنية والهندسة العسكرية وخمسة كلاب.

وجهّزت عمان أولى طائرات الإنقاذ التابعة للقوات الجوية الأردنية محملة بالمعدات الطبية واللوجستية، بالإضافة إلى فريق يضم 99 من عمال الإنقاذ وخمسة أطباء من الخدمات الطبية الملكية.

فيديولات متعلقة

مقالات متعلقة

Iran on the Erdogan – Assad Rapprochement Path, Meaning and Timing

 FEBRUARY 6, 2023

It seems clear that the entry of Iran into the line came at the request of Damascus, which thus wanted to balance the Iranian role with the information that constantly talks about common and intertwined personal and official interests between Presidents Putin and Erdogan.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published on 2nd Feb 2023 on Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

Two days after President Erdogan’s statements, in which he said, “Let Turkey, Iran, and Syria meet to discuss possibilities for a final solution,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said, in the press conference, with his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, in Moscow, “Today, an agreement has been reached aimed at Iran’s participation in the process of settling and normalizing relations between neighboring Turkey and Syria.

This means Cairo’s approval, perhaps on behalf of other Arab countries, of the Iranian role. This was recognized, the day before yesterday, by Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s spokesman, when he said, “We will be happy with Iran’s contribution to the mediation efforts with Damascus because Tehran is an important player in the Syrian crisis from the beginning.”

Minister Lavrov’s words came after a series of contacts and visits by his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Abdollahian, to Beirut, Damascus, and Moscow, followed by the visit of the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Ankara’s ally, to Tehran, days after the Abu Dhabi summit, in which the leaders of a number of Arab countries, including Qatar and Egypt, participated. This explains Minister Lavrov’s taking advantage of Minister Shukri’s visit to Moscow to talk in his presence about Iran’s involvement in the mediation efforts between Erdogan and President Assad.

It seems clear that Iran’s entry into the line came at the request of Damascus, which thus wanted to balance the Iranian role with the information that constantly talks about common and intertwined personal and official interests between Presidents Putin and Erdogan, which was reason enough for Moscow not to put pressure on Ankara on the issue of Idlib and the Syrian north. in general, but succeeded in persuading Ankara to seek rapprochement with Damascus.

There is much talk in the Turkish media about Russian financial support for Erdogan, to help him win the upcoming elections, which are crucial for Erdogan, Turkey, and Russia as well.

It has become clear that Turkey, before and after these elections, will witness interesting developments related to Erdogan’s foreign calculations, which will have direct and indirect repercussions on the internal situation. The Syrian crisis comes at the forefront of these calculations, and the reason for this is the problem of the Syrians in Turkey, which will be an important electoral material that the opposition will use against Erdogan.

It has also become clear that he, that is, Erdogan will make the minimum concessions required of him to ensure his meeting with President Assad before these elections, and his chances are still few, according to all independent opinion polls, especially after the “Nation Alliance” announced its electoral project that includes 2,300 items aimed to fix everything Erdogan destroyed during his 20 years of rule.

Among these concessions was his acceptance of Iran’s entry into the line of rapprochement between him and President Assad at this time, when Tel Aviv, Washington, Western countries, and its other allies are conspiring against Iran, which was attacked by unknown drones that targeted a military complex in the city of Isfahan.

In parallel, tension appears between Baku and Tehran due to the armed attack on the Azerbaijani embassy in Iran and the killing of one of the embassy guards. This is what some nationalist circles in Turkey and Azerbaijan exploited to launch a hostile campaign against Tehran, which they have been doing for a long time due to Iranian support for Syria in the years of the so-called “Arab Spring”.

https://syrianews.cc/in-erdoganstan-opposition-leader-kilicdaroglu-prosecuted-for-insluting-the-sultan/embed/#?secret=x8tmRrjjFE#?secret=Q3L1pc6s4C

On Tuesday, the leader of the National Movement Party, Devlet Bahchali, who is an ally of President Erdogan, said, “Azerbaijan is a state and nation of Turkish origin, the same as South Azerbaijan,” meaning northwestern Iran. This Turkish nationalist provocation is accompanied by a similar provocation and escalation from the nationalist circles in Azerbaijan, which has established and developed in recent years intertwined military and intelligence relations with “Tel Aviv”, which has established a number of espionage bases near the Azerbaijani border with Iran, which is what it did in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, especially in areas under the rule of Masoud Barzani

At a time when the Jewish lobby controls most of the Azerbaijani media, which is waging a hostile and violent campaign against Iran, which coincided with the visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to Azerbaijan, and a day later to Armenia, the two neighbors of Tehran.

Minister Lavrov’s talk about an “agreement” on Iran joining the Russian mediation between Assad and Erdogan seems clear that it came in support of the Astana process, but this time with Egyptian and Gulf approval, which may be reflected in support for the Egyptian-Turkish reconciliation path, that is, of course, if the Gulf capitals are sincere in their desire to return things to normal with Damascus.

It is not clear what practical positions the aforementioned capitals will take towards Iran entering the rapprochement line, which, if achieved, will undoubtedly be with the consent of the Gulf, which Erdogan hopes to support him financially, politically, and psychologically on the eve of the elections that will be on May 14.

Everyone knows that Erdogan was and still needs significant financial support from abroad, just as he needs media materials to help him gain more support, which will be achieved by meeting President Assad and announcing together their agreement to return Syrian refugees to their country. It is the issue that, if Erdogan succeeds in it, he will pull the rug out from under the feet of the opposition, which holds him responsible for the refugees and the entire Syrian crisis.

And while waiting for the American, Israeli, and European reaction to Iran’s entry into the mediation line between Erdogan and Assad, which is a victory for Iranian diplomacy at this particular time, everyone is waiting for President Erdogan to take practical and quick moves to resolve the issue of rapprochement before he is exposed to any external pressure, and the situation east of the Euphrates will be one of the most important elements of these pressures, since the rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus will aim, first or second, at joint action against the Kurdish “SDF” and “People’s Protection Units”.

This will be the biggest challenge for Erdogan and before Assad, especially if the Americans think about confronting Russian plans through Turkey, Syria, Iran, and perhaps Iraq as well. This may lead to a real and serious crisis in the relationship between Ankara and Washington, and it has enough reasons for such a crisis, as Turkey is a member of NATO which has many of its bases on its soil.

Ultimately, the bet remains on the success of Russian diplomacy in persuading Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar (Erdogan’s ally) of the necessity of urgency in achieving the Turkish-Syrian rapprochement, and by completing it, Erdogan’s reconciliations with Cairo, Abu Dhabi, and Riyadh will acquire practical importance from which everyone will benefit.

And without it being clear how Tel Aviv will respond to these Russian moves, which Washington will obstruct by various means, and its biggest weapon for that is the Syrian Kurds with their extensions in Turkey, Iraq, and Iran. They are Tel Aviv’s weapon also until the Gulf regimes convince Netanyahu and his allies in the terrorist government that the war is no longer in their interest and that the Palestinian youth generation, after the events in Jenin and the heroic Al Quds (Jerusalem) operation, is not the generation that will surrender to the conspirators against it internally, regionally and internationally, as long as there are those who stand and will stand by its side among the honorable people of the nation, and everyone knows them and they are the true source of terror for the Zionist entity and its allies in the region!


button-PayPal-donate

Syria News is a collaborative effort by two authors only, we end up most of the months paying from our pockets to maintain the site’s presence online, if you like our work and want us to remain online you can help by chipping in a couple of Euros/ Dollars or any other currency so we can meet our site’s costs.

Related Stories

Earthquake in Syria is Devastating Combined with Western Hybrid War

 

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

The barbaric Western sanctions combined with heating, fuel, and electricity shortages are causing absolute devastation in Syria’s quake-hit cities.

Syria and Turkey United in Massive 7.8 Earthquake

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

Steven Sahiounie


At least 780 are dead in Syria, with another 2,300 injured according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) after a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:17 am local time today.
Rescue teams look for survivors under the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in the regime-controlled northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 6, 2023. – A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey and Syria early on February 6, killing hundreds of people as they slept, levelling buildings and sending tremors that were felt as far away as the island of Cyprus, Egypt and Iraq. (Photo by AFP)

The epicenter was near Gaziantep, Turkey on the Syrian border.  After shocks began almost immediately with a powerful 6.7 quake eleven minutes after the initial 7.8 jolt.

Deaths have been reported in the Syrian regions of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia, with Tartus having been impacted by the quake, according to SANA.

An eight-story building collapsed in Syria’s Hama province, SANA reported, citing the Hama Fire Brigade. Multiple buildings were also reported to have collapsed in the port city of Latakia, and the city of Aleppo, SANA said.

The Red Crescent in both Turkey and Syria have both asked people to donate blood after the powerful quake. Churches and Mosques in Syria have opened their doors to the homeless.

In Turkey, at least 1,500 dead, with more than 8,550 injured, according to the Turkish media.  At least 10 provinces across southeastern Turkey have been impacted by the earthquake, with 3,800 buildings collapsed.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said Monday it recorded seven quakes with a magnitude above 5. The strongest aftershock so far was recorded at 1:30 pm Monday and had a magnitude of 7.5.

Strong aftershocks are likely to continue in the hours and even days to come after an earthquake as strong as this one, according to meteorologists.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense in Damascus said in a statement it is “mobilizing all its units, formations and institutions in all governorates to provide immediate aid and urgent assistance to the residents affected by the earthquake, search for people trapped under the rubble, and to treat the injured.”

Shaking from the quake could be felt up to 300 kilometers away (186 miles) from the epicenter.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the border between Turkey and Syria is tied as the strongest the country has experienced in more than 100 years of records, according to the USGS.

An equally powerful 7.8 magnitude quake that hit eastern Turkey in 1939 resulted in more than 30,000 deaths.

Turkey has experienced seven quakes with magnitude 7.0 or greater in the past 25 years, but Monday’s is the most powerful. It is also the strongest quake to hit anywhere in the world since an 8.1 magnitude quake struck a remote region in the southern Atlantic Ocean in 2021.

Karl Lang, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech University’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, told CNN, “It’s a seismogenic area. It’s a very large fault zone, but this is a larger earthquake than they’ve experienced any time in recent memory.”

“The magnitude of shaking that is felt on the surface is both a function of the amount of energy released, the size of the earthquake, but also how far that energy is released below the surface. So if it is very close to the surface, if it is a shallow earthquake, then it can be very dangerous,” said Lang.

“What’s really unusual here is that it’s a very large earthquake that is also close to the surface,” Lang said.

Residents in Latakia reported, “It felt like it would never be over.” The quake brought on a three-minute rolling movement in which high towering housing units swayed, causing residents to pour into the streets in their pajamas. The coast of Syria is experiencing a very cold rainstorm which began before the quake and has not let up.

With several inches of snow on the ground in Gaziantep, residents waited outside in the rain for about 30 minutes before he could go back inside to grab coats and boots.

Predictions

Frank Hoogerbeets, CEO and President at Solar System Geometry Survey, made a prediction of this earthquake in a YouTube video on February 2. After his prediction came true, he wrote: “As I stated earlier, sooner or later this would happen in this region, similar to the years 115 and 526. These earthquakes are always preceded by critical planetary geometry, as we had on 4-5 Feb.”

World leaders forgot the Syrian people

In times of natural disasters, it is to be expected for world leaders to extend condolences and offers of help.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted, “I have been in touch with Turkish officials to relay that we stand ready to provide any & all needed assistance. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in coordination with Turkiye.” What about Syria? The Syrian people are suffering as well, but they don’t get mentioned.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted, “We stand with the people of Turkey in this difficult time.” No mention of the Syrians suffering.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “India stands in solidarity with the people of Turkey.” No mention of Syria.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif sent his condolences to the people of both Turkey and Syria in a series of tweets. The Syrian people deserve mention.

Countries who have offered help to Syria are: China, Russia, Iran, Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Iraq, Algeria, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden and Bahrain.

Idlib and the White Helmets

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) said its hospitals in Syria “are overwhelmed with patients filling the hallways.”  This news from CNN would lead you to believe that SAMS has hospitals serving Syrians in need all over.  The fact is, SAMS is strictly serving the medical needs of the approximately three million residents of Idlib province, which is the only area in Syria under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the former Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

SAMS’ president Dr. Amjad Rass said the organization has been receiving victims and working to guarantee the wellbeing of more than 1,700 staff in Syria and 90 in Gaziantep, Turkey, according to CNN. The fact is, the 1,700 staff he mentions are in Idlib alone, and the 90 are not in Syria at all, but in Turkey.

SAMS is a medical charity located in the US and was founded during the Obama administration’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood and its charities during the US-NATO attack on Syria for regime change, which failed.

The “White Helmets” group, officially known as the Syria Civil Defense, also said there were dozens of victims and hundreds trapped under the rubble in the Idlib region, according to CNN.  The fact is, the White Helmets are an award-winning video troupe founded by a British former secret agent, and they are not known as the Syria Civil Defense locally, as that unit is the Fire Department in Syria and is found across the country in every city and administered from Damascus, not Hollywood.


Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist.

New 5.3-magnitude earthquake hits Turkey again amid 2921 death toll


7 Feb, 2023

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

This comes right after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit both Turkey and Syria, leaving thousands dead.

People looking for survivors on a collapsed building in Idlib, Syria on Monday (AP)

A new earthquake hit Turkey again at a magnitude of 5.3, which comes right after Monday’s earthquake left a death toll of 2,921 in Turkey with 15,834 injured, according to a Turkish news agency on Tuesday, citing the Turkish disaster and emergency management authority (AFAD).

Russia sent teams to assist Turkey and Syria, with multiple other countries such as Iran and Iraq also sending aid to the region. 

Syria requested on Monday that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres send all resources available to help the country already dealing with a harsh and unjust blockade by the US, which is prohibiting medical resources from reaching citizens.

The major 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria on Monday, has killed more than 3,000 people and flattened thousands of buildings as rescuers dug with their bare hands for survivors.

Multi-story apartment buildings full of residents were among the 5,606 structures reduced to rubble in Turkey, while Syria announced dozens of collapses, as well as damage to archaeological sites in Aleppo.

The head of Syria’s National Earthquake Center, Raed Ahmad, called it “the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center.”

The initial quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude tremor that shook the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in a phone call on Monday that Russian rescuers will depart toward Syria today in order to provide all required assistance and support following the devastating earthquake that struck the West Asian country and Turkey.

“In the nearest hours, rescuers from the Russian emergency ministry will take off for Syria,” the Kremlin said.

Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. The country’s last 7.8-magnitude tremor was in 1939 when 33,000 died in the eastern Erzincan province.

The Turkish region of Duzce suffered a 7.4-magnitude earthquake in 1999 when more than 17,000 people died.

Related Stories

Over 2,300 killed as 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits Turkey, Syria

Monday, 06 February 2023 5:04 AM  [ Last Update: Monday, 06 February 2023 1:17 PM ]

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake has hit Turkey and Syria, killing over 2,300 people and trapping many others.

The quake struck at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 17.9 kilometers (11 miles) and was followed by a 6.7-magnitude aftershock 15 minutes later, according to the US Geological Survey.

Turkey’s AFAD emergencies service center put the first quake’s magnitude at 7.4.

According to the head of Turkey’s disaster and emergencies management agency (AFAD) Yunus Sezer, the country’s death toll following the earthquake has risen to about 1,500 with thousands of buildings destroyed.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the earthquake as the country’s largest disaster since 1939.

People gather as rescuers search for survivors under the rubble, following an earthquake, in the Syria city of Jandaris, February 6, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

The Ankara government has requested international aid amid the widespread devastation caused by the quake.

The president of the Turkish Red Crescent also urged the nation to make blood donations.

Kerem Kinik also said on Twitter the organization sending additional shipment of blood to the affected region.

The country’s vice president Fuat Oktay announced the suspension of schools in the 10 affected cities and provinces.

He also announced that flights to and from the airport in Hatay province have been suspended, while airports in Marash and Antep are also closed to civilian flights.

The quake leveled buildings across major cities in southern Turkey, including Kahramanmaras and Gaziantep, and caught most people while they were still asleep.

“I have never felt anything like it in the 40 years I’ve lived,” Erdem, a resident of the Turkish city of Gaziantep, near the quake’s epicenter, told Reuters. “We were shaken at least three times very strongly, like a baby in a crib.”

Rescuers search for survivors under the rubble, following an earthquake, in militant-held town of Jandaris, Syria, on February 6,2023. (Via Reuters)

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said it was concerned about areas in Turkey from which there had been no news following the overnight tremor.

“National authorities will be focusing on search and rescue at the moment,” a WHO spokesperson told Reuters in a statement, adding “Then we will expect an increased need for trauma care to treat the injured and to support the entire health system in affected areas.”

In Syria, the country’s official media as well as rescue teams working across the nation put the death toll at over 800.

The official SANA news agency, quoting the country’s health ministry, said the quake had killed at least 461 people and left at least another 1,326 injured, including the cities of Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and Tartus.

Rescue teams said over 380 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in northwestern parts of the country, which are held by pro-Turkish militants.

A man carries away an injured child following an earthquake in the town of Jandaris, Syria, on February 6, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Reports said the Syrian border city of Harem in Idlib province was completely ruined by the quake.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad held an emergency cabinet meeting to review the damage and discuss the necessary measures, according to his office.

Raed Ahmed, who heads Syria’s National Earthquake Center, told Syrian media that this was “historically, the biggest earthquake recorded in the history of the center.”

The tremors were also felt in Lebanon and Cyprus.

People in the Lebanese cities of Beirut and Tripoli ran into the street and took to their cars to get away from their buildings in case they collapsed, Reuters cited witnesses as saying.

Turkey is in one of the world’s most active earthquake zones. In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed in the worst earthquake to hit the country in decades.

Putin offers condolences, aid to Turkey, Syria after quake

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences and offered Russian aid to Turkey and Syria following the deadly earthquake, the Kremlin said.

“We share the sadness and the pain of those who lost their loved ones and we hope for a speedy recovery for all the injured, and are ready to provide the assistance needed to overcome the impact of this natural disaster,” Putin said in a message to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.

In a separate message to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin asked him to “convey words of sincere sympathy and support” to the families of the victims and said Russia was “ready to provide required assistance.”

People gather near a damaged site following an earthquake, in Aleppo, Syria, in this handout released by SANA on February 6, 2023. (via Reuters)

“Bashar al-Assad gratefully accepted this offer, and in the coming hours rescuers of the Russian emergencies ministry will fly to Syria,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

“The Turkish president warmly thanked Vladimir Putin for such a prompt and sincere reaction and said that he was giving instructions to the competent authorities of the country to accept the help of Russian rescuers,” it said.

Russia said it had emergency rescue Ilyushin-76 planes on standby to fly to the two countries.

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu separately spoke with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar by telephone, offering condolences and support.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that Shoigu “offered to provide all necessary assistance through the military department to his Turkish colleague in the aftermath of the earthquake, including medical assistance to the victims.”

People search through rubble following the earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on February 6, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

China’s Xi condole with Turkey, Syria over deadly quake

Later on Monday, China’s President Xi Jinping sent his condolences to Turkish and Syrian leaders over the most powerful earthquake to have hit their countries in nearly a century.

Xi told Turkey’s Erdogan and Syria’s Assad in separate messages that he was “shocked” to learn of the disaster.

He also conveyed “deep condolences for the dead and sincere sympathy for their families as well as for the injured.”

“I am shocked to learn of the strong earthquake that took place in your countries, causing heavy casualties and loss of property,” Xi said in his messages, according to CCTV.

China’s official foreign aid agency said it was in communication with Turkish and Syrian authorities and “willing to provide emergency humanitarian aid in accordance with the needs of the affected population.”

People search for survivors under the rubble following the earthquake in Diyarbakir, Turkey, on February 6, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

EU mobilizes over 10 search and rescue teams to Turkey

The European Union says more than 10 search and rescue teams from the bloc have been mobilized in the wake of Turkey’s major earthquake.

“Urban Search and Rescue teams have been quickly mobilized from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania to support the first responders on the ground,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Italy, Spain and Slovakia have offered their rescue teams to Turkey as well.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

Related Videos

Noon bulletin

Related News

The Terrorism Pretext: US-ISIS-Kurdish Nexus Preserves Occupation of Syria

February 03 2023

It’s getting harder to ignore. The persistent ISIS presence in the Syrian desert only serves US aims to continue its military occupation and support for Kurdish separatism.

Photo Credit: The Cradle

ByThe Cradle’s Syria Correspondent

In March 2019, former US President Donald Trump startled Washington’s war establishment by announcing that the mission of “eliminating terrorism” had been accomplished in Syria.

Seven months later, Trump solidified his claims by celebrating the assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by a US special forces operation in rural Idlib, in the north of the country.

In reality, the US president had been angling to exit Syria for some time, and the absence of terrorism provided that excuse. Trump had promised his voter base to wind down expensive foreign military adventurism, and viewed the high cost of military deployment in Syria as disproportionate to the gains realized.

But while withdrawing US forces from various locations in Syria’s north and northeast, the American president was pressured to maintain a small number of troops in the oil-rich countryside of Hasakah and Deir Ezzor, and in the Al-Tanf base, an area crucial to Israel’s strategic interests as it is located on the border with of Iraq and Jordan, and on the hypothetical road that connects Tehran to Beirut.

Trump, known for his brazen proclamations, publicly stated that “oil interests” were the reason for keeping this small contingent of US troops in the embattled Levantine state. The wholesale exit of US forces would have paved the way for Syrian and Russian troops to take back control of the northeast, and for Moscow to move forward with its peace plan through the Astana Process with Iran and Turkiye.

The facade of ‘fighting terror’

With the arrival of Democratic President Joe Biden to the White House, Washington shifted its priorities and sought to maintain a protracted presence in Syria under the pretext of “fighting terrorism.” ISIS cells were magically reactivated in the Syrian desert, a development heavily circulated in US media through “intelligence sources.” This prompted accusations from Moscow that Washington is supporting terrorism from its Al-Tanf base, which Russian planes bombed last July.

Amidst escalating hostilities between the US and Russia over Ukraine, Syrian field sources have informed The Cradle of the existence of communication channels between the Al-Tanf base and ISIS cells that carry out scattered attacks in the Syrian Desert against the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied, Iran-backed factions.

The sources have also noted a marked shift in both ISIS tactics and the terror group’s access to advanced weapons and modern communication equipment that have been discovered in their hideouts. Given Iraq’s stringent measures on all border crossing with Syria – digging a trench along the border, building a separation fence, and installing surveillance cameras and checkpoints – it is unlikely that ISIS could obtain these resources without support from a powerful nation.

Kurdish forces employ the ISIS threat

During every Turkish threat to attack US-backed Kurdish forces in the country’s northern provinces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) raises the specter of ISIS and its expansion, which is used to justify the continued Kurdish occupation of northern Syria to repel these attacks.

This pattern repeated itself during the 2016-2017 Turkish Euphrates Shield operation against ISIS and Kurdish targets, the 2018 Olive Branch operation when Turkish forces invaded Afrin in Aleppo’s countryside, and the 2019 Turkish offensive called the Peace Spring operation.

The trend continued last December, when Ankara threatened to attack Kurdish-held territories in Syria’s north. The SDF, which had halted operations against ISIS, quickly reversed  its decision two days later.

In addition to playing the ISIS card to justify its relevance, the SDF – which is affiliated with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which Ankara considers an extension of the terrorist-designated Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) – has another lever it frequently employs.

The Kurdish group controls dozens of prisons that house thousands of ISIS leaders, fighters, and their families, the most notorious of which are Al-Hol camp near the Iraqi border, and Al-Sinaa prison in the Hasakah Governorate.

And the SDF, in coordination with US strategists, have employed this leverage to release ISIS members and their families from camps or to allow prison breaks at important junctures.

So why are ISIS attacks on the rise?

A clear correlation can be observed between the rise in ISIS attacks and US attempts to fortify its presence in Syria in order to ‘fight terror.’ After a period of relative decline during Trump’s presidency, the terrorist organization has regained strength, ironically, following Biden’s decision to expand operations against ISIS.

In early 2022, ISIS launched an attack on Al-Sinaa Prison, which holds prominent ISIS leaders and fighters. The operation came less than three weeks after several noteworthy developments: First, international coalition forces brought in large shipments of weapons, including Bradley vehicles and anti-tank weapons; Second, coalition forces returned to the Lafarge base on the strategic international M4 highway north of Aleppo; Third, western forces had just completed maintenance operations for the oil fields.

Notably, the attack also took place after US Caesar Act sanctions were lifted from areas controlled by the SDF and Turkiye.

US support for the SDF through exempting Kurdish areas from the Caesar Act demonstrates Washington’s goal of solidifying the Kurdish Autonomous Administration in SDF-controlled areas. This serves to ensure a continued US presence and foothold in resource-rich northeastern Syria in the event of a future withdrawal of troops – and ongoing obstruction of Russian peace efforts to stabilize the country.

Terrorism: a tool for US expansionism

As soon as Ankara voiced its willingness to reconcile with Damascus, the US began preparing for a new troop deployment to fortify its position in Syria, particularly since rapprochement – backed by Russia and Iran – hinges on several key agreements, the most prominent of which requires the exit of US forces from the country as a necessity for a political solution.

The new US military expansion – which is essentially a redeployment – returns troops to previous bases in former ISIS-stronghold Al-Raqqa Governorate all the way to the border with Turkiye, restructures and revitalizes the jihadist-aligned Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigade (Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa), and provides them with weapons and equipment to form an SDF-like force in this predominantly Arab province.

In December 2022, ISIS launched a series of attacks in Raqqa, which served as the necessary pretext for the US and SDF to launch a large-scale security operation in and around the governorate. The US military used the attacks as an opportunity to reposition its forces, bring in heavy machinery, and rehabilitate helicopter airstrips.

Similarly, US-led coalition forces and the SDF launched the Al-Jazeera Thunderbolt security campaign in and around Al-Hasakah early this year, which resulted in the arrest of 154 ISIS members – according to an SDF statement on 7 January. However, these figures were questioned by locals, who accused the SDF and coalition forces of arresting countless innocent civilians in the Tel Hamis area.

Local sources accuse the SDF of drawing up indiscriminate lists that include personal targets, which have led to accusations against innocent people, the arrest of US occupation opponents who have nothing to do with ISIS, and a desire to increase detainee numbers as part of “the show” that accompanies all US operations.

In light of these facts, Syrian military sources in the eastern desert anticipate an increase in ISIS attacks – particularly as Syrian-Turkish reconciliation talks progress and exert negative pressure on US ambitions in Syria’s north. The sources says that the connection between the US and ISIS, which is used opportunistically and strategically to achieve political goals, is no longer a secret and will only gather further steam in the months ahead.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

In Douma Cover-up, OPCW’s New Smoking Gun Backfires

Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Aaron Maté


In a new phase of a multi-year cover-up, the OPCW has accused Syria of a chemical attack in Douma. But to make the case, the OPCW breaks its own rules and offers an argument that its own findings undermine.

In the latest chapter of an international cover-up scandal, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has directly accused Syria of committing a deadly chemical attack in the town of Douma. A new report from the chemical watchdog’s Investigation and Identification Team (IIT) alleges that Syrian forces dropped two chlorine gas cylinders and killed 43 civilians on April 7, 2018.

The report received an immediate and unequivocal endorsement from the US Department of State, the British Foreign Office and French Foreign Ministry – the diplomatic branches of the countries that rushed to bomb Syria in response to the events in Douma.

The IIT’s conclusion follows years of refusal by OPCW leaders to account for the suppression of the Douma probe’s initial findings.

The OPCW’s first report, finalized in June 2018 by a separate Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), raised doubts that a chemical attack occurred in Douma. It also left open the possibility that the incident was staged, presumably by insurgents who controlled the area at the time. Leaked documents reveal that this original report was doctored, and, along with other critical material, concealed from public view. The following month, a delegation of US officials lobbied the FFM team to conclude that chlorine gas was used as a weapon in Douma and that the Syrian government was responsible.  A follow-up report, released in March 2019, omitted the original’s key findings and endorsed the US-led narrative of a chlorine attack.

The manipulation of the Douma probe was challenged by OPCW inspectors who deployed to Syria for the mission. OPCW Director General Fernando Arias has refused to meet with them or address their concerns.

The US, UK, and France have declared that the IIT report “refutes the Russian claim” that insurgents faked the use of poison gas use in Douma to frame the Syrian government. They also touted what they called “the independent, unbiased, and expert work of the OPCW staff.”

Yet the IIT report fails to address the concerns of the dissenting OPCW staffers who originally investigated the Douma incident.  It does not resolve the identified suppression, inconsistencies, and errors across key areas of the probe, including toxicology; chemical analysis; ballistics; and witness testimony. Instead, after burying the original findings and stonewalling calls for accountability, the OPCW has doubled down on the deception in Douma.

This first installment of The Grayzone’s review of the IIT Douma report focuses on the core investigative pillar of chemical analysis, which heavily factors in the IIT’s conclusions.

In Douma, OPCW discovers a Magic Marker

The IIT claims to have confirmed the 2019 Fact Finding Mission’s (FFM) conclusion — which was challenged by the dissenting inspectors — that chlorine gas was “likely” used in Douma, and that there is no evidence of chemical staging.

In Douma, the first gas cylinder was found at an apartment building identified as “Location 2,” where 43 dead bodies were filmed. The bodies were strewn about the floors below a gas cylinder that was positioned atop a crater on the roof. The cylinder, it is alleged, caused the crater and then remained poised over the hole as it dumped its chlorine payload into the rooms beneath. A second gas cylinder was found on a bed at a different apartment building identified as “Location 4”, where no fatalities were reported.

To assert that chlorine gas most definitely struck Location 2, the IIT relies on finding what it calls a “marker” chemical, tetrachlorophenol (TeCP), in a single sample of concrete debris. The presence of TeCP in that sample, the IIT states, “specifically points to the exposure to chlorine gas.”

But to make that case, the IIT violates the OPCW’s own evidentiary protocols, and makes an argument that its own findings undermine.

– The supposedly incriminating concrete sample has appeared out of the blue. The IIT claims that the sample was received and analyzed by an OPCW Designated Laboratory in July 2018. But the OPCW FFM’s March 2019 report – released more than seven months later – makes no mention of this sample’s existence. Nearly four years later, the Douma probe’s most consequential sample is therefore being disclosed for the first time.

– The TeCP-containing sample was not collected by OPCW inspectors. It was instead collected by an unidentified third party in direct violation of the organization’s chain of custody rules.

– The third party that collected the sample is in all likelihood the White Helmets. While claiming to be a neutral rescue organization, they are anything but. The White Helmets closely cooperate with anti-government insurgents in Syria and are funded by foreign states active in Syria’s post-2011 proxy war, including the United States and the UK. The White Helmets have also been credibly accused of staging a chemical decontamination scene in a nearby hospital at the time of the alleged Douma attack.

– In violation of its own protocols, the OPCW gave full evidentiary status to this externally collected sample of uncertain origin. By contrast, a similar sample collected at the same Douma location by the organization’s own inspectors was inexplicably disregarded and not even analyzed.

– The OPCW offers no explanation for these evidentiary breaches. And even if all of them are put to the side, the IIT’s assertion that the sample reveals a chemical weapons smoking gun is contradicted by the OPCW’s own findings. The IIT somehow overlooks that TeCP was also found in a sample from a different location, where no chlorine gas is reported to have been present.

In short, to reach its conclusion that a chlorine gas attack occurred in Douma, the OPCW is relying on a newly introduced, highly dubious sample, and a scientific argument that is fatally flawed.

“Concrete” Proof

The IIT claims that its Douma probe is “based on the findings” of the OPCW’s original Fact-Finding Mission (FFM), which released a final report in March 2019. That report concluded that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that a chemical weapon was used in Douma, which was “likely” chlorine gas. When it comes to the chemical analysis, the FFM based its claims “primarily on the detection of bornyl chloride and/or trichlorophenol” in wood samples, after it had excluded other possibilities like household bleach.

Although the FFM did not name the alleged perpetrator, it strongly suggested the Syrian army.

The FFM’s conclusions were challenged in a leaked letter sent to OPCW chief Fernando Arias in April 2019 by Dr. Brendan Whelan, a veteran OPCW inspector and Douma team member. Whelan was the chief author of the team’s original report and oversaw the scientific investigation that produced it. The letter criticized what Whelan called “unsubstantiated and scientifically irresponsible” findings, and “the way the facts have been misrepresented.”

Nearly four years later, in what amounts to a tacit acknowledgement of Whelan’s objections on the chemical analysis, the IIT has introduced a new line of argument.

The IIT report makes a new case for a chlorine gas attack primarily based on detecting what is described as a “marker” chemical called tetrachlorophenol, or TeCP. According to the IIT, “the presence of TeCP clearly points to chlorine gas as being the chlorinating agent present at the scene, and in very high concentrations.” The IIT additionally claims that the detection of TeCP helps determine that the chlorine gas came from the two cylinders found in Douma, and negates the possibility that the incident was staged.

These are very different justifications to those contained in the March 2019 FFM report. For example, the FFM in that report rejected any staging with bleach on the grounds that “there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent.” One of the known OPCW whistleblowers has rejected this argument as “tenuous and unscientific.” By omitting it in its latest report, the IIT apparently agrees.

At Location 2, the apartment building where the 43 dead victims were filmed, the key TeCP chemical was identified in just one sample. According to the IIT, it comes from concrete debris collected on April 8 2018 “in the room under the crater and the cylinder.”

But the sample’s path from purported collection in April 2018 to purported smoking gun in January 2023 raises multiple red flags.

The sample now said to contain the incriminating TeCP is conspicuously absent in the OPCW’s March 2019 final report on Douma. A full list in that report of the “samples collected or received by the Fact-Finding Mission” makes no mention of the IIT’s newfound sample.

Yet according to the IIT, the TeCP sample was “first received and analysed by an OPCW designated laboratory on 24 July 2018.” Taking that timeline at face value, an obvious question arises: why was this critical sample not considered of interest – or even acknowledged — in the March 2019 final report? The IIT makes no effort to answer this question, or to explain how such a consequential sample was not disclosed until now.

March 2019: A full list in the Douma FFM’s final report of the “samples collected or received by the Fact-Finding Mission” makes no mention of the IIT’s newfound smoking gun sample.
January 2023: despite not being mentioned in the March 2019 FFM report, the IIT claims that the TeCP sample was “first received and analysed by an OPCW designated laboratory on 24 July 2018.”

The IIT’s supposed smoking gun becomes even more suspect when we learn how it was obtained.

The all-important TeCP sample is not only missing from the OPCW’s March 2019 final report; it was also not collected by the OPCW. The IIT states that the sample was “collected by a third party” on April 8th 2018, days before the OPCW inspectors even arrived in Syria.

The IIT claims that it was “able to reconstruct” the sample’s chain of custody “between the date it was collected and the date it was first received” in July 2018. But as The Grayzone has previously reported, the OPCW’s use of external actors to collect chemical samples in Syria violates its foundational rules, which require full control of the chain of custody from start to finish.

If a “sample was not under OPCW custody” at any point during a mission, OPCW policy states that it “will not be accepted for OPCW verification purposes.” As a spokesperson explained in 2013, the OPCW “would never get involved in testing samples that our own inspectors don’t gather in the field, because we need to maintain chain of custody of samples from the field to the lab to ensure their integrity.”

In Douma and other probes by the OPCW in Syria before it, that bedrock policy has been quietly discarded.

If a “sample was not under OPCW custody,” OPCW policy states, it “will not be accepted for OPCW verification purposes.” (QDOC/LAB/WI/OSA3)

The IIT does not name the “third party” that collected the concrete sample, but it is undoubtedly a group known as the White Helmets. In a public statement on the IIT report, the White Helmets claimed that they “collected samples” in Douma “and submitted them to the OPCW.” As The Grayzone reported last year, the OPCW has used the White Helmets to collect samples and other purported evidence in multiple Syria chemical weapons probes.

In enlisting the White Helmets, the OPCW has not only flouted its own evidentiary protocol, but partnered with a non-neutral actor. The White Helmets extensively cooperate with armed anti-government insurgents, prompting one Syrian Al Qaeda leader to describe their members as “hidden soldiers.” The group is also funded by the same foreign state belligerents, including the US, that armed the insurgency and bombed Syria over the Douma allegations. According to witness testimony and several media sources, including a BBC journalist who conducted a lengthy investigation, the White Helmets staged a chemical decontamination scene in a Douma field hospital around the time of the alleged chemical attack.

The IIT’s reliance on a previously undisclosed sample provided by a third party is additionally called into question by yet another unexplained decision. The OPCW’s Douma team collected an almost identical sample from the exact same spot at Location 2, yet did not analyze it. The IIT describes the extraordinarily useful TeCP sample as having been taken from concrete located “in the room under the crater and the cylinder.” Yet the OPCW’s March 2019 final report shows that the watchdog’s own inspectors also collected concrete located “in the room under the cylinder.” (Entry #28, p. 90).

Whereas the OPCW did not analyze the concrete sample that it collected in Douma, it inexplicably did analyze the sample collected from the same place by an external source. That this previously unknown sample happened to produce the OPCW’s newfound smoking gun is either an extraordinary coincidence, or yet another deception.

March 2019: the OPCW FFM’s final report shows that the watchdog’s own inspectors collected concrete located “in the room under the cylinder.” Yet the IIT relied on an externally collected, previously undisclosed sample from the same location instead.

The New Smoking Gun

The IIT’s inexplicable reliance on a previously undisclosed sample whose collection was outsourced to an external actor directly tied to armed insurgents is but one glaring aspect of a report shot through with flaws. Putting aside the sample’s suspicious timeline and compromised chain of custody, the significance of the analytical findings assigned to it does not pass muster.

The IIT authors report that chemicals they call “highly chlorinated phenols, namely trichlorophenol (TCP) and TeCP, were found in samples that were gathered close to the cylinder that had lodged on the roof of Location 2. Out on the street, three floors below, they found related chemicals which they describe as “low-chlorinated phenols” MCP and DCP. They did not find TeCP or TCP.

The IIT argues that these “highly chlorinated phenols”, TeCP and TCP can only be formed if samples originally containing a chemical called phenol had been exposed to a high concentration of chlorine gas. “The production of TCP, and in particular TeCP from phenolic precursors, requires the presence of a high concentration of chlorine gas,” the report states. (emphasis added)

According to the IIT’s rationale, because only the “low chlorinated phenols,” MCP and DCP, were found in samples taken from the street far from the cylinder on the roof, that means that the concentration of chlorine gas in the street just in front of Location 2 had to have been much lower. This in turn means that the gas release had to have originated on the roof, where the gas concentration would have been highest if the cylinder lodged there were the source:

The pattern of detected chlorinated phenols at the scene is consistent with the hypothesis that the cylinder on the roof was the source of the released gaseous chlorinating agent. This is indicated by the presence of highly chlorinated phenols TCP and TeCP at the sampling locations close to the cylinder (i.e. at the crater on the roof and in the room under the cylinder), as opposed to the least chlorinated phenols MCP and DCP on the street far away from the cylinder.

The finding also leads the IIT to conclude that the TeCP found in the concrete sample from the third-party allows them to “rule out the hypothesis that the incident may have been ‘staged’ using household bleach products or pesticides.” That is because, in their view, “to produce TeCP… [t]he high reactivity of chlorine gas is required.” In other words, bleach is not strong enough to make TeCP – leaving chlorine gas as the cause.

The IIT rules out pesticide as a possible source by considering a hypothesis whereby the TeCP might have originated in the sample because of contact with a pesticide called PCP, which, the IIT says, is normally contaminated with considerable amounts of TeCP. They eliminate that hypothesis, however, because “PCP was not detected in any sample from Location 2,” which they say “strongly indicates that the TeCP was produced in situ” — i.e. where it was detected in Location 2 — “due to the action of chlorine gas.”

In sum, the IIT’s findings regarding the TeCP in the concrete sample at Location 2 purport to resolve three main chemical issues: proving that chlorine gas was used; ruling out a staged event with household bleach; and even establishing that the yellow gas cylinder on the roof of Location 2 was the source of chlorine gas. TeCP, it would seem, is the veritable smoking gun needed to establish a chemical attack in Douma as fact.

All is not as it seems, however. In its attempt to rely on a “new” discovery, the IIT has overlooked what the OPCW already found.

Tunnel Vision

Upon scrutiny, it becomes clear that the Investigation and Identification Team has jumped to baseless conclusions about the TeCP’s significance. The IIT’s claim that the TeCP’s presence “clearly points to chlorine gas… and in very high concentrations” — and debunks any possibility of staging with household bleach — is scientifically unsupported. Moreover, the IIT has somehow missed that its claim to a smoking gun is explicitly contradicted by the OPCW’s own findings.

The report’s authors have also overlooked the fact that their new incriminating chemical TeCP (tetrachlorophenol), along with TCP (trichlorophenol), – what they describe as “the highly chlorinated phenols” — were also found in a Douma sample gathered far from any gas cylinder.

According to the FFM’s March 2019 report, those same chemicals, tetrachlorophenol (TeCP) and trichlorophenol (TCP) were detected in the tunnel deep underneath the field hospital in Douma, identified by the OPCW as “Location 1.” (Final Report, Annex 5, page 49, Entry #26).

When the White Helmets were not busy collecting game-changing samples on the OPCW’s behalf, they were using this same hospital to film dramatic scenes of themselves dousing civilians, including children, with water, claiming they were treating victims of a Syrian government chemical attack. (In February 2019, the BBC’s Riam Dalati claimed that he can “prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.” He fell silent immediately after his astounding claim and has not released his reporting).

Sample taken from the tunnel underneath the hospital at Location 1 (FFM Report, Annex 5)

Recall that the IIT has just claimed that for TeCP and TCP to form “in situ,” it “requires the presence of a high concentration of chlorine gas.” Recall also, that the IIT dismissed the possibility that the TeCP found at Location 2 could have come from the pesticide PCP, because no PCP was found in the sample where TeCP was found. The same argument applies to the tunnel sample, where no PCP was found either.

There have been no reports of any chlorine attack or chlorine gas release in the tunnel beneath the hospital, let alone in “high concentration.” Because of the distance of the tunnel from the two gas cylinders — and contradicting the IIT’s own logic — the presence of TeCP and TCP in the tunnel sample cannot have been a result of exposure to chlorine gas, yet alone exposure to high concentrations of it, from an alleged chlorine gas attack on April 7 2018.

If the TeCP found in the tunnel did not come from pesticides, or did not result from exposure to high concentration of chlorine gas, what was its source? Chlorinated water or the natural environment are among several possibilities. TeCP clearly has other sources, and is not the unique “marker” of chlorine gas that the IIT has deemed it to be. As such, it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool for chlorine gas exposure in the Douma investigation, and the IIT’s argument collapses.

Engaging the experts

To reach its findings about the TeCP, the IIT claims that it “engaged a well-established chemist with specific expertise in the analysis of chlorine markers.” This supposed expert has only established a need for the IIT to engage in a little scientific curiosity – specifically to read the OPCW’s own lab results, which undermine the explosive conclusions that the IIT report has drawn.

The same need could be identified for an OPCW leadership that has refused to address the complaints of the original Douma team whistleblowers.

In an April 2019 letter to the OPCW Director General Arias, Dr. Brendan Whelan, the FFM team’s scientific coordinator and chief author of the original report, flagged multiple issues that take on newfound significance in light of the recent IIT report.

The March 2019 final report, Whelan wrote, “altered” the “key conclusions” of the June 2018 original report, even though “no substantive or valid new information, particularly with respect to the sampling and analysis results, has been gathered since.” Additionally, the OPCW “prioritised the analysis of samples… for which no chain of custody could be assured,” thereby downgrading “samples which had been collected by the FFM team and therefore had full chain of custody.” Finally, Whelan argued that the OPCW’s conclusions about the samples are “unsubstantiated and scientifically irresponsible given the information the team possessed.”

Nearly four years later, the OPCW has responded to the scientific and ethical violations breaches that Whelan identified by committing even more. The result is an IIT report that offers a disqualifying chain of custody, conclusions contradicted by the OPCW’s own information, and a newfound smoking gun that backfires in spectacular fashion.


Aaron Maté is a journalist and producer. He hosts Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone. In 2019, Maté was awarded the Izzy Award (named after I.F. Stone) for outstanding achievement in independent media for his coverage of Russiagate in The Nation magazine. Previously, he was a host/producer for The Real News and Democracy Now!.

Erdogan: Iran’s participation in Russia, Syria & Turkey talks possible

31 Jan, 2023

Source: Al Mayadeen Net + Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Any tripartite talks should be preceded with prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia, according to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (Archive)

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Monday the possibility of Iran’s participation in the tripartite talks between Russia, Syria, and Turkey.

    In a televised speech, Erdogan said that “It is possible for Iran to participate in the tripartite talks between Turkey, Syria, and Russia.”

    He added, “Our relations with Russia are based on mutual respect, and although we were unable to obtain the desired result regarding northern Syria, the tripartite talks could be held, and it is possible that Iran will take part in them.”

    Earlier this month, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said, “The meetings with the Turkish side must be based on prior coordination and planning between Syria and Russia in order for them to be fruitful, and in order to reach the tangible goals and results that Syria wants from these meetings.”

    On December 28, the Russian Defense Ministry said that “trilateral talks between the defense ministers of Russia, Syria, and Turkey took place in Moscow. The meeting discussed ways to address the Syrian crisis, the issue of refugees, and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria.” 

    At the conclusion of the meeting, the defense ministers highlighted how the dialogue was constructive, stressing the need for all three parties to hold further talks to bring more stability to Syria and the whole region, the statement added.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan, met Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas and Syrian intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk in Moscow, along with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

    “Ways of resolving the Syrian crisis and the problem of refugees as well as joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria have been discussed,” the Russian RIA Novosti news agency said, citing the Russian Defense Ministry.

    “Syrian crisis, the refugee issue, and efforts of joint fight against all terror organizations on Syrian soil were discussed in the constructive meeting,” the Ministry’s statement added.

    Repercussions of Europe’s “Terror” Designation of the IRG

     January 24, 2023

    Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri and Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas

    Iran’s highest-ranking military commander called for plans to hold a joint war game with Syria, which he hailed for being at the forefront of supporting Palestine against the Zionist regime.

    In a meeting with Syrian Defense Minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas, held in Tehran on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri lauded Syria for its resistance and supporting Palestine from the outset of occupation of the Palestinian territories by the Zionist regime.

    The senior commander stressed the need for staging a joint military exercise between Iran and Syria.

    Major General Baqeri also condemned the recurrent Israeli acts of aggression against the Arab country that has violated international law.

    He noted that Iran has provided advisory support for the Syrian Army so far, expressing the Islamic Republic’s readiness to help the Syrian military forces in restructuring, training, and supplying equipment.

    For his part, the Syrian defense minister highlighted the close interaction between Damascus and Tehran in the fight against terrorism and the common enemy.

    Praising the Islamic Republic for backing his country during the crisis and for standing against the Israeli regime, Abbas said Syria will continue to fight against the Zionist regime and stand with the nations seeking independence.

    In July 2020, Iran and Syria signed a comprehensive agreement to enhance their cooperation in the military and defense sectors.

    Iran began providing Syria with advisory military assistance after numerous countries, at the head of them the US and its Western and regional allies started funding and arming militants and terrorists with the aim of deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in 2011.

    Despite initially losing considerable expanses of territory to Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) and other terror outfits, the country, however, rallied with the help of Iran and Russia, another ally of Damascus, and reversed the balance in favor of itself on the battleground.

    Source: Agencies

    Israel National Security Research Institute: Iran represents the most dangerous threat to “Israel”

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Syria and US War Crimes: The Reckoning is Coming

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360° 

    Christopher Black
    In an article published here in November 2018, I referred to the statement of the UK representative of a UN organisation named the International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011.

    I will repeat that statement because it is relevant to the current situation in Syria. That person stated,

    “We must demonstrate that those who have committed the most serious crimes of international concern can have no place to hide. There must be no impunity for the horrendous acts taking place on a daily basis in Syria. There must be justice for the victims.”

    The UK representative said this without any sense of irony, without any sense of shame, for, of course, it is the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and their gang who have committed war crimes, and crimes against humanity beyond number in Syria since they instigated the uprisings against the government of Syria, beginning in 2011, supported their allied terrorists groups to attack Syrian armed forces and civilians, and imposed their illegal sanctions on the people of Syria.

    The history of the war against Syria by the US and UK, Israel and their allies is well-known, the cruel sanctions, the aerial bombings, the missile attacks, the assassinations, the torture, the illegal occupation of the Golan Heights by Israel with US support, and, finally, the US invasion of Syria that began in 2015 with US special forces raids into its territory on a number of occasions that year and 2016 and the formal entry of US forces on March 8, 2017. Their invasion has continued to this day.

    During the summer of 2017 US forces laid waste the city of Raqqa, Their carpet bombing of the city, their heavy artillery strikes and use of white phosphorous shells, banned under international law, killed hundreds of civilians, and today Raqqa lies in ruins.  Their terrorist allies laid waste Aleppo, Damascus and numerous other cities and towns and villages with a savagery as common to US trained groups, as it is to the US forces themselves.

    The Americans gave all sorts of pretexts for this invasion, none of which were true and none of which gave them any legal basis for their aggression, for that is what their actions were; direct and brutal aggression against a sovereign nation in violation of the Nuremberg Principles established in 1946, in violation of the Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928, in which all these nations agreed not to attack any other nation, and in violation of the UN Charter, all of which the aggressor nations were subject to as part of international law and their own domestic law.

    The invasion ordered by President Obama, making him a war criminal, expanded in scope until President Trump ordered American forces to be pulled out in 2019.  But US forces still remain in occupation of the northeastern parts of Syria. Their exact number is not known but it is at least one thousand and probably higher than that as they continue to build bases controlling the important oil fields that provide much of Syria’s energy needs and cash for exports as well as areas of wheat production vital to the survival of the Syrian state and its people.  The Americans continue to provide their usual pretexts for this, such as “fighting terrorism” “containing Russian influence in the Middle East, or supporting the Kurdish forces opposing both Syria and Turkey.

    On January 10, 2023, in the magazine Defense One, William Roebuck, an American with the long title of Former Deputy Envoy for the Global Coalition against ISIS, repeated all these pretexts as justification for the American invasion but added, in calling for the invasion to continue,

    “Our presence also blocks Russian consolidation of its military mission in Syria, undercutting one of the key sources of Moscow’s surprisingly resilient prestige in the region and hence lending support to our Ukraine policy efforts,”

    thereby linking the US invasion and occupation of Syria to the US-NATO aggression against Russia in Ukraine.

    Of course Mr. Roebuck could not cite any legal reasons or justifications as to why the US should be able to continue its occupation, because there are none, but as is common with all American and NATO governments and their officials, they could not care less about the law or morality.

    The Syrian government states the situation clearly.

    Om January 12, the Syrian Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, Muhammad Hassan Qatana, affirmed that the exceptional circumstances that Syria is passing through because of the terrorist war, instigated by the United States, and unilateral coercive measures have badly affected achievements of many years of sustainable development and caused large losses.

    On January 13, Syrian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister, Bassam Tu’ma, said that the US occupation of parts of the Syrian territory, including oil resources, and the illegal sanctions imposed by Washington on Syria, cause great suffering on the Syrian People.

    These statements follow the August 22, 2022, report in Tass that,

    “According to the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, U.S.-led entities illegally export up to 66,000 barrels of oil daily, representing 80% of the daily production of hydrocarbons. The scale of Washington’s oil theft has reached a peak. Because of this the humanitarian situation in the country remains difficult, millions of Syrians face energy, food and water shortages and are in need of basic necessities.”

    “Russia and Syria strongly condemn the plundering of the natural resources. The US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces currently control most of Syria’s eastern and northeastern Al-Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa provinces. The US military command has established nine military bases there since 2015. Damascus views the US military presence in Syria as an illegal occupation.”

    On December 14, 2022, the Syrian government in a statement to the Security Council stated,

    “Syria condemns the actions of the US occupation forces and demands an end to the illegal US military presence on its territory.

    “Syria draws the attention of the international community to the systematic plundering of the natural resources of the Syrian people by the United States and associated paramilitary units,” the statement said.

    “Damascus,” it said, “demands the return to the Syrian state of the captured oil and gas fields and the payment of compensation for the stolen resources.” The ministry’s statement provides data on the losses that Syria has suffered in recent years from the theft of its oil, gas and other minerals, as well as wheat. They are estimated by Syria at $19.8 billion. In addition, the bombing by the Air Force of the Western coalition caused the country damage worth $2.9 billion.”

    The Syrian Foreign Ministry said “further silence of the UN Security Council on the aggressive policy of the United States and the violation of the principles of international law is unacceptable.”

    “It’s impossible to ignore the suffering of Syrians as a result of the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, which have disastrous consequences for the daily lives of citizens and don’t allow them to receive the necessary services, fuel, household gas, electricity, especially in winter,” the statement said and concluded with,

    “the blockade and coercive measures of the West against Syria are tantamount to war crimes, they increase the suffering of the people and slow down the process of post-war reconstruction.”

    War crimes they are, yet, as the Syrians noted, nothing is said in the collective west in defence of Syria.  Nothing is said about the crimes of the Americans and their allies, either by their governments, or their media. How can we expect them to since they are all complicit in these crimes?

    Since the Americans will not leave unless forced to, it will take operations by the Syrian Army to drive out the invader, but that is complicated by the continuing incursions and occupation of parts of northern Syria by the Turks intent on ridding themselves of the Kurdish threat. Hopefully the on-going talks between Turkey and Syria with the participation of Russia will lead to a resolution of that issue so that Syria can, with the help of its allies, finally take action against the invading US forces.

    All the while the US and its NATO allies along with their puppets in Kiev rant on about “Russian war crimes” in Ukraine and call for international tribunals.

    Yet it is they who should face trial and punishment for the war crimes committed by them over the years, including the nuclear attacks on Japan in 1945 for which the Americans have never been brought to account, a crime which, as President Biden said on January 13, in a surreal meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister, referring to the the use of nuclear weapons, is “a crime against all humanity.”

    The world will not forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even if the Japanese government pretends to, nor the American and allied crimes and the millions of dead in Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and all the other crimes, too many to list here, that they have committed around the world to support their interests.

    Who will try them? Who will bring them to justice?  Only the future can provide the concrete answer, but the reckoning is coming, of that we can be sure.

    Putin Tells Raisi in Phone Call: Russia Ready to Upgrade Cooperation with Iran

    January 20, 2023

    By Staff, Agencies

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country is ready to upgrade cooperation with Iran in different fields as he held talks with President Raisi for the second time in less than ten days.

    The Iranian and Russian presidents discussed bilateral ties and regional developments during a phone conversation initiated by the Kremlin on Thursday.

    During the phone conversation, Raisi stressed the need to boost bilateral cooperation and coordination in various fields.

    He also described as “positive and constructive” the agreements between the two countries for expanding cooperation in the fields of energy and transit.

    For his part, Putin said Moscow is ready to boost cooperation with Tehran in the areas of energy as well as transit.

    Iran and Russia are working to advance the North-South corridor which will facilitate transportation and greatly reduce transportation time.

    In 2002, Russia, Iran, and India signed an agreement for the International North-South Transport Corridor [INSTC], a 7,200 km multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road route for moving freight between India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe.

    The INSTC is seen a game-changer that will shorten the distance and lower the cost of transportation from South Asia to Europe through Iran and Russia and potentially serve as an alternative to the Suez Canal for East-West trade.

    The two leaders also discussed the situation in Syria during the conversation. Raisi stressed that Iran supports solving the Syrian crisis through the Astana Format.

    Putin also highlighted the role of Astana talks in solving the Syrian conflict, noting that all sides are committed to the format.

     Iran and Russia, as the allies of the Syrian government, as well as Turkey, which sides with the opposition, set up the Astana peace process in January 2017 intending to put an end to the Syrian conflict through the involvement of the Syrian government and the opposition.

    The leaders of Russia and Iran also agreed “to maintain contacts at different levels,” the Kremlin’s press service said, TASS reported.

    The two leaders had discussed issues of mutual interest on January 18. Raisi had then expressed Iran’s readiness to play a positive intermediary role in ending the war between Russia and Ukraine.

    “The Islamic Republic invariably lays emphasis on the [importance of] strengthening of regional convergence and [points out] the detrimental effect of the foreign intervention [in the region],” he said then while referring to developments in the Caucasus region and Syria.

    The latest phone conversation comes a year after Raisi made a two-day visit to Moscow. After arriving in Tehran on January 21, 2022, Raisi told reporters that “fundamental agreements” on expanding all-out bilateral relations were clinched during the trip.

    «إسرائيل» من حرب الستة أيام الى حرب الست جبهات أوهن من بيت العنكبوت…

    January 17 2023

    محمد صادق الحسيني

    ذاب الثلج وبانَ المرج، كما يقول المثل الشعبي العربي. فبعد كرنڤال تسليم وتسلّم منصب رئيس أركان جيش العدو، الجنرال كوخاڤي المنتهية ولايته، وصاحب العنتريات الفارغة، التي كان آخرها أنه سيعيد لبنان خمسين سنة الى الوراء في الحرب المقبلة وحديثه عن ضرورة إعداد الجيش الصهيوني لمهاجمة إيران، ورئيس الأركان الجديد، الجنرال هيرتزي هاليڤي، الذي تسلم المنصب من سلفه المذكور أعلاه، والذي أدلى بتصريحات لا تختلف في جوهرها عن تصريحات كوخاڤي، ها هو كبيرهم الذي علمهم السحر:

    الجنرال المتقاعد اسحق بريك يدلي بتصريحات هامة جداً، صباح الثلاثاء ١٧/١/٢٠٢٣ لقناة «كان» الإسرائيلية، ركز فيها على أن:
    الجيش الإسرائيلي غير جاهز للحرب على خمس جبهات، كما قال الجنرال بريك، وهي جبهات إيران وحزب الله وسورية والعراق وقطاع غزة والضفة الغربية. وهو محق تماماً في كلامه، الذي قاله للقناة الإسرائيلية، والذي سبق ان قال أكثر منه بكثير، في تصريحات سابقة له نشرت بتاريخ ٧/٩/٢٠٢٢، أكد فيها أن رئيس الأركان الجديد، الجنرال هيرتزي هاليڤي، محكوم عليه بالفشل مسبقاً، بسبب المشاكل البنيوية المتراكمة، التي يعني منها الجيش الإسرائيلي منذ مدة طويلة.

    لكن قراءةً بين سطور تصريحات الجنرال بريك، لقناة كان التلفزيونية الإسرائيلية، تؤكد على حقائق كثيرة لم تكن مطروحة سابقاً، عندما أدلى بتصريحاته المختلفة لوسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية.

    اذ إن الجنرال بريك، عندما يقول إن الجيش الإسرائيلي غير جاهز للقتال، على خمس جبهات في الوقت نفسه، انما يؤكد بكل وضوح، على أن الجيش الإسرائيلي وسلاح الجو الإسرائيلي ليسا في وضع يسمح لهما بمهاجمة إيران، كما يدّعي رئيس وزراء العدو، نتن ياهو ورئيسا أركان الجيش السابق والحالي، وذلك لأن مدارج الطائرات، في القواعد الجوية الصهيونية، سيتم تدميرها بواسطة الصواريخ الدقيقة البعيدة المدى. وليس في كلامه هذا الكثير من الجديد.

    الا أن الجديد في كلامه اليوم هو حقيقة أن إيران سوف تتسلّم سربين، من المقاتلات الروسية، من طراز سوخوي ٣٥، خلال مدةٍ أقصاها نهاية شهر آذار المقبل، حسب ما تؤكده تقارير اجهزة الاستخبارات الغربية والتسريبات الصادرة عن بعض المسؤولين الإيرانيين.
    فما هي مقاتلات سوخوي ٣٥؟ وما الذي يجعلها تثير قلق الجنرال الصهيوني المخضرم، اسحق بريك، الذي حذر عملياً رئيس الأركان الصهيوني الجديد، من القيام بأي عمل ضد إيران (الجيش غير جاهز).

    تعتبر هذه الطائره المقاتلة، التي ستتسلمها إيران قريباً:

    ١- طائرة مقاتلة متعددة المهام. أي أنها قادرة على تنفيذ مهمات قتالية مختلفة، تقررها رئاسة أركان القوات الجوية في البلد المعني.

    ٢- كما تعتبر هذه الطائرة مقاتلة تفوق جوي او سيطرة جوية. اي انها قادرة على حماية أجواء البلد الذي يستخدمها، وحسب خطط تضعها هيئة أركان القوات الجوية في البلد المعني مسبقاً. وهذا يعني أن الاجواء الإيرانية ستصبح محميةً حمايةً محكمةً ومطلقةً، بعد تسلم هذه المقاتلات.

    ٣- وبكلمات أخرى فإن سلاح الجو الصهيوني ليس لديه اي قاذفات قنابل قادرةً على اختراق الاجواء الإيرانية وتنفيذ عمليات قصف حوي لاهداف إيرانية. بما في ذلك طائرات سلاح الجو الصهيوني، من طراز أف 35.

    ٤- يعود ذلك الى الاسباب التالية:
    ـ تتمتع المقاتلات الروسية / الإيرانية، من طراز سوخوي ٣٥، بمحركين قويين جداً، تجعلان هذه الطائرات تتمتع بقدرات عالية جداً على المناورة، خلال العمليات الاعتراضية (لطائرات العدو) وعمليات القتال الجوي.
    – تسمح لها محركاتها القوية بالوصول الى سرعة الفين وثمانمئة كيلومتر في الساعة. وهي السرعة التي تزيد عن أقصى سرعة، تستطيع الوصول اليها طائرات F 35، وهي اقل من الفي كيلومتر في الساعة.
    – كما تمكنها قوة محركاتها (السوخوي ٣٥) من حمل حمولة تصل الى ضعفي حمولة أف 35، خاصةً أن الـ أف 35 الصهيونية تعتبر طائرةً شبحيّة ما يجعل مشغليها التقليل من حمولتها للصواريخ، التي يتم تسجيل ارتدادات موجات الرادارات المعادية عليها (على الصواريخ).
    ٥ ـ (قدرتها على حمل صواريخ جو/ جو، من طراز R 77 M 1، مداها ١٧٥ كيلومتر، أي أنها قادرة على الاشتباك مع الطائرات المعادية من مسافة مئة وخمسة وسبعين كيلومتراً.

    ٦- قدرة هذه المقاتلة، التي يمكنها تنفيذ مهمات قاذفة القنابل أيضاً، على الوصول الى عمق فلسطين المحتلة وقصف أهداف صهيونية هناك، حيث ان مداها يصل الى ثلاثة آلاف وثمانمئة كيلومتر (تتسع خزانات الوقود فيها لأحد عشر الفاً وخمسمئة ليتر)، بينما تبعد فلسطين عن القاعده الأم ألفاً وخمسمئة كيلومتر، والتي ستنتشر فيها الطائرات الإيرانية، وهي قاعدة اصفهان الجوية، التي تسميها أجهزة الاستخبارات الغربية قاعدة: TAB 8، الواقعة في شمال شرق اصفهان. بالإضافة طبعاً الى إمكانية هبوط هذه المقاتلات في القواعد الجوية السورية، سواءً للتزوّد بالوقود او لإعادة التذخير.

    ٧- وعليه، وبما ان الطائرة الوحيدة في منطقة الشرق الأوسط قاطبةً، القادرة على منافسة الطائرات الإيرانية، من طراز سوخوي ٣٥++ ( اي طائرة جيل رابع متقدم جداً وقريب من طائرات الجيل الخامس)، هي طائرة F 22، المتموضعة في قاعدة الظفرة الإماراتية، فإن امتلاك سلاح الجو الإيراني لهذه الطائرات المتطورة جداً يجعله ممسكا. تماماً بزمام المبادرة الاستراتيجية، جواً وبراً، نظراً لقدرات هذه الطائرات على تنفيذ العديد من المهمات القتالية، ومن بينها تقديم الدعم الجوي لكونها قادرةً على حمل ثمانية اطنان من الصواريخ والقنابل المختلفة.
    خاصةً ان الولايات المتحدة ليست في وارد الدخول مع إيران في صراع عسكري مفتوح، نتيجة لعوامل عديدة اهمّها ان التركيز الاستراتيجي الاميركي، في المدى القريب والمتوسط، يتركز على مواجهة روسيا عسكرياً تمهيداً لما يعتقدون أنهم قادرون على تنفيذه من تحرّكات عسكريةٍ ضدّ الصين، سواءً في بحار الصين. اليابان أو في المحيطين الهندي والهادئ.

    ٨- وفي المحصلة الاستراتيجية فإنّ الدور الهام، الذي ستلعبه هذه الطائرات المقاتلة الإيرانية، وما سيكون لها من تأثير، في موازين القوى العسكرية في “الشرق الأوسط”، سوف يفضي (تغيُر موازين القوى) الى نشوء تفوق استراتيجي كبير، لصالح قوى حلف المقاومة، الامر الذي سيجعل تدفق آلاف المقاتلين الى الجليل المحتل، لا بل الى عمق فلسطين المحتلة، وصولاً الى حيفا واللد والرملة وإنهاء وجود الكيان الصهيوني المؤقت، أمراً ليس حتمياً فحسب وإنما في متناول اليد أيضاً.

    وغني عن القول طبعاً إن الجنرال بريك قد حذر من ذلك، في تصريحاته لقناة كان التلفزيونية الصهيونية، صباح أمس.
    “إسرائيل” اوهن من بيت العنكبوت.

    بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

    دمشق – أنقرة: تصلّب المواقف يؤخّر الخرق

    الإثنين 16 كانون الثاني 2023

    لا تزال العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا «خياراً» تركيّاً مطروحاً على الطاولة (أ ف ب)

    محمد نور الدين  

    تتزايد الإشارات الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري حيال مسألة التطبيع وما يعتيرها من معوّقات لا تزال تحول دون إتمامها. ويجلّي تلك المعوّقات اشتراط الجانب السوري إنهاء الاحتلال التركي كمقدّمة لأيّ مصالحة محتمَلة من جهة، وعودة الأتراك إلى العزف على نغمة التهديد بعملية عسكرية بريّة في الشمال السوري، قالوا إنها لا تزال خياراً مطروحاً، من جهة أخرى. في هذا الوقت، يَظهر الرئيس التركي، رجب طيب إردوغان، التواق إلى إحراز أيّ اختراق يعزِّز من شعبيته المتراجعة قبل الانتخابات، إلى الآن، كَمَن «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، أقلّه بالنسبة إلى دمشق

    صدرت، في اليومَين الماضيَين، عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري، إشارات عكست أنّ «شيئاً ما» يَعترض مسار المصالحة بينهما، وإنْ كان جليّاً أن الطريق ليس سهلاً أو مفروشاً بالورود. ففي حوار إذاعي أبرزته الصحف التركية في صدْر صفحاتها، يوم أمس، تحدّث الناطق باسم الرئاسة، إبراهيم قالين، عن أن العملية العسكرية البرية في سوريا لا تزال «خياراً» مطروحاً على الطاولة، ويمكن أن تُنفَّذ في أيّ لحظة، ووفقاً لمستوى التهديد الأمني. وأعلن قالين أن اجتماعاً لوزراء خارجية تركيا وسوريا وروسيا سيُعقد في أواسط شهر شباط المقبل، وحتى ذلك الحين بإمكان وزراء دفاع الدول الثلاث أن يجتمعوا مجدَّداً، مؤكداً، في الوقت ذاته، أن العملية السلمية ستستمرّ، وأن أنقره تدعمها، وإنْ جدّد الإشارة إلى أن «قوات حماية الشعب» الكردية، و«حزب العمّال الكردستاني» مجموعتان «إرهابيتان» يجب التخلُّص منهما لحماية أمن تركيا. وجاء حديث قالين في أعقاب تأجيل موعد اجتماع وزيرَي خارجية البلدَين، مرّتَين على التوالي: الأولى على إثر الاجتماع الأوّل لوزيرَي دفاع البلدَين في موسكو، في 28 كانون الأوّل الماضي، حين توقّع وزير الخارجية التركي، مولود تشاووش أوغلو، أن ينعقد اللقاء في منتصف كانون الثاني الجاري، ثمّ قال إنه سيجري في مطلع شباط المقبل. والثانية، لدى الإعلان أن وزيرَي الدفاع قد يجتمعان مجدّداً، وهذا يعني أن هناك قضايا لوجستية وميدانية وأمنية وعسكرية لا تزال عالقة، وتحتاج إلى المزيد من التشاور لإيجاد حلول لها. وعلى ضوء نتائج هذه الاجتماعات، يمكن أن ينعقد أو يتأخّر أو لا ينعقد لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية.

    وعلى الجانب الآخر، السوري، صدرت مواقف ربّما تكون الأكثر إشارةً إلى دقّة مسار المصالحة، وما يعتريه من تعقيدات لا تُحلّ بمجرّد لقاء أو اثنين أو صورة مشتركة. وفي هذا الإطار، قال الرئيس السوري، بشار الأسد، بعد لقائه المبعوث الروسي إلى سوريا، ألكسندر لافرنتييف، إن «هذه اللقاءات، حتى تكون مثمرة، يجب أن تُبنى على تنسيق وتخطيط مسبقَين بين سوريا وروسيا من أجل الوصول إلى الأهداف والنتائج الملموسة التي تريدها سوريا، انطلاقاً من الثوابت والمبادئ الوطنية للدولة والشعب المبنيّة على إنهاء الاحتلال ووقْف دعم الإرهاب». وجاءت الإشارة الثانية على لسان وزير الخارجية، فيصل المقداد، بعد لقائه نظيره الإيراني، حسين أمير عبد اللهيان، في دمشق، السبت، من أنه «لا يمكن عودة العلاقات الطبيعية بين تركيا وسوريا من دون إزالة الاحتلال التركي». من جهته، تحدّث الوزير الإيراني عن أن أيّ حوار بين دمشق وأنقرة يمثّل خطوة إيجابية تصبّ في مصلحة البلدَين والمنطقة «إذا كان جادّاً»، مؤكداً أن بلاده «تثق ثقة كاملة» بالمواقف والقرارات السورية. ولربّما يعكس ما تقدَّم تشكيكاً إيرانياً في جديّة الجانب التركي، كما أن الحديث عن «ثقة كاملة» بالموقف السوري ربّما يبدو ردّاً على شائعات تباينات الموقف بين طهران ودمشق في شأن المصالحة مع أنقرة. إلى ذلك، عكست تطوّرات ميدانية أيضاً ما يعتري عملية التطبيع من عوائق، من مثل مقتل جنود سوريين في قصف تركي في شمال البلاد، ومن ثم إعلان أنقرة أن أحد جنودها قتل في قصف على قاعدة تركية في ريف حلب، فضلاً عمّا أفيد به من مقتل أربعة جنود سوريين جرّاء اشتباكات عنيفة مع مسلّحي «هيئة تحرير الشام» في ريف اللاذقية.

    بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه إردوغان

    وفي ضوء المواقف الصادرة عن الجانبَين التركي والسوري وأيضاً الإيراني، بات مؤكداً أن اللقاء بين الرئيسَين التركي والسوري، لن يجري في الموعد الذي يرغب فيه الأول، وربّما تأتي الانتخابات التركية لتطيحه إلى ما بعدها، في حال مضيّ مسار المصالحة قُدُماً. كذلك، تطرح التصريحات المختلفة أكثر من علامة استفهام تتعلّق بأساسيات ومحدّدات التطبيع بين تركيا وسوريا، كما مواقف الأطراف الأخرى، ومنها روسيا وإيران. كما أتت التصريحات «الصارمة» للأسد والمقداد، بعدما لفت المراقبين «تأخُّر» الردّ الرسمي السوري على ما كان يَصدر من مواقف تركية منذ مطلع آب من العام الماضي. وكان كل ما يتعلّق بالمصالحة المفترَضة يأتي من الجانب التركي، وآخرها ما اعتُبر خريطة طريق رسمها إردوغان قبل حوالي شهر ونصف شهر، على أساس لقاءات تتدرّج من المستوى الاستخباري إلى وزراء الدفاع، فالخارجية والرؤساء. وجاء بيان وزارة الدفاع السورية الإيجابي بعد لقاء موسكو، في إطار العموميات، ليُحكى من بعده عن تأجيل لقاء وزيرَي الخارجية ومن ثم اشتراط الأسد، للقاء إردوغان، زوال الاحتلال أوّلاً، ليؤكد الموقف الرسمي السوري الحذر من الرغبة التركية المفاجئة في المصالحة، خصوصاً أن هذه الرغبة لم تقترن إلى الآن بأيّ خطّة عملية ومبرمجة زمنيّاً. وقد انتظرت القيادة السورية اجتماع موسكو لتبني على الشيء مقتضاه، وقد بُني هذا الشيء، أخيراً، على لسان الأسد والمقداد، وعنوانه أن الرئيس التركي «يبيع سمكاً في الماء»، ويُقدّم وعوداً غير مقنعة لدمشق.

    في المقابل، فإن العزف التركي الجديد على وتر العملية العسكرية البرّية جاء كما لو أنه ردّ على موقفَي الأسد والمقداد، وأيضاً كمؤشر من شأنه تعزيز التقديرات القائلة بأن تركيا ليست جادّة في عملية التطبيع ولا تريد منها سوى تقطيع الوقت من الآن وحتى الانتخابات الرئاسية في حزيران (وربّما في أيار) المقبل، وأن الأهمّ لإردوغان هو الظهور في صورة مشتركة مع الأسد يستثمرها في الانتخابات الرئاسية، فيما تنتظر دمشق من أنقرة أجوبة واضحة ومفصّلة عن خريطة طريقها للانسحاب من الأراضي السورية وتصفية المسلّحين المعارضين في إدلب والمناطق المحتلّة، بمن فيهم ما يسمّى «الجيش الوطني»، وعدم الاكتفاء، كما قال قالين، بتصفية قوات «قسد».

    فيديوات ذات صلة

    مقالات ذات صلة

    Turkey and Syria Meeting in Moscow May Result in Peace Plan

    Posted by INTERNATIONALIST 360°

    Steven Sahiounie

    Tomorrow, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Syria will meet in Moscow.  This is the highest level meeting between the two countries who have been on opposite sides of the US-NATO war on Syria for regime change since 2011.

    The outcome of that meeting, and the expected follow-up meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, may form the basis for the recovery of Syria, circumventing the UN resolution 2254, which has failed to produce results.

    The US has lost the war, but has used armed militias to remain occupying parts of Syria, and to impose a stalemate which prevents a peaceful solution and recovery for Syria.  America is no longer the only superpower, and decisions made in the new Middle East no longer depend on orders from the US State Department.

    Erdogan is up for re-election in June and faces heavy opposition. The economy is dismal, and people blame the Syrian refugees for lost jobs and social ills.  Erdogan and the opposition promise to send the refugees packing.

    The Turkish export market to Syria in 2011 represented half of the entire global export market for Turkey.  That was lost when Damascus banned all Turkish imports because of their participation in the war on Syria. Erdogan could get the Syrian market restored by repairing the relationship.

    In order to win re-election, Erdogan proposes a rapprochement with Assad.  The US has voiced its displeasure at any attempt of any country to repair relations with Syria.  However, Erdogan will not be swayed by US opinion or threats, in light of the fact that the US supports, trains and supplies weapons to the Kurdish militia (SDF and YPG) linked to an internationally banned terrorist organization (PKK), which have killed thousands in Turkey over three decades of terrorism. The Kurds know that Turkey is a much more important ally to the US, and the US will never fight Turkey to save the Kurds.  Former US envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, told the Kurds they should repair their relationship with Damascus for protection. The US never supported a “homeland” for the Kurds.

    Syria and Turkey are united in their goal to demilitarize the Kurdish northeast of Syria.  Syria and Turkey share a common enemy (the Kurds), and a common ally (Russia). This may be the basis of forming a new foreign policy between the two neighbors.

    Syria

    Syrian officials have met with Turkish officials and Arab Gulf officials.  Some Arab embassies in Damascus were re-opened, and Assad made a visit to the UAE.

    The Assad administration in Damascus controls the vast majority of the Syrian territory.  The exceptions are: Idlib province in the northwest is under the occupation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a Radical Islamic terrorist group which was the former Al Qaeda branch in Syria, and the Kurdish administration region in the northeast under the occupation of about 600 US troops and two local Kurdish militias (SDF and YPG) which follow a communist political ideology first promoted by the jailed PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

    Syria and Russia have been prevented from attacking and liberating Idlib from terrorist control. The US uses the three million civilians living under occupation as human shields to prevent attack. The US and its allies in the UN demand that the UN food and medical supplies be delivered to Idlib. The civilians are being fed and clothed, but the terrorists and their families are as well. The international community is supporting the welfare of the terrorists, who are there at the behest of the US, to prevent peace and recovery in Syria.  Despite the UN protocol which demands all UN members to fight Al Qaeda, or their affiliates, anywhere on earth, the US and Turkey have circumvented the protocol and use the terrorists as guards of the political stalemate which the US imposed on Syria.

    The US

    America has maintained an iron grip on Syria through the use of US sanctions and a brutal military occupation which has prevented the Syrian citizens from fuel for transportation and home heating, and to generate electricity.  Syrian houses, hospitals, schools and businesses have between 15 minutes to 1 hour of electricity in four intervals per day because of the US imposed sanctions, which have not affected the Syrian government, but have brought the Syrian people to desperation. Kidney dialysis machines require electricity constantly.  A gasoline powered generator can suffice when there are blackouts, but the US sanctions also prevent the importation of gasoline.  How can Syrians survive?

    Despite Richard Haass writing in 1998 that US sanctions are ineffective and immoral against civilians, the US State Department hangs on to sanctions as a tool for regime change.

    Iran

    Iran and Syria have been united in their resistance to the occupation of Palestine Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms.  Iran stood firmly with Syria during the US-NATO attack on Syria because it is a key in the land route from Iran to Lebanon. Recently, there are some cracks appearing in the relationship between Damascus and Tehran.  Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s meeting in Damascus was postponed recently. Some experts feel Iran has been asking too much of Syria, and with new opportunities for improved relations with the Arab Gulf and Turkey, Syria may be taking time to evaluate its options.

    Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries want to see Iran out of Syria.  As long as Iran is in Syria the Israeli airstrikes will continue, which have been deadly and destructive.

    There were 32 Israeli raids in 2022 that destroyed and struck 91 targets, including civilian infrastructure, buildings, weapons caches and vehicles. Eighty-eight military personnel were killed and 121 wounded in the attacks.

    Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia is the United States’ largest foreign military sales customer, with more than $100 billion in active cases.  In the US there is a saying, “The customer is always right.”

    Perhaps this may explain why the US takes no action against Saudi Arabia even when there have been deadly issues, or when Biden asked the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) to pump more oil, and he refused.

    MBS is making huge reforms, which includes loosening restrictions on women, and creating new tourism and international sports opportunities.

    MBS and Netanyahu are united in a common issue: to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, despite Iran insisting on wanting nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, such as energy production and medical research.  Netanyahu has stated one of his main priorities in office will be to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

    The Arab League

    The upcoming Arab League Summit will take place in Saudi Arabia, traditionally scheduled yearly in March.  Depending on the outcome of meetings between now and spring, Syria could possibly be reinstated and occupy their seat at the table.  Big changes have been taking place in the region involving the relations between Arab countries and the US, China and Russia. Saudi Arabia is in the driver’s seat and will use their hosting of the summit to project their ranking as the Middle East’s power broker.

    Israel

    Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has announced that the next Abraham Accords summit will be held in Morocco in March 2023.

    The US had brokered in 2020 the Abraham Accords for the normalization of relations between Israel, Morocco, the UAE and Bahrain. Later, Sudan joined the accords.  Areas of shared interests are: defense, investment, agriculture, tourism, and energy.

    The meetings and realignments between Syria and Turkey, mediated by Russia, may produce lasting changes in the Middle East, and bring enemies together as new friends.  The Israeli occupation of Palestine will continue to be the primary cause of instability and violence in the region.  It fuels religious extremism and terrorism. If Israel values the establishment of relations with their Arab neighbors, they must first look at their closest neighbors in Gaza and the West Bank.  The Middle East and the world wait for a peace summit to begin the process of peace for Israel and Palestine, and the host country will not likely be the US.


    Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist

    Related News

    %d bloggers like this: