RUSSIANS REOPEN CHUNK OF M4 HIGHWAY IN NORTHEASTERN SYRIA

South Front

 26.05.2020 

A part of the M4 highway between the towns of Ayn Issa and Tell Tamir in northeastern Syria has been reopened for civilian traffic. This chunk of the highway is located close to the contact line with the Turkish-occupied area. In previous months, the constant threat of attacks by Turkish-led forces disrupted the movement of civilian vehicles in the area. However, now, the highway is reopened under the supervision of the Russian Military Police. This step will contribute to the strengthening of commercial and social ties between the cities of Aleppo and Hasakah, and the stability in the region, in general.

The reopening of the M4 highway in northeastern Syria did not occur without incidents. Just a few days ago, on May 23, US forces briefly blocked a Russian Military Police convoy east of Tell Tamr. Pro-Damascus sources say that the US-led coalition may try to oppose the restoration of commercial and social links between the government-controlled part of Syria and the areas that remain in the hands of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

At the same time, the Syrian Army, the National Defense Forces and their allies continued operations against ISIS in southern Raqqah, western Deir Ezzor and southern Mayadin. The anti-ISIS efforts were coordinated with the combing operation led by Liwa al-Quds and the National Defense Forces in the countryside of Palmyra. Despite this, ISIS cells still remain active on the both banks of the Euphrates and in the desert area between Palmyra and al-Tanf.

The Turkish military reportedly deployed an MIM-23 Hawk medium-range air defense system in the vicinity of the town of Almastumah in southern Idlib. Earlier in 2020, Turkey sent several MIM-23 Hawk systems to Idlib to support its attack on the Syrian Army there. Now, Ankara is apparently working to strengthen the air defense and EW capabilities of its contingent deployed in the area. According to different sources, the number of Turkish troops in Greater idlib varies from 7,000 to 10,000.

Despite the large Turkish military presence, radical groups have a freedom of actions in their attempts to consolidate their efforts to oppose the implementation of the de-escalation agreement in southern Idlib. Houras al-Din and the Turkistan Islamic Party, both groups allied with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, united their propaganda efforts in the push against the implementation of the de-escalation deal and the expansion of the Russian-Turkish troops within the agreed to security zone on part of the M4 highway in southern Idlib. Right now, these groups are conducting no notable offensive operations or attack on the Syrian Army. Nonetheless, they are actively recruiting new members and training them in the camps created across the region. In these conditions, a new round of escalation is just a matter of time.

ISRAEL STRIKES SYRIA TO KEEP THE USA IN THE LEVANT. 20 YEARS AFTER THE UNCONDITIONAL ISRAELI WITHDRAWAL FROM LEBANON, WHAT HAS BEEN ACHIEVED? (2)

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

Following its defeat in the second war on Lebanon, Israel discovered that its only way to suppress Hezbollah would be to close the supply line between Lebanon and Syria. That could only be achieved by removing President Bashar al-Assad from power, disrupting the “Axis of the Resistance” that extends from Tehran to Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Gaza. But Israel and the US, supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Emirates, Turkey, Europe and many other countries all failed to achieve their goal of making Syria a failed state. President Assad called upon his allies whose own national security was in jeopardy. If Syria were to fall, jihadists of al-Qaeda and the “Islamic State” would be fighting in the streets of Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran. The jihadists would also be powerful enough to remove Russia from its Syrian naval base and to export the war beyond the Levant’s borders. So, Israel and the US failed to destroy Syria and to corner Hezbollah. On the contrary, Hezbollah has become stronger than ever. The Resistance has reaped the harvest of its victory. It has become the decision-maker with key institutions in Lebanon.

Israel sought to destroy Hezbollah because it is an obstacle to Israel’s expansionist plans in Lebanon, namely to steal Lebanon’s water and some of its territories, to force a peace deal of unconditional surrender, to break Lebanon’s alliance with Iran and deprive Tehran of its strongest ally in the Middle East. For the last forty years, since the victory of the “Islamic Republic” in 1979 led by Imam Ruhollah Khomeini which unseated the US proxy ruler, the Shah of Iran, Washington has imposed sanctions, because Iran has refused to submit to US power and because it supports its allies in the Middle East, mainly Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, to stand against Israel. 

In 2006, the US was involved in the planning of Israel’s war on Lebanon. At the 2006 G8 Summit, President George W. Bush described the relationship between Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as one of the root causes of “instability”: “The World must deal with Hezbollah, with Syria, and continue to work to isolate Iran.” (Roshandel J. & Lean C.N. (2011) Iran, Israel and the United States, ABC-CLIO, CA, p. 109). 

US Secretary Condoleezza Rice refused to mediate a ceasefire unless “the conditions are conducive”, thinking Israel would win the war. Hezbollah was not only left on its own to face the US and Israel, but Lebanese US-Saudi proxies (Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Druse leader Walid Jumblat) supported the position of the US and Israel, and argued that there was “no point in a ceasefire.” (Wilkins H. (2013). The Making Of Lebanese Foreign Policy: understanding the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli War, Routledge, Introduction). 

When Israel failed to achieve its objectives, the US agreed to mediate an end to the war. Negotiations concentrated on ceasing all hostilities (not a ceasefire) between the two countries. Tel Aviv and Washington failed to obtain the deployment of United Nations Forces in Lebanon, UNIFIL, on the borders with Syria. The US sought to accommodate Israel in its attempt to gain by negotiation what it failed to achieve using its huge war machine in 33 days of the war in 2006. “Israel’s objective was never realistic”, said Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

When its attempt to control the Lebanese-Syrian borders failed after its defeat in the 2006 war, Israel had one remaining option with which to counter Hezbollah: close the road via Damascus and find a way to curb Hezbollah’s supply line. This required war on Syria.

Since confronting Hezbollah face-face was no longer an option, Syria became the next target in the campaign to isolate Iran, as President Bush declared. The motives behind the war in Syria have been erroneously described by many researchers and analysts around the globe, who have depicted the war as the outcome of an “Arab Spring” against a dictatorial regime. Yet Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and other Gulf countries have been ruled by dictatorships and the same family members for decades and indeed are considered by the west as its closest- oil-rich- partners!

Actually, the war on Syria started just after the al-Qaeda 9/11 attack on the US. Four-star US general Wesley Clark disclosed Washington’s plan as he learned of it in the days after 9/11: “occupy Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finish with Iran.” Just a few months after the US invasion of Iraq, US Secretary of State Colin Powell visited President Bashar al-Assad and warned him that the US would invade Syria if he refused to interrupt his support for the anti-Israel organisations, Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups: the Syrian president would share the same fate as the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq was far from being a piece of cake. The US occupation generated new resistance among both Sunni and the Shia. This encouraged President Assad to rebuff the US threat, unaware of what the future held for Syria. Dozens of states, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, the Emirates, Europe and the US all supported a regime change operation via Takfiri proxies. But the consequences of destabilising Syria gave a unique opportunity for al-Qaeda to blossom in Syria and a more lethal group emerged, the “Islamic State” ISIS. President Assad called upon his few allies, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah, to stand against the massive coalition gathered to create this failed state in Syria. The Syrian war which ensued offered unprecedented experience to the Syrian army, gave birth to a new Syrian resistance and offered unique warfare knowledge to Hezbollah, with a base for Iran that Tehran could never before have dreamed of having in the Levant.

Hezbollah had forced unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon in the year 2000 and challenged all those Israeli-US plans for a “new Middle East” after the second Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006. And the long nine years of war in Syria Hezbollah forced Hezbollah to refine its tactics and armaments and provided Hezbollah with an unprecedented victory. Just as Israel had boosted the creation of Hezbollah, it taught this quasi-state actor all manner of skills and forced it to acquire more training and weapons to repel wars and dismantle the enemy’s objectives. Israel’s former Chief of Staff and Prime Ministerial candidate Benny Gantz believed that Hezbollah had become one of the strongest irregular-organised armies in the Middle East, capable of imposing its rules of engagement and its “balance of deterrence” on the strongest classical army in the Middle East. 

“Show me four or five states with more firepower than Hezbollah: they are the US, China, Russia, Israel, France, & the UK,” Gantz said when speaking at the 2014 Herzliya Conference.

That was Israel’s assessment in 2014. Six years later, last February, Israel’s minister of defence Naftali Bennet said: “For every convoy you hit, you miss five convoys and slowly Hezbollah accumulates the critical mass of rockets [missiles] that threaten us.”

Hezbollah has become stronger than many armies in the Middle East. Hezbollah is no longer the organisation that clashes with the Israelis on a hill or site or ambushes a patrol behind an alley. Rather, in Syria and Iraq, it has successfully experienced different warfare scenarios. It has acquired many advanced weapons and became a strategic threat to Israel if it ever contemplated waging outright war on Lebanon and Syria.

Israel set as its goal bringing down Assad in Syria and separating Syria from the “Axis of Resistance.” Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya’alon said that “Israel prefers ISIS on its borders over Assad.” But Israel, America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Emirates have lost the war. Israel has now chosen to maintain the conflict because it fears that America would let go. This is why Israel is hitting hundreds of targets in Syria, -most of the time without no strategic value whatsoever.

Sources in the “Axis of Resistance” in Syria say that “Israel targeted the Iranian HQ at Damascus airport (a building with green glass where Israel destroyed two floors). The following day, Iran restored it and it is back in operation.  Israel has repeatedly targeted warehouses with Iranian weapons but also an abandoned training centre in the Kiswa area that has been empty for years. Their aim is to signal to the US that Israel is threatened and that the departure of the US forces would constitute a threat to Israel’s national security. It is indeed too late for Israeli jets to make any difference to Syria’s capabilities. Iran is not exporting weapons but manufacturing them. If it took Israel 9 years and 300 bombing raids to destroy Iranian warehouses in Syria, it took Iran only one year to refill and equip the Syrian army with much more sophisticated precision missiles- and all strategic missiles are in underground warehouses.”

Iran has only a few hundred advisers and officers in Syria, but it leads some tens of thousands of allies from Lebanon, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and auxiliary Syrian forces that resemble irregular-organised military formations. 

In Syria, Hezbollah was able to operate in an area ten times the size of Lebanon, which gave it a unique experience any army in the world would have wished to have. It was also subjected to attacks by a NATO member, Turkey, which used armed drones on the battlefield. That provided Hezbollah with a wealth of experience and taught them lessons that have become integrated into curricula at military schools and colleges in Iran with Hezbollah and their allies.

President Assad does not say that it is time for his allies (especially Hezbollah) to leave Syria. Rather, he says – according to this source – that “Syria has a debt to Hezbollah. Wherever Hezbollah wants to be, it will be also Syria’s wishes.” America and Israel created an unbreakable alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah has started to harvest its gains. Hezbollah was able to impose the name of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, despite repeated opposition from Saudi Arabia and the US, the losers in the Syrian war. Lebanon remained without a president for several months until General Aoun assumed the presidency.

Hezbollah rejected multiple offers from different countries by giving the Presidency of the Parliament to anyone other than President Nabih Berri, leader of the Amal movement, who has been on this throne for decades. Hezbollah holds the real power – though not all of it – in Lebanon to call for the appointment of the President of the Republic and the Speaker of the Parliament.

As for the premiership, it cannot be assumed without Hezbollah’s approval of the candidate. Hezbollah has sufficient political weight within the House of Representatives and the Presidency of the Republic to nominate or accept the nomination or direct the appointing of a prime minister. Former prime minister Saad Hariri is making sure his daily friendly contacts with Hezbollah are maintained because he would very much like to return to power. Hariri knows that the door to the premiership goes through one gate: Hezbollah.

This does not mean that Hezbollah wants to take control of Lebanon as a whole. Hezbollah leaders are aware that the Druse leader Kamal Jumblatt, Sunni leader Rafic Hariri, the Maronite Christian leader Bashir Gemayel and the Palestinians have all failed in controlling Lebanon and seizing the country. Hezbollah does not want to succumb to the same mistakes and doesn’t wish to control all of Lebanon. This means that the counter influence of other countries exists and is well-rooted in Lebanon. For example, the US ambassador in Beirut is threatening the Lebanese government with a warning not to remove the Central Bank Governor Riad Salama. Also, the US removed a Lebanese-Israeli agent, Amer Al-Fakhouri, via a plane which landed him at the US embassy without taking into consideration Lebanese sovereignty. The US supports the Lebanese army and internal security forces to maintain its dominance over certain key figures.

Syria has given the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, powers in Lebanon that he would not have obtained without the intervention of Israel and the allies in Syria. Hezbollah has managed to preserve its military pipeline via Syria by defeating the Takfiris (al-Qaeda and ISIS) and has prevented them from establishing an “Islamic emirate” in Lebanon and Syria.

Hezbollah’s victory comes at a price: thousands of martyrs and thousands of wounded. However, the resulting harvest is so abundant and strategic that the Lebanese Shiites now enjoy more power in Lebanon and Bilad al-Sham than they have since the year 661 when the fourth caliphate’s Imam Ali bin Abi Talib was killed.

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

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صمود يمنيّ أسطوريّ وسرّيّة عراقيّة ـ سوريّة أجّلا سقوط ترشيحا لأشهر…!

محمد صادق الحسينيّ

تعريف: تقع بلدة ترشيحا الفلسطينية في الجليل الغربي، على بعد عشرين كيلومتراً عن مدينة عكا الى الشمال الشرقي، كما تبعد ثمانية كيلومترات عن الحدود اللبنانية، مقابل بنت جبيل.

تقع ترشيحا على ارتفاع 600 متر عن سطح البحر وتحيط بها قرى: معليا/ فَسوطَهْ/ حُرْفيش/ البقيعة/ يانوح/ كُفُرْ سميع/ يانوح/ سُحماتا. وقد أقيم على أراضيها، بعد احتلالها، في شهر 10/ سنة 1948 / العديد من المستوطنات اليهودية وأكبرها مستوطنة معالوت الملاصقة، بل المتداخلة مع البلدة الفلسطينية حالياً، والتي تُدار عبر بلدية مشتركة مع ترشيحا.

كان عدد سكانها سنة 1948، قبل احتلالها من قبل عصابات الهاغاناه، 5700 نسمة، أما عدد سكانها العرب حالياً فيبلغ 4500 نسمة فقط، حيث يعيش الكثير من أهالي القرية المهجّرين في المخيّمات الفلسطينية في سورية ولبنان والشتات.

أما الآثار المسيحية والإسلامية في القرية فهي التالية:

1) كنيسة الروم الكاثوليك، التي بنيت عام 1945، وهي من أكبر الكنائس في الجليل.

2) كنيسة الروم الارثوذكس، التي بنيت بين أعوام 1905 و 1913 بدلاً عن الكنيسة القديمة.

3) كنيسة الروم الارثوذكس القديمة، غير الصالحة للاستعمال، والتي بُنيت سنة 550 م.

أما أهم الآثار الإسلامية في البلدة فهي التالية:

جامع الحمولة، الذي بني أواسط القرن الثامن عشر الميلادي.

مزار الشيخ مجاهد. ويقع على جبل المجاهد في أعالي البلدة.

الجامع الجديد. تم بناؤه في زمن عبدالله باشا، والي عكا، سنة ١٨٤٠. واستخدمت في بنائه الهندسة التي استخدمت في بناء جامع الجزار في عكا، الذي بني في الفترة الزمنية نفسها.

الزاوية الشاذلية. بناها الشيخ علي اليشطري، وهي بقيت لخدمة أهل الطريقة الشاذلية، واستخدمت كذلك كبيت ضيافة للزوار الذين يقصدون البلدة لسبب أو لآخر.

ترشيحا والنكبة

عند صدور قرار تقسيم فلسطين المشؤوم، في 29/11/1947، بدأ أهالي ترشيحا كغيرهم من أهل فلسطين، يبحثون عن السلاح استعداداً لتنظيم وتسليح أنفسهم للدفاع عن قراهم ومدنهم. وقد بدأت الأسلحة بالوصول الى فلسطين، من سورية ولبنان، ومن خلال أشخاص وطنيين وكذلك تجار السلاح، الذين كانوا يبيعون أسلحة من مخلفات الحرب العالمية الثانية.

تشكلت في ترشيحا سرية دفاع، من أهالي البلدة، أطلق عليها اسم: سرية ترشيحا، التي كان قوامها حوالي مئة مقاتل، وكان يقودها ضابط الصف، في الجيش البريطاني سابقاً، محمد كمال السعيد.

كما وصلت الى البلدة، بتاريخ 18/1/1948، قوة عسكرية، قوامها حوالى 350 مقاتلاً من فوج أجنادين التابع لجيش الإنقاذ، الذي شكلته الجامعة العربية. كانت هذه القوة، التي انضمّت الى سرية ترشيحا، تحت قيادة المقدّم العراقي: مهدي صالح ونائبه أديب الشيشكلي، الذي كان قائداً لكتيبة اليرموك الثانية، وأصبح لاحقاً رئيساً لسورية.

قررت قيادة هذه القوة، ومنذ وصولها الى البلدة، المبادرة الى شن هجمات وقائية أو استباقية، ضد مواقع قوات الهاغاناه اليهودية المتمركزة في المستوطنات المجاورة. وكانت أهمّ الهجمات التي شنتها قوات أجنادين وأهالي ترشيحا هي التالية:

أ) معركة قلعة جدين، التي تبعد خمسة كيلومترات الى الجنوب من ترشيحا، وشاركت فيها سرية ترشيحا وفوج أجنادين/ جيش إنقاذ/ وجمع من أهالي البلدة. نجح المهاجمون في الوصول الى المستوطنة وفرضوا الحصار عليها، تمهيداً لاقتحامها. إلا أن تدخل الجيش البريطاني لحماية المستوطنين قد حال دون استكمال المهمة. ولكن القوات العربية حافظت على الحصار مفروضاً على المستوطنة حتى سقوط ترشيحا لاحقاً.

ب) معركة كابري، والتي بدأتها قوات فوج أجنادين وسرية ترشيحا، وفصائل فلسطينية أخرى من القرى المجاورة. تم التخطيط للهجوم بهدف قطع الإمدادات، التي كانت تصل مستوطنة قلعة جدين من نهاريا. وبتاريخ 28/3/1948 وصلت إحدى قوافل الإمداد اليهودية، قادمة من نهاريا، الى منطقة السَدّْ بالقرب من بستان “أبو علي توسيس”، حيث وقعت في كمين محكم واشتبك معها الثوار العرب والفلسطينيين لمدة عشر ساعات متواصلة، بقيادة محمد كمال السعيد/ فلسطيني/ وخليل كلاس/ سوري/ واميل جميعان/ أردني/.

وقد أسفرت المعركة عن تدمير القافلة، ومقتل 46 من عصابات الهاغاناه، الذين كانوا يسيِّرونها، وكان من بينهم قائد القافلة بن عامي بحتر، وذلك على الرغم من تدخل القوات البريطانية لإنقاذ القافلة، والتي فشلت في ذلك بسبب التخطيط المحكم للعملية، من قبل الثوار، حيث كانوا قد أعدوا كميناً متقدماً آخر، باتجاه نهاريا، وذلك منعاً لتقدّم أية قوة إسناد للقافلة عندما تقع في الكمين. وهذا ما حدث بالضبط، عندما تقدمت قوة محمولة بريطانية لفك الحصار عن القافلة، وقعت في الكمين، الذي أسماه الثوار في حينه: كمين بن عامي. جدير بالذكر أنّ سلطات الاحتلال قد أقامت لاحقاً مستوطنة، في أراضي قرية أم الفرج القريبة، أطلقت عليها اسم مستوطنة بن عامي.

ج) معركة تين أبو شريتح، في 11/6/1948، والتي اندلعت إثر سقوط بلدة الكابري في أيدي عصابات الهاغاناه ومحاولة قوة منهم اختراق خطوط الدفاع عن ترشيحا، حيث قامت قوة من الهاغاناه، معززة بالمصفحات والأسلحة الثقيلة بشنّ هجوم من محورين، الأول هو محور معليا/ ترشيحا والثاني هو محور كابري/ ترشيحا. لكن يقظة الثوار والكمائن التي أعدّوها لمواجهة الهجمات اليهودية المحتملة قد أوقعت عصابات الهاغاناه في كمين محكم، دارت على أثر ذلك معركة انتهت بمقتل قائد الهحوم اليهودي، الكولونيل يعقوب، وفشل الهجوم. وقد أقامت سلطات الاحتلال مستوطنة، في منطقة تلك المعركة، أسمتها عين يعقوب.

د) الهجوم المضاد ومعركة تل الأحمر. بعد أيام قليلة، من إفشال محاولة التقدم اليهودية باتجاه ترشيحا، قرّر المدافعون عن البلدة، بقيادة الضابط العراقي مهدي صالح، شنّ هجوم مضاد، على مواقع الهاغاناه، بهدف فتح الطريق الى عكا، التي كانت لا تزال صامدةً ولم تسقط.

جاء قرار الهجوم المضاد إثر نجاح السرية اليمنية، التي كانت ترابط في مواقع التل الأحمر، بصدّ هجوم كبير على مواقعها، ليلة 18/6/1948، حيث كانت استطلاعاتها (السريّة اليمنيّة) قد حدّدت محاور تقدّم عصابات الهاغاناه المحتملة مسبقاً، وأعدّت لهم مجموعة كمائن وأوقعتهم فيها وانقضّت عليهم في قتال من مسافة أمتار وقضت على جميع أفراد تلك العصابات بالكامل. حيث كان صمود السرية اليمنيّة هو السبب الرئيسي في الحفاظ على بلدة ترشيحا وحمايتها من السقوط في أيدي عصابات الهاغاناه آنذاك.

لكن العصابات الصهيونية، وبمساعدة عسكرية بريطانية مباشرة، عبر القصف من البوارج البريطانية المرابطة قبالة ساحل نهاريا، الواقعة على بعد 15 كم غرب ترشيحا، واصلت ضغطها على ترشيحا كما واصلت حشودها العسكرية الكبيرة، استعداداً لدخولها وكسر مقاومتها.

حيث حشدت العصابات الصهيونية، تحت قيادة اللواء شيفا، كتيبتي مدرعات وكتيبة مشاة وكتيبة قوات خاصة، من لواء عوديد، وكتيبة قوات خاصة من لواء غولاني وأخرى من لواء كرمئيلي. وقد بدأ الهجوم الشامل، لهذه القوات على محاور ترشيحا جميعها، ومن بينها محور الجبل الأحمر الذي كانت ترابط فيه السرية اليمنية. بدأ هذا الهجوم بتاريخ 25/10/1948، ووصل ذروته يوم 27/10/1948، حيث شارك سرب من الطائرات الحربية الصهيونية، البريطانية الصنع من طراز بريستول ولانكستِر، في قصف مواقع المدافعين عن البلدة، ومن بينهم السرية اليمنية، بالقنابل الثقيلة والبراميل المتفجّرة عيار 200 ليتر. وقد استمرّت القوات المدافعة عن البلدة في صمودها الأسطوريّ حتى نفاد ذخيرتها بالكامل واستشهاد عدد كبير من أفرادها، بينهم متطوّعون يمنيّون، الى أن تمكنت قوات العصابات الصهيونية من دخول البلدة والسيطرة عليها بتاريخ 30/10/1948، وكانت بذلك آخر بلدة فلسطينية تمّ احتلالها من قبل تلك العصابات.

أيام مجيدة سطّر ملاحمها أخوة بالإيمان لفلسطين، اقترب وقت عودتها بحلة جديدة، ولكن هذه المرة بالنصر والظفر بإذن الله

وإعادة كل فلسطين إلى كل أهلها وعودتها إلى أمّتها.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

HORAS AL-DIN RELIGIOUS LEADER WARNS GREATER IDLIB JIHADISTS FROM ‘INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS’

Horas Al-Din Religious Leader Warns Greater Idlib Jihadists From ‘International Agreements’

 24.05.2020

South Front

Horas al-Din’s senior Sharia official, Sami al-Oraydi, has warned of what he accepting “international agreements” by militant groups in Syria’s Greater Idlib.

In a video message titled “Makman Al-D’a” [the source of illness], al-Oraydi said Jihadi groups that seek international agreements or follow the promises of political leaders are no different from parties which use the democracy to achieve their goals.

“Dealing with infidels in war and peace, positive and negative should be subjected to Sharia standards and the complete obedience to God,” al-Oraydi said in the message that was released on May 24.

The commander added that Jihadists in Idlib shouldn’t make excuses for accepting international agreements calling this a “scheme.” He also warned that “obeying criminals and depending on the oppressors will not bring any good.”

This statement was likely aimed against Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), which was approaching Turkey and attempting to hide its links with al-Qaeda. The group reportedly accepted a deal with Ankara that allowed to open the M4 highway.

In the last few months, tensions between Horas al-Din and HTS grew. The two groups were involved in several small-scale incidents.

Both Horas al-Din and HTS don’t appear to be interested in a full-on confrontation. However, HTS attempts to dominate Greater Idlib could eventually push it into the confllict with Horas al-Din. This would further destabilize both terrorist groups.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Palestine from River to Sea Belongs to Palestinians, Our Real Battle is with the US

By Zeinab Essa

Beirut – Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a televised speech in which he tackled Al-Quds International Day.

According to Sayyed Nasrallah, “We meet today to commemorate an essential event announced by the late Imam Khomeini after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.”

“25 May victory formed a great victory and a gate towards the liberation of Al-Quds,” he said, emphasizing and recalling “a set basis that have to do with International Al-Quds Day.”

He further went on to say that he “will talk about the things that have changed from last year to today.”

“Palestine from the sea to the river belongs to the Palestinian people and they must return to it. We in Lebanon have grown up with this position since ancient times,” His Eminence mentioned, reiterating that “Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people, and it must return to the Palestinian people.”

In addition, the Resistance Leader confirmed that ““Israel” is an illegal, usurped and occupying entity.”

“Those settlers who came to occupied Palestine should return to their countries. Our stance on Palestine is religious and ethical, not only humanitarian. Thus, it can’t be changed,” he stated.

Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “We never said that we wanted to throw anyone into the sea. Those who flocked to Palestine must leave. Whoever bets that through military wars, sanctions, starvation, or misleading, that he can change our position is wrong and must change his mind.”

His Eminence underlined that “The responsibility of regaining Palestine is mainly that of the Palestinian people but it also the responsibility of the nation as Al-Mighty God will ask us about it on The Judgement Day.”

“What is happening today in the region isn’t limited to youthful enthusiasm. It is an ideological and intellectual aspect that is inherited from one generation to another,” he confirmed, noting that “The truth does not change with time, and what had been taken by theft does not become a legitimate property with time, even if the whole world recognized the legitimacy of the thief.”

In addition Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that “Liberation cannot be achieved in one, two or three years. It could take generations. The lengthy battle should not be a reason for despair because it will end with victory.”

On the same level, Hezbollah Secretary General declared that “The real battle was and still is with successive American governments, and “Israel” is the main front.”

“The current generation must not surrender or legitimize the “Israeli” occupation,” he said, wondering “In Lebanon and Palestine, who supports “Israel” with arms, technology, information, and financially? It’s the USA that is providing such great support.”

According to His Eminence, “The US is waging wars to establish and protect “Israel”. The US has made providing services to “Israel” as a gateway to get closer to it. Our real battle is to confront the US.”

“Identifying the real enemy is an essential necessity to assess achievements and to read opportunities and strategic environment,” he mentioned, noting that “Through the ‘Deal of the Century’ scheme, “Israel” is moving towards full control and total annexation of all occupied Arab lands in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria.”

Sayyed Nasrallah also emphasized that “There are Arab and Islamic regimes that are not concerned with the confrontation with the “Israeli” entity. The real enemy that we’re fighting is the US, although we are not shooting at each other.”

“There are Arab countries that support the American-“Israeli” axis and sometimes provide great services to it. There are Arab countries that help and support “Israel”. They even deal sharply and negatively with the Palestinian people,” he added.

In addition, His Eminence underscored that “In the American-“Israeli” view, Iran is the center and the most targeted country in the axis of the resistance. When Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement and returned to imposing sanctions on Iran, he was betting on an angry popular reaction in the Iranian internal front.”

“The “Israelis” betted a lot on the American withdrawal from the nuclear agreement and tightening the sanctions on Iran. Today, all the readings conclude that this bet has failed,” the Resistance Leader stressed.

In parallel, he said: “Among all failed “Israeli” bets is betting on a US war on Iran.”

Sayyed Nasrallah further unveiled that ““Israel” has wagered on terrorist groups to confront Iran, but it also failed. “Israel” has betted even on Covid-19, but Iran will exit from this test stronger. The Islamic Republic has triumphed in the coronavirus test. The WHO has admitted that the health system in Iran is among the strongest in the world.”

Moving to Iraq, His Eminence mentioned that “What is happening in Iraq is a very big shift in favor of the axis of resistance. Preserving Iraq and its power comes in contradiction with the Zionist scheme, and “Israel” was one of the strongest inciters against Iraq.”

According to His Eminence, Sayyed Nasrallah went on to say: “It is the responsibility of the Iraqi brothers and sisters to set their country in its place in confronting the “Israeli” enemy.”

Regarding the Syrian front, Sayyed Nasrallah believed that “What happened in Syria is a major victory for the axis of resistance, given the fact that goals that the “Israelis” and Americans set in it have been failed. Syria thwarted the global war that was launched against it and brought down the American-“Israeli” scheme seeking to topple the Syrian state”

On Yemen, the Resistance Leader confirmed that “The war in Yemen is an American and “Israeli” one. The failure of the war on Yemen has had a major impact on the ‘deal of the century’. “Israel” supports the war on Yemen and is assisting it with technology.”

“Had Muhammad Bin Salman achieved the victory in Yemen, he would have turned his victory to impose the ‘deal of the century’ on the Palestinians,” he emphasized.

Moving to the Lebanese arena, Sayyed Nasrallah viewed that “Over the past year, we find that the “Israelis” have been betting more on internal developments in Lebanon than on their strength in the face of the resistance.”

““Israel” is cautious and worried about Lebanon and it fears going to war,” he said, pointing out that ““Israel” admits that it has failed to prevent the resistance force from growing in Lebanon.”

His Eminence declared that “Even the mutual deterrence is a victory for Lebanon,” warning that ““Israel” is now betting on the economic situation in Lebanon in order to turn the environment of resistance against it through sanctions. The “Israelis” are still betting on sanctions against Lebanon.”

According to him, “The American conditions do not end, whether with regard to the resistance’s arms or with regard to the demarcation of the maritime borders with the “Israeli” enemy’s entity.”

He also cautioned that “The countries that have surrendered are now suffering from hunger, and we can, through our capabilities and reason, not die of hunger and preserve our sovereignty.”

However, His Eminence assured that “We in Lebanon are strong, we are not between two options, and we are able, through our capabilities, to overcome the crisis.”

On the Palestinian developments, Sayyed Nasrallah highlighted that ““Israel” has wagered on inciting the people of Gaza on the resistance so that it would prevent the expansion of its capabilities, but it failed to do so. “Israel” is taking advantage of Trump’s remaining time in the White House because this constitutes a historic opportunity for it. “Israel” is benefiting from Trump’s presence so it’s stepping up its steps to get rid of the two-state solution and to move towards the establishment of a Jewish state.”

Meanwhile, the Resistance Leader condemned some Arab governments’ move towards the normalization with the Zionist entity.

In this context, he called “The Arab and Islamic peoples to prevent the move towards normalization with all their power. The normalization is a failure. It is a humiliating and forbidden path that must stop.”

On another level, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that “The martyrdom of the great leader Qassem Soleimani was a blow and a loss to the axis of the Resistance. However, his blood will firmly support the axis of the resistance.”

However, he predicted that “The horizon before us calls for optimism, and what is required today is to enhance and expand each corner in the axis of the resistance.”

“Options for direct military wars by the Zionists and the Americans may be excluded. However, their priorities are sanctions,” His Eminence warned, recalling that “The rules of engagement established by the legendary steadfastness in the July War with the “Israeli” entity are still in place.”

In addition, Sayyed Nasrallah advised “Israel” not to bet that Hezbollah might be preoccupied with domestic situations. “We are going to a new international and regional scene, and new threats may arise. Experts are saying that the US has lost its leadership position in the world, and the coronavirus pandemic is an example.”

“Today where are Netanyahu, Trump and Mohammed bin Salman,” he questioned, pointing out that “Each of them has his own dilemma and this axis can be defeated.”

Reiterating the call to the Lebanese to be strict in fighting Coronavirus people, His Eminence urged all people in Lebanon to show further commitment and responsibility in the face of coronavirus.

“The high number of infections in Corona threatens the health system in Lebanon,” Sayyed Nasrallah cautioned.

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Car march held in commemoration of World Jerusalem Day

ST

Friday, 22 May 2020

Damascus (ST): Under the title of “ Jerusalem, the Path of Martyrs”,  the city of Damascus witnessed today a march of cars in commemoration of World Jerusalem Day. Organized by the Preparatory Committee of the World Jerusalem Day , the march headed from the Ummayyad Square towards Mezza Highway reaching al-Akram Mosque then returning to the Square.

The marchers raised the flags of the states of the resistance axis , the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups. They also raised placards affirming the continuity of ceaseless resistance until the liberation of all the occupied Arab territories.The statement released by the participants reiterated the Arab identity of the city of Jerusalem and the failure of all judaization attempts that aim to change the demographic and geographic status of the city.The participants denounced the normalization attempts with the Zionist entity and the so-called deal of the century which aims to liquidate the Palestine question and usurp the rights of the Palestinian people.

They clarified that marking World Jerusalem Day by the resistance axis under difficult circumstances in light of the spread of the Corona pandemic testifies to the fact that the Palestinian cause remains the most important issue to  all free Arab and Muslim people.World Jerusalem Day is marked annually on the last Friday of the Holy month of Ramadan to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and rejection of all Judaization attempts of the city of Jerusalem.

K.Q.

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Misinformation Even When it Comes to Drama

Thursday, 21 May 2020 12:21


 It is not   often that a normal dramatic detective police series is subjected to the politicization and fury that the Syrian drama series “Interview with Mr. Adam” was subjected to.  Various TV channels went to great lengths showing different parts of episodes and emphasizing a particular scene and then rerunning that scene more than once. British newspaper “the Guardian ” devoted a whole article to that particular detective series. Why were there many attempts to transform this series from an exciting thriller to a sinister on?

“The Guardian sadly has taken only one side and adopts the point of view of the Syrian opposition which is based on fallacy”. This is what producer of an “Interview with Mr. Adam” Fadi Salim said in an interview with Syriatimes.

When Fadi Salim first saw the amount of disinformation that was spurting out of sub media outlets he was flabbergasted. It had never occurred to him that his detective series would be politicized and twisted to such an extent. Producer Fadi Salim has produced other detective series and his work is as far as it is possible from being political.

Mr. Salim clarifies in his interview with Syria times that the filming of the series took place in Damascus with some scenes being filmed at the Muwasat hospital. The girl who played the role of the murdered women, in the series is Tunisian actress Salma Jalal. There are many pictures and videos of Ms. Jalal as body make up is applied on her so she appears as a murder victim. There are pictures of her as she is lying dead in a morgue with a number attached to a head band as is the protocol applied in many countries to murder victims.

“The numbers on the headband were chosen haphazardly,” says Mr. Salim and the “picture of the murdered women is ‘taken long shot’. It is impossible to decipher the numbers simply because they were not important to the plot”. The picture shown by some media with a clear number is to say the least a fabricated picture with the numbers being added later on.”

Fadi Salim almost laughs at the accusations leveled at the series and says “those who are not convinced of what I say please go ahead and communicate with Salma Jalal. She is easily found on face book.

It is sad that a newspaper such as the Guardian doesn’t approach this subject professionally. They took one side only and gave credibility to their fallacies. Had I been approached

I would have been more than happy to clarify everything. After all there is nothing to hide and a special program will be aired on Syrian TV today that will refute the lies and allegations put forward by the opposition and adopted by some media without any proof what so ever. Their claims are no more than figments of an overactive imagination      but then when one is drowning one clutches at straws.”

When asked by Syriatimes to clarify what he meant, he said that he is used to the fabrications of some media channels. He recalls a time some years back when he was sitting at his house watching TV and Al Arabia showed supposed pictures of his street where his house was in Damascus, being destroyed. This was one of many outright lies. He says: “fabrications are used when the truth doesn’t support what is being said and this is what happened in this series.”

Their attempts to lie and politicize a drama series has backfired on them _ simply because what they are saying is not logical.”

Fadi Salim goes on to say that he is more than ready to answer any questions.

He can be reached on mobile number 00963 991111120  

Editor in Chief: Reem Haddad

Body makeup being applied on murder victem in Syrian Drama series “Interview with Mr.Adam” 

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