Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced on August 1 that it had captured the ringleader of the U.S.-based Tondar [Thunder] group, Jamshid Sharmahd.

In an official statement, the ministry said Sharmahd was captured in complicated operations by security forces, adding that his capture was a “heavy and serious blow” to Tondra.

Iran Captures Ringleader Of U.S.-Based ‘Terrorist Group’
Jamshid Sharmahd, source:

Sharmahd, 65, introduces himself on the official website of Tondar as an Iranian-American broadcaster and opposition activist based in Los Angeles.

Tondar, or the Kingdom Assembly of Iran, is an group seeking to overthrow the Islamic regime in Iran and restore the monarchy. Iran says the group is armed and responsible for terrorist activities in the country.

The group allegedly claimed responsibility for the 2008 Shiraz explosion at the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada. At least 14 people, including children, were killed and 215 others were injured in the bombing.

Iran claims that its security forces foiled several terrorist plot by Tondar over the last few years. The group supposedly plotted to blow up the Sivand dam in Shiraz, detonate cyanide bombs at the Tehran book exhibition and bomb the general ceremonies at late Imam Khomeini’s shrine.

While the group is based in the U.S, it remains unclear if it is receiving any support from Washington. Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence said that it will provide more details on the capture of Sharmahd soon.


Military Escalation in the Middle East: Is Israel Planning a Multi-Front War against Its Arab Neighbors?


 July 31, 2020

If you watch the US mainstream media’s 24 hour news coverage on recent events around the world no matter what time of the day it is, Covid-19 and China dominate the headlines while ignoring recent escalations in the Middle East involving Israel and its Arab neighbors as they come closer to another war in an already devastated region.

The Times of Israel reported that the Israeli government

“sent a message to Hezbollah warning the Lebanese terror group against any retaliatory action in response to the killing of one of the organization’s fighters in an airstrike in Syria on Monday night, which was attributed to Israel.”

According to various reports, Israel has killed one of Hezbollah’s fighters Ali Kamel Mohsen Jawad in another cross-border attack in Syria last week and now fears that Hezbollah will retaliate, but Israel’s military and intelligence community has issued a statement aimed at Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria warning them not to retaliate considering that Israel would most likely launch a multi-front attack on all entities involved. The report said that “the airstrike attributed to Israel on Monday night hit weapons depots and military positions belonging to Syrian regime forces and Iran-backed militia fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.”

For the record, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) is a UK government funded pro-opposition group to the Assad Government. In a statement by the Israeli army, “The IDF holds the Syrian regime responsible for the fire against Israel earlier today” and that “the IDF will continue operating with determination and will respond to any violation of Israeli sovereignty.” What was revealing was an unannounced meeting between the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Israel’s top military leaders including Defense Minister Benny Gantz:

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, made an unannounced visit to Israel, meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Mossad director Yossi Cohen, along with other top brass. 

Israeli television commentators speculated on the possible significance of the visit, particularly regarding the threat posed by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah. “In light of a situational assessment in the IDF and in accordance with the Northern Command’s defense plan, the IDF’s deployment will change in both the military and civilian arena. with the goal of strengthening defenses along the northern border,” the IDF said in the statement. In a tacit threat, the IDF preemptively warned Beirut that it sees the state of Lebanon as “responsible for all actions emanating from Lebanon”

Something big is about to take place as the IDF “cleared some troops out of positions directly along the border, moving them deeper into Israel, so that they would not represent a clear target for Hezbollah, while still allowing them to defend the frontier” according to the report.

However, Milley’s visit at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel is significant according to another report by the Times of Israel ‘US military chief visits Israel to talk regional threats, amid tensions in north’ stating that “the visit came at a time of heightened tensions with Iran and its allies across the Middle East.” General Milley was briefed by Israel’s Intelligence agencies including Mossad and Israel’s military intelligence unit, Aman on the threat they face from Iran and its allies. After the briefing, Gantz declared that “the need to continue the pressure on Iran and its proxies that threaten regional and global stability” signaling to it’s neighboring enemies “not” to test Israel.

Lebanon has two major problems to deal with besides another catastrophic war, for starters it has a severe economic crisis with a collapsing currency.

The other problem is their newly discovered offshore oil and gas reserves which the US and Israel would love to get their hands on. Lebanon’s offshore oil reserves is estimated to be at 865 million barrels and has gas reserves that range from 25 trillion cubic feet (an estimate published in 2018 by the Chatham House which is part of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a think tank based in London) to 96 trillion cubic feet in 2013, an estimate claimed by the Lebanese Energy Minister at the time, Gebran Bassil. Either way, Lebanon hosts Hezbollah on its territory and has discovered an abundance of natural resources in its offshore territories, its a prime target for Israel and the US.

War Will Begin in the Middle East, Not Asia?

The recent incident involving Iran’s Mahan air passenger plane traveling from Tehran to Beirut over Syria and a US F-14 fighter jet who apparently came dangerously close to the plane according to Iranian media is a sign of aggression that sends a message to Iran and its allies including Hezbollah that the US and Israel is prepared for war. Israel does not want Washington to focus on China since the upcoming US elections are months away and Israel is not sure what is going to happen come this November with Trump and his pro-Israel administration. Israel cannot afford to have Washington start a new war with China so for the time being tensions between the US and China will lead to a new Cold War 2.0.

The Middle East is an important region that remains a strategic part of the world’s economy with its valuable natural resources, a fact too important to ignore for western Big Oil interests and Israel. The meeting between US and Israeli military officials is significant and should be taken seriously, but the world is consumed with news on Covid-19 and China. Another Middle East war can happen either before or after the November elections and that depends on how desperate Israel becomes. Israel can pull Washington’s strings and ignite a war between the US and Iran before the situation intensifies in the South China Sea.

While the world is occupied by a virus and the tensions in the South China Sea continue between the US and China and an upcoming Presidential election, a new conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors is a real possibility, making it one of the most dangerous periods in human history.

By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Source: Silent Crow News

US Warplanes Harassed Iran Airliner in Lebanese, Not Syrian Airspace – Report

US Warplanes Harassed Iran Airliner in Lebanese, Not Syrian Airspace - Report

By Staff, Agencies

American F-15 warplanes involved in the harassment of an Iranian passenger plane approaching the Beirut airport were not ‘on a routine air mission,’ according to a report that dismissed a claim otherwise made by a US military official.

The Nournews agency on Friday cited an unnamed source familiar with the matter that contrary to the remarks made by CENTCOM’s spokesman, Bill Urban, the US jets “intercepted the Iranian plane after violating Lebanon’s airspace” and were not on “a routine air mission” when they flew close to the Mahan Air plane.

The source added that the F-15s harassed the Iranian plane in Lebanon’s sky when it was dropping its altitude to approach the Beirut airport.

On Thursday night, US warplanes operating illegally in Syria conducted some “dangerous” maneuvering close to the Mahan Air flight in an act of air piracy.

The American aircraft ignored several warnings by the Iranian pilot about the urgency to observe the distance but they continued the maneuver, the source said.

The Mahan Air Flight 1152 had taken off from Tehran and was en route to the Lebanese capital when the incident happened.

CENTCOM claimed that a single F-15 had made a “visual inspection” of the Iranian airliner “in accordance with international standards… to ensure the safety of coalition personnel” at the military base in Syria’s al-Tanf.

It added that the F-15 conducted “a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters.”

Meanwhile, the adviser to Iran’s parliament speaker on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said on Friday that severe consequences await the US military’s act of provocation.

“The harassment of an Iranian passenger plane by American fighter jets once again proved that the presence of foreigners in the region is a serious threat to peace and security,” he said in a post on his Twitter account.

He added that likewise the Zionists cannot carry out a provocative act and “immediately say that we were not involved.”

Hezbollah Slams US Aggression on Iranian Civilian Airliner in Syrian Airspace

Hezbollah Slams US Aggression on Iranian Civilian Airliner in Syrian Airspace

Translated by Staff, Hezbollah Media Relations issued the following statement:

Hezbollah strongly condemns the act of aggression by American fighter jets that threatened and terrorized an Iranian civilian airliner in Syrian airspace. We consider this an act of terrorism and a very dangerous matter that could have had unforeseen regional repercussions.

The two American warplanes intercepting a civilian aircraft that was also carrying Lebanese nationals is a maneuver that demands a decisive international stance against the US, bearing in mind that the Americans are an occupying force on Syrian territory and in its airspace.

Hezbollah congratulates all the passengers on board, especially the Lebanese citizens, on their safe arrival. It expresses its solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic against the abhorrent American behavior.

Iran to legally pursue US ‘act of terrorism’ against its Beirut-bound flight


Friday, 24 July 2020 10:31 AM

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)
A file photo of a Mahan Air passenger plane

Iran has condemned the harassment of its Beirut-bound passenger plane by two US fighter jets over the Syrian airspace, vowing to lodge a complaint over the “unlawful” act at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

In a statement on Friday, the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran said it will seriously pursue the US fighter jets’ harassment of Mahan Air flight 1151 over the Syrian airspace on Thursday.

The Iranian organization urged the ICAO to immediately address the move, which is “a clear violation of the international law and the aviation standards and regulations.”

Iranian Vice-President for Legal Affairs Laya Joneidi also said on Friday that the harassment of a passenger plane in a third country is a blatant violation of aviation security, a breach of the freedom of the air for civil flights, and contradicts the Article 3 and Article 44 of the Chicago Convention as well as the 1971 Montreal Convention.

Joneidi said the US government is responsible for the fighter jets’ dangerous maneuvering, and Iran can legally pursue the issue at the ICAO Council and the International Court of Justice.

Iran’s Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami described the US air piracy as an “act of terrorism”, urging the international community to condemn the “poisonous” move.

“Our passenger plane was moving at the international commercial flight route and corridor, and the American fighter jets’ threatening move was unlawful and inhumane,” he added.

He also called on the governments of Lebanon and Syria to file a complaint against Washington at the International Civil Aviation Organization.

“The ICAO is also expected to issue a statement against this inhumane move by the US,” the Iranian minister said.

US warplanes in aggressive maneuvering near Iranian airliner: Reports
US warplanes in aggressive maneuvering near Iranian airliner: ReportsUS warplanes conduct some “dangerous” maneuvering close to a Beirut-bound Iranian airliner over the Syrian capital Damascus, injuring some of the passengers.

On Thursday night, US warplanes operating illegally in Syria conducted some aggressive and “dangerous” maneuvering close to the Mahan Air flight in an act of air piracy.

Mahan Air’s Flight 1152 had taken off from Tehran and was en route to the Lebanese capital when the incident happened over Syria’s hugely-strategic al-Tanf region.

In response, the US Central Command said a single F-15 had made a “visual inspection” of the Iranian airliner “in accordance with international standards… to ensure the safety of coalition personnel” at the military base in al-Tanf.

The command added that the US F-15 was on a “routine air mission” in Syria and conducted “a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of approximately 1,000 meters”.

“Once the F-15 pilot identified the aircraft as a Mahan Air passenger plane, the F-15 safely opened distance from the aircraft.”

Forgoing any permission from Damascus, the US has been operating in the Arab country since 2014 under the pretext of fighting the Daesh terrorist group. The US, however, continues its occupation even as Syria defeated the Takfiri terrorists in late 2017.

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

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US soldier killed in car accident in northeast Syria


By News Desk -2020-07-22

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – On Tuesday, the U.S. Coalition forces in Syria announced the death of a member of the joint task force from “Operation Inherent Resolve” in the northern countryside of the Al-Hasakah Governorate.

The statement first confirmed that the U.S. soldier’s death was not due to any enemy contact.

“A service member with Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve died in Syria, 21 July. Initial reports indicate the incident was not due to enemy contact. The incident is under investigation.”

However, later in the day, RT Arabic cited the Operation Inherent Resolve’s media wing as saying that the soldier’s death was due to an armored vehicle overturning during a military patrol in northern Al-Hasakah.

“The incident occurred when an armored vehicle overturned while it was conducting a military patrol in the northern countryside of Al-Hasakah.”

They would add: “The death occurred in a non-combat accident,” pointing out that they are currently conducting an investigation into the matter.

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Trump Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Refugees in Rukban Camp


July 18, 2020 Arabi Souri

US Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp
US Exploits the Suffering of Thousands of Syrian Civilians Held in Rukban Concentration Camp

The infamous Rukban Concentration Camp continues to hold up to ten thousand Syrian civilians living in inhumane conditions, by all standards, and the regime of Donald Trump refuses to allow the families to go back to their homes or allow proper flow of humanitarian aid into the camp, similarly to what the US-led a hysteric campaign against Syria, China, and Russia, for al-Qaeda in Idlib.

Where are the Western criers for humanity when one needs them? Over months, the hypocrite representatives of NATO member states at the United Nations Security Council were pressuring to allow new crossings into Al-Qaeda controlled areas in Idlib, despite that their territories have shrunk considerably. But we see no action, at all, by the same NATO representatives when there is real horrific suffering of thousands of Syrian civilians held hostage by a US military base and two terrorist groups affiliated with ISIS in the depth of the Syrian desert at the border crossings with Iraq and Jordan.

The following report by Muhammad Al-Khader of the Lebanese-based Al Mayadeen news channel sheds further light on the issue:

The video report is also available on BitChute.

Transcript of the English translation of the above video report:
Thousands of displaced Syrians in Rukban camp on the Jordanian border have become a tool of American for pressure on Damascus, the suffering of the camp’s residents, estimated to number more than 10,000 civilians, is getting worse every day.
A harsh reality exploited by the American base in Al-Tanf in the face of the Syrian and Russian demands to tackle the camp file, refusing to open safe corridors that allow entry of Syrian relief and health convoys or even the exit of civilians to their homes in Tadmor (Palmyra), the Badia (plain desert) of Homs, and in Deir Al-Zour.
A number of the (US-sponsored) Maghawir Thawra militants who recently fell in the grip of the Syrian security units revealed even more.
They talked about imposing the American base through its agents in the Maghawir Thawra faction and the Ahrar Asha’ir on the males to join the two factions in order to obtain money and always depend on the American decision.
Osama Danoura – writer and political analyst: This aid is distributed only in a way that causes the citizens there who are detained in Rukban to become militia workers for these terrorist organizations, and it (the USA) has practically replaced the influence of ISIS in the region with the influence of these terrorist groups created by it.
A confession that provides further evidence of American involvement in keeping the camp file open, Russian and Syrian efforts have succeeded over three years in evacuating about 20,000 civilians from the camp’s residents to their areas, and by cooperating with international agencies, they have managed to bring aid convoys into the camp.
The US hold of the Rukban camp file and obstructing its return to the Syrian government provide an excuse to justify the illegal US presence in al-Tanf, and more importantly, it turns it into a blackmail and pressure paper on Damascus, which has achieved an important recovery in the south file.
End of the English transcript.
Every person can help these innocent people, you can help right now by sharing this post with your friends, asking your ‘democratically-elected’ supposed to be officials and representatives in your country about the actions to this issue just like how they spent your tax money and their time you pay for on supporting al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
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Zarif visits Baghdad, says plans to discuss Gen. Soleimani assassination with Iraqi officials


TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who arrived in Baghdad on Sunday morning told reporters at Baghdad’s airport that he plans to discuss the issue of the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani with Iraqi officials.

General Soleimani, who was internationally known for his legendary commandership in the fight against Daesh – also called ISIS or ISIL -, was assassinated in a terrorist attack by the United States near Baghdad’s international airport on January 3. The terrorist attack was conducted upon direct order by Donald Trump.
He was assassinated along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). 
Upon his arrival in Baghdad, Zarif visited the site of the terrorist attack to commemorate the memory of the two commanders.



Iraqi PMF leader: Operations on US forces to escalate day by day

Iraqi PMF leader: Operations on US forces to escalate day by day

Original link 


Deputy Secretary General of the Al-Nujaba Movement, a faction of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), says that ‘resistance operations against U.S. occupation forces in Iraq will escalate day by day’.

In an interview with Al Mayadeen TV, Nasr al-Shimmari added that the country’s ‘resistance forces’ had previously given time for dialogue in order for American forces to leave Iraq, however, it was clear that the ‘US only understands the language of force’.

Source: Al-Alam TV (citing from Al Mayadeen TV)

Date: 16 July, 2020

(Important note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)


Iraq: Nasr al-Shimmari, Deputy Secretary General of the Al-Nujaba Movement:

– the Americans cannot change the equations in Iraq

– the Americans have no choice but to withdraw from Iraq or stay and endure the losses that will be inflicted on their forces

– we bless the operations targeting the Americans and the resistance is devising the appropriate methods that will force them to leave

–  the U.S. forces in Iraq are occupying forces and targeting them by the resistance will escalate day by day

– the operations of the resistance are characterized by secrecy, and there is a unified decision among the resistance forces (factions) to confront the American forces

– the government is an executive – and not a legislative – entity, and (thus) cannot prevent the resistance from targeting the American (forces)

– Iran is a friend of all the resistance forces, but the main (side) concerned with confronting the American obstinacy in Iraq are the Iraqis (themselves)

– Washington did not take the initiative to help Iraq confront ISIS by using the pretext that this is was an ‘internal matter’ and not an external attack

– the Americans and the British want to put their (military) forces in areas (of Iraq) where they think the resistance will not (be able to) target them

– Turkish forces invaded Iraqi territory and bombed positions in Iraq and we did not see any American action (in response)

– Neither the prime minister nor the government has the authority to bring foreign troops to Iraq, especially after the parliament’s decision

– We hope that the actions of Al-Kadhimi and his government will be in the interest of Iraq, and we affirm that the future of the country depends on (it attaining its) freedom

– The Americans only understand the language of force and resistance is the only weapon capable of getting them out of Iraq

– resistance had given way for (the path) of dialogue and the implementation of the parliament’s decision for U.S. forces to leave (but that failed)

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New Explosion at Kurds SDF Weapons Depot in Hasakah, Northeast Syria


July 16, 2020 Arabi Souri

Explosion in Kurdish SDF weapons depot in Hasakah northeast Syria
Photo distributed by SANA of the explosion

A strong explosion shook the city of Hasakah northeast of Syria at around 8 pm local time yesterday and smoke columns were seen rising high from the western side of the city near warehouses of the separatist Kurdish SDF militia.

Local sources stated that the explosion was at a weapons depot of the US-sponsored Kurdish separatist SDF militia, known to work closely with Israel. The local sources added that the explosion took place not far from the Musheirfa residential district at the outskirts of Al Hasakah city.

More consecutive explosions at the weapons depots occurred at the site throughout the late evening yesterday causing a state of panic among the residents of the area. The Kurdish militia members rushed to the site unable to contain the explosions and the fire were more panicked than the residents pushing them to evacuate their houses in the region.

Trump forces intervened from the air with low-altitude flights all over the city as the SDF militia were setting their no access perimeters around the site.

On the 21st of June, last month, an explosion took place in the Kurdish SDF weapons depots in the city of Rmelan east of Qamishli near the borders with Turkey in the province of Hasakah. These explosions come at times of high tensions between Trump forces and their Kurdish militia on one side and the residents, the Syrian Army, and the Russian military police on the other side throughout the areas where Trump ordered his forces to withdraw from the country but to keep presence enough to loot the oil and burn the Syrian wheat fields.

NATO terrorists burning Syrian wheat crops in Ras Al Ayn - Hasakah
Trump and his Kurdish SDF militia burn Syrian wheat fields in Ras Al-Ayn

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Armed Forces: Wide Military OP Targeting Number of Saudi Military, Vital Installations in Jizan, Najran,Asir


The Armed Forces announced Monday a wide-scale military operation targeting a number of Saudi military and vital installations in Jizan, Najran and Asir.

The armed forces spokesman, Brigadier Yahya Sare’e, said in a statement: The operation targeted the warplanes hangers, base housing and patriot systems in Khamis Mushait, and other military sites at the airports of Abha, Jizan and Najran.

He added that:” giant oil facility in the industrial zone in Jizan was accurately targeted.

He explained that the operation Military operation was executed with undisclosed highly accurate ballistic missiles, and a large number of drones

Brigadier General Sare’e also announced that Tadween military camp in Marib was targeted during a meeting of Saudi military commanders with mercenaries, killing and injuring dozens of them

The spokesman of Armed Forces confirmed that the operation comes in response to the crimes of aggression, the latest of which is the crime that was committed in Hajjah Sunday, the ongoing blockade and coinciding with the anniversary of Tanomah massacre against the Yemeni pilgrims.

He reaffirmed the Armed Forces’ determination in the legitimate defense of Yemen until freedom and independence are achieved

He warned the forces of the US-Saudi aggressive coalition, saying: The Armed Forces will not hesitate to carry out more painful strikes during coming times until Saudi-led aggression ends, siege is lifted.

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‎جبهة الإعلام المقاوم» نظمت وقفة رفضاً لتدخّلات السفيرة الأميركيّة وإدارتها في الشؤون اللبنانيّة :

وهبي: محاولات تأليب اللبنانيين على المقاومة فاشلة ‏وما تقوم به شيا عمل مخابراتي بامتياز

قنديل: لاتخاذ الحكومة الإجراءات القانونية لحماية سيادة ‏لبنان من تدخلات سفراء أميركا والسعودية والإمارات

عبير حمدان

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بحضور حشد من الصحافيين والناشطين ومسؤولي الأحزاب والقوى اللبنانية ومندوبي وسائل الإعلام، نفّذت «جبهة الإعلام المقاوم» وقفة استنكارية تنديداً بالسياسات الأميركية وحصار لبنان، ورفضاً لتدخلات السفيرة الأميركية في لبنان دوروثي شيا وإدارتها في شؤون البلاد الداخلية، وعلى خلفية التصريحات التي أدلت بها السفيرة واتهمت فيها فئة من اللبنانيين بالإرهاب ومسؤولية الانهيار الاقتصادي، وذلك في قرية «الساحة» التراثية في بيروت.

شارك في الوقفة الوزير والنائب السابق د. عصام نعمان، رئيس تحرير جريدة «البناء» النائب السابق ناصر قنديل، عضو المجلس الأعلى في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي سماح مهدي وعضو المكتب السياسي وهيب وهبي، عضو المجلس السياسي في حزب الله غالب أبو زينب، عضو المجلس الاستشاري في حركة «أمل» زكي جمعة، عضو المجلس الوطني للإعلام غالب قنديل، المحامية بشرى الخليل، مدير التحرير المسؤول في جريدة «البناء» رمزي عبد الخالق، مسؤول العلاقات مع الأحزاب اللبنانية والفصائل الفلسطينية في التيار الوطني الحر المحامي رمزي دسوم، أمين عام «التجمع العربي والإسلامي لدعم خيار المقاومة» يحيى غدار، المنتج والإعلامي زياد الشويري، الأمين العام لحركة «الأمة» الشيخ عبد الله جبري، رئيس جمعية «ألفة للتقريب» الشيخ صهيب حبلي، مسؤول الإعلام في رابطة الشغيلة حسن حردان، مفوّض الشرق الأوسط في اللجنة الدولية لحقوق الإنسان السفير هيثم أبو سعيد، رئيس تيار «صرخة وطن» جهاد ذبيان، الإعلامي فيصل عبد الساتر، الناشط والخبير الاقتصادي أحمد بهجة، المستشار القانوني قاسم حدرج وحشد من أهل الصحافة والإعلام والمهتمّين.

خلال الوقفة، أكّدت المحامية الخليل على حرية الصحافة المكرّسة في الدستور، مشيرة إلى «أن حكم القاضي محمد مازح لم يتناول السفيرة في الشخصي، إنما تناول جرائم الخطر الناتجة عن تصريحات ومعلومات واتّهامات غير مثبتة قد تعرّض المصلحة الوطنية المحمية قانوناً للخطر، وبمجرد نشرها تُعدّ اعتداءً فعلياً على المصلحة وإخلالاً بالأمن العام. ومن ضمنها الاعتداء على معتقد إحدى الطوائف الدينية، والشيعة في لبنان في اعتداء يومي على معتقداتهم. وبتصريح السفيرة الأميركية تحقّقت أركان هذه الجريمة، ما دفع بالقاضي مازح إلى اتخاذ قراره درءاً للخطر يمنع فيه الوسائل الإعلامية من استصراح السفيرة».

من جهته، أكّد المحامي رمزي دسوم أن ما تقوم به السفيرة الأميركية في لبنان «هو تدخّل واضح في شؤونه وتحريض على شريحة واسعة من اللبنانيين ممثلة في السلطتين التنفيذية والتشريعية»، مشيراً إلى «أن التدخل الأميركي في لبنان ليس جديداً، وأن ما يحصل في لبنان من ضائقة اقتصادية تأتي في سياق الحرب الناعمة لأخذ ما لم يتمكنوا من أخذه بالحرب». وأشار دسوم إلى موقف التيار «الواضح من الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي، وقد أتت أميركا مؤخراً بقانون قيصر لخنق لبنان وسورية، البلد الذي يمثل رئة لبنان».

وتابع: «يتطلّع التيار ليس إلى فتح الحدود مع سورية فحسب، بل مع فلسطين المحتلة لنصلي جميعاً في المسجد الأقصى وفي كنيسة المهد وكنيسة القيامة، مؤكداً أن ليس في عهد الرئيس ميشال عون من يأتي ليملي علينا كيفية التصرف كلبنانيين».

وألقى زكي جمعة كلمة «حركة أمل»، مؤكداً «أنّ لبنان في مواجهة مفتوحة ومباشرة مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وهذه ليست المرة الأولى التي تلجأ فيها أميركا إلى تخفيف وجه الوكلاء لتدخل مباشرة بذاتها. تحاصر أميركا لبنان، البلد المقاوم، بأدواتها الناعمة وقواها المباشرة وغير المباشرة، وتفتح وسائل الإعلام ووسائط التواصل الاجتماعي للتضليل والتشويه وبثّ الشائعات إلى جانب حصار اقتصادي واسع تدرّج منذ سنوات وصولاً إلى ضرب العملة الوطنية».

من جهته رأى عضو المكتب السياسي في الحزب السوري القومي الاجتماعي وهيب وهبي أنّ السفيرة الأميركية «تتدخل بوقاحة في شؤون لبنان الداخلية والمطلوب وضع حدّ لهذه التدخلات».

ولفت إلى أنّ السفيرة الأميركية دوروثي شيا «كانت تعمل في سفارة بلادها لدى كيان العدو الصهيوني، وهي من فريق جون بولتون، وأنّ عملها بعيد كلّ البعد عن العمل الدبلوماسي، لا بل تتبع للأجهزة الاستخبارية الأميركية، وأن قيامها بالتحريض على الفتنة في لبنان، هو عمل مخابراتي بامتياز».

وأضاف: «نقول لهذه السفيرة الأميركية، إنّ محاولات تأليب اللبنانيين على المقاومة، هي محاولات فاشلة، فالمقاومة حرّرت الأرض والأسرى وشكلت معادلة ردع حمت لبنان من الإرهاب الصهيوني، ومن خطر الارهاب الداعشي الذي هو صناعة أميركية بامتياز».

وأشاد وهبي بالقرار الذي أصدره القاضي محمد مازح، والذي «عبّر من خلاله عن التمسك بسيادة لبنان وكرامة اللبنانيين. وقد أصدر حزبنا موقفاً واضحاً بدعم القاضي مازح تقديراً لقراره الشجاع».

وختم وهبي: «إننا نحذّر من التدخلات الأميركية السافرة في شؤون لبنان، وننبّه إلى أنّ السفيرة الأميركية وبعض السفراء الذين تدور دولهم في فلك أميركا، يواصلون من خلال لقاءاتهم التحريض على المقاومة وسلاحها. ولذلك ندعو وزارة الخارجية اللبنانية إلى التشدّد وإلزام هؤلاء السفراء التقيّد بالمعاهدات والقوانين الدولية، وضبط تحركاتهم المشبوهة التي تعد خرقاً للسيادة اللبنانية».

ورأى الشيخ عبد الله جبري أنّ أميركا «هي التي قتلت الشباب العربي في العراق وسورية وفلسطين واليمن، وعملت على تقسيمه وتشتيته وزرع بذور الفتنة بينه»، مشيراً إلى أن «البعض من أبناء الوطن يساعد أميركا في تنفيذ أجندتها، والقاضي مازح تجرّأ واتّخذ قراراً مناسباً ووطنياً وما حصل معه مخزٍ جداً».

من جهته، شدّد يحيى غدار على «أنّ الإدارة الأميركية هي رأس الحربة التي تريد تدمير لبنان»، مؤكداً الوقوف إلى جانب القاضي محمد مازح وموجهاً مطالبته لرئيس الحكومة حسان دياب، «الذي يعلم أنّ هذه السفيرة تريد ضربه، بأن لا يقف مكتوف الأيدي ونحن نرى كيف تلعب السفيرة الأميركية في البلاد إلى حدّ لا يقبله عقل. على رئيس الحكومة أن يتخذّ قراراً حاسماً تجاه السفيرة وبعض وسائل الإعلام تجاه هذا الاستعمار، لتحرير قرارنا كما حررنا أرضنا».

ولفت حسن حردان باسم رابطة الشغيلة إلى أننا «نواجه عدواناً أميركياً شرساً يهدف إلى خنق لبنان للتخلّي عن مقاومته ومعادلته الذهبية «جيش – شعب – مقاومة»، وهي التي حققت المجد، وحمت لبنان من العدوان الصهيوني الذي يهدّدنا كلّ يوم بحراً وبراً وجواً. ويواجه لبنان تمادياً أميركياً في استباحة سيادته، وهذا التدخل بلغ من السفور حتى أقدمت السفيرة عبر وسائل الإعلام على تحريض اللبنانيين على بعضهم البعض وتحميل فئة منهم مسؤولية ضرب العملة الوطنية التي خاضت بلادها حرب الدولار عليها»، مطالباً السفيرة بمغادرة لبنان لانتهاكها المعاهدات والمواثيق الدولية.

واعتبر السفير هيثم أبو سعيد أنّ مشكلة تدخل السفيرة الأميركية في لبنان «بدأت منذ أن تبنّت تحرّك 17 تشرين الأول، وقد تمادت في تدخلها حتى وصلت إلى زوايا الأمور الداخلية في لبنان، وقد أبرقتُ إلى الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة بأنّ هناك حواراً جارياً في بعبدا لطلب تبنّي ثلاث نقاط، السفيرة الأميركية تصرّ على التدخل في مسألة السلاح، ولكن هناك ثلاث مراحل يجب الاتفاق عليها: مَن الجهات التي ستعطي ضمانات للبنان بعد تسليم السلاح؟ هل يحقّ للجيش اللبناني أن يمتلك هذا النوع من الأسلحة كالصواريخ البالستية وغير البالستية؟ ومن الجهة التي ستتسلم السلاح الذي أشار الإسرائيلي إلى أنه خطير جداً»؟

بدوره، أشار المنتج والإعلامي زياد الشويري إلى «أننا نتحرّك دائماً كردّ فعل من دون أن نكون السبّاقين إلى المبادرة قبل الوصول إلى الأوقات الصعبة. يشهد لبنان منذ سنوات طويلة حصاراً مباشراً توّج اليوم بقانون قصير، لكن الهموم الداخلية لا تزال تطغى على الصراعات الاستراتيجية التي يجب أن تأخذ الأولوية، باتخاذنا خطوات تصعيدية تجاه الوجود الأميركي في لبنان. ما حصل مؤخراً خطير جداً، خصوصاً في هذه المرحلة الدقيقة التي يمرّ بها لبنان».

ووجّه رئيس تيار «صرخة وطن» جهاد ذبيان تحية إلى القاضي محمد مازح الذي «كان جادّاً باتخاذه قراراً باسم الشعب اللبناني، والمفارقة حصلت في وسائل الإعلام التي لم تحترم القضاء ولم تتمّ مساءلتها»، مشدّداً على “أنّ المقاومة هي عنوان الكرامة في هذا البلد بل في هذه الأمة، ولا يجوز بأيّ حال من الأحوال السماح لأيّ سفير التدخل في شؤوننا الداخلية، وتحديداً سفيرة الولايات المتحدة التي لا تقوم بأيّ عمل إلا إذا كان لمصلحة العدو الإسرائيلي”.

واعتبر الشيخ ​صهيب حبلي أنّ دوروثي شيا «ليست سفيرة الولايات المتحدة، إنما سفيرة ترامب، وترامب يعني إسرائيل، وهذا ما يجب توضيحه أولاً».

وقال الصحافي أحمد زين الدين: «نحن لسنا ضعفاء، لقد هزمنا أميركا عندما كنا أضعف من اليوم بكثير، من عام 1949 إلى الآن ولا يزال باستطاعتنا الانتصار. نحتاج إلى تطوير إعلامنا لنكون في مستوى الانتصارات التي حققتها المقاومة».

واختتمت الوقفة بكلمة لرئيس تحرير جريدة «البناء» النائب السابق ناصر قنديل الذي رأى أنّه يجب أن «لا تتحكّم التوجهات السياسية في التعامل مع السفراء، بل يجب أن يحكم في ذلك انتهاك الاتفاقيات والمعاهدات الدولية. ولو جاءت أميركا بالمنّ والسلوى، سنبقى نراها الشيطان الأكبر. الدولة اللبنانية «حيطها واطي» وقد توسّلت للسفيرة ولم تسائلها بشأن كلامها. هذه الدولة يجب أن ترتقي في التعامل مع السفراء الأجانب والعرب إلى مستوى الانتصارات والبطولات التي حققها لبنان ومقاومته. السفراء في لبنان يتصرفون باعتبار لبنان مزرعة فيما الدولة يجب أن تحمي سيادتها. ومن المعيب أن نرى السفيرة الأميركية تجول على المرجعيات الدينية وعلى السياسيين بمختلف مستوياتهم. نحن عيّنا السفيرة مفوّضاً سامياً في لبنان، وهذا أمر يجب أن يُعالَج».

شارع المقاومة يُسقِط «قيصر» في عوكر… رسائل تهديد تُدجِّن السفيرة الأميركيّة!

تظاهرة منددة بالحصار الأميركي الجائر أمام السفارة الأميركية في عوكر

 محمد حميّة

انقلب المشهد السياسي الداخلي رأساً على عقب… فبعد الاستباحة الأميركية للساحة اللبنانية على مدى أسابيع، تغيرت الصورة خلال الأيام القليلة الماضية وتوّجت أمس، بحدثين: سياسي دبلوماسي تمثل بزيارة السفيرة الأميركية في لبنان دوروثي شيا الى السرايا الحكوميّة ولقائها رئيس الحكومة حسان دياب، الثاني شعبي أمني تمثّل بالتحرك الذي شهده محيط السفارة الأميركيّة في عوكر احتجاجاً على السياسة الأميركية العدوانية ضد لبنان ومحاولة اقتحام حرم السفارة والدخول اليها.

اجتماع بين دياب وشيا في السراي الحكومي... واستبقاء السفيرة الى ...

فما هي الوقائع والمعطيات التي أدت الى استبدال أجواء التصعيد الأميركي الى حدود التلويح بإسقاط الحكومة والتهديد بالحرب العسكرية، بأجواء حوارية وهادئة؟

فبحسب معلومات «البناء» فإن دوائر القرار المعنية في الولايات المتحدة تلقفت رسائل الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصرالله في خطابه ما قبل الأخير بجدية واهتمام كبيرين، لكنها لم توقف حربها على لبنان وكانت تراهن على خطوة سياسية أمنية تقلب توازن القوى السياسي والحكومي الداخلي وذلك عبر إسقاط حكومة الرئيس دياب في الشارع بمساعدة حلفائها من القوى السياسية المحلية وترك البلد في فراغ وفوضى اجتماعية مشرعاً أمام احتمالات الفتنة الطائفية والمذهبية، وبالتالي إجبار القوى السياسية على تأليف حكومة جديدة بشروط أميركية يرأسها أحد الموظفين المصرفيين النافذين المحسوبين عليها، وإما اجراء انتخابات نيابية جديدة تظن أميركا أنها تعبث بالخريطة السياسية للمجلس النيابي الحالي، وعلها بذلك تدفع حزب الله الى التنازل والتسليم بالشروط الأميركية في ملفات عدة أبرزها ملف النفط والغاز في البلوك المتنازع عليه في المياه الإقليمية.

أما هدف إسقاط الحكومة فيصب في هذا الاتجاه. فالمخطط الأميركي بحسب معلومات «البناء» تركز على إطاحة حكومة دياب وتحويلها الى تصريف أعمال كي لا تتمكن من اتخاذ اي قرار في الملفات السيادية لا سيما في موضوع النفط والغاز، وبالتالي يمنع لبنان من تلزيم أي من بلوكاته النفطية ولا عقد اي اتفاقات اقتصادية مع دول عدة مستعدة لمساعدته لكسر قانون العقوبات قيصر وإنقاذ البلد من الانهيار ليبقى أمامه خيار وحيد هو صندوق النقد الدولي.

وبحسب المصادر، بعد فشل مخطط إسقاط الحكومة والهجمة الحكومية المرتدة على صعد عدة لا سيما زيارة الوفدين الصيني والعراقي الى السرايا الحكومية واتفاق السلة الغذائية الجديدة، وتزامن ذلك مع خطاب حاسم للسيد نصرالله حمل رسائل تهديد للأميركيين وبعد تلمّس واشنطن جدية حكومية بالتوجه الاقتصادي الى دول كالعراق والصين وايران وسورية مع الإعلان عن أن بواخر المساعدات الايرانية المحملة بالمحروقات والمواد الغذائية ترسو في المياه الإيرانية تنتظر اشارة الانطلاق الى لبنان، أوعزت وزارة الخارجية الأميركية الى سفيرتها في لبنان بالتهدئة ولجم الاندفاعة التصعيدية والانفتاح على الحكومة ورئيسها للحفاظ على العلاقة مع لبنان وقطع الطريق على دخول دول أخرى الى الساحة اللبنانية. وتعزّزت القناعة الأميركية بضرورة التغيّر بعد سماع السفيرة الأميركيّة الموقف اللبناني الحاسم في عين التينة على لسان الرئيس نبيه بري برفض لبنان المطلق التنازل عن حقوقه في ملف النفط والغاز.

تظاهرة منددة بالحصار الأميركي الجائر أمام السفارة الأميركية في عوكر

أما انقلاب المشهد فتجلى أيضاً بعودة قوى وأحزاب المقاومة للسيطرة على الشارع عبر التحرّكات الشعبية باتجاه السفارة الأميركية في عوكر رفضاً للسياسة الأميركية العدوانيّة تجاه لبنان، بعدما تفردت واشنطن في التحكّم بالشارع منذ 17 تشرين الماضي عبر تحريك أحزاب 14 آذار ضد الحكومة وسلاح حزب الله وتنظيم تظاهرة داعمة للسياسة الأميركية في لبنان وتطبيق القرارات الدولية، فكانت تظاهرة الأمس ضربة مفاجئة للمخطط الأميركي تلقفتها السفارة الأميركية على أنها رسالة أمنية سياسية من حزب الله وحلفائه تحمل في طياتها غضباً وحنقاً من الشعب اللبناني بمختلف تلاوينه من العربدة الأميركية وسياسة حصار لبنان وتجويع شعبه، وبالتالي تشكل جرس إنذار لبداية التحرر اللبناني من الاجتياح الأميركي للبنان بوسائل اقتصادية والسطو على القرار السيادي. الأمر الذي يهدد المصالح الأميركية في لبنان والنفوذ التاريخي في هذه المنطقة. فأدت هذه الرسالة غرضها بأن دفعت الدبلوماسية الأميركية في لبنان للعودة الى «حضن» الشرعية اللبنانية، ولذلك تنقلت شيا بين مقرّي الرئاستين الثانية والثالثة للاحتماء من غضب الشارع.

هكاذ أجهض الشارع قانون «قيصر» قبل أن يولد وأمام «أمه وأبيه» أي في سفارة عوكر المكان الذي عقدت فيه الاجتماعات ونُسجت المخططات للإطاحة بالحكومة وضرب الاستقرار، بحسب ما أكدت معلومات رسمية لـ«البناء».

فالولايات المتحدة بحسب مصادر نيابية في فريق المقاومة تعمل على خنق لبنان لكن ليس قتله، فلا مصلحة لديها بدفع لبنان الى الفوضى الكاملة والحرب الأهلية لأن ذلك يدفع حزب الله وحلفاءه من أحزاب وقوى المقاومة لتنفيذ «الخطة ب» أي اعلان الولايات المتحدة عدوة للبنان وسفارتها موقع عدواني تجب إزالته وفتح لبنان لدخول دول أخرى لإنقاذه اقتصادياً، لذلك تلقفت أميركا رسائل التهديد المتنوعة ما دفعها الى تدجين سفيرتها في لبنان وتأنيبها على تصرفاتها الأخيرة.

علماً أن مصدراً دبلوماسياً لبنانياً سابقاً في واشنطن ومطلعاً على السياسة الأميركية يؤكد لـ«البناء» أن «واشنطن لا تريد إغراق لبنان بالانهيار الكامل بل تريد الضغط على لبنان لتحميل حزب الله المسؤولية وتقليب البيئة الشعبية عليه ودفعه للرضوخ للإملاءات الأميركية الإسرائيلية». وتوقع المصدر استمرار الضغط الأميركي على لبنان مع بعض الليونة في الموقف الأميركي وبعض الإجراءات للتخفيف من حدة الأزمة اللبنانية وذلك حتى الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية على أن تبدأ ملامح مرحلة جديدة في لبنان والمنطقة والعالم مطلع العام المقبل مع تلمس توجهات وسياسات الإدارة الأميركية المقبلة».

وبدا الربط واضحاً بين الليونة الأميركية تجاه لبنان والمؤشرات الإيجابية الخارجية التي لاحت مؤخراً، كزيارة الوفد الصيني تلاه الوفد العراقي الى بيروت ثم ورود إشارات إيجابية من دول خليجية لا سيما قطر والكويت وإحياء المفاوضات مع صندوق النقد الدولي والحديث عن زيارة وزير خارجية فرنسا الى بيروت. ما يشير الى ضوء أصفر أميركي لحلفائها في المنطقة للتأهب لمساعدة لبنان لقطع الطريق على الاندفاعة الإيرانية لكن متى يتحول الى ضوء أخضر؟

يجب الحذر من المناورات الأميركية ما يستوجب على الحكومة الاستمرار بخيار الانفتاح على الشرق ولا تراهن على الإيجابية الأميركية فقد تخسر الاثنين معاً، فالشرق بات حاجة ملحّة للبنان من دون إقفال الأبواب مع الغرب، لكنه وسيلة تعزز الموقف التفاوضي اللبناني.

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USA seeks to drive regime-change by starving the people of Syria


30 June 2020 

By:Reneva Fourie

The United States of America has intensified its economic warfare against the people of Syria. Battered by a 9-year war that resulted in investment and capital flight; and infrastructure and industry destruction, Covid-19 came as a heavy blow to the ailing Syrian economy. The most devastating however has been the ongoing, escalating, illegally imposed USA-driven, and European Union supported, sanctions against Syria. 

Sanctions barring USA-based companies from trading with Syria were imposed in 2004. In 2011 it was extended to include the financial and energy sectors (this while the USA pillages Syrian oil daily; an act that has been designated as illegal under international law and the rules of war, yet there are no repercussions). On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the sanctions provisions of the USA so-called ‘Caesar’ Civilian Protection Act of 2019, which extends sanctions to all foreign firms or countries that deal with the government of Syria, came into force.

The government of Syria had largely managed to control their weakening currency during the war, despite its domestic challenges. The value of the currency, however, plummeted over the past three weeks in anticipation, and due to the implementation of, the ‘Caesar’ Act.  The Syrian Pound (SYP), which was trading at around SYP 47 (about R ) to the dollar prior to the war, is now, as at end June 2020, hovering around SYP 2 500 to the dollar.

The impact of these sanctions on the quality of life of the Syrian people has been disastrous. According to UNDP data, Syria’s human development index was on the rise between 2000 and 2010.

The IMF outlook for 2010 was as follows, “The outlook for 2010 points to an overall strengthening in economic performance. The ongoing recovery in Syria’s trading partners is expected to contribute to a gradual increase in exports, remittances, and FDI in 2010.” The currency was beginning to appreciate against the dollar. But the gains made during those years were reversed by the war and subsequent sanctions, and the country experienced a drop of nearly 60 percent in GNI per capita from 2010 to 2016.

As political stability in the country increased recently, the economy was once again beginning to show signs of recovery. Sadly, the ‘Caesar’ Act, will cause a major setback.

Syria, home of some of the oldest cities in the world, has a highly sophisticated and cultured populace, who have relatives across the world. Sanctions have compelled them to do much of their banking, particularly that of an international nature, from Lebanon. Most Syrians have relatives in Lebanon due to the historic ties between the two countries.

Traveling between the two countries is a common practice and goods and medication that could not be accessed in Syria due to sanctions, were still obtainable in Lebanon. All that has now come to an abrupt halt.

Covid-19 has made travel across borders difficult; but threats of sanctions against Lebanon, which has its own economic crisis that pre-dates Covid-19, for trading with Syria, will be the final nail in the coffin. Syria is unable to repair the power stations and water infrastructure that was damaged during the war by the West, Israel, Turkey, and insurgents including Isis and al-Qaeda, as they cannot purchase the parts due to sanctions.

Domestic manufacturing of medicines is waning as ingredients cannot be imported. The exemptions around food and medicines touted by the USA and EU are misleading as they apply mostly to areas that remain outside of government control and their “humanitarian aid” in these occupied areas primarily serves to strengthen counter-revolutionary activities.

Exacerbating the cruelty of the general adverse economic impact of sanctions, are the deliberate actions to undermine food security through the regular burning of staple crops by the USA and Turkey-backed mercenaries. For example, Apache helicopters affiliated to the USA occupation forces dropped thermal balloons on barley and wheat crops in a number of villages surrounding al-Shaddadi city, while Turkey-backed mercenaries set fire to a number of wheat and barley fields in Abu Rasin and Tal Tamir towns.

The intention literally is to starve the people of Syria into submission. According to the World Food Programme, as at June 2020, food prices have increased by a staggering 209 percent in the last year, in which most of the increases occurred over the past weeks. This country, where less than 7.5 percent of the population experienced multidimensional poverty in 2009, now has more than 80 percent of its population living below the poverty line, thanks to the USA and its allies. 

The government of Syria has tried to ease the impact of this economic onslaught on its people, who have already suffered tremendous human losses, by broadening access to food parcels, vouchers, subsidised fuel, and government-subsidised grocery shops.  The interventions are however unsustainable. Domestic and international protests calling for the lifting of sanctions in Syria took place regularly over the past two weeks.

But while there have been reports of protests in Syria, almost none of those reports, even from ‘reputable’ entities, state that the protests were AGAINST the USA and its implementation of the Act. The international protests received little coverage.

Sanctions must be lifted. In fact, the USA’s regime-change agenda in Syria must be stopped.

Sanctions are but one aspect of the continued broader regime-change agenda of the USA. The ‘Statement of Policy’ which serves as a preamble to the ‘Caesar’ Act states, “to support a transition to a government in Syria that respects the rule of law, human rights, and peaceful co-existence with its neighbours.”  The last phrase – ‘peaceful co-existence with its neighbours’ – can only refer to Israel, which illegally occupies the Golan and regularly conducts acts of military aggression against Syria.

It must be noted that prior to the war, neither the UNDP nor the IMF made any reference to corruption, maladministration, and human rights abuses in Syria. It became the buzz word when an alleged Syrian military dissenter codenamed Caesar, after whom the USA Act is named, who in 2014 revealed thousands of photographs supposedly depicting torture in Syrian prisons.

An examination of the photos however revealed that it could not be indisputably proven that the injuries depicted in the photographs were indeed inflicted in government prisons.  In fact, the Human Rights Watch found that at least half the photographs depict the bodies of government soldiers killed by the armed opposition.  This confirmed that the opposition is violent and has killed large numbers of Syrian security forces.

The credibility of ‘Caesar’ is highly questionable given the discrepancies in his ‘evidence’ and the USA’s history for fabricating information to suit its interests. Prof Theodore Postol, a respected expert on missile defence and nuclear weapons, who was part of the Joint Investigative Mechanism that investigated allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, disputed the conclusiveness of the allegation. 

Note further that the preamble does not say ‘peaceful transition’, thereby justifying military intervention.  The military situation remains tense despite the cease-fire negotiated between Russia and Turkey in the northwest of the country, as the USA and Turkey continue to reinforce their troops in Syria.

Turkey-backed insurgents and mercenaries continue to engage in motorcycle and car bombs in areas that are outside of the Syrian government’s control.  And Israel regularly invades Lebanese air space to advance missile attacks on the south of Syria.

In addressing the United Nations earlier this month, the Syrian Ambassador, Bashar al-Jaafari stated, “The crimes and practices perpetrated by the governments of those states (the West, Israel and Turkey) rise to the level of war crimes and constitute a violation of the rules of international law and a direct aggression on the sovereignty, safety, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.”

The continued aggression in Syria cannot be delinked from other developments in the region.  The Israeli government continues to persecute the people of Palestine and is determined to forge ahead with implementing the Trump ‘Deal of the Century’. Tension between Lebanon and Israel remains high.  And USA-led sanctions against Iran remain. 

The USA-Israeli-Turkey alliance with their allies continue to seek hegemony in the region, supposedly to reduce the influence of Iran, Russia, and China. Their relentless aggression has however cost this region too many lives.  The people of the region have also suffered too much due to sanctions. Their actions are tantamount to genocide.

As we join the global demand for an end to racism, we should also call for a just and peaceful world. Implementation of this demand begins with a call for all USA troops to exit West Asia, as well as an end to Israeli aggression in the Middle East.

* Reneva Fourie is a policy analyst specialising in governance, development and security and currently resides in Damascus, Syria.She is also a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party.

This article was first published by Independent  Online,South Africa  

Reem Haddad 


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«الترحيب» بماكنزي


 الخميس 9 تموز 2020

التزامن مع وصول قائد المنطقة الوسطى في الجيش الأميركي الجنرال كينيث ماكنزي إلى مطار بيروت، اعتصم عشرات الأشخاص أمس قرب مدخل المطار، احتجاجاً على نية ماكنزي، والسفيرة الأميركية دوروثي شيا، إقامة احتفال رمزي تكريماً للجنود الأميركيين الذين قُتلوا في تفجير مقر «المارينز» في بيروت يوم 23/10/1983.

وبعد الإعلان عن الاعتصام، اضطر الجانب الأميركي إلى تغيير خطة سير ماكنزي وشيا من المطار، واختصار برنامجهما داخل حرم الميناء الجوي، فلم يخرجا بموكب، بل بمروحية، أقلّتهما من أمام طائرة ماكنزي، إلى موقف السيارات الذي جرى فيه التفجير قبل 37 عاماً، حيث مكثا لدقائق قليلة، قبل أن تغادر بهما المروحية، مع الوفد المرافق، لبدء جولته على المسؤولين السياسيين والعسكريين في بعبدا واليرزة والسراي الحكومي وعين التينة. ورفع المعتصمون شعارات مؤيدة للمقاومة وصور الشهيد عماد مغنية، هاتفين ضد التدخل الأميركي في لبنان.

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Iran To Help Syria With Air Defense To Repel US, Israeli Attacks


Iran will help to strengthen Syrian air defense capabilities as part of a wider military security agreement between the two countries, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said on July 8. The statement was made after the signing of a new military cooperation agreement in Damascus.

The agreement provides for the expansion of military and security cooperation and the continuation of coordination between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Major General Baqeri said that the signed deal “increases our will to work together in the face of US pressure.”

“If the American administrations had been able to subjugate Syria, Iran and the axis of resistance, they would not have hesitated for a moment,” he said.

The major general emphasized that Israel is a “powerful partner” of the US in the war against Syria, claiming that terrorist groups constituted part of the Israeli aggression.

In their turn, the United States and Israel insist that Iran and Hezbollah are responsible for the destabilization of Syria and prepare what they call ‘terrorist attacks’ against the US and Israel. In the framework of this approach, Israel, with direct and indirect help from the US, regularly conducts strikes on various supposedly ‘Iranian targets’ across Syria. Often these strikes concur with large-scale attacks of al-Qaeda-linked groups and ISIS on positions of the Syrian Army and its allies. One of the main points of Israeli concern is the growing military infrastructure of pro-Iranian forces near al-Bukamal, on the Syrian-Iraqi border. Therefore, the announced move by Iran to boost Syrian air defenses, including possible deployment of additional air defense systems, is a logical step for them to take to protect their own interests.

Clashes between the Syrian Army and Turkish-backed militants were ongoing in western Aleppo late on July 8 and early on July 9. According to pro-militant sources, the army destroyed at least one bulldozer and killed 2 members of the National Front for Liberation. Turkish proxies insist that their mortar strikes on army positions also led to casualties.

In southern Idlib, the Syrian Army shelled positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham near Ruwaihah after the terrorist group sent additional reinforcements there under the cover of the ceasefire regime. On the morning of July 9th, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham units continued their deployment in the area. Since the signing of the March 5 ceasefire agreement between Turkey and Russia, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has been openly working to strengthen its positions in southern Idlib. Despite the successes in the conducting of joint Russian-Turkish patrols along the M4 highway, which even reached Jisr al-Shughur, the highway itself and the agreed security zone area along it in fact remain in the hands of Idlib militants.

Pro-ISIS sources claimed that the terrorist group’s cells have ambushed a unit of pro-government forces in the Homs-Deir Ezzor desert destroying at least one vehicle. These claims have yet to be confirmed. However, the situation in central Syria has recently deteriorated due to the increase in ISIS attacks and government forces are now conducting active security operations there.

US should know ‘Resistance’ now controls all of West Asia: Naqqash


US should know ‘Resistance’ now controls all of West Asia: Naqqash

from Middle East Observer


Senior Lebanese political analyst Anees Naqqash says that the United States should know that the ‘Resistance Axis’ is the one that now controls the entire West Asia region, and that Washington is in no position to impose conditions on Lebanon (such as closing the Lebanese-Syrian border) in return for easing its economic pressure on the country.

Naqqash, who is closely-linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, is a prominent fixture on Lebanese and Arab television, especially on channels affiliated with the so-called ‘Resistance Axis’.

The ‘Resistance Axis’ broadly refers to a strategic anti-Israel/anti-US imperialist alliance composed of, but not limited to, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq’s Hashed al-Shaabi, Yemen’s Ansarullah, and various Palestinian armed factions.

Source: Al Mayadeen News

Date: June 29, 2020

(Important note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here)

Extended Transcript:

(Please note: below is an extended transcript providing more translation segments from the original interview. The actual transcript for subtitled video can be found at bottom of page under ‘Video transcript section’)


Not all Lebanese are united against American imperialism. There are some (Lebanese) intellectuals, politicians and journalists who serve America more than it ever asks them to. We read (their writings), we follow them, we hear their statements, and we marvel at their enthusiasm for America, as if they had not learnt any lessons from history. Now is this issue over, as the ambassador – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – claimed? I do not think so. We are only at the starting line. The American attack on Lebanon did not begin with the (current economic) sanctions, it started in 1948 when (the US) supported the (Israeli) Zionist entity and incited it to wage wars against Arab countries. We will never forget that, and our peoples should never forget either. America is the enemy of the peoples of the region and the main supporter of Israel. This is one.

Regarding Lebanon in particular, (the US) harmed Lebanon more than once. With great hypocrisy, it claims to be Lebanon’s friend, but has always demanded that Israel stays stronger than Lebanon, that Israel despises and strikes Lebanon. In the July war (in 2006), it was very clear that the war was at the request of Dick Cheney, the American (vice president at the time). Israel was thus implementing an American decision. This is another thing that our people should not forget. Today, (the US) and Israel cannot eliminate the resistance (Hezbollah) through war. Therefore, they resorted to striking the social, economic and political environment in Lebanon through economic blockade. They are being delusional. They will not achieve their goal. They hope that people supporting the resistance will turn against it.

Now, the proactive response to the results (Americans) dream of came from Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and I think this is what provoked the (US) ambassador (in Lebanon). This statement was orchestrated by the US State Department, not the ambassador. The proof is that Pompeo said his piece as well.  Sayyed Nasrallah’s statement was strongly worded, highly threatening, full of high expectations and highly strategic. He said, at the beginning, and promised his people that we have plans to get through this economic blockade and our people will not go hungry. Then, he went on to talk about the end of the American-Israeli goals from this starvation and this blockade and said “we will kill you. You want to prevent us from destroying Israel and prevent us from fighting you and killing you, we assure you…” He (Sayyed Nasrallah) said it three times: “We will kill you. We will kill you. We will kill you”. This (repetition) means that we will win the economic battle and the battle that you (Israel) want to avoid, i.e. the military battle. The time when these plans will be unveiled and the big clash will break out, is determined by the Axis of Resistance and objective circumstances.

But surely our people will not go hungry. Our allies are strong. We heard a statement from Russia and China condemning the statements of the United States and its ambassador (in Lebanon). These two great powers confirmed that they stand by Lebanon and condemn these American statements.



I want to get back to the issue of exaggeration regarding the food crisis. I do not think that the people who were willing to sacrifice their lives when they were under fire, who lost their homes and livelihoods in the July war (2006), would be brought down with bread and butter. This is impossible.

We launched the slogan “plant a garden” at the beginning of the crisis, before it worsened. Today there are thousands of hectares and thousands of gardens. Our people will not starve. We are prepared for this long-running battle. There are friendly countries that will lend us a helping hand. As we saw Iran helped Venezuela and broke a much more important and much larger blockade than the blockade imposed on Lebanon, since Lebanon is much smaller than Venezuela.

The most important thing is that Lebanon is not subject to sanctions alone. Syria is subject to sanctions, undermining peace and security in Iraq and besieging the country in several ways are also types of sanctions, Iran has sanctions, China is threatened with sanctions and a trade war, Russia is subject to sanctions. So we are facing a world war launched by the United States under the title of “economic sanctions” on more than one country. Therefore, these countries must find ways to work together.

Two weeks ago, a delegation went to Syria and left last week after signing an agreement to extend a line of credit from Iran in order to provide Syria with several products and raw materials. Yesterday, President Putin also ordered the Russian army to use all its economic, cultural and media means to help Syria stand on its own feet. We are not alone.

The United States is playing its final cards and it will fail, especially as it faces its own economic crisis. The US is threatened by civil war more than Lebanon is threatened by any local violent actions. I am certain of that. We are in the midst of a conflict that will end in our favor, just as we planned and prepared. We assure our people, as we have always done, that victory will be ours. We would never promise to take any steps if we were not prepared for such a challenge.


Video transcript section:


(As for the US demand that Lebanon) close its borders with Syria, this means opening up the borders with Israel because Lebanon only borders Syria and the (Mediterranean) sea. When someone asks (us/the Lebanese) to close the borders with Syria, they will not only be asking us to seal the borders with a neighboring and friendly country, but with all countries beyond Syria, like Iraq, Jordan and other Arab countries.

We need to export (goods) now more than ever. We need to work with neighboring countries because we can use our local currency (in regional trade) and achieve economic integration. The US is overtly demanding that Lebanon commit a greater economic suicide (by closing its borders with Syria). However, this will not happen because our people are in control. America should know that our people (the Resistance Axis) are not only in control of the borders with Syria, we are in control of all of West Asia. This is what America should understand.

The US State Department is creating a smokescreen. If the (US State Department) consults the Pentagon (regarding this policy), the Pentagon will tell it that you will not able to pursue this policy if a war erupted or if all resistance forces moved (into action) using their full power. What are they threatening us with? They (Americans) are using the last method (card) they have, only to please Israel and some of the Arabs who are struggling for power. The US wants to show them that it is still taking action, but they are losing this battle. Closing (Lebanon’s) borders (with Syria) is a myth (i.e. an impossibility). We threaten them not only with opening up the borders (with Syria), but with abolishing them completely if we decide to do so today. There is no force on the face of the earth, no Lebanese, Arab or foreign force that can prevent us from abolishing the borders if we decide to. They (Americans) know this fact.

As for economic integration, this region is rich in resources, and some major countries are ready to help. The country (Iran) who sent seven oil tankers accompanied by a giant tanker carrying foodstuffs to open (its) first commercial center in Venezuela, (can do that again in Lebanon).

Iran, Syria Comprehensive Military Agreement Amid Growing U.S. Pressure


Iran, Syria Comprehensive Military Agreement Amid Growing U.S. Pressure

Iran and Syria has reached a new comprehensive military agreement, a move aimed at countering growing US pressure.

The agreement, which would enhance military and security cooperation between the two sides, was signed by Syria’s Defense Minister, Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, and Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of Iran, Mohammad Bagheri, on July 8 in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

After signing the agreement, Gen. Ayyoub praised cooperation with Iran as a means to confront U.S. pressure. The minister also slammed Israel, accusing it of being a “partner” in the war in Syria.

“If the American administrations could subjugate Syria, Iran, and the axis of the resistance, it would not wait for a moment [to do so],” al-Mayadeen quoted the Syrian commander as saying.

From his side, Maj. Gen. Bagheri revealed that Iran will work to improve Syria’s air-defense capabilities as a part of new agreement. No further details were provided.

“The signed agreement reinforces our will and determination to cooperate in the face of American pressure,” Bagheri said.

The Iranian officer also mentioned the situation in the northwestern Syrian region of Greater Idlib, calling on Turkey to fulfill its commitments under the agreements reached in Astana. Bagheri said that Ankara should talk and cooperate with Damascus to address its security concerns.

Iran supported the Syrian military’s recent operation in Greater Idlib. Forces backed by Tehran are still reinforcing Syrian troops in the region.

The new Iranian-Syrian agreement is yet another major blow to the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign. The campaign, which was supposed to subdue Iran and drive it away from its allies, is apparently back-fired. Tehran and its regional allies are now cooperating closer than ever to overcome U.S. pressure.

Military Situation In Syria On July 8, 2020 (Map Update)

Military Situation In Syria On July 8, 2020 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

  • An explosive device went off on the road between the city of Al-Bab and the town of Qabasin;
  • 6 civilians were killed and 7 others were wounded by a car bomb in Tal Abyad in the northern Raqqah governorate ;
  • SAA artillery shelled with mortars the villages of Benin, Kanasfsra, Baylun and Deir Sunbul in the southern Idlib;
  • Militants’ artillery targeted SAA position in the Talhiya area destroying an SAA battle tank.


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Saudi Royal Palaces Will Be among Targets of Yemeni Strikes: General Sarea laces

Spokesman of Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree

The spokesman of the Yemeni armed forces, General Yahya Sarea, held Tuesday a press conference in which he displayed US weapons seized during the recent campaign against the mercenaries in Marib and Al-Bayda, adding that the Saudi royal palaces will be among the targets of the upcoming strikes.

Our forces found a lot of weapons with the USAID’s logo in Al-Bayda governorate during the recent military operations, in other areas and fronts, General Sarea said.

“USAID supports and funds foreign organizations working in Yemen to carry out their activities in local communities in a number provinces. It has been playing intelligence roles with human slogans, on relevant security bodies, SCMCHA has to reveal and expose this role.”

“Our forces have succeeded, with God’s help, in carrying out qualitative military operations focusing on sensitive targets.”

General Sarea called on the civilians dwelling near the Saudi royal palaces to keep away from them as they will be targeted in the upcoming strikes.

Commenting on the economic war against the Yemeni people, General Sarea stressed, “in a clear message to the enemy”, that the Yemenis would not starve.

Source: Al-Manar English Website and other websites

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Syrian Army Fights ISIS In Homs. SDF Rejects Deal With Damascus


Clashes between government forces and ISIS terrorists have continued in central Syria since July 2, when ISIS cells stormed army positions in eastern Homs. In response, the Syrians supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a security operation in the desert. Sporadic clashes and airstrikes were reported in the area over the next few days.

On July 4, ISIS terrorists even ambushed a unit of the Syrian Army in eastern Homs. The military reportedly lost contact with 25 soldiers in eastern Homs. As of July 6, their fate remains unclear. It’s likely that, members of the dispersed unit are now returning to their permanent positions in the province.

Pro-opposition sources claim that over the past week, at least 20 soldiers were killed in clashes with ISIS members. Pro-government sources do not provide details regarding army casualties, but say that government forces were able to destroy 3 ISIS vehicles and neutralize up to 10 ISIS members.

As the Syrian government fights ISIS on the western bank of the Euphrates, the US-led coalition conducted a raid against the terrorist group in the town of Husayn on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.

On July 5, US helicopters landed near the town and US forces assisted by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained at least 4 suspects.

Meanwhile, the SDF leadership declared that it does not see a possibility to reach a comprehensive political agreement with Damascus because the government wants to restore full control over the provinces of Deir Ezozr and Raqqa in the framework of such a deal.

SDF Commander-in-Chief Abdi Şahin better known by his nom de guerre Mazlum Abdi declined such a possibility claiming that the Kurdish-led group wants to keep control of all the areas that it has seized. Abdi is a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which seeks to create an independent Kurdish state in southern Turkey and, if it’s possible, include into it territories of northern Syria and northern Iraq. Therefore, such a position of the SDF leadership is not a big surprise.

In 2019, the Syrian Army came to northeastern Syria to rescue the SDF from the Turkish military advance when the group then abandoned by the US-led coalition needed it. However, after this, the Kurdish leadership once again turned back from the Syrian people selling its loyalty to Washington for weapons and a share of oil revenue from the US-controlled Syrian oilfields.

Infighting among Turkish-backed militant groups erupted in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Raqqa on July 3 and July 5. Tell Abyad, al-Yabisah and Ras al-Ain are the man hot points. At least 5 militants and several civilians were killed. The main source of tensions is the intra-militant competition for control of roads, agricultural lands and trade in a small chunk of area occupied by Turkey in northeastern Syria. The funding from Turkey decreased after the de-escalation of the conflict in this part of the country. So, Turkish-backed fighters are now looting the captured areas to obtain the needed financial resources.

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

Military Situation In Syria On July 6, 2020 (Map Update)

A brief overview of the recent developments in Syria:

  • Israeli warplanes struck a truck convoy in Al-Dimas region in northwestern Damascus countryside. A weapon shipment reportedly headed towards the Lebanese border and was intended for Hezbollah;
  • Turkish forces targeted a civilian truck on the M4 highway to the west of the town of Ain Issa in northern Raqqa;
  • Syrian army artillery targeted the villages of Khirbet Al-Naqus, Mansourah in northern Hama and the town of al-Fatirah in Southern Idlib;
  • The US MQ-9 Reaper drone was spotted over the Idlib region;
  • Turkish artillery shelled the SDF positions near the town of Tell Abyad in northern Raqqa.

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USA – Most Aggressive Military Power in the World. Those Who Have Friends Like That Don’t Need Enemies (Sahra Wagenknecht)


July 05, 2020

USA – Most Aggressive Military Power in the World. Those Who Have Friends Like That Don’t Need Enemies (Sahra Wagenknecht)

Original German description in English: Trump had “threatened” for a long time and now actually wants to withdraw 10,000 US soldiers from Germany. German armaments spending is too low, the US president rumbles, the United States is no longer willing to “provide our security”. The German defense minister, Kramp-Karrenbauer, pleads guilty that it would be a lot of effort to upgrade. Unfortunately, that’s really true: it increased the military budget in 2019 by a whopping ten percent to just under 50 billion euros compared to the previous year. And despite Corona, not a single project was canceled, on the contrary: even in the current economic stimulus package, hardly noticed by the public, an additional 10 billion euros were hidden for armament. No other country in the top 15 in the world has seen such a sharp increase in arms spending. To be dictated by Trump, to waste more and more money on tanks and war equipment, what a fatal mistake! A sovereign German government would respond to Trump: Hey, Mr. President, great idea of ​​this deduction, but please don’t just bring 10,000 soldiers home, but the whole contingent right away. And above all: take the US nuclear weapons with you, we don’t need them here at all! However, the deduction should really be a deduction, and not a move to Poland and thus even closer to the Russian border, as Trump apparently plans to do. So instead of letting the US and NATO drive expensive armaments projects such as the procurement of nuclear weapons-capable US fighters, the German federal government should have the backbone to defend our sovereignty and stand up to Trump. Why it is absurd to expect our security from a country that is the most aggressive military power in the world and demonstrates every day that it does not care about European and German interests? I will talk about this in the video.

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