الفرصة الذهبيّة لوليد جنبلاط

ناصر قنديل

لم يفاجئ وليد جنبلاط أحداً من اللبنانيين برسمه معادلة جديدة لتخيير حزب الله بين اثنتين، فهو دائم الحركة على هذا الخط ذهاباً وإياباً، ويملك قدرة الاستدارة التي لا ينافسه عليها أحد، ويفسّرها بالتأقلم مع المتغيرات، او بالقفز من المراكب الغارقة، كما وصف انقلابه على سورية عشية الحرب الأميركيّة على العراق، ثم عاد فوصف بالتعبير ذاته نعيَه للحركة التي قادها وأسماها بثورة الأرز، متجاوزاً حساسيته المفرطة ضد الرموز التي تختصر لبنان بعناوين يعتبرها خاصة بالمسيحيين، قبل أن يسارع إلى شرعنة محميّة أرز الباروك مانحاً الأرز صفة العبور بين الطوائف والرمزيّة الجامعة، لكن جنبلاط شديد الانتباه الى أنه تهرّب من استعمال معادلته السابقة التي كان يعرضها على حزب الله بدلاً من معادلة اليوم «الحياد أو قاعدة الصواريخ»، فهو لا يريد لأحد أن ينتبه أنه خلع معادلته السابقة «هانوي أم هونغ كونغ»، لأن فضيحة نموذج هونغ كونغ التي كان من دعاتها وروّادها والمبشّرين بها تتجسّد بصورة مأساويّة في يوميات اللبنانيين الذين سرقت مصارف «هونغ كونغ» ودائعَهم، ونهبت الفوائد المرتفعة لفلسفة هونغ كونغ مقدراتهم تحت شعار تثبيت سعر الليرة، التي صارت اليوم بلا سعر، وطارت معها مداخيل اللبنانيون الذين دعاهم جنبلاط لتجنّب نموذج الإفقار الذي تمثله هانوي ووعدهم إن فعلوا وسمعوا نصيحته بالحصول على نموذج هونغ كونغ، وهو يريد أن ينسحب خلسة من نموذجه المتداعي الذي لم يسقط لأن اللبنانيين خالفوا جنبلاط وساروا وراء نموذج هانوي، واقتصاد المقاومة والتوجّه شرقاً، بل لأن اللبنانيين صدّقوا وصفة جنبلاط بنبوءة هونغ كونغ وسلّموا أمرهم لعرّابيها في المال والسياسة والمصارف، فقرّر التسلل هرباً من الذاكرة، والقفز مجدداً من مركب غارق جديد.

يعود جنبلاط لدعوة الحياد، لأن ليس فيها شبهة هونغ كونغ، متمنياً أن يُصيب اللبنانيين نسيان آخر وفقد ذاكرة ثانٍ ،غير نسيانهم لترويجه لكذبة هونغ كونغ، بأن لا ينتبهوا إلى أنه صاحب معادلة أخرى، بعد الخروج السوري من لبنان وليس قبله، وبعد انقسام 14 و8 آذار وليس قبله، والمعادلة كانت الإصرار ثم الإصرار على صناعة تفاهم وطني مع حزب الله يقوم على حفظ السلاح كمصدر قوة لا بديل عنه في مواجهة خطر العدوان، ويضيف محذراً من دعوات الحياد التي كان يرفعها بعض حلفائه في 14 آذار، ويقول من موقع المختلف مع حزب الله محذراً من خطورة وصفة الحياد، «يحيد لبنان ولاحقاً كما أراكم وكما ترونني يطلب من لبنان مجدداً الالتحاق بحلف مشابه للسابع عشر من أيار»، وجنبلاط يعلم أكثر من سواه أن المناخ العربي الذي يدعو الى التلاقي معه اليوم من موقع دعوته المستجدّة للحياد هو الفلك السائر في مسارات أقل ما ستطلبه من لبنان هو نموذج مشابه لاتفاق 17 أيار.

يعرف جنبلاط أن الحياد كذبة لا تقلّ آثامها عن كذبة هونغ كونغ، والكذبة الجديدة كالقديمة لا تملك أجوبة عن أسئلة اللبنانيين، ماذا عن مصير اللاجئين الفلسطينيين ومشروع التوطين؟ وماذا عن دور لبنان الاقتصادي في ظل التطبيع الخليجي الإسرائيلي، والتفاهمات التي تطال المرافئ والمصارف؟ ولبنان كما وصفه ميشال شيحا مرفأ ومصارف، كما يعلم جنبلاط علم اليقين بأن وصفة الحياد هذه لن تتحقق كما لم تتحقق وصفة هونغ كونغ فلكلتيهما مهمة واحدة هي ذرّ الرماد في عيون اللبنانيين لاستعدائهم على سلاح المقاومة، لكن لا إمكانات واقعية لأصحاب هذه النماذج الوهمية على خلق معادلات تحاصر السلاح، وقد زاد جنبلاط علماً بذلك بعد التطورات التي قالت إنه فقد دور بيضة القبان المستندة الى إمساكه بموقع الجبل الجغرافي في ربط بيروت بالبقاع والبقاع بالجنوب وبيروت بالجنوب، والممسك بخيوط منع أو تمرير الفتنة بين السنة والشيعة، وهذه كلها قد اختبرت وتبخّرت، لذلك قرر ذات يوم ان يخفض سقف طموحاته ويرتضي رسم سياساته على خطوط نقل وتسويق الترابة الى سورية، ولما اصطدم بأن حزب الله لا يتاجر، نام واستيقظ على حملة منظمة قادها ضد مؤسسة القرض الحسن ليقول متوهماً لحزب الله لقد ضبطتك متلبساً بالجرم المشهود، قبل أن يخرج السيد حسن نصرالله، ويطمئنه أن لا مرابحة في مؤسسة القرض الحسن، وبالتالي لا مصلحة للباحثين عن مرابح بالدخول على خطها، وجنبلاط يعلم أيضاً أن الأيام المقبلة حبلى بالكثير من التطورات، وها هم الذين يثق براداراتهم يبشرونه بالانشغال الأميركي عن المواجهة مع إيران وحزب الله، بل من بينهم اليوم كثر هم الذين يحذرونه من أن رفع العقوبات الأميركية عن إيران قد لا يكون بعيداً، كما بشّروه قبل خمسة أعوام بقرب توقيع الاتفاق النووي مع إيران، فلماذا يجازف جنبلاط وهو لاعب على حافة الهاوية محاولاً تقليد نموذجها الأصلي في سورية، وفقاً لوصف هنري كيسنجر للسياسة السورية، لكن جنبلاط عندما يلعبها يفعل من دون مجازفة، فلماذا تغيير العادات السليمة في الزمن الخطأ؟

الناصحون يقولون، إن هذا الأسلوب في التخاطب مع حزب الله لا يُجدي، وإن من يقدم أوراق اعتماده للخليج في زمن تخبط حاكم الخليج في ظل الشعور بوحشة التخلي الأميركي، يصحّ فيه القول «يطعمو الحج والناس راجعة»، ويقول هؤلاء ربما يكون سوق المشتقات النفطية الذي يملك فيه جنبلاط خبرة لا تقلّ عن خبرته في سوق الترابة، هو الفرصة الذهبيّة لجنبلاط، فالعرض الإيراني ببيع لبنان المشتقات النفطية بالليرة اللبنانية لا يزال قائماً، والخشية من العقوبات الأميركية يجب الا تخيف جنبلاط، وهي في طريق الزوال، وربما «تنقش معه» ويستطيع إضافة لتجارة المشتقات في لبنان أن يشرعن بيع المشتقات الى سورية بدلاً من التنديد بالتهريب، فهل يفاوض جنبلاط على الوكالة الحصرية للمشتقات النفطية الإيرانية؟ ولكن هل ينبّهه المستشارون الى انه لا يحتاج في هذه الحالة لرفع السقوف، ويمكن له دقّ الباب ليسمع الجواب؟

البعض يظنّ أن رقصة جنبلاط الأخيرة ليست تجارية بل أمنية، وتتصل بمشاغباته حول التحقيقات في تفجير مرفأ بيروت، وحملته الهوائية التي لم يهتم لها أحد بتوجيه الاتهامات لسورية بالوقوف وراء صفقة النترات الى لبنان، فهل يعلم جنبلاط ما لا يعلمه الآخرون عن أدوار لبنانية متورطة في شراء النترات وتخزينها لحساب الجماعات المسلحة في سورية التي سماها ذات يوم بالممثل الشرعيّ الوحيد للشعب السوري داعياً لشرعنة سيطرة جبهة النصرة على جرود عرسال، متحدثاً عن نصرة لاند اسوة بفتح لاند التي قامت في منطقة العرقوب أواخر الستينيات من القرن الماضي؟ وهل كان طريق النترات هو من نصرة لاند إلى الداخل السوري؟

IRAN EXPANDS INTELLIGENCE NETWORK NEAR JORDAN AND ISRAEL

South Front

 19.01.2021

The situation in Syria’s Idlib appears to be, once again, on the brink of escalation, with the US preoccupied with what’s happening at home, and Turkey attempting to push towards Ain Issa, while being targeted by its own proxies.

The terrorist threat is far from removed, and attacks are common, moments of calm in the country’s east and northwest appear to be few and far between. The situation that’s transpiring is, to a large degree, due to Turkey’s actions and its policies.

Ankara, too, is suffering from it, since the many of the groups that it backs, officially or otherwise, seem to be eager to bite the hand that feeds. On January 16th, Turkish troops in observation posts in Idlib were targeted by sniper fire from a group that calls itself “Saryat Ansar Abu Baker As-Siddiq”. According to the group itself, three Turkish soldiers were shot. One appears to be in critical condition.

This is the group’s third attack against Turkey, with the first taking place in November of 2020, and then in December of 2020. The December attack resulted in one Turkish soldier’s death. Other reports of Turkish proxies attacking Ankara’s armed forces occasionally take place.

The Turkish military maintains more than 60 posts, camps and bases throughout Greater Idlib. Most of them are located in terrorist-controlled areas, and attacks on them are rather infrequent due to Ankara’s close ties with terrorists operating in the area. Nonetheless, as the recent attacks show, this policy has some weak sides for the Turkish personnel deployed.

Ankara is attempting to encroach near the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-controlled area, attempting to establish an observation post near Ain Issa. A push on SDF positions is expected, but there will be a defense.

Meanwhile, Iran has been expanding its presence in Syria despite the endless Israeli-US attempts to oppose this. Tehran’s forces deployed a signal intelligence system along Syria’s border with Jordan. This may be used to either spy on the US forces deployed in Jordan, or even on Israel.

Iran has ample opportunity, Tel Aviv is likely to be on the back foot, since the US’ Biden administration is likely to support Israel less than that of Trump. This provides Tehran with a chance to dig in and reinforce its position and prepare an asymmetric response to its geopolitical opponents.

There is likely to be an advent of a new round of confrontation in the conflict zone, with the Syrian Arab Army still struggling to get rid of ISIS cells in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert, Turkey focused on the SDF and being targeted by militants in Idlib, and Iran attempting to focus on its opponents.

Both Ankara and Tehran are likely taking a chance to improve their positions in Syria due to the lull in American activity in the face of the unprecedented chaos in the United States. At the same time, the new US administration would not likely support the Trump-announced troop withdrawal effort. So, Washington still has a word to say.

NATO Supremacists New Round of Frenzied War Crimes in Syria

MIRI WOOD 

Hasakah people protesting cutting off alouk water

NATO supremacists illegally in Syria have gone into a frenzy of increased war crimes against the Levantine republic, on 17 January: The lame duck Trump forces continue to empty silos in the al Jazeera region of grain; Madman Erdogan forces have again turned off water to one million Syrians living in al Hasakah; Trump cannon fodder SDF terrorists have kidnapped more young Syrian men from al Susa and Hajin, Deir Ezzor countryside.

Featured image above, shows thousands of Syrians demanding their water rights, again turned off by Madman Erdogan’s illegal troops occupying the Allouk water station. Video below is a glimpse of the demonstration.

While the transatlantic stenographers do their belly-bumping phony piety in lamentations over the 6 January invasion of the US Capitol by Trump supporters and various undercovers, and fake rend their clothing over 25,000 National Guard soldiers (to protect 1,435 senators and congress members) they remain arrogantly mute over the ongoing kidnappings, murders, bombings, water deprivation and destruction of essential infrastructure in the Arabic, Muslim-majority country of Syria.

The twenty convoy trucks that smuggled more stolen Syrian grain into Iraq were protected by illegal, armored, US vehicles. NATO supremacy means stealing other people’s foods. This massive theft was a follow up to the massive Syrian barley theft of 10 January, which also had the NATO stenographer supremacists on mute.

Trump forces smuggle stolen Syrian grains to Iraq
Trump forces loot and smuggle Syrian grains to Iraq

Depriving a civilian population of their water is also a war crime. In October 2019, NATO Madman Erdogan bombed the electrical grid at the Alouk station. The Syrian electricity army repairs it, after which Erdogan bombed it again, after which it was again repaired, after which Erdogan’s forces invaded and occupied the water plant. NATO supremacy also means trying to crush other people’s countries by stealing their water.

The demonic SDF separatists were originally created under the NATO supremacist Obama regime, which collected international wetworkers to teach the subsequent cannon fodder how to terrorize the Syrian population. During the Obama years, atrocities against Syria were perpetrated ‘by accident,’ as when he meant to war criminally bomb ISIS but accidentally slaughtered 83 Syrian soldiers defending their homeland.

 

The Trump regime expanded on Obama’s war crimes, intentionally bombed Syrian soldiers for al Qaeda, and set up criminal military bases in Syria (whereas Obama only sent in ‘spec operatives.’ See “Cue the Illegal Orangettes,” here.).

Today, a “weapons shop” run under Madman Erdogan’s al Qaeda forces in Idlib, blew up. It was located in a crowded market, near to a school. Western propagandists have remained silent on this atrocity, also. Imagine such a scene in Paris, London, Berlin, Philly, or Los Angeles being normalized:

Idlib explosion in weapons shop kills one person

Since the “deadly siege” on the US Capitol, 6 January, western supremacists have been aghast, horrified by a small fraction of what those western supremacists do to non-western countries, with impunity, on daily basis. Our unindicted war criminals that drop NATO weapons into the hands of savage beasts in Syria, call the psychopaths “freedom fighters” and cheer the horrors they perpetrate on the Syrian people, in the name of the imperial paraphilia, “democracy.”

Here are some examples of our glorious freedom and democracy, in DC, today, as inauguration day approaches; it does give the appearance of a military occupation, the type of which our terrified politicians in the Capitol on the first Wednesday of the first month of the new year, have imposed on mostly brown-skinned and/or Muslim majority countries for decades.

 

Some of the detritus, hysteria, and shame/lessness of DC may eventually be put into a box labeled “Trump,” and we shall probably return to our collective criminal work as imperial NATO supremacists, entitled to tying up those tedious loose ends of uppity countries refusing to be crushed by western humanitarian democracy.

When that time comes, may we watch Syria’s President Bashar al Assad, walking freely and safely among his fellow countrymen and women, and may we honestly denounce the supremacists among us.

— Miri Wood

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

Related Articles

Syria categorically denies the false news spread by some media about Syrian-Israeli meetings

Tuesday, 19 January 2021 12:31 

Damascus, (ST) –  Syria categorically denied the false news that some dishonest media outlets spread about convening the Syrian-Israeli meetings, affirming that the forces that stand behind these lies are the same ones that that are eager to seek normalization with this entity.

An official source at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement on Monday that, “the Syrian Arab Republic categorically denies the false news spread by some mass media about holding any Syrian-Israeli meetings in anywhere,”

The source added that, “Syria affirms that its’ policy and decisions, are still clear and they serve the national interest and just causes of the Arab nation, foremost of which is the Palestinian cause. The liberation of the entire occupied Syrian Arab Golan and the occupied Arab lands in accordance with the relevant international decisions are also into its initial consideration”.

The source concluded that, Syria stresses that the forces behind these lies are the same ones that are seeking normalization with the Israeli entity and are trying to to draw the whole region into Western Zionist alliances. When these forces fail, they resort to such naive methods by spreading false news.

Raghda Sawas

Related Videos

Related news

حزب الله اللبنانيّ وحزب الله الإقليميّ

ناصر قنديل

تجري محاولة بين عدد من المتعاطين في الشأن العام، وبعض الناشطين والسياسيين والإعلاميين، لتقديم مقاربة ثالثة تتميز بين المقاربتين السائدتين، المقاربة التي تعلن العداء لحزب الله وتتماهى مع الحرب المعلنة عليه من حلف تقوده واشنطن وتتجنّد له “إسرائيل” وتحرّض عليه وتموّله عدد من حكومات الخليج، والمقاربة التي تتماهى مع موقع وموقف حزب الله، في اعتبار قضية سلاحه وحضوره في لبنان والإقليم مصدر قوة للبنان، واعتبار كل محاولة لتحجيم هذا الحضور وجهاً من وجوه حرب الإلغاء التي سيدفع لبنان ثمنها إذا حققت أهدافها، كما عبر عنها الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله. وتقوم المقاربة الثالثة على محاولة إقامة فصل افتراضي بين مفهومين تسمّي أحدهما حزب الله اللبناني والآخر حزب الله الإقليمي، وتدعو حزب الله للتراجع التدريجي عن تمدّده الإقليمي لحساب هويته اللبنانية، وتدعو خصوم حزب الله لاعتبار هذا التموضع الجديد لحزب الله كافياً لوقف حالة العداء ضده، وتراهن على إنشاء مساحة لبنانية جامعة تحت هذا العنوان. وليس خافياً أن التيار الوطني الحر يتصدّر قائمة أصحاب هذه المقاربة، من خلال الدعوة التي أطلقها رئيسه النائب جبران باسيل لتشجيع حزب الله على الانسحاب من سورية، والتخفف من حجم حضوره الإقليميّ.

مع الاحتفالات التي أقامها حزب الله تكريماً للقائد قاسم سليماني، توسّعت دائرة المتحدثين عن هذه المقاربة وشملت أسماء تنطلق من حسن نية وأخرى من سوء نية، لتصير مطلوبة مناقشة هذه الفرضية، خصوصاً أن جمهور هذا المنطق وهذه المقاربة في جمهور التيار الوطني الحر، كحليف رئيسي لحزب الله، يتّسع ويتقدم بيقين أنه صاحب حق وأن مطلبه واقعي، وصار حاجة وضرورة وطنيّة في ظل الحصار الذي يتعرض له لبنان والضغوط الاقتصادية التي تتهدّده بالانهيار. والنقاش هنا ليس بخلفية مسبقة للإثبات أو النفي بل للاستكشاف والاستقراء، من خلال التحري والتدقيق بحساب الوقائع والحقائق، لرصد الخلاصة الموضوعيّة البعيدة عن الرغبات.

في الوقائع يجري الحديث عن تمدّد حزب الله إقليمياً وصولاً لنشوء ما يُسمّى بحزب الله الإقليميّ، من خلال الإشارة المكثفة والمركزة الى دور لحزب الله في اليمن والعراق، بالرغم من كونه كدور يقع حكماً في مرتبة أدنى بكثير من دور حزب الله تجاه فلسطين، سواء بالدعم المعنوي للمقاومة الفلسطينية، وتمسكه بأولوية القضية الفلسطينية، والتزامه بتقديم كل الدعم المادي والتجهيز التسليحيّ، بقياس بعض قليل من هذه المواقف والأدوار تجاه أحداث العراق واليمن، والأدوار المفترضة في اليمن والعراق تقع حكماً في مرتبة أدنى بكثير وكثير جداً، من مرتبة الدور الذي قام به حزب الله ويقوم به في سورية. وتتفرّع عن هذين الدورين البارزين والفاعلين لحزب الله تحت العنوانين الفلسطيني والسوري، وتبدو العلاقة بين حزب الله وإيران أيضاً فرعاً من أصل، وليس العكس رغم مكانتها العقائدية في تجربة حزب الله وتكوينه. والأصل هو التزام حزب الله وإيران بدرجة واحدة لمكانة القضية الفلسطينية والصراع مع كيان الاحتلال في مرتبة الأولوية ضمن جدول أعمال كل منهما، بينما ينظر حزب الله لمعادلات قوى المقاومة في العراق واليمن، إضافة لموقفه التضامني المعنوي، من الزاوية المقابلة للنظرة الإسرائيلية، وجوهر النظرتين، التموضع على ضفاف الحرب المقبلة التي تتشكل من حزب الله و”إسرائيل” قطبي الاشتباك فيها، ويتحلق من حولهما الآخرون.

حزب الله الإقليميّ، هو حزب الله الذي أنشأ شبكة تحالفات عابرة للإقليم تنتظم وراءه في أي مواجهة مقبلة مع “إسرائيل”، وبالتوازي مع أهمية الانتصار على الشبكات الإرهابية في سورية الذي شارك ولا يزال بصناعته، شكّل وجوده في سورية مدخلاً لحقيقتين جديدتين، الأولى هي معادلة جديدة تتجذّر كل يوم على جبهة الجولان تجعل التفكير الإسرائيلي بالحرب أشد تعقيداً، والثانية هي معادلة الصواريخ الدقيقة التي شكلت تحولاً نوعياً قلب موازين المواجهة المفترضة مع الكيان وجعل خيار الحرب أبعد، بينما كانت العلاقة بإيران جوهر هذا التحوّل. وبالتوازي لم تكن لأدوار حزب الله الفلسطينية نتائج على جبهة تعزيز قدرة قوى المقاومة في فلسطين فقط، بل كان من نتائجها أيضاً تعقيد خيار الحرب على حزب الله بالنسبة لقيادة الكيان.

من حيث لا ينتبه دعاة الفصل بين حزب الله اللبناني وحزب الله الإقليمي، فهم يشاركون في فرضيّة وهميّة لا يمكن إثباتها، تقول إن الصراع مع كيان الإحتلال لم يعد العنصر المحوريّ في صناعة السياسة في الإقليم، والمستند الوحيد لهذه الفرضية هو أن عدداً من الحكومات العربية وخصوصاً في الخليج اتخذت من هذه الفرضية ذريعة للانتقال الى مرحلة التحالف مع كيان الاحتلال، بينما الأمر لا يتّصل بالحديث عن قراءة خطاب الاصطفافات، بل عن تحديد جوهر محركات هذه الاصطفافات، فمشاريع التطبيع ليست إلا تأكيداً إضافياً على محورية الصراع مع الكيان في صناعة السياسة، حيث يذهب الكيان المأزوم على جبهته الشمالية بسبب تنامي قوة حزب الله لإنشاء شبكات رديفة للقوة السياسيّة والاقتصاديّة والأمنيّة جنوباً نحو الخليج، ومن يريد للبنان الاستقرار عليه أن يضع في أولوية اهتماماته الإجابة عن سؤال بات ضجيج الصالونات يحجب حضوره، رغم محوريّته الحاكمة، وهو كيف نجعل خيار الحرب الإسرائيليّة على لبنان أشدّ بعداً، في ظل سعي إسرائيليّ محموم لتوسيع التحالفات، تحت عنوان مواجهة حزب الله، وامتلاك المزيد من المقدرات، والانتقال بالتوازي إلى تشبيك اقتصاديّ يستهدف لبنان، وليس حزب الله فقط، ليصير السؤال الأول، هل يفكر المعنيّون وصناع القرار بين أعداء حزب الله بالطريقة التي يفترضها أصحاب المقاربة المفترضة؟ أي هل يعتبر هؤلاء وعلى رأسهم الأميركي، ومن خلفه الإسرائيلي، أن قضيتهم هي موقف حزب الله من اليمن والعراق في الحروب الدائرة هناك، أم موقف اليمن والعراق من حزب الله إذا وقعت الحرب هنا؟ وهل يتغاضى هؤلاء عن صواريخ حزب الله الدقيقة إذا سار حزب الله بروزنامة اللبننة، وإن لم يكن الأمر كذلك فهل سيكون قبول حزب الله كافياً لتبدل مواقف الأطراف اللبنانية المتموضعة على ضفاف العداء لحزب الله، على الأقل، أم سيعتبرون كما أعداء حزب الله في الخارج، ان حملاتهم العدائية بدأت تثمر، وأن ما لم تنجزه هذه الدرجة من العداء سينتجه المزيد من العداء، بينما يكون حزب الله قد جرّد نفسه من مصادر حاسمة في صناعة القوة التي جعلت وتجعل الحرب أشدّ بعداً، فتصير الحرب أقرب وأشدّ قرباً؟

حزب الله اللبناني هو حزب الله الممسك بمقدرات تتصدّرها صواريخه الدقيقة، والمحاط بشبكة تحالفات عابرة للإقليم تشكل حزام الصواريخ الذي يطوق كيان الاحتلال، وهذه التحالفات قالت علناً إنها مستعدّة لمشاركة حزب الله الحرب التي قد تُشنّ عليه، من فلسطين والجولان والعراق واليمن وصولاً الى إيران، ما يجعل فرضية الحرب على لبنان أشدّ ضعفاً، ويجعل الاستقرار اللبناني الخارجي أكثر رسوخاً، بانتظار نجاح اللبنانيين بالبناء على ذلك لصناعة الاستقرار الداخلي، فهل يفعلون؟ وهل يدركون أن عليهم الجواب على سؤال، إذا كان هذا هو حزب الله اللبناني فهل يختلف عنه بشيء آخر حزب الله الإقليمي؟

مقالات ذات صلة

Iranian Nuclear Weapons. Is Israel Too Scared To Strike?

The key standoff in the Middle East, that between Israel and Iran, has been steadily ramping up.

Over the last two months Israel and its allies, primarily the US and Saudi Arabia, have done quite a bit to antagonize Iran and attempt and impair it from achieving its ambitions.

Iran’s response is coming, and the aim is an asymmetric counter attack that would heavily hamper Israel’s interests.

Tehran’s response will likely be two-pronged:

On the one hand through its proxies and allies – namely the Houthis in Yemen who are pushing back Saudi Arabia and inflicting heavy losses on it. Iran recently sent advanced suicide drones to Yemen, so Riyadh appears to be in for a surprise.

Separately, it’s operating through its allies in Iraq and Syria, as reports of US convoys suffering explosions are becoming a rather regular occurrence.

On the other, Iran’s nuclear program appears to be developing steadily, and the Wall Street Journal even stoke the oven by claiming that Tehran was nearing production of a “key material for nuclear warheads”.

There’s been no confirmation to that, but it also works to Iran’s benefit and will be used as a mechanism to check if Israel is willing to attack its nuclear program, once again, after allegedly killing Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Tehran is working to produce its enriched uranium, which it maintains is for peaceful purposes, and uses this as a lever to pressure the United States and force Israel’s hand. Most recently, Iran said that Washington’s return to the Nuclear Deal, as incoming President Joe Biden has signaled, was simply “extortion” if its not accompanied by a lifting of sanctions.

As such, Iran says that not only must Washington want to return, but it also needs to do something to make up for their past failures – namely, lift the sanctions the Trump Administration imposed.

Israel, feeling the urgency of its situation, warned that if the US were to return to the Nuclear Deal, it would feel forced and strike the facilities being used in Iran’s nuclear program, in order to hamper any progress, it may be having towards an alleged weapon. If this really happens, this will easily lead to a large-scale regional war.

Currently, Israel and the US have largely played their hands – attacks on various proxy positions, as well as various threats and military deployments.

For Iran, the field is wide open and its Tehran’s turn to make its move and it is likely to be an asymmetric action, not focused in a single point of tension, but rather on several.

Related News

ماذا حصل ليل الخميس الجمعة في البادية السوريّة؟

باريس – نضال حمادة

تشير معلومات حصلت عليها في العاصمة الفرنسية الى فشل عملية إنزال وقصف لأحد المواقع التي يتمركز داخلها إيرانيون وحلفاء لهم في بادية دير الزور، وأشارت إلى عمل عسكري مشترك أميركي – بريطاني – الماني – «إسرائيلي» على الحدود بين العراق وسورية.

حسب المعلومات التي حصلت عليها «البناء» استنفرت مطارات عدة لهذه العملية منها مطار قبرص، حيث تتمركز قاعدة عسكرية بريطانية.

كان هناك جنود «إسرائيليون» على الأرض، وجنود بريطانيون وألمان أيضاً، يبدو أنهم نقلوا بمروحيات من قاعدة التنف الى مسافة كيلومترات عدة من الهدف، وحسب المصدر تفاجأ المهاجمون بأوامر توقف العملية وتأمر من هم على الأرض بالانسحاب، لقد اكتشف المهاجمون أنّ الإيرانيين كانت لديهم معطيات او شكوك بعد غارات يوم الثلاثاء وفي لحظة ما لم تقصف الطائرات أيّ هدف. كان الهدف المحدّد قد أُخلي.

لا تؤكد المعلومات إطلاق صواريخ أرض جو، لكن حصل إطلاق نار أفشل العملية ويبدو أنهم كانوا محتاطين ويعلمون مسبقاً بالهدف ولم يكونوا هناك.

في النهاية، وحسب المصادر الفرنسية جميع الغارات التي حصلت خلال الأسبوعين الماضيين كانت مقدّمة وتغطية لغارة ليل الخميس الجمعة التي توقفت بعد اكتشافها.

المصدر يقول إن لا إصابات في صفوف «الإسرائيليين»، ويشير الى أنّ القوة الألمانية والبريطانية كانت مع «الإسرائيلي» في المكان نفسه، ويبدو أنّ هناك إصابات قد وقعت، وتشير المعلومات إلى أن الغارات سوف تستمرّ بوتيرة أعنف حتى نهاية ولاية ترامب من حيث المبدأ…

ثقافة الالتزام

بثينة شعبان 

المصدر: الميادين نت

11 كانون الثاني 00:01

أصبح الغرب يبحث عن مثقّفين يُعادون حكوماتهم التي تقف في وجه الأطماع الغربية، ويروّجون لأعمالهم، ويطلبون منهم الانشقاق واللجوء إلى الغرب لتصحيح مكانتهم ودورهم.

ثقافة الالتزام

حين كنّا طلاب جامعيين في سبعينيّات القرن الماضي، كان ينطبق علينا المثل القائل: “قل لي ماذا تقرأ أقل لك من أنت”. وكان أوّل سؤالٍ يسأله الطالب لزميله ما هي الكتب التي يقرؤها فيكون الجواب كافٍ ليصدر الحكم الفوري ما إذا كان هذا الطالب شيوعياً أم بعثياً أم رجعياً. 

كان الانقسام حاداً بين من يؤمن أنّ الأدب والفنّ والمسرح فنونٌ ملتزمة تعبّر عن وجدان وقضايا منتجيها، وبين من يؤمن أنّ الالتزام بالقضايا المحليّة والوطنية يحدّ من قيمة العمل الأدبي والفنيّ ويقف حائلاً بينه وبين وصوله إلى العالمية. 

مما لا شك فيه أنّ الاتحاد السوفياتي في ذلك الوقت، والأحزاب الوطنية الناشئة بعد فترات الاستقلال، كانت تؤيد الالتزام بالقضايا الوطنية في الأدب والفنّ، ولم ترَ أن هذا الالتزام يُضعف من ألق وتميّز العمل الأدبي المقدّم.

وبعد أن درسنا في الغرب واطّلعنا على ما تيسّر لنا من أدبه وتاريخه وفنونه، كما اطلعنا على ما أُتيح لنا معرفته من ثقافاتٍ وكتابات أدباء القارات الأخرى كأميركا اللاتينية وأفريقيا وآسيا، وجدنا أنّ المحليّة والالتزام قد شكّلا رافعةً لمعظم الأدباء والكتّاب الذين وصلوا بكتاباتهم إلى العالمية الحقيقية وليس العالمية التي تشير إلى الدول الغربية فقط.

واكتشفنا أنّ التّهم التي كانت تُوجَّه لكثيرٍ من الكتّاب وخاصةً النساء، بأنّهم يرتكزون في كتاباتهم على قصصهم الشخصية أو على معارفهم المحليّة، هي تُهمٌ تنطبق على كبار الكتّاب العالميين من تولستوي إلى تشيخوف وماركيز وبيرسي بيش شيلي وجون ستيوارت ميل وماري ولستون كرافت وغيرهم الكثير. بمعنى آخر، المحليّة والالتزام لم يكونا عائقاً أبداً في الوصول إلى العالمية بل كانا العاملين الأكثر أهميةً في اعتلاء سلّمها. 

وبعد انهيار الاتحاد السوفياتي وسيطرة القطب الواحد على مقدّرات وإعلام وناصية الفنون الأدبية والسينمائية والمسرحية في الغرب، اختفى هذا الجدل ليحلّ مكانه جدلٌ أكثر خطورة، وهو أنّ التميّز والإبداع حكرٌ على المؤسسات الغربية؛ فهي التي تمنح جائزة نوبل وجوائز الأوسكار، وهي الوحيدة التي لها القول الفصل في تحديد من يحتلّ الصدارة في أعلى قائمة المبدعين من كل أنحاء العالم.

وكون الغرب بأجهزته السياسية والمخابراتية هو الذي يُنفق على هذه المؤسسات والجوائز، وهو الذي يشكّل لجان التحكيم، فقد أصبح له القول الفصل بغض النظر عن أيّ قرارٍ آخر في تحديد مستوى الإبداع وأسماء المبدعين.

 وصل هذا الأمر إلى مرحلةٍ خطيرة لأنّ عدداً من الكتّاب والفنّانين والمبدعين من أبناء الدول التي استعمرها هذا الغرب لعقودٍ طويلة، أخذوا يتنافسون بالكتابة وفق معايير وقيم الغرب، ناهيك بالكتابة بلغته، والتي هي أمرٌ مفهوم لإيصال الرسالة، ولكنّ فحوى الرسالة هو المهمّ، ومضمونها منوطٌ بالقيم الوطنية والحضارية للكاتب نفسه لا بتقمّصها لقيم المستعمر وأخلاقه أملاً في إرضائه والفوز بقبوله وتقييمه الإيجابي.

 ومن هذا المنطلق، أخذ بعض الكتّاب من المغرب العربي والمشرق يتنافسون على ودّ الغرب وقبوله والكتابة وفق ما يرضيه، من خلال تكريس كل الهنات والعيوب المجتمعية التي يتّهمنا الغرب بها وتضخيمها والتركيز عليها، وكأنّ الغرب لا شائبة فيه، بل والادّعاء بأنها هي علّة العلل في مجتمعاتنا كي تلقى أعمالهم الرّواج المطلوب في الغرب، وكي يتمّ تبنّيهم في المؤسسات الغربية واعتماد إنتاجهم الفكري. 

ويحضرني في هذا المضمار، رواية الطاهر بن جلون على سبيل المثال لا الحصر “ابنة الرمال”، والتي كُرّس فيها مفهوم توق العربي لأن يُرزق بالصبي بدلاً من البنت، والمدى الذي يمكن أن يذهب إليه كي يحقّق في عائلته الذّكورة، وهي حلمُ ورغبةُ كلّ رجلٍ عربيٍّ كما صوّرها. وطبعا،ً صدرت الرواية بالفرنسية ولاقت رواجاً هائلاً، ونال الطاهر بن جلون كلّ الأهمية التي يسعى إليها في أعين الفرنسيين، ومثلُه كُثُر طبعاً.

ومن هنا، أصبح الطريق إلى العالمية مشروطاً بتبنّي وجهة نظر الغرب عن أنفسنا والتركيز على عيوبنا كما يراها الغرب، والتشهير بمجتمعاتنا وتراثنا بما ينسجم مع آراء المستشرقين الذين شكّلوا الفكرة السلبية الأساسية للغرب عن العرب، وتناولوا مثالب تاريخهم وعيوب حضارتهم ومشاكل مجتمعاتهم.

 ومن هنا أيضاً، بدأ الغرب يحارب حكومات الدول المتحرّرة حديثاً، فيطلب أعمالاً أدبيةً تعكس الأوضاع السياسية وتضخّم فيه عيوب مجتمعه وأخطائه، كما عملت الصومالية المسلمة (أليفة علي) حين قدّمت صورةً مشوّهةً عن بلادها وشعبها ودينها كي يتمّ قبولها في المراكز البحثية الغربية.

 وفي المقابل، امتنع الغرب عن نشر المنتجات الفكرية التي تتحدث بواقعيةٍ وصدقٍ عن العرب، وإذا ما حصل وتمّ نشر بعضها في ساعة غفلةٍ منه، حرص على عدم الترويج لها أو حال دون وصولها إلى مراكز الشهرة التي تروّج للواقع الحقيقي لأخلاقيات هذه المجتمعات العربية.

 هي كتاباتٌ بعيدةٌ كلّ البعد عن التشويه المتعمّد الذي ألحقه الغرب بهذه المجتمعات بعد أن نهب ثرواتها واستعبد أهلها لعقودٍ من الزمن. وهكذا، أصبح الغرب يبحث عن مثقّفين يُعادون حكوماتهم التي تقف في وجه الأطماع الغربية، ويروّجون لأعمالهم، ويطلبون منهم الانشقاق واللجوء إلى الغرب لتصحيح مكانتهم ودورهم.

اليوم، نعلم علم اليقين أنّ الصراع على أرضنا وثرواتنا ومجتمعاتنا ما زال قائماً وأنّ تغيير شكل الحروب العسكرية إلى حروبٍ إرهابية وأدواتٍ من المرتزقة لم يغيّر من واقع الأمر شيئاً؛ فما زال الغرب يعمل جاهداً لإبقاء احتلاله لأرضنا وفكرنا وعقلنا ووجداننا والدعوات اللاوطنية التي تدعو إلى التحرّر من قضايانا الوطنية بحجج المعارضة السياسية وعدم الالتزام بقضايا الوطن والمجتمع. كلّ ذلك يصبّ في خانة خدمة من يريد إبقاءنا مادة طيّعة لمؤسساته وقيمه وأحكامه.

 في حمأة هذا الصراع غير المسبوق وبأدوات جديدة كلياً على أرضنا ومستقبلنا، تعود قضية الالتزام بقضايا الشعب والوطن لتحتلّ المرتبة الأولى، وخاصةً بعد أن أكّد كبار المبدعين في العالم أنّ المحليّة هي الشرط الأول للانطلاق إلى العالمية.

 لقد اعتمدت القوى الاستعمارية والصهيونية أسلوباً جديداً اليوم، وهو أنّ الإبداع يجب أن يكون حرّاً ومنفلتاً من أيّ قيمٍ سياسية أو مجتمعية أو أخلاقية أو وطنية، وهذا محض هراء، بل هذا أمرٌ خطير يُقصد به تجريد القضايا الوطنية من أهمّ الأقلام المدافعة عنها بحجّة أنّ الإبداع يجب أن يكون حراً وأنّ المبدع لا تنطبق عليه المعايير التي تنطبق على أبناء جلدته. 

والسؤال هو: هل يطبّق الغرب هذا المعيار على مبدعيه وفنانيه؟ أم أنّ كلّ ما ينشره وكلّ ما ينتجه من أدبٍ وأفلامٍ ومسرح وما يقدّمه من جوائز، يهدف إلى تكريس قيمه الاستعمارية والترويج لكلّ ما يؤمن به وتبرير ما ترتكبه حكوماته ضد الشعوب، ليس في أنظار شعبه فقط وإنما في أنظار العالم.

 ما نحتاجه اليوم نحن في سوريا والعالم العربي ومعظم البلدان المتحررة، هو أن نؤمن بقضايانا وقيمنا وأن نعلن التزامنا بمسار ومصير شعوبنا دون خجلٍ أو وجل، وألاّ ننتظر شهادة حسن سلوك من أعدائنا؛ فنحن نخوض معركة تحرير الإرادة اليوم، كما خاض أجدادنا وأبطالنا البارحة معركة تحرير الأرض وما زالوا. 

تحرير الإرادة والانعتاق من التبعيّة اللّيبرالية المزيفة والالتزام الجريء بالقضايا الوطنية الصافية والإنسانية الحقّة، هو المعيار المطلوب والضروري في هذه المرحلة من تاريخنا.

Israel & United States Unite Efforts In Large-Scale Strikes On Iranian Infrastructure In Syria

South Front

The first two weeks of 2021 have, so far, been marked by an incredible increase in Israeli activity in the skies over Syria.

The most intense strike took place on January 13 morning hitting multiple Syrian and Iranian-affiliated targets in the province of Deir Ezzor, including the underground base of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps near al-Bukamal.

The pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Israeli strikes have killed 57 and wounded another 37. Pro-government sources confirmed only 5 casualties.

The airstrikes were so numerous that even Abu Yatem al-Katrani – the commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) 4th Brigade was killed in an airstrike.

The Israeli operations were carried out with the assistance of the United States – it provided intelligence and Israeli struck on them. Former CIA Director, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was reportedly discussing the airstrikes with Yossi Cohen, chief of Israel’s spy agency Mossad.

The US support of Tel Aviv’s aerial raids is a clear message to Iran, and is a very open support to Israel’s undeclared war against Iran, which it has been waging in Syria since hostilities began.

All of the airstrikes in the first two weeks of 2021 are the most significant by Israel, and over all, since the beginning of the war in Syria. They were so significant, that Damascus even accused Tel Aviv of carrying out the strikes in very open support of ISIS militants which the Syrian Arab Army is hunting.

Meanwhile, there appears to be a sense of urgency, or a sense of danger in the air, as the United States reinforced its troop positions in the Omar oil fields with artillery pieces and other equipment.

The US troops, together with their local proxies also hold frequent drills in the area, to keep ready, for some future unknown escalation.

Prior to New Year’s Eve, Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, in what Tehran claimed to be an elaborate Israeli operation.

Additionally, since around the same time, a farewell strike on Iran has been expected from US President Donald Trump, and the general chaos in the US ahead of Joe Biden stepping into office has been used by Israel as a chance to inflict as much damage as possible on Tehran and its allies.

Russia, at the same time, appears to also be preparing for an escalation of some sort, by building up its forces and is lying in wait.

Israel appears dead set on continuing its crusade against Iran and its allies in Syria. An urgency is felt, since Biden is unlikely to support Tel Aviv as much as Trump did, and every possible chance should be used. This is all in spite of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu removed the photo of Donald Trump from his Twitter, but all is fair in love and war.

Finally, both the American and Russian forces appear to be biding their time, waiting for an escalation that, with tensions at the breaking point appears closer than ever.

The year began with terrorist attacks in Syria, increased Israeli strikes, Iran threatening against any aggression against it, and the two most significant players in the face of Moscow and Washington are expecting an escalation, and no amount of preparation would be enough for the incoming storm.

US nuclear submarine comes in close contact with Iranian anti-submarine chopper: video

Iran ends massive war games in Strait of Hormuz, issues stern warning to enemies: photos

BY NEWS DESK 2021-01-14

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:00 P.M.) – A U.S. nuclear submarine was spotted making close contact with an Iranian military chopper this week, in a new escalation in the Persian Gulf region.

In a video released by the Iranian media and shared on social media, the U.S. nuclear submarine can be seen making close contact with the Iranian anti-submarine helicopter, the SH-3D, in the Persian Gulf waters.

The video, which is shared below, was allegedly take on Thursday, January 14th, in the Persian Gulf; however, the U.S. and Iranian forces have yet to comment on this close approach.

RELATED VIDEOS

RELATED NEWS

MYSTERIOUS AIRCRAFT POUND TURKISH OIL SMUGGLERS IN SYRIA. US SUPPLY CONVOYS ARE BLOWN UP IN IRAQ

South Front

The first month of 2021 was marked by a new round of violence in Syria. The situation was especially complicated in Greater Idlib, northern Aleppo and in the central desert.

On January 8, ISIS terrorists launched a large attack on government forces in the eastern countryside of Hama. After a series of clashes with the Syrian Army and pro-government militias, terrorists captured a number of positions near the towns of Rahjan and al-Shakusiyah. As of January 12, ISIS cells retreated from these positions under pressure from the army. Nonetheless, at least 19 government troops and 12 ISIS members were killed in the clashes.

Meanwhile in the eastern countryside of Homs, ISIS cells destroyed a pickup of the al-Quds Brigade, a Palestinian pro-government group, with an improvised explosive device. According to pro-opposition sources, at least 44 pro-government fighters have been killed in the clashes in the desert area since the start of the year. The number of the eliminated terrorists is reportedly over 35.

Sources affiliated with Russia-linked private military contractors claim that the deterioration of the security situation in western Deir Ezzor is a result of the withdrawal of a majority of Russian specialists from the area.

At the same time, Iranian-backed forces continue their work to expand the Imam Ali Base near al-Bukamal. The base, operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, is allegedly designed store precision-guided missiles in a network of underground tunnels in the area. The base was repeatedly targeted by Israeli and even US strikes in 2019 and 2020. Despite this, the strikes did not cause any major impact as the base’s military infrastructure has been steadily expanding.

January 9 also became the first day of 2021 when the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out strikes on terrorist targets in Greater Idlib. Strikes hit several hills in outskirts of the town of Kabani, which is known for being stronghold of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and the Turkistan Islamic Party. A day earlier, forces of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham shelled Syrian Army positions in northern Lattakia injuring several soldiers.

These developments coincided with some strikes by some ‘mysterious aircraft’ that once again bombed Turkish-linked oil smugglers in northern Aleppo. This time the infrastructure of the smugglers was destroyed near the village of Tarhin.

The situation in neighboring Iraq is also not stable. Just on January 9, 3 supply convoys of the US-led coalition became targets of IED attacks in the central and southern regions of the country. These attacks are a logical continuation of the ongoing standoff between the US-Israeli bloc and the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance. Iranian-backed forces in Iraq conduct these attacks as a part of their campaign to force the US to withdraw its forces from the country.

While some expect that a Biden administration would be less interested in an increase of confrontation with Iran, there are no indications that the sides can fully settle their contradictions in any way in the nearest future. Therefore, the entire region will remain a battleground for the warring blocs.

Related Videos

Related News

2 Children Killed and 10 Others Injured in a Landmine Explosion in Daraa

Landmine explosion in Syria - Archive photo - انفجار لغم أرضي سورية

ARABI SOURI 

Two children were killed on the spot and ten other children were injured in a landmine explosion in the city of al-sheik Maskeen (Maskin), northern Daraa countryside.

The victims and the injured children were rushed to the National Hospital of Daraa and the National Hospital of Izraa.

A spokesman for the Daraa Police Department stated that ‘a landmine was detonated in the Eastern Neighborhood in al-sheik Maskeen in the northern Daraa countryside yesterday, January 11, 2021, in a group of young children killing two of them and injuring ten others.’ The police spokesman added that most of the victims are from the same family.

Syria is suffering massively from the tens of thousands of landmines and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) planted by the NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ of Al Qaeda FSA and of ISIS in all the areas they infested. In addition to planting a large number of military-grade landmines, gifted by the generous US and European taxpayers, the terrorists were making their own explosive devices in different shapes and sizes, some of which are like the usual household items. The terrorists would then spread their killing tools in its designated areas before they flee in order to continue killing and maiming Syrians, especially children who many of them were killed or lost limbs when picking up toys that were stuffed with explosives.

The task of demining and cleaning the regions newly liberated from NATO-sponsored ‘freedom fighters’ is overwhelming, to say the least, and it’s overwhelming for capable countries let alone a country that is still fighting terrorist groups in different parts of its territories, while it’s under a blockade and under inhumane draconian sanctions by the USA and its European minions preventing the Syrian state from acquiring needed tools to clear areas of the explosives and also impeding the procurement of medicine and medical tools and equipment.

Friendly civilized countries have been helping the Syrian state to clear the liberated areas from the explosives but those same countries are under attacks and sanctions as well by NATO and stooges.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

Related

Richard Medhurst: “BBC ATTACKS JOURNALISTS CHALLENGING NARRATIVE ON SYRIA AND WHITE HELMETS”

Richard Medhurst 🇸🇾🇵🇸 (@richimedhurst) | Twitter

By Richard Medhurst 

December 4, 2020

The BBC has released a new radio podcast titled Mayday: Investigating The Life And Death Of James LeMesurier. It attempts to tell the story behind former British army and intelligence officer James LeMesurier, co-founder of the “White Helmets” in Syria. While the BBC claims that its new Radio 4 series seeks to “explore the true story” behind the so called “Syria Civil Defence”, its correspondence with journalists critical of the group shows this wasn’t the case.

The BBC contacted Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett and British journalist Vanessa Beeley. In emails provided to me last month, we can see how the BBC in its attempt to reach out to them, prepared a list of smears and allegations. The state funded broadcaster accused them of being conspiracy theorists, called them “tools” of the Syrian and Russian governments and refuted their reporting which implicates the White Helmets and its founder James LeMesurier as working on behalf of Western governments seeking regime change in Syria.

BBC's Chloe Hadjimatheou writes to Eva Bartlett about the White Helmets.

The e-mail sent to Beeley even included a chilling, veiled threat of legal action by the British government.

BBC's veiled threat of legal action towards Vanessa Beeley and her comments on the White Helmets.

Following this correspondence, I interviewed Vanessa Beeley. You can watch the interview here on YouTube. I also spoke with Eva Bartlett via e-mail. You can read her answers to my questions below.

Because their reporting differs so drastically from the official Western narrative– exposing a grim and dark reality about the White Helmets—Bartlett and Beeley have been the targets of various hit pieces, smears and accusations. Both journalists spent time living in Syria, reporting extensively on the group’s activities. Owing to their expertise on the matter, they have also given testimony at the United Nations on several occasions.
Chloe Hadjimatheou, the BBC journalist who contacted Bartlett and Beeley, has never been to Syria.

The White Helmets claim to be an impartial civil defense organization, manned by volunteers who film themselves rescuing victims from the rubble. The group has played a substantial role in shaping the Western media’s narrative on the war in Syria, accusing the Syrian and Russian governments of indiscriminately bombing civilians and hospitals, as well as chemical gas attacks like the one in Douma in 2018 – which was later proven to be staged and part of a cover up by the OPCW.

The White Helmets have received international praise and accolades. The group was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Netflix produced an Oscar-winning documentary about them and the organization has received millions in funding from Western governments, including the United States and United Kingdom.

While the above makes the organization sound like an accomplished and noble endeavor, the reality on the ground is quite different. The White Helmets have been found to operate in areas controlled by Al Qaeda and other jihadist elements, sharing offices in the same building, and videos implicating its members in executions and war crimes.

Leaked documents in September reveal how the White Helmets and its contractor ARK, founded by Alistair Harris, a former British diplomat, were part of an elaborate slush fund and propaganda network run by Western governments. Not only were these contractors bankrolled by nations openly seeking regime change in Syria and working closely with mainstream media to paint the Syrian and Russian governments as evil— but also to rebrand the Syrian opposition as more “moderate” and the White Helmets as impartial, humanitarian actors, while whitewashing their close collaboration with ISIS and Al Qaeda groups in opposition-held territory.

White Helmets founder James LeMesurier is himself a former British army and intelligence officer. Through a non-profit that he established called Mayday Rescue, he secured funding for the White Helmets funneling millions from international donors. In 2016, LeMesurier was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen. Despite the widespread coverage and portrayal of the White Helmets as a grassroots volunteer group—the fact it was created, run and funded by the same countries bombing Syria and seeking to overthrow its government is rarely reported, if ever, in mainstream media.

In November 2019, LeMesurier was found dead in Istanbul after apparently falling out of a window, which Turkish authorities ruled a suicide. This came just a few days after LeMesurier admitted to donors via email that he had defrauded them and was scared of further audits—after a Dutch auditor was flown in to examine financial records. LeMesurier was paying himself and his wife (also a British diplomat) enormous cash bonuses on top of their monthly salary of €24,000 each. LeMesurier even used money from the organization to pay for his own wedding. Following these revelations and his death, the Guardian and other Western outlets blamed a “war of disinformation” as having contributed to his apparent suicide.

When one realizes how much money and effort has gone towards promoting the White Helmets, it becomes apparent why Western governments, and their media outlets are so protective of their propaganda tool – viciously attacking anyone who counters their narrative or exposes their inner workings.

The BBC’s claims about Beeley and Bartlett are laden with smears, wild accusations and personal attacks. The majority of the questions do not even reference their reporting or make any attempt to verify and scrutinize their coverage. The veiled threat of legal action is of particular concern, especially when the United Kingdom is detaining journalist Julian Assange for publishing documents revealing major war crimes by the United States.


Interview with Eva Bartlett

Richard Medhurst: What’s the first thing that went through your mind when you read this e-mail from the BBC?

Eva Bartlett: Oh how original, British state-owned media want to repeat character assassination smears which other corporate media already did years ago.

It also occurred to me that the BBC has the time/resources to re-hash an old slander theme, but not to cover the Julian Assange hearings, and that this new slander is a new and dangerous attack on press freedom.
The timing of this pending smear coincides with continued backlash against the whistleblower experts of the OPCW who spoke out against the OPCW report on whether a chemical attack occurred in Douma in 2018. I suspect that this is one reason for the new smear on those of us who reported from on the ground in Douma, collecting testimonies from medical professionals and from civilians. These testimonies contradict the claims of the West about a chemical attack being perpetrated by the Syrian government.

RM: Is this the first time Chloe Hadjimatheou contacts you?

EB: Yes.

RM: Did you reply directly to her e-mail or any of the allegations she presented?

EB: Initially I didn’t replay to her email, as experience has taught me these sorts of predetermined character assault email queries don’t intend to fairly air my side of the argument, but are more about being able to say they reached out to me before publishing their smear. In late 2016, I was targeted by a number of Western media and “fact-checking” type sites at a time when I was doing a speaking tour in the US and had very limited access to net. At the same time, my email and messenger inboxes were flooded with around 1000 messages (most of them supportive), including some from Channel 4 News and Snopes, which I didn’t see until some weeks after the fact. However, given the nature of how these corporate entities run their smear campaigns, I believe that even had I seen their messages/emails and replied, they would not have fairly published my replies.

That belief is based on the nature of the smears that ensued, which frequently made use of logical fallacies/strawmen argument to incriminate me in whatever slurs they were making. You can find examples which I pointed out when making a collective rebuttal to Snopes, Channel 4 and Canadian media.
Based on the knowledge that these state-funded entities don’t play fair, I didn’t intend on replying. However, prior to the Monday deadline for Chloe’s story I will send the following:

Chloe,

You asked for a clarification or comment to your hostile email to me, yet you did not make clear whether you would publish in full my reply. Will you? If you do not do this as requested, I will say I attempted to meet your request for replies but you declined to publish in full. Kindly let me know whether you intend to follow professional standards and include my full reply, which I will send depending on your reply.

For the record: my travels to and around Syria, and elsewhere, are at my expense and supported by those who have followed my journalism for years, or even more than a decade. I am not funded by any government (but you are, aren’t you, working for British state-funded media). If you or the BBC publish anything insinuating that I receive funding from any government, I will seek legal counsel.

My writings for RT are mine alone: I pitch opinion articles to them on a per piece basis as an independent freelancer.However, you seem to be unaware that I, as a freelancer, contribute to/have contributed to a number of other platforms, including Mint Press News, Oriental Review, Dissident Voice, Inter Press Services, and a host of others all detailed on my blog.

It is completely disingenuous of you to imply my writing is anything other than my own views, and it is libellous of you.

In the mean time, feel free to peruse my bio, it is quite extensive, with on the ground experience from Palestine to Syria, to eastern Ukraine. And in fact, my journalism has not only won the support of countless readers online, but also merited being awarded by the Mexican Press Club in 2017 and being shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism that same year.

By the way, my support has increased exponentially even prior to you/the BBC running a character assassination piece on me, as people became aware of your intentions.

I have my own questions for you: Have you ever entered Syria illegally? If so, how many times? Who did you pay for protection from terrorist factions while in Syria (it is well known, well-admitted, by corporate journalists who have entered Syria illegally that they must pay a protection fee in order to avoid abduction by one of the terrorist factions)?

How can you justify turning a blind eye to the fact that countless White Helmets members have openly expressed support to terrorist groups in Syria, let alone been members of said groups, holding weapons, standing on the bodies of dead Syrians? Can you honestly claim you were unaware of these facts?

How do you explain the presence, throughout Syria, of White Helmets headquarters next to or in close proximity to headquarters of al-Qaeda in Syria, Faylaq al-Rahman, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, and other terrorist groups? How can the White Helmets be deemed as neutral when working side by side these terrorist factions?

P.S. Why does a prominent and published journalist with the BBC feel the need to hide her tweets? What are you afraid of the public seeing? Do you feel this is professional of a journalist to hide their Twitter output, and indeed much of their identity?

Regards,Eva

RM: Do you know of anyone else besides you and Vanessa who were contacted by BBC?

EB: The Working Group on Syria have had a series of exchanges with Chloe/the BBC.

RM: What do you make of this assertion that you and Vanessa are somehow not journalists? What’s the point of that statement?

EB: That is a clear attempt to discredit our work and credibility, which is ironic as it comes from one of the least credible media institutions existing.

My journalism has been crafted by going to the place in question and speaking with the people in question, something I began doing in occupied Palestine in 2007, where I stayed for 8 months (see my bio for more on that), then Gaza for 3 years (and two wars) collectively, from 2008-2013, Syria 14 times since 2014, Venezuela, Donbass, and elsewhere.

If journalist credentials are established by going to journalism school and joining one of the corporate owned institutions, then this speaks volumes as to just why the media these institutions produce is inevitably riddled with lies and war propaganda, or is copy-paste media.

My articles are as often as possible supported with videos, which I myself subtitle.

I don’t need to tell you, a journalist and researcher yourself, the difference between researching a subject intensively on your own (and also gathering information from primary sources on the ground) and the kind of journalism that these corporate hacks do. It’s night and day. I had just left Aleppo in late 2016, having already been there three times prior, at great personal risk and meeting Syrians bombarded and starved by terrorists occupying parts of their city, and returned to North America to see media reporting Aleppo had “fallen” to the “regime”.

The use of such lexicon like “fallen” for a city whose people that had known endless suffering, starvation, executions, imprisonment, and torture precisely due to and by the occupation of parts of the city by terrorist groups shows just how manipulative corporate media has been in their reporting on Syria.

I do not strive to be equated with the “credentials” of Western corporate and state funded media. My credentials lie in the years of on the ground reporting I’ve done from the places I mentioned.

I can give countless examples of how the media reported falsely that something had occurred in Syria, and how I reported honestly on what really transpired. One example is that of Omran Daqneesh, whose face was splashed across the front pages of international media in 2016, said to be the face of human suffering in Syria.

In June 2017, before any Western media reported the truth (not that many other than my colleague Vanessa did), I met Omran and interviewed his father on the allegations that his son had been injured by a Russian or Syrian airstrike. Mr. Daqneesh stated definitively there had been no airstrike and that the media had exploited his son.

A last point: while the BBC and others before them strive to imply Vanessa and myself are not journalists, the bulk of the work we have done over the years is to give voice to Syrians who the same corporate and state-backed Western media has rendered voiceless.

RM: Do you believe this is a targeted smear campaign against you, Vanessa and anyone who challenges the official narrative on the White Helmets? Why now in 2020?

EB: It is definitely a targeted smear. That much is evident from the tone of the questions the BBC hack sent to both Vanessa and myself, questions full of negative and misleading insinuations about our funding, affiliations and intentions.

Russia’s Ministry of Defence has periodically reported in recent years of having intelligence information that terrorist groups in Syria, and the White Helmets, are preparing to stage another fake chemical attack. The MOD did so anew, on October 14.

I believe this new round of smears against not only Vanessa and myself but against prominent and credible voices who have spoken out about the crimes of the White Helmets is intended to discredit us prior to a new staged chemical attack which will then predictably be blamed on the Syrian government.

RM: When the BBC writes that you are “pro-Assad” and “Russia state funded media promotes your conspiracy theories” they’re accusing you of essentially being in the pockets of these governments. Where is the proof for any this? Are you surprised at all that they are attacking you?

EB: I’ll answer that with a question: would the same media write “pro-Obama”, “pro-Clinton” about journalists? Unlikely? Would journalists be lambasted for noting that Obama was the president of the US, as Assad is of Syria? Unlikely, and in fact I’m sure you are aware that prior to 2011, there was positive media reporting on President Assad.

Using terms like “pro-Assad”, “Assadist”, “conspiracy theorist”, etc, are all old means of attempting to blanket discredit the person in question. I feel no need to defend my position which is that after 14 visits, some quite lengthy, to Syria since 2014, and speaking colloquial Arabic, I am confident in stating the president has considerable, if not massive, support.

That said, that recognition has absolutely nothing to do with my writing. My focuses have been on giving voice to Syrians disappeared by corporate media, highlighting the terrorism they endured by groups the West dubs “rebels”, and calling out war propaganda. Very little has focused on the president.

As for “Russian state-funded media”, whereas that is true of RT, it is also true of the BBC. But here’s a major difference: unlike BBC journalists who go to Syria, I pay all of my own expenses; I do not have a state-funded translator or research team at hand; I do my own video editing and subtitling. Vanessa and myself are one-women teams, self-funded.

Journalists of the BBC and other such corporate/state-funded media who bother going to Syria inevitably, in my experience, have a massive support team to do all of which Vanessa and I do ourselves. And yet their reports are factually incorrect and ignore civilians’ voices.

In April 2014, I was in Syria for my first time. Terrorists in eastern Ghouta shelled Damascus, as they did all of the time, for years. One child was killed and over 60 injured. I saw BBC journalist Lyse Doucet in the French Hospital just outside of old Damascus. She was asked whether she would convey the truth. She nodded yes (I filmed this conversation). In an article she later wrote, Doucet wrote, “the government is also accused of launching them into neighborhoods under its control.

As I noted in an article: On a recent social media post, I noted this deceitful journalism, and the BBC could have easily learned about the trajectory of mortars and from where the mortar in question could only have come: the “moderates” east of Damascus.

That’s just one example. If I go through my writings from Homs, Aleppo, Madaya, al-Waer, eastern Ghouta, Idlib…I could almost certainly find a BBC propaganda report stating the opposite of the realities I heard/experienced.

At the bottom of each RT opinion article there is a disclaimer that the opinions don’t represent those of RT. And it works both ways: not every article published on RT reflects my opinions. But RT remains one of the few platforms which will publish my views without censorship. Find me one example of Western corporate media which would do the same.

RM: Isn’t it ironic the BBC accuse you and Vanessa of partiality, refuting your research on the White Helmets, yet they can’t provide any evidence that the things you reported are false?

EB: This is unsurprising. Their mode of operation is clearly character assassinations, strawmen arguments, lexicon to denigrate, and an avoidance of the facts which are easily accessible.

Their interest isn’t in purveying truth, it is in burying it, and burying their own culpability, for they are guilty many time over of war propaganda, meaning they have the blood of Syrian civilians on their hands.

In 2019, I interviewed internally displaced Syrians who had languished in the Rukban camp for years and were being transported to a temporary shelter in Homs. When researching for my article, I came across numerous Western media reports relying on “unnamed activists” for their information on conditions in Rukban. Dig a little deeper and you find those activists had terrorist affiliations or were supportive of terrorists.

This is something I found time and time again. For example, when eastern Ghouta was being liberated, NY Times and other Western media relied on sources clearly supportive of Jaysh al-Islam and al-Nusra.
The BBC have had access to government-controlled areas of Syria, on many occasions. Yet they consistently choose not to report narratives that would counter the war propaganda. Talk about partiality.

RELATED:

On the British State-Funded BBC’s Pending Smear

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Sayyed Nasrallah’s Full Speech on 1st Martyrdom Anniversary of Gen. Soleimani & Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis

Trnaslated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations

Speech of Hezbollah’s Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Master and Prophet, the Seal of Prophets, Abi al-Qassem Muhammad Bin Abdullah and his good and pure household and his good and chosen companions and all the prophets and messengers.

Peace and Allah’s mercy and blessings be upon you all.

Before I delve into the occasion of the first annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the two dear leaders, Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Hajj Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis [Hajj Jamal Jaafar], and their martyred comrades, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss a few other events.

Firstly, the past few days marked the annual anniversary of the martyrdom of the great and truthful, Lady of the Women of the World, a piece of the Messenger of Allah [may Allah’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family], the wife of God’s guardian, and the Mother of Imams [peace be upon them] Sayyeda Fatima al-Zahraa, the daughter of the Messenger of God. Muslims are unanimous in their veneration, reverence, appreciation, and love for her as well as for her dignity and greatness. This is an occasion to offer condolences to her grandson, Sahib Al-‘asr Wa Al-zaman and all Muslims in the world.

Secondly, in the past few days, we lost a great scholar, a jurist, and a thinker in the fullest sense of the word. This comes at a time when the number of thinkers is declining. He was a great Islamic thinker, a  prominent connoisseur, one of Allah’s righteous friends, an educator and a teacher, a loyal wise man, and a steadfast mujahid on the path of truth and in supporting the causes of the nation in this era. I’m talking about His Eminence, the Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Misbah Al-Yazdi [may God Almighty be pleased with him].

Also on this occasion, we extend our condolences to His Eminence, Imam Khamenei, our honorable religious authorities and Hawzas, and our Islamic nation, especially for members of his honorable and generous family, as well as all his students and loved ones. I ask God Almighty to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

In Lebanon, due to the coronavirus scourge, we lost a dear brother from the early generation. He was among the first groups and first founding leaders of Hezbollah’s march, brother Sayyed Abu Ayman Al-Mousawi [Sayyed Muhammad Abbas Al-Mousawi], may God have mercy on him. He was the companion of our martyr and leader, Sayyed Abbas Al-Mousawi [may God Almighty be pleased with him]. He among the forerunners of the Mujahideen believers working and sacrificing in the Beqaa region. He was among the founders of the Imam al-Mahdi [PBUH] Scouts Association in Lebanon. He was its first president or its first general commissioner. I also offer condolences to all his brothers and sisters and companions on this path, especially his honorable and noble family members. I ask God to have mercy on him and grant him a high rank.

We come to our occasion. One year ago, in the early hours of the morning much like this one, around the same time in January, this great and tragic incident took place. It was recorded in history and will remain immortal – its magnitude, greatness, the grievances, the blood that was shed, its repercussions, its effects, and its consequences for the entire region.

Today, I would like to talk about several points related to this occasion and the events that occurred between then and the first anniversary.

The first point is loyalty to the martyred leaders and those who were martyred with them. Of course, when we talk about the martyrs, we must once again at the beginning extend our condolences and congratulate the families of martyr commander Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian martyrs who were martyred with him:

  • Martyr Hussein Jaafari Nia, who for 20 years was one of our brothers, a friend, a beloved person, and a shadow to Hajj Qassem.
  • Martyr brother Shahroud Mozaffari Nia
  • Martyr brother Hadi Tarmi
  • Martyr brother Wahid Zamanian

I also offer condolences and congratulate the family of martyr commander Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Jamal Jaafar, and the Iraqi martyrs who were with him:

  • Martyr Muhammad Reda Al-Jabri
  • Martyr Muhammad al-Shaibani
  • Martyr Hassan Abdel-Hadi
  • Martyr Ali Haidar

May God Almighty be pleased with them all.

Loyalty to the martyred leaders.

Loyalty, as we all know, is a human and innate value because man is born with it. It is a moral value that does not need to be inferred. It is a religious value. This is God’s religion.

When a loyal person practices loyalty, it benefits him in this world and the hereafter. Those who you are loyal to may not need your loyalty. The martyrs, who have departed to their great world beside God Almighty, do not need our loyalty. But being loyal to our great people and martyrs, to those who made sacrifices in our nation, to our defenders, to those who were sincere in bearing our responsibility and our causes will benefit us and will benefit our people, our children, and grandchildren in this world and in the hereafter.

Today, loyalty is a duty to these two great leaders, particularly to commander Hajj Qassem Soleimani, for being in many arenas and for what they represent. How do we translate this loyalty?

First, we must not to negate their services and give them credit.

Second, we must acknowledge their services and give them credit. This means we should not be silent because it is possible that a person might not refute their services but does not acknowledge them and remains silent! Loyalty is to acknowledge their services and give them credit.

Third, we must remind them to the people, to the world, to our peoples, to our future generations, and to history. We must point out their sacrifices and their achievements. Being loyal means honoring these martyrs and respecting them, in various forms of honor and respect.

Another form of loyalty is to thank them publicly for what they offered and sacrificed. We must tell them thank you. We must thank Hajj Qassem Soleimani, the martyr commander. We must thank Hajj Abu Mahdi a-Muhandis. We must thank the martyrs. We must thank everyone who represents. We must thank these martyr leaders for the sacrifices they made for our peoples, countries, region, and causes. This gratitude is a duty. Look, God Almighty, who is in no need of us, our worship, and our thanksgiving, asks us to thank Him. He tells us that {If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor].} But if you deny, it’s a different matter.

Being thankful, being thankful for the blessings and for the services has very great effects even in this world. It is true that whoever stands by you is doing his duty. But when you thank him and when he finds you to be loyal to him, sincere with him, and acknowledging his services, his enthusiasm, courage, seriousness, and drive to help you, to support you, to defend you, and to stand beside you will be greater. This is human nature.

Thus, we must have this type of loyalty. Of course, there are other requirements for loyalty that I will not talk about now because there are people who cannot bear them.

From the first hour of this grave historical event, the martyrdom of these great figures, until today, the first annual anniversary, we have witnessed great and important manifestations of loyalty. For example, since the very first hours, there was great and massive public interaction in the Islamic Republic of Iran with the incident. People rushed to the squares in many governorates and cities, especially in the provincial centers. Also, the same took place when the bodies of the martyrs were brought and during the funeral procession. It was a historic funeral procession. A person can say it was the greatest funeral procession in human history. And if he wanted to be on the safe side, he’d say perhaps the greatest. You can examine this if you want.

This is an expression of loyalty. Since day one, Hajj Qassem was being mentioned by the Iranians – young and old, in all areas and provinces, the state, the regime, the officials, of course His Eminence the Leader, the Iranian people, the scholars, the religious authorities.

There were very diverse and various forms of honoring him and showing respect and appreciation, from that time until today. The Islamic Republic and in the words of His Eminence Imam Khamenei declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran. This was an official announcement. In Iran, a country with an ancient and prolonged civilization, the title of a national hero means a lot. Some Arab countries might consider it a slogan but not in Iran no. It has a different meaning.

In any case, what we have seen so far is an elevated expression of loyalty, love, affection, gratitude, remembrance, and recognition of merit. During all the interviews in which Iranians were asked, they would say that we do this to recognize what Hajj Qassem Soleimani offered to the Islamic Republic of Iran. That’s it.

Of course, this is a lesson for all of us on how to deal with our martyrs and our martyred leaders, how to honor them, how to respect them, how to praise them, how to glorify them, how to give them credit, and how not to be divided over them.

We have also witnessed this matter in Iraq, where this pure blood was shed and this heinous crime was committed,  in Yemen, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan, India, Turkey, in many Islamic countries, in many non-Muslim countries, in Venezuela, and in other capital cities in the world.

The main topic of my talk in this section is Lebanon. We have to remember, recognize, thank, and appreciate those who stood with us since the first day of the “Israeli” invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Here, I will respond to some of the atmospheres and climates in Lebanon, and it is useful to mention them. We all remember that stage. “Israel” and the “Israeli” occupation army invaded Lebanese territory. There was a threat to occupy all Lebanese lands and target Damascus. Iran was preoccupied with a war imposed on it by Saddam Hussein’s regime and all the tyrants of the world and the region baking him.

Nevertheless, Imam Khomeini did not leave Lebanon or Syria. If we are to talk about interests, Iran’s interest was for its leaders, soldiers, and weapons to remain on the front to defend it. It was isolated and besieged by the whole world, yet it did not leave Lebanon or Syria.

Imam Khomeini sent a very high-ranking delegation of military commanders from the Guards Corps and the army to Damascus. They met with Syrian officials. After that, he also sent forces. However, it later became clear that “Israeli” advances stopped at the established borders, i.e. the western Beqaa, Mount Lebanon, and the areas it controlled in 1982. The rest of Lebanon was not threatened.

The conventional warfare stopped. Syria was not the subject of an invasion. So, the next stage was a stage of resistance. Some Iranian forces, specifically belonging to the Guards Corps, stayed behind to help the Lebanese, train and provide them with support to resist the occupation. Since 1982, Iran and Syria were the most important supporter of the resistance in Lebanon.

So when I’m asking the Lebanese people and when we’re talking about loyalty, being grateful, and giving credit to others, I am asking them who has been helping Lebanon liberate its lands since 1982. You tell me certain Arab state provided financial aid and helped rebuild. In recent years, they also provided huge sums of money to some Lebanese, not for Lebanon but for these Lebanese to fight the resistance, conspire against it, and besiege it. This is another research. Who stood by the Lebanese people, protected them, and defended them via diplomacy, politics, in the media, in international forums? Who gave them weapons and capabilities, set up training camps for them, trained them, and financed them until the liberation of the 2000 was achieved? It is very natural for those who were saddened, bothered, and hurt by the 2000 liberation not too feel gratitude. After 2000 and until today, the resistance, within the golden equation, is the one protecting Lebanon against the “Israeli” enemy. The resistance is the one that protects Lebanon. It is the one helping Lebanon to preserve its rights and sovereignty. We must admit this.

Allow me here to say a couple of words since it comes in this context. Yesterday, one of the dear brothers in Iran, Brother Brigadier General Hajj Zadeh, read a statement. The Lebanese media took the statement and distorted it. This is because there are people in Lebanon whose political presence is based on forgery and distortion.

The headline reads: Iranian Revolutionary Guards: Lebanon and Gaza’s missiles are support from us and are our first line in confronting “Israel”.

As for the actual news which was written in Arabic – we have not reached the text in Farsi yet – it reads: All the missile capabilities that Gaza and Lebanon possess are supported provided by Iran, and they are the first line in confronting “Israel”.

Nowhere does it say our first line in confronting “Israel”. There was no mention of Iran’s first line of defense in confronting “Israel”. Iran gave missiles to Gaza and Lebanon to make it possible for the people of Gaza and Lebanon to defend themselves.

But you are a group of weak people who distort news without making sure first and adding to the words of any Iranian official just for the sake of a media scoop.

And one of the graces of God is {perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you.} There are people who have been absent for a long time. We haven’t heard from or made any statements. In the two days, they came out to respond to the aforementioned statement.

In the same statement, [Hajj Zadeh] says that we support and stand by all the people who ae confronting the occupation. This is an order from the Supreme Leader. What is wrong about this talk?

Yes, we also say that the Islamic Republic is the one that supports us with weapons and missiles. We also say that we are a front, and Gaza is a front. Gaza has been a front since 1948. Lebanon has been a front since 1948. But since 1948, Lebanon has been a front that was being killed and insulted. Its sovereignty was being violated. Gendarmes were arrested from their outposts in border villages. Massacres were committed in border villages. Lebanon’s airspace as well as territory and waters were violated. But today, it is a different front.

And I tell these people, if Lebanon is strong today and if there is anyone in the world asking about Lebanon or sees Lebanon on the map, or if anyone in America and Europe are asking about Lebanon, it is thanks to this resistance and these missiles. Full stop.

We all know – God willing, I will talk about this issue at a later time –what the value of Lebanon and the people of Lebanon is to the global and regional countries. I also want to tell them that if there was hope for Lebanon to have some money, it would be from the oil and gas. And if someone gave Lebanon the opportunity to extract gas and oil, especially from the rich blocs in the south, it is thanks to the resistance, its missiles, and its weapons – missiles that Iran and Syria gave to the resistance.

Therefore, I would also like to add and say that all Iranian support for the resistance in Lebanon is unconditional. All the battles that the resistance fought in Lebanon from 1982 until today were for the sake of liberating Lebanon and the Lebanese prisoners and defending Lebanon’s land, waters, and sovereignty. It will remain like so. I can also add that perhaps one of the most important and most independent resistance in the history of mankind in terms of its decisions is this resistance that exists today in Lebanon. So, do not tire yourselves a lot. This will suffice for you.

In any case, when we come to loyalty, it is our duty in Lebanon. That is why it is very natural that we mark this occasion and celebrate it, name some of our streets, squares, natural reserves, and some institutions after Hajj Qassem Soleimani or Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. Some people believe that we are overdoing it. In the past when we wanted to name a street after Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine, or Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi, some people got sensitive about the topic. Why?

Any people who respect themselves, have a civilization, have a culture, and have values deal with their martyrs this way. This is how they deal with people who served them, who were on their side, and supported them. This is also a form of loyalty – from a moral standpoint, I enter into the political topic. Being loyal is also not equating a friend to an enemy, or at the very least, those who left us behind and abandoned us – that is if we do not want to refer to them as enemies. In other words, there are three types of people. There is the enemy, a conspirator and a partner in shedding our blood, occupying our lands, and violating our sanctities. The second type is not the enemy, but they might leave you behind, abandon you, and not offer a helping hand or even a word. Then, there is the third type. These people help you, support you, stand by your side, defend you, put themselves in harm’s way, and offer martyrs. We must not treat these three types of people equally. Neither reason nor morals nor religion accept that, right? Neither human instinct nor logic accept this as well.

We in Lebanon cannot equate between those who supported us with their position, money, and weapons; were martyred with us; lived the hardship with us; helped us liberate our land and free our captives; and made us into a deterrent force in the face of the enemy and those who conspired against Lebanon in 1982 – all these were revealed in documents – supported the “Israeli” enemy during all the years of the occupation, did not provide any assistance to Lebanon, and urged the “Israelis” to continue the July war until the resistance is crushed, even though “Israel” was exhausted by the war and wanted to stop it.

We cannot consider those who were happy for our victory in the July war equal to those who were saddened by our victory. Today, too, we cannot consider those who stand by Lebanon and the strength of Lebanon to regain its oil and gas, protect its land and sky, and face any future dangers or threats equal to those who conspire against Lebanon, besiege it, and prevent it from getting aid.

Likewise in Palestine. The Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people cannot consider those who are providing them with money, weapons, expertise, technology, and training and those who are standing with them in the media, politically, publicly, and diplomatically at every level and bearing the consequences of this position equal to those who are conspiring with the Americans and the “Israelis” against Palestine, its people, and its sanctities as well as the Palestinian refugees in the world, preventing aid from reaching the Palestinian people, besieging and arresting people who are collect aid or donating money to the Palestinian people, let alone those giving them weapons. It is natural that we find loyalty from the Palestinian resistance factions and the Palestinian people towards Hajj Qassem and the Islamic Republic in Iran.

Syria cannot equate between those who were partners, supporters, and financiers of the global war against it, aimed at crushing, destroying, and dividing it and allowing the takfiris to govern it and those who stood by Syria, supported it with money and weapons, men and martyrs, and spent their youth in its squares and fields, such as Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his brothers.

The Iraqis cannot consider those who occupied their lands, destroyed Iraq, committed grave massacres, caused all these disasters, supported all the takfiri groups, sent thousands of suicide bombers and thousands of car bombs to Iraq, provided money and weapons to Takfiri terrorist organizations for many years equal to those who sacrificed their selves, soul, brothers, money, and weapons to stand by the Iraqis, defend them, help them liberate their land from the occupation, help them get rid of Daesh and the Takfiri groups that were destroying and burning Iraq, looting, killing, and committing massacres and sedition. They cannot equate between them.

This is also the case when we talk about Afghanistan, Yemen, and other countries. Hence, being loyal also requires that we not equate between these types of people, to know our friends from our enemies from our opponents, and to distinguish between who is just and who is negligent. Loyalty is also one of the conditions of victory. God Almighty threatened to take away blessings from those who disbelieve in them. And for those who are grateful, their blessings will be increased. God will increase their blessings. Loyalty is one of the conditions for victory. It is one of the conditions for perseverance, survival, and steadfastness.

Thus, this is the first topic. Still in this topic, I can say today: Yes, our axis, our nation, our peoples, the resistance movements, their parties, the states, and everyone concerned in this battle regionally expressed their sincerity, loyalty, position, gratitude, recognition, glorification, honor and appreciation to these two great martyr leaders in a proportionate and different manner. And we must continue this. This should not end with the end of the first anniversary. Today, Hajj Qassem, Hajj Abu Mahdi, and all the martyrs are torches. They are suns and moons that illuminate the path for us, and this lighting and guidance must continue.

Second point:

The second point that I want to talk about in this commemoration is the impact of this incident from the beginning until today. This incident was strongly present all year long – in the sentiments, emotions, as well as in the political, security, and military equations. As we speak, there is great concern in the region, in the Gulf region and in Iraq and in our region. Yesterday, the “Israelis” announced that they had raised the level of alert and reserve in their army to the highest levels. All this because of the anniversary of the assassination of martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani and martyr Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. This incident imposed itself. And today, the region is in a state of grave tension. Let us not hide behind our finger. We do not know where any incident might drag the region to. The Americans, at the very least, are in a state of fear and worry and are waiting. This is what they are saying.

The brothers in Iran also assume that Trump may prepare something before his departure on January 20. The entire region is in a state of caution and attention. This is as a result of the impact of this incident. This incident cannot be overlooked. And I tell you, this incident will always have a strong impact. Here, I would also like to refer to a very important point because some people here in Lebanon and abroad think in a wrong way. For example, when it comes to the response to the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, some assume that Iran will depend on its proxies as they call them, on its friends, or on its loved ones.    

Iran does not ask its proxies, its friends, or its loved ones for anything, and it has never asked them for anything. When Iran decides to respond militarily as it did in Ain al-Assad, it will respond militarily. When it responds on the security level, it will be in accordance with the nature of the incident.

The assassination of the great nuclear scientist, martyr Dr. Fakhrizadeh was a security operation. If Iran wanted to respond militarily, it would have done so from the beginning or in the first few days, as it responded at Ain Al-Assad base after the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis. If Iran’s friends, who are loyal to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to the martyrs, took the initiative to respond, it is their business and decision. But what I want the enemies, the friends, and the analysts to know so they do not misanalyse is that Iran is not weak. Iran is strong when it wants to respond militarily and at the security level at the appropriate time, place, and manner.

Some people in Lebanon and the region measure Iran in terms of some of its regional friends. Iran is not like that. Here, I am talking to some of the Lebanese as well. When your master, Trump, talks about some of your regional friends, he says they have nothing but money and that “King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us.” “If we were not defending you, you’d be speaking Farsi in three weeks.”

These are your friends. This is why they need America and others, like the Takfiri groups, and need to finance gangs and mercenaries so that they can defend them, their borders, and even their regimes.

As for Iran, it is strong and does not even need its friends and allies. Let this matter remain clearly present in the minds of everyone who wants to analyze, comment, or approach events of this kind.

Third point:

Also during this commemoration, I want to emphasize that the axis of resistance was able to absorb this big blow. We admit that the blow was very grave and the loss was very great, but the axis was able to absorb it. The Americans, those who helped them, and those who instigated them assumed that when we kill Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the situation in Iraq will turn in their favor and the axis of resistance will collapse. Hajj Qassem represented the wise, courageous, serious, and persevering link, a link that binds the countries, forces, and movements of the axis of resistance. Hence, if we kill this man, the link will be broken.

All this has been addressed and absorbed. Based on our culture, belonging, and history, we know how to turn threats into opportunities. We also know how to transform blood that was unjustly shed into a strong drive to persevere, be steadfast, remain on the path, and be more responsible. They thought that shedding that blood will lead to frustration, despair, carelessness, weakness, withdrawal, or retreat. That is why in the context of this battle, I want the Americans, the “Israelis”, everyone belonging to their axis, and those who kill our leaders and conspire to assassinate our leaders, scholars, elites, or kill our mujahideen, our people, our men and women to know two things very well.

Imam Khomeini used to say, “Kill us; our nation will become more awaken.” Sayyed Abbas used to repeat this phrase: “When you kill us, our people will become more aware.” Look at how Hezbollah in Lebanon was before Sayyed Abbas was martyred. What did it become after his martyrdom? What moral, intellectual, spiritual, and voluntary status and strength did the blood and martyrdom of Sayyed Abbas give to this march? It is the same thing when we talk about the martyrs.

The other thing I wanted to add is when you kill our leaders, we become more adamant, hardened, and more committed to the truth, and our sense of responsibility increases. We’ve lost these great people on this path. How can we abandon it?

Therefore, whoever is betting that murders, assassinations, wars, car bombs, sieges, and sanctions will weaken our will, determination, and resolve is weak. I will later conclude with the sanctions.

Fourth point:

If Iran declared Hajj Qassem Soleimani a national hero in Iran, we are presenting him as a global hero, a global symbol, a world title, and a symbol of sacrifice, redemption, and loyalty that defends the weak and the oppressed, whether they were Muslims or not.

In every battle and in his entire life, Hajj Qassem Soleimani not only defended the Shiites, but he also defended the Sunnis, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Christians, Muslims, the followers of other religions and denominations, Venezuela, and any country or people that could be besieged, weakened, or conspired against. He was present in the squares. These various and great traits that exist in the personality of this leader qualify him to be a global symbol and hero, to be emulated by all the resistance and mujahideen of this world.

There are also great symbols alongside him. In Iraq, there is Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed Mustafa Badreddine in Lebanon and Syria. There are also martyr leaders in Palestine, Yemen, and other arenas. These are symbols and patriotic and national heroes in their country and their nation. But Hajj Qassem Soleimani leads because he was present in all these squares, present strongly and effectively in all of these squares. That is why he must be rightfully introduced. We are not exaggerating or make a legend out of him or anything. Until this moment, I tell you, what has been revealed about Hajj Qassem Soleimani, about the nature of this figure, about his jihad, his watchfulness and his sacrifices, about his achievements as well as the achievement of all the brothers who worked with him in all arenas, have so far been little. There are things that cannot be revealed since the time to talk about them is not appropriate. But they will be revealed later.

In any case, on the first anniversary, I also call for taking this position, dealing with this name, this scene, this image, and this symbolism at this international and global level.

Fifth point:

The last point that I would like to point to is regarding the future, continuing the path. This incident has repercussions. It has very important implications and effects:

1- Expelling America out of the region: This slogan would not have become a slogan and a declared and serious goal that all the peoples of the region should work if it were not for this historical incident and its magnitude. The Americans created Daesh. Trump talked about Hillary Clinton and Obama, but he did not continue. This means the CIA and the Pentagon, i.e. all the Americans. In other words, the Obama administration created Daesh.

By the way, I remember a funny thing when Daesh appeared. Some Gulf newspapers and this black room in the Gulf worked on a group of magazines and articles published by some media outlets, reporting that a meeting took place on the Iranian-Afghan border with three people attending it – myself, the poor servant, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and Osama Bin Laden – and made the decision to form Daesh. Take a look at the level of emptiness, stupidity, and shallowness of the media in the other axis.

In any case, when Trump said the Americans created Daesh, they created it for objectives related to Syria, Iraq, and the whole region. A senior American general admitted that they created Daesh. This can be found on social media, and the boys always acquire them. Even Clinton herself admit it. But now, I remember this specifically. He is a retired American major general or lieutenant general – God knows. He was a military commander of NATO. He said we can only fight Hezbollah with Daesh. We created Daesh to fight Hezbollah. Daesh was created so that the American army would return to Iraq and occupation would return to Iraq, but in a different way.

This incident, this assassination pushed the Iraqi people to take to the street. One of the largest demonstrations in the history of the Iraqi people came out following the assassination. It demanded the withdrawal of the American forces. Then, there was the very important decision taken by the Iraqi parliament that is following up on its implementation with the Iraqi government. the talk now is that the Americans will withdraw within a year or two. The Americans promised to withdraw in three years. This is a detail that concerns the Iraqis themselves. But the incident put the US forces on the path out of Iraq, and this is being pursued by the Iraqis themselves with all the means they see fit. So, this is a goal, which is related to the next phase.

2- Just retribution: Imam Khamenei clearly and specifically defined the circle of the killers of martyred commanders Hajj Soleimani and Haji Abu Mahdi – those who ordered and those who carried out the assassination. It is true that, first and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the Iranians to avenge Hajj Qassem and a primary responsibility of the Iraqis to avenge Hajj Abu Mahdi. But I want to repeat what I said a few days ago via Al-Mayadeen. This is also the responsibility of every free, honorable, resistance fighter, and loyal person on the planet to be a partner in enforcing this punishment.

3- To continue to defend the states, peoples, and movements of the resistance against all the threats that may arise. We are witnessing a revival of some of these takfiri groups, in Iraq and Syria. Recently, there were dangerous operations carried out by Daesh.

4- Palestine, Al-Quds, and the holy sites. It is our natural right to continue to stand by this dear and generous people.

This is the path, and this axis will continue on this path and this battle. Of course, every person should follow it in accordance with what is appropriate for his country, taking into account the group of national interests. We did that and we still do. This axis is managed by its leaders in different countries with reason, wisdom, and understanding of the circumstances of each other in an accurate and responsible manner, not as some imagine. Had it not been for this situation in the leadership of the axis, all these victories and achievements would not have been accomplished. The defeats that befell the other anxious and dilapidated projects  would not have been possible. We have a horizon, but the others don’t. It is through logic, evidence, proof, and argument and not through pretense and slogan, and giving empty morale. Absolutely not.

This is all I’m going to talk about regarding the first martyrdom anniversary of the two great martyr commanders. With regard to the Lebanese file, I felt that if I were to speak at length, it will take more time. Since I wanted to conclude before seven o’clock, I will, God willing, speak in a few days. We’ll see maybe Thursday or Friday, so there’s a break between the two speeches. It will be a speech solely on Lebanese issues. There are several topics that I’d like to talk about, including the government, the developments and the investigation regarding the port, the Americans interfering in the issue of the port, judicial developments regarding this matter, the living and social situation. I have something to say about the Al-Qard Al-Hasan Association. According to our data, the Americans paid some television stations hundreds of thousands of dollars to only report on the Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association. Since Al-Qard Al-Hassan Association has become the subject of official, political, and media attention, I’d like to talk about this topic. I will also talk about the banks, the depositors, the sanctions, and the political choices. Now we are hearing about political and economic choices. So, God willing, my next talk will be purely about the Lebanese file. Now the demarcation of the border and the situation with the “Israeli” enemy, the resistance, oil and gas, in any case, we have talked today and we have spoken several days ago. But God willing, I will focus on these topics.

I would like to conclude by advising those who are thinking about imposing a siege and sanctions. I asked the brothers here to give me a list. They provided me with a long list that dates back to last year and the year before. In the past few months, in particular, the Trump administration has been working on luring countries to normalize [ties with “Israel”] and others to place Hezbollah on the terror and sanctions lists. The Americans worked on this. There were even countries that we never heard of or countries that are of no value to us, like Slovenia. I don’t want to underestimate any country. But if you asked the Lebanese people, what is Slovenia? Some might say it’s the name of a ship, an island, a hotel. With all due respect to this state, this is the reality. For example, there are small countries in far away corners of the world that no one has heard of and no one knows anything about declaring that they have placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, how do we know about this? From the Americans.

Pompeo would call them and thank them. Good job. God bless you.  So, what’s the story? They placed Hezbollah on the terror list. Of course, they know this does nothing. Its goal is psychological – to make the Lebanese people or Hezbollah feel besieged, that the world is besieging it and rejecting it, the world is placing it on the terror list. This is part of the subjugation battle.

I want to end on a moral note. In our culture, we believe in God Almighty and that the realm of the heavens and earth and everything is in the hand of God Almighty. And we consider that we are doing our taklif [religious obligation]. As His servants, we worship Him. We worship Him during prayers and in jihad. When we obey Him and worship Him, we become His soldiers. When we become His soldiers, we become among His soldiers in this existence and in this universe.

{And none knows the soldiers of your Lord except Him.}

Even if you besieged us in a small plot of land, we are the ones to feel it. Just for you to know who you are fighting and besieging. We do not feel that we are trapped. We have the land, the mountains, the valleys, the dirt, the rivers, the seas, the oceans, the clouds, the wind, the sun, the moon, the stars, the seven heavens, the angels, and what He has created from what we know and what we do not know all on our side. We feel that you are the ones that are trapped. America and its greatness are trapped. Our enemies are all trapped. We are not besieged. He who believes in God cannot feel surrounded even if all the landscape closed down on him.

You are fighting a failed battle that will not lead to any results. Killing us will only increase our awareness, persistence, and determination.  Besieging us will only increase our confidence, dependence, and connection to the true source of strength that creates victory. {And victory is not but from Allah.}

Peace, and God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Israel Bombs Damascus while World Riveted to Capitol Hill Mayhem

 MIRI WOOD 

Israel bombs southern damascus on Orthodox Christmas eve

At the late night of the 6th of January and while the Orthodox Syrian Christians were celebrating Christmas eve, Israel engaged in yet another war criminal bombing of Syria, in Damascus countryside, taking advantage of the world riveted on the storming of Capitol Hill by ‘peaceful protesters’ ‘democratically’ engaged in trying to prevent the official confirmation of the election of demented Joe Biden.

A military source stated that: “at exactly eleven and ten minutes this evening, the Israeli enemy carried out air aggression through bursts of missiles fired from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan on some targets in the southern region.

People in southern Damascus heard and saw Syrian air defense fired at the incoming missiles and some explosions in the skies and others from the southern direction.

This video is also available on YouTube and BitChute.

Netanyahu and his Trump buddy need an escalation that led to the mayhem in Washington DC, this is the 3rd Israeli attack on southern Syria in the past 2 weeks only, the first bombing was on the eve of the 25th of December and the second was on the 30th of January:

The country that exported its version of democracy to countries that didn’t need it by ways of military invasions, black op covert attacks, destabilizing efforts using 5th column elements, sanctions, stealing wealth of the targeted countries while appointing some of the most despised figures as presidents of those countries, yet it was very much comfortable with dictators and absolute monarchies in countries that do not have a constitution even like in the cases of Saudi Arabi and Qatar, who both jointly funded Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria to the tune of 137 Billion Dollars up until 2017 as per a statement of the Qatari former Prime Minister.

And instead of pushing for the rights of people in Palestine, the US regimes throughout history has empowered and encouraged Israel to attack its neighbors and steal more land to the extent that the current PM of Israel, Netanyahu, takes advantage of his close relationship with the US despot Trump repeating the elections in Israel for 4 times within 2 years because he’s not getting a majority to save him from prison on multiple charges of corruption in the last apartheid regime in the world, we’re here today with the evil powers of the world attacking other countries and trying to ignite more wars and strife so they can remain in power.

What we saw in the US Capital of mobs attacking the center of the fake US democracy and a real ‘peaceful protester’ sitting on the chair of the head of the congress is exactly what the US did to Venezuela and a host of other countries. That was a real peaceful protest compared with what the officials in the US and its stooges worldwide and their mainstream media called as ‘peaceful protesters’ Al Qaeda terrorists torching public buildings in Syria, slitting the throats of kidnapped police officers and public workers and throwing post office workers off the rooftop of their 4 story building. The citizens and residents of the United States of America are lucky there’s no US embassy in Washington, otherwise, it would be a very different scene, a long time ago.

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

The Soleimani legacy: Dr Tim Anderson

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

Soleimani geopolitics, one year on

by Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder.

The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of war.

Not only the drone strike at Baghdad airport, directly ordered by President Trump, was unilateral, unprovoked and illegal: it was engineered as a stark provocation, to detonate an Iranian reaction that would then be countered by American “self-defense”, packaged as “deterrence”. Call it a perverse form of double down, reversed false flag.

The imperial Mighty Wurlitzer spun it as a “targeted killing”, a pre-emptive op squashing Soleimani’s alleged planning of “imminent attacks” against US diplomats and troops.

False. No evidence whatsoever. And then, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, in front of his Parliament, offered the ultimate context: Soleimani was on a diplomatic mission, on a regular flight between Damascus and Baghdad, involved in complex negotiations between Tehran and Riyadh, with the Iraqi Prime Minister as mediator, at the request of President Trump.

So the imperial machine – in complete mockery of international law – assassinated a de facto diplomatic envoy.

The three top factions who pushed for Soleimani’s assassination were US neo-cons – supremely ignorant of Southwest Asia’s history, culture and politics – and the Israeli and Saudi lobbies, who ardently believe their interests are advanced every time Iran is attacked. Trump could not possibly see The Big Picture and its dire ramifications: only what his major Israeli-firster donor Sheldon Adelson dictates, and what Jared of Arabia Kushner whispered in his ear, remote-controlled by his close pal Muhammad bin Salman (MbS).

The armor of American “prestige”

The measured Iranian response to Soleimani’s assassination was carefully calibrated to not detonate vengeful imperial “deterrence”:

precision missile strikes on the American-controlled Ain al-Assad air base in Iraq. The Pentagon received advance warning.

Predictably, the run-up towards the first anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination had to degenerate into intimations of US-Iran once again on the brink of war.

So it’s enlightening to examine what the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Division, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, https://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1399/10/13/2423366/ told Lebanon’s Al Manar network: “The US and the Zionist regime [Israel] have not brought security to any place and if something happens here (in the region) and a war breaks out, we will make no distinction between the US bases and the countries hosting them.”

Hajizadeh, expanding on the precision missile strikes a year ago, added, “We were prepared for the Americans’ response and all our missile power was fully on alert. If they had given a response, we would have hit all of their bases from Jordan to Iraq and the Persian Gulf and even their warships in the Indian Ocean.”

The precision missile strikes on Ain al-Assad, a year ago, represented a middle-rank power, enfeebled by sanctions, and facing a huge economic/financial crisis, responding to an attack by targeting imperial assets that are part of the Empire of Bases. That was a global first – unheard of since the end of WWII. It was clearly interpreted across vast swathes of the Global South as fatally piercing the decades-old hegemonic armor of American” prestige”.

So Tehran was not exactly impressed by two nuclear-capable B-52s recently flying over the Persian Gulf; or the US Navy announcing the arrival of the nuclear-powered, missile loaded USS Georgia in the Persian Gulf last week.

These deployments were spun as a response to an evidence-free claim that Tehran was behind a 21-rocket attack against the sprawling American embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The (unexploded) 107mm caliber rockets – by the way marked in English, not Farsi – can be easily bought in some underground Baghdad souk by virtually anybody, as I have seen for myself in Iraq since the mid-2000s.

That certainly does not qualify as a casus belli – or “self-defense” merging with “deterrence”. The Centcom justification actually sounds like a Monty Python sketch: an attack “…almost certainly conducted by an Iranian-backed rogue militia group.” Note that “almost certainly” is code for “we have no idea who did it”.

How to fight the – real – war on terror

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif did take the trouble (see attached tweet) to warn Trump he was being set up for a fake casus belli – and blowback would be inevitable. That’s a case of Iranian diplomacy being perfectly aligned with the IRGC: after all, the whole post-Soleimani strategy comes straight from Ayatollah Khamenei.

And that leads to the IRGC’s Hajizadeh once again establishing the Iranian red line in terms of the Islamic Republic’s defense: “We will not negotiate about the missile power with anyone” – pre-empting any move to incorporate missile reduction into a possible Washington return to the JCPOA. Hajizadeh has also emphasized that Tehran has restricted the range of its missiles to 2,000 km.

My friend Elijah Magnier, arguably the top war correspondent across Southwest Asia in the past four decades, has neatly detailed the importance of Soleimani.

Everyone not only along the Axis of Resistance – Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah – but across vast swathes of the Global South is firmly aware of how Soleimani led the fight against ISIS/Daesh in Iraq from 2014 to 2015, and how he was instrumental in retaking Tikrit in 2015.

Zeinab Soleimani, the impressive General’s daughter, has profiled the man, and the sentiments he inspired. And Hezbollah’s secretary-general Sayed Nasrallah, in an extraordinary interview, stressed Soleimani’s “great humility”, even “with the common people, the simple people.”

Nasrallah tells a story that is essential to place Soleimani’s modus operandi in the real – not fictional – war on terror, and deserves to be quoted in full:

“At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places [5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shi’ism have their mausoleums in Iraq], our Hawzas [Islamic seminars], and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders [to supervise the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units, PMU].” This is why in my speech [about Soleimani’s assassination], I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport [to wait for Soleimani], and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in [immediately] from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed [battle-hardened] commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.”

Orientalism, all over again

A former commander under Soleimani that I met in Iran in 2018 had promised me and my colleague Sebastiano Caputo that he would try to arrange an interview with the Maj Gen – who never spoke to foreign media. We had no reason to doubt our interlocutor – so until the last Baghdad minute we were in this selective waiting list.

As for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, killed side by side with Soleimani in the Baghdad drone strike, I was part of a small group who spent an afternoon with him in a safe house inside – not outside – Baghdad’s Green Zone in November 2017. My full report is here.

Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran, reflecting on the assassination, told me, “the most important thing is that the Western view on the situation is very Orientalist. They assume that Iran has no real structures and that everything is dependent on individuals. In the West an assassination doesn’t destroy an administration, company, or organization. Ayatollah Khomeini passed away and they said the revolution was finished. But the constitutional process produced a new leader within hours. The rest is history.”

This may go a long way to explain Soleimani geopolitics. He may have been a revolutionary superstar – many across the Global South see him as the Che Guevara of Southwest Asia – but he was most of all a quite articulated cog of a very articulated machine.

The adjunct President of the Iranian Parliament, Hossein Amirabdollahian, told Iranian network Shabake Khabar that Soleimani, two years before the assassination, had already envisaged an inevitable “normalization” between Israel and Persian Gulf monarchies.

At the same time he was also very much aware of the Arab League 2002 position – shared, among others, by Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: a “normalization” cannot even begin to be discussed without an independent – and viable – Palestinian state under 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as capital.

Now everyone knows this dream is dead, if not completely buried. What remains is the usual, dreary slog: the American assassination of Soleimani, the Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the relentless, relatively low-intensity Israeli warfare against Iran fully supported by the Beltway, Washington’s illegal occupation of parts of northeast Syria to grab some oil, the perpetual drive for regime change in Damascus, the non-stop demonization of Hezbollah.

Beyond the Hellfire

Tehran has made it very clear that a return to at least a measure of mutual respect between US-Iran involves Washington rejoining the JCPOA with no preconditions, and the end of illegal, unilateral Trump administration sanctions. These parameters are non-negotiable.

Nasrallah, for his part, in a speech in Beirut on Sunday, stressed,

“one of the main outcomes of the assassination of General Soleimani and al-Muhandis is the calls made for the expulsion of US forces from the region. Such calls had not been made prior to the assassination. The martyrdom of the resistance leaders set US troops on the track of leaving Iraq.”

This may be wishful thinking, because the military-industrial-security complex will never willingly abandon a key hub of the Empire of Bases.

More important is the fact that the post-Soleimani environment transcends Soleimani.

The Axis of Resistance – Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Hezbollah – instead of collapsing, will keep getting reinforced.

Internally, and still under “maximum pressure” sanctions, Iran and Russia will be cooperating to produce Covid-19 vaccines, and the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company.

Iran is increasingly solidified as the key node of the New Silk Roads in Southwest Asia: the Iran-China strategic partnership is constantly revitalized by FMs Zarif and Wang Yi, and that includes Beijing turbo-charging its geoeconomic investment in South Pars – the largest gas field on the planet.

Iran, Russia and China will be involved in the reconstruction of Syria – which will also include, eventually, a New Silk Road branch: the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Eastern Mediterranean railway.

All that is an interlinked, ongoing process no Hellfires are able to burn.

Erdogan and Libya… Will the Ottoman Dream End?

ARABI SOURI 

Erdogan the Ottoman Caliph Wannabe - Syria Libya Yemen Africa Azerbaijan

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

The last week of last year witnessed interesting developments in the Libyan file, and it seems that it will become more hot and interesting during the next few days and weeks; after the fiery statements made by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar calling for the “expulsion of the Turkish occupier”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not delay in responding by sending the Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar and the commanders of the armed forces to Tripoli, in a new attempt from him to flex the muscles, which he relatively failed in after his “strategic ally” Fayez al-Sarraj refused to receive the delegation that met the pro-Ankara figures led by the Minister of Interior, Fathi Bash Agha, who has Ottoman origins, in the midst of information that started talking about differences, splits and conflicts between the forces, factions, and armed groups that support the government Al-Wefaq, some of which are loyal to Turkey, which the Misrata factions attach special importance to, considering that their militants are a remnant of Ottoman rule, according to President Erdogan’s classification.

Erdogan had talked about a million Libyans of successive Ottoman origins, since Sultan ‘Suleiman the Magnificent’ responded to the request for help from the Libyans to protect them from the attacks of the Knights of Malta and Rhodes in the year 1553, and this Ottoman rule continued until 1911 when Italy occupied Tripoli.

The press information also talks about an important role for Abdul Hakim Belhadj, who lives in Turkey, and who owns the “Wings” aviation company, which played an important role in the transfer of Syrian mercenaries to the Mitiga base near Tripoli. Belhadj, who fought alongside bin Laden, is considered one of the most important leaders of the armed factions in the relationship between Ankara and the rest of the Libyan groups that helped it to establish two air bases in Mitiga and Al-Watiyah, and another navy base west of Misrata.

The Turkish officers are training the Libyans in these bases on various types of weapons, including the use of drones and heavy guns, which explains the words of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said during his press conference with Lavrov in Sochi on December 29: ‘Haftar or any other country has no right to ask Turkey to leave the Libyan territories and stop its support for the legitimate government, Turkey will not leave,’ which is the main topic in the discussions of the Libyan parties under the auspices of the United Nations, and had previously agreed to hold elections on December 24, That all foreign forces and mercenaries be expelled from Libya until that date.

Everyone knows that this talk specifically targets Turkey, which is the only country that has officially sent military forces to Libya, and it is the only country that, with President Erdogan’s admission, transferred thousands of Syrian mercenaries to Libya.

And the entry of Egypt on the line of its crisis came to embarrass President Erdogan. The information expects that he will seek to host the Speaker of the Libyan Parliament, Aguila Saleh, in Istanbul, in response to Cairo’s efforts in dialogue with the Libyan parties in Tripoli, which was visited by an Egyptian military, intelligence, and political delegation a day after the visit of Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s call to his Libyan counterpart, Muhammad al-Sayala, and after that al-Sayala’s visit to Moscow and his meeting with Minister Lavrov, came amid information that talks about a joint Russian-Egyptian move to bring together Sarraj and Haftar at a summit that settles all matters on the road to final reconciliation.

This may mean ending the Turkish military role in Libya, in which Paris also seeks to play an important role in it, and at all levels, and everyone knows that this role was and will remain against the calculations of Ankara, which is facing many difficulties and problems in its relations with the European Union, and the main reason for this is the President Emmanuel Macron solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.

With Macron remaining in power in the next May elections, he will continue to create problems for Erdogan’s Turkey, and the latter will then find himself in an unenviable position, with possible pressure from President Biden, in the absence of his “traditional friend”, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will give up her position in this coming September.

All these rapid and successive developments did not prevent Erdogan from continuing to implement his agenda in Libya, in which he sees his important arena to challenge his regional and international enemies, especially Cairo and Paris, which he hopes will return to its normal relations with Ankara in the event that Macron loses in the next elections.

Erdogan did not neglect the appointment of his new ambassador in Paris after he has found the right person for that, a former friend of Macron at the university. The information talks about the Turkish president’s desire to achieve a similar breakthrough in the relationship with Cairo, which Minister Cavusoglu spoke a few days ago about “open intelligence channels with it, as is the case with Tel Aviv,” and perhaps to face all future possibilities.

In all cases, whatever the possible results of the Libyan reconciliation efforts, which information of Ankara’s attempts to obstruct it, it has become clear that Erdogan will mobilize all his Libyan, regional and international capabilities to stay in Libya, for many reasons, the most important of which are psychological, and because he will not accept defeat easily.

Erdogan also does not want his efforts to go to waste, and he is the one who planned to obtain a share in Libyan oil and gas on land and in sea, and also planned to send Turkish companies to Libya, to contribute to the reconstruction of what the war has destroyed, which will bring Turkey a large income that will help it overcome its difficult financial crisis.

The wager on the ideological side that he attaches to special importance in all of his calculations and movements since the so-called “Arab Spring” remains. Without this aspect, Erdogan will not remain the leader of all Islamists in the world, and he will lose his most important weapon in addressing his supporters and followers at home, who are the ones he accustomed to his Ottoman national, religious and historical statements, and he succeeded in convincing them that the whole world is jealous of Turkey and envies it for its victories and feared its greatness!

To help us continue please visit the Donate page to donate or learn how you can help us with no cost on you.
Follow us on Telegram: http://t.me/syupdates link will open Telegram app.

إردوغان وليبيا.. هل ينتهي الحلم العثماني؟

إردوغان تحدث عن وجود مليون ليبي من أصول عثمانية في ليبيا.
إردوغان تحدث عن وجود مليون ليبي من أصول عثمانية في ليبيا.
حسني محلي
باحث علاقات دولية ومختصص بالشأن التركي

حسني محلي 

المصدر: الميادين نت

يجري تداول معلومات عن تحرك روسي- مصري مشترك لجمع السراج وحفتر في قمة تحسم كل الأمور على طريق المصالحة النهائية، وقد يعني ذلك إنهاء الدور التركي العسكري في ليبيا.

شهد الأسبوع الأخير من العام الماضي تطورات مثيرة على صعيد الملف الليبي، ويبدو أنه سيزداد سخونة وإثارة خلال الأيام والأسابيع القليلة القادمة، فبعد تصريحات نارية أطلقها المشير خليفة حفتر، ودعا فيها إلى “طرد المحتل التركي”، لم يتأخر الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان في الرد على ذلك بإرسال وزير الدفاع خلوصي آكار وقادة القوات المسلحة إلى طرابلس، في محاولة جديدة منه لعرض العضلات، وهو ما فشل فيه نسبياً بعد أن رفض “حليفه الاستراتيجي” فايز السراج استقبال الوفد الذي التقى الشخصيات الموالية لأنقرة، وفي مقدمتها وزير الداخلية فتحي باش آغا ذو الأصول العثمانية، وسط المعلومات التي بدأت تتحدث عن خلافات وانشقاقات وصراعات بين القوى والفصائل والمجموعات المسلحة التي تدعم حكومة الوفاق، وبعضها موالٍ لتركيا التي تولي فصائل مصراتة أهمية خاصّة، باعتبار أن مسلحيها من بقايا الحكم العثماني، وفق تصنيف الرئيس إردوغان. 

وكان إردوغان قد تحدث عن مليون ليبي من أصول عثمانية متتالية، منذ أن لبى السلطان سليمان القانوني طلب النجدة من الليبيين لحمايتهم من هجمات فرسان مالطا ورودوس في العام 1553، واستمر هذا الحكم العثماني حتى العام 1911، عندما احتلت إيطاليا طرابلس.

وتتحدث المعلومات الصحافية أيضاً عن دور مهم لعبد الحكيم بلحاج المقيم في تركيا، والذي يملك شركة “الأجنحة” للطيران، التي أدت دوراً مهماً في عملية نقل المرتزقة السوريين إلى قاعدة معيتيقة قرب طرابلس. كما أن بلحاج الذي قاتل إلى جانب بن لادن يعدّ من أهم قيادات الفصائل المسلّحة في العلاقة بين أنقرة وباقي المجموعات الليبية التي ساعدتها لإنشاء قاعدتين جويتين في معيتيقة والوطية، وأخرى بحرية غرب مصراتة.

ويقوم الضباط الأتراك بتدريب الليبيين في هذه القواعد على مختلف أنواع الأسلحة، بما فيها استخدام الطائرات المسيرة والمدافع الثقيلة، وهو ما يفسر كلام وزير الخارجية التركي مولود جاويش أوغلو، الذي قال خلال مؤتمره الصحافي مع لافروف في سوتشي بتاريخ 29 كانون الأول/ديسمبر المنصرم: “لا يحق لحفتر أو أي دولة أخرى أن تطلب من تركيا مغادرة الأراضي الليبية ووقف دعمها للحكومة الشرعية، تركيا لن تغادر”، وهو الموضوع الأساسي في مجمل مباحثات الأطراف الليبية برعاية أممية، وسبق أن اتفقت على إجراء الانتخابات في 24 كانون الأول/ديسمبر القادم، على أن يتم إخراج كل القوات الأجنبية والمرتزقة من ليبيا حتى ذلك التاريخ.

ويعرف الجميع أن هذا الحديث يستهدف تركيا تحديداً، وهي الدولة الوحيدة التي أرسلت رسمياً قوات عسكرية إلى ليبيا، وهي الوحيدة التي قامت باعتراف الرئيس إردوغان بنقل الآلاف من المرتزقة السوريين إلى ليبيا.

وجاء دخول مصر على خط أزمتها ليحرج الرئيس إردوغان. وتتوقع المعلومات أن يسعى إلى استضافة رئيس البرلمان الليبي عقيلة صالح في إسطنبول، كرد على مساعي القاهرة في الحوار مع الأطراف الليبية في طرابلس التي زارها وفد عسكري واستخباراتي وسياسي مصري بعد يوم من زيارة وزير الدفاع التركي خلوصي آكار. 

وجاء اتصال وزير الخارجية المصري سامح شكري بنظيره الليبي محمد السيالة، ومن بعده زيارة السيالة إلى موسكو ولقائه الوزير لافروف، وسط المعلومات التي تتحدَّث عن تحرك روسي – مصري مشترك لجمع السراج وحفتر في قمة تحسم كل الأمور على طريق المصالحة النهائية. 

وقد يعني ذلك إنهاء الدور التركي العسكري في ليبيا التي تسعى باريس أيضاً لأداء دور مهم فيها، وعلى جميع الأصعدة، ويعرف الجميع أنَّ هذا الدور كان وسيبقى ضد حسابات أنقرة التي تواجه الكثير من المصاعب والمشاكل في علاقاتها مع الاتحاد الأوروبي، والسبب الرئيسي في ذلك هو الرئيس إيمانويل ماكرون المتضامن مع اليونان وقبرص.

وببقاء ماكرون في السلطة في انتخابات أيار/مايو القادم، سوف يستمر في خلق المشاكل لتركيا إردوغان، وسيجد الأخير نفسه حينها في وضع لا يحسد عليه، مع الضغوط المحتملة من الرئيس بايدن، بغياب “صديقته التقليدية” المستشارة الألمانية أنجيلا ميركل التي ستتخلّى عن منصبها في أيلول/سبتمبر القادم. 

ولم تمنع كلّ هذه التطورات السريعة والمتلاحقة إردوغان من الاستمرار في تطبيق أجندته في ليبيا، التي يرى فيها ساحته المهمة لتحدي أعدائه الإقليميين والدوليين، وبشكل خاص القاهرة وباريس، التي يتمنى لها أن تعود إلى علاقاتها الطبيعية مع أنقرة في حال خسارة ماكرون في الانتخابات القادمة.

ولم يهمل إردوغان تعيين سفير جديد له في باريس، بعد أن وجد الشخص المناسب لذلك، وهو صديق سابق لماكرون في الجامعة. وتتحدث المعلومات عن رغبة الرئيس التركي في تحقيق انفراج مماثل في العلاقة مع القاهرة، التي تحدَّث الوزير جاويش أوغلو قبل أيام عن “قنوات استخباراتية مفتوحة معها، حالها حال تل أبيب”، وربما لمواجهة كل الاحتمالات المستقبلية.

وفي جميع الحالات، وأياً كانت النتائج المحتملة لمساعي المصالحة الليبية، والتي تتحدَّث المعلومات عن محاولات أنقرة لعرقلتها، فقد بات واضحاً أن إردوغان سيستنفر كل إمكانياته ليبياً وإقليمياً ودولياً للبقاء في ليبيا، لأسباب عديدة، أهمها نفسية، ولأنه لن يتقبل الهزيمة بسهولة.

كما لا يريد إردوغان لأتعابه أن تذهب هباء منثوراً، وهو الذي خطط للحصول على حصة ما في النفط والغاز الليبي براً وبحراً، كما خطط لإرسال الشركات التركية إلى ليبيا، لتساهم في إعادة إعمار ما دمرته الحرب، وهو ما سيحقق لتركيا دخلاً كبيراً يساعدها على تجاوز أزمتها المالية الصعبة. 

ويبقى الرهان على الجانب العقائدي الذي يوليه أهمية خاصة في مجمل حساباته وتحركاته منذ ما يسمى بـ”الربيع العربي”. ومن دون هذا الجانب، لن يبقى إردوغان زعيماً لجميع الإسلاميين في العالم، كما سيخسر سلاحه الأهم في مخاطبة أنصاره وأتباعه في الداخل، وهم الذين عوَّدهم على مقولاته القومية والدينية والتاريخية العثمانية، ونجح في إقناعهم بأن العالم أجمع يغار من تركيا ويحسدها على انتصاراتها ويهاب من عظمتها!

Gen. Soleimani led Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq-Hezbollah coalition against terrorism: Venezuelan ambassad

Source

January 4, 2021 – 17:50

TEHRAN – The Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran describes the coalition created by Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq, which also includes the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement, as one of the most capable alliances in the war against terrorists groups in Syria and Iraq. 

Carlos Antonio Alcala Cordones says this coalition was led by Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike near Baghdad’s international airport on January 3, 2020. 

“One of the most important coalitions, led by Martyr Qassem Soleimani, was the Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq (RSII) coalition, which was later renamed as 4+1 due to the joining of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance group. The military coalition was formed to deal with the conflicts in Syria and Iraq,” Ambassador Antonio Alcala Cordones tells the Tehran Times as Iran is marking the martyrdom anniversary of General Soleimani. 

The ambassador also says the United States and its allies have launched a “hybrid war” against Iran which includes both economic sanctions and acts of terrorism.

 “We should mention the hybrid war waged by the United States and its allies through economic sanctions and terrorist attacks against Iran,” the top Venezuelan diplomat to Iran notes.

In the newest act of state terrorism against the Islamic Republic, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear expert, was assassinated in a road outside Tehran on November 27. Iran has said Israel is directly responsible for the terrorist act. 

Analysts believe the assassination was a joint project by Israel and the United States. Professor Hossein Askari, who teaches international business at George Washington University, says he is “almost sure” that the assassination of Fakhrizadeh was a joint project carried out by the Israeli prime minister the U.S. president. 

Following is the text of interview with the Venezuelan ambassador: 

Q: Given the specific geopolitical situation in West Asia and the crises that have intensified in the region in recent years, how do you assess Iran’s role in the fight against terrorism in the region?

A: The regional situation regarding the fight against terrorism and the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in it is undoubtedly a very complex issue, and in the analysis that we can do, it is important to consider the geopolitical, religious and ideological issues.

In my view, there are various elements that the Islamic Republic of Iran has strongly defended in its foreign policy, which influence its strategies with allied countries and countries with which it is in conflict. First, its effort to achieve the economic development and growth of its nation. Second, defending its territorial integrity as enshrined in the country’s constitution and Islamic principles. Third, defending its religious and ideological beliefs reflected in the confrontation with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States, whose scenario is one of the constant dangers. And finally, the implementation of a strong internal structure that has allowed it to introduce itself as the main hero and guarantor of regional order. All of these elements, in addition to its constant anti-imperialist approach toward the international system, have led Iran to engage with actors associated with its ideology, such as its relationship with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Shiite groups, and strengthen its influence in the region, through traditional actors such as Syria and Russia.

Support for other strategic actors for which religious tendencies prevail over ideological beliefs, such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are other elements that should be considered in the analysis. It is important to note that Iran has increased its political weight in the region since the Iraq war and is now seen as a direct threat by its enemies, turning this classic hostility through supporting actors in various conflicts in the region into an indirect confrontation.

To this analysis is added the historic struggle for supremacy in a conflict-ridden region whose heroes are precisely Iran and Saudi Arabia. As noted, the Arab Spring changed the regional context by reconfiguring the geopolitical map. The two countries have a clear internal cohesion because their religious populations, mainly Shiites and Sunnis, are also found in other regional countries and have significant military, ideological, cultural and economic capabilities, in a way that both countries have acted in countries with domestic divisions such as Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon and Yemen through actors; and in the case of Iran, this has led to a ground gain in the region.

“It (Iran) supports the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors everywhere in the world. This acts as a basis for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s fight against terrorism.”On the other hand, Saudi Arabia also plays an important role, as its foreign policy towards the region is more focused on its neighbors in the Persian Gulf and with a horizontal axis, especially in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC), with the aim of isolating Iran and prevent its growing influence in the region.

Another important element that has reshaped the geopolitical chessboard and should be considered is the revitalization of Iran through the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, under which it was agreed that Iran’s nuclear program be limited for a decade in exchange for the lifting of international economic sanctions. This allowed Iran to maintain its position in the Middle East (West Asia) and seek to secure the role of discourse while expanding its territory in strategic areas. But that fact is changing, as on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate U.S. nuclear sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and once again put Iran in a very difficult position.

These points represent two opposing models domestically and internationally: a revolutionary, anti-imperialist model represented by Iran versus a conservative, pro-Western model represented by Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, the competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the geo-strategic field of energy is expanding. Therefore, it is a valuable point to control the exploitation of resources, maritime traffic and international oil trade via the Strait of Hormuz, through which 17 million barrels cross each day. The Saudi crude oil reserves are located in an eastern province, which has the largest Shiite population. Saudi Arabia has the money to build oil and gas pipelines from the east coast to the west, which will facilitate its outflow from the Red Sea, which is seen as a way to expand its trade to the Mediterranean. Similarly, from the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia supplies oil to Asian countries, its main customers in the region (China and Japan). This is a longer way to go, but it prevents a confrontation with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, which is a strategic passage in international maritime navigation, because Iran has the longest coastline in the Persian Gulf, and enjoys the opportunity to penetrate these waters in the above-mentioned strait.

It is noteworthy that since the Islamic Republic of Iran’s declaration of existence in 1979, the Iranian government has been accused by the United States of financing terrorists, and providing them with equipment, weapons, training, and shelter, and Iran has been described as a “sponsor of terrorism”. They have described the country as the most important threat to the security of the Middle East (West Asia) and one of the most hostile countries in the international system and they have sought to isolate it.

Recall that the U.S. State Department currently identifies 60 groups as international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Hamas, Al-Fatah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hezbollah. And last April, Trump labeled the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as a “foreign terrorist organization” and this is the first time the United States has taken action against another country’s military. According to an old saying, “One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter.”

It should be noted that in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers, the United States implemented the Patriot Act which was a response by Congress against terrorism and international organized crime. This is an extraterritorial law that includes international powers and is based on international treaties and bilateral agreements, but we all know that the United States systematically fights and acts with the aim of stigmatizing and harassing, under the name of “fighting terrorists” against Islam and to the detriment of various Muslim organizations, which are characterized by anti-terrorism and have connections with the popular, patriotic and social struggles.

But if we ask ourselves why there is violence in the region, we can quote some of the remarks made by Foreign Minister Dr. Zarif, in which he notes that “the increase in violence in the Middle East is rooted in the constant presence of foreign forces, and also in their interference in the internal affairs of regional countries to reshape the structure of the region.” And this is what the interventionist policy of the North American empire constantly states. Likewise, we should mention the hybrid war waged by the United States and its allies through economic sanctions and terrorist attacks against Iran.

The phenomenon of terrorism and its consequences must be discussed and identified on the basis of the reasons that led to its development, or through the intensification and exploitation of religious dogmatism, as in the case of the Islamic State and its intention to incite sectarian tensions with the goal of unifying all the majority Muslim countries under one state and by one caliphate and through jihad, which is still a concern of the international community.

Finally, terrorism has directly or indirectly affected a large portion of humans, because the emergence of terrorism, in addition to increasing drug use and drug trafficking and organized crime networks, intensifies human rights violations, fatal migrations, and also famine.

Q: Iran has been the victim of large and small terrorist acts since the victory of the Islamic Revolution. As a country that has suffered greatly from this ominous phenomenon and has gained valuable experience in the fight against terrorism at the national and regional levels, how do you assess Iran’s efforts to build a consensus among regional countries to fight terrorism?

A: The Islamic Republic of Iran has suffered severe blows since the beginning of the Islamic Revolution, including the assassination of four Iranian nuclear scientists between 2010 and 2012, and the recent terrorist attack on nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. In addition to an in-depth look at security systems, this incident has created a scenario of confrontation and tension, given that technological advances have changed the ways in which conflicts have escalated and changed the nature of threats.

“It is also important not to politicize campaign against terrorism, and all countries should unite in this battle, regardless of political or diplomatic relations among them.”Today, the use of artificial intelligence intensifies cyber, physical, and biological attacks, making them more selective and at the same time more anonymous, facilitating these attacks by reducing or even eliminating the need for the physical involvement of humans. This scenario is no longer a concern for human beings. Let us recall the terrorist attack in Iraq against the great martyr, Qassem Soleimani, the hero of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, whose absence is irreparable for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It is difficult to reach a consensus on this issue with several countries in the region, but Iran’s efforts to advance strategies that help combat terrorism are significant, such as the success in reducing the global terrorism index in the governments that it works in, especially because Iran is a country that has the power to challenge the interests of the great powers and has an excellent political, scientific, technological and military platform that supports its foreign policy.

It is also important not to politicize campaign against terrorism, and all countries should unite in this battle, regardless of political or diplomatic relations among them.

Q: In recent years, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, coalitions have been formed with the participation of countries outside the region (and even outside Asia). Alliances whose main goal, according to many political and military experts, is the political and economic exploitation of the current crises in West Asia. Some experts even believe that these countries themselves are the cause of such tensions. Do you think such coalitions can help resolve crises or defeat terrorism?

A: Undoubtedly, the formation of coalitions creates a very complex scenario because different elements are interconnected according to the potential of their constituent countries. As I mentioned earlier, we are currently talking about cooperation in the fields of science, technology, and military, in addition to the political and diplomatic relations between each of the countries.

One of the most important coalitions, led by Martyr Qassem Soleimani, was the Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq (RSII) coalition, which was later renamed as 4+1 due to the joining of the Lebanese Hezbollah military group. The military coalition was formed to deal with the conflicts in Syria and Iraq in the Middle East and currently supports Lebanon’s Hassan Nasrallah.

The coalition consists of the Russian Armed Forces and the Axis of Resistance (the IRGC, Syrian Armed Forces, Iraqi Armed Forces, and Hezbollah forces). The importance of this coalition is that it was created as a counterweight to the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIL, although the RSII’s military objectives are not limited to destroying the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also dismantling other jihadist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda, as well as closing the Iraqi-Syrian borders, which are used as strategic corridors for the entry and exit of militants.

Coalitions should serve to resolve crises, not to promote terrorism, but the situation is not always favorable and has a history of unexpected turns that upset the balance of the intended goal.

Q: Given the need to form a coalition of countries in West Asia to fight terrorism in the region, what role can Iran play in creating such a coalition?

A: In the international context, the unity that countries can create is very important and one of the precise principles of Iran’s foreign policy is the promotion of these alliances, of course through respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations and as stated in Chapter 10, Article 154 of the Constitution, it supports the struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors everywhere in the world. These elements act as a basis for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s fight against terrorism.

Undoubtedly, Iran has played an important unifying role, and this has earned the respect of the countries of the region for it. Therefore, it is expected that a great unity will be created in the future, whose common interests are the fight against the plague of terrorism in all its forms.

RELATED NEWS

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this photo from the Twitter page of the Nashville Fire Department, damage is seen on a street after an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee on December 25, 2020.

by Ramin Mazaheri  and crossposted with The Saker

(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Press TV’s.)

Alleged Nashville bomber not Muslim: Western media disappointed
Ramin Mazaheri (@RaminMazaheri2) is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’ as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.

The entire world breathed a sigh of relief when it turned out that the alleged Nashville, Tennessee, bomber was not a Muslim – now nobody can get dragooned into supporting yet another war on a Muslim-majority country.

Isn’t it spectacular how after 9/11 the US impressed almost the entire West into never-ending military service? Western piracy in Afghanistan continues today; Iraq was reduced to shambles; France used the ruse to invade Mali, the Central African Republic and to create a roving “anti-terrorist” force across the entire Sahel; Libya is no longer really a nation; Syria stands despite all the money, guns, terrorists and concrete fortifications the West could muster. I am probably missing some others.

It was true that in the years after 9/11 Muslims silently held their breath when they heard about a terrorist attack, but after 20 years and so many bombs, drones and assassinations it’s abundantly clear that Muslims are not the aggressor nor the transgressor: The pointed finger alleging cultural failure was clearly a false accusation.

The question Muslims now often feel confident enough to ask non-Muslims in public is, “What did Islam ever have to do with terrorism, anyway?” The answer is the same as it was on 9/12/01: “Nothing”.

The Nashville bombing occurred on Christmas day – maybe this was an act of “Christian terrorism”?

The sad irony is that many Christians will flinch at such a term because they view “Christianity” and “terrorism” as being total opposites. Do such persons realise that Muslims view joining “Islam” to “terrorism” also creates an oxymoron? Muslims and Christians should permanently unite around this concept: the sadness of feeling totally misunderstood when the word “terrorism” is affixed to either religion. The only barrier to this is the Islamophobic nonsense which pours out of the West’s chattering classes.

Terrorism is always defined as violence which has a political motive. Was the Nashville bombing, allegedly caused by Anthony Warner, terrorism? We don’t know at this point, so it’s wrong to call it terrorism.

Some report that Warner was paranoid about the effects of the new 5G technology – that seems rather more social than political.

There are unproven accusations that Warner was bombing storage facilities used by the voting machine company Dominion, which is being sued for allegations of vote tampering – if proven to be true then it’s possible this was a political act. It’s looking like Joe Biden will prevail in the still-disputed US presidential election, but is Warner the advance scout of a battalion of right-wing, pro-Trump terrorists which the US media warned about so hysterically in 2020? Considering how insistently they promoted anti-Trumpism and the fear of right-wing violence, it’s surprising that US media hasn’t immediately called Warner a “post-Trumpian terrorist”?

Maybe they will get there, but what this unfortunate episode can teach us is that the West rushes to demonise Muslim citizens and the teachings of Islam whenever they think they have an opportunity to do so. If Warner had been a Muslim there would have been an unjournalistic rush to judgment by Western media that Nashville was undoubtedly an act of – ugh – “Islamic terrorism”.

It’s unfortunate that Islam is so easily slandered in the West, but the problem to discuss here is not religious misunderstanding but reactionary political thought: Islam is slandered so easily precisely in order to create false justifications for the West’s endless imperialist wars in the oil-rich, Israel-surrounding Muslim World.

In the Western world talking of “imperialism” is (incredibly, to me) denigrated as anachronistic, eccentric and unrealistic. It’s not even taken seriously – if I was writing about transgender bathrooms I would be taken infinitely more seriously, and that is no exaggeration. And yet, doesn’t using the lens of imperialism explain the very different US media treatment for Anthony Warner as opposed to “Omar” Warner?

After all, who can the US media suggest we invade as a result of Warner’s alleged act? Which culture can be insulted and ordered to change at the point of a spear? How can Americans feel a misguided sense of superiority – which helps deflect from their ever-increasing inequality, poverty and socioeconomic instability – when Warner’s culture is their own?

And thus Warner is getting treated far more sympathetically than any Muslim menace to society, even though Warner is no more human.

I do not begrudge sympathy for Warner: The unpredictable actions of severely mentally ill people often have devastating consequences on people, and this is an unfortunate part of life and must be discussed.

What I do point out is that, for example, in the majority of France’s terror attacks following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of pornographic pictures of Prophet Mohammad the attacker was also just another mentally-ill person, and not some political mastermind and zealot. I covered these attacks year after year and the perpetrators always fell into one of two categories: the largest was mental illness, while the smaller grouping were political (not religious) terrorists who – without fail – expressly said their attacks were retribution for France’s many imperialist attacks on Muslim countries.

The problem in the world today is not religious – as the West and Israel asserts – but political, as the developing world asserts.

But – as the four-year “daily cultural insanity” of the Trump era proves – the US is incapable of discussing political nuance intelligently and without resorting to hyperbolic slander or wild-eyed absurdities. This explains why if Anthony Warner had been a Muslim the violence would have undoubtedly been declared “terrorism”, immediately – I am referring to endemic American political hysteria of the “other”.  

I am not here to complain – as a professional wordsmith often pedantically does – about the misuse of words and the confusion caused by refusing to abide by established definitions. Instead, I am suggesting that non-Muslims in the West should wake up to just how easily they are intellectually manipulated when it comes to any violence which employs something more brutal than a handgun: Had Warner been a Muslim Americans and Westerners would have shouted at to maintain their awful, destructive and immoral two-decade long war posture towards Muslims and Islam.

When there are acts of political terrorism, the West needs to examine the politics behind it and make sure their politics are just. When there are acts of violence, just because a Muslim was the perpetrator doesn’t make it political. However, in the identity politics-obsessed West, it seems one is always defined solely by his or her tribe and is never just another son or daughter of Adam.

“Anthony” or “Omar” shouldn’t make a difference to you but it certainly does, depending on where you live: manipulative Islamophobia may have sent your children off to die in hopeless wars, gutted your individual political rights and caused you to see anyone with a different political view as your lifelong enemy.


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

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

Nasrallah about Qassem Soleimani and his victory against ISIS in Iraq


Date: 3 January 2021

Author: lecridespeuples

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

Date: 3 January 2021Author: lecridespeuples0 Comments

Interview with Hezbollah Secretary General Sayed Hassan Nasrallah devoted to Hajj Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the al-Quds Force (whose ultimate goal is the Liberation of Jerusalem) of the Revolutionary Guards, on the occasion of the 40th day after his death, February 13, 2020.

January 3, 2021 commemorates the 1st anniversary of the assassinations of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. On this occasion, we are translating a few excerpts from this 2-hours long interview.

Source: https://video.moqawama.org/details.php?cid=1&linkid=2099

Translation: resistancenews.org

Transcript:

Journalist: […] You mentioned on several occasions the concept “School of Hajj Qassem Soleimani”. His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei) also referred to it. What meaning do you give to this concept? Can you explain it to us? What does the concept “School of Hajj Qassem” mean?

Hassan Nasrallah: Of course, this concept originated from the Way of Imam Khomeini, may God be pleased with him, from the School of Imam Khomeini. But we can say that in practice and in the field, in all the responsibilities that Hajj Qassem has assumed and everything he has endured, we can speak of a Way, in the sense —and it may be something deliberate— of a certain thought, of a set of thoughts, of a particular culture, of a specific way of doing things… I will give you some examples. Of course, we are talking about an issue that deserves (in-depth) thought and study, but I will give a few quick illustrations.

For example, Hajj Qassem is the leader of a force of the (Revolutionary) Guards [he says it in Persian]. He could stay in Iran, in Tehran, and tell others (Resistance Axis forces) to come to him regularly for a meeting, so that he can listen to them, and follow their affairs (from a distance) in a simple and routinely fashion. Or, if he visited them, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or elsewhere, he could for example (only do it) once every 6 months or once a year, he could just visit them once in a while to find out and inquire. In general, this is the way some (high-ranking) leaders act.

The Path of Hajj Qassem is to go to the field of action, to the battlefield, to (constantly) go himself to others. Since 1998 (year in which Soleimani became the leader of the Al-Quds Forces), since our knowledge and our relationship with Hajj Qassem began, that is to say for twenty years, 21 or 22 years, the number of times we have been to him (in Iran) is very limited. But for his part, he always came to us, very often. Of course, the very fact of coming to the field, to the battlefield, to meet the (Hezbollah) brothers here, to meet them all, to go directly to the field, to hear (directly) from the fighters and Mujahedeen, this has enormous benefits and advantages in terms of leadership and administration.

First, it strengthens these fighters (by giving them morale), and expresses the respect and affection he has for them. “It is I who always come to you, I am at your service. Do not bother to come to me in Iran, it is I who come to you.” For those in charge (of Hezbollah or other Resistance movements) on the ground (and for the fighters), (this attitude) has (huge) ethical and moral consequences. Second, it allows him to hear all opinions, all points of view (directly), not just the opinion of the people who would come to him (in Iran) to express their (own) point of view. This helps him to have a clearer, more global and fairer idea (of the reality on the ground). Third, it helps him to access all (hierarchical) levels, right down to the front line fighters, and to hear them talk about their problems, their shortcomings, their needs, their remarks, etc. Fourth, it gives him a deeper, more comprehensive, and broader idea of ​​(all) the battlefileds for which he is responsible. He does not rely (only) on reading the reports written by the (various high-level) officials, no! He goes into the field in person to see with his own eyes, to listen (to first hand information), and to discuss and debate with all levels. This is one of the meanings of the Way of Hajj Qassem. This is an unusual way of doing things, especially with a military general (among the highest ranking in Iran). Certainly, perhaps at the frontlines of the Iran-Iraq war, the great (Iranian) commanders came down to the ground, to the fighters, but it is something specific to Iran that is not done outside of Iran. But this is one aspect (of the Way of Hajj Qassem).

Another aspect is the absence of fatigue and lassitude. (In Iran), you say [Nasrallah cites a phrase in Persian]. He never gets tired. We are all prone to fatigue. Sometimes we feel that things are weighing very heavily on us, we are under great pressure (bordering on the unbearable), but the Hajj would work (tirelessly) for long hours, even when he must have been exhausted. I remember that during one of his visits (to Lebanon) he suffered from a very bad toothache, and (it is well known) that such pain is unbearable. We suggested to bring in a dentist, but he replied, “Not now, after our meeting.” That is, after 6 hours of going through the pain, while leading and attending the meeting, making (crucial) decisions, and only at the very end he would go to the dentist. The capacity for endurance and patience of Hajj Qassem in the face of fatigue and the most severe difficulties is quite exceptional. I have never known anyone, and I am by no means exaggerating, who can endure so much fatigue, straining, lack of sleep, etc., as much as Hajj Qassem.

Another important aspect of his personality is his thoroughness. He was extremely thorough and diligent. He was constantly following (the different files) [Nasrallah illustrates this point with an expression in Persian]. For example, someone can agree (on something) with someone else, then after a week, two or three, inquire about the issue or not, check it or not, but not the Hajj Qassem. From the second or third day, he would inquire about its progress, he would follow (all matters) precisely and insistently. And of course, he didn’t do it in a rushed (and sloppy) way, but in a precise, detailed and responsive way. This is one aspect of the Way of Hajj Qassem.

Journalist: Looks like he always kept the energy of a young man.

Hassan Nasrallah: Maybe another person would think that he will have plenty of time to follow up or inquire about this or that during the coming months, but not Hajj Qassem, (who followed the issues almost day to day). It was very important for him not to waste time. For example, what could be done in five years (for others) had to be completed in one or two years (with him), thanks to his insistence and his diligent follow-up of all matters.

Another aspect of his personality is his great humility. He was extremely humble. And his humility had a great influence. You know that in general soldiers, when in combat, feel strong and powerful, and can show arrogance, haughtiness, pride, etc. Hajj Qassem was a very humble person, even with the common people, the simple people. This is one aspect of his Way. Of course, we must all be humble, but the fact that this commander, with his position and this (enormous responsibility that weighs on him), is so humble with everyone, is something very important.

The Way of Hajj Qassem is that of facing dangers. He always went into the lion’s den, to the front lines, braving death. I didn’t agree with him on this point. I always insisted that he stay in the background, making arrangements for that. But we were all unable to stop him from going to the front lines. He is the man who is always present in the (most) difficult times, the (most) dark days, always putting himself in harm’s way. For example, during the July 2006 war, the 33-day war, he traveled from Tehran to Damascus, then contacted us to tell us that he wanted to come to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut (Hezbollah stronghold). We replied (incredulously): “How? It’s impossible!” Bridges had been destroyed, roads cut, Israeli warplanes were hitting all targets (real or suspected) and so on. It was a situation of all-out war! It (seemed) impossible to bring him to us, in the southern suburbs of Beirut. But he insisted a lot, telling us that if we didn’t send him a car, he would come on his own. He insisted, and he came to us. And he stayed with us for the whole duration of the war.

See Qassem Soleimani’s Revelations on the 2006 war

Likewise for the events in Syria and Iraq, in the fight against ISIS, our Iraqi brothers also told us that he was always on the front line, walking on the front line. It’s something exceptional. Normally, generals stand back and lead armies or brigades (from the rear), at least in regular armies, with the exception of the Iran-Iraq war which is a special experience.

Anyway, in truth, all that can be said about the Way of Hajj Qassem comes from Imam Khomeini and his school, and from the indications of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, and the experience of the Iran-Iraq war. It was a grandiose experience in terms of its ideological, cultural, spiritual and military consequences. We found this awe-inspiring experience embodied in the personality of Hajj Qassem.

Image

I could say a lot more about the Way of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, but I will content myself with these elements and answer your (other) questions. […]

Journalist: Can you tell us about common memories with him concerning the crisis in Iraq and Syria? What help has he asked from you?

Hassan Nasrallah: So we’re not talking about the latest developments in Iraq, (but) about the emergence of ISIS. When ISIS first appeared in Iraq, and this organization began to take over a number of Iraqi provinces, it turned out that the situation was critical. The Iraqi military was unable to cope with the situation, due (to its dismantling by the American occupier and) to the collapses that occurred. I have heard from several Iraqi officials that many weapons warehouses were empty of ammunition and shells. The moral and psychological situation (was catastrophic).

Hajj Qassem therefore visited Baghdad in person, accompanied by a group of Revolutionary Guard commanders. He made contact with the Iraqi brothers and with the factions of the Resistance with whom he had been in constant contact for a long time. He was the one who went on the field to (launch) the first counterattacks, he went ahead. And the well-known event on the Baghdad-Samarra road took place, in which Hajj Qassem Soleimani and other brothers present with them were nearly killed. A few days after this incident, or at the same time, Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sistani, may God preserve him, issued his famous and historic fatwa (enjoining Iraqis to wage jihad against ISIS), declaring a state of alert and urging the Iraqi people & warring factions to go massively to the front lines. But all this needed organization.

سردار سرلشکر قاسم سلیمانی به‌همراه ابومهدی المهندس در عراق به شهادت رسید/  حمله آمریکا به کاروان الحشد الشعبی در بغداد- اخبار نظامی | دف - اخبار سیاسی  تسنیم - Tasnim

At that time, Hajj Qassem traveled from Baghdad airport to Damascus airport, from where he came (directly) to Beirut, in the southern suburbs. He arrived to me at midnight. I remember very well what he said to me: “At dawn you must have provided me with 120 (Hezbollah) operation commanders.” I replied “But Hajj, it’s midnight, how can I provide you with 120 commanders?” He told me that there was no other solution if we wanted to fight (effectively) against ISIS, to defend the Iraqi people, our holy places (5 of the 12 Imams of Twelver Shiism have their mausoleums in Iraq), our Hawzas (Islamic seminars), and everything that existed in Iraq. There was no choice. “I don’t need fighters. I need operational commanders (to supervise the Iraqi popular forces).” This is why in my speech (commemorating Soleimani’s assassination), I said that during the 22 years or so of our relationship with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, he never asked us for anything. He never asked us for anything, not even for Iran. Yes, he only asked us once, and that was for Iraq, when he asked us for these (120) operations commanders. So he stayed with me, and we started contacting our (Hezbollah) brothers one by one. We were able to bring in nearly 60 operational commanders, including some brothers who were on the front lines in Syria, and whom we sent to Damascus airport (to wait for Soleimani), and others who were in Lebanon, and that we woke up from their sleep and brought in (immediately) from their house as the Hajj said he wanted to take them with him on the plane that would bring him back to Damascus after the dawn prayer. And indeed, after praying the dawn prayer together, they flew to Damascus with him, and Hajj Qassem traveled from Damascus to Baghdad with 50 to 60 Lebanese Hezbollah commanders, with whom he went to the front lines in Iraq. He said he didn’t need fighters, because thank God there were plenty of volunteers in Iraq. But he needed (battle-hardened) commanders to lead these fighters, train them, pass on experience and expertise to them, etc. And he didn’t leave until he took my pledge that within two or three days I would have sent him the remaining 60 commanders.

Of course, that night I felt that in Hajj Qassem’s eyes the whole world was Iraq and the battle that was going on there. In truth, he was completely immersed in this battle, and he regarded it as decisive for the fate of the region. It was not allowed to be neglected. He was ready to be killed there. I told him, “Hajj, the brothers informed me that on the road from Baghdad to Samarra, you were in the convoy (which was attacked), and it is very dangerous.” He replied that he had no other choice, and that he had to move forward for others to move forward as well. “Time is running out, and we only have a tiny window to step in,” he told me. Now was not the time for caution and balance, but we had to give everything we had (in this battle). He was very moved by what was going on in Iraq and ready to be killed there 1000 times in order to save the Iraqi people, the holy mausoleums, the Hawzas, and to remove this danger from Iraq, the Islamic Republic and all the region. We all know that if ISIS had succeeded in seizing Iraq, it would have threatened Iran and the whole region. But those who would have paid the greatest price for the ISIS project are the Iraqis, the Iraqi people in the first place.

Journalist: When did you meet Hajj Abu Mahdi (al-Muhandis, assassinated with Soleimani)? When did you first meet him? Can you recall any memories of this meeting?

Hassan Nasrallah: I got to know Hajj Abu Mahdi in the early 1990s, around 1991-1992. I did not know him before that date, as he was then in Kuwait. Then I got to know him, and the first time I met him was in Tehran. He was one of the main commanders of the Badr Brigades [Iraqi troops who fought against Saddam in the war against Iran], which later became the Badr Organization. Quickly, a relationship of affection, friendship and respect developed between us. He also had good relations with our brothers in Lebanon, with Brother (Sayed Badreddine) Zulfiqar in particular (Hezbollah commander killed in Syria in 2016), with Hajj Imad Moghniyeh and the other brothers. And subsequently, this relationship developed after Hajj Qassem became the commander of the al-Quds Forces. From his position (of responsibility) in Iraq, Abu Mahdi’s relationship with Hajj Qassem (developed), as well as ours in Lebanon, which increased the ties we had with Abu Mahdi.

But our relationship with Abu Mahdi has truly strengthened in recent years, due to the events in Iraq and the fight against ISIS which has seen many Hezbollah members travel to Iraq to help the Hachd al-Cha’bi (Popular Mobilization Units) and Resistance factions. Our brothers were in constant contact with Hajj Abu Mahdi, who came to Lebanon several times to meet me. Only 3 months before his martyrdom, he was here in Lebanon. Once he even came with his family. During our last meeting several months ago, we talked for hours, discussing the situation in Iraq, assessing the security and military issues, how to strengthen Hachd al-Cha’bi as a genuine defender of the Iraqi people, etc. And because of the strength of our brotherhood, he said to me: “Militarily, ISIS is defeated, and there remains only a few isolated cells that will be (quickly) eliminated with the grace of God. But I fear to be still alive when the battle against ISIS is (truly) over.” And he put his hand on his beard, saying, “My beard is gray, and so is my hair, and after all these long years (of struggle), I really fear dying in my bed. I therefore urge you to pray to God the Most High and Exalted to grant me martyrdom.”

Naturally, in accordance with the edicts of His Eminence the Guide (Khamenei), may God preserve him, when someone asks the Guide to pray for him to obtain martyrdom, he is not asking God to hasten his martyrdom, but asks Him to grant him to ultimately die as a martyr. And he sometimes jokes, “I hope you’re over 80 (when God grants you martyrdom)!” The important thing is that we die a martyr, (but as late as possible). This is what I replied to Abu Mahdi, namely that I would not invoke God to hasten his martyrdom, but for his death to be that of a martyr, and I asked him to pray to God so that He grants us the same fate (martyrdom) as well. This happened during our last meeting.

I also want to say that our (intimate) knowledge of Abu Mahdi allows us to say that he was a very sincere, very loyal, very pious man. He had a high sense of responsibility, and he was a Mujaheed in the truest sense of the word. And glory to God, he has many points in common with Hajj Qassem Soleimani. And that is one of the reasons for the exceptional relationship between them.

واکنش حشد شعبی به عکس با عنوان «جاسوسی» که مسیر حاج قاسم را لو داد+ عکس |  خبرگزاری بین المللی شفقنا

Journalist: The war in Iraq forced Hajj Qassem to be more present on the battlefield. In truth, he was going to all the sensitive places on the front lines. And we’ve seen him a number of times during (dangerous) reconnaissance and other operations. Weren’t these conditions a great risk for his life? He would appear by surprise in the midst of the fighting. Why?

Hassan Nasrallah: He was always in danger, in great danger. On the front lines and on the battlefields he visited in Iraq and also in Syria, he was in constant danger. And he refused to be present only in the rear. He was going to the front line, and wanted to see things with his own eyes to assess the situation directly and first hand, and interact with the fighters on the front line. He wanted to meet them and be among them. That was his way. Of course, we blamed him constantly for that.

(It must be understood) that he was not doing this only because he longed for martyrdom. Some said that Hajj Qassem (only) sought martyrdom and sought the opportunity to be killed, and that this explained his presence on the front lines. This is not true, or at least it is not precise. For he also knew that he had a religious obligation, and that he had no right to expose himself to death unnecessarily. No! Hajj Qassem had a vision, which was true to a great extent: he said that this battle in Iraq and Syria required great endurance, great courage, perseverance on the battlefield. This could not be achieved by management from the rear, far from the front lines. The presence of a commander of a level like Hajj Qassem Soleimani’s on the front lines was of utmost importance to ensure this steadfastness of morale, souls and hearts. His very presence on such a front was enough to give enormous strength & morale to the combatants, helping them to stay, to persevere, to endure, despite all the dangers and all the difficulties they faced. Not to mention all the other benefits a commander can get from being as close as possible to field data.

But I consider, and this is what I heard him say when I debated this issue with him, that the moral, psychological and emotional aspect was of the utmost importance to him. And it’s the truth! You can see from the (countless) videos how he behaved with the young (fighters) on the front lines, in the trenches, (and how they reacted) when Hajj Qassem came to them. They embrace him, kiss his hand, cry, hug him, reproach him for coming to them (thus exposing himself to death), etc. This emotional influence is very important. This is why a (real) relationship of love, affection, passion was born and shaped between the fighters and Hajj Qassem Soleimani. This would never have happened if he was managing operations from behind. The cause of this great love for him is his direct & constant presence on the front lines.

Also, when all these videos and photos started showing up in the media and on social media, I told him about it, saying, “O Hajj, this is something very dangerous!” But he wasn’t doing it on purpose. When he went to the front line, he didn’t have cameras with him, but it was the (fighters) present there who filmed him, because as you know, they all have smartphones with which they photographed or filmed the Hajj and posted the images on social media. (When I reproached him for this), he replied “But these young (combatants) are on the front line, ready to sacrifice themselves, risking their lives at every moment. I dare not tell them to put these phones away or forbid them to film me because it puts me in danger.” That’s why he just let them do it. And in truth, the first images and videos of Hajj Qassem to be released were not broadcast by him or by the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) forces, but by the frontline fighters who filmed and photographed his visits and his presence among them and then put the images online. And that’s how these images spread on social media. There was no other choice. Because he would have felt ashamed to forbid these young fighters from filming him on the pretext that it would put him in danger, when they themselves were the most exposed to death. This is the real reason for Hajj Qassem’s presence in the media in recent years, which was by no means a deliberate act.

soleimani muhandis

Journalist: After the defeat of the Daeshi and Takfiri project in Iraq and Syria, did you meet Hajj Qassem and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis together?

Hassan Nasrallah: Yes, the three of us met. This photo [cf. above] was taken in Lebanon in the southern suburbs of Beirut. The brothers made a montage (including all the martyrs killed alongside Soleimani and al-Muhandis), but in the original photo they are sitting on a couch in my office.

nasrallah montage

We were together. And there are also pictures of the three of us together, me, Hajj Qassem and Hajj Abu Mahdi.

نصرالله: هذا ما طلبه مني سليماني بعد سقوط الموصل وهكذا تأكدت من اغتياله مع  المهندس

We had a long meeting whose objective was to assess the latest events in Iraq, what we (Hezbollah) could do to help it in the next step, and on the other hand, in case a Israeli war against Lebanon or against the region would be triggered, we discussed what our Iraqi brothers could do to help us fight this war.

Hassan Nasrallah: I consider that one of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon me in my life, and His blessings for me were many and great, has been my relation and closeness with Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and this (very strong) friendship and brotherhood between us. What was between us was as strong as if we were really two brothers (from the same mother), whether it was the affection, love, feelings and friendship that bound us.

Likewise, we had the same way of thinking. We thought and saw things the same way, 98% of the time, if not 100%. But even for the 2% of topics where we might have different points of view, one of us could easily convince the other, due to the tremendous trust and love that there was between us.

Of course, on a personal level, the presence of Hajj Qassem was a huge support for me, as I am here on one of the battlefields and confrontations. I always longed for his company, and so did he. And I can tell you and the viewers that for the last 20 years, and especially the last 10 years and more, he’s been one of my closest brothers. If I want to mention a friend who is dear and precious to me, whom I love very much, who occupies a very important place in my heart and whose company I earnestly wish, in whom I have the greatest confidence, and whose presence gives me the most pleasure, I will immediately think of Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

In every person’s life, there are usually two or three people who are considered the closest friends. And as far as I’m concerned, one of them was Hajj Qassem Soleimani. May God have mercy on him.

nasrallah soleimani d

And personally, he knows (what he means to me). One day, I told him. I was always ready to sacrifice my life for him. One day, while we were praying together, after prayer, during invocations (following prayers), the following idea occurred to me: I imagined (this is only a hypothesis) that The Angel of Death came to me, and told me that he was going to Iran to take the soul of Qassem Soleimani. But God had made an exception this time. The Angel of Death told me that God had asked him to come see me first, and offer me an alternative (to the death of Qassem Soleimani). Instead, the Angel could take my soul. (I could die instead and save Soleimani). I wondered what I would have answered to this hypothetical proposition from the Angel of Death. Without any hesitation, I would tell him to take my life, and leave Hajj Qassem Soleimani (alive).

See the Testament of Martyr Major-General Qasem Soleimani

Later, I mentioned this to some (Hezbollah) brothers when we were debating. Because sometimes, due to the overload of work and responsibilities, some arguments can arise between us, and I told them that so that they understand what Hajj Qassem meant in my eyes.

Le baiser de la mort: photos inédites de Soleimani et Nasrallah | Coolamnews

One of the brothers was indignant, asking me how I could think of such a thing (sacrificing myself for Qassem Soleimani). I told him that this was due to two things: first, the immense love and affection I had for him, and the brotherhood that bound us; and second, the fact that I consider his existence to be much more useful to us, to Islam, Muslims, the (Arab-Muslim) Nation and Resistance (Axis) than mine. It is not just affection, but my highest consideration for the importance of this man and his blessed presence.

That’s what he meant to me personally.

Journalist: We thank you very much (for your time). We wish you all the best. With the Grace of God, we will witness the Liberation of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) soon, thanks to your leadership and that of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution (Khamenei). We wish you and all Resistance fighters health and salvation.

Hassan Nasrallah: May God grant you His blessings. May God preserve you and grant you His blessings. Anyway, I publicly declared and told his family that what happened to Hajj Qassem is the best thing that could have happened to him, and his greatest hope, has happened to him, namely this grandiose martyrdom.

May God have mercy on him.

Donate as little as you can to support this work and subscribe to the Newsletter to get around censorship.

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

Related

%d bloggers like this: